The Light Of The World

When we are discouraged and defeated it may be because we are clinging to the things of this world and we are living in darkness.  Comparing ourselves to others, believing our worth and our value comes from something or someone other than God.  If we are struggling to see, we need to remember the Light of the World…Jesus Christ…our Savior and Lord.  Let Him lead you and guide you…read God’s Word about His birth, His life, His death and His resurrection and remember He did it all for you.  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 April of 2016 at a lake in central Minnesota)

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Lord, I Need You…

Lord I Need You by Matt Maher

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but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.”

Isaiah 40:31

(This photo was taken in February of 2013 in a neighborhood near Plymouth, Minnesota)

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Persistence And Patience

Keep going with prayer…don’t let the desire for immediate gratification discourage you…God’s will is not about your timing.  Seek comfort from Jesus by spending time in prayer and reading God’s word, pay attention for God’s responses in your daily life.  Align yourself with God’s plan and go after it with persistence and patience.  God is with you and He loves you.  Amen.

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“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”

Colossians 4:2

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

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Holy Living

It is simple yet very different from worldly values.  It is about living a balanced life with Christ at the center.  It is not about judgement or comparing oneself to others…it is about the Fruits of the Spirit shining through your thoughts, words and actions because in your heart you truly believe, you have confessed your sins and have an on-going personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  It is not perfect and we never will be…it means you will still face difficulties and suffering in life but you will be better prepared to go through them with God as your guide.  It is the only way to find true peace.  Amen.

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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. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Colossians 3:15-17

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

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Start With Gratitude

It’s an incredible thing…choosing to start with gratitude is a clear path to changing your perspective.  Ask yourself, ‘what am I thankful for?’ and it leads your thoughts and your mind to search for what is good, positive and optimistic.  If at first it is difficult and you find yourself quickly slipping into ‘what I don’t have’ or ‘the way things used to be’ consciously stop yourself and make a list of 2-3 things that you are grateful for.  The more we put this into practice the more our perspective will change.  If you struggle with this turn to Jesus Christ in prayer and ask Him to help you see the good that is all around you.  Trust in the Lord and give Him thanks for all that He has done for you.  Amen.

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“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his[a];
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.”

Psalm 100

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

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He Loves Us All

How He Loves by David Crowder Band

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“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:8

(This photo was taken in October of 2014 at the Nakalele Blowhole on the island of Maui, Hawaii)

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We Are Not Alone

Whatever the struggle…whatever the battle is in your life…physical, mental, emotional or spiritual…you are not alone in your fight.  God is with you…He tells us over and over again in the bible…Joshua 1:9, Isaiah 41:10, Deuteronomy 31:6, Matthew 28:20 and several more times.  Trust in the Lord, He has never broken a promise and His promise is to be with you for every day and for every situation…it is up to us to look, listen and to come near to Him.  Amen.

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“…because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Hebrews 13:5

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

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Transformation

The journey of faith and our relationship with Jesus Christ does not end with us coming to the Cross.  We all must come to the Cross, confess our sins and ask Christ into our hearts and minds to help turn us away from sinful desires.  After that transformation can begin…you see the journey continues as we must go back out into the world with a new attitude and a renewed mind and live the life God intended for us.  As referenced yesterday, when Saul became Paul that was just the beginning of his transformation that led to the spread of Christianity across the world.  Turn towards Jesus Christ and be transformed.  Amen.

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Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Romans 12:1-2

(This photo was taken in February of 2013 in a neighborhood near Plymouth, Minnesota)

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An Encounter…

Many of the Books in the New Testament are a letter written by the Apostle Paul to the people in the churches He started.  They are meant to teach, encourage and guide the people.  They are also His prayers for them.  Paul, formally known as Saul, had an encounter with the risen Lord on the road to Damascus and from that point forward everything single thing He did the rest of his life was about shining a light on Jesus Christ.  When we read his letters, we learn about Jesus and a new life that puts faith first.  Amen.

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I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

Ephesians 3:16-19

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 near Garden of the Gods Park in southern Colorado)

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Focus

What are your thoughts like?  What is on your mind more often than other things?  What issues or actions grab your attention?  There is so much coming at us in our daily lives that we easily lose focus.  We are distracted, constantly shifting from one thing to the next, never getting anywhere.  So much of what is put before us is the work of evil and darkness, working to keep us away from God and our relationship with Jesus.  The more we take time to focus on God’s word and spending time in prayer the more clearly we can see the important things in life and let the other stuff fade away.  Renew your thoughts and your mind and you will find peace.  Amen.

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“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

Colossians 3:2

(This photo was taken in March of 2018 while traveling in southern New Mexico)

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