“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.
“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)
Portions of this post were originally published in September of 2018…
“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
Lamentations 3:22-24 NIV
Our lives are usually so busy moving from one thing to the next, that planning and preparing become dominant activities…the thing is if we are always planning and preparing for what’s next when are we living in the present moment? A difficult part of surrender for all of us is not always trying to control what’s next. A life of faith doesn’t mean we always go and do what we want…Jesus said in Luke 9:23 “…If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
We all have a cross to bear in life, it is different for everyone…and bearing a cross is doing what we should be doing, doing what needs to be done. It means being obedient to God and we do these things because of love. Be in prayer and talk with the Lord about what He needs you to do then wait and listen. May you be surrounded by the love of God each day. Amen.
“The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord,”
Lamentations 3:25-26 NIV
(This photo was taken in June of 2013 in Badlands National Park in South Dakota)
Portions of this post were originally published in February of 2018…
“Let us not become tired of doing good. At the right time we will gather a crop if we don’t give up. 10 So when we can do good to everyone, let us do it. Let’s try even harder to do good to the family of believers.”
Galatians 6:9-10 NIRV
Our lives are filled with moments and memories…some are good times and some are difficult. We all tend to embellish a bit in our memories, the memory of good times seems to be really good and the memory of bad times seem to be really bad. Sometimes our bad memories start to take a person down a road where even the present moments are seen through their eyes with a negative perspective. This is a quick spiral downward and we can get stuck in the swirl of negativity. We have to have the courage to choose a new perspective, a more balanced view things and we are fed that perspective when we read the Word of God. When times are hard and it feels like you are making no progress on anything…don’t give up, keep pressing on, keep believing…that is your faith at work. Goodness will come to those who believe in the hope that God provides through Jesus Christ. May God’s peace be with you. Amen.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Colossians 3:12 NIV
(This photo was taken in June of 2013 in Badlands National Park in South Dakota)
It has been said that in order for people to receive and understand a message they must see/hear it a minimum of three times…here are 3 verses in the same letter about today’s message. May God’s peace be with you. Amen.
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
1 John 4:8 NIV
“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”
1 John 4:11 NIV
“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.”
1 John 4:16-21 NIV
(This photo was taken in July of 2021 in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)
“My dear brothers and sisters, pay attention to what I say. Everyone should be quick to listen. But they should be slow to speak. They should be slow to get angry. 20 Human anger doesn’t produce the holy life God wants. 21 So get rid of everything that is sinful. Get rid of the evil that is all around us. Don’t be too proud to accept the word that is planted in you. It can save you.”
James 1:19-21 NIRV
“Lord, show me your ways.
Teach me how to follow you.
5 Guide me in your truth. Teach me.
You are God my Savior.
I put my hope in you all day long.”
Psalm 25:4-5 NIRV
“Your word is like a lamp that shows me the way.
It is like a light that guides me.”
Psalm 119:105 NIRV
(This photo was taken in July of 2019 on a lake in northwestern Wisconsin)
“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
(This photo was taken yesterday at a lake in northwestern Wisconsin)
We learn from our experiences and by reading about the experiences of others. Many times, learning from our own experiences is a slow and difficult process as we are most stubborn with ourselves. Reading and learning from the experiences of others gives us new insight into how can we live going forward. God provides the greatest book filled with lessons and learnings, to help us as we live. Pick up a bible and learn from the experiences of those who came before us. Amen.
“The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
2 for gaining wisdom and instruction;
for understanding words of insight;
3 for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
doing what is right and just and fair;
4 for giving prudence to those who are simple,
knowledge and discretion to the young—
5 let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance—
6 for understanding proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
(This photo was taken in September of 2016 at a lake in central Minnesota)
Originally posted in December of 2018…
One of the most difficult things for us to accomplish is change. A change that will last, is sustainable and makes a difference in us and how we interact with others. One of the greatest changes in human history occurred when Jesus Christ changed Saul into Paul, His disciple. We read about this is the Book of Acts, chapter 9. What Jesus did to create and sustain this change was to illuminate His Presence to Saul. To show His Presence and then to give instructions to Saul as to what he must do. God is present in creation and in each of our lives everyday…we just need to do a better job of looking for Him. His Presence exists in nature, the change of the seasons and in the Fruits of the Spirit that we give and receive in our interactions with others. God is with you, He loves you and His Presence is what gives you strength. Thanks be to God. Amen.
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
(This photo was taken in October of 2018 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)
Originally posted in May of 2018…
When we believe and we trust in God we will be required to develop patience in this world. Circumstances will often look hopeless and many people will despair and be engulfed in sadness and fear, that is the way of evil. We must never give up hope, we must trust in God to continue working for the good for us and for everyone. God does not make bad things happen, He is not tempting you with things that are not good…that is sin in the world and we humans invited that sin into this world. God is at work in all the bad we have created to bring out goodness, kindness and love. Believe in Him who created us, believe in His one and only Son, Jesus Christ and see the good things that can happen in your life in this world. May God’s peace and joy be with you.
“I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
(This photo was taken in July of 2016 in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming)
I am going to be reviewing and re-sharing some previous posts from the last several years for a period of time as I believe now is a time to listen, to reflect and to seek God’s wisdom. May God’s peace be with you. I hope you enjoy some posts from days gone by. Amen.
“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. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.”
(This photo was taken in May of 2014 at a lake in central Minnesota)