Thursday, March 8, 2018

Passion Flowers and The Cross

Description of Illustration: scripture text from Galatians, "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." Galatians 6:14, purple Passion Flowers, white cross, black background, two versions, one with text and one without
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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

A Cherubim Presents a Dramatic Persformance

Description of the illustration: Greyscale, hand drawn with a pencil, Greek theatre masks, happy and sad expressions, for a performance at your church, church theater, one version with a box for personalizing the performance and one without, add your own text or the name of your play within the box above.
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Saturday, March 3, 2018

A hand adds thing up...

Description of Illustration: black and white illustration of hand tabulating or calculating, adding things up, writing down numbers

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Elegant Blue Twilled Paper

Artist: restored, recolored, resized by the staff
Directions: Click directly on the image to download the largest available size.

Who Were the Kings of Judah in Succession?

       The names of the kinds of Judah in their canonical order are: Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, Ahaziah, Athaliah (queen), Joash, Amaziah, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, Zedekiah.

What Is the Origin of the Name "Jew" ?

       The appellation "Jew" is derived from the patriarch Judah, and was originally applied to all members of that tribe and also to subjects of the separate kingdom of Judah, in contradiction to the seceding ten tribes, who retained the name of Israelites. During the captivity and ever since, the term "Jew" seems to have been applied indiscriminately to the whole race.

How Many Walls Had Jerusalem?

       There were three walls about Jerusalem. The first was built by David and Solomon; the second, enclosing one of the northern sections of the city, was built by Uzziah, Jotham and Manasseh, and restored by Nehemiah; the third was built by Herod Agrippa, and was intended to enclose the hitherto unprotected suburbs which had grown out from the northern part of the city. According to Josephus, who is not always thoroughly reliable, the circumference of the city, evidently including all the sections enclosed by the tree walls he describes, was thritythree stadia, a little less then four English miles.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Scriptures and A Spring Wreath

"I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily,
and cast forth his roots as Lebanon." Hosea 14:5
Description of Illustration: scripture in the center of the wreath, white background, ribbon, multiple flower types: tulips, roses, lilies, ect..., King James translation

"And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field,
how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin..." Matthew 6: 28-29

"The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: buy the word of our
 God shall stand for ever." Isaiah 40:8

"As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field,
 so he flourisheth." Psalms 103:15-16

"I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys."
 Song of Solomon 2:1

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Marbled Paper: White Vein Overprinted on Spanish Moiré: Earth Tones

Artist: restored, recolored, resized by the staff

Directions: Click directly on the image to download the largest available size.

Marbled Paper: Turkish Pattern: Blue, Teal and Earth Tones

Artist: restored, recolored, resized by the staff

Directions: Click directly on the image to download the largest available size.

Marbled Paper: Combed Once: Greens and Greys

Artist: restored, recolored, resized by the staff
Directions: Click directly on the image to download the largest available size.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Who Named Eve?

       Adam bestowed upon his companion the name of "Eve" (Gen. 3:20)."Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living." Genesis 3:20 (NIV)

Who Was David's Mother?

       Her name is not given in Scripture. The reference to Abigail, one of the members of Jesse's family, in II Sam. 17:25, is frequently misunderstood. The Nahash there mentioned is either another name for Jesse or it refers to Nahash, king of Ammon, one of whose wives afterward became the wife of Jesse, as stated in the chronicles of the Jewish Church.

What Was the Name of Cain's Wife?

      The name of Cain's wife is nowhere mentioned in the Bible. Arab traditions are preserved in one of which she is called Azura, in another Save, but these are not seriously regarded by scholars.

What Became of Aaron's Rod?

       It was preserved in the tabernacle and, according to Paul (see Heb. 9:4), it was kept in the Ark, beside the two tablets of stone and the pot of manna. There is no mention of any other receptacle. The statement in I Kings 8:9 implies that by Solomon's time these relics had disappeared. It is possible, however, for a different interpretation to be placed on Deut. 31:26, which may mean that the rod was kept beside the Ark, and not within it.

What Language Did Adam and Eve Speak?

       There are many mundane things beyond the reach of present human knowledge and the site of Eden and the language of our first parents are among the number. Some philologists have ventured the conjecture that the primeval language must have been a simple vocabulary whose formation is indicated in Gen. 2:19, and which was strictly limited to the natural requirements of our first progenitors; in other words, signs and sounds apprehensible by the senses. All agree that speech, or the power of expressing emotions, or desires, was coeval with the creation of man. The earliest monuments and inscriptions yet discovered do not reach as far back into antiquity as the confusion of tongues at Babel (about B. C. 2200), previous to which (Gen. 2:1), the Biblical record states that "the whole earth was of one language and one speech," although probably there were many variations and dialects, each containing some element of the original tongue. Man's first utterances were probably what philologists term a "physical language," limited to the expression of simple needs and afterwards expanded to meet man's growing experience with his own nature and the world around him.

Was Adam a Red Man?

       Adam means "red" and so also does the word Edom, both having relation to the ruddiness of flesh and the color of the clayey soil. (See Gen. 2:7.) Some commentators hold that Adam, the first man, was probably of the complexion of the Arabs, or Edomites, ruddy though dark, while others take a different view. No definite theory can be formed on this subject.

Did Adam and Eve Actually Eat Fruit, or Is the Saying a Parable?

       The only source of information is the Bible narrative and it contains no intimation that it is to be understood otherwise than literally. Theologians who have preferred to regard the narrative as a parable or allegory have usually been led to do so by the suggestion that the eating of fruit which was "good for food'' and "pleasant to the eyes," and was moreover within reach, was an offense too venial to have been justly visited with a punishment so severe and far-reaching. The objection, however, is not well founded, because it ignores the main point involved. The gravity of the offense consisted, not in the act itself, but in the fact that Adam and Eve in committing it were consciously and willfully violating God's explicit and emphatic command. They were punished for disobedience. Even if we should hold that it took some other form than the actual and literal eating of fruit, the principle is the same. There is no valid reason for rejecting the Bible narrative or putting any other construction on the words than is there implied.

How Are We to Interpret the Miracle at Ajalon?

       The passage in Joshua, 10th chapter, describing the miracle of the sun and moon at the time of the battle in the vale of Ajalon, has been much discussed. Some commentators hold that it is a passage in which the inspired historian departs from his narrative to introduce a highly poetic quotation, in other words, a poetical figure of speech, not to be interpreted literally - as though one might say that "God and all nature fought on the side of Joshua." Again, the reference to the poetical book of Jasher as the source of this passage lends color to this explanation (see verse 13). Others prefer the literal view, regarding it as a miracle in which the hours when sun and moon were both visible (the sun on the heights of Gibeon at noon and the moon in the valley) were extended into a whole day, or twelve hours of light (see Macdonald's Priricipia and the Bible), the continued radiance of both orbs lighting the battleground. Still another interpretation is that the sun and moon were heavily obscured by storm clouds (see verse 11), and that Joshua's prayer was that they should withhold their light and that the gloom or semi-darkness of the storm might last until the battle was fought, giving the Israelites the advantage of a surprise with smaller numbers, the strength of which the enemy could not properly estimate.

Did Abraham See God in One of the Three Men Who Visited Him?

       There is doubtless difficulty in reconciling the passage in Genesis 18 with the statement in John 1 :18, that "No man hath seen God at any time." Authorities regarded the Genesis passage as relating to one of the "theophanies" of the Old Testament; that is, a real appearance of God to man. It is believed, however, that these appearances were of Christ the Son, rather than God the Father. The New Testament teaches that Christ existed co-eternally with the Father, and it is not inconceivable that he would at times take the appearance of humanity when he wished especially to make himself known to men. This explanation reconciles all these occurrences with the statement of John that no one has seen God; that is, God the Father. Christ is the personal manifestation of God to man.

What Were the Meanings and Results of Abraham's Sacrifice?

       The story of Abraham will ever be an important one, and particularly that part of it dealing with the memorable doings at the place he named "Jehovahjireh," where, as related in Genesis 22, he showed his wonderful obedience to God. Whatever may be conjectured to the contrary, the record in Genesis is clear and unmistakable. It was a test of Abraham's faith in God. Some critics want to know why, if God is all knowing, he should have said to Abraham: "For now I know that thou fearest God" (Gen. 22:12). The problem of foreknowledge is an extremely difficult one, and discussion about it is usually fruitless. God in this case speaks of the test of Abraham as though it had been an experiment. He proved him and found him firm in faith and perfect in obedience. It was in obedience to the Lord's command that he stood ready to offer up his son Isaac, and not be- cause he himself had chosen such a sacrifice, in order to be like his idolatrous neighbors, who offered up their children to Moloch. Genesis 22,2 dismisses this latter suggestion altogether.
       The immediate effect of Abraham's successful test was the great blessing which God bestowed on him (verse 16), which, together with God's covenant, made Abraham the most important Biblical character and his name better known than that of any other human being on earth. All the promises to Abraham have been fulfilled, except the return of his descendants to the promised land. His seed is past all reckoning. Not only have all the Jews been his offspring, but Christians as well are in a sense his spiritual children. Their faith in Christ brings them into his family and makes them heirs of the promises made to him. The land of Canaan was promised to his seed forever. Since they are not in possession of it now we must believe they will return, as many other prophecies also declare. The promise was, however, not made to Abraham alone, but to him and his seed, which includes Christ - to the literal Israel and also to the spiritual Israel. The complete fulfillment of the covenant awaited the coming of Christ, "the seed," concerning whom it was made. See Galatians 3 :16.

Who Was the Author of Revelation?

       "Was the Book of Revelation written by the same John who wrote the Gospel and the Epistle?" This question has been long disputed by scholars. Dionysius, in A. D. 240, was one of the earliest to express a doubt. It was attributed to John Mark, the companion of Paul and Barnabas and the author of the Gospel of Mark; to John the Presbyter, to Cerinthus, and others. The majority of German scholars agree with Luther in denying that Revelation was written by the apostle. On the other hand, there is internal evidence of John's authorship. His description of himself is in the manner of John. The apostle was the only man of prominence of that name who was banished to Patmos. The addresses to the seven churches of Asia show a knowledge of them consistent with the fact that the apostle was their overseer. On the whole, therefore, there seems good reason to believe that it was written by the Apostle John. The differences in the style of the Gospel and the Revelation, which are very marked, doubtless first gave rise to the doubt of the apostolic authorship. These are accounted for by the age of the author and by his perturbation of mind under the excitement of the visions.

What Are the Famous Songs of the Bible?

       The great songs of the Old Testament, besides the Psalms and certain metrical passages in Job, are: 
  1. Lamech's Sword Song, Gen. 4:23, 24
  2.  Noah's Song, Gen. 9:25-27
  3.  Moses' and Miriam's Song, Ex. 15 :1- 19, 21
  4.  War Songs, etc., Num. 21 114, 15, 17, 18, 27-30
  5.  Moses' Prophetic Song, Deut. 32:1-43
  6.  Song of Deborah and Barak, Judg. 5 :2-21
  7.  Samson's Riddle Song, Judg. 15:16
  8.  Hannah's Magnificat, I Sam. 2:1-10
  9.  David's Song of the Bow, II Sam. 1:19-27
  10.  David's Song over Abner, II Sam. 3 :33, 34
  11.  David's Thanksgiving, I Chron. 16:8-36
  12.  Hezekiah's Song, Isa. 38:10- 20
  13.  Jonah's Prayer Song, Jonah 2:2-9
  14.  Habakkuk's Prayer Song, Hab. 3 :2-19
 and the four original songs in the New Testament:
  1.  Luke 1:46-55;
  2.  Luke 1 :68-80;
  3.  Luke 2 :14;
  4.  Luke 2 :20-33

What Significance Attaches to the Frequent Use of Forty?

       It is not merely an arbitrary period or a "round number," but is chosen to convey the sense of fullness. Some of its prominent Scriptural uses are:
  1. Moses was forty days on the mount (Ex. 24:18, etc.)
  2. Elijah, strengthened by angel food, fasted for forty days (I Kings 19 :8)
  3. The rain of the flood fell for forty days (Gen. 7 :i2)
  4. Noah opened the window of the ark after forty days (Gen. 8:6)
  5. The spies spent forty days in searching Canaan (Num. 13:25) 
  6. Moses twice fasted and prayed for forty days (Deu. 9:18-25)
  7. Ezekiel bore the iniquities of Jucfah forty days (Eze. 4:6)
  8. Nineveh was allowed forty days to repent (Jonah 3 14)
  9. The Israelites wandered forty years in the wilderness (Num. 34:33)
  10. Goliath defied Saul's army for forty days (I Sam. 17:16)
  11. Forty days was the period of embalming (Gen. 50:3)
  12. The Lord fasted for forty days (Matt. 4:2, etc.)
  13. The arisen Lord was seen for forty days (Acts 1:3)
  14. The Jews were forbidden to inflict more than forty stripes (Deu. 25 13)
  15. It is noteworthy that Jerusalem was destroyed forty years after Christ's ascension.
  16. Tradition says Jesus was forty hours in the tomb. 
  17. Lent lasts for forty days, as does also quarantine. 
  18. St. Swithin betokens forty days' rain.
  19. Many ancient laws concerning physicians, knights, husbands, wives, widows, sanctuary privileges, fines, etc., all cluster about this number.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Thine Easter Day

Thine Easter Day 
by Mary Lowe Dickinson

Within thy heart is there an opened tomb?
Have God's strong angels rolled the stone
Rises thy dead self from its bonds of clay?
Breaks Heaven's sweet light across the dark and
Then is this day in truth thine Easter day!

If broken down are stony gates of pride,
If shrouding bands of earth are torn away,
If sin and wrath and scorn in thee have died,
Mourn not the past. The folded shroud beside
Angels will watch; - it is thine Easter day.

Rise, new-born soul, and put thine armor on;
Clasp round thy breast the garment of the light;
Gird up thy loins for battle. In the fight
He leads who upward from our sight has gone;
It is His day; there's no more death nor night,

No dark, no hurt, no more sharp shame nor loss;
All buried, hidden 'neath the grave's dark sod;
All ways forgotten, save the road He trod;
All burdens naught in sight of His - the cross;
All joy, alive and safe with Christ in God!

An Easter Offering

"Neither will I offer unto the Lord my God that
which doth cost me nothing.'"

Within a crowded dwelling-place,
Climbing its narrow stair,
A little maid is toiling slow,
Who in her hand doth bear
A jug of water, which she guards
And holds with anxious care.

Slowly she climbs the stairway dim,
So narrow, steep, and high,
To where her little window looks
Out on a patch of sky;
And o'er a flower upon its ledge
She bends with loving eye.

The only treasure that is hers!
She dreams of it by night,
Guards it by day; the blue eyes watch
Its opening to the light.
Was ever lily seen before
So pure, so fair, so white ?

Soon, very soon, is drawing near
The blessed Easter Day,
When from a grateful, loving heart
We give our best away.
What offering could the dear child make?

She ponders day by day.
Such scanty earnings naught could yield,
From them she fears to take;
But there upon the window-ledge-
Oh! can she, can she make
Such sacrifice, and give her flower
For Easter - and His sake ?

The glad-voiced bells are chiming clear,
The dim-lit church is sweet
With font and chancel filled with flowers,
This Easter morn to greet,
When up the silent aisle there comes
A child with faltering feet.

Softly the notes from organ grand
Are stealing through the air;
Beneath the Altar's gleaming cross
She lays the lily fair,
And then all timidly she kneels,
And clasps her hands in prayer.

"Tis all I have," she murmurs low,
"Dear Lord, to give to Thee,
And so I bring this flower I love.
An offering from me;
For on this holy Easter Day
Thy child I pray to be."

Amid the throng at service hour,
In anthem, chant, and hymn,
One sweet voice rang, until it made
The older eyes grow dim;
They did not know what filled her heart
With gladness to the brim.

The best that it was hers to give,
That she had given away;
Not "that which cost her nothing," but
What nearest her heart lay.
Lord, grant that we may also give
Our best on Easter Day.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Guardians of Childhood

Description of Illustration: black and white drawings of angels reaping infant souls, grief, praying mother, cross, cemetery, star, wings, children, lilies, avoiding death, avoiding evil, demons, snakes, darkness, spiritual guidance, cradling infants, transparent backgrounds
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Announcing The King's Arrival

Description of Illustration: musical angel, trumpets, flight, clouds, floating garments, large wings, black and white only, seraphim 

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Monday, January 29, 2018

Sacrado Corason De Jesus

Description of Illustration: Sacred Heart symbols, Jesus, halo, nail prints, angels, cherubim, clouds, crosses

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Sepia and Greyscale Prints of The Sacred Heart

Description of Illustration: comes in sepia and greyscale, Jesus, Sacred Heart symbol, halo, nail prints in his hands, transparent background, medallion shapes

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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Up Hill

Up Hill
by Christiana Rossetti

Does the road wind up hill all the way?
Yes, to the very end.
Will the day's journey take the whole long day?
From morn till night, my friend.

But is there for the night a resting-place?
A roof for me when the slow, dark hours begin?
May not the darkness hide it from my face?
You cannot miss that inn.

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night ?
Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
They will not keep you standing at the door.

Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
Of labor you shall find the sum.
Will there be beds for me and all who seek?
Yea, beds for all who come.

"Come For Coffee"

Description of the illustration: two versions of "Come For Coffee" ad, clergy may fill in their own dates, place, and times for the event, coffee cup, steam rising, large black and white text
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Ice Cream Social Banner

"Come To Our Ice Cream Social" in black and white
Description of The Illustration: Text "Come To Our Ice Cream Social", special events, Church dinners etc..., lady holds a cake, old-fashioned ice cream churn, jello salads, counter, comes in five colors, room below the banner for place, time and date to be added, vintage silhouettes, apron

"Come To Our Ice Cream Social" in aqua blue

"Come To Our Ice Cream Social" in green

"Come To Our Ice Cream Social" in pink

"Come To Our Ice Cream Social" in red
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 A church celebrates 100 year anniversary 
with an old-fashioned ice cream social.

Now and Then

Now and Then
by Rev. W. C. Richards

Now - the tumult of the battle surging,
Now - the clouds that shut the warriors in;
Some who faint, and more the conflict urging -
Sighs and shouts together in the din!

Then - the splendor of the conquest shining,
Not a victor on the plain uncrowned;
Not a sigh for any loss repining -
Rapture waking all the sky around!

Now - our shrinkings from so many crosses,
And life's valleys watered by our tears.
Foolish tears we weep o'er little losses -
Trailing always through their mists our fears.

Then - the one cross we'll remember only -
Making of our crosses steps to Christ;
One dear cross whose passion vast and lonely
Bound us sweetly in redemption's tryst.

Now - the hidings of our Father's glory -
Walls that close around the earth and sun;
Weak unrest with nature's half-told story,
Knowledge only evermore begun.

Then - then the curtain of the universes
Rolled away, as mists at morning fled;
Each star that shines its history rehearses,
And ignorance, with sin and death, is dead.

Now - the anguish of all mortal sorrow.
Now, the groans that from our hearts are wrung,
Vain expectancies of bliss to-morrow,
All to-morrows with deep sackcloth hung.

Then - all sorrow from the bosom banished,
God himself to wipe our tears away;
Then - the cheats of earthly hopes evanished,
All to-morrows merged in heaven's to-day!

Now - the psalm that tells us death is strongest:
Strongest, surest of the foes we have;
Now - the waiting for the shadow's longest,
Till it falls upon the hallowed grave.

Then - the anthem of the resurrection -
We shall chant death's sure destructive o'er;
And shadows to the grave in dark direction,
From heaven's sunlight shall grow long no more.

Party Presents in Black and White

"Baby Shower" text and gifts
 Description of The Illustration: tumbling presents to announce a baby shower, bridal shower or Birthday celebration at your church or community center, black and white illustrations, ribbons and bows, invitations and celebrations, gifts and boxes

"Bridal Shower" text with gifts
"Happy Birthday" text with gifts
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A Pilgrim's Song

A Pilgrim's Song

On a cloudy day.
Apart from the throng
Of the glad and gay.

But Jesus is near,
More perfectly known,
When we may appear
To travel alone.

Those passing along
With skies ever bright
Have lost the sweet song
He gives in the night.

Comfort By The Way

Comfort By The Way

I JOURNEY through a desert drear and wild:
Yet is my heart by such sweet thoughts beguiled.
Of Him on whom I lean, my strength and stay,
I can forget the sorrows of the way.

Thoughts of His love! the root of every grace
Which finds in this poor heart a dwelling-place;
The sunshine of my soul, than day more bright,
And my calm pillow of repose by night.

Thoughts of His sojourn in this vale of tears!
The tale of love unfolded in those years
Of sinless suffering and patient grace,
I love again and yet again to trace.

Thoughts of His glory! on the cross I gaze,
And there behold its sad yet healing rays;
Beacon of hope! which, lifted up on high,
Illumes with heavenly light the tear-dimmed eye.

Thoughts of His coming! for that joyful day
In joyful hope I watch, and wait, and pray;
The dawn draws nigh, the midnight shadows flee.
And what a sunrise will that advent be!

Thus, while I journey on, my Lord to meet,
My thoughts and meditations are so sweet
Of Him on whom I lean, my strength, my stay,
I can forget the sorrows of the way.

Called Aside

" I have somewhat to say unto thee."

Called aside‚
From the glad working of thy busy life.
From the world's ceaseless stir of care and strife,
Into the stillness by thy Heavenly guide,
For a brief space thou hast been called aside.

Lonely hours
Thou hast spent, weary on a couch of pain,
Watching the golden sunshine and the rain;
Hours, whose sad length only to Him was known,
Who trod a sadder pathway, dark and lone.

Laid aside:
May not the little cup of suffering be
A loving one of blessing given to thee?
The cross of chastening sent thee from above
By Him who bore the cross, whose name is Love.

Called aside:
Hast thou no memories of that "little while"?
No sweet remembrance of thy Father's smile?
No hidden thoughts that wrapped thee in their hold
Of Him who did such light and grace unfold?

Called aside-
Perhaps into the desert garden dim,
And yet not lone, if thou hast been with Him,
And heard his voice in sweetest accents say,
Child, wilt thou not with me this hour stay?"

Called aside,
In hidden paths with Christ thy Lord to tread,
Deeper to drink at the sweet Fountain Head;
Closer in fellowship with Him to roam.
Nearer perchance to feel thy heavenly home.

Called aside.
Ob, knowledge deeper grows with Him alone,
In secret of his deeper love is shown,
And learned in many an hour of dark distress
Some rare, sweet lesson of his tenderness.

Called aside.
We thank Thee for the stillness and the shade,
And for the hidden paths thy love hath made,
And, so that we have wept and watched with Thee,
We thank Thee for our dark Gethsamene.

Called aside:
O restful thought - He doeth all things well‚
O blessed sense, with Christ alone to dwell:
So, in the shadow of thy cross to hide,
We thank Thee, Lord, to have been called aside.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Thinking Man...

"Who is wise? Let them realize these things. Who is discerning? Let them understand. The ways of the LORD are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them." Hosea 14:9
Description of the illustration: a tiny balding man points to his brain, question marks, seated in a chair, two scriptures

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways my ways," Isaiah 55:8
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Angel of Pain

Angel of Pain
by Saxe Holm
Angel of Pain, I think thy face
Will be in all the heavenly place
The sweetest face that I shall see,
The swiftest face to smile on me.
All other angels faint and tire;
Joy wearies, and forsakes Desire;
Hope falters face to face with Fate,
And dies because it cannot wait;
And Love cuts short each loving day,
Because fond hearts cannot obey
That subtlest law which measures bliss 
By what it is content to miss.

But thou, O loving, faithful Pain,
Hated, reproached, rejected, slain,
Dost only closer cling, and bless
In sweeter, stronger steadfastness.
Dear, patient angel  to thine own
Thou comest, and art never known,
Till late, in some lone twilight place,
The light of thy transfigured face
Sudden shines out, and speechless they
Know they have walked with Christ all day.

Cleansing Fires

Cleansing Fires

Let thy gold be cast in the furnace.
Thy red gold, precious and bright;
Do not fear the hungry fire.
With its caverns of burning light:
And thy gold shall return more precious,
Free from every spot and stain;
For gold must be tried by fire,
And a heart must be tried by pain!

In the cruel fire of sorrow
Cast thy heart - do not faint or wail;
Let thy hand be firm and steady,
Do not let thy spirit quail;
But wait till the trial is over,
And take thy heart again,
For as gold is tried by fire,
So a heart must be tried by pain!

I shall know by the gleam and glitter
Of the golden chain you wear,
By your heart's calm strength in loving,
Of the fire they have had to bear.
Beat on, true heart, for ever
Shine bright, strong golden chain,
And bless the cleansing fire
And furnace of living pain!

Folded Hands

Folded Hands

I stood by the Master's vineyard,
In the light of the morning sun;
I thought over the day's sweet labor,
And I he great rewards to be won;

For I longed to be up and doing
In the harvest-field so rare,
That my hands should be busy toiling, 
Plucking the clusters fair.

As I turned to enter the vineyard,
The sound of coming feet
Caused me to pause and listen,
That the comer I might greet.

And my Master stood before me,
In the golden morning light;
His smile cast a heavenly radiance
That blinded my mortal sight.

But it entered my heart, and filled it
With a love and a rapture sweet;
And I bowed in glad adoration
Before my Master's feet.

And his words, like silvery music
From the distant starry sky,
Came into my listening spirit,
An echo from strains on high.

And thus spake the Master, "Daughter,
I know thy longing heart
In the toil of my rich-laden vineyard
Is eager to bear a part.

"But from thee no active labor
The Master's cause demands;
Within thy low cottage doorway
Only sit with folded hands,

And the patient endurance of sorrow,
And a burden sore of pain,
Till I come with a welcome summons.
To bring thee eternal gain."

So he led me to my cottage,
And left me within the door;
But the brightness of his presence
Stays with me for evermore.

I see on the fair sweet uplands 
The pleasant vineyard ground;
And the echo of happy voices
Comes to me, a cheering sound.

I wait for his welcome footsteps;
Perchance they are coming to me:
I watch for his radiant smiling,
That his dear face I may see.

And this, like a sweet bird, nestless
In my heart, else desolate:
They serve me who at my word
But fold their hands-and wait." 

by Sophie Bronson Titterington

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Wisdom for those who are foolish...

"Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is." Ephesians 5:15-17 and "He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8
Description of the illustration: black and white illustration, graveyard, gun, looking death in the face, looking down the barrel of a gun, weeping willow, tombstone, grave marker, place of death
"For My people are foolish, They know Me not; They are stupid children And have no understanding. They are shrewd to do evil, But to do good they do not know." Jeremiah 4:22 and "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
And He said to them, "O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!" Luke 24:25 and "You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life. I do not accept glory from human beings, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. I have come in my Father's name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name. you will accept him." John 5:43
"Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than he who is perverse in speech and is a fool." Proverbs 19:1 and "To the pure, all things are pure; but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled." Titus 1:15 and "A fool multiplies words, though no man knows what is to be, and who can tell him what will be after him?" Ecclesiastes 10:14
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Scriptures about false witness or testimony...

"If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you." 1 Peter 4:14 and "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me." Matthew 5:11
Description of the illustration: pointing with sticks, pushing others around, persecution, intolerance, hating your neighbors, telling lies, the unrighteous, insults, deception

"And you shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." Deuteronomy 5:20 and "So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me," says the LORD Almighty. Malachi 3:5
"How then will you comfort me with empty nothings? There is nothing left of your answers but falsehood." Job 21:34 and "...then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment," 2 Peter 2:9
"With his mouth the godless man would destroy his neighbor, but by knowledge the righteous are delivered." Proverbs 11:9 and "...until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." Ephesians 4:13
"For they do not speak peace, but against those who are quiet in the land they devise words of deceit." Psalm 35:20 and "Their tongue is a deadly arrow; It speaks deceit; With his mouth one speaks peace to his neighbor, But inwardly he sets an ambush for him." Jeremiah 9:8
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Scriptures for those without a home...

"If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the LORD you God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be." Deuteronomy 15:7-8
Description of the illustration: white background, black and white illustration, Christian caricatures, homeless, wandering, no where to go , luggage, poor, rejected, running away, looking for a place to belong, immigrant, migration, settler, people without a country, mother, father, grandpa and small girl

"Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy." Ezekiel 16:49 and "And he answered them, "Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise." Luke 3:11
"He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor, his righteousness endures forever, his horn is exalted in honor." Psalm 112:9 and "But if anyone has the world' goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and truth." 1 John 3:17-18
"Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." Philippians 2:4 and "And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me." Matthew 25:40
"If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday." Isaiah 58:10 and "In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:16
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 Rice takes care of veterans and the homeless being ostracized 
by the wealthy who want the poor and forgotten to be invisible.
So far the city and the wealthy are winning the battle against

Monday, January 15, 2018

The Inevitable Result Of Living...

The Inevitable Result Of Living, And Dying, Without Christ

Death like an archer, staunch and true,
That never missed a mark:
At last will send his arrow through.
The stubborn sinner's heart.
And then that stubborn sinner dies,
An angry God to meet:
In vain he then laments, and sighs,
His ruin is complete.
Excluded from eternal life,
In darkness and despair
Without lone single ray of light, 
To cheer him anywhere:
To realize the second death.
Is what he must endure;
And he of all good things bereft
Because he is impure;
The blood of Christ that purifies
The human soul from sin:
And the believer justifies,
Who trusts alone in Him;
On earth he slighted, and refused,
Or put it off till death; 
And thus God's grace, he then refused.
Until of life bereft,
He has himself alone to blame,
That he is suffering so:
It's useless for him to complain,
He's made his bed in woe. 
by Collings

Our Works Can Not Save Us

Our Works Can Not Save Us

Jesus Christ demands our whole heart,
And He will never take a part:
He our redeeming work has done,
Before our day on earth begun.
Sorrow for sin is just, and right,
Well pleasing in our Savior's sight:
But never can, for sin atone,
For Jesus himself, saves alone.
Repent, and all your sins forsake.
By grace, through faith, salvation take:
This is our work which must he done,
Before we can to Jesus come,
Yet if we partly in it trust,
Our Lord's free grace, we from us thrust.
If in our works we rest content,
Our own salvation we prevent:
And yet we must repentant be,
Before we can salvation see.
There's no salvation in good deeds,
Man's righteousness, he vainly pleads:
For his transgression of God's law.
Which none have kept without a flaw.
Our sin, and vileness, Lord we plead,
Thou art indeed our friend in need.
For our best works will not supply
Our souls with joy after we die.
But when in that bright world above,
We taste of our Redeemer's love
We shall see our good works in time,
Recorded by the hand divine.
by Collings

Our Lord's Prayer In Verse

Our Lord's Prayer In Verse

Our Father in heaven above,
Great fountain of eternal love:
Hallowed be thy holy name,
By saints and angels, both the same,
Oh let thy holy kingdom come,
And thy most righteous will be done;
As angels do thy will above,
We mortals should obey in love;
As members of one family,
Help us Father to obey thee.
With daily bread our need supply,
We do on Thee, for this rely.
Forgive our sins, and let us live.
As we our enemies forgive:
And live in peace with them on earth,
As children of thy Spirits birth.
Into temptations lead us not,
Lest we fall into satan's plot;
From evil, Lord deliver us,
For we in thy protection trust.
The kingdom, and the power divine,
And glory, be forever Thine. 
by Collings

The most effective and efficient way to wisdom...

"In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:6
Description of the illustration: "hit the nail on the head" idiom, hammer, nail, larger tools than the man using them, scriptures from the Book of Proverbs, white background, comic caricature
"The fear of the LORD is the instruction for wisdom, And before honor comes humility." Proverbs 15:33.
"Many plans are in a man's heart, But the LORD directs his steps." Proverbs 16:9
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