Confidence In God Quotes

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It isn't as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don't worry. I say that to myself every morning. It all works out in the end. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us. He will not forsake us. If we will put our trust in Him, if we will pray to Him, if we will live worthy of His blessings, He will hear our prayers.
Gordon B. Hinckley
There will always be someone willing to hurt you, put you down, gossip about you, belittle your accomplishments and judge your soul. It is a fact that we all must face. However, if you realize that God is a best friend that stands beside you when others cast stones you will never be afraid, never feel worthless and never feel alone.
Shannon L. Alder
Staying silent is like a slow growing cancer to the soul and a trait of a true coward. There is nothing intelligent about not standing up for yourself. You may not win every battle. However, everyone will at least know what you stood for—YOU.
Shannon L. Alder
Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.
Oswald Chambers
Hide yourself in God, so when a man wants to find you he will have to go there first.
Shannon L. Alder
You are not what others think you are. You are what God knows you are.
Shannon L. Alder
No, my dear, I'm not in love with you, no more than you are with me, and if I were, you would be the last person I'd ever tell. God help the man who ever really loves you. You'd break his heart, my darling, cruel, destructive little cat who is so careless and confident she doesn't even trouble to sheathe her claws.
Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind)
My child, the troubles and temptations of your life are beginning, and may be many; but you can overcome and outlive them all if you learn to feel the strength and tenderness of your Heavenly Father as you do that of your earthly one. The more you love and trust Him, the nearer you will feel to Him, and the less you will depend on human power and wisdom. His love and care never tire or change, can never be taken from you, but may become the source of lifelong peace, happiness, and strength. Believe this heartily, and go to God with all your little cares, and hopes, and sins, and sorrows, as freely and confidingly as you come to your mother.
Louisa May Alcott (Little Women (Little Women, #1))
Chasing a person doesn’t give you value or build values in you. You earn your value by chasing morality and practicing dignity.
Shannon L. Alder
I am convinced that the jealous, the angry, the bitter and the egotistical are the first to race to the top of mountains. A confident person enjoys the journey, the people they meet along the way and sees life not as a competition. They reach the summit last because they know God isn’t at the top waiting for them. He is down below helping his followers to understand that the view is glorious where ever you stand.
Shannon L. Alder
Personality begins where comparison leaves off. Be unique. Be memorable. Be confident. Be proud.
Shannon L. Alder
Some of the most beautiful things worth having in your life come wrapped in a crown of thorns.
Shannon L. Alder
She remembered who she was and the game changed.
Lalah Delia
Count your blessings. Once you realize how valuable you are and how much you have going for you, the smiles will return, the sun will break out, the music will play, and you will finally be able to move forward the life that God intended for you with grace, strength, courage, and confidence.
Og Mandino
What you and I might rate as an absolute disaster, God may rate as a pimple-level problem that will pass. He views your life the way you view a movie after you've read the book. When something bad happens, you feel the air sucked out of the theater. Everyone else gasps at the crisis on the screen. Not you. Why? You've read the book. You know how the good guy gets out of the tight spot. God views your life with the same confidence. He's not only read your story...he wrote it.
Max Lucado (Grace for the Moment Daily Bible-NCV)
A competitive and insecure woman will tell you that “true love” is never giving up on someone you're in love with. A confident and spiritual woman knows that “moving on” doesn’t mean you never loved someone. She realizes that letting go is what God needs her to do because both your happiness and hers requires taking different journeys for spiritual growth. Letting go is sometimes the hardest thing, but it is the most “real love” you will ever experience.
Shannon L. Alder
Faith in the biblical sense is substantive, based on the knowledge that the One in whom that faith is placed has proven that He is worthy of that trust. In its essence, faith is a confidence in the person of Jesus Christ and in His power, so that even when His power does not serve my end, my confidence in Him remains because of who He is.
Ravi Zacharias (Jesus Among Other Gods: The Absolute Claims of the Christian Message)
He ignored me, thank God, saying to Kat, "Let go of Frosty's leash. You're choking the life out of him." Kat's eyes narrowed to tiny slits, a sure sign of her aggression. "He deserves to choke. He didn't keep little frosty in his pants this summer." the words snapped like a whip. "He did." Cole snapped back with unwavering confidence. "Not." "Did." "Not!" "Did," "Not, not, not!" she shouted with a stomp of her foot. "What are we five?" Cole said. "Six.
Gena Showalter (Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1))
We don’t need self-confidence we need God-confidence
Joyce Meyer
The problem with learning the truth about things is that you lose the confidence that comes from being dumb.
D.B.C. Pierre (Vernon God Little)
But then I realize there is never going to be a day when I stand before God and He looks at me and says, 'I wish you would have kept more for yourself.' I'm confident that God will take care of me.
David Platt (Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream)
Often people that settle in life are those that only do what they can with what they have and where they are. Never settle for someone that didn't know your worth from the beginning, or build a life without God in it. Live beyond your low expectations.
Shannon L. Alder
You don’t have to say everything to be a light. Sometimes a fire built on a hill will bring interested people to your campfire.
Shannon L. Alder
He who has no faith in himself can never have faith in God.
Guru Nanak (Sri Guru Granth Sahib)
Whatever your heart clings to and confides in, that is really your God, your functional savior.
Martin Luther
But the man who is not afraid to admit everything that he sees to be wrong with himself, and yet recognizes that he may be the object of God's love precisely because of his shortcomings, can begin to be sincere. His sincerity is based on confidence, not in his own illusions about himself, but in the endless, unfailing mercy of God.
Thomas Merton (No Man Is an Island)
Often a Christian man or woman falls prey to that cruel and vexatious spirit, wondering how to find marriage, who, when, where? It is on God that we should wait, as a waiter waits--not for but on the customer--alert, watchful, attentive, with no agenda of his own, ready to do whatever is wanted. 'My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.' (Ps. 62:5 KJV) In Him alone lie our security, our confidence, our trust. A spirit of restlessness and resistance can never wait, but one who believes he is loved with an everlasting love, and knows that underneath are the everlasting arms, will find strength and peace.
Elisabeth Elliot (Quest for Love: True Stories of Passion and Purity)
We can stop pleading with God to show us the future, and start living and obeying like we are confident that He holds the future.
Kevin DeYoung
We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.
Winston S. Churchill (The Second World War: Alone)
I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blind self security. Let every man and woman know, by the whispering of the Spirit of God to themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not.
Brigham Young
The world is full of men who want to be right, when actually the secret of a man's strength and his pathway to true honor is his ability to admit fault when he has failed. God wants to fill the church with men who can say they are wrong when THEY ARE WRONG. A man who is willing to humble himself before God and his family and say:"I was wrong." will find that his family has all the confidence in the world in him and will much more readily follow him. If he stubbornly refuses to repent or admit he was wrong, their confidence in him and in his leadership erodes.
Jim Anderson (Unmasked: Exposing the Cultural Sexual Assault)
I love you, don’t I? And the gods know you are definitely not easy to deal with. (Aimee) Thanks, Aim. By the way I still have a tiny bit of confidence left. Please make sure you stomp on it too while you’re at it. Gods forbid it should actually grow into something called self-esteem. (Fang)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Bad Moon Rising (Dark-Hunter #18; Were-Hunter #4; Hellchaser #2))
For those who feel their lives are a grave disappointment to God, it requires enormous trust and reckless, raging confidence to accept that the love of Jesus Christ knows no shadow of alteration or change. When Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened," He assumed we would grow weary, discouraged, and disheartened along the way. These words are a touching testimony to the genuine humanness of Jesus. He had no romantic notion of the cost of discipleship. He knew that following Him was as unsentimental as duty, as demanding as love.
Brennan Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out)
Give us this day our daily Faith, but deliver us, dear God, from Belief. Faith is something very different from belief. Belief is the systematic taking of unanalyzed words much too seriously. Paul's words, Mohammed's words, Marx's words, Hitler's words---people take them too seriously, and what happens? What happens is the senseless ambivalence of history---sadism versus duty, or (incomparably worse) sadism as duty; devotion counterbalanced by organized paranoia; sisters of charity selflessly tending the victims of their own church's inquisitors and crusaders. Faith, on the contrary, can never be taken too seriously. For Faith is the empirically justified confidence in our capacity to know who in fact we are, to forget the belief-intoxicated Manichee in Good Being.
Aldous Huxley (Island)
A barrage of words does not make the soul happy, but a good life gladdens the mind and a pure conscience generates a bountiful confidence in God.
Thomas à Kempis
We must pray to God everyday to show we don't forget that all gifts come from Him. But if some wishes remain unfulfilled we must show our confidence in Him, for He knows best.
Johanna Spyri (Heidi)
A marvelous thing it would be to stand with confidence, unafraid, unashamed, and unembarrassed in the presence of God.
Gordon B. Hinckley
When you have the courage to follow your talents into the dark unknown places they lead, often God will send angels to light your way.
Shannon L. Alder
As history confirms, people will change their minds about almost anything, from which god they worship to how they style their hair. But when it comes to existential judgments, human beings in general have an unfalteringly good opinion of themselves and their condition in this world and are steadfastly confident they are not a collection of self-conscious nothings.
Thomas Ligotti (The Conspiracy Against the Human Race)
Deep, contended joy comes from a place of complete security and confidence [in God] - even in the midst of trial.
Charles R. Swindoll
Honesty is vulnerability. Sadly, not everyone can handle someone’s honesty. However, lying allows people to be comfortable.
Shannon L. Alder
You shouldn’t be placing hope in our lives, Parvin. That’s my point. I don’t know the answers of the future, but your confidence and hope need to be in God.
Nadine Brandes (A Time to Die (Out of Time, #1))
The moment you have to recruit people to put another person down, in order to convince someone of your value is the day you dishonor your children, your parents and your God. If someone doesn't see your worth the problem is them, not people outside your relationship.
Shannon L. Alder
When someone you love dies, you are given the gift of "second chances". Their eulogy is a reminder that the living can turn their lives around at any point. You’re not bound by the past; that is who you used to be. You’re reminded that your feelings are not who you are, but how you felt at that moment. Your bad choices defined you yesterday, but they are not who you are today. Your future doesn’t have to travel the same path with the same people. You can start over. You don’t have to apologize to people that won’t listen. You don’t have to justify your feelings or actions, during a difficult time in your life. You don’t have to put up with people that are insecure and want you to fail. All you have to do is walk forward with a positive outlook, and trust that God has a plan that is greater than the sorrow you left behind. The people of quality that were meant to be in your life won’t need you to explain the beauty of your heart. They already understand what being human is----a roller coaster ride of emotions during rainstorms and sunshine, sprinkled with moments when you can almost reach the stars.
Shannon L. Alder
Sometimes, God doesn’t send you into a battle to win it; he sends you to end it.
Shannon L. Alder
I rested my hand on Will's shoulder. 'Don't worry. We'll be back by dawn.' His mouth trembled ever so slightly. 'How can you be sure?' 'I'm the sun god,' I said, trying to muster more confidence than I felt. 'I always return at dawn.
Rick Riordan (The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo, #1))
Though nihilism has been relentlessly criticized for overemphasizing the dark side of human experience, it might be equally true that this overemphasis represents a needed counterbalance to shallow optimism and arrogant confidence in human power. Nihilism reminds us that we are not gods, and that despite all of the accomplishments and wonders of civilization, humans cannot alter the fact that they possess only a finite amount of mastery and control over their own destinies.
John Marmysz (Laughing at Nothing: Humor as a Response to Nihilism)
The Christian Gospel is that I am so flawed that Jesus had to die for me, yet I am so loved and valued that Jesus was glad to die for me. This leads to deep humility and deep confidence at the same time. It undermines both swaggering and sniveling. I cannot feel superior to anyone, and yet I have nothing to prove to anyone. I do not think more of myself nor less of myself. Instead, I think of myself less.
Timothy J. Keller (The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism)
You are a terrible liar. You do want this. Just as badly as I do.” My mouth opened, but no words came out. “You want this as badly as you want to go to ALA this winter.” Now my jaw was on the floor. “You don’t even know what ALA is!” “American Library Association midwinter event,” he said, grinning proudly. “Saw you obsessing over it on your blog before you got sick. I’m pretty sure you said you’d give up your firstborn child to go.” Yeah, I kind of did say that. Daemon eyes flashed. “Anyway, back to the whole you wanting me part.” I shook my head, dumbfounded. “You do want me.” Taking a deep breath, I struggled with my temper… and my amusement. “You are way too confident.” “I’m confident enough to wager a bet.” “You can’t be serious.” He grinned. “I bet that by New Year’s Day, you will have admitted that you’re madly, deeply, and irrevocably—” “Wow. Want to throw another adverb out there?” My cheeks were burning. “How about irresistibly?” I rolled my eyes and muttered, “I’m surprised you know what an adverb is.” “Stop distracting me, Kitten. Back to my bet—by New Year’s Day, you’ll have admitted that you’re madly, deeply, irrevocably, and irresistibly in love with me.” Stunned, I choked on my laugh. “And that you dream about me.” He released my arm and folded his, cocking an eyebrow. “I bet you’ll even admit that. Probably even show me your notebook with my name circled in hearts—” “Oh, for the love of God…” Daemon winked. “It’s on.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Onyx (Lux, #2))
Faith is a living, unshakable confidence in God's grace; it is so certain that someone would die a thousand times for it.
Martin Luther
The most beautiful women I've ever observed are those that have exchanged a self-focused life for a Christ-focused one. They are confident, but not in themselves. Instead of self-confidence, they radiate with Christ-confidence.
Leslie Ludy (Set-Apart Femininity: God's Sacred Intent for Every Young Woman)
I know some very great writers, writers you love who write beautifully and have made a great deal of money, and not one of them sits down routinely feeling wildly enthusiastic and confident. Not one of them writes elegant first drafts. All right, one of them does, but we do not like her very much. We do not think that she has a rich inner life or that God likes her or can even stand her. (Although when I mentioned this to my priest friend Tom, he said that you can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.)
Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life)
We need to have far less confidence in what man can do and far more confidence in what God can do for every believing soul. He longs to have you reach after Him by faith. He longs to have you expect great things from Him. He longs to give you understanding in temporal as well as in spiritual matters. He can sharpen the intellect. He can give tact and skill. Put your talents into the work, ask God for wisdom, and it will be given you.
Ellen G. White
I can't say I have any confidence in confidence. I have confidence that God is with us in all things, both tender and tough.
Jan Karon (Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good (Mitford Years, #12))
Confidence that one's impressions are God-given is no guarantee that this is really so, even when they persist and grow stronger through long seasons of prayer. Bible-based wisdom must judge them.
J.I. Packer
Often admitting our weakness and fear is the first step to finding rest in God. Our trust in Him isn't conveyed though superhuman confidence as much as it comes in the way of childlike reliance on Him.
Tracie Peterson (Morning's Refrain (Song of Alaska, #2))
You'll have less heartaches and disappointments if you stop seeking from others the things ONLY God and you can give yourself!
Yvonne Pierre (The Day My Soul Cried: A Memoir)
When they bombed Hiroshima, the explosion formed a mini-supernova, so every living animal, human or plant that received direct contact with the rays from that sun was instantly turned to ash. And what was left of the city soon followed. The long-lasting damage of nuclear radiation caused an entire city and its population to turn into powder. When I was born, my mom says I looked around the whole hospital room with a stare that said, "This? I've done this before." She says I have old eyes. When my Grandpa Genji died, I was only five years old, but I took my mom by the hand and told her, "Don't worry, he'll come back as a baby." And yet, for someone who's apparently done this already, I still haven't figured anything out yet. My knees still buckle every time I get on a stage. My self-confidence can be measured out in teaspoons mixed into my poetry, and it still always tastes funny in my mouth. But in Hiroshima, some people were wiped clean away, leaving only a wristwatch or a diary page. So no matter that I have inhibitions to fill all my pockets, I keep trying, hoping that one day I'll write a poem I can be proud to let sit in a museum exhibit as the only proof I existed. My parents named me Sarah, which is a biblical name. In the original story God told Sarah she could do something impossible and she laughed, because the first Sarah, she didn't know what to do with impossible. And me? Well, neither do I, but I see the impossible every day. Impossible is trying to connect in this world, trying to hold onto others while things are blowing up around you, knowing that while you're speaking, they aren't just waiting for their turn to talk -- they hear you. They feel exactly what you feel at the same time that you feel it. It's what I strive for every time I open my mouth -- that impossible connection. There's this piece of wall in Hiroshima that was completely burnt black by the radiation. But on the front step, a person who was sitting there blocked the rays from hitting the stone. The only thing left now is a permanent shadow of positive light. After the A bomb, specialists said it would take 75 years for the radiation damaged soil of Hiroshima City to ever grow anything again. But that spring, there were new buds popping up from the earth. When I meet you, in that moment, I'm no longer a part of your future. I start quickly becoming part of your past. But in that instant, I get to share your present. And you, you get to share mine. And that is the greatest present of all. So if you tell me I can do the impossible, I'll probably laugh at you. I don't know if I can change the world yet, because I don't know that much about it -- and I don't know that much about reincarnation either, but if you make me laugh hard enough, sometimes I forget what century I'm in. This isn't my first time here. This isn't my last time here. These aren't the last words I'll share. But just in case, I'm trying my hardest to get it right this time around.
Sarah Kay
The poor are always prophetic. As true prophets always point out, they reveal God's design. That is why we should take time to listen to them. And that means staying near them, because they speak quietly and infrequently; they are afraid to speak out, they lack confidence in themselves because they have been broken and oppressed. But if we listen to them, they will bring us back to the essential.
Jean Vanier (Community And Growth)
What we would like to do is change the world--make it a little simpler for people to feed, clothe, and shelter themselves as God intended them to do. And, by fighting for better conditions, by crying out unceasingly for the rights of the workers, the poor, of the destitute--the rights of the worthy and the unworthy poor, in other words--we can, to a certain extent, change the world; we can work for the oasis, the little cell of joy and peace in a harried world. We can throw our pebble in the pond and be confident that its ever widening circle will reach around the world. We repeat, there is nothing we can do but love, and, dear God, please enlarge our hearts to love each other, to love our neighbor, to love our enemy as our friend.
Dorothy Day
A person that doesn't know their worth will never know yours. Therefore, the longer you hang onto hope that they will finally see your worth is the moment you start to depreciate in value.
Shannon L. Alder
Remember!--It is Christianity to do good always--even to those who do evil to us. It is Christianity to love our neighbours as ourself, and to do to all men as we would have them do to us. It is Christianity to be gentle, merciful and forgiving, and to keep those qualities quiet in our own hearts, and never make a boast of them or of our prayers or of our love of God, but always to show that we love Him by humbly trying to do right in everything. If we do this, and remember the life and lessons of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and try to act up to them, we may confidently hope that God will forgive us our sins and mistakes, and enable us to live and die in peace.
Charles Dickens
The future belongs to God, and it is only he who reveals it, under extraordinary circumstances. How do I guess at the future? Based on the omens of the present. The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better. Forget about the future, and live ach day according to the teachings, confident that God loves his children. Each day, in itself, brings with it an eternity.
Paulo Coelho
The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better. Forget about the future, and live each day according to the teachings, confident that God loves his children. Each day, in itself, brings with it an eternity.
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
To have Christian hope means to know about evil and yet to go to meet the future with confidence. The core of faith rests upon accepting being loved by God, and therefore to believe is to say Yes, not only to him, but to creation, to creatures, above all, to men, to try to see the image of God in each person and thereby to become a lover. That's not easy, but the basic Yes, the conviction that God has created men, that he stands behind them, that they aren't simply negative, gives love a reference point that enables it to ground hope on the basis of faith.
Benedict XVI
It isn't as bad as you think it is. It all works out. Don't worry-I say that to myself every morning. it will all work out. If you do your best, it will all work out. Put your trist in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future.
Gordon B. Hinckley
Take care of your costume and your confidence will take care of itself.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
In its essence, faith is a confidence in the person of Jesus Christ and in His power, so that even when His power does not serve my end, my confidence in Him remains because of who He is.
Ravi Zacharias (Jesus Among Other Gods: The Absolute Claims of the Christian Message)
Some women are built by the fire. Yet, there are some that are the FIRE!
Shannon L. Alder
Lord, I am willing To receive what You give. To lack what You withhold. To relinquish what You take, To suffer what You inflict, To be what you require.
Jerry Bridges (Transforming Grace: Living Confidently in God's Unfailing Love)
Our world has created a false unrealistic image of what women are supposed to look like and act like. But the truth is that every woman was not created by God to be skinny, with a flawless complexion and long flowing hair. Not every woman was intended to juggle a career as well as all of the other duties of being a wife, mother, citizen, and daughter. Single women should not be made to feel they are missing somenthing because they are not married. Married women should not be made to feel they must have a career to be complete. We must have the freedom to be our individual selves.
Joyce Meyer (The Confident Woman Devotional: 365 Daily Inspirations)
... so our customary practice of prayer was brought to mind: how through our ignorance and inexperience in the ways of love we spend so much time on petition. I saw that it is indeed more worthy of God and more truly pleasing to him that through his goodness we should pray with full confidence, and by his grace cling to him with real understanding and unshakeable love, than that we should go on making as many petitions as our souls are capable of.
Julian of Norwich (Revelations of Divine Love)
Have Jesus always for your patron, His Cross for a mast on which you must spread your resolutions as a sail. Your anchor shall be a profound confidence in Him, and you shall sail prosperously.
Francis de Sales
But why should we not place implicit confidence in God and rely upon His word of promise? Is anything too hard for the Lord? Has His word of promise ever failed? Then let us not entertain any unbelieving suspicions of His future care of us. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but not so His promises.
Arthur W. Pink (Elijah)
Dear Child, Sometimes on your travel through hell, you meet people that think they are in heaven because of their cleverness and ability to get away with things. Travel past them because they don't understand who they have become and never will. These type of people feel justified in revenge and will never learn mercy or forgiveness because they live by comparison. They are the people that don't care about anyone, other than who is making them feel confident. They don’t understand that their deity is not rejoicing with them because of their actions, rather he is trying to free them from their insecurities, by softening their heart. They rather put out your light than find their own. They don't have the ability to see beyond the false sense of happiness they get from destroying others. You know what happiness is and it isn’t this. Don’t see their success as their deliverance. It is a mask of vindication which has no audience, other than their own kind. They have joined countless others that call themselves “survivors”. They believe that they are entitled to win because life didn’t go as planned for them. You are not like them. You were not meant to stay in hell and follow their belief system. You were bound for greatness. You were born to help them by leading. Rise up and be the light home. You were given the gift to see the truth. They will have an army of people that are like them and you are going to feel alone. However, your family in heaven stands beside you now. They are your strength and as countless as the stars. It is time to let go! Love, Your Guardian Angel
Shannon L. Alder
I love to walk. Walking is a spiritual journey and a reflection of living. Each of us must determine which path to take and how far to walk; we must find our own way, what is right for one may not be for another. There is no single right way to deal with late stage cancer, to live life or approach death, or to walk an old mission trail.
Edie Littlefield Sundby (The Mission Walker: I was given three months to live...)
I think everyone’s caught up in these narrow-minded worlds and they think their world exists in the center of the universe. Relationships only happen when it’s convenient. You have to walk on eggshells for people because that’s about how strong they are these days. And you can’t confront people, because if you do, that brittle shell of confidence will crack. So we all become passive cowards that carry a fake smile wherever we go because God forbid you let your guard down long enough for people to see your life isn’t perfect. That you have a few flaws. Because who wants to see that? My theory is everybody sucks. So, my conclusion is I don’t need anybody.
Katie Kacvinsky (First Comes Love (First Comes Love, #1))
To accept the lively, the messy, and the unexpected things in our days, knowing that God sees them and has an eternal perspective, is to say with confidence I receive your timing.
Emily P. Freeman (Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life)
Providence is wiser than you, and you may be confident it has suited all things better to your eternal good than you could do had you been left to your own option.
John Flavel (The Mystery of Providence)
The nature of the enemy's warfare in your life is to cause you to become discouraged and to cast away your confidence. Not that you would necessarily discard your salvation, but you could give up your hope of God's deliverance. The enemy wants to numb you into a coping kind of Christianity that has given up hope of seeing God's resurrection power.
Bob Sorge (Glory: When Heaven Invades Earth)
When a person thinks you are too good for them, they create a wall without even taking a chance. The best life that God has in store for a person is often thrown away because of what he or she thinks they deserve. True love is not the life you had, but the life you never realized you could have.
Shannon L. Alder
I was beautiful; after all, my skin was as rich and dark as wet, brown mud, a complexion that any and every pale white girl would pray for - that is, if she believed in God. My butt sat high in the air and my hips obviously gave birth to Creation. Titties like mangoes, firm, sweet, and ready. My thighs and legs were big and powerful, kicking Vanna White and Cindy Crawford to the curb.
Sister Souljah (No Disrespect)
Sierra felt full of hope and confidence in God. She knew who she was. And she knew Whose she was. Whatever mysterious plan God had for her life, it would be an interesting one. As Christy had said earlier, God writes a different story for each person. Sierra decided hers might not be a bestseller or even a thriller. It certainly wasn't a romance. But it was turning into a fine mystery. And she could live with that.
Robin Jones Gunn (Sierra Jensen Collection, Vol. 2 (Sierra Jensen, #4-6))
And in the flush of the first few days of joy I confidently tell myself (not expecting what I'll do in three weeks only) 'no more dissipation, it's time for me to quietly watch the world and even enjoy it, first in woods like these, then just calmly walk and talk among people of the world, no booze, no drugs, no binges, no bouts with beatniks and drunks and junkies and everybody, no more I ask myself the question O why is God torturing me, that's it, be a loner, travel, talk to waiters, walk around, no more self-imposed agony...it's time to think and watch and keep concentrated on the fact that after all this whole surface of the world as we know it now will be covered with the silt of a billion years in time...Yay, for this, more aloneness
Jack Kerouac (Big Sur)
Living original means being confident that God made you in a really cool, unique way
Sadie Robertson
It's time to leave fear behind or you'll be robbed of your destiny. You don't need confidence in yourselves or in your own power. Be strong in the Lord. When disaster seems close, don't be discouraged. God will never leave you.
Tessa Afshar (Pearl in the Sand)
When people want to win they will go to desperate extremes. However, anyone that has already won in life has come to the conclusion that there is no game. There is nothing but learning in this life and it is the only thing we take with us to the grave—knowledge. If you only understood that concept then your heart wouldn’t break so bad. Jealousy or revenge wouldn’t be your ambition. Stepping on others to raise yourself up wouldn’t be a goal. Competition would be left on the playing field, and your freedom from what other people think about you would light the pathway out of hell.
Shannon L. Alder
There are 613,806,639 men in the world. Statistically, God has got you covered! So, never worry about one person not caring about you. Someone up to the challenge will always take his place.
Shannon L. Alder
If there was a God,” I said, “I’d say with confidence that he hates me. Because my life is the sum of bad things. The more people you let in, the more bad you let in.
Tarryn Fisher (Mud Vein)
Learning to let go is not giving up! It is simply passing the burden to a better fighter, so you can fight another day. (God)
Shannon L. Alder
Mohammad never assigned himself a status more than a common man and a messenger of God. People had faith in him when he was surrounded by poverty and adversity and trusted him while he was the ruler of a great Empire. He was a man of spotless character who always had confidence in himself and in God's help. No aspect of his life remained hidden nor was his death a mysterious event.
M.H. Hyndman
As for my own part I care not for death, for all men are mortal; and though I be a woman yet I have as good a courage answerable to my place as ever my father had. I am your anointed Queen. I will never be by violence constrained to do anything. I thank God I am indeed endowed with such qualities that if I were turned out of the realm in my petticoat I were able to live in any place in Christendom.
Elizabeth I (Collected Works)
You know you have found your life mission when you say, “I dare you to try and take this away from me.
Shannon L. Alder
You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world. Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely. But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory! I have full confidence in your courage and devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory! Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
That which should distinguish the suffering of believers from unbelievers is the confidence that our suffering is under the control of an all-powerful and all-loving God. Our suffering has meaning and purpose in God's eternal plan, and He brings or allows to come into our lives only that which is for His glory and our good.
Jerry Bridges (Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts)
Live a life that leaves a memory, nobody can steal.
Abhysheq Shukla (KISS Life "Life is what you make it")
To be specific, the self-sins are these: self-righteousness, self-pity, self-confidence, self-sufficiency, self-admiration, self-love and a host of others like them
A.W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God: The Human Thirst for the Divine)
But just as we can all agree on what is red, even if we will never know if we each see it in the same way, so we can all agree - can’t we? - that no matter how confident we may appear to others, inside we are all sobbing, scared and uncertain for much of the time. Or perhaps it’s just me. Oh God, perhaps it really is just me. Actually it doesn’t really matter, when you come to think of it. If it is just me, then you are reading the story of some weird freak. You are free to treat this book like science fiction, fantasy or exotic travel literature. Are there really men like Stephen Fry on this planet? Goodness, how alien some people are. And if I am not alone, then neither are you, and hand in hand we can marvel together at the strangeness of the human condition.
Stephen Fry (The Fry Chronicles)
Great God! What have I turned into? What right have you people to clutter up my life, steal my time, probe my soul, suckle my thoughts, have me for your companion, confidant, and information bureau? What do you take me for? Am I an entertainer on salary, required every evening to play an intellectual farce under your stupid noses? Am I a slave, bought and paid for, to crawl on my belly in front of you idlers and lay at your feet all that I do and all that I know?
Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer (Tropic, #2))
...deeds are done which appear so evil to us and people suffer such terrible evils that it does not seem as though any good will ever come of them; and we consider this, sorrowing and grieving over it so that we cannot find peace in the blessed contemplation of God as we should do; and this is why: our reasoning powers are so blind now, so humble and so simple, that we cannot know the high, marvelous wisdom, the might and the goodness of the Holy Trinity. And this is what he means where he says, 'You shall see for yourself that all manner of things shall be well', as if he said, 'Pay attention to this now, faithfully and confidently, and at the end of time you will truly see it in the fullness of joy.
Julian of Norwich (Revelations of Divine Love)
So, is there an afterlife, and if so, what will it be like? I don't have a clue. But I am confident that the one who has buoyed us up in life will also buoy us up through death. We die into God. What more that means, I do not know. But that is all I need to know.
Marcus J. Borg (Speaking Christian: Why Christian Words Have Lost Their Meaning and Power - And How They Can Be Restored)
We walk into the future in God-glorifying confidence, not because the future is known to us but because it is known to God. And that's all we need to know. Worry about the future is not simply a character tic, it is the sin of unbelief, an indication that our hearts are not resting in the promises of God.
Kevin DeYoung (Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God's Will)
And yet some people actually imagine that the revelation in God’s Word is not enough to meet our needs. They think that God from time to time carries on an actual conversation with them, chatting with them, satisfying their doubts, testifying to His love for them, promising them support and blessings. As a result, their emotions soar; they are full of bubbling joy that is mixed with self-confidence and a high opinion of themselves. The foundation for these feelings, however, does not lie within the Bible itself, but instead rests on the sudden creations of their imaginations. These people are clearly deluded. God’s Word is for all of us and each of us; He does not need to give particular messages to particular people.
Jonathan Edwards
Imagine how a man’s life would be if he trusted that he was loved by God. How could he interact with the poor and not show partiality, he could love his wife easily and not expect her to redeem him, he would be slow to anger because redemption was no longer at stake, he could be wise and giving with his money because money no longer represented points, he could give up on formulaic religion, knowing that checking stuff off a spiritual to-do list was a worthless pursuit, he would have confidence and the ability to laugh at himself, and he could love people without expecting anything in return. It would be quite beautiful, really.
Donald Miller (Searching for God Knows What)
I am confident because I believe that I am a child of God. I am humble because I believe that everyone else is too.
Glennon Doyle Melton (Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life)
He walked as he'd learned to walk, with only a minimal limp, back straight, head held high in confidence rather than cockiness. He walked like a man who had learned to lean into God for whatever strenth he needed.
Robin Lee Hatcher (Fit to Be Tied (Sisters of Bethlehem Springs, #2))
Prayer is the open admission that without Christ we can do nothing. And prayer is the turning away from ourselves to God in the confidence that He will provide the help we need. Prayer humbles us as needy and exalts God as wealthy
John Piper (Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist)
To better understand God we must first shatter our own idea of God - maybe even day after day. Maybe he's too great to stay compressed in the human mind. Maybe he splits it wide open; this is why pretentious intellectualism so often fails to comprehend the concept of God: it is only accepting of what it can explain while in the process finding higher sources offensive. What we may confidently assert is that faith is the opening that allows God, this unpredictable, unseen power, to travel in and out of the mind without all the pains of confusion.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
When everything has gone down, God wants you to look up
Richmond Akhigbe
The media no longer hesitate to whip up lurid anxieties in order to increase sales, in the process undermining social confidence and multiplying fears.
A.C. Grayling (Life, Sex and Ideas: The Good Life Without God)
The enemy fights the hardest when you are closest to your breakthrough. Know that your best days are ahead and no weapon formed will prosper.
Germany Kent
Weakness with watchfulness will stand, when strength with too much confidence fails. Weakness, with acknowledgement of it, is the fittest seat and subject for God to perfect his strength in; for consciousness of our infirmities drives us out of ourselves to him in whom our strength lies.
Richard Sibbes (The Bruised Reed)
No, this, she felt, was real life and if she wasn’t as curious or passionate as she had once been, that was only to be expected. It would be inappropriate, undignified, at thirty-eight, to conduct friendships or love affairs with the ardour and intensity of a twenty-two-year-old. Falling in love like that? Writing poetry, crying at pop songs? Dragging people into photo-booths, taking a whole day to make a compilation tape, asking people if they wanted to share your bed, just for company? If you quoted Bob Dylan or T.S. Eliot or, God forbid, Brecht at someone these days they would smile politely and step quietly backwards, and who would blame them? Ridiculous, at thirty-eight, to expect a song or book or film to change your life. No, everything had evened out and settled down and life was lived against a general background hum of comfort, satisfaction and familiarity. There would be no more of these nerve-jangling highs and lows. The friends they had now would be the friends they had in five, ten, twenty years’ time. They expected to get neither dramatically richer or poorer; they expected to stay healthy for a little while yet. Caught in the middle; middle class, middle-aged; happy in that they were not overly happy. Finally, she loved someone and felt fairly confident that she was loved in return. If someone asked Emma, as they sometimes did at parties, how she and her husband had met, she told them: ‘We grew up together.
David Nicholls (One Day)
I will never accept life for what it is. I don't need an easy life. My road was meant to be hard because anything worth having in this world will take me to the very edge of myself. I will overcome everything I have ever gone through and will make my future the one God intended me to have. I will pick up the pieces of this pain and sculpt it into art. I am not ordinary and never was. I walk into my birthright as a queen with her head held high. I was born to do this!
Shannon L. Alder
The God I believe in believes in me and won’t silence my heart or others based on a paycheck at the end of the day.
Shannon L. Alder
We can rest confident in the fact that nothing will happen to us in this world apart from the gracious will of a sovereign God. Nothing.
David Platt (Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream)
I don’t even pretend to believe I know everything; I just believe in arguments God told me I had a pretty good chance of winning, while I was traveling through hell.
Shannon L. Alder
You will finally have dignity when you realize that you are not on the path, but have become the path for others.
Shannon L. Alder
Life is too short to be anything but happy. So kiss slowly. Love deeply. Forgive quickly. Take chances and never have regrets. Forget the past but remember what it taught you.
Abhysheq Shukla (KISS Life "Life is what you make it")
Heaven is filled with absolute, perfect, confidence in God. This world is filled with absolute mistrust. And you and I will always reflect the nature of the world we are most aware of. What you live conscious of is what you will reproduce in the world around you. I try to live in such a way that nothing ever gets bigger in my awareness than my conscious awareness of the presence of God upon me. I don’t care what the problem is; if it’s an international crisis or a personal issue, the moment that problem gets bigger than my awareness of the presence of God on me, then I will live in reaction to a problem.
Bill Johnson (Manifesto for a Normal Christian Life)
The scriptures are like a written “recording” of the “voice” of the Lord—a voice we feel in our hearts more than we hear with our ears. As we study the written word of God, we learn to hear His voice in the words we read. As we return repeatedly to the holy scriptures, we gain experience and confidence in hearing and feeling His voice. Five basic principles can help us learn more effectively from our personal scripture study. 1. Pray for understanding and invite the help of the Holy Ghost. Begin scripture study with prayer. Ask for understanding as you study. Express gratitude as you conclude. 2. Work. Pay the price of regular and diligent study. 3. Be consistent. Set aside a specific and scheduled time each day. 4. Ponder. Think about the truths, experiences, and lessons in the scriptures. Take time—pondering cannot be forced, hurried, or rushed. 5. Write down impressions, thoughts, and feelings. Record what you learn, think, and feel. Invite the Holy Ghost to continue instruction.
David A. Bednar
Girls, if you will learn to wait patiently and confidently for God to bring a Christlike man into your life, you will not be disappointed. And guys, learn to treat women like the Perfect Gentleman, Jesus Christ If you do, you will not only be promoted out of “jerkhood,” but you will then be worthy of a beautiful princess of purity who is saving herself just for you.
Eric Ludy
By the time I graduated, I knew that the confidence I’d managed to develop didn’t come from a perfect family or God-given talent. It came from personal accountability which brought me self respect, and self respect will always light a way forward.
David Goggins (Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds)
It has nothing to do with who I am as compared to everyone else. It has everything to do with who I am in companionship with God.
Craig D. Lounsbrough
Ask me, "Why would you travel on the difficult path?". Because , I trust God to walk me through the unknown journey.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
Success" If you want a thing bad enough To go out and fight for it, Work day and night for it, Give up your time and your peace and your sleep for it If only desire of it Makes you quite mad enough Never to tire of it, Makes you hold all other things tawdry and cheap for it If life seems all empty and useless without it And all that you scheme and you dream is about it, If gladly you'll sweat for it, Fret for it, Plan for it, Lose all your terror of God or man for it, If you'll simply go after that thing that you want. With all your capacity, Strength and sagacity, Faith, hope and confidence, stern pertinacity, If neither cold poverty, famished and gaunt, Nor sickness nor pain Of body or brain Can turn you away from the thing that you want, If dogged and grim you besiege and beset it, You'll get it!
Berton Braley
‎10 SUGGESTIONS FOR LIVING A MORE MEANINGFUL LIFE 1. Be honest with everyone. 2. Change before you have to. 3. Control your own destiny or someone else will. 4. Face reality as it is, not as it was... or as you wish it to be. 5. Instill in others- faith, hope and self-confidence. 6. If you can't develop a competitive attitude or have a competitive advantage, don't try to compete. You'll lose. 7. Don't waste your time always looking for shortcuts. 8. Man-up when necessary. 9. Never lose faith in God. 10. Love.
José N. Harris
For God's sakes, quit worrying about your next job. Just do the best you can at the job you have now, and the offers will come. And when they do, if you have confidence in yourself you don't have to feel that you can't turn it down if it isn't quite right for you because you fear you'll never get another offer. You will. Wait for the right opportunity, and turn down all the rest. It will make all the difference.
Bo Schembechler (Bo's Lasting Lessons: The Legendary Coach Teaches the Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership)
I think sexy is a grown-up word to describes a person who's confident that she is already exactly who she was made to be. A sexy woman knows herself and she likes the way she looks, thinks & feels. She doesn't try to change to match anybody else. She's a good friend herself kind and patient. and she knows how to use her words to tell people she trusts about what's going on inside of her-her fears and anger, love, dreams the mistakes, and needs. When she's angry she expresses her anger in healthy ways. When she's joyful, she does the same thing. She doesn't hide her true self because she is not ashamed. She knows she's just human-exactly how God made her and that's good enough. She's brave enough to be honest and kind enough to except others when they're honest. When two people are sexy enough to be brave and kind with each other, that's love. Sexy is more about how you feel and how you look. Real sexy is letting your true self come out of hiding and find love in safe places. That kind of sexy is good, really good, because we all we want and need love more than anything else
Glennon Doyle Melton (Love Warrior)
There is only one princess in the Disney tales, one girl who gets to be exalted. Princesses may confide in a sympathetic mouse or teacup, but they do not have girlfriends. God forbid Snow White should give Sleeping Beauty a little support. Let's review: princesses avoid female bonding. Their goals are to be saved by a prince, get married, and be taken care of the rest of their lives.
Peggy Orenstein (Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture)
Oh, this is much better. Woah! Costume’s a bit much, it’s so tight! But the confidence! I can feel the righteousness surging! Hey, wanna have a rousing discussion about truth, honor, patriotism? God bless America…
Loki Laufeyson
When Jesus tells us about his Father, we distrust him. When he shows us his Home, we turn away, but when he confides to us that he is 'acquainted with Grief', we listen, for that also is an Acquaintance of our own.
Emily Dickinson
From now on when a boy starts telling me about his lost loves I am going to run in the opposite direction screaming loudly... Somehow I bring out such confidences, and I'm pretty sick of hearing about Bobbe or Dorothy or P.K. or Liota. God damn them all.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
You can't live your life worrying that the world is staring at you. When you let people's opinions make you self-conscious you give away your power...The key to feeling confident is always listening to your inner self - the real you. And in the kingdom of God, the real you is more precious than rubies.
Jeffrey Holland
The future of the world no longer disturbs me; I do not try still to calculate, with anguish, how long or how short a time the Roman peace will endure; I leave that to the Gods. Not that I have acquired more confidence in their justice, which is not our justice, or more faith in human wisdom; the contrary is true. Life is atrocious, we know. But precisely because I expect little of the human condition, man's periods of felicity, his partial progress, his efforts to begin over again and to continue, all seem to me like so many prodigies which nearly compensate for monstrous mass of ills and defeats, of indifference and error. Catastrophe and ruin will come; disorder will triumph, but order will too, from time to time. Peace will again establish itself between two periods and there regain the meaning which we have tried to give them. Not all our books will perish, nor our statues, if broken, lie unrepaired; other domes and pediments will rise from our domes and pediments; some few men will think and work and feel as we have done, and I venture to count upon such continuators, placed irregularly throughout the centuries, and upon this kind of intermittent immortality.
Marguerite Yourcenar
And then Jonah heard God’s voice. “Jonah, do you know what the difference is between you and the trees?” He was confident it was God because God usually asked questions but gave no answers. Jonah didn’t need a divine answer to this question, he knew it. “Yes,” he said. “The difference between me and the trees is that the trees let go of their leaves. I keep holding onto mine. The trees make room for new life. I don’t.
David W. Jones (Going Nuts!)
I would never speak about faith, but speak about the Lord himself - not theologically, as to the why and wherefore of his death - but as he showed himself in his life on earth, full of grace, love, beauty, tenderness and truth. Then the needy heart cannot help hoping and trusting in him, and having faith, without ever thinking about faith. How a human heart with human feelings and necessities is ever to put confidence in the theological phantom which is commonly called Christ in our pulpits, I do not know. It is commonly a miserable representation of him who spent thirty-three years on our Earth, living himself into the hearts and souls of men, and thus manifesting God to them.
George MacDonald
So why do we worry? Why do we worry about food and clothing About finances and money? About security and the needs of life? We have Jehovah-Rohi! We have the Lord as our caring Shepherd. When fears regarding the cares of this world set in, we need to confidently lean on God's promise to care for us. Then we can declare to God, "Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You" (Psalm 56:3)
Elizabeth George (Quiet Confidence for a Woman's Heart)
God's people are not to accumulate stuff for tomorrow but to share indiscriminately with the scandalous and holy confidence that God will provide for tomorrow. Then we need not stockpile stuff in barns or a 401(k), especially when there is someone in need.
Shane Claiborne (Red Letter Revolution: What If Jesus Really Meant What He Said?)
The only love you have to prove in life is your love of God and helping others. Anyone that can't see that has proven themselves to be unworthy of your time because why would you spend your life with someone that can't tell the difference between a diamond and dirt?
Shannon L. Alder
am blessed. I am prosperous. I am successful.” “I am victorious. I am talented. I am creative.” “I am wise. I am healthy. I am in shape.” “I am energetic. I am happy. I am positive.” “I am passionate. I am strong. I am confident.” “I am secure. I am beautiful. I am attractive.” “I am valuable. I am free. I am redeemed.” “I am forgiven. I am anointed. I am accepted.” “I am approved. I am prepared. I am qualified.” “I am motivated. I am focused. I am disciplined.” “I am determined. I am patient. I am kind.” “I am generous. I am excellent. I am equipped.” “I am empowered. I am well able.” “I am a child of the Most High God.
Joel Osteen (The Power of I Am: Two Words That Will Change Your Life Today)
Cast not away your confidence because God defers his performances. That which does not come in your time, will be hastened in his time, which is always the more convenient season. God will work when he pleases, how he pleases, and by what means he pleases. He is not bound to keep our time, but he will perform his work, honor our faith, and reward them that diligently seek him.
Matthew Henry
Doubt is the only force capable of disturbing the seed or impression; to avoid a miscarriage of so wonderful a child, walk in secrecy through the necessary interval of time that it will take the impression to become an expression. Tell no man of your spiritual romance. Lock your secret within you in joy, confident and happy that some day you will bear the son of your lover by expressing and possessing the nature of your impression. Then will you know the mystery of “God said, Let us make man in our image.
Neville Goddard (Your Faith is Your Fortune)
Religion forces every individual to take responsibility. Specifically, take it away from yourself and give it to God. If we had to be accountable for every one of our actions, we'd be crippled with indecision. But with religion pointing the way, we can feel confident in our choice to picket our children's elementary school when we find out the art teacher is gay.
Stephen Colbert (I Am America (And So Can You!))
Work in me more profound and abiding repentance; Give me the fullness of godly grief, that trembles and fears, yet ever trust and loves, which is ever powerful, and ever confident; Grant through the tears of repentance I may see more clearly the brightness and glories of the saving cross.
Arthur Bennett (The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions)
Sometimes your inability to let go has nothing to do with real love and everything to do with what that person represents in your life. Why do you give them so much importance? Why do you believe that God doesn't love you enough that he would not bring someone else into your life? Why do you put up with less than you deserve?
Shannon L. Alder
If you are ever to know power and passion in your prayer life, you need to pray with a devout heart-with a pure motive seeking only the glory of God. You also need to pray with a humble heart seeking only the attention of God, not men. Finally, you need to pray with a confident heart knowing full well that God already knows what you need.
John F. MacArthur Jr. (Alone With God (MacArthur Study Series))
When you look back with regret, that (regret, loss) becomes your focus. Then your focus directs you: you go back to that – again and again. Choose a new rudder: Look forward now – and focus on your passion with joyful anticipation. Then your passion will fill the empty space of your loss...and where you land up will amaze you!
The Truth
I do not think there is a demonstrative proof (like Euclid) of Christianity, nor of the existence of matter, nor of the good will and honesty of my best and oldest friends. I think all three are (except perhaps the second) far more probable than the alternatives. The case for Christianity in general is well given by Chesterton…As to why God doesn't make it demonstratively clear; are we sure that He is even interested in the kind of Theism which would be a compelled logical assent to a conclusive argument? Are we interested in it in personal matters? I demand from my friend trust in my good faith which is certain without demonstrative proof. It wouldn't be confidence at all if he waited for rigorous proof. Hang it all, the very fairy-tales embody the truth. Othello believed in Desdemona's innocence when it was proved: but that was too late. Lear believed in Cordelia's love when it was proved: but that was too late. 'His praise is lost who stays till all commend.' The magnanimity, the generosity which will trust on a reasonable probability, is required of us. But supposing one believed and was wrong after all? Why, then you would have paid the universe a compliment it doesn't deserve. Your error would even so be more interesting and important than the reality. And yet how could that be? How could an idiotic universe have produced creatures whose mere dreams are so much stronger, better, subtler than itself?
C.S. Lewis
Beth could not reason upon or explain the faith that gave her courage and patience to give up life, and cheerfully wait for death. Like a confiding child, she asked no questions, but left everything to God and nature, Father and Mother of us all, feeling sure that they, and they only, could teach and strengthen heart and spirit for this life and the life to come.
Louisa May Alcott (Little Women)
All good writers write [terrible first drafts.] This is how they end up with good second drafts and terrific third drafts. . . I know some very great writers, writers you love who write beautifully and have made a great deal of money, and not one of them sits down routinely feeling wildly enthusiastic and confident. Not one of them writes elegant first drafts. All right, one of them does, but we do not like her very much. We do not think that she has a rich inner life or that God likes her or can even stand her. (Although when I mentioned this to my priest friend Tom, he said you can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.
Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life)
One of the most powerful concepts, one which is a sure cure for lack of confidence, is the thought that God is actually with you and helping you. This is one of the simplest teachings in religion, namely, that Almighty God will be your companion, will stand by you, help you, and see you through. No other idea is so powerful in developing self-confidence as this simple belief when practiced. To practice it simply affirm “God is with me; God is helping me; God is guiding me.
Norman Vincent Peale (The Power of Positive Thinking)
I don't quite know what we're doing on this insignificant cinder spinning away in a dark corner of the universe. That is a secret which the high gods have not confided in me. Yet one thing I believe and I believe it with every fibre of my being. A man must live by his lights and do what little he can and do it as best as he can. In this world goodness is destined to be defeated. But a man must go down fighting. That is the victory. To do anything less is to be less than a man.
Walker Percy (The Moviegoer)
God-confidence comes as the Holy Spirit works in us. As we pray and when we make choices that honor God, the Holy Spirit fills us with His power for ministry. When we are filled with God's goodness, we are confidently and effectively able to share His love and joy. As women of prayer open to the transforming touch of the Holy Spirit, we will find his divine life in us overflowing into the lives of others.
Elizabeth George (A Woman After God's Own Heart)
The pursuit of joy in God is not optional. It is not an “extra” that a person might grow into after he comes to faith. It is not simply a way to “enhance” your walk with the Lord. Until your heart has hit upon this pursuit, your “faith” cannot please God. It is not saving faith. Saving faith is the confidence that if you sell all you have and forsake all sinful pleasures, the hidden treasure of holy joy will satisfy your deepest desires. Saving faith is the heartfelt conviction not only that Christ is reliable, but also that He is desirable. It is the confidence that He will come through with His promises and that what He promises is more to be desired than all the world.
John Piper (Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist)
It was the first time that ever George had sat down on equal terms at any white man's table; and he sat down, at first, with some constraint, and awkwardness; but they all exhaled and went off like fog, in the genial morning rays of this simple overflowing kindness. This indeed, was a home, - home, -a word that George had never yet known a meaning for; and a belief in God, and trust in His providence, began to encircle his heart, as, with a golden cloud of protection and confidence, dark, misanthropic, pining, atheistic doubts, and fierce despair, melted away before the light of a living Gospel, breathed in living faces, preached by a thousand unconscious acts of love and good-will, which, like the cup of cold water given in the name of a disciple, shall never lose their reward.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom's Cabin)
So if I asked you about art, you'd probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo, you know a lot about him. Life's work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right? But I'll bet you can't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You've never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that. If I ask you about women, you'd probably give me a syllabus about your personal favorites. You may have even been laid a few times. But you can't tell me what it feels like to wake up next to a woman and feel truly happy. You're a tough kid. And I'd ask you about war, you'd probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, "once more unto the breach dear friends." But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I'd ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn't know what it's like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn't know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms "visiting hours" don't apply to you. You don't know about real loss, 'cause it only occurs when you've loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you've ever dared to love anybody that much. And look at you... I don't see an intelligent, confident man... I see a cocky, scared shitless kid. But you're a genius Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine, and you ripped my fucking life apart. You're an orphan right? [Will nods] Sean: You think I know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are, because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you? Personally... I don't give a shit about all that, because you know what, I can't learn anything from you, I can't read in some fuckin' book. Unless you want to talk about you, who you are. Then I'm fascinated. I'm in. But you don't want to do that do you sport? You're terrified of what you might say. Your move, chief.
Ben Affleck (Good Will Hunting)
The more you love and trust Him, the nearer you will feel to Him, and the less you will depend on human power and wisdom. His love and care never tire or change, can never be taken from you, but may become the source of lifelong peace, happiness, and strength. Believe this heartily, and go to God with all your little cares, and hopes, and sins, and sorrows, as freely and confidingly as you come to your mother.
Louisa May Alcott (Little Women (Little Women #1))
Hoping does not mean doing nothing. It is not fatalistic resignation. It means going about our assigned tasks, confident that God will provide the meaning and the conclusions. It is not compelled to work away at keeping up appearances with a bogus spirituality. It is the opposite of desperate and panicky manipulations, of scurrying and worrying. And hoping is not dreaming. It is not spinning an illusion or fantasy to protect us from our boredom or our pain. It means a confident, alert expectation that God will do what he said he will do. It is imagination put in the harness of faith. It is a willingness to let God do it his way and in his time. It is the opposite of making plans that we demand that God put into effect, telling him both how and when to do it. That is not hoping in God but bullying God. "I pray to GOD-my life a prayer-and wait for what he'll say and do. My life's on the line before God, my Lord, waiting and watching till morning, waiting and watching till morning.
Eugene H. Peterson (A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society)
1. That reason is a gift of God and that we should believe in its ability to comprehend the world. 2. That they have been wrong who undermined confidence in reason by enumerating the forces that want to usurp it: class struggle, libido, will to power. 3. That we should be aware that our being is enclosed within the circle of its perceptions, but not reduce reality to dreams and the phantoms of the mind. 4. That truth is a proof of freedom and that the sign of slavery is the lie. 5. That the proper attitude toward being is respect and that we must, therefore, avoid the company of people who debase being with their sarcasm, and praise nothingness. 6. That, even if we are accused of arrogance, it is the case that in the life of the mind a strict hierarchy is necessary. 7. That intellectuals in the twentieth century were afflicted with the habit of baratin, i.e., irresponsible jabber. 8. That in the hierarchy of human activities the arts stand higher than philosophy, and yet bad philosophy can spoil art. 9. That the objective truth exists; namely, out of two contrary assertions, one is true, one false, except in strictly defined cases when maintaining contradiction is legitimate. 10. That quite independently of the fate of religious denominations we should preserve a "philosophical faith," i.e., a belief in transcendence as a measure of humanity. 11. That time excludes and sentences to oblivion only those works of our hands and minds which prove worthless in raising up, century after century, the huge edifice of civilization. 12. That in our lives we should not succumb to despair because of our errors and our sins, for the past is never closed down and receives the meaning we give it by our subsequent acts.
Czesław Miłosz (New and Collected Poems: 1931-2001)
I tell you, life is extraordinary. A few years ago I couldn’t write anything or sell anything, I’d passed the age where you know all the returns are in, I’d had my chance and done my best and failed. And how was I to know the miracle waiting to happen round the corner in late middle age? 84, Charing Cross Road was no best seller, you understand; it didn’t make me rich or famous. It just got me hundreds of letters and phone calls from people I never knew existed; it got me wonderful reviews; it restored a self-confidence and self-esteem I’d lost somewhere along the way, God knows how many years ago. It brought me to England. It changed my life.
Helene Hanff (The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street)
Here is to all the brilliant minds that love deeply, for they write the stories that make us dream of true love. Here is to all the visionaries that create a miracle when others give up hope. Here is to all the artists, musicians, actors, singers, songwriters, dancers, screenwriters, philosophers, inventors and poetic hearts that create a perspective of heaven we can experience in this lifetime. But most of all, here is to the wild souls that the world calls broken, insane, abnormal, weird or different because they are the ones that renew our faith, by what they overcome and create, in a world that needs a sign that God doesn’t forget the least of us.
Shannon L. Alder
By first KNOWING that this power does exist, then using it with absolute confidence, you soon become wholly conscious of it. You soon know that it is all-inclusive in and through you. If you will but let it flow, it will rush to you in every instance. It flows to you as you let it flow from you. Stand forth as God and give it out. This is God your Father in you and you and your Father are one. Not servants but SONS, Sons of First Primal Cause. All that I AM has, is yours; for you are I AM.
Baird T. Spalding (Life and Teaching Of The Masters Of The Far East, Vol. 3)
No, dear, but speaking of Father reminded me how much I miss him, how much I owe him, and how faithfully I should watch and work to keep his little daughters safe and good for him. Yet you told him to go, Mother, and didn’t cry when he went, and never complain now, or seem as if you needed any help, said Jo, wondering. I gave my best to the country I love, and kept my tears till he was gone. Why should I complain, when we both have merely done our duty and will surely be the happier for it in the end? If I don’t seem to need help, it is because I have a better friend, even than Father, to comfort and sustain me. My child, the troubles and temptations of your life are beginning and may be many, but you can overcome and outlive them all if you learn to feel the strength and tenderness of your Heavenly Father as you do that of your earthly one. The more you love and trust Him, and the less you will depend on human power and wisdom. His love and care never tire or change, can never be taken from you, but my become the source of lifelong peace, happiness, and strength. Believe this heartily, and go to God with all your little cares, and hopes, and sins, and sorrows, as freely and confidingly as you come to your mother.
Louisa May Alcott (Little Women)
The gospel is unintelligible to most people today, especially in the West, because their own particular stories are remote from the story of creation, fall, redemption, and consummation that is narrated in the Bible. Our focus is introspective and narrow, confided to our own immediate knowledge, experience, and intuition. Trying desperately to get others, including God, to make us happy, we cannot seem to catch a glimpse of the real story that gives us a meaningful role.
Michael S. Horton
You will never be able to end any battle if the people involved are unable to see their own hypocrisy, or how their insecurity contributed to their problems. Wounded people often choose to play the victim, so they can restore their dignity in unhealthy ways. Sadly, they do this through feeling justified, by making bad choices or actions (that honestly no diety would want them to do). This inability to accept their part in their unhappiness keeps them from growing. They need your prayers more than your anger. Just walk away. Let it go and pray that one day they will understand your pain, as much as you do theirs. Remember: The sexiest woman alive is one that can walk away from a place that God doesn't want them to be. Do so with your head held high and forgive yourself and others. When you can do this, you will know what God's definition of class is-- YOU!
Shannon L. Alder
Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation Delivered on December 8, 1941 Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Senate, and of the House of Representatives: Yesterday, December 7th, 1941 -- a date which will live in infamy -- the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan. The United States was at peace with that nation and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific. Indeed, one hour after Japanese air squadrons had commenced bombing in the American island of Oahu, the Japanese ambassador to the United States and his colleague delivered to our Secretary of State a formal reply to a recent American message. And while this reply stated that it seemed useless to continue the existing diplomatic negotiations, it contained no threat or hint of war or of armed attack. It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time, the Japanese government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace. The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu. Yesterday, the Japanese government also launched an attack against Malaya. Last night, Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong. Last night, Japanese forces attacked Guam. Last night, Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands. Last night, the Japanese attacked Wake Island. And this morning, the Japanese attacked Midway Island. Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation. As commander in chief of the Army and Navy, I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory. I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost, but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us. Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph -- so help us God. I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7th, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Do you want to be safe from the influence, ways, and lusts of the world and the flesh (I John 2:16)? From the sins which so easily entangles us (Hebrews 12:1)? Then delight in yourself in the Lord, in His provision, in His Word. Faithfully feed on the things that possess true substance and real meaning. When you remember that "all Scripture is given by inspiration by God and is profitable" (2 Timothy 3:16) and partake of such divine substance, then you are fed, you are led and you are safe!
Elizabeth George (Quiet Confidence for a Woman's Heart)
Then suddenly Percy was next to her, lacing his fingers in hers. He turned her gently away from the pit and wrapped his arms around her. She buried her face in his chest and broke down in tears. “It’s okay,” he said. “We’re together.” He didn’t say you’re okay, or we’re alive. After all they’d been through over the last year, he knew the most important thing was that they were together. She loved him for saying that. Their friends gathered around them. Nico di Angelo was there, but Annabeth’s thoughts were so fuzzy, this didn’t seem surprising to her. It seemed only right that he would be with them. “Your leg.” Piper knelt next to her and examined the Bubble Wrap cast. “Oh, Annabeth, what happened?” She started to explain. Talking was difficult, but as she went along, her words came more easily. Percy didn’t let go of her hand, which also made her feel more confident. When she finished, her friends’ faces were slack with amazement. “Gods of Olympus,” Jason said. “You did all that
Rick Riordan (The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3))
In truth, Serenus, I have for a long time been silently asking myself to what I should liken such a condition of mind, and I can find nothing that so closely approaches it as the state of those who, after being released from a long and serious illness, are sometimes touched with fits of fever and slight disorders, and, freed from the last traces of them, are nevertheless disquieted with mistrust, and, though now quite well, stretch out their wrist to a physician and complain unjustly of any trace of heat in their body. It is not, Serenus, that these are not quite well in body, but that they are not quite used to being well; just as even a tranquil sea will show some ripple, particularly when it has just subsided after a storm. What you need, therefore, is not any of those harsher measures which we have already left behind, the necessity of opposing yourself at this point, of being angry with yourself at that, of sternly urging yourself on at another, but that which comes last -confidence in yourself and the belief that you are on the right path, and have not been led astray by the many cross- tracks of those who are roaming in every direction, some of whom are wandering very near the path itself. But what you desire is something great and supreme and very near to being a god - to be unshaken.
Seneca (The Stoic Philosophy of Seneca: Essays and Letters)
For better or worse, pessimism without compromise lacks public appeal. In all, the few who have gone to the pains of arguing for a sullen appraisal of life might as well never have been born. As history confirms, people will change their minds about almost anything, from which god they worship to how they style their hair. But when it comes to existential judgments, human beings in general have a unfalteringly good opinion of themselves and their condition in this world and are steadfastly confident they are not a collection of self-conscious nothings
Thomas Ligotti (The Conspiracy Against the Human Race)
When God brought the first man his spouse, he brought him not just a lover but the friend his heart had been seeking. Proverbs 2:17 speaks of one's spouse as your "'allup," a unique word that the lexicons define as your "special confidant" or "best friend." In an age where women were often seen as the husband's property, and marriages were mainly business deals and transactions seeking to increase the family's social status and security, it was startling for the Bible to describe a spouse in this way. But in today's society, with its emphasis on romance and sex, it is just as radical to insist that your spouse should be your best friend, though for a different reason. In tribal societies, romance doesn't matter as much as social status, and in individualistic Western societies, romance and great sex matter far more than anything else. The Bible, however, without ignoring the importance of romance, puts great emphasis on marriage as companionship.
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
People annoy the crap out of me," he says. "I think people are nervous and loud and rude and selfish and stupid pretty much all the time." [...] "If they're beautiful they know it, so they don't bother having a personality or associating with people that don't fit into their league or can't afford their company. And, somehow these people are the most popular, which makes absolutely no sense. People try so hard to be accepted, they turn into a walking stereotype. They're pathetically easy to predict. They're insecure and try to mask it with whatever product corporate America is currently making and they always let you down. Just give them enough time, and they will." [...] "I think everyone's caught up in these narrow-minded worlds and they think their world exists in the center of the universe. Relationship only happen when it's convenient. You have to walk on eggshells for people because that's how strong they are these days. And you can't confront people, because if you do, that brittle shell of confidence will crack. So we all become passive cowards that carry a fake smile wherever we go because God forbid you let your guard down long enough for people to see your life isn't perfect. That you have a few flaws. Because who wants to see that?
Katie Kacvinsky (First Comes Love (First Comes Love, #1))
The more doors you open to the mysteries, or sacred knowledge, the smaller you feel. And because you begin to feel smaller and smaller until your ego disappears, the more humble you become. Therefore, any man who behaves arrogantly with what little he knows, or claims to know all, only reveals to all that he really knows nothing. Real greatness does not reside inside those who feel large. The truly wise are meek. Yet being small and meek do not make one weak. Arming oneself with true knowledge generates strong confidence and a bold spirit that makes you a lion of God. The Creator does not want you to suffer, yet we are being conditioned by society to accept suffering, weak and passive dispositions under the belief that such conditions are favorable by God. Weakness is not a virtue praised by God. How could he desire for you to be weak if he tells us to stand by our conscience? Doing so requires strength. However, there is a difference between arrogance when inflating your ego, and confidence when one truly gets closer to God. One feels large, while the other feels small. Why? Because a man of wisdom understands that he is just a small pea in a sea of infinite atoms, and that in the end — we are all connected. And did you not know that the smaller a creature is, the bolder its spirit?
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
--you have too good a mind to throw away. I don't quite know what we're doing on this insignificant cinder spinning aay in a dark corner of the universe. That is a secret which the high gods have not confided in me. Yet one thing I believe and I believe it with every fibre of my being. A man must live by his light and do what little he can and do it as best he can. In this world goodness is destined to be defeated. But a man must go down fighting. That is the victory. To do anything less is to be less than a man.' She is right. I will say yes. I will say yes even though I do not really know what she is talking about.
Walker Percy
I believe that this is a practical world and that I can count only on what I earn. Therefore, I believe in work, hard work. I believe in education, which gives me the knowledge to work wisely and trains my mind and my hands to work skillfully. I believe in honesty and truthfulness, without which I cannot win the respect and confidence of my fellow men. I believe in a sound mind, in a sound body and a spirit that is not afraid, and in clean sports that develop these qualities. I believe in obedience to law because it protects the rights of all. I believe in the human touch, which cultivates sympathy with my fellow men and mutual helpfulness and brings happiness for all. I believe in my Country, because it is a land of freedom and because it is my own home, and that I can best serve that country by "doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with my God." And because Auburn men and women believe in these things, I believe in Auburn and love it.
George Petrie
All the great groups that stood about the Cross represent in one way or another the great historical truth of the time; that the world could not save itself. Man could do no more. Rome and Jerusalem and Athens and everything else were going down like a sea turned into a slow cataract. Externally indeed the ancient world was still at its strongest; it is always at that moment that the inmost weakness begins. But in order to understand that weakness we must repeat what has been said more than once; that it was not the weakness of a thing originally weak. It was emphatically the strength of the world that was turned to weakness and the wisdom of the world that was turned to folly. In this story of Good Friday it is the best things in the world that are at their worst. That is what really shows us the world at its worst. It was, for instance, the priests of a true monotheism and the soldiers of an international civilisation. Rome, the legend, founded upon fallen Troy and triumphant over fallen Carthage, had stood for a heroism which was the nearest that any pagan ever came to chivalry. Rome had defended the household gods and the human decencies against the ogres of Africa and the hermaphrodite monstrosities of Greece. But in the lightning flash of this incident, we see great Rome, the imperial republic, going downward under her Lucretian doom. Scepticism has eaten away even the confident sanity of the conquerors of the world. He who is enthroned to say what is justice can only ask: ‘What is truth?’ So in that drama which decided the whole fate of antiquity, one of the central figures is fixed in what seems the reverse of his true role. Rome was almost another name for responsibility. Yet he stands for ever as a sort of rocking statue of the irresponsible. Man could do no more. Even the practical had become the impracticable. Standing between the pillars of his own judgement-seat, a Roman had washed his hands of the world.
G.K. Chesterton (The Everlasting Man)
Even a moment's reflection will help you see that the problem of using your time well is not a problem of the mind but of the heart. It will only yield to a change in the very way we feel about time. The value of time must change for us. And then the way we think about it will change, naturally and wisely. That change in feeling and in thinking is combined in the words of a prophet of God in this dispensation. It was Brigham Young, and the year was 1877, and he was speaking at April general conference. He wasn't talking about time or schedules or frustrations with too many demands upon us. Rather, he was trying to teach the members of the Church how to unite themselves in what was called the united order. The Saints were grappling with the question of how property should be distributed if they were to live the celestial law. In his usual direct style, he taught the people that they were having trouble finding solutions because they misunderstood the problem. Particularly, he told them they didn't understand either property or the distribution of wealth. Here is what he said: With regard to our property, as I have told you many times, the property which we inherit from our Heavenly Father is our time, and the power to choose in the disposition of the same. This is the real capital that is bequeathed unto us by our Heavenly Father; all the rest is what he may be pleased to add unto us. To direct, to counsel and to advise in the disposition of our time, pertains to our calling as God's servants, according to the wisdom which he has given and will continue to give unto us as we seek it. [JD 18:354] Time is the property we inherit from God, along with the power to choose what we will do with it. President Young calls the gift of life, which is time and the power to dispose of it, so great an inheritance that we should feel it is our capital. The early Yankee families in America taught their children and grandchildren some rules about an inheritance. They were always to invest the capital they inherited and live only on part of the earnings. One rule was "Never spend your capital." And those families had confidence the rule would be followed because of an attitude of responsibility toward those who would follow in later generations. It didn't always work, but the hope was that inherited wealth would be felt a trust so important that no descendent would put pleasure ahead of obligation to those who would follow. Now, I can see and hear Brigham Young, who was as flinty a New Englander as the Adams or the Cabots ever hoped to be, as if he were leaning over this pulpit tonight. He would say something like this, with a directness and power I wish I could approach: "Your inheritance is time. It is capital far more precious than any lands or stocks or houses you will ever get. Spend it foolishly, and you will bankrupt yourself and cheapen the inheritance of those that follow you. Invest it wisely, and you will bless generations to come. “A Child of Promise”, BYU Speeches, 4 May 1986
Henry B. Eyring
Cynicism creates a numbness toward life. Cynicism begins with a wry assurance that everyone has an angle. Behind every silver lining is a cloud. The cynic is always observing, critiquing, but never engaging, loving, and hoping. ... To be cynical is to be distant. While offering a false intimacy of being "in the know," cynicism actually destroys intimacy. It leads to bitterness that can deaden and even destroy the spirit. ... Cynicism begins, oddly enough, with too much of the wrong kind of faith, with naive optimism or foolish confidence. At first glance, genuine faith and naive optimism appear identical since both foster confidence and hope.But the similarity is only surface deep.Genuine faith comes from knowing my heavenly Father loves, enjoys, and cares for me. Naive optimism is groundless. It is childlike trust without the loving Father. ... Optimism in the goodness of people collapses when it confronts the dark side of life. ... Shattered optimism sets us up for the fall into defeated weariness and, eventually, cynicism. You'd think it would just leave us less optimistic, but we humans don't do neutral well. We go from seeing the bright side of everything to seeing the dark side of everything. We feel betrayed by life. ... The movement from naive optimism to cynicism is the new American journey. In naive optimism we don't need to pray because everything is under control. In cynicism we can't pray because everything out of control, little is possible. With the Good Shepherd no longer leading us through the valley of the shadow of death, we need something to maintain our sanity. Cynicism's ironic stance is a weak attempt to maintain a lighthearted equilibrium in a world gone mad. ... Without the Good Shepherd, we are alone in a meaningless story. Weariness and fear leave us feeling overwhelmed, unable to move. Cynicism leaves us doubting, unable to dream. The combination shuts down our hearts, and we just show up for life, going through the motions.
Paul E. Miller (A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World)
To begin with, this case should never have come to trial. The state has not produced one iota of medical evidence that the crime Tom Robinson is charged with ever took place... It has relied instead upon the testimony of two witnesses, whose evidence has not only been called into serious question on cross-examination, but has been flatly contradicted by the defendant. Now, there is circumstantial evidence to indicate that Mayella Ewel was beaten - savagely, by someone who led exclusively with his left. And Tom Robinson now sits before you having taken the oath with the only good hand he possesses... his RIGHT. I have nothing but pity in my heart for the chief witness for the State. She is the victim of cruel poverty and ignorance. But my pity does not extend so far as to her putting a man's life at stake, which she has done in an effort to get rid of her own guilt. Now I say "guilt," gentlemen, because it was guilt that motivated her. She's committed no crime - she has merely broken a rigid and time-honored code of our society, a code so severe that whoever breaks it is hounded from our midst as unfit to live with. She must destroy the evidence of her offense. But what was the evidence of her offense? Tom Robinson, a human being. She must put Tom Robinson away from her. Tom Robinson was to her a daily reminder of what she did. Now, what did she do? She tempted a *****. She was white, and she tempted a *****. She did something that, in our society, is unspeakable. She kissed a black man. Not an old uncle, but a strong, young ***** man. No code mattered to her before she broke it, but it came crashing down on her afterwards. The witnesses for the State, with the exception of the sheriff of Maycomb County have presented themselves to you gentlemen, to this court in the cynical confidence that their testimony would not be doubted, confident that you gentlemen would go along with them on the assumption... the evil assumption that all Negroes lie, all Negroes are basically immoral beings, all ***** men are not to be trusted around our women. An assumption that one associates with minds of their caliber, and which is, in itself, gentlemen, a lie, which I do not need to point out to you. And so, a quiet, humble, respectable *****, who has had the unmitigated TEMERITY to feel sorry for a white woman, has had to put his word against TWO white people's! The defendant is not guilty - but somebody in this courtroom is. Now, gentlemen, in this country, our courts are the great levelers. In our courts, all men are created equal. I'm no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and of our jury system - that's no ideal to me. That is a living, working reality! Now I am confident that you gentlemen will review, without passion, the evidence that you have heard, come to a decision and restore this man to his family. In the name of GOD, do your duty. In the name of God, believe... Tom Robinson
Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)
I was in Washington State, at a small-town YMCA, when a boy wandered into the lap lane and popped his head, seal-like, out of the water. I would later learn that he was nine, but at the time he was just this kid, slightly pudgy, with a stern haircut. It's like he went to a barbershop with a picture of Hitler, that's how severe it was. We got to talking, and when I told him I wasn't a very good swimmer, he challenged me to a race. I think he assumed that, like most adults, I'd slow down and intentionally let him win, but he didn't know who he was dealing with. I need all the confidence I can get, and one victory is just as good as any other. Thus I swam for my very life and beat the pants off him. I thought this was it - he'd accept his defeat and move on with his life - but five minutes later he stopped me again and asked me if I believed in God. "No," I told him. "Why?" I thought for a second. Because I have hair on my back, and a lot of other people, people who kill and rob and make life miserable, don't. A real God wouldn't let that happen.
David Sedaris
[excerpt] The usual I say. Essence. Spirit. Medicine. A taste. I say top shelf. Straight up. A shot. A sip. A nip. I say another round. I say brace yourself. Lift a few. Hoist a few. Work the elbow. Bottoms up. Belly up. Set ‘em up. What’ll it be. Name your poison. I say same again. I say all around. I say my good man. I say my drinking buddy. I say git that in ya. Then a quick one. Then a nightcap. Then throw one back. Then knock one down. Fast & furious I say. Could savage a drink I say. Chug. Chug-a-lug. Gulp. Sauce. Mother’s milk. Everclear. Moonshine. White lightning. Firewater. Hootch. Relief. Now you’re talking I say. Live a little I say. Drain it I say. Kill it I say. Feeling it I say. Wobbly. Breakfast of champions I say. I say candy is dandy but liquor is quicker. I say Houston, we have a drinking problem. I say the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems. I say god only knows what I’d be without you. I say thirsty. I say parched. I say wet my whistle. Dying of thirst. Lap it up. Hook me up. Watering hole. Knock a few back. Pound a few down. My office. Out with the boys I say. Unwind I say. Nurse one I say. Apply myself I say. Toasted. Glow. A cold one a tall one a frosty I say. One for the road I say. Two-fisted I say. Never trust a man who doesn’t drink I say. Drink any man under the table I say. Then a binge then a spree then a jag then a bout. Coming home on all fours. Could use a drink I say. A shot of confidence I say. Steady my nerves I say. Drown my sorrows. I say kill for a drink. I say keep ‘em comin’. I say a stiff one. Drink deep drink hard hit the bottle. Two sheets to the wind then. Knackered then. Under the influence then. Half in the bag then. Out of my skull I say. Liquored up. Rip-roaring. Slammed. Fucking jacked. The booze talking. The room spinning. Feeling no pain. Buzzed. Giddy. Silly. Impaired. Intoxicated. Stewed. Juiced. Plotzed. Inebriated. Laminated. Swimming. Elated. Exalted. Debauched. Rock on. Drunk on. Bring it on. Pissed. Then bleary. Then bloodshot. Glassy-eyed. Red-nosed. Dizzy then. Groggy. On a bender I say. On a spree. I say off the wagon. I say on a slip. I say the drink. I say the bottle. I say drinkie-poo. A drink a drunk a drunkard. Swill. Swig. Shitfaced. Fucked up. Stupefied. Incapacitated. Raging. Seeing double. Shitty. Take the edge off I say. That’s better I say. Loaded I say. Wasted. Off my ass. Befuddled. Reeling. Tanked. Punch-drunk. Mean drunk. Maintenance drunk. Sloppy drunk happy drunk weepy drunk blind drunk dead drunk. Serious drinker. Hard drinker. Lush. Drink like a fish. Boozer. Booze hound. Alkie. Sponge. Then muddled. Then woozy. Then clouded. What day is it? Do you know me? Have you seen me? When did I start? Did I ever stop? Slurring. Reeling. Staggering. Overserved they say. Drunk as a skunk they say. Falling down drunk. Crawling down drunk. Drunk & disorderly. I say high tolerance. I say high capacity. They say protective custody. Blitzed. Shattered. Zonked. Annihilated. Blotto. Smashed. Soaked. Screwed. Pickled. Bombed. Stiff. Frazzled. Blasted. Plastered. Hammered. Tore up. Ripped up. Destroyed. Whittled. Plowed. Overcome. Overtaken. Comatose. Dead to the world. The old K.O. The horrors I say. The heebie-jeebies I say. The beast I say. The dt’s. B’jesus & pink elephants. A mindbender. Hittin’ it kinda hard they say. Go easy they say. Last call they say. Quitting time they say. They say shut off. They say dry out. Pass out. Lights out. Blackout. The bottom. The walking wounded. Cross-eyed & painless. Gone to the world. Gone. Gonzo. Wrecked. Sleep it off. Wake up on the floor. End up in the gutter. Off the stuff. Dry. Dry heaves. Gag. White knuckle. Lightweight I say. Hair of the dog I say. Eye-opener I say. A drop I say. A slug. A taste. A swallow. Down the hatch I say. I wouldn’t say no I say. I say whatever he’s having. I say next one’s on me. I say bottoms up. Put it on my tab. I say one more. I say same again
Nick Flynn (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City)
This is our part in spiritual war. We proclaim Christ's truth by praying it, speaking it and (undoubtedly most importantly) by demonstrating it. We are not to accept with sere pious resignation the evil aspects of our world as "coming from a father's hand." Rather, following the example of our Lord and Savior, and going forth with the confidence that he has in principle already defeated his (and our) foes, we are to revolt against the evil aspects of our world as coming from the devil's hand. Our revolt is to be broad--as broad as the evil we seek to confront, and as broad as the work of the cross we seek to proclaim. Wherever there is destruction, hated, apathy, injustice, pain or hopelessness, whether it concerns God's creation, a structural feature of society, or the physical, psychological or spiritual aspect of an individual, we are in word and deed to proclaim to the evil powers that be, "You are defeated." As Jesus did, we proclaim this by demonstrating it.
Gregory A. Boyd (God at War: The Bible & Spiritual Conflict)
Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God isn’t offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers. He is offended by anything less. If your prayers aren’t impossible to you, they are insulting to God. Prayers are prophecies. They are the best predictors of your spiritual future. Who you become is determined by how you pray. Ultimately, the transcript of your prayers becomes the script of your life. The greatest tragedy in life is the prayers that go unanswered because they go unasked. God does not answer vague prayers. The more specific your prayers are, the more glory God receives. Most of us don’t get what we want because we quit praying. We give up too easily. We give up too soon. We quit praying right before the miracle happens. If you don’t take the risk, you forfeit the miracle. Take a step of faith when God gives you a vision because you trust that the One who gave you the vision is going to make provision. And for the record, if the vision is from God, it will most definitely be beyond your means. We shouldn’t seek answers as much as we should seek God. If you seek answers you won’t find them, but if you seek God, the answers will find you. If your plans aren’t birthed in prayer and bathed in prayer, they won’t succeed. Are your problems bigger than God, or is God bigger than your problems? Our biggest problem is our small view of God. That is the cause of all lesser evils. And it’s a high view of God that is the solution to all other problems. Because you know He can, you can pray with holy confidence. Persistence is the magic bullet. The only way you can fail is if you stop praying. 100 percent of the prayers I don’t pray won’t get answered. Where are you most proficient, most sufficient? Maybe that is precisely where God wants you to trust Him to do something beyond your ability. What we perceive as unanswered prayers are often the greatest answers. Our heavenly Father is far too wise and loves us far too much to give us everything we ask for. Someday we’ll thank God for the prayers He didn’t answer as much or more than the ones He did. You can’t pray for open doors if you aren’t willing accept closed doors, because one leads to the other. Just as our greatest successes often come on the heels of our greatest failures, our greatest answers often come on the heels of our longest and most boring prayers. The biggest difference between success and failure, both spiritually and occupationally, is your waking-up time on your alarm clock. We won’t remember the things that came easy; we’ll remember the things that came hard. It’s not just where you end up that’s important; it’s how you get there. Goal setting begins and ends with prayer. The more you have to circle something in prayer, the more satisfying it is spiritually. And, often, the more glory God gets. I don’t want easy answers or quick answers because I have a tendency to mishandle the blessings that come too easily or too quickly. I take the credit or take them for granted. So now I pray that it will take long enough and be hard enough for God to receive all of the glory. Change your prayer approach from as soon as possible to as long as it takes. Go home. Lock yourself in your room. Kneel down in the middle of the floor, and with a piece of chalk draw a circle around yourself. There, on your knees, pray fervently and brokenly that God would start a revival within that chalk circle.
Mark Batterson (The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears)
perhaps that’s what it’s for – self-confidence and courage and energy and peace – perhaps it’s to be used in the world. Perhaps there’s only one thing to do with it: spend it. I’m always super-conscious of how whenever I go out into the world, whenever I get involved in a relationship, my idea of who I think I am utterly collides with the reality of who I actually am. And I continue to go out even though who I am always comes up short. I always prove myself to be less generous, less charming, less considerate, not as bold or energetic or intelligent or courageous as I imagined in my solitude. And I’m always being insulted, or snubbed, or disappointed. And I’m never in my pyjamas. And yet, in some way, maybe this is better. Each of us in this room could suffer the pangs of withdrawal and gain the serenity of the non-smoker. We could be demi-gods in our little castles, all alone, but perhaps, at heart, none of us here wants that. Maybe the only cure for self-confidence and courage is humility. Maybe we go out in order to fall short... because we want to learn how to be good at being people... and moreover, because we want to be people.
Sheila Heti
there was a sort of embarrassment about storytelling that struck home powerfully about one hundred years ago, at the beginning of modernism. We see a similar reaction in painting and in music. It's a preoccupation suddenly with the surface rather than the depth. So you get, for example, Picasso and Braque making all kinds of experiments with the actual surface of the painting. That becomes the interesting thing, much more interesting than the thing depicted, which is just an old newspaper, a glass of wine, something like that. In music, the Second Viennese School becomes very interested in what happens when the surface, the diatonic structure of the keys breaks down, and we look at the notes themselves in a sort of tone row, instead of concentrating on things like tunes, which are sort of further in, if you like. That happened, of course, in literature, too, with such great works as James Joyce's Ulysses, which is all about, really, how it's told. Not so much about what happens, which is a pretty banal event in a banal man's life. It's about how it's told. The surface suddenly became passionately interesting to artists in every field about a hundred years ago. In the field of literature, story retreated. The books we talked about just now, Middlemarch, Bleak House, Vanity Fair -- their authors were the great storytellers as well as the great artists. After modernism, things changed. Indeed, modernism sometimes seems to me like an equivalent of the Fall. Remember, the first thing Adam and Eve did when they ate the fruit was to discover that they had no clothes on. They were embarrassed. Embarrassment was the first consequence of the Fall. And embarrassment was the first literary consequence of this modernist discovery of the surface. "Am I telling a story? Oh my God, this is terrible. I must stop telling a story and focus on the minute gradations of consciousness as they filter through somebody's..." So there was a great split that took place. Story retreated, as it were, into genre fiction-into crime fiction, into science fiction, into romantic fiction-whereas the high-art literary people went another way. Children's books held onto the story, because children are rarely interested in surfaces in that sort of way. They're interested in what-happened and what-happened next. I found it a great discipline, when I was writing The Golden Compass and other books, to think that there were some children in the audience. I put it like that because I don't say I write for children. I find it hard to understand how some writers can say with great confidence, "Oh, I write for fourth grade children" or "I write for boys of 12 or 13." How do they know? I don't know. I would rather consider myself in the rather romantic position of the old storyteller in the marketplace: you sit down on your little bit of carpet with your hat upturned in front of you, and you start to tell a story. Your interest really is not in excluding people and saying to some of them, "No, you can't come, because it's just for so-and-so." My interest as a storyteller is to have as big an audience as possible. That will include children, I hope, and it will include adults, I hope. If dogs and horses want to stop and listen, they're welcome as well.
Philip Pullman
Across that threshold I had been afraid to cross, things suddenly seemed so very simple. There was but a single vision, God, who was all in all; there was but one will that directed all things, God's will. I had only to see it, to discern it in every circumstance in which I found myself, and let myself be ruled by it. God is in all things, sustains all things, directs all things. To discern this in every situation and circumstance, to see His will in all things, was to accept each circumstance and situation and let oneself be borne along in perfect confidence and trust. Nothing could separate me from Him, because He was in all things. No danger could threaten me, no fear could shake me, except the fear of losing sight of Him. The future, hidden as it was, was hidden in His will and therefore acceptable to me no matter what it might bring. The past, with all its failures, was not forgotten; it remained to remind me of the weakness of human nature and the folly of putting any faith in self. But it no longer depressed me. I looked no longer to self to guide me, relied on it no longer in any way, so it could not again fail me. By renouncing, finally and completely, all control of my life and future destiny, I was relieved as a consequence of all responsibility. I was freed thereby from anxiety and worry, from every tension, and could float serenely upon the tide of God's sustaining providence in perfect peace of soul.
Walter J. Ciszek (He Leadeth Me)
Favourable Chance, I fancy, is the god of all men who follow their own devices instead of obeying a law they believe in. Let even a polished man of these days get into a position he is ashamed to avow, and his mind will be bent on all the possible issues that may deliver him from the calculable results of that position. Let him live outside his income, or shirk the resolute honest work that brings wages, and he will presently find himself dreaming of a possible benefactor, a possible simpleton who may be cajoled into using his interest, a possible state of mind in some possible person not yet forthcoming. Let him neglect the responsibilities of his office, and he will inevitably anchor himself on the chance that the thing left undone may turn out not to be of the supposed importance. Let him betray his friend's confidence, and he will adore that same cunning complexity called Chance, which gives him the hope that his friend will never know. Let him forsake a decent craft that he may pursue the gentilities of a profession to which nature never called him, and his religion will infallibly be the worship of blessed Chance, which he will believe in as the mighty creator of success. The evil principle deprecated in that religion is the orderly sequence by which the seed brings forth a crop after its kind.
George Eliot (Silas Marner)
Then she jerked back with a siren's smile that made his confidence falter. "Well." She tapped her chin. "That was a decent kiss, all things being equal." She pressed her hand to her chest. "My heart is, if not quite racing, then heading into a quick walk. But I need a thermometer to determine if and how high my body heated. I shall just go--" "Don't you dare." He caught her by the arm as she was on the verge of fleeing. "You know bloody well that you responded to that kiss." With a suspicious glee in her eyes, she tugged her arm from his grip. "I'm not saying I didn't respond-- just that I didn't respond to any overwhelming degree. But it was a good kiss, I suppose. Better than some, not as good as others." "What the hell do you mean? How many chaps have you kissed in the last nine years, anyway?" "No more than you've kissed women, I should imagine." "My God." "But don't worry-- I don't think the average woman would complain about your kissing. You're perfectly competent." Competent? Bloody insolent chit. Even knowing she was trying to provoke him didn't ease his wounded pride. "Perhaps we should try again." -Giles and Minerva
Sabrina Jeffries (How to Woo a Reluctant Lady (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #3))
One more thing, gentlemen, before I quit. Thomas Jefferson once said that all men are created equal, a phrase that the Yankees and the distaff side of the Executive branch in Washington are fond of hurling at us. There is a tendency in this year of grace, 1935, for certain people to use this phrase out of context, to satisfy all conditions. The most ridiculous example I can think of is that the people who run public education promote the stupid and idle along with the industrious — because all men are created equal, educators will gravely tell you, the children left behind suffer terrible feelings of inferiority. We know all men are not created equal in the sense some people would have us believe — some people are smarter than others, some people have more opportunity because they’re born with it, some men make more money than others, some ladies make better cakes than others — some people are born gifted beyond the normal scope of most men. But there is one way in this country in which all men are created equal — there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any college president. That institution, gentlemen, is a court. It can be the Supreme Court of the United States or the humblest J.P. court in the land, or this honorable court which you serve. Our courts have their faults, as does any human institution, but in this country our courts are the great levelers, and in our courts all men are created equal. I'm no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and in the jury system — that is no ideal to me, it is a living, working reality. Gentlemen, a court is no better than each man of you sitting before me on this jury. A court is only as sound as its jury, and a jury is only as sound as the men who make it up. I am confident that you gentlemen will review without passion the evidence you have heard, come to a decision, and restore this defendant to his family. In the name of God, do your duty. In the name of God, believe him.
Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)
If I were the Devil . . . I mean, if I were the Prince of Darkness, I would of course, want to engulf the whole earth in darkness. I would have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree, so I should set about however necessary to take over the United States. I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.” “Do as you please.” To the young, I would whisper, “The Bible is a myth.” I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what is bad is good, and what is good is “square”. In the ears of the young marrieds, I would whisper that work is debasing, that cocktail parties are good for you. I would caution them not to be extreme in religion, in patriotism, in moral conduct. And the old, I would teach to pray. I would teach them to say after me: “Our Father, which art in Washington” . . . If I were the devil, I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull an uninteresting. I’d threaten T.V. with dirtier movies and vice versa. And then, if I were the devil, I’d get organized. I’d infiltrate unions and urge more loafing and less work, because idle hands usually work for me. I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. And I’d tranquilize the rest with pills. If I were the devil, I would encourage schools to refine yound intellects but neglect to discipline emotions . . . let those run wild. I would designate an athiest to front for me before the highest courts in the land and I would get preachers to say “she’s right.” With flattery and promises of power, I could get the courts to rule what I construe as against God and in favor of pornography, and thus, I would evict God from the courthouse, and then from the school house, and then from the houses of Congress and then, in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and I would deify science because that way men would become smart enough to create super weapons but not wise enough to control them. If I were Satan, I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg, and the symbol of Christmas, a bottle. If I were the devil, I would take from those who have and I would give to those who wanted, until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. And then, my police state would force everybody back to work. Then, I could separate families, putting children in uniform, women in coal mines, and objectors in slave camps. In other words, if I were Satan, I’d just keep on doing what he’s doing. (Speech was broadcast by ABC Radio commentator Paul Harvey on April 3, 1965)
Paul Harvey
Sean: …………And I'd ask you about war, you'd probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, "once more unto the breach dear friends." But you've never been near one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help. I'd ask you about love, you'd probably quote me a sonnet. But you've never looked at a woman and been totally vulnerable. Known someone that could level you with her eyes, feeling like God put an angel on earth just for you. Who could rescue you from the depths of hell. And you wouldn't know what it's like to be her angel, to have that love for her, be there forever, through anything, through cancer. And you wouldn't know about sleeping sitting up in the hospital room for two months, holding her hand, because the doctors could see in your eyes, that the terms "visiting hours" don't apply to you. You don't know about real loss, 'cause it only occurs when you've loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you've ever dared to love anybody that much. And look at you... I don't see an intelligent, confident man... I see a scared shitless kid. But you're a genius Will. No one denies that. No one could possibly understand the depths of you. But you presume to know everything about me because you saw a painting of mine, and you ripped my life apart. You're an orphan right? [Will nods] Sean: You think I know the first thing about how hard your life has been, how you feel, who you are, because I read Oliver Twist? Does that encapsulate you? Personally... I don't give a shit about all that, because you know what, I can't learn anything from you, I can't read in some book. Unless you want to talk about you, who you are. Then I'm fascinated. I'm in. But you don't want to do that do you sport? You're terrified of what you might say. Your move, chief.
Matt Damon
We are committed to involving as many people as possible, as young as possible, as soon as possible. Sometimes too young and too soon! But we intentionally err on the side of too fast rather than too slow. We don’t wait until people feel “prepared” or “fully equipped.” Seriously, when is anyone ever completely prepared for ministry? Ministry makes people’s faith bigger. If you want to increase someone’s confidence in God, put him in a ministry position before he feels fully equipped. The messages your environments communicate have the potential to trump your primary message. If you don’t see a mess, if you aren’t bothered by clutter, you need to make sure there is someone around you who does see it and is bothered by it. An uncomfortable or distracting setting can derail ministry before it begins. The sermon begins in the parking lot. Assign responsibility, not tasks. At the end of the day, it’s application that makes all the difference. Truth isn’t helpful if no one understands or remembers it. If you want a church full of biblically educated believers, just teach what the Bible says. If you want to make a difference in your community and possibly the world, give people handles, next steps, and specific applications. Challenge them to do something. As we’ve all seen, it’s not safe to assume that people automatically know what to do with what they’ve been taught. They need specific direction. This is hard. This requires an extra step in preparation. But this is how you grow people. Your current template is perfectly designed to produce the results you are currently getting. We must remove every possible obstacle from the path of the disinterested, suspicious, here-against-my-will, would-rather-be-somewhere-else, unchurched guests. The parking lot, hallways, auditorium, and stage must be obstacle-free zones. As a preacher, it’s my responsibility to offend people with the gospel. That’s one reason we work so hard not to offend them in the parking lot, the hallway, at check-in, or in the early portions of our service. We want people to come back the following week for another round of offending! Present the gospel in uncompromising terms, preach hard against sin, and tackle the most emotionally charged topics in culture, while providing an environment where unchurched people feel comfortable. The approach a church chooses trumps its purpose every time. Nothing says hypocrite faster than Christians expecting non-Christians to behave like Christians when half the Christians don’t act like it half the time. When you give non-Christians an out, they respond by leaning in. Especially if you invite them rather than expect them. There’s a big difference between being expected to do something and being invited to try something. There is an inexorable link between an organization’s vision and its appetite for improvement. Vision exposes what has yet to be accomplished. In this way, vision has the power to create a healthy sense of organizational discontent. A leader who continually keeps the vision out in front of his or her staff creates a thirst for improvement. Vision-centric churches expect change. Change is a means to an end. Change is critical to making what could and should be a reality. Write your vision in ink; everything else should be penciled in. Plans change. Vision remains the same. It is natural to assume that what worked in the past will always work. But, of course, that way of thinking is lethal. And the longer it goes unchallenged, the more difficult it is to identify and eradicate. Every innovation has an expiration date. The primary reason churches cling to outdated models and programs is that they lack leadership.
Andy Stanley (Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend)
You speak as if you envied him." "And I do envy him, Emma. In one respect he is the object of my envy." Emma could say no more. They seemed to be within half a sentence of Harriet, and her immediate feeling was to avert the subject, if possible. She made her plan; she would speak of something totally different—the children in Brunswick Square; and she only waited for breath to begin, when Mr. Knightley startled her, by saying, "You will not ask me what is the point of envy.—You are determined, I see, to have no curiosity.—You are wise—but I cannot be wise. Emma, I must tell you what you will not ask, though I may wish it unsaid the next moment." "Oh! then, don't speak it, don't speak it," she eagerly cried. "Take a little time, consider, do not commit yourself." "Thank you," said he, in an accent of deep mortification, and not another syllable followed. Emma could not bear to give him pain. He was wishing to confide in her—perhaps to consult her;—cost her what it would, she would listen. She might assist his resolution, or reconcile him to it; she might give just praise to Harriet, or, by representing to him his own independence, relieve him from that state of indecision, which must be more intolerable than any alternative to such a mind as his.—They had reached the house. "You are going in, I suppose?" said he. "No,"—replied Emma—quite confirmed by the depressed manner in which he still spoke—"I should like to take another turn. Mr. Perry is not gone." And, after proceeding a few steps, she added—"I stopped you ungraciously, just now, Mr. Knightley, and, I am afraid, gave you pain.—But if you have any wish to speak openly to me as a friend, or to ask my opinion of any thing that you may have in contemplation—as a friend, indeed, you may command me.—I will hear whatever you like. I will tell you exactly what I think." "As a friend!"—repeated Mr. Knightley.—"Emma, that I fear is a word—No, I have no wish—Stay, yes, why should I hesitate?—I have gone too far already for concealment.—Emma, I accept your offer—Extraordinary as it may seem, I accept it, and refer myself to you as a friend.—Tell me, then, have I no chance of ever succeeding?" He stopped in his earnestness to look the question, and the expression of his eyes overpowered her. "My dearest Emma," said he, "for dearest you will always be, whatever the event of this hour's conversation, my dearest, most beloved Emma—tell me at once. Say 'No,' if it is to be said."—She could really say nothing.—"You are silent," he cried, with great animation; "absolutely silent! at present I ask no more." Emma was almost ready to sink under the agitation of this moment. The dread of being awakened from the happiest dream, was perhaps the most prominent feeling. "I cannot make speeches, Emma:" he soon resumed; and in a tone of such sincere, decided, intelligible tenderness as was tolerably convincing.—"If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. But you know what I am.—You hear nothing but truth from me.—I have blamed you, and lectured you, and you have borne it as no other woman in England would have borne it.—Bear with the truths I would tell you now, dearest Emma, as well as you have borne with them. The manner, perhaps, may have as little to recommend them. God knows, I have been a very indifferent lover.—But you understand me.—Yes, you see, you understand my feelings—and will return them if you can. At present, I ask only to hear, once to hear your voice.
Jane Austen (Emma)
As we have seen, prayer, celebration of the religious offices, alms, consoling the afflicted, the cultivation of a little piece of ground, fraternity, frugality, hospitality, self-sacrifice, confidence, study, and work, filled up each day of his life. Filled up is exactly the phrase; and in fact, the Bishop's day was full to the brim with good thoughts, good words, and good actions. Yet it was not complete if cold or rainy weather prevented him from passing an hour or two in the evening, when the two women had retired, in his garden before going to sleep. It seemed as though it were a sort of rite with him, to prepare himself for sleep by meditating in the presence of the great spectacle of the starry firmament. Sometimes late at night, if the two women were awake, they would hear him slowly walking the paths. He was out there alone with himself, composed, tranquil, adoring, comparing the serenity of his heart with the serenity of the skies, moved in the darkness by the visible splendors of the constellations, and the invisible splendor of God, opening his soul to the thoughts that fall from the Unknown. In such moments, offering up his heart at the hour when the flowers of night emit their perfume, lit like a lamp in the center of the starry night, expanding his soul in ecstasy in the midst of creation’s universal radiance, perhaps he could not have told what was happening in his own mind; he felt something depart from him, and something descend upon him; mysterious exchanges of the depths of the soul with the depths of the universe. He contemplated the grandeur, and the presence of God; the eternity of the future, that strange mystery; the eternity of the past, a stranger mystery; all the infinities hidden deep in every direction; and, without trying to comprehend the incomprehensible, he saw it. He did not study God; he was dazzled by Him. He reflected upon the magnificent union of atoms, which give visible forms to Nature, revealing forces by recognizing them, creating individualities in unity, proportions in extension, the innumerable in the infinite, and through light producing beauty. These unions are forming and dissolving continually; from which come life and death. He would sit on a wooden bench leaning against a decrepit trellis and look at the stars through the irregular outlines of his fruit trees. This quarter of an acre of ground, so sparingly planted, so cluttered with shed and ruins, was dear to him and satisfied him. What more was needed by this old man, who divided the leisure hours of his life, where he had so little leisure, between gardening in the day time, and contemplation at night? Was this narrow enclosure, with the sky for a background not space enough for him to adore God in his most beautiful, most sublime works? Indeed, is that not everything? What more do you need? A little garden to walk in, and immensity to reflect on. At his feet something to cultivate and gather; above his head something to study and meditate on; a few flowers on earth and all the stars in the sky.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
EPILOGUE This course is a beginning, not an end. Your Friend goes with you. You are not alone. No one who calls on Him can call in vain. Whatever troubles you, be certain that He has the answer, and will gladly give it to you, if you simply turn to Him and ask it of Him. He will not withhold all answers that you need for anything that seems to trouble you. He knows the way to solve all problems, and resolve all doubts. His certainty is yours. You need but ask it of Him, and it will be given you. You are as certain of arriving home as is the pathway of the sun laid down before it rises, after it has set, and in the half-lit hours in between. Indeed, your pathway is more certain still. For it can not be possible to change the course of those whom God has called to Him. Therefore obey your will, and follow Him Whom you accepted as your voice, to speak of what you really want and really need. His is the Voice for God and also yours. And thus He speaks of freedom and of truth. No more specific lessons are assigned, for there is no more need of them. Henceforth, hear but the Voice for God and for your Self when you retire from the world, to seek reality instead. He will direct your efforts, telling you exactly what to do, how to direct your mind, and when to come to Him in silence, asking for His sure direction and His certain Word. His is the Word that God has given you. His is the Word you chose to be your own. And now I place you in His hands, to be His faithful follower, with Him as Guide through every difficulty and all pain that you may think is real. Nor will He give you pleasures that will pass away, for He gives only the eternal and the good. Let Him prepare you further. He has earned your trust by speaking daily to you of your Father and your brother and your Self. He will continue. Now you walk with Him, as certain as is He of where you go; as sure as He of how you should proceed; as confident as He is of the goal, and of your safe arrival in the end. The end is certain, and the means as well. To this we say “Amen.” You will be told exactly what God wills for you each time there is a choice to make. And He will speak for God and for your Self, thus making sure that hell will claim you not, and that each choice you make brings Heaven nearer to your reach. And so we walk with Him from this time on, and turn to Him for guidance and for peace and sure direction. Joy attends our way. For we go homeward to an open door which God has held unclosed to welcome us. We trust our ways to Him and say “Amen.” In peace we will continue in His way, and trust all things to Him. In confidence we wait His answers, as we ask His Will in everything we do. He loves God’s Son as we would love him. And He teaches us how to behold him through His eyes, and love him as He does. You do not walk alone. God’s angels hover near and all about. His Love surrounds you, and of this be sure; that I will never leave you comfortless.
Foundation for Inner Peace (A Course in Miracles)
A few months ago on a school morning, as I attempted to etch a straight midline part on the back of my wiggling daughter's soon-to-be-ponytailed blond head, I reminded her that it was chilly outside and she needed to grab a sweater. "No, mama." "Excuse me?" "No, I don't want to wear that sweater, it makes me look fat." "What?!" My comb clattered to the bathroom floor. "Fat?! What do you know about fat? You're 5 years old! You are definitely not fat. God made you just right. Now get your sweater." She scampered off, and I wearily leaned against the counter and let out a long, sad sigh. It has begun. I thought I had a few more years before my twin daughters picked up the modern day f-word. I have admittedly had my own seasons of unwarranted, psychotic Slim-Fasting and have looked erroneously to the scale to give me a measurement of myself. But these departures from my character were in my 20s, before the balancing hand of motherhood met the grounding grip of running. Once I learned what it meant to push myself, I lost all taste for depriving myself. I want to grow into more of a woman, not find ways to whittle myself down to less. The way I see it, the only way to run counter to our toxic image-centric society is to literally run by example. I can't tell my daughters that beauty is an incidental side effect of living your passion rather than an adherence to socially prescribed standards. I can't tell my son how to recognize and appreciate this kind of beauty in a woman. I have to show them, over and over again, mile after mile, until they feel the power of their own legs beneath them and catch the rhythm of their own strides. Which is why my parents wake my kids early on race-day mornings. It matters to me that my children see me out there, slogging through difficult miles. I want my girls to grow up recognizing the beauty of strength, the exuberance of endurance, and the core confidence residing in a well-tended body and spirit. I want them to be more interested in what they are doing than how they look doing it. I want them to enjoy food that is delicious, feed their bodies with wisdom and intent, and give themselves the freedom to indulge. I want them to compete in healthy ways that honor the cultivation of skill, the expenditure of effort, and the courage of the attempt. Grace and Bella, will you have any idea how lovely you are when you try? Recently we ran the Chuy's Hot to Trot Kids K together as a family in Austin, and I ran the 5-K immediately afterward. Post?race, my kids asked me where my medal was. I explained that not everyone gets a medal, so they must have run really well (all kids got a medal, shhh!). As I picked up Grace, she said, "You are so sweaty Mommy, all wet." Luke smiled and said, "Mommy's sweaty 'cause she's fast. And she looks pretty. All clean." My PRs will never garner attention or generate awards. But when I run, I am 100 percent me--my strengths and weaknesses play out like a cracked-open diary, my emotions often as raw as the chafing from my jog bra. In my ultimate moments of vulnerability, I am twice the woman I was when I thought I was meant to look pretty on the sidelines. Sweaty and smiling, breathless and beautiful: Running helps us all shine. A lesson worth passing along.
Kristin Armstrong
You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give. For what are your possessions but things you keep and guard for fear you may need them tomorrow? And tomorrow, what shall tomorrow bring to the overprudent dog burying bones in the trackless sand as he follows the pilgrims to the holy city? And what is fear of need but need itself? Is not dread of thirst when your well is full, the thirst that is unquenchable? There are those who give little of the much which they have--and they give it for recognition and their hidden desire makes their gifts unwholesome. And there are those who have little and give it all. These are the believers in life and the bounty of life, and their coffer is never empty. There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward. And there are those who give with pain, and that pain is their baptism. And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue; They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space. Through the hands of such as these God speaks, and from behind their eyes He smiles upon the earth. It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding; And to the open-handed the search for one who shall receive is joy greater than giving. And is there aught you would withhold? All you have shall some day be given; Therefore give now, that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors'. You often say, "I would give, but only to the deserving." The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pasture. They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish. Surely he who is worthy to receive his days and his nights, is worthy of all else from you. And he who has deserved to drink from the ocean of life deserves to fill his cup from your little stream. And what desert greater shall there be, than that which lies in the courage and the confidence, nay the charity, of receiving? And who are you that men should rend their bosom and unveil their pride, that you may see their worth naked and their pride unabashed? See first that you yourself deserve to be a giver, and an instrument of giving. For in truth it is life that gives unto life while you, who deem yourself a giver, are but a witness. And you receivers... and you are all receivers... assume no weight of gratitude, lest you lay a yoke upon yourself and upon him who gives. Rather rise together with the giver on his gifts as on wings; For to be overmindful of your debt, is to doubt his generosity who has the freehearted earth for mother, and God for father.
Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
Leaders instill courage in the hearts of those who follow. This rarely happens through words alone. It generally requires action. It goes back to what we said earlier: Somebody has to go first. By going first, the leader furnishes confidence to those who follow. As a next generation leader, you will be called upon to go first. That will require courage. But in stepping out you will give the gift of courage to those who are watching. What do I believe is impossible to do in my field, but if it could be done would fundamentally change my business? What has been done is safe. But to attempt a solution to a problem that plagues an entire industry - in my case, the local church - requires courage. Unsolved problems are gateways to the future. To those who have the courage to ask the question and the tenacity to hang on until they discover or create an answer belongs the future. Don’t allow the many good opportunities to divert your attention from the one opportunity that has the greatest potential. Learn to say no. There will always be more opportunities than there is time to pursue them. Leaders worth following are willing to face and embrace current reality regardless of how discouraging or embarrassing it might be. It is impossible to generate sustained growth or progress if your plan for the future is not rooted in reality. Be willing to face the truth regardless of how painful it might be. If fear causes you to retreat from your dreams, you will never give the world anything new. it is impossible to lead without a dream. When leaders are no longer willing to dream, it is only a short time before followers are unwilling to follow. Will I allow my fear to bind me to mediocrity? Uncertainty is a permanent part of the leadership landscape. It never goes away. Where there is no uncertainty, there is no longer the need for leadership. The greater the uncertainty, the greater the need for leadership. Your capacity as a leader will be determined by how well you learn to deal with uncertainty. My enemy is not uncertainty. It is not even my responsibility to remove the uncertainty. It is my responsibility to bring clarity into the midst of the uncertainty. As leaders we can afford to be uncertain, but we cannot afford to be unclear. People will follow you in spite of a few bad decisions. People will not follow you if you are unclear in your instruction. As a leader you must develop the elusive skill of leading confidently and purposefully onto uncertain terrain. Next generation leaders must fear a lack of clarity more than a lack of accuracy. The individual in your organization who communicates the clearest vision will often be perceived as the leader. Clarity is perceived as leadership. Uncertainty exposes a lack of knowledge. Pretending exposes a lack of character. Express your uncertainty with confidence. You will never maximize your potential in any area without coaching. It is impossible. Self-evaluation is helpful, but evaluation from someone else is essential. You need a leadership coach. Great leaders are great learners. God, in His wisdom, has placed men and women around us with the experience and discernment we often lack. Experience alone doesn’t make you better at anything. Evaluated experience is what enables you to improve your performance. As a leader, what you don’t know can hurt you. What you don’t know about yourself can put a lid on your leadership. You owe it to yourself and to those who have chosen to follow you to open the doors to evaluation. Engage a coach. Success doesn’t make anything of consequence easier. Success just raises the stakes. Success brings with it the unanticipated pressure of maintaining success. The more successful you are as a leader, the more difficult this becomes. There is far more pressure at the top of an organization than you might imagine.
Andy Stanley
As Christians we face two tasks in our evangelism: saving the soul and saving the mind, that is to say, not only converting people spiritually, but converting them intellectually as well. And the Church is lagging dangerously behind with regard to this second task. If the church loses the intellectual battle in one generation, then evangelism will become immeasurably more difficult in the next. The war is not yet lost, and it is one which we must not lose: souls of men and women hang in the balance. For the sake of greater effectiveness in witnessing to Jesus Christ Himself, as well as for their own sakes, evangelicals cannot afford to keep on living on the periphery of responsible intellectual existence. Thinking about your faith is indeed a virtue, for it helps you to better understand and defend your faith. But thinking about your faith is not equivalent to doubting your faith. Doubt is never a purely intellectual problem. There is a spiritual dimension to the problem that must be recognized. Never lose sight of the fact that you are involved in spiritual warfare and there is an enemy of your soul who hates you intensely, whose goal is your destruction, and who will stop at nothing to destroy you. Reason can be used to defend our faith by formulating arguments for the existence of God or by refuting objections. But though the arguments so developed serve to confirm the truth of our faith, they are not properly the basis of our faith, for that is supplied by the witness of the Holy Spirit Himself. Even if there were no arguments in defense of the faith, our faith would still have its firm foundation. The more I learn, the more desperately ignorant I feel. Further study only serves to open up to one's consciousness all the endless vistas of knowledge, even in one's own field, about which one knows absolutely nothing. Don't let your doubts just sit there: pursue them and keep after them until you drive them into the ground. We should be cautious, indeed, about thinking that we have come upon the decisive disproof of our faith. It is pretty unlikely that we have found the irrefutable objection. The history of philosophy is littered with the wrecks of such objections. Given the confidence that the Holy Spirit inspires, we should esteem lightly the arguments and objections that generate our doubts. These, then, are some of the obstacles to answered prayer: sin in our lives, wrong motives, lack of faith, lack of earnestness, lack of perseverance, lack of accordance with God’s will. If any of those obstacles hinders our prayers, then we cannot claim with confidence Jesus’ promise, “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it”. And so I was led to what was for me a radical new insight into the will of God, namely, that God’s will for our lives can include failure. In other words, God’s will may be that you fail, and He may lead you into failure! For there are things that God has to teach you through failure that He could never teach you through success. So many in our day seem to have been distracted from what was, is and always will be the true priority for every human being — that is, learning to know God in Christ. My greatest fear is that I should some day stand before the Lord and see all my works go up in smoke like so much “wood, hay, and stubble”. The chief purpose of life is not happiness, but knowledge of God. People tend naturally to assume that if God exists, then His purpose for human life is happiness in this life. God’s role is to provide a comfortable environment for His human pets. But on the Christian view, this is false. We are not God’s pets, and the goal of human life is not happiness per se, but the knowledge of God—which in the end will bring true and everlasting human fulfilment. Many evils occur in life which may be utterly pointless with respect to the goal of producing human happiness; but they may not be pointless with respect to producing a deeper knowledge of God.
William Lane Craig (Hard Questions, Real Answers)