Heart Break Journal – Day Five | September 4th

Carey – 5:42 a.m.
Up early to read through Daniel 9 and pray through the phone book.  This is day five without food for me (and day five of giving something up for many of you).  Random Day Five thoughts (and these are random):

  • I am surprised at how I am not hungry.  I expected to be starving, and that would remind me that "man does not live by bread alone."  Instead, this gentle feeling of being satisfied, content and alive without food reminds me (ironically) that I do not live by bread alone.  This is the longest I have gone without food before by two days.
  • When praying through the phone book, I just get overwhelmed.  God knows every one of these lives.  Every one of these lives has a story when it comes to God – why they trust Jesus, reject Him, or ignore him.  There is pain, joy and struggle in every family.  God knows. I can just pray.
  • God has opened up fresh conversations in my life with people from Connexus, people I used to pastor, church leaders and more.  It’s a unique week.  What doors/dialogues is God opening?
  • Daniel and Nehemiah’s humility amazes me.  How two fairly righteous dudes can confess sin and have their hearts broken so long amazes me.
  • God’s "reputation" is on my heart (as it was for Daniel and Nehemiah).  How does my life/our life as a congregation enhance or demean God’s reputation?  When people see us, does their view of God go up or down?  Am I being called to be more passionate about increasing God’s reputation in the community through living a life of greater integrity – as a follower of Jesus and together as a community?
  • There is no downside to fasting and praying.  I am trying to resist the temptation to believe that we can "pull God’s strings" when we fast.  Instead, I want to come humbly before Him, listen, pray, let Him move and hope that an entire community here’s his voice.

Today Rich and I are hosting public prayer at 7 a.m..  Rich is in Tudhope Park in Orillia and I’m at the Georgian Mall (near Moxies) in Barrie.

What’s stirring in your heart this morning?  What prompting/conviction is God stirring inside you?

Rich – 9:14 am
Another great morning of prayer for the city of Orillia.  Today we were spending time focusing on families.  It was refreshing to spend time thinking again about the families in our communities.  God’s heart is that people from all flavours of families would feel welcome and engaged with our ministry.  I think we sometimes think families are a mom, a dad, a couple kids and a dog.  That just isn’t in the picture of "family" in our community today.  One in four kids in Ontario is born into a single parent home.  Same gender parenting is a growing trend.  Just this summer I’ve had two good friends of mine have their husbands walk out on them and their kids.  Rather than bemoan the fact that the family has changed,  my prayer is that people from all configurations of families would experience Connexus as a positive part of their journey as a family. 

I’ve also been thinking a bunch about this passage this morning. "We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy." Daniel 9:18 My experience with fasting in the past and indeed this time as well has been that it changes me.  It’s not about some "grand act of righteousness" but about a normal interaction with God.  God has been (and continues to be) so gracious with me . . . coming to prayer seems more about listening to God and being changed in the dialogue than hopeing to "trick ’em" into something that I want.  I continue to ask God to show me in concrete ways the things in my world that breaks God’s heart.  How are you being shaped this week?

(Oh yeah . . . so far this week 24,575 steps have been walked.  Getting closer to the goal!)

Carey – 6:55 p.m.
Honesty check. I am tired, grumpy and ready for the fast to end.  Funny, because I had a great day.  Anyway, two more days to go…praying tonight that God will turn my fatigue and grumpiness into a greater desire to walk with Him and hear His heart.

Thankful, though, that so many are on this journey…what’s on your heart tonight?

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3 Comments

  1. Joey says, September 4, 2008 at 6:52 am

    When praying for the Barrie schools, here are the kinds of things we prayed for: for bullied kids and their bullies too, for lonely kids and outsiders and kids who don't fit in, for kids in the care of the CSA, that kids contemplating suicide would find help instead, for the teachers, for the extra-curricular programs, for good decisions about drugs and alcohol, for the police that come into the high school, for parents who struggle with their kids and for kids who struggle with their parents, for a caring adult to be in the presence of each child's life, for the presence of Jesus to be in the schools.

    When praying for the churches we prayed for Christianity unity, for volunteers, for pastors and all staff, that the Barrie churches would be successful at reaching more people, for youth programs across the city, for adult education programs such as Alpha across the city, for all the denominations (Presbyterian, Catholic, United, Anglican, Lutheran, Baptist, and all the non-denominational and community churches) and we prayed that the churches would show their love for Jesus within the walls of the church and outside in the world. And that revival would come upon all the Simcoe county churches.

    It was so awesome and inspiring to pray together in community in this general way! I hope we do this again some time.

  2. Lesley says, September 5, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    I have been praying about the families in my phone book and based on that and on these postings I decided to also walk around my neighbourhood praying for people I know and people I don't know. It has been great. I always wondered about an old man a couple of doors down but he never was around. When I was walking slowly by his house and praying for him, he came out of his house and we had a lovely chat. Also, there is an older women (I don't know her, I've only seen her) with a highly disabled adult daughter and as I was going by her house praying for her, she came out and we talked too. In both cases not about church or Jesus – just getting to know each other. It was great. I'm enjoying these prayers walks and the phone book praying. Other Connexus friends have also mentioned they are praying for people in the neighbourhood too. This praying thing is so good for Barrie – and US. THANK YOU.

    Lesley

  3. Carey Nieuwhof says, September 5, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    Lesley…that's so encouraging. Thanks for the feedback! Excited to see what God does this weekend and beyond.

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