Fasting and the Side effects

If you are participating in the fasting part of our 21 days of prayer then there’s a good chance that you are experiencing some of the side effects. I felt compelled (compiled for my good friend) to write about these side effects. I shared this morning that the purpose of our prayer and fasting is NOT to get GOD to change his mind or to somehow earn MORE of HIS LOVE. God is God and HE IS GOOD. He will never love us MORE than HE LOVES ME AND YOU RIGHT NOW. That’s good news too. He loves me and He loves you so much that He paid for ALL of our Sin with the death of His only Son Jesus who rose from the grave 3 days leaving my sin and your sin to rot forever. We ARE FREE!!! Galatians 5

Now let’s talk about side effects of fasting. Crankiness, tired, HEADACHE, hungry, soreness, dry mouth, along with many others. What are they and where did they come from?

Over the past year or longer you have trained your physical body to depend on certain items every day. Your body depends on these items and when it doesn’t get them as it has been trained, it begins to cry like a baby cries for a bottle. I am always amazed at how much habitual eating my body expects. Seriously, I’m really not hungry when I wake up but my body is used to the habit of me cramming food in and sipping coffee down that it screams withins a few minutes of me waking up. This is NORMAL. One of the NON Spiritual benefits of fasting can be taking control of our bodies and training them instead of letting them train us. Like all other training it takes hard work, pain, discipline, commitment, and accountability. YOU CAN DO IT!!!

Think about if we fed our spiritual body through prayer and fasting at the same habitual level we feed our faces. That morning that you get up rushed through routine and half way to work you feel that spirit body scream “FEED ME” we pulled over and read some scriptures, or maybe we switched the radio station to K-love, or utter a few words of prayer for the person that just cut us off in traffic. Hopefully you get the point. The side effects we are experiencing are normal and we will NOT die without this food, coffee or drink we are abstaining from. It may feel like death but it really wont kill you. (PLEASE CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE ATTEMPTING ANY TOTAL FOOD FAST). Back to the side effects - they will get better. The headaches will go away, tiredness will convert to energy, foggy brain will turn to clarity and crankiness - well that will take the Holy Spirit’s help and He’s been waiting on this exact moment in time to do something radical in your life. Brace yourself!! It’s happening !!!

I would submit that most of us spend most of our days throughout the year neglecting our spiritual bodies because we create totally comfortable physical bodies. When we are hungry we eat. When we are tired we go to sleep. When we want something, most of us go buy it. This creates something called comfort. Without intention, this comfort can be dangerous be causing us to focus solely on our physical or tangible comfort forgetting about the intangible soul that it desperately thirsty and hungry. I would go as far to say that our soul is screaming for us to feed it but we cant hear the scream of our soul due to the volume of the cheers coming from our physical. Guess what - you might be reading this and thinking you have a million gaps in your physical needs and you are a lot of things but comfortable isn’t one of them. Yep, I’ve been there too. In this case it could be the volume of our complaints about the side effects that are overpowering the volume of our souls shout. OH SNAP - I’m talking to you aren’t I. I knew it when I wrote it that you would read it. Regardless of where you are, there is HOPE!!! Think about the time you gave your life to Jesus and unexplainably and uncontrollably you had tears flowing down your face? Or think about the time you were in Church and you made a recommitment to Jesus with some area of your life and those same tears were flowing? If someone had asked you why you were crying you would likely have NO explanation. Guess What - I have the answer. Those tears are coming from your soul. It’s the souls way of applauding, cheering and expressing gratitude for the food it just received.

I wanted to simply remind you that you can DO THIS! This 21 day season of prayer and fasting is perfect for you. Maybe you are reading this and you didn't join us on this journey - START NOW!! HERE are some details about fasting and we are meeting every Monday - Friday at 6 am & Saturdays at 8 am at the theater for 30 minutes of prayer.

Until then here are some ways to feed the soul!

Pray
Worship
Fast
Forgive someone
Serve someone
Give generously
Study Scripture
Connect in Healthy Relationships
Exercise
Memorize Scripture
Invite people to Church - TRY IT (It is so refreshing)
Hold the door open for a stranger
Compliment others
TIP Big at the restaurant - doing this in the drive thru really freaks them out and feeds the soul
Work a few extra minutes at work
Pray for a enemy
Ask someone to forgive you
Take a walk and observe God’s creation
Go to Church
Sing a little louder in Church - ignore the people in front of you
Make a list of things you are thankful for
Make a list of requests you will pray about (yours and others)

Out of 2018 & into 2019

I don’t know about you but for me starting a new year is fun. I get excited about new beginnings but I strongly believe that the strength we start new year is related to the strength we finish the previous year. Most people in the world will hear about and talk about new goals for the new year and I’m all for that. However, I strongly subscribe to the idea that you don’t have to wait for the new year to start working on the new YOU.  

I believe we fit into 1 of 3 groups when it comes to evaluating our year: 
1) “straight up sucks” 2)“about average” 3)“exceeding excellent” 

The “straight up sucks” year is one that contained loss, pain and shortcomings. This is a year you are excited to leave. You may have experienced death of a close friend or family in this year. Your marriage may have failed. Lost your job. You often wonder here how you survived or if you’ll survive. This is the “LEMON” of automobiles. It is a car, it cranks sometimes, but it stays in the shop more than it stays on the road. You question if it will get you from here to there. 

The “about average” is what I call mediocre: a not so bad or a not so good. You sort of went through the motions. Nothing more or nothing less than you expected happened. This is the “BASE MODEL” of automobiles. No leather, no heated seats, no bluetooth stereo, no sunroof, and if you might get winded rolling the windows down. This is a vehicle and you can count on it to get you from here to there. You don’t talk about it, nobody notices it, but it was faithful and here you are entering into another year. 

The “exceeding excellent” year is one that you’ll never forget because of the good it brought. This might be the year you got married, had a child, bought a new house, got a great promotion, gave your life to Jesus, found a Church, etc. It’s been so good that you hope you never forget it. This is the “LOADED” version of automobiles. It’s got more bells and whistles than you really know how to use. The seats heat and cool, the stereo talks, and passengers have televisions. Friends want to ride with you regardless of the destination.  

I am convinced that the way I walk out of each year dramatically effects the way I walk into the next one. The Bible says that what we sow we will reap. What gets into us will come out of us. The open disclaimer is that I cannot predict if next year will be a loaded model, base model, or a lemon- but I can guarantee that if you follow these 7 Steps I’ve provided you will find something too great to be measured by the model of a car. In Galatians 6:7-9, God tells us that we harvest what we plant and that those who live to please the Spirit will harvest “everlasting life” from the Spirit. A Harvest of Blessing is coming and as we end this year I want to help each of us end well!

I have provided a document that will help you cover 7 categories of sowing. Take some time, print this off and put this plan into your life and Watch GOD blow your mind with the harvest of blessing! Click below and let’s get to it!!!

7 Ways to Walk Out of 2018 & Into 2019


MOBILE VERSION

Summer & Softball Recap & Update

When we set out to plan Summer @ Revolve 2018 I had 3 objectives.  

  • We wanted to invest some of our resources in making sure Sunday mornings this summer were the funnest (I know "funnest" isn't a word but you get the point).  That's why we have had bottle coke day, photo booth day, maple view ice cream, games on stage and even more SUMMER FUN activities on Sundays @ Revolve Church. 
     
  • We wanted to see where everyone was vacationing.  That's why we gave out Revolve Church sunglasses and asked everyone to post on social media their Summer destinations with #summeratrevolvenc (for fun you should search social media to see some of the fun pictures).
     
  • We wanted to create gatherings outside of our Sunday morning worship experiences.  That's why we had a softball day on the hottest day of the year.  

Summer has already proven to be one of the most fun Summers yet at Revolve Church. The best news is we still have more to come! Every Sunday in July we are having a message from our series titled "At The Movies".  We are watching clips of popular Hollywood films and extracting biblical principles.  We are serving cokes and popcorn EVERY SUNDAY in July and the we have a RED CARPET photo booth planned for the last Sunday in July.  This Sunday we are throwing in a surprise gift for every "adult" in attendance.  Make plans to join us.

Finally, the morning after the softball game I received a letter of gratitude from Brad. For those that don't know Brad, he is the one that planned our softball gathering and he is married to Jessica, the one that planned and organized our FUN photo booth this past Sunday (CLICK HERE FOR PICTURES). Below is a letter from Brad expressing his gratitude to each of you. Thanks for taking moment to read this. 

As I woke up this morning I am reminded that 39 is a lot different than 19. There are aches, pains, and strains that I wouldn’t have felt twenty years ago. I feel every stride I took yesterday from head to toe. My body is sore, my voice is tired, my muscles are weak, but my heart it is full. My heart is filled with joy, happiness, and love. We had 100 of the most amazing people I have ever known out last night to spend their time with us. I can not begin to thank you enough, to all that played and put their bodies on the line, to all that braved the sweltering heat to cheer the teams on, and to those that got us the field and brought food and drinks to facilitate this time of fellowship. It was more fulfilling to be in that group than I could express. Thank you all and I can’t wait until we can do it again. 

Brad
“Love like today is your last day, but learn like you will live forever”

WHY & WHY NOT?

Reasons why followers of Jesus DO NOT give:

Strapped: This is the scenario where the family or individual has committed equal or more money to bills outflow than they have coming in. If this describes you, then I want to provide a scholarship for you to find financial peace. I don’t want to do this so that you can give as much as I want to help you live a life free from financial bondage. If you are interested in finding financial peace, please email jeff@revolvechurch.com.

Don’t Understand: This applies to the persons that are unsure about what God’s word says regarding tithing. Malachi 3:10 says to bring the TITHE into the STOREHOUSE. As Christians, we believe the Bible is the WORDS OF GOD. The Tithe is defined as 10% of your “treasure.” In the Biblical days, most people earned a living by growing crops or livestock, and the Church fed the community at the Storehouse with peoples “Tithe.” Today the Biblical meaning of “storehouse” is the local church where you are spiritually fed, and the “Tithe” represents a tenth or 10% of your income from your work.  

Lack of Trust: Some people do not trust the Church or the Leadership of the Church. This lack of trust can come from a variety of reasons. Some people have been hurt by the Church or felt the Church failed to meet their needs. Some have heard of unethical behavior from Church Leadership. Some people simply have a difficult time trusting others with their resources. While trusting the Church isn't’ the biblical reason to give it can be a practical reason to refrain from giving. If you are part of Revolve Church and you have questions that will help you trust your Church, Please email me at jeff@revolvechurch.com, and I will arrange a time to answer your questions. I desire that you worship at a place you trust your leadership to lead you to God’s plan and purpose for your life.

Perspective:  Some people have the perspective that their “tithe” or 10% isn’t much, so it probably won't make a difference. There’s a story that Jesus tells regarding the heart behind our gift to the Church.  The heart behind giving by far outweighs the “how much” is given.  See the story yourself in Mark 12:41-44.

Divided: There are some scenarios where there are two people involved in the financial transactions (i.e., husband and wife). In many cases, there is a division on how much, if any, should be given to the Church. The husband or wife may have the desire to give a full Biblical “tithe” while the other spouse is against it. In this case, both husband and wife should seek God to find common ground. While the unevenly yoked family is a far more complex subject, regarding tithing my recommendation is that you find a happy medium or common ground until both people are willing to live out a fully obedient life to God’s word.  

Decided: This describes a person that can afford to tithe, understands the biblical call to tithe, trust the leadership of the Church but has made a decision NOT TO PARTICIPATE. For this person, I pray that you will continue to attend and continue to explore God and His plan for your life.  

Reasons why people DO give: 

Received what was given:  This describes the person that met Jesus and fully understands the forgiveness of their sins that Jesus freely gave on the cross. Out of receiving the gift of salvation, they have decided to tithe or even give above the “tithe” to help others meet the Jesus they met. 

Like what we do:  Some people give because they like what we do. They like the way we serve our city. They like the worship service we provide through songs. They like the humor and relevance of the messages preached. They like the way we teach kids about Jesus on a level they can understand.  They like the coffee, mints or free T-shirts we give every first-time guest. At Revolve Church we have people that don’t even attend our Church but like what we do and how we do it enough to give to it in hopes that we won’t stop doing what we do.  

Guilt:  Some people feel guilty because they know they should give, so they do. Some feel guilty because when the buckets pass, they think someone is watching them. Some feel guilty for the way they have behaved in the past. This feeling of guilt leads them to give in hopes of feeling better about themselves. Giving out of guilt is NOT a biblical reason to give.  

Gifted: The Bible says that God has given us different gifts to do certain things. Some people are gifted to give generously. This kind of person realizes that tithing is the floor and not the ceiling and often they are continually looking for ways to scratch their desire to give way beyond the biblical call to “tithe.” In Romans 12:6-8 the Bible says that if you have the gift of giving then give generously.  

Want to Obey: Some people only give because they believe that the Bible is the Word of God and they want to obey God and His Word. Tithing is New Testament and Old Testament. Jesus referenced tithing in Luke 11:42 as something that “YES” you should you do but the way he said it was as if “tithing” was something that absolutely should be done in conjunction with Loving God and Loving others. 

CONCLUSION:

Regardless of whether you give or not, you will always be welcome at Revolve Church. Revolve Church has always existed to introduce people to God and God’s purpose for their life. You are no less of an individual if you don’t give and you are no more of an individual if you do. However, refraining from Giving to God through the local Church is resisting to be part of the greatest organization on the planet, THE CHURCH. God Bless!!! 

 

Open letter from Pastor Jeff to the Dream Team

I was headed home from picking up the Christmas presents from our secret hiding spot to assemble and prepare before my kids woke up on Christmas morning. It was really late and I was overwhelmed with emotion.  Just a few hours earlier I had been driving from one location to another to say hi and Merry Christmas to each person serving at our final #LOVELARGE17 outreach. Some were handing out presents to each patient in the local emergency room and some were on the late night streets of downtown Durham ministering to the least of these. While driving, all I could think about was this amazing culture of “serving” that has been created in the people at Revolve Church.  Just a day earlier our teams had assembled to throw the biggest Christmas party ever thrown at the Liberty Street Durham Housing Authority.  Many kids found smiles and love while sledding on our man made, snow filled, mountain. Most made Christmas ornaments, had faces painted, took pictures with Santa, ate pizza, drank hot chocolate and found lots of love hand delivered by our teams of people.  In my reflection I began to really think about this year and all that has happened at Revolve and in our city through Revolve. The overwhelming emotion mentioned earlier began to multiply rapidly (It may have even made my eyes leak a little)!  I instantly found gratitude for the people that had been willing to serve in our LOVELARGE efforts.  I also found this gratitude as I thought about how none of this would’ve been possible without the generous people giving money to make these things happen.  In my amazement, emotion, and gratitude you came to my mind!!! YOU, yes YOU, came to my mind.  While reflecting on all the things that our Church has been part of created overwhelming emotion, I QUICKLY realized the role YOU play.  If we don’t have Sunday mornings then we don’t have people to volunteer to serve at these LOVE LARGE events! If we don’t have Sunday mornings we don’t have money given to make this happen. If we don’t have Sunday mornings we don’t have an EGG DROP that reaches over 5000 people.  If we don’t have Sunday mornings, we don’t have LOVE LARGE that builds pumpkins patches. If we don’t have Sunday mornings, we really don’t have much. THEN IT REALLY HIT ME!!!

IF WE DON’T HAVE YOU, WE DON’T HAVE SUNDAY MORNINGS!

YOU, yes YOU are the reason for all of this emotion.  I’m grateful for YOU and your willingness to serve most Sunday mornings to make sure we are able to prove to the world that we are following Jesus by the way we make others smile!!! Thank YOU, Yes YOU, for serving to make a difference on the greatest team in the world, the Revolve Church Dream Team!!! Merry Christmas!!! 

With love, 
Jeff