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, August 31, 2011

August 31, 2011 (over all things)

over all things
photo by Patrick Frey

“Now if I believe in God's Son
and remember that He became man,
all creatures will appear a hundred times
more beautiful to me than before.
Then I will properly appreciate the sun,
the moon, the stars, trees, apples,
as I reflect that he is Lord over all things.
…God writes the Gospel, not in the Bible alone,
but also on trees, and in the flowers
and clouds and stars.”
- Martin Luther

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

August 30, 2011 (in God's hands)

in God's hands

“I have held many things in my hands,
and I have lost them all;
but whatever I have placed in God's hands,
that I still possess.”
- Martin Luther

Monday, August 29, 2011

August 29, 2011 (sins of society)

sins of society

“Someone has said
that the seven deadly sins
of society are these:
Policies without principles;
wealth without work;
pleasure without conscience;
knowledge without character;
commerce and industry without morality;
science without humanity;
worship without sacrifice.”
- Leaves of Gold

Sunday, August 28, 2011

August 28, 2011 (He watches over me.)

He watches over me.
photo by by Lee Keefer

“I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
[and the chickadee]
and I know He watches me.
'Let not your heart be troubled,'
His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness,
I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth,
but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow,
and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
and I know He watches me.”
- Civilla D. Martin (writer)
Charles H. Gabriel (composer)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

August 27, 2011 (perfect peace)

perfect peace

For whatever storm may appear in your life,
trust in Him.

“A righteous man may have many troubles,
but the Lord delivers him from them all.”
- Psalm 34:19 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,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.”
- Psalm 46:1-3 NIV

“Our Lord does not promise to change life for us;
He does not promise to remove difficulties
and trials and problems and tribulations...
But He assures us that we can so know Him that,
whatever happens, we need never be frightened,
we need never be alarmed.”
- D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Friday, August 26, 2011

August 26, 2011 (praising God)

praising God

“Doth not all nature around me praise God?
If I were silent,
I should be an exception to the universe.
Doth not the thunder praise Him as it rolls like drums
in the march of the God of armies?
Do not the mountains praise Him when the woods
upon their summits wave in adoration?
Doth not the lightning write His name in letters of fire?
Hath not the whole earth a voice?
And shall I, can I, silent be?”
- C.H. Spurgeon

“Eternity will be too short fully to recount His praise.
Let us not shorten our joy
by neglecting to begin on earth.”
- Henry Law

Thursday, August 25, 2011

August 25, 2011 (blessed in abundance)

blessed in abundance
photo by Lee Keefer

“When you focus on being a blessing,
God makes sure that you are always
blessed in abundance.”
- Joel Osteen

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

August 24, 2011 (a good year?)

a good year?
photo by Lee Keefer

On birthdays, anniversaries, January 1st...
we all hope that the next year
will bring happiness.
We hope for a good year!

There are never any guarantees.

How about a glorious, joyous eternity?

“The very happiest persons I have ever met with
have been departing believers.
The only people for whom I have felt any envy
have been dying members of this very church,
whose hands I have grasped in their passing away.
Almost without exception I have seen in them
holy delight and triumph.
And in the exceptions to this exceeding joy
I have seen deep peace,
exhibited in a calm and deliberate readiness
to enter into the presence of their God.”
- C.H. Spurgeon

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

August 23, 2011 (42 years)

42 years
and the love
keeps growing

“An anniversary is a time to celebrate
the joys of today,
the memories of yesterday,
and the hopes of tomorrow.”
- Author Unknown

“True love stories never have endings.”
- Richard Bach

Monday, August 22, 2011

August 22, 2011 (encouragement)


“Christians are like the several flowers in a garden
that have each of them the dew of Heaven,
which, being shaken with the wind,
they let fall at each other's roots,
whereby they are jointly nourished,
and become nourishers of each other.”
- John Bunyan

Sunday, August 21, 2011

August 21, 2011 (temptation)


"Do not grudge the Hand that is moulding
the still too shapeless image within you.
It is growing more beautiful,
though you see it not,
and every touch of temptation
may add to its perfection."
- Henry Drummond

"You have escaped the formidable rocks.
[But] Beware lest you are wrecked on the sands."
- Gregory Nazianzen

"Temptation usually comes in through a door
that has deliberately been left open."
- Arnold Glasow

“Therefore, whoever thinks he is standing securely
should watch out so he doesn’t fall.
No temptation has overtaken you
that is unusual for human beings.
But God is faithful, and he will not allow you
to be tempted beyond your strength.
Instead, along with the temptation
he will also provide a way out,
so that you may be able to endure it.”
- 1 Corinthians 10:12,13 ISV

Saturday, August 20, 2011

August 20, 2011 (virtue)


"Very often what God first helps us towards
is not the virtue itself
but just this power of always trying again."
- C. S. Lewis

"Virtue - even attempted virtue - brings light;
indulgence brings fog."
- C. S. Lewis

Friday, August 19, 2011

August 19, 2011 (makes us acceptable)

makes us acceptable

"Our peace and confidence are to be found
not in our empirical holiness,
not in our progress toward perfection,
but in the alien righteousness of Jesus Christ
that covers our sinfulness and alone
makes us acceptable before a holy God."
- Donald Bloesch

Thursday, August 18, 2011

August 18, 2011 (moral irresponsibility)

moral irresponsibility

“Beneath all the rhetoric about relevance
lies a profoundly disturbing possibility –
that people may base their lives
upon an illusion, upon a blatant lie.
The attractiveness of a belief is all too often
inversely proportional to its truth…
To allow “relevance” to be given
greater weight than truth is a mark of
intellectual shallowness and moral irresponsibility.”
- Alister McGrath

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

August 17, 2011 (seeds of kindness)

seeds of kindness

"Let there be kindness in your face,
in your eyes, in your smile,
in the warmth of your greeting...
Don't only give your care,
but give your heart as well."
- Mother Teresa

"The person who sows seeds of kindness
enjoys a perpetual feast."
- Author Unknown

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

August 16, 2011 (sweeter gentleness)

sweeter gentleness

“Life is too short to spend
even one day of it in bickering and strife.
Love is too sacred to be forever lacerated
and torn by the ugly briers of sharp temper.
Surely we ought to learn
to be patient with others,
since God has to show every day
such infinite patience toward us.
Can we not, then, train our life
to sweeter gentleness?
Can we not learn to be touched
even a little roughly, without resenting it?
Can we not bear little injuries
and apparent injustices,
without flying into an unseemly rage?
Can we not have in us
something of the mind of Christ
which will enable us, like Him -
to endure all wrong and injury
and give back no word or look of bitterness?”
- J. R. R. Miller

Monday, August 15, 2011

August 15, 2011 (slamming the door)

slamming the door

“When you say a situation or a person is hopeless,
you are slamming the door in the face of God.”
- Charles L. Allen

“God hath in Himself
all power to defend you,
all wisdom to direct you,
all mercy to pardon you,
all grace to enrich you,
all righteousness to clothe you,
all goodness to supply you,
and all happiness to crown you.”
- Thomas Brooks

Sunday, August 14, 2011

August 14, 2011 (trinity of mushrooms)

trinity of mushrooms
(three mushrooms but one image)

Years ago, for a photo class assignment,
I was told to pick a color and take photos
of things that predominating had that color.
I picked yellow, and for weeks after the assignment
was completed, I was still drawn to anything
that was yellow.

Within recent years I am drawn to
scenes or images that have three of a kind.

I call these my “trinity” photos.
My focus has changed.

“In the body of the sun, there are the
substance of the sun, the beams, and the heat;
the beams are begotten of the sun,
the heat proceeds both from the sun and the beams;
but these three, though different, are not divided;
they all three make but one sun:
so in the blessed Trinity,
the Son is begotten of the Father,
the Holy Ghost proceeds from both;
yet though they are three distinct persons,
they are but one God.”
- Thomas Watson

Saturday, August 13, 2011

August 13, 2011 (eminently desirable)

eminently desirable

“God’s revelatory manifestation of Himself
in creation, in providence, in Scripture,
and pre-eminently in the face of His Son, Jesus Christ,
is designed to evoke within the breathtaking delight
and incomparable joy of which God alone is worthy.
Beauty is that in God which makes Him
eminently desirable and attractive
and quickens in the soul a realization
that it was made for a different world.”
- Sam Storms

Friday, August 12, 2011

August 12, 2011 (more than I need)

more than I need

“If in these days there be
one household demon more
than another which needs to be exorcized -
it is the demon of discontent!”
- John MacDuff

“Oh, for the spirit of Paul -
poor and lonely prisoner in Rome as he was -
an apparent bankrupt in all
that the world deems wealth and affluence -
yet who could make this entry
in his letter to his Philippian friends -
'I have learned to be content
whatever the circumstances.
At the moment I have all I need -
more than I need!'”
- John MacDuff

Thursday, August 11, 2011

August 11, 2011 (family worship)

family worship

“Happy is that family where the worship of God
is constantly and conscientiously maintained.
Such houses are temples in which the Lord dwells,
and castles garrisoned by a Divine power.
I do not say, that, by honoring God in your house,
you will wholly escape a share in the trials
incident to the present uncertain state of things.
A measure of such trials will be necessary
for the exercise and manifestation of your graces;
to give you a more convincing proof of the truth
and sweetness of the promises made
to a time of affliction; to mortify the body of sin;
and to wean you more effectually from the world.
But this I will confidently say,
that the Lord will both honor and comfort those
who thus honor Him.
Seasons will occur in which you shall know,
and probably your neighbors
shall be constrained to take notice,
that He has not bid you seek Him in vain.
If you meet with troubles,
they shall be accompanied by supports,
and followed by deliverance;
and you shall upon many occasions experience,
that God is your protector,
preserving you and yours from the evils
by which you will see others suffering around you.”
- John Newton

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

August 10, 2011 (shines more brilliantly)

shines more brilliantly

“Before we can learn the sufficiency of God’s grace,
we must learn the insufficiency of ourselves.
The more we see our sinfulness,
the more we appreciate grace
in its basic meaning of God’s undeserved favor.
In a similar manner, the more we see our frailty,
weakness, and dependence,
the more we appreciate God’s grace
in its dimension of His divine assistance.
Just as grace shines more brilliantly
against the dark background of our sin,
so it also shines more brilliantly
against the background of our human weakness.”
- Jerry Bridges

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

August 9, 2011 (mythic)


A myth or a fact?

“For just as through the disobedience of the one man
the many were made sinners,
so also through the obedience of the one man
the many will be made righteous.”
- Romans 5:19 NIV

I enjoy reading “mythic” fantasy...
J. R. R. Tolkien (Lord of the Rings);
C. S. Lewis, (Narnia), etc.
We all like to read about heros
overcoming great odds to help others.
Sometimes these stories,
the stuff of myth, are factual.

“By becoming fact,
it does not cease to be myth;
that is the miracle.”
- C. S. Lewis

“For God so loved the world
that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him
shall not perish but have eternal life.”
- John 3:16 NIV

Monday, August 8, 2011

August 8, 2011 (by the grace of God)

by the grace of God

“I am not what I ought to be,
I am not what I want to be,
I am not what I hope to be in another world;
but still I am not what I once used to be,
and by the grace of God I am what I am.”
- John Newton

Sunday, August 7, 2011

August 7, 2011 (the heart of the matter)

the heart of the matter

“The heart must be the principal point
to which we attend in all the relations
between God and our souls.

What is the first thing we need,
in order to be Christians? A new heart.

What is the sacrifice God asks us to bring to him?
A broken and a contrite heart.

What is the true circumcision?
The circumcision of the heart.

What is genuine obedience?
To obey from the heart.

What is saving faith?
To believe with the heart.

Where ought Christ to dwell?
To dwell in our hearts by faith.

What is the chief request that Wisdom makes to every one?
'My son, give me your heart.'”
- J.C. Ryle

Saturday, August 6, 2011

August 6, 2011 (they will soar)

they will soar
photo by Lee Keefer

“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

“...but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”
- Isaiah 40:31 NIV

Friday, August 5, 2011

August 5, 2011 (fog of indecision)

fog of indecision
photo by Lee Keefer

Politics, finances, diplomacy...
what is the right thing to do?

Who knows the answer...
in whom do we trust?

“... if serving the Lord
seems undesirable to you,
then choose for yourselves this day
whom you will serve...
but as for me and my household,
we will serve the Lord.”
- Joshua 24:15 NIV

In God we trust?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

August 4, 2011 (spend time and encourage)

spend time and encourage
photo by Lee Keefer

“Though some people may seem
to be naturally gifted at
encouraging and uplifting other people,
the Bible makes it clear
that we’re all to be encouragers.
According to Scripture,
encouragement is to be a regular part
of our interaction with other people.
This necessarily means that we must
spend time with other people
for the purpose of knowing
their needs, their struggles,
and how best they may be encouraged.”
- Wayne Mack

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

August 3, 2011 (dying)


“Never fear dying, beloved.
Dying is the last, but the least matter
that a Christian has to be anxious about.
Fear living – that is a
hard battle to fight,
a stern discipline to endure,
a rough voyage to undergo.”
- C.H. Spurgeon

“Let them fear death who do not fear sin.”
- Thomas Watson

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

August 02, 2011 (trusting)

photo by Lee Keefer

“Our need is not to prove God’s faithfulness
but to demonstrate our own, by trusting Him
both to determine and to supply our needs
according to His will.”
- John MacArthur

Monday, August 1, 2011

August 01, 2011 (time)

New system/new software

Lots to learn.
Time must still be set aside
for the Lord
(put Him first).

“You do not 'spend' time with God.
You 'invest' it.
Time alone with Him can be
one of the greatest time savers of your life.
It is in your time alone with the Lord
that you can surrender the burden
and the anxiety of the load to Him
(Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Peter 5:7).
You can also find the perspective
to be delivered from the truly nonessential things
that often seem important.
You can find new energy and ideas
as you 'commit your works to the Lord
and your plans will be established' (Proverbs 16:3).”
- Bill Thrasher