Pray, Let God Worry

Life is full of Worries and Anxiety, So Pray and Let God Worry. Enjoy a short devotional video on “Pray, Let God Worry”

Martin Luther, a 16th century monk was worried about things, so in a letter said to his wife – “Pray, and let God worry”. He did not want her to worry too much.

Pray and Let God Worry

Pray and Let God Worry

See Philippians 4:6 where Paul says: “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God”

Sunrise near the Columbia River

Sunrise near the Columbia River

Life is crazy, we need to work harder and pray more.

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Praying with God or God Praying with Us

Sometimes when we pray, it is hard to know who is initiating the prayer.  Is it us or God.  In Romans 8:26, Paul says the Spirit help us to pray.  But sometimes we are seeing a need and start praying.  Other times it seems we sense a need for prayer for someone or something. And then there is times we are with others and they initiate the prayer.

Sunset over the Columbia River

Sunset over the Columbia River

We are praying and asking God for the prayer of God.  Consider what Jesus talks about in John 15:7.   If you are one with the Lord, you are obeying the Lord, you are abiding in the Lord, and His Word is dwelling in you, then you are one with the Lord, and what the Lord wants to pray, you want to pray, what the Lord wants to ask the Father through your prayer, you want to ask the Father.  So who is really praying here?  Is it us praying or is it God praying?  It is kind of hard to understand.

Mount Hood, Oregon

Mount Hood, Oregon

The Example of Elijah in the book of James

James was a man of prayer.  In fact, James 5 talks about a similar principle. The last part of verse 16 says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Then James goes on to talk about Elijah.  Verse 17, “Elijah was a man subject to like passions…” He was a man, just like we are. He had feelings just like you and I have. Then it says, “And he prayed earnestly” or the literal Greek is, “He prayed in prayer” or, “He prayed in his prayer”.  It is kind of a strange construction in the English. “He was a man of like passions as we are, and he prayed in prayer that it might not rain”. In other words, Elijah had an experience, here, of not praying his own prayer, but praying the prayer of God. You could say he prayed the prayer that God put on his heart, or prayed the prayer that God burdened him with.  Here Elijah was praying the prayer of God.

Columbia River, Oregon and Washington

Columbia River, Oregon and Washington

The Prayer Example of Young Samuel in the Old Testament

We have another prayer example of Samuel in the Old Testament.  This is the story of Samuel as a young boy.  He was learning how to serve God and how to do the things of God. He was just beginning, or barely beginning to hear the voice of God.  At one point, he thought Eli, the priest, was calling him, but he eventually learned that it was the Lord who was speaking to him. The phrase that Samuel repeated back to the Lord at this point was, “Speak Lord, for your servant hears.” In other words, Samuel had the attitude that whatever God would speak, he would hear, and whatever God asked him to do, he would do.

Columbia River, Oregon and Washington

Columbia River, Oregon and Washington

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Does God Still Love Us When We are Depressed?

Many times we get low, and God really cares. God does not condemn us when we are low or even depressed. He loves us and cares for us. We need to bring our troubles to God. God is gracious to us when we fail.

Here is a short devotional video on “Does God Still Love us When We are Depressed?”

In the Bible, God, the author does not hide the fact that many people get low or depressed. Consider Elijah, who had a great victory and wonderful miracle at Mount Carmel. Then soon after he was harassed by someone and hid because he was low and depressed. God did not make him feel bad, but instead God found a way to get Elijah some bread to lift him up. I am really not sure why Elijah got so low and almost panicked.

Then there is King David in the Old Testament who many times got low and depressed. When we read the Psalms, the writers many times, especially David, how they were depressed, despondent and just low. David in the Psalms does not hide his feelings, but confesses them to God and brings them to God. David learned how to bring his troubles to God.

Sometimes we are so low we almost (or do) panic.  God is very gracious to us when we fail. So just bring your troubles and depression to God. God still loves us when we are low or depressed.

God and Depression

God and Depression

Psalm 18:6  In my distress I called upon the Lord,
and cried unto my God:
he heard my voice out of his temple,
and my cry came before him, even into his ears

God and Depression

God and Depression

God still loves us.

We need to bring our troubles and depression to God.

We need to bring our troubles and depression to God.

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AnimatedFaith.com Cartoon Video

Here is a simple AnimatedFaith.com cartoon video by ‘Dave’.

AnimatedFaith.com has great Devotional Videos.  AnimatedFaith offers many online devotionals in blog and video formats to encourage you in your Christian Life .

AnimatedFaith:
Encourages Devotional Prayer
Encourages Bible Study
Teaches about Pray
Is Educational ….

Dave_Promo_title

The best devotional videos are at www.AnimatedFaith.com

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Living for Today

We fall into a situation so many times where we regret the past or worry about tomorrow. I personally forget to live in the present and enjoy what God has given me today. Concerning the past, we can learn from our mistakes, concerning the future, we can prepare and learn to trust God.

Sunrise near the Columbia River

Sunrise near the Columbia River

Here is the attitude we need for the future from 1 Peter 5:7. “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”  So our attitude needs to be one of trusting God for the future.

Our attitude should be thanking God for what we have today and not wishing for things to be different:   This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it  Psalm 118:24.   We should have a thankful heart as Paul talks about in 1 Thessalonians 5:8 In every thing give thanks:for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Live in the now, thanking God for what we have, what He has given us in people, friends, family, relationships, spiritual blessings and material stuff. (Yes, even thank God for our stuff)

Thank Him for negative and hard things that teach us to thank and trust Him.

Sunset on the Columbia River

Sunset on the Columbia River

Thank God for the grace given to us through His Son Jesus Christ who took all our sins away and made a way for us to come to God just as we are. John 1:17 Grace came by Jesus Christ.

A 16th century monk in writing to comfort his wife said “Pray, and let God worry”. That was Martin Luther who did much to bring people back to the Bible and back to Jesus Christ.

Paul shares his attitude towards the past in Phil 3:13. but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Deer in the trees

Deer in the trees

We can learn to accept moving or not moving.  We can accept who we are in God. We can accept what God has given us in talents, friends, relationships, spiritual and material stuff.  We can accept our social and financial level in society, and not wish to be somewhere else. We can accept our marriage as from God, there is not a better mate for us. God did that just right. He has given us exactly what we need.

When we don’t accept we can easily fall into regret for the past and then carry a root of bitterness going forward. Eventually this makes us get old really fast and makes our life (not the other person) miserable. Do not get bitter, it will destroy you.

So our attitude towards the past and future is important.  When it comes to the past we should forgive and forget. Thanking God for all He has given us.  When it comes to the future we trust God and refuse to worry or carry a grudge.  This leaves us living right now in the present thanking God for who He is and all that He has done for us.    For the past, we always learn from our mistakes, for the future, we prepare as best we can and trust God.

Here is a simple way to pray:  “Father God, thank You for what we have, what You have given us and what You will yet provide in the years to come. I give this day to You, I trust You and rely on You for all that we need”.

California Beach

California Beach

The best devotional videos are at www.AnimatedFaith.com

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God Does Not Give Up on Us

Everything in the garden was wonderful between God and man. But once sin same in there was a problem, but God does not give up on us. God made a way through His Son Jesus Christ for us to come back to God.

So watch this short video on “God Does Not Give Up on Us”

God never gives up on us.  God loves us, He cares for us.  God is thinking about us every day.  We were created for a purpose, and God does not loose sight of that purpose. He cares so much that He sent His Son Jesus Christ.

God Does Not Give Up on Us

God Does Not Give Up on Us

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Hard Events Help us Grow in God

Hard events of life help us grow in God. Faith is tested by the events of life. Everything is under the hand of God, both the easy and the hard.

Hard events help us grow in God

Hard events help us grow in God

Almost every person mentioned in the Bible had difficult times. God used every event to bring this person more in the faith and belief of God. God became more real through every situation. At one point the Bible seems just a good book about God, but events in life will make the Bible become part of our life and living.

Insecurities help us grow in Faith

Insecurities help us grow in Faith

Even material insecurities help us grow in Faith.

Consider Elijah in the Old Testament who went through various situations to prove to him that God is real and present, and that God actually cares for what is going on in life. At one point a brook that Elijah was near dried up.  What was he to do. Well, God provided for him. He just needed to keep his eyes on God.  The dried up brook helped Elijah to trust in God for His provision.  God eventually provided, but not in the way Elijah expected.

The providence of God in our lives is sometimes the best education we can get in the ways of God. Even Peter in the New Testament got distracted with something he thought would be great, but God needed to teach him a lesson in looking at Jesus and not being distracted. Consider the points in this video about “Listen to Jesus”.

Peter was the top, number one disciple of Jesus, but he had a lot to learn. It seems he was always being corrected by Jesus. Hard things and hard words helped him grow in faith.

It’s so easy to get distracted with great religious things. Jesus is the main subject and focus of the New Testament. Even the chosen disciples like Peter could get distracted with doing something “great” for God and miss the Son of God, Jesus, who was standing right there.

So watch this short video on “Listen to Jesus”

In Matthew 17,  Jesus takes His top three disciples up to a mountain, and there Jesus was transfigured or glorified. He probably looked like He might appear in heaven. His top three disciples were Peter, James and John. Peter had a great idea, but God did not agree with the idea and so God spoke from the heavens. God said “This is my beloved Son, Hear Him“. Too many times we have a “great idea” for God. But many times God does not agree and may speak to us and tell us to just “Listen to Jesus”. So how do we “listen to Jesus”, the easiest and best way is to just read the Bible.

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Get More of Jesus and the Bible

Jesus Prayed

Jesus Prayed

Visit AnimatedFaith’s profile on Pinterest.

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Jesus Prays for Us – Encouragement to Go on with Christ

Encouragement to go on with Jesus – that could also be the title of the book of Hebrews.

Jesus is praying for us to be encouraged to move forward with Him.

The author of Hebrews is trying to get the readers to get moving in a positive direction toward Jesus. The writer of Hebrews did not want the believers to go back, shrink back or accidentally fall back to an older way of tradition and legalism. So this verse mentions that Jesus is praying for us. Jesus is praying for us to be encouraged to move forward with Him.

Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them. So have confidence in Jesus’ prayer for us.

In the New Testament,  everything focuses around Jesus. Jesus is the focus and the way to God. There is no other way.

Here is a short devotional video on “Jesus Prays for Us”

The word “uttermost” indicates the salvation Jesus gives us handles everything, so we can have complete confidence He will bring us to full complete maturity,  and not let us slide back to an old dead way such as legalism.

The phrase “He is able also to save” means that Jesus, because He is fully God and fully man, has the ability to save us and free us from sin. Here “save” is not just saving from Hell, but saving us from a sinful life.

The phrase “come unto God by Him” indicates that Jesus is the mediator between us and God. God is Holy and we are sinful. How could we touch or pray to the holy God except by Jesus, who because of His perfect sacrifice, on the cross fully made a way for us to come to God.

The phrase “He ever liveth to make intercession“, means He is constantly praying for us. Don’t worry,  Jesus is praying for us. He knows our every need.

I believe Paul wrote the book of Hebrews, but I could be wrong. Many students of the Bible do not agree that Paul wrote it. Some think Paul wrote it and some do not think he wrote it. To my realization the level of understanding of the place of the Old and New Testament, and the understanding of the unique place Jesus has in God’s overall plan and economy dictates that a very well Bible educated and understanding person wrote this book of Hebrews.

The New Testament represents a transition in what God expects and demands. In the Old Testament it was keeping the law, in the New Testament it is believing on Jesus. So we move from legalism to grace.

It is my theory that the letter of Hebrews would be better received by believers in Paul’s day if it was not perceived to have been written by Paul. This is just my theory.

A great transitional verse is John 1:17 where John says: For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. So we move from the “law” to “grace”. So which writer/author of the Bible really understood this and could express it as we see in the book of Hebrews. I think only Paul, but I realize there are other considerations.

Paul had the best understanding of the transition to the new and could wade through the Old Testament Jewish ceremonial law (given by Moses) and interpret in in light of what Jesus did on the cross.  Please look at Romans 8:3  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.  Again here we see the law is not able to save man, so God sent His son. Trying to keep the law and legalism will not take us on to maturity in our Christian life. Only grace takes us on.

Also Paul said this in Galatians 2:20  Christ liveth in me:and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Paul was so clear the new way is just Jesus. The new way is not a compromise between the old and new,  and not something added to the old. It is just Jesus as the way, the truth, and the life

Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them

This verse in Hebrews indicates that Jesus is praying for us to go on with Jesus and not go back or compromise to an older way such as the law or legalism.

Jesus Prays for Us – Encouragement to Go on with Christ

Jesus Prays for Us – Encouragement to Go on with Christ

Be Encouraged.

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God Never Gives Up on Us

God Never Gives Up on Us. Don’t worry, we may fail, but God finds a way to restore us. God never forgets the purpose He created us for. We were make for a purpose and God knows that. So don’t worry about failure, God will make a way.

So watch this short devotional video on “God Never Gives Up on Us “

God make a way through His son Jesus Christ to take care of the sin issue between us and God. Sin and failure cannot stop God’s purpose with us.  We may give up, but God does not give up on us.

Consider some failures in the Bible:  Adam, Abraham, Peter, (and us).  We all are sinners, so God has made a way through His son Jesus Christ to bring us back to God and back to His purpose.

We may give up, but God does not give up on us.  

Priest Lake, Idaho

Priest Lake, Idaho

Consider Philippians 1:6  Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ

Isa 42:3  A bruised reed shall he not break,
and the smoking flax shall he not quench:
he shall bring forth judgment unto truth

God Never Gives Up on Us

God Never Gives Up on Us

Isa 54:10  For the mountains shall depart,
and the hills be removed;
but my kindness shall not depart from thee,
neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed,
saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee

God Never Gives Up on Us

God Never Gives Up on Us

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Worship God in Spirit

Out of everything in the whole universe, our human spirit is the most important because it allow us to worship God who is Spirit.

God wants worship, the best (and only) way is to worship God is with our spirit, because God is Spirit. See John 4:24 where Jesus says “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth”.  Notice where there is a capital Spirit referring to God, and a lower case spirit related to our human spirit.

So watch this short devotional video on “Worship God in Spirit”

Then in the book of Zechariah, the writer in 12:1 talks about the heavens, the earth and the spirit of man.  Zechariah 12:1  “The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth,
and formeth the spirit of man within him”.

In the whole universe, our human spirit is the most important because it allow us to worship God who is Spirit.  Having a human spirit is like having a radio receiver tuned to the right frequency to connect with and listen to God who on the “Spirit” wavelength.

Worship God in Spirit

Worship God in Spirit

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God is the God of Fellowship – Video

God wants fellowship between us and God. He is desperate for communion. It’s like two friends talking over coffee or tea. God wants an intimate relationship between us and God. When something like sin got in the way of this fellowship, God sent His son Jesus Christ to bridge the gap. So we can have a morning devotion with God because of Jesus His son.

Please watch this short devotional video on “God is the God of Fellowship”

The best Bible verse on this subject is: 1 John 1:3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

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Intimacy Between God and Man

God loves us. God is love. It is hard to find a religion where God loves man.
God wants an intimate loving relationship between God and man. When man sins, God loves to restore us. He does not give up on us. The Bible is about God and man.

We as sinful man need a mediator between us and a holy sinless God, and that mediator is Jesus Christ.

Please watch this short video on “Intimacy Between God and Man”

John 14:21
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Dead Sea, Israel

Dead Sea, Israel

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On Looking at God

“The more I contemplate and think about God, the more God looks on me. The more I pray to him, the more he thinks of me too.” ― Bernard of Clairvaux

Looking onto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. – Hebrews 12:2

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Listen To Jesus

It’s so easy to get distracted with good religious things and miss Jesus. Jesus is the focus of the New Testament. Jesus is the main subject. Even the good disciples like Peter could get distracted with doing something “great” for God and miss the Son of God, Jesus, who was standing right there.

So watch this short video on “Listen to Jesus”

In Matthew 17,  Jesus takes His top three disciples up to a mountain, and there Jesus was transfigured or glorified. He probably looked like He might appear in heaven. His top three disciples were Peter, James and John. Peter had a great idea, but God did not agree with the idea and so God spoke from the heavens. God said “This is my beloved Son, Hear Him“. Too many times we have a “great idea” for God. But many times God does not agree and may speak to us and tell us to just “Listen to Jesus”. So how do we “listen to Jesus”, the easiest and best way is to just read the Bible.

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Never Give Up

Let God strengthen you. Never give up.

So watch this short devotional video on “God Never Gives Up on Us “

Isaiah 40:31

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run, and not be weary;
and they shall walk, and not faint.

Malibu Club - A Young Life Camp, Canada

Malibu Club – A Young Life Camp, Canada

God  hates loves you!

Malibu Club - A Young Life Camp, Canada

Malibu Club – A Young Life Camp, Canada

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Jesus as the Focus…

The whole New Testament from Matthew to Revelation, all 27 books has a focus and that focus is Jesus Christ.  So Jesus Christ is the focus of the last book of the Bible, the book called “Revelation”.
Everyone loves a happy ending to any story, and the last book of the Bible tells a happy engine where all evil and sickness is dealt with and God is on the throne ruling over the earth. God finishes the Bible in a happy way.

So watch this short video on “Jesus as the focus of Revelation”

It is called Revelation because the book is a revelation of Jesus Christ throughout the ages till the end of the world where He comes again.

The book of Revelation is a conclusion to the whole Bible. The focus of this book is Jesus Christ. The key verse is the first verse – Rev 1:1 “The revelation of Jesus Christ…”

At the end, all evil is conquered. All evil is thrown into the eternal trash can called the lake of fire. Those who follow evil also end up in the trash.

God is on the throne in a heavenly city, the New Jerusalem. God’s people, who believe in Jesus, will live with Him in this city for eternity and be a part of the eternal happy ending. Again this book’s focus is Jesus Christ. Revelation begins with Christ and ends with Jesus as the Lamb of God on the throne, a happy ending.

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Replace fear with FAITH

Faith always encourages us and moves us forward. Fear causes us to slow down, stop and go into paralysis mode making us afraid to do anything.

So watch this short video on “Replace fear with FAITH”

When we go to pray we need to drop the fear and have faith in God.

Even when the sun goes down and the clouds come in - replace fear with Faith

Even when the sun goes down and the clouds come in – replace fear with Faith

Courage means to keep making forward progress while you still feel afraid.

So turn fear into FAITH and replace fear with FAITH.  Don’t let fear and anxiety take over.

2 Timothy 1:7 God has not given us a spirit of fear. God has given us a spirit of power, and love and a sound mind. Fear makes our mind go into confusion.

Faith Energizes Us

Faith Energizes Us

Only accept a healthy relationship with the Lord, realizing He loves us and cares for us. Consider the verse in Proverbs “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”.

Don’t let fear stop you.

Some see giants and some look at the same situation and see grasshoppers (we are well able to overcome them)

Beautiful Columbia River

Beautiful Columbia River

Faith always encourages us and moves us forward.

 1 John 4:18  There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;  thy rod and thy staff they comfort me

Isa  41:10  Fear thou not; for I am with thee:
be not dismayed; for I am thy God:
I will strengthen thee;
yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness

Fear Not, just Pray

Fear Not, just Pray

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God Helps Us Pray

God Helps Us Pray

Here are three key verses in the Bible showing us how God helps us pray.  Even Elijah the great prophet in the Old Testament was weak like us, and many times had trouble knowing how to pray. In James 5, James describes Elijah as a man with “like passions” which means he has feelings and weaknesses like us. So don’t feel bad when you or I feel like we don’t know how to pray, or even don’t want to pray. Elijah had very similar feelings.

In this video I present three key verses in the Bible indicating how God helps us pray.

John 15:7
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Romans 8:26
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Hebrews 7:25
Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

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Why Be Anxious, Just Pray

If we are honest, we all have to admit that we have a problem with anxiety. Some, obviously, are more prone to worry than others. It seems that no matter how many problems God solves for us, there is always another problem on the back burner that we can bring to the forefront of our mind and start worrying about. Paul provides a wonderful antidote to this frustrating problem in Philippians 4:6Be anxious about nothing; but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God (by prayer); and the peace of God, which surpasses our understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts by Christ Jesus.

Here is a video in which I shared on this subject.

Paul frequently addresses this issue in the Bible because he understands how easily believers can become anxious and worried. Life is full of challenges and problems. God often allows these problems to come into our lives to humble us, to test what is in our hearts, and to encourage us to turn to Him in trusting prayer.

We have a volitional decision to make. We can choose to worry or we can choose to pray. Prayer takes us into God’s presence, and results in peace of mind as we acknowledge that not only is He able, but He will always bring about the best result for His glory, and for the development of our character. When we choose to keep our eyes on the problem instead of on God, the result is continuing anxiety, restlessness, and discouragement. Paul had to keep reminding his audience, “Let your requests be made known to God”. In other words, we should always remember to pray. Prayer should be our first resort when we face troubles of any kind. Our heavenly Father delights in our prayers, and promises to hear them. These are very encouraging truths from God’s Word.

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Prayer is Simple

Prayer is Simple

We hate to admit it, but we are pretty good at taking simple things and making them hard. The same is true when it comes to prayer. Our prayers don’t need to be eloquent or profound, nor do they have to be long and drawn out, or filled with emotion.

Deer in the trees

Deer in the trees

Prayer is really nothing more than a conversation between the believer and his God. When we come to the Father in prayer, we should come with a heartfelt attitude of humility and complete dependence upon Him. We should acknowledge that He is the Shepherd, and we are the sheep.

In this video I present three key verses in the Bible indicating how God helps us pray.

We often know what we want when we approach God in prayer, but surprisingly often we don’t know what we need. We can always trust God, and be confident that He knows exactly what we need, and what is best for us in every circumstance of life. This is true whether we are experiencing a mountaintop of joy, or the depths of darkness and despair. He seeks His glory and desires to make us more like Jesus. What more should we desire?

Mount Hood, Oregon from 30,000 feet

Mount Hood, Oregon from 30,000 feet

Admittedly there are times we come to God overwhelmed with anxiety, and full of confusion—so much so, that we don’t even know how to pray. At those moments, Romans 8:26 teaches us that God’s Spirit intercedes and prays for us in perfect conformity with the Father’s will.

Jesus Prayed

Jesus Prayed

California Beach

California Beach

It’s so simple. Let God pray through you just like Elijah allowed God to pray through him. When we do this, you could say we are actually praying the Lord’s prayer—not the familiar prayer in Matthew 6 we have come to know as the Lord’s Prayer, but we are simply praying what God wants us to pray.

California Beach

California Beach

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The Cat and The Mouse

We have discovered in doing blogs that computers now need Kitty Warmers.

The Cat and The Mouse

The Cat and The Mouse

Coffee Break

Kitty Loves Coffee?

Kitty Loves Coffee?

Kitty guarding all computer equipment

Serious Kitty Guarding All Computer Equipment

Serious Kitty Guarding All Computer Equipment

Sometimes people get boxed in, actually kitties love it.

Kitty in a Box

Kitty in a Box

Ecclesiastes 3:4 a time to weep, and a time to
laugh
; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

Proverbs 17:22 A cheerful heart is a good medicine; But a broken spirit drieth up the bones.

Kitty serious about Computers

Kitty serious about Computers

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Elijah Believed God

Elijah Believed God

Statue of Elijah on Mount Carmel where Elijah Prayed in Israel

Statue of Elijah on Mount Carmel where Elijah Prayed in Israel

ELIJAH:

  • Had great confidence in God, and was not intimated by enemies
  • Did, at times, become depressed and discouraged
  • Believed in the one true God of the Bible and rejected all other gods
  • Obeyed God
  • Performed miracles in God’s power
  • Offered prayer that brought fire down from heaven and controlled the rain
  • Prayed in accordance with God’s will
  • Was a true servant of the Lord
  • Did not have his own agenda
  • Followed God’s leading step-by-step
  • Was an example of a righteous man whose prayers God heard

It is important to remember that the power of prayer comes not from the one who prays, or from the way he or she prays. The power of prayer is in the omnipotent God to whom prayer is directed. God is the power behind prayer. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and yet  he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three and a half years. He prayed again, and a faithful God gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.

Jezreel Valley north of Mount Carmel where Elijah Prayed in Israel

Jezreel Valley north of Mount Carmel where Elijah Prayed in Israel

Later we will discuss the parallel between the Lord’s Prayer and Elijah’s ministry, and also examine a quick history of Elijah in the Old Testament.

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Prayer to Encourage the Believer

Praying for Healing from Depression

James 5:13-18 (KJV): “Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. 14Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. 16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. 17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.”

Statue of Elijah on Mount Carmel

Statue of Elijah on Mount Carmel, Israel

This passage gives several interesting points on the subject of prayer for our consideration:

  • We should pray any time we have a need, or when we wish to offer praise to a faithful God
  • We can and should pray together
  • We can ask the elders in the church to pray for us
  • The phrase, “The prayer of faith” points us to the important connection between faith and answered prayer
  • Forgiveness of sins can result from prayer
  • Confessing our faults to one another can be beneficial
  • The fervent prayer of a righteous man is powerful
  • James then cites for us, the example of the prophet Elijah, a man of prayer
  • He had passions and feelings just like us, that is, he was entirely human
  • He prayed earnestly and persistently
  • God answered Elijah’s prayers that were in accordance with His will

Some people argue that James 5:13-18 is not talking about prayer for physical healing from sickness alone, but about praying for healing from feeling low, depression and discouragement as well. The Greek words for “sick” in verse 14 and 15, and “healed” in verse 16, do allow this interpretation. Notice, also, the word “cheerful” in verse 13.  Cheerfulness is contrasted with depression. This suggests we can have a positive attitude when we pray because we are praying to the One who can do something about whatever difficulties we face in life. God does not want us low, but to be encouraged.

Jezreel Valley north of Mount Carmel where Elijah Prayed in Israel

Jezreel Valley north of Mount Carmel, Israel, where Elijah Prayed

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Elijah’s Name – My God is Jehovah

Biblical names are often full of great meaning, and that is definitely true of Elijah’s name.

The Hebrew word for “God” in the Old Testament is Elohim, which is occasionally shortened to EL. Elijah’s name begins with “God”, telling us that he has been marked by God for His purposes.

California Beach

California Beach

Elijah’s name ends with “JAH”, a shortened form of the Hebrew word, Jehovah, God’s personal name. Elijah’s name, therefore, includes the word for “God” as well as the word for “Jehovah”. What a great honor to have God’s names as part of one’s own!  Elijah’s name reminds us that he has a special ministry to fulfill for God.

Inserted between those two words, EL and JAH, is the letter “I”, which translates from the Hebrew as “me”, “my” or “mine”, asserting Elijah’s personal relationship with his God.

California Beach

California Beach

Putting all this together, then, we find that Elijah’s name means “My God is Jehovah”, “The Lord is my God”, or “Jehovah God is very personal”. You could say the name means: “God is very personal to me”

California Beach

California Beach

Elijah’s name had great significance, and was a testimony to who Elijah was, and what he would do for God’s people.

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Seeing God Who is Hidden

God sometimes seems to us to be quiet or hidden. Many of us would prefer a very visible God, but God is Spirit, and often works in wonderfully hidden ways. We can’t always see what He is doing. Occasionally we may experience a big miracle by God’s power like Elijah did, but most of the time there are no miracles, big or small.

Priest Lake, Idaho

Priest Lake, Idaho

Do you remember the Lord Jesus in the gospels? There we saw Him perform many dramatic miracles, but consider how many people were not touched by Him with miraculous healing, or how many He simply passed by. The truth is, God does not always work by means of miracles.

You might recall that Israel was very callous toward God in Elijah’s day. They ignored God’s Word and worshipped the idols of the pagan peoples among whom they lived. God jealousy desired for His people to respond to Him by faith but He occasionally did miracles through prophets like Elijah and others to prove these prophets were His spokesmen. God wanted to win the hearts of His wayward people. The miracles were God’s gracious warning of impending judgment for continued disobedience.

California Beach

California Beach

Elijah performed many miracles by God’s power, but he was still very human. There were times he was fearful, and felt alone and weak. Wow, does sound like us sometimes! These human frailties, however, did not hinder Elijah from remaining faithful in ministry, nor did they keep him from following His God day-in-and-day out.

California Beach

California Beach

God is God, and Elijah is Elijah! What does that mean? God knows we are human, and He mercifully reaches out to us as He did to Elijah and the people of Israel. God wants us to live by means of faith as we depend upon His strength and wisdom every day, especially when He allows trials to come our way. He has a loving purpose for these trials as He shapes our character to be more and more like our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

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Anger Kills Us – Jonah

Jonah’s anger is killing him. He’s a miserable man because he’s not free—he’s still a slave to his own bitterness, limitations, and weaknesses. Some of us are miserable for the same reasons. God is working on us, teaching us to trust Him (that is trust God) specifically in those areas where it’s so very, very hard to discern what He’s doing and why.

California Beach

California Beach

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Friends with God

John 15:13-15

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

California Beach

California Beach

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Isaac and Joseph – More Impossible Situations

Luke 1:37  “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

The Birth of Isaac, the Son of Promise
After arriving in the land of Canaan, Abraham and his wife, Sarah, faced an impossible situation. God had promised to make a great nation from Abraham’s descendants. The problem was, Sarah was 90 and Abraham close to 100, and as yet they had no son through which God could fulfill His promise to them. Could God be taken at His Word? Abraham and Sarah faced what seemed to be an insurmountable challenge their faith, so they came up with a plan of their own to have a son. Sarah gave Abraham to her handmaid, Hagar, that Abraham might father a son through her. Hagar gave birth to a son, Ishmael. Ishmael would become the father of the Arab nations, but Abraham and Sarah were in for a big surprise as they looked adoringly at the son of their own planning. God informed them that Ishmael was not the son He had promised. Sarah, herself, would give birth to Abraham’s son within a year. Upon hearing this Sarah laughed, but God performed a miracle. The promised son was born, and at God’s direction he was named Isaac, meaning laughter. God specializes in impossible circumstances through which He can show Himself strong, and this is no laughing matter!

Priest Lake, Idaho

Priest Lake, Idaho

Joseph: from a Pit, to a Prison, to a Prince in a Palace!
Joseph was one of twelve sons born to his father, Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham. Jacob loved Joseph deeply because he was the son of his beloved wife, Rachel. Jacob played favorites when it came to his sons, showering Joseph with special honor and privileges. This did not sit too well with Joseph’s older siblings, who eventually hatched what they thought was a clever plan to get rid of their proud teenage brother once and for all. As a result of their jealous and heartless treatment, Joseph was thrown into a pit and left to die, his father being told he had been killed by wild beasts. This looked like an impossible situation for Joseph, but God wasn’t through with him just yet! God moved hearts and men, resulting in Joseph being sold into slavery in Egypt, where he eventually became a slave in the house of Potiphar, Pharaoh’s servant, serving him loyally. What was Joseph’s “reward” for all his hard work? He was falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife because he would not respond to her repeated sinful overtures. This landed Joseph in prison for many years. There was nothing he could do to help himself, so he waited on God and served faithfully even in prison. In time God vindicated Joseph, taking him out of the dingy prison, and putting him into a palace. Joseph rose to be second in authority only to Pharaoh in Egypt. Impossible! God not only honored Joseph, but He had a big surprise planned for Joseph’s brothers who had determined evil for him so many years earlier. Impossible circumstances sometimes lead to unique opportunities to display God’s glory.

Priest Lake, Idaho

Priest Lake, Idaho

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God Will Put You in Impossible Situations to Prove He is God

God loves impossible situations!

Elijah, God’s prophet, faced an impossible and discouraging situation. The people of Israel refused to follow God and worshipped idols despite His unfailing kindness to them. How did Elijah handle these thankless rebels? He trusted God and turned to Him in fervent prayer. God responded with a series of amazing miracles that proved He, alone, was the true God, and challenged the people of Israel to obey God’s Word.

A Lake in Montana

A Lake in Montana

Let’s consider another impossible situation from earlier in Israel’s history. God chose Abraham out of a pagan society and made a very important covenant with him. God asked Abraham to leave his country and family for a new land He would show him. Just imagine what a difficult thing God was asking Abraham to do. It was nearly an impossible challenge for Abraham, but he pulled up stakes and left his home in Ur of the Chaldeans, never turning back. God graciously blessed Abraham’s trust, declaring him to be righteous in His sight.

Now consider the children of Israel and another impossible situation in this timeline.

  • Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, twelve sons
  • A famine
  • Down to Egypt they go
  • They are led into slavery
  • After 400 years of slavery they cried to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliver, Moses
  • There was much talking by Moses and miracles showing Egypt God’s judgment for refusing to let His people go free.
  • Now they are free and traveling towards the good land of Israel as God promised

Then they arrived at to the Red Sea, facing another impossible situation

They were walled in on four sides:

  • Behind: the army of Egypt
  • In front: the Red Sea
  • On the left: mountains
  • On the right: mountains

So what could they do?

Multnomah Falls, Oregon

Multnomah Falls, Oregon

They cried to the Lord, and the Lord made a way through the Red Sea.
This is by means of another miracle led by Moses listening to God and following God’s command.

God’s people were griping and complaining while Moses was listening to God’s Word and depending on God’s grace.

God loves impossible situations!

God will always make a way through life’s challenges and difficulties if we believe Him, pray and trust Him.

Learn to pray through the rough situations that come your way and obey God.

God will put you in impossible situations to prove that He is God.

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Divine Purpose with Elijah

God has a purpose, a divine purpose resting behind every event in life. Many times we do not realize it till we look back and see God’s hand working, protecting and guiding us. Why did we meet this person, why did we end up at this church, at this fellowship, at this function in the body of Christ.

So now look at a few events in the Bible about Elijah.

Sea of Galilee, Israel

Sea of Galilee, Israel

It was not what Elijah did,  but who he was that is most significant. People love the story of the burnt sacrifice and how God proved that Jehovah is God. But the real significance of Elijah’s life and ministry is that he is a man who was available for whatever the Lord wanted to do. He followed The Lord, or to use a hard term for many “He Obeyed The Lord“. Elijah was a person what followed the Lord. Again not what he did, but that what he did was what the Lord was doing.

Even thought Elijah’s Prayer was wonderful, yet he is a person the Lord could use in any situation. Elijah prayed and the rain stopped, Elijah prayed and the rain came. The Lord could use him in any direction. Elijah could be used by God even when the direction or plans seem to change.

He did not stick to a program, but was available in many situations. I am not saying we should not have programs, but what if the Lord adjusts it or suspends it for a time, or sometimes terminates it?

Elijah is mentioned a few times in the New Testament, but not even mentioned in the great chapter on faith in Hebrews 11.

One day Jesus took a few disciples (Peter, James and John) to a high mountain, perhaps  it was mount Hermon in northern Israel.

Mount Bachelor, Oregon

Mount Bachelor, Oregon

And there appeared with Jesus two people from the Old Testament:  Moses and Elijah. These two represented the Law and the prophets. But why not Samuel, I always personally thought Samuel should be the top represented prophet, but God choose Moses and Elijah to appear with Jesus.

The two were talkng to Jesus, Luke says they were talking about Jesus’ death.

Then Peter had a “great idea”, no it was a “bad idea”. Peter wanted to build a great monument to all three people: Jesus, Moses ands Elijah.  So the Father started to speak from heaven saying “This is my son,  Hear Him“.  We should never get distracted from Jesus.

All these events and activities have a divine purpose. These all show we need to follow Jesus and not be distracted by other things. We need to follow Him.

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Martin Luther Rediscovers the Bible

In the 1500’s there were many men and women who helped to change the world, but none as much as the German monk-turned-professor Martin Luther. He helped reform Christian tradition by speaking against the many religious errors of his day and comparing them to what the Bible actually teaches.

Lake Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

One area was the doctrine of justification by faith and works. Luther taught that the Scriptures declare a sinner is justified by faith in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9) and not by works of penance. It is by grace that a believer is saved, plus nothing. Luther brought people back to what the Bible teaches, and not what traditions were teaching. That gracious salvation would lead to a changed life of good deeds, not the other way around.

Another problem that Luther wanted to fix was the medieval view of indulgences… a document Christians could buy which was supposed to pardon a person from the sins they had committed. Luther criticized this teaching because he believed it replaced the Biblical doctrine of repentance (1 John 1:9-10).

Another tradition Luther objected to was denying the authority of the Bible, by elevating religious traditions above the Old and New Testaments. Luther faithfully preached that the Bible, not the church, is the ultimate authority over matters of faith and life (Acts 5:29). Because the Bible was only allowed in Latin, an academic language, Luther chose to translate the Word of God into the German tongue so that any literate person in his land could read the Bible and learn its glorious message.

Lake Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Luther and his fellow Reformers also helped restore congregational singing, lay leadership, the sanctity of common work for the glory of God, and a renewed focus on the centrality of the gospel in every area of a Christian’s life. While Luther had real flaws, he played an undeniably important role in the development of theology and the church in the 16th century.

Lake Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

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Spurgeon and Prayer Time

Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) was a man of Bible study, prayer, preaching and teaching. It has been estimated that he preached to over 10 million people.

Idaho Sunset

Idaho Sunset

Spurgeon loved Bible study, prayer and preaching.

Here is a great quote on prayer from C.H. Spurgeon:  Of course the preacher is above all others distinguished as a man of prayer.  He prays as an ordinary Christian, else he were a hypocrite. He prays more than ordinary Christians, else he were disqualified for the office which he has undertaken.   

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Best Time To Pray – Mornings

The best time to pray is in the morning. Enjoy this short video on Prayer in the morning.

The Bible is a book that tells a story. The story the Bible tells is God’s story. So the Bible is not written by God as a theology book, it is written to tell a wonderful story.

So in the Morning enjoy reading God’s story. So enjoy this animation about morning prayer and Bible reading.

God loves morning prayer time. What a great time to pray and think about God, the source of our life. The Morning sets the direction for the day.

Little Spokane River and Reflections

Little Spokane River and Reflections

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Pray, and Let God Worry

Martin Luther (16th century monk) said “Pray, and let God worry“. Which means don’t worry, give the concern to God. He can handle it.   Paul in Philippians 4:6 said: “Don’t worry; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” 

Enjoy a short devotional video on “Pray, Let God Worry”

Little Spokane River Area

Little Spokane River Area

Anxiety never seems to go away.  Anxiety and worry seem to be part of life.

Here is a video in which I shared on this subject.

So we need to pray and turn towards the Lord by praying, reading the Bible, singing or listening to inspiring Bible music.

Little Spokane River Area

Little Spokane River Area

Sometimes we need to back off and focus on God. In the world there are problems but have faith in Jesus.

Pray and Let God Worry

Pray and Let God Worry

Don’t lose sight of Jesus.

Little Spokane River Area

Little Spokane River Area

In the gospels, Peter needed to keep his eyes on Jesus not the raging stormy waters.
Peter sank when he looked at the water.  He needed to get his vision and perspective back on Jesus.

In Matthew 6:33  Jesus said: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

Pray, and let God worry – Martin Luther

Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Hebrew 13: 5-6  be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Psalm 103:1-5, A Psalm of David

Psalm 103:1-5, A Psalm of David

Isaiah 30:15 For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel;
In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.

So Isaiah is saying you need to slow down and trust God, but some of us have a hard time doing this. Just trust in Jesus.

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God Designed the Universe

When you pray and think about God, consider God’s creation.

Priest Lake, Idaho

Lots of Colors at Priest Lake, Idaho

Consider the design in the universe from the mass, energy and structure of the stars, planets, gravity, and light. Consider the heavenly beauty both in visible light and invisible light like radio waves.

Priest Lake, Idaho

Light Reflections at Priest Lake, Idaho

Then consider the design and laws holding the atom and molecules together. Then consider living things like plants and animals, and how they live and reproduce.

Two Geese at Priest Lake, Idaho

Two Geese and family at Priest Lake, Idaho

He designed their beauty in a coded language in the tiny, small DNA molecules in the center of each cell. How could that tiny code with millions and billions of instructions describe a plant or animal.

Then consider how this God loves us and cares for us and how He answers prayer.

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God is Creative

God is creative, so we should be creative also – Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created… … …

Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach

 

Cannon Beach

Cannon Beach

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Prayer is Motivated by God

In Psalm 50:15 it says “and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me” Here God is motivating us to pray at any time especially when there is trouble. So God is encouraging us to pray. Sometime we do not feel like praying, we want to do something else. But it is so simple to pray, just say “God I come to you right now!”

Idaho Sunset

Idaho Sunset

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God’s Beautiful Landscape

Here is three pictures from our recent trip to Sandpoint, Idaho.

Looking North towards Sandpoint, Idaho

Looking North towards Sandpoint, Idaho

Looking North towards Sandpoint, Idaho

Looking North towards Sandpoint, Idaho

Looking North towards Sandpoint, Idaho

Looking North towards Sandpoint, Idaho

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Who Is In Control

Path at Little Spokane River

Path at Little Spokane River

“Rather than trying to maintain control over your life, abandon yourself to My will.”   This is a quote from one of my favorite devotionals Jesus Calling  that I read almost every morning for encouragement, spiritual nourishment and just get my day oriented to God. The devotional is available from Olive Tree for your smartphone, Mac or PC.

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God is the God Particle

So some wonder what holds the universe together.  Who enforces the laws of nature like gravity, electrical behaviors, electromagnetic waves like radio and microwave, the laws of light, mass and energy.   If the laws of nature were random, then we would expect hydrogen to behave different in the distant star than it does on earth.  Yet it behaves the same in weight, light spectrum emissions, and connectivity to other atoms (also called chemistry).  Hebrews 1:3 says By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. So God Himself is the God particle that holds the universe together.

Tree Colors in Spokane

Tree Colors in Spokane

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Little Town of Bethlehem

Luke 2:3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Merry Christmas

The Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, Israel

The Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, Israel

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Christmas Bible Video Animations

These are very simple animated Bible stories that relate to Christmas time, you can view them at DrewHaninger.com/video. The titles include: Awesome Morning Prayer Time, The Bible Overview in 29 Seconds, The Bible Overview in Two Minutes. I was inspired to produce these to help people get engaged with the Bible.

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Thanksgiving

Mount Bachelor, near Sun River, Oregon

Mount Bachelor, near Sun River, Oregon

The more we thank God for what He has done the better we relate to God, others and ourselves. 1 Chron 16:34 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;  for his steadfast love endures forever!

 

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God Created Sunsets

DSC_2347

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He Makes the Foundations of the Earth

When God is the one who made the foundations of the earth, why should we be anxious over anything. He is all powerful and almighty.  Who could be bigger or greater or stronger than God.   

Lakes on the Cascade Loop, Oregon

Lakes on the Cascade Loop, Oregon

Psalm 104  1 Bless Jehovah, O my soul. O Jehovah my God, thou art very great; Thou art clothed with honor and majesty:   2 Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment; Who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain;   3 Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters; Who maketh the clouds his chariot; Who walketh upon the wings of the wind;   4 Who maketh winds his messengers; Flames of fire his ministers;  5 Who laid the foundations of the earth, That it should not be moved for ever.

Priest Lake, Idaho

Priest Lake, Idaho

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Accepted by God

Ephesians 1:6  to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

Priest Lake, Idaho

Priest Lake, Idaho

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The King of Glory Rules

In Psalm 24 the phrase King of Glory is mentioned four times.

DSC_2805Lift up your heads, O you gates!
And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
The Lord mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, O you gates!
Lift up, you everlasting doors!
And the King of glory shall come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord of hosts,
He is the King of glory.
Selah

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Great Software, but it’s all about God

We have great software that uniquely enhances your ability to study the Bible, but when all is said and done, it’s not about our software. It’s about the magnificent Word of a mighty God, who desires to communicate truth to you that can change your life.

Vineyards in Israel

Vineyards in Israel

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Spokane River Sunset

Spokane River Sunset

Spokane River Sunset

Spokane River Sunset

Spokane River Sunset

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