Put Your Hope In God

Good morning.  Welcome to a new day.  There are many things happening in your life today, yet God is still with you because He loves you.  Sharing the lyrics and music of the song on my mind this morning.  Here is “Find Rest” by Francesca Battistelli

“Find Rest”

He never sleeps, He never slumbers
He’s been awake at every hour
No tear catches Him by surprise
He’s never lost, He never runs out
He never lives in the shadows of doubt
No fear catches Him by surprise

Find rest my soul
Put your hope in God
Put your hope, put your hope in God

He always is, He always will be
He always has been everything I need
How can this be catching me by surprise
He’s ever strong, He’s ever faithful
His love is real, now nothing is impossible
‘Cause nothing catches Him by surprise

Find rest my soul
Put your hope in God
Put your hope, put your hope in God

I close my eyes, and I can see
The arms of mercy holding me
I close my eyes, and I can see
The arms of Jesus holding me

Find rest my soul
Put your hope in God
Put your hope, put your hope in God

Put your hope in God
Put your hope in God

Songwriters: Francesca Battistelli / Ian Eskelin / Jared Anderson
Find Rest lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Capitol Christian Music Group

 

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“Why are you downcast, O my soul?  Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”

Psalm 42:11

(This photo was taken in June of 2016 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

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Trust In The Lord

We struggle…we despair…we want things this way or that way…it is not up to us.  We must learn to trust in God the Father our Creator, Jesus Christ, His one and only Son who saved us and the Holy Spirit, who guides us.  God is love and He is working out all things for our good.  Trust in the Lord.  I pray for the courage and confidence to bring my worries and anxieties to the Lord.  Amen.

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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

Romans 12:12

(This photo was taken in June of 2016 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

 

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Accept One Another

In our broken and fallen world, it seems everybody is a judge of someone.  One of the principles of being kind and having compassion is rooted in the fact that we as humans don’t know everything we think we know about other people.  We are not created to judge one another…we are created to bear the Fruits of the Spirit to one another.  There are several examples in the New Testament of how Jesus treated those that the rest of society had cast aside.  We would do well to follow His example.  I pray for the wisdom and courage to accept others for who they are and who God created them to be.  Amen.

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“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Accept on another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”

Romans 15:5-7

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 at Sapphire Point near Dillon, Colorado)

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Prayer

Honest…thoughtful…sincere…heartfelt…engaging…communication in relationship that involves talking and listening.  Prayer like this is the kind that nurtures and supports spiritual growth and actual change because its foundation is belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God.  It is important to make time each day and offer up heartfelt, sincere prayers and spend part of that time listening…to clear your mind of the day to day items and see where your thoughts go.  A relationship can only grow and get stronger if we are willing to commit and invest time in it.  May we all be moved to prayer by our faith in Jesus Christ who gave all He had to reconcile us with God.  Amen.

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“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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 4:6-7

(This photo was taken in October of 2014 on the north shore of the island of Maui, Hawaii)

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He Gives Us Strength

When we feel weak and tired…when frustrations seem overwhelming…when the way forward is difficult or unknown.  God the Father, Jesus Christ His one and only Son and the Holy Spirit lift us up and renew us.  Everything and anything in life is going to better when God is at the center of our lives.  Spending time in devotions and prayer, reading God’s Word these are ways to build your relationship with Jesus.  The more our relationship grows the more we begin to sense His presence in our lives which can lead us to courage and strength at times when we need it most.  We were never promised a life of faith would be easy…the promise is “…he will never leave you nor forsake you.” –Deuteronomy 31:6  The Lord is good and He is the provider of all we need.  I pray we seek the will of the Lord and trust in Him.  Amen.

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“I can do all things through him who gives me strength.”

Philippians 4:13

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington)

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A Christmas List

Often this time of year people of all ages are asked by someone “what do you want for Christmas this year?”  For younger children in large families ‘a list’ of Christmas wishes may be created.  Think for a moment if you were to make a list of Christmas wishes or desires this year.  What would go on the list?  Would your list have needs or wants on it?  How much time would be spent of thinking about your list for this Christmas?  As we grow older how does your perspective change?  Think about your list and think about what would be on it if you share it with Jesus?  As many of you know I am a big fan of music and it’s impact when you really listen to the story of the song…and yes I do really enjoy Christmas music.  I am mot referring to the songs of the children’s tales like Rudolph and Frosty but the spiritual Christmas music.  Amy Grant recorded a song in 1992 entitled “The Grown-Up Christmas List”  I am sharing the lyrics and a link to the song.  May we all spend time reflecting on our own list and sharing it with Christ.  Amen.

Do you remember me
I sat upon your knee
I wrote to you with childhood fantasies
Well I’m all grown up now
And still need help somehow
I’m not a child but my heart still can dream
So here’s my lifelong wish
My grown up Christmas list
Not for myself but for a world in need
No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end, no
This is my grown up Christmas list
As children we believe
The grandest sight to see
Was something lovely wrapped beneath the tree
But Heaven only knows
That packages and bows
Can never heal a heart-ached human soul
No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end, no
This is my grown up Christmas list
What is this illusion called the innocence of youth
Maybe only in our blind belief can we ever find the truth
No more lives torn apart
That wars would never start
And time would heal all hearts
And everyone would have a friend
And right would always win
And love would never end, no
This is my grown up Christmas list
This is my only lifelong wish
This is my grown up Christmas list
Songwriters: Linda Thompson / David Foster
My Grown Up Christmas List lyrics © Peermusic Publishing, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

 

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“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Luke 12:34
(This photo was taken in December of 2013 while on a walk in northwestern Wisconsin)
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Jesus Is The Only Way

One of my favorite things about faith is simplicity.  It seems to be human nature to try to make things more complicated and difficult then necessary.  To fill life with worry, anxiety, frustration and unhealthy fear.  If we want peace, if we want joy, if we want loving and caring relationships then we must come to Jesus.  He already knows all about us whether or not we have acknowledged Him.  He knows you, He loves you and He died to save you.  Seek Him and live.  I pray for the new found and growing relationships people have with Jesus Christ.  Amen.

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“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota)

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Our Beautiful Savior

When you think about it…when you look around your life and the world and see the things that the most attention is focused on…you may begin to see something of a trend or common theme.  We are all living in a lost and broken world, where anger, hate, suffering, hunger and homelessness are everywhere, the primary focus and attention of many people is on me, myself and I.  On the journey of faith I realize the only times I get worried or upset or feel like chaos is everywhere is when I have put my expectations or my plans or my wants and desires ahead of everything else.  The self is very powerful and very stubborn and will lead us to destructive thoughts and behaviors.  This is when we need to be renewed, to put our focus back on Jesus Christ and the Word of God.  Our beautiful Savior who came down from heaven to save us from self-destruction.  Come to the Cross and be renewed by Jesus Christ our one and only beautiful Savior.  Amen.

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“The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?”

Psalm 27:1

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington)

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Grace

This has been defined as the unmerited favor and love of God.  It is because of the grace of God we can be saved.  Along our faith journey we will trip, we will stumble and we will get knocked down by sin and the sinful nature.  It is not a matter of if this will happen, rather it is about when it happens how do we choose to respond?  God’ grace provides us a way to get back up, to keep trying to do better.  The bible is filled with examples of people who stumbled significantly in their lives, we are not alone in our mistakes.  Jesus Christ came to save them and to save you and me.  No matter what the struggle is, no matter what level of darkness you feel like you are surrounded by…God’s grace is for you too.  He loves you and He sent His Son to give you the way back to Him and His love for you.  I pray we trust in God’s grace and love to guide us in overcoming all obstacles and for His way to lead us in our lives.  Amen.

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“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Ephesians 2:10

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

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Thanksgiving

What are you thankful for?  Think about the last week of your life, the last month, the last 12 months.  Where were you or what was going on last Thanksgiving?  Are you able to be with or spend the day with the same people you have for many years or have some gone home to the Lord?  Thinking about the events and people in your life…who or what are you most thankful for?  How you view this day and your life in general is driven by your attitude.  If you want to be more thankful or have a more positive outlook on a daily basis, start each day with time for gratitude for what is good and what you are grateful and thankful for in your life.  We can all start with prayer and thanking God for the sacrifice of His Son to save us.  Happy Thanksgiving Day to you.  May we all experience the peace, love and joy of being thankful.  Amen.

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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 August of 2016 by our daughter while on a family road trip near Dillon, Colorado)

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