The definition of this word is: “continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.”  To me it says don’t give up.  One truth about life that some find difficult to understand is there are going to be times when life is difficult and unfair.  We are human and none of us is going to be perfect.  Trouble will come our way despite our best efforts to avoid it.  So what are we going to do?  We keep going with “continued effort” in spite of difficulties, failures and opposition.  We move forward respectfully and give our best to achieve.  Another blogger who writes BeautyBeyondBones shared some advice she would get from her mother during extremely difficult times…what is the next right thing to do?  If we can figure that out in any situation we can persevere.  We also have the greatest teacher ever in Jesus, He showed us the ultimate perseverance and we will remember it during Holy Week next week.  May God’s peace be with you.

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“Blessed in the one who perseveres under trial, because when they have stood the test, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”

James 1:12

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 near Arches National Park in Utah)

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We all experience times and events that are good times and bad times.  Times when we can relax and be at peace and times when chaos reigns, it all occurs depending upon what is going on in our lives and who we are spending our time with.  The environment we choose to spend time in will always impact our highs and lows.  Who are we surrounding ourselves with, are we able to be ourselves or are we always performing for others consciously or subconsciously?  Throughout history there is only one thing that has created a firm foundation to stand on…the bible.  The Word of God and the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The values and principles of a life following Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are documented, solid and unchanging.  If you are looking for a place to build your life on start with the greatest foundation available.  May God’s peace be with you.

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

Hebrews 13:8

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

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Taste And See

The hymns that played on Sundays in worship when I was growing up often come back to my mind.  I believe this is proof that once the seed of faith is planted it will emerge when we take time to be with God.  He never leaves us and no matter what we are facing He is willing to guide us if we can open ourselves up to His goodness.  As the lyrics of the hymn state, “taste and see the goodness of the Lord”…some of the other hymns I remember that come to mind, “On Eagles Wings”; “Here I Am Lord” all based on verses in the bible.  Music, one of the many ways God can communicate with us.  May God’s peace be with you.

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“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”

Psalm 34:8

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

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Spiritual Food

When we read the bible we are feeding our spiritual life so that it can grow.  If we only take time to listen to the word of God once a week in worship our spiritual growth is very limited.  Just as the body needs food and water daily to stay healthy.  We also need to exercise in order to be strong to stand up to evil.  For the spiritual food we receive is the verses of the bible, this is the living water that Jesus speaks about in the Gospel of John.  We can be nourished by spending time digesting the Word of God.  The exercise of our spiritual life is the action we take that shows we are a disciple of Jesus.  The actions that bear fruit to the world.  Choose to feed your spiritual life, pick up the bible and feed your spiritual body.  May God’s peace be with you.

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“I am the vine; you are the branches.  Whoever remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

John 15:5

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

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Light of Life

Everyone goes through storms in life.  Some storms are dark clouds with some hail, rain and thunder and lighting while others storms can be tornadoes or hurricanes.  When we watch the news coverage of weather events like these if it is often the next day and people are out helping each other clean up and the left over debris and trash is put into a pile to be removed, it is usually a bright and sunny day as the storm has passed by and new day has dawned.  This is exactly how we should try to process the storms of our lives…even the most horrific storms have a next day when the sun will shine and we can pick up the pieces and begin again.  The best way to seek this light of life is with Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior and the Holy Spirit and know you are not alone.  Besides when major weather event moves through an area we are not the only ones whose house gets hit…we are all much more alike in the events of life then many of us are willing to believe.  May God’s peace be with you.

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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 July of 2016 in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming)

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This is the beginning of a personal relationship with God.  It is not a place to worry about saying the right words in the correct order rather it is about being honest with yourself and talking in truth to God about everything and anything.  A strong personal relationship always begins with communication, honest, heart-felt and a willingness to be vulnerable shows true commitment and trust.  Then when we are looking for the answers we must be open to a possibility of something we did not think was going to happen because with God anything is possible, even the unthinkable.  Open up your heart and mind in conversation with God and then watch for the amazing things that will happen.  May God’s peace be with you.

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“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Philippians 4:6

(This photo was taken in June of 2015 while driving through South Dakota)

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The bible is filled with promises by God and He fulfills those promises, not according to our standard rather, according to His.  We are always trying to fit God into our view of how things should be instead of surrendering ourselves to His view.  Every promise God has made has been completed, except for one.  He promises that Jesus will come back again to take us home and based on the history of promises kept a believer should have every confidence that Jesus will return.  It is written, He will come down from heaven, check…He will heal the sick and help the poor, check…He will be crucified and die, check…He will be risen and ascend to the Father, check…He will come again, still pending…this promise will be fulfilled according to God’s standard not ours.  May God’s peace 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 living.  Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”

Psalms 27:13-14

(This photo was taken in June of 2012 while traveling through northwestern Wisconsin)

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Our strength to stand and face the difficult or troubling circumstances of life and the world we live in comes from God.  Personal will power or raw emotion will only carry us for so long…the key element that can impact and affect human behavior is a relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  There will be times when you will feel blindsided by what someone has said to you or about you to others, unfortunately this is common human behavior.  Bring these moments to the cross, renew your resolve and strength through faith…it is the only place to find the one who gave everything He had for you.  May God’s peace be with you.

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“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

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


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Throughout our journey in life out of all the places and people we will encounter there are only a few who will last as our true friends through it all.  These are the few who know us better than any others, they know more about us and we have built up a significant amount of trust in our relationship with them.  They are the ones we want to call when we are struggling and they are one of the first people we want to celebrate with when things are going well.  We are willing to do more to help them and they are more willing to help us.  A true friend listens without giving you instructions on what you should do, a true friend sacrifices and makes time for us, a true friend accepts us unconditionally just as we are and a true friend is willing to stand by us no matter what happens.  As you can see this is a very high standard of friendship and we strive to meet it with a few people but the only one who can attain this level of friendship without fail is Jesus.  He set the bar on friendship and the human race should be eternally grateful.  May God’s peace be with you.

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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 June of 2016 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)


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Faith Begins With Belief

In order to grow in faith and to experience spiritual growth in life it is important to renew our belief in Jesus.  To believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who came down from heaven, to know that he came specifically to save human beings from their sins, to reconcile all of us with God…to believe He died on the cross and to have confidence that He has risen from the dead and He is going to come back again.  Our faith in God starts with the belief that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior and He is with you each and every day of your life.  There is nothing in life that can compare to that fact.  May God’s peace be with you.

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“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

Hebrews 4:16

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

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