Renew Strength

In order for the journey of faith to be strengthen we need to visit the rest stops in life and spend time reading the Word of God.  Devotional time gives us an opportunity to learn more about ourselves and God.  No matter what is going on He is still on the throne, His presence is still with us, even at times when He feels distant.  The Word of God is truly a light in the darkness of this world and it is a guide for strengthening us for life.  Spend time at a rest stop with God.  May God’s peace be with you.

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“But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.  He 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.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8

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

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Spiritual Growth

Spiritual growth comes when we continue to devote time to our personal relationship with God.  Reading God’s word, spending time in prayer and in the quiet of His calming presence.  The more we are able to center our lives on trusting God with everything the stronger our foundation of life will be.  I have read about this in several different books, the writer explains a turning point, that point where everything starts to look and feel different…it is much different to read about it then to begin to start experiencing it.  I began listening to christian music on the radio 20 years ago…I started reading faith based books and my devotional bible everyday 8 years ago…and I started this blog 5 years ago…I am just beginning to sense and understand what it means to trust God with my everything (yes I am a slow learner :).  Just like one of my favorite phrases states…it is simple but it is not easy.  May God’s love and peace be with you.

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“I am the vine; you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

John 15:5

(This photo was taken in March of 2018 in White Sands National Monument in New Mexico)

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God Is Love

Everything comes back to this…God is love.  Why did God create the world, the animals and us…God is love.  How did people in the Bible who had committed hurtful sins, like David, Rahab, Saul and others get used by God for the good of others…God is love.  Why did Jesus come down from heaven to be born a man, to suffer, be tempted, get crucified for who He is and rise from the dead…God is love.  In all that we are and all that we encounter everyday, it is most important to remember that we humans brought sin into this world and we are broken, but we are forgiven and we are saved because…God is love.  May God’s love and peace be with you.

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“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.  God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.”

1 John 4:16

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

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When We Are Wrong

Another characteristic that seems to be very difficult to cultivate in today’s world is humbleness.  Admitting that we are in trouble, that we made mistakes and we need help.  The communication style of the world seems to be believe your own truth and punish those who disagree with you.  It is already difficult to be humble and admit when we are wrong…and the path the world is on makes this even more difficult.  As I am reading 1 John 1 today it talks about confessing our sins and forgiveness.  We all are going to find trouble in this life, it will be best for us and for others in our life if we work on being humble when we are in trouble and helping and supporting others when they are in trouble.  May God’s love and peace be with you and flow out of you.

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“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”

1 John 1:9

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

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Patience

One of the hardest characteristics to develop and grow in this world is patience.  All around us is convenience, time-saving, be first, get it done…hurry hurry, we want it now!  Whew…take a moment…breathe.  The “rat race” as it has been called consumes so many people.  Let’s stop and think about that phrase…’rat race’…it has origins of a mouse or hamster in a cage running on a spinning wheel.  Working so hard and going nowhere.  We need the courage and strength to step off the spinning wheel.  The goals of the rat race give us nothing but anxiety, stress and the desire to move the bar higher causing more of the same pain and suffering.  One of my favorite quotes from Albert Einstein…‘the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result,’ sounds like the rat race to me.  Time to start making a change in how we live and the only way we can change is with patience and persistence.  Take a least one step each day out of the rat race and get into the race of faith…for the reward in that race is eternal life through Jesus Christ.  May God’s peace be with you.

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“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

2 Peter 3:9

(This photo was taken in March of 2018 in White Sands National Monument in New Mexico)

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Be Thankful

As I continue along my faith journey I am often reminded in different ways to remember to be thankful.  When we look carefully at what blessings and gifts God has already provided we realize that we take so much for granted in our daily lives.  Always concerned with others and what we don’t have or what we want next…it seems to be big part of human nature.  If we take time every day to reflect on and give thanks for what we are grateful for it will help shape our perspective for the rest of the day.  Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, His love endures forever.  For inspiration I recommend listening to the song of praise entitled Forever – by Chris Tomlin.  May God’s peace be with you.

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“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.  Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.  Know that the Lord is God.  It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.  For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;  his faithfulness continues through all generations.”

Psalm 100

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

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The Light

The Bible talks about Light in many ways.  When we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He is our Savior and Lord, we begin to get a sense of this Light as we study the Word of God.  When the Light of Christ shines in us we look different, we act different and we feel different than we use to.  Acknowledging the Light is a shift in perspective, it is purposefully looking for the goodness, kindness and love in our actions and in the actions of others.  It is being self-less, working for the good of others, it is coming along side someone and walking with them rather then trying to knock them down or push them aside to advance our own ideas.  Seek this Light and shine it out to others and you will find peace.  May God’s Light be with you.

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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 knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”

2 Corinthians 4:6

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Arches National Park in Utah)

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The Story Continues Today

The Bible is not a book that tells a story about past events and is not relevant to today.  It is the Word of God and how God made the world out of love.  The people of the world both back then and now have chosen to reject God, so the stories of the old testament and the new testament are about God’s pursuit of the people in creation.  It is about the things He was and is doing to bring people back to His love.  In the old testament it was battles, kings and prophets and in the new testament it is the life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ His one and only Son.  These stories are about God’s pursuit of humanity and it continues today.  Pick up a Bible and see your place in God’s pursuit of you and people all over the world.  May God’s peace be with you.

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“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”

Psalm 119:105

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 along Beartooth Pass near the Montana and Wyoming border)

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The Message

We can bring the light of Christ to the world several ways.  We can use more than words as actions are often more powerful then words alone.  How we conduct ourselves in our everyday life tells a great deal about what we believe.  How we react to both success and failure will tell others about what is deep in our hearts.  Our attitude and the characteristics of our personality and how we apply them to helping others in need will tell a story about who has saved us.  As we grow in our faith we learn from our past, we are thankful for the present and we know our future is secure with God.  Share Jesus Christ with another person when the opportunity presents itself in your life.  May God’s peace be with you.

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“For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.  He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit…”

1 Peter 3:18

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 while traveling in northern Colorado)

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Be On Your Guard

When we go out to live a life of faith, based on the foundation of our relationship with God we need to be prepared to be opposed.  The dark forces of evil in the world do not want us living with the light of Christ shining for all to see.  We will be tempted to do differently and we will be given distractions to take our attention away from a life of faith.  If you can, pick a verse or two that are most reassuring to you and memorize them, place them deep in your heart and mind and reaffirm your faith repeating these verses whenever you want and use the Word of God to keep you focused.  May God’s peace be with you on your journey.

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“Be self-controlled and be alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

1 Peter 5:8

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming)

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