Believe…Pray

“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly[a] I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Mark 11:22-24 NIV

Prayer offered as a routine ritual is more about the ritual than meeting with God or crying out to Him.  Prayer that is sincere, honest and vulnerable is offered with belief and faith is the kind of prayer Jesus is talking about above in Mark 11.  Reflect on your prayer life and ask God to help and guide you.  Amen.

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If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”

John 15:7-8 NIV

(This photo was taken in May of 2020 along the North Shore of Lake Superior)

Trust In The Lord…Praise Him

Trust in the Lord and do good;
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Psalm 37:3-4 NIV

Only God can do the things we wish we could control…only He can transform the way people think and change their hearts.  Faith is about trusting His way and His timing…be still and wait patiently for Him.  Keep doing good things according to His Word.  Amen.

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I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
    I will glorify your name forever.”

Psalm 86:12 NIV

(This photo was taken in April 2020 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

The Word Of God

Your word is a lamp for my feet,
    a light on my path.”

Psalm 119:105 NIV

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

Colossians 3:16 NIV

Let God’s Word be your guide in life.  The world is filled with brokenness and suffering and none of us is immune.  God knows what is happening in the world and in your life…His Word is a gift to us…pick it up, read it, memorize it and let it be a light for your path.  Amen.

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All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV

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

Our Help…Our Guide

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.”

Psalm 121:1 NIV

The evil in this world wants to distract and discourage you…turn you away from God.  Not aggressively, slowly…methodically…in a way only the great deceiver can carry out.  Don’t be misled, don’t believe the lies…look to God in prayer in everything.  Nothing in your life is too small or insignificant to talk to God about…that’s what evil wants you to believe.  Turn to God in faith and trust His way.  Let the Word of God be your guide to living the best you can in everything…every day.  Amen.

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The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.”

Psalm 23:1-3 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 along the shore of Lake Superior in Ashland, Wisconsin)

He Lives In You

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Galatians 2:20 NIV

Jesus Christ is the foundation of our faith.  Not only because of what He did when He was human on earth and not only because He sacrificed Himself for us and died on a cross or because He rose…He is the foundation of our faith today because of all these things and the fact that He Lives in us.  Before He ascended, He promised the Holy Spirit would come to those who love Him and do as He commands.  In the Gospel of John 14, Jesus promises the Holy Spirit and explains our connection to Him through the Spirit.  The love of God can be found in the hearts of people and can be shared with others…it is up to each of us to seek Him and trust in His way rather than our own.  May you be encouraged by knowing that He is with you and He is within you today and always.  Amen.

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On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.  Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

John 14:20-21 NIV

(This photo was taken last weekend at a lake place in northwestern Wisconsin)

The Truth Will Set You Free

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:31-32 NIV

The word ‘truth’ appears over 200 times in the bible.  Jesus often taught using the phrase ‘I tell you the truth’ or ‘Truly I say to you.’  On our faith journey we have to be willing to be honest with God, ourselves and with others regarding what we believe and what we say.  When we are ready to be truthful about who we are and who God is we are ready to walk in the light to the best of our ability in a fallen world.  It won’t be easy but we have been assured it will be worth it.  Amen.

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If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

1 John 1:8-9 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on Lake Superior near the Apostle Islands)

Serve One Another

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”

1 Peter 4:8-11 NIV

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”

Galatians 5:13 NIV

We each get to choose each day the attitude we will embrace and how we will act when interacting with others.  God has given us instructions in His Word and He has followed up His Word with actions that show His love, His grace.  Our job, our purpose is to seek Him and live out His will in our life every day.  Put your trust in Lord and choose to live as He has taught us.

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“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Galatians 6:2 NIV

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

Jesus

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

John 3:17 NIV

We are saved because of Him.  We are forgiven.  We can find joy, peace and contentment in life because of Him.  Even when we have turned away from God, maybe for a long period of time because we are frustrated or mad or we have been overcome with doubt and fear.  He calls to us, He cares for us and He is The Way back to a relationship with God.  The things of this world will come and go…time, money, people and friendships.  The one constant for us, the one thing we know we can rely upon no matter what is happening or where we are in life…we can always rely on the love of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

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“…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

John 10:10 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2012 while hiking on the North Shore of Lake Superior)

Be A Light In The Darkness

“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

One of the most difficult things for many of us is being different from our surroundings.  When our foundation for being different is rooted in God and the Fruits of the Spirit we can be sure we are standing on solid ground.  None of us is equipped to judge the actions and behaviors of others.  When we are confused or lack understanding that is a time to pray, listen and learn.  It is hard to be different yet God created each of us to be unique so that together we could build community and use our gifts to strengthen the body of Christ.  I pray we all seek to learn how God wants us to use our gifts each day.  Amen.

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“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”

2 Corinthians 4:6 NIV

(This photo was taken in October of 2018 at one of the Covered Bridges of Madison County near Winterset, Iowa)

Rest With Him

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Philippians 4:12-13 NIV

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

We need to have balance in our lives…we need to be engaged, learning and growing and yet we also need time to rest, recharge and be renewed.  It is not easy in this world in this life to live in balance.  The first step to finding balance and peace is found in your relationship with Jesus Christ.  Where does that stand?  Start by meeting with Him every day and ask Him to guide you…remember he is present every aspect of your life and you can talk to Him about anything.

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“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4: 19 NIV

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