Winning Ways - from Hillcrest Baptist Church, Austin, Texas  Contact Tom Goodman, Pastor
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Good Riddance Day
by Tom Goodman
January 2, 2008

As you begin a new year, what from the old year would you like to dump?

In New York, a business group and the city's sanitation department invited New Yorkers to dispose of their bad memories of 2007.  They set up shredders in the Times Square Visitors Center for an hour on December 28 and declared it "Good Riddance Day" (story; website).

They took everything from photos of ex-lovers to lousy report cards.  Recycling bins were available for items that couldn't be shredded, like embarrassing fashion mistakes, loathed CDs and even tempting holiday desserts.  The organizers also provided a form for passers-by (and one online) to jot down memories they wished would go away.

A grand prize of $250 was awarded to the one most creative in letting go of old baggage.

The Apostle Paul could have won an award like that.  In Philippians 3:12-14, he told us that the only way to advance in spiritual maturity is to shred the past:

I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  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 for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

So, let New Year's Day be "Good Riddance Day" for you!  What do you need to toss?

First, forget the failures that have paralyzed you with guilt.  Some of us have slowed to a crawl in the race to Christian maturity because we're dragging this mighty weight of guilt behind us every step of the way.  Why do we still carry what our Savior has carried away?

But we need to forget not only our mistakes but also our successes.  Believe it or not, success is as potent as guilt in slowing us down.  Have you ever noticed that you can't run and pat yourself on the back at the same time?  That's true metaphorically as well as literally!

Life's journey involves "forgetting what is behind" and thus "straining to what is ahead."  This Sunday, January 6, I plan to take you through an Old Testament song that reminds us of how God cares for us as we walk life's path.  Start your 2008 right by worshiping the Lord with us (9:30am or 10:45am)!


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