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

Sunday, May 31, 2009

May 31, 2009

His gracious hand

“The criterion for our intercessory prayer
is not our earnestness,
nor our faithfulness,
nor even our faith in God,
but simply God Himself.
He has taken the initiative from the beginning,
and has built our prayers
into the structure of the universe.
He then asks us to present these requests to Him
that He may show His gracious hand.”
- Charles H. Troutman

Saturday, May 30, 2009

May 30, 2009

God helps those
who help themselves?

If by this is meant, that we should not be lazy
as Paul wrote in his warning to the idle…

“For even when we were with you,
we gave you this rule:
‘If a man will not work, he shall not eat.’
We hear that some among you are idle.
They are not busy; they are busybodies.
Such people we command and urge
in the Lord Jesus Christ
to settle down and earn the bread they eat.
And as for you, brothers,
never tire of doing what is right.”
- 2 Thessalonians 3:10-13 NIV

If however this implies that we are
to rely on ourselves and not God,
or that there is no hope
for the helpless…

Then this saying,
which does not appear in the Bible,
is the exact opposite of the truth.

Perhaps this says it best…

“Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him…”
- Psalm 37:3-5 NIV

God helps those who trust in Him,
follows His will, is obedient,
and does good according to His Word.

Friday, May 29, 2009

May 29, 2009

opportunity to complete

This photo is one of those rare times
when you can capture the image
of many plant parts (of the same plant)
in a close-up view.

“Welcome every morning with a smile.
Look on the new day as
another special gift from your Creator,
another golden opportunity to complete
what you were unable to finish yesterday.
Be a self-starter.
Let your first hour set the theme of success
and positive action that is certain to echo
through your entire day.
Today will never happen again.
Don't waste it with a false start or no start at all.
You were not born to fail.”
- Og Mandino

Thursday, May 28, 2009

May 28, 2009

continuous creation

“We cannot find in the Old Testament
the fondly drawn distinction of our latter days
between the natural and the supernatural,
for the whole of the natural order
is so directly linked with God
that its conservation must be regarded
as a kind of continuous creation,
quite as dependent on God's creative Word
as when first the heavens and the earth were made.”
- E. C. Rust

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

May 27, 2009

holy living

“Therefore, as God's chosen people,
holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with compassion,
kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Bear with each other and forgive
whatever grievances you may have
against one another.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
And over all these virtues put on love,
which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,
since as members of one body
you were called to peace.
And be thankful.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly
as you teach and admonish one another
with all wisdom,
and as you sing psalms,
hymns and spiritual songs
with gratitude in your hearts to God.
And whatever you do,
whether in word or deed,
do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
- Colossians 3:12-17 NIV

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

May 26, 2009

contemplate Him

“The most perfect way of seeking God,
and the most suitable order,
is not for us to attempt with bold curiosity
to penetrate to the investigation of His essence,
which we ought more to adore
than meticulously to search out,
but for us to contemplate Him in His works
whereby He renders Himself near and familiar to us,
and in some manner communicates Himself.”
- John Calvin

Monday, May 25, 2009

May 25, 2009

can bloom again

“Do not watch the petals fall
from the rose with sadness,
know that, like life,
things sometimes must fade,
before they can bloom again.”
- Author Unknown

“And this is the testimony:
God has given us eternal life,
and this life is in his Son.
He who has the Son has life;
he who does not have the Son of God
does not have life.
I write these things to you
who believe in the name of the Son of God
so that you may know
that you have eternal life.”
- 1 John 5:11-13 NIV

Sunday, May 24, 2009

May 24, 2009

living and working together

“In his enthusiasm,
the evangelist often finds it difficult
seriously to imagine that anyone
could be called not to be an evangelist.
The man of vision and imagination
finds it difficult to see the value
of those who do no more
than plod on faithfully along a well-tried road.
The man whose concern is in
personal dealing with people
and leading them to understand God better
finds it difficult to be patient
with the theologian or the Christian philosopher
whose work is in the quiet of a book-lined study.
Yet the truth is that the wholeness
which God is working to achieve
is never complete in an individual,
but through individuals living together as one body,
each supplying the deficiencies of the others.”
- J. B. Phillip

Saturday, May 23, 2009

May 23, 2009

the way of success

“If some Christians that have been
complaining of their ministers
had said and acted less before men
and had applied themselves with all their might
to cry to God for their ministers --
had, as it were, risen and stormed heaven
with their humble, fervent,
and incessant prayers for them --
they would have been much more
in the way of success.”
- Jonathan Edwards

Friday, May 22, 2009

May 22, 2009

“freaked with jet”
- John Milton

Milton was being fanciful
alluding to the eternal beauty…
streaked or splashed with color.

“Might but the sense of moral evil
be as strong in me
as is my delight in external beauty!”
- Thomas Arnold

Thursday, May 21, 2009

May 21, 2009

Inscription for a pulpit

"The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed."
The hungry sheep, that crave the living Bread.
Grow few, and lean, and feeble as can be,
When fed not Gospel, but philosophy;
Not Love's eternal story, no, not this,
But apt allusion, keen analysis.
Discourse well framed -- forgot as soon as heard --
Man's thin dilution of the living Word.
O Preacher, leave the rhetorician's arts;
Preach Christ, the Food of hungry human hearts;
Hold fast to science, history, or creed,
But preach the Answer to our human need,
That in this place, at least, it may be said
No hungry sheep looks up and is not fed.”
- Robert Hammond Adams

"When it's foggy in the pulpit
it's cloudy in the pew."
- Cavett Robert

This is the 3rd year anniversary
of SonRays

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

May 20, 2009

“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit,
while every branch that does bear fruit
he prunes so that
it will be even more fruitful.”
- John 15:2 NIV

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

May 19, 2009

This is a very small flower
that requires getting up close and personal
to appreciate it’s delicate beauty.

“What is a weed?
A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

A weed is but an unloved flower.
- Ella Wheeler Wilcox

“One man’s weed is another man’s wildflower.”
- Author Unknown

Now think of some people you may know…
any of them fit the description?

Spend some time getting to know the weeds.

Monday, May 18, 2009

May 18, 2009

Do you feel that sometimes life
only throws you half-a-bone?

“There is no situation so chaotic
that God cannot from that situation
create something that is surpassingly good.
He did it at the creation.
He did it at the cross.
He is doing it today.”
- Bishop Handley Moule

Sunday, May 17, 2009

May 17, 2009

Do it!!!

“Instead of so knowing Christ
that they have Him in them saving them,
they lie wasting themselves
in soul-sickening self-examination
as to whether they are believers,
whether they are really trusting in the Atonement,
whether they are truly sorry for their sins --
the way to madness of the brain and despair of the heart...
Instead of asking yourself whether you believe or not,
ask yourself whether you have, this day,
done one thing because He said, Do it!
or once abstained because He said, Do not do it!
It is simply absurd to say you believe,
or even want to believe, in Him,
if you do not do anything He tells you.”
- George MacDonald

Saturday, May 16, 2009

May 16, 2009

X-stitch by Darlene Frey

"Tis like the birthday of the world,
When earth was born in bloom;
The light is made of many dyes,
The air is all perfume:
There's crimson buds, and white and blue,
The very rainbow showers
Have turned to blossoms where they fell,
And sown the earth with flowers."
- Thomas Hood

"The world's favorite season is the spring.
All things seem possible in May."
- Edwin Way Teale

“All the great spiritual leaders in history
were people of hope.
Abraham, Moses, Ruth, Mary, Jesus…
all lived with a promise in their hearts
that guided them toward the future
without the need to know exactly
what it would look like.
Let's live with hope.”
- Henri J. M. Nouwen

“The inability to open up to hope is what blocks trust,
and blocked trust is the reason for blighted dreams.”
- Elizabeth Gilbert

Friday, May 15, 2009

May 15, 2009

the path of action

“Faith is that which,
knowing the Lord's will,
goes and does it;
or, not knowing it, stands and waits,
content in ignorance as in knowledge,
because God wills --
neither pressing into the hidden future,
nor careless of the knowledge
which opens the path of action.”
- George MacDonald

Thursday, May 14, 2009

May 14, 2009

“A generation of Christians
reared among push buttons and automatic machines
is impatient of slower and less direct methods
of reaching their goals.
We have been trying to apply machine-age methods
to our relations with God.
We read our chapter, have our short devotions,
and rush away,
hoping to make up for our deep inward bankruptcy
by attending another gospel meeting
or listening to another thrilling story
told by a religious adventurer lately returned from afar.
The tragic results of this spirit are all about us.
Shallow lives, hollow religious philosophies,
the preponderance of the element of fun in gospel meetings,
the glorification of men, trust in religious externalities,
quasi-religious fellowships, salesmanship methods,
the mistaking of dynamic personality for the power of the Spirit;
these and such as these
are the symptoms of an evil disease,
a deep and serious malady of the soul.”
- A. W. Tozer

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May 13, 2009

“Good for the body is the work of the body,
good for the soul the work of the soul,
and good for either the work of the other.”
- Henry David Thoreau

“Bread feeds the body, indeed,
but flowers feed also the soul.”
- The Koran

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

May 12, 2009

God only requires of me my obedience.

“I don’t ask God to bless what I do.
I pray He will help me to do what He blesses.”
- Robert Pierce

Monday, May 11, 2009

May 11, 2009

showered on us

“Many worthy people, and many good books,
with no doubt the best intentions, ...
have represented a life of sin
as a life of pleasure;
they have pictured virtue as self-sacrifice,
austerity as religion.
Even in everyday life
we meet with worthy people
who seem to think
that whatever is pleasant must be wrong,
that the true spirit of religion
is crabbed, sour, and gloomy;
that the bright, sunny, radiant nature
which surrounds us is an evil
and not a blessing, --
a temptation devised by the Spirit of Evil
and not one of the greatest delights
showered on us in such profusion
by the Author of all Good.”
- Sir John Lubbock

Sunday, May 10, 2009

May 10, 2009

unto holiness

After we are born, grow and flower,
produce different kinds of fruit,
what are we left with?

What remains of our trek through life?

What is the legacy we leave behind?

Hopefully what remains is a shining example to others
and a transformation into a new life
with a robe of splendor…
a life with Christ.

“But now being made free from sin,
and become servants to God,
ye have your fruit unto holiness,
and the end everlasting life.”
- Romans 6:22 NIV

Saturday, May 9, 2009

May 9, 2009

a bit of brightness

Mowing in between all the rain
we have been having here the past two weeks,
I mowed around this wild strawberry.
Not a perfect specimen,
with a torn leaf and one torn petal,
it reminds me of our trek through life.
Rarely do we get by without the scars of life.

Nonetheless, we can still,
as this lone flower,
bring a bit of brightness
(and sweet productive fruit)
to an otherwise drab surrounding.

Friday, May 8, 2009

May 8, 2009

“…and who knoweth whether thou art come
to the kingdom for such a time as this?”
- Esther 4:14 KJV

Thursday, May 7, 2009

May 7, 2009

in the sunlight

“Among Christians so much prominence
has been given to the disciplinary effects
of sorrow, affliction, bereavement,
that they have been in danger of
overlooking the other and more obvious side:
that by every joy, by every favor,
by every sign of prosperity --
yea, and by these chiefly --
God designs to educate and discipline His children.
This one-sided view of the truth
has made many morbid, gloomy Christians,
who look for God's hand only in the lightning
and never think of seeing it in the sunlight.”
- F. E. Clark

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

May 6, 2009

a little child like this

"I tell you the truth,
unless you change
and become like little children,
you will never enter
the kingdom of heaven.
Therefore, whoever humbles himself
like this child is the greatest
in the kingdom of heaven.
And whoever welcomes
a little child like this
in my name welcomes me.”
- Matthew 18:3-5 NIV

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

May 5, 2009

out of the flowers

“The temple bell stops
but I still hear the sound
coming out of the flowers.”
- Matsuo Basho

“Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound:
they shall walk, O LORD,
in the light of thy countenance.”
- Psalm 89:15 KJV

Monday, May 4, 2009

May 4, 2009

the interior life

“He who has found his soul's life in God is happy
-- not, In truth, with perfect happiness:
that is not granted to men in this world,
but a foretaste thereof -- he has a secret joy
which is beyond the reach of
temptation, unrest, and sorrow;
a quiet confidence and steadfastness
which abide even while the waves
and storms of life sweep over him...
When the soul has sincerely given itself up to God,
He fills it with His own peace,
a peace which makes all earthly things indifferent
-- as before His Presence, absorbing the heart.
It is our strength, our comfort, our guide,
the deeper and more confirmed it becomes,
the greater our spiritual perfection;
so that in truth to obtain and preserve this peace
is the real secret of the interior life.”
- Jean N. Grou

Sunday, May 3, 2009

May 3, 2009

will stand forever

“I say that a Christian congregation can survive
and often appear to prosper in the community
by the exercise of human talent
and without any touch from the Holy Spirit!
All that religious activity
and the dear people will not know anything better
until the great and terrible day
when our self-employed talents are burned with fire
and only that which was wrought
by the Holy Ghost will stand forever!”
- Tozer

Saturday, May 2, 2009

May 2, 2009


“The reconciliation of man to God
begins when God accepts the child of man,
exactly as he is,
into a relationship with himself --
"this grace wherein we stand".
This He does for the sake
of what man is to inherit, to become.
And for the means,
He gives him over to a Person, Christ,
and a community, the Church;
and in attachment to these,
personality grows, freedom is attained,
sin is forgiven, estrangement is ended,
capacities for relationship extend.
Reconciliation is the Spirit's
liberating work of love,
exercised through a Person
and a community of persons.”
- G. R. Dunstan

Friday, May 1, 2009

May 1, 2009

multiple blessings

“Prayers go up and blessings come down”
- Yiddish proverb

“However many blessings we expect from God,
His infinite liberality will always exceed
all our wishes and our thoughts.”
- John Calvin

“From the fullness of his grace
we have all received
one blessing after another.”
- John 1:16 NIV