Thought For Today

I am so glad that you have found this site and I hope you will find encouragement and joy as you read through my thoughts on God, family and life.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Let Us Not Forget

One day recently I was talking to a Jewish friend of mine. She told me how she lost individual family members to the concentration camps. I was so overwhelmed by this that it was all I could do to keep from weeping. I found myself apologizing for what had happened to her family. She looked at me quizzically and asked why I was apologizing. I could only respond by saying that someone needs apologize, we must all take the blame for what happened, otherwise it will happen again.

My thoughts went back to World War II and that of my father who was in the war. His best friend at the time was Jewish. Dad had black curly hair and looked much like his Jewish friend. My father told me of the insults thrown at his friend and just because he was Jewish, my father received the same insults. These were Americans acting this way. I was deeply saddened to here of this.

Later when in college, I concentrated my Master's degree on World War II. I read of many accounts of war criminals at Nuremberg who sat in the docket. When asked why didn't they do anything about what they knew was going on around them, their response to the prosecutor was pretty much uniform with all those convicted, "What could I have done, I was only one person!" 6 million Jewish lives were taken, men, women, and children. I could only imagine what Hitler was thinking when he ordered this to be done, "Civilization will soon forget and at some point, they may even deny that it ever happened. They will forget because they do not want to remember this horror." I began to realize that the first stage in forgetting is to say, "What could I have done, I was only one person!"
Let us not forget! Remember what has transpired so that we will not allow it to ever happen again.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Snowflakes

When looking out at the snow falling here in late April, I’ve become discouraged at the seeming desire of winter to reassert itself, even while spring is in full bloom. Instead of looking at the beauty of new life forming all around, I find myself looking at the snowflakes instead. 

How many of us do just that when difficulties come our way.  There is good in our midst, but we have is a tendency to only see the snowflakes instead.  With prayer and surrender, when seeking God during these difficult times, we allow him to help us to see through his eyes of faith.   We then begin to see that there is a divine purpose for all things that come our way.  Some challenges cause us to grow, while others redirect us toward our Father’s purpose for our lives, and away from areas that might cause us greater pain and loss later on. In the end, God wants us to be at peace with ourselves by being filled with “his” love and purpose.  We then find that we can grow in this love not only for Jesus, but also for his children and the world around us.  

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Letting Go

When reading in Acts 21 this morning, I saw that Christians whom the Apostle Paul had visited on his way to Jerusalem warned him not to go there.  This was so, because the Holy Spirit had revealed to these Christians that Paul would be imprisoned in Jerusalem.  These warnings were not only revealed to the Christians in Tyre, but also in Caesarea as well.  In both cities it was revealed to Paul that his imprisonment would definitely take place if he visited Jerusalem. 

Obviously this made Paul’s decision that much harder to make, “Do I save myself and do what my friends want me to do and not carry out God’s plan, or do I go through with God’s destiny for me?”  For Paul, it only solidified his decision to go where God was calling him, even if it meant imprisonment, or for that matter, death.  The decision was ultimately Paul’s to make, and his friends knew that, even though they saw a different direction they themselves would go if in Paul’s place. 

Why then even when his friends saw God’s destiny for Paul did they not want him to go?  I believe, feelings of love and compassion were ruling their hearts; they wanted to save Paul all the suffering that was awaiting him and they did not want to lose him.  I think that it is much the same for us as parents as well.  We want to spare our children suffering and pain over the potential dangerous and/or not so thought out choices they sometimes plan to make. 
We though as parents realize that their choices are what they must indeed make for themselves alone. At times, the harder we try to dissuade them from the direction they are heading, the more they go against us. It is not that they want to make bad choices, but they desire to make the decisions for themselves.  Loving them is a process of letting go and allowing our loved ones to venture out and discover for themselves life and all its many directions that it may take them.  Being a source of council when they ask for it, and loving them in spite of our difference of opinions is sometimes difficult to say the least, but we must trust God to protect them and for him to carry out his plan for their lives, as he sees fit.  Ironically God sees us the same way that we see our children, with love, total acceptance and always allowing us to make our own decisions, but always being there for us when we call on him for directions, advice and unconditional love.  


Sunday, March 24, 2019

Stress vs. God

The wood pile is about gone and the new roof is being tested. It seems that we as humans either show our best when under pressure, or we reveal our hidden cracks and flaws.
It is during these times of testing that God can help us to grow by seeking him, as well as trusting God for his guidance. 
"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."  Jeremiah 29:13 

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Reflections of Life

Sometimes in life we accept situations as real, but they are, at times, only reflections of reality. God helps us to see past the troubles that paralyze us at times. All we have to do is ask him to give us his eyes and heart to see things as he does. Ephesians 1:18 "I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people. . ."

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Honoring Those Who Serve Us

No words can express my love for this little girl God has given me. About four years ago at Disney World we were eating in the Land at Epcot. Abby saw a hard working college intern cleaning tables. Abby went over and spoke with this lady who was working so hard and who was unnoticed in a crowd of people. I could see the young lady signing something (the young lady's autograph). I watched earlier Abby doing this same thing with Micky/Minnie and the various princess'. For the rest of my life I will remember this photo of Abby making a young lady feel like a princess. A couple of days later I saw this same college student picking up waste that others had dropped in the fairway heading to the attractions at Epcot. Abby and Anne were walking ahead of me when I noticed this very same young lady stopping her work and smiling at Abby as she passed. I have a feeling this one little act of kindness will be remembered by this young lady for the rest of her life. I know that I will never forget it. Children can teach us so much.  
Romans 12:10
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

In The Midst Of The Storm


Recently on a trip back from southern Texas to Minnesota, we ran into heavy rain for two straight days.  Before returning, we as a family prayed for safe travels on our 1,500 mile return trip.   I told God in my prayer that day that we trusted him for our safety, but God had something else in mind, he was going to help my faith to grow.


While driving back, we had to take alternate routes in avoiding heavy traffic around major cities, this would normally prove to be non-eventful, but with the storms coming through, it was anything but normal.  Many of the streets of the small towns we went through had limited gutters for the excessive rain that was coming down, and so, at times, we found ourselves going through streets that turned into small rivers of water which consequently pulled our vehicle to one side of the road or the other. This was more than challenging when traveling at higher speeds when the out of town roads in the country were barely visible.  The water in the dark of the night was the same color as the asphalt service that we were driving on, which made the heavy water streaming across the rain soaked roads very much a major hazard.  As I drove I tried to keep calm not wanting to make my family nervous, so I gave an air of serenity, but inside I was wondering if God was in fact keeping us safe.  I found myself praying for our safety as I drove all the while showing my loved ones a peaceful smile.  


During a time of darkness while still south of Dallas, we got weather reports of heavy rain coming our way.  I wondered to myself, “Heavier than now, how could that be?”  And at that moment our electronic road guide said that we had to take an unforeseen left turn up ahead and this road would take us to the interstate.  I thought, “God is blessing us now!”  Anne was driving at the time when we promptly came to a railroad crossing out in the middle of nowhere and the lights started to flicker on the crossing arms.  I looked both ways and I barely spotted a lone train traveling at a walking speed.  I thought, “What now!”  My thoughts became vocal before I realized it and concern showed on Anne’s face.  We watched the train move painfully slow past us and the only consolation was that it looked like a very small train with only a handful of cars trailing behind the engine. Abby confirmed this when she said, “Dad, it is only a small train, this won’t be a long wait!”  I was relieved at that, but it seemed when looking through the heavy rain, that the train was producing cars out of thin air. I thought, “How could that be?” Then to make matters worse, the engine stopped right on the railroad crossing that we needed to drive over. It sat there and it sat there. It was about this time that we switched drivers and I found myself drumming the steering wheel with my fingers and Anne could see the frustration mounting in me.  It had been a very long drive in heavy rain and I was so looking forward to a bed with warm sheets enveloping my tired body.  Finally after waiting for the train to move, which it seemed an eternity, Anne suggested that we plot a new course.  Anne typed in another route and the navigation system plotted the new directions.  I turned the car around and we began a new route.  After a few miles my frustration began to cool, but I still wondered why God was not hearing our prayers.
No sooner than this thought left me when Anne said that she
discovered that the same road that we were about to travel on, (train blocked our way route) was flooded over and was very dangerous to travel on.  I was humbled by this news and I found myself asking God for forgiveness for doubting him.  I then realized that God had indeed a plan for us, and for our safety as well.  He planted the train where it was his design to stop us, as well as the other vehicles waiting behind us from a possible tragedy. I remembered a few years earlier of how when a bad rain storm back home in Winona caused creeks to turn into raging rivers and how an elderly couple traveling down the road in front of our home drove unsuspectingly into the washed out road and into the raging river and consequently to their deaths.  Shivers went up and down my spine at that moment realizing that could have been us this night.

God proved again to us the next day that his guiding hands were upon us when a large Red Tail Hawk decided to fly perpendicular across our front windshield.  The hawk’s wingspan was around 4 to close to 5 feet across.  A Red Tailed Hawk’s eye- sight can see a mouse ten stories from up above, but it obviously didn’t see our vehicle.  I saw it take off from the grassy median up ahead, and it hadn’t gained much take off speed before turning toward our car.  In a split second I could just see it crashing through our front windshield with disastrous effect.  Then all of a sudden when its talons were level with our glass windshield, it went straight up like some giant hand had picked it up out of our way. It happened all in a split second, but time seemed to slow down to a fraction of its normal speed, all the while we were holding our collective breathes, waiting for the huge impact to occur.  Anne and I just looked at each other with mouths hanging open in surprise trying to absorb what had just happened.  We once again saw God’s hand delivering us from danger.  Again, we could only thank our Lord for his divine protection.  It was a time of trust and growth for me, and a time of being thankful for His mighty provisions.