We are comforted by the presence of the Lord in our lives. A life of faith can lead to peace and joy that transcends worldly understanding. As we are fulfilled, we are equipped to help others who are in need. Our growth in our spiritual lives will shape us as a new creation, with new values, a new attitude and a new perspective. God does provide all that we need and it is up to us to use the blessings we receive to care for ourselves, our families and others. We are blessed to be a blessing. Amen.
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
(This photo was taken in June of 2013 near Pike’s Peak in Colorado)
Our thoughts are often the driver of our hearts and our actions. The more we think about and focus on something, the more likely it will lead us to doing something. The problem is the amount of inputs and sensory overload we are getting from darkness and evil tend to keep us dwelling on our sins and the sinful nature within us. It truly is a struggle and can be all consuming. The only source of Light is Jesus Christ. The only way to get help in removing the blinders to goodness and good things is God’s Word. Faith will not make the evil and darkness disappear, rather it provides the tools and the resources we need to promote the Fruit of the Spirit. Faith helps us shine the Light of Christ for us and others to see in this dark world. Thanks be to God for Jesus Christ our Light of the World. Amen.
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on Lake Superior near the Apostle Islands)
No matter what we do or where we go, we are still loved by God. We tend to think, not me, God deosn’t really love me…look at the things I have done and left undone. Look at what I said, look at my life and the things that have happened because of me. To this I say look at the examples of people in the Bible. Peter, rejected being associated with Jesus three times after Jesus was arrested. Rahab in the Book of Joshua, she was a prostitute who acted with faith and courage to help God’s people capture the Promised Land. Saul who became Paul…he hunted down and killed many of the followers of Jesus and yet the Lord still loved him and made him one of the greatest teachers of the faith in the New Testament. There are many more like these. We are not perfect nor will we ever be, we will make mistakes and do the wrong things…inspite of it all God still loves us and wants to help us grow and mature in our faith. Trust in the Lord. Amen.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
(This photo was taken in July of 2016 at Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming)
Sometimes it is all we have…often times we have a hard time seeing it. We get consumed by our circumstances and our emotions. Our hope is because of Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. All that is good is from God and all that is darkness and evil is from sin and the sinful nature. We can trust in God to lift us up, to give us strength and to guide us to peace and joy. It is up to us to seek Him and His will for us. May the grace and mercy of God’s love be with us all. Amen.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave your nor forsake you.”
(This photo was taken in July of 2016 while traveling through North Dakota)
Jesus Christ was born and lived life as a human being for 30+ years. He performed miracles that thousands of people witnessed and recorded. He was arrested, beaten, presented to the people as a criminal. He was innoccent and yet He was sentenced to death. He was flogged and finally He was crucified and died. His body was placed in a tomb and it was sealed…this is not the end of the story. Three days later Jesus Christ rose from the the dead, many came to the tomb but He was not there, His body was never found, after His resurrection He was seen several more times, the fact is Jesus Christ is alive and living with God our Father in heaven. “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6
“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 15:57
(This photo was taken in June of 2013 near Colorado Springs, Colorado)
As hard as it may be to believe there is true peace available during life on earth. To find it, we must be willing to seek Him. We must be open to surrender. We need to be persistent in allowing God to transform our attitudes and perspectives to be more like Christ. Peace will not be found rushing from here to there, always in a hurry, scrolling through social media feeds for hours…there is no peace in those things. The comforts and conveniences the world offers do not bring peace they bring an unsatisfied longing for more. The world offers to help you “save time” but for what? The peace in our realtionship with God can teach us to appreciate the time we have and it can calm our spirit. True peace can be with you…if you believe in Jesus, the next step is to turn to God and ask Him for His help in finding it. Amen.
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
(This photo was taken in July of 2016 along Beartooth Pass in Montana)
There is so much noise. So much useless information. So many false words and lack of integrity all around us. It becomes overwhelming and often the best thing to do is to turn…it…off. One of my favorite bible verses for bringing calm is Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God…” The society of the world and its desires are not interested in giving you peace. We must claim our time for quiet, we must prioritze sitting and listening for God’s voice above all others. It is the only source of true peace and real joy. God is with us, seek Him and listen. Amen.
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with them, and they with me.”
(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Glacier National Park in Montana)
We are children of God. He wants to hear from us. We may think, well He is God if He knows everything and life is supposed to go according to His plan why do I need to talk to Him? Think about your relationship with your parents or if you are a parent think about your relationship with your children. In both circumstances the relationship is always enhanced or stronger when we have good cmmunication. The same is true with Father God. Believe in the power of prayer. Amen.
“When We Pray” by Tauren Wells
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Glacier National Park in Montana)
It is a choice we face every day…what is the way we are going to choose to live this day? Others are going to do, say and think things and we do not control that. Our response is up to us and nobody else. The sinful nature is going to push hard for selfishness and putting the self before others, do we have the foundation of faith to be able to put on the full armor of God? To learn more about the armor of God grab your Bible and look to Ephesians chapter 6. The truth in everything begins at The Cross…start there and see what happens next. May the mercy and grace of God wash over us this day. Amen.
“You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”
(This photo was taken in December of 2018 on walk in northwestern Wisconsin)
Communicate…petition…give thanks…ask..seek…listen, do all of it with an open heart and an open mind. Prayer is not about the words you use rather it is about sincerity, belief and a willingness to trust. Prayer is about our relationship with Jesus. Because of Jesus we have the gift and ability to develop a deep and strong bond with God. As with any relationship in our lives the best ones take a significant investment of time. May we all take our greatest worries and biggest triumphs and share them with God in prayer. Amen.
1 Thessalonians 5:17
(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on the shore of Lake Superior near Ashland, Wisconsin)