Trust…Hope

“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

One of the strongest drivers of action in our human lives is hope.  Hope is about ambition, desire, goal setting and most importantly hope is about trust.  Hope comes from belief and belief is driven by trust and trust operates very much like a bank account.  There are events that occur between you and another that are trust deposits and there are events that are trust withdrawals.  The tricky part is one withdrawal is typically larger than one deposit.  Trust also impacts what we give, if people make several trust withdrawals on us, we become guarded and we have very little trust to give to others.  We should reflect on our relationships and our trust accounts with others and know that no matter what the current balance is there is always hope to make it better because of Jesus.  We can trust Him…He only makes deposits in our relationship with Him.  May God’s peace be with you.

2012-07-28_06-10-38_909 (2) (640x361)

“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

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 while on a walk in northwestern Wisconsin)

Seek First His Kingdom

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

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Matthew 6:33 NIV

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.”

James 4:7-8 NIV

What is at the center of your life?  What do you value above all else?  If you are unsure, look at where you spend your resources of time and money.  As you reflect, where is God in your priorities?  I began this type of review and reflection process over 10 years ago in my own life…I did not feel good about the answers I was seeing then and have been working on doing better ever since.  This blog started in 2013 as a part of my journey and has grown and changed as I have over the years.  One of the very first aha moments in my faith journey was when a clear thought came to mind…‘it’s not about me’…the it is anything and everything.  When we strive to put Jesus Christ and our relationship with Him first in life, we will begin to discover a new life.  During this season of reflection what do you see?

We Believe by Newsboys

DSC_0005 publish

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

John 3:16-17 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2019 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

Merry Christmas

At Christmas time and throughout the year put Christ in the center of your life…with Christ you will know Hope, you will know Peace, you will know Joy and you will know that the Love of Christ in your heart will help you overcome anything this world can throw at you.

May we all see and know God’s blessings in our lives this Christmas and carry them with us all through the New Year.  Amen.

Merry Christmas!

Christmastime by Michael W Smith

DSC08480 publish

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

Luke 2:11-14 NIV

(This photo was taken in December of 2013 while on a walk in northwestern Wisconsin)

One King

“They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.”

Revelation 17:14 NIV

There is only One who is our Savior…He is our One hope in this life.  No matter what has happened in your life or where you are, put your trust in Jesus Christ as He is the One King who brings hope to the world.  Make room for Him this Christmas and throughout the New Year.  May the peace of God be with you.  Amen.

One King by Point of Grace

DSC08480 publish

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

Ephesians 4:1-5 NIV

(This photo was taken in December of 2013 in northwestern Wisconsin)

Trust In The Lord

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

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV

A vital element to any relationship is trust.  If there is a lack of trust everything else that comes after that will be filled with negativity and the relationship will erode and break apart.  Trust takes effort, commitment and humility.  Trust works like a bank account…you build it over time making deposits and it can disappear quickly with big withdrawals.  The most important relationship for each of us is our relationship with Jesus Christ.  We can trust in Him because of who He is and what He has done for us…to learn more read about Him, His birth, His life, His death and His resurrection and know that He did it for you…because He loves you.  Amen.

2012 224 publish

“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

(This photo was taken in August of 2012 while hiking on the North Shore of Lake Superior)

One Hope

This post was originally published in November of 2020…

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

Ephesians 4:1-6 NIV

DSC_0228 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 NIV

(This photo was taken in March of 2018 while traveling in southern New Mexico)

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)

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)

Put Your Hope In God

Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise him again—
    my Savior and my God!”

Psalm 42:11 NLT

Find Rest by Fracesca Battistelli

DSC_0081 publish

Have you never heard?
    Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
    No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
29 He gives power to the weak
    and strength to the powerless.
30 Even youths will become weak and tired,
    and young men will fall in exhaustion.
31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint.”

Isaiah 40:28-31 NLT

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

Our Refuge

“I love you, Lord, my strength.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield[b] and the horn[c] of my salvation, my stronghold.”

Psalm 18:1-2

DSC_0920 publish

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower;
    the righteous run to it and are safe.”

Proverbs 18:10

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Glacier National Park in Montana)