Saturday 17 February 2018

16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. – 1 John 4:16

 

God is love. We are created in God’s image. Each time we do something that advances the wellbeing of another person we are showing God’s love to the world. God loves us so much that to advance our wellbeing He becomes a human being to bring a concrete picture of God’s love to all people in all places and times. When Jesus lives His life through us we become people who love God and others by listening, serving, embracing, forgiving and offering joyous peace to all people. When we receive and enjoy Jesus’ love for us, Christ’s love flows from our lives in beautiful ways that make life better for others.

 

Affectionately,

Pastor Ric

The Daily Faith Builder will resume on Tuesday 27 February.

 

Friday 16 February 2018

13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. – 1 John 4:13

 

The calendar said that Wednesday was Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday. But for me Wednesday was “one of those days”. An early dentist appointment that lasted three hours was just the beginning. The worst was the heartbreaking news of the shooting at the Parkland, Florida High School. The “one of those days” days are exhausting and disheartening. Though we may not feel His presence during difficult days, Jesus is still with us, filling us with His Spirit, renewing our strength and restoring our perspective. Whenever those days crash into life please know that Jesus is living in you, and He is giving you His Spirit who renews your strength, restores your perspective and fills you with unshakeable hope.

 

Affectionately,

Pastor Ric

 

Thursday 15 February 2018

12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. – 1 John 4:12

 

Though I was only eight years old when my Grandfather (Pops) Mercaldi died, he filled those eight years with memories that continue to inspire, guide and make me who I am 43 years later: sitting on the front seat armrest of his Cadillac Sedan DeVille while cruising down the highway listening to “Moon River” on WCTO, sitting behind his huge desk at Rocke International, eating hot dogs at Adventureland amusement park. When I was with Pops I felt like somebody special. Though he had his shortcomings, he gave me my earliest memories of God’s love. When we love others in ways that make them feel like somebody special, they see in us the love of God – and we change their lives for the better forever. This is why the love of Jesus always triumphs – always!

 

Affectionately,

Pastor Ric

 

Wednesday 14 February 2018 – Valentine’s Day & Ash Wednesday

11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. – 1 John 4:11

 

The best way we show the world that we are experiencing and enjoying God’s love is by loving each other. Authentic love does whatever needs to be done for the wellbeing of the beloved. The two best ways I know for us to show our love to each other in ways that show God’s love to the world are kindness and forgiveness. Kindness is serving people in need, spending time with others, adjusting our schedule for someone special – and so much more! Forgiveness is the oil of relationships. Forgiveness is unclenching our hearts and releasing the bitterness we feel toward those who have hurt us, so that we can once again show them kindness. The chocolates, and dinners we give on Valentines day taste much better when they are wrapped in lives of kindness and forgiveness.

 

Affectionately,

Pastor Ric   
 
 

Tuesday 13 February 2018

10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. – 1 John 4:10

 

Years ago, my Dad gave me a great picture of God’s love. While driving down Deer Park Avenue on Long Island, Dad saw Phil’s delivery truck. Phil was isolating himself from the family. Dad whipped his car around drove up to the truck, got Philip to roll down his window and told him he would always love him. God loves us so deeply that He does whatever it takes for us to know He loves us. God even sends His only Son to bring us atonement. Atonement is a beautiful word. Separate the syllables and we get at-one-ment. God sends Jesus so that we can be at one with God again. Jesus shows love by closing the chasm, fixing the break and repairing the relationship between God and us. God loves us that He sends Jesus to offer us the gift of at-one-ment – a close and joyous relationship with God.

 

Affectionately,

Pastor Ric

 

Monday 12 February 2018

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. – Psalm 139:13-14

 

From the moment you were knit together in your Mom’s womb Jesus has known you and loved you. From that magnificent moment until this very point in time Jesus has been with you, whispering to the deep places of your mind and spirit that you are wonderfully made, that you – one of Christ’s great creations – are wonderful. Never let the demons or the world lead you to believe otherwise. Jesus created you in His image, and you are His wonderful treasure. 

 

Affectionately,

Pastor Ric