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CROSSING STREAMS

You can cross streams the easy way (and be dry) or the hard way (and get soaking wet). It's amazing to me that we often choose the hard way over the easy way because, well, it just seems too good to be true.

So many people struggle through life trying to do it their way. Many are convinced they must follow a religion or lifestyle of doing good works and deeds in order to earn their way to heaven and God's grace. The sad thing is if they'd read their Bibles they would clearly see that even our very best attempts to prove our worthiness are as filthy rags before the Lord.

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6)

The "easy way" is to accept the Bridge Builder (Jesus) into your heart because He has already done all that one could possibly do on our behalf to get us safely to the other side. Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6)

Abrams Creek Bridge
Cades Cove, GSMNP
(c) Bryan Nowak

CROSSING STREAMS You can cross streams the easy way (and be dry) or the hard way (and get soaking wet). It's amazing to me that we often choose the hard way over the easy way because, well, it just seems too good to be true. So many people struggle through life trying to do it their way. Many are convinced they must follow a religion or lifestyle of doing good works and deeds in order to earn their way to heaven and God's grace. The sad thing is if they'd read their Bibles they would clearly see that even our very best attempts to prove our worthiness are as filthy rags before the Lord. All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags. (Isaiah 64:6) The "easy way" is to accept the Bridge Builder (Jesus) into your heart because He has already done all that one could possibly do on our behalf to get us safely to the other side. Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." (John 14:6) Abrams Creek Bridge Cades Cove, GSMNP (c) Bryan Nowak

WHEN PEACE GIVES WAY TO CHAOS

Have you been there? Your day is routine and smooth sailing then suddenly and unexpectedly everything drops out from under you and then chaos and turmoil ensues. The good news is that -- like this waterfall -- the calm generally returns even when it feels like life will never return to "normal." Yes, and sometimes we must adjust to a new normal.

The good news, if you can see beyond the fear and frustration of the moment, is that none of it took God by surprise. He is still Lord, Sovereign and in control. If you can trust Him in the calm then you should never doubt His faithfulness to you in the chaos.

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. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Abrams Falls
Great Smoky Mountains
(c) Bryan Nowak

WHEN PEACE GIVES WAY TO CHAOS Have you been there? Your day is routine and smooth sailing then suddenly and unexpectedly everything drops out from under you and then chaos and turmoil ensues. The good news is that -- like this waterfall -- the calm generally returns even when it feels like life will never return to "normal." Yes, and sometimes we must adjust to a new normal. The good news, if you can see beyond the fear and frustration of the moment, is that none of it took God by surprise. He is still Lord, Sovereign and in control. If you can trust Him in the calm then you should never doubt His faithfulness to you in the chaos. 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. (Proverbs 3:5-6) Abrams Falls Great Smoky Mountains (c) Bryan Nowak

[Jesus said] Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in... (Rev. 3:20)

Methodist Church
Cades Cove, GSMNP
(c) Bryan Nowak

#cadescove #church #greatsmokymountains #bluesky #methodist #door #historic #wood #tennessee #Jesus #stand #knock #voice #opens #scripture #bible

[Jesus said] Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in... (Rev. 3:20) Methodist Church Cades Cove, GSMNP (c) Bryan Nowak  #cadescove  #church  #greatsmokymountains  #bluesky  #methodist  #door  #historic  #wood  #tennessee  #Jesus  #stand  #knock  #voice  #opens  #scripture  #bible

MISPLACED PRIORITIES 
Have possessions or problems ever stolen the joy that Christ has for you? 
We build, we store, we fix, we forget... yes, those things which were once so important are but faded memories now. 
We worry, stress, moan and are consumed by trials and troubles over which we have no control... and we are robbed of the joy that God intends for us.

We need to take our eyes off the temporal and fix them on the eternal, understanding that the very best 24 hours on earth are no comparison to even one second in heaven.

Or perhaps you may consider this as an opportunity to be a blessing to others. For the physical gifts we give will eventually be lost or discarded but the love, time and personal investment we make in people's lives can influence generations.

Tell someone about the greatest love story in all of history (John 3:16) and their life can be forever changed. We were made for an eternity with Christ... beginning today, if you have never received His grace, forgiveness and salvation. I beg of you... choose Jesus!

2 Corinthians 4:18 
So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

Barn in Wears Valley, TN
© Bryan Nowak

MISPLACED PRIORITIES Have possessions or problems ever stolen the joy that Christ has for you? We build, we store, we fix, we forget... yes, those things which were once so important are but faded memories now. We worry, stress, moan and are consumed by trials and troubles over which we have no control... and we are robbed of the joy that God intends for us. We need to take our eyes off the temporal and fix them on the eternal, understanding that the very best 24 hours on earth are no comparison to even one second in heaven. Or perhaps you may consider this as an opportunity to be a blessing to others. For the physical gifts we give will eventually be lost or discarded but the love, time and personal investment we make in people's lives can influence generations. Tell someone about the greatest love story in all of history (John 3:16) and their life can be forever changed. We were made for an eternity with Christ... beginning today, if you have never received His grace, forgiveness and salvation. I beg of you... choose Jesus! 2 Corinthians 4:18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. Barn in Wears Valley, TN © Bryan Nowak

Spicebush Swallowtail

The interesting thing about a butterfly is that is was made to spread its wings and fly. It was not created to remain a caterpillar. Likewise, God did not create man to remain in his sinful state but to change/to transform with a renewed mind; one that is set on Christ and doing His pleasing and perfect will. Until we do, we remain trapped in a worm's body unable to be who God designed us to be and do what He intended us to do as His masterpiece of creation.

Do not conform 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 12:2 (c) Bryan Nowak

#butterfly #fern #spicebush #fly #wings #god #scripture #transform #change #renew #nature #jesus #christ #caterpillar

Spicebush Swallowtail The interesting thing about a butterfly is that is was made to spread its wings and fly. It was not created to remain a caterpillar. Likewise, God did not create man to remain in his sinful state but to change/to transform with a renewed mind; one that is set on Christ and doing His pleasing and perfect will. Until we do, we remain trapped in a worm's body unable to be who God designed us to be and do what He intended us to do as His masterpiece of creation. Do not conform 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 12:2 (c) Bryan Nowak  #butterfly  #fern  #spicebush  #fly  #wings  #god  #scripture  #transform  #change  #renew  #nature  #jesus  #christ  #caterpillar

LITTLE CABIN IN THE WILDWOOD
Noah "Bud" Ogle Homestead
Cherokee Orchard Rd
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
(c) Bryan Nowak

#cabin #ogle #cherokeeorchardroad #roaringfork #greatsmokymountains #nationalpark #tennessee #instagramtennessee #barn #spring #dogwood #tree #homestead #logcabin

LITTLE CABIN IN THE WILDWOOD Noah "Bud" Ogle Homestead Cherokee Orchard Rd Great Smoky Mountains National Park (c) Bryan Nowak  #cabin  #ogle  #cherokeeorchardroad  #roaringfork  #greatsmokymountains  #nationalpark  #tennessee  #instagramtennessee  #barn  #spring  #dogwood  #tree  #homestead  #logcabin