January: A Time of Fasting & Praying

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Every year beginning in the month of January is our annual Consecration. For Twenty one days we are fasting and praying for ourselves, loved ones & the nation.  The first seven days is without food and the remaining fourteen which is called the Daniels Fast is one meal a day (no meats & no sweets).  It is both wonderful and mysterious.  

Fasting is abstaining from food to focus on a period of spiritual growth.  Believers throughout the ages have gone without food in order to receive the more of God.  Although, there are several reasons to fast, here are three reasons that I have learned and wanted to share about fasting.

1-Fasting is for Spiritual Breakthrough-We seek spiritual breakthrough, ask for mercy over our nation as well as our personal circumstances, and hunger for deeper revelation of God and His Word.  .  Fasting speeds the release of God’s promises by taking away distractions so, we can enter into His presence more easily.

2-Fasting is for Direction-When we eliminate food from our diet for a number of days your spirit becomes uncluttered and sensitive to the things of God.  It clarifies our desires and shows us the one thing that we can’t live without.

3-Fasting will strengthen your Prayer Life-When we fast we are increasing the amount of time to pray therefore drawing closer to God.  It gives you a newfound strength & dependence on Him .

There are a variety of  benefits to fasting including the elimination of toxins that  build up in your body.  Fasting is not a way to get God to do what we want.  Fasting changes us and not God.   Fasting is done in a spirit of humility and a joyful attitude.  “Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rear guard“.                 Isaiah 58:8

OVERCOMING HOLIDAY STRESS

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I know many of you are busily preparing for Christmas. Between end-of-year work responsibilities, holiday parties, and shopping, December can feel like a blur—especially when daily life doesn’t stop just because of the Holiday Season.

In fact, the Season can bring with it more stress, frustration, and worry than any other time of year. It can be a struggle to maintain the “holiday spirit” when you neglect the life of your soul. If this happens to you, always remember:

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How to Minimize Holidays Stress

Tip #1: Check your calendar for regularly scheduled events that can be temporarily postponed or canceled.
What do you have regularly scheduled on a weekly or monthly basis – maybe a weekly meet-up, a conference call or a coaching group – that you should really consider postponing this month? Most people will probably be relieved that you did and thankful they don’t have to come up with an excuse as to why they can’t attend this time.
Look specifically at the things you do that move you forward, get organized, and create systems that allow you to spend more time with your family.

Tip #2: Don’t be afraid to delegate.  
One of the best things I ever did to make my holiday season less stressful and more fun is delegating someone else do the buying and wrapping  the gifts. Yes, I personally come up with the gift and put the thought into it. But that’s just it!   It’s the thought that counts!

Tip #3 –A REMINDER that Christ understands the challenges you face. When Jesus was made human, He fully experienced life on earth. He is described as a “man of suffering and familiar with pain” (Isaiah 53:3). He understands your circumstances and offers to walk you through them. (See Matt. 11:28-29.) Remember that Christ is called Emmanuel—”God with us.”

Tip #4 – REMEMBER JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON. In His abundant power and presence in every situation. Consider these words from the prophet Isaiah, who foretold of the coming of Christ and what it would mean to the world:

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government will be upon His shoulder,
and His name will be called
“Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
– Isaiah 9:6

Let these descriptive words sink into your heart:

Wonderful Counselor… Mighty God…
Everlasting Father… Prince of Peace…

Ask the Lord to reveal these attributes to you!

I hope you’ll consider putting these tips into action this year!  I think sometimes we get caught up in traditions and expectations other people have for us and allow it to control our holiday season. But if it doesn’t actually bring you joy and feels like more of a burden, just drop it!  And remember that this time of year isn’t about being stressed out and adding more things to your plate because of the holidays – it’s about spending more quality time with the people you love most and celebrating the true meaning of the holiday!!