The Pastor's Peace - November, 2013
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My diet is almost over! For those who have been following my weight loss progress, you know that I have been dieting for almost a year now with the goal of getting to 199 pounds. I am only a few pounds shy of that goal and hope to hit it by my birthday in November. It has been a long road, which has taught me much along the way, as challenging things often do in life. I recently went through my old and now much too big clothes seeing what I could get rid of and donate. I stumbled upon the belt that I started my diet with. I put it around my waist, set it to the notch that I used when I weighed 306, looked down and almost cried. What in the world was I thinking back then? How could I have allowed myself to get that big?

Often in life we walk down paths that lead us places we never would have gone but we end up there somehow. In my case I let my need for food come before my own health, and a promise to my wife to be there for her. Had I continued, I am sure I would have never lived to see 55 or possibly even 50. For me the act of losing weight was as much about accepting responsibility for my life and seeking assistance from God, as it was counting calories or eating healthy food. In many senses I had to get right with myself and tackle some of the underlying issues that led me astray for so many years.

I, however, am by no means alone in these types of struggles. Many of us have gone down unhealthy paths. Some of these paths have led to bad self-care, bad care of others, addiction, crime, or even something as irrevocable as taking the life of another. Christ teaches us that forgiveness is available for all. Each one of us no matter what we have done or what path we have chosen can find a new life in Christ. This does involve more than just counting calories. For any change we wish to make in our life, we must first admit what we have done, and try to understand why we did it. We must be willing to take responsibility, ask for forgiveness, and ask for help from those we know and most importantly from God.

As we approach this fall season, winding down with longer nights and colder temperatures, it is easy to see the darkness of our lives closing in. It is in times like this we should remember that the season of Advent is upon us.

Soon we will look with hope for light in our lives, the light brought by Christ and shared by the love of others around us. Look again for this light, and know that it can outshine any darkness in your life. Christ is coming, and he is coming for you, and for me, and for everyone. Accept him anew into your life this Advent season, accept his love, and accept what his light illuminates in your life.

Peace and Blessings,
Pastor Brian