The Answers Are Found At The Cross

History is filled with events and stories of struggle, despair, war, judgement and injustice.  People of all generations have pressed for money, power and self-centered convenience.  This continues in the present day for all of us…I like everyone else am a sinner and have succumbed to temptations and poor decisions.  These behaviors are the result of human beings inviting sin into the world.  It seems like defeat is all around us and that is just how the prince of darkness wants you feel.  Yet even today there is hope…there is hope of goodness, faithfulness, kindness, peace, patience, love and joy.  And it begins at the Cross of Christ.  May God’s peace be with you.

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“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!”

Philippians 2:5-8

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington)

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Give Thanks

It is easy to get caught up in the minutia of life everyday and forget that God is with you.  In fact that is exactly what the forces of evil want you to do, evil wants you to believe you are all alone and you should only look out for yourself.  God knows the struggle…Jesus faced the devil in the desert and He has overcome death and evil through His death and resurrection.  Connect with the Lord today and be thankful for Jesus who has fought the battle and won.  May God’s peace be with you.

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“But thanks be to God!  He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Corinthians 15:57

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Glacier National Park in Montana)

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What Is Love?

Living our life in relationships with others and living in a self-giving, self-humbling manner that shows us and others that we are together in this journey of life and faith.  Who you are as a person reflects the love in your heart, even when and especially when it is the hardest to love because others have treated you poorly.  When we get to the most difficult moments and life has been beating us down…the strength to be renewed will come from the love of God.  May God’s peace be with you.

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“This is how God showed his love among us:  He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love:  not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

1 John 4:9-10

(This photo was taken in October of 2014 at the Nakalele Blowhole on the island of Maui)

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Use Your Spiritual Gifts

We are all uniquely made by God.  In each one of us there are gifts and talents that we have that were given to us to use to help others in some way.  These may not be fully developed yet but they are still there.  Seek to find what your gifts and talents may be…when you are able to do something that feels like no effort at all and yet others are so thankful for your effort that may be telling you something about your gifts.  Another way to learn about your gifts is to look through a list of volunteer opportunities and whichever one speaks to you and makes you think ‘I could do that’…then go and do it.  You were made for a purpose find ways to seek out what that is and when you find it do more of it.  May God’s peace be with you.

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“We have different gifts according to the grace given us.  If one’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.  If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.”

Romans 12:6-8

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 near Colorado Springs, Colorado)

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Give Your Time And Gifts For Others

We all have received spiritual gifts and blessings in this life…these are not always related to worldly power and finances.  The gift of time and the ability to choose your attitude are two things worth more than all the money in the world.  Don’t take these gifts for granted…do something, do an act of love today…it doesn’t matter what size of an act it is.  Even if your action shows kindness and love to only one other person the ripples of impact can travel far beyond you in this world.  May God’s peace be with you.

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“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

Matthew 25:35-36

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 at Garden of the Gods park in Colorado Springs, Colorado)

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Give Thanks To The Lord

I grew up in house where Sunday was all about going to worship, then food which was usually a full spread brunch at home or out to eat and then football.  These Sundays are some of my best memories from childhood.  There is something about following sports that is hard to explain in words and it doesn’t matter what sport you follow…football, basketball, baseball, hockey, Nascar or even Olympic sports.  For everybody it can be a different sport but when this thing about it gets into you…your juices really seem to get flowing you are either excited because things are going well or you disappointed and disgusted because things do not go well.

Either way, win or lose, the one thing that I have thought about lately is sports and sporting events seem to bring people together in community in a way that few things in this world can and that may be the best part they play in our lives.  May God’s peace be with you.

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“For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”

Psalm 100:5

(This photo was taken by my friend Matt in July of 2014 at a lake place in central Minnesota)

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Let The Light Of Christ Shine

When we open ourselves up and invite Jesus into our heart and lives we will receive the gift of Holy Spirit to guide us and our thoughts.  Leading us to a life that is filled with the fruits of the Spirit.  In order to get there we must surrender the desire to serve ourselves be willing to serve the purpose that God has planned for us.  This is not easy and it is not a one moment event, it is a daily journey to learn to die to self and live to God, changing from the sinful nature of this fallen world to an eternal nature of the Spirit.  The world is dark but Jesus is the Light in the darkness.  Shine on.  May God’s peace be with you.

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“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”

2 Corinthians 4:6

(This photo was taken in July of 2014 at a lake place in central Minnesota)

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He Renews Our Strength

One important aspect of a relationship with God the Father, Jesus His Son and the Holy Spirit is the power to renew us and restore us when we get off course or off track.  When you spend time growing your relationship with the Lord you learn to become aware of His presence…there are few words that can describe the peace that comes from knowing that God is with you every moment of every minute of every hour of every day of your life.  Ask Jesus to come into your heart and restore you…trust in Him…he is the one person that gave up everything he had to save you.  May God’s peace be with you.

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“Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Isaiah 40:28-31

(This photo was taken August of 2016 in Glacier National Park in Montana)

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Always With You

One of greatest mindset shifts that needs to occur on the faith journey is knowing no matter where you go or what you do God will always be with you.  It is up to you to recognize Him and to be aware of his presence through the Holy Spirit.  We all get off course and make mistakes or poor decisions as we live in a broken and fallen world.  God knows this and wants to have a relationship with you to help you through life.  Whatever is on your heart today…give it to Him…leave it at the foot of the cross and see what happens.  May God’s peace be with you.

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“Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming)

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Do what you say you would do…stay true to your word…demonstrate a willingness to be responsible…show integrity.   When you read these phrases and think about them none of them say this is going to be all about ‘fun’ or ‘personally convenient’ or ‘this is all about being happy all the time.’  Commitment is hard and it takes dedication, it takes time and it doesn’t always serve personal desires.

That is the point about commitment…it is not about you!  That is exactly why we need to build our personal relationship with Jesus, he knows what it means to be committed to something that is hard, not fun and not about him…yet he spoke openly with his father to help him keep moving forward and complete the task given to him…and he did it for you and me.  May God’s peace be with you.

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“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”

Proverbs 16:3

(This photo was taken in April of 2016 at sunrise on a lake in central Minnesota)

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