Don’t Quit

Let us not become tired of doing good. At the right time we will gather a crop if we don’t give up. 10 So when we can do good to everyone, let us do it. Let’s try even harder to do good to the family of believers.”

Galatians 6:9-10 NIRV

Our lives are filled with moments and memories…some are good times and some are difficult.  We all tend to embellish a bit in our memories, the memory of good times seems to be really good and the memory of bad times seem to be really bad.  Sometimes our bad memories start to take a person down a road where even the present moments are seen through their eyes with a negative perspective.  This is a quick spiral downward and we can get stuck in the swirl of negativity.  We have to have the courage to choose a new perspective, a more balanced view things and we are fed that perspective when we read the Word of God.  When times are hard and it feels like you are making no progress on anything…don’t give up, keep pressing on, keep believing…that is your faith at work.  Goodness will come to those who believe in the hope that God provides through Jesus Christ.  May God’s peace be with you.  Amen.

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“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

Colossians 3:12 NIV

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

Don’t Give Up

Portions of this post were originally published in February of 2018…

Let us not become tired of doing good. At the right time we will gather a crop if we don’t give up. 10 So when we can do good to everyone, let us do it. Let’s try even harder to do good to the family of believers.”

Galatians 6:9-10 NIRV

Our lives are filled with moments and memories…some are good times and some are difficult.  We all tend to embellish a bit in our memories, the memory of good times seems to be really good and the memory of bad times seem to be really bad.  Sometimes our bad memories start to take a person down a road where even the present moments are seen through their eyes with a negative perspective.  This is a quick spiral downward and we can get stuck in the swirl of negativity.  We have to have the courage to choose a new perspective, a more balanced view things and we are fed that perspective when we read the Word of God.  When times are hard and it feels like you are making no progress on anything…don’t give up, keep pressing on, keep believing…that is your faith at work.  Goodness will come to those who believe in the hope that God provides through Jesus Christ.  May God’s peace be with you.  Amen.

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“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

Colossians 3:12 NIV

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

Set An Example

A younger generation watches the older generation…they observe the words, actions and behaviors of those who came before them.  Every generation has made a contribution to where the world is today…good, bad and otherwise, no one group deserves only praise or only blame.  We are all accountable for how we act and behave.  Choose to do good things…seek to do the good things that God asks you to do according to His Word.  Amen.

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Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.

Titus 2:6-8

(This photo was taken in March of 2013 in the Bontanical Gardens at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, Nevada)

Praise The Lord

Today is recognized as Independence Day in the US.  A holiday where people can gather and celebrate freedom.  It is a day where we should give thanks to the Lord for all we have in our lives.  Take a moment and reflect on your surroundings, people in your life…all of the good things are gifts from God.  If it is difficult to see goodness, take some time to work on your relationship with God, talk to Him and listen in the quietness of time alone with God.  You were created out of love by God, He is with you and you can have contentment, security, peace and hope for a future in a way that only God can provide by choosing to turn to Him and His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ.  God is good…all the time…and all the time…God is good!  Praise the Lord.  May the peace and joy of the Lord be with you.

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“Praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord, O my soul.  I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.”

Psalm 146:1-2

(This photo was taken in June of 2018 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

All Things New

The world can get us down if we let it.  We see and hear the heart wrenching stories all too often.  People seeking vengeance and hatred and trying to create their own version of “Justice”…it is not for us to avenge.  We can choose to put our hope and trust in something way better than anything the world has to offer.  Only the Lord can restore that which is lost to evil and darkness.  Patience and persistence are the keys to faith, believe and we will see the goodness of the Lord.  He will make all things new (See Isaiah 65:17).  Here is a great song that speaks this message by Steven Curtis Chapman entitled All Things New

If you want to see a change in the world and a change in your life turn towards God and the you will begin to see the New things.  May God’s love and joy be with you.

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“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Psalms 139:23-24

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

On Believing And Seeing

You may have heard someone say or you may have said it yourself, a phrase such as ‘I’ll believe it when I see it.’  This originated in biblical times after the resurrection of Jesus.  Jesus appeared to the disciples at a time when Thomas was not with them.  Even as one of the apostles who had been with Jesus he could not comprehend the resurrection and told his brothers…“unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.” (John 20:25)  Thomas was so sure this could not be true, that Jesus had risen, that he made this statement basically saying to the others…prove it!  Oh boy, I have been there before.  The problem with this approach to our faith is it is not faith at all…if we have to see it to believe it, what do we truly believe in?  A simple example is the wind…the air can move at very high speeds at different elevations and we know this not because we can see it move, what we can see is what it can do.  Don’t get caught being a doubting Thomas, rather learn from him and have faith in the One who knows us and can see what He has planned for our lives.  May God’s love and joy be with you.

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“We live by faith, not by sight.”

2 Corinthians 5:7

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

Highs And Lows

Our journey is filled with these…moments where things are good, we are strong, confident, faithful and filled with hope and joy – Highs.  We also have moments of fear, concern, sadness that are filled with despair – Lows.  Every life has both whether you see it in others or not, they both exist for everyone.  The key to living with all of this is how are you reacting to your highs and your lows?  Reading and learning from God’s Word with the Holy Spirit as your guide is a great place to start.  After that, the way to give and receive celebration for highs and support for lows is with Friends.  Personal relationships, that is the key to living, learning and growing through out your life journey.  Reflect on your personal relationships, with God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit as well as with your friends.  Pray about them and find ways you can enrich those relationships.  Faith is not a destination, it is a way of living through the Highs and Lows that come to all of us no matter who we are or what we are doing.  May God’s peace and joy be with you.

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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer.  Share with God’s people who are in need.  Practice hospitality.”

Romans 12:12-13

(These photo’s were taken in July of 2016 at Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming)

Jesus

To Him be the glory.

The world divided, broken and lost…how can there be hope?  Lives of struggle, hearts broken, sadness…who can make this better?  People hurting each other, selfishness in control, fear and anger rule the days…what can change our perspectives?

The answers to all of this; to every thought of despair, to every life looking for a new direction and for every individual wanting to make a change…Jesus is the answer.  Believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, invite Him into your life everyday, spend time reading God’s Word, build your personal relationship with Him and you will see transformation.  May the presence of God be in you and may the saving grace of Jesus Christ bless you each day.

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“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.  We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

John 1:14

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

God Is With You

In all the places you will go, with all the people you will meet and in all the things you will do…keep the Word of God close and God is with you.  Pick out a verse that speaks to you and memorize it, hold it with you throughout your day and speak it as a breath prayer and you will sense peace.  Continue this practice and pick more verses to work on memorizing.  The Bible is our instruction manual for life and as we remember verses and speak with God during all times by speaking verses He will be a part of everything.  This isn’t a quick fix, instant gratification thing…this is walking by faith and knowing that the Creator and Savior are with you every step of the way in life.  May the word of God flow in your daily life.

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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 July of 2016 on Beartooth Pass in Montana)

The Needs Of Others

We all have been given gifts and talents to use in the world.  While we are all unique the gifts we have are to be used to not only support ourselves, they are also the way we can help others in need.  It is important to learn and accept the gifts and talents God has given us and to seek out ways to use them to honor God.  Selfishness is running rampant all over the world and therefore the needs of people are many.  Can we help everyone?  No.  Does that mean we should only worry about ourselves? No.  We should strive to do whatever we can, for whomever we can, whenever we can, wherever we are…even if it only helps one person in that moment in time, it is helping someone in need.  May God’s grace and peace be with you.

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“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Philippians 2:4

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 at a rest area in South Dakota)