Rest In Him

When and where do you get quiet time in your life?  We all  have commitments and responsibilities and if we run ourselves into the ground just trying to keep up, we eventually become weary and ineffective at many things.  The key is to find some balance, to prioritize, we can’t be all things to all people.  This is why the story or analogy of the big rocks, the pebbles and the sand in a bucket hits home with so many people.  We know that if we spend all our time on the sand and pebbles we will never get to the big rocks in life.  For me this analogy is all about balance.  Sometimes we can say yes and sometimes we need to say no or not right now…Jesus set the example for us, while He spent time teaching and speaking to the people He also would go off alone to pray and spend time with God our Father for hours…balance.  Take time and rest in Him.  Amen.

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“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Matthew 11:28

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

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Be Courageous

One of God’s great gifts is free will.  He created us out of His love and His desire for relationship with us is one He wants us to seek, willingly.  He did not create us to be robots or puppets, which means we have a responsiblity to make choices.  We will find we are often presented with opportunities to make decisions and if we are paying attention to our faith journey over time it becomes more and more clear which choice is step towards God and which choice is a step toward our sinful nature.  It will take courage to make decisions grounded in faith, it will be different than what the world thinks you should do.  Don’t give in to fear, the journey will be very difficult at times and as it states in the Book of Ephesians chapter 6, put on the full armor of God and stand in faith.  The choices will often be between courage and fear, be courageous in your faith.  Amen.

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“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.”

1 Corinthians 16:13-14

(This photo was taken in July of 2015 at Red Rocks Amphitheatre near Morrison, Colorado)

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Seek The Light

In our daily lives we are surrounded by messages of temptations, judgements and propaganda telling us what we should think, what we need to do, what brand of this or that, that a ‘sensible’ person uses. In the era of social media it has evolved into pop-up ads and notifications within streams of other information. This is all the work of darkness and evil. No matter what outlet you choose the attempt to pull you away from God will be present. There is a light for all of us and it is the Word of God. Seek Him and His Word and you will find hope and peace in a dark world. Amen.

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“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”

Psalms 119:105

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 at a park near Bayfield, Wisconsin)

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How Deep Is Our Faith?

I have heard the faith journey described as a process of working from the inside, out.  The first part of the journey is transforming and changing the inside of ourselves…our thoughts, our beliefs, our attitude and our behaviors…removing the focus on sinful desires and self-centeredness as we learn and grow in our personal relationship with Christ.  As the inside changes we become better equipped to share what we have learned and to provide encouragement to others on the journey, just as we have been and will be given assistance on our own journey.  The question today is regarding that inside part of the process…the learning and growing and the depth of our inside transformation is not to reach a destination.  The more we learn and grow and spend time in our reltionship with the Lord the deeper and stronger that relationship becomes.  As discussed yesterday the battles will come at us in this life and a deep, strong relationship with Christ is the most powerful weapon we have when it comes to fighting evil in this world.  Continue to strengthen and grow your relationship with Jesus Christ.  Amen.

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“But blessed in the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.  They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green,  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8

(This photo was taken in July of 2012 while walking on a trail in the North Shore of Lake Superior)

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Battles Along The Way

We read in the Bible about what this life will be like, it even has it in red letters for us to indicate that these are the words of Jesus…“In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33  Yet all of us attempt to get through things alone, at least the first time or several times for us slow learners.  We are not alone on this journey…no matter who or what or how much trouble we are facing in this world nothing is to too big for God our Father, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.  Maybe in order for more humans to take note, life should come with a warning label…WARNING: Life will be difficult do not try this alone.  Take time to seek Jesus, read about His life on earth, His teachings, His sacrifice, His victory.  It is all available for you to read in God’s Word and God made sure you would have the opportunity to see it and to know Him.  Peace to you on your journey.  Amen.

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“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

1 Peter 5:7

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

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The Love Of God

To know the love of God means you are in tune with your relationship with Him and you know Him versus just knowing about Him.  The love God has for us isn’t something to be measured or compared to others.  It is an experience, it is about a relationship with Jesus Christ, His one and only Son.  It is the reason we were created, it is why Jesus sacrificed Himself for us and it is the one thing we can always count on in life, no matter what.  Seek to learn about God’s love for you and spend time getting to know Him.  Amen.

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“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 4:10

(This photo was taken in June of 2018 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

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Spiritual Gifts

We all have been blessed with certain gifts, talents and abilities.  It is important for us to learn about our gifts in order for us to use them in the world.  There are an overwhelming amount of books and tests and profile charts created by people to sort out what  “tendencies” we each possess.  Another way to understand more about our spiritual gifts is to pay attention to what comes naturallly to us and what things other people sometimes point out to us as a real gift.  As with anything, a assessment of your spiritual gifts should be done in consultation with Jesus Christ.  If we go into and through this process without being led by the Lord then all we are doing is finding out what the world thinks of us or what the world thinks we should do.  We are all created for a purpose and only God can guide us to the truth about what that is.  May peace and joy be with you on your faith journey.  Amen.

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“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Ephesians 2:10

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 at a park on Madeline Island in Lake Superior)

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The Foundation Of Our Faith

Jesus Christ.  His birth, His life, His words, His teachings, His love, His grace, His mercy, His willingness to forgive us, His ability to take our punishment, His death, His resurrection.  If you are looking for answers, seek Him…If you are struggling with a situation, ask Him what you should do…If you are grateful and thankful for blessings in your life, thank Him.  He is our Light in a dark world.  Open yourself up to Him and you will find peace and joy.  Prepare The Way of the Lord in your heart.  Amen.

Prepare the Way – Holy Redeemer Church, Performer: Daniel Schmit

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“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”

Proverbs 18:10

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on the shore of Lake Superior near Ashland, Wisconsin)

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What’s Different?

How has your faith shown up in your daily life?  When you reflect on your attitude, your perspective and your daily living and compare it to a previous point in time, what do you notice has changed?  Some of our old ways have faded, some are taking longer to adjust…this is the process of spiritual growth.  Not everyone will encounter a burning shrub in the desert like Moses or directly encounter Christ on the road like Saul who became Paul.  Our journey will be different, yet our God who is with all of us is the same.  Be aware of who you are, the people in your life and what you can offer someone in need right where you are and pray.  Pray for wisdom and courage, pay attention to what God is up to in your daily life.  That alone will be different than the way we were before.  Amen.

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“For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.  Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.”

1 Thessalonians 4:7-8

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 along Beartooth Pass in Montana)

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True Hope

People are constantly seeking answers to difficult questions in life from a worldly point of view.  Approaching situations with this perspective and mentality leads to phrases like…’I don’t know what else to do’…’It will never get better’…’I have tried everything’…’I give up.’  We were not made to do things alone.  We are created out of love and that love is from God.  He wants a relationship with us, all that is good in our lives is from God.  Darkness and evil, the bad things in life, are rooted in sin which is the way of this world.  Our hope, our peace comes from God and our time spent in our relationship with Jesus Christ, His Son, our Lord and Savior.  Be renewed by the hope that we have in Jesus.  Amen.

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“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.  We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed.”

2 Corinthians 4:7-8

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on the shore of Madeline Island in Lake Superior)

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