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, February 28, 2010

February 28, 2010

coming together
photo by Erin Doyle

There are many times when
doing a devotional
that I take a photo and find out later
the true value of the capture.

“Sometimes I do get to places just when God's ready
to have somebody click the shutter.”
- Ansel Adams

Afterwards, when putting words to the image…
I am surprised quite often by finding
just the right words (or quote) when I first
open a book or do a simple search in Google.
It all comes together as if
I am being guided by some unseen influence.
We Christians know that influence by the name of
the Holy Spirit.

“The sovereign God can arrange things
so as to have us read a specific passage
on the very day we most need to hear its message.
So the fact that we may read
that passage on that day
may not be simply a coincidence.
It may well be an instance
of direct divine guidance.”
- Allth Fernando

Even when it takes
a longer time to put together
a particular devotional
I find His guidance
leading me to something
He wants to show me first…
something to grow by or learn…
for now or for the future.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

February 27, 2010

Learn to Rest
photo by Erin Doyle

“We all need short vacations
in life's fast and maddening race…
An interlude of quietness
from the constant, jet-aged pace,
So when your day is pressure-packed
and your hours are all too few,
Just close your eyes and meditate
and let God talk to you...
For when we keep on pushing,
we're not following in God's way…
We are foolish, selfish robots
mechanized to fill each day
with unimportant trivia
that makes life more complex
And gives us greater problems
to irritate and vex.
So when your nervous network
becomes a tangled mess,
Just close your eyes in silent prayer
and ask the Lord to bless
Each thought that you are thinking,
each decision you must make,
As well as every word you speak
and every step you take…
For only by the grace of God
can you gain self-control,
And only meditative thoughts
can restore your peace of soul.”
- Helen Steiner Rice

Friday, February 26, 2010

February 26, 2010

Please do…
photo by Faye Doyle

This “completed” sign asks us
not to feed the birds,
and for good reason.

However, I like the way photographer
caught this photo with only the words shown…

Spreading the Word and upholding
Biblical truths has become increasing difficult…
(and met with persecution)
not that it hasn’t always been so.
All we have to do is study the life of Jesus
and His disciples throughout history.

We are told (or warned) not to do this or that
because we are afraid of
the repercussions of a worldly society.

Even the Bible itself has its own share of
Do Nots (these for “very” good reason).

Here is a DO NOT to follow…

Do not let the salt lose its flavor.
“And anyone who does not carry his cross
and follow me cannot be my disciple.”
- Luke 14:27 NIV

I cannot help but think though,
that if we concentrate on
following what is His will,
and for His glory,
the DO NOTS will come naturally, without fear,
and will stand on the foundation of the Truth,
as we do what the Lord says is right.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

February 25, 2010

make a joyful noise
photo by Lee Keefer

“Softly--but this way fate was pointing,
'Twas coming fast to such anointing,
When piped a tiny voice hard by,
Gay and polite, a cheerful cry,
Chic-chic-a-dee-dee! saucy note
Out of sound heart and merry throat,
As if it said, "Good day, good sir!
Fine afternoon, old passenger!
Happy to meet you in these places
Where January brings few faces."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.”
- Psalm 100:1,2 NIV

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

February 24, 2010

in a friend’s home

“If people like me didn't know people like you,
life would lose its meaning and its richness too.
For the friends that we make are life's gift of love,
and I think friends are sent right from heaven above.
And thinking of you somehow makes me feel
that GOD is love and HE is very real.”
- Helen Steiner Rice

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

February 23, 2010

Remain in Me

“Remain in me, and I will remain in you.
No branch can bear fruit by itself;
it must remain in the vine.
Neither can you bear fruit
unless you remain in me.”
- John 15:4 NIV

Monday, February 22, 2010

February 22, 2010

bless the Lord

“Receive every day as a resurrection from death,
as a new enjoyment of life;
meet every rising sun
with such sentiments of God’s goodness,
as if you had seen it, and all things,
new-created upon your account:
and under the sense of so great a blessing,
let your joyful heart praise and magnify
so good and glorious a Creator.”
- William Law

“Dew and frosts, bless the Lord;
frosts and cold, bless the Lord;
ice and snow, bless the Lord;
praise Him and magnify Him forever.”
- Medieval Prymer

Sunday, February 21, 2010

February 21, 2010

without struggle or strife
photo by Lee Keefer

“Trouble is something no one can escape---
Everyone has it in some form or shape.
Some people hide it way down deep inside,
Some people bear it with gallant-like pride.
Some people worry and complain of their lot,
Some people covet what they haven't got
While others rebel and become bitter and old
With hopes that are dead and hearts that are cold...
But the wise man accepts whatever God sends,
Willing to yield like a storm-tossed tree bends,
Knowing that God never made a mistake,
So whatever He sends they are willing to take...
For trouble is part and parcel of life,
And no man can grow without struggle or strife,
And the steep hills ahead and the high mountain peaks
Afford man at last the peace that he seeks...
So blessed are the people who learn to accept
The trouble men try to escape and reject,
For in accordance we're given great grace
And courage and faith and the strength to face
The daily troubles that come to us all,
So we may learn to stand straight and tall...
For the grandeur of life is born of defeat,
For in overcoming we make life complete.”
- Helen Steiner Rice

Saturday, February 20, 2010

February 20, 2010

ice of cynicism

“People grow old only by deserting their ideals…
Years may wrinkle the skin,
but to give up interest wrinkles the soul.
You are as young as your faith,
as old as your doubt;
as young as your self-confidence,
as old as your fear;
as young as your hope
as old as your despair.
In the central place of every heart
there is a recording chamber.
So long as it receives messages
of beauty, hope, cheer and courage,
so long are you young.
When your heart is covered
with the snows of pessimism
and the ice of cynicism,
then, and then only,
are you grown old.”
- Douglas MacArthur

Friday, February 19, 2010

February 19, 2010

and yet sings
photo by Lee Keefer

“Be like the bird that,
passing on her flight awhile
on boughs too slight,
feels them give way beneath her,
and yet sings,
knowing that she hath wings.”
- Victor Hugo

Thursday, February 18, 2010

February 18, 2010

I love the snow but even I am
looking forward to spring
and the splash of color in nature
which I love equally.

This is another snowy view
of one of the two spruce tree seedlings
I planted many years ago.
It marks the edge to the woods beyond.

"It's not what you look at that matters,
it's what you see."
- Henry David Thoreau

"Our soul longs to speak.
Isn't this offering-up of our creativity
a prayer in itself?
Our soul speaking in paint,
in words, in landscape
[and for me in photography]?
An attempt to open a window
between us and something
greater than ourselves
that we dimly perceive,
try to express?"
- Cindy Crosby
(By Willoway Brook)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

February 17, 2010

rest secure in Him
photo by Lee Keefer

“World's use is cold, world's love is vain,
World's cruelty is bitter bane;
But pain is not the fruit of pain…”
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“It's a cold world out there.
When the fire goes out
it's nice to know
someone with a match.”
- Scott Michael Foster

“Let the beloved of the LORD
rest secure in him,
for he shields him all day long,
and the one the LORD loves
rests between his shoulders.”
- Deuteronomy 33:12 NIV

My Thoughts and Reflections
updated 2/16/2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

February 16, 2010

Caught in the storm's fury.
This lone bird appears stoic
in spite of the storm's fury.
A good lesson for us all.
It really depends where,
and in whom,
you place your trust.

"He is before all things,
and in him all things hold together."
- Colossians 1:17 NIV

Monday, February 15, 2010

February 15, 2010

More on the way?
photo by F. A. Doyle

After two major snowstorms within one week
it appears that more snow is on the way.
How much to expect? The prediction
is for only an inch to perhaps a few inches.

To weather any storm
we must persevere
through faith and trust in Him.

“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

Sunday, February 14, 2010

February 14, 2010

to carry my love
design by Faye Doyle

“A bell is no bell 'til you ring it,
A song is no song 'til you sing it,
And love in your heart
Wasn’t put there to stay -
Love isn’t love
'Til you give it away.”
- Oscar Hammerstein
Sound of Music
“You Are Sixteen (Reprise)”

“A hundred hearts would be too few
To carry all my love for you.”
- Author Unknown

Saturday, February 13, 2010

February 13, 2010

“In God we trust, all others we virus scan.”
- Author Unknown

“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 and he will do this:
He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him…”
- Psalm 37: 3-7 NIV

Friday, February 12, 2010

February 12, 2010

“Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord;
no deeds can compare with yours.
All the nations you have made
will come and worship before you, O Lord;
they will bring glory to your name.
For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
you alone are God.”
- Psalm 86: 8-10 NIV

Thursday, February 11, 2010

February 11, 2010

“Keep close to Nature's heart...
and break clear away, once in awhile,
and climb a mountain
or spend a week in the woods.
Wash your spirit clean.”
- John Muir

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

February 10, 2010

“Most people have come to prefer
certain of life’s experiences
and deny and reject others,
unaware of the value of the hidden things
that may come wrapped in plain
and even ugly paper.
In avoiding all pain
and seeking comfort at all costs,
we may be left without intimacy or compassion;
in rejecting change and risk
we often cheat ourselves of the quest;
in denying our suffering
we may never know
our strength or our greatness.”
- Rachel Naomi Remen

“The world is so full of care and sorrow
that it is a gracious debt we owe to one another
to discover the bright crystals of delight
hidden in somber circumstances and irksome tasks”
- Helen Keller

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

February 9, 2010

“Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Hide Your face from my sins
And blot out all my iniquities.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
- Psalm 51:7,9,10 NASB

Monday, February 8, 2010

February 8, 2010

“Of winter's lifeless world each tree
Now seems a perfect part;
Yet each one holds summer's secret
Deep down within its heart.”
- Charles G. Stater

Sunday, February 7, 2010

February 7, 2010

"Never cease loving a person,
and never give up hope for him,
for even the prodigal son
who had fallen most low,
could still be saved;
the bitterest enemy
and also he who was your friend
could again be your friend;
love that has grown cold can kindle”
- Soren Kierkegaard

Saturday, February 6, 2010

February 6, 2010

The storm is just beginning.
Are you prepared?

The weather forecasters are predicting
a major snowstorm for Friday night
into Saturday.

Most are making sure they have enough
of the essentials to see them though.
Yet there is a bigger storm brewing…
one that requires a greater commitment
and has eternal consequences.

Choose now whom you will serve.

“The fruit of righteousness will be peace;
the effect of righteousness
will be quietness and confidence forever.”
- Isaiah 32:17 NIV

Friday, February 5, 2010

February 5, 2010

love is a mystery

“Love is a mystery because it tells me
that there’s more beyond that which I see
in the realm of time and space.
And I’ve got to wait ‘til I get there
to find out what, for
heaven’s sake, is it.”
- Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr.

“If I have the gift of prophecy
and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge,
and if I have a faith that can move mountains,
but have not love, I am nothing.”
- 1 Corinthians 13:2 NIV

Thursday, February 4, 2010

February 4, 2010

“To reach the port of heaven,
we must sail sometimes with the wind
and sometimes against it,
but we must sail,
and not drift, nor lie at anchor.”
- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

February 3, 2010

I awoke this morning early, as is my usual habit.
It had snowed a bit during the night
and I enjoyed watching the dawn
through the window.
Everything was very quiet
except for a brief and distant siren.

During these times,
I often reflect on where I am
and where I still want to be.

"We must become the change we want to see."
- Mahatma Gandhi

Recently, I have added a supplemental blog
to my SonRays site.
It contains prayer guidelines
and some personal reflections
as well as numerous other things.

This is the link:

I pray it will be blessing to others
as it is to me.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

February 2, 2010

each other
photo by Erin Doyle

“God has not called us to see through each other,
but to see each other through.”
- Author Unknown

"The wise person understands that his own happiness
must include the happiness of others."
- Dennis Weaver

Monday, February 1, 2010

February 1, 2010

make a new ending

“There are things that we never want to let go of,
people we never want to leave behind.
But keep in mind that letting go
isn’t the end of the world,
it’s the beginning of a new life.”
- Author Unknown

“You are never too old to set another goal
or to dream a new dream.”
- C. S. Lewis

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning,
but anyone can start today
and make a new ending.”
- Maria Robinson