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

Saturday, October 31, 2009

October 31, 2009

It has been a very rainy, dark,
and dismal autumn here, for the most part,
and unseasonably cold quite often.
I wonder sometimes where the sun went.
Even the fallen leaves look diseased
with molds, mildew, other fungus,
and quite a few insect galls.
Still there is a bizarre, if unsettling, beauty.

"Never forget to look for blessings -
even the smallest of joys
can brighten the worst of days."
- Author Unknown

Friday, October 30, 2009

October 30, 2009

way of life

"The call of God is not a call
to serve Him in any particular way.
My contact with the nature of God
will shape my understanding of His call
and will help me realize
what I truly desire to do for Him.
The call of God is an expression of His nature;
the service which results in my life
is suited to me and is an expression of my nature..."

"...Service is the overflow
which pours from a life
filled with love and devotion.
But strictly speaking, there is no call to that.
Service is what I bring to the relationship
and is the reflection of my identification
with the nature of God.
God brings me into the proper relationship
with Himself so that I can understand His call,
and then I serve Him on my own
out of a motivation of absolute love.
The Son of God reveals Himself in me,
and out of devotion to Him
service becomes my everyday way of life."
- Oswald Chambers

Thursday, October 29, 2009

October 29, 2009

inside

“How can I be useful, of what service can I be?
There is something inside me, what can it be?”
- Vincent van Gogh

“If most of us are ashamed
of shabby clothes and shoddy furniture,
let us be more ashamed
of shabby ideas and shoddy philosophies...
It would be a sad situation if the wrapper
were better than the meat wrapped inside it.”
- Albert Einstein

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

October 28, 2009

set free from worldly things

“Almighty, ever gracious Father,
since all my salvation depends upon
my having truly understood your holy Word,
therefore grant that my heart
be set free from worldly things
so that I may with all diligence and faith
hear and apprehend your holy Word.
Do this that I may thereby
understand your gracious will,
and in all sincerity live according to the same,
to your praise and glory,
through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.”
- John Calvin

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

October 27, 2009

all three

“Without the way , there is no going;
without the truth, there is no knowing;
without the life, there is no living.”
- Thomas a Kempis

“Many, who often hear the gospel of Christ,
are yet but little affected,
because they are void of the Spirit of Christ.
But whosoever would fully and feelingly
understand the words of Christ,
must endeavour to make all his life
like in its beauty unto His.
What will it avail thee
to dispute profoundly of the Trinity,
if thou be void of humility,
and art thereby displeasing to the Trinity?....
If thou didst know the whole Bible by heart,
and the sayings of all the philosophers,
what would all that profit thee
without the love of God and without grace.”
- Thomas a Kempis

Monday, October 26, 2009

October 26, 2009

"All silent and magnificent I fancied I could see
The Master Artist touching up some solitary tree,
But the glory of the landscape was a flash of crimson flame..."
- from a poem by Edgar A. Guest
(AUTUMN SCENE)

“In our hands we hold the future, carry on
In our hearts, eternally, we keep the flame...
Burning deep inside forever, shining on
And in our hearts for all eternity we keep the flame burning.”
- from: Keep the Flame Burning

“Never be lacking in zeal,
but keep your spiritual fervor,
serving the Lord.”
- Romans 12:11 NIV

Sunday, October 25, 2009

October 25, 2009

all fetters fall

“Bless Thou the truth, dear Lord, to me, to me,
As Thou didst bless the bread by Galilee;
Then shall all bondage cease, all fetters fall;
And I shall find my peace, my all in all.”
- Mary A. Lathbury
(Break Thou the Bread of Life)

Saturday, October 24, 2009

October 24, 2009

as our sins deserve

"Help me, O God,
to look back on the long way
you have brought me,
on the long days in which I have been served,
not according to my deserts, but my desires;
on the pit and the miry clay,
the blackness of despair, the horror of misconduct,
from which my feet have been plucked out.
For my sins forgiven or prevented,
for my shame unpublished,
I bless and thank you, O God."
Robert Louis Stevenson

“The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.”
- Psalms 103:8-10 NIV

Friday, October 23, 2009

October 23, 2009

endless hope
photo by Lee Keefer
(trip to Africa)

“Praise be to the God
and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
In his great mercy he has given us
new birth into a living hope
through the resurrection
of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
- 1 Peter 1:3 NIV

“Some see a hopeless end,
while others see an endless hope.”
- Author Unknown

Thursday, October 22, 2009

October 22, 2009

now and forevermore
unknown photographer

“To him who is able to keep you from falling
and to present you before his glorious presence
without fault and with great joy -
to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty,
power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord,
before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.”
- Jude 1:24,25 NIV

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

October 21, 2009

sleep soundly

“Most of all the other beautiful things in life
come by twos and threes, by dozens and hundreds;
plenty of roses, stars, sunsets, rainbows,
brothers and sisters, aunts and cousins, comrades and friends -
but only one mother in the whole world.”
- Kate Douglas Wiggin

“A mother's arms are made of tenderness
and children sleep soundly in them.”
- Victor Hugo

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

October 20, 2009

trust in His salvation

“In that day they will say,
‘Surely this is our God;
we trusted in him, and he saved us.
This is the LORD, we trusted in him;
let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.’”
- Isaiah 25:9 NIV

“Faith is not belief without proof,
but trust without reservation.”
- D. Elton Trueblood

Monday, October 19, 2009

October 19, 2009

creation

"No philosophical theory which I have yet come across
is a radical improvement on the words of Genesis,
that 'In the beginning God made Heaven and Earth'."
- C. S. Lewis
(Miracles)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

October 18, 2009

be with us

O Holy God, open unto me:
light for my darkness, courage for my fear, hope for my despair.
O Loving God, open unto me:
wisdom for my confusion, forgiveness for my sins, love for my hate.
O God of peace, open unto me:
peace for my turmoil, joy for my sorrow, strength for my weakness.
O Generous God, open to my heart to receive all your gifts. Amen.
- Howard Thurman

“Love of Jesus, fill us….
Joy of Jesus, surprise us….
Peace of Jesus, flood us….
Light of Jesus, transform us….
Touch of Jesus, warm us….
Strength of Jesus, encourage us….
O Savior, in Your agony, forgive us….
In Your wounds, hide us….
And in Your risen life take us with You,
for Your Name’s sake.”
- Angela Ashwin

Saturday, October 17, 2009

October 17, 2009

bountiful harvest
(Landis Valley Museum,
Lancaster, PA)


“The harvest truly is plenteous,
but the labourers are few.”
- Matthew 9:37 NIV

“It is not always granted to the sower
to live to see the harvest.
All work that is worth anything is done in faith.”
- Albert Schweitzer

“Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap
but by the seeds that you plant.”
- Robert Louis Stevenson

Friday, October 16, 2009

October 16, 2009

the life I live

“All through this day, O Lord,
by the power of your quickening Spirit,
let me touch the lives of others for good,
whether through the word I speak,
the prayer I speak, or the life I live.”
- Author Unknown

“Your life may be the only Bible some people read.”
- Author Unknown

Thursday, October 15, 2009

October 15, 2009

"October is a symphony of permanence and change."
- Bonaro W. Overstreet

This was taken on a
very breezy October late afternoon...
an overcast day filled with wind
and scattered rain sprinkles.

I wanted to capture the feeling of
transition yet permanence
shown here by the leaves blown (and turned over)
revealing both sides of the individual leaves
(particularly noticeable in the silver color
on the underside of the silver maple leaves to the left).
Also the difference in color
of the two species of maple trees...
the silver maple to the left (retaining summer colors longer)
and the sugar maple (leaves changing more rapidly).

When I see the wind blowing through the trees
and the leaves turning back and forth
I am reminded of the Bible verse...
"You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands."
- Isaiah 55:12 NIV

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

October 14, 2009

"I know there is a God...
I see the storm coming
and I see his hand in it..."
- John Fitzgerald Kennedy

"If patience is worth anything,
it must endure to the end of time.
And a living faith will last
in the midst of the blackest storm."
- Mahatma Gandhi

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October 13, 2009

“O heavenly Sower, plow me first,
and then sow the truth into me,
and let me yield Thee a bountiful harvest.”
- Charles Spurgeon

Monday, October 12, 2009

October 12, 2009

be still and listen

According to legend
the praying mantis teaches us
how to still the outer mind
and go within ourselves
exhibiting stillness and patience.

“And when you come to a meeting of many ways
and do not know which to choose,
do not choose at random, but pause and reflect.
Breathe with the trusting, deep breaths you took
when you first came into the world;
let nothing distract you, but wait and go on waiting.
Be still and listen in silence to your heart.
When it has spoken to you,
rise up and follow it.”
- Susanna Tamaro

"Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."
- Psalms 46:10 NIV

Sunday, October 11, 2009

October 11, 2009

so shines the light
photo by Patrick Frey

THE LIGHT SUPERNAL

On mountain height
The morning light
Breaks in prismatic splendor;
Down in the vale
Night waxing pale
To Day makes slow surrender.

So shines the Light
Of Truth on height
Of God’s abode eternal;
So error fails
And slowly pales
Before the Light Supernal.
- Benjamin F. Meyers

Saturday, October 10, 2009

October 10, 2009

life’s purpose
photo by Lee Keefer
(trip to Africa)

“Whatever is wrong with your life today
You'll find a solution if you kneel down and pray
Not just for pleasure, enjoyment and health
Not just for honors and prestige and wealth
But pray for a purpose to make life worth giving
And pray for the joy of unselfish giving
For great is your gladness and rich your reward
When you make your life's purpose the choice of the Lord.”
- Helen Steiner Rice

Friday, October 9, 2009

October 9, 2009

I ran the race and won.

“Peace and love with faith to you
from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Grace to all of you who love our Lord Jesus Christ
with love that never ends.”
- Ephesians 6:23,24 NCV

“My dear friends, you have always obeyed God
when I was with you.
It is even more important that you obey now
while I am away from you.
Keep on working to complete your salvation
with fear and trembling,
because God is working in you
to help you want to do and be able to do
what pleases him.
Do everything without complaining or arguing.
Then you will be innocent and without any wrong.
You will be God's children without fault.
But you are living with
crooked and mean people all around you,
among whom you shine like stars in the dark world.
You offer the teaching that gives life.
So when Christ comes again, I can be happy
because my work was not wasted.
I ran the race and won.”
- Philippians 2:12-16 NCV

Thursday, October 8, 2009

October 8, 2009

Your thoughts

“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.”
- Malcolm Muggeridge

“God, stay with me;
let no word cross my lips that is not Your word,
no thoughts enter my mind that are not Your thoughts,
no deed ever be done or entertained by me
that is not Your deed. Amen.”
- Malcolm Muggeridge

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

October 7, 2009

Do not be deceived

“Destiny is no matter of chance.
It is a matter of choice.
It is not a thing to be waited for,
it is a thing to be achieved.”
- William Jennings Bryan

CHOOSE WISELY

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

October 6, 2009

teach them to care

“Being considerate of others
will take your children further in life
than any college degree.”
- Marian Wright Edelman

“Don't wait for people to be friendly,
show them how.”
- Author Unknown

“Have you had a kindness shown?
Pass it on;
'Twas not given for thee alone,
Pass it on;
Let it travel down the years,
Let it wipe another's tears,
'Til in Heaven the deed appears -
Pass it on.”
- Henry Burton

Monday, October 5, 2009

October 5, 2009

Lead us to repentance

“We are tired, Lord,
weary of the long night without rest.
We grow complaining and bitter.
We sorrow for ourselves
as we grow hardened to the pain of others.
Another death leaves us unmoved.
A widow’s tears fall unnoticed.
Our children know only the bitterness
already possessing their parents.
Our violent words
explode into violent acts
by the hands of youth
bringing destruction without thought or reason.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Lead us to repentance that we may forgive
and be forgiven. Amen.”
Thomas A. Patterson (1910–1991)
A Presbyterian minister in Northern Ireland

Sunday, October 4, 2009

October 4, 2009

a leap forward

“Dear God, here on earth
you are constantly seeking to change us.
At times we wish to flee
into the wilderness to avoid you.
But let us learn to love
the lasting things of heaven,
rather than the dying things of earth.
We must accept that time
always brings change;
and we pray that by your grace
the change within our souls
will make us worthy
of your heavenly kingdom,
where all time will cease.”
Alcuin of York

"The future lies all before us.
Shall it only be a slight advance
upon what we usually do?
Ought it not to be a bound,
a leap forward,
to altitudes of endeavor and success
undreamed of before?"
Annie Armstrong

Saturday, October 3, 2009

October 3, 2009

“Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?'
Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?'
But conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?'
And there comes a time when one
must take a position that is neither safe,
nor politic, nor popular but
because conscience tells one it is right.”
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, October 2, 2009

October 2, 2009

care for those

“Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.”
- Clare H. Woolston

“If we truly love Christ,
we shall care for those
who are loved by Him.”
- Charles H. Spurgeon

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October 1, 2009

It's been rather cool here
even for the beginning of October
as autumn progresses toward winter.
I love all the seasons
but this time of year
is perhaps my favorite.

I don't look at autumn as the season
before a cold and harsh winter
but rather as a peaceful, joyful ending
of yet another glorious, growing year.

"Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature's night.
Thine eye diffused a quickening ray;
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light!
my chains fell off, my heart was free,
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee."
- Charles Wesley