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Letting Go

I trust that your New Year has gotten off to a great start—and, if not, I pray that things will get much better for you. Often, we don’t start the New Year out on the “right foot”, because we are still dragging that “foot” around in the past. The New Year gives us the opportunity to embrace a “fresh start”, and to acknowledge that our Wonderful Lord is giving us “another second chance” to meaningfully and effectively follow His plans for our lives! With God all things are possible, and it is never too late to “let go” of that which is keeping “our feet” on the path that God has for us.

The Bible says in Philippians 3: 13-14, “Brothers and sisters, I myself don’t think I’ve reached it, but I do this one thing: I forget about the things in my past and reach out for the things that are ahead of me. The goal I pursue is the prize of God’s upward call in Christ Jesus.” Letting go of the past is never an easy thing to do, but it must be done to truly follow the “path of life”-the path that God has set out for us.

Let me share with you what Pastor T.D. Jakes, pastor of the non-denominational mega church, The Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas, has to say about “Letting Go” in 2018.

“You’ve got to know when it’s over. Let me tell you something. I’ve got the gift of good-bye. It’s the tenth Spiritual Gift. I believe in good-bye...If you are holding on to something that doesn’t belong to you, and was never intended for your life, then you need to LET IT GO! 

  •  If you are holding on to past hurts and pains - LET IT GO! 
  • If someone can’t treat you right, love you back, and see your worth in Jesus - LET IT GO! 
  • If someone has angered you - LET IT GO! 
  • If you are holding on to some thoughts of evil and revenge - LET IT GO! 
  • If you are involved in a wrong relationship or addiction - LET IT GO! 
  • If you are holding on to a job that no longer meets your needs or talents or gifts - LET IT GO! 
  • If you have a bad attitude - LET IT GO! 
  • If you keep judging others to make yourself feel better - LET IT GO! 
  • If you are stuck in the past and God is trying to take you to a new level in Him - LET IT GO! 
  • If you are struggling with the healing of a broken relationship - LET IT GO! 
  • If you keep trying to help someone who won’t even try to help themselves - LET IT GO! 
  • If you are feeling depressed and stressed - LET IT GO! 
  • If there is a particular situation that you are so used to handling yourself, and God is saying “take your hand off of it,” then you need to - LET IT GO! 
  • Let the past be the past. Forget the former things. God is doing a New thing for 2018 - LET IT GO!!! 
  • Get Right or Get Left. Think about it, and then - LET IT GO!! 

My Friends, might I add as a Spiritual Goal For Us in this New Year of 2018 - Yes, indeed, “Let it go…and, let God!”
Remember, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” In 2018, may our God bless keep you and your families.

In Christ’s Love & Service,
Pastor Merritt
Returning to Our Wesleyan Roots

As I began this new year, I reflected on the best practices for me to embrace on my spiritual journey. As a good Generation-X person, I began to look at everything new. New devotionals, new online materials, new applications of scripture all were available, but in the end, I found myself going back to our Wesleyan roots. 

I challenge you to join me. John Wesley laid out a plan for us to become spiritual disciples of Christ and a way to make spiritual disciples of others. What follows is a list of these practices.

Practicing Works of Piety.
Individual Practices – reading, meditating, and studying the scriptures, prayer, fasting, regularly attending worship, healthy living, and sharing our faith with others.

Communal Practices – regularly share in the sacraments, Christian conferencing (accountability groups), and group Bible study. 

Practicing Works of Mercy
Individual Practices - doing good works, visiting the sick, visiting those in prison, feeding the hungry, and giving generously to the needs of others. 

Communal Practices – seeking justice, ending oppression and discrimination (Wesley himself challenged Methodists to end slavery), and addressing the needs of the poor.

By practicing these disciplines, we will not only personally grow in our spiritual life, but we will also be a witness to our church and community that will “help others grow closer to Christ, so others may know Christ.” 

Your brother on the journey, 
Rev. Dr. Rick Vance, Director of Men’s Ministry 
General Commission on UM Men


My Child,

You may not know me, but I know everything about you. I am familiar with all your ways, and even the very hairs on your head are numbered. You were made in my image; in me you live and move and have your being. I chose you when I planned creation. You were fearfully and wonderfully made. I knit you together in your mother’s womb, and I brought you forth on the day you were born.

I have been misrepresented by those who don’t know me. I am not distant and angry, but I am the complete expression of love. It is my desire to lavish my love on you, simply because you are my child and I am your father.

I offer you more than your earthly father ever could, for I am the perfect father. Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand. For I am your provider, and I meet all your needs. My plan for your future has always been filled with hope, and I love you with an everlasting love.

I will never stop doing good to you, for you are my treasured possession. I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul. If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me. Delight in me, and I will give you the desires of your heart. For it is I who gave you those desires.

I am able to do more for you that you could possibly imagine. I am your greatest encourager, and I am also the father who comforts you in all your troubles. One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes, and I’ll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth.

I am your father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus. For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed. He is the exact representation of my being. He came to demonstrate that I am for you, and not against you. He came to tell you that I AM NOT COUNTING your sins.

Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you. I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me—and nothing will ever separate you from my love again.

Come home and I’ll through the biggest party heaven has ever seen. I have always been Father and I will always be Father. My question is…will you be my child. I am waiting for you.

Love, your Dad, Almighty God, Abba

A compilation of paraphrased bible verses that represent a love letter from God to you. More information is at
www.FathersLoveLetter.com.