Sunday, August 28, 2016

More Trust!


"Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding."
(Proverbs 3:5).

            We often try to make things happen in our lives while driving toward human goals and dreams while conforming to modern society’s standards. It is easy to get diverted from a solid spiritual track when we track our way rather than the Lord’s way; when we pursue possessions rather than peace of mind.
            The question "how do I know God's will?" has been asked many times. But before
this question can be answered, another question should be asked. "Am I ready and willing to do God's will?" If the answer is yes, then the other question can be asked. Remember that in order to do his will, what he has in mind for you may take you by surprise. Perhaps it is best expressed by Isaiah 55:8-9:
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
 neither are your ways my ways', declares the Lord.
 'As the heavens are higher than the earth,
 so are my ways higher than your ways
 and my thoughts higher than your thoughts."
            To know God's will there cannot be any power struggle; he wants our will to be submissive to him. The more we value control and power, the greater a struggle we will have. To be at peace, He needs to be in charge.

Thought for Today: Today let’s try to do God’s will through our daily activities.

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, today we search for clues to help do your will here on earth. We pray that we can contribute to making your world a better place.


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Birthday Message

Birthday Special

Always be joyful. Keep on praying. No matter what happens,
always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Jesus Christ.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:15-15)

Each year on my birthday, I give thanks to something that I learned in my youth as a YMCA brat. The symbol for the Y is a triangle, each side has a meaning, “spirit, mind and body”. Each year I give thanks for my role as a father, son and my place in society. But let’s talk a bit about what it takes to be in a good place with ourselves. It is selfishness. Yes, being selfish in pursuit of a healthy self: mentally, physically and spiritually.
In each of our lives, we must fit into some basic places in society; a family, a workplace and a social setting. We fit best when the three sides of our personal triangle are in a healthy balance. That is to say we focus on each a little every day so that we minimize life’s problems.

In all areas of our lives, it is important to demonstrate the forgiveness and love that comes from a strong spirituality. We need to be physically fit enough to deal with the long days without being fatigued and run down. Also, we need to be mentally sharp enough to make the decisions that are expected of us. That is a lot to ask of mortals and not an easy task. So be a bit selfish, take care of yourself so that you may be all that
 God wants you to be and be capable of doing God’s work when the opportunity presents itself to you. Take care of yourself so that you can be all that your family needs you to be. Remember the logo of the YMCA, spirit, mind and body. Keep totally fit and enjoy life!

Birthday Thought: Today is the day the Lord has made, a day for me to enjoy. Friends will recognize
it, family will celebrate it and I will enjoy it. It is a blessing that we all have and a great day to give
thanks to the Lord for all of our many blessings.

Birthday Prayer: Heavenly Father, today is a very special day, the day that you brought me into your service. Throughout this day, I give thanks for all the opportunities that you have given to me; the opportunity to have a healthy relationship with family and friends. Today I will often hear the words “happy birthday.”
To those words I say, “Thanks be to God.”

Monday, August 15, 2016

Just Do It!

Just Do It!

“Never tire of doing what is right.”
(1 Thessalonians 3:13)

            One of my Pickeringisms is that there are two types of people in the world; givers and takers. That is certainly a gross oversimplification I use to describe humanity. It came from my sales and business training and has overflowed into my teachings on living.
            In business I was taught to watch for those who would want to win at any cost; those who would think they were climbing a corporate ladder rather than building a pyramid of support. On a ladder you step on the rungs as you climb and often the ladder breaks. In the pyramid you build a base wide and tall as you move forward and up. I like that.
            It Christian life there are also givers and takers. We are all people in need and the level of that need is relative. Often our needs vary from year to year, decade to decade. When June and I were raising four children we were active in our Christian family. However, we often needed love and support from our peers. I feel there were times when we took a bit more than we gave; emotionally and financially.
            Today we give more than we take. That gives us a much warmer and more rewarding feeling.
Both being a taker and a giver in the Christian sense is OK. You see, if there were not people in need, there would not be anyone to give to and that would be a conundrum.
            Paul’s message says never tire of doing what is right; my experience is that when you are doing what is right you will not get tired! OOPS- is that a Pickeringism?

Bless you all for being my friends.

 Thought for Today: Today let us live as good Christians. If we need support let us accept it without guilt and recognize that we have made the giver feel good. If we are givers, let us give freely where there is need.

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord, today we pray for those in need. Whether the need is great or small, physical or emotional, we pray that we recognize it and give them support in your name.


Monday, August 8, 2016



"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of
compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so
that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have
received from God."
 (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

    Who in our lives are the winners? Some say the one with the most toys wins. That is a materialistic one liner that gives me goose bumps. However, in our society today, we pursue "things" instead of happiness and peace. So who are the real winners and how do they win?
    God placed us here to be his stewards with our first priority to be sharing the gifts we received from Him with others. That seems to be a very tall order. However, we always feel great when we have reached out and helped a friend or stranger. In fact, is that not when we feel the best?
      He gives us resources in many different forms. We have money that we earn and knowledge that we have learned. We graciously share these things with our families and children and that makes us feel good. We also reach out beyond our own family units and share. There are many ways to share and sow the seeds that God has given us to plant, and we are real winners when we reach out and share our gifts.

Thought for Today: Let us look for an opportunity to help someone; perhaps someone who is sick, someone hurting or someone lonely. Sharing a bit will make us feel better.

Prayer for Today:  Heavenly Father, we are living in a troubled world. Suicide bombings, road rage, families in strife and many other incidences confuse people. Today we pray for an opportunity to help and share with someone, an opportunity to demonstrate your Grace through our actions.


Monday, August 1, 2016

A Still PLace

A Still Place

"Be still and acknowledge that I am God"
 (Psalm 46:10)

            The world is a busy place and today’s message is not for June and I any more, but it applied for all the years we were raising our children, running three businesses, active in our church etc. I believe it is one of the reasons we made it through it all and the reason we are not overbooked seniors. (Note that I did not describe us as retirees!)
            Many Americans are overbooked; families are tied up every day with career and children’s activities; empty nesters seem to have filled the time with commitments; often retirees do not know how they ever had time to work! That leads to a lot of stress, tension and often family failures. That’s correct; the family that plays too much together just may not have enough quality time to survive. They do not have time to call for help.
            In his book Bread for the Table, Henry Nouwen says it this way, ”These are words to take with us in our busy lives. We may think about stillness in contrast to our noisy world. But perhaps we can go further and keep an inner stillness even while we carry on … It is important to keep a still place in the "marketplace". This still place is where God can dwell and speak to us. …with that stillness God can be our gentle guide in everything we think and do.”

Thought for Today: We are experiencing a different world than we grew up with. Terror attacks, financial issues and even the weather seem to add complexity to our already overbooked lives. This week let us recognize the need for peace in our personal lives. Let’s make room for that stillness and peace that we can find through our faith.

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, the world around us is confusing, sometimes cruel and always difficult to understand. Please allow us time to step aside from our busyness and dwell upon "your will" rather than "our wants and needs". Let us find the peace or stillness to allow "thy will to be done on earth as it is in heaven."  Amen