Wherever You Go

Our Lord and our Savior is always with us.  When we are with family and friends or when we are alone…when we are busy at work or focused on a certain task and when we are sitting peacefully…when we are driving or riding in a car or out for a walk…no matter what time, what place, what activity…our God has assured us He is with us.  I am reminded this morning what an amazing and awesome promise this is and how frequently we don’t trust it or believe it or just don’t think about it in our daily lives.  Take a moment and think about what is your plan for the day or where are you needed today, no matter what it is, whoever you are with or wherever you go…God will be with you…look for Him, look for where He shows up today.  You will see, if you trust and believe.  I pray that God will open the eyes of our hearts in all we do.  Amen.

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“Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 at Garden of the Gods park in Colorado Springs)

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Listening

A skill we all need to use more often and a way of communicating that could get us much closer to peace in our life.  If we were better at listening there would be less divorce and broken families…if we were better at listening there would be less violence and crime as hate and anger would not be stirred up so quickly.  Listening involves taking time to understand what the other person is saying, it involves empathy.  It means not being so quick to respond with your own will and desires as first priority…it takes humility to really listen…it takes a willingness to admit we don’t have all the answers.  Think about recent interactions in your life…when are you hearing and when are you listening?  I know I can do better.  Lastly, communicating with God takes more than just talking, if we are doing all the talking in prayer when do we take the time to listen to Him?  May we all be blessed with courage and humility to listen better.  Amen.

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“Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”

Psalm 25:4-5

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 along Beartooth Pass in Montana)

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Redeemer

To save…to get back…to retrieve…to regain…recover…reclaim.  We belong to Jesus.  We are God’s people, He loves us.  He is constantly seeking a connection with us.  When we are lost He shines a light on the way out.  Even though we are sinners and broken He sent His One and Only Son to save us and bring us back.  It is up to each of us to turn towards Jesus instead of turning away and come back to Him who loved us first.  May we be blessed with wisdom and courage this day.  Amen.

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

John 3:17

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)

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Light Of The World

When we do not know where to turn…when darkness keeps us from moving forward…when it feels like the world is closing in on us…it is the Light of Christ that can lead us out of darkness.  We will encounter difficulty, troubles and frustrations in this life, everyone does…every single person is working through something.  In several places in the Bible we are told about The Light of Christ.  He is the Light of the World and He can shine best through you and me.  So when you need a little Light turn towards Jesus and pray or pick up a Bible and read God’s Word…the only way Light can be helpful is when it is shining bright…shine on!  May the grace and mercy of God’s love be with you.  Amen.

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“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12

(This photo was taken in May of 2014 at a lake in central Minnesota)

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The Narrow Road

As we move along the journey of Faith and grow in our relationship with Jesus we will begin to see differences in what people are pursuing (ourselves included) and what we read and learn about in the Bible.  When we read things like…“All people will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” – Matthew 10:22  or  “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:10  And there are many other verses in the Bible that make us squirm in our seats…as people living in this world, when we read these things it makes some of us want to ask “really? persecuted? hated? and then forgiveness, kindness and compassion?”

It is at that moment that we should stop and think for minute…close our eyes and see the Cross, see Jesus Christ hanging there…He was beaten, hated, persecuted and crucified and He went through all that and offered a prayer of forgiveness just before He died…He did all of this for me and for you.  A life living in Faith is not a promise of easy street and all happiness all the time…in fact it is the life you will often find that needs to take the road less traveled and know in confidence that there is One who showed us how to travel that road.  May we all find refuge and comfort with Christ. Amen

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“Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Matthew 7:13-14

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

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Faith Drives Out Fear

Fear is a bully, it takes away from who we truly are, it restricts us, it wants to control us and it will tell us lie after lie to get its way.  Faith in God is one of the greatest weapons against fear.  Belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came down from heaven, was crucified, died and has risen is the foundation to stand on to overcome fear.  All of us are fighting something that is trying to use fear against us…maybe other people know about your battle…maybe they don’t…God knows and He is willing to provide you the courage, the strength and the wisdom to defeat fear.  Our trust and in Faith in the Lord will carry us through any thing the world throws at us.  Bring your worries and your fears to the Cross and let Jesus lead the way.  May we all have new courage and strength against our fears because of our Faith.

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“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10

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

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Gratitude

A key element in shaping our perspective is gratitude.  Being thankful, looking around at your life and recognizing the ways God has blessed you.  We must be careful not to judge a blessing based on the world’s view of us or our life.  God has promised to give us what we need, not fulfill all our wants and not to give us everything that will make us feel better compared to someone else.  We are each unique, created out of love and blessed to be a blessing.  We have already received the greatest gift we could ever receive from Jesus Christ, it is up to us to turn towards Him and give Him thanks.  May the peace and joy of the Lord be with you.

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“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful.  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in you hearts to God.”

Colossians 3:15-16

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)

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Amazing Grace

This is the message God has put on my heart this morning.  Below are the words, I encourage you to go find your favorite recording of it and listen to it.  May God’s love, joy and peace be with you.

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

Written by John Newton

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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…”

Ephesians 2:8

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 while traveling through North Dakota)

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Give Me Jesus

All I can do is pray…pray for the world to seek a moral compass; pray that all people strive to be humble; pray that all people stop looking only for their self-interest; pray that all people repent for the wrongs they have done and pray that all people remember the mercy and grace we have been given by Jesus Christ, even though we do not deserve it.  I look around at the things going on in the world and all I can think is…just give me Jesus.  May the faith and prayers of Christians all over the world be greater than evil and darkness. Amen

 

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“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 lift up my soul.”

Psalm 143:8

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

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Persistence

When we read about prayer in the Bible there are words and phrases such as “without ceasing” or “continually” and when we read about the life of Jesus we find He spent hours and sometimes even the whole night in prayer to God His Father.  In today’s society we are so quick to move from one item to the next it seems there is little attention paid to dedication and commitment.  The ability to stick to it, not giving up and believing the next attempt will be the one that is successful…these are the attributes of true success in life.  This approach to anything takes patience, persistence and faith.  We learn the most from trying and failing and we succeed by taking what we learn and applying it to the future.  The same is true in our prayer life…if you have been praying about something and you haven’t seen results yet, don’t give up, keep praying.  God hears you and He will work things out in His time, His way, not based on our thoughts or our timetable…and thankfully His way is always better than ours.  Be persistent in prayer and give thanks to God for all your blessings.

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“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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

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