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The purpose of the 21 Day fast is to make ourselves present to a God who is always present to us.

No matter where we are, what time of day, or what mood we’re in—God is with us.
Carrying this acknowledgment with us throughout the day,
will help cultivate an awareness of God’s presence in our daily lives.

Dropping Everything to Follow Jesus: Fasting

 Why?

Fasting is the practice of giving something up in order to intentionally pursue reliance upon God through the Holy Spirit. The sacrificial nature of fasting is an essential element of this spiritual practice. However, fasting is not only about what we give up—it’s about how we fill the space we’ve created. We disengage regular parts of life to engage God in prayer and worship.

 

What?

Traditionally, fasting involves sacrificing food. There’s a good reason for this tradition: our bodies depend on food for energy, so when we fast from food our bodies physically slow down, helping us become more dependent on the Holy Spirit. Pick a meal or two (like breakfast and lunch) and replace it with a time of prayer, reading, and/or meditation. Keep in mind that fasting from food may not be for everyone, especially if you have medical conditions. If that’s the case, consider fasting from something that is a regular part of your life. Seek things that feel costly (whether good, bad or neutral) to surrender.

 

How?

Some people may be able to start fasting right away. If that’s you, go for it! However, if you have not fasted before and are feeling apprehensive, try a progressive fast.

Progressive fasts ease you into the practice of fasting. Start with a baseline (or minimum). Each day, take away one more item of food from your diet until you’ve fully eliminated food by the end of the 21 days. Of course, be sure to drink plenty of water. It’s also recommended that children DO NOT fast to this extent. If you’re not fasting from food, apply the same method to whatever you are fasting from.

Further Reading

Arthur Wallace – God’s Chosen Fast

Jentzen Franklin – Fasting

Richard Foster – Celebration of Discipline

 

We are calling our entire church to participate in the 21 Day Fast, sign up today at rhchur.ch/21dayfast

Slowing Down

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)

Orange County runs at a frantic pace. We often find ourselves worn out as we try to keep up with the relentless demands of culture. But Jesus has invited us into something different: a life of more that is filled with less. His way of life pushes back against the gods of our age, inviting us to jam the cycle of OC culture, and embrace abundant life. As we practice the discipline of slowing down, ask the Holy Spirit to show you where he is at work within you.

Further Reading:

Henri Nouwen – The Way of the Heart

John Ortberg – The Life You’ve Always Wanted

Ruth Hayley Baron – Sacred Rhythms


Hearing God: Prayer Week

As our 21 Day Fast draws to a close, we’re calling our whole church to join together in worship, prayer, and celebration.

We will be hosting three gatherings with extended worship, teaching, guided practice, and creative expressions of prayer and ministry. These gatherings will be on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in The Centre at 345 Fischer Ave. from 7-9 PM.

Tuesday | Listen | We will be exploring how God speaks to us through Scripture, visions, words, pictures, and other people. Come expectant that God is going to speak to you and use you to speak to others.

Wednesday | Encounter | We’ll be kicking off the night with extended worship led by One Voice followed by exploring the theme of how we can encounter God. Come ready to encounter God through worship and prayer!

Thursday | Cry Out | Never before has it been more urgent to come together as a community to pray for our Church, Orange County, and the World. Bill Dogterom will be teaching on intercessory prayer and we will have an extended time of worship and crying out to God.

We’ll also have 24/7 prayer sign-ups Tuesday through Thursday. As a community, we want to engage in 72 continuous hours of prayer, crying out to God on behalf of the Church and our world. Sign up today!

24/7 Prayer


Practicing Sabbath

Practicing Sabbath is about work-stoppage, disengagement, and rest. As the 21 Day Fast comes to a close, what are some things you’ve learned from this practice that will help shape how you practice Sabbath?

Further Reading:

Matthew Sleeth – 24/6

AJ Swoboda – Subversive Sabbath

Mark Buchanan – The Rest of God

Wayne Muller – Sabbath

Abraham Heschel – The Sabbath


24/7 Prayer

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Current Message

God Is Here: Hearing From God part 2

Learning to hear the voice of God by inviting, pursuing, and obeying.

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