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.