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, January 31, 2013

Are you riding the fence?


riding the fence?

If you were arrested
for the crime of being a Christian,
would there be enough evidence
to convict you of your witness?”

- author unknown

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

perseverance...


perseverance

When life weighs you down
stand strong and trust in the Lord.
He always delivers on time.

Consider the postage stamp:
its usefulness consists in the ability
to stick to one thing till it gets there.”

- Josh Billings

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

smile...


smile

If you see a friend without a smile;
give him one of yours.”

- proverb


Monday, January 28, 2013

I have believed...


I have believed

I know not how this saving faith
To me He did impart,
Nor how believing in His Word
Wrought peace within my heart.

But 'I know Whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.'”

- Daniel W. Whittle

Sunday, January 27, 2013

reward of faith...


reward of faith

"Faith is to believe what you do not see;
the reward of this faith
is to see what you believe."

- Saint Augustine

Saturday, January 26, 2013

vital spirituality


vital spirituality

The first thing for our soul's health,
the first thing for His glory,
and the first thing for our usefulness
is to keep ourselves in perpetual communion
with the Lord Jesus
and to see that the vital spirituality
of our religion is maintained
over and above everything else in the world.”

- Charles Spurgeon

Friday, January 25, 2013

a place...


A place

A place to plan, a place to read,
a place to learn, a place to reflect,
a place to meditate, a place to pray.
We all need such a place to be alone.

But Jesus often withdrew
to lonely places and prayed.”

- Luke 5:16 NIV

Thursday, January 24, 2013

unique...


unique

You will never start living
until you've realized that your life
is your own unique gift.
So, live it uniquely in your own unique way,
the way you were created to be; unique!
Don't imitate someone else's life,
you will only blend in,
when you were created to stand out
from the rest of the imitators.
Live your life, your own way;
your life was given to you,
not to someone else.”

- Geraldine Vermaak 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

benefit of seeing...


benefit of seeing

This benefit of seeing...
can come only if you pause a while,
extricate yourself from the maddening mob
of quick impressions ceaselessly battering our lives,
and look thoughtfully at a quiet image...
the viewer must be willing to pause,
to look again, to meditate.”

- Dorothea Lange

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

near and far...


near and far

'Am I only a God nearby,'”
declares the Lord,
'and not a God far away?
Can anyone hide in secret places
so that I cannot see him?'
declares the Lord.
'Do not I fill heaven and earth?'
declares the Lord.”
- Jeremiah 23:23,24 NIV

Monday, January 21, 2013

to believe...


to believe

In faith there is enough light
for those who want to believe
and enough shadows
to blind those who don't.”

- Blaise Pascal 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Jesus, I Come...


Jesus, I Come

Out of my bondage, sorrow, and night,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy freedom, gladness, and light,
Jesus, I come to Thee;
Out of my sickness, into Thy health,
Out of my want and into Thy wealth,
Out of my sin and into Thyself,
Jesus, I come to Thee.


Out of my shameful failure and loss,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into the glorious gain of Thy cross,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of earth’s sorrows into Thy balm,
Out of life’s storms and into Thy calm,
Out of distress to jubilant psalm,
Jesus, I come to Thee.


Out of unrest and arrogant pride,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy blessed will to abide,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of myself to dwell in Thy love,
Out of despair into raptures above,
Upward for aye on wings like a dove,
Jesus, I come to Thee.


Out of the fear and dread of the tomb,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into the joy and light of Thy throne,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of the depths of ruin untold,
Into the peace of Thy sheltering fold,
Ever Thy glorious face to behold,
Jesus, I come to Thee.”

- William Sleeper

Saturday, January 19, 2013

dream a new dream...


dream a new dream

You are never too old to set another goal

or to dream a new dream.”

- C. S. Lewis

Friday, January 18, 2013

again the iron will swim...



The iron did swim.”
- 2 Kings 6:6 KJV

The only place where your dream
becomes impossible
is in your own thinking.”

- Robert H. Schuller

According to your faith be it unto you”
- Matthew 9:29 KJV
Again the iron will swim.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

love and revelation...


love and revelation

Some photographers take reality...
and impose the domination
of their own thought and spirit.
Others come before reality more tenderly
and a photograph to them
is an instrument of love and revelation.”

- Ansel Adams

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

more joyful...


more joyful

Another fresh new year is here . . .
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!

This bright new year is given me
To live each day with zest . . .
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity
Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!”

- William Arthur Ward

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

exhausted...


exhausted

Do you have days when you feel
that you have just had enough?

When you’ve exhausted all possibilities,
remember this - you haven’t.”

- Robert H. Schuller

Wait and hope for and expect the Lord;
be brave and of good courage
and let your heart be stout and enduring.
Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.”

- Psalm 27:14 AMP

Monday, January 14, 2013

motive...


motive

Before beginning a hunt,
it is wise to ask someone
what you are looking for
before you begin looking for it.”

- Winnie the Pooh

It's motive alone that gives
character to the actions of men.”

- Jean de la Bruyere

Sunday, January 13, 2013

nothing succeeds like failure...


Nothing succeeds like failure.

It is a mistake to suppose
that people succeed through success;
they often succeed through failures.”

- Author Unknown

There is no failure except in no longer trying.”
- Elbert Hubbard 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

true peace...


true peace

Lord, make me childlike.
Deliver me from the urge to compete
with another for place or prestige or position.
I would be simple and artless as a little child.
Deliver me from pose and pretense.
Forgive me for thinking of myself.
Help me to forget myself
and find my true peace
in beholding Thee.
That Thou mayest answer this prayer
I humble myself before Thee.
Lay upon me Thy easy yoke
of self-forgetfulness that through it
I may find rest. Amen.”

- A. W. Tozer
(The Pursuit of God)

Friday, January 11, 2013

before and after...


before and after

The top photo is as taken...
underexposed among other things.
The bottom photo has been post processed
to make a more pleasing image
and the image I visualized when I took it.

We too undergo change as we grow older...
hopefully wiser and more pleasing
to the Lord... becoming
what He visualized us to become.

Do not be conformed to this world (this age),
[fashioned after and adapted to
its external, superficial customs],
but be transformed (changed)
by the [entire] renewal of your mind
[by its new ideals and its new attitude],
so that you may prove [for yourselves]
what is the good and acceptable
and perfect will of God,
even the thing which is good
and acceptable and perfect
[in His sight for you].”

- Romans 12:2 AMP

Thursday, January 10, 2013

stillness...



In the midst of movement and chaos,
keep stillness inside of you.”

- Deepak Chopra

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

humiliation...


humiliation

Stocks were a device that was used
to publicly humiliate a criminal.
Shame can be a powerful aid to further growth.

There is no contradiction between
a present enjoyment of justification
and a proper sense of shame about past sin.
Both mark the maturing Christian.
Properly remembering our past sins with shame
will deter us from repeating them
and help us receive God's saving grace.
When we recall our failures
through the lens of Christ's mercy,
God produces in us ongoing repentance
and deepening humility.”
- Robert D. Jones

The way to eliminate shame
associated with [ongoing] sin
is to admit sin,
be confident that God forgives sin,
and engage in battle against it.”
- Edward T. Welch

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

greater conception...


greater conception

Most Bible characters met with failure and survived.
Even when the failure was immense,
those who [rebounded] refused
to lie in the dust and bemoan their tragedy.
In fact, their failure and repentance
led to a greater conception of God’s grace.
They came to know the God of the second chance,
and sometimes the third and fourth.”

- Oswald Sanders

Monday, January 7, 2013

unity in diversity...


unity in diversity

I believe that one major reason
that the church of Jesus Christ
in the United States is very close
to being in sheer chaos today
is because so many people
think themselves as individuals
rather than as part of the body of Christ.
Christianity is not 'every man for himself;'
it’s every man together for Christ.”

- Wayne Mack

Sunday, January 6, 2013

...have lived and lived well


have lived and lived well

The purpose of life is not to be happy.
It is to be useful, to be honorable,
to be compassionate,
to have it make some difference
that you have lived and lived well.”

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, January 5, 2013

caught in the act...


caught in the act

I caught this santa celebrating a bit too much...
he has simply lost control
of all his inhibitions.

However advanced a man may be in piety or age,
he is still in danger of falling.”
- Charles Simeon

Friday, January 4, 2013

self-made veil...


self-made veil

When Christ gave up His spirit and died,
the veil (curtain) of the temple
was torn in two from top to bottom.
This signified that now the way
into the Holy of Holies was open for all people,
for all time, both Jew and Gentile.

But we have erected a self-made veil
which keeps us from experiencing
all that God wants to give us
and limits all that we can be through Him.
This veil is made of indifference and disobedience.

People do not drift toward holiness.
Apart from grace-driven effort,
people do not gravitate toward godliness,
prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith,
and delight in the Lord.
We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance;
we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom;
we drift toward superstition and call it faith.
We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control
and call it relaxation;
we slouch toward prayerlessness
and delude ourselves into thinking
we have escaped legalism;
we slide toward godlessness
and convince ourselves
we have been liberated.”

- D.A. Carson

“Godly character is not the result of good intentions,
wishful thinking, some mystical "zap,"
or even sheer Bible knowledge.
It's developed through the self-disciplined
application of God's Word at a very basic level,
enabled and empowered by God's Spirit.”

- John MacArthur

Thursday, January 3, 2013

a better berry...


a better berry

The merry year is born like
the bright berry from the naked thorn.”

- Hartley Coleridge

Let it not be imagined
that the life of a good Christian
must be a life of melancholy and gloominess;
for he only resigns some pleasures
to enjoy others infinitely better.”

- Blaise Pascal

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

belief in God...


Do you believe in God?

Contemplate your answer very carefully.
Everything you do... everything you think...
hinges upon your answer and yet...
even Satan believes in God,
and he knows God a lot better than you do.


You believe that God is one; you do well.
So do the demons believe and shudder...
You see that a man is justified
(pronounced righteous before God)
through what he does
and not alone through faith
[through works of obedience
as well as by what he believes].”
- James 2:19,24 AMP

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year


Happy New Year

This is the time for “resolutions”.

I pray, whatever other resolutions you make,
to live a simple life with wisdom,
to seek peace with yourself and others,
and to daily communicate with God...
praising Him and loving Him
with all your heart, your mind,
your spirit, your soul,
and with all your strength.

Therefore, since we are justified
(acquitted, declared righteous, and given
a right standing with God) through faith,
let us [grasp the fact that we] have
[the peace of reconciliation to hold and to enjoy]
peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ
(the Messiah, the Anointed One).

Through Him also we have [our] access
(entrance, introduction) by faith
into this grace (state of God’s favor)
in which we [firmly and safely] stand.
And let us rejoice and exult in our hope
of experiencing and enjoying the glory of God.”

- Romans 5:1,2 AMP