Open Your Heart

“Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.”

James 1:21 NIV

Let the Word of the Lord wash over you and cleanse you…clear your mind and share what is on your heart with the Lord.  Spend time reading God’s Word…let the peace of Jesus into your daily life.  Amen.

IMG_20180730_062020 publish

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

Colossians 3:15 NIV

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

The Narrow Path

“Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:5-6 NIV

“Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.”

Luke 13:24 NIV

Choices.  This way, that way.  Do this…don’t do that.  We are constantly given options and it can be overwhelming.  It would be so helpful to have a guide who is full of wisdom, who cares for our well-being and wants to see good things for us.  That is exactly who Jesus Christ is…He loves you so much He laid down His life to save you.  Everything about Him…His birth, the way He lived, His teachings, His death and His resurrection is filled with guidance for us on how we should live and the way we should go.  He is the Way and He instructs us in God’s Word and with the Holy Spirit and tells us that to follow Him is the narrow path and narrow gate in this world…yet it is the way we should go.  Trust in Him and what says and you will find peace.  Amen.

DSC06941 publish

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

Matthew 7:13-14 NIV

(Thsi photo was taken in June fo 2013 in Badlands National Park in South Dakota)

Our Good Father

“I bow in prayer to the Father because of my work among you. 15 From the Father every family in heaven and on earth gets its name. 16 I pray that he will use his glorious riches to make you strong. May his Holy Spirit give you his power deep down inside you. 17 Then Christ will live in your hearts because you believe in him. And I pray that your love will have deep roots. I pray that it will have a strong foundation. 18 May you have power together with all the Lord’s holy people to understand Christ’s love. May you know how wide and long and high and deep it is. 19 And may you know his love, even though it can’t be known completely. Then you will be filled with everything God has for you.

20 God is able to do far more than we could ever ask for or imagine. He does everything by his power that is working in us. 21 Give him glory in the church and in Christ Jesus. Give him glory through all time and for ever and ever. Amen.”

Ephesians 3:14-21 NIRV

We would do well to follow Paul’s example of prayer shown above when we pray for others to our Father.  Who do you need to come to the Father about in your prayers?  He listens…He wants to hear from you because He loves you.  Spend time talking with our good Father in heaven.  Amen.

IMG_5059 publish

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

Ephesians 4:3-6 NIV

(This photo was taken in July of 2014 by a friend at a lake in central Minnesota)

The Power Of Prayer

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”

Colossians 4:2 NIV

Opening your heart in honest, sincere transparency with God in a quiet time with Him is true prayer…an on-going conversation where you spend as much time listening as you do speaking on a daily basis is kind of prayer life that can change lives.  Amen.

Trust in him at all times, you people;
    pour out your hearts to him,
    for God is our refuge.”

Psalm 62:8 NIV

IMG_20141016_115809289 publish

Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

(This photo was taken in October of 2014 on the island of Maui, Hawaii)

Open The Eyes Of My Heart

Portions of this post were originally published in July 2021…

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”

Ezekiel 36:26-27 NIV

We typically are quick to judge the thoughts and actions of others without considering there is more to every person than just what you see on the surface.  We forget that God created all of us, everyone…even the people you struggle with or disagree with on most days.  I like to remember the quote…’be kind to others, because everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.’  When you find your thoughts making judgements…stop and pray for God to fill you with kindness and compassion.  Amen.

Open The Eyes Of My Heart by Michael W. Smith

DSC_0135-1 publish

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

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

One King

“They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.”

Revelation 17:14 NIV

There is only One who is our Savior…He is our One hope in this life.  No matter what has happened in your life or where you are, put your trust in Jesus Christ as He is the One King who brings hope to the world.  Make room for Him this Christmas and throughout the New Year.  May the peace of God be with you.  Amen.

One King by Point of Grace

DSC08480 publish

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

Ephesians 4:1-5 NIV

(This photo was taken in December of 2013 in northwestern Wisconsin)

Walking With God

This post was originally published in December of 2020…

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly[a] with your God.”

Micah 6:8 NIV

DSC_0090 (2) publish

“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all[a] sin.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.”

1 John 1:5-10 NIV

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

Wait For The Lord

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

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
    for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
    therefore I will wait for him.”

Lamentations 3:22-24 NIV

Our lives are usually so busy moving from one thing to the next, that planning and preparing become dominant activities…the thing is if we are always planning and preparing for what’s next when are we living in the present moment?  A difficult part of surrender for all of us is not always trying to control what’s next.  A life of faith doesn’t mean we always go and do what we want…Jesus said in Luke 9:23 “…If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”  

We all have a cross to bear in life, it is different for everyone…and bearing a cross is doing what we should be doing, doing what needs to be done.  It means being obedient to God and we do these things because of love.  Be in prayer and talk with the Lord about what He needs you to do then wait and listen.  May you be surrounded by the love of God each day.  Amen.

DSC06943 publish

“The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord,”

Lamentations 3:25-26 NIV

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

God Is With You

Portions of this post were originally published in September of 2021…

“But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here![a]

Matthew 14:27 NLT

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

Philippians 4:4-5 NIV

No matter where you are…no matter what has been done…God has promised He will never leave you nor abandon you.  Unlike us humans, God never breaks a promise.  Every promise God has made has been fulfilled and He only has one more promise left and it will be fulfilled when Jesus Christ returns.  Fear and anxiety come from too much focus on worldly things and self-centered expectations.  Turn towards the Lord, read His Word and pray.  He knows what is happening…He wants good things for you and He is waiting to hear from you.  God is with you.  Amen.

DSC_0462 publish

“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 May of 2020 on the shore of Lake Superior at Temperance State Park in northern Minnesota)

Covered By The Spirit

Portions of this post were published in October of 2020…

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.”

John 15:16 NIV

When you are comforted and have courage…when all your worries, doubts and fears have subsided…when you have a sense of peace and calm that is beyond understanding and the Fruits of the Spirit flow through you effortlessly…that is when you know you are covered by the Spirit of God.  Amen.

DSC_0125 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 NIV

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