Saturday, September 16, 2017

School Days!

School Days!

"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters..."
(Psalms 23:1-2).
    In the 40's and 50's, public school in Massachusetts always started with the 23rd Psalm, the Lord's Prayer and the salute to the Flag. Wow, by today's standards, that is powerful stuff. Let us take a look at this and see if we can apply it to our lives today.
        The first two lines above, lead us to tranquility. Faith will take care of our wants and lead us to that inner peace we desire and lead us to the restful place beside still waters.  
"He refreshes and restores my life;
He leads in the paths of righteousness
for His namesake"
There are always periods when things in our lives need rebuilding. There are temptations to take the easy way. These verses point out that the way to get out of the "dumps" is to follow Him.
"Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff to comfort me."
(Psalm 23:4).
The Psalm points out that the Lord is with us and will guide and support us throughout our lives.
    Yes, today our lives get filled with stress. As Christians we are given wonderful tools to work with in our daily lives. The more we let God lead us, the more we will be at peace.

Thought for Today: Let us read the 23rd Psalm and accept the help that God has available to us as we move forward. It will be a big help in locating those still waters we all seek.

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, many times stress builds up in our lives. It is a combination of hurts, anger and resentments kept hidden inside of ourselves. I pray that when this occurs, I find a way to let you help and can accept the guidance, protection and support promised through our Christian faith.  

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Peace Together

Peace Together

“Remain in me, as I also remain in you.”
(John 15 vs. 4)

            Often people tell me they are no longer interested in organized religion The ritual, rules, money and work did not do it for them; shame on them and shame on their church. There are others that change churches often searching for something they never quite find. They are sad and typically don’t know what they are after.
In general those described above are less than happy in their lives.
            Jesus message is clear, He is with us always. When we are searching and restless the ball is in our court; we are the problem. These are the times that we are out of touch with the Holy Spirit; not taking the time to open our hearts. When we are spiritually down and out, we need to look at ourselves first.
            There was a song in the 50’s that said, “…open up your hearts and let the sun shine in.” We need to allow the Lord in so that we may find peace together.

Thought for Today: Today let us open our hearts to the Lord. Let’s find peace with Him.

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord, today we thank you for being with us; joining us on our walks, at work, in our cars and in all phases of our day. Today we pray that we may stay in touch with you under all conditions.


Sunday, September 3, 2017

Do It!

Do It

“Never tire of doing what is right.”
(1 Thessalonians 3:13)

            One of my Pickeringisms is that there are two types of people in the world; givers and takers. That is certainly a gross oversimplification I use to describe humanity. It came from my sales and business training and has overflowed into my teachings on living.
            In business I was taught to watch for those who would want to win at any cost; those who would think they were climbing a corporate ladder rather than building a pyramid of support. On a ladder you step on the rungs as you climb and often the ladder breaks. In the pyramid you build a base wide and tall as you move forward and up. I like that.
            It Christian life there are also givers and takers. We are all people in need and the level of that need is relative. Often our needs vary from year to year, decade to decade. When June and I were raising four children we were active in our Christian family. However, we often needed love and support from our peers. I feel there were times when we took a bit more than we gave; emotionally and financially.
            Today we are in what I think of as the elder mode; we have more time and the children’s educations have been paid. Today we give more than we take. That gives us a much warmer and more rewarding feeling.
Both being a taker and a giver in the Christian sense is OK. You see, if there were not people in need, there would not be anyone to give to and that would be a conundrum.
            Paul’s message says never tire of doing what is right; my experience is that when you are doing what is right you will not get tired! OOPS- is that a Pickeringism?

Bless you all for being my friends.

 Thought for Today: Today let us live as good Christians. If we need support let us accept it without guilt and recognize that we have made the giver feel good. If we are givers, let us give freely where there is need.

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord, today we pray for those in need. Whether the need is great or small, physical or emotional, we pray that we recognize it and give them support in your name.


Sunday, August 27, 2017



For it was you who formed my inward parts;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
(Psalm 139 vs. 13 & 14)

            The lord works in strange ways. As I write these epistles I never know what will come next. Sometimes it is from an outside source placed before me during the week. This is one of those occasions and it is close to plagiarism!
            A pastor and Good News buddy retired after 39 years serving the local community. In September of 2009 he wrote, “Everybody is Somebody-including you and me.” We know that we are all winners because the Lord is with us. Pastor Mike said it a in a similar way that reinforces the thought. Below is a key paragraph from Mike:

            “…My theology and values are centered on the conviction that because we are created in the image of God, each of us is valued and has deep within us the potential to reflect the goodness and beauty of our Creator. Therefore, being of Norwegian or German descent, African or Korean, tall or short, gay or straight, rich or poor is not a determining factor in our worth as a human being. We are valued because we are created in the image of God.”

            My thanks to Pastor Mike.

Thought for Today: Today we will have battles we do not expect. With God’s help, let us be winners no matter which way the battle turns out! Plus: We have the parts and the image to be of value. Enjoy.

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord, today we give thanks for who and what we are; your image here on earth.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Pleasant Temptations

Pleasant Temptations

"Blessed is the man that endures temptation,
for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life,
which the Lord has promised to those that love Him."
(James 1:12)
            In the words of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale," Temptation is the urge to do or say something wrong, something contrary to the will of God and the law of Christ. Temptation often comes in pleasant and seductive form and the mind always attempts to rationalize it to make it seem right." That certainly hits home for us. We face it every day.
            Throughout our lives we are given the opportunity to choose, the correct path or the wrong path. The opportunistic path from the Godly path. None of us has always chosen the right path, the path that follows the law of Christ. We have all crossed that line and felt the remorse, the guilt or the doubt that follows. Yes, admit it, you just are not quite perfect.
           It is common for us to hold on to the memories that we have of the times when we slipped and took temptation. Often this sorrowful thinking leads to a bad self-image or a sub conscious guilt that affects our lives. Working with others for the last 25 years, June and I have seen people turn their lives around by accepting the concept of "spiritual growth" and making amends to those that they have harmed.
 We are not perfect, but when we are growing spiritually, we feel good about ourselves and turn down the temptations that confront us in our daily lives. The secret of success is spiritual growth through prayer and daily meditation.
Thought for Today: In our personal lives there are many temptations; ways to cheat, subtle dishonesty, procrastination, lust etc. We all have the opportunity break the law of Christ. This week, let us be conscious of these opportunities. Let us note our wise decisions and give thanks for the spirituality and maturity that gets us through the week.

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, our world is a very confusing place. Religious wars and terrorism abound. Neighbors use their version of God to discriminate against others. Within our society, there are many opportunities for us to help. This week we pray that we will recognize that part of our lives. We pray that we may find opportunity to help bring peace and love. We pray for the time to counter act the fear and hate in our world.

Sunday, August 13, 2017


Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,
 as working for the Lord, not for men,
 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.
It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
 (Colossus 3:23-27)

            Earlier I wrote about my “Pickeringism” that all days are not created equal. Here is another example. There are days that we are full of boundless energy and others when we are as flat as pancakes. However, these feelings are mental, physical and emotional states. They do not have an effect on our hearts, just on our performance or output.
            As a long term weekend athlete, there have been too many days when only the heart showed up for the workout; the arms, legs and head wanted to go back to bed. There were also many days when that’s how the day started but when it ended, the performance was in the excellent range.
            One of my best friends and a four time Olympic qualifier relates to this. Pat has trained every day of his life and he can relate to the fact that the heart and head lead the body often, “… work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord,” and you will be rewarded with excellence. Excellence starts with belief in yourself and in the Lord. The rest will follow.
Thought for Today: Today let us remember that “All days are not created equal”. On the day that we want to go back to bed, let us trust our heart and move out. Let us take the leap of faith and give ourselves the chance to exhibit the excellence that God wants us to share.
Prayer for Today: Dear Lord we give you thanks for your ongoing presence in our lives. When we are physically worn you help us recover. When emotionally drained you recharge our spirits. We give thanks that you are always with us.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Rule Number !

Rule Number 1

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,
as working for the Lord, not for human masters,
since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.
 It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
(Colossians 3:23-24)

            It is nice to be what I call “somewhat retired.” That is to be busy but to have more choices than I used to have. I.E. My choice this morning is to write and go to church instead of swimming laps. This morning I choose to work for the big boss.

Early in my engineering career I had a boss who had the following sign on his wall:

“Rule number One-The boss is always right.
Rule number 2- When the boss is wrong see rule number one.”

Exactly who did he think he was? I will share that he was a real controller and task master. I want to apply his words to our lives because I believe the sign was correct when we consider our God the boss!

            Many of our Good News buddies have young families, two careers and an activities schedule for the family. In one of my family units my daughter has two jobs, the husband one and two active teenage students. Life seemed easier when June and I had our four, or maybe we were younger and could juggle more balls in the air. Either way, there was more than once that we lost track of the real boss. There were coaches, sales managers, the tax man and the list seems endless. Somehow it all fell into place.

In our history and in your future and especially today, the BOSS is always right! It is our choice on a daily basis to decide who is boss; “…as working for the Lord.”

Thought for Today: Today will be what we golfers call a “gimmie.”  A total violation of the rules of golf, not putting the ball in the hole. Life really does not give us many gimmies either so I am wrong. There will be challenges; stress and we will run out of time. Today let us meet the challenges and remember who we are and what we are working for through Jesus.