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

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March 31, 2009

stored up in his heart

“The good man brings good things
out of the good stored up in his heart…
For out of the overflow of his heart
his mouth speaks.”
- Luke 6:45 NIV

Monday, March 30, 2009

March 30, 2009

flood our lives

“O God, Creator of all things,
you are perpetually renewing
the face of the world
and have created us new in Jesus Christ;
grant that in our worship of you
and in communion with you,
your created energy may more
and more flood our lives,
so that we may play our part
in the fulfillment of your purposes,
which transcend all that
we can think or understand.
Amen.”
- Willem Visser’t Hooft

Sunday, March 29, 2009

March 29, 2009

wherever you go

“A preacher must be both soldier and shepherd.
He must nourish, defend, and teach;
he must have teeth in his mouth,
and be able to bite and fight.”
- Martin Luther

“Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and courageous.
Do not be terrified;
do not be discouraged,
for the LORD your God
will be with you
wherever you go.”
- Joshua 1:9 NIV

Saturday, March 28, 2009

March 28, 2009

revive and rekindle

“Father, I am beginning to know
how much I miss when I fail
to talk to Thee in prayer,
and through prayer to receive
into my life the strength and the guidance
which only Thou canst give.
Forgive me for the pride and the presumption
that make me continue to struggle
to manage my own affairs
to the exhaustion of my body,
the weariness of my mind,
the trial of my faith.
In a moment like this I know
that Thou couldst have worked
Thy good in me with so little strain,
with so little effort.
And then to thee would have been given
the praise and the glory.
When I neglect to pray,
mine is the loss.
Forgive me, Lord.
Let not, I pray,
any future forgetfulness of mine,
or a false sense of self-sufficiency,
any spiritual laziness,
or doubt of Thy faithfulness
keep me from taking everything
to Thee in prayer.
And now, I thank Thee
that the fresh breath of heaven
is even now blowing away the close,
damp air of all my failure,
of every doubt and fear.
I ask Thee for that soul tonic of prayer
that shall refurbish my faith,
brighten my hope,
revive and rekindle my love.
In Thy name, I pray. Amen.”
- Peter Marshall

Friday, March 27, 2009

March 27, 2009

gently leads

No matter which way they turn,
no matter what their color,
no matter their size or age…

“He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.”
- Isaiah 40:11 NIV

Thursday, March 26, 2009

March 26, 2009

whatever we ask
celtic cross
Gettysburg battle field

“Hear my voice when I call, O LORD;
be merciful to me and answer me.
My heart says of you, "Seek his face!"
Your face, LORD, I will seek.
Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior.”
- Psalm 27: 7-9 NIV

The enemy that we face may be of our own doing.
In such times we may feel abandoned by our Lord.
These feelings may even escalate to those of doubt.

Never stop praying, never stop trusting.

Whether the enemy is from without
or from within
…remember…

“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

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God:
that if we ask anything according to his will,
he hears us.
And if we know that he hears us
—whatever we ask—
we know that we have what we asked of him.”
- 1 John 5: 14,15 NIV

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

March 25, 2009

while here on earth
photo by Faye Doyle
(from Devil’s Den looking up
toward Little Round Top
…Gettysburg, PA)

“Dear Lord, you have said in your Holy Word
that godliness with contentment is great gain.
Keep us from a materialistic spirit
that constantly seeks for more earthly possessions.
Help us remember that we are
to seek first the Kingdom of God
and the things we really need will be added.
Let us store our treasurers in heaven
and ‘travel light’ while here on earth.
Let us, however, never be content
with our spiritual condition
but strive with our whole hearts
to improve and grow more like you.”
- James S. Bell Jr.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

March 24, 2009

be my guide

“God in heaven hear my prayer,
keep me in thy loving care.
Be my guide in all I do,
Bless all those who love me too.
Amen.”
- Traditional children’s
prayer for guidance

Monday, March 23, 2009

March 23, 2009

serve with gladness

“O God, renew our spirits by your Holy Spirit,
and draw our hearts unto yourself,
that our work may not be a burden,
but a delight.
Let us not serve as slaves
with the spirit of bondage,
but with freedom and gladness
as your sons,
rejoicing in your will;
for Jesus Christ’s sake.”
- Benjamin Jenks

Sunday, March 22, 2009

March 22, 2009

encourage, instruct, and lead

“Father, we thank you that though
we are not perfect parents
we have You as a model
and Your Word as our guide
in raising godly children.
Let us give completely of ourselves
on behalf of these precious lives
that You have lent to us
for only a short time.
Grant us wisdom to bring them up
in the reverence and discipline
of the Lord,
to point them to You at all times.
May we model Your lavish love
and gentle discipline,
trying not to control
and yet providing them
with necessary boundaries.
Let us always encourage,
instruct, and lead them
to make their own
wise decisions.”
- James S. Bell Jr.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

March 21, 2009

it was good

Just another of the myriad examples
of the Lord’s creativity.
Google this plant to see what I mean.

“The creation of something new
is not accomplished by the intellect
but by the play instinct
acting from inner necessity.
The creative mind plays
with the objects it loves.”
- Carl Jung

I think the Lord
really enjoyed/enjoys
(and had/has fun) making His creations,
and sharing them with us.

“… and God saw that it was good.”
- Genesis

Friday, March 20, 2009

March 20, 2009

Let’s talk turkey!

Change me,
God please change me.
Though I cringe
Kick
Resist and resent
Pay no attention to me whatever.
When I run to hide
Drag me out of my safe little shelter.
Change me totally
Whatever it takes
However long You must work at the job.
Change me – and save me
From spiritual self-destruction.
- Ruth Harms Calkin

“Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”
- Psalm 51:10-12 NIV

Thursday, March 19, 2009

March 19, 2009

already spring

“A single gentle rain
makes the grass many shades greener.
So our prospects brighten
on the influx of better thoughts.
We should be blessed
if we lived in the present always,
and took advantage
of every accident that befell us,
like the grass which confesses the influence
of the slightest dew that falls on it;
and did not spend our time
in atoning for the neglect
of past opportunities,
which we call doing our duty.
We loiter in winter
while it is already spring.
In a pleasant spring morning
all men's sins are forgiven.
Such a day is a truce to vice.”
- Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

March 18, 2009

a sanctuary of the spirit

"May it prevail in this household...
may this home become a sacred space,
one of joy, trust, faith, harmony, respect,
honor & devotion...a sanctuary of the spirit…”
- Caroline Joy Adams

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

March 17, 2009

our real journey

“Lord, help me to keep moving ahead
when I want to give up and turn back.
Help me to put one foot in front of the other
to get over this new mountain
you’ve given me to climb
on my way home to You.”
- Marian Wright Edelman

“It may be when we no longer know what to do,
we have come to our real work,
And that when we no longer know which way to go,
we have begun our real journey.”
- Wendell Berry

Monday, March 16, 2009

March 16, 2009

true friendship?

“False friendship, like the ivy,
decays and ruins the walls it embraces;
but true friendship gives new life
and animation to the object it supports.”
- Richard Burton

Now this is true friendship
and it is through Him that we do indeed
gain new life.

“Greater love has no one than this,
that he lay down his life for his friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command.
I no longer call you servants,
because a servant does not know his master's business.
Instead, I have called you friends,
for everything that I learned from my Father
I have made known to you.”
- John 15:13-15 NIV

Sunday, March 15, 2009

March 15, 2009

fence it in?

“We don't say that this is mine.
I really don't own anything in the world.
I don't even own my life,
my life is borrowed.
The Creator owns all that we see today
—he always does—
ncluding the country, the rivers, the trees,
so we don’t talk about ownership.”
- William Commanda

“Because nothing is mine in any real or permanent way,
I have nothing to fear from apparent losses in my life.”
- Margaret Silf
(Inner Compass)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

March 14, 2009

neither be ye afraid

Even if you are considered a black sheep,
according to the world’s standards,
the Lord can use you…
perhaps for the very reason
that your wool “cannot” be dyed.

“Hearken unto me,
ye that know righteousness,
the people in whose heart is my law;
fear ye not the reproach of men,
neither be ye afraid of their revilings.
For the moth shall eat them up like a garment,
and the worm shall eat them like wool:
but my righteousness shall be for ever,
and my salvation
from generation to generation.”
- Isaiah 51:7, 8

Friday, March 13, 2009

March 13, 2009

to this day

“Look to this day,
The very life of life,
In its brief course lies all
The realities and varieties of existence,
The bliss of growth,
The splendor of action,
The glory of power.
For yesterday is but 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.
Look well, therefore,
To this day.”
- Sanskrit Proverb
(for serenity)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

March 12, 2009

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

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

March 11, 2009

rising again

“The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling,
but in rising again after you fall.”
- Vince Lombardi

This may take some help from our friends…
never deny or refuse such help,
but instead embrace the love
that ties us all together.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

March 10, 2009

alive with light

"God pours life into death
and death into life
without a drop being spilled."
- Author Unknown

"My soul is full of whispered song;
My blindness is my sight;
The shadows that I feared so long,
Are all alive with light."
- Alice Carey
(from: The Dying Hymn)

Monday, March 9, 2009

March 9, 2009

One Little Candle

“…what light through yonder window breaks?”
- Shakespeare (Romeo)

"It is better to light just one little candle
Than to stumble in the dark.
Better far that you light just one little candle,
All you need is a tiny spark.
If we'd all say a prayer that the world would be free,
A wonderful dawn of a new day we'd see...
And if everyone lit just one little candle,
What a bright world this would be."
- One Little Candle

Sunday, March 8, 2009

March 8, 2009

look, live, and learn

“Look deep into nature,
and then you will understand everything better.”
- Albert Einstein

And look at it from all angles
and in all directions.

There are lessons from God under every leaf
and in every season and in all of life.

“You must understand the whole of life,
not just one little part of it.
That is why you must read,
that is why you must look at the skies,
that is why you must sing, and dance,
and write poems,
and suffer, and understand,
for all that is life.”
- Author Unknown

Saturday, March 7, 2009

March 7, 2009

God’s Paradise
photo by Faye Doyle

“Be such a man [or woman],
and live such a life,
that if every man [or woman]
were such as you,
and every life a life like yours,
this earth would be God's Paradise.”
- Phillips Brooks

Friday, March 6, 2009

March 6, 2009

Walk By Faith

“Will I believe you when you say
Your hand will guide my every way
Will I receive the words You say
Every moment of every day
Well I will walk by faith
Even when I cannot see because this broken road
Prepares Your will for me
Help me to RID my endless fears
You've been so faithful for all my years
With the one breath You make me new
Your grace covers all I do.”
- Jeremy Camp

Thursday, March 5, 2009

March 5, 2009

upward reaching hope

“… the faith and love that spring from the hope
that is stored up for you in heaven
and that you have already heard about
in the word of truth,
the gospel that has come to you.
All over the world this gospel
is bearing fruit and growing,
just as it has been doing among you
since the day you heard it
and understood God's grace in all its truth.”
- Colossians 1:5,6 NIV

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

March 4, 2009

silence of contemplation
photo by Erin Doyle

“Leisure is a form of silence, not noiselessness.
It is the silence of contemplation such as occurs
when we let our minds rest on a rosebud,
a child at play, a Divine mystery,
or a waterfall.”
- Fulton J. Sheen

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

March 3, 2009

in whom I trust

Be quietly alert and aware of your needs
but trust God to provide.

“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

Monday, March 2, 2009

March 2, 2009

in every creature

“No creature has meaning
without the Word of God.
God's Word is in all creation,
visible and invisible.
The Word is living, being, spirit,
all verdant greening, all creativity.
This Word flashes out in every creature.
This is how the spirit is in the flesh—
the Word is indivisible from God.”
- Hildegard of Bingen
(1098 – 1179)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

March 1, 2009

To a Crocus

“Welcome, wild harbinger of spring!
To this small nook of earth;
Feeling and fancy fondly cling
Round thoughts which owe their birth
To thee, and to the humble spot
Where chance has fixed thy lowly lot.”
- Bernard Barton

“Humility does not mean
thinking less of yourself than of other people,
nor does it mean
having a low opinion of your own gifts.
It means freedom
from thinking about yourself at all.”
- William Temple