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.

Monday, August 17, 2015



Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,
whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”
(James 1 vs.1-3)

            We will face trials in our lives. Some are simple, some are complex, and all help us become better people when we deal with them correctly. James is exactly correct; tests of our faith develop character and perseverance.
            Remember the story read to us as children about the tortoise and the hare? The hare gets overconfident and loses the race. He was the fastest, had all the advantages but lacked commitment and persistence. My favorite poster hung on my office wall for 30 years. It was of a very long windy road, miles long and showed a lone runner. The distance to the horizon appeared to be out to infinity! The caption read “The race is not always to the swift but to those who keep on running!” The title was persistence.
            James and Jesus knew it; we hear and understand it; we need to persevere in our faith to make the world a better place.

Thought for the Day:  Today, this week, month and year let us remember our faith. Each day let us spread our love and joy to make our presence felt in a positive way.

Prayer for Today: Dear God, today we give thanks for your presence in our lives and the ability to resist temptations. Amen

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Hear the Holy Spirit!

Hear the Holy Spirit!

“Whoever has ears,
let them hear what the
Spirit says to the churches.”
(Revelations 3: verse 6, 13 & 22)

            This is my first try at using a passage from Revelations and it is scary to me because it is the book that I am least familiar with. Today’s passage also appears in Rev 2 and it is a message from the Angels to several church congregations. However, it hit me because it was used three times in Rev 3 and it summarizes an article from Sunday’s paper entitled, “No religion, too? A recipe for trouble…” written by Katherine Kersten. She states that there is a strong connection between virtue (as taught by religious organizations) and successful self-government (democracy).
            In her article she points out that the intellectual or “psychological” man is replacing the Christian model of man. Otherwise stated, the soul is being replaced by the “self.” Since the Christian model places very high demands on virtue, she fears that our ability to self-govern will be sacrificed. My personal thoughts are that this describes many of the issues that are bothering America and the rest of the free world today.
            James Madison, our fourth President said it this way:
"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."
            We have a personal obligation as Christians to demonstrate our faith, to invite others to join us and somehow keep our souls open to inspection. When others learn what we have in terms of happiness and satisfaction, they will join in.
Thought for the Day: Today let us radiate our happiness and wear our faith on our sleeves. Let us hear what the spirit says to the churches throughout our day.

Prayer for Today: Lord, today we pray that we may hear the Spirit in our daily activities and can do your will here on earth.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Who's Macro?

Who’s Macro?
"Now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David.
But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. 8
Your servant is here among the people you have chosen,
a great people, too numerous to count or number. 9
So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.
For who is able to govern this great people of yours?"
(1 Kings 3vs 7-10)

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.
            My macro issues are with what I call the new world economy and what I see happening in the world with terrorists and religious zealots. I feel quite helpless and it seems that my friends feel 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 the issue is that I need to focus on the correct Macro; the spirit of our Christian Faith as opposed to the Government or World macro. The politicians around the world certainly have changed things with the new world economy and making war. 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.