“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Ephesians 5:15-20 NIV
“The Holy Spirit is already in every Christian heart, and He intends to produce His fruit. However, there must be a displacement. A boat does not sink when it is in the water, but it does sink when the water comes into the boat. We do not fail to enjoy the fruit of the Spirit because we live in a sea of corruption; we fail to do so because the sea of corruption is in us.”
– Billy Graham, Author of Unto The Hills
“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 June of 2016 in a neighborhood near Plymouth, Minnesota)
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14 Do everything in love.”
1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NIV
It is your choice what attitude you present in the world, what you believe and what actions you will take. You can choose to let the circumstances in the world and what other people think, say and do drag you down and respond in an unpleasant way…or you can choose to believe in God’s Word and to follow Jesus Christ and His attitude and be encouraged by good things that you and others can do. The choice is yours everyday with every sunrise. Amen.
This Could Change Everything by Francesca Battistelli
“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. 9 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 June of 2016 while traveling through western Minnesota)
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 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 6:7-10 NIV
“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 May of 2020 at the High Falls in Tettegouche State Park in northern Minnesota)
“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 NIV
The world is broken. We all have sinned yet because of Jesus and what He has done for us we can have Hope no matter what is happening. God gives us hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He has shown us that even after the most tragic circumstances have occurred, He can bring about good. Look at nature as an example…in winter the trees look dead, lifeless…then spring comes and there is new life…the warmth and lush green of summer is joyful and then the colorful beauty of fall creates scenic views only the Creator could design. Trust is the Lord, do good things to help others and live with Hope from God. Amen.
“Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Psalm 23:6 NIV
(This photo was taken in February of 2013 in a neighborhood near Plymouth, Minnesota)
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
1 Timothy 6:6-10 NIV
We would be wise to follow God’s Word and not put worldly values ahead of heavenly treasure. So much of the suffering in this world is self-inflicted by us and our pursuits using earthly wisdom. We were created out of love and for love. Even when we wander off God continues to seek us and bring us back to Him. No matter where you are or what has happened…remember He will never leave you or abandon you. Be content with the blessings you have and know that God is with you.
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5 NIV
(This photo was taken in August of 2016 near Glacier National Park in Montana)
“A child will be born to us.
A son will be given to us.
He will rule over us.
And he will be called
Wonderful Adviser and Mighty God.
He will also be called Father Who Lives Forever
and Prince Who Brings Peace.”
Isaiah 9:6 NIRV
“The Lord is gracious, kind and tender.
He is slow to get angry and full of love.
9 The Lord is good to all.
He shows deep concern for everything he has made.”
Psalm 145:8-9 NIRV
The Goodness Of God by Bethel Music & Jenn Johnson
“Your kingdom is a kingdom that will last forever.
Your rule will continue for all time to come.
The Lord will keep all his promises.
He is faithful in everything he does.
14 The Lord takes good care of all those who fall.
He lifts up all those who feel helpless.
15 Every living thing looks to you for food.
You give it to them exactly when they need it.
16 You open your hand
and satisfy the needs of every living creature.”
Psalm 145:13-16 NIRV
(This photo was taken in July of 2021 in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)
“But the fruit the Holy Spirit produces is love, joy and peace. It is being patient, kind and good. It is being faithful 23 and gentle and having control of oneself. There is no law against things of that kind.”
Galatians 5:22-23 NIRV
Life by the Spirit is a life that is conscious of our impact on others. It is not always looking inward and seeking to satisfy the self. It is a balanced life, living present and not dwelling more on the regrets of the past or trying to control the future. It is a life that strives to put Christ in the center of everything…this is not easy to achieve in a dark and broken world full of distractions nor are we able to do this alone. We need to remember God’s grace and receive the Holy Spirit in our hearts…so that His love can flow through us into every aspect of our lives. Seek a balanced life that is led by the Spirit. Amen.
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22:36-40 NIV
(This photo was taken in July of 2018 while hiking in Wisconsin near Lake Superior)
“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
John 1:4-5 NIV
“For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.”
1 Thessalonians 4:7 NIV
Begin again…each day is a new opportunity to surrender our way for God’s way. Our faith journey is about more than believing…it is about believing and then confessing our sin and then pursuing to live as God’s new creation. He will give you a new heart…He will put the Holy Spirit within you…He will be with you every step of the way. We are given everything and anything we need to be the Light and just like the miracles in the bible involved people of the world…God calls us to put on the armor of faith and do our part to tell others about the Kingdom of God. Let the Light of Christ shine through you!
“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
(This photo was taken in September of 2020 at a lake in northwestern Wisconsin)
Portions of this post were originally published in September of 2018…
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
Lamentations 3:22-24 NIV
Our lives are usually so busy moving from one thing to the next, that planning and preparing become dominant activities…the thing is if we are always planning and preparing for what’s next when are we living in the present moment? A difficult part of surrender for all of us is not always trying to control what’s next. A life of faith doesn’t mean we always go and do what we want…Jesus said in Luke 9:23 “…If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
We all have a cross to bear in life, it is different for everyone…and bearing a cross is doing what we should be doing, doing what needs to be done. It means being obedient to God and we do these things because of love. Be in prayer and talk with the Lord about what He needs you to do then wait and listen. May you be surrounded by the love of God each day. Amen.
“The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord,”
Lamentations 3:25-26 NIV
(This photo was taken in June of 2013 in Badlands National Park in South Dakota)
Portions of this post were originally published in December of 2018…
“Let us not become tired of doing good. At the right time we will gather a crop if we don’t give up. 10 So when we can do good to everyone, let us do it. Let’s try even harder to do good to the family of believers.”
Galatians 6:9-10 NIRV
This is one of the Fruits of the Spirit. In our dictionaries it is defined as ‘the quality and state of being good.’ I see it as a summary word…things that go into goodness can include…being helpful, selfless, supportive, kind, generous, a good listener or serving the needs of others. There are several ways to express goodness in our everyday life. It is up to us to choose an attitude that will reflect goodness in our actions and our behaviors. I pray we all tune into the Holy Spirit living within us and seek goodness and righteousness wherever we are in life and the world. Here is a quote associated to John Wesley that speaks about doing good:
“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
Matthew 5:6 NIV
(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Glacier National Park in Montana)