- Lonely to lead.
- Success can be dangerous.
- It’s hardest at home.
- Authenticity is essential. Be a model.
- It’s painful to obey.
- Disappointment is a part of the package of Pastor.
- Attitude matters most.
- Integrity always eclipse image.
- It starts & it ends with humility. If you want to see a release of God’s power in ministry, grow in humility. God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Blesses are the meek (keep your power under control). While on the cross, Christ didn’t hurl insults back.
- The anointing is non-negotiable. Supernatural assistance to do ministry well.
This list was given to us by Doug Clay:10 Leadership Realities
Day 13: You are chosen!
1Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” What a wonderful verse! This is from our reading today.
Please take time to read 1 Peter 2.
We live in such a negative world today. People deal with self-esteem issues everyday. If you or someone you know has them, please consider this:
Day 12: Do you need comforting?
I don’t know about you, but I have found myself struggling with looking for junk food or ways to replace that junk food during this fast. I am coming to a realization that junk food has had more of a hold on me then I thought. Even though I have some grapes or an apple to eat, a box of mozzarella cheez-its would be awesome! Or how about those chocolate chip cookies that Dana loves to make? Many people struggle with junk food as a form of comfort in their lives.
This fast is opening my eyes to the different ways people cope with things. For some it’s junk food, for others it may even be drugs or alcohol. I pray this is opening your eyes to the fact that we’ve relied on our own forms of coping instead of God’s answer. God sent us His Comforter, His Holy Spirit to be our comforter. Why do we not rely on Him in times of stress? Why do not give things over to Him & allow Him to deal with it? Why do we have such control issues in our life?
Today’s Bible reading is 2 Corinthians 1. I love these two verses: 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. Have you ever thought about the fact that if you didn’t have stress, troubles or go through storms, you would be a very weak witness? We pray so much for God to protect us, to keep us from suffering & shelter us. Yet we fail to realize that the Bible has much to say about the sufferings that are to be expected (Ecc. 7:14; 1 Peter 1:6-7) . And we are should be joyful during that time. Why? Because God is molding & shaping you into the person He wants you to be that will be useful for His Kingdom. The maturing process is a process of pressure being applied. Just as a potter does w/ the clay he's molding. Then the clay goes into the oven...ouch!
Let your sufferings cause you to rely on The Comforter. Then you will be able to flow in the same compassion Christ has for us as you deal with others that find themselves suffering.
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Day 11 of Daniel Fast
Half Way There!
This is the ½ way mark of our fast! I’ve been encouraged to hear about so many fasting something. I know that God will bless you & our church because of this. Today’s reading is from one of my favorite books, James. Chapter 1 starts of with some convicting things & challenging statements. After all, who wants to count trial & tribulations as pure joy?
Yet as Christians in whom our faith lies in Christ, we can. Knowing that when we are weak, He is strong, allows us to boldly face persecution. Believing God when He says, “I will NEVER leave your or forsake you” empowers me as a believer. This life is a life of challenges, trials, happy times, sad times, etc. Yet through it all, He is guiding my every step. Even the steps that lead me in the valley of shadow and death.
James addresses the fact that so many only hear the gospel and fail to act on the gospel. You may hear & ask Jesus into your heart, but then often that’s the end. In reality, it is only the beginning! Now it’s time to put our faith into action & follow the example of Christ who heard the voice of His Father & acted on it. What about you, are you acting on what God is telling you?
I have a beef with people that constantly ask God to use them, bless them & give them a fresh Word, when they have failed to ACT on the last Word He gave them. Why should He give you a fresh word or blessing when you haven’t been obedient to the last on or used the last blessing for His glory? When you start being faithful w/ what He’s already spoken to you or given you then look out…more is on the way!
I close with this, what are looking for in the second half of this fast? It’s time to get real honest with ourselves. If you have done a lot of asking in the first half, maybe this half should be more about listening & being obedient.
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Sorry for the gap in blogs. We had to over come some things! ;-)Day 10 of Daniel Fast!
Power to Overcome!
Today’s reading is out of Luke 4. It is about Jesus going into the desert after being baptized for 40 days of fasting. 40 DAYS! Today, are you struggling w/ where you are in the fast? Have you been tempted to break it & just eat what you want or watch or ready what you want? I know I have. You don’t realize the stronghold sugars & caffeine & MEAT have on you.
Pray for strength. God did not call us to this fast just to fail. He called us to this fast to give us strength to overcome. He desires for us to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit so we too can overcome the things of this world. He wants us to overcome our demons that we have been bound by. He desires to see you not only overcome but have the power to help others overcome! Jesus left His time of fasting stronger than ever & He wants the same for you.
Luke 10:18-19 says, “18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”
That’s exactly what He is calling every believer to do as well. We have a mission & we need His power to accomplish it. Ask Him for strength, anointing & boldness to do what He’s called you to do! You are more than over comer’s through Christ who gives you strength! You are to be the head & not the tail! So pray & receive that message & power today!
God bless you & know that Dana & I are praying for you!! Greater things have yet to come!
Day 5! Prayer & Fasting the ONE-TWO Punch!
Today’s reading is from Matthew 6:5-18. This passage will take you through the Lord’s Prayer & into the verse on fasting in private. So I’ll hit on both of those points today. When put together you can really "knock out" some issues going on in your life!
Prayer of course is a big deal during a fast. The main objective of any fast is to draw closer to God. You want to build that relationship & sacrifice something to show that you mean business concerning your requests to God. Reading the Bible is the quickest way to hear from God. After all, it is the inspired Word of God! Prayer is the 2nd way IF you allow time to listen. Too often when we talk to God it’s a one-sided conversation. We do all the talking & then say amen. God desires to speak back. He desires to give you His input on the matters. Sometimes He may drop a scripture reference in your heart. Sometimes God will drop just one word in your spirit. And yes, sometimes He’s quiet. His answer may be yes, no or wait. Either way, God is listening. If you are saved then the Holy Spirit lives in you & therefore you know that God hears your prayers.
An activity I used to do a lot & need to get back to is journaling your prayers. Keep a notebook/journal with you when you pray. Sometimes I will write my prayers out. That helps me stay focused (and I need all the help I can get there). This will also allow you to look back & see how God has answered those prayers. There may be a time where you felt God was silent on the issue only to look back & see where He really did answer in His own way & handle that situation. Whether you liked it or not… Also, after you have prayed, just sit silently for a few minutes & listen. You probably need to cut the noise off & get in a quiet place. Just listen & allow the Holy Spirit to minister to you. Then as you begin to sense the direction He’s leading you or the scriptures He starts giving, you can journal them. This will help you later also in remembering what God spoke to you, what He promised you or the direction He pointed you in.
Now to the matter of fasting: this verse references fasting in private. So why are we doing a corporate fast & talking about it? Well the reason we are doing a corporate fast is to help get our congregation in sync & seeking God together on a daily basis. We are praying for the mind of God concerning the vision of our church. We also have several families with loved ones needing salvation so we are praying for those as well. This allows us to encourage one another to stay strong when we start to get weak during the fast.
Now the reason private fasting is such an issue with Jesus is because the Pharisee’s & others would fast & make it known in order to seem “holier than thou.” This was an ego thing. Pride has always been a tool of Satan (the pride of life) and always will be. Jesus has said that what you do in secret will be rewarded in open & what you do in the open, well; you just got your reward. Private fasting should be kept private. Corporate fasting is open however your motives are also in question. When you talk about fasting with others, what is your motive? Is it to seek encouragement? Is it to teach others about fasting? Or is it to put you out there as being holy? Only you & God know that answer.
God bless you! I pray that this has been enlightening as well as encouraging. Please let us know if we can pray for you!
Day 4 is under way!
Focus: Passion for God!
Today our reading plan was Psalm 119 the longest chapter in the Bible. While it is long you can’t help but hear the author’s passion for God & His Word. No matter what he is facing, he continually delights in God & His unfailing Word.
What a thought… No matter what you are going through, God’s Word never fails, never returns void & is NEVER inerrant! Isn’t that awesome! Let that be a salve to someone’s hurting heart today. God knows exactly where you are & what you are going through. He knows who’s against you. He knows your financial burdens. He knows your temptations. His Word if hidden in your heart will be a light unto your path. So that know matter what the situation is or how lost you may feel, His Word will guide you out. It will always deliver you to the promise land!
So are you passionate about God & His Word? Now don’t give me the Sunday School answer on that. I want you to evaluate your life right now. It’s easy to say we’re passionate, but passion has a way of fleshing itself out. So, is this passion made known through your actions, speech, and time IN His Word? Are you a doer of the Word our just a hearer on Sunday mornings? This passion should be evident 24/7. So I ask this, how passionate are you really?
Day 3 of our Daniel Fast!
We are just getting started in this fast. I believe God has some major blessings and/or miracles in store for those that are the committed. But the key is commitment. Too many times I myself start many things yet never see them through. I am resolved to discipline myself. That is a big thing I’m praying for in my life. I know I need more discipline.
Are you committed to seeing this through? We have to be resolved in order for this fast to be effective. Commitment is KEY! I can’t say that enough. Commitment is what will make our church an effective church both in the Kingdom & then of course in our community. The Bible says we are to work as if working for the Lord. Are you working for the Lord? That’s the real question you must ask yourself. What are YOU doing for HIM?
I pray this fast will drive you to increase your commitment for Christ. I pray that this fast will increase your commitment to your church. As your pastor, I need you. I need you committed in your attendance, in your giving & in your serving. As God solidifies HIS vision for OUR church, ask what YOUR part is. Then, get COMMITTED! I’m praying for you!!
Snacks for the Daniel Fast
To have a successful Daniel Fast, it’s a good idea to have several snack foods available for those times when you "need a little something." I suggest you still take snacks in "servings," so you don’t over eat on these sometimes high-calorie foods.
Day 2 of our Daniel Fast!
One of the things coming up during this fast is that now people really have to stop, think & plan their menus out for the week. That is of course, if you are doing a restricted diet fast. The thought is, why don’t we just eat regular but use the time we have to plan with to pray? Well, the point of a fast is sacrifice. This fast has to cost you something. So not only food, but time mgmt is becoming an issue.
I believe this is showing us we have more time to pray &/or read the Bible than we realized. Our routine is being shaken up. It’s getting us out of a rut & forcing us to think about giving something up for God. Why are you fasting? What is it that you need God to do? What are you willing to sacrifice for it? Why don’t you build a small altar somewhere & put something on it to signify what you are willing to sacrifice. Maybe a small clock, a piece of junk food, a video game… Then every time you look at it, you are saying that thing no longer controls you, but you control it !