Holy Saturday…Preparation Day

It is finished…Jesus, the Messiah, had been crucified and died.  We all know the coming glory of tomorrow…however, when these events were happening, it is hard to comprehend the level of sorrow and sadness that had to exist.  Unfortunately, there are people in today’s world who suffer at a deep level of sorrow because of sin and evil.  Our saving grace and our truth is we know that from the most devastating of tragedy, God will renew and restore us and He has shown us an example by what we will celebrate tomorrow.  Trust in the Lord for He is good and His love endures forever.  Amen.

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“Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body.  Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in the tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid.  It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.”

Luke 23:52-54

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 in Badlands National Park in South Dakota)

Good Friday…God’s Love

Sacrifice…Savior…Salvation.  God has shown us just how much He loves you, cares for you and values you.  He sacrificed His Son, our Savior for our Salvation.  Thanks be to God for His everlasting love.  Amen.

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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

(Photo credit: Stockphoto)

Filling the Void

We all are born with a void in our spirit.  We all have free will, it is a gift from God.  As we go through this life we make choices about what is filling the void.  We choose sinful behaviors and we choose spirit led behaviors.  It is up to each and every one of us to invite Jesus Christ into our hearts and lives…He will not force His way in without an invitation from us.  Say a prayer and ask Jesus Christ into the void in you and see what God has planned for you.  Amen.

The Motions by Matthew West

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“O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where this is no water.” 

Psalm 63:1

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

Sacrifice

An offering…to give up something of value to serve a greater cause or to help others.  During this Holy Week we recount the events that led to the greatest sacrifice in human history.  Jesus Christ suffering and sacrificing Himself to death on a cross in order to save us from our sins.  And just when we may wonder ‘what more could He do’…He spoke these words while hanging on the cross, “…Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”  – Luke 23:34  Whenever I reflect on these events, I typically end up asking myself the same question in my mind…’what have I done for Him, after He has done so much for me?’

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“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Mark 10:45

(This photo was taken in June of 2016 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

Courage

Brave…bold…stouthearted…spirited…determined.  When we come to a situation or scenario that is beyond our control we get a glimpse of the powers that exist beyond ourselves.  It forces us to look at the world and our life with a different perspective.  It takes courage to have heartfelt compassion…it takes courage to be truly humble…it takes courage to admit we are broken and we need help.  It takes courage to move forward after a tragedy of any kind.  Our inspiration for courage should come from the One who was more courageous than any other in His life, His death and His resurrection.  Jesus Christ…turn to Him in prayer for your courage to face whatever is weighing on your heart today.  Amen.

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“Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9

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

The Lord Is My Rock

We have been saved…we have a fortress of salvation…we have been delivered by Jesus Christ to eternal life.  Trust in the Lord, there is no greater strength than the love of God.  When we fall down He will pick us up, He renews us and restores us.  His Word is a shelter from evil.  When it feels like the world is crashing down around you look to the Lord for He is our Rock.  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 the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

Psalm 18:2

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

Holy Week

It is Palm Sunday…the day we celebrate Jesus entering the city…the moments and events of the coming week are in honor of the facts that changed everything in the world thousands of years ago.  It is all very relevant today, and this week in history was not the End…it was the End of the Beginning…think about the events in the life and death of Jesus this week and all that He has done for you.  Amen.

End Of The Beginning by David Phelps

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“Behold, I am coming soon!  My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what they have done.  I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

Revelation 22:12-13

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

The One Who Is In You

Don’t forget the power of the Cross.  The world is filled with violence, evil and darkness.  The attempts to distract us and pull us into the things of this world are relentless.  Read the Word of God and memorize some verses that speak to you…the verse you choose may change over time and different verses will come to mind as you plant the Word within you.  The prince of darkness despises the Scriptures and it will defeat him.  This is one of the foundational reasons I started to write this blog six years ago…so that we could learn how to take our faith with us…everywhere we go.  The Word of God planted inside us is greater than anything in the world.  May the peace found with Christ be with you.  Amen.

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“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

1 John 4:4

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 while traveling through northern Colorado)

Work In Progress…

We do not have all the answers…we do not know all the reasons why…whatever is happening, whatever is going on, we need to remember God is with us and as long as we are here He is not done with us yet.  God’s Word does not change but there is always more for us to learn from it.  Turn to God in prayer and ask Him to give you eyes to see His will for your life, this day and every day.  Amen.

Diamonds by Hawk Nelson

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“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Ephesians 2:10

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

Practice What Is Preached

The faith journey has two main elements…the first is learning about and getting to know God the Father, Jesus Christ His Son and the Holy Spirit.  It is a transformation on the inside, a redemption.  The second element is about making Him known.  Taking what we have learned and have experienced and sharing it by helping others in need, whatever that looks in your life.  Both elements are vital to our spiritual life and to the Kingdom of God, as either one without the other has little lasting value or impact.  Take time to know Him and create space in your life to make Him known.  Amen.

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“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.”

James 1:22

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on a hike near Bayfield, Wisconsin)