Each branch of a vine is bound to a certain point of its wall or its conservatory. It is not growing just where and how it would spontaneously and naturally choose, but is affixt there contrary to its natural bent, in order that it may catch the sunbeams at that point and cover that spot with beautiful foliage and luscious fruit.
  Sorrow is like the nail that compels the branch to grow in that direction; inevitable circumstance is like the rough strip of fiber which bends the branch, and pain is like the restraint which is suffered by the branch which would have liked to wander at its own will. We are not to murmur or repine at our lot in life, but are to remember that God has appointed it and placed us there.


  When I was a boy, I thought of heaven as a great, shining city, with vast walls and domes and spires, and with nobody in it except white-robed angels, who were strangers to me. By and by my little brother died; and I thought of a great city with walls and domes and spires, and a flock of cold, unknown angels, and one little fellow that I was acquainted with. He was the only one I knew at that time. Then another brother died; and there were two that I knew. Then my acquaintances began to die; and the flock continually grew. But it was not till I had sent one of my little children to his Heavenly Parent--God--that I began to think I had got a little in myself. A second went, a third went; a fourth went; and by that time I had so many acquaintances in heaven, that I did not see any more walls and domes and spires. I began to think of the residents of the celestial city. And now there have so many of my acquaintances gone there, that it sometimes seems to me that I know more in heaven than I do on earth. --by Moody.

  In case some of you may have noticed, we've begun to carry Google ads. There are two reasons for the addition of ads. Our ministry is "non-profit" as you may have guessed, although it is not registered as such with the government, we do after all, need to speak our minds when and how we need to. Our expenses are not tremendous but there is very little support available to graphic ministries on the internet, well, actually none. So, let us pose a question to you? If you had to choose between answering a call from God that payed nothing, or ignoring that call and earning an income for a temporary fix to financial needs, which would you choose? I guess you know what we decided to do.
  Secondly, our ads actually benefit you more than us. Let's face it, you've got to get thousands of clicks in order for money to really add up if you are a blogger. Our blogs are to be "used" by you and if you want more than clipart, who knows? We certainly don't. Google employees maintain these ads for the most part. They determine who you are, where you come from, etc. . . These ads are kind of nice if you are a ministry in need of exposure, we think. But we don't really know how successful these are. For now, order pizza we guess or whatever. Is that illegal to say, order pizza? O.k. don't order pizza, just ignore what we said. You're not hungry. Don't need those pounds. Well, if we're stepping out of line here I guess Kathy will come in and change the post. She can be such a stickler for stuff at times! If you want to know more about statistics and ads for ministry, you'll have to contact someone at Google to learn how effective their ads are, we simply just keep moving along.

   There seems to be some concern among our friends that the gallery will drop reciprocal linking partnerships here at the gallery because it is now believed that these partnerships are not always advantageous unless they are relevant to your content. There is no need for concern on this point at the Pick and Print Gallery or on any of our other web blogs. For we do not link to others for the same reasons that other web masters do. 
   Here at the gallery, we run our blogs the old-fashioned way. We include links to sites that we consider relevant to your interests all the time. We want our blogs to be "worth" reading, bookmarking, and used over and over again.  Most all of our links are distributed to very specific categories and are spread across many web domains. Also, our staff actively adds links every month, sometimes daily. Sometimes visitors don't notice this activity because we may be adding links to a blog that you don't happen to ordinarily visit. Adding links to big indexes also doesn't show up as a "additional"content or "new" posts on blogger software feeds. So if you are not visiting these blogs on a daily basis, then you will not notice the updates to our linking lists. We revise old entries quite often compared to most bloggers on blogger.com because of the way we organize our materials. So if you are reading RSS feeds you simply will not see the new additions to linking lists.
   Our staff also discovered long ago that most web masters did not consider our domains important enough to link to. Oh, another clip art collection they thought. How important is that? Well, only God knows just "how" important our ministry will become over time, we humbly admit. However, our graphics are for the most part all new. This is a remarkable difference compared with most graphic collections on the web today. And, we believe in linking to benefit others. Our reasons are idealistic and our choices are realistic. Great linking lists are not based on reciprocal linking partnerships because, most folks are more concerned with greed. They think, "what is in it for me?" These individuals do not understand that God's purposes are far more important than greed and He will keep moving along with His agenda. We may not be the most internet savvy web masters, but we follow the Good Shepherd folks! Where ever He leads, we follow! We don't care if that doesn't rank us high in search engines or if other web site owners don't choose to reciprocate our links. We must be about our Father's business, and that is all there is to it. So, if you have a link from us, do not worry about internet trends affecting that link.

Let me do my work from day to day,
In field or forest, at the desk or loom.
In roaring market-place or tranquil
Let me but find it in my heart to say,
When vagrant wishes beckon me astray:
  "This is my work: my blessing, not my
  Of all who live, I am the one by whom
This work can best be done in the right

Then shall I see it not too great, no small,
To suit my spirit and to prove my
Then shall I cheerful greet the laboring
And cheerful turn when the long shadows
At eventide, to play and love and rest,
Because I know for me my work is best.
--Henry Van Dyke.


  The whole tenor of the New Testament inculcates the principle of resignation under adverse conditions, and more. For the follower of Jesus Christ must not be merely a passive sufferer but a strenuous and persevering conbatant against opposing forces.

  Tourists along the shores of the Mediterranean express their surprise at the insipidity of the fishes served up for food. This flavorless quality is easily accounted for. The fish around the shores of Spain, Italy, Greece, and Asia Minor are mostly caught in the quiet lagoons or calm waters of protected bays and gulfs, where they swim lazily and slowly, or bask indolently in the quietude. How different is the life of battling with storm and tempest on the part of the creatures that inhabit the rough waters around the Orkneys, the Shetlands, and the Hebrides of Scotland! Fish caught there is always delicious. --The Affliction of Virtue.


I am the Christmas Spirit!
I enter the home of poverty, causing palefaced children to open their eyes whide, in pleased wonder.
I cause the miser's clutched hand to relax, and thus paint a bright spot on his soul.
I cause the aged to renew their youth and to laugh in the old, glad way.
I keep romance alive in the heart of childhood, and brighten sleep with dreams woven of magic.
I cause eager feet to climb dark stairways with filled baskets, leaving behind hearts amazed at the goodness of the world.
I cause the prodigal to pause a moment on his wild, wasteful way, and send to anxious love some little token that releases glad tears--tears which wash away the hard lines of sorrow.
I enter dark prison cells, reminding scarred manhood of what might have been, and pointing forward to good days yet to be.
I come softly into the still, white home of pain, and lips that are too weak to speak just tremble in silent, eloquent gratitude.
In a thousand ways I cause the weary world to look up into the face of God, and for a little moment forget the things that are small and wretched.
I am the Christmas spirit!

--by E. C. Baird.

by Charlotte Elliot

Father, when thy child is dying,
On the bed of anguish lying,
Then, my every want suppling,
To me thy love display!

Ere my soul her bonds hath broken,
Grant some bright and cheering token,
That for me the words are spoken,
"Thy sins are washed away!"

When the lips are dumb that blessed me.
And withdrawn the hand that pierced me,
Then let sweeter sound arrest me,
To call my soul away!

Guide me to that world of spirits,
Where through thine atoning merits,
E'en thy weakest child inherits,
The joys which ne'er decay.

by Rev. W. R. Williams, D. D.

There is proclaimed one mightier than death or hell. He is the Prince of Life and Lord of Glory. He, in bringing rescue tasted of death, yea not only met the common lot, but bore on himself the common and concentrated guilt of our race. Doing this he tore the sting from death and to them that believe. He is become the author of life, everlasting life.

To them that recieve Christ, the war though fierce has lost its main terror and is stripped of its perils, mortality loses its ghastliness and puts on hopefulness and promise. The grave is like the wet, cold March day, behind whose gloom lie the treasures of bursting spring and the glories of refulgent summer. The light afflictions are but for a moment. Death to the saint changes many of its offices. If pain walks at his side, He is also the queller of strife and the calmer of care. No more throbs or sighs, but rest. He is in one sense the Destroyer, but in another the Restorer. He brings back, through Christ's victorious grave, the lost innocence and peace of Eden. He divides the nearest ties, but also re-unites to those who sleep in Jesus. He is the curse of the law, but through the blessed one, who magnified and satisfied the law, he becomes to the believer in Jesus, the end of sin, the gate of Paradise, and the recompense of a new, a better and an unending life.

Farewell Life
by Thomas Hood.

Farewell, Life! My senses swim,
And the world is growing dim:
Thronging shadows crowd the light,
Like the advent of the night;

Colder, colder, colder still,
Upward starts a vapor chill;
Strong the earthly odor grows,--
I smell the mould above the rose!

Welcome Life! The Spirit strives!
Strength returns, and hope revives;
Cloudy fears and shapes forlorn
Fly like shadows at the morn,--

O'er the earth there comes a bloom;
Sunny light for sullen gloom,
Warm perfume for vapor cold,-
I smell the rose above the mould!

     The revolution of years is silently bringing nearer and nearer the evening time of the mortal world. God's administration of this world's affairs is approaching a glorious completion. The mystery and darkness that now invest His throne will be dissipated, and his ways shall be justified before the assembled universe. The hands of the clock of time are moving on, slowly and silently, to an hour which shall be universally known and felt, soon as it is reached, as the end of Time. Oh, that last evening time of the world, what pen can adequately picture it? The cloudy day of Providence will end, and in the light of the great white throne of judgment the grandest vindication of His government will be made by Jehovah Himself! The reason and equity of his acts will no longer appear uncertain. A thousand queries, suggested by as many strange things of our present state, will be answered. The prayer of the old reformer, that we offer, now and then as we are brought under darkness, "more light, Lord; more light, more light!" will be granted in a manner that will awe us down into the profoundest attitude of thankfulness.
      Then will there be made an adjustment of contrary things. Innocence will be vindicated and rewarded, and guilt exposed and punished. Hypocrisies will be bared to the sight of ten times ten thousand angelic witnesses, and sincerity will lift up its face without a blush. Inequalities of rank and condition will be rectified. Good and evil will be forever separated. Truth and error will dissolve companionship. The right shall be established and the wrong put down. Justice will be administered by One who cannot err. Merit will be recognized and receive its due reward, and mere pretense will be put to shame. Oh! what a clearing away of mists there will be! What startling revelations will be made! And the finale of that wonderful scene of the last judgment the voices of ten times ten thousand angels and archangels, joining with the hosts of the saved from earth, shall be heard exclaiming, "Blessing and honor, and power, and glory be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne! Great and marvelous are Thy works, Lord God Almighty, just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of Saints!"

by Rev. W. H. Lickenback

      Christ has not only conquered sin and death in Himself, but in and for some of our kind. These, thus raised, are the evidences of His victory and the pledges of our resurrection. They are the first fruits, with Himself, of them that slept. As Enoch and Elijah are types and assurances of those who will be changed at the last day, so these trophies of Christ are the sure tokens of His victory and type of our own resurrection. With these He ascended up on high, and made a show of them. If a man die, shall he live again? asks Job. This question is sublimely and satisfactorily answered in the text. Our assurance in Christ, is that we shall have an eternal life of body, soul, and spirit--painless and deathless. He came not to destroy, but that we might have life more abundantly.
--by Rev. Joseph Wild, D. D.

  There is an apprenticeship to difficulty, which is better for excellence sometimes than years of ease and comfort. A great musician once said of a promising but passionless young singer who was being educated for the stage: "She sings well, but she lacks something which is everything. If she were married to a tyrant who would maltreat her and break her heart, in six months she would be the greatest singer in Europe." --James T. Fields


by Eugene Field.

Holly standeth in ye house
When that Noel draweth near;
Evermore at ye door
Standeth Ivy, shivering sore
In ye night wind bleak and drear;
And, as weary hours go by,
Doth ye one to other cry.

"Sister Holly," Ivy quoth,
"What is that within you see?
To and fro doth ye glow
Of ye yule-log flickering go;
Would its warmth did cherish me!
Where thou bidest is it warm;
I am shaken of ye storm."

"Sister Ivy," Holly quoth,
"Brightly burns the yule-log here,
And love brings beauteous things,
While a guardian angel sings
To the babes that slumber near;
But, O Ivy! tell me now,
What without there seest thou?"

"Sister Holly," Ivy quoth,
"With fair music comes ye Morn,
And afar burns ye Star
Where ye wondering shepherds are
And the Shepherd King is born;
'Peace on earth, good-will to men,'
Angels cry, and cry again."

Holly standeth in ye house
When that Noel draweth near;
Clambering o'er yonder door,
Ivy standeth evermore;
And to them that rightly hear
Each one speaketh of ye love
That outpoureth from Above.

An eminent Christian worker in New York, told me a story that affected me very much.
  A father had a son who had been sick some time, but he did not consider him dangerous; until one day he came home to dinner and found his wife weeping, and he asked, "What is the trouble?"
  "There had been a great change in our boy since morning," the mother said, "and I am afraid that he is dying; I wish you to go in and see him, and, if you think he is, I wish you to tell him so, for I cannot bear to tell him."
  The father went in and sat down by the bedside, and he placed his hand upon his forehead, and he could feel the cold, damp sweat of death, and knew its cold, icy hand was feeling for the chords of life, and that his boy was soon to be taken away, and he said to him: 
  "My son, do you know you are dying?"
The little fellow looked up at him and said:
  "No; am I? Is this death that I feel stealing over me father?"
  "Yes, my son, you are dying."
  "Will I live that day out?"
  "No; you may die at any moment."
He looked up to his father and he said; "Well, I will be with Jesus to-night, won't I, father?"
  And the father answered: "Yes my boy, you will spend to-night with the Savior," and the father turned away to conceal the tears, that the little boy might not see him weep; but he saw the tears, and he said:
  "Father, don't you weep for me; when I get to heaven I will go straight to Jesus and tell Him that ever since I can remember, you have tried to lead me to Him."
account by D. L. Moody