Friday, November 9, 2018

Global Peace

Global Peace

"Whatever you have learned or
received or heard from me,
or seen in me—put it into practice.
And the God of peace will be with you."
(Philippians 4:8 & 9)
One hundred years ago today World War one ended with the signing on an Armistice. It was referred to the war to end all wars. I am sure that we all wish they were correct! If we could vote for peace there would probably not be any Red or Blue States…at least I hope peace would carry all fifty states. In a way, each of us does have a vote!      
 There are over 300 million people in America and billions worldwide. As individuals we are not statistically significant overall. But we all know that statistics can be manipulated and are often misrepresented. Certainly within our Christian faith, each of us is significant to God. In many of Paul’s letters he advised that "God will be with you". I will add; personally, up front and close.
            As statistically insignificant as the mathematicians make us, God gives us meaning, power and faith. We are the power of one. As Christians, we can impact the world one individual at a time through our faith. When we demonstrate that we are at peace, we infect those around us. When we demonstrate good Christian ethics, we lead others to follow us. When we are at peace, others want to join us.
            We all know of pyramid schemes and chain letters. We have an opportunity through our faith to be at the top of a living chain. Each day we are at peace through our faith we will positively affect our environment. Our challenge as people of faith is to work our peace so others will join us.
Thought for Today: It is challenging but exciting to think that we can affect others with our positive actions. This week let us lead others by example, share our hope regarding our future.

Prayer: Heavenly Father we see and hear ugliness in the world on a daily basis. The mid-east is in turmoil, many of our streets are not safe and there are too many negative financial issues within our institutions. It is hard to understand where you are when we are bombarded daily with these issues. We pray for understanding of your role and that we may participate in an overall solution.

Saturday, November 3, 2018



Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give,
not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times,
 having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
(2 Corinthians 9 vs 6-8)

Since 2006 June and I have not had the benefit of the gardens that we had at our home before we down sized. We worked very hard evenings and weekends and always had a bountiful harvest to have and share. We do not miss that very much. We have other harvests.

This year we had our fiftieth wedding anniversary. In honor of that June and I wrote her life story. The process took us back into WW2, the 50s and of course our life together starting in the 60s. We came to realize that our life as seniors consists of harvesting the crops of the many seeds we unknowingly sowed in those early years combined with taking the time sowing seeds for the future that we may or may not get to reap.

Our crops today are not fruit and veggies but closeness with each other, good friends and family. We guess that our forty or so days spent in the garden now is spent sowing in a different more God given way.  As a result, we reap a closer relationship with each other and with many other people. You see the analogy of reaping crops used by Paul in his message in Corinth is still valid today.

We need to sow seeds every day in relationships, our minds and with each other so that we may reap the harvest of love and friendship.

Thought for the Day: For today let us take a quick look at our calendar and see where we can sow seeds for our future. Look for the opportunity to sow seeds selfishly for our worldly future as well seeds for the Lord. He is our real future.

Prayer for the Day: Heavenly father, we are bear the end of the crop harvest here in the northland. The holiday celebrations are pending. Today we pray that the seeds of love and friendship sowed in the past will generate love and peace in the future! 

Friday, October 26, 2018

Positive Attitude

Positive Attitude

I know that there is nothing better than for men
Than to be happy and do good while they live.
(Ecclesiastes 3:12)

It is interesting to think about what makes us happy, excited and pleased with our lives. Each of us is different, but I suspect that in Paul’s letters he had certain things in mind. I doubt they were what we consider life experiences.
Recently on the golf course, on the very first tee I was very nervous because my game has been suffering all summer. It was in England and I wanted to do well. My drive went long and straight stopped exactly where I wanted it and my approach held the green less than 20 feet from the hole. Yes, I was happy, but that is not what Paul meant by “do good”.
Last week while talking with a friend, Dave, about a sporting event that we both were interested in we were joined by Don who’s dad has recently passed away at age 101. The subject changed as Don processed some of his grief. We were silent (you know that is not my normal style) and let him talk for 20 minutes. We heard about being a volunteer fireman for 60 years, early days on a farm in Windom Minnesota, hunting trips with dad etc.; Don was in his glory telling us these stories and both Dave and I Listened intently. We were helping in a silent way.
Paul was a teacher with a mission. We have been given the task of carrying on his mission in our faith. The Lord has not given many of us the ability to be preachers or to talk the talk every day. We are not all Evangelists. However, if we are Christians we are all ministers of the gospel. Knowing that, how do we preach the word? We preach every day through our actions and the example we set in our daily lives.
We need to be “…be happy and do good…” every moment we can.
Thought for Today: Today we will be tested and some things will not all go well. We need to find a way through our faith to be an example to those around us; an example of good living and happiness.
Prayer for Today: Heavenly father, today we pray that we may help your cause. We pray for the opportunity to help. Amen

Friday, October 19, 2018



"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of
compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so
that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."
(2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

            Who in our lives are the winners? Some say the one with the most toys wins. That materialistic one liner that gives me goose bumps. However, in our society today, we tend to pursue things instead of happiness and peace. So who are the real winners and how do they win?  
            God placed us here to be his stewards with our first priority to be sharing the gifts we received from Him with others. That seems to be a very tall order. However, we always feel great when we have reached out and helped a friend or stranger.  This reward is explained in Paul’s message to the Romans, 2 vs. 6 “God will give to each person according to what he has done.”                           
God gives us resources in many different forms. We have money that we earn and knowledge that we have learned. We graciously share these things with our families and children and that make us feel good. We also reach out beyond our own family units and share. We share at work, in Church, through volunteer activities and in too many ways to list. We share and sow the seeds that God has given us to plant, and we are real winners when we reach out and share our gifts.

Thought for the Today: Let us look for an opportunity to help someone; perhaps someone who is sick, someone hurting or someone lonely. Let us see if we can share a bit of ourselves to make someone else feel better.

Prayer for Today:  Heavenly Father, today we pray for an opportunity to help and share with someone, an opportunity to demonstrate your Grace through our actions.

Saturday, October 13, 2018



He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant
—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
(2 Corinthians 3 vs. 6)

            We are in some way the light, ministers of the gospel or promoters of the Holy Spirit. That is a part of the covenant we make when we join the Christian church. That is an awesome responsibility and most of us certainly don’t feel like a spirit promoter every day.
            Those of you that know me are aware of my propensity for relaxing through exercise. It is a daily piece of my live and pursuing it often shows my selfish streak. In my late twenties I made a covenant with myself to be as good as possible; a good dad and husband and believed that fitness was a piece of the equation.
            Later in life, June and I decided together that fitness was more than physical; i.e. it was spirit, mind and body! OOPS- that decision meant three times as much work. We agreed that we would work on the spirit and mind together but she had no interest in joining with me on my swims, bike rides and runs. (She was always a bit smarter.)
            Our 34th president Dwight David Eisenhower was a strong believer in this. He did his morning exercises and whenever possible he kept his calendar open for an after lunch nap. When at the Whitehouse he would spend time chipping and putting before his afternoon meetings. His colleagues considered him eccentric and selfish. He felt he needed a scheduled break to be the best he could be for himself and his country.
            We all need to be the best we can be, for ourselves, our families and to serve the Lord. Be a bit selfish so that you can help.

Thought for Today: Today let’s do something for ourselves that will help our spirit, mind and body.

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord and father today we pray that we can keep our covenant to made to you, we pray that we are shining your light as bright as we can. We pray that we are the light of the world so others may see find you through us.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Our Grace

Our Grace

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father,
who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,
encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”
(2 Thessalonians 2 vs.16 & 17)

            My friend Michael is the master of simplification and understatement. He has a great life, gives to more causes that I even know of and is one that is always joyful. His style is simple because he has accepted grace given to us through Jesus Christ.
            He often makes me a bit jealous because when I am confused by the facts of life, he will often ask me where grace fits in. Recently I was bemoaning the refugee issues, our political situation and the state the world in general.  Michael pointed that I had almost no control over those issues and asked; “Bob, you are so blessed why wreck your day on that stuff?  Do what you can but the best thing you could probably do is be happy!”
            He was correct. My light was not shining at that moment. My contributions were going to be negative for that day. However, with the oversimplification on accepting grace, life will always be good. When we are not in a good place we need to remember that. We need to use our grace to power the lamp inside us as lights of the world.

Thought for Today: This is the day the lord has made, rejoice and be glad in it. Accept our grace which is God given and enjoy!

Prayer for Today: Dear Heavenly Father we here on earth are blessed with your grace. We pray that we can keep that thought in perspective as we work through the confusion of our society.


Saturday, September 29, 2018

Protect our Hearts

Protect Our Hearts

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
 Put on the full armor of God
so that you can take your stand...
With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying ..."
(Ephesians 6:10 &18)
 Today we need to protect ourselves from our own self-induced stress as well as the negativity in the World that we cannot control. As Mac Hammond from the Living Word Christian Center puts it, "We need to protect our hearts". The question is how?
        Over the years I have often heard the expression "When the going gets tough, the tough get going". In sports this meant to me that when the pain sets in, push harder; in business when the order is being lost, dig deeper. In each instance, "I" assumed the full responsibility for correcting "my" problem. My male ego would come into the issue and apply pressure to the situation. This has worked very well in the early years, but it is not how I have acted since the mid 80's.
        Like many parents, when my two youngest were in private colleges, my ego driven logic failed me. The financial pressure combined with the desire to service the educational needs was too much to get through. This tough guy needed help and it came through the simple saying, "Let go and let God". Funny how that works, everything turned out OK.
        When we are deeply involved with our loved ones, we need to protect our hearts. We need to keep our feet on the ground and make caring decisions through love. If we allow the Lord to help protect our hearts, if we listen to Him and accept His part in our lives, our lives will be better and simpler. Keep on asking for support through prayer.

Thought for Today: Today is the first day of the rest of our lives. It offers each of us a chance to renew ourselves, forgive others and move forward with positive thoughts. This week let us move forward through daily prayer and let the Lord help us over the bumps.

Prayer for Today: Heavenly father, here in America life is good. The kids have food and shoes, there are two cars in the garage, and TV sets in every home- we are truly "fat cats" living under your domain. Today we pray that we keep in mind that the world is not all like we are experiencing it. While giving thanks for our abundance we need to pray that we are doing your will throughout the world for peace and prosperity to spread in a Godly way.