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

Saturday, June 30, 2012

duty without pain...



duty without pain

Today I went out to mow the grass...
early, before it became
oppressively hot and humid.

And... the mower wouldn't start.
I try to refrain from complaining,
(and usually fail miserably).
It appears that “they” just don't
make things the way they used to.
My last mower lasted 35 years...
this one is only a couple of years old
and it has presented several problems already.
OK, I'll leave it at that.

I did manage to pick up the numerous twigs
and branches that littered the yard
after last nights latest round
of thunderstorms.

I understand that this all helps
build character.

The photo above shows
part of the dead leaves
that require raking each fall.
This season is mowing the yard.

Perhaps Mark Twain was right
when he said,

“Do something every day
that you don't want to do;
this is the golden rule
for acquiring the habit
of doing your duty without pain.”

Friday, June 29, 2012

character and thought...


character and thought

    "I am more and more inclined
    to reduce my baggage...
    to become more and more in love
    with simple things and simple folk-
    a small house, a hut in the woods,
    a tent on the shore.
    The show and splendor of great houses,
    elaborate furnishings, stately halls,
    oppress me; impose upon me.
    They fix the attention on false values,
    they set up a false standard of beauty;
    they stand between me and
    the real feeders of character and thought."
    - John Burroughs



Thursday, June 28, 2012

Patina...




Patina

This old rocker has been around.
It has lived in at least three different houses
and has rocked with many different people
across several generations.

Yes, the seat cover is a bit worn,
and there are a few scratches
on its frame.
It creaks a bit when it rocks.

Still it is beautiful...
aged to perfection,
it has character!

Why do we value these qualities
in our possessions...
but not in ourselves?

My wife of almost 43 years
was beautiful when I married her
and she is even more gorgeous now.

Heck... grizzled and weather beaten
that I am... I am quite a character myself.
HA!

We are all gloriously imperfect...
so prize those creaks, scratches,
lumps and wrinkles... It took a lot
of time and many life experiences
to earn them.




Wednesday, June 27, 2012

all is summer there...



wild rose
(Rosa virginiana)

"I question not if thrushes sing,
If roses load the air;
Beyond my heart I need not reach
When all is summer there."

- John Vance Cheney

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

big and little blessings...


big (and little) blessings

I must have taken dozens
of photographs of the daylily
over a span of many years
and with different cameras.

Still, I am drawn back,
again and again,
to capture its beauty.

Daylilys are everywhere blooming
right now... you can see them
in large groupings in yards
and along the roadside.

With all their showy beauty
it is impossible
not to notice them.

Even so... more beauty awaits
those who take the time to look
a bit closer. These less noticeable blooms,
just as beautiful in their own way,
provide more blessings
to those who experience them.

You also can provide a blessing to others...
no matter how little it may seem...
a smile, an encouraging word,
a small gift... your time.

And don't forget to accept and appreciate
the kindness shown to you.

"Never get tired of doing little things for others,
sometimes those little things
occupy the biggest part of their hearts."
- Author Unknown

Monday, June 25, 2012

moves again...


it moves again

"The aim of every artist
is to arrest motion,
which is life,
by artificial means
and hold it fixed
so that a hundred years later,
when a stranger looks at it,
it moves again since it is life."
- William Faulkner

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A place to relax


A place to relax

This is an attempt to post
into my SonRays blog
using my IPad.

The photo was taken
with the IPad and
I am using an app
called Blog Docs.

If this works to my satisfaction
I will be able to create and post a blog
away from my computer
which may prove very useful.


most amazing day...


most amazing day
photo by Patrick Frey

"I thank you God for this most amazing day,
For the leaping greenly spirits of trees,
And for the blue dream of sky
And for everything which is natural,
Which is infinite, which is yes."
- E. E. Cummings

Saturday, June 23, 2012

beauty everywhere...


finding beauty everywhere

"Where I was born
and where and how I have lived
is unimportant.
It is what I have done
with where I have been
that should be of interest."
- Georgia O'Keeffe

Friday, June 22, 2012

having the blues...



having the blues

"Your living is determined
not so much by what life brings to you
as by the attitude you bring to life;
not so much by what happens to you
as by the way your mind looks at what happens."
- Kahlil Gibran

"I had the blues
because I had no shoes
until upon the street;
I met a man who had no feet."
- Ancient Persian Saying

Thursday, June 21, 2012

music in unity...



music in unity
"Imagine a symphony where every instrument
kept hitting exactly the same note
in exactly the same way.
You could describe it in one word – BORING!
No, a beautiful symphony is not music in unison,
but music in unity – notes that blend together
to make something they couldn't make separately.
This is what God wants the body of Christ to be like,
and it all begins with relationship."
- Eddie Rasnake

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

faith is knowing...



faith is knowing

"When you have come to the edge
of all light that you know
and are about to drop off
into the darkness of the unknown,
faith is knowing
one of two things will happen:
there will be something solid to stand on
or you will be taught to fly"
- Patrick Overton

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

work together...



work together

"I offer you peace. I offer you love.
I offer you friendship. I see your beauty.
I hear your need. I feel your feelings.
My wisdom flows from the Highest Source.
I salute that Source in you.
Let us work together for unity and love.”
-
Mahatma Gandhi

Monday, June 18, 2012

a work in progress...


a work in progress


I have a little native perennial garden...
more of a strip actually.

Finally decided to weed it a bit because
it was beginning to look a bit unkempt
for some folks.
Here it was about half completed.

Now this is a very slow process for me...
rather difficult to do
this kind of work anymore.

So it is a work in progress...
much like our spiritual journey.
And, like our spiritual journey,
it requires constant care
and perseverance.

"He who tills his land
will have plenty of food,
But he who follows empty pursuits
will have poverty in plenty."
- Proverbs 28:19 NASB
"Let us not become weary
in doing good,
for at the proper time
we will reap a harvest
if we do not give up."
- Galatians 6:9 NIV

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day


Happy Father's Day

May your life toward your family
mirror the great love your Heavenly Father
has for all of us.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

who you become...


who you become

"Life is not about any
particular achievement or experience.
The most important task of your life
is not what you do,
but who you become."
- John Ortberg

Be the me God wants you to be.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Amen...


Amen


"God of Light and Truth,
thank you for giving me
a mind that can know
and a heart that can love.
Help me to keep learning
every day of my life,
for all knowledge leads to you.
Let me be aware of your presence
in all things and at all times.
Encourage me when work is difficult
and when I am tempted to give up;
encourage me when my brain seems slow
and the way forward is difficult.
Grant me the grace to put my mind to use
exploring the world you have created,
confident that in you there a wisdom
that is real.
Amen."
- Charles Henderson

Thursday, June 14, 2012

keep me safe...


keep me safe

"Keep me safe, O God,
for in you I take refuge.
I said to the Lord, 'You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.'
As for the saints who are in the land,
they are the glorious ones
in whom is all my delight."
- Psalm 16:1-3 NIV

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

rise over...


rise over

"Do not let circumstances
influence your thoughts and moods.
By rising over them mentally,
you will eventually rise over them materially."
- Author Unknown

"Fill your mind with light, happiness,
hope, feelings of security and strength,
and soon your life will reflect these qualities."
- Author Unknown

And whoever you are... TRUST GOD!



Tuesday, June 12, 2012

to serve...



to serve
"One of our greatest rewards
as Christians
is to serve people.
If the result is watching them
draw closer to Christ
through the Spirit’s blessing
upon God’s Word and our efforts,
what more could we possibly ask for?"
- Joel R. Beeke

Monday, June 11, 2012

peace on earth...



peace on earth
photo by Patrick Frey
"And someday may man realize
that all the earth, the seas and skies
Belong to God who made us all,
the rich, the poor, the great, the small,
And in the Father's holy sight
no man is yellow, black or white,
And peace on earth cannot be found
until we meet on common ground
And every man becomes a brother
who worships God and loves each other."
- Helen Steiner Rice

Sunday, June 10, 2012

salvation and redemption...



salvation and redemption

We must labor at doing good
(which is pleasing to God)

This should be done through
love, praise, trust and faith,
not out of duty (but a labor of love)...
and only with the knowledge
that we can never be good enough.

Thanks be to God
for His loving grace
and for the sacrifice
of His Son, Jesus Christ...
for this is the only way
to salvation and redemption
(the forgiveness of sin).

"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

"For God did not send his Son
into the world to condemn the world,
but to save the world through him."
- John 3:17 NIV

"For it is by grace you have been saved,
through faith—and this not from yourselves,
it is the gift of God - not by works,
so that no one can boast."
- Ephesians 2:8,9 NIV

Saturday, June 9, 2012

delight my soul...


delight my soul

"Unless the Lord had been my help,
I would soon have dwelt in
[the land where there is] silence.
When I said, My foot is slipping,
Your mercy and loving-kindness,
O Lord, held me up.
In the multitude of my [anxious]
thoughts within me,
Your comforts cheer and delight my soul!"
- Psalm 94:17-19 AMP

Friday, June 8, 2012

to brighten your being...


to brighten your being


"Friendship is like a precious flower
ready to bloom every hour.
It may stop growing
or keep on flowing
but you'll still have it forever."
- Author Unknown


"This is my wish for you:
Comfort on difficult days,
smiles when sadness intrudes,
rainbows to follow the clouds,
laughter to kiss your lips,
sunsets to warm your heart,
hugs when spirits sag,
beauty for your eyes to see,
friendships to brighten your being,
faith so that you can believe,
confidence for when you doubt,
courage to know yourself,
patience to accept the truth,
love to complete your life."
- Author Unknown

Thursday, June 7, 2012

kindness and love...



kindness and love

"The best portion of a good man's life -
his little, nameless, unremembered
acts of kindness and love."
- William Wordsworth


"In a world full of people who couldn't care less,
be someone who couldn't care more."
- Author Unknown

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

don't go there...



you don't want to go there

"Familiarity with vice does not produce disgust,
it produces attachment."
- John MacArthur

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

a part of it...


a part of it

"The road leading to a goal
does not separate you from the destination;
it is essentially a part of it."
- Charles de Lint

Monday, June 4, 2012

late bloomer...



late bloomer

The clematis was just about done
blooming for this part of the season...
when we noticed one final bud
at the very top.

It is never too late to open up and bloom.
Sometimes the latest bloom grows higher
than all the rest.

Never stop growing and never give up hope...
the Lord hasn't given up on you so
don't give up on yourself.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

higher ground...



higher ground
photo from Patrick Frey

"Lord, lift me up and let me stand
By faith on heaven's table land
A higher plane than I have found
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.

My heart has no desire to stay
Where doubts arise and fears dismay
Tho' some may dwell where these abound
My prayer, my aim is higher ground."
- Johnson Oatman, Jr.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

a grateful heart...


a grateful heart


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


"Thou who hast given so much to me,
give me one more thing...
a grateful heart!"
- George Herbert


 "It is necessary, then,
to cultivate the habit of being grateful
for every good thing that comes to you,
and to give thanks continuously.
And because all things have
contributed to your advancement,
you should include all things in your gratitude."
- Wallace D. Wattles

Friday, June 1, 2012

tolerance...



tolerance

Yesterday, the devotional was about loving
each other (as Christ loved us).

Loving the person, however, is different
than loving each others sinful behavior.
It is imperative that you know the difference.

Some things must remain black or white...
not shades of gray... hot or cold...
not lukewarm. There is truth
and there is untruth. Anything
that is not true is untrue.

And wouldn't you, as an act of love
(because you love them)
not tolerate harmful or improper
behavior from a child...
even an adult child and at least
not make an attempt to help them
turn from or overcome such behavior?

You don't love them any less...
actually you love them a lot
or you wouldn't care.

"A new Decalogue has been
adopted by some of our day,
the first words of which reads,
'Thou shalt not disagree,'
and a new set of Beatitudes too,
which begins,
'Blessed are they that tolerate everything,
for they shall not be made
accountable for anything.'
It is now the accepted thing
to talk over religious differences in public
with the understanding that no one
will try to convert another
or point out errors in his belief.
Imagine Moses agreeing to take part
in a panel discussion with Israel
over the golden calf;
or Elijah engaging in a gentlemanly dialogue
with the prophets of Baal.
Or try to picture Jesus seeking
a meeting of minds with the Pharisees
to iron out differences.
The blessing of God is
promised to the peacemaker,
but the religious negotiator
had better watch his step.
Darkness and light can never
be brought together by talk.
Some things are not negotiable.”
- A.W. Tozer
Some things are just not to be tolerated.