Tuesday, January 29, 2013

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 hot fudge Sunday 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 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 dive 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.

Amen

 

 

           

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Peace I leave with you;
my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
(John 14 vs. 27) 

            Peace is something that all of the world’s religions teach and somehow we humans manage to mess it up. In our Christian sense if we could ask the old question “What would Jesus do?” we would not go to war. Hymns like Onward Christian soldiers and The Battle Hymn of the Republic would not have been written. That is the reality of our world.

            June and I are considered world travelers. Two years ago we did a western Mediterranean trip that was wonderful and probably our final. You see, every country and city, but one, that we visited has had riots and revolution since we were there; the one exception was Monte Carlo. When travelling, we feel the  need to understand what they are saying on the evening news to feel safe. In most countries we could not find English speaking news. We see no need to travel again to non-English speaking countries.

            The fact of life is that peace is something that needs to be from within because bad things happen to good people everywhere; down the street, in the home as well as when travelling. We need to bring our faith and our prayers with us. We need to publically practice our Christian principles. Maybe June and I are coping out by limiting our travel. We are not sure.

            As believers we need to contribute to the other side of the scale. There are three important contributions we are taught to make daily. First we need to pray for our enemies, the bad guys; crooks, burglars, terrorists and the whole lot. Pray that they can find a better way through the Lord. Second we need to pray for our safety and happiness. We need to run our lives confidently and without fear. Third we need to give thanks for the opportunities given us to contribute.

            We live in a world of differences. We need to live and set the example for others and ask WWJD!

Thought for Today: For today let us exercise the freedom afforded to us through Christ. Let us not be critical of others and demonstrate our love as we do our daily activities. 

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, today we simply pray for a lasting peace.

Monday, January 21, 2013

MLK Day

It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me,
But it can keep me 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 one that seems to be 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 take the first step. 

Thought for the Day: This is the day the Lord has made and He made it for all humankind. We need to remember and promote equality, always. 

Prayer for the Day: 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.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Ethical Business Wins


  " This is the confidence we have in approaching God:
that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
 And if we know that he hears us
—whatever we ask—
we know that we have what we asked of him.
We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin;
the one who was born of God keeps him safe,
and the evil one cannot harm him."
(1 John: 4-14;17,18NIV)

        In business and life, aggressive and opportunistic behavior is fairly common. Our economies are generally cash driven, sales is often "let the buyer beware". It our more modern economy it seems that service has become a lesser part of the equation.

        We are a society of checks and balances and our scale seems to be tipped on the negative or "evil" side. Keep the faith as we proceed, I believe that God plays a role here and we will tip the scale back to more Godly behaviors.

        Often in my younger days as a salesman, my youthful enthusiasm, lack of confidence and immediate financial needs generated behaviors that may have not been as professional as they would be today. Perhaps that is not the whole truth. I was trained to use all the tools of the opportunistic salesman. Win the negotiation. Guess what folks, they do not work over the long haul. In fact, over the 30 years of sales, my experience has proven, without a doubt, that open and honest sales and business men out perform the sharks and slippery every time. Good ethics and Godly behaviors generate good rewards. The term "win-win" should be in the bible but I couldn't find the right passage.

        In my mind, faith and values need to be practiced in business. Sales is service the customer; integrity is don't cook the books; buying is get a fair deal; everybody can win, but only when there is confidence and a Godly presence.

Thought for the Week: This week let us ask a simple question as we go about our week. where is God in all of this?

Prayer for the Week: Heavenly Father, ruler of all, we seem to be in a downward spiral. There is fraud, scandal, anger and war in abundance. Evil seems to abound and there seems to be no end to it. Please help us focus and demonstrate that your ways are the correct ways. Help us maintain the confidence and maturity to overcome the evil around us.
Amen

Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Year's Resolutionist

"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)

        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."

Hear this for all the world’s people so that your love and peace may dominate this New Year.
Amen