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, October 31, 2010

October 31, 2010 (floating on feelings)

“Where there is no 'moral gravity' –
that is, no force that draws us to the center –
there is spiritual weightlessness.
We float on feelings that will carry us
where we never meant to go;
we bubble with emotional experiences
that we often take for spiritual ones;
and we are puffed up with pride.
Instead of seriousness, there is foolishness.
Instead of gravity, flippancy.
Sentimentality takes the place of theology.
Our reference point will never serve
to keep our feet on solid rock,
for our reference point,
until we answer God’s call,
is merely ourselves.
We cannot possibly tell which end is up.
Paul calls them fools who
‘…measure themselves by themselves,
to find in themselves
their own standard of comparison!’”
- Elisabeth Elliot

Saturday, October 30, 2010

October 30, 2010 (village of hope)

village of hope
photo by Ronnie Benner

“Hope is called the anchor of the soul
(Hebrews 6:19),
because it gives stability to the Christian life.
But hope is not simply a ‘wish’
(I wish that such-and-such would take place);
rather, it is that which latches on to
the certainty of the promises
of the future that God has made.”
- R.C. Sproul

“Hope in God's promises, therefore,
is not a wishful longing
but a faith-filled confidence for the future.
It is simply impossible to trust
one of God's promises
and not anticipate its coming true.
To know God is to trust Him.
And to trust God is to trust His promises.
And to trust God's promises
is to be sure of their fulfillment.
This assurance concerning the future,
anchored in God's promises,
is what the Bible calls ‘hope.’"
- Scott Hafemann

Friday, October 29, 2010

October 29, 2010 (grow larger)

"Let us labor to make the heart
grow larger as we become older,
as spreading oak gives more shelter."
- Richard Jeffries

Thursday, October 28, 2010

October 28, 2010 (a measure of time)

"Change is a measure of time and,
in the autumn, time seems speeded up.
What was is not and never again will be;
what is is change."
- Edwin Way Teale

“Courage is the strength
or choice to begin a change.
Determination is the persistence
to continue that change.”
- Author Unknown

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

October 27, 2010 (in stark contrast)

“Scripture, because of its absolute clarity,
bring understanding where there is ignorance,
order where there is confusion,
and light where there is spiritual and moral darkness.
It stands in stark contrast
to the muddled musings of unredeemed men,
who themselves are blind and unable
to discern truth or live righteously.
God’s Word clearly reveals the blessed,
hopeful truth they can never see.”
- John MacArthur

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

October 26, 2010 (quiet desperation)

“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation
and go to the grave with the song still in them.”
Henry David Thoreau

“Do not lose hold of your dreams or aspirations.
For if you do, you may still exist
but you have ceased to live.”
- Henry David Thoreau

Monday, October 25, 2010

October 25, 2010 (oneness with Him)

“Believers all belong to the same Lord,
and are thus one with each other.
Therefore anything that denies
our oneness with each other
denies our oneness with Him.”
- John MacArthur

Sunday, October 24, 2010

October 24, 2010 (gathered together)

“We are all called to initiate
involvement in each other’s lives…
We covenant together to work and pray for unity,
to walk together in love,
to exercise care and watchfulness over each other,
to faithfully admonish and entreat one another
as occasion may require,
to assemble together, to pray for each other,
to rejoice and to bear with each other,
and to pray for God’s help in all this.”
– Mark Denver

“Again I tell you,
if two of you on earth agree
(harmonize together, make a symphony together)
about whatever [anything and everything]
they may ask, it will come to pass
and be done for them by My Father in heaven.
For wherever two or three are gathered
(drawn together as My followers)
in (into) My name,
there I AM in the midst of them.”
– Matthew 18:19,20 AMP

Saturday, October 23, 2010

October 23, 2010 (spiritual thirst)

There is a spiritual thirst
in all Christians with a heart made right
and a renewed mind.
This search for the divine
in an abstract world
requires a constant walk
in His presence where
you are ever mindful of Him.

“But if from there you will seek
(inquire for and require as necessity)
the Lord your God, you will find Him
if you [truly] seek Him with all your heart
[and mind] and soul and life.”
- Deuteronomy 4:29 AMP

Friday, October 22, 2010

October 22, 2010 (desire of distinction)

"There lurks, perhaps,
in every human heart a desire of distinction,
which inclines every man first to hope,
and then to believe,
that Nature has given him something
peculiar to himself."
- Samuel Johnson

"You were born an original.
Don't die a copy."
- John Mason

Thursday, October 21, 2010

October 21, 2010 (enjoy)


“Live and work but do not forget to play,
to have fun in life and really enjoy it.”
- Eileen Caddy

“I came that they may have and enjoy life,
and have it in abundance
(to the full, till it overflows).”
- John 10:10

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

October 20, 2010 (perfect peace)

"Afraid? Of what?
To feel the spirit's glad release?
To pass from pain to perfect peace.
The strife and strain of life to cease?
Afraid – of that?"
- E.H. Hamilton

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

October 19, 2010 (the perfect leaf)

Searching for the perfect leaf...
we all, perhaps when young, searched for the perfect leaf,
the perfect seashell, the perfect pebble, etc.
There is no such thing...
all are imperfect in some way.
Yet there is a uniqueness to each and every thing...
and to each one of us.

”Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything,
That's how the light gets in.”
- Leonard Cohen

Monday, October 18, 2010

October 18, 2010 (October's Party)

I took a walk today
through a woods bordering a lake.
The wind was blowing and the sun was shining.
Turning my camera skyward,
I captured these leaves
as they were dancing in the wind.

"October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came -
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band."
- George Cooper

God never fails to provide
many awesome blessings
each and every day!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

October 17, 2010 (saving faith)

saving faith

“If a man turns from sin without turning to God,
he will find his sin has only changed its name
and is hidden behind his pride.”
- Jim Elliff

“Faith is the flip side of repentance.
While repentance speaks of turning from sin,
faith is turning to the Savior.
The object of saving faith is not a creed,
not a church, not a pastor,
not a set of rituals or ceremonies.
Jesus is the object of saving faith.”
- John MacArthur

Saturday, October 16, 2010

October 16, 2010 (Irreparable Past)

“Our yesterdays present irreparable things to us;
it is true that we have lost opportunities
which will never return,
but God can transform this destructive anxiety
into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future.
Let the past sleep,
but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ.
Leave the Irreparable Past in His hands,
and step out into the Irresistible Future with Him.”
- Oswald Chambers

Friday, October 15, 2010

October 15, 2010 (you are forgiven)

you are forgiven

“What do you do with the person who says,
‘I’ve asked God to forgive me about this,
but I still feel guilty’?
I hear that statement over and over again.
I usually say to these people,
‘If you still feel guilty, then pray to God again.
But this time don’t ask Him
to forgive you for the sin that is haunting you.
Rather, ask Him to forgive you
for insulting His integrity
by refusing to accept His forgiveness.
Who are you to refuse to forgive yourself
when God has forgiven you?
When God promises
to forgive His people when they repent,
He is not playing games.
If He says He will forgive you,
then He will forgive you.
And if God forgives you,
you are forgiven.’”
- R.C. Sproul

“If our greatest need had been information,
God would have sent us an educator.
If our greatest need had been technology,
God would have sent us a scientist.
If our greatest need had been money,
God would have sent us an economist.
If our greatest need had been pleasure,
God would have sent us an entertainer.
But our greatest need was forgiveness,
so God sent us a Savior.”
- Charles Sell

Thursday, October 14, 2010

October 14, 2010 (ultimate collapse)

“The family was God’s first earthly institution.
Before there was a government,
and long before God instituted the church,
He ordained marriage and the family
as the basic building block of society.
The destruction of the family
we are witnessing today is,
I believe, a harbinger of the
ultimate collapse of our entire society.
The more the family is threatened,
the more society itself is in danger of extinction.
We’re living in the last days,
and nothing shows that more graphically
than the deterioration of the family.”
- John MacArthur

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

October 13, 2010 (you can)

you can

“When God wanted sponges and oysters
He made them and put one on a rock
and the other in the mud.
When He made man He did not
make him to be a sponge or an oyster;
He made him with feet and hands,
and head and heart, and vital blood,
and a place to use them
and He said to him, ‘Go work.’”
- Henry Ward Beecher

“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
and as long as you can.”
- John Wesley

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

October 12, 2010 (justification)


“Justification goes beyond forgiveness.
Not only are we forgiven because of Christ,
but God also declares us righteous because of Christ.
God requires two things of us:
punishment for our sins and perfection in our lives.
Our sins must be punished,
and our lives must be righteous.
But we cannot bear our own punishment (Ps. 49:7-8),
and we cannot provide our own righteousness.
“None is righteous; no, not one” (Rom. 3:10).
Therefore, God, out of His immeasurable love for us,
provided His own Son to do both.
Christ bears our punishment,
and Christ performs our righteousness.
And when we receive Christ (John 1:12),
all of His punishment and all of His righteousness
is counted as ours (Rom. 4:4-6; 5:1, 19; 8:1;
10:4; 2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 3:8-9).”
- John Piper

“This is the rock where we stand
when the dark clouds gather
and the floods lick at our feet:
justification is by grace alone
(not mixed with our merit),
through faith alone
(not mixed with our works)
on the basis of Christ alone
(not mingling his righteousness with ours),
to the glory of God alone (not ours).”
- John Piper

Monday, October 11, 2010

October 11, 2010 (sowing seeds)

sowing seeds

“When they turn the pages of history,
when these days have passed long ago--
will they read of us with sadness
for the seeds that we let grow?”
- Neil Peart

Sunday, October 10, 2010

October 10, 2010 (10 to live by)

10 to live by

“If God would have wanted us
to live in a permissive society
He would have given us Ten Suggestions
and not Ten Commandments.”
- Zig Ziglar

Saturday, October 9, 2010

October 9, 2010 (that can never)

“In Christ we have:
A love that can never be fathomed
A life that can never die
A righteousness that can never be tarnished
A peace that can never be understood
A rest that can never be disturbed
A joy that can never be diminished
A hope that can never be disappointed
A glory that can never be clouded
A light that can never be darkened
A purity that can never be defiled
A beauty that can never be marred
A wisdom that can never be baffled
Resources that can never be exhausted.”
- Author Unknown

Friday, October 8, 2010

October 8, 2010 (to make us rejoice)

“Landscapes have a language of their own,
expressing the soul of the things,
lofty or humble, which constitute them,
from the mighty peaks to the smallest of the
tiny flowers hidden in the meadow's grass”
- Author Unknown

“There is not one blade of grass,
there is no color in this world
that is not intended to make us rejoice”
- John Calvin

Thursday, October 7, 2010

October 7, 2010 (a blessing to others)

a blessing to others

“Worship is giving God
the best that He has given you.
Be careful what you do with the best you have.
Whenever you get a blessing from God,
give it back to Him as a love gift.
Take time to meditate before God
and offer the blessing back to Him
in a deliberate act of worship.
If you hoard a thing for yourself,
it will turn into spiritual dry rot,
as the manna did when it was hoarded.
God will never let you hold
a spiritual thing for yourself;
it has to be given back to Him
that He may make it a blessing to others.”
- Oswald Chambers

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

October 6, 2010 (In the Garden)

In the Garden

I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses;
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses.

And he walks with me, and he talks with me,
And he tells me I am his own,
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

He speaks, and the sound of his voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing;
And the melody that he gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.


I'd stay in the garden with him
Tho the night around me be falling;
But he bids me go; thro' the voice of woe,
His voice to me is calling.

- Charles Austin Miles

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

October 5, 2010 (even the mighty oak)

even the mighty oak

“In trial and weakness and trouble,
He seeks to bring us low,
until we learn that His grace is all,
and to take pleasure in the very thing
that brings us and keeps us low.
His strength is made perfect in our weakness.
His presence filling and satisfying our emptiness,
becomes the secret of humility that need never fail.
The humble man has learned
the secret of abiding gladness.
The weaker he feels, the lower he sinks,
and the greater his humiliations appear,
the more power and
the presence of Christ are his portion.”
- Andrew Murray

“For men have no taste for [God’s power]
till they are convinced of their need of it
and they immediately forget its value
unless they are conditionally reminded
by awareness of their own weakness.”
- John Calvin

Monday, October 4, 2010

October 4, 2010 (our first duty is to pray)

our first duty is to pray

“Personal working for souls is good.
Giving money is good.
But praying is best of all.
By prayer we reach Him without whom
work and money are alike in vain.
We obtain the aid of the Holy Spirit.
Money can hire workers.
Universities can give learning.
Congregations may elect. Bishops may ordain.
But the Holy Spirit alone
can make ministers of the Gospel,
and raise up lay workmen in the spiritual harvest,
who need not be ashamed.
Never, never may we forget
that if we would do good to the world,
our first duty is to pray!”
- J.C. Ryle

Sunday, October 3, 2010

October 3, 2010 (reverance for all life)

“Whenever I am afield or outdoors,
there steals over me the acute consciousness
that I am confronted on every hand
by the superb workmanship of my Father.
It is as if every tree, rock, river,
flower, mountain, bird, or blade of grass
had stamped upon it the indelible label,
‘Made by God.’
Is it any wonder that
in a simple yet sublime sense of devotion,
respect, and reverence for all life,
Christ longed for His Father's name
to be hallowed throughout the earth?”
- Phillip Keller

Saturday, October 2, 2010

October 2, 2010 (faith breeds obedience)

faith breeds obedience

“Important lessons are given by this alternation
of the two ideas of faith and unbelief,
obedience and disobedience.
Disobedience is the root of unbelief.
Unbelief is the mother of further disobedience.
Faith is voluntary submission
within a person's own power.
If faith is not exercised,
the true cause lies deeper
than all intellectual reasons.
It lies in the moral aversion of
human will and in the pride of independence,
which says, ‘Who is Lord over us?
Why should we have to depend on Jesus Christ?’
As faith is obedience and submission,
so faith breeds obedience,
but unbelief leads on to
higher-handed rebellion.
With dreadful reciprocity of influence,
the less one trusts, the more he disobeys;
the more he disobeys, the less he trusts.”
- Alexander Maclaren

Friday, October 1, 2010

October 1, 2010 (a proper tea party)

a proper tea party

“Strange how a teapot can represent
at the same time the comforts of solitude
and the pleasures of company.”
- Author Unknown

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough
or a book long enough to suit me.”
- C.S. Lewis