• Jesus became an authentic human person to show us what it means to live God’s life practically on earth. Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Hale @sororcyn
  • “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” – James 1:19
  • We are fasting from hatred this week in our Negativity Fast. Our affirmation this week is – “If I love God, I must love them too.”
  • If you missed the prayer this morning, you missed being blessed by Rev. Sylvia Stroy. We’ve got the link here so that you can listen in here: fccdl.in/Dbn3SlEIy6?st=…
  • The fruit of the Spirit is the evidence that you are being led by the Holy Spirit and are no longer trying to have control over your life and do your own thing. Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Hale @sororcyn
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My precious brothers and sisters,

These are serious times that we are living in. Our nation and world are in turmoil. We don't know what is going to happen from one day to the next. We may not know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future. Our God is the sovereign Lord of the universe.

We must connect and stay connected with God in a significant and intimate way. Our God is the one who can see us through anything and everything. Being connected to him ensures that our lives align with his perfect will: spiritually, physically, emotionally, financially, and relationally.

There is no better time than during the season of Lent to re-examine our lives and our relationship with God. Lent is the 40 day period when we prepare for Easter's celebration when we observe a period of repentance and death to self through the spiritual disciplines, self-examination, and self-reflection.

The 40 days of Lent give us a dedicated time to confront our attitudes and habits, addressing how they bind us and keep us from being holy, healthy, and whole in Christ. Through the self-denial of fasting and practicing spiritual disciplines, we diminish the influence of these hang-ups and habits and gain the power that we need to defeat them. We fast in a myriad of ways as we journey to Calvary to die to self and be raised to newness of life with Christ.

This Lenten season we will fast from negativity. Our world is saturated with pessimism, discouragement, and criticism. Fasting from negativity will help us to focus our attention on God and God's promises for our lives. I hope that this fast will teach us to speak with hope even during the most challenging times of our lives.

For the next 40 days, we will refrain from saying anything negative about ourselves, others, and our circumstances and resist the temptation to complain, accuse, blame, judge, criticize, gossip, be hateful, or otherwise be pessimistic. God calls us in Philippians 2:14-15 to “do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Instead, we will intentionally affirm ourselves and others, encourage, build-up, be thankful, praise, and celebrate. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)

Fasting from negativity will require us to be careful about what we watch, listen to, read, and the spaces we enter. Remaining positive, despite the circumstances, is no small feat, but we can do it!

Love you madly,
Pastor Hale

Fast Details

We invite you to observe a progressive fast from negativity throughout the 40 days of the Lenten season. We will begin by avoiding bitterness on week 1, adding a new area to our fast each week. By the conclusion of the fast we will be fasting from all forms of negativity.

We will fast from negativity in the following ways:

  • Refuse to think negatively or listen to negative conversation about others.

    Refrain from gossiping, circulating rumors and anything injurious about your family, friends, colleagues, classmates, brothers and sisters in Christ, and other associates. Avoid or leave conversations that are negative or contain gossip, unconstructive criticism, and rumors.

  • Think Positively.
  • Speak life to and about others as well as ourselves.

    We will speak about ourselves in positive and life affirming ways. When speaking about others, we must ask ourselves, if what we are saying can be repeated in their presence. When speaking to others, we will speak life to them, saying only what is edifying and encouraging. Even correction should be spoken in a positive way.


 

Week 1: February 17 - 24
Avoid Bitterness

How to Observe the Fast

1. Pray about past hurts, then address them. 2. Journal about your feelings. 3. Address offenses within 24-48 hours. 4. Find a therapist to support you in facing difficult situations. 5. Seek first to understand THEN to be understood.

How to Observe the Fast

  1. Pray about past hurts, then address them.

  2. Journal about your feelings.

  3. Address offenses within 24-48 hours.

  4. Find a therapist to support you in facing difficult situations.

  5. Seek first to understand THEN to be understood.

Weekly Focus Scripture
Mark 11:25

Daily Affirmation
Forgive and let it go!

 


 

Week 2: February 25 - March 4
Avoid Hatred

How to Observe the Fast

1. Remember, God created everyone. 2. Try to get to know the person. 3. Seek to understand THEN be understood. 4. Make a list of the person’s positive traits. 5. When you start to replay the situation in your mind, think about God’s character.

How to Observe the Fast

  1. Remember, God created everyone.

  2. Try to get to know the person.

  3. Seek to understand THEN be understood.

  4. Make a list of the person’s positive traits.

  5. When you start to replay the situation in your mind, think about God’s character.

Weekly Focus Scripture
1 John 4:20

Daily Affirmation
If I love God, I must love them too.

 


 

Week 3: March 5 - 12
Avoid Complaining

How to Observe the Fast

1. Pray about what is upsetting you. 2. Journal about the situation. 3. What do you have to be thankful for? Tell someone. 4. Address genuine needs that arise. 5. Develop solutions, then implement them. 6. Look at the big picture. Will this really matter to you in 10 minutes, 10 months, or 10 years?

How to Observe the Fast

  1. Pray about what is upsetting you.

  2. Journal about the situation.

  3. What do you have to be thankful for? Tell someone.

  4. Address genuine needs that arise.

  5. Develop solutions, then implement them.

  6. Look at the big picture. Will this really matter to you in 10 minutes, 10 months, or 10 years?

Weekly Focus Scripture
Philippians 4:8

Daily Affirmation
Be thankful.

 


 

Week 4: March 13 - 20
Avoid Gossiping

How to Observe the Fast

1. Ask yourself, what is the point of repeating this information? 2. Address concerns with the individual directly. 3. Exit conversations that aren’t your business. 4. Change the subject. 5. When in doubt, talk about Jesus instead.

How to Observe the Fast

  1. Ask yourself, what is the point of repeating this information?

  2. Address concerns with the individual directly.

  3. Exit conversations that aren’t your business.

  4. Change the subject.

  5. When in doubt, talk about Jesus instead.

Weekly Focus Scripture
Ephesians 4:29

Daily Affirmation
Tell them how you feel, or keep quiet.

 


 

Week 5: March 21 - 28
Avoid Blaming

How to Observe the Fast

1. Take responsibility for YOUR actions. 2. Guard your boundaries. 3. Address and fix what YOU can. 4. Set realistic expectations. 5. Seek to understand THEN to be understood.

How to Observe the Fast

  1. Take responsibility for YOUR actions.

  2. Guard your boundaries.

  3. Address and fix what YOU can.

  4. Set realistic expectations.

  5. Seek to understand THEN to be understood.

Weekly Focus Scripture:
Matthew 7:3-5

Daily Affirmation
It may not be my fault, but a negative response will be.

 


 

Week 6: March 29 - April 3
Avoid Negative Thoughts and Words about Self

How to Observe the Fast

1. Catch yourself when you are thinking something negative about yourself. 2. Keep track of the recurring negative thoughts/words. Challenge them in your journal. Is that really true? 3. Make a list of the things that God says about you. Declare one of those things when you think or speak something negative about yourself. 4. Receive the positivity directed towards you by others.

How to Observe the Fast

  1. Catch yourself when you are thinking something negative about yourself.

  2. Keep track of the recurring negative thoughts/words. Challenge them in your journal. Is that really true?

  3. Make a list of the things that God says about you. Declare one of those things when you think or speak something negative about yourself.

  4. Receive the positivity directed towards you by others.

Weekly Focus Scripture
Psalm 139:14
Ephesians 4:29

Daily Affirmation
God made me extraordinary and I love his work!

 

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