Travel Light

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us (Hebrews 12:1, NKJV)

Compliments of the season to you! I hope your Christmas was truly merry, filled with love and joy and fun time with loved ones! As we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, I pray that His joy will fill your heart, not just in this beautiful season, but throughout the coming year. May your heart be filled with the peace that passes all understanding; may you experience eternal hope through Christ in all situations, and may your daily life embody the reality of the redemption promised to those who believe.

As we go through the season of reflections, planning, resolutions, and new decisions, I’d like to offer a thought for the New Year – travel light! The Bible admonishes us in Hebrews 12:1 to “…lay aside every weight…” as we run the race set before us. This admonition follows an extensive listing of many heroes of faith in Hebrews 11, reminding us of how they so faithfully clung to what they believed in despite the adversities and difficulties they encountered.  The Scripture considers that like a runner, our victory is more assured if we are free of encumbrances.

I invite you to consider what might be a weight you need to lay aside as you go into in the new year. Is it a mindset or thought pattern? A haunting or distressing emotion? A detrimental relationship? A sinful or destructive habit? The answers are as diverse as we are different. The common factor that all weights have is that they sap your energy, eating away at you and wasting your precious time and life. In other words, they slow you down by consuming your energy, distracting you from what’s important and draining you of energy for productive activities.

If you harbor bitterness or anger towards someone (who may not even know), it is time to let it go. If you are stuck thinking about how much better you might have been if a certain event had not occurred, it is time to move on and look forward. If you are trapped with friends who always drag you to places you do not want to go or make you feel worthless, it is time to let go. The thing about weights is that they are often not easy to let go of – there is a reason we carried them in the first instance. But the first step in letting go is deciding.

The second step is sticking with that decision the day after you first make it. And then the day after that. Letting go requires a continued commitment to letting go. It is difficult to forgive hurts that go deep. It is easier when we ask God for help to forgive. And that is the third step – getting help, from God and accountability partners. Reach out to people who can check on you and make sure you’re not picking up old baggage, who can pray with you, who maybe can relate with your struggle and share their own victories to encourage you to continue to travel light.

Life is easier when we travel light. We can more accurately discern circumstances and perceive divine direction when our hearts are free of weights and sinful baggage that try to ensnare us. The journey to a light heart can be difficult, but life without baggage can be very joyful and peaceful. Be careful that the Enemy does not introduce a new baggage into your life as you let go of one. Guard your heart diligently to avoid Satan from getting a foothold in it. Whatever you do in the new year, don’t pick up weights. Always be sure to travel light. I pray the year 2022 will be your best yet!

Hosanna!

It’s Palm Sunday. That special (Sun)day set aside in the year to celebrate the triumphant entry of the Lord Jesus into Jerusalem, just a few days before His crucifixion. The irony of this sequence of events was perplexing for Jesus’ disciples at the time. But today, that turn of events is no longer surprising – we know it was by divine design.

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A Prayer for You

Hello, dear friends! I wish you a happy new month of September. I’m grateful to God for the gift of life and the blessing of family and friends. I am especially grateful for God’s gracious gift of eternal life, freely given to those who believe in Jesus Christ our Lord. May His name be praised forever. As though in a flash, eight months of the year 2020 have flown by, and we are now set upon the last few months of this extraordinary year that has brought the most unprecedented changes to our lives.

I want to encourage you to set out this new month with determination and devotion to pursue whatever your heart is set on. Do not dither, waver or be idle, but act with commitment and give your best. As they say, procrastination is a thief of time, and time waits for no man. Great things are achieved when we commit to action, one day at a time. COVID-19 has been a great disruption, but our lives go on, and many are making progress. Whatever your hand find to do, be sure to do it wholeheartedly.

This is my prayer for you – that your hand will be strong to perform the tasks God has called you to, that your vision will be clear in times of uncertainty, that your perception will be accurate in the presence of deception, and that your heart will fully embrace all that you are called to do. I pray that God’s Holy Spirit will order your steps into His perfect will, and that you will look back on this month with praise to God. All of this I ask in Jesus’ precious name. Amen. Have a blessed month ahead of you!

Uninspired

Have you ever waited for inspiration to come? Have you struggled to catch a whiff of fresh air before getting started on a project? Have you ever felt blank in your greatest moments of need, when it seemed everything depended on you getting an ingenious idea? Well, I suppose you have, and that you have sometimes been disappointed, as I have been. I have found out that no great venture is sustained on the ground of inspired ideas. Inspiration may get you started, but diligence and commitment to a cause keeps you in the long haul.

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Uren

Uren! The river of my childhood dreams
How often I longed to stand by your banks
And splash and splatter with all your water
That murky fluid of yours that stood lucid in the morn
But it seemed to me that God did not approve of it
For my desires and hopes were never fulfilled
Till that dream died and faded and passed away
With the rest of its kind, buried with my childhood

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