“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
“Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.”
(This photo was taken in April of 2020 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)
“…but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”
1 Corinthians 1:23-24
“Who has believed our message
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
4 Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.”
“Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. 32 “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.
33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(This photo was taken in July of 2015 at a lake in central Minnesota)
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.”
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
(This photo was taken in May of 2020 along the North Shore of Lake Superior)
“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. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
More Than Conquerors
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?”
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 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 June of 2013 while traveling in southern Colorado)
An action of hope means getting practical. Working and doing things with trust in God’s plan even when the circumstances don’t reveal it. Actions of hope are a way to live in faith and to put your trust in God. In Jeremiah 32 there is a story of Jeremiah buying a field at a time when Babylon was coming to capture the city…this was not a logical action at the time rather an action of hope because God had said the people will return to buy fields, build houses and live in this land. Destruction was coming yet Jeremiah bought a field. Turn towards God in faith and ask for His guidance for opportunities for you to take actions of hope in your life. Amen.
“…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
(This photo was taken in July of 2016 while traveling in North Dakota)
“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
1 John 4:8-10
“We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.”
1 John 4:19-21
(This photo was taken in October of 2014 at the Nakalele Blowhole on the island of Maui, Hawaii)
The Word of God will uphold you and sustain you…it will provide peace and calm in your mind and in your heart. Take time to memorize some verses…whichever ones speak to you. You will know them when you read them…then put them deep in your mind and in your heart where nothing and no one can reach them. Then at anytime and in any situation you can remember them to lead you and guide you. God’s Word is a gift and one of the ways He communicates with us. Amen.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
8 They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on the shore of Lake Superior near Ashland, Wisconsin)
“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.”
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
(This photo was taken in March of 2018 while traveling in southern New Mexico)
Our purpose…our ministry. Amen.
“This is what the Lord says:
“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom
or the strong boast of their strength
or the rich boast of their riches,
24 but let the one who boasts boast about this:
that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,”
declares the Lord.”
(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Glacier National Park in Montana)