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)

The Promised One

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you[a] a sign: The virgin[b] will conceive and give birth to a son, and[c] will call him Immanuel.”[d]

Isaiah 7:14 NIV

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Isaiah 9:6 NIV

God promised to send us a Savior, He kept that promise when He sent His one and only Son.  Jesus can do everything, anything.  We are not meant to be alone…we are made for relationship and God sent His promised One to earth to save us and be with us.  We have a Savior who sacrificed Himself for us and He is wating to hear from you…His name is Jesus.

What A Beautiful Name by Hillsong Worship

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“The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

14 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 1:9-14 NIV

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

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)

Peace Of God

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:4-7 NIV

Peace Be Still by Hope Darst

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“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

Colossians 3:12-15 NIV

(This photo was taken in September of 2022 in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming)

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)

An Encounter

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

Hebrews 11:1 NIV

Faith is about trust and belief because we have experienced the Presence of God in our lives.  Has it happened to you?  It can be hard to put into words…unexplainable…one experience in my life was when I was putting together and delivering the eulogy at my father’s funeral.  This is not something I ever could have done on my own…when I think about that time my words to describe it are few, yet some that come to mind are comfort, unusual peace, clear thinking.  The process of putting together the words came naturally by talking with people from all parts of Dad’s life and God had prepared me to speak in front of others in several experiences in my past both in work and at church.  It was an incredible experience.  An example of an encounter with God from the bible is found in the book of Exodus…Moses was up on the mountain for 40 days with God without food or water, yet it does not say he felt any hunger or thirst.  Moses had all that he needed because he was with God.  An encounter with the Presence of God is unlike anything else you will experience in life.  Faith is about a personal relationship with God.  Where has God shown up in your life?  Think about it…give thanks and know that He has been with you.  Amen.

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“The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Exodus 33:14 NIV

(This photo was taken in September of 2014 on a walk near Plymouth, Minnesota)

Listen To The Voice Of Truth

“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

The world has a need for less talking and more listening.  Choose whatever way you can best connect with God by listening.  You can choose music or listening to an audio bible or the message at a church.  Whatever works best for you…pursue it and listen to God.  I listen to music daily that has been recorded by Christian artists that God has blessed with talent to share the Good News.

He gives us strength…He gives us courage…His is the voice of truth.

Voice Of Truth by Casting Crowns

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“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”

John 16:13 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2018 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

Shine The Light

For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”[a] made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”

2 Corinthians 4:5-6 NIV

Our purpose is to learn about Him who loves us and sacrificed Himself for us… and then to shine the light of God’s love, God’s mercy and God’s grace for others to see, not for ourselves but for God.  We can show God to others by who we are in how we treat others and by our actions and behaviors.  Shine the light in this dark world and trust in the Lord.  Amen.

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“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 5:14-16 NIV

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

I Will Worship While I Wait

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

Waiting…we don’t do this very well.  The world constantly pushes a hurried, impatient agenda on us…’more convenience’, ‘save time’, ‘this is the fastest way to_______’, fill the blank with any worldly pursuit.  It is so easy to get sucked in because it is going on all around us.  Stay close to God and His Word…start or keep doing daily prayer time.  Keep going to worship and put your faith and trust in God.

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

2 Peter 3:9 NIV

While I’m Waiting by John Waller

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I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
    and in his word I put my hope.”

Psalm 130:5 NIV

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