“While the human body can survive only a short time without air or water, it can go for many days without food before starvation begins.” ~Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline
We generally think of fasting as an individual spiritual discipline. The first words Jesus said about fasting question the motives of those who fast as part of an individual routine. “When you fast…” he says in Matthew 6. But there is great benefit and great biblical example of corporate fasting as a group of God’s people who want to focus their corporate energies toward a common matter of importance. Just as the congregations in Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch prayed and fasted during the appointment of their elders (Acts 14:22-23) and before the commissioning of their missionaries (Acts 13:2-3), the Legacy church today is fasting and praying together as we begin our process of selecting new elders. We’re using our normal eating time to pray. We’re allowing our hunger pangs to remind us that we are submitting our wills to God and not to our growling appetites. And we’re making ourselves open to God’s direction during this time as we seek his guidance for Legacy.
There’s something neat about feeling my stomach growl and knowing I have hundreds of other brothers and sisters here who are going through the same thing today for the same reasons. It’s encouraging and inspiring to know we’re all doing this together. I got a text message from a buddy late last night:
“Fasting prep—big dinner, three chocolate chip cookies, Snickers, and two bowls of cereal. I hope I make it. If you don’t see me Wednesday, check the morgue or Pizza Garden.”
Isn’t it great to be going through the same thing and thinking the same things together with the whole church? No donuts or breakfast burritos at the Bible study this morning. We spent all of our 75-minutes together today talking about and praying about the elder selection process, asking for God’s guidance and wisdom. The corporate fast can be a wonderful and powerful experience when the people are prepared and are of one mind.
To the folks here at Legacy, let’s use this time to also consider your part in this body. Your voice, your vision, your discernment in this very important matter is no less important than anyone else’s. Your participation is critical. Please take your responsibility to the body seriously. And you men who will be asked to serve as elders: you, too. Take your role, your calling, your responsibilities to this branch of God’s Kingdom seriously. We need you.
A powerful time with my brothers down in Waco yesterday. Nine preachers and an elder. We’ve been getting together monthly since March for mutual edification and study and prayer. Yesterday was the first time we were all together in the same room since David Hunter’s wife, Denise, died. David is the preacher at the church in Robinson, just south of Waco. Not a dry eye in the house as David re-told and re-lived that awful week. And as we gathered around him for an intense period of prayer and blessing, I was so overwhelmed with gratitude to our Father for giving us friends and family to minister to us when we deal with life’s injuries and injustices. And so thankful that his Son has overcome all those things in his life and death and resurrection and that we can all participate fully in that awesome victory.
Legacy is the organizing church, the hub—I’m not sure what you call us—for the Lifeline Chaplaincy program that’s being established now in Tarrant County. We had over 125 people here for a kickoff breakfast and meeting Saturday morning representing 12 different congregations. Praise God in advance for all the wonderful things he’s going to do with us and through us as we join together to visit and minister to the sick.
I’ll write more about the Cowboys next week. My policy on the Cowboys is that if I can’t say anything bad, I shouldn’t say anything at all.
Speaking of football, The Kingdom, The Kids, and The Cowboys Top 20 College Football Poll is out. I posted it late last night on the “KK&C Top 20” page. And I’m adding it below in this post.
USC retains its stranglehold on #1. Florida jumps up three spots to #2. Georgia drops to #3. OU stays at #4. And Missouri’s in at #5. Texas and Texas Tech retain their positions at #8 and #13. Of course, some of our panelists are unable to keep their biases from impacting the integrity of this thing. Paul puts OU (zero u) at #20 in his poll while Jerry puts Texas (tu) at #19. And Richard won’t rank USC #1. He puts Southern Cal and Georgia as two #2s at the top of his list.
East Carolina debuts today at #16 while South Florida shows up for the first time at #19. Jim G’s not the only one casting votes for Fresno State this week. Ohio State fell hard from #3 to #7. More of our pollsters are talking smack, mostly against the Buckeyes and the Longhorns, although a nice theological debate is brewing over the Arizona State mascot. Larry attached the audio from the Mississippi State fight song to his poll. And I’m not publishing anymore comments about Oregon’s uniforms unless they’re really funny or really original.
September 9, 2008
1. USC (9-1st place votes; 306 total) “Will take Jim Tressel’s overrated crew behind the Coliseum woodshed” JimG; “They’re going to destroy Ohio State!” MR; “Trojans are licking their chops!” PD; ”Go USC, but only for this week” JennG; “Sorry MD, too many horses. USC 27, Ohio St. 17″ SF; “They will kill Ohio St” JK; “Needs a better kicker” BW; “The NFL is proving USC is a bunch of frauds” LT;
2. Florida (1; 275) “Listen, you can hear it: Te-bow! Te-bow! Te-bow!” LT; “Defense wins championships-gratuitous cliche’” CJ; “The Florida-USC National Championship Game will be sweet” KW; “Looking good, especially on defense” AG; “Speed kills. Vols may be in trouble in two weeks” SF; ”Has Urban Meyer joined Rick Neuheisel’s office pool?” JimG;
3. Georgia (3; 273) “A shaky 2-0, but still there” JR; “Overrated! Overrated!” CJ; “Number Two in the SEC” BW; “Refuse to put USC at the top when there’s a deserving SEC team” LT;
4. Oklahoma (1; 272) “I voted them number one, totally homer, I know. Cincy’s not exactly a dog” JR; “I like watching them play, but I’m tired of that Boomer song” KW; “Dominant team in Big 12″ AG; “Defense and special teams a bit ragged” PD; “This might be their year” LT; “The Sooner Schooner looks un-de-rail-able right now” JimG;
5. Missouri (250) “Really liking them this year” JennG; “Will get more respect from me if they win in Austin” CJ; “Chase Daniel is one heck of a football player” LT; ”Squatty quarterbacks are cool” KW; “104 points in two games!” AG; “I was tempted to move them way up” PD; “OU and Texas better keep an eye on the Tiger” LT (yuck, give me a break); “Most potent offense in college football?” JimG;
6. LSU (1; 247) “Still packed with athletes” AG; “Still defending champs” BW; “Gustav showed pity on Baton Rouge and I’ll do the same for one more week” LT;
7. Ohio St. (237) “For now” JK; “Mark it down, USC will roll!” JS; “Overrated before Well’s injury…they stink” RA; “Tressel’s failed to live up to ‘big game’ status…this trend will continue Saturday” CJ; “THE Ohio State University is THE most overrated team of this decade. Yes, decade.” JimG; “Will this be six in a row?” PD; “Who’s the beanie counter?” BW;
8. Auburn (198) “Doing it the old fashioned way with defense, special teams, and field position” JimG; “SEC rules! LT; “Enough of the SEC already!” JK;
9. Texas (195) “Way too high” RA; “Weakest schedule of any team in the Top Ten” LT; “Yawn. Arkansas is down. Should be another lopsided win” CJ; “Can they beat OU?” JennG; “Who’s this week’s patsy?” JimG; “That Opie sure can play!” KW; “Will lose to OU” AG; “Texas 34, Arkansas 20″ SF; “Colt back in form” PD; “Needs to start games earlier than 9:15pm” BW;
10. Wisconsin (184) “This may be too low” PD; “Fattened up on Marshall before their trip west to Fresno St” JimG; “Gaining on Ohio St” BW;
11. Kansas (137) “Riding the ‘No one gives us respect’ wave” CJ; “I don’t know about anybody else, but is it weird watching them on TV? Kinda boring” KW; “Will not match the basketball team” BW;
12. Arizona St. (124) “Erickson gives me hope for things to come in College Station” CJ; “I know I shouldn’t, but the devil on the helmet is a mascot I’ve liked since I was a kid” KW; “Why would anyone allow their child to play for a team with a mascot of devils?” JimG;
13. Texas Tech (122) “Defense was better. I have to keep believing” JS; “I’m not buying this team as a legitimate contender in the Big 12″ RA; “They must prove they can win a physical game on the road before I give them props” JimG; “Almost took them out of my Top 20 but they are so dangerous” PD;
14. Alabama (112) “Love him or hate him, Saban’s a good coach” CJ; “Alabama people are fun” KW;
15. Oregon (86) “Genuine” PD;
16. East Carolina (80) “Rockin’ the purple house!” JennG; “Can’t be a fluke if you do it twice, right?” CJ; “Looking like a BCS bowl” KW; “Skip to my Lou!” PD (new front-runner for Skip Bayless line of the year); “Who is this??” BW; “Say hello to this year’s BCS buster” JK; “A skip off the old block” JimG (hold the phone, we have a challenger);
17. Penn St. (73) “Hope Paterno and Bowden are even at the end of the year and settle it in a bowl” CJ; “Number One on most boring uniform poll” KW;
18. BYU (42) “A ‘W’ is a ‘W’ but do you really feel good about how that went down?” CJ; “A poor call by officials keeps them in the Top 20″ SF; “Agree with celebration penalty” BW;
19. South Florida (31) “Did they really stop him?” JS; “Because I couldn’t let BYU and their sham remain in my poll” JimG;
20. West Virginia (18) “…and dropping” JK; “Probably should be further down but East Carolina could be better than anyone thinks” JS; “National title hopes destroyed! Thanks ECU!” CJ; “Will get offense going” BW;
Also receiving votes: Clemson (17); Wake Forest (14); Fresno St. (10) ”Welcome Wisconsin in the most anticipated home game in school history” JimG; California (9) “Boy, those tree huggers sure are fast” KW; Utah (8); TCU (7); Tennessee (6) “Will beat either Florida, Georgia, or Auburn to go 7-4 and earn the 20th ranking” AG; Oklahoma State (6) “The surprise team in the Big 12″ CJ; ”699 yards of offense!” JR; Illinois (3); Nebraska (1) “Bo knows” DM; Mississippi St. (1)
As always, click on the green “KK&C Top 20” tab at the upper right hand corner of this page to see the poll and meet the pollsters.