Badlands

20150703_170659-cDonna and I really enjoy driving trips. Most of the time, we simply take day trips to nearby scenic or historic destinations, thus saving on the expense of overnight accommodations. But over the 4th of July weekend this year, we splurged and enjoyed a weekend getaway to western South Dakota. We traveled 1,435 miles in 3 days, saw spectacular scenery, and met some interesting folks.

Our home for two nights was the Triangle Ranch Bed & Breakfast in Philip, SD. And, while the address is technically associated with the city of Philip, the reality is that Triangle Ranch is not actually near anything. Its secluded locale was a large part of the charm; but we found the beautiful house, which is an original Sears house ordered from the 1917 Sears & Roebuck catalog, to provide as much charm as any house could. Simply put, it’s amazing.

Another charming feature of staying at a bed & breakfast is meeting people from various geographic locations. Making such acquaintances doesn’t happen so easily at the larger chain hotels. Among the folks we can now call friends were Kenny and Lyndy, the 3rd generation owners of Triangle Ranch. Our mutual faith in Jesus Christ immediately surfaced in our conversation and there’s always a special warmth that goes along with meeting a brother and sister in the Lord.

We also met people from Dallas, Kansas City, and Indianapolis. When meeting new people, the conversation will, of course, drift to that most timeless ice-breaker question: “what do you do?” On this particular trip, instead of answering that question with lengthy details of my employment in manufacturing, I answered with, “we write for a new blog.”

This, of course, leads to dialogue about the Christ-centered intent of our blog. And two things became apparent to me; one – people are genuinely fascinated with blogs and perk up when you mention you write one; and two – when I bring up that I am a Christian, people invariably tell me about their spiritual life, or lack thereof. The conversation was no different this time around.

Why? Why do people tend to tell me about their current spiritual state and/or spiritual history when I bring up my Christianity? I think we need look no further than Romans 1:19-20 for the answer: “They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.”

So when the subject of Jesus is raised, people start talking because there is real power in Christ. Because people know, deep down in their hearts, that there really is a God, and because, while they might manage to ignore the fact most of the time, when it comes up in conversation something very real is triggered within. And now that you have read this far, and the subject of Christ has come up, I want to pose the question: what is your current spiritual state? What has been triggered deep within your soul? Are you right with God or is there something nagging at you?

If you feel a sense of something that needs to be set right, you’re certainly not alone. The Bible says that we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That’s me, you, the pope, all of us. But God has solved the sin problem for us: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) and “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2).

There is forgiveness and grace through faith in Jesus. And that forgiveness is yours if you will just reach out to the God who created you. May you now find renewal in His endless love and mercy!

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