“Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.”
“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
(This photo was taken in July of 2019 at a lake in northwestern Wisconsin)
The difference between faith and religion…faith is about trust and belief because we have experienced the Presence of God in our lives. Has it happened to you? It is hard to put into words…unexplainable…a time for me was putting together and delivering the eulogy at my father’s funeral. Not something I ever could have done alone…when I think about that time words are few, yet the ones that come to mind are comfort, unusual peace, clear thinking…that doesn’t fully cover it but what I can come up with…in the book of Exodus Moses was up on the mountain for 40 days with God without food or water, yet it does not say he felt hunger or thirst. An encounter with the Presence of God is unlike anything else in life. May His Peace be with you. Amen.
“The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
(This photo was taken in September of 2014 on a walk near Plymouth, Minnesota)
In the book of Genesis, the story of Joseph aligns closely with how God interacts with humans today. He suffers many hardships at the hands of others and yet keeps his faith in God. He trusts God and lives his life with a God trusting attitude and perspective. This attitude focuses more on what God is up to for our good and less on what others are doing to us. We have a much better chance of learning about what God is up to if we are looking for the good. Amen.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
(This photo was taken in June of 2016 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)
Where have you seen God at work in your life? When you look back across your past, what moments or decisions do you believe God was working on for your good? He loves us and is always with us. When you pray? How do you pay attention for His response? He speaks to us many different ways. Be persistent, be patient and wait for the Lord. Amen.
“I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.”
(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on the shore of Lake Superior near Ashland, Wisconsin)
Our Guide…our Advocate…our Counselor…the very presence of God. Amen.
Holy Spirit by Francesca Battistelli
“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity but one of power, love, and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7
(This photo was taken in April of 2016 at a lake in central Minnesota)
It’s not about me. There is a significant difference between self-care and self-centered. To be humble takes courage, to admit that we make mistakes and poor choices with an attitude of seeking redemption is a path to peace. Jesus taught us about humility…
“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
“…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14
(This photo was taken in April of 2016 at a lake in central Minnestoa)
Good morning. This morning has started as one of those days that I can’t stop hearing the words of a song playing over and over in my mind. The message in the words is clear…listen to the words of this song. I believe that God speaks to us in many different ways and it is up to us to listen. May peace and comfort be with you through the love of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Nobody Loves Me Like You by Chris Tomlin
“Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
5 Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.”
(This photo was taken in April of 2020 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)
What drives it? Why do we have it? It comes from belief…it comes from trusting. Even when no one believes there is any hope…hope persists. Think about the day Jesus was crucified…nobody, not even the disciples had hope. Jesus, their teacher, the one who performed miracles had died…yet with God anything is possible. Jesus is risen! He is risen indeed, Alleluia! The stories of hope with God in the bible go on and on…Sarah who was barren has a son…Moses and the Red Sea…Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego survive the fiery furnace…Daniel in the lion’s den…Mary the virgin gives birth to Jesus and on and on it goes. Don’t give up hope…trust in God. Amen.
“For nothing will be impossible with God.”
(This photo was taken in May of 2014 at a lake in central Minnesota)
A faith journey. It begins with prayer. It grows as we read the Scriptures, spend time in devotions, engage in our communities, serve others…it transforms us with a new attitude centered on God and His will for us. Trust in God, spend time on your relationship with Jesus Christ and pray…pray about everything, every day. Amen.
“Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.”
(This photo was taken in July of 2016 in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming)
God created us with free will…the ability to choose our actions and behaviors. The reason is because a love worth having is love that is chosen, however, the risk is people will choose to reject God. We were created out of love and as we live we can choose whom we will follow. How do you choose to live this day? Amen.
“…But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”
(This photo was taken in July of 2016 along Beartooth Pass in Montana)