Peace And Hope

Our source of peace, our source of hope…only God can provide peace and hope that can endure all troubles and suffering.  The peace of Christ in your heart will hold you up through the most painful moments in your life and the hope from God will guide you on your path as events and circumstances, that you do not control, change in your everyday life.  When we are willing to be humble, to confess that we have done wrong and we turn towards God and seek Him…we will find peace we never knew existed and we will have hope we have never seen before.  May God’s peace be with you.  Amen.

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

Colossians 3:15

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“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

(This photo was taken in May of 2020 at the High Falls in Tettegouche State Park in noerthern Minnesota)

Past, Present And Future

The Lord redeems us from our sinful past, He washes away the guilt and the shame and makes us new again…The Lord walks with us in the present, He encourages us to engage in the current moments and experiences, with every interaction and event in life…The Lord will take care of tomorrow.  His ways are greater than our ways and His plans are higher than our plans.  Trust in the Lord…He forgives us, He is with us and His plans will take care of us in the future.  Amen.

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“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

1 Peter 5:7

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 while traveling through North Dakota)

In The Midst Of The Storm

What is the storm in your life?  Think about a weather storm…what is the process people go through?  Prepare for the event…look for where are you going to be safe…ensure others have safety as well…ride out the most difficult and stressful action of the storm…after it passes, come out and assess the damage…clean up…begin the process of repairing, rebuilding, restoring…make things new again.

These are the same steps and a similar process we all go through for many different reasons on our faith journey and in our spiritual life.  Just like the weather you will not be able to completely avoid the storms and God knows this…He sent His Son to save us and He sends the Holy Spirit to guide us.  The storms of life can last for many years but no matter what the world throws at you…God is a refuge and a shelter in all the storms.  May we all seek to the Lord to get us through in the midst of the storm.  Amen.

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“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

1 Peter 5:7

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming)

A Sacrifice…Our Salvation

When you feel you are not sure where God is in your daily life…stop and take a moment to remember what God has done for you.  God is love.  He is our Creator and our Redeemer.  We are broken, all of us.  Me, you and everyone you know is broken in some way, even if it is unclear to you how someone else is broken or fighting a battle it is still going on.  God knows this, He knows our worries, our fears and He is doing good things.  It is all a matter of perspective.  If we reflect on what has been done already it will help restore our perspective and our knowledge that God is love and He loves us more than we can ever imagine…the proof?  The Cross.  May you know the love of God in your daily life.

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“This is love; not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”

1 John 4:10

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

Humble Yourself

Admit it when we are wrong…forgive others when they are wrong…be grateful…reflect and confess our sins to God…choose to serve the needs of others.  These are just some of the ways to practice humility.  The messages we receive all around us are ‘get more’, ‘climb higher even if it means running over others’, ‘me first’, ‘look out for number one’.  To guide us at being better at humility we should read the teachings of Jesus.  Work at simplifying our lives and living with the hope of eternal life.  The past five days for me and my family has included two funerals, difficult times, and yet this morning I am struck by the fact that there are others all around us that are suffering everyday.  It is so easy to get swallowed up by our own world of existence…however, God gives us community and fellowship with each other to help guide us.  Don’t try and go it alone, be willing to accept that we need each other…all of us do.  May goodness and kindness surround you in your daily life.

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“Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 18:4

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 near Dillon, Colorado)

Listen To Understand

To truly gain wisdom and to find understanding we must develop the ability to really listen.  Not to be concerned with making our own point but to put ourselves in the place of those who are speaking.  When you read the words of Jesus in the bible just breezing through it may not give you a sense of clarity.  When Jesus spoke He was speaking to all of us not only the people alive at His time.  To understand His message is to step out of your life in this world for a moment and consider where God is working in your life.  One of the phrases I like to use is a summary of this website…“to know Him and to make Him known”  When the Holy Spirit works into us and transforms us we then become equipped to go out and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ and the Gospels to others.  This journey is different for all of us and our impact is not measured by how many others we teach like a score sheet.  Our mission is to receive the Word of God, let it transfigure our mind and attitude, then use our new self to serve.  May the wisdom and peace of the Lord be in you.

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“My dear brothers, take note of this:  Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”

James 1:19-20

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

Home

We all want a place where we feel like we belong. A place where the majority of the time people are interacting with kindness, goodness and love. The boom of electronic devices has created an invasion in our houses or places to be in community. It is interesting to me that we look down and draw into ourselves with these devices as our life and relationships are enriched when we look up, listen and engage with others and nature. One of the reasons I focus so much time and attention on nature in photography is because it is God created. He made the earth a place for us to live before we go to our eternal home. Wherever your home is invite God into it and invite Jesus into your life every day. The lessons we learn during life on earth are all to help us thrive in eternity. May you see God’s blessings in your life and relationships.

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“Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Psalm 37:3-4

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

Music, Worship And Praise

Music has had a significant impact on my faith journey.  I began listening to Christian radio stations around Christmas time in 1998.  I think we all know the impact music can have on a person…when our favorite song of any genre is played it seems to be so powerful to us, it stirs us up in ways very few things can.  Music is a wonderful way to worship and to praise the Lord.  There are classic hymns and stirring contemporary music that can reach deep down in us and touch our lives.  The ability to create this type of music is a gift and I am thankful for people who have this gift and that they use it to honor our Lord.  Here are a few songs of praise…

God Of Wonders by Third Day

What A Beautiful Name – Hillsong Worship

Chris Tomlin – Forever

This is just a very small sample; what is your favorite song of worship and praise?

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“All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name.”

Psalm 66:4

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming)

Creator

It is good to take a walk and soak in God’s creation.  To look around and see the intricate details that exist.  The flowers, the trees, the water, from tiny bugs to mature wildlife our God is truly creative and imaginative.  It is so easy to lose focus in life, to think that whatever is happening or not happening in our little piece of the world is the beginning or end of everything…we are neither.  It was God who created the world and everything in it and humans cannot improve what God has created, we are here to assist to help maintain what God is sustaining.  In order to do our part well, we need to have a relationship with the Creator and an appreciation for His creation.  As the poem by Cecil Frances Alexander states; “All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful, The Lord God made them all.”

May the awe and wonder of God’s creation be present in your life.

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“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.”

Psalm 24:1-2

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 near Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)

Praise The Lord

Today is recognized as Independence Day in the US.  A holiday where people can gather and celebrate freedom.  It is a day where we should give thanks to the Lord for all we have in our lives.  Take a moment and reflect on your surroundings, people in your life…all of the good things are gifts from God.  If it is difficult to see goodness, take some time to work on your relationship with God, talk to Him and listen in the quietness of time alone with God.  You were created out of love by God, He is with you and you can have contentment, security, peace and hope for a future in a way that only God can provide by choosing to turn to Him and His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ.  God is good…all the time…and all the time…God is good!  Praise the Lord.  May the peace and joy of the Lord be with you.

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“Praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord, O my soul.  I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.”

Psalm 146:1-2

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