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

Friday, October 31, 2008

October 31, 2008

an old friend

"Friendship is unnecessary,
like philosophy, like art...
It has no survival value;
rather is one of those things
that give value to survival."
- C. S. Lewis

“Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down, his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!”
- Ecclesiastes 4: 9,10 NIV

"It takes a long time to grow an old friend."
- John Leonard

Thursday, October 30, 2008

October 30, 2008

what we read

Everyday we pick up the newspaper
or hear the news on the TV
we see disasters, cruelty, criminal actions, heartache,
and just a slew of “bad” news.

How do we handle the news?
Do we worry, do we panic,
do we get angry?

“Panic is a sudden desertion of us,
and a going over to the enemy of our imagination.”
- Christian Nevell Bovee

and

“Stop being angry!
Turn from your rage!
Do not lose your temper—
it only leads to harm.
For the wicked will be destroyed,
but those who trust in the Lord
will possess the land.
Soon the wicked will disappear.
Though you look for them,
they will be gone.
The lowly will possess the land
and will live in peace and prosperity.
- Psalm 37:8-11 NIV

“Cast all your anxiety on him
because he cares for you.”
- 1 Peter 5:7 NIV

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

October 29, 2008

guide our minds

“The spirit is what guides my life,
and I'm humbly on my knees in thanks
for guidance and direction every day.”
- Ben Harper

“Our Father, we thank thee for giving us so much.
Especially we thank thee for giving us minds
with which to steer the course of our lives.
We thank thee that power is given to us
through the use of our minds to make
our own lives good and a blessing
to all those about us.
Guide our minds,
O God.
We pray in Jesus’ name.
Amen.”
- William A. Clough

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

October 28, 2008

how to serve

“…so he got up from the meal,
took off his outer clothing,
and wrapped a towel around his waist.
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.
When he had finished washing their feet,
he put on his clothes and returned to his place.
"Do you understand what I have done for you?"
he asked them.
"You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so,
for that is what I am.
Now that I, your Lord and Teacher,
have washed your feet,
you also should wash one another's feet.
I have set you an example
that you should do as I have done for you.
I tell you the truth,
no servant is greater than his master,
nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.
Now that you know these things,
you will be blessed if you do them.”
- John 13: 4,5,12-17 NIV

“I don't know what your destiny will be,
but one thing I do know:
the only ones among you
who will be really happy
are those who have sought
and found how to serve.”
- Albert Schweitzer

Monday, October 27, 2008

October 27, 2008

information – knowledge – wisdom

More than ever before
we are swamped with information.
Knowledge only comes by picking
through this mass and analyzing it.

“We are drowning in information
but starved for knowledge.”
- John Naisbitt

What then is wisdom?

“Never mistake knowledge for wisdom.
One helps you make a living;
the other helps you make a life.”
- Sandra Carey

“These days people seek knowledge,
not wisdom.
Knowledge is of the past,
wisdom is of the future.”
- Vernon Cooper

“Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?”
- T. S. Eliot

"Whatever is at the center of our life
will be the source of our security, guidance,
wisdom, and power."
- Stephen Covey

“Don’t let anything less than God
be the center of your life
because everything else
is subject to destruction and death.
God alone is everlasting, unchanging,
full of love and compassion
as we have all seen it in His Son Jesus Christ.
Ask God for wisdom!”
- Claudia Miclaus

Sunday, October 26, 2008

October 26, 2008

the inner eye
(dedicated to Bob Shannon
-a kindred spirit in Christ)

“He is surely there to be seen,
like my mountain.
Days may pass when we only hope and long and guess.
Then the weather comes right,
the veil thins away and we see!
It is, however, not a rare privilege
reserved for a tiny few.
It is not a grudged miracle,
granted only to saints who have killed out all self.
It belongs to the very nature of the soul to see God.
It is what makes life really life.
It is as normal a function as breathing or digestion.
Only one must, of all things, intend to do it!”
- Rufus M. Jones

“Our Father,
we thank thee for the beauties of thy world,
for earth and sky and the reflection
of thy Spirit in human hearts.
Open our inner eyes to see all lovely things
and our inner ears to hear the music of thy voice.
May all the thoughts and actions of each of us
speak praise to thee today. Amen.”
- William A. Clough

“God is alway visible the moment
the inner eye is clear.”
- Rufus M. Jones

Saturday, October 25, 2008

October 25, 2008

Keep Out

With the leaves of decay all around us
it may be tempting to enter
that cabin of want and desire.

“Man-like is it to fall into sin,
Fiend-like is it to dwell therein,
Christ-like is it for sin to grieve,
God-like is it all sin to leave.”
- Friedrich von Logau

“All sins tend to be addictive,
and the terminal point of addiction is damnation.”
- W. H. Auden

“And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power,
and the glory, for ever.
Amen.”
- Matthew 6: 13 KJV

“… in hope that the creation itself
will be liberated from its bondage to decay
and brought into the glorious freedom
of the children of God.”
- Romans 8: 20,21 NIV

“For the wages of sin is death,
but the gift of God is eternal life
in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
- Romans 6:23 NIV

“To open the blind eyes,
to bring out the prisoners from the prison,
and them that sit in darkness
out of the prison house.”
- Isaiah 42:7 KJV

Friday, October 24, 2008

October 24, 2008

on the tree

While walking in the woods,
I noticed this leaf that had become caught
by the bark of the tree
as it was falling to the ground.
By being caught in this manner, the leaf,
stood out and apart from all the other leaves
that had completed their fall.
It reminded me that once
we are "caught" by faith,
we are never the same,
even though we may still
bear evidence of our past faults...
the visible holes of our past transgressions.

“Once you accept the existence of God-
however you define him,
however you explain your relationship to him-
then you are caught forever with his presence
in the center of all things.”
- Morris West

Although the cross we may bear
is heavy and burdensome,
the weight of that burden
has been removed from our back,
as we are upheld by the hand of Christ, our Savior
who bore our burdens on His cross,
the tree of His suffering and death.

The way of the cross is the way to the crown.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

October 23, 2008

together we grow,
and together we will fly


“If you have any encouragement
from being united with Christ,
if any comfort from his love,
if any fellowship with the Spirit,
if any tenderness and compassion,
then make my joy complete
by being like-minded,
having the same love,
being one in spirit and purpose.”
- Philippians 2:1,2 NIV

“We are each of us angels with only one wing,
and we can only fly by embracing one another.”
- Lucretius

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

October 22, 2008

simplification of life

“I have learned by some experience,
by many examples,
and by the writings of countless others before me,
also occupied in the search,
that certain environments,
certain modes of life,
certain rules of conduct
are more conducive
to inner and outer harmony than others.
There are, in fact,
certain roads that one may follow.
Simplification of life is one of them.”
- Ann Morrow Lindbergh

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

October 21, 2008

wait quietly

The Eastern Bluebird is fast and evasive…
sometimes hard to spot.

It is always a blessing to see one.

“Most of us have not developed
our spiritual eyes enough to see
the many blessings of God sent to us each day.”
- Kay (Bluebird Sightings)

“Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."
The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.”
- Lamentations 3: 22-26 NIV

Monday, October 20, 2008

October 20, 2008

“Father in heaven,
thou knowest our thankfulness
though we do not always speak it,
just as thou knowest our needs
even before we realize them ourselves.
We pray, sincerely and earnestly,
that every one of us will feel thy blessing,
warming and strengthening and helping
with every problem.
So we pray for all people,
young and old, everywhere. Amen.”
- William A. Clough

Sunday, October 19, 2008

October 19, 2008

a vision of hope

“God comes into our lives
… when we get over
our exaggerated sense of our own importance,
when we learn to respond
with child-like awe
to the sun shining in the summer
or to the snow falling in winter,
when we get over being stuck on ourselves,
we make room in our lives for God.
- Rabbi H.Kushner

“Yesterday is already a dream
and tomorrow is only a vision,
but today well lived
makes every yesterday a dream of happiness
and every tomorrow a vision of hope.”
- From the Sanskrit

Saturday, October 18, 2008

October 18, 2008

more fun

One of the biggest misconceptions
about God and Jesus Christ
is that if you are a Christian
you can’t have fun anymore.
That is simply not true.

“Being a believer means great celebration and joy,
both in our lives here on Earth and after.
God meant for believers to have fun and celebrate.
There are a number of examples
throughout the Bible of great celebrations.
David danced.
The Jews celebrated upon their exodus from Egypt.
Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding celebration.
God meant for believers to celebrate
and have fun because celebrations lift the spirit.
He wants Christian teens and adults
to have fun[as well as children]
so they can see the beauty and meaning
in the life He gave to us.”
- Kelli Mahoney

“I cannot even imagine where I would be today
were it not for that handful of friends
who have given me a heart full of joy.
Let's face it, friends make life a lot more fun.”
- Charles R. Swindoll

Friday, October 17, 2008

October 17, 2008

share in the inheritance

Just because one appears less important
and may not have the attributes of many...
they can still emit a glowing, radiant sheen of their own.

"When we do the best that we can,
we never know what miracle is wrought in our life,
or in the life of another."
- Helen Keller


“And we pray this in order
that you may live a life worthy of the Lord
and may please him in every way:
bearing fruit in every good work,
growing in the knowledge of God,
being strengthened with all power
according to his glorious might so that
you may have great endurance and patience,
and joyfully giving thanks to the Father,
who has qualified you to share in the inheritance
of the saints in the kingdom of light.”
- Colossians 1: 10-12 NIV

Thursday, October 16, 2008

October 16, 2008

purified by fire

“This third I will bring into the fire;
I will refine them like silver
and test them like gold.
They will call on my name
and I will answer them;
I will say,
'They are my people,'
and they will say,
'The LORD is our God.'”
- Zechariah 13:9 NIV

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

October 15, 2008

a hope tree

This Chestnut fruit with decomposing seed
seems to be invincibly protected with its thorny shell.

"Once proud and strong,
the American chestnut tree
covered huge tracts of land
across the eastern United States
for thousands of years
until a fungus from Asia decimated
virtually every tree
standing on North American soil."
- The American Chestnut Story
Sam Cox, 1997

There is still hope… the American Chestnut is not yet extinct.

As with us…however strong we think we are...
beware of being destroyed from within.

“Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—
but it is not to the sinful nature,
to live according to it.
For if you live according to the sinful nature,
you will die;
but if by the Spirit
you put to death the misdeeds of the body,
you will live…”
- Romans 8: 12,13 NIV

"Lord save us all from...
a hope tree that has lost the faculty
of putting out blossoms."
- Mark Twain

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

October 14, 2008

eyes of a child

“People usually consider walking on water
or in thin air a miracle.
But I think the real miracle is not to walk
either on water or in thin air,
but to walk on earth.
Every day we are engaged in a miracle
which we don't even recognize:
a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves,
the black, curious eyes of a child --
our own two eyes.
All is a miracle.”
- Thich Nhat Hanh

“There are not seven wonders of the world
in the eyes of a child.
There are seven million.”
- Walt Streightiff

Monday, October 13, 2008

October 13, 2008

into the light

This is only one main branch
of a very large Buttonwood tree.
The tree’s stature is the sign
of its obvious success
in reaching for the light.

“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 am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life."
- Jesus Christ
(John 8:12 NIV)

“How is one to live a moral
and compassionate existence
when one finds darkness
not only in one's culture
but within oneself?
There are simply no answers
to some of the great pressing questions.
You continue to live them out,
making your life a worthy expression
of leaning into the light.”
- Barry Lopez
(Arctic Dreams)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

October 12, 2008

ready to fly
Common Milkweed seeds
(Landis Valley Museum)

Burdens to bear?
Concerns to carry?

“Joy is a choice.
It is a matter of attitude that stems
from one’s confidence in God-
that He is at work, that He is in full control,
that He is in the midst of whatever has happened,
is happening, and will happen.”
- Charles Swindoll

Lighten up!

“Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly”
- Author Unknown

Saturday, October 11, 2008

October 11, 2008

autumn colors

“For man, autumn is a time of harvest,
of gathering together.
For nature, it is a time of sowing,
of scattering abroad.”
- Edwin Way Teale

For the Christian it is all of the above
all of the time.

Sow the seeds of faith,
scatter them everywhere…
gather together and pray,
and there will be a harvest of souls.

“It is not always granted to the sower
to live to see the harvest.
All work that is worth anything is done in faith.”
- Albert Schweitzer

Friday, October 10, 2008

October 10, 2008

New Life

“You’re taking this step of faith
In obedience to the Lord
To be baptized in His precious name
And heed the Master’s call

To rise up with faith in God
And go where He may lead
To share God’s love to everyone
And touch them in their need

May God pour out His blessings
Upon your life today
So you may walk in His abundance
As you commit to Him your way

Keep on trusting in the Lord
No matter what you face
And keep your eyes on Jesus Christ
And live in His sweet grace.”
© By M.S.Lowndes

“We were therefore buried with him through baptism
into death in order that,
just as Christ was raised from the dead
through the glory of the Father,
we too may live a new life.”
- Romans 6:4 NIV

Thursday, October 9, 2008

October 9, 2008

hard nut to crack

We must accept Jesus Christ as our Savior,
asking forgiveness of our sins in His name
while believing in our heart that
He died for our sins and ascended into heaven.
This is the ONLY way to be redeemed.

After we are saved,
in order to continue our spiritual growth,
we must love our fellow man,
and be obedient to God,
giving ourselves to God’s Will,
following His Way and becoming Christlike.

This is both easy and very difficult.

Listen to our “helper”…
the Holy Spirit within us,
for it is He
that will be our guide.

“But I tell you the truth,
it is to your advantage that I go away;
for if I do not go away,
the Helper will not come to you;
but if I go, I will send Him to you.…
when He, the Spirit of truth, comes,
He will guide you into all the truth.”
- John 16: 7,13 NASB

And remember…

“The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit
that we are children of God, and if children,
heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ,
if indeed we suffer with Him
so that we may also be glorified with Him.”
- Romans 8: 16,17 NASB

“Must is a hard nut to crack,
but it has a sweet kernel.”
- Charles Spurgeon

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

October 8, 2008

memories

When the season of winter comes
let us remember that the glorious beauty
that was autumn, showed us
something of the new life
that will be spring.

"To look backward for a while
is to refresh the eye, to restore it,
and to render it the more fit
for its prime function of looking forward."
- Margaret Fairless Barber
from: The Roadmender

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

October 7, 2008

secure environment

“When we are in the presence of God,
removed from distractions,
we are able to hear him more clearly,
and a secure environment has been established
for the young and broken places
in our hearts to surface.”
- John Eldredge

Monday, October 6, 2008

October 6, 2008

take care of me

“Somewhere there is someone that dreams of your smile,
and finds in your presence that life is worthwhile,
so when you are lonely remember it’s true,
someone somewhere is thinking of you.”
- Author Unknown

“Even if my father and mother abandon me,
the LORD will take care of me.”
- Psalm 27:10 (God’s Word translation)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

October 5, 2008

glow in us

“Light the lamps within us, Lord of Light,
that we may see clearly
even when shadows fall across our lives.
Even as we know the darkness of night
only hides the day for a little while
may we know the truth that the Eternal Light
shines on behind the darkness of life’s difficulties.
We thank thee, Lord,
for the Light that shines forever
and pray that it may glow in us
and through us. Amen.”
- William A. Clough

Saturday, October 4, 2008

October 4, 2008

the promise of new life
after death

“Not the maker of plans and promises,
but rather the one who offers
faithful service in small matters.
This is the person who is most likely
to achieve what is good and lasting.”
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“Promise only what you can deliver.
Then deliver more than you promise.”
- Author Unknown

“Let God's promises shine on your problems.”
- Corrie Ten Boom

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise,
as some understand slowness.
He is patient with you,
not wanting anyone to perish,
but everyone to come to repentance.”
- 2 Peter 3:9 NIV

Friday, October 3, 2008

October 3, 2008

fortitude, integrity,
control of self, and love


You have to have the courage of your convictions.
Standing firm in your faith is of the utmost importance.

Doing so, however, should never result in self- righteousness…
you must maintain awareness for the sensitivity of others
and a respect for their honor…
you must not degrade or judge them in any way.
You must love them.

Jesus told them the truth and He obeyed the Father
but He did not beat them over the head with it.
In fact, He loved them no less for their disobedience
and their lack of belief/faith.

You must show that you care as Jesus cared
and love all as He loved us.

Have fortitude, patience, perseverance,
compassion, control of self, and
most importantly of all,
reliance on Jesus Christ alone.

We are to be the Father’s servants,
as was Jesus Christ,
the Father is not to be made
into our servant.

Be ever mindful of Him, plant the seed,
model Jesus in all things, pray without ceasing,
and let Him do the rest.

“Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago,
'Do not break your oath,
but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.'

Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No';
anything beyond this comes from the evil one.

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…”
- Matthew 5: 33, 37, 44

Love your God, and give Him the glory
for although He hates sin,
He loves you...
He loves all of us.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

October 2, 2008

tied in knots

When we worry we tie ourselves in knots and
our entire body becomes tense.
By creating these knots
we block the flow of our energy
and exhaust ourselves
by exerting more effort
and accomplishing little to nothing.

We worry ourselves sick.

Although difficult, we must let go of a situation
over which we have no control
and one which may be blown all out of proportion.

“It only seems as if you are doing something when you're worrying.”
- Lucy Maud Montgomery

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow,
it only saps today of its joy.”
- Leo Buscaglia

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the LORD,
'He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.’”
- Psalm 91: 1,2 NIV

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

October 1, 2008

need and greed

What a sorry state we get ourselves into
when we build an idol to our
greedy secular desires.

Haven’t we learned anything?
Do we still not understand what happens
when we take our eyes off of our God ?

“The greed of gain has no time or limit to its capaciousness.
Its one object is to produce and consume.
It has pity neither for beautiful nature
nor for living human beings.
It is ruthlessly ready without a moment's hesitation
to crush beauty and life out of them,
molding them into money.”
- Rabindranath Tagore

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need,
but not every man's greed”
- Mahatma Gandhi

“… the greed is the unraveling.
…and it undoes all the joy that could be.”
- Joni Mitchell