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, November 30, 2011

November 30, 2011 (wisdom?)


“If you lack knowledge, go to school.
If you lack wisdom, get on your knees!
Knowledge is not wisdom.
Wisdom is the proper use of knowledge.”
- Vance Havner

“If knowledge comes by study,
wisdom comes by Holy Spirit filling.”
- Oswald Sanders

“Behold, You desire truth in the inner being;
make me therefore to know
wisdom in my inmost heart.”
- Psalm 51:6 AMP

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November 29, 2011 (preoccupation with self)

preoccupation with self

“Man's basic problem is preoccupation with self.
In the final analysis, every sin
results from preoccupation with self.
We sin because we are totally selfish,
totally devoted to ourselves,
rather than to God and to others.”
- John MacArthur

Monday, November 28, 2011

November 28, 2011 (not enough)

not enough

The very first (and last) time
I ever stood in line waiting for a store to open
on Black Friday there was a gorgeous
sunrise. I remarked to those standing
in line near me about such a magnificient display.
All I got back were blank stares...
I guess their minds were elsewhere.

I am always reminded of the irony...
Black Friday following Thanksgiving.

After we express our thanks to God
for all He has given us...
we go out the very next day to prove
it just isn't enough.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

November 27, 2011 (a holy life)

a holy life

“The serene, silent beauty of a holy life
is the most powerful influence in the world,
next to the might of God.”
- Blaise Pascal

Saturday, November 26, 2011

November 26, 2011 (Irresistible Future)

Irresistible Future

“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, November 25, 2011

November 25, 2011 (rich tapestry)

rich tapestry

“We all should know that diversity
makes for a rich tapestry,
and we must understand that
all the threads of the tapestry
are equal in value
no matter what their color.”
- Maya Angelou

Thursday, November 24, 2011

November 24, 2011 (thankfulness)


I firmly believe that one of the shortest prayers
to God is also one of the best. It is simply
'Thank You.'

By thanking God, we acknowledge
Him and we glorify Him in several ways.

“It is probable that in most of us
the spiritual life is impoverished and stunted
because we give so little place to gratitude.
It is more important to thank God for blessings received
than to pray for them beforehand.
For that forward-looking prayer,
though right as an expression of dependence upon God,
is still self-centered in part, at least, of its interest;
there is something we hope to gain by our prayer.
But the backward-looking act of thanksgiving
is quite free from this. In itself it is quite selfless.
Thus it is akin to love.
All our love to God is in response to his love for us;
it never starts on our side.
"We love, because he first loved us" (1 John 4:19).
- William Temple

“Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God,
and it is one that the poorest of us can make
and be not poorer but richer for having made it.”
- A.W. Tozer

“I would maintain that thanks
are the highest form of thought,
and that gratitude is
happiness doubled by wonder.”
- G.K. Chesterton

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

November 23, 2011 (Thank You)

What is, perhaps,
the most inclusive, all encompassing
prayer that you can pray to God?
One that acknowledges His soverignity,
and which glorifies Him.
One that shows a loving relationship with Him.
One that establishes Him as your heavenly Father.

It is also one of the simplest,
most heartfelt prayers from
a child of God.

It is...
Thank you Lord for everything.

Say it, pray it, and mean it... often.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November 22, 2011 (A special prayer for all of you!)

A special prayer for all of you!

“I want your life to be such a wonderful one.
I wish you peace, deep within your soul;
joyfulness in the promise of each new day;
stars to reach for, dreams to come true, and
memories more beautiful than words can say.

I wish you friends close at heart,
even over the miles;
loved ones – the best treasures
we’re blessed with;
present moments to live in,
one day at a time;
serenity, with its wisdom;
courage, with its strength;
and new beginnings, to give life a
chance to really shine.

I wish you understanding -
of how special you really are;
a journey, safe from the storms and
warmed by the sun;
a path to wonderful things;
an invitation, to the abundance
life brings;
and an angel watching over,
for all the days to come.”
- Douglas Pagels

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21, 2011 (O harvest Lord)

O harvest Lord

First the blade and then the ear,
Then the full corn shall appear;
Grant, O harvest Lord, that we
Wholesome grain and pure may be.
- Henry Alford
“Come, ye thankful people, come”

Sunday, November 20, 2011

November 20, 2011 (peace and quietness)

peace and quietness

“Oh, how great peace and quietness
would he possess
who should cut off all vain anxiety
and place all his confidence in God.”
- Thomas a Kempis

“There is no need for two to care,
for God to care and the creature too.”
- C.H. Spurgeon

Saturday, November 19, 2011

November 19, 2011 (renewal)


Our physical activity depends on
renewal of our bodily needs
through nouishment, etc.

Our spiritual activity and ministry depends on
spiritual renewal through communication
with Our Lord and His Word.

“There's a problem...
when the inflow of spiritual renewal
doesn't replenish the outflow of spiritual ministry.
For the spiritual life should also be the source
of inner recreation and restoration
since it is the way we most directly
experience the Lord Himself in daily life.
Through our spiritual disciplines
(rightly motivated and practiced)
come many of the most
refreshing blessings of knowing Christ.”
- Don Whitney

Friday, November 18, 2011

November 18, 2011 (In Christ)

In Christ

“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 happiness that can never be interrupted;
a strength that can never be enfeebled;
a purity that can never be defiled;
a beauty that can never be marred;
a wisdom that can never be baffled;
and resources that can never be exhausted.”
- Author Unknown

Thursday, November 17, 2011

November 17, 2011 (aesthetically elegant)

aesthetically elegant

“Divine beauty is absolute,
unqualified, and independent.
All created reality, precisely because
it is derivative of the Creator,
is beautiful in a secondary sense
and only to the degree
that it reflects the excellencies of God
and fulfills the purpose for which He has made it.
Perfect order, harmony, magnitude,
integrity, proportion, symmetry,
and brilliance are found in God alone.
There is in the personality and activity of God
neither clash of color nor offensive sound.
He is in every conceivable respect morally exquisite,
spiritually sublime, and aesthetically elegant.”
- Sam Storms

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November 16, 2011 (toward the eternal light)

toward the eternal light

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one's trundle-bed;
So shut your eyes while Mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
Wynken, Blynken, And Nod.”
- Eugene Field

“As the flower in the garden
stretches toward the light of the sun,
so there is in the child a mysterious inclination
toward the eternal light.
Have you ever noticed this mysterious thing
that when you tell the smallest child about God,
[he or she] never asks with strangeness and wonder,
'What or who is God – I have never seen Him,'
but listens with shining face to the words
as though they soft loving sounds
from the land of home.
Or when you teach a child to fold
[his or her] little hands in prayer
that [he or she] does this
as though it were a matter of course,
as though [it was] opening
for [the child] that world of which [he or she]
had been dreaming with longing and anticipation.
Or tell them, these little ones,
the stories of the Savior,
show them the pictures with scenes
and personages of the Bible –
how their pure eyes shine,
how their little hearts beat.”
- R.C.H. Lenski

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November 15, 2011 (in times of trouble)

in times of trouble

“The Lord also will be a refuge
and a high tower for the oppressed,
a refuge and a stronghold in times of trouble
(high cost, destitution, and desperation).
And they who know Your name
[who have experience
and acquaintance with Your mercy]
will lean on and confidently put their trust in You,
for You, Lord, have not forsaken those
who seek (inquire of and for) You
[on the authority of God's Word
and the right of their necessity].”
- Psalm 9:9,10 AMP

Monday, November 14, 2011

November 14, 2011 (not a dream)

not a dream

“Thank God for the battle verses in the Bible.
We go into the unknown every day of our lives,
and especially every Monday morning,
for the week is sure to be a battlefield,
outwardly and inwardly
in the unseen life of the spirit,
which is often by far the sternest battlefield for souls.
Either way, the Lord your God goes before you,
He shall fight for you!”
- Amy Carmichael

“Christianity is a battle – not a dream.”
- Wendell Phillips

Sunday, November 13, 2011

November 13, 2011 (reputation or character?)

reputation or character?

“Character is the one thing we make in this world
and take with us into the next.
The circumstances amid which you live
determine your reputation;
the truth you believe determines your character.
Reputation is what you are supposed to be;
Character is what you are.
Reputation is what you have
when you come to a new community;
Character is what you have when you go away.
Reputation is made in a moment;
Character is built in a lifetime.
Reputation grows like a mushroom;
Character grows like an oak.
Your reputation is learned in an hour;
Your character does not come to light for a year.
A single newspaper report gives your reputation;
a life of toil gives you your character.
Reputation makes you rich
or makes you poor;
Character makes you happy
or makes you miserable.
Reputation is what men say
about you on your tombstone;
Character is what angels say
about you before the throne of God.
Your character is what God knows you to be.
Your reputation is what men think you are.”
- William Hershey Davis

Saturday, November 12, 2011

November 12, 2011 (good fruit and a lot of it?)

good fruit and a lot of it?

Is it possible to produce fruit
but not “good” fruit,
and not much of it?

We all know the answer to that...
but my question for us is...
are “we” producing good,
abundant fruit?

If we are still trying to live two lives...
a life in Christ “and” a sinful life...
giving part to God and keeping a part
for ourselves...
are we living the “full” life
that God wants for us?

Is our fruit good and abundant?

“'I am the vine; you are the branches.
If a man remains in me and I in him,
he will bear much fruit;
apart from me you can do nothing.
If anyone does not remain in me,
he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers;
such branches are picked up,
thrown into the fire and burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.
This is to my Father’s glory,
that you bear much fruit,
showing yourselves to be my disciples.'”
- John 15:4-8 NIV

Did you notice the word “much”?
It appears twice above.

“...every good tree bears good fruit,
but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
A good tree cannot bear bad fruit,
and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.
Every tree that does not bear good fruit
is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
- Matthew 7:17-19 NIV

“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good,
or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad,
for a tree is recognized by its fruit.”
- Matthew 12:33 NIV

Note the emphasis on “good” fruit.
Do you, like me, question your fruit production...
are you allowing the Lord “full reign”
... to prune the branch?

Do not live a double life... give your all to Jesus.

Friday, November 11, 2011

November 11, 2011 (eleven/eleventh)

(xstitch by FD)

What is the meaning of the number eleven?

If you google this... you will find
all sorts of different answers including
the “Biblical” meaning.

There are certain numbers that appear
more frequently in God's Word
than others, such as seven, forty, etc.

The number eleven, I have been told,
signifies disorder and judgment and appears
24 times in the Bible.
The designation 11this used 19 times in scripture
and has the same connotation...
breaking the Law,
with the same results
as above.

Through God's loving grace
in the sacrifice of His Son,
Jesus Christ, we, who believe,
are no longer “under the Law”.

“For we hold that a man is justified
and made upright by faith
independent of and distinctly apart
from good deeds (works of the Law).”
- Romans 3:28 AMP

Thursday, November 10, 2011

November 10, 2011 (remedy for despair)

remedy for despair

“Fits of depression come over the most of us.
Usually cheerful as we may be,
we must at intervals be cast down.
The strong are not always vigorous,
the wise not always ready,
the brave not always courageous,
and the joyous not always happy.”
- C.H. Spurgeon

“The depressed don’t simply need to feel better.
They need a Redeemer who says,
'Take heart, my son, my daughter;
what you really need has been supplied.
Life no longer need be about your
goodness, success, righteousness, or failure.
I’ve given you something
infinitely more valuable than good feelings:
your sins are forgiven.'”
- Elyse M. Fitzpatrick

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November 09, 2011 (superman)


When I was very young,
I used to be plagued by nightmares
of monsters.

Personally, I think it was an excuse
to run over to my parent's bedroom
and jump into bed with them.

After a few times trying to allay
my fears through reasoning,
my father walked me back to my bed and
explained to me that all I had to do
was to play I was Superman
and put those monsters in their place.

Watching Superman on TV
assured me that there was no monster
or evil character that Superman could not handle.
It worked... and to this day
I have an uncanny ability to make “right”
my nightmares (dreams).

Today, however, my source of power
does not come through a mythical superman
but through the love and grace
of our all powerful Lord.

I pray all of you will come to know
the peacefulness and joy
of our Lord and Savior,
Jesus Christ.

“The salvation of the righteous
comes from the Lord;
he is their stronghold in time of trouble.
The Lord helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.”
- Psalm 37:39,40 NIV

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November 08, 2011 (without the giver)

without the giver

“Not what we give,
But what we share,
For the gift
without the giver
Is bare.”
- James Russell Lowell

Monday, November 7, 2011

November 07, 2011 (what I don't want to do)

what I don't want to do

No, I do not have a drinking problem,
but I still sin and do things
that I do not want to do...
and do not do things that
I know I should do.

It is our “human” nature.

“For I do not understand my own actions
[I am baffled, bewildered].
I do not practice or accomplish what I wish,
but I do the very thing that I loathe
[which my moral instinct condemns].”
- Romans 7:15 AMP

It is good that we acknowledge
our sins, bad habits, and addictions...
that is the first step toward healing.
Thankfully we have an intercessor
in Jesus Christ where our sins
were nailed to the cross.
Rather than asking the Lord
what we can we do...
ask Him what He will do?

Acknowledge... pray... obey... and then trust.

I don't know about you
but my human nature
still struggles with the obey
and the trust...
nevertheless, He is working on me
and in me as I continue to grow.
I pray you are allowing Him
to do the same for you.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

November 06, 2011 (loving nature)

loving nature

I love nature, God's creation...
I love learning about nature...
perhaps that is why I became
a biology teacher.

But I don't worship nature...
nature is a “gift” from God,
the Creator.

Using a tree as an example...
some ignore the tree,
taking it for granted...
some see the tree only to
avoid running into it...
some see the tree and admire it,
but only from one angle...
some see the tree from many angles,
really appreciating its form and design...
some are thankful for the Creator's gift...
and some few, look beyond the gift,
to the Creator Himself.

“If you come to worship for any reason
other than the joy and pleasure and satisfaction
that are to be found in God, you dishonor Him.
To put it in other words,
worship is first and foremost
a feasting on all that God is for us in Jesus.
This is because God is most glorified in you
when you are most satisfied in Him.
Or again, you are His pleasure
when He is your treasure.
Which is to say that God’s greatest delight
is your delight in Him.”
- Sam Storms

Saturday, November 5, 2011

November 05, 2011 (the past?)

the past?

“We cannot change our past.
We can not change the fact
that people act in a certain way.
We can not change the inevitable.
The only thing we can do
is play on the one string we have,
and that is our attitude.”
- Charles R Swindoll

Friday, November 4, 2011

November 04, 2011 (full and gladsome fruition)

full and gladsome fruition

"Strangers and pilgrims" on the earth!
let your thoughts be in Heaven!
Let the gaps and cracks which trial,
in its varied forms,
may have made in the walls
of your frail earthly tabernacle —
only serve to let the rays
of the ineffable glory
shine more brightly through!
May these feeble foretastes
quicken your longings
for the full and gladsome fruition!”
- John MacDuff

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November 03, 2011 (My blessing)

My blessing

“For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.”
- Isaiah 44:3 NIV

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November 02, 2011 (seared with scars)

seared with scars

God will not look you over
for medals degrees or diplomas, but for scars”
- Elbert Hubbard

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls;
the most massive characters are seared with scars.”
- Kahil Gibran

“There is something beautiful
about all scars of whatever nature.
A scar means the hurt is over,
the wound is closed and healed, done with.”
- Harry Crews

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November 01, 2011 (the past)

the past

Sometimes we can relish the things of the past...
finding those places which seem lost in time.

But as we grow spiritually
it becomes necessary to leave
“past habits” breaking those chains
that held us captive.

“You were taught,
with regard to your former way of life,
to put off your old self,
which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
and to put on the new self,
created to be like God
in true righteousness and holiness.”
- Ephesians 4:22-24 NIV