Each morning brings a new day. New opportunity, new interactions, a new hope, new joy. The place we have the most impact in our life is Today. The present moments…we cannot change yesterday or worry endlessly about tomorrow, it is Today that we can make a difference in our thoughts, our actions and with our words. What does God ask of us today? Do your best…be the best version of yourself God created you to be, that’s what you can do. If you are unsure about it, pray to God that He will guide you and show you the way to go. There is a phrase that keeps coming back to me ever since my Dad passed away, it is simply this…Do you best and let God take care of the rest! I pray we seek God’s will for our lives and offer ourselves to Him and His mercy and grace. Amen.
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
(This photo was taken in July of 2016 in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming)
Our Lord and our Savior is always with us. When we are with family and friends or when we are alone…when we are busy at work or focused on a certain task and when we are sitting peacefully…when we are driving or riding in a car or out for a walk…no matter what time, what place, what activity…our God has assured us He is with us. I am reminded this morning what an amazing and awesome promise this is and how frequently we don’t trust it or believe it or just don’t think about it in our daily lives. Take a moment and think about what is your plan for the day or where are you needed today, no matter what it is, whoever you are with or wherever you go…God will be with you…look for Him, look for where He shows up today. You will see, if you trust and believe. I pray that God will open the eyes of our hearts in all we do. Amen.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
(This photo was taken in June of 2013 at Garden of the Gods park in Colorado Springs)
Come to the Cross…A place to bring your burdens…Savior…Salvation…Forgiveness…Peace. The Cross of Christ, this is the place we should turn to in all situations. This is where God sent His One and Only Son to be crucified to save us from our sins. This is where our relationship with God is reconciled. There are problems and struggles everywhere you can’t change everything for everyone, but He can. You can’t change everything but you can change something, you can change one thing that will make a difference in the world…You. Jesus said ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’ (John 14:6) Open your heart and mind and invite Jesus Christ into your life everyday. This will make the world a better place. May God’s joy and peace be with you.
“When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
(This photo was taken in June of 2013 near Pike’s Peak in Colorado)
The world can get us down if we let it. We see and hear the heart wrenching stories all too often. People seeking vengeance and hatred and trying to create their own version of “Justice”…it is not for us to avenge. We can choose to put our hope and trust in something way better than anything the world has to offer. Only the Lord can restore that which is lost to evil and darkness. Patience and persistence are the keys to faith, believe and we will see the goodness of the Lord. He will make all things new (See Isaiah 65:17). Here is a great song that speaks this message by Steven Curtis Chapman entitled All Things New
If you want to see a change in the world and a change in your life turn towards God and the you will begin to see the New things. May God’s love and joy be with you.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Arches National Park in Utah)
Our journey is filled with these…moments where things are good, we are strong, confident, faithful and filled with hope and joy – Highs. We also have moments of fear, concern, sadness that are filled with despair – Lows. Every life has both whether you see it in others or not, they both exist for everyone. The key to living with all of this is how are you reacting to your highs and your lows? Reading and learning from God’s Word with the Holy Spirit as your guide is a great place to start. After that, the way to give and receive celebration for highs and support for lows is with Friends. Personal relationships, that is the key to living, learning and growing through out your life journey. Reflect on your personal relationships, with God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit as well as with your friends. Pray about them and find ways you can enrich those relationships. Faith is not a destination, it is a way of living through the Highs and Lows that come to all of us no matter who we are or what we are doing. May God’s peace and joy be with you.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
(These photo’s were taken in July of 2016 at Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming)
To Him be the glory.
The world divided, broken and lost…how can there be hope? Lives of struggle, hearts broken, sadness…who can make this better? People hurting each other, selfishness in control, fear and anger rule the days…what can change our perspectives?
The answers to all of this; to every thought of despair, to every life looking for a new direction and for every individual wanting to make a change…Jesus is the answer. Believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, invite Him into your life everyday, spend time reading God’s Word, build your personal relationship with Him and you will see transformation. May the presence of God be in you and may the saving grace of Jesus Christ bless you each day.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
(This photo was taken in June of 2013 in Badlands National Park in South Dakota)
In all the places you will go, with all the people you will meet and in all the things you will do…keep the Word of God close and God is with you. Pick out a verse that speaks to you and memorize it, hold it with you throughout your day and speak it as a breath prayer and you will sense peace. Continue this practice and pick more verses to work on memorizing. The Bible is our instruction manual for life and as we remember verses and speak with God during all times by speaking verses He will be a part of everything. This isn’t a quick fix, instant gratification thing…this is walking by faith and knowing that the Creator and Savior are with you every step of the way in life. May the word of God flow in your daily life.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
(This photo was taken in July of 2016 on Beartooth Pass in Montana)
We learn to build walls around the parts of our heart where the deepest and most vulnerable topics and issues, thoughts and feelings are hidden from others. We believe we are safe keeping these items locked away. There is a door in these walls and Jesus is on the other side. He is not locked out, we are locked in…think about this…we do not have to wait and hope that He will find us and help us or save us. He already knows about these things, He has done what He needed to do to save us. In His words, it is finished (John 19:30). We are the ones who need to take the next step, unlock the door to your heart for Jesus and let Him in. I like many people have been searching for the door in the wall, it takes persistence, discipline and courage to open the door and let go of those things keeping us trapped in cycles…we need to let the fullness of Christ into our lives. May God’s peace be with you.
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”
(This photo was taken in June of 2013 near Pike’s Peak in Colorado)
We all have been given gifts and talents to use in the world. While we are all unique the gifts we have are to be used to not only support ourselves, they are also the way we can help others in need. It is important to learn and accept the gifts and talents God has given us and to seek out ways to use them to honor God. Selfishness is running rampant all over the world and therefore the needs of people are many. Can we help everyone? No. Does that mean we should only worry about ourselves? No. We should strive to do whatever we can, for whomever we can, whenever we can, wherever we are…even if it only helps one person in that moment in time, it is helping someone in need. May God’s grace and peace be with you.
“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
(This photo was taken in June of 2013 at a rest area in South Dakota)
Have you ever been in a situation where someone you love has done something that offends you? I believe we all have this experience. We know what they did was wrong, they know what they did was wrong and yet we love them so much we forgive them. We go forward not holding the past against them…well as humans we are not quite that good at forgiveness…there seems to remain that little voice that says ‘remember what they did? they might hurt you again.’ It is hard to forgive because we are not sure we can trust again. Think about how hard this is for us…God has done this and will continue to do this for you everyday. We are sinners, we are broken and yet He forgives us our sins. We have never deserved it or earned it, yet Jesus Christ gave up His life to give it to us. May you find peace knowing you are forgiven in God’s grace.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”
(This photo was taken in September of 2016 at a lake place in central Minnesota)