Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Eve

New Year’s Eve

“The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.”
Psalm 46v7

            Today rather than focusing on a new beginning, let’s give thanks for the blessed year that has passed. Certainly as we think back there are both positive and negative memories. We may ask why we did some dumb things? …or why something great happened? Whatever the case, the Lord was with us and we need to be thankful.

Thought for Today: Today let us be thankful for last year and prayerful about our future. As we move forward let’s remember two of my favorite themes. Keep healthy in spirit, mind and body. Also when doubt about something remember my favorite philosopher, NIKE and “Just do it!”

Bob’s Note: Thank you for reading my devotionals. My prayers are that it helped you in some small way. You are a blessing to me.

Monday, December 28, 2015



  "For by the grace given me I say to every one of you:
Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought,
but rather think of yourself with sober judgment,
in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
Just as each of us has one body with many members,
And these members do not all have the same function,
so in Christ we who are many form one body,
and each member belongs to all the others.
We have different gifts,
according to the grace given us."
(Romans 12:3-6)
            Christmas has past and we all were caught up in the materialism of it all at some level. The advertising, the gift giving, the holiday cards all tend to lead us away from the real meaning of it all. God’s gifts to us.
            I often write about the about the gifts that Paul listed later in this passage. Paul’s letter has a very special meaning and when reading further through verse 9, God's many gifts to us are listed. It is important to understand God's gifts to us and recognize which of gifts we were given. We need to understand where we fit in God's world and how to apply His gifts in our lives. These are the gifts that really matter- They are not advertised on TV or in the newspaper. They are given to us by Him to use. Each of us need to think about our gifts and how we will use them in the New Year.
Thought for Today: As we approach the New Year, let us think about who we are and what gifts God has given us. Let us learn to use these gifts to make our lives and the lives of others better.
Prayer for Today: Dear Lord, at this time of the year, self-improvement always seems to be an objective. Each year I focus on "my improvement" and sometimes do not recognize the tasks you may have set forth for me. I pray that this will be the year that "my improvement" is accomplished by recognizing your gifts to me and finding a way to do your work with them.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Joy to the World!

Joy to the World

Joy to the World, the Lord has come"

        There are a lot of one liners that can be taken from Christmas carols. The opening of "Joy to the World" says it all to me. It summarizes our Christian lives; lives of joy through the forgiveness of our faith and our Christian peers. Let us all feel the joy of the season, the love for each other and keep our faith strong throughout the season.

With blessings, have a great Christmas Eve.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Universal Hope

Universal Hope

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
 There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.”
(Psalm 19v1-4)

The holiday season is a time of hope. The Psalmist notes that there is one clear message from the heavens, one God with one message in all tongues to all peoples. Clearly, this encourages us to believe that there is hope for universal understanding and someday world peace.
We live in an often troubled world. This year there have been natural disasters, terrorism, attacks in schools, layoffs and all sorts of ungodly events. They capture the headlines. Certainly there many who question God’s role in all of this.
We need to remember that “The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”  The press and news media report on other issues. It is up to each of us to focus on the message. With our example, we can infect the world with faith, peace and hope.
             John F. Kennedy said it this way, "One person can make a difference and every person must try."

Thought for Today: OK, there will be bad news this week. We will hear it, see it and sometimes feel it. This week we need to overcome it with the faith and hope of the Lord. This week let us show others our hope for future generations.

Prayer for the Season: Dear Lord, this is the time of year when all faiths celebrate you. We celebrate your presence in different ways with the common thread of love and peace. We pray for the guidance to share our faith so that we may sow a seed in your name.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Midnight Clear

Midnight Clear

“It came upon a midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
“Peace on the earth, good will to all, from heaven’s gracious King”
The world in solemn stillness lay,
To hear the angels sing.”
(Methodist Hymnal 218)
Words by Edmund H. Sears, 1849

            Living in Minnesota the idea of clear air at midnight on a sub-zero evening is a great set up to think peaceful thoughts. I was just outside in that setting (actually plus 9F) and the amazing feeling of quiet, beauty, freshness and the wonders of the evening seem endless.
            The stars are so bright that I wonder why we need the Hubble telescope. The freshness of the air was tremendous. It makes me feel like cold air has more oxygen; it was almost intoxication. The feeling of the air on my face must have increase the blood flow to my cheeks and felt great. It brought back memories of days spent sledding with my friends many years ago. Yes, God has created a great place for us.
            This is a beautiful time of year and the beauty, stillness, invigorating atmosphere is a gift for us all. It is easy to sense how the three Wiseman must have felt while following that star many years ago. Luke put it this way:
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel,
Praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
   and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
(Luke 2 vs. 13, 14)

Thought for Today: We live in a wondrous world, let us enjoy it, appreciate it and protect it.

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, today we give thanks for our worldly blessings and the bountiful lives have through you.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Blue Christmas 2015

Blue Christmas

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me,
for in you my soul takes refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed.
(Psalm 57:1)

            At Spirit of Hope, we have special service for people having a sad time over the Holidays. At one time our pastor must have been an Elvis fan because he called it a Blue Christmas Service. It was one worth attending whether you were sad or not. We can always find reasons to be blue over the holidays and it is good to take a look at those feelings, put them in perspective and pray to God for the support that is available to us.
            This year my family will miss my mom who recently passed on and several friends are dealing with injuries after falls.  There are too many to list with serious ailments and others in severe career and financial crises. I ask you for prayers for all that are sad this Christmas.
            Our service Of Light and Hope (sorry Elvis!) is this week.  June and I will be there praying for our issues of ageing and for those we know that will need our prayer. It is important to take refuge in the shadow of God’s wings.

Thought for Today: Let us take note of our sad feelings over the holidays. Let us recognize that they exist. Rather than mask them with joy, let us pray about them, and turn them over to God so we can enjoy the celebration of Christ’s birth.

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father today we have special prayers for the holidays. We pray that the reminder of your presence brings trust and love to the world. We pray for people who have lost loved ones and are spending their first Christmas with an empty place at the table. We give thanks for the role that you play in our lives and the help you give us. Thank you for being available for us each and every day.

Monday, December 7, 2015

A Day of Infamy!


The LORD Almighty has sworn,
“Surely, as I have planned, so it will be,
   and as I have purposed, so it will happen.
(Isaiah 14:24)

            Today is a famous day described as a day of Infamy. It is one of the most famous days in the history of war. There are a lot of famous battles described in our history books, David and Goliath, Troy, Gettysburg…and more. I need to wonder and ask why. Most wars since WWII have been un-Godly nobody wins situations that do not seem to resolve anything. In fact, after the treaties are signed there has been as much tension as before and does not make a lot of sense to me.
            So where is God in all of this? What would Jesus do? How come both sides can think God is with them? These are great questions and I am not even going to try to answer them. I will refer them to Abraham Lincoln as he analyzed God’s presence in war.
            In Abraham Lincoln: A History by Nicolay and Hay, Lincoln is quoted: “The will of God prevails. In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be, wrong. God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time. In the present civil war it is quite possible that God’s purpose is something different from the purposes of either party—and yet the human instrumentalities working just as they do, are of the best adaption to effect His purpose…God wills this contest, and wills that it shall not end yet. …He could give final victory to either side any day. Yet the contest proceeds.”
            Today we need to remember Pearl Harbor, a day in infamy. We also need to pray for an end to all conflicts and terrorist acts, we need to contemplate world peace.

Thought for Today: Contemplate world peace.

Prayer for the Day: Dear Lord and savior today we are wondering where it will all end. Throughout history the world’s people have found ways to battle. Today we pray for some understanding as to your role in all of this. We pray for understanding so that we can represent your will in search for peace.

Monday, November 23, 2015



"As therefore you received Christ Jesus the Lord,
so live in him, rooted and built up in
him and established in the faith,
just as you were taught,
abounding in thanksgiving
(Colossians 2:6-7)

            June and I are especially thankful for a family running event we started in 1990, now called the Turkey Day 5K. Each year we are tearfully proud when 10,000 plus runners, walkers, pets and wheel chair participants enjoy their Thanksgiving morning in downtown Minneapolis.(…and Chicago, Boise, Miami and Phoenix) As an aside, but probably more important, will be the contributions of food and hard cash that will be received by the Second Harvest food shelf. We both feel blessed that the Lord gave us the inspiration start this event and placed people in our path who have made it special.
             Thanksgiving is the traditional start of what we call the holiday season. While giving thanks we must be aware and focus on the good rewarding parts of our lives; on the positive.

I like the way H. Norman Wright put it, "Thanksgiving is not to be limited to only the times when we are aware of blessings. Let us give thanks even when we have a problem to solve, when there are difficulties to be met.  At these times, we give thanks to God for unconditional love and goodness, for unlimited wisdom and abundance. When we give thanks continually, we are rejuvenated- spirit, mind and body."
    Let us hold those thoughts and be thankful for all of our blessings.
Thought for Today: Let us focus on giving thanks to God for the love we have for each other and the support we both give and receive.
Prayer for Today: Dear Lord and Father, this week we give you thanks for our friends, our families and our troubles. Yes, we give you thanks for our financial crises, our family stress and the ripples in our personal seas of tranquility. Through our troubles we learn to pray and appreciate the many blessings that seem greater when compared with the ripples of life. We give you thanks for our lives, your love and your Grace.

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Time for Everything!

A Time for Everything
There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
  a time to be born and a time to die,…
   a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,…
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.
(Ecclesiastes 3 verses 1-8)

            On September 12th I travelled to New England to help my 98 year old mom through her illness. It was a roller coaster ride full of peaks and valleys that turned out to be her end of life experience. You need to know that it was sad but certainly not bad. In total the six week excursion can only be described as wonderful.
            On Sunday morning mom was transported to the ER in Clinton Mass. She was in tough shape-we were in a valley, maybe the valley of the shadow of death. On the Thursday, she had made a recovery and was transferred to a rehab facility! This was a tense peak, she felt good and felt that somehow I had blocked her return home. She figured out that we were on her side and worked hard at rehab.
            The following Thursday she accepted a temporary slot at a great assisted living facility near her home. We, June and I, had lunch with her there and took her for a ride to view the fall colors. It was a glorious day full of optimism and hope. In fact, we had a truck scheduled for nine in the morning to bring her bedroom set to her new apartment so it would seem like home.
            On Friday morning mom had a heart attack and was transported to the ER in Leominster. That ended the thought of assisted living; we were back in that valley again. But, by Tuesday she was bright, being walked in the halls and heading for Rahab again! In fact, she had such a great time with the visitors that I think they were the most fun days she has had for a long time. Yes, another optimistic peak.
            Tuesday evening she experienced a devastating stroke. She lost effective use of her left side and could not eat solid foods but was still mentally sharp. It was a sad week as we all, including mom, realized there would be no more going home. The spiritual and loving part had begun.
            It was Thursday evening when my mom asked June and I to pray with her. We held hands, June, I and mom, and prayed. We did that several times until that last Tuesday night when we prayed before going home for the night. Mom left us early Wednesday morning

. There was no better way to say good-by

Thought for the Week:  There is a time for everything… a time to be born and a time to die.

Prayer for the Week: Heavenly father, today we deal with the terror around the world; Kenya, Lebanon and Paris. We pray for understanding and for peace.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Always Friends

Always Friends

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved,
 clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.
 Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
(Colossians 3, 12-14)

            Most of us have a problem with feeling like one of “God’s chosen people”. The control freak in us wants to believe that we chose to follow Him. That is ego-centric and introspective. We all know that we chase Him until he catches us. In our lives, who are “God’s Chosen” and what do they do? 
            This month is Thanksgiving and one of my traditions is to do Christmas cards. Each card that gets addressed is to someone special. The addressees have all played a role my life. Each in some way has been a friend, advisor, mentor, coach etc. What a wonderful feeling it is to sit there and think about each of them (you). Are they God’s chosen people? 
            There is a priest in the UK who included me in his daily prayers during my cancer period, another is a running buddy of over twenty-five years duration, and several former pastors who were spiritual advisors… the list goes on. The holiday season is a great opportunity to celebrate Christ’s birth and life. It also a chance to think of the many people God has placed into our lives that have demonstrated to us “… compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience...”

Thought for Today: This week let us simply think about our friends. Let us remember why they are, who they are and what they mean to us.

Prayer for Today: Dear lord and Father, we have many blessings that you have given to us. Among them are our friends and contacts. Each of them is in some way a blessing. This week we offer our prayers for their health and happiness and thank you for presenting them to us.


Monday, November 2, 2015

Start the Day!

The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn,
shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
they do not know what makes them stumble.”
(Proverbs 4:18& 19)
                Those of you that have known me a long time are aware that I have always been a morning person. In my mind, there is no better time of day than early morning, even sunrise. There is no prettier sight that the sun coming up out of the sea off of Boston, the early light on the first tee waiting for enough daylight to see the flight of the ball or the sun coming up over a mountain when viewed from a canoe while fishing. I am blessed because to me first light is a spiritual event.
Each sunrise starts a new beginning, a new opportunity to do better and a new opportunity to do God’s work. Yesterday is gone and can not be changed and our future is today and beyond.
These Good News epistles that I write started as something to do during the early hours. The news casts on TV were (and still are) depressing. The newspapers are full of bad news. It seems that bad news sells.
In Minneapolis, once a week our paper has a half page section called “Faith and Values”. It covers all faiths, special events etc. and does little to offset the many square inches of negativity and promotion of activities disguised as news.
Tomorrow you will see a “first light”. It may be at mid morning if you are a late sleeper. It could be a sunrise. Either way, it is a new beginning, a new opportunity. It will be the first day of the rest of your life! Spend it with hope and joy.

Thought for Today: There will be seven days this week, each is a fresh start. Let us feel the spirit in the first light, the hope of a new day. Let us live the first day of the rest of our lives with faith and the joy of the Lord.

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord, today we thank you for the sunrise; the new beginning; the new opportunity. We pray that we may use this wonderful opportunity to do your will here on earth.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Precious Lord Take Me Home!

This Hymn was part of my mother's memorial service last week.

Halloween 1991

 Halloween 1991

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God. …which transcends all understanding…?”
(Philippians 4 verse 6)

            Halloween, October 31st in 1991 was a significant event in the northern part of the United States. In our neighborhood we had two significant events to prepare for; children trick or treating and June’s departure to the UK for a family visit on November 1st. Mother nature also had a plan that she had not consulted with me on; the great Halloween three day blizzard in Minnesota which was a piece of what is now known as “The Perfect Storm.”
            Paul told the Philippians “Do not be anxious about anything…” but millions of Americans were anxious that weekend! People died on lost ships on the Grand Banks and Minneapolis had 30 inches of snow. But it was not all bad on our end. Let me explain.
            In the early afternoon on October 31st we had a temperature drop and a snow squall started. That is not unusual in Minnesota in the fall and we did not expect it to be anything but a fun Halloween! You see, I had already decorated the outside of the house with Christmas lights so we turned them on. The lights drew a large group of Halloween revelers. We met them with a special greeting, “Ho! Ho! Ho! Happy Halloween.” There was six inches of snow on the ground and we did pray for the safety of the children.
            In the morning there was 15 inches of snow and the visibility was near zero. A trip to the airport seemed impossible. Prayers were needed. We decided to depart after lunch for a 6:30 flight and the 20 minute trip took over two hours and was very dangerous. June’s flight departed 3 hours late and I had a three hour ride home. Happy Halloween.
            I assume you all know about the perfect storm and sinking of the Andrea Gail from Gloucester. Our trials are minor when compared with the loss of a ship and lives. When we heard the story, it put our events into perspective.  Saturday is Halloween, enjoy it with your neighborhood goblins!

Thought for Today: This Friday is a special day and we should enjoy it with the revelers. We should also think back to 1991 and be prayerful.

Prayer for the Day: Heavenly Father, this week we pray for children on a day they look forward to each year. We pray that they be safe and have a great evening. We give thanks for their presence in our lives.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Indian Summer

June and I have now spent over four weeks in Sterling Mass and other parts of New England. Yes, mom passed on October 7th after a short illness it was her time. I want to share that it was a spiritual time of learning, praying and giving thanks for mom’s 98 years. Last Thursday we had a great celebration of her life. She was supported and loved in this small New England town. We were blessed to be with her.

Indian Summer

"This is the day
that the Lord has made,
Let us rejoice and be glad in it"
(Psalm 118:24)
            June and I are in New England experiencing a wonderful autumn. An "Indian Summer" as it is called. Our first heavy frost was followed by a freeze and now we have warm temperatures. Certainly this is a gift to us by God. It is something that we all appreciate and offer our thanks.
            During this time, the crab grass has died; there is color in the leaves; the lawn does not need to be mowed as often; the evenings are cool; the garden does not need weeding.
            There are many blessings about "Indian Summer" and they are easily recognized. In our daily lives there are also many blessings but we often do not see and acknowledge them. We try to control our lives and often do not turn enough over to God. The more we allow Him to take over, the more blessed our lives become.
            The Psalmist says "...But may all who seek you, rejoice and be glad in you..." As we give thanks for good weather, we need also to give thanks and recognize God's roll in our daily lives.
Thought for Today: The fall season is upon us. The busy holidays are approaching us all too swiftly. This week we have the opportunity to relax and enjoy the dwell in activities between the end of summer and the holidays. Let us enjoy by allowing God's will into our daily lives. Let Go and let God and appreciate the things he will do for us.

Prayer: Father, we pray specifically for those in the World that need food, shelter and a quality of life. In our country there are too many people out of work or threatened by unemployment. In many countries the Holy season approaches many desperate people. We pray for them and that somehow the prosperous peoples of the world can find a way to do your will. We pray that we may find a way to contribute.

Friday, October 9, 2015

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, October 5, 2015

Positive Christian II

Positive Christian II

Even youths grow tired and weary,
       and young men stumble and fall
(Isaiah 40 vs. 30)
            For the last several years I have exercised with an older retired physician, Phil. We walk/jog/waddle 15-20 miles a week and we have a lot of time to talk. He has completed over 25 marathons, 20 ultra-marathons and most of you know my triathlon history from 1998 to 2011 and we talk about our youthful days. We have determined that we just do not recover as fast as we used to, in fact we think that it takes three times as long to get our strength back from a good day. During that time, we feel a bit sluggish and it is hard to stay positive. June can tell you what I mean!
            Phil and I have several friends who have lost their spouse. I believe that they are faced with the ultimate challenge and half of us will face it. They are facing different challenges in different ways. Each has shown great growth and seems to be recovering through the grieving process. Each shows a faith and spirituality that they rely on. They seem to be staying positive under the most difficult conditions.
            All of the above sounds a bit negative and that is not intentional-it is just data. The reality is that it is great to be a Christian. We have a great perspective on life and a lot to share with future generations. In our later years we have the support of our Lord and have time to help others, time to share, time for ourselves, and time to recover from our ills. We need to be positive Christians, set an example on how to live and be happy. As we struggle through our many challenges, we need to remember the following:

but 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
(Isaiah 40 vs. 31-32)

Thought for Today: Be happy, be positive and share our enthusiasm with others.

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord, today we thank you for our blessings and the ability to focus on positive feelings through your love. Today we pray that we may be positive and radiate joy to those around us.


Monday, September 28, 2015

Positive Christian I

Positive Christian I

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

            It is another early morning and I am in Sterling, Mass caring for my ailing ninety-eight year old mother .I am thinking back to a summer when June and I moved into our seventies and deeper into over 40 years of marriage. It was a year of celebration and joy. We also did a lot of reminiscing about the victories and challenges we worked through over the years. June and I are truly blessed.
            The story is not all that positive however, we are getting older and as my mom says, “Growing old is not for the faint of heart”. It comes with its own set of challenges. We get tired easier, recover slower and can eat less. Several years ago June and I set a goal of not becoming grumpy senior citizens. We decided to pray and always try to be positive Christians. It is not always easy.

Thought for Today: Today will be a milestone; things will happen we do not expect. Today let’s recognize the blessings we will have, even if they seem like challenges.

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, today we thank you for our many fond memories. As we face today’s challenges we pray that we accomplish your will, deal with issues Jesus way and generate more fond memories for tomorrow.


Monday, September 21, 2015

Happy Landing

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! Happily ever after is not life in general. There will be ups and downs.
            I am in beautiful Sterling Massachusetts today dealing with an ailing 98 year old mom. Last Sunday things looked bleak when I had her transported to the hospital. Yesterday she was in rehab as bright as a morning sunshine wanting to go home. She will need assisted living but has made a remarkable recovery. This was not her time. In fact, all she could talk about last night was the last minute Patriots victory yesterday. She had a booming smile on her face.                  
                        There is a church that I drive by that posts a weekly slogan. One of my favorites describes life 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 smooth 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, health and more. Today we give thanks for having the Holy Spirit with us and will to get through it all so that we may experience the landing. Amen.

Monday, September 14, 2015

School Days!

School Days!

"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters..."
(Psalms 23:1-2).
    In the 40's and 50's, public school in Massachusetts always started with the 23rd Psalm, the Lord's Prayer and the salute to the Flag. Wow, by today's standards, that is powerful stuff. Let us take a look at this and see if we can apply it to our lives today.
        The first two lines above, lead us to tranquility. Faith will take care of our wants and lead us to that inner peace we desire and lead us to the restful place beside still waters.  
"He refreshes and restores my life;
He leads in the paths of righteousness
for His namesake"
There are always periods when things in our lives need rebuilding. There are temptations to take the easy way. These verses point out that the way to get out of the "dumps" is to follow Him.
"Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff to comfort me."
(Psalm 23:4).
The Psalm points out that the Lord is with us and will guide and support us throughout our lives.
    Yes, today our lives get filled with stress. As Christians we are given wonderful tools to work with in our daily lives. The more we let God lead us, the more we will be at peace.

Thought for Today: Let us read the 23rd Psalm and accept the help that God has available to us as we move forward. It will be a big help in locating those still waters we all seek.

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, many times stress builds up in our lives. It is a combination of hurts, anger and resentments kept hidden inside of ourselves. I pray that when this occurs, I find a way to let you help and can accept the guidance, protection and support promised through our Christian faith.  

Monday, September 7, 2015

Start the Day!

 Start the Day!

The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn,
shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
they do not know what makes them stumble.”
(Proverbs 4:18& 19)
            Those of you that have known me a long time are aware that I have always been a morning person. In my mind, there is no better time of day than early morning, even sunrise. There is no prettier sight that the sun coming up out of the sea off of Boston, the early light on the first tee waiting for enough daylight to see the flight of the ball or the sun coming up over a mountain when viewed from a canoe while fishing. I am blessed because to me first light is a spiritual event.
Each sunrise starts a new beginning, a new opportunity to do better and a new opportunity to do God’s work. Yesterday is gone and cannot be changed and our future is today and beyond.
These Good News epistles that I write started as something to do during the early hours. The news casts on TV were (and still are) depressing. The newspapers are full of bad news. It seems that bad news sells.
Tomorrow you will see a “first light”. It may be at mid-morning if you are a late sleeper. It could be a sunrise. Either way, it is a new beginning, a new opportunity. It will be the first day of the rest of your life! Spend it with hope and joy.

Thought for Today: There will be seven days this week, each is a fresh start. Let us feel the spirit in the first light, the hope of a new day. Let us live the first day of the rest of our lives with faith and the joy of the Lord.

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord, today we thank you for the sunrise; the new beginning; the new opportunity. We pray that we may use this wonderful opportunity to do your will here on earth.


Monday, August 31, 2015

Always Joyful!

Always Joyful

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you
and that your joy may be complete.”
(John 15:11)
Torquay, Devon, UK

            Joy is in the heart and our heads seem to want to control it. Does that make sense? What I mean is that the Holy Spirit is always with us and sometimes we do not recognize its presence. Several years ago on a very rainy visit to England we awoke to our eighth or ninth day of rain. We were in the seaside village of Torquay in Devon and the rain was pelting down. We just had breakfast with 50-60 other hotel guests; some joyful and others sorrowful.
            One fellow was looking forward to his round of golf wearing his wellington boots and slicker. He loves his golf and was very positive about the day. Another was going to catch up on his reading in the lounge and then take a walk to a restaurant for lunch. I am writing and then walking in the expected rain! We are the positive force in the room! The spirit of joy and peace is with us.
            Several others have long faces and are complaining about the rain. Their heads have taken control and they are missing out on their joy. Yes, there will not be any sunning on the beach, sitting under the palms and the umbrellas will be use to stay dry rather than protect us from the sun. They are missing the point. We are in a beautiful place with great people. The views are magnificent; the food great and there is always tomorrow!
            This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

Thought for Today: Today let’s recognize that we can be full of joy or worry. Let’s choose to be joyful.

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord and Father, today we give thanks for people; the individuals that make up humanity. You created them all different but somehow in your image. They come in all sizes and shapes, worship you in many different ways but are overwhelmingly great to know.


Monday, August 24, 2015



 "The lips of the wise spread knowledge;
not so the lips of fools"

        One thing that we all seem to want is respect. We earn respect through our interactions with other people. It is earned both with words and actions. Saying good things without commitment and follow through does not earn it. Great actions with course words and hurtful methods also will not earn respect.
            From my youth I remember two of my mom’s favorite expressions: "If you don't have something good to say, then say nothing". (Don’t be negative) and "It is better to be silent and be thought a fool rather than speak and remove all doubt". Most of us have violated these rules more than once!
            We are all born with God's blessings and a high level of respect. If we are not satisfied with the respect we have in our present lives, we need to recognize that we have not earned it yet. The good news is that we can turn it around by living our lives the way our faith has taught us.
Thought for Today: Today let's focus on earning respect through our words. Let us search out the good things to say, avoid any put downs and remember that our faith teaches praise and love. Let us sing the praises of the Lord in our daily lives.
Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father we are living in a confusing world. Hate seems to run rampant and integrity seems to be on the wane. We are confused by it all. We pray for some understanding and a way to contribute to a solution. We pray for a way to help.