Monday, April 29, 2013

Start the Day!

The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn,
shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
they do not know what makes them stumble.”
(Proverbs 4:18& 19)           

            Those of you that have known me a long time are aware that I have always been a morning person. In my mind, there is no better time of day than early morning, even sunrise. There is no prettier sight that the sun coming up out of the sea off of Boston, the early light on the first tee waiting for enough daylight to see the flight of the ball or the sun coming up over a mountain when viewed from a canoe while fishing. I am blessed because to me first light is a spiritual event.

Each sunrise starts a new beginning, a new opportunity to do better and a new opportunity to do God’s work. Yesterday is gone and cannot be changed and our future is today and beyond.

These Good News epistles that I write started as something to do during the early hours. The news casts on TV were (and still are) depressing. The newspapers are full of bad news. It seems that bad news sells.

In Minneapolis, once a week our paper has a half page section called “Faith and Values”. It covers all faiths, special events etc. and does little to offset the many square inches of negativity and promotion of activities disguised as news.

Tomorrow you will see a “first light”. It may be at mid morning if you are a late sleeper, or the crack of noon if you are in the music business or it could be a sunrise. Either way, it is a new beginning, a new opportunity. It will be the first day of the rest of your life! Spend it with hope and joy. 

Thought for Today: There will be seven days this week, each is a fresh start. Let us feel the spirit in the first light, the hope of a new day. Let us live the first day of the rest of our lives with faith and the joy of the Lord.

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord, today we thank you for the sunrise; the new beginning; the new opportunity. We pray that we may use this wonderful opportunity to do your will here on earth.


Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Merry Month of May

Thought for the Week: May seems to be the busiest month of the year. Our busy schedules often get in the way of our spiritual lives and we can be too busy to take the time recharge our spiritual batteries. Somehow we need to be sure that our calendar does not overwhelm our spirituality. This week let’s show our spiritual side and focus on positive interactions with our friends and family. 

Maya Angelou may have said this in May!

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Romans 14, verse 19, NIV

“Let us make every effort to
do what leads to peace
and mutual edification.”

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

School Days

"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters..."
(Psalms 23:1-2).

    In the 40's and 50's, public school in Massachusetts always started with the 23rd Psalm, the Lord's Prayer and the salute to the Flag. Wow, by today's standards, that is powerful stuff. Let us take a look at this and see if we can apply it to our lives today.

        The first two lines above, lead us to tranquility. Faith will take care of our wants and lead us to that inner peace we desire and lead us to the restful place beside still waters.  

"He refreshes and restores my life;
He leads in the paths of righteousness
for His namesake"

There are always periods when things in our lives need rebuilding. There are temptations to take the easy way. These verses point out that the way to get out of the "dumps" is to follow Him.

"Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff to comfort me."
(Psalm 23:4).

The Psalm points out that the Lord is with us and will guide and support us through out our lives.

    Yes, today our lives get filled with stress. As Christians we are given wonderful tools to work with in our daily lives. The more we let God lead us, the more we will be at peace.

Thought for Today: Let us reflect on this winter like spring season. Read the 23rd Psalm and accept the help that God has available to us as we move forward. It will be a big help in locating those still waters we all seek.

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, many times stress builds up in our lives. It is a combination of hurts, anger and resentments kept hidden inside of ourselves. I pray that when this occurs, I find a way to let you help and can accept the guidance, protection and support promised through our Christian faith. 


Monday, April 15, 2013

Tough Times

Yesterday I posted my annual Patriots Day Devotional about the Boston Marathon. As you all know, the day turned bad by a senseless bombing. We need to pray for all the victims and for the future of the world we live in.  

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, 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.



Sunday, April 14, 2013

Boston Marathon!

Tomorrow is the Boston Marathon and a good friend will be running; good Luck to Paul Stein. My good friend and coach of the Tufts University Marathon team is sending a group of enthusiastic runners. I am sure many of my friends are also involved as coaches or runners. The following is my Marathon Day devotional!

Good News 041911 Patriots Day

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run,
but only one gets the prize?
Run in such a way as to get the prize.
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.
They do it to get a crown that will not last,
but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”
(1 Corinthians 9 vs. 24& 25)
 Growing up in Boston we celebrated Patriots day. That gave me two choices to write about today; Paul Revere’s ride or the Boston Marathon. There is a similarity and it is not direction!
 The marathon involves over 20,000 participants, one lady and one male will make a six figure pay check and be declared winners. As many as twenty others will receive appearance money and have a good pay day. The majority will receive personal gratification, be the recipient of a great engine for their body from their training and recognition for a great effort. That is all they want. They do it out of the passion that endurance runners have and the feeling of accomplishment.
 In 1775 Paul Revere and William Dawes raced out of Boston with a message that the British were moving out. Their message to the people of greater Boston was the call to arms. Unfortunately, Paul did not get very far because he was picked up in west Cambridge by a British patrol. However he did get the poem named for him, I guess William Dawes did not rhyme as well! They were both on a mission to benefit humanity, both were unselfish and both are American heroes.
 Life is not a sprint. It is a marathon. We need to race it and live it with our eye on the ultimate prize that is promised through our faith.
Thought for Today: For today let us focus on our race for the prize. Let’s take a step closer to perfection.
Prayer for Today: Dear Lord today we pray for the safety and success of the many runners in Boston. May they be blessed with fitness and great memories.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Take Care of Yourself

Thought for the Week
 This week let us focus on our physical selves. Let’s park a bit further from the door, say no thanks to the desert tray, walk the stairs as we are able. Let us be as good as we can be. 

Mahatma Gandhi  probably was not thinking about fitness when he said People (Men) often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn't have it in the beginning.” 

Psalm 139, verses13 and 14, NIV 

You made all the delicate,
inner parts of my body and
knit them together in my
mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me
so wonderfully complex…
Your workmanship is

Note from Bob: We all cannot be the best in the world but we owe it to ourselves and those around us to be the best we can be.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Answer

“You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh
but are in the realm of the Spirit,
if indeed the Spirit if God lives in you.
(Romans 8 verse 9) 

            We certainly do not feel filled with the spirit every day. (or at least I don’t!) Quite often when I sit down to write these messages there seems to be a writer’s block. To me that says that my spirit may need more coffee or better perhaps, a prayer. Often it is both.
            With our busy schedules today it is easy to jump out of bed and get into our daily activities without thinking about our spirit. I guess that is normal but it may not lead to a peaceful lifestyle. It is the way we achieve our material objectives.
            We are however given grace through our faith and we cannot escape it. The message is clear that when we feel empty or down and out, the solution is through the Spirit that lives in us. All we need to do is slow down and let it take over. 

Thought for Today: Today when we feel stressed and overloaded let’s remember Paul’s words above. Let’s take a break! 

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord and father, we often cannot feel the spirit that we know is within us. Today we pray that when we are too busy and too stressed out that we will remember You are the answer.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Thought for the Week: Last week we focused on ourselves and our talents. Understanding them is important but can create overconfidence or even arrogance. This week let us focus on humility as we apply out talents to help others. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson said this about religion. “Religion is to do right. It is to love, it is to serve, it is to think, it is to be humble.”


1 Peter 3, verse 8, NIV 

Finally, all of you, be like-minded,
be sympathetic,
love one another,
be compassionate and humble.



Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Spiritual Growth

"I gave you milk, not solid food,
for you were not yet ready for it
Indeed, you are still not ready."
(1 Corinthians 3 vs. 2) 

            Several years ago June and I made a decision that our families would not remember us as angry old people. We decided that based on our time spent interacting with elderly people as Stephen ministers. Recently I have been involved with two such people and have concluded that somehow being happy has everything to do with spiritual growth. Let me share a story with you from a recent Saturday.
            My friend and I were volunteering at a race in a very cold April rain and many volunteers were complaining. My friend stated that as bad as it was he was dreading his next appointment even worse. Trust me, we had been out in the rain for four hours serving over 8000 participants and worse seemed impossible!
            He was going to his parents place to do a few odd jobs that his dad could or should not risk doing any more. He said that somehow dad would get angry, be disagreeable and be dissatisfied. He could not understand why. In my usual big mouth way I asked him about his dad’s spirituality. The answer was that mom and dad go to church every Sunday!
            This lead to my favorite discussion: religious versus spirituality! You see, there are a lot of people who attend church every week that do not experience spiritual growth. In a recent discussion it was said that too many religious people just never get to know the Holy Spirit! I believe that the people who are edgy, angry or uncomfortable fit that description.
            In summary, the Lord wants us to be happy, cheerful and appreciative. He has given us the tools and we need to use them every day. The tool we have is faith and the Holy Spirit. We need to keep them in mind and in our hearts to be happy! 
Thought for Today: Today let us use Paul’s message about the milk and drink our milk but demonstrate with our happiness and spirit that we are ready for the Lord’s solid food. That food results in our happiness and peace.

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord, today we pray for all who are experiencing anxiety and anger. We pray that they may find peace and tranquility through the Holy Spirit.