onethessthree8

'For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord….'

Archive for hebrews

One thing I do…

Jan 1st must be THE day for starting a blog or rejuvenating one….and I’m no different!  I managed to knock a few posts out last year, but hey, a new year beckons…

The Apostle Paul helps me out here and says ‘forget what’s behind, but press on to what’s ahead’ (Phil 3:13b-14), and so yes, I concur. What’s gone is gone, you can’t change anything (we must all live with the effects of our words, thoughts and actions, good or otherwise). It just makes the gospel acutely good news, doesn’t it?  …..designed with weak men and women in mind!

But I also think it’s healthy to have a quick review of things that I’m grateful for over the last 12 months….

~  good overall health in my family

~  a job that paid me wages

~  a terrific and godly wife

~  the best neighbours in the hood

~  special summer hols with special mates

~  an awesome church family that ACTUALLY cares

You might be thinking ‘bully for you mate’, but I won’t list the ‘not so great’ things of 2010.

However, even those things are wrapped up in God’s unfolding plan for me (and you, & the rest of mankind!).

When you look forward, you do so with new resolve and hope. The writer of Hebrews reminds us…

Let us rid ourselves of everything that gets in the way, and of the sin which holds onto us so tightly, and let us run with determination the race that lies before us.  Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end.  (Heb 12:1-2)

In other words, no quantity of our own resolve will suffice. There is, of course, a place for determination and discipline, but ultimately it’s Jesus’ resolve and determination that does it for us. Let’s depend on Him in 2011.

It might be a New Year, but it’s the same faithful God.  I have a rough idea of what’s coming up in 2011 personally, but I’d better hold onto that lightly. Not sure what 2011 holds for you, but Happy New Year!

New runners…

There’s nowt better than taking a run in your new set of running shoes for the first time! (well ok, that’s just me then!).  When you’ve done the miles in your current pair it seriously feels like you’ve put on your slippers in public….it’s great!  However, the hardest part of any run is putting your shorts on……..honestly!

But running does have benefits. You can eat what you like (more or less), you strengthen your heart muscles (good, I think), you will lose weight and tone up (a very good thing), and you may even get spotted by someone who knows you and they shout/hoot at you!  This is particularly enjoyable, but not great for your levels of pride. If you’re like me, you will spend the next few minutes crushing pride (the root of all sin)…..but it makes the time go quicker. Great to be caught keeping fit though! (doh, pride again!).

But by far and above the best thing about running is the time you get to think, pray, and generally suss out the planet etc.  I havent tried running with my ipod yet, and no doubt that will take me into a new dimension of redeeming time, but for now I’m just enjoying the cobweb-clearing experience it affords me.  And what better place to live than Brighton, squashed between the sea and the Downs (both perpetually stunning)…a runners paradise.

A bunch of us at CCK have registered for the first Brighton Marathon next April (see the Facebook group), so I wont be alone in pounding the locality between now and then.  It gets me thinking about all sorts when I run.  It’s a time for review, and a time for planning.  Both of which you must find time for.

Here are some other things that come to mind.  The joy is not actually in the running, it is in the completion of the course.  The sense of elation and achievement is enormous.  There’s another course (of course), the one that my God has laid out for me.  When I consider things with this perspective, I want to know the answers to these questions:
Do I know with certainty what my course is?  If not, how can I find it?  What stuff (sin, idolatry) do I allow to divert me from my race?  Who knows about my struggles?  Who am I influencing in the way I run my race?

The writer of Hebrews nails it for us in 12:1

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

Perhaps it’s not so bad getting caught running well afterall……