Sunday, July 24, 2016

Our Grace!

 Our Grace

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father,
who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,
encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”
(2 Thessalonians vs.16 & 17)

            My friend Michael is the master of simplification and understatement. He has a great life, gives to more causes that I even know of and is one that is always joyful. His style is simple because he has accepted grace given to us through Jesus Christ.
            He often makes me a bit jealous because when I am confused by the facts of life, he will often ask me where grace fits in. Recently I was bemoaning the terror attacks, the refugee issues and the state the world in general.  Michael pointed that I had almost no control over those issues and asked; “Bob, you are so blessed why wreck your day on that stuff?  Do what you can but the best thing you could probably do is be happy!”
            He was correct. My light was not shining at that moment. My contributions were going to be negative for that day. However, with the oversimplification on accepting grace, life will always be good. When we are not in a good place we need to remember that. We need to use our grace to power the lamp inside us as lights of the world.
Thought for Today: This is the day the lord has made, rejoice and be glad in it. Accept our grace which is God given and enjoy!
Prayer for Today: Dear Heavenly Father we here on earth are blessed with your grace. We pray that we can keep that thought in perspective as we work through the confusion of our society.


Monday, July 18, 2016

Letting Go!

Letting Go

"So if anyone is in Christ,
there is a new creation:
 everything old has passed away..." 
(2 Corinthians 5:17).

        With God's help, we can release the past and live in the now. By accepting God's presence in our life, we are able to release the past rather than reliving it. Holding on to hurtful memories takes us down roads that lead nowhere. With God's help we can choose new directions and turn from a nowhere destination to live in the here and now.
            There is a piece of all of us that seems to need to live in the negative past. Divorced people can hold resentments for years; accident victims often recent the other driver; people frequently hold grudges against their managers in the workplace; and it goes on. It is easy to do, but in the scope of Christianity, it does not fit.

Forgiveness is what leads to peace and happiness.       

Today is a new day in which we can discard the baggage of old habits that limit us. We can start anew with God and through divine guidance, take control of our lives. We need to be receptive to all the goodness that God has to offer.
            One of June’s and my favorite slogans is “Today is the first day of the rest of our lives”

Thought for Today:  Today let us think about what wears us down. When it is a historical issue, let us deal with it. If you can make an adjustment to the situation, do it. If you can switch to something positive, do it. If you cannot resolve the negativity, pray about it.

Prayer for Today: Dear lord and Father, we need you in our lives more than ever. There are so many negative issues it is often difficult to focus on your goodness. We give thanks for the many blessings that you bring to our lives; the great friends that we need; the world that surrounds us with beauty and our families that bless our lives. We thank you as our creator for our many blessings.


Monday, July 11, 2016

Mile Markers

Mile Markers

Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom
(Psalm 40 vs. 12) 

            Numbering our days is a great thought, we often catalog them in our minds and many are hidden in our sub-conscious. Each day of our life is a present and special in some way. Each has a memory, some fade but the great ones stay forever.
            The major ones do not take rocket science to remember. I am an elder and remember where I was for each of the following; Pearl Harbor (27 months old!); when JFK was shot; the twin tower assault; Ted Williams last at bat (a home run at age 41!).
The un-conscious memories are often more fun when they can be jarred to the front. Recently an old friend from 1955 and I reconnected and reviewed our memories together; high school football experiences, school days, former teachers and of course cheerleaders. He brought back so many memories that one evening while on-line he called me. We talked for a long time!           
            My mom passed in October 2015 at age 98. We talked every day and many times we reminisced about her days as a school teacher. Those were fun discussions. She had taught many of my friends and had a different perspective on them than I did. For her 95th several of than sent her birthday cards and she remembered them all!           
            The Lord is good to us, we may not be wealthy, but we are rich; rich in memories, full of love and happiness and wisdom. The numbering of our days has paid off in a worthy life.  

Thought for Today: Today we will create a memory. Weather it is a major or minor event remains to be seen. Either way let us recognize its contribution to who we will be.

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord and Father, we thank you for all the great memories and blessing you have bestowed upon us. Today we pray that we serve your will here on earth as we go through our day.


Monday, July 4, 2016

Independence Day

Independence Day

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves
be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
(Galatians 5:1)

            Independence is what makes America great and our many freedoms make this a great place to live. Our constitution is based on our ability to self-govern. Below is what James Madison, our fourth President, had to say about our system.

"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."

Pray about where we were then and where we are now.

Thought for Today: Today let’s celebrate our independence by obeying the Lord’s commandments.

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord and Father, our country celebrates its independence. Our freedoms are based on your laws and our abilities to obey them. Today we pray for spiritual growth, honesty, integrity and ethics.