Setting Yourself Up for a Great 2018



The New Year is a natural time to find a fresh start. In 2018, our theme will be “Taking Ground.” My goal for you and our church is to get a clearer understanding of who Jesus is, to trust more in His grace, to deepen your faith, to live in God’s abundance without fear, and to live with the kind of peace that only Jesus can give. No one has the power to do this through their own strength, design, or merit. It is the work of the Holy Spirit drawing us to the Father. That is the purpose of fasting together as a church.                          

Humans naturally love the merit system. Human rights, governments, capitalism, judicial systems, and even elementary schools are based on the merit system. The better I do, the better grades I get, the better job I get, the more money I make, and the better relationships I have. This system works… except in your life with Christ. You can’t earn God’s favor. He simply gives it to you because of His grace. Any spiritual system based on the merit system does not work. It leads to legalism, judgmental attitudes, burnout, failure, and unmet expectations.

On the other hand, when you grow in God’s grace, you learn to let go of your worries, stress, and self-righteousness. You begin to understand that everything in your life is based on His desire and love for you. His grace fuels your desire for Jesus, it frees you from sin and self-effort, and it changes everything in your life. Resting in His grace has tremendous significance in every area of your life.

This year I want you to experience that kind of relationship with God. I want you to grow in your understanding of grace. I want you to learn to experience and receive the love of Jesus. I want you to learn how to rest in Him. I want you to learn how to grow in your faith, let go of your worries, and experience His amazing peace that passes all human understanding. I hope you will join me in 2018 in pursuing Jesus.


Pastor Ritchie 


Avalon Church Taking Ground Fast – January 8-17, 2018

What is a Daniel Fast? A Daniel Fast is based on Daniel 10:2-3. It is when a person refrains from eating bread, sweets, meat, and alcohol to pursue answers to prayer and grow closer to God.

What can you expect? When you fast, you can expect God to answer prayer and to work in your life. You will draw closer to God. Don’t focus on what you can and cannot eat, but on praying. A side benefit is that you will feel better and become healthier.

Prayer List for the Taking Ground Fast

And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love, which are in Christ Jesus. 1 Tim. 1:14

In 2018, we are praying to take new ground in faith in our personal lives and in our church. We are praying for every member to get a clearer picture of the greatness of Jesus, to learn how to rest in His grace, and to live in the abundance of His grace. We believe this will help you grow in your faith, get better in your relationships, live with greater peace, get better in your finances, and improve your spiritual and physical health. The results of God’s increase in your life will become evident in our church. We believe God will give us more people saved and baptized, more people completing their Next Steps, more offerings for ministry, and greater growth in our church.

As you participate in the Taking Ground Fast, pray for these things:

  • Pray that you get a bigger picture of Jesus and His love
  • Pray that you live in the peace that only God can give
  • Pray that you get a clearer understanding of grace
  • Pray that God will give you increase as you pursue Jesus
  • Pray for our pastor, our staff, and their families
  • Pray for church growth and church unity
  • Pray for healing for our members
  • Pray for our church to Take New Ground
  • Pray for the salvation of family and friends of our members