Mercy And Compassion

Grace…forgiveness…kindness…sympathy…generosity…tenderheartedness.  It seems like sometimes people with these character traits are cast aside by society as weak or out of place.  The fact is these behaviors are what make a community, a business, a church and a family strong and connected.  It is focusing on living in this way that encourages others and keeps us from dwelling on self-centered behaviors.  This reminds me of bible verses in the New Testament, such as: “…The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”  (Luke 10:2)  Meaning the number of people hurting, suffering and in need is many but those willing and able to help is few.  Prayer and acting with these behaviors and finding the way God is asking you to serve others is a wonderful way to turn towards God and step out in faith on your faith journey.  May we all be strong and courageous in showing mercy and compassion to others.  Amen.

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“This is what the Lord Almighty says:  ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.”

Zechariah 7:9

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

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Love Conquers All

The driving force in any relationship is love.  It is described by specific behaviors to us in 1 Corinthians 13, so that we know what it means to love.  These words are read at more weddings than any other bible verse…just hearing or reading the words alone is not enough.  How do each of us as individuals put the words in 1 Corinthians 13 into actions and behaviors in our lives and relationships?  When we look at the life of Jesus…He did not only tell people to pray, He did it…He did not only teach people to help others in need, He did that to…He did not only speak about love…He did the one thing that showed the world His love for all people, for everyone and anyone who ever lives to see.  True love that shows up in our actions and our behaviors will always win over the most difficult and tragic situations.  How can we get better at practicing love in our lives?  I pray we seek to understand where we need to be better at love in our relationships.  Amen.

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“There is no fear in love.  But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

1 John 4:18

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

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Be Still

Take time to build your relationship with the Lord…find a still and quiet place to seek Him…the greatest joy can come from experiencing God’s presence when the Holy Spirit is allowed to flow freely in your heart and soul.  God is with you, He hears you and He knows you…make time to be with Him.  I pray for all to take time to turn towards the Lord and away from the sinful nature.  Amen.

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“Be still, and know that I am God…”

Psalm 46:10

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

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Sow The Seeds Of Faith

Whatever we choose to be, how we choose to behave, the attitude that we choose as our approach to things…this is what will come back to us in our lives.  If we choose to be angry, full of fear, jealousy, envy and go around constantly judging others…that is exactly what we will get back.  Yet if we choose to live differently, if we choose to follow the Fruits of the Spirit as written in Galatians 5:22-23…we will receive those fruits back to us.  So the question is what do you want to sow today?  I pray we seek goodness and to live by the Fruits of the Spirit in our daily walk.  Amen.

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“The one who sows to please the sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”

Galatians 6:8

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 while traveling through North Dakota)

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Live A Life Filled With Love

Offer hospitality…speak encouraging words…serve the needs of others…offer prayers and praise to God.  A life of love is not an ‘it’s all about me life’ rather it is a life with God at the center.  How can we show the love of Christ in our life today?  It is easy to get caught up in the world’s definition of something worth doing, you know…’go big or go home’…we can make a difference in the world just by fulfilling the needs of just one person…to them it may be the biggest or best thing that is done for them today.  Don’t judge your value or your life by the world’s standards…God created you…He knows you, He loves you and He is with you.  I pray we seek and know the love of God in our hearts and minds and we have the courage to share it with others.  Amen.

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“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.  Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”

1 Peter 4:8-10

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

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A New Day

Each morning brings a new day.  New opportunity, new interactions, a new hope, new joy.  The place we have the most impact in our life is Today.  The present moments…we cannot change yesterday or worry endlessly about tomorrow, it is Today that we can make a difference in our thoughts, our actions and with our words.  What does God ask of us today?  Do your best…be the best version of yourself God created you to be, that’s what you can do.  If you are unsure about it, pray to God that He will guide you and show you the way to go.  There is a phrase that keeps coming back to me ever since my Dad passed away, it is simply this…Do you best and let God take care of the rest!  I pray we seek God’s will for our lives and offer ourselves to Him and His mercy and grace.  Amen.

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“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.  He is my shield and horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

Psalm 18:2

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

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We Believe

Today is a day of worship and praise.  The faith journey is often a struggle and feeling alone…we are not alone and we can never forget the foundation of our faith, Jesus Christ.  We must persevere, be strong, have courage and believe.  I offer praise and worship this Sunday through song.  This one by The Newsboys, here are the lyrics and a link to We Believe

We Believe by The Newsboys

In this time of desperation
When all we know is doubt and fear
There is only one foundation
We believe, we believe
In this broken generation
When all is dark, You help us see
There is only one salvation
We believe, we believe

We believe in God the Father
We believe in Jesus Christ
We believe in the Holy Spirit
And He’s given us new life
We believe in the crucifixion
We believe that He conquered death
We believe in the resurrection
And He’s comin’ back again, we believe

So, let our faith be more than anthems
Greater than the songs we sing
And in our weakness and temptations
We believe, we believe!

We believe in God the Father!
We believe in Jesus Christ!
We believe in the Holy Spirit!
And He’s given us new life!
We believe in the crucifixion!
We believe that He conquered death!
We believe in the resurrection!
And He’s comin’ back again!

Let the lost be found and the dead be raised!
In the here and now, let love invade!
Let the church live loud, our God we’ll say
We believe, we believe!
And the gates of hell will not prevail!
For the power of God, has torn the veil!
Now we know Your love will never fail!
We believe, we believe!

We believe in God the Father
We believe in Jesus Christ
We believe in the Holy Spirit
And He’s given us new life!
We believe in the crucifixion!
We believe that He conquered death!
We believe in the resurrection!
And He’s comin’ back,
He’s comin’ back again!
He’s comin’ back again!
We believe!
We believe

 

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“Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life.  He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”

John 6:35

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 at Sapphire Point near Dillon, Colorado)

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God’s Presence

Where do you see God?  When the road ahead looks dark and hopeless, seek Him…when you are unsure or afraid, seek His will…when you are frustrated and angry, trust in His way.  God is with you, no matter what, God created you and He loves you, just the way you are…He is the way to shine a light in the darkness.  Turn towards the Lord and live.  I pray we look for the ways God is with us in our everyday life.  Amen.

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“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

John 1:14

(This photo was taken in October of 2014 on the north shore of the island of Maui)

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Trust

Something that is earned…easily eroded by poor behavior…to be a person of your word…to keep your promises.  Trust is an essential element in good relationships, in relationships that have a chance to grow.  It makes us vulnerable and when we get burned it takes that much longer for us to trust again.  God is the only one who has never broken a promise, He is the only one who is by our side every single day, He is the one who sent His only Son to die in order to save us…yet so many of us want to keep Him in a box with a glass door that says “In case of an emergency break glass.”  In order to trust God we need to be willing to be more open to Him, to be more vulnerable in our relationship with Him and to believe that He is working for good things in our life.  I pray we all can take steps toward trusting God more in our life everyday.  Amen.

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“I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

Psalm 91:2

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

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Fellowship

Friendship…companionship…togetherness…mutual support…shared interests.  A coming together and spending time together, that is what I think of when I think about fellowship.  It is encouraging to come together and be able to openly discuss issues and topics while setting aside judgement and comparisons.  In order for fellowship to be effective there is an element of forgiveness that must be present, because we are human, we will make mistakes and we will need to ask for forgiveness.  The other key element that is necessary for fellowship to work is time.  We need to devote time to fellowship and friendship.  This is also true for our relationship with God.  He has forgiven us of our sins and He is wanting us to spend time with Him.  Reflect on your life and the people in it…with whom do you need to devote more time and where is a lack of forgiveness present?  I pray that we turn towards God and ask Him to help us to see where fellowship is needed in our lives.  Amen.

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“For where two or three come together in my name, there I am with them.”

Matthew 18:20

(This photo was taken in July of 2014 by one of my best friends at a lake place in central Minnesota)

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