One King

“They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.”

Revelation 17:14 NIV

There is only One who is our Savior…He is our One hope in this life.  No matter what has happened in your life or where you are, put your trust in Jesus Christ as He is the One King who brings hope to the world.  Make room for Him this Christmas and throughout the New Year.  May the peace of God be with you.  Amen.

One King by Point of Grace

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As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

Ephesians 4:1-5 NIV

(This photo was taken in December of 2013 in northwestern Wisconsin)

Love One Another

“Just as the Father has loved me, I have loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love. In the same way, I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that you will have the same joy that I have. I also want your joy to be complete. 12 Here is my command. Love one another, just as I have loved you.”

John 15:9-12 NIRV

Love.  Love is more than feelings…it is actions and behaviors.  The passage above refers to “If you obey my commands.”  Love is a choice.  Love means sacrifice, humility, serving others and being unselfish.  Love means being willing to admit…it’s not about you.  God has blessed us with free will, we can choose to love…Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself to save us, we are redeemed from sin, and the Holy Spirit is present within us to guide us, our future is secure.  Why?  Because God is Love.  How can you show Love to others this Christmas season?

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You did not choose me. Instead, I chose you. I appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit that will last. I also appointed you so that the Father will give you what you ask for. He will give you whatever you ask for in my name. 17 Here is my command. Love one another.”

John 15:16-17 NIRV

(This photo was taken in OCtober of 2014 at the Nakalele Blowhole on the island of Maui, Hawaii)

The Season To Celebrate Jesus

Portions of this post were originally published in December of 2018…

After the Wise Men had listened to the king, they went on their way. The star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them. It finally stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were filled with joy. 11 The Wise Men went to the house. There they saw the child with his mother Mary. They bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures. They gave him gold, frankincense and myrrh.”

Matthew 2:9-11 NIRV

Music has a way of touching my soul and the hymns of Christmas, the traditional spiritual hymns that tell the story of the birth of Christ are a powerful source of peace for me.  The Savior will be born and He is coming to save all people.  The hymn “O Come, All Ye Faithful” was playing in my mind today with the phrase ‘O come let us adore him’, it gets me thinking about what Jesus did for you and for me…being born as a baby, what He gave up and what He went through to save us.  I encourage you to find your favorite Christmas place wherever you are put on some of the hymns of Christmas and give thanks to Jesus Christ this Christmas Season.  Amen.

O Come, All Ye Faithful by Pentatonix

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“Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;  for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.”

Psalm 95:6-7 NIV

(This photo was taken in February of 2013 while on a walk in northwestern Wisconsin)

Waiting…

 “In Jerusalem there was a man named Simeon. He was a good and godly man. He was waiting for God’s promise to Israel to come true. The Holy Spirit was with him. 26 The Spirit had told Simeon that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 The Spirit led him into the temple courtyard. Then Jesus’ parents brought the child in. They came to do for him what the Law required. 28 Simeon took Jesus in his arms and praised God. He said,

29 “Lord, you are the King over all.
    Now let me, your servant, go in peace.
    That is what you promised.
30 My eyes have seen your salvation.
31     You have prepared it in the sight of all nations.
32 It is a light to be given to the Gentiles.
    It will be the glory of your people Israel.”

Luke 2:25-32 NIRV

Oh, the waiting…our world is always sending out messages to hurry up…save time and literally “don’t wait” act now before…you get the point.  Once again, the world pursues the exact opposite of what we hear from God’s Word.  God wants us to walk with Him…not ahead of Him or on our own without Him.  His timing is perfect because it is His plan.  In Luke 2 we meet Simeon, who had been waiting his whole life to see God’s promise fulfilled in the Messiah…as he expected the promise was fulfilled just like every other promise God has made.  The last promise to be fulfilled is when Christ returns…and so we are waiting for that day and while we wait let’s be like Simeon and be good, do-good things, be godly and be faithful to God’s Word.  How are you doing while you wait?

While I’m Waiting by John Waller

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Dear friends, here is one thing you must not forget. With the Lord a day is like a thousand years. And a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow to keep his promise. He is not slow in the way some people understand it. Instead, he is patient with you. He doesn’t want anyone to be destroyed. Instead, he wants all people to turn away from their sins.”

2 Peter 3:8-9 NIRV

(This photo was taken in October of 2018 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

O Holy Night

Portions of this post were originally published in December of 2019…

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.”

Luke 1:30-33 NIV

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

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And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Luke 2:8-12 NIV

(This photo was taken in December of 2018 while in the Bahamas)

Prepare The Way For The Lord

Portions of this post were originally published in December of 2020…

“…as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

“I will send my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare your way”[a]
“a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
    make straight paths for him.’”[b]

Mark 1:2-3 NIV

God’s story and God’s plan is greater than our self-oriented desires…we are a part of His story, not the other way around.  We all have been given certain gifts to use while we are here…our job is to recognize the gifts we have been given and to use them to help others.  We are to do our part to Prepare the Way for the coming of the Lord.  Amen.

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In the beginning, the Word was already there. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were made through him. Nothing that has been made was made without him. Life was in him, and that life was the light for all people. The light shines in the darkness. But the darkness has not overcome the light.

John 1:1-5 NIRV

(This photo was taken in October 0f 2014 at sunrise on the island of Maui, Hawaii)

He Calms The Storm

“Jesus got into a boat. His disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a terrible storm came up on the lake. The waves crashed over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him up. They said, “Lord! Save us! We’re going to drown!”

26 He replied, “Your faith is so small! Why are you so afraid?” Then Jesus got up and ordered the winds and the waves to stop. It became completely calm.”

Matthew 8:23-26 NIRV

What is the storm in your life?  Where is your focus?  What waves are crashing against you?  Bring all of it to Jesus…bring it with confidence that He will protect you, give you wisdom and courage as long as you keep your eyes on Him.  Your faith can bring you peace…peace that surpasses human understanding…trust in the Lord and His way…He is working for good on your behalf, even if you can’t see it yet.  Jesus can calm the storm.  Amen.

Haven’t Seen It Yet by Danny Gokey

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“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.”

Psalm 27:13-14 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2019 at a lake near Plymouth, Mionnesota)

Walking With God

This post was originally published in December of 2020…

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[a] with your God.”

Micah 6:8 NIV

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“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[a] sin.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.”

1 John 1:5-10 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 at a park near Bayfield, Wisconsin)

Wait For The Lord

Portions of this post were originally published in September of 2018…

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.”

Lamentations 3:22-24 NIV

Our lives are usually so busy moving from one thing to the next, that planning and preparing become dominant activities…the thing is if we are always planning and preparing for what’s next when are we living in the present moment?  A difficult part of surrender for all of us is not always trying to control what’s next.  A life of faith doesn’t mean we always go and do what we want…Jesus said in Luke 9:23 “…If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”  

We all have a cross to bear in life, it is different for everyone…and bearing a cross is doing what we should be doing, doing what needs to be done.  It means being obedient to God and we do these things because of love.  Be in prayer and talk with the Lord about what He needs you to do then wait and listen.  May you be surrounded by the love of God each day.  Amen.

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“The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord,”

Lamentations 3:25-26 NIV

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

Don’t Give Up

Portions of this post were originally published in February of 2018…

Let us not become tired of doing good. At the right time we will gather a crop if we don’t give up. 10 So when we can do good to everyone, let us do it. Let’s try even harder to do good to the family of believers.”

Galatians 6:9-10 NIRV

Our lives are filled with moments and memories…some are good times and some are difficult.  We all tend to embellish a bit in our memories, the memory of good times seems to be really good and the memory of bad times seem to be really bad.  Sometimes our bad memories start to take a person down a road where even the present moments are seen through their eyes with a negative perspective.  This is a quick spiral downward and we can get stuck in the swirl of negativity.  We have to have the courage to choose a new perspective, a more balanced view things and we are fed that perspective when we read the Word of God.  When times are hard and it feels like you are making no progress on anything…don’t give up, keep pressing on, keep believing…that is your faith at work.  Goodness will come to those who believe in the hope that God provides through Jesus Christ.  May God’s peace be with you.  Amen.

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“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

Colossians 3:12 NIV

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