Monthly Archives: Jan 2013

weekend.wrap_.up_
A Letter to RLC
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A Letter to RLC>>>

Howdy RLC!

What an amazing weekend! There were ‘wins’ all over the place. Here are a few of them and a little extra…

1. We were honored to have 3 people make a commitment for Christ at RLC yesterday! Thank You Jesus. That never gets old. Remember to pray for those who have made the first step in their relationship with God.

2. We were honored to host 26 people at the Dream Team Luncheon. Almost everyone present said they wanted to join the team and use their gifts to make a difference in the lives of others. Way to go guys!

3. It was such a joy to see all the excitement surrounding the announcement of the new worship experience structure. Starting February 10th there will be a new worship experiences at 9:30 and 11am. More info about all this coming this week.

4. We turn one year old this Sunday! Woo Hoo! Yeah! Come help us celebrate. I’ll be posting on this later this week stay tuned.

5. Heavy Soul. That was the emphasis in the second part of new series Soul Detox. Don’t allow yourself to stay ‘heavy’ in your due to past hurts, current trouble, or future anxiety. Remember God is faithful. Instead remember His faithfulness in the past, cry out to Him in the present, and trust Him for the future.

6. Found people find people.  Once you’ve experienced the presence of God for yourself, you want to share it with others. We’re beginning to see Real Lifer’s all over doing this. As your pastor it fills me with such joy when I see you guys praying with one another, serving one another, growing together, and… well, being the church.

7. Last but certainly not least I want to say congratulations on all those who finished up their 21 day fasting journey this past weekend. I’m so proud of you.

I can’t wait to see what’s just around the next corner.

It’s so great to be a part of RLC!

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fasting-2013
21 days of prayer and fasting, Read Everything
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Day Twenty-One: Because There’s More

It’s not only about us. We need to be free. We need to be close to Jesus for our own wellbeing, but also for others. Because there’s more … is why we fast and pray.

What are God’s purposes on the earth today? Are people in bondage, desperate for freedom, crying out to a God they don’t even know? Does He desire to use us to break their chains? Yes and yes! The real question is whether you and I will interrupt our lives and our routines to help.

If you read Isaiah 58 carefully, you see that the chapter actually begins with God rebuking the people who were fasting because their form of fasting was merely a mundane outward display to demonstrate their religiosity. God is looking for the real deal!

Men, women and children desperately cry out for help every day, all over the world, perhaps even right down the street. They are abused, oppressed, misused, hungry, alone, forgotten, and crushed. That is why the fast God desires is not an empty, passionless religious act that bears no fruit.

God has a specific purpose for fasting and prayer.

Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out; When you see the naked, that you cover him, And not hide yourself from your own flesh? Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your darkness shall be as the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. —ISAIAH 58:6–11

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21 days of prayer and fasting, Read Everything
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Day Twenty: The Main Dish

Guest post from Free Chapel:

You’re in the home stretch of this fast and right about now you may be having dreams about hot, fluffy, brown yeast rolls. So, I encourage you to stay strong as we have a conversation about bread.

In ancient times bread was regarded as the main course because it was a main source of nutrition. Long before our TV commercials proclaimed, “Beef: it’s what’s for dinner” the slogan would have been more like, “Bread: it’s what’s for dinner.”

When God delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, they were given specific instructions on what to eat that final night; they were to “be ready,” with no time for dough to rise, so a very important part of the Passover meal was, and continues to be, unleavened bread.

Their wandering in the desert for forty years made it hard, if not impossible, to plant and harvest wheat for bread. So the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not” (Ex. 16:4). They ate that “bread of heaven” daily for the duration of their time in the desert.

As you can see, bread wasn’t a “take it or leave it” side option like today.

Now, thinking about how important bread was in the history of the Israelites, we look at John chapter 6. Jesus’ words in this chapter were pivotal, even for some of His followers who could not accept His claim to be “the Bread of Life.” The chapter begins with Jesus multiplying five small loaves of barley bread and two small fish that a little boy in the crowd was saving for his lunch.

When they followed him the next day and asked for more miracles, He replied,
“Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”—JOHN 6:32-35

“I am the bread of life.” What a statement! Jesus stated, “I am the bread of life,” in that culture, intending to get their attention. He wanted them to understand, “You need Me every day. You can’t make it without Me. I’m the central issue of your life. Without Me, without bread, you’ll perish.”

I can do without a lot of things, but I cannot do anything without Jesus. He’s not something at the end of the table in a basket that I can take or leave. “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts.” Jeremiah 15:16

Eat to your fill of His presence today!

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21 days of prayer and fasting, Read Everything
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Day Nineteen: Someone To Challenge You

Guest Blog Post from Free Chapel:

In 2 Kings 13:14-19, the prophet Elisha was on his death bed. And, Joash, King of Israel, came to him for one last piece of advice because the Syrians were attacking the country. Elisha told him to take a bow and arrows and put his hand on the bow.

These scriptures may not make a lot of sense to you concerning the theme of fasting, but I want to tie them together over the next couple of days in a way that I feel the Lord would have me share with you.

Do you know that everybody needs a man of God in their life? You need someone who won’t just tell you what you want to hear, but someone who will tell you what you need to hear. Someone who won’t just make you feel good, but someone who will also challenge you.

I was thinking about how Elisha had a double portion of the anointing of Elijah. Before he received that, 2 Kings 2 says that Elisha tore his robe into two pieces and took up the mantle of Elijah. Notice he had to take off before he could put on. And we have to rid ourselves of some things before God will send the double portion anointing.

I believe God’s double portion anointing can come on us for complete victory, when we rid ourselves of sins like offense, unforgiveness and pride. On this fast, let’s get rid of some things so we can receive other things from God.

When you take that stuff off, you humble yourself. And James 4:6 says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Fast for complete victory in your life. Victory is when you completely overcome the enemy. It is the cutting off of Goliath’s head. It is the dancing on the grave of your enemy. It is not co-existing with partial victory. Jesus came “that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).

Jesus came to bring complete victory.

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21 days of prayer and fasting, Read Everything
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Day Eighteen: Living Inside Out

Guest post from Free Chapel

Continue to be open to the conviction of the Holy Spirit during this fast because the only cure for sin is to be cleansed and changed from the inside out. When it comes to the heart of man, what goes in also comes out.

That is why Jesus exposed the Pharisees for their pious religious front. He called them pretenders and hypocrites, saying, “You are like tombs that have been whitewashed, which look beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything impure. Just so, you also outwardly seem to people to be just and upright but inside you are full of pretense and lawlessness and iniquity.”—Matthew 23:27-28

They looked the part. They played the role. They religiously went through the motions. But they spent much more attention creating the outward standard than they spent following the inward standard. What is on the inside will show on the outside. Think about it this way: When someone gets sick and nausea takes hold, that person doesn’t need training on how to make what is on the inside…come out. The body knows how to do that all by itself! When you have junk inside—junk comes out. But in like manner, when you have Jesus inside—Jesus comes out.

I think the longer that we serve the Lord the easier it can be to get caught up in the routine of religion. I have to fight that at times. I feel the pressure to be what I am expected to be outwardly even though I may feel totally drained inside. That is why we have to be careful not to put so much energy into keeping up the outward appearance that before long it’s just that—an exterior whitewashing to cover a withering interior. It is dangerous for a person or a ministry to be growing outwardly but shrinking in passion for Jesus inwardly.

If I sense my passion for Jesus beginning to fade, I fast. I can’t stress enough how fasting helps you regain the edge when you are growing dull. It immediately helps you get refocused on only those things that really matter, and cleanse yourself of the rest. Fasting helps you maintain the inward brokenness that allows God to make your outside match your inside. It’s living “inside out.” You don’t have to fake it on the outside when you are full of the Lord on the inside.

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