I began my fast actually last night around 930pm. I am coming up on the completion of the first 24 hours and I feel just fine. I do have a slight headache and that is likely from not having the coffee that I have become so accustomed to.
I have had some thoughts today that could be life changing if I follow through and I fully intend to do just that.
If a person fasts for 40 days, it could easily be the greatest opportunity for a total life change. For a person who drinks coffee or soda, it could be that you will feel so much better you will never pick them up again. For a person who is addicted to any food, such as chocolate, sweets in general, whatever it may be, if you can put it down for 40 days, you could put it away forever.
I have had a busy day and have felt great except for being sleepy. I read earlier that when you fast, your body is resting and you should even come to the place that you need less sleep. I don’t sleep a lot as it is but I could use more. It would be great to be able to sleep 5 hours a night and do well on that amount.
Spiritually, I can honestly say that my thoughts have been more focused on God and scripture today. I attribute this to the fact that I am excited about what God is going to do during the next 40/50/90 days. I have committed to a 40 Day Fast in order to seek Gods Face and to be able to hear His voice. I am asking God to give us 3000 souls for our labor in Holston Conference.
There is no room for legalism in the fast. It is from my heart and I intend to do whatever it takes to honor God in these 40 days. I am planning to eat no food during these 40 days, however if I become weak and need the nutrition I will have a bowl of soup, or a glass of juice, just something that will sustain me and allow me to go on. I am drinking plenty of water and may have a diet soda occasionally to have some taste in my mouth.
Many people are excited, they are praying, and many are fasting from different things in order to draw closer to God. It has been too long, people are hungry to see revival break out in this Country and in this World. It has been a long time since we have seen a move of God where people are saved and truly changed.
I believe this is the time.
Now for the challenge: The Holston Evangelism Conference in Knoxville this past week-end was outstanding…several of you were there and brought people from your churches. We were all amazed at the number of people who came, mostly laypersons.
There were 350-400 there and as one speaker said, “There is something about to happen in this conference. This many people don’t give up their week-end to come to a church meeting unless the Spirit is drawing them.” As you know, Holston has a goal of baptizing 3000 people on Pentecost Sunday (May 23rd).
This number may sound unattainable, but the Lord gave me a formula to break the number down so we could have a more realistic goal. If we divide the 3000 by 12 districts, each district will need to baptize 250 people. If we divide 53 (the number of charges/station churches we have) into 250, each of our circuits/station churches will only need to baptize 4.7 people! If every district would “do the math”, each church/circuit would know what they should aim for, and then pray for the Lord to show them who to talk to, who to witness to, etc.
You know, sometimes there are people who have attended church for a long time and who have never joined, who would really like to be baptized and make a confession of their belief in Jesus. Sometimes we don’t think to ever offer baptism, etc. Other times, church members will say, “I have a family member who has talked about getting baptized…” I am praying for new converts….but also let’s look around….there may be people who haven’t been offered baptism or offered Christ, right under our noses.
Our goal for WY District is for 53 pastors to baptize 4.7 (how about 5!) people! Can we do it? No, but the Lord can! Does this district rise to challenges? Absolutely. We always give more than the goal set…we always fix more food baskets/health kits than the goal set. Please share this challenge with your church/churches.
In prayer with you and for you,
Bed Time, goodnight everybody about 11 hours ago via web
Men, check out the Day with the Bishop age 15 and up. Lets make a day of it. let me know ASAP if you want to go. about 12 hours ago via web
My 40 Day fast has officially begun, if u r interested I will be blogging my way through these days. My only aim is to ask God 4 3000 people about 12 hours ago via web
SPR Meeting about 17 hours ago via web
post office, coffee, school meeting for Kyle about 20 hours ago via web
cleaning out, sorting the inbox, wow about 21 hours ago via web
“God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer.” ~Mother Teresa” about 21 hours ago via web
Worship Team Meeting Tuesday Night @ 7pm, 1st Hillsville UMC. R U part of this Team, be there! about 21 hours ago via web
SPR Meeting tonight 6pm @ 1st Hillsville UMC, be there is you are a part of this TEAM about 21 hours ago via web
Remember CAMP MEAL after the 11am service at 1st Hillsville UMC Sunday the 28th, all proceeds go to the Camp about 21 hours ago via web
Kris Musser is Preaching at Out Of The Box Wednesday night this week. Invite! Invite! Invite! about 21 hours ago via web
Celebration, Our Grandaughter Victoria is home from the hospital, she is feeling really good about 22 hours ago via web
1st Hilsville UMC had 26 visitors yesterday for Worship, Celebration time! about 22 hours ago via web
Praise the Lord, He is so Good! about 23 hours ago via web
Praise the Lord,heard from 3rd Pastor, the 4th person that plans 2 b baptized Pentecost Sun, this person accepted Christ just yesterday! about 23 hours ago via web
Stay alert; be in prayer so you don’t wander into temptation without even knowing you’re in danger…” ~Matthew 26:41 The Message” about 21 hours ago via web
From everyone who has been given much, much will b demanded; & from the 1 who has been entrusted with much, much more will b asked. LK 12:48 about 21 hours ago via web
“life does not consist in an abundance of possessions” Jesus about 22 hours ago via web
“You should become comfortable being uncomfortable” Bishop Swanson, there is a lot of truth in this for the church today! about 22 hours ago via web
Luke: out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. What is in your heart today? 5:17 AM Feb 22nd via web
Give, it will be given 2 u. good measure,pressed down,shaken together running over, will b poured n 2 yor lap. 5:16 AM Feb 22nd via web
Jesus answered them, “Its not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance 5:06 AM Feb 22nd via web
the Pharisees & teachers of the law complained 2 his disciples, Why do u eat & drink with tax collectors & sinners? We should do the same 5:05 AM Feb 22nd via web
Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Luke 5:16, Lets get away from the crowd long enough to know Him! 5:00 AM Feb 22nd via web
Luke 6:6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. Because He said so! 4:49 AM Feb 22nd via web
Luke 5:5 “Master, we’ve worked hard all night & haven’t caught anything. But bcause u say so, I will let down the nets.” Because He Said so! 4:47 AM Feb 22nd via web
Repent or Perish
1 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’
8 ” ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’ “
Jesus Heals a Crippled Woman on the Sabbath
10 On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, [a] you are set free from your infirmity.” 13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.
14 Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.”
15 The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 16 Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”
17 When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.
The Parables of the Mustard Seed and the Yeast
18 Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? 19 It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.”
20 Again he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? 21 It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds [b] of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
The Narrow Door
22 Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?”
He said to them, 24 “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. 25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Sir, open the door for us.’
“But he will answer, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’
26 “Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’
27 “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’
28 “There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out. 29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.”
Jesus’ Sorrow for Jerusalem
31 At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.”
32 He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ 33 In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!
34 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 35 Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’ [c]“
Jesus at a Pharisee’s House
1 One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. 2 There in front of him was a man suffering from abnormal swelling of his body. 3 Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” 4 But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him on his way.
5 Then he asked them, “If one of you has a child [d] or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull it out?” 6 And they had nothing to say.
7 When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: 8 “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. 9 If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
12 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
The Parable of the Great Banquet
15 When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed are those who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”
16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’
18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’
19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’
20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’
21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’
22 ” ‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’
23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. 24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’ “
The Cost of Being a Disciple
25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even life itself—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won’t he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.
34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.
“Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
The Parable of the Lost Coin
8 “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins [e] and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
The Parable of the Lost Son
11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.
13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father.
“But 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.
21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25 “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28 “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31 ” ‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ “
The Parable of the Shrewd Manager
1 Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. 2 So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’
3 “The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg— 4 I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’
5 “So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’
6 ” ‘Nine hundred gallons [f] of olive oil,’ he replied.
“The manager told him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred and fifty.’
7 “Then he asked the second, ‘And how much do you owe?’
” ‘A thousand bushels [g] of wheat,’ he replied.
“He told him, ‘Take your bill and make it eight hundred.’
8 “The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. 9 I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings.
10 “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12 And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?
13 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. 15 He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.
16 “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and people are forcing their way into it. 17 It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law.
18 “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
The Rich Man and Lazarus
19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’
27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’
30 ” ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ “
Day 1- February 23, 2010
“The desert mothers and fathers of the third century tell a story about paying attention. A novice asked the
teacher, ‘Holy One, is there anything I can do to make myself closer to God?’ The elder replied, ‘As little
as you can do to make the sun rise in the morning.’ The novice responded, ‘Then of what use are these
spiritual disciplines of prayer?’ The teacher answered, ‘To make sure that you are awake when the sun
rises.’” (Oden, 2008)
Spiritual disciplines such as prayer and fasting keep us awake.
In Matthew 6:5 Jesus says, “When you pray.”
In Matthew 6:16 Jesus says “When you fast.”
Actually earlier in Matthew 6, Jesus says “When you give.” Jesus was teaching concerning some very
important spiritual disciplines in the life of the Christian. Giving, praying, and fasting.
In Jesus’ teaching, He uses the introductory word “when” as if He assumed that we as Christ followers
would practice these disciplines. Jesus didn’t say if we give, pray, and fast, but when.
Take the time today to read Matthew Chapter 6 in its entirety. Pray and ask God how He would have you
to seek Him in these 90 Days of Investing in the lives of 3000 people.
One of the comments that I often hear when I talk about fasting is this, “The bible says that we are to fast
in secret,” and that is correct, sort of. The bible says that when you give, don’t do it with a parade to
announce to people that you are giving and how much. The bible says that when you pray not to pray
loudly so that others can hear how spiritual you are and don’t repeat phrases over and over again thinking
that because of the repetition, you will get what you want. Then the bible says, when you fast comb your
hair and wash your face so as not to show the world how wonderful you are for going without food.
In all of this, Jesus is not saying that we cannot receive an offering in church, Jesus is not saying that we
cannot pray in a church service, and Jesus is not saying that when you fast it has to be done in secret with
no one knowing what you are doing.
No, Jesus is saying that when you do these things, do them unto the Lord. Do them because you love Him
and because you are practicing a spiritual discipline that will help you to be awake when the sun rises.
Lord, help me to understand your words in Matthew Chapter 6 today. Help me to draw closer to you
through these next 40 days. Give me understanding and revelation and guide me to someone today who
needs to know You. Amen
Rev. Ronnie G. Collins
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