“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
James 1:17 NIV
“I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.”
Malachi 3:6 NIV
God is faithful and trustworthy. He keeps His promises…He is consistent in character for all generations. All good things come from the Lord.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
Hebrews 13:8 NIV
(This photo was taken in October of 2018 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)
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)
“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)
“You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.”’
Acts 2:28 NIV
He is always with us…any comfort you have, any joy and peace, any courage you need…it comes from God. The presence of God brings good things to us…the sin of world brings bad things. Turn towards God and give thanks for all that He does for you. Amen.
“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
(This photo was taken in July of 2016 while standing in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming)
“But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.”
1 Corinthians 15:20-22 NIV
“But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”
Mark 16:4-7 NIV
(This photo was taken in September of 2020 at sunrise by a lake in northwestern Wisconsin)
The bible states things very clearly…it doesn’t say you may or might face trouble in this world, no…it is clear that we will face trouble and hardship. Jesus gives us the bad news and then immediately gives us the Good News when He says…
“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
He tells us take heart, which means be strong, be courageous and today rise up from the ashes of trouble and suffering because He is with you. Trust the words of Jesus, believe and Rise Up! Amen.
Rise Up by CAIN
“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
2 See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.
3 Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.”
Isaiah 60:1-3 NIV
(This photo was taken in August of 2016 near Arches National Park in Utah)
“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
One of the first steps towards a new attitude is starting with gratitude. Give thanks for what you have received…instead of worrying about what you don’t have. Appreciate what has been done for you…instead of worrying about what others don’t do. Stop comparing…start praising! The path to a new attitude begins with gratitude.
“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 2018 along the shore of Lake Superior in northern Wisconsin)
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Matthew 6:33-34 NIV
What are we seeking in our daily lives? We all have needs and wants…at what point are we content with what we have? Are we ready to share any abundance we have received? This goes well beyond the financial status of our lives…though many of us get stuck on that one…the truth is if we are looking for contentment in the things of this world we will be disappointed. True contentment will not be found in money, a job or career, any human relationship or any amount of power or position…it can only be found in a relationship with God. Spend time in your relationship with Jesus Christ, read God’s word and you will give yourself the opportunity to know contentment that only comes from God. Amen.
“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.”
1 Timothy 6:6-9
(This photo was taken in October of 2014 on the north shore of Maui, Hawaii)
“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
“But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…”
1 Peter 3:14-15 NIV
“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
Ephesians 4:1-3 ESV
(This photo was taken in May of 2020 at a park in northern Minnesota)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV
How do we get better at staying the course? This New Year’s resolution business is almost always a path to failure. Some of the most common mistakes is over-committing to too many things or setting unrealistic goals and achievements. Not to mention our lack of patience for change in this fast paced, immediately gratification world. The biggest mistake we make is either not asking God to guide us or not listening and looking for His will for our lives. We are easily distracted and believe we have to maintain everything on our own. The best change we can make is turning towards God first and a make a commitment to follow Him in all aspects of our lives. Amen.
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and he will establish your plans.”
Proverbs 16:3 NIV
(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Glacier National Park in Montana)