Do Good Things

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly[a] with your God.”

Micah 6:8 NIV

Do good things every day. Do good in the everyday things in life right where you are…not for others to see, rather because it is what God has asked us to do. Hold a door open for others, give a word of encouragement to someone, be willing to sit and listen to what someone is going through without trying to ‘fix it’ for them. Be present right where you are with whoever you are near. Don’t always be looking for the miraculous…for it is in combining the good work of the little things together that create the greatest moments in our lives.

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“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

John 13:34-35 NIV

(This photo was taken in September of 2022 at Big Sky Resort in Montana)

The Spirit Of The Lord

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

2 Corinthians 3:17 NIV

God did not create us to live under the worries and burdens of this fallen world.  If we insist on prioritizing our circumstances over God, we will be discouraged and defeated.  It means we have allowed the devil a foothold in our hearts and minds.  He is the great deceiver and can keep us distracted for as long as we allow…the Spirit of the Lord brings freedom from evil.  Freedom from worldly pursuits and values.  Peace comes from choosing God first and giving all of our worries to Him…it doesn’t mean we sit and do nothing.  We step up and strive to know Him and to make Him known to others.  We speak the truth with kindness and respect. Every part of our lives every day can flow from knowing God and His Word.  Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.  May God’s peace be with you.  Amen.

There Is Freedom by Josh Baldwin

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“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

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

Cry Out To The Lord

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 NIV

When you don’t what to do next or how to respond to something…cry out to the Lord.  When you feel content and you can sense His presence in your life…praise the Lord.  No matter if things are good or difficult, for every season and for every reason turn towards the Lord.

Lord, I Need You by Matt Maher

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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 NIV

(This photo was taken in May of 2020 at the High Falls in Tettegouche State Park in northern Minnesota)

Living In God’s Will

And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?”

Deuteronomy 10:12-13 NIV

How we treat each other in our everyday lives says a great deal about our hearts.  Whether we are talking about family members, friends or complete strangers we encounter during a day…each interaction is an opportunity to live in God’s will…even when, especially when others don’t meet our expectations.  We are all human and we are all broken…remember every person you meet may be fighting a battle you know nothing about…just like you are fighting battles others don’t know about.  God knows and He wants to help us, all of us…it is up to us to choose Him and His way…let us set aside our selfish and pride filled ways and choose to live according this His will.  Amen.

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“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Colossians 3:12-17 NIV

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

An Encounter With God

“The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Exodus 33:14 NIV

Where and when do you encounter God?  How do you respond?  God promises His presence…He is with you and He is for you.  What happens next is up to you…

I Can Only Imagine by MercyMe

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“When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

And Moses said, “Here I am.”

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father,[a] the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.”

Exodus 3:4-6 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 near Pike’s Peak in Colorado)

The Fruit Of The Spirit

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 5:14-16 NIV

When we believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died and was resurrected to save us from our sins and we confess our sins to God…the Holy Spirit will come into us.  It is not a feeling and not an emotional state of mind it is the presence of God living in us and working through us.  When we surrender our old way of thinking and we live with the Holy Spirit pouring through our hearts and minds the results will be the Fruit of the Spirit flowing through us in our thoughts, words and our actions.  May the peace of the Lord be with you.  Amen.

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But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

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

Mercy…Compassion…Forgiveness

“This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. 10 Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’”

Zechariah 7:9-10 NIV

We are not made to be the judge of others…the world is losing sight of compassion for one another.  Let us stop believing the lies of evil and stop looking for ways to tear each other down.  Remember the example that has been set for us by Jesus Christ…His upside-down Kingdom.  Read God’s Word and remember that God is our Creator and look at others through the eyes of Jesus.  May God’s peace be with you and flow through you.  Amen.

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Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Ephesians 4:31-32 NIV

(This photo was taken in October of 2018 on a walk in northwestern Wisconsin)

Holy Living

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

Colossians 3:12-14 NIV

It is simple yet very different from worldly values.  It is about living a balanced life with Christ at the center.  It is not about judgement or comparing yourself to others…it is about the Fruits of the Spirit shining through your thoughts, words and actions because in your heart you truly believe.  You confess your sins and have an on-going personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  It is not perfect and we never will be…it means you will still face difficulties and suffering in life but you will be better prepared to go through them with God as your guide.  It is the only way to find true peace.  Amen.

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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. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Colossians 3:15-17 NIV

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

What’s Different? Perspective

Love must be honest and true. Hate what is evil. Hold on to what is good. 10 Love one another deeply. Honor others more than yourselves. 11 Stay excited about your faith as you serve the Lord. 12 When you hope, be joyful. When you suffer, be patient. When you pray, be faithful. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Welcome others into your homes.”

Romans 12:9-13 NIRV

How has your faith shown up in your daily life?  When you reflect on your attitude, your perspective and your daily living and compare it to a previous point in time, what do you notice has changed?  Some of your old ways have faded, some are taking longer to change…this is the process of spiritual growth.  Not everyone will encounter a burning shrub in the desert like Moses or directly encounter Christ on the road like Saul who became Paul.  Our journey will be different, yet our God who is with all of us is the same.  Be aware of who you are, the people in your life and what you can offer someone in need right where you are and pray.  Pray for wisdom and courage, pay attention to what God is up to in your daily life.  That alone will be a different perspective than the way we were before.  Amen.

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“For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.  Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.”

1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 NIV

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

Be Different

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[a] is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”

1 John 2:15-17 NIV

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Romans 12:2 NIV

Wash your heart and mind with the truth in God’s word.  We all are broken and sinful in this world and we need Jesus.  The world will flood us with lies about what to believe and turn us away from God.  We need to seek the wisdom that comes from God not from the world…plant the Word deep into our hearts daily to guide our attitudes and perspectives and to live out the love He has given us in every aspect of our lives.  Amen.

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But that is not the way of life in Christ that you learned about. 21 You heard about Christ and were taught about life in him. What you learned was the truth about Jesus. 22 You were taught not to live the way you used to. You must get rid of your old way of life. That’s because it has been made impure by the desire for things that lead you astray. 23 You were taught to be made new in your thinking. 24 You were taught to start living a new life. It is created to be truly good and holy, just as God is.”

Ephesians 4:20-24 NIRV

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 at Falls Park near Sioux Falls, South Dakota)