Graceful Family Quotes

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Legion, cuneum formate!’ Reyna yelled. ‘Advance!’ Another cheer on Jason’s right as Percy and Annabeth reunited with the forces of Camp Half-Blood. ‘Greeks!’ Percy yelled. ‘Let’s, um, fight stuff!’ They yelled like banshees and charged. Jason grinned. He loved the Greeks. They had no organization whatsoever, but they made up for it with enthusiasm.
Rick Riordan (The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus, #5))
I would court you, with all the grace and courtesy that you deserve,
C.S. Pacat (Kings Rising (Captive Prince, #3))
I am Persephone" she said, her voice thin and papery. "Welcome, demigods. Nico squashed a pomegranate under his boot. "Welcome? After last time, you've got the nerve to welcome me?" I shifted uneasily, because talking that way to a god can get you blasted into dust bunnies. "Um, Nico-" "It's all right," Persephone said coldly. "We had a little family spat." "Family spat?" Nico cried. "You turned me into a dandelion!
Rick Riordan (The Demigod Files (Percy Jackson and the Olympians))
I am overwhelmed by the grace and persistence of my people.
Maya Angelou
Women without children are also the best of mothers,often, with the patience,interest, and saving grace that the constant relationship with children cannot always sustain. I come to crave our talk and our daughters gain precious aunts. Women who are not mothering their own children have the clarity and focus to see deeply into the character of children webbed by family. A child is fortuante who feels witnessed as a peron,outside relationships with parents by another adult.
Louise Erdrich (The Blue Jay's Dance: A Birth Year)
She used that word at some point referring to her family's love, infinite, and I thought about how infinite is not a large number. It is something else entirely. It is boundlessness.
John Green (This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl)
It is of great significance if there is a person who truly prays in a family. Prayer attracts God's Grace and all the members of the family feel it, even those whose hearts have grown cold. Pray always.
Thaddeus of Vitovnica (Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives: The Life and Teachings of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica)
Dear Lord,” began Randy, who paused for long enough that Tristan sneaked an eye open to look at him. His saw his mother’s cheek twitch with what he thought might be apprehension. “We are so grateful to be gathered here today with our family, and the family of our brother’s homosexual boyfriend, and our new little goth friend who has a gay dad, whatever the heck that is all about. We’d like to say we’re grateful this year for condoms, lube, and Ellen Degeneres, and for those guys on Queer Eye…” Randall Evan Phillips!” his mother shouted.
Z.A. Maxfield (Crossing Borders (Crossing Borders, #1))
God whispered, "You endured a lot. For that I am truly sorry, but grateful. I needed you to struggle to help so many. Through that process you would grow into who you have now become. Didn't you know that I gave all my struggles to my favorite children? One only needs to look at the struggles given to your older brother Jesus to know how important you have been to me.
Shannon L. Alder
I Choose Love... No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves. I Choose Joy... I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God. I Choose Peace... I will live forgiven. I will forgive so I may live. I Choose Patience... I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I'll invite him to do so, Rather complain that the wait is to long, I will thank God for a moment to pray. Instead of clenching my fist at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage. I Choose Kindness... I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone. Kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind, for that is how God has treated me. I Choose Goodness... I will go without a dollar before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I accuse. I choose goodness. I Choose Faithfulness... Today I will keep my promises. My debtors will not regret their trust. My friends will not question my word. And my family will not question my love. I Choose Gentleness... Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle. If I raise my voice may it only be in praise. If I clench my fist, may it only be in prayer. If I make a demand, may it be only of myself. I Choose Self-Control... I refuse to let what will rot, rule the eternal. I choose self-control. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ. I choose self-control. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. To these I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek His grace. And then when this day is done I will place my head on my pillow and rest.
Max Lucado
She's beautiful and graceful, and she is very compassionate and loyal when you aren't responsible for the murder of her family.
Lauren DeStefano (Wither (The Chemical Garden, #1))
All roads out of hell lead home.
Shannon L. Alder
When Catherine told me about this (tragedy nearby), I could only say, shocked, "Dear God, that family needs grace." She replied firmly, "That family needs casseroles," and then proceeded to organize the entire neighborhood into bringing that family dinner, in shifts, every single night, for an entire year. I do not know if my sister fully recognizes that this _is_ grace.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
I am thankful for the sunrise and every sunset for the safety nets that catch my falls from grace for the family friends and gentle eyed strangers that pick me up and place me at elevations I have never deserved but mostly just for you and the soft smiles you bring when I cannot find them on my own.
Tyler Kent White
While much psychology emphasizes the familial causes of angst in humans, the cultural component carries as much weight, for culture is the family of the family. If the family of the family has various sicknesses, then all families within that culture will have to struggle with the same malaises. There is a saying cultura cura, culture cures. If the culture is a healer, the families learn how to heal; they will struggle less, be more reparative, far less wounding, far more graceful and loving. In a culture where the predator rules, all new life needing to be born, all old life needing to be gone, is unable to move and the soul-lives of its citizenry are frozen with both fear and spiritual famine.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés (Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype)
A father is a reality-concealing machine, a machine for dishing up lies to kids, and that isn't even the worst of it: secretly he believes that he represents reality.
Yukio Mishima (The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea)
The first thing you notice about New Orleans are the burying grounds - the cemeteries - and they're a cold proposition, one of the best things there are here. Going by, you try to be as quiet as possible, better to let them sleep. Greek, Roman, sepulchres- palatial mausoleums made to order, phantomesque, signs and symbols of hidden decay - ghosts of women and men who have sinned and who've died and are now living in tombs. The past doesn't pass away so quickly here. You could be dead for a long time. The ghosts race towards the light, you can almost hear the heavy breathing spirits, all determined to get somewhere. New Orleans, unlike a lot of those places you go back to and that don't have the magic anymore, still has got it. Night can swallow you up, yet none of it touches you. Around any corner, there's a promise of something daring and ideal and things are just getting going. There's something obscenely joyful behind every door, either that or somebody crying with their head in their hands. A lazy rhythm looms in the dreamy air and the atmosphere pulsates with bygone duels, past-life romance, comrades requesting comrades to aid them in some way. You can't see it, but you know it's here. Somebody is always sinking. Everyone seems to be from some very old Southern families. Either that or a foreigner. I like the way it is. There are a lot of places I like, but I like New Orleans better. There's a thousand different angles at any moment. At any time you could run into a ritual honoring some vaguely known queen. Bluebloods, titled persons like crazy drunks, lean weakly against the walls and drag themselves through the gutter. Even they seem to have insights you might want to listen to. No action seems inappropriate here. The city is one very long poem. Gardens full of pansies, pink petunias, opiates. Flower-bedecked shrines, white myrtles, bougainvillea and purple oleander stimulate your senses, make you feel cool and clear inside. Everything in New Orleans is a good idea. Bijou temple-type cottages and lyric cathedrals side by side. Houses and mansions, structures of wild grace. Italianate, Gothic, Romanesque, Greek Revival standing in a long line in the rain. Roman Catholic art. Sweeping front porches, turrets, cast-iron balconies, colonnades- 30-foot columns, gloriously beautiful- double pitched roofs, all the architecture of the whole wide world and it doesn't move. All that and a town square where public executions took place. In New Orleans you could almost see other dimensions. There's only one day at a time here, then it's tonight and then tomorrow will be today again. Chronic melancholia hanging from the trees. You never get tired of it. After a while you start to feel like a ghost from one of the tombs, like you're in a wax museum below crimson clouds. Spirit empire. Wealthy empire. One of Napoleon's generals, Lallemaud, was said to have come here to check it out, looking for a place for his commander to seek refuge after Waterloo. He scouted around and left, said that here the devil is damned, just like everybody else, only worse. The devil comes here and sighs. New Orleans. Exquisite, old-fashioned. A great place to live vicariously. Nothing makes any difference and you never feel hurt, a great place to really hit on things. Somebody puts something in front of you here and you might as well drink it. Great place to be intimate or do nothing. A place to come and hope you'll get smart - to feed pigeons looking for handouts
Bob Dylan (Chronicles: Volume One)
The eyes of the future are looking back at us and they are praying for us to see beyond our own time. They are kneeling with hands clasped that we might act with restraint, that we might leave room for the life that is destined to come. To protect what is wild is to protect what is gentle. Perhaps the wilderness we fear is the pause between our own heartbeats, the silent space that says we live only by grace. Wilderness lives by this same grace. Wild mercy is in our hands.
Terry Tempest Williams (Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place)
There are countless moments in the average life when you have to decide whether to open yourself up or bury yourself deep. In love, at work, among your family, with friends, there are moments when you have to decide whether you are ready to reveal your true self.
M.J. Arlidge (Eeny Meeny (Helen Grace #1))
She didn’t understand why it was happening,” he said. “I had to tell her she would die. Her social worker said I had to tell her. I had to tell her she would die, so I told her she was going to heaven. She asked if I would be there, and I said that I would not, not yet. But eventually, she said, and I promised that yes, of course, very soon. And I told her that in the meantime we had great family up there that would take care of her. And she asked me when I would be there, and I told her soon. Twenty-two years ago.
John Green (The Fault in Our Stars)
In these pages, and in my memories, she reminds me that a short life can also be a good and rich life, that it is possible to live with depression without being consumed by it, and that meaning in life is found together, in family and friendship that transcends and survives all manner of suffering. As the poet wrote in the Bible's Song of Solomon, 'Love is strong as death.' Or perhaps even stronger.
John Green (This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl)
A family in my sister's neighborhood was recently stricken with a double tragedy, when both the young mother and her three-year-old son were diagnosed with cancer. When Catherine told me about this, I could only say, shocked, "Dear God, that family needs grace." She replied firmly, "That family needs casseroles," and proceeded to organize the entire neighborhood into bringing that family dinner, in shifts, every single night, for an entire year. I do not know if my sister fully recognizes that this IS grace.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
God has set apart His people from before the foundation of the world to be His chosen and peculiar inheritance. We are sanctified in Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit when he subdues our corruptions, imparts to us grace, and leads us onward in the divine walk and life of faith. Christian men are not to be used for anything but God. They are a set-apart people; they are vessels of mercy, they are not for the devil’s use, not for their own use, not for the world’s use, but for their Master’s use. He has made them on purpose to be used entirely, solely and wholly for Him. O Christian people, be holy, for Christ is holy. Do not pollute that holy Name wherewith you are named. Let your family life, your personal life, your business life, be as holy as Christ your Lord would have it to be. Shall saints be shams when sinners are so real?
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
But the gospel doesn’t need a coalition devoted to keeping the wrong people out. It needs a family of sinners, saved by grace, committed to tearing down the walls, throwing open the doors, and shouting, “Welcome! There’s bread and wine. Come eat with us and talk.” This isn’t a kingdom for the worthy; it’s a kingdom for the hungry.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
The protagonist, Amanda, discusses her sex relationship with her husband, John Paul -- As long as it's done with honesty and grace, John Paul doesn't mind if I go to bed with other men. Or with other girls, as is sometimes my fancy. What has marriage got to do with it? Marriage is not a synonym for monogamy any more than monogamy is a synonym for ideal love. To live lightly on the earth, lovers and families must be more flexible and relaxed. The ritual of sex releases its magic inside or outside the marital bond. I approach that ritual with as much humility as possible and perform it whenever it seems appropriate. As for John Paul and me, a strange spurt of semen is not going to wash our love away.
Tom Robbins (Another Roadside Attraction)
Relying on his own strength and the support of his family and community, Paul faced each stage of his illness with grace—not with bravado or a misguided faith that he would “overcome” or “beat” cancer but with an authenticity that allowed him to grieve the loss of the future he had planned and forge a new one. He cried on the day he was diagnosed. He cried while looking at a drawing we kept on the bathroom mirror that said, “I want to spend all the rest of my days here with you.” He cried on his last day in the operating room. He let himself be open and vulnerable, let himself be comforted. Even while terminally ill, Paul was fully alive; despite physical collapse, he remained vigorous, open, full of hope not for an unlikely cure but for days that were full of purpose and meaning.
Paul Kalanithi (When Breath Becomes Air)
The boy, who did everything well and with a natural unslumped grace the wraith himself had always lacked, and whom the wraith had been so terribly eager to see and hear and let him (the son) know he was seen and heard, the son had become a steadily more and more hidden boy, toward the wraith's life's end; and no one else in the wraith and the boy's nuclear family would see or acknowledge this, the fact that the graceful and marvelous boy was disappearing, right before their eyes. They looked but did not see his invisibility.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
Heavenly Father, for the blessings of this food and these friends and our families, we thank you. In Jesus’s name, amen.
William Kent Krueger (Ordinary Grace)
I'll find a day to massacre them all And raze their faction and their family, The cruel father and his traitorous sons, To whom I sued for my dear son's life, And make them know what 'tis to let a queen Kneel in the streets and beg for grace in vain.
William Shakespeare (Titus Andronicus)
Isn't it sad that so often it takes facing death to appreciate life and each other fully?
Lori Earl (This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl)
Even in the context of suffering—poverty, violence, human rights violations—not belonging in our families is still one of the most dangerous hurts. That’s because it has the power to break our heart, our spirit, and our sense of self-worth. It broke all three for me. And when those things break, there are only three outcomes, something I’ve borne witness to in my life and in my work: 1. You live in constant pain and seek relief by numbing it and/or inflicting it on others; 2. You deny your pain, and your denial ensures that you pass it on to those around you and down to your children; or 3. You find the courage to own the pain and develop a level of empathy and compassion for yourself and others that allows you to spot hurt in the world in a unique way. I certainly tried the first two. Only through sheer grace did I make my way to the third.
Brené Brown (Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone)
He (God) never promises that our families will be safe. Not in the way we think. He does promise his presence, though.
Emily P. Freeman (Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life)
God is the Lord of human history and of the personal history of every member of His redeemed family.
Margaret Clarkson (Grace Grows Best in Winter)
It’s not too late for us; we are not the mistakes of our family.
Adalyn Grace (All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth, #1))
And in that moment, Grace understood something that she would never forget: Home wasn't just a building or an apartment with a roof and beds and chairs inside. Home was with her family, wherever they were.
Priscilla Cummings (Saving Grace)
She was simple, not being able to adorn herself, but she was unhappy, as one out of her class; for women belong to no caste, no race, their grace, their beauty and their charm serving them in place of birth and family. Their inborn finesse, their instinctive elegance, their suppleness of wit, are their only aristocracy, making some daughters of the people the equal of great ladies.
Guy de Maupassant (A Piece of String/The Diamond Necklace)
There are no servants in God's family, only sons and daughters, fully adopted through God's gift of grace. Redemption is through faith alone, never by works.
Darlene Zschech (Revealing Jesus: A 365-Day Devotional)
When a person expends the least possible amount of energy on a certain act, that is grace.
Anton Chekhov (Letters of Anton Chekhov to His Family and Friends with Biographical Sketch)
I now urge friends and acquaintances to have conversations with their aging parents and within their families while their parents are still relatively healthy and of sound mind.
Lisa J. Shultz (A Chance to Say Goodbye: Reflections on Losing a Parent)
Children," Johanna drawled out. "They're such a joy. When you get married and have a family of your own, you'll understand what I'm saying. You are going to get married someday, aren't you, Keith?" "Aye, m'lady," he answered. "Next summer as a matter of fact. Bridgid MacCoy has agreed to become my wife." "Oh." She couldn't quite hide her disappointment. She turned her gaze down the table and settled on Michael as a possibility. He caught her staring at him. He smiled. She nodded. "Children," she began again. "They're wonderful, aren't they, Michael?" "If you say so, m'lady." "Oh, I do say," she replied. "When you get married, you'll understand. You do plan to marry someday, don't you, Michael?" "Eventually," he answered with a shrug. "Have you anyone in mind?" "Are you matchmaking, m'lady?" Keith asked. "Why would you think that?" "I'll marry Helen when I'm ready," Michael interjected. "I've told her I will, and she agreed to wait." Johanna frowned. The possibilities were becoming a bit limited. She turned to Niall. "Children…" she began. "She is matchmaking," Keith announced. It was as though he'd just shouted the alarm that they were under siege. The soldiers literally jumped from their stools. They bowed to Johanna and left the room in the space of a single minute. She didn't even have enough time to order them back into their seats.
Julie Garwood (Saving Grace)
grace means there is nothing I can do to make God love me more, and nothing I can do to make God love me less. It means that I, even I who deserve the opposite, am invited to take my place at the table in God’s family.
Philip Yancey (What's So Amazing About Grace?)
There is blessedness, fulfillment, upliftment, grace and rest for every genuine member of this God's family.
Jaachynma N.E. Agu (The Prince and the Pauper)
I've misplaced it all, but I can't seem to lose my brother. It's a priceless gift--to have his love at a time when I've done nothing to earn it.
Emm Cole (Keeping Merminia (Merminia, #2))
A yummy mummy is a dedicated and loving mom who embodies a healthy lifestyle while retaining a sense of the person she was before having kids.
Marina Delio (The Yummy Mummy Kitchen: 100 Wholesome Recipes and Yummy Tips to Keep Your Family Healthy, Happy, and Glamorous)
Johanna sat by the fire every night and worked on her tapestry. Dumfries waited until she was settled in her chair and then draped himself across her feet. It became a ritual for Alex to squeeze himself up next to her and fall asleep during her stories about fierce warriors and fair maidens. Johanna's tales all had a unique twist, for none of the heroines she told stories about ever needed to be rescued by their knights in shining armor. More often than not, the fair maidens rescued their knights. Gabriel couldn't take issue with his wife. She was telling Alex the truth. It was a fact that maidens could rescue mighty, arrogant warriors. Johanna had certainly rescued him from a bleak, cold existence. She'd given him a family and a home. She was his love, his joy, his companion. She was his saving grace.
Julie Garwood (Saving Grace)
Jessup said, "Doesn't surprise me somehow. I feel I'm walking out of a wolf den in one piece by the grace of God." He glanced at Anne. "Just what you need to be doing, adding to this family." "My influence will be gentling." There were at least three derisive snorts around the room, and Jessup laughed out loud.
Ellen O'Connell (Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold)
You’re supposed to be fearsome and unkind, but I ain’t never seen a man care for his wife the way you did for Her Grace. And you apologize to someone who really ought to be beneath your notice. It’s not what people would expect from the Duke of Kielder.
Sarah M. Eden (Seeking Persephone (The Lancaster Family, #1))
The crowd is his element, as the air is that of birds and water of fishes. His passion and his profession are to become one flesh with the crowd. For the perfect flâneur, for the passionate spectator, it is an immense joy to set up house in the heart of the multitude, amid the ebb and flow of movement, in the midst of the fugitive and the infinite. To be away from home and yet to feel oneself everywhere at home; to see the world, to be at the centre of the world, and yet to remain hidden from the world - impartial natures which the tongue can but clumsily define. The spectator is a prince who everywhere rejoices in his incognito. The lover of life makes the whole world his family, just like the lover of the fair sex who builds up his family from all the beautiful women that he has ever found, or that are or are not - to be found; or the lover of pictures who lives in a magical society of dreams painted on canvas. Thus the lover of universal life enters into the crowd as though it were an immense reservoir of electrical energy. Or we might liken him to a mirror as vast as the crowd itself; or to a kaleidoscope gifted with consciousness, responding to each one of its movements and reproducing the multiplicity of life and the flickering grace of all the elements of life.
Charles Baudelaire (The Painter of Modern Life and Other Essays (Phaidon Arts and Letters))
The weaknesses, failures, and sins of our family are the places where we learn that we need grace too. It is there, in those dark mercies, that God teaches us to be humbly dependent. It is there that He draws near to us and sweetly reveals His grace. Paul's suffering teaches us to reinterpret our thorn. Instead of seeing it as a curse, we are to see it as the very thing that keeps us "pinned close to the Lord.
Elyse M. Fitzpatrick (Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus)
interviews showed me that successful people are playing an entirely different game. They don’t flood the job market with résumés, hoping that some employer will grace them with an interview. They network. They email a friend of a friend to make sure their name gets the look it deserves. They have their uncles call old college buddies. They have their school’s career service office set up interviews months in advance on their behalf. They have parents tell them how to dress, what to say, and whom to schmooze. That
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
Nathan was something that happened to us, as devastating in its way as the burning roof that fell on the family Mwanza; with our fate scarred by hell and brimstone we still had to track our course. And it happened finally by the grace of hell and brimstone that I had to keep moving. I moved, and he stood still.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
Ma was heavy, but not fat; thick with child-bearing and work. She wore a loose Mother Hubbard of gray cloth in which there had once been colored flowers, but the color was washed out now, so that the small flowered pattern was only a little lighter gray than the background. The dress came down to her ankles, and he strong, broad, bare feet moved quickly and deftly over the floor. Her thin, steel-gray hair was gathered in a sparse wispy knot at the back of her head. Strong, freckled arms were bare to the elbow, and her hands were chubby and delicate, like those of a plump little girl. She looked out into the sunshine. Her full face was not soft; it was controlled, kindly. Her hazel eyes seemed to have experienced all possible tragedy and to have mounted pain and suffering like steps into a high calm and a superhuman understanding. She seemed to know, to accept, to welcome her position, the citadel of the family, the strong place that could not be taken. And since old Tom and the children could not know hurt or fear unless she acknowledged hurt and fear, she had practiced denying them in herself. And since, when a joyful thing happened, they looked to see whether joy was on her, it was her habit to build up laughter out of inadequate materials. But better than joy was calm. Imperturbability could be depended upon. And from her great and humble position in the family she had taken dignity and a clean calm beauty. From her position as healer, her hands had grown sure and cool and quiet; from her position as arbiter she had become as remote and faultless in judgment as a goddess. She seemed to know that if she swayed the family shook, and if she ever really deeply wavered or despaired the family would fall, the family will to function would be gone.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
What I hope you'll remember, Grace-is that all your life there will be people who have more than you-and people who have less. Grace hung her head. What's really important,'Miss Louise went on to say,'are the connections you have with the people you love. Your family, your friends, Grace-truly, those are the things that matter. Those are the things that will always matter the most.
Priscilla Cummings (Saving Grace)
But, today, the idea of faith returns to me. Faith defies logic and propels us beyond hope because it is not attached to our desires. Faith is the centerpiece of a connected life. It allows us to live by the grace of invisible strands. It is a belief in a wisdom superior to our own. Faith becomes a teacher in the absence of fact.
Terry Tempest Williams (Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place)
Edie didn't budge. She leaned her chin on her knees and felt sad. She was a big reader too, but she liked THE BOBBSEY TWINS or HONEY BUNCH AT THE SEASHORE. She loved that nice family life. She tried to live it in the three rooms on the fourth floor. Sometimes she called her father Dad, or even Father, which surprised him. Who? he asked.
Grace Paley (Later the Same Day)
He loved her with a pursuing love that she could scarcely comprehend. Her mistakes had been paid for. Miracle of miracles, they’d been paid for. And now she needed only to have faith in Him and accept the waterfall of His grace.
Becky Wade (Meant to Be Mine (Porter Family #2))
in every moment when you are parenting, you are being parented. In every moment when you are called to give grace, you are being given grace. In every moment when you are rescuing and protecting your children, you are being rescued and protected. In every moment when you feel alone, you are anything but alone because he goes wherever you go.
Paul David Tripp (Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family)
In how many families do you hear the legend that all the goodness and graces of the living are nothing to the peculiar charms of one who is not. It is as if heaven had an especial band of angels, whose office it was to sojourn for a season here, and endear to them the wayward human heart, that they might bear it upward with them in their homewoard flight. When you see that deep, spiritual light in the eye,---when the little soul reveals itself in words sweeter and wiser than the ordinary words of children,---hope not to retain that child, for the seal of heaven is on it, and the light of immortality looks out from its eyes.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom's Cabin)
Get Going: From taking turns being thankful during grace to more creative projects like creating a jar to keep gratitude notes in, we’re making Wholeheartedness a family affair.
Brené Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are)
Your family will flourish when decisions are guided by the Lord—the head of your household.
Elizabeth George (Moments of Grace for a Woman's Heart)
When someone you love has died, there is a certain grace period during which you can get away with murder. Not literal murder, but pretty much anything else.
Daisy Whitney (When You Were Here)
Christmas is a time of sharing, and joy and grace. There's no better time to entertain family and friends than now.
Shelley Shepard Gray (Grace (Sisters of the Heart, #4))
She gave thanks for the grace that pours down when you least expect it-and wasn't that just another name for love?
Elaine Hussey (The Sweetest Hallelujah)
A warrior knows death is always a hair's breadth away, but he doesn't dwell on the possibility of his death when he goes into battle. A warrior just fights. He fights to protect his family, his home, his people, himself, and often, the good of man. The wolf never gives a passing thought to the possibility of his death. For the wolf, he will fight to the end if need be, solely to defend his territory. Neither of these things are necessarily a reason to enter into battle when you are already weakened. They just are what they are. They live in a warrior's heart, in a wolf's heart. And both, for me, are in my heart.
D.C. Grace (The Sacred Oath: Book One of The Guardians Series)
But what was family? Surely more than genes, eye color, flesh. Family was story: truth and struggle and retribution. Family was time. If he had learned anything it was the family was not so much what you were given as what you were able to maintain.
Anthony Doerr (About Grace)
Answers seemed to float through the space around him. It was about love. It was about getting handed at conception a gift that sets you apart from everyone and you spend your whole life drifting through the margins of time, not understanding hours like everyone else seems to: glancing at wristwatches, checking timetables - you hardly know what it is people are trying to accomplish when they go through their days: morning, noon, evening, night. Wake up and sleep and wake up. This was about family, how blood superseded death; it was about trying your hardest, it was about snow.
Anthony Doerr (About Grace)
So do you want to make culture? Find a community, a small group who can lovingly fuel your dreams and puncture your illusions. Find friends and form a family who are willing to see grace at work in one another's lives, who can discern together which gifts and which crosses each has been called to bear. Find people who have a holy respect for power and a holy willingness to spend their power alongside the powerless. Find some partners in the wild and wonderful world beyond church doors. And then, together, make something of the world.
Andy Crouch (Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling)
Nearly every person you will read about is deeply flawed. Some have tried to murder other people, and a few were successful. Some have abused their children, physically or emotionally. Many abused (and still abuse) drugs. But I love these people, even those to whom I avoid speaking for my own sanity. And if I leave you with the impression that there are bad people in my life, then I am sorry, both to you and to the people so portrayed. For there are no villains in this story. There's just a ragtag band of hillbillies struggling to find their way - both for their sake and, by the grace of God, for mine.
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
When I see teenagers out in public with their families, holding back, refusing to walk with mom and dad, ashamed to be seen as part of a family, I have to admit that I have acted that way myself, at times, with regard to my Christian inheritance. A hapless and mortally embarrassed adolescent lurked behind the sophisticated mask I wrote in my twenties: faith was something for little kids and grandmas, not me.
Kathleen Norris (Amazing Grace: A Vocabulary of Faith)
The amazing, whole, overwhelming, abundant life is found, oddly, by letting go. By living a dangerous faith--the kind of faith that believes in a God who knows our hearts and loves us enough to take our breath away.
Susan May Warren (When I Fall in Love (Christiansen Family, #3))
And the end of this paradox is that only when the child is thus free can he have the proper attachment to his parents; only when we allow his independence can he then freely offer us love and respect, without conflict and without resentment. It is the hardest lesson to learn that the goal of parenthood is not to reign forever but to abdicate gracefully at the right time.
Sydney J. Harris (Best of Sydney Harris)
Good news: most people are surprisingly respectful with boundaries. Folks take a no better than I suspected. When I say, “Thank you for inviting me into this good thing of yours. It is as extraordinary as you are. But any new yes I give means a no to my family and sanity. Please accept my sincere regrets and count on my prayers,” most people are amazing. You can say no, and no one will die.
Jen Hatmaker (For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards)
She was here. For the first time he was unsure of what to say. General Carter had led men in battle, planned strategies effecting tens of thousands of men, yet one woman left him speechless. Grace Willows General's Dawn Coming soon to Amazo
Grace Willows
The word family is derived from the word famulus, meaning a servant, and in its early usage, familia, it literally meant the servants of a household. In its essence, the longing for family, and the ravenousness that the loss of family creates in us, isn’t just for belonging: it’s for the grace that abides in serving those we love.
Gregory David Roberts (The Mountain Shadow)
PRAISE FOR 'THE JOURNEY HOME' Many saints are known and praised by all. We pray to them in litanies and celebrate their feast days. But the vast majority of holy men and women live heroic lives quietly before God. Loyal to family, lovers of God, servants in the Church, these unsung saints live everyday life as an example for us. David Hanneman is one such man. His story is exemplary and should be told to the world. He not only lived a noble life, but also suffered with heroism and grace as he passed into glory. This is a story to encourage and bless us all. We are thankful to Joseph Hanneman for sharing his father and making his story known to us who need such examples to encourage us as we face the difficulties and challenges of life.
Stephen K. Ray
I love you,” she said, speaking clearly so that there might be no confusion. “I love you utterly and completely. I love your elegant hands and the way you smile with only one side of your mouth — when you smile at all — and I love how grave your eyes are. I love that you let me invade your house with nearly my entire family and yours, and never even turned a hair. I love that you made love to me when I asked you, purely for politeness’ sake, and I love that you got mad at me later and made me make love to you. I love that you let Her Grace and her puppies construct a nest out of your shirts in your dressing room. I love that you’ve spent years selflessly saving people in St. Giles — although I want you to stop right now. I love that you killed a man for me, even if I’m still mad at you about it. I love that you saved my letters before we even knew each other well, and I love the curt, overly serious letters you wrote to me in return.” She looked at him very seriously. “I love you, Godric St. John, and now I’m breaking my word. I will not leave you. You may either come with me to Laurelwood or I’ll stay here with you in your musty old house in London and drive you mad with all my talking and relatives and… and exotic sexual positions until you break down and love me back, for I’m warning you that I’m not giving up until you love me and we’re a happy family with dozens of children.” She paused at that point because she’d run out of breath and looked at him. His face had gone still and for a moment her heart sank and she had to fortify herself for a battle. But then his mouth quirked like that and he said, “Exotic sexual positions?” And she knew even before he said anything else that it was all going to be fine—more than fine. It was going to be wonderful.
Elizabeth Hoyt (Lord of Darkness (Maiden Lane, #5))
The vocation of every Christian is to live as a follower of Jesus today. In every aspect of life, in small and large acts, with family, neighbors and enemies, we are to seek to live out the grace and truth of Jesus. This is our vocation, our calling. Today.
Mark Labberton (Called: The Crisis and Promise of Following Jesus Today)
Mr Bott sits down and gestures gracefully to the board. "As you are clearly both fascinated by this text, would you like to explain the significance of Laertes in Hamlet?" He looks at Alexa. "Please go first, Miss Roberts." "Well..." Alexa says hesitantly. "He's Ophelia's brother, right?" "I didn't ask for his family tree, Alexa. I want to know his literary significance as a fictional character." Alexa looks uncomfortable. "Well then, his literary significance is in being Ophelia's brother, isn't it? So she has someone to hang out with." "How very kind of Shakespeare to give fictional Ophelia a fictional playmate so that she doesn't get fictionally bored. Your analytical skills astound me, Alexa. Perhaps I should send you to Set Seven with Mrs White and you can spend the rest of the lesson studying Thomas the Tank Engine. I believe he has lots of buddies too.
Holly Smale (Geek Girl (Geek Girl, #1))
Gaman isn’t just about enduring hardship in silence—and it’s not about backing down. It’s about stepping up and choosing which hardship you endure. And enduring it with grace because of something important, like honor, or family. Or someone important. Like Jamie.
Misa Sugiura (It's Not Like It's a Secret)
Ladies and Gentlemen, I'd planned to speak to you tonight to report on the state of the Union, but the events of earlier today have led me to change those plans. Today is a day for mourning and remembering. Nancy and I are pained to the core by the tragedy of the shuttle Challenger. We know we share this pain with all of the people of our country. This is truly a national loss. Nineteen years ago, almost to the day, we lost three astronauts in a terrible accident on the ground. But we've never lost an astronaut in flight. We've never had a tragedy like this. And perhaps we've forgotten the courage it took for the crew of the shuttle. But they, the Challenger Seven, were aware of the dangers, but overcame them and did their jobs brilliantly. We mourn seven heroes: Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe. We mourn their loss as a nation together. For the families of the seven, we cannot bear, as you do, the full impact of this tragedy. But we feel the loss, and we're thinking about you so very much. Your loved ones were daring and brave, and they had that special grace, that special spirit that says, "Give me a challenge, and I'll meet it with joy." They had a hunger to explore the universe and discover its truths. They wished to serve, and they did. They served all of us. We've grown used to wonders in this century. It's hard to dazzle us. But for twenty-five years the United States space program has been doing just that. We've grown used to the idea of space, and, perhaps we forget that we've only just begun. We're still pioneers. They, the members of the Challenger crew, were pioneers. And I want to say something to the schoolchildren of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle's take-off. I know it's hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It's all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It's all part of taking a chance and expanding man's horizons. The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we'll continue to follow them. I've always had great faith in and respect for our space program. And what happened today does nothing to diminish it. We don't hide our space program. We don't keep secrets and cover things up. We do it all up front and in public. That's the way freedom is, and we wouldn't change it for a minute. We'll continue our quest in space. There will be more shuttle flights and more shuttle crews and, yes, more volunteers, more civilians, more teachers in space. Nothing ends here; our hopes and our journeys continue. I want to add that I wish I could talk to every man and woman who works for NASA, or who worked on this mission and tell them: "Your dedication and professionalism have moved and impressed us for decades. And we know of your anguish. We share it." There's a coincidence today. On this day three hundred and ninety years ago, the great explorer Sir Francis Drake died aboard ship off the coast of Panama. In his lifetime the great frontiers were the oceans, and a historian later said, "He lived by the sea, died on it, and was buried in it." Well, today, we can say of the Challenger crew: Their dedication was, like Drake's, complete. The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honored us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God." Thank you.
Ronald Reagan
Although this detail has no connection whatever with the real substance of what we are about to relate, it will not be superfluous, if merely for the sake of exactness in all points, to mention here the various rumors and remarks which had been in circulation about him from the very moment when he arrived in the diocese. True or false, that which is said of men often occupies as important a place in their lives, and above all in their destinies, as that which they do. M. Myriel was the son of a councillor of the Parliament of Aix; hence he belonged to the nobility of the bar. It was said that his father, destining him to be the heir of his own post, had married him at a very early age, eighteen or twenty, in accordance with a custom which is rather widely prevalent in parliamentary families. In spite of this marriage, however, it was said that Charles Myriel created a great deal of talk. He was well formed, though rather short in stature, elegant, graceful, intelligent; the whole of the first portion of his life had been devoted to the world and to gallantry.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
you can’t cling to God’s grace and your shame at the same time.
Melissa Tagg (All this Time (Walker Family, #4))
We adults can be a wretched lot Chika, yet in every child's face we see the Lord has not given up on us.
Mitch Albom (Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family)
There are no heroes here, at least not of the Schindler’s List variety, but there are glimmers of heroism and people who behave with unexpected grace.
Erik Larson (In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin)
The real safety net of life is community, family and nature.
Bryant McGill (Voice of Reason)
Grace is not something one possesses; instead, grace is something one receives.
Bill Courtney (Against the Grain: A Coach's Wisdom on Character, Faith, Family, and Love)
For there are no villains in this story. There’s just a ragtag band of hillbillies struggling to find their way—both for their sake and, by the grace of God, for mine.
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
The priceless gifts (life, love, joy, goodness, family, nature) are freely given by the Creator.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
God is at work telling a story of restoration and redemption through your family. Never buy into the myth that you need to become the " right" kind of parent before God can use you in your children's lives. Instead learn to cooperate with whatever God desires to do in your heart today so your children will have a front-row seat to the grace and goodness of God.
Reggie Joiner
Whether you’ve been hindered through culture or family like Emily, or gifted with the Gospel like Mary Grace, or wounded like Hillary, or lost and looking for redemption like Charlotte, Jesus provides the healing and answer we are all looking for. He is the way, the truth, and the life. Not for a select few. But for each one of us. For you. Discussion Questions 1.
Rachel Hauck (The Wedding Dress)
First, I hope you see them. This is harder than it sounds; you have to learn to see hurt people, because they figure out how to act invisible. Kindness needs recipients. The whole world is filled with lonely and left-out and humiliated and sad kids, and seeing them is the first step. Because they are just as precious as you. If you can learn this during the Family Years, it will change your life, because you’ll develop eyes for pain, which is exactly how Jesus walked around on this earth. If your mercy radar is strong now, God can do anything with you later.
Jen Hatmaker (For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards)
When your child wonders about what is right and what is wrong, don’t just threaten him with the law of God; woo him with the sweet music of the grace of God. When she is struggling with what
Paul David Tripp (Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family)
…anyway it wasn’t your reading that started this. It was the laugher, the carefree laughter, the three dimensional Coca Cola advertisement that you were, the try-anything-once friends, the imperviousness to all that came before you, the chain phone calls, the in-jokes, the instant success, the beach houses, the white lace underwear, the private dancing, the good-graced acceptance pf part-time shift work, the apparent absence of expectations, the ever-changing disposable cults of the rural, the family, the eastern, the modern, the postmodern, the impoverished, the sleekly deregulated, the orgasm, the feminine, the feminist, and then the way you canceled with the air of one making a salad
Elliot Perlman
The family tree of Christ startlingly notes not one woman but four. Four broken women —women who felt like outsiders, like has-beens, like never-beens. Women who were weary of being taken advantage of, of being unnoticed and uncherished and unappreciated; women who didn’t fit in, who didn’t know how to keep going, what to believe, where to go —women who had thought about giving up. And Jesus claims exactly these who are wandering and wondering and wounded and worn out as His. He grafts you into His line and His story and His heart, and He gives you His name, His lineage, His righteousness. He graces you with plain grace. Is there a greater Gift you could want or need or have? Christ comes right to your Christmas tree and looks at your family tree and says, “I am your God, and I am one of you, and I’ll be the Gift, and I’ll take you. Take Me?
Ann Voskamp (The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas)
When I was sixteen, there was no one to count on but myself. Everyone in my family was taking care of themselves, surviving, but everyone forgot I was sixteen years old. I had never felt so lost and so alone in my life.
Grace Lozada (Evolving to Grace)
One more thing, gentlemen, before I quit. Thomas Jefferson once said that all men are created equal, a phrase that the Yankees and the distaff side of the Executive branch in Washington are fond of hurling at us. There is a tendency in this year of grace, 1935, for certain people to use this phrase out of context, to satisfy all conditions. The most ridiculous example I can think of is that the people who run public education promote the stupid and idle along with the industrious — because all men are created equal, educators will gravely tell you, the children left behind suffer terrible feelings of inferiority. We know all men are not created equal in the sense some people would have us believe — some people are smarter than others, some people have more opportunity because they’re born with it, some men make more money than others, some ladies make better cakes than others — some people are born gifted beyond the normal scope of most men. But there is one way in this country in which all men are created equal — there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any college president. That institution, gentlemen, is a court. It can be the Supreme Court of the United States or the humblest J.P. court in the land, or this honorable court which you serve. Our courts have their faults, as does any human institution, but in this country our courts are the great levelers, and in our courts all men are created equal. I'm no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and in the jury system — that is no ideal to me, it is a living, working reality. Gentlemen, a court is no better than each man of you sitting before me on this jury. A court is only as sound as its jury, and a jury is only as sound as the men who make it up. I am confident that you gentlemen will review without passion the evidence you have heard, come to a decision, and restore this defendant to his family. In the name of God, do your duty. In the name of God, believe him.
Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird)
We have taller buildings but shorter tempers; wider freeways but narrower viewpoints; we spend more but have less; we buy more but enjoy it less; we have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, yet less time; we have more degrees but less sense; more knowledge but less judgment; more experts, yet more problems; we have more gadgets but less satisfaction; more medicine, yet less wellness; we take more vitamins but see fewer results. We drink too much; smoke too much; spend too recklessly; laugh too little; drive too fast, get too angry quickly; stay up too late; get up too tired; read too seldom; watch TV too much and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values; we fly in faster planes to arrive there quicker, to do less and return sooner; we sign more contracts only to realize fewer profits; we talk too much; love too seldom, and lie too often. We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life; we’ve added years to life, not life to years.
Philip Yancey (Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News?)
Butterfly Kisses Aged imperfections stitched upon my face years and years of wisdom earned by His holy grace. Quiet solitude in a humble home all the family scattered now like nomads do they roam. Then a gift sent from above a memory pure and tangible wrapped in innocence and unquestioning love. A butterfly kiss lands gently upon my cheek from an unseen child a kiss most sweet. Heaven grants grace and tears follow as youth revisits this empty hollow.
Muse (Enigmatic Evolution)
And somehow Hallie thrived anyway--the blossom of our family, like one of those miraculous fruit trees that taps into an invisible vein of nurture and bears radiant bushels of plums while the trees around it merely go on living. In Grace, in the old days, when people found one of those in their orchard they called it the semilla besada--the seed that got kissed. Sometimes you'd run across one that people had come to, and returned to, in hopes of a blessing. The branches would be festooned like a Christmas tree of family tokens: a baby sock, a pair of broken reading glasses, the window envelope of a pension check.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal Dreams)
When we decided to move West, I worried about how to defend my family and my stock from Indians, but I never worried about inheriting one!” --from Prairie Grace when Georgia's father Thomas realizes gravely ill Gray Wolf has been left at their doorstep
Marilyn Bay Wentz
Jesus loves us. He is not scandalized by our failures. He is not limited in what he can do with what’s left after family disasters. Nothing is beyond his redemption when he is invited in. No one with a whit of breath left is beyond the reach of his grace.
Beth Moore (The Undoing of Saint Silvanus)
As we embrace the mystery of love, we see that it contains not an absence of error, but the presence of grace. It contains not the absence of anger or pain, but the presence of forgiveness and healing. Not the absence of disharmony or confusion, but the presence of peace and clarity. To make a home into a sanctuary, we must be willing to make room in our hearts for one another's limitations, as well as our gifts. For it is here in this sacred space of the home and family, so brimming with life, so full of every emotion available to our hearts, that we learn what it means to love within all the nuances of an intimate relationship.
Shea Darian (Sanctuaries of Childhood: Nurturing a Child's Spiritual Life)
To enter deeply into meditation is to enter into the mystery of suffering love. It is to encounter the woundedness of our human nature. We are all deeply wounded from our infancy and bear these wounds in the unconscious. The repetition of the mantra is a way of opening these depths of the unconsciousness and exposing them to light. It is first of all to accept our woundedness and thus to realize that this is part of the wound of humanity. All the weaknesses we find in ourselves and all the things that upset us, we tend to try to push aside and get rid of. But we cannot do this. We have to accept that "this is me" and allow grace to come and heal it all. That is the great secret of suffering, not to push it back but to open the depths of the unconscious and to realize that we are not isolated individuals when we meditate, but are entering into the whole inheritance of the human family.
Bede Griffiths (The New Creation in Christ)
But she had the awful gift of omnipresence, of exercising her influence from a distance; so that while the old family friends and visitors at Longlands said, "It's wonderful, now tactful Blanche is - how she keeps out of the young people's way," every member of the household, from its master to the last boots and scullion and gardener's boy, knew that Her Grace's eyes was on them all.
Edith Wharton (The Buccaneers)
That her niece should find such profound pleasure in the company of a thirteen-year-old black girl--and, more to the point, always within the precincts of Elinor's house--was a slap in Mary-Love's face. She decided, without saying anything more to James, to wreck Grace's perfection of happiness. Grace would learn that she, Mary-Love, was the source of all felicity within the Caskey family.
Michael McDowell (Blackwater II: The Levee)
Be assured by My loving-kindness that as others are blessed by these words, your cup of joy will overflow in the same proportion. Every reader too will receive the same measure of grace. And all will become members of one united family: the family of My intimate friends.
Gabrielle Bossis (He and I)
Sometimes, she wondered what she was missing, if her life was somehow incomplete because she didn't see the reflection of her face in the face of a son or daughter. Maybe. That's what mothers told her: Oh, you don't know what you're missing; it's spiritual; I feel closer to the earth, to the creator of all things. Perhaps all of that was true--it must be true--but Grace also knew that mothering was work, was manual labor, and unpaid manual labor at that. She'd known too many women who'd vanished after childbirth; women whose hopes and fears had been pushed to the back of the family closet; women who'd magically been replaced by their children and their children's desires.
Sherman Alexie (The Toughest Indian in the World)
Myth is promiscuous, not dogmatic. It moves like a lively river through swarthy packs of reindeer, great aristocratic families, and the wild gestures of an Iranian carpet seller. Myth is not much to do with the past, but a kind of magical present that can flood our lives when the conditions are just so. It is not just the neurosis of us humans trying to fathom our place on earth, but sometimes the earth actually speaking back to us. That's why some stories can be hard to approach, they are not necessarily formed from a human point of view.
Martin Shaw (A Branch from the Lightning Tree: Ecstatic Myth and the Grace of Wildness)
When a family member’s behavior threatens to knock the nice right out of us, we can pause. Recalculate. Punch in a different destination for the words now downloading from our brains onto our tongues. We can program them to first stop at gentleness, swing by to pick up respect, and finally — arrive with grace. Then our mouths can utter pleasant words rather than those that are caustic, cutting, and unkind.
Karen Ehman (Keep It Shut: What to Say, How to Say It, and When to Say Nothing at All)
In my lifelong study of the Bible I have looked for an overarching theme, a summary statement of what the whole sprawling book is about. I have settled on this: “God gets his family back.” From the first book to the last the Bible tells of wayward children and the tortuous lengths to which God will go to bring them home. Indeed, the entire biblical drama ends with a huge family reunion in the book of Revelation.
Philip Yancey (Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News?)
My hope is that we can navigate through this world and our lives with the grace and integrity of those who need our protection. May we have the sense of humor and liveliness of the goats; may we have the maternal instincts and protective nature of the hens and the sassiness of the roosters. May we have the gentleness and strength of the cattle, and the wisdom, humility, and serenity of the donkeys. May we appreciate the need for community as do the sheep and choose our companion as carefully as do the rabbits. May we have the faithfulness and commitment to family as the geese, and adaptability and affability of the ducks. May we have the intelligence, loyalty, and affection of the pigs and the inquisitiveness, sensitivity, and playfulness of the turkeys. My hope is that we learn from the animals what it is we need to become better people.
Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (Vegan's Daily Companion: 365 Days of Inspiration for Cooking, Eating, and Living Compassionately)
Malaka Nazli hadn’t simply been a place, I realized, but a state of mind. It was where you could find an extraordinary, breathtaking level of humanity. What it lacked in privacy, what it failed to provide by way of modern comforts—hot running water, showers, electric stoves, refrigerators, telephones—it more than made up for in mercy and compassion and tenderness and grace, those ethereal qualities that make and keep us human.
Lucette Lagnado (The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: A Jewish Family's Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World (P.S.))
Without knowing it he drew a very pleasant picture of an affectionate, happy family who lived unpretentiously in circumstances of moderate affluence at peace with themselves and the world and undisturbed by any fear that anything might happen to affect their security. The life he described lacked neither grace nor dignity; it was healthy and normal, and through its intellectual interests not entirely material; the persons who led it were simple and honest, neither ambitious nor envious, prepared to do their duty by the state and by their neighbors according to their lights; and there was in them neither harm nor malice. If Lydia saw how much of their good nature, their kindliness, their unpleasing self-complacency depended on the long-established and well-ordered prosperity of the country that had given them birth; if she had an inkling that, like children building castles on the sea sand, they might at any moment be swept away by a tidal wave, she allowed no sign of it to appear on her face.
W. Somerset Maugham (Christmas Holiday)
Here’s another example of the difference in our worldviews. A family in my sister’s neighborhood was recently stricken with a double tragedy, when both the young mother and her three-year-old son were diagnosed with cancer. When Catherine told me about this, I could only say, shocked, “Dear God, that family needs grace.” She replied firmly, “That family needs casseroles,” and then proceeded to organize the entire neighborhood into bringing that family dinner, in shifts, every single night, for an entire year. I do not know if my sister fully recognizes that this is grace.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
The trouble is, we have up-close access to women who excel in each individual sphere. With social media and its carefully selected messaging, we see career women killing it, craft moms slaying it, chef moms nailing it, Christian leaders working it. We register their beautiful yards, homemade green chile enchiladas, themed birthday parties, eight-week Bible study series, chore charts, ab routines, “10 Tips for a Happy Marriage,” career best practices, volunteer work, and Family Fun Night ideas. We make note of their achievements, cataloging their successes and observing their talents. Then we combine the best of everything we see, every woman we admire in every genre, and conclude: I should be all of that. It is certifiably insane.
Jen Hatmaker (For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards)
But I took a deep breath, and she sat there listening to me across my dirty coffee table, and we talked about community and family and authenticity. It’s easy to talk about it, and really, really hard sometimes to practice it. This is why the door stays closed for so many of us, literally and figuratively. One friend promises she’ll start having people over when they finally have money to remodel. Another says she’d be too nervous that people wouldn’t eat the food she made, so she never makes the invitation. But it isn’t about perfection, and it isn’t about performance. You’ll miss the richest moments in life—the sacred moments when we feel God’s grace and presence through the actual faces and hands of the people we love—if you’re too scared or too ashamed to open the door. I know it’s scary, but throw open the door anyway, even though someone might see you in your terribly ugly half-zip.
Shauna Niequist (Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes)
The only justice is love. Just let it go. You don't have to explain. This is not about being right. There is something true inside the song you can't stop listening to. You don't feel at home anywhere, but you feel at home when Aaron sings that song. Someone calling you a criminal does not make you a criminal, just as someone calling you a hero does not make you a hero. Nobody gets to name you. Find your identity in the one true place. If someone gives you something, and then takes it back - that's okay. If someone says something or sees something, and then they don't - that's okay. Do not be like some broken lawyer making the same argument over and over again, always reaching for rewind. Guilt and regret, those are awful places. You know that. So don't live there. Do not despair. Do not be afraid. Grace is the interesting thing. Hope. And God must be a pretty big fan of today, because you keep waking up to it. You have made known your request for a hundred different yesterdays, but the sun keeps rising on this thing that has never been known. Yesterday is dead and over. Wrapped in grace. You are still alive, and today is the most interesting day. Today is the best place to live. These things deserve your attention: your family, your friends, the people you will meet today, the strangers with their stories. They say 'We are all in this together.' It is absolutely true.
Jamie Tworkowski (If You Feel Too Much: Thoughts on Things Found and Lost and Hoped For)
The sacred rowan is a woman born long, long ago, a woman whose refusal to see love cost first her lover's life, then the lives of her family, her clan, her people. But not her own life. Not quite. In pity and punishment she was turned into an undying tree, a rowan that weeps only in the presence of transcendent love; and the tears of the rowan are blossoms that confer extraordinary grace upon those who can see them. When enough tears are wept, the rowan will be free. She waits inside a sacred ring that can be neither weighed or measured nor touched. She waits for love that is worth her tears. The rowan is waiting still.
Elizabeth Lowell (Enchanted (Medieval, #3))
When you think your job is to change your child and you’ve been given the power to do it, your parenting will tend to be demanding , aggressive, threatening, and focused on rules and punishments. In this kind of parenting you are working to make your children into something rather than working to help them to see something and seek something. In this form of parenting, it is all about you and your children, rather than you being an agent of what only God can do in your children. Your hope is that you will exercise the right power, at the right time, and in the right way so change in your children will result. That process is profoundly different than working to be a useful tool in the hands of a God of glorious transforming grace, who alone is your hope and the hope of your children.
Paul David Tripp (Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family)
Joaquin shook his head. "Look, you two are my sisters, right? You're my family. I won't hurt you like that." "Oh, for fuck's sake!" Maya suddenly screamed, and they both turned around to see her still standing next to the car, hand on hips. "That's exactly what family is, Joaquin!" Maya shouted at him. "It means that no matter where you go, no matter how far you run, you're still a part of me and Grace and we're still a part of you, too! Look at us! It took us fifteen years to find each other, but we still did! And sometimes, family hurts each other. But after that's done you bandage each other up, and you move on. Together. So you can go and think that you're some lone wolf, but you're not! You've got us now, like it or not, and we've got you. So get in this fucking car and let's go!
Robin Benway (Far from the Tree)
Other believers had suffered in this country. Others had died at these hands, and hands like them. Jesus had suffered far worse. He had suffered and bled and died for her. For her sins. To set her free. To adopt her as a child into His family. To bring her into His Kingdom. Forever. How could she not be willing to suffer and bleed and die for Him? If that's what He asked, she would do it. With the strength He gave her. Be the grace He provided. And maybe she would see Him soon, face-to-face.
Joel C. Rosenberg (The Ezekiel Option (The Last Jihad, #3))
Shakespeare described love as an “ever-fixed mark.” In a healthy family, you know how love is defined: It’s clear, has boundaries, and is attainable. Unfortunately, in a shame-bound family, love is a moving target; one day it’s this and one day it’s that, and just when you’re sure you’ve got it figured out, you discover you don’t.
Brennan Manning (All Is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir)
Clarence was with me as concerned the revolution, but in a modified way. His idea was a republic, without privileged orders, but with a hereditary royal family at the head of it instead of an elective chief magistrate. He believed that no nation that had ever known the joy of worshiping a royal family could ever be robbed of it and not fade away and die of melancholy. I urged that kings were dangerous. He said, then have cats. He was sure that a royal family of cats would answer every purpose. They would be as useful as any other royal family, they would know as much, they would have the same virtues and the same treacheries, the same disposition to get up shindies with other royal cats, they would be laughably vain and absurd and never know it, they would be wholly inexpensive; finally, they would have as sound a divine right as any other royal house, and “Tom VII, or Tom XI, or Tom XIV by the grace of God King,” would sound as well as it would when applied to the ordinary royal tomcat with tights on.
Mark Twain (A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court)
Has there ever been a child like Eva? Yes, there have been; but their names are always on grave-stones, and their sweet smiles, their heavenly eyes, their singular words and ways, are among the buried treasures of yearning hearts. In how many families do you hear the legend that all the goodness and graces of the living are nothing to the peculiar charms of one who is not. It is as if heaven had an especial band of angels, whose office it was to sojourn for a season here, and endear to them the wayward human heart, that they might bear it upward with them in their homeward flight. When you see that deep, spiritual light in the eye,—when the little soul reveals itself in words sweeter and wiser than the ordinary words of children,—hope not to retain that child; for the seal of heaven is on it, and the light of immortality looks out from its eyes.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom's Cabin)
Parents, if your eyes ever see or your ears ever hear the sin and weakness of your children, it’s never an accident, it’s never a hassle, it’s never an interruption; it’s always grace. God loves your children and because he does, he has placed them in a family of faith so that you can be his tool of convicting, forgiving, and transforming grace.
Paul David Tripp (Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family)
The purpose of the local church is not primarily to be one's church home or extended family, though it can be at times. And it is not to survive by obtaining more people for its support base. Its purpose is to invite people to be part of the true mission of the church. Reception into the church is only a threshold to involvement in its mission. The task of the church is not to accumulate attendees. The church is a school for developing agents of the new creation from among those who are the beneficiaries of God's grace.
Peter L. Steinke
Hypothetically speaking,” Robert said, “if the attack happens, and Roland retaliates, what will you do about it?” “She is a princess of Shinar.” My aunt burst into existence in the middle of the kitchen. “It is by the grace of her mercy you are still breathing.” Robert stumbled back. Raphael’s hands went to his knives. Andrea bared her teeth, cradling Baby B. You could hear a pin drop. “I have family in town for the wedding,” I said into the silence. “My aunt, Eahrratim, the Rose of Tigris.” Curran covered his face with his hand.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Binds (Kate Daniels, #9))
In social life, in the family government, in the Church, and in the State this is an acknowledged and invariable law. The debtor would be incapable of appreciating the clemency which cancelled the debt, so long as he denied either the existence or the justice of the claim. Unconscious of the obligation, he would be insensible to the grace that remitted it.
Octavius Winslow (The Works of Octavius Winslow)
Grace Apostolic Church in Elyria, Ohio, underwrote The Carpenter’s Shop;
Larry Eskridge (God's Forever Family: The Jesus People Movement in America)
He checked the barometer he'd nailed to the family room wall: the pressure was rising.
Anthony Doerr (About Grace)
I sent a clear warning to you, Aidan." There was a hint of censure in his words, although his voice was soft. There was a hard edge to Aidan's mouth. "I received your warning. But this is my city, Gregori, and my family. I take care of my own." Savannah rolled her eyes. "You could just beat on your chests,you know. It probably works just as well." You will show some respect, Gregori ordered. Savannah burst out laughing, then reached up to caress his shadowed jaw. "Keep hoping,my love, and perhaps someday someone will obey you." Aidan's mouth twitched, the golden eyes sliding over Gregori in amusement. "She inherited something besides her mother's good looks,did she not?" Gregori sighed heavily. "She is impossible." Aidan laughed,ignoring the warning flash from Gregori's pale eyes. "I believe they all are." Savannah ducked out from under Gregori's arm and found an overstuffed chair to curl up on. "Of course we're impossible.It's the only way to stay sane." "I would have brought Alexandria to meet you,but Gregori's warning dictated prudence." Aidan sounded smug, as if he had been able to lay down the law to his woman when Gregori was unable to do so. Savannah flashed an impish grin up at the man. "What did you do,leave her sleeping while you ran off to play hero? I'll just bet she has a thing or two to say to you when you wake her." Aidan had the grace to look sheepish. Then he turned to Gregori. "Your lifemate is a mean little thing, healer. I do not envy you." Savannah laughed, unrepentant. "He's crazy about me. Don't let him fool you." "I believe you," Aidan agreed. "Do not encourage her in her rebellion," Gregori tried to sound severe,but she was turning him inside out.She was everything to him, even with her silliness.Where did she get her outrageous sense of humor? How could she ever be happy with someone who hadn't laughed in centuries? She melted his insides. Melted him. He was careful to keep his face expressionless. It was bad enough that Savannah knew he was practically wrapped around her little finger. Aidan didn't need to know,too.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
The hostility of this landscape teaches me how to be quiet and unobtrusive, how to find grace among spiders with a poisonous bite. I sat on a lone boulder in the midst of the curlews. By now, they had grown accustomed to me. This too, I found encouraging—that in the face of stressful intrusions, we can eventually settle in. One begins to almost trust the intruder as a presence that demands greater intent toward life. On a day like today when the air is dry and smells of salt, I have found my open space, my solitude, and sky. And I have found the birds who require it.
Terry Tempest Williams (Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place)
Subtle and coy, the cemento at Maalouf's did not speak of war, or frontiers, and the spaces they narrowed, but, rather, grandeur. The tiles returned one to a realm where imagination, artistry, and craftsmanship were not only appreciated but given free reign, where what was unique and striking, or small and perfect, or wrought with care was desired, where gazed-upon objects were the products of peaceful hearts, hands long practiced and trained. War ends the values and traditions that produce such treasures. Nothing is maintained. Cultures that may seem as durable as stone can break like glass, leaving all the things that held them together unattended. I believe that the craftsman, the artist, the cook, and the silversmith are peacemakers. They instill grace; they lull the world to calm.
Anthony Shadid (House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East)
Van Uoc felt the stab of a sad truth: she and her mother would never be as close as her mother and grandmother had been. Her mother got up, stretched her tidy, graceful frame and headed for the kitchen. Van Uoc wanted to be able to offer her some comfort, but what could she say? Her mother was right. The two of them represented an irreconcilable cultural split. Distance between them was inevitable.
Fiona Wood (Cloudwish (The Six Impossiverse #3))
Benefits of Being in God’s Family The moment you were spiritually born into God’s family, you were given some astounding birthday gifts: the family name, the family likeness, family privileges, family intimate access, and the family inheritance!7 The Bible says, “Since you are his child, everything he has belongs to you.”8 The New Testament gives great emphasis to our rich “inheritance.” It tells us, “My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”9 As children of God we get to share in the family fortune. Here on earth we are given “the riches … of his grace … kindness … patience … glory … wisdom … power … and mercy.”10 But in eternity we will inherit even more. Paul said, “I want you to realize what a rich and glorious inheritance he has given to his people.”11
Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?)
Good,” Brigida said with a nod. “Now, you’ll need one of Arranz’s kin to accompany you. Take that one with you.” She motioned to Addolgar. “And the one with the thick neck over there.” Ghleanna’s hand went to her throat. “Me neck isn’t thick.” “Thick like a tree trunk,” Brigida muttered. “It’s graceful. This neck is long and graceful.” Powerful legs landed on the table and Ghleanna crossed her arms over her chest. “Graceful,” she growled, appearing to fight an instinct to yell. Addolgar shrugged at Braith. “Me sister’s graceful.” “Yes,” Braith replied, her eyes briefly crossing. “I can see that.
G.A. Aiken (A Tale of Two Dragons (Dragon Kin, #0.2))
good news is that we’re all doomed, and you can give up any sense of control. Resistance is futile. Many things are going to get worse and weaker, especially democracy and the muscles in your upper arms. Most deteriorating conditions, though, will have to do with your family, the family in which you were raised and your current one. A number of the best people will have died, badly, while the worst thrive. The younger middle-aged people struggle with the same financial, substance, and marital crises that their parents did, and the older middle-aged people are, like me, no longer even late-middle-aged. We’re early old age, with failing memories, hearing loss, and gum disease. And also, while I hate to sound pessimistic, there are also new, tiny, defenseless people who are probably doomed, too, to the mental ruin of ceaseless striving. What most of us live by and for is the love of family—blood family, where the damage occurred, and chosen, where a bunch of really nutty people fight back together. But both kinds of families can be as hard and hollow as bone, as mystical and common, as dead and alive, as promising and depleted. And by the same token, only redeeming familial love can save you from this crucible, along with nature and clean sheets. A
Anne Lamott (Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace)
The whole game in the fifties and early sixties was for no one to know who you really were. We children were witness to the total pretense of how our parents wanted the world to see them. We helped them maintain this image, because if anyone outside the family could see who they really were deep down, the whole system, the ship of your family, might sink. We held our breath to give the ship buoyancy. We were little air tanks.
Anne Lamott (Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace)
The essence of Christian faith has come to us in story form, the story of a God who will go to any lengths to get his family back. The Bible tells of flawed people -- people just like me -- who make shockingly bad choices and yet still find themselves pursued by God. As they receive grace and forgiveness, naturally they want to give it to others, and a thread of hope and transformation weaves its way throughout the Bible's accounts.
Philip Yancey (Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News?)
May I encourage you, dear reader: If you are going through a tragedy, don’t shut yourself off from others. It is our instinct in such situations to curl up and hide from staring eyes and accusing words. And there may be those we encounter who convey just such a negative response. But believe me, there are far more—family, friends, a local church body—eager to offer comfort and help. Oh, how I can give testimony to that! Let them in.
Terri Roberts (Forgiven: The Amish School Shooting, a Mother's Love, and a Story of Remarkable Grace)
A few months ago on a school morning, as I attempted to etch a straight midline part on the back of my wiggling daughter's soon-to-be-ponytailed blond head, I reminded her that it was chilly outside and she needed to grab a sweater. "No, mama." "Excuse me?" "No, I don't want to wear that sweater, it makes me look fat." "What?!" My comb clattered to the bathroom floor. "Fat?! What do you know about fat? You're 5 years old! You are definitely not fat. God made you just right. Now get your sweater." She scampered off, and I wearily leaned against the counter and let out a long, sad sigh. It has begun. I thought I had a few more years before my twin daughters picked up the modern day f-word. I have admittedly had my own seasons of unwarranted, psychotic Slim-Fasting and have looked erroneously to the scale to give me a measurement of myself. But these departures from my character were in my 20s, before the balancing hand of motherhood met the grounding grip of running. Once I learned what it meant to push myself, I lost all taste for depriving myself. I want to grow into more of a woman, not find ways to whittle myself down to less. The way I see it, the only way to run counter to our toxic image-centric society is to literally run by example. I can't tell my daughters that beauty is an incidental side effect of living your passion rather than an adherence to socially prescribed standards. I can't tell my son how to recognize and appreciate this kind of beauty in a woman. I have to show them, over and over again, mile after mile, until they feel the power of their own legs beneath them and catch the rhythm of their own strides. Which is why my parents wake my kids early on race-day mornings. It matters to me that my children see me out there, slogging through difficult miles. I want my girls to grow up recognizing the beauty of strength, the exuberance of endurance, and the core confidence residing in a well-tended body and spirit. I want them to be more interested in what they are doing than how they look doing it. I want them to enjoy food that is delicious, feed their bodies with wisdom and intent, and give themselves the freedom to indulge. I want them to compete in healthy ways that honor the cultivation of skill, the expenditure of effort, and the courage of the attempt. Grace and Bella, will you have any idea how lovely you are when you try? Recently we ran the Chuy's Hot to Trot Kids K together as a family in Austin, and I ran the 5-K immediately afterward. Post?race, my kids asked me where my medal was. I explained that not everyone gets a medal, so they must have run really well (all kids got a medal, shhh!). As I picked up Grace, she said, "You are so sweaty Mommy, all wet." Luke smiled and said, "Mommy's sweaty 'cause she's fast. And she looks pretty. All clean." My PRs will never garner attention or generate awards. But when I run, I am 100 percent me--my strengths and weaknesses play out like a cracked-open diary, my emotions often as raw as the chafing from my jog bra. In my ultimate moments of vulnerability, I am twice the woman I was when I thought I was meant to look pretty on the sidelines. Sweaty and smiling, breathless and beautiful: Running helps us all shine. A lesson worth passing along.
Kristin Armstrong
Caroline, or Sister Carrie, as she had been half affectionately termed by the family, was possessed of a mind rudimentary in its power of observation and analysis. Self-interest with her was high, but not strong. It was, nevertheless, her guiding characteristic. Warm with the fancies of youth, pretty with the insipid prettiness of the formative period, possessed of a figure promising eventual shapeliness and an eye alight with certain native intelligence, she was a fair example of the middle American class—two generations removed from the emigrant. Books were beyond her interest—knowledge a sealed book. In the intuitive graces she was still crude. She could scarcely toss her head gracefully. Her hands were almost ineffectual. The feet, though small, were set flatly. And yet she was interested in her charms, quick to understand the keener pleasures of life, ambitious to gain in material things. A half-equipped little knight she was, venturing to reconnoitre the mysterious city and dreaming wild dreams of some vague, far-off supremacy, which should make it prey and subject—the proper penitent, grovelling at a woman's slipper.
Theodore Dreiser (Sister Carrie)
To explain the matter I will employ a simile, which yet, I confess is very dissimilar; but its dissimilitude is greatly in favour of my sentiments. A rich man bestows, on a poor and famishing beggar, alms by which he may be able to maintain himself and his family. Does it cease to be a pure gift, because the beggar extends his hand to receive it? Can it be said with propriety, that 'the alms depended partly on THE LIBERALITY of the Donor, and partly on THE LIBERTY of the Receiver,' though the latter would not have possessed the alms unless he had received it by stretching out his hand? Can it be correctly said, BECAUSE THE BEGGAR IS ALWAYS PREPARED TO RECEIVE, that 'he can have the alms, or not have it, just as he pleases?' If these assertions cannot be truly made about a beggar who receives alms, how much less can they be made about the gift of faith, for the receiving of which far more acts of Divine Grace are required!
James Arminius (The Works of James Arminius, Volume 2)
You’d call this fellow out, whoever he is?” “In a bloody heartbeat. When this silly house party is over, we’re going into Town and buying my duchess a handsome little pistol to carry in her reticule, and we’re showing her how to use it. Then we’ll explain bullwhips to her, and get her an archery set as well.” Harlan took the terrace steps two at a time. “Noah, what are you going on about?” “Marital bliss, Harlan, wooing my duchess, and the kind of family we are now.
Grace Burrowes (The Duke's Disaster)
When we confess and receive absolution together, we are reminded that none of our pathologies, neuroses, or sins, no matter how small or secret, affect only us. We are a church, a community, a family. We are not simply individuals with our pet sins and private brokenness. We are people who desperately need each other if we are to seek Christ and walk in repentance. If we are saved, we are saved together--as the body of Christ, as a church. Because of this, I need to hear my forgiveness proclaimed not only by God but by a representative of the body of Christ in which I receive grace, to remind me that though my sin is worse than I care to admit, I'm still welcome here. I'm still called into this community and loved.
Tish Harrison Warren (Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life)
In Hawaii, family showed itself in the way that my siblings never dared to call one another "half" anything. We were fully brothers and sisters. Family appeared in the pile of rubber slippers and sandals that crowded the entrance to everyone's home; in the kisses we gave when we greeted one another and said good-bye; in the graceful choreography of Grandma hanging the laundry on the clothesline; in the inclusiveness of calling anyone older auntie or uncle whether or not they were relatives.
Janet Mock (Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love So Much More)
And, practicing “radical empathy” means more than trying to reach across divides of race, class, and politics, and building bridges between communities. We have to fill the emotional and spiritual voids that have opened up within communities, within families, and within ourselves as individuals. That can be even more difficult, but it’s essential. There’s grace to be found in those relationships. Grace and meaning and that elusive sense that we’re all part of something bigger than ourselves.
Hillary Rodham Clinton (What Happened)
Dan came around the pulpit. "If you're standing in a place today where you know you need more--healing, hope, a glimpse that there is a happy ending--it's time to become a rebel. To do something daring and wild and reach out for grace, even though it doesn't make sense. But I warn you, once you embrace Christ, you too become a rule breaker. Because a life committed to God requires us to live uncomfortably. Inconveniently. Accountably. Bravely. Transparently. Vulnerably. It requires us to love without rules. Welcome to Grace.
Susan May Warren (You're the One that I Want (Christiansen Family, #6))
if alcohol made you happy, every time you drank you should be full of happiness. Let me ask you, from a purely physiological perspective, how could alcohol possibly make you happy? The effect of alcohol is to deaden all of your senses, to numb you, to inebriate you. If you are numb, how can you feel anything, happiness included? Surely you are not happy every time you drink. None of us are proud of everything we have said or done while drinking. Yet in the moment we believe we are on top of the world, saying and doing anything we please, deluding ourselves into thinking it’s making us happy. Are you happy when the room starts to spin, or your dinner comes back up? Is the drunk on the street in Vegas who has lost his home and his family to booze truly happy? You might take issue with this and tell me that
Annie Grace (This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, Find Freedom, Discover Happiness & Change Your Life)
But here is the catch: There is nothing we can do to cause God to love us more, and there is nothing we can do to cause God to love us less. We live and exist in His pure, unrelenting, and infinite grace. That means we can relax in our relationship with Him. We are worthy of Him because He has made us worthy. We are called His friends and His brothers because He has made us family. When we come to understand His grace, we can stop striving for His love and acceptance because through His grace we live in His love and acceptance all the time.
T.J. Addington (Deep Influence: Unseen Practices That Will Revolutionize Your Leadership)
I can do that, Your Grace.” The abigail apparently expected him to relinquish his duties. Adam silently shook his head, softly rubbing more blood from her ankle. “It is not seemly for a duke to be acting as a lady’s maid or a physician, Your Grace.” “Perhaps not.” Adam didn’t take his eyes from his task. “But a husband is charged with keeping his wife in sickness, is he not?” “Yes, Your Grace.” The maid sounded more confused than anything else. “Then I would venture that tending to my wife is perfectly seemly.” Lud, her ankle was terribly swollen, and tender, if her continued grimace were any indication. “It is highly unusual.” “And when has the Duke of Kielder cared what was usual?” The bones didn’t feel out of place. If anything, there might be a small crack. Persephone was fortunate in that, at least. “Yes, Your Grace.
Sarah M. Eden (Seeking Persephone (The Lancaster Family, #1))
The first person to touch Jesus in His natural birth was obviously Mary, the virgin. But who was the first to touch Him at His second birth—His resurrection from the dead? Mary Magdalene! She’s the one who had seven demons cast out of her and was healed of infirmities (see Mark 16:9)! The Virgin Mary, representing purity and all that is right, welcomed Jesus into the world for His role of fulfilling the Law and becoming the perfect sacrifice. Mary Magdalene, the one who had been sick and tormented by devils, represents the unanswerable needs of the spirit, soul, and body. She welcomed Him into the world for His role of building a family out of the least pure or qualified in any way. The Virgin introduced the One who would close out the dispensation of the Law. The tormented one introduced Jesus into the season of grace where everyone would be welcomed.
Bill Johnson (Hosting the Presence: Unveiling Heaven's Agenda)
Wedding Hymn Father, within Thy House today We wait Thy kindly love to see; Since thou hast said in truth that they Who dwell in love are one with Thee, Bless those who for Thy blessing wait, Their love accept and consecrate. Dear Lord of love, whose Heart of Fire, So full of pity for our sin, Was once in that Divine Desire Broken, Thy Bride to woo and win: Look down and bless them from above And keep their hearts alight with love. Blest Spirit, who with life and light Didst quicken chaos to Thy praise, Whose energy, in sin's despite, Still lifts our nature up to grace; Bless those who here in troth consent. Creator, crown Thy Sacrament. Great One in Three, of Whom are named All families in earth and heaven, Hear us, who have Thy promise claimed, And let a wealth of grace be given; Grant them in life and death to be Each knit to each, and both to Thee.
Robert Hugh Benson
For Christians, prayer is like breathing. You don’t have to think to breathe because the atmosphere exerts pressure on your lungs and forces you to breathe. That’s why it is more difficult to hold your breath than it is to breathe. Similarly, when you’re born into the family of God, you enter into a spiritual atmosphere wherein God’s presence and grace exert pressure, or influence, on your life. Prayer is the normal response to that pressure. As believers, we all have entered the divine atmosphere to breathe the air of prayer. Only then can we survive in the darkness of the world.
John F. MacArthur Jr. (Alone With God: Rediscovering the Power and Passion of Prayer)
Strong community is formed by powerful common experiences, as when people survive a flood or fight together in a battle. When they emerge on the other side, this shared experience becomes the basis for a deep, permanent bond that is stronger than blood. The more intense the experience, the more intense the bond. When we experience Christ’s radical grace through repentance and faith, it becomes the most intense, foundational event of our lives. Now, when we meet someone from a different culture, race, or social class who has received the same grace, we see someone who has been through the same life-and-death experience. In Christ, we have both spiritually died and been raised to new life (Rom 6:4 – 6; Eph 2:1 – 6). And because of this common experience of rescue, we now share an identity marker even more indelible than the ties that bind us to our family, our race, or our culture.
Timothy J. Keller (Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City)
Is Zaddie Sapp deformed because she was born with black skin?” “Of course not—” “Are Grace and Lucille deformed because they have given up men and live out at Gavin Pond Farm together?” “No, Mama, that’s not—” “That’s how they were born, darling! Zaddie was born with black skin and Grace Caskey was born to dote on girls, and just because they’re different, do you think Creola Sapp should have said, ‘I’m not going to give birth to this child’? Do you think Genevieve and James should have said, ‘We don’t want a little baby if she’s not going to grow up to be just like everybody else in this town’?
Michael McDowell (Blackwater: The Complete Caskey Family Saga (Blackwater, #1-6))
They were falling back into familiarity, into common ground, into the dirty gray. Just ordinary humans in ordinary opaque boiled-egg light, without grace, without revelation, composite of contradictions, easy principles, arguing about what they half believed in or even what they didn't believe in at all, desiring comfort as much as raw austerity, authenticity as much as playacting, desiring coziness of family as much as to abandon it forever. Cheese and chocolate they wanted, but also to kick all these bloody foreign things out. A wild daring love...but also a rice and dal love blessed by the unexciting feel of everyday, its surprises safely enmeshed in something solidly familiar...Every single contradiction history or opportunity might make available to them, every contradiction they were heir to, they desired. But only as much, of course, as they desired purity and a lack of contradiction.
Kiran Desai (The Inheritance of Loss)
Some Parents Are Responsible for Disrespect—When parents permit a child to show them disrespect in childhood, allowing them to speak pettishly and even harshly, there will be a dreadful harvest to be reaped in after years. When parents fail to require prompt and perfect obedience in their children, they fail to lay the right foundation of character in their little ones. They prepare their children to dishonor them when they are old, and bring sorrow to their hearts when they are nearing the grave, unless the grace of Christ changes the hearts and transforms the characters of their children. [362]
Ellen G. White (The Adventist Home: Counsels To Seventh Day Adventist Families (Christian Home Library))
하이햄프"텔레+위커:HighHemp,"This is one of many books I've read about MJ and it is clear that he was plaqued by leeches, looking to have him support them for the rest of their lives. Personally, I believe Ms. Rowe was one too but she gave him the Everlasting gift, so she kinda had it coming. But for her to testify on behalf of a prosecution because the checks stopped coming was harsh. There are other ways she could have "gotten back" at MJ and indeed, she did seem remorseful on the stand, according to this book. I was touched by the reported testimonies of many "Big Names" who jumped to MJ's defense, telling the jury that the Arvizo's were gold diggers looking to have Michael foot the bill and even they thought something wasn't right with this family. The media didn't seem interested in anything that made MJ look innocent so much of what is in this book wasn't reported. But I was impressed with USA Today and the NY Times for reporting the truth, albeit very quietly. Bashir and Nancy Grace owe their carreers to MJ and this trial. It didn't seem to matter that they were sending an innocent man to the gallows, as long as the world knew their names the next day. They ought to be ashamed of themselves.
"하이햄프"텔레+위커:HighHemp,"This is one of many books
Secondly, it is the very nature of spiritual life to grow. Wherever they principle of this life is to be found, it can be no different for it must grow. "But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day" (Prov. 4:18); "The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger" (Job 17:9). This refers to the children of GOd, who are compared to palm and cedar trees (Psa. 92:12). As natural as it is for children and trees to grow, so natural is growth for the regenerated children of God. Thirdly, the growth of His children is the goal and objective God has in view by administering the means of grace to them. "And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints...that we henceforth be no more children...but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head" (Eph. 4:11-15). This is also to be observed in 1 Peter 2:2: "as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby, " God will reach His goal and His word will not return to Him void; thus God's children will grow in grace. Fourthly, is is the duty to which God's children are continually exhorted, and their activity is to consist in a striving for growth. That it is their duty is to be observed in the following passages: "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18); "He that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still" (Rev. 22:11). The nature of this activity is expressed as follows: "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after" (Phil. 3:12). If it were not necessary for believers to grow the exhortations to that end would be in vain. Some remain feeble, having but little life and strength. this can be due to a lack of nourishment, living under a barren ministry, or being without guidance. It can also be that they naturally have a slow mind and a lazy disposition; that they have strong corruptions which draw them away; that they are without much are without much strife; that they are too busy from early morning till late evening, due to heavy labor, or to having a family with many children, and thus must struggle or are poverty-stricken. Furthermore, it can be that they either do not have the opportunity to converse with the godly; that they do not avail themselves of such opportunities; or that they are lazy as far as reading in God's Word and prayer are concerned. Such persons are generally subject to many ups and downs. At one time they lift up their heads out of all their troubles, by renewal becoming serious, and they seek God with their whole heart. It does not take long, however , and they are quickly cast down in despondency - or their lusts gain the upper hand. Thus they remain feeble and are, so to speak, continually on the verge of death. Some of them occasionally make good progress, but then grieve the Spirit of God and backslide rapidly. For some this lasts for a season, after which they are restored, but others are as those who suffer from consumption - they languish until they die. Oh what a sad condition this is! (Chapter 89. Spiritual Growth, pg. 140, 142-143)
Wilhemus à Brakel (The Christian's Reasonable Service, Vol. 4)
Well. Um. The thing is…” I inhale, then continue with rapid-fire speed. “Imnotahockeyfan.” A wrinkle appears in his forehead. “What?” I repeat myself, slowly this time, with actual pauses between each word. “I’m not a hockey fan.” Then I hold my breath and await his reaction. He blinks. Blinks again. And again. His expression is a mixture of shock and horror. “You don’t like hockey?” I regretfully shake my head. “Not even a little bit?” Now I shrug. “I don’t mind it as background noise—” “Background noise?” “—but I won’t pay attention to it if it’s on.” I bite my lip. I’m already in this deep—might as well deliver the final blow. “I come from a football family.” “Football,” he says dully. “Yeah, my dad and I are huge Pats fans. And my grandfather was an offensive lineman for the Bears back in the day.” “Football.” He grabs his water and takes a deep swig, as if he needs to rehydrate after that bombshell. I smother a laugh. “I think it’s awesome that you’re so good at it, though. And congrats on the Frozen Four win.” Logan stares at me. “You couldn’t have told me this before I asked you out? What are we even doing here, Grace? I can never marry you now—it would be blasphemous.” His twitching lips make it clear that he’s joking, and the laughter I’ve been fighting spills over. “Hey, don’t go canceling the wedding just yet. The success rate for inter-sport marriages is a lot higher than you think. We could be a Pats-Bruins family.” I pause. “But no Celtics. I hate basketball.” “Well, at least we have that in common.” He shuffles closer and presses a kiss to my cheek. “It’s all right. We’ll work through this, gorgeous. Might need couples counseling at some point, but once I teach you to love hockey, it’ll be smooth sailing for us.” “You won’t succeed,” I warn him. “Ramona spent years trying to force me to like it. Didn’t work.” “She gave up too easily then. I, on the other hand, never give up
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
We did get out and walk around on the Strip. Jep, Miss Kay, and I posed for a picture with one of those big, painted picture with face cutouts--Jep was Elvis in the middle, and Miss Kay and I were the showgirls in bikinis with tropical fruit hats. We also splurged and went to see Phantom of the Opera. It was my first time going to a Broadway-style musical, and I loved it. I could relate to struggling to find true love. We did a little bit of gambling and card playing, and I remember visiting a Wild West town, right outside the city. Mostly, though, Jep and I were kind of boring our first year of marriage. All we wanted to do was stay home and spend time together.
Jessica Robertson (The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God: What Honesty and Pain Taught Us About Faith, Family, and Forgiveness)
Over the past several months, Amelía’s Google history had become a reference of her despair: “can’t have children, reasons for infertility in women, reasons for infertility in men, discussing infertility with husband, price of surrogate mothers, signs of depression, adoption agencies, infertility support groups…” The endless searches only provided two categories of results: medical sites that took pride in listing every worst-case scenario, and blogs written by white women with phrases like “silent suffering” and “living with uncertainty,” mixing in Bible verses about God’s Grace, none of which filled the void or helped Aimee ignore the fact that Mother’s Day was a month away and she would have to watch her family celebrate the one thing she wanted most and might never have.
Jake Vander-Ark (The Day I Wore Purple)
Ladies and Gentlemen - I'm only going to talk to you just for a minute or so this evening. Because... I have some very sad news for all of you, and I think sad news for all of our fellow citizens, and people who love peace all over the world, and that is that Martin Luther King was shot and was killed tonight in Memphis, Tennessee. Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice between fellow human beings. He died in the cause of that effort. In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it's perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in. For those of you who are black - considering the evidence evidently is that there were white people who were responsible - you can be filled with bitterness, and with hatred, and a desire for revenge. We can move in that direction as a country, in greater polarization - black people amongst blacks, and white amongst whites, filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand and to comprehend, and replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand, compassion and love. For those of you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and mistrust of the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I would only say that I can also feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man. But we have to make an effort in the United States, we have to make an effort to understand, to get beyond these rather difficult times. My favorite poet was Aeschylus. He once wrote: "Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God." What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black. (Interrupted by applause) So I ask you tonight to return home, to say a prayer for the family of Martin Luther King, yeah that's true, but more importantly to say a prayer for our own country, which all of us love - a prayer for understanding and that compassion of which I spoke. We can do well in this country. We will have difficult times. We've had difficult times in the past. And we will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence; it is not the end of lawlessness; and it's not the end of disorder. But the vast majority of white people and the vast majority of black people in this country want to live together, want to improve the quality of our life, and want justice for all human beings that abide in our land. Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world. Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people. Thank you very much.
Robert F. Kennedy
You took it with good grace when you could have sliced him to ribbons with a few words." "I was tempted," she admitted. "But I couldn't help remembering something Mother once said." It had been on a long-ago morning in her childhood, when she and Gabriel had still needed books stacked on their chairs whenever they sat at the breakfast table. Their father had been reading a freshly ironed newspaper, while their mother, Evangeline, or Evie, as family and friends called her, fed spoonfuls of sweetened porridge to baby Raphael in his high chair. After Phoebe had recounted some injustice done to her by a playmate, saying she wouldn't accept the girl's apology, her mother had persuaded her to reconsider for the sake of kindness. "But she's a bad, selfish girl," Phoebe had said indignantly. Evie's reply was gentle but matter-of-fact. "Kindness counts the most when it's given to people who don't deserve it." "Does Gabriel have to be kind to everyone too?" Phoebe had demanded. "Yes, darling." "Does Father?" "No, Redbird," her father had replied, his mouth twitching at the corners. "That's why I married your mother- she's kind enough for two people." "Mother," Gabriel had asked hopefully, "could you be kind enough for three people?" At that, their father had taken a sudden intense interest in his newspaper, lifting it in front of his face. A quiet wheeze emerged from behind it. "I'm afraid not, dear," Evie had said gently, her eyes sparkling. "But I'm sure you and your sister can find a great deal of kindness in your own hearts." Returning her thoughts to the present, Phoebe said, "Mother told us to be kind even to people who don't deserve it.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil's Daughter (The Ravenels, #5))
I shouldn’t have let myself, because I was going to have to go back out there, and I’d have a swollen, red nose and pink eyes and everyone would know — but I couldn’t stop. It was like they were choking me, my tears. I had to gasp to breathe around them. My head was full of Jack sitting at the table, being a jerk, the sound of my father’s voice talking about the sharpshooters in helicopters, the idea that Grace had nearly died without me even knowing it, stupid boys throwing stuff into my shirt, which was probably cut too low for a family dinner anyway, Cole looking down at me on the bed, and the thing that had set me off, Sam’s honest, broken text about Grace. Jack was gone, my father always got what he wanted, I wanted and hated Cole St. Clair, and no one, no one would ever feel that way about me, the way that Sam felt about Grace when he sent that text.
Maggie Stiefvater (Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3))
Bilbo and Frodo overcome the objections of the Baggins side of themselves in order to embrace the Quests that await them. Sometimes we have the same struggles as they do. The Took in us wants to pursue dreams, and the Baggins part wants to stay safe and conventional. Too often we heed the negative thinking that convinces us that we do not have the time, money, energy, or opportunity to make our desires come true. We think we have too many other obligations blocking our way. Sometimes we also saddle ourselves with the false guilt that tells us it is not right to do anything for ourselves, especially if we have a family to take care of first. We must not abandon our true responsibilities, of course, but would it not be better if we could fulfill them in a way that fed our soul and not just our pocketbook and got us excited about going to work rather than dreading the drudgery?
Anne Marie Gazzolo (Moments of Grace and Spiritual Warfare in The Lord of the Rings)
Your computer operates automatically in a default mode unless you deliberately tell it to do something else. So Luther says that even after you are converted by the gospel your heart will go back to operating on other principles unless you deliberately, repeatedly set it to gospel-mode. We habitually and instinctively look to other things besides God and his grace as our justification, hope, significance, and security. We believe the gospel at one level, but at deeper levels we do not. Human approval, professional success, power and influence, family and clan identity—all of these things serve as our heart’s “functional trust” rather than what Christ has done, and as a result we continue to be driven to a great degree by fear, anger, and a lack of self-control. You cannot change such things through mere will-power, through learning Biblical principles and trying to carry them out. We can only change permanently as
Timothy J. Keller (The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith)
It is pure fatalism, undiluted by environmental variability. Good living, good medicine, healthy food, loving families or great riches can do nothing about. Your fate is in your genes. Like a pure Augustinian, you go to heaven by God’s grace, not by good works. It reminds us that the genome, great book that it is, may give us the bleakest kind of self-knowledge: the knowledge of our destiny, not the kind of knowledge that you can do something about, but the curse of Tiresias.
Matt Ridley
The women in that ward were simple, ordinary refugee women. They came from villages or very small towns. Even before becoming refugees, they had been poor. They had no education. They had no notion of an outside world where life might be different. They were being treated for various ailments, but in the end, their gender was their ailment. In the first bed, a skinny fourteen-year-old girl lay rolled into her sheets in a state of almost catatonic unresponsiveness, eyes closed, not speaking even in reply to the doctor’s gentle greeting. Her family had brought her to be treated for mental illness, the doctor explained with regret. They had recently married her to a man in his seventies, a wealthy and influential personage by their standards. In their version of things, something had started mysteriously to go wrong with her mind as soon as the marriage was agreed upon – a case of demon possession, her family supposed. When, after repeated beatings, she still failed to cooperate gracefully with her new husband’s sexual demands, he had angrily returned her to her family and ordered them to fix this problem. They had taken the girl to a mullah, who had tried to expel the demon through prayers and by writing Quranic passages on little pieces of paper that had to be dissolved in water and then drunk, but this had brought no improvement, so the mullah had abandoned his diagnosis of demon possession and decided that the girl was sick. The family had brought her to the clinic, to be treated for insanity.
Cheryl Benard (Veiled Courage: Inside the Afghan Women's Resistance)
Among the people, it is the custom for a new wife to make moccasins for the husband's mother. When the mother accepts the gift, she welcomes the new wife into the family." Jesse blushed at the message her innocent gift had sent to the old woman. Rides the Wind watched Jesse carefully as he concluded, "My mother accepts the gift you have given. She says that she welcomes you as my wife." His dark eyes met hers briefly, but then he picked up Two Mothers and said, "My son and I will say good night to Sun, now.
Stephanie Grace Whitson (Walks The Fire (Prairie Winds, #1))
Humanistic propaganda screams at us everywhere we go. “You deserve better.” “There’s no one like you.” “Stand up for yourself.” And after a while we start believing the mantra. The most influential culture-shaping document in American history is the Declaration of Independence. And built into the ethos of American society are three inalienable rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I think the wording is ironic: the pursuit of happiness. It’s almost like the architects of modern democracy said, “We guarantee you life, and we promise you liberty. But happiness? Good luck.” America is a social experiment founded on the pursuit of happiness. Hundreds of millions of Americans are chasing down happiness. Money, materialism, sex, romance, religion, family, and fame are all pursuits of the same human craving—joy. But apart from Jesus, we never get there. People spend decades searching high and low for happiness and never land at joy. In an odd twist of fate, America, for all her life and liberty, is one of the most depressed nations in the world. And many of us are mad at God. Somehow we think God owes us. We deserve happiness. We deserve a good, comfortable life, free from pain and suffering. We have rights! Right? The scriptures present a totally different worldview that stands against the humanism of Western Europe. It is written, “By grace you have been saved.”[17] The word grace is (charis) in the Greek, which can be translated as “gift.” All of life is grace. All of life is a gift. Humans have no rights. Everything is a gift. Food, shelter, the clothes on our backs, the oxygen in our lungs—it’s all grace. The entire planet, the sky above us and the ground beneath our feet, is all on loan from the Creator God. We live under his roof, eat his food, and drink his water. We are guests. And we are blessed. A reporter once asked Bob Dylan if he was happy. Dylan’s response was, “These are yuppie words, happiness and unhappiness. It’s not happiness or unhappiness. It’s either blessed or unblessed.”[18] I like that. We are blessed. When you reorient yourself to a biblical worldview, the only posture left to take is gratitude. If all of life is a gift, how could we help but thank God?
John Mark Comer (My Name is Hope: Anxiety, depression, and life after melancholy)
If you asked me whether what I have done in my life defines my life, I would answer, "No." That's not to diminish my sins or humble-bumble my successes. It is simply to affirm a grace often realized only in the winter of life. The winter is stark but also comforting. I am, and have always been, more than the sum of my deeds. Thank God. If asked whether I have fulfilled my calling as an evangelist, I would answer, "No." That answer is not guilt-ridden or shame-faced. It is to witness to a larger truth, again more clearly seen in my later days. My calling is, and always has been, to a life filled with family and friends and alcohol and Jesus and Roslyn and notoriously good sinners. If asked whether I am going gently into old age, I would answer, "No." That's just plain honest. It is true that when you are old, you are often led where you would rather not go. In a wisdom that some days I admit feels foolish, God has ordained the later days of our lives to look shockingly similar to that of our earliest: as dependent children. If asked whether I am finally letting God love me, just as I am, I would answer, "No, but I'm trying.
Brennan Manning (All Is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir)
I be loyal to my friends and generous to my opponents. May I face adversity with courage. May I not ask or expect too much for myself. Yet, Lord, do not let me rest content with an ideal of humanity that is less than what was shown to us in Jesus. Give me the mind of Christ. May I not rest until I am like him in all his fullness. May I listen to Jesus’ question: What are you doing more than others? And so may the three Christian graces of faith, hope, and love be more and more formed within me, until all I do and say brings honor to Jesus and his gospel. O God, you proved your love to us in the passion and death of Jesus Christ our Lord; may the power of his cross be with me today. May I love as he loved. May I be obedient even to death. As I lean on his cross may I not refuse my own; but rather may I bear it by the strength of his. O Lord, you have placed the solitary in families; I ask for your heavenly blessing for all the members of my household, all my neighbors, and all my fellow citizens. May Christ rule in every heart and his law be honored in every home. May every knee bend before him and every tongue confess that he is Lord. Amen.
John Baillie (A Diary of Private Prayer)
I drummed my fingers on the steering wheel as I looked around the empty lot. I wavered on getting out when a giant lightning bolt painted a jagged streak across the rainy lavender-gray sky. Minutes passed and still he didn’t come out of the Three Hundreds’ building. Damn it. Before I could talk myself out of it, I jumped out of the car, cursing at myself for not carrying an umbrella for about the billionth time and for not having waterproof shoes, and ran through the parking lot, straight through the double doors. As I stomped my feet on the mat, I looked around the lobby for the big guy. A woman behind the front desk raised her eyebrows at me curiously. “Can I help you with something?” she asked. “Have you seen Aiden?” “Aiden?” Were there really that many Aidens? “Graves.” “Can I ask what you need him for?” I bit the inside of my cheek and smiled at the woman who didn’t know me and, therefore, didn’t have an idea that I knew Aiden. “I’m here to pick him up.” It was obvious she didn’t know what to make of me. I didn’t exactly look like pro-football player girlfriend material in that moment, much less anything else. I’d opted not to put on any makeup since I hadn’t planned on leaving the house. Or real pants. Or even a shirt with the sleeves intact. I had cut-off shorts and a baggy T-shirt with sleeves that I’d taken scissors to. Plus the rain outside hadn’t done my hair any justice. It looked like a cloud of teal. Then there was the whole we-don’t-look-anything-alike thing going on, so there was no way we could pass as siblings. Just as I opened my mouth, the doors that connected the front area with the rest of the training facility swung open. The man I was looking for came out with his bag over his shoulder, imposing, massive, and sweaty. Definitely surly too, which really only meant he looked the way he always did. I couldn’t help but crack a little smile at his grumpiness. “Ready?” He did his form of a nod, a tip of his chin. I could feel the receptionist’s eyes on us as he approached, but I was too busy taking in Grumpy Pants to bother looking at anyone else. Those brown eyes shifted to me for a second, and that time, I smirked uncontrollably. He glared down at me. “What are you smiling at?” I shrugged my shoulders and shook my head, trying to give him an innocent look. “Oh, nothing, sunshine.” He mouthed ‘sunshine’ as his gaze strayed to the ceiling. We ran out of the building side by side toward my car. Throwing the doors open, I pretty much jumped inside and shivered, turning the car and the heater on. Aiden slid in a lot more gracefully than I had, wet but not nearly as soaked. He eyed me as he buckled in, and I slanted him a look. “What?” With a shake of his head, he unzipped his duffel, which was sitting on his lap, and pulled out that infamous off-black hoodie he always wore. Then he held it out. All I could do was stare at it for a second. His beloved, no-name brand, extra-extra-large hoodie. He was offering it to me. When I first started working for Aiden, I remembered him specifically giving me instructions on how he wanted it washed and dried. On gentle and hung to dry. He loved that thing. He could own a thousand just like it, but he didn’t. He had one black hoodie that he wore all the time and a blue one he occasionally donned. “For me?” I asked like an idiot. He shook it, rolling his eyes. “Yes for you. Put it on before you get sick. I would rather not have to take care of you if you get pneumonia.” Yeah, I was going to ignore his put-out tone and focus on the ‘rather not’ as I took it from him and slipped it on without another word. His hoodie was like holding a gold medal in my hands. Like being given something cherished, a family relic. Aiden’s precious.
Mariana Zapata (The Wall of Winnipeg and Me)
I could do anything—be anything. I could be a blackberry farmer. I could worry about phone bills and nipping out to the corner shop for milk and bread of a morning. Little Declan Jr. could learn to walk and talk with his real father, alive and well, and I could teach him how to wear a waistcoat with just the right amount of tragic charm, take him to school in a few years, maybe makehim a little sister to look out for, someone to keep him on his toes. He could play a sport—tennis, maybe, or football. I’d attend parent-teacher meetings and have after-work drinks with the neighbors, talking about how well so-and-so is doing, and why yes, Declan Jr. is learning to play the piano. Top of his class, you know—he has his mother’s grace… I could see all of that, as clear in my mind as sunlight on fresh snow, and so much more. Just living day to day. One morning we could have picnics, my family and I, next to blue glacial lakes. One afternoon my son would be old enough to meet a girl, get in a fight, need to shave. One evening his sister will need help with her homework, and he’ll complain, but he’ll help. And then one day the Elder Gods would descend from a blood-red sky in chariots lashed together from bone and flame and take away all my blackberries.
Joe Ducie (Knight Fall (The Reminiscent Exile, #3))
Abundance Prayer   When I am afraid, I ask myself: How can I give more to life? When I am tangled in past regrets or frightening stories of the future, I bring myself into the present moment And know that I am safe. When I am tempted to complain I choose praise and gratitude. I take a deep breath. I look around and see How rich I am in the things that count. I look within and see my unlimited potential I realize that every moment is filled with blessings and every day I am alive is a gift to be grateful for. I remember that God is my Source and abundance is reflected in the faces of the people I love and in the faces of those I have yet to learn to love. Eternally, this abundance says: Every family is my family. Every success is my success. Every bride is my beauty and every bridegroom my Beloved. Every child is my new beginning and every elder is my life ripe with experience. Every dawn is my new day. Every sunset is my world turning. Every season is good and offers its bounty to me. Every moment is mine to embrace for it is the Eternal Now forever expressing in, through, and for me. I live in the Forever Here that is alive in all. Translucent grace shines in us, awake and aware of the beauty we are as we become all we were meant to be. And so it is.
Candy Paull (The Heart of Abundance: A Simple Guide to Appreciating and Enjoying Life)
All they could do was flutter their fans and bat their eyes. The matchmaker Mother hired bragged that they were perfect porcelain dolls. What she didn't say was they had no minds of their own." Shang grimaced at the memory without looking at her. "They'd say anything to make me like them." How familiar that sounds. Mulan put her hands on her hips. "Not all girls are like that. You have to look at it from their perspective, too. Girls are raised to be pretty and graceful, and quiet." She made a face. "They aren't allowed to speak their minds, and they don't have a choice in who they marry. My parents were lucky that they fell in love, but their marriage was arranged, too. And my mother, she doesn't even belong to her family anymore after they got married. It wasn't my mother's decision, but her family's. They told her that a woman's only role in life is to bear sons." Shang leaned forward. "You sound quite passionate about this." His closeness made Mulan hunch back. Remembering who she was pretending to be, she felt her cheeks burn. "I just... I mean, I bet there are some girls who'd make better soldiers than boys. If they were given the chance." "A female soldier? That's the craziest thing I've heard." "Girls can be strong, too." "Not like us, Ping." Mulan hid a smile. "You'd be surprised.
Elizabeth Lim (Reflection (A Twisted Tale: Mulan))
All Summer in a Day” by Ray Bradbury Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo Big Nate series by Lincoln Peirce The Black Cauldron (The Chronicles of Prydain) by Lloyd Alexander The Book Thief  by Markus Zusak Brian’s Hunt by Gary Paulsen Brian’s Winter by Gary Paulsen Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis The Call of the Wild by Jack London The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White The Chronicles of Narnia series by C. S. Lewis Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury The Giver by Lois Lowry Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling Hatchet by Gary Paulsen The High King (The Chronicles of Prydain) by Lloyd Alexander The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien Holes by Louis Sachar The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins I Am LeBron James by Grace Norwich I Am Stephen Curry by Jon Fishman Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell Johnny Tremain by Esther Hoskins Forbes Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson LeBron’s Dream Team: How Five Friends Made History by LeBron James and Buzz Bissinger The Lightning Thief  (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) by Rick Riordan A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle Number the Stars by Lois Lowry The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton The River by Gary Paulsen The Sailor Dog by Margaret Wise Brown Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor “A Sound of Thunder” by Ray Bradbury Star Wars Expanded Universe novels (written by many authors) Star Wars series (written by many authors) The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann D. Wyss Tales from a Not-So-Graceful Ice Princess (Dork Diaries) by Rachel Renée Russell Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt Under the Blood-Red Sun by Graham Salisbury The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Andrew Clements (The Losers Club)
Many are still making a similar mistake. In selecting a home they look more to the temporal advantages they may gain than to the moral and social influences that will surround themselves and their families. They choose a beautiful and fertile country, or remove to some flourishing city, in the hope of securing greater [169] prosperity; but their children are surrounded by temptation, and too often they form associations that are unfavorable to the development of piety and the formation of a right character. The atmosphere of lax morality, of unbelief, of indifference to religious things, has a tendency to counteract the influence of the parents. Examples of rebellion against parental and divine authority are ever before the youth; many form attachments for infidels and unbelievers, and cast in their lot with the enemies of God. In choosing a home, God would have us consider, first of all, the moral and religious influences that will surround us and our families. We may be placed in trying positions, for many cannot have their surroundings what they would; and whenever duty calls us, God will enable us to stand uncorrupted, if we watch and pray, trusting in the grace of Christ. But we should not needlessly expose ourselves to influences that are unfavorable to the formation of Christian character. When we voluntarily place ourselves in an atmosphere of worldliness and unbelief, we displease God and drive holy angels from our homes.
Ellen G. White (Patriarchs And Prophets)
I have bad news for you, for all of our fellow citizens, and people who love peace all over the world, and that is that Martin Luther King was shot and killed tonight. Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice for his fellow human beings, and he died because of that effort. In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it is perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in. For those of you who are black--considering the evidence there evidently is that there were white people who were responsible--you can be filled with bitterness, with hatred, and a desire for revenge. We can move in that direction as a country, in great polarization--black people amongst black, white people amongst white, filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand and to comprehend, and to replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand with compassion and love. For those of you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and distrust at the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I can only say that I feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man. But we have to make an effort in the United States, we have to make an effort to understand, to go beyond these rather difficult times. My favorite poet was Aeschylus. He wrote: "In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God." What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence or lawlessness; but love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or they be black. So I shall ask you tonight to return home, to say a prayer for the family of Martin Luther King, that's true, but more importantly to say a prayer for our own country, which all of us love--a prayer for understanding and that compassion of which I spoke. We can do well in this country. We will have difficult times; we've had difficult times in the past; we will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence; it is not the end of lawlessness; it is not the end of disorder. But the vast majority of white people and the vast majority of black people in this country want to live together, want to improve the quality of our life, and want justice for all human beings who abide in our land. Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world. Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people.
Robert F. Kennedy
Ben stood at the parlor window, glancing neither to the right nor to the left of him lest he see three grown men looking as worried as he felt. Westhaven found the courage to speak first. “Either we’ve all developed a fascination with red tulips, or somebody had better go out there and fetch the ladies in. They’ve neither of them likely thought to bring a handkerchief.” Deene screwed up his mouth. “Declarations of love—that’s what red tulips stand for.” His Grace cracked a small smile. “You young fellows. Quaking in your boots over a few female sentimentalities. Believe I’ll go make some declarations of my own.” He set down his empty glass and left the room. “Marriage,” said Westhaven, “calls for a particular variety of courage. I’m thinking His Grace’s experience in the cavalry is likely serving him well right now.” “Come away.” Ben took each man by the arm, but neither of them moved. “Let him make his charge in private. I have some ideas for you both to consider, and if you’re with me, His Grace will fall in line that much more easily.” Westhaven smiled, looking very like his father. “Don’t bet on it. Windhams can be contrary for the sheer hell of it.” This was a joke or a warning. Ben wasn’t sure which. “The Portmaine family motto is ‘We thrive on impossible challenges.’” Deene arched a blond eyebrow. “You just manufactured that for present purposes. You’re from the North, and your family motto is probably something like ‘Thank God for friendly sheep.’” Which
Grace Burrowes (Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal (The Duke's Daughters, #2; Windham, #5))
This garden was peaceful and calm. Pink cherry blossoms and violet plum blossoms graced the sweeping trees. The petals fell like snowflakes, dancing and swirling until they touched the soft, verdant grass. There was something familiar about this place. Her eyes traveled down the flat stone steps. She knew this path, knew those stones. The third one from the bottom had a crack in the middle- from when she was five and the neighbor's boy convinced her there were worms on the other side of the stones. She'd hammered the stone in half, eager to catch a few worms to play with. There weren't any, of course, but her mother had helped her find some dragonflies by the pond instead, and they'd spent an afternoon counting them in the garden. Mulan smiled wistfully at the memory. This can't be the same garden. I'm in Diyu. Yet no painter could have re-created what she saw more convincingly. Every detail was as she remembered. At the bottom of the stone-cobbled path was a pond with rose-flushed lilies, and a marble bench under the cherry tree. She used to play by the pond when she was a little girl, catching frogs and fireflies in wine jugs and feeding the fish leftover rice husks and sesame seeds until her mother scolded her. And beyond the moon gate was- Mulan's hand jumped to her mouth. Home. That smell of home- of Baba's incense from the family temple, sharp with amber and cedar; of noodles in Grandmother Fa's special pork broth; of jasmine flowers that Mama used to scent her skin.
Elizabeth Lim (Reflection (A Twisted Tale: Mulan))
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)
We often use the following questions (a “Passion Audit”) to help MC leaders determine where God is calling them. What are your heart’s desires? What are you passionate about? What excites you (kids, environment, people, family, healing, etc.)? What is your holy discontent? What grieves or saddens you? What do you see that makes you think “that’s not fair!” (kids on street corners, litter, abuse, families breaking up, etc.)? What are the opportunities? Where are there places of grace, influence, and invitation? What are the needs of the community? Where could you be a blessing and/or good news to the local community? What have you heard from God? What has God said in the past, through Scripture and other people, about the present or the future? As you begin to pray through those questions,
Mike Breen (Leading Missional Communities)
think I’ve grasped it, but then it’s gone. Even some of his mannerisms—the way he cocks his head to one side and stares at you, expecting you to divulge the secrets of the universe?” “I know that look well. If he’s upset and curses up a storm, he gives it to me. It works, most of the time.” “I’ve heard him spout out animal body parts I’ve never considered,” Grayson said, and they both laughed. Miranda heard her daughter shout, and turned to see P.C. running away from three swans, laughing like a hyena. She said, “I must give most of the credit to P.C. She smacks him whenever he falls back into stable cant or curses, then counsels him to keep his goal in mind, namely her as his wife, and she can’t marry a boy who talks like a barn cat. Yes, yes, I’m coming to accept my precious daughter one day marrying an orphan with no family who calls himself a barn cat.” She gave him a crooked smile. He took her fine-boned white hand with its long, graceful fingers and lightly squeezed. “I would like to kiss you, but I fear P.C. would attack me with a broom.” Miranda patted his cheek, laughed again, and skipped away. She was pulling more bread out of another skirt pocket. Grayson stood watching her play with the children, all of them throwing bread to the dozen swans honking and flapping around them. In that moment, he thought the air did smell like apples and another smell he couldn’t identify. Pomegranates? CHAPTER SEVEN Sunday It was Sunday morning, and it wasn’t raining. It was pouring. “I told the mistress,” Manu said in his soft, precise monotone as he poured Grayson his coffee, “the few remaining lake gods, those not on holiday in London, are angry. They have
Catherine Coulter (The Ancient Spirits of Sedgwick House (Grayson Sherbrooke's Otherworldly Adventures #3))
Masculinity is not about being the biggest, the fastest, the strongest, the one who sleeps with the most girls, and the one who has the most money. The one who has the most accomplishments is not the most masculine. In fact, it is often the men who covet these things most who are covering and compensating for the greatest insecurities. Let us revere the one who loves others deeply, loves himself deeply, and has a dream that he is inspired to live with and by and through. He is a man. He does not stand unmoved or untouched in the face of truly moving experiences. He does not judge the totality of his life or anyone else’s life by the totals on the scoreboard as the clock ticks down to zero. He does not use money as a proxy for emotional connection nor material possessions as the measure of his self-worth. He does not define his manhood by the number of women he has conquered. He does not always fight fire with fire; sometimes he doesn’t need to fight at all. He does not meet seriousness with silliness when it is seriousness that is required. He does not take risks for risks’ sake, because he does not hide from his frailty, his mortality, or his humanity. He does not pretend to know everything about anything, nor is he afraid to admit when he knows nothing about something. And perhaps most important of all, he does not walk around thinking he’s The Man. No, the masculine man goes through a journey, a process of self-discovery, and figures out what he needs to do to acquire the tools, knowledge, wisdom, grace, love, passion, and joy to pursue his destiny. His destiny is his dreams. Those may evolve over time, but in their pursuit, he is not breaking down anyone else or hurting anyone else. He is not at war with other people, conquering them. He is the one joining forces, searching for the win-win. He is the one who is lifting others up, inspiring others through his journey and his own process (in which he is finding ways to create value along the way). He is the hero of his own journey. And in so being, he is looking for every way to have the best relationships possible with his family, friends, his romantic partner, his colleagues, or his customers. He’s finding ways to be the best possible version of himself. Masculinity is about discovering yourself and owning what you find. It’s about being kind to others, and pursuing your dreams with all the passion and energy you can muster. It’s about doing something that is meaningful to you that brings value to others. That’s how you build a legacy.
Lewis Howes (The Mask of Masculinity: How Men Can Embrace Vulnerability, Create Strong Relationships, and Live Their Fullest Lives)
Maybe it’s not a coincidence that I’ve always been interested in heroes, starting with my dad, Phil Robertson, and my mom, Miss Kay. My other heroes are my pa and my granny, who taught me how to play cards and dominoes and everything about fishing (which was a lot), and my three older brothers, who teased me, beat me up, and sometimes let me follow them around. Not much has changed in that department. I’ve always loved movies, and when I was about seven or eight years old, I watched Rocky, Sylvester Stallone’s movie about an underdog boxer who used his fists, along with sheer will, determination, and the ability to endure pain, to make a way for himself. He fought hard but played fair and had a soft spot for his friends. I fell in love with Rocky. He was my hero, and I became obsessed. When I decide to do something, I’m all in; so I found a pair of red shorts that looked like Rocky’s boxing trunks and a navy blue bathrobe with two white stripes on the sleeve and no belt. I took off my shirt and ran around bare-chested in my robe and shorts. Most kids I knew went through a superhero phase, but they picked DC Comics guys, like Batman or Superman. Not me. I was Rocky Balboa, the Italian Stallion, and proud of it. Mom let me run around like that for a couple of years, even when we went in to town. Rocky had a girlfriend, Adrian, who was always there, always by his side. When he was beaten and blinded in a bad fight, he called out for her before anybody else. “Yo, Adrian!” he shouted in his Philly-Italian accent. He needed her. Eventually, I grew up, and the red shorts and blue bathrobe didn’t fit anymore, but I always remembered Rocky’s kindness and his courage. And that every Rocky needs an Adrian.
Jep Robertson (The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God: What Honesty and Pain Taught Us About Faith, Family, and Forgiveness)
Now, this does not negate the fact that God might choose to bless us with a great paying job, a beautiful family, and a healthy life on account of his grace. But the bottom line is we should never expect those things to happen or seek to appeal to the promise of Jeremiah 29:11–13 in order to substantiate our expectations. We have no right to hold God hostage to a promise that we have misunderstood. Friends, in the end, we should never be looking and living for our own glory in this life. Instead, we should be living for God’s glory now and waiting for the glory that we will receive from him in the life to come. The Bible says we should consider ourselves as aliens and strangers in this world. God will fulfill his promises, yes, but not all of his promises were meant to be fulfilled the way we want them to be fulfilled in this life, and we cannot twist Scripture around in order to make that happen, or to make Scripture work for us the way we want it to. We have to live by faith. And those who do will receive what he promised. And when we seek him with all of our heart, we will certainly find him. I’ve grown up a lot since church camp, and I still believe that it’s permissible for someone to choose for themselves a life verse. But let’s agree to study it in context first, lest we make the catastrophic mistake of misusing and misapplying it. Jeremiah 29:11–13 contains some great promises, but if I use it to demand the American Dream from God, then perhaps I should also be willing to literally endure seventy years of captivity first (if that’s what God should choose). I think it’s better to use it to inspire us to look for the spiritual life that is truly life now, while trusting in the future hope of the life that is yet to come.
Eric J. Bargerhuff (The Most Misused Verses in the Bible: Surprising Ways God's Word Is Misunderstood)
It is considered an honor to be…plucked from the crowd, so to speak. There are fine families in the district who have lived here for generations, none of whom have been so favored with the duke’s attention. Yet I wonder if it’s not truly His Grace himself behind this invitation, but his son.” “Perhaps there’s a piano aboard.” Her nostrils flared. “Don’t be pert. This is not a matter of jest, Eleanore. If you go on that yacht, your every move will be scrutinized. Your every word will be dissected. Your manners must be irreproachable, and they must be so at all times, even if you believe you are alone. Do you understand me?” Do not steal anything. Do not belch or scratch your arse. “Yes, ma’am.” “Should Lord Armand choose to favor you with his attention, you will react politely, graciously, but always with an aloof, dignified demeanor. It could be that he believes you to be…less than what you are. You will show him the error of that thought.” “Yes, ma’am.” He’d already seen me naked. I supposed everything from there would be a step toward dignified. “Do you still have the bangle he presented to you?” The cuff, I wanted to correct her. As if I was going to lose it. “I do.” “Wear it. Let him see that you value it, but take my strong advice on this, Eleanore. Do not accept another such gift from him. One is permissible. Two becomes a suggestion.” “Oh.” “Do we understand each other?” “Yes, ma’am. We do.” A smatter of laughter and applause reached us from beyond the open window. Some of the girls had set up a game of lawn pins, and the sudden crack! of a ball hitting its mark echoed through the room. “One last thing,” said Westcliffe. “Yes?” “Wear your uniform. It won’t hurt to remind everyone of where you belong.” I puzzled over that for the rest of the bright day.
Shana Abe (The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1))
We have in this parable a lively emblem of the condition and behavior of sinners in their natural state. When enriched by the bounty of the great common Father, thus do they ungratefully run from Him, 15:12. Sensual pleasures are eagerly pursued, till they have squandered away all the grace of God, 15:13. But while these pleasures continue, not a serious thought of God can find a place in their minds. And even when afflictions come upon them, 15:14, still they will endure much hardship before they will let the grace of God, concurring with His Providence, persuade them to think of a return, 15:15, 16. But when they see themselves naked, indigent, and undone, then they recover the exercise of their reason, 15:17. Then they remember the blessings they have thrown away, and pay attention to the misery they have incurred. Upon this, they resolve to return to their Father, and put the resolution immediately in practice, 15:18, 19. Behold with wonder and pleasure the gracious reception they find from Divine, injured goodness! When such a prodigal comes to his Father, He sees him afar off, 15:20. He pities, meets, embraces him, and interrupts his acknowledgments with the tokens of His returning favor, 15:21. He arrays him with the robe of a Redeemer’s righteousness, with inward and outward holiness, adorns him with all His sanctifying graces, and honors him with the tokens of adopting love, 15:22. And all this He does with unutterable delight, in that he who was lost is now found, 15:23, 24. Let no older brother murmur at this indulgence, but rather welcome the prodigal back into the family. And let those who have been thus received, wander no more, but emulate the strictest piety of those who for many years have served their heavenly Father and not transgressed His commandments.
John Wesley (The Essential Works of John Wesley)
Today we place lots of emphasis on increasing racial diversity in our churches. That’s a good thing. It’s needed. But there’s more to having a genuinely mosaic church than just racial and socioeconomic diversity. We also have to learn to work through the passionate and mutually exclusive opinions that we have in the realms of politics, theology, and ministry priorities. The world is watching to see if our modern-day Simon the Zealots and Matthew the tax collectors can learn to get along for the sake of the Lord Jesus. If not, we shouldn’t be surprised if it no longer listens to us. Jesus warned us that people would have a hard time believing that he was the Son of God and that we were his followers if we couldn’t get along. Whenever we fail to play nice in the sandbox, we give people on the outside good reason to write us off, shake their heads in disgust, and ask, “What kind of Father would have a family like that?”1 BEARING WITH ONE ANOTHER To create and maintain the kind of unity that exalts Jesus as Lord of all, we have to learn what it means to genuinely bear with one another. I fear that for lots of Christians today, bearing with one another is nothing more than a cliché, a verse to be memorized but not a command to obey.2 By definition, bearing with one another is an act of selfless obedience. It means dying to self and overlooking things I’d rather not overlook. It means working out real and deep differences and disagreements. It means offering to others the same grace, mercy, and patience when they are dead wrong as Jesus offers to me when I’m dead wrong. As I’ve said before, I’m not talking about overlooking heresy, embracing a different gospel, or ignoring high-handed sin. But I am talking about agreeing to disagree on matters of substance and things we feel passionate about. If we overlook only the little stuff, we aren’t bearing with one another. We’re just showing common courtesy.
Larry Osborne (Accidental Pharisees: Avoiding Pride, Exclusivity, and the Other Dangers of Overzealous Faith)
Classic Eastern and Western spiritual traditions identify three ways of approaching life: the way of action, the way of knowing, and the way of feeling. It is assumed that a full life involves all three, but at any given time a person tends to prefer one. It is not important to do psychological gymnastics to figure out which orientation you might have. It is critical, however, to recognize that neither love nor anything else of consequence can rightfully be reduced to one narrow vision. Love is feeling – tenderness, caring, and longing – but it is also much more. Love is action – kindness, charity, and commitment – and again, it is much more. Love is knowing – openness of attitude, realization of connectedness, expansion of attention beyond ourselves – and still it is more. . . In both Eastern and Western spirituality, there is a fourth way, an appreciation that embraces action, feeling, and knowing and also seeks the “more” that love always is. . . In the West, it is called the contemplative way. Contemplative moments can happen in crisis, excitement, and great activity, or in quiet stillness and simple appreciation. However it happens, contemplation and immerses us in the reality of the moment. We are no longer standing apart and reflecting upon our experience, we are vitally, consciously involved with what is going on. Everything is more clear, more real than it usually is. . . . Contemplative appreciation is the fullest possible realization of love. The contemplative moments that come to us all as flashes of immediate presence or glimpses of the way life yearns to be lived. They are hints of the vast, graceful gift of love that has already been given to the family of humanity. The contemplative heart says, “only open your hands, receive the gift.” This does not mean we can control contemplation or that we can be contemplative at will. It is a gift that we can accept only as it is given. But it is given far more frequently, for more steadily than we could ever imagine.
Gerald G. May (The Awakened Heart: Opening Yourself to the Love You Need)
NO GRAPH IN THE world can do full justice to these unexpected moments. They’re sweet little bursts of grace, and they leave sense-memories on the skin (the smell of the child’s shampoo, the smoothness of his arms). That’s why we’re here, leading this life, isn’t it? To know this kind of enchantment? The question is why such moments, at least with small children, often feel so hard-won, so shatterable, and so fleeting, as if located between parentheses. After just a few minutes of this dreamy slow-dance with Abe, William does a face-plant and starts howling. Jessie sambas over and handles it with humor. This is the drill. I’d like to propose a possible explanation for why these moments of grace are so rare: the early years of family life don’t offer up many activities that lend themselves to what psychologists call “flow.” Simply put, flow is a state of being in which we are so engrossed in the task at hand—so fortified by our own sense of agency, of mastery—that we lose all sense of our surroundings, as though time has stopped.
Jennifer Senior (All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood)
This Theresa maddened with her messages a scientist on our easily maddened planet; his anagram looking name, Sig Lemanski, had been partly derived by Van from that of Aqua's last doctor. When Leymanski's obsession turned into love, and one's sympathy got focused on his enchanting, melancholy, betrayed wife (nee Antilia Glems), our author found himself confronted with the distressful task of now stamping out in Antilia, a born brunette, all traces of Ada, thus reducing yet another character to a dummy with bleached hair. After beaming Sig a dozen communications from her planet, Theresa flies over to him, and he, in his laboratory, has to place her on a slide under a powerful microscope in order to make out the tiny, though otherwise perfect, shape of his minikin sweetheart, a graceful microorganism extending transparent appendages toward his huge humid eye. Alas, the testibulus (test tube - never to be confused with testiculus, orchid), with Theresa swimming inside like a micromermaid, is "accidentally" thrown away by Professor Leyman's (he had trimmed his name by that time) assistant, Flora, initially an ivory-pale, dark-haired funest beauty, whom the author transformed just in time into a third bromidic dummy with a dun bun.
Vladimimir Nabokov
The next morning I showed up at dad’s house at eight, with a hangover. All my brothers’ trucks were parked in front. What are they all doing here? When I opened the front door, Dad, Alan, Jase, and Willie looked at me. They were sitting around the living room, waiting. No one smiled, and the air felt really heavy. I looked to my left, where Mom was usually working in the kitchen, but this time she was still, leaning over the counter and looking at me too. Dad spoke first. “Son, are you ready to change?” Everything else seemed to go silent and fade away, and all I heard was my dad’s voice. “I just want you to know we’ve come to a decision as a family. You’ve got two choices. You keep doing what you’re doing--maybe you’ll live through it--but we don’t want nothin’ to do with you. Somebody can drop you off at the highway, and then you’ll be on your own. You can go live your life; we’ll pray for you and hope that you come back one day. And good luck to you in this world.” He paused for a second then went on, a little quieter. “Your other choice is that you can join this family and follow God. You know what we stand for. We’re not going to let you visit our home while you’re carrying on like this. You give it all up, give up all those friends, and those drugs, and come home. Those are your two choices.” I struggled to breathe, my head down and my chest tight. No matter what happened, I knew I would never forget this moment. My breath left me in a rush, and I fell to my knees in front of them all and started crying. “Dad, what took y’all so long?” I burst out. I felt broken, and I began to tell them about the sorry and dangerous road I’d been traveling down. I could see my brothers’ eyes starting to fill with tears too. I didn’t dare look at my mom’s face although I could feel her presence behind me. I knew she’d already been through the hell of addiction with her own mother, with my dad, with her brother-in-law Si, and with my oldest brother, Alan. And now me, her baby. I remembered the letters she’d been writing to me over the last few months, reaching out with words of love from her heart and from the heart of the Lord. Suddenly, I felt guilty. “Dad, I don’t deserve to come back. I’ve been horrible. Let me tell you some more.” “No, son,” he answered. “You’ve told me enough.” I’ve seen my dad cry maybe three times, and that was one of them. To see my dad that upset hit me right in the gut. He took me by my shoulders and said, “I want you to know that God loves you, and we love you, but you just can’t live like that anymore.” “I know. I want to come back home,” I said. I realized my dad understood. He’d been down this road before and come back home. He, too, had been lost and then found. By this time my brothers were crying, and they got around me, and we were on our knees, crying. I prayed out loud to God, “Thank You for getting me out of this because I am done living the way I’ve been living.” “My prodigal son has returned,” Dad said, with tears of joy streaming down his face. It was the best day of my life. I could finally look over at my mom, and she was hanging on to the counter for dear life, crying, and shaking with happiness. A little later I felt I had to go use the bathroom. My stomach was a mess from the stress and the emotions. But when I was in the bathroom with the door shut, my dad thought I might be in there doing one last hit of something or drinking one last drop, so he got up, came over, and started banging on the bathroom door. Before I could do anything, he kicked in the door. All he saw was me sitting on the pot and looking up at him while I about had a heart attack. It was not our finest moment. That afternoon after my brothers had left, we went into town and packed up and moved my stuff out of my apartment. “Hey bro,” I said to my roommate. “I’m changing my life. I’ll see ya later.” I meant it.
Jep Robertson (The Good, the Bad, and the Grace of God: What Honesty and Pain Taught Us About Faith, Family, and Forgiveness)
Echad is first mentioned in the garden. It says a man and a woman, when they join together, become echad, or “one.” But that word echad is more explosive with meaning than just one flesh. It can literally mean to fuse together at the deepest part of our beings. Two becoming one, completely glued together, completely meshing. I still remember one of the hardest conversations I have had with Alyssa. We were just starting to date again, and were sitting in the car after a wonderful date night. We knew marriage was a possibility on the horizon, and I felt like I finally had to share things in my past that would affect her if we got married. I was incredibly nervous, as well as terrified of rejection or hurt, but I realized that if intimacy were to grow, I had to get vulnerable. For marriage to be what it truly is—two people becoming one in mind, body, soul, and spirit—I had to be honest. I remember sharing with her many things, but specifically some details of my sexual past. My teenage years were littered with me almost worshiping sexual fulfillment in pornography, partying, and girls. And I say worship, because that was where I got my worth, value, and purpose as well as what I most lived for (which is what the definition of worship is). I had to apologize and ask forgiveness from Alyssa for things I had done before I even knew her because of echad—one form of complete and utter intimacy. Because of that beauty, mystery, and power, God created it to function best in a man and a woman coming together for life and constantly echading or fusing together. I needed forgiveness because I had betrayed echad. I had betrayed oneness. I had betrayed intimacy. And if I wasn’t honest about it, it’d be a little part of my life or heart that Alyssa didn’t know—thus blocking echad. But something really peculiar happened in that moment. With the grace and forgiveness of Jesus, Alyssa forgave me. She heard all that I was and am, and still wanted to walk this journey with me. I still remember the tenderness in her voice as she spoke truth and forgiveness over me. In that moment I was exposed and known, and yet because of Alyssa’s grace, I was at the same time loved. And that is where intimacy is found—to be fully loved and to be fully known. To be fully loved, but not fully known will always allow us to buy the lie that “if they only knew the real me, they wouldn’t want me anymore.” And to be fully known but not fully loved feels sharp, painful, at a level of rejection that hurts so bad. But to be fully known and at the same time fully loved, now that is intimacy. I don’t want to give the wrong impression. Intimacy is certainly romantic in some aspects, but at its deepest level, it’s much more than that. It can be experienced with friends and family, not just spouses and loved ones.
Jefferson Bethke (It's Not What You Think: Why Christianity Is About So Much More Than Going to Heaven When You Die)
For many years,Rides the Wind cared only for Walks the Fire. Together they read this Book she speaks of.My daughter has told me of this.Walks the Fire would tel the words in the Book. Rides the Wind repeated them,then he would tell how the words would help him in the hunt or in the council.Walks the Fire listened as he spoke. She respected him.She did as he said." As Talks a Lot spoke,the people remembered the years since Walks the Fire had come to them.Many among them recalled kindness beyond the saving of Hears Not.Many regretted the early days, when they had laughed at the white woman.They remembered Prairie Flower and Old One teaching her,and many could recall times when some new stew was shared with their family or a deerskin brought in by Rides the Wind found its way to their tepee. Prairie Flower's voice was added to the men's. "Even when no more sons or daughters came to his tepee-even then, Rides the Wind wanted only Walks the Fire." She turned to look at Running Bear, another elder, "Even when you offered your own beautiful daugher, Rides the Wind wanted only Walks the Fire.This is true. My father told me. When he walked the earth,Rides the Wind wanted only Walks the Fire.Now that he lies upon the earth,you must know that he would say, 'Do this for her.'" Jesse had continued to dig into the earth as she listened. When Prairie Flower told of the chief's having offered his daughter,she stopped for a moment.Her hand reached out to lovingly caress the dark head that lay so still under the clear sky.Rides the Wind had never told her of this.She had been afraid that he might take another wife when it became evident they would have no children.Now she knew that he had chosen her alone-even in the face of temptation. From the women's group there was movement. Prairie Flower stepped forward, her digging tool in her hand. Defiantly she sputtered, "She is my friend..." and stalked across the short distance to the shallow grave. Dropping to her knees beside Jesse, she began attacking the earth.Ferociously she dug.Jesse followed her lead, as did Old One.They began again,three women working side by side.And then there were four women,and then five, and six, until a ring of many women dug together. The men did nothing to stop them, and Running Bear decided what was to be done. "We will camp here and wait for Walks the Fire to do what she must. Tonight we will tell the life of Rides the Wind around the fire.Tomorrow, when this is done, we will move on." And so it was.Hours later Rides the Wind, Lakota hunter, became the first of his village to be laid in a grave and mourned by a white woman. Before his body was lowered into the earth, Jesse impulsively took his hunting knife, intending to cut off the two thick, red braids that hung down her back. It seemed so long ago that Rides the Wind had braided the feathers and beads in, dusting the part.Had it really been only this morning? He had kissed her,too, grumbling about the white man's crazy ways.Jesse had laughed and returned his kiss.
Stephanie Grace Whitson (Walks The Fire (Prairie Winds, #1))
5. Move toward resistance and pain A. Bill Bradley (b. 1943) fell in love with the sport of basketball somewhere around the age of ten. He had one advantage over his peers—he was tall for his age. But beyond that, he had no real natural gift for the game. He was slow and gawky, and could not jump very high. None of the aspects of the game came easily to him. He would have to compensate for all of his inadequacies through sheer practice. And so he proceeded to devise one of the most rigorous and efficient training routines in the history of sports. Managing to get his hands on the keys to the high school gym, he created for himself a schedule—three and a half hours of practice after school and on Sundays, eight hours every Saturday, and three hours a day during the summer. Over the years, he would keep rigidly to this schedule. In the gym, he would put ten-pound weights in his shoes to strengthen his legs and give him more spring to his jump. His greatest weaknesses, he decided, were his dribbling and his overall slowness. He would have to work on these and also transform himself into a superior passer to make up for his lack of speed. For this purpose, he devised various exercises. He wore eyeglass frames with pieces of cardboard taped to the bottom, so he could not see the basketball while he practiced dribbling. This would train him to always look around him rather than at the ball—a key skill in passing. He set up chairs on the court to act as opponents. He would dribble around them, back and forth, for hours, until he could glide past them, quickly changing direction. He spent hours at both of these exercises, well past any feelings of boredom or pain. Walking down the main street of his hometown in Missouri, he would keep his eyes focused straight ahead and try to notice the goods in the store windows, on either side, without turning his head. He worked on this endlessly, developing his peripheral vision so he could see more of the court. In his room at home, he practiced pivot moves and fakes well into the night—such skills that would also help him compensate for his lack of speed. Bradley put all of his creative energy into coming up with novel and effective ways of practicing. One time his family traveled to Europe via transatlantic ship. Finally, they thought, he would give his training regimen a break—there was really no place to practice on board. But below deck and running the length of the ship were two corridors, 900 feet long and quite narrow—just enough room for two passengers. This was the perfect location to practice dribbling at top speed while maintaining perfect ball control. To make it even harder, he decided to wear special eyeglasses that narrowed his vision. For hours every day he dribbled up one side and down the other, until the voyage was done. Working this way over the years, Bradley slowly transformed himself into one of the biggest stars in basketball—first as an All-American at Princeton University and then as a professional with the New York Knicks. Fans were in awe of his ability to make the most astounding passes, as if he had eyes on the back and sides of his head—not to mention his dribbling prowess, his incredible arsenal of fakes and pivots, and his complete gracefulness on the court. Little did they know that such apparent ease was the result of so many hours of intense practice over so many years.
Robert Greene (Mastery)
Then one evening he reached the last chapter, and then the last page, the last verse. And there it was! That unforgivable and unfathomable misprint that had caused the owner of the books to order them to be pulped. Now Bosse handed a copy to each of them sitting round the table, and they thumbed through to the very last verse, and one by one burst out laughing. Bosse was happy enough to find the misprint. He had no interest in finding out how it got there. He had satisfied his curiosity, and in the process had read his first book since his schooldays, and even got a bit religious while he was at it. Not that Bosse allowed God to have any opinion about Bellringer Farm’s business enterprise, nor did he allow the Lord to be present when he filed his tax return, but – in other respects – Bosse now placed his life in the hands of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. And surely none of them would worry about the fact that he set up his stall at markets on Saturdays and sold bibles with a tiny misprint in them? (‘Only ninety-nine crowns each! Jesus! What a bargain!’) But if Bosse had cared, and if, against all odds, he had managed to get to the bottom of it, then after what he had told his friends, he would have continued: A typesetter in a Rotterdam suburb had been through a personal crisis. Several years earlier, he had been recruited by Jehovah’s Witnesses but they had thrown him out when he discovered, and questioned rather too loudly, the fact that the congregation had predicted the return of Jesus on no less than fourteen occasions between 1799 and 1980 – and sensationally managed to get it wrong all fourteen times. Upon which, the typesetter had joined the Pentecostal Church; he liked their teachings about the Last Judgment, he could embrace the idea of God’s final victory over evil, the return of Jesus (without their actually naming a date) and how most of the people from the typesetter’s childhood including his own father, would burn in hell. But this new congregation sent him packing too. A whole month’s collections had gone astray while in the care of the typesetter. He had sworn by all that was holy that the disappearance had nothing to do with him. Besides, shouldn’t Christians forgive? And what choice did he have when his car broke down and he needed a new one to keep his job? As bitter as bile, the typesetter started the layout for that day’s jobs, which ironically happened to consist of printing two thousand bibles! And besides, it was an order from Sweden where as far as the typesetter knew, his father still lived after having abandoned his family when the typesetter was six years old. With tears in his eyes, the typesetter set the text of chapter upon chapter. When he came to the very last chapter – the Book of Revelation – he just lost it. How could Jesus ever want to come back to Earth? Here where Evil had once and for all conquered Good, so what was the point of anything? And the Bible… It was just a joke! So it came about that the typesetter with the shattered nerves made a little addition to the very last verse in the very last chapter in the Swedish bible that was just about to be printed. The typesetter didn’t remember much of his father’s tongue, but he could at least recall a nursery rhyme that was well suited in the context. Thus the bible’s last two verses plus the typesetter’s extra verse were printed as: 20. He who testifies to these things says, Surely I am coming quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!21. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.22. And they all lived happily ever after.
Jonas Jonasson (Der Hundertjährige, der aus dem Fenster stieg und verschwand)