Wisdom

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

James 1:5 NIV

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”

James 3:17 NIV

Seek the wisdom of God in all things.  All good things come from God and the Kingdom of God is upside down from the world’s perspective.  Take time to learn from Jesus and spend time reading God’s Word.  Gather with others who are encouraging…for we will not find what we are looking for in worldly wisdom.

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“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

John 14:26 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)

To Know Him…

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives,[a] 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you[b] to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.”

Colossians 1:9-12 NIV

From the very beginning God created us out of his love.  As we try to find satisfaction and happiness in worldly things we will come to find that only by God’s grace will we find true joy and peace in life.  Wisdom is found in spending more time with God and less time on social media and watching news shows.  The more we know Him rather then just know about Him…our eyes are opened and the better we begin to understand that we are broken, sinful people in need of a Savior and Jesus Christ is our Redeemer.

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 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Colossians 1:13-14 NIV

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

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.

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“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)

Trust…Hope

“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

One of the strongest drivers of action in our human lives is hope.  Hope is about ambition, desire, goal setting and most importantly hope is about trust.  Hope comes from belief and belief is driven by trust and trust operates very much like a bank account.  There are events that occur between you and another that are trust deposits and there are events that are trust withdrawals.  The tricky part is one withdrawal is typically larger than one deposit.  Trust also impacts what we give, if people make several trust withdrawals on us, we become guarded and we have very little trust to give to others.  We should reflect on our relationships and our trust accounts with others and know that no matter what the current balance is there is always hope to make it better because of Jesus.  We can trust Him…He only makes deposits in our relationship with Him.  May God’s peace be with you.

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“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Romans 15:13 NIV

(This photo was taken in June of 2013 while on a walk in northwestern Wisconsin)

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.

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“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)

Choose How You Will Respond

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

Don’t let any evil talk come out of your mouths. Say only what will help to build others up and meet their needs. Then what you say will help those who listen. 30 Do not make God’s Holy Spirit mourn. The Holy Spirit is the proof that you belong to God. And the Spirit is the proof that God will set you completely free. 31 Get rid of all hard feelings, anger and rage. Stop all fighting and lying. Don’t have anything to do with any kind of hatred. 32 Be kind and tender to one another. Forgive one another, just as God forgave you because of what Christ has done.”

Ephesians 4:29-32 NIRV

With every situation in life, we are given free will by God which means we choose how to respond to what other people do or say.  This freedom also means we are accountable and responsible for our response even if we choose to do nothing.  If we are focused on ourselves more than anything else we will often choose a poor response as the self is only concerned with the impact on me without regard for others.  God created us out of His love and we were made to choose the Fruits of the Spirit in how we live our daily lives.  Be aware not only of ‘what’ you do and say, but also ‘how’ you do and say things when you interact with others.  Free will is a gift from God, how we respond to God’s Word with this gift makes all the difference in daily life.  May God’s joy and peace be with you.  Amen.

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“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Proverbs 15:1 NIV

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

Believe…Overcome

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands.”

1 John 5:1-2 NIV

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In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

1 John 5:3-5 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2021 at Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)

Wisdom And Understanding

If you want to become wise, you must begin by respecting the Lord.
    To know the Holy One is to gain understanding.”

Proverbs 9:10 NIRV

It is much better to get wisdom than gold.
    It is much better to choose understanding than silver.”

Proverbs 16:16 NIRV

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If you really want to become wise,
    you must begin by having respect for the Lord.
All those who follow his rules have good understanding.
    People should praise him forever.”

Psalm 111:10 NIRV

(This photo was taken in July of 2018 on the shore on Lake Superior near Ashland, Wisconsin)

God Is Love

It has been said that in order for people to receive and understand a message they must see/hear it a minimum of three times…here are 3 verses in the same letter about today’s message.  May God’s peace be with you.  Amen.

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.”

1 John 4:8 NIV

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 4:11 NIV

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“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.”

1 John 4:16-21 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2021 in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)

Wisdom

“For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”

1 Corinthians 1:25 NIV

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

James 1:5 NIV

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“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.”

James 3:13-18 NIV

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