I have been sick for almost a week now. I'm starting to feel some better, but I'm not back to normal yet. (I know many will say I have never been normal.) I started coming down with a cold and a terrible cough last Friday, and by Sunday morning I was running a fever and aching all over. Gina has been sick a couple of times recently, but I though I had bit the bullet and made it through cold and flu season without getting sick. Boy was I wrong. As the old saying goes, At first I was afraid I was going to die, and then I was afraid I wasn't.
The last couple of days Gina has finally gotten back to feeling like herself again after her bouts with the flu. I hope I get to feeling like a new man soon. I'm sure tired of feeling like this old man who is sick. Here's to becoming a new man. I'm sure Gina is tired of this old whiny one.
Being sick got me to thinking about how illness parallels our human nature. We are sick spiritually, and God wants to heal us so we won't be sick with sin. The Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that "anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!" We have all heard the term “Born Again” to describe the new life. It is probably one of the most common phrases in the Christian vocabulary. What is a "Born Again" Christian?
In 1 Peter 1:23, the Bible tells us, "you have been born again. This new life did not come from something that dies, but from something that cannot die. You were born again through God’s living message that continues forever". To be "Born Again" means to have a new life.
There is a law of life that states, "everything that is new eventually becomes old". That law has been painfully brought to my attention over the last couple of weeks as I have been going through lots of old pictures to post on my Facebook page. I recently read an appropriate quote, "youth is a disease from which we all recover". I am recovering nicely, thank you very much.
The next time you are in a big parking lot such as at the mall or at Wal-Mart take a look at the cars. There are some nice new cars. There are some that are in need of some body work. There are a number of old work vehicles. Here in rural Arkansas, there are lots of beat up pick up trucks in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Every car in the parking lot was once a new car. My Daddy has lots of antique cars. They all have something in common. Whether they are nicely restored or are nothing but a rusted out hulk, they were all once new.
DADDY'S 1940 BUICK LIMITED
What happens when the new wears off of our "Born Again" experience? What happens when our new life isn’t so new anymore? We get in a rut. When we are in a rut, and are just going through the motions, don’t you think God notices?
All of us have a comfort zone in our life. To get out of the rut, we have to move outside of our comfort zone.
How do we get outside of our comfort zone? Here is a list of ideas that I came up with. Everything on the list may not be for you, but maybe it will help you get some ideas how to get out of your comfort zone, and get out of the rut. Maybe they will help your new life to actually be new again.
1. Expand your circle of friends 2. Study a subject you haven’t studied 3. Examine your core beliefs 4. Listen more and talk less 5. Try doing something that you have been afraid to do 6. Eat between meals - spiritually - don’t let religion be rote 7. Make your own list 8. Don’t be afraid of other religious viewpoints – truth withstands 9. Don't worry about what other Christians are doing 10. Hug somebody 11. Go on a mission trip 12. Don’t be afraid to express yourself 13. Be very gentle when you express yourself 14. Tell people you love them 15. Loosen up, don’t be rigid 16. Affirm a leader 17. Smile, be happy 18. Read a version of the Bible you haven’t read before 19. Visit another country or culture 20. Change the order you do things 21. Help somebody who isn’t expecting it 22. Don’t be afraid of change – it isn’t inherently evil 23. Call someone you haven’t called for a long time 24. If someone invites you to their church--- GO 25. Learn a new song. Buy a new CD 26. Be more gracious 27. Visit someone you have never visited before 28. Read a Christian book you haven’t read before 29. Take time to do something you really enjoy 30. Give a totally unexpected gift to someone 31. Ask for other peoples opinions 32. Volunteer to tell the childrens story 33. Pray instead of being critical 34. Let go of resentment 35. Shake up your prayer life. Pray at different times or ways 36. Say thank you more often 37. If you see your devotions are in a rut shake them up 38. Sit somewhere different in church 39. Intentionally use different phrases when you pray 40. Never forget what Jesus has done for you
Let’s resolve to get out of our comfort zone. Ask God every day for a new life.
Click on the photo above to purchase my latest book, In the Fog, for $5.99. The Kindle version is only $2.99.
I was born in 1956 in Madison, Tennessee, while my parents were attending Madison College. I grew up along the Front Range in Colorado, attending schools in Longmont, Brighton, Boulder and Loveland, Colorado. Two years after graduating from Campion Academy, I married my sweetheart, Regina. We lived in Loveland, Colorado for six years before moving to Mena in western Arkansas.
I love the people of Mena and the friendly easy going way of life here. I have owned and operated my own business since moving to Mena. I enjoy the natural beauty of western Arkansas and being out of doors.
My newspaper column in The Mena Star, An Arkie’s Faith, premiered on January 7, 2016. In March 2017, I published my first book, titled The Little Things - Devotionals from a small town, using articles from the column. I published the second book in the Devotionals from a small town series, titled In the Fog, in December 2017.