Saturday 22 February 2020
The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? – Psalm 27:1
 
What do you fear? There are many things in our lives and in the world that chill our spirits with fear. These fears keep us awake at night, fill us with anxiety, and make us wonder how things can possibly be well again. When dark and foreboding fear grips your heart please remember that Jesus is our light in the darkness and our strength in the storm. You have nothing to fear.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Friday 21 February 2020
14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. – Psalm 27:14
 
Waiting is in lines and at traffic lights is unpleasant. Waiting for vacation, for healing, for pay day isn’t fun. Waiting reminds us that our schedules are governed by powers and processes beyond our control. We can either wait with grace or allow the waiting to frustrate us. Waiting becomes bearable when we invite Jesus to be with us in our waiting. Jesus gives us strength to see our waiting as a process that strengthens our faith in God and grows our patience.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Thursday 20 February 2020
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want; 2he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters – Psalm 23:1
 
What fills you with anxiety? I have always been terrified of tests. Convinced I did not know enough to do well, I spent the night and morning before an exam filed with anxiety. In these and other times when I feared I’d fail, I prayed Psalm 23. “The Lord is my Shepherd…” Through these words God calms our anxious spirits. Whenever anxiety floods your spirit, please pray Psalm 23:1-2. When we are stressed and anxious, God gathers us, cares for us and brings us peace.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Wednesday 19 February 2020
16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” – Matthew 20:16
 

We like to think that we can earn God’s love and our place in heaven. But we cannot earn God’s love heavenly home. This is wonderful news! Since we cannot earn God’s love or everlasting life, we cannot lose them. We enjoy our place in Christ’s heart and God’s kingdom because God loves us. God shows His love by mixing up the entire economy of “just desserts”. The first are last, the last are first, and all who place their trust in Jesus are in first place not because of what we deserve but because Jesus loves us.

 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Tuesday 18 February 2020
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. – Psalm 37:4
 
There are many good gifts God gives us to enjoy: delicious food, a comfortable bed, satisfying work, good music, good friends and family. Taking delight in the Lord means enjoying God. Are you enjoying your relationship with God? We take delight in God when we enjoy talking with God, discovering who God is through the Bible and creation, and being with people who love God. As our enjoyment of God grows, God’s desires become our desires and God’s joy becomes our strength.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Monday 17 February 2020
13 The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the Lord and sang: “He is good; his love endures forever.” – 2 Chronicles 5:13a
 
The dedication of the Temple King Solomon builds for the Lord is a musical extravaganza. The song at the center of the music declares, “God is good; His love endures forever.” God’s love endures forever. No person nor force can end God’s love. God’s love for us will never fails. God’s love for all creation ever ends. God’s love will never be defeated. No matter what happens in life, God’s love covers us, keeps us, renews us and restores us – forever!
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Saturday 15 February 2020
Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God. – Psalm 146:5
 
We are blessed when we choose to depend on God. Dependence on God frees us from the delusions that we can go it alone, that we can rely upon ourselves and that we are the source of our strength. Independence, self-reliance and inner strength always fail. Reliance on God’s help gives us hope. Jesus never fails us. When our help is the God of Jacob, we are hopeful. Such hope never fails us because God never fails.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Friday 14 February 2020
16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. – John 3:16-17
 
Jesus Christ is God’s great valentine gift. Better than a box of chocolates, better than roses, better than dinner out, God gives us Jesus. Jesus is the embodiment of God’s love. Jesus comes into the world, inviting us to trust in Him, enjoy His love and receive the strength, peace, forgiveness, joy and everlasting life that He has for us. What wonderful gifts to receive from the Author of Love. Jesus loves you! 
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Thursday 13 February 2020
26 The woman whose son was alive was deeply moved out of love for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!” – 1 Kings 3:26
 
The baby died in the night and the Mom was heartbroken and angry. Her friend’s newborn was fine, and hers was gone. Desperate for a child, she takes the breathing baby, leaving her lifeless child in his place. Convinced she has been wronged; the living baby’s Mom brings her friend before King Solomon, who hears their case and orders the living baby be split in two and given to both. Immediately the true Mom implores Solomon to give the baby to the other woman. The real Mom gives up her son so he can live. Faithful love does whatever it takes for the beloved. Even letting go. 
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Wednesday 12 February 2020
10 His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of the warrior; 11 the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. – Psalm 147:10-11
 
We admire people who are strong, powerful, and attractive. When looking for Israel’s next King, the prophet Samuel was impressed by Jesse’s tall, muscular and attractive son Eliab, thinking “Surely the Lord’s anointed stands here…” (I Samuel 16:6). God says to Samuel, “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at outward appearance. God looks at the heart.” It is not our physical strength, our attractiveness, or our power that makes us God’s beloved. True beauty is on the inside. Faith in Jesus is where true strength and attractiveness are found.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Tuesday 11 February 2020
He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit. – Psalm 147:4-5
 
God names each of the trillions of stars. This is amazing! God’s name for each star shows the depth and power of God’s love for creation. Our love and understanding are limited. God’s mighty love and understanding are limitless. God who names each star, knows us by name and understands us. God understands us because God listens to our needs, feels our pain, celebrates our successes, hears our hopes, feels our fears and is attentive to our thoughts. When it comes to God, we will never be misunderstood.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Monday 10 February 2020
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor. – Psalm 8:3-5
 

Looking into God’s starry sky on a clear winter’s night fills me with grateful joy. God created each star and gives every one of them a special name. Millions of stars, and millions of people, named and known intimately by God. No star is too far away to be known by God. No person is too small to be known by God, who treasures each of us. The Vince Guaraldi (composer of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” music) tune “Star Song” is for me a celebration of God’s loving care for all creation – even and especially each of us. Take a moment to enjoy the sweet sound of God’s love.

 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Saturday 8 February 2020
27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? – Matthew 6:27
 
Worry is being anxious about things over which we have no control. Worrying robs us of our peace and distorts our perspective. When we worry, we are deciding that our problem is larger than the Lord. Is something worrying you today? Give your worry to Jesus and allow Jesus to give you peace and restore your perspective. If you are not worried about anything allow the Lord to bring to your mind someone who is worried about something. Offer that person to Jesus so that you can be working with Christ to deliver someone from the cold and dreary shadows of worry.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Friday 7 February 20202
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. – Psalm 119:105
 
One of God’s great gifts is the Bible. On the days when we feel like God is far away Psalm 139 assures us that there is nowhere you can go and be away from God’s loving presence. On the days when things are good or bad Philippians 1:6 promises that God who began a good work in us will complete it. On days when we are frightened, Jeremiah 29:11 assures us that God gives us hope and a good future. God’s words of the Bible are a lamp, lighting our way to and warming our spirits.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Thursday 6 February 2020
22 Because of the LORD’S great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. – Lamentations 3:22-23
 
Compassion is sympathy that leads us to do merciful good for others and suffer with others. God’s sympathy for us never fails. Through Jesus and the good people in our lives God comes alongside us, does merciful good for us and shows us unconditional love through a willingness to suffer with us. This great love never fails us. As song writer Thomas Chisholm says, “Great is Thy faithfulness, great is Thy faithfulness. Morning by morning, new mercies I see. All I have needed Thy hand has provided. Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.”
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Wednesday 5 February 2020
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens – Ecclesiastes 3:1
 
The work of faith involves discerning God’s plans for our lives and God’s timing for the plans He has for us. When it comes to God’s timing and God’s plans for us it is tempting to ignore, flee or fight against them because God’s plans and God’s timing can be uncomfortable. Giving into such temptations is never good. Choosing to trust Jesus’ plans and Jesus’ timing always brings us to a place of peace and a place of joy, even when we don’t fully understand the plan or agree with its timing.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Tuesday 4 February 2020

I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” – Psalm 122:1

For as long as I can remember I have loved going to Church. Church is the special place where I connect with Jesus through my wonderful family of Faith. In the house of the Lord we share a common love for Jesus, a common commitment to welcoming all, and a common dedication to caring for people in the Church and in the world. Church family is a central part of life through which Jesus works to bring us joyous strength in Him and in each other. Church is not a perfect place, but the place where we go to grow in God’s perfect love. Our shared life together in Christ’s Faith Family is a gift and a treasure.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Monday 3 February 2020
10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. – Proverbs 31:10
 
A wife of noble character is first and foremost a woman of noble character. Women of noble character are priceless blessings. Think of the women who live out the love, grace, strength, integrity and beauty of God. These women inspire us to be people of noble character who show the world God’s great beauty. God shows us Jesus’ love through women of noble character whom we are blessed to have in our lives. They are more precious than all the rubies in the world!
 
Affectionately,
Ric