It’s All About Jesus

The name of the Lord is a strong fortress;
    the godly run to him and are safe.”

Proverbs 18:10 NLT

Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor
    and gave him the name above all other names,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.”

Philippians 2:9-11 NLT

The answer for everything and anything comes when we turn towards Jesus Christ.

Heart Of Worship by Michael W. Smith

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The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
    my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield[a] and the horn[b] of my salvation, my stronghold.”

Psalm 18:2 NIV

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

The Past…Redeemed

I know that my redeemer[c] lives,
    and that in the end he will stand on the earth.”[d]

Job 19:25 NIV

What has happened in the past is done and can’t be changed…we can learn from it…we can change today.  Don’t let what has happened be chains around you that you drag with you everywhere you go…Jesus Christ has paid the price for our sins and He is our Redeemer…bring your past, your shame and your guilt to the Lord and He will set you free.  Amen.

Redeemed by Big Daddy Weave

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For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

John 3:16-17 NIV

(This photo was taken in October of 2018 at a park near Winterset, Iowa)

He Knows You

 “I know the plans I have for you,” announces the Lord. “I want you to enjoy success. I do not plan to harm you. I will give you hope for the years to come. 12 Then you will call out to me. You will come and pray to me. And I will listen to you. 13 When you look for me with all your heart, you will find me.”

Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIRV

Have you had moments like this?  “That’s not what I meant”…”I wish they knew me better”…”I don’t feel like I fit in”…”Nobody understands me.”  I have been there before.  You can be surrounded by people but feel like you are isolated.  God knows who you are, He knows what you can do, He knows how you think and He cares for you.  If you feel like you are off the rails in your life, it is time to get back to God.  He is waiting to hear from you.  He is the Creator, the one who formed you and has been right there with you every step of the way in life.  Turn towards God.  Trust in Him.  May you see the blessings from God in your life each day.

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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.”

Psalm 139:23-24 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on the shore of Lake Superior in Ashland, Wisconsin)

God’s Word

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

When we have questions or when we need guidance or when we seek comfort, the Word of God can provide for us in all these situations…as well as in every other situation we may encounter.  There is a sense of peace not found in the world that can come over you when you make time to read God’s Word and let it soak into your heart and mind.  There is guidance in there that we will not find anywhere else.  Spend time reading God’s Word.  May the peace of the Lord be with you on your journey.  Amen.

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“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”

Psalm 119:105 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on the shore of Lake Superior near Ashland, Wisconsin)

God Is Our Refuge

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.”

Psalm 46:1 NIV

Worries and burdens will pile up.  We set ourselves up for disappointment and regret when we try to go it alone.  God is our refuge, He is the stronghold of our lives.  There is more to our relationship with the Lord than Sunday mornings or Wednesday evenings…there is more than quickly speaking memorized words before a meal or at bedtime.  Turn towards the Lord and seek Him.  Pray for His presence to be something you can see in your life and listen for His guidance in everything.  Amen.

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“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.”

Psalm 62:1-2 NIV

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

Stay Focused

“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”

Romans 8:5 NIV

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

Jesus Christ is the only Way to life with God.  Sin is what separates us from God and Jesus has conquered sin and death and filled the space between us and God with The Cross.  Peter learned while walking on water to never take your eyes off of Jesus…keep your eyes focused on Him…He is our Savior.  Amen.

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Let your eyes look straight ahead;
    fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Give careful thought to the[a] paths for your feet
    and be steadfast in all your ways.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
    keep your foot from evil.

Proverbs 4:25-27 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2021 at a lake in northwestern Wisconsin)

Easter Sunday – He Has Risen!

“The Spirit of the God who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you. So the God who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your bodies. He will do this because of his Spirit who lives in you.”

Romans 8:11 NIRV

I am absolutely sure that not even death or life can separate us from God’s love. Not even angels or demons, the present or the future, or any powers can separate us. 39 Not even the highest places or the lowest, or anything else in all creation can separate us. Nothing at all can ever separate us from God’s love. That’s because of what Christ Jesus our Lord has done.”

Romans 8:38-39 NIRV

What A Beautiful Name by Hillsong Worship

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“But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away.  As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

“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.”

Mark 16:4-6 NIV

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

Holy Saturday…Preparation Day

I remain confident of this:
    I will see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.”

Psalm 27:13-14 NIV

It is finished…Jesus, the Messiah, had been crucified and died.  We all know the coming glory of tomorrow…however, when these events were happening, it is hard to comprehend the level of sorrow and sadness that had to exist on the day between His death and resurrection.  Unfortunately, in the world today many of us suffer at a deep level of sorrow because of our sin and evil.  Our saving grace and our truth is we know that from the most devastating tragedy, God will renew and restore us…Resurrection Day is coming.  Trust in the Lord for He is good and His love endures forever.  Amen.

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“Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body.  Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in the tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid.  It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.”

Luke 23:52-54 NIV

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

God’s Grace

“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

We see God’s grace on display in His actions…He sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world to save us…He gives us an opportunity to learn from Him through His Word…even while we are still sinners He forgives us…He gives us the Holy Spirit as a guide through our daily life…He will never leave us or abandon us no matter what.  That is truly amazing grace.  Amen.

This Is Amazing Grace by Phil Wickham

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“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Ephasians 2:8-9 NIV

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

A Strong Foundation

“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature[a] God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.”

Philippians 2:5-11 NIV

The best things are built by starting out with the development of a strong foundation.  A solid foundation helps to support missteps, mistakes and accidents along the way.  If we try to build something without developing the foundation the endeavor will eventually fail and end up as a pile of rubble.  The foundation of our faith is our relationship and daily interaction with Jesus Christ and the Word of God.  These are the elements that will help us build and grow our spiritual life and sustain us through the most difficult things the world will throw at us.  May the peace of the Lord be with you.  Amen.

Build My Life by Pat Barrett (ft. Cory Asbury)

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“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.  My command is this:  Love each other as I have loved you.”

John 15:11-12 NIV

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