Open Ended Praying

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
    for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
    for to you I entrust my life.”

Psalm 143:8 NIV

When you pray leave room for God’s will and God’s plan to be the way you should go.  We tend to think we have things all figured out and we just need to top it off with a quick FYI to God to get Him on board.  Surrendering to God’s will and God’s plan means we are open to a new way for things to go…maybe in a way we haven’t considered or thought about yet…be open ended in your prayers…make room for God’s way in your life.  Amen.

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Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:4-7 NIV

(This photo was taken in March of 2018 while traveling in southern New Mexico)

Stay Focused

“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”

Romans 8:5 NIV

Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.”

Psalm 1:1-3 NIV

Jesus Christ is the only Way to life with God.  Sin is what separates us from God and Jesus has conquered sin and death and filled the space between us and God with The Cross.  Peter learned while walking on water to never take your eyes off of Jesus…keep your eyes focused on Him…He is our Savior.  Amen.

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Let your eyes look straight ahead;
    fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Give careful thought to the[a] paths for your feet
    and be steadfast in all your ways.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
    keep your foot from evil.

Proverbs 4:25-27 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2021 at a lake in northwestern Wisconsin)

God Is Love

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

1 John 4:8 NIV

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”

1 John 4:11 NIV

It has been said that in order for people to receive and understand a message they must see/hear it a minimum of three times…may these verses help each of us to know and understand God is Love.  May God’s peace be with you.  Amen.

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“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19 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 4:16-21 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2021 in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)

Easter Sunday – He Has Risen!

“The Spirit of the God who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you. So the God who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your bodies. He will do this because of his Spirit who lives in you.”

Romans 8:11 NIRV

I am absolutely sure that not even death or life can separate us from God’s love. Not even angels or demons, the present or the future, or any powers can separate us. 39 Not even the highest places or the lowest, or anything else in all creation can separate us. Nothing at all can ever separate us from God’s love. That’s because of what Christ Jesus our Lord has done.”

Romans 8:38-39 NIRV

What A Beautiful Name by Hillsong Worship

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“But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away.  As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said.  “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified.  He has risen!  He is not here.  See the place where they laid him.”

Mark 16:4-6 NIV

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

Holy Saturday…Preparation Day

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

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 on the day between His death and resurrection.  Unfortunately, in the world today many of us suffer at a deep level of sorrow because of our sin and evil.  Our saving grace and our truth is we know that from the most devastating tragedy, God will renew and restore us…Resurrection Day is coming.  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 NIV

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

The Greatest Story Ever Told…

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.”

John 1:1-5 NIV

“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.”

John 1:14 NIV

From Genesis to Revelation the over-arching theme of the Bible is God’s love…this love is not a guarantee that life will be easy and always pleasant…yet it is a love that is consistent, based on facts and comes to us directly in the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Open your heart and mind to Jesus every day…everything He does is for you.  Amen.

End Of The Beginning by David Phelps

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For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

John 3:16-17 NIV

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

Think About Him…

A huge cloud of witnesses is all around us. So let us throw off everything that stands in our way. Let us throw off any sin that holds on to us so tightly. And let us keep on running the race marked out for us. Let us keep looking to Jesus. He is the one who started this journey of faith. And he is the one who completes the journey of faith. He paid no attention to the shame of the cross. He suffered there because of the joy he was looking forward to. Then he sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. He made it through these attacks by sinners. So think about him. Then you won’t get tired. You won’t lose hope.

Hebrews 12:1-3 NIRV

Especially this week…when you are tired and run down or discouraged and defeated, think about Him…when you are frustrated or angry with others, think about Him…when you feel like there is no hope, think about Him…think about Him who endured death on a cross between two thieves, for us…think about Him who was spit on and had a crown of thorns pushed onto His head, for us…think about Him who had His beard plucked out and gave His back to the whip, for us…and think about Him who gave His blood and His life for us.  He did it because He loves you and He wants good things for you.  Turn your attention towards Him and give Him thanks and you will find peace.  Amen.

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Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:4-7 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 near Colorado Springs, Colorado)

God’s Grace

“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.”

John 1:14 NIV

We see God’s grace on display in His actions…He sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world to save us…He gives us an opportunity to learn from Him through His Word…even while we are still sinners He forgives us…He gives us the Holy Spirit as a guide through our daily life…He will never leave us or abandon us no matter what.  That is truly amazing grace.  Amen.

This Is Amazing Grace by Phil Wickham

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“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Ephasians 2:8-9 NIV

(This photo was taken in March of 2018 while traveling through southern New Mexico)

A Strong Foundation

“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature[a] God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.”

Philippians 2:5-11 NIV

The best things are built by starting out with the development of a strong foundation.  A solid foundation helps to support missteps, mistakes and accidents along the way.  If we try to build something without developing the foundation the endeavor will eventually fail and end up as a pile of rubble.  The foundation of our faith is our relationship and daily interaction with Jesus Christ and the Word of God.  These are the elements that will help us build and grow our spiritual life and sustain us through the most difficult things the world will throw at us.  May the peace of the Lord be with you.  Amen.

Build My Life by Pat Barrett (ft. Cory Asbury)

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“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.  My command is this:  Love each other as I have loved you.”

John 15:11-12 NIV

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

Stand Firm In Faith

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield[a] and the horn[b] of my salvation, my stronghold.”

Psalm 18:2 NIV

Don’t let the way of the world keep you from trusting in God.  During this Holy Week, read through each moment of Jesus last days on earth and remember what He has done for you…He did it because He loves you.  Amen.

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“There is no one holy like the Lord;
    there is no one besides you;
    there is no Rock like our God.”

1 Samuel 2:2 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2015 at Red Rocks Park near Morrison, Colorado)