Persistence

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV

Do not give up…don’t assume you know the outcome…they say failure is a stepping stone to success…or the next attempt maybe the one that brings success.  We will always have the opportunity to stop trying to do something.  Maybe the answers for a situation are related to trying a new approach or a new way rather than quitting.  If we are able to surrender control and trust in God and His plan, we may find new outcomes we didn’t imagine were possible.  Bring your worries and struggles to the Cross and let Jesus lead the way.  Amen.

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“Let us not become weary of doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Galatians 6:9 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 near Pike’s Peak in Colorado)

Renew Your Perspective And Strength

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!”

2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV

Many aspects of life on earth can make us weary and tired, shaping our perspective to approach life with negativity, doubt and fear.  We often forget, daily, that we can choose our attitude and perspective for this day.  If we focus all our thoughts and energy on our problems and why me, then we may get stuck and begin to spiral downward.  We can be renewed and draw strength by turning our focus to the Lord.  No matter what you are facing remember God is in control and if you put your trust in Him, your strength will be renewed.  Amen.

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“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall;  but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. 

They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary they will walk and not be faint.”

Isaiah 40:29-31 NIV

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

God’s Word…Our Path

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

The first original navigtion guide is God’s Word.  Which way should I go? What should I do next?  How should I handle this situation?  How do I respond to that?  And so many more questions can be answered by spending time in God’s Word…reading, listening and putting into the action the things He is teaching us.  It is the ultimate guide for your path.  Pick it up and seek Him.  Amen.

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Your word is a lamp for my feet,
    a light on my path.”

Psalm 119:105 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota)

Listen

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”

James 1:19-20 NIV

Seeking help…it is hard to do for many of us.  First step, admit we need help.  Second step, seek assistance…first from God and then from others that God puts in our lives.  Last step, listen…the first two are hard enough many of us, if we get to the last step we often lose focus…we need to listen.  We often spend our listening time preparing our response instead of truly listening.  We can miss God’s will for us if we fail to listen.  May we all be better listeners in our daily walk.  Amen.

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Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.  Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

Proverbs 19:20-21 NIV

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

Gifts And Blessings

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”

1 Peter 4:10-11 NIV

As God’s creation, each of us has been blessed and have God-given gifts and abilities.  Our purpose in our lives is to love the Lord, love others and to learn about and use the gifts He has given us to serve in our communities.  What gifts has God given you?  What can you do or provide to others in your family, your neighborhood or your faith community?  If you are unsure, turn towards God in prayer and seek His will for you.  Amen.

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We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”

Romans 12:6-8 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2021 on a lake in northwestern Wisconsin)

Attitude

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”

Philippians 2:3-5 NLT

A way of thinking…a point of view…outlook…perspective…belief.  How would you define your attitude toward God?  What is His role?  How much time during a typical week are we thinking about God?  The Bible has many of examples of different people and their attitude towards God, it describes their beliefs and actions.  There is a lot for us to learn from those people.  From Genesis to Revelation, we read about those who put God at the center of their lives and those who did not.  The best example of an appropriate attitude towards God is that of Jesus Christ…He took time daily to walk with God and this is what He seeks from us as well.  Spend time with Jesus every day and pray about your attitude towards God.  Amen.

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“He has showed you, O mortal, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Micah 6:8 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2012 on a walk in northwestern Wisconsin)

Wisdom

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
    but fools[a] despise wisdom and instruction.”

Proverbs 1:7 NIV

If you want to start reading the Bible but are unsure where to begin…try starting with Proverbs.  Guess how many chapters God has in Proverbs…the answer is 31, you can read one chapter a day and you would complete the Book of Proverbs in one month.  Not only that you will be reading the words of one of the wisest people that ever lived.  There is so much good to learn in Proverbs, it will help you in your daily life and grow your relationship with God.  God’s Word is a gift to us…pick it up and read.

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“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”

James 3:13-18 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington)

Teach Me Your Way

Teach me your way, O Lord,
    and lead me on a level path
    because of my enemies.”

Psalm 27:11 NIV

Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
    for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
    for to you I lift up my soul.”

Psalm 143:8 NIV

Following the Lord is not a one-time check the box task…it is a daily connection and communication with God.  It is putting your trust and faith in Him and His way…it is listening, learning and growing.  It is about being transformed from the inside out and putting what we learn into action in our lives.  It is not easy and success is not measured by worldly standards…we must remember anything is possible with God and He is with us and within us all the time.  Praise be to God.  Amen.

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Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
    and he will establish your plans.”

Proverbs 16:3 NIV

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

The Word Of God

Your word is a lamp for my feet,
    a light on my path.”

Psalm 119:105 NIV

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

Colossians 3:16 NIV

Let God’s Word be your guide in life.  The world is filled with brokenness and suffering and none of us is immune.  God knows what is happening in the world and in your life…His Word is a gift to us…pick it up, read it, memorize it and let it be a light for your path.  Amen.

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All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV

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

Be A Light In The Darkness

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

John 1:14 NIV

One of the most difficult things for many of us is being different from our surroundings.  When our foundation for being different is rooted in God and the Fruits of the Spirit we can be sure we are standing on solid ground.  None of us is equipped to judge the actions and behaviors of others.  When we are confused or lack understanding that is a time to pray, listen and learn.  It is hard to be different yet God created each of us to be unique so that together we could build community and use our gifts to strengthen the body of Christ.  I pray we all seek to learn how God wants us to use our gifts each day.  Amen.

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“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”

2 Corinthians 4:6 NIV

(This photo was taken in October of 2018 at one of the Covered Bridges of Madison County near Winterset, Iowa)