His Sacrifice

“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 1:14 NIV

God knows we are weak and unable to save ourselves from sin.  No matter how hard we try to do good things we slip and fall…we make mistakes even with good intentions.  God knows this and so He sent His Son to close the gap between Him and us.  Jesus has done what we are unable to do…we didn’t earn it and we don’t deserve it yet He took our punishment so that we can draw near to God.  Don’t take for granted what Jesus Christ has done and is doing in your life.  May God’s peace be with you.  Amen.

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But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.”

Isaiah 53:5 NIV

(This photo was taken in April of 2021 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

An Encounter With God

“The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Exodus 33:14 NIV

Where and when do you encounter God?  How do you respond?  God promises His presence…He is with you and He is for you.  What happens next is up to you…

I Can Only Imagine by MercyMe

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“When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

And Moses said, “Here I am.”

“Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” Then he said, “I am the God of your father,[a] the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.”

Exodus 3:4-6 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 near Pike’s Peak in Colorado)

The Past…Redeemed

I know that my redeemer[c] lives,
    and that in the end he will stand on the earth.”[d]

Job 19:25 NIV

What has happened in the past is done and can’t be changed…we can learn from it…we can change today.  Don’t let what has happened be chains around you that you drag with you everywhere you go…Jesus Christ has paid the price for our sins and He is our Redeemer…bring your past, your shame and your guilt to the Lord and He will set you free.  Amen.

Redeemed by Big Daddy Weave

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For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

John 3:16-17 NIV

(This photo was taken in October of 2018 at a park near Winterset, Iowa)

We Have This Hope

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28 NIV

“‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[b] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Revelation 21:4 NIV

Why should we have hope?  Because the God of the universe, our Creator, loves us and He wants good things for us.  How do we know?  Because He sent His Son as a sacrifice to do for us that which we cannot do on our own…save us from our sinful ways.  From the greatest tragedy, Jesus Christ death on the Cross, God brought about the greatest triumph, the resurrection of our Savior.  No matter what has happened, no matter where you are…whatever you have done or left undone…there is hope because of God’s love for you and because He wants good things for you.  Turn towards the Lord, He can make all things new.  Amen.

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Let us hold firmly to the hope we claim to have. The God who promised is faithful. 24 Let us consider how we can stir up one another to love. Let us help one another to do good works. 25 And let us not give up meeting together. Some are in the habit of doing this. Instead, let us encourage one another with words of hope. Let us do this even more as you see Christ’s return approaching.”

Hebrews 10:23-25 NIRV

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

What Is Faith?

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

Hebrews 11:1 NIV

Belief…trust…hope.  Faith is about our personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Learning about Him and what He teaches us in God’s Word…that feeds our faith.  If we choose to not exercise our faith muscle it will become shriveled and weak.  We will be spiritually dead.  The Good News is we have hope because of the death and resurrection of Jesus…He is alive, He is with you and He loves you.  Build up your faith, it will impact every area of your life when you put your trust in Jesus.  Amen.

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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.”

Ephesians 2:4-9 NIV

(This photo was taken in March of 2018 in White Sands National Park in New Mexico)

When You Don’t Know What To Do…

“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

Jesus says, “Come to me”…no matter where you are, no matter what age you are, no matter what you have done or left undone…Jesus is waiting for you to turn towards Him and let Him lead the way.

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“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

Hebrews 4:16 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on Madeline Island in Lake Superior)

God Is Our Refuge

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

Psalm 46:1 NIV

Worries and burdens will pile up.  We set ourselves up for disappointment and regret when we try to go it alone.  God is our refuge, He is the stronghold of our lives.  There is more to our relationship with the Lord than Sunday mornings or Wednesday evenings…there is more than quickly speaking memorized words before a meal or at bedtime.  Turn towards the Lord and seek Him.  Pray for His presence to be something you can see in your life and listen for His guidance in everything.  Amen.

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“My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.  He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.”

Psalm 62:1-2 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Arches National Park in Utah)

He Makes 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 NIV

Each day we have the opportunity to live a new way, let us approach life focusing on God’s plan rather than making new worldly plans of our own.  Let us be filled with the fruit of the Spirit.  Let us run the race He has put before us.  He makes all things new in a way we could never imagine.  Amen.

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 NIV

(This photo was taken in May of 2020 along the North Shore of Lake Superior)

The One Thing

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

Ephesians 4:4-6 NIV

“…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

John 10:10 NIV

The most important thing we need, is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior more than anything else in this life.  From that relationship all aspects of our lives will be impacted…that personal relationship with Jesus is the one thing everyone needs.  Amen.

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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

Romans 12:12 NIV

(This photo was taken in October of 2018 at a park near Winterset, Iowa)

The Greatest Story Ever Told…

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.”

John 1:1-5 NIV

“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 1:14 NIV

From Genesis to Revelation the over-arching theme of the Bible is God’s love…this love is not a guarantee that life will be easy and always pleasant…yet it is a love that is consistent, based on facts and comes to us directly in the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Open your heart and mind to Jesus every day…everything He does is for you.  Amen.

End Of The Beginning by David Phelps

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For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

John 3:16-17 NIV

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