God’s Presence

It is true…He is with you…He gives to you…He holds you…He comforts you…He blesses you…He guides you…God is always with you.  There will often be times in this world when you will feel like you are alone, that God has somehow left you.  It is not true, when that happens take a moment to reflect on what you have been focusing on.  I have found in my own life that usually means I have turned away from God for some reason, not the other way around.  We can’t always expect the miracle event to prove that God is with us, let’s face it even people who lived to witness the miracles in person struggled to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  It is a matter of faith to know and believe that God is with us.  He did not bring sin into the world and the bad things that happen are from evil and darkness in the world and they want you to blame God for everything.  God made sure you know that He created you, He loves you and He is with you…it is all written down for you to read for yourself.  Trust in God and you will see the good things too.  May the presence of God surround you and what you see today.

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“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10

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

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Give And You Will Receive

The messages we keep getting from all around us are “get more”, “take what is yours”, “protect it”, “mine”, “not yours” or “me first”…the world emphasizes selfish behaviors and attitudes and people wonder why there is so much conflict and suffering.  This is not how we were made to be.  When God created us out of His love He gave us free will because when we choose to give, it has such a deep impact compared to being forced to give and serve.  Let’s talk about our pets as a simple example…if you have ever owned a dog or a cat you may have experience in the joy one feels when our pets give love and affection freely versus when they choose to do other things…and often times the pets receive better attention and affection when they are givers rather then when they are demanding to get!  If you have never owned a pet I recommend watching the movie ‘Marley and Me’ to see this illustration.  The point is when we make a choice to help, to serve and to give we are showing the love of God through our actions and we will have no need to worry about what we receive.  May the peace and joy of the Lord be with you.

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“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Galatians 6:9

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

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Solid Rock

Firm foundation…strength…courage…determination…a shield…a place of refuge.  When we think about solid rock it gives us the impression of strength to stand on or the protection to shield us.  All of us has a rock in our lives, whether it is another person, a place or something else.  The rock we all need is a solid relationship with Jesus Christ.  He is our firm foundation, He gives us strength and courage, He gives us the fortitude to keep going and He is our shield and protector.  Anything we could ever need will come from Him.  Make time to build your relationship with Jesus Christ our Solid Rock!  May you seek the Lord in your everyday life.

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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 the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

Psalm 18:2

(This photo was taken in July of 2015 at Red Rocks Amphitheater near Morrison, Colorado)

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He Will Restore You

Keep going…be steadfast and determined to find a way…don’t quit…don’t give up on them.  With so much of the world focused on convenience and saving time there seems to be less and less stories about the long journey of success.  The truth about most accomplishments is that they occur over a significant period of time.  In athletics people will tell stories of an “overnight success”  a player just emerged from out of nowhere.  When the truth is that individual worked their tail off for the last 5, 10 or 15 years to get to that moment and the world just noticed them now.  Hard work is expected to achieve anything.  Dedication, commitment and a willingness to fail and try again, these are the things that lead to success.  Especially in relationships and faith.  If you or someone you care for is struggling, start or keep on praying, don’t give up on the situation.  The world and society throw people away all the time…be different, believe in hope and God will restore the situation one way or another.  May God bless you with courage and strength.

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“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.”

1 Peter 5:10

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

 

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Shine The Light

When we believe that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior and we receive the Holy Spirit we receive the Light of Christ in our hearts.  It transforms our thoughts and our actions and it changes our attitude and behaviors.  These transformations are not only to put the the Light in us, they put us in places where we can let that light shine for others to see and begin to know about God and His Son Jesus Christ.  Letting the Light of Christ shine shows others the love God has for them and encourages them to seek Him.  So shine on and let the love and the light and Christ shine through you.  May your actions show the love of God to others.

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“You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.

Instead they put it in its stand, and if gives light to everyone in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 5:14-16

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on Lake Superior near the Apostle Islands)

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Making Plans…

Thinking about taking a trip…making a decision about where to live…job transitions…people and relationships…family gatherings and celebrations.  All these things and many more can involve decisions that will have a lasting impact on our lives and the lives of others.  As we grow our relationship with Jesus we must learn to start the planning process by connecting with God first and not wait until things have gone completely off the rails and we are in desperate need of saving.  When we are early in our faith journey we tend want to keep God in a box with glass door that says “In case of an emergency break glass”…that is us trying to be in control and not fully surrendering ourselves to trusting in God’s plan.  Don’t misunderstand me, I still struggle with this in my personal faith journey often.  The change I am trying to make is to be aware of something that your mind spends a great deal of time on and openly offer it up to God’s will.  To spend more time in prayer on the topic and less time stewing about it in my own mind.  May’s God’s goodness and compassion be with you.

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“The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.”

Proverbs 21:5

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on Lake Superior near the Apostle Islands)

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Truth

On our faith journey there is so much conflict with what the world is telling us and what our readings and spiritual life teach us about how to to live.  This is the result of the spiritual battle going on all around us.  We are created by God and He loves us and longs to have a relationship with us.  And the forces of darkness and evil are doing everything they can to keep our attention on other things, any other thing than God.  There is peace, and it can be found in a daily connection with Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.  The simplicity of doing good things and helping others where you can is the path towards hope.  Take refuge in God and you will have your peace.  May God’s joy be with you.

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“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

Matthew 7:12

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 on Beartooth Pass in Montana)

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Listen To Understand

To truly gain wisdom and to find understanding we must develop the ability to really listen.  Not to be concerned with making our own point but to put ourselves in the place of those who are speaking.  When you read the words of Jesus in the bible just breezing through it may not give you a sense of clarity.  When Jesus spoke He was speaking to all of us not only the people alive at His time.  To understand His message is to step out of your life in this world for a moment and consider where God is working in your life.  One of the phrases I like to use is a summary of this website…“to know Him and to make Him known”  When the Holy Spirit works into us and transforms us we then become equipped to go out and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ and the Gospels to others.  This journey is different for all of us and our impact is not measured by how many others we teach like a score sheet.  Our mission is to receive the Word of God, let it transfigure our mind and attitude, then use our new self to serve.  May the wisdom and peace of the Lord be in you.

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“My dear brothers, take note of this:  Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”

James 1:19-20

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on Lake Superior in the Apostle Islands area)

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Knowledge And Understanding

We just want answers…to know what happened…why…who did this…where are they…when did that happen.  To admit we do not know something is the beginning of being humble.  Unfortunately the sinful nature leads humans to take advantage others and erodes the trust of people.  That sounds like something evil would do…anything to keep people away from God and behaviors that promote goodness, kindness and compassion.  When you want to seek knowledge and wisdom, when you are pursuing understanding, turn to the Word of God.  The bible is the Word of God and He has the information you are seeking.  He is the Creator, He knows the most about what we want to understand.  If you are unsure where to begin, I recommend Proverbs.  May the peace and joy of God be with you.

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“For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”

Proverbs 2:6

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 in the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior)

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Commitment

Not giving up…to honor…responsibility…respect for…trust.  The way of truth means doing what you said you would do.  Our true character shows through to others when they see our commitment to something.  The greatest example of commitment to completing something that was more difficult than anything we will face in our lives was the example Jesus set when He honored a commitment to saving us from our sins.  He endured physical and mental suffering for something He didn’t do.  He is innocent, He has no sin…and yet He took on the sin of all of us and paid the price so that we could be reconciled to God.  He is our Savior and our Salvation will only come from a relationship with Him.  May God’s love and faithfulness be with you.

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“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”

Proverbs 16:3

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 in the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior)

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