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

Thursday, May 31, 2012

What race are you?



What race are you?

We all belong to the human race...
I don't care what color you are,
who you are, what you do,
or where you live.

We are all God's creation and
He loves each of us.

We are commanded to love each other.

May God bless...
each and every one of us.

I pray we all will grow to love Him
with all our heart, our mind,
our soul and spirit and will
love our neighbor as our self.



Wednesday, May 30, 2012

take flight...


soar on wings

Don't remain forever grounded...
hope in the Lord and take flight.

"...but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles."
- Isaiah 40:31 NIV


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

about to reign...



about to reign
photo by Patrick Frey

"Does it not seem strange that Satan
has been allowed for six thousand years
to wrap and twist his coils around the world,
to work evil, and spoil, and mar the work of God?
Is it not a mystery why God,
the God of righteousness and holiness,
allows evil to go unpunished
and His own people to be
crushed and broken on every hand?
Truly this is the mystery of God...
God bears with evil till the hour of Judgment arrives,
when He will avenge the cry of His elect,
and come out of His place to punish the wicked...
evil, now tolerated and allowed,
will be openly punished.
The mystery is at an end.
Christ is about to reign."
- Walter Scott

Monday, May 28, 2012

bravely face...



bravely face

"On the wings of death and sorrow
God sends us new hope for tomorrow,
And in His mercy and His grace
He gives us strength to bravely face
The lonely days that stretch ahead
And to know our loved one is not dead
But only sleeping out of our sight,
And we'll meet in that land
Where there is no night."
- Helen Steiner Rice

Sunday, May 27, 2012

How deep is your valley?



How deep in your valley?
photo by Patrick Frey

Half the battle is make the decision to climb...
but that is the easy part.

Now the work begins... it will test
your fortitude... it will test your strength...
it will test your perseverance.

In climbing you must really want to go higher and
you must avoid looking down and back.
You must cling to the rock as you climb.
You must have faith.

With Jesus Christ,
anything is possible...
no matter how deep is your valley.

"While a little faith
may bring your soul to heaven,
a lot of faith
– clinging to God despite your circumstances -
will bring heaven to your soul."
- Skip Heitzig

Saturday, May 26, 2012

paths of sorrow...



paths of sorrow

"The heart knoweth its own sorrow
and there are times when, like David,
it is comforting to think that
our tears are put in a bottle
and not one of them forgotten
by the one who leads us in paths of sorrow."
- Hannah Hurnard

Friday, May 25, 2012

Can you not read?



cannot read?

"Man is a strange animal.
He generally cannot read
the handwriting on the wall
until his back is up against it."
- Adlai E. Stevenson

Thursday, May 24, 2012

pedestal of pride...



pedestal of pride
original photo by Patrick Frey

We are to encourage one another,
but all for the glory of God,
not for our own glorification...
and not to be used as a license
to put on display what we
or what others have done.

Seek not the applause of
accomplishment for yourself.

"How sadly easy it is to make
of the very service God entrusts us with
a pedestal on which to display ourselves."
- A. W. Pink

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

His will, not ours...



His will, not ours

"In golden youth when seems the earth
A Summer-land of singing mirth,
When souls are glad and hearts are light,
And not a shadow lurks in sight,
We do not know it, but there lies
Somewhere veiled under evening skies
A garden which we all must see --
The garden of Gethsemane.

With joyous steps we go our ways,
Love lends a halo to our days;
Light sorrows sail like clouds afar,
We laugh and say how strong we are.
We hurry on; and hurrying, go
Close to the border-land of woe,
That waits for you, and waits for me --
For ever waits Gethsemane.

Down shadowy lanes, across strange streams,
Bridged over by our broken dreams;
Behind the misty caps of years,
Beyond the great salt fount of tears,
The garden lies. Strive as you may,
You cannot miss it in your way.
All paths that have been, or shall be,
Pass somewhere through Gethsemane.

All those who journey, soon or late,
Must pass within the garden's gate;
Must kneel alone in darkness there,
And battle with some fierce despair.
God pity those who cannot say,
Not mine but thine, who only pray,
Let this cup pass, and cannot see
The purpose in Gethsemane."
- Ella Wheeler Wilcox
(“Gethsemane”)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

again and again...



again and again
photo by Lee Keefer

"As a single footstep will not
make a path on the earth,
so a single thought will not
make a pathway in the mind.
To make a deep physical path,
we walk again and again.
To make a deep mental path,
we must think over and over
the kind of thoughts we wish
to dominate our lives.”
- Henry David Thoreau

Monday, May 21, 2012

SonRays 6th year anniversary


SonRays
6th year anniversary

"It is not how much you do,
but how much Love you put
into the doing that matters."
- Mother Teresa

Sunday, May 20, 2012

capturing creation...


capturing creation
photo by Lee Keefer

Do whatever you do for the glory of God.

"And whatever you do
[no matter what it is]
in word or deed, do everything
in the name of the Lord Jesus
and in [dependence upon] His Person,
giving praise to God the Father through Him."
- Colossians 3:17 AMP

Saturday, May 19, 2012

what we like to hear...



what we like to hear

We like to hear about a God
that is kind, caring, helpful, supportive...
but we really do not like to hear about
a wrathful God, a God who disciplines.

I've noticed this here in SonRays...
and elsewhere.

But God is both and you know what?

Both are expressions of His love.

Friday, May 18, 2012

a rainy day...



for a rainy day

Perhaps, you too, have been told
to save up for a “rainy day”.

This can be good,
as long as we don't go to extreme.

"'Watch out!
Be on your guard against all kinds of greed;
a man’s life does not consist
in the abundance of his possessions.'

And he [Christ] told them this parable:
'The ground of a certain rich man
produced a good crop. He thought to himself,
‘What shall I do?
I have no place to store my crops.’

'Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do.
I will tear down my barns
and build bigger ones,
and there I will store
all my grain and my goods.
And I’ll say to myself,
'You have plenty of good things
laid up for many years.
Take life easy;
eat, drink and be merry.''

'But God said to him,
‘You fool! This very night your life
will be demanded from you.
Then who will get
what you have prepared for yourself?’

'This is how it will be with anyone
who stores up things for himself
but is not rich toward God.'”
- Luke 12:15-21 NIV

Thursday, May 17, 2012

a better tomorrow...




a better tomorrow
wood anemone
Anemone quinquefolia

"God, be my resting place and my protection
In hours of trouble, defeat, and dejection.
May I never give away to self-pity and sorrow,
May I always be sure of a better tomorrow,
May I stand undaunted come what may,
Secure in the knowledge I have only to pray
And ask my Creator and Father above
To keep me serene in His grace and His love."
- Helen Steiner Rice

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

praise Him...



Bachelor's button/
Cornflower

Centaurea cyanus

"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

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

expanse of the heavens...



expanse of the heavens
If only for a moment,
take your eyes off yourself
and your circumstances,
off the ways of this world
and all rival claimants,
and look at who God is.
Ponder His mighty deeds.
This isn’t to say your soul
or circumstances aren’t important.
It simply means that you are
in the hands of an omnipotent God
whose ability to act on your behalf
is equaled only by His passionate
affection for you as His child,
whose strength is without end
and whose sovereignty
covers the expanse of the heavens.

God’s desire isn’t to minimize your life
and struggles and disappointments.
His intent is for you to gain hope,
knowing that nothing can wrench you
from the loving arms of a God like this!”
- Sam Storms

Monday, May 14, 2012

restored...



restored

This clematis, a couple of years ago,
appeared to be just about dead.

Last year saw a bit of re-growth,
but this year it seems to have been
restored to its former glory.

No matter how 'down and out'
you appear to be... physically
or spiritually...
there is always hope.
God can and does still do miracles...
every day and in every way.

I never have any difficulty
believing in miracles,
since I experienced the miracle
of a change in my own heart.”
- Augustine

Sunday, May 13, 2012

celebration...



celebration
Mother's Day/birthday


This is the day to celebrate,
not only Mother's Day,
but my wife's birthday as well.

My wife once gave me a card
(just to remind me that she
loves me always)...
we do that for each other
now and again.

In the card she wrote...
“I treasure you and know that God
knew what He was doing when
'He' arranged for us to meet!”

I whole heartedly agree
and thank Him every day
for such a warm and caring
wife... and mother of our children.

This year will be 43 years of marriage.

Happy Birthday and Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

waitng and watching


waiting and watching


Experience has taught me this,
that we undo ourselves by impatience.
Misfortunes have their life and their limits,
their sickness and their health.”
- Michel de Montaigne


Patience is the ability to count down
before you blast off.”
- Author Unknown
Adopt the pace of nature:
her secret is patience.”
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, May 11, 2012

through the common...



through the common

"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

Thursday, May 10, 2012

faith to believe...




faith to believe
"It's easy to grow downhearted
When nothing goes your way.
It’s easy to be discouraged
When you have a troublesome day.
But trouble is only a challenge
to spur you on to achieve
The best that God has to offer
if you have the faith to believe."
- Helen Steiner Rice

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

to give is to love...



to give is to love

"Remember to be gentle
with yourself and others.
We are all children of chance
and none can say why
some fields will blossom
while others lay brown
beneath the August sun.
Care for those around you.
Look past your differences.
Their dreams are no less than yours,
their choices no more easily made.
And give, give in any way you can,
of whatever you posses.
To give is to love.
To withhold is to wither.
Care less for your harvest
than for how it is shared
and your life will have meaning
and your heart will have peace.”
- Kent Nerburn

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

glorious success...



glorious success

A little more persistence,
a little more effort,
and what seemed hopeless failure
may turn to glorious success.”
- Elbert Hubbard

Monday, May 7, 2012

looking up and reaching out...


looking up
and reaching out

Look to God and reach out a helping hand to others.

Look upward and reach outward
to catch the prize that enables all of us to win.

"I try to avoid looking forward or backward,
and try to keep looking upward."
- Charlotte Bronte

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Blessed Assurance



Blessed Assurance

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.

Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.”

This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior, all the day long.”
- Fanny Crosby

Saturday, May 5, 2012

What would you find?



What would you find?

When you picked up your morning paper...
what if, instead of the daily news,
you saw everything that you did
(and didn't do) the day before?

Would you be pleased, joyful, at peace,
or would you be ashamed and guilt ridden?

Perhaps it is time to reflect.
Perhaps it is time to pray
for a changed heart, a renewed mind,
and a steadfast spirit.

It is never too late to change.
Tomorrows news can be better.

Friday, May 4, 2012

love's sake...



love's sake

Watch, O Lord, with those who wake,
or watch, or weep tonight,
and give your angels charge
over those who sleep.
Tend your sick ones, O Lord Christ.
Rest your weary ones.
Bless your dying ones.
Soothe your suffering ones.
Pity your afflicted ones.
Shield your joyous ones.
And for all your love's sake. Amen.”
- Saint Augustine

Thursday, May 3, 2012

friendship...



      friendship


      "It's the times we're so crazy,
      that people think we're high.
      It's the times we laugh so hard,
      we can't help but cry.
      It's all the inside jokes
      and 'remember whens'
      those are [just a few of] the reasons
      that we're best friends!”
      - Author Unknown

Two are better than one,
because they have a
good return for their work:
If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!”
- Ecclesiastes 4:9,10 NIV

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

everlasting weight of glory...



everlasting weight of glory
Therefore we do not become discouraged
(utterly spiritless, exhausted,
and wearied out through fear).
Though our outer man is
[progressively] decaying and wasting away,
yet our inner self is being
[progressively] renewed day after day.
For our light, momentary affliction
(this slight distress of the passing hour)
is ever more and more abundantly
preparing and producing and achieving
for us an everlasting weight of glory
[beyond all measure, excessively surpassing
all comparisons and all calculations,
a vast and transcendent glory
and blessedness never to cease!”
- 2 Corinthians 4:16,17 AMP

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

safe and secure?




safe and secure?

Yes, but does he have his seat belt on?

Being secure is not necessarily
the same thing as being safe.

Be safe and secure... trust in the Lord.