Trying isn?t enough!

In less than 6 weeks I will be backpacking on the Appalachian Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! I am very excited! I love being outdoors and thoroughly enjoying God’s creation. No shaving, no bathing, no schedule, no email or phone, living off the land eating grubs and pine needles (ok – I bring ramen noodles and oatmeal). Life doesn’t get much better.

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?My big challenge now? I have less than 6 weeks to get into shape. I’ve got some serious leg and cardio work to do – otherwise I’m going to suffer greatly! Training is vital – lack of it could ruin my trip. You see, no matter how hard I try, no matter how determined I might be – if I haven’t trained I’m going to crash and burn on that mountain! (Trust me, I’ve learned by experience.)

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?Living for Jesus is very similar. Everyday Christians try living for God by sheer will and determination when they haven’t done any training. Then they wonder why they failed, why they couldn’t resist temptation, why worry and fear and discouragement come so easy and why courage and peace and self control comes so hard. The answer in most challenging endeavors isn’t effort, its training – taking intentional steps to be prepared. Trying hard is good but training hard is even better.

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?Are you training to live for God? This kind of work out involves bible reading and meditation, journaling, prayer, giving, fasting, solitude, service, etc. These practices are non-negotiable if we are to experience God’s power in our lives. Let me recommend a most excellent book to you on this topic; it’s The Life You’ve Always Wanted by John Ortberg. Pick up a copy and devour it – the practical instruction and encouragement will give you some practical ideas for climbing that mountain!

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?For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. I Timothy 4:8

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Peace,
?Dave

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