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

Thursday, April 30, 2009

April 30, 2009

abundant life

“Yes, we were created for His holy pleasure,
but we will ultimately
…if not immediately…
find much pleasure in His pleasure.”
- Beth Moore

“If you want purpose and meaning
and satisfaction and fulfillment
and peace and hope and joy
and abundant life that lasts forever,
look to Jesus.”
- Anne Graham Lotz

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

April 29, 2009

through our hurt

"God does not minimize the things
that break our hearts.
He left our bare feet
on the hot pavement of earth
so we could grow through our hurt,
not ignore and refuse
to feel our way through them."
- Beth Moore

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

April 28, 2009

have Christ energize

“If you are a Christian,
you are the active agent
through whom
Christ expresses Himself.
You and He are one
in the great saving task,
so that with Paul you can say,
'It is no longer I that live,
but Christ that lives in me.
This is not to suffer the destruction
of your own individuality;
on the contrary,
it is to have Christ energize
all your creative capacities;
for Christ is a living,
moving, dynamic force,
and He always leaves you free
to work out the concrete program
demanded by the need
of the hour.’”
- Author Unknown

Monday, April 27, 2009

April 27, 2009

Feeling a little buggy?

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven
is first of all pure; then peace-loving,
considerate, submissive,
full of mercy and good fruit,
impartial and sincere.”
- James 3:16 NIV

“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.”
- I Corinthians 14:33 NIV

Sunday, April 26, 2009

April 26, 2009

resilience

"I learn more about God
From weeds than from roses;
Resilience springing
Through the smallest chink of hope
In the absolute of concrete...."
- Phillip Pulfrey

“God writes the Gospel
not in the Bible alone,
but also on trees,
and in the flowers
and clouds and stars.”
- Martin Luther

Saturday, April 25, 2009

April 25, 2009

signs

He [Jesus] said to the crowd:
"When you see a cloud rising in the west,
immediately you say,
'It's going to rain,' and it does.
And when the south wind blows, you say,
'It's going to be hot,' and it is.
Hypocrites!
You know how to interpret
the appearance of the earth and the sky.
How is it that you don't know
how to interpret this present time?”
- Luke 12:54-56 NIV

Friday, April 24, 2009

April 24, 2009

to be pure

“By reading the scriptures
I am so renewed that all nature
seems renewed around me and with me.
The sky seems to be a pure, a cooler blue,
the trees a deeper green.
The whole world is charged with the glory of God
and I feel fire and music under my feet.”
- Thomas Merton

Thursday, April 23, 2009

April 23, 2009

what we become

“Repentance is not a popular word these days,
but I believe that any of us recognize it
when it strikes us in the gut.
Repentance is coming to our senses,
seeing, suddenly, what we've done
that we might not have done,
or recognizing …
that the problem is not in what we do
but in what we become.”
- Kathleen Norris
(The Cloister Walk)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

April 22, 2009

cry of the soul

“Perhaps we have done everything in the world
to find health and radiance,
happiness and peace,
except to listen to, and heed the soul,
crying always that same plaintive cry,
the cry of the stream for the ocean,
the cry of the prisoner for freedom,
the cry of the wanderer for home,
the cry of the starving for food,
the cry of the soul for God.”
- Leslie Weatherhead


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

April 21, 2009

“Charm in the singular,
beauty in the aggregate.
Without the individual,
the opportunity for landscape is lost.
Without the landscape,
context for the individual vanishes.”
- Cindy Crosby
(By Willoway Brook)

Monday, April 20, 2009

April 20, 2008

“White as snow, white as snow
Though my sins were as scarlet
Lord, I know, Lord, I know
That I'm clean and forgiven

Through the power of Your blood
Through the wonder of Your love
Through faith in You
I know that I can be
White as snow”
- Author Unknown
(lyrics from White As Snow)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

April 19, 2009

intimacy with God

“What makes humility so desirable
is the marvelous thing it does to us;
it creates in us a capacity for
the closest possible intimacy with God.”
- Monica Baldwin

Saturday, April 18, 2009

April 18, 2009

God’s mercies

“Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight…
Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.
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 51:4, 9-12 NIV

“If our sins be in number as the hairs of our head,
God's mercies are as the stars of heaven.”
- Charles H. Spurgeon

Friday, April 17, 2009

April 17, 2009

time will reveal

“If we could push ajar the gates of life
And stand within and all God's workings see
We could interpret all this doubt and strife
And for each mystery could find a key
But not today
Then be content poor heart
God's plans like lilies pure and white unfold
We must not tear the close shut leaves apart
Time will reveal the hidden cups of gold
And if through patient toil we reach the land
Where weary feet with sandals loosed may rest
Then shall we know and clearly understand
I think that we shall say God knew the best.”
- Mary Louise Riley

Thursday, April 16, 2009

April 16, 2009

less on us
photo by Dave Keller

I want or I need?
Think about it…
do you spend more time thinking
about what you want
or what you need?

The question should not be either.
It shouldn’t be about you, or I.
We must concentrate less on us
and more on the needs of others
and the wants (will) of God.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April 15, 2009

through the waters

There is no identifiable path
for this duck to follow
but it is determined and confident
as to where it is going…
guided, as it were, by faith.

"When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you…"
- Isaiah 43:2 NIV

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April 14, 2009

a gift from God

“We take a risk
when we open our hearts
because the truth is,
if we open our hearts,
we will get hurt.
You can’t open your heart
and not have some hurt
because you’re in a human experience.
Even if it’s the love of your life
and you have many wonderful,
deepening, growing,
powerful years together,
it’s a human experience
and that person will pass over.
Love takes courage.
Be courageous.”
- Mary Manin Morrissey

“Start living now.
Stop saving the good china
for that special occasion.
Stop withholding your love
until that special person materializes.
Every day you are alive
is a special occasion.
Every minute, every breath,
is a gift from God.”
- Mary Manin Morrissey

Monday, April 13, 2009

April 13, 2009

darkness into light
(Devil’s Den,
Gettysburg, PA)

“Darkness is only driven out with light,
not more darkness.”
- Martin Luther King Jr.

“… my God turns my darkness into light.”
- Psalm 18:28 NIV

Sunday, April 12, 2009

April 12, 2009

He is not here.
He is risen.

“And if the Spirit of him
who raised Jesus from the dead
is living in you,
he who raised Christ from the dead
will also give life
to your mortal bodies
through his Spirit,
who lives in you.”
- Romans 8:11 NIV

Saturday, April 11, 2009

April 11, 2009

A Healing Prayer

“In silence now
I open my mind,
my heart and spirit
to God, who is ever
the One Healer.

O God, let love
erase imperfection.
Let peace soothee
very nerve.
Let joy re-energize
my whole body.

In silence now
I let go and let
the total perfection
that is God be
the total truth
of my whole being
at this very moment
and for always.”
- Elizabeth Lamb

Friday, April 10, 2009

April 10, 2009

Feeling a little blue?

Today, Good Friday,
may well give you a “blue” type feeling
but remember, come Easter Sunday
we can all rejoice in the memory
of our Lord’s resurrection from the dead.

A new life bursts forth
out of the center of our blueness
and radiates hope and peace for all
willing to accept Him as their
personal Savior.

God be praised!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

April 9, 2009

decay

“When Catholicism goes bad
it becomes the religion of amulets
and holy places and priest craft:
Protestantism, in its corresponding decay,
becomes a vague mist
of ethical platitudes”
- C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

April 8, 2009

Yesterday morning
my cat Willow jumped onto my lap,
like she usually does, but
in trying to get into a comfortable position
got her claws (which need trimmed)
caught in the fabric
of the pictured blanket above.

Are you too trying to claw
your way onto the Lord’s lap?

If we try to get close to Him
using our own strength
we too may become entangled
in the pride of our accomplishments.

He is always present so why not
allow yourself to be picked up by Him
so He can comfort and take care of your needs.

Rely more than try.
When we rely on Him,
when we give ourselves over to Him,
He will guide and
we will be more than satisfied.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

April 7, 2009

the way you should go

“But life has a way
of making the foreseeable
that which never happens…
and the unforeseeable
that which your life becomes.”
- from the movie: Appaloosa
(2008)

Good idea to ask the Lord for guidance
and then trust in Him.
He knows even when you don’t…
even when you “think” you know.

“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

Monday, April 6, 2009

April 6, 2009

teach me Your paths

“Show me your ways, O LORD,
teach me your paths;
guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, O LORD,
your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.
Remember not the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you are good, O LORD.”
- Psalm 25: 4-7 NIV

Sunday, April 5, 2009

April 5, 2009

has to be shed

“We must be willing
to get rid of the life we've planned,
so as to have the life
that is waiting for us.
The old skin has to be shed
before the new one can come.”
- Joseph Campbell

Saturday, April 4, 2009

April 4, 2009

Eternal Light Peace Memorial
(Gettysburg, PA)

"Choose
The single clenched fist lifted and ready,
Or the open hand held out and waiting.
Choose:
For we meet by one or the other."
- Carl Sandberg

Friday, April 3, 2009

April 3, 2009

in/out like a lamb

Which is it?

For mankind we come into
the world like a lion
but with the appearance
of an innocent lamb.
Self-centered and screaming…
If we never allow Christ
to come into our hearts,
we grow even more self-centered…
trusting in our own strength
and satisfying our hunger
for worldly possessions.
After accepting Christ as our Savior,
we will allow the Good Sheppard
to guide us and will rely on Him
for protection and strength…
allowing our weakness
to be made strong
through Him.

Jesus Christ, however,”went out”
like a sacrificial lamb
for all of mankind, BUT
He “will return” as a conquering lion
in all His majesty and power.

Become like a lamb so you may
share in His majesty and power.
You cannot go it on your own.
Your future depends
on your relationship with Him.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April 2, 2009

God’s will be done

“Nothing in the world
can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not;
nothing is more common
than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not;
unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education alone will not;
the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
The slogan "press on" has solved
and always will solve
the problems of the human race.”
- John Calvin Coolidge

Only one thing lacking in this quote…
No matter how strong or how weak,
man needs, and has always needed,
faith, trust, and the will of God.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April 1, 2009

Happy the Home When God Is There

“Happy the home when God is there,
And love fills every breast;
When one their wish, and one their prayer,
And one their heavenly rest.

Happy the home where Jesus' Name
Is sweet to every ear;
Where children early speak His fame,
And parents hold Him dear.

Happy the home where prayer is heard,
And praise each day does rise;
Where parents love the sacred Word
And all its wisdom prize.

Lord, let us in our homes agree
This blessed peace to gain;
Unite our hearts in love to Thee,
And love to all will reign.”
Music by: John Bacchus Dykes, 1866.
Words by: Henry Ware, Jr., 1846.