Pray

For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

Ephesians 3:14-19 NIV

Prayer…it is our way to interact with God.  It is how we can build our relationship with Him.  Communication is the foundation of any relationship.  Anyone can do it…it is not about using the right words or being in a certain position…it is all about speaking sincerely and from the heart.  We can pray about everything in our lives and the best part?  God is waiting to hear for you…He will listen…He will respond…that doesn’t mean you should expect everything to go the way you desire…that’s not how it works.  But God promises no matter what you are going through He will be with you…it is up to you to do your part.  God’s peace be with you.

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“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Philippians 4:6 NIV

(This photo was taken in September of 2016 at a lake in central Minnesota)

Put Your Hope In God

Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise him again—
    my Savior and my God!”

Psalm 42:11 NLT

Where is your hope?  What do you put your hope in?  Do you put your hope in worldly values and worldly perspectives?  I certainly have in my life.  Is your hope in something that can be taken away from you and leave you disappointed and discouraged?  Yep, been there done that.  We must stop trying to fill the void in our hearts with the things or people of the world as that only leads to frustration…we were created for relationship with our God.  Only God can satisfy the desires of our hearts through a relationship with Jesus Christ.  Put your hope in God.

Find Rest by Fracesca Battistelli

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Have you never heard?
    Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
    No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
29 He gives power to the weak
    and strength to the powerless.
30 Even youths will become weak and tired,
    and young men will fall in exhaustion.
31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint.”

Isaiah 40:28-31 NLT

(This photo was taken in April of 2020 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

Pray

This post was originally published in February of 2021…

For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

Ephesians 3:14-19 NIV

DSC_1610 publish

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Philippians 4:6 NIV

(This photo was taken in September of 2016 at a lake in central Minnesota)

Put Your Hope In God

Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise him again—
    my Savior and my God!”

Psalm 42:11 NLT

Find Rest by Fracesca Battistelli

DSC_0081 publish

Have you never heard?
    Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
    No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
29 He gives power to the weak
    and strength to the powerless.
30 Even youths will become weak and tired,
    and young men will fall in exhaustion.
31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint.”

Isaiah 40:28-31 NLT

(This photo was taken in April of 2020 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

Pray

For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

Ephesians 3:14-19

DSC_1610 publish

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Philippians 4:6

(This photo was taken in September of 2016 at a lake in central Minnesota)

A Personal Relationship With The Savior

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”[a]

Romans 10:9-11

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Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”

John 3:18-21

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

Draw Near To God

It is so easy to get drawn into a worldly perspective.  To judge others and have thoughts that justify ourselves in our own minds.  Eventually we may find that things are beginning to draw us farther away from our relationship with Jesus and our faith life.  This can be a very gradual process, during this time when you start to question something from a faith perspective be sure to draw close to God and His Word.  In order to persevere in faith we must look to God and the Holy Spirit for guidance.  I believe it is true that all people were made to be able to be good and do good things as we are all created by God.  The hard part for us as humans is managing our free will.  It is a gift from God and when it is used to pursue the sinful nature we are choosing to turn away from the Lord.  May the grace and peace of the Lord 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

(This photo was taken in June of 2018 near the border between Minnesota and South Dakota)

Managing Stress

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“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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 4:6-7

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 while driving through Colorado)

Trying to Live With Balance

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Reflecting on different times in life I realize the moments that have the most peace and contentment are the times when I was restoring some balance in life.  It seems we all have at least four key elements of life that can get out of balance and when they do, chaos is more than willing to show up.

I believe these four key elements revolve around the following…

Physical Life = Time focused on health and physical fitness

Emotional Life = Time with friends and family

Mental Life = Time spent reading or learning something or having an interesting discussion

Spiritual Life = Time spent in worship or prayer or feeding our faith

Now many times these elements overlap, which is great but it can also be deceiving.  Many people live with any of these three out of four areas of life getting plenty of time and attention.  Eventually that one area of your life that has been put aside will creep up and show itself and we just don’t know how or when.

Imagine carrying a yoke (a wooden frame that fits your shoulders) that has four buckets of water hanging off it, two buckets on each side.  While you carry this load, as long as the four buckets have an equal amount of water it is easier to stand and move forward.  If one bucket has less than the other three you could still maintain balance with extra effort on your part but moving forward would be very slow.  You could also try to put less in one bucket on each side to help balance but as you move along you will not have enough to share with others to help them balance.  Thankfully, our heavenly father knows us and knows we struggle with this balance.  He sent his Son into the world to save us from our sins.  In the bible in the Gospel of Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden in light.”

I encourage you to look for ways to achieve balance in your life by examining which bucket(s) you have the least water in and begin to fill them with time.

I pray that you are blessed on your faith journey today.

Attitude and Perspective

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The above picture taken by my wife shows four very important people in the history of our country.  They chose some incredible ways to respond to adversity and trouble in the world they lived in.

Today I want to share a poem by Charles Swindoll that sums up everything I could ever share about what everybody should focus their energy on while living in this world…

Attitude

by Charles Swindoll

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company … a church … a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude … I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you … we are in charge of our Attitudes.”

Indeed…we are all in charge of our Attitude towards every situation in life.  Life is not all about what happens to us…it is all about how we choose to respond to what has occurred in our lives.  How will you choose to respond?

Peace to you and yours.