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)

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)

Surrender and Rest

This post was originally published in November of 2021…

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”

Luke 9:23-24 NIV

The more we try to take control and hold on tight to all circumstances the more life slips through our fingers.  We were never meant to carry all of our burdens alone; we are not meant to fix everything or try to get things to meet our expectations.  God doesn’t need us to define our purpose in life, only our surrender to bring us to it.  Turn towards Him and daily give yourself to His way in your life.  Trust the Lord with everything.  Amen.

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“Come to me, all you who are tired and are carrying heavy loads. I will give you rest. 29 Become my servants and learn from me. I am gentle and free of pride. You will find rest for your souls. 30 Serving me is easy, and my load is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 NIRV

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

Jesus Calls Us To Him

“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.””

Mark 6:31 NIV

The pace of life always seems to be increasing, so we must make a conscious effort to live a balanced and healthy life. This includes more than eating right and physical exercise…we must also spend time nurturing our mind and our spirit. If we are always running at peak energy and activity we will eventually crash and the constant up and down of high’s and low’s is taxing on every part of who we are. We need to strive for balance…make time to go to a quiet place and rest. Jesus knows this is important for us and spoke about it in the Gospels. He calls us to follow His example…make time for rest. Amen.

““Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.””

Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

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

Be Still

Portions of this post were originally published in January of 2021…

“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;”

Psalm 46:10 NIV

It is so easy to get caught up in the busyness, the quick to respond without thinking speed of the world.  Yet our God does not operate according to our worldly ways…it may be better to be still and wait for God.  How can we know what He is doing or where He wants us?  By staying in close contact and communication with Him, every day.  The more we can take time to be with Him the better we can understand what He is saying to us through His Word and through others.  Be still…be patient…trust His way.  Amen.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

John 14:27 NIV

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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. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

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

Surrender and Rest

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”

Luke 9:23-24 NIV

The more we try to take control and hold on tight to all circumstances the more life slips through our fingers.  We were never meant to carry all of our burdens alone; we are not meant to fix everything or try to get things to meet our expectations.  God doesn’t need us to define our purpose in life, only our surrender to bring us to it.  Turn towards Him and daily give yourself to His way in your life.  Trust the Lord with everything.  Amen.

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“Come to me, all you who are tired and are carrying heavy loads. I will give you rest. 29 Become my servants and learn from me. I am gentle and free of pride. You will find rest for your souls. 30 Serving me is easy, and my load is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 NIRV

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

All Things New

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!”

2 Corinthians 5:16-17

All Things New by Steven Curtis Chapman

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You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Ephesians 4:22-24

(This photo was taken in September of 2020 at sunrise by a lake in northwestern Wisconsin)

Rest In Him

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

In peace I will lie down and sleep,
    for you alone, Lord,
    make me dwell in safety.”

Psalm 4:8

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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. 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 July of 2021 in Rocky Monuntain National Park in Colorado)

Redeemed, Renewed And Restored

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Ephesians 2:1-10

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“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.”

2 Peter 1:3-9

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

Renew And Restore

Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.”

Isaiah 40:28-31

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What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?”

Romans 8:31-35

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