Living Sacrifices

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.

Do not conform any longer 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 12:1-2 NIV

Every one of us has a choice, every day…how will you choose to live this day?

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

dsc_0928-publish

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

Galatians 5:22-23 ESV

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

God’s Love And Faithfulness

“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.”

Deuteronomy 7:9 NIV

No matter where we go or what we do God’s love and faithfulness are always more powerful than anything in this world.  We spend our days searching for something…happiness, justice, peace of mind and we believe we will find it somewhere on earth.  Yet the whole time God offers a path to find these pursuits.  It begins with a belief in God and His goodness.  Every promise He made He has kept and the last promise has yet to come, and Jesus Christ will come again.  I pray we have the courage to stop putting our faith in things created by mankind and put our trust and faith right where it belongs…In God We Trust.  May you see God’s love and faithfulness at work in your life.  Amen.

DSC02384 publish

“Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.”

Psalm 115:1 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2015 on the side of the road while driving through South Dakota)

Do Your Best, Wherever You Are

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

Colossians 3:12-14 NIV

Live out your day today…what is the next right thing to do?  Live in the present day, right where you are.  God is with you there…if we are always looking towards some where else or when this or that happens we may miss what is right in front of us now.  Do you best for God today, wherever you are.

dsc_0836-publish

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:15-17 NIV

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

Patience

“…but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint.”

Isaiah 40:31 ESV

When we believe and we trust in God we will be required to develop patience in this world.  Circumstances will often look hopeless and many people will despair and be engulfed in sadness and fear, that is the way of evil.  We must never give up hope, we must trust in God to continue working for the good for us and for everyone.  God does not make bad things happen, He is not tempting you with things that are not good…that is sin in the world.  God is at work in all the bad we have created to bring out goodness, kindness and love.  Believe in Him who created us, believe in His one and only Son, Jesus Christ and see the good things that can happen in your life in this world.  May God’s peace and joy be with you.  Amen.

DSC_0734 publish

“I am still confident of this:  I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”

Psalm 27:13-14 NIV

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

Don’t Give Up

Portions of this post were originally published in February of 2018…

Let us not become tired of doing good. At the right time we will gather a crop if we don’t give up. 10 So when we can do good to everyone, let us do it. Let’s try even harder to do good to the family of believers.”

Galatians 6:9-10 NIRV

Our lives are filled with moments and memories…some are good times and some are difficult.  We all tend to embellish a bit in our memories, the memory of good times seems to be really good and the memory of bad times seem to be really bad.  Sometimes our bad memories start to take a person down a road where even the present moments are seen through their eyes with a negative perspective.  This is a quick spiral downward and we can get stuck in the swirl of negativity.  We have to have the courage to choose a new perspective, a more balanced view things and we are fed that perspective when we read the Word of God.  When times are hard and it feels like you are making no progress on anything…don’t give up, keep pressing on, keep believing…that is your faith at work.  Goodness will come to those who believe in the hope that God provides through Jesus Christ.  May God’s peace be with you.  Amen.

DSC06949 publish

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

Colossians 3:12 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 in Badlands National Park in South Dakota)

Patience

Originally posted in May of 2018…

When we believe and we trust in God we will be required to develop patience in this world.  Circumstances will often look hopeless and many people will despair and be engulfed in sadness and fear, that is the way of evil.  We must never give up hope, we must trust in God to continue working for the good for us and for everyone.  God does not make bad things happen, He is not tempting you with things that are not good…that is sin in the world and we humans invited that sin into this world.  God is at work in all the bad we have created to bring out goodness, kindness and love.  Believe in Him who created us, believe in His one and only Son, Jesus Christ and see the good things that can happen in your life in this world.  May God’s peace and joy be with you.

DSC_0734 publish

“I am still confident of this:  I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”

Psalm 27:13-14

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

God’s Timing

One of our greatest struggles is trying to control or believing we are in complete control of time.  If we live like this, we will experience tiredness, frustrations, fatigue and lacking energy because we are living apart from God’s will.  God gives us free will and we have a responsibility in how we choose to live our lives and those choices have consequences.  If you want to learn more about God’s time, pick up the bible, read Genesis or Ecclesiastes or whatever Book in the bible you choose…our time in life is about so much more than the numbers on our devices.  Spend time with God each day and learn about His love, His plan and His time.  Amen.

DSC_0384 publish

Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.”

Psalm 27:14

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 in a park near Bayfield, Wisconsin)

With Prayer…

Bring your worries, your concerns, your questions and your thankfulness to the Lord with prayer.  As with any relationship your personal relationship with Jesus will grow and become stronger the more you spend time with Him.  Think about the people in your life, your closest relationships…most of the time, these are the people you are interacting with the most in your daily life or you have spent a significant amount of time with them in the past.  The best investment of your time is to learn more about Jesus and you can do it at any time…He is waiting to hear from you.  Amen.

DSC09023 publish

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  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 4:4-7

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

How We Spend Time

None of us knows the time we have and yet we easily take it for granted.  The people in our lives and our relationships with them will end up meaning more than anything else in this world.  As each generation lives through the phases of life, we all have different experiences and opportunities to share with each other.  We eventually will get the opportunity to share with the next generation and that is what we truly will leave behind when we go home to the Lord.  If you are thinking about your time, turn towards Jesus in prayer and ask Him to guide you to living your life more closely aligned to God’s plan.  May the peace and joy of the Lord be with you.  Amen.

DSC_0029-1 publish

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.”

Ephesians 5:15-17

(This photo was taken last weekend at a lake place in northwestern Wisconsin)

Time

We measure ourselves by it constantly.  We rush from here to there, as a song from the early 1980’s says…”everybody’s working for the weekend” – (Loverboy, 1981)  We gauge where we can spend our life by the day of the week and the hour of the day.  We are not made to measure our lives by the minutes, hours, days, weeks and years.  More important than time are relationships.  Focus more on who we spend our time with, what we are doing with our community of people.  The things we do that help others who are in need are the most valuable.  Instead of measuring how long we did something or how much time we saved we should start measuring ourselves by asking two questions.  Who have I helped today?  Who has helped me today?  As always ask the Lord to help with the answers in prayer.  May God’s wisdom and grace be with you.

DSC01210 publish

“As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows it over and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.”

Psalm 103:15-16

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