Growing together in the Spirit of Jesus Christ...

"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching." - Hebrews 10:25 NIV

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

April 30, 2008

plain and simple

When I was younger and throughout much of my young life,
I had a wish list a mile long.
As I got older I remember thinking...
if only I had the money I spent on something
I had to have,
I would have that money now to get
something else I really wanted.
Albeit a small difference,
it was a bit of growth.

Now when I go into the mall (or is that maw)
seeing all of those "things" there
has little to no appeal anymore.
I never go to the mall myself
unless looking for a gift for someone else.
I do, on occasion go along with my wife
and most often,
spend most of my time sitting on a bench
reading a good book.
It appears that I have grown even more.

To be honest, looking at all the choices...
like different kinds of cereal in a grocery store...
gives me a headache...
now that is simply old age. LOL.

Live a simpler, more fulfilling life.

"A visible simplicity of life,
Embracing unpretentious ways,
And small self-interest
And poverty of coveting."
- Lao-Tzu
(6th century B.C.)

"The wealthiest man among us is the best:
No grandeur now in nature or in book
Delights us.
Rapine, avarice, expense,
This is idolatry;
and these we adore:
Plain living and high thinking are no more."
- William Wordsworth

"We are made spiritually lethargic
by a steady diet of materialism."
- Mary Morrison Suggs
(as far as I know... alive today
age unknown)

Regarding materialism and earthy desires,
things haven't changed much
(as indicated by the author's time period above)
down through the years, have they?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

April 29, 2008

set an example for believers
having a childlike (not childish) faith

"Never tell a young person that anything cannot be done.
God may have been waiting centuries
for someone ignorant enough of the impossible
to do that very thing."
- G. M. Trevelyan

"You are as young as your faith,
as old as your doubt;
as young as your self-confidence,
as old as your fear;
as young as your hope,
as old as your despair"
- Author Unknown

"May you grow up to be righteous,
may you grow up to be true.
May you always know the truth
and see the lights surrounding you.
May you always be courageous,
stand upright and be strong.
May you stay forever young."
- Bob Dylan

"He called a little child and had him stand among them.
And he said:
'I tell you the truth,
unless you change and become like little children,
you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Therefore, whoever humbles himself
like this child
is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.'"
- Jesus
(Matthew 18:2-4 NIV)

Monday, April 28, 2008

April 28, 2008

honey from a weed

While young,
and in particular
when a colony is in full bloom,
it is beautiful:a soft pink-purple carpet.
But being weak,
it's easily mangled and
unfortunately grows ugly by summertime.
Neither a serious pest nor notably useful,
this Dead-Nettle is merely a weed.

Happy in partial or even deep shade
and in fairly poor soil
this is a good source of nectar for bees.

We should all consider ourselves
beautiful when young and in full bloom
but we are all weak,
easily misled and tempted,
and some grow ugly
and eventually dead in spirit
as their hearts become hardened.

By the world's standards
most of us could be considered
neither a serious pest
nor notably useful.

However the Lord knows our potential
and we all have unique gifts/talents
that when used for and by the Lord
blossom more beautifully as we age
and produce an abundant harvest
of good fruit.

What are considered by some to be weeds
are by others considered
to be gorgeous wildflowers.

"They whom truth and wisdom lead,
can gather honey from a weed."
- William Cowper

Sunday, April 27, 2008

April 27, 2008

what you really need
has already been provided
for you through
The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost

I have heard a lot lately about
the idea that Christians need not to deny themselves
but that God wants the very best for us
so having a lot of money and a lot of things is not just OK,
but it is God's will.

When the Lord said that He wants the very best for us
He was not talking to us about what the world has to offer.

"Then Jesus said to his disciples,
"If anyone would come after me,
he must deny himself and
take up his cross and follow me.
For whoever wants to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for me will find it.
What good will it be for a man
if he gains the whole world,
yet forfeits his soul?
Or what can a man give
in exchange for his soul?"
- Matthew 16:24-26 NIV

And, some say, as long as you put Him first,
you can have anything your heart desires.

There are very, very few men and women,
if any,
that can serve the Lord
while they enjoy the world's pleasures
as if it is their divine right.

"'No servant can serve two masters.
Either he will hate the one
and love the other,
or he will be devoted to the one
and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and Money.
'The Pharisees, who loved money,
heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.
He said to them,
'You are the ones who
justify yourselves in the eyes of men,
but God knows your hearts.
What is highly valued among men
is detestable in God's sight.'"
- Luke 16: 13-15 NIV

"But, dear friends,
remember what the apostles
of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold.
They said to you,
'In the last times there will be scoffers
who will follow their own ungodly desires.
"These are the men who divide you,
who follow mere natural instincts
and do not have the Spirit.'"
- Jude 1:17-19 NIV

"Each of us will one day
be judged by our standard of life --
not by our standard of living;
by our measure of giving --
not by our measure of wealth;
by our simple goodness --
not by our seeming greatness."
- William Arthur Ward

"The ability to simplify means
to eliminate the unnecessary
so that the necessary may speak."
- Hans Hofmann
(Introduction to the Bootstrap, 1993)

"Frugality is one of the most beautiful and
joyful words in the English language,
and yet one that we are culturally cut off from
understanding and enjoying.
The consumption society has made us feel
that happiness lies in having things,
and has failed to teach us
the happiness of not having things."
- Elise Boulding

"Our affluent society contains those of talent and insight
who are driven to prefer poverty,
to choose it,
rather than submit to
the desolation of an empty abundance.
- Michael Harrington

"You have succeeded in life
when all you really want
is only what you really need."
- Vernon Howard

Saturday, April 26, 2008

April 26, 2008

growing together

"How good and pleasant it is
when brothers live together in unity!"
- Psalm 133:1 NIV

"Be united with other Christians.
A wall with loose bricks is not good.
The bricks must be cemented together."
- Corrie ten Boom

"In Christ there is no East or West,
In Him no South or North;
But one great fellowship of love
Throughout the whole wide earth.

In Him shall true hearts everywhere
Their high communion find;
His service is the golden cord,
Close binding humankind.

Join hands, then, members of the faith,
Whatever your race may be!
Who serves my Father as His child
Is surely kin to me.

In Christ now meet both East and West,
In Him meet North and South;
All Christly souls are one in Him
Throughout the whole wide earth."
- words by William Dunkerley

"For where two or three
come together in my name,
there am I with them."
- Matthew 18:20 NIV

Where Christians gather together in His name
for the purpose of following His will
because they love Him and want to serve Him...
anywhere that this takes place
is the perfect place for imperfect people.

Friday, April 25, 2008

April 25, 2008

an example

"Not the cry,
but the flight of the wild duck,
leads the flock to fly and follow."
- Proverb

"Setting an example
is not the main means
of influencing another,
it is the only means."
- Albert Einstein

"Preach the Gospel at all times
and when necessary use words."
- St. Francis of Assisi

"A good example is the best sermon."
- Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, April 24, 2008

April 24, 2008


This pure white flower has a rhizome (underground stem)
that contains a reddish orange sap.
If you break open the rhizome (mistakenly called a root)
a blood like fluid oozes out... hence the name bloodroot.

The flowers appear over clasping (enveloping) leaves while blooming.

It is the life giving blood of Jesus
and His enveloping presence
that produces a faith in us
that is pure and radiantly white.

The center of that faith shines like the Son.

"Just as the body cannot exist without blood,
so the soul needs the matchless and
pure strength of faith."
- Mahatma Gandhi

"Faith is the strength
by which a shattered world
shall emerge into the light."
- Helen Keller

"In him we have redemption through his blood,
the forgiveness of sins,
in accordance with the riches of God's grace
that he lavished on us
with all wisdom and understanding."
- Ephesians 1:7,8 NIV

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

April 23, 2008

love each other
(another biology lesson)

Eastern skunk cabbage

Breaking or tearing a leaf produces a pungent odor.

(not considered an attractive trait
and may discourage some from approaching it)

This property lends itself to the 'skunk'
in the common name.
While not considered edible,
the plant is not poisonous to the touch.
Though unpleasant, the smell is not harmful.

in fact...

The foul odor attracts its pollinators,
scavenging flies, stoneflies, and bees.

Those that are necessary for producing fruit.

The odor in the leaves may also serve to
discourage large animals from disturbing
or damaging this plant
which grows in soft wetland soils.

Helps to keep the predators away, as well,
that would lead to the destruction of the plant
as it tries to grow in soil not usually considered
optimal for most growth.

Skunk cabbage is notable for its ability
to produce heat of up to 15-35° C above air temperature
by cyanide resistant cellular respiration
in order to melt its way through frozen ground,
placing it among a small group of plants exhibiting thermogenesis.
Although flowering whilst there is
still snow and ice on the ground
it is successfully pollinated by early insects
that also emerge at this time.
Some studies suggest that beyond
allowing the plant to grow in icy soil,
the heat it produces may help to spread its odor in the air.
Carrion-feeding insects that are attracted by the scent
may be doubly encouraged to enter the spathe
because it is warmer than the surrounding air,
fueling pollination.

The heat that this plant generates
crying out for help
allows it's cry to be more clearly heard
and to be recognized
by those searching early for such an opportunity
while many rest and wait until conditions
are just right (or at least) more convenient.

Eastern Skunk Cabbage has contractile roots
which contract after growing into the earth.
This pulls the stem of the plant deeper into the mud,
so that the plant in effect grows downward,
not upward.
Each year, the plant grows deeper into the earth,
so that older plants are practically impossible to dig up.

By growing... the plant more firmly anchors itself
into whatever it feels is necessary
for it's continued growth,
reproduction, and seed bearing fruit.

They reproduce by hard, pea-sized seeds
which fall in the mud
and are carried away by
animals or by floods.

This fruit, once formed,
produces very hard (weather resistant) tough seeds
that will be spread throughout their environment
by others or by surrounding conditions.
- taken from Wikipedia
(the bold, italicized print is mine)

Brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus...
There are a lot of people in the world
living in a prison (many not of their own making)
that are crying out for help
and that are potentially
some of the greatest (and staunchest) witnesses
for spreading the faith (the good fruit) of the Word.
Are you someone who recognizes their need early
and have the desire to help,
going out of your comfort zone
(not waiting until what others feel is the "right"
... more convenient... time)
to act?

"If I speak in the tongues
of men and of angels,
but have not love,
I am only a resounding gong
or a clanging cymbal.
If I have the gift of prophecy
and can fathom all mysteries
and all knowledge,
and if I have a faith
that can move mountains,
but have not love,
I am nothing.
If I give all I possess to the poor
and surrender my body to the flames,
but have not love,
I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy,
it does not boast,
it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil
but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres."
- 1 Corinthians 13:1-7 NIV

"Now about brotherly love
we do not need to write to you,
for you yourselves
have been taught by God
to love each other."
- 1 Thessalonians 4:9 NIV

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

April 22, 2008

life and death

"It is not death that a man should fear,
but he should fear never beginning to live."
- Marcus Aurelius

"And in the end,
it's not the years in your life that count.
It's the life in your years."
- Abraham Lincoln

"As far as we can discern,
the sole purpose of human existence
is to kindle a light of meaning
in the darkness of mere being."
- Carl Jung

And when physical death finally occurs...

"Has this world been so kind to you
that you should leave with regret?
There are better things ahead
than any we leave behind."
- C.S. Lewis

"Brothers, we do not want you
to be ignorant about those who fall asleep,
or to grieve like the rest of men,
who have no hope.
We believe that Jesus died and rose again
and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus
those who have fallen asleep in him."
- 1 Thessalonians 4:13,14 NIV

"'I will ransom them from the power of the grave;
I will redeem them from death.'"
- Hosea 13:14 NIV

"But your dead will live;
their bodies will rise.
You who dwell in the dust,
wake up and shout for joy."
- Isaiah 26:19 NIV

"'Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?'"
- 1 Corinthians 15:55 NIV

Monday, April 21, 2008

April 21, 2008

diligence to seek Thee

"If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship,
he would keep it in port forever"
- St. Thomas Aquinas

"Grant me, I beseech Thee,
Almighty and most Merciful God,
fervently to desire,
wisely to search out,
and perfectly to fulfill,
all that is well-pleasing unto Thee.

Order Thou my worldly condition
to the glory of Thy name;
and of all that Thou requirest me to do,
grant me the knowledge,
the desire, and the ability,
that I may so fulfill it as I ought,
and may my path to Thee, I pray,
be safe, straightforward,
and perfect to the end.

Give me, O Lord, a steadfast heart,
which no unworthy affection
may drag downwards;
give me an unconquered heart,
which no tribulation can wear out;
give me an upright heart,
which no unworthy purpose
may tempt aside.

Bestow upon me also,
O Lord my God,
understanding to know Thee,
diligence to seek Thee,
wisdom to find Thee,
and a faithfulness
that may finally embrace Thee.
- St. Thomas Aquinas

Sunday, April 20, 2008

April 20, 2008

marvelous in our eyes

"... the LORD has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it."
- Psalm 118: 23,24 NIV

Saturday, April 19, 2008

April 19, 2008

Pow'r and glory unto the Lord belong.

"You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever."
- Psalm 30:11,12 NIV

Praise Him! Praise Him

"Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!
Sing, O Earth, His wonderful love proclaim!
Hail Him! hail Him! highest archangels in glory;
Strength and honor give to His holy Name!
Like a shepherd, Jesus will guard His children,
In His arms He carries them all day long:
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Tell of His excellent greatness.
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Ever in joyful song!

Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!
For our sins He suffered, and bled, and died.
He our Rock, our hope of eternal salvation,
Hail Him! hail Him! Jesus the Crucified.
Sound His praises! Jesus who bore our sorrows,
Love unbounded, wonderful, deep and strong.

Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessed Redeemer!
Heav'nly portals loud with hosannas ring!
Jesus, Savior, reigneth forever and ever.
Crown Him! Crown Him! Prophet, and Priest, and King!
Christ is coming! over the world victorious,
Pow'r and glory unto the Lord belong."
- Music by: Frances Jane (Fanny) Crosby, 1869
- Words: Chester G. Allen (1838-1878)

Friday, April 18, 2008

April 18, 2008

Floral Tribute
by Laura Madeira Reinhold

If God thought this earth a canvas
To display His works of art,
Flowers are sure revelation
Of His joyful heart;

Whether sown and gardened
Or growing wild and free,
How cheerless this whole world would seem
Without their melody;

They are lovely compensation
For life's dullness, pain and thorns,
And early spring blooms herald
The hope of life reborn;

Some flowers are flamboyant,
Some are more serene,
They can celebrate joyous occasions,
Or show deepest sympathy;

They are glimpse and scent of heaven,
They furnish honey's sweet delight,
More beautifully robed than Solomon,
Too quickly gone from sight;

Yet in brief flourishing then dying
They attain their destination,
Bringing color and joy and sweet fragrance to life,
Leaving seed for the next generation.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

April 17, 2008


"We should so live and labor in our times
that what came to us as seed
may go to the next generation as blossom,
and what came to us as blossom
may go to them as fruit.
This expresses the true spirit in the love of mankind.”
- Henry Ward Beecher

"The blossom cannot tell what becomes of its odor;
and no man can tell what becomes of his influence."
- Henry Ward Beecher

"Bloom where you are planted."
- Proverb

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

April 16, 2008

standing firm

"Integrity and firmness are all I can promise:
these, be the voyage long or short,
shall never forsake me,
although I may be deserted by all men."
- George Washington
(four weeks prior to his Presidency)

"Permanence, perseverance, and persistence
in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities:
It is this that in all things
distinguishes the strong soul from the weak."
- Sir Frances Drake

"... but he who stands firm to the end will be saved."
- Matthew 10:22 NIV

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

April 15, 2008

still a beautiful world
photo by David Keller
(trip to Peru)

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight."
- Proverbs 3:5,6 NIV

"I will instruct you and teach you
in the way you should go;
I will counsel you and watch over you."
- Psalm 32:8 NIV

"Therefore be at peace with your god,
whatever you conceive him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations
in the noisy confusion of life.
Keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world."
- Max Ehr

Monday, April 14, 2008

April 14, 2008

glory above the heavens

"Father, I have much to be grateful for tonight,
and I thank you,
I have much to regret and I ask your forgiveness.
But even as I ask your forgiveness
I know that I receive it,
and a deep peace fills my heart.
Help me to sleep well tonight
and to wake ready for that daily,
yet greatest of gifts,
a fresh start."
- Avery Brooke

"Grant unto me your servant:
To my God a heart of flame
To my fellow men a heart of love;
To myself a heart of steel."
- Augustine

"Praise the LORD.
Praise, O servants of the LORD,
praise the name of the LORD.
Let the name of the LORD be praised,
both now and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun
to the place where it sets,
the name of the LORD is to be praised.
The LORD is exalted over all the nations,
his glory above the heavens.
Who is like the LORD our God,
the One who sits enthroned on high,
who stoops down to look on
the heavens and the earth?"
- Psalm 113:2-6 NIV

Sunday, April 13, 2008

April 13, 2008

watching over you
Life can come at you fast.
(a lightning strike)

This building, newly built,
was hit by lightning and a fire ensued.
no one was hurt and the fire damage was minimal
due to the fast response of several fire companies.
Nevertheless, the third floor loft was gutted
and some damage occured to the floor below
and the townhouse next to it.
We never know when adversity will strike.

"Adversity is always unexpected and unwelcomed.
It is an intruder and a thief,
and yet in the hands of God,
adversity becomes the means through which
His supernatural power is demonstrated."
- Charles Stanley

"Life's not fair,
but let's not mix up life with God.
God is not the source of injustice.
God is fair. God is good."
- Robert H. Schuller

"The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore."
- Psalm 121:7,8 NIV

Saturday, April 12, 2008

April 12, 2008

all my hope

"0 Thou, who by the light of nature
increases in us the desire for the light of Thy mercy
in order to be led by this to Thy glory,
to Thee I offer thanks, Creator, God,
because Thou hast given me pleasure
in what Thou hast created
and I rejoice in Thy handiwork."
- Johannes Kepler
(Harmonice mundi)

"If I have been allured into brashness
by the wonderful beauty of thy works,
or if I have loved my own glory among men,
while advancing in work destined for thy glory,
gently and mercifully pardon me:
and finally, deign graciously to cause
that these demonstrations may lead to thy glory
and to the salvation of souls,
and nowhere be an obstacle to that. Amen."
- Johannes Kepler
(Harmonice mundi)

"Only the merits of our saviour Jesus Christ.
It is in Him, as I steadfastly testify,
that there rest all my retreat,
all my consolation, all my hope."
- Johannes Kepler
(his dying words)

Friday, April 11, 2008

April 11, 2008

photo by David Keller
(trip to Peru)

Discouraged, disheartened, downcast?
So much to do, so little time?

Wondering if it is all worth the effort?

"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."
- Deuterononomy 31:8 NIV

"Let us not become weary in doing good,
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest
if we do not give up."
- Galatians 6:9 NIV

"Don't be afraid to give your best
to what seemingly are small jobs.
Every time you conquer one
it makes you that much stronger.
If you do the little jobs well,
the big ones will tend to take care of themselves."
- Dale Carnegie

"Consider the postage stamp:
its usefulness consists in the ability
to stick to one thing till it gets there."
- Josh Billings

"Many of the great achievements of the world
were accomplished by tired and discouraged men
who kept on working."
- Author Unknown

"Stay the course, light a star,
Change the world where'er you are."
- Richard Le Gallienne

"Try and fail, but don't fail to try."
- Stephen Kaggwa

"I may not be there yet,
but I'm closer than I was yesterday.
- Author Unknown

"By perseverance the snail reached the ark."
- Charles H. Spurgeon

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."
- Philippians 4:13 KJV

Thursday, April 10, 2008

April 10, 2008

some thoughts about poverty
photo by David Keller
(trip to Peru)

"Empty pockets never held anyone back.
Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that."
- Norman Vincent Peale

"We have grown literally afraid to be poor.
We despise anyone who elects to be poor
in order to simplify and save his inner life.
If he does not join the general scramble
and pant with the money-making street,
we deem him spiritless and lacking in ambition."
- William James

"We think sometimes that poverty is only being
hungry, naked and homeless.
The poverty of being unwanted,
unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty.
We must start in our own homes
to remedy this kind of poverty."
- Mother Teresa

"It is poverty to decide that a child must die
so that you may live as you wish."
- Mother Teresa

"No man can tell whether he is rich or poor
by turning to his ledger.
It is the heart that makes a man rich.
He is rich or poor according to what he is,
not according to what he has."
- Henry Ward Beecher

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

April 09, 2008

God loves them.
photo by Elaine

"Our Father, while before Thee In prayer we humbly bow,
Wilt Thou look down from heaven, And bless Thy children now."
- from: A Prayer

"God loves the little children, Much more than bird or brook,
Or sweetest scented flowers, However fair they look;
He sent His Son to save us, With His most precious blood,
That we might be forever The best loved works of God."
- from : God Loves Them

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

April 08, 2008

Inner Harmony
by Laura Madeira Reinhold

Early in the morning before thoughts are fully formed,
Spirit-praises waken me, greeting the new morn;

Lovely, wonderous melodies, new songs every day
for new mercies and new blessings Jesus sends my way;

Driving to work or anywhere, or doing chores at home,
I sing in spirit and in understanding, knowing I'm never alone;

My lullabies were favorite hymns, now my children love to sing -
Songs of faith and freedom from fear and doubt and sin;

Harmony with neighbors, Spirit-peace within,
How can I not wear a smile while giving praise to Him?

Every lovely thing I see - birds and flowers, mountains, sea
Cause anthems of Creator praise to bubble up in me;

While going shopping, paying bills, and at mealtimes I'm reminded
How thankful I am for health and strength with all my needs provided;

And when bad news comes my way, when sorrows and trials abound,
I remember God's past faithfulness and reach praise's higher ground;

I count my blessings before I sleep, and should I wake before dawn's light,
I pray and praise God without fear, for He gives songs throughout the night;

Oh, that the world would realize salvation's earthly paradise!
Without Christ life is without song - with Him's harmony all life long;

And when this life on earth is over, with millions of angels above,
I'll sing in that fantastic, heavenly choir - Chorus of grace and love!

Monday, April 7, 2008

April 07, 2008

Perfect Peace
the great reward
photo by Patrick Frey
(Half Dome sunset)

"To be at one with God is to be at peace ...
peace is to be found only within,
and unless one finds it there
he will never find it at all.
Peace lies not in the external world.
It lies within one's own soul."
- Ralph Waldo Trine

"You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.
Trust in the LORD forever..."
- Isaiah 26:3,4 NKJV

Sunday, April 6, 2008

April 06, 2008


"I will greatly rejoice in the LORD,
my soul shall be joyful in my God;
for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation,
he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments,
and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
For as the earth bringeth forth her bud,
and as the garden causeth the things
that are sown in it to spring forth;
so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and
praise to spring forth before all the nations."
- Isaiah 61:10,11 KJV

"Blessed are they which do hunger
and thirst after righteousness:
for they shall be filled."
- Matthew 5:6 KJV

"I am inflamed, I am kindled by your gift;
and am carried upwards;
I glow inwardly, and go forwards.
I ascend your ways that are in my heart..."
- Augustine

Saturday, April 5, 2008

April 05, 2008

digest the Word

Taking the time to compose your own daily devotional
can be a great blessing to you and to others.

It is possible to reflect on something,
organize and compose it within your mind
and still not fully clarifythe meaning
of your thoughts.

Unless you have a very organized mind,
you may be surprised to find that your thoughts
have not been organized into any plausible conclusion at all.

We can easily deceive ourself into thinking
that we have arrived at a valid, truthful,
or even reasonable conclusion.

Ask yourself why do I believe as I do
on a particular subject? Try to figure it out in your mind,
then write down your thoughts.

Be your own critic... read carefully what you wrote.
Is something missing...
is there something you may not have considered
prior to writing it down?

Don't forget to share it with those whose opinion you value and trust.
Listen closely to their comments.
You can learn from each other.

As a teacher,
I learned the best way to learn something was to teach it.

Spend time reading His word and other authors of inspiration...
with a discerning mind and guided by the Holy Spirit.
Reflect on what you have read, pray about it,
and then write down what you have learned.
Keep a journal.

As you continue to grow, re-read
what you have written and modify as you feel led.

Growing in the spirit requires more than just reading the Word.

You have to digest it.

Friday, April 4, 2008

April 04, 2008

placed here for each other
photo by David Keller
(trip to Peru)

"Great opportunities to help others seldom come,
but small ones surround us daily."
- Sally Koch

It is our pride that keeps us concentrating on ourselves.
By concentrating on God and Jesus Christ
and allowing the Holy Spirit to work within us,
we will continue to grow and we will become sensitive
to those around us.

If we concentrate on self...
our needs, our desires, our self-righteousness
we will not see the need of others.

Even simple things,
like being aware of others in front of us,
or behind us, as we enter a door...
those in need of a word of encouragement
attempting to accomplish a task,
or upon the completetion of a job well done...
simpling listening to what others have to say
instead of thinking what we can say next.

Let us show a little of the kindness,
patience, love, and grace
that is given by the Father to us...
the grace that He shows us, His creation...
even though we remain disobedient and sinful.

"If someone listens, or stretches out a hand,
or whispers a kind word of encouragement,
or attempts to understand a lonely person,
extraordinary things begin to happen."
- Loretta Girzartis

"We are not put on this earth for ourselves,
but are placed here for each other.
If you are there always for others,
then in time of need,
someone will be there for you."
- Jeff Warner

Thursday, April 3, 2008

April 03, 2008

Monkey see, monkey do.

You are your child's role model.
Be a good example.

"Every father should remember that one day
his son will follow his example
instead of his advice."
- Author Unknown

"Example is the school of mankind,
and they will learn at no other."
- Edmund Burke

"Let us preach you, Dear Jesus, without preaching,
not by words, but by our example..."
- Mother Teresa

" an example to the believers in word,
in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity."
- 1 Timothy 4:12 NKJV

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

April 02, 2008

the discipline that endures

"Whatever it is you're facing, stand strong.
Walk in quiet confidence, not veiled pride.
Be sure without being stubborn...
firm without being unteachable...
enduring but not discourteous...
full of truth balanced with grace."
- Charles Swindoll
(Christian pastor, author, educator)

"To be torn unmercifully by external forces,
and still to preserve one's inward integrity,
is to know the discipline that endures."
- V. Raymond Edman
(associate professor of political science
at Wheaton College,
was named fourth president of the College,
serving from 1940 to 1965)

"So do not throw away your confidence;
it will be richly rewarded.
You need to persevere
so that when you have done the will of God,
you will receive what he has promised."
- Hebrews 10:35,36 NIV

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April 01, 2008

droopy dafs

Even daffodils look a bit droopy,
discouraged, and depressed
on a damp, dismal day.
But when they experience
even the shimmer of sunlight
they stand up and shine.
When we are supressed
by shadowed sorrows
we too can stand up and shine.
So shine forth the sunny satisfaction of salvation
strengthen yourself in the stronghold of the Son.

"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 NIV