What Are Your Distractions?

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your[a] life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.[b] You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”

Colossians 3:2-10

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“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Philippians 4:8

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 in Badlands National Park in South Dakota)

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

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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

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

Holy Living

As we learn about Jesus and we read God’s Word, we find that the life God wants for us is not all about money…that message comes from sin and the world, that message is about selfishness.  To live a holy life doesn’t cost money, it is about who you are and how you treat others.  If you spend all your time comparing yourself to others and worried about what you don’t have you are setting yourself up to be miserable.  Trust God, listen to the words of Jesus and live as God’s Word has taught us to live.  May the peace of the Lord be with you.  Amen.

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Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

Colossians 3:12-14

(This photo was taken in October of 2018 while on a walk in northwestern Wisconsin)

All Things New

The world can get us down if we let it.  We see and hear the heart wrenching stories all too often.  People seeking vengeance and hatred and trying to create their own version of “Justice”…it is not for us to avenge.  We can choose to put our hope and trust in something way better than anything the world has to offer.  Only the Lord can restore that which is lost to evil and darkness.  Patience and persistence are the keys to faith, believe and we will see the goodness of the Lord.  He will make all things new (See Isaiah 65:17).  Here is a great song that speaks this message by Steven Curtis Chapman entitled All Things New

If you want to see a change in the world and a change in your life turn towards God and the you will begin to see the New things.  May God’s love and joy be with you.

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“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Psalms 139:23-24

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Arches National Park in Utah)

On Believing And Seeing

You may have heard someone say or you may have said it yourself, a phrase such as ‘I’ll believe it when I see it.’  This originated in biblical times after the resurrection of Jesus.  Jesus appeared to the disciples at a time when Thomas was not with them.  Even as one of the apostles who had been with Jesus he could not comprehend the resurrection and told his brothers…“unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.” (John 20:25)  Thomas was so sure this could not be true, that Jesus had risen, that he made this statement basically saying to the others…prove it!  Oh boy, I have been there before.  The problem with this approach to our faith is it is not faith at all…if we have to see it to believe it, what do we truly believe in?  A simple example is the wind…the air can move at very high speeds at different elevations and we know this not because we can see it move, what we can see is what it can do.  Don’t get caught being a doubting Thomas, rather learn from him and have faith in the One who knows us and can see what He has planned for our lives.  May God’s love and joy be with you.

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“We live by faith, not by sight.”

2 Corinthians 5:7

(This photo was taken in March of 2018 in White Sands National Monument in New Mexico)

Do Not Worry

We will have what we need, we will not always get what we want (I am now hearing a Rolling Stones song in my mind), yet we struggle with worry and anxiety daily and that constant strain causes physical damage to our bodies over a period of time.  God is our Creator and He knows exactly what we need.  If we are saying it is not enough then we are too focused on our plans and not His.  Before I started daily devotions just over 8 years ago I wasted a large amount of my time on worry and the worst part is, it was about things I can’t even control.  As I have grown spiritually my perspective has changed for the better…I still pray a serenity prayer to help as old habits die hard.  It is a test of faith to let go of the worries and to trust God with the answers and the outcome.  May God’s grace and peace be with you.

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“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Matthew 6:31-33

(This photo was taken in June 2018, last weekend, while driving to South Dakota)

Jesus

To Him be the glory.

The world divided, broken and lost…how can there be hope?  Lives of struggle, hearts broken, sadness…who can make this better?  People hurting each other, selfishness in control, fear and anger rule the days…what can change our perspectives?

The answers to all of this; to every thought of despair, to every life looking for a new direction and for every individual wanting to make a change…Jesus is the answer.  Believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, invite Him into your life everyday, spend time reading God’s Word, build your personal relationship with Him and you will see transformation.  May the presence of God be in you and may the saving grace of Jesus Christ bless you each day.

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

John 1:14

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 in Badlands National Park in South Dakota)

God Is With You

In all the places you will go, with all the people you will meet and in all the things you will do…keep the Word of God close and God is with you.  Pick out a verse that speaks to you and memorize it, hold it with you throughout your day and speak it as a breath prayer and you will sense peace.  Continue this practice and pick more verses to work on memorizing.  The Bible is our instruction manual for life and as we remember verses and speak with God during all times by speaking verses He will be a part of everything.  This isn’t a quick fix, instant gratification thing…this is walking by faith and knowing that the Creator and Savior are with you every step of the way in life.  May the word of God flow in your daily life.

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

Joshua 1:9

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 on Beartooth Pass in Montana)

The Door To Your Heart

We learn to build walls around the parts of our heart where the deepest and most vulnerable topics and issues, thoughts and feelings are hidden from others.  We believe we are safe keeping these items locked away.  There is a door in these walls and Jesus is on the other side.  He is not locked out, we are locked in…think about this…we do not have to wait and hope that He will find us and help us or save us.  He already knows about these things, He has done what He needed to do to save us.  In His words, it is finished (John 19:30).  We are the ones who need to take the next step, unlock the door to your heart for Jesus and let Him in.  I like many people have been searching for the door in the wall, it takes persistence, discipline and courage to open the door and let go of those things keeping us trapped in cycles…we need to let the fullness of Christ into our lives.  May God’s peace be with you.

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“Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”

Revelation 3:20

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

The Foundation Of Faith

We often hear that it states in the bible if you have faith as small as a mustard seed you can move mountains and nothing will be impossible for you (see Matthew 17:20).  Well that doesn’t sound too hard.  A mustard seed, that’s really small…oh but wait.  If it only takes such a small amount of faith to do such big things why isn’t everybody full of faith?  Take a look at your personal belief in Jesus Christ…when we face any issues, problems, concerns or difficult people are we able to approach all those situations with a belief and faith that Jesus Christ can do anything with that situation?  God is still working on me for this level of spiritual maturity.  This is a faith that points 100% to Jesus Christ and the belief in the saving grace that He provided at Calvary for every part of your life.  It is a belief that every person no matter how the world has judged them and cast them aside can be redeemed, if we are willing to believe Jesus can change that.  I am focusing my faith journey on more of this and less of me.  May God’s grace and peace be with you.

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“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you:  Do not think of yourself more highly that you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”

Romans 12:3

(This photo was taken in October of 2014 on the island of Maui, Hawaii)