Perspective

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Colossians 3:1-2 NIV

Outlook…viewpoint…position…approach…frame of mind…attitude.  What feeds your perspective?  What are you consuming with your eyes, your ears and your mind?  What experience or experiences are framing your view?  All of these are inputs into your perspective and they shape your attitude.  If we choose to allow our point of view to be shaped by what goes on around us in a world filled with me first, self-centered, get more attitudes we will become like the world.  The best defense is to build a foundation within your heart and mind that is based on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  We can’t stop the world from trying to influence us, yet we can choose to turn away from the sin and run towards our Savior and Lord.  Jesus said;

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 NIV

Build a strong foundation for your everyday life…trust in the Lord and you will find peace.  Amen.

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“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2019 at a lake place in northwestern Wisconson)

Do Your Best, Wherever You Are

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

Live out your day today…what is the next right thing to do?  Live in the present day, right where you are.  God is with you there…if we are always looking towards some where else or when this or that happens we may miss what is right in front of us now.  Do you best for God today, wherever you are.

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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 August of 2016 near Glacier National Park in Montana)

Stay Focused

“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”

Romans 8:5 NIV

Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.”

Psalm 1:1-3 NIV

Jesus Christ is the only Way to life with God.  Sin is what separates us from God and Jesus has conquered sin and death and filled the space between us and God with The Cross.  Peter learned while walking on water to never take your eyes off of Jesus…keep your eyes focused on Him…He is our Savior.  Amen.

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Let your eyes look straight ahead;
    fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Give careful thought to the[a] paths for your feet
    and be steadfast in all your ways.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
    keep your foot from evil.

Proverbs 4:25-27 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2021 at a lake in northwestern Wisconsin)

What Are Your Distractions? Resolve Them ASAP…

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[b] You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”

Colossians 3:2-10 NIV

Ever had one of those mornings or one of those days?  When you know you have things to do and you just can’t focus…you feel scattered?  Your mind keeps jumping from thought to thought and you have moments telling yourself, “c’mon stop it…focus on what you need to do!”  This is a perfect example of how we can’t overcome things on our own…we need help…we need God.  There is a sign in our home with the letters ASAP on it…yet it doesn’t stand for what you are thinking it does…this ASAP stands for “Always Stop And Pray.”  When you notice things going the wrong direction, always stop and pray…when you just don’t know what to do, always stop and pray…when life gets overwhelming, always stop and pray.  Distractions and taking our attention away from God will be constant in life…we can overcome our problems by remembering to ASAP.  May God’s peace be with you.  Amen.

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“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Philippians 4:6-8 NIV

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

Perspective

Portions of this post were originally published in January of 2020…

You have been raised up with Christ. So think about things that are in heaven. That is where Christ is. He is sitting at God’s right hand. Think about things that are in heaven. Don’t think about things that are only on earth.”

Colossians 3:1-2 NIRV

Outlook…viewpoint…position…approach…frame of mind…attitude.  What feeds your perspective?  What are you consuming with your eyes, your ears and your mind?  What experience or experiences are framing your view?  All of these are inputs into your perspective and they shape your attitude.  If we choose to allow our point of view to be shaped by what goes on around us in a world filled with me first, self-centered, get more attitudes we will become like the world.  The best defense is to build a foundation within your heart and mind that is based on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  We can’t stop the world from trying to influence us, yet we can choose to turn away from the sin and run towards our Savior and Lord.  Jesus said;

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 NIV

Begin or continue to build a strong foundation for your everyday life…trust in the Lord and you will find peace.  Amen.

DSC_0029-1 publish

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2019 at a lake place in northwestern Wisconson)

Stay Focused

“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”

Romans 8:5

Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.”

Psalm 1:1-3

DSC_0054 (2) publish

Let your eyes look straight ahead;
    fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Give careful thought to the[a] paths for your feet
    and be steadfast in all your ways.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
    keep your foot from evil.

Proverbs 4:25-27

(This photo was taken in August of 2021 at a lake in northwestern Wisconsin)

What Are Your Distractions?

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[b] You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”

Colossians 3:2-10

DSC06917 publish

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Philippians 4:8

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

Transformation

Change…conversion…revision…reshaping…remolding…rebuilding…reworking…renewing.  God is our Creator and He made each and every one of us.  He made us with a purpose and as we live our lives we get influenced and distracted by the world, by worldly desires and worldly expectations and we lose sight of what God made us to be.  This is not about what you do as a job or career, that should not define you, rather it is about who you are as a person in your everyday life and interactions.  Turn towards Jesus Christ and your faith, revisit the person God made you to be according to His plan.  Amen.

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You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Ephesians 4:22-24

(This photo was taken in July of 2019 at a lake place in northwestern Wisconsin)

Prayer And Listening

As we work to grow in our relationship with Jesus, we may begin to focus on offering ourselves up in prayer.  To most of us when we think about prayer we thinking of speaking, however, as we can learn from our relationships with others, listening is a vital yet little used characteristic in the world.  Every strong relationship involves communication two ways.  Speaking and offering up your words and support verbally and then also taking time to sit quietly and listen.  I have been doing my reading and devotions in the early morning for several years and I choose that time for me because the world is very still and quiet in my life in the early morning and I have found I can truly meditate on God’s Word and let it soak into to my soul.  I start each day speaking and listening with the Lord and it sets my perspective and attitude for good things.  Seek the Lord and listen for His voice.  May God’s peace be with you.

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“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

John 10:27

(This photo was taken in April of 2016 at sunrise at a lake place in central Minnesota)

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)