When we believe and we trust in God we will be required to develop patience in this world.  Circumstances will often look hopeless and many people will despair and be engulfed in sadness and fear, that is the way of evil.  We must never give up hope, we must trust in God to continue working for the good for us and for everyone.  God does not make bad things happen, He is not tempting you with things that are not good…that is sin in the world and we humans invited that sin into this world.  God is at work in all the bad we have created to bring out goodness, kindness and love.  Believe in Him who created us, believe in His one and only Son, Jesus Christ and see the good things that can happen in your life in this world.  May God’s peace and joy be with you.

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“I am still confident of this:  I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”

Psalm 27:13-14

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

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The Joy Of Faith

The true form of joy comes from believing and knowing that the Lord your God created you out of love, knows the about the deepest part of you and will never leave you or abandon you.  Faith has been and is the only thing that can overcome sadness, darkness and sin.  Jesus came down from heaven and showed the power of faith by His actions and His sacrifice.  He defeated sickness and illness, He defeated the devil in the desert, and He defeated death.  He did it all for you and He did it out of His love…and that is why true joy is found only in Faith and nowhere else on earth.  May you find joy in God’s peace and love.

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“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

1 Peter 1:8-9

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

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Peace Of Christ

We are given mercy and grace.  We are forgiven.  We mess up, we make mistakes and pursue worldly things…yet God loves us and desires to have a relationship with each and every one of us.  We do not deserve His love nor can we earn it.  It is given to us freely and we should be thankful.  We did not choose God, He chose us, we can only choose how we will respond to Him.  May the peace of Christ be with you this day.

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“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful.”

Colossians 3:15

(This photo was taken in September of 2016 at a lake in central Minnesota)

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Continue to try, keep going, don’t believe you are a failure.  Mistakes and failure are steps to success.  These hold true in so many aspects of life.  Even in our daily faith life.  If you are working on establishing a daily routine of devotions and bible reading time or just thinking about it, keep trying different times and places.  If you miss a day or more than one get back to it the next day or as soon as you can.  Do your best to make it a priority that sticks and pray about it.  Ask God to guide you to the time and place everyday.  As they say, if it was easy everyone would do it, it takes commitment and it takes perseverance to continue to seek Him and His Word.  May God’s peace be with you.

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“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

James 1:12

(This photo was taken in March of 2018 in White Sands National Monument in New Mexico)

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Wisdom And Understanding

These are two elements that will get us through anything in life.  Wisdom from the Lord and understanding of His Word can help to lead us on the path to joy.  To gain these we must spend time reading the Word, praying and sitting quietly with Jesus.  For these activities are the true sources of wisdom and how we can gain understanding.  The world is filled with darkness and the evil of sin and they will do everything to keep you from spending time with God.  Don’t underestimate the power of sin, it is deceptive and persistent and will always be looking for ways to distract you.  Seek wisdom from the Lord and read the Scriptures for understanding each day.  Ask God to provide you the courage and strength to do so.  He loves you and He is watching over you.  May God’s peace be with you.

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“Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.”

Proverbs 3:13-14

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

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The Path To Joy

It seems so often, we are trying to figure things out…why did this happen?  why didn’t it go the way we thought?  what went wrong?  how did I do that?  that is not what I planned?  These thoughts take us on a roller-coaster of a ride in our daily life and near the end of the day we are exhausted with few answers.  I believe we all need to simplify things a bit, narrow our focus and stay obedient to the way Jesus has taught us.  Start by committing our day to the Lord.  Spend time reading Scripture and praying that gives you a solid foundation to start on…then be present in the moments that are occurring in your life today.  Listen closely to what others are saying, offer encouragement and be of service to others.  If your current circumstances make this difficult or impossible in your mind then pray about that and ask God to help you find your way to a better situation.  The point is you don’t have to do this journey alone and frankly God did not intend you to be alone.  Reach out to the Lord and he will guide you to the right path.  May God’s peace be with you.

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“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

Proverbs 19:21

(This photo was taken in June of 2016 at a lake place in northwestern Wisconsin)

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God Is Love

Where have you seen God show up in your life?  When you reflect on yesterday, last week, last month or even last year where or when did you see God in your relationships with others?  He is at work in every part of your life, can you see it?  God is love, He is at work not from the perspective of what the world is telling you…rather He is working from the perspective of the fruit of the Spirit.  Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.  Wherever you have seen these things in yourself and others that is where God shows up.  He is with you, He will never leave you or abandon you.  God created you and He loves you.  May God’s love and peace be with you.

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“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

1 John 4:7-8

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota)

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Mother’s Day – Cherish And Honor Your Mom

Today is a day to give thanks, to reflect and remember how your Mom impacted your childhood and how she still impacts who you are today.  We all know no human is perfect and not all Mom to child relationships are filled with fond memories but we must remember that people no matter who they are, are doing the best they can.  Whatever your situation take some time today to give thanks for the good your Mom is or was and say a prayer to God about your Mom…whatever prayer is most appropriate for you and your Mom.  Cherish and honor your Mom.  May God’s love, joy and peace be with all Mom’s and with you today.

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“She is clothed with strength and dignity;  she can laugh at the days to come.  She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. 

She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.  Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 

“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.  Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised”

Proverbs 31:25-30

(This photo was taken in March of 2013 in the Bontanical Gardens at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, Nevada)

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Your Personal Relationship With God

It comes down to this…what is the status of your personal relationship with God?  Is He someone you used to know really well and have lost touch with over time?  Is He a social media friend who you only interact with in a superficial way?  Is He a friend that you are unsure about?  Is He someone you have heard some good things about but you have never really met Him in person?  God wants you to know how He is involved in every area of your life…He wants you to want to be closely connected to Him daily.  He is with you and He is waiting to hear from you.  If you are wondering where is God…stop what you are doing and take sometime and ask Him.  He knows you and He loves you.  May God’s love and peace be with you.

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“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11

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

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So often doubts and fears creep in on us and overwhelm us.  We hear things and we read things and it becomes difficult to know who and what we can trust.  This has been true through out all of history.  In the bible the Israelite’s were afraid to go into Canaan except for Caleb and Joshua but everyone listened to those who were fearful and did not go.  During the life of Jesus, many of the actions of people were based in fear.  They had doubts about who Jesus was and they were afraid.  When we let the fear and doubt rule us we are not living the life that God intended for us.  His goodness becomes harder and harder to understand.  As it says in Hebrews 11…

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

Hebrews 11:1

We must combat the fear when it paralyzes us from moving forward.  Pray to God and offer up to Him what fears you have.  It is okay to have doubts but when doubts arise think back in your life when you had doubts and you were surprised by the results of the situation, that is where God shows up.  Believe in God, believe in Jesus Christ his one and only Son and trust the Holy Spirit as your guide…when you do you will sense His presence, His joy and peace.  May God’s love and peace be with you.

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“He replied, “Because you have so little faith, I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Matthew 17:20-21

(This photo was taken in October of 2014 during sunrise on the island of Maui, Hawaii)

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