Thursday 29 September 2022
15 Jesus asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).
 
Ricky Boy. Little Ricky. Ricky. Rich. Richie. Richard. Ric. Whenever I hear these names, I answer. Our names are central to our identity and our relationships. Mary does not recognize the risen Jesus until He speaks her name. Jesus knows your name. Today please know that Jesus is speaking your name directly to your heart. Jesus is speaking your name, assuring you that you are loved, cared for and always in God’s saving care.  
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Wednesday 28 September 2022
Then the Lord said to Moses: “Set up the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, on the first day of the first 
month. – Exodus 40:1-2
 
Thirteen of the forty chapters of Exodus are dedicated to the creation of the Tabernacle – a portable sanctuary where God would live with the Israelites. God’s priority was being with the Israelites as they traveled through the desert on their forty-year journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. When Jesus comes into the World, God’s Tabernacle is no longer a tent, but a person named Jesus (which means God with us). Today God’s tabernacle – the place where Jesus lives – is us!  Jesus lives in you! Feel His presence filling you with beauty, strength, joy, forgiveness, and love.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Saturday 24 September 2022
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33b
 
Our faith in Jesus does not prevent us from experiencing tough times. In the midst of difficult times, it is tempting to think that God has abandoned us, or that Jesus does not love us. But ease of life is never tied to God’s love for us. Nobody had a closer relationship with God than Jesus. And no one suffered more than Jesus. So, when we suffer, we can take comfort in knowing that God understands our suffering, because God knows suffering. Jesus our Suffering Savior is always with us in our trying times, assuring us that suffering never has the final say. After the cross, comes resurrection – the place where Jesus is the overcomer. No matter our trials, Jesus is with us, giving us strength to overcome every trial.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Thursday 22 September 2022
22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. – John 16:22
 
As Jesus’ friends agonize over His impending death, Jesus assures them that their sorrow is temporary. Sorrow never has the final say! Are you experiencing sorrow? Feel Jesus holding you, comforting you, and caring for you. No matter how deep our sorrow, nothing robs us of our joy because our deep happiness is in Jesus. Jesus assures us that because He rose from the dead, sorrow never has the final say.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Wednesday 21 September 2022
They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. – John 16:1
 
Shortly before His arrest, Jesus warns His followers that they will encounter people who believe that harming others offers a service to God. Throughout human history religion has brought harm to people. But from the beginning of human history Faith has been elevating, restoring, rescuing, and embracing all people by offering love that is unconditional and restorative. Anything less than love offered freely by God’s people is never a service to God who offers us the ultimate service – the gift of Jesus, whose love saves us so that we may enjoy lives of love that last forever.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Tuesday 20 September 2022
22 All who were willing, men and women alike, came and brought gold jewelry of all kinds: brooches, earrings, rings and ornaments. They all presented their gold as a wave offering to the Lord. – Exodus 35:22
 
To build the Lord’s tabernacle required gold and precious jewels. Neither God nor Moses pressured the Israelites to give to the Tabernacle building project. This shows us that God is not religious. Religion and Faith are very different. Religion guilts people into giving. Faith offers opportunities for giving. Jesus invites us to give our love, trust and dedication to Him not because we have to but so we can enjoy a life that is satisfying and joyful. Praise God that the Christian Faith is not religious!
 
Affectionately,
Ric

 

Monday 19 September 2022

13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. – John 16:13
 
My Grandparents Hanse always gave me good advice. When I followed his counsel, things went well. When I didn’t, I got in trouble. Because Jesus is with us through the Holy Spirit of truth, we are never left to figure things out on our own. Whenever we don’t know what to do, where to turn or which way to go, the Holy Spirit is guiding us through faithful people whose wise counsel keeps us in the center of Jesus’ plan for our lives.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
 
Friday 16 September 2022
19 And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. – Exodus 33:19
 
As God and Moses grow their friendship, Moses desperately wants to see God. Before coming before Moses, God assures Moses that He is merciful and compassionate. Through the mercy and compassion, we receive from others, God is revealed to us. My Gramma told me a story of how my dad invited a girl to his sixth-grade dance who was shunned by most everyone. Gram said they had a fun time together. What a beautiful picture of God’s compassionate mercy. For whom can we be the mercy and compassion of Jesus today? What will our compassionate mercy look like?
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Thursday 15 September 2022
Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” 11 The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. – Exodus 33:7a, 11a
 
The first building designed for worshiping God is a tent. In the tent of meeting God and Moses develop a close friendship. Today a tent of meeting is any place we set aside for speaking with Jesus. A church sanctuary is a tent of meeting. A tent of meeting can be a den, a walking path, a gym, a park, and any other space where we go to enjoy being with Jesus. Today hear Jesus inviting you to spend time with Him in your tent of meeting.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Wednesday 14 September 2022
When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. – Psalm 126:1
 
Jesus’ resurrection from death to indestructible, everlasting life is God’s declaration to the world that He is all about restoring fortunes. God brings us through sorrow to happiness. God brings us through anger to forgiveness. The Lord leads us from envy to contentment. God walks us through anxiety to places of peace. God is always working to restore our fortunes. If you are at a place where you are enjoying restored fortunes, be like one who dreams. If you are experiencing a time of trial, dream of the good place to which Jesus is leading you. 
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Saturday 10 September 2022
After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. – John 13:5
 
In Jesus’ day, washing feet was a job consigned to the lowliest of servants. When Jesus gets on His knees and washes His followers’ feet, we receive a picture of God’s servant love. What jobs do you detest doing? What tasks feel beneath you? For me it was cleaning the kitchen grease trap in a church I served. The smelly, disgusting grease trap. But when I got on my knees and started bailing that foul water, I so profoundly experienced the love of Jesus, that the lowliest and smelliest of jobs became for me a way to experience God’s amazing love. Through dirty, smelly, lowly service we experience the love of Jesus as we become more like Jesus.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Friday 9 September 2022
12 Then the Lord said to Moses, 13 “Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy. – Exodus 31:12-13
 
Holy means “set apart”. When we set apart a day for rest, we are giving our bodies, minds and lives a break from life’s stresses. Sacred rest is also our declaration of trust in Jesus. When we step back from life’s busyness, we admit that everything depends on God, not us. Declaring that everything depends on God, not us sets us apart from the world. Do you need a Sabbath? As we head into the weekend, please be sure to take a Sabbath.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Thursday 8 September 2022
Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given ability to all the skilled workers to make everything… – Exodus 31:6a
 
Whenever God calls us to a task, we are never expected to go it alone. Jesus always raises up people to work with us. Bezalel leads the Tabernacle construction project with a team of talented people to whom God has given skills and abilities. No matter the task, God never expects us to complete it alone. At work, in school, at home, in the New Room – God always gives us the gift of others with whom we can do great things. Whenever God calls us to a task, God always supplies the team!
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Labor Day Monday 5 September 2022
37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.” – John 4:37-38
 
According to the U.S. Department of Labor website Labor Day was first celebrated on Tuesday 5 September in New York City thanks to the Central Labor Union. On 21 February 1887, Oregon was the first state to pass a law, making Labor Day a holiday. On 28 June 1894, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories. Labor Day celebrates the social and economic achievements of American workers. Jesus calls us to use our skills and abilities to make this world a better and more beautiful place. We enjoy the blessings of laborers who have gone before us. On this Labor Day, please celebrate their accomplishments and commit to doing the work required to honor Jesus by working to make this world a better place.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Saturday 3 September 2022
11 Then the Lord said to Moses, 12 “When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay the Lord a ransom for his life at the time he is counted. Then no plague will come on them when you number them. – Exodus 30:11-12
 
No matter how strong, smart, or fast we are…No matter how beautiful our home, family, and things…No matter how good our job…There is always someone who is stronger, smarter and faster. There is always someone whose home, family and things are more beautiful. There is always someone who has a better job. Comparing ourselves with others leads to arrogance or disappointment. Our comparisons are our personal census. God has no use for such censuses. God wants us to find our worth not in how much we have but in who we are. Through Jesus Christ, we are God’s beloved children. created to enjoy and share God’s saving love. Enjoying God’s love frees us from captivity to comparison living.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Friday 2 September 2022
46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. – John 12:46
 
Early June mornings are wonderful. Daylight is peaking over the eastern horizon, painting the sky in deep blues and purples. Early September mornings are dark. During an early September morning run a large, beautiful fox crossed my path. Fear filled me. But I gave my fear to Jesus, who transformed my fear to peaceful appreciation. Jesus calls us to give Him all our fears. When we do, Christ’s light dispels fear’s dark forces, restoring our peace.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Thursday 1 September 2022
10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. – Psalm 143:10
 
When I was a new pastor fresh out of Duke Divinity School, I was convinced that I knew most of what I needed to know to be a great pastor. Nearly thirty-one years later I am humbled by how much I have yet to learn. We graduate from school, but we are always learning. “Teach me to do your will,” is one of my favorite prayers. This prayer keeps us open to learning God’s will for our lives, our families, our church and our world. Like astrophysicist Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson says, as our understanding of the universe grows, the circumference of what we don’t know grows. God has amazing things for us to learn today!
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Wednesday 31 August 2022
Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. – John 12:3
 
Martha and Mary host a dinner to honor Jesus, who recently raised their brother Lazarus from the dead. Martha cooks delicious food. Mary anoints Jesus with the most expensive perfume money can buy. Aromas of delicious cooking and rich smelling perfume fill their house. When we offer our cooking to Jesus, the good smells that come from our kitchens are offerings that enable others to taste our love for Jesus. When we put on fragrances, those pleasant perfumes and colognes are offerings to Jesus, who fills us with a desire to live faithful lives of humility, kindness, and love.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Tuesday 30 August 2022
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. – Psalm 143:8
 
I have always loved mornings. As a teenager, I had an early morning paper route. As a church custodian, I started my day at 6:00 in the morning. One of my favorite songs is George Shearing’s “Very Early” Mornings bring new promises of God’s love, new possibilities of excitement and adventure, new opportunities to make the day count, chances to brighten the corner where we are, and new experiences in which to enjoy Jesus. Whether you are a morning person or a person who must get up in the morning, please know that with every morning Jesus gives us a new portions of His saving love.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Saturday 27 2022
The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground; he makes me dwell in the darkness like those long dead. – Psalm 143:2
 
Who are our enemies? To our nation there is Kim Jung Un of North Korea and Vladmir Putin of Russia. Our personal enemies can be people who have betrayed us, those who have led our children astray, and people who have stolen from or lied to us. But there are other enemies in our lives whose work is for more insidious: Depression, despair, fear, hopelessness, isolation, addiction, loneliness, perfectionism. Whenever we are being pursued by one of these life-crushing enemies, we must call out to Jesus, our protecting shelter, our refuge, our strength and our light.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Friday 26 August 2022
43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. – John 11:43-44
 
I have a long list of people I wish Jesus would bring back from the dead – like He did with Lazarus. But if Jesus brings the ones I love back to life in this world, they will no longer experience life in the Kingdom of Heaven where everything is perfect. There are however deceased places in all our lives that need Jesus’ life-restoring touch: Dead relationships, deceased hopes, expired confidence, lifeless dreams dormant faith. What in your life needs new life? Please offer it to Jesus who will breathe new life into that place in your life.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Thursday 25 August 2022
45 Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. 46 They will know that I am the Lord their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might dwell among them. I am the Lord their God. – Exodus 29:45-46
 
God has never been content to live far up and away in the heavens because God loves us deeply. “I’m Glad There Is You”, is a wonderful song that Natalie Cole (one of my all-time favorite singers) sang so beautifully. “In this world of ordinary people, extraordinary people, I’m glad there is you. In this world of overrated pleasures and underrated treasures, I’m glad there is you. I live to love, I love to live with you beside me.”  Please hear God saying these words to you.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Wednesday 24 August 2022
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” – John 11:25-26
 
Resurrection is God bringing the very best out of the very worst. Because Jesus is the resurrection, the terrible things we experience in life shall never have the final say over us. Because Jesus is life, death never controls our destiny. When the very worst threatens to undo us, remember Jesus is working through the bad to bring us something wonderfully good. When the cold harshness of death confronts us, remember that death is powerless before Jesus, who destroys death. Because Jesus is resurrection and life, we experience the triumph of abundant life that lasts forever.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Tuesday 23 August 2022
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. – Proverbs 9:10
 
When the Bible speaks about fearing God, it means being filled with awe over God’s greatness and power. The more awestruck we become over God’s greatness, the more open we are to learning from and experiencing God’s powerful presence and, great love. The more we live in awe of God, the wiser we become.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Saturday 20 August 2022
Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights above.Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his heavenly hosts.Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars. – Psalm 148
 
Do you remember the eclipse of August 2017? We made cereal box eclipse viewers and took them outside at 2:40 p.m. on Monday the 21st to catch the eclipse. While the skies did not darken completely, it was exciting to see the moon eclipsing the sun for a few minutes, and to celebrate the extraordinary precision of God’s creation. The moon follows a path created by God; the sun is precisely the perfect distance from earth to sustain life. This extraordinary precision is the result of God’s great love for all creation.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Friday 19 August 2022
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” – John 11:5-7
 
Mary, Martha and Lazarus were dear friends to Jesus. When Jesus receives word that Lazarus is sick, rather than rushing to Lazarus, He waits two more days before heading to Bethany. There are times in our lives when we feel like Jesus is terribly slow in responding to our needs. Why is this? I believe it is because Jesus wants to teach us patience and trust. Through waiting, we grow closer to Jesus who in our waiting brings us insight, wisdom and healing we would otherwise never experience.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Thursday 18 August 2022
17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. – John 10:17-18a
 
When Jesus dies on the cross, He does not die as a victim of the world’s punishing cruelty. Jesus chooses to give up His life. The cross is not a sign of God’s weakness. The cross proclaims God’s power. Jesus chooses to give up His life because Jesus loves us so deeply that there is nothing He would not do for us – even give up His life for us. What powerful, beautiful, amazing love!
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Wednesday 17 August 2022
16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. – John 10:16
 
Anytime we played softball, baseball, or kickball in elementary school the teachers would choose two team captains. The rest of us lined up as each captain chose team members. The strongest and best players were always selected first. Then there were the rest of us. Jesus is a Captain who has a special place in His heart for the “others”. Jesus treasures every person who is an overlooked, undervalued “other”.  
 
Affectionately,

Ric

 
Tuesday 16 August 2022
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me – John 10:14
 
Jesus knows us intimately because Jesus loves us deeply. Through His interest in every detail of our lives Jesus shows us the depth of His unconditional love for us. Nothing about us, or our lives is too small to escape Jesus’ knowledge and care. Jesus always has time for us. Jesus is always interested in listening to us. Jesus always enjoys spending time with us. What a great Good Shepherd!
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Monday 15 August 2022
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I [Jesus] have come that they may have life and have it to the full. – John 10:10
 
What thieves steal our contentment, peace, health, well-being, and happiness? The thieves have many names: anxiety, fear, disease, scarcity, and hatred, to name a few. When these thieves break into our lives their goal is to rob us of our relationship with Jesus. Whenever these thieves are lurking at our lives’ doors, we need to invite Jesus to stand guard who watches over our mind, our body, our heart, and our life. With Jesus protecting us, we shall enjoy lives filled with God’s contentment, peace, health, well-being, and happiness.
 

Affectionately,
Ric

Saturday 13 August 2022

I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. – John 10:9
 
On a bitterly cold winter’s day, or an oppressively humid and hot summer’s day, it feels great to come through my front door and into my home, that saves me from the weather. Jesus is our front door who brings us into the protection, care and safety of God. Whenever the weather of life wilts our hearts and exhausts our spirits, we can enter a place of safety and peace through Jesus our Front Door who saves us. Each time we walk through our front door, we will feel the love of Jesus surrounding and saving us.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Friday 12 August 2022
12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12
 
Following Jesus, we clearly see the dangers that lie before us, the obstacles to avoid, and the pitfalls to sidestep. Jesus our Light enables us to make faithful decisions because His light exposes what’s false and illumines what is right, good, and beautiful. Whenever life fills us with uncertainty, or causes us to stumble, Jesus is lighting our way, guiding us and keeping us in the warmth of His care.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Thursday 11 August 2022
“Take two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel 10 in the order of their birth—six names on one stone and the remaining six on the other. – Exodus 28:9-10
 
The onyx stones remind the nation Israel of their history and God’s presence in that history. We all have a history. Our pasts are filled with people, events and places that make us who we are. The onyx stones remind Israel that God is always with them. Jesus is always with us, bringing good out of every part of our pasts so that in the present we can receive the strength and healing that will make us into people with hope-filled futures. 
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Wednesday 10 August 2022
24 Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. – Proverbs 4:24
 
The content of our character can be seen in the saltiness of our speech. By salty speech, I don’t mean speech laced with expletives. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says to His followers, “You are the salt of the earth.” Salt is a preservative that keeps food from rotting, and it’s a flavor enhancer. Salty speech is speech that enhances the beauty of God’s world, and preserves a culture of grace, kindness, and love. How will our speech be salty today?
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Tuesday 5 August 2022
37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” – John 7:37-38
 
What’s your favorite drink on a hot summer’s day? Mine is a glass of seltzer with lots of ice. What do we do when our spirits thirst for Jesus? Pray? Sing a hymn or inspiring song? Read the Bible? Spend time with our church family? Attend worship? These are the ways we quench our thirst for Jesus and His love. Which spiritual practice do you find most refreshing?
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Monday 8 August 2022
23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. – Proverbs 4:23
 
“You are what you eat.” We’ve heard this truth all our lives. Eating nutritious food helps give our bodies and minds the best possible chance and staying healthy. “You are what you say, think and do.” The words we speak, the thoughts we think and the things that we do determine the health of our hearts and lives. Just as junk food abounds, junk talk, junk thoughts, and junk activities are plentiful. How well are we doing at keeping junk food out of our hearts? What is one lifestyle change we can make today to better guard our hearts?
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Saturday 6 August 2022
Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 3:3
 
Love is doing whatever needs to be done for the wellbeing of the beloved. Faithfulness is honoring our promises. Lovelier than a beautiful necklace and more stunning that a first-class dress or suit are the love and faithfulness that our lives display when we are filled with God’s presence. To be people who practice love and faithfulness we need to daily receive a full measure of Jesus’ love for us and Jesus’ faithfulness. The best way I know to receive Jesus’ love and faithfulness is by spending time each day thanking Jesus for loving us and asking Jesus to give us strength to keep our promises.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Friday 5 August 2022
23 Now if a boy can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing a man’s whole body on the Sabbath? – John 7:23
 
Sabbath is all about healing and restoration. Healing comes when we take time to open our minds, hearts, and bodies to the restoring love of Jesus. While God gives us a Sabbath day, God also invites us to experience the healing of Sabbath every day. Sabbath moments are ones that bring Jesus’ healing love to our bodies, our hearts, our minds and our spirits. Jesus has some wonderful Sabbath moments in store for us today. Enjoy every one of them!
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Thursday 4 August 2022
For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory. – Psalm 149:4
 
What fills you with delight? For me it’s good coffee, my home, my family, a beautiful sunrise on a cool summer morning, worshiping Jesus and enjoying fellowship with my New Room Church Family. When was the last time you experienced feelings of sheer delight? Wasn’t it wonderful! Did you know that God delights in you? We are God’s delight. We are God’s three scoop ice cream sundae. We are God’s beautiful sunrise. We are God’s precious, priceless, beautiful children. God delights in you!
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Wednesday 3 August 2022
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 are forgiveness of sin, freedom from sin’s power, joy, and abundant life that lasts forever.  As our understanding of these blessings grows, we more fully enjoy them and more generously offer them to others. Every day God lavishes the forgiveness, freedom, joy, and life in Jesus upon us. Every day Jesus invites us to forgive, release, share joy and offer life in Jesus.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Saturday 30 July 2022
20 But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” 21 Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading. – John 6:20-21
 
The disciples are alone in a boat on the storm-tossed Sea of Galilee. Fearing for their lives in this terrible storm, their terror grows when they see someone walking towards them on the water. “It is I, don’t be afraid,” Jesus shouts to the disciples, who immediately recognize His voice. As we navigate life’s storms we can become so consumed with fear, that we fail to recognize Jesus. When we fill with fear, Jesus speaks to our hearts saying, “It is I; don’t be afraid.”
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Thursday 28 July 2022
49 The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 “Go,” Jesus replied, “your son will live.” The man took Jesus at his word and departed. – John 4:49-50
 
The saddest day in my life happened the morning I realized that I was out of ideas and resources for helping my precious daughter who was going through a terrible time in her life. On that awful morning of despair my late Grandfather Mercaldi’s favorite song, “Moon River” played three times within a half hour on the radio. Jesus was assuring me He was holding my girl. The road to healing is long and difficult. But Jesus brings us the people, places and resources that lead to healing
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
 
Wednesday 27 July 2022
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. – Psalm 145:18
 
Whenever we feel like God is far away, I promise you that this is not our reality. Each time we call on Jesus in truth, He is near to us. We call on Jesus in truth every time we seek His guidance, wisdom, healing, forgiveness, comfort, strength, and will for our lives. As children, we were blessed to have at least one adult who cared for our wellbeing. Each time we called to that grown up she or he was there for us. That grownup modeled God’s faithful and attentive love. Call on Jesus. Whether you feel His presence or not, Jesus will be with you.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Tuesday 26 July 2022
10 All your works praise you, Lord; your faithful people extol you. – Psalm 145:10
 
Extoling God is happily celebrating God’s creativity when we look at all the varieties of birds, fish, animals and people. Extoling God is wholehearted thanksgiving to Jesus for God’s blessings – a home, a family member who cares for us, a great Church family. Extoling God is thanking God for being a God of forgiveness, unconditional love, healing and care. Please take some time today to extol God. I promise you that whatever is happening in life, your spirit will fill with joy.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Thursday 21 July 2022
In him was life, and that life was the light of all humankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. – John 1:4
 
Jesus is the Light who illuminates our lives with the brightness of His love, the radiance of His forgiveness and the brilliance of His life. Jesus the Light overcomes the darkness of loneliness, the dimness of depression, the gloom of sin. The light of Jesus illuminates our hearts, minds and lives, overcoming every darkness.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Wednesday 20 July 2022
The seas have lifted up, Lord, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves. – Psalm 93:3
 
Whether it’s swimming, boating, the beach, or a pool, time with water is one of God’s summertime blessings. At the water we make memories, we find shelter from the heat, and we experience God’s beauty, peace, and power. The water shows us that God’s creation is active, moving and praising its Creator. If possible, please spend time by the water during these hot days of summertime, and experience the refreshing love of Jesus.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
 
Tuesday 19 July 2022
Your throne was established long ago; you are from all eternity. – Psalm 93:2
 
Everything in our lives has a beginning. Almost everything in our lives has an ending. 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. Jesus who is from everlasting, gives us new beginnings that last forever.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Monday 18 July 2022
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
 
Days come and go, seasons change, and years continue because God loves this world. Our world’s existence is firm and secure because every day God says, “Let there be life.” Our world’s existence assures us that our God is mighty, gracious, merciful, and loving. We more fully enjoy God’s love and experience Jesus’ presence when we care for God’s world and love God’s people.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Saturday 16 July 2022
20 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 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. We all need Jesus to save us from death, heal our brokenness and restore our relationships with God, ourselves each other.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Friday 15 July 2022
15 Everyone comes naked from their mother’s womb, and as everyone comes, so they depart. They take nothing from their toil that they can carry in their hands. – Ecclesiastes 5:15
 
We bring nothing into the world but ourselves. When we leave this world, we take nothing before God that we have earned. We stand before God with no accomplishments, no accolades. We stand before God with only our self and our faith in Jesus. Neither is something we create or earn. God makes us who we are. God gives us faith in Jesus. It is liberating to know that abundant, eternal life is not what we do for Jesus but what Jesus does for us. “Nothing to the cross I bring, only to the cross I cling.”
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Thursday 14 July 2022
Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. – Ecclesiastes 5:2
 
Do you ever feel like there’s too much talking? We live in a culture where everyone is expected to talk. Even when we are listening, we are often talking to ourselves – trying to come up with a good answer. Growing closer to Jesus involves improving our ability to listen. When we listen, we learn. Real listening requires patience, humility, and faith. Jesus is speaking words of love, wisdom, and life to us. People are speaking words of counsel and kindness to us. Are we listening?
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Wednesday 13 July 2022
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
 
God calls us into community with Jesus and with each other. Neither people nor congregations are meant to live in isolation. Through our New Room Church Family, we receive the support, encouragement, and friendship of a community designed by God to welcome us, love us and keep us close to Jesus who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Because we are One in Jesus we will always help each other up.  
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Tuesday 12 July 2022
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, God is never in a hurry. God is always available to spend time with us, enjoying our company, and hearing our prayers. God has time to hold us whenever we need support. God is never too busy to cheer us on. I love that God always has plenty of time for us. Every day of our life, our God Jesus Christ takes time to be with us because He loves us.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 

PS – There’s a wonderful hymn called “O God, Our Help In Ages Past” that’s based on Psalm 90.

 
Saturday 9 July 2022
10 He makes springs pour water into the ravines; it flows between the mountains. – Psalm 104:10
 
Whenever we feel insignificant, overlooked, or unimportant, we need to remember that we part of God’s beautiful creation, bringing God’s life-changing love to others. Without us, God’s majestic and beautiful work is incomplete – just as springs without waterfalls and rivers are incomplete. Our presence in this world matters greatly to God and to others.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Friday 8 July 2022
He wraps up the waters in his clouds, yet the clouds do not burst under their weight. – Job 26:8
 
It’s amazing how fluffy, floating clouds can hold millions of gallons (and millions of tons) of water vapor. God is doing amazing things in our lives. Though we may not feel it, or be aware of it, God is working in our lives, filling us with love, strength, grace, wisdom, resilience and peace. Just as God wraps the waters in clouds, God wraps us in the caring, renewing, healing love of Jesus.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
Wednesday 6 July 2022
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. Ice water in the heat of the afternoon refreshes our spirit. Jesus is water for our souls. Jesus quenches our thirst for unconditional love, new beginnings, and belonging. Much in life dries up our joy and parches our spirits. Jesus is living water who restores and refreshes our hearts, souls and lives.
 
Affectionately,
Ric

 

Thursday 7 July 2022
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 God’s love. 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 faithfully we love each other. On a hot summer day there’s nothing more refreshing than God’s love.
 
Affectionately,
Ric
 
 
Tuesday 5 July 2022
19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. – Isaiah 43:19
 
One of my favorite jazz artists is vibraphonist, Bobby Hutcherson. His song “Maiden Voyage” says in music, what Jesus is calling us to as the New Room. Jesus is doing a new thing in, for and through us. Our journey into uncharted waters is exciting, scary, invigorating and unnerving – all at the same time! As we journey together, we will experience the presence, grace, guidance, love, and power of Jesus.
 
Affectionately,
Ric