He came to save you and me…He took the punishment we all deserve…How many others have done that for us? Sharing one of my favorite songs this time of year. May the peace of the Savior be with you. Amen.
How Many Kings by Downhere
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
(This photo was taken in July of 2016 while traveling through North Dakota)
This time of year can be joyful and it can be painful…depending on your journey and the road you have traveled to get here. The message of Christmas is the same today as it was thousands of years ago back in that manger. Jesus Christ was born; the Savior has come to save us all from all of our sins. He came to save all of us no matter who we are or where we came from, He came to save us no matter what we have done or what we have left undone…it is never too late to turn towards Jesus Christ, accept Him as your Savior and Lord and confess your sins. He knows you; He loves you and He is waiting to hear from you. May the peace of the Lord be with you. Amen.
“The name of the Lord is a fortified tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe.”
(This photo was taken in August of 2016 while exploring Mount Rainier National Park in Washington)
“For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Medley by Michael W Smith
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
(This photo was taken in June of 2013 at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota)
How do you tune in to the Holy Spirit? The faith journey begins by acknowledging Jesus as the Son of God, our Savior and the confession of our sins…it continues with the desire to turn away from sin in our daily lives. How can our faith grow? It must be fed… we should feed our minds and our hearts with God’s word, we should seek to do good things, to help those in need and share whatever we have received in abundance. We are not equipped to do this alone, none of us are. So how do we know when the Holy Spirit is guiding us…we need to find the best way to tune in…like back in the days when listening to music meant finding just the right spot on a radio dial that brought in a clear signal with no static…strive to find that place and that time where you can tune in and receive guidance from God’s Holy Spirit. Amen.
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”
2 Timothy 1:6-7
(This photo was taken in July of 2017 at a lake place in northwestern Wisconsin)
The more we fill our lives with fear, shame, guilt, anger, bitterness and all our sins, the less room we have for the Fruits of the Spirit from God. We must learn to let go of the worldly ways and worldly values that are holding us back and telling us lies. In order to receive the goodness of the Lord we must open our hearts and minds to Him…it is a journey we all must take and Jesus Christ is waiting for each one of us to turn towards Him, because He is the only One who knows The Way. Amen.
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
(This photo was taken in August of 2012 while hiking along the North Shore of Lake Superior)
What have you been praying for but have not yet seen? Is it for you or someone else? Peace? Patience? Joy? A changed heart? For me, the hardest part of faith is surrender, trying to do my part for God’s plan and not trying to do too much to attempt to control the timing or the outcome of circumstances. Today’s verse below speaks directly to these times when we may feel frustrated and impatient. Trust the Lord and do good things…He has only good things planned for you. Amen.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on the shore of Lake Superior near Ashland, Wisconsin)
God has made many promises and He keeps His word. Too often we think God has failed because we expect Him to work on our timeline, when we want or we believe is the right time or way for something to happen. That is our mistake not God’s. We are not in control; humankind did not create the world and we do not determine its outcome. What God has asked us to do is to trust Him and to care for one another. Read God’s word and learn about His promises, they are the only promises you know will be kept. Amen.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
(This photo was taken in August of 2016 while traveling through Utah)
The songs of the season for me are the spiritual songs. Music about the events that occurred in Bethlehem thousands of years ago. These songs have endured the test of time. This one in particular was written by a French poet in 1847, the poem was put to music and performed at Christmas Eve service that year for the first time. My favorite version is below…Let the music of the season soothe your soul and be thankful that on that Holy Night our Savior was born. Peace be with you. Amen.
O Holy Night by Point of Grace
“But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”
(This photo was taken in December of 2018 while traveling to the Bahamas)
God knows you…He knows what is happening in your life…He cares for you…He knows the pain, He knows the struggle, He knows about the battle you think nobody else knows about…He knows because Jesus Christ lived as a man on earth and experienced pain and suffering and temptation and He died…but then something wonderful happened…God raised Him from death to life and claimed victory over evil. Trouble will come to all of us and we have a Savior who is Christ the Lord who can lead us and guide through the difficult times in our lives. May the peace of the Lord be with you. Amen.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.”
(This photo was taken in June of 2018 near the border of Minnesota and South Dakota)
Our guide…Our conscience…Comforter…Presence of God…Spirit of truth…Helper. When we believe in our hearts that Jesus is the Son of God and we confess our sins, God gives us the gift of His Holy Spirit to lead and guide us in our daily lives. Open your heart and mind to God’s Holy Spirit, seek His wisdom and you will find strength and peace. Amen.
Holy Spirit by Francesca Battistelli
“The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.”
1 John 3:24
(This photo was taken in March of 2018 while traveling in southern New Mexico)