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The Great Deception

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Not everybody trusts paintings but people believe photographs.” – Ansel Adams

Well, even the famous Ansel Adams magically tweaked his photographs. The photo you see here was actually taken during the day and I added the night sky and mood in order to bring a sense of realism.

You shouldn't believe everything you see any more than you should believe everything you read.

Jesus said to them: "Watch out that no one deceives you." (Mark 13:5)

For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. (Mark 13:22)

Even Christians can be deceived/fooled if they are not regularly in God's Word, studying together with other believers, and having an active part in a faith community. If you don't know the Word then you will fall for smooth talking, false teachings that will lead you astray and far from God's will.

How can you know deceptive words. The last book of the Bible gives us the answer in a warning.

I warn e…

Run, Forrest, Run!

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If you saw the movie Forrest Gump then you'll remember the scene where young Forrest is being taunted and chased by bullies and he takes off running, freeing himself from the literal shackles of medical equipment that was attached to his legs.

When we were in Yellowstone National Park in 2011 we were photographing this grizzly when a loud noise spooked it from a time of quiet grazing and digging... and it ran. I had never seen a grizzly run so fast. You can see the dirt and mud flying up behind this bear. It's not a great shot because I was not prepared to shoot at that speed, but you get the point -- this bear was hauling!

Like Forrest Gump and this grizzly, there ought to be things in our life from which we hit the gas and fling mud behind us as we high-tail it out of sight. In the New Testament we read:

Flee from sexual immorality. (1 Corinthians 6:18)

Flee from idolatry. (1 Corinthian 10:14)

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil... flee from all this. (1 Timoth…

Don't be a Grouse!

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God adorned this grouse with the perfect camouflage for hiding among the grasses in Yellowstone to evade detection from predators. We too can find ourselves looking like our environment, our culture, our coworkers and neighbors. As Christians we can look just like everyone else and go undetected as being "different." However, God did not save you to go into hiding. He desires for you to be witnesses of His saving grace.

The King James Version Bible translation reads:

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9)

Peculiar might have some negative connotations, but in actuality it means "a people for God's own possession, dedicated, consecrated, a purchased people, or people who belong to God." Christians are not like everyone else. We are special and set apart and ought to live like it, showing forth pr…

Be Wise

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For thousands of years, from Ancient Greek legend to modern literature and TV, humans have portrayed owls as sage and wise. The wise owl appears in everything from The Iliad to Winnie the Pooh. But, it turns out, though they’re excellent hunters, owls probably aren’t any smarter than a lot of other birds.

Many people consider themselves wise in their own eyes or according to the world's standards, but God's ways are much higher. In fact, one must acknowledge their total lack of understanding before they can become teachable by God and truly wise. The Bible tells us:

Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. (1 Corinthians 3:18)

So, what does it mean to be wise? How do I live as a wise person?

1. First, know and do that which is good. A bank teller can quickly detect a counterfeit bill, not because they've studied bad currency but because they authentically know the real dea…

Arguing with God

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I encountered this unique moment in Yellowstone a few years ago with a hawk and eagle flying together. Believe it or not, there are two verses in the Bible (also together) that mention these two beautiful birds, and they were spoken by God to a man named Job, and He begins with the question...

"Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them." (Job 38:2-3)

When God tells you to brace yourself like a man, you can bet He's going to speak hard truth into your life. And it should be understood upfront that you will NOT win an argument with God. Job was in a very bad place in his life and questioned God's wisdom and actions, so God began to ask Job many questions for which he had no answers, including the following...

"Is it your wisdom that makes the hawk soar and spread its wings toward the south? Is it at your command that the eagle rises to the heights to make …

The Path with a Heavenly View

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The path leading up to Trout Lake is short but very steep. Between the high elevation and arduous incline, it's difficult to make it to this body of water without a rest stop or two. But once you arrive, the path around the lake is a scenic wonder. And it your timing is just right, perhaps you'll see some otters dining on freshly caught trout.

There is only one path that will take you to this heavenly location. Likewise, there is only one path that will take you to heaven.

Show me the right path, O Lord. (Psalm 25:4)

And in case you need further assistance getting started on that right path, Jesus said...

"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through Me." (John 14:6)

Trout Lake
Yellowstone National Park

On Wings Like Eagles

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We find encouragement in God's promise to us that those who trust in God, young or old, will find NEW strength and enable us to keep the course laid out before us. It is not a physical strength of and by ourselves but rather measured out generously by the everlasting Creator of all the earth.

Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. 

Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:28-31)

Are you soaring like an eagle or strutting like a turkey? If you're strutting like you're something, then one day you will become weak, tired, exhausted and powerless. Trust in the Lo…