Thursday, January 12, 2017

DAYFOUR [Janurary11] #ReImagine21Days2017

I am a day behind on my blogging.

So, today I will share Prayer Requests for you to add. 

The Ramsdell Family
(Faith, Finances, Health, Unity, Power, Emotions, Anointing) 
Billy, Shanna, Elizabeth, Hosanna, Benjamin, Victoria, Elias

The Church
(Team Members, Finances, Plans, Logistics, Goals, Anointing)

The Church Team
(Leaders in Children, Worship, Admin, Seniors, Singles, Military, Outreach, Teaching, More)

The City & Pastors
(Unity, Hope, Church Planters, Gangs, Schools, Military, More)

Please keep us all in prayer during this 21 days. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

DAYTHREE [Janurary10] #ReImagine21Days2017

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Today is day three of our 21 days of prayer and fasting with #ReImagine21Days2017

Planting a church is an up and down experience already. I joke that my emotions used to flux up and down every few months, but now they do so every three days. 

Shanna and I make fun and share sarcasm about our experiences, but truth is, we are very serious about our future and the expectations we throw and speak into our future. 

This week, as I spend extra effort pressing in to find and hear and see what God is speaking to me, I am thankful he is not silent. 

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Expectations, Hunger, Thirst, and Desperation are all words in my Holy Ghost Vocabulary this week. 

A friend from Bible College (20 years ago) and I were having a FB conversation about Expectations. I wanted to share what I wrote to help you move forward in this new year and to shake of shame, doubt, hate, bitterness, distractions and boredom. 
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Here you go.   Joshua 3:5 "....Consecrate yourselves...for tomorrow...something amazing will happen....." 

1. I am not advocating for the lies that "More and Better" in worldly terms is our target and goal. 

2. I am not the Holy Spirit, who is our teacher and who will interpret God's Word and the world around us to us, way better than I can, especially in a personal contextual kind of way. 

3. I believe church people and professing Christians in the US are largely stuck in Egypt. They love the comfort it provides and are deceived about the slavery to stuff, media, food, entertainment, and someone else telling them how to live. They have yet to cross the river into the promise land, never to look back, and to learn to see, hear and follow God on their own. 

4. That leads me to this question, in light of expecting more, I would ask, "what is the Spirit of God saying". 

5. Expectations, Hunger and Thirst are the lifeline that attaches us to our faith journey. When we found salvation through Christ, we were hungry for change and we expected God's Grace and Love to fill our hearts as we confessed and believed and repented. (Most didn't repent). But, we believed the preacher-man when he offered eternal life. Our expectation of eternal life and a life filled with love on this earth went up, so we turned to him. It's our Conscience saying to, run to the cross. If a person is not hungry for the salvation offered through the cross, running to the cross means nothing. If I sit at the table to eat dinner, have a plate put in front of me full of food but I am not hungry enough to eat, I just don't value the dinner nor do I eat. 

6. Expectation, in my opinion, is the breeding ground for what God wants to do in our future. It's were we meet the promises of God and activate them in prayer before they even take place. We begin to hear the Spirit of God about our future and we begin praying into it and expecting it. Not in terms of material things...while that could be an area we see, but in terms of our future. Our health, our job, our family, our city, our assignment, our friendships, our money, our hope, our character, our wisdom, our church, etc...... 

Henry Blackaby taught us to see where God was at work and join him. Why would we do that if we did not expect something amazing and Godly to happen. We wouldn't, and many don't. Those who here that teaching and say..."Yes, God is doing something great and I will just see where he is working and join him".... they have to activate expectations and act on a hunger and thirst for God in order to join God in what he is doing, in a meaningful way.
Lastly, we expect so little from God. We think he created the family, the nature, the church, the Bible, the government, etc.....but, we act like he is too small to fix any of it or use any of it. We live in fear, opinions, arguments and ideas, instead of faith that God is in charge of EVERYTHING and actively involved in EVERYTHING. 

Research: Ask 20 people to stop right now and write down what they hope and expect to happen in the next 24 months. Give them categories of areas of life to help. Most of them will create a "wish list" at best. They expect little of their future, and mostly, when they get there, little will be waiting to meet them. Wow, that was not short....
LikeReply14 hrs

Click for a Praise Video that Helps Build Expectations

I am expecting greater moves of God in my future. Not something to happen to me, but for me and those who do life with me to BE the move of God our homes need, our city needs. 

I hunger for his presence and thirst for his love. I hunger and thirst for wisdom and insight, for the power of the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of Jesus, to once again fill me. 

My name is Billy and I am addicted to the love of God through Christ, and I can't do anything about it. 

Billy Ramsdell @ ReImagine Church

Monday, January 9, 2017

DAYTWO [Janurary9] #ReImagine21Days2017


Someone asked me yesterday why Fasting was so important. 

Well, the wind was violent last night and turned over my trampoline in the back yard. We are trying to tie it down so it doesn't crash into the neighbor's house. 

My car was wrecked yesterday. My daughter was 5 hours late getting back to college, 4am. My other daughter who wrecked the car is having health issues but going back to school with a very demanding week she cannot just stop. My hair is still falling out, my bank account is not always where I want it to be and my foster puppies seem to think going to bathroom in my house is an Olympic Sport. 

One of my kids vomited at the neighbors house, I need glasses to read small print these days and my right knee really hurts when I run and twist on it. 

I could go on and on. 
But, how does this relate to Fasting. 

These days and weeks will come and go. Drama, celebration, sadness, pain, prosperity, laughter, hate, joy, anger and confusion will always be with us. Life will move up and down, slow and fast, left and right. 

But, when do we ever get intentional enough to focus on the giver of life, the creator of all? We know our problems well, our opinions, our ideas, our hurts, pains, successes and failures. We talk about them, think about them, work on them and become experts on them. But, when, just when do we say the truth about where we really are, even if we doubt or disbelieve, and when do we try to seek the one who has spoken the world into existence? When do we admit our dependence on the comfort life in this country allows us, with the love for our stuff and our pleasures, more than the one who gave us the freedom to enjoy those pleasures. Even if we struggle to believe, when do we stop to address the struggle. 

Even if we don't know how, if we are not sure we believe, even if we are inexperienced at this level of purpose and focus, here are some reason to think about a dedicated time of prayer & fasting. 

First: In general, some amount of fasting from foods has proven to be healthy and cleansing to our bodies, even at the cellular level. And, just look around, most of us could use some days passing by the drive thru - if you know what I mean. I seem to gain 2-3 pounds a year, and my body tells me it feels toxic, so general fasting helps me and you, to be more healthy. But, that's not why we are fasting. 

Second: Fasting for some is a ritual, a tradition, a practice that fits inside a belief system that is usually religious in some way. There is meditation, sacrifice and focus that comes from these dedicated times of self denial, and for the value of turning away from indulgences to isolate, meditate and contemplate, I align. The religious motivation for me is different, meaning I fast not for tradition or to gain status or value, rather, I attempt to bring my religion to life, by passing on from words to actions. 

Third: Most personally and importantly, the type of fasting we encourage is done in quiet, with personal dedication as it's primary goal. Not to get on the good side of God, but to get myself on the side of God. Not to earn the right to be holy, but to be holy. Not to please God by denying myself and causing myself displeasure, rather, to deny myself, incidentally, causing my flesh displeasure, only to find myself pleasing to the God I say I love and serve. It's personal. It's the opportunity to draw close, not unlike a honeymoon, a retreat, or sabbatical. It's a time to say no to the most earthly demands of my daily life, in order to say yes to the most divine and spiritual source of life to ever exist. Before I knew God, I would have discounted the idea and even mocked it. Today, after serving the God of the Bible, of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob, the God we call Elohim, Adonai, and Jehovah and the Son he sent to live, die and rise from the dead, for my salvation, the one we call Yeshua, Emmanuel & Jesus, for over 25 years, today, I still find myself desperate for his wisdom, grace, power and hope, I just want to spend time with HIM, HE is the reason.

HE is why it is so important to fast. 
HE is the object of our affection. 
HE is the source of our hope and encouragement. 
HE is the center of our universe. 
HE is the only compassionate savior. 
HE is the prophet, priest, king, friend, teacher & redeemer. 
HE alone is my God and Jesus is my Lord and the Spirit is my comforter, teacher, friend and power. 

Knowing HIM and his fullness is the reason we fast.

Fourth: Yes, it's personal, but it's also corporate. Meaning this. We seek to know God more on a personal level, but we seek the move of God in our group, our city, our homes and our nation on a corporate level. As a people, a team, a church, or a family, we can harness the power of unity and collective focus to defeat the works of darkness and ignorance through seasons of desperate cries for help. We are not begging. God is not deaf to our prayers. However, the intense nature of fasting and prayer seems to have always been a way to create special attention to and from the God we together serve. 

Historical Evidence of Fasting. 

Joel 2:12 - God gives a people who are destructive and prideful an opportunity to receive compassion and mercy through brokenness and a changed heart. The prophet calls the people to "return" to God, with all their hearts and the process of focus would be with fasting, & weeping & mourning, not merely over the effects of sin, but over the heart of pride and wickedness they had developed. 

Jonah 3:5-9 - A City is called to fast. 

Matthew 6:16-18 - Correct ways to approach fasting. 

Ezra 8:21-23 - Seeking God in Prayer

Daniel 9:3-5 - Seeking God through repentance 

Nehemiah 1:4 - A response, turning toward God

Acts 14:23 - When making big decisions with spiritual authority needed

1 Corinthians 7:5 - For times of focus, managed properly

There are tens of thousands of documented moves of God in the world through a people who pray, fast and seek his will. I only hope to join the ranks of them who have seen God move in extraordinary power and love. 

I'm just one man on the journey. A New Creation in Christ and I want to receive all God has for me and to be HIS instrument for life and change in the world of growing darkness. Use Me!!!

Billy Ramsdell @ ReImagine Church

Sunday, January 8, 2017

DAYONE [Janurary8] #ReImagine21Days2017

I am trying something new today. Beginning 21 days of prayer and fasting, I am doing liquid only, and not the fun liquids like Mountain Dew or Adult Beverages. 

I was up praying, reading and writing most of the night, so I am also short on sleep. 

Key Thoughts

1. Theme Verse is Joshua 3:5 

AMP: "And Joshua said to the people, Sanctify yourselves [that is, separate yourselves for a special holy purpose], for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you."

KJV: "And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you."

NIV: "Joshua told the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you."

NASB: "Then Joshua said to the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you."

2. Consecrate myself "TO" something, not just away from something. Sanctify, Consecrate and Separate myself "TO" a special holy purpose in God. 

3. Pray over Categories: the names of God and truth of God over my life in categories and write them down. 

a. Family (home, wife, kids, culture, environments, plans)

b. Finances (producer & giver, not consumer & hoarder of things, strategies & plans to leave legacy & give generously)

c. Faith (personal, family & church to grow in a powerful faith that is not boring or based in tradition, but based in revelation and experience and truth and love, active and producing results of supernatural)

d. Future (to see, hear and speak what God is saying for the future in every category)

4. Worship & Preaching: I am using YouTube to listen to worship, Elevation Worship and others with powerful lyrics and cries for God's heart.  I am listening to Cory Russell from IHOP's, One Thing Conference. 

5. Praying & Meditating on who God is. 

a. Elohim "The Strong Creator God"

b. Adonai "Master Over All"