Fresh Hope – 20th January 2020



It was not until we moved house several years ago that I had to learn a new skill…that of lighting a real fire.

It looked pretty simple to me, and I couldn’t wait for the winter nights to draw in, so that we could have our very own coal fire. It would bring back so many fond memories from when I was a child. A few pieces of newspaper, a pile of tinder wood and then finally the logs and coal – what could be difficult about that?

Several failed attempts later, I sought the advice of an experienced coal merchant that I knew. I soon learnt that it was all about having thoroughly ‘seasoned’ wood to start the fire, otherwise you would actually be putting the fire out more than getting it going.

I’d never heard of seasoned wood before, but soon gathered that it was wood that had stood outside in all weathers for at least 18months and then kept really dry before use. Seasoning wood effectively ensures that the sap is dried out and the wood is crisp and dry.

Since I learnt that lesson, I’ve never had a bad fire since, well that was until last week when it dropped particularly cold one night, and I threw some unseasoned wood on the fire to get it going in a rush and hey presto…it went out!

Ever wondered why your life seems to just smoulder and continually keep going out? Take a look at the people that you’re surrounding yourself with and that will be your biggest clue.

They all look much the same, just like pieces of wood, but if they are not well seasoned they are simply going to dampen the most positive spirit around.

Ask yourself at the start of this day: ‘how many people around me are unseasoned, damp-spirited people that keep causing my passion to die?’

Finding the right people can sometimes take time, as they often all look the same, but when you find the right ones you will see such a difference; that passion, that vision, that dream, that fire burning in you will be ignited and become red hot.

Ask God to send well seasoned people into your life in 2020 and then be willing to bring them close to you. One of those people may be right under your nose everyday, but you’ve never noticed them in the wood pile.

Don’t just align yourself with the newest friends on the block, they haven’t yet been seasoned, and could well put your fire out, instead embrace those whose lives are lived with passion, and you’ll soon discover the effect they have on you.

Proverbs 13:20 Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.


Pastor Mark

A daily devotion for a better way of living.