To Bring Good News to the Poor

As the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity continues, I’ll share these words from Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute, a ministry of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, a Roman Catholic religious community of brothers and priests in the tradition of St. Francis of Assisi.

The prophet Amos criticized traders who practiced deceit and exploited the poor in order to gain maximum profit. Amos also underlined how God observes their wrongdoing and will never forget it. God listens to the cries of victims of injustice and never forsakes those who are exploited and treated unjustly.

We live in a globalized world where marginalization, exploitation and injustice are rampant. The gap between the rich and the poor is getting wider. Economic achievement becomes a deciding factor in relationships between peoples, nations and communities. Economic issues often trigger tensions and conflicts between them. It is hard to enjoy peace when justice is absent.

By virtue of our common Baptism, all Christians share in the prophetic mission of Jesus to proclaim good news to the poor and the weak, in both words and deeds. When we recognize this mission, the Spirit of the Lord will be upon us too, empowering us to work for justice. Our dignity as Christians calls us to speak and act in such a way that the words from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah which Jesus proclaimed in Nazareth are fulfilled each day in the hearing of those around us.

God our Father, forgive our lust for power and free us from the temptation to oppress others. By your Holy Spirit of communion, help us to live in solidarity with our neighbor, and so share together with your Son Jesus in fulfilling your promise of freedom from poverty and oppression. We pray in His name. Amen.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Life is what you make of it … kinda like Play-Doh.

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Let’s pray

I hope this becomes a Saturday fixture. I know the requests are on my prayer list and I hope you consider putting them on yours as you place your petitions before the Lord Sunday.

June shares her great-grandson Jaiken was born at 30 weeks and remains in the NICU in Salt Lake City, UT. His parents live in Rock Springs, WY, and have to stay with the baby at least another month so everything is piling up and very costly. Jaiken is doing well and is at five pounds now but is struggling breathing. His lungs and brain weren’t developed … but he is a fighter. Please pray for Krysta and Jake.  A Facebook fundraiser page has been set up at Krysta & Jake. 

Kirah admires my desire to bring my followers together through prayer. She does have a prayer request for her oldest daughter. She is in her 40s, recently separated (not her choice) with a 16 year old daughter and 18 tear old son. She feels unworthy. Kirah’s prayer is her daughter will see herself as Jesus sees her, and He will direct her thoughts and choices when it comes to moving forward. Thank you for providing this forum. Blessings on you!

Joys reported included one from David, who reported the CT scan showed cancer has not entered bones/organs. The doctors are optimistic. They will remove prostate cancer and proceed with radiation and chemo. He asks the date to mark for special prayer is Jan. 25 when he meets with surgeon and starts tests.

Concerns have come from Scott who is battling depression; Toni, dealing with an unexpected death; Sean who is under spiritual attack; William, who’s daughter has had a persistent cough; Rob, whose father is having back problems; Andrea, whose mom is in critical condition and is going in for emergency surgery; the R Family, whose dad is tired, depressed and ready to call it quits on God, Bible, etc.; and Keegan, who has been sick for four months.

So … keep your joys and concerns coming. They will be included while I’m on my knees and I trust they will be on the lips of my followers as well. All it takes is a couple of keystrokes under the “Contact Me” button on the top bar {and I believe to the right if you’re not a follower yet}. I hope it becomes your best friend as you navigate around the site. You can also comment or reach me at

Lord, we come to You broken and battered but recognize You heal and quiet the soul. We acknowledge You are the source for all that happens in our lives. We thank you for the many blessings we have received this week — some we unfortunately didn’t notice. Nonetheless, those blessings are ever-present in our lives. We thank You for healing. We thank You for slowing us down. We thank You for providing us our daily needs — no more and no less. We thank You for being with us, listening to us, walking with us on this journey. We thank You for the support of our family and friends … for seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary — sunrises, sunsets, flowers, kids laughing, adventures, good news amid the bad news like David’s. We also know we can come to You with our concerns and they will be heard. We lift up those family members and friends who are battling various physical, emotional, financial, career or spiritual issues and ask not for Your healing (although that would be welcomed) and guidance but to keep reminding us we are not alone in our battles. Specifically we lift up Krysta and Jake, Kirah’s daughter, Scott, Toni, Sean, William, Rob, Andrea, the R Family and Keegan. In Jesus’ most holy name, we pray for obedience to Your Will so Your Light shines through us. Amen.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: A good exercise for the heart is to bend down and help another up.

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Five Minute Friday — Influence

Welcome to Five Minute Friday. The task is to write for five minutes on a specific prompt word from your mind and heart. Then, post and encourage others who have braved the exercise by linking up at Kate’s spot on Facebook at That’s the fun part!

To entice you to check us out, I’ve also been sharing some of the experiences my fellow writers have shared as chronicled in Five Minute Friday: A Collection of Stories Written in Five Minutes Flat. This week, I hope Mary’s words inspire you to join our writing club.

“Community, friendship, and sister-ship define the Five Minute Friday for me. I first joined the community in 2013. I will never forget that first attempt. Lisa Jo Baker [the founder] came by and asked if I understood the rules. I wrote two sentences on the topic and then went on to other topics, newbie mistake. The next week with a try-again-attitude, I wrote my first Five Minute Friday post in June 2013 about the in-between. I miss some Fridays, but ever since, I love to participate. It is a highlight of my week, communing with women [and some men] over a one-word prompt. The creativity and love shared keep me coming back.”

So, the timer is set for five minutes . The word for the week this week is INFLUENCE … so here goes. {clock starts now}

I think there are two ways to look at today’s prompt … what influences {and influenced} you and how do you influence others.

Each of us have a different story. There are literally hundreds who have influenced me during my lifetime — too many to name or single out. But they all had something in common. They impacted my life by investing in me and showing me how to live. There were teachers, mentors, certainly my wife, my kids, close friends — including my Best Friend, Jesus.

Because of them, I have a duty to influence others the same way. It’s not because I’m special or have something special to peddle. It’s to shine the Light of God in the everyday. I try to do that through this venue and other social media.

Throughout it all, it’s the influence of Jesus that has chiseled my life. I just try to show what He has done for me to others.

I don’t know how much influence … STOP

I have, but that’s unimportant. If one life is changed, impacted or influenced by my Jesus, I am happy!

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Pain and suffering is inevitable but misery is optional.

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Joys & Concerns, Just a Reminder

You might remember, in an attempt to make the blog more interactive, I have been asking for your input. Specifically, I’ve requested a short note listing your joys and concerns so I can bring them to the Lord during my prayer requests … and I hope other readers in this faith community will include them in theirs as well as they lay down petitions on the Sunday altar.

I’m starting to get a few responses, which I’ll share Saturday. The petitions can be as specific or as general as you want and I’ll preserve anonymity. Most of the responses have been from social media, however, not from this platform.

On the top bar {and I believe to the right if you’re not a follower yet} there is a “Contact Me” button. I hope it becomes your best friend as you navigate around the site. Use it to make your joys and concerns known as well.

I am also inviting readers to share a blog post or thought with us as part of our outreach. Same process.

I don’t want this venue to be one-sided. My vision is to use the platform as a clearinghouse for sharing, caring and, most important, prayer.

I’m not sure how much of a voice I have in the world, but whatever it is, I want it to reflect the Light … always. And I would really love to have you along for the ride.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.

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Midweek Mirth

One of the misconceptions about being a Christian is we don’t know how to have fun or have a sense of humor. Trust me, if the Big Guy can have a sense of humor when it comes to dealing with us mere mortals, so can we.

The difference for Christians is we don’t have to debase ourselves or others to generate a smile. Laughter at life or ourselves is a gift from God.

So, let’s smile a little!


Employer to applicant:  “In this job we need someone who is responsible.”

Applicant:  “Then I’m the one you want. On my last job, every time anything went wrong, they said I was responsible.”

And now for a bonus…

True Love

Heather and Marcy hadn’t seen each other in awhile so they decided to meet for lunch. The talk naturally got around to their respective love lives.

Marcy confided there really wasn’t anyone special in her life. Heather, on the other hand, was beaming about the new man she had found.

“He’s perfect. He’s handsome, and last night when we went out to dinner, he said the four little words I’ve been waiting to hear a man say to me!”

Marcy excitedly asked, “He said ‘Will you marry me’?”

Heather replied, “No, he said ‘Put your money away’.”

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: We get most of our exercise jumping to conclusions.

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Live from Maine

I’m trying to figure out how best to use social media. I know the different platforms, but I’m not totally sure how to maximize effectiveness. I think I realize it isn’t numbers but interactions that count. The purpose is get people invested in you and your — in this case — words. Followers are nice but comments and feedback mean oh so much more. At least for me!

I do want to interact with my followers, whether here on this platform or on Facebook and Twitter. Those are three different constituencies.

A good chunk of my social media presence starts right here. The posts are publicized on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. So I’m thinking of going “live” periodically so you can see the face behind the fingers and I can get your input first hand.

It would probably be a Facebook Live feed, but that’s the rub right now. I haven’t quite figured out how to do it. I did live feed through my phone for my two book launches, but didn’t receive real time feedback. This time I would like to use my laptop, but so far it’s been asking for links and codes and software well beyond my technological pay grade.

So, that’s my assignment this week. Hopefully, I can connect with the  right people here in town to get the  mechanism in  place so we CAN periodically connect. I’ll keep you informed.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: God has already solved the problems you are going through and knows where you are going to. There is no reason to worry! –Pastor John Hagee


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This Day

It started as a way to spend time praying for my family, friends and faith partners and share with them some nugget of encouragement for the week. Sometimes it’s a sentence. Sometimes a paragraph. Sometimes a story. I’ve discovered each one had a special meaning to some one at some time. The message just resonated with them at just the time they needed it most. I never know who until after the fact.

The messages — while typically from Christian sources — have universal appeal. Today, I’ll share some words from Ray Lammie, a four time cancer survivor who spent 40 years of his life as a successful business executive and entrepreneur in a nationwide business. After retiring in 2006, Lammie pursued cancer support, business consulting, co-authored two books, organized numerous charity events and both played and managed amateur baseball. Among Ray’s most notable accomplishments was the launching of two Internet based projects, Thought for Today which targeted the business community with powerful, positive thought provoking thoughts and quotes, which later gave birth to the Faith Thought of the Day, a daily bible based devotional. Both were sent to recipients worldwide and were featured on several faith based websites. His inspirational and uplifting books were Random Thoughts on Life and Thoughts in Color and Black and White which were intended for people around the world in need of emotional encouragement. He died in 2009.

Yes, I read today’s excerpt in Random Thoughts on Life and yes, I did pattern this ministry after Ray’s work. So, here’s this week’s words for the week…

This Day

I was given a most precious gift this morning when I woke up. It’s a gift I never received before. It’s one I can’t keep, can’t return, can’t save, and don’t know how well it will really work. I do know it’s a most wonderful and beautiful gift. I hope I value and appreciate it enough to use it wisely. That gift is “this day!” Enjoy yours and make it a very special one.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: What’s happened in your past is not nearly as important as what is in your future. Where you’re going is much more significant than where you’ve been. — Joel Osteen

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