Dear Coastal,

We had a great start to our new series called, “UNITED WE STAND” this past Sunday!  4 people indicated on their Connect Card that they had given their life to Christ!  That’s 4 new lights to turn on!  4 people who crossed over from death to life!  4 people who once were lost, but now have been found!

My message this past Sunday was about how we can be the answer to Jesus’ prayer for unity in John 17.  We talked about what unites us and how as Ambassadors for Christ have a deeper loyalty and a higher calling than any causes of this world.  We talked about how the true litmus test for being a follower of Jesus is not how you vote, but how we love one another.  This Sunday we’re going to narrow our focus a bit and talk about UNITY in our homes.  Because before unity can work out in the world, it’s got to work in our homes.  It’s got to work in our marriages and in our families.

This past Sunday, I also announced our church wide 40 Day period of Fasting & Prayer leading up to Easter Sunday.  The fast will begin this coming Wednesday, March 1st and continue until Sunday, April 9th, Palm Sunday, the week before Easter.  Jesus said, “When you fast . . .”  In other words, Jesus meant for fasting to be a regular part of the Christian lifestyle.  Fasting is simply denying yourself something physical for a set period of time for the spiritual purpose of focusing on prayer, the Word, and your relationship with God.  In fact Jesus said that God will reward you when you fast.  That’s a promise straight from the mouth of Jesus!  How will He reward you?  I don’t know, but I know He will.  Typically, for me, He rewards me with clarity on next steps, wisdom for decisions, breaking strongholds in my life, or simply a closer walk with Him.

So here’s the challenge:  Participate with your church family in an Easter fast.  From March 1st to Palm Sunday, Apirl 9th, choose something in your life that you can give up.  And when that thing comes to mind, use that as a little reminder to pray or read your Bible or memorize scripture.

What do you choose to fast?  Well, it’s different for different people.  It might be some form of technology or social media that seems to have control over you.  It could be television.  It might be some specific type of food – sugar, caffeine, sodas, meat, etc.  It could be drinking or smoking.  It could be time – where you get up earlier each day for 40 days and have a quiet time.  You pray.  You decide.  Read through Matthew 6:16-18.  Don’t make a big deal or a fuss about it.  Don’t post it on Facebook.

You can sign up on the back of your Connect Card on Sunday to let me know you plan on participating.  If you feel comfortable doing so, you can even share what you plan on fasting.  All this information will be kept private.  We’ll simply add you to an email group for a specific weekly encouragement.

I really feel that this will be an exciting time of spiritual growth for our church as we move into the Spring and prepare for Easter Sunday.  Pray for me, our staff, our leaders, and our volunteers.  Pray for Easter Sunday and everyone that will be invited.  Keep praying for your ONE!  Pray for our mailing that goes out the week before Easter.  Pray that as a church we stay focused on our mission, that we listen & obey the voice of God, that we walk by faith and trust Him.

Friday’s 5:

  1. There is a WAVES Student Ministry (6th-12th Grade) House Party TONIGHT, February 24th at the Carolina Ice Palace!  Meet at the church at 8pm.  They will take a bus to the Ice Rink and skate from 9pm-11pm.  Cost $5.  Invite and bring your friends!
  2. There is a Security Team Meeting tomorrow morning, this Saturday, February 25th, at 9am in the new building (setting up chairs first).  This meeting is for all current team members and for those interested in serving.
  3. New to Coastal?  Want to learn more about the church and find out how to get connected?  Join us for  the next Newcomer’s Reception, Sunday, March 26th, immediately following the 11:15am service in the Welcome Center.  Meet other new people and our staff, enjoy a slice of pizza, and discover possible next steps.  Sign up online or on your Connect Card on Sunday.
  4. Interested in offically making Coastal your church home?  Our next Membership Class is Saturday, April 1st (no fooling), 9am-12noon.  Childcare and refreshments provided.  Sign up online or on your Connect Card on Sunday.
  5. SAVE THE DATE:  June 19th-23rd – Student Life Camp (6th-12th Grade) in Myrtle Beach, SC!  Cost: $250.  10% off of your total cost if you register by 3/15.  Deposit of $125 due by 4/16.


Pastor Chris

P.S.  Go ahead and mark your calendar now, Coastal’s week of VBS will be July 17th-21st, 6pm-8pm!  This year’s theme is, “Maker Fun Factory – Created by God, Built for a Purpose!”  See Janet Rollins if you’re interested in serving –!