Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tough Times

Contend, LORD, with those who contend with me;
   fight against those who fight against me.
Take up shield and armor;
   arise and come to my aid
(Psalm 35 vs. 1&2) 

            All days are not created equal. Often there are negative forces in our competitive society that seem overwhelming. There are career issues; most people don’t awaken every day with enthusiasm to go to work. Financial issues always need to be dealt with and seem to recreate themselves monthly, weekly or quarterly. The calendar always seems too crowded. All together it is easy to wonder where God is in all of this. Is someone working against us?

            Early Christians had it a lot tougher than we do. In David’s case above the majority of the crowds wanted him dead. That was also the case for Paul and Silas almost everywhere they went; “But other Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city.” (Acts 17 vs. 5)  Being an early Christian required a strong faith dedication and I personally think they had to be able to run fast and far!

            The early Christians turned things around through their belief system. We can also do that. We do it with prayer and meditation; God is always with us and available to help. 

Thought for Today:  Today let us start out without fear, stress and conflict. If somehow it finds us or interrupts us let’s deal with it in a Godly way. 

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord and Father today we give thanks for your presence in our lives; for the opportunity you give us when we speak to you. We give thanks for the peace you bring us.



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Perfect Peace

You will keep in perfect Peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they have trust in you.”
(Isaiah 26 verse 3) 

            Peace is a direct result of faith and trust. When situations are not what we would like we often focus on the bad results that may occur. When we do that we may bring the negative result upon ourselves. We were not steadfast!
            In life we need to keep our eye on the sky, look upward and outward for the positive results. We need to be steadfast and positive. With a positive outlook and a strong faith we will get the most positive results. This outlook can lead us to perfect peace. 

Thought for Today: Today let us all be positive in the face of all challenges. Let’s snatch peace from the grasp of negativity. 

Prayer for the Day: Dear Lord, today we give thanks for the opportunity to have peace in our lives. We pray that we may focus on doing your will and that through our steadfast love we will have peace and contribute to the peace of others.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Always Be Joyful

As a front end comment June and I do not go to England for the weather.

Good News 061312 Always Joyful 

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you
and that your joy may be complete.”
(John 15:11) 

            Joy is in the heart and our heads seem to want to control it. Does that make sense? What I mean is that the holy spirit is always with us and sometimes we do not recognize its presence. This is being written in the seaside village of Torquay in Devon and the rain is pelting down for the eighth or ninth day of this visit. We just had breakfast with 50-60 other hotel guests; some joyful and others sorrowful.
            One fellow was looking forward to his round of golf wearing his wellington boots and slicker. He loves his golf and was very positive about the day. Another was going to catch up on his reading in the lounge and then take a walk to a restaurant for lunch. I am writing and then walking in the expected rain! We are the positive force in the room! The spirit of joy and peace is with us.
            Several others have long faces and are complaining about the rain. Their heads have taken control and they are missing out on their joy. Yes, there will not be any sunning on the beach, sitting under the palms and the umbrellas will be use to stay dry rather than protect us from the sun. They are missing the point. We are in a beautiful place with great people. The views are magnificent; the food great and there is always tomorrow!

            This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! 

Thought for Today: Today let’s recognize that we can be full of joy or worry. Let’s choose to be joyful.

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord and Father, today we give thanks for people; the individuals that make up humanity. You created them all different but somehow in your image. They come in al sizes and shapes, worship you in many different ways but are overwhelmingly great to know.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Also Ran

Hi. This message is coming from Bexhill on Sea in the Southeast of England where June and I are enjoying our visit and the weekends jubilee celebration. 

Then the LORD said to Joshua,
“Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
(Joshua 8 vs.1) 

            Being an also ran is a way of life. We rarely finish first. As many of you know I detest the famous Vince Lombardi quote, “Winning isn’t everything it is the only thing.” Here are some examples: My friend Pat McNamara qualified in four different Olympics and did not win a medal; my brother Wayne swam for years and was a national top ten in four events but never had a national championship; Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski played years for the Red Sox and never received a world series ring; and the list goes on! None of the above is a loser and all were or are proud of their accomplishments.
            In my personal instance, I have three triathlon trophies out of 28 races; a second, a third and an only! There was always someone faster until last Summer when no one else my age competed. Did I lose? Never. In each Triathlon that I did, in the last mile of the run I would well up with tears of joy from the shear pride in my accomplishment. The pain experienced during the run would go away, the legs would seem fresh again and the finishing sprint would feel and look great. Second, Third or twentieth did not matter; I was winning inside!
            Clint Purvis, the team chaplain for Florida State University’s football team under Bobby Bowden put it like this after a tough loss to Miami, “There is a huge difference between getting beat in a game and being a loser.” Clint reminded the team of the characteristics of being a winner: 

1.      A winner still remembers that God never forsakes his own.
2.      A winner must remember that it is always painful and costly to claim victory again.
3.      A winner will always remember the source of all his blessings.
(from Bobby Bowden’s Called to Coach, Howard Books, 2010 

            We rarely are number one but since God is always with us, we are always winners.

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! 

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord and Father, today we thank you for being with us at all times in every place. We thank you because when you are along we will be winners.