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.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Marriage Again

Marriage Again

"A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value."
(Proverbs 31:10, 11)

Many times it has been stated that marriage is the world’s toughest job. Let me quote from The Mystery of Marriage by Mike Mason.
            “Marriage, even under the best of circumstances, is a crises; one of the major crises
of life. It is a dangerous thing not to be aware of this. Whether it turns out to be a healthy,
challenging and constructive crises or a disastrous nightmare depends largely upon how willing
the partners are to be changed, how malleable they are."
            "Crises" seems a bit extreme to me, but certainly marriage is a great opportunity for the
fulfillment of life and it certainly is not without its "opportunities" for either success or failure. A marriage blessed by God, one in which the partners have allowed God's love to grow in their
relationship is one of the world’s greatest experiences.

June and I have been blessed.

Thought for Today: We are facing many distractions in our daily lives; work, busy
schedules, terrorism, war, and financial issues are some. This week let us look at our primary
relationships. Let us focus introspectively, up close. Let us understand that when things are fine
in our relationships, the outside problems seem less intense.  Basically, let's focus on our loves.

Thursday, July 27, 2017


Marriage 49th

" A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value."
(Proverbs 31:10,11 )

Tomorrow, July 28, 2017, June and I will celebrate our 49th wedding anniversary. We were married on her 30th birthday. She has been a blessing to me and I often refer to her as being the light at the end of my tunnel. She helped escort me from my dark period of the 60’s into something better- that seems to be still growing. Forty nine years is a long time and it was not all romance and happy times. There was alcohol treatment, recovery, career moves and stress, the challenges of raising four children and just living with Bob who does not always make sense!
           I often discuss the many wonderful benefits of a good marriage: the great mutual support, the care when illness arrives, the mutual celebrations of the many events that occur. Yes, marriage is truly a great institution when things are well and blessed by God.

Thought for Today: Today let’s keep it simple and enjoy our significant other and those others around us.

Prayer for the Week: Heavenly Father, today we give thanks for the people that you have placed close to us in our lives. We pray that as this week progresses, we can share our love with friends, family and others who we meet. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

At Peace

At Peace

You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you
(Isaiah 26 vs. 30)

            Perfect Peace. Is that something we dream about? It is not in my case. Most of my dreams seem to be about troubles, potential troubles and past experiences. I often wonder what negative and scary dreams mean. Am I being punished? Is my faith weak? Are there unwholesome thoughts imbedded in my subconscious? Or simply was it too darn much sugar in that fudge brownie I ate after dinner! It could be all of the above.
            It seems that I have come close to mastering peace in my awake hours. On the golf course the water ball, the errant drive and the fourth putt don’t seem important any more. The red lights and traffic jams do not even seem to bother me when I am driving. When I am awake, my focus on positive feelings and having a great day are at the forefront. Life is good, darn good.
            Recently in the comics there was a cartoon regarding the patience that we develop as we grow older. It mentioned how things that bothered us in our youth don’t seem as important as they once were. I like to think we seniors have matured and have put things in perspective. The punch line in the cartoon was “maybe we just don’t give a darn anymore.” I assure you that is not the case.
            One of Webster’s definitions of “steadfast” is ‘extremely steady and loyal.” The prophet Isaiah is telling us that a strong faith rewards us with peace in our hearts. If you are reading this I suspect that you are blessed with and have a strong faith and are at peace.

Thought for Today: Today let’s be steadfast and positive in our search for peace.

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord, today we pray for a positive attitude as we deal with our activities. We pray that we may contribute to the peace of those around us in your name.

Saturday, July 15, 2017


Live for the future

Brothers and sisters,
I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind
and straining toward what is ahead,
Philippians 3 verse 13

I about an hour a 37 year old Venus Williams will play in the Wimbledon tennis finals. In response to how she did it with all the distractions in her life, her answer prompted me to write! She said that she looks toward the future rather than dwelling on the past! That is a great way to live!

Here is a summary of her major issues: In September 2003 her half-sister and personal assistant was murdered. In 2011 she was diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome an auto immune disease. Last month she was in a fatal car crash in which a 79 year old man died. That is all heavy stuff.

We have all experienced events in our lives that we can dwell on. We can become depressed. A member of the retirement class at age 77, I admit it is hard to focus on the future. This week I spent time with my team of doctors working on an auto immune issue and my annual physical. Frankly I am not what I used to be but “I yam what I yam.” (Thanks Popeye). There is a future.

Thought for today: Focus on your future, live for today and for a better tomorrow! The lord is with you!

Prayer for Today: Dear lord and Father, thank you for the past, the events that have made me what I am today. We pray for a bright future with ultimate prize of everlasting life.