Be Thankful…Be Content

  “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

Jesus Christ suffered and died for you because He loves you.  He has risen…He is alive and wants to help you in this life and spend eternity with you.  Give thanks to Jesus, not only with words but with how you choose to live your life every day.  Amen.

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But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”

1 Timothy 6:6-8 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on the shore of Lake Superior near Ashland, Wisconsin)

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)

The Voice of Truth

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

John 14:6 NIV

In this world that is fallen and filled with sin and lies we have many thoughts and opinions speaking to us through many forms of communication.  Yet while Jesus walked on earth he taught using the phrase “I tell you the truth…”  He spoke this phrase more than 75 times as recorded in the New Testament.  With so much input coming at us in the world from so many sources it is important to seek the one voice of truth.

This is not always easy…in fact when Jesus spoke he knew not everybody would openly accept the truth.  In our lives, the hardest things to do are often really the right thing to do.  Truth takes courage, truth takes trusting that no matter what happens God has got you in the palm of his hand.  He knows what you are facing, He knows your fears and the temptations pressuring you…open your heart, mind and soul to Him.  He has the truth and His Son delivered the message of truth personally to us.

Voice Of Truth by Casting Crowns

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“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’.

John 8:31-32 NIV

(This photo was taken in the summer of 2013 at Falls Park on the Big Sioux River in South Dakota)

Gratitude

Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

What are you thankful for?  This is not something to consider only once a year in late November…it is an everyday prayer and worship attitude.  What do you find yourself focusing your thoughts on each day…negativity?  What is wrong or could be better?  Why isn’t this working?  When did this break or stop happening?  Problems? Frustrations? Disappointments?  It can easily become overwhelming…the Good News is we have the opportunity to change our perspective and our attitude without any of the external factors being different!  How?  Through a relationship with Jesus Christ.  Spending time daily with God’s Word, taking time to sit quietly and pray…these are the keys to building our daily life on a foundation of positivity and living your best with whatever happens.  Seek the Lord and shift your attitude to be one of gratitude.

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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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Philippians 4:8-9 NIV

(This photo was taken in September of 2022 at Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming)

Overcoming Fear

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”

2 Timothy 1:7 NLT

“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

Deuteronomy 31:8 NLT

Don’t let fear drive your decisions…stop believing the lies of the evil one…trust in God and stay in the fight and He will guide you to be an Overcomer.  He promised He would and God keeps His promises.

Overcomer by Mandisa

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“All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

John 14:25-27 NIV

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

God’s Faithfulness

“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.”

Deuteronomy 7:9 NIV

No matter what we have done or left undone…God is with us and God is for us.  Even when we don’t see Him or the work He is doing in our lives…He is near.  Every promise God made has been kept…He is faithful and His only promise yet to be fulfilled is when Christ returns.  Trust in the Lord and His Word…He is trustworthy and faithful in everything.  Amen.

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“The Lord himself will go ahead of you. He will be with you. He will never leave you. He’ll never desert you. So don’t be afraid. Don’t lose hope.”

Deuteronomy 31:8 NIRV

(This photo was taken in August of 2021 at a field near Kimball, Minnesota)

Be Thankful…Be Content

  “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

Jesus Christ suffered and died for you because He loves you.  He has risen…He is alive and wants to help you in this life and spend eternity with you.  Give thanks to Jesus, not only with words but with how you choose to live your life every day.  Amen.

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But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”

1 Timothy 6:6-8 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on the shore of Lake Superior near Ashland, Wisconsin)

Humility…Perspective

Don’t do anything only to get ahead. Don’t do it because you are proud. Instead, be humble. Value others more than yourselves. None of you should look out just for your own good. Each of you should also look out for the good of others.

Philippians 2:3-4 NIRV

“So make yourselves humble. Put yourselves under God’s mighty hand. Then he will honor you at the right time. Turn all your worries over to him. He cares about you.

1 Peter 5:6-7 NIRV

We are saved by God’s grace and we have a choice…we can accept that we are broken and sinful in need of our Savior and then seek Him in how we live.  Or we can reject God by focusing only on ourselves and following the desires of the world and our sinful hearts and minds.  We can see the choice made by others so easily…yet it is up each of us in our own lives…no matter what our circumstances are in this world we have a choice on how we will respond to God every day.

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“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”

Romans 12:9-13 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 along Beartooth Pass near the Montana and Wyoming border)

Open The Eyes Of My Heart

Portions of this post were originally published in July 2021…

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”

Ezekiel 36:26-27 NIV

We typically are quick to judge the thoughts and actions of others without considering there is more to every person than just what you see on the surface.  We forget that God created all of us, everyone…even the people you struggle with or disagree with on most days.  I like to remember the quote…’be kind to others, because everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.’  When you find your thoughts making judgements…stop and pray for God to fill you with kindness and compassion.  Amen.

Open The Eyes Of My Heart by Michael W. Smith

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Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

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

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)