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

Monday, August 31, 2009

August 31, 2009

"I do not do the good things I want to do,
but I do the bad things I do not want to do."
- Romans 7:18

“You heavens above, rain down righteousness;
let the clouds shower it down.
Let the earth open wide,
let salvation spring up,
let righteousness grow with it;
I, the LORD, have created it.”
- Isaiah 45:8 NIV

“If He gives converting grace,
He will also give comforting grace.
He will send ‘showers of blessings.’
Look up today, O parched plant,
and open your leaves and flowers
for a heavenly watering.”
- Spurgeon

Sunday, August 30, 2009

August 30, 2009

Widen My Vision

"Give me perception to make me aware
That scattered profusely on life's thoroughfare
Are the best gifts of God that we daily pass by
As we look at the world with an unseeing eye."
- Helen Steiner Rice
(from the poem, Widen My Vision)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

August 29, 2009

view above the Nile
(Africa trip)
photo by Lee Keefer

“He who rides the sea of the Nile
must have sails woven of patience.”
- William G. Golding

“One moment of patience
may ward off great disaster.
One moment of impatience
may ruin a whole life.”
- Chinese Proverb

Friday, August 28, 2009

August 28, 2009

“While there is perhaps a province
in which the photograph can tell us nothing more
than what we see with our own eyes,
there is another in which it proves to us
how little our eyes permit us to see.”
- Dorothea Lange

Thursday, August 27, 2009

August 27, 2009

"If things are tough,
remember that every flower
had to go through
a whole lot of dirt to get there.
So do not grieve about a bitter experience.
The present is slipping by
while you are regretting the past
and worrying about the future.
Regret will not prevent tomorrow’s sorrows;
it will only rob today of its strength."
- Barbara Johnson

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

August 26, 2009

We find joy in glorifying Him.

Let us say that you have a favorite athlete.
When he/she makes a fantastic play…
you praise them… and you do this
with great joy.
Even sharing your joy, and praise
of that athlete, with another…
brings you even more joy and hopefully
makes the other person joyful as you
celebrate together the athlete’s success.

We should, in the same way,
find joy in praising the Lord
and sharing that joy with others.

"In commanding us to glorify Him,
God is inviting us to enjoy Him."
- C. S. Lewis

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

August 25, 2009

This is Bo Bo
(taken with permission)

Think of the hottest day that you can remember.

Do you know how hot it is in hell?

“There was a rich man
who was dressed in purple and fine linen
and lived in luxury every day.
At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus,
covered with sores and longing to eat
what fell from the rich man's table.
Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
The time came when the beggar died
and the angels carried him to Abraham's side.
The rich man also died and was buried.
In hell, where he [the rich man] was in torment,
he looked up and saw Abraham far away,
with Lazarus by his side.
So he called to him, 'Father Abraham,
have pity on me and send Lazarus
to dip the tip of his finger
in water and cool my tongue,
because I am in agony in this fire.'”
- Luke 16:19-24 NIV

Believe me, you don’t ever want to find out.

Monday, August 24, 2009

August 24, 2009

“Spiritual progress is like detoxification.
Things have to come up in order to be released.
Once we have asked to be healed,
then our unhealed places
are forced to the surface.”
- Marianne Williamson

Sunday, August 23, 2009

August 23, 2009

“If you seek the kernel,
then you must break the shell.
An likewise, if you would know the reality of Nature,
you must destroy the appearance,
and the farther you go beyond the appearance,
the nearer you will be to the essence.”
- Meister Eckhart

It took a long time for me
to break out of my shell of shyness
when talking to a member of the opposite sex.
That happened on a blind date
when I first met my wife.
Today is 40 years.
Our love keeps growing.

“A happy marriage is a long conversation
which always seems too short.”
- Andre Maurois

Saturday, August 22, 2009

August 22, 2009

your dwelling?

“If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge-
then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.”
- Psalm 91: 9,10 NIV

Friday, August 21, 2009

August 21, 2009

“Be joyful always; pray continually;
give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.”
- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

“When you arise in the morning,
give thanks for the morning light,
for your life and strength.
Give thanks for your food,
and the joy of living.
If you see no reason for giving thanks,
the fault lies with yourself.”
- Tecumseh

Thursday, August 20, 2009

August 20, 2009

“The bee is more honored than other animals,
not because she labors,
but because she labors for others”
- Saint John Chrysostom

“Let us not become weary in doing good,
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest
if we do not give up.”
- Galatians 6:9 NIV

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

August 19, 2009

“A strong body and a bright,
happy, or serene countenance
can only result from the free admittance
into the mind of thoughts of joy
and goodwill and serenity.”
- James Allen

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true,
whatever is noble, whatever is right,
whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable
—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—
think about such things.”
- Philippians 4:8 NIV

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

August 18, 2009

“Don't waste life in doubts and fears;
spend yourself on the work before you,
well assured that the right performance
of this hour's duties
will be the best preparation
for the hours and ages that will follow it.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

“God Himself works in our souls,
in their deepest depths,
taking increasing control
as we are progressively willing
to be prepared for His wonder.”
- Thomas Kelly

“You need to persevere
so that when you have done the will of God,
you will receive what he has promised.”
- Hebrews 10:36 NIV

Monday, August 17, 2009

August 17, 2009

“We become spiritually rich
when we discover the adventure within;
when we are conscious of the oneness of all life;
when we know the power of meditation;
when we experience kinship with nature.”
- James Allen

Sunday, August 16, 2009

August 16, 2009

“The moment I realized God existed,
I knew that I could not do othewise
than to live for Him Alone...
Faith strips the mask from the world
and renders meaningless such words as
anxiety, danger and fear,
so the believer goes through life calmly and peacefully,
with profound joy - like a child…”
- Charles De Foucauld

Saturday, August 15, 2009

August 15, 2009

“We Christians must simplify our lives
or lose untold treasures on earth and in eternity.
Modern civilization is so complex
as to make the devotional life all but impossible.
The need for solitude and quietness
was never greater than it is today.”
- A. W. Tozer

Friday, August 14, 2009

August 14, 2009

“I struck all the work of your hands with blight, mildew and hail,
yet you did not turn to me,' declares the LORD.”
- Haggai 2:17 NIV

Thursday, August 13, 2009

August 13, 2009

A study in lace,
a series on encouragement

(part 3)

“God’s love ‘through’ us gives us
the ‘way’ to encourage others.”
- John C. Maxwell

“Flatter me, and I may not believe you.
Criticize me, and I may not like you.
Ignore me, and I may not forgive you.
Encourage me, and I will not forget you.”
- William Arthur Ward

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

August 12, 2009

A study in lace,
a series on encouragement

(part 2)

“God’s love ‘in’ us gives us
the ‘ability’ to encourage others.”
- John C. Maxwell

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit,
but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
Each of you should look not only to your own interests,
but also to the interests of others.”
- Philippians 2:3,4 NIV

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

August 11, 2009

A study in lace,
a series on encouragement

(part 1)

“God’s love for us gives us
the reason to encourage others.”
- John C. Maxwell

"There are 'well - poisoners,'
who discourage you and stomp on your creativity
and tell you what you can't do.
There are 'lawn – mowers,’
people who are well - intentioned but self-absorbed;
they tend to their own needs,
mow their own lawns
and never leave their yards to help another person.
Finally, there are 'life – enhancers,’
people who reach out to enrich the lives of others,
to lift them up and inspire them.
We need to be life - enhancers,
and we need to surround ourselves with life - enhancers."
- Walt Disney

Monday, August 10, 2009

August 10, 2009

so little it takes

“It takes so little to make us sad,
Just a slighting word or a doubting sneer,
Just a scornful smile on some lips held dear;
And our footsteps lag, though the goal seemed near,
And we lose the courage and hope we had -
So little it takes to make us sad.

It takes so little to make us glad,
Just a cheering clasp of a friendly hand,
Just a word from one who can understand;
And we finish the task we long had planned.
And we lose the doubt and the fear we had -
So little it takes to make us glad.”
- Ida Goldsmith Morris

Sunday, August 9, 2009

August 9, 2009

“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

Saturday, August 8, 2009

August 8, 2009

“Take me and break me and make me, dear God,
just what You want me to be.
Give me the strength to accept what You send
and eyes with the vision to see
All the small, arrogant ways that I have
and the vain little things that I do.
Make me aware that I'm often concerned
more with myself than with You.”
- Helen Steiner Rice

Friday, August 7, 2009

August 7, 2009

"I love to think of nature
as an unlimited broadcasting station,
through which God speaks to us every hour,
if we will only tune in."
- George Washington Carver

"For since the creation of the world
God's invisible qualities
— his eternal power and divine nature —
have been clearly seen,
being understood from what has been made,
so that men are without excuse."
- Romans 1:20 NIV

Thursday, August 6, 2009

August 6, 2009

When I first saw this flower
I thought to myself...
WOW!, what a gorgeous flower
among the vast amount of greenery.
It is then I noticed that the flower was far from perfect...
a few blemishes, a torn petal or two.
How so like all of us...
even though we are not perfect
we can still radiate the glory of our Maker.

"The most important thing in life
is to live your life for something
more important than your life."
- William James

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

August 5, 2009

“I know I cannot paint a flower.
I cannot paint the sun on the desert
on a bright summer morning,
but maybe in terms of paint color
I can convey to you my experience of the flower
or the experience that makes the flower
of significance to me at that particular time.”
- Georgia Okeeffe

“I believe in Christianity
as I believe that the sun has risen:
not only because I see it,
but because by it I see everything else.”
- C. S. Lewis

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

August 4, 2009

"When you're overwhelmed with fears
And all your hopes are drenched in tears,
Think not that life has been unfair
And given you too much to bear.

For God has chosen you because,
With all your weaknesses and flaws,
He feels that you are worthy of
The greatness of His wondrous love."
- Helen Steiner Rice

Monday, August 3, 2009

August 3, 2009

the way to a brighter tomorrow
photo by Patrick Frey

“Is it measured words that are memorized,
Forcefully said and dramatized,
Offered with pomp and with arrogant pride
In words unmatched to the feelings inside?
No, prayer is so often just words unspoken,
Whispered in tears by a heart that is broken,
For God is already deeply aware
Of the burdens we find too heavy to bear...
And all we need do is seek Him in prayer
and without a word He will help us to bear
Our trials and troubles, our sickness and sorrow
And show us the way to a brighter tomorrow.
There's no need at all for impressive prayer,
For the minute we seek God He's already there.”
- Helen Steiner Rice

Sunday, August 2, 2009

August 2, 2009

“Jesus, I am resting, resting
In the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness
Of Thy loving heart;
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee,
And Thy beauty fills my soul,
For by Thy transforming power,
Thou hast made me whole.”
- Jean Sophia Pigott

Saturday, August 1, 2009

August 01, 2009

“This day, Lord, may I dream Your dreams,
this day, Lord, may I reflect Your love,
this day, Lord, may I do Your work,
this day, may I taste Your peace.”
- Angela Ashwin