Spread An Attitude Of Gratitude

“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.”

Colossians 3:12-15 NIV

One act of kindness, compassion and thankfulness can set off a chain reaction…look for opportunities to offer goodness and gentleness.  Be aware of moments when you can exercise patience and point out reasons for gratitude in daily life.  As is often quoted, be the change you wish to see in the world.

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“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Ephesians 2:10 NIV

(This photo was taken in February of 2013 in a neighborhood near Plymouth, Minnesota)

Be The Light

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] 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!

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“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)

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.

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“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

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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

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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)

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.

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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.

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“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)

Gratitude

This post was originally published in March of 2021…

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His love endures forever.”

Psalm 136:1 NIV

This is the day that the Lord has made;
    let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Psalm 118:24 NIV

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See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

1 Thessalonians 5:15-18 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2014 at a lake in central Minnesota)

Peace That Surpasses All Understanding

“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

“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

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Don’t worry about anything. No matter what happens, tell God about everything. Ask and pray, and give thanks to him. Then God’s peace will watch over your hearts and your minds. He will do this because you belong to Christ Jesus. God’s peace can never be completely understood.”

Philippians 4:6-7 NIRV

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

Joy

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

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Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

1 Peter 1:8-9

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