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

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

September 30, 2009

filled to the measure
photo by Lee Keefer
(trip to Africa)

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
may have power, together with all the saints,
to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—
that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
- Ephesians 3:17-19 NIV

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

September 29, 2009

as portrayed by Bill Shook
spreading the seeds of revival

“Johnny Appleseed, born John Chapman
(September 26, 1774 – February 18, 1845),
was an American pioneer nurseryman
who introduced apple trees to
large parts of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.
He became an American legend while still alive,
largely because of his kind and generous ways,
his great leadership in conservation,
and the symbolic importance of apples.
He was also a missionary for the Church
of the New Jerusalem, or Swedenborgian Church,
so named because it teaches the theological doctrines
contained in the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.”
- Wikipedia

So, not only did he spread appleseeds
but he also spread the Word.

“I have but one passion: It is He, it is He alone.
The world is the field and the field is the world;
and henceforth that country shall be my home
where I can be most used
in winning souls for Christ.”
- Count Nicolaus Ludwn Zinzendorf

“He answered,
‘The one who sowed the good seed
is the Son of Man.
The field is the world,
and the good seed stands for
the sons of the kingdom.’”
- Matthew 13:37,38 NIV

Monday, September 28, 2009

September 28, 2009

mind the present

“It has been well said
that no man ever sank
under the burden of the day.
It is when tomorrow's burden
is added to the burden of today
that the weight is more than a man can bear.
Never load yourselves so, my friends.
If you find yourselves so loaded,
at least remember this:
it is your own doing, not God's.
He begs you to leave the future to Him
and mind the present.”
- George MacDonald

Sunday, September 27, 2009

September 27, 2009

restore the energy

“God doesn’t camouflage the old;
He restores the new.
The Master Builder will pull out
the original plan and restore it.
He will restore the vigor.
He will restore the energy.
He will restore the hope.
He will restore the soul.”
- Max Lucado

Saturday, September 26, 2009

September 26, 2009

into an image of God

"Jesus' force resides in his vulnerability
not only on the cross but throughout his life.
He entices each of us to meet him
in that dangerous place
where an awareness of our own weakness and fragility
shatters the self and blossoms
into an image of God within us."
- Bruce Chilton

Friday, September 25, 2009

September 25, 2009

“Faith and discouragement are opposites.
Faith is taking God at His Word no matter
how bleak the circumstances appear to be.
Discouragement is focusing on distressing circumstances
in spite of what God has said.
Learn to trust God.”
- Jerry Falwell

"The secret of contentment in the midst of change
is found in having roots in the changeless Christ...
the same yesterday, today and forever."
- Ed Young

Thursday, September 24, 2009

September 24, 2009

grow in grace

“Since it is of your mercy, O gracious Father,
that another day is added to my life;
I here dedicate both my soul and my body
to you and your service,
in a sober, righteous, and godly life:
in which resolution do you, O merciful God,
confirm and strengthen me;
that as I grow in age,
I may grow in grace,
and in the knowledge of my Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.”
- The Book of Common Prayer

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

September 23, 2009

see possibilities

“We cannot change our past.
We can not change the fact
that people act in a certain way.
We can not change the inevitable.
The only thing we can do
is play on the one string we have,
and that is our attitude.”
- Charles R. Swindoll

“Become a possibilitarian.
No matter how dark things seem to be
or actually are,
raise your sights and see possibilities -
always see them,
for they're always there.”
- Norman Vincent Peale

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

September 22, 2009

enjoy it

“There are two things to aim at in life:
first, to get what you want;
and after that, to enjoy it.
Only the wisest of mankind
achieve the second.”
- Logan Pearsall Smith

“Happiness is something that is never far away,
It's as close as the things we do and say…
So start out the day with a smile on your face,
And make this old world a happier place.”
- Helen Steiner Rice

Monday, September 21, 2009

September 21, 2009

More of Thee… Less of Me

“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.
Uncover before me my weakness and greed
And help me to search deep inside
So I may discover how easy it is
To be selfishly lost in my pride...
And then in Thy goodness and mercy,
Look down on this weak, erring one
And tell me that I am forgiven
For all I've so willfully done,
And teach me to humbly start following
The path that the dear Savior trod
So I'll find at the end of life's journey
‘A Home in the city of God!’”
- Helen Steiner Rice

Sunday, September 20, 2009

September 20, 2009

love and care

“Jesus, you know what it is to be human
and that it is not easy to love our neighbor as ourselves.
When we do not understand our neighbors,
nor they us, help us to think more
about how we could understand them
and less about how they could understand us.
May we never let fear keep us
from speaking or acting in love,
nor thoughtlessness spoil the impulse of the heart.
May we do all that we do in gratitude to you,
rather than in desire for praise,
and when our time, energy or talent are at an end,
may we quietly ask your help
and remember that you love and care for them
much more than we do.”
- Avery Brooke

Saturday, September 19, 2009

September 19, 2009

still lives

"Present day conditions call loudly for a new examination
and new presentation of God's omnipotence,
God's sufficiency, God's sovereignty.
From every pulpit in the land
it needs to be thundered forth that God still lives,
that God still observes, that God still reigns.
Faith is now in the crucible,
it is being tested by fire,
and there is no fixed and sufficient resting-place
for the heart and mind but in the Throne of God.
What is needed now, as never before,
is a full, positive, constructive setting forth
of the Godhood of God."
- A. W. Pink

Friday, September 18, 2009

September 18, 2009

doing good
photo by Lee Keefer
(Africa trip)

“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”
- John Wesley
(1703-1791)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

September 17th, 2009

On Wings Of Love
photo by Lee Keefer
(Africa trip)

“The priceless gift of life is love,
For with the help of God above
Love can change the human race
And make this world a better place
For love dissolves all hate and fear
And makes our vision bright and clear
So we can see and rise above
Our pettiness on wings of love.”
- Helen Steiner Rice

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

September 16, 2009

rekindle

“In everyone's life, at some time,
our inner fire goes out.
It is then burst into flame
by an encounter with another human being.
We should all be thankful for those people
who rekindle the inner spirit.”
- Albert Schweitzer

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

September 15, 2009

momentary troubles
photo by Lee Keefer
(Africa trip)

“Therefore we do not lose heart.
Though outwardly we are wasting away,
yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
For our light and momentary troubles
are achieving for us an eternal glory
that far outweighs them all.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen,
but on what is unseen.
For what is seen is temporary,
but what is unseen is eternal.”
- 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NIV

Monday, September 14, 2009

September 14, 2009

The Seasons Of The Soul
by Helen Steiner Rice

“Why am I cast down
And despondently sad
When I long to be happy
And joyous and glad?

Why is my heart heavy
With unfathomable weight
As I try to escape
This soul-saddened state?

I ask myself often ...
‘What makes life this way,
Why is the song silenced
In the heart that was gay?’

And then, with God's help
It all becomes clear,
The Soul has its Seasons
Just the same as the year.

I, too, must pass through
Life's autumn of dying,
A desolate period
Of heart-hurt and crying.

Followed by winter
In whose frostbitten hand
My heart is as frozen
As the snow-covered land.

Yes, man too must pass
Through the seasons God sends,
Content in the knowledge
That everything ends.

And, Oh! What a blessing
To know there are reasons
And to find that our soul
Must, too, have it's seasons.

Bounteous Seasons
And Barren Ones, too.
Times for rejoicing
And times to be blue.

But meeting these seasons
Of dark desolation
With strength that
is born of anticipation

That comes from knowing
That autumn-time sadness
Will surely be followed by a
Springtime of Gladness.”

Sunday, September 13, 2009

September 13, 2009

“Grant us grace,O Father, not to pass by suffering or joy without eyes to see.
Give us understanding and sympathy,and guard us from selfishness,
That we may enter into the joys and sufferings of others.
Use us to gladden and strengthen those who are weak and suffering;
That by our lives we may help others to believe and serve thee,
And shed forth thy light which is the light of life.”
- H. R. L. Sheppard

Saturday, September 12, 2009

September 12, 2009

trying to explain
photo by Lee Keefer
(Africa trip)

“There's nothing that can help you
understand your beliefs more
than trying to explain them
to an inquisitive child.”
- Frank A. Clark
(The Country Parson sermons)

“If you haven't time to help youngsters
find the right way in life,
somebody with more time
will help them find the wrong way.”
- Frank A. Clark
(The Country Parson sermons)

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11, 2009

happiness

“Happiness comes when your work and words
[acting in accordance with His will]
are of benefit to yourself and others.”
- Buddha

Thursday, September 10, 2009

September 10, 2009

grant me faith and courage

“Father, I have knowledge,
so I pray you'll show me now
How to use it wisely
and find a way somehow
To make the world I live in
a little better place,
And make life, with its problems,
a bit easier to face...
Grant me faith and courage
and put purpose in my days,
And show me how to serve Thee
in the most effective ways.”
- Helen Steiner Rice

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

September 9, 2009

“It's not how much we have,
but how much we enjoy,
that makes happiness.”
- Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
- Psalm 16:11 NIV

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

September 8, 2009


I came across this monarch butterfly
as it was on a flower
that was growing quite a height above me
next to a building...
the blue you see here was actually a window
just under the eave of the building.
The 12X zoom lens was fully extended.
I was very pleased with this capture,
not only of the gorgeous monarch
but also of the flower from its underside.
This photo is a great representation of my Christian faith.

"Just like the butterfly,
I too will awaken in my own time."
- Deborah Chaskin

"We must die to one life
before we can enter another."
- Anatole France

"We delight in the beauty of the butterfly,
but rarely admit the changes it has gone through
to achieve that beauty."
- Maya Angelou

"If you would attain to what you are not yet,
you must always be displeased by what you are.
For where you are pleased with yourself
there you have remained."
- Saint Augustine

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world,
the Master calls a butterfly."
- Richard Bach

“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.”
- 1 John 5:11,12 NIV

Monday, September 7, 2009

September 7, 2009

“Most men are not satisfied
with the permanent output of their lives.
Nothing can wholly satisfy
the life of Christ within his followers
except the adoption of Christ’s purpose
toward the world he came to redeem.
Fame, pleasure and riches
are but husks and ashes
in contrast with the boundless and abiding joy
of working with God
for the fulfillment of his eternal plans.
The men who are putting everything
into Christ’s undertaking
are getting out of life
its sweetness and most priceless rewards.”
- J. Campbell White

Sunday, September 6, 2009

September 6, 2009

deformity of our inward nature

“Repentance is but a kind of table-talk,
till we see so much of
the deformity of our inward nature
as to be in some degree
frightened and terrified at the sight of it . . .
A plausible form of an outward life,
that has only learned rules and
modes of religion by use and custom,
often keeps the soul for some time at ease,
though all its inward root and ground of sin
has never been shaken or molested,
though it has never tasted
of the bitter waters of repentance
and has only known
the want of a Saviour by hearsay.
But things cannot pass thus:
sooner or later repentance
must have a broken and a contrite heart;
we must with our blessed Lord
go over the brook Cedron,
and with Him sweat great drops of sorrow
before He can say for us,
as He said for Himself:
‘It is finished.’"
- William Law
(Christian Regeneration)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

September 5, 2009

where do you want to go?

"Slow down and enjoy life.
It's not only the scenery you miss
by going too fast -
you also miss the sense of
where you are going and why."
- Eddie Cantor

Friday, September 4, 2009

September 4, 2009

just a resting place

“Sometimes the road of life seems long
as we travel through the years
And, with a heart that's broken and eyes brimful of tears,
We falter in our weariness and sink beside the way,
But God leans down and whispers,
’Child, there'll be another day,’
And the road will grow much smoother
and much easier to face,
So do not be disheartened -
This is just a resting place.”
- Helen Steiner Rice

“The LORD will guide you always.”
- Isaiah 58:11 NIV

Thursday, September 3, 2009

September 3, 2009

"Joyful, joyful, we adore thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
hearts unfold like flowers before thee,
opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
drive the dark of doubt away.
Giver of immortal gladness,
fill us with the light of day!

All thy works with joy surround thee,
earth and heaven reflect thy rays,
stars and angels sing around thee,
center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
flowery meadow, flashing sea,
chanting bird and flowing fountain,
call us to rejoice in thee."
- Text: Henry Van Dyke
Music: Ludwig van Beethoven

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

September 2, 2009

This photo was taken yesterday
about 10:30 AM (EST)
on a very bright sunny morning.
My eye was attracted to the calyx
and backlit petals of this flower.
I also liked the way the remaining calyx
of the petal-less flower in the upper right corner
looks like it is enclosing an inner light of its own
even though the petals of its life
are no longer there.

The theme is faith...
it is your faith that is your support.

Faith is the strength by which a shattered world
shall emerge into the light.
- Helen Keller

“For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed,
a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,
just as it is written:
’The righteous will live by faith.’
- Romans 1:17 NIV

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September 1, 2009

“The hindrance in our spiritual life
is that we will not be continually converted,
there are wedges of obstinacy where our pride
spits at the throne of God and says - I won't.
We deify independence and willfulness
and call them by the wrong name.
What God looks on as obstinate weakness,
we call strength.
There are whole tracts of our lives
which have not yet been brought into subjection,
and it can only be done by this continuous conversion.
Slowly but surely we can claim
the whole territory for the Spirit of God.”
Oswald Chambers