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, February 29, 2016

total commitment...

total commitment

Dying to one life and walking
into the light of the new.


"Or don’t you know that all of us
who were baptized into Christ Jesus
were baptized into his death?
We were therefore buried with him
through baptism into death in order that,
just as Christ was raised from the dead
through the glory of the Father,
we too may live a new life."
- Romans 6:3,4 NIV

Sunday, February 28, 2016

expand your dreams...

expand your dreams

"Push yourself to do more and to experience more.
Harness your energy to start expanding your dreams.
Yes, expand your dreams.
Don't accept a life of mediocrity
when you hold such infinite potential
within the fortress of your mind.
Dare to tap into your greatness."
- Robin S. Sharma

Saturday, February 27, 2016

aging...

aging
"Prayer of an Anonymous Abbess:

Lord, thou knowest better than myself that I am growing older and will soon be old. Keep me from becoming too talkative, and especially from the unfortunate habit of thinking that I must say something on every subject and at every opportunity.

Release me from the idea that I must straighten out other peoples' affairs. With my immense treasure of experience and wisdom, it seems a pity not to let everybody partake of it. But thou knowest, Lord, that in the end I will need a few friends.

Keep me from the recital of endless details; give me wings to get to the point.

Grant me the patience to listen to the complaints of others; help me to endure them with charity. But seal my lips on my own aches and pains -- they increase with the increasing years and my inclination to recount them is also increasing.

I will not ask thee for improved memory, only for a little more humility and less self-assurance when my own memory doesn't agree with that of others. Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong.

Keep me reasonably gentle. I do not have the ambition to become a saint -- it is so hard to live with some of them -- but a harsh old person is one of the devil's masterpieces.

Make me sympathetic without being sentimental, helpful but not bossy. Let me discover merits where I had not expected them, and talents in people whom I had not thought to possess any. And, Lord, give me the grace to tell them so.

Amen"
- Margot Benary-Isbert

Friday, February 26, 2016

peaceful and happy...

MJ's Coffeehouse

Many of you already know that I like
to find inviting places to eat and drink coffee.
This is one of those places.
The day was rather dismal, wet, and cold...
all the better to be in a place like this...
with a great sandwich, good hot coffee
and my gorgeous wife.

"If in our daily life we can smile,
if we can be peaceful and happy,
not only we, but everyone will profit from it.
This is the most basic kind of peace work."

- Thích Nhất Hạnh

Thursday, February 25, 2016

intended to be...

intended to be

"The more we let God take us over,
the more truly ourselves we become -
because He made us. He invented us.
He invented all the different people
that you and I were intended to be. . .
It is when I turn to Christ,
when I give up myself to His personality,
that I first begin to
have a real personality of my own.
- C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

journey of the spirit...

journey of the spirit

"Life is an experimental journey undertaken involuntarily.
It is a journey of the spirit through the material world
and, since it is the spirit that travels,
it is the spirit that is experienced.
That is why there exist contemplative souls
who have lived more intensely,
more widely, more tumultuously than others
who have lived their lives purely externally."
- Fernando Pessoa

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

positive vibration...

positive vibration

"It does not matter how long
you are spending on the earth,
how much money you have gathered
or how much attention you have received.
It is the amount of positive vibration
you have radiated in life that matters,"
- Amit Ray

Monday, February 22, 2016

Bridge of Sighs...

Bridge of Sighs

"That is the road we all have to take -
over the Bridge of Sighs into eternity."
- Soren Kierkegaard

Sunday, February 21, 2016

joy of life...

joy of life
(photographer unknown)

"Loving can cost a lot
but not loving always costs more,
and those who fear to love often
find that want of love is an emptiness
that robs the joy from life."
- Merle Shain

Saturday, February 20, 2016

peace within...

peace within

"To be at one with God is to be at peace...
peace is to be found only within,
and unless one finds it there he will never find it at all.
Peace lies not in the external world.
It lies within one's own soul."
- Ralph Waldo Trine

"Peace is the deliberate adjustment
of my life to the will of God."
- Author Unknown

Friday, February 19, 2016

aura of love...

aura of love
photo by Lee Keefer

"When the world is cold, use bridges for firewood.
And for extra warmth, give off an aura of love,
and you won't need a bridge,
because the other side will come to you."
- Amanda Mosher and Jarod Kintz

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

learn to see...


learn to see
"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it."
- Confucius

"Always seeing something, never seeing nothing,
being photographer"
- Walter De Mulder


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

compassion...

compassion

In Fallout 4, this is Strong, a super mutant.
It appears that super mutants,
not quite human, are all very aggressive,
angry, and bent on destruction and killing.
Strong however has been, at least a little,
changed, and is now looking for
the “milk of human kindness”.

I still believe, even with all the hatred in the world today,
we can sow seeds of compassion that will reap more benefits
that returning hatred with hatred.
When Jesus was tortured and crucified,
He returned all that hatred with compassion and love.
And the result of His love is our salvation.

"Dear friends, let us love one another,
for love comes from God.
Everyone who loves
has been born of God and knows God."
- 1 John 4:7 NIV

Monday, February 15, 2016

unquenchable...

unquenchable

"Love is like a friendship caught on fire.
In the beginning a flame, very pretty,
often hot and fierce,
but still only light and flickering.
As love grows older, our hearts mature
and our love becomes as coals,
deep-burning and unquenchable."
- Bruce Lee

Sunday, February 14, 2016

awakens the soul...

awakens the soul


"The best love is the kind that awakens the soul
and makes us reach for more,
that plants a fire in our hearts
and brings peace to our minds.
And that's what you've given me.
That's what I'd hoped to give you forever."
- Nicholas Sparks


Saturday, February 13, 2016

opportunist...

opportunist
photo by Lee Keefer

"Let me tell ya.
You gotta pay attention to signs.
When life reaches out with a moment like this
it's a sin if you don't reach back... I'm telling you."
- Matthew Quick

Friday, February 12, 2016

important...


With all the snow on the ground and
Valentine's Day soon here,
I thought this quote appropriate.


"The Eskimos had fifty-two names for snow
because it was important to them:
there ought to be as many for love."
- Margaret Atwood

Thursday, February 11, 2016

cold...

cold

I used to love winter and I always
have preferred to be cold rather
than suffer the heat and humidity.
But the older I have gotten
the more cold has bothered me
so now I will settle for a
nice 60 – 70 degree day.

"So when you're cold
From the inside out
And don't know what to do,
Remember love and friendship,
And warmth will come to you."
- Stephen Cosgrove

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

walk in a snowy woods...

walking in the snow

This is a 3D...
a daddy, daughter, deal.
Whenever just my daughter and I
do anything together it is called a 3D.
We like to take walks together down the lane
into the woods when it is snowing.
This was taken yesterday during
the latest snowfall.

"A daughter may outgrow your lap,
but she will never outgrow your heart."
- Author Unknown

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

snowing again...

snowing again

"Snow is falling outside
and all is peaceful and still.
In such moments it is possible to believe
that the world could still be good."
- Richard Paul Evans

Monday, February 8, 2016

retains the memory...

retains the memory

"This is a good world that has gone wrong,
but still retains the memory
of what it ought to have been."
- C S Lewis

Sunday, February 7, 2016

puzzle complete...

puzzle complete

Well the puzzle is finished and
there were no missing pieces.
Eventually, if we remain strong in our faith,
all the pieces of our puzzle will fit together perfectly...
another masterpiece of our Father,
our Creator, the Everlasting God.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

dropdown...

dropdown

Every so often, in the course of
your daily routine or your daily wandering,
you see an image that just grabs your attention.
You don't know why, it just does.
Well, this one, for some reason grabbed mine.


"Have I ever written anything
that has really changed something?
What I believe is that you
can't change anything without using art.
I believe that the drops wear away the stone.
I try to be part of that army."
- Henning Mankell

Friday, February 5, 2016

darkness behind...

leaving the darkness behind

“Stars, hide your fires;
Let not light see my black and deep desires.”
- William Shakespeare
(“Macbeth”)


Think long and hard, I am sure you will remember
things you have done that you are not proud of
and maybe even ashamed.
What matters now is what direction
you are allowing the Lord to lead you.

If we confess our sins,
he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins
and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
- 1 John 1:9 NIV

Thursday, February 4, 2016

incomplete puzzle...


Incomplete Puzzle

The last several years I have bought a jigsaw puzzle
as a Christmas gift for my wife and myself.
We are just about finished with this one.
When searching for a particular piece,
and not finding it right away,
the thought crosses my mind that
it is a piece that never made it into the box...
a missing piece of the puzzle.
Unless the puzzle is truly defective,
we eventually find that piece,
either through perseverance or by chance.
I have come to believe that life is like that
but that nothing happens by chance.
In several books I have read over the years
by several authors ( Ravi Zacharias, Donald Miller,
John Eldredge, to name a few)
they speak about God's work on an epic,
a tapestry, a weaving of which each of us
and our lives are an integral part of the whole.
Eventually, soon (for some)
our part in that weaving is finished,
although our contribution affects
the rest of the weaving (and other lives)
after we are gone. 


"My Life is but a weaving
between my Lord and me;
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.

Oft times He weaveth sorrow
And I, in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the under side.

Not til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why.


The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver’s skillful hand,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

He knows, He loves, He cares,
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives His very best to those
Who leave the choice with Him."
- Corrie Ten boom

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

piano...

piano
photo by Erin Doyle

"One man gets nothing but discord out of a piano;
another gets harmony.
No one claims the piano is at fault.
Life is about the same.
The discord is there, and the harmony is there.
Study to play it correctly,
and it will give forth the beauty;
play it falsely,
and it will give forth the ugliness.
Life is not at fault."
- Author Unknown

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

hope...

out of destruction
comes hope

"I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge.
That myth is more potent than history.
That dreams are more powerful than facts.
That hope always triumphs over experience.
That laughter is the only cure for grief.
And I believe that love is stronger than death.”"
- Robert Fulghum

Monday, February 1, 2016

commitment...

Sunday go to Meetin'
painting by Billy Jacobs

Why am I so good at being bad, and so bad at being good?

This question has required, for me, a bit of pondering.
At first, since God is good, and Satan is evil,
we may wonder even more,
since it appears that Satan is more actively involved
with our life than is God.
Or perhaps our commitment to God
is not as strong as our commitment to self.
While this may be true (and in most cases is true),
let's approach this from a different angle.
Consider only a commitment or non commitment to God.
Self pleasure is a given.
For if we are not committed to God,
we are most assuredly following the path of self satisfaction.
Which is easier, being committed to something
or not having commitment?
This is the answer to our question...
because it is so much easier to be bad.
Going one step beyond...
God wants us to continue to grow
and become more strongly committed to Him.
He does this by not making it easier,
once we become somewhat committed to Him,
but increasingly harder
so that our commitment to Him grows stronger.
Think of the commitment to lose weight...
it is easier to lose the first 5 pounds
than to lose the last five in our long range plan,
but as a result, we will become more committed
to keeping that extra weight off and less likely to backslide...
and more able to tackle harder and harder commitments.
One final thought...
God is with us all the time and helps us,
but as our commitment to Him grows He enables us more,
and provides us with lasting peace and joy
in the severest of circumstances.