Friday, June 28, 2013

Enjoy our Long Days of Summer!

Thought for the Week

We are experiencing the longest days of the year in terms of daylight. It is easy to burn the candle at both ends and become over tired. That has a great sound to it so let’s enjoy the summer season. 

The hymn poetry of Brian Wren 

How can we name a Love that weakens heart and mind,
In dwelling all we know or think or do or seek or find?
Within our daily world, in every human face,
Love’s echoes sound and God is found, hid in the common place.” 

Title: How can we Name a Love, UMC Hymnal # 111, verse 1
Words:  Brian Wren
C 1975 Hope Publishing Company , Carol Stream, IL 60188.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Our Rock

There is no one holy like the LORD;
there is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.
(1 Samuel 2 vs. 2) 

            Growing up in New England we often fished in streams and frequently crossed them by stepping from rock to rock. When we stepped on a loose one or slipped from one we got cold and wet. The analogy I am getting at is we chose the wrong rock! That is not an option with God.

            The Lord is the rock of our life; our foundation and always with us. There are times when we forget that simple truth; when we feel lonely; when we will not let Him in to help. During those times we can feel cold and lonely. (Hopefully not wet!)

            Prayer and devotionals will help that situation. If you are reading this today you are probably sitting squarely on the rock. 

Thought for Today: Today let’s be aware of our foundation; our rock! 

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, today I recognize you and give thanks for being my rock and foundation. Today I pray that I may recognize someone who has slipped from your rock and help them through you.



Friday, June 21, 2013

"Exceed Expectations", Maria Shriver

Thought for the Week: We need to focus on our daily lives for survival, there is no truer fact. With that said, today let’s do what we need to do to survive but keep Paul’s letters and the word of our Lord in our daily lives. It will fit in if we let it.


(Galatians 5 vs. 22 & 24) 

“the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
"gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law
….Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Best You Can Be!

Thought for the Week: As a child growing up I was blessed with being what I now call a YMCA brat. Exposure to their principals of being the best you can be has stayed with me throughout my life. Their triangular LOGO represents Spirit, mind and body; the whole self. This week’s thought is based on exactly that. Let us be the best we can be in spirit, mind and body! 

A quote from Olympian Michael Phelps: “You cannot put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get!” 

(Isaiah 40: 31 NIV)

“...  those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

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 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.



Thursday, June 6, 2013

Give Him Time

Thought for the Week: God is always with us. This week let us take time each day to focus on His presence and welcome Him into our life.

Televangelist Joel Osteen put it this way, “We do not know what the future holds but we do know who holds our future.” 

(Philippians 4 vs. 10-13 NIV) 

I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me
Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content
whatever the circumstances.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Rejoice Always

Bob’s Note: I recently re-connected with the lady in the story and after almost twenty years her meditation, prayer, diet and exercise is still working and she is living a better life than when she was in her twenties. This is one of my favorite stories and passages. 

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.   Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.   And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
(Philippians 4: 4-7, NIV) 

        In our very active, overcrowded lives, we are often "stressed out". Often conversations start out with how busy we are. Fitting things in seems to be the norm. Even retirees like to say that they do not know how they ever had time to work! Then they go home and take their blood pressure medication.

        Several years ago, a very good friend had both serious back problems and high blood pressure. She had tried too many chemicals to work on the problems and was addicted to the pain killers. The addiction  upset her tranquility and effected her blood pressure. A very common and viscous cycle for a young lady.

        In desperation, she and her physician reduced the chemicals and substituted hypnosis and meditation. The meditation evolved into prayer! Well, I can't say that all her problems were solved. She had a bad back disease and a family history of high blood pressure. This is not a story of healing.

        However, most of her problems went away. The meditation and prayer brought her peace and relaxed her back muscles and her blood pressure went down. The disease did not leave, but the symptoms were relieved. She found peace and a better life.

        The effect of slowing down and taking time out for prayer will make God's peace be yours.

Thought for Today: Slow down, pray for peace, pray for the tranquility and serenity that God has for you when you are willing to let it in.

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, with these words we pray for the ability to live serene and peaceful lives doing your work:

"God grant me the serenity,
to accept the things we cannot change
The courage to change the things we can
and the wisdom to know the difference."