Monday, July 28, 2014

Marriage Story!

Good News 072808- Marriage 40th 
" A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value."
(Proverbs 31:10,11 ) 

On  July 28th , 2008, June and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. We were married on her 30th birthday. She has been a blessing to me and I often refer to her as being the light at the end of my tunnel. She helped escort me from my dark period of the 60’s into something better- that seems to be still growing. Forty years is a long time and it was not all romance and happy times. There was alcohol treatment, recovery, career moves and stress, the challenges of raising four children and just living with Bob who does not always make sense!

           I often discuss the many wonderful benefits of a good marriage: the great mutual support, the care when illness arrives, the mutual celebrations of the many events that occur. Yes, marriage is truly a great institution when things are well and blessed by God.  

Thought for Today: Today let’s keep it simple and enjoy our significant other and those others around us. 

Prayer for the Week: Heavenly Father, today we give thanks for the people that you have placed close to us in our lives. We pray that as this week progresses, we can share our love with friends, family and others who we meet. 







Friday, July 25, 2014

Straight to our Heart

 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 we 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.

Monday, July 21, 2014



After I go through Macedonia, I will come to you—
for I will be going through Macedonia.  
Perhaps I will stay with you a while, or even spend the winter,
so that you can help me on my journey, wherever I go.
   I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit;
I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits.”
(1 Corinthians 16, 5-7) 

            When reading about Paul’s work for the Lord, his accomplishments leave me in awe. There are times when it is hard to understand how it all happened. Today’s letter gives us a hint that his life had similarities to ours. He was not without stress, he had to set priorities. Today’s verse can be paraphrased as “I am too busy right now to …, I will get to you later.” In today’s society that is really said way too often. Here are some questions for we that are over fifty:
            Did you carry a calendar when you were twelve?
            Were there sports, scouts or other activities on Wednesday or Sunday evening?
            Did anyone wear an Ipod at the dinner table or in a group?
            When June and I raised our children, Wednesday and Sunday night were reserved for Church and the kids did not carry calendars. My grand children not only carry calendars and Personal Digital Assistants full of to do lists, they need them. It is great training for the future, teaching them to make choices, setting priorities. High school kids take college classes, college students are helping in the high schools, and there are internships that need to be fitted in. Things have changed.
            When reading bible stories, it is always great to recognize that the issues then are different than now, but then they are also very similar. Disciples were expected to support the church and spread the word. Paul recognized his responsibilities and set his priorities for the Lord. We have similar responsibilities and need to keep our discipleship high on our priority list.

Thought for Today: Tomorrow let’s wake up and think about where we can work for God. How can we be a good disciple? He will present opportunities if we are willing and alert. 

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord and Father, we live in the land of plenty. We often forget you in our daily and busy lives. This week we give you thanks for your gifts. We also pray that we recognize the opportunities to do your work and that we can help others in your name. Amen


Friday, July 18, 2014

Personal Peace!

"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) 

            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 affected her blood pressure; a very common and viscous cycle in today’s world.
            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, and 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."


Monday, July 14, 2014

Global Peace

"Whatever you have learned or
received or heard from me,
or seen in me—put it into practice.
And the God of peace will be with you."
(Philippians 4:9)

            There are almost 300 million people in America and billions worldwide. As individuals we are not statistically significant overall. But we all know that statistics can be manipulated and are often misrepresented. Certainly within our Christian faith, each of us is significant to God. In many of Paul’s letters he advised that "God will be with you". I will add; personally, up front and close.
            As statistically insignificant as the mathematicians make us, God gives us meaning, power and faith. We are the power of one. As Christians, we can impact the world one individual at a time through our faith. When we demonstrate that we are at peace, we infect those around us. When we demonstrate good Christian ethics, we lead others to follow us. When we are at peace, others want to join us.
            We all know of pyramid schemes and chain letters. We have an opportunity through our faith to be at the top of a living chain. Each day we are at peace through our faith we will positively affect our environment. Our challenge as people of faith is to work our peace so others will join us.
Thought for Today: It is challenging but exciting to think that we can affect others with our positive actions. This week let us consider others and by example, share our hope a regarding our future.

Prayer: Heavenly Father we see and hear ugliness in the world on a daily basis. The mid-east is in turmoil, many of our streets are not safe and there are too many negative financial issues within our institutions. It is hard to understand where you are when we are bombarded daily with these issues. We pray for understanding of your role and that we may participate in an overall solution.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Be the Best!

(Isaiah 40: 31)

“...  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.”

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

Thought from Bob: 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. Today’s thought is based on exactly that. Let us be the best we can be in spirit, mind and body!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

I Yam What I Yam!

I Yam what I yam 

"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 marvelous."
(Psalm 139:13-14, TLB). 

Was Popeye a philosopher? Cartoonists often are. When Popeye was confronted with difficult situations he would state "I yam what I yam?” gulp down his spinach and defend right!

        We are not all Popeyes and we are expected to conform, often to standards below those of our Christian faith and may face difficulties if we do not. In any case it is necessary to understand who we are, what we are and keep the Lord in our daily lives. We need our "spinach".

         In many ways we are continually fighting an image syndrome. Conformity is the word, and clones are the result. Quite often we get flack because we don't fit.

    If there was a right way to be, how would some of the prophets or John the Baptist fit in with the rest of their society? Probably not too well at times.

    The truth is you are you. You are who God created you to be. He wants you to know who you are and understand your unique characteristics. You were created by God and then the mold was broken. No one else is exactly like you.

        You are unique. You are special and it is all right to be you. Don't let others shape you. That is God's task He started with you, he will finish with you and he will be with you. He is our spinach. 

He really does want you to be you. 

Thought for the Day: Let us search for the person that God wants us to be so that we may serve him better. 

Prayer: Heavenly father, as we travel through our weekly chores, we need to see a way to help You. We often lose track of your plan. Sometimes we are too busy and do not understand it. This week we pray that each of us may find a better way to serve You and make life better for everyone.



Thursday, July 3, 2014

Independance Day

Because this has become an international site, note that this is written for America's Independence day, July 4th. However, the ten commandments are the key to world peace!

Good News Independence Day

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves
be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
(Galatians 5:1)

            Independence is what makes America great and our many freedoms make this a great place to live. Our constitution is based on our ability to self govern. Below is what James Madison, our fourth President, had to say about our system.

"We have staked the whole of all our political Institutions upon the capacity of mankind for Self-Government, the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."

Pray about where we were then and where we are now.

Thought for Today: Today let’s celebrate our independence by obeying the Lord’s commandments.

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord and Father, our country celebrates its independence. Our freedoms are based on your laws and our abilities to obey them. Today we pray for spiritual growth, honesty, integrity and ethics.