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

Saturday, January 31, 2009

January 31, 2009

get free

“The dandelion is there by the sidewalk,
smiling its wondrous smile,
singing the song of eternity. Listen!
You have ears that can hear it.
Bow your head. Listen to it.
Leave behind the world of sorrow
and preoccupation and get free.”
- Thich Nhat Hanh
(from: The Good News)

Friday, January 30, 2009

January 30, 2009

sore testings

“We need have only one care,
that we put the first thing first -
faithfulness to God.
Then all else we need for both worlds
will be supplied.
Yet we must make sure
that we do not fail in our part.
God will never fail us;
but we forget, sometimes,
in our rejoicing over such an assurance,
that we must fulfill our part
if we would claim the divine promise.

It will not always be easy.

Tomorrow it may mean a distasteful task,
a disagreeable duty, a costly sacrifice
for one who does not seem worthy.
Life is full of sore testings of our willingness
to follow the Good Shepherd.
We have not the slightest right
to claim this assurance,
unless we have taken Christ
as the guide of our life.”
- J. R. Miller

Thursday, January 29, 2009

January 29, 2009

companion in joy

“Give them wisdom and devotion
in the ordering of their common life,
that each may be to the other
a strength in need, a counselor in perplexity,
a comfort in sorrow, and a companion in joy.”
- The Book of Common Prayer

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

January 28, 2009

“But to be truly sorry, to grieve faults,
I must stop myself, find a place of quiet,
and take time –
time to imagine what the effect
of the thing I’ve said, or done, or thought,
has been on myself or another.
Time to grasp what
making even a small bad choice means.
Suffering genuine sorrow.
Changing my attitude.
Not confessing as a selfish desire
to wipe the slate clean
to make myself feel better.”
- Cindy Crosby
(By Willoway Brook)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

January 27, 2008

sinful neglect

A new coat of paint could hide
the rotting that may be occurring within,
but eventually structural damage
will result unless it gets new life.

Even before…
someone may find out
what is trying to be covered up.

“A sin takes on a new and real terror
when there seems a chance
that it is going to be found out.”
- Mark Twain

Monday, January 26, 2009

January 26, 2009

the seed within

“I think the secret of much of the unrest
and dissatisfaction with one’s self
and longing for a more vivid, expressive existence
is the thing planted deep in everyone -
turning toward the sun,
the love of a virtue and splendor that must be adored.
…One is always trying to tune one’s self
to an unheard perfection.”
- May Sarton

Until we seek God and give ourselves
completely to Him,
that seed that is planted within all of us
will never take root and blossom.

“God be prais'd,
that to believing souls gives light in darkness,
comfort in despair.”
- William Shakespeare

Sunday, January 25, 2009

January 25, 2009

Get saved with Jesus.

You could be saved 100%
(for all of eternity)
for less than 15 minutes
of your time.

“That if you confess with your mouth,
‘Jesus is Lord,’
and believe in your heart
that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.
For it is with your heart
that you believe and are justified,
and it is with your mouth
that you confess and are saved.”
- Romans 10: 9,10 NIV

"Father, I know that I have broken your laws
and my sins have separated me from you.
I am truly sorry,
and now I want to turn away
from my past sinful life toward you.
Please forgive me,
and help me avoid sinning again.
I believe that your son, Jesus Christ
died for my sins,
was resurrected from the dead,
is alive, and hears my prayer.
I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life,
to rule and reign in my heart
from this day forward.
Please send your Holy Spirit
to help me obey You,
and to do Your will
for the rest of my life.
In Jesus' name I pray,
Amen.”

Saturday, January 24, 2009

January 24, 2009

what we love and value

“Focusing our attention daily and hourly
not on what is wrong,
but on what we love and value,
allows us to participate
in the birth of a better future,
ushered in by the choices we make
each and every day.”
- Carol Pearson

Friday, January 23, 2009

January 23, 2009

brothers

“All for one and one for all
My brother and my friend
What fun we have
The time we share
Brothers 'til the end.”
- Author Unknown

“Brothers and sisters
are as close as hands and feet.”
- Vietnamese Proverb

Thursday, January 22, 2009

January 22, 2009

lesson learned

I compete in an online simulated
computer football game at
deeproute.com
It’s a hobby.

During the very first season,
my team made it into the Super Bowl
as a “wild card” team.
We were second in our respective division
and I really didn’t expect
to make it to the Super Bowl,
let alone win.

In season four, my team was 16-0
and was the top offensive AND
defensive team in the entire league.
We scored an average of 33 points
and only gave up an average of 9 points.
I had every expectation
of going all the way.

We lost our first game of the playoffs 23-22
missing a field goal
in the last several seconds of the game
to a team that was 9-7
during the regular season.

"Then trust the Lord completely;
don't ever trust yourself.
In everything you do, put God first,
and He will direct you
and crown your efforts with success.
Don't be conceited,
sure of your own wisdom.
Instead, trust and reverence the Lord…”
- Proverbs 3:5-8 TLB

I trust this was all the Lord’s will…
after all, if the results had been different
I probably wouldn’t be sharing this
with you now.

The Lord is full of surprises
and His presence is everywhere.

He has a purpose for everything
and both He and I
sometimes share a sense of humor.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

January 21, 2009

confident expectation

Hope, as mentioned in God’s Word,
is not wishful thinking.

“For in this hope we were saved.
But hope that is seen is no hope at all.
But if we hope for what we do not yet have,
we wait for it patiently.”
- Romans 8: 24,25 NIV

“Hope sees the invisible,
feels the intangible
and achieves the impossible.”
- Author Unknown

“Put your hope in God.”
- Psalm 42:11 NIV

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January 20, 2008

in the pace of my Lord

“The Lord is my Pace Setter, I shall not rush,
He makes me stop and rest for quiet intervals,
He provides me with images of stillness,
Which restore my serenity.
He leads me in ways of efficiency,
through calmness of mind; and his guidance is peace.
Even though I have a great many things to accomplish each day,
I will not fret, for his presence is here.
His timelessness, his all-importance will keep me in balance.
He prepares refreshment and renewal in the midst of my activity,
by anointing my head with his oils of tranquility,
My cup of joyous energy overflows.
Surely harmony and effectiveness shall be the fruit of my hours,
For I shall walk in the pace of my Lord,
and dwell in his house for ever.”
- Toki Miyashina
(Psalm 23 for Busy People)

Monday, January 19, 2009

January 19, 2008


Do you believe in God?
Do you believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins?

Do you believe that God loves you
and only wants what is best for you?

Do you believe that God can and will do what He says?

Then...

Live for Him...
(choose commitment to Him
over the world and over your self)

Ovations to Him...
(give the glory to Him
for all He is and all He has done)

Victory through Him...
(achieve victory through Him
by trusting in Him)

Exalt Him
(worship Him through
thanksgiving and obedience)

Taken together they spell...

LOVE for Him

Dear God, please fill me with thy Holy Spirit
so that I may no longer follow selfish and worldly ways
but Your will and Your way.
I give You praise and all the glory
for what You have done
and are doing through me.
By trusting in You
let me experience the victory
You have for my life in You.
Help me to be obedient as I exalt you
through worship and thanksgiving.
Amen.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

January 18, 2008

He is coming
original photo by Patrick Frey
(Bryce Canyon – Winter)

Wide awake Saturday morning at 4:50 AM
and up by 5:00.

While sitting in the dark in the living room,
it was one of those rather quiet moments…
no refrigerator noise,
no traffic on the street outside,
no furnace or water softener noise…
only the low, quiet, tick tock of the clock.

Looking out the bay window up at the sky,
my thoughts turned to the second coming of Jesus Christ.
The stars were brightly shining
in the heavens.

I was still, attentive, and I was ready.

But what if He came when I was not ready?
What if He came when I was doing something
less than pleasing to the Him.

Guard your thoughts and actions
by being ever mindful of the Lord.

Remember that His coming is closer,
right this moment,
than it ever was before.

Be watchful and be ready!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

January 17, 2008

"I went to the woods
because I wished to live deliberately,
to front only the essential facts of life,
and see if I could not learn
what it had to teach,
and not, when I came to die,
discover that I had not lived."
- Henry David Thoreau

Friday, January 16, 2009

January 16, 2008

learn to trust

“Faith and discouragement are opposites.
Faith is taking God at His Word
no matter how bleak the circumstances appear to be.
However, discouragement is focusing
on distressing circumstances
in spite of what God has said.
Learn to trust God.”
- Jerry Falwell

Thursday, January 15, 2009

January 15, 2008

a way out

“So, if you think you are standing firm,
be careful that you don't fall!
No temptation has seized you
except what is common to man.
And God is faithful;
he will not let you be tempted
beyond what you can bear.
But when you are tempted,
he will also provide a way out…”
- 1 Corinthians 10: 12,13 NIV

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

January 14, 2008

lit from within

“It is not because angels
are holier than men or devils
that makes them angels,
but because they do not expect
holiness from one another,
but from God alone.”
- William Blake

“Angels descending, bring from above,
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.”
- Fanny J. Crosby

“Angels shine from without
because their spirits
are lit from within
by the light of God.”
- Eileen Elias Freeman

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

January 13, 2008

laziness and gluttony

“In its primary signification,
all vice, that is, all excess,
brings on its own punishment,
even here.
By certain fixed,
settled and established laws of Him
who is the God of nature,
excess of every kind destroys that constitution
which temperance would preserve.
The debauchee offers up his body
a "living sacrifice to sin."
- Charles Caleb Colton

“It is the just doom of laziness and gluttony
to be inactive without ease
and drowsy without tranquility”
- Samuel Johnson

Monday, January 12, 2009

January 12, 2009

all pure pleasures

“I praise you for the life
that stirs within me.
I praise you for the bright
and beautiful world into which I go;
I praise you for the earth and sea and sky,
for scudding cloud and singing bird;
I praise you for the work
thou hast given me to do;
I praise you for all that thou hast given me
to fill my leisure hours;
I praise you for my friends;
I praise you for music and books
and good company and
all pure pleasures.”
- John Baillie

[including pets]

Sunday, January 11, 2009

January 11, 2009

to be what you require

“Lord, help us to see
in your crucifixion and resurrection
an example of how to endure
and seemingly to die
in the agony and conflict of daily life,
so that we may live
more fully and creatively.
You accepted patiently and humbly
the rebuffs of human life,
as well as the tortures
of your crucifixion and passion.
Help us to accept the pains and conflicts
that come to us each day
as opportunities to grow as people
and become more like you.
Enable us to go through them
patiently and bravely,
trusting that you will support us.
Make us realize
that it is only by frequent deaths of ourselves
and our self- centered desires
that we can come to live more fully;
for it is only by dying with you
that we can rise with you.”
- Mother Teresa

"Lord,
I am willing to receive what You give,
To lack what you withhold,
To let go of what you take,
To suffer what you allow,
To be what you require.”
- Charles Swindoll

Saturday, January 10, 2009

January 10, 2009

"And when you come to a meeting of many ways
and do not know which to choose,
do not choose at random,
but pause and reflect.
Breathe with the trusting,
deep breaths you took
when you first came into the world;
let nothing distract you,
but wait and go on waiting.
Be still and listen in silence to your heart.
When it has spoken to you,
rise up and follow it."
- Susanna Tamaro


Friday, January 9, 2009

January 9, 2008

waste wisely

“Well, since you seem to not
have anything better to do with your time…”

Or

“I wish I also had the time to simply enjoy life.”

Has anybody ever said these things to you
when they found out
that you were taking a walk and enjoying nature
or just sitting and reflecting,
or perhaps reading a good book?

Some folks always find ways to
“keep themselves busy”
with the details of worldly pursuits.

Growth does not occur only on the outside.

Spiritual growth takes place within us.

The story of Martha and Mary comes to mind.

Spend at least some moments…
"wasting your time" wisely
and not constantly
spending your time
foolishly being busy.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

January 8, 2008

plan on getting lost

“The wildest, most dangerous trails
are always the ones within.”
- Belden Lane

“Just when you believe
in your own sense of place,
plan on getting lost.”
- Terry Tempest Williams

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

January 7, 2008

truth?

“The truth is incontrovertible,
malice may attack it,
ignorance may deride it,
but in the end;
there it is.”
- Winston Churchill

“Truth is the only safe ground to stand upon.”
- Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

January 6, 2008

call on Him

“The only hope we have
is daily dependence on the living Lord.
It’s the only way we can make it.
He’s touched with our feelings of infirmity,
our weaknesses, our inability in the dark
and lonely times to say no.
He’s touched with that.
And He says,
‘I’m ready with all the power you need.
Call on Me and I’ll give you what you need.’
So? Call on Him!
Stop this moment and call on Him.
He will hear and heed your cry.”
- Charles Swindoll

Monday, January 5, 2009

January 5, 2008

He’ll win the battle.

“God magnifies HIS name when we are weak.
We don’t have to be eloquent or strong or handsome.
We don’t have to be beautiful or brilliant
or have all the answers to be blessed of God.
He honors our faith.
All He asks is that we trust Him,
that we stand before Him in integrity and faith,
and He’ll win the battle.”
- Charles R. Swindoll

Sunday, January 4, 2009

January 4, 2008

our destruction?

“He shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler.”
That means from the little things,
the hidden traps and nets that are set for us.
Great sins frighten,
but little snares entangle.
It is easier to escape the huntsman’s arrow
than the crafty lure.
And where are they not set?
Riches and poverty,
sickness and strength,
prosperity and adversity,
friendship and loneliness,
the work and the lack of it -
each has its snare,
wherein not only are the unwary caught,
but the wise and the watchful sometimes fall prey.
Little things, mere threads,
hardly worth guarding against -
yet they are strong enough to hold us
and hinder us,
and may be the beginning
of our destruction.”
- Mark Guy Pearse

Saturday, January 3, 2009

January 3, 2008

lead me

“MY LORD GOD,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think
that I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire
in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything
apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this
you will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me
to face my perils alone.”
- Thomas Merton
("Thoughts in Solitude")

Friday, January 2, 2009

January 2, 2009


radiate the Light

“You cannot tell what may happen to us
in the strange medley of life.
But we can decide what happens in us…
how we can take it, what we do with it…
and that is what really counts in the end.”
- Joseph Fort Newton

“If we do not radiate the Light of Christ around us,
the sense of the darkness
that prevails in the world will increase.”
- Mother Teresa

Thursday, January 1, 2009

January 1, 2008

a glad new year

“Glory to God in highest heaven,
Who unto man His Son hath given;
While angels sing with tender mirth,
A glad new year to all the earth.”
- Martin Luther