Friday, August 29, 2014


“Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do…”
(Deuteronomy 23 vs. 23) 

            One of the ways to be successful in life is to keep all of your commitments. If you say it, make sure you do it; even after having second thoughts. Become known as one hundred percent reliable.  It is probably impossible to be 100% but the closer you are the more you will benefit.

            I have a friend who coached youth soccer and had never played. He told the league that he was unqualified but would be available if they could not find someone else. They called and he managed a team and with the help of two assistants that could teach skills they worked things out. He managed the team rather than coached and the kids had fun. This same guy also managed a youth hockey team and could not skate. You see, the people with the skills did not (or could not) make the time commitment.

            In the business world one of my jobs was training people new to sales. Trainees working with me heard the word commitment a lot. Fortunately in sales, most of the competition lacked the passion or desire to be fully committed. If you were the one that got back to the customer first, if the customer trusted you would be prompt, if your information was reliable, you would get the first call and the most orders. It was a simple task and the most important.

            At some time in your life you made a commitment to God. These messages are an opportunity to review that commitment and recharge your batteries; a way to keep committed and stay on track in a world of distractions.

Thought for Today: Today let us be committed. First to God and then to ourselves by being the best we can be! 

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord and Father, today we give thanks for our many blessings. Our families, friends and people that we do not know yet. We give thanks for being Godly people that will be accepted and liked by others.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Navigator!

 The Navigator

"The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail."
(Isaiah 58:11)

            Often when we wake up in the morning we do not have a plan. Sometimes we are energized and happy other times we are stressed and depressed. Many times we need to adjust our thoughts to the spiritual side of the balance scale. We need to open the windows to our mind and allow God's fresh breeze to liberate us when we are down. This morning I am waiting for the breeze.
        When waiting for the breeze, there seems to be a need. In my case that need is often met with strong coffee, sugar and perhaps some Ibuprofen. That is not the best solution. It has a physical and temporary lift, but the need is better met spiritually.
        This morning the need was met through prayer. The breeze that arrived came through Isaiah 58:11. Sometimes we forget what we need. We forget that God is with us; we leave Him in the back seat rather than use Him as navigator for the day.
As navigator He will take us to places that we would not have gone on our own.
Thought for Today: Today there will be stress, problematic decisions and times of anguish. We need to focus and remember that "God is with us" and we need to let Him lead. We need to pray over the tough decisions and focus on following His will.
Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, we pray for your guidance. We need to understand our immediate world and area of control and also understand the happenings around the global World. Neither seems very well organized today. We pray that we can find a way to contribute through you to help your will prevail in tough situations.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Bob's Annual Birthday Post!

Be a Bit Selfish

"Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way,
and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless..."
(1 Thessalonians 5:23)
        Each year on my birthday, I give thanks to something that I learned in my youth as a YMCA brat. The symbol for the Y is a triangle, each side has a meaning, they are "spirit, mind and body". Each year I give thanks for my role as a father, son and my place in society. But let's talk a bit about what it takes to be in a good place with ourselves.  It is selfishness. Yes, being selfish in pursuit of a healthy self:
Mentally, physically and spiritually.
        In each of our lives, we must fit into some basic places in society; a family, a workplace and a social setting. We fit best when the three sides of our personal triangle are in a healthy balance. That is to say we focus on each a little every day so that we minimize life's problems.
         In all areas of our lives, it is important to demonstrate the forgiveness and love that comes from a strong spirituality. We need to be physically fit enough to deal with the long days without being fatigued and run down. Also, we need to be mentally sharp enough to make the decisions that are expected of us. That is a lot to ask of mortals and not an easy task.
        So be a bit selfish, take care of yourself so that you may be all that what God wants you to be and be capable of doing God's work when the opportunity presents itself to you. Take care of yourself so that you can be all that your family needs you to be. Remember the logo of the YMCA, spirit, mind and body. Keep totally fit.
Thought for Today, My Birthday: Today is the day the Lord has made, a day for me to enjoy. Friends will recognize it, family will celebrate it and I will enjoy it. It is a blessing that we all have and a great day to give thanks to the Lord for all of our many blessings.

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father today is a very special day, the day that you brought me into your service. Through out this day, I give thanks for all the opportunities that you have given to me; the opportunity to have a healthy relationship with family and friends. Today I will often hear the words "happy birthday". To those words I say, "Thanks be to God".

Monday, August 18, 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..

Friday, August 15, 2014


" I saw that there is nothing better
than that all should enjoy their work,
for that is their lot;
who can bring them to see what will be after them?
(Ecclesiastes 3:22)

            Several years ago we attended the birthday party of a business man and mentor of mine. The attendees covered all areas of life and all age groups. There was a roast and the underlying theme of nearly every speaker had very little to do with money. The recipient was certainly focused on money during business hours, that's just business. He was, however, gracious and generous with his outside activities.
            The general discussions involved how many young people he helped along with their careers. Among the guests were former interns, people from help organizations that specialized in helping people who had lost their jobs and representatives from schools where he had helped out with programs and placements. Outside of business, he demonstrated a tireless generosity.
           There is room in business for strong Christian values.  We need to be profitable to survive and that requires good financial practices.  However, we owe it to ourselves to keep Christian values in all areas of our lives and make every attempt to create win-win situations. Jesus' words in Luke 12 vs.15 speak to us about greed. "Take care! Be on guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions." Christ tells us to remember what is important as we approach our work and the people we encounter each day. We need to share and demonstrate our values every day.
            Thought for Today: As Christians we need to keep our principals in focus. We need to keep our positive attitudes and demonstrate them in our daily lives.
            Prayer for Today: Dear Lord, today we thank you for the principles and ethics we have learned at Jesus knee. Today we pray that we may keep them in focus and apply them in all situations.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Whose Law?

Good News 101406B Who’s Law 

Clearly no one is justified before God by the law,
because, “The righteous will live by faith.”
  The law is not based on faith;
(Galatians 3vs. 11& 12)          

            In Civics 101 we are taught that America we follow a version of the English common law. The constitution mixes things up by declaring “In God we trust” and then separating Church and State. What a conundrum. We have to deal with the duplicity. 
            Somehow each state legislature and the congress write thousands of laws and they seem to change them yearly. We spend a lot of time adjusting, ignoring or being unaware of the changes. 
            Governments seem to want to legislate what we know as good Christian ethics; caring about each other, helping each other and developing community. There is no allowance in law for unconditional love and caring for our fellow man.    
            Fortunately, as Christians, when we follow God’s law, we are in alignment with most manmade laws and we coexist very well. In fact, the most successful people that I know of follow God’s law first and man’s law second. There is a connection with faith and success.  

Thought for Today: Today let us practice God’s law. Let’s demonstrate our caring and love of humanity in our actions. Let’s demonstrate unconditional love in our daily activities. 

Prayer for Today: Dear lord, today we pray that in our toughest moment and most challenging time, we may be strong and follow your law.

Thursday, August 7, 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.


Monday, August 4, 2014

Positive Focus!

 Positive Focus
"Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking lies.
Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it."
(Psalm 34: 12-14)

            Many of us today are challenged with issues. Some have lost jobs, some have divorced, others have significant others who are terminally ill; anger, fear and resentments are fostered in this way. How do we deal with the issues without destroying the peace in our life?
            Obviously challenges that threaten our livelihood and families are difficult. Some are hard decisions but get dealt with quickly; others seem unsolvable and could drag on forever. The quickies are best dealt with on the spot and then go away. The long term issues need other techniques and the best are through our faith.
            Several years ago there was a serious issue that involved discrimination within our church. Unfortunately I was in the middle of it and there was no obvious solution and prayer did not work for me. So I went with plan B, when prayer does not work, pray again- but the second time was with my spiritual mentor. It eventually worked out the way the Lord wanted it.
            I like to say that when the going gets tough the tough start praying! Sometimes that is the only solution. 

Thought for Today: Today let’s recognize the tough spots or bumps and pray for a win-win solution.

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father we give thanks today for the ability to insert you into our life’s problems through prayer.


Friday, August 1, 2014

More Grace

Good News 070111 More Grace 

Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves,
others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your
confession of the gospel of Christ,
and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.
And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you,
because of the surpassing grace God has given you.
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
(2 Corinthians 9 vs. 13-15) 

            We are supposed to be the light of the world; born to give; born to receive graciously; born to accept Grace. Paul’s message can be oversimplified by this simple paraphrase: “Through service to others we will find grace and peace.” Until I see that written elsewhere we will consider it just another Pickeringism!
            When we give, help and set examples of Grace we impact those around us in a positive way. That needs to be our mission, our charge and our way of life as Christians: “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” 

Thought for Today: OK, we understand Paul’s message for today- Now let us use it! 

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord, today we desire to serve. We pray that we recognize the chance to help when you place it before us.