Greetings, Everyone!

We're several days into the 40-day Daniel fast (no meats, no sweets!) that is focused on preparing our hearts for an increase in the presence of the Lord, the release of His glory through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. It's always interesting and challenging to embrace a long fast, mainly because in the first few days, all our addictions to food - sugar, fast foods, comfort foods, etc., - get exposed. The result is often that we feel less spiritual, not more, and if there is an increase in anything, it's in our irritability, not in our holiness!

Saints, be a peace! This is pretty normal stuff, and believe me, as you press into this, the physical discomforts will disappear, and your sense of the Lord's presence will increase. Remember, the yearning to comfort ourselves through food and drink are really signals that our hearts are hungry for the presence of God. Turn your heart toward Him, to eat and drink from His life and resource, and the purpose of the fast will be accomplished.

Just a word about holiness - during a fasting season like this one, be very careful what you set your eyes on. Obviously, holiness is our goal at any time, but when your spirit is sensitized through fasting, whatever you take in through your eyes and ears will multiply and get stronger. If you gaze on Jesus, He will increase in your spirit. However, if you give yourself to compromise, that will increase as well. You are inviting the spirit realm to grow; make sure you feed it with holy stuff.

A couple of announcements: the Bob Sorge conference is happening this weekend. We've secured a larger room, so our registrations are still open. Please consider joining us, and visit the website at www.ihopnw.org to register.

Secondly, we will begin a Saturday evening Encountering God Service on March 13. Since our Friday nights have been packed out, we need to expand into Saturday. We're excited that a group of students from Pacific Lutheran University will be helping us on the musical end of things. The teaching content will be the same as Friday nights - the Song of Solomon will be our focus beginning March 12-13. Also, childcare will only be offered on Friday nights, so plan for that. Please consult the website for updated information regarding meeting times.

Blessings on you all. We look for you in the Prayer Room to seek the Lord for His presence, for the fear of the Lord, and for His glory to come to the Northwest.

Grace and peace,

Gary Wiens