Start Afresh

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Hello all! Andrew here with a blog to ring in the new year! It's 2015, which is the year that Marty McFly travelled to in the Back to the Future films. That's wild! (By the way, Tony Hawk posted a video riding a prototype of a hover board a while back.)

Anyway, this is a blog about starting fresh in the new year. I know it's stereotypical for these "New year, new you" type blogs to come out every January, but oh well. Everybody needs a blank canvas sometimes. 

There's this popular set of verses in Lamentations that comes to mind when I think about new beginnings. "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23

My college pastor talked about this passage at church last semester. He really put it into perspective with the rest of the chapter. Leading up to this verse, the author describes all of this garbage that he walked through in life. Then, there's this verse of hope thrown in. Despite all of the opposition, Jeremiah still trusted in the faithfulness of God. 

One of the biggest things I've learned about my faith Junior year is that we, as believers, are called to a daily faith with the Lord. A lot of times, I imagine that the Lord has some enormous action for me to do, and that may be the case, but primarily, he called us to be faithful to Him every day. "Then he said to them all: 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.'" (Luke 9:23) Sure, there may be some grand task for my life, but the only way I will ever experience that is by walking faithfully.

But how will I get there? Yes, it sounds great to take up your cross daily and follow the Lord, but how does that play out on an everyday basis? Proverbs 4:25-27 says, "Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil."

Establishing and maintaining a relationship with God takes work on a long-term basis. I like to think about the wagon trains during the time of Westward Expansion. They had this fantastic, explorer mindset that was epitomized with the mantra, "Oregon or bust!" Everything they did was centered around the principles of surviving and blazing a trail through a new frontier. In the same way, I want to live a life that focuses on Christ in the same way the explorers focused on their new home in Oregon. As I drive my wagon through life, I want to have a daily determination to live with a singular focus.

It won't be easy. There will be bumps and detours along the way. I bet the explorers' wheels fell off sometimes. (Cadillac didn't make covered wagons.) But, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit as a guide to help us through life. Through him, we can live a new start every day. Let's use this time of the year as a trail marker on the path of life. Realign. Refocus. Refresh.

Happy New Year! 

Signing off for the first time in 2015,

Andrew, Blogger, Dreamer, Choctaw.

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