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, March 31, 2010

March 31, 2010

flowing into us

“Apart from Him we can do nothing.
While we are abiding in Him,
nothing is impossible.
The one purpose of our life
should therefore be to remain
in living and intense union with Christ,
guarding against everything
that would break it,
employing every means
of cementing and enlarging it.
And just in proportion as we do so,
we shall find His strength flowing into us
for every possible emergency
[Philippians 4:13].
We may not feel its presence;
but we shall find it present
whenever we begin to draw on it.
There is no temptation which we cannot master;
no privation which we cannot patiently bear;
no difficulty with which we cannot cope;
no work which we cannot perform;
no confession or testimony which we cannot make,
if only our souls are living
in healthy union with Jesus Christ;
for as our day or hour,
so shall our strength be.”
- F. B. Meyer

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

March 30, 2010

seize the opportunity

“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities
brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.”
- Charles R. Swindoll

“I can do all things
through Christ which strengtheneth me”
- Philippians 4:13 KJV

“Time is swift, it races by;
Opportunities are born and die...
Still you wait and will not try -
A bird with wings
who dares not rise and fly.”
- A. A. Milne

Monday, March 29, 2010

“Keep your lives free
from the love of money
and be content with what you have,
because God has said,
"Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you."
- Hebrews 13:5 NIV

“If we can only grasp these words by faith,
we have an all-conquering
weapon in our hand.
Will not the distresses of life
and the pangs of death;
will not the corruptions within,
and the snares without;
will not the trials from above,
and the temptations from beneath,
all seem but light afflictions,
when we can hide ourselves
beneath the bulwark of ‘He hath said’?
Since ‘He hath said’ is
the source of all wisdom,
and the fountain of all comfort,
let it dwell in you richly,
as ‘A well of water,
springing up unto everlasting life.’
So shall you grow healthy, strong,
and happy in the divine life.”
- Charles Spurgeon

"Like as the waves make towards the pebbl'd shore,
so do our minutes, hasten to their end.”
- William Shakespeare

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

March 25, 2010

SonRays will be unable to make daily posts for about a week due to computer/technical difficulties.

God has "everything" under control... "Be still and know that I am God".

Why not check out one of the devotionals from the archive... lots to choose from and they can all carry a blessing. :)

God bless all of you!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

March 23, 2010

right and wrong
photo by Patrick Frey

“The least action of life
can be as surely done
from the loftiest motive
as the highest and noblest acts.
Faithfulness measures acts
as God measures them.
True conscientiousness
deals with our duties
as God deals with them.
Duty is duty, conscience is conscience,
right is right, and wrong is wrong,
whatever sized type they be printed in.
Large and small are not words
for the vocabulary of conscience.
It knows only two words…
right and wrong.”
- Alexander MacLaren

Monday, March 22, 2010

March 22, 2010

upward and onward
(moss sporophyte)

“The prayer life does not consist
of perpetual repetition of petitions.
The prayer life consists of life that is always
upward and onward and Godward”
- G. Campbell Morgan

Sunday, March 21, 2010

March 21, 2010

Waking Earth

“The waking earth in springtime
Reminds us it is true
That nothing really ever dies
That is not born anew.

So trust God's all-wise wisdom
And doubt the Father never,
For in His Heavenly Kingdom
There is nothing lost forever.”
- Helen Steiner Rice

Saturday, March 20, 2010

March 20, 2010

morning on the mount
photo by Patrick Frey

“My Father, I am coming.
Nothing on the mean plain
shall keep me away
from the holy heights.
Help me to climb fast,
and keep Thou my foot,
lest it fall upon the hard rock!
At Thy bidding I come,
so Thou wilt not mock my heart.
Bring with Thee honey from heaven,
yea, milk and wine,
and oil for my soul’s good,
and stay the sun in its course,
or the time will be too short
in which to look upon Thy face,
and to hear Thy gentle voice.
Morning on the mount!
It will make me strong and glad
all the rest of the day so well begun.”
- Joseph Parker

Friday, March 19, 2010

March 19, 2010

not even any hidden fees

Have you ever taken the time
to really look at your monthly phone bill?

It is quite a line-up of various charges
some of which you may not even be aware of.

Isn’t it great that there isn’t a prayer bill?

Can you imagine an itemized bill from God
for every different kind of prayer,
and an extra roaming charge for every prayer
offered outside the church.

The sad truth is that many never even make use
of the service.

All it takes is a humble heart, faith,
obedience, and trust.

And you are assured that He will answer your prayers
according to your needs and His will.

Even if you don’t get “exactly”
what you ask for…
it is always for the best
and better than you ever expected.

What a deal… what a Savior… what a God.

Make the call regularly and often.
The service is unlimited 24/7.

“Prayers go up and blessings come down”
- Yiddish Proverb

Thursday, March 18, 2010

March 18, 2010

every step gained

“Seeking the aid of the Holy Spirit,
let us aim at perfection.
Let every day see some sin crucified,
some battle fought, some good done,
some victory won.
Let every fall be followed by a rise,
and every step gained become,
not a resting place,
but a new starting point
for further and higher progress.”
- Guthrie

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

March 17, 2010

“We see Him not;
we can touch Him not;
the hand cannot steal amid the crowd
to catch His garment hem;
we cannot hear His loved footsteps
as of old on our threshold.
But faith penetrates the invisible;
the messenger, prayer, meets Him
in the streets of the New Jerusalem;
and faith and prayer together,
the twin delegates from His church below,
He has never yet sent empty away.”
- MacDuff

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

March 16, 2010

I like to take the time to look closely at nature...
looking for images that most
would not see or feel worthy of capturing...
the secret images of nature.
I am often surprised by what I see.

This image is a "micro" landscape
of tree bark (red maple)
with typical pioneer denizens
of moss, algae, and lichens.

This was found in the notch
between the trunk and a large branch
as I was looking down on it from above.

Do you see the partial face
of a grotesque here?
The end of the elongated nose of the grotesque
is to be found directly above the title
in the photos frame.
The one eye (its right eye... on your left)
with its pinpoint reflection of light
is found in the upper left corner of the photo
directly under an eyebrow of moss.
Believe it or not these grotesques (or gargoyles)
have some religious significance
in and on the early church
and have been expressed through history
as both good and evil...
but that is a history lesson... :)

My wife showed me another
much smaller grotesque
(kinda like a LOTR dwarf face)
with a mossy button nose
and using the same eye
but relegated completely
to the upper left quarter of the image.
Always fun for us to see
hidden images in nature (clouds, etc.) :)

“Grace shall survive the foe…
it is sin which is short-lived,
for goodness shall flourish
when the evil one
is chained up forever.”
- Thomas Champness

“There is a heaven
at the end of every
faithful Christian’s journey.”
- Cuyler

Monday, March 15, 2010

March 15, 2010

expect great things

Is this the last of the snow
for this winter?
If so, or if not
expect great things.

“Beware, in your prayer,
above everything,
of limiting God,
not only by unbelief,
but by fancying that you know
what He can do.
Expect unexpected things,
above all that we ask or think.
Each time you intercede,
be quiet first and
worship God in His glory.
Think of what He can do,
of how He delights to hear Christ,
of your place in Christ,
and expect great things.”
- Andrew Murray

Sunday, March 14, 2010

March 14, 2010

"The serene beauty of a holy life
is the most powerful influence in the world
next to the power of God."
- Blaise Pascal

Saturday, March 13, 2010

March 13, 2010

“They'll never know, never no never
How strange life in dark water can be.”
- Al Stewart
(Life in Dark Water)

“When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you…”
- Isaiah 43:2 NIV

“The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
A righteous man may have many troubles,
but the LORD delivers him from them all…”
- Psalm 34:17-19 NIV

Friday, March 12, 2010

March 12, 2010

I captured this insect (hoverfly?)
enjoying a taste of spring at this crocus.
The unusually warm days
for this time of year
continue here in central Pennsylvania...
after a cold and very snowy February.
I am expecting a return
to more seasonal temperatures
before too long.
Rain is expected tomorrow
through part of Saturday.

"Awake, thou wintry earth -
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!"
- Thomas Blackburn
(An Easter Hymn)

"Spring shows what God can do
with a drab and dirty world."
- Virgil A. Kraft

Thursday, March 11, 2010

March 11, 2010

One of the first harbingers of spring...
the crocus.
This one caught in a show of seasons
with the snow of winter
and the dead, fallen leaf of autumn.

"And you would accept
the seasons of your heart
just as you have always accepted
that seasons pass over your fields
and you would watch with serenity
through the winters of your grief."
- Kahlil Gibran

“He changes times and seasons;
he sets up kings and deposes them.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.”
- Daniel 2:21 NIV

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

March 10, 2010

live by faith
photo by Erin Doyle

“Faith is the pierless bridge
supporting what we see
unto the scene that we do not.”
- Emily Dickenson

“That is the road we all have to take -
over the Bridge of Sighs into eternity.”
- Soren Kierkegaard

“But my righteous one will live by faith.
And if he shrinks back,
I will not be pleased with him."
- Hebrews 10:38 NIV

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

March 9, 2010

arise and go
photo by Erin Doyle

“Let it be equally said of you
to whatever duty the Lord may call you,
‘He arose and went.’
Be the way ever so laborious or dangerous,
still arise, like Elijah, and go.
Go cheerfully in faith, keeping your heart
dependent on the Lord, and in the end
you will surely behold His goodness.”
- F. W. Krummacher

Monday, March 8, 2010

March 8, 2010

“Be perfect, be of good comfort.”
- 2 Corinthians 13:11 KJV

“A glance at the words is enough
to make us feel how contradictory they are.
’Be perfect’: that is a word that strikes us with despair.
At once we feel how far away
we are from our own poor ideal,
and, alas how much further
from God’s ideal concerning us.
’Be of good comfort’: ah, that is very different!
That seems to say, ‘Do not fret; do not fear.
If you are not what you would be,
you must be thankful for what you are.’”
- Mark Guy Pearse

We can only “be perfect” through Jesus Christ
but He tells us to “be of good comfort”
because that is what He came to do for us.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

March 7, 2010

Honor and Integrity

“Sin and shame and vice are here,
Taking toll from year to year;
But the brave heart and true
need not fear what they may do,
And the clean of heart and hand
All these terrors can withstand;
For when all is sifted out
Honor calmly walks about.”
- Edgar A. Guest
(Honest People)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

March 6, 2010

complete trust in God

“Do not look forward to the changes
and chances of this life with fear.
Rather, look on them with full confidence that,
as they arise, god to whom you belong
will in his love enable you to profit by them.
He has guided you thus far in life.
Do you but hold fast to His dear hand,
and He will lead you safely through all trials.
Whenever you cannot stand,
He will carry you lovingly in His arms.
Do not look forward to
what may happen tomorrow.
The same Eternal Father
who takes care of you today
will care for you tomorrow,
and every day of your life.
Either He will shield you from suffering
or He will give you
unfailing strength to bear it.
Be at peace then,
and put aside all useless thoughts,
all vain dreads and all anxious imaginations.”
- Francis De Sales

Friday, March 5, 2010

March 5, 2010

The darkness behind the "pointed" fence
is not so much to make one wonder
what is there (or not there)
but represents the blindness of humanity
to the needs of others
and the lack of desire for that same humanity
to leave its "comfort zone"...
hence shutting out (the needs of others)
and keeping in (ones own self-made world).
The snow helps fortify this coldness of heart
and concentration on self.

"As a fence, it is a masterpiece,
and will shut off the rabble
and all vagabonds and hungry men
and all wandering children
looking for a place to play."
- Carl Sandberg
(from: A Fence)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

March 4, 2010

What is out there?

“When you have come to the edge
of all light that you know
and are about to drop off
into the darkness of the unknown,
faith is knowing one of two things will happen:
there will be something solid to stand on
or You will be taught to fly”
- Patrick Overton

“Never be afraid to trust
an unknown future to a known God.”
- Corrie Ten Boom

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

March 3, 2010

“I will come to you.”
photo by Erin Doyle

“I said a special prayer for you…
I asked the LORD above
To keep you safely in HIS care
and enfold you in HIS love.
I did not ask for fortune,
for riches or for fame,
I only asked for blessings
in the HOLY SAVIOR'S name…
Blessings to surround you
in times of trial and stress,
And inner joy to fill your heart
with peace and happiness.”
- Helen Steiner Rice

“I will not leave you comfortless:
I will come to you.”
- John 14:18 KJV

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March 2, 2010

serving others

”Only those who have learned
the power of sincere and selfless contribution
experience life's deepest joy: true fulfillment..”
- Anthony Robbins

“Great opportunities to help others seldom come,
but small ones surround us daily.”
- Sally Koch

Monday, March 1, 2010

March 1, 2010

Where are you?
photo by Erin Doyle

We are to be found standing on the Rock
amid a sea of despair and surrounded
by the chaff of the world.

“‘Where are we today?’
That is the question uppermost
in the minds of many people
as they approach a study
of Bible prophecy in general and
of the book of Revelation in particular.
They instinctively feel that the Bible
should speak clearly
to the special needs of our age.
They are right:
it should, and it does.”
- John Phillips