Monday, June 30, 2014

The Dalia Lama

 “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
(Matthew 6 vs. 27)           

            June and I have been blessed with the ability to enjoy our lives; both the pitfalls and the pleasures. We strongly believe that somehow the Lord has been involved in our lives and lead us to enjoy the simple pleasures. We both believe that the ability to put the events of our life into perspective is our greatest blessing through our faith.
            Several weeks ago a “Good News buddy” forwarded this to me. I believe that this is not describing a person of faith but is right on for those that have not developed a spiritual lifestyle. 

            The Dalai Lama when asked about what surprised him most about humanity answered

“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.
Then he sacrifices his money to recuperate his health.
And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present;
the result being that he does not live in the present or the future;
he lives like he is never going to die and he dies having never really lived.”          

Thought for Today: Who in our circle of friends resembles the Dalai Lama’s description? It could be family, neighbor, friend or even someone in our church. Today let’s think about that and find a way to share our faith with them.

Prayer for Today:  Dear Lord, today let us pray for those who have not included Christ in their lives; those who are spiritually weak, worried about physical rather than Godly issues. We pray for them and ask you for a way to help, a way to share and a way to contribute to their spiritual growth.

Friday, June 27, 2014


Thought for TodayToday with God’s help, let us be winners no matter which way our battles turn out! We have the parts and the image to be winners. Enjoy. 

Two short quotes from Pastor Mike Miller, my spiritual mentor and friend! 

“Everybody is Somebody-including you and me.”  

“…My theology and values are centered on the conviction that because we are created in the image of God, each of us is valued and has deep within us the potential to reflect the goodness and beauty of our Creator….” 

For it was you who formed my inward parts;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
(Psalm 139 vs. 13 & 14)

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord, today we give thanks for who and what we are; your image here on earth.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Life Goals

Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed;
life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
(Luke 12 vs. 15)

            In our democratic society we are encouraged to compete in the workplace and elsewhere. In the 50’s there was the term “Keeping up with the Jones’s.” In the 90’s that seemed to become “Leave the Jones’s behind.”  The two car family of the 60’s became the two home, four cars and a boat family of the new millennium. It is easy to understand why attendance and giving in church declined; no one has any time or money left!
            This is not meant to be a stewardship message asking for more. It is meant as a caution and designed to provoke thought. One of my blessings was being raised in a household with two cars and two homes. When we moved to Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes and 10 million lake homes, we said no way. You see, I grew up maintaining two homes with my dad and did not want to ever do that again!
            In confession June and I did have too much stuff and too many things. We downsized in 2006 and have not finished yet!
            Jesus is clear in his message as reported by Luke. Life is about spiritual growth, love within the community, helping others, being comfortable in your own skin etc. Happiness has nothing to do with stuff or things.

Thought for Today: Today let us think about what we need to get through the day and contemplate what we want. Let’s try to understand the differences.

Prayer for the Day: Heavenly Father, today we are blessed and live in a great society. We ask forgiveness for our participation in the blatant consumption encouraged in our world. We pray that as we move forward we experience the blessing of learning what our real needs are and experience the true abundance of your love.


Friday, June 20, 2014

The Answer !

“You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh
but are in the realm of the Spirit,
if indeed the Spirit of 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.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Our Rock

You will keep in perfect peace 
him whose mind is steadfast,
because he trusts in you.
 Trust in the LORD forever,
for the LORD is the Rock eternal
(Isaiah 26 vs. 3 & 4)

            The terms shaky ground and solid ground generate strong visual images that are easy to understand. Growing up in Massachusetts we played in the grassy marsh lands alongside the tidal rivers north of Boston. The land was around six inches above what was called “mean high tide.” We often ran into shaky ground, ground that was virtually floating. That was always scary because several times one of us broke through the sod and had to be helped out. Breaking through could be fatal.
            Solid ground is also something very definable; a rock or piece of ledge. When we went fishing in these tidal streams we would fish from the rocky corners where we would be safer. The tidal flows had eroded the mud bank back to solid ledge and often the water was deeper there. That’s where we felt safest.
            In life, we are safest when we are strong in our faith; when we have time for God; when we remember our rock. Our rock protects us emotionally and physically. Our rock is eternal.

Thought for Today: Today let us remember to stand on our rock!

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, today we pray that when we have issues we can stay grounded in our faith. We pray that we remember our rock when we are stressed.


Friday, June 13, 2014

Love is Strong!

Thought for Today: Every day and every week is in some way a milestone. There will be ups and downs; expectations will be met and we will sometimes fall short of our goals. With our faith in the forefront we can overcome the low points and move forward in a positive way.

From friend in Christ, Randolph Staten: :"LOVE is too STRONG and LIFE is too SHORT. (Much TOO short) You have to LOVE with your HEART and live with your FAITH"

 (Isaiah 40 vs. 29 & 30)
He gives strength to the weary
       and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary,
       and young men stumble and fall

Monday, June 9, 2014


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.
 (Philippians 4 vs. 10-13) 

            It always amazes me and reinforces my faith when something Paul said 2000 years ago applies directly to today’s world. For several years our free world economy has been flaky. Trust in government has faded as the leaders of America and the world have become polarized. The advent of Ponzi schemes and fraud by high powered executives have hurt the trust we need in our financial markets for them to be strong. Even at low levels of government doubt in their ability to perform are stronger than ever. Frankly, it is scary to me because our country is built on trust. Look at your money, “In God We Trust.”
            My Good News is not meant to be political and that seems to be the case today but I promise to turn this around! You see, Paul is pointing out a simple truth and we need to pay attention to it. In a recent telecast televangelist Joel Osteen put it this way, “We do not know what the future holds but we do know who holds our future.”  Hmmm, there is something to think about. 

Thought for Today: Today and always let us take time to focus on our savior. Let’s take a few minutes to appreciate and welcome Him into our life. 

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord and Father, today we give thanks for Paul’s words and encouragement. We pray that we may accept his advice graciously and lean on you to get through our daily stresses.

Friday, June 6, 2014


Thought for Today: Today let us all be positive in the face of all challenges. Let’s snatch peace and serenity from the grasp of negativity.

Lyndon Johnson talked about the pursuit of peace: “Peace is a journey of a thousand miles and it must be taken one step at a time.

(Isaiah 26 verse 3)
“You will keep in perfect Peace
those whose minds are steadfast,

because they have trust in you.”

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A Still Place

Be still and acknowledge that I am God"
(Psalm 46:10)

            The world is a busy place and this message is not for June and I any more, but it applied for all the years we were raising our children, running three businesses, active in our church etc. I believe it is one of the reasons we made it through it all and the reason we are not overbooked seniors. (Note that I did not describe us as retirees!)
            Many Americans are overbooked; families are tied up every day with career and children’s activities; empty nesters seem to have filled the time with commitments; often retirees often do not know how they ever had time to work! That leads to a lot of stress, tension and often family failures. That’s correct; the family that plays too much together just may not have enough quality time to survive. They do not have time to call for help.
            In his book Bread for the Table, Henry Nouwen says it this way; These are words to take with us in our busy lives. We may think about stillness in contrast to our noisy world. But perhaps we can go further and keep an inner stillness even while we carry on … It is important to keep a still place in the "marketplace". This still place is where God can dwell and speak to us. …with that stillness God can be our gentle guide in everything we think and do.

Thought for Today: The varied conditions in our world are causing many of our friends and neighbors to go through unplanned changes in their lives. Let us pray that God will be a presence in their lives as they pursue the opportunities presented to them through these changes.

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, the world around us is confusing, sometimes cruel and always difficult to understand. Please allow us time to step aside from our busyness and dwell upon "your will" rather than "our wants and needs". Let us find the peace or stillness to allow "thy will to be done on earth as it is in heaven."