Saturday 20 July 2019
Due to the heatwave, 8:30 worship is the only service tomorrow. 10 a.m. worship is canceled.
 
The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters. – Psalm 29:3
 
From the roaring of river rapids to the mighty sound of ocean waves breaking on the shore we experience the great power of God the Creator of all rivers and oceans. Water’s might points us to God’s strength. When God’s presences feels scarce in your life and when it seems as though your problems are larger than God, look at and listen to the mighty waters of the river rapids and the oceans. These waters bring us to Christ who is more powerful than the mightiest waters. As you look to Jesus remember He is thundering over your struggles and bringing about good.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Friday 19 July 2019
11 So David and his men went up to Baal Perazim, and there he defeated them. He said, “As waters break out, God has broken out against my enemies by my hand.” – 1 Chronicles 14:11a
 
God’s might enabled King David’s enemies to be washed away. What enemies are filling your life with trouble? Often our enemies are internal: Anxiety, self-doubt, hatred, worry, bitterness, intolerance, temptation, lust, envy and fear, insecurity. What internal enemies are robbing you of strength, peace and joy? Invite God to break out against these enemies and wash them out of your spirit so that you may experience the cleansing victory that Jesus has for you.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Thursday 18 July 2019
He wraps up the waters in his clouds, yet the clouds do not burst under their weight. – Job 26:8
 
The clouds thickened and large raindrops began falling on me as I finished mowing my lawn just in time. It amazes me how clouds holding millions of gallons of water vapor can float. God’s way of watering the world is amazing! This morning, please remember that God is working in your life in amazing ways. You may not feel it, you may not be aware of it, nevertheless God is working in your life, filling you with the love, strength, grace and power, righteousness and peace of Jesus. Just as God wraps the waters in His clouds, God is wrapping the caring, renewing love of Jesus within you.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Tuesday 16 July 2019
13 And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the Lord—the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap. – Joshua 3:13
 
Entering the Promised Land requires the Israelites to cross the Jordan River. God tells them that He will part the waters but before the waters separate, the priests must step into the river. God requires Israel trust in God’s promise. What a huge challenge! There are times when it is tough for us to trust God. We have nothing to base our trust on but God’s past faithfulness and God’s present promise to be with us. Often this trust is counterintuitive. This is why faith can be difficult work. Water calls us to place our trust in God, who assures us that when Jesus is at the center of our lives all will be well.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Monday 15 July 2019
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. – Psalm 23:1-3a
 
It is Monday – already. As the busyness of the week begins, allow Jesus to lead you to quiet, soul-refreshing waters throughout the week. What do soul refreshing waters look like for you? Please take some time to discern from God what places, activities and people bring refreshment to your soul. Then ask God to lead you to those places, activities and people throughout the week. Whatever confronts you during this week, please know that the Lord is leading you beside quiet waters that refresh your soul.
 

 

Affectionately,
Ric
 
Saturday 13 July 2019
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
 
The Faith is not meant to be lived in isolation. God calls us into community with Jesus and with each other. In a church family God gives us a place to receive support, share our ideas and plans and receive feedback, a community of concern that is always present to welcome us, love us and offer us friendship. A faith family is important because it is also a group that holds us up to Jesus so that we can receive Christ’s love, forgiveness, healing and holiness. God gives us each other so that when we fall, we can help each other up. What a wonderful gift.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Friday 12 July 2019
A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. – Psalm 90:4
 
Because a thousand years is as a day to the Lord, He is never in a hurry. God will never hurry you along. The Lord will always be available to spend time with you, to enjoy your company, to hear your prayers, to hold you when you need His support, and to cheer you on. I love that our God never rushes us out of His presence. Every day of your life, the Lord Jesus Christ is taking time to be with you because you are His treasure.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Thursday 11 July 2019
28 Does the rain have a father? Who fathers the drops of dew? 29 From whose womb comes the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens 30 when the waters become hard as stone, when the surface of the deep is frozen? – Job 38:28-30
 
Ice is a wonderful summertime refresher. Iced tea, iced coffee, ice water and best of all, ice cream. Ice cold treats refresh our bodies and our spirits during the hot days of summer. The love of Jesus Christ is like an iced drink or ice cream on a hot day – refreshing happiness. When the difficulties of life cause your spirit to wilt, please take hold of a cold drink or iced treat and with each sip or bite, feel the refreshing love of Jesus renewing your spirit and restoring your strength.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Wednesday 10 July 2019
10 He makes springs pour water into the ravines; it flows between the mountains. – Psalm 104:10
 
Many mountains have hundreds of springs that form small streams. These small streams come together becoming rivers whose waters pour over cliffs with majestic beauty and magnificent power. Whenever you feel insignificant or unimportant, please remember that you are an important part of a mighty movement that does beautiful and powerful deeds to bring God’s life-changing love to others. Without you, God’s majestic and beautiful work would be incomplete – just as a waterfall without its contributing springs would be incomplete. Your presence in this world matters greatly to God and to others.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Tuesday 9 July 2019
27 Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. – Luke 12:27
 

Deep orange day lilies fill my backyard flowerbeds. Early each morning the “ripe” buds open, gracefully unfurling their petals, stretching toward God’s heaven. By mid-morning the lilies are in full bloom. Through their unfolding beauty, day lilies are singing, “Joyful, joyful we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love; hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, opening to the sun above. Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away. Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!” Day lilies call us to enjoy God’s unconditional love, which causes our hearts to open like flowers before Jesus, our God who gives us immortal gladness that fills us with strength, peace, love and light.

Affectionately,
 
Ric
 
Monday 8 July 2019
The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. – Psalm 19:7a
 
God’s law is not a list of rules we follow so God will love us more. Following God’s law opens us to enjoying the amazing, unconditional love God has for us every day. Jesus tells us that God’s law is summed up in two commands: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. And love your neighbor as yourself. The more deeply we love God, the more fully we enjoy God. The more fully we enjoy God, the more graciously we love one another. How refreshing!
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Saturday 6 July 2019
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.  – Matthew 25:31
 
On the first Christmas, Jesus’ glory is seen in extreme simplicity – a stable for a shelter, a feeding trough for a crib, peasant parents and shepherd guests. When Jesus returns, His splendor and majesty will be unmistakable – a throne, a great angelic accompaniment, and such power that it will be unmistakable that Jesus is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. We live in the time between Jesus’ glories. During these between times life can be wonderful, terrible and tedious. Jesus is with us during the between times showing us that His glory and presence live in the unlikeliest of places.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Friday 5 July 2019
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” – John 4:14
 
Cold lemonade on a hot summer day is a gift from God. A glass of ice water in the heat of the afternoon sun refreshes the spirit. Jesus is refreshing water for our souls. Jesus enters our lives, quenching our thirst for unconditional love, new beginnings, and belonging. Much in life dries up our joy and parches our spirits. Jesus is the living water who restores and refreshes us. When we drink cold lemonade or ice water on a hot summer’s day, remember we are drinking in the refreshing love of Jesus our Living Water.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Thursday 4 July – Independence Day
Late in the night of 2 July 1776 Congress voted to declare independence from Great Britain. New York abstained, but South Carolina joined the majority. The vote went quickly. The deed was done. The break with England was made.
Throughout 3 July Congress revised Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence. Many changes were made, and a quarter of it was cut out entirely. The final revision added, “with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence”. Thomas Jefferson’s closing line now read, “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”
 
On Thursday 4 July 1776, at about 11:00 in the morning debate over the revised declaration was closed and the vote taken. Twelve colonies voted in the affirmative while New York abstained. It all went very smoothly. Congress then ordered the document to be authenticated and printed.
 
Throughout our 4th of July celebrations may we, like our founding ancestors live out our independence with a dependence upon God’s protecting care by offering God’s protecting care to all.
 
4th of July Blessings!
Ric
 
Wednesday 3 July 2019
The seas have lifted up, Lord, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves. – Psalm 93:3
 
One of Summer’s wonderful blessings is time with water. Whether it’s swimming in the water, boating on the water or relaxing by the water, time with water is one of God’s wonderful summertime gifts. At the water we make memories which will be enjoyed throughout our lives, we find shelter from the heat and we experience God’s vast beauty and power. The water shows us that God’s creation is active, moving and praising its Maker. When spending time by water this summer, please see God’s glory, God’s grace, God’s power and God’s care.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Tuesday 2 July 2019
Your throne was established long ago; you are from all eternity. – Psalm 93:2
 
Everything in our lives has a beginning and almost everything in our lives has an ending. Some beginnings are wonderful. Some endings are welcomed. Then there are the beginnings we dread and the endings we mourn. Our life has a beginning. But our existence goes on forever. When we trust in Jesus, we receive abundant, meaningful, satisfying life that never ends. Our address changes from earth to heaven but our life in Jesus continues. Life in Jesus gives us greater enjoyment of the good that begins and ends. Life in Jesus gives us courage to navigate all beginnings and endings.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Monday 1 July 2019
 
The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty; Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength; indeed, the world is established, firm and secure. – Psalm 93:1
 
The days come, the seasons change, and the years continue because God loves this world deeply. And God, who so loves the world, is daily causing creation to continue to be a place filled with life. The world’s existence is firm and secure not because of us but because God in great strength and great love is daily saying, “Let there be life.” The world’s continued existence assures us that our God is great, mighty, loving and loves being involved in our lives.
 
Affectionately,

Ric