Monday, March 31, 2014

April Fools Day; Be Bold!

Good News 040111 Boldness

"Almighty God, may they be filled with the Holy Spirit
 and speak the Word of God with boldness..."
-- Acts 4:31

                April fool’s day is a day of practical jokes, misleading emails and general tomfoolery! Ok, so let’s skip reading our devotional, forget the Holy Spirit and our Lord so that we may participate. That will not work because we cannot hide from the God we all believe in.
            Today the comics in the newspaper will have Fool’s Day jokes, the news and sports programs will be full of them and there will be a few bogus press releases to get your attention. If I was to write a press release for today it would be “Bob shoots par at St. Andrews!” or “… donates a million towards the church mortgage.”
People would recognize immediately that these were jokes and some would know they were my fantasies.
            Today like all days I hope this devotional puts you on track to recognize the Holy Spirit in your life and the role it plays for you. While others are playing the jokes, we need to be sure that we are bold in our faith.
Blessings to you all and enjoy the start of April.

Thought for Today: For today we will be bold in our faith and remember that it is ok to be a joker also!

Prayer for Today: Father, we give thanks for all that we are and have. We thank you for having the freedom to enjoy a good joke, a great laugh and the faith to know the real truth. We thank you for being with us and meeting our needs.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Who's Macro

If you feel our Country and world are out of control read this:

Who’s Macro?
Please do not take this post as a political piece but I am feeling a lot like my life is out of control. Not the daily issues but in computer terms it seems my macro is not what I would like. I guess I am looking for the land of milk and honey, the golden years or to live happily ever after. We are trained to look for that in all those books our mom’s read to us when we were growing up.
            Well, another old time expression is “life begins at 40”. It may not seem like that as you approach that milestone but at 70 or 90 looking back it will feel that way. It is all a matter of perspective. Believe it or not, age 40 through 60 are most often the best years of our lives.
            My macro issues are with what I call the new world economy and what I see happening in the world. I feel quite helpless. It seems that whoever I talk to feels the same way. We all want to end war, be at peace, reduce taxes and live happily ever after. That is the challenge.
            The solution to my issue is that I need to focus on the correct Macro; the spirit of our Christian Faith as opposed to the Government macro. The politicians around the world certainly have changed things with the new world economy and making war over WMDs. They have not impacted the words of the Lord- The real Macro was written by Paul.
 But 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. (Galatians 5 vs. 22 & 24)
Thought for Today: We need to focus on our daily lives for survival, there is no truer fact. With that said, this week 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.
Prayer for Today: Dear Lord, today we pray for our world and country. We pray that we can find a way back to jesus word and Paul’s macro.

Friday, March 21, 2014

New Beginnings

 New Beginnings

"This is a day of new beginnings.
time to remember and move on,
time to believe what love is bringing,
laying to rest the pain that's gone."
"Christ is alive and goes before us,
to show and share what love can do,
this is a day of new beginnings;
our God is making all things new."
(This is a day of New Beginnings;Vs 1 & 4;
Words: Brian Wren, 1978; Methodist Hymnal No. 383)

            Those of you that have known me long enough understand that on March 21, 1977 my family and I started a true "New Beginning". That was the year of treatment for alcohol abuse and the adoption of the slogan "This is the first day of the rest of your life". My family supported me as did my friends and business associates. Each year I am reminded that through faith and friendship there is a good life. I thank all of you that have been my friends and associates since then.
            The story of recovery is repeated in our society every day with the grace of God ever present in the process. Often as Christians we see a need and get a chance to help. One of the beauties of being Christian is the act of helping.
Thought for Today: Today we will be out in the world interacting with friends and business associates. We may see a need to help. Many people will back away. Let us recognize needs in others and step forward with God's support and offer the Christian assistance that is needed.
Prayer for Today: Today the serenity Prayer:
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I can not change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen


Monday, March 17, 2014

Share Your Spirit!

Share Your Spirit!
"Teach us to utter living words
of truth which all may hear;
the language all may understand
when love speaks loud and clear;
till every age and race and clime
shall blend their creeds in one;
and earth shall form one family
by whom thy will is done."
(Hymn: O Spirit of the Living God; Words Henry Tweedy, 1935)
        In the early 90’s, the pastor at our small church introduced the concept that we were all the ministers of the Gospel. He was just the facilitator or spiritual leader. He encouraged us to speak our faith, demonstrate our spirituality in our daily lives and reach out to people.
        In our wildest dreams we may at some time achieve world peace, resolve world hunger and become an ethnically and racially blended society. When that happens, it will not happen through the politics that we have today. It will be a Godly event that we cannot perceive.
        We are all ministers and have the opportunity to work every day towards an improved society. Language and color divide us into nations and social groups. However there is a common language,"... living words of truth which all may hear; the language all may understand when love speaks loud and clear;" We all have a job to do.
Thought for Today: We can find it easy to get caught up in our activities. Families have the sports programs, school issues and their business stuff. Singles have their way of filling the week. Yes, most of the world’s people keep busy. Today let us seek the opportunity to demonstrate and share our spirit with someone.

Prayer for the Day: Heavenly Father, today we thank you for the people you placed in our lives that have supported and led us to grace. Today we pray for the opportunity to contribute to your will here on earth.


Friday, March 14, 2014

New Beginnings

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,
he is a new creation;
the old has gone,
the new has come!”
(2 Corinthians 5:17) 

            Today is the first day of the rest of your life; believe in it. We have a great chance every day to start over. Yesterday is past, tomorrow the future and today is a gift from God. It is up to us how we are going to use it; carry around our old baggage or go out and harvest new joys. It is our choice.
            To use a golf analogy, life is like match play, hole by hole versus day by day. A bad golf hole in match play does not cost you the match, it counts as one of eighteen! In life, a bad day is painful and certainly not wanted and may contribute to a bad week. However, it can be a bottom and life can be all uphill from there. We can turn bad into good.
            One of the benefits I get out of writing these is the phone calls and emails from readers. A year ago my mobile rang and it was a non recorded number. I was way too busy to answer a call from someone I did not know and was going to let it ring through. The old softie in me answered after four rings and it was from an old friend and Good News buddy. She was having a really bad day and gone to the Spirit of HopeUMC web site looking for relief. She found my messages and the first one she opened applied to her issue. She made my day by calling to say thanks for being there.
            If you are reading this today you are on the right track and giving yourself the opportunity for a better day. Meditation and prayer will jump start your day and open the window to the light of our faith.

Thought for Today: Today let us start a new beginning and reach out and help another do the same. 

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father we give you thanks for our many blessings and especially for a new day. Today we pray that we capture the joys of life that you lead us to and that we may help someone else also find them.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Draw Nearer to God!

"Therefore, brothers, since we have
confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,
 by a new and living way opened for us  through the curtain, that is, his body,
 and since we have a great priest over the house of God,
 let us draw near to God
with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith..."
(Hebrews 10:19-22)
        We often slip into moods that weaken our spirituality and faith. In life, fear, anger, lack of trust (doubt) often get more attention than they deserve. It is normal for humans to let them dominate their thoughts but it is also not a healthy way to live.
        At a meeting recently, the subject of "angry unhappy people" was being discussed. There are unfortunate people that have not forgiven enough. They have hung on to so many resentments that they have become cynical, angry, unhappy or all of the above. It almost seems that this is a penance for not practicing forgiveness.
We need to somehow live closer to Jesus example; to forgive and to believe that out of this life will come peace. Draw nearer to God. Spirituality and faith are works in progress. Let God take our hand to find peace and tranquility and continue spiritual growth.
Thought for Today: Today let us selfishly think about ourselves. Focus on our own faith. Certainly we will have opportunity to be angry and frustrated. This week we need to recognize when that occurs, act more like Jesus and "draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith... ".
Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, today we pray for the world leaders.  We pray that the world draw near to you and that peace will prevail.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Our Rock

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..


Monday, March 3, 2014


Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations
(Psalm 100 vs. 4&5)
            In the Saugus Massachusetts in the forties and fifties each school day started with saluting the flag, Psalm 100 and 23 followed by the Lord’s Prayer. It was a great reminder who we were and what America was and represented. I believe that repeating these daily was the best training for life that was passed on to us as youngsters.
            The overall theme of Psalm 100 is Joy through faith. Rather than say a lot about that. I will ask you to do a simple comparison in your mind. Today, think about those around you who do not seem to be joyful, those who seem angry, those having trouble with stress etc. Identify those people and pray for them.
Thought for Today: Today let us stay focused on being joyful Christians.
Prayer for Today: Dear Lord, today we give thanks for the grace guaranteed us by Jesus when he died on the cross. We give thanks for his grace and the joyous lives that we lead.