Blog Post, Jan. 1
FORGETTING WHAT LIES BEHIND
Let me start here: I’m praying with all of God’s people that the new year will be new in specific ways that need not be explained in detail.
Leaving 2020 we are emotionally spent, uncertain and yet hopeful that this year will see a removal of the pandemic conditions. I’ve known several to catch the dreaded virus and yet do well with a quick recovery. I’ve known others who were extremely serious but recovered (some with residue consequences). Sadly, I’ve known five who have passed away, all of those either elders or preachers.
Let’s be safe, physically and most important, spiritually. May our prayers continue, not just about the virus. Praise God for His power, providence and rich provision for us in Christ. And may those prayers be accompanied by lives that likewise express our reverence for God.
Paula and I have been in a state of transition for several weeks now. We are selling our house and are in the process of finding something smaller. We are downsizing. (Interesting Note – the Realtor wrote up the ad for our house and said, “perfect for people who want to downsize.”) The move is physically draining, but we will be fine.
Here are three things I’m doing this year. (1) I’m reading through Gary Henry’s new book, OBEYING THE GOSPEL. Gary is a master at writing “day books,” with a page to read each day of the year. I couldn’t wait till today, so I started back in December. This is an excellent book for people who have obeyed the gospel and people who have not. I want to recommend that readers of my blog get this book and get started. It will take you to some good places (the gospel is good news). But may also provoke you to consider some bad places you have visited (the gospel calls upon hearers to repent). Here is the link to order Gary’s book (click here).
(2) In my work as elder and preacher for the Laurel Heights church of Christ, I’m developing sermons around our goals for 2021. Based on Philippians – that our love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment (1:9); doing all things without grumbling and disputing (2:14); forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead (3:13) and practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you (4:9). I believe this will help each of us move away from the sadness of 2020 and press on faithfully in 2021.
(3) I’m going to make a concerted effort to do more writing, on this blog and perhaps in other places. When the Covid crisis hit in the spring, I was overwhelmed with learning technology, getting video and recorded content out to members, spreading the gospel in new ways – and that increase in my workload required I back away some from the blog and podcasting. I am intending to get back into those disciplines this year, at least once a week. Maybe you can go with me? Straining forward to what lies ahead!