1386. A true worship of God, therefore, can neither be contained between the four walls of a sacred building nor restricted to the boundaries of religious tradition. ~J. Philip Newell

The Christian church is not a building,
but a body of believers united in Christ.
Its role is to worship God, nurture and edify
and reach out to a suffering world.
~Robert Velarde

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What Is the Church?
Excerpts from an article by Robert Velarde

When most people hear the word church they probably think of a building. Maybe it is a fancy building or a simple building where believers gather. But biblically speaking, a church is much more than a building. In fact, some would say that the church is not a building at all, but is all about the people.

The early Christian church had no buildings, at least not in the sense of what we would consider church buildings today. First century Christians were often persecuted and, as a result, often met in secret usually in homes. As the influence of Christianity spread, eventually buildings dedicated to worship were established and became what we know today as churches. Church structures facilitate the role of God’s people, but they do not fulfill it.

When speaking of the church, theologians often use terms such as the visible and local church as opposed to the invisible and universal church. The visible and local church is, of course, the physical churches that we see around us and around the world, as well as the members of those churches. The invisible and universal church, however, refers to all believers everywhere and is one church, united in Christ, not many physical churches.

In the temple of my inner being,
in the temple of my body,
in the temple of earth, sea, and sky,
in the great temple of the universe
I look for the light that was in the beginning,
the mighty fire that blazes still from the heart of life,
glowing in the whiteness of the moon,
glistening in night stars,
hidden in the black earth,
concealed in unknown depths of my soul.
In the darkness of the night,
in the shadow of my being, O God,
let me glimpse the eternal.
In both the light and the shadows of my being
let me glimpse the glow of the eternal.
From SOUNDS OF THE ETERNAL
by J. Philip Newell

Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens above—what can you do? They are deeper than the depths below—what can you know? Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea. ~Job 11:7-9  ✝

**Image is the remains of Tintern Abbey in Britain. It cannot contain God nor the light.

1298. Out beyond the fear, anger, pain and denial, lies a field of possibility. Beyond this a world of Love. I will meet you there… ~Julie Parker

Love lights our way through the darkness.
Love keeps us safe through the storm.
Love opens us to new beginnings.
Love is the glow of emerging dawn.
~Julie Parker

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Love does not find you, nor do you find love.
Love is and has always been ever present…
When you are willing to open, to risk,
to adventure, to live with authenticity –
then the power of Love flows through you.
~Edited quote by Julie Parker

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. ~1 Corinthians 13:1-3  ✝

**Photo be Elena Shumilova

881. White is not a mere absence of color; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black. ~G. K. Chesterton

The breeze at dawn has
secrets to tell you. Don’t
go back to sleep.
~Rumi

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Yahweh’s divine light is woven throughout the entirety of Creation’s multicolored tapestry. Among a host of other things, it can be seen in the soft radiance of a chromatic dawn “unveiling the whole face of nature,” in the blazing streaks of a brilliantly hued sunset at day’s end, in the white glow of the moon illuminating the night, and in an exquisite blossom that mimics the luminous lights of the heavenly orbs. But what does all that have to do with the breeze telling secrets at dawn, one might ask? The answer, my friend, is “blowing in the wind” as always. And it’s really no secret at all, for the breeze knows, as do I, that the Ancient of Days yet walks among us and is still in control of all that He has made.

Who has gone up to heaven and come down? Whose hands have gathered up the wind? Who has wrapped up the waters in a cloak? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is the name of his Son? Surely you know! ~Proverbs 30:4 ✝

**This white moonflower only blooms at night, but when I get up early in the morning I can capture its glory before in perishes in the bright light of day.

613. But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? ~William Shakespeare

Here comes the sun
and I say, it’s all right…
Little darlin’, it seems like years
since it’s been clear….
~Excerpted lyrics by John Lennon
George Harrison, and Paul McCartney

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Degree by degree by degree a glow appears on the eastern horizon. Brighter and lighter it grows as inch by inch by inch the sun lifts night’s shades higher and higher revealing a cloudless sky was washed clean of the cold, greys of past days. Up and up and up rises the blaze of the sun, ancient bearer of light and warmth and cheer. In the rising incandescence the busy birds are chirpier, the scampering squirrels are friskier, and the prowling feral cats are bushy-tailed. The sun, the sun, the marvelous sun–now it’s kissing the tips and tops of things before oozing and spreading like melting butter on a warm piece of toast over everything it touches. The morning air, charged with electricity in anticipation of its fullness, is kindling a warmer rhythm for this wintry day, and when the first splinters of the sun’s golden rays finally run across the garden and lawn, the dance of life will pulse strong again in hearts and feet alike. And then, when there is light, glorious, glorious light, we shall rise and greet thee, O Lord, with glad and grateful hearts.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. ~Genesis 1:3-4   ✝

**Image via Pinterest

600. There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. ~Edith Wharton

A
candle 
loses
nothing
by lighting
another candle.
~Erin Majors

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Light a candle in your soul,
And carry with you in the dark.
If you see a flame that’s lost its glow
Let yours supply the spark.
For a flame grows only brighter
When it gives to another of its light.

Believe in yourself in the depths of your being,
Nourish the talents your spirit is freeing.
Know in your heart when the going gets slow,
That your faith in yourself will continue to grow.
Don’t give up your dreams though others may have doubt,
It’s your life to live, you must delight in it throughout.
So learn from your errors, don’t dwell in the past,
And never withdraw from a world that’s vast.
Believe in yourself, find the best that is you,
Let your spirit prevail, steer a course that is true.

~Edited texts from Unknown Author

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. ~John 1:5    ✝

**Image via Pinterest, Text added by Natalie
Once a blogging junkie, always a blogging it would seem!

486. The windows of my soul I throw wide open to the sun. ~John Greenleaf Whittier

Light gives of itself freely,
filling all available space.
It does not seek anything in return;
it asks not whether you are friend or foe.
It gives of itself and is not thereby diminished.
~Michael Strassfeld

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All things in the natural world drink in sunlight, and they are affected by it a number of ways. When the sun’s warmth touches the skin on coolish days like today, it creates a pleasant sensation, and that pleasurable feeling seems to me to sink down into the depths of my being. Flesh and spirit drink in other light too, for they take in “the light of God and energy itself.” That’s why in an often cold, lonely, and dark world the inner flame of humanity’s sacred origin warms us and keeps the glow of the eternal alive.

In the temple of my inner being,
in the temple of my body,
in the temple of earth, sea, and sky,
in the great temple of the universe
I look for the light that was in the beginning,
the mighty fire that blazes still from the heart of life,
glowing in the whiteness of the moon,
glistening in night stars,
hidden in the black earth,
concealed in unknown depths of my soul.
In the darkness of the night,
in the shadow of my being, O God,
let me glimpse the eternal.
In both the light and the shadows of my being
let me glimpse the glow of the eternal.

~From SOUNDS OF THE ETERNAL
by J. Philip Newell

For God who said, “ Let light shine out of the darkness,” made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. ~2 Corinthians 4:6    ✝

** Image via Pinterest

407. Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light. ~Theodore Roethke

At first a small line of inconceivable splendour emerged on the
horizon, which, quickly expanding, the sun appeared in all of his
glory, unveiling the whole face of nature, vivifying every colour
of the landscape, and sprinkling the dewy earth with glittering light.
~Ann Radcliffe

Image

I took this photo late in the day and yet it is obvious the sunflower is still holding the light. And whether it’s in the soft radiance of this flower, or in the dawn’s “unveiling the whole face of nature,” or in the blazing streaks of sunset closing down the day, or in the white glow of the moon illuminating the night there is a “line of inconceivable splendour” in all light. And it is this “splendour” that yields insight in the mystery and nature of the Lord. We emerge from the darkness of a mother’s womb, but from our inception we too hold light within ourselves for we are of the light’s Maker. Notice that Radcliffe said the light vivified (enlivened) color. She recognized that light gives of itself and in so doing gives life. With a smile we are capable of lighting up our whole countenance, and it has been said that “if one life shines, the life next to it will catch the light.” James M. Barrie, author of PETER PAN, added to that by saying that “those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.”

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. ~2 Corinthians 4:6-7 ✝

Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you save, you heal, you restore, and you reveal Your Father’s heart to us! You have captured me with grace and I’m caught in Your infinite embrace! Like Saint Hildegard Lord, may I too be a feather on your holy breath and spread, like seeds, the gospel abroad.