Contentment

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 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

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“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.”[a]

Hebrews 13:5 NIV

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

It Takes Courage…

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9 NIV

Courage is not the absence of fear…Courage is the willingness to move forward without knowing the outcome…to admit we don’t know the answers…to be patient…to share and be vulnerable with another person.  Having courage is placing your trust in God ahead of fear…it is about not allowing fear to stop you or defeat you.  It takes courage to seek the Light…to surrender your plans for God’s plan…it takes courage to live the life that God has intended for you…and where can you find strength for courage?  In a relationship with Jesus Christ.  There you will find joy, peace, patience, and strength for courage. Seek Him and His will and live with hope from God.  Amen.

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Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14 Do everything in love.”

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on Lake Superior near the Apostle Islands)

Gifts And Serving One Another

“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

Each person is unique is some way.  Everyone has a different combination of strengths and abilities.  No individuals were made to stand alone or to be isolated from the community.  We are designed to work together to use our blessings to help fulfill the needs of others and for others to help fulfill our needs.  The things that get in the way are sin…pride and selfishness, judgement and favoritism…these exist in everyone on all sides of every issue.  Each of us should assess ourselves and understand what are our strengths and gifts to offer…the important thing to remember is the value of our gifts in God’s eyes not value according to the world’s perspective…because even if what we can offer will change life for just 1 or a few other people, we are still changing the world for good in the eyes of God.  Peace be with you on your journey.  Amen.

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“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.  Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in is various forms.”

1 Peter 4:9-10 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2018 while driving near the South Dakota and Minnesota border)

Learn And Share God’s Word

“The law of the Lord is perfect,

    refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
    making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
    giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
    giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
    enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
    and all of them are righteous.

10 They are more precious than gold,
    than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
    than honey from the honeycomb.
11 By them your servant is warned;
    in keeping them there is great reward.”

Psalm 19:7-11 NIV

Consistent, daily study of God’s Word is essential for spiritual growth.  Any relationship needs time spent together to grow…spend time with God and with God’s Word.  Amen.

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Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.

Psalm 1:1-3 NIV

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

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 for 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)

Teach Me Your Ways

Show me your ways, Lord,
    teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
    for you are God my Savior,
    and my hope is in you all day long.”

Psalm 25:4-5 NIV

God invites us into a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ.  It is up to us to respond to that invitation.  If we ignore God’s call and go our own way we will bring about more pain and suffering without God’s presence and guidance.  We need to be willing to open ourselves up to God’s way and His plan that happens on His timing.  It is a willingness and an ability to surrender our self-centered ways to Him…God is faithful and will guide you and lead you if you are willing to put your faith and trust in Him.

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I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
    I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

Psalm 32:8 NIV

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

Work In Progress

In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 1:4-6 NIV

Each day we are alive means God is still working on us.  He knows the number of our days and He is with us for each and every one of them.  It is up to us to seek Him…to acknowledge Him and His Presence…we are tasked with learning, growing and sharing as we go…it doesn’t have to be perfect and it never will be.  God tells us we are His work in progress and if we live our lives trusting, believing in and spending time with Him good things will come.  Amen.

God’s Not Done With You by Tauren Wells

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“For we are God’s workmanship, 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 August of 2016 at Sapphire Point near Dillon, Colorado)

Build My Life

“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 ESV

The Word of God is a source of comfort…it renews us…it purifies us…it teaches us…it guides us.  If we plant the seeds of the Word in our hearts and minds it will be available to us at all times.  It can calm our fears…it can relieve our stress and it can provide unexplainable peace.  Read God’s Word every day, build your faith, seek His wisdom for your life.  Amen.

Build My Life by Housefires feat. Pat Barrett

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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 2018 at a park near Bayfield, Wisconsin)

Living Hope Perspective

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…”

1 Peter 1:3 NIV

Hope in this world mostly gets aligned with wishful thinking in general conversations.  This hope is not sure, not firm and is not based on belief.  The hope talked about in the Bible is hope that believes and knows God’s promises for good things.  This hope is supported by actions and behaviors.  The hope we receive from Christ is a hope that knows and believes that Christ lives and that God is for us and working for our good, even when, especially when the visible evidence is against it. The hope from God’s Word tells us to not give up or surrender to sin and doubt, rather know that God is with you and you can trust in Him…not for the things you believe you should have but for the things God knows that you need.  May the God of all hope be present in your daily life. 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 NIV

(This photo was taken in September of 2016 on a lake in central Minnesota)

Savior…Sacrifice…Salvation

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”

Luke 2:8-11 NIV

The world tells us to pursue money, comfort and the easy life.  To look out for ourselves and satisfy ourselves first and most often, this is the sinful nature and it has taken hold in many people.  There is a way to be different and to live with purpose and it is based on your personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  He loves you, He gave His life to save you and His way is the only way to God the Father.  Spend time reading God’s Word and learn about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.  May the peace of the Lord be with you.  Amen.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Romans 5:8 NIV

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“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 in Mitchell, South Dakota)