Attitude Of Gratitude

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.”

Psalm 46:1 NIV

He will never leave you.  He is with you, He is for you.  No matter what happens, give thanks to God and strive to focus on choosing an attitude of gratitude.

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Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington)

God’s Faithfulness

“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

“God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

1 Corinthians 1:9 NIV

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Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.”

Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2021 at a lake in northwestern Wisconsin)

Peace From God

“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

If you are wondering about having peace from God in your life there is only one Way to receive it…Jesus Christ.  He sacrificed Himself to death on the Cross to reconcile us with God.  This was God’s plan to save us from our sin and from separation from Him.  If you are looking for peace from God, be still, have faith in Jesus, seek Him and you will find peace.

Peace Be Still by Hope Darst

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You will keep in perfect peace
    those whose minds are steadfast,
    because they trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
    for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.”

Isaiah 26:3-4 NIV

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

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)

Encourage One Another

Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
    bind them around your neck,
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
    in the sight of God and man.”

Proverbs 3:3-4 NIV

Receive encouragement from the Holy Spirit and be renewed by spending time with God and reading God’s Word.  God’s love is for all of us and we are created to love God and to love others.  Let His love flow through you and be encouraging for others with your words and your actions.  Encourage one another.

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Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.”[a]

Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

(This photo was taken in September of 2022 in Bighorn National Forest in Wyoming)

Gifts And Serving One Another

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”

Romans 12:6-8 NIV

Each person is unique is some way.  Everyone has a different combination of strengths and abilities.  No individuals were made to stand alone or to be isolated from the community.  We are designed to work together to use our blessings to help fulfill the needs of others and for others to help fulfill our needs.  The things that get in the way are sin…pride and selfishness, judgement and favoritism…these exist in everyone on all sides of every issue.  Each of us should assess ourselves and understand what are our strengths and gifts to offer…the important thing to remember is the value of our gifts in God’s eyes not value according to the world’s perspective…because even if what we can offer will change life for just 1 or a few other people, we are still changing the world for good in the eyes of God.  Peace be with you on your journey.  Amen.

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“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.  Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in is various forms.”

1 Peter 4:9-10 NIV

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

Learn And Share God’s Word

“The law of the Lord is perfect,

    refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
    making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
    giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
    giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
    enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
    and all of them are righteous.

10 They are more precious than gold,
    than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
    than honey from the honeycomb.
11 By them your servant is warned;
    in keeping them there is great reward.”

Psalm 19:7-11 NIV

Consistent, daily study of God’s Word is essential for spiritual growth.  Any relationship needs time spent together to grow…spend time with God and with God’s Word.  Amen.

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Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.

Psalm 1:1-3 NIV

(This photo was taken in May of 2014 at a lake in central Minnesota)

Listen

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”

James 1:19-20 NIV

Seeking help…it is hard to do for many of us.  First step, admit we need help.  Second step, seek assistance…first from God and then from others that God puts in our lives.  Last step, listen…the first two are hard enough for many of us, if we get to the last step we often lose focus…we need to listen.  We often spend our listening time preparing our response instead of truly listening.  We can miss God’s will for us if we fail to listen.  May we all be better listeners in our daily walk.  Amen.

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Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.  Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

Proverbs 19:20-21 NIV

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

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)

Make A Commitment

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.”[a]

Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

How do we get better at staying the course?  This New Year’s resolution business is almost always a path to failure.  Some of the most common mistakes is over-committing to too many things or setting unrealistic goals and achievements.  Not to mention our lack of patience for change in this fast paced, immediately gratification world.  The biggest mistake we make is either not asking God to guide us or not listening and looking for His will for our lives.  We are easily distracted and believe we have to maintain everything on our own.  The best change we can make is turning towards God first and a make a commitment to follow Him in all aspects of our lives.  Amen.

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Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
    and he will establish your plans.”

Proverbs 16:3 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Glacier National Park in Montana)