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(With the craziness of the Corona virus and the field portion of my doctoral project I've gotten behind on blog entries. Here is the entry that should have posted early last month.)- JM

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race set out for us. Looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. Heb 12:1-2a ESV

Currently I am packing up gear and supplies for a 40 mile backpacking trip in Big Bend National Park as a part of my doctoral Project. On my kitchen counter is 75 lbs of backpacker food neatly package and labeled in separate bags. Most of the food is dehydrated and is as lightweight as physically possible. I used the National Outdoor Leadership School's ration method and a formula to figure out just how much food each person needs and how much of each type of food.

On a multi-day backpacking trip it is so crucial to take every ounce seriously. What seems like a necessary item in the front country suddenly becomes dead weight when you are miles into the back-country. Backpackers often obsess about ways to get their gear and load as light as possible. I have a friend who will literally cut the handles off his toothbrush!

The writer of Hebrews warns us about being encumbered by the weight of sin in our lives. It has been said that sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay. Just like extra pack weight, sin always seems like a good idea in the moment, but later on you will always regret it. If you are in Christ Jesus you don’t have to be weighed down by your sin. There is healing and forgiveness at the foot of the cross, not matter how far we have fallen. May you look to Jesus for grace and forgiveness, so that you may run your race with endurance and finish well!

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