Come To Repentance

You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?”

Romans 2:1-4 NIV

We are so quick to judge others, yet that is not our purpose.  We were created out of God’s love to do good things…how we respond to His love will determine how we will be judged.  Come to repentance and you will find peace.  Amen.

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But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 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 3:8-9 NIV

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

Humility…Perspective

Don’t do anything only to get ahead. Don’t do it because you are proud. Instead, be humble. Value others more than yourselves. None of you should look out just for your own good. Each of you should also look out for the good of others.

Philippians 2:3-4 NIRV

“So make yourselves humble. Put yourselves under God’s mighty hand. Then he will honor you at the right time. Turn all your worries over to him. He cares about you.

1 Peter 5:6-7 NIRV

We are saved by God’s grace and we have a choice…we can accept that we are broken and sinful in need of our Savior and then seek Him in how we live.  Or we can reject God by focusing only on ourselves and following the desires of the world and our sinful hearts and minds.  We can see the choice made by others so easily…yet it is up each of us in our own lives…no matter what our circumstances are in this world we have a choice on how we will respond to God every day.

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“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”

Romans 12:9-13 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 along Beartooth Pass near the Montana and Wyoming border)

Be Different

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[a] is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”

1 John 2:15-17 NIV

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Romans 12:2 NIV

Wash your heart and mind with the truth in God’s word.  We all are broken and sinful in this world and we need Jesus.  The world will flood us with lies about what to believe and turn us away from God.  We need to seek the wisdom that comes from God not from the world…plant the Word deep into our hearts daily to guide our attitudes and perspectives and to live out the love He has given us in every aspect of our lives.  Amen.

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But that is not the way of life in Christ that you learned about. 21 You heard about Christ and were taught about life in him. What you learned was the truth about Jesus. 22 You were taught not to live the way you used to. You must get rid of your old way of life. That’s because it has been made impure by the desire for things that lead you astray. 23 You were taught to be made new in your thinking. 24 You were taught to start living a new life. It is created to be truly good and holy, just as God is.”

Ephesians 4:20-24 NIRV

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 at Falls Park near Sioux Falls, South Dakota)

Open Your Heart

“Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.”

James 1:21 NIV

Let the Word of the Lord wash over you and cleanse you…clear your mind and share what is on your heart with the Lord.  Spend time reading God’s Word…let the peace of Jesus into your daily life.  Amen.

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“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 NIV

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

Praise The Lord

“Praise the Lord.

I will praise the Lord.
    I will praise the Lord all my life.
    I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

Don’t put your trust in human leaders.
    Don’t trust in people who can’t save you.
When they die, they return to the ground.
    On that day their plans come to nothing.

Blessed are those who depend on the God of Jacob for help.
    Blessed are those who put their hope in the Lord their God.
He is the Maker of heaven and earth and the ocean.
    He made everything in them.
    He remains faithful forever.
He stands up for those who are treated badly.
    He gives food to hungry people.
The Lord sets prisoners free.
    The Lord gives sight to those who are blind.
The Lord lifts up those who feel helpless.
    The Lord loves those who do what is right.
The Lord watches over the outsiders who live in our land.
    He takes good care of children whose fathers have died.
    He also takes good care of widows.
But he causes evil people to fail
    in everything they do.

10 The Lord rules forever.
    The God of Zion will rule for all time to come.

Praise the Lord.”

Psalm 146 NIRV

Let Everything That Has Breath by Matt Redman

Put your trust in God for everything…for anything.  Every day, every relationship, every worry, every fear, every moment of thanks…praise the Lord.  He is with, He loves you more than you know…praise the Lord.  Amen.

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“The Lord says,

“Those who trust in human beings are under my curse.
    They depend on human strength.
    Their hearts turn away from me.
They will be like a bush in a dry and empty land.
    They will not enjoy success when it comes.
They will live in dry places in the desert.
    It is a land of salt where no one else lives.

“But I will bless anyone who trusts in me.
    I will do good things for the person who depends on me.
They will be like a tree planted near water.
    It sends out its roots beside a stream.
It is not afraid when heat comes.
    Its leaves are always green.
It does not worry when there is no rain.
    It always bears fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:5-8 NIRV

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

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 courage?  In a relationship with Jesus Christ.  There you will find strength and courage to seek 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)

Seek Him

Turn to the Lord before it’s too late.
    Call out to him while he’s still ready to help you.
Let those who are evil stop doing evil things.
    And let them quit thinking evil thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord.
    The Lord will show them his tender love.
Let them turn to our God.
    He is always ready to forgive.”

Isaiah 55:6-7 NIRV

Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself to save you.  No matter what has happened in your life, no matter what you have done or left undone…He is waiting for you with open arms, to pick you up, to forgive you and restore you.  He is ready to do that for you and for others in your life because He loves you and He loves them too.  Jesus Christ is the way…He is the only way to fellowship with God.  Amen.

The Way by Housefires

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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 August of 2016 near Glacier National Park in Montana)

God’s Love Changes Lives

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

1 John 4:7-12 NIV

God’s love is the most powerful thing in our world.  Nothing can compare to it…no matter where you are, no matter what has happened or is happening…God’s love can change what you believe is impossible.  Trust Him, seek His Word, believe, confess your sins and surrender you ways for His way.  Amen.

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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

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

Our Purpose

Love God

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your strength.”

Deuteronomy 6:5 NIRV

What does loving God look like in your life?

Love God and Love Others

“He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]””

Luke 10:27 NIV

How can we live out what Jesus has said are the first and second greatest commandments in all of God’s Word?  Who is our neighbor in the world and how can we show God’s love to them?

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Share The Good News

So you must go and make disciples of all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And you can be sure that I am always with you, to the very end.”

Matthew 28:19-20 NIRV

Love God…Love Other People…Share the Gospel

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

The Narrow Path

“Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

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

John 14:5-6 NIV

“Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.”

Luke 13:24 NIV

Choices.  This way, that way.  Do this…don’t do that.  We are constantly given options and it can be overwhelming.  It would be so helpful to have a guide who is full of wisdom, who cares for our well-being and wants to see good things for us.  That is exactly who Jesus Christ is…He loves you so much He laid down His life to save you.  Everything about Him…His birth, the way He lived, His teachings, His death and His resurrection is filled with guidance for us on how we should live and the way we should go.  He is the Way and He instructs us in God’s Word and with the Holy Spirit and tells us that to follow Him is the narrow path and narrow gate in this world…yet it is the way we should go.  Trust in Him and what says and you will find peace.  Amen.

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“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Matthew 7:13-14 NIV

(Thsi photo was taken in June fo 2013 in Badlands National Park in South Dakota)