Continued Blessings Quotes

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When you run with the Doctor, it feels like it'll never end. But however hard you try you can't run forever. Everybody knows that everybody dies and nobody knows it like the Doctor. But I do think that all the skies of all the worlds might just turn dark if he ever for one moment, accepts it. Everybody knows that everybody dies. But not every day. Not today. Some days are special. Some days are so, so blessed. Some days, nobody dies at all. (In the library, the Doctor walks back to the TARDIS. He stops, looking at the doors. Then he raises his hand, and stands there poised like that for a long moment. Finally he snaps his fingers. The doors open. He smiles slowly and walks in, joining Donna. Then he snaps his fingers again, and the doors close. River's voice continues over this.) Now and then, every once in a very long while, every day in a million days, when the wind stands fair, and the Doctor comes to call... everybody lives.
Steven Moffat
No long-term marriage is made easily, and there have been times when I've been so angry or so hurt that I thought my love would never recover. And then, in the midst of near despair, something has happened beneath the surface. A bright little flashing fish of hope has flicked silver fins and the water is bright and suddenly I am returned to a state of love again — till next time. I've learned that there will always be a next time, and that I will submerge in darkness and misery, but that I won't stay submerged. And each time something has been learned under the waters; something has been gained; and a new kind of love has grown. The best I can ask for is that this love, which has been built on countless failures, will continue to grow. I can say no more than that this is mystery, and gift, and that somehow or other, through grace, our failures can be redeemed and blessed.
Madeleine L'Engle
I keep remembering one of my Guru's teachings about happiness. She says that people universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you're fortunate enough. But that's not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don't you will eat away your innate contentment. It's easy enough to pray when you're in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Percy and Reyna occupied matching praeters' chairs on the dais, which made Percy self-conscious. It wasn't easy looking dignified wearing a bedsheet and a purple cape. "The camp is safe," Octavian continued. " I'll be the first to congragulate our heroes for bringing back the legion's eagle and so much Imperial gold! Truly we have been blessed with good fortune. But why do more? Why tempt fate?" "I'm glad you asked." Percy stood, taking the question as an opening. Octavian stammered, " I wasn't--" "--Part of the quest," Percy said. "Yes I know. And your'e wise to let me explain, since I was.
Rick Riordan (The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, #2))
We seldom notice how each day is a holy place Where the eucharist of the ordinary happens, Transforming our broken fragments Into an eternal continuity that keeps us.
John O'Donohue (To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Invocations and Blessings)
Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don’t, you will leak away your innate contentment. It’s easy enough to pray when you’re in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
...And I wish that while walking in your life's lane, you come across and walk with dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let all the positive spirit & energies of this universe come together this way, your way, making every journey of your life most beautiful, fulfilling and prideful. Let the world feel blessed and continue to get better by touch of your elegance.
smishra
Let Your Word renew my mind and transform the way I live. I do not only hear the Word; I also do what it says. Blessings overtake me because I heed Your voice. Guide me continually in Your truth; teach me, for You are the God of my salvation. In Jesus’s name, amen.
Cindy Trimm (Commanding Your Morning Daily Devotional: Unleash God's Power in Your Life--Every Day of the Year)
blessing the boats (at saint mary’s) may the tide that is entering even now the lip of our understanding carry you out beyond the face of fear may you kiss the wind then turn from it certain that it will love your back may you open your eyes to water water waving forever and may you in your innocence sail through this to that
Lucille Clifton
One last thump, one last groan—and one last meow. Then all was blessedly silent. Except for Clive. He continued to pine for his lost love until four mother-loving a.m. The cold war was back on…
Alice Clayton (Wallbanger (Cocktail, #1))
Uniting two halves of one soul is inevitable, but timing depends upon your level of spirituality. When the time is ripe, true soul mates find one another even if they are worlds apart— whether physically, on opposite sides of the globe, or spiritually, with contrasting lifestyles and backgrounds. Here’s wishing you the courage to keep growing so that you may know – or continue to know – the blessing of oneness.
Yehuda Berg
Well, The Year Is Finally Wrapped up, Looking Back, I Made Mistakes Along Just like The Next Man, As a Matter of Fact, I Have Wronged, Disappointed, Been Inpatient a Little Insecure, Been Out of Control and at Times Hard to Bare With. My Prayer Dear Family and Friend is That You Forgive Me and Continue to Bare With Me as I Look Upon Myself and Work on Myself on The Next Coming Years, I Haven't Been The Best of Friends But Sure I Will As I Continue To Seek God's Enlightenment and Wisdom. I Love You All and Bless You In God's Name.
William Nsubuga
The sages do not consider that making no mistakes is a blessing. They believe, rather, that the great virtue of man lies in his ability to correct his mistakes and continually make a new man of himself.
Wang Yang-Ming
It is such a privilege to have people who continue each day to bless us with their love and prayer. These inner friends of the heart confer on us inestimable gifts.
John O'Donohue (To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Invocations and Blessings)
Book of Mormon 4 Neiphi. 1: 4, 15-20 4 And it came to pass that the thirty and seventh year passed away also, and there still continued to be peace in the land. • • • 15 And it came to pass that there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people. 16 And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor horedoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God. 17 There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God. 18 And how blessed were they! For the Lord did bless them in all their doings; yea, even they were blessed and prospered until an *hundred and ten years had passed away; and the first generation from Christ had passed away, and there was no contention in all the land.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Another year of life is a gift from God. May He continue to bless you with strength to conquer your challenges, wisdom to choose your battles carefully, faith that your steps have already been ordered and confidence to trust that no one person or situation can undo what He has already set in motion. - Happy Birthday!
Carlos Wallace
The Lord has blessed you with a testimony of the truth. You have felt His influence and witnessed His power. And if you continue to seek Him, He will continue to grant you sacred experiences. With these and other spiritual gifts, you will be able not only to change your own life for the better but also to bless your homes, wards or branches, communities, cities, states, and nations with your goodness.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Can we get on with this?" Father Laggan cried out. "In the name of the Father…" "I'm inviting my aunt Millicent and uncle Herbert to come for a visit, Iain, and I'm not going through the council to get permission first." "… and of the Son," the priest continued in a much louder voice. "She'll be wanting King John next," Duncan predicted. "We can't allow that, lass," Owen muttered. "Please join hands now and concentrate on this ceremony," Father Laggan shouted, trying to gain everyone's attention. "I don't want King John to come here," Judith argued. She turned to frown at Owen for making such a shameful suggestion. "I want my aunt and uncle. I'm getting them, too." She turned and had to peek around Graham in order to look up at Iain. "Yes or no, Iain." "We'll see. Graham, I'm marrying Judith, not you. Let go of her hand. Judith, move over here." Father Laggan gave up trying to maintain order. He continued on with the ceremony. Iain was paying some attention. He immediately agreed to take Judith for his wife.She wasn't as cooperative. He felt a little sorry for the sweet woman. She looked thoroughly confused. "Judith, do you take Iain for your husband?" She looked up at Iain before giving her answer. "We'll see." "That won't do, lass. You've got to say I do," he advised. "Do I?" Iain smiled. "Your aunt and uncle will be welcomed here." She smiled back. .... Judith tried not to laugh. She turned her attention back to Father Laggan. "I will say I do," she told him. "Shouldn't we begin now?" "The lass has trouble following along," Vincent remarked. Father Laggan gave the final blessing while Judith argued with the elder about his rude comment. Her concentration was just fine, she told him quite vehemently. She nagged an apology out of Vincent before giving the priest her attention again. "Patrick, would you go and get Frances Catherine? I would like her to stand by my side during the ceremony." "You may kiss the bride," Father Laggan announced.
Julie Garwood (The Secret (Highlands' Lairds, #1))
That his prayer was nothing else but a sense of the presence of GOD, his soul being at that time insensible to everything but Divine love: and that when the appointed times of prayer were past, he found no difference, because he still continued with GOD, praising and blessing Him with all his might, so that he passed his life in continual joy; yet hoped that GOD would give him somewhat to suffer, when he should grow stronger.
Brother Lawrence (The Practice of the Presence of God)
As Luke’s story unfolds, Jesus continues to undermine expectations involving political power and Jewish identity. In his first public appearance, in a synagogue service, he claims to be the messiah, which creates quite a buzz of support—until he tells them that he will bless Gentiles and be rejected by his own kinsmen. The crowd responds by trying to throw Jesus off a cliff. Israel’s messiah isn’t supposed to say things like this.
Peter Enns (The Bible Tells Me So: Why Defending Scripture Has Made Us Unable to Read It)
I'm afraid it's not nonsense," Genghis said, shaking his turbaned head and continuing his story. "As I was saying before the little girl interrupted me, the baby didn't dash off with the other orphans. She just sat there like a sack of flour. So I walked over to her and gave her a kick to get her moving." "Excellent idea!" Nero said. "What a wonderful story this is! And then what happened?" "Well, at first it seemed like I'd kicked a big hole in the baby," Genghis said, his eyes shining, "which seemed lucky, because Sunny was a terrible athlete and it would have been a blessing to put her out of her misery." Nero clapped his hands. "I know just what you mean, Genghis," he said. "She's a terrible secretary as well." "But she did all that stapling," Mr. Remora protested. "Shut up and let the coach finish his story," Nero said. "But when I looked down," Genghis continued, "I saw that I hadn't kicked a hole in a baby. I'd kicked a hole in a bag of flour! I'd been tricked!" "That's terrible!" Nero cried.
Lemony Snicket (The Austere Academy (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #5))
I receive grace. And through me, grace could flow on. Like a cycle of water in continuous movement, grace is meant to fall, a rain...again, again, again. I could share the grace, multiply the joy, extend the table of the feast, enlarge the paradise of His presence. I am blessed. I can bless.
Ann Voskamp (One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are)
I was becoming more miserable, and Thou nearer. Thy right hand was continually ready to pluck me out of the mire, and to wash me thoroughly, and I knew it not. —The Confessions of Blessed Augustine
Damascene Christensen (Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works)
I think I’m very blessed to have been raised by so many intelligent and impressive women, and now continuing that on a professional level, having people like Sarah and Nadia to guide me through this new phase of my career, is extremely significant.
Zayn Malik (Zayn: The Official Autobiography)
mam Mawlud says that abandoning a good act out of fear of ostentation (رياء) is worse than engaging in ostentation itself. A person should not abandon, for example, going to the mosque because he fears ostentation as the motive. One should not submit to an irrational fear that is perhaps inspired by evil whisperings, and thus deprive himself of the blessing of congregational prayer in a mosque. It is better to continue with one's good deeds and to continue to keep one's intentions pure and sincere
Hamza Yusuf (Purification of the Heart: Signs, Symptoms and Cures of the Spiritual Diseases of the Heart)
Everyone who is alive can find something to be grateful for if they look for it. If you are among the few that can’t find anything, start with the fact that you are ALIVE and continue from there. Counting ones blessings is a barometer of mental health.
Gudjon Bergmann (The Seven Human Needs: A practical guide to finding harmony and balance in everyday life)
I’m a survivor, and all this struggle I went through—while it sucked at the time—is really helping me now. It has helped me get to where I am, and it will help me continue to improve and do better. It didn’t always feel like it at times, but I truly believe I am blessed.
Tiffany Haddish (The Last Black Unicorn)
Are you seeing anyone, Maggie?” My mother’s voice is low, the whisper reserved for talk of scandal—like premarital cohabitation and non-procreative sex. “Are you even trying to find love? Or do you intend to continue fornicating with random men outside the sanctity of marriage?” “So if I were married I’d have your blessing to fornicate with random men? Maybe I should reconsider my stance on marriage.” The words are out of my mouth before I can stop them. I’m batting zero on the New Me plan.
Lexi Ryan (Unbreak Me (Splintered Hearts, #1))
And, indeed, this is the odd thing that is continually happening: there are continually turning up in life moral and rational persons, sages and lovers of humanity who make it their object to live all their lives as morally and rationally as possible, to be, so to speak, a light to their neighbours simply in order to show them that it is possible to live morally and rationally in this world. And yet we all know that those very people sooner or later have been false to themselves, playing some queer trick, often a most unseemly one. Now I ask you: what can be expected of man since he is a being endowed with strange qualities? Shower upon him every earthly blessing, drown him in a sea of happiness, so that nothing but bubbles of bliss can be seen on the surface; give him economic prosperity, such that he should have nothing else to do but sleep, eat cakes and busy himself with the continuation of his species, and even then out of sheer ingratitude, sheer spite, man would play you some nasty trick. He would even risk his cakes and would deliberately desire the most fatal rubbish, the most uneconomical absurdity, simply to introduce into all this positive good sense his fatal fantastic element. It is just his fantastic dreams, his vulgar folly that he will desire to retain, simply in order to prove to himself--as though that were so necessary-- that men still are men and not the keys of a piano, which the laws of nature threaten to control so completely that soon one will be able to desire nothing but by the calendar. And that is not all: even if man really were nothing but a piano-key, even if this were proved to him by natural science and mathematics, even then he would not become reasonable, but would purposely do something perverse out of simple ingratitude, simply to gain his point. And if he does not find means he will contrive destruction and chaos, will contrive sufferings of all sorts, only to gain his point!
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Father of all--God!--what we have here is of thee; take our thanks and bless us, that we may continue to do thy will.
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
As long as we were living in the spirit we would continue to be blessed
Crystal Flanagan (10 Seconds from Glory)
Fame is not the reason why brands are created and erected. Be diligent, focused and chain unceasing prayers to God who will continue giving you cheers.
Israelmore Ayivor (Shaping the dream)
I'm going to bed tonight grateful for warmth, an advantage so expected it barely registers. May my privileges continue to drive me downward to my brothers and sisters without. Greater yet, I'm tired of calling the suffering "brothers and sisters" when I'd never allow my biological siblings to suffer likewise. That's just hypocrisy veiled in altruism. I won't defile my blessings by imagining that I deserve them. Until every human receives the dignity I casually enjoy, I pray my heart aches with tension and my belly rumbles for injustice.
Jen Hatmaker (7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess)
i nod to the other will grayson, up onstage. he nods to me. we have something between us, him and me. but the truth? everybody has it. that's our curse and our blessing. that's our trial and our error and our it. the applause continues. i look up at tiny cooper. he may be heavy, but right now he floats.
David Levithan
The same walls you think you're using to protect yourself are the same walls blocking your blessings. How can God release the love you deserve, in the form of a life partner, if you continue to restrict love from properly flowing in and out of you
Stephan Labossiere (God Where Is My Boaz)
Dear Self,   You have been doubted, hated, talked about, made fun of, hurt, lied to, lied on, broken and at your wits end. With that being said, I commend you for the fact that you are still standing. Your courage speaks volumes! I know your struggle and the pain you’ve endured. You are more than a conqueror. I am proud to say that your heart belongs to me. Nothing can keep you down and no one can steal your joy. All of your storms have ended up blessing the sky with rainbows. Don’t give up, continue to stand tall and love yourself first. You are appreciated, Self
Alexandra Elle Smith (Words from a Wanderer (Notes and Love Poems Book 1))
Great wealth can make a man no happier than moderate means, unless he has the luck to continue in propsperity to the end. Many very rich men have been unfortunate, and many with a modest competence have had good luck. The former are better off than the latter in two respects only, whereas the poor but lucky man has the advantage in many ways; for though the rich have the means to satisfy their appetites and to bear calamities, and the poor have not, the poor, if they are lucky, are more likely to keep clear of trouble, and will have besides the blessings of a sound body, health, freedom from trouble, fine children, and good looks. Now if a man thus favoured died as he has lived, he will be just the one you are looking for: the only sort of person who deserves to be called happy. But mark this: until he is dead, keep the word “happy” in reserve. Till then, he is not happy, but only lucky.
Herodotus (The Histories)
Dear Father, thank You for this beautiful day, fulfilling Willa’s and my desire to join our two souls together with Your holy blessing. Hand in hand, we come before You, giving our hearts to You, and in return, we trust our faith to guide us through the journey You have set forth for us. “Make our marriage as flexible as this cord I wrap around our wrists so that our love will continue to grow through the years. Make our marriage as strong as the diamond I placed on her hand. I promise to give Willa a smile for every smile, a kiss for every kiss, to hurt every time she hurts until our bond is as unbreakable as our devotion to You. Amen
Jamie Begley (Lucky's Choice (The Last Riders, #7))
Those who commend work. - In the glorification of 'work', in the unwearied talk of the 'blessing of work', I see the same covert idea as in the praise of useful impersonal actions: that of fear of everything individual. Fundamentally, one now feels at the sight of work - one always means by work that hard industriousness from early till late - that such work is the best policeman, that it keeps everyone in bounds and can mightily hinder the development of reason, covetousness, desire for independence. For it uses up an extraordinary amount of nervous energy, which is thus denied to reflection, brooding, dreaming, worrying, loving, hating; it sets a small goal always in sight and guarantees easy and regular satisfactions. Thus a society in which there is continual hard work will have more security: and security is now worshipped as the supreme divinity. - And now! Horror! Precisely the 'worker' has become dangerous! The place is swarming with 'dangerous individuals'! And behind them the danger of dangers - the individual!
Friedrich Nietzsche (Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality)
Something else gets under your skin, keeps you working days and nights at the sacrifice of your sleeping and eating and attention to your family and friends, something beyond the love of puzzle solving. And that other force is the anticipation of understanding something about the world that no one has ever understood before you. Einstein wrote that when he first realized that gravity was equivalent to acceleration -- an idea that would underlie his new theory of gravity -- it was the "happiest thought of my life." On projects of far smaller weight, I have experienced that pleasure of discovering something new. It is an exquisite sensation, a feeling of power, a rush of the blood, a sense of living forever. To be the first vessel to hold this new thing. All of the scientists I've known have at least one more quality in common: they do what they do because they love it, and because they cannot imagine doing anything else. In a sense, this is the real reason a scientist does science. Because the scientist must. Such a compulsion is both blessing and burden. A blessing because the creative life, in any endeavor, is a gift filled with beauty and not given to everyone, a burden because the call is unrelenting and can drown out the rest of life. This mixed blessing and burden must be why the astrophysicist Chandrasekhar continued working until his mid-80's, why a visitor to Einstein's apartment in Bern found the young physicist rocking his infant with one hand while doing mathematical calculations with the other. This mixed blessing and burden must have been the "sweet hell" that Walt Whitman referred to when he realized at a young age that he was destined to be a poet. "Never more," he wrote, "shall I escape.
Alan Lightman
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
How you deal with life’s trials is part of the development of your faith. Strength comes when you remember that you have a divine nature, an inheritance of infinite worth. The Lord has reminded you, your children, and your grandchildren that you are lawful heirs, that you have been reserved in heaven for your specific time and place to be born, to grow and become His standard bearers and covenant people. As you walk in the Lord’s path of righteousness, you will be blessed to continue in His goodness and be a light and a savior unto His people.
Russell M. Nelson
I don’t know if you all missed me, but I haven’t thought about any of you at all.” “…” There were indeed many heavenly officials in the heavens who secretly thought about him everyday, but hearing that Hua Cheng didn’t think about them at all, they all chanted heavenly blessings: thank you thank you thank you please continue to never think of us.
Mò Xiāng Tóngxiù, 天官赐福 [Tiān Guān Cì Fú]
Believers cannot be truly happy or at peace as long as they remain largely focused upon themselves and their own needs, wants, and hurts. Only in becoming outwardly focused on ministering to the needs of others can they experience real satisfaction and sense of purpose. Thus we pastors do them a great disservice if we allow people to continue to see themselves primarily as recipients of ministry rather than deliverers of ministry.
Robert Morris (The Blessed Church: The Simple Secret to Growing the Church You Love)
We begin the process of being born again through exercising faith in Christ, repenting of our sins, and being baptized by immersion for the remission of sins by one having priesthood authority. 'Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life' (Romans 6:4). And after we come out of the waters of baptism, our souls need to be continuously immersed in and saturated with the truth and the light of the Savior's gospel. Sporadic and shallow dipping in the doctrine of Christ and partial participation in His restored Church cannot produce the spiritual transformation that enables us to walk in a newness of life. Rather, fidelity to covenants, constancy of commitment, and offering our whole soul unto God are required if we are to receive the blessings of eternity. . . . Total immersion in and saturation with the Savior's gospel are essential steps in the process of being born again.
David A. Bednar
You know, I truly believe adoption is one of the greatest unheralded blessings in the world," she continues, her expression turning earnest. "Think how beautiful it is to give a child a home and to become a family because you choose to! Maybe that's the best way to make a family, don't you think?
Kristin Harmel (The Life Intended)
What is a woman’s life? Do not think, because she is not a man, she does not fight. The bedchamber is her tilting ground, where she shows her colours, and her theatre of war is the sealed room where she gives birth. She knows she may not come alive out of that bloody chamber. Before her lying-in, if she is prudent, she settles her affairs. If she dies, she will be lamented and forgotten. If the child dies, she will be blamed. If she lives, she must hide her wounds. Her injuries are secret, and her sisters talk about them behind the hand. It is Eve’s sin, the long continuing punishment it incurred, that tears at her from the inside and shreds her. Whereas we bless an old soldier and give him alms, pitying his blind or limbless state, we do not make heroes of women mangled in the struggle to give birth. If she seems so injured that she can have no more children, we commiserate with her husband.
Hilary Mantel (The Mirror & the Light (Thomas Cromwell, #3))
No one can understand that mysterious thing we call influence . . . yet . . . everyone of us continually exerts influence, either to heal, to bless, to leave marks of beauty; or to wound, to hurt, to poison, to stain other lives.
John C. Maxwell (Developing the Leader Within You)
If one permits an infidel to continue in his role as a corrupter of the earth, the infidel's moral suffering will be all the worse. If one kills the infidel, and this stops him from perpetrating his misdeeds, his death will be a blessing to him.
Ruhollah Khomeini
I'm just saying that I...I regret that everybody else has nineteen chances, and only I am limited to a single chance for my genes to continue." "Because you believe your genes would confer a great blessing upon the human race." Ram thought about this for a moment, "I suppose that's what every adolescent male believes with his whole heart.
Orson Scott Card (Pathfinder (Pathfinder, #1))
When I would do good, evil is present with me.” But, blessed be God, though we must feel hourly cause for shame and humiliation for what we are in ourselves, we have cause to rejoice continually in Christ Jesus, who, as He is revealed unto us under the various names, characters, relations, and offices, which He bears in the Scripture, holds out to our faith a balm for every wound, a cordial for every discouragement, and a sufficient answer to every objection which sin or Satan can suggest against our peace.
John Newton (Cardiphonia: Letters from a Pastor's Heart)
By such reflections and by the continuance in them of a divine nature, th qualities which we have described grew and increased among them; but when the divine portion began to fade away, and became diluted too often and too much with the mortal admixture, and the human nature got the upper hand, they then, being unable to bear their fortune, behaved unseemly, and to him who had an eye to see grew visibly debased, for they were losing the fairest of their precious gifts; but to those who had no eye to see the true happiness, they appeared glorious and blessed at the very time when they were full of avarice and unrighteous power. Zeus, the god of gods, who rules according to law, and is able to see into such things, perceiving that an honourable race was in a woeful plight, and wanting to inflict punishment on them, that they might be chastened and improve, collected all the gods into their most holy habitation, whch being placed in the centre of the world, beholds all created things. And when he had called them together, he spake as follows --
Plato (Timaeus and Critias)
It's hard to know, isn't it, whether the things we face are just because the world is full of sin and sinful people, or if God is working out a plan,' Grandma continued. 'I happen to think it's both. There's sin, but through it all, He takes the mess we make and paints a masterpiece. In fact, I'm quite certain that before God can ever bless a woman—and use her to impact many—He uses the hammer, the file, and the furnace to do a holy work.
Tricia Goyer (Love Finds You in Glacier Bay, Alaska)
For to nothing does a stability of human results attach so much as it does to the workings in the way of virtue, since these are held to be more abiding even than the sciences: and of these last again the most precious are the most abiding, because the blessed live in them most and most continuously, which seems to be the reason why they are not forgotten.
Aristotle (Ethics)
There is something that happens when you are grateful. You continue to receive blessings.
Chrissy Metz (This Is Me)
Make yourself stronger and continue down your path according to your own will, and not the tragedy it predicted for you.
Mò Xiāng Tóng Xiù (Heaven Official's Blessing)
For I will yet praise him” (Ps. 43:5). More prayer, more exercising of our faith, and more patient waiting leads to blessings—abundant blessings. I have found it to be true many hundreds of times, and therefore I continually say to myself, “Put your hope in God.” George Mueller
Lettie B. Cowman (Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings)
At these times, the adversary appears holding two boards. Written on one board: “Think more of yourself. Keep your blessings to yourself, otherwise you will lose everything.” The other board reads: “who are you to help others? Can’t you even see your own defects?” A warrior of the light knows he has defects. But he also knows he cannot grow alone, and distance himself from his companions. So he throws both boards to the ground, even though he believes they contain some truth deep down. They turn to dust, and the warrior continues to help those near him.
Paulo Coelho (Warrior of the Light)
I do not consider myself a religious person, because I don't adhere to a particular religion or faith or prescribed beliefs, as did my father, who was a Baptist minister. And I am not an atheist, one who thinks that belief in anything beyond the here and now and the rational is delusion. I love science, but I allow for mystery, things that can never be proven by a rational mind. I am a person who thinks about the nature of the spirit when I write. I think about what can't be known and only imagined. I often sense a spirit or force or meaning beyond myself. I leave it open as to what the spirit is, but I continue to make guesses -- that it could be the universal binding of the emotion of love, or a joyful quality of humanity, or a collective unconscious that turns out to be a unified conscience. The spirit could be all those worshiped by all the religions, even those that deny the validity of others. It could be that we all exist in all ten dimensions of a string-theory universe and are seeding memories in all of them and occupy them simultaneously as memory. Or we exist only as thought and out perception that it is a physical world is a delusion. The nature of spirit could also be my mother and my grandmother and that they really do serve as my muses as I fondly imagine them doing at times. Or maybe the nature of the spirit is a freer imagination. I've often thought that imagination was the conduit to compassion, and compassion is a true spiritual nature. Whatever the spirit might be, I am not basing what I do in this life on any expected reward or punishment in the hereafter or thereafter. It is enough that I feel blessed -- and by whom or what I don't know -- but I receive it with gratitude that I am a writer and my work is to imagine all the possibilities.
Amy Tan
It isn’t Easter,” he said, “but this week has caused me to think a lot about the Easter story. Not the glorious resurrection that we celebrate on Easter Sunday but the darkness that came before. I know of no darker moment in the Bible than the moment Jesus in his agony on the cross cries out, ‘Father, why have you forsaken me?’ Darker even than his death not long after because in death Jesus at last gave himself over fully to the divine will of God. But in that moment of his bitter railing he must have felt betrayed and completely abandoned by his father, a father he’d always believed loved him deeply and absolutely. How terrible that must have been and how alone he must have felt. In dying all was revealed to him, but alive Jesus like us saw with mortal eyes, felt the pain of mortal flesh, and knew the confusion of imperfect mortal understanding. “I see with mortal eyes. My mortal heart this morning is breaking. And I do not understand. “I confess that I have cried out to God, ‘Why have you forsaken me?’ ” Here my father paused and I thought he could not continue. But after a long moment he seemed to gather himself and went on. “When we feel abandoned, alone, and lost, what’s left to us? What do I have, what do you have, what do any of us have left except the overpowering temptation to rail against God and to blame him for the dark night into which he’s led us, to blame him for our misery, to blame him and cry out against him for not caring? What’s left to us when that which we love most has been taken? “I will tell you what’s left, three profound blessings. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Saint Paul tells us exactly what they are: faith, hope, and love. These gifts, which are the foundation of eternity, God has given to us and he’s given us complete control over them. Even in the darkest night it’s still within our power to hold to faith. We can still embrace hope. And although we may ourselves feel unloved we can still stand steadfast in our love for others and for God. All this is in our control. God gave us these gifts and he does not take them back. It is we who choose to discard them. “In your dark night, I urge you to hold to your faith, to embrace hope, and to bear your love before you like a burning candle, for I promise that it will light your way. “And whether you believe in miracles or not, I can guarantee that you will experience one. It may not be the miracle you’ve prayed for. God probably won’t undo what’s been done. The miracle is this: that you will rise in the morning and be able to see again the startling beauty of the day. “Jesus suffered the dark night and death and on the third day he rose again through the grace of his loving father. For each of us, the sun sets and the sun also rises and through the grace of our Lord we can endure our own dark night and rise to the dawning of a new day and rejoice. “I invite you, my brothers and sisters, to rejoice with me in the divine grace of the Lord and in the beauty of this morning, which he has given us.
William Kent Krueger (Ordinary Grace)
An eternal marriage is eternal. Eternal implies continuing growth and improvement. It means that man and wife will honestly try to perfect themselves. It means that the marriage relationship is not to be frivolously discarded at the first sign of disagreement or when times get hard. It signifies that love will grow stronger with time and that it extends beyond the grave. It means that each partner will be blessed with the company of the other partner forever and that problems and differences might as well be resolved because they are not going to go away. Eternal signifies repentance, forgiveness, long-suffering, patience, hope, charity, love, and humility. All of these things are involved in anything that is eternal, and surely we must learn and practice them if we intend to claim an eternal marriage.
F. Burton Howard
Imagine a society’s discovering a vaccine against a deadly disease that has been ravaging its people and continues to ravage people in neighboring societies, where the cause of the disease is incorrectly attributed to improper diet. What would be the judgment on such a society if it withheld its vaccine on the grounds that it would be ethnocentric to try to instruct members of another culture that their medical ideas are incorrect, and to induce them to adopt the effective treatment? If one accepts that one has the good fortune to be in possession of the true religion and thereby has access to the most valuable possible rewards, is one not similarly obligated to spread this blessing to those less fortunate?
Rodney Stark
It's easier said than done but when you feel yourself out of balance within, stop in that present moment and catch your breathe. Remind yourself of 5 things, that help you feel most alive and re-centre your own energy frequency so you can continue living out of your intentions not the world's distractions.
Nikki Rowe
Fruit fly scientists, God bless ‘em, are the big exceptions. Morgan’s team always picked sensibly descriptive names for mutant genes, like ‘speck,’ ‘beaded,’ ‘rudimentary,’ ‘white,’ and ‘abnormal.’ And this tradition continues today, as the names of most fruit fly genes eschew jargon and even shade whimsical… The ‘turnip’ gene makes flies stupid. ‘Tudor’ leaves males (as with Henry VIII) childless. ‘Cleopatra’ can kill flies when it interacts with another gene, ‘asp.’ ‘Cheap date’ leaves flies exceptionally tipsy after a sip of alcohol… And thankfully, this whimsy with names has inspired the occasional zinger in other areas of genetics… The backronym for the “POK erythroid myeloid ontogenic” gene in mice—‘pokemon’—nearly provoked a lawsuit, since the ‘pokemon’ gene (now known, sigh, as ‘zbtb7’) contributes to the spread of cancer, and the lawyers for the Pokemon media empire didn’t want their cute little pocket monsters confused with tumors.
Sam Kean (The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code)
After a while, San Lang said softly, “Something like saving the world, it really doesn’t matter how you do it. But, although brave, it’s foolish.” “Yeah,” Xie Lian agreed. Hua Cheng continued, “Although foolish, it’s brave.
Mò Xiāng Tóng Xiù (Heaven Official's Blessing)
Oh, it's wonderful to be your age,' continued Anna. 'I know and remember that blue haze, like you see on the mountains in Switzerland. The haze covering everything at that blessed point when your childhood is coming to an end, and the path leading from that huge, carefree, happy circle becomes narrower and narrower, and it is both jolly and terrifying entering that enfilade, even though it is bright and beautiful...Who has not been through that?
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
To create a space for all our words, Drawing us to listen inward and outward. We seldom notice how each day is a holy place Where the eucharist of the ordinary happens, Transforming our broken fragments Into an eternal continuity that keeps us. Somewhere in us a dignity presides That is more gracious than the smallness That fuels us with fear and force, A dignity that trusts the form a day takes. So at the end of this day, we give thanks For being betrothed to the unknown And for the secret work Through which the mind of the day And wisdom of the soul become one.
John O'Donohue (To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Invocations and Blessings)
I have never forgotten these visitors, or ceased to marvel at them, at how they have gone on from strength to strength, continuing to lighten our darkness, and to guide, counsel and instruct us; on occasion, momentarily abashed, but always ready to pick themselves up, put on their cardboard helmets, mount Rosinante, and go galloping off on yet another foray on behalf of the down-trodden and oppressed. They are unquestionably one of the wonders of the age, and I shall treasure till I die as a blessed memory the spectacle of them travelling with radiant optimism through a famished countryside, wandering in happy bands about squalid, over-crowded towns, listening with unshakeable faith to the fatuous patter of carefully trained and indoctrinated guides, repeating like schoolchildren a multiplication table, the bogus statistics and mindless slogans endlessly intoned to them. There, I would think, an earnest office-holder in some local branch of the League of Nations Union, there a godly Quaker who once had tea with Gandhi, there an inveigher against the Means Test and the Blasphemy Laws, there a staunch upholder of free speech and human rights, there an indomitable preventer of cruelty to animals; there scarred and worthy veterans of a hundred battles for truth, freedom and justice--all, all chanting the praises of Stalin and his Dictatorship of the Proletariat. It was as though a vegetarian society had come out with a passionate plea for cannibalism, or Hitler had been nominated posthumously for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Malcolm Muggeridge
The hobbit is hallowed for his terrible and grace-filled journey and hollowed out by it. His body seems too small for all that he endures but not so his heart. Fear, fatigue, cold, hunger, and thirst torment him, but he continues out of love. Frodo’s struggle shows that there are, in fact, two quests going on: his to destroy the Ring and the Ring’s to dominate and destroy him. Despite the despair that it causes, which both fills and empties him, the Ring-bearer remains as intent upon saving everyone as Denethor is not. Frodo’s torn heart still beats, and it pushes past terror and hopelessness because of Sam’s blessed aid and his own battered and bleeding will to do so. Both hobbits teach us the great value of redemptive suffering.
Anne Marie Gazzolo (Moments of Grace and Spiritual Warfare in The Lord of the Rings)
It became clearer and clearer to me that I had found a woman who possessed the strength and like-mindedness I'd been hoping to locate my entire adult life. 'In marriage, choose someone you're comfortable solving problems with' was an aphorism I'd been acquainted with. I had long ago concocted my own turbocharged version, which better fit my own history and worldview. The blessing to be carefully preserved, I'd concluded, is a partner with whom you're not only be able to endure a crisis but whose companionship you could continue to enjoy in spite of the crisis. It became apparent that I might have found exactly that.
Evan Handler (It's Only Temporary: The Good News and the Bad News of Being Alive)
Believe me, a highly strung brain such as yours demands occasional relaxation from the strain of domestic surroundings. Forget for a little while that children want music lessons, and boots, and bicycles, with tincture of rhubarb three times a day; forget there are such things in life as cooks, and house decorators, and next-door dogs, and butchers’ bills. Go away to some green corner of the earth, where all is new and strange to you, where your over-wrought mind will gather peace and fresh ideas. Go away for a space and give me time to miss you, and to reflect upon your goodness and virtue, which, continually present with me, I may, human-like, be apt to forget, as one, through use, grows indifferent to the blessing of the sun and the beauty of the moon. Go away, and come back refreshed in mind and body, a brighter, better man—if that be possible—than when you went away.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men on the Bummel)
Why does this magnificent applied science which saves work and makes life easier bring us so little happiness? The simple answer runs: because we have not yet learned to make sensible use of it. In war it serves that we may poison and mutilate each other. In peace it has made our lives hurried and uncertain. Instead of freeing us in great measure from spiritually exhausting labor, it has made men into slaves of machinery, who for the most part complete their monotonous long day's work with disgust and must continually tremble for their poor rations. It is not enough that you should understand about applied science in order that your work may increase man's blessings. Concern for the man himself and his fate must always form the chief interest of all technical endeavours; [..] concern for the great unsolved problems of the organization of labor and the distribution of goods in order that the creations of our mind shall be a blessing and not a curse to mankind. Never forget this in the midst of your diagrams and equations. - From a speech to students at the California Institute of Technology, in "Einstein Sees Lack in Applying Science", The New York Times (16 February 1931)
Albert Einstein
When we look carefully at ourselves in the mirror of God’s Word and see flaws, even evidences of selfishness, we might become discouraged. If that ever happens to you, reflect on the successful man in James’ illustration. James did not stress how quickly the man fixed the problems he detected or even that he was able to correct every blemish; rather, James says that the man ‘continued in the perfect law. (Jas. 1:25) He remembered what he saw in the mirror and kept working to improve. Yes, keep a positive view of yourself and a balanced view of your imperfections. (Ecclesiastes 7:20.) Continue to peer into the perfect law, and work to maintain your spirit of self-sacrifice. Jehovah is willing to help you, as he has helped so many of your brothers who, although imperfect, can and do have God’s favor and blessing
Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society
When we continually focus on the wrongs other members of the family or broader society have inflicted upon us, the unfairness, the pain, the humiliation of it all can make it so difficult to move forward into compassion. Forgiveness is rarely about others. We forgive for our own spiritual welfare.
S. Michael Wilcox (Twice Blessed)
What in Bursin’s holy name is that?” he snarled. If it were possible to die of embarrassment, Martise was sure she wouldn’t survive the next few minutes.  “I was singing.” His eyebrows rose almost to his hairline.  “Singing.  Is that what you call it?  It sounded like someone was torturing a cat.” “I thought I might work faster if I sang.”  She wiped the perspiration from her forehead with a gloved hand and regretted the action.  The swipe of citrus oil she’d left on her skin burned.  Cael continued to howl, and a door shut with a bang. "That will be Gurn coming to rescue us from whatever demon he thinks is attacking."  The branch supporting Silhara creaked as he adjusted his stance and leaned closer to her.  “Tell me something, Martise.”  A leaf slapped him in the eye, and he ripped it off its twig with an irritated snap.  “How is it that a woman, blessed with a voice that could make a man come, sings badly enough to frighten the dead?” She was saved from having to answer the outlandish question by the quick thud of running footsteps.  Silhara disappeared briefly from view when he bent to greet their visitor.  Unfortunately, his answers to Gurn’s unspoken questions were loud and clear. “That was Martise you heard.  She was…singing. “Trust me, I’m not jesting.  You can unload your bow.” His next indignant response made her smile.  “No, I wasn’t beating her!  She’s the one tormenting me with that hideous wailing!” Martise hid her smile when he reappeared before her.  His scowl was ferocious.  “Don’t sing.”  He pointed a finger at her for emphasis.  “You’ve scared my dog, my birds and my servant with your yowling.”  He paused.  “You’ve even managed to scare me.
Grace Draven (Master of Crows (Master of Crows, #1))
Preserving, protecting, and restoring our waters are tasks for many lifetimes, and sometimes the effort can seem overwhelming. But as long as we stay connected with all of the many, many blessings that water provides, and continue to keep that love in the forefront of our minds and hearts, as long as we remind ourselves to hope, then our stories will help connect others to water and encourage them to do what they can to help care for this beautiful Blue Marble world.
Wallace J. Nichols (Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do)
The old man continued, “You have been a real blessing to me. Today, I understand something I didn’t see before: every blessing ignored becomes a curse. I don’t want anything else in life. But you are forcing me to look at wealth and at horizons I have never known. Now that I have seen them, and now that I see how immense my possibilities are, I’m going to feel worse than I did before you arrived. Because I know the things I should be able to accomplish, and I don’t want to do so.
Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)
Summary of the Science of Getting Rich There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made, and which, in its original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe. A thought in this substance produces the thing that is imaged by the thought. Man can form things in his thought, and by impressing his thought upon formless substance can cause the thing he thinks about to be created. In order to do this, man must pass from the competitive to the creative mind; otherwise he cannot be in harmony with the Formless Intelligence, which is always creative and never competitive in spirit. Man may come into full harmony with the Formless Substance by entertaining a lively and sincere gratitude for the blessings it bestows upon him. Gratitude unifies the mind of man with the intelligence of Substance, so that man’s thoughts are received by the Formless. Man can remain upon the creative plane only by uniting himself with the Formless Intelligence through a deep and continuous feeling of gratitude. Man must form a clear and definite mental image of the things he wishes to have, to do, or to become; and he must hold this mental image in his thoughts, while being deeply grateful to the Supreme that all his desires are granted to him. The man who wishes to get rich must spend his leisure hours in contemplating his Vision, and in earnest thanksgiving that the reality is being given to him. Too much stress cannot be laid on the importance of frequent contemplation of the mental image, coupled with unwavering faith and devout gratitude. This is the process by which the impression is given to the Formless, and the creative forces set in motion. The creative energy works through the established channels of natural growth, and of the industrial and social order. All that is included in his mental image will surely be brought to the man who follows the instructions given above, and whose faith does not waver. What he wants will come to him through the ways of established trade and commerce. In order to receive his own when it shall come to him, man must be active; and this activity can only consist in more than filling his present place. He must keep in mind the Purpose to get rich through the realization of his mental image. And he must do, every day, all that can be done that day, taking care to do each act in a successful manner. He must give to every man a use value in excess of the cash value he receives, so that each transaction makes for more life; and he must so hold the Advancing Thought that the impression of increase will be communicated to all with whom he comes in contact. The men and women who practice the foregoing instructions will certainly get rich; and the riches they receive will be in exact proportion to the definiteness of their vision, the fixity of their purpose, the steadiness of their faith, and the depth of their gratitude.
Wallace D. Wattles (The Science of Getting Rich)
The dead boy in his arms hung with his head back and those partly opened eyes beheld nothing at all out of that passing landscape of street or wall or paling sky or the figures of the children who stood blessing themselves in the gray light. This man and his burden passed on forever out of that nameless crossroads and the women stepped once more into the street and the children followed and all continued on to their appointed places which as some believe were chosen long ago even to the beginning of the world.
Cormac McCarthy
People come in and out of our lives continually. Some are blessings, some are lessons, and on rare occasions, they're both.
Anonymous
The courage to continue before the face of despair is the recognition that in those eyes of darkness we find our own night vision. Women blessed with death-eyes are fearless.
Terry Tempest Williams (When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice)
As future citizens of heaven, Christians must see and avoid the idolatries and injustices of their culture, even as they continue to enjoy its common-grace blessings.
Timothy J. Keller (Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City)
Each of us is blessed with the ability to control our own decisions,” she continued, “but cursed with the inability to control the decisions of others.
M.A. Larson (Pennyroyal Academy (Pennyroyal Academy, #1))
The human race has come such a long way in such a short time and every day I wake I feel blessed that I am free of disease and horrendous working conditions. Long may it continue.
Terry Lander (Bubonic)
The courage to continue before the face of despair is the recognition in those eyes of darkness we find our own night vision. Women blessed with death-eyes are fearless.
Terry Tempest Williams (When Women Were Birds: Fifty-four Variations on Voice)
If I would have settled, I would have continued to block my blessings.
Alexis Black (Redefining Normal)
Carlyle, in his French Revolution, has described the French people as distinguished above all others by their faculty of standing in queue. Russia had accustomed herself to the practice, begun in the reign of Nicholas the Blessed as long ago as 1915, and from then continued intermittently until the summer of 1917, when it settled down as the regular order of things.
John Reed (Ten Days that Shook the World)
The problem with churches of all sorts,” he continued, “is that so often they ignore the key teachings of the Sermon on the Mount, like the doctrine of love. So often we ask God to be on our side instead of asking that we be blessed enough to be on his. That said, the wheat and the tares must grow up together, and in the days of harvest they will be separated properly.
David Holdsworth (Angelos)
Reverence for the natural environment, and experiencing the interconnectedness between all things has long guided me to create watercolor paintings of beauty and spirit. Life's continuing adventure has led me into an exciting exploration into the wisdom and symbolic imagery of Sacred Geometry. These paintings act as a bridge between this reality and a metaphorical world of healing, continuity, and transformation. I use multiple transparent watercolor glazes coupled with image overlapping techniques, and sacred geometry to produce visions of a multi-dimensional reality. It is my intention to create art that embodies the vibration of Universal Love and expresses the joy and gratitude I feel for the honor of being part of this earthwalk." ~Blessings, Francene~
Francene Hart
Does the Lord really expect us to be grateful when things aren't going well? Even though He said we should grateful "in all things," does that mean we should be grateful when we reach the end of our money before the end of the month? Yes. Does that mean we should be grateful when we suffer from loneliness and depression? Yes. Does that mean we should be grateful if our employer terminates us? Absolutely. Does that seem ridiculous? It might. But there are very valid reasons. It is not that God commands us to be grateful in all things to serve His own selfish purposes, but rather to bless our own lives. Learning to be grateful in all things promotes a measure of peace that we may never know otherwise. In the Old Testament, King David, who certainly had his share of adversity declared, "I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Art E. Berg (The Impossible Just Takes a Little Longer: Living with Purpose and Passion)
People universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you're fortunate enough. But that's not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don't, you will leak away your inner contentment. It's easy enough to pray when you're in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
Sometimes when we pray, we are so busy concentrating on ourselves, and the problems we have, that we forget to be thankful.   "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (Philippians 4:6)               God has stood by you in the past and He continues to do so now. Despite the mess you’ve gotten yourself into, He has been right there waiting for you to decide change is necessary. Thank Him for that.   Whatever you’re facing, know that things could have been a whole lot worse. Thank Him for that.   God’s mercies are new every morning, you are still here. In spite of your enemies, you are still living and breathing. And as long as you are breathing, you can succeed. With God, you will. Thank Him for that.   “Let them give thanks to the Lord for His loving kindness, and for His wonders to the sons of men!” (Psalms 107:8)   Remember: Forgiveness is not for your enemy, it’s for you. Holding a grudge blocks God’s ability to forgive and bless you. Let it go. Move on and watch God work. Be thankful for what God has already done and what He will do in your future.
Lynn R. Davis (Get Off Your Knees And Do Something: 17 Things To Do After You Pray (By Faith I Declare))
The portentous development of our present economic system, leading to a mighty accumulation of social wealth in the hands of privileged minorities and to a continuous impoverishment of the great masses of the people, prepared the way for the present political and social reaction, and befriended it in every way. It sacrificed the general interests of human society to the private interests of individuals, and thus systematically undermined the relationship between man and man. People forgot that industry is not an end in itself, but should be only a means to insure to man his material subsistence and to make accessible to him the blessings of a higher intellectual culture. Where industry is everything and man is nothing begins the realm of a ruthless economic despotism whose workings are no less disastrous than those of any political despotism. The two mutually augment one another, and they are fed from the same source.
Rudolf Rocker (Anarcho-Syndicalism: Theory and Practice)
I wanted to know for myself. I started from the foundation principle – you’re God’s image and likeness and you were never engineered to be self-sufficient and independent of God’s blessing. That’s how I see my identity and who I am. Your blessing is already poured out. Learn how to change your state of being, meaning raise your vibration to step in your blessing, healing and prosperity. I have accessed a connection to my higher-self/God within and so can you. I may be in the infant stage but learning the processes to raise my vibrations and clear blockages through forgiveness is a start to a whole new bright future. Taking back our power. I can’t wait to continue this journey with a greater sense of wisdom, understanding and wonder as the awakening to a world opens up and what we see is just a beautiful world in transition and humanity with upgrades. Don’t let the darkness get you down, let it be a challenge to help you rise to your full potential
Samantha Houghton (Courage: Stories of Darkness to Light)
But Jesus does not say, “Blessed are those who live righteously and maintain a righteous lifestyle.” Rather he affirms, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness.” The statement presupposes that righteousness is something the faithful continuously strive after. The blessed are not those who arrive but those who continue, at whatever cost, in their pilgrimage toward a more perfect righteousness. The constant, relentless drive toward righteousness characterizes the blessed.
Kenneth E. Bailey (Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes: Cultural Studies in the Gospels)
But the heavy stroke which most of all distresses me is my dear Mother. I cannot overcome my too selfish sorrow, all her tenderness towards me, her care and anxiety for my welfare at all times, her watchfulness over my infant years, her advice and instruction in maturer age; all, all indear her memory to me, and highten my sorrow for her loss. At the same time I know a patient submission is my Duty. I will strive to obtain it! But the lenient hand of time alone can blunt the keen Edg of Sorrow. He who deignd to weep over a departed Friend, will surely forgive a sorrow which at all times desires to be bounded and restrained, by a firm Belief that a Being of infinite wisdom and unbounded Goodness, will carve out my portion in tender mercy towards me! Yea tho he slay me I will trust in him said holy Job. What tho his corrective Hand hath been streached against me; I will not murmer. Tho earthly comforts are taken away I will not repine, he who gave them has surely a right to limit their Duration, and has continued them to me much longer than deserved. I might have been striped of my children as many others have been. I might o! forbid it Heaven, I might have been left a solitary widow. Still I have many blessing left, many comforts to be thankfull for, and rejoice in. I am not left to mourn as one without hope. My dear parent knew in whom she had Believed...The violence of her disease soon weakned her so that she was unable to converse, but whenever she could speak, she testified her willingness to leave the world and an intire resignation to the Divine Will. She retaind her Senses to the last moment of her Existance, and departed the world with an easy tranquility, trusting in the merrits of a Redeamer," (p. 81 & 82).
Abigail Adams (My Dearest Friend: Letters of Abigail and John Adams)
They believe civilization weakens natural selection. They do nature’s work so that we do not become a soft race. The Passage, it seems, is a continuation of that policy. Only we were the tools they used. My … victim … was, bless his soul, a fool. He was from a family of no worth, and he had no wits, no intelligence, no ambition,” he frowns at the words before sighing, “he had nothing the Board values. There is a reason he was to die.” Was there a reason Julian was to die? Roque knows what he does because his mother is on the Board. He loathes his mother, and only then do I realize I should like him. Not only that, I take refuge in his words. He disagrees with the rules, but he follows them. It is possible. I can do the same until I have power enough to change them.
Pierce Brown (Red Rising (Red Rising Saga, #1))
Imagine, if you will, a great reservoir, out of which lead innumerable small rivulets or channels. At its farther end each channel opens out into a small fountain. This fountain is not only being continually filled and replenished from the reservoir but is itself a radiating center whence it gives out in all directions that which it receives, so that all who come within its radius are refreshed and blessed.  41.           This is our relation with God. Each one of us is a radiating center. Each one, no matter how small or ignorant, is the little fountain at the far end of a channel, the other end of which leads out from all there is in God. This fountain represents the individuality, as separate from the great reservoir--God--and yet as one with Him, and without Him we are nothing.
H. Emilie Cady (Premium Complete Collection: Lessons In Truth; How I Used Truth; God A Present Help (Timeless Wisdom Collection Book 765))
David’s experience of unmitigated blessing from the hand of God might have lulled David into thinking that he was not accountable and that God would continue to bless him no matter what David did or did not do (what Walter Brueggemann describes as “moral autonomy”).
David R. Bauer (Inductive Bible Study: A Comprehensive Guide to the Practice of Hermeneutics)
And at half past nine in the evening at that restaurant table in Portugal,” Mary continued, “someone gave me a piece of marzipan and it all came back. And I thought: am I really going to spend the rest of my life without ever feeling that again? I thought: I want to go to China. It’s full of treasures and strangeness and mystery and joy. I thought, Will anyone be better off if I go straight back to the hotel and say my prayers and confess to the priest and promise never to fall into temptation again? Will anyone be the better for making me miserable? “And the answer came back—no. No one will. There’s no one to fret, no one to condemn, no one to bless me for being a good girl, no one to punish me for being wicked. Heaven was empty. I didn’t know whether God had died, or whether there never had been a God at all. Either way I felt free and lonely and I didn’t know whether I was happy or unhappy, but something very strange had happened. And all that huge change came about as I had the marzipan in my mouth, before I’d even swallowed it. A taste—a memory—a landslide...
Philip Pullman (The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, #3))
God always ignores your present level of completeness in favor of your ultimate future completeness. He is not concerned about making you blessed and happy right now, but He’s continually working out His ultimate perfection for you—“that they may be one just as We are one
Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest)
And now I speak of thanking God, I desire with all humility to acknowledge that I owe the mentioned happiness of my past life to His kind providence, which lead me to the means I used and gave them success. My belief of this induces me to hope, though I must not presume, that the same goodness will still be exercised toward me, in continuing that happiness, or enabling me to bear a fatal reverse, which I may experience as others have done; the complexion of my future fortune being known to Him only in whose power it is to bless to us even our afflictions.
Benjamin Franklin (The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin)
Why do we complain of Nature? She has shown herself kindly; life, if you know how to use it, is long. But one man is possessed by an avarice that is insatiable, another by a toilsome devotion to tasks that are useless; one man is besotted with wine, another is paralyzed by sloth; one man is exhausted by an ambition that always hangs upon the decision of others, another, driven on by the greed of the trader, is led over all lands and all seas by the hope of gain; some are tormented by a passion for war and are always either bent upon inflicting danger upon others or concerned about their own; some there are who are worn out by voluntary servitude in a thankless attendance upon the great; many are kept busy either in the pursuit of other men's fortune or in complaining of their own; many, following no fixed aim, shifting and inconstant and dissatisfied, are plunged by their fickleness into plans that are ever new; some have no fixed principle by which to direct their course, but Fate takes them unawares while they loll and yawn—so surely does it happen that I cannot doubt the truth of that utterance which the greatest of poets delivered with all the seeming of an oracle: "The part of life we really live is small."5 For all the rest of existence is not life, but merely time. Vices beset us and surround us on every side, and they do not permit us to rise anew and lift up our eyes for the discernment of truth, but they keep us down when once they have overwhelmed us and we are chained to lust. Their victims are never allowed to return to their true selves; if ever they chance to find some release, like the waters of the deep sea which continue to heave even after the storm is past, they are tossed about, and no rest from their lusts abides. Think you that I am speaking of the wretches whose evils are admitted? Look at those whose prosperity men flock to behold; they are smothered by their blessings. To how many are riches a burden! From how many do eloquence and the daily straining to display their powers draw forth blood! How many are pale from constant pleasures! To how many does the throng of clients that crowd about them leave no freedom! In short, run through the list of all these men from the lowest to the highest—this man desires an advocate,6 this one answers the call, that one is on trial, that one defends him, that one gives sentence; no one asserts his claim to himself, everyone is wasted for the sake of another. Ask about the men whose names are known by heart, and you will see that these are the marks that distinguish them: A cultivates B and B cultivates C; no one is his own master. And then certain men show the most senseless indignation—they complain of the insolence of their superiors, because they were too busy to see them when they wished an audience! But can anyone have the hardihood to complain of the pride of another when he himself has no time to attend to himself? After all, no matter who you are, the great man does sometimes look toward you even if his face is insolent, he does sometimes condescend to listen to your words, he permits you to appear at his side; but you never deign to look upon yourself, to give ear to yourself. There is no reason, therefore, to count anyone in debt for such services, seeing that, when you performed them, you had no wish for another's company, but could not endure your own.
Seneca (On the Shortness of Life)
There is a paradox about tribulation in Christianity. Blessed are the poor, but by judgement (i.e., social justice) and alms we are to remove poverty wherever possible. Blessed are we when persecuted, but we may avoid persecution by flying city to city, and may pray to be spared it as. Our Lord prayed in Gethsemane. But if suffering is good, ought it not to be pursued rather than avoided? I answer that suffering is not good in itself. What is good in any painful experience is for the sufferer, his submission to the will of God, and for the spectators, the compassion aroused and the acts of mercy to which it leads. In the fallen and partially redeemed universe, we may distinguish (1) the simple good descending from God, (2) the simple evil produced by rebellious creatures, and (3) the exploitation of that evil by God for His redemptive purpose, which produces (4) the complex good out of simple evil does not excuse - though by mercy it may save -- those who do simple evil. And this distinction is central. Offences must come, but woe to those whom they come; sins do cause grace to abound, but we must not make that excuse for continuing to sin. The crucifixion itself is the best, as well as the worst, of all historical events, but the role of Judas remains simply evil... For you will certainly carry out God's purpose, however you act, but it makes a difference to you whether you serve like Judas or like John.
C.S. Lewis (The Problem of Pain)
Moses dialogues with God, hammers down, gets into relationship with the Almighty: . . . Oh! Teach us to live well! Teach us to live wisely and well! . . . Surprise us with love at daybreak: Then we’ll skip and dance all the day long. Make up for the bad times with some good times; We’ve seen enough evil to last a lifetime. Let your servants see what you’re best at— The ways you rule and bless your children. And let the loveliness of our Lord, our God, rest On us, Confirming the work that we do. Oh, yes. Affirm the work that we do. Eugene Peterson’s translation the 90th
Jan Karon (A Continual Feast: Words of Comfort and Celebration, Collected by Father Tim)
In our brief life, so many roads, so many miracles and blessings and glories, but also so many curses and denials, grief and contempt, continuous waves on the planetary seas that come and go, and they crawl us into the vast heavens, n that quiet rhythm universe listen to your heart beat.
alexis karpouzos (UNIVERSAL CONSCIOUSNESS - SPIRITUALITY AND SCIENCE)
We must pray intently, in agreement with the appeals of our forefathers and predecessors, in order to see a continuation of what they birthed. And we must actively repent of our wrongs and theirs, allowing God to reach back in time, healing our history so that blessings can flow into our present.
Dutch Sheets (An Appeal To Heaven: What Would Happen If We Did It Again)
Rav Hisda nodded. “Despite the dangers, people continue to travel, often for long distances. This is what you would inscribe on an amulet for your brother to protect him on a journey. “May it be Your will, Adonai Savaot, that You conduct Tachlifa bar Haviva in peace, direct his footsteps in peace, and uphold him in peace. Deliver him from the hand of every foe and ambush along the way. Send blessing on his handiwork and grant him grace, loving-kindness, and mercy in Your eyes and in the eyes of all who behold Tachlifa bar Haviva. Blessed are You, Adonai, who harkens unto prayer. Amen. Amen. Selah.
Maggie Anton (Apprentice)
Those who speak most deeply to our hearts in times of trouble are invariably those who have suffered. They have much to give. We recognize its authenticity and willingly receive it. They testify to the truth of Solomon’s wisdom, “He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed” (Prv 11:25). So the cycle continues—love’s sacrifice (not only of the disfigured leaves, but even of the fair, new petals), then the fruit of that sacrifice in the blessing of others, and that blessing rebounding to the refreshment of the one who sacrificed. “If a man will let himself be lost for my sake, that man is safe” (Lk 9:24).
Elisabeth Elliot (A Path Through Suffering)
ON THE DEATH OF THE BELOVED Though we need to weep your loss, You dwell in that safe place in our hearts Where no storm or night or pain can reach you. Your love was like the dawn Brightening over our lives, Awakening beneath the dark A further adventure of color. The sound of your voice Found for us A new music That brightened everything. Whatever you enfolded in your gaze Quickened in the joy of its being; You placed smiles like flowers On the altar of the heart. Your mind always sparkled With wonder at things. Though your days here were brief, Your spirit was alive, awake, complete. We look toward each other no longer From the old distance of our names; Now you dwell inside the rhythm of breath, As close to us as we are to ourselves. Though we cannot see you with outward eyes, We know our soul’s gaze is upon your face, Smiling back at us from within everything To which we bring our best refinement. Let us not look for you only in memory, Where we would grow lonely without you. You would want us to find you in presence, Beside us when beauty brightens, When kindness glows And music echoes eternal tones. When orchids brighten the earth, Darkest winter has turned to spring; May this dark grief flower with hope In every heart that loves you. May you continue to inspire us: To enter each day with a generous heart. To serve the call of courage and love Until we see your beautiful face again In that land where there is no more separation, Where all tears will be wiped from our mind, And where we will never lose you again.
John O'Donohue (To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Invocations and Blessings)
There are stages in the contemplation and endurance of great sorrow, which endow men with the same earnestness and clearness of thought that in some of old took the form of Prophecy. To those who have large capability of loving and suffering, united with great power of firm endurance, there comes a time in their woe, when they are lifted out of the contemplation of their individual case into a searching inquiry into the nature of their calamity, and the remedy (if remedy there be) which may prevent its recurrence to others as well as to themselves. Hence the beautiful, noble efforts which are from time to time brought to light, as being continuously made by those who have once hung on the cross of agony, in order that others may not suffer as they have done; one of the grandest ends which sorrow can accomplish; the sufferer wrestling with God's messenger until a blessing is left behind, not for one alone but for generations.
Elizabeth Gaskell (Mary Barton)
blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Malachi 3:10 The windows of heaven may not be opened and the treasures seized by a strong will, but they open of themselves and present their treasures as a free gift — a gift that comes when absorption reaches such a degree that it results in a feeling of complete acceptance. The passage from your present state to the feeling of your wish fulfilled is not across a gap. There is continuity between the so-called real and unreal. To cross from one state to the other, you simply extend your feelers, trust your touch, and enter fully into the spirit of what you are
Neville Goddard (The Power of Awareness)
My position was terrible. I knew that I could find nothing in the way of rational knowledge except a denial of life; and in faith I could find nothing except a denial of reason, and this was even more impossible than a denial of life. According to rational knowledge, it followed that life is evil, and people know it. They do not have to live, yet they have lived and they do live, just as I myself had lived, even though I had known for a long time that life is meaningless and evil. Try as he might, Tolstoy could identify only four means of escaping from such thoughts. One was retreating into childlike ignorance of the problem. Another was pursuing mindless pleasure. The third was “continuing to drag out a life that is evil and meaningless, knowing beforehand that nothing can come of it.” He identified that particular form of escape with weakness: “The people in this category know that death is better than life, but they do not have the strength to act rationally and quickly put an end to the delusion by killing themselves….” Only the fourth and final mode of escape involved “strength and energy. It consists of destroying life, once one has realized that life is evil and meaningless.” Tolstoy relentlessly followed his thoughts: Only unusually strong and logically consistent people act in this manner. Having realized all the stupidity of the joke that is being played on us and seeing that the blessings of the dead are greater than those of the living and that it is better not to exist, they act and put an end to this stupid joke; and they use any means of doing it: a rope around the neck, water, a knife in the heart, a train.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
When you wake raise your soul to God, realising His divine presence; adore the Blessed Trinity, imitating the great St. Francis Xavier, "I adore You, God the Father, who created me, I adore You, God the Son, who redeemed me, I adore You, God the Holy Ghost who have sanctified me, and continue to carry on the work of my sanctification. I consecrate this day entirely to Your love and to Your greater glory. I know not what this day will bring me either pleasant or troublesome, whether I shall be happy or sorrowful, shall enjoy consolation or undergo pain and grief, it shall be as You please; I give myself into Your hands and submit myself to whatever You will.
Jean-Pierre de Caussade (Abandonment to Divine Providence)
After a brief murmured exchange, the lady's maid opened the door a bit wider, and Phoebe's brother Ivo stuck his head inside. "Hullo, sis," he said casually. "You look very nice in that gold dress." "It's ecru." At his perplexed look, she repeated, "Ecru." "God bless you," Ivo said, and gave her a cheeky grin as he entered the room. Phoebe lifted her gaze heavenward. "Why are you here, Ivo?" "I'm going to escort you downstairs, so you don't have to go alone." Phoebe was so moved, she couldn't speak. She could only stare at the eleven-year-old boy, who was volunteering to take the place her husband would have assumed. "It was Father's idea," Ivo continued, a touch bashfully. "I'm sorry I'm not as tall as the other ladies' escorts, or even as tall as you. I'm really only half an escort. But that's still better than nothing, isn't it?" His expression turned uncertain as he saw that her eyes were watering. After clearing her throat, Phoebe managed an unsteady reply. "At this moment, my gallant Ivo, you tower above every other gentleman here. I'm so very honored." He grinned and offered his arm in a gesture she had seen him practice in the past with their father. "The honor is mine, sis." In that moment, Phoebe had the briefest intimation of what Ivo would be like as a full-grown man, confident and irresistibly charming.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil's Daughter (The Ravenels, #5))
I make a prayer now to your old ones, to those whose face you never saw and voice you never heard and name you haven’t known, that they remember you while you try to find them remembering you, that they come at the proper time to gather you in, that they whisper to you the truth that you haven’t been alone, and won’t be, that they know the hard friendship of the ending of days; I make a prayer that all who were there at your making will be there for your gathering in, that their hands will be there just by your opening head, your little fountain, to make a home for your sorrowing heart and for you; I make a prayer that your house and your people will be blessed by your coming and your going, that the day will come when they will boast of for a while having known you, and will marvel at the way of your going out from among them, and that you might be reason enough for them to continue for a while, and that in the days to come you will be claimed as noble, as an ancestor worth coming from.
Stephen Jenkinson
So my pleasure in addressing you will keep pace with the joy in my heart at the glad news of the complete conversion of your people. ‘I have sent some small presents, which will not appear small to you, since you will receive them with the blessing of the blessed Apostle Peter. May Almighty God continue to perfect you in His grace, prolong your life for many years, and after this life receive you among the citizens of your heavenly home. May the grace of heaven preserve Your Majesty in safety. ‘Dated the twenty-second day of June, in the nineteenth year of our most pious lord and Emperor Maurice Tiberius Augustus, and the eighteenth after his Consulship: the fourth indiction.
Bede (Ecclesiastical History of the English People: With Bede's Letter to Egbert and Cuthbert's Letter on the Death of Bede)
I DECLARE there is an anointing of ease on my life. God is going before me making crooked places straight. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. I will not continually struggle. What used to be difficult will not be difficult anymore. God’s favor and blessing on my life is lightening the load and taking the pressure off. This is my declaration.
Joel Osteen (I Declare: 31 Promises to Speak Over Your Life)
The codependent’s unbalanced relationship patterns eventually lead to serious emotional issues, which they may continue to ignore until it becomes so serious that they begin to manifest symptoms of C-PTSD—hypervigilance, revenge fantasies, mood swings, and isolation. This severe discomfort may feel unfair and wrong, but it’s actually a blessing in disguise.
Jackson MacKenzie (Whole Again: Healing Your Heart and Rediscovering Your True Self After Toxic Relationships and Emotional Abuse)
I generally rested during the day and travelled only when I was secured by night from the view of man. One morning, however, finding that my path lay through a deep wood, I ventured to continue my journey after the sun had risen; the day, which was one of the first of spring, cheered even me by the loveliness of its sunshine and the balminess of the air. I felt emotions of gentleness and pleasure, that had long appeared dead, revive within me. Half surprised by the novelty of these sensations, I allowed myself to be borne away by them, and forgetting my solitude and deformity, dared to be happy. Soft tears again bedewed my cheeks, and I even raised my humid eyes with thankfulness towards the blessed sun, which bestowed such joy upon me.
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Frankenstein: The 1818 Text)
Another reason God often leads us through dark, silent valleys is that he wants to purify our hearts. Why do we want to be close to God? Is it because of what he gives us, or is it simply because we want him? What is more valuable to us: God or his blessings? Sometimes God withholds everything from us except his promises in order to make us ask ourselves, “Is this — his promise — enough for me?
J.D. Greear (Jesus, Continued…: Why the Spirit Inside You is Better than Jesus Beside You)
A soul which listens to self, which is preoccupied with its feelings, which indulges in useless thoughts or desires, scatters its forces. It is not completely under God’s sway. Its lyre is not in tune, so that when the Master strikes it, he cannot draw forth divine harmonies; it is too human and discordant    The soul which reserves anything for self in its interior kingdom, whose powers are not all “enclosed” in God, cannot be a perfect “Praise of Glory,”. . . because it is not in unity. So that, instead of persevering in praise, in simplicity, whatever may happen, it must be continually tuning the strings of its instrument, which are all a little off key. How necessary is this blessed unity for the soul that desires to live here below the life of the blessed—that is, of simple beings, of spirits.
Father Gabriel (Divine Intimacy Vol 1: 001)
It is, then, because Christians do not know their relation to God of absolute poverty and helplessness, that they have no sense of the need of absolute and unceasing dependence, or the unspeakable blessedness of continual waiting on God. But when once a believer begins to see it, and consent to it, that he by the Holy Spirit must each moment receive what God each moment works, waiting on God becomes his brightest hope and joy. As he apprehends how God, as God, as Infinite Love, delights to impart His own nature to His child as fully as He can, how God is not weary of each moment keeping charge of his life and strength, he wonders that he ever thought otherwise of God than as a God to be waited on all the day. God unceasingly giving and working; His child unceasingly waiting and receiving: this is the blessed life.
Andrew Murray (Waiting on God)
Brought up with an idea of God, a Christian, my whole life filled with the spiritual blessings Christianity has given me, full of them, and living on those blessings, like the children I did not understand them, and destroy, that is try to destroy, what I live by. And as soon as an important moment of life comes, like the children when they are cold and hungry, I turn to Him, and even less than the children when their mother scolds them for their childish mischief, do I feel that my childish efforts at wanton madness are reckoned against me. "Yes, what I know, I know not by reason, but it has been given to me, revealed to me, and I know it with my heart, by faith in the chief thing taught by the church. "The church! the church!" Levin repeated to himself. He turned over on the other side, and leaning on his elbow, fell to gazing into the distance at a herd of cattle crossing over to the river. "But can I believe in all the church teaches?" he thought, trying himself, and thinking of everything that could destroy his present peace of mind. Itentionally he recalled all those doctrines of the church which had always seemed most strange and had always been a stumbling block to him. "The Creation? But how did I explain existence? By existence? By nothing? The devil and sin. But how do I explain evil?... The atonement?... "But I know nothing, nothing, and I can know nothing but what has been told to me and all men." And it seemed to him that there was not a single article of faith of the church which could destroy the chief thing--faith in God, in goodness, as the one goal of man's destiny. Under every article of faith of the church could be put the faith in the service of truth instead of one's desires. And each doctrine did not simply leave that faith unshaken, each doctrine seemed essential to complete that great miracle, continually manifest upon earth, that made it possible for each man and millions of different sorts of men, wise men and imbeciles, old men and children--all men, peasants, Lvov, Kitty, beggars and kings to understand perfectly the same one thing, and to build up thereby that life of the soul which alone is worth living, and which alone is precious to us. Lying on his back, he gazed up now into the high, cloudless sky. "Do I not know that that is infinite space, and that it is not a round arch? But, however I screw up my eyes and strain my sight, I cannot see it not round and not bounded, and in spite of my knowing about infinite space, I am incontestably right when I see a solid blue dome, and more right than when I strain my eyes to see beyond it." Levin ceased thinking, and only, as it were, listened to mysterious voices that seemed talking joyfully and earnestly within him. "Can this be faith?" he thought, afraid to believe in his happiness. "My God, I thank Thee!" he said, gulping down his sobs, and with both hands brushing away the tears that filled his eyes.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
We are told that this child was born in order to rule, for the government will be upon his shoulder. And the second thing we are told about His government is that it will continually increase (v. 7). He will bear the government upon His shoulder, and it will be a continually increasing government. This increase—unlike the growth of secular governments—will be a blessing, and not a pestilence. This is the real big government.
Douglas Wilson (God Rest Ye Merry: Why Christmas is the Foundation for Everything)
Though slavery officially ended after the Civil War, the Christianity that blessed white supremacy did not go away. It doubled down on the Lost Cause, endorsed racial terrorism during the Redemption era, blessed the leaders of Jim Crow, and continues to endorse racist policies as traditional values under the guise of a "religious right." As a Christian minister myself, I understand why, for my entire ministry, the number of people who choose not to affiliate with any religious tradition has doubled each decade. An increasingly diverse America is tired of the old slaveholder religion. But this is why the freedom church that David George joined in the late 1760s is so important. We who speak out in public life to insist that God cares about love, justice, and mercy and to call people of faith to stand with the poor, the uninsured, the undocumented, and the incarcerated are often accused of preaching something new. But those who claim "traditional values" to defend unjust policies do not represent the tradition of David George, George Liele, and Brother Palmer. They do not represent the Black, white, and Tuscaroran people of Free Union, North Carolina, who taught my people for generations that there is no way to worship Jesus without being concerned about justice in the world.
William J. Barber II (Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019)
As for having reached the top, with only one way to go from there, Lee had a point, no? I mean, if you cannot repeat a once-in-a-lifetime miracle—if you can never again reach the top—then why bother creating at all? Well, I can actually speak about this predicament from personal experience, because I myself was once “at the top”—with a book that sat on the bestseller list for more than three years. I can’t tell you how many people said to me during those years, “How are you ever going to top that?” They’d speak of my great good fortune as though it were a curse, not a blessing, and would speculate about how terrified I must feel at the prospect of not being able to reach such phenomenal heights again. But such thinking assumes there is a “top”—and that reaching that top (and staying there) is the only motive one has to create. Such thinking assumes that the mysteries of inspiration operate on the same scale that we do—on a limited human scale of success and failure, of winning and losing, of comparison and competition, of commerce and reputation, of units sold and influence wielded. Such thinking assumes that you must be constantly victorious—not only against your peers, but also against an earlier version of your own poor self. Most dangerously of all, such thinking assumes that if you cannot win, then you must not continue to play. But what does any of that have to do with vocation? What does any of that have to do with the pursuit of love? What does any of that have to do with the strange communion between the human and the magical? What does any of that have to do with faith? What does any of that have to do with the quiet glory of merely making things, and then sharing those things with an open heart and no expectations?
Elizabeth Gilbert (Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear)
Blessed are they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.” We have to be conditioned continually in heart and spirit for the reception of that which we hope and long for. Whence this hunger and thirst? Is it for salvation? No. It is for a fuller and fuller revelation of Jesus. God creates the appetite, and fills it from His side. The new creature needs to be fed. “He shall be filled,” completely satisfied.
John Wright Follette (John Wright Follette's Golden Grain (Signpost Series Book 2))
Latter-day Saints are far from being the only ones who call Jesus the Savior. I have known people from many denominations who say those words with great feeling and deep emotion. After hearing one such passionate declaration from a devoutly Christian friend, I asked, “From what did Jesus save us?” My friend was taken aback by the question, and struggled to answer. He spoke of having a personal relationship with Jesus and being born again. He spoke of his intense love and endless gratitude for the Savior, but he still never gave a clear answer to the question. I contrast that experience with a visit to an LDS Primary where I asked the same question: “If a Savior saves, from what did Jesus save us?” One child answered, “From the bad guys.” Another said, “He saved us from getting really, really, hurt really, really bad.” Still another added, “He opened up the door so we can live again after we die and go back to heaven.” Then one bright future missionary explained, “Well, it’s like this—there are two deaths, see, physical and spiritual, and Jesus, well, he just beat the pants off both of them.” Although their language was far from refined, these children showed a clear understanding of how their Savior has saved them. Jesus did indeed overcome the two deaths that came in consequence of the Fall of Adam and Eve. Because Jesus Christ “hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light” (2 Timothy 1:10), we will all overcome physical death by being resurrected and obtaining immortality. Because Jesus overcame spiritual death caused by sin—Adam’s and our own—we all have the opportunity to repent, be cleansed, and live with our Heavenly Father and other loved ones eternally. “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18). To Latter-day Saints this knowledge is basic and fundamental—a lesson learned in Primary. We are blessed to have such an understanding. I remember a man in Chile who scoffed, “Who needs a Savior?” Apparently he didn’t yet understand the precariousness and limited duration of his present state. President Ezra Taft Benson wrote: “Just as a man does not really desire food until he is hungry, so he does not desire the salvation of Christ until he knows why he needs Christ. No one adequately and properly knows why he needs Christ until he understands and accepts the doctrine of the Fall and its effects upon all mankind” (“Book of Mormon,” 85). Perhaps the man who asked, “Who needs a Savior?” would ask President Benson, “Who believes in Adam and Eve?” Like many who deny significant historical events, perhaps he thinks Adam and Eve are only part of a folktale. Perhaps he has never heard of them before. Regardless of whether or not this man accepts the Fall, he still faces its effects. If this man has not yet felt the sting of death and sin, he will. Sooner or later someone close to him will die, and he will know the awful emptiness and pain of feeling as if part of his soul is being buried right along with the body of his loved one. On that day, he will hurt in a way he has not yet experienced. He will need a Savior. Similarly, sooner or later, he will feel guilt, remorse, and shame for his sins. He will finally run out of escape routes and have to face himself in the mirror knowing full well that his selfish choices have affected others as well as himself. On that day, he will hurt in a profound and desperate way. He will need a Savior. And Christ will be there to save from both the sting of death and the stain of sin.
Brad Wilcox (The Continuous Atonement)
We have in this parable a lively emblem of the condition and behavior of sinners in their natural state. When enriched by the bounty of the great common Father, thus do they ungratefully run from Him, 15:12. Sensual pleasures are eagerly pursued, till they have squandered away all the grace of God, 15:13. But while these pleasures continue, not a serious thought of God can find a place in their minds. And even when afflictions come upon them, 15:14, still they will endure much hardship before they will let the grace of God, concurring with His Providence, persuade them to think of a return, 15:15, 16. But when they see themselves naked, indigent, and undone, then they recover the exercise of their reason, 15:17. Then they remember the blessings they have thrown away, and pay attention to the misery they have incurred. Upon this, they resolve to return to their Father, and put the resolution immediately in practice, 15:18, 19. Behold with wonder and pleasure the gracious reception they find from Divine, injured goodness! When such a prodigal comes to his Father, He sees him afar off, 15:20. He pities, meets, embraces him, and interrupts his acknowledgments with the tokens of His returning favor, 15:21. He arrays him with the robe of a Redeemer’s righteousness, with inward and outward holiness, adorns him with all His sanctifying graces, and honors him with the tokens of adopting love, 15:22. And all this He does with unutterable delight, in that he who was lost is now found, 15:23, 24. Let no older brother murmur at this indulgence, but rather welcome the prodigal back into the family. And let those who have been thus received, wander no more, but emulate the strictest piety of those who for many years have served their heavenly Father and not transgressed His commandments.
John Wesley (The Essential Works of John Wesley)
And as I sit and reflect, I m left with one question - What's next for me? What challenges does life pose for me tomorrow ? How long will I continue to bounce this ball ? And when this ball stops , where will I find myself? Will I be simply remembered as some guy who had success overseas?Will i rely solely on my past and be one who just talks about my glory days as professional basketball player? NOT LIKELY!!J.R.HOLDEN REPRESENTS SO MUCH MORE THAN AN ATHLETE .
Jon-Robert Holden (Blessed Footsteps: Memoirs of JR Holden)
I remember talking to my friend Ben once about a person who had once lied to me. We’d been working on a project together, and this person lied about some of the finances. Ben is a decade older than me, a cinematographer with a gentle heart, a guy you’d think could easily be taken advantage of. But when I told him about my friend, Ben said, “Don, I’ve learned there are givers and takers in this life. I’ve slowly let the takers go and I’ve had it for the better.” He continued, “God bless them, when they learn to play by the rules they are welcomed back, but my heart is worth protecting.” At first, it was hard to act on what Ben was talking about, about the givers and the takers. I felt like a jerk for letting my friend go. But then I realized I didn’t have a healthy relationship with him in the first place. When there are lies in a relationship, it’s not like you’re actually connecting. And I realized another thing too: it wasn’t me who was walking away from my friend. It was my friend who hadn’t played by the rules and was incompatible in a healthy relationship. And here’s another thing that’s strange. After distancing myself from my friend I loved him more, not less. I protected myself for sure, but my anger went away. Once he wasn’t hurting me anymore, I could finally have compassion and grace. It makes me wonder how many people have damaged their own lives by mistaking enablement for grace?
Donald Miller (Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Acquiring a Taste for True Intimacy)
Covenantees, therefore, under the Christian economy, can be no other than the spiritual seed of Abraham: and such are the subjects of this kingdom. Hence the Gospel Covenant is called new, and is expressly opposed to the Sinai Confederation, from which it is extremely different. It is also pronounced a better Covenant than that which Jehovah made with the ancient Israel: and so it is, whether we consider its objects, its blessings, its confirmation, or its continuance.
Abraham Booth (An Essay on the Kingdom of Christ)
Children are, on the whole, very much alike everywhere, and you four lads fairly represent multitudes, who are growing up in all directions. It will make me happy to think that my simple narrative may lead some of these to observe how blessed are the results of patient continuance in well-doing, what benefits arise from the thoughtful application of knowledge and science, and how good and pleasant a thing it is when brethren dwell together in unity, under the eye of parental love.
Johann David Wyss (The Swiss Family Robinson)
The great irony, then, is that the nation’s most famous modern conservative economist became the father of Big Government, chronic deficits, and national fiscal bankruptcy. It was Friedman who first urged the removal of the Bretton Woods gold standard restraints on central bank money printing, and then added insult to injury by giving conservative sanction to perpetual open market purchases of government debt by the Fed. Friedman’s monetarism thereby institutionalized a régime which allowed politicians to chronically spend without taxing. Likewise, it was the free market professor of the Chicago school who also blessed the fundamental Keynesian proposition that Washington must continuously manage and stimulate the national economy. To be sure, Friedman’s “freshwater” proposition, in Paul Krugman’s famous paradigm, was far more modest than the vast “fine-tuning” pretensions of his “salt-water” rivals. The saltwater Keynesians of the 1960s proposed to stimulate the economy until the last billion dollars of potential GDP was realized; that is, they would achieve prosperity by causing the state to do anything that was needed through a multiplicity of fiscal interventions. By contrast, the freshwater Keynesian, Milton Friedman, thought that capitalism could take care of itself as long as it had precisely the right quantity of money at all times; that is, Friedman would attain prosperity by causing the state to do the one thing that was needed through the single spigot of M1 growth.
David A. Stockman (The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America)
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.” Eph. 4:31. Have you read those words and thought, “Oh, that it might be so?” Have you earnestly tried to put away that evil speaking, together with “the root of bitterness” from which it springs, and failed, because “the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison?” James 3:8.  Read the Divine exhortation, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 2:3, 5. And similar to this is the admonition, “Let brotherly love continue.” Heb. 13:1. What a blessed state of mind this must be; and what a heaven there would be on earth, if such a state of things only existed, even among those who profess the name of Christ. Yet how many who have set this blessed ideal before themselves, find themselves wondering how it is to be attained. 
E.J. Waggoner (Living by Faith)
You Have Happened To Me Like the first blossom of the spring and the first drizzle of the rain, You have happened to me. With that sudden smile, very close to mine, You have happened to me. When I was at lowest aura, with tears on edge of my eyes, You have happened to me. When I have least expected, in that depth of our talks, out of my knowledge, You have happened to me. Somewhere in those loud laughs and gathering some smoky puffs, You have happened to me. Without the fear of world, got tied up with just one knurled, You have happened to me. In the most beautiful way I could ever imagine, while getting my self lagin, You have happened to me. I don’t know if that’s a blessing or a miracle then, How you have happened to me? I am still surprised with those shiny sparks in my eyes, You have happened to me. Talking about having the happy time, you became the reason of my smile, You have happened to me. In those long waits and running behind your fast steps, You have happened to me. Around your long advices, rolling my eyes while trying to believe in them, You have happened to me. The warmth of tea I have sipped next to you, melted my heart for you and You have happened to me. Over those answers of my every question, and the way my heart felt so freshen, You have happened to me, Somehow surrounded by our rational deliberation, and continuous feel of desperation, You have happened to me. Looking at you a many times a day and look! How it is changing the way in slow motion, You have happened to me.
Trushti Raval
She had just given Liger his food when a tap sounded on the connecting door. Priss’s heart leaped into her throat. With excitement. Not dread, or annoyance, or even indifference. Pure, sizzling stimulation. Suddenly she was wide-awake. Tamping down her automatic smile, Priss leaned on the door. “Yeah?” “Open up.” Still fighting that twitching grin, Priss tried to sound disgruntled as she asked, “Why?” Something hit the door—maybe his head—and Trace said, “I heard you up and moving around, Priss. I have coffee ready, but if you don’t want any—” Being a true caffeine junkie, she jerked open the door. “Oh, bless you, man.” She took the cup straight out of Trace’s hand, drank deeply and sighed as the warmth penetrated the thick fog of novel sentiment. “Ahhhh. Nirvana. Thank you.” Only after the caffeine ingestion did she notice that Trace wore unsnapped jeans and nothing else. Her eyes flared wide and her jaw felt loose. Holy moly. “That was my cup,” Trace told her, bemused. But Priss could only stare at him. Despite the delicious coffee she’d just poured in it, her mouth went dry. When she continued to stare at him, at his chest and abdomen, her gaze tracking a silky line of brown hair that disappeared into his jeans, Trace crossed his arms. Her gaze jumped to his face and she found him watching her with equal fascination. A little lost as to the reason for that look, Priss asked with some belligerence, “What?” With a cryptic smile, Trace shook his head. “Never mind. Help yourself, and I’ll get another.” Oh, crap, she’d snatched away his cup! “Sorry.” He lifted a hand in dismissal and went to the coffee machine sitting atop the dresser. His jeans rode low on his hips. The sun had darkened his skin, creating a sharp contrast to his fair hair. Another drink was in order, and another sigh of bliss. Hoping to regain her wits, Priss said, “God, nothing in the world tastes better than that first drink of coffee.” Trace looked over his shoulder, his attention zeroing in on her mouth, then her chest and finally down to her bare legs. “Oh, I don’t know about that.
Lori Foster (Trace of Fever (Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor, #2))
In the eleventh century, a French archdeacon challenged the Church’s faith that the Blessed Sacrament was in fact the Body and Blood of Christ. Pope Gregory VII (reigned 1073–85) responded with a definitive statement of what the Church had always believed. After the controversy was resolved, Eucharistic adoration began to flourish. The Church soon instituted processions of the Blessed Sacrament, prescribed rules for Eucharistic adoration, and encouraged the faithful to visit Our Lord reserved in the churches. The martyr St. Thomas à Becket (1118–70), for example, once wrote to a friend that he often prayed for him in the church before “the Majesty of the Body of Christ.” In 1226, after King Louis VII of France (1120–80) won a victory over the Albigensian heretics who had taken up arms against him, he asked the Bishop of Avignon to have the Blessed Sacrament exposed for adoration in the Chapel of the Holy Cross. The faithful who came to adore were so numerous that the bishop allowed the adoration to continue indefinitely, day and night. This decision was later ratified by the pope, and adoration at Avignon continued uninterrupted until 1792, when the French Revolution halted the devotion. It was resumed, however, in 1829. Also in the thirteenth century, Pope Urban the IV (reigned 1261–64) instituted the Feast of Corpus Christi (the Body of Christ), commissioning St. Thomas Aquinas to write hymns for the feast. The lyrics for these compositions reflect a profound awareness of Christ’s abiding Presence with us in the Blessed Sacrament and of the reverence, adoration, and gratitude we owe Him for that surpassing Gift. In
Paul Thigpen (Manual for Eucharistic Adoration)
God gives many blessings to the whole human race. He makes His sun to shine on the evil and on the good and His rain to fall on the just and on the unjust. Life, health, food, clothing, shelter, etc., are all gifts of God to men—to sinful men, who have offended against God. Also by reason of God’s longsuffering, He gives sinful man a reprieve—He postpones the execution of the penalty of death on human sin. This gives sinful humans a lifespan, making human life possible and permitting the continuance of the human race through the history of the world.
Johannes Geerhardus Vos (Romans)
When we remember we are queens from another kingdom, then the kings in this one will wake up at last and honor our presence and open the gates. We won't storm the castle walls; we will melt the castle walls. Kings will then set a table for us to feast at instead of tossing us bones. They will recognize us when we recognize ourselves. We come bearing gifts from another realm. We bring illumination when our minds are illuminated. We are only visiting here, but our visit is an honor, a mitzvah, and the entire earth kingdom is blessed by our presence. Wake up, damn it, and thank the stars. We have been playing so small and the crown is so huge. We will not wear it until we expand our heads. Don't your get it? Can't you see? As we change our minds, we will change the world. And until we do, we will remain where we are. And all the laws and all the bashing and all the silly, childish, petty political arguments will continue for years, and for more years beyond, until women remember, followed by men, that a woman is a miracle and her heart lies in God. She is here to love God, passionately and truly...
Marianne Williamson (A Woman's Worth)
And now I speak of thanking God, I desire with all humility to acknowledge that I owe the mentioned happiness of my past life to His kind providence, which lead me to the means I used and gave them success. My belief of this induces me to hope, though I must not presume, that the same goodness will still be exercised toward me, in continuing that happiness, or enabling me to bear a fatal reverse, which I may experience as others have done: the complexion of my future fortune being known to Him only in whose power it is to bless to us even our afflictions.
Benjamin Franklin (The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin)
But," say you, "what will become of me if . . . ?" This is indeed a temptation of the enemy. Why should you be so ingenious in tormenting yourself beforehand about something which perhaps will never happen? Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof. Uneasy forebodings do us much harm; why do you so readily give way to them? We make our own troubles, and what do we gain by it? but lose, instead, so much both for time and eternity. When we are obsessed in spite of ourselves by these worrying revisions let us be faithful in making a continual sacrifice of them to the sovereign Master. I conjure you to do this, as in this way you will induce God to deal favourably with you and to help you in every way. You will acquire a treasure of virtue and merit for Heaven, and a submission and abandonment which will enable you to make more progress in the ways of God than any other practice of piety. It is, possibly, with this view that God permits all these troublesome and trying imaginations. Profit by them then, and God will bless you. By your submission to His good pleasure you will make greater progress than you could by hearing beautiful sermons, or reading pious books.
Jean-Pierre de Caussade (Abandonment to Divine Providence)
Having delivered his message in this world, he had gone to fulfil it in the Hereafter, where he would continue to be, for them and for others, but without the limitations of life on earth, the Key of Mercy, the key of Paradise, the Spirit of Truth, the Happiness of God. Verily God and His angels whelm in blessing the prophet. O ye who believe, invoke blessings upon him, and give him greetings of peace. اللهم صل على سيدنا محمد وعلى آل سيدنا محمد كما صليت على إبراهيم وعلى آل إبراهيم إنك حميد. اللهم بارك على سيدنا محمد وعلى آل سيدنا محمد كما باركت على إبراهيم وعلى آل إبراهيم إنك حميد مجيد.
Martin Lings (أبو بكر سراج الدين) (Muhammad: His Life Based on the Earliest Sources)
A secularized capitalism devoid of Christian virtue and objective morality is rapacious, greed-centered, and an engine for the spread of all kinds of evil, including pornography, abortion, and prostitution. But the capitalism that continues to be influenced by the Reformation—and the authority of God, objective morality, and virtue—is an engine of godly stewardship, generosity, prosperity, and blessing. Both forms of capitalism are with us today. The same can be said about “freedom,” “law,” or “the American dream.” The West is now, essentially, two separate cultures at war with one another.
Scott David Allen (Why Social Justice Is Not Biblical Justice: An Urgent Appeal to Fellow Christians in a Time of Social Crisis)
Don’t let HATE hijack your HEART. Don’t let FEAR and TERRORISM brainwash your MIND. Don’t let EVIL and WAR conquer your SOUL. Don’t let NEGATIVITY and ANGER poison your SPIRIT. Focus on the GOOD and the POSITIVE. Be HAPPY and KIND. LEARN from the negative. Recognize your BLESSINGS. Find the HUMOR when possible. Do unto others as you’d have KARMA do unto you. Instead of asking yourself, “what’s in it for me?”, ask yourself, “what’s in it for the GREATER GOOD?”. Stay VIGILANT, but don’t let fear and worry consume you. RESPECT and ACCEPT differences. Continue to LIVE, LOVE and LAUGH and encourage and inspire others to be AWESOME.
Tanya Masse
So, if you have been going through continuous trials and hardships, it is because God has something exciting up ahead for you to do for him. It's not how your life starts, which is the point, it is how it ends that matters. So don't panic, if you have been going through continuous hard times, God has something extra special up ahead for you. And soon, those giants of adversity will be driven out of the way of God's future blessings for your life. Keep putting your trust in God, because a breakthrough will come, if you will remain patient! And no matter how big the giants are in your life, God is well able to use you to remove the head of that giant, and bring it down to size, in Jesus Name!
Christopher Roberts (365 Days With God)
Travel continues to be the one thing I value spending money on. In the second year of the ban, I traveled to Portland, Oregon; Charlotte, North Carolina; Toronto, Winnipeg, Salt Spring Island, Galiano Island, Tofino, and Vancouver; and numerous times to Squamish (where I would eventually move). And when it was over, I went on a seven-week road trip around the United States by myself. While I have the freedom and money to do something “bigger,” like live and work from a foreign country for a few months, I’ve realized I care more about exploring North America first. It’s far too easy to take your surroundings for granted, and I am blessed to live in one of the most beautiful parts of this continent.
Cait Flanders (The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store)
LET ME HELP YOU get through this day. There are many possible paths to travel between your getting up in the morning and your lying down at night. Stay alert to the many choice-points along the way, being continually aware of My Presence. You will get through this day one way or the other. One way is to moan and groan, stumbling along with shuffling feet. This will get you to the end of the day eventually, but there is a better way. You can choose to walk with Me along the path of Peace, leaning on Me as much as you need. There will still be difficulties along the way, but you can face them confidently in My strength. Thank Me for each problem you encounter, and watch to see how I transform trials into blessings.
Sarah Young (Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence)
...what goes on inside believers is mysterious. So far as it can be guessed at - if for some reason you wanted to guess at it - it appears to be a kind of anxious pretending, a kind of continual, nervous resistance to reality. It looks as if, to a believer, things can never be allowed just to be what they are. They always have to be translated, moralised - given an unnecessary and rather sentimental extra meaning. A sunset can't just be part of the mixed magnificence and cruelty and indifference of the world; it has to be a blessing. A meal has to be a present you're grateful for, even if it came from Tesco and the ingredients cost you £7.38. Sex can't be the spectrum of experiences you get used to as an adult, from occasional earthquake through to mild companionable buzz; it has to be, oh dear oh dear, a special thing that happens when mummies and daddies love each other very much... Our fingers must be in our ears all the time - lalala, I can't hear you - just to keep out the plain sound of the real world. The funny thing is that to me it's exactly the other way around. In my experience, it's belief that involves the most uncompromising attention to the nature of things of which you are capable. It's belief which demands that you dispense with illusion after illusion, while contemporary common sense requires continual, fluffy pretending. Pretending that might as well be systematic, it's so thoroughly incentivised by our culture.
Francis Spufford
Finally, this is, in many ways, a book about a young man’s long journey back to a place he can call home. Writing his story has reminded me again and again that no one is more blessed by his home life than I am. I want to thank the three lovely and intelligent women who make it so: my daughters, Emi and Bobi—each of whom has lent her own unique talents to the making of this book—and my wife, Sharon. Her thoughtful reading of the manuscript, her many conversations with me about it, and her deeply insightful comments and suggestions have vastly improved it on every conceivable level. Her love, her confidence, and her continual support have made writing it possible in the first place. Without her, there would be no books.
Daniel James Brown (The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics)
THE MORE SHALL WE LOVE We have to bear in mind that we are all debtors to the world, and that the world does not owe us anything. It is a great privilege for all of us to be allowed to do anything for the world. In helping the world we truly help ourselves. This world will always continue to be a mixture of good and evil. Our duty is to help and sympathize with the weak, and to love even the wrongdoer. It is important to always keep in mind that the world is for us a grand moral gymnasium, wherein we are all blessed to be able to take exercise in order to become stronger and stronger spiritually. The result of this exercise is that the more selfless we become, the more we shall love, and the better will be our work.
Vivekananda
I also needed what God has brought. I needed to lose control. I needed a broken heart. I needed to be dipped in the crucible of suffering. Why? I may never fully know. But the God who brings his children low does not do it for spite. He does it to awaken desire, like a pang of hunger in the newly risen phoenix that makes it unfurl its wings to fly. He does it to give us new eyes so that we might see the world in a new light. He does it to stop us from continuing down the path we’re on and to set us on a new one. He grants us weakness so that we might not trust too much in our own strength. “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
Russ Ramsey (Struck: One Christian's Reflections on Encountering Death)
I have long been of the Opinion, says he, that the Fire was a vast Blessing and the Plague likewise; it gave us Occasion to understand the Secrets of Nature which otherwise might have overwhelm'd us. (I busied my self with the right Order of the Draughts, and said nothing.) With what Firmness of Mind, Sir Chris. went on, did the People see their City devoured, and I can still remember how after the Plague and the Fire the Chearfulnesse soon returned to them: Forgetfulnesse is the great Mystery of Time. I remember, I said as I took a Chair opposite to him, how the Mobb applauded the Flames. I remember how they sang and danced by the Corses during the Contagion: that was not Chearfulnesse but Phrenzy. And I remember, also, the Rage and the Dying - These were the Accidents of Fortune, Nick, from which we have learned so much in this Generation. It was said, sir, that the Plague and the Fire were no Accidents but Substance, that they were the Signes of the Beast withinne. And Sir Chris. laughed at this. At which point Nat put his Face in: Do you call, sirs? Would you care for a Dish of Tea or some Wine? Some Tea, some Tea, cried Sir Chris. for the Fire gives me a terrible Thirst. But no, no, he continued when Nat had left the Room, you cannot assign the Causes of Plague or Fire to Sin. It was the negligence of Men that provoked those Disasters and for Negligence there is a Cure; only Terrour is the Hindrance. Terrour, I said softly, is the Lodestone of our Art.
Peter Ackroyd (Hawksmoor)
DON’T BE SO HARD ON YOURSELF. I can bring good even out of your mistakes. Your finite mind tends to look backward, longing to undo decisions you have come to regret. This is a waste of time and energy, leading only to frustration. Instead of floundering in the past, release your mistakes to Me. Look to Me in trust, anticipating that My infinite creativity can weave both good choices and bad into a lovely design. Because you are human, you will continue to make mistakes. Thinking that you should live an error-free life is symptomatic of pride. Your failures can be a source of blessing, humbling you and giving you empathy for other people in their weaknesses. Best of all, failure highlights your dependence on Me. I am able to bring beauty out of the morass of your mistakes. Trust Me, and watch to see what I will do.
Sarah Young (Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence)
Why do you call the people who don’t live in the Close the Lower Orders?” asked Hugh Anthony. “Grandfather calls them God’s Poor.” “Eh?” said the Dean, a little startled, and then he adjusted his eyeglass and rubbed his nose in a puzzled sort of way, as though he did not quite know how to answer. “I suppose,” said Hugh Anthony, “that Saint Hugh of Torminster belonged to the Lower Orders?” “Certainly not,” said the Dean indignantly. “The Blessed Saint Hugh was Abbot of Torminster. I hold – I say it in all humility – a position very like his own.” “Before he was Abbot of Torminster, he kept pigs,” said Hugh Anthony. “Like Mr. Burton, our butcher.” “Merely legendary pigs,” said the Dean. “And the Apostles were fishmongers,” continued the awful child, “like Mr. Robson in the Market Place… It’s a pity, isn’t it, that all the saints seem to belong to the Lower Orders?
Christine Rawlins (Beyond the Snow: The Life and Faith of Elizabeth Goudge)
Like many others who have gone into prisons and jails with us, Chuck and Carol Middlekauff demonstrate what our ministry is all about. We train Christian ‘teammates’ to share the good news and love of Christ with ‘the least of these’ so they can continue to do it with others they encounter as they go along. In this book, Carol has written the stories of some of those encounters so you can appreciate how easy it is to tell people about Jesus. It happens when you realize God does all the work, and all you have to do is show up. I hope you will be encouraged by reading the book and then join us soon for a Weekend of Champions to find out for yourself.” Bill Glass, retired NFL all-pro defensive end, evangelist, founder of Bill Glass Champions for Life prison ministries, and author of numerous books, including The Healing Power of a Father’s Blessing and Blitzed by Blessings
Bill Glass
I would read the Scriptures longingly, trying to imagine how wonderful it would be not to worry about anything, safe and secure in the presence of Jesus all the time. Miracles would be normal. Love would be natural. We could always give and never lose. We could be lied to, cheated and stolen from, and yet we would always come out ahead. We would never have to take advantage of anyone or have any motive but to bless other people. Rather than always making contingency plans in case Jesus didn’t do anything, we could count on Him continually. We, our lives and all that we preach and provide would not be for sale, but would be given freely, just as we have received freely. Our hearts would be carefree in the love of our Father in heaven, who always knows what we need, and we could get on with the glorious business of seeking first His Kingdom and His righteousness. There would always be enough!
Rolland Baker (Always Enough: God's Miraculous Provision among the Poorest Children on Earth)
March 10 MORNING “In my prosperity I said I shall never be moved.” — Psalm 30:6 “MOAB is settled on his lees, he hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel.” Give a man wealth; let his ships bring home continually rich freights; let the winds and waves appear to be his servants to bear his vessels across the bosom of the mighty deep; let his lands yield abundantly: let the weather be propitious to his crops; let uninterrupted success attend him; let him stand among men as a successful merchant; let him enjoy continued health; allow him with braced nerve and brilliant eye to march through the world, and live happily; give him the buoyant spirit; let him have the song perpetually on his lips; let his eye be ever sparkling with joy — and the natural consequence of such an easy state to any man, let him be the best Christian who ever breathed, will be presumption; even David said, “I shall never be moved;” and we are not better than David, nor half so good. Brother, beware of the smooth places of the way; if you are treading them, or if the way be rough, thank God for it. If God should always rock us in the cradle of prosperity; if we were always dandled on the knees of fortune; if we had not some stain on the alabaster pillar; if there were not a few clouds in the sky; if we had not some bitter drops in the wine of this life, we should become intoxicated with pleasure, we should dream “we stand;” and stand we should, but it would be upon a pinnacle; like the man asleep upon the mast, each moment we should be in jeopardy. We bless God, then, for our afflictions; we thank Him for our changes; we extol His name for losses of property; for we feel that had He not chastened us thus, we might have become too secure. Continued worldly prosperity is a fiery trial. “Afflictions, though they seem severe, In mercy oft are sent.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening-Classic KJV Edition)
It is the nature of a nine-year-old mind to believe that each extreme experience signifies a lasting change in the quality of life henceforth. A bad day raises the expectation of a long chain of grim days through dismal decades, and a day of joy inspires an almost giddy certainty that the years thereafter will be marked by endless blessings. In fact, time teaches us that the musical score of life oscillates between that of Psycho and that of The Sound of Music, with by far the greatest number of our days lived to the strains of an innocuous and modestly budgeted picture, sometimes a romance sometimes a like comedy sometimes a little art film of puzzling purpose and elusive meeting. Yet I've known adults who live forever in that odd conviction of nine-year-olds. Because I am an optimist and always have been, the expectation of continued joy comes more easily to me than pessimism, which was especially true during that period of my childhood.
Dean Koontz (The City (The City, #1))
You express not only a low opinion of yourself, which is right, but too low an opinion of the person, work, and promises of the Redeemer; which is certainly wrong.”52 Yes, there are monsters in the heart of a man, as there are monsters under the surface of the ocean, but there is a line we must never cross, and the line is crossed when indwelling sin clouds the Savior from our eyes. Newton dealt with this time after time with his friends, and it’s an enduring lesson for anyone who takes personal sin seriously. Blessed be God, amidst so many causes of mourning in myself, it is still my duty and my privilege to rejoice in the Lord; in him I have righteousness and strength, pardon and peace. I have sinned—I sin continually—but Christ has died, and forever lives, as my Redeemer, Priest, Advocate, and King. And though my transgressions and my enemies, are very many and very prevalent, the Lord in whom I trust is more and mightier than all that is against me.
Tony Reinke (Newton on the Christian Life: To Live Is Christ (Theologians on the Christian Life))
Honest to God, I hadn’t meant to start a bar fight. “So. You’re the famous Jordan Amador.” The demon sitting in front of me looked like someone filled a pig bladder with rotten cottage cheese. He overflowed the bar stool with his gelatinous stomach, just barely contained by a white dress shirt and an oversized leather jacket. Acid-washed jeans clung to his stumpy legs and his boots were at least twice the size of mine. His beady black eyes started at my ankles and dragged upward, past my dark jeans, across my black turtleneck sweater, and over the grey duster around me that was two sizes too big. He finally met my gaze and snorted before continuing. “I was expecting something different. Certainly not a black girl. What’s with the name, girlie?” I shrugged. “My mother was a religious woman.” “Clearly,” the demon said, tucking a fat cigar in one corner of his mouth. He stood up and walked over to the pool table beside him where he and five of his lackeys had gathered. Each of them was over six feet tall and were all muscle where he was all fat. “I could start to examine the literary significance of your name, or I could ask what the hell you’re doing in my bar,” he said after knocking one of the balls into the left corner pocket. “Just here to ask a question, that’s all. I don’t want trouble.” Again, he snorted, but this time smoke shot from his nostrils, which made him look like an albino dragon. “My ass you don’t. This place is for fallen angels only, sweetheart. And we know your reputation.” I held up my hands in supplication. “Honest Abe. Just one question and I’m out of your hair forever.” My gaze lifted to the bald spot at the top of his head surrounded by peroxide blonde locks. “What’s left of it, anyway.” He glared at me. I smiled, batting my eyelashes. He tapped his fingers against the pool cue and then shrugged one shoulder. “Fine. What’s your question?” “Know anybody by the name of Matthias Gruber?” He didn’t even blink. “No.” “Ah. I see. Sorry to have wasted your time.” I turned around, walking back through the bar. I kept a quick, confident stride as I went, ignoring the whispers of the fallen angels in my wake. A couple called out to me, asking if I’d let them have a taste, but I didn’t spare them a glance. Instead, I headed to the ladies’ room. Thankfully, it was empty, so I whipped out my phone and dialed the first number in my Recent Call list. “Hey. He’s here. Yeah, I’m sure it’s him. They’re lousy liars when they’re drunk. Uh-huh. Okay, see you in five.” I hung up and let out a slow breath. Only a couple things left to do. I gathered my shoulder-length black hair into a high ponytail. I looped the loose curls around into a messy bun and made sure they wouldn’t tumble free if I shook my head too hard. I took the leather gloves in the pocket of my duster out and pulled them on. Then, I walked out of the bathroom and back to the front entrance. The coat-check girl gave me a second unfriendly look as I returned with my ticket stub to retrieve my things—three vials of holy water, a black rosary with the beads made of onyx and the cross made of wood, a Smith & Wesson .9mm Glock complete with a full magazine of blessed bullets and a silencer, and a worn out page of the Bible. I held out my hands for the items and she dropped them on the counter with an unapologetic, “Oops.” “Thanks,” I said with a roll of my eyes. I put the Glock back in the hip holster at my side and tucked the rest of the items in the pockets of my duster. The brunette demon crossed her arms under her hilariously oversized fake breasts and sent me a vicious sneer. “The door is that way, Seer. Don’t let it hit you on the way out.” I smiled back. “God bless you.” She let out an ugly hiss between her pearly white teeth. I blew her a kiss and walked out the door. The parking lot was packed outside now that it was half-past midnight. Demons thrived in darkness, so I wasn’t surprised. In fact, I’d been counting on it.
Kyoko M. (The Holy Dark (The Black Parade, #3))
There was no pope in the Nicene and pre-Nicene churches. The Roman Catholic Church as an organization that rules all of western Christendom was not a product of apostolic teaching. The papacy was not a product of the blessing that Jesus conferred upon Peter. The Roman Catholic Church is, instead, the product of the conquest of the western Roman empire by the barbarian hordes in the fifth century. Their conquest politically isolated the bishop of Rome from the other major bishops of the Roman empire and led to his having sole authority over all the churches west of the Byzantine empire. It is that political isolation which would cause the bishops of Rome to begin to imagine that they had entitlement to such authority over all the churches of the world. No one concurred, and eventually the bishop of Rome simply excommunicated eastern Christianity, isolating his own private Christian world. That separation from eastern Christianity and their rejection of papal primacy continues to this day.
Paul Pavao (Decoding Nicea)
the sickness of drugs or her reasons for turning to drugs to escape her reality. I did that for a while and I continued to try to help my mother. Every time I would help her, she would go back and go back and go back and go back. It was just so frustrating. I even did my television show to give her an outlet to help other women, to show women that she was strong enough to do it, because I really truly, in my heart, believe that she is. That didn't quite work. I spent plenty of years trying to get her off drugs, but from the outside because I still wasn't in the hood with her all the time watching her do it every day. I always used to try to take her out of the hood and bring her into my world that I was blessed to have. I wanted her to live the right way and didn’t want her to deal with running the streets every day. It was a struggle with my brothers because they had their way of handling her and handling things that I really couldn't quite understand. At the same time, like I said, I didn't understand it then. It
Toya Wright (In My Own WORDS...MY Real Reality)
Now I ask you: what can be expected of man since he is a being endowed with strange qualities? Shower upon him every earthly blessing, drown him in a sea of happiness, so that nothing but bubbles of bliss can be seen on the surface; give him economic prosperity, such that he should have nothing else to do but sleep, eat cakes and busy himself with the continuation of his species, and even then out of sheer ingratitude, sheer spite, man would play you some nasty trick. He would even risk his cakes and would deliberately desire the most fatal rubbish, the most uneconomical absurdity, simply to introduce into all this positive good sense his fatal fantastic element. It is just his fantastic dreams, his vulgar folly that he will desire to retain, simply in order to prove to himself—as though that were so necessary—that men still are men and not the keys of a piano, which the laws of nature threaten to control so completely that soon one will be able to desire nothing but by the calendar. And that is not all: even if man really were nothing but a piano-key, even if this were proved to him by natural science and mathematics, even then he would not become reasonable, but would purposely do something perverse out of simple ingratitude, simply to gain his point. And if he does not find means he will contrive destruction and chaos, will contrive sufferings of all sorts, only to gain his point! He will launch a curse upon the world, and as only man can curse (it is his privilege, the primary distinction between him and other animals), may be by his curse alone he will attain his object—that is, convince himself that he is a man and not a piano-key! If you say that all this, too, can be calculated and tabulated—chaos and darkness and curses, so that the mere possibility of calculating it all beforehand would stop it all, and reason would reassert itself, then man would purposely go mad in order to be rid of reason and gain his point! I believe in it, I answer for it, for the whole work of man really seems to consist in nothing but proving to himself every minute that he is a man and not a piano-key!
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground (Dostoyevsky Collection))
It was the ultimate sacrilege that Jesus Christ, the very Son of God, was rejected and even put to death. And it continues. In many parts of the world today we see a growing rejection of the Son of God. His divinity is questioned. His gospel is deemed irrelevant. In day-to-day life, His teachings are ignored. Those who legitimately speak in His name find little respect in secular society. If we ignore the Lord and His servants, we may just as well be atheists—the end result is practically the same. It is what Mormon described as typical after extended periods of peace and prosperity: “Then is the time that they do harden their hearts, and do forget the Lord their God, and do trample under their feet the Holy One” (Helaman 12:2). And so we should ask ourselves, do we reverence the Holy One and those He has sent? Some years before he was called as an Apostle himself, Elder Robert D. Hales recounted an experience that demonstrated his father’s sense of that holy calling. Elder Hales said: "Some years ago Father, then over eighty years of age, was expecting a visit from a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on a snowy winter day. Father, an artist, had painted a picture of the home of the Apostle. Rather than have the painting delivered to him, this sweet Apostle wanted to go personally to pick the painting up and thank my father for it. Knowing that Father would be concerned that everything was in readiness for the forthcoming visit, I dropped by his home. Because of the depth of the snow, snowplows had caused a snowbank in front of the walkway to the front door. Father had shoveled the walks and then labored to remove the snowbank. He returned to the house exhausted and in pain. When I arrived, he was experiencing heart pain from overexertion and stressful anxiety. My first concern was to warn him of his unwise physical efforts. Didn’t he know what the result of his labor would be? "'Robert,' he said through interrupted short breaths, 'do you realize an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ is coming to my home? The walks must be clean. He should not have to come through a snowdrift.' He raised his hand, saying, 'Oh, Robert, don’t ever forget or take for granted the privilege it is to know and to serve with Apostles of the Lord.'" [In CR, April 1992, 89; or “Gratitude for the Goodness of God,” Ensign, May 1992, 64] I think it is more than coincidence that such a father would be blessed to have a son serve as an Apostle. You might ask yourself, “Do I see the calling of the prophets and apostles as sacred? Do I treat their counsel seriously, or is it a light thing with me?” President Gordon B. Hinckley, for instance, has counseled us to pursue education and vocational training; to avoid pornography as a plague; to respect women; to eliminate consumer debt; to be grateful, smart, clean, true, humble, and prayerful; and to do our best, our very best. Do your actions show that you want to know and do what he teaches? Do you actively study his words and the statements of the Brethren? Is this something you hunger and thirst for? If so, you have a sense of the sacredness of the calling of prophets as the witnesses and messengers of the Son of God.
D. Todd Christofferson
What, then, does submission and respect look like for a woman in a dating relationship? Here are some guidelines: 1. A woman should allow the man to initiate the relationship. This does not mean that she does nothing. She helps! If she thinks there is a good possibility for a relationship, she makes herself accessible to him and helps him to make conversation, putting him at ease and encouraging him as opportunities arise (she does the opposite when she does not have interest in a relationship with a man). A godly woman will not try to manipulate the start of a relationship, but will respond to the interest and approaches of a man in a godly, encouraging way. 2. A godly woman should speak positively and respectfully about her boyfriend, both when with him and when apart. 3. She should give honest attention to his interests and respond to his attention and care by opening up her heart. 4. She should recognize the sexual temptations with which a single man will normally struggle. Knowing this, she will dress attractively but modestly, and will avoid potentially compromising situations. She must resist the temptation to encourage sexual liberties as a way to win his heart. 5. The Christian woman should build up the man with God's Word and give encouragement to godly leadership. She should allow and seek biblical encouragement from the man she is dating. 6. She should make "helping" and "respecting" the watchwords of her behavior toward a man. She should ask herself, "How can I encourage him, especially in his walk with God?" "How can I provide practical helps that are appropriate to the current place in our relationship?" She should share with him in a way that will enable him to care for her heart, asking, "What can I do or say that will help him to understand who I really am, and how can I participate in the things he cares about?" 7. She must remember that this is a brother in the Lord. She should not be afraid to end an unhealthy relationship, but should seek to do so with charity and grace. Should the relationship not continue forward, the godly woman will ensure that her time with a man will have left him spiritually blessed.
Richard D. Phillips (Holding Hands, Holding Hearts: Recovering a Biblical View of Christian Dating)
There is some concern among the Brethren that some of you who are still single may not be moving in the direction of preparing yourselves to seek out and commit to an eternal companion. This applies both to young men and to young women. The greater burden, however, rests upon the young men because in our society it is a responsibility of young men to initiate activities that lead to courtship and to marriage. The doctrine of the Church is very clear and it anticipates that individuals will be married in the temple and rear a righteous family as guided by the inspired document we call "The Proclamation on the Family." . . . Speaking of the obligation of men to marry, President Joseph Fielding Smith taught as follows: "Any young man who carelessly neglects this great commandment to marry, or who does not marry because of a selfish desire to avoid the responsibilities which married life will bring, is taking a course which is displeasing in the sight of God. Exaltation means responsibility. There can be no exaltation without it. "If a man refuses to take upon himself the responsibilities of married life, because he desires to avoid the cares and troubles which naturally will follow, he is taking a course which may bar him forever from the responsibilities which are held in reserve for those who are willing to keep in full the commandments of the Lord. . . . "According to modern custom, it is the place of the man to take the initiative in the matter of a marriage contract. Women are, by force of such custom, kept in reserve. . . . The responsibility . . . rests upon the man." President Smith continued with the following advice to young women: "If in her heart the young woman accepts fully the word of the Lord, and under proper conditions would abide by the law, but refuses an offer when she fully believes that the conditions would not justify her in entering a marriage contract, which would bind her forever to one she does not love, she shall not lose her reward. The Lord will judge her by the desires of the heart, and the day will come when the blessings withheld shall be given, though it be postponed until the life to come.
Earl C. Tingey
Think continually how many physicians have died, after often knitting their foreheads over their patients; how many astrologers after prophesying other men's deaths, as though to die were a great matter; how many philosophers after endless debate on death or survival after death; how many paladins after slaying their thousands; how many tyrants after using their power over men's lives with monstrous arrogance, as if themselves immortal; how many entire cities have, if I may use the term, died, Helice, Pompeii, Herculaneum, and others innumerable. Run over, too, the many also you know of, one after another. One followed this man's funeral and then was himself laid on the bier; another followed him, and all in a little while. This is the whole matter: see always how ephemeral and cheap are the things of man- yesterday, a spot of albumen, tomorrow, ashes or a mummy. Therefore make your passage through this span of time in obedience to Nature and gladly lay down your life, as an olive, when ripe, might fall, blessing her who bare it and grateful to thee which gave it life.
Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
This life has been created with blessings that are deeply appealing to people, for: He has given you everything you have asked Him for. If you tried to number Allah’s blessings, you could never count them. Humanity is indeed wrongdoing, ungrateful. (Surah Ibrahim: 34) Moreover, Allah allows us to enjoy these blessings as we wish and informs us that if we thank Him, our blessings will increase even more. However, these wonderful blessings will be a cause of misery to those who are ungrateful. This is one of the Qur’an’s deepest secrets, a manifestation of Allah’s justice, and an important indication of the wisdom of His creation. For those who see the true Way and believe, He continually creates new opportunities and shows them the beauty of belief and the darkness of the unbelievers’ lives. So, whatever blessings people may have cannot give them a sense of real security and contentment. This, in fact, is Allah’s mercy toward His servants, for by this means they can understand that only believers who submit themselves to Allah can find true happiness and contentment, and thus submit themselves to Him.
Harun Yahya (Those Who Exhaust All Their Pleasures In This Life)
In the last few years we had learnt more of the people round us, and the way they felt. What had seemed, five or six years ago, a kind of rather disquieting game had grown grimmer as we understood more about it. Essentially, it had not changed. Still our whole consideration if we were to survive must be to keep our true selves hidden; to walk, talk, and live indistinguishably from other people. We had a gift, a sense which, Michael complained bitterly, should have been a blessing, but was little better than a curse. The stupidest norm was happier; he could feel that he belonged. We did not, and because we did not, we had no positive — we were condemned to negatives, to not revealing ourselves, to not speaking when we would, to not using what we knew, to not being found out — to a life of perpetual deception, concealment, and lying. The prospect of continued negativeness stretching out ahead chafed him more than it did the rest of us. His imagination took him further, giving him a clearer vision of what such frustrations were going to mean, but it was no better at suggesting an alternative than ours were.
John Wyndham (The Chrysalids)
You look terrible,” was Ron’s greeting as he entered the room to wake Harry. “Not for long,” said Harry, yawning. They found Hermione downstairs in the kitchen. She was being served coffee and hot rolls by Kreacher and wearing the slightly manic expression that Harry associated with exam review. “Robes,” she said under her breath, acknowledging their presence with a nervous nod and continuing to poke around in her beaded bag, “Polyjuice Potion . . . Invisbility Cloak . . . Decoy Detonators . . . You should each take a couple just in case. . . . Puking Pastilles, Nosebleed Nougat, Extendable Ears . . .” They gulped down their breakfast, then set off upstairs, Kreacher bowing them out and promising to have a steak-and-kidney pie ready for them when they returned. “Bless him,” said Ron fondly, “and when you think I used to fantasize about cutting off his head and sticking it on the wall.” They made their way onto the front step with immense caution: They could see a couple of puffy-eyed Death Eaters watching the house from across the misty square. Hermione Disapparated with Ron first, then came back for Harry. After the usual brief spell of darkness and near suffocation, Harry found himself in the tiny alleyway where the first phase of their plan was scheduled to take place. It was as yet deserted, except for a couple of large bins; the first Ministry workers did not usually appear here until at least eight o’clock. “Right then,” said Hermione, checking her watch. “She ought to be here in about five minutes. When I’ve Stunned her—” “Hermione, we know,” said Ron sternly. “And I thought we were supposed to open the door before she got here?” Hermione squealed. “I nearly forgot! Stand back—” She pointed her wand at the padlocked and heavily graffitied fire door beside them, which burst open with a crash. The dark corridor behind it led, as they knew from their careful scouting trips, into an empty theater. Hermione pulled the door back toward her, to make it look as though it was still closed. “And now,” she said, turning back to face the other two in the alleyway, “we put on the Cloak again—” “—and we wait,” Ron finished, throwing it over Hermione’s head like a blanket over a birdcage and rolling his eyes at Harry.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
A woman’s heart is her prized possession and if she shares it with you, consider yourself blessed. It is vital to her very being; it has the capability to pump life-giving love into every living cell of your body. It can make a man believe he can fly. It can be like water to a man dying of thirst. It has the ability to keep both of you breathing when one’s breath is taken away by life’s ups and downs. In order for it to achieve these awe inspiring feats, a man must do his part to keep her heart beating for him. Because of her heart’s vital role in sustaining the relationship, if you play with her heart and it stops beating for you…it most certainly will result in the death of the relationship. In order for her heart to deliver this life-giving love to all of your cells, a love equally as strong must be pumped into every fiber of her being. That love must be capable of purifying the bad blood she has taken in throughout the day that took her breath away and bring pure love back to her heart. In this way it is a continuous cycle allowing reciprocal life-giving love to flow between the two of you sustaining the very life of your relationship.
Sanjo Jendayi (I Now Pronounce You Single & Happy)
My husband and I have been a part of the same small group for the past five years.... Like many small groups, we regularly share a meal together, love one another practically, and serve together to meet needs outside our small group. We worship, study God’s Word, and pray. It has been a rich time to grow in our understanding of God, what Jesus has accomplished for us, God’s purposes for us as a part of his kingdom, his power and desire to change us, and many other precious truths. We have grown in our love for God and others, and have been challenged to repent of our sin and trust God in every area of our lives. It was a new and refreshing experience for us to be in a group where people were willing to share their struggles with temptation and sin and ask for prayer....We have been welcomed by others, challenged to become more vulnerable, held up in prayer, encouraged in specific ongoing struggles, and have developed sweet friendships. I have seen one woman who had one foot in the world and one foot in the church openly share her struggles with us. We prayed that God would show her the way of escape from temptation many times and have seen God’s work in delivering her. Her openness has given us a front row seat to see the power of God intersect with her weakness. Her continued vulnerability and growth in godliness encourage us to be humble with one another, and to believe that God is able to change us too. Because years have now passed in close community, God’s work can be seen more clearly than on a week-by-week basis. One man who had some deep struggles and a lot of anger has grown through repenting of sin and being vulnerable one on one and in the group. He has been willing to hear the encouragement and challenges of others, and to stay in community throughout his struggle.... He has become an example in serving others, a better listener, and more gentle with his wife. As a group, we have confronted anxiety, interpersonal strife, the need to forgive, lust, family troubles, unbelief, the fear of man, hypocrisy, unemployment, sickness, lack of love, idolatry, and marital strife. We have been helped, held accountable, and lifted up by one another. We have also grieved together, celebrated together, laughed together, offended one another, reconciled with one another, put up with one another,...and sought to love God and one another. As a group we were saddened in the spring when a man who had recently joined us felt that we let him down by not being sensitive to his loneliness. He chose to leave. I say this because, with all the benefits of being in a small group, it is still just a group of sinners. It is Jesus who makes it worth getting together. Apart from our relationship with him...,we have nothing to offer. But because our focus is on Jesus, the group has the potential to make a significant and life-changing difference in all our lives. ...When 7 o’clock on Monday night comes around, I eagerly look forward to the sound of my brothers and sisters coming in our front door. I never know how the evening will go, what burdens people will be carrying, how I will be challenged, or what laughter or tears we will share. But I always know that the great Shepherd will meet us and that our lives will be richer and fuller because we have been together. ...I hope that by hearing my story you will be encouraged to make a commitment to become a part of a small group and experience the blessing of Christian community within the smaller, more intimate setting that it makes possible. 6
Timothy S. Lane (How People Change)
As soon as Devon left his room, he was overwhelmed by a surplus of unwanted attention. Not one but two footmen accompanied him down the stairs, eagerly pointing out dangers such as the edge of a particular step that wasn’t quite smooth, or a section of the curved balustrade that might be slippery from a recent polishing. After negotiating the apparent perils of the staircase, Devon continued through the main hall and was obligated to stop along the way as a row of housemaids curtsied and uttered a chorus of “Happy Christmas” and “God bless you, milord,” and offered abundant wishes for his good health. Abashed by the role he seemed to have been cast in, Devon smiled and thanked them. He made his painstaking way to the dining room, which was filled with lavish arrangements of Christmas flowers, and hung with evergreen garlands twined with gold ribbon. Kathleen, West and the twins were all seated, laughing and chatting with relaxed good humor. “We knew you were approaching,” Pandora said to Devon, “from all the happy voices we could hear in the entrance hall.” “He’s not accustomed to people exclaiming happily when he arrives,” West said gravely. “Usually they do it when he leaves.
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))
I believe Jesus had another reason for commanding us to pray for our enemies. He understands that we cannot genuinely pray for another and continue to hate him. In prayer, our vision of the person is transformed as we see him in the light of God’s presence. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote about the reorienting power of prayer within Christian communities (where a great many of our enemies are often found): A Christian community either lives by the intercessory prayers of its members for one another, or the community will be destroyed. I can no longer condemn or hate other Christians for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble they cause me. In intercessory prayer the face that may have been strange and intolerable to me is transformed into the face of one for whom Christ died, the face of a pardoned sinner. That is a blessed discovery for the Christian who is beginning to offer intercessory prayer for others. As far as we are concerned, there is no dislike, no personal tension, no disunity or strife that cannot be overcome by intercessory prayer. Intercessory prayer is the purifying bath into which the individual and the community must enter every day.1 READ MORE Luke 23:33–34; 1 Peter 3:8–9
Skye Jethani (What If Jesus Was Serious?: A Visual Guide to the Teachings of Jesus We Love to Ignore)
Chitta means “mind” and also “heart” or “attitude.” Bodhi means “awake,” “enlightened,” or “completely open.” Sometimes the completely open heart and mind of bodhichitta is called the soft spot, a place as vulnerable and tender as an open wound. It is equated, in part, with our ability to love. Even the cruelest people have this soft spot. Even the most vicious animals love their offspring. As Trungpa Rinpoche put it, “Everybody loves something, even if it’s only tortillas.” Bodhichitta is also equated, in part, with compassion—our ability to feel the pain that we share with others. Without realizing it we continually shield ourselves from this pain because it scares us. We put up protective walls made of opinions, prejudices, and strategies, barriers that are built on a deep fear of being hurt. These walls are further fortified by emotions of all kinds: anger, craving, indifference, jealousy and envy, arrogance and pride. But fortunately for us, the soft spot—our innate ability to love and to care about things—is like a crack in these walls we erect. It’s a natural opening in the barriers we create when we’re afraid. With practice we can learn to find this opening. We can learn to seize that vulnerable moment—love, gratitude, loneliness, embarrassment, inadequacy—to awaken bodhichitta. An analogy for bodhichitta is the rawness of a broken heart. Sometimes this broken heart gives birth to anxiety and panic, sometimes to anger, resentment, and blame. But under the hardness of that armor there is the tenderness of genuine sadness. This is our link with all those who have ever loved. This genuine heart of sadness can teach us great compassion. It can humble us when we’re arrogant and soften us when we are unkind. It awakens us when we prefer to sleep and pierces through our indifference. This continual ache of the heart is a blessing that when accepted fully can be shared with all. The Buddha said that we are never separated from enlightenment. Even at the times we feel most stuck, we are never alienated from the awakened state. This is a revolutionary assertion. Even ordinary people like us with hang-ups and confusion have this mind of enlightenment called bodhichitta. The openness and warmth of bodhichitta is in fact our true nature and condition. Even when our neurosis feels far more basic than our wisdom, even when we’re feeling most confused and hopeless, bodhichitta—like the open sky—is always here, undiminished by the clouds that temporarily cover it.
Pema Chödrön (The Places That Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times (Shambhala Classics))
In any case, we should expect that in due time we will be moved into our eternal destiny of creative activity with Jesus and his friends and associates in the “many mansions” of “his Father’s house.” Thus, we should not think of ourselves as destined to be celestial bureaucrats, involved eternally in celestial “administrivia.” That would be only slightly better than being caught in an everlasting church service. No, we should think of our destiny as being absorbed in a tremendously creative team effort, with unimaginably splendid leadership, on an inconceivably vast plane of activity, with ever more comprehensive cycles of productivity and enjoyment. This is the “eye hath not seen, neither ear heard” that lies before us in the prophetic vision (Isa. 64:4). This Is Shalom When Saint Augustine comes to the very end of his book The City of God, he attempts to address the question of “how the saints shall be employed when they are clothed in immortal and spiritual bodies.”15 At first he confesses that he is “at a loss to understand the nature of that employment.” But then he settles upon the word peace to describe it, and develops the idea of peace by reference to the vision of God—utilizing, as we too have done, the rich passage from 1 Corinthians 13. Thus he speaks of our “employment” then as being “the beatific vision.” The eternal blessedness of the city of God is presented as a “perpetual Sabbath.” In words so beautiful that everyone should know them by heart, he says, “There we shall rest and see, see and love, love and praise. This is what shall be in the end without end. For what other end do we propose to ourselves than to attain to the kingdom of which there is no end?” And yet, for all their beauty and goodness, these words do not seem to me to capture the blessed condition of the restoration of all things—of the kingdom come in its utter fullness. Repose, yes. But not as quiescence, passivity, eternal fixity. It is, instead, peace as wholeness, as fullness of function, as the restful but unending creativity involved in a cosmoswide, cooperative pursuit of a created order that continuously approaches but never reaches the limitless goodness and greatness of the triune personality of God, its source. This, surely, is the word of Jesus when he says, “Those who overcome will be welcomed to sit with me on my throne, as I too overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. Those capable of hearing should listen to what the Spirit is saying to my people” (Rev. 3:21
Dallas Willard (The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life In God)
In North America, there is no nostalgia for the postwar period, quite simply because the Trente Glorieuses never existed there: per capita output grew at roughly the same rate of 1.5–2 percent per year throughout the period 1820–2012. To be sure, growth slowed a bit between 1930 and 1950 to just over 1.5 percent, then increased again to just over 2 percent between 1950 and 1970, and then slowed to less than 1.5 percent between 1990 and 2012. In Western Europe, which suffered much more from the two world wars, the variations are considerably greater: per capita output stagnated between 1913 and 1950 (with a growth rate of just over 0.5 percent) and then leapt ahead to more than 4 percent from 1950 to 1970, before falling sharply to just slightly above US levels (a little more than 2 percent) in the period 1970–1990 and to barely 1.5 percent between 1990 and 2012. Western Europe experienced a golden age of growth between 1950 and 1970, only to see its growth rate diminish to one-half or even one-third of its peak level during the decades that followed. [...] If we looked only at continental Europe, we would find an average per capita output growth rate of 5 percent between 1950 and 1970—a level well beyond that achieved in other advanced countries over the past two centuries. These very different collective experiences of growth in the twentieth century largely explain why public opinion in different countries varies so widely in regard to commercial and financial globalization and indeed to capitalism in general. In continental Europe and especially France, people quite naturally continue to look on the first three postwar decades—a period of strong state intervention in the economy—as a period blessed with rapid growth, and many regard the liberalization of the economy that began around 1980 as the cause of a slowdown. In Great Britain and the United States, postwar history is interpreted quite differently. Between 1950 and 1980, the gap between the English-speaking countries and the countries that had lost the war closed rapidly. By the late 1970s, US magazine covers often denounced the decline of the United States and the success of German and Japanese industry. In Britain, GDP per capita fell below the level of Germany, France, Japan, and even Italy. It may even be the case that this sense of being rivaled (or even overtaken in the case of Britain) played an important part in the “conservative revolution.” Margaret Thatcher in Britain and Ronald Reagan in the United States promised to “roll back the welfare state” that had allegedly sapped the animal spirits of Anglo-Saxon entrepreneurs and thus to return to pure nineteenth-century capitalism, which would allow the United States and Britain to regain the upper hand. Even today, many people in both countries believe that the conservative revolution was remarkably successful, because their growth rates once again matched continental European and Japanese levels. In fact, neither the economic liberalization that began around 1980 nor the state interventionism that began in 1945 deserves such praise or blame. France, Germany, and Japan would very likely have caught up with Britain and the United States following their collapse of 1914–1945 regardless of what policies they had adopted (I say this with only slight exaggeration). The most one can say is that state intervention did no harm. Similarly, once these countries had attained the global technological frontier, it is hardly surprising that they ceased to grow more rapidly than Britain and the United States or that growth rates in all of these wealthy countries more or less equalized [...] Broadly speaking, the US and British policies of economic liberalization appear to have had little effect on this simple reality, since they neither increased growth nor decreased it.
Thomas Piketty (Capital in the Twenty-First Century)
I am very often asked why, at the age of eighty-five, I continue to practice. Tip number eighty-five (sheer coincidence that I am now eighty-five years old) begins with a simple declaration: my work with patients enriches my life in that it provides meaning in life. Rarely do I hear therapists complain of a lack of meaning. We live lives of service in which we fix our gaze on the needs of others. We take pleasure not only in helping our patients change, but also in hoping their changes will ripple beyond them toward others. We are also privileged by our role as cradlers of secrets. Every day patients grace us with their secrets, often never before shared. The secrets provide a backstage view of the human condition without social frills, role-playing, bravado, or stage posturing. Being entrusted with such secrets is a privilege given to very few. Sometimes the secrets scorch me and I go home and hold my wife and count my blessings. Moreover, our work provides the opportunity to transcend ourselves and to envision the true and tragic knowledge of the human condition. But we are offered even more. We become explorers immersed in the grandest of pursuits—the development and maintenance of the human mind. Hand in hand with patients, we savor the pleasure of discovery—the “aha” experience when disparate ideational fragments suddenly slide smoothly together into a coherent whole. Sometimes I feel like a guide escorting others through the rooms of their own house. What a treat it is to watch them open doors to rooms never before entered, discover unopened wings of their house containing beautiful and creative pieces of identity. Recently I attended a Christmas service at the Stanford Chapel to hear a sermon by Rev. Jane Shaw that underscored the vital importance of love and compassion. I was moved by her call to put such sentiments into practice whenever we can. Acts of caring and generosity can enrich any environment in which we find ourselves. Her words motivated me to reconsider the role of love in my own profession. I became aware that I have never, not once, used the word love or compassion in my discussions of the practice of psychotherapy. It is a huge omission, which I wish now to correct, for I know that I regularly experience love and compassion in my work as a therapist and do all I can to help patients liberate their love and generosity toward others. If I do not experience these feelings for a particular patient, then it is unlikely I will be of much help. Hence I try to remain alert to my loving feelings or absence of such feelings for my patients.
Irvin D. Yalom (Becoming Myself: A Psychiatrist's Memoir)
Some members of the Church seem to compartmentalize the restored gospel into a lengthy list of things to do—as separate and unrelated “applications” to be accomplished and checked off. Daily scripture study—check. Personal and family prayer—check. Tithing—check. Family home evening—check. Temple attendance—check. Home and visiting teaching—check. But the purification, the joy, the happiness, the continuing conversion, and the spiritual power and protection that come from “yielding [our] hearts unto God” (Helaman 3:35) cannot be obtained merely by performing and checking off all of the gospel things we are supposed to do. Consistently completing the various tasks without experiencing the mighty change of heart and becoming more devoted disciples will not produce the spiritual strength we need to withstand the evils and opposition of the latter days. Rather, the power of the Savior’s gospel to bless and guide us comes from the connectedness and interrelatedness of its doctrines, principles, and practices. Only as we gather together in one all things in Christ can we diligently strive to become what God desires us to become (see Matthew 5:48; 3 Nephi 12:48). And the framework of doctrines, principles, and applications is a tool that can help us investigate and learn about the interrelatedness of gospel truths and practices
David A. Bednar (Increase In Learning: Spiritual Patterns For Obtaining Your Own Answers (Spiritual Patterns, #1))
Statement Preliminary to the Invention of Solace Whether they bend as compliantly as black leaves Curved and hanging in the heavy dew in the grey dawn, Or whether they wait as motionless as ice-coated Insects and spears of roots on a northern cliff; Whether they tighten once like the last white edge Of primrose taken suddenly skyward By a gust of frost, or swallow as hard as stones Careened and scattered by a current of river; Whether they mourn by the bright light of grief Running like a spine of grass straight through the sound Of their songs, or whether they fall quietly Through indefinite darkness like a seed of sorrel Bound alive beneath snow; whether they mourn in multitudes, blessed like a congregation of winter forest moaning for the white drifting children of storms they can never remember, or whether they grieve separately, divided even from themselves, parted like golden plovers blown and calling over a buffeted sea; something must come to them, something as clear and fair and continuous as the eye of the bluegill open in calm water, something as silent as the essential spaces of breath heard inside the voice naming all of their wishes, something touching them in the same way the sun deep in the pit of the pear touches the spring sky by the light of its own leaf. A comfort understood like that must be present now and possible.
Pattiann Rogers (Quickening Fields)
To the Highland Girl of Inversneyde SWEET Highland Girl, a very shower Of beauty is thy earthly dower! Twice seven consenting years have shed Their utmost bounty on thy head: And these gray rocks, this household lawn, These trees—a veil just half withdrawn, This fall of water that doth make A murmur near the silent lake, This little bay, a quiet road That holds in shelter thy abode; In truth together ye do seem Like something fashion’d in a dream; Such forms as from their covert peep When earthly cares are laid asleep! But O fair Creature! in the light Of common day, so heavenly bright I bless Thee, Vision as thou art, I bless thee with a human heart: God shield thee to thy latest years! I neither know thee nor thy peers: And yet my eyes are fill’d with tears. With earnest feeling I shall pray For thee when I am far away; For never saw I mien or face In which more plainly I could trace Benignity and home-bred sense Ripening in perfect innocence. Here scatter’d, like a random seed, Remote from men, Thou dost not need The embarrass’d look of shy distress, And maidenly shamefacédness: Thou wear’st upon thy forehead clear The freedom of a mountaineer: A face with gladness overspread, Soft smiles, by human kindness bred; And seemliness complete, that sways Thy courtesies, about thee plays; With no restraint, but such as springs From quick and eager visitings Of thoughts that lie beyond the reach Of thy few words of English speech: A bondage sweetly brook’d, a strife That gives thy gestures grace and life! So have I, not unmoved in mind, Seen birds of tempest-loving kind, Thus beating up against the wind. What hand but would a garland cull For thee who art so beautiful? O happy pleasure! here to dwell Beside thee in some heathy dell; Adopt your homely ways, and dress, A shepherd, thou a shepherdess! But I could frame a wish for thee More like a grave reality: Thou art to me but as a wave Of the wild sea: and I would have Some claim upon thee, if I could, Though but of common neighbourhood. What joy to hear thee, and to see! Thy elder brother I would be, Thy father, anything to thee. Now thanks to Heaven! that of its grace Hath led me to this lonely place: Joy have I had; and going hence I bear away my recompense. In spots like these it is we prize Our memory, feel that she hath eyes: Then why should I be loth to stir? I feel this place was made for her; To give new pleasure like the past, Continued long as life shall last. Nor am I loth, though pleased at heart, Sweet Highland Girl! from thee to part; For I, methinks, till I grow old As fair before me shall behold As I do now, the cabin small, The lake, the bay, the waterfall; And Thee, the spirit of them all
William Wordsworth
Tatia…Tatiasha,” he said huskily, taking her hands and kissing them, kissing her wrists and the insides of her forearms. “Yes?” she said, just as huskily. “We’re alone together.” “I know,” she replied, suppressing a moan. “We have privacy.” “Hmm.” “Privacy, Tania!” Alexander said intensely. “For the first time in our life you and I have real privacy. We had it yesterday. And we have it today.” She couldn’t take the emotion in his crème brûlée eyes. She lowered her gaze. “Look at me.” “I can’t,” she whispered. Alexander cupped her small face in his massive hands. “Are you…scared?” “Terrified.” “No. Please, don’t be scared of me.” He kissed her deeply on the lips, so deeply, so fully, so lovingly, that Tatiana felt the aching pit inside her open up and flare upward. She tottered, physically unable to continue sitting upright. “Tatiasha,” he said, “why are you so beautiful? Why?” “I’m a rag,” she said. “Look at you.” He hugged her. “God, what a blessing.” Pulling away, Alexander took her hands. “Tania, you are my miracle, you know that, don’t you? You are the one God sent me to give me faith.” He paused. “He sent you to redeem me, to comfort me, and to heal me—and that’s just so far,” he added with a smile. “I’m barely able to hold myself together right now, I want to make love to you so much…” Here he stopped. “I know you’re afraid. I will never hurt you. Will you come into my tent with me?” “Yes,” Tatiana said, softly but audibly.
Paullina Simons (The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1))
more than anything.” He turned to Jean Louise. “Seven-thirty tonight and no Landing. We’ll go to the show.” “Okay. Where’re you all going?” “Courthouse. Meeting.” “On Sunday?” “Yep.” “That’s right, I keep forgetting all the politicking’s done on Sunday in these parts.” Atticus called for Henry to come on. “Bye, baby,” he said. Jean Louise followed him into the livingroom. When the front door slammed behind her father and Henry, she went to her father’s chair to tidy up the papers he had left on the floor beside it. She picked them up, arranged them in sectional order, and put them on the sofa in a neat pile. She crossed the room again to straighten the stack of books on his lamp table, and was doing so when a pamphlet the size of a business envelope caught her eye. On its cover was a drawing of an anthropophagous Negro; above the drawing was printed The Black Plague. Its author was somebody with several academic degrees after his name. She opened the pamphlet, sat down in her father’s chair, and began reading. When she had finished, she took the pamphlet by one of its corners, held it like she would hold a dead rat by the tail, and walked into the kitchen. She held the pamphlet in front of her aunt. “What is this thing?” she said. Alexandra looked over her glasses at it. “Something of your father’s.” Jean Louise stepped on the garbage can trigger and threw the pamphlet in. “Don’t do that,” said Alexandra. “They’re hard to come by these days.” Jean Louise opened her mouth, shut it, and opened it again. “Aunty, have you read that thing? Do you know what’s in it?” “Certainly.” If Alexandra had uttered an obscenity in her face, Jean Louise would have been less surprised. “You—Aunty, do you know the stuff in that thing makes Dr. Goebbels look like a naive little country boy?” “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Jean Louise. There are a lot of truths in that book.” “Yes indeedy,” said Jean Louise wryly. “I especially liked the part where the Negroes, bless their hearts, couldn’t help being inferior to the white race because their skulls are thicker and their brain-pans shallower—whatever that means—so we must all be very kind to them and not let them do anything to hurt themselves and keep them in their places. Good God, Aunty—” Alexandra was ramrod straight. “Well?” she said. Jean Louise said, “It’s just that I never knew you went in for salacious reading material, Aunty.” Her aunt was silent, and Jean Louise continued: “I was real impressed with the parable where since the dawn of history the rulers of the world have always been white, except Genghis Khan or somebody—the author was real fair about that—and he made a killin’ point about even the Pharaohs were white and their subjects were either black or Jews—” “That’s true, isn’t it?” “Sure, but what’s that got to do with the case?” When Jean Louise felt apprehensive, expectant, or on edge, especially when confronting her aunt, her brain clicked to the meter of Gilbertian tomfoolery. Three sprightly figures
Harper Lee (Go Set a Watchman)
role in this incredible event. In August 2010, news reports around the world began to tell the story of the plight of 33 miners trapped 2,300 feet below the earth in a Chilean mine. As the daily reports continued, the entire world watched what seemed to be a completely hopeless situation. Every effort to make contact with the men failed. The miners were running out of supplies and going to die. Incredibly — and to the surprise of the entire world — contact was made with the miners after 17 days! Engineers had been able to drill a small shaft down to precisely where the miners were imprisoned. Through this small shaft, food, water, and other supplies could be sent down to the trapped men. The ordeal was far from over, though. In order to save them, a much larger shaft had to be drilled, one that would allow them to be brought to the surface one by one. It would take a miracle for this to happen. From St. Peter’s in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI asked the entire world to pray for the miners. As a special sign of hope, the Pope personally blessed 33 rosaries and sent them to the miners so that they could pray the rosary and know that Jesus and Mary were with them. The blessed rosaries were sent down the small shaft to the men, and they began to pray them and wear them around their necks. Miraculously, after having been trapped for 69 days, all 33 men survived and were rescued from the mine. One by one, they emerged from the depths of the earth and saw sunshine again. What was the date of their rescue? It was October 13, the anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima!
Donald H. Calloway (10 Wonders of the Rosary)
In other words, if we believe we can or we believe we can’t, we are right. Belief itself is the key. To reiterate: positive thinking alone has no power. Belief must include our heart. We can make the choice for life by believing the Lord and dealing with any barriers that prevent us from receiving the promises of God. This is why God says in His Word: “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life” (Deut. 30:19). The healing power of the Divine Healer is in our own heart: “All things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23). We make the connection with Him through our belief. “All things are possible to him who believes!” PRACTICE PRAY: PRAYER STEP 1 Notice that when you close your eyes to pray, your focus shifts from your head to your spiritual heart in your belly (see John 7:38 KJV). Yield to Christ within. PRACTICE: Pray Prayer is fellowship with a Person. Come into the presence of the Divine Healer to honor Him. Pray. Close your eyes and pray, placing your hand on your belly. Focus. Focus on Christ within. Feel peace. Yield and feel peace. RECEIVE: PRAYER STEP 2 PRACTICE: Receive Pray. Close your eyes and pray, placing your hand on your belly. Yield. Yield to the Divine Healer in your heart. Receive. Welcome healing into every cell of your body. TROUBLESHOOTING REMOVING FEAR Pray. Close your eyes and pray, placing your hand on your belly. First. You may see a situation, another person, or yourself. Feel. Allow yourself to feel the fear momentarily. Forgive. Receive forgiveness for taking in fear (see 1 John 4:18). ENDNOTES   1. “More than 9 in 10 Americans continue to believe
Dennis Clark (Releasing the Divine Healer Within: The Biology of Belief and Healing)
What does it take to make you stop?” Elizabeth flinched from the hatred in the voice she loved and drew a shaking breath, praying she could finish without starting to cry. “I’ve hurt you terribly, my love, and I’ll hurt you again during the next fifty years. And you are going to hurt me, Ian-never, I hope, as much as you are hurting me now. But if that’s the way it has to be, then I’ll endure it, because the only alternative is to live without you, and that is no life at all. The difference is that I know it, and you don’t-not yet.” “Are you finished now?” “Not quite,” she said, straightening at the sound of footsteps in the hall. “There’s one more thing,” she informed him, lifting her quivering chin. “I am not a Labrador retriever! You cannot put me out of your life, because I won’t stay.” When she left, Ian stared at the empty room that had been alive with her presence but moments before, wondering what in hell she meant by her last comment. He glanced toward the door as Larimore walked in, then he nodded curtly toward the chairs in front of his desk, silently ordering the solicitor to sit down. “I gathered from your message,” Larimore said quietly, opening his legal case, “that you now wish to proceed with the divorce?” Ian hesitated a moment while Elizabeth’s heartbroken words whirled through his mind, juxtaposed with the lies and omissions that had begun on the night they met and continued right up to their last night together. He recalled the torment of the first weeks after she’d left him and compared it to the cold, blessed numbness that had now taken its place. He looked at the solicitor, who was waiting for his answer. And he nodded.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Are you ready, children?” Father Mikhail walked through the church. “Did I keep you waiting?” He took his place in front of them at the altar. The jeweler and Sofia stood nearby. Tatiana thought they might have already finished that bottle of vodka. Father Mikhail smiled. “Your birthday today,” he said to Tatiana. “Nice birthday present for you, no?” She pressed into Alexander. “Sometimes I feel that my powers are limited by the absence of God in the lives of men during these trying times,” Father Mikhail began. “But God is still present in my church, and I can see He is present in you. I am very glad you came to me, children. Your union is meant by God for your mutual joy, for the help and comfort you give one another in prosperity and adversity and, when it is God’s will, for the procreation of children. I want to send you righteously on your way through life. Are you ready to commit yourselves to each other?” “We are,” they said. “The bond and the covenant of marriage was established by God in creation. Christ himself adorned this manner of life by his first miracle at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. A marriage is a symbol of the mystery of the union between Christ and His Church. Do you understand that those whom God has joined together, no man can put asunder?” “We do,” they said. “Do you have the rings?” “We do.” Father Mikhail continued. “Most gracious God,” he said, holding the cross above their heads, “look with favor upon this man and this woman living in a world for which Your Son gave His life. Make their life together a sign of Christ’s love to this sinful and broken world. Defend this man and this woman from every enemy. Lead them into peace. Let their love for each other be a seal upon their hearts, a mantle upon their shoulders, and a crown upon their foreheads. Bless them in their work and in their friendship, in their sleeping and in their waking, in their joys and their sorrows, in their life and in their death.” Tears trickled down Tatiana’s face. She hoped Alexander wouldn’t notice. Father Mikhail certainly had. Turning to Tatiana and taking her hands, Alexander smiled, beaming at her unrestrained happiness. Outside, on the steps of the church, he lifted her off the ground and swung her around as they kissed ecstatically. The jeweler and Sofia clapped apathetically, already down the steps and on the street. “Don’t hug her so tight. You’ll squeeze that child right out of her,” said Sofia to Alexander as she turned around and lifted her clunky camera. “Oh, wait. Hold on. Let me take a picture of the newlyweds.” She clicked once. Twice. “Come to me next week. Maybe I’ll have some paper by then to develop them.” She waved. “So you still think the registry office judge should have married us?” Alexander grinned. “He with his ‘of sound mind’ philosophy on marriage?” Tatiana shook her head. “You were so right. This was perfect. How did you know this all along?” “Because you and I were brought together by God,” Alexander replied. “This was our way of thanking Him.” Tatiana chuckled. “Do you know it took us less time to get married than to make love the first time?” “Much less,” Alexander said, swinging her around in the air. “Besides, getting married is the easy part. Just like making love. It was the getting you to make love to me that was hard. It was the getting you to marry me…” “I’m sorry. I was so nervous.” “I know,” he said. He still hadn’t put her down. “I thought the chances were twenty-eighty you were actually going to go through with it.” “Twenty against?” “Twenty for.” “Got to have a little more faith, my husband,” said Tatiana, kissing his lips.
Paullina Simons (The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1))
Jesus Christ did not set a limit for Himself, neither did He follow all His own maxims to the letter. The Holy Spirit ever inspired His holy soul and, being entirely abandoned to its every breath, it had no need to consult the moment that had passed, to know how to act in that which was coming. The breath of grace shaped every moment according to the eternal truths subsisting in the invisible and unfathomable wisdom of the Blessed Trinity. The soul of Jesus Christ received these directions at every moment, and acted upon them externally. The Gospel shows in the life of Jesus Christ a succession of these truths; and this same Jesus who lives and works always, continues to live and work in the souls of His saints. If you would live according to the Gospel, abandon yourself simply and entirely to the action of God. Jesus Christ is its supreme mouthpiece. “He was yesterday, is to-day, and will be for ever.” (Hebr. xiii, 8); continuing, not recommencing His life. What He has done is finished; what remains to be done is being carried on at every moment. Each saint receives a share in this divine life, and in each, Jesus Christ is different, although the same in Himself. The life of each saint is the life of Jesus Christ; it is a new gospel. The cheeks of the spouse are compared to beds of flowers, to gardens filled with fragrant blossoms. The divine action is the gardener, admirably arranging the flower beds. This garden resembles no other, for among all the flowers there are no two alike, or that can be described as being of the same species, except in the fidelity with which they respond to the action of the Creator, in leaving Him free to do as He pleases, and, on their side, obeying the laws imposed on them by their nature. Let God act, and let us do what He requires of us; this is the Gospel; this is the general Scripture, and the common law.
Jean-Pierre de Caussade (Abandonment to Divine Providence)
The next day, it was still raining when Lee issued his final order to his troops, known simply as General Orders Number 9. After four years of arduous service, marked by unsurpassed courage and fortitude, the Army of Northern Virginia has been compelled to yield to overwhelming numbers and resources. I need not tell the brave survivors of so many hard fought battles, who have remained steadfast to the last, that I have consented to the result from no distrust of them. But feeling that valor and devotion could accomplish nothing that would compensate for the loss that must have attended the continuance of the contest, I determined to avoid the useless sacrifice of those whose past services have endeared them to their countrymen. By the terms of the agreement officers and men can return to their homes and remain until exchanged. You will take with you the satisfaction that proceeds from the consciousness of duty faithfully performed, and I earnestly pray that a Merciful God will extended to you His blessing and protection. With an increasing admiration of your constancy and devotion to your country, and a grateful remembrance of your kind and generous considerations for myself, I bid you all an affectionate farewell. For generations, General Orders Number 9 would be recited in the South with the same pride as the Gettysburg Address was learned in the North. It is marked less by its soaring prose—the language is in fact rather prosaic—but by what it does say, bringing his men affectionate words of closure, and, just as importantly, what it doesn’t say. Nowhere does it exhort his men to continue the struggle; nowhere does it challenge the legitimacy of the Union government that had forced their surrender; nowhere does it fan the flames of discontent. In fact, Lee pointedly struck out a draft paragraph that could have been construed to do just that.
Jay Winik (April 1865: The Month That Saved America)
You are personally responsible for so much of the sunshine that brightens up your life. Optimists and gentle souls continually benefit from their very own versions of daylight saving time. They get extra hours of happiness and sunshine every day. – Douglas Pagels, from Simple Thoughts That Can Literally Change Your Life The secret joys of living are not found by rushing from point A to point B, but by slowing down and inventing some imaginary letters along the way. – Douglas Pagels, from Simple Thoughts That Can Literally Change Your Life “There is nothing more important than family.” Those words should be etched in stone on the sidewalks that lead to every home. – Douglas Pagels, from Simple Thoughts That Can Literally Change Your Life I may be uncertain about exactly where I’m headed, but I am very clear regarding this: I’m glad I’ve got a ticket to go on this magnificent journey. – Douglas Pagels, from Simple Thoughts That Can Literally Change Your Life When your heart is filled with gratitude for what you do have, your head isn’t nearly so worried about what you don’t. – Douglas Pagels, from Simple Thoughts That Can Literally Change Your Life Don’t let cynical people transfer their cynicism off on you. In spite of its problems, it is still a pretty amazing world, and there are lots of truly wonderful people spinning around on this planet. – Douglas Pagels, from Required Reading for All Teenagers All the good things you can do – having the right attitude, having a strong belief in your abilities, making good choices and responsible decisions – all those good things will pay huge dividends. You’ll see. Your prayers will be heard. Your karma will kick in. The sacrifices you made will be repaid. And the good work will have all been worth it. – Douglas Pagels, from Required Reading for All Teenagers The more you’re bothered by something that’s wrong, the more you’re empowered to make things right. – Douglas Pagels, from Everyone Should Have a Book Like This to Get Through the Gray Days May you be blessed with all these things: A little more joy, a little less stress, a lot more understanding of your wonderfulness. Abundance in your life, blessings in your days, dreams that come true, and hopes that stay. A rainbow on the horizon, an angel by your side, and everything that could ever bring a smile to your life. – Douglas Pagels, from May You Be Blessed with All These Things Each day brings with it the miracle of a new beginning. Many of the moments ahead will be marvelously disguised as ordinary days, but each one of us has the chance to make something extraordinary out of them. – Douglas Pagels, from May You Be Blessed with All These Things Keep planting the seeds of your dreams, because if you keep believing in them, they will keep trying their best to blossom for you. – Douglas Pagels, from May You Be Blessed with All These Things I hope your dreams take you... to the corners of your smiles, to the highest of your hopes, to the windows of your opportunities, and to the most special places your heart has ever known. – Douglas Pagels, from May You Be Blessed with All These Things Love is what holds everything together. It’s the ribbon around the gift of life. – Douglas Pagels, from May You Be Blessed with All These Things There are times in life when just being brave is all you need to be. – Douglas Pagels, from May You Be Blessed with All These Things When it comes to anything – whether it involves people or places or jobs or hoped-for plans – you never know what the answer will be if you don’t ask. And you never know what the result will be if you don’t try. – Douglas Pagels, from Make Every Day a Positive One Don’t just have minutes in the day; have moments in time. – Douglas Pagels, from Chasing Away the Clouds A life well lived is simply a compilation of days well spent. – Douglas Pagels, from Chasing Away the Clouds
Douglas Pagels
She’s an innocent, Father. I told myself I would not do this thing, that it was wrong, but I knew I would.” It was a measure of his distress that he called the priest “Father.” “And knowing you would do something you believe is wrong, you still did it. You must have had a good reason.” “Selfishness. Did you not hear me? I, I, I. Everything for myself. I found a reason to continue my existence and I took what did not belong to me, and still, even now, talking to you, I know I will not give her up.” “Accept your nature, Mikhail. Accept yourself as you are.” Mikhail’s laughter was bitter. “Everything is so clear to you. You say I am one of God’s children. I have purpose, I should accept my nature. My nature is to take what I believe is mine, hold it, protect it. Chain it to my side if necessary. I cannot let her go. I cannot. She is like the wind, open and free. If I caged the wind, would it die?” “Then don’t cage it, Mikhail. Trust it to stay beside you.” “How can I protect the wind, Edgar?” “You said cannot, Mikhail. You cannot let her go. Not would not, will not. You said cannot. There is a difference.” “For me. What of her? What choice am I giving her?” “I have always believed in you, in your goodness and your strength. It is very possible that the young lady needs you as well. You have heard the legends and lies associated with your kind for so long, you are beginning to believe the nonsense. To a true vegetarian, a meat eater can be repulsive. The tiger needs deer to survive. A plant needs water. We all need something. You take only what you need. Kneel, receive God’s blessing, and go back to your woman. You will find a way to protect your wind.” Mikhail knelt obediently, his head bent, allowing the peace of the old man and his words to comfort him. Outside, the fury of the storm abated abruptly, as if it had spent its anger and now could rest in the aftermath. “Thank you, Father,” Mikhail whispered. “Do what you must to protect your race, Mikhail. In the eyes of God, they are His children.
Christine Feehan (Dark Prince (Dark, #1))
Bindi the Jungle Girl aired on July 18, 2007, on ABC (Channel 2) in Australia, and we were so proud. Bindi’s determination to carry on her father’s legacy was a testament to everything Steve believed in. He had perfectly combined his love for his family with his love for conservation and leaving the world a better place. Now this love was perfectly passed down to his kids. The official beginning of Bindi’s career was a fantastic day. All the time and effort, and joy and sorrow of the past year culminated in this wonderful series. Now everyone was invited to see Bindi’s journey, first filming with her dad, and then stepping up and filming with Robert and me. It was also a chance to experience one more time why Steve was so special and unique, to embrace him, to appreciate him, and to celebrate his life. Bindi, Robert, and I would do our best to make sure that Steve’s light wasn’t hidden under a bushel. It would continue to sine as we worked together to protect all wildlife and all wild places. After Bindi’s show launched, it seemed so appropriate that another project we had been working on for many months came to fruition. We found an area of 320,000 acres in Cape York Peninsula, bordered on one side by the Dulcie River and on the other side by the Wenlock River--some of the best crocodile country in the world. It was one of the top spots in Australia, and the most critically important habitat in the state of Queensland. Prime Minister John Howard, along with the Queensland government, dedicated $6.3 million to obtaining this land, in memory of Steve. On July 22, 2007, the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve became official. This piece of land means so much to the Irwin family, and I know what it would have meant to Steve. Ultimately, it meant the protection of his crocodiles, the animals he loved so much. What does the future hold for the Irwin family? Each and every day is filled with incredible triumphs and moments of terrible grief. And in between, life goes on. We are determined to continue to honor and appreciate Steve’s wonderful spirit. It lives on with all of us. Steve lived every day of his life doing what he loved, and he always said he would die defending wildlife. I reckon Bindi, Robert, and I will all do the same. God bless you, Stevo. I love you, mate.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
Now I ask you: what can be expected of man since he is a being endowed with strange qualities? Shower upon him every earthly blessing, drown him in a sea of happiness, so that nothing but bubbles of bliss can be seen on the surface; give him economic prosperity, such that he should have nothing else to do but sleep, eat cakes and busy himself with the continuation of his species, and even then out of sheer ingratitude, sheer spite, man would play you some nasty trick. He would even risk his cakes and would deliberately desire the most fatal rubbish, the most uneconomical absurdity, simply to introduce into all this positive good sense his fatal fantastic element. It is just his fantastic dreams, his vulgar folly that he will desire to retain, simply in order to prove to himself—as though that were so necessary—that men still are men and not the keys of a piano, which the laws of nature threaten to control so completely that soon one will be able to desire nothing but by the calendar. And that is not all: even if man really were nothing but a piano-key, even if this were proved to him by natural science and mathematics, even then he would not become reasonable, but would purposely do something perverse out of simple ingratitude, simply to gain his point. And if he does not find means he will contrive destruction and chaos, will contrive sufferings of all sorts, only to gain his point! He will launch a curse upon the world, and as only man can curse (it is his privilege, the primary distinction between him and other animals), may be by his curse alone he will attain his object—that is, convince himself that he is a man and not a piano-key! If you say that all this, too, can be calculated and tabulated—chaos and darkness and curses, so that the mere possibility of calculating it all beforehand would stop it all, and reason would reassert itself, then man would purposely go mad in order to be rid of reason and gain his point! I believe in it, I answer for it, for the whole work of man really seems to consist in nothing but proving to himself every minute that he is a man and not a piano-key! It may be at the cost of his skin, it may be by cannibalism! And this being so, can one help being tempted to rejoice that it has not yet come off, and that desire still depends on something we don’t know?
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes from Underground)
It was that very same attitude that had caused the heaviness on her heart right now. The phone calls she had received came from people who had spent all year spending money on the things they wanted: new cars, TVs, clothes and going out to eat and now they had nothing left to give to someone else. "When did it happen?" she wondered, "-- this change in people's thinking." What happened to the times when even a small gift was greatly appreciated because you knew the person had sacrificed so much in order to buy or make it? What happened to the times when parents, spouses and children worked so hard in order to be able to give that special gift to someone they loved? When did it become acceptable to call on your expensive cell phone, from your favorite restaurant, to let others know that you can't buy them a gift this year because you can't afford it? Had she been mistaken all this time in her understanding of gift giving? With a droop in her shoulders she turns and walks toward the little tree. How could it have lost its sparkle in a matter of moments? Why do the presents under it suddenly look less gaily wrapped? With tears gently rolling down her cheeks, she stoops to turn off the tree's lights. As she reaches for the plug, her hand accidentally brushes her Bible laying on the table. She looks up through the blur, her eyes alight upon the passage on the open page. "For God so LOVED the world that he GAVE his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." A sweet peace starts warming her heart. She begins to smile and her tears are flowing even more freely now -- not from sadness, but from joy. The lights on the little tree become brighter and brighter, lighting up the whole room with it's sparkle. The gifts under it look more beautiful than those in the most expensive department stores for, in that moment, she realizes that she wasn't wrong to love, to sacrifice and to want to give gifts to the people she loves. Hadn't God Himself so loved us that He gave, with the greatest of sacrifices, the most wonderful gift, His Son. She was so glad that God hadn't spent His time in heaven selfishly using all His resources for Himself. She was thankful that He hadn't sent her a message saying, "Sorry, but I can't afford to give you a gift this year." In those few moments of heartbreak she had learned something more. She had learned what God must feel like to have the gift that He sacrificed so much to give be rejected and scorned. How hurtful to take away the blessing of giving from someone or to reject their gift. Yes, it seemed to be popular to say, "We can't afford to exchange gifts this year", but it didn't matter. She would continue to love, sacrifice and give, always following her heavenly Father's example.
Tawra Jean Kellam
[T]he great decided effective Majority is now for the Republic," he told Jefferson in late October 1792, but whether it would endure for even six months "must depend on the Form of Government which shall be presented by the Convention" and whether it could "strike out that happy Mean which secures all the Liberty which Circumstances will admit of combin'd with all the Energy which the same Circumstances require; Whether they can establish an Authority which does not exist, as a Substitute (and always a dangerous Substitute) for that Respect which cannot be restor'd after so much has been to destroy it; Whether in crying down and even ridiculing Religion they will be able on the tottering and uncertain Base of metaphisic Philosophy to establish a solid Edifice of morals, these are Questions which Time must solve." At the same time he predicted to Rufus King that "we shall have I think some sharp struggles which will make many men repent of what they have done when they find with Macbeth that they have but taught bloody Instructions which return to plague the Inventor." . . . In early December, he wrote perhaps his most eloquent appraisal of the tragic turn of the [French] Revolution, to Thomas Pinckney. "Success as you will see, continues to crown the French Arms, but it is not our Trade to judge from Success," he began. "You will soon learn that the Patriots hitherto adored were but little worthy of the Incense they received. The Enemies of those who now reign treat them as they did their Predecessors and as their Successors will be treated. Since I have been in this Country, I have seen the Worship of many Idols and but little [illegible] of the true God. I have seen many of those Idols broken, and some of them beaten to Dust. I have seen the late Constitution in one short Year admired as a stupendous Monument of human Wisdom and ridiculed as an egregious Production of Folly and Vice. I wish much, very much, the Happiness of this inconstant People. I love them. I feel grateful for their Efforts in our Cause and I consider the Establishment of a good Constitution here as the principal Means, under divine Providence, of extending the blessings of Freedom to the many millions of my fellow Men who groan in Bondage on the Continent of Europe. But I do not greatly indulge the flattering Illusions of Hope, because I do not yet perceive that Reformation of Morals without which Liberty is but an empty Sound." . . . [H]e believed religion was "the only solid Base of Morals and that Morals are the only possible Support of free governments." He described the movement as a "new Religion" whose Votaries have the Superstition of not being superstitious. They have with this as much Zeal as any other Sect and are as ready to lay Waste the World in order to make Proselytes.
Melanie Randolph Miller (Envoy to the Terror: Gouverneur Morris and the French Revolution)
there are continually turning up in life moral and rational persons, sages and lovers of human- ity who make it their object to live all their lives as morally and rationally as possible, to be, so to speak, a light to their neighbours simply in order to show them that it is possible to live morally and rationally in this world. And yet we all know that those very people sooner or later have been false to themselves, playing some queer trick, o en a most un- seemly one. Now I ask you: what can be expected of man since he is a being endowed with strange qualities? Show- er upon him every earthly blessing, drown him in a sea of happiness, so that nothing but bubbles of bliss can be seen Free eBooks at Planet eBook.com on the surface; give him economic prosperity, such that he should have nothing else to do but sleep, eat cakes and busy himself with the continuation of his species, and even then out of sheer ingratitude, sheer spite, man would play you some nasty trick. He would even risk his cakes and would deliberately desire the most fatal rubbish, the most uneco- nomical absurdity, simply to introduce into all this positive good sense his fatal fantastic element. It is just his fantastic dreams, his vulgar folly that he will desire to retain, simply in order to prove to himself—as though that were so neces- sary— that men still are men and not the keys of a piano, which the laws of nature threaten to control so completely that soon one will be able to desire nothing but by the cal- endar. And that is not all: even if man really were nothing but a piano-key, even if this were proved to him by natural science and mathematics, even then he would not become reasonable, but would purposely do something perverse out of simple ingratitude, simply to gain his point. And if he does not nd means he will contrive destruction and chaos, will contrive su erings of all sorts, only to gain his point! He will launch a curse upon the world, and as only man can curse (it is his privilege, the primary distinction be- tween him and other animals), may be by his curse alone he will attain his object—that is, convince himself that he is a man and not a piano-key! If you say that all this, too, can be calculated and tabulated—chaos and darkness and curses, so that the mere possibility of calculating it all be- forehand would stop it all, and reason would reassert itself, then man would purposely go mad in order to be rid of rea- 0 Notes from the Underground son and gain his point! I believe in it, I answer for it, for the whole work of man really seems to consist in nothing but proving to himself every minute that he is a man and not a piano-key! It may be at the cost of his skin, it may be by can- nibalism! And this being so, can one help being tempted to rejoice that it has not yet come o , and that desire still de- pends on something we don’t know?
Fyodor Dostoevsky
He hadn’t been aware of staring, but when her questioning gaze locked with his, Grey felt as though he’d been smacked upside the head by the open palm of idiocy. “Is something troubling you, Grey?” He loved the sound of his name on her tongue, and hated that he loved it. She made him weak and stupid. One sweet glance from her and he was ready to drop to his knees. It wasn’t love. It wasn’t even infatuation. It was pure unmitigated lust. He could admit that. Hell, he embraced it. Lust could be managed. Lust could be mastered. And lust would eventually fade once she was out of his care and out of his life. That was the cold, hard, blessed truth of it. “I was wondering if you were eagerly anticipating Lady Shrewsbury’s ball tomorrow evening?” How easily the lie rolled off his tongue as he lifted a bite of poached salmon to his mouth. She smiled softly, obviously looking forward to it very much. “I am. Thank you.” Camilla shared her daughter’s pleasure judging from her coy grin. “Rose has renewed her acquaintance with the honorable Kellan Maxwell. He requested that she save the first waltz of the evening for him.” The fish caught in Grey’s throat. He took a drink of wine to force it down. “The same Kellan Maxwell who courted you during your first season?” Rose’s smile faded a little. No doubt she heard the censure in his tone, his disapproval. “The same,” she replied with an edge of defensiveness. The same idiot who abandoned his pursuit of Rose when Charles lost everything and scandal erupted. The little prick who hadn’t loved her enough to continue his courtship regardless of her situation. “Mm,” was what he said out loud. Rose scowled at him. “We had no understanding. We were not engaged, and Mr. Maxwell behaved as any other young man with responsibilities would have.” “You defend him.” It was difficult to keep his disappointment from showing. He never thought her to be the kind of woman who would forgive disloyalty when she was so very loyal herself. She tilted her head. “I appreciate your concern, but I’m no debutante, Grey. If I’m to find a husband this season I shouldn’t show prejudice.” Common sense coming out of anyone else. Coming out of her it was shite. “You deserve better.” She smiled a Mona Lisa smile. “We do not always get what we deserve, or even what we desire.” She knew. Christ in a frock coat, she knew. Her smile faded. “If we did, Papa would be here with us, and Mama and I wouldn’t be your responsibility.” She didn’t know. Damn, what a relief. “The two of you are not a responsibility. You are a joy.” For some reason that only made her look sadder, but Camilla smiled through happy tears. She thanked him profusely, but Grey had a hard time hearing what she was saying-he was too intent on Rose, who had turned her attention to her plate and was pushing food around with little interest. He could bear this no longer. He didn’t know what was wrong with her, or why she seemed so strange with him. And he couldn’t stand that he cared. “Ladies, I’m afraid I must beg your pardon and take leave of you.” Rose glanced up. “So soon?” He pushed his chair back from the table. “Yes. But I will see you at breakfast in the morning.” She turned back to her dinner. Grey bid farewell to Camilla and then strode from the room as quickly as he could. If he survived the Season it would be a miracle.
Kathryn Smith (When Seducing a Duke (Victorian Soap Opera, #1))
When a little of his strength returned he moved onto his side, taking her with him, still a part of her. Her hair spilled over his naked chest like a rumpled satin waterfall, and he lifted a shaking hand to smooth it off her face, feeling humbled and blessed by her sweetness and unselfish ardor. Several minutes later Elizabeth stirred in his arms, and he tipped her chin up so that he could gaze into her eyes. “Have I ever told you that you are magnificent? She started to shake her head, then suddenly remembered that he had told her she was magnificent once before, and the recollection brought poignant tears to her eyes. “You did say that to me,” she amended, brushing her fingers over his smooth shoulder because she couldn’t seem to stop touching him. “You told me that when we were together-“ “In the woodcutter’s cottage,” he finished for her, recalling the occasion as well. In reply she had chided him for acting as if he also thought Charise Dumont was magnificent, Ian remembered, regretting all the time they had lost since then…the days and nights she could have been in his arms as she was now. “Do you know how I spent the rest of the afternoon after you left the cottage?” he asked softly. When she shook her head, he said with a wry smile, “I spent it pleasurably contemplating tonight. At the time, of course, I didn’t realize tonight was years away.” He paused to draw the sheet up over her back so she wouldn’t be chilled, then he continued in the same quiet voice, “I wanted you so badly that day that I actually ached while I watched you fasten that shirt you were wearing. Although,” he added dryly, “that particular condition, brought on by that particular cause, has become my normal state for the last four weeks, so I’m quite used to it now. I wonder if I’ll miss it,” he teased. “What do you mean?” Elizabeth asked, realizing that he was perfectly serious despite his light tone. “The agony of unfulfilled desire,” he explained, brushing a kiss on her forehead, “brought on by wanting you.” “Wanting me?” she burst out, rearing up so abruptly that she nearly overturned him as she leaned up on an elbow, absently clutching the sheet to her breasts. “Is this-what we’ve just done, I mean-“ “The Scots think of it as making love,” he interrupted gently. “Unlike most English,” he added with flat scorn, “who prefer to regard it as ‘performing one’s marital duty.’” “Yes,” Elizabeth said absently, her mind on his earlier remark about wanting her until it caused him physical pain, “but is this what you meant all those times you’ve said you wanted me?” His sensual lips quirked in a half smile. “Yes.” A rosy blush stained her smooth cheeks, and despite her effort to sound severe, her eyes were lit with laughter. “And the day we bargained about the betrothal, and you told me I had something you wanted very badly, what you wanted to do with me…was this?” “Among other things,” he agreed, tenderly brushing his knuckles over her flushed cheek. “If I had known all this,” she said with a rueful smile, “I’m certain I would have asked for additional concessions.” That startled him-the thought that she would have tried to drive a harder bargain if she’d realized exactly how much and what sort of power she really held. “What kind of additional concessions?” he asked, his face carefully expressionless. She put her cheek against his shoulder, her arms curving around him. “A shorter betrothal,” she whispered. “A shorter courtship, and a shorter ceremony.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))