Monday, April 25, 2016

Our Fortress

Our Fortress

God is our refuge and strength,
   an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
   and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
   and the mountains quake with their surging.
The LORD Almighty is with us;
   the God of Jacob is our fortress
(Psalm 46 vs. 1-3 & 7)

            Folks, there certain beliefs that were instilled in me by my dad who was an engineer. His thoughts were reinforced by many of my instructors at engineering school. One of them was that engineers are not writers because we think in numbers and theorems. Everything in an engineer’s life is parallel or perpendicular to something! They do not teach us in geometry that the prettiest distance between two points is a curved line!

Today’s message is do not believe that stuff. Good news friend and spiritual mentor of mine, George from Minneapolis wrote the following poem. He is an engineer. Remember the punch line.

Psalm Forty-Six
By George Ewing

With the rising sun God starts our day
We check our schedules and are on our way
In our hearts we may feel a twinge or a prod
Be still, and know I am God!

As we look to those with lives in doubt
Many homes are lost and families shut out
We bring them in with a prayer and a nod
Be still, and know that I am God!

The phony games of life we choose to play
We do not seek to know God’s will for our day
Strange voices about Jesus may seem very odd
Be still, and know that I am God!

Now as I kneel down before the cross
Has life passed by leaving me at a loss
Then Jesus’ arms pick me up from the sod
Be still, and know that I am God!

Thought for Today: God is our rock, our fortress and our love.

Prayer for Today: Today Lord we give thanks to people like George, the contributions they make to our lives by helping us to remember You.


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Patriot's Day in America!

Tomorrow is Patriot’s Day in Boston. There will be a marathon and sad memories of two young mid-easterners with bombs. My focus is not on the bombers, it is on the 120th Boston marathon and our future,
 Patriots Day

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run,
but only one gets the prize?
Run in such a way as to get the prize.
Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.
They do it to get a crown that will not last,
but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”
(1 Corinthians 9 vs. 24& 25)

            Growing up in Boston we celebrated Patriots day. That gave me two choices to write about today; Paul Revere’s ride or the Boston Marathon. There is a similarity and it is not direction!
            The marathon involves over 30,000 participants, one lady and one male will make a six figure pay check and be declared winners. As many as twenty others will receive appearance money and have a good pay day. The majority will receive personal gratification, be the recipient of a great engine for their body from their training and recognition for a great effort. That is all they want. They do it out of the passion that endurance runners have and the feeling of accomplishment.
            In 2013 two young terrorists interrupted things a bit at the finish line. That was a sad day for all involved and it infuriated Americans and the free world. It pointed out to us that there is a world war in process and that somehow we need to function normally through it. There are 32,000 registrants today doing just that!
            In 1775, Paul Revere and William Dawes raced out of Boston with a message that the British were moving out. Their message to the people of greater Boston was the call to arms. Unfortunately, Paul did not get very far because he was picked up in west Cambridge by a British patrol. However he did get the poem named for him, I guess William Dawes did not rhyme as well! They were both on a mission to benefit humanity, both were unselfish and both are American heroes.
            I talk a lot about being fit; in spirit mind and body. Life is not a sprint. It is a marathon. We need to race it and live it with our eye on the ultimate prize that is promised through our faith.

Thought for Today: For today let us focus on our race for the prize. Let’s take a step closer to perfection.

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord today we pray for the safety and success of the many runners in Boston. May they be blessed with fitness and great memories.


Monday, April 11, 2016

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!
            If we were we would not build character or learn. As I write this in beautiful Minnesota, we are in the nearing the end of what has been a record breaking warm winter. However, it is not letting go and we cannot seem to locate spring.
            We will get through it and when spring comes it will be later than usual and appreciated more. It is a good example of how trials in our lives cause growth and appreciation of the good times. In the instance of our Minnesota weather, in 1974 when we relocated here our real estate agent talked about our beautiful summers and said they were worth the wait. Praise be to God, we need help this year!
            There is a church that I drive by that posts a weekly slogan that describes it 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 and more. Today we give thanks for having the spirit and will to get through it all so that we may experience the landing. 

Monday, April 4, 2016


This was written in 2011 right after a police action on the highway that was visible from my window. I thought of it after reading a report about street violence in America in yesterday’s paper. People are shooting each other at record rates in our cities.


"The Lord Almighty is with us;
 the God of Jacob is our fortress."
Psalm 46:7

            Recently while writing, a news flash can across my computer screen that there was a shootout on a local highway that had shut down the road. So what, I am here safe in my home. Well, I live within a half mile of the spot and they had put all the local schools on lock down until the situation was resolved. I did not feel very secure at all.
            When a crime or event like this occurs in "our neighborhood", we ask "How could this happen here?"  The truth is that tragedy and violence can happen anywhere. None of us is immune. June and I have said for years that anything can happen at any time. We are always wary when we travel but not so wary when we are at home.
            The author of the 23rd Psalm wrote these familiar words, "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me." The psalmist does not say that we will not have to walk through the darkest valley or that evil does not exist. Rather, the psalmist reminds us that we need not fear or be overwhelmed because God is present with us at all times and in all places. God will see us through. The ground and content of our hope is the promise that nothing in all creation can separate us from God's love.

            Real security cannot come from walls and fences; real security comes from having a relationship with God.

Thought for Today: Today let us feel secure in our faith, our neighborhood and in all of our relationships.

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, when the foundations of our lives are shaken, hold us close to you and remind us that you will never leave or forsake us. You alone are our hope and security.