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

Friday, April 30, 2010

April 30, 2010

“A case can certainly be made
that Christians bear a major responsibility
for our ecological crisis.
But the fault is not their biblical
but their unbiblical view of nature.
Christians have long failed to understand
what the Bible really teaches
concerning nature and our responsibility for it.
For this there is no excuse.
Repentance must be our first response.
Our second response must then be
to right the wrongs of our faulty understanding
and act accordingly.
We are all responsible to know
what can be known of God’s will for nature,
and we are then responsible
to act on that knowledge.”
- James W. Sire
(Christian author)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

April 29, 2010

set before your eyes
photo by Jerre Frey

“Some people, in order to discover God,
read books. But there is a great book:
the very appearance of created things.
Look above you! Look below you! Read it.
God, whom you want to discover,
never wrote that book with ink.
Instead He set before your eyes
the things that He had made.
Can you ask for a louder voice than that?”
- St. Augustine

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

April 28, 2010

shines forevermore

“This is our hope for ourselves,
His truth, and humankind.
People come and go.
Leaders, teachers, and philosophers
speak and work for a season
and then fall silent and powerless.
He abides. They die but He lives.
They are lights that glow
yet are ultimately extinguished.
But He is the true Light
from which they draw their brightness,
and He shines forevermore.”
- Alexander Maclaren

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April 27, 2010

What do I look for?

He is coming soon…
take heart, have faith…
and keep trusting in Him.

“Be strong and let your heart take courage,
All you who hope in the LORD.”
- Psalm 31:24 NIV

“But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.”
- Psalm 39:7 NIV

Monday, April 26, 2010

April 26, 2010

Everyone, it seems,
enjoys to be entertained,
pampered, and given fantastic gifts…
TV, computers, cars, sports,
games, art, music, all the trimmings
and creature comforts
of our secular world.

Have we recently seen…
not just looked…
at God’s indescribably
beautiful, intricate,
and complex creation?

The master deceiver
wants you to ignore
(as much as he can)
and to become desensitized
to God’s gifts.

Take time today, tomorrow,
and every day
to really look
(learn and enjoy)
and praise Him
for “His” gifts.

“There is no peace more wonderful
than the peace we enjoy
when faith shows us
God in all created things.”
- Jean-Pierre de Caussde
Jesuit Priest and Spiritual Director

Sunday, April 25, 2010

April 25, 2010

for His Glory
photo by Lee Keefer

“Acceptance is taking from God’s hand
absolutely anything He gives,
looking into His face in trust
and thanksgiving,
knowing that the confinement
of the situation we’re in
is good and for His Glory.”
- Charles Swindoll

“No matter what your past has been,
you have a spotless future.”
- Author Unknown

Saturday, April 24, 2010

April 24, 2010

While looking at the violets
growing along a path into the woods,
I noticed this small insect
making its way into the flower's interior
... seeking a place of solitude.

“It is almost impossible to overestimate
the value of true humility
and its power in the spiritual life.
For the beginning of humility
is the beginning of blessedness
and the consummation of humility
is the perfection of all joy.
Humility contains in itself the answer
to all the great problems
of the life of the soul.
It is the only key to faith,
with which the spiritual life begins:
for faith and humility are inseparable.
In perfect humility all selfishness disappears
and your soul no longer lives
for itself or in itself for God:
and it is lost and submerged in Him
and transformed into Him.”
- Thomas Merton

Friday, April 23, 2010

April 23, 2010

I am always keeping an eye out
for a newer, better capture of an old subject.
I also think that while doing so
we are allowing the change within us
to see what we have never seen
or experienced before
as we continue to grow.

"...ever finding out and ever following
after better and better methods of prayer,
and ever forming more secret, more steadfast,
and more spiritually fruitful habits of prayer,
till they literally ‘pray without ceasing,’
and till they continually strike out
into new enterprises in prayer,
and new achievements,
and new enrichments.”
- Alexander Whyte

Thursday, April 22, 2010

April 22, 2010

"It is not elevation of the spirit
to feel contempt for small things.
It is, on the contrary,
because of too narrow points of view
that we consider as little
what has such far reaching consequences."
- Francois Fenelon

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April 21, 2010

“I want creation to penetrate you
with so much admiration
that wherever you go,
the least plant may bring you
the clear remembrance of the Creator.
One blade of grass or one speck of dust
is enough to occupy your entire mind
in beholding the art
with which it has been made.
The earth is the Lord's
and the fullness thereof."
- St. Basil the Great

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April 20, 2010

curved claw

“The cat is the animal
to whom the Creator gave
the biggest eye, the softest fur,
the most supremely delicate nostrils,
a mobile ear, an unrivaled paw
and a curved claw
borrowed from the rose-tree.”
- Sidonie Gabrielle

“They (the creatures) encourage us
to imitate Him whose mercy is over all His works.
It may enlarge our hearts
toward these poor creatures
to reflect that not one of them
is forgotten in the sight
of our Father which is in heaven.”
- John Wesley

Monday, April 19, 2010

April 19, 2010

from many a sorrow

“There is no time so profitably spent
as the early hour given to JESUS only.
Do we give sufficient attention to this hour?
If possible, it should be redeemed;
nothing can make up for it.
We must take time to be holy!
One other thought.
When we bring our questions to GOD,
do we not sometimes either
go on to offer some other petition,
or leave the closet without waiting for replies?
Does not this seem to show
little expectation of an answer,
and little desire for one?
Should we like to be treated so?
Quiet waiting before GOD would save
from many a mistake and
from many a sorrow.”
- J. Hudson Taylor

Sunday, April 18, 2010

April 18, 2010

"Our creator is the same and never changes
despite the names given Him by people
here and in all parts of the world.
Even if we gave Him no name at all,
He would still be there, within us,
waiting to give us good on this earth."
- George Washington Carver

Saturday, April 17, 2010

April 17, 2010

leave the shore
photo by Lee Keefer

“Jesus constrained them to go!
One would think that if ever there was
the certain promise of success
in a mission, it was here.
Surely, here, if anywhere, a triumphant issue
might have been confidently predicted;
and yet here, more than anywhere,
there was seeming failure.
He sent them out in a voyage,
and they met such a storm
as they had never yet experienced.
Let me ponder this,
for it has been so with me, too.
I have sometimes felt myself
impelled to act by an influence
which seemed above me —
constrained to put to sea.
The belief that I was constrained
gave me confidence,
and I was sure of a calm voyage.
But the result was outward failure.
The calm became a storm;
the sea raged, the winds roared,
the ship tossed in the midst of the waves,
and my enterprise was wrecked
ere it could reach the land.
Was, then, my divine command a delusion?
Nay; nor yet was my mission a failure.
He did send me on that voyage,
but He did not send me for my purpose.
He had one end and I had another.
My end was the outward calm;
His was my meeting with the storm.
My end was to gain
the harbor of a material rest;
His was to teach me
there is a rest even on the open sea.”
- George Matheson

Friday, April 16, 2010

April 16, 2010

making a difference

Living a life that honors and pleases our Lord
is what makes a difference…
be it only small and commonplace.

“A commonplace life, we say and we sigh,
But why should we sigh as we say?
The commonplace sun and the commonplace sky
Makes up the commonplace day.
The moon and the stars are commonplace things,
And the flower that blooms and the bird that sings;
But dark were the world and sad our lot,
If the flowers failed and the sun shone not.
And God who studies each separate soul
Out of the commonplace lives makes His beautiful whole.”
— Anonymous

Thursday, April 15, 2010

April 15, 2010

will we yield?
photo by Lee Keefer

“When we stand
in the middle of a lifestorm,
it seems as if the storm
has become our way of life.
We cannot see a way out.
We are unable to chart a course
back to smoother waters.
We feel defeated--and broken.
Will that brokenness produce a cynicism
that will keep us forever
in the mire of "if only" thinking?
Or will we yield up that brokenness
to the resources of One
who calms the winds and the waves,
heals the brokenhearted,
and forgives the most grievous of sins?
The choice is ours.”
- Verdell Davis

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 14, 2010

Do today’s duty

“Do today's duty, fight today's temptation;
do not weaken and distract yourself
by looking forward to things you cannot see,
and could not understand if you saw them.”
- Charles Kingsley

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

April 13, 2010

we need not be anxious
photo by Lee Keefer

“There is some plan for each day's work,
which He will unfold to us,
if only we will look up to Him to do so;
some mission to fulfill;
some ministry to perform;
some lesson patiently to learn,
that we may be able to ''reach others also.''
As to our plans we need not be anxious;
because He who sends us forth
is responsible to make the plan,
according to His infinite wisdom;
and to reveal it to us,
however dull and stupid
our faculties may be.”
- F. L. Meyer

Monday, April 12, 2010

April 12, 2010

our absolute dependence
photo by Lee Keefer

“Prayer is the movement of trust,
of gratitude, of adoration, or of sorrow,
that places us before God,
seeing both Him and ourselves
in the light of His infinite truth,
and moves us to ask Him
for the mercy, the spiritual strength,
the material help, that we all need.
The man whose prayer is so pure
that he never asks God for anything
does not know who God is,
and does not know who he is himself:
for he does not know his own need of God.
All true prayer somehow confesses
our absolute dependence
on the Lord of life and death.
It is, therefore, a deep and vital contact
with Him whom we know not
only as Lord but as Father.
It is when we pray truly that we really are.
Our being is brought to a high perfection by this.”
- Thomas Merton

Sunday, April 11, 2010

April 11, 2010

“My Father in heaven,
may I hear Thy voice today!
Above the clamor of the crowd
may I hear the high calling
of God in Christ Jesus!
May I never lose the sound of the trumpet!
May I hear it in my joys
and in my sorrows,
in my labors and in my rest!”
- John Henry Jowett

“The cheerful Sabbath bells,
wherever heard,
Strike pleasant on the sense,
most like the voice Of one,
who from the far-off hills proclaims
Tidings of good to Zion.”
- Charles Lamb

Saturday, April 10, 2010

April 10, 2010

in every flower

“The real voyage of discovery
consists of not in seeking new landscapes
but in having new eyes.”
- Marcel Proust

“Never lose an opportunity
of seeing anything that is beautiful,
for beauty is God's handwriting…
a wayside sacrament.
Welcome it in every fair face,
in every fair sky, in every flower,
and thank God for it as a cup of blessing.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, April 9, 2010

April 9, 2010

the promise

“And God said,
“This is the sign of the covenant
I am making between me and you…”
- Genesis 9:12 NIV

Disasters seem to be occurring
more frequently lately…
and we ask why?

Even if we do not understand…
understand this…
God is still in charge,
He knows what He is doing,
and He loves His children…

“God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.”
- Psalm 46:1-3 NIV

“This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was when everything fell
We'd be held…”
- Natalie Grant
(from “HELD” lyrics)

“Blessed are all who take refuge in him.”
- Psalm 2:12 NIV

Thursday, April 8, 2010

April 8, 2010

as it has pleased Him

Sometimes we struggle with our effectiveness
at spreading the Word, inspiration, and hope.

We have no idea whom we are reaching
and our impact in their life.

Perhaps I am used to it a bit more than some,
after 30 years teaching in the public school system. :)

Still I wonder…

This quote by Alexander MacLaren
puts in all into its proper perspective.

“Never mind whereabouts your work is.
Never mind whether it be visible or not.
Never mind whether your name
is associated with it.
You may never see the issues of your toils.
You are working for eternity.
If you cannot see results here
in the hot working day,
the cool evening hours are drawing near,
when you may rest from your labors,
and then they will follow you.
so do your duty, and trust God
to give the seed you sow
’a body as it has pleased Him.’”
- Alexander MacLaren

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

April 7, 2010

shine out

“I would not give much for your religion
unless it can be seen.
I know some people's religion is heard of,
but give me the man whose religion is seen.
Lamps do not talk, but shine;
a lighthouse sounds no drum,
it beats no gong,
and yet far over the waters
its friendly spark is seen by the mariner.
So let your actions shine out your religion.
Let your conduct talk out your soul.
Let the main sermon of your life
be illustrated by all your conduct,
and it shall not fail to be illustrious.”
- Spurgeon

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April 6, 2010


“Simplicity, clarity, singleness:
These are the attributes
that give our lives
power and vividness and joy
as they are also the marks of great art.
They seem to be the purpose
of God for his whole creation.”
- Richard Holloway

“There is no greatness where there is not
simplicity, goodness, and truth.”
- Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy

“For our rejoicing is this,
the testimony of our conscience,
that in simplicity and godly sincerity,
not with fleshly wisdom,
but by the grace of God…”
- 2 Corinthians 1:12 KJV

Monday, April 5, 2010

April 5, 2010

abundant prosperity

We have all heard it said
that it is easy to praise God
when everything is going well…
but let adversity come…

Actually I think there is a greater danger
when we are prosperous and content…
for it is in such times that we can
become prideful and forget God.

“The Christian far oftener disgraces his profession
in prosperity than in adversity.
It is a dangerous thing to be prosperous.
The crucible of adversity
is a less severe trial to the Christian
than the refining pot of prosperity.
Oh, what leanness of soul
and neglect of spiritual things
have been brought on
through the very mercies
and bounties of God!
Yet this is not a matter of necessity,
for the apostle tells us
that he knew how to abound.
When he had much he knew how to use it.
Abundant grace enabled him to bear abundant prosperity.
We are full and we forget God:
satisfied with earth,
we are content to do without heaven.
Rest assured it is harder to know
how to be full
than it is to know how to be hungry…
so desperate is the tendency of human nature
to pride and forgetfulness of God.
Take care that you ask in your prayers
that God would teach you ‘how to be full.’”
- Spurgeon

Sunday, April 4, 2010

April 4, 2010

“See the land, her Easter keeping,
Rises as her Maker rose.
Seeds, so long in darkness sleeping,
Burst at last from winter snows.
Earth with heaven above rejoices...”
- Charles Kingsley

“God the Father is a deep root,
the Son is the shoot
that breaks forth into the world,
and the Spirit is that
which spreads beauty and fragrance.”
- Tertullian

Saturday, April 3, 2010

April 3, 2010

my sunset sky

“Clouds come floating into my life,
no longer to carry rain or usher storm,
but to add color to my sunset sky.”
- Rabindranath Tagore

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.”
- Psalm 34:4,5 NIV

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
- Romans 12:12 NIV

Friday, April 2, 2010

April 2, 2010

“When somebody needs a helping hand,
he doesn’t need it tomorrow
or the next day.
He needs it now,
and that’s exactly when you
should offer to help.
Good deeds, if they are really good,
happen sooner rather than later.”
- Marie T. Freeman

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April 1, 2010

Don’t be afraid to fly,
to allow your souls to soar.

Once you let go
of the worthless things of this world
and seek Him,
you will find the freedom to fly.

“…but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles”
- Isaiah 40:31 NIV

"When once you have tasted flight,
you will forever walk the earth
with your eyes turned skyward,
for there you have been,
and there you will always long to return."
- Author Unknown