Attitude

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”

Philippians 2:3-5 NLT

A way of thinking…a point of view…outlook…perspective…belief.  How would you define your attitude toward God?  What is His role?  How much time during a typical week are we thinking about God?  The Bible has many of examples of different people and their attitude towards God, it describes their beliefs and actions.  There is a lot for us to learn from those people.  From Genesis to Revelation, we read about those who put God at the center of their lives and those who did not.  The best example of an appropriate attitude towards God is that of Jesus Christ…He took time daily to walk with God and this is what He seeks from us as well.  Spend time with Jesus every day and pray about your attitude towards God.  Amen.

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“He has showed you, O mortal, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Micah 6:8 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2012 on a walk in northwestern Wisconsin)

The Power Of Prayer

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 every situation, by 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 NIV

The power of prayer does not come from what words you say or what order you say them in…the true power of prayer comes from the One who answers prayers and whether you believe in Him.  A prayer offered with doubt and hesitation or out of routine is not the same as one offered from the heart with honesty, sincerity and belief in God.  Pray and believe.  Amen.

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“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly[a] I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Mark 11:22-24 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2019 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

Wisdom

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
    but fools[a] despise wisdom and instruction.”

Proverbs 1:7 NIV

If you want to start reading the Bible but are unsure where to begin…try starting with Proverbs.  Guess how many chapters God has in Proverbs…the answer is 31, you can read one chapter a day and you would complete the Book of Proverbs in one month.  Not only that you will be reading the words of one of the wisest people that ever lived.  There is so much good to learn in Proverbs, it will help you in your daily life and grow your relationship with God.  God’s Word is a gift to us…pick it up and read.

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“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”

James 3:13-18 NIV

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

Teach Me Your Way

Teach me your way, O Lord,
    and lead me on a level path
    because of my enemies.”

Psalm 27:11 NIV

Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
    for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
    for to you I lift up my soul.”

Psalm 143:8 NIV

Following the Lord is not a one-time check the box task…it is a daily connection and communication with God.  It is putting your trust and faith in Him and His way…it is listening, learning and growing.  It is about being transformed from the inside out and putting what we learn into action in our lives.  It is not easy and success is not measured by worldly standards…we must remember anything is possible with God and He is with us and within us all the time.  Praise be to God.  Amen.

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Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
    and he will establish your plans.”

Proverbs 16:3 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2021 at Alberta Falls in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)

Plans

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV

Whose plans are you working on?  What is the purpose of what you are doing?  When you have questions like this and others about your life the best place to turn is to Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.  He knows what is best for you and He loves you.  Ask the Lord to guide and direct you and then pay attention and listen for His reply.  Amen.

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Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
    and he will establish your plans.”

Proverbs 16:3 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2019 at a lake in northwestern Wisconsin)

Believe…Pray

“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly[a] I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Mark 11:22-24 NIV

Prayer offered as a routine ritual is more about the ritual than meeting with God or crying out to Him.  Prayer that is sincere, honest and vulnerable is offered with belief and faith is the kind of prayer Jesus is talking about above in Mark 11.  Reflect on your prayer life and ask God to help and guide you.  Amen.

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If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

John 15:7-8 NIV

(This photo was taken in May of 2020 along the North Shore of Lake Superior)

Trust In The Lord…Praise Him

Trust in the Lord and do good;
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Psalm 37:3-4 NIV

Only God can do the things we wish we could control…only He can transform the way people think and change their hearts.  Faith is about trusting His way and His timing…be still and wait patiently for Him.  Keep doing good things according to His Word.  Amen.

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I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
    I will glorify your name forever.”

Psalm 86:12 NIV

(This photo was taken in April 2020 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

The Word Of God

Your word is a lamp for my feet,
    a light on my path.”

Psalm 119:105 NIV

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

Colossians 3:16 NIV

Let God’s Word be your guide in life.  The world is filled with brokenness and suffering and none of us is immune.  God knows what is happening in the world and in your life…His Word is a gift to us…pick it up, read it, memorize it and let it be a light for your path.  Amen.

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All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2021 in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)

Our Help…Our Guide

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.”

Psalm 121:1 NIV

The evil in this world wants to distract and discourage you…turn you away from God.  Not aggressively, slowly…methodically…in a way only the great deceiver can carry out.  Don’t be misled, don’t believe the lies…look to God in prayer in everything.  Nothing in your life is too small or insignificant to talk to God about…that’s what evil wants you to believe.  Turn to God in faith and trust His way.  Let the Word of God be your guide to living the best you can in everything…every day.  Amen.

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The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.”

Psalm 23:1-3 NIV

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

He Lives In You

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Galatians 2:20 NIV

Jesus Christ is the foundation of our faith.  Not only because of what He did when He was human on earth and not only because He sacrificed Himself for us and died on a cross or because He rose…He is the foundation of our faith today because of all these things and the fact that He Lives in us.  Before He ascended, He promised the Holy Spirit would come to those who love Him and do as He commands.  In the Gospel of John 14, Jesus promises the Holy Spirit and explains our connection to Him through the Spirit.  The love of God can be found in the hearts of people and can be shared with others…it is up to each of us to seek Him and trust in His way rather than our own.  May you be encouraged by knowing that He is with you and He is within you today and always.  Amen.

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On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.  Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

John 14:20-21 NIV

(This photo was taken last weekend at a lake place in northwestern Wisconsin)