Monday, January 27, 2014

Peace Through Faith!

...The Lord's servant must not quarrel;
instead, he must be kind 
able to teach and not resentful."
 (2 Timothy 23 & 24)

    Forgiveness is the way of Christian life. It is not always an easy path. We Christians are challenged throughout our lives with anger and resentment. Sometimes we grow vindictive and just want to get even. Wow, what a curse. Is it possible to find peace through revenge? Absolutely not!
  Several years ago our business life was saturated with lawyers, claims and counter claims, arbitration and mediation. It demonstrates a serious challenge that we Christians need to deal with. How do we find peace when someone has done us wrong? How do we keep God at the forefront of our lives when our livelihood is being attacked?
The answer is in good Christian friends, mentors, readings and prayer.
Thought for Today: Throughout our lives "focusing on the positive" always seems to be a challenge. This week, let us all focus on the great things that we have and deal promptly with the negatives so that we may enjoy life to its fullest.

Prayer for Today: Heavenly father, our lives are full of the challenges that are placed before us. Sometimes these challenges create fear and hurts that are difficult to deal with and easy to hang on to.  Friendships and relationships become challenged. Please help us keep the many great and positive gifts you have given us at the forefront of our thoughts and give us the power and wisdom to deal swiftly and honestly with the challenges.  Amen

Friday, January 24, 2014

We are the Light!

Thought for Today: Let us be thankful for those around us. Be at peace and demonstrate our passion and love to others.
(Matthew 5:14-16)
You are the light of the world.
A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.
Instead they put it on its stand,
and it gives light to everyone in the house.
In the same way, let your light shine before men,
that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, you have blessed us with many friends. We are surrounded and can not avoid them. At work, on the streets and at home we are blessed. Today we want to pray for them all and especially pray that they recognize the beauty of Christian friendship. Amen

Monday, January 20, 2014

Happy Landing!

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because,
having stood the test,
that person will receive the crown of life
that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”
(James 1 vs. 12)

            Perseverance is life, we need to persevere in many ways and the easiest way is through meditation, prayer and having the faith that the Lord will bring us through our lives. We all hope for an easy life without illness or discomfort; always having a job; a life partner to share things with; and the list goes on. In other words, we want to be born to live happily ever after!
            If we were we would not build character or learn. As I write this in beautiful Minnesota, we are in the in the middle of what looks like a record breaking winter. A year ago we were cancelling outdoor events because there was no snow, the ice was not safe on the lakes and it was too warm! This year we learned a new word, “Polar Vortex.” In fact, 90 percent of the US is having a character building winter!
            We will all get through it and when spring comes it will be later than usual and appreciated more. When spring comes we will experience growth and appreciation of good times. In the instance of our Minnesota weather, in 1974 when we moved here our real estate agent talked about our beautiful summers and said they were worth the wait. Praise be to God, we need help this year!
            There is a church that I drive by that posts a weekly slogan that describes it very well. I do not know the author but it said something like “Life is not about having a bumpy flight. It is about having a happy landing!” We need to keep our faith to persevere on our bumpy ride. The best part will be the landing!

Thought for Today: Today will be the first day of the rest of our lives. Let us be spiritual and use it well.

Prayer for Today: Dear Father, we are experiencing a very bumpy ride. We have concerns about money, pollution violence and more. Today we give thanks for having the spirit and will to get through it all so that we may experience the landing. Amen

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Martin Luther King!

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

Below are tree quotes from Martin Luther King that I want to share with you all.

Faith: Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

Darkness: 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. From "Strength to Love,"

The Law: “It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me,
and I think that’s pretty important.

Prayer for Today: 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 13, 2014

Give and Take!

I thank my God every time I remember you.
In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy
because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,
being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you
will carry it on to  completion
—Philippians 1vs 3-12

It is better to give than to receive. Yes, and we all feel better when we are giving than when we are receiving. We all come in contact with persons that we know are really hurting and we ask, “How is it going?” Often the answer is OK, fine, good…etc. That answer raises the antenna on a counselor. Many of us are relieved when we hear it because now we can change the subject and avoid the real issue.
On a Friday in January 1998, I was diagnosed with cancer and made aware that surgery was a good solution. That Sunday, June and I were scheduled to be greeters for a church service. God forgive me but I lied a lot that morning. Most people greet with, “Hi, how are you?” and they did not really want to hear my answer.
            The point is that in 1998, we needed to take from the church more than we could give. Oh yes, we gave them financial support, but that is not what I mean. I needed prayers to cover my fear. June needed prayers to cover her tears. The kids and grand kids also needed spiritual support. The support was not for the weekend but for an extended period that lasted most of 1998. The good news was that “…He who began a good works in you will carry it on to completion…” The support was available through our Christian community.
              In 1998, the Pickering family was blessed; that was the year we learned to accept the support and prayers from our friends in Christ. We learned to receive the benefits that are available to all, that unfortunately, some are too proud to receive.
              This last fall we again took prayers from our Christian community. The drug reaction that followed my angioplasty was extreme and we needed serious prayers for three months. All seems better now and the cure is in sight. This time we remembered that “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy”. We are welcome and it is OK to take and receive.

Thought for Today: Today let us recognize when we need support. Let us stop and pray about it. If there are any real bad moments, let’s call a friend in Christ and ask for help. The friend will be grateful. Also, if we have a great week, let’s hope that we get a call from someone that could use our support.

Prayer for Today:  Dear Lord and Father, we offer our prayers for peace and understanding in the world. As a nation, we seem to accept terror and murder on a daily basis in the Mid East. Today we pray somehow for the understanding and that we, in some way, can contribute to the spreading of your love throughout the world.


Saturday, January 11, 2014


Thought for the Week: This is the day (week)  that the Lord has made, let us rejoice! We will experience ups and downs but with the hope of God in our hearts, the downs can be short, the ups can be high it can be a week of joy. It is our choice.

Aristotle said it this way: “Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.”

Paul said it to the Romans like…
Romans 15verse 13,
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace
 as you trust in him,
so that you may overflow with hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Monday, January 6, 2014

Style Change?

Good News 040107 Style Change?

For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,
and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
but whoever listens to me will live in safety
and be at ease, without fear of harm.
(Proverbs 1:32/33)

            The more we change the more we seem to stay the same. People that focus on being as good as they can be, people that help others, people with spirituality seem to live “…without fear of harm.” When we lose that focus, negatives start to build in our lives and we start a slippery slide.
            When we do not have any time for God, it is a sign of over commitment, reacting to our “to do” lists rather than planning out day. The concept of putting one’s self first part each day is the key to maintaining sanity and generating personal growth. We need to take the time to grow every day to be a good parent, employee, and friend; just be as good as we can be The question is how do we do all that we need to do and meet all of our obligations? The answer is priorities, and including the Lord on the list!
            Pat McNamara, a four time Olympian from Minneapolis advised me that if I was going to stay in shape, I had to give fitness a priority part of every day. That is, make it a calendar item and follow Nike’s advice, “Just Do It”! OK, then if we want to live better we need to schedule time to listen to the message so we “…will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.

Thought for Today: We need to recognize the internal conflict in our lives. The conflict between our over committed “to do” lists and the time required to have personal growth. The concept is simple, we all want to be better in spirit, mind and body but we do not have the time. Our wants look like needs and our stress builds. Today let’s try placing the Lord first for a few minutes a day and try to feel the difference as we go through the day.
Prayer for Today: Father, today you are at the top of my list. I look forward to the piece that you will bring.


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Thought for Today(and 2014!): 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.
Or as Paul said it!
"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.
(Phillipiens 3:12-14)

        Happy New Year. 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.

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 worlds people so that your love and peace may dominate this New Year.