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2018 CONSECRATION – IMPACT CHURCH

What is Biblical Fasting?

Biblical fasting is a spiritual discipline that is defined as a voluntary abstinence from food with the purpose of realigning our heart’s desires according to God’s will for us. Life has the potential to make us lose focus on what matters most; even the calmest sea will make us drift. Therefore, it is important to ensure that we are anchored unto Jesus Christ (the author and finisher of our faith). Biblical fasting is sometimes like pushing the reset button.

How to Engage in Effective Fasting

Abstinence from food: This is a humbling experience, and it awakens the spirit to the things of God.

Prayer: Abstinence from food without prayer is close to starvation. The essence of fasting is to seek God’s face in prayer.

Bible reading and study: In your time of fasting, you should read and study God’s manual (the Bible) for a victorious life. It is also advisable to keep a journal of God’s revelation while fasting.

Confess your sins: This is a time to truly humble ourselves before God, confessing our sins and seeking help to be strong henceforth.

Thanksgiving and praises: Sing God’s praises. Your praises invoke God’s action force. 2 Chronicles 20: 21-22, NIV reads; 

After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: ‘Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.’ As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.” 

Television and Social Media: You may abstain from watching TV and social media as much as possible during your fast.

There are 4 Ways You Can Engage in This Fast

Complete Fast: This fast calls for drinking only liquids, typically water with light juices as an option.

Selective Fast: This fast involves removing certain elements from your diet. One example of a selective fast is the Daniel Fast, during which you remove meat, sweets, or bread from your diet and consume water and juice for fluids and fruits and vegetables for food.

Partial Fast: This fast is sometimes called the Jewish Fast and involves abstaining from eating any food in the morning and afternoon. This can either correlate to specific times of the day, such as 6:00 am to 3:00 pm, or from sunup to sundown.

Soul Fast: This fast is common for those who do not have much experience fasting food, who have health issues that prevent them from fasting food, or who wish to refocus certain areas of their life that are out of balance. For instance, someone might select to abstain from using social media or watching television for the duration of the fast, and then choose to carefully bring that element back into their life in an orderly fashion at the conclusion of the fast.

Please note: You are exempt from dietary fasting if you have medical conditions that requires you to eat, or if you are a pregnant or nursing mother. In this case, you may strictly adhere to abstinence from watching TV and engage in prayer, bible study and the other above mentioned exercises.  

Impact One Prayer: God, please give me one person to impact with your love and invite to church

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11 things to do to prepare for Easter

 

  1. Take time to plan out your whole week. Do a check list for everything you have to accomplish; then allocate the tasks to the days in which you will accomplish them. 
  2. Take time to pray and meditate. Pray for God to bless your week and help you be productive. Break away from the chaos and the planning and spend time with God--refueling yourself.
  3. Take time for yourself. Stop and catch an old movie that makes you laugh that you've not seen in a long time. Take evening walks, hit the gym... reflect on the true meaning of Easter.
  4. Take time for your family. Include some family time as you plan your week. A short hour having ice cream together or walking on the beach can be a major deposit that sustains your family on a busy week like this one.
  5. Take time for your spouse. Replenish your spouse’s emotional tank with small little deposits of quality time. Avoid dealing with issues that have been a source of conflict and just focus on building one another. 
  6. Take time to rest. Fight for 8-hour night sleep throughout the week. Don't wait until the night before Easter to get a good night’s rest. Rest is all about cumulative value. 
  7. Take time to shop. Traffic will be crazy the closer you get to the weekend. Try to be done with all your shopping by Thursday. All the nice Easter outfits you need, makeup, as well as groceries.  
  8. Take time to prepare all your clothes three days leading up to Easter Sunday. Which means have everything you will wear Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 
  9. Take time to prepare your weekend meals in advance. Take time on Friday or Saturday morning to prepare all the meals you will need to last you until Sunday night.
  10. Take time to prepare to serve. Go through your church assignments in advance. Practice and rehearse; prepare way in advance. 
  11. Take time to serve others. The essence of Easter is all about sacrifice. Jesus showed us this great example. Allocate some time to doing something good for those who are less fortunate. Take the focus away from yourself. It will replenish your soul.  

AMAZING: First Year of Pastoring!

YEAR OF SACRIFICES!

I'm super grateful for my family. In the last year, we stepped out in faith with an amazing team of people to launch Impact Church. We walked away from a comfortable salary and emptied our savings account to give towards the start of this great church. Since most of our dear and long time friends were already committed to other churches, and we wanted to honor that, we reached out to new people we had no prior relationships with to form a team as the Lord led us.  So we began on faith with mostly people we had not known for a long time. There have been many sacrifices, but we are honored and grateful for the work God has done at Impact Church in such a short time. 

THE GREAT REWARD! 

Over 200 people have been saved! Whether through our Sunday morning services, iGroups, Next Steps Classes or Marriage Nights, many lives have been transformed by the power of God. In less than a year, we are already a church that serves over 400 people, with weekly Sunday morning attendance of about 200-300. To God be all the glory. Our God is faithful. The team we get to serve with is world class! They are family! Though we had no prior relationships with most of our team before launching, they’ve become the greatest friends and simply family to us. We learn so much from them. It's been a joy pastoring and serving along side such a great group of people. Thank you Jesus!

14 Things That I Think Have Kept Us Going as a Family:

  1. Daily prayer individually, as a couple, and as a family and with prayer partners (lots of prayer)
  2. Eating dinner together regularly as a family 
  3. Michelle and I taking individual time to rest and unwind (Rest). I rest on Monday mornings and Michelle goes out on Monday night (without kids) to a cafe somewhere to relax to a latte and a magazine!
  4. Our family staff meeting organizes our life and reduces and defuses stress. Every Thursday morning, Michelle and I do what we call a “Family Staff Meeting” where we talk about everything needed to organize our lives.
  5. Family time all throughout the week around our busy schedule. Even though our huge chunk of family time is on Saturdays and Sunday afternoons, we take an hour here, two hours there all through out the week. Especially before and after dinner.  
  6. Praying for the people we serve with every week makes our love grow for them. It's easy to serve alongside people you love and truly care for. You will automatically feel a bond of connection with people you pray for. It’s impossible to despise people you pray for.
  7. Weekly meetings with our team leaders. I trust our team leaders and I release them to lead without being micro managed. We are able to pastor well because they take responsibility for their departments and they own them. They are simply GREAT at what they do. We feel humbled to work with such excellent leaders. I want to honor all the Impact Team Leaders and iTeam Members. Because of you, many are being impacted with the Gospel. Because of you, the load has not been unbearable. 
  8. I prepare my messages months in advance. This allows me to spend time and enjoy my family without pressure
  9. Spending time weekly praying with my pastor and prayer partner provides a lot of life. I spend my Thursdays at Jubilee Church praying with Pastor Matt Thompson and then I write songs with one of my best friends Phil Thompson. I receive great mentoring from Pastor Matt. Grateful!
  10. We hang out with Michelle’s family a lot in Haverhill, MA, and this gives us life.
  11. We FaceTime my parents back home in Malawi, Africa and they are a huge source of life. My father is my Bible professor and teacher. Mom is my anchor. Mom and dad pray for Michelle and I, our kids, and our team at Impact daily. Mom also has a women's weekly prayer group that just prays for my family. My dad has literally hired people to do nothing but to pray for my family and I. (Prayer protects us) 
  12. I regularly go spend time with my Bishop and covering, Bishop G.A Thompson. He is my spiritual father, a great man of God, a brilliant mind, and a huge source of life to me. I am blessed to have such a once in a life time opportunity!
  13. Michelle and I work hard on our marriage. It's more important than anything else we do after our relationship with God. In the midst of our busy schedules, we fight for our date nights and quality time together.
  14. Lastly, having an attitude of gratefulness sustains us. We truly consider it a privilege to serve. We love Jesus first. We are not married to our church. Jesus comes first, then our family. Impact Church and everything else is a bonus. We are grateful that God chose us to serve His people.

First year of pastoring has been fun! It has been a lot of work (A LOT) but it has been a joy living in obedience to God. It has been fulfilling to see lives changing and impacted by Jesus. We believe that the second year will be EVEN GREATER: Year of acceleration, explosion and exponential growth. To God be the glory! Thank you to our family and friends. Thank you to our Bishop, pastors and covering. Thank you to the amazing Impact Church team leaders. Thank you to all those who serve on iTeams. You are selfless and Kingdom minded. Thank you to all those who give to the vision. Many are being saved and impacted because of you. Thank you to all those that attend Impact every Sunday! You are family! Let's live for God! Let's live to bring Him glory! Let's win the world for Jesus! That's what its all about. 

Zenzo Matoga

Impact Church, Pastor.

 

7 Ways to Reduce Fights With Your Spouse During the Holiday Season

January is not only known to be the coldest month of the year, and, apparently, it has also proven to be the coldest in relationships as well. The first month of the new year is reportedly the most popular time of year when people file for divorce. Rumor has it in the judicial circles that January is nicknamed "Divorce Month.” One of the major reasons why divorce is high in January is that the holidays immensely stretch marriages due to the pressures of life. Pre-existing and neglected issues also become magnified and come into sharper focus when stressed-out couples spend more time together over the holidays. Below are 7 biblical principles to help you enjoy the holidays as a couple and arm you with ammunition against stress and strife.

  1. Choose to accept what you have no power to change: If you don’t have enough money for all the gifts you would like to buy for people, or whether you are dealing with the tough fact that you will not be able to be with your side of the family this year, just accept it and don’t try to stress your spouse about something you both have no power to change. Focus on what you can change. You have the power to change your attitude on how you respond to the challenges. Remember you are on the same team. As long as you have each other, you can survive anything together. Philippians 4:6-7, Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
  2. Think through and plan each day in advance: Take time to think through the days together, communicate, then come up with a tentative schedule to serve you as a guide. This will reduce a great deal of unnecessary fights that are ignited by the stress of disorder and chaos. Think of as many things as you may want to do and organize them into a schedule. Remember, stressed people, stress people. Psalm 90:12 Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. 
  3. Choose to be flexible: Don’t freak out… It’s the holidays… it’s normal for things to not happen on schedule… it’s normal to experience some setbacks. Don’t let that rob your entire holiday season and set you off into depression. Roll with the punches! Have fun! Anticipate the curve balls! Laugh about it! Contribute to the well being of your family by choosing to be flexible! Philippians 4:12, I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
  4. Give each other some alone time: This season is about reflecting and being thankful. It’s about counting your blessings, not once, not twice, but daily. There is a lot for you to be thankful for. Allow your spouse to sneak away for a moment for some alone time before or after a long day. The quicker your spouse can refresh and get refilled, the better for you and your family. Isaiah 40:31, But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
  5. Protect each other: As you meet so many people (family, old friends, people you didn’t expect to meet, ex-lovers, etc) remember that your spouse comes first. You are one flesh. Be sure to look out for your spouse’s feelings and interests first. Some people are divisive even when they mean well. Refuse to take other people’s sides no matter what. Stand for and with your spouse. Be wise about where you go. Be cautious about the kind of conversations you get involved in. If you or your spouse feel uncomfortable about where you are, prepare a discreet signal that says, “It’s time to go…” Matthew 10:16, Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
  6. Party and laugh together: Take advantage of the holiday and time off from work to carve out some time to just watch a movie, watch a comedy, and just have fun together. Be intentional about having a good time. If not now, then when? Put the kids to bed in good time and have a plan to party, eat junk food for once and have lots of intimate time. Do something out of the ordinary. Add the “merry” in your “marriage!” Proverbs 17:22, A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.
  7. Do good together: This season is really more about giving than receiving. Take time to think through a real meaningful gift that you can give your spouse, but beyond that, think of something good you can do together for others who are less fortunate. Visit a nursing home together; visit a homeless shelter; ship a gift overseas or across town to a less fortunate family. Instead of fighting each other, focus on fighting for good together. Remember that what you do for others together will bring a blessing back into your home and marriage. Proverbs 19:17, If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord and he will repay you!

By Zenzo Matoga . Impact Church Pastor . 

10 Tips to a Healthy Marriage

Could it be that the reason over 50% of all marriages end up in the drain is because we are trying to operate God's invention our way? Marriage was created and originated by God! So in order to be successful at it, we have to do it God's way. Genesis 2:22, “And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. The scripture above clearly shows that marriage is God's creation. With growing pressures on marriages, here are some basic but significantly practical and Biblically-based tips that will help you to enjoy harmony with your spouse! 

1. Cultivate Trust

Genesis 2:25, And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. Nakedness is all about removing every mask and exposing every part about you, including the bad parts. If you are going to be successful in marriage God says be naked before one another. Come bare. No secrets. Nothing to hide. No judgment. Just nakedness. Trust is created by making a commitment to be 100% honest and transparent with each other.

2. Cultivate Friendship

Genesis 2:18-20, God said, “It’s not good for the Man to be alone; I’ll make him a helper, a companion.” Companionship (Friendship) is one of the core reasons why God created marriage. Friendship is one of every human’s core needs. God is clearly saying to us that without cultivating friendship with your spouse, you are simply not going to survive. Friendship is the glue that holds your marriage together. Do your marriage God's way: make your spouse your best friend (the person you most enjoy doing life with!).

3. Prioritize your Spouse

Genesis 2:24, Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Before you get married, your father and mother are the most important people in your life. So God is establishing a powerful principle when He says you have to leave your father and mother (the most important people in your life) if you are going to be successful in marriage. In other words, God is saying, to succeed, your spouse has to become your priority now--the most important person in your life. 

4. Cultivate Agreement  

Amos 3:3, Can two walk together unless they agree? Many people divorce not because they don't love each other, but because they are not walking in agreement. Agreement is simply making a mutual decision that we will both sacrifice our personal interests to do what benefits our marriage the most. How willing are you to walk away from things you once considered important in order to pursue what unites you? Agreement is the glue that holds you together. 

5. Say "it’s over" saying "it’s over" 

Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Some of the most powerful words that you can say to your spouse are the words God said to us, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." This has to be a commitment you make to each other. Your spouse needs to know that no matter how much you fight or get on each others nerves, they have your commitment that you will stay till death do you part. That's doing marriage God's way.

6. Forgive quickly 

Ephesians 4:26, In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.  God expects you and me to forgive our spouses quickly. How do I know that? He set the standard high by saying do not allow the sun to go down while you are still angry. Releasing forgiveness quickly allows you to walk in great harmony with your spouse. Be quick to saying sorry with sincerity. It’s like pouring water onto a fire. 

7. Laugh at your issues 

Proverbs 17:22, A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones. Did you know that there is medicine for your marriage? Yes! Laughter is like medicine to your marriage. Learn to laugh with each other, at each other and at yourselves. Don't take life too seriously all the time. Laugh at your arguments. Laugh at the snot on your spouses face. Laugh when you are broke. After all, worrying and attacking each other does not fix the problems. You might as well laugh about it.  

DOWNLOAD "THE WORRY FREE LIFE E-BOOK" BY ZENZO MATOGA

8. Lots of Sex

Genesis 2:24, Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. A healthy sex life is vital to a healthy marriage because it’s a major part of the process of 2 people becoming one flesh. Sex fulfills a need for intimacy that He put in all of us. There are 4 reasons why God created sex: 1. Sex fulfills intimacy between a couple. 2. Sex brings much pleasure to a couple. 3. Sex allows us to procreate. 4. Sex protects us from temptation.  

9. Get help

Proverbs 11:14, For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers (counselors). If you want to do marriage God's way, get a marriage counselor. The success of your marriage is connected to the strength of your advisers. And your failure is a result of the lack of guidance… We go to school to train for our careers and it should make sense to learn about marriage. There are many marriages which would have made it if they had only sought help. Don't be ashamed. Don't wait until trouble comes. Get help now. 

10. Pray together daily 

James 5:16, Therefore...pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Prayer is a powerful weapon that can strengthen, heal and protect your marriage. It’s because marriage is really not just a union between two parties, it’s a three party deal. God is the third party because you are connected by Him in marriage. So in order to succeed you have to include God in your marriage. Prayer includes God in your marriage. When God is included, your marriage will never sink, because God can never sink.

Zenzo Matoga, Pastor, Impact Church. www.impactpeople.org