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

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Smile!

Smile!

Note:In light of the happenings in London and around the world I wanted to post something positive! Somehow we need to pray for world peace and end religious and political hate!
This was written in 2006 shortly after the death of my brother. It shows the effect that we have on those around us and is described well in Paul’s letter to the Romans.

 Smile!

Never be lacking in zeal,
but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Share with God’s people who are in need.
Practice hospitality.”
(Romans 12v11)

Thought for Today: Today let us give thanks to those around us that support our lives: even those who do not realize the effect that they have on us. Let’s follow Paul’s advice: “Share with God’s people who are in need” and “Practice hospitality.”

                This is being written in the, food court at Midway Airport in Chicago at 8 am after a 6am flight from Minneapolis. There are smiling faces all around; even the TSA security people seem upbeat today. The smiles are almost infectious. It is not the normal scene that I observe in airports.
                 It seems that most of the people here today read Paul’s advice to the Romans and are being zealous and hospitable. It is infectious. I was not looking forward to this trip because there is a lot of work lying ahead at mom’s in Massachusetts helping reorganize the house after my brother’s passing.
                I awoke in a pensive mood and have dealt with smiling happy people for two hours. First the TSA security people were in good spirits, then a flight attendant greeted me with an exceptional smile, a guy helped me with my carry on when I almost dropped it, the flight out is on time and I had a first class upgrade. It also helps that I am writing Good News and having an omelet between flights!
                Today I had forgotten my own rules about the start of a new day. Up at four, fly at six stop in Chicago and then on to a stressful week! My funky start has been turned around by others. Somehow, the spirit and joy of those around me has affected my mood. It is like I can feel the spirituality around me.

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord today I simply give thanks for those around me that have lifted my spirits.

Amen

Friday, May 26, 2017

Memorial Day!

Honor Them

“Here is a trustworthy saying:
If we died with him,
we will also live with him;
…Keep reminding God’s people of these things.”
(2 Corinthians Verses 11 & 14)
Celebrate Memorial Day, pray for all who served; who went before us and all those that we love.

            For several years my son-in-law Rick played in the 451st Fort Smelling Army band. We went to a lot of parades and concerts and had a lot of fun. At each concert they traditionally played the military anthems of the Coast Guard, Army, Marines and Navy while the veterans in the crowd stood and saluted. Each time my eyes teared up with emotion when I thought what these people had done for all of us.
            There are places in the world where my writing these messages would be prohibited and criminal. That is not the case here. What makes America great is our freedom of speech, the ability to express ourselves and to hear from the other side in a common language. Abraham Lincoln said it like this:

“I am nothing but truth is everything.
I know I am right because I know that liberty is right,
for Christ teaches it, and Christ is God.”

Thought for Today: Today let us remember all who have gone before us and be thankful.


Prayer for Today: Dear Lord and Father, today we give thanks to all of those who have gone before us; those who have contributed to our lives today. First all of those who fought in our military that contributed to our freedom; second to our family ancestors who built or traditions and lifestyle; and last to Jesus who gave us grace. Amen

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Desire

Please read part two of this post!

Desire

"Flee the evil desires of youth,
and pursue righteousness, faith love and peace...
(2timothy 2 verse 22)

            Paul sounds a lot like my mom sounded during high school. During the teen years listening was not my strong suit. How could a ranked athlete and honor student be a bad guy? In my mind my record justified my behaviors and the price paid was ten years that today I refer to as my dark period. Those years were the times I spent learning how life really was a two way street as opposed to a one way street that I owned.
            Faith somehow stayed with me and praying was often present when the darkness was dominant. God was with me in spite of my behaviors. He was always there and I would reach out to him just as Popeye would grab for his spinach. And, just like Popeye’s spinach, He always came through for me. He will also come through for you.

Thought for Today: Today will not be perfect so keep your prayer close by and ask for support!

Prayer for Today: Dear Lord, today we thank you for the goodness in our lives and the hope and love that tomorrow will surely bring.

Amen

Part two, from a friend from my dark period!
Pick,
God WAS there, we were just too caught up with ourselves and too stubborn to acknowledge His presence. We knew each other way back then (for part of that time) and neither you nor I were walking in the light. However, once the Holy Spirit got hold of us we were changed radically. "Reborn" you might say.
I'm thankful that you are in my life now and that you were in my life then. I have seen a marvelous change in you and I'm sure you have seen changes in me.
God bless you Bob. You are a good friend and God has allowed me to measure myself over these 40-50 years by seeing the changes in you. I pray I am measuring up to His plan for me and that you too are pleasing to Him
George

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Your Road?

Straight to our Heart

In the wilderness prepare
the way for the LORD[a];
make straight in the desert
a highway for our God.”
(Isaiah 40 vs. 3)

            When driving in the UK where the roads are windy and twisty, occasionally we come to a long straight road that goes on for miles. My wife, a Brit, explained to me that those are ancient Roman roads laid out 2000 years ago. I found that impressive.
            In ancient times leaders built roads in the desert for their armies to move. They are long and straight and efficient so they could move quickly. The valleys are filled by pushing the tops of the hills. They facilitated the need. In New England where I grew up there are very few straight roads. They paved the cow paths and horse trails which tended to follow the river beds. It is tough for strangers to find their way.
            The message today is that we need to be sure of our road to the lord; that it needs to straight. There needs to be a straight connection between God and our heart. We need to allow the simplest two way travel possible in our complex world; straight to our heart. 

Thought for Today: Today let’s think about where our road takes us; where are we going. Perhaps we can take a few bends out and travel straight. 

Prayer for the Day: Heavenly Father, we live in a complex world and are surrounded by too much activity and we are over committed. Today we thank you for being with us and pray that we may keep our hearts open to you and stay on a straight and holy path.
Amen

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Footprints!

Footprints
“I come to the garden alone,
while the dew is still on the roses,
and the voce I hear falling on my ear,
the son of God discloses.
and he walks with me,
and he talks with me,
and he tells me I am his own,
and the joy we share as we tarry there,
none other has ever known."
(In the Garden, C. Austin Miles)
(Methodist Hymnal No. 314)
        The overwhelming support that we have as people of faith is certainly wonderful and one of the greatest advantages of Christianity. Often, as an A type personality, I awake before June and go jogging (now walking!) at sunrise, "...when the dew is still on the roses...”. The sound of mourning doves and early robins is the dominant sound rather than traffic or other social activity related noise. Often I find myself humming "In the Garden".
        Another time when it comes to mind is before a tough meeting or event. Whether a business meeting, neighborhood meeting or a hospital visit, it is great to know that you are never alone if you let Him join you.
        Many of you often see me with a lapel pin that is a pair of feet. They are from "Foot prints in the sand".  They are to invite conversation regarding the concept of walking with Christ every day. It is always an interesting conversation.
        We are blessed.
Thought for Today: This week let us simply remember that we are never alone. Let us enjoy His presence as we walk through our lives.
Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, we are certainly glad that you are here for support. Often the world around us is confusing and it is difficult to understand your wishes. However, we give thanks for the roll that you play in our everyday lives and the help you give you give our friends and families.
Amen 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Spring!

Spring

"In the bulb there is a flower,
in the seed an apple tree;
in co-coons a hidden promise:
butterflies will soon be free!
In the cold and snow of winter
there's a spring that waits to be,
unrevealed until its season,
something God alone can see."
(Hymn of Promise, Verse 1, Natalie Sleeth, 1986)

        This is s glorious time of the year. The northern hemisphere goes into the transition to summer. It is a time when the resolutions from New Year’s Day are long since successful or forgotten. A time of vacation planning, garden planting and the anticipation of the beauty of the warm season. A time of hope led by the visible evidence of God's presence around us.
        This is a time for reflection and review of our dark side. A review of the negative forces in our lives. This is spring and we need to recover the "...hidden promise..." in our personal lives "... that God alone can see." Through our faith and belief, our Lord will share with us the pleasures of life.
Thought for Today: It is spring. Let us take special notice of its wonders. Smell the flowers and enjoy the showers. Let us share these positive feelings with others and encourage positive feelings around us.

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father we pray for an end to senseless killing and the guidance to understand this violent world that surrounds us. There seems to be a dominant hate factor that is not created by Godly forces. There needs to be more prayer and less negative logic.  We pray that the world’s religions may see you as one God. We pray that somehow through your divine guidance, killing, hate and violence may come to an end.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Joy

Joy

The Lord is my strength and my shield. My heart trusts in him and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song."
(Psalm 28:7)

    Is there joy in our lives? Let us face it, most of us have a lot more joy (positives) than negatives. Our family, friends and associates are sources of great joy. It is spring, the grass is green; the trees are budding with leaves and spring flowers are showing their colors. It is easy to see this kind of joy.

    Many people today have a problem seeing the joys in their lives. Several of my good friends have recently lost their jobs and another has a fatal illness. There are always two sides to our lives. When we are down, it is important to remember the Lord and his place in our lives. As Paul said to the Romans (15:13); "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."

    Yes, in our lives there are physical and emotional joys. Our surroundings and life styles generate them. The real joy, however, comes through our Christian beliefs. It is this belief that gives us the "strength" and "shield" mentioned in Psalm 28:7.

Thought for Today: Let us keep joy at the forefront of our thoughts. When challenged with life, let's use our shield - the Lord.

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, many of our friends are fighting battles. Illness, unemployment, unwanted career changes and many others. We pray for them to understand your strength and love. We pray that they may find the joy that is only available through trust in you.

Amen

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Personal Prayer

Personal Prayer

Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”
(Romans 14:19)

         As we watch the news, read our newspapers and study life around us and throughout the world, we see a lot of stress and confusion. The media presents us with more negatives than positives. We might wonder how to overcome these challenges and bring peace to the world.
         We need to consider what our contribution to peace will be. Certainly we cannot go out tomorrow and solve the world’s problems and create “World Peace”. However, each of us can start every day with the goal to be at peace and stay that way. Stay within ourselves through prayer to maintain our own internal peace.
         Our contribution to the world can and will start within us. We know that the Lord is with us, we need to let Him in and others see the results. As Paul stated to the Romans,
“We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.
Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.”
(Romans 15:1 & 2).

Thought for Today: There is an old expression that suggests aggressive reactions: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”. That is always an option. Today for us let’s think about this: “When our going gets tough, let’s start to pray and be at peace”. Let’s all demonstrate a better way!

Prayer for the Day: Heavenly Father today we pray for gentile solutions to our problems. We pay that when things get tough we may peacefully resolve the issues the way Jesus did.

Amen