Tuesday, June 27, 2006

New Downloads

I just put up some desktop images on the KFC website. Since I am just starting, I am not thinking too many people will be interested in them. I guess we will see. It sure is fun and rewarding for me. Here is the site: http://www.katsforchrist.com/Gallery/fun.htm

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Attractive Fruit

Reading the Word
You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they? (Matthew 7:16)

Reflecting on the Word
If grapes weren't delicious people wouldn't eat them and the seeds would never be spread. Think about it. When we walk along a path, eating grapes, we spit out the seeds. All along beside the path these seeds will germinate and new vines will be born.
In the biology of the Christian faith, seeds are wrapped in attractive fruit. If a vine bore only naked seeds, nobody would pick them. Everyone who wants to be a disciple of Jesus Christ is expected to bear fruit. This does not mean that we all have to be successful in bringing many people to the point of decision to become a Christian. It means our lives have to bear the taste, the fragrance, or the nourishment that makes people appreciate what we are and what we have to give. The people we work with, the members of our family or Sunday school class, should sense the pleasure and benefit of being with us. They should know that the flavor of our life comes from our abiding in Jesus Christ.
One day something may trigger the beginning of new life in someone you know who has tasted the flavor of Jesus through contact with you. We may not ever know how or when it happens. But it will be the germination of a seed that was planted because your own personal life was delicious.
Paul Brand, The Forever Feast

Responding to the Word
We give thanks for the harvest of the heart's work;
Seeds of faith planted with faith;
Love nurtured by love;
Courage strengthened by courage.
We give thanks for the fruits of the struggling soul,
The bitter and the sweet;
For that which has grown in adversity
And for that which has flourished in warmth and grace;
For the radiance of the spirit in autumn
And for that which must now fade and die.
We are blessed and give thanks.
Michael Leunig, The Prayer Tree

Monday, June 12, 2006


Reading the Word
Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Reflecting on the Word
The path of discipleship is narrow, and it is fatally easy to miss one's way and stray from the path, even after years of discipleship. And it is hard to find. On either side of the narrow path deep chasms yawn. To be called to a life of extraordinary quality, to live up to it, and yet to be unconscious of it is indeed a narrow way. To confess and testify to the truth as it is in Jesus, and at the same time to love the enemies of that truth, his enemies and ours, to love them with the infinite love of Jesus Christ, is indeed a narrow way. To believe the promise of Jesus that his followers shall possess the earth, and at the same time to face our enemies unarmed and defenseless, preferring to incur injustice rather than to do wrong ourselves, is indeed a narrow way. To see the weakness and wrong in others, and at the same time refrain from judging them; to deliver the gospel message without casting pearls before swine, is indeed a narrow way. The way is unutterably hard, and at every moment we are in danger of straying from it. If we regard this way as one we follow in obedience to an external command, if we are afraid of ourselves all the time, it is indeed an impossible way. But if we behold Jesus Christ going on before step by step, we shall not go astray. But if we worry about the dangers that beset us, if we gaze at the road instead of at him who goes before, we are already straying from the path. For he is himself the way, the narrow way and the strait gate. He, and he alone is our journey's end.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer -The Cost of Discipleship

Responding to the Word
Help me to consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that I might not grow weary and lose heart. Help me keep vivid in my mind the extraordinary life He lived, His calmness with controversy. His storminess with hypocrisy. His authority in teaching. His humility in serving. His quickness with compassion. His slowness with condemnation. His readiness in defending others. His reluctance in defending Himself. His joy at unexpected faith. His sorrow at unbelief. His submission to the Father. His resistance to the Devil. His daring in the way He lived. His dignity in the way He died.
Thank you, O God, for the steps Jesus left behind, so clear and distinct and unswerving. And so impossible...unless my eyes are ever and always only on Him.
Ken Gire

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Word

Reading the Word
And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights. Then Jonah prayed to the Lord from the stomach of the fish, and he said, "I called out of my distress to the Lord, and he answered me. I cried for help from the depths of the grave, and you listened to my cry. You hurled me into the deep, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me."

Reflecting on the Word
We become what we are called to be by praying. And we start out by praying from the belly of the fish.
The belly of the fish is a place of confinement, a tight, restricted place. The ship to Tarshish was headed for the western horizon--limitless expanses of sea with the lure of the mysterious and beckoning unknown through the Straits of Gibraltar and beyond. The Gates of Hercules. Atlantis. Hesperides. Ultima Thule.
Religion always plays on these sublime aspirations, these erotic drives for completion and wholeness. Jonah, heady with this potent elixir and cruising confidently under full sails, the sea breeze and salt tang deepening the sensory anticipation of a thrilling life in the service of God, found himself instead in the belly of the fish...the unattractive opposite to everything Jonah had set out for.
-Eugene Peterson, Under the Unpredictable Plant

Responding to the Word
My prayers, God, flow from what I am not;
I think thy answers make me what I am.
Like weary waves thought flows upon thought,
But the still depth beneath is all thine own,
And there thou mov'st in paths to us unknown.
Out of the strange strife thy peace is strangely wrought;
If the lion in us pray--thou answerest the lamb.
-George MacDonald