Saturday, January 9
Southlands Community Church
Well - tonight I stepped out of my comfort zone, and went to church in Steinbach. By stepping out of my comfort zone, I mean me - being an introvert - and going to a new church by myself - that is a big step for me. That being said, SCC is a big church. They have 4 services - two on Saturday ( 5 pm and 7 pm) and two on Sunday morning. I decided to go tonight, although Alvin was at work. So - off I went.
Unfortunately, I had wanted to go there for 5 but well, was late. So went and got groceries, and then headed to the church. Okay - you have to know that I personally have not decided if I like the big churches or not, but the reality is ~ when you are a person who is "processing" life and you just want to go and worship ~ a big church is safe because you are one of 400+ that are there for the service. Apparently the first service was standing room only, so I am glad I chose the 7 pm. The funny thing is - I sat right behind someone that I knew (but had no idea this was their church, as they live in Winnipeg).
The bad thing is - having gone to McIvor for over 30 years - everything I see/hear/do is compared to my experience there. (i.e. hmmm, the team has 4 guitar players, a keyboardist, a djembe player, a violinist, and 4 vocals compared to... ; oh, and all the announcements are done on video compared to....; oh, and the worship - many new songs, hmm they have at least 3 vpu's compared to...) You get the idea.
But then, after doing the survey (as above) I was able to just worship. To shut my eyes and hear the music and voices around me. To pray along with the worship leader when he asked God to reveal something to us during the sermon. To watch the woman in the row ahead of me "sign" to many of the worship songs...
The sermon - I don't know how long it was... it moved along. The whole month is on Prayer and Fasting. Funny thing is - just last monday, my friend asked me if I would like to fast with her on a certain day each week... and I said sure. I am not a stranger to prayer and fasting. So, what would I learn tonight. I was very curious. Ears were perked right up. Pen and paper ready to record the thoughts.
(have to run and get my bible and notes)
I loved, loved, loved that he used alot of scripture! He began with John 10:10 where Jesus said "I have come that they may have life and have it to the full." NIV
Tonight he talked about "fasting for passion". He said "when you're full with other things you won't be hungry for God." (oh, I get that one) He talked about when the people were in the desert, grumbling because they had no food. God had put them on an involuntary food fast - and then surprised them by fedding them supernaturally - manna from heaven.
The pastor asked who had a "comfort food" to which hands popped up. He said we go to "comfort food" NOT becasue the body is hungry but the SOUL is!! God made food for the physical body. But GOD is who feeds our souls.
Not only did he talk about fasting from food, but how important it was also to fast from media. I get this one, really I do (contrary to how I am blogging as I say that!) In fact in October, God told me to not go on FB and the blog for a week. The pastor said that people spend 5 hours and 9 minutes (average) on TV daily!! Honestly - who has that time. I guess it's a good thing Alvin and I never gave into cable or satellite... and our kids were only allowed half hour of tv a day. (except on those days when they got more in on the sneak!)
He had some points such as 1) search your heart 2) repent and 3) fast.
I loved what he said "feed on Jesus through the Word!" "Fasting is not about not eating but it is all about eating the right thing!" We need to "Fast ~ Feed and Pursue God in prayer."
He talked about prayer being as natural as breathing - inhale/exhale.
It is prayer that gives us power in the heavenlies!! WOOHOOO....Amen brother! (no I didn't shout it out, although there were a couple others who were!)
This sermon was timely. Sure, I would have rather gone with Alvin, and I almost cancelled and just stayed home. But, I had talked about this for a while, and I am so glad I went! Blessed in fact!
We got an instruction sheet regarding fasting - and also a commitment card. Guess I will fill that out tomorrow. God spoke to me and affirmed what I should pray about during the days I will join my friend in fasting.
I am thankful - that I got to drive to Steinbach, even if it was bitter cold and dark.
That I got to watch the woman sign while she sang.
That I got to visit with a friend from our past.
That I got to see the beautiful landscape of this church.
That I got to shut my eyes and listen to the music and voices of God's people
And thankful that God used tonight to speak His truth into my slightly calloused and pieced together heart.
I am always just so blown away that God - in his great love and mercy, never gives up on me, or leaves me because of my whining, but instead continues to speak to me, and love on me! O God, you are so good. MY Lord and MY God... thank you. O my Lord ~ thank you. I can hardly wait to see what you teach me, do in me and in-spite of me! I love you Lord. Thank you for the community of Southlands which blessed me tonight.
at 11:38 PM