Believe

God loves you…God is with you…Bring all your worries and your fears to the Cross and trust in Him who died to save you.  Our faith is free but it is not cheap, when you plant the Word of God in your heart nobody can take that from you.  Believe in God the Father…believe in Jesus Christ His Son our Lord and live knowing…God loves you…God is with you.  Amen.

We Believe by The Newsboys

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“Do not let you hearts be troubled.  Trust in God; trust also in me.”

John 14:1

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

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Patience

Here is where I struggle in life…I know we all face trials in life but oh man, patience is where I need help every day.  I find it ironic that I depend so greatly on God’s patience with me because I have so much growing yet to do.  God’s Word is a big help and reading daily helps to renew and restore my perspective and attitude.  Here is the lesson that I need to keep learning…it’s not about me.  We face troubles and trials all the time and how we handle these things can indicate how much we truly believe in the faith we profess.  One of the most incredible people in the Bible to me is Job…talk about perseverance and a faith so strong it could survive such devastation and destruction, amazing.  I pray we all can develop the patience and perseverance provided by faith…no matter what we may face in this world.  Amen.

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“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”

James 1:2-3

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 in Badlands National Park in South Dakota)

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Consistent

Steady…stable…unchanging…unswerving…unwavering…dependable…reliable…unfailing.  Always available, always with us.  How many things or people can you name in your life that meet this standard?  We all have faced and will continue to face trials and troubles, we will all suffer loss and feel like nothing is going right and think where is God in all of this?  He is right there with you…the most consistent and reliable thing in life is God’s Word and the one person you can always count on is Jesus Christ His Son our Savior and Lord.  Nothing in this world can compare to what is available to us through faith.  Read the Word of God daily and spend time in communication with Jesus and you will find peace.  Amen.

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“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

Hebrews 13:8

(This photo was taken in July of 2012 in a neighborhood near Plymouth, Minnesota)

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Light Of Life

When the power goes out or we enter a place or a room that is dark…what do our instincts tell us to do?  Search for a light, why?  So we can see our surroundings and the way to move forward.  This is exactly the reaction we should have when our life feels like we are in the dark or surrounded by darkness.  Search for the Light, the Light of Christ to help us to see and to guide us forward.  So many of us stay in the darkness and spend days, weeks, months or even years trying to find our way around in the dark and we wonder why life is so hard?  Follow the instincts that God has placed inside you…seek the Light of Life so that you can see.  Amen.

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“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12

(This photo was taken in June of 2016 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

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Savior…Sacrifice…Salvation

The world tells us to pursue money, comfort and the easy life.  To look out for ourselves and satisfy ourselves first and most often, this is the sinful nature and it has taken hold in many people.  There is a way to be different and to live with purpose and it is based on your personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  He loves you, He gave His life to save you and His way is the only way to God the Father.  Spend time reading God’s Word and learn about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.  May the peace of the Lord be with you.  Amen.

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“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6

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

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Prayer…Taste And See

We are searching for answers to so many questions.  We are easily frustrated and begin to think negative thoughts.  We think that the only way to pray is with certain words or a certain way…God just wants hear from us no matter how or when we pray.  He desires a real relationship with us, not for us to perform the way we think He wants us to.  Pray with your words and your feelings, be willing to be honest with God and seek His will for your life.  Here are the lyrics and a song by Riley Clemmons to share her thoughts about prayers…

Broken Prayers by Riley Clemmons

I’ve been taught how to talk to you
Hold it together, make the bad look better
Say all the words that I’m supposed to
Bow my head, say, “amen”
Yeah, that’ll do
Making every dead end look like heaven
Like being okay is the way to reach you
But you’re not afraid of all the things I feel
So why am I afraid of being real?
You want my tears, every messy word
Every scar and every fear
You want all I have
With no holding back
When I’m hurt, at my worst
You meet me there
‘Cause you see the beauty
In my broken prayers
In my broken prayers
You don’t care if it ain’t poetry
‘Cause all of my edges
They’re a little rough
But that’s all I got to bring
‘Cause you’re not afraid of all the things I feel
Don’t have to hide the scars that still aren’t healed
You want my tears, every messy word (yeah)
Every scar and every fear
You want all I have
With no holding back
When I’m hurt, at my worst
You meet me there
‘Cause You see the beauty
In my broken prayers
In my broken prayers
Mascara running down my face
Desperate cry in a dark place
You take me that way
All of me
You want my tears, every messy word
Every scar and every fear
You want all I have
With no holding back
When I’m hurt, at my worst
You meet me there
‘Cause you see the beauty
In my broken prayers
In my broken prayers
In my broken prayers
In my broken prayers
My broken prayers
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“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”
Psalms 34:8
(This photo was taken in April of 2016 on a lake in central Minnesota)
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Give Thanks and Praise

It is crazy how quickly the attetntion of so many people is distracted.  Today’s world is filled with so much information and so much more incorrect information that it is easy to get derailed or side tracked.  We need to be able to be centered on something or someone to keep us level headed and not chasing every feeling and emotion as if we are the center of the universe.  God knows everything about us.  I did a brief exercise this morning that I read about in one of my devotionals today…think about your last 24 hours…God knows about every single thing and every single thought you have experienced…yes even that one…now think about the fact that this is true about every single thing and thought in your life…and after all that realize that right now, knowing all those things, God forgives you and God loves you the same today as He did the day you were born.  To show you how much He loves and cares for you He sent His Son to take the punishment that we all deserve so that we can still have a relationship with Him.  Give thanks and praise to God our Father and Jesus Christ, His Son, our Savior and Lord.  Amen.

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“Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:4-7

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

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Jesus

We are saved because of Him.  We are forgiven.  We can find joy, peace and contentment in life because of Him.  Even when we have turned away from God, maybe for long period of time because we are frustrated or mad at God or we have been over come with doubt and fear.  He calls to us, He cares for us and He is The Way back to a relationship with God.  The things of this world will come and go…time, money, people and friendships.  The one constant for us, the one thing we know we can rely upon no matter what is happening or where we are in life…we can always rely on the love of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Give Me Jesus by Jeremy Camp

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“…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

John 10:10

(This photo was taken in August of 2012 while hiking on the North Shore of Lake Superior)

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Persevere

Purposeful…dedicated…courageous…committed…determined…resolute.  It takes strength to run the race of faith.  The evil in this world will serve us many forms of darkness and struggle, it will work hard, very hard to keep us away from God.  We have to be willing to fight just as hard to stay close to God and trust in the hope that faith gives us…even when…especially when we can’t see it.  Don’t stop believing…(and now the song by Journey is playing in my mind)…keep the faith, when you get knocked back or pushed down trust in God and keep running the race of faith.  Amen.

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“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

Hebrews 12:1

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

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Our Faith And Our Actions

These two things are linked and interwoven together.  If we focus on only one without the other we are not complete.  A faith journey can begin on the inside, molding and shaping our thoughts and our attitude, as we grow, we begin to show what we have learned in our actions and our behaviors towards others.  We have had the best example possible set for us in the life of Christ.  He not only spoke the Words of faith and taught others, he went out and lived it…He befriended the hurting, the sick, the lonely and the mistreated and came to bring healing to our broken world.  When we are able to join our faith and our actions they feed us, help us to grow and bring joy and peace.  Amen.

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“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.  My command is this:  Love each other as I have loved you.”

John 15:11-12

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

 

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