“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.“
Galatians 6:9-10 NIV
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. There can be a quick spiral downward and we can get stuck in the swirl of negativity if we stop trying to do good and see the good. We have to have the courage to choose a new perspective and we are fed that perspective when we read the Word of God. Goodness will come to those who believe in the hope that God provides through Jesus Christ. Don’t quit, don’t give up, don’t give in…keep fighting, the God of the Universe is with you and He is for you! May God’s peace be with you. Amen.
“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 May of 2020 along the North Shore of Lake Superior)
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Matthew 19:26 NIV
Why do we doubt so much? Why is it so hard for us to believe what may be possible with God? When we are willing to surrender to His plan and His way in His time, there’s no telling what can happen. Look at the stories in the bible…Abraham and Sarah had a child they had so longed for when Sarah was 90…the 5000 were fed when all that was available to eat was a few fish and some bread…Lazarus is raised from the dead after being gone for four days…and there are so many more examples. When God is involved in a situation anything is possible. We must turn to Him first with whatever we are facing and remember He is not a genie in a bottle who sometimes grants wishes…He is our creator, our savior and our guide who always has good things in store for us. Trust in the Lord and watch to see what He has in store for you. May the joy of the Lord be with you. Amen
“For nothing is impossible with God.”
Luke 1:37 NIV
(This photo was taken in July of 2016 in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming)
“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
John 10:9-10 NIV
We learn to build walls around the parts of our heart where the deepest and most vulnerable topics and issues, thoughts and feelings are hidden from others. We believe we are safe keeping these items locked away. There is a door in these walls and Jesus is on the other side. He is not locked out, we are locked in…think about this…we do not have to wait and hope that He will find us and help us or save us. He already knows about these things, He has done what He needed to do to save us. In His words, it is finished (John 19:30). We are the ones who need to take the next step, unlock the door to your heart for Jesus and let Him in. I like many people have been searching for the door in the wall, it takes persistence, discipline and courage to open the door and let go of those things keeping us trapped in destructive cycles…we need to let the fullness of Christ into our lives. May God’s peace be with you.
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”
Revelation 3:20 NIV
(This photo was taken in June of 2013 near Pike’s Peak in Colorado)
“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
The people in our daily lives, the family and friends we interact with every day, these are the people on earth who know the most about us. How we treat each other, whether or not we trust each other, these are the cornerstones of our relationships. It is too easy to take others for granted or think they will always be there because for such a long time they have always been there. Yet things will happen in this broken and sinful world or time and age itself will catch up with every single person, and one day you may get a phone call that will change everything in an instant…they are gone. None us really knows what life has in-store for us each day, only God knows. He doesn’t make the bad things happen, the sins of the human race have done that…however, He will bring comfort, He will bring courage and He will bring His presence to strengthen us. Let’s strive to not take people and relationships for granted, each day. I pray we attempt to live our best and show others the light and love of Christ that we have so graciously received. Amen.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
Colossians 3:12-14 NIV
(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on the shore of Lake Superior in Ashland, Wisconsin)
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
James 1:2-4 NIV
Purposeful…dedicated…courageous…committed…determined…resolute. It takes strength to run the race of faith. The evil in this world will bring us many forms of darkness and struggle, it will work hard, very hard to keep us away from God. We have to be willing to fight just as hard to stay close to God and trust in the hope that faith gives us…even when…especially when we can’t see it. Don’t give up, keep the faith, when you get knocked back or pushed down trust in God and keep running the race of faith. Amen.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
Hebrews 12:1 NIV
(This photo was taken in July of 2016 on Beartooth Pass in Montana)
“I know the plans I have for you,” announces the Lord. “I want you to enjoy success. I do not plan to harm you. I will give you hope for the years to come. 12 Then you will call out to me. You will come and pray to me. And I will listen to you. 13 When you look for me with all your heart, you will find me.”
Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIRV
Have you had moments like this? “That’s not what I meant”…”I wish they knew me better”…”I don’t feel like I fit in”…”Nobody understands me.” I have been there before. You can be surrounded by people but feel like you are isolated. God knows who you are, He knows what you can do, He knows how you think and He cares for you. If you feel like you are off the rails in your life, it is time to get back to God. He is waiting to hear from you. He is the Creator, the one who formed you and has been right there with you every step of the way in life. Turn towards God. Trust in Him. May you see the blessings from God in your life each day. Amen.
“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.”
Psalm 139:23-24 NIV
(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on the shore of Lake Superior in Ashland, Wisconsin)
“Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”
Philippians 3:17-21 NIV
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.
“Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. 7 Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, 8 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 NIV
(This photo was taken in July of 2016 at a field in North Dakota)
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
John 15:9-13 NIV
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 5:6-8 NIV
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.”
John 15:16-17 NIV
(This photo was taken in May of 2020 at the High Falls in Tettegouche State Park in northern Minnesota)
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.
Do not conform any longer 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 12:1-2 NIV
Every one of us has a choice, every day…how will you choose to live this day?
“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
“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 ESV
(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Glacier National Park in Montana)
“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 where we go or what we do God’s love and faithfulness are always more powerful than anything in this world. We spend our days searching for something…happiness, justice, peace of mind and we believe we will find it somewhere on earth. Yet the whole time God offers a path to find these pursuits. It begins with a belief in God and His goodness. Every promise He made He has kept and the last promise has yet to come, and Jesus Christ will come again. I pray we have the courage to stop putting our faith in things created by mankind and put our trust and faith right where it belongs…In God We Trust. May you see God’s love and faithfulness at work in your life. Amen.
“Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.”
Psalm 115:1 NIV
(This photo was taken in June of 2015 on the side of the road while driving through South Dakota)