Saturday, January 19, 2019

A Special Day for MLK

In the USA we honor this great man. We are reminded yearly of his mission.

 MLK Day
“It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me,”
But it can keep him from lynching me,
And I think that’s pretty important.
Martin Luther King

            There are many quotes from the great Martin Luther King and when I researched them I picked the one above because I had not heard it before. It does not make a great philosophical statement, there is not a spiritual or social justice meaning; it is a simple truth. Living and having the right to pursue freedom always needs to be protected.
            Other quotes by MLK have deeper meaning, spiritually and are more often used. Below are the ones that seem to be popular in the media:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.
"Strength To Love," Martin Luther King, Jr.

One that I personally like is:

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

And as Christians we need to demonstrate that we have the faith, we need to always take the first step.

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord, today we do not pray for forgiveness of the past discrimination and separatist social acts of our forefathers. We need to accept them and move forward. Today we pray for the guidance and will to contribute to peace and acceptance through Jesus love.

Friday, January 11, 2019


"God is not unjust; he will not forget your work
and the love you have shown him
( Hebrews 6; 10)

       In twelve step programs, there is a reading called "How It works". It recognizes that the program is to develop "spiritual growth not perfection". We all tend to get into that perfect mode; perfect mom, perfect dad, perfect employee and the list goes on. Obviously, each of us falls short of perfection.
        In our daily lives, we make mistakes. We could count them weekly and judge ourselves as failures. The only one of us that does not make mistakes probably does nothing. Many people work their way into depression by counting their failures.
        In our spiritual lives it is not any different. We all have made mistakes and will continue to be less than perfect. We may feel bad or judge ourselves rather severely. However, "God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown...". We must remember that as we walk the walk.
Thought for Today: Today we will fail again at being perfect. Let us try to focus on the good that we do, the encouragement that we give others and the love we have in our hearts. That will help us have a great week.
Prayer for Today: Dear Lord and Father, there is scary and awful news every day. Often we forget your love because of worry and concern. Today we pray that we may focus on your understanding and caring love. We pray for the opportunity to demonstrate and share your love with others.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

New Year's Goals

"Not that I have already obtained all this,
or have already been made perfect,
but I press on to take hold of that
for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Brothers, 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, I press on toward the goal to win the prize
for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
(Phillipiens3:12-14; NIV)
        Happy New Year. For the next few weeks the athletic clubs will be filled with "New Years Resolutionists". Diet programs will come and go, self –improvement books will be purchased or at least the dust will be blown from last year’s cover! Does that sound familiar? Yes, we all have had a few resolutions fall by the wayside.         I do not know if Paul wrote the above on New Year’s Eve but it is appropriate. Many of us have new goals today: weight, fitness, financial goals etc. Paul is asking us to look at our spiritual goals. "...Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize.”

Hold that thought as you proceed through the New Year.
Thought for Today: Let us look ahead rather than behind. Let us look ahead at the opportunities in our lives. This year let us practice Christian ethics and life style in all phases of our lives and by all means share our faith with others.
Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father as this New Year begins please hear our prayer for serenity:
"God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference."

Friday, December 28, 2018


  "For by the grace given me I say to every one of you:
Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought,
but rather think of yourself with sober judgment,
in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
(Romans 12:3)

            Christmas has past and we all were caught up in the materialism of it all at some level. The advertising, the gift giving, the holiday cards all tend to lead us away from the real meaning of it all. It is not about the gifts that were given and received by people. 
            Earlier this year we read about the gifts that God gave us.  Paul’s letter to the Romans has a very special meaning. When reading further through verse 9, God's many gifts to us are listed. It is important to understand God's gifts to us and recognize which of gifts we were given. We need to understand where we fit in God's world and how to apply His gifts in our lives. These are the gifts that really matter- They are not advertised on TV or in the news paper. They are given to us by Him to use. We reviewed some on December 5th through 9th. We need to think about them all between now and the New Year.
Thought for Today: As we approach the New Year, let us think about who we are and what gifts God has given us. Let us learn to use these gifts to make our lives and the lives of others better.
Prayer for Today: Dear Lord, at this time of the year, self improvement always seems to be an objective. Each year I focus on "my improvement" and sometimes do not recognize the tasks you may have set forth for me. I pray that this will be the year that "my improvement" is accomplished by recognizing your gifts to me and finding a way to do your work with them.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Joy to the World

Joy to the World

Joy to the World, the Lord has come"

        There are a lot of one liners that can be taken from Christmas carols. The opening of "Joy to the World" says it all to me. It summarizes our Christian lives; lives of joy through the forgiveness of our faith and our Christian peers. Let us all feel the joy of the season, the love for each other and keep our faith strong throughout the season.

With blessings, have a great Christmas. 

Friday, December 21, 2018

Midnight Clear

Midnight Clear

“It came upon a midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
“Peace on the earth, good will to all, from heaven’s gracious King”
The world in solemn stillness lay,
To hear the angels sing.”
(Methodist Hymnal 218)
Words by Edmund H. Sears, 1849

            Living in Minnesota the idea of clear air at midnight on a sub-zero evening is a great set up to think peaceful thoughts. I was just outside in that setting and the amazing feeling of quiet, beauty, freshness and the wonders of the evening seem endless.
            The stars are so bright that I wonder why we need the Hubble telescope. The freshness of the air was tremendous. It makes me feel like cold air has more oxygen; it was almost intoxication. The feeling of the air on my face must have increase the blood flow to my cheeks and felt great. It brought back memories of days spent sledding with my friends many years ago. Yes, God has created a great place for us.
            This is a beautiful time of year and the beauty, stillness, invigorating atmosphere is a gift for us all. It is easy to sense how the three wise men must have felt while following that star many years ago. Luke put it this way:
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel,
Praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
   and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
(Luke 2 vs. 13, 14)

Thought for Today: We live in a wondrous world, let us enjoy it, appreciate it and protect it.

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, today we give thanks for our worldly blessings and the bountiful lives have through you.

Friday, December 14, 2018



Be joyful always;
 pray continually;
 give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5 vs. 16-18

            The Christmas is a joyful time. The joy of the celebration generally pushes the stress and negativity into the background. A friend recently commented that he wanted to bottle up the holiday spirit for later use.  He needs to learn that the bottle he needs is the bible on his bookcase. The bible is more than a bottle; it is a large jug of joy. A drink a day will keep miseries away and you can take as many drinks as you want!  
            Ok, so that’s enough analogy for today! If you are reading this devotional you know where to go when in you are in need. You know to seek out a spiritual mentor, a sponsor or even to grab your favorite prayer guide and pray. That is truly what spirituality is all about; having the faith to snatch joy from the heat of the moment rather than getting bogged down in negativity.

Thought or Today: Today and throughout the holiday season, let us shed the stress, pray for the moment and find the joy.

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, today we ask that we may find the joy and spirit of the holiday season. We ask so that we may share it with others.