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January 10, 2017

5 Tips For Prayer

We are spending 21 days in prayer and fasting. Here are 5 tips to make the most of your prayer time:

1 – Pray Out Loud: Certainly God knows your heart and your thoughts, but your mind is much less likely to drift if you actually speak your prayers to God.

2 – Posture Yourself For Prayer: Kneeling before God in prayer is a way to demonstrate dependency and humility. If you have a difficult time keeping your attention focused, you might walk or pace as you pray.

3 – Play Background Worship Music: The songs we sing to God in worship set a tone and atmosphere for our prayers. The lyrics in these songs can often prompt a specific prayer and help focus your mind and heart.

4 – Declare Scripture As You Pray: You can use God’s own words to form your prayers or to lead you to pray for something specific. For example, our theme verse for these 21 days is Isaiah 41:18 NIV: “I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs.” You can easily turn this into a prayer: “God, I’m believing for You to make the rivers flow in my life, etc.…”

5 – Be Specific: Don’t be generic in your prayers to God. Be bold and specific as you approach Him. Even write down specific prayer requests that you’re praying so that you can see as God answers them specifically for you.

January 9, 2017

Sunday’s Top Ten: Where It Starts

FYF-Header1. Finding your flow…it’s defined as the optimum state of consciousness in which we feel and perform our very best.
2. It’s that state of laser-focused concentration and super-powered creativity that can lead to valuable productivity, innovation, and action.
3. The Flow Begins When You Are Low.
4. That just means if there is something that left you disappointed from 2016…you are in the perfect place today to find your flow.
5. The Flow Comes From Someone Who Is High.
6. You don’t create the flow in your life, you just position yourself for it.
7. I believe God wants us to seek Him from a low place before He sends the blessing into our life from a high place.
8. Fasting Is The Voluntary Denial Of A Normal Function For The Sake Of Intense Spiritual Activity.
9. You’re giving something up which will in turn cause you to have a greater dependence on God.
10. We’re going low because we know He is high and He will lift us up.

Check out our Resources Page (watersedgechurch.net/21days) where you can read more about fasting and find out more about the events we have scheduled for these next 21 days!

January 5, 2017

5 Favorite Fasting Quotes

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As you prepare to kick off your 21-day journey to the new you (Jan. 9-29), here are five of my favorite fasting quotes:

1. “Fasting is the voluntary denial of a normal function for the sake of intense spiritual activity.” – Richard Foster

2. “Fasting is the spiritual Drano that unclogs the flow of the living water inside our soul.” – Jentzen Franklin

3. “Fasting is the most powerful spiritual discipline of all the Christian disciplines. Through fasting and prayer, the Holy Spirit can transform your life.” – Dr. Bill Bright

4. “Whatever you feed, gets stronger. Fasting starves your flesh and feeds your spirit.” – Chris Hodges

5. “Fasting embraces emptiness and starves haughtiness. It is a form of withdrawing from normal life in the regular world that we live in, emptying ourselves of not just food but anything else that we seek, crave and require of necessity other than His Face.” – Jentzen Franklin

January 4, 2017

Find Your Flow PREPARATION

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This Sunday, we will begin a 21-day journey together as a church of prayer and fasting. Here are some tips to help you prepare to make the most of this season and truly Find Your Flow:

• Check out our resources page at watersedgechurch.net/21days
• Consider the purpose of your fast. Obviously, we are all fasting as a church to begin the New Year, but is there something specific that you’re asking God to do in your life or the lives of others? Do you have a specific need in your life? Are you searching for direction or wisdom on a specific topic? Is your heart broken over a specific cause or concern? Are you struggling with a specific area of sin? Is there someone you need to pray for specifically during these 21 days?
• Consider your type of fast and what you will give up during these 21 days. Four types of fasts are described at watersedgechurch.net/21days.
• Make your plans now! For example, doing the Daniel Fast requires purchasing certain items from the grocery store. Do your best to set yourself up for success.
• Share your plans with someone who will hold you accountable and provide support and encouragement to you.
• Eliminate the temptations as much as possible. For example, if you’re fasting from junk food, get rid of it before your fast begins. If you’re fasting from Social Media, delete your Facebook app before the fast begins.

If you’ll prepare now, I believe that God will bless your fast and honor your efforts! I cannot wait to take this 21-day journey with you.

January 3, 2017

Find Your Flow PREVIEW

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I cannot wait to kick off this brand New Year with our brand new series, Find Your Flow! We all want 2017 to be a year where we live in the flow, but first you have to find it. That’s what this series is all about as we take a 21-day journey together. To Find Your Flow, I’m challenging you to dedicate 21 days (Jan. 9-29) to prayer and fasting. When you pray and fast, you give up something that brings you physical enjoyment and satisfaction for something that will bring you spiritual enjoyment and satisfaction. Fasting provides a “shock” to your system by eliminating something you love for a spiritual purpose. During these 21 days, you may choose to eliminate meals or a specific type of food, media, or even an activity that you love. And don’t worry, I’ll be here to help you along the journey with loads of encouragement, tools, and resources! Here’s a little of what you can expect:

• Resources and articles at watersedgechurch.net/21days
• Encouraging blog posts here at StuHodges.com
• Daily encouragement on Social Media
• Prayer gatherings on your campus throughout the journey
• Prayer gatherings via Facebook Live
• Sunday services that are designed to help you and those you love Find Your Flow.

As you can tell, it’s going to be an incredible start to an incredible 2017! So get ready now to…FIND YOUR FLOW!

January 2, 2017

Sunday’s Top Ten: 2017 NYD WEC OE

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1. I am filled with expectation and anticipation and I believe that the way you start something matters.
2. I want to start things right, and here you are, starting off the new year right – giving your first day, giving your best day to God as we begin this brand new year that I believe is going to exceed every dream and every prayer and every hope that you have for it.
3. We’re going to review some of our greatest lessons learned from 2016 by taking a look at a few of the sermons that I believe really defined the year for us.
4. Be a tree by being planted, pruned, and plugged in.
5. One of the greatest ways to stay planted is by connecting in a Group.
6. The gap is the gift.
7. That was in large part what our Heart for The House Initiative was all about: It was all about expecting and believing and anticipating what God might do in 2017 and we’re believing with you – hoping with you – praying with you that this is the year where anything is truly possible in your life.
8. Anything’s possible if you just obey.
9. Is there any area of your life where you’re not obeying God, because if there is, why not make it a New Year’s Day determination, that this year will be a year marked by obedience to God?
10. We’re beginning a brand new series on Sunday called Find Your Flow but I’m most excited about the subtitle: 21 Days To A New You and on this Sunday we will begin a 21-day journey as a church of prayer and fasting that I think is going to change you.

December 23, 2016

Christmas Eve EVE!

December 22, 2016

It’s Almost Christmas, BUT…There’s Still Time!

cmas2I woke up this morning and came face to face with the reality that there are only 2 more days until Christmas! Only 2 more days! You could get overwhelmed and think to yourself, there’s so much to do and so little time! Or you could calm your nerves and remind yourself, at least there’s still time! There’s still time to buy a last minute gift for a friend or text a loved one to say Merry Christmas. There’s still time to hit the grocery store and bake your favorite Christmas cookies. There’s still time to decorate the house or take a drive to look at Christmas lights. While all of these are important ideas that take time, here are two things that you still have time to do that could literally be life-changing!

1. There’s still time to download a ticket for A Waters Edge Christmas on Saturday, December 24. The service is going to be remarkable and the experience will bring Christmas home to your heart! We utilize tickets to ensure that everyone has a seat at the service time and campus location of their choice. Don’t delay, get your tickets today…while there’s still time.
2. There’s still time to invite a friend to A Waters Edge Christmas. Inviting doesn’t have to be difficult and it doesn’t have to create awkward conversations. It can simply be an ask…”would you like to sit me at church this Saturday?” Your invitation can literally change a life. It could be the greatest gift you give all season long. You’ve been putting it off – so go ahead now and text your friend, call your neighbor, stop by your co-worker’s desk…while there’s still time.

You only have 2 days left until Christmas! But you only have 1 day left until A Waters Edge Christmas. Get ready…while there’s still time.

December 19, 2016

Sunday’s Top Ten: O Holy Night

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1. On that first Christmas, God so loved you that He gave His absolute best gift to you…and so today, on this Christmas, because you so love God, you can give your absolute best gift back to Him.
2. During the craziness of Christmas, it’s easy to forget who is in the manger, and I hope our Heart For The House initiative has helped you with that this year.
3. A Thrill Of Hope The Weary World Rejoices.
4. The message of Christmas is a thrill of hope for your weariness.
5. And we give today because we have hope and we give because we want to share hope.
6. How awesome would it be today if you left from here overflowing with hope so that in every encounter, in every conversation, in every interaction, with every person you come across, a little hope just spills out of your life and into theirs because you’re overflowing with it.
7. Hope says I can see it, I can sense it, I can feel it, I’ve just got to wait for God to deliver it!
8. Hope is the ability to see things differently and as I end this year, I’m ending with gratitude because what God has done in the past gives me hope for the future.
9. My heart is for this house, because this house is touching hearts and bringing hope to people who desperately need it.
10. This is over and above what you currently give because you are sowing a seed to end this year that I believe will cause a great harvest in the next year not only in our church, but in your life.

December 12, 2016

Sunday’s Top Ten: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

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So thankful for Mike Hancock and for the message he shared with us yesterday!

1. How do you find peace in unavoidable circumstances?
2. How do you find peace with unbearable people?
3. How do you find peace when there are unexplainable problems?
4. How do you find peace you have uncontrollable worry?
5. I think these will help you find some peace that you have long needed.
6. Receive God’s Pardon
7. Run to God’s Presence
8. Respect God’s Principles
9. Rely on God’s Provision
10. When I pour into God, He’s going to pour back peace into me.