Sunday, January 31, 2016

Let the Glory Be God’s

 Let the Glory Be God’s

“Praise be to the Lord,
for He has heard my cry for Mercy.
The LORD is my strength and shield;
My heart trusts in Him and I am helped.”
(Psalm 28 vs 6 & 7)

In America the “Super Bowl” takes place next Sunday and there are big numbers associated with it. Numbers like 150 million people watching on TV, 3 million dollars for a 30 second add, 250 million added to the area economy- OH yes, a number I do not have but tried to find; there are a number of competitors and coaches from both teams who will attend a prayer meeting and bible study Sunday before the game. They are members of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
            My sports history goes back to age six as a YMCA swimmer and in my 60 plus years of associating with athletes has convinced me that they are overall not a group to be proud to know. For the most part, their years of competition and “winning is everything” attitude has influenced them in a negative manner. Frankly I don’t like them and avoid them.
            On Super Sunday there will be members of the “Fellowship” who have kept a balance in their life. In sports I find them a pleasing and great minority. They represent what I feel every Christian and person needs to be: The best they can be with an appreciation of the Lord and Jesus Christ. Below is the last paragraph of their competitor’s creed.
“I give my all- all of the time.
I do not give up. I do not give in. I do not give out.
I am the Lord’s warrior- a competitor by conviction and a disciple of determination.
I am confident beyond reason because my confidence lies in Christ.
The results of my efforts must result in His glory.

Let the competition begin.
Let the glory be God’s.”

Thought for Today: Let us enjoy today by being the best we can be while keeping the Lord in the forefront.

Prayer foe Today: Father, today we pray that we will keep you in our lives; that we will be fair in our dealings and competitions. We pray that through our faith we will be good examples of your commandments.


Monday, January 25, 2016

Win Win!

"...what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor."
(Psalm 8:4,5)

           In America there seems to be a win lose philosophy running rampant throughout our society. There is a lot of hero worship devoted to overpaid athletes. We seem to have adopted Vince Lombardi's attitude "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing". Well, that may be our world, but it is not God's world.
        The Psalmist above clearly demonstrates that we were created a little lower than the angels and crowned with glory. There is plenty of God's love for each of us. There are worldwide resources that when shared in God's way will do for all. We live in a great world with great people and somehow we taint it with our own un-Godly behaviors.
        As a young athlete in the 40's, I remember the expression "It's not whether you win or lose, it is how you play the game that counts". Somehow that has stuck with me throughout my life. It is an expression of a win-win philosophy. I think that is what God had in mind.
Thought for Today: Today let us focus on creating win-win situations in our lives. Observe our surroundings and lighten them up a bit. Slow for the other drivers, merge rather than block. Open a door and allow a few people through. Sit forward in church and leave some room in the back for late comers. Let's show everyone that we all can win.

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, we live in a confusing world. Hate seems to dominate love; Racism rears its ugly head in surprising places; religious wars and terror are creating a fearful world. There do not seem to be any safe havens where your love dominates. Today we pray that we may contribute to world peace; to a place where love dominates over negative un-Godly forces! 

Monday, January 18, 2016


Honoring Martin Luther King, January 15, 1929-April 8, 1968

 MLK Day
It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me,
But it can keep him from lynching me,
And I think that’s pretty important.
Martin Luther King

            There are many quotes from the great Martin Luther King and when I researched them I picked the one above because I had not heard it before. It does not make a great philosophical statement, there is not a spiritual or social justice meaning; it is a simple truth. Living and having the right to pursue freedom always needs to be protected.

            Other quotes by MLK have deeper meaning, spiritually, and are more often used. Below are the ones that seems to be in the media:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.
"Strength to Love," Martin Luther King, Jr.

One that I personally like is:

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

And as Christians we need to demonstrate that we have the faith, we need to take the first step.

Thought for the Day: This is the day the Lord has made and He made it for all humankind. We need to remember and promote equality, always.

Prayer for the Day: Dear Lord, today we do not pray for forgiveness of the past discrimination and separatist social acts of our forefathers. We need to accept them and move forward. Today we pray for the guidance and will to contribute to peace and acceptance through Jesus love.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Tools for a Happy new Year!

Tools for a Happy New Year 2016   

    As we go into the New Year, peace and tranquility always seem to be part of our New
Year’s goals. Last year we did too much. One more committee at church, the kids need a
coach, how can we get everyone to every game, lesson class etc.? Oh, the boss wants us
50 hours a week too!! Below are some thoughts and verses to support us this year.

    It takes faith and courage to let go and let God play a role in our lives.
"I... will have sufficient courage so that now
 as always, Christ will be exalted in my body..."
Philippians (1:20).

At work and in our daily lives, we often fail to take the risk of allowing God to take control. How often we do not accept the spiritual help available. We will handle it all. Where is our humility when we try to do it all?
"... humbly accept the word planted in you,
which can save you."
 James (2:1).

    We tend to forget the basic rules taught to us by our faith. When we are taking control, adding stress to ourselves, do we ask for the help available?
“If any of you lacks wisdom, ask God
...and it will be given to you."
 (James 1:5)

    We are told to keep God at the forefront in our search for this inner peace.
"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus."
(Philippians 4:7)

    Thought for Today: Let us focus on peace and tranquility in our lives; with our
families, neighbors and coworkers.

Prayer for Today:  Let's use the serenity prayer, this week and for the year,
especially when over stressed.
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage
to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference."

Monday, January 4, 2016

Persistence 2016

 Persistence 2016

Then Jesus told his disciples... that they should always pray and not give up.”
(Luke 18:1)

            Last year several of our Good News friends were forced to live these words and it was not the greatest year in our home either!
            Within our group several families have undergone forced income reductions because of the new American economy. There are health issues. One to mention is Good News friend Gary who developed chronic neuropathy and lives in constant pain. Several Good news friends are dealing with dependency because of the pain reducing drugs that seem so helpful when they started with them years ago. Life is a long term battle; an endurance event!
            There is a Bob Dylan phrase “Times are achanging…” and maybe not for the better. In fact one of life’s only constant is change!  I have said many times that life is similar to an endurance event. It takes persistence to get to the end. There will be ups and downs. We must stay positive and keep our eyes on the prize. We need to “…always pray and not give up.”

Thought for Today: For today let us pray for people in need; people dealing with tough life issues. There may be health issues, family stress, financial stress and others. Oh yes, like charity begins at home, it is a given that prayer does also. As Christians we are not guaranteed a smooth flight; just a happy landing!

Prayer for Today: Heavenly father today we pray for smooth sailing through the rough seas of life. We pray for ourselves and others who are in need. We pray that we will do better and seek a way to do your will here on earth.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year 2016

 Happy New Year 2016-1-1
"Not that I have already obtained all this,
or have already been made perfect,
but I press on to take hold of that 
for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize
for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. “
(Phillipiens3:12-14; NIV)
Happy New Year. For the next few weeks the athletic clubs will be filled with "New Years resolutionists". Diet programs will come and go, self improvement books will be purchased or at least the dust will be blown from last year’s cover! Does that sound familiar? Yes, we all have had a few resolutions fall by the wayside. I do not know if Paul wrote the above on New Year’s Eve but it is appropriate. Many of us have new goals today: weight, fitness, financial goals etc. Paul is asking us to look at our spiritual goals. "...Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize.” Hold that thought as you proceed through the New Year.
Thought for Today: Let us look ahead rather than behind. Let us look ahead at the opportunities in our lives. This year let us practice Christian ethics and life style in all phases of our lives and by all means share our faith with others.
Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father as this New Year begins please hear our prayer for serenity:
"God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference."
Hear this for all the worlds people so that your love and peace may dominate this New Year.