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

Monday, February 28, 2011

February 28, 2011 (door of salvation)

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

"I am the way, and the truth, and the life;
no one comes to the Father but through Me.”
- Jesus Christ
(John 14:6 NASB)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

February 27, 2011 (my symphony)

my symphony

"To live content with small means;
to seek elegance rather than luxury;
and refinement rather than fashion;
to be worthy, not respectable;
and wealthy, not rich;
to study hard, think quietly,
talk gently, act frankly;
to listen to stars and birds,
to babes and sages, with open heart;
to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely,
await occasion, hurry never;
in a word, to let the spiritual,
unbidden and unconscious
grow up through the common.
This is to be my symphony."
- William Ellery Channing

Saturday, February 26, 2011

February 26, 2011 (feel wonderfully good)

feel wonderfully good

“People need people and friends need friends,
And we all need love for a full life depends-
Not on vast riches or great acclaim,
Not on success or on worldy fame,
But just in knowing that someone cares,
And holds us close in their thoughts and prayers-
For only the knowledge that we're understood,
Makes everyday living feel wonderfully good,
And we rob ourselves of life's greatest need,
When we "lock up our hearts" and fail to heed,
The outstretched hand reaching to find,
A kindred spirit whose heart and mind,
Are lonely and longing to somehow share,
Our joys and sorrows and to make us aware,
That life's completeness and richness depends,
On the things we share with our loved ones,
and friends.”
- Helen Steiner Rice

Friday, February 25, 2011

February 25, 2011 (Be still)

“Look at the birds of the air;
they do not sow or reap or store away in barns,
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are you not much more valuable than they?”
– Matthew 6:26 NIV

“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.”
– Psalm 46:1,2 NIV

“Why, you do not even know
what will happen tomorrow.
What is your life?
You are a mist that appears
for a little while and then vanishes.
Instead, you ought to say,
‘If it is the Lord’s will,
we will live and do this or that.’”
– James 4:14,15 NIV

“He who did not spare his own Son,
but gave him up for us all—
how will he not also, along with him,
graciously give us all things?”
– Romans 8:32 NIV

Thursday, February 24, 2011

February 24, 2011 (on things above)

on things above

“How do geese know when to fly to the sun?
Who tells them the seasons?
How do we, humans know
when it is time to move on?
As with the migrant birds, so surely with us,
there is a voice within if only we would listen to it,
that tells us certainly
when to go forth into the unknown.”
- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

“Set your minds on things above,
not on earthly things.”
- Colossians 3:2 NIV

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

February 23, 2011 (ferocious tenacity)

ferocious tenacity

“While women weep, as they do now, I’ll fight;
while little children go hungry, I’ll fight;
while men go to prison, in and out,
in and out, as they do now, I’ll fight;
while there is a drunkard left,
while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets,
where there remains one dark soul
without the light of God – I’ll fight!
I’ll fight to the very end!”
- William Booth
(the end of his very last speech)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

February 22, 2011 (warm memories)

"Winter must be cold
for those with no warm memories."
- From the movie
(An Affair to Remember)

“To look backward for a while
is to refresh the eye, to restore it,
and to render it the more fit
for its prime function of looking forward.
- Margaret Fairless Barber

Monday, February 21, 2011

February 21, 2011 (gluttony)

photo by Lee Keefer

“Although drunkenness is a widespread sin
in the non-Christian culture of today,
I do not detect that it is a major problem among Christians.
But gluttony surely is.
Most of us have a tendency to overindulge in the food
which God has so graciously provided for us.
We allow the sensual part of our God-given appetite
to range out of control and lead us into sin.
We need to remember that even our eating and drinking
is to be done to the glory of God (I Corinthians 10:31).”
– Jerry Bridges

“I am not here singling out those
who have a so-called ‘weight problem.’
Those of us who can eat what we please
without gaining weight may be more guilty of gluttony
and indulging the appetites of the body
than the person who struggles –often with failure –
to control his appetite for food.
On the other hand, the overweight person
should not excuse his failure.
We should all examine ourselves
as to whether we eat and drink to the glory of God,
recognizing that our bodies
are the temples of the Holy Spirit.”
- Jerry Bridges

Sunday, February 20, 2011

February 20, 2011 (diligence)

photo by Lee Keefer

“What we hope ever to do with ease,
we must learn first to do with diligence.”
- Samuel Johnson

“When the hay is removed and new growth appears
and the grass from the hills is gathered in,
the lambs will provide you with clothing,
and the goats with the price of a field.
You will have plenty of goats’ milk
to feed you and your family.”
- Proverbs 27:25-27 NIV

Even so, as we practice diligence
here on earth to satisfy our bodily needs
(and are thus blessed by our heavenly Father),
we must place greater emphasis on the spirit.

"It is written:
'Man does not live on bread alone,
but on every word
that comes from the mouth of God.'"
- Matthew 4:4 NIV

Saturday, February 19, 2011

February 19, 2011 (My God and King)

My God and King

“The heavens are not too high,
His praise may thither fly:
The earth is not too low,
His praises there may grow.

Let all the world in every corner sing,
‘My God and King!’

The church with psalms must shout,
No door can keep them out:
But, above all, the heart
Must bear the longest part.

Let all the world in every corner sing,
‘My God and King!’”
- George Herbert

Friday, February 18, 2011

February 18, 2011 (purity)


“To the pure [in heart and conscience]
all things are pure,
but to the defiled and corrupt
and unbelieving nothing is pure;
their very minds and consciences
are defiled and polluted.”
– Titus 1:15 AMP

“Who shall go up into the mountain of the Lord?
Or who shall stand in His Holy Place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart…”
- Psalm 24:3,4 AMP

Thursday, February 17, 2011

February 17, 2011 (true friendship)

Kokomo and his silent Pal

“True friendship comes when
silence between two… is comfortable.
- Dave Tyson Gentry

“The antidote for fifty enemies is one friend.”
- Aristotle

“A friend is one of the
nicest things you can have,
and one of the
best things you can be.”
- Douglas Pagels

“The most I can do for my friend
is simply be his friend.”
- Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

February 16, 2011 (hidden in a flower)

hidden in a flower

"My garden beautifies my yard
and adds fragrance to the air,
But it is also my cathedral
and my quiet place of prayer.
So little do we realize
that the glory and the power
Of Him who made the universe
lies hidden in a flower!"
- Helen Steiner Rice

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

February 15, 2011 (an education of the heart)

an education of the heart

“I think that I would rather teach a child
The joys of kindness than long hours to spend
Poring o’er multiple and dividend;
How differing natures may be reconciled
Rather than just how cost accounts are filed;
How to live bravely to the end
Rather than how one fortress to defend,
Or how gold coins once gathered can be piled.

There is an education of the mind
Which all require and parents early start,
But there is a training of a nobler kind
And that’s the education of the heart.
Lessons that are most difficult to give
Are faith and courage and the way to live.”
- Edgar A. Guest

Monday, February 14, 2011

February 14, 2011 (that's her)

that’s her

“Find a guy who calls you beautiful…
who will lie under the stars
and listen to your heartbeat,
or will stay awake just to watch you sleep...
who wants to show you off to the world…
who holds your hand in front of his friends,
who thinks you're just as pretty without makeup on.
One who is constantly reminding you
of how much he cares
and how lucky he is to have you....
The one who turns to his friends and says, 'that's her.'”
- Author Unknown

Sunday, February 13, 2011

February 13, 2011 (push the cold away)

stitched by Darlene Frey

“There’s been much ice and plenty of snow
Frosty has been here for weeks, we know
It’s time to push the cold away
And celebrate St. Valentine’s Day!”
- Darlene Frey

Saturday, February 12, 2011

February 12, 2011 (so we take comfort)

so we take comfort

"Many things -
such as loving, going to sleep,
or behaving unaffectedly -
are done worst
when we try hardest to do them."
- C.S. Lewis

“The secret of contentment
is the realization that life is a gift,
not a right.”
– Author Unknown

“Let your character or moral disposition
be free from love of money
[including greed, avarice, lust,
and craving for earthly possessions]
and be satisfied with your present
[circumstances and with what you have];
for He [God] Himself has said,
I will not in any way fail you
nor give you up nor leave you without support.
[I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not
in any degree leave you helpless
nor forsake nor let [you] down
(relax My hold on you)!
[Assuredly not!]
So we take comfort and are encouraged
and confidently and boldly say,
The Lord is my Helper;
I will not be seized with alarm
[I will not fear or dread or be terrified].
What can man do to me?”
- Hebrew 13:5,6 AMP

Friday, February 11, 2011

February 11, 2011 (I soon shall hear)

I soon shall hear.
photo by Lee Keefer

“I know not when the Lord will come,
Or at what hour He may appear,
Whether at midnight or at morn,
Or at what season of the year.

I only know that He is near,
And that His voice I soon shall hear;
I only know that He is near,
And that His voice I soon shall hear;

I know not what of time remains,
To run its course, in this low sphere,
Or what awaits of calm or storm,
Of joy or grief, or hope or fear.

I only know that He is near,
And that His voice I soon shall hear;
I only know that He is near,
And that His voice I soon shall hear;

I know not what is yet to run
Of spring or summer, green or sear,
Of death or life, of pain or peace,
Of shade or shine, of song or tear.

I only know that He is near,
And that His voice I soon shall hear;
I only know that He is near,
And that His voice I soon shall hear;

The centuries have come and gone,
Dark centuries of absence drear;
I dare not chide the long delay,
Nor ask when I His voice shall hear.

I only know that He is near,
And that His voice I soon shall hear;
I only know that He is near,
And that His voice I soon shall hear;

I do not think it can be long,
Till in His glory He appear;
And yet I dare not name the day,
Nor fix the solemn advent year.

I only know that He is near,
And that His voice I soon shall hear;
I only know that He is near,
And that His voice I soon shall hear…”
- Horatius Bonar
(“I know not when the Lord will come”)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

February 10, 2011 (a challenging task)

a challenging task
(plowing a frozen, obstructed field
with inadequate equipment)

“Some fear witnessing
because they don’t feel confident enough
in their persuasive powers or their ability
to answer all imaginable objections to the gospel.
But the power for evangelism
is not in our ability; it is in His gospel.
Don’t doubt the power of God
to add His blessing upon your words
when you speak of Christ.”
- Donald Whitney

“Since Scripture imparts salvation,
effective evangelism depends
on the faithful proclamation of the Word.
God will prepare the soil and bring forth the fruit.
We must be faithful to plant the seed.”
- John MacArthur

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

February 09, 2011 (like a little child)

like a little child

“I tell you the truth,
anyone who will not receive
the kingdom of God like a little child
will never enter it."
- Mark 10:15 NIV

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

February 08, 2011 (Stop doubting and believe)

Stop doubting and believe

“Why can't I free your doubtful mind,
and melt your Cold, Cold Heart.”
– Hank Williams
(“Cold, Cold Heart”)

“All this while Ive been packing ice around my heart.
How do I make it melt?”
– Ada
(“Cold Mountain”)

"Of course, none of this can happen for us
until we give our lives back to God.
We cannot know the joy
or the life or the freedom of heart…
until we surrender our lives to Jesus
and surrender them totally...
We turn, and give ourselves
body, soul, and spirit back to God,
asking him to cleanse our hearts
and make them new. And he does.
He gives us a new heart.
And he comes to dwell there, in our hearts."
- John Eldredge
("Waking the Dead")

Monday, February 7, 2011

February 07, 2011 (fullness of His joy)

fullness of His joy

“You weren’t created for boredom or burnout
or bondage to sexual lust or greed or ambition
but for the incomparable pleasure and matchless joy
that knowing Jesus alone can bring.
Only then, in Him, will you encounter
the life-changing, thirst-quenching, soul-satisfying
delight that God, for His glory,
created you to experience.”
- Sam Storms

“To be in Christ is the source of the Christian’s life;
to be like Christ is the sum of His excellence;
to be with Christ is the fullness of His joy.”
- Charles Hodge

Sunday, February 6, 2011

February 06, 2011 (in your heart)

in your heart

“Paint a rainbow inside of you,
paint a rainbow,
let your smile shine through.
When it's cold and gray,
push the clouds away,
paint a rainbow in your heart.”
- Author Unknown

Saturday, February 5, 2011

February 05, 2011 (a gift of God)

a gift of God
photo by Lee Keefer

“God does not believe for us,
but He does through His Spirit
create spiritual life in us
so that we can believe.
Faith is a gift of God.
It is part of the whole salvation package
that God gives to us
through the work of Christ for us
and the work of the Holy Spirit in us.
It is not our contribution, so to speak,
to God’s great plan of salvation.
God does it all.
Faith is part of the
unsearchable riches of Christ.”
- Jerry Bridges

“It is true that the faith
which I am able to exercise
is God’s own gift.
He alone supports it,
and He alone can increase it.
Moment by moment, I depend on Him.
If I were left to myself,
my faith would utterly fail.”
- George Muller

“Faith is the evidence of new birth,
not the cause of it.”
- John Piper

Friday, February 4, 2011

February 04, 2011 (Zembie and Kokomo)

Zembie and Kokomo

“All for one and one for all
My brother and my friend
What fun we have
The time we share
Brothers 'til the end.”
- Author Unknown

Thursday, February 3, 2011

February 03, 2011 (encased in ice)

“For this people's heart has become calloused
[hardened, encased in ice];
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts and turn,
and I would heal them.”
- Matthew 13:15 NIV

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

February 02, 2011 (renew our vision)

renew our vision
photo by Lee Keefer

"One of the most poisonous
of all Satan’s whispers is simply,
‘Things will never change.’
That lie kills expectation,
trapping our heart forever in the present.
To keep desire alive and flourishing,
we must renew our vision for what lies ahead.
Things will not always be like this.
Jesus has promised to ‘make all things new.’
Eye has not seen, ear has not heard
all that God has in store for his lovers,
which does not mean
‘we have no clue so don’t even try to imagine,’
but rather, you cannot out dream God.
Desire is kept alive by imagination,
the antidote to resignation.
We will need imagination,
which is to say, we will need hope."
- John Eldredge

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February 01, 2011 (to see and not believe)

“It is better not to hear and see,
than to hear and see
and not believe.”
- Author Unknown