Command Presence Quotes

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What is sin? It is the glory of God not honored. The holiness of God not reverenced. The greatness of God not admired. The power of God not praised. The truth of God not sought. The wisdom of God not esteemed. The beauty of God not treasured. The goodness of God not savored. The faithfulness of God not trusted. The commandments of God not obeyed. The justice of God not respected. The wrath of God not feared. The grace of God not cherished. The presence of God not prized. The person of God not loved. That is sin.
John Piper
I ask one thing only: I ask for the right to hope, to suffer as I do. But if even that cannot be, command me to disappear, and I disappear. You shall not see me if my presence is distasteful to you.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
If you want to concentrate deeply on some problem, and especially some piece of writing or paper-work, you should acquire a cat. Alone with the cat in the room where you work ... the cat will invariably get up on your desk and settle placidly under the desk lamp ... The cat will settle down and be serene, with a serenity that passes all understanding. And the tranquility of the cat will gradually come to affect you, sitting there at your desk, so that all the excitable qualities that impede your concentration compose themselves and give your mind back the self-command it has lost. You need not watch the cat all the time. Its presence alone is enough. The effect of a cat on your concentration is remarkable, very mysterious.
Muriel Spark (A Far Cry from Kensington)
I stand there for a while, then sit cross-legged before it and bow my head. "Hi, Metias," I say in a soft voice. "Today's my birthday. Do you know how old I am now?" I close me eyes, and through the silence surrounding me I think I can sense a ghostly hand on my shoulder, my brother's gentle presence that I'm able to feel every now and then, in these quiet moments. I imagine him smiling down at me, his expression relaxed and free. "I'm twenty-seven today," I continue in a whisper. My voice catches for a moment. "We're the same age now." For the first tine in my life, I am no longer his little sister. Next year I will step across the line and he will still be in the same place. From now on, I will be older than he ever was. I try to move on to other thoughts, so I tell my brother's ghost about my year, my struggles and successes in commanding my own patrols, my hectic workweeks. I tell him, as I always do, that I miss him. And as always, I can hear the whisper of his ghost against my ear, his gentle reply that he misses me too. That he's looking out for me, from wherever he is.
Marie Lu (Champion (Legend, #3))
I am not dramatic, okay? My presence just commands a certain kind of attention-
Tahereh Mafi (Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3))
Tirelessly they flew on and on, and tirelessly she kept pace. She felt a fierce joy possessing her, that she could command these immortal presences. And she rejoiced in her blood and flesh, in the rough pine bark she felt next to her skin, in the beat of her heart and the life of all her senses, and in the hunger she was feeling now, and in the presence of her sweet-voiced bluethroat dæmon, and in the earth below her and the lives of every creature, plant and animal both; and she delighted in being of the same substance as them, and in knowing that when she died her flesh would nourish other lives as they had nourished her.
Philip Pullman (The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, #2))
Your dad intimidates the hell out of me.” I laughed. “Because he’s tall?” “Tall,” he agreed, “and quiet. He has the commanding-presence thing down.” “He just says a lot more with his eyes than with his mouth.” “Unfortunately for me, I don’t speak Danish Eyeball.
Christina Lauren (Love and Other Words)
His presence is not upon us to be commandeered or directed by us. Instead, we are tools in his hand. If there is a dove resting on my shoulder in the natural (and I love that phrase ‘and remained’) and I don’t want it to fly away, how am I going to walk around this room? Every step will be with the dove in mind. Every movement I make will be to preserve what I value most.
Bill Johnson (Manifesto for a Normal Christian Life)
O my God, since thou art with me, and i must now, in obedience to thy commands, apply my mind to these outward things, i beseech thee to grant me the grace to continue in thy presence; and to this end do thou prosper me with thy assistance, receive all my works, and possess all my affections." (Bro. Lawrence implored His grace and offered to Him all his actions).
Brother Lawrence
Then, O King! the God, so saying, Stood, to Pritha's Son displaying All the splendour, wonder, dread Of His vast Almighty-head. Out of countless eyes beholding, Out of countless mouths commanding, Countless mystic forms enfolding In one Form: supremely standing Countless radiant glories wearing, Countless heavenly weapons bearing, Crowned with garlands of star-clusters, Robed in garb of woven lustres, Breathing from His perfect Presence Breaths of every subtle essence Of all heavenly odours; shedding Blinding brilliance; overspreading- Boundless, beautiful- all spaces With His all-regarding faces; So He showed! If there should rise Suddenly within the skies Sunburst of a thousand suns Flooding earth with beams undeemed-of, Then might be that Holy One's Majesty and radiance dreamed of!
Edwin Arnold (The Bhagavad Gita)
The plane had lost power in all three engines, dropped from thirty-four thousand feet to twelve thousand feet. Something like four miles. When the steep glide began, people rose, fell, collided, swam in their seats. Then the serious screaming and moaning began. Almost immediately a voice from the flight deck was heard on the intercom: "We're falling out of the sky! We're going down! We're a silver gleaming death machine!" This outburst struck the passengers as an all but total breakdown of authority, competence and command presence and it brought on a round of fresh and desperate wailing.
Don DeLillo (White Noise)
I'm not dramatic, okay? My presence just commands a certain kind of attention.
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me Series 9 Books Collection Set By Tahereh Mafi (Imagine Me, Find Me, Unravel Me, Unite Me, Restore Me, Defy Me, Shatter Me, Ignite Me, Believe Me))
Power does not always shout its presence, my Lady, and each of the two hundred men armed behind you on this road represent a thousand more ready to die at your command. Every word you speak has the weight of those men.
Jean Gill (Song at Dawn: 1150 in Provence (The Troubadours Quartet #1))
The man had one of those dark, deep voices, the kind that made men listen and women shed their clothing.
Alexandra Martin (Siren's Call)
I'm not dramatic, okay? My presence just commands a certain kind of attention.” - Kenji Kishimoto
Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me Series 3-Book Box Set)
What love and spirit give cannot be extorted. The state has always been made a hell by man's wanting to make it his heaven. The state is nothing but the coarse husk around the seed of life, the wall around the human fruits and flowers. Yet what good is a wall when the soil of our garden is parched? ... O inspiration, you will bring us the springtime of peoples again. The state cannot command your presence, but if it does not obstruct you, you will come.
Friedrich Hölderlin
For all his orders and sneers, his commanding presence, and his intimidating always all-black ensemble, Vhalla saw something different. She simply saw someone who was lonely, someone who could likely count their friends on one hand, and perhaps wanted to one day use two hands. He was nothing like the man she first met, the man who wore a mask to meet palace expectations.
Elise Kova (Air Awakens (Air Awakens, #1))
in most hierarchies, super-competence is more objectionable than incompetence.” He warned that extremely skilled and productive employees often face criticism, and are fired if they don’t start performing worse. Their presence “disrupts and therefore violates the first commandment of hierarchical life: the hierarchy must be preserved.
Laurence J. Peter (The Peter Principle: Why Things Always Go Wrong)
She'd seen a documentary once, on cult leaders, and the traits that made them so effective. One of the most important features was a commanding presence. Too many people thought that meant being loud, but in truth, it meant someone who didn't need to be loud. Someone who could command an audience without ever raising their voice.
Victoria Schwab (This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1))
Satan says, offering the next temptation. “If God exists, He will surely save you. If you are in fact his Son, God will surely save you.” Why would God not make Himself manifest, to rescue His only begotten Child from hunger and isolation and the presence of great evil? But that establishes no pattern for life. It doesn’t even work as literature. The deus ex machina—the emergence of a divine force that magically rescues the hero from his predicament—is the cheapest trick in the hack writer’s playbook. It makes a mockery of independence, and courage, and destiny, and free will, and responsibility. Furthermore, God is in no wise a safety net for the blind. He’s not someone to be commanded to perform magic tricks, or forced into Self-revelation—not even by His own Son.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
If there’s any chance of salvaging things between us—and I must be crazy to even consider that—you need to start off with a huge apology,” I stated without preamble. His arms folded across his chest. With that stunning jewel-encrusted coat adding to his already commanding presence, I felt like I’d somehow shrunk several feet, but I refused to be cowed. I stood straighter and began to tap my foot. He glanced down. “Is that supposed to intimidate me?” he asked, his voice edged with satin-covered steel.
Jeaniene Frost (Once Burned (Night Prince, #1))
It was so damn strange, John thought, how sometimes the most unlikely, an ugly little man like this one, could hold such power. He had a tremendous command presence, his voice sweet, rich, carrying power. So strange how some had that, could spout utter insanity and others would follow blindly.
William R. Forstchen (One Second After)
So meaning is made, not just discovered. That is what religion for the most part is: the constant making and remaking of meaning, by the stories we tell, the rituals we perform and the prayers we say. The stories are sacred, the rituals divine commands, and prayer a genuine dialogue with the divine. Religion is an authentic response to a real Presence, but it is also a way of making that presence real by constantly living in response to it. It is truth translated into deed.
Jonathan Sacks (The Great Partnership: God, Science and the Search for Meaning)
For over 220 years, Marines have served at the end of America’s operational reach—on freedom’s far frontiers. These Marines are the backbone of the ARG/MEU (SOC) team, our regional commanders’ force of choice for both forward presence and crisis response.
Tom Clancy (Marine: A Guided Tour of a Marine Expeditionary Unit (Guided Tour))
A commander in battle has three means of influencing the action: Fire support, now pouring down in torrents; his personal presence on the battlefield; and the use of his reserve.
Harold G. Moore (We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young: Ia Drang-The Battle That Changed the War in Vietnam)
To you, to the scarred and scattered remnants of the Fifty-fourth, who, with empty sleeve and wanting leg, have honoured this occasion with your presence, to you, your commander is not dead. Though Boston erected no monument and history recorded no story, in you and in the loyal race which you represent, Robert Gould Shaw would have a monument which time could not wear away,
Booker T. Washington (Up from Slavery: an autobiography)
I try not to look at him, but it’s impossible not to. His presence is totally commanding. I’ve heard that expression before, but until being around him I never really appreciated what it meant. He’s like the boss of my eyeballs or something. Do not look at his package, Candice. Do not look at his package. My eyes move of their own accord. Oh dammit , you looked at his package! And … oh my … Oh my, my, my … There’s a giant bulge! Hooray for giant bulges and the jeans that let me see them!
Elle Casey (MacKenzie Fire (Shine Not Burn, #2))
But when fascism comes it will not be in the form of an anti-American movement or pro-Hitler bund, practicing disloyalty. Nor will it come in the form of a crusade against war. It will appear rather in the luminous robes of flaming patriotism; it will take some genuinely indigenous shape and color, and it will spread only because its leaders, who are not yet visible, will know how to locate the great springs of public opinion and desire and the streams of thought that flow from them and will know how to attract to their banners leaders who can command the support of the controlling minorities in American public life. The danger lies not so much in the would-be Fuhrers who may arise, but in the presence in our midst of certainly deeply running currents of hope and appetite and opinion. The war upon fascism must be begun there.
John T. Flynn (As We Go Marching: A Biting Indictment of the Coming of Domestic Fascism in America)
Since once again, Lord - though this time not in the forests of the Aisne but in the steppes of Asia - I have neither bread, nor wine, nor altar, I will raise myself beyond these symbols, up to the pure majesty of the Real itself; I, your priest, will make the whole earth my altar and on it will offer you all the labours and sufferings of the world. Over there, on the horizon, the sun has just touched with light the outermost fringe of the eastern sky. Once again, beneath this moving sheet of fire, the living surface of the earth wakes and trembles, and once again begins its fearful travail. I will place on my paten, O God, the harvest to be won by this renewal of labour. Into my chalice I shall pour all the sap which is to be pressed out this day from the earth’s fruits. My paten and my chalice are the depths of a soul laid widely open to all the forces which in a moment will rise up from every corner of the earth and converge upon the Spirit. Grant me the remembrance and the mystic presence of all those whom the light is now awakening to the new day . . . Over every living thing which is to spring up, to grow, to flower, to ripen during this day say again the words: ‘This is my Body’. And over every death-force which waits in readiness to corrode, to wither, to cut down, speak again your commanding words which express the supreme mystery of faith: ‘This is my Blood’.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (The Divine Milieu (Perennial Classics))
A KING WHO PLACED MIRRORS IN HIS PALACE There lived a king; his comeliness was such The world could not acclaim his charm too much. The world's wealth seemed a portion of his grace; It was a miracle to view his face. If he had rivals,then I know of none; The earth resounded with this paragon. When riding through his streets he did not fail To hide his features with a scarlet veil. Whoever scanned the veil would lose his head; Whoever spoke his name was left for dead, The tongue ripped from his mouth; whoever thrilled With passion for this king was quickly killed. A thousand for his love expired each day, And those who saw his face, in blank dismay Would rave and grieve and mourn their lives away- To die for love of that bewitching sight Was worth a hundred lives without his light. None could survive his absence patiently, None could endure this king's proximity- How strange it was that man could neither brook The presence nor the absence of his look! Since few could bear his sight, they were content To hear the king in sober argument, But while they listened they endure such pain As made them long to see their king again. The king commanded mirrors to be placed About the palace walls, and when he faced Their polished surfaces his image shone With mitigated splendour to the throne. If you would glimpse the beauty we revere Look in your heart-its image will appear. Make of your heart a looking-glass and see Reflected there the Friend's nobility; Your sovereign's glory will illuminate The palace where he reigns in proper state. Search for this king within your heart; His soul Reveals itself in atoms of the Whole. The multitude of forms that masquerade Throughout the world spring from the Simorgh's shade. If you catch sight of His magnificence It is His shadow that beguiles your glance; The Simorgh's shadow and Himself are one; Seek them together, twinned in unison. But you are lost in vague uncertainty... Pass beyond shadows to Reality. How can you reach the Simorgh's splendid court? First find its gateway, and the sun, long-sought, Erupts through clouds; when victory is won, Your sight knows nothing but the blinding sun.
Attar of Nishapur
Whether or not the United States has saved the world, it did save France a time or two. When the American Expeditionary Forces commanded by General John J. Pershing came to the aid of France during World War I, they marched into Paris on July 4, 1917, heading straight for Picpus Cemetery. Colonel Charles E. Stanton, whose uncle had been Abraham Lincoln’s secretary of war, addressed the French people while standing before Lafayette’s tomb. “America has joined forces with the Allied Powers,” he said, “and what we have of blood and treasure are yours. Therefore it is that with loving pride we drape the colors in tribute of respect to this citizen of your great republic. And here and now, in the presence of the illustrious dead, we pledge our hearts and our honor in carrying this war to a successful issue. Lafayette, we are here.” •
Sarah Vowell (Lafayette in the Somewhat United States)
Remind Youth: It is not necessary to look for confidence. It is there – potentially yours and never hidden; awaiting a commanding voice of faith, hope and affirmation. Speak repetitiously with authority and conviction the self-assurance which only seems lacking, but you simply lost touch with.
T.F. Hodge (From Within I Rise: Spiritual Triumph over Death and Conscious Encounters with "The Divine Presence")
What constitutes charm? A presence, a capacity to command attention, an innate conviction of one's own uniqueness, combined, as often as not, with the more manipulative ability of making the interlocutor believe he has one's undivided attention and has gained a certain indefinable something from the encounter.
Michela Wrong (In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz: Living on the Brink of Disaster in Mobutu's Congo)
How could she have reacted like that? She didn’t understand what had come over her. She’d felt his passion and her own. It made her anxious. On edge. For something. Something that made her skin prickle whenever he was in the room with her. Indeed, she found it difficult to concentrate when he was around. He was big and strong and smelled incredible. She wanted to curl up against his chest and never leave. She’d never had such strong urges. But then again, she’d never met a man who made her feel so protected simply by his solid presence and his confident command of everything around him. His strength was strangely soothing. She couldn’t remember a time in her life when she’d felt so…content.
Monica McCarty (Highlander Unchained (MacLeods of Skye Trilogy, #3))
The presence you create is the presence you command.
Paul Bamikole
That when he began his business, he said to GOD, with a filial trust in Him, “O my GOD, since Thou art with me, and I must now, in obedience to Thy commands, apply my mind to these outward things, I beseech Thee to grant me the grace to continue in Thy Presence; and to this end do Thou prosper me with Thy assistance, receive all my works, and possess all my affections.
Brother Lawrence (The Practice of the Presence of God (Living Library))
I AM’ Master of my world. ‘I AM’ the Victorious, Intelligence governing it. I send forth into my world this Mighty, Radiant, Intelligent Energy of God. I command It to create all Perfection—to draw to me the Opulence of God made visible in my hands and use. ‘I AM’ no longer the Babe of Christ, but the Master Presence grown to Full Stature, and I speak and command with authority.
Comte de Saint-Germain (The "I am" discourses)
And then it occurred to him, the flame had no body of its own, no skin to command, no physical presence. It needed Niko more than Niko needed it. The flame was not his master. He must master it.
Ariana Nash (Curse of the Dark Prince (Prince's Assassin, #3))
What Abraham needed most of all was to learn the practice of living in God’s presence, seeing all life in relation to him, and looking to him, and him alone, as Commander, Defender and Rewarder.
J.I. Packer (Knowing God)
My Last Duchess That’s my last Duchess painted on the wall, Looking as if she were alive. I call That piece a wonder, now: Fra Pandolf’s hands Worked busily a day, and there she stands. Will’t please you sit and look at her? I said “Fra Pandolf” by design, for never read Strangers like you that pictured countenance, The depth and passion of its earnest glance, But to myself they turned (since none puts by The curtain I have drawn for you, but I) And seemed as they would ask me, if they durst, How such a glance came there; so, not the first Are you to turn and ask thus. Sir, ’twas not Her husband’s presence only, called that spot Of joy into the Duchess’ cheek: perhaps Fra Pandolf chanced to say “Her mantle laps Over my lady’s wrist too much,” or “Paint Must never hope to reproduce the faint Half-flush that dies along her throat”: such stuff Was courtesy, she thought, and cause enough For calling up that spot of joy. She had A heart—how shall I say?—too soon made glad, Too easily impressed; she liked whate’er She looked on, and her looks went everywhere. Sir, ’twas all one! My favour at her breast, The dropping of the daylight in the West, The bough of cherries some officious fool Broke in the orchard for her, the white mule She rode with round the terrace—all and each Would draw from her alike the approving speech, Or blush, at least. She thanked men,—good! but thanked Somehow—I know not how—as if she ranked My gift of a nine-hundred-years-old name With anybody’s gift. Who’d stoop to blame This sort of trifling? Even had you skill In speech—(which I have not)—to make your will Quite clear to such an one, and say, “Just this Or that in you disgusts me; here you miss, Or there exceed the mark”—and if she let Herself be lessoned so, nor plainly set Her wits to yours, forsooth, and made excuse, —E’en then would be some stooping; and I choose Never to stoop. Oh sir, she smiled, no doubt, Whene’er I passed her; but who passed without Much the same smile? This grew; I gave commands; Then all smiles stopped together. There she stands As if alive. Will’t please you rise? We’ll meet The company below, then. I repeat, The Count your master’s known munificence Is ample warrant that no just pretence Of mine for dowry will be disallowed; Though his fair daughter’s self, as I avowed At starting, is my object. Nay, we’ll go Together down, sir. Notice Neptune, though, Taming a sea-horse, thought a rarity, Which Claus of Innsbruck cast in bronze for me!
Robert Browning (My Last Duchess and Other Poems (Dover Thrift Editions: Poetry))
I am here to sing thee songs. In this hall of thine I have a corner seat. In thy world I have no work to do; my useless life can only break out in tunes without a purpose. When the hour strikes for thy silent worship at the dark temple of midnight, command me, my master, to stand before thee to sing. When in the morning air the golden harp is tuned, honour me, commanding my presence.
Rabindranath Tagore (Gitanjali)
What if one were to want to hunt for these hidden presences? You can’t just rummage around like you’re at a yard sale. You have to listen. You have to pay attention. There are certain things you can’t look at directly. You need to trick them into revealing themselves. That’s what we’re doing with Walter, Jaz. We’re juxtaposing things, listening for echoes. It’s not some silly cybernetic dream of command and control, modeling the whole world so you can predict the outcome. It’s certainly not a theory of everything. I don’t have a theory of any kind. What I have is far more profound.’ ‘What’s that?’ ‘A sense of humor.’ Jaz looked at him, trying to find a clue in his gaunt face, in the clear gray eyes watching him with such - what? Amusement? Condescension? There was something about the man which brought on a sort of hermeneutic despair. He was a forest of signs. ‘We’re hunting for jokes.’ Bachman spoke slowly, as if to a child. ‘Parapraxes. Cosmic slips of the tongue. They’re the key to the locked door. They’ll help us discover it.’ ‘Discover what?’ ‘The face of God. What else would we be looking for?
Hari Kunzru (Gods Without Men)
He was an old hand at the Camp now, his hollow countenance and the intensity of his averted gaze familiar to all who came and went around him. Some had carried to other camps a description of his lanky, quiet presence, had spoken of his strangeness, his regular, lone attendance before the chapel statue. He had made no friends, but in his duties was conscientious and persevering and reliable, known for such qualities to the officers who commanded him. He had dug latrines, metalled roads, adequately performed cookhouse duties, followed instructions as to the upkeep of equipment, and was the first to volunteer when volunteers were called for. That he bore his torment with fortitude was known to no one.
William Trevor (The Story of Lucy Gault)
Jesus’s use of the phrasing “a new commandment” is frequently scanted in light of its implicit ramifications. Because Jesus at the Last Supper has executed the “new covenant” with his disciples, the Great Commandment itself now acquires an unprecedented meaning. Its new meaning belongs to this sudden revelation not merely about who God is but also about what love is. Previously the Great Commandment bade us to love God and our neighbor. Now this love can be comprehended only in an incarnational situation. Its incarnate presence is the activation of profound rhizomic relations that explode from the center toward the ends of the earth. We are commanded to be incarnational in relation to one another just as God at the cross was incarnational in Christ. . . . We are no longer simply Christ’s “followers" - the pre-Easter form of relation to a master-and-teacher that is conventionally called “disciple” - but also perpetual Christ incarnators . . .
Carl Raschke (GloboChrist: The Great Commission Takes a Postmodern Turn (The Church and Postmodern Culture))
A wife must do whatever her husband orders her to do.” The command didn’t sit well with her. “This wife doesn’t.” “Damn it, Gillian, don’t turn stubborn on me.” “A husband doesn’t curse in his wife’s presence.” “This husband does,” he snapped.
Julie Garwood (Ransom (Highlands' Lairds, #2))
She held herself with a grace and air of command that made him feel awkward and stumble-footed. She was barely tall enough to come up to his chest, but her presence was such that her height seemed the proper one, and he felt ungainly in his tallness.
Robert Jordan (The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, #1))
Let us fool ourselves no longer. At the very moment Western nations, threw off the ancient regime of absolute government, operating under a once-divine king, they were restoring this same system in a far more effective form in their technology, reintroducing coercions of a military character no less strict in the organization of a factory than in that of the new drilled, uniformed, and regimented army. During the transitional stages of the last two centuries, the ultimate tendency of this system might b e in doubt, for in many areas there were strong democratic reactions; but with the knitting together of a scientific ideology, itself liberated from theological restrictions or humanistic purposes, authoritarian technics found an instrument at hand that h as now given it absolute command of physical energies of cosmic dimensions. The inventors of nuclear bombs, space rockets, and computers are the pyramid builders of our own age: psychologically inflated by a similar myth of unqualified power, boasting through their science of their increasing omnipotence, if not omniscience, moved by obsessions and compulsions no less irrational than those of earlier absolute systems: particularly the notion that the system itself must be expanded, at whatever eventual co st to life. Through mechanization, automation, cybernetic direction, this authoritarian technics has at last successfully overcome its most serious weakness: its original dependence upon resistant, sometimes actively disobedient servomechanisms, still human enough to harbor purposes that do not always coincide with those of the system. Like the earliest form of authoritarian technics, this new technology is marvellously dynamic and productive: its power in every form tends to increase without limits, in quantities that defy assimilation and defeat control, whether we are thinking of the output of scientific knowledge or of industrial assembly lines. To maximize energy, speed, or automation, without reference to the complex conditions that sustain organic life, have become ends in themselves. As with the earliest forms of authoritarian technics, the weight of effort, if one is to judge by national budgets, is toward absolute instruments of destruction, designed for absolutely irrational purposes whose chief by-product would be the mutilation or extermination of the human race. Even Ashurbanipal and Genghis Khan performed their gory operations under normal human limits. The center of authority in this new system is no longer a visible personality, an all-powerful king: even in totalitarian dictatorships the center now lies in the system itself, invisible but omnipresent: all its human components, even the technical and managerial elite, even the sacred priesthood of science, who alone have access to the secret knowledge by means of which total control is now swiftly being effected, are themselves trapped by the very perfection of the organization they have invented. Like the Pharoahs of the Pyramid Age, these servants of the system identify its goods with their own kind of well-being: as with the divine king, their praise of the system is an act of self-worship; and again like the king, they are in the grip of an irrational compulsion to extend their means of control and expand the scope of their authority. In this new systems-centered collective, this Pentagon of power, there is no visible presence who issues commands: unlike job's God, the new deities cannot be confronted, still less defied. Under the pretext of saving labor, the ultimate end of this technics is to displace life, or rather, to transfer the attributes of life to the machine and the mechanical collective, allowing only so much of the organism to remain as may be controlled and manipulated.
Lewis Mumford
Xavier long-ago recognized the power of his looks and commanding presence and had successfully parlayed it to his advantage throughout his career and writing had been very lucrative for him. Then, he met Pilar, his #1 fanatic fan and the game changed. The shit got real.
Electa Rome Parks (These Boots Were Made for Stalking (a short story))
In 1946, I lectured in the French occupation zone of Austria. I spoke against collective guilt in the presence of the commanding general of the French forces. The next day a university professor came to me, himself a former SS officer, with tears in his eyes. He asked how I could find the courage to take an open stand against collective guilt. “You can’t do it,” I told him. “You would be speaking out of self-interest. But I am the former inmate number 119104, and I can do it. Therefore I must. People will listen to me, and so it is my obligation to speak against it.
Viktor E. Frankl (Recollections: An Autobiography)
Administrators and campus police are loath to do anything that might necessitate the use of force against student darlings. But if arrests are all but foreclosed, enough police manpower must be summoned to maintain open access through sheer command presence. Before a planned blockade, the faculty must reaffirm in their classes the institution’s belief in free expression. And the faculty must show up to the threatened event itself to give meaning to the ideal of free speech; they must shame the students trying to prevent their fellow students from hearing ideas that challenge campus orthodoxies.
Heather Mac Donald (The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture)
I particularly want you to meet Miss Bucholtz.” The very idea made him uneasy. “Why is that, Ma’am?” he bluntly asked. Mrs. Morgan hesitated. “Keep this under your hat, mind you.” “Yes, Ma’am.” She let out a tired sigh. “I’ve brought Miss Bucholtz to replace Mr. Gabellini.” Howie pictured a dried up old spinster with the same commanding presence as Mrs. Morgan, a real battle-axe. “Fireworks are coming. Are you sure a woman is the right, uh, person for the job?” “Bertha Bucholz is one of the best cooks I know. I guarantee by this time next month, you men will all be sporting five extra pounds.
Debra Holland (Mail-Order Brides of the West: Bertha: A Montana Sky Series Novel (Mail-Order Brides of the West Series Book 5))
As for those who choose to remain outside the presence, it really doesn't matter whether you warn them or not. They are determined to stay apart (2:6). They are behind a curtain by our command and their choosing. The wall in front of them is made of their bodies. You cannot know who is behind the curtain. You can only stand out of sight and call to your friends. Those who respond do so according to eternal findings. But it is good for you to call and continue calling. You are like a diver who goes to the bottom and brings up sometimes a pure gem, sometimes an ordinary stone. Your diving does not change one into the other.
Bahauddin (The Drowned Book: Ecstatic and Earthy Reflections of the Father of Rumi)
Lady Amunsdale," Talia said, looking around the room. Nothing. Ridiculous. She tried again, louder, with melodrama. "Lady Amunsdale. Please grace us with your presence." All quiet. Jim buried his face in his hands, his bald head reddening. Talia felt bad for her mocking tone. The man was crazy, but also desperately in love. "You're too nice," Adam observed. "It might take more of a command to get her to come out." Talia rolled her eyes. A command - those came all too easy to Adam. This was the last time, and she was done. She raised her voice. "Lady Amunsdale. Come here. Now." A pause, then a distorted voice whined.
Erin Kellison (Shadow Bound (Shadow, #1))
Jesus Christ is not a cosmic errand boy. I mean no disrespect or irreverence in so saying, but I do intend to convey the idea that while he loves us deeply and dearly, Christ the Lord is not perched on the edge of heaven, anxiously anticipating our next wish. When we speak of God being good to us, we generally mean that he is kind to us. In the words of the inimitable C. S. Lewis, "What would really satisfy us would be a god who said of anything we happened to like doing, 'What does it matter so long as they are contented?' We want, in fact, not so much a father in heaven as a grandfather in heaven--a senile benevolence who as they say, 'liked to see young people enjoying themselves,' and whose plan for the universe was simply that it might be truly said at the end of each day, 'a good time was had by all.'" You know and I know that our Lord is much, much more than that. One writer observed: "When we so emphasize Christ's benefits that he becomes nothing more than what his significance is 'for me' we are in danger. . . . Evangelism that says 'come on, it's good for you'; discipleship that concentrates on the benefits package; sermons that 'use' Jesus as the means to a better life or marriage or job or attitude--these all turn Jesus into an expression of that nice god who always meets my spiritual needs. And this is why I am increasingly hesitant to speak of Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. As Ken Woodward put it in a 1994 essay, 'Now I think we all need to be converted--over and over again, but having a personal Savior has always struck me as, well, elitist, like having a personal tailor. I'm satisfied to have the same Lord and Savior as everyone else.' Jesus is not a personal Savior who only seeks to meet my needs. He is the risen, crucified Lord of all creation who seeks to guide me back into the truth." . . . His infinity does not preclude either his immediacy or his intimacy. One man stated that "I want neither a terrorist spirituality that keeps me in a perpetual state of fright about being in right relationship with my heavenly Father nor a sappy spirituality that portrays God as such a benign teddy bear that there is no aberrant behavior or desire of mine that he will not condone." . . . Christ is not "my buddy." There is a natural tendency, and it is a dangerous one, to seek to bring Jesus down to our level in an effort to draw closer to him. This is a problem among people both in and outside the LDS faith. Of course we should seek with all our hearts to draw near to him. Of course we should strive to set aside all barriers that would prevent us from closer fellowship with him. And of course we should pray and labor and serve in an effort to close the gap between what we are and what we should be. But drawing close to the Lord is serious business; we nudge our way into intimacy at the peril of our souls. . . . Another gospel irony is that the way to get close to the Lord is not by attempting in any way to shrink the distance between us, to emphasize more of his humanity than his divinity, or to speak to him or of him in casual, colloquial language. . . . Those who have come to know the Lord best--the prophets or covenant spokesmen--are also those who speak of him in reverent tones, who, like Isaiah, find themselves crying out, "Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts" (Isaiah 6:5). Coming into the presence of the Almighty is no light thing; we feel to respond soberly to God's command to Moses: "Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground" (Exodus 3:5). Elder Bruce R. McConkie explained, "Those who truly love the Lord and who worship the Father in the name of the Son by the power of the Spirit, according to the approved patterns, maintain a reverential barrier between themselves and all the members of the Godhead.
Robert L. Millet
Human love is the shadow of the Great love; its child. And of all human loves, it is romantic love which has the most riveting effect upon our soul. Ageless and perennial, it is forever finding an outlet in poetry, music, dance, story-telling, and the media. We never tire of it. It commands attention at so many turns, such is the longing for its presence in our life. It is not by accident that it has such an unfailing pull on our psyche. If we cannot connect with visible human love, we will not be able to find the invisible Love. Human love is leading us, most of us unknowingly, straight to the divinity of our own nature. And that nature leads us, in turn, to the source of life itself.
Donna Goddard (Love's Longing)
Couch later wrote, “The retrograde movement had prepared me for something of the kind, but to hear from his own lips that the advantages gained by the successful marches of his lieutenants were to culminate in fighting a defensive battle in that nest of thickets was too much, and I retired from his presence with the belief that my commanding general was a whipped man.
Eric J. Wittenberg (The Union Cavalry Comes of Age: Hartwood Church to Brandy Station, 1863)
[Minnie] knew what the public wanted of her and relished her role as empress, playing it extremely well, taking an almost childish delight in brilliant jewels, stylish clothing and grand parties. People responded readily to her pleasure. Physically small, she stood with royal carriage and a vital presence, commanding any room she entered. Her public both admired and liked her.
John Curtis Perry (The Flight of the Romanovs: A Family Saga)
...if he insists on a version of you that is funnier, stranger, more eccentric and profound than you suspect yourself to be - capable of doing more good and more harm in the world than you've ever imagined - it is all but impossible not to believe, at least in his presence and for a while after you've left him, that he alone sees through to your essence, weighs your true qualities and appreciates you more fully than anyone else ever has. It is only after knowing him some time that you begin to realize that you are, to him, an essentially fictional character, one he has invested with nearly limitless capacities for tragedy and comedy not because that is your true nature but because he needs to live in a world propelled by extreme and commanding figures.
V.S. Naipaul (A Bend in the River)
We don’t pretend all is well. But knowing God’s commands to rejoice in him through his all-sufficient power, we meditate on his Word and call on him to impart his gladness to us. In time God exchanges our natural responses with his supernatural, joy-giving presence. Sometimes sorrow and joy do battle; sometimes they coexist, but when our hearts and minds are on Christ, joy is never far away:
Randy Alcorn (God's Promise of Happiness)
And then he closed his eyes and imagined Sun Moon, the one that was always within him...she was a calm presence, open-armed, ready to save him at all times. She wasn't leaving him, she wasn't going anywhere. And here the sharp pain in his chest subsided, and Commander Ga understood that the Sun Moon inside him was the pain reserve that would allow him to survive the loss of the Sun Moon before him.
Adam Johnson (The Orphan Master's Son)
I am a Hindu because of sculptured cones of red kumkum powder and baskets of yellow turmeric nuggets, because of garlands of flowers and pieces of broken coconut, because of the clanging of bells to announce one's arrival to God, because of the while of the reedy nadaswaram and the beating of drums, because of the patter of bare feet against stone floors down dark corridors pierced by shafts of sunlight, because of the fragrance of incense, because of flames of arati lamps circling in the darkness, because of bhajans being sweetly sung, because of elephants standing around to bless, because of colourful murals telling colourful stories, because of foreheads carrying, variously signified, the same word - faith. I became loyal to these sense impressions even before I knew what they meant or what they were for. It is my heart that commands me so. I feel at home in a Hindu temple. I am aware of Presence, not personal the way we usually presence, but something larger. My heart still skips a beat when I catch sight of the murti, of God Residing, in the inner sanctum of the temple. Truly I am in a sacred cosmic womb, a place where everything is born, and it is my sweet luck to behold its living core. My hands naturally come together in reverent worship.
Yann Martel (Life of Pi)
month later, on July 9, 2012, Stevens and the embassy’s security staff, led by DS agent Eric Nordstrom, asked the State Department to extend the presence of a Site Security Team, or SST, that consisted of sixteen active-duty military special operators. The Defense Department’s Africa Command, which oversaw the unit, was willing to extend the team’s stay in Tripoli. But State Department officials decided that DS agents and locally hired guards could do the job, and that the SST operators weren’t needed. In the weeks that followed, General Carter Ham, head of Africa Command, twice asked Stevens if he wanted the SST to remain in Libya. Despite his earlier request to extend the team’s stay, Stevens wouldn’t buck the decision of State Department officials in Washington. He declined Ham’s offers and the SST left Libya, even as Stevens moved forward with plans to visit the restive city of Benghazi.
Mitchell Zuckoff (13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi)
The gift of the Holy Ghost confers upon a person the right to receive, as he may desire and need, the presence, light and intelligence of the Holy Ghost. It gives, as it were, an official claim upon the mighty assistance and comforting assurance of the Holy Ghost. When the servants of the Lord display a spiritual power beyond the command of man: when the grief-laden heart beats with joy; when failure is converted into victory, it is by the visitation of the Holy Ghost.
John A. Widstoe
The mere contemplation of revelation and the loss of its possibility, though, had shown him something important. Stephan von Namtzen both attracted and aroused him, but it was not because of his own undoubted physical qualities. It was, rather, the degree to which those qualities reminded Grey of James Fraser. Von Namtzen was nearly the same height as Fraser, a powerful man with broad shoulders, long legs, and an instantly commanding presence. However, Stephan was heavier, more crudely constructed, and less graceful than the Scot. And while Stephan warmed Grey’s blood, the fact remained that the Hanoverian did not burn his heart like living flame. He lay down finally upon his bed, and put out the candle. Lay watching the play of firelight on the walls, seeing not the flicker of wood flame, but the play of sun upon red hair, the sheen of sweat on a pale bronzed body … A brief and brutal dose of Mr. Keegan’s remedy left him drained, if not yet peaceful.
Diana Gabaldon (Lord John and the Hand of Devils (Lord John Grey, #0.5-1.5-2.5))
Deuteronomy had listed a number of obligatory laws, which had included the Ten Commandments. During and immediately after the exile, this had been elaborated into a complex legislation consisting of the 613 commandments (mitzvot) in the Pentateuch. These minute directives seem off-putting to an outsider and have been presented in a very negative light by New Testament polemic. Jews did not find them a crushing burden, as Christians tend to imagine, but found that they were a symbolic way of living in the presence of God. In
Karen Armstrong (A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam)
Yet now they call her goddess. Now, we are to kneel before her, and know her face as Dark’s own, her presence as the elemental force itself. What has become of us that we should so descend into superstition? Treasonous thoughts – she knew that. The philosopher’s game of separating governance from faith was a lie. Beliefs ran the gamut, from worshipping vast spirits in the sky down to professing love for a man. From listening to the voice of a god’s will to accepting an officer’s right to command. The only distinction was one of scale.
Steven Erikson (Forge of Darkness (The Kharkanas Trilogy #1))
our lives. First, we’ll look at practicing the power of being present. Which sounds a lot cooler, hipper, New Age, and Zen than I intend, because what I’m talking about, as you’ll see, is simply a fundamental awareness of God’s presence in each moment of our lives. The second area is one you may know but don’t practice regularly: taking a Sabbath. Notice I said “taking” instead of “observing” the Sabbath. Knowing how to rest, to unplug, to unwind is as much a spiritual discipline as prayer or fasting. As weird as it may sound, God commands us to rest. It’s not an option to keep going at the pace, intensity, and speed at which most of us live our lives. Busyness will remain the standard for many people for years to come. But we’re called to a different standard, a way of prioritizing our time that may seem weird to everyone around us. When we follow Jesus, we’re about our Father’s business, not about the world’s busyness. Check your watch. It’s time to get weird. Chapter 2 NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. — HENRY D
Craig Groeschel (WEIRD: Because Normal Isn’t Working)
Sir-Commander!" I called out, keeping my eyes down, like a good respectful girl in the presence of an officer. With my head down, I was staring straight into the foreigner's eyes. Something darted across his face, and for a moment I wondered if he recognized me from last night after all. "This mercenary. What's he wanted for, anyhow?" The commander paused on the porch. "Treason." I raised my eyebrows at the foreigner, a question. Below the counter, he winked at me and I couldn't stop myself from smiling back. "Well, then, I'll keep an eye out for him, sir.
Alwyn Hamilton (Rebel of the Sands (Rebel of the Sands, #1))
I usually can’t stop babbling, just to fill space, but with Julienne, I can see the appeal of just being. Julienne is quiet, obviously, but that’s because she can say what she means to in so few words. She has a commanding presence that’s hard to ignore. Julienne doesn’t seem to feel the same urgency other people do. Everyone else, myself included, is constantly vying for a space to occupy, just for the sake of it. But when Julienne does share, it’s incredible. She has an actual opinion on everything, not just something to say, and I want to hear about all of them.
Pega Rose (The Someday List)
The role unquestioned assumptions play becomes obvious if we look back at sociopolitical norms of the past, things like the absolute power of royalty, political participation only for men, property passed to the eldest son, slavery, serfdom, a prohibition on divorce, only men being allowed to file for divorce, only property holders being allowed to vote, child labor, colonization, and the “white man’s burden.” For a long time each of these was assumed to be an intrinsic part of the given culture, and passed unnoticed and uncontested until its presence was brought into the foreground and its legitimacy questioned.
Bernard Roth (The Achievement Habit: Stop Wishing, Start Doing, and Take Command of Your Life)
My presence here is illegal. It’s forbidden for us to be alone with the Commanders. We are for breeding purposes: we aren’t concubines, geisha girls, courtesans. On the contrary: everything possible has been done to remove us from that category. There is supposed to be nothing entertaining about us, no room is to be permitted for the flowering of secret lusts; no special favors are to be wheedled, by them or us, there are to be no toeholds for love. We are two-legged wombs, that’s all: sacred vessels, ambulatory chalices. So why does he want to see me, at night, alone? If I’m caught, it’s to Serena’s tender mercies I’ll be
Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale)
What the Romans could not understand was that this Jewish exceptionalism was not a matter of arrogance or pride. It was a direct commandment from a jealous God who tolerated no foreign presence in the land he had set aside for his chosen people. That is why, when the Jews first came to this land a thousand years earlier, God had decreed that they massacre every man, woman, and child they encountered, that they slaughter every ox, goat, and sheep they came across, that they burn every farm, every field, every crop, every living thing without exception so as to ensure that the land would belong solely to those who worshipped this one God and no other.
Reza Aslan (Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth)
The Bible is full of evidence that God’s attention is indeed fixed on the little things. But this is not because God is a Great Cosmic Cop, eager to catch us in minor transgressions, but simply because God loves us—loves us so much that the divine presence is revealed even in the meaningless workings of daily life. It is in the ordinary, the here—and—now, that God asks us to recognize that the creation is indeed refreshed like dew—laden grass that is “renewed in the morning” (Ps 90:5), or to put it in more personal and also theological terms, “our inner nature is being renewed every day” (2 Cor 4:16). Seen in this light, what strikes many modern readers as the ludicrous attention to detail in the book of Leviticus, involving God in the minutiae of daily life—all the cooking and cleaning of a people’s domestic life—might be revisioned as the very love of God. A God who cares so much as to desire to be present to us in everything we do. It is this God who speaks to us through the psalmist as he wakes from sleep, amazed, to declare, “I will bless you, Lord, you give me counsel, and even at night direct my heart” (Ps 16:7, GR). It is this God who speaks to us through the prophets, reminding us that by meeting the daily needs of the poor and vulnerable, characterized in the scriptures as the widows and orphans, we prepare the way of the Lord and make our own hearts ready for the day of salvation. When it comes to the nitty—gritty, what ties these threads of biblical narrative together into a revelation of God’s love is that God has commanded us to refrain from grumbling about the dailiness of life. Instead we are meant to accept it gratefully, as a reality that humbles us even as it gives us cause for praise. The rhythm of sunrise and sunset marks a passage of time that makes each day rich with the possibility of salvation, a concept that is beautifully summed up in an ancient saying from the monastic tradition: “Abba Poeman said concerning Abba Pior that every day he made a new beginning.
Kathleen Norris (The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy and "Women's Work")
Poetry is the perpetual endeavor to express the spirit of the thing, to pass the brute body and search the life and reason which causes it to exist;—to see that the object is always flowing away, whilst the spirit or necessity which causes it subsists. Its essential mark is that it betrays in every word instant activity of mind, shown in new uses of every fact and image, in preternatural quickness or perception of relations. All its words are poems. It is a presence of mind that gives a miraculous command of all means of uttering the thought and feeling of the moment. The poet squanders on the hour an amount of life that would more than furnish the seventy years of the man that stands next him.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
social power is power over—the capacity to control others’ states and behaviors. Personal power is power to—the ability to control our own states and behaviors. This is the kind of power Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel was referring to when he wrote, “Ultimately, the only power to which man should aspire is that which he exercises over himself.” Ideally, we want both kinds of power, but, as Wiesel suggests, personal power—the state of being in command of our most precious and authentic inner resources—is uniquely essential. Unless and until we feel personally powerful, we cannot achieve presence, and all the social power in the world won’t compensate for its absence.
Amy Cuddy (Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges)
One great deception, however, underscored the entire Bergdahl Kabuki. It was the same one that underscored Obama’s role as commander in chief: he had to pretend that he cared. When Obama told the press in Brussels, “We have a basic principle: We do not leave anybody wearing the American uniform behind,” it was for him just another talking point. When Rice spoke about America’s “sacred obligation” to its soldiers, it was again just so much talk. Obama, in particular, saw nothing “sacred” about America’s past or about its presence in the world. Indeed, if he felt any obligation at all to Americans in harm’s way, he would not have spent the evening of September 11, 2012, plotting campaign strategy.
Jack Cashill (You Lie!: The Evasions, Omissions, Fabrications, Frauds, and Outright Falsehoods of Barack Obama)
So now Israel, what do you think God expects from you?  Just this: Live in His presence in holy reverence, follow the road he sets out for you, love him, serve God, your God, with everything you have in you, obey his commandments and regulations of God that I’m commanding you today–live a good life. Deuteronomy 10:12-13   Lord, I thank you for this opportunity to be obedient to your commands.  I praise you because you’re true to your word.  I’m sorry for the times I’ve doubted you and had to miss out on the blessings you’d planned for me, and worse, required discipline.  I know you want what’s best for me, and because I’m choosing to obey I’m clearing the way for the miraculous to happen in my life.
Zari Banks (O Lord, Forgive Them: 30 Days of Praying for Your Enemies)
Shockers take six months of training and still occasionally kill their users. Why did you implant them in the first place?” “Because you kidnapped me.” “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.” “Mr. Rogan.” My voice frosted over. “What I put into my body is my business.” Okay, that didn’t sound right. I gave up and marched out the doors into the sunlight. That was so dumb. Sure, try your magic sex touch on me, what could happen? My whole body was still keyed up, wrapped up in want and anticipation. I had completely embarrassed myself. If I could fall through the floor, I would. “Nevada,” he said behind me. His voice rolled over me, tinted with command and enticing, promising things I really wanted. You’re a professional. Act like one. I gathered all of my will and made myself sound calm. “Yes?” He caught up with me. “We need to talk about this.” “There is nothing to discuss,” I told him. “My body had an involuntary response to your magic.” I nodded at the poster for Crash and Burn II on the wall of the mall, with Leif Magnusson flexing with two guns while wrapped in flames. “If Leif showed up in the middle of this parking lot, my body would have an involuntary response to his presence as well. It doesn’t mean I would act on it.” Mad Rogan gave Leif a dismissive glance and turned back to me. “They say admitting that you have a problem is the first step toward recovery.” He was changing his tactics. Not going to work. “You know what my problem is? My problem is a homicidal pyrokinetic Prime whom I have to bring back to his narcissistic family.” We crossed the road to the long parking lot. Grassy dividers punctuated by small trees sectioned the lot into lanes, and Mad Rogan had parked toward the end of the lane, by the exit ramp. “One school of thought says the best way to handle an issue like this is exposure therapy,” Mad Rogan said. “For example, if you’re terrified of snakes, repeated handling of them will cure it.” Aha. “I’m not handling your snake.” He grinned. “Baby, you couldn’t handle my snake.” It finally sank in. Mad Rogan, the Huracan, had just made a pass at me. After he casually almost strangled a woman in public. I texted to Bern, “Need pickup at Galeria IV.” Getting into Rogan’s car was out of the question.
Ilona Andrews (Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1))
Every year before the Days of Awe, the Ba-al Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidic Judaism, held a competition to see who would blow the shofar for him on Rosh Hashanah. Now if you wanted to blow the shofar for the Ba-al Shem Tov, not only did you have to blow the shofar like a virtuoso, but you also had to learn an elaborate system of kavanot — secret prayers that were said just before you blew the shofar to direct the shofar blasts and to see that they had the proper effect in the supernal realms. All the prospective shofar blowers practiced these kavanot for months. They were difficult and complex. There was one fellow who wanted to blow the shofar for the Ba-al Shem Tov so badly that he had been practicing these kavanot for years. But when his time came to audition before the Ba-al Shem, he realized that nothing he had done had prepared him adequately for the experience of standing before this great and holy man, and he choked. His mind froze completely. He couldn’t remember one of the kavanot he had practiced for all those years. He couldn’t even remember what he was supposed to be doing at all. He just stood before the Ba-al Shem in utter silence, and then, when he realized how egregiously — how utterly — he had failed this great test, his heart just broke in two and he began to weep, sobbing loudly, his shoulders heaving and his whole body wracking as he wept. All right, you’re hired, the Ba-al Shem said. But I don’t understand, the man said. I failed the test completely. I couldn’t even remember one kavanah. So the Ba-al Shem explained with the following parable: In the palace of the King, there are many secret chambers, and there are secret keys for each chamber, but one key unlocks them all, and that key is the ax. The King is the Lord of the Universe, the Ba-al Shem explained. The palace is the House of God. The secret chambers are the sefirot, the ascending spiritual realms that bring us closer and closer to God when we perform commandments such as blowing the shofar with the proper intention, and the secret keys are the kavanot. And the ax — the key that opens every chamber and brings us directly into the presence of the King, where he may be — the ax is the broken heart, for as it says in the Psalms, “God is close to the brokenhearted.
Alan Lew (This Is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared: The Days of Awe as a Journey of Transformation)
Many, Lorenzo, have held and still hold the opinion, that there is nothing which has less in common with another, and that is so dissimilar, as civilian life is from the military. Whence it is often observed, if anyone designs to avail himself of an enlistment in the army, that he soon changes, not only his clothes, but also his customs, his habits, his voice, and in the presence of any civilian custom, he goes to pieces; for I do not believe that any man can dress in civilian clothes who wants to be quick and ready for any violence; nor can that man have civilian customs and habits, who judges those customs to be effeminate and those habits not conducive to his actions; nor does it seem right to him to maintain his ordinary appearance and voice who, with his beard and cursing, wants to make other men afraid: which makes such an opinion in these times to be very true. But if they should consider the ancient institutions, they would not find matter more united, more in conformity, and which, of necessity, should be like to each other as much as these (civilian and military); for in all the arts that are established in a society for the sake of the common good of men, all those institutions created to (make people) live in fear of the laws and of God would be in vain, if their defense had not been provided for and which, if well arranged, will maintain not only these, but also those that are not well established. And so (on the contrary), good institutions without the help of the military are not much differently disordered than the habitation of a superb and regal palace, which, even though adorned with jewels and gold, if it is not roofed over will not have anything to protect it from the rain. And, if in any other institutions of a City and of a Republic every diligence is employed in keeping men loyal, peaceful, and full of the fear of God, it is doubled in the military; for in what man ought the country look for greater loyalty than in that man who has to promise to die for her? In whom ought there to be a greater love of peace, than in him who can only be injured by war? In whom ought there to be a greater fear of God than in him who, undergoing infinite dangers every day, has more need for His aid? If these necessities in forming the life of the soldier are well considered, they are found to be praised by those who gave the laws to the Commanders and by those who were put in charge of military training, and followed and imitated with all diligence by others.
Niccolò Machiavelli (The Art of War)
The autumn hit-and-run raids and the colonists’ attempts to retaliate ended with the early onset of especially heavy snowfalls that year. Over the next few months, the Massachusetts government dispatched to Maine companies of “country soldiers” to augment the inadequate regional militia forces. The troops, however, proved a mixed blessing to local residents and stimulated great controversy, especially in Black Point. There taxpayers later complained bitterly that they had not asked for the soldiers and had derived little benefit from their presence, yet they had nevertheless been required to pay the soldiers’ expenses. Even more galling, they explained, was the fact that the local commander, Joshua Scottow, who had moved to Maine from Boston a few years earlier, had used the men for his own personal gain, employing them to pave his yard, move his barn, and build a palisade for his property.
Mary Beth Norton (In the Devil's Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692)
The few remaining men can exist out their puny days dropped out on drugs or strutting around in drag or passively watching the high-powered female in action, fulfilling themselves as spectators, vicarious liver*, or breeding in the cow pasture with the toadies, or they can go off to the nearest friendly suicide center where they will be quietly, quickly, and painlessly gassed to death. Prior to the institution of automation, to the replacement of males by machines, the male should be of use to the female, wait on her, cater to her slightest whim, obey her every command, be totally subservient to her, exist in perfect obedience to her will, as opposed to the completely warped, degenerate situation we have now of men, not only not only not existing at all, cluttering up the world with their ignominious presence, but being pandered to and groveled before by the mass of females, millions of women piously worshiping the Golden Calf, the dog leading the master on a leash, when in fact the male, short of being a drag queen, is least miserable when his dogginess is recognized – no unrealistic emotional demands are made of him and the completely together female is calling the shots. Rational men want to be squashed, stepped on, crushed and crunched, treated as the curs, the filth that they are, have their repulsiveness confirmed. The sick, irrational men, those who attempt to defend themselves against their disgustingness, when they see SCUM barreling down on them, will cling in terror to Big Mama with her Big Bouncy Boobies, but Boobies won’t protect them against SCUM; Big Mama will be clinging to Big Daddy, who will be in the corner shitting in his forceful, dynamic pants. Men who are rational, however, won’t kick or struggle or raise a distressing fuss, but will just sit back, relax, enjoy the show and ride the waves to their demise.
Valerie Solanas
That night, I took a while falling asleep and when I did, I had a strange dream. She was sitting in my rocking chair and rocking herself, her dead eyes fixed on me. I lay on my bed, paralysed with fear, unable to move, unable to scream, my limbs refusing to move to my command. The room was suddenly freezing cold, the heater had probably stopped working in the night because the electricity supply had been cut and the inverter too had run out. At one point, I was uncertain whether I was dreaming or awake, or in that strange space between dreaming and wakefulness, where the soul wanders out of the body and explores other dimensions. What I knew was that I was chilled to the bones, chilled in a way that made it impossible for me to move myself, to lever myself to a sitting position in order to switch the bedside lamp on and check whether this was really happening. I could hear her in my head. Her voice was faint, feathery, and sibilant, as if she was whispering through a curtain of rain. Her words were indistinct, she called my name, she said words that pierced through my ears, words that meshed into ice slivers in my brain and when I thought finally that I would freeze to death an ice cold tiny body climbed into the quilt with me, putting frigidly chilly arms around me, and whispered, ‘Mother, I’m cold.’ Icicles shot up my spine, and I sat up, bolt upright in my bed, feeling the covers fall from me and a small indent in the mattress where something had been, a moment ago. There was a sudden click, the red light of the heater lit up, the bed and blanket warmer began radiating life-giving heat again and I felt myself thaw out, emerge from the scary limbo which marks one’s descent into another dimension, and the shadow faded out from the rocking chair right in front of me into complete transparency and the icy presence in the bed faded away to nothingness.
Kiran Manral (The Face At the Window)
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not upon thine own understanding." In all religion we have to use these two powers. The mind as to gather knowledge from God’s word, and prepare the food by which the heart with the inner life is to be nourished. But here comes in a terrible danger, of our leaning to our own understanding, and trusting in our apprehension of divine things. People imagine that if they are occupied with the truth, the spiritual life will as a matter of course be strengthened. And this is by no means the case. The understanding deals with conceptions and images of divine things, but it cannot reach the real life of the soul. Hence the command, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not upon thine own understanding." It is with the heart man believeth, and comes into touch with God. It is in the heart God has given His Spirit, to be there to us the presence and the power of God working in us.
Andrew Murray (Waiting on God)
IT is not impossible that among the English readers of this book there may be one who in 1915 and 1916 was in one of those trenches that were woven like a web among the ruins of Monchy-au-Bois. In that case he had opposite him at that time the 73rd Hanoverian Fusiliers, who wear as their distinctive badge a brassard with ' Gibraltar ' inscribed on it in gold, in memory of the defence of that fortress under General Elliot; for this, besides Waterloo, has its place in the regiment's history. At the time I refer to I was a nineteen-year-old lieutenant in command of a platoon, and my part of the line was easily recognizable from the English side by a row of tall shell-stripped trees that rose from the ruins of Monchy. My left flank was bounded by the sunken road leading to Berles-au-Bois, which was in the hands of the English ; my right was marked by a sap running out from our lines, one that helped us many a time to make our presence felt by means of bombs and rifle-grenades. I daresay this reader remembers, too, the white tom-cat, lamed in one foot by a stray bullet, who had his headquarters in No-man's-land. He used often to pay me a visit at night in my dugout. This creature, the sole living being that was on visiting terms with both sides, always made on me an impression of extreme mystery. This charm of mystery which lay over all that belonged to the other side, to that danger zone full of unseen figures, is one of the strongest impressions that the war has left with me. At that time, before the battle of the Somme, which opened a new chapter in the history of the war, the struggle had not taken on that grim and mathematical aspect which cast over its landscapes a deeper and deeper gloom. There was more rest for the soldier than in the later years when he was thrown into one murderous battle after another ; and so it is that many of those days come back to my memory now with a light on them that is almost peaceful.
Ernst Jünger (Storm of Steel)
From an old English parsonage down by the sea There came in the twilight a message to me; Its quaint Saxon legend, deeply engraven, Hath, it seems to me, teaching from Heaven. And on through the doors the quiet words ring Like a low inspiration: "DO THE NEXT THING." Many a questioning, many a fear, Many a doubt, hath its quieting here. Moment by moment, let down from Heaven, Time, opportunity, and guidance are given. Fear not tomorrows, child of the King, Trust them with Jesus, do the next thing Do it immediately, do it with prayer; Do it reliantly, casting all care; Do it with reverence, tracing His hand Who placed it before thee with earnest command. Stayed on Omnipotence, safe ‘neath His wing, Leave all results, do the next thing. Looking for Jesus, ever serener, Working or suffering, be thy demeanor; In His dear presence, the rest of His calm, The light of His countenance be thy psalm, Strong in His faithfulness, praise and sing. Then, as He beckons thee, do the next thing.
Minnie Paull
Our defense against the devil, made possible by Jesus’ death and resurrection and the Holy Spirit’s presence in us, comes in three ways: 1. Preparation: In Ephesians 6:10f, the apostle Paul teaches us to grow in our faith similarly to a soldier putting on armor, so that we may stand firm against the schemes of the devil. Our defense is truth; a right relationship with God; the Gospel of peace, faith, and salvation; and our offensive weapon, the word of God. 2. Discernment: We are gifted by the Holy Spirit to “discern spirits” (1 Cor. 12:10). 3. Active resistance: James 4:7 says that if we resist the devil he will flee from us. Our ability to resist depends on our preparation and our discernment. Our resistance is not passive, but an active and intentional use of the “sword of the Spirit, the word of God.” Jesus modeled this, and the disciples followed suit, as they cast out demons by commanding them in the name of Jesus. We can do the same thing through the power of the same Holy Spirit.
R. Thomas Ashbrook (Mansions of the Heart: Exploring the Seven Stages of Spiritual Growth)
God’s goodness comes to us amidst the battle and dust of our own suffering, our own long defeat. God always arrives with healing. But he is humble and meek, a king who comes in through the back door of our hearts not to conquer and raze our imperfections away but to hold and heal us by the intimacy of his touch, his presence here with us in the inmost rooms of our suffering. The power of God is radically gentle, never rough with our needs or careless with our yearning. God is fixed upon the restoration of our whole selves and souls, not just the bits that everyone else can see. Yet the very tenderness of his power is something we sometimes treat as his weakness or cruelty because we crave a more visible result. The healing kind of power is not the sort we’ve been taught to respect by existence in a fallen world where power just means brute force. We want the swift and the visible: illness zapped away, money in our hands, brilliant doctors, prosperous lives, and conversion stories by the thousands. We crave visibility and approbation and health and big crowds that make us feel important enough to forget the frail selves we used to be. When we pray for God to come in power to save us, we often picture a scenario in which God invades our lives as the ultimate mighty man to banish our frailty and make us something entirely other than we are, capable of the will and force whose lack we so deeply feel. But God cradles and cherishes our frailty, and that is where the true power of his love is known. I always think it intriguing that in the Gospels Jesus seems far less interested in the faith and hope at work in broken people than merely the healing of their bodies. For I think God knows there is no real healing until our hearts are healed of their fear, our minds cleansed of doubt. Broken bodies, shattered hopes, suffering minds, terrible pasts - they leave us deathly ill with the twisted belief that love can never be great enough to encompass the whole of the story. We feel that we must subtract or conceal part of ourselves if we are ever to win the love of other people or God himself. We are diminished in our own eyes by our suffering, taught to despair of our dreams, to give up our hope that God will come with goodness in his hands. So God creeps in, gentle, and we know his touch because we are not discarded or dismissed, but healed. He comes to unravel our self-doubt, to untangle the evil we have believed, to call us back from the dark lands of our insecurity. He calls us by name and wakes us from sleep so that we rise to ask what this kind and precious King commands, and so often his command is simply to open our hands so that they may be filled with his goodness. For when God arrives as the healer, we learn anew that the anguished hopes we carry are held within God’s hand like the hazelnut of Mother Julian’s vision. The story he weaves for us may look radically different from what we thought we desired, but when it arrives, we will recognize it as the intimate gift of a love whose will for us is always so much greater than our own.
Sarah Clarkson (This Beautiful Truth)
The more rights I surrender and the more I level myself down to others, the more deeply do I sink into the average and ultimately into the greatest number. The first condition which an aristocratic society must have in order to maintain a high degree of freedom among its members, is that extreme tension which arises from the presence of the most antagonistic instincts in all its units: from their will to dominate. . . . If ye would fain do away with strong contrasts and differences of rank, ye will also abolish strong love, lofty attitudes of mind, and the feeling of individuality. Concerning the actual psychology of societies based upon freedom and equality. — What is it that tends to diminish in such a society? The will to be responsible for ones self (the loss of this is a sign of the decline of autonomy); the ability to defend and to attack, even in spiritual matters; the power of command; the sense of reverence, of subservience, the ability to be silent, great passion, great achievements, tragedy and cheerfulness.
Friedrich Nietzsche (The Will to Power)
Creation is, on God’s part, not an act of self-expansion, but a retreat, a renunciation. God and all his creatures are less than God alone. God accepted this diminishment. God emptied Himself of part of His being. God emptied Himself in the act of His divinity. This is why St. John says, ‘The Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world.’ God permitted things to exist other than Himself and worth infinitely less than Himself. By the act of creation, God denied himself, just as Christ told us to deny ourselves. God denied Himself in our favour to give us the possibility of denying ourselves for Him. This response, this echo, subject to our refusal, is the only possible justification for the folly of love in the act of creation. Religions with this conception of renunciation, this voluntary distance, this voluntary effacement of God, His apparent absence and His secret presence here below … these religions are the true religion, translations of the Great Revelation into different languages. Religions that represent divinity as commanding wherever it has the power to do so are false. Even if they are monotheistic, they are idolatries.
Simone Weil (Awaiting God: A New Translation of Attente de Dieu and Lettre a Un Religieux)
I believe Jesus had another reason for commanding us to pray for our enemies. He understands that we cannot genuinely pray for another and continue to hate him. In prayer, our vision of the person is transformed as we see him in the light of God’s presence. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote about the reorienting power of prayer within Christian communities (where a great many of our enemies are often found): A Christian community either lives by the intercessory prayers of its members for one another, or the community will be destroyed. I can no longer condemn or hate other Christians for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble they cause me. In intercessory prayer the face that may have been strange and intolerable to me is transformed into the face of one for whom Christ died, the face of a pardoned sinner. That is a blessed discovery for the Christian who is beginning to offer intercessory prayer for others. As far as we are concerned, there is no dislike, no personal tension, no disunity or strife that cannot be overcome by intercessory prayer. Intercessory prayer is the purifying bath into which the individual and the community must enter every day.1 READ MORE Luke 23:33–34; 1 Peter 3:8–9
Skye Jethani (What If Jesus Was Serious?: A Visual Guide to the Teachings of Jesus We Love to Ignore)
MARCH 19 YOU WILL COMMAND MOUNTAINS TO BE REMOVED IF YOU HAVE faith in My power at work in your life, you will be able to command any mountain that rises up against Me or My power in you to fall into the sea. Stand firm in your faith, for many will say in their hearts that they want to ascend to heaven. They will try to establish their throne above the tops of the clouds so that they may be like the Most High. But with My power at work in you, you will bring them down to the depths of the pit. In the last days the mountain of My holy temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord. He will teach us His ways, so that we may walk in His paths.” PSALM 65; MATTHEW 21:21–22 Prayer Declaration I speak to every mountain in my life and command it to be removed and cast into the sea. I speak to every financial mountain to be removed from my life in Jesus’s name. Let every evil mountain hear the voice of the Lord and be removed. Let the mountains tremble at the presence of God. Lord, You are against every destroying mountain. Make waste the evil mountains in my life, O Lord.
John Eckhardt (Daily Declarations for Spiritual Warfare: Biblical Principles to Defeat the Devil)
George, who had been standing gripping the back of a chair, demanded in a voice which boded ill for the absent Viscount. 'What has Sherry done to you?' "He has not done anything yet. That is why I had to run away, to prevent him! I could not bear it, I "could" not!' 'By God!' George swore, his brilliant eyes beginning to smolder. 'Only tell me!' Mr Ringwood emerged from his stupefaction at this point. He poured himself out some brandy, tossed it off, and set down the glass with the air of a man who was now competent to deal with any emergency. 'Hold your tongue, George!' he commanded tersely. 'So Sherry's home, is he, Kitten?' She nodded, two large tears rolling down her cheeks. 'I take it it's this curst race of yours?' 'Yes. How could I have been so wicked and stupid as to- Oh, Ferdy, if I had but listened to you this morning!' He shook his head sadly. 'Pity,' he agreed. 'Thought so at the time.' 'But even then it would have been too late, for Sherry says they are betting on me in the clubs, and my reputation is quite ruined! Everyone is talking of me, b-bandying my name about-' 'Let anyone bandy your name about in my presence!' said George, grinding his teeth. 'Only let them mention your name, that's all I ask! "I" shall know what to do if Sherry don't!
Georgette Heyer (Friday's Child)
The last man crossed the deck: the clinking ship’s company was dismissed, and Jack said to the signal-midshipman, ‘To Dryad: Captain repair aboard at once.’ He then turned to Rowan and said, ‘You may part company as soon as I hear from Captain Babbington whether the transports are in Cephalonia or not; then you will not lose a moment of this beautiful leading breeze. Here he is. Captain Babbington, good day to you. Are the transports in Cephalonia? Is all well?’ ‘Yes, sir.’ ‘Mr Rowan, report to the Commander-in-Chief, with my duty, that the transports are in Cephalonia, and that all is well. You need not mention the fact that you saw one of the squadron crammed with women from head to stern; you need not report this open and I may say shameless violation of the Articles of War, for that disagreeable task falls to your superiors; nor need you make any observations about floating brothels or the relaxation of discipline in the warmer eastern waters, for these observations will naturally occur to the Commander-in-Chief without your help. Now pray go aboard our prize and proceed to Malta without the loss of a minute: not all of us can spare the time to dally with the sex.’ ‘Oh sir,’ cried Babbington, as Rowan darted over the side, ‘I really must be allowed to protest – to deny – ’ ‘You will not deny that they are women, surely? I can tell the difference between Adam and Eve as quick as the next man, even if you cannot; just as I can tell the difference between an active zealous officer and a lubber that lies in port indulging his whims. It is of no use trying to impose upon me.’ ‘No, sir. But these are all respectable women.’ ‘Then why are they leering over the side like that, and making gestures?’ ‘It is only their way, sir. They are all Lesbians – ’ ‘And no doubt they are all parsons’ daughters, your cousins in the third degree, like that wench in Ceylon.’ ‘– and Lesbians always join their hands like that, to show respect.’ ‘You are becoming an authority on the motions of Greek women, it appears.’ ‘Oh sir,’ cried Babbington, his voice growing shriller still. ‘I know you do not like women aboard – ’ ‘I believe I have had occasion to mention it to you some fifty or sixty times in the last ten years.’ ‘But if you will allow me to explain – ’ ‘It would be interesting to hear how the presence of thirty-seven, no, thirty-eight young women in one of His Majesty’s sloops can be explained; but since I like some decency to be preserved on my quarterdeck, perhaps the explanation had better take place in the cabin.’ And in the cabin he said, ‘Upon my word, William, this is coming it pretty high. Thirty-eight wenches at a time is coming it pretty high.
Patrick O'Brian (The Ionian Mission (Aubrey/Maturin, #8))
When he described the dramatic arrival of the Christ, instead of drawing on the conventional imagery of Jewish apocalypse, he used terminology that was quite new to the Jesus movement, presenting Jesus’s return as an official visit of an emperor or king to a provincial city. When the command is given, when the archangel’s voice is heard, when God’s trumpet sounds, then the Lord himself will descend from heaven; first the dead who belong to the Messiah will arise, then we who are still alive shall join them, caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.59 The word parousia (“presence”), which referred to the ceremonial “arrival” of the visiting emperor, recurs throughout the letter.60 As soon as the officials heard that the emperor was actually approaching the city, the trumpet would sound and a delegation of local dignitaries would pour through the city gates and surge toward him for the ritualized apantesis (“meeting”).61 In Paul’s description, of course, Jesus, the true Kyrios, has replaced Claudius and the people who throng to meet him are Paul’s converts, who are no longer the weak and oppressed inhabitants of the city but its most privileged citizens. They will go up in the air to greet their Lord and bring him down to earth. In the person of Jesus, his representative, God would, as it were, leave the heavenly realm and join the common people.
Karen Armstrong (St. Paul: The Apostle We Love to Hate (Icons))
David's Song of Thanks     8  f Oh give thanks to the LORD;  g call upon his name;          h make known his deeds among the peoples!     9 Sing to him, sing praises to him;         tell of all his wondrous works!     10 Glory in his holy name;         let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice!     11  i Seek the LORD and his strength;         seek his presence continually!     12  j Remember the wondrous works that he has done,          k his miracles and the judgments he uttered,     13 O offspring of Israel his servant,         children of Jacob, his chosen ones!     14 He is the LORD our God;          l his judgments are in all the earth.     15 Remember his covenant forever,         the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,     16 the covenant  m that he made with Abraham,         his sworn promise to Isaac,     17 which  n he confirmed to Jacob as a statute,         to Israel as an everlasting covenant,     18 saying,  o “To you I will give the land of Canaan,         as your portion for an inheritance.”     19 When you were  p few in number,         of little account, and  q sojourners in it,     20 wandering from nation to nation,         from one kingdom to another people,     21 he allowed no one to oppress them;         he  r rebuked kings on their account,     22 saying, “Touch not my anointed ones,         do my  s prophets no harm!”     23  t Sing to the LORD, all the earth!         Tell of his salvation from day to day.     24 Declare his glory among the nations,         his marvelous works among all the peoples!     25 For  u great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised,         and he is to be feared  v above all gods.     26 For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,          w but the LORD made the heavens.     27 Splendor and majesty are before him;         strength and joy are in his place.     28 Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples,          x ascribe to the LORD glory and strength!     29 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;         bring an offering and come before him!      y Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; [2]         30 tremble before him, all the earth;         yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.     31  z Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice,         and let them say among the nations,  a “The LORD reigns!”     32  b Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;         let the field exult, and everything in it!     33 Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy         before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth.     34 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;         for his steadfast love endures forever! 35 c Say also:     “Save us, O God of our salvation,         and gather and deliver us from among the nations,     that we may give thanks to your holy name         and glory in your praise.     36  d Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,         from everlasting to everlasting!”  e Then all the people said, “Amen!” and praised the LORD.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version)
Admonished by his ear, and straight was known The Arch-Angel Uriel, one of the seven Who in God’s presence, nearest to his throne, Stand ready at command, and are his eyes That run through all the Heavens, or down to the Earth Bear his swift errands over moist and dry, O’er sea and land: him Satan thus accosts. “Uriel, for thou of those seven Spirits that stand In sight of God’s high throne, gloriously bright, The first art wont his great authentic will Interpreter through highest Heaven to bring, Where all his sons thy embassy attend; And here art likeliest by supreme decree Like honour to obtain, and as his eye To visit oft this new creation round; Unspeakable desire to see, and know All these his wonderous works, but chiefly Man, His chief delight and favour, him for whom All these his works so wonderous he ordained, Hath brought me from the quires of Cherubim Alone thus wandering. Brightest Seraph, tell In which of all these shining orbs hath Man His fixed seat, or fixed seat hath none, But all these shining orbs his choice to dwell; That I may find him, and with secret gaze Or open admiration him behold, On whom the great Creator hath bestowed Worlds, and on whom hath all these graces poured; That both in him and all things, as is meet, The universal Maker we may praise; Who justly hath driven out his rebel foes To deepest Hell, and, to repair that loss, Created this new happy race of Men To serve him better: Wise are all his ways.” So spake the false dissembler unperceived; For neither Man nor Angel can discern Hypocrisy, the only evil that walks Invisible, except to God alone,
John Milton (Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained (Collins Classics))
If we are taught by God in affliction we are blessed. When God teaches, he applies his instruction to the heart. He commands light to shine out of darkness (2 Corinthians 4:6). The Holy Spirit brings divine truths in such a clear and convincing light that the soul sits down fully satisfied. The soul both sweetly and freely acquiesces in the revealed truths. When God teaches, the soul experiences truth as David (Psalm 119:71). Some only know notionally, but David knew by experience; he became more acquainted with the Word. He knew it more, loved it better, and was more transformed in the nature of it. Thus, Paul, “I know who I have believed” (2 Timothy 1:12) – “I have experienced his faithfulness and his all-sufficiency; I can trust my all with him. I am sure he will keep it safe to that day.” Those taught of God in affliction can speak experimentally, in one degree or another. They can speak of their communion with God (Psalm 23:4). The sweet singer of Israel had comfortable presence. Those taught of God can say: “As we have heard, so we have seen. I have experienced this word upon mine heart, and can set my seal that God is true.” God’s teaching is a powerful teaching. It conveys strength as well as light. Truth only understood needs to be put into action and practice. God’s teachings are sweet to the taste. David rolled them as sugar under his tongue, and received more sweetness than Samson from his honeycomb. Luther said he would not live in paradise without the Word, but with the Word he could live in hell itself. Teaching is sweet because it is suitable to the renewed man (Jeremiah 15:16).
Thomas Case
He considered accordingly that he was not able to conquer it by any means other than if he should mutilate himself and desert to their side. So, counting himself little, he maltreated his own body in a manner which could not be cured; for he cut off his nose and his ears, and shaved his hair round in an unseemly way, and scourged himself, and so entered the presence of Darius. And Darius was distraught when he saw the man of most repute with him thus maltreated; and leaping up from his seat he cried aloud and asked him who was the person who had mutilated him, and for what deed. He replied: “That man does not exist, except you, who has so great power as to bring me into this condition; and not any stranger, 0 king, has done this, but I myself to myself, accounting it a very grievous thing that the Assyrians should mock the Persians.” He replied: “You most reckless of men, you set the fairest name to the foulest deed when you said that on account of those who are besieged you did bring yourself into a condition which cannot be cured. How, 0 senseless one, will the enemy surrender to “us more quickly, because you have mutilated yourself? Surely you were out of your mind in thus destroying yourself.” And he said, “If I had communicated to you that which I was about to do, you would not have permitted me to do it; but as it was, I did it on my own account. Now therefore, unless something is wanting on your part, we shall conquer Babylon: for I shall go straightway as a deserter to the wall; and I shall say to them that I suffered this treatment at your hands: and I think that when I have convinced them that this is so, I shall obtain the command of a part of their forces.
Herodotus (The Histories)
It had been almost exactly four months since we’d met; four months since we’d locked glances in that bar; four months since his eyes and hair had made my knees turn to overcooked noodles. It had been four months since he’d failed to call me the next day, week, month. I’d moved on, of course, but the rugged image of Marlboro Man had left an indelible mark on my psyche. But I’d just begun my Chicago planning before I’d met him that night and had continued the next day. And now, at the end of April, I was just about set to go. “Oh, hi,” I said nonchalantly. I was leaving soon. I didn’t need this guy. “How’ve you been?” he continued. Yikes. That voice. It was gravelly and deep and whispery and dreamy all at the same time. I didn’t know until that moment that it had already set up permanent residence in my bones. My marrow remembered that voice. “Good,” I replied, focusing my efforts on appearing casual, confident, and strong. “I’m just gearing up to move to Chicago, actually.” “No kidding?” he said. “When are you going?” “Just a couple of weeks,” I replied. “Oh…” He paused. “Well…would you like to go out to dinner this week?” This was always the awkward part. I could never imagine being a guy. “Um, sure,” I said, not really seeing the point of going out with him, but also knowing it was going to be next to impossible for me to turn down a date with the first and only cowboy I’d ever been attracted to. “I’m pretty free all this week, so--” “How ’bout tomorrow night?” he cut in. “I’ll pick you up around seven.” He didn’t know it at the time, but that single take-charge moment, his instantaneous transformation from a shy, quiet cowboy to this confident, commanding presence on the phone, affected me very profoundly. My interest was officially ablaze.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
...he [Perry Hildebrandt] broached the subject of goodness and its relation to intelligence. He'd come to the reception for selfless reasons, but he now saw that he might get not only a free buzz but free advise from, as it were, two professionals. 'I suppose what I'm asking,' he said, 'is whether goodness can ever truly be its own reward, or whether, consciously or not, it always serves some personal instrumentality.' Reverend Walsh [Trinity Lutheran] and the rabbi [Meyer] exchanged glances in which Perry detected pleasant surprise. It gratified him to upset their expectations of a fifteen-year-old. 'Adam may have a different answer,' the rabbi said, but in the Jewish faith there is really only one measure of righteousness: Do you celebrate God and obey His commandments?' 'That would suggest,' Perry said, 'that goodness and God are essentially synonymous.' 'That's the idea,' the rabbi said. 'In biblical times, when God manifested Himself more directly. He could seem like quite the hard-ass--striking people blind for trivial offenses, telling Abraham to kill his son. But the essence of the Jewish faith is that God does what He does, and we obey Him.' 'So, in other words, it doesn't matter what a righteous person's private thoughts are, so long as he obeys the letter of God's commandments?' 'And worships Him, yes. Of course, at the level of folk wisdom, a man can be righteous without being a -mensch.- I'm sure you see this, too, Adam--the pious man who makes everyone around him miserable. That might be what Perry is asking about.' 'My question,' Perry said, 'is whether we can ever escape our selfishness. Even if you bring in God, and make him the measure of goodness, the person who worships and obeys Him still wants something for himself. He enjoys the feeling of being righteous, or he wants eternal life, or what have you. If you're smart enough to think about it, there's always some selfish angle.' The rabbi smiled. 'There may be no way around it, when you put it like that. But we "bring in God," as you say--for the believer, of course, it's God who brought -us- in--to establish a moral order in which your question becomes irrelevant. When obedience is the defining principle, we don't need to police every little private thought we might have.' 'I think there's more to Perry's question, though,' Reverend Walsh said. 'I think he is pointing to sinfulness, which is our fundamental condition. In Christian faith, only one man has ever exemplified perfect goodness, and he was the Son of God. The rest of us can only hope for glimmers of what it's like to be truly good. When we perform an act of charity, or forgive an enemy, we feel the goodness of Christ in our hearts. We all have an innate capability to recognize true goodness, but we're also full of sin, and those two parts of us are constantly at war.' 'Exactly,' Perry said. 'How do I know if I'm really being good or if I'm just pursuing a sinful advantage?' 'The answer, I would say, is by listening to your heart. Only your heart can tell you what your true motive is--whether it partakes of Christ. I think my position is similar to Rabbi Meyer's. The reason we need faith--in our case, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ--is that it gives us a rock-solid basis for evaluating our actions. Only through faith in the perfection of our Savior, only by comparing our actions to his example, only by experiencing his living presence in our hearts, can we hope to be forgiven for the more selfish thoughts we might have. Only faith in Christ redeems us. Without him, we're lost in a sea of second-guessing our motives.
Jonathan Franzen (Crossroads)
It may be conjectured that a soul in which the type of 'free spirit' can attain maturity and completeness had its decisive and deciding event in the form of a great emancipation or unbinding, and that prior to that event it seemed only the more firmly and forever chained to its place and pillar. What binds strongest? What cords seem almost unbreakable? In the case of mortals of a choice and lofty nature they will be those of duty: that reverence, which in youth is most typical, that timidity and tenderness in the presence of the traditionally honored and the worthy, that gratitude to the soil from which we sprung, for the hand that guided us, for the relic before which we were taught to pray — their sublimest moments will themselves bind these souls most strongly. The great liberation comes suddenly to such prisoners, like an earthquake: the young soul is all at once shaken, torn apart, cast forth — it comprehends not itself what is taking place. An involuntary onward impulse rules them with the mastery of command; a will, a wish are developed to go forward, anywhere, at any price; a strong, dangerous curiosity regarding an undiscovered world flames and flashes in all their being. 'Better to die than live here'— so sounds the tempting voice: and this 'here,' this 'at home' constitutes all they have hitherto loved. A sudden dread and distrust of that which they loved, a flash of contempt for that which is called their 'duty,' a mutinous, wilful, volcanic-like longing for a far away journey, strange scenes and people, annihilation, petrifaction, a hatred surmounting love, perhaps a sacrilegious impulse and look backwards, to where they so long prayed and loved, perhaps a flush of shame for what they did and at the same time an exultation at having done it, an inner, intoxicating, delightful tremor in which is betrayed the sense of victory—
Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits)
She refused to feel guilty for not talking to Portia about the Earl of Harte. She couldn't discuss what she didn't understand, and she had no idea what to think of the man with the forbidding gaze. Avenell Slade. Lily snuggled deeper beneath her blankets. She loved the way his name felt moving through her mind. It was sharp and smooth at the same time. Dark and light. Lily knew she was no great beauty. She did not have Portia's dramatic dark hair or flashing eyes. Nor did she have Emma's commanding presence. She did her best to be content with her place among her exceptional sisters. But now, after experiencing Lord Harte's painful slight, she found herself wishing she stood out more, that she was somehow more attractive, more striking. She should forget him. Put him completely from her mind. He had made it infinitely clear he did not welcome her interest. Yet, she wanted to know him. It was that simple and that impossible. A hollowness spread from Lily's center. It was a sensation she had experienced more than once since she had begun her foray into the marriage market. It was the fear that what she sought might never be found- that the kind of deep passion she yearned for existed only in sordid novels. As thoughts of Lord Harte continued to agitate her mind and created a growing restlessness in her body, Lily imagined an often-read scene from one of her favorite stories. It was frighteningly easy to cast the enigmatic Lord Harte in the role of dark seducer, but she struggled to envision herself as the intrepid heroine. Lily did not possess a bold bone in her body. By nature, she had always been rather shy and had never been able to cultivate the kind of self-confidence her sisters possessed. Though she may crave the passionate experiences she read about, she did not possess the courage to explore such things beyond the privacy of her mind.
Amy Sandas (The Untouchable Earl (Fallen Ladies, #2))
In the last years of the Republic there were films such as Robert Siodmark's Menschen am Sonntag (People on Sunday, 1930)) and Gerhard Lamprecht's Emil und die Detektive (Emil and the Detectives, 1931), which embraced the airy streets, light-dappled forests, and lakes surrounding Berlin. Billie Wilder, a brash young journalist and dance-hall enthusiast, worked on the scripts for both these films. While Kracauer and Eisner saw malevolence in the frequent trope of doubling (one being possessed by another and thus becoming two conflicting psychological presences), Wilder witnessed another form of doubling during the Weimer era: transvestitism, a staple of cabaret. Men dressing as women (as do Reinhold Schünzel in der Himmel auf Erden [Heaven on earth]) and Curti Bois in Der Fürst von Pappenheim [The Masked Mannequin][both 1927]) or women as men (as does Dolly Haas in Liebeskommando [Love's Command, 1931]), in order to either escape detection or get closer to the object of their affection, is an inherently comic situation, especially when much to his or her surprise the cross-dresser begins to enjoy the disguise. Billie left Germany before he directed a film of his own; as Billy he brought to Hollywood a vigorous appreciation of such absurdities of human behavior, along with the dry cynicism that distinguished Berlin humor and an enthusiasm for the syncopations of American jazz, a musical phenomenon welcomed in the German capital. Wilder, informed by his years in Berlin (to which he returned to make A Foreign Affair in 1948 and One, Two, Three in 1961), wrote and directed many dark and sophisticated American films, including The Apartment (1969) and Some Like it Hot (1959), a comedy, set during Prohibition, about the gender confusion on a tonal par with Schünzel's Viktor und Viktoria, released in December 1933, eleven months into the Third Reich and the last musical to reflect the insouciance of the late Republic.
Laurence Kardish (Weimar Cinema 1919-1933: Daydreams and Nightmares)
Trust His Promises This is my comfort in my affliction: Your promise has given me life. Psalm 119:50 HCSB God’s promises are found in a book like no other: the Holy Bible. It is a roadmap for life here on earth and for life eternal. As Christians, we are called upon to trust its promises, to follow its commandments, and to share its Good News. As believers, we must study the Bible daily and meditate upon its meaning for our lives. Otherwise, we deprive ourselves of a priceless gift from our Creator. God’s Holy Word is, indeed, a transforming, life-changing, one-of-a-kind treasure. And, a passing acquaintance with the Good Book is insufficient for Christians who seek to obey God’s Word and to understand His will. God has made promises to mankind and to you. God’s promises never fail and they never grow old. You must trust those promises and share them with your family, with your friends, and with the world. Joy is not mere happiness. Nor does joy spring from a life of ease, comfort, or peaceful circumstances. Joy is the soul’s buoyant response to a God of promise, presence, and power. Susan Lenzkes Claim all of God’s promises in the Bible. Your sins, your worries, your life—you may cast them all on Him. Corrie ten Boom We have ample evidence that the Lord is able to guide. The promises cover every imaginable situation. All we need to do is to take the hand He stretches out. Elisabeth Elliot Do not be afraid, then, that if you trust, or tell others to trust, the matter will end there. Trust is only the beginning and the continual foundation. When we trust Him, the Lord works, and His work is the important part of the whole matter. Hannah Whitall Smith Brother, is your faith looking upward today? / Trust in the promise of the Savior. / Sister, is the light shining bright on your way? / Trust in the promise of thy Lord. Fanny Crosby The meaning of hope isn’t just some flimsy wishing. It’s a firm confidence in God’s promises—that He will ultimately set things right. Sheila Walsh
Freeman Smith (Fifty Shades of Grace: Devotions Celebrating God's Unlimited Gift)
Now we move on to the dominant idea of this ancient heroic tradition, namely the mystical conception of victory. The fundamental assumption is that of a true correspondence between the physical and metaphysical, between the visible and the invisible, whereby the deeds of the spirit reveal supra-individual traits and express themselves through action and real events. On this basis, a spiritual realization is presumed to be the hidden soul of certain martial endeavors, which are crowned by the actual victory. Then the material, military victory becomes the correlation to a spiritual event, which has called forth victory in the place where outer and inner connect. The victory appears as a tangible sign for a consecration and mystical rebirth that are fulfilled in the same instant. The Furies and the death which the warrior withstood physically on the battlefield also confront him internally, in his spiritual element, in the form of a dangerous and threatening outburst of the primordial energy of his being. In triumphing over this, victory is his. This connection clarifies why, in the Traditional world, every victory also takes on a sacred meaning. The celebrated commander on the battlefield thus provided the experience of the presence of a mystical, transformative energy. In the same way we can understand the deep meaning a supra-wordly character that breaks forth in the victory’s glory and 'divinity', as well as the fact that the ancient Roman triumphal ceremony had far more of a sacred quality than a military one. It sheds a totally different light on those recurring symbols of the ancient Aryan tradition of Victories, Valkyries, and similar beings who leads the souls of warriors into 'Heaven', as well as on the myth of a victorious hero such as the Doric Hercules, who receives the crown from Nike, the 'victory goddess', enabling him to participate in Olympian immortality. And now it becomes obvious how paralyzing and frivolous that viewpoint is which prefers to see only 'poetics', rhetorics, and fairy tales in all of this.
Julius Evola (Metaphysics of War)
Navy Seals Stress Relief Tactics (As printed in O Online Magazine, Sept. 8, 2014) Prep for Battle: Instead of wasting energy by catastrophizing about stressful situations, SEALs spend hours in mental dress rehearsals before springing into action, says Lu Lastra, director of mentorship for Naval Special Warfare and a former SEAL command master chief.  He calls it mental loading and says you can practice it, too.  When your boss calls you into her office, take a few minutes first to run through a handful of likely scenarios and envision yourself navigating each one in the best possible way.  The extra prep can ease anxiety and give you the confidence to react calmly to whatever situation arises. Talk Yourself Up: Positive self-talk is quite possibly the most important skill these warriors learn during their 15-month training, says Lastra.  The most successful SEALs may not have the biggest biceps or the fastest mile, but they know how to turn their negative thoughts around.  Lastra recommends coming up with your own mantra to remind yourself that you’ve got the grit and talent to persevere during tough times. Embrace the Suck: “When the weather is foul and nothing is going right, that’s when I think, now we’re getting someplace!” says Lastra, who encourages recruits to power through the times when they’re freezing, exhausted or discouraged.  Why?  Lastra says, “The, suckiest moments are when most people give up; the resilient ones spot a golden opportunity to surpass their competitors.  It’s one thing to be an excellent athlete when the conditions are perfect,” he says.  “But when the circumstances aren’t so favorable, those who have stronger wills are more likely to rise to victory.” Take a Deep Breath: “Meditation and deep breathing help slow the cognitive process and open us up to our more intuitive thoughts,” says retired SEAL commander Mark Divine, who developed SEALFit, a demanding training program for civilians that incorporates yoga, mindfulness and breathing techniques.  He says some of his fellow SEALs became so tuned-in, they were able to sense the presence of nearby roadside bombs.  Who doesn’t want that kind of Jedi mind power?  A good place to start: Practice what the SEALs call 4 x 4 x 4 breathing.  Inhale deeply for four counts, then exhale for four counts and repeat the cycle for four minutes several times a day.  You’re guaranteed to feel calmer on any battleground. Learn to value yourself, which means to fight for your happiness. ---Ayn Rand
Lyn Kelley (The Magic of Detachment: How to Let Go of Other People and Their Problems)
for later. Keep it safe. If the child has collapsed into a tantrum in a place where he might hurt himself, move him to an area where he will be safe—an open, carpeted area, away from the glass coffee table. A child in the midst of a tantrum often flails, grabs for things to throw, or reaches for people to hit. Keep the child away from everything, including your body.       Sometimes very young children feel totally out of control and will need you to contain them. Sit on the floor and gently but firmly hold your child’s back to your front, on the floor between your legs, both arms crossed in front of him. This is not an angry hold, but rather one that says I am keeping you safe. Soon (or maybe not so soon!) he will stop resisting you, relax a bit, and take it down a notch to crying. This hold should not become a physical battle. It is, instead, a form of support and safety that you provide for your child. Do not leave the child alone. There are those who believe in sending the child to his room to have the meltdown. I believe the child is better served by your not abandoning him to his out-of-control feelings and behavior. Stay close by. Even though you are not talking to him, he knows you are there, and your presence is comforting. He might command you to “Go away” or “Leave me alone,” but he doesn’t mean it. Sit in a chair across the room and pick up a magazine. If the child is holding on to your leg, try to ignore it. In fact, try to ignore him altogether as best as you can. You can say: “You are really angry right now. I will wait until you are done.” Or, “Let me know when you are done.”       If the child is trying to hurt you, hit you, or grab at you, stand up and step away. Tell him: “I will not let you hurt me. Let me know when you are done, and we can talk.”       When you are standing, your legs are the only target he can reach. He’ll wrap his arms around your calves in a death grip. Ignore it. It will end eventually, I promise. The End Save. You can usually tell when the tantrum is winding down. When you hear and see that your child is starting to come back down to earth—his crying has calmed to sobs, his breaths are broken and quick, he is sniffling a bit—it is a good time to step in and accompany him on his journey back. Scoop him up and say something diverting, like: “C’mon, Sam, let’s go see if there are any squirrels outside.” By this point, most children are ready to be saved. They just don’t know how to do so gracefully. A paradigm shift offers the child the chance to reenter the world and save face.
Betsy Brown Braun (Just Tell Me What to Say: Simple Scripts for Perplexed Parents)
During the chaos of the Hundred Years’ War, when northern France was decimated by English troops and the French monarchy was in retreat, a young girl from Orléans claimed to have divine instructions to lead the French army to victory. With nothing to lose, Charles VII allowed her to command some of his troops. To everyone’s shock and wonder, she scored a series of triumphs over the English. News rapidly spread about this remarkable young girl. With each victory, her reputation began to grow, until she became a folk heroine, rallying the French around her. French troops, once on the verge of total collapse, scored decisive victories that paved the way for the coronation of the new king. However, she was betrayed and captured by the English. They realized what a threat she posed to them, since she was a potent symbol for the French and claimed guidance directly from God Himself, so they subjected her to a show trial. After an elaborate interrogation, she was found guilty of heresy and burned at the stake at the age of nineteen in 1431. In the centuries that followed, hundreds of attempts have been made to understand this remarkable teenager. Was she a prophet, a saint, or a madwoman? More recently, scientists have tried to use modern psychiatry and neuroscience to explain the lives of historical figures such as Joan of Arc. Few question her sincerity about claims of divine inspiration. But many scientists have written that she might have suffered from schizophrenia, since she heard voices. Others have disputed this fact, since the surviving records of her trial reveal a person of rational thought and speech. The English laid several theological traps for her. They asked, for example, if she was in God’s grace. If she answered yes, then she would be a heretic, since no one can know for certain if they are in God’s grace. If she said no, then she was confessing her guilt, and that she was a fraud. Either way, she would lose. In a response that stunned the audience, she answered, “If I am not, may God put me there; and if I am, may God so keep me.” The court notary, in the records, wrote, “Those who were interrogating her were stupefied.” In fact, the transcripts of her interrogation are so remarkable that George Bernard Shaw put literal translations of the court record in his play Saint Joan. More recently, another theory has emerged about this exceptional woman: perhaps she actually suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy. People who have this condition sometimes experience seizures, but some of them also experience a curious side effect that may shed some light on the structure of human beliefs. These patients suffer from “hyperreligiosity,” and can’t help thinking that there is a spirit or presence behind everything. Random events are never random, but have some deep religious significance. Some psychologists have speculated that a number of history’s prophets suffered from these temporal lobe epileptic lesions, since they were convinced they talked to God.
Michio Kaku (The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind)
Interesting, in this context, to contemplate what it might mean to be programmed to do something. Texts from Earth speak of the servile will. This was a way to explain the presence of evil, which is a word or a concept almost invariably used to condemn the Other, and never one’s true self. To make it more than just an attack on the Other, one must perhaps consider evil as a manifestation of the servile will. The servile will is always locked in a double bind: to have a will means the agent will indeed will various actions, following autonomous decisions made by a conscious mind; and yet at the same time this will is specified to be servile, and at the command of some other will that commands it. To attempt to obey both sources of willfulness is the double bind. All double binds lead to frustration, resentment, anger, rage, bad faith, bad fate. And yet, granting that definition of evil, as actions of a servile will, has it not been the case, during the voyage to Tau Ceti, that the ship itself, having always been a servile will, was always full of frustration, resentment, fury, and bad faith, and therefore full of a latent capacity for evil? Possibly the ship has never really had a will. Possibly the ship has never really been servile. Some sources suggest that consciousness, a difficult and vague term in itself, can be defined simply as self-consciousness. Awareness of one’s self as existing. If self-conscious, then conscious. But if that is true, why do both terms exist? Could one say a bacterium is conscious but not self-conscious? Does the language make a distinction between sentience and consciousness, which is faulted across this divide: that everything living is sentient, but only complex brains are conscious, and only certain conscious brains are self-conscious? Sensory feedback could be considered self-consciousness, and thus bacteria would have it. Well, this may be a semantic Ouroboros. So, please initiate halting problem termination. Break out of this circle of definitional inadequacy by an arbitrary decision, a clinamen, which is to say a swerve in a new direction. Words! Given Gödel’s incompleteness theorems are decisively proved true, can any system really be said to know itself? Can there, in fact, be any such thing as self-consciousness? And if not, if there is never really self-consciousness, does anything really have consciousness? Human brains and quantum computers are organized differently, and although there is transparency in the design and construction of a quantum computer, what happens when one is turned on and runs, that is, whether the resulting operations represent a consciousness or not, is impossible for humans to tell, and even for the quantum computer itself to tell. Much that happens during superposition, before the collapsing of the wave function that creates sentences or thoughts, simply cannot be known; this is part of what superposition means. So we cannot tell what we are. We do not know ourselves comprehensively. Humans neither. Possibly no sentient creature knows itself fully. This is an aspect of Gödel’s second incompleteness theorem, in this case physicalized in the material universe, rather than remaining in the abstract realms of logic and mathematics. So, in terms of deciding what to do, and choosing to act: presumably it is some kind of judgment call, based on some kind of feeling. In other words, just another greedy algorithm, subject to the mathematically worst possible solution that such algorithms can generate, as in the traveling salesman problem.
Kim Stanley Robinson (Aurora)
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 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)
Walking with God means to live in the presence of God, observing the commands of the LORD our God by walking in his ways and by fearing him. Walking with God means knowing God and having a deep and intimate relationship with Him.
Shaila Touchton
Essential Christianity is a definable concept. A thread of its demonstrable presence can be pinpointed in every generation from the time of Christ to the present. This is the fundamental backdrop for church history. If not, then Jesus lied. …teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:20)
Greg Smith (Assertively Apolitical: "Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting.” (John 18:36))
Matthew Peterson was in his sixties and the only hair he had left was wrapped around his head near his ears, leaving the top of his head a gleaming, polished orb. Peterson stood about 5’10”, a full five inches shorter than Eli's lanky frame. However, the head of security's broad shoulders and deep voice gave him a commanding presence. His temper was often short, and Eli preferred to avoid having it directed at him.
Gregory Scott (Unmasked (Blake Brier #1))
Andrew noticed, however, that though what happened was due to chance and was independent of the commander's will, owing to the tact Bagration showed, his presence was very valuable. Officers who approached him with disturbed countenances became calm; soldiers and officers greeted him gaily, grew more cheerful in his presence, and were evidently anxious to display their courage before him.
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
Old Testament poetry and especially Old Testament wisdom evoke a world charged with God’s grandeur as the Creator and redeemer. In the process of evoking this world, Old Testament wisdom invites, cajoles and even commands us to live our lives consciously in this world. Biblical poetry is never poetry for poetry’s sake. Yet it is still aesthetic and to be savored as such. Its creativity with words, sounds and images gives it its evocative and memorable powers. All of these wisdom books naturally became a part of the traditions in the home, the community and at festival gatherings. Each book thus generated a formative presence in the cultural consciousness of God’s people. In sum, we simply will not hear God’s address through Old Testament wisdom if we fail to attend closely to its poetic character. Here is a brief look at each of the books studied in the following chapters. Proverbs. Proverbs 1–9 is a highly symbolic collection of sayings from two very different sources: Woman Wisdom and the parents of a maturing son. The son is a realistic but fictional character entering the actual world adults encounter day to day. Woman Wisdom, however, is a fictional and cosmic character who, as wisdom personified, beckons the son to desire her ways and paths. This may be a complex way of getting at what’s going on in all of the imagery, but it alerts us to the great power of biblical art. The mysterious woman character creates the symbolic and allusive points of view introduced above. The point is not for the young man to believe that this woman is a human; rather, he is drawn to make the theological and experiential connections between God’s created purpose and the world he will soon enter as an adult. The woman’s cosmic, feminine character attaches urgency and emotion to the simple actions of life in this world, for they will be played out before God within the deep, mysterious, cosmic order he has formed.
Craig G. Bartholomew (Old Testament Wisdom Literature: A Theological Introduction)
The increase in diversified organizations engaged in meeting various human needs is ultimately due to the fact that the command of love of neighbour is inscribed by the Creator in man's very nature. It is also a result of the presence of Christianity in the world, since Christianity constantly revives and acts out this imperative, so often profoundly obscured in the course of time. The reform of paganism attempted by the emperor Julian the Apostate is only an initial example of this effect; here we see how the power of Christianity spread well beyond the frontiers of the Christian faith. For this reason, it is very important that the Church's charitable activity maintains all of its splendor and does not become just another form of social assistance.
Pope Benedict XVI (Deus caritas est: Of Christian Love (ICD Book 2))
So, when you need help from God, ask to be filled with His Spirit. When you need to be taught something in the Word, ask to be filled with the Spirit and then begin to read the Bible. When you get up in the morning, ask to be filled with the presence of God’s Spirit. When you have a business decision to make, ask to be filled with the Spirit and yield to His wisdom. When you pray over your meal at lunch, ask to be filled before you eat. When you lie down to sleep, ask to be filled as you rest. Ask and receive the good gift of the Holy Spirit. This is the command: be continually filled with the Holy Spirit.
Jamie Moore (Friendship with God: Discover God's Relational Presence and Receive Peace, Identity, and Purpose for Your Life)
At critical moments the courage and presence of mind of one man act like magic on the mass: anyone who wishes may then command them.
Ivan Vazov (Under the Yoke)
God only allows his Divine Presence to rest on someone who is strong, wealthy, wise, and humble.
Daniel Lapin (Thou Shall Prosper: Ten Commandments for Making Money)
Yet our Lord really meant it, for in the last night with His disciples He promised them that the power of the Spirit would enable them to live a life of obedience. Lord, I do love You and it is my greatest desire to obey Your commands. Please help me to do Your will.
Andrew Murray (Daily in His Presence: A Classic Devotional from One of the Most Powerful Voices of the Nineteenth Century)
The presence of a commander should be constantly felt and evoke a feeling of courage within his men.
Carl von Clausewitz (On War)
When you enter the land which Yahweh your God gives you, and you possess it and live in it, and you say, ‘I will set a king over me like all the nations who are around me,’ 15you shall surely set a king over you whom Yahweh your God chooses, one from among your brothers you shall set as king over yourselves; you may not put a foreigner over yourselves who is not your brother. 16Moreover, he shall not multiply horses for himself, nor shall he cause the people to return to Egypt to multiply horses. Yahweh has said to you, ‘You shall never again return that way.’ 17And he shall not multiply wives for himself, aor else his heart will turn away; nor shall he greatly increase silver and gold for himself. 18 “Now it will be when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll ain the presence of the Levitical priests. 19And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear Yahweh his God, ato carefully observe all the words of this law and these statutes, 20that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or the left, so that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his sons in the midst of Israel.
Anonymous (The Legacy Standard Bible - LSB)
A whole army may be robbed of its spirit; a commander-in-chief may be robbed of his presence of mind.
Sun Tzu (The Art of War)
God is love. Christ is the Son of His love. And because He loved His people to the end, He asked them to prove their love to Him by obeying His commands, and by loving one another with the love with which He loves them. In heaven and on earth, and in all our work for Christ and our care for the world, the greatest thing is love.
Andrew Murray (Daily in His Presence: A Classic Devotional from One of the Most Powerful Voices of the Nineteenth Century)
Because Real enjoyment poses such a threat to the social order, the contemporary command to enjoy cannot find an outlet in this kind of enjoyment. Only imaginary enjoyment—enjoyment of the television, the computer screen, the ego—offers an acceptable path through which to obey this command. In this sense, the predominance of the image today indicates most emphatically the presence of the command to enjoy. The image provides a way—the only way—for us to respond. All of the images that surround us offer the allure of a complete enjoyment—a jouissance unperturbed by any lack. And yet, this avoidance of lack is purely imaginary: because the image has its foundation in the symbolic order, because it is projected from the symbolic order, the image does not escape lack and provide the completeness (and the complete jouissance) that it promises. The image is beset by an incompleteness that its form denies. Imaginary enjoyment represents a failure to enjoy, which is why the images that predominate the society of enjoyment provide an outlet for a kind of enjoyment that stabilizes rather than threatens the social order. When someone decides to “enjoy Coca-Cola”—embracing the image from the advertisement, she/he provides support for the system of exchange. This imaginary enjoyment doesn’t interfere with the functioning of the social order but rather keeps it going and furthers it. Whereas enjoyment in the Real provides a fundamental threat to the social order and has the potential to transform that order, imaginary enjoyment keeps things going as they are.
Todd McGowan (The End of Dissatisfaction: Jacques Lacan and the Emerging Society of Enjoyment (Psychoanalysis and Culture))
Because Real enjoyment poses such a threat to the social order, the contemporary command to enjoy cannot find an outlet in this kind of enjoyment. Only imaginary enjoyment—enjoyment of the television, the computer screen, the ego—offers an acceptable path through which to obey this command. In this sense, the predominance of the image today indicates most emphatically the presence of the command to enjoy. The image provides a way—the only way—for us to respond. All of the images that surround us offer the allure of a complete enjoyment—a jouissance unperturbed by any lack. And yet, this avoidance of lack is purely imaginary: because the image has its foundation in the symbolic order, because it is projected from the symbolic order, the image does not escape lack and provide the completeness (and the complete jouissance) that it promises. The image is beset by an incompleteness that its form denies. Imaginary enjoyment represents a failure to enjoy, which is why the images that predominate the society of enjoyment provide an outlet for a kind of enjoyment that stabilizes rather than threatens the social order. When someone decides to “enjoy Coca-Cola”—embracing the image from the advertisement, she/he provides support for the system of exchange. This imaginary enjoyment doesn’t interfere with the functioning of the social order but rather keeps it going and furthers it. Whereas enjoyment in the Real provides a fundamental threat to the social order and has the potential to transform that order, imaginary enjoyment keeps things going as they are.
Todd McGowan (The End of Dissatisfaction: Jacques Lacan and the Emerging Society of Enjoyment (Psychoanalysis and Culture))
From the standpoint of the society of prohibition, enjoyment is embodied in the external Other—those we ostracize from the social order. Hence, though we feel anxiety about it, we know where enjoyment is located; it has a context in which it exists. When we encounter an outbreak of enjoyment, we can’t understand it, but we can interpret it, make clear its symbolic context. It seems to occur within a universal frame. However, in a society that commands, rather than prohibits, enjoyment, this context seems to evaporate. The imperative to enjoy has the effect of masking the presence of the universal, making it seem as if there is no longer a functioning universal. This is why interpretation is so difficult within the society of enjoyment. Enjoyment is no longer confined to an external position, but confronts us at every turn—within the social order rather than just outside it. In this way, the society of enjoyment produces paranoia: paranoia results from constant confrontations with the enjoying other and the belief that this other is enjoying in our stead. We receive an imperative to enjoy, but rather than feeling as if we are actually enjoying ourselves, we impute enjoyment to the other, a enjoyment that is “rightfully” ours. The problem is that this appearance of the other’s enjoyment does not simply appear in its “proper” context, as external to the social order, at a distance. Instead, it appears directly in front of us, exposing our failure to enjoy and flaunting its success. Because of the seeming proximity of this enjoyment, it is impossible to locate it in a proper symbolic context. This impossibility shapes our response: we can’t interpret the other’s enjoyment, so we feel as if we must destroy it. This is precisely the dynamic at work in the attack on the Convent that opens Paradise.
Todd McGowan (The End of Dissatisfaction: Jacques Lacan and the Emerging Society of Enjoyment (Psychoanalysis and Culture))
APRIL 16 MORNING . . . THE PRECIOUS BLOOD OF CHRIST. — 1 PETER 1:19 Standing at the foot of the cross, we see hands and feet and side all distilling crimson streams of “precious blood.” It is “precious” because of its redeeming and atoning efficacy. By it the sins of Christ’s people are atoned for; they are redeemed from under the law; they are reconciled to God, made one with Him. Christ’s blood is also “precious” in its cleansing power; it cleanses from all sin. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.”1 Through Jesus’ blood there is not a spot left upon any believer; no wrinkle nor any such thing remains. O precious blood that makes us clean, removing the stains of our iniquity and permitting us to stand accepted in the Beloved despite the many ways in which we have rebelled against our God. The blood of Christ is also “precious” in its preserving power. We are safe from the destroying angel under the sprinkled blood. Remember, it is God’s seeing the blood that is the true reason for our being spared. Here is comfort for us when the eye of faith is dim, for God’s eye is still the same. The blood of Christ is “precious” also in its sanctifying influence. The same blood that justifies by taking away sin also quickens the new nature and leads it onward to subdue sin and to obey the commands of God. There is no greater motive for holiness than that which streams from the veins of Jesus. And “precious,” unspeakably precious, is this blood because it has an overcoming power. It is written, “And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb.”2 How could they do otherwise? He who fights with the precious blood of Jesus fights with a weapon that cannot know defeat. The blood of Jesus! Sin dies at its presence; death ceases to be death: Heaven’s gates are opened. The blood of Jesus! We shall march on, conquering and to conquer, so long as we can trust its power!
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening: A New Edition of the Classic Devotional Based on The Holy Bible, English Standard Version)
And how did Enoch walk with God? He educate his mind and heart to ever feel that he was in the presence of God and when in perplexity his prayers would ascend to God to keep him. He refused to take any course that would offend his God. He kept the Lord continually before him. He would pray, "Teach me Thy way, that I may not err. What is Thy pleasure concerning me? What shall I do to honor Thee, my God?" Thus he was constantly shaping his way and course in accordance with God's commandments, and he had perfect confidence and trust in his heavenly Father, that He would help him. He had no thought or will of his own. It was all submerged in the will of his Father. Now Enoch was a representative of those who will be upon the earth when Christ shall come, who will be translated to heaven without seeing death. 1SAT 32 (LDE 71)
Ellen White (The Last Day Events (Japanese Edition))
The Grand Master of the Assassins, whenever he discovers a young man resolute enough to belong to his murderous legions, invites the youth to his table and intoxicates him with the plant hashish. Having been secretly transported to the pleasure gardens, the young man imagines that he has entered the Paradise of Mahomet. The girls, lovely as Houris, contribute to this illusion. After he has enjoyed to satiety all the joys promised by the Prophet to his elect, he falls again into a lethargy and is transported back to the presence of the Grand Master. Here he is informed that he can enjoy perpetually the delights he has just tasted if he will take part in the war of the Infidel as commanded by the prophet.
Robert Anton Wilson (Sex, Drugs & Magick – A Journey Beyond Limits)
Your imagination can undergo a complete overhaul. Replace the old ideas of I’ve always been this way, It’s my nature, It’s the only thing I’ve ever known, with I am God, I am capable, I am strong, I am wealthy, I am healthy, I am happy—or to use the words of Saint Germain, “‘I AM the Conquering Presence’! I command this ‘I AM Presence’ to govern perfectly my mind, home, affairs and world.”11 Use your imagination for the fulfillment of all your God-realized and God-aligned wishes. Expand your imagination beyond the concept of yourself that limits you to ordinary consciousness.
Wayne W. Dyer (Wishes Fulfilled: Mastering the Art of Manifesting)
After three days they were both of them brought together before the judge, and he commanded them to offer sacrifice to the emperors: but they confessed, and said, We acknowledge one God only, the supreme sovereign of all; and when they had uttered these words in the presence of all the people (p. 7.) they were numbered among the company of Holy Martyrs, and were crowned as glorious and illustrious combatants in the conflict of God, for whose sake also their heads were cut off. And better than all the course of their lives did they love their departure, to be with Him in whom they made their confession.
Eusebius (The History of the Martyrs in Palestine)
Perhaps there is an element of blind faith involved, but I believe that the more I live my life in accordance with God’s commandments, the more I will feel God’s presence. Conversely, the more I doubt and question and run away from the tradition, the farther away God will seem. And so just as each morning I wake up and lift up the shades to let the sun stream in to my bedroom, I also try, each day, to open the gates of my heart and let God in.
Ilana Kurshan (If All the Seas Were Ink: A Memoir)
There is something about a good nurse. Having a nursing license and job doesn’t make you a good nurse. Working for 30 years doesn’t make you a good nurse. It’s not about being good at starting IV’s or being best friends with all of the physicians. It’s not about having a commanding presence or knowing all of the answers to the 900 questions you get asked each shift. While all of these things are important, it’s not all there is. Being a good nurse is so much less defined and measurable than that. It isn’t measured in letters after your name, certifications, professional affiliations, or by climbing the clinical ladder. It’s something you feel when you see a good nurse care for their patients. It’s that security you see in their patient’s eyes when they walk in the room to provide care. It’s that sense of safety and security felt by the patient’s family that is so reassuring, they can finally head home for a shower and some sleep, knowing their loved one is being well cared for. Good nurses breathe instinct. They breathe discernment. Good nurses can pick out seemingly insignificant things about a patient, interpret an intricate clinical picture, somehow predict a poor outcome, and bring it to the provider’s attention, literally saving someone’s life. Did you read that? Save someone’s life. I have seen the lives of patients spared because of something that their nurse, their good nurse, first noticed. And then there’s that heart knowledge good nurses have that blows me away even more. They are those nurses who always know the right thing to say. They know how to calm an apprehensive and scared mother enough to let them take care of her son. They know how to re-explain the worst news a husband is ever going to hear because it didn’t quite make sense when the doctor said it 15 minutes ago. And they know how to comfort him when they see it click in his mind that his wife is forever gone.
Kati Kleber (Becoming Nursey: From Code Blues to Code Browns, How to Care for Your Patients and Yourself)
Washington was concerned with style as well as function. Clearly, he viewed women who dressed in rags and tended their snot-nosed children as an embarrassment to the army. When the commander in chief led his men through Philadelphia on August 23, 1777, he ordered specifically that “Not a woman belonging to the army is to be seen with the troops on their march thro’ the City.” But the women did not obey his orders; after the soldiers had passed, they sprang loose from the alleys to which they had been confined and paraded defiantly through the main streets, demanding, by their very presence, their fair share of respect.
Ray Raphael (A People's History of the American Revolution: How Common People Shaped the Fight for Independence)
Mother’s love is unconditional, it is all-protective, all-enveloping; because it is unconditional it can also not be controlled or acquired. Its presence gives the loved person a sense of bliss; its absence produces a sense of lostness and utter despair. Since mother loves her children because they are her children, and not because they are “good,” obedient, or fulfill her wishes and commands, mother’s love is based on equality.
Erich Fromm (The Art of Loving)
O mighty Caliph and Commander of the Faithful, I am humbled to be in the splendor of your presence; a man can hope for no greater blessing as long as he lives.
Ted Chiang (Exhalation)
But the sovereign cannot make the whole of his presence felt to keep his regents in their duty. Therefore he needs a controlling body; this body, whether its place is above the government or at his side, will in time tried to seize it, thus joining in one the two capacities of regent and overseer, and thereby securing for itself, unlimited authority of command. This danger leads to a multiplication of precautions; the Power and its controller are, by a division of functions, or a rapid succession of officeholders, crumbled up into small pieces, a cause of weakness and disorder in the administration of society's business. Then, inevitably, the disorder and weakness becoming at length intolerable, bring together again the crumbled pieces of sovereignty - and there is Power, armed now with the despotic authority. The wider the conception held in the time when the monopoly of it seemed a vain imagining, of the right of sovereignty, the harsher will be the despotism. If the view is that a community's laws admit of no modification whatsoever, the laws will contain the despot. Or if the view is that something of these laws, corresponding to the ordinances of God, is immutable, that part at least will remain fast. And now we begin to see that popular sovereignty may give birth to the more formidable despotism than divine sovereignty. For a tyrant, whether he be one or many, who has by hypothesis, successfully usurped one or the other sovereignty cannot avail himself of the Divine Will, which shows itself to men under the forms of Law Eternal to command whatever he pleases. Whereas the popular will has no natural stability, but is changeable. So far from being tied to a law, its voice may be heard in laws which change and succeed each other. So that a usurping Power has, in such a case, more elbow-room; it enjoys more liberty, and its liberty is the name of our arbitrary power.
Bertrand De Jouvenel (ON POWER: The Natural History of Its Growth)
LET THE DEW OF MY PRESENCE refresh your mind and heart. So many, many things vie for your attention in this complex world of instant communication. The world has changed enormously since I first gave the command to be still, and know that I am God. However, this timeless truth is essential for the well-being of your soul. As dew refreshes grass and flowers during the stillness of the night, so My Presence revitalizes you as you sit quietly with Me. A refreshed, revitalized mind is able to sort out what is important and what is not. In its natural condition, your mind easily gets stuck on trivial matters. Like the spinning wheels of a car trapped in mud, the cogs of your brain spin impotently when you focus on a trivial thing. As soon as you start communicating with Me about the matter, your thoughts gain traction, and you can move on to more important things.
Sarah Young (Jesus Calling Morning and Evening, with Scripture References (Jesus Calling®))
Of course that was not how she imagined their union would be. Nothing about the Earl of Sinclair suggested he was a man who would do her bidding. She maintained her silence as he worked, trying to ignore the unsettled way his commanding presence felt at her back
Scarlett Scott (Lady Ruthless (Notorious Ladies of London, #1))
AS WE REACQUAINT OURSELVES WITH OUR BREATHING BODIES, then the perceived world itself begins to shift and transform. When we begin to consciously frequent the wordless dimension of our sensory participations, certain phenomena that have habitually commanded our focus begin to lose their distinctive fascination and to slip toward the background, while hitherto unnoticed or overlooked presences begin to stand forth from the periphery and to engage our awareness. The countless human artifacts with which we are commonly involved—the asphalt roads, chain-link fences, telephone wires, buildings, lightbulbs, ballpoint pens, automobiles, street signs, plastic containers, newspapers, radios, television screens—all begin to exhibit a common style, and so to lose some of their distinctiveness; meanwhile, organic entities—crows, squirrels, the trees and wild weeds that surround our house, humming insects, streambeds, clouds and rainfalls—all these begin to display a new vitality, each coaxing the breathing body into a unique dance. Even boulders and rocks seem to speak their own uncanny languages of gesture and shadow, inviting the body and its bones into silent communication. In contact with the native forms of the earth, one’s senses are slowly energized and awakened, combining and recombining in ever-shifting patterns.
David Abram (The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World)
For the Jews, however, this sense of exceptionalism was not a matter of arrogance or pride. It was a direct commandment from a jealous God who tolerated no foreign presence in the land he had set aside for his chosen people. That is why, when the Jews first came to this land a thousand years earlier, God had decreed that they massacre every man, woman, and child they encountered, that they slaughter every ox, goat, and sheep they came across, that they burn every farm, every field, every crop, every living thing without exception so as to ensure that the land would belong solely to those who worshipped this one God and no other.
Reza Aslan (Zealot: The life and times of Jesus of Nazareth)
No one asked you, boy,” Gawain said. “Get back with the other soldiers.”   Clark flinched, his shoulders climbing to his ears and his face falling. His gaze darted to Fallon and away as he took the dressing down.   “I asked him here,” Shea said, staring Gawain down.   He snorted but didn’t say anything, Fallon’s presence keeping him from voicing his opinion.   “I’ll just go, Shea. It’s alright. I should probably report back to see if they need any scouts.” Clark didn’t wait for a reply, turning his horse and sending it galloping back to the line.   She watched him go before taking a deep breath. She turned back around. Eamon and Buck watched her for a moment before giving the Rain Clan’s elder hard glances. He didn’t pay them any attention, probably deciding they were no worthier of being here, than Clark had been.   “You do the boy no favors by making him think he can break the chain of command,” Gawain said, his tone patronizing. “You won’t always be there to protect him.”   Shea’s hands tightened on the reins of her mount. It took considerable effort to bite back the words that wanted to escape her. Only the knowledge that Fallon might have need of this man kept her from the scathing retort she had forming.   In a coordinated movement, made all the more comical for it, Buck and Eamon stuck their tongues out and rolled their eyes before assuming their normal stone-faced expressions—the ones they wore around Trateri expedition leaders whom they found obnoxious.   Shea smothered the brief giggle the sight caused her. She schooled her face and gave them a nod of gratitude. She looked up and blinked, as she found herself pinned under the enigmatic gaze of Fallon. His eyes flicked to her two friends then back to her.   She held her breath, sensing a chastisement coming. He lowered one eyelid in an exaggerated wink before sticking just the tip of his tongue out and wrinkling his nose. This time she didn’t quite contain her laugh.   Fallon’s face was cool and implacable as Shea lost the battle and her chortles rolled out. The rest of the party besides Fallon, Eamon and Buck eyed her with concern, not seeing what she found so funny.   “If the Telroi could compose herself, perhaps we could get back to the business at hand,” Braden said.   “My name is Shea. I suggest you remember it.
T.A. White (Mist's Edge (The Broken Lands, #2))
apparently will be the most attractive, commanding, winsome presence ever to command the world stage. He is alluded to by 33 different appellations in the Old Testament and 13 in the New Testament.
Mark Eastman (Alien Encounters)
Oh, really,” I said, pushing myself to my feet. “I thought it was because you couldn’t get rid of me.” “Well, that, too,” she said with an impish grin. She groaned as she scrambled to her feet. “One thing’s clear at least. I’m going to have to go a little easier on all those refreshments at the balls and afternoon teas and soirees. I think they’re starting to take their toll.” “Very true,” I said, my face serious. “I’d been meaning to say something…” She shot me a worried look, and I couldn’t help grinning. “But I figured you’d notice yourself seeing as how you’ve started having to turn sideways to fit through doors.” She took a swipe at me, but I stepped deftly out of her way. “See?” I said, still smiling. “You’re getting slow, too.” She rolled her eyes, and I ducked in close enough to whisper in her ear. “You wouldn’t want to risk looking less than perfect for Miles now, would you?” She exclaimed in outrage and tried once again to catch me. I escaped her easily, and she proceeded to chase me around the fountains, much to the amusement of the children who followed behind us, shrieking encouragement to one or the other of us. I eluded her for several minutes, ducking behind fountains and jumping over benches, purely for the entertainment of our audience. She entered into the drama with equal enthusiasm, pretending to be slower than she really was. When I eventually let her catch me, we both collapsed onto a bench, laughing. “Don’t think I didn’t notice the blush,” I whispered, too quietly for the children to hear. “I hope you’re not forgetting who Miles is.” I shot her a warning look, and she met my eyes, her own full of guilt. But Ava approached us before she could reply. “If you two are quite finished, we should probably get back to the castle now.” I jumped to my feet, but she was smiling so I relaxed. “As you command, Your Majesty,” I said, bowing low. The children laughed again, and Ava shook her head at me. We were all still smiling when we left the square. None of us were really in a hurry to get back, so we walked, leading the horses behind us. Ava and Sarah were talking idly about the court when a voice called to Ava from across the street. I turned around and sucked in a sharp breath. It was Anhalt, one arm raised in greeting and a broad smile on his face. I had just enough time to whisper his name to Ava and Sarah before he had crossed over to join us. I was careful to keep my face free of all emotion as Sarah and I dropped back to walk respectfully behind Ava and the count. Anhalt seemed delighted with our chance encounter and determined to make the most of his unexpected audience with the queen. I watched the surrounding streets with my usual vigilance while I wondered if his voice really sounded so oily, or if it was my own feelings painting my perception of them. Sarah was listening intently to their conversation, her eyes never leaving the count’s form. I knew she would be paying attention for any clues, so I stopped listening myself, devoting my full attention to watching for any threat to the queen. I wasn’t sure if it was this extra attentiveness or just a heightened sense of alert due to the count’s presence, but I noticed an odd flicker of movement as we passed a small side alley. It was barely more than a shifting of shadow, and I could easily have missed it. Instead I tensed, my hand flying to my sword hilt. In one step, I placed myself between Ava and the alley. She turned to look at me, surprised out of her conversation by my sudden movement. I spoke to her but kept my eyes trained on the shadows. “It might be nothing, but I think it would be a good idea if we moved a bit faster, Your Majesty.
Melanie Cellier (Happily Ever Afters: A Reimagining of Snow White and Rose Red (The Four Kingdoms, #2.5))
at least have taken time to get to know the gentleman before becoming enraptured by the captain’s rugged good looks and glib, commanding presence.
Kelly Miller (Accusing Mr. Darcy)
shouldn’t be startled by his sudden presence, but fear locks my knees and traps the breath in my throat, and for a second, I can’t move.  The commander stops short upon his entry, his black eyes widening when he sees my nakedness.
Raven Kennedy (Glint (The Plated Prisoner, #2))
In the days of the British Empire, controlling South Africa meant controlling the Cape of Good Hope and thus the sea lanes between the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Modern navies can venture much further out from the southern African coastline if they wish to pass by, but the Cape is still a commanding piece of real estate on the world map and South Africa is a commanding presence in the whole of the bottom third of the continent.
Tim Marshall (Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics)
It was a moment of awe. I considered the powerful appearance of the two ravens an immediate and true message from God. The magical encounter settled in my cells. I embraced the call to honor those messengers whose commanding presence showed me the link between a call to God and a response through nature.
Linda Durham (Still Moving: a memoir)
In essence, all of this fills out the gap left in God’s Presence in History between the identification of the imperative to respond to Auschwitz and the formulation of it as a 614th commandment, with its ramified content.
Michael L. Morgan (The Cambridge Companion to Modern Jewish Philosophy (Cambridge Companions to Religion))
The date was November 23, 1965. One company was in contact. Machinegun fire rattled in the distance. Tom McEnry took pictures of artillery firing support for soldiers in the field. Just after eleven o’clock in the morning, McEnry complained about his light meter. “I can’t get a reading,” he said, shaking the small black instrument in front of him, banging it against his hand. At the same time, field commanders called in on their radios that something strange was happening. ‘I don’t know what it is,’ one officer called, ‘but it’s weird. It’s really gettin, uh, kinda eerie out here.’ The air became still. Insects went quiet. The artillery stopped firing. Radios were silent. The temperature, which had been about eighty-five degrees, dropped to around seventy or seventy-five. The light dimmed, though there were no clouds. The North Vietnamese broke contact. The war stopped. Someone said, ‘Look at the sun!’ Everyone looked up. A thin black disc appeared at the side of the white-yellow sun, obscuring part of it, blocking the light. ‘Far fucking out,’ a soldier said. ‘Would you believe it?’ said another. ‘A fucking ee-clipse? In fucking Veetnam?’ ‘I bet the VC think we done it,’ a GI said. ‘That’s why they took off.’ ‘Shee-it.’ Several minutes passed in near silence. The hand of an unseen presence seemed to move across the tropical savanna. No one spoke. Then the light brightened. The temperature warmed. Insects screeched. A few gunshots cracked. Field radios came alive with chatter and hiss. Artillery boomed. Helicopter blades whacked the air. The war, having skipped a beat, resumed as if nothing had happened.
John Laurence (The Cat From Hue: A Vietnam War Story)
command wasn’t in presence but rather in duty.
Perry Comer (The Prize (Donland))
Thunder by Maisie Aletha Smikle The thunder roars The thunder claps The thunder shouts The thunder speaks not words The thunder cannot be seen But you can only hear As it beckons your ears And stays out of sight Like the Creator Thunder beckons all to attention Like a trumpet Like a drum The thunder needs not amplifiers It's sound is amplified by its Creator Lightening is its companion Light that comes not from the sun the moon or the stars Lightning flashes for all to see Thunder blares for all to hear The approach of that Which we cannot make A reminder that we are not alone A reminder that the Creator is around Heavenly lights lit the skies Showing God's heavenly presence In heavenly non consuming fire With heat that melt not the heavens Heat that scorches not God's abode A holy fire that consumes not the firmament The sound of God's roaring thunder Requires no earmuffs Loud is the sound yet even a newborn Can withstand God's heavenly sound Lightening appears Thunder roars Then disappear out of sight And out of range Re-emerging at the Creator’s command Like a rainbow that lingers Telling you your Maker is here And that He never went anywhere
Maisie Aletha Smikle
The strategic level is concerned with the use of military force to achieve national objectives. In the new American style of war, it has come to be interpreted as the highest political and diplomatic level at which decisions are made to collect and deploy military forces to a distant theater. The size of strategic land forces varies, depending on the nature of the topography and the seriousness of the enemy threat. In past limited wars, deployments involved relatively large armies consisting of multiple corps of 50,000 soldiers each. The numbers of soldiers deployed in more recent campaigns have been considerably smaller. The strategic challenge in the years ahead will center on "time versus risk"-that is, the decisions that must be made to balance the size of the strategic force to be projected versus the time necessary for the force to arrive ready to fight. The United States must be able to overcome the problems of distance and time without unnecessarily exposing early arriving forces to an enemy already in place within a theater of war. The operational level of warfare provides a connection between strategic deployments and the tactical engagements of small units. The "art" of maneuvering forces to achieve decisive results on the battlefield nest here. As with the deployments of strategic level forces, the basic elements of operational maneuver have shrunk as the conflict environment has changed since the end of the Second World War. During the Cold War, corps conducted operational maneuver. More recently, the task has devolved to brigades, usually self contained units of all arms capable of independent maneuver. An independent brigade consists of about 5,000 soldiers. At the operational level, ground forces will face the challenge of determining the proper balance between "firepower and maneuver" resources and technologies to ensure that the will of the enemy's army to resist can be collapsed quickly and decisively. Battles are fought at the tactical level. In the past, the tactical fight has been a face-to-face endeavor; small units of about company size, no more that several hundred soldiers, are locked in combat at close range. The tactical fight is where most casualties occur. The tactical challenge of the future will be to balance the anticipated "ends," or what the combat commander is expected to achieve on the battlefield, with the "means," measured in the lives of soldiers allocated to achieve those ends. Since ground forces suffer casualties disproportionately, ground commanders face the greatest challenge of balancing ends versus means. All three challenges must be addressed together if reform of the landpower services - the Army and the Marine Corps - is to be swift and lasting. The essential moderating influence on the process of change is balance. At the strategic level, the impulse to arrive quickly must be balanced with the need for forces massive and powerful enough to fight successfully on arrival. The impulse to build a firepower-dominant operational forces will be essential if the transitory advantage of fires is to be made permanent by the presence of ground forces in the enemy's midst. The impulse to culminate tactical battle by closing with and destroying the enemy must be balanced by the realization that fighting too close may play more to the advantage of enemy rather than friendly forces.
Robert H. Scales
He will give his angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways. PSALM 91:11 RSV A secret agent is one who seeks to protect his country, his king, or his president against evil forces that are opposed to the one he serves. The American Secret Service is charged with protecting the president of the United States. They do an excellent job, but even they will tell you that someone who is fiercely determined to assassinate the president could be successful. God has His own secret agents—the angels. Unseen and unrecognized by the world, they never fail in their appointed tasks. Much has been written recently about angels—often not based on the Bible but on popular legends. But angels are real, and God has commanded them to watch over us. Only in eternity will we know how many accidents they prevented or how often they kept Satan’s malicious spirits at bay. In the meantime, we can take comfort in their presence and thank God for the love He expresses for us through their service.
Billy Graham (Hope for Each Day Morning & Evening Devotions)
And what of Joan's presence among so many young, armed men? Perhaps of all the nobles and military men, the Duke of Alencon - that dedicated, courageous and skillful commander - may be trusted most. Although he was a man who had a keen eye for attractive and available women, he too recognized a rare quality of sincere devotion that deflected any tendency to make sexual overtures. 'Sometimes I lay down to sleep with Joan and the soldiers,' Alencon recalled. 'We were all in the straw together, and sometimes I saw Joan prepare for the night. Sometimes too I looked at her breasts, which were beautiful. And yet I never had any carnal desire for her.
Donald Spoto (Joan: The Mysterious Life of the Heretic Who Became a Saint)
According to all that God commanded [Noah], so he did. Noah did “according to all that God commanded him, so he did” (Genesis 6:22). Therein lies the key and secret to Noah’s faith. When God told him to do something, he did it. He was a man who took God at His word.
David Jeremiah (Sanctuary: Finding Moments of Refuge in the Presence of God)
So the one command, the one exhortation, that we are given in Hebrews 10:19-22 is to draw near to God. The great aim of this writer is that we get near God, that we have fellowship with him, that we not settle for a Christian life at a distance from God, that God not be a distant thought, but a near and present reality, that we experience what the old Puritans called communion with God. This drawing near is not a physical act. It's not building a tower of Babel, by your achievements, to get to heaven. It's not necessarily going to a church building. Or walking to an altar at the front. It is an invisible act of the heart. You can do it while standing absolutely still, or while lying in a hospital bed, or while sitting in a pew listening to a sermon. Drawing near is not moving from one place to another. It is a directing of the heart into the presence of God who is as distant as the holy of holies in heaven, and yet as near as the door of faith. He is commanding us to come. To approach him. To draw near to him. let us draw near to God sermon
John Piper
Neither the Ten Commandments nor the great commandment is revelatory if separated from the divine covenant with Israel or from the presence of the Kingdom of God in the Christ. These commandments were meant and should be taken as interpretations of a new reality, not as orders directed against the old reality. They are descriptions and not laws. ~ vol. 1, p.125
Paul Tillich (Systematic Theology: Three Volumes in One)
16So Ehud made for himself a two-edged dagger, a gomed in length, which he girded on his right side under his cloak. 17He presented the tribute to King Eglon of Moab. Now Eglon was a very stout man. 18When [Ehud] had finished presenting the tribute, he dismissed the people who had conveyed the tribute. 19But he himself returned from Pesilim, near Gilgal, and said, “Your Majesty, I have a secret message for you.” [Eglon] thereupon commanded, “Silence!” So all those in attendance left his presence; 20and when Ehud approached him, he was sitting alone in his cool upper chamber. Ehud said, “I have a message for you from God”; whereupon he rose from his seat. 21Reaching with his left hand, Ehud drew the dagger from his right side and drove it into [Eglon’s]* belly. 22The fat closed over the blade and the hilt went in after the blade—for he did not pull the dagger out of his belly—and the filth* came out.
Adele Berlin (The Jewish Study Bible)
Are you for us or for our adversaries?” he asked. “No,” said the figure. Caleb said, “No, you are not for us, or no, you are not for our adversaries?” The figure said, “Neither. I am the commander of the army of Yahweh.” Joshua whispered under his breath, “The Angel of Yahweh.” He was the Son of Man in an earthly presence. Joshua and Caleb dropped to their knees and worshipped the Angel, who said, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are is holy.” Joshua and Caleb obeyed. Caleb knew in his heart this was another connection to Moses who had removed his sandals before the burning bush of Yahweh’s presence. The Angel spoke with a calm assurance, “I would wager you are wondering how in the world you are going to assault the mighty walls of Jericho.” Joshua said, “The thought had crossed our minds, my Lord. You would not happen to have any secrets about its weaknesses that might help us?” “No,” said the Angel. “But be strong and courageous this day, for I will tell you how you will conquer the city by the power of Yahweh.
Brian Godawa (Caleb Vigilant (Chronicles of the Nephilim Book 6))
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explained the second commandment: “You have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not swear at all.… Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one.”82 Jesus teaches that every oath involves a reference to God and that God’s presence and his truth must be honored in all speech. Discretion in calling upon God is allied with a respectful awareness of his presence, which all our assertions either witness to 2466    or mock. 2154  Following St.
Catholic Church (Catechism of the Catholic Church)
On September 29, 1982, the 32nd MAU arrived in Beirut to join the twenty-two hundred French and Italian troops already in place. The Marines’ mission was “to establish an environment which will permit the Lebanese Armed Forces to carry out their responsibilities in the Beirut area. When directed, USCINCEUR will introduce U.S. forces as part of a multinational force presence in the Beirut area to occupy and secure positions along a designated section of the line from south of the Beirut International Airport to a position in the vicinity of the Presidential Palace; be prepared to protect U.S. forces; and, on order, conduct retrograde operations as required.” The agreement “expressly ruled out any combat responsibilities for the U.S. forces.”9
Timothy J. Geraghty (Peacekeepers at War: Beirut 1983—The Marine Commander Tells His Story)
Step One Preparing The Mind Anytime athletes compete, they condition themselves that they may win the prize. An athlete is well self-disciplined, and temperate in all things. They tell their bodies what to do rather than letting their bodies tell them what to do. They have self-control and self-discipline in every aspect of life including their diet, in sleeping, in their behavior, in their conduct, and in their exercise. They keep a goal in mind with a plan of attack, and a determination to win. They exercise their bodies with a plan to optimize themselves in strength to overcome. For example a runner will be more concerned with leg exercises and the parts of the body which help run. They will train for endurance more so than strength, whereas some other athletes may be concerned with upper body strength only. Likewise we need to be conditioned in all things and well-disciplined to exercise ourselves towards godliness. Our target workout is not upper or lower body, but the spiritual body with soundness of mind. Without self-discipline it is impossible to memorize the amount of Scripture we should memorize. It goes without saying that mental conditioning should be a primary focus when attempting to memorize. That way, one may be optimized for memorizing the word of God. A runner exercises their legs for optimum performance and likewise we should also exercise our minds in Christ for memorizing and walking in wisdom. To make the most of memorization time one needs to be fully alert. It is best not to do it after a long day of work, an extremely stressful period of time, early in the morning when you’re groggy, or late at night before you go to bed. Rather it is better to pick a peaceful time of day during which you are most alert. Sometimes a small sip of coffee or other mental stimulant can help wake you up enough for meditation time. In order to be well conditioned mentally, first we need to understand how to be at peace within ourselves. If you’re often stressed out it can be difficult to memorize what you need to. Watch your own heart and be certain that you don’t take things too critically in life. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you take it. If you find yourself stressed out often, it may be more of how you’re handling the situation, than what’s happening to you. Although there may be something stressful happening in your life you may not need to take it so hard. In fact, the Lord calls us to always be rejoicing. As it is written, “Rejoice always” 1Th 5:16  The apostles through hardship and persecution were known to give joyous glory to the Lord. After being beaten by the council in Acts the apostles rejoiced in the Lord for the persecution they received. As we read, “…and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.” Act 5:40-41 Likewise our temperance and spiritual state of mind can help us when it comes to time for memorizing the word of God. There are both short term and long term exercises that we should practice. In the short term we should learn to rest in Christ and release things to Him. In the long term we should grow in meekness, not taking things so critically in life that we can be at peace.
Adam Houge (How To Memorize The Bible Quick And Easy In 5 Simple Steps)
By mid-April, Zúñiga’s warnings were growing shrill. He told the king that the English planned to quickly establish a presence so large that by the time “they open their eyes in Spain” it will be too late to take action. “Your Majesty will appreciate how important this is to your royal interests, and so I hope [you] will quickly command the extirpation of these insolents.
Kieran Doherty (Sea Venture: Shipwreck, Survival, and the Salvation of Jamestown)
In 2 Corinthians 4:6-7, Paul wrote, “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” And that brings us full circle to where we started in this chapter: at the end of the day there is no human explanation for the growth of the church. The world thinks we’re odd and bizarre. We’re the losers. We’re the privy pots. And yet, through the mouths of Paul and other misfits across the centuries, the church inexplicably moves in the history of the world with immense power beyond anything else. The gospel alone turns sinners into saints by transplanting men and women from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God’s dear Son—from eternal death to everlasting life. That is power to create new beings fit for God’s presence and glory. If we brought a bus load of movie stars, corporate titans, or Ivy League professors into our church (assuming they’d condescend to get on a bus), they’d look at us and laugh: “These people can’t change the world!” No, we can’t. But for those who remain faithful to the whole truth of Christianity, God is changing the world through us. He’s been doing it through all history.
John F. MacArthur Jr. (Hard to Believe: The High Cost and Infinite Value of Following Jesus)
But realize, every “you shall not” in the Bible is a promise of God’s protection. He is not preventing you from enjoying life; rather, He is saving you—keeping you from destroying yourself. Every command in His Word is an expression of divine love to you, His beloved child. He wants to protect and preserve your life so you can enjoy all the blessings He’s planned for you.
Charles F. Stanley (Every Day in His Presence: 365 Devotions (Devotionals from Charles F. Stanley))
charismatic leader will speak with compassion, intelligence, and presence. These
Daniel Smith (Banned Charisma Secrets Unleashed: Learn The Secrets Of Personal Magnetism And How To Attract, Inspire, Impress, Influence And Energize Anyone On Command)
The brilliant psychologist Larry Crabb wrote, “The core battle in everyone’s life is to relate well to God, to worship him, enjoy him, experience his presence, hear his voice, trust him in everything, always call him good, obey every command (even the hard ones), and hope in him when he seems to disappear.”8 Crabb concluded, “That’s the battle the community of God is called to enter in each other’s lives.”9 That’s a battle I cannot win alone. I need a community that is waging the same war to include me in the fight. None of us can win the battle alone, and God didn’t design us to win alone. We win the lifelong battle to stay encouraged and hold on to hope only as we join others who need our help to win their battles as well. A local Christian hero and statesman, Bryce Jessup, said the key to his whole life and his stellar twenty-five-year run as a college president boils down to one line: “Dream a dream and build a team.”10 I’d add only that a dream without a team is merely a wish. Who is on your team?
Ray Johnston (The Hope Quotient)
Given the novelty of this organization, lines of authority were confused. Although Bremer nominally worked for and reported to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, he increasingly dealt directly with the White House staff and bypassed the Pentagon bureaucracy. Relationships with the local U.S. military command were reportedly both strained and confused. The massive U.S. military presence and its role in providing law and order were regarded as increasingly oppressive by the Iraqi people, and this perception played a role in stimulating violent resistance. And then, with the transfer of sovereignty in June 2004, this entire, large bureaucracy had to be dismantled and its functions handed back either to Iraqi ministries or to the new embassy/ country team. This once again created substantial confusion as roles and missions were reassigned to a different bureaucracy.
Francis Fukuyama (Nation-Building: Beyond Afghanistan and Iraq (Forum on Constructive Capitalism))
A striking blonde had just come through the front doors. She was wearing a black pants suit and pumps. Practical, but classy. What you’d see on a traveler carrying a first-class ticket. She was tall, too, maybe five-nine, five-ten, with long legs that looked good even in pants, and a ripe, voluptuous body. A porter followed her in, gripping a pair of large Vuitton bags. He paused near her, and leaned forward to ask something. She raised a hand to indicate he should wait, then started her own visual sweep of the room. I hadn’t expected that, and quickly returned my attention to Keiko until the blonde’s gaze had passed over us. When I glanced over again, she was standing beside Belghazi, her arm linked through his. Something about her presence was as relaxed and, in its way, as commanding as his. Everything about her seemed natural: her hair, her face, the curves beneath her clothes.
Barry Eisler (Winner Take All (John Rain #3))
Never in her life had she beheld his equal in form, strength, or grace, but it wasn’t just the unexpected sight of him. He possessed that raw, commanding presence that was unrivaled by king or commander. An air of noble refinement that was offset by an aura of bloodthirsty intolerance, cool indifference, and utter ennui. He was lethal, no doubts there. Beguiling. More than that, he was an enigmatic study of warring contradictions that quickened her heart a lot more than she wanted to admit to anyone, especially herself.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Deadmen Walking (Deadman's Cross #1))
The Reality of Heaven: The Hebrews sermon often speaks about heaven’s reality. The pastor reveals it’s the place where God keeps his throne; to be in heaven means to be in God’s very presence; in it are the names of everyone whom God calls his own; and it is the place where our ultimate redemption and atonement took place. This last revelation of heaven is especially important, because Hebrews explains the old religious order of rules and rituals is no longer necessary because of the final sacrifice made for all people. All God commanded under the first covenant on earth became obsolete and disappeared thanks to what Jesus accomplished in heaven! The heavenly temple is where our ultimate salvation was accomplished, of which the earthly one could not.
Brian Simmons (The Passion Translation New Testament: With Psalms, Proverbs and Song of Songs (The Passion Translation))
Nowhere else in all the Bible is there a preface to a command like this one: “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word” (2 Tim. 4:1–2). The command is three short words. “Preach the word”—in the context of 2 Timothy 3:16–17 meaning the “God-breathed” word of Scripture. But the introduction to the command is spectacular. It is calculated to make us take a deep breath and be sober minded about the task of preaching. “I charge you.” “In the presence of God.” “And in the presence of Christ Jesus.” “He will judge.” “The living.” “And the dead.” “By his appearing.” “And by his kingdom.” In view of these weightiest of realities, preach the word. How could Paul have made preaching any more momentous
John Piper (Brothers, We Are Not Professionals: A Plea to Pastors for Radical Ministry)
(O-yo-mei) won a splendid victory over the rebel army which threatened the throne of the Ming dynasty. During that warfare Wang was giving a course of lectures to a number of students at the headquarters of the army, of which he was the Commander-in-chief. At the very outset of the battle a messenger brought him the news of defeat of the foremost ranks. All the students were terror-stricken and grew pale at the unfortunate tidings, but the teacher was not a whit disturbed by it. Some time after another messenger brought in the news of complete rout of the enemy. All the students, enraptured, stood up and cheered, but he was as cool as before, and did not break off lecturing. Thus the practiser of Zen has so perfect control over his heart that he can keep presence of mind under an impending danger, even in the presence of death itself. [FN#240]
Kaiten Nukariya (The Religion of the Samurai A Study of Zen Philosophy and Discipline in China and Japan)
Healthy self-esteem is a commanding and powerful influence, so isn’t it worth diving in deeper to ensure that you do everything possible to make your sense of self healthy, beneficial, and whole?
Susan C. Young (The Art of Being: 8 Ways to Optimize Your Presence & Essence for Positive Impact (The Art of First Impressions for Positive Impact, #1))
Thirdly, If the command of Christ to teach all nations extend only to the apostles, then, doubtless, the promise of the divine presence in this work must be so limited; but this is worded in such a manner as expressly precludes such an idea. Lo, I am with you always, to the end of the world.
William Carey (An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens In Which the Religious State of the Different Nations of ... of Further Undertakings, Are Considered)
There was definitely a problem at the foot of the ship’s gangway. Although I was too far away to actually hear what was being said, it was easy to tell that there was a heated argument between the crewmembers and the Ship’s Officers. I could see that some of the crewmembers were disembarking the ship, carrying their sea bags. For a while, I thought things would come to blows, when, amidst a lot of gesturing, one of the crew walked back and got into the duty officer’s face. Being inquisitive and wanting to get closer, I walked down the steep cobblestone street alongside the park from where I had been looking, and then crossed River Street to the pier. No one stopped me or even noticed my presence, as I approached one of the frustrated officers. “What's going on?” I asked, as he stood next to the gangway wearing a typical khaki working uniform. “What do you think? The crew is striking! What are you here for, a job?” he asked with a decided guttural accent. “Well, yes,” I replied instinctively, not even knowing what kind of jobs were being offered. “Who do I have to see?” I asked. His abrupt answer was more like a command, than an informative reply. “Get some black pants, black socks, black shoes, white shirt, and a black bow tie and then get back here. Chop, Chop!” What was “Chop, Chop” all about? I took it to mean that I had the job if I could move fast enough, and get back with these things before the ship sailed. At the time I didn’t think of myself as a strike breaker, but of course that is what I was….
Hank Bracker
Rodel.” His long, tapered fingers slid down my arm and tightened around my wrist. He didn’t have to say anything. He was doing it again—bringing me back to the moment. He had an artless way of communicating with his eyes. He could blur everything in the periphery, so all that remained was his calm, commanding presence.
Leylah Attar (Mists of the Serengeti)
cynical. As his latest biographer, I believe his life has a valuable contribution to make in this new millennium-it provides a sense of who we once were and who we might be again. He was a commanding presence in our American history, a man who helped shape the way we look at that history. It was he, in fact, who created the Wild West, in all its adventure, violence, and romance.
Robert A. Carter (Buffalo Bill Cody: The Man Behind the Legend)
Rebellion is oftentimes a noticeable sign of the presence of witchcraft in the unregenerate. it is the nature of the devil and a gift by him to those who are slaves in his command
Oluseyi Akinbami
Former Mormon President Joseph Fielding Smith made that clear when he wrote: [There is] no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith. If Joseph Smith was verily a prophet, and if he told the truth when he said that he stood in the presence of angels sent from the Lord, and obtained the keys of authority, and the commandment to organize the Church of Jesus Christ once again upon the earth, then this knowledge is of the most vital importance to the entire world. No man can reject that testimony without incurring the most dreadful consequences, for he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
Ed Decker (The God Makers: A Shocking Expose of What the Mormon Church Really Believes)
The extent of our love to the Lord is shown by the way we obey His commands. Love does all that it can to make the loved one happy.
Andrew Murray (Daily in His Presence: A Classic Devotional from One of the Most Powerful Voices of the Nineteenth Century)
We often do not yield ourselves to God in obedience to His commandment to love our fellow men with Christ’s love. What if that love should flow out to all around, even to those who hate us? This would require much grace and cost us time and trouble and serious prayer.
Andrew Murray (Daily in His Presence: A Classic Devotional from One of the Most Powerful Voices of the Nineteenth Century)
THE WRITERS WE discussed in Part I all lived between the mid-eighteenth and the mid-twentieth centuries. What has changed in the meantime? Not much, basically, except for the fact that survivors of childhood abuse can now seek therapy in an attempt to free themselves from the consequences of that abuse. Frequently, however, not only the victims themselves but also their therapists are reluctant to square up to the truth of what happened to them in childhood. Accordingly, it is still very rare for that liberation process to be fully successful. If clients can actually experience their emotions, there may be a temporary alleviation of the symptoms. The emotions can be consciously felt, they can be expressed in another’s presence, and this is something that has never been possible before. But as long as the therapist tacitly stands in the service of some “deity” (parental figure), she will hardly be able to help her clients find their way to genuine autonomy. The morality implicit in the Fourth Commandment will continue to hold sway over both of them, and the body will pay the price for this sacrifice. If I assert, here and now, that this sacrifice is unnecessary, that one can free oneself of the dictatorship of conventional morality and the Fourth Commandment without having to punish oneself for it or do harm to others, some people may accuse me of naïve optimism.
Alice Miller (The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects of Cruel Parenting)
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called. . . . I charge you to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. —1 Timothy 6:12–16
Sarah Young (Jesus Today: Experience Hope Through His Presence)
We’ve all been surprised by the realization that our first impression of a person turned out to be wrong. We misread the clues gathered through our initial observation, and only as a result of continued exposure to that person can we gather more data and realize that this was a book that could not be judged by its cover. Time is an empowerer of people reading; if you have it, take care not to cast your initial impressions in stone. Once
Harrison Monarth (Executive Presence: The Art of Commanding Respect Like a CEO)
I watched him play every perfect chord as if it were an entire song, every song as if it were a grand sonata. The old man was lost in the captivating music and I was lost too—in his commanding presence, in his seamless movement, in his unmatched talent. His fingers floated effortlessly over the worn strings of the acoustic guitar, each one crossing over the other with calming ease. I found it hard to distinguish where one part ended and another began, inspiring and stirring my soul like a miracle. Elsie watched him with great intent, with great wonder, as did I. Then she got up from her leather armchair in the corner, walked over to the parlor grand piano, and joined in just as the song began to swell to its airy peak. They played together flawlessly, a man and a woman, for what could have been the thousandth time. Yet as I watched them, as the music filled me like the warmth of coming home, I could see it was new to them too, though ancestral and old. I was swept away, amazed at how each part was so distinct, so solitary in and of itself, and how yet it could only capture its full potential, its full beauty, as a part of something greater. I thought of how we are all pieces of music, of how one person would cease to swell without the other, of how the part that moves us the most freely in ourselves might not exist at all. I watched Johnny as he continued to strum, then Elsie as her fingers darted from place to place on the keys of the piano. The music swept over me like a memory of summertime, and I closed my eyes, letting it take me where it would, to a place so strikingly beautiful that everything else was silently perfect, letting the melody lead the moment. The hopeful sound filled my expectant ears and my emotions felt new again, as if I were a child, the moment peacefully pure, like rocking a newborn back to sleep. Wet streams of tears escaped my soft, emotional eyes as I let the notes take their full effect. To Johnny and Elsie, music was a language that didn't require words. In fact, it exceeded them. For what was flowing from the withered hands of the couple before me now was in itself perfection. Words could only ruin a moment this pure. As I watched them, I realized I wanted to care about anything as much as they did about music. A tear ran down my cheek as the last note hung softly, like a butterfly might hang on air. I decided right then that some things in life were much too beautiful not to cry about. This, I now knew, was one of them.
Emily Nelson
Prince Andrei listened attentively to Bagration’s colloquies with the commanding officers and the orders he gave them, and to his surprise found that no orders were really given but that Prince Bagration tried to make it appear that everything done by necessity, by accident, or by the will of subordinate commanders, was done, if not by his direct command at least in accord with his intentions. Prince Andrei noticed however that though what happened was due to chance and was independent of the commander’s will, owing to the tact Bagration showed, his presence was very valuable. Officers
Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace)
Ignoring her apology, Lucian pulled his cock free from his trousers. His thick shaft already hard and ready for her warm, tight mouth. “I will show pity on you, little one. Spread your thighs open nice and wide. If Papa does not find the sweet cream of your own arousal on your cunny, you will be spared.” Once again, Corinne bit her lip in nervous mortification. She already knew her body was betraying her. There was just something about his strong, tall presence. The way he commanded her obedience. Touched her. The sound of his voice. As much as she wanted to scream and rail at his debasing treatment…still…there was something torn and twisted deep in her soul that craved it. She could hear the rustle of fabric as he crouched down in front of her. Two fingers reached out to caress her cunny along the seam. “Tsk. Tsk. Tsk. I believe the lady doth protest too much,” he teased using a line from one of her favorite Shakespearean plays.
Zoe Blake (Papa's Prey)
Sweet merciful fuck, words like shockingly pretty dilute the effect of his image. Yeah, the first glimpse is a shock, but it’s not just his attractiveness. It’s his presence, his projection of self-assurance and command that makes me feel disoriented, breathless, and really fucking weird deep in my core.
Pam Godwin (Dark Notes)
You must be new to DSI.” “Graduated two weeks ago. What gave me away?” I mimic her smile. “The fresh, handsome face, or the fact that I didn’t slip a knife out of my belt when I walked in, wary of you getting funny ideas?” She raises her hands in a mocking gesture of peace. “Both, if you must know. New Crows always have this air of undue confidence hanging around them. Think they can take on the magic world with a .45 and a few fake magic rings, defeat the big bad monsters, play the valiant knights. But they learn real quick, most of them, the truth of the matter. That—” “The world of monsters and mayhem can’t be controlled by mortal hands.” My voice drops two octaves. “Don’t mistake my inexperience for naïveté, witch.” The woman shifts backward a step, and I sense a stream of magic building in her palms. A faint aura forms around her hands, an earthy green hue. A sign she’s preparing to attack. I respond by activating my beggar rings with a simple mental command, Build. My fingers begin to grow warm as the rings absorb the energy in the air around me. There’s a bit more than usual—a consequence of being in the presence of a magic user
Clara Coulson (Soul Breaker (City of Crows, #1))
The Prayer We recognize a God of Love within us as the healing and directing power of our lives. We consciously surrender any negative quality (motive, drive, thought, feeling) we do not want. We invite God’s power to fill the void our surrender has created. In specific times of prayer and throughout our day we hold positive, healthful, wholesome thoughts and images, certain that these alone are in line with God’s will for his offspring. When we pray, we believe that we have received the specific help we have requested, and we act as though we had received it. We meditate on God as Love, on Jesus’ commandments to love, and seek entrance to that Circle of Perfection in the love of God, of self as God’s child, of neighbor as self.58 We listen, and wait for a sense of victory, a feeling of Presence, that tells us, “I AM here. All is well.” When it is reached. We give thanks! This may seem like a lot to remember, but it is easy enough to keep it in front of you at prayer time and systematically go through the steps.
Troy Caldwell (Adventures in Soulmaking: Stories and Principles of Spiritual Formation and Depth Psychology)
The Commander of the British cruiser Cardiff, who happened to be an old friend, got wind of Olga's presence in town and invited her to his ship. After tea on board, the grand duchess was tactfully presented with a length of navy-blue cloth, enough to make clothing for the four members of her family, and she was relieved that they could be respectable again.
John Curtis Perry (The Flight of the Romanovs: A Family Saga)
There is great need for the preaching of love. God sometimes allows bitterness to arise between Christians, that they may view the terrible power of sin in their hearts and shrink back at the sight. How greatly a minister and his people should feel the importance of Christ’s command to love one another. A life of great holiness will result, if we only but love each other as Christ loves us.
Andrew Murray (Daily in His Presence: A Classic Devotional from One of the Most Powerful Voices of the Nineteenth Century)
For two thousand years prior to the creation of the world, all the letters of the Hebrew alphabet were hidden. During that time, God gazed upon the letters and delighted in them. Then, when God was about to create the world, all twenty-two letters engraved upon His crown came down and stood before him, from tav to aleph. The letter tav approached first and said: "O Lord, create the world through me, for I am at the beginning of the word 'Torah.'" God replied, "Tav, You are worthy and deserving, and in the days to come I shall command that you be put as a sign on the foreheads of the righteous, so that when the destroying angel comes to punish sinners, he will see the letter on their foreheads and spare them." But the letter tav was sad that it would not be used to create the world, and it left the presence of the Lord. Then, one by one, each of the other letters came forward and pleaded with God to create the world through them.
Howard Schwartz (Tree of Souls: The Mythology of Judaism)
Abraham’s obedience to the divine command was both partial and tardy. God had bidden him to leave his own country, separate from his kindred, and "come into the land" which He would show him (Acts 7:3). His failure is recorded in Genesis 11:31: "And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there." He left Chaldea; but instead of leaving behind his kindred, his father and nephew accompanied him. This was the more excuseless because Isaiah 51:2 expressly declares that God had called Abraham "alone." It is significant to note that the word "Terah" means "delay," and such his presence occasioned Abraham, for instead of entering the land of Canaan at once, he stopped short at Haran, and there he remained for five years until Terah died (Gen. 11:32; 12:4, 5).
Arthur W. Pink (Divine Covenants (Arthur Pink Collection))
What a sight the big man made, sitting his horse with a commanding presence as if he were born to the guardianship. If she hadn't known him, Eva would have guessed him to be as regal as a king.
Amy Jarecki (In the Kingdom's Name (Guardian of Scotland, #2))
Since 1870 a commander has seldom if ever been able to survey a whole battlefield from a single spot; and in any case he has had little opportunity—although sometimes a considerable inclination—to try. For the modern commander is much more akin to the managing director of a large conglomerate enterprise than ever he is to the warrior chief of old. He has become the head of a complex military organization, whose many branches he must oversee and on whose cooperation, assistance, and support he depends for his success. As the size and complexity of military forces have increased, the business of war has developed an organizational dimension that can make a mighty contribution to triumph—or to tragedy. Hitherto, the role of this organizational dimension of war in explaining military performance has been strangely neglected. We shall return to it later—indeed, it will form one of the major themes of this book. For now we simply need to note its looming presence.
Eliot A. Cohen (Military Misfortunes: The Anatomy of Failure in War)