Humility And Patience

Portions of this post were published in December of 2020…

“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Luke 18:10-14 NIV

What we need in the world more than ever is less “look at me” thinking and more of a “how can I help you” way of life.  Think about your daily life and what you do…how much is to serve just yourself and how much includes serving a community or group of people.  The best way to work on making this change in your life is to have time every day with God and His Word…reading, prayer and listening time with the One who is with you, loves you and wants to be a part of your daily life.  Turn towards the Lord, seek to learn about Him and He can lead you to humility and peace.  Amen.

DSC_0227 publish

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

2 Peter 3:9 NIV

(This photo was taken in May of 2020 along the North Shore of Lake Superior)

Anything Is Possible With God

The Lord is gracious, kind and tender.
    He is slow to get angry and full of love.
The Lord is good to all.
    He shows deep concern for everything he has made.”

Psalm 145:8-9 NIRV

No matter what, anything is possible with God.  If you are discouraged or defeated and thinking this is never going to change or get better…turn towards God, put your trust in Him.  Confess your sins and make a commitment to change the way you live.  If you are frustrated and at your wits end with another person don’t give up…pray for them and be encouraged by story of Saul who became Paul…Saul was filled with anger and hate and he was leading the charge to kill believers in Jesus and yet this was the person God chose to change to help lead the charge to spread the Good News about Jesus.  You can read more about him in the book of Acts.  If God can change Saul to Paul, He can change you or someone you are praying for just the same.  Anything is possible with God.  Amen.

DSC_0062 publish

“But I will bless anyone who trusts in me.
    I will do good things for the person who depends on me.
They will be like a tree planted near water.
    It sends out its roots beside a stream.
It is not afraid when heat comes.
    Its leaves are always green.
It does not worry when there is no rain.
    It always bears fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIRV

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

We Have This Hope

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

Romans 8:28 NIV

Why should we have hope?  Because the God of the universe, our Creator, loves us and He wants good things for us.  How do we know?  Because He sent His Son as a sacrifice to do for us that which we cannot do on our own…save us from our sinful ways.  From the greatest tragedy, Jesus Christ death on the Cross, God brought about the greatest triumph, the resurrection of our Savior.  No matter what has happened, no matter where you are…whatever you have done or left undone…there is hope because of God’s love for you and because He wants good things for you.  Turn towards the Lord and bring everything to him.  Amen.

DSC_29 publish

Let us hold firmly to the hope we claim to have. The God who promised is faithful. 24 Let us consider how we can stir up one another to love. Let us help one another to do good works. 25 And let us not give up meeting together. Some are in the habit of doing this. Instead, let us encourage one another with words of hope. Let us do this even more as you see Christ’s return approaching.”

Hebrews 10:23-25 NIRV

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

Our Help Comes From The Lord

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.”

Psalm 46:1 NIV

When things go side-ways or take an unexpected turn…what do we do first?  Ask questions, try to figure out what happened, look for ways to get control of what is going on?  None of these are bad yet they should come after we turn to the Lord and pray for help, pray for wisdom, pray for guidance.  This is where our help really comes from and we typically wait to call on God as a very last resort.  As you go through this day or this weekend try turning to God first for anything and everything…He loves you, He knows you and He wants to give you good things.  Amen.

DSC_0207 publish

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.”

Psalm 121:1-2 NIV

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

Hope, Joy And Peace

Portions of this post were originally published in July of 2021…

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

You make known to me the path of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”

Psalm 16:11 NIV

“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 14:27 NIV

We have hope because Jesus Christ has risen from the dead and He is alive.  We can have joy when we learn to understand that nothing in this life is too big for God to help us overcome.  All of this provides us peace knowing that God loves us, provides for us and will never leave us or abandon us.  Know this hope, be filled with this joy and you will have peace that surpasses understanding.  Amen.

DSC_0044 (2) publish

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Romans 15:13

(This photo was taken yesterday at a Fish Sunflowers Field in Buffalo, Minnesota)

Unconditional Love

At just the right time Christ died for ungodly people. He died for us when we had no power of our own. It is unusual for anyone to die for a godly person. Maybe someone would be willing to die for a good person. But here is how God has shown his love for us. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:6-8 NIRV

God loves us unconditionally.  We do not earn His love; we do not deserve it.  There are not certain things you must do or be to receive God’s love.  He offers it to us through His mercy and grace.  Our job is to seek Him, spend time with Him, communicate with Him.  We are to know Him and make Him known.  There is no greater gift you will ever receive in this life than God’s love…turn away from sinful thoughts and ways and trust in the Lord.  Amen.

DSC_0176 publish

Dear friends, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has become a child of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. Here is how God showed his love among us. He sent his one and only Son into the world. He sent him so we could receive life through him. 10 Here is what love is. It is not that we loved God. It is that he loved us and sent his Son to give his life to pay for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God loved us this much, we should also love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love one another, God lives in us. His love is made complete in us.

1 John 4:7-12 NIRV

(This photo was taken in May of 2020 along the North Shore of Lake Superior)

Consider Him…

“Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Hebrews 12:3 NIV

When you are tired and run down or discouraged and defeated, consider Him…when you are frustrated or angry with others, consider Him…when you feel like there is no hope, consider Him…consider Him who endured death on a cross between two thieves, for us…consider Him who was spit on and had a crown of thorns pushed onto His head, for us…consider Him who had His beard plucked out and gave His back to the whip, for us…and consider Him who gave His blood and His life for us.  He did it because He loves you and He wants good things for you.  Turn your attention towards Him and give Him thanks, then you will find peace.  Amen.

DSC07554 publish

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 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.”

Philippians 4:4-7 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 near Colorado Springs, Colorado)

Surrender and Rest

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”

Luke 9:23-24 NIV

The more we try to take control and hold on tight to all circumstances the more life slips through our fingers.  We were never meant to carry all of our burdens alone; we are not meant to fix everything or try to get things to meet our expectations.  God doesn’t need us to define our purpose in life, only our surrender to bring us to it.  Turn towards Him and daily give yourself to His way in your life.  Trust the Lord with everything.  Amen.

DSC_1543 publish

“Come to me, all you who are tired and are carrying heavy loads. I will give you rest. 29 Become my servants and learn from me. I am gentle and free of pride. You will find rest for your souls. 30 Serving me is easy, and my load is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 NIRV

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 at Sapphire Point near Dillon, Colorado)

Ask…Believe…Receive

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”

John 14:12-14 NIV

When you pray, do you truly believe what you are asking for will happen?  Or is it more like wishing for something that may or may not happen?  True transformation is when we believe what we ask for will happen and not on our timeline or according to our expectations.  As I look back over the early part of my faith journey, I remember prayers that were more just like going to a wishing well…speak it once and probably never think about it again.  This is not sincere, authentic praying.  Prayer is communication with God, it is about spending time with Him and our relationship with Him.  Jesus put it this way…

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

Matthew 6:6-8 NIV

The key to this statement is your Father knows what you need.  Ask Him for things, believe in Him and what He can do.  Then watch and listen for Him and you will receive.  Ask…believe…receive.  Amen.

DSC_0171 publish

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Mark 11:24 NIV

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

His Way

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV

Stay focused, stay patient, stay committed.  Too often in life we get distracted by our surroundings or circumstances.  This is the work of darkness and evil…the less time we spend with God the less committed we will be to Him.  Some days will be more difficult than others…yet be persistent and don’t give up.  God loves you, He is with you, trust His Way.  Amen.

DSC_1025 publish

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”

Psalm 51:10-12 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 while traveling through the state of Washington)