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, December 31, 2008

December 31, 2008

direction you are moving
(chess and life)

If we are good at it,
we can perhaps see a few moves ahead.
Why not give God control…
He can see through to the end
and is capable
of turning our bad choices into victory.

It is far better for us to give Him control
in the early game otherwise we will suffer
the consequences of those bad moves
we made under our own control.

Even so, once we give Him control,
we gain new life for the rest of the game
and our victory is assured.

“The great thing in this world
is not so much where you stand,
as in what direction you are moving.”
- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

December 30, 2008

letters

One of the most common greetings
is the simple word Hi!

What follows should be said in all humility
and with integrity, expressing
encouragement, support, hope, truth,
and above all love for the recipient.

So remember when you say Hi
to let the “H” stand for humility,
and the “I” stand for integrity.

If said from the heart
there will be no need
for a postscript (PS).

“H”umility and “I”ntegrity
eliminates the need for
(and is superior to)
”P”ower and “S”uccess.

Monday, December 29, 2008

December 29, 2008

a beautiful mosaic

“ We become not a melting pot
but a beautiful mosaic.
Different people, different beliefs,
different yearnings, different hopes,
different dreams.”
- Jimmy Carter

Ours is not to judge but to love all.

“If you judge people,
you have no time to love them.”
- Mother Teresa

“Dear friends, let us love one another,
for love comes from God.
Everyone who loves
has been born of God
and knows God.
Whoever does not love
does not know God,
because God is love.”
- 1 John 4:7,8 NIV

Sunday, December 28, 2008

December 28, 2008

Recipe for Christmas All Year Long

“Take a heap of child-like wonder
That opens up our eyes
To the unexpected gifts in life—
Each day a sweet surprise.
Mix in fond appreciation
For the people whom we know;
Like festive Christmas candles,
Each one has a special glow.
Add some giggles and some laughter,
A dash of Christmas food,
(Amazing how a piece of pie
Improves our attitude!)

Stir it all with human kindness;
Wrap it up in love and peace,
Decorate with optimism, and
Our joy will never cease.
If we use this healthy recipe,
We know we will remember
To be in the Christmas spirit,
Even when it's not December.”
- Joanna Fuchs

Saturday, December 27, 2008

December 27, 2008

morning devotions

"Coffee,
according to the women of Denmark,
is to the body
what the Word of the Lord
is to the soul."
- Isak Dinesen

Coffee may not be your thing
but the Word of the Lord
is, most definitely,
nourishment for the soul.

It wakes you up, and provides
energy and strength,
for the daily grind.

Friday, December 26, 2008

December 26, 2008

a different drummer

When the glitz of a secular X-mas is past,
what remains is not very uplifting.

Putting your faith in the true meaning Christmas
will “uplift” you for eternity.

“…lean not on your own understanding”
- Proverbs 3:5 NIV

…but march to the beat of a different drummer…

“His divine power has given us
everything we need for life and godliness
through our knowledge of him
who called us by his own glory and goodness.
Through these he has given us
his very great and precious promises,
so that through them you may participate
in the divine nature
and escape the corruption in the world…”
- 2 Peter 1:3,4 NIV

Thursday, December 25, 2008

December 25, 2008

most precious of all gifts

For God so loved the world
that He sent His Son
to become flesh as man
so that He may die
that we may live.

Thank you Father
for this most precious of all gifts.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

December 24, 2008

new courage

“The ideals which have lighted my way,
and time after time
have given me new courage
to face life cheerfully,
have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth.
The trite subjects of human efforts,
possessions, outward success, luxury
have always seemed to me contemptible.”
- Albert Einstein

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

December 23, 2008

fruit of the action

"It's the action,
not the fruit of the action,
that's important.
You have to do the right thing.
It may not be in your power,
may not be in your time,
that there'll be any fruit.
But that doesn't mean
you stop doing the right thing.
You may never know what results
come from your action.
But if you do nothing,
there will be no result."
- Mahatma Gandhi

Monday, December 22, 2008

December 22, 2008

special light

“Your life is something opaque,
not transparent,
as long as you look at it in an ordinary human way.
But if you hold it up
against the light of God's goodness,
it shines and turns transparent,
radiant and bright.
And then you ask yourself in amazement:
Is this really my own life I see before me?
- Albert Schweitzer

“We are each gifted in a unique and important way.
It is our privilege and our adventure
to discover our own special light.”
- Mary Dunbar

Sunday, December 21, 2008

December 21, 2008

I cannot do everything I wish.

“Take my hand, Lord,
and lead me through this day,
step by step.
Remind me that I cannot do everything I wish,
nor do any of it perfectly.
Only You are perfect,
and only with Your help
can I do my best.
Help me to remember to ask for that help.
Amen.”
- Avery Brooke

“No answer to a prayer is an indication of our merit;
every answer to prayer is an indication of God’s mercy.”
- John Blanchard

Saturday, December 20, 2008

December 20, 2008

loving kindness

“Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness.
Know how to give without hesitation,
how to lose without regret,
how to acquire without meanness.”
- George Sand

“The best practical advice I can give
to the present generation
is to practice the virtue
which the Christians call love.”
- Bertrand Russell

Friday, December 19, 2008

December 19, 2008

icy driveway

“Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking lies.
Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.”
- Psalm 34:12-14 NIV

“Better slip with foot than tongue”
- Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, December 18, 2008

December 18, 2008

holding on

Holding on… perseverance… fortitude
all are highly praised in our world.

But it depends what you are holding onto?

Bad habits, old sins, self pride…
none of these are worth holding onto.

Letting go of the old ways of the world…
dying to self… is the only way
to find new life in Him.

Give Him control and release yourself.

Hold onto Him.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

December 17, 2008

waste wisely

“To awaken each morning
with a smile brightening my face;
to greet the day with
reverence for the opportunities it contains;
to approach my work with a clean mind;
to hold ever before me,
even in the doing of little things,
the Ultimate Purpose toward which I am working;
to meet men and women with laughter
on my lips and love in my heart;
to be gentle, kind, and courteous
through all the hours;
to approach the night with weariness
that ever woos sleep and the joy
that comes from work well done –
this is how I desire to waste wisely my days.”
- Thomas Dekker

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

December 16, 2008

do not doubt

“The secret of making something
work in your lives is, first of all,
the deep desire to make it work:
then the faith and belief that it can work:
then to hold that clear definite vision
in your consciousness
and see it working out step by step,
without one thought of doubt or disbelief.”
- Eileen Caddy

Monday, December 15, 2008

December 15, 2008

wisdom and understanding

I prayed for wisdom and understanding
anticipating to learn more about God
but instead I learned more about me.

Sometimes we don’t get exactly what we pray for
sometimes we get better and more.

Spiritual growth comes from many different directions…
the good Lord knows what we really need the most.

Pray the prayer that never fails…
“Let Thy will be done.”

Sunday, December 14, 2008

December 14, 2008

choose wisely

“You don't get to choose
how you're going to die or when.
You only get to choose
how you're going to live. Now.”
- Joan Baez

Saturday, December 13, 2008

December 13, 2008

thinking big and praying hard

I saw this gray squirrel sitting on the scoop
of a front-end loader
as I was leaving a local coffeehouse.

I imagine he was thinking about
all the nuts he could gather and store
with this piece of equipment.

Thinking big and praying hard
is good advice to all of us as well.

“The first step to becoming is to will it.”
- Mother Teresa

Friday, December 12, 2008

December 12, 2008

“It is good to praise the LORD
and make music to your name,
O Most High,
to proclaim your love in the morning
and your faithfulness at night…”
- Psalm 92: 1,2 NIV

Thursday, December 11, 2008

December 11, 2008

smile

“A smile costs nothing but gives much.
It enriches those who receive
without making poorer those who give.
It takes but a moment,
but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.
None is so rich or mighty
that he cannot get along without it
and none is so poor
that he cannot be made rich by it.
Yet a smile cannot be bought,
begged, borrowed, or stolen,
for it is something that is of no value
to anyone until it is given away.
Some people are too tired to give you a smile.
Give them one of yours,
as none needs a smile so much
as he who has no more to give.”
- Author Unknown

“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles.
It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.”
- Quoted in P.S. I Love You
compiled by: H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

December 10, 2008

simplify

When we become so wrapped up
in our everyday hustle and bustle
we tend to neglect the important things of life…
those things that require reflection,
prayer, and time with the Father.

“The ability to simplify
means to eliminate the unnecessary
so that the necessary may speak.”
- Hans Hofmann

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

December 9, 2008

reminisce

“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

“And surely I am with you always,
to the very end of the age.”
- Matthew 28:20 NIV

Monday, December 8, 2008

December 8, 2008

grace and power

“Often God seems to place His children
in positions of profound difficulty
leading them into a wedge
from which there is no escape;
contriving a situation which no human judgment
would have permitted,
had it been previously consulted.
The very cloud conducts them thither.
You may be thus involved at this very hour.
It does seem perplexing and very serious
to the last degree;
but it is perfectly right.
The issue will more than justify Him
who has brought you hither.
It is a platform for the display
of His almighty grace and power.
He will not only deliver you,
but in doing so He will give you a lesson
that you will never forget;
and to which, in many a psalm and song in after days,
you will revert.
You will never be able to thank God enough
for having done just as He has.”
- F. B. Meyer

Sunday, December 7, 2008

December 7, 2008

I’ts a dogs life?

“Until you make peace with who you are,
you'll never be content with what you have.”
- Doris Mortman

So who are we?
Certainly none of us are dogs.

God created us in His own image to have an abundant life.

Having that abundant life begins
with the knowledge of who we are…
and true peace… His peace…
only comes to us when we give up ourselves to Him.
Then we realize that His grace is more than sufficient.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

December 6, 2008

Santa Claus?

“Faith believes it.
Hope anticipates it.
Patience quietly awaits it.”
- Author Unknown

Sounds like the dream of a child that
“has been good”.

But no…

Not a dream but the truth.
Not a child but a “child-like faith”.
Not being good, but being forgiven.

Not Santa Claus but the
promise of God.

“ …imitate those who through faith and patience
inherit what [He] has promised.”
- Hebrews 6:12 NIV

Friday, December 5, 2008

December 5, 2008

over the fence

Share your faith with others.
It begins with your neighbors.

"Let your light so shine before men,
that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
- Matthew 5:16 KJV

What does it mean to be a Christian?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9FBr_5nK6s

Once the video begins, please click on “HD quality”
found just under, and to the right, of the video screen.
Of course, have your speakers on.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

December 4, 2008

perfect peace

Light from darkness,
success from failure,
life from death,
strength from weakness,
growth from tribulation,
victory from defeat,
beauty from desolation,
and the list goes on…

It is God showing us to rely on Him.
He can, and does, all things.
Put your “self” under His control.
Trust in Him.

“You will keep in perfect peace
him whose mind is steadfast,
because he trusts in you.”
- Isaiah 26:3 NIV

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

December 3, 2008

bleat like sheep

“Once we roared like lions for liberty;
now we bleat like sheep for security!
The solution for America's problem
is not in terms of big government,
but it is in big men
over whom nobody stands in control
but God.”
- Norman Vincent Peale
(American Protestant Clergyman and Writer, 1898-1993)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

December 2, 2008

always love

“Let’s never forget
that some of God’s greatest mercies
are His refusals.
He says no in order that He may,
in some way we cannot imagine, say yes.
All His ways with us are merciful.
His meaning is always love.”
- Elisabeth Elliot

Monday, December 1, 2008

December 1, 2008

sorrow and sighing
to flee away for ever


“Earthly prosperity is no sign of the special love of Heaven;
nor are sorrow and care any mark of God's disfavor.
God's love is robust, and true,
and eager not for our comfort,
but for our lasting blessedness;
it is bent on achieving this,
and it is strong enough to bear misrepresentation
and rebuke in its attempts
to attune our spirits to higher music.
It therefore comes instructing us.
- Let us enter ourselves as pupils in the school of God's love.
- Let us lay aside our own notions of the course of study;
- Let us submit ourselves to be led and taught;
- Let us be prepared for any lessons
that may be given from the blackboard of sorrow;
- Let us be so assured of the inexhaustible tenacity of His love,
as to dare to trust Him, though He slay us.
And
- Let us look forward to that august moment
when He will give us a reason for all life's discipline,
with a smile that shall thrill our souls with ecstasy,
and constrain sorrow and sighing
to flee away for ever.”
- F. B. Meyer