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

Friday, July 31, 2009

July 31, 2009

“You ask me how I know it's true
That there is a living God-
A God who rules the universe,
The sky ... the sea ... the sod;
A God who holds all creatures
In the hollow of His hand;
A God who put infinity
In one tiny grain of sand;
A God who made the seasons -
winter, summer, fall and spring;
And put His flawless rhythm
Into each created thing;
A God who hangs the sun out
Slowly with the break of day,
And gently takes the stars in
And puts the night away;
A God whose mighty handiwork
Defies the skill of man,
For no architect can alter
God's perfect master plan -
What better answers are there
To prove His holy being
Than the wonders all around us
That are ours just for the seeing.”
- Helen Steiner Rice

Thursday, July 30, 2009

July 30, 2009

"If we could just lift up our hearts
Like flowers to the sun
And trust His Easter promise
And pray. ”Thy will be done”

We’d find the peace we’re seeking,
The kind no man can give-
The peace that comes from knowing
He died so we might live!"

- From The Beloved Poetry of Helen Steiner Rice,
published by Barbour Publishing, Inc.
Used by permission

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

July 29, 2009

out of chaos
photo by Patrick Frey

“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

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

July 28, 2009

turning away

“Help me to see that I deny You
in so many areas of my life,
in so many ways and at so many different times.
When I am too busy to pray,
I deny that You are the center of my life.
When I neglect Your Word,
I deny that You are competent to guide me.
When I worry,
I deny that You are Lord of all circumstances.
Forgive me, Jesus, for all those quiet ways,
known only to You,
in which I have denied You.”
- Ken Gire

Monday, July 27, 2009

July 27, 2009

meaning and beauty

"You take the pen, and the lines dance.
You take the flute and the notes shimmer.
You take the brush, and the colors sing.
So all things have meaning and beauty
in that space beyond time where you are.
How, then, can I hold back anything from you?"
- Dag Hammarskjöld

“Praise be to the LORD God, the God of Israel,
who alone does marvelous deeds.
Praise be to his glorious name forever;
may the whole earth be filled with his glory.
Amen and Amen.”
- Psalm 72:18,19 NIV

Sunday, July 26, 2009

July 26, 2009

the use of it

“The Bible is to us
what the star was to the wise men;
but if we spend all our time in gazing upon it,
observing its motions, and admiring its splendor,
without being led to Christ by it,
the use of it will be lost on us.”
- Thomas Adams

Saturday, July 25, 2009

July 25, 2009

saturating all
photo by Patrick Frey

“All are expressions of one love.
God does not appear, and flow out,
only from narrow chinks and round bored wells
here and there in favored races and places,
but He flows in grand undivided currents,
shoreless and boundless over creeds
and forms and all kinds of civilizations
and peoples and beasts,
saturating all and fountainizing all.”
- John Muir

Friday, July 24, 2009

July 24, 2009

catnap

“Set aside half an hour every day
to do all your worrying;
then take a nap during this period.”
- Author Unknown

“I lie down and sleep;
I wake again,
because the LORD sustains me.”
- Psalm 3:5 NIV

Thursday, July 23, 2009

July 23, 2009

lie down and sleep

“Conscience keeps more people awake than coffee.”
- Author Unknown

If you want to sleep and rest peacefully,
perhaps your problem is not caffeine…
perhaps it is a lack of Christ,
the Prince of Peace.

“I will lie down and sleep in peace,
for you alone, O LORD,
make me dwell in safety.”
- Psalm 4:8 NIV

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

July 22, 2009

he will not fall
photo by Patrick Frey

“We have not wings we cannot soar;
but, we have feet to scale and climb,
by slow degrees, by more and more,
the cloudy summits of our time.”
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“Always continue the climb.
It is possible for you to do whatever you choose,
if you first get to know who you are
and are willing to work with a power
that is greater than ourselves to do it.”
- Ella Wheeler Wilcox

“If the LORD delights in a man's way,
he makes his steps firm;
though he stumble, he will not fall,
for the LORD upholds him with his hand.”
- Psalm 37:23,24 NIV

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

July 21, 2009

“We must learn to reawaken
and keep ourselves awake,
not by mechanical aid,
but by an infinite expectation of the dawn.”
- Henry David Thoreau

“High achievement always takes place
in the framework of high expectation.”
- Charles F. Kettering

Believe and keep watch.

Monday, July 20, 2009

July 20, 2009

hypocrite

“Such is the destiny of all who forget God;
so perishes the hope of the godless.
What he trusts in is fragile;
what he relies on is a spider's web.
He leans on his web, but it gives way;
he clings to it, but it does not hold.”
- Job 8:13-15 NIV

“The spider's web, spun with great skill,
but easily swept away,
represents a man's pretensions to religion
when without the grace of God in his heart.”
- Matthew Henry’s Commentary

Sunday, July 19, 2009

July 19, 2009

childlike faith

“The greatest poem ever known
Is one all poets have outgrown:
The poetry, innate, untold,
Of being only four years old.”
- Christopher Morley

“The childlike faith that asks not sight,
waits not for wonder or for sign,
believes, because it loves, aright,
shall see things greater, things divine.”
- John Keble

“If you carry your childhood with you,
you never become older.”
- Tom Stoppard

Saturday, July 18, 2009

July 18, 2009

pure pleasures
photo by Bob Shannon

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

Friday, July 17, 2009

July 17, 2009

Acts 2:46,47
photo by Patrick Frey

“Where, then, does happiness lie?
In forgetfulness, not indulgence, of the self.
In escape from sensual appetites,
not in their satisfaction.
We live in a dark, self-enclosed prison,
which is all we see or know
if our glance is fixed ever downward.
To lift it upward,
becoming aware of the wide,
luminous universe outside…
this alone is happiness.
At its highest level,
such happiness is the ecstasy
that mystics have inadequately described.
At more humdrum levels,
it is human love;
the delights and beauties of our dear earth,
its colors and shapes and sounds;
the enchantment of understanding and laughing,
and all other exercise
of such faculties as we possess;
the marvel of the meaning of everything,
fitfully glimpsed, inadequately expounded,
but ever present.”
- Malcolm Muggeridge
(Jesus Rediscovered – 1969)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

July 16, 2009

mighty wonders and
marvelous deeds

photo by Patrick Frey

“How great are his signs,
how mighty his wonders!
His kingdom is an eternal kingdom;
his dominion endures
from generation to generation.”
- Daniel 4:3 NIV

“Among the gods
there is none like you, O Lord;
no deeds can compare with yours.
For you are great
and do marvelous deeds;
you alone are God.”
- Psalm 86 8,10 NIV

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

July 15, 2009

horizons of our hopes
photo by Patrick Frey

“Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.

We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.”
- Sir Francis Drake

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

July 14, 2009

“The price of anything
is the amount of life you exchange for it.”
- Henry David Thoreau

To God we must be very valuable…
look at the price that was paid for us.

Now go…
live your life for Him.

Be free in Christ and allow your light to shine.

“Just living is not enough.
One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”
- Hans Christian Anderson

Monday, July 13, 2009

July 13, 2009

made beautiful

“We thank thee, Lord,
that however hopeless our work may seem,
however dark the night around us,
however meager the response to Thy Spirit,
still Thou hast ordained for us a hope.
We thank Thee that
we can never despair because we know,
past all doubting,
that here and there in this world
Thy kingdom has already come,
Thy will has already begun to rule.
We thank Thee that here and there
are homes made beautiful by Thy presence,
lives lived purely and faithfully for Thee,
children and child-like souls
whose clear and simple trust
brings Thee Thyself down amongst men.”
- J.S. Howland

Sunday, July 12, 2009

July 12, 2009

seeking His will
photo by Patrick Frey

“Almighty Father, teach me
to do everything with the utmost sincerity.
Save me from posing even to myself.
Make my life unaffected, simple and sincere.
Cleanse me from selfishness;
let my gaze be outward rather than inward.
Teach me to think more of others than of myself.
Forbid that my own interests should be paramount.
Pardon, I beseech Thee,
all that is and has been wrong
in my life and character.
Had I always sought Your will
I should now have been strong in the Lord.
But it is never too late.
Help me to remedy the evil and henceforth
to build with honesty and prayer.”
- Walter James

Saturday, July 11, 2009

July 11, 2009

Patrick Frey
(O Lord, Thou art by our side)

photo by Unknown

“Give us open eyes, our Father,
to see the beauty all around us
and to see it in Thy handiwork.
Let all lovely things fill us with gladness
and let them lift up our hearts in true worship.
Give us this day, O Lord,
a strong and vivid sense
that thou art by our side.
By Thy grace
let us go nowhere this day
where Thou canst not come
nor court any companionship
that would rob us of Thine.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
- Peter Marshall

Friday, July 10, 2009

July 10, 2009

act of love

Another composition I liked while on a walk.
These small simple scenes
tend to draw my eye
from the mass of similar vegetation
all around them...
the placement of the fallen tree branch
and the leaves of other plants
with the main subject... the fern...
touching and encompassing them
like a gentle hand
speaks to me of the love
we should all have for each other.

"The one who will be found in trial
capable of great acts of love
is ever the one who is always doing
considerate small ones."
- Frederick William Robertson

"Half the Misery of Human Life
might be extinguished,
would Men alleviate
the general Curse they lie under,
by mutual Offices of Compassion,
Benevolence, and Humanity."
- Joseph Addison

Thursday, July 9, 2009

July 9, 2009

Awe-full blessings
photo by Patrick Frey

The fear of the Lord
fills one with awe
that then leads us to
submission, obedience,
praise, and worship.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
- Proverbs 9:10 NASB

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

July 8, 2009

journey into His presence
photo by Patrick Frey

“The interior journey of the soul
from the wilds of sin
into the enjoyed Presence of God is beautiful.
Ransomed men need no longer
pause in fear to enter the Holy of Holies.
God wills that we should push on into His Presence
and live our whole life there.
This is to be known to us in conscious experience.
It is more than a doctrine to be held,
it is a life to be enjoyed
every moment of every day.”
- A. W. Tozer

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

July 7, 2009

do not be decieved

How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!

How cheerfully he seems to grin,
How neatly spreads his claws,
And welcomes little fishes in
With gently smiling jaws!
- Lewis Carroll
(Alice's Adventures in Wonderland)

“Whenever, therefore, people are deceived
and form opinions wide of the truth,
it is clear that the error has slid into their minds
through the medium
of certain resemblances to that truth.”
- Socrates

“At that time many will turn away from the faith
and will betray and hate each other,
and many false prophets will appear
and deceive many people.
Because of the increase of wickedness,
the love of most will grow cold,
but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
- Matthew 24:11 NIV

Monday, July 6, 2009

July 6, 2009

more than stimulate

“Sometimes our light goes out
but is blown into flame by another human being.
Each of us owes deepest thanks
to those who have rekindled this light.”
- Albert Schweitzer

"Those who believe in our ability
do more than stimulate us.
They create for us an atmosphere
in which it becomes easier to succeed."
- John H. Spalding

Sunday, July 5, 2009

July 5, 2009

contemplation of God
photo by Erin Doyle

“No man has a right
to lead such a life of contemplation
as to forget in his own ease
the service due to his neighbor;
nor has any man a right
to be so immersed in active life
as to neglect the contemplation of God.”
- Saint Augustine

Saturday, July 4, 2009

July 4, 2009

integrity of the home

“The strength of a nation
is derived from the integrity of its homes”
- Confucius

Friday, July 3, 2009

July 3, 2009

we are the church

"The holiest moment of the church service
is the moment when God's people -
strengthened by preaching and sacrament -
go out of the church door into the world to be the church.
We don't go to church; we are the church."
- Ernest Southcott

Thursday, July 2, 2009

July 2, 2009

“Let me hear joy and gladness.”
- Psalm 51:8 NIV

“The game was to find something
about everything to be glad about -
no matter what it was.
You see, when you're hunting for the glad things,
you sort of forget the other kind.”
- Eleanor H. Porter
(Pollyanna)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

July 1, 2009

inestimable value

"The most learned, acute, and diligent student cannot,
in the longest life,
obtain an entire knowledge of this one Volume.
The most deeply he works the mine,
the richer and more abundant he finds the ore;
new light continually beams from this source
of heavenly knowledge to direct the conduct,
and illustrate the work of God and the ways of men;
and he will at last leave the world
confessing that the more he studied the Scriptures
the fuller conviction he had of his own ignorance,
and of their inestimable value."
- Walter Scott