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, April 30, 2012

past and future...



past and future

Every saint has a past
and every sinner has a future.”
- Oscar Wilde

Sunday, April 29, 2012

what he re-reads...


what he re-reads

"A verse must be read often,
and re-read and read again
before the wondrous message
of love and power
that God has put into
begins to appear.
Words must be turned over
and over in the mind
before their full force and beauty
takes possession of us.
One must look a long time
at the great masterpieces of art
to appreciate their beauty
and understand their meaning,
and so one must look a long time
at the great verses of the Bible
to appreciate their beauty
and understand their meaning.”
- R.A. Torrey

"If you would tell me
the heart of a man,
tell me not what he reads,
but what he re-reads."
- Francois Mauriac

Saturday, April 28, 2012

spirit of love...



spirit of love

You will find as you look back
upon your life that the moments
when you have really lived
are the moments when you have
done things in the spirit of love.”
- Henry Drummond

Friday, April 27, 2012

more than you can give...



more than you can give
There never was a person
who did anything worth doing,
who did not receive more than he gave.”
- Henry Ward Beecher

Thursday, April 26, 2012

for the hope that is in you...



for the hope that is in you
But in your hearts
set Christ apart as holy
[and acknowledge Him] as Lord.
Always be ready to give a logical defense
to anyone who asks you
to account for the hope that is in you,
but do it courteously and respectfully.”
- 1 Peter 3:15 AMP

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

dressed like one of these...



dressed like one of these

"Consider how the lilies grow.
They do not labor or spin.
Yet I tell you, not even Solomon
in all his splendor
was dressed like one of these.”
- Luke 12:27 NIV

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

what we keep...



what we keep

God doesn't look at just what we give.
He also looks at what we keep.”
- Randy Alcorn

Monday, April 23, 2012

for your birthday (whenever)



for your birthday
(whenever it is)

And in the end,
it's not the years in your life that count.
It's the life in your years.”
- Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, April 22, 2012

bonsai...



bonsai
truth, goodness, and beauty

Precisely cultivated and refined...
pruned to keep only that which is desired.

And put on the new nature (the regenerate self)
created in God's image, [Godlike]
in true righteousness and holiness.”
- Ephesians 4:24 AMP

Saturday, April 21, 2012

outside our window...



outside our window

One of the most tragic things
I know about human nature
is that all of us tend to put off living.
We are all dreaming
of some magical rose garden
over the horizon -
instead of enjoying the roses
blooming outside our windows today.”
- Dale Carnegie

Friday, April 20, 2012

giving value to survival...


giving value to survival
wild geranium
Geranium maculatum

Friendship is unnecessary,
like philosophy, like art...
It has no survival value;
rather is one of those things
that give value to survival.”
- C.S. Lewis


Thursday, April 19, 2012

One of these days...



Jenni's Diner

The other day, my wife and I
were eating breakfast with wonderful friends
at Jenni's Diner.

We all love diners...
the more nostalgic, the better.

Paul looked through the table jukebox
and chose a song to play... he said,
“this is for you”.

Now this song means something
to both Paul and I...
a shared memory from the past...
and a reminder of an even better
time to come.

That sun'd get high and that mule would work
Till old Rivers'd say, ''Whoa!''
He'd wipe his brow, lean back on the reins
And talk about a place he was gonna go.

Chorus:
He'd say, one of these days
I'm gonna climb that mountain
Walk up there among the clouds
Where the cotton's high
And the corn's a-growin'
And there ain't no fields to plow.”
- Crofford
from “Old Rivers
(sung by Walter Brennan)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

two handles...



two handles

Every tomorrow has two handles.
We can take hold of it
with the handle of anxiety
or the handle of faith.”
- Henry Ward Beecher

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

purpose and meaning...



purpose and meaning

"The way you get meaning into your life
is to devote yourself to loving others,
devote yourself to your community around you,
and devote yourself to creating something
that gives you purpose and meaning."

- Mitch Albom

Monday, April 16, 2012

your vote...


your vote
    “There has been one vote cast for you [Jesus]
    and one cast against you [Satan]
    and you cast the deciding vote.”
    - C. S. Lewis

Sunday, April 15, 2012

like a rose



like a rose

Crucified
Laid behind a stone
You lived to die
Rejected and alone
Like a rose
Trampled on the ground
You took the fall
And thought of me
Above all”
- Michael W. Smith
Above All” chorus

Saturday, April 14, 2012

golden opportunity


golden opportunity
Marsh Marigold
Caltha palustris

Welcome every morning with a smile.
Look on the new day as another
special gift from your Creator,
another golden opportunity to complete
what you were unable to finish yesterday.
Be a self-starter.
Let your first hour set the theme
of success and positive action
that is certain to echo
through your entire day.
Today will never happen again.
Don't waste it with a false start
or no start at all.
You were not born to fail.”
- Oq Mandino


Friday, April 13, 2012

shadows that fade...

regret
Have you ever felt regret for something you did,
or something you did not do?

Worse still, do you make the same mistake
over and over again?

We must all suffer from one of two pains:
the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.
The difference is discipline weighs ounces
while regret weighs tons.”
- Jim Rohn

"May your joys [always] be as bright as the morning,
and your sorrows merely be shadows
that fade in the sunlight of love."
- Irish blessing

Thursday, April 12, 2012

April 12, 2012 (helping hand)


helping hand
original photo by Lee Keefer

“Remember, if you ever need a helping hand,
it's at the end of your arm,
as you get older,
remember you have another hand:
The first is to help yourself,
the second is to help others.”
- Audrey Hepburn

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

April 11, 2012 (failure)


FAILURES

“'Tis better to have tried in vain,
Sincerely striving for a goal,
Than to have lived upon the plain
An idle and a timid soul.
'Tis better to have fought and spent
Your courage missing all applause,
Than to have lived in smug content
And never ventured for a cause.
For he who tries and fails may be
The founder of a better day;
Though never his the victory,
From him shall others learn the way.”
- Edgar A. Guest

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

April 10, 2012 (my symphony)


my symphony
Dutchman's breeches
Dicentra cucullaria
March 2012

“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 listen to stars and birds,
babes and sages, with open heart;
to study hard;
to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently,
await occasions, hurry never;
in a word, to let the spiritual,
unbidden and unconscious,
grow up through the common
...this is my symphony.”
- William Ellery Channing

Monday, April 9, 2012

April 09, 2012 (stir my soul)


stir my soul
flowering dogwood
Cornus florida
(our neighbor's tree)

“When I no more can stir my soul to move,
And life is but the ashes of a fire;
When I can but remember that my heart
Once used to live and love, long and aspire,--
Oh, be thou then the first, the one thou art;
Be thou the calling, before all answering love,
And in me wake hope, fear, boundless desire.”
- George MacDonald
(The Diary of an Old Soul)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

April 08, 2012 (faith, salvation, and justification)


Easter Sunday
faith, salvation,
and justification

nine bloodroot
(and the harvest continues)

“There is something inexpressibly pleasing
to a justified mind to know that God
has all the honor in our salvation,
and we have none;
to know that God’s honor is not violated,
but on the contrary, shines more illustrious;
to know that God’s law is not injured,
but magnified and made honorable;
to know that we are safe,
and God has all the glory.”
- Robert Murray M’Cheyne

“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

Saturday, April 7, 2012

April 07, 2012 (We hope in Him)


We hope in Him.
five bloodroot
(Sanguinaria canadensis)


“You must have noticed that Scripture links
faith, hope and love,
and groups them together again and again.
Hope is the middle term between faith and love.
Hope keeps faith from collapsing
under the burden of disappointment and delay.
Hope keeps love from dissolving
under the acids of frustration.
Hope fortifies love and lends it resilience.
Hope stiffens faith and forestalls collapse.”
- Victor Shepherd

Friday, April 6, 2012

April 06, 2012 (I love you!)


I love you!

“Does God really love us?
I say look to the crucified Jesus.
Look to the old rugged cross.
By every thorn that punctured His brow.
By every mark of the back lacerating scourge.
By every hair of his beard plucked
from his cheeks by cruel fingers.
By every bruise which
heavy fists made upon His head.
God said, 'I love you!'
By all the spit that landed on his face.
By every drop of sinless blood
that fell to the ground.
By every breath of pain
which Jesus drew upon the cross.
By every beat of His loving heart.
God said, I love you.”
- Billy Lobbs

Thursday, April 5, 2012

April 05, 2012 (just because)


just because

“Just because you can,
doesn’t mean you should.”
- Author Unknown

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

April 04, 2012 (did not accept)


did not accept

“...because you did not accept
your opportunity for salvation”
- Luke 19:44 NLT

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April 03, 2012 (kindness)


Irish Shamrock
(Oxalis acetosella)

“Cold words freeze people,
and hot words scorch them,
and bitter words make them bitter,
and wrathful words make them wrathful.
Kind words also produce
their image on men’s souls;
and a beautiful image it is.
They smooth, and quiet,
and comfort the hearer.”
- Blaise Pascal

Monday, April 2, 2012

April 02, 2012 (tight in a bud)


tight in a bud
just outside our front door
(captured 3/31/12)

“For all of us it should be unthinkable
to keep to ourselves
the knowledge that God's ultimate delight
is to do the greatest good for others
by letting them share
in the supreme joy He has in Himself.
How could any of us enjoy heaven
unless we mobilized our time,
talents and treasure to do our utmost
to get the good news to the rest of the world?
Sadly, many professing Christians
do not feel this imperative demand
because they, through unbelief,
are themselves not experiencing
God's great joy and peace.”
- Daniel Fuller

“And the day came when the risk
to remain tight in a bud was more painful
than the risk it took to blossom.”
- Anais Nin

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April 01, 2012 (fear of God)


fear of God
photo by Patrick Frey

“We don’t teach our children to fear
a kind grandfather or Santa Claus, do we?
Why then would we teach them to fear God?
First of all, the comparison of God
with grandfathers or Santa Claus
is degrading nearly to the point of slander.
As [D.A. Carson] notes,
'The sentimental view generates a deity
with all the awesome holiness of a cuddly toy.'
Second, fearing God is not the same
as being afraid of God.
The person who fears God
in the biblical sense
is maintaining a humble reverence
for His glory, majesty,
dominion, and authority.
The person who fears God recognizes
that He is not only the Giver of all good things,
but also the Lord of the universe
and the Judge of sinners.
He is the One who creates,
and He is the One who has the power to destroy.
He is the One who rewards,
and He is the One who disciplines.
Fearing God, in other words,
is the sobering recognition
that He is not to be trifled with.”
- Daryl Wingerd