Saturday, December 16, 2017

Blue Christmas

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 weekend I am thinking about people who are having a sad time during this Christmas and Holiday season. In the terms of Elvis, they are experiencing a Blue Christmas. My prayers are out there for those who have lost a loved one and will have an empty place at the dinner table, those who are out of work, the many with serious illnesses to name a few. There are too many reason to be sad to mention them all.
Some that I know who will read this include three who lost a loved one this year, a lady who just lost her job and an African lady without a job with a critically ill brother.
Also this year I want to pray for those throughout the world who were injured themselves or lost a loved one in an act of terrorism. Worldwide there are thousands of Christians as well as people in other faiths. There is no group that is untouched. It is a sad situation that needs our prayers.
As Christians we have a cause for joy; the celebration of Christ’s birthday .Our Jewish friends are lighting menorahs and celebrating Hanukkah. YES, experiencing joy! We all need to wear our smiles share our joy.     

Thought for Today: Let us take note of our sad feelings over the holidays. Let us recognize that they exist and pray about them. 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.

Amen

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Forgiveness

Forgiveness

"Blessed are they
whose transgressions are forgiven
whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the man
whose sin the Lord will never count against him.
(Romans 4 verse 7)

             When we truly believe, we will be at peace. Not because we have been perfect, but because we will know that we are forgiven through our faith. That is a powerful and moving statement. There are many moments in our lives that we have erred and perhaps are not proud of that memory.
            There are many twelve step programs and clinics full of people that have never let go of these memories. They are searching for peace. It will find them when they "...turn their will and their lives over to the care of God...”. That is an interesting thought.
             In our lives, we also have an obligation to turn these memories over to God. I.E. the expression: "Let go and let God". How do we accomplish that? Perhaps through the forgiving of those who have harmed us.
            Colossians 3:13 says "Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you".  When we learn to forgive others, we find it easier to accept the forgiveness we receive from God.

Thought for Today: Today, let us focus on the many positive things we accomplish, the people we help and the positive memories that we all appreciate. When a negative or remorseful memory comes to the forefront, let us stop a moment, pray and remember that God is forgiving.

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord, thank you for the opportunity to find grace and live in peace. Today, please help me focus on the positive things in my life and help me see the good in others.

Amen

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Day of Infamy


Infamy

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.


Saturday, December 2, 2017

Invisible Qualities

Invisible Qualities

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities,
his eternal power and divine nature,
have been clearly seen,
being understood from what has been made,
so that men are without excuse.
(Romans 1vs. 20)

            This is a very busy time of the year. There are next year’s budgets at home and at work, the snow needs to be shoveled (for us northerners!), and increased activity at church, holiday parties and all the holiday sports tournaments are added to our month’s activities. It is easy to get caught up in all the human activity and leave our spirituality behind: Merry Christmas.
            It is interesting that activity surrounding Christ’s birthday celebration may often deprive us of the time to meditate and appreciate the wonders of his gifts. It is a glorious time of the year, full of memories of our youth and the excitement of growing closer to our families. Where is God in all of this?
            First and foremost, God is with us; even when we are too busy to be conscious of His presence. His “…invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature” are available to us all, every day. All days are not created equal! We all have our ups and downs. On those days when we are out of touch, where is the Lord? He is exactly where we left Him, waiting to support us.

Thought for Today: This week we are faced with the holiday activities that are added to the norm. It is a blessed time of the year. Let us focus on being sure that we bring the Lord with us every day. Yes, He can go shopping, to a youth Holiday tournament, to a business meeting or any place we will take Him. This week let us silently recognize His presence through meditation and prayer.

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord and Father, today we thank you for the gift of grace received through your son Jesus. We are blessed this time of year through the memories of his life and the celebration of his birth. We give thanks for your presence in our lives and the ability to reach out to you when we are stressed.

Amen

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Expressing Yourself!

Expressing Yourself

The only thing that counts
is faith expressing itself through love.”
(Galatians 5 vs. 6)

            As Christians we need to demonstrate our goodness every day in every event. That does not mean walking around handing out roses hugging everyone we see. That would scare a lot of people off if we did it!!
Therefore there must be another way.
            Greeting people in biblical times included a hug, a cheek kiss and sometimes water to wash off dusty feet and cool their head. I am pretty sure that if we did that people would be uncomfortable also. Times have changed over 2000 years. However, expressing our faith through love still works.
            There are simple things that we may do that will help and see the effect immediately. When you open a door for someone, make eye contact and smile; they will almost always smile back and seem more relaxed. When in public we often see a crying child with a frustrated mom. Don’t look away or walk away! Try to make eye contact and wave to the child; say something nice. Inevitably if you do, both the mom and child will relax. You would have expressed love in a simple way.
            In photos and movies Jesus is generally portrayed with piercing loving eyes; often a stare. No one really knows if that is a truism but it works. We are supposed to be the light of the world we can be through simple acts of consideration and love!

Thought for Today: Today let’s smile at people and see the difference is makes; they will be more comfortable with us!

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, today I pray that I may demonstrate your love and my faith through my behavior toward others. I pray that I shine your light brightly.

Amen

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving (An American Tradition)

Thanksgiving
"As therefore you received Christ Jesus the Lord,
so live in him, rooted and built up in
him and established in the faith,
just as you were taught,
abounding in thanksgiving
".
(Colossians 2:6-7)

            June and I are especially thankful for a family running event we started in 1990, now called the Turkey Day 5K. Each year we are tearfully proud when 10,000 plus runners (17,500 in 2016), walkers, pets and wheel chair participants enjoy their Thanksgiving morning in downtown Minneapolis.(…and Chicago, Boise, Miami and Phoenix) As an aside, but probably more important, will be the contributions of food and hard cash that will be received by the Second Harvest food shelf. We both feel blessed that the Lord gave us the inspiration start this event and placed people in our path who have made it special.
             Thanksgiving is the traditional start of what we call the holiday season. While giving thanks we must be aware and focus on the good rewarding parts of our lives; on the positive.

I like the way H. Norman Wright put it:
"Thanksgiving is not to be limited to only the times when we are aware of blessings. Let us give thanks even when we have a problem to solve, when there are difficulties to be met.  At these times, we give thanks to God for unconditional love and goodness, for unlimited wisdom and abundance. When we give thanks continually, we are rejuvenated- spirit, mind and body."
    Let us hold those thoughts and be thankful for all of our blessings.
Thought for Today: Let us focus on giving thanks to God for the love we have for each other and the support we both give and receive.
Prayer for Today: Dear Lord and Father, this week we give you thanks for our friends, our families and our troubles. Yes, we give you thanks for our financial crises, our family stress and the ripples in our personal seas of tranquility. Through our troubles we learn to pray and appreciate the many blessings that seem greater when compared with the ripples of life. We give you thanks for our lives, your love and your Grace.
Amen 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Standing!

Standing         
Standing on the promise of Christ my King,
Through eternal ages let his praises ring;
Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God.”
(Promises verse 1)
(written by R. Kelso Carter 1849-1926) 

            This is one of June’s favorite Hymns that covers a lot of issues in our lives. What do we stand for? What is the promise? They are simple questions that I will over simplify today.
            First, we stand for ethical Christian behavior that will benefit ourselves and everyone around us. We stand for living by following the Ten Commandments. Examples of being good are needed in our world and we are designated to show our stuff!
            Second, the promise is Grace; given to us by Christ when he died on the cross. We want to think there are more promises than that. When we need more money, more self-control, more time; more …etc! Somehow we feel deserving. We want what we want when we want it! We already have what we need; Grace!

We need to show off, stand for our faith!

Thought for Today: Today let us stand out in the crowd; stand for our Christian beliefs.

 Prayer for Today: Dear Lord and father, we find it easy to sit and watch. Today we pray for the opportunity and courage to stand up and be counted in your name.

Amen

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Refresh

Refresh

I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the LORD sustains me
.”
(Psalm 3 vs.5)

            Almost every night we go to sleep without fear; knowing that we will awaken refreshed and ready to make it through another day. We walk one step at a time, we live one day at a time and sometimes the days break down into minutes and hours. But we get through them.
            In AA programs the expression “one day at a time” refers to another day without using alcohol or drugs. As an endurance athlete I assure you that you try to avoid thinking about the distance and keep up that one step concept. That is harder than you think because your focus needs to be on the balloon arch that covers the finish line. That’s a conundrum because you need to visualize the finish without thinking about the distance! I look back at my life that way.
            As an elder and retired endurance athlete, I have two friends in their 60s that still are ranked long distance athletes. Each has stated at different times that they have never thought about quitting. Both have extremely strong faith and I admire their commitment to spiritual growth and fitness.
            Making it through a day without addiction, running miles, just getting through a day are always easier when you have faith. You need to believe you can make it and the best way to believe that is through the spirit of the Lord. With His help we will be sustained and succeed in life, the true endurance test!

Thought for Today: Today we awoke refreshed. Tonight we will be tired. Let us go to bed proud of what we did today!

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord and Father, today was a day of progress. Tomorrow we pray that we may believe that you are with us as we walk through the challenges of life.

Amen

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Always Friends!

 Always Friends

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved,
 clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
(Colossians 3, 12-14; NIV)

            Most of us have a problem with feeling like one of “God’s chosen people”. The control freak in us wants to believe that we chose to follow Him. That is ego-centric and introspective. We all know that we chase Him until he catches us. In our lives, who are “God’s Chosen” and what do they do? 
            This month is Thanksgiving and one of my traditions is to do Christmas cards. Each card that gets addressed is to someone special. The addressees have all played a part my life. Each in some way has been a friend, advisor, mentor, coach etc. What a wonderful feeling it is to sit there and think about each of them (you). Are they (you) God’s chosen people? They are my saints!
            Naming a few: there is a priest in the UK who included me in his daily prayers during my cancer period, another is a Christian running buddy of over twenty-five years duration, several former pastors who were spiritual advisors… the list goes on. The holiday season is a great opportunity to celebrate Christ’s birth and life. It also a chance to think of the many people God has placed into our lives that have demonstrated to us “… compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience...”
            Since 2012 my list of saints has grown. Through God is My Spinach, the book and the blog, there are people in 135 countries sharing, loving and just being friends through Christ. If you are reading this, you are a blessing to both June and I.

Thought for Today: This season let us simply think about our friends. Let us remember why they are, who they are and what they mean to us.

Prayer for Today: Dear lord and Father, we have many blessings that you have given to us. Among them are our friends and contacts. Each of them is in some way a blessing.  We offer our prayers for their health and happiness and thank you for presenting them to us.

Amen

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Halloween

Halloween 1991

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God
. …which transcends all understanding…?”
(Philippians 4 verse 6)

            Halloween, October 31st in 1991 was a significant event in the northern part of the United States. In our neighborhood we had two significant events to prepare for; children trick or treating and June’s departure to the UK for a family visit on November 1st. Mother nature also had a plan that she had not consulted with us on; the great Halloween three day blizzard in Minnesota which was a piece of what is now known as “The Perfect Storm.”
            Paul told the Philippians “Do not be anxious about anything…” but millions of Americans were anxious that weekend! People died on lost ships on the Grand Banks and Minneapolis had 30 inches of snow. But it was not all bad on our end. Let me explain.
            In the early afternoon we had a temperature drop and a snow squall started. That is not unusual in Minnesota in the fall and we did not expect it to be anything but a fun Halloween! You see, I had already decorated the outside of the house with Christmas lights so we turned them on. The lights drew a large group of Halloween revelers. We met them with a special greeting, “Ho Ho Ho, Happy Halloween.” There was six inches of snow on the ground and we did pray for the safety of the children.
            In the morning there was 15 inches of snow and the visibility was near zero. A trip to the airport seemed impossible. Prayers were needed. We decided to depart after lunch for a 6:30 flight and the 20 minute trip took over two hours and was very dangerous. June’s flight departed 3 hours late and I had a three hour ride home. Happy Halloween.
            I assume you all know about the perfect storm and sinking of the Andrea Gail from Gloucester. Our trials were minor when compared with the loss of a ship and lives. When we heard the story, it put our events into perspective. We were stressed and blessed at the same time.
            Tuesday is Halloween, enjoy it with your neighborhood goblins!

Thought for Today: Tuesday, Halloween, is a special day and we should enjoy it with the revelers. We should also think back to 1991 and be prayerful.

Prayer for the Day: Heavenly Father, this week we pray for children on a day they look forward to each year. We pray that they be safe and have a great evening. We give thanks for their presence in our lives.

Amen 

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Indian Summer

Indian Summer

"This is the day
that the Lord has made,
Let us rejoice and be glad in it"
(Psalm 118:24)
            In Minnesota we are experiencing a wonderful autumn. An "Indian Summer" as it is called. Our first heavy frost was followed by a freeze and now we have warm temperatures. Certainly this is a gift to us by God. It is something that we all appreciate and offer our thanks.
            During this time, the crab grass has died; there is color in the leaves; the lawn does not need to be mowed as often; the evenings are cool; the garden does not need weeding.
            There are many blessings about "Indian Summer" and they are easily recognized. In our daily lives there are also many blessings but we often do not see and acknowledge them. We try to control our lives and often do not turn enough over to God. The more we allow Him to take over, the more blessed our lives become.
            The Psalmist says "...But may all who seek you, rejoice and be glad in you..." As we give thanks for good weather, we need also to give thanks and recognize God's roll in our daily lives.
Thought for Today: The fall season is upon us. The busy holidays are approaching us all too swiftly. This week we have the opportunity to relax and enjoy the dwell in activities between the end of summer and the holidays. Let us enjoy by allowing God's will into our daily lives. Let Go and let God and appreciate the things he will do for us.
Prayer: Father, we pray specifically for those in the World that need food, shelter and a quality of life. In our country there are too many people out of work or threatened by unemployment. In many countries the Holy season approaches many desperate people. We pray for them and that somehow the prosperous peoples of the world can find a way to do your will. We pray that we may find a way to contribute.
Amen 

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.