Guard Your Heart

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

Jeremiah 29:13 NIV

We all face trials and struggles.  The one thing we can control during these times and situations is how we choose to respond.  Many of us quickly try to gain control and take charge, determined not to let the situation get the best of us…others do an about face and get away from the situation as quickly as they can.  All of us can do better if we start with bringing the situation, the difficult time or difficult relationship to God first.  We need to stop waiting and trying to do things our own way…going into battle against darkness and evil without God is like a soldier heading into a battle without any weapon.  The more we turn towards God first, the more likely we will find peace and be able to overcome the troubles of life.  Amen.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 NIV

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“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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 March of 2013 at the Botanical Gardens in the Bellagio in Las Vegas, Nevada)

Trust In The Lord

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV

When you feel lost and alone…frustrated and disappointed…or uncertain and afraid turn towards the Lord in prayer.  Put your trust in Him, He is always with you.

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Trust in the Lord and do good;
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Psalm 37:3-4 NIV

(This photo was taken in May of 2022 at Temperance State Park in northern Minnesota)

Trust In The Lord And Wait For Him

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

We are so impatient and so hurried and impulsive.  We all spend so much energy on trying to save time and want everything to happen on our own personal time table.  We were not created to go full speed all the time and to expect things immediately…the goal is not to fill time with life…we should strive to fill life by spending appropriate time in all areas of life.  Starting with relationships…we were made to be in communion and community.  In communion with God our Creator and in community with each other…focusing more of our efforts on our relationship with God by taking the first step (Love God) and then working on our relationships with each other (Love Others) will help us live in each moment trusting God’s will and waiting for Him to lead us.  Peace be with you.

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Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
    therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
    Blessed are all who wait for him!”

Isaiah 30:18 NIV

(This photo was taken in May of 2020 along the north shore of Lake Superior)

God Is Our Strength

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 NIV

What is on your heart and mind?  What is it that drains your energy?  What worry, concern or circumstance is all consuming in your life?  Bring it to God.  Open up your communication with the Lord…tell Him what it is…talk to Him about it.  Put your trust in Him for every aspect of your life…He is with you and He is for you…even though you have tried to go your own way.  Read God’s Word and seek Him…for He is our strength.  Amen.

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The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?”

Psalm 27:1 NIV

(This photo was taken in August of 2021 at a lake in northwestern Wisconsin)

Trust And Pray

The Lord is gracious, kind and tender.
    He is slow to get angry and full of love.
The Lord is good to all.
    He shows deep concern for everything he has made.”

Psalm 145:8-9 NIRV

No matter what, anything is possible with God.  If you are discouraged or defeated and thinking this is never going to change or get better…turn towards God, put your trust in Him.  Confess your sins and make a commitment to change the way you live.  If you are frustrated and at your wits end with another person don’t give up…pray for them and be encouraged by story of Saul who became Paul…Saul was filled with anger and hate and he was leading the charge to kill believers in Jesus and yet this was the person God chose to change to help lead the charge to spread the Good News about Jesus.  You can read more about him in the book of Acts.  If God can change Saul to Paul, He can change you or someone you are praying for just the same.  Anything is possible with God.  Amen.

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“But I will bless anyone who trusts in me.
    I will do good things for the person who depends on me.
They will be like a tree planted near water.
    It sends out its roots beside a stream.
It is not afraid when heat comes.
    Its leaves are always green.
It does not worry when there is no rain.
    It always bears fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIRV

(This photo was taken in April of 2020 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)

Do What It Says

“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

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.”

Galatians 5:13-15 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.

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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)

Nothing Can Separate Us

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”

1 John 4:7-12 NIV

There is nothing on earth in your life that is more powerful than the love of God…nothing.  Trust in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior…He sacrificed His life to reconcile us with God…this is the greatest gift you will ever receive.  Nothing can separate us from Him, trust in Him and you will know peace.  Amen.

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No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:37-39 NIV

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

Courage…Patience

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?”

Psalm 27:1 NIV

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

Hebrews 13:8 NIV

The pace of world keeps getting faster with new technologies all being offered in the name of convenience.  Yet God is the same today as He was over two thousand years ago.  His timing is perfect, ours timing is based on our selfish desires.  Have the courage to trust in the Lord and wait for Him to lead you.  Amen.

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

Psalm 27:13-14 NIV

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

Today Is The Day

This is the day that the Lord has made;
    let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Psalm 118:24 NIV

Today is 3.16…take time to share the Good News of John 3:16 with someone today.  It could be just the thing they need to hear.  Today is the day, may the peace of God be with you.  Amen.

Today Is The Day by Lincoln Brewster

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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.

John 3:16 NIV

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

Believe

“When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. 15 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”

17 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.

19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”

20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” [21] [a]

Matthew 17:14-21 NIV

Believe in Jesus, confess your sins and seek to grow your relationship with Him.  He loves you; He is with you and He is for you.  Seek Him first every day and you will find joy and peace.  Amen.

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“Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

John 20:29 NIV

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