Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock except our God?
(2 Samuel 22:32) 

            It is the time of year when ministry teams in Christian churches make a lot of phone calls and home visits. In August and September our “Pastor Ed” calls everyone in the church directory and invites them to the fall programs. With the help of a ministry team there will be home meetings, visits in coffee shops around the city and often just messages on answering machines saying that we care. It is a time of invitation, a time to lead people back to the Rock: the Rock of stability and peace.
            For families, school is about to start, the fall activities are about to begin, the summer slowdown and vacations are over. We empty nesters are looking at the leaves starting to turn and thinking about the winter season, warm weather travels and the holidays. For the most part, the human race is kicking into high gear- back to being too busy. In many cases it means not being at peace.
            In the next few months many of us will find ourselves in busy and challenging situations, we need to be reminded not to leave the Rock, our Lord, behind as we move forward into these exciting times. We need to keep Him in our lives to maintain our tranquility and keep us on an even keel. It is a time to accept the invitations from our ministry teams and keep the Lord in our everyday lives.
Thought for Today: Let’s take our look at our calendars and schedule a few minutes with our Lord; a few minutes for meditation; a few minutes to give thanks and a few minutes for ourselves. Let’s do this so that we will be at Peace and be better able to help others.
Prayer for Today: Dear Lord, today let us be cool and relaxed, patient and observing, caring and loving as we deal with others. Let us shine your light so others will recognize we are at peace.



Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Birthday Special- August 21st

Today, August 21, 2012, is my birthday. Last year I celebrated by doing the St. Paul triathlon with my brother, daughter and granddaughter. It was a fun day. This year June and I will spend a quiet day in the country. I want to thank all of you, my Good News Buddies, for making each year special.

“Always be joyful. Keep on praying.
No matter what happens,always be thankful,
for this is God’s will for you who belong to Jesus Christ.” 
(1 Thessalonians 5:15-15) 

Each year on my birthday, I give thanks to something that I learned in my youth as a YMCA brat. The symbol for the Y is a triangle, each side has a meaning, “spirit, mind and body”. Each year I give thanks for my role as a father, son and my place in society. But let’s talk a bit about what it takes to be in a good place with ourselves. It is selfishness. Yes, being selfish in pursuit of a healthy self: mentally, physically and spiritually. 

In each of our lives, we must fit into some basic places in society; a family, a workplace and a social setting. We fit best when the three sides of our personal triangle are in a healthy balance. That is to say we focus on each a little every day so that we minimize life’s problems. 

In all areas of our lives, it is important to demonstrate the forgiveness and love that comes from a strong spirituality. We need to be physically fit enough to deal with the long days without being fatigued and run down. Also, we need to be mentally sharp enough to make the decisions that are expected of us. That is a lot to ask of mortals and not an easy task. So be a bit selfish, take care of yourself so that you may be all what God wants you to be and be capable of doing God’s work when the opportunity presents itself to you. Take care of yourself so that you can be all that your family needs you to be. Remember the logo of the YMCA, spirit, mind and body. Keep totally fit and enjoy life! 

Birthday Thought: Today is the day the Lord has made, a day for me to enjoy. Friends will recognize it, family will celebrate it and I will enjoy it. It is a blessing that we all have and a great day to give
thanks to the Lord for all of our many blessings. 

Birthday Prayer: Heavenly Father, today is a very special day, the day that you brought me into your service. Throughout this day, I give thanks for all the opportunities that you have given to me; the opportunity to have a healthy relationship with family and friends. Today I will often hear the words “happy birthday.” 

To those words I say, “Thanks be to God.”

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Straight to our Heart

Good News 020512 Straight to our Heart

In the wilderness prepare
the way for the LORD[a];
make straight in the desert
a highway for our God.”
(Isaiah 40 vs. 3)

            When driving in the UK where the roads are windy and twisty, occasionally we come to a long straight road that goes on for miles. My wife, a Brit, explained to me that those are ancient Roman roads laid out 2000 years ago. I found that impressive.
            In ancient times leaders built roads in the desert for their armies to move. They are long and straight and efficient so they could move quickly. The valleys are filled by pushing the tops of the hills. They facilitated the need. In New England where I grew up there are very few straight roads. They paved the cow paths and horse trails which tended to follow the river beds. It is tough for strangers to find their way.
            The message today is that we need to be sure of our road to the lord; that it needs to straight. There needs to be a straight connection between God and our heart. We need to allow the simplest two way travel possible in our complex world; straight to our heart. 

Thought for Today: Today let’s think about where our road takes us; where are we going. Perhaps we can take a few bends out and travel straight. 

Prayer for the Day: Heavenly Father, we live in a complex world and are surrounded by too much activity and we are over committed. Today we thank you for being with us and pray that we may keep our hearts open to you and stay on a straight and holy path.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012


"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 is a materialistic one liner that gives me goose bumps. However, in our society today, we 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. In fact, is that not when we feel the best?

      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 makes us feel good. Many people also reach out beyond their own family units and share. There are many ways to 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 Today: Let us look for an opportunity to help someone; perhaps someone who is sick, someone hurting or someone lonely. If we fail in finding someone, let’s share some extra with our Church. Sharing a bit  will make us feel better.  

Prayer for Today:  Heavenly Father, we are living in a troubled world. Suicide bombings, road rage, families in strife and many other incidences confuse people. Today we pray for an opportunity to help and share with someone, an opportunity to demonstrate your Grace through our actions.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

One God?

I am the good shepherd;
I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.
I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen.
I must bring them also.
They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.”
(John 10 vs. 14,15,16) 

            At a meeting recently I expressed my belief that there is one God worshiped around the world in many different ways. Several people in the conversation jumped on me and advise me all the reasons I was wrong. It was one of those uncomfortable moments because we were not going to agree. 
            As many of you know I have been involved with twelve step programs for over thirty years. In that time the mix of people attending has evolved to reflect the mix of people in our society today. In almost any meeting there are Hispanic, east Indian and Asian have been added to what used to be a dominant WASP and Afro American mix. The program works for all of them.
            The real question is how and why? The reason is simple. Although there is a great mix of beliefs, everyone has to recognize that they need a “higher power” to help them out. Twelve step programs always start out with that “higher power” terminology because it works. In today’s world of un-churched and varied beliefs AA and other twelve step programs have not lost their effectiveness. They still serve individuals by creating recovery through spiritual growth. 

Thought for Today: For today let’s set two goals: First, let us find a personal way to have some spiritual growth; increase our personal faith. Second, let us contribute to another person’s spirit and faith; be ecumenical! 

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord and Father today we need your help and support. We are weak, tired and too busy. Today we ask for a vision of tour will and the ability to help through prayer. Please lord, make my day!