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Don't Look Back

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But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize   Philippians 3:13








As I run, one thing is sure.  
I am not looking back.   
Why?  
It slows me down.  
I need to keep my eye ahead of me.   
I have no desire to fall or trip as I twist to see what is going on behind me.  
What is going on behind me is not my problem. 
In life, it is incredibly easy to focus on past mistakes and regrets, 
or good times and memories so much so that we can’t live our present life.  
We can’t run the race we are in, effectively because we are looking back.
Paul in Philippians gives excellent advice for all of us.  
Forget what is behind.  
Don’t worry about the people, 
the places, 
the events  behind you
Don’t worry about your past; it’s behind you.  
You can’t change your previous life,

Don't Miss the Deadline

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Another thing I’ve found when running a race 
is that there is a deadline, 
a time at which you can no longer choose to run that race.   
If you miss the deadline, forget about that race, 
it isn’t happening.  
In life, there are many other deadlines that we often let pass.  
My dad always wanted to go to a farm show, 
but sadly he allowed the opportunities to pass 
and one day old age caught up with him. 
He could no longer make that choice.  
I, myself, have missed some deadlines 
because some opportunities only happen once 
and if you pass up that chance, 
it won’t come around again.  
Some prospects aren’t worth losing. 
Chances to play with your children, 
to care for an ailing parent, 
to spend time with a friend or child.  
The time will come 
when those occasions to pour into them will pass, 
is it worth missing those times for a job, a hobby, or a new toy?

The same is true spiritually, 
there will come a time 
when you will no longer be allowed to choose Christianity.  
The time to get in the race i…

Taking the first step

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The first thing, and the most important thing, 
about running is merely the decision to run the race.  
It sounds easy, and yet, 
taking the first step can be the hardest part.  
I remember when I decided to participate in a 5k for the first time.  
I was so nervous my butterflies had butterflies.  
I had so many questions; 
What If I couldn’t finish?  
What if I come in dead last?  
What if I get lost?  
Or fall?  
When The debate with myself ended, 
I looked at the worst-case scenarios 
and decided that I would probably survive the worst that could happen.  
That decision to compete was the starting point.  
In our spiritual life, we will be faced with the same choice.  
The decision to be in the Christian race or not.  
What people fail to realize is that they are running a marathon, 
whether they like it or not.
We are either running a race toward God and heaven 
or satan and hell there is no other option.  
The choice is yours and mine which race we will be running. 
Sadly, many are running the wrong,…

Lessons from Running

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For the next few days, 
I am going to write some thoughts 
about running.  
I enjoy running and along the way, 
God has shown me in many ways 
how what I learned about running 
applies to my spiritual life as 
well.   
Most of it is not new, 
but we can often use the reminder 
as we walk through life.  
I pray it serves to encourage you 
and draw you closer to God.

Why I Don’t Watch the News

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I am often asked, “Do you watch the news?”  or “Did you see this on the news?”  at this point, in the conversation I hang my head in embarrassment and mumble something about not getting that channel.   This is a true statement.  In our house, where we are located, we can get no channels without cable or satellite.  Yes, I am aware that there are ways to get local channels without paying big bucks, but the truth is that I have very little desire to see the news even if I could watch it.  Why? 
First, it’s depressing.   News almost never highlights positive and useful things.  It glorifies the bad things that happen.  I can find out without looking at the television the bad things that go on.  Every day I see broken, hurting people without the help of the press. 
Second, all the principal news subsidiaries (there’s only about five or six) say the same thing.  Some of you are thinking, “What did you expect, it’s the same news. Duh.”  Which is true, but every one of them has the same bias…

Are You Guilty Of Safe Prayers?

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Prayer is essential to me.  I love, love, love talking to God.  However, lately, God has been talking to me, convicting me of my prayer life. 
This morning as I was praying, this question was nagging at me, haunting me as though God were asking, “Are you guilty of praying “safe” prayers?”
I pray “God, bless my children…  but I don’t pray that God would keep them from evil.
I pray for God to increase my faith…  but I don’t want him to take my job.
I pray for God to show me ways to witness…  but I don’t want him to ask me to do something awkward.
I ask for healing…  but rarely consider that the illness might be making me more like him. 
Yes, I realize I often want safe answers to prayers.  I want sunshine and rose gardens and warm fuzzies.   But I also recognize that, as Christians, what we need to grow is not the safe prayers but the risky ones.  The ones that may involve loss and suffering, standing alone. 
Lord, you are God of safe and risky prayers.  Your Goal is for us to be like …

Salt is Good

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Salt.  
Imagine your life without it.  
I can’t, and I don’t want to.  
Your food would be bland because salt adds flavor to anything it touches.  
On top of that, it preserves food and keeps it from spoiling.   
It melts the ice in the winter so that I don’t slip and fall in a heap on the sidewalk.   
There’s one more thing that salt does.  
It can act as an antiseptic.  
It can clean out a wound so that it won’t get infected.
While most of the uses for salt are painless, salt used to kill germs is painful.
God refers to us as salt.  Salt is good.  
We are to add flavor to those around us, bringing out the best in the ones we touch.  
We should preserve insulate and protect the people that Christ died for.
We should also be antiseptic cleaning out the wounds of Satan.  
Yes, that can be painful, but it is necessary.  
The world often leaves us wounded. 
The injuries will not heal properly until everything Satan left in the abrasion is gone. 

No, it’s not always easy or painless.  
No one likes the pa…