Darkness Bible Quotes

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Rejection is an opportunity for your selection.
Bernard Branson
As long as I kept moving, my grief streamed out behind me like a swimmer's long hair in water. I knew the weight was there but it didn't touch me. Only when I stopped did the slick, dark stuff of it come floating around my face, catching my arms and throat till I began to drown. So I just didn't stop.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
In the heartfelt mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will visit us, to shine on those sitting in darkness, in the shadow of death, to guide our feet to the way of peace.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: King James Version)
I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
Anonymous (Life Application Study Bible: NIV)
And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: King James Version)
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Eph. 6:12 (NIV)
Anonymous (Holy Bible: New International Version)
John 1:5 "Light shines into the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: King James Version)
Unless we form the habit of going to the Bible in bright moments as well as in trouble, we cannot fully respond to its consolations because we lack equilibrium between light and darkness.
Helen Keller
Guys like him, the ones who grip the Bible so tight they leave fingernail grooves, they're the ones who are the most scared of their dark side. Always going too far the other way, fighting for the Lord, often just because it gives them an excuse to fight.
David Wong
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
Anonymous (Bible (King James Version))
You belong to the biblical race of Nephilim. Your real father was an angel who fell from heaven. You're half mortal." The boy's dark eyes lifted, meeting Chauncey's. "Half fallen angel." Chauncey's tutor's voice drifted up from the recesses of his mind, reading passages from the Bible, telling of a deviant race created when angels cast from heaven mated with mortal women. A fearsome and powerful race. A chill that wasn't entirely revulsion crept through Chauncey. "Who are you?
Becca Fitzpatrick (Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1))
As it says in the Bible, For now we through a glass, darkly; but then face to face. If it is face to face, there must be two looking.
Margaret Atwood (Alias Grace)
Light and Darkness. One cannot exist without the other. There is no true Master, without the power of balance. ☥
Luis Marques (Kemet - The Year of Revelation)
People do not avoid the Bible because it is difficult to understand as much as because what they understand condemns their conscience and throws light on dark corners in their lives which they prefer to keep dark.
Rousas John Rushdoony (A Word in Season, Volume 2)
The bible says that a good shepard, even if he has one hundred sheep, if he loses but one of them in the wilderness, he must leave the other ninety-nine behind to go looking for that one.
Bree Despain (The Lost Saint (The Dark Divine, #2))
I already have the three things I require to be successful. The Holy Bible, Iris Livermore, and a mirror.
Diane L. Kowalyshyn (Double Cross (Cross Your Heart and Die, #2))
To face a real daemon, you must first look inwards and conquer your own darkness. ☥
Luis Marques
A light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never overcome it.
John the Evangelist
And so we gain hope—not from the darkness of our suffering, not from pat answers in books, but from the God who sees our suffering and shares our pain.
Eugene H. Peterson (The Message Remix 2.0: The Bible In contemporary Language)
To the short-sighted, through the fog, God must be a monster.
Criss Jami (Healology)
Some Christian lawyers—some eminent and stupid judges—have said and still say, that the Ten Commandments are the foundation of all law. Nothing could be more absurd. Long before these commandments were given there were codes of laws in India and Egypt—laws against murder, perjury, larceny, adultery and fraud. Such laws are as old as human society; as old as the love of life; as old as industry; as the idea of prosperity; as old as human love. All of the Ten Commandments that are good were old; all that were new are foolish. If Jehovah had been civilized he would have left out the commandment about keeping the Sabbath, and in its place would have said: 'Thou shalt not enslave thy fellow-men.' He would have omitted the one about swearing, and said: 'The man shall have but one wife, and the woman but one husband.' He would have left out the one about graven images, and in its stead would have said: 'Thou shalt not wage wars of extermination, and thou shalt not unsheathe the sword except in self-defence.' If Jehovah had been civilized, how much grander the Ten Commandments would have been. All that we call progress—the enfranchisement of man, of labor, the substitution of imprisonment for death, of fine for imprisonment, the destruction of polygamy, the establishing of free speech, of the rights of conscience; in short, all that has tended to the development and civilization of man; all the results of investigation, observation, experience and free thought; all that man has accomplished for the benefit of man since the close of the Dark Ages—has been done in spite of the Old Testament.
Robert G. Ingersoll (About The Holy Bible)
There it was, burned into the text box, their code: “Sword of the Spirit.” They’d both attended weekly Bible study at the home of a lay person, and after the session one evening they talked about the expression that ultimately would become their code. They interpreted it to mean ‘the Word of God.
John M. Vermillion (Awful Reckoning: A Cade Chase and Simon Pack Novel)
We aimed for no more than to have dominion over every creature that moved upon the earth. And so it came to pass that we stepped down there on a place we believed unformed, where only darkness moved on the face of the waters. Now you laugh, day and night, while you gnaw on my bones. But what else could we have thought? Only that it began and ended with us. What do we know, even now? Ask the children. Look at what they grew up to be. We can only speak of the things we carried with us, and the things we took away.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
Many people visualize a God who sits comfortably on a distant throne, remote, aloof, uninterested, and indifferent to the needs of mortals, until, it may be, they can badger him into taking action on their behalf. Such a view is wholly false. The Bible reveals a God who, long before it even occurs to man to turn to him, while man is still lost in darkness and sunk in sin, takes the initiative, rises from his throne, lays aside his glory, and stoops to seek until he finds him.
John R.W. Stott (Basic Christianity)
We were in darkness when we were outside of the knowledge of Jesus and when we were not followers of Him. Yet now that we have this knowledge of Jesus Christ and this relationship with Him, we have become light and we are to live as light.
Todd Coburn (Reflection of the Son)
The Gospel writers are not really interested primarily in the facts of the birth but in the significance, the meaning for them of that birth just as the people who love us are not really interested primarily in the facts of our births but in what it meant to them when we were born and how for them the world was never the same again, how their whole lives were changed with new significance.
Frederick Buechner (The Hungering Dark)
And though this encounter took place against an African sky, our brief enchantment symbolized the new world's greatest taboo - the hand of a very black man caressing the face of the blackest woman, with no shred of light entering into it, utter darkness alone representing God (71).
Kola Boof (The Sexy Part of the Bible)
How tragic that we in this dark day have had our seeking done for us by our teachers. Everything is made to center upon the initial act of "accepting" Christ (a term, incidentally, which is not found in the Bible) and we are not expected thereafter to crave any further revelation of God to our souls. We have been snared in the coils of a spurious logic which insists that if we have found Him we need no more seek Him.
A.W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God)
You may think you're not blind, but can you see in the dark? ☥
Luis Marques
What the pundits call wishy-washiness, the Bible calls repentance.
David Dark
In darkness lies a mystery that has the power to shine brighter than true light. ☥
Luis Marques
Beyond the table, there is an altar, with candles lit for Billie Holiday and Willa Carter and Hypatia and Patsy Cline. Next to it, an old podium that once held a Bible, on which we have repurposed an old chemistry handbook as the Book of Lilith. In its pages is our own liturgical calendar: Saint Clementine and All Wayfarers; Saints Lorena Hickok and Eleanor Roosevelt, observed in the summer with blueberries to symbolize the sapphire ring; the Vigil of Saint Juliette, complete with mints and dark chocolate; Feast of the Poets, during which Mary Oliver is recited over beds of lettuce, Kay Ryan over a dish of vinegar and oil, Audre Lorde over cucumbers, Elizabeth Bishop over some carrots; The Exaltation of Patricia Highsmith, celebrated with escargots boiling in butter and garlic and cliffhangers recited by an autumn fire; the Ascension of Frida Khalo with self-portraits and costumes; the Presentation of Shirley Jackson, a winter holiday started at dawn and ended at dusk with a gambling game played with lost milk teeth and stones. Some of them with their own books; the major and minor arcana of our little religion.
Carmen Maria Machado (Her Body and Other Parties: Stories)
We see through a glass, darkly.” The verse surprised him. He hadn’t picked up a Bible in a year, yet he knew the phrase came from the New Testament. He knew it went on to say that one day everything would be clear. One day believers would know without a shadow of a doubt, and one day they would be in the presence of God.
Janice Cantore (Critical Pursuit (Brinna Caruso #1))
God has protected his anointed. And the wrath of Purgatory is certainly coming for those who run and are in need of its cleansing fire. You can run, but you can't hide. ~Father Abraham
Lucian Bane (No Mercy (Mercy, #2))
a single-file army of ants biting a mammoth tree into uniform grains and hauling it down to the dark for their ravenous queen. and, in reply, a choir of seedlings arching their necks out of rotted tree stumps, sucking life out of death. this forest eats itself and lives forever.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
I always wondered why it took "three days" for significant things to happen in the Bible--Jonah spent three days in the belly of the whale, Jesus spent three days in the tomb, Paul spent three days blind in Damascus--and now I know. From earliest times, people learned that was how long they had to wait in the dark before the sliver of the new moon appeared in the sky. For three days every month they practiced resurrection.
Barbara Brown Taylor (Learning to Walk in the Dark)
The girls were always running out of money, out of cash, precisely, to pay taxi drivers, train conductors, men who delivered pizzas after dark. They borrowed cash, normally, upon arrival. They borrowed passions—Wallace Stevens, Joseph Conrad, Mozart, hiking, the Bible—from each other, as girls of another generation borrowed clothes.
Renata Adler (Speedboat)
Then, Paul remembered a Bible verse from 1 John. He said that John, in summarizing all that he’d learned about God, said this: “God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.” “When you are with God,” Paul said, “there is no darkness, ho hiding, no pretending. When you are with God, you have the freedom and courage to be yourself.
Donald Miller (Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Acquiring a Taste for True Intimacy)
Your words and deeds are seeds, scattered in the wind... the seeds are light or darkness... they'll break apart or mend... Sow light instead of gloom. Sow faith instead of doubt. Sow truth and love, and hope, and peace. Sow light and darkness rout.
Colleen Luntzel (The World is a Potluck... Bring BREAD)
First, picture the forest. I want you to be its conscience, the eyes in the trees. The trees are columns of slick, brindled bark like muscular animals overgrown beyond all reason. Every space is filled with life: delicate, poisonous frogs war-painted like skeletons, clutched in copulation, secreting their precious eggs onto dripping leaves. Vines strangling their own kin in the everlasting wrestle for sunlight. The breathing of monkeys. A glide of snake belly on branch. A single-file army of ants biting a mammoth tree into uniform grains and hauling it down to the dark for their ravenous queen. And, in reply, a choir of seedlings arching their necks out of rotted tree stumps, sucking life out of death. This forest eats itself and lives forever.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
The difference between Marilyn’s and Jayne’s approach to intellectual pursuits is that Marilyn carried big heavy books around and hung out with brainy people to absorb their intellect, while Jayne really had a thirst for knowledge. Jayne was very proud of the fact that if she like something enough she would commit it to memory. At that time, The Satanic Bible was still in monograph form, and Jayne had pored over those pages until she knew most of it by heart...Marilyn gave me a copy of Stendhal’s On Love, and I still have a copy of Walter Benton’s This is My Beloved, which we bought together on Sunset Boulevard. Marilyn turned me on to it—wanted me to read it and write something in it for her. I got as far as writing her name in it, but I ended up with the book. It meant a lot to me during a particularly dark period in my life after I left L.A. Jayne kept insisting I read The Story of O and I, Jan Cremer. She gave me a dog-eared copy of each. It seems a distinctly feminine trait to want to share books with people they care deeply about.
Anton Szandor LaVey (The Secret Life of a Satanist: The Authorized Biography of Anton LaVey)
So Noah cursed all Ham's children to be slaves forever and ever. That's how come them to turn out dark
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
Let it be a settled principle in our minds, in reading the Bible, that Christ is the central sun of the whole book. So long as we keep Him in view, we shall never greatly err in our search for spiritual knowledge. Once losing sight of Christ, we shall find the whole Bible dark and full of difficulty.
J.C. Ryle (The Gospel of Luke)
I am the Maker of all things. By my word were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of my mouth. I spread out the northern skies over empty space; I suspend the earth over nothing. I clothe you with skin and flesh and knit you together with bones and sinews. I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster.
Zhang Yun (Understand God's Word - Walk in the Truth)
If I were the Devil . . . I mean, if I were the Prince of Darkness, I would of course, want to engulf the whole earth in darkness. I would have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree, so I should set about however necessary to take over the United States. I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.” “Do as you please.” To the young, I would whisper, “The Bible is a myth.” I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what is bad is good, and what is good is “square”. In the ears of the young marrieds, I would whisper that work is debasing, that cocktail parties are good for you. I would caution them not to be extreme in religion, in patriotism, in moral conduct. And the old, I would teach to pray. I would teach them to say after me: “Our Father, which art in Washington” . . . If I were the devil, I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull an uninteresting. I’d threaten T.V. with dirtier movies and vice versa. And then, if I were the devil, I’d get organized. I’d infiltrate unions and urge more loafing and less work, because idle hands usually work for me. I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. And I’d tranquilize the rest with pills. If I were the devil, I would encourage schools to refine yound intellects but neglect to discipline emotions . . . let those run wild. I would designate an athiest to front for me before the highest courts in the land and I would get preachers to say “she’s right.” With flattery and promises of power, I could get the courts to rule what I construe as against God and in favor of pornography, and thus, I would evict God from the courthouse, and then from the school house, and then from the houses of Congress and then, in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and I would deify science because that way men would become smart enough to create super weapons but not wise enough to control them. If I were Satan, I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg, and the symbol of Christmas, a bottle. If I were the devil, I would take from those who have and I would give to those who wanted, until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. And then, my police state would force everybody back to work. Then, I could separate families, putting children in uniform, women in coal mines, and objectors in slave camps. In other words, if I were Satan, I’d just keep on doing what he’s doing. (Speech was broadcast by ABC Radio commentator Paul Harvey on April 3, 1965)
Paul Harvey
That night marks my life's dark center, the moment when growing up ended and the long downward slope toward death began. The wonder to me now is that I thought myself worth saving...I reached out and clung for life with my good left hand like a claw, grasping at moving legs to raise myself from the dirt. Desperate to save myself in a river of people saving themselves. And if they chanced to look down and see me struggling underneath them, they saw that even the crooked girl believed her own life was precious. That is what it means to be a beast in the kingdom.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
Our failure is not that we chose earth over heaven: it is that we fail to see the divine in the earth, already active and working, pouring forth grace and spilling glory into our lives. Artists, whether they are professed believers or not, tap into this grace and glory. There is a "terrible beauty" operating throughout creation. If Christ announced his postresurrection reality into the darkness, even into hell, as the Bible and Christian catechism suggests, then, as theologian Abraham Kuyper put it, there is not one inch of earth that Christ does not call "Mine!
Makoto Fujimura (Silence and Beauty: Hidden Faith Born of Suffering)
Jesus drank wine in the Bible, y'all. Yun's make up a bunch of shit he never said about gay people but then just ignore the fact that one time a party started sucking and he abracadabraed some well water into Pinot and got that bitch turnt!
Trae Crowder (The Liberal Redneck Manifesto: Draggin' Dixie Outta the Dark)
There are thousands, who, like good uncle Fred, are thirsting for the water of life; but the law forbids it, and the churches withhold it. They send the Bible to heathen abroad, and neglect the heathen at home. I am glad that missionaries go out to the dark corners of the earth; but I ask them not to overlook the dark corners at home.
Harriet Ann Jacobs (Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl)
The word of God directs us in our work and way, and a dark place indeed the world would be without it. The commandment is a lamp kept burning with the oil of the Spirit, as a light to direct us in the choice of our way, and the steps we take in that way.
Matthew Henry (Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible)
The Shield was another of the Fear's names. According to Laughter, it means he shields the seed of Abraham the way a man starting a fire shields the flame. When Sarah was about to die childless, the Fear gave her a son. When Abraham was about to slaughter the son, the Fear gave him the ram. He is always shielding us like a guttering wick, Laughter said, because the fire he is trying to start with us is a fire that the whole world will live to warm its hands at. It is a fire in the dark that will light the whole world home.
Frederick Buechner (The Son of Laughter)
How can you measure the value of the good news of Christ? It is spoken of in the Bible as light in the darkness, freedom from slavery and life from death. Look at how much the Early Church valued the message. They received it with great joy and overflowing gratitude.
William Wilberforce (Real Christianity)
Jesus was not white, hey, he was a black man. Like our pig man, Mzwaki. All the Bible people were dark people.
Jonah Becker
He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.
Harold Bloom (The Shadow of a Great Rock: A Literary Appreciation of the King James Bible)
Can’t you see? It’s all an act of protest, a snatching back from the darkness, a proclamation of freedom, a revolution of love. And isn’t that a miracle?
Sarah Bessey (Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women)
God’s word is lamp that lights my path.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
Smoke rose in a pillar like something from the Bible, dark and alive and climbing, becoming one with the gray sky.
Steph Cha (Your House Will Pay)
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.
Anonymous (Holy Bible: New King James Version (NKJV))
If Satanists didn’t care, they wouldn’t be so dark and pessimistic.
Anton Szandor LaVey (Satanic Bible 3 Books Collection Set (Satanic Bible, Satanic Rituals, The Devil's Notebook))
Killing, raping and looting have been common practices in religious societies, and often carried out with clerical sanction. The catalogue of notorious barbarities – wars and massacres, acts of terrorism, the Inquisition, the Crusades, the chopping off of thieves’ hands, the slicing off of clitorises and labia majora, the use of gang rape as punishment, and manifold other savageries committed in the name of one faith or another — attests to religion’s longstanding propensity to induce barbarity, or at the very least to give it free rein. The Bible and the Quran have served to justify these atrocities and more, with women and gay people suffering disproportionately. There is a reason the Middle Ages in Europe were long referred to as the Dark Ages; the millennium of theocratic rule that ended only with the Renaissance (that is, with Europe’s turn away from God toward humankind) was a violent time. Morality arises out of our innate desire for safety, stability and order, without which no society can function; basic moral precepts (that murder and theft are wrong, for example) antedated religion. Those who abstain from crime solely because they fear divine wrath, and not because they recognize the difference between right and wrong, are not to be lauded, much less trusted. Just which practices are moral at a given time must be a matter of rational debate. The 'master-slave' ethos – obligatory obeisance to a deity — pervading the revealed religions is inimical to such debate. We need to chart our moral course as equals, or there can be no justice.
Jeffrey Tayler
Non-churchgoers tend to see Christians as takers rather than givers. When Christians sacrifice and give wildly to the poor, that is truly a light that glimmers. The Bible teaches that the church is to be that light, that sign of hope, in an increasingly dark and hopeless world.
Francis Chan (Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God)
In the Bible we read that while Christ hung on the cross a dark cloud engulfed him. What was this dark cloud? Did it signal the victory of nihilism or was it the dark dwelling place of God?
Peter Rollins (How (Not) to Speak of God: Marks of the Emerging Church)
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)
I’m not sure what to say about struggle except that it feels like a long, dark tunnel with no light at the end. You never notice until it’s over the ways it has changed you, and there is no going back. We struggled a lot this year. For everyone who picked a fight with life and got the shit kicked out of them: I’m proud of you for surviving. This year I learned that cities are beautiful from rooftops even when you’re sad and that swimming in rivers while the sun sets in July will make you feel hopeful, no matter what’s going on at home. I found out my best friend is strong enough to swing me over his shoulder like I’m weightless and run down the street while I’m squealing and kicking against his chest. I found out vegan rice milk whipped cream is delicious, especially when it’s licked off the stomach of a boy you love. This year I kissed too many people with broken hearts and hands like mousetraps. If I could go back and unhurt them I would. If I could go back even farther and never meet them I would do that too. I turned 21. There’s no getting around it. I’m an adult now. Navigating the world has proved harder than I expected. There were times I was reckless. In my struggle to survive I hurt others. Apologies do not make good bandages. I’m not sure what to say about change except that it reminds me of the Bible story with the lions’ den. But you are not named Daniel and you have not been praying, so God lets the beasts get a few deep, painful swipes at you before the morning comes and you’re pulled into the light, exhausted and cut to shit. The good news is you survived. The bad news is you’re hurt and no one can heal you but yourself. You just have to find a stiff drink and a clean needle before you bleed out. And then you get up. And start over.
Clementine von Radics (Mouthful of Forevers)
A Bible not read is like a bulb not lighted. Only insane people will love to work in the darkness with Kings' bulbs which are not switched on! ... and so goes the one who has the King James' but does not search into it!
Israelmore Ayivor (The Great Hand Book of Quotes)
Christmas, therefore, is the most unsentimental, realistic way of looking at life. It does not say, “Cheer up! If we all pull together we can make the world a better place.” The Bible never counsels indifference to the forces of darkness, only resistance, but it supports no illusions that we can defeat them ourselves. Christianity does not agree with the optimistic thinkers who say, “We can fix things if we try hard enough.” Nor does it agree with the pessimists who see only a dystopian future. The message of Christianity is, instead, “Things really are this bad, and we can’t heal or save ourselves. Things really are this dark—nevertheless, there is hope.” The Christmas message is that “on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” Notice that it doesn’t say from the world a light has sprung, but upon the world a light has dawned. It has come from outside. There is light outside of this world, and Jesus has brought that light to save us; indeed, he is the Light (John 8:12). THE
Timothy J. Keller (Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ)
Adam is fading out. It is on account of Darwin and that crowd. I can see that he is not going to last much longer. There's a plenty of signs. He is getting belittled to a germ—a little bit of a speck that you can't see without a microscope powerful enough to raise a gnat to the size of a church. ('The Refuge of the Derelicts' collected in Mark Twain and John Sutton Tuckey, The Devil's Race-Track: Mark Twain's Great Dark Writings (1980), 340-41. - 1980)
Mark Twain
In that instant, Gogolov feared death. He could feel himself falling through the dark void of space. He was flailing and terrified and utterly alone. He braced for impact, but it never came. He cried for mercy he would never see. He felt the searing heat and the demons ripping at his eyes and face with claws like razors. And then, in a terrifying flash of clarity, he realized it would never end.
Joel C. Rosenberg (The Ezekiel Option)
I huddle in the dark with a mass of burnt matches strewn at my feet. And yet, for all of those matches I’ve not been able to light a single candle. And huddled in such deep darkness, I’ve somehow yet to realize that Christmas made both matches and candles forever obsolete.
Craig D. Lounsbrough
Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Anonymous (Life Application Study Bible KJV)
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols?
Anonymous (ESV Reader's Bible)
Spiritual discernment involves using God’s Word as the standard for distinguishing and separating ideas and behaviors. It distinguishes and separates truth from falsehood, darkness from light, healthy from unhealthy, sound from unsound, and good from evil, based on the Bible’s plumb line.
Mary A. Kassian (True Woman 201: Interior Design - Ten Elements of Biblical Womanhood (True Woman))
Michael Talbot yet lives, Mr. Black,” Simon Peter said to the dark entity before him. Mr. Black produced a large dark ledger from his robes. He spent a moment shifting through the voluminous pages. “Ah, here it is. That is impossible. I collected him on October 11th at 3:33 am. I can most assuredly tell you he is where he should be.” Simon Peter swept his arm, a vision of a small ranch home came into view, more importantly the lone figure sitting on the couch reading the Bible.
Mark Tufo (The Spirit Clearing)
From the very beginning, God wanted his human family to live with him in a perfect world—along with the family he already had in the unseen world, his heavenly host. That story​—​God’s goal, its opposition by the powers of darkness, its failure, and its ultimate future success​—​is what this book is about, just as it’s what the Bible is about.
Michael S. Heiser (Supernatural: What the Bible Teaches about the Unseen World And Why It Matters)
When this biblical code is cracked, something wonderful happens: awesome spiritual forces are suddenly released into our souls and discharged into the world at large. It’s like turning on the light in a dark room. These forces empower us to completely change our lives and absolutely transform our world. But when the Bible remains coded, read and taken literally (as it has been for some 2,000 years), it becomes a fruitless symbol of religious tradition instead of the awesome instrument of power it was meant to be.
Yehuda Berg (The 72 Names of God: Technology for the Soul)
Guys like him, the ones who grip the Bible so tight they leave fingernail grooves, they’re the ones who are the most scared of their dark side.
David Wong (John Dies at the End (John Dies at the End, #1))
I believe in the bible. I believe in the one true God. I believe he is the one true God because he's the only one that loved me enough to actually take action in my life.
Jacci Mendelsohn (Whispers: Hearing God's Call in the Dark)
Your decision to open the Bible every day to look into the mirror and see truth from God makes you a light in a world filled with much darkness. —Catherine Martin
Diane Stortz (A Woman's Guide to Reading the Bible in a Year: A Life-Changing Journey Into the Heart of God)
do. For now…” Rylie nodded, wrapping the Bible in the blanket again. “You can sleep here, if you want.
S.M. Reine (Magic after Dark)
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).
Walid Shoebat (God's War on Terror: Islam, Prophecy and the Bible: Islam, Prophecy and the Bible)
And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil. (St. John 3:19)
St. John 3 19
The people living in land of deep darkness have seen a great light.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For  a what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or  b what fellowship has light with darkness?
Anonymous (ESV Study Bible)
The precious promise of God’s word is light unto our path.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
Some men share brotherly love - that of Cain and Abel.
Andrzej Majewski
The faithful preaching of the gospel is the God-appointed means by which the prince of darkness is overthrown and God shines his light into human hearts.
John R.W. Stott (Through the Bible, Through the Year: Daily Reflections From Genesis to Revelation)
And the Light shineth in Darkness and the Darkness comprehended it not. St John 1:5
Anonymous (The Bible - The Holy Bible Formatted for Your eReader)
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Anonymous (The Story (NIV): The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People)
Demon” means “knowledge” in Greek. “Science” means “knowledge” in Latin. A jurisdictional dispute is exposed, even if we look no further.
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
MIC7.8 Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.
Anonymous (KING JAMES BIBLE - VerseSearch - Red Letter Edition)
9If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, 10Even there Thy hand will lead me, And Thy right hand will lay hold of me. 11If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,” 12Even the darkness is not dark to Thee, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to Thee.
Anonymous (Holy Bible: New American Standard Bible (NASB 1977 edition))
In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the eartha — 2   * and the earth was without form or shape, with darkness over the abyss and a mighty wind sweeping over the waters —
Anonymous (The New American Bible)
Not giants," said Christina. "Nephilim." ((There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when angels came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them.))
Cassandra Clare (Queen of Air and Darkness (The Dark Artifices, #3))
Young people," McDonald said contemptuously. "You always think there's something to find out." "Yes, sir," Andrews said. "Well, there's nothing," McDonald said. "You get born, and you nurse on lies, and you get weaned on lies, and you learn fancier lies in school. You live all your life on lies, and then maybe when you're ready to die, it comes to you--that there's nothing, nothing but yourself and what you could have done. Only you ain't done it, because the lies told you there was something else. Then you know you could of had the world, because you're the only one that knows the secret; only then it's too late. You're too old." "No," Andrews said. A vague terror crept from the darkness that surrounded them, and tightened his voice. "That's not the way it is." "You ain't learned, then," McDonald said. "You ain't learned yet....look. You spend nearly a year of your life and sweat, because you have faith in the dream of a fool. And what have you got? Nothing. You kill three, four thousand buffalo, and stack their skins neat; and the buffalo will rot wherever you left them, and the rats will nest in the skins. What have you got to show? A year gone out of your life, a busted wagon that a beaver might use to make a dam with, some calluses on your hands, and the memory of a dead man." "No," Andrew said. "That's not all. That's not all I have." "Then what? What have you got?" Andrews was silent. "You can't answer. Look at Miller. Knows the country he was in as well as any man alive, and had faith in what he believed was true. What good did it do him? And Charley Hoge with his Bible and his whisky. Did that make your winter any easier, or save your hides? And Schneider. What about Schneider? Was that his name? "That was his name," Andrews said. "And that's all that's left of him," McDonald said. "His name. And he didn't even come out of it with that for himself." McDonald nodded, not looking at Andrews. "Sure, I know. I came out of it with nothing, too. Because I forgot what I learned a long time ago. I let the lies come back. I had a dream, too, and because it was different from yours and Miller's, I let myself think it wasn't a dream. But now I know, boy. And you don't. And that makes all the difference.
John Williams (Butcher's Crossing)
God’s glory is best seen in Jesus Christ. He, the Light of the World, illuminates God’s nature. Because of Jesus, we are no longer in the dark about what God is really like. The Bible says, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory.”5 Jesus came to earth so we could fully understand God’s glory. “The Word became human and lived among us. We saw his glory … a glory full of grace and truth.
Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?)
We can turn Christlikeness into a task we must perform lest God be angry with us, but that’s bad theology. It turns grace into duty. Or we can be grateful that one day we will be what God is thrilled to make us—what he predestined us to be (Rom. 8:29)—and live in such a way that people enslaved to dark powers will want to join us in God’s family. One perspective looks inward; the other looks
Michael S. Heiser (Supernatural: What the Bible Teaches about the Unseen World And Why It Matters)
Notice also that there is a tie between Genesis and Revelation, the first and last books of the Bible. Genesis presents the beginning, and Revelation presents the end. Note the contrasts between the two books: In Genesis the earth was created; in Revelation the earth passes away. In Genesis was Satan’s first rebellion; in Revelation is Satan’s last rebellion. In Genesis the sun, moon, and stars were for earth’s government; in Revelation these same heavenly bodies are for earth’s judgment. In Genesis the sun was to govern the day; in Revelation there is no need of the sun. In Genesis darkness was called night; in Revelation there is “no night there” (see Rev. 21:25; 22:5). In Genesis the waters were called seas; in Revelation there is no more sea. In Genesis was the entrance of sin; in Revelation is the exodus of sin. In Genesis the curse was pronounced; in Revelation the curse is removed. In Genesis death entered; in Revelation there is no more death. In Genesis was the beginning of sorrow and suffering; in Revelation there will be no more sorrow and no more tears. In Genesis was the marriage of the first Adam; in Revelation is the marriage of the Last Adam. In Genesis we saw man’s city, Babylon, being built; in Revelation we see man’s city, Babylon, destroyed and God’s city, the New Jerusalem, brought into view. In Genesis Satan’s doom was pronounced; in Revelation Satan’s doom is executed. It is interesting that Genesis opens the Bible not only with a global view but also with a universal view—“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). And the Bible closes with another global and universal book. The Revelation shows what God is going to do with His universe and with His creatures. There is no other book quite like this.
J. Vernon McGee (Revelation 1-5)
To forget words, common words, because your habits are so narrow you need only know a hundred hard phrases—stone, soup, comb, Bible, needle, dark, prisoner, walk, stand still, look sharp, look sharp!
Sarah Waters (Affinity)
There is a book of Revelation in every one’s life, as there is in the Bible. Anne read hers that bitter night, as she kept her agonized vigil through the hours of storm and darkness. She loved Gilbert – had always loved him! She knew that now. She knew that she could no more cast him out of her life without agony than she could have cut off her right hand and cast it from her. And the knowledge had come too late – too late even for the bitter solace of being with him at the last. If she had not been so blind – so foolish – she would have had the right to go to him now. But he would never know that she loved him – he would go away from this life thinking that she did not care. Oh, the black years of emptiness stretching before her! She could not live through them – she could not! She cowered down by her window and wished, for the first time in her gay young life, that she could die, too. If Gilbert went away from her, without one word or sign or message, she could not live. Nothing was of any value without him. She belonged to him and he to her. In her hour of supreme agony she had no doubt of that. He did not love Christine Stuart – never had loved Christine Stuart. Oh, what a fool she had been not to realize what the bond was that had held her to Gilbert – to think that the flattered fancy she had felt for Roy Gardner had been love. And now she must pay for her folly as for a crime.
L.M. Montgomery
He felt the ground frail as a bird’s skull under his feet, a mere shell of sanity and decorum between him and the dark entrails of the earth where the sluggish muds and scalding waters had their source.
Sylvia Plath (Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams: Short Stories, Prose, and Diary Excerpts)
After a long and happy life, I find myself at the pearly gates (a sight of great joy; the word for “pearl” in Greek is, by the way, margarita). Standing there is St. Peter. This truly is heaven, for finally my academic questions will receive answers. I immediately begin the questions that have been plaguing me for half a century: “Can you speak Greek? Where did you go when you wandered off in the middle of Acts? How was the incident between you and Paul in Antioch resolved? What happened to your wife?” Peter looks at me with some bemusement and states, “Look, lady, I’ve got a whole line of saved people to process. Pick up your harp and slippers here, and get the wings and halo at the next table. We’ll talk after dinner.” As I float off, I hear, behind me, a man trying to gain Peter’s attention. He has located a “red letter Bible,” which is a text in which the words of Jesus are printed in red letters. This is heaven, and all sorts of sacred art and Scriptures, from the Bhagavad Gita to the Qur’an, are easily available (missing, however, was the Reader’s Digest Condensed Version). The fellow has his Bible open to John 14, and he is frenetically pointing at v. 6: “Jesus says here, in red letters, that he is the way. I’ve seen this woman on television (actually, she’s thinner in person). She’s not Christian; she’s not baptized - she shouldn’t be here!” “Oy,” says Peter, “another one - wait here.” He returns a few minutes later with a man about five foot three with dark hair and eyes. I notice immediately that he has holes in his wrists, for when the empire executes an individual, the circumstances of that death cannot be forgotten. “What is it, my son?” he asks. The man, obviously nonplussed, sputters, “I don’t mean to be rude, but didn’t you say that no one comes to the Father except through you?” “Well,” responds Jesus, “John does have me saying this.” (Waiting in line, a few other biblical scholars who overhear this conversation sigh at Jesus’s phrasing; a number of them remain convinced that Jesus said no such thing. They’ll have to make the inquiry on their own time.) “But if you flip back to the Gospel of Matthew, which does come first in the canon, you’ll notice in chapter 25, at the judgment of the sheep and the goats, that I am not interested in those who say ‘Lord, Lord,’ but in those who do their best to live a righteous life: feeding the hungry, visiting people in prison . . . ” Becoming almost apoplectic, the man interrupts, “But, but, that’s works righteousness. You’re saying she’s earned her way into heaven?” “No,” replies Jesus, “I am not saying that at all. I am saying that I am the way, not you, not your church, not your reading of John’s Gospel, and not the claim of any individual Christian or any particular congregation. I am making the determination, and it is by my grace that anyone gets in, including you. Do you want to argue?” The last thing I recall seeing, before picking up my heavenly accessories, is Jesus handing the poor man a Kleenex to help get the log out of his eye.
Amy-Jill Levine (The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus)
If you have ever belonged to such a community, however, you may have discovered that the trouble starts when darkness falls on your life, which can happen in any number of unsurprising ways: you lose your job, your marriage falls apart, your child acts out in some attention getting way, you pray hard for something that does not happen, you begin to doubt some of the things you have been taught about what the Bible says. The first time you speak of these things in a full solar church, you can usually get a hearing. Continue to speak of them and you may be reminded that God will not let you be tested beyond your strength. All that is required of you is to have faith. If you still do not get the message, sooner or later it will be made explicit for you: the darkness is your own fault, because you do not have enough faith.
Barbara Brown Taylor
How tragic that we in this dark day have had our seeking done for us by our teachers. Everything is made to center upon the initial act of “accepting” Christ (a term, incidentally, which is not found in the Bible) and we are not expected thereafter to crave any further revelation of God to our souls. We have been snared in the coils of a spurious logic which insists that if we have found Him we need no more seek Him.
A.W. Tozer (The Pursuit of God)
Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun: 8. But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many. All
Anonymous (Authorized King James Version Holy Bible)
So the Bible is not so sad in the end?’ ‘Yes, it is the saddest book in the world. We are asked to believe that God has played an infantile trick on us: he has made himself unobservable, as an eternal test of “faith”. What I read, though, is the story of a species cursed by gifts and delusions that it cannot understand. I read of exile, abandonment and the terrible grief of beings who have lost something real – not of a people being put to a childish test, but of those who have lost their guide and parent, friend and only governing instructor and are left to wander in the silent darkness for all eternity. Imagine. And that is why all religion is about absence. Because once, the gods were there. And that is why all poetry and music strike us with this awful longing for what once was ours – because it begins in regions of the brain where once the gods made themselves heard.
Sebastian Faulks (Human Traces)
Now Christianity proposes a completely different account of how history comes to a climax and what precisely constitutes the new order of the ages—which helps to explain why so many of modernity’s avatars, from Diderot to Christopher Hitchens, have specially targeted Christianity. On the Christian reading, history reached its highpoint when a young first-century Jewish rabbi, having been put to death on a brutal Roman instrument of torture, was raised from the dead through the power of the God of Israel. The state-sponsored murder of Jesus, who had dared to speak and act in the name of Israel’s God, represented the world’s resistance to the Creator. It was the moment when cruelty, hatred, violence, and corruption—symbolized in the Bible as the watery chaos—spent itself on Jesus. The resurrection, therefore, showed forth the victory of the divine love over those dark powers. St. Paul can say, “I am certain that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, nor any other creature can separate us from the love of God,” precisely because he lived on the far side of the resurrection.
Robert Barron
THAT TIME in my personal life, I was coming to grips with the end of the world. The familiar world, anyway. Many of us were. Scientists said it was ending now, philosophers said it had always been ending. Historians said there’d been dark ages before. It all came out in the wash, because eventually, if you were patient, enlightenment arrived and then a wide array of Apple devices. Politicians claimed everything would be fine. Adjustments were being made. Much as our human ingenuity had got us into this fine mess, so would it neatly get us out. Maybe more cars would switch to electric. That was how we could tell it was serious. Because they were obviously lying.
Lydia Millet (A Children's Bible)
O-kay. Kind of freaky. I’m now standing in an actual tomb, in pitch darkness, with only a vampire to keep me company. Last week if you’d sworn on a stack of Bibles that I’d be okay with all of this, I wouldn’t have believed you.
Mari Mancusi (Boys that Bite (Blood Coven Vampire, #1))
God does most of his works nowadays thru people. So does Satan. For a good part of my life I was an agent of darkness- committing a multitude of sins listed in the Bible... and perhaps a few that aren't even listed. Fortunately, at any given moment we are able to make a choice- and choose who we are going to be from this moment forward. We can leave the darkness behind and try to shed light on th ose who are lost in the darkness. I am the same person I have always been. At times I struggle to keep both my composure and my integrity. It can be hard, as we live in a world that is rich in hate, greed and selfishness. I am that same sinner, but every morning I get to choose to leave my old ways behind. I thank God that this morning, once again, I am strong enough to choose kindness. Its not an easy choice. But I've tried everything else. Kindness is the only choice I have left. And for that, I am grateful.
José N. Harris
I believe in God and evolution. / I believe in the Bible and the Qur’an. / I believe in Christmas and he New World. / I believe that there is good in each of us / no matter who we are or what we believe in. / I believe in the words of my grandfather. / I believe in the city and the South the past and the present. / I believe in Black people and White people coming together. / I believe in nonviolence and “Power to the People.” / I believe in my little brother’s pale skin and my own dark brown. / I believe in my sister’s brilliance and the too-easy books I love to read. / I believe in my mother on a bus and Black people refusing to ride. / I believe in good friends and good food. I believe in johnny pumps and jump ropes, / Malcolm and Martin, Buckeyes and Birmingham, / Writing and listening, bad words and good words – / I believe in Brooklyn! I believe in one day and someday and this perfect moment called Now.
Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming)
Why should I say I can’t when the Bible says I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13)?  2. Why should I worry about my needs when I know that God will take care of all my needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19)?  3. Why should I fear when the Bible says God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7)?  4. Why should I lack faith to live for Christ when God has given me a measure of faith (Romans 12:3)?  5. Why should I be weak when the Bible says that the Lord is the strength of my life and that I will display strength and take action because I know God (Psalm 27:1; Daniel 11:32)?
Neil T. Anderson (Victory Over the Darkness)
We have evolved a new cosmogony of literature, Boris and I. It is to be a new Bible - The Last Book. All those who have anything to say will say it here - anonymously. We will exhaust the age. After us not another book - not for a generation, at least. Heretofore we had been digging in the dark, with nothing but instinct to guide us. Now we shall have a vessel in which to pour the vital fluid, a bomb which, when we throw it, will set off the world. We shall put into it enough to give the writers of tomorrow their plots, their dramas, their poems, their myths, their sciences. The world will be able to feed on it for a thousand years to come. It is colossal in its pretentiousness. The thought of it almost shatters us.
Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer (Tropic, #1))
1. Those who first set themselves to discover nature’s secrets and designs, fearlessly opposing mankind’s early ignorance, deserve our praise;   2. For they began the quest to measure what once was unmeasurable, to discern its laws, and conquer time itself by understanding.   3. New eyes were needed to see what lay hidden in ignorance, new language to express the unknown,   4. New hope that the world would reveal itself to inquiry and investigation.   5. They sought to unfold the world’s primordial sources, asking how nature yields its abundance and fosters it,   6. And where in its course everything goes when it ends, either to change or cease.   7. The first inquirers named nature’s elements atoms, matter, seeds, primal bodies, and understood that they are coeval with the world;   8. They saw that nothing comes from nothing, so that discovering the elements reveals how the things of nature exist and evolve.   9. Fear holds dominion over people when they understand little, and need simple stories and legends to comfort and explain; 10. But legends and the ignorance that give them birth are a house of limitations and darkness. 11. Knowledge is freedom, freedom from ignorance and its offspring fear; knowledge is light and liberation, 12. Knowledge that the world contains itself, and its origins, and the mind of man, 13. From which comes more know­ledge, and hope of knowledge again. 14. Dare to know: that is the motto of enlightenment.  
A.C. Grayling (The Good Book: A Secular Bible)
And although it was in a hospital that she lay and I sat next to her—it is always that eternal poetry of Christmas night with the infant in the stable, as the old Dutch painters conceived it and MIllet and Breton—a light in the darkness, the brightness in the middle of a dark night. And so I hung a large etching after Rembrandt over it, the two women by the cradle, one of them reading from the Bible by candlelight, while the great shadows cast a deep chiaroscuro over the whole room.
Vincent van Gogh (The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh)
The discipline to rise early is not as difficult as the discipline of going to bed. This did not used to be so. Before electricity and radio and television and the Internet, going to bed soon after dark was not so difficult. There was not much to do. Today the strongest allurements to stay up and be entertained are against us. Therefore, the battle against weariness, which makes us drowsy as soon as we open our Bible in the morning, has to be fought in the evening, not just in the morning.
John Piper (When I Don't Desire God: How to Fight For Joy: Study Guide)
I had never before spent a night with a woman, had someone lying by my side in the quietness of the dark, hearing her breath and feeling her warmth beside me. It is a sin, and it is a crime. I say it frankly, for I have been taught so all my life, and only madmen have said otherwise. The Bible says it, the fathers of the church have said it, the prelates now repeat it without end, and all the statues of the land prescribe punishment for what we did that night. Abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul. It must be so, for the Bible speaks only God’s truth. I sinned against the law, against God’s word reported, I abused my family and exposed them even more to risk of public shame, I again risked permanent exclusion from those rooms and books which were my delight and my whole occupation; yet in all the years that have passed since I have regretted only one thing: that it was but a passing moment, never repeated, for I have never been closer to God, nor felt His love and goodness more.
Iain Pears (An Instance of the Fingerpost)
The best proof one can offer to Christian Theologians that the esoteric meaning in the Bible—in both Testaments—was the assertion of the same idea as in our Archaic teachings—to wit, that the "Fall of the Angels" referred simply to the incarnation of angels "who had broken through the Seven Circles" -- is found in the Zohar. Now the Kabala of Simeon Ben Iochai is the soul and essence of its allegory, as the later Christian Kabala is the "dark cloaked" Mosaic Pentateuch. And it says (in the Agrippa MSS.): "The wisdom of the Kabala rests in the
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (The Secret Doctrine - Volume II, Anthropogenesis)
And that was how sin came into the world," he said, "sin and shame and death. It came the moment their daemons became fixed." "But..." Lyra struggled to find the words she wanted: "but it en't true, is it? Not true like chemistry or engineering, not that kind of true? There wasn't really an Adam and Eve? The Cassington Scholar told me it was just a kind of fairy tale." "The Cassington Scholarship is traditionally given to a freethinker; it's his function to challenge the faith of the Scholars. Naturally he'd say that. But think of Adam and Eve like an imaginary number, like the square root of minus one: you can never see any concrete proof that it exists, but if you include it in your equations, you can calculate all manner of things that couldn't be imagined without it. "Anyway, it's what the Church has taught for thousands of years. And when Rusakov discovered Dust, at last there was a physical proof that something happened when innocence changed into experience. "Incidentally, the Bible gave us the name Dust as well. At first they were called Rusakov Particles, but soon someone pointed out a curious verse toward the end of the Third Chapter of Genesis, where God's cursing Adam for eating the fruit." He opened the Bible again and pointed it out to Lyra. She read: "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return...." Lord Asriel said, "Church scholars have always puzzled over the translation of that verse. Some say it should read not 'unto dust shalt thou return' but 'thou shalt be subject to dust,' and others say the whole verse is a kind of pun on the words 'ground' and 'dust,' and it really means that God's admitting his own nature to be partly sinful. No one agrees. No one can, because the text is corrupt. But it was too good a word to waste, and that's why the particles became known as Dust.
Philip Pullman (The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1))
His words in ink on paper were my Bible, his attention my place of meditation and his hands on my skin? The same hands I’d dreamt of every day for a decade. That I’d prayed for with more fervency than any virtues I’d been told to worship at church. They were my ultimate blessing.
Giana Darling (Welcome to the Dark Side (The Fallen Men, #2))
Simple remedies for dire situations, that’s the lesson. In a falling elevator, try to climb up on the person nearby so their body will cushion your landing. Or in a crowded theater when everybody’s hightailing it for the fire exit, stick your elbows hard into the ribs of your neighbors to wedge yourself in, then pick up your feet so you won’t get trampled. That is how people frequently lose their lives in a riot: somebody steps on your heel, then walks right up till you’re flat and they’re standing on you. That’s what you get for trying to stand on your own two feet—you end up getting crushed! So that’s my advice. Let others do the pushing and shoving, and you just ride along. In the end, the neck you save will be your own. Perhaps I sound un-Christian, but let’s face it, when I step outside my own little world at night and listen to the sounds out there in the dark, what I feel down in my bones is that this is not a Christian kind of place. This is darkest Africa, where life roars by you like a flood and you grab whatever looks like it will hold you up. If you ask me, that’s how it is and ever shall be. You stick out your elbows, and hold yourself up.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
He looked up at the round, stained glass window in front of him, a blurred kaleidoscope backlit in the morning sun. It glowed. The color of heaven. Of her hair. He sat back and cracked open the dry, leather cover of a pew Bible, and a mixture of sweat and tears christened its pristine pages.
Red Tash (This Brilliant Darkness)
The key to seeing ourselves in this picture is to firmly grasp that God is still working his plan even when we can’t see it. We cannot genuinely claim to believe in the unseen, supernatural world while not believing that God’s intelligent providence is active in our lives and the affairs of human history. God wants us to live intentionally​—believing that his unseen hand and the invisible agents loyal to him and us (Heb. 1:14) are engaged in our circumstances so that, together, God’s goal of a global Eden moves unstoppably onward. Each of us is vital to someone’s path to the kingdom and the defense of that kingdom. Each day affords us contact with people under the dominion of darkness and opportunities to encourage each other in the hard task of fulfilling our purpose in an imperfect world. Everything we do and say matters, though we may never know why or how. But our job isn’t to see—it’s to do. Walking by faith isn’t passive—it’s purposeful.
Michael S. Heiser (Supernatural: What the Bible Teaches about the Unseen World And Why It Matters)
The Bible never tells us to take a leap of faith into the darkness and hope that there’s somebody out there.The Bible calls us to jump out of the darkness and into the light.That is not a blind leap.The faith that the New Testament calls us to is a faith rooted and grounded in something that God makes clear is the truth.
R.C. Sproul (Defending Your Faith: An Introduction to Apologetics)
But hold on: Didn’t I remember that the original language of the Bible was not Hebrew but something else? I beat my gray cells brutally, and they finally came out with it. Yes, it had been something I remembered from that unimpeachable scholarly source, Raiders of the Lost Ark. And the language I was looking for was Aramaic.
Jeff Lindsay (Dexter in the Dark (Dexter, #3))
When we are too functional, we forget the point of hospitality in the home: fellowship, not entertainment. Don't let pride stop you from opening your home. Ignore the cat hair on the couch (or in the mac and cheese). It likely won't kill anyone as decisively as loneliness will. Add as much water to the pot to stretch the soup. If you run out of food, make pancakes, and put the kids in charge of making that meal. See how much fun that is. And know that someone is spared from another humiliating fall into internet pornography because he is instead walking with you and your kids and dogs, as you share the Lord's Day, one model of how the Lord gives you daily grace and a way of escape. Know that someone is spared the fear and darkness of depression because she is needed at your house, always on the Lord's Day, the day she is never alone, but instead safely in community, where her place at the table is needed and necessary and relied upon. Know that someone is drawn into Christ's love because the Bible reading and psalm singing that come at the close of the meal include everyone, and that it reminds us that no one is scapegoated in this Christ-bearing community. Know that host and guest are equally precious and fragile, and that you will play both roles throughout the course of this life. The doors here open wide. They must.
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (Openness Unhindered: Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ)
I created you in my own image to make for myself a glorious name. You were clean at the beginning, but you defiled yourselves with sins and became sons of the darkness. However, I am gracious and compassionate. I will redeem my people and establish my kingdom. The earth will be filled with the knowledge of my glory, as the waters cover the sea.
Zhang Yun (Understand God's Word - Walk in the Truth)
The essence of this knowledge was the ability to `see all' and to `know all'. Was this not precisely the ability Adam and Eve acquired after eating the forbidden fruit, which grew on the branches of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil'? · Finally, just as Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden, so were the four First Men of the Popol Vuh deprived of their ability to `see far'. Thereafter `their eyes were covered and they could only see what was close ...' Both the Popol Vuh and Genesis therefore tell the story of mankind's fall from grace. In both cases, this state of grace was closely associated with knowledge, and the reader is left in no doubt that the knowledge in question was so remarkable that it conferred godlike powers on those who possessed it. The Bible, adopting a dark and muttering tone of voice, calls it `the knowledge of good and evil' and has nothing further to add. The Popol Vuh is much more informative. It tells us that the knowledge of the First Men consisted of the ability to see `things hidden in the distance', that they were astronomers who `examined the four corners, the four points of the arch of the sky', and that they were geographers who succeeded in measuring `the round face of the earth'. 7 Geography is about maps. In Part I we saw evidence suggesting that the cartographers of an as yet unidentified civilization might have mapped the planet with great thoroughness at an early date. Could the Popol Vuh be transmitting some garbled memory of that same civilization when it speaks nostalgically of the First Men and of the miraculous geographical knowledge they possessed? Geography is about maps, and astronomy is about stars. Very often the two disciplines go hand in hand because stars are essential for navigation on long sea-going voyages of discovery (and long sea-going voyages of discovery are essential for the production of accurate maps). Is it accidental that the First Men of the Popol Vuh were remembered not only for studying `the round face of the earth' but for their contemplation of `the arch of heaven'?
Graham Hancock (Fingerprints of the Gods: The Evidence of Earth's Lost Civilization)
The word theologian doesn’t appear in the Bible. Old Testament writers used a warmer, user-friendly expression, describing people who “walked with God.” A theologian takes a long walk through life with God — living in his presence, going his way, learning to see the world through his eyes, and getting to know his character so that trusting him in the dark
Carolyn Custis James (Lost Women of the Bible: Finding Strength and Significance through Their Stories)
Finally, be strong in the Lord† and in his mighty power.† 11Put on the full armor of God,† so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 ‡ For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,† but against the rulers, against the authorities,† against the powers† of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.†
Anonymous (NIV Study Bible)
Our real problem is not the pervasiveness of the darkness but a failure of the light. Light always dispels darkness. The glorious light of the resurrection life of Jesus Christ is still sufficient and available to those who reject self-reliance and return to His plan for biblical leadership. This return can reignite the radiance of the Gospel in transforming power.
Daniel Henderson (Old Paths, New Power: Awakening Your Church Through Prayer and the Ministry of the Word)
EXO14.19 And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: EXO14.20 And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.
Anonymous (Holy Bible: King James Version)
Darkness must not be confused with light. Grace must not be confused with license. Unchecked sin must not be confused with the good news of justification apart from works of the law. Far from treating sexual deviance as a lesser ethical issue, the New Testament sees it as a matter for excommunication (1 Corinthians 5), separation (2 Cor. 6:12–20), and a temptation for perverse compromise (Jude 3–16).
Kevin DeYoung (What Does the Bible Really Teach about Homosexuality?)
Christ is all in the entire work of salvation. Let me just take you back to the period before this world was made. There was a time when this great world, the sun, the moon, the stars, and all which now exist throughout the whole of the vast universe, lay in the mind of God, like unborn forests in an acorn cup. There was a time when the Great Creator lived alone, and yet he could foresee that he would make a world, and that men would be born to people it; and in that vast eternity a great scheme was devised, whereby he might save a fallen race. Do you know who devised it? God planned it from first to last. Neither Gabriel nor any of the holy angels had anything to do with it. I question whether they were even told how God might be just, and yet save the transgressors. God was all in the drawing up of the scheme, and Christ was all in carrying it out. There was a dark and doleful night! Jesus was in the garden, sweating great drops of blood, which fell to the ground; nobody then came to bear the load that had been laid upon him. An angel stood there to strengthen him, but not to bear the sentence. The cup was put into his hands, and Jesus said, "Father, must I drink it?" and his Father replied, "If thou dost not drink, sinners cannot be saved"; and he took the cup and drained it to its very dregs. No man helped him. And when he hung upon that accursed tree of Calvary, when his precious hands were pierced, when: "From his head, his hands, his feet, Sorrow and love flowed mingled down," there was nobody to help him. He was "all" in the work of salvation. And, my friends, if any of you shall be saved, it must be by Christ alone. There must be no patchwork; Christ did it all, and will not be helped in the matter. Christ will not allow you, as some say, to do what you can, and leave him to make up the rest. What can you do that is not sinful? Christ has done all for us; the work of redemption is all finished. Christ planned it all, and worked out all; and we, therefore, preach a full salvation through Jesus Christ.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Born in the East, and clothed in Oriental form and imagery, the Bible walks the ways of all the world with familiar feet, and enters land after land to find its own everywhere. It has learned to speak in hundreds of languages to the heart of man. It comes into the palace to tell the monarch that he is the servant of the Most High, and into the cottage to assure the peasant that he is the son of God. Children listen to its stories with wonder and delight, and wisemen ponder them as parables of life. It has a word of peace for the time of peril, the hour of darkness. Its oracles are repeated in the assembly of the people, and its counsels whispered in the ear of the lonely. The wise and the proud tremble at its warnings, but to the wounded and penitent it has a mother's voice. The wilderness and the solitary place have been made glad by it, and the fire on the hearth has lighted the reading of its well-worn pages. It has woven itself into our deepest affections, and colored our dearest dreams; so that love and friendship, sympathy and devotion, memory and hope, put on the beautiful garments of its treasured speech, breathing of frankincense and myrrh. Above the cradle and beside the grave its great words come to us uncalled. They fill our prayers with power larger than we know, and the beauty of them lingers in our ear long after the sermons which they have adorned have been forgotten. They return to us swiftly and quietly, like birds flying from far away. They surprise us with new meanings, like springs of water breaking forth from the mountain beside a long-forgotten path. They grow richer, as pearls do when they are worn near the heart. No man is poor or desolate who has this treasure for his own. When the landscape darkens and the trembling pilgrim comes to the valley named the shadow, he is not afraid to enter; he takes the rod and staff of Scripture in his hand; he says to friend and comrade, "Good-by, we shall meet again"; and comforted by that support, he goes toward the lonely pass as one who climbs through darkness into light.
Henry Van Dyke
There are many bibles of different religions; there is the Mohammedan Koran, the Buddhist Canon of Sacred Scripture, the Zoroastrian Zend-Avesta, and the Brahman Veda . . . they all begin with some flashes of true light, and end in utter darkness. Even the most casual observer soon discovers that the Bible is radically different. It is the only Book that offers redemption to us and points the way out of our dilemma.
Billy Graham (Billy Graham in Quotes)
Maybe you’ve woken up in the middle of the night and needed to go to the bathroom or wanted to go to the kitchen, and then while you were walking across a dark room, you stubbed your toe. I know I’ve done this—and it hurts! I bet you’ve done this too. What will help in a situation like that? The answer is simple. Turn on a lamp. When we flip on a light switch, there is no argument between light and dark. When the light is on, the darkness is gone. There’s no fight. There’s no struggle. Similarly, if we feel confused about which direction to turn, then the first thing we ought to do is turn to God and read the Bible. Go to God through the pages of His Word. King David, in Psalm 119:105, states it plainly: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Light dispels darkness. First John 1:5 declares this truth: “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
Robert Morris (Frequency: Tune In. Hear God.)
No more peeping through keyholes! No more mas turbating in the dark! No more public confessions! Unscrew the doors from their jambs! I want a world where the vagina is represented by a crude, honest slit, a world that has feeling for bone and contour, for raw, primary colors, a world that has fear and respect for its animal origins. I’m sick of looking at cunts all tickled up, disguised, deformed, idealized. Cunts with nerve ends exposed. I don’t want to watch young virgins masturbating in the privacy of their boudoirs or biting their nails or tearing their hair or lying on a bed full of bread crumbs for a whole chapter. I want Madagascan funeral poles, with animal upon animal and at the top Adam and Eve, and Eve with a crude, honest slit between the legs. I want hermaphrodites who are real hermaphrodites, and not make-believes walking around with an atrophied penis or a dried-up cunt. I want a classic purity, where dung is dung and angels are angels. The Bible a la King James, for example. Not the Bible of Wycliffe, not the Vulgate, not the Greek, not the Hebrew, but the glorious, death-dealing Bible that was created when the English language was in flower, when a vocabulary of twenty thousand words sufficed to build a monument for all time. A Bible written in Svenska or Tegalic, a Bible for the Hottentots or the Chinese, a Bible that has to meander through the trickling sands of French is no Bible-it is a counterfeit and a fraud. The King James Version was created by a race of bone-crushers. It revives the primitive mysteries, revives rape, murder, incest, revives epilepsy, sadism, megalomania, revives demons, angels, dragons, leviathans, revives magic, exorcism, contagion, incantation, revives fratricide, regicide, patricide, suicide, revives hypnotism, anarchism, somnambulism, revives the song, the dance, the act, revives the mantic, the chthonian, the arcane, the mysterious, revives the power, the evil, and the glory that is God. All brought into the open on a colossal scale, and so salted and spiced that it will last until the next Ice Age. A classic purity, then-and to hell with the Post Office authorities! For what is it enables the classics to live at all, if indeed they be living on and not dying as we and all about us are dying? What preserves them against the ravages of time if it be not the salt that is in them? When I read Petronius or Apuleius or Rabelais, how close they seem! That salty tang! That odor of the menagerie! The smell of horse piss and lion’s dung, of tiger’s breath and elephant’s hide. Obscenity, lust, cruelty, boredom, wit. Real eunuchs. Real hermaphrodites. Real pricks. Real cunts. Real banquets! Rabelais rebuilds the walls of Paris with human cunts. Trimalchio tickles his own throat, pukes up his own guts, wallows in his own swill. In the amphitheater, where a big, sleepy pervert of a Caesar lolls dejectedly, the lions and the jackals, the hyenas, the tigers, the spotted leopards are crunching real human boneswhilst the coming men, the martyrs and imbeciles, are walking up the golden stairs shouting Hallelujah!
Henry Miller (Black Spring)
In modern street-English, we use “hell” as a catchall term to describe the bad place (usually red hot) where sinful people are condemned to punishment and torment after they die. This simplistic, selective, and horrifying perception of hell is due in large part to nearly 400 years of the King James Version’s monopoly in English-speaking congregations (not to mention centuries of imaginative religious art). Rather than acknowledge the variety of terms, images, and concepts that the Bible uses for divine judgment, the KJV translators opted to combine them all under the single term “hell.” In truth, the array of biblical pictures and meanings that this one word is expected to convey is so vast that they appear contradictory. For example, is hell a lake of fire or a place of utter darkness? Is it a purifying forge or a torture chamber? Is it exclusion from God’s presence or the consuming fire of God’s glory? While modern scholarship acknowledges the mis- or over-translation of Sheol, Hades, and Gehenna as “hell” - especially if by “hell” we refer automatically to the eternal punishment of the wicked in conscious torment in a lake of fire - the thoroughly discussed limitations of hell language and imagery have been slow to permeate the theology of pulpits and pews in much of the church. Why the reluctance? Do we resist out of ignorance? Or are we afraid that abandoning infernalism implies abandoning faithfulness to Scripture and sound doctrine? After all, for so long we were taught that to be a Christian - especially an evangelical - is to be an infernalist. And yet, not a few of my friends have confessed that they have given up on being “good Christians” because they can no longer assent to the kind of God that creates and sends people to hell as they imagine it.
Bradley Jersak (Her Gates Will Never Be Shut: Hell, Hope, and the New Jerusalem)
Saturday, May 22d.---It is now Saturday night, and I must prepare for the holy Sabbath. My Bible and Confession of Faith are my traveling companions, and precious friends have they been to me. I bless God for that glorious summary of Christian doctrine contained in our noble standards. It has cheered my soul in many a dark hour, and sustained me in many a desponding moment. I love to read it, and ponder carefully each proof text as I pass along.
James Henley Thornwell (The Life and Letters of James Henley Thornwell, D.D., LL.D; Ex-President of the South Carolina College, Late Professor of Theology in the Theological)
The glare of human joy hides from our sight ten thousand blessings which we cannot see until it grows dark about us. And it would be a dire loss to live through all our days and never see these blessings. There are hundreds of Bible words which seem pale and without meaning in the time of earthly gladness, but which come out bright and shining like stars when the darkness comes on. You have no need for divine comfort when you had no sorrow; and a great part of the Bible was as yet an unopened book to you, for a large portion of it consists of comfort for those in trouble. But when the sorrow came, the words flashed out like stars at night, unseen by day. Thus we learn the meaning of the beatitude, “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.” We lose some joys, but we find others that were hidden in the light of those we lost. Where earth’s tapers burned with only flickering light, heaven’s lamps now shine. Where the human face shone in its gentle grace, the face of Christ now looks upon us in its divine yearning. Where we leaned upon a human arm, often trembling, at last broken, we find now, instead, the everlasting arm. Thus when we abide in Christ the light of his love is revealed as human joys pale. The deeper the earthly darkness, the richer are the divine comforts which are given to us, enabling us to be of good cheer whatever the tribulation.
J.R. Miller
This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.
Eugene H. Peterson (The Message//Remix: Pause: A Daily Reading Bible (The Message: Daily Devotions))
But the Christianity that called to me, through the stories I read in the Bible, scattered the proud and rebuked the powerful. It was a religion in which divinity was revealed by scars on flesh. It was an upside-down world in which treasure, as the prophet said, was found in darkness; in which the hungry were filled with good things, and the rich sent out empty; in which new life was manifested through a humiliated, hungry woman and an empty, tortured man. It
Sara Miles (Take This Bread: A Radical Conversion)
I sank down on the toilet, sharp mental pictures of other temper fits filling my mind. I saw my anger, clenched my fists against my rage. I wouldn’t be any good for anything if I couldn’t change. My poor mother, I thought. She believes in me. Not even she knows how bad I am. Misery engulfed me in darkness. “If you don’t do this for me, God, I’ve got no place else to go.” At one point I’d slipped out of the bathroom long enough to grab a Bible. Now I opened it and
Ben Carson (Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story)
91 He who dwells in  a the shelter of the Most High         will abide in  b the shadow of the Almighty. 2    I will say [1] to the LORD, “My  c refuge and my  d fortress,         my God, in whom I  e trust.”     3 For he will deliver you from  f the snare of the fowler         and from the deadly pestilence. 4    He will  g cover you with his pinions,         and under his  h wings you will  i find refuge;         his  j faithfulness is  k a shield and buckler. 5     l You will not fear  m the terror of the night,         nor the arrow that flies by day, 6    nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,         nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.     7 A thousand may fall at your side,         ten thousand at your right hand,         but it will not come near you. 8    You will only look with your eyes         and  n see the recompense of the wicked.     9 Because you have made the LORD your  o dwelling place—         the Most High, who is my  c refuge
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version)
8For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9(for the fruit of the Spirita is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.
Anonymous (Holy Bible, New King James Version)
I knew I was supposed to understand that Rita was actually saying something very specific, that her pauses and stutters added up to a great and marvelous thing that a human male would intuitively grasp. But I had not a single clue as to what it might be, nor how to figure it out. Should I count the breaths? Time the pauses and convert the numbers to Bible verses to arrive at the secret code? What was she trying to tell me? And why, for that matter, was she trying to tell me anything at all?
Jeff Lindsay (Darkly Dreaming Dexter (Dexter, #1))
Hell, hell fire, the damnation of hell, eternal damnation, the resurrection of the damnation, everlasting fire, the place of torment, destruction, outer darkness, the worm that never dies, the fire that is not quenched, the place of weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, everlasting punishment... these are the words which the Lord Jesus Christ Himself employs. Away with the miserable nonsense which people talk in this day who tell us that the ministers of the gospel should never speak of hell.
J.C. Ryle
13:11  You must understand the urgency and context of time; it is most certainly now the hour to wake up at once out of the hypnotic state of slumber and unbelief. Salvation has come. 13:12  It was 1night for long enough; the day has arrived. Cease immediately with any action associated with the darkness of ignorance. Clothe yourself in the radiance of light as a soldier would wear his full weaponry. (The night is far spent, 1prokopto, as a smith forges a piece of metal until he has hammered it into its maximum length.)
François Du Toit (The Mirror Bible)
..:The purpose of a flashlight is to brighten our path when finding ourselves walking in darkness. So is every book written. Specially the BIBLE. They were written and were left behind as a guide to a brighter and better future for us. But without activation, the flashlight will serve not its purpose. So is the case if we take not the time to dig into the manuals and transcripts. If we take not the time to dig in into the manual of our lives. It'll all be worthless and will leads us to a mediocre life full of darkness:..
Rafael Garcia
go on hating myself forever for all the terrible things I’d done. I sank down on the toilet, sharp mental pictures of other temper fits filling my mind. I saw my anger, clenched my fists against my rage. I wouldn’t be any good for anything if I couldn’t change. My poor mother, I thought. She believes in me. Not even she knows how bad I am. Misery engulfed me in darkness. “If you don’t do this for me, God, I’ve got no place else to go.” At one point I’d slipped out of the bathroom long enough to grab a Bible. Now I opened it and began
Ben Carson (Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story)
Our Savior Jesus did this; He was murdered for exposing their hidden agenda. Lead us to the king with a kiss of death, He was led to the cross & hung as He breathed his last breath. If the mass could understand perfect practice prevents poor performance, they would undoubtedly follow a practice that was perfected to perform life from death to the poor, to the needy, to the blind, and to the deaf but they refuse because they delight in darkness accepting it as Light. It's an awakened vision that sets men free of its oppressive tyranny.
Jose R. Coronado (The Land Flowing With Milk And Honey)
I'll keep in touch, says Lige, ain't going to let you go. This makes John Coke very quiet. John is a tall man and thin and maybe he don't have much painted on his face. He likes to make his decisions and then do a thing. He has my back and he wants the best world for Winona and he don't neglect his pals. When Lige Magan intimates his seeming love for him, John Cole does show something on his face though. Maybe remembers the old sick days when John Cole couldn't move a muscle and that Lige danced attendance. Why should a man help another man? No need, the world don't care about that. The world is just a passing parade of cruel moments and long drear stretches where nothing is going on but the chicory drinking and whiskey and cards. No requirement for nothing else tucked in there. We're strange people, soldiers stuck out in wars. We ain't saying no laws in Washington. We ain't walking on yon great lawns. Storms kill us, and battles, and the earth closes over and no one need say a word and I don't believe we mind. Happy to breathe because we seen terror and horror and then for a while they ain't in dominion. Bibles weren't wrote for us nor any books. We ain't maybe what people do call human since we ain't partaking in the bread of heaven. But if God was trying to make an excuse for us He might point at that strange love between us. Like when you fumbling about in the darkness and you light a lamp and the light comes up and rescue things. Objects in a room and the face of the man who seeing a dug-up treasure to you. John Cole. Seems a food. Bread of earth. The lamplight touching his eyes and another light answering.
Sebastian Barry (Days Without End (Days Without End #1))
I did say that to deny the existence of evil spirits, or to deny the existence of the devil, is to deny the truth of the New Testament; and that to deny the existence of these imps of darkness is to contradict the words of Jesus Christ. I did say that if we give up the belief in devils we must give up the inspiration of the Old and New Testaments, and we must give up the divinity of Christ. Upon that declaration I stand, because if devils do not exist, then Jesus Christ was mistaken, or we have not in the New Testament a true account of what he said and of what he pretended to do. If the New Testament gives a true account of his words and pretended actions, then he did claim to cast out devils. That was his principal business. That was his certificate of divinity, casting out devils. That authenticated his mission and proved that he was superior to the hosts of darkness. Now, take the devil out of the New Testament, and you also take the veracity of Christ; with that veracity you take the divinity; with that divinity you take the atonement, and when you take the atonement, the great fabric known as Christianity becomes a shapeless ruin. The Christians now claim that Jesus was God. If he was God, of course the devil knew that fact, and yet, according to this account, the devil took the omnipotent God and placed him upon a pinnacle of the temple, and endeavored to induce him to dash himself against the earth… Think of it! The devil – the prince of sharpers – the king of cunning – the master of finesse, trying to bribe God with a grain of sand that belonged to God! Casting out devils was a certificate of divinity. Is there in all the religious literature of the world anything more grossly absurd than this? These devils, according to the Bible, were of various kinds – some could speak and hear, others were deaf and dumb. All could not be cast out in the same way. The deaf and dumb spirits were quite difficult to deal with. St. Mark tells of a gentleman who brought his son to Christ. The boy, it seems, was possessed of a dumb spirit, over which the disciples had no control. “Jesus said unto the spirit: ‘Thou dumb and deaf spirit, I charge thee come out of him, and enter no more into him.’” Whereupon, the deaf spirit (having heard what was said) cried out (being dumb) and immediately vacated the premises. The ease with which Christ controlled this deaf and dumb spirit excited the wonder of his disciples, and they asked him privately why they could not cast that spirit out. To whom he replied: “This kind can come forth by nothing but prayer and fasting.” Is there a Christian in the whole world who would believe such a story if found in any other book? The trouble is, these pious people shut up their reason, and then open their Bible.
Robert G. Ingersoll
Job’s account of creation tells us that after God “laid the earth’s foundation” he “made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness” (38:4, 9). The pronouns “its” and “it” here refer to the vast sea that covered the entire surface of Earth at the time. Job leaves no room for ambiguity. Darkness initially pervades the surface of the deep (Gen. 1:2) not because the sun and stars hadn’t yet been created, but rather because Earth’s primordial atmosphere was like a thick blanket that prevented light from penetrating to the surface of Earth’s waters.
Hugh Ross (Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job (Reasons to Believe): How the Oldest Book in the Bible Answers Today's Scientific Questions)
When the angels of the Bible spoke to human beings, did they speak in words? I don’t think so. I think the angels said nothing, but they were heard in the purest silence of the human spirit, and were understood beyond words. On a more human scale there are many things beyond. A mother watches her child leave home. Her heart is still. Her eyes are full of tears and prayer. That is beyond. An old man with wrinkled hands is carrying his grandchild. With startled eyes the baby regards his grandfather. The old man, with the knowledge of Time’s sadness in his heart, and with love in his eyes, looks down at the child. The meeting of their eyes. That is beyond. A famous writer, feeling his life coming to an end, writes these words: ‘My soul looks back and wonders – just how I got I got over.’ A young woman, standing on a shore, looks out into an immense azure sea rimmed with the silver line of the horizon. She looks out into the obscure heart of destiny, and is overwhelmed by a feeling both dark and oddly joyful. She may be thinking something like this: ‘My soul looks forward and wonders- just how am I to get across.’ That is beyond.
Ben Okri (Birds of Heaven)
PSALM 91 He who dwells in  a the shelter of the Most High         will abide in  b the shadow of the Almighty. 2    I will say [1] to the LORD, “My  c refuge and my  d fortress,         my God, in whom I  e trust.”     3 For he will deliver you from  f the snare of the fowler         and from the deadly pestilence. 4    He will  g cover you with his pinions,         and under his  h wings you will  i find refuge;         his  j faithfulness is  k a shield and buckler. 5     l You will not fear  m the terror of the night,         nor the arrow that flies by day, 6    nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,         nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.     7 A thousand may fall at your side,         ten thousand at your right hand,         but it will not come near you. 8    You will only look with your eyes         and  n see the recompense of the wicked.     9 Because you have made the LORD your  o dwelling place—         the Most High, who is my  c refuge [2]— 10     p no evil shall be allowed to befall you,          q no plague come near your tent.     11  r For he will command his  s angels concerning you         to  t guard you in all your ways. 12    On their hands they will bear you up,         lest you  u strike your foot against a stone. 13    You will tread on  v the lion and the  w adder;         the young lion and  x the serpent you will  y trample underfoot.     14 “Because he  z holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;         I will protect him, because he  a knows my name. 15    When he  b calls to me, I will answer him;         I will be with him in trouble;         I will rescue him and  c honor him. 16    With  d long life I will satisfy him         and  e show him my salvation.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version)
Intercession is warfare—the key to God’s battle plan for our lives. But the battleground is not of this earth. The Bible says, “We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and spiritual powers in the heavens above” (Eph. 6:12). Intercessory prayer takes place in this spiritual world where the battles for our own lives, our families, our friends and our nation are won or lost. . . . Through intercession, you can take the offensive in the spiritual battle, building up your community, your nation and your world.
Michelle McClain-Walters (The Deborah Anointing: Embracing the Call to be a Woman of Wisdom and Discernment)
It is properly said that the Devil can “quote Scripture to his purpose.” The Bible is full of so many stories of contradictory moral purpose that every generation can find scriptural justification for nearly any action it proposes—from incest, slavery, and mass murder to the most refined love, courage, and self-sacrifice. And this moral multiple personality disorder is hardly restricted to Judaism and Christianity. You can find it deep within Islam, the Hindu tradition, indeed nearly all the world’s religions. Perhaps then it is not so much scientists as people who are morally ambiguous. It
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
This is not more cultural happenstance. It is a blitzkrieg from the darkness—a frontal attack of calculated and evil dimensions plotted by the adversary of God, man and all that is good, and being advanced by cunning, demonic hordes who can only be blocked in one way: prayer. Call the people to pray. Teach them to counterattack. Unveil My Word to them so that, by calling on Me through the grace I readily give when they invoke the name of My Son, they may unleash My power. As they accept this partnership I call them to, praying that My Kingdom may enter the world of those they love “on earth,” I will answer them by My Spirit’s power—working My will “as it is in heaven.” Well, that is really what happened. I don’t mean, of course, that God stepped into my office in the sense of physical appearance. Rather He made His presence and will known by the means He has revealed in His eternal Word of truth—the Holy Bible. In that book, which is the ultimate authority on all life’s issues, both eternal and temporal, He says that He will speak at times to people by “prophecy.” In this use, prophecy is not a reference to anything arbitrary or arcane—God is never random; nor is He weird. (Toss out the pundits who publish cleverly
Jack W. Hayford (Secrets of Intercessory Prayer, The: Unleashing God's Power in the Lives of Those You Love)
Yesterday, I went to see Gladwell, who is home for a few days. A terrible blow has struck them, his young sister, so full of life, with dark eyes and hair, had fallen from a horse at Blackheath; they found her unconscious and she died five hours later, without regaining consciousness. She was seventeen years old. As soon as I heard the news, I went to see them, knowing that Gladwell was home. I left at eleven o’clock; and had a long walk to Lewisham. I crossed London from one end to the other and didn’t arrive at my destination until almost five o’clock. They had all just come back from the funeral; the whole household was in mourning. I was happy to have come, but confused, truly upset by the spectacle of a pain so great and so venerable. “Blessed are they that mourn, blessed are they that sorrow, but always rejoice, blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. Blessed are those that find love on their road, who are bound together by God, for to them all things will work together for their good.” I chatted for a long time, until evening, with Harry, about everything, the kingdom of God, the Bible; we chatted further, we walked up and down the station platform. Never will we forget the moments before we said goodbye.
Vincent van Gogh (The Letters of Vincent van Gogh)
The Christian has been drawn unto Christ. Those who wish to boast in having something to do with their salvation, or who insist that the final decision lays with man, resist the clear meaning of Christ's words, "draw." But this is a wondrous term. It is beautiful to hear. Drawn in love. Drawn in mercy. Drawn unto the one who died in my place. It is sovereign action, undertaken by the one who holds the entire universe by His power. It is an irresistible drawing, most definitely, but is a drawing of grace. The one drawing loves the one who is being drawn. And those drawn can never be thankful enough to God who brought them out of darkness into the marvelous light of Christ.
James R. White
Oh, the Bible and its curses! One of the best known occurs in Genesis 9 and involves Noah, his son Ham, and a very drunken night. After Ham visits his father’s tent and finds him highly intoxicated and completely naked, Ham tells his brothers Shem and Japheth, who cover their father with a garment while averting their eyes. Noah responded by condemning Ham’s son Canaan to a life as “a servant of servants.” Most curses in the Bible are generational, which means Noah was censuring all of Ham and Canaan’s descendants as well. Although race is never mentioned in the passage, an error in translation—some interpreted “Ham” to mean “dark” or “black”—engendered the idea that Noah had cursed all Black people,
Rachel Dolezal (In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World)
There are thousands, who, like good uncle Fred, are thirsting for the water of life; but the law forbids it, and the churches withhold it. They send the Bible to heathen abroad, and neglect the heathen at home. I am glad that missionaries go out to the dark corners of the earth; but I ask them not to overlook the dark corners at home. Talk to American slaveholders as you talk to savages in Africa. Tell them it was wrong to traffic in men. Tell them it is sinful to sell their own children, and atrocious to violate their own daughters. Tell them that all men are brethren, and that man has no right to shut out the light of knowledge from his brother. Tell them they are answerable to God for sealing up the Fountain of Life from souls that are thirsting for it.
Harriet Ann Jacobs (Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl)
By defining faith (Gk. pistis) as “assurance” and “conviction,” the author indicates that biblical faith is not a vague hope grounded in imaginary, wishful thinking. Instead, faith is a settled confidence that something in the future—something that is not yet seen but has been promised by God—will actually come to pass because God will bring it about. Thus biblical faith is not blind trust in the face of contrary evidence, not an unknowable “leap in the dark”; rather, biblical faith is a confident trust in the eternal God who is all-powerful, infinitely wise, eternally trustworthy—the God who has revealed himself in his word and in the person of Jesus Christ, whose promises have proven true from generation to generation, and who will “never leave nor forsake” his own
Anonymous (ESV Study Bible)
On a Sunday this January, probably of whatever year it is when you read this (at least as long as I’m living), I will probably be preaching somewhere in a church on “Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.” Here’s a confession: I hate it. Don’t get me wrong. I love to preach the Bible. And I love to talk about the image of God and the protection of all human life. I hate this Sunday not because of what we have to say, but that we have to say it at all. The idea of aborting an unborn child or abusing a born child or starving an elderly person or torturing an enemy combatant or screaming at an immigrant family, these ought all to be so self-evidently wrong that a “Sanctity of Human Life Sunday” ought to be as unnecessary as a “Reality of Gravity Sunday.” We shouldn’t have to say that parents shouldn’t abort their children, or their fathers shouldn’t abandon the mothers of their babies, or that no human life is worthless regardless of age, skin color, disability, or economic status. Part of my thinking here is, I hope, a sign of God’s grace, a groaning by the Spirit at this world of abortion clinics and torture chambers (Rom. 8:22–23). But part of it is my own inability to see the spiritual combat zone that the world is, and has been from Eden onward. This dark present reality didn’t begin with the antebellum South or with the modern warfare state, and it certainly didn’t begin with the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. Human dignity is about the kingdom of God, and that means that in every place and every culture human dignity is contested.
Russell D. Moore (Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel)
And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. 9 ¶ And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. 11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 13 And the evening and the morning were the third day. 14 ¶ And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. 19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. 20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
Anonymous (Holy Bible: Old and New Testaments - King James Version - Full Navigation)
I'll keep in touch, says Lige, ain't going to let you go. This makes John Cole very quiet. John is a tall man and thin and maybe he don't have much painted on his face. He likes to make his decisions and then do a thing. He has my back and he wants the best world for Winona and he don't neglect his pals. When Lige Magan intimates his seeming love for him, John Cole does show something on his face though. Maybe remembers the old sick days when John Cole couldn't move a muscle and that Lige danced attendance. Why should a man help another man? No need, the world don't care about that. The world is just a passing parade of cruel moments and long drear stretches where nothing is going on but the chicory drinking and whiskey and cards. No requirement for nothing else tucked in there. We're strange people, soldiers stuck out in wars. We ain't saying no laws in Washington. We ain't walking on yon great lawns. Storms kill us, and battles, and the earth closes over and no one need say a word and I don't believe we mind. Happy to breathe because we seen terror and horror and then for a while they ain't in dominion. Bibles weren't wrote for us nor any books. We ain't maybe what people do call human since we ain't partaking in the bread of heaven. But if God was trying to make an excuse for us He might point at that strange love between us. Like when you fumbling about in the darkness and you light a lamp and the light comes up and rescue things. Objects in a room and the face of the man who seeing a dug-up treasure to you. John Cole. Seems a food. Bread of earth. The lamplight touching his eyes and another light answering.
Sebastian Barry (Days Without End (Days Without End #1))
Gross Darkness The world is becoming independent. It does what it wants, people behave the way they want to behave. Immorality is seen all over the place, in markets, malls, social media, on TV and so on. But God like in all the previous ages is having His people. People that don't go according to the trend of The World, people that don't go according to the trend of churches but rather people who go according to His Holy Word coming from The Bible. The Bible is revealing things that happened in the past, things that are happening before our eyes and things that will happen after we are gone if there is a tomorrow. What is your aim!? What are you achieving ? You can't be at the middle, you will have to chose to be partaker of God's Kingdom or partaker of satan's Eden (The world and its dogma) . God bless you.
Jean Faustin Louembe
As we have seen, the phrase “in accordance with the Bible” has little to do with isolated proof-texts and everything to do with the meaning of the long, dark, puzzling narrative of Israel ending with the question mark at the end of the books of Malachi and Chronicles. “Exile” was still in operation. The first Christians saw the message and accomplishment of Jesus as the long-awaited arrival of God’s kingdom, the final dealing-with-sin that would undo the powers of darkness and break through to the “age to come.” The whole point, as in Galatians 3, was that Israel’s long and sad story was not just a rambling muddle, an accumulation of irrelevant but damaging mistakes of generations that had more or less lost the plot. Paul never saw Israel’s past history like that, though many readers of Paul have assumed that he did.
N.T. Wright (The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus's Crucifixion)
PSALM 139 O LORD, you have  p searched me and known me! 2    You  q know when I sit down and when I rise up;         you  r discern my thoughts from afar. 3    You search out my path and my lying down         and are acquainted with all my ways. 4    Even before a word is on my tongue,         behold, O LORD,  s you know it altogether. 5    You  t hem me in, behind and before,         and  u lay your hand upon me. 6     v Such knowledge is  w too wonderful for me;         it is high; I cannot attain it.     7  x Where shall I go from your Spirit?         Or where  y shall I flee from your presence? 8     z If I ascend to heaven, you are there!          a If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 9    If I take the wings of the morning         and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10    even there your hand shall  b lead me,         and your right hand shall hold me. 11    If I say,  c “Surely the darkness shall cover me,         and the light about me be night,” 12     d even the darkness is not dark to you;         the night is bright as the day,         for darkness is as light with you.     13 For you  e formed my inward parts;         you  f knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14    I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. [1]      g Wonderful are your works;         my soul knows it very well. 15     h My frame was not hidden from you,     when I was being made in secret,         intricately woven in  i the depths of the earth. 16    Your eyes saw my unformed substance;     in your  j book were written, every one of them,         the days that were formed for me,         when as yet there was none of them.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version)
Third, you must reach out for help. Repentance is crucial. Remembering the Bible is essential. But as important as it is to be armed with these powerful graces, you are not designed to fight the battles of sin and temptation alone. You must call in reinforcements. You should have several people you’ve talked with in advance who will hold you accountable, people you can call when you are in trouble. I often tell people that I want them to feel comfortable calling me at any time of the day or night. They might wake me up in the middle of the night, but it’s better to do that than to sin. Reaching out to others immediately in the midst of temptation will often be difficult to do because sin loves the darkness and is skilled at presenting attractive excuses. You must fight these temptations and expose the darkness to the light.
Heath Lambert (Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace)
God I am a sinner.  I have done so many wrongs, in my life.  I have wronged many people, unaware. I have hurt so many people, it wasn’t my intention.  I have made so many mistakes , without thinking. I am no saint, and I am not perfect. I have fallen into temptation many times. Father forgive me. Take away the pain, I have caused to others. Give me the pure heart to love and forgive everyone and may your love be found in me. Please help me with the sins, that I am battling to overcome. Give me strength to fight my demons and dark pleasures. Guide me to path of righteousness. Let me not be judgmental towards others. Let me not curse or speak foul of anyone. There is no person who should shed a tear, because of me. There is no person who should be heart broken , because of me. In Jesus name Amen.  Matthew 26:41 | 1 John 5:16 | 2 Chronicles 7:14-15
De philosopher DJ Kyos
Church is important to most folks in the South. So the most important thing going is basically ruled by men as decreed by the Big Man himself. Not only that, but the church puts pressures on women that it does not put on men. Young women are expected to be chaste, moral, and pure, whereas young men are given way more leeway, ’cause, ya know, boys will be boys. Girls are expected to marry young and have kids, be a helpmate to their husbands (who are basically like having another child), and, of course, raise perfect little Christian babies to make this world a better place. So while it’s the preacher man who controls the church, it’s the women—those helpmates—who keep that shit going. They keep the pews tidy and wash the windows; type up the bulletins; volunteer for Sunday school, the nursery, youth group, and Vacation Bible School; fry the chicken for the postchurch dinners; organize the monthly potluck dinners, the spaghetti supper to raise money for a new roof, and the church fund drive; plant flowers in the front of the church, make food for sick parishioners, serve food after funerals, put together the Christmas pageant, get Easter lilies for Easter, wash the choir robes, organize the church trip, bake cookies for the bake sale to fund the church trip, pray unceasingly for their husband and their pastor and their kids and never complain, and then make sure their skirts are ironed for Sunday mornin’ service. All this while in most churches not being allowed to speak with any authority on the direction or doctrine of the church. No, no, ladies, the heavy lifting—thinkin’ up shit to say, standing up at the lectern telling people what to do, counting the money—that ain’t for yuns. So sorry.
Trae Crowder (The Liberal Redneck Manifesto: Draggin' Dixie Outta the Dark)
True blues ain't no new news about who's been abused For the blues is as old as my stolen soul I sang the blues when the missionaries came Passing out bibles in Jesus' name I sang the blues in the hull of the ship Beneath the sting of the slavemaster's whip I sang the blues when the ship anchored the dark My family being sold on a slave block I sang the blues being torn from my first born And hung my head and cried when my wife took his life And then committed suicide. I sang the blues on the slavemaster's plantation helping Him build his free nation I sang the blues in the cottonfield, hustlin' to make the daily yield I sang the blues when he forced my woman to beg Lord knows how I wished he was dead I sang the blues on the run, ducking the dogs and dodging the gun I sang the blues hanging from the tree in a desperate attempt to break free I sang the blues when the sun went down, cursing the master when he wasn't around I sang the blues in all these wars dying for some unknown cause I sang the blues in a high tone, low moan, loud groan, soft grunt, hard funk I sang the blues in land sea and air, about who when why and where I sang the blues in church on sunday, slaving on monday, misused on tuesday, abused on wednesday, accused on thursday, fried alive on friday, and died on saturday. Sho nuff singing the blues I sang the blues in the summer, fall winter and spring I know sho nuff the blues is my thing I sang the backwater blues, rhythm and blues, gospel blues, saint louis blues, crosstown blues, chicago blues, mississippi GODDAMN blues, the watts blues, the harlem blues, hoe blues, gut-bucket blues, funky chunky blues, i sang the up north cigarette corp blues, the down south sprung out the side of my mouth blues, I sang the blues black, i sang the blues blacker, i sang the blues blackest I SANG BOUT MY SHO NUFF BLUE BLACKNESS! from "True Blues" by the Last Poets
Jalal Mansur Nuriddin
Romans 13: 8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. 11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: King James Version)
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))
astonishment, it made the girls themselves gleam. Katherine, like many before her, was entranced by it. It wasn’t just the glow—it was radium’s all-powerful reputation. Almost from the start, the new element had been championed as “the greatest find of history.”7 When scientists had discovered, at the turn of the century, that radium could destroy human tissue, it was quickly put to use to battle cancerous tumors, with remarkable results. Consequently—as a life-saving and thus, it was assumed, health-giving element—other uses had sprung up around it. All of Katherine’s life, radium had been a magnificent cure-all, treating not just cancer, but hay fever, gout, constipation…anything you could think of. Pharmacists sold radioactive dressings and pills; there were also radium clinics and spas for those who could afford them. People hailed its coming as predicted in the Bible: “The sun of righteousness [shall] arise with healing in his wings, and ye shall go forth and gambol as calves of the stall.”8
Kate Moore (The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women (Bestselling Historical Nonfiction Gift for Men and Women))
A Prayer for Grace and Illumination Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have You present so that I do not forget You. You know how easily I abandon You. Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak and I need Your strength, that I may not fall so often. Stay with me, Lord, for You are my life, and without You, I am without fervor. Stay with me, Lord, for You are my light, and without You, I am in darkness. Stay with me, Lord, to show me Your will. Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear Your voice and follow You. Stay with me, Lord, for I desire to love You very much, and always be in Your company. Stay with me, Lord, if You wish me to be faithful to You. Stay with me, Lord, for as poor as my soul is, I wish it to be a place of consolation for You, a nest of Love. Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late and the day is coming to a close, and life passes, death, judgment, eternity approaches. It is necessary to renew my strength, so that I will not stop along the way and for that, I need You. It is getting late and death approaches. I fear the darkness, the temptations, the dryness, the cross, the sorrows. O how I need You, my Jesus, in this night of exile! Stay with me tonight, Jesus, in life with all its dangers, I need You. Let me recognize You as Your disciples did at the breaking of bread, so that the Eucharistic Communion be the light which disperses the darkness, the force which sustains me, the unique joy of my heart. Stay with me, Lord, because at the hour of my death, I want to remain united to You, if not by Communion, at least by grace and love. Stay with me, Jesus, I do not ask for divine consolation, because I do not merit it, but, the gift of Your Presence, oh yes, I ask this of You! Stay with me, Lord, for it is You alone I look for. Your Love, Your Grace, Your Will, Your Heart, Your Spirit, because I love You and ask no other reward but to love You more and more. With a firm love, I will love You with all my heart while on earth and continue to love You perfectly during all eternity. Amen. —Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina
Patrick Madrid (A Year with the Bible: Scriptural Wisdom for Daily Living)
If more Christians today summon the courage to take seriously the dark sides of our history, we will wake up to the degree to which our religion still interprets the Bible exactly as our misguided ancestors did.28 (No, we don’t draw exactly the same conclusions, but we have neither acknowledged nor rejected the method of reading the Bible that made those unacceptable interpretations acceptable.) If we face our past, we will see how many power centers within the Christian community still carry white Christian supremacy and white Christian privilege cards in their back pockets, often without even knowing they do so, and as a result can be found consistently allying themselves with oppressors rather than the oppressed. We will see behind the curtain, so to speak, exposing how many Christians still drink the old cocktails: of God and gold (including the “black gold” of fossil fuels), of Christianity and white supremacy, of Christianity and privilege, of Christianity and colonialism, of Christianity and exceptionalism, of Christianity and violence.
Brian D. McLaren (The Great Spiritual Migration: How the World's Largest Religion Is Seeking a Better Way to Be Christian)
He did it for us. He took the form of man, took all our sins upon Himself, and died on a Roman cross two thousand years ago.” Sally examined the passage again. “So tell me: did it work?” Bernice leaned forward and said, “You be the judge. The Bible says that the penalty for sin is death, but after Jesus paid that penalty He rose from the dead on the third day, so something was different. He conquered sin, so He was able to conquer sin’s penalty. Sure, it worked. It always works. Jesus satisfied divine justice on that Cross. He bore the punishment in full, and God never had to bend the rules. That’s why we call Jesus our Savior. He shed His own blood in our place, and died, and then rose from the grave to prove He’d won over sin and could set us free.” Now Bernice started getting excited. “And you know what thrills me about that? It means we’re special to Him; He really does love us, and we . . . we mean something, we’re here for a reason! And you know what else? No matter what our sins are, no matter where we are or what condition we’re in, we can be forgiven, free and clear, a clean slate!
Frank E. Peretti (Piercing the Darkness)
Jesus and the apostles and prophets were men of courage. God sent them and us out into the world to open our mouths and make a holy ruckus for all evil and every kind of darkness. But this is not an easy, carefree existence, and there are temptations at every point to compromise, to ease up, to settle down. Nobody announces that they are going to compromise. It all begins very subtly. And the terrifying thing is that it frequently begins with a Bible verse used to defend it. The Devil prowls about as an angel of light. We begin reading the Bible selectively, which is to say, we begin to limit what we will let God say. We begin to limit God’s authority. It’s much easier and more convenient to skim piously while underlining and highlighting the passages that make us feel happy and warm inside, or apply only to other people out there, because it’s scary to do anything else. When we substitute faithfulness with this sort of cowardice, we do so telling ourselves that we’re actually doing the right thing. In reality we have substituted the living God for an idol, but our idols are trimmed out in our pet theological frills. We call our compromise boldness, but it is actually fear. Idols are fear incarnate.
Toby J. Sumpter (Blood-Bought World: Jesus, Idols, and the Bible)
Prayer and Meditation Matthew 14 AND HE WENT UP INTO THE MOUNTAIN APART TO PRAY This was always the practice of Jesus when he would move into the masses, the crowd, afterwards he would go alone into deep prayer and meditation. Why did he do this? If you have been meditating, you will understand. You will understand that once you start meditating, a very fragile and delicate quality of consciousness is born in you. A flower of the unknown, of the beyond, starts opening, which is delicate. And whenever you move into the crowd, you lose something. Whenever you come back from the crowd, you come back lesser than you had gone. Something has been lost, some contact has been lost. The crowd pulls you down, it has a gravitation of it's own. You may not feel it if you live on the same plane of consciousness. Then there is no problem, then you have nothing to lose. In fact, when you live in the crowd, on the same plane, alone you feel very uneasy. When you are with people, you feel good and happy. But alone, you feel sad, your aloneness is not aloneness. It is loneliness, you miss the other. You do not find yourself in the aloneness, you simply miss the other. When you are alone, you are not alone, beacuse you are not there. Only the desire to be with others is there - that is what loneliness is. Always remember the distinction between aloneness and loneliness. Aloneness is a peak experience - loneliness is a valley. Aloneness has light in it, loneliness is dark. Loneliness is when you desire others; aloneness is when you enjoy yourself. When Jesus would move into the masses, into the crowd, he would tell his disciples to got to the other shore of the lake, and he would move into total aloneness. Not even the disciples were allowed to be with him. This was a constant practice with him. Whenever you go into the crowd, you are infected by it. You need a higher altitude to purify yourself, you need to be alone so that you can become fresh again. You need to be alone with yourself, so that you become together again. You need to be alone, so that you become centered and rooted in yourself again. Whenever you move with others, they push you off centre. AND WHEN THE EVENING WAS COME, HE WAS THERE ALONE Nothing is said about his prayer in the Bible, just the word "prayer". Before God or before existence, you simply need to be vulnerable - that is prayer. You are no to say something. So when you go into prayer, don't start saying something. It will all be desires, demands and deep complaints to God. And prayer with complaints is no prayer, a prayer with deep gratitude is prayer. There is no need to say something, you can just be silent. Hence nothing is said about what Jesus did in his aloneness. It simply says "apart to pray". He went apart, he became alone. That is what prayer is, to be alone, where the other is not felt, where the other is not standing between you and existence. When God's breeze can pass througn you, unhindered. It is a cleansing experience. It revejunates your spirit. To be with God simply means to be alone. You can miss the point, if you start thinking about God, then you are not alone. If you start talking to God, then in imagination you have created the other. And then you God is a projection, it will be a projection of your father. A prayer is not to say something. It is to be silent, open, available. And there is no need to believe in God, because that too is a projection. The only need is to be alone, to be capable of being alone - and immediately you are with God. Whenever you are alone, you are with God.
Swami Dhyan Giten (The Way, the Truth and the Life: On Jesus Christ, the Man, the Mystic and the Rebel)
It is hard to overestimate the importance of the Catholic church’s value for European culture and for the whole world. It Christianized and civilized barbaric peoples and for a long time was the only guardian of science and art. Here the church’s cloisters were preeminent. The Catholic church developed a spiritual power unequaled anywhere, and today we still admire the way it combined the principle of catholicism with the principle of one sanctifying church, as well as tolerance with intolerance. It is a world in itself. Infinite diversity flows together, and this colorful picture gives it its irresistible charm (Complexio oppositorum). A country has seldom produced so many different kinds of people as has the Catholic church. With admirable power, it has understood how to maintain unity in diversity, to gain the love and respect of the masses, and to foster a strong sense of community. . . . But it is exactly because of this greatness that we have serious reservations. Has this world [of the Catholic church] really remained the church of Christ? Has it not perhaps become an obstruction blocking the path to God instead of a road sign on the path to God? Has it not blocked the only path to salvation? Yet no one can ever obstruct the way to God. The church still has the Bible, and as long as she has it we can still believe in the holy Christian church. God’s word will never be denied (Isa. 55:11), whether it be preached by us or by our sister church. We adhere to the same confession of faith, we pray the same Lord’s Prayer, and we share some of the same ancient rites. This binds us together, and as far as we are concerned we would like to live in peace with our disparate sister. We do not, however, want to deny anything that we have recognized as God’s word. The designation Catholic or Protestant is unimportant. The important thing is God’s word. Conversely, we will never violate anyone else’s faith. God does not desire reluctant service, and God has given everyone a conscience. We can and should desire that our sister church search its soul and concentrate on nothing but the word [1 Cor. 2:12– 13]. Until that time, we must have patience. We will have to endure it when, in false darkness, the “only holy church” pronounces upon our church the “anathema” (condemnation). She doesn’t know any better, and she doesn’t hate the heretic, only the heresy. As long as we let the word be our only armor we can look confidently into the future.
Eric Metaxas (Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy)
May the day of my birth perish. May it turn to darkness. May God above not care about it. May no light shine on it. May gloom and utter darkness claim it once more. May a cloud settle over it. May blackness overwhelm it. May thick darkness seize it. May it not be included among the days of the year nor be entered in any of the months. May that night be barren. May no shout of joy be heard in it. May those who curse days curse that day. May its morning stars become dark. May it wait for daylight in vain and not see the first rays of dawn, for it did not shut the doors of the womb on me to hide trouble from my eyes. Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb? Why were there knees to receive me and breasts that I might be nursed? For now I would be lying down in peace; I would be asleep and at rest. Why is light given to those in misery, and life to the bitter of soul, to those who long for death that does not come, who search for it more than for hidden treasure, who are filled with gladness and rejoice when they reach the grave? For sighing has become my daily food; my groans pour out like water.What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.
Anonymous (The Book of Job)
A VALEDICTION: OF THE BOOK I'll tell thee now (dear love) what thou shalt do To anger destiny, as she doth us; How I shall stay, though she eloign me thus, And how posterity shall know it too; How thine may out-endure Sibyl's glory, and obscure Her who from Pindar could allure, And her, through whose help Lucan is not lame, And her, whose book (they say) Homer did find, and name. Study our manuscripts, those myriads Of letters, which have past 'twixt thee and me; Thence write our annals, and in them will be To all whom love's subliming fire invades, Rule and example found; There the faith of any ground No schismatic will dare to wound, That sees, how Love this grace to us affords, To make, to keep, to use, to be these his records. This book, as long-lived as the elements, Or as the world's form, this all-graved tome In cypher writ, or new made idiom; We for Love's clergy only are instruments; When this book is made thus, Should again the ravenous Vandals and Goths invade us, Learning were safe; in this our universe, Schools might learn sciences, spheres music, angels verse. Here Love's divines—since all divinity Is love or wonder—may find all they seek, Whether abstract spiritual love they like, Their souls exhaled with what they do not see; Or, loth so to amuse Faith's infirmity, they choose Something which they may see and use; For, though mind be the heaven, where love doth sit, Beauty a convenient type may be to figure it. Here more than in their books may lawyers find, Both by what titles mistresses are ours, And how prerogative these states devours, Transferred from Love himself, to womankind; Who, though from heart and eyes, They exact great subsidies, Forsake him who on them relies; And for the cause, honour, or conscience give; Chimeras vain as they or their prerogative. Here statesmen, (or of them, they which can read) May of their occupation find the grounds; Love, and their art, alike it deadly wounds, If to consider what 'tis, one proceed. In both they do excel Who the present govern well, Whose weakness none doth, or dares tell; In this thy book, such will there something see, As in the Bible some can find out alchemy. Thus vent thy thoughts; abroad I'll study thee, As he removes far off, that great heights takes; How great love is, presence best trial makes, But absence tries how long this love will be; To take a latitude Sun, or stars, are fitliest viewed At their brightest, but to conclude Of longitudes, what other way have we, But to mark when and where the dark eclipses be?
John Donne (The Love Poems)
In ways that he was unaware of, his private conversation had become progressively theological. More and more, he thought about God, and because of that, the meaning and purpose of his life. But rather than letting what the Bible says about God help him interpret the overwhelming circumstances he was facing, he let his circumstances redefine his view of God. How could a loving God let this happen to anyone? Where were all God’s promises? Why didn’t God answer his prayers? Why were other people being blessed while he got cursed? Why didn’t God use his power to help him? Why was God punishing him? Why had God turned his back on him? Why didn’t God do something to help him? Why? The Bible didn’t answer his questions because he no longer had faith in what it said, and he knew that his pastor and Christian friends would offer him the same tired platitudes that he had once repeated to others in need. His love for God began to morph into anger at God. Worship devolved into an angry demand for change. The faith that had shaped his life now seemed to be a grand trick played on weak people. In his endless and dark conversation with himself, he finally concluded that if there was a God, he was not good or worthy of his trust. And in that moment he was all alone in his overwhelming and increasingly debilitating circumstances.
Paul David Tripp (Suffering: Gospel Hope When Life Doesn't Make Sense)
English Gingerbread Cake Serves: 12 to 16 Baking Time: 50 to 60 minutes Kyle Cathie, editor for the British version of The Cake Bible (and now a publisher), informed me in no uncertain terms that a book could not be called a cake "bible" in England if it did not contain the beloved gingerbread cake. When I went to England to retest all the cakes using British flour and ingredients, I developed this gingerbread recipe. Now that I have tasted it, I quite agree with Kyle. It is a moist spicy cake with an intriguing blend of buttery, lemony, wheaty, and treacly flavors. Cut into squares and decorated with pumpkin faces, it makes a delightful "treat" for Halloween. Batter Volume Ounce Gram unsalted butter (65° to 75°F/19° to 23°C) 8 tablespoons (1 stick) 4 113 golden syrup or light corn syrup 1¼ cups (10 fluid ounces) 15 425 dark brown sugar, preferably Muscovado ¼ cup, firmly packed 2 60 orange marmalade 1 heaping tablespoon 1.5 40 2 large eggs, at room temperature ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (3 fluid ounces) 3.5 100 milk 2/3 cup (5.3 fluid ounces) 5.6 160 cake flour (or bleached all-purpose flour) 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (or 1 cup), sifted into the cup and leveled off 4 115 whole wheat flour 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon (lightly spooned into the cup) 4 115 baking powder 1½ teaspoons . . cinnamon 1 teaspoon . . ground ginger 1 teaspoon . . baking soda ½ teaspoon . . salt pinch . . Special Equipment One 8 by 2-inch square cake pan or 9 by 2-inch round pan (see Note), wrapped with a cake strip, bottom coated with shortening, topped with a parchment square (or round), then coated with baking spray with flour Preheat the Oven Twenty minutes or more before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C. Mix the Liquid Ingredients In a small heavy saucepan, stir together the butter, golden syrup, sugar, and marmalade over medium-low heat until melted and uniform in color. Set aside uncovered until just barely warm, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the eggs and milk. Make the Batter In a large bowl, whisk together the cake flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, and salt. Add the butter mixture, stirring with a large silicone spatula or spoon just until smooth and the consistency of thick soup. Using the silicone spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the Cake Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a wire cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. The cake should start to shrink from the sides of the pan only after removal from the oven. Cool the Cake Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. While the cake is cooling, make the syrup.
Rose Levy Beranbaum (Rose's Heavenly Cakes)
I worked and worked, and before I knew it, my collage was finished. Still damp from Elmer’s glue, the masterpiece included images of horses--courtesy, coincidentally, of Marlboro cigarette ads--and footballs. There were pictures of Ford pickups and green grass--anything I could find in my old magazines that even remotely hinted at country life. There was a rattlesnake: Marlboro Man hated snakes. And a photo of a dark, starry night: Marlboro Man was afraid of the dark as a child. There were Dr Pepper cans, a chocolate cake, and John Wayne, whose likeness did me a great favor by appearing in some ad in Golf Digest in the early 1980s. My collage would have to do, even though it was missing any images depicting the less tangible things--the real things--I knew about Marlboro Man. That he missed his brother Todd every day of his life. That he was shy in social settings. That he knew off-the-beaten-path Bible stories--not the typical Samson-and-Delilah and David-and-Goliath tales, but obscure, lesser-known stories that I, in a lifetime of skimming, would never have hoped to read. That he hid in an empty trash barrel during a game of hide-and-seek at the Fairgrounds when he was seven…and that he’d gotten stuck and had to be extricated by firefighters. That he hated long pasta noodles because they were too difficult to eat. That he was sweet. Caring. Serious. Strong. The collage was incomplete--sorely lacking vital information.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
If we are taught by God in affliction we are blessed. When God teaches, he applies his instruction to the heart. He commands light to shine out of darkness (2 Corinthians 4:6). The Holy Spirit brings divine truths in such a clear and convincing light that the soul sits down fully satisfied. The soul both sweetly and freely acquiesces in the revealed truths. When God teaches, the soul experiences truth as David (Psalm 119:71). Some only know notionally, but David knew by experience; he became more acquainted with the Word. He knew it more, loved it better, and was more transformed in the nature of it. Thus, Paul, “I know who I have believed” (2 Timothy 1:12) – “I have experienced his faithfulness and his all-sufficiency; I can trust my all with him. I am sure he will keep it safe to that day.” Those taught of God in affliction can speak experimentally, in one degree or another. They can speak of their communion with God (Psalm 23:4). The sweet singer of Israel had comfortable presence. Those taught of God can say: “As we have heard, so we have seen. I have experienced this word upon mine heart, and can set my seal that God is true.” God’s teaching is a powerful teaching. It conveys strength as well as light. Truth only understood needs to be put into action and practice. God’s teachings are sweet to the taste. David rolled them as sugar under his tongue, and received more sweetness than Samson from his honeycomb. Luther said he would not live in paradise without the Word, but with the Word he could live in hell itself. Teaching is sweet because it is suitable to the renewed man (Jeremiah 15:16).
Thomas Case
Matthew 22 MAT22.1 And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, MAT22.2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, MAT22.3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. MAT22.4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. MAT22.5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: MAT22.6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. MAT22.7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. MAT22.8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. MAT22.9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. MAT22.10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. MAT22.11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: MAT22.12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. MAT22.13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. MAT22.14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
Anonymous (Holy Bible: King James Version)
THE “ROSEBUD” OR “EMBRYO” OF FAITH By itself what was said above does not suffice to explain precisely how a rudimentary faith can be substantially the same as explicit Christian faith. The answer lies in St. Thomas's exegesis of Heb 11:6. The verse reads: “Whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” For St. Thomas, this verse already contains the whole “substance of the faith” that is mentioned in Heb 11:1: All the articles are contained implicitly in certain primary matters of faith, [namely] God's existence and His providence over the salvation of man, according to Hebrews 11: “He that cometh to God, must believe that He is, and is a rewarder to them that seek Him.” For the existence of God includes all that we believe to exist in God eternally, and in these our happiness consists; while belief in His providence includes all those things which God dispenses in time, for man's salvation, and which are the way to that happiness: and in this way, again, some of those articles which follow from these are contained in others: thus faith in the Redemption of mankind includes belief in the Incarnation of Christ, His Passion and so forth.7 For St. Thomas, all that is essential to the Christian faith (the Resurrection, the triune nature of God, the moral law, etc.) is rooted in the two primary “matters” (credibilia) of faith mentioned Heb 11:6, namely, God's existence and his providence. In his insightful reflection on this passage from St. Thomas, Charles Journet explains that the Trinity is already involved in the more fundamental revelation of God's existence and is contained therein as a rose in its bud.
Matthew J. Ramage (Dark Passages of the Bible)
Well—Bible school, Poland, it was a long time ago. Still. Because, what I am trying to say—what I was thinking in the car from Antwerp last night—good doesn’t always follow from good deeds, nor bad deeds result from bad, does it? Even the wise and good cannot see the end of all actions. Scary idea! Remember Prince Myshkin in The Idiot?” “I’m not really up for an intellectual talk right now.” “I know, I know, but hear me out. You read The Idiot, right? Right. Well, ‘Idiot’ was very disturbing book to me. In fact it was so disturbing I have never really read very many fictions after, apart from Dragon Tattoo kind of thing. Because”—I was trying to interject—“well, maybe you can tell me about that later, what you thought, but let me tell you why I found it disturbing. Because all Myshkin ever did was good… unselfish… he treated all persons with understanding and compassion and what resulted from this goodness? Murder! Disaster! I used to worry about this a lot. Lie awake at night and worry! Because—why? How could this be? I read that book like three times, thinking I wasn’t understanding right. Myshkin was kind, loved everyone, he was tender, always forgave, he never did a wrong thing—but he trusted all the wrong people, made all bad decisions, hurt everyone around him. Very dark message to this book. ‘Why be good.’ But—this is what took hold on me last night, riding here in the car. What if—is more complicated than that? What if maybe opposite is true as well? Because, if bad can sometimes come from good actions—? where does it ever say, anywhere, that only bad can come from bad actions? Maybe sometimes—the wrong way is the right way? You can take the wrong path and it still comes out where you want to be? Or, spin it another way, sometimes you can do everything wrong and it still turns out to be right?
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Morning, September 6 "In the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world." Philippians 2:15 We use lights to make manifest. A Christian man should so shine in his life, that a person could not live with him a week without knowing the gospel. His conversation should be such that all who are about him should clearly perceive whose he is, and whom he serves; and should see the image of Jesus reflected in his daily actions. Lights are intended for guidance. We are to help those around us who are in the dark. We are to hold forth to them the Word of life. We are to point sinners to the Saviour, and the weary to a divine resting-place. Men sometimes read their Bibles, and fail to understand them; we should be ready, like Philip, to instruct the inquirer in the meaning of God's Word, the way of salvation, and the life of godliness. Lights are also used for warning. On our rocks and shoals a light-house is sure to be erected. Christian men should know that there are many false lights shown everywhere in the world, and therefore the right light is needed. The wreckers of Satan are always abroad, tempting the ungodly to sin under the name of pleasure; they hoist the wrong light, be it ours to put up the true light upon every dangerous rock, to point out every sin, and tell what it leads to, that so we may be clear of the blood of all men, shining as lights in the world. Lights also have a very cheering influence, and so have Christians. A Christian ought to be a comforter, with kind words on his lips, and sympathy in his heart; he should carry sunshine wherever he goes, and diffuse happiness around him. Gracious Spirit dwell with me; I myself would gracious be, And with words that help and heal Would thy life in mine reveal, And with actions bold and meek Would for Christ my Saviour speak.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning And Evening: Daily Readings)
From Walt: The Grapes of Wrath, Les Misérables, To Kill a Mockingbird, Moby-Dick, The Ox-Bow Incident, A Tale of Two Cities, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Three Musketeers, Don Quixote (where your nickname came from), The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, and anything by Anton Chekhov. From Henry: Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Cheyenne Autumn, War and Peace, The Things They Carried, Catch-22, The Sun Also Rises, The Blessing Way, Beyond Good and Evil, The Teachings of Don Juan, Heart of Darkness, The Human Comedy, The Art of War. From Vic: Justine, Concrete Charlie: The Story of Philadelphia Football Legend Chuck Bednarik, Medea (you’ll love it; it’s got a great ending), The Kama Sutra, Henry and June, The Onion Field, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Zorba the Greek, Madame Bovary, Richie Ashburn’s Phillies Trivia (fuck you, it’s a great book). From Ruby: The Holy Bible (New Testament), The Pilgrim’s Progress, Inferno, Paradise Lost, My Ántonia, The Scarlet Letter, Walden, Poems of Emily Dickinson, My Friend Flicka, Our Town. From Dorothy: The Gastronomical Me, The French Chef Cookbook (you don’t eat, you don’t read), Last Suppers: Famous Final Meals From Death Row, The Bonfire of the Vanities, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Something Fresh, The Sound and the Fury, The Maltese Falcon, Pride and Prejudice, Brides-head Revisited. From Lucian: Thirty Seconds over Tokyo, Band of Brothers, All Quiet on the Western Front, The Virginian, The Basque History of the World (so you can learn about your heritage you illiterate bastard), Hondo, Sackett, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Bobby Fischer: My 60 Memorable Games, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Quartered Safe Out Here. From Ferg: Riders of the Purple Sage, Kiss Me Deadly, Lonesome Dove, White Fang, A River Runs Through It (I saw the movie, but I heard the book was good, too), Kip Carey’s Official Wyoming Fishing Guide (sorry, kid, I couldn’t come up with ten but this ought to do).
Craig Johnson (Hell Is Empty (Walt Longmire, #7))
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” —Mark 1:35 2. Have an honest heart. “Call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”—Jeremiah 29:12-13 3. Open your Bible. “The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” —Hebrews 4:12 4. Have a genuine friend. “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”—Hebrews 10:24-25 God has not meant for our lives to be empty. His plan is for us to live full and abundant lives (see John 10:10). As Rick Warren explains in his book The Purpose-Driven Life, “The purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, your peace of mind, or even your happiness. It’s far greater than your family, your career, or even your wildest dreams and ambitions. If you want to know why you were placed on this planet, you must begin with God. You were born by his purpose and for his purpose.”8 God did not make you to be empty. Walk with and in the purpose He has planned for you. Prayer: Father God, lift me out of a life of emptiness. You didn’t make me to be there, and that’s not where I will remain. With Your Spirit and power I will rise above this phase of emptiness and live an abundant life. Thank You for giving me a gentle whisper. Amen.   Action: If you find yourself in an empty stage of life, put into action this week the four steps that are given.   Today’s Wisdom: Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. —JEREMIAH 17:7-8
Emilie Barnes (Walk with Me Today, Lord: Inspiring Devotions for Women)
If we follow Jesus, our status before God is righteous. The gavel has come down and our righteousness is secure in the work of Jesus Christ. God’s verdict is not subject to change based on our performance. We didn’t become righteous because of our performance, and we can’t lose our righteousness because of our performance. We don’t have to worry about getting escorted off God’s premises. We have access, we have resources, and we have blessings because of Jesus. It is easy to hear this sort of message and get excited about it. We hear a preacher talking about God’s forgiveness and grace on Sunday, and we’re like, “Woohoo! I’m in! This is great!” But then Monday comes around, and it’s really hard to apply this reality when we’re having one of those moments when we lose our minds, or make dumb decisions, or go off on somebody, or do that stupid, ridiculous thing we swore we’d never do again. Suddenly, here comes the negative emotion. Here come the bad feelings. Here comes that sense that our status cannot possibly be the same as it was in church yesterday. That’s what the Bible calls condemnation. It’s a very real phenomenon. If you are a follower of Jesus, a Christian, and have never experienced condemnation, you might be God. For the rest of us mortals, we’ve all experienced it. Guilt. Shame. A sense that our status has changed. I’m going to take this a step further. This might sound weird at first, but I think we actually, in a very sadistic way, enjoy condemnation. Why? Because condemnation is logical; and in a weird, twisted, dark sense, it gratifies our flesh. It actually feels right to feel horrible, to feel depressed, to feel dejected, to feel despair. “I messed up. I did something so stupid. This serves me right.” But in fact, condemnation doesn’t serve us at all. In the verses above, the Bible says that condemnation should have no part in our existence on this planet if we belong to Jesus. As humans, we are experts at confusing our feelings with reality. We take our negative emotions and thoughts at face value, and we think, I feel bad, so I must be bad. I feel guilty, so I must be guilty. And if I’m disappointed and mad at myself, God must be way more disappointed and mad at me. Since we feel condemned, we think we are condemned. And since we think we are condemned, we work harder to regain our lost status. Instead of going confidently to God and asking for his grace to get back up and move forward in life, we try to patch ourselves up and put ourselves back together so we can attain the status of righteous before God again. Ironically, since we will never measure up to perfection, the more we try to earn our righteousness, the worse we feel. It’s the cycle of condemnation. I find it’s far easier to believe we are sinners than to believe we are righteous. But we are already righteous through Jesus. It’s a gift, and it’s called grace. How much time do we waste as Jesus followers trying to recover what we have had all along?
Judah Smith (Life Is _____.: God's Illogical Love Will Change Your Existence)
Ode to the Beloved’s Hips" Bells are they—shaped on the eighth day—silvered percussion in the morning—are the morning. Swing switch sway. Hold the day away a little longer, a little slower, a little easy. Call to me— I wanna rock, I-I wanna rock, I-I wanna rock right now—so to them I come—struck-dumb chime-blind, tolling with a throat full of Hosanna. How many hours bowed against this Infinity of Blessed Trinity? Communion of Pelvis, Sacrum, Femur. My mouth—terrible angel, ever-lasting novena, ecstatic devourer. O, the places I have laid them, knelt and scooped the amber—fast honey—from their openness— Ah Muzen Cab’s hidden Temple of Tulúm—licked smooth the sticky of her hip—heat-thrummed ossa coxae. Lambent slave to ilium and ischium—I never tire to shake this wild hive, split with thumb the sweet- dripped comb—hot hexagonal hole—dark diamond— to its nectar-dervished queen. Meanad tongue— come-drunk hum-tranced honey-puller—for her hips, I am—strummed-song and succubus. They are the sign: hip. And the cosign: a great book— the body’s Bible opened up to its Good News Gospel. Alleluias, Ave Marías, madre mías, ay yay yays, Ay Dios míos, and hip-hip-hooray. Cult of Coccyx. Culto de cadera. Oracle of Orgasm. Rorschach’s riddle: What do I see? Hips: Innominate bone. Wish bone. Orpheus bone. Transubstantiation bone—hips of bread, wine-whet thighs. Say the word and healed I shall be: Bone butterfly. Bone wings. Bone Ferris wheel. Bone basin bone throne bone lamp. Apparition in the bone grotto—6th mystery— slick rosary bead—Déme la gracia of a decade in this garden of carmine flower. Exile me to the enormous orchard of Alcinous—spiced fruit, laden-tree—Imparadise me. Because, God, I am guilty. I am sin-frenzied and full of teeth for pear upon apple upon fig. More than all that are your hips. They are a city. They are Kingdom— Troy, the hollowed horse, an army of desire— thirty soldiers in the belly, two in the mouth. Beloved, your hips are the war. At night your legs, love, are boulevards leading me beggared and hungry to your candy house, your baroque mansion. Even when I am late and the tables have been cleared, in the kitchen of your hips, let me eat cake. O, constellation of pelvic glide—every curve, a luster, a star. More infinite still, your hips are kosmic, are universe—galactic carousel of burning comets and Big Big Bangs. Millennium Falcon, let me be your Solo. O, hot planet, let me circumambulate. O, spiral galaxy, I am coming for your dark matter. Along las calles de tus muslos I wander— follow the parade of pulse like a drum line— descend into your Plaza del Toros— hands throbbing Miura bulls, dark Isleros. Your arched hips—ay, mi torera. Down the long corridor, your wet walls lead me like a traje de luces—all glitter, glowed. I am the animal born to rush your rich red muletas—each breath, each sigh, each groan, a hooked horn of want. My mouth at your inner thigh—here I must enter you—mi pobre Manolete—press and part you like a wound— make the crowd pounding in the grandstand of your iliac crest rise up in you and cheer.
Natalie Díaz
There are many who profess to be religious and speak of themselves as Christians, and, according to one such, “as accepting the scriptures only as sources of inspiration and moral truth,” and then ask in their smugness: “Do the revelations of God give us a handrail to the kingdom of God, as the Lord’s messenger told Lehi, or merely a compass?” Unfortunately, some are among us who claim to be Church members but are somewhat like the scoffers in Lehi’s vision—standing aloof and seemingly inclined to hold in derision the faithful who choose to accept Church authorities as God’s special witnesses of the gospel and his agents in directing the affairs of the Church. There are those in the Church who speak of themselves as liberals who, as one of our former presidents has said, “read by the lamp of their own conceit.” (Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine [Deseret Book Co., 1939], p. 373.) One time I asked one of our Church educational leaders how he would define a liberal in the Church. He answered in one sentence: “A liberal in the Church is merely one who does not have a testimony.” Dr. John A. Widtsoe, former member of the Quorum of the Twelve and an eminent educator, made a statement relative to this word liberal as it applied to those in the Church. This is what he said: “The self-called liberal [in the Church] is usually one who has broken with the fundamental principles or guiding philosophy of the group to which he belongs. . . . He claims membership in an organization but does not believe in its basic concepts; and sets out to reform it by changing its foundations. . . . “It is folly to speak of a liberal religion, if that religion claims that it rests upon unchanging truth.” And then Dr. Widtsoe concludes his statement with this: “It is well to beware of people who go about proclaiming that they are or their churches are liberal. The probabilities are that the structure of their faith is built on sand and will not withstand the storms of truth.” (“Evidences and Reconciliations,” Improvement Era, vol. 44 [1941], p. 609.) Here again, to use the figure of speech in Lehi’s vision, they are those who are blinded by the mists of darkness and as yet have not a firm grasp on the “iron rod.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, when there are questions which are unanswered because the Lord hasn’t seen fit to reveal the answers as yet, all such could say, as Abraham Lincoln is alleged to have said, “I accept all I read in the Bible that I can understand, and accept the rest on faith.” . . . Wouldn’t it be a great thing if all who are well schooled in secular learning could hold fast to the “iron rod,” or the word of God, which could lead them, through faith, to an understanding, rather than to have them stray away into strange paths of man-made theories and be plunged into the murky waters of disbelief and apostasy? . . . Cyprian, a defender of the faith in the Apostolic Period, testified, and I quote, “Into my heart, purified of all sin, there entered a light which came from on high, and then suddenly and in a marvelous manner, I saw certainty succeed doubt.” . . . The Lord issued a warning to those who would seek to destroy the faith of an individual or lead him away from the word of God or cause him to lose his grasp on the “iron rod,” wherein was safety by faith in a Divine Redeemer and his purposes concerning this earth and its peoples. The Master warned: “But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better … that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matt. 18:6.) The Master was impressing the fact that rather than ruin the soul of a true believer, it were better for a person to suffer an earthly death than to incur the penalty of jeopardizing his own eternal destiny.
Harold B. Lee
I’ll tell you what’s true,’ said Weston presently. ‘What?’ ‘A little child that creeps upstairs when nobody’s looking and very slowly turns the handle to take one peep into the room where its grandmother’s dead body is laid out–and then runs away and has bad dreams. An enormous grandmother, you understand.’ ‘What do you mean by saying that’s truer?’ ‘I mean that child knows something about the universe which all science and all religion is trying to hide.’ Ransom said nothing. ‘Lots of things,’ said Weston presently. ‘Children are afraid to go through a churchyard at night, and the grown-ups tell them not to be silly: but the children know better than the grown-ups. People in Central Africa doing beastly things with masks on in the middle of the night–and missionaries and civil servants say it’s all superstition. Well, the blacks know more about the universe than the white people. Dirty priests in back streets in Dublin frightening half-witted children to death with stories about it. You’d say they are unenlightened. They’re not: except that they think there is a way of escape. There isn’t. That is the real universe, always has been, always will be. That’s what it all means.’ ‘I’m not quite clear–’ began Ransom, when Weston interrupted him. ‘That’s why it’s so important to live as long as you can. All the good things are now–a thin little rind of what we call life, put on for show, and then–the real universe for ever and ever. To thicken the rind by one centimetre–to live one week, one day, one half hour longer–that’s the only thing that matters. Of course you don’t know it: but every man who is waiting to be hanged knows it. You say “What difference does a short reprieve make?” What difference!!’ ‘But nobody need go there,’ said Ransom. ‘I know that’s what you believe,’ said Weston. ‘But you’re wrong. It’s only a small parcel of civilised people who think that. Humanity as a whole knows better. It knows–Homer knew–that all the dead have sunk down into the inner darkness: under the rind. All witless, all twittering, gibbering, decaying. Bogeymen. Every savage knows that all ghosts hate the living who are still enjoying the rind: just as old women hate girls who still have their good looks. It’s quite right to be afraid of the ghosts. You’re going to be one all the same.’ ‘You don’t believe in God,’ said Ransom. ‘Well, now, that’s another point,’ said Weston. ‘I’ve been to church as well as you when I was a boy. There’s more sense in parts of the Bible than you religious people know. Doesn’t it say He’s the God of the living, not of the dead? That’s just it. Perhaps your God does exist–but it makes no difference whether He does or not. No, of course you wouldn’t see it; but one day you will. I don’t think you’ve got the idea of the rind–the thin outer skin which we call life–really clear. Picture the universe as an infinite glove with this very thin crust on the outside. But remember its thickness is a thickness of time. It’s about seventy years thick in the best places. We are born on the surface of it and all our lives we are sinking through it. When we’ve got all the way through then we are what’s called Dead: we’ve got into the dark part inside, the real globe. If your God exists, He’s not in the globe–He’s outside, like a moon. As we pass into the interior we pass out of His ken. He doesn’t follow us in. You would express it by saying He’s not in time–which you think comforting! In other words He stays put: out in the light and air, outside. But we are in time. We “move with the times”. That is, from His point of view, we move away, into what He regards as nonentity, where He never follows. That is all there is to us, all there ever was. He may be there in what you call “Life”, or He may not. What difference does it make? We’re not going to be there for long!
C.S. Lewis (The Space Trilogy)
Robert Askins Brings ‘Hand to God’ to Broadway Chad Batka for The New York Times Robert Askins at the Booth Theater, where his play “Hand to God” opens on Tuesday. By MICHAEL PAULSON The conceit is zany: In a church basement, a group of adolescents gathers (mostly at the insistence of their parents) to make puppets that will spread the Christian message, but one of the puppets turns out to be more demonic than divine. The result — a dark comedy with the can-puppets-really-do-that raunchiness of “Avenue Q” and can-people-really-say-that outrageousness of “The Book of Mormon” — is “Hand to God,” a new play that is among the more improbable entrants in the packed competition for Broadway audiences over the next few weeks. Given the irreverence of some of the material — at one point stuffed animals are mutilated in ways that replicate the torments of Catholic martyrs — it is perhaps not a surprise to discover that the play’s author, Robert Askins, was nicknamed “Dirty Rob” as an undergraduate at Baylor, a Baptist-affiliated university where the sexual explicitness and violence of his early scripts raised eyebrows. But Mr. Askins had also been a lone male soloist in the children’s choir at St. John Lutheran of Cypress, Tex. — a child who discovered early that singing was a way to make the stern church ladies smile. His earliest performances were in a deeply religious world, and his writings since then have been a complex reaction to that upbringing. “It’s kind of frustrating in life to be like, ‘I’m a playwright,’ and watch people’s face fall, because they associate plays with phenomenally dull, didactic, poetic grad-schoolery, where everything takes too long and tediously explores the beauty in ourselves,” he said in a recent interview. “It’s not church, even though it feels like church a lot when we go these days.” The journey to Broadway, where “Hand to God” opens on Tuesday at the Booth Theater, still seems unlikely to Mr. Askins, 34, who works as a bartender in Brooklyn and says he can’t afford to see Broadway shows, despite his newfound prominence. He seems simultaneously enthralled by and contemptuous of contemporary theater, the world in which he has chosen to make his life; during a walk from the Cobble Hill coffee shop where he sometimes writes to the Park Slope restaurant where he tends bar, he quoted Nietzsche and Derrida, described himself as “deeply weird,” and swore like, well, a satanic sock-puppet. “If there were no laughs in the show, I’d think there was something wrong with him,” said the actor Steven Boyer, who won raves in earlier “Hand to God” productions as Jason, a grief-stricken adolescent with a meek demeanor and an angry-puppet pal. “But anybody who is able to write about such serious stuff and be as hilarious as it is, I’m not worried about their mental health.” Mr. Askins’s interest in the performing arts began when he was a boy attending rural Texas churches affiliated with the conservative Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod denomination; he recalls the worshipers as “deeply conservative, old farm folks, stone-faced, pride and suffering, and the only time anybody ever really livened up was when the children’s choir would perform.” “My grandmother had a cross-stitch that said, ‘God respects me when I work, but he loves me when I sing,’ and so I got into that,” he said. “For somebody who enjoys performance, that was the way in.” The church also had a puppet ministry — an effort to teach children about the Bible by use of puppets — and when Mr. Askins’s mother, a nurse, began running the program, he enlisted to help. He would perform shows for other children at preschools and vacation Bible camps. “The shows are wacky, but it was fun,” he said. “They’re badly written attempts to bring children to Jesus.” Not all of his formative encounters with puppets were positive. Particularly scarring: D