Blog 1 - Monday January 11th
WHAT IS FASTING AND WHY DO WE DO IT?
Fasting is much more than a New Year's Resolution. (In other words, this is not a diet or a cleanse!) We are dedication 21 days of the beginning of 2016 to God! Fasting is simply withstanding from something in order to focus our attention and efforts towards God. When we partner this with prayer, we are able to see God do the miraculous!
(Daniel 10:1-3, Exodus 34:24, Nehemiah 1:4)
WHAT CAN WE EAT?
For our fast, we will be observing the Daniel Fast practices. On the Daniel Fast, you can eat things such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole wheat.
Foods to include during the Daniel Fast:
All fruits. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned, Fruits include, but are not limited to apples, apricots, bananas, blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cantaloupe, cherries, cranberries, figs, grapefruit, grapes, guava, honeydew melon, kiwi, lemons, limes, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapple, plums, prunes, raisins, raspberries, strawberries, tangelos, tangerines, watermelon.
All vegetables. These can be fresh, frozen, dried, juiced or canned, Vegetables include, but are not limited to artichoke, asparagus, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, mushrooms, mustard greens, okra, onions, parsley, potatoes, radishes, rutabagas, scallions, spinach, sprouts, squashes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, turnips, watercress, yams, zucchini, veggie burgers are an option if you are not allergic to soy.
All whole grains. Including but not limited to whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats, barley, grits, whole wheat pasta, whole wheat tortillas, rice cakes and popcorn.
All nuts and seeds. Including but not limited to sunflower seeds, cashews, peanuts, sesame. Also nut butters including peanut butter.
All legumes. These can be canned or dried. Legumes include, but are not limited to dried beans, pinto beans, split peas, lentils, black eyed peas, kidney beans, black beans, white beans.
All quality oils. Including but not limited to olive, canola, grape seed, peanut, coconut and sesame.
Beverages: spring water, distilled water, or other pure waters.
Foods to avoid on the Daniel Fast:
All meat and animal products including but not limited to beef, lamb, pork, poultry and fish.
All dairy products including but not limited to milk, cream, butter and eggs.
All sweeteners including but not limited to raw sugar, honey, syrups, molasses and cane juice.
All leavened bread including Ezekiel bread ( it contains yeast and honey) and baked goods.
All refined and processed food products including but not limited to artificial flavorings, food additives, chemicals, white rice, white flour and foods that contain artificial preservatives.
All deep fried foods including but not limited to potato chips, french fries, corn chips.
All solid fats including but not limited to shortening, margarine, lard, and foods high in fat.
Beverages including but not limited to carbonated beverages, energy drinks, and alcohol.
*Remember to read the labels and choose fresh organic produce when available.
We believe prayer is a pivotal part of fasting.
As a church, we will be holding a special night of prayer and worship.
DATES: January 26th/January 27th
LOCATION: TheCHURCH at Visalia - 120 S Locust St
We hope you experience God in a new and fresh way! If at any time, you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us firstname.lastname@example.org
May HIS best be yours,
TheCHURCH at Visalia
Blog 2 - Tuesday January 12th
ASK GOD FOR HIS PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE?
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. Jeremiah 29: 11-12 (ESV)
In this passage God says, “I know the plans I have for you. I have plans to help you and not harm you, so call out to me, pray to me and I will hear you.”
You don’t have to figure it all out on your own! Today, start asking God for HIS plan for 2016. As you go to God in prayer here are a few things you can start asking yourself and God.
What are you good at?
What do you enjoy doing most?
If money wasn’t a consideration, what would you do?
Is there a way you can do those things now? What one small step can you take right now, a pone call, a text, a meeting, that would move you towards your true calling?
How would you describe your vision for your life this year?
Where do you want to be in five years?
Who are the people in your life who really get who you are? Have you asked them what they think your purpose might be? Have they given any indication of how they think you should use your talents?
If you could write your won obituary, what would you want it to say? What would you like to be remembered for?
As you begin the New Year don’t go at it alone! Ask God to guide you to his plans and purposes for your life.
Blog 3 - Wednesday January 13th
FASTING GROCERY LIST
Stay prepared during your fast! We’ve come up with a helpful shopping list for you as we approach our 21 Day Fast. We suggest buying fresh seasonal fruits and veggies as they are available and be sure to read the labels!
Vegetables: Kale, Spinach, Broccoli, Asparagus, Cabbage, Green Beans, Lettuce, Zucchini, Carrots, etc.
Protein and legumes: Tofu, Edamame, Black Beans, Garbanzo Beans, Lentils, Pinto Beans
Dairy: Almond milk, coconut milk, yogurt
Fats and Oils: Raw Almonds, Sugar Free Peanut Butter, Raw Cashews, Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fruits: Bananas, Blueberries, Black Berries, Rasberries, Mango, Avocados, Lemon, Apples, Tomatoes
Grains and Carbs: Oats, Quinoa, Brown Rice, Rice Cakes, Sweet Potatoes, Almond Meal, Wheat Tortillas
Condiments and Seasoning: Siracha, Salsa, Apple Cider Vinegar, Balsamic Vinegar
Blog 4 - Thursday January 14th
WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR THIS YEAR?
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Pr. 29:18
What are you planning to do with this New Year: What you set your heart on, will determine how you spend your time and energy. And it takes as much effort to live an unfulfilled life as it does a fulfilled one. Scientists tell us to human brain has two billion megabytes of capacity, which means we all have lots of room to grow.
One of the most rewarding things you can do this year is to work to develop your mind. Scripture teaches us, “Where there is no vision [sense of direction], the people perish.” We see here that, dissatisfaction doesn’t come from the absence of things, it comes from the absence of direction. Too many of us merely exist because we’ve settles for less than what God intended for us. The quality of your life will be determined by your direction (your vision) and the effort you are willing to put into making it comes to pass.
Before moving on with your day, take time to write a list of the areas where you’d like to grow this year, then tackle the two or three of the most important ones. Don’t get discouraged if the ones you’re working on doesn’t cause something to change quickly. It’s a process; you have to keep trying. Some days it’ll feel like you went two steps forward and three steps back. That is ok! Don’t give up! Whatever it is you are working toward is always worth another try!
This is your year! Take steps toward what God has for you!
Blog 5 - Friday January 15th
Great 5 Minute Snacks for your Fast
We get it, it can be hard to get creative while you’re fasting (and on the go)! Our suggestion for snacking? GO FRESH! Fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, etc. Here are some helpful snacks you can take with you through your busy day.
Carrots and Hummus
Apples and Peanut Butter
Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter and Fruits
Blog 6 - Saturday January 16th
WORSHIP IS MORE THAN JUST SINGING.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord Colossians 3:16 NKJV
Did you know that music is mentioned in the Bible over 800 times.
More than 200 times God instructs, “Come into my presence with singing.”
Singing to God is more than an act of worship; it’s an act of obedience.
God’s greatwonders are made known when we sing (Psalm 105;2). As we praise the work of His hands and the depth of His love, other people hear and receive His message of hope.
Singing breaks the chains of bondage ( Acts 16;25-26)! When we look beyond our earthly circumstances and sing praise, we change the atmosphere. When we sing, strongholds and addictions can be broken; sin can no longer hold us captive.
Ultimately, our worship prepares us for victory (2 Chronicles 20:21). When we sing, we are sending the Spirit of the Lord before us, declaring our dependency on Him and making known His presence in our lives.
There is so much purpose in our worship. When we sing, God listens. He responds.
As you live your life today, worship the one true God!
“Sing to the Lord all the earth; Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is also to be feared above all gods” (1 Chronicles 16;23-25 NJKV).
Blog 7 - Sunday January 17th
I'VE BEEN FASTING AND I DON'T FEEL GOOD. IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME?
The Daniel Fast will certainly benefit you physically and spiritually, however, your body may do some kicking and screaming, during the first few days! So don’t be alarmed, if you experienced light headaches, hunger pangs, or slight weakness. Your body might release an “unpleasant aroma,” both through the pores and your breath. This is normal.
However, if you experience anything more severe than the symptoms we just listed, you should contact your health professional as it may be from another cause.
Remember, unless you already eat a healthy diet with little or no caffeine or other addicting substances, your body will experience a certain level of withdrawal and detoxification. There are a few things you can do to minimize the side effects.
Vitamin C – an antioxidant that supports detox. It may also help to decrease some of the effects of the Fast, such as mild headaches.
Lemon – Lemon supports liver cleansing and is also refreshing to your mouth. Add lemon juice to salad dressings and include lemon slices in some of your water.
Dry Skin – Using a body brush in the shower will help eliminate the dry flakes and actually promote blood flow.
Water – Keeping well-hydrated has many benefits including flushing your body and reducing the physical feelings of hunger.
Have no fear, the withdrawal and detoxification symptoms should pass in a few days. Even your level of hunger will subside after your body becomes more accustomed to fewer calories and less food consumption.
Monday January 18th
GOD IS DOING MORE THAN YOU THINK.
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NLT)
Far too often we can get discouraged when we don’t see God moving the way we expected. Sometimes we go weeks or months and wonder if He hears us, or if He is doing anything at all. We wait and wait for the unbelievable miracle or the instant transformation and overlook His hand in the little moments all around us. The truth is that God is always doing something. He is working all the time in ways we often fail to see.
In a world that is constantly changing, our God is steadfast and faithful. The same God who walked in the garden with Adam, protected Daniel in the Lion’s Den and transformed the life of Paul, walks with you today. No matter where your day may take you, God is with you. He is faithful to the fulfill His promises and everything will be alright!
Today, focus on recognizing His presence in your daily routine. Look for ways that God is working you’re your relationships. Pray that He will show you ways that you can join His work and be a blessing to the people you encounter.
Blog 8 - Tuesday January 19th
BIBLICAL FASTING IS REFRAINING FROM FOOD FOR A SPIRITUAL PURPOSE.
From Jentezen Frankliin Blog Page
According to the Bible, there are three duties of every Christian: give, pray and fast. Biblical fasting takes a lot of discipline and strength, strength which you can only receive from God. Your private discipline will bring you rewards in Heaven.
When you give God your first through fasting, prayer and giving at the beginning of the year, you set the course for the entire year.
Why should I fast?
1 Are you in need of healing or a miracle?
2 Do you need the tender touch of God in your life?
3 Is there a dream inside you that only He can make possible?
4 Are you in need of a fresh encounter?
5 Do you desire a deeper, more intimate and powerful relationship with the Lord?
6 Are you ready to have heightened sensitivity to the desires of God?
7 Do you need to break away from bondages that have been holding you hostage?
8 Is there a friend or loved one that needs Salvation?
9 Do you desire to know God’s will for your life?
BIBLICAL FASTING FOCUS
1 TIMOTHY 2:1-2
“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.”
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
“is not this the fast that I have chosen to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?”
We want to encourage you to target your prayers during the fast. Two specific areas you can be praying for are leadership and finances. The Bible instructs us to continually pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-2). When we lift up our leaders, here in the United States and around the world, we can expect God’s peace in our lives and in our nation.
Another great promise, from the book of Isaiah, proclaims that the chosen fast will “undo the heavy burdens and let the oppressed go free.” We are living in tough economic times and we know that so many people are under a financial burden. As we come together to fast and pray, we believe that your burdens will be lifted and that financial blessings will be released into your life!
We encourage you to seek the Lord in prayer and let your decisions about your biblical fasting come from Him. Ask the Lord to show you areas to target during your time of fasting and prayer. We believe that, as we pray and seek God and give Him our best at the first of the year, He will bless our ENTIRE year (Matthew 6:33)!
Blog 9 - Wednesday January 20th
GOD WILL FORGIVE AND RESTORE YOU.
From Jentezen Frankliin Blog Page
“Father, I have sinned.” Lk 15:18
The Prodigal Son’s story begins like this: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. Not long after…the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and…squandered his wealth in wild living” (vv. 11-13 NIV). This young man’s sin was bad, really bad! In a Middle Eastern patriarchal society the disrespect he demonstrated toward his father is beyond what most of us can relate to. As the younger son he was entitled to a third of the family estate, but only after his father’s death. So in a sense he was sending a message to his dad, saying, “I wish you were dead.” If you think that’s shocking, his father’s response of love and grace is even more shocking. And if you’ve failed God badly, it’ll come as a real encouragement to you. When his boy came back home—broke, busted, and disgusted—the Bible says, “While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him” (v. 20 NIV). In that culture fathers never ran. A proud patriarch would never hitch up his garments, bare his legs, and run—ever! The point Jesus wanted to make is this: The moment you turn around and come back to God, He will run to meet you with open arms, forgive your sin, and restore you to your rightful place in His family. So, come today!
Blog 10 - Thursday January 21st
From Jentezen Frankliin Blog Page
The most common questions during the fast are about what to eat and not eat. Today, we want to address this concern.
We want to encourage you to move beyond what you’re eating, and focus on your purpose behind fasting. Why are you fasting? Before you create a food list, create a prayer list.
Make your fast about the why, not the what.
If you haven’t already, write down clear fasting goals. Be specific about what you’re fasting for. Do you need healing, direction, restoration in marriage or family, finances … if it matters to you, it matters to God.
How you fast is a personal choice, but make up your mind what type of fast you will do and stick to it! Fasting until you get hungry isn't fasting - that's just waiting too long to eat!
Fasting is a discipline. It’s a sacrifice. Daniel refused food from the King’s table. Let this fast be your opportunity to take a step back from the tempting delicacies the world offers and take your portion from the Lord!
"And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies. Thus the steward took away their portion of delicacies and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them vegetables. As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams." — Daniel 1:15-17
Blog 11 - Friday January 22nd
CARRY GOD'S PEACE TO THOSE AROUND YOU.
From Jentezen Frankliin Blog Page
“There is…joy for those who promote peace.” Pr 12:20 NIV
One day in the middle of a raging storm, Jesus stood in the bow of a boat and issued this command to the elements: "Peace be still!" (MK 4:39 NKJV) And to the amazement of His disciples, the Sea of Galilee became as calm as a millpond. Now, you may never do anything that spectacular in life - but when Jesus, the peace giver, lives within you, He'll give you the wisdom to speak into troubled lives and situations, and make you a calming influence. In 1420, the German monk Thomas à Kempis said, “First keep the peace within yourself, then you can also bring peace to others.” But you can’t give others what you don’t have. So where can you find the kind of peace he’s speaking about? Heaven! The Bible says: “But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere…those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness” (Jas 3:17-18 NLT). In a television interview Barbara Walters asked the highly acclaimed actor Richard Dreyfuss this probing question: “If you could have only one wish, what would you wish for?” Without hesitating Dreyfuss replied, “Every time I have a birthday, every time I blow out the candles, every time I see a shooting star, I wish for the same thing…inner security.” And guess what? The people around you feel exactly the same way. So, today be a carrier of God’s peace.
Blog 12 - Saturday January 23rd
ENDURE TO THE END
From Jentezen Frankliin Blog Page
Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise. Hebrews 10:35-36
For many years now I’ve enjoyed running. It has a two-fold purpose for me. Running is a stress reliever, but it is also an opportunity for me to spend time in prayer. I’ve learned an important secret about going for a successful run. I make up my mind before I start exactly how far I’m going to run. If I don’t take that important step, my body will quickly decide that the run is over and not take any more steps.
In the same way, fasting and prayer conditions your spirit to go the distance in life’s battles. Whether you are considering a fast that lasts one or several days, or committing to pray for a situation, the only way to know that you can push through is to make up your mind in advance. Remain faithful for the full length of the fast. Pray until you see results!
Press through. Endure. Make the short-term sacrifices that will yield long-term results. Forget those things that are behind, and reach for those things that are before. "Press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14 KJV)
Blog 13 - Sunday January 24th
IN THE GARDEN
From Jentezen Frankliin Blog Page
"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory" Isaiah 6:3
Next to eternal life, the greatest reward to trusting in Jesus Christ as your Redeemer is having Him as a Friend. You can take great comfort in knowing you have a Friend who chose you first. You have a Friend who sacrificed His life for you . . . a Friend who can comfort you and will provide for you in any situation. You have a Friend who will never leave you nor forsake you.
Although Jesus is fully man who was tempted, suffered and experienced every emotion you have known, He’s also fully God. The Lord tells us in Hebrews 4:16 to come boldly and confidently before His throne. There is no doubt that He wants us to approach Him informally. But we must keep that delicate balance between knowing Him as a Friend and honoring Him as Creator of the universe.
He wants to hear from us. We are called to be praying people, and I am so grateful for His presence when we pray. Approach His throne boldly, but with a heart full of thanksgiving.
Pray until you pray through! While you may feel the temptation to throw in the towel, push through in your prayer time, and talk to Him as if you were right there with Him in the Garden. I guarantee you will feel refreshed, revived and ready to keep going!