Bow Down To God Quotes

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Every moment I live, I live bowed to something. And if I don't see God, I'll bow down before something else.
Ann Voskamp
There was a loud scraping noise as five chairs slid backward. The men rose as a unit. And started coming for her. She looked to the faces of the two she knew, but their grave expressions weren't encouraging. And then the knives came out. With a metallic whoosh, five black daggers were unsheathed. She backed up frantically, hands in front of herself. She slammed into a wall and was about to scream for Wrath when the men dropped down on bended knees in a circle around her. In a single movement, as if they'd been choreographed, they buried the daggers into the floor at her feet and bowed their heads. The great whoomp of sound as steel met wood seemed both a pledge and a battle cry. The handles of the knives vibrated. The rap music continued to pound. They seemed to be waiting for some kind of response from her. "Umm. Thank you," she said. The men's heads lifted. Etched into the harsh planes of their faces was total reverence. Even the scarred one had a respectful expression. And then Wrath came in with a squeeze bottle of Hershey's syrup. "Bacon's on the way." He smiled. "Hey, they like you." "And thank God for that," she murmured, looking down at the daggers.
J.R. Ward (Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1))
They bowed down to him rather, because he was all of these things, and then again he was all of these things because the town bowed down.
Zora Neale Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God)
Let him submit to me! Only the god of death is so relentless, Death submits to no one—so mortals hate him most of all the gods. Let him bow down to me! I am the greater king, I am the elder-born, I claim—the greater man.
Homer (The Iliad)
I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture of their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down, men other-centered can build up I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive goodwill will proclaim the rule of the land.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Naturally, I have no heroes: I am my heroes. I am my brothers and sisters. I feel myself joined by the soul with all beauty. My heart sings with every brave endeavour. With the strange wings of impossible butterflies, with every rock that breathes life into the world. I stand shoulder to shoulder with all denouncers of meanness. I honour spirit and faith and uphold the glorious amateur. I'm in love with desperate men with desperate hands, walking in second-hand shoes searching for God and hearing God and hating God. I'm a desperate man, buckled with fear, I am a desperate man who demands to be listened to, who demands to connect. I'm a desperate man who denounces the dullness of money and status. I'm a desperate man who will not bow down to accolade or success. I'm a desperate man who loves the simplicity of painting and hates galleries and white walls and the dealers in art. Who loves unreasonableness and hotheadedness, who loves contradiction, hates publishing houses and also I am Vincent Van Gogh, Hiroshige and every living artist who dares to draw God on this planet.
Billy Childish
It is we who create value and our desires which confer value. In this realm we are kings, and we debase our kingship if we bow down to Nature. It is for us to determine the good life, not for Nature - not even for Nature personified as God.
Bertrand Russell (What I Believe)
In Paris the cashiers sit rather than stand. They run your goods over a scanner, tally up the price, and then ask you for exact change. The story they give is that there aren't enough euros to go around. "The entire EU is short on coins." And I say, "Really?" because there are plenty of them in Germany. I'm never asked for exact change in Spain or Holland or Italy, so I think the real problem lies with the Parisian cashiers, who are, in a word, lazy. Here in Tokyo they're not just hard working but almost violently cheerful. Down at the Peacock, the change flows like tap water. The women behind the registers bow to you, and I don't mean that they lower their heads a little, the way you might if passing someone on the street. These cashiers press their hands together and bend from the waist. Then they say what sounds to me like "We, the people of this store, worship you as we might a god.
David Sedaris (When You Are Engulfed in Flames)
Blessing is bowing down to receive the expressions of divine favor that in the inner recesses of the human heart and mind make life worth the bother.
Beth Moore (Believing God)
You judge the gods by who bows down at their altars?" Ai Ling asked.
Cindy Pon (Silver Phoenix (Kingdom of Xia, #1))
The music, the prayers, the bowing and rising, the incense--all of it was breaking down my defenses. That's what good liturgy does. It breaks your heart open and turns you toward God.
Fred Bahnson (Soil and Sacrament: Four Seasons Among the Keepers of the Earth)
She said, “Do you see how I’m wearing this apron? It means I’m working. For a living.” The unconcerned expression didn’t flag. He said, “I’ll take care of it.” She echoed, “Take care of it?” “Yeah. How much do you make in an hour? I’ll take care of it. And I’ll talk to your manager.” For a moment, Blue was actually lost for words. She had never believed people who claimed to be speechless, but she was. She opened her mouth, and at first, all that came out was air. Then something like the beginning of a laugh. Then finally, she managed to sputter, “I am not a prostitute.” The Aglionby boy appeared puzzled for a long moment, and then realization dawned. “Oh, that was not how I meant it. That is not what I said.” “That is what you said! You think you can just pay me to talk to your friend? Clearly you pay most of your female companions by the hour and don’t know how it works with the real world, but . . . but . . .” Blue remembered that she was working to a point, but now what that point was. Indignation had eliminated all higher functions and all that remained was the desire to slap him. The boy opened his mouth to protest, and her thought came back to her all in a rush. “Most girls, when they’re interested in a guy, will sit with them for free.” To his credit, the Aglionby boy didn’t speak right away. Instead, he thought for a moment and then he said, without heat, “You said you were working for living. I thought it’d be rude to not take that into account. I’m sorry you’re insulted. I see where you’re coming from, but I feel it’s a little unair that you’re not doing the same for me.” “I feel you’re being condescending,” Blue said. In the background, she caught a glimpse of Soldier Boy making a plane of his hand. It was crashing and weaving toward the table surface while Smudgy Boy gulped laughter down. The elegant boy held his palm over his face in exaggerated horror, fingers spread just enough that she could see him wince. “Dear God,” remarked Cell Phone boy. “I don’t know what else to say.” “Sorry,” she recommended. “I said that already.” Blue considered. “Then ‘bye.’” He made a little gesture at his chest that she thought was supposed to mean he was curtsying or bowing or something sarcastically gentleman-like.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1))
I am he whom God tried to make bow down to his newest creations, and who was cast down because he would not. Do you know how long I have worked to destroy you, never working directly? Never working in my full form? Do you know how long I had to think and plan before I came up with the idea of coming down as one of you? Though obviously, I stole that one from Him.”, FADE by Kailin Gow
Kailin Gow (Fever (Fade, #4))
I throw my makeshift jai-namaz, my prayer rug, on the floor and I get on my knees, lower my forehead to the ground, my tears soaking through the sheet. I bow to the west. Then I remember I haven’t prayed for over fifteen years. I have long forgotten the words. But it doesn’t matter, I will utter those few words I still remember: La illaha ila Allah, Muhammad u rasul ullah. There’s no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger. I see now that Baba was wrong, there’s a God, there always had been. I see Him here, in the eyes of the people in this [hospital] corridor of desperation. This is the real house of God, this is where those who have lost God will find Him, not the white masjid with its bright diamond lights, and towering minarets. There’s a God, there has to be, and now I will pray, I will pray that He forgive that I have neglected Him all of these years, forgive that I have betrayed, lied, and sinned with impunity only to turn to Him now in my hour of need, I pray that He is as merciful, benevolent, and gracious as His book says He is. [...] I hear a whimpering and realize it is mine, my lips are salty with the tears trickling down my face. I feel the eyes of everyone in this corridor on me and still I bow to the west. I pray. I pray that my sins have not caught up with me the way I'd always feared they would.
Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner)
I am no Christian. These days it does no good to confess that, for the bishops and abbots have too much influence and it is easier to pretend to a faith than to fight angry ideas. I was raised a Christian, but at ten years old, when I was taken into Ragnar’s family, I discovered the old Saxon gods who were also the gods of the Danes and of the Norsemen, and their worship has always made more sense to me than bowing down to a god who belongs to a country so far away that I have met no one who has ever been there. Thor and Odin walked our hills, slept in our valleys, loved our women and drank from our streams, and that makes them seem like neighbours. The other thing I like about our gods is that they are not obsessed with us. They have their own squabbles and love affairs and seem to ignore us much of the time, but the Christian god has nothing better to do than to make rules for us. He makes rules, more rules, prohibitions and commandments, and he needs hundreds of black-robed priests and monks to make sure we obey those laws. He strikes me as a very grumpy god, that one, even though his priests are forever claiming that he loves us. I have never been so stupid as to think that Thor or Odin or Hoder loved me, though I hope at times they have thought me worthy of them.
Bernard Cornwell (Lords of the North (The Saxon Stories, #3))
I once heard a Chicago-area pastor put it this way: we don't need more Americans bowing down to the Democrat donkey or the Republican elephant. We need more Americans bowing down to the Lion of Judah.
Todd Starnes (God Less America: Real Stories From the Front Lines of the Attack on Traditional Values)
Oh, God, I though, this is like two people in a play, in a moment the curtain will come down, we shall bow to the audience, and go off to our dressing-rooms.
Daphne du Maurier (Rebecca)
This must be the sixth realm, the nameless void. Entropy is the only lord here. We will all bow down before him in the end.
Peter F. Hamilton (The Naked God (Night's Dawn, #3))
Maybe. Maybe. He said, "Does Dorian actually matter, or is he a pawn for Terrasen?" "Don't even start with that." For a moment he thought she was done, but than she spat, "Killing him, Chaol, would be a mercy. Killing him would be a gift." "I can't make the shot," Nesryn said again-a bit more sharply. "Touch him," Chaol said, "and I'll make sure those bastards down there find Aedion." Nesryn silently turned to them, slackening her bow. It was the only card he had to play, even if it made him a bastard as well. The wrath Chaol found in Aelin's eyes were world-ending. "You bring my court into this, Chaol," Aelin said with lethal softness, "and I don't care what you were to me, or what you have done to help me. You betray them, you hurt them, and I don't care how long it takes, or how far you go: I'll burn you and your gods-damned kingdom to ash. Then you'll learn just how much of a monster I can be." Too far. He'd gone too far.
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
Good stitchery," Kelsea told him. "But it will scar anyway, won't it?" The Fetch nodded. "I'm not God, nor am I the queen's surgeon." He gave her a mocking bow. "But it won't fester, and you can tell people that you took the wound in battle." "Battle?" "It was a battle getting all that armor off you, and I'll tell the world so." Kelsea smiled, put down the mirror, and turned to him.
Erika Johansen (The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #1))
Hitherto men have always formed wrong ideas about themselves, about what they are and what they ought to be. They have arranged their relations according to their ideas of God, of normal man, etc. The products of their brains have got out of their hands. They, the creators, have bowed down before their creations.
Karl Marx (The German Ideology / Theses on Feuerbach / Introduction to the Critique of Political Economy)
It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great. You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: King James Version)
Possibly the most debilitating deception of all is to create a god of my own making, fool myself into believing that this limp god of mine is the true God, and then construct the entirety of my life on this flamboyantly fictional character. Possibly the most devastating realization of all is when the real God shows up, and in the showing up all of this come crashing down.
Craig D. Lounsbrough
My stupidity gave its blessing to succouring nature, on her knees before God. What I am (my drunken laughter and happiness) is nonetheless at stake, handed over to chance, thrown out into the night, chased away like a dog. The wind of truth responded like a slap to piety’s extended cheek. The heart is human to the extent that it rebels (this means: to be a man is ‘not to bow down before the law’). A poet doesn’t justify — he doesn’t accept — nature completely. True poetry is outside laws. But poetry ultimately accepts poetry. When to accept poetry changes it into its opposite (it becomes the mediator of an acceptance!) I hold back the leap in which I would exceed the universe, I justify the given world, I content myself with it
Georges Bataille (The Bataille Reader)
Worship is an inward reverence, the bowing down of the soul in the presence of God.
Elizabeth George
Why did I, like thousands of others, have to carry a cross I hadn't chosen, a cross which was not made for my shoulders and which didn't concern me? Who decided to come rummaging around in my obscure existence, invade my gray anonymity, my meager tranquility, and bowl me like a little ball in a great game of skittles? God? Well, in that case, if He exists, if He really exists, let Him hide His face. Let Him put His two hands on His head, and let Him bow down. It may be, as Peiper used to teach us, that many men are unworthy of Him, but now I know that He, too, is unworthy of most of us, and that if the creature is capable of producing horror, it's solely because his Creator has slipped him the recipe for it.
Philippe Claudel (Brodeck)
song of the rain iam dotted silverthreads dropped from heaven by the gods ,nature then takes me to adornher fields and valleys iam beautiful pears plucked from the crown of ishtar by the daugter of down to embellish the garden when icry the hills laugh when i humble my self the flower rejoice when i bow all the things are elated
Kahlil Gibran
Tell me, as a pagan, who do you worship?' 'Worship?' 'That's right. I imagine you must have a pretty wide open field. So to whom do you set up your household altar? To whom do you bow down? To whom do you pray to at dawn and at dusk?' 'The female principle. It's an empowerment thing. You know.' 'Indeed. And this female principle of yours. Does she have a name?' 'She's the goddess within us all. She doesn't need a name.' 'Ah,' said Wednesday, with a wide monkey grin, 'so do you hold mighty bacchanals in her honour? Do you drink blood wine under the full moon, while scarlet candles burn in silver candle holders? Do you step naked into the seafoam, chanting ecstactically to your nameless goddess while the waves lick at your legs, lapping your thighs like the tongues of a thousand leopards?
Neil Gaiman (American Gods (American Gods, #1))
And to Rhaego son of Drogo, the stallion who will mount the world, to him I also pledge a gift. To him I will give this iron chair his mother's father sat in. I will give him Seven Kingdoms. I, Drogo, khal, will do this thing.'' His voice rose, and he lifted his fist in the sky. ''I will take my khalasar west to where the world ends, and ride the wooden horses across the black salt water as no khal has done before. I will kill the men in the iron suits and tear down their stone houses. I will rape their women, take their children as slaves, and bring their broken gods back to Vaes Dothrak to bow down beneath the Mother of Mountains. This I vow, I, Drogo son of Bharbo. This I swear before the Mother of Mountains, as the stars look down in witness.
George R.R. Martin (A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1))
But suddenly his daddy was there, looking at him in mortal agony, and a sorrow so great that Danny’s heart flamed within his chest. The mouth drew down in a quivering bow. “Doc,” Jack Torrance said. “Run away. Quick. And remember how much I love you.” “No,” Danny said. “Oh Danny, for God’s sake—” “No,” Danny said. He took one of his father’s bloody hands and kissed it. “It’s almost over.
Stephen King (The Shining (The Shining #1))
How do you greet a god? If there’s an etiquette guide for that, I haven’t read it. I’m never sure if I’m supposed to shake hands, kneel, or bow and shout, “We’re not worthy!” I knew Hermes better than most of the Olympians. Over the years, he’d helped me out several times. Unfortunately last summer I’d also fought his demigod son Luke, who’d been corrupted by the Titan Kronos, in a mortal combat smack-down for the fate of the world. Luke’s death hadn’t been entirely my fault, but it still put a damper on my relationship with Hermes. I decided to start simple. “Hi.
Rick Riordan (The Heroes of Olympus: The Demigod Diaries)
Blessing is defined by neither ease nor worldly possessions nor pain-free existence nor stock-market successes. Blessing is bowing down to receive the expressions of divine favor that in the inner recesses of the human heart make life worth the bother.
Beth Moore (Believing God Day by Day: Growing Your Faith All Year Long)
I never knew You lived so close to the floor, but every time I am bowed down, crushed by this weight of grief, I feel Your hand on my head, Your breath on my cheek, Your tears on my neck. You never tell me to pull myself together, to stem the flow of many years. You simply stay by my side for as long as it takes, so close to the floor.
Sheila Walsh (Loved Back to Life: How I Found the Courage to Live Free)
Eve woke, violently aroused. It was Roarke’s hands on her. She knew their texture, their rhythm. Her heart tripped against her ribs, then bounded into her throat as his mouth covered hers. His was greedy, hot, giving her no choice, really no choice at all but to respond in kind. Even as she fumbled for him, those long, clever fingers pierced her, diving into her so that she bowed up into the frenzy of orgasm. His mouth on her breast, sucking, teeth scraping. His elegant hands relentless so that her cries came out in whimpers of shock and gratitude. Another staggering climax to layer thick over the first. Her hands sought purchase in the tangled sheets, but nothing could anchor her. As she flew up again, she gripped him, nails scraping down his back, up to grab handfuls of his hair. “God!” It was the single coherent word she managed as he plunged into her, so hard, so deep she was amazed she didn’t die from the pleasure of it. Her body bucked helplessly, frantically, continued to shudder even after he’d collapsed on her. He let out a long, satisfied sigh and lazily nuzzled her ear. “Sorry to wake you.
J.D. Robb (Glory in Death (In Death, #2))
The town had a basketful of feelings good and bad about Joe's positions and possessions, but none had the temerity to challenge him. They bowed down to him rather, because he was all of these things, and then again he was all of these things because the town bowed down.
Zora Neale Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God)
He had a bow-down command in his face, and every step he took made the thing more tangible.
Zora Neale Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God)
Jules rested the violin and bow on the case and sat down next to Jason. He hesitated for a moment, watching the older man with uncomfortable intensity, then reached for Jason and brushed a single tear from his cheek. For Jason, the touch was electric, and his physical response unexpected. “Bach always touches my soul,” Jules half whispered. His fingers still rested against Jason’s cheek. “He must have known great love, and great pain, to write something so powerful.” Jason realized that his own pain must be showing on his face, because Jules, too, looked sad. "I’ve never been religious,” Jules said, his eyes never leaving Jason’s, “but I played this piece in a tiny church once. It was like God was there with me, speaking through me.” When Jason remained silent, Jules leaned forward and kissed him lightly on the lips. At a loss to explain the intense emotional and sexual response of his own body and equally unable to stop himself, Jason reached for Jules and returned the kiss. The younger man’s lips tasted of wine and musk, and Jason realized that he was hungry for more.
Shira Anthony (Blue Notes (Blue Notes, #1))
I stared at him, baffled. But at that moment Gideon began to play, and I entirely forgot what I had been going to ask the count. Oh, my god! Maybe it was the punch—but wow! That violin was really sexy! Even the way Gideon raised it and tucked it under his chin! He didn’t have to do more than that to carry me away with him. His long lashes cast shadows on his cheeks, and a lock of hair fell over his face as he began passing the bow over the strings. The first notes filling the room almost took my breath away, they made such tender, melting music, and suddenly I was close to tears. Until now, violins had been way down on my list of favorite instruments, and I really liked them only for accompanying certain moments in films. But this was just incredibly wonderful—well, all of it was: the bittersweet melody and boy enticing it out of the instrument. All the people in the room listened with bated breath, and Gideon played on, immersed in the music as if there were no one else there. I didn’t notice that I was crying until the count touched my cheek and caught a tear gently with his finger. Then I jumped in alarm. He was smiling down at me, and I saw a warm glow in his dark brown eyes. “Nothing to be ashamed of,” he said quietly. “If it were otherwise, I’d have been very disappointed.
Kerstin Gier (Saphirblau (Edelstein-Trilogie, #2))
Mind says, “Wherever you see a temple or something related to god, bow down.” Mind wants to be the authority that decides what is godly and what is not. God says, “Wherever you bow down in egolessness, there is me and my temple.
Shunya
Sirs, I am but a nameless man, A rhymester without a home, Yet since I come of the Wessex clay And carry the cross of Rome, I will even answer the mighty earl That asked of Wessex men Why they be meek and monkish folk, And bow to the White Lord's broken yoke; What sign have we save blood and smoke? Here is my answer then. That on you is fallen the shadow, And not upon the Name; That though we scatter and though we fly, And you hang over us like the sky, You are more tired of victory, Than we are tired of shame. That though you hunt the Christian man Like a hare on the hill-side, The hare has still more heart to run Than you have heart to ride. That though all lances split on you, All swords be heaved in vain, We have more lust again to lose Than you to win again. Your lord sits high in the saddle, A broken-hearted king, But our king Alfred, lost from fame, Fallen among foes or bonds of shame, In I know not what mean trade or name, Has still some song to sing. Our monks go robed in rain and snow, But the heart of flame therein, But you go clothed in feasts and flames, When all is ice within; Nor shall all iron dooms make dumb Men wandering ceaselessly, If it be not better to fast for joy Than feast for misery. Nor monkish order only Slides down, as field to fen, All things achieved and chosen pass, As the White Horse fades in the grass, No work of Christian men. Ere the sad gods that made your gods Saw their sad sunrise pass, The White Horse of the White Horse Vale, That you have left to darken and fail, Was cut out of the grass. Therefore your end is on you, Is on you and your kings, Not for a fire in Ely fen, Not that your gods are nine or ten, But because it is only Christian men Guard even heathen things. For our God hath blessed creation, Calling it good. I know What spirit with whom you blindly band Hath blessed destruction with his hand; Yet by God's death the stars shall stand And the small apples grow.
G.K. Chesterton (The Ballad of the White Horse)
Just now, high above the chaos of Sarantium, it seemed as if there were so many things he wanted to honour or exalt- or take to task, if it came to that, for there was no need for, no justice in, children dying of plague, or young girls being cut into pieces in the forest, or sold in grief for winter grain. If this was the world as the god- or gods- had made it, then mortal man, this mortal man, could acknowledge that and honour the power and infinite majesty that lay within it, but he would not say that it was right, or bow down as if he were only dust or a brittle leaf blown from an autumn tree, helpless in the wind. He might be, all men and women might be as helpless as that leaf, but he would not admit it, and he would do something here on the dome that said- or aspired to say- these things, and more.
Guy Gavriel Kay
He ain’t kissin’ yo’ mouf when he carry on over yuh lak dat. He’s kissin’ yo’ foot and ’tain’t in uh man tuh kiss foot long. Mouf kissin’ is on uh equal and dat’s natural but when dey got to bow down tuh love, dey soon straightens up.
Zora Neale Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God)
The season of the world before us will be like no other in the history of mankind. Satan has unleashed every evil, every scheme, every blatant, vile perversion ever known to man in any generation. Just as this is the dispensation of the fullness of times, so it is also the dispensation of the fullness of evil. We and our wives and husbands, our children, and our members must find safety. There is no safety in the world: wealth cannot provide it, enforcement agencies cannot assure it, membership in this Church alone cannot bring it. As the evil night darkens upon this generation, we must come to the temple for light and safety. In our temples we find quiet, sacred havens where the storm cannot penetrate to us. There are hosts of unseen sentinels watching over and guarding our temples. Angels attend every door. As it was in the days of Elisha, so it will be for us: “Those that be with us are more than they that be against us.” Before the Savior comes the world will darken. There will come a period of time where even the elect will lose hope if they do not come to the temples. The world will be so filled with evil that the righteous will only feel secure within these walls. The saints will come here not only to do vicarious work, but to find a haven of peace. They will long to bring their children here for safety’s sake. I believe we may well have living on the earth now or very soon the boy or babe who will be the prophet of the Church when the Savior comes. Those who will sit in the Quorum of Twelve Apostles are here. There are many in our homes and communities who will have apostolic callings. We must keep them clean, sweet and pure in an oh so wicked world. There will be greater hosts of unseen beings in the temple. Prophets of old as well as those in this dispensation will visit the temples. Those who attend will feel their strength and feel their companionship. We will not be alone in our temples. Our garments worn as instructed will clothe us in a manner as protective as temple walls. The covenants and ordinances will fill us with faith as a living fire. In a day of desolating sickness, scorched earth, barren wastes, sickening plagues, disease, destruction, and death, we as a people will rest in the shade of trees, we will drink from the cooling fountains. We will abide in places of refuge from the storm, we will mount up as on eagle’s wings, we will be lifted out of an insane and evil world. We will be as fair as the sun and clear as the moon. The Savior will come and will honor his people. Those who are spared and prepared will be a temple-loving people. They will know Him. They will cry out, “Blessed be the name of He that cometh in the name of the Lord; thou are my God and I will bless thee; thou are my God and I will exalt thee.” Our children will bow down at His feet and worship Him as the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings. They will bathe His feet with their tears and He will weep and bless them for having suffered through the greatest trials ever known to man. His bowels will be filled with compassion and His heart will swell wide as eternity and He will love them. He will bring peace that will last a thousand years and they will receive their reward to dwell with Him. Let us prepare them with faith to surmount every trial and every condition. We will do it in these holy, sacred temples. Come, come, oh come up to the temples of the Lord and abide in His presence.
Vaughn J. Featherstone
God is the only book that can never be touched, open and seen.
Michael Bassey Johnson
The ‘gods’ that do us the greatest harm are the gods we deny having.
Craig D. Lounsbrough
Pride moves us to bow down before a mirror rather than before God.
John Ortberg Jr. (The Life You've Always Wanted)
Hitherto men have constantly made up for themselves false conceptions about themselves, about what they are and what they ought to be. They have arranged their relationships according to their ideas of God, of normal man, etc. The phantoms of their brains have got out of their hands. They, the creators, have bowed down before their creations. Let us liberate them from the chimeras, the ideas, dogmas, imaginary beings under the yoke of which they are pining away. Let us revolt against the rule of thoughts. Let us teach men, says one, to exchange these imaginations for thoughts which correspond to the essence of man; says the second, to take up a critical attitude to them; says the third, to knock them out of their heads; and — existing reality will collapse.
Karl Marx (German Ideology)
THE FLOOD One day, there was a big flood and an old woman was trapped on her roof as the waters rose. A boat with two young men approached her and the men yelled out to her, "Lady, get off that roof and climb in this boat!" "No, it’s alright! God is going to save me!" She replied. The men thought she was crazy, but the boat left and the waters rose. A second boat came. The water was at the edge of the rooftop - same thing, "I put my faith in the Lord! God is going to save me!" And so, they left too. A third boat came, the water was up to her neck- same thing, "God is going to save me!!!!" They too left, shaking there heads. After she drowned and went to heaven, the old woman was very upset. She stood before God angrily, "My Lord, I put all my faith in you. I knew you'd save me But you didn’t!!! Why not???" God replied back- "But lady... I sent you three boats!!!" MORAL: God still works miracles today. But if you are praying for a miracle, he is not going to send you down a box wrapped in shiny, silver, foil paper with ribbon and a fancy bow wrapped around it to solve your problems. Most of the time, today, God works His miracles through people.
José N. Harris (MI VIDA: A Story of Faith, Hope and Love)
When we know that His plans are to prosper us and give us hope and future, we bow down at once to the blessing of pruning, knowing that the change that will take place in us, will take us places.
Joshua Stannard (How Good Can It Get)
After all God doesn’t want you to be an imitation of someone else. You should be the original you were created to be. There is an anointing on your life, an empowerment. Not to be somebody else, but to be you. If you let people squeeze you into their molds and you bow down to their pressure to try to please your critics, it not only takes away your uniqueness, but it also lessens the favor on your life.
Joel Osteen (You Can, You Will: 8 Undeniable Qualities of a Winner)
War -- is a last ditch moral nightmare. People begin worshiping a mysterious slouching beast, following after, bowing down, offering gifts, making much of zero; and worse. Love of death, idolatry, fear of life; that roughshod trek of war and warmakers throughout the world, hand in hand with death. Long live death! They wouldn't worship it if they weren't in love. Or if they weren't in fear. The second being a state of devouring, at least, as the first. I think the clue is the second masquerading as the first -- just as the beast is the ape of god; to do some thing successfully, you have to, above all, hide what your up to. In this way fear can ape love. Death can demand a tribute owed to life, the ape can play God. Such reflections are of course ill at ease by some: those to whom the state is a given, the church is a given, Western culture a given, war a given, consumerism a given, paying taxes a given. All the neat slots of existence into which one fits, birth to death and every point in between. Nothing to be created, no one to be responsible to, nothing to risk, no objections to lodge. Life is a mechanical horizontal sidewalk, of the kind you sometimes ride at airports between buildings. One is carried along, a zonked spectator... Every nation-state tends towards the imperial -- that is the point. Through banks, armies, secret police propaganda courts and jails, treaties, taxes, laws and orders, myths of civil obedience, assumptions of civic virtue at the top. Still it should be said of the political left, we expect something better. And correctly. We put more trust in those who show a measure of compassion, who denounce the hideous social arrangements that make war inevitable and human desire omnipresent; which fosters corporate selfishness, panders to appetites and disorder, waste the earth.
Daniel Berrigan
This place where she worked certainly didn't make it look as if she continued to believe her calling was to change the course of American history. The building's rusted fire escape would just come down, just come loose from its moorings and crash onto the street, if anyone stepped on it - a fire escape whose function was not to save lives in the event of a fire but to uselessly hang there testifying to the immense loneliness inherent to living. For him it was stripped of any other meaning - no meaning could make better use of that building. Yes, alone we are, deeply alone, and always, in store for us, a layer of loneliness even deeper. There is nothing we can do to dispose of that. No, loneliness shouldn't surprise us, as astonishing to experience it as it may be. You can try turning yourself inside out, but all you are then is inside out and lonely instead of inside in and lonely. My stupid, stupid Merry dear, stupider even than your stupid father, not even blowing up buildings helps. It's lonely if there are buildings and it's lonely if there are no buildings. There is no protest to be lodged against loneliness - not all the bombing campaigns in history have made a dent in it. The most lethat of manmade explosives can't touch it. Stand in awe not of Communism, my idiot child, but of ordinary, everyday loneliness. On May Day go out and march with your friends to its greater glory, the superpower of superpowers, the force that overwhelms all. Put your money on it, bet on it, worship it - bow down in submission not to Karl Marx, my stuttering, angry, idiot child, not to Ho Chi-Minh and Mao Tse-tung - bow down to the great god of Loneliness!
Philip Roth (American Pastoral (The American Trilogy, #1))
Stephen's heart was big to bursting with the violence of his grief, yet even as he looked distractedly from side to side his mind told him that there was something amiss, the more so as the cheering had now almost entirely died away. The whaler had a huge spread of canvas aboard, far too great a press of sail for her possibly to enter the lagoon: she was tearing along with a great bow-wave and she sped past the mouth of the farther channel. A cable's length beyond the Opening her main and fore topgallantmasts carried clean away, as though brought down by a shot, and she instantly hauled to the wind, striking her colours as she did so. Her pursuer came racing into sight round the southern cape, studdingsails aloft and alow on either side—a dead silence from the motionless Norfolks below—fired a full, prodigal broadside to leeward, lowered down a boat and began to reduce sail, cheering like a ship clean out of her mind with delight. 'She is the Surprise,' said Stephen, and he whispered, 'The joyful Surprise, God and Mary be with her.
Patrick O'Brian (The Far Side of the World (Aubrey & Maturin #10))
Touch him,” Chaol said, “and I’ll make sure those bastards down there find Aedion.” Nesryn silently turned to them, slackening her bow. It was the only card he had to play, even if it made him a bastard as well. The wrath Chaol found in Aelin’s eyes was world-ending. “You bring my court into this, Chaol,” Aelin said with lethal softness, “and I don’t care what you were to me, or what you have done to help me. You betray them, you hurt them, and I don’t care how long it takes, or how far you go: I’ll burn you and your gods-damned kingdom to ash. Then you’ll learn just how much of a monster I can be.” Too far. He’d gone too far.
Sarah J. Maas (Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4))
And the wind, the wind! The bare birches and cherry-trees, unable to endure its rude caresses, bowed low down to the ground and wailed: "God, for what sin hast Thou bound us to the earth and will not let us go free?
Anton Chekhov (The Horse-Stealers and Other Stories)
The God I serve is able to save us both. To give us the winning lottery ticket so all our money problems will go away. To mend our broken hearts. To bring us close to those we love. He is able. He is able. He is able. But even if He doesn’t, do not bow to bitterness. Do not fall down onto your broken pieces and let them cut you to ribbons. Even if He doesn’t do all that He is able to do, all that we wish He would do, He is good.
Anna White (Mended: Thoughts on Life, Love, and Leaps of Faith)
Whether a man bows down to God or Mammon or to Cthulhu in his dark house at R’lyeh is no affair of mine . . . until he sheds one drop of blood not his own in his deity’s name. Then God have mercy upon him, for I shall not.
Michael Reaves (Shadows Over Baker Street)
With their ever-available loving hearts, they bow before God and bend down under all this pain and are lower than all the other creatures on earth. Pride is rare among them.3 Mechthild of Magdeburg, “The Flowing Light of the Godhead
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (God Is on the Cross: Reflections on Lent and Easter)
A kind of northing is what I wish to accomplish, a single-minded trek towards that place where any shutter left open to the zenith at night will record the wheeling of all the sky’s stars as a pattern of perfect, concentric circles. I seek a reduction, a shedding, a sloughing off. At the seashore you often see a shell, or fragment of a shell, that sharp sands and surf have thinned to a wisp. There is no way you can tell what kind of shell it had been, what creature it had housed; it could have been a whelk or a scallop, a cowrie, limpet, or conch. The animal is long since dissolved, and its blood spread and thinned in the general sea. All you hold in your hand is a cool shred of shell, an inch long, pared so thin that it passes a faint pink light. It is an essence, a smooth condensation of the air, a curve. I long for the North where unimpeded winds would hone me to such a pure slip of bone. But I’ll not go northing this year. I’ll stalk that floating pole and frigid air by waiting here. I wait on bridges; I wait, struck, on forest paths and meadow’s fringes, hilltops and banksides, day in and day out, and I receive a southing as a gift. The North washes down the mountains like a waterfall, like a tidal wave, and pours across the valley; it comes to me. It sweetens the persimmons and numbs the last of the crickets and hornets; it fans the flames of the forest maples, bows the meadow’s seeded grasses and pokes it chilling fingers under the leaf litter, thrusting the springtails and the earthworms deeper into the earth. The sun heaves to the south by day, and at night wild Orion emerges looming like the Specter over Dead Man Mountain. Something is already here, and more is coming.
Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)
All Carolina folk are crazy for mayonnaise, mayonnaise is as ambrosia to them, the food of their tarheeled gods. Mayonnaise comforts them, causes the vowels to slide more musically along their slow tongues, appeasing their grease-conditioned taste buds while transporting those buds to a place higher than lard could ever hope to fly. Yellow as summer sunlight, soft as young thighs, smooth as a Baptist preacher's rant, falsely innocent as a magician's handkerchief, mayonnaise will cloak a lettuce leaf, some shreds of cabbage, a few hunks of cold potato in the simplest splendor, restyling their dull character, making them lively and attractive again, granting them the capacity to delight the gullet if not the heart. Fried oysters, leftover roast, peanut butter: rare are the rations that fail to become instantly more scintillating from contact with this inanimate seductress, this goopy glory-monger, this alchemist in a jar. The mystery of mayonnaise-and others besides Dickie Goldwire have surely puzzled over this_is how egg yolks, vegetable oil, vinegar (wine's angry brother), salt, sugar (earth's primal grain-energy), lemon juice, water, and, naturally, a pinch of the ol' calcium disodium EDTA could be combined in such a way as to produce a condiment so versatile, satisfying, and outright majestic that mustard, ketchup, and their ilk must bow down before it (though, a at two bucks a jar, mayonnaise certainly doesn't put on airs)or else slink away in disgrace. Who but the French could have wrought this gastronomic miracle? Mayonnaise is France's gift to the New World's muddled palate, a boon that combines humanity's ancient instinctive craving for the cellular warmth of pure fat with the modern, romantic fondness for complex flavors: mayo (as the lazy call it) may appear mild and prosaic, but behind its creamy veil it fairly seethes with tangy disposition. Cholesterol aside, it projects the luster that we astro-orphans have identified with well-being ever since we fell from the stars.
Tom Robbins (Villa Incognito)
We are all just complicated arrangements of atoms and subatomic particles. We don't live...but our atoms do move about in such a way as to give us identity and consciousness. We don't die; our atoms just rearrange themselves. There is no God. There can be no God; it's ridiculous to think in terms of a superior being. An inferior being, maybe, because we, we who don't even exist, we arrange our lives with more order and harmony than God ever arranged the earth. We measure; we plot; we create wonderful new things. We are the architects of our own existence. What a lunatic concept to bow down before a God who slaughters millions of innocent children, slowly and agonizingly starves them to death, beats them, tortures them, rejects them. What folly to even think that we should not insult such a God, damn him, think him out of existence. It is the duty of all human beings to think God out of existence. Then we have a future. Because then - and only then - do we take full responsibility for who we are.
Rolf De Heer
In America the taint of sectarianism lies broad upon the land. Not content with acknowledging the supremacy as the Deity, and with erecting temples in his honor, where all can bow down with reverence, the pride and vanity of human reason enter into and pollute our worship, and the houses that should be of God and for God, alone, where he is to be honored with submissive faith, are too often merely schools of metaphysical and useless distinctions. The nation is sectarian, rather than Christian. Religion's first lesson is humility; its fruit, charity. In the great and sublime ends of Providence, little things are lost, and least of all is he imbued with a right spirit who believes that insignificant observances, subtleties of doctrine, and minor distinctions, enter into the great essentials of the Christian character. The wisest thing for him who is disposed to cavil at the immaterial habits of his neighbor, to split straws on doctrine, to fancy trifles of importance, and to place the man before principles, would be to distrust himself.
James Fenimore Cooper
At its core, sinfulness is selfishness. It's enthroning yourself - your desires, your needs, your plans - above all else. You may still seek God, but you don't seek Him first. You seek Him second or third or seventh. You may sing "Jesus at the center of it all," but what you really want is for people to bow down to you as you bow down to Christ. It's a subtle form of selfishness that masquerades as spirituality, but it's not Christ-centric. It's me-centric. It's less about us serving His purposes and more about Him serving our purposes.
Mark Batterson (All In: You Are One Decision Away From a Totally Different Life)
The truth is, life is unfair, and we would do well to come to terms with that fact. Boorish people are blessed with athletic or musical skills that qualify them to earn more money in a year than many of us will earn in our lifetime. Saintly people are struck down by disease before they can use their gifts to help others. The task of religion is not to teach us to bow our heads and accept God’s inscrutable will. It is to help us find the resources to live meaningfully and to go on believing, even in a world where people often don’t get what they deserve.
Harold S. Kushner (Nine Essential Things I've Learned About Life)
A baby almost killed me as I walked to work one morning. By passing beneath a bus shelter's roof at the ordained moment I lived to tell my tale. With strangers surrounding me I looked at what remained. Laoughter from heaven made us lift our eyes skyward. The baby's mother lowered her arms and leaned out her window. Without applause her audience drifted off, seeking crumbs in the gutters of this city of God. Xerox shingles covered the shelter's remaining glass pane, and the largest read: Want to be crucified. Have own nails. Leave message on machine. The fringe of numbers along the ad's hem had been stripped away. My shoes crunched glass underfoot; my skirt clung to my legs as I continued down the street. November dawn's seventy-degree bath made my hair lose its set. Mother above appeared ready to take her own bow; I too, as ever, flew on alone.
Jack Womack (Heathern)
If your deepest feelings are reserved for something other than Almighty God, then that something other is an emotional idol... if you get more excited about material things than the simple yet profound fact that your sin was nailed to the cross by the sinless Son of God, then you're bowing down to Tammuz.
Mark Batterson (All In: You Are One Decision Away From a Totally Different Life)
There is probably something good in every religion, the important thing is how you practice it. And this is when I found out that the most beautiful thing is to be able to live with a religion. Not just by displaying it and going to church and all, but by really being able to live some of these thoughts in your everyday life. This is a good thought. My problem right now is—and I just went to a Catholic service in connection with my daughter's something-or-another—and I got so damn annoyed by the fact that every text was about humility in relation to God. That's annoying, and I keep on being annoyed by it. Granted, the texts were written by people and not by God, but it's still so annoying. I don't see the meaning of you being humble just because you've been created by God and He has created all this. You can be humble toward life and toward other human beings and toward creativity and everything—and you are—but being humble toward the man who has created the whole circus? Of course, but you shouldn't have to prostrate yourself, and you do that in many religions—you crawl in the dust before these gods. Why? I can see why some king down here on earth might enjoy seeing people crawling before him, but if this guy is that great, then he shouldn't care whether I bow down before him or whether I play around with my dick at night—he shouldn't care a bit about anything like that. As long as I don't do anything that will harm his creation, as long as I don't kill, say, too many fish—well, he's OK with fish, they eat them in the Bible. But this thing about throwing yourself on the floor and exclaiming, "You're so great! You're so great!"—that's completely illogical. If you believe in him, then he's the greatest anyhow. You look at a tiny leaf and you'll get humble—everyone will—even some stupid redneck in an ugly car. You really have to be stupid not to be able to appreciate a thing like that—a little leaf is like looking into eternity. It's totally amazing! And you don't have to stand around in church every day proclaiming that you're a little sinner and worth nothing and he is everything. That's annoying. Sorry, I must have made my point by now.
Lars Von Trier
If this was the world as the god-or gods-had made it, then mortal man, this mortal man, could acknowledge that and honour the power and infinite majesty that lay within it, but he would not say it was right, or bow down as if he were only dust or a brittle leaf blown from and autumn tree, helpless in the wind.
Guy Gavriel Kay (Sailing to Sarantium (The Sarantine Mosaic, #1))
That which for Vronsky had been almost a whole year the one absorbing desire of his life, replacing all his old desires; that which for Anna had been an impossible, terrible, and even for that reason more entrancing dream of bliss, that desire had been fulfilled. He stood before her, pale, his lower jaw quivering, and besought her to be calm, not knowing how or why. “Anna! Anna!” he said with a choking voice, “Anna, for pity’s sake!…” But the louder he spoke, the lower she dropped her once proud and gay, now shame-stricken head, and she bowed down and sank from the sofa where she was sitting, down on the floor, at his feet; she would have fallen on the carpet if he had not held her. “My God! Forgive me!” she said, sobbing, pressing his hands to her bosom. She felt so sinful, so guilty, that nothing was left her but to humiliate herself and beg forgiveness; and as now there was no one in her life but him, to him she addressed her prayer for forgiveness. Looking at him, she had a physical sense of her humiliation, and she could say nothing more. He felt what a murderer must feel, when he sees the body he has robbed of life. That body, robbed by him of life, was their love, the first stage of their love. There was something awful and revolting in the memory of what had been bought at this fearful price of shame. Shame at their spiritual nakedness crushed her and infected him. But in spite of all the murderer’s horror before the body of his victim, he must hack it to pieces, hide the body, must use what he has gained by his murder.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
Galen punched his brother hard. "You bastard! You married and din't tell me?" Bathymaas moved to blast him. Aricle stopped her. "I'ts alright my lady. That's his normal reaction." "He needs to find another." Bathymaas "How could you have not told me? I'm your brother! Your twin! When did you marry?" Galen "While you were all gone." Aricles "Have you any idea the shit storm you are about to unleash?" Caleb "It's why I backed down from the fighting. I didn't want anyone hurt. Least of all Bathymaas." Aricles Malphas growled. "Now I want to punch you. . . . But I understand." He rubbed his gold necklace that never left him. "The heart wants what it wants, and nothing will deny it. But damn . . ." He turned his glare to Bathymaas. "Damn." "So what does this mean?" Monokles "The gods will attack her for this. Openly. Those who hate her will say that she can no longer perform her duties because she's been corrupted by the thouch of a mortal. And they will be after Aricles with everything they have." Caleb "I still don't trust him. He bowed out when we needed him the most." Phelix "To protect his wife." Haides reminded Phelix. "Right or wrong, I doubt there's a one of us who wouldn't do whatever he had to to keep his woman safe." Haides "he's right, there's nothing I wouldn't do to protect my wife and her honor." Monokles Galen hugged Bathymaas and then his brother. "I hate you." galen "I hate you too." Aricles Bathymaas scowled. "We don't mean it, my lady. Rather, it's our way of saying that we're still mad, but are willing to forgive." Aricles "Mortals are so strange." Bathymaas
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dark Bites (Dark-Hunter #22.5; Hellchaser, #0.5; Dream-Hunter, #0.5; Were-Hunter, #3.5))
Joseph dreamed the sun and moon were bowing down to worship him. Ten years went by and that came to pass. The saying, 'He sees by God's light,' is not an idle idiom. It means something. There is light that can shatter this earth-and-sky. It cannot be seen with eyes. This vision sees only the next step, what's directly in front.
Rumi (The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems)
The people cast themselves down by the fuming boards while servants cut the roast, mixed jars of wine and water, and all the gods flew past like the night-breaths of spring. The chattering female flocks sat down by farther tables, their fresh prismatic garments gleaming in the moon as though a crowd of haughty peacocks played in moonlight. The queen’s throne softly spread with white furs of fox gaped desolate and bare, for Penelope felt ashamed to come before her guests after so much murder. Though all the guests were ravenous, they still refrained, turning their eyes upon their silent watchful lord till he should spill wine in libation for the Immortals. The king then filled a brimming cup, stood up and raised it high till in the moon the embossed adornments gleamed: Athena, dwarfed and slender, wrought in purest gold, pursued around the cup with double-pointed spear dark lowering herds of angry gods and hairy demons; she smiled and the sad tenderness of her lean face, and her embittered fearless glance, seemed almost human. Star-eyed Odysseus raised Athena’s goblet high and greeted all, but spoke in a beclouded mood: “In all my wandering voyages and torturous strife, the earth, the seas, the winds fought me with frenzied rage; I was in danger often, both through joy and grief, of losing priceless goodness, man’s most worthy face. I raised my arms to the high heavens and cried for help, but on my head gods hurled their lightning bolts, and laughed. I then clasped Mother Earth, but she changed many shapes, and whether as earthquake, beast, or woman, rushed to eat me; then like a child I gave my hopes to the sea in trust, piled on my ship my stubbornness, my cares, my virtues, the poor remaining plunder of god-fighting man, and then set sail; but suddenly a wild storm burst, and when I raised my eyes, the sea was strewn with wreckage. As I swam on, alone between sea and sky, with but my crooked heart for dog and company, I heard my mind, upon the crumpling battlements about my head, yelling with flailing crimson spear. Earth, sea, and sky rushed backward; I remained alone with a horned bow slung down my shoulder, shorn of gods and hopes, a free man standing in the wilderness. Old comrades, O young men, my island’s newest sprouts, I drink not to the gods but to man’s dauntless mind.” All shuddered, for the daring toast seemed sacrilege, and suddenly the hungry people shrank in spirit; They did not fully understand the impious words but saw flames lick like red curls about his savage head. The smell of roast was overpowering, choice meats steamed, and his bold speech was soon forgotten in hunger’s pangs; all fell to eating ravenously till their brains reeled. Under his lowering eyebrows Odysseus watched them sharply: "This is my people, a mess of bellies and stinking breath! These are my own minds, hands, and thighs, my loins and necks!" He muttered in his thorny beard, held back his hunger far from the feast and licked none of the steaming food.
Nikos Kazantzakis (The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel)
Lone rangers, that's what we are. We see the world with our naked eyes, unabashed of the greed and ego. Our mind resides on our tongue and we stand for what's right. A little too much fun, and an exciting package. Raving for life and exploring possibilities is our goal. Travel far and wide and into the wild, we will go for it someday. Care so much that even gods would bow down. Love to the hilt and then let go, coz that's what this life is meant for. One life and we will live up to the hilt and leave no regrets. So, when we land into our graves with a satisfied smile, we big farewell to the meanness of this so-called universe. With every journey there is a new lesson learned, every place traveled, explored; makes us in fall in love with the earth. Care less about our whereabouts; we keep the expedition going because we want to go far beyond the civilized, beyond the living, beyond the world of predictability, beyond u and I & into the wild. Feasting the eyes, rejuvenating the senses, every breath we take is a sigh of relief and we make peace. Choosing the roads less traveled, our wandering souls makes our way towards the unknown destination not only to discover ourselves but to discover the wild, nature and the mother earth.
Pushpa Rana (Just the Way I Feel)
Thus saith thy Lord the Lord, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again: But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over.
Anonymous
They bowed their heads together as Louie prayed. If God would quench their thirst, he vowed, he’d dedicate his life to him. The next day, by divine intervention or the fickle humors of the tropics, the sky broke open and rain poured down. Twice more the water ran out, twice more they prayed, and twice more the rain came. The showers gave them just enough water to last a short while longer. If only a plane would come.
Laura Hillenbrand (Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption)
Oh, I know, I know that heart, it is a wild but noble heart, gentlemen of the jury. It will bow down before your deed, it thirsts for a great act of love, it will catch fire and resurrect forever. There are souls that in their narrowness blame the whole world. But overwhelm such a soul with mercy, give it love, and it will curse what it has done, for there are so many germs of good in it. The soul will expand and behold how merciful God is, and how beautiful and just people are. He will be horrified, he will be overwhelmed with repentance and the countless debt he must henceforth repay. And then he will not say, ‘I am quits,’ but will say, ‘I am guilty before all people and am the least worthy of all people.’ In tears of repentance and burning, suffering tenderness he will exclaim: ‘People are better than I, for they wished not to ruin but to save me!
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
Dismally enough, some of us are insecure in such a way that we cannot bear the thought of the sovereignty of God, the thought of His Being as greater than ourselves; it moves us into feelings of insignificance. Nonetheless, allow me to personally and peacefully maintain that if I were to worship and obey anything, I would like it far greater than myself or any person or human system, preferably to a point where it, in all its majesty, makes me feel lost and even 'creatural' in my basic humanity. Only this God - He who is great beyond human measure, yet still considers His creation precious - I find to be more than worthy of praise; otherwise, I bow down and worship nothing. And if the thought of such a superior and almighty God were to indeed offend me, I would have to remember that it is because I am only as significant as the things which I am idolizing, things which are ultimately separating me, the creation, from my ultimate Creator.
Criss Jami (Healology)
But when fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you. It stays on through October and, in rare years, on into November. Day after day the skies are a clear, hard blue, and the clouds that float across them, always west to east, are calm white ships with gray keels. The wind begins to blow by the day, and it is never still. It hurries you along as you walk the roads, crunching the leaves that have fallen in mad and variegated drifts. The wind makes you ache in some place that is deeper than your bones. It may be that it touches something old in the human soul, a chord of race memory that says Migrate or die – migrate or die. Even in your house, behind square walls, the wind beats against the wood and the glass and sends its fleshless pucker against the eaves and sooner or later you have to put down what you were doing and go out and see. And you can stand on your stoop or in your dooryard at mid-afternoon and watch the cloud shadows rush across Griffen’s pasture and up Schoolyard Hill, light and dark, light and dark, like the shutters of the gods being opened and closed. You can see the goldenrod, that most tenacious and pernicious and beauteous of all New England flora, bowing away from the wind like a great and silent congregation. And if there are no cars or planes, and if no one’s Uncle John is out in the wood lot west of town banging away at a quail or pheasant; if the only sound is the slow beat of your own heart, you can hear another sound, and that is the sound of life winding down to its cyclic close, waiting for the first winter snow to perform last rites.
Stephen King (Salem's Lot)
She locked herself in her room. She needed time to get used to her maimed consciousness, her poor lopped life, before she could walk steadily to the place allotted her. A new searching light had fallen on her husband's character, and she could not judge him leniently: the twenty years in which she had believed in him and venerated him by virtue of his concealments came back with particulars that made them seem an odious deceit. He had married her with that bad past life hidden behind him, and she had no faith left to protest his innocence of the worst that was imputed to him. Her honest ostentatious nature made the sharing of a merited dishonor as bitter as it could be to any mortal. But this imperfectly taught woman, whose phrases and habits were an odd patchwork, had a loyal spirit within her. The man whose prosperity she had shared through nearly half a life, and who had unvaryingly cherished her—now that punishment had befallen him it was not possible to her in any sense to forsake him. There is a forsaking which still sits at the same board and lies on the same couch with the forsaken soul, withering it the more by unloving proximity. She knew, when she locked her door, that she should unlock it ready to go down to her unhappy husband and espouse his sorrow, and say of his guilt, I will mourn and not reproach. But she needed time to gather up her strength; she needed to sob out her farewell to all the gladness and pride of her life. When she had resolved to go down, she prepared herself by some little acts which might seem mere folly to a hard onlooker; they were her way of expressing to all spectators visible or invisible that she had begun a new life in which she embraced humiliation. She took off all her ornaments and put on a plain black gown, and instead of wearing her much-adorned cap and large bows of hair, she brushed her hair down and put on a plain bonnet-cap, which made her look suddenly like an early Methodist. Bulstrode, who knew that his wife had been out and had come in saying that she was not well, had spent the time in an agitation equal to hers. He had looked forward to her learning the truth from others, and had acquiesced in that probability, as something easier to him than any confession. But now that he imagined the moment of her knowledge come, he awaited the result in anguish. His daughters had been obliged to consent to leave him, and though he had allowed some food to be brought to him, he had not touched it. He felt himself perishing slowly in unpitied misery. Perhaps he should never see his wife's face with affection in it again. And if he turned to God there seemed to be no answer but the pressure of retribution. It was eight o'clock in the evening before the door opened and his wife entered. He dared not look up at her. He sat with his eyes bent down, and as she went towards him she thought he looked smaller—he seemed so withered and shrunken. A movement of new compassion and old tenderness went through her like a great wave, and putting one hand on his which rested on the arm of the chair, and the other on his shoulder, she said, solemnly but kindly— "Look up, Nicholas." He raised his eyes with a little start and looked at her half amazed for a moment: her pale face, her changed, mourning dress, the trembling about her mouth, all said, "I know;" and her hands and eyes rested gently on him. He burst out crying and they cried together, she sitting at his side. They could not yet speak to each other of the shame which she was bearing with him, or of the acts which had brought it down on them. His confession was silent, and her promise of faithfulness was silent. Open-minded as she was, she nevertheless shrank from the words which would have expressed their mutual consciousness, as she would have shrunk from flakes of fire. She could not say, "How much is only slander and false suspicion?" and he did not say, "I am innocent.
George Eliot (Middlemarch)
The night draws to an end, the dream dims in the pale silver of awakening. Kruppe ceases, weary beyond reason. Sweat drips down the length of his ratty beard, his latest affectation. A bard sits, head bowed, and in a short time he will say thank you. But for now he must remain silent, and as for the other things he would say, they are between him and Kruppe and none other. Fisher sits, head bowed. While an Elder God weeps. The tale is spun. Spun out. Dance by limb, dance by word. Witness!
Steven Erikson (Toll the Hounds (Malazan Book of the Fallen, #8))
But man seeks to bow before that only which is recognized by the greater majority, if not by all his fellowmen, as having a right to be worshipped; whose rights are so unquestionable that men agree unanimously to bow down to it. For the chief concern of these miserable creatures is not to find and worship the idol of their own choice, but to discover that which all others will believe in, and consent to bow down to in a mass. It is that instinctive need of having a worship in common that is the chief suffering of every man, the chief concern of mankind from the beginning of times. It is for that universality of religious worship that people destroyed each other by sword. Creating gods unto themselves, they forthwith began appealing to each other: “Abandon your deities, come and bow down to ours, or death to ye and your idols!” And so will they do till the end of this world; they will do so even then, when all the gods themselves have disappeared, for then men will prostrate themselves before and worship some idea.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
It is religion which has ordered men to bow down before God, where once man rose up in joyful outreach. It is religion which has burdened man with worries about God’s wrath, where once man sought God to lighten his burden! It is religion which told man to be ashamed of his body and its most natural functions, where once man celebrated those functions as the greatest gifts of life! It is religion which taught you that you must have an intermediary in order to reach God, where once you thought yourself to be reaching God by the simple living of your life in goodness and in truth. And it is religion which commanded humans to adore God, where once humans adored God because it was impossible not to! Everywhere religion has gone it has created disunity—which is the opposite of God. Religion has separated man from God, man from man, man from woman—some religions actually telling man that he is above woman, even as it claims God is above man—thus setting the stage for the greatest travesties ever foisted upon half the human race.
Neale Donald Walsch (The Complete Conversations with God)
Do you know what day it is?” she asked, peering at him. “Don’t you?” “Here in Spindle Cove, we ladies have a schedule. Mondays are country walks. Tuesdays, sea bathing. Wednesdays, you’d find us in the garden.” She touched the back of her hand to his forehead. “What is it we do on Mondays?” “We didn’t get to Thursdays.” “Thursdays are irrelevant. I’m testing your ability to recall information. Do you remember Mondays?” He stifled a laugh. God, her touch felt good. If she kept petting and stroking him like this, he might very well go mad. “Tell me your name,” he said. “I promise to recall it.” A bit forward, perhaps. But any chance for formal introductions had already fallen casualty to the powder charge. Speaking of the powder charge, here came the brilliant mastermind of the sheep siege. Damn his eyes. “Are you well, miss?” Colin asked. “I’m well,” she answered. “I’m afraid I can’t say the same for your friend.” “Bram?” Colin prodded him with a boot. “You look all of a piece.” No thanks to you. “He’s completely addled, the poor soul.” The girl patted his cheek. “Was it the war? How long has he been like this?” “Like this?” Colin smirked down at him. “Oh, all his life.” “All his life?” “He’s my cousin. I should know.” A flush pressed to her cheeks, overwhelming her freckles. “If you’re his cousin, you should take better care of him. What are you thinking, allowing him to wander the countryside, waging war on flocks of sheep?” Ah, that was sweet. The lass cared. She would see him settled in a very comfortable asylum, she would. Perhaps Thursdays would be her day to visit and lay cool cloths to his brow. “I know, I know,” Colin replied gravely. “He’s a certifiable fool. Completely unstable. Sometimes the poor bastard even drools. But the hell of it is, he controls my fortune. Every last penny. I can’t tell him what to do.” “That’ll be enough,” Bram said. Time to put a stop to this nonsense. It was one thing to enjoy a moment’s rest and a woman’s touch, and another to surrender all pride. He gained his feet without too much struggle and helped her to a standing position, too. He managed a slight bow. “Lieutenant Colonel Victor Bramwell. I assure you, I’m in possession of perfect health, a sound mind, and one good-for-nothing cousin.” “I don’t understand,” she said. “Those blasts…” “Just powder charges. We embedded them in the road, to scare off the sheep.” “You laid black powder charges. To move a flock of sheep.” Pulling her hand from his grip, she studied the craters in the road. “Sir, I remain unconvinced of your sanity. But there’s no question you are male.” He raised a brow. “That much was never in doubt.” Her only answer was a faint deepening of her blush. “I assure you, all the lunacy is my cousin’s. Lord Payne was merely teasing, having a bit of sport at my expense.” “I see. And you were having a bit of sport at my expense, pretending to be injured.” “Come, now.” He leaned forward her and murmured, “Are you going to pretend you didn’t enjoy it?” Her eyebrows lifted. And lifted, until they formed perfect twin archer’s bows, ready to dispatch poison-tipped darts. “I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that.
Tessa Dare (A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove, #1))
You're wearing a bow tie," I said necessarily. He glanced over at me. "Mom said I had to dress up for this." I heard a low snort of laughter coming through the open window above the sink. And I knew. I stalked over to the window and looked outside. There, sitting spread out on the grass, were the rest of the Bennetts. Goddamn fucking werewolves. "Hello, Ox," Elizabeth said without a jint of shame. "Lovely day, isn't it?" "I will deal with you late," I said. Ooh," Carter said. "I actually got chills from that." "We're just here for support," Kelly said. "And to laugh at how embarrassing Joe is." "I heard that!" Joe shouted from behind me. I banged my head on the windowsill. "Maggie," Joe said. Then, "May I call you Maggie?" "Sure." My mother sound like she was enjoying this. The traitor. "You can call me Maggie." "Good," Joe glanced down at his card berfore looking back up at my mother. " There comes a time in every werewolf's life when he is of age to make certain decisions about his future." I wondered if I threw something at him if it'd distract him enough for me to drag him out of the kitchen. I glanced over my shoulder out the window. Cater waved at me. Like an asshole. "My future," Joe said, "is Ox." Ah god, that made me ache. “Is that so?” Mom asked. “How do you figure?” “He’s really nice,” Joe said seriously. “And smells good. And he makes me happy. And I want to do nothing more than put my mouth on him.” “Ah well,” Thomas said. "We tried." "He's our little snowflake," Elizabeth told him. "You want to do what?!" I asked Joe incredulously. He winced. "I didn't mean to say it like that.
T.J. Klune (Wolfsong (Green Creek, #1))
To have a goddess like you in his arms and not appreciate it…” He kissed her, unable to resist the lush, succulent mouth so close to his. He put everything he felt into it, so he could wipe out any hurt the Neds of the world had given her. When he broke away, realizing he was treading dangerous ground, she said hoarsely, “You weren’t always so…appreciative. When I said that men enjoyed my company, you said you found that hard to believe.” “What?” he retorted with a scowl. “I never said any such thing.” “Yes, you did, the day that I asked you to investigate my suitors. I remember it clearly.” “There’s no way in hell I ever…” The conversation came back to him suddenly, and he shook his head. “You’re remembering only part, sweeting. You said that men enjoyed your company and considered you easy to talk to. It was the last part I found hard to believe.” “Oh.” She eyed him askance. “Why? You never seem to have trouble talking to me. Or rather, lecturing me.” “It’s either lecture you or stop up your mouth with kisses,” he said dryly. “Talking to you isn’t easy, because every time I’m near you I burn to carry you off to some secluded spot and do any number of wicked things with you.” She blinked, then gazed at him with such softness that at made his chest hurt. “Then why don’t you?” “Because you’re a marquess’s daughter and my employer’s sister.” “What does that signify? You’re an assistant magistrate and a famous Bow Street Runner-“ “And the bastard of nobody knows whom.” “Which merely makes you a fitting companion for a hellion with a reputation for recklessness.” The word companion resonated in his brain. What did she mean by it? Then she pressed a kiss to his jaw, eroding his resistance and his reason, and he knew precisely what she meant. He tried to set her off of him before he lost his mind entirely, but she looped her arms about his neck and wouldn’t let go. “Show me.” “Show you what?” “All the wicked things you want to do with me.” Desire bolted in a fever through his vein. “My God, Celia-“ “I won’t believe a word you’ve said if you don’t.” Her gaze grew troubled. “I don’t think you know what you want. Yesterday you gave me such lovely kisses and caresses and then at the ball you acted like you’d never met me.” “You were with your suitors,” he said hoarsely. “You could have danced with me. You didn’t even ask me for one dance.” Having her on his lap was rousing him to a painful hardness. “Because I knew if I did, I would want…I would need…” She kissed a path down his throat, turning his blood to fire. “Show me,” she whispered, “Show me now what you want. What you need.” “I refuse to ruin you,” he said, half as a caution to himself. “You already have.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
I was on the first one when I felt his fingers encircle my wrist. “Sophie, come on. I don’t want to fight with you.” Turning, I opened my mouth to say I didn’t want to fight with him either. But before I could, I saw the telltale flash out of the corner of my eye, and the next thing I knew, my arm was jerking out of his grasp. “If you don’t want to fight with her, maybe you shouldn’t suggest she team up with people who want to kill her,” my voice snarled. Archer backed up so fast he nearly stumbled, and I wasn’t sure I’d ever seen him look so freaked out. But he recovered quickly. “Elodie, if I wanted to talk to you, I’d do a séance or something. Maybe go on an episode of Ghost Hunters. But right now, I want to talk to Sophie. So clear out.” Elodie had no intention of doing that. “You always were a crappy boyfriend,” she said. “Once you left, I chalked that up to you, you know, not actually liking me. But unless I’m blind as well as dead, you really like Sophie. In fact, hard as it is for me to fathom, I think you love her.” Shut up, shut up, shut up! Screw that, she retorted. You two spend all your time making stupid jokes and being all witty. Someone has to get real. “What’s your point?” Archer asked, narrowing his eyes at me. Her. Whatever. God, this was getting confusing. “Cal loves her, too, you know. And the last time I checked, he wasn’t part of a cult of monster killers. I’m just saying that if you’re going have loyalties that divided, maybe it’s time to bow out gracefully.” You couldn’t say Elodie didn’t know how to make a dramatic exit. The next thing I knew, I was pitching forward into Archer’s arms, my head swimming. Archer clutched my waist and then abruptly shoved me at arm’s length. “Sophie?” he asked, looking intently into my eyes. “Yeah,” I said, my voice shaking. “I’m back.” His fingers loosened, becoming more of a caress than a grip. “So you can’t control when she swoops in like that? She can just take you over…whenever?” I tried to laugh, but it came out more of a cough. “You know Elodie. I don’t think anyone has ever controlled her.” Frowning, Archer pulled his hands back and shoved them in his pockets. “Well, that’s awesome.” I grabbed the railing to steady myself. “Archer…that stuff she said. You know it’s not true.” He shrugged and moved past me onto the steps. “Saying the most hateful things possible is like Elodie’s superpower. Don’t worry about it.” He paused and looked over his shoulder. “We should probably go tell Jenna what we found down here.” Oh, right. We’d just unearthed a whole bunch of demons. That probably trumped over relationship issues. Another few seconds passed. “Come on, Mercer,” Archer said, holding his hand out to me. This time, I took it.
Rachel Hawkins (Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3))
This God-centered way of confessing and forsaking sin is a powerful instrument of change. Fear of consequences changes behavior through external coercion—the inner impulses remain. However, a desire to please and honor the one who saved you and who is worthy of all praise—that changes you from the inside out. The Puritan author Richard Sibbes, in his classic The Bruised Reed, says that repentance is not “a little bowing down our heads . . . but a working our hearts to such a grief as will make sin [itself] more odious unto us than punishment.”330
Timothy J. Keller (Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God)
I know thee as my God and stand apart---I do not know thee as my own and come closer. I know thee as my father and bow before thy feet---I do not grasp thy hand as my friend's. I stand not where thou comest down and ownest thyself as mine, there to clasp thee to my heart and take thee as my comrade. Thou art the Brother amongst my brothers, but I heed them not, I divide not my earnings with them, thus sharing my all with thee. In pleasure and in pain I stand not by the side of men, and thus stand by thee. I shrink to give up my life, and thus do not plunge into the great waters of life.
Rabindranath Tagore (Gitanjali)
He grabbed a handful of God’s silky curls and pulled, making him tilt his head back and show his throat. Day’s senses snapped, turning feral. Day growled with the animalistic urge to leave a large bite mark on his man. Day bowed forward as his cock’s first eruption of a thick, white rope of come hit God’s Adam’s apple, followed by much more painting his lover’s neck and cheek. Day pulled slow, firm strokes up to his head before dragging back down until he was completely emptied. “Mmmhmm. I’m yours, sweetheart,” God said, giving him a sexy grin. “Fucking right you are,” Day said while he kissed and licked God’s face clean.    
A.E. Via (Nothing Special)
If a man like that is killed, there is always another to take his place. That is not the important thing. But to act so that no man dares to strike you because he knows you speak the truth, to act so that you can no longer be arrested because you are asking for the right to live, to act so that all of this will end, both here and elsewhere; that is what should be in your thoughts. That is what you must explain to others, so that you will never again be forced to bow down before anyone, but also so that no one shall be forced to bow down before you. It was to tell you this that I asked you to come, because hatred must not dwell with you.
Ousmane Sembène (God's Bits of Wood)
Padma, My darling. I have told you countless times that all these rites and rituals are meaningless. I will show you what God is. Just Look into the eyes of your mother Padma, and what you see is God. Look into the heart of a noble man, and what you see is God. Look at the lotus feet of your teacher, and what you see is God. God, as we know, is just a manifestation of our innate insecurity and fear of mortality. I do bow down dutifully before all Gods, but I really do not expect much from anyone. As far as I am concerned, I am yet to see any God in this big, wide and cruel world, except in the eyes of my mother and in feet of my teachers.
Biju Vasudevan (Kamayakshipuram)
A Prayer for Humility Lord, we ask that the words of this book fall on the soil of our hearts. Come into our brokenness and our lives with your love that heals all. Consume our pride and replace it with humility and vulnerability. Allow us to make space for your correction and redemption. Allow us to bow down with humble hearts, hearts of repentance. Bind us together in true unity and restoration. May we hear your voice within the words of these pages. Give us collective eyes to see our role in repairing what has been broken. Allow these words to be a conduit for personal transformation that would lead to collective reproduction. —LATASHA MORRISON
LaTasha Morrison (Be the Bridge: Pursuing God's Heart for Racial Reconciliation)
The English Puritans were obsessed with the idea of providence, and that word is more ominous to them than it sounds to us. It means care, but it also means control. It does not just mean that God will provide. It means that God will provide whatever the hell God wants and the Puritans will thank him for it even if He provides them with nothing more than a slow death in a long winter. It means that if they're scared and small and lowly enough He just might toss a half-eaten corncob their way. It means that the world isn't fair and it's their fault. It means that God is the sovereign, the authority. It means manna from heaven, but it also means bow down.
Sarah Vowell (The Wordy Shipmates)
All of the stimuli of awe and wonder, whose capacity is invested in the human mind, have been appropriated by religious faiths across centuries, in masterpieces of literature, the visual arts, music, and architecture. Three thousand years of Yahweh have wrought an aesthetic power in these creative arts second to none. There is nothing in my own experience more moving than the Roman Catholic Lucernarium, when the lumen Christi (light of Christ) is spread by Paschal candlelight into a darkened cathedral; or the choral hymns to the standing faithful and approaching procession during an evangelical Protestant altar call. These benefits require submission to God, or his Son the Redeemer, or both, or to His final chosen spokesman Muhammad. This is too easy. It is necessary only to submit, to bow down, to repeat the sacred oaths. Yet let us ask frankly, to whom is such obeisance really directed? Is it to an entity that may have no meaning within reach of the human mind—or may not even exist? Yes, perhaps it really is to God. But perhaps it is to no more than a tribe united by a creation myth. If the latter, religious faith is better interpreted as an unseen trap unavoidable during the biological history of our species. And if this is correct, surely there exist ways to find spiritual fulfillment without surrender and enslavement. Humankind deserves better.
Edward O. Wilson (The Social Conquest of Earth)
For the sun child and the new god will give birth to a new era and the great creators will fall one by one, reshaping our homes and hearths “A bloody path has been chosen,” he went on, because of course. There apparently was no stopping this. “The Great War fought by the few is coming, and in the end, the sun will fall and the moon will reign until the new sun rises.” My brows rose. Sort of sounded like a normal day to me.I officially had no words. At all. None. Ewan the nymph dropped to one knee. “Goodbye Seth, the God of Life . . .” A shiver blasted down my spine as a bolt of lightning struck off the coast, slamming into the ocean. The nymph bowed its head. “The God of Death.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (The Struggle (Titan, #3))
Wherefore, we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear, for our God is a consuming fire."—We have received a kingdom that cannot be moved—whose nature is immovable: let us have grace to serve the Consuming Fire, our God, with divine fear; not with the fear that cringes and craves, but with the bowing down of all thoughts, all delights, all loves before him who is the life of them all, and will have them all pure. The kingdom he has given us cannot be moved, because it has nothing weak in it: it is of the eternal world, the world of being, of truth. We, therefore, must worship him with a fear pure as the kingdom is unshakeable. He will shake heaven and earth, that only the unshakeable may remain, (verse 27): he is a consuming fire, that only that which cannot be consumed may stand forth eternal. It is the nature of God, so terribly pure that it destroys all that is not pure as fire, which demands like purity in our worship. He will have purity. It is not that the fire will burn us if we do not worship thus; but that the fire will burn us until we worship thus; yea, will go on burning within us after all that is foreign to it has yielded to its force, no longer with pain and consuming, but as the highest consciousness of life, the presence of God. When evil, which alone is consumable, shall have passed away in his fire from the dwellers in the immovable kingdom, the nature of man shall look the nature of God in the face, and his fear shall then be pure; for an eternal, that is a holy fear, must spring from a knowledge of the nature, not from a sense of the power. But that which cannot be consumed must be one within itself, a simple existence; therefore in such a soul the fear towards God will be one with the homeliest love. Yea, the fear of God will cause a man to flee, not from him, but from himself; not from him, but to him, the Father of himself, in terror lest he should do Him wrong or his neighbour wrong. And the first words which follow for the setting forth of that grace whereby we may serve God acceptably are these—" Let brotherly love continue." To love our brother is to worship the Consuming Fire.
George MacDonald (Unspoken Sermons, Series I., II., and III.)
The person who is a lost sinner has a problem with sin. That is, he is under God’s wrath and curse, at alienation with God, an enemy of truth and righteousness. His relationship with God is warfare! And until one bows down to God in humble confession and commits himself in faith to Jesus Christ, he will never be reconciled to God. That’s the essence of sin: rebellion against the living God. The saved sinner, on the other hand, struggles with sins (plural). He now walks with Christ, but by the same faith seeks grace to overcome remaining habits and failures as the Spirit works to conform him to the image of Christ. What does this mean in practice? I do not spend time talking with a non-Christian about his sins. That’s not his problem. His problem is his sin: his broken relationship with God.
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert)
The enemy of my soul didn't want me painting that day. To create meant that I would look a little bit like my Creator. To overcome the terrifying angst of the blank canvas meant I would forever have more compassion for other artists. You better believe as I placed the first blue and gray strokes onto the white emptiness before me, the "not good enough" statement was pulsing through my head in almost deafening tones... This parlaying lie is one of his favorite tactics to keep you disillusioned by disappointments. Walls go up, emotions run high, we get guarded, defensive, demotivated, and paralyzed by the endless ways we feel doomed to fail. This is when we quit. This is when we settle for the ease of facebook.... This is when we get a job to simply make money instead of pursuing our calling to make a difference. This is when we put the paintbrush down and don't even try. So there I was. Standing before my painted blue boat, making a choice of which voice to listen to. I'm convinced God was smiling. Pleased. Asking me to find delight in what is right. Wanting me to have compassion for myself by focusing on that part of my painting that expressed something beautiful. To just be eager to give that beauty to whoever dared to look at my boat. To create to love others. Not to beg them for validation. But the enemy was perverting all that. Perfection mocked my boat. The bow was too high, the details too elementary, the reflection on the water too abrupt, and the back of the boat too off-center. Disappointment demanded I hyper-focused on what didn't look quite right. It was my choice which narrative to hold on to: "Not good enough" or "Find delight in what is right." Each perspective swirled, begging me to declare it as truth. I was struggling to make peace with my painting creation, because I was struggling to make make peace with myself as God's creation. Anytime we feel not good enough we deny the powerful truth that we are a glorious work of God in progress. We are imperfect because we are unfinished. So, as unfinished creations, of course everything we attempt will have imperfections. Everything we accomplish will have imperfections. And that's when it hit me: I expect a perfection in me and in others that not even God Himself expects. If God is patient with the process, why can't I be? How many times have I let imperfections cause me to be too hard on myself and too harsh with others? I force myself to send a picture of my boat to at least 20 friends. I was determined to not not be held back by the enemy's accusations that my artwork wasn't good enough to be considered "real art". This wasn't for validation but rather confirmation that I could see the imperfections in my painting but not deem it worthless. I could see the imperfections in me and not deem myself worthless. It was an act of self-compassion. I now knew to stand before each painting with nothing but love, amazement, and delight. I refused to demand anything more from the artist. I just wanted to show up for every single piece she was so brave to put on display.. Might I just be courageous enough to stand before her work and require myself to find everything about it I love? Release my clenched fist and pouty disappointments, and trade my "live up" mentality for a "show up" one? It is so much more freeing to simply show up and be a finder of the good. Break from the secret disappointments. Let my brain venture down the tiny little opening of love.. And I realized what makes paintings so delightful. It's there imperfections. That's what makes it art. It's been touched by a human. It's been created by someone whose hands sweat and who can't possibly transfer divine perfection from what her eyes see to what her fingertips can create. It will be flawed.
Lysa TerKeurst (It's Not Supposed to Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered)
Saint Sebastian Mauretanian Archer, put down your bow, Imperial Guardsman, lay down your lance. For my heart, my faithful heart, Has been already pierced by His glory, Pierced by a thousand arrows, That quiver at His glance. Centaur-archer, Chiron, Refulgent rider of the southern horizon, I know the eternal pain you would have suffered By your pupil's poisoned arrow Had not Zeus released you from immortality's cage. For my heart, my heart of shame, Still courses with the hydra's same venom, Pierced by His mercy, pierced by a thousand arrows, That quiver at His name. God, my God, My love for You, can endure armies or archers, a plague of bows thrusting plumed daggers at my heart. Please, women of Milan, do not kiss my splintered feet! I, Sebastian, am more sinner than saint. I need not your veneration, your votive prayers, For my heart, my martyred heart, Has been already pierced by His redemption, Pierced by a thousand arrows, My quiver full, filled with His love.
Beryl Dov
I know he’s had his problems in the past… “He can’t keep his hands off a liquor bottle at the best of times, and he still hasn’t accepted the loss of his wife!” “I sent him to a therapist over in Baltimore,” she continued. “He’s narrowed his habit down to a six-pack of beer on Saturdays.” “What does he get for a reward?” he asked insolently. She sighed irritably. “Nobody suits you! You don’t even like poor old lonely Senator Holden.” “Like him? Holden?” he asked, aghast. “Good God, he’s the one man in Congress I’d like to burn at the stake! I’d furnish the wood and the matches!” “You and Leta,” she said, shaking her head. “Now, listen carefully. The Lakota didn’t burn people at the stake,” she said firmly. She went on to explain who did, and how, and why. He searched her enthusiastic eyes. “You really do love Native American history, don’t you?” She nodded. “The way your ancestors lived for thousands of years was so logical. They honored the man in the tribe who was the poorest, because he gave away more than the others did. They shared everything. They gave gifts, even to the point of bankrupting themselves. They never hit a little child to discipline it. They accepted even the most blatant differences in people without condemning them.” She glanced at Tate and found him watching her. She smiled self-consciously. “I like your way better.” “Most whites never come close to understanding us, no matter how hard they try.” “I had you and Leta to teach me,” she said simply. “They were wonderful lessons that I learned, here on the reservation. I feel…at peace here. At home. I belong, even though I shouldn’t.” He nodded. “You belong,” he said, and there was a note in his deep voice that she hadn’t heard before. Unexpectedly he caught her small chin and turned her face up to his. He searched her eyes until she felt as if her heart might explode from the excitement of the way he was looking at her. His thumb whispered up to the soft bow of her mouth with its light covering of pale pink lipstick. He caressed the lower lip away from her teeth and scowled as if the feel of it made some sort of confusion in him. He looked straight into her eyes. The moment was almost intimate, and she couldn’t break it. Her lips parted and his thumb pressed against them, hard. “Now, isn’t that interesting?” he said to himself in a low, deep whisper. “Wh…what?” she stammered. His eyes were on her bare throat, where her pulse was hammering wildly. His hand moved down, and he pressed his thumb to the visible throb of the artery there. He could feel himself going taut at the unexpected reaction. It was Oklahoma all over again, when he’d promised himself he wouldn’t ever touch her again. Impulses, he told himself firmly, were stupid and sometimes dangerous. And Cecily was off limits. Period. He pulled his hand back and stood up, grateful that the loose fit of his buckskins hid his physical reaction to her. “Mother’s won a prize,” he said. His voice sounded oddly strained. He forced a nonchalant smile and turned to Cecily. She was visibly shaken. He shouldn’t have looked at her. Her reactions kindled new fires in him.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
A government has the duty to preserve the order as well as the truth which it represents; when a Gnostic leader appears and proclaims that God or progress, race or dialectic, has ordained him to become the existential ruler, a government is not supposed to betray its trust and to abdicate. And this rule suffers no exception for governments which operate under a democratic constitution and a bill of rights. Justice Jackson in his dissent in the Terminiello case formulated the point: the Bill of Rights is not a suicide pact. A democratic government is not supposed to become an accomplice in its own overthrow by letting Gnostic movements grow prodigiously in the shelter of a muddy interpretation of civil rights; and if through inadvertence such a movement has grown to the danger point of capturing existential representation by the famous “legality” of popular elections, a democratic government is not supposed to bow to the “will of the people” but to put down the danger by force and, if necessary, to break the letter of the constitution in order to save its spirit.
Eric Voegelin (The New Science of Politics: An Introduction)
Once when I was a tree, African sun woke me up green at dawn. African wind combed the branches of my hair. African rain washed my limbs. Once when I was a tree, flesh came and worshipped my roots. Flesh came to preserve my voice. Flesh came honoring my limbs. Now flesh comes with metal teeth, with chomping sticks and fire launchers. And flesh cuts me down and enslaves my limbs to make forts, ships, pews for other gods. Now flesh laughs at my charred and beaten frame, discarding me in the mud, burning me up in the flames. Flesh has grown pale and lazy. Flesh has sinned against the fathers. Now flesh listens no more to the voice of spirits talking through my limbs. If flesh would listen, I would warn him that the spirits are displeased and are planning what to do with him. But flesh thinks I am dead, charred and gone. Flesh thinks that by fire he can kill, thinks that with metal teeth, I will die. Thinks that all the voices linked from root to limb are silenced. Flesh does not know that he does not give me life, nor can he take it away. That Is What the spirits are singing now. It is time that flesh bow down on his knee again.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Black Panther #3)
APRIL 24 I WILL ABOLISH THE IDOLS IN AMERICA AND THE NATIONS IF MY PEOPLE who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. I will hasten the day when I alone shall be exalted in your land, and everything proud and lofty shall be brought low. The loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and I alone will be exalted in that day. I will utterly abolish any false idols, that the glory of My majesty may be seen. My anger will be kindled against the idols that speak delusion and the diviners who envision lies and tell false dreams. I will bring shame upon all idolatry and will strengthen My faithful servants. 2 CHRONICLES 7:14; ISAIAH 2:11–18; ZECHARIAH 10:5–6 Prayer Declaration Lord, cause our nation to humble itself and to pray and seek Your face and to turn from their wicked ways. Forgive our sins and heal our land. Sprinkle this land with clean water, and cleanse us from all filthiness and idols. Let all false gods and idols be removed from the land in the name of Jesus. Let America renounce her uncleanness and enter back into a covenant with You that she will put no other gods before You, O Lord.
John Eckhardt (Daily Declarations for Spiritual Warfare: Biblical Principles to Defeat the Devil)
APRIL 25 DO NOT ALLOW ANYTHING TO TAKE MY PLACE IN YOUR HEART I AM THE Lord your God, the One who has brought you out of slavery to sin and set you free to serve Me. Do not worship any god except Me. Do not make idols that look like anything in the sky or on earth or in the ocean under the earth. Don’t bow down and worship idols. I am the Lord your God, and I demand all your love. If you reject Me, I will punish your families for three or four generations. But if you love Me and obey My laws, I will be kind to your families for thousands of generations. Seek Me, and you will find Me if you seek Me with all your heart and with all your soul. I will never forsake you or forget the covenant I made with your fathers. You shall love Me with all your heart and with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. DEUTERONOMY 5:4–6; MATTHEW 12:30 Prayer Declaration Lord, You are fearsome; You are the one true God, and I will worship and obey You in the ways that You demand. I will trust completely in You with all my heart and will not lean upon my own understanding. I will acknowledge You in all my ways and allow You to direct me on the paths that I take. Then I will walk safely in all my ways, and my foot will not stumble.
John Eckhardt (Daily Declarations for Spiritual Warfare: Biblical Principles to Defeat the Devil)
And how about the "Daily Odes to the Benefactor"? Who can read them without bowing his head reverently before the selfless labors of this Number of Numbers? Or the terrible, blood-red beauty of the "Flowers of Judicial Verdicts" ? Or the immortal tragedy "He Who Was Late to Work"? Or the bedside book of "Stanzas on Sexual Hygiene"? The whole of life, in all its complexity and beauty, has been etched forever into the gold of words. Our poets no longer soar into the Empyrean; they have come down to earth; they go along in step with us to the stern mechanical March of the Musical Factory. Their lyre consists of the morning hum of electrical toothbrushes and the ominous crackle of the sparks in the Machine of the Benefactor; the majestic echo of the OneState Anthem and the intimate tinkle of the gleaming crystal chamberpot at night; the exciting clatter of lowering blinds , the merry voices of the latest cookbook, and the barely audible whisper of street membranes Our gods are here, below, with us—in the office, the kitchen, the workshop, the toilet; the gods have become like us. Ergo, we have become like gods. And we're headed your way, my unknown planetary readers , we're coming to make your life as divinely rational and precise as ours.
Yevgeny Zamyatin (We)
I challenge you to invite the Word of God into your life experience. To begin this process right now, let’s arrest this moment with prayer. Dear heavenly Father, I thank you that I am all that you say about me. Forgive me for reducing your image and for the times I bowed down to idols of my own making. I refuse to worship limited images set up by human hands. Holy Spirit, reveal any area in my life where these idols yet have sway. You are love, and therefore not only am I loved, but I can also love others as you do. You are my source of life and the very reason I draw breath. You are able to finish what you begin in my life, and you have made me capable of all that you have set before me. In Christ I am your daughter, and because my heavenly Father is almighty, I have all the might I need by your Spirit. You are my ultimate healer; I will no longer look to the world to heal the very wounds it inflicted. Because you are the source of all wisdom, I will lean into your counsel. Forgive me for the times I allowed your expression in my life to be limited to the crusts and crumbs of others. I want to know you intimately and profoundly. I believe that you are more than I have ever imagined, and I invite you to lead me into a life of unrivaled wonder. Because of who you are, I am who you say I am. Regardless of what I feel in this moment, I am fearfully and wonderfully made. In the name of Jesus, amen.
Lisa Bevere (Without Rival: Embrace Your Identity and Purpose in an Age of Confusion and Comparison)
Some of the middlemen who claim to be closer to God than all the rest of humanity realise that they can outwit their followers by making them believe that the more you serve them, the more you are pleasing God. Needless to say, many folks throughout history bought this codswallop. For those followers, having an authority figure like a middleman, teacher, cleric, or guru becomes their only way to add spiritual significance into their lives and to feel whole. As a result, they throw away that responsibility by counting on another entity outside of themselves. Depending on such hand-holding renders them mentally, emotionally, even spiritually immature — losing their freedom and critical thinking in the process while never achieving wholeness. On the other hand, propelled by the exhausted rules, dogmas, and hierarchy they embody, when “the false prophets in sheep's clothing” notice the submission of such followers they often begin taking advantage of it. Now bow down and kiss my feet to reach Nirvana! Wash them first. But as Allan Watts seamlessly put it: “Anybody who tells you that he has some way of leading you to spiritual enlightenment is like somebody who picks your pocket and sells you your own watch. Of course if you didn’t know you had a watch, that might be the only way of getting you to realise.” This all echoes with even more striking words by Bob Dylan: You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. Simply Know Thyself; the rest shall follow.
Omar Cherif
Xie Lian whipped his head over, and a biting chill flashed before his face. He straightened and stated solemnly: “You ask who I am? LISTEN WELL! ——I, AM THE EMINENT HIGHNESS THE CROWN PRINCE! You riotous radicals, BOW DOWN BEFORE ME!” His voice boomed like thunder in clear skies. There were actually a few who almost dropped to their knees, and didn’t snap out of it until their companions pulled them up. “What are you doing? Are you actually kneeling?” “Th-that’s weird, I did it before I realized it…” Xie Lian proclaimed sharply: “I, AM OVER EIGHT HUNDRED. OLDER THAN ALL OF YOU COMBINED. I’VE CROSSED MORE BRIDGES THAN ALL THE ROADS YOU’VE WALKED. “I, POSSESS SHRINES AND TEMPLES ACROSS THIS LAND; MY DEVOTEES AND WORSHIPPERS ARE SPREAD TO ALL FOUR SEAS. IF YOU DON’T KNOW MY NAME, IT’S BECAUSE YOU ARE IGNORANT AND UNLEARNED OF THE WORLD! “I, DO NOT WORSHIP GODS. “I, AM GOD!” When the mob heard this speech, that was so shameless yet spoken with an incomparably impressive air, they were all stunned, and dropped their jaws. “…HUH???” Xie Lian made up all that nonsense because he was waiting for this very moment. He flung that plate in his hand, and all those little white meatballs shot out through the air like iron pellets, scattering in all directions. Without any misses, they were hurled right into the open mouths of all those people in shock. Then he wiped away his sweat. “Will everyone please forget everything I just said? I’m actually only just a scrap collector!
Mò Xiāng Tóngxiù, 天官赐福 [Tiān Guān Cì Fú]
It doesn’t seem like Christmas. I cannot say just why. I see the gifts and mistletoe and snowflakes falling from the sky. It doesn’t feel like Christmas. Though snow is on the ground. I watch old Rudolph, Frosty too. I serve hot cocoa all around. But still it doesn’t feel like Christmastime. There’s something missing, something more sublime. My heart tells me this holiday was meant to make me feel something deeper, something warm and real. It doesn’t sound like Christmas. The air is filled with noise. I hear a thousand loud requests yet see unhappy girls and boys. It doesn’t feel like Christmas. Though Santa’s on his way. So why this dullness in my heart as if it’s just another day? It really doesn’t feel like Christmastime. There’s something missing, something more sublime. My heart tells me this holiday was meant to make me feel something deeper, something warm and real. I close my eyes, I bow my head, and drop down to my knees. I talk to God and bear my soul. At length, my spirit warms with peace. It feels much more like Christmas. My heart o’er flows with love. I look at you through caring eyes, the way God sees from up above. It surely is like Christmas. Good will pervades my soul. For Christ was born in Bethlehem to ransom all; my joy is full. It’s starting now to feel like Christmastime. My heart is new, my outlook more sublime. I’ll love the world as God loves me and practice charity. Help and comfort, share with those in need, and it will feel like Christmastime indeed.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Being Bold: Quotes, Poetry, & Motivations for Every Day of the Year)
PRAYING IN JESUS’ NAME Deep down, we just don’t believe God is as generous as he keeps saying he is. That’s why Jesus added the fine print—“ask in my name.” Let me explain what that means. Imagine that your prayer is a poorly dressed beggar reeking of alcohol and body odor, stumbling toward the palace of the great king. You have become your prayer. As you shuffle toward the barred gate, the guards stiffen. Your smell has preceded you. You stammer out a message for the great king: “I want to see the king.” Your words are barely intelligible, but you whisper one final word, “Jesus. I come in the name of Jesus.” At the name of Jesus, as if by magic, the palace comes alive. The guards snap to attention, bowing low in front of you. Lights come on, and the door flies open. You are ushered into the palace and down a long hallway into the throne room of the great king, who comes running to you and wraps you in his arms. The name of Jesus gives my prayers royal access. They get through. Jesus isn’t just the Savior of my soul. He’s also the Savior of my prayers. My prayers come before the throne of God as the prayers of Jesus. “Asking in Jesus’ name” isn’t another thing I have to get right so my prayers are perfect. It is one more gift of God because my prayers are so imperfect. Jesus’ seal not only guarantees that my package gets through, but it also transforms the package. Paul says in Romans 8:26, “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
Paul E. Miller (A Praying Life)
But if her idiot suitors were staying at Halstead Hall with her, then by thunder, he'd be here, too. They wouldn't take advantage of her on his watch. "We're agreed that you won't do any of that foolish nonsense you mentioned, like spying on them, right?" "Of course not. That's what I have you for." Her private lackey to jump at her commands. He was already regretting this. "Surely the gentlemen will accept the invitation," she went on, blithely ignoring his disgruntlement. "It's hunting season, and the estate has some excellent coveys." "I wouldn't know." She cast him an easy smile. "Because you generally hunt men, not grouse. And apparently you do it very well." A compliment? From her "No need to flatter me, my lady," he said dryly. "I've already agreed to your scheme." Her smile vanished. "Really, Mr. Pinter, sometimes you can be so..." "Honest?" he prodded. "Irritating." She tipped up her chin. "It will be easier to work together if you're not always so prickly." He felt more than prickly, and for the most foolish reasons imaginable. Because he didn't like her trawling for suitors. Or using him to do it. And because he hated her "lady of the manor" role. It reminded him too forcibly of the difference in their stations. "I am who I am, madam," he bit out, as much a reminder for himself as for her. "You knew what you were purchasing when you set out to do this." She frowned. "Must you make it sound so sordid?" He stepped as close as he dared. "You want me to gather information you can use in playing a false role to catch s husband. I am not the one making it sordid." "Tell me, sir, will I have to endure your moralizing at every turn?" she said in a voice dripping with sugar. "Because I'd happily pay extra to have you keep your opinions to yourself." "There isn't enough money in all the world for that." Her eyes blazed up at him. Good. He much preferred her in a temper. At least then she was herself, not putting on some show. She seemed to catch herself, pasting an utterly false smile to her lips. "I see. Well then, can you manage to be civil for the house party? It does me no good to bring suitors here if you'll be skulking about, making them uncomfortable." He tamped down the urge to provoke her further. If he did she'd strike off on her own, and that would be disastrous. "I shall try to keep my 'skulking' to a minimum." "Thank you." She thrust out her hand. "Shall we shake on it?" The minute his fingers closed about hers, he wished he'd refused. Because having her soft hand in his roused everything he'd been trying to suppress during this interview. He couldn't seem to let go. For such a small-boned female, she had a surprisingly firm grip. Her hand was like her-fragility and strength all wrapped in beauty. He had a mad impulse to lift it to his lips and press a kiss to her creamy skin. But he was no Lancelot to her Guinevere. Only in legend did lowly knights dare to court queens. Releasing her hand before he could do something stupid, he sketched a bow. "Good day, my lady. I'll begin my investigation at once and report to you as soon as I learn something." He left her standing there, a goddess surrounded by the aging glories of an aristocrat's mansion. God save him-this had to be the worst mission he'd ever undertaken, one he was sure to regret.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
Sophie thinks you were offering her a less than honorable proposition before we came to collect her, and modified your proposal only when her station became apparent.” Windham took a casual sip of his drink while Vim’s brain fumbled for a coherent thought. “She thinks what ?” “She thinks you offered to set her up as your mistress and changed your tune, so to speak, when it became apparent you were both titled. I know she is in error in this regard.” Vim cocked his head. “How could you know such a thing?” “Because if you propositioned my sister with such an arrangement, it’s your skull I’d be using that splitting ax on.” “If Sophie thinks this, then she is mistaken.” Windham remained silent, reinforcing Vim’s sense the man was shrewd in the extreme. “You will please disabuse her of her error.” Windham shook his head slowly, right to left, left to right. “It isn’t my error, and it isn’t Sophie’s error. She’s nothing if not bright, and you were probably nothing if not cautious in offering your suit. The situation calls for derring-do, old sport. Bended knee, flowers, tremolo in the strings, that sort of thing.” He gestured as if stroking a bow over a violin, a lyrical, dramatic rendering that ought to have looked foolish but was instead casually beautiful. “Tremolo in the strings?” “To match the trembling of her heart. A fellow learns to listen for these things.” Windham set his mug down with a thump and speared Vim with a look. “I’m off to do battle with the treble register. Wish me luck, because failure on my part will be apparent every Sunday between now and Judgment Day.” “Windham, for God’s sake, you don’t just accuse a man of such a miscalculation and then saunter off to twist piano wires.” Much less make references to failure being eternally apparent. “Rather thought I was twisting your heart strings. Must be losing my touch.” Vim
Grace Burrowes (Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish (The Duke's Daughters, #1; Windham, #4))
CUCHULAIN’S FIGHT WITH THE SEA A MAN came slowly from the setting sun, To Emer, raddling raiment in her dun, And said, ‘I am that swineherd whom you bid Go watch the road between the wood and tide, But now I have no need to watch it more.’ Then Emer cast the web upon the floor, And raising arms all raddled with the dye, Parted her lips with a loud sudden cry. That swineherd stared upon her face and said, ‘No man alive, no man among the dead, Has won the gold his cars of battle bring.’ ‘But if your master comes home triumphing Why must you blench and shake from foot to crown?’ Thereon he shook the more and cast him down Upon the web-heaped floor, and cried his word: ‘With him is one sweet-throated like a bird.’ ‘You dare me to my face,’ and thereupon She smote with raddled fist, and where her son Herded the cattle came with stumbling feet, And cried with angry voice, ’It is not meet To idle life away, a common herd.’ ‘I have long waited, mother, for that word: But wherefore now?’ ‘There is a man to die; You have the heaviest arm under the sky.’ ‘Whether under its daylight or its stars My father stands amid his battle-cars.’ ‘But you have grown to be the taller man.’ ‘Yet somewhere under starlight or the sun My father stands.’ ‘Aged, worn out with wars On foot, on horseback or in battle-cars.’ ‘I only ask what way my journey lies, For He who made you bitter made you wise.’ ‘The Red Branch camp in a great company Between wood’s rim and the horses of the sea. Go there, and light a camp-fire at wood’s rim; But tell your name and lineage to him Whose blade compels, and wait till they have found Some feasting man that the same oath has bound.’ Among those feasting men Cuchulain dwelt, And his young sweetheart close beside him knelt, Stared on the mournful wonder of his eyes, Even as Spring upon the ancient skies, And pondered on the glory of his days; And all around the harp-string told his praise, And Conchubar, the Red Branch king of kings, With his own fingers touched the brazen strings. At last Cuchulain spake, ‘Some man has made His evening fire amid the leafy shade. I have often heard him singing to and fro, I have often heard the sweet sound of his bow. Seek out what man he is.’ One went and came. ‘He bade me let all know he gives his name At the sword-point, and waits till we have found Some feasting man that the same oath has bound.’ Cuchulain cried, ‘I am the only man Of all this host so bound from childhood on. After short fighting in the leafy shade, He spake to the young man, ’Is there no maid Who loves you, no white arms to wrap you round, Or do you long for the dim sleepy ground, That you have come and dared me to my face?’ ‘The dooms of men are in God’s hidden place,’ ‘Your head a while seemed like a woman’s head That I loved once.’ Again the fighting sped, But now the war-rage in Cuchulain woke, And through that new blade’s guard the old blade broke, And pierced him. ‘Speak before your breath is done.’ ‘Cuchulain I, mighty Cuchulain’s son.’ ‘I put you from your pain. I can no more.’ While day its burden on to evening bore, With head bowed on his knees Cuchulain stayed; Then Conchubar sent that sweet-throated maid, And she, to win him, his grey hair caressed; In vain her arms, in vain her soft white breast. Then Conchubar, the subtlest of all men, Ranking his Druids round him ten by ten, Spake thus: ‘Cuchulain will dwell there and brood For three days more in dreadful quietude, And then arise, and raving slay us all. Chaunt in his ear delusions magical, That he may fight the horses of the sea.’ The Druids took them to their mystery, And chaunted for three days. Cuchulain stirred, Stared on the horses of the sea, and heard The cars of battle and his own name cried; And fought with the invulnerable tide.
W.B. Yeats
DAY FIVE: ESTHER 1:20-22 At the end of the week, remember that God is still present — but beyond His presence, He is active and working in your life! Trust Him with the details of your day today!   FRIEND TO FRIEND... In Daniel chapter 3, we have a wonderful history about three determined young men and an equally determined king. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were Jews in Babylon, serving under the heathen King Nebuchadnezzar. One day, Nebuchanezzar commissions a statue to be built and worshiped by the inhabitants of the city. He gives an order that everyone is to bow down and worship this statue at the sound of an orchestra, threatening death by fire for those who do not bow. The account of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego does not suggest that there was any conflict in these young men’s minds. In obeying Nebuchadnezzar, they would be disobeying their true King. They would be breaking one of the Ten Commandments: ““You shall not make for yourself a carved image...you shall not bow down to them nor serve them” (Exodus 20:4,5). This was unimaginable. They would refuse to bow, and in doing so, they would trust the Lord in whatever consequences would follow their obedience to His commandments. When Nebuchadnezzar is informed of their refusal to bow, he has the young men brought to him. The king reminds them of his order, and the consequence of not obeying the order: they will be burned alive in a fiery furnace. Even finding themselves faced with dire consequences, these three young men remain determined to serve God and fulfill His purposes. They are prepared with an answer for him: “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king” (Daniel 3:17). Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego acknowledge that they are not bowing as Nebuchadnezzar wants them to, but they do not try to defend themselves. There was no need to get into an argument when their minds were already made up. My favorite part of this response, however, comes next: “But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up” (Daniel 3:18). In other words, “Even if our God decides NOT to rescue us, we still will not serve your idol.” That’s determination! Truly, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had made their minds up long before Nebuchanzzar even had his idol commissioned. The true reason they were able to face such a threat with such tenacity was that they had long ago decided to follow the Lord with their whole heart. The decision of this day was not whether to begin serving the Lord and refusing to bow; these young people already knew what they stood for, and they remained steadfast in their faithfulness to the Lord. Whether the Lord came to their rescue on this day was of little matter to them. They intended to serve the Lord. In order for you to fulfill the call that God has placed on your life, you will have to find yourself DETERMINED and TENACIOUS in following that call. On terrific days, you must be faithful. On terrible days, you must be faithful. When you display this kind of determination, you can be confident that God will show up every day. In Daniel 3:19-25, the history continues. At the close of this conversation with Nebuchadnezzar, things did not seem to go in Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego’s favor. As the king had threatened, these three were in fact thrown in the fire. What Nebuchadnezzar did not yet realize was that they would not go into the fire alone. Who was there in the midst of them? Three were thrown into the fire, but when Nebuchadnezzar looked into the furnace, he told his guards, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God” (Daniel 3:25). The Son of God was in the furnace with them! Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were confident
Jennifer Spivey (Esther: Reflections From An Unexpected Life)
Tell me what to do," she said, the words blowing against him. Whatever sanity Ross had left promptly burned to cinders. He gasped out instructions, his hands trembling as he clasped her head. "Use your tongue on the tip... yes... now take as much as you can in your... oh, God..." Sophia's fervor more than made up for her lack of experience. She did things that Eleanor would never have tried, tugging at his aching flesh, her velvety tongue swirling and lapping. Ross sank to his knees and pulled at her clothes, tearing them, and she gave a breathless laugh at his roughness. His mouth caught greedily at hers, while she wriggled to help him strip the shredded gown down her legs. A primal sound of satisfaction escaped him when Sophia's naked body was finally revealed. He lifted her to the bed, pausing only to remove his trousers before he joined her. Eagerly she slid between his legs and took his sex into her mouth once more, resisting his efforts to bring her face up to his. Groaning repeatedly, he surrendered to her ministrations, his fingers tangling in the locks of her hair. However, he was not satisfied for long- he wanted more, he craved the taste of her. Impatiently he seized her hips, maneuvering her until she was positioned at his mouth. He buried his face amid the intimate curls, his hands gripping her thighs as she jerked with surprise. He searched her with his tongue, licking deeply into the seam of moist folds. Avidly he hunted for the tiny engorged peak where her pleasure was concentrated. Finding it, he nibbled, stroked, darted his tongue at it, as he felt her stiffen in approaching climax. He backed off, gentling, while she moaned pleadingly around his cock. Twice more he brought her to the edge, making her suffer, tormenting until she responded with desperate tugs of her mouth. Each time Sophia drew on him, Ross sank his tongue deep inside her, matching his rhythm to hers, until she shuddered hard as her pleasure finally reached its zenith. She cried out against his groin, her mouth still clamped around him. His own culmination approached rapidly, and he moved his hands to her head. But she resisted his attempts to dislodge her, and the silly strokes of her tongue became too much to bear. The climax broke over him, and he arched and gasped as he was consumed in an explosion of pure white fire.
Lisa Kleypas (Lady Sophia's Lover (Bow Street Runners, #2))
PERCY JACKSON!" Poseidon announced. My name echoed around the chamber. All talking died down. The room was silent except for the crackle of the hearth fire. Everyone's eyes were on me—all the gods, the demigods, the Cyclopes, the spirits. I walked into the middle of the throne room. Hestia smiled at me reassuringly. She was in the form of a girl now, and she seemed happy and content to be sitting by her fire again. Her smile gave me courage to keep walking. First I bowed to Zeus. Then I knelt at my father's feet. "Rise, my son," Poseidon said. I stood uneasily. "A great hero must be rewarded," Poseidon said. "Is there anyone here who would deny that my son is deserving?" I waited for someone to pipe up. The gods never agreed on anything, and many of them still didn't like me, but not a single one protested. "The Council agrees," Zeus said. "Percy Jackson, you will have one gift from the gods." I hesitated. "Any gift?" Zeus nodded grimly. "I know what you will ask. The greatest gift of all. Yes, if you want it, it shall be yours. The gods have not bestowed this gift on a mortal hero in many centuries, but, Perseus Jackson—if you wish it—you shall be made a god. Immortal. Undying. You shall serve as your father's lieutenant for all time." I stared at him, stunned. "Um . . . a god?" Zeus rolled his eyes. "A dimwitted god, apparently. But yes. With the consensus of the entire Council, I can make you immortal. Then I will have to put up with you forever." "Hmm," Ares mused. "That means I can smash him to a pulp as often as I want, and he'll just keep coming back for more. I like this idea." "I approve as well," Athena said, though she was looking at Annabeth. I glanced back. Annabeth was trying not to meet my eyes. Her face was pale. I flashed back to two years ago, when I'd thought she was going to take the pledge to Artemis and become a Hunter. I'd been on the edge of a panic attack, thinking that I'd lose her. Now, she looked pretty much the same way. I thought about the Three Fates, and the way I'd seen my life flash by. I could avoid all that. No aging, no death, no body in the grave. I could be a teenager forever, in top condition, powerful, and immortal, serving my father. I could have power and eternal life. Who could refuse that? Then I looked at Annabeth again. I thought about my friends from camp: Charles Beckendorf, Michael Yew, Silena Beauregard, so many others who were now dead. I thought about Ethan Nakamura and Luke. And I knew what to do. "No," I said. The Council was silent. The gods frowned at each other like they must have misheard. "No?" Zeus said. "You are . . . turning down our generous gift?" There was a dangerous edge to his voice, like a thunderstorm about to erupt. "I'm honored and everything," I said. "Don't get me wrong. It's just . . . I've got a lot of life left to live. I'd hate to peak in my sophomore year." The gods were glaring at me, but Annabeth had her hands over her mouth. Her eyes were shining. And that kind of made up for it.
Rick Riordan (The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #4))
Unconditional Love - Love Without Condition I love you as you are, as you seek to find your own special way to relate to the world. I honour your choices to learn in the way you feel is right for you. I know it is important that you are the person you want to be and not someone that I or others think you "should" be. I realise that I cannot know what is best for you, although perhaps sometimes I think I do. I have not been where you have been, viewing life from the angle you have. I do not know what you have chosen to learn, how you have chosen to learn it, with whom or in what time period. I have not walked life looking through your eyes, so how can I know what you need. I allow you to be in the world without a thought or word of judgement from me about the deeds you undertake. I see no error in the things you say and do. In this place where I am, I see that there are many ways to perceive and experience the different facets of our world. I allow without reservation the choices you make in each moment. I make no judgement of this, for if I would deny your right to your evolution, then I would deny that right for myself and all others. To those who would choose a way I cannot walk, whilst I may not choose to add my power and my energy to this way, I will never deny you the gift of love that God has bestowed within me, for all creation. As I love you, so I shall be loved. As I sow, so shall I reap. I allow you the Universal right of Free Will to walk your own path, creating steps or to sit awhile if that is what is right for you. I will make no judgement that these steps are large or small, nor light or heavy or that they lead up or down, for this is just my viewpoint. I may see you do nothing and judge it to be unworthy and yet it may be that you bring great healing as you stand blessed by the Light of God. I cannot always see the higher picture of Divine Order. For it is the inalienable right of all life to choose their own evolution and with great Love I acknowledge your right to determine your future. In humility I bow to the realisation that the way I see as best for me does not have to mean it is also right for you. I know that you are led as I am, following the inner excitement to know your own path. I know that the many races, religions, customs, nationalities and beliefs within our world bring us great richness and allow us the benefit and teachings of such diverseness. I know we each learn in our own unique way in order to bring that Love and Wisdom back to the whole. I know that if there were only one way to do something, there would need only be one person. I will not only love you if you behave in a way I think you should, or believe in those things I believe in. I understand you are truly my brother and my sister, though you may have been born in a different place and believe in another God than I. The love I feel is for all of God's world. I know that every living thing is a part of God and I feel a Love deep within for every person, animal, tree and flower, every bird, river and ocean and for all the creatures in all the world. I live my life in loving service, being the best me I can, becoming wiser in the perfection of Divine Truth, becoming happier in the joy of ... Unconditional Love
Sandy Stevenson
If you’d convinced Nancy to marry you, you might not have had to go off to be a Bow Street runner. You could have had an easier life, a better life in high society than you could have had with me if you’d married me. Without being able to access my fortune, I could only have dragged you down.” “You don’t really believe that I wanted to marry her for her money,” he gritted out. “It’s either that or assume that you fell madly in love with her in the few weeks we were apart.” They were nearly to the inn now, so she added a plaintive note to her voice. “Or perhaps it was her you wanted all along. You knew my uncle would never accept a second son as a husband for his rich heiress of a daughter, so you courted me to get close to her. Nancy was always so beautiful, so--” “Enough!” Without warning, he dragged her into one of the many alleyways that crisscrossed York. This one was deeply shadowed, the houses leaning into each other overhead, and as he pulled her around to face him, the brilliance of his eyes shone starkly in the dim light. “I never cared one whit about Nancy.” She tamped down her triumph--he hadn’t admitted the whole truth yet. “It certainly didn’t look that way to me. It looked like you had already forgotten me, forgotten what we meant to each--” “The hell I had.” He shoved his face close to hers. “I never forgot you for one day, one hour, one moment. It was you--always you. Everything I did was for you, damn it. No one else.” The passionate profession threw her off course. Dom had never been the sort to say such sweet things. But the fervent look in his eyes roused memories of how he used to look at her. And his hands gripping her arms, his body angling in closer, were so painfully familiar... “I don’t…believe you,” she lied, her blood running wild through her veins. His gleaming gaze impaled her. “Then believe this.” And suddenly his mouth was on hers. This was not what she’d set out to get from him. But oh, the joy of it. The heat of it. His mouth covered hers, seeking, coaxing. Without breaking the kiss, he pushed her back against the wall, and she grabbed for his shoulders, his surprisingly broad and muscular shoulders. As he sent her plummeting into unfamiliar territory, she held on for dear life. Time rewound to when they were in her uncle’s garden, sneaking a moment alone. But this time there was no hesitation, no fear of being caught. Glorying in that, she slid her hands about his neck to bring him closer. He groaned, and his kiss turned intimate. He used lips and tongue, delving inside her mouth in a tender exploration that stunned her. Enchanted her. Confused her. Something both sweet and alien pooled in her belly, a kind of yearning she’d never felt with Edwin. With any man but Dom. As if he sensed it, he pulled back to look at her, his eyes searching hers, full of surprise. “My God, Jane,” he said hoarsely, turning her name into a prayer. Or a curse? She had no time to figure out which before he clasped her head to hold her for another darkly ravishing kiss. Only this one was greedier, needier. His mouth consumed hers with all the boldness of Viking raiders of yore. His tongue drove repeatedly inside in a rhythm that made her feel all trembly and hot, and his thumbs caressed her throat, rousing the pulse there. Thank heaven there was a wall to hold her up, or she was quite sure she would dissolve into a puddle at his feet. Because after all these years apart, he was riding roughshod over her life again. And she was letting him. How could she not? His scent of leather and bergamot engulfed her, made her dizzy with the pleasure of it. He roused urges she’d never known she had, sparked fires in places she’d thought were frozen. Then his hands swept down her possessively as if to memorize her body…or mark it as belonging to him. Belonging to him.
Sabrina Jeffries (If the Viscount Falls (The Duke's Men, #4))
The iGods started pure—Google wasn’t sure they wanted advertising. Going public with their stock resulted in the need for quarterly returns. It forced Google and Facebook to bow down to the even greater gods of commerce. The question of access remains. Who will control the flow of information? Will a few get rich at the expense of others? Techno-enthusiasts at the annual TED conference envision a gift economy where the sharing of ideas leads to profound breakthroughs in science and education. Others fear the controlling power of information technology. What happens when the information we share freely is aggregated aggressively, when too much information lands in the hands of the wrong company or country?
Craig Detweiler (iGods: How Technology Shapes Our Spiritual and Social Lives)
The hot humid day had followed the sun westward, leaving a cool midnight breeze. The sky, God’s special gift to the sailor, was free of city lights and urban pollution. Placed on display, all of creation was set on the night’s canopy of blue-black velvet adorned with the glistening diamond dust of billions of lesser stars and the sparkling one-point diamonds of the major stars. A deep golden harvest moon hung low on the eastern horizon. Its glow cut a pewter path from moon to ship across shifting liquid swells rolling forward to meet the Farnley’s bow. The bow, rocking gently, rose, then floated gently down to embrace the next swell.
Larry Laswell (The Marathon Watch (Marathon #1))
10You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11It is written: “ ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’ ”† 12So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. 13Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.
Various (New Women's Devotional Bible)
9“Then those who dwell in the cities of Israel will go out and  p make fires of the weapons and burn them, shields and bucklers, bow and arrows,  q clubs [2] and spears; and they will make fires of them for seven years, 10so that they will not need to take wood out of the field or cut down any out of the forests, for  p they will make their fires of the weapons.  r They will seize the spoil of those who despoiled them, and plunder those who plundered them, declares the Lord GOD.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version)
The Evolution of Gods utilizes modern science to explain why, when and how religions and gods became the desirable explanations of inexplicable events. What kind of human sufferings necessitated people to bow down before unseen powers called gods? How did mysteries of nature give birth to divine powers? Who invented morals, methods of worship and the ancient scriptures? In order to answer these and other related questions, I have compiled a brief history of human religious activities from several reference books, and these are listed in the bibliography.
Ajay Kansal (The Evolution of Gods)
taking place in the spiritual realm trying to prevent the success of our planning. It is my spirit detecting what is happening in the invisible world and, as a result, I bow down on my knees and seek the Lord for an answer or directive. Sometimes we know the results of an interview before it
Ana Méndez Ferrell (Iniquity - The major hindrance to see God's glory manifested in your life.)
What are you to do?" she cried, jumping up, and her eyes that had been full of tears suddenly began to shine. "Stand up!" (She seized him by the shoulder, he got up, looking at her almost bewildered.) "Go at once, this very minute, stand at the cross-roads, bow down, first kiss the earth which you have defiled and then bow down to all the world and say to all men aloud, 'I am a murderer!' Then God will send you life again. Will you go, will you go?" she asked him, trembling all over, snatching his two hands, squeezing them tight in hers and gazing at him with eyes full of fire.
Anonymous
We may not be able to throw away our difficult memories, but we can reframe them against the backdrop of God’s attributes. We can also call on His ability to change the course of our future, no matter the pattern of our past. He breaks the strongholds of our negative meditations when we reframe our old memories with God in the picture. Anytime we agree to see God accurately in any portrait, all else is dwarfed by and bows down in His presence. The difficulty soon becomes little more than a measuring stick by which we estimate the size of a huge God.
Beth Moore (Believing God Day by Day: Growing Your Faith All Year Long)
Since ancient times, people have bowed down to idols in the appearance of humility and contrition. But their goal wasn’t to be mastered by the idol. People worship to get things. We choose idols in part because we believe that they will give us what we want. The god of drugs brings fearlessness; the god of sex promises pleasure and intimacy; the god of wealth holds out power and influence. We can feel miserable about ourselves because we want to be great, at least at something, and we are not feeling very great. Like the prophets of Baal, we are arrogant enough to believe that we can manipulate the idol—whether by cutting or some other form of works righteousness—so it will relent and give us what we want.
Edward T. Welch (Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness)
I will rape their women, take their children as slaves, and bring their broken gods back to Vaes Dothrak to bow down beneath the Mother of Mountains.
Anonymous
not your trust in princes,          r in a son of man, in whom there is  s no salvation. 4    When  t his breath departs, he returns to the earth;         on that very day his plans perish.     5  u Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,         whose  v hope is in the LORD his God, 6     w who made heaven and earth,         the sea, and all that is in them,      x who keeps faith forever; 7         y who executes justice for the oppressed,          z who gives food to the hungry.      a The LORD sets the prisoners free; 8         b the LORD opens the eyes of the blind.      c The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;          d the LORD loves the righteous. 9     e The LORD watches over the sojourners;          f he upholds the widow and the fatherless,         but  g the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version)
GoD-the first step in learning is bowing down to GoD; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.
Eugene H. Peterson (The Message Proverbs)
These sins of ours, before and after conversion, would consign us to the place of inextinguishable fire if it were not for God’s sovereign mercy, which snatched us like sticks from the fire. My soul, bow down under a sense of your natural sinfulness, and worship your God. Admire the grace that saves you—the mercy that spares you—the love that pardons you!
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening: A New Edition of the Classic Devotional Based on The Holy Bible, English Standard Version)
The fool is the one who serves and bows down to the creation, as if it were a god. The fool is the one who trusts in his own strength to control what only God Almighty can control.
D.I. Telbat (Steadfast 6: America's Last Days (The Steadfast Series 6))
Then, crouching low beneath the son of Aeson, he nocked the arrow midway up the string, and, parting bow and string with both hands, shot Medea. Sudden muteness gripped her spirit. The god, then, fluttered from the high-roofed hall, cackling, and the arrow burned like fire deep, deep down beneath the maiden’s heart. She fired scintillating glances over and over at the son of Aeson. Anguish quickened her heart and panted in her breast, she could think of him, him only, nothing but him, as sweet affliction drained her soul. [...] so all-consuming Eros curled around Medea’s heart and blazed there secretly.
Appolonius
[...] He deftly strung his little bow and from the quiver chose a virgin arrow laden with future groans. His speedy feet whisked him across the threshold, he himself unnoticed as he keenly scanned the scene. Then, crouching low beneath the son of Aeson, he nocked the arrow midway up the string, and, parting bow and string with both hands, shot Medea. Sudden muteness gripped her spirit. The god, then, fluttered from the high-roofed hall, cackling, and the arrow burned like fire deep, deep down beneath the maiden’s heart. She fired scintillating glances over and over at the son of Aeson. Anguish quickened her heart and panted in her breast, and she could think of him, him only, nothing but him, as sweet affliction drained her soul. [...] so all-consuming Eros curled around Medea’s heart and blazed there secretly.
Appolonius
[...] He deftly strung his little bow and from the quiver chose a virgin arrow laden with future groans. His speedy feet whisked him across the threshold, he himself unnoticed as he keenly scanned the scene. Then, crouching low beneath the son of Aeson, he nocked the arrow midway up the string, and, parting bow and string with both hands, shot Medea. Sudden muteness gripped her spirit. The god, then, fluttered from the high-roofed hall, cackling, and the arrow burned like fire deep, deep down beneath the maiden’s heart. She fired scintillating glances over and over at the son of Aeson. Anguish quickened her heart and panted in her breast, and she could think of him, him only, nothing but him, as sweet affliction drained her soul. [...] so all-consuming Eros curled around Medea’s heart and blazed there secretly.
Appolonius
I looked down at his thick, black hair, shining in the sunset light, his strong shoulders bowing low. This is what all those gods in our halls longed for, such worship. I thought perhaps he had not done it right, or more likely, I had not. All I wanted was to see his face again.
Madeline Miller (Circe)
Who can know what he's doing when he doesn't even know why he does it? Bless the bright Cromagnon for inventing the bow and damn him for inventing missile warfare. Bless the stubby little Sumerians for miracles in gold and lapis lazuli and damn them for burying a dead queen's hand-maidens living in her tomb. Bless Shih Hwang-Ti for building the Great Wall between northern barbarism and southern culture, and damn him for burning every book in China. Bless King Minos for the ease of Cnossian flush toilets and damn him for his yearly tribute of Greek sacrificial victims. Bless Pharaoh for peace and damn him for slavery. Bless the Greeks for restricting population so the well-fed few could kindle a watch-tower in the west, and damn the prostitution and sodomy and wars of colonization by which they did it. Bless the Romans for their strength to smash down every wall that hemmed their building genius, and damn them for their weakness that never broke the bloody grip of Etruscan savagery on their minds. Bless the Jews who discovered the fatherhood of God and damn them who limited it to the survivors of a surgical operation. Bless the Christians who abolished the surgical preliminaries and damn them who substituted a thousand cerebral quibbles. Bless Justinian for the Code of Law and damn him for his countless treacheries that were the prototype of the wretched Byzantine millenium. Bless the churchmen for teaching and preaching, and damn, them for drawing a line beyond which they could only teach and preach in peril of the stake.
C.M. Kornbluth (The Syndic and Other Science Fiction Adventures by C.M. Kornbluth (Halcyon Classics))
72 1 For Solomon. God, grant Your judgments to the king and Your righteousness to the king’s son. 2 May he judge Your people righteously and Your lowly ones in justice. 3 May the mountains bear peace to the people, and the hills righteousness. 4 May he bring justice to the lowly of the people, may he rescue the sons of the needy and crush the oppressor. May they fear you as long as the sun 5 and as long as the moon, generations untold. May he come down like rain on new-mown grass, 6 like showers that moisten the earth. May the just man flourish in his days—7 and abundant peace till the moon is no more. And may he hold sway from sea to sea, 8 from the River to the ends of the earth. Before him may the desert-folk kneel, 9 and his enemies lick the dust. May kings of Tarshish and the islands 10 bring tribute, may kings of Sheba and Siba offer vassal-gifts. And may all kings bow to him, 11 all nations serve him. For he saves the needy man pleading, 12 and the lowly who has none to help him. 13 He pities the poor and the needy, and the lives of the needy he rescues, 14 from scheming and outrage redeems them, and their blood is dear in his sight. 15 Long may he live, and the gold of Sheba be given him. May he be prayed for always, all day long be blessed. 16 May there be abundance of grain in the land, on the mountaintops. May his fruit rustle like Lebanon, and may they sprout from the town like grass of the land. May his name be forever. 17 As long as the sun may his name bear seed. And may all nations be blessed through him, call him happy. Blessed is the LORD God, Israel’s God, performing wonders alone. 18 And blessed is His glory forever, and may His glory fill all the earth. 19 Amen and amen. The prayers of David son of Jesse are ended. 20
Robert Alter (The Book of Psalms: A Translation with Commentary)
then knelt down too and bowed her head, feeling deep within––what was it called?––the peace of God which passes all understanding.
Alice K. Boatwright (Under an English Heaven: An Ellie Kent Mystery (Ellie Kent Mystery, #1))
The angel invited the children to pray with him and taught them a prayer they had never known before. First he knelt down and bowed until his forehead touched the ground. Interestingly, this is the posture of prayer that Muslims generally use. It is certainly one that expresses great reverence to God. The children were so moved that they knelt with their foreheads to the ground as well. A caution is needed here. Not everyone who reads this book is ready to pray in the same manner as the angel, namely, with one’s forehead touching the ground.
Andrew Apostoli (Fatima For Today)
She had one arm crossed over her face, like a slash on a sign that meant “No Touching.” So I looked instead. Over the pillow her hair was spread out. Her lips were parted. Something glinted inside her ear, grains of sand from the beach maybe. Beyond, the atomizers glowed on the dresser. The ceiling was up above somewhere. I could feel the spiders working in the corners. The sheets were cool. The fat duvet rolled up at our feet was leaking feathers. I’d grown up around the smell of new carpeting, of polyester shirts hot from the dryer. Here the Egyptian sheets smelled like hedges, the pillows like water fowl. Thirteen inches away, the Object was part of all this. Her colors seemed to agree with the American landscape, her pumpkin hair, her apple cider skin. She made a sound and went still again. Gently, I pulled the covers off her. In the dimness her outline appeared, the rise of her breasts beneath the T-shirt, the soft hill of her belly, and then the brightness of her underpants, converging in their V shape. She didn’t stir at all. Her chest rose and fell with her breath. Slowly, trying not to make a sound, I moved closer to her. Tiny muscles in my flank, muscles I hadn’t known I possessed, suddenly made themselves available. They propelled me millimeter by millimeter across the sheets. The old bedsprings gave me trouble. As I tried nonchalantly to advance, they called out ribald encouragement. They cheered, they sang. I kept stopping and starting. It was hard work. I breathed through my mouth, quieter that way. Over the course of ten minutes I slid nearer and nearer to her. Finally I felt the heat of her body along my entire length. We were still not touching, only radiating against each other. She was breathing deeply. So was I. We breathed together. Finally, gathering courage, I flung my arm across her waist. Then nothing more for a long while. Having achieved this much, I was scared to go further. So I remained frozen, half hugging her. My arm grew stiff. It began to throb and finally went numb. The Object might have been drugged or comatose. Still, I sensed an alertness in her skin, in her muscles. After another long while I plunged ahead. I took hold of her T-shirt and lifted it up. I gazed at her naked belly for a long while and, finally, with a kind of woefulness, bowed my head. I bowed my head to the god of desperate longing. I kissed the Object’s belly and then slowly, gathering confidence, worked my way up. Do you remember my frog heart? In Clementine Stark’s bedroom it had kicked off from a muddy bank, moving between two elements. Now it did something even more amazing—it crept up onto land. Squeezing millennia into thirty seconds, it developed consciousness. While kissing the Object’s belly, I wasn’t just reacting to pleasurable stimuli, as I had been with Clementine. I didn’t vacate my body, as I had with Jerome. Now I was aware of what was happening. I was thinking about it. I reached down and touched her hips. I hooked my fingers in the waistband of her underpants. I began to slip them off. Just then, the Object lifted her hips, very slightly, to make it easier for me. This was her only contribution. I was thinking that this was what I’d always wanted. I was realizing that I wasn’t the only faker around. I was wondering what would happen if someone discovered what we were doing. I was thinking that it was all very complicated and would only get more so. I reached down and touched her hips. I hooked my fingers in the waistband of her underpants. I began to slip them off. Just then, the Object lifted her hips, very slightly, to make it easier for me. This was her only contribution.
Jeffrey Eugenides (Middlesex)
Current idols are more subtle than ancient ones because today’s false gods are often outside the field of religion. People, possessions, status, and self-aggrandizement are some of the most popular deities today. Beware of bowing down before these things. False gods never satisfy; instead, they stir up lust for more and more.
Sarah Young (Jesus Calling Morning and Evening Devotional)
That which is of great value cannot be attained through aggression. You will be able to find the mystery of life only if you enter through the door of surrender. If you bow down, if you pray, you will be able to reach the center of love. Courting God is almost as good as courting a woman. One needs to approach Him with a heart full of love, gratitude and humility. And there is no hurry! Any haste on your part, and you miss. A great deal of patience is required. Your haste... and His heart will be closed. Even rushing things is an act of aggression.
Osho (Bliss: Living beyond happiness and misery)
They may be despised, but God has made them like warriors, like David, who would go down into the pit in the depth of winter, and take the lion by the throat and kill him. We have people like that in our churches--I admit, only a few--who are not afraid to serve their God; who like Abdiel in John Milton’s Paradise Lost can be described as “faithful amongst the faithless found.” We have some who rise above the accepted way of the times, who refuse to bow to the god of money, who will not use the guarded language of too many modern ministers, but stand out for God’s gospel, who unfurl the banner of Christ, spotless and unstained by the doctrines of men. That is when they are mighty! They are mighty because God has put strength in them.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Peace and Purpose in Trial and Suffering)
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:4-6 A gentleman who had read One Heartbeat Away emailed me one day. He said he was a WWII veteran. He made the fatal error of putting his phone number in his email, so I called him! We had the neatest chat. He was a machine gunner at the Battle of the Bulge! I told my mom that I had history on the telephone. So I picked his brain for a while. He said he had seen a copy of One Heartbeat Away lying on a table at a VA hospital and perused it a bit. He also told me he loves to read, so he figured that if it was left on the table, then he could take it! When he emailed me, he had already read the book once and was half way through it for the second time. He said, “I have three hundred years of Catholicism in my family. After reading this book, I am now trusting Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ alone, for my salvation.” All I could say was, “Wow!” Then he said, “My mind is sharp as a tack. I love to read. You got any more books?” Well, we sent him everything I had at that time. In his next email, he let me know that he had read One Heartbeat Away three times through, front to back, and he was telling everyone he could about Jesus! If you live in Ohio, there is an 89-year-old evangelist roaming around, so you better watch out! This veteran made the decision to break the cycle of Catholicism in his family. No more rituals. No more good works to get to Heaven. No more, I hope I get there. No more infallibility. He is trusting in the blood of Christ, and nothing else, for the washing away of his sins. He now wants everyone else to have that same blessing as well!
Mark Cahill (Ten Questions from the King)
When you do devotional viewing (darshan) of God, do it with (pure) intent. When you make the effort to go and do darshan, but you do not do it with the proper intent, then it is in vain. Therefore, do darshan in this way, 'Dear God! The one residing within me is verily You. You are vitaraag (one free from all attachment and abhorrence). I am bowing down to you.' If you do darshan in this way, then God has no choice but to answer the 'phone-call'. If He does not answer, then that is His responsibility. Hence, when a real 'phone-call' comes in, then God will answer it immediately.
Dada Bhagwan (Aptavani-4)
When one prays to an image of Lord Krishna, it reaches the 'relative'. If one bows down here (at the lotus feet of the Gnani Purush), then it reaches one's own Self (Atma) directly. This is because the vitaraag One (One free from all attachment and abhorrence) does not accept it, does He? It is always such that, wherever there is darshan of both the 'relative' and the 'real', there indeed lies liberation (moksha).
Dada Bhagwan (Spirituality In Speech)
You have stolen my heart.” “No,” she whispered rawly. “Don’t say that, don’t even think it. Can’t you understand? I’ll never love you back, Hunter.” Her pulse started to slam. “I’m terrified of--” He crossed her lips with a gentle finger, his eyes clouding with warmth. “Of lying with me? I am not blind, Blue Eyes. Your heart is laid upon the ground with memories. That will pass. You will come to me. You will want my hand upon you. It will be so. The Great Ones have spoken it.” She wrenched her face aside. “I’ll lie with you because I promised and because I vowed to before God and a priest. But I’ll never want to, never.” A sob caught in her throat. “Oh, God, what am I doing here? I don’t want to hurt you, Hunter, truly I don’t.” He lay down beside her and pulled her back into the crook of his arm, pressing her fair head to his shoulder. “Ka taikay. Sh-hh, Blue Eyes. Do not weep. It will be well.” “How can it be? I’m trapped here. I can never leave. I’ve made promises I’m not sure I can keep. I’m frightened, Hunter, of you and your people--even of myself. How can all be well?” “It will be well. My people will accept. You are one with them now, the wife of a warrior. In time, you will want to be beside me. Your fear will leave. You will see. Until then, this Comanche will wait, eh?” “Wait?” she whispered. “You mean you won’t--” She broke off and looked up at him. “You won’t--force me?” Hunter’s throat tightened. “I make no promise for you. I wait now, yes? We will see where our moccasins fall.” To soothe her, he began telling her stories about his childhood, about his first bow, leaving out the part about shooting his father, about his first fight, about his first hunting trip. He had come to the tale of his vision quest when he felt her slender body relax against him and heard her breathing change. His voice trailed off. He stared upward into the darkness, filled with a yearning that couldn’t be slaked. It would be a very long while before he followed his blue-eyes into the black depths of slumber. A very long while.
Catherine Anderson (Comanche Moon (Comanche, #1))
You wanted greater things But love forces all of us down And sorrow bows us still harder. They bend us back where we began. Are there not in the hallowed night Also right things? Things that are straight and true? So I learned. For never, as mortal teachers do, Have you, my deities, Upholders of all things Led me with caution On level pathways. The gods say to humans, "Taste everything And learn by that nourishment To give thanks for all things And know what it is to be free to quit And go where you like.
Friedrich Hölderlin (Selected Poetry)
If this was the world as the god-or gods-had made it, then mortal man, this mortal man, could acknowledge that and honour the power and infinite majesty that lay within it, but he would not say it was right, or bow down as if he were only dust or a brittle leaf blown from an autumn tree, helpless in the wind. He might be, all men and women might be as helpless as that leaf, but he would not admit it, and he would do something here on the dome that said-or aspired to say-these things, and more. He had journeyed here to do this. Had done his sailing and was still sailing, perhaps, and would put into mosaics of the Sanctuary as much of the living journey and what lay within it and behind is as his craft and desire could encompass.
Guy Gavriel Kay (Sailing to Sarantium (The Sarantine Mosaic, #1))
Christian writers applauded such destruction – and egged their rulers on to greater acts of violence. One gleefully observed that the Christian emperors now ‘spit in the faces of dead idols, trample on the lawless rites of demons, and laugh at the old lies’. An infamous early text instructed emperors to wash away this ‘filth’ and ‘take away, yes, calmly take away . . . the adornments of the temples. Let the fire of the mint or the blaze of the smelters melt them down.’ This was nothing to be ashamed of. The first Commandment could not have been clearer. ‘Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image,’ it said. ‘Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them,’ it continued, ‘nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.' The Greek and Roman temples, no matter how ancient or beautiful, were the homes of false gods and they had to be destroyed. This was not vandalism: it was God’s will. The good Christian had a duty to do nothing less.
Catherine Nixey (The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World)
For you are not a God who delights in wickedness;         evil may not dwell with you.     5 The boastful shall not stand before your eyes;         you hate all evildoers.     6 You destroy those who speak lies;         the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.     7 But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love,         will enter your house.     I will bow down toward your holy temple         in the fear of you.
Anonymous (ESV Daily Reading Bible)
God is here, within these walls; before me, behind me, on my right hand, on my left hand. He who fills immensity has come down to me here. I am now about to bow at His feet, and speak to Him. . . . I may pour forth my desires before Him, and not one syllable from my lips shall escape his ear. I may speak to him as I would to the dearest friend I have on earth.
Timothy J. Keller (Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God)
Before they sat down to the feast spread out before them, Melchizedek ordered one of his guards to bring forward several items; a set of cuneiform tablets, a compound bow, and a strange looking sword handle sticking out of a small leather pouch. He handed them to Abram. “Blessed be Abram by El Elyon, God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth,” he said. “And blessed be El Elyon who has delivered your enemies into your hand. I give these heirlooms to you.” “What are they?” asked Abram.
Brian Godawa (Abraham Allegiant (Chronicles of the Nephilim Book 4))
Samuel looked at his torn hem, then back to Saul. “Yahweh has torn your kingdom from you and has given it to another.” Saul broke down weeping in pathetic tears. “I am sorry. Please restore me before the elders!” Samuel knelt down by Saul. “You have not obeyed the voice of Yahweh. He will not change his mind. But I will do what you should have done.” He grabbed Saul’s sword from his scabbard and walked over to Agag. Agag became uneasy. His mouth dried up. He angled for mercy. “Surely, glorious Seer, the bitterness of death is passed. I will gladly bow before this Yahweh and serve him as subject.” Samuel said, “Your sword has made women childless. So your mother shall be childless forever.” He raised the sword and brought it down upon Agag’s collar bone. It cut deep, severing his shoulder. Agag screamed in pain as blood spurted everywhere. Agag managed to get out one last sentence, “Damn your god and king, Seer!” “No,” replied Samuel with a hushed tone. “Damn your gods and seed.” And he swung again. The blade severed the giant’s head from his body. It fell to the floor and rolled near the feet of Saul who gasped in horror at the ghastly eyes staring into his soul. Samuel hacked and hacked at Agag’s body until it was cut to pieces and he was drenched in the blood of the dead giant.
Brian Godawa (David Ascendant (Chronicles of the Nephilim, #7))
God bestowed upon these antediluvians many and rich gifts; but they used his bounties to glorify themselves, and turned them into a curse by fixing their affections upon the gifts instead of the Giver. They employed the gold and silver, the precious stones and the choice wood, in the construction of habitations for themselves, and endeavored to excel one another in beautifying their dwellings with the most skillful workmanship. They [91] sought only to gratify the desires of their own proud hearts, and reveled in scenes of pleasure and wickedness. Not desiring to retain God in their knowledge, they soon came to deny his existence. They adored nature in place of the God of nature. They glorified human genius, worshiped the works of their own hands, and taught their children to bow down to graven images.
Ellen G. White (Patriarchs And Prophets)
Adara felt her jaw go slack as she turned back to look more closely at the approaching knight. That was her husband? Mercy, the man needed to discard his monk’s robes more often. She didn’t fully believe it until he reined his horse before her and his blue eyes seared her with heat. She’d known her husband was a handsome man, but this… This was unbelievable. He buried his banner into the ground beside his horse. His gaze never wavering from hers, he slung one long, well-muscled leg over his steed before he slid to the ground. She didn’t move as he approached her. She couldn’t. The sight of him had her completely riveted to this spot on the ground. Adara wasn’t sure what he had planned, but when he dropped to his knee before her, she was dumbfounded. He struck himself on his left shoulder with his fist as a salute to her, then bowed his head. “My sword is ever at your disposal, my lady.” Laughter rang out from the men around her. “As is mine,” someone called out. Christian ignored them as he looked up at her like something out of her dreams. The moment seemed surreal. Truly, it was a fantasy come to life. “What has possessed you, Christian?” she asked. “Your beauty. It has…” He paused as if searching for the words. “Your great beauty has possessed my soul and…” More laughter and taunts rang out. Her husband’s eyes flashed angrily, but still he stayed there. “I would be your champion, Adara, and—” “Simpering milksop,” one of the knights finished for him. Christian dropped his head and shook it. “This is not who or what I am,” he muttered before he looked up at her again. “I’m sorry, Adara.” “For what?” His answer came as he rose to his feet. With a determined stride, he went to the men who had been tormenting him. He struck the first man he reached so hard that he was knocked to the ground. “Milksop with an iron fist,” he snarled. “And you’d best remember that.” The knights attacked. Even wounded, Christian fought them off, then drew his sword to keep them back. “Cease!” Ioan’s Welsh accent cut through them all. He pushed his way through his men to see Christian in his finery. Ioan looked at him, blinked, then burst out laughing. “Abbot? Since when do you dress like a woman?” His expression hard, Christian tossed his sword into the air, where it twirled around. He caught the hilt upside down in his fist and in one smooth motion sheathed it. Christian paused beside Ioan and glared at him. “Be glad I carried you out of the Holy Land on my back. That fact, and that alone, is all that precludes me from hurting you. For both our sakes, don’t try my patience and make me kill you after such a sacrifice.” Ioan’s eyes twinkled in merriment. He leaned forward and sniffed. “My God, you even smell like one. What happened to you?” Christian let out a tired breath and headed for the tent they had pitched for him. Phantom tsked in her ear as soon as Christian was out of his hearing range. “Only a woman can make a man sacrifice his dignity on the altar of humility. Tell me, Adara, did Christian just sacrifice his for naught?” Nay, he didn’t.
Kinley MacGregor (Return of the Warrior (Brotherhood of the Sword #6))
This chapter continues the comparison of Jehovah with the false gods and idols worshiped by so many people in Isaiah’s day. The point is that there is no comparison! Verse 1 introduces us to two prominent false gods in Isaiah’s day. Bel and Nebo were chief gods in Babylon. Ancient cultures such as Babylon believed that each “god” had a territory, and when a city or country was defeated in battle by enemies, it meant that their gods (such as Bel and Nebo) had been defeated by the enemy’s gods. Chapter 46 ties in with chapters 13 and 14 concerning Babylon’s downfall, and with chapters 40–45 concerning Jehovah’s power as compared to the lack of power of idols. 1 Bel boweth down [German: has been defeated], Nebo stoopeth, their idols were upon the beasts, and upon the cattle [the idols are powerless; they can’t move by themselves and have to be transported upon beasts of burden]: your carriages were heavy loaden; they [the idols] are a burden to the weary beast [the message, by implication, is that Bel and Nebo are burdens to those who “created” them, in contrast to the true God of Israel, who lightens the burdens of those He created, who worship Him]. 2 They [Bel and Nebo] stoop, they bow down together [German: they are both defeated]; they could not deliver [German: remove] the burden[they couldn’t do the job],but themselves are gone into captivity [they have failed their worshippers and couldn’t even save themselves]. 3 Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne by me [note that I the Lord carry you, help you, am not a burden] from the belly [ from the womb, or from the beginning], which are carried from the womb [I have carried you from the beginning, contrasted to idol worshipers who have to transport their “gods”]: 4 And even to your old age [throughout your entire life] I am he [the true God]; and even to hoar[gray]hairs will I carry you: I have made [German: I want to do it], and I will [German: desire to] bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you [I want to help, support and bless you throughout your entire life; I want to be your Redeemer!]. 5 To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like [who among your false gods can compare to Me]? [Same question as in 40:18, 25.]
David J. Ridges (Your Study of Isaiah Made Easier in the Bible and the Book of Mormon)
How remarkable,” Amelia said casually. “There’s still something left of you.” Plucking a handkerchief from her sleeve, she strode forward and tenderly wiped sweat and a smear of blood from his cheeks. Noticing his unfocused gaze, she said, “I’m the one in the middle, dear.” “Ah. There you are.” Leo’s head bobbed up and down like a string puppet’s. He glanced at Merripen, who was providing far more support than Leo’s own legs were. “My sister,” he said. “Terrifying girl.” “Before Merripen puts you in the carriage,” Amelia said, “are you going to cast up your accounts, Leo?” “Certainly not,” came the unhesitating reply. “Hathaways always hold their liquor.” Amelia stroked aside the dirty brown locks that dangled like strands of yarn over his eyes. “It would be nice if you would try to hold a bit less of it in the future, dear.” “Ah, but sis…” As Leo looked down at her, she saw a flash of his old self, a spark in the vacant eyes, and then it was gone. “I have such a powerful thirst.” Amelia felt the smart of tears at the corners of her eyes, tasted salt at the back of her throat. Swallowing it back, she said in a steady voice, “For the next few days, Leo, your thirst will be slaked exclusively by water or tea. Into the carriage with him, Merripen.” Leo twisted to glance at the man who held him steady. “For God’s sake, you’re not going to put me in her custody, are you?” “Would you rather dry out in the care of a Bow Street gaolkeeper?” Merripen asked politely. “He would be a damn sight more merciful.” Grumbling, Leo lurched toward the carriage with Merripen’s assistance.
Lisa Kleypas (Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1))
But there was a still greater truth to be impressed upon their minds. Living in the midst of idolatry and corruption, they had no true conception of the holiness of God, of the exceeding sinfulness of their own hearts, their utter inability, in themselves, to render obedience to God’s law, and their need of a Saviour. All this they must be taught. God brought them to Sinai; he manifested his glory; he gave them his law, with the promise of great blessings on condition of obedience: “If ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ...ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” Exodus 19:5, 6. The people did not realize [372] the sinfulness of their own hearts, and that without Christ it was impossible for them to keep God’s law; and they readily entered into covenant with God. Feeling that they were able to establish their own righteousness, they declared, “All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.” Exodus 24:7. They had witnessed the proclamation of the law in awful majesty, and had trembled with terror before the mount; and yet only a few weeks passed before they broke their covenant with God, and bowed down to worship a graven image. They could not hope for the favor of God through a covenant which they had broken; and now, seeing their sinfulness and their need of pardon, they were brought to feel their need of the Saviour revealed in the Abrahamic covenant and shadowed forth in the sacrificial offerings. Now by faith and love they were bound to God as their deliverer from the bondage of sin. Now they were prepared to appreciate the blessings of the new covenant. The terms of the “old covenant” were, Obey and live: “If a man do, he shall even live in them” (Ezekiel 20:11; Leviticus 18:5); but “cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them.” Deuteronomy 27:26. The “new covenant” was established upon “better promises”—the promise of forgiveness of sins and of the grace of God to renew the heart and bring it into harmony with the principles of God’s law. “This shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts.... I will forgive their iniquity, and will remember their sin no more.” Jeremiah 31:33, 34.
Ellen G. White (Patriarchs And Prophets)
It’s unfashionable these days to talk about sin, and it’s even less fashionable to talk about idolatry. The world likes to tell us that we’re beyond that now. When we honestly discuss the sinful attitudes behind our actions, we are often shushed: “You’re not that bad! Everyone does those things! You need to have better self esteem!” But the human heart is the same now as it was in biblical times. We don’t have to bow down to a golden statue to worship idols. When we trust in anything other than God for peace and happiness we are essentially practicing idolatry. Only when we see the idols yet in our hearts can we truly “put off the old self” and “put on the new self” (Colossians 3:5-10).
Staci Eastin (The Organized Heart: A Woman's Guide to Conquering Chaos)
Might you introduce me to these two lovely ladies?” I smirk. The guy just called me a lady. I guess he was giving me the benefit of the doubt. “Certainly. Might I introduce you to Lady Everson and Miss Rebecca Vaughn.” It’s hard not to scowl at his continued snub. “So lovely to meet you, Lady Everson, Miss Vaughn. Do you suppose you might like to dance?” When I come up from my curtsy, I realize he’s looking at me. I think I stop breathing for a second, because every muscle in my body freezes. I don’t even blink. This guy wants to dance with me instead of this “lady.” It’s exactly what I wanted, and yet I’m paralyzed with terror. I don’t know how. I’ve never even been asked to dance. Ever. Equal parts of anxiety and elation race through me. “Wouldn’t you prefer to dance with Lady Everson?” Alex says. And then before I know what he’s doing, he’s gently pushing Lady Everson forward and stepping in front of me, blocking my view of Brimmon. “She is a peer, after all.” I’m so stunned; the two disappear before I can even more. When Alex turns to me, I come unleashed. “You are the rudest, most ridiculously arrogant person I have ever met in my life!” I say, and then spin on my heel and stomp away. I’ve gone less than two yards before he stops me, a hand on my shoulder. “Miss Vaughn. As you are my guest, it is expected that the two of us shall dance.” I snort. “Oh, no, that’s not necessary. I won’t be your charity case. Wouldn’t you rather--“ But he grabs my hand, places it on his elbow, and starts pulling me toward the floor just as the music transitions. Half the guests are looking at us. I can hardly rip my arm away and stomp on his foot without looking like a total freak. Not if I want a nice guy to ask me to dance later. Besides, if Emily’s right, I can’t decline the first guy to ask me, or it will signal that I don’t want to dance all night. I hadn’t imagined the first guy would be Alex. Argh. We take our places in the middle of the line up. He bows, and so I curtsy, and then follow his lead as we walk forward and back a few times, standing on our toes when we’re close, and bowing down a bit as we step away. Everything I do is a half step behind him, but we’re managing. My anger still simmers below the surface. This is preposterous. He’ll dance with me because he has to, but he thinks I’m not actually good enough for him--or for anyone with a title. I knew my first impression of him would prove correct. I knew he wasn’t worth the ground I spit on! Talk about insulting! He holds his hand up, palms facing me, so I push my hand against his and we sort of walk in a circle, our gloved hands palm to palm. Thank God we’re wearing gloves; I don’t want to touch this jerk.
Mandy Hubbard (Prada & Prejudice)
A starving pariah dog with the appearance of having lately been skinned had squeezed itself in after the last man; it looked up at the Consul with beady, gentle eyes. Then, thrusting down its poor wrecked dinghy of a chest, from which raw withered breasts drooped, it began to bow and scrape before him. Ah, the ingress of the animal kingdom! Earlier it had been the insects; now these were closing in upon him again, these animals, these people without ideas: "Dispense usted, por Dios," he whispered to the dog, then wanting to say something kind, added, stooping, a phrase read or heard in youth or childhood: "For God sees how timid and beautiful you really are, and the thoughts of hope that go with you like little white birds--
Malcolm Lowry
The Ten Commandments EXODUS 20 And God spoke all these words, saying, 2“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 3“You shall have no other gods before [1] me. 4“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6but showing steadfast love to thousands [2] of those who love me and keep my commandments. 7“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. 8“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. 12“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. 13“You shall not murder. [3] 14“You shall not commit adultery. 15“You shall not steal. 16“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. 17“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.” 18Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid [4] and trembled, and they stood far off 19and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” 20Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.” 21The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (without Cross-References))
Her lipstick was smudged, and there were noticeable bruises on her neck. My eyes went wide. “Oh my God! I hissed, what did you just—” “Me?” She raised a brow at me, her cheeks flushed bright red. “You’re missing a tie on the top of that gown, sis.” I felt my face go hot as I quickly glanced down and tied the last little bow on the front of my dress. “And
Madison Faye (Stealing Beauty (Possessing Beauty, #2))
You two seem to have become fast friends," Linley remarked. "It's my way with women," Grant said. "They can't resist my charm." Linley's mouth quirked. "Charm? I've never suspected you of having any." They were both surprised to hear Vivien's feeble scratch of voice join in the conversation. "That's because... you're not a woman." Grant stared at her with an unwilling smile. Half dead, she might be, but the instinct to flirt had not left her. And God help him, he was far from immune. "Rallying to my defense, are you?" He reached down to stroke the curve of her cheek with his fingertip. "I'll have to thank you later.
Lisa Kleypas (Someone to Watch Over Me (Bow Street Runners, #1))
Another insight from this passage is an example of appropriate posture before the living God. Many times in Sacred Scripture when people encounter an angel, their immediate instinct is to throw themselves on the ground, prostrating before the angelic messenger. But the angels usually counter with a correction of some sort, clarifying that they are not God, merely messengers of the Most High. Now if this is the reaction of human beings in the presence of an angel, how much more reverent should we be in the presence of Almighty God! Bowing and kneeling, which are standard postures at various points in the Mass, are also appropriate at times in our Eucharistic adoration. We can see in a number of biblical passages that this expression of reverence for God, which symbolizes submission to His will, has been practiced by God’s people since ancient times, even in the Old Testament era: “O come, let us worship and bow down, / let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker! / For He is our God” (Ps 95:6–7). “I bow down toward Thy holy temple / and give thanks to Thy name for Thy steadfast love and thy faithfulness” (Ps 138:2). “For thus says the LORD, . . . To Me every knee shall bow” (Is 45:18, 23; see also Rom 14:11; Phil 2:10–11). Lessons
Paul Thigpen (Manual for Eucharistic Adoration)
Commencez!' cried I, when they had all produced their books. The moon-faced youth (by name of Jules Vanderkelkov, as I afterwards learned) took the first sentence. The 'livre de lecteur' was 'The Vicar of Wakefield', much used in foreign schools, because it is supposed to contain prime samples of conversational English. It might, however, have been a Runic scroll for any resemblance the worse, as enunciated by Jules, bore to the language in ordinary use amongst the natives of Great Britain. My God! how he did snuffle, snort, and wheeze! All he said was said in his throat and nose, for it is thus the Flamands speak; but I heard him to the end of his paragraph without proffering a word of correction, whereat he looked vastly self-complacent, convinced, no doubt, that he had acquitted himself like a real born and bred 'Anglais'. In the same unmoved silence I listened to a dozen in rotation; and when the twelfth had concluded with splutter, hiss, and mumble, I solemnly laid down the book. 'Arrêtez!', said I. There was a pause, during which I regarded them all with a steady and somewhat stern gaze. A dog, if stared at hard enough and long enough, will show symptoms of embarrassment, and so at length did my bench of Belgians. Perceiving that some of the faces before me were beginning to look sullen, and others ashamed, I slowly joined my hands, and ejaculated in a deep 'voix de poitrine' - 'Comme c'est affreux!' They looked at each other, pouted, coloured, swung their heels, they were not pleased, I saw, but they were impressed, and in the way I wished them to be. Having thus taken them down a peg in their self-conceit, the next step was to raise myself in their estimation - not a very easy thing, considering that I hardly dared to speak for fear of betraying my own deficiencies. 'Ecoutez, messieurs!' I said, and I endeavoured to throw into my accents the compassionate tone of a superior being, who, touched by the extremity of the helplessness which at first only excited his scorn, deigns at length to bestow aid. I then began at the very beginning of 'The Vicar of Wakefield,' and read, in a slow, distinct voice, some twenty pages, they all the while sitting mute and listening with fixed attention. By the time I had done nearly an hour had elapsed. I then rose and said, - 'C'est assez pour aujourd'hui, messieurs; demain nous recommençerons, et j'espère que tout ira bien.' With this oracular sentence I bowed, and in company with M. Pelet quitted the schoolroom.
Charlotte Brontë
That’s really what the Romans would do. They’d come in first under a white flag. As simple merchants wanting to trade. Then they brought in roads, then settlers, then public works and temples, then armies for protection. The next thing you knew, you had to pay them taxes, bow down before their gods, and sacrifice all the freedoms that made your people special. That’s what they called the Roman Peace. It was peace as long as you did everything they told you to do.
Joshua Safran (Free Spirit: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid)
The LORD Is My Rock and My Fortress To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David,  f the servant of the LORD,  g who addressed the words of this  h song to the LORD on the day when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said: PSALM 18 I love you, O LORD, my strength. 2 The LORD is my  i rock and my  j fortress and my deliverer, my God, my i rock, in k whom I take refuge, my l shield, and m the horn of my salvation, my n stronghold. 3 I call upon the LORD, who is  o worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. 4  p The cords of death encompassed me; q the torrents of destruction assailed me; [1] 5  p the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me. 6  r In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From his  s temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears. 7 Then the earth  t reeled and rocked; the foundations also of the mountains trembled and quaked, because he was angry. 8 Smoke went up from his nostrils, [2] and devouring  u fire from his mouth; glowing coals flamed forth from him. 9 He v bowed the heavens and w came down;  x thick darkness was under his feet. 10 He rode on a cherub and flew; he came swiftly on  z the wings of the wind. 11 He made darkness his covering, his  a canopy around him, thick clouds b dark with water.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version)
5 Moses summoned all Israel and said: Hear, Israel, the decrees and laws I declare in your hearing today. Learn them and be sure to follow them. 2 The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. 3 It was not with our ancestors[a] that the Lord made this covenant, but with us, with all of us who are alive here today. 4 The Lord spoke to you face to face out of the fire on the mountain. 5 (At that time I stood between the Lord and you to declare to you the word of the Lord, because you were afraid of the fire and did not go up the mountain.) And he said: 6 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 7 “You shall have no other gods before[b] me. 8 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 9 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 10 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. 11 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. 12 “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day. 16 “Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you. 17 “You shall not murder. 18 “You shall not commit adultery. 19 “You shall not steal. 20 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. 21 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. You shall not set your desire on your neighbor’s house or land, his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” 22 These are the commandments the Lord proclaimed in a loud voice to your whole assembly there on the mountain from out of the fire, the cloud and the deep darkness; and he added nothing more. Then he wrote them on two stone tablets and gave them to me.
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I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of the Lord’s wrath. He has driven me away and made me walk in darkness rather than light; indeed, he has turned his hand against me again and again, all day long. He has made my skin and my flesh grow old and has broken my bones. He has besieged me and surrounded me with bitterness and hardship. He has made me dwell in darkness like those long dead. He has walled me in so I cannot escape; he has weighed me down with chains. Even when I call out or cry for help, he shuts out my prayer. He has barred my way with blocks of stone; he has made my paths crooked. Like a bear lying in wait, like a lion in hiding, he dragged me from the path and mangled me and left me without help. He drew his bow and made me the target for his arrows. He pierced my heart with arrows from his quiver. I became the laughingstock of all my people; they mock me in song all day long. He has filled me with bitter herbs and given me gall to drink. He has broken my teeth with gravel; he has trampled me in the dust. I have been deprived of peace; I have forgotten what prosperity is.
Anonymous (Lamentations (Bible #25))
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? 2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest.[b] 3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the one Israel praises.[c] 4 In you our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. 5 To you they cried out and were saved; in you they trusted and were not put to shame. 6 But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. 7 All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads. 8 “He trusts in the Lord,” they say, “let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.” 9 Yet you brought me out of the womb; you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast. 10 From birth I was cast on you; from my mother’s womb you have been my God. 11 Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help. 12 Many bulls surround me; strong bulls of Bashan encircle me. 13 Roaring lions that tear their prey open their mouths wide against me. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within me. 15 My mouth[d] is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death. 16 Dogs surround me, a pack of villains encircles me; they pierce[e] my hands and my feet. 17 All my bones are on display; people stare and gloat over me. 18 They divide my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment. 19 But you, Lord, do not be far from me. You are my strength; come quickly to help me. 20 Deliver me from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs. 21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me from the horns of the wild oxen. 22 I will declare your name to my people; in the assembly I will praise you. 23 You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel! 24 For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help. 25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly; before those who fear you[f] I will fulfill my vows. 26 The poor will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the Lord will praise him— may your hearts live forever! 27 All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, 28 for dominion belongs to the Lord and he rules over the nations. 29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him— those who cannot keep themselves alive. 30 Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. 31 They will proclaim his righteousness, declaring to a people yet unborn: He has done it!
David
The first true men had tools and weapons only a little better than those of their ancestors a million years earlier, but they could use them with far greater skill. And somewhere in the shadowy centuries that had gone before they had invented the most essential tool of all, though it could be neither seen nor touched. They had learned to speak, and so had won their first great victory over Time. Now the knowledge of one generation could be handed on to the next, so that each age could profit from those that had gone before. Unlike the animals, who knew only the present, Man had acquired a past; and he was beginning to grope toward a future. He was also learning to harness the force of nature; with the taming of fire, he had laid the foundations of technology and left his animal origins far behind. Stone gave way to bronze, and then to iron. Hunting was succeeded by agriculture. The tribe grew into the village, the village into the town. Speech became eternal, thanks to certain marks on stone and clay and papyrus. Presently he invented philosophy, and religion. And he peopled the sky, not altogether inaccurately, with gods. As his body became more and more defenseless, so his means of offense became steadily more frightful. With stone and bronze and iron and steel he had run the gamut of everything that could pierce and slash, and quite early in time he had learned how to strike down his victims from a distance. The spear, the bow the gun and finally the guided missile had given him weapons of infinite range and all but infinite power. Without those weapons, often though he had used them against himself, Man would never have conquered his world. Into them he had put his heart and soul, and for ages they had served him well. But now, as long as they existed, he was living on borrowed time.
Arthur C. Clarke (2001: A Space Odyssey (Space Odyssey, #1))
Ironically, it is in clinging to the title of Steward that Denethor refuses to do the very thing a steward is called to do: to uphold the king’s authority. “I will not step down to be the dotard chamberlain of an upstart. . . . I will not bow to such a one, last of a ragged house long bereft of lordship and dignity” (V/vii). Ultimately, under the pretense of stewardship, Denethor claims an authority that not even the wise kings of old had: to take his own life and the life of his son. Gandalf chastises him for this, but to no avail. “‘Authority is not given to you, Steward of Gondor, to order the hour of your death,’ answered Gandalf. ‘And only the heathen kings, under the domination of the Dark Power, did thus, slaying themselves in pride and despair, murdering their kin to ease their own death’” (V/vii). It is interesting that Tolkien uses the word heathen to describe Denethor’s behavior; a heathen is an “unbeliever,” one who does not acknowledge God. If Tolkien really meant this word, then it implies that Denethor’s real fault is deeper than his refusal to acknowledge the authority of a king; it is a refusal to acknowledge the divine authority that is over
Matthew Dickerson (A Hobbit Journey: Discovering the Enchantment of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth)
Ironically, it is in clinging to the title of Steward that Denethor refuses to do the very thing a steward is called to do: to uphold the king’s authority. “I will not step down to be the dotard chamberlain of an upstart. . . . I will not bow to such a one, last of a ragged house long bereft of lordship and dignity” (V/vii). Ultimately, under the pretense of stewardship, Denethor claims an authority that not even the wise kings of old had: to take his own life and the life of his son. Gandalf chastises him for this, but to no avail. “‘Authority is not given to you, Steward of Gondor, to order the hour of your death,’ answered Gandalf. ‘And only the heathen kings, under the domination of the Dark Power, did thus, slaying themselves in pride and despair, murdering their kin to ease their own death’” (V/vii). It is interesting that Tolkien uses the word heathen to describe Denethor’s behavior; a heathen is an “unbeliever,” one who does not acknowledge God. If Tolkien really meant this word, then it implies that Denethor’s real fault is deeper than his refusal to acknowledge the authority of a king; it is a refusal to acknowledge the divine authority that is over even a king’s, the authority of Ilúvatar.
Matthew Dickerson (A Hobbit Journey: Discovering the Enchantment of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth)
The kings, who are the ten horns of this beast, are represented as committing fornication with “the great whore that sitteth on many waters.” Such is the metaphor, exhibiting the connection between the civil and spiritual despots of anti-Christian Europe. “And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her” [the church of Rome] (Rev. 18:9). The connection of the kingdoms of the earth with the Popish church is an impure, loathsome and abominable connection, as the metaphor here employed forcibly indicates. That the civil governments of Europe have given themselves up to the support of the Roman apostacy, instead of bowing down before Emmanuel, is expressly declared by this prophet. “For God hath put into their hearts to fulfil his will, to agree and give their kingdom to the beast” (Rev. 17:17).
J. R. Willson (Political Danger)
Imagine that your prayer is a poorly dressed beggar reeking of alcohol and body odor, stumbling toward the palace of the great king. You have become your prayer. As you shuffle toward the barred gate, the guards stiffen. Your smell has preceded you. You stammer out a message for the great king: “I want to see the king.” Your words are barely intelligible, but you whisper one final word, “Jesus. I come in the name of Jesus.” At the name of Jesus, as if by magic, the palace comes alive. The guards snap to attention, bowing low in front of you. Lights come on, and the door flies open. You are ushered into the palace and down a long hallway into the throne room of the great king, who comes running to you and wraps you in his arms. “ASKING IN JESUS’ NAME” ISN’T ANOTHER THING I HAVE TO GET RIGHT SO MY PRAYERS ARE PERFECT. IT IS ONE MORE GIFT OF GOD BECAUSE MY PRAYERS ARE SO IMPERFECT. The name of Jesus gives my prayers royal access. They get through. Jesus isn’t just the Savior of my soul. He’s also the Savior of my prayers. My prayers come before the throne of God as the prayers of Jesus. “Asking in Jesus’ name” isn’t another thing I have to get right so my prayers are perfect. It is one more gift of God because my prayers are so imperfect. Jesus’ seal not only guarantees that my package gets through, but it also transforms the package. Paul says in Romans 8:26, “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
Paul E. Miller (A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World)
Tell me, Lady Philippa." He raised a hand, one finger lingering at the indentation of her upper lip, a hairsbreadth from touching her. "In your study of anatomy, did you ever learn the name of the place between the nose and the lip?" Her lips parted, and she resisted the urge to lean toward him, to force him to touch her. She answered on a whisper, "The philtrum." He smiled. "Clever girl. It is Latin. Do you know its meaning?" "No." "It means love potion. The Romans believed it was the most erotic place on the body. They called it Cupid's bow, because of the way it shapes the upper lip." As he spoke, he ran his finger along the curve of her lip, a temptation more than a touch, barely there. His voice grew softer, deeper. "They believed it was the mark of the god of love." She inhaled, low and shallow. "I did not know that." He leaned down, closer, his hand falling away. "I'd be willing to wager that there are any number of things about the human body that you do not know, my little expert. All things that I would happily teach you.
Sarah MacLean (One Good Earl Deserves a Lover (The Rules of Scoundrels, #2))
St. Paul says that one will know a true prophecy because the “secrets” of the heart will be disclosed, and he will bow down and worship God, declaring, “God is really among you” to the one prophesying (1 Corinthians 14:25).
Kimberly Bruce (Look at the SON: The Fruit of the Medjugorje)
Ode to the Beloved’s Hips" Bells are they—shaped on the eighth day—silvered percussion in the morning—are the morning. Swing switch sway. Hold the day away a little longer, a little slower, a little easy. Call to me— I wanna rock, I-I wanna rock, I-I wanna rock right now—so to them I come—struck-dumb chime-blind, tolling with a throat full of Hosanna. How many hours bowed against this Infinity of Blessed Trinity? Communion of Pelvis, Sacrum, Femur. My mouth—terrible angel, ever-lasting novena, ecstatic devourer. O, the places I have laid them, knelt and scooped the amber—fast honey—from their openness— Ah Muzen Cab’s hidden Temple of Tulúm—licked smooth the sticky of her hip—heat-thrummed ossa coxae. Lambent slave to ilium and ischium—I never tire to shake this wild hive, split with thumb the sweet- dripped comb—hot hexagonal hole—dark diamond— to its nectar-dervished queen. Meanad tongue— come-drunk hum-tranced honey-puller—for her hips, I am—strummed-song and succubus. They are the sign: hip. And the cosign: a great book— the body’s Bible opened up to its Good News Gospel. Alleluias, Ave Marías, madre mías, ay yay yays, Ay Dios míos, and hip-hip-hooray. Cult of Coccyx. Culto de cadera. Oracle of Orgasm. Rorschach’s riddle: What do I see? Hips: Innominate bone. Wish bone. Orpheus bone. Transubstantiation bone—hips of bread, wine-whet thighs. Say the word and healed I shall be: Bone butterfly. Bone wings. Bone Ferris wheel. Bone basin bone throne bone lamp. Apparition in the bone grotto—6th mystery— slick rosary bead—Déme la gracia of a decade in this garden of carmine flower. Exile me to the enormous orchard of Alcinous—spiced fruit, laden-tree—Imparadise me. Because, God, I am guilty. I am sin-frenzied and full of teeth for pear upon apple upon fig. More than all that are your hips. They are a city. They are Kingdom— Troy, the hollowed horse, an army of desire— thirty soldiers in the belly, two in the mouth. Beloved, your hips are the war. At night your legs, love, are boulevards leading me beggared and hungry to your candy house, your baroque mansion. Even when I am late and the tables have been cleared, in the kitchen of your hips, let me eat cake. O, constellation of pelvic glide—every curve, a luster, a star. More infinite still, your hips are kosmic, are universe—galactic carousel of burning comets and Big Big Bangs. Millennium Falcon, let me be your Solo. O, hot planet, let me circumambulate. O, spiral galaxy, I am coming for your dark matter. Along las calles de tus muslos I wander— follow the parade of pulse like a drum line— descend into your Plaza del Toros— hands throbbing Miura bulls, dark Isleros. Your arched hips—ay, mi torera. Down the long corridor, your wet walls lead me like a traje de luces—all glitter, glowed. I am the animal born to rush your rich red muletas—each breath, each sigh, each groan, a hooked horn of want. My mouth at your inner thigh—here I must enter you—mi pobre Manolete—press and part you like a wound— make the crowd pounding in the grandstand of your iliac crest rise up in you and cheer.
Natalie Díaz
In the old world men bowed down before a god who was made in their image, harsh in his judgements, vengeful and intolerant.
Torsten Krol (The Secret Book of Sacred Things)
Time has taken on a life of it’s own. It started to reign over us like a pseudo-god to be bowed down to. Time is what makes us tick. Our desire to control time, to gain perfect precision, has changed us in more ways than we recognize. Our lives are being formed every day into a more mechanized, robotic, and calculated existence. We are becoming our clocks. We don’t eat or sleep when we are hungry or tired anymore–we eat when it’s time to eat. Sleep when it’s time to sleep. So, are we masters of time? Or slaves?
Jefferson Bethke (To Hell with the Hustle)
The gods do not speak with everyone,” and so a way has to be devised to approach them: men must segregate themselves in the same way as the gods are segregated from men. Then perhaps the gods will pay attention. An initial separation from other men is achieved through the preliminary actions of the rite. When setting up the gārhapatya fire, he first sweeps the chosen space with a palāśa branch and says: ‘Away from here! Away! Crawl away from here,’ then: ‘Go away, go and slip away from here,’ he says to those who slither on their bellies. ‘You who are here from ancient and recent times!’ and therefore both those who are here from a remote time as well as those who have settled here today.” The ritual action is an imitation. Of other men, who lived in the beginning? Or of gods? During the building of the fire altar when certain bricks, known as dviyajus, “which require a double formula,” have to be arranged. At that moment the sacrificer thinks the following words: “I wish to go to the celestial world following the same form, celebrating the same rite that Indra and Agni used to enter the celestial world!” What the sacrificer is imitating is the act of the god himself making himself a god Ritual serves above all to resolve through action what thought alone cannot resolve. For example: what do we do with the ash produced by the sacrificial fire? The ashes are thrown into water. And these words are spoken: “O divine waters, receive these ashes and place them in a soft and fragrant place!” And then: “May the consorts, married to a good lord, bow down to him.” The “consorts” here are the waters, who have found a “good lord” in Agni. The waters are chosen as a place for ashes, because Agni was born from the womb of the waters.So Agni will not be lost.
Roberto Calasso (L'ardore)
Not long ago, after I had spoken on the subject of biblical worship at a large metropolitan church, one of the elders wrote to me to ask how I would try to get across my main points to children (fourth to sixth graders, approximately ages ten to twelve). He was referring in particular to things I had said about Romans 12:1–2. I responded by saying that kids of that age do not absorb abstract ideas very easily unless they are lived out and identified. The Christian home, or the Christian parent who obviously delights in corporate worship, in thoughtful evangelism, in self-effacing and self-sacrificing decisions within the home, in sacrificial giving for the poor and the needy and the lost—and who then explains to the child that these decisions and actions are part of gratitude and worship to the sovereign God who has loved us so much that he gave his own Son to pay the price of our sin—will have far more impact on the child’s notion of genuine worship than all the lecturing and classroom instruction in the world. Somewhere along the line it is important not only to explain that genuine worship is nothing more than loving God with heart and soul and mind and strength and loving our neighbors as ourselves, but also to show what a statement like that means in the concrete decisions of life. How utterly different will that child’s thinking be than that of the child who is reared in a home where secularism rules all week but where people go to church on Sunday to “worship” for half an hour before the sermon. “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” (Ps 95:6–8).
D.A. Carson (Worship by the Book)
A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease. Every hidden cell is throbbing with music and life, every fiber thrilling like harp strings, while incense is ever flowing from the balsam bells and leaves. No wonder the hills and groves were God's first temples, and the more they are cut down and hewn into cathedrals and churches, the farther off and dimmer seems the Lord himself.
John Muir
As Ross entered the kitchen, he saw Ernest sitting at the scrubbed wooden table. The boy wolfed down a plate of breakfast as if it were the first decent meal he'd had in months. Sophia stood at the range with the scrawny cook-maid, apparently showing her how to prepare the morning's fare. "Turn them like this," Sophia was saying, expertly flipping a row of little cakes on a griddle pan. The kitchen atmosphere was especially fragrant today, spiced with frying bacon, coffee, and sizzling batter. Sophia looked fresh and wholesome, the trim curves of her figure outlined by a white apron that covered her charcoal-gray dress. Her gleaming hair was pinned in a coil at the top of her head and tied with a blue ribbon. As she saw him standing in the doorway, a smile lit her sapphire eyes, and she was so dazzlingly pretty that Ross felt a painful jab low in his stomach. "Good morning, Sir Ross," she said. "Will you have some breakfast?" "No, thank you," he replied automatically. "Only a jug of coffee. I never..." He paused as the cook set a platter on the table. It was piled with steaming batter cakes sitting in a pool of blackberry sauce. He had a special fondness for blackberries. "Just one or two?" Sophia coaxed. Abruptly it became less important that he adhere to his usual habits. Perhaps he could make time for a little breakfast, Ross reasoned. A five-minute delay would make no difference in his schedule. He found himself seated at the table facing a plate heaped with cakes, crisp bacon, and coddled eggs. Sophia filled a mug with steaming black coffee, and smiled at him once more before resuming her place at the range with Eliza. Ross picked up his fork and stared at it as if he didn't quite know what to do with it. "They're good, sir," Ernest ventured, stuffing his mouth so greedily that it seemed likely he would choke. Ross took a bite of the fruit-soaked cake and washed it down with a swallow of hot coffee. As he continued to eat, he felt an unfamiliar sense of well-being. Good God, it had been a long time since he'd had anything other than Eliza's wretched concoctions. For the next few minutes Ross ate until the platter of cakes was demolished. Sophia came now and then to refill his cup or offer more bacon. The cozy warmth of the kitchen and the sight of Sophia as she moved about the room caused a tide of unwilling pleasure inside him.
Lisa Kleypas (Lady Sophia's Lover (Bow Street Runners, #2))
I never wanted to live so much as I did right then, hanging onto that rotting timber," Nick said. "I couldn't bear the thought of never seeing you again. All I want is time with you. To spend the rest of my life with you. I don't care about anything else." Murmuring her love to him, Lottie kissed the hard silken skin of his shoulder. "Remember when I told you once that I needed to be a runner?" he asked. Lottie nodded. "You said that you were addicted to the challenge and the danger." "I'm not any longer," he said vehemently. "Thank God for that," Lottie said with a smile, lifting herself up on one elbow. "Because I have become rather addicted to you." Nick traced the moonlit curve of her back with his fingers. "And I finally know what to wish for." Puzzled, she gazed down at him while the long locks of her hair trailed over his chest and shoulders. "What?" "The wishing well," he reminded her. "Oh, yes..." Lottie lowered her face to his chest and nuzzled the soft fur, recalling that morning in the forest. "You wouldn't make a wish." "Because I didn't know what I wanted. And now I do." "What do you want?" she asked tenderly. His hand slipped behind her head, pulling her mouth down to his. "To love you forever," he whispered just before their lips met.
Lisa Kleypas (Worth Any Price (Bow Street Runners, #3))
I don't require any more sleep than you do, sir. If you stay up late, I am capable of doing the same. I also have work to do." His brows lowered in a forbidding scowl. "Go to bed, Miss Sydney." Sophia did not flinch. "Not until you do." "My bedtime has nothing to do with yours," he said curtly, "unless you are suggesting that we go to bed together." Clearly, the remark was meant to intimidate her into silence. A reckless reply came to mind, one so bold that she bit her tongue to keep from speaking. And then she thought, Why not? It was time to declare her sexual interest in him... time to advance her plan of seduction one more step. "All right," she said quickly. "If that is what it takes to make you get the rest you require- so be it." His dark face went blank. The lengthy silence that ensued was evidence of how greatly she had surprised him. My God, she thought in a flutter of panic. Now I've done it. She could not predict how Sir Ross would respond. Being a gentleman- a notoriously celibate one- he might refuse her proposition. However, there was something in his expression- a flicker in his gray eyes- that made her wonder if he might not accept the impulsive invitation. And if he did, she would have to carry it out and sleep with him. The thought jarred her very soul. This was what she had planned, what she had wanted to achieve, but she was suddenly terrified. Terrified by the realization of how much she wanted him. Slowly Sir Ross approached, following as she backed away one step, then another, until her spine was flattened against the door. His alert gaze did not move from her flushed face as he braced his hands on the door, placing them on either side of her head. "My bedroom or yours?" he asked softly. Perhaps he expected her to back down, stammer, run away. Her hands curled into balls of tension. "Which would you prefer?" she parried. His head tilted as he studied her, his eyes oddly caressing. "My bed is bigger.
Lisa Kleypas (Lady Sophia's Lover (Bow Street Runners, #2))
February 5 On the Thin Ice When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down, but even in death the righteous have a refuge.—Proverbs 14:32 My husband had an harrowing experience a few weeks ago. As he was driving over a low overpass, a patch of “black ice” caught him by surprise. His truck spun around and headed for the concrete guardrail. All he could do was wait for the impact. As he told me about the incident, I thought about how often it seems that situations in our lives are just as far out of our control as a truck sliding around on ice. One moment things seem to be going smoothly; then all of a sudden there is a death, a diagnosis, a crisis, or something else that knocks the wind out of us. There is very rarely anything we can do to prevent these sorts of catastrophes; they seem to fall out of the sky. However, mental and spiritual preparation can keep us from being crushed. Remembering that nothing is impossible with God, and meditating on his faithfulness to me in the past, reminds me that there is good reason to trust him with the future (Luke 1:37; Psalm. 89:8). With this in mind, our first reaction to calamity can be to turn toward God, knowing that He will give us His peace (Philippians 4:6-7). We can calmly steer into the skid that life has thrown us, knowing that He is always there (Joshua 1:9). We may be bowed low by trouble and heartache but, by the grace of God, we will not be defeated (2 Corinthians 4:8)! By the way, I am thrilled to say that my husband arrived home without a scratch on him or his truck, thanks to the mighty hand of God that delivered him! Truly, nothing is too hard for the Lord (Jeremiah 32:27). Thank You, Lord, that You are my refuge in times of trouble (Psalm. 9:9). What a comfort to know that Your strong arms are there when the very ground I’m standing on seems to crumble beneath my feet!
The writers of Encouraging.com (God Moments: A Year in the Word)
FEBRUARY 12 UNGODLY COVENANTS MADE BY YOUR ANCESTORS ARE BROKEN IF YOU VIOLATE My covenant, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, My anger will burn against you, and you will quickly perish from the good land I have given you. But if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your forefathers forever and ever. I have laid a sure foundation, and if you rely on My precious cornerstone and make My justice your measuring line and righteousness your plumb line, then I will disannul all ungodly covenants your ancestors made with idols, demons, false religious, or ungodly organizations in the name of My Son, Jesus. I will take hold of your hand and will keep you and make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for unbelievers. EXODUS 23:31–33; MATTHEW 5:33; ISAIAH 42:6 Prayer Declaration I break and disannul all ungodly covenants, oaths, and pledges I have made with my lips in the name of Jesus. I break and disannul all covenants with death and hell made by my ancestors in the name of Jesus. I command all demons that claim any legal right to my life through covenants to come out in the name of Jesus.
John Eckhardt (Daily Declarations for Spiritual Warfare: Biblical Principles to Defeat the Devil)
Come Let Us Worship Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. —PSALM 95:6     A recent point of frustration, debate, and tension in many churches has been about defining worship and agreeing what it should look like. Older Christians are confused because of changes made to the style of worship. They wonder whatever happened to the old hymns that were so beloved. They knew the page numbers and all the old verses by heart. Today there are no hymnals, the organs have been silenced, and guitars, drums, and cymbals have taken over. The choir and their robes have been abandoned, and now we have five to seven singers on stage leading songs. We stand for 30 minutes at a time singing song lyrics that we aren’t familiar with from a large screen. What’s happening? If the church doesn’t have these components, the young people leave and go to where it’s happening. Are we going to let the form of worship divide our churches? I hope not! The origins of many of the different expressions of worship can be found in the Psalms, which portray worship as an act of the whole person, not just the mental sphere. The early founders established ways to worship based on what they perceived after reading this great book of the Bible. Over the centuries, Christian worship has taken many different forms, involving various expressions and postures on the part of churchgoers. The Hebrew word for “worship” literally means “to kneel” or “to bow down.” The act of worship is the gesture of humbling oneself before a mighty authority. The Psalms also call upon us to “sing to the LORD, bless His name” (96:2 NASB). Music has always played a large part in the sacred act of worship. Physical gestures and movements are also mentioned in the Psalms. Lifting our hands before God signifies our adoration of Him. Clapping our hands shows our celebration before God. Some worshipers rejoice in His presence with tambourines and dancing (see Psalm 150:4). To worship like the psalmist is to obey Jesus’ command to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30). There are many more insights for worship in the book of Psalms: • God’s gifts of instruments and vocal music can be used to help us worship (47:1; 81:1-4). • We can appeal to God for help, and we can thank Him for His deliverance (4:3; 17:1-5). • Difficult times should not prevent us from praising God (22:23- 24; 102:1-2; 140:4-8).
Emilie Barnes (Walk with Me Today, Lord: Inspiring Devotions for Women)
I am frequently amazed at the difference between the accent I find in the pages of sacred Scripture and that which I read in the pages of religious magazines and hear preached in the pulpits of our churches. We have an image of God as full of benevolence. We see Him as a celestial bellhop we can call when we need room service or as a cosmic Santa Claus who is ready to shower us with gifts. He is pleased to do whatever we ask Him to do. Meanwhile, He gently pleads with us to change our ways and to come to His Son, Jesus. We do not usually hear about a God who commands obedience, who asserts His authority over the universe and insists we bow down to His anointed Messiah. Yet, in Scripture, we never see God inviting people to come to Jesus. He commands us to repent and convicts us of treason at a cosmic level if we choose not to do so. A refusal to submit to the authority of Christ probably will not land anyone in trouble with the church or the government, but it will certainly create a problem with God.
R.C. Sproul (Does God Control Everything? (Crucial Questions, #14))
Over and over in the book of Revelation, we see the elders throwing down their crowns, bowing low before their God (see Rev. 4:9-11). The original language is clear. It is voluntary. This is not a reaction to being overwhelmed by His glory or overcome by something external. The elders are moved by the revelation of who it is they stand before, and by a deliberate act of the will they bow.
David Ruis (The Worship God Is Seeking (The Worship Series))
The Wind of God took possession of Charles G. Finney, an obscure country lawyer, and sent him through New York State, then through New England, then through England, mowing down strong men by his resistless, Spirit-given logic. One night in Rochester, scores of lawyers, led by the justice of the Court of Appeals, filed out of the pews and bowed in the aisles and yielded their lives to God.
R.A. Torrey (The Works of R. A. Torrey: Person & Work of the Holy Spirit, How to Obtain Fullness of Power, How To Pray, Why God Used D L Moody, How to Study the ... Anecdotes, Volume 1)
To ascribe to God the attributes of His mercy and grace is the most powerful way to begin our times of intercession. Nehemiah knew this and started his prayer for help and deliverance in just that way. It is recorded in Nehemiah 9:6. “You alone are the Lord; You have made heaven, The heaven of heavens, with all their host, The earth and everything on it, The seas and all that is in them, And You preserve them all. The host of heaven worships You.” The Bible is full of Scriptures that urge us to understand God’s position of being exclusively supreme and unquestionable. We dare not make ourselves God or bow down and worship other man-made gods. He is the Almighty!
Lydia Chorpening (Bigger than Impossible (Keys to Experiencing the Impossible through God))
Worshipping idols is not just buying a statue of some pagan god and bowing down to it every day. Worshipping idols can be much more subtle. It is giving our devotion to anything but God.
Taffi Dollar (21 Days to Your Spiritual Makeover: Small Changes That Bring Results!)
There are places in our quest for understanding where we reach the limits of the human mind. The finite does not have the capacity fully to grasp and understand the infinite. But it is how we respond just at this point that is significant. Do we say with Nietzsche, “But to reveal my entire heart to you, my friends, if there were gods, how could I stand not to be a god! Therefore, there are no gods.”15 Or do we bow down, “lost in wonder, love, and praise,”16 because we recognize we have come to the horizon of human understanding and can only gaze in awe at the God who is so infinitely great and glorious—and who loves and cares for us?
Sinclair B. Ferguson (The Trinitarian Devotion of John Owen)
what was God's reply to him? I have left 7,000 men for Myself who have not bowed down to •Baal.5 In the same way, then, there is also at the present time a remnant chosen by grace. 
Anonymous (HCSB: Holman Christian Standard Bible)
The recognition that idolatry really consists in making gods for ourselves and putting our trust in them is the great breakthrough in Israel’s thinking about the matter, and I have suggested that it may be to Isaiah that we owe it. From Isaiah onwards the conviction grew that there simply were no other powers in the universe to rival Yahweh, the God of Israel, and that . . . however much worshippers might bow down to the idol and acknowledge it as a great power, it was really themselves they were worshipping all the time.73
R.W.L. Moberly (Old Testament Theology: Reading the Hebrew Bible as Christian Scripture)