Saturday, December 16, 2017

Blue Christmas

Blue Christmas

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me,
for in you my soul takes refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed.
(Psalm 57:1)
This weekend I am thinking about people who are having a sad time during this Christmas and Holiday season. In the terms of Elvis, they are experiencing a Blue Christmas. My prayers are out there for those who have lost a loved one and will have an empty place at the dinner table, those who are out of work, the many with serious illnesses to name a few. There are too many reason to be sad to mention them all.
Some that I know who will read this include three who lost a loved one this year, a lady who just lost her job and an African lady without a job with a critically ill brother.
Also this year I want to pray for those throughout the world who were injured themselves or lost a loved one in an act of terrorism. Worldwide there are thousands of Christians as well as people in other faiths. There is no group that is untouched. It is a sad situation that needs our prayers.
As Christians we have a cause for joy; the celebration of Christ’s birthday .Our Jewish friends are lighting menorahs and celebrating Hanukkah. YES, experiencing joy! We all need to wear our smiles share our joy.     

Thought for Today: Let us take note of our sad feelings over the holidays. Let us recognize that they exist and pray about them. Turn them over to God so we can enjoy the celebration of Christ’s birth.

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father today we have special prayers for the holidays. We pray that the reminder of your presence brings trust and love to the world. We pray for people who have lost loved ones and are spending their first Christmas with an empty place at the table. We give thanks for the role that you play in our lives and the help you give us. Thank you for being available for us each and every day.


Saturday, December 9, 2017



"Blessed are they
whose transgressions are forgiven
whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the man
whose sin the Lord will never count against him.
(Romans 4 verse 7)

             When we truly believe, we will be at peace. Not because we have been perfect, but because we will know that we are forgiven through our faith. That is a powerful and moving statement. There are many moments in our lives that we have erred and perhaps are not proud of that memory.
            There are many twelve step programs and clinics full of people that have never let go of these memories. They are searching for peace. It will find them when they "...turn their will and their lives over to the care of God...”. That is an interesting thought.
             In our lives, we also have an obligation to turn these memories over to God. I.E. the expression: "Let go and let God". How do we accomplish that? Perhaps through the forgiving of those who have harmed us.
            Colossians 3:13 says "Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you".  When we learn to forgive others, we find it easier to accept the forgiveness we receive from God.

Thought for Today: Today, let us focus on the many positive things we accomplish, the people we help and the positive memories that we all appreciate. When a negative or remorseful memory comes to the forefront, let us stop a moment, pray and remember that God is forgiving.

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord, thank you for the opportunity to find grace and live in peace. Today, please help me focus on the positive things in my life and help me see the good in others.


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Day of Infamy


The LORD Almighty has sworn,
“Surely, as I have planned, so it will be,
   and as I have purposed, so it will happen.
(Isaiah 14:24)

            Today is a famous day described as a day of Infamy. It is one of the most famous days in the history of war. There are a lot of famous battles described in our history books, David and Goliath, Troy, Gettysburg…and more. I need to wonder and ask why. Most wars since WWII have been un-Godly nobody wins situations that do not seem to resolve anything. In fact, after the treaties are signed there has been as much tension as before and does not make a lot of sense to me.
            So where is God in all of this? What would Jesus do? How come both sides can think God is with them? These are great questions and I am not even going to try to answer them. I will refer them to Abraham Lincoln as he analyzed God’s presence in war.
            In Abraham Lincoln: A History by Nicolay and Hay, Lincoln is quoted: “The will of God prevails. In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be, wrong. God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time. In the present civil war it is quite possible that God’s purpose is something different from the purposes of either party—and yet the human instrumentalities working just as they do, are of the best adaption to effect His purpose…God wills this contest, and wills that it shall not end yet. …He could give final victory to either side any day. Yet the contest proceeds.”
            Today we need to remember Pearl Harbor, a day in infamy. We also need to pray for an end to all conflicts and terrorist acts, we need to contemplate world peace.

Thought for Today: Contemplate world peace.

Prayer for the Day: Dear Lord and savior today we are wondering where it will all end. Throughout history the world’s people have found ways to battle. Today we pray for some understanding as to your role in all of this. We pray for understanding so that we can represent your will in search for peace.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Invisible Qualities

Invisible Qualities

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities,
his eternal power and divine nature,
have been clearly seen,
being understood from what has been made,
so that men are without excuse.
(Romans 1vs. 20)

            This is a very busy time of the year. There are next year’s budgets at home and at work, the snow needs to be shoveled (for us northerners!), and increased activity at church, holiday parties and all the holiday sports tournaments are added to our month’s activities. It is easy to get caught up in all the human activity and leave our spirituality behind: Merry Christmas.
            It is interesting that activity surrounding Christ’s birthday celebration may often deprive us of the time to meditate and appreciate the wonders of his gifts. It is a glorious time of the year, full of memories of our youth and the excitement of growing closer to our families. Where is God in all of this?
            First and foremost, God is with us; even when we are too busy to be conscious of His presence. His “…invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature” are available to us all, every day. All days are not created equal! We all have our ups and downs. On those days when we are out of touch, where is the Lord? He is exactly where we left Him, waiting to support us.

Thought for Today: This week we are faced with the holiday activities that are added to the norm. It is a blessed time of the year. Let us focus on being sure that we bring the Lord with us every day. Yes, He can go shopping, to a youth Holiday tournament, to a business meeting or any place we will take Him. This week let us silently recognize His presence through meditation and prayer.

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord and Father, today we thank you for the gift of grace received through your son Jesus. We are blessed this time of year through the memories of his life and the celebration of his birth. We give thanks for your presence in our lives and the ability to reach out to you when we are stressed.


Saturday, November 25, 2017

Expressing Yourself!

Expressing Yourself

The only thing that counts
is faith expressing itself through love.”
(Galatians 5 vs. 6)

            As Christians we need to demonstrate our goodness every day in every event. That does not mean walking around handing out roses hugging everyone we see. That would scare a lot of people off if we did it!!
Therefore there must be another way.
            Greeting people in biblical times included a hug, a cheek kiss and sometimes water to wash off dusty feet and cool their head. I am pretty sure that if we did that people would be uncomfortable also. Times have changed over 2000 years. However, expressing our faith through love still works.
            There are simple things that we may do that will help and see the effect immediately. When you open a door for someone, make eye contact and smile; they will almost always smile back and seem more relaxed. When in public we often see a crying child with a frustrated mom. Don’t look away or walk away! Try to make eye contact and wave to the child; say something nice. Inevitably if you do, both the mom and child will relax. You would have expressed love in a simple way.
            In photos and movies Jesus is generally portrayed with piercing loving eyes; often a stare. No one really knows if that is a truism but it works. We are supposed to be the light of the world we can be through simple acts of consideration and love!

Thought for Today: Today let’s smile at people and see the difference is makes; they will be more comfortable with us!

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, today I pray that I may demonstrate your love and my faith through my behavior toward others. I pray that I shine your light brightly.


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving (An American Tradition)

"As therefore you received Christ Jesus the Lord,
so live in him, rooted and built up in
him and established in the faith,
just as you were taught,
abounding in thanksgiving
(Colossians 2:6-7)

            June and I are especially thankful for a family running event we started in 1990, now called the Turkey Day 5K. Each year we are tearfully proud when 10,000 plus runners (17,500 in 2016), walkers, pets and wheel chair participants enjoy their Thanksgiving morning in downtown Minneapolis.(…and Chicago, Boise, Miami and Phoenix) As an aside, but probably more important, will be the contributions of food and hard cash that will be received by the Second Harvest food shelf. We both feel blessed that the Lord gave us the inspiration start this event and placed people in our path who have made it special.
             Thanksgiving is the traditional start of what we call the holiday season. While giving thanks we must be aware and focus on the good rewarding parts of our lives; on the positive.

I like the way H. Norman Wright put it:
"Thanksgiving is not to be limited to only the times when we are aware of blessings. Let us give thanks even when we have a problem to solve, when there are difficulties to be met.  At these times, we give thanks to God for unconditional love and goodness, for unlimited wisdom and abundance. When we give thanks continually, we are rejuvenated- spirit, mind and body."
    Let us hold those thoughts and be thankful for all of our blessings.
Thought for Today: Let us focus on giving thanks to God for the love we have for each other and the support we both give and receive.
Prayer for Today: Dear Lord and Father, this week we give you thanks for our friends, our families and our troubles. Yes, we give you thanks for our financial crises, our family stress and the ripples in our personal seas of tranquility. Through our troubles we learn to pray and appreciate the many blessings that seem greater when compared with the ripples of life. We give you thanks for our lives, your love and your Grace.

Sunday, November 19, 2017


Standing on the promise of Christ my King,
Through eternal ages let his praises ring;
Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God.”
(Promises verse 1)
(written by R. Kelso Carter 1849-1926) 

            This is one of June’s favorite Hymns that covers a lot of issues in our lives. What do we stand for? What is the promise? They are simple questions that I will over simplify today.
            First, we stand for ethical Christian behavior that will benefit ourselves and everyone around us. We stand for living by following the Ten Commandments. Examples of being good are needed in our world and we are designated to show our stuff!
            Second, the promise is Grace; given to us by Christ when he died on the cross. We want to think there are more promises than that. When we need more money, more self-control, more time; more …etc! Somehow we feel deserving. We want what we want when we want it! We already have what we need; Grace!

We need to show off, stand for our faith!

Thought for Today: Today let us stand out in the crowd; stand for our Christian beliefs.

 Prayer for Today: Dear Lord and father, we find it easy to sit and watch. Today we pray for the opportunity and courage to stand up and be counted in your name.