Sunday, January 29, 2017

God’s Love and Grace

God’s Love and Grace

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God;
He is the faithful God,”
 (Deuteronomy 7 v 9)
June and I have been blessed by being close to people of varied faiths. Through our association with each, we have come to a strong belief that we all worship the same God in different ways and we all experience God’s grace.
In the 90s we became good friends with the family of an executive from Pakistan. It was our first real close relationship with a Muslim family. We were close to them in 2001 and observed the frustration that a true Muslim felt in regard to September 11.
Recently a Jewish friend that I have known and liked for years shared with me that he does bible studies so he can learn about the Christian perspective. His strong family values, general positive personality and strong ethical standards make him someone I am glad to know.
We have spent many Sundays with my family in Unitarian Meeting Houses when we return to Massachusetts. We are learning more about my mom’s grandparents who were Unitarian ministers.
To avoid making this a 10,000 word essay, let me summarize some of our other relationships: A son in law who is a southern Baptist, a brother in law who is a Catholic priest in the UK, a Buddhist sister in law, a Mormon best friend who lost touch with his faith, a Native American friend who has involved us in some spiritual activities, and the list goes on.
In each instance mentioned, June and I have experienced good friendships and observed strong Godly values in our friends. In most instances, we have observed God working in our friends’ lives and seen God’s grace at work in many ways. Most, importantly, we have experienced God’s grace through our friends
Thought for the Day: This week let us recognize those around us that are different and try to befriend someone new. Let us seek out someone that looks at God in a different way. The Lord blesses them also.
Prayer for the Day: Dear faithful Lord and Father, the world is a great and wonderful creation. There are many peoples of all colors and beliefs. There are generation gaps, social differences, and economic separations. Often the differences get in the way of social graces. Today we pray the ability to bring unity to the world.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Good Feelings

Good Feelings
"There are different kinds of gifts,
But the same spirit.
There are different kinds of service,
but the same Lord".
(1Corinthans 12 vs. 5)

            Good feelings are great. Throughout our lives there are those special moments that burn into our memories, the warm fuzzies. They vary in many ways. Often at a funeral, family and friends recall those feelings about a loved one who has passed. They make a great celebration of life.
            As an athlete, I have experienced a lot of self-induced memories. A hole in one, championship swimming races, Triathlons with my daughter Karen, granddaughter Ashley are my favorites. This type of memory is good, but the ones that set me on fire and bring tears to my eyes are the ones I have from helping other people. The smile on the face of a nursing home patient when you visit them or seeing progress or success in another person after assisting or mentoring generates feelings that exceed personal memories.
            Service to others not only brings them joy, but a great feeling of satisfaction within the server. We all have been given gifts by the Lord. Real satisfaction in life can be accomplished through the sharing of these gifts with others.
 Thought for Today:  Today let's take some time and do some serious thought about our past service. Let us enjoy the memories, the reward given to us by God for our service. Yes, we deserve the "warm fuzzies" given to us for sharing our gifts. Enjoy the moment and today with His blessings.
Prayer for the Day: Heavenly Father, we thank you for the many gifts that you have given us, the feelings that we have when we use these gifts in our daily lives and the opportunity to use them to serve humanity. We pray for the wisdom to discern what you want us to do and the will to do it faithfully and well.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

MLK Day 2017!

Honoring Martin Luther King, January 15, 1929-April 8, 1968

 MLK Day
It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me,
But it can keep him from lynching me,
And I think that’s pretty important.
Martin Luther King

            There are many quotes from the great Martin Luther King and when I researched them I picked the one above because I had not heard it before. It does not make a great philosophical statement, there is not a spiritual or social justice meaning; it is a simple truth. Living and having the right to pursue freedom always needs to be protected.

            Other quotes by MLK have deeper meaning, spiritually, and are more often used. Below are the ones that seems to be in the media:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.
"Strength to Love," Martin Luther King, Jr.

One that I personally like is:

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

And as Christians we need to demonstrate that we have the faith, we need to take the first step.

Thought for the Day: This is the day the Lord has made and He made it for all humankind. We need to remember and promote equality, always.

Prayer for the Day: Dear Lord, today we do not pray for forgiveness of the past discrimination and separatist social acts of our forefathers. We need to accept them and move forward. Today we pray for the guidance and will to contribute to peace and acceptance through Jesus love.

Sunday, January 8, 2017



 “For you are my hope;
O Lord God, you are my trust…
And the source of my confidence.
(Psalm 71:5)

                Folks, we are starting a New Year and for once I did not make any New Year’s resolutions. That means I have decided to accept my faults!  In the past mine involved weight and fitness and statistically that made me average. My 70 year exercise program worked well in 2016 and neither seemed necessary for 2017!

            The Psalmist above gives us a strong message for the New Year and clearly demonstrates that through our faith we can find confidence and trust. The newspapers, the TV journalists and media all want to sell us on negativity. They are after ratings and for whatever reason they think focusing on the negative is the way to sell their time. That is not a good service to the world. Ok, we do read the news but we also need to read the good news of Jesus to balance the books. His good news can overcome all the news media’s negativity.

                This Psalmist also said:
But as for me I will always have hope
(Psalm 72-14)
You will increase my honor
And comfort me once again
(Psalm 71-21)
                You can see that the good news needs to be our resolution for the next year. Through the good news of Jesus Christ we will all have a better life and live in a better world.

Thought for Today: Happy New Year to all. It will be as we grow in confidence and trust in those around us. It will be when we share the good news to those around us and it will be as we grow together in our faith.

Prayer for Today:  Dear Lord and Father, we are at the beginning of a New Year and are faced with the opportunities that present themselves each January. As always we want to do better in every way. This year we pray that we can discover the spiritual maturity and growth to be better at being a disciple and worker for you. We pray that we may find a clear vision of what we can do for you.