Sunday, October 15, 2017

Eisenhower ?

Good News 101411 Eisenhower

He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant
—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
(2 Corinthians 3 vs. 6)

            We are in some way the light, ministers of the gospel or promoters of the Holy Spirit. That is a part of the covenant we make when we join the Christian church. That is an awesome responsibility and most of us certainly don’t feel like a spirit promoter every day.
            Those of you that know me are aware of my propensity for relaxing through exercise. It is a daily piece of my live and pursuing it often shows my selfish streak. In my late twenties I made a covenant with myself to be as good as possible; a good dad and husband and believed that fitness was a piece of the equation.
            Later in life, June and I decided together that fitness was more than physical; i.e. it was spirit, mind and body! OOPS- that decision meant three times as much work. We agreed that we would work on the spirit and mind together but she had no interest in joining with me on my swims, bike rides and runs. (She was always a bit smarter.)
            Our 34th president Dwight David Eisenhower was a strong believer in this. He did his morning exercises and whenever possible he kept his calendar open for an after lunch nap. When at the Whitehouse he would spend time chipping and putting before his afternoon meetings. His colleagues considered him eccentric and selfish. He felt he needed a scheduled break to be the best he could be for himself and his country.
            We all need to be the best we can be, for ourselves, our families and to serve the Lord. Be a bit selfish so that you can help.

Thought for Today: Today let’s do something for ourselves that will help our spirit, mind and body.

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord and father today we pray that we can keep our covenant to made to you, we pray that we are shining your light as bright as we can. We pray that we are the light of the world so others may see find you through us.
Amen



Saturday, October 7, 2017

God Of Hope!

God of Hope!

Romans 15verse 13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace
 as you trust in him,
so that you may overflow with hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Thought for the Week: This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice! We will experience ups and downs but with the hope of God in our hearts, the downs can be short, the ups can be high it can be a week of joy. It is our choice.
Aristotle said it this way: “Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.” 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Protect Our Hearts

Protect Our Hearts

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand
against the devil's schemes...
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,
with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
and with your feet fitted with the readiness that
comes from the gospel of peace...
 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying ..."
(Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV)
        Today we need to protect ourselves from our own self induced stress as well as the negativity in the World that we cannot control. As Mac Hammond from the Living Word Christian Center puts it, "We need to protect our hearts". The question is how?
        Over the years I have often heard the expression "When the going gets tough, the tough get going". In sports this meant to me that when the pain sets in, push harder; in business when the order is being lost, dig deeper. In each instance, "I" assumed the full responsibility for correcting "my" problem. My male ego would come into the issue and apply pressure to the situation. This has worked very well over the years, but it is not how I have acted since the mid 80's.
        Like many parents, when my two youngest were in private colleges, my ego driven logic failed me. The financial pressure combined with the desire to service the educational needs was too much to get through. This tough guy needed help and it came through the simple saying, "Let go and let God". Funny how that works, everything turned out OK.
        When we are deeply involved with our loved ones, we need to protect our hearts. We need to keep our feet on the ground and make caring decisions through love. If we allow the Lord to help protect our hearts, if we listen to Him and accept His part in our lives, our lives will be better and simpler. Keep on asking for support through prayer.
Thought for Today: Today is the first day of the rest of our lives. It offers each of us a chance to renew ourselves, forgive others and move forward with positive thoughts. This week let us move forward through daily prayer and let the Lord help us over the bumps.
Prayer for Today: Heavenly father, here in America life is good. The kids have food and shoes, there are two cars in the garage, and TV sets in every home- we are truly "fat cats" living under your domain. Today we pray that we keep in mind that the world is not all like we are experiencing it. While giving thanks for our abundance we need to pray that we are doing your will throughout the world for peace and prosperity to spread in a Godly way.
Amen

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Talents!

Using our Talent!

Thought for the Week: Let us focus on ourselves and our talents. Let us recognize that we have special gifts given to us by the Lord to use for Him.

John Wesley said it this way: Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can.

Paul said it to the Romans like this: 

Romans 12  vs. 10-13
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.
Honor one another above yourselves.
Never be lacking in zeal,
but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and
faithful in prayer.
Share with God’s people who are in need.
Practice hospitality

Saturday, September 16, 2017

School Days!

School Days!

"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters..."
(Psalms 23:1-2).
    In the 40's and 50's, public school in Massachusetts always started with the 23rd Psalm, the Lord's Prayer and the salute to the Flag. Wow, by today's standards, that is powerful stuff. Let us take a look at this and see if we can apply it to our lives today.
        The first two lines above, lead us to tranquility. Faith will take care of our wants and lead us to that inner peace we desire and lead us to the restful place beside still waters.  
"He refreshes and restores my life;
He leads in the paths of righteousness
for His namesake"
(Psalm23:3).
There are always periods when things in our lives need rebuilding. There are temptations to take the easy way. These verses point out that the way to get out of the "dumps" is to follow Him.
"Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff to comfort me."
(Psalm 23:4).
The Psalm points out that the Lord is with us and will guide and support us throughout our lives.
    Yes, today our lives get filled with stress. As Christians we are given wonderful tools to work with in our daily lives. The more we let God lead us, the more we will be at peace.

Thought for Today: Let us read the 23rd Psalm and accept the help that God has available to us as we move forward. It will be a big help in locating those still waters we all seek.

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, many times stress builds up in our lives. It is a combination of hurts, anger and resentments kept hidden inside of ourselves. I pray that when this occurs, I find a way to let you help and can accept the guidance, protection and support promised through our Christian faith.  

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Peace Together

Peace Together

“Remain in me, as I also remain in you.”
(John 15 vs. 4)

            Often people tell me they are no longer interested in organized religion The ritual, rules, money and work did not do it for them; shame on them and shame on their church. There are others that change churches often searching for something they never quite find. They are sad and typically don’t know what they are after.
In general those described above are less than happy in their lives.
            Jesus message is clear, He is with us always. When we are searching and restless the ball is in our court; we are the problem. These are the times that we are out of touch with the Holy Spirit; not taking the time to open our hearts. When we are spiritually down and out, we need to look at ourselves first.
            There was a song in the 50’s that said, “…open up your hearts and let the sun shine in.” We need to allow the Lord in so that we may find peace together.

Thought for Today: Today let us open our hearts to the Lord. Let’s find peace with Him.

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord, today we thank you for being with us; joining us on our walks, at work, in our cars and in all phases of our day. Today we pray that we may stay in touch with you under all conditions.

Amen

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Do It!

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 are in what I think of as the elder mode; we have more time and the children’s educations have been paid. 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.

Amen

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Somebody

Somebody!

For it was you who formed my inward parts;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
(Psalm 139 vs. 13 & 14)

            The lord works in strange ways. As I write these epistles I never know what will come next. Sometimes it is from an outside source placed before me during the week. This is one of those occasions and it is close to plagiarism!
            A pastor and Good News buddy retired after 39 years serving the local community. In September of 2009 he wrote, “Everybody is Somebody-including you and me.” We know that we are all winners because the Lord is with us. Pastor Mike said it a in a similar way that reinforces the thought. Below is a key paragraph from Mike:

            “…My theology and values are centered on the conviction that because we are created in the image of God, each of us is valued and has deep within us the potential to reflect the goodness and beauty of our Creator. Therefore, being of Norwegian or German descent, African or Korean, tall or short, gay or straight, rich or poor is not a determining factor in our worth as a human being. We are valued because we are created in the image of God.”

            My thanks to Pastor Mike.

Thought for Today: Today we will have battles we do not expect. With God’s help, let us be winners no matter which way the battle turns out! Plus: We have the parts and the image to be of value. Enjoy.

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord, today we give thanks for who and what we are; your image here on earth.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Pleasant Temptations

Pleasant Temptations

"Blessed is the man that endures temptation,
for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life,
which the Lord has promised to those that love Him."
(James 1:12)
            In the words of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale," Temptation is the urge to do or say something wrong, something contrary to the will of God and the law of Christ. Temptation often comes in pleasant and seductive form and the mind always attempts to rationalize it to make it seem right." That certainly hits home for us. We face it every day.
            Throughout our lives we are given the opportunity to choose, the correct path or the wrong path. The opportunistic path from the Godly path. None of us has always chosen the right path, the path that follows the law of Christ. We have all crossed that line and felt the remorse, the guilt or the doubt that follows. Yes, admit it, you just are not quite perfect.
           It is common for us to hold on to the memories that we have of the times when we slipped and took temptation. Often this sorrowful thinking leads to a bad self-image or a sub conscious guilt that affects our lives. Working with others for the last 25 years, June and I have seen people turn their lives around by accepting the concept of "spiritual growth" and making amends to those that they have harmed.
 We are not perfect, but when we are growing spiritually, we feel good about ourselves and turn down the temptations that confront us in our daily lives. The secret of success is spiritual growth through prayer and daily meditation.
Thought for Today: In our personal lives there are many temptations; ways to cheat, subtle dishonesty, procrastination, lust etc. We all have the opportunity break the law of Christ. This week, let us be conscious of these opportunities. Let us note our wise decisions and give thanks for the spirituality and maturity that gets us through the week.

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, our world is a very confusing place. Religious wars and terrorism abound. Neighbors use their version of God to discriminate against others. Within our society, there are many opportunities for us to help. This week we pray that we will recognize that part of our lives. We pray that we may find opportunity to help bring peace and love. We pray for the time to counter act the fear and hate in our world.
Amen 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Excellence

Excellence
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,
 as working for the Lord, not for men,
 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.
It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
 (Colossus 3:23-27)

            Earlier I wrote about my “Pickeringism” that all days are not created equal. Here is another example. There are days that we are full of boundless energy and others when we are as flat as pancakes. However, these feelings are mental, physical and emotional states. They do not have an effect on our hearts, just on our performance or output.
            As a long term weekend athlete, there have been too many days when only the heart showed up for the workout; the arms, legs and head wanted to go back to bed. There were also many days when that’s how the day started but when it ended, the performance was in the excellent range.
            One of my best friends and a four time Olympic qualifier relates to this. Pat has trained every day of his life and he can relate to the fact that the heart and head lead the body often, “… work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord,” and you will be rewarded with excellence. Excellence starts with belief in yourself and in the Lord. The rest will follow.
Thought for Today: Today let us remember that “All days are not created equal”. On the day that we want to go back to bed, let us trust our heart and move out. Let us take the leap of faith and give ourselves the chance to exhibit the excellence that God wants us to share.
Prayer for Today: Dear Lord we give you thanks for your ongoing presence in our lives. When we are physically worn you help us recover. When emotionally drained you recharge our spirits. We give thanks that you are always with us.
Amen

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Rule Number !

Rule Number 1

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,
as working for the Lord, not for human masters,
since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.
 It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
(Colossians 3:23-24)

            It is nice to be what I call “somewhat retired.” That is to be busy but to have more choices than I used to have. I.E. My choice this morning is to write and go to church instead of swimming laps. This morning I choose to work for the big boss.

Early in my engineering career I had a boss who had the following sign on his wall:

“Rule number One-The boss is always right.
Rule number 2- When the boss is wrong see rule number one.”

Exactly who did he think he was? I will share that he was a real controller and task master. I want to apply his words to our lives because I believe the sign was correct when we consider our God the boss!

            Many of our Good News buddies have young families, two careers and an activities schedule for the family. In one of my family units my daughter has two jobs, the husband one and two active teenage students. Life seemed easier when June and I had our four, or maybe we were younger and could juggle more balls in the air. Either way, there was more than once that we lost track of the real boss. There were coaches, sales managers, the tax man and the list seems endless. Somehow it all fell into place.

In our history and in your future and especially today, the BOSS is always right! It is our choice on a daily basis to decide who is boss; “…as working for the Lord.”

Thought for Today: Today will be what we golfers call a “gimmie.”  A total violation of the rules of golf, not putting the ball in the hole. Life really does not give us many gimmies either so I am wrong. There will be challenges; stress and we will run out of time. Today let us meet the challenges and remember who we are and what we are working for through Jesus.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Marriage Again

Marriage Again

"A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value."
(Proverbs 31:10, 11)

Many times it has been stated that marriage is the world’s toughest job. Let me quote from The Mystery of Marriage by Mike Mason.
            “Marriage, even under the best of circumstances, is a crises; one of the major crises
of life. It is a dangerous thing not to be aware of this. Whether it turns out to be a healthy,
challenging and constructive crises or a disastrous nightmare depends largely upon how willing
the partners are to be changed, how malleable they are."
            "Crises" seems a bit extreme to me, but certainly marriage is a great opportunity for the
fulfillment of life and it certainly is not without its "opportunities" for either success or failure. A marriage blessed by God, one in which the partners have allowed God's love to grow in their
relationship is one of the world’s greatest experiences.

June and I have been blessed.

Thought for Today: We are facing many distractions in our daily lives; work, busy
schedules, terrorism, war, and financial issues are some. This week let us look at our primary
relationships. Let us focus introspectively, up close. Let us understand that when things are fine
in our relationships, the outside problems seem less intense.  Basically, let's focus on our loves.


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Marriage!

Marriage 49th

" A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value."
(Proverbs 31:10,11 )

Tomorrow, July 28, 2017, June and I will celebrate our 49th wedding anniversary. We were married on her 30th birthday. She has been a blessing to me and I often refer to her as being the light at the end of my tunnel. She helped escort me from my dark period of the 60’s into something better- that seems to be still growing. Forty nine years is a long time and it was not all romance and happy times. There was alcohol treatment, recovery, career moves and stress, the challenges of raising four children and just living with Bob who does not always make sense!
           I often discuss the many wonderful benefits of a good marriage: the great mutual support, the care when illness arrives, the mutual celebrations of the many events that occur. Yes, marriage is truly a great institution when things are well and blessed by God.

Thought for Today: Today let’s keep it simple and enjoy our significant other and those others around us.

Prayer for the Week: Heavenly Father, today we give thanks for the people that you have placed close to us in our lives. We pray that as this week progresses, we can share our love with friends, family and others who we meet. 
Amen

Sunday, July 23, 2017

At Peace

At Peace

You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you
.”
(Isaiah 26 vs. 30)

            Perfect Peace. Is that something we dream about? It is not in my case. Most of my dreams seem to be about troubles, potential troubles and past experiences. I often wonder what negative and scary dreams mean. Am I being punished? Is my faith weak? Are there unwholesome thoughts imbedded in my subconscious? Or simply was it too darn much sugar in that fudge brownie I ate after dinner! It could be all of the above.
            It seems that I have come close to mastering peace in my awake hours. On the golf course the water ball, the errant drive and the fourth putt don’t seem important any more. The red lights and traffic jams do not even seem to bother me when I am driving. When I am awake, my focus on positive feelings and having a great day are at the forefront. Life is good, darn good.
            Recently in the comics there was a cartoon regarding the patience that we develop as we grow older. It mentioned how things that bothered us in our youth don’t seem as important as they once were. I like to think we seniors have matured and have put things in perspective. The punch line in the cartoon was “maybe we just don’t give a darn anymore.” I assure you that is not the case.
            One of Webster’s definitions of “steadfast” is ‘extremely steady and loyal.” The prophet Isaiah is telling us that a strong faith rewards us with peace in our hearts. If you are reading this I suspect that you are blessed with and have a strong faith and are at peace.

Thought for Today: Today let’s be steadfast and positive in our search for peace.

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord, today we pray for a positive attitude as we deal with our activities. We pray that we may contribute to the peace of those around us in your name.
Amen

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Future!

Live for the future

Brothers and sisters,
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,
Philippians 3 verse 13

I about an hour a 37 year old Venus Williams will play in the Wimbledon tennis finals. In response to how she did it with all the distractions in her life, her answer prompted me to write! She said that she looks toward the future rather than dwelling on the past! That is a great way to live!

Here is a summary of her major issues: In September 2003 her half-sister and personal assistant was murdered. In 2011 she was diagnosed with Sjogren’s Syndrome an auto immune disease. Last month she was in a fatal car crash in which a 79 year old man died. That is all heavy stuff.

We have all experienced events in our lives that we can dwell on. We can become depressed. A member of the retirement class at age 77, I admit it is hard to focus on the future. This week I spent time with my team of doctors working on an auto immune issue and my annual physical. Frankly I am not what I used to be but “I yam what I yam.” (Thanks Popeye). There is a future.

Thought for today: Focus on your future, live for today and for a better tomorrow! The lord is with you!

Prayer for Today: Dear lord and Father, thank you for the past, the events that have made me what I am today. We pray for a bright future with ultimate prize of everlasting life.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Anxiety!

Anxiety and Faith

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition,
with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God"
(Philippians 4:6)

            Stress is becoming an American, if not a World wide tradition; part of our life style. We often go through our week wound up like a rubber band that has been twisted tighter and tighter. However, we all recognize that the rubber band eventually breaks. When it is wound too tight or stressed too long, it snaps! We are certainly a higher life form than a rubber band, however are we similar when stressed.
            We have a way of unwinding during the most stressed of times. Mine is by writing "Good News" to people that I love. Yours may be different- exercise, meditation, a chat with a friend, reading. There are many ways to release stress. In Paul's writings in Philippians 4: 8 & 9 he suggests that Faith is a tool to help us.
 "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—
put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."
Focus for Today: Today let us focus selfishly on ourselves. Let's feel the peace and presence of God in our lives. When the "stress monster" wants to control our lives, let's read this passage and let "the peace of God" into our lives. As Christians we deserve peace.
Prayer for Today:  Heavenly father, the world seems to be a breeding ground for stress. Every where we look there is something to worry about; terror, hate, employment troubles, stock market woes- even severe weather. This week we pray that we may keep you and peace in our thoughts, that we have the presence of mind to make wise choices and release our stresses to find tranquility.
Amen
 


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Indepemdence 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.

Amen

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Safety

As Christians we need to find a way to spread peace in our lives and around the world.
Safety
“Peace I leave with you;
my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
(John 14 vs. 27)
Peace is something that the world’s religions teach and somehow we humans manage to mess it up. In our Christian sense if we could ask the old question “What would Jesus do?” we would not go to war. Hymns like Onward Christian soldiers and The Battle Hymn of the Republic would not have been written. That is the reality of our world.
Last week I was talking to a currier who has given up travelling to several cities because they were too dangerous. There was drug activity and a lack of control exhibited. The company he worked for initiated a policy that for every unsafe city you give up you had to yield a safe city. Yah, fat chance that you can find a safe city! You see there are more curriers than cities and it is a dangerous job.
The fact of life is peace is something that needs to be from within because bad things happen to good people everywhere; down the street, in the home as well as when travelling. We need to bring our faith and our prayers with us.
As believers we need to contribute to the other side of the balance sheet. There are three important contributions we are taught to make daily. First we need to pray for our enemies, the bad guys; crooks, burglars, terrorists and the whole lot. Pray that they can find a better way through the Lord. Second we need to pray for our safety and happiness. We need to run our lives confidently and without fear. Third we need to give thanks for the opportunities given us to contribute.
We live in a world of differences. We need to live and set the example for others and ask WWJD!
Thought for Today: For today let us exercise the freedom afforded to us through Christ. Let us not be critical of others and demonstrate our love as we do our daily activities.
Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, today we simply pray for a lasting peace.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Raising Expectations

Raising Expectations

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ,
set your hearts on things above,
where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
Set your minds on things above,
not on earthly things.”
(Colossians3, 1&2; NIV)

            We have talked a bit about how the head and heart lead our bodies. How often our thoughts may be negative and they can lead us into depression. Let’s face it, when we read or listen to the news, they talk mostly about negative events. However, most of what goes on in the world is positive. We need to focus on that!
            Remember the words to the old song. “When you’re down and out, lift up your head and shout, It’s going to be a great day.” We are often confronted with the local curmudgeon, the person who finds fault with everything. Let’s face it, they are right, it is always too hot or too cold! Too rainy or their lawn needs watering! Things are too expensive! Coffee is too weak or strong! Pray for them, they need us.
            We will have negative influences in our lives. As we move through our daily lives, we are blessed with the tools to deal with the negative side.  I read this on a sign in front of a local church recently, “The Lord does not guarantee us smooth passage, just a safe landing.” It is up to use our Christian tools to stay positive and be happy.

Thought for Today: Today we will have to deal with negative issues. Let us turn them into a positive experience by dealing with them promptly. When we encounter some that seem to linger and not go away, let us remember to turn those over to God through prayer.

Prayer for Today: Today is the day you have made for us. Unfortunately the roads have bumps and there are unknown troubles out there awaiting us. Today we pray that your presence will guide us through the tough moments and that we may accomplish our goals in your name.

Amen

Saturday, June 17, 2017

God is With Us!

God is with us

"Now Moses was a very humble man,
more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth"
(Numbers 12:3)

         Like Moses, we are not always enthusiastic about what God wants. We are a humble lot, conservative and considerate of others views and feelings. Almost to a fault. We are humble before God.
        However, in our lives we are often asked to perform tasks that require an assertive posture. Many of us are leaders in the community, at work and at church. We are often leaders that require strength while still being humble. That is a great leader.
   God's response to Moses was "...I will be with you." and he will be with us always.
        When you are feeling hesitant and inferior, God says, "I will be with you."
        When you are wondering if you can make it another day with the job stress, He says, "I will be with you."
        When you're faced with a tough decision and wondering what to do, He says, "I will be with you."
        When you are experiencing great joy, God is with you.
        You may be a bit reluctant, as was Moses, but we need to remember that as we go through life, God is with us always.
Thought for Today: Today we need to remember that we are not alone. Through our faith we have help meeting our obligations. Let us take control of situations in a humble manner and allow ourselves to be led through the tasks ahead.
Prayer for Today: Dear Lord and Father we thank you for being with us. We are often confused in a world of activity. Often when things go well, we feel that we controlled the situation. We pray that we can recognize your involvement in our everyday lives and have the forethought to give you thanks through our actions and prayers.
Amen


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Examples!

Examples
“Who is wise and understanding among you?
Let him show it by his good life,
by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
(James 3:13)

        One of my recurring themes is that we are all ministers of the Gospel. Within our individual congregations we hire ordained ministers to lead and teach us as we move forward on our spiritual journeys. Sometimes we catch ourselves in the Sunday only mode.         
        A very dear friend of June's and mine is in spiritual crises. For whatever reason faith has left and bouts of depression have occurred. It is probably not coincidental. For Christians, there is a strong tie between our faith and our inner peace. When our faith is doubtful we take control of things. We forget to "Let go and let God".
        As Christians, we need to demonstrate our inner peace to others. Show our caring spirits and our love. Not on Sunday but every day in every activity. Our ministry needs to be subtle, persistent and very public. When we function in a very Christian and public way, people in doubt will come to us.

Thought for Today: Today let us demonstrate our inner peace to all we meet. Let us look for opportunity to talk about our tranquility and our faith. Let us offer to share with others. 

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord, there are many great events that are masked by tragedy. Today we pray that somehow we as Christians may find a way to contribute. That we may have our prayers answered with a lasting miracle. We all need an end to hate and hateful decisions; we pray for world peace.

Amen