Ashland, Tuesday 08.22.2017
Sunday August 27, 2017 - 12:15 PM ×
Sunday Morning Worship Experience

Join us for a fun, relevant and powerful Worship Experience where you can encounter God in a meaningful way! We keep our services to just 70 minutes long. We do this to honor your time while still putting God first each week. The word “long” seems misplaced because in no way do our services feel long but instead leave you longing for more.

Our worship experience is dynamic, powerful, and passionate! We simply believe if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. Therefore our goal is to experience God’s presence each and every service. In fact, we believe our services are incomplete unless we feel God’s presence is there in a tangible way.

We offer a safe, fun, age appropriate children’s program at Connect Kids. We care for infants through grade 5. Our staff looks forward to exceeding your expectations each week as we strive to teach your children from God’s Word.

We hope to see you in one of our services! If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us at office@weconnect.cc.

To watch/listen to our Series & Messages archive, simply click here.

Sunday August 27, 2017 - 10:30 AM ×
Sunday Morning Worship Experience

Join us for a fun, relevant and powerful Worship Experience where you can encounter God in a meaningful way! We keep our services to just 70 minutes long. We do this to honor your time while still putting God first each week. The word “long” seems misplaced because in no way do our services feel long but instead leave you longing for more.

 

Our worship experience is dynamic, powerful, and passionate! We simply believe if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. Therefore our goal is to experience God’s presence each and every service. In fact, we believe our services are incomplete unless we feel God’s presence is there in a tangible way.

 

We offer a safe, fun, age appropriate children’s program at Connect Kids. We care for infants through grade 5. Our staff looks forward to exceeding your expectations each week as we strive to teach your children from God’s Word.

 

We hope to see you in one of our services! If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us at office@weconnect.cc.

 

To watch/listen to our Series & Messages archive, simply click here.

Sunday August 27, 2017 - 08:45 AM ×
Sunday Morning Worship Experience

Join us for a fun, relevant and powerful Worship Experience where you can encounter God in a meaningful way! We keep our services to just 70 minutes long. We do this to honor your time while still putting God first each week. The word “long” seems misplaced because in no way do our services feel long but instead leave you longing for more.

Our worship experience is dynamic, powerful, and passionate! We simply believe if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. Therefore our goal is to experience God’s presence each and every service. In fact, we believe our services are incomplete unless we feel God’s presence is there in a tangible way.

We offer a safe, fun, age appropriate children’s program at Connect Kids. We care for infants through grade 5. Our staff looks forward to exceeding your expectations each week as we strive to teach your children from God’s Word.

We hope to see you in one of our services! If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us at office@weconnect.cc.

To watch/listen to our Series & Messages archive, simply click here.

  • 21 Days of Prayer & Fasting Focus – 2017

Hunger & Thirst

One thing I’ve noticed about myself is that I am a man of routine. I get up almost every day and pray, read my Bible, listen to a podcast, prepare my food for the day, workout, go to work, change the world and REPEAT!  There is more in there but I don’t want to bore you:) Bottom line: I love what I do so each day I wake up ready to crush the day with energy and enthusiasm.

But sometimes, at the end of the day or, more often, a series of days, I start to find myself weakening. It’s often a certain time of day as well… THE EVENING HOURS. What an irony…wake up ready to smash the day like the Hulk and go to bed sometimes crushed like a bug by life.

Where/when do you find yourself the weakest? Have you identified the times, the triggers, the consistency of these patterns? What are you doing about it?

A new year FAST is an opportunity to have a break-through in some of these chronic patterns in your life that are tearing you down or at least slowing you down. God wants you to live fully alive!

It’s interesting that the FIRST and LAST thing Jesus did was HUNGER and THIRST! Hmmm…what’s that all about? In short, I think He revealed His humanity in all the insanity of life. He models for us that when temptation and tests come, we need to stay FILLED spiritually and live FULL relationally. #fastfocus

Let me explain it this way. In Luke chapter 4, it begins with Jesus (recently baptized) and now “full of the Holy Spirit”. After this encounter, He then proceeds to go on a supernatural fasting period with no water and no food for 40 DAYS!!! #donttrythatathome The Bible says after that “He was hungry!” Yeah, I would hope so! The point is, if Jesus could get hungry, we could and will too and I don’t just mean physically. In addition, and perhaps even more interesting, is that this is the point in time when Satan came to tempt Jesus.

I hope you can see that your enemy is very calculated and predictable when it comes to temptation (alluring us away from God’s plan and best for our lives). In fact, he will always tempt us in one or all of these 3 areas: physically, psychologically, or spiritually. You can read all about this in Matthew 4 and the parallel text Luke 4. However, in Luke 3:22, the Holy Spirit descends on Jesus in the form of a dove but after 40 days without food, Jesus becomes weak. We see there is a direct connection between our spiritual strength and our physical body. The Holy Spirit no longer descends and then ascends (like He did in the Old Testament) — that wasn’t the problem. The problem was Jesus body was weak and it made him weak overall. The spirit was willing but the flesh was weak.  Another way to say this is “The spirit leaks if we don’t stay full.”  WE GOTTA KEEP UNDER THE SPOUT WHERE THE SPIRIT COMES OUT!

As triune beings, we cannot separate or indefinitely neglect the temple of the Holy Spirit (your body). Many are minimized and marginalized in their spiritual strength and influence because of the condition of their temple! The same is true in the other two arenas (mind and spirit). The balance of all 3 arenas is what keeps us healthy. It’s most common to be attacked physically, in my opinion. The fact is the devil will always attack the body when you are weak (tired, stressed, under nourished, poorly nourished etc…) because he knows he can get you off-line spiritually in the process. He will attack in your appetites (bread is the reference in the text), your affections (lust of the eye or kingdoms of this world is the reference), and your authority (get you to bow down to something other than God first …your power). If he fails, then he will just wait for another strategic opportunity (Luke 4:13).

To stay FULL of the Holy Spirit, we must understand and address these areas consistently. Periodic fasting periods reposition us to have authority over our entire being (spirit, mind and body).

Here is the take away from this first part; “Don’t live on EMPTY!” Many live on empty spiritually, emotionally and physically and wonder why life is overwhelming them. Stay FULL…of the Holy Spirit that is!

One of the last things we see Jesus do is THIRST. While dying for the sins of humanity, He confessed in John 19:28; “I am thirsty.” I love this principle.  While we see the response of the centurion was to give him a taste of “bitter gaul.” I believe there is something deeper going on here. I believe Jesus is being human enough to acknowledge His need here. He is saying, “You and I can’t make it through a bad day without people to help.”

Do you let people know when you are going through a bad day? What is your pattern, default, stand by for tough times?

I think it’s incredibly important to realize that if the Son of God requested help on His bad day we would be wise to do the same thing. James tells us “We all stumble in many ways; if anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.” All I know is that ain’t me. #noimperfectpeopleallowed

As you go into this New Year, what are your plans to grow in being REAL.

Recently, I was parked in my car at Bob’s stores in Natick and a guy next to me was in his car. He didn’t see me next to him. He was taking a call and deeply upset. He hung up and began to scream, and cry uncontrollably. I froze not knowing what to do. It was so aggressive I couldn’t do anything. I began to pray and eventually got the courage to knock on the window of his car. “Are you ok? Can I help you or pray with you?”  He responded; “Im fine, no thank you” and drove away violently.”  #wow

Moral of the story…don’t be that guy. DON’T DO LIFE ALONE!

Are you alone? Are you like that guy (clearly in need of help) or maybe not that bad but simply just a person who is unwilling to ask for help and say “Im thirsty!”  This is key to you staying FILLED. Get into some intentional relationships and you will discover all your deepest needs are met there.

Do you realize that Jesus offers us something better than any alternative? He offers the REAL THING.

Check this out…

Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.” John 4:13-14 (MSG)

Join me this month as we Fast and Pray each evening from January 2-22 at Connect Community Church. Let’s let the first and last thing we do reflect what Jesus did. Let’s HUNGER and THIRST!

* For those interested, prayer guides and fasting booklets are available at Guest Central and at each prayer meeting during the fast.

The goal of Prayer & Fasting is to draw nearer to God. Biblical fasting always has to do with eliminating distractions for a spiritual purpose; it hits the reset button of our soul and renews us from the inside out. It also enables us to celebrate the goodness and mercy of God and prepares our hearts for all the good things God desires to bring into our lives.

Remember, your personal fast should present a level of challenge, but it is very important to know your body, your options and, most importantly, to seek God in prayer and follow what the Holy Spirit leads you to do.

There are a few different types of fast listed below. For more details in each type of fast, simply click the tabs and read on:

Complete Fast

This fast calls for drinking only liquids, typically water with light juices as an option.

Selective Fast

This type of fast involves removing certain elements from your diet. One example of a selective fast is the Daniel Fast, during which you remove meat, sweets, or bread from your diet and consume water and juice for fluids and fruits and vegetables for food.

Partial Fast

This fast is sometimes called the Jewish Fast and involves abstaining from eating any type of food in the morning and afternoon. This can either correlate to specific times of the day, such as 6:00 am to 3:00 pm, or from sunup to sundown.

Soul Fast

This fast is common for those who do not have much experience fasting food, who have health issues that prevent them from fasting food, or who wish to refocus certain areas of their life that are out of balance. For instance, someone might select to abstain from using social media or watching television for the duration of the fast, and then choose to carefully bring that element back into their life in an orderly fashion at the conclusion of the fast.

Timing of a fast is important. At Connect, we encourage prayer and fasting for 21 days each year in the month of January. This is part of a season of focused prayer as a church family. You may also choose to fast at other times during the year for your own spiritual development. It’s very typical to fast a single meal, a whole day, or three days or more. The timing of your fast is not as important as the strength of your focus on God as you fast.

Here are a few scripture references:

Matthew 6:16-18
Matthew 9:14-15
Luke 18:9-14
Acts 27:33-37
Nehemiah 9:1-3

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