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

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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 August of 2016 in Glacier National Park in Montana)

I Will Worship While I Wait

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

Waiting…we don’t do this very well.  The world constantly pushes a hurried, impatient agenda on us…’more convenience’, ‘save time’, ‘this is the fastest way to_______’, fill the blank with any worldly pursuit.  It is so easy to get sucked in because it is going on all around us.  Stay close to God and His Word…start or keep doing daily prayer time.  Keep going to worship and put your faith and trust in God.

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

2 Peter 3:9 NIV

While I’m Waiting by John Waller

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I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
    and in his word I put my hope.”

Psalm 130:5 NIV

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

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.

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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)

Waiting…

 “I believe that I shall look[a] upon the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living!
14 Wait for the Lord;
    be strong, and let your heart take courage;
    wait for the Lord!

Psalm 27:13-14 ESV

Oh, the waiting…our world is always sending out messages to hurry up…save time and literally “don’t wait” act now before…you get the point.  Once again, the world pursues the exact opposite of what we hear from God’s Word.  God wants us to walk with Him…not ahead of Him or on our own without Him.  His timing is perfect because it is His plan.  In Luke 2 we meet Simeon, who had been waiting his whole life to see God’s promise fulfilled in the Messiah…as he expected the promise was fulfilled just like every other promise God has made.  The last promise to be fulfilled is when Christ returns…and so we are waiting for that day and while we wait let’s be like Simeon and be good, do-good things, be godly and be faithful to God’s Word.  How are you doing while you wait?

While I’m Waiting by John Waller

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Dear friends, here is one thing you must not forget. With the Lord a day is like a thousand years. And a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow to keep his promise. He is not slow in the way some people understand it. Instead, he is patient with you. He doesn’t want anyone to be destroyed. Instead, he wants all people to turn away from their sins.”

2 Peter 3:8-9 NIRV

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

Our Strength Comes From God

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10 NIV

Our faith becomes most real when we experience something that is difficult to explain with words…when a need is met in an unexplained way, when courage came at an unexpected time, when peace overwhelms us during a difficult time, when we are able to do something that we normally would not consider attempting if we had time to think about it and analyze it…when we get out of the way and God is guiding us. Only later do we consider and realize that God came near to us.  These are not once in a lifetime experiences, as God is with us in life every step of the way every day…we just need to be in communication with Him and trust in Him.  May God’s peace be with you.  Amen.

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“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9 NIV

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

Don’t Quit

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)

Be Still…Wait For The Lord

“Be still before the Lord
    and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
    when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
    do not fret—it leads only to evil.
For those who are evil will be destroyed,
    but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.”

Psalm 37:7-9 NIV

Be Still And Know by Amy Grant

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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 September of 2016 at a lake in central 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)

Holy Saturday…Preparation Day

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

It is finished…Jesus, the Messiah, had been crucified and died.  We all know the coming glory of tomorrow…however, when these events were happening, it is hard to comprehend the level of sorrow and sadness that had to exist on the day between His death and resurrection.  Unfortunately, in the world today many of us suffer at a deep level of sorrow because of our sin and evil.  Our saving grace and our truth is we know that from the most devastating tragedy, God will renew and restore us…Resurrection Day is coming.  Trust in the Lord for He is good and His love endures forever.  Amen.

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“Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body.  Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in the tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid.  It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.”

Luke 23:52-54 NIV

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

Waiting With Hope

Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;

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 40:30-31 NIV

While I’m Waiting by John Waller

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I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
    and in his word I put my hope.”

Psalm 130:5 NIV

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