Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Spiritual Emphasis Month

Practice Spiritual Disciplines

- Meditation (scripture parts) 10 minutes daily
- Prayer daily
- Worship daily
- Bible reading and listening
- Service
- Solitude
- Fasting

I will meditate on all Your work and muse on Your deeds. Psalm 77:12 (NASB95)
I will meditate on Your precepts And regard Your ways. I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your word. Psalm 119:15–16 (NASB95)
On the glorious splendor of Your majesty And on Your wonderful works, I will meditate. Psalm 145:5 (NASB95)
Here are some visuals to help you meditate. Spend time daily on the scripture parts located at the top of your reading calendar.
“Names of God”
“He is”

Prayer services Prayer Monday-Saturday 6-7 pm Sunday 5-6 pm 3rd Friday of January - all night prayer service with Lupe Bernal
Pray daily. Here are some scriptural models of prayer and useful for meditation also:
- Hannah prayer, 1 Sam 1:1-18
- Daniel’s Prayer of Confession, Daniel 9:1-19
- Habakkuk Rejoices, Habakkuk 3
- Jehoshaphat Prays for Deliverance: 2 Chronicles 20:5-12
- The Lord’s Prayer, Matthew 6:9-13
- Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer, John 17

Worship Ephesians 5:18–19
And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;
I want us to have a lifestyle of worship. Our life should be worship to the Lord. There are many aspects of worship but this month we are going to focus on the musical aspect of worship. Create a worship set and sing to the Lord in your devotional time. Singing to our savior should not be something we only do corporately or on Sundays. During Spiritual Emphasis Month enjoy and give joy singing to our Heavenly Father.

Bible reading and listening
Spend 30 minutes in God’s word daily. I suggest that you get an audio version of the Bible. When you get up each day turn it on and go about your morning routine. When you travel put a Bible CD in your player. You will find that if you listen while you do regular routines you will spend more than 30 minutes daily in the word. Also it will inspire you to read portions that you have listen to for greater insight. Listed below is the order which we will read through January. Following the general guideline of 30 minutes daily it will take 37 days to go through the New Testament. If you wish to make it through in 31 days bump your time up to 40-50 minutes of reading or listening.
Bible Reading Calendar
Bible Reading with Scripture Parts
Books of the Bible

Romans 12:1–2 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
This month involve yourself in ministry not for the sake of making your pastor happy but as a service to the Lord. Serving the body of Christ is serving Christ. Service done right is worship, think of it that way and look for different opportunities to worship in spirit and in truth.

Isaiah 58:1–12 is the scripture I consider to be the cornerstone of fasting.
Fasting is not a “look at me!” activity. You humble yourself, think of others and put what God considers righteous first. The heart of fasting is to deny your flesh and feed your spirit. Those who are physically able to fast should pick at least one day to abstain from food and engage in spiritual activity
If you are not sure if you are physically able to fast, then check with your doctor.
If you are not sure an absolute fast is for you then do a modified fast.
The Daniel Fast is one type of modified fasting. The short version is to abstain from meat, white flour and sugar. You eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and unleavened or whole wheat bread.
Another modified type of fasting is the Ezekiel Fast. During this fast you eat only unleavened and/or whole wheat bread and water. I suggest you use salsa or vinegar and oil to dip your bread. I choose to consume 1,000 calories per day when I perform this type of fast.
You can fast things other than food. Remember the heart of fasting is to deny the flesh and feed the spirit. If you give up something and replace it with a spiritual endeavor that is a type of fasting. An example might be if you watch the news every night and give that up and spend that time praying, then you are starving the flesh and feeding the spirit. Giving up something you desire for spiritual gain.

Matthew 14:23 After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. Perhaps this is one of the hardest of spiritual disciplines. Find time to take a walk with the Lord. Practice finding lonely places to be with the Father. Spend time listening for the voice of the Spirit talking to you.

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Monday, December 7, 2015

Roller Coaster Psalm 31 at Ed the Pastor

Riding on a roller coaster is full of ups and downs, throw in a couple of loop the loops and corkscrews and you have a great metaphor for modern life. There is not too much we can do about the ride but we can take comfort that our Lord is with us from start to finish.

Roller Coaster Psalm 31 at Ed the Pastor