FASTING + FEASTING | PART 1

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Fasting and Feasting Part 1
There are over 600 muscles in our body. The one we don’t exercise enough is the NO muscle. It’s what you flex when you say no to something. How do we exercise the no muscle? By fasting.

MONDAY: Biblical fasting is voluntarily abstaining from food for a spiritual purpose. This is also done for a season so we can focus on God instead of the food we would normally eat. Proverbs 5:23 says, “23 For lack of discipline they will die, led astray by their own great folly.” Proverbs 16:32 says, “32 Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.” It takes discipline to give up food. We all love food, and we know that our body requires it to function. But when we replace food with spending time with God and focus on Him, it really makes a difference in our lives.

Father God, help me learn and follow through on this fasting thing. It’s so different, but I know that it’s Biblical. Lead, guide, and direct me. Let me hear you during this time. In Jesus name, Amen.

TUESDAY: There are 3 types of fasting: 1. A complete fast, 2. Selective fast, 3. Daniel Fast. A complete fast is the most life-changing. This is where you fast from food. This is a liquid only diet. The selective fast is something like the Daniel fast, which is not eating meats, sweets, dairy or bread. A partial fast can be like the Jewish type, from sun up to sun down. If you have never fasted you can start with one like this and work your way up to no food at all. Do whatever works for you, and if you have a medical condition, please seek your doctor before starting.

Father God, show me what fast to do and how to do it. Help me listen and follow through with it. Give me the strength. In Jesus name, Amen.

WEDNESDAY: Fasting satisfies the void in our hearts that can only be filled by God. King David, in Psalm 63 said this, “1 You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” We fast, replacing food, with time for God. This can be in prayer or reading of His Word, or any other way you feel connected to Him. Only He can truly fill the voids in our life.

Father God, I am learning that you are all I need to fill the holes in my heart. Help me take this time of fasting and replace the food with time for you. Show me what You’d have me learn and let me hear all you have to say. In Jesus name, Amen.

THURSDAY: Fasting without prayer is a hunger strike. God will not respond to that. The important thing here to realize is you are replacing the time you would eat with time for God. He will respond to you. Be sure to take the time to pray, read the Bible, a devotional, or a message from a Pastor or something.

Father God, show me what to do instead of eating. Help me hear what you have to say and let me be sure to replace this time with you. In Jesus name, Amen.

FRIDAY: God answers the cry of our soul when we fast. Whatever you are in need of, ask God while you are fasting. Pray for others as well. God will answer in a different way because you are giving up something and replacing it with time with Him. This shows Him how serious we are about something. Trust Him to answer in His timing, and His way.

Father God, thank you for answering the cry of my soul while I fast. I only what your will for my life. I want whatever you want, Father. Lead, guide, and direct me through this time and let your will be done.

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DRAMA | Part 2

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Drama Part 2 by Josh Copron

MONDAY: A fool is someone who continually behaves in a way that hurts others and themselves. The book of Proverbs is full of Scriptures about fools. We all know one, and we’ve probably even been one at points in our lives. The best thing to do is realize it and move forward. Don’t be a fool. Don’t continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. If you are stuck in a cycle like that, ask for help. Pray and maybe talk to someone you trust.

Father God, I do not ever want to be a fool. Help me not hurt other people. Help me listen and learn lessons and move forward in life. Thank you for showing me this. Thank you for helping me see the difference this can make in my life and others. In Jesus name, Amen.

TUESDAY: In Galatians, Paul tells us that we are called to carry each other’s burdens, but there is a difference in carrying burdens and carrying loads. No other person is responsible for your decisions and no other person should carry the consequences of your decisions. We are responsible to help carry each other’s burdens, but we are responsible to carry our own load. You can pray for and encourage people you love during the hard times, but you will not do them any favors if you carry their load. They have to feel what life is like. You can’t shelter them. If you’ve been doing this, turn from it, and ask God to guide you. He will.

Father God, I see the difference in carrying someone’s burdens verses carrying their load. I don’t want to enable someone to continue doing something that isn’t good for them. I ask that you will guide me and help me see the difference fully here when I need it. Let me not stop what you are trying to do in someone’s life. In Jesus name, Amen.

WEDNESDAY: The most loving thing you can do for someone is let them experience the consequences of their pain. It’s very hard to watch someone you love hurt or go through difficult times. But if we shelter them, we could be stopping something that God is trying to do in their lives. We have to allow the pain so they can learn whatever it is they need to learn. Pain brings change. So, in the long run, it will be for their good.

Father God, it is so hard watching people I love experience pain. I see now that sometimes, they need to. Not all the time, but sometimes. Please give me wisdom and discernment to see when they need the pain to help them grow and change. In Jesus name, Amen.

THURSDAY: Sometimes unconditional love necessitates conditional assistance. Boundaries are a good thing. As Christians, we have this thought that we are supposed to help everyone and always do good for everyone. That’s partly true. Boundaries are needed though, in order to keep you from carrying someone else’s load. You can help when you feel led to, or to a point, but you’ve got to let them figure things out on their own. Putting up boundaries is the way to still be around, but not allowing the person to walk all over you. There are several books out you can read about boundaries by Dr.’s Cloud and Townsend. If you struggle with them, pick up a copy and see if it helps.

Father God, help me set up good boundaries in relationships that need them. Retrain my brain to know that it’s ok to not do everything for everyone. Help me take care of me while allowing them to deal with consequences if they need to. Thank you for helping me learn and understand boundaries. In Jesus name, Amen.

FRIDAY: Here are 3 key ways to know when it’s time to help someone: 1. Is this something they can provide for themselves? Are they just unwilling or unable to do it? Gage that before you do anything. 2. Am I feel cheerful about helping them? If you aren’t cheerful, check your heart to see why. 3. What is the outcome of your giving? What’s your motive? Are you wanting to make yourself look good? Are you hoping to prevent them from pain? The possible outcomes of you helping someone are either gratitude or entitlement and dependence. Don’t enable someone by continuing to do things for them.

Father God, I ask in Jesus name for your help in this area of my life. Let me see the truth of each situation. Help me know what you’d have me do. In Jesus name, Amen.

DRAMA| Part 1

Main GraphicDrama Part 1 by Josh Copron
Drama is defined in the urban dictionary as a way of relating to the world by overreacting. We all experience conflict on a regular basis. Our goal should be to pursue peace.

MONDAY: In Romans 12:18, Paul tells us to do all that we can to be at peace with everyone. If you remember, Paul was Saul before he met Jesus. He used to kill, stone, and throw Christians in jail. After he met Jesus, he went around telling people what Jesus did for him and them. So, you can imagine the conflict he was up against. He was so bad before, I’m sure many of the families of the people he killed hated him. So, for him to tell us to do our best to be at peace with everyone is something he did himself. God does not want us at each other’s throats. He wants us at peace. Will you try to be at peace with everyone?

Father God, please help me do my very best to be at peace with everyone. If Paul did it, I can too. Give me the tools I need. Help me turn to you when I’m upset so that you can help me through it. In Jesus name, Amen.

TUESDAY: Peace is actually a fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 tells us, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” These things are hard to do on our own. Because the Holy Spirit is in us, we have access to these fruits every day, every hour, and every second. Ask God to help you grow in these areas. Ask Him to help you have peace during conflict and difficult times. He will.
Father God, I see that peace is a fruit of the Spirit. Help me access it right when I need it. Give me peace about situations so that I will know what your will is. Let me live out this as an example for others to see you in me. I only want to live for you and be at peace with everyone. Thank you for helping me. In Jesus name, Amen.

WEDNESDAY: You can have peace ABOUT a relationship even if you don’t have peace IN the relationship. God has called us to love others. But He has not called us to stay in toxic, abusive, or unhealthy relationships. Being a Christian doesn’t mean you let people walk all over you. Boundaries are a good thing. You can have peace that you tried everything you could in a relationship, without continuing in that relationship. It’s ok. God loves us and wants us to be in healthy relationships. However, that doesn’t mean we have to stay in something that is bad for us. Pray for guidance if you are struggling with a particular relationship. He will help you.
Father God, this is new to me. I thought I had to be in a relationship with everyone. I see now that I am called to love them and be at peace with them, but that doesn’t mean I have to have them fully in my life. Thank you for teaching me this. Help me with boundaries. Help me learn how to apply this directly to the relationships I have that need it most. In Jesus name, Amen.

THURSDAY: When you have conflict, even though it’s the hardest thing to do, you must go talk to that person. Do not be someone who stirs up strife. Talk to the person directly, tell them how what they did made you feel, and let them explain. A good approach is, “When you did_____, It made me feel____.” This keeps them from being defensive right away. They will see how what they did or said made you feel. Not that you are blaming them for something. Empathy paves the way for peace. Settling conflict will give you the peace you seek.
Father God, please help me in this area. Let me always remember this, so that when I have to deal with it, I will know how. I might not need it right now, but I will at some point. We all deal with conflict. Thank you for showing me how. Especially with Christmas so close. Drama and conflict are bound to happen. In Jesus name, Amen.

FRIDAY: Before you make things right with God, you need to make things right with others. Put yourself in a different position. Look at the issue from another angle and realize that God wants us to be right with everyone. It doesn’t mean they have to be in your life in the same way they were before. But it means that you should have no conflict with anyone, if possible. Living in peace will help you and them both. Imagine if that person sees a change in you, and asks what happened. You tell them that God helped you, and that might give them the chance to get right with God themselves. It can be a ripple effect! Trust God and His ways. He knows better than we do.
Father God, help me always make things right with others before I come to you. Change me, Lord. Help me be the peacemaker in my relationships. Help me live for you and your ways fully. Use my life to bring people to you. In Jesus name, Amen.

LOVE-OLOGY | PART 4

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Love-ology Q & A

Message by Brynn Copron

MONDAY: Being single does not make you a second-class citizen. Getting married is not a sign of maturity. If you are single or know someone who is, focus on who you are and what your calling in life is. Once you are content as a single, it will make you a better spouse in the long -run. If you aren’t happy single, you probably won’t be happy with someone either. Online dating really is not that great. You shouldn’t expect to meet “the one” on dating sites. Be careful and date in a community. Your friends will always be honest with you about the person you are dating.

Father God, dating is not easy. Please be with all of the people who are out there trying to find the one you have planned for them. Let them keep their focus on you, first. That way, you can lead them to who you have planned. In Jesus name, Amen.

TUESDAY: Secrets kill intimacy more than sin does. Whatever you do, do not keep secrets from the person you are dating and/or especially your spouse. Secrets only lead to lost trust…and without trust, you don’t have a strong foundation in your relationship. Be honest at all times, and keep the communication open. You’ll be glad you did.
Father God, help me never keep secrets in my relationships. Even my friendships. I know without it, we can’t have intimacy. We need to be honest at all times. Thank you for helping me with this. In Jesus name, Amen.

WEDNESDAY: Divorce is a hard subject. In the Bible times, they had a bad habit of divorcing for no reason. Jesus answered the Pharisee’s in Matthew 19 by saying that God made man and woman to leave their parents and be united as one. God’s desire is not for divorce, but He also does not want His children in abusive relationships. Know that redemption is still possible even when reconciliation is not.

Father God, please guide us all when it comes to divorce. Divorce hurts so many people. I pray that you will strengthen marriages and keep them strong. I ask for the people in my life who are divorced to be healed. Thank you for loving us and caring about every part of our lives. In Jesus name, Amen.

THURSDAY: If God is not at the center of your life, all of your relationships will struggle. God should be first. Period. Then, your spouse is second. Having God first in your life keeps you balanced. There are many expectations that we put on humans to fulfill us when that’s God’s job. Don’t let a human being become the center of your life. Even your child. Keep God first through prayer and Bible study each day.

Father God, I want you to be the center of my life. I want you to lead and guide me in every area of my life. Thank you, Lord, for what you are doing. Thank you for helping me not be upset by placing expectations on people that they can not meet. In Jesus name, Amen.

FRIDAY: Living together does not solve anything. Statistics show that at least 80% break up before marrying or soon after. 12% only make it 12 years or so. Living together creates a consumer based relationship. You can leave anytime you want, with no strings attached. God’s desire is to live in covenant and lifelong commitment. Wait until you are married to live together.

Father God, please forgive me if I lived with someone when I shouldn’t. Please help me not judge couples that living together. I pray that you will lead and guide them and show them the better way. In Jesus name, Amen.

LOVE-OLOGY: DATING

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Love-ology: Sex
We are guilted into thinking that as Christians, we can’t experience pleasure. It’s been taught that the physical world is evil, so we think we shouldn’t enjoy life. Our culture has abused sex in so many ways. Let’s look at what God has to say about it.


MONDAY: In Genesis, after God made Adam and Eve, He told them to be fruitful and multiply. Sex was ordained BEFORE they sinned. Therefore, sex is not sinful. After God created everything, He said it was good. The Hebrew word for good is TOV. This refers to our 5 senses. The opposite of TOV is ugly. So if it’s not good, it’s ugly. God created sex to be good.

Father God, thank you for this message on sex. Even though it’s not talked about a lot. I am thankful to learn what you think about it. Help me understand and live the way you’ve designed me to be. In Jesus name, Amen.

TUESDAY: God is not a grumpy old man up in Heaven angry at the world. Jesus first miracle was turning water into wine at a wedding. God wants us to enjoy life and have pleasure. As a matter of fact, Jesus, Himself, said in John 10:10, “10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” A Christian does not have to be deprived of things or pleasure to please God. That’s not how He works.
Father God, please forgive me for the times I thought you were just a rule maker who was waiting for me to break the rules so you could punish me. I see that you came to give us a full life. You want us to enjoy things. Help me grasp this truth, but stay close to you. In Jesus name, Amen.

WEDNESDAY: Sex is powerful but God is even more powerful. God created sex to connect people. It’s a fusion of flesh and spirit. This is why when you have sex outside of marriage, problems happen. We aren’t made for that. If you have had sex outside of marriage, know that God still loves you. He is not condemning you. He wants you to put Him first in your life. Soul ties are created when you have sex with someone you aren’t married to. Ask God to break those soul ties, and heal you from those people. Every time you’ve had sex with someone, you’ve left a little piece of yourself with them. Ask God to restore you. He will.
Father God, I have not heard of a soul tie. I didn’t realize that having sex with people outside of marriage was causing this. Please break off any soul ties I have to other people who aren’t my spouse. I ask in Jesus name, for you to restore me. Let those pieces of me come back and fill me again. Thank you for answering this prayer. In Jesus name, Amen.

THURSDAY: In the book of Corinthians, we see Paul writing to the church and talking to them about their behavior. They were seeing sex as a fulfillment they needed. If they were hungry, they’d eat, so they figured if they wanted sex, they’d go have it, even with prostitutes. In 1 Corinthians 6: 15-16 Paul says, “15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.” In verse 13 he says this, “You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” Verse 18 warns us to FLEE from sexual immorality because that is us sinning against our own body. God created sex to be good. However, the only relationship that can contain it is marriage.
Father God, please help me apply this to my life. Let me flee from sexual immorality of all types. In Jesus name, Amen.

FRIDAY: The Greek word for any and all forms of sexuality outside of marriage is “PORNEIA”. It is defined as illicit sexual intercourse. This is where we get our word pornography. Pornography might seem innocent. It’s just you watching other people have sex. But pornography is very damaging. The brains of people who use porn look just like cocaine addicts brains. It literally rewires you. It also disconnects you from the people in your life who love you. If you struggle using porn, please get help. There are many ministries online that can help you with this. One of them is called xxxchurch.com they have many resources available. There are filters that will block your internet to help fight temptation. If you are wife or girlfriend of a man who uses porn, there is support for you at Recover.org. This is a huge problem in the church. The enemy has taken what God made good and perverted it so that it keeps couples apart. If you need help face to face, we have people in the church who would love to help you walk this out.

Father God, for everyone who struggles with looking at pornography, I ask that you will give them the strength to get help. Let them know they are loved. Don’t allow the enemy to bring shame, guilt, and condemnation on them so they stay in their issues. Move in their hearts and let them know that freedom can be achieved and we want to walk that out with them. Thank you for what you are going to do in their lives. In Jesus name, Amen.

LOVE-OLOGY: DATING

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Love-ology: Dating
The Bible does not really talk about dating at all. But it does have a lot of wisdom that we can gather. Dating has changed so much over the years. It used to be something that you had to do at home, in front of your family. Everyone would spend time with who you were seeing. And, most of the time, everyone knew the intentions were to marry. Let’s see what we can learn about dating in this modern world.

MONDAY: There are 3 unwise ways to date. 1. Dating as shopping: you have a list. He or she has to be “this” tall, or “that” color hair. It’s mostly surface level stuff. 2. Dating as searching for “the one”. Soulmates aren’t really real because we are all flawed, unperfect people. We are just looking for someone to be flawed with. 3. Dating as Moses and the burning bush. We want God to speak down from Heaven and say, “There is your perfect match.” Don’t hyper spiritualize dating. Attraction needs to be first. If someone isn’t attracted to you, then it won’t work anyway. If you or someone you know has been dating this way. It’s time for a change.

Father God, in Jesus name, I ask that you help me not date this way. Show me the right way to do things and let me only do those. I pray that you will guide me. Let me also share this with my friends who are dating. It is not easy dating in this day and time. Guide those who are. Help them do what’s right in your eyes. In Jesus name, Amen.

TUESDAY: There are four principles that can guide our dating relationships. We find some very interesting Scriptures in the book Song of Songs. This is a book written by King Solomon. The first thing we see is that men should do the chasing. Men should be the one who pursues. Now, she’s not passive, but he should initiate a relationship. That’s hard to do, but we should still allow the men to chase the women. If you are married, tell your single friends about this. Let them see that it’s ok to express interest, but then let him pursue.
Father God, in our world, women have a lot more rights and usually want to feel equal to men. In this case, you are showing us that women should let the man lead and pursue her. Talk to Christian women and let them allow this. Help me see that it’s good for them. In Jesus name, Amen.

WEDNESDAY: Some people idea of dating is completely backward. There is a line that shouldn’t be crossed. That line is sex. Nowadays, people have sex first, then figure out if they want to be in a relationship with each other. Nothing is more damaging to a relationship than sexual immorality. Don’t awaken those feelings while dating. Wait until you are married. In Song of Songs 2:7, she mentions the line 3 times. That means it’s important. Pray about it, if you need to. Ask God for more revelation. But know this, sex outside of marriage will hurt you. So, if you wait, you will feel better about it.
Father God, thank you for this message. Help those dating wait. It is not always easy, but I see the truth behind it. That line does not need to be crossed, and when it is, it only hurts people. Let us all save it for marriage. Show us how. Speak to us. Let married couples tell their stories and about how they waited. Thank you for guiding us. In Jesus name, Amen.

THURSDAY: The lady in Song of Songs has friends who are expressing how they feel about the man calling for her. You should have your friends around whoever you are dating. Ask them what they think about this person. They love you, and they will be honest. If that person isn’t good for you, listen to them. They can help navigate your relationship. They say love is blind, and that’s usually true. So your friends can be your eyes and help you.
Father God, let me listen to and trust my friends. Show me what you want me to hear and see. Let me not be so blinded by love that I discount the truth. I pray that you will guide me through the wise counsel of my friends. Thank you for placing them in my life to walk through life with me. In Jesus name, Amen.

FRIDAY: Dating for “fun” is not smart. You are supposed to be on a journey to find a spouse. Let dating be that for you. Dating helps you discern if this is who you want to spend the rest of your life. Build your life on Jesus. Don’t build your life on thinking someone will complete you. He is the only one who can do that. And keep your mind on the goal, marriage. Don’t allow culture to tell you how to live. Do things Jesus way and let Him guide you. You’ll be glad you did.

Father God, in Jesus name, please help me not listen to or live by culture. Let me live by your Word, and your ways. Thank you for walking with me through every little part of my life. In Jesus name, Amen.

LOVE-OLOGY: MARRIAGE

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Love-ology: Marriage

We were created for love. It is the source of our highs and lows. We need to get back to God’s plans for marriage because divorce is rampant even in the church. We know what marriage is, but not what it’s for.

MONDAY: Marriage is a part of creation, not culture. If you notice, even in tribes that do not know God as their Savior, have marriage and marriage ceremonies. God designed us to be in community with someone. A spouse. He saw that Adam was alone. After each day of creation, God said, “It is good.” But when He made Adam, He realized that something was missing. So, He created Eve. Eve wasn’t Adam’s “assistant”. The Hebrew word used for Helper is “ezer”, which means a partner, come alongside. This is what marriage is. There are four more parts as well.

Father God, open my heart to this message. Whether I’m happily married, single, or divorced. I pray that you will show me what I need to see and let me apply it to my life. Thank you for our Pastor who wants to strengthen people and teach them about your love.

TUESDAY: One part of marriage is friendship. You should be friends with your spouse. This is important because it builds a strong foundation for your marriage. Being married to your best friend is a great thing! Are you still friends with your spouse? I hope so. If not, try date nights, do something fun together.

Father God, please help me and my spouse be best friends. Show us what your will is and let us do that. Bring people who aren’t married a best friend to marry, Lord. We want to start this off and keep it right by you. Thank you for what you are doing and are going to continue to do. In Jesus name, Amen.

WEDNESDAY: Adam’s calling was gardening. He was to care for the earth. God has placed a calling in each of our lives. Do you know yours? In a marriage, we should be involved with and encourage each other’s callings in life. Building God’s Kingdom together is an amazing thing. If you aren’t sure what your God-given purpose is, why not join us at Growth Track, session 2 this weekend? It’s a great way to learn more about yourself, how God wired you and see potentially what your calling in life is.

Father God, please show me the calling you’ve placed on my life. Help me follow right along with it, and let me support my spouse in their calling. We only want to live to please and worship you, Lord. Let us do that by following you closely. In Jesus name, Amen.

THURSDAY: God created us for every part of who we are. Sexuality is part of our humanity. It is not the defining thing, but it’s a part of us. In marriage, it is a way to connect with your spouse. Stay connected by not allowing things to come into your marriage that shouldn’t be there; like pornography or talking to other people when you shouldn’t be.

Father God, thank you for creating sexuality in marriage. Help us have a great life in that area. Let us stay connected to each other and no one else. In Jesus name, Amen.

FRIDAY: In Genesis 1:28, God told Adam and Eve to reproduce and multiply. God wanted the family to spread over the earth and bring God’s Kingdom to earth, to make the earth look like heaven. The people who we consider family is not always blood-related. Family can be the people who choose to love unconditionally.

Father God, thank you for my family. Thank you for the people in my life who love me unconditionally. I ask that you will help me continue to love others as you have loved me. In Jesus name, Amen.