He Makes All Things New

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here!”

2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV

Anything is possible with God.  No matter what you have been through or what you are going through…God can make all things new.  Not on our timeline or when we want it…yet according to His plan.  His plan and His way is better.  God is with you and God is for you…He has shown you how much He loves you by sending His Son to the Cross to die for you and through the resurrection He has made your relationship with Him new.  Choose God’s way and His plan…He makes all things new!

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 September of 2020 at sunrise by a lake in northwestern Wisconsin)

Pray

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

One of the most powerful things we can do is pray.  Not according to the worlds standard of doing something…this statement is based purely on what God has instructed us to do.

When We Pray by Tauren Wells

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And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

Ephesians 6:18 NIV

(This photo was taken in March of 2018 while traveling in southern New Mexico)

Be Faithful

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

2 Timothy 1:7 NIV

Draw near to God…stay close to Him.  Do not allow the world with its values and temptations entice you to drift away from Jesus.  It is easy to start a new habit of connecting with God every day and it is also easy to let it slip away.  Try to attach your new habit to something you are already doing every day.  Start small and it will build naturally as you stick to it.  If you are a ‘I need coffee in the morning’ person…make it a point to spend your first cup reading or listening to scripture.  If you are a ‘I like to read at night person’ give a few minutes to a daily devotional book each night.  Maybe mid-day would work best for you…no matter when or what the important thing is to do it and trust that God will use that time to transform you.

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“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 September of 2020 at a lake in northwestern Wisconsin)

Sharing God’s Love

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

John 13:34-35 NIV

Everything we do should come from love for God and love for one another…we can trust in Him; He will provide for our needs.  For some of us the hardest part about faith is believing that God wants good things for us.  Either because of shame or guilt we know we don’t measure up to God’s standard…yet God knows all of this and that is why He sent Jesus Christ to save us.  Don’t wait until you’ve turned your life around to say you are ready to come to God.  Go now…go to your Savior and Lord and confess your sins and He will lead you and guide you so that you can share His love with others.

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“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

(This photo was taken in July of 2021 at Bear Lake in Yellowstone National Park)

Joy Because Of Who God Is

Shout for joy, you heavens;
    rejoice, you earth;
    burst into song, you mountains!
For the Lord comforts his people
    and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.”

Isaiah 49:13 NIV

We can have Joy because God is who He says He is…God’s character, His love, His grace, His mercy, His compassion and the comfort of His presence.  These things and many more things about God is why we can have Joy when we choose to believe in Him and have a personal relationship with Him.  Seek the Lord and you will know Joy.

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“The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
    slow to anger and rich in love.

The Lord is good to all;
    he has compassion on all he has made.”

Psalm 145:8-9 NIV

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

Happiness – Joy

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”

Genesis 3:1-7 NIV

Happiness and Joy…what is the difference?  Happiness is a worldly pursuit for temporary pleasure…Joy is spiritual and the benefits are eternal.  Happiness relies on worldly circumstances and Joy is built on belief, faith and trust in God, no matter what your circumstances.  When you achieve happiness you don’t necessarily get joy…yet when you seek Joy…happiness gets added to you.  Seek Joy…not happiness.

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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.”

Psalm 19:7-8 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2021 at a field near Kimball, Minnesota)

Peace With God

“Jesus is

“‘the stone you builders rejected,
    which has become the cornerstone.’[a]

12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

Acts 4:11-12 NIV

If you are wondering about having peace with 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 with God believe in Jesus, seek Him and you will find peace.

“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

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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)

Trust In The Lord

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

Instead of trying to control things beyond your reach…put your trust in the Lord.  Trust His way…trust His timing and trust the outcome to Him who has done more for you than any person in your life.  He is with you, He is for you.

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“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

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

Trust…Refuge…Rest

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
    my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God[c];
    he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
    pour out your hearts to him,
    for God is our refuge.”

Psalm 62:5-8 NIV

Put your trust in the Lord.  Find your hope in Him.  He is our refuge, He is the source of our strength and with Him we will find peace.  Do your part…do your best…and leave the rest up to God.

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“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.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”

Philippians 4:4-9 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2021 at The Northern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cementary)

Do What It Says

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”

Matthew 7:24 NIV

It is one thing to read or listen to the Word of God…it is the next step in your faith journey to do what it says.  We can go our whole lives reading the bible and listening to God’s word in church and if we never put it into practice in our lives…what have we accomplished?  The bible is filled with Action words and many of them came directly out of the mouth of Jesus Christ.  We are to go and do what He commands us to do.  May His peace go with you.  Amen.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

John 13:34-35 NIV

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Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”

James 1:22-25 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2016 on Beartooth Pass in Montana)