Wednesday 21 August 2019
In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, – Philippians 1:4-5
 
We are partners in sharing the good news of God’s love with others. Together we are building communities that are Shining Beacons of God’s Love. The work we do includes offering Christ’s kindness, praying for others, serving people in need, being the voice for those who are not heard, standing against injustice and hatred, offering forgiveness, creating safe places where people are accepted, supported and loved. Our partnership in the gospel (the good news of life and freedom in Jesus) is one of God’s great gifts.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Tuesday 20 August 2019
I thank my God every time I remember you. – Philippians 1:3
 
You are a gift from God. Your life has enriched my life and the lives of others. Your perseverance through tough times has shown me the strength that God gives to His children. Your joy which puts a smile on your heart for all the world to see is inspiring. Your commitment to growing more in love with God teaches me what it means to be a person of faith. Your integrity calls me to live a life of character. I thank God for YOU. Thank you for being God’s great gift.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Monday 19 August 2019
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. – Philippians 1:2
 
Grace is God’s constant love for us, care over us, commitment to us and provision of our every need. We are the recipients of God’s wonderful grace not because we deserve it but because God loves us. God’s wonderful grace brings us peace. So grace which is God’s gift to us brings us peace which is also God’s gift to us. The lavish generosity of our Great God is extraordinary. Please take some time today to celebrate the ways God pours grace and peace upon and into your life.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Saturday 17 August 2019
17 The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever. – Isaiah 32:17
 
Do you sometimes feel as if your life is a swirling storm of busyness? Have you noticed that even when you try to take some time off your mind still swirls with stresses and concerns? Are you so used to a life of bustling activity that you prefer to be on the move rather than to be still and quiet and alone with your thoughts? We are addicted to busyness. But busyness is often driven by insecurity which fuels within us a need to please and to produce. Today, please ask God to to quiet your mind, spirit and body. It is in the quietness of God’s presence that our quiet confidence grows.  
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Friday 16 August 2019
15 This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. – Isiah 30:15
 
How has your week been? Are you tired? Do you wish there had been a little more down time to enjoy so you wouldn’t be so spent by Friday? Jesus calls us to build into our lives a rhythm of rest and quietness. During the day take a moment to go to a lonely place where you can quiet your mind and spirit. Our constant busyness keeps us from God, and wears down our spirits and our bodies. When we learn to live in a life-rhythm that includes moments of quiet and stillness we receive the restoration that Jesus has for us to enjoy. These moments keep us from being enslaved by nonstop busyness.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Thursday 15 August 2019
20 Look on Zion, the city of our festivals; your eyes will see Jerusalem, a peaceful abode, a tent that will not be moved;
its stakes will never be pulled up, nor any of its ropes broken. 21 There the Lord will be our Mighty One. – Isaiah 33:20-21a
 
The source of Jerusalem’s peace is God’s faithful strength. The source of our peace is God’s faithful strength. God is stronger that the stressiest stressors, the most problematic problems, the most insidious infirmities, and the most devastating disasters that befall us. God’s immovable strength is our peace. Plans, health, family and friends may fail us, but God is our never-failing shelter and peace who keeps us strong and peaceful in Jesus. Though everything may be in pieces, in Jesus, God keeps us in one peace.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Wednesday 14 August 2019
10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you. – Psalm 9:10
 
Like patience, trust is something that is uncomfortable to exercise. Our need to trust in God is greatest when our prayers are not being answered as expected, when things are not going according to plan, when stress and anxiety are flooding our spirits and when faith in God takes work. During these times Jesus assures us that we do know His name and can trust Him. Jesus has never forsaken you. Offer Jesus your trust and receive from Jesus the assurance that He is with you, making things well.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Tuesday 13 August 2019
17 The fruit of [the LORD’s] righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever. 18 My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest. – Isaiah 32:17-18
 
God’s righteousness is a commitment to keeping promises, a tenacious love for us that will never let us go, and a willingness to do whatever it takes to offer us life that lasts forever. When we open or lives to God’s righteousness we are not controlled by life’s stresses and anxieties. Jesus invites us to carry His righteous presence in our hearts and minds so that in every circumstance we know and enjoy Christ’s peace and quiet confidence.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Monday 12 August 2019
40 They found rich, good pasture, and the land was spacious, peaceful and quiet. – 1 Chronicles 4:40a
 
The people of the Tribe of Simeon (one of the twelve tribes of Ancient Israel) lived in the southernmost region of Israel – to the west of the Dead Sea. God blessed them with land that was spacious, peaceful and quiet. In the busyness of our lives God calls us to go to a place that is spacious, peaceful and quiet. What is this place for you? A place does not have to be large to be spacious. It can be anywhere with enough room to enjoy God and decompress. Take some time this week to create a place for yourself that is spacious, peaceful and quiet. Jesus will make this place your source of renewal.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Saturday 10 August 2019
22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. – Ephesians 2:22
 
The Christian Faith is a community faith. We do not practice the Faith alone. If we are all the components God uses to build His living Temple, then we are at our best when we are living our Faith together. The strength of a building is found in the way the materials are joined together. The strength of our joy, peace, and love and the assurance that Jesus works through us to bring out the best in each other is found in the way we live life together. When it comes to enjoying God’s love and living out our faith in Jesus, we are always better together.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Friday 9 August 2019
22 “‘So you will be my people, and I will be your God.’” – Jeremiah 30:22
 
When we receive Christ’s gifts of forgiveness and new life, there is never a moment in our lives when we do not belong to God. During days of loneliness remember that you are not alone because whether or not you feel Him, Jesus is with you. On days of uncertainty, stand on the strong reality that Jesus is guiding you. If you are struggling with stress, sadness or depression, please remember that you belong to Jesus who treasures you. You are never alone because you always belong to God who is enfolding you in His strong arms of love, life, forgiveness, guidance and peace.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Thursday 8 August 2019
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9
 
The only way to earn God’s gifts of forgiveness, new beginnings and everlasting life is by doing nothing wrong for all our lives. I usually can’t get halfway through a day without doing something wrong. The only One who did no wrong was Jesus. When we place our trust in Jesus, He erases our wrongdoing, brings us new beginnings with new perspectives, and restores our hearts, minds and lives so we can enjoy God’s gifts of forgiveness, new beginnings and life that lasts forever. It’s not our perfection but our faith in a perfect Jesus that opens the way to enjoying God’s gifts.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Wednesday 7 August 2019
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. – Ephesians 2:4-5
 
Do you remember the first time you enjoyed ice cream? I don’t. Probably because I’ve been enjoying it almost all my life. I cannot imagine life without ice cream! Do you remember the first time you enjoyed Jesus and His love? Coming alive in Christ is a gift we receive from God. God’s love towards is so extravagant that He opens our hearts to the amazing love of Jesus and offers us opportunities to trust Jesus and enjoy His love so that we can come alive in Christ. Today is a perfect day for enjoying ice cream and through that refreshing yumminess to come alive in Jesus!
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Tuesday 6 August 2019
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. – Ephesians 1:4a
 
Before making earth, God knew exactly when you would live in this world. Before creating the cosmos, Jesus loved us so deeply that He invited us to enjoy forgiveness, peace and satisfying life by trusting Him and enjoying His love for us. Whenever you feel unimportant or unnoticed please remember that before anything existed, God’s love for you was very present and very real. You are so very special to Jesus. Today Jesus is choosing you to be the one upon whom He pours His love, peace and joy. You are God’s beloved treasure.  
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Monday 5 August 2019
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. – Ephesians 1:3
 
The spiritual blessings we enjoy through faith in Jesus are forgiveness of sin, freedom to love what is right, good and beautiful, joy that carries us through every circumstance and season, and fulfilling life that lasts forever. These spiritual blessings shape the way we live our lives. As our appreciation for God’s gifts of forgiveness, beauty, joy and life grows, so does our ability to more fully enjoy them and to more freely offer these great gifts to others.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Saturday 3 August 2019
Thou hast kept count of my tossings; put thou my tears in thy bottle! Are they not in thy book? – Psalm 56:8 (Revised Standard Version)
 
God keeps track of every tear we shed. Whatever it is that leads us to cry, God records the occasion and our tears in His heart. This is how much we matter to God. Please know that your tears never fall into emptiness but into God’s heart. God who loves us deeply enough to keep count of our tears is with us to bring us through every experience that bring us to tears.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Friday 2 August
Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. – Psalm 126:5
 
God gives us tears that reflect every aspect of our lives. Tears mark times of sorrow and loss. Intense laughter leads tears to trail down our faces. Great happiness causes us to cry. Sometimes people say they are “bored to tears.” That has never happened to me! A profound awareness of Jesus’ love for us and His presence in our lives moves us to tears. The deep love we have for someone causes us to cry tears of loving care and kindness. Jesus speaks to us through our tears. Are we listening?
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Thursday 1 August 2019
29 He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30 When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. – Luke 21:29-30
 
It seems like just yesterday the signs of summer’s start surrounded us: the school year ending; the temperature rising; a longing to slow down. Yet here we are at 1 August – already! As we begin the second half of our New England Summer please be sure to make summer special. Enjoy the unique gifts God gives during summertime – summer fruit, bright orange and yellow lilies, walks along the beach, summer sunsets. Throughout our cold Connecticut springtime, we longed for summer. Don’t let the season slip by without fully appreciating and enjoying all the summertime pleasures God gives.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Wednesday 31 July 2919
11 When all the Jews in Moab, Ammon, Edom and all the other countries heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant in Judah…12 they all came back to the land of Judah…And they harvested an abundance of wine and summer fruit. – Jeremiah 40:11-12
 
Blueberries, cherries and peaches. These are my favorite summer fruits. What is your favorite summer fruit? Be sure to take some time to enjoy it.  As you savor its aroma, texture and taste, give thanks to God for the good gift of summer fruit. Through the fruit of summertime we see, smell and taste the wonderful love of Jesus.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Tuesday 30 July 2019
17 It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter. – Psalm 74:17
 
Boundaries are a blessing. We experience the blessings of boundaries through workdays that give way to evenings of rest, workweeks that become weekends, friendships that are reliable and safe, seasons that change at the right time, and intimate relationships that bring out the best in us. God gives us boundaries not to limit our lives, but to bring us safety, health, completeness, beauty and joy.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Monday 29 July 2019
Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins. – Ecclesiastes 7:20
 
Except for Jesus, everyone who has ever walked in the world – no matter how righteous – has sinned. No one person is better than any other person because every person is a sinner. Owning this reality frees us from the arrogant delusion that we are better than others. When we appreciate that we are no better than others, we are willing to humble ourselves, allow Jesus to live within us, clean up our messes and renew our joy with His goodness. Since we are all sinners, we can all say, “Thank God for Jesus!”
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Saturday 27 July 2019
[The ant] has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. – Proverbs 6:7-8
 
The lazy days of summer bring us blessings that cannot be enjoyed during any other time of the year. God calls us to use the summer to gather good memories of times in, at or on the water; enjoying ice cream on a hot day; listening to the summer songs of the birds; enjoying summer days with family and friends. God calls us to make full use of this wonderful summer season. When summertime is a memory, what memories will you have stored up to carry you through the rest of the year?
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Friday 26 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 soul as well as 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. Praise be to God for the gift of Jesus, our Living Water.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Thursday 25 July 2019
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. – Jeremiah 17:7-8a
 
When we trust in Jesus, we receive God’s confidence. Confidence in God is founded on the assurance that no matter what happens, the Lord is with us. God-grown confidence roots us in the love, strength, joy and life of Jesus, who makes it possible for us to be filled with a joyous, loving and strong confidence, that is not dependent on external circumstances, but is fed by the nourishing love of Christ, who roots us firmly in a grace gives satisfying life in abundance.  
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Wednesday 24 July 2019
28 Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf. – Proverbs 11:28
 
Riches are not permanent. There are times in our lives when we enjoy prosperity and times when we are financially stressed. Trusting in riches is like believing that food originates at the supermarket. The supermarket is the conduit through which abundance flows. Riches are the conduit through which God’s grace flows. But riches are never the source of life. Only God – the author of all riches – is our source of life. When we trust in God, we enjoy a wealth that is consistent and abundant regardless of our financial situation. God’s abundance enables us to thrive.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Tuesday 23 July 2019
12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; 13 planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green – Psalm 92:12-14
 
Righteousness means doing what we are created to do. We have been created to enjoy God’s love, to love God and to love others. When we enjoy God’s love, we are continually connected to Jesus who is the source of our life, health and peace. The longer we live, the larger our capacity to enjoy God’s love, the stronger our ability to love God and the deeper our commitment to loving others. Because we are one with the Jesus, the Source of all life, we will stay fresh and green even in old age because we will continue to be one with the One who is without end.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Monday 22 July 2019
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures – Psalm 23:1-2a
 
Green pastures bring to mind places of peace, solitude, tranquility, calm and quiet – things we need to stay strong in body, mind and spirit. We are loved by the God of green pastures. Whatever goes on in life, God is always leading us to green pastures. Sometimes those pastures are external places of peace. Oftentimes the green pastures are places of inner solitude, tranquility, calm, quiet and wellbeing which God brings us to in our minds and spirits. Always the green pasture is a place of restoration.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
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