Creation Speaks

cultivating eyes to see and hearts to hear

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"By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created,
people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can't see:
eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being."

Romans 1:20 (The Message)

December 28, 2009

"I have carried you since you were born; I have taken care of you from your birth.

Even when you are old, I will be the same.

Even when your hair has turned gray, I will take care of you.

I made you and will take care of you.

I will carry you and save you."

Isaiah 46:3b-4 NCV

Christmas Day, nearly a century between them, spanning five generations -- ages 98 1/2 years old and 9 months old

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever."   Hebrews 13:8 NCV

"How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders!

His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures from generation to generation." 

Daniel 4:3 NIV

December 21, 2009
"Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom

for those who were in distress...

...The people walking in darkness have seen a great light;

on those living in the land of the shadow of death

a light has dawned...

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,

and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called

Wonderful Counselor,

Mighty God,

Everlasting Father,

Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace

there will be no end.

He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom,

establishing and upholding it

with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.

The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this."

Isaiah 9:1,2, 6-7 NIV 
Our Heavenly Father sent His Son Jesus into our volatile world as a vulnerable infant, entrusting Him to fallible earthly parents. And if relinquishing your child from splendor to squalor isn't enough to make your parental instincts quake, consider how God knew full well that one day that baby would grow up to be tortured and hung on a cross at the hands of a fallen world.
Yet He did this to redeem – even those who put Him on that cross – even every one of us.  

What kind of love is this?

The greatest love the world could ever know.

December 14, 2009
"Now this is how Jesus the Messiah was born.

His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Joseph, her fiance, being a just man, decided to break the engagement quietly, so as not to disgrace her publicly. As he considered this, he fell asleep, and an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. ‘Joseph, son of David,’ the angel said, ‘do not be afraid to go ahead with your marriage to Mary. For the child within her has been conceived by the Holy Spirit.

And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus,

for he will save his people from their sins.’"

Matthew 1:18-21 NLT 
I'd Need A Savior by Among The Thirsty

How many names can I use to explain the love of my Jesus,
the life that he gave and so many times will I praise you today.
I lift up my life ‘cause you’re always the same
And my offering to you I bring

Your name is Jesus. Your name is Jesus.
You’re the Wonderful, Counselor, my Friend.
You’re what I hold on to; I know that you brought me through
All the days of loss, to the cross you knew
I’d need a Savior.

How many songs can I sing to proclaim your wondrous love and beauty so great?
What would I say if you brought down the rain and everyday
I walk through the pain my heart would still say…

You’re what I hold on to; I know that you brought me through
All the days of loss, to the cross you knew
I’d need a Savior.
I’d need a Savior
I need you, Savior
Sunrise on Mt Washington, Oregon

December 7, 2009
"O God, You are my God;

Early will I seek You;

My soul thirsts for You;

My flesh longs for You

In a dry and thirsty land

Where there is no water.

So I have looked for You

in the sanctuary,

To see Your power

and Your glory..."

"...Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips shall praise You.

Thus I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.

My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.

When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.

Because You have been my help, Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.

My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me." 

Psalms 63:1-8 NKJV

sunrise in Springfield, Oregon, Thurston

November 30, 2009

"God sets the solitary in families;

He brings out those who are bound

into prosperity;

But the rebellious dwell in a dry land."

Psalms 68:6 NKJV 
People can be separated from others due to circumstances they have little or no control over – work, commitments, miles.
They can also be separated due to circumstances they hold considerable control over – pride, unforgiveness, fear.
Aside from separation, there is another matter to prayerfully consider regarding the dynamics of families–

"While he [Jesus] was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers showed up. They were outside trying to get a message to him. Someone told Jesus, 'Your mother and brothers are out here, wanting to speak with you.' Jesus didn't respond directly, but said, 'Who do you think my mother and brothers are?' He then stretched out his hand toward his disciples. 'Look closely. These are my mother and brothers. Obedience is thicker than blood. The person who obeys my heavenly Father's will is my brother and sister and mother.'" 

Matthew 12:46-50 (The Message)
Jesus did not hold a higher obligation to His blood relatives. This account stands significant enough to also be brought up in two other Gospels (Mark 3:30-34 and Luke 8:19-21), worthy of our serious and prayerful consideration.

Especially during this holiday season, let us be humble and brave enough to ask God to open our eyes to the things we can and should do to bring people together. Without passing blame or ignoring our responsibility ask "Lord, what would You require of me?" Also let us ask for His heart and wisdom to tactfully deal with those who attempt to control us – and to be set free from undue guilt and obligation. Furthermore, ask Him to open our eyes to the lonely who live all around us, the solitary who need someone to gather them into our heart, our family. Loneliness depends upon our action, or the lack thereof.

November 23, 2009

"When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you."

Deuteronomy 8:10 NIV 

"Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.

For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods.

In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him.

The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;

for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.

Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts..." 

Psalms 95:1-8 NIV
Troy, Northeastern Oregon, at the junction of the Wenaha and Grande Ronde Rivers

November 16, 2009
"Be gracious to me, God, for man tramples me…

In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?

You Yourself have recorded my wanderings.

Put my tears in Your bottle.
Are they not in Your records?

This I know: God is for me.

I am obligated by vows to You, God;
I will make my thank offerings to You.
For You delivered me from death,
even my feet from stumbling,

to walk before God in the light of life."

Psalms 56:1, 4, 8-13 HCSB 

If you're like me, you most often guard your tears, saving them, until you reach that private, safe place where the barricade crumbles and great stores of sorrow freely flow down your face, spilling into all sorts of places – your pillow, your coat sleeve, your dog's fur. After a while, after crying them out, I get up and move on, never giving much thought to this physical by-product of sadness that perhaps I tossed into the waste basket with a wad of tissues.

Even though we may forget some of the circumstances that brought tears, God never does. Not only does He see our every tear, He actually stores them, even records them (Ps. 56:8). (And here I assumed they simply evaporated.)

I'm thinking God does this so that He can prove to us that He makes good on His promises...

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain,
for the old order of things has passed away." (Revelation 21:4 NIV)

Every tear. I don't think He's talking about the tears that will be present there upon reaching heaven, because actually, I imagine my tears right then will be tears of joy. I'm thinking He stores and records our tears here on earth so that one day He will be able to prove to us that every disappointment, every heartache, each and every tear we ever cried, mattered to Him…and He will wipe those tears away.

Sometimes, that is all I have to hang on to. Sometimes the cruelty of disease, death, corruption, injustice – it's just too much. But God promises that a day is coming when He will make everything all right. Everything.

Oh, that God would wrap His comfort around our hearts and lift our vision to see His promises fulfilled. Let us continue walking forward, steady on the sure ground of His hope.

November 9, 2009

"Every one who serves as a soldier keeps himself from becoming entangled in the world's business
--so that he may satisfy the officer who enlisted him."

2 Timothy 2:4 WNT

"For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning."

2 Peter 2:20 NKJV 

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?
Come to me.
Get away with me and you'll recover your life.
I'll show you how to take a real rest.
Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it.
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.
I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.
Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." 

—Jesus, Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)

"For freedom did Christ set us free: stand fast therefore, and be not entangled again in a yoke of bondage." 

Galatians 5:1 ASV

November 2, 2009
"If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love,
if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion,
then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit,
but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
Each of you should look not only to your own interests,
but also to the interests of others…

...for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. 

...But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith,
I am glad and rejoice with all of you."

Philippians 2:1- 4, 13, 17 NIV 

northeastern Massachusetts

October 26, 2009
Summer lasted well through September in our part of the country, but Autumn has definitely staked its claim as we finish out October. The dahlias next to our house (sprouting near 7 feet tall every season) were falling over and beginning to decay inside – time to prune to the ground for winter's sleep. Yet surviving the many downpours of October, remaining blossoms still tilted their faces toward the sky, gracing us with one more splash of color regardless of being beaten over. 

We paid a couple visits to our grandmother this past weekend (in between chores, such as fall yard clean up). Grandmother's 98 years have become heavier for her to carry of late, markedly since her fall last August – the inevitable advancing of years stealing away all but few remaining freedoms.

During the past few months, nearly every time we visit, it's the same routine. We wake her from a sound nap. Hearing our voices, she turns her head from her pillow, blinks leaden eye lids, prying them away from deep slumber's hold, then focuses upon us. Soon sunshine spreads across her face through dazzling blue eyes and a heart-warming smile.

"Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he,
I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain you and I will rescue you." 

Isaiah 46:4 NIV

"Your faithfulness extends to every generation,
as enduring as the earth you created." 

Psalms 119:90 NLT

"So I pray that God, who gives you hope,
will keep you happy and full of peace as you believe in him.
May you overflow with hope
through the power of the Holy Spirit." 

Romans 15:13 NLT

October 19, 2009

"The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
For he understands how weak we are..."

Psalms 103:13-14 NLT 

"...He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart..." 

Isaiah 40:11 NIV
Bastendorff Beach, Oregon

October 13, 2009

" will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up." 

Psalms 71:20 NIV

"But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.
My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure.
I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign Lord; I will proclaim your righteousness, yours alone.
Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God,
till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.
Your righteousness reaches to the skies, O God, you who have done great things.

Who, O God, is like you?"

Psalms 71:14-19 NIV 

October 1, 2009

"My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge." 

Psalms 62.:7 NIV

"He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.

He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.

They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the Lord was my support.

He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me."

2 Samuel 22:17-20 NIV 
Mt Washington, Oregon Cascades, west side, elevation: 7794 feet / 2376 M

September 28, 2009

God is especially fond of you. 

"--for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye--"

Zechariah 2:8 NIV 

September 21, 2009
"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stand by and be devoted to the one and despise and be against the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (deceitful riches, money, possessions, or whatever is trusted in).

Therefore I tell you, stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the span of his life? And why should you be anxious about clothes? Consider the lilies of the field and learn thoroughly how they grow; they neither toil nor spin. Yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his magnificence (excellence, dignity, and grace) was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and green and tomorrow is tossed into the furnace, will He not much more surely clothe you, O you of little faith?

Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear? For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all.

But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides. So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble."

Matthew 6:24-34 AMP  

September 14, 2009

"For though the mountains should depart and the hills be shaken or removed,

yet My love and kindness shall not depart from you,

nor shall My covenant of peace and completeness be removed,

says the Lord, Who has compassion on you."

Isaiah 54:10 AMP  

"The LORD is my light and my salvation – so why should I be afraid?
The LORD protects me from danger – so why should I tremble?
Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will know no fear. Even if they attack me, I remain confident.
The one thing I ask of the LORD –
the thing I seek most – is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life...
For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary.
He will place me out of reach on a high rock."

Psalms 27:1-5 NLT 
atop Mt Bohemia, Oregon

September 8, 2009

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free...

You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature;
rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'
If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.  

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Against such things there is no law.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."

Galatians 5:1, 13-15, 22-25 NIV 

"Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness
through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises,
so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;
and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;
and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.
For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure,
they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure.
For if you do these things, you will never fall,
and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have."

2 Peter 1:2-12 NIV 

August 31, 2009

(especially   when   no   one   is   looking)
"I will be careful to live a blameless life...

...I will lead a life of integrity in my own home."

Psalms 101:2 NLT  

"For the Lord God is a sun and shield;

the Lord bestows favor and honor;

no good thing does he withhold

from those whose walk is blameless."

Psalms 84:11 NIV 

"Search me, O God, and know my heart;

test me and know my anxious thoughts.

See if there is any offensive way in me,

and lead me in the way everlasting."

Psalms 139:23-24 NIV  

"He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ."

1 Corinthians 1:8 NIV 

August 24, 2009                                                   B E    S T I L L    A N D    K N O W

"God is our protection and our strength.
He always helps in times of trouble.

So we will not be afraid even if the earth shakes,
or the mountains fall into the sea,

even if the oceans roar and foam,
or the mountains shake at the raging sea. Selah.

There is a river that brings joy to the city of God,
the holy place where God Most High lives.

God is in that city, and so it will not be shaken.

God will help her at dawn.

Nations tremble and kingdoms shake.
God shouts and the earth crumbles.

The Lord All-Powerful is with us;
the God of Jacob is our defender. Selah.

Come and see what the Lord has done,
the amazing things he has done on the earth.

He stops wars everywhere on the earth.
He breaks all bows and spears
and burns up the chariots with fire.

God says, 'Be quiet and know that I am God.
I will be supreme over all the nations;
I will be supreme in the earth.'

The Lord All-Powerful is with us;
the God of Jacob is our defender. Selah.
God, the King of the World."

Psalms 46:1-11 NCV 

August 18, 2009

"Jesus said, 'Come off by yourselves; let's take a break and get a little rest.'

For there was constant coming and going. They didn't even have time to eat."

Mark 6:31 The Message 

"I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint."
Jeremiah 31:25 NIV 

"...those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength..."

Isaiah 40:31 NKJV 

our favorite secret camp spot, Ochoco Mountains, Oregon

August 9, 2009

"For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down – when we die and leave these bodies –
we will have a home in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.
We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long for the day when we will put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing.
For we will not be spirits without bodies, but we will put on new heavenly bodies...
God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
So we are always confident,
even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord.
That is why we live by believing and not by seeing.
Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord."  

2 Corinthians 5:1-8 NLT 

"All honor to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
for it is by his boundless mercy that God has given us the privilege of being born again.
Now we live with a wonderful expectation because Jesus Christ rose again from the dead.
For God has reserved a priceless inheritance for his children.
It is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.
And God, in his mighty power, will protect you until you receive this salvation, because you are trusting him.
It will be revealed on the last day for all to see.
So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while.
These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure.
It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold – and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold.
So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials,
it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world."

1 Peter 1:3-7 NLT 
sunset over the Cascade Mountains, Oregon

July 27, 2009

"Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God,
who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.
But let him ask in faith without doubting.
For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.
An indecisive man is unstable in all his ways."  

James 1:5-8 HCSB 

"I do believe;

help me overcome my unbelief!"

Mark 9:24 NIV 
Rock Reef, Oregon Coast

July 20, 2009

"Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials,
knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing."  

James 1:2-4 HCSB 

"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day:
and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing."

2 Timothy 4:7-8 KJV 

Dedicated to my mom, as well as all others who look and long for His appearing.

Grace and peace, not only to those who look and long, but also to those who love and serve those nearing their departure.
Indeed, to all those whose burden would prove unbearable should their "farewell" not in truth be "see you there."

How could our hearts survive, oh Lord, if our hope did not live in You? 

July 13, 2009

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy,

to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God

--this is your spiritual act of worship.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will."  

Romans 12:1-2 NIV 

"For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought,

but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.

Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,

so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others."

Romans 12:3-5 NIV 

"And do this, understanding the present time.

The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed."

Romans 13:11 NIV 

July 6, 2009

"I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.
For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.
For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do--this I keep on doing…

For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body,
waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?
Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!"  

Romans 7:18-19, 22-25 NIV 

"So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death.
The law of Moses could not save us, because of our sinful nature. But God put into effect a different plan to save us.
He sent his own Son in a human body like ours, except that ours are sinful.
God destroyed sin's control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.
He did this so that the requirement of the law would be fully accomplished for us
who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit."

Romans 8:1-4 NLT 

"My dear children, let's not just talk about love; let's practice real love.
This is the only way we'll know we're living truly, living in God's reality.
It's also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it.
For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.
And friends, once that's taken care of and we're no longer accusing or condemning ourselves,
we're bold and free before God!
We're able to stretch our hands out and receive what we asked for
because we're doing what he said, doing what pleases him.

Again, this is God's command: to believe in his personally named Son, Jesus Christ.
He told us to love each other, in line with the original command.
As we keep his commands, we live deeply and surely in him, and he lives in us.
And this is how we experience his deep and abiding presence in us: by the Spirit he gave us."

1 John 3:18-24 The Message 

June 29, 2009

   ...Friendship with God...

"...the LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend."  

Exodus 33:11 NLT 

"And the LORD replied to Moses, 'I will indeed do what you have asked, for you have found favor with me,

and you are my friend.'"

Exodus 33:17 NLT 

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener... are the branches...

...stay joined to me...produce much fruit...

...You are my friends if you obey me.

I no longer call you servants, because a master doesn't confide in his servants.
Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.

You didn't choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit that will last,
so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.
I command you to love each other."    --Jesus

John 15:1-17 NLT 

June 22, 2009

"I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father,
may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you,
the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.

That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead
and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion,
and every title that can be given,
not only in the present age but also in the one to come.
And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,
which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way."

Ephesians 1:16-23 NIV

"For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints,

to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,

and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
according to his power that is at work within us,
to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."

Ephesians 3:14-21 NIV  
Cape Arago State Park, Oregon

June 15, 2009                                                   A    W O R K    I N    P R O G R E S S

"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy…being confident of this,

that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

Philippians 1:3-6 NIV
"Yes, everything else is worthless

when compared with the priceless gain

of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage,

so that I may have Christ.

I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things

or that I have already reached perfection!

But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be

all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be.

No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be,

but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing:

Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,

I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize

for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven..."

Philippians 3:8, 12-14 NLT

"May our sons flourish in their youth like well-nurtured plants.

May our daughters be like graceful pillars, carved to beautify a palace.

...Happy indeed are those whose God is the LORD."

Psalms 144:12, 15 NLT 

June 8, 2009                                                 

"Therefore I... beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God...

"With the Lord's authority let me say this:
Live no longer as the ungodly do,
for they are hopelessly confused.

Their closed minds are full of darkness;
they are far away from the life of God
because they have shut their minds
and hardened their hearts against him.

They don't care anymore about right and wrong, and they have given themselves over to immoral ways. Their lives are filled with all kinds of impurity and greed.

But that isn't what you were taught
when you learned about Christ...

"Since you have heard all about him and have learned the truth that is in Jesus, throw off your old evil nature
and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception.

Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes.

You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God's likeness – righteous, holy, and true.

And do not bring sorrow to God's Holy Spirit by the way you live.
Remember, he is the one who has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption...

...So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise.
Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days.
Don't act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do."

Ephesians 4:1, 17-24, 30, 5:15-17 NLT

June 1, 2009

"Sing for joy, O heavens! Rejoice, O earth! Burst into song, O mountains!
For the LORD has comforted his people and will have compassion on them in their sorrow."

"Yet Jerusalem says,

'The LORD has deserted us;

the Lord has forgotten us.'

Never! Can a mother
forget her nursing child?

Can she feel no love
for a child she has borne?

But even if that were possible,
I would not forget you!"

Isaiah 49:13-15 NLT

"See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me."

Isaiah 49:16 NIV 

May 25, 2009                                                 

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.

See, I am doing a new thing!

Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."

Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV

"The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom...

...they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God.

Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way;

say to those with fearful hearts,
'Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come, he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution he will come to save you.'

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.

Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy.

Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert...

And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness.
The unclean will not journey on it;
it will be for those who walk in that Way...

No lion will be there, nor will any ferocious beast get up on it;
they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there,

and the ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away."

Isaiah 35:1-10 NIV

May 18, 2009                                                              I N T E R D E P E N D E N T
"The Lord God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.'

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh."

Genesis 2:18, 24 NIV

Before time, God understood the value of teamwork - divinely planned mutual cooperation for the highest good. Our all-wise Creator wired us for synergy. We, as human beings, do not function at our best independently. At the root of independence is pride -- which God warns He resists (James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5) and also comes before a fall (Proverbs 16:18).

The original Hebrew word neged in Genesis 2:18 translated suitable, or comparable means He intended for man to benefit from a companion that is conspicuous, in front of...parallel to... God did not create woman to be under or behind man, that is to say, in a subservient or behind-the-scenes position.

God engineered the necessity of varied perspective, balance and accountability into human design. Tragically, those of us who misunderstand or reject God's wisdom in instilling co-dependency risk limiting His favor in our decisions, actions and outcomes.
In God's Kingdom independence is not a strength, but a weakness.

"In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman."
1 Corinthians 11:11 NIV 

off the coast of Maine

May 11, 2009
"Now, brothers and sisters, we do not need to write you about times and dates. You know very well that the day the Lord comes again will be a surprise, like a thief that comes in the night. While people are saying, 'We have peace and we are safe,' they will be destroyed quickly. It is like pains that come quickly to a woman having a baby. Those people will not escape.
"But you, brothers and sisters, are not living in darkness, and so that day will not surprise you like a thief.

You are all people who belong to the light and to the day. We do not belong to the night or to darkness.

So we should not be like other people who are sleeping, but we should be alert and have self-control. Those who sleep, sleep at night. Those who get drunk, get drunk at night.

But we belong to the day, so we should control ourselves.

We should wear faith and love to protect us, and the hope of salvation should be our helmet.

God did not choose us to suffer his anger but to have salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus died for us so that we can live together with him, whether we are alive or dead when he comes.

So encourage each other and give each other strength, just as you are doing now.
"Now, brothers and sisters, we ask you to appreciate those who work hard among you, who lead you in the Lord and teach you. Respect them with a very special love because of the work they do. Live in peace with each other.

We ask you, brothers and sisters, to warn those who do not work. Encourage the people who are afraid. Help those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. Be sure that no one pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to do what is good for each other and for all people. Always be joyful. Pray continually, and give thanks whatever happens. That is what God wants for you in Christ Jesus. Do not hold back the work of the Holy Spirit. Do not treat prophecy as if it were unimportant. But test everything. Keep what is good, and stay away from everything that is evil.

Now may God himself, the God of peace, make you pure, belonging only to him. May your whole self -- spirit, soul, and body -- be kept safe and without fault when our Lord Jesus Christ comes. You can trust the One who calls you to do that for you."

1 Thessalonians 5:1-24 NCV
"My people are being destroyed because they don't know me." Hosea 4:6 NLT

"Try to learn what pleases the Lord." Ephesians 5:10 NCV  
"He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure."  Isaiah 33:6 NIV
Black Fox pup on Friday Harbor Island, Washington

May 3, 2009                                                                            U N I T Y
Jesus prays for His disciples... 
"I'm praying not only for [the disciples with me now] but also for those who will believe in me because of them...

The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind -
Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you, so they might be one heart and mind with us.

Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me.

The same glory you gave me, I gave them, so they'll be as unified and together as we are - I in them and you in me. Then they'll be mature in this oneness, and give the godless world evidence that you've sent me and loved them in the same way you've loved me."

John 17:20-23 (The Message)
Almighty God, may Your glory fill us… overwhelm us… change us...

...that Your presence would melt away everything in our hearts and minds that hinders the unity You desire in Your church.

Yes Lord, cleanse each and every one of us from all presumptions, pride, conceit and arrogance – subtle self-deceptions warring within, attitudes keeping Your body so incredibly disjointed from one another – as well as from You.

Oh Lord, may Your people worship You in spirit and in truth, that we would hunger for Your glory...

Glory, given You by the Father, which You said You've already given to those who believe in you, let it fall upon Your people.

Purify and unify Your church - that the lost shall behold Your glory - a formidable evidence of God more potent than we have yet to understand.
"How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults."
Psalms 19:12 NLT 

April 27, 2009                                              
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.

He cuts off every branch that doesn't produce fruit,
and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit
so they will produce even more.

You have already been pruned for greater fruitfulness
by the message I have given you.

Remain in me, and I will remain in you.

Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches.
Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit.
For apart from me you can do nothing.

Anyone who parts from me is thrown away
like a useless branch and withers.
Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned.

But if you stay joined to me and my words remain in you,
you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted!

My true disciples produce much fruit. This brings great glory to my Father.

I have loved you even as the Father has loved me.
Remain in my love.

When you obey me, you remain in my love,
just as I obey my Father and remain in his love.

I have told you this so that you will be filled with my joy.
Yes, your joy will overflow!"

John 15:1-9 NLT
The depth of Christ's message here in John's Gospel warrants exploration. I trust a short journey into the original text's language will reveal concepts valuable to consider in your quiet time with Him.

In verse 1 Jesus testifies He is the true vine. In the original Greek text the word true is alethinos and it means "opposite to what is fictitious, counterfeit, imaginary, simulated or pretended"

In verse 2, every branch He prunes, the Greek word kathario, means "to cleanse, of filth impurity, etc; to prune trees and vines from useless shoots"

In verse 3, His branches become clean through His Word spoken to us. Clean, the Greek word katharos means "like a vine cleansed by pruning and so fitted to bear fruit; free from corrupt desire, from sin and guilt; free from every admixture of what is false"

In verse 4, to remain, also translated to abide in Him, the Greek word meno means "in reference to place; to sojourn, tarry; not to depart; to continue to be present; to be held, kept, continually; to continue to be, not to perish, to last, endure; of persons, to survive, live; in reference to state or condition; to remain as one, not to become another or different; to wait for, await one"

In verse 8, to bring glory to the Father, the Greek word doxazo means "render it excellent; to make renowned, render illustrious; to cause the dignity and worth of some person or thing to become manifest and acknowledged"

In verse 11, to be filled with joy, the Greek word pleroo means "to cause to abound, to furnish or supply liberally; to fill to the top: so that nothing shall be wanting to full measure, fill to the brim; to make complete in every particular, to render perfect; to carry through to the end, to accomplish, carry out"

Thus, my summary: As we hold fast to, sojourn with, endure with and wait for our indisputable God, He rids us of what is useless to our lives, freeing us from corrupt desire (which would surely lead to separation from Him and inevitably, our own destruction). A life that remains in Him abounds with joy! Yes, it even overflows with all that we need! Not only that, we are granted our every request (stemming from purified desire).

Indeed, a life interfused with Jesus becomes living-proof reality of an illustrious, undeniable God.
I appreciate the reiteration of this axiom in the book, The Shack, by William P. Young:

"Jesus now spoke again. 'Mack, I don't want to be first in your list of values; I want to be at the center of everything. When I live in you then together we can live through everything that happens to you. Rather than a pyramid, I want to be the center of a mobile, where everything in your life – your friends, family, occupation, thoughts, activities – is connected to me but moves with the wind [that is, the Holy Spirit], in and out and back and forth, in an incredible dance of being.'"  

April 13, 2009                                              
"So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come.
He has entered that great, perfect sanctuary in heaven, not made by human hands and not part of this created world.
Once for all time he took blood into that Most Holy Place, but not the blood of goats and calves.
He took his own blood, and with it he secured our salvation forever."
Hebrews 9:11-12 NLT              

let us throw off everything that hinders

and the sin that so easily entangles,

and let us run with perseverance

the race marked out for us.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus,

the author and perfecter of our faith,

who for the joy set before him

endured the cross,

scorning its shame,

and sat down at the right hand

of the throne of God."

Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV

"May the God of peace,
who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus,
that great Shepherd of the sheep,
equip you with everything good for doing his will,
and may he work in us what is pleasing to him,
through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."
Hebrews 13:20-21 NIV 

April 6, 2009                                                             I T    I S    F I N I S H E D

"And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split."

Matthew 27:50-51 NIV
Jesus ministry on earth as a human being was finished. Also, the traditional Jewish law established to approach God was finished. At the exact time of Jesus' death on the cross the earth shook, rocks split and Jerusalem's temple curtain tore in two.

The curtain, woven of fabric as thick as a man's hand, which hung in the temple to separate the presence of God in the Most Holy Place from the presence of mankind, tore.

Note the direction it tore, from top to bottom.

God, reaching down from His throne on High, made a powerful statement. The sacrifice of Jesus replaced the most significant right of passage ever given to His people, previously given only to the high priest but once a year, a passage into the very presence of God.

Jesus sacrifice, once and for all, became the way, the only way, for all mankind to approach God from that moment on and forever.

"Jesus answered, 'I am the way, and the truth, and the life. The only way to the Father is through me.'"

John 14:6 NCV
 C E L E B R A T E    A   G L O R I O U S   E A S T E R  

March 30, 2009                                              
"Prepare the way for the Lord…" Luke 3:4 NIV              ...Our hearts are where we start.
"Plant the good seeds of righteousness,

and you will harvest a crop of my love.

Plow up the hard ground of your hearts,

for now is the time to seek the LORD,

that he may come

and shower righteousness upon you."

Hosea 10:12 NLT

"This is the message he has given us to announce to you:
God is light and there is no darkness in him at all.
So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness.
We are not living in the truth.
But if we are living in the light of God's presence, just as Christ is,
then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from every sin.

If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth.

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.
If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts."

1 John 1:5-10 NLT

March 23, 2009
Seeking shelter... direction... hope... peace in these unsettling times?

"I will stand at my guard post and station myself on the lookout tower.

I will watch to see what He will say to me..."

Habakkuk 2:1 HCSB

"We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God:

those who are called according to His purpose.

What then are we to say about these things?

If God is for us, who is against us?

He did not even spare His own Son, but offered Him up for us all;

how will He not also with Him grant us everything?

Who can separate us from the love of Christ?

Can affliction or anguish or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

No, in all these things we are more than victorious through Him who loved us.

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers,

nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth,

nor any other created thing will have the power to separate us

from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!"

Romans 8:28, 31-32, 35, 37-39 HCSB
As long as we position ourselves to hear God, and keep our hearts open to see what He will say, we have no reason to fear.
Sand Mountain Look Out, Oregon

March 16, 2009                                                          G R E A T E R    L O V E

"I command you to love each other in the same way that I love you.
And here is how to measure it – the greatest love is shown when people lay down their lives for their friends."
John 15:12-13 NLT

"I want you to share your food with the hungry

and to welcome poor wanderers into your homes.

Give clothes to those who need them,

and do not hide from relatives who need your help.

If you do these things,

your salvation will come like the dawn.

Yes, your healing will come quickly.

Your godliness will lead you forward,

and the glory of the LORD

will protect you from behind.

The LORD will guide you continually,

watering your life when you are dry

and keeping you healthy, too.

You will be like a well-watered garden,

like an ever-flowing spring.

Your children will rebuild

the deserted ruins of your cities.

Then you will be known

as the people who rebuild their walls and cities." 

Isaiah 58:7-8, 11-12 NLT

"I love you, O Lord, my strength."
Psalms 18:1 NIV

March 10, 2009

I can be dreadfully near-sighted – my vision grossly refracted by the here and now – or at other times excessively far-sighted and totally miss the significance of something right in front of me – truly a Mr. Magoo within the scope of eternity.

Jesus explained to his disciples that not even a sparrow dies without our Heavenly Father knowing about it (Matthew 10:29). Then He expounded on the depth of God's loving focus toward us – why, He even knows the number of hairs on our head (Matthew 10:30)! Our Savior clarified the degree of God's attention to then validate the following bottom line:
“So don't be afraid” (Matthew 10:31 NCV).

God not only sees the big picture, encompassing the entire cosmos for all eternity, but He also sees every microscopic detail. He understands how even the most minuscule factor (such as a germ or cancer cell) can influence a mammoth, eternal outcome.

"God even knows how many hairs are on your head."
Matthew 10:30 NCV

"And I pray that you...will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ's love -
how wide and how long and how high and how deep that love is."
Ephesians 3:18 NCV

"We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him."
Romans 8:28 NCV

"...God's perfect love drives out fear.."
1 John 4:18 NCV

The Lord Jesus Christ loves us intricately and infinitely beyond our comprehension (Matthew 10:30 and Ephesians 3:18). And He is able to work all things for our good when we love Him back (Romans 8:28). Now, that's the kind of perfect love that “drives out fear” (1 John 4:18) – the perfect prescription I need to improve my vision.
Last week I felt inspired to repost this entry from 2007 - it seemed to provide a timely reminder of God's faithfulness, His personal interest and loving care. Thus with this week's time constraints it seemed like the right thing to do, both practically and spiritually.

Freedom from fear is a wonderful gift from God. Take time to embrace His promises, His presence, and let His peace settle into your heart.

March 2, 2009                                              Our God is   M I G H T Y    T O    S A V E

I discovered these delicate wild flowers along the banks of the Umpqua River during the month of January.
Yes, January, when the capricious grip of winter yet grasps the northern lands.
How dare these fragile flowers arise among the decay!
Are they deaf to death's threat yet scowling on the wind?
"The desert and the parched land
will be glad;

the wilderness will rejoice and blossom...

Strengthen the feeble hands
steady the knees that give way;
say to those with fearful hearts,

'Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you.'

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and steams in the desert."

Isaiah 35:1-6 NIV

"I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?"
Jeremiah 32:27 NIV  

Do not fear during days of uncertainty. For in times most desperate, the LORD brings forth His triumphant life.

"Then all mankind will know
that I, the LORD, am your Savior
your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob."
Isaiah 49:26b NIV

February 23, 2009                                                   


is close

to the


he rescues


who are crushed

in spirit."

Psalms 34:18 NLT

February 16, 2009                                                   K E E P    O N    S E E K I N G

"And you...acknowledge...God...and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind,
for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts.
If you seek him, he will be found by you..."
1 Chronicles 28:9 NIV

"The poor will eat and be satisfied; they who seek the Lord will praise him-- may your hearts live forever!"
Psalms 22:26 NIV

"The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing."
Psalms 34:10 NIV

"Blessed are those

who hunger and thirst

for righteousness,

for they will be filled." 

Matthew 5:6 NIV

"And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for.
Keep on looking, and you will find.
Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened.
For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And the door is opened to everyone who knocks.
You fathers – if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead?
Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not!
If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him."
Luke 11:9-13 NLT

valentine: An expression of affection...[a] message given to a person [who is] the object of affection (
February 9, 2009

"See how very much our heavenly Father loves us, for he allows us to be called his children,

and we really are!

But the people who belong to this world don't know God, so they don't understand…

Yes, dear friends, we are already God's children,
and we can't even imagine what we will be like when Christ returns.
But we do know that when he comes we will be like him...

This is the message we have heard from the beginning: We should love one another..."

"This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other."

"…if we love each other,

God lives in us,

and his love has been brought

to full expression through us."

"God is love...

We love each other as a result of his loving us first."

1 John 3:1, 2, 4:10-12, 16, 19 NLT
photographs taken by Amanda Diane Johnson, edited by deb allen

February 2, 2009

"I, Jesus...I am...the bright Morning Star..."

Revelation 22:16 NIV

Wherever there is darkness

- within, without -

invite God in.

Let His light permeate every area

bringing forth new life.

"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said,

'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me

will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'"

John 8:12 NIV

January 26, 2009

"Those things [self reliance, religious rituals, social status, accomplishments (vs. 4, 5)]
were important to me, but now I think they are worth nothing because of Christ.

Not only those things, but I think that all things are worth nothing
compared with the greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

Because of him, I have lost all those things, and now I know they are worthless trash.

This allows me to have Christ
and to belong to him.

Now I am right with God, not because I followed the law, but because I believed in Christ...

"I want to know Christ and the power that raised him from the dead.

I want to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death.
Then I have hope that I myself will be raised from the dead.

I do not mean that I am already as God wants me to be. I have not yet reached that goal,
but I continue trying to reach it and to make it mine.
Christ wants me to do that, which is the reason he made me his.

Brothers and sisters, I know that I have not yet reached that goal, but there is one thing I always do.
Forgetting the past and straining toward what is ahead,
I keep trying to reach the goal and get the prize for which God called me through Christ to the life above."

Philippians 3:7-14 NCV

Oregon Coast. Lincoln City

January 19, 2009
To know the Prince of Peace... to know the peace that...

                                                    ...transforms perspectives...

                                                                                                   ...provokes grace...

                                                                                                                                      ...fills the empty...

                                                                                                                                                                         ...instills hope...

"The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever. "

Isaiah 32:17 NIV

Puget Sound, Washington

January 12, 2009
"Dear friends, now we are children of God,
and what we will be has not yet been made known.
But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is."
1 John 3:2 NIV  
"And so, since God in his mercy
has given us this wonderful ministry,
we never give up...

For God, who said, "Let there be light in the darkness,"
has made us understand that this light
is the brightness of the glory of God
that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.

But this precious treasure –
this light and power that now shine within us –
is held in perishable containers, that is, in our weak bodies.
So everyone can see that our glorious power
is from God and is not our own."

2 Corinthians 4:1, 6-7 NLT
"This work must continue until we are all joined together in the same faith and in the same knowledge of the Son of God.
We must become like a mature person, growing until we become like Christ and have his perfection."
Ephesians 4:13 NCV

January 5, 2009

"Great is [God's] faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day."

Lamentations 3:23 NLT

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"

2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV

Ochoco Mountains sunrise looking southeast

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May 20, 2007.
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"And they overcame him (the enemy) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony..."

Revelation 12:11(KJV)

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Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

The Message
by Eugene H. Peterson, copyright (c) 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible , New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton , Illinois 60189 . All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked “NCV™” are taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (KJV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, KING JAMES VERSION.

Scripture quotations marked "NKJV™" are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked HCSB are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.

Scripture quotations marked NAS taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Scripture quotations marked (AMP) are taken from the Amplified Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Scripture quotations marked "WNT" are taken from The Weymouth New Testament in Modern Speech, which is in the Public Domain.

Scripture quotations marked "ASV" are taken from The American Standard Version, which is in the Public Domain.

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