Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year 2017

"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.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016



  "For by the grace given me I say to every one of you:
Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought,
but rather think of yourself with sober judgment,
in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
Just as each of us has one body with many members,
And these members do not all have the same function,
so in Christ we who are many form one body,
and each member belongs to all the others.
We have different gifts,
according to the grace given us."
(Romans 12:3-6)
            Christmas has past and we all were caught up in the materialism of it all at some level. The advertising, the gift giving, the holiday cards all tend to lead us away from the real meaning of it all. God’s gifts to us.
            I often write about the about the gifts that Paul listed later in this passage. Paul’s letter has a very special meaning and when reading further through verse 9, God's many gifts to us are listed. It is important to understand God's gifts to us and recognize which of gifts we were given. We need to understand where we fit in God's world and how to apply His gifts in our lives. These are the gifts that really matter- They are not advertised on TV or in the newspaper. They are given to us by Him to use. Each of us need to think about our gifts and how we will use them in the New Year.
Thought for Today: As we approach the New Year, let us think about who we are and what gifts God has given us. Let us learn to use these gifts to make our lives and the lives of others better.
Prayer for Today: Dear Lord, at this time of the year, self-improvement always seems to be an objective. Each year I focus on "my improvement" and sometimes do not recognize the tasks you may have set forth for me. I pray that this will be the year that "my improvement" is accomplished by recognizing your gifts to me and finding a way to do your work with them.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Joy to the World!

Joy to the World

Joy to the World, the Lord has come"

        There are a lot of one liners that can be taken from Christmas carols. The opening of "Joy to the World" says it all to me. It summarizes our Christian lives; lives of joy through the forgiveness of our faith and our Christian peers. Let us all feel the joy of the season, the love for each other and keep our faith strong throughout the season.

With blessings, have a great Christmas Eve.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Universal Hope

Universal Hope

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
 There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.”
(Psalm 19v1-4)

The holiday season is a time of hope. The Psalmist notes that there is one clear message from the heavens, one God with one message in all tongues to all peoples. Clearly, this encourages us to believe that there is hope for universal understanding and someday world peace.
We live in an often troubled world. This year there have been natural disasters, terrorism, attacks in schools, layoffs and all sorts of ungodly events. They capture the headlines. Certainly there many who question God’s role in all of this.We need to remember that “The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”  The press and news media report on other issues. It is up to each of us to focus on the message. With our example, we can infect the world with faith, peace and hope.
             John F. Kennedy said it this way, "One person can make a difference and every person must try."

Thought for Today: OK, there will be bad news this week. We will hear it, see it and sometimes feel it. This week we need to overcome it with the faith and hope of the Lord. This week let us show others our hope for future generations.

Prayer for the Season: Dear Lord, this is the time of year when all faiths celebrate you. We celebrate your presence in different ways with the common thread of love and peace. We pray for the guidance to share our faith so that we may sow a seed in your name.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Blue Christmas 2016

Blue Christmas

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me,
for in you my soul takes refuge.
I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings
until the disaster has passed.
(Psalm 57:1)

            This week Christian Churches lit the third candle on their Advent Wreath, the candle of Joy. Also on most Church Calendars in a Wednesday service for those who are not experiencing Christmas Joy! In our Church we call it a service of Light and Hope; many others call it a Blue Christmas service, (Thanks Elvis!)
            It is important to accept the Joy of the season. Great carols that bring back the memories of Christmas past, the thoughts of children and their excitement and the festive lights that seem to be everywhere. As Christians we also need to consider those experiencing sadness. A Blue Christmas,
            Amongst our Good News group, my group of Christian Friends on Facebook and those who read our blog there are too many to count.  Some have a terminal illness, many are experiencing their first Christmas with an empty place at the table and at least one cannot get home to see her ailing mom.
            As Christians we need to pray about our friends in need, recognize their presence and maybe even spend some time with them in prayer. We are the light and can be the light of the season-A Christmas Light!

Thought for Today: Let us take note of our own sad feelings over the holidays. Let us recognize that they exist. Rather than mask them with joy, let us pray about them, and turn them over to God so we can enjoy the celebration of Christ’s birth.

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father today we have special prayers for the holidays. We pray that the reminder of your presence brings trust and love to the world. We pray for people who have lost loved ones and are spending their first Christmas with an empty place at the table. We give thanks for the role that you play in our lives and the help you give us. Thank you for being available for us each and every day.


Wednesday, December 7, 2016



The LORD Almighty has sworn,
“Surely, as I have planned, so it will be,
   and as I have purposed, so it will happen.
(Isaiah 14:24)

            Today is a famous day described as a day of Infamy. It is one of the most famous days in the history of war. There are a lot of famous battles described in our history books, David and Goliath, Troy, Gettysburg…and more. I need to wonder and ask why. Most wars since WWII have been un-Godly nobody wins situations that do not seem to resolve anything. In fact, after the treaties are signed there has been as much tension as before and does not make a lot of sense to me.
            So where is God in all of this? What would Jesus do? How come both sides can think God is with them? These are great questions and I am not even going to try to answer them. I will refer them to Abraham Lincoln as he analyzed God’s presence in war.
            In Abraham Lincoln: A History by Nicolay and Hay, Lincoln is quoted: “The will of God prevails. In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be, wrong. God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time. In the present civil war it is quite possible that God’s purpose is something different from the purposes of either party—and yet the human instrumentalities working just as they do, are of the best adaption to effect His purpose…God wills this contest, and wills that it shall not end yet. …He could give final victory to either side any day. Yet the contest proceeds.”
            Today we need to remember Pearl Harbor, a day in infamy. We also need to pray for an end to all conflicts and terrorist acts, we need to contemplate world peace.

Thought for Today: Contemplate world peace.

Prayer for the Day: Dear Lord and savior today we are wondering where it will all end. Throughout history the world’s people have found ways to battle. Today we pray for some understanding as to your role in all of this. We pray for understanding so that we can represent your will in search for peace.

Sunday, December 4, 2016



From them will come songs of thanksgiving
and the sound of rejoicing.
I will add to their numbers,
and they will not be decreased;
I will bring them honor,
and they will not be disdained
(Jeremiah 30 vs.19)

            Every day is a day to rejoice. We are between our formal day of Thanksgiving and Christ’s birthday celebration. Most of us are enjoying what we call the holiday season. The message above tells us that God wants us to rejoice; to be happy. We need to pay attention to that.
Thought for Today: Today we will be happy! We will sort through the busy schedule, deal with holiday stress and at the end, let us rejoice!

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord and Father, today we rejoice in your name and thank you for giving the Grace and spirit of your son, Jesus.