Don’t Quit

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.

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“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)

Stay Close To The Word Of God

God has breathed life into all Scripture. It is useful for teaching us what is true. It is useful for correcting our mistakes. It is useful for making our lives whole again. It is useful for training us to do what is right. 17 By using Scripture, the servant of God can be completely prepared to do every good thing.”

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIRV

We are often easily distracted…taking our eyes off of Jesus and focusing on things we can’t control.  Much like Peter who stepped out of the boat to walk on the water by faith (Matthew 14:22-33)…we learn that as soon as he took his focus off of Jesus, Peter began to sink.  The first step of putting our faith in Jesus is extremely important that is how we get started on our faith journey…yet the next steps are just as important, keeping our eyes on Him, even when, especially when the winds of evil and darkness blow strongly against us.  Keep God’s Word close to you and within your heart.

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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 May of 2014 at a lake in central Minnesota)

Trust…Hope

“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.

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“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)

Don’t Give Up

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.

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“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)

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)