Helpful Bible Quotes

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You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, burning bushes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help?
Mark Twain
Rejection is an opportunity for your selection.
Bernard Branson
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. (Psalm 28:7 NIV)
Anonymous (Holy Bible: New International Version)
Reading the Bible will help you get to know the word, but it’s when you put it down and live your life that you get to know the author.
Steve Maraboli (Life, the Truth, and Being Free)
God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: King James Version)
The Bible is clear here: I am to love my neighbor as myself, in the manner needed, in a practical way, in the midst of the fallen world, at my particular point of history. This is why I am not a pacifist. Pacifism in this poor world in which we live -- this lost world -- means that we desert the people who need our greatest help.
Francis A. Schaeffer
God didn’t send his one and only son to earth just to make sure we brush our teeth, say our prayers, and help little old ladies across the street. Jesus came here for a purpose much greater than that. He came to change our hearts and minds, and his message was revolutionary.
Spencer C Demetros (The Bible: Enter Here: Bringing God's Word to Life for Today's Teens)
You believe in a book that has talking animals, wizards, witches, demons, sticks turning into snakes, food falling from the sky, people walking on water, and all sorts of magical, absurd and primitive stories, and you say that we are the ones that need help?
Dan Barker
Lieutenant Chatrand: I don’t understand this omnipotent-benevolent thing. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: You are confused because the Bible describes God as an omnipotent and benevolent deity. Lieutenant Chatrand: Exactly. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Omnipotent-benevolent simply means that God is all-powerful and well-meaning. Lieutenant Chatrand: I understand the concept. It’s just... there seems to be a contradiction. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Yes. The contradiction is pain. Man’s starvation, war, sickness... Lieutenant Chatrand: Exactly! Terrible things happen in this world. Human tragedy seems like proof that God could not possibly be both all-powerful and well-meaning. If He loves us and has the power to change our situation, He would prevent our pain, wouldn’t he? Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Would He? Lieutenant Chatrand: Well... if God Loves us, and He can protect us, He would have to. It seems He is either omnipotent and uncaring, or benevolent and powerless to help. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Do you have children? Lieutenant Chatrand: No, signore. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Imagine you had an eight-year-old son... would you love him? Lieutenant Chatrand: Of course. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Would you let him skateboard? Lieutenant Chatrand: Yeah, I guess. Sure I’d let him skateboard, but I’d tell him to be careful. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: So as this child’s father, you would give him some basic, good advice and then let him go off and make his own mistakes? Lieutenant Chatrand: I wouldn’t run behind him and mollycoddle him if that’s what you mean. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: But what if he fell and skinned his knee? Lieutenant Chatrand: He would learn to be more careful. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: So although you have the power to interfere and prevent your child’s pain, you would choose to show you love by letting him learn his own lessons? Lieutenant Chatrand: Of course. Pain is part of growing up. It’s how we learn. Camerlengo Carlo Ventresca: Exactly.
Dan Brown (Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, #1))
The most important thing we can pray about for others is that they will know God better and that He will help them understand His will, grow in spiritual wisdom, and live lives that honor Him. We can pray that they will become more like Him and bear the fruit of His Spirit.
Stormie Omartian (The Power of a Praying® Woman Bible: Prayer and Study Helps by Stormie Omartian)
He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn't go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person's failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: King James Version)
Mother calls up the stairs to ask what in the world I'm typing up there all day and I holler down, 'Just typing up some notes from the Bible study. Just writing down all the things I love about Jesus.
Kathryn Stockett (The Help)
Not called!' did you say? 'Not heard the call,' I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father's house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face — whose mercy you have professed to obey — and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world.
William Booth
Peter on the Transfiguration: “So, trying to be helpful, I offered to build three tents, one for Jesus, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. The minute those words left my mouth, I realized how stupid they were. Seriously, Peter? Build them tents? Like Jesus, Moses, and Elijah were going to spend the weekend on the mountain watching sunsets and sitting around the bonfire making s’mores? What is wrong with me?
Spencer C Demetros (The Bible: Enter Here: Bringing God's Word to Life for Today's Teens)
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Anonymous (Holy Bible: New International Version)
It is not that God's help and presence must still be proved in our life; rather God's presence and help have been demonstrated for us in the life of Jesus Christ. It is in fact more important for us to know what God did to Israel, in God's Son Jesus Christ, than to discover what God intends for us today. The fact that Jesus Christ died is more important than the fact that I will die. And the fact that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead is the sole ground of my hope that I, too, will be raised on the day of judgment
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Life Together and Prayerbook of the Bible (Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, Vol 5))
The slap of a friend is trusted to help you...but the kisses of an enemy is nothing but lies
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: King James Version)
It shall greatly help ye to understand the Scriptures if thou mark not only what is spoken or written, but of whom and to whom, with what words, at what time, where, to what intent, with what circumstances, considering what goeth before and what followeth after.
Myles Coverdale
I'm not sure if the Bible is a real book written by God or just a collection of stories for people who need help putting their hearts back together, but it's comforting, and I try not to think about it.
Shaun David Hutchinson (The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley)
Just like the notion of "Internet natives", who have never known a world without Internet access, we, who have lived our entire lives with video games, can be known as "video game natives.
Alexei Maxim Russell (The Classic Gamer's Bible)
Women are also property in our bible; adultery is a property crime in the Old Testament, not a sex crime.
Bill Maher (When You Ride Alone You Ride With Bin Laden: What the Government Should Be Telling Us to Help Fight the War on Terrorism)
However hard some things are to understand, it is never helpful to start picking and choosing biblical truths we find congenial, as if the Bible is an open-shelved supermarket where we are at perfect liberty to choose only the chocolate bars. For the Christian, it is God's Word, and it is not negotiable. What answers we find may not be exhaustive, but they give us the God who is there, and who gives us some measure of comfort and assurance. The alternative is a god we manufacture, and who provides no comfort at all. Whatever comfort we feel is self-delusion, and it will be stripped away at the end when we give an account to the God who has spoken to us, not only in Scripture, but supremely in his Son Jesus Christ.
D.A. Carson (How Long, O Lord?: Reflections on Suffering and Evil)
The battle for our lives, and the lives and souls of our children, our husbands, our friends, our families, our neighbors, and our nation is waged on our knees. When we don't pray, it's like sitting on the sidelines watching those we love and care about scrambling through a war zone, getting shot at from every angle. When we do pray, however, we're in the battle alongside them, approaching God's power on their behalf. If we also declare the Wordog God in our prayers, then we wield a powerful weapon against which no enemy can prevail.
Stormie Omartian (The Power of a Praying® Woman Bible: Prayer and Study Helps by Stormie Omartian)
The Bible says that our core problem, the fundamental reason we do what we do, is sin.
Paul David Tripp (Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change)
What's the point of quoting the Bible to people who don't believe it's true" Dad would say.
Frank Schaeffer (Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back)
Here is a statistic that does matter: Three quarters of Americans believe the Bible teaches that “God helps those who help themselves.” That is, three out of four Americans believe that this uber-American idea, a notion at the core of our current individualist politics and culture, which was in fact uttered by Ben Franklin, actually appears in Holy Scripture. The thing is, not only is Franklin's wisdom not biblical; it's counter-biblical. Few ideas could be further from the gospel message, with its radical summons to love of neighbor. On this essential matter, most Americans—most American Christians—are simply wrong, as if 75 percent of American scientists believed that Newton proved gravity causes apples to fly up.
Bill McKibben
If you want to help someone move on, you don’t label people as good, bad, worst or best. This categorizes people, rather than experiences with that person. People are not all evil or all good. You don’t teach compassion by categorizing people. Empathy and honest open communication are the only way to live your life. If you’re blaming someone then you haven’t let go of your pain long enough to really try on theirs. However, if you must believe that the only type of person that brings you difficult lessons or experiences in life are those that are bad or worse, then take the time to read the bible a little closer. Christ, put a few people in their place, in order to make point.
Shannon L. Alder
Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: King James Version)
Surely those who know the great passionate heart of Jehovah must deny their own loves to share in the expression of His. Consider the call from the Throne above, "Go ye," and from round about, "Come over and help us," and even the call from the damned souls below, "Send Lazarus to my brothers, that they come not to this place." Impelled, then, by these voices, I dare not stay home while Quichuas perish. So what if the well-fed church in the homeland needs stirring? They have the Scriptures, Moses, and the Prophets, and a whole lot more. Their condemnation is written on their bank books and in the dust on their Bible covers. American believers have sold their lives to the service of Mammon, and God has His rightful way of dealing with those who succumb to the spirit of Laodicea.
Jim Elliot
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: King James Version)
For God’s sake, the Bible says drinking is okay. “Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine.” That’s straight out of the Bible, 1 Timothy 5:23. And Ecclesiastes 9:7 instructs, “Eat your food with gladness and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do.” God approves and has no problem with you having a few glasses of wine.
Art Rios (Let's Talk: ...About Making Your Life Exciting, Easier, And Exceptional)
Perhaps it is no wonder that the women were first at the Cradle and last at the Cross. They had never known a man like this Man—there never has been another. A prophet and teacher who never nagged at them, never flattered or coaxed or patronized; who never made arch jokes about them, never treated them as “The women, God help us!” or “The ladies, God bless them!”; who rebuked without querulousness and praised without condescension; who took their questions and arguments seriously; who never mapped out their sphere for them, never urged them to be feminine or jeered at them for being female; who had no axe to grind and no uneasy male dignity to defend; who took them as he found them and was completely unselfconscious. There is no act, no sermon, no parable in the whole Gospel that borrows its pungency from female perversity; nobody could guess from the words and deeds of Jesus that there was anything “funny” about woman’s nature. Dorothy Day, Catholic social activist and journalist
Sarah Bessey (Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women)
It's interesting that in the Bible, in the book of Ecclesiastes, the only practical advice given about living a meaningful life is to find a job you like, enjoy your marriage, and obey God. It's as though God is saying, Write a good story, take somebody with you, and let me help.
Donald Miller
Idolatry' is the practice of seeking the source and provision of what we need either physically or emotionally in someone or something other than the one true God. It is the tragically pathetic attempt to squeeze life out of lifeless forms that cannot help us meet our real needs.
Scott J. Hafemann (The God of Promise and the Life of Faith: Understanding the Heart of the Bible)
Acts 16:9 is the meddler's motto, simultaneously selfless and self-serving, generous but stuck-up. Into every generation of Americans is born a new crop of buttinskys sniffing out the latest Macedonia that may or may not want their help.
Sarah Vowell (Unfamiliar Fishes)
The Bible reminds us that we shouldn’t “let any unwholesome talk come out of [our] mouths (or fly from our typing fingertips), but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” That’s from Ephesians 4:29,
Lysa TerKeurst (The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands)
Real faith comes when you facing a problem you can't help, you can't change, and you can't work it out
Cynthia A. Patterson (It Had to Happen)
For Americans, Acts 16:9 is the high-fructose corn syrup of Bible verses--an all-purpose ingredient we'll stir into everything from the ink on the Marshall Plan to canisters of Agent Orange. Our greatest goodness and our worst impulses come out of this missionary zeal, contributing to our overbearing (yet not entirely unwarranted) sense of our country as an inherently helpful force in the world. And, as with the apostle Paul, the notion that strangers want our help is sometimes a delusion.
Sarah Vowell (Unfamiliar Fishes)
The fairy tale of heaven, the promise that whatever shit happens, your story gets a happy ending. The Bible, boiled down: Once upon a time I helped some poor suckers out and someday, maybe, if you’re good, I’ll help you too,
John Joseph Adams (The End is Nigh (The Apocalypse Triptych, #1))
The whole bible is the working out of the relationship between God and man. God is not a dictator barking out orders and demanding silent obedience. Were it so, there would be no relationship at all. No real relationship goes just one way. There are always two active parties. We must have reverence and awe for God, and honor for the chain of tradition. But that doesn't mean we can't use new information to help us read the holy texts in new ways.
A.J. Jacobs (The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible)
The Bible says you should live “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:7). God doesn’t want you to neglect your cares; He wants to help you take care of them. He wants to give you wisdom about how to handle them—whether it is a relationship, a project at work, volunteering at your kids’ school, or your passion to see a world issue resolved justly. He wants to give you strength to handle it. He has the wisdom you need to make it right. He wants to see you succeed so that He can be glorified in you.
Cindy Trimm (The Prayer Warrior's Way: Strategies from Heaven for Intimate Communication with God)
O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.
Anonymous
The Bible says we're to be moderate in all things. It's good to help others but not at the expense of your own family.
Lori Copeland (Unwrapping Christmas)
People wrote these stories down because they found in them something that helped restore their dignity; the stories gave them a sense of identity; they helped give voice to their pain.
Rob Bell (What Is the Bible?: How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything)
As iron sharpens iron, we need confrontation and truth from others to grow. No one likes to hear negative things about him or herself. But in the long run it may be good for us. The Bible says that if we are wise, we will learn from it. Admonition from a friend, while it can hurt, can also help.
Henry Cloud (Boundaries: When To Say Yes, How to Say No)
Remember that the truth within yourself will always be greater than the truth found in these pages. These stories are here to guide us—to help us find that truth, not to tell us what it is.
Andrew Kaufman (The Waterproof Bible)
By looking at the Bible as if it were fundamentally about us, we totally miss the Point–like the two on the road to Emmaus. As Luke 24 shows, it's possible to read the Bible, study the Bible, and memorize large portions of the Bible, while missing the whole point of the Bible. It's entirely possible, in other words, to read the stories and miss the Story.
Tullian Tchividjian
In sharp contrast with our culture, the Bible teaches that the essence of marriage is a sacrificial commitment to the good of the other. That means that love is more fundamentally action than emotion. But in talking this way, there is a danger of falling into the opposite error that characterized many ancient and traditional societies. It is possible to see marriage as merely a social transaction, a way of doing your duty to family, tribe and society. Traditional societies made the family the ultimate value in life, and so marriage was a mere transaction that helped your family's interest. By contrast, contemporary Western societies make the individual's happiness the ultimate value, and so marriage becomes primarily an experience of romantic fulfillment. But the Bible sees GOD as the supreme good - not the individual or the family - and that gives us a view of marriage that intimately unites feelings AND duty, passion AND promise. That is because at the heart of the Biblical idea of marriage is the covenant.
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
Adolf Eichmann went to the gallows with great dignity. He had asked for a bottle of red wine and had drunk half of it. He refused the help of the Protestant minister the Reverend William Hull who offered to read the Bible with him: he had only two more hours to live and therefore no “time to waste.” He walked the fifty yards from his cell to the execution chamber calm and erect with his hands bound behind him. When the guards tied his ankles and knees he asked them to loosen the bonds so that he could stand straight. “I don’t need that ” he said when the black hood was offered him. He was in complete command of himself nay he was more: he was completely himself. Nothing could have demonstrated this more convincingly than the grotesque silliness of his last words. He began by stating emphatically that he was a Gottgläubiger to express in common Nazi fashion that he was no Christian and did not believe in life after death. He then proceeded: “After a short while gentlemen we shall all meet again. Such is the fate of all men. Long live Germany long live Argentina long live Austria. I shall not forget them.” In the face of death he had found the cliché used in funeral oratory. Under the gallows his memory played him the last trick he was “elated” and he forgot that this was his own funeral. It was as though in those last minutes he was summing up the lesson that this long course in human wickedness had taught us-the lesson of the fearsome word-and-thought-defying banality of evil.
Hannah Arendt (Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil)
No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he'll never let you be pushed past your limit; he'll always be there to help you come through it.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: King James Version)
Man's extremity is God's opportunity of helping and saving.
Matthew Henry (Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible (Unabridged))
When you are happy for other people's dreams, your dreams start jumping up with joy. Elizabeth was happy with Mary and her dream baby was jumping in her womb crazily for joy!
Israelmore Ayivor (The Great Hand Book of Quotes)
The morning after the 9/11 attacks...we began talking about the Twin Towers attack. Ruud shook his head sadly about it all. He said, "It's so weird, isn't it, all these people saying this has to do with Islam?" I couldn't help myself...I blurted out, "But it *is* about Islam. This is based in belief. This is Islam." Ruud said, "Ayaan, of course these people may have been Muslims, but they are a lunatic fringe. We have extremist Christians, too, who interpret the bible literally. Most Muslims do not believe these things. To say so is to disparage a faith which is the second largest religion in the world, and which is civilized, and peaceful." I walked into the office thinking, "I have to wake these people up."...The Dutch had forgotten that it was possible for people to stand up and wage war, destroy property, imprison, kill, impose laws of virtue because of the call of God. That kind of religion hadn't been present in Holland for centuries. It was not a lunatic fringe who felt this way about America and the West. I knew that a vast mass of Muslims would see the attacks as justified retaliation against the infidel enemies of Islam.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Some guys have the belief that girls don’t want to be approached, but it shouldn’t be up to her what you decide to do. If you like her, go up to her and make an attempt. What she thinks really doesn’t matter.
Roosh V. (Bang: The Pickup Bible That Helps You Get More Lays)
You’ll get through this. You fear you won’t. We all do. We fear that the depression will never lift, the yelling will never stop, the pain will never leave. Here in the pits, surrounded by steep walls and angry brothers, we wonder, Will this gray sky ever brighten? This load ever lighten? We feel stuck, trapped, locked in. Predestined for failure. Will we ever exit this pit? Yes! Deliverance is to the Bible what jazz music is to Mardi Gras: bold, brassy, and everywhere.
Max Lucado (You'll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times)
Some of these proverbs sound as if they come from Scripture (and many people believe they do), like this one: 'God helps those who help themselves'-which is likely anti-biblical. God helps those who rely on him.
E. Randolph Richards (Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible)
But I knew the way the people in the town thought about things. They always had some time left over from their life to bother about other people and what they did. They thought they had to get together to help other people out, like the time they got together about the woman who let a colored man borrow her car and told her the best place for her was up north with all the other nigger lovers, and the time they got the veterans with overseas wives out. If you were different from anybody in town, you had to get out. That's why everybody was so much alike. The way they talked, what they did, what they liked, what they hated. If somebody got to hate something and he was the right person, everybody had to hate it too, or people began to hate the ones who didn't hate it. They used to tell us in school to think for yourself, but you couldn't do that in the town. You had to think what your father thought all his life, and that was what everybody thought.
John Kennedy Toole (The Neon Bible)
The willingness to walk away, above all other factors, does more to tell a woman of your high value than any amount of money can. You must be prepared to follow through and to fully believe that you’ll never see or hear from her again, because women instinctively know when you’re faking.
Roosh V. (Bang: The Pickup Bible That Helps You Get More Lays)
I'm not so sure reading Scripture will keep us from having to face trouble as much as it will focus our attention on our Help in those times. The Bible's full of stories about good folks with troubles. Good folks. God-fearin' folks.
Mona Hodgson (Prairie Song (Hearts Seeking Home, #1))
For we live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths; and our time should be counted in the throbs of our hearts as we love and help, learn and strive, and make from our own talents whatever can increase the stock of the world’s good.
A.C. Grayling (The Good Book: A Secular Bible)
Jews highly value having an abundance of money for the sake of caring for their families and for helping the needy.
H.W. Charles (The Money Code: Become a Millionaire With the Ancient Jewish Code)
God's time to help is when things are at the worst; and Providence verifies the paradox, The worse the better.
Matthew Henry (Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible (Unabridged))
The Atonement has not only helped me be cleansed, and be healed, but it has also helped me live.
Jayda Skidmore
Love and Trust God, It's a life time commitment!!!
John Dye
In the pages of a book, we are in paradise.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
Blessed are you, who mediate and believe in God’s Holy Scriptures.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind)
A strong strand throughout the Bible stresses that you are to GIVE to needs and put LIMITS on sin. Boundaries help you do just that.
Henry Cloud
The most spiritual people I’ve ever met were not “givers” they were communicators. You don’t give people crumbs. You give them the whole piece of bread when that is what they are asking for, in order to be healed. Christ was never about hiding behind a Facebook page, an email, a prayer circle, a bible, or a church. He was about talking, listening and healing-- face to face. He walked among sinners and ate with them. He devoted his time to people that were brokenhearted, difficult to like and fake as the religious beliefs they clung to. So, why is it that so many people profess to believe in Christ, yet they have forgotten what real love is----communicating?
Shannon L. Alder
No man's advice can change you unless you speak to yourself. Bible school or seminars can't change you, going to church can't change you except you decide to change. Psalm 139:23 - 24
Patience Johnson (Why Does an Orderly God Allow Disorder)
Be true to yourself, help others, make each day your masterpiece, make friendship a fine art, drink deeply from good books - especially the Bible, build a shelter against a rainy day, give thanks for your blessings and pray for guidance every day.
John Wooden
When the gap between the world of the city and the world my grandfather had presented to me as right and good became too wide and depressing to tolerate, I'd turn to my other great love, which was pulp adventure fiction. Despite the fact that [he] would have had nothing but scorn and loathing for all of those violent and garish magazines, there was a sort of prevailing morality in them that I'm sure he would have responded to. The world of Doc Savage and The Shadow was one of absolute values, where what was good was never in the slightest doubt and where what was evil inevitably suffered some fitting punishment. The notion of good and justice espoused by Lamont Cranston with his slouch hat and blazing automatics seemed a long way from that of the fierce and taciturn old man I remembered sitting up alone into the Montana night with no company save his bible, but I can't help feeling that if the two had ever met they'd have found something to talk about. For my part, all those brilliant and resourceful sleuths and heroes offered a glimpse of a perfect world where morality worked the way it was meant to. Nobody in Doc Savage's world ever killed themselves except thwarted kamikaze assassins or enemy spies with cyanide capsules. Which world would you rather live in, if you had the choice?
Alan Moore (Watchmen)
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Eugene H. Peterson (The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language)
You can always tell God how you feel and ask for His help and strength, but talking about negative feelings just to be talking does no good at all. The Bible instructs us not to speak with idle (inoperative, nonworking) words (see Matt. 12:36). If negative feelings persist, asking for prayer or seeking advice is a good thing, but once again I want to stress that talking just to be talking is useless.
Joyce Meyer (Living Beyond Your Feelings: Controlling Emotions So They Don't Control You)
Bible-reading and prayer are not wrong, and God forbid that we should suggest that they are. But it is wrong to trust even in them for victory. Our help is in Him who is the object of that reading and prayer. Our trust must be in Christ alone.
Watchman Nee (The Normal Christian Life)
To be really Bible-believing Christians we need to practice, simultaneously, at each step of the way, two biblical principles. One principle is that of the purity of the visible church. Scripture commands that we must do more than just talk about the purity of the visible church; we must actually practice it, even when it is costly. The second principle is that of an observable love among all true Christians. In the flesh we can stress purity without love, or we can stess love without purity; we cannot stress both simultaneously. To do so we must look moment by moment to the work of Christ and to the Holy Spirit. Without that, a stress on purity becomes hard, proud, and legalistic; likewise without it a stress on love becomes sheer compromise. Spiritually begins to have real meaning in our lives as we begin to exhibit simultaneously the holiness of God and the love of God. We never do this perfectly, but we must look to the living Christ to help us do it truly.
Francis A. Schaeffer (The Great Evangelical Disaster)
Being truly biblical means that my counsel reflects what the entire Bible is about. The Bible is a narrative, a story of redemption, and its chief character is Jesus Christ. He is the main theme of the narrative, and he is revealed in every passage in the book. This story reveals how God harnessed nature and controlled history to send his Son to rescue rebellious, foolish, and self-focused men and women. He freed them from bondage to themselves, enabled them to live for his glory, and gifted them with an eternity in his presence, far from the harsh realities of the Fall.
Paul David Tripp (Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change)
Call it the Human Mission-to be all and do all God sent us here to do. And notice-the mission to be fruitful and conquer and hold sway is given both to Adam and to Eve. 'And God said to them...' Eve is standing right there when God gives the world over to us. She has a vital role to play; she is a partner in this great adventure. All that human beings were intended to do here on earth-all the creativity and exploration, all the battle and rescue and nurture-we were intended to do together. In fact, not only is Eve needed, but she is desperately needed. When God creates Eve, he calls her an ezer kenegdo. 'It is not good for the man to be alone, I shall make him [an ezer kenegdo]' (Gen. 2:18 Alter). Hebrew scholar Robert Alter, who has spent years translating the book of Genesis, says that this phrase is 'notoriously difficult to translate.' The various attempts we have in English are "helper" or "companion" or the notorious "help meet." Why are these translations so incredibly wimpy, boring, flat...disappointing? What is a help meet, anyway? What little girl dances through the house singing "One day I shall be a help meet?" Companion? A dog can be a companion. Helper? Sounds like Hamburger Helper. Alter is getting close when he translates it "sustainer beside him" The word ezer is used only twenty other places in the entire Old Testament. And in every other instance the person being described is God himself, when you need him to come through for you desperately.
Stasi Eldredge (Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul)
God has a reason for not giving us the quick fix: He wants us to be conformed to His image and He uses trials to help us grow. Weight loss is one of those trials. It’s not fun, but God can do great things in our lives if we persevere and keep going to Him for help.
Barb Raveling (Taste for Truth: A 30 Day Weight Loss Bible Study)
But when the Bible speaks of love, it measures it primarily not by how much you want to receive but by how much you are willing to give of yourself to someone. How much are you willing to lose for the sake of this person? How much of your freedom are you willing to forsake? How much of your precious time, emotion, and resources are you willing to invest in this person? And for that, the marriage vow is not just helpful but it is even a test.
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
Psalm 139 and Jeremiah 29:11
Bible N T Gospels Selections (The Four Gospels: The Pocket Canons Edition)
The Lord God is my help. Who shall prove me wrong?
Isaiah 50 9
Worthy charity helps people. Unworthy charity that completely takes over a task makes recipients of such charity dependent.
Daniel Lapin (Business Secrets from the Bible: Spiritual Success Strategies for Financial Abundance)
I need hope in something a lot bigger than me, for if I’m as good as it gets then I’m in big trouble.
Craig D Lounsbrough
The purest thought comes from mediation on word of God.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
Most importantly, the alpha male is always willing to walk away.
Roosh V. (Bang: The Pickup Bible That Helps You Get More Lays)
It is clearer now that no anti-Semitic government in any country has ever helped its scapegoats to leave by any other door than death.
Barbara W. Tuchman (Bible and Sword: England and Palestine from the Bronze Age to Balfour)
The last thing you want to do is go out alone after jerking off on the internet all day.
Roosh V. (Bang: The Pickup Bible That Helps You Get More Lays)
In the West, it may help if the church started thinking more in terms of we than me.
E. Randolph Richards (Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible)
Help us, God our Savior for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name's sake. Psalm 79:9(my fav bible verse)
100% Savage Queen Sarah
God wants us to know His will and He reveals it to us both through the Bible and through the guidance of His Holy Spirit. Seek God’s will when you pray, and He will help you know it.
Billy Graham (Billy Graham in Quotes)
For he says, "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2
New International Version Bible
the chief and grand means of edification, without which all other helps will disappoint us, and prove like clouds without water—are the Bible and prayer—the Word of grace and the Throne of grace.
John Newton (The Letters of John Newton)
Asking me not to break the rules of society is like telling your kid not to eat candy because it’s bad for him. The kid will continue to eat candy until you take it away, or until you prove why he shouldn’t. You also need to provide substitutes for the candy you have denied that child. I was told often enough what was bad, but I was never given a substitute or the opportunity to try another world until I had already become so defiant and twisted, I no longer cared about someone else’s right or wrong. By then I could not see enough honest faces in the world to pattern myself after. Your Bibles didn’t mean anything to me. A Bible had driven my mother from her home. The people you chose to raise me beat and raped me and taught me to hate and fear. From what I have seen throughout my life, the laws of the land are practiced only by the little guy. Those who have money and success abuse every law written and get away with it. I admit my reasoning comes from the wrong side of the tracks, but once these opinions are formed and reinforced a few times, it is hard to believe otherwise. So even if I don’t shed a tear, I console myself: I had some help in becoming the person I am.
Charles Manson (Manson in His Own Words: Destroying a Myth: The True Confessions of Charles Manson)
Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore; those who are loyal have vanished from the human race. Everyone lies to their neighbor; they flatter with their lips but harbor deception in their hearts.
Anonymous (Psalms (Bible #19), ESV)
GOD proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It’s a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from GOD. It’s a good thing when you’re young to stick it out through the hard times. 28-30 When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face.
Eugene H. Peterson (The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language--Numbered Edition)
Before we do anything else, each and every day, we need to make intentional time to •   Teach our children about the Bible •   Teach them to read the Bible •   Help our children learn to pray •   Be in active worship
Christin Slade (Blog At Home Mom)
Where Is Your Sanctuary? Where do you go when you’re hurting? Let’s say it’s been a terrible day at the office. You come home and go — where? To the refrigerator for comfort food like ice cream? To the phone to vent with your most trusted friend? Do you seek escape in novels or movies or video games or pornography? Where do you look for emotional rescue? The Bible tells us that God is our refuge and strength, our help in times of trouble — so much so that we will not fear though the mountains fall into the heart of the sea (Ps. 46:1 – 2). That strikes me as a good place to run. But it’s so easy to forget, so easy for us to run in other directions. Where we go says a lot about who we are. The “high ground” we seek reveals the geography of our values.
Kyle Idleman (Gods at War: Defeating the Idols that Battle for Your Heart)
sudden I stopped. I was out of breath. I asked myself, “What is this all about? What is the meaning of this ceaseless rush? This is ridiculous!” Then I declared independence, and said, “I do not care if I go to dinner. I do not care whether I make a talk. I do not have to go to this dinner and I do not have to make a speech.” So deliberately and slowly I walked back to my room and took my time about unlocking the door. I telephoned the man downstairs and said, “If you want to eat, go ahead. If you want to save a place for me, I will be down after a while, but I am not going to rush any more.” So I removed my coat, sat down, took off my shoes, put my feet up on the table, and just sat. Then I opened the Bible and very slowly read aloud the 121st Psalm, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help.” I closed the book and had a little talk with myself, saying, “Come on now, start living a slower and more relaxed life,” and then I affirmed, “God is here and His
Norman Vincent Peale (The Power of Positive Thinking)
In the world of the Bible, one’s identity and one’s vocation are all bound up in who one’s father is. Men are called “son of” all of their lives (for instance, “the sons of Zebedee” or “Joshua, the son of Nun”). There are no guidance counselors in ancient Canaan or first-century Capernaum, helping “teenagers” decide what they want “to be” when they “grow up.” A young man watches his father, learns from him, and follows in his vocational steps. This is why “the sons of Zebedee” are right there with their father when Jesus finds them, “in their boat mending the nets” (Mark 1:19-20). The inheritance was the engine of survival, passed from father to son, an economic pact between generations. To lose one’s inheritance was to pilfer for survival, to become someone’s slave.
Russell D. Moore (Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches)
It was a common saying among the Christians in the primitive Church, "The soul and the body make a man; the spirit and discipline make a Christian;" implying, that none could be real Christians, without the help of Christian discipline. But if this be so, is it any wonder that we find so few Christians; for where is Christian discipline
John Wesley
The Bible isn’t an answer book. It isn’t a self-help manual. It isn’t a flat, perspicuous list of rules and regulations that we can interpret objectively and apply unilaterally to our lives. The Bible is a sacred collection of letters and laws, poetry and proverbs, philosophy and prophecies, written and assembled over thousands of years in cultures and contexts very different from our own, that tells the complex, ever-unfolding story of God’s interaction with humanity.
Rachel Held Evans (A Year of Biblical Womanhood)
...for poets, at least, experiencing something inexpressible does not mean silence. It's precisely the inexpressible something that poetry is meant to help us see or feel. If it were merely expressible - if there were nothing ineffable about it - there would be no need for a poem. But everywhere in the Bible we meet reality that exceeds our expectations.
John Piper (Esther)
As we've seen way too many times throughout history, the meaning of the Bible can be twisted and manipulated by anyone with an agenda. When faced with this sort of distortion, it's helpful to recall that there are seven lines in the entire Bible about homosexuality, whereas there are hundreds, maybe thousands, about caring for the poor and outcast. Perspective is key.
Kaya Oakes (Radical Reinvention: An Unlikely Return to the Catholic Church)
Our Lord has sovereignly ordained that our refining process take place as we go through difficulties, not around them. The Bible is filled with examples of those who overcame as they passed through the desert, the Red Sea, the fiery furnace and ultimately the cross. God doesn’t protect Christians from their problems — he helps them walk victoriously through their problems.”4
Gary L. Thomas (Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?)
The word grace has several meanings in the Bible, one of which is help. The Holy Spirit gives help when His people read His Word and then step out by faith to do as He says. He does not promise to strengthen unless they do so; the power often comes in the doing.
Jay E. Adams (The Christian Counselor's Manual: The Practice of Nouthetic Counseling (Jay Adams Library))
We have sinners who are doing godly things and Christians who are doing evil things. The reason is the sinners focuses on actions only and not the word, and Christians focus on the word and not the actions. May God help us to overcome what we lack to be incomplete.
De philosopher DJ Kyos
These are lines from my asteroid-impact novel, Regolith: Just because there are no laws against stupidity doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be punished. I haven’t faced rejection this brutal since I was single. He smelled trouble like a fart in the shower. If this was a kiss of gratitude, then she must have been very grateful. Not since Bush and Cheney have so few spent so much so fast for so long for so little. As a nympho for mind-fucks, Lisa took to politics like a pig to mud. She began paying men compliments as if she expected a receipt. Like the Aerosmith song, his get-up-and-go just got-up-and-went. “You couldn’t beat the crap out of a dirty diaper!” He embraced his only daughter as if she was deploying to Iraq. She was hotter than a Class 4 solar flare! If sex was a weapon, then Monique possessed WMD I haven’t felt this alive since I lost my virginity. He once read that 95% of women fake organism, and the rest are gay. Beauty may be in the eyes of the beholder, but ugly is universal. Why do wives fart, but not girlfriends? Adultery is sex that is wrong, but not necessarily bad. The dinosaurs stayed drugged out, drooling like Jonas Brothers fans. Silence filled the room like tear gas. The told him a fraction of the truth and hoped it would take just a fraction of the time. Happiness is the best cosmetic, He was a whale of a catch, and there were a lot of fish in the sea eager to nibble on his bait. Cheap hookers are less buck for the bang, Men cannot fall in love with women they don’t find attractive, and women cannot fall in love with men they do not respect. During sex, men want feedback while women expect mind-reading. Cooper looked like a cow about to be tipped over. His father warned him to never do anything he couldn’t justify on Oprah. The poor are not free -- they’re just not enslaved. Only those with money are free. Sperm wasn’t something he would choose on a menu, but it still tasted better than asparagus. The crater looked alive, like Godzilla was about to leap out and mess up Tokyo. Bush follows the Bible until it gets to Jesus. When Bush talks to God, it’s prayer; when God talks to Bush, it’s policy. Cheney called the new Miss America a traitor – apparently she wished for world peace. Cheney was so unpopular that Bush almost replaced him when running for re-election, changing his campaign slogan to, ‘Ain’t Got Dick.’ Bush fought a war on poverty – and the poor lost. Bush thinks we should strengthen the dollar by making it two-ply. Hurricane Katrina got rid of so many Democratic voters that Republicans have started calling her Kathleen Harris. America and Iraq fought a war and Iran won. Bush hasn’t choked this much since his last pretzel. Some wars are unpopular; the rest are victorious. So many conservatives hate the GOP that they are thinking of changing their name to the Dixie Chicks. If Saddam had any WMD, he would have used them when we invaded. If Bush had any brains, he would have used them when we invaded. It’s hard for Bush to win hearts and minds since he has neither. In Iraq, you are a coward if you leave and a fool if you stay. Bush believes it’s not a sin to kill Muslims since they are going to Hell anyway. And, with Bush’s help, soon. In Iraq, those who make their constitution subservient to their religion are called Muslims. In America they’re called Republicans. With great power comes great responsibility – unless you’re Republican.
Brent Reilly
This raises the bar in our own Christianity. In order to teach someone else how to pray, we need to know how to pray. In order to help someone else learn how to study the Bible, we need to be active in studying the Bible. But this is the beauty of making disciples. When we take responsibility for helping others grow in Christ, it automatically takes our own relationship with Christ to a new level.
David Platt (Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream)
What will you do with your power and wealth and might and armies? What kind of world will you create with it? Will you use it to manipulate and overpower others to build your empire even bigger, or will you use it to help the widow, the orphan, and the refugee among you?
Rob Bell (What Is the Bible?: How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything)
In the LGBT community, the opposite of pride is self- hatred. But in the Bible, the opposite of pride is faith. Was pride keeping me from faith, or was pride keeping me from self-hatred? That was when the question inserted itself like a foot in the door: Did pride distort self-esteem the way lust distorts love? This was the first of my many betrayals against the LGBT community: whose dictionary did I trust? The one used by the community that I helped create or the one that reflected the God who created me? As soon as the question formed itself into words, I felt convicted of the sin of pride. Pride was my downfall. I asked God for the mercy to repent of my pride at its root.
Rosaria Champagne Butterfield (Openness Unhindered: Further Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert on Sexual Identity and Union with Christ)
When we look carefully at ourselves in the mirror of God’s Word and see flaws, even evidences of selfishness, we might become discouraged. If that ever happens to you, reflect on the successful man in James’ illustration. James did not stress how quickly the man fixed the problems he detected or even that he was able to correct every blemish; rather, James says that the man ‘continued in the perfect law. (Jas. 1:25) He remembered what he saw in the mirror and kept working to improve. Yes, keep a positive view of yourself and a balanced view of your imperfections. (Ecclesiastes 7:20.) Continue to peer into the perfect law, and work to maintain your spirit of self-sacrifice. Jehovah is willing to help you, as he has helped so many of your brothers who, although imperfect, can and do have God’s favor and blessing
Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society
Because—all the way driving here, driving all night, Christmas lights on the motorway and I’m not ashamed to tell you, I got choked up—because I was thinking, couldn’t help it, about the Bible story—? you know, where the steward steals the widow’s mite, but then the steward flees to far country and invests the mite wisely and brings back thousandfold cash to widow he stole from? And with joy she forgave him, and they killed the fatted calf, and made merry?” “I think that’s maybe not all the same story.” “Well—Bible school, Poland, it was a long time ago.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
So in considering the writings of Paul, the question is not, Are head coverings good or bad? The question is, in that context, Did head coverings help or hurt the advancement of the gospel and the preservation of unity? The question is not, Should Christians eat meat? but rather, in that context, Did eating meat help or hurt the advancement of the gospel and the preservation of unity? And as we consider the application of Paul’s teachings in our various contexts today, the question is not, Should women be allowed to preach? but Do women preachers help or hurt the advancement of the gospel and the preservation of unity? Paul was smart enough to know the answers to these questions would vary from church to church and person to person, so surely he was smart enough to also know they would vary from culture to culture and century to century. Was Paul a man of his time? Of course. But that’s exactly the point. God meets us where we are, as we are. The Spirit shows up in the thick of it.
Rachel Held Evans (Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again)
Well, Espen, you're no drug addict, so why do you beg?" "Because it's my mission to be mirror for mankind so that they can see which actions are great and which are small." "And which are great?" Espen sighed in despair, as though weary of repeating the obvious. "Charity. Sharing and helping your neighbor. The Bible deals with nothing else. In fact, you have to search extremely hard to find anything about sex before marriage, abortion, homosexuality, or a woman's right to speak in public. But, of course, it is easier for Pharisees to talk aloud about subordinate clauses than to describe and perform the great actions the Bible leaves us in no doubt about: You have to give half of what you own to someone who has nothing. Thousands of people are dying every day without hearing the words of God because these Christians will not let go of their earthly goods. I'm giving them a chance to reflect.
Jo Nesbø (Frelseren (Harry Hole, #6))
I wonder if you know just what it means to pious?" "Goin' to church, and readin' the Bible, and sayin' prayers and hymns, ain't it?" "Those things are a part of it; but being kind and cheerful, doing one's duty, helping others, and loving God, is the best way to show that are pious in the true sense of the word.
Louisa May Alcott
Ask Jesus to help you fully understand the joys of obedience. Also, ask Him how you can be a woman fully committed to obedience without slipping into a legalistic approach to life. We must always remember our goal is pursuing revelations of Him. Our focus can’t be just following rules but following Jesus Himself.
Lysa TerKeurst (Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl)
Of course, when you shut off your brain from rational analysis, any book is dangerous. Taking literally ancient parables from thousands of years ago is much more dangerous than playing with a loaded gun. Ancient scrawls, written by different authors in different centuries with different agendas--yeah, let's get mad literal about that. The literalness problem is compounded in religion by the circular logic of not being allowed to question anything, or else you're lacking faith.
Bill Maher (When You Ride Alone You Ride With Bin Laden: What the Government Should Be Telling Us to Help Fight the War on Terrorism)
It is VITAL that they avoid anything which causes their mind to shift into neutral for any length of time. The best thing they can do is memorize scripture from the King James Bible. Mathematical tables can also be helpful — anything that forces their mind to exercise itself. When they find their mind drifting off, they should ask the Lord to help them claim the scriptural promises that we all have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16, Phil. 2:5, Rom. 12:2, Eph. 4:23, 2 Tim. 1:7, 1 Pet. 1:13). Beyond
William Schnoebelen (Blood on the Doorposts: An Advanced Course in Spiritual Warfare)
There’s no such thing as an entitlement because no one is entitled to anything. If you plan to live off of the generosity of your neighbors, it would behoove you to endear yourself to them so that they actually want to help you, because you do not have a right to anybody else’s money. Nobody does. There isn’t such a thing. We all have obligations but nobody in the Bible has a right to anything. The word doesn’t exist in Hebrew because it doesn’t exist in the world. When anyone coerces you to provide such a right, it is not charity by the very definition of charity, which is voluntary giving. If you are being coerced to give your money to someone, this is theft.
Daniel Lapin (Business Secrets from the Bible: Spiritual Success Strategies for Financial Abundance)
ON A COLD CALL: Be brief. You must generate interest in about 30 seconds or less, or forget it. Make a strong statement about how you can help the prospect. Don't focus on how much money you can save them. That approach seems to be wearing thin. Talk about what you do for companies like hers, or how your product has worked for others.
Jeffrey Gitomer (The Sales Bible: The Ultimate Sales Resource, Revised Edition)
It grew harder and harder. Even within these four walls there was too much misery, too much seemingly pointless suffering. Every day something else failed to make sense, something else grew too heavy. Will You carry this too, Lord Jesus? But as the rest of the world grew stranger, one thing became increasingly clear. And that was the reason the two of us were here. Why others should suffer we were not shown. As for us, from morning until lights-out, whenever we were not in ranks for roll call, our Bible was the center of an ever-widening circle of help and hope. Like waifs clustered around a blazing fire, we gathered about it, holding out our hearts to its warmth and light. The blacker the night around us grew, the brighter and truer and more beautiful burned the word of God. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? . . . Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Corrie ten Boom (The Hiding Place: The Triumphant True Story of Corrie Ten Boom)
If we make a full surrender, God will give us something better than we have ever known before. We will get a new vision of Jesus Christ, and will thank God not only in this life but in the life to come. May God help each and every one of us to make a full and complete and unconditional surrender to God, fully and wholly, now and forever.
Dwight L. Moody (Men of the Bible)
If we repeatedly read the Bible without the help of the Holy Spirit, it tends to reinforce our own prejudices and rock-hard doctrinal positions. We end up merely finding ammunition for what we already believe. We become so spiritually proud, so convinced of our own positions, that the Spirit is hindered in helping us to grow in the things of God.
Jim Cymbala (Spirit Rising: Tapping into the Power of the Holy Spirit)
We like to say that generalizations are always wrong and usually helpful.
E. Randolph Richards (Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible)
People have gotten into the practice of following private religious hunches rather than learning of God from His Word; we have to try to help them unlearn the pride and, in some cases, the misconceptions about Scripture which gave rise to this attitude and to base there convictions henceforth not on what they feel but on what the Bible says…modern people think of all religions as equal and equivalent – they draw their ideas about God from pagan as well as Christian sources; we have to try to show people the uniqueness and finality of the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s last word to man…people have ceased to recognize the reality of their own sinfulness, which imparts a degree of perversity and enmity against God to all that they think and do; it is our task to try to introduce people to this fact about themselves and so make them self-distrustful and open to correction by the Word of Christ…people today are in the habit of disassociating the thought of God’s goodness from that of His severity; we must seek to wean them from this habit, since nothing but misbelief is possible as long as that persists.
J.I. Packer (Knowing God)
So here is what I see when we reclaim the church ladies: a woman loved and free is beautiful. She is laughing with her sisters, and together they are telling their stories, revealing their scars and their wounds, the places where they don't have it figured out. They are nurturers, creating a haven where the young, the broken, the tenderhearted, and the at-risk can flourish. These women are dancing and worshiping, hands high, faces tipped toward heaven, tears streaming. They are celebrating all shapes and sizes, talking frankly and respectfully about sexuality and body image, promising to stop calling themselves fat. They are saving babies tossed in rubbish heaps, rescuing child soldiers, supporting mamas trying to make ends meet halfway around the world, thinking of justice when they buy their daily coffee. They are fighting sex trafficking. They are pastoring and counseling. They are choosing life consistently, building hope, doing the hard work of transformation in themselves. They are shaking off the silence of shame and throwing open the prison doors of physical and sexual abuse, addictions, eating disorders, and suicidal depression. Poverty and despair are being unlocked - these women know there are many hands helping turn that key. There isn't much complaining about husbands and chores, cattiness, or jealousy when a woman knows she is loved for her true self. She is lit up with something bigger than what the world offers, refusing to be intimidated into silence or despair.
Sarah Bessey (Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women)
If, for whatever cruel twist of fate, the God of the Bible exists, I want no part of him. I, along with what I hope is the vast majority of humanity, am better than him. I know more than he ever taught. I see beyond horizons that he could never reach. I love more genuinely than He. I help more than He. I understand myself better than He ever could. I see planets, stars, solar systems, galaxies just on the edge of humanity’s perception. I can even sometimes catch a small glimpse of our universe, and all the wonder and beauty it holds. Your god is too small for me.
Atheist Republic (Your God Is Too Small: 50 Essays On Life, Love & Liberty Without Religion)
Well, he'd get help from the Bible. It was all inspired, every word, no matter what scoffers like Jim said. He'd take the first text he turned to and talk on that. He opened on: 'Now THEREFORE, Tatnai, governor beyond the river, Shethar-boznai, and your companions the Apharsachites, which ARE beyond the river, be ye far from thence,' an injunction spirited but not at present helpful.
Sinclair Lewis (Elmer Gantry)
It is easy to think that the Church has a lot of different objects—education, building, missions, holding services. Just as it is easy to think the State has a lot of different objects—military, political, economic, and what not. But in a way things are much simpler than that. The State exists simply to promote and to protect the ordinary happiness of human beings in this life. A husband and wife chatting over a fire, a couple of friends having a game of darts in a pub, a man reading a book in his own room or digging in his own garden—that is what the State is there for. And unless they are helping to increase and prolong and protect such moments, all the laws, parliaments, armies, courts, police, economics, etc., are simply a waste of time. In the same way the Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time.
C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
Every few weeks I get a letter from Léopoldville, which holds me on track. My heart races when I see the long blue envelope in a sister's hand, delivered to me under her sleeve as if a man himself were inside. And, oh, he is! Still sweet and bitter and wise and, best of all, still alive. I squeal, I can't help it, and run outside to the courtyard to taste him in private like a cat with a stolen pullet. I lean my face against the cool wall and kiss its old stones in praise of captivity, because it's only my being here and his being in prison that saves us both for another chance at each other.
Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible)
After a long and happy life, I find myself at the pearly gates (a sight of great joy; the word for “pearl” in Greek is, by the way, margarita). Standing there is St. Peter. This truly is heaven, for finally my academic questions will receive answers. I immediately begin the questions that have been plaguing me for half a century: “Can you speak Greek? Where did you go when you wandered off in the middle of Acts? How was the incident between you and Paul in Antioch resolved? What happened to your wife?” Peter looks at me with some bemusement and states, “Look, lady, I’ve got a whole line of saved people to process. Pick up your harp and slippers here, and get the wings and halo at the next table. We’ll talk after dinner.” As I float off, I hear, behind me, a man trying to gain Peter’s attention. He has located a “red letter Bible,” which is a text in which the words of Jesus are printed in red letters. This is heaven, and all sorts of sacred art and Scriptures, from the Bhagavad Gita to the Qur’an, are easily available (missing, however, was the Reader’s Digest Condensed Version). The fellow has his Bible open to John 14, and he is frenetically pointing at v. 6: “Jesus says here, in red letters, that he is the way. I’ve seen this woman on television (actually, she’s thinner in person). She’s not Christian; she’s not baptized - she shouldn’t be here!” “Oy,” says Peter, “another one - wait here.” He returns a few minutes later with a man about five foot three with dark hair and eyes. I notice immediately that he has holes in his wrists, for when the empire executes an individual, the circumstances of that death cannot be forgotten. “What is it, my son?” he asks. The man, obviously nonplussed, sputters, “I don’t mean to be rude, but didn’t you say that no one comes to the Father except through you?” “Well,” responds Jesus, “John does have me saying this.” (Waiting in line, a few other biblical scholars who overhear this conversation sigh at Jesus’s phrasing; a number of them remain convinced that Jesus said no such thing. They’ll have to make the inquiry on their own time.) “But if you flip back to the Gospel of Matthew, which does come first in the canon, you’ll notice in chapter 25, at the judgment of the sheep and the goats, that I am not interested in those who say ‘Lord, Lord,’ but in those who do their best to live a righteous life: feeding the hungry, visiting people in prison . . . ” Becoming almost apoplectic, the man interrupts, “But, but, that’s works righteousness. You’re saying she’s earned her way into heaven?” “No,” replies Jesus, “I am not saying that at all. I am saying that I am the way, not you, not your church, not your reading of John’s Gospel, and not the claim of any individual Christian or any particular congregation. I am making the determination, and it is by my grace that anyone gets in, including you. Do you want to argue?” The last thing I recall seeing, before picking up my heavenly accessories, is Jesus handing the poor man a Kleenex to help get the log out of his eye.
Amy-Jill Levine (The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus)
Some take pains to be biblical, but many [Christian financial teachers, writers, investment counselors, and seminar leaders] simply parrot their secular colleagues. Other than beginning and ending with prayer, mentioning Christ, and sprinkling in some Bible verses, there's no fundamental difference. They reinforce people's materialist attitudes and lifestyles. They suggest a variety of profitable plans in which people can spend or stockpile the bulk of their resources. In short, to borrow a term from Jesus, some Christian financial experts are helping people to be the most successful 'rich fools' they can be.
Randy Alcorn (Money, Possessions and Eternity)
One helpful way of identifying these kingdom features is to examine closely the "preview" passages in the Bible. Pop a movie into your DVD player, and you'll first see previews of coming attractions. Similarly, throughout the Bible are previews of the "feature film": the kingdom of God in all its consummated fullnness. These texts offer us glimpses into what live will be like in the new heavens and new earth.
Amy L. Sherman (Kingdom Calling: Vocational Stewardship for the Common Good)
Some say “God helps those who help themselves,” but the Bible says the exact opposite: God helps the helpless. God helps those who, left to themselves, would die in their sins. He even helps those who hate him and who, by nature, continually oppose him. He does this because he is not like us. By nature, he is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Exodus 34:6).
Casey Lute (But God...: The Two Words at the Heart of the Gospel)
God Bless The Child" Them that's got shall have Them that's not shall lose So the Bible says and it still is news Mama may have, Papa may have But God bless the child that's got his own, that's got his own Yes the strong get smart While the weak ones fade Empty pockets don't ever make the grade Mama may have, Papa may have But God bless the child that's got his own, that's got his own Money, you've got lots of friends They're crowding around your door But when you're gone and spending ends They don't come no more Rich relations give crusts of bread and such You can help yourself, but don't take too much Mama may have, Papa may have But God bless the child that's got his own, that's got his own Money you've got lots of friends They're crowding around your door But when you're gone and spending ends They don't come no more Rich relations give crusts of bread and such You can help yourself, but don't take too much Mama may have, Papa may have But God bless the child that's got his own, that's got his own Here just don't worry about nothing cause he's got his own Yes, he's got his own
Billie Holiday
Now Christianity proposes a completely different account of how history comes to a climax and what precisely constitutes the new order of the ages—which helps to explain why so many of modernity’s avatars, from Diderot to Christopher Hitchens, have specially targeted Christianity. On the Christian reading, history reached its highpoint when a young first-century Jewish rabbi, having been put to death on a brutal Roman instrument of torture, was raised from the dead through the power of the God of Israel. The state-sponsored murder of Jesus, who had dared to speak and act in the name of Israel’s God, represented the world’s resistance to the Creator. It was the moment when cruelty, hatred, violence, and corruption—symbolized in the Bible as the watery chaos—spent itself on Jesus. The resurrection, therefore, showed forth the victory of the divine love over those dark powers. St. Paul can say, “I am certain that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, nor any other creature can separate us from the love of God,” precisely because he lived on the far side of the resurrection.
Robert Barron
The imported discovery, that human nature is too good to be made better by discipline, that children are enticed from the right way by religious instruction, and driven from it by the rod, and kept in thraldom by the conspiracy of priests and legislators, has united not a few in the noble experiment of emancipating the world by the help of an irreligious, ungoverned progeny. The indolent have rejoiced in the discovery that our fathers were fools and bigots, and have cheerfully let loose their children to help on the glorious work; while thousands of families, having heard from their teachers, or believing, in spite of them, that morality will suffice both for earth and heaven, and not doubting that morality will flourish without religion, have either not reared the family altar, or have put out the sacred fire, and laid aside together the rod and the Bible, as superfluous auxiliaries in the education of children. From the school, too, with pious regard for its sacred honors, the Bible, by some, has been withdrawn, lest, by a too familiar knowledge of its contents, children should learn to despise it; as if ignorance were the mother of devotion, and the efficacy of laws depended upon their not being understood.
Lyman Beecher
Beautiful was it to mark how the poorest began to improve in personal appearance immediately after they came to our Class; how they gradually got shoes and one bit of clothing after another, to enable them to attend our other Meetings, and then to go to Church; and, above all, how eagerly they sought to bring others with them, taking a deep personal interest in all the work of the Mission. Long after they themselves could appear in excellent dress, many of them still continued to attend in their working clothes, and to bring other and poorer girls with them to that Morning Class, and thereby helped to improve and elevate their companions. My delight in that Bible Class was among the purest joys in all my life, and the results were amongst the most certain and precious of all my Ministry.
John G. Paton (The Story of John G. Paton Or Thirty Years Among South Sea Cannibals)
Maybe not quite so simple. Because—all the way driving here, driving all night, Christmas lights on the motorway and I’m not ashamed to tell you, I got choked up—because I was thinking, couldn’t help it, about the Bible story—? you know, where the steward steals the widow’s mite, but then the steward flees to far country and invests the mite wisely and brings back thousandfold cash to widow he stole from? And with joy she forgave him, and they killed the fatted calf, and made merry?” “I think that’s maybe not all the same story.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Why weren't there any women in Jesus' gang?’ asked Winnifred. ‘Jesus' gang?’ echoed the vicar surprised. ‘Jesus never had a gang. Ah— you mean the Twelve.’ Winnifred nodded. The vicar looked perplexed. ‘Well, it wouldn't really have been appropriate, would it?’ ‘Why not?’ I asked. ‘It just wouldn't,’ replied the vicar, looking annoyed at my question. ‘But Jesus had a lot of girl friends,’ said Pearl. ‘He certainly didn't,’ replied the vicar, shocked. ‘But Vicar, what about Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus? The Bible says that Jesus loved them,’ insisted Pearl. ‘And then there was Mary Magdalene,’ I added. ‘She wanted to hug him in Joseph's garden when he had just come out of the tomb, but Jesus told her not to touch him.’ ‘Yes— well—’ said the vicar uncertainly. ‘They were good followers of Jesus and they loved him— as we should all love him. No more questions now. We will be starting the service shortly.’ ‘Not very helpful,’ I whispered to Winnifred. ‘If Jesus had had a few women in his group of twelve, it would be much easier to know how to live with them.
Peter St. John (Gang Loyalty (Gang Books #4))
He had already authenticated his experience by telling me things he could not otherwise have known. But now I had to square his answer, “three minutes,” with all the rest. I stared down at my Bible, lying open on the kitchen table, and turned over the possibilities in my mind. Three minutes. It wasn’t possible that Colton could have seen and done everything he’d described so far in just three minutes. Of course, he wasn’t old enough to tell time yet, so maybe his sense of three actual minutes wasn’t the same as an adult’s. Like most parents, I was pretty sure Sonja and I weren’t helping that issue, promising to be off the phone, for example, or finished talking in the yard with a neighbor, or done in the garage in “five more minutes,” then wrapping it up twenty minutes later. It was also possible that time in heaven doesn’t track with time on earth. The Bible says that with the Lord, “a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”1 Some interpret that as a literal exchange, as in, two days equals two thousand years. I’ve always taken it to mean that God operates outside of our understanding of time. Time on earth is keyed to a celestial clock, governed by the solar system. But the Bible says there is no sun in heaven because God is the light there. Maybe there is no time in heaven. At least not as we understand it.
Todd Burpo (Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back)
But when the Bible speaks of love, it measures it primarily not by how much you want to receive but by how much you are willing to give of yourself to someone. How much are you willing to lose for the sake of this person? How much of your freedom are you willing to forsake? How much of your precious time, emotion, and resources are you willing to invest in this person? And for that, the marriage vow is not just helpful but it is even a test. In so many cases, when one person says to another, “I love you, but let’s not ruin it by getting married,” that person really means, “I don’t love you enough to close off all my options. I don’t love you enough to give myself to you that thoroughly.” To say, “I don’t need a piece of paper to love you” is basically to say, “My love for you has not reached the marriage level.
Timothy J. Keller (The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God)
Over and over again, Harriet read the story about Lazarus in the Bible, but it refused to address even the most basic questions. What had Lazarus to say to Jesus and his sisters about his week in the grave? Did he still smell? Was he able to go back home and carry on living with his sisters, or was he frightening to the people around him and perhaps had to go off somewhere and live by himself like Frankenstein's monster? She could not help thinking that if she, Harriet, had been there, she would have had more to say on the subject than Saint Luke did.
Donna Tartt (The Little Friend)
We were still so scared. Even more than before. Scared of what the Nazis could do, for no rhyme or reason, whenever they wanted. So now you know what happened to my eye. This is something I have never told anyone . . . Because I am still so ashamed, you see. I often think it is fitting punishment for all the times I could have helped that girl before that terrible day, or helped others get into the woods, or hidden them in the barn without my parents knowing. But I did not. I turned a blind eye, yes? And as the Bible says . . . Well, I just think it is appropriate.
Jenna Blum (Those Who Save Us)
One minute Jacob prayed for God’s help, and the next minute he devised some new way to appease his angry brother. He reminded God of His great promises and then acted as though God had never spoken. This is the conduct of a believer who needed to be broken before God. He prayed to be delivered from Esau (v. 11), but his greatest need was to be delivered from himself. Jacob was broken to be healed and weakened to be strengthened. When he surrendered, he won and became a “prince with God. ” His limp would be a constant reminder that God would be in control of his life.
Warren W. Wiersbe (With the Word: The Chapter-by-Chapter Bible Handbook)
Prayer that is born of meditation upon the Word of God is the prayer that soars upward most easily to God's listening ears. Topics: Prayer, Meditation I am ready to meet God face to face tonight and look into those eyes of infinite holiness, for all my sins are covered by the atoning blood. Topics: Salvation, Atonement When the devil sees a man or woman who really believes in prayer, who knows how to pray, and who really does pray, and, above all, when he sees a whole church on its face before God in prayer, he trembles as much as he ever did, for he knows that his day in that church or community is at an end. Topics: Satan, Prayer God's Word is pure and sure, in spite of the devil, in spite of your fear, in spite of everything. Topics: Scripture Do not study commentaries, lesson helps or other books about the Bible: study the Bible itself. Do not study about the Bible, study the Bible. The Bible is the Word of God, and only the Bible is the Word of God. Topics: The Bible All that God is, and all that God has, is at the disposal of prayer. Prayer can do anything that God can do, and as God can do everything, prayer is omnipotent.
R.A. Torrey
God shows us what authentic love is in John 3:16, probably the most famous verse in the Bible. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (NKJV). God so loved the world. He loved the whole world; not just the good part of the world, the part that loved him already, or the part that he knew would love him back. We need to expand our hearts, our comfort zones, and our friend zones. He gave his only Son. He was willing to make real sacrifices to build real relationships. Sometimes we need to put aside projects and schedules for the sake of people. Like Jesus, we need to be interruptible. Whoever. He showed unconditional love and acceptance. Love is risky. We might be rejected. We might be crucified by the people we are trying to help. But ultimately, love will prevail.
Judah Smith (Jesus Is ______: Find a New Way to Be Human)
A few of my Aramean ancestors went to Egypt. We grew into an entire nation there. The Egyptians enslaved us and treated us like shit, so we asked Yahweh, our forefathers’ god, for help. He turned Egyptian waters to blood, chased the Egyptians with frogs and insects, leperized them, turned off their sun, killed all their firstborn sons, and finally, he drowned Pharaoh and his entire army in the sea—all to free us from Egypt. Now he gave us this beautiful paradise. So thank you, Yahweh, for killing all the Canaanites and giving us their land! Here is a nice fruit basket for you!
Steve Ebling (Holy Bible - Best God Damned Version - The Books of Moses: For atheists, agnostics, and fans of religious stupidity)
Bagpipe Music' It's no go the merrygoround, it's no go the rickshaw, All we want is a limousine and a ticket for the peepshow. Their knickers are made of crêpe-de-chine, their shoes are made of python, Their halls are lined with tiger rugs and their walls with heads of bison. John MacDonald found a corpse, put it under the sofa, Waited till it came to life and hit it with a poker, Sold its eyes for souvenirs, sold its blood for whiskey, Kept its bones for dumb-bells to use when he was fifty. It's no go the Yogi-Man, it's no go Blavatsky, All we want is a bank balance and a bit of skirt in a taxi. Annie MacDougall went to milk, caught her foot in the heather, Woke to hear a dance record playing of Old Vienna. It's no go your maidenheads, it's no go your culture, All we want is a Dunlop tyre and the devil mend the puncture. The Laird o' Phelps spent Hogmanay declaring he was sober, Counted his feet to prove the fact and found he had one foot over. Mrs Carmichael had her fifth, looked at the job with repulsion, Said to the midwife 'Take it away; I'm through with overproduction'. It's no go the gossip column, it's no go the Ceilidh, All we want is a mother's help and a sugar-stick for the baby. Willie Murray cut his thumb, couldn't count the damage, Took the hide of an Ayrshire cow and used it for a bandage. His brother caught three hundred cran when the seas were lavish, Threw the bleeders back in the sea and went upon the parish. It's no go the Herring Board, it's no go the Bible, All we want is a packet of fags when our hands are idle. It's no go the picture palace, it's no go the stadium, It's no go the country cot with a pot of pink geraniums, It's no go the Government grants, it's no go the elections, Sit on your arse for fifty years and hang your hat on a pension. It's no go my honey love, it's no go my poppet; Work your hands from day to day, the winds will blow the profit. The glass is falling hour by hour, the glass will fall for ever, But if you break the bloody glass you won't hold up the weather.
Louis MacNeice
something happened to me. God heard my deep cries of anguish. A feeling of lightness flowed over me, and I knew a change of heart had taken place. I felt different. I was different. At last I stood up, placed the Bible on the edge of the tub, and went to the sink. I washed my face and hands, straightened my clothes. I walked out of the bathroom a changed young man. “My temper will never control me again,” I told myself. “Never again. I’m free.” And since that day, since those long hours wrestling with myself and crying to God for help, I have never had a problem with my temper. That
Ben Carson (Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story)
Let the systematic theologian spell it out. Let the artists throw out thoughts and slants, maybe even slants no one else has thought of. They should give another view of something familiar to help us learn more about it. They should deal with love, life, good, evil, God, the world and faith. Many of the biblical writers were poets more than they were theologians. Poets and prophets ranted and raved, and storytellers wrote great yarns that all had different slants on God and life and faith. Perhaps the poet's absence from the Church for many centuries has left it deprived of much insight.
Steve Stockman
Jesus shed His blood on the cross. He died for you, even when you did not deserve it. And He rose from the grave and offers forgiveness and salvation for anyone who turns to Him. But the Bible also says that we can’t ask Him to forgive us while refusing to forgive others.” Elizabeth nodded. “I know, Miss Clara, but that’s just so hard to do.” “Yes, it is! Yes, it is! But that’s where grace comes in! He gives us grace, and He helps us give it to others. Even when they don’t deserve it. We all deserve judgment, and that is what a holy God gives us when we don’t repent and believe in His Son.
Chris Fabry (War Room: Prayer Is a Powerful Weapon)
Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You for the Bible verses that teach me how important my words are. My words can cause me to stumble so I lean on You to direct my thoughts and voice. Lord help me to remain quiet when I am unsure of what to say. Help me to see things as You do so I’m not led astray. I
Glenn Langohr (Be a Prayer Warrior and Use Words Wisely: 30 Declarations and Prayers to Speak Victory into Your Life)
When it grew cold enough to shut the doors, and have fire at night, first thing after supper all of us helped clear the table, then we took our slates and books and learned our lessons for the next day, and then father lined us against the wall, all in a row from Laddie down, and he pronounced words—easy ones that divided into syllables nicely, for me, harder for May, and so up until I might sit down. For Laddie, May and Leon he used the geography, the Bible, Roland's history, the Christian Advocate, and the Agriculturist. My, but he had them so they could spell! After that, as memory tests, all of us recited our reading lesson for the next day, especially the poetry pieces. I knew most of them, from hearing the big folks repeat them so often and practise the proper way to read them. I could do "Rienzi's Address to the Romans," "Casablanca," "Gray's Elegy," or "Mark Antony's Speech," but best of all, I liked "Lines to a Water-fowl." When he was tired, if it were not bedtime yet, all of us, boys too, sewed rags for carpet and rugs. Laddie braided corn husks for the kitchen and outside door mats, and they were pretty, and "very useful too," like the dog that got his head patted in McGuffey's Second.
Gene Stratton-Porter (Laddie: A True Blue Story (Library of Indiana Classics))
Daily Bible reading has always been a deep help for daily spiritual growth. But millions of Christians got bogged down and give up by the time they read Leviticus! However, reading 15 minutes a day from The One Year Bible gives you the entire Bible in a year of daily variety, interest, and growth in God.
Kenneth N. Taylor
With the best of intentions, the generation before mine worked diligently to prepare their children to make an intelligent case for Christianity. We were constantly reminded of the superiority of our own worldview and the shortcomings of all others. We learned that as Christians, we alone had access to absolute truth and could win any argument. The appropriate Bible verses were picked out for us, the opposing positions summarized for us, and the best responses articulated for us, so that we wouldn’t have to struggle through two thousand years of theological deliberations and debates but could get right to the bottom line on the important stuff: the deity of Christ, the nature of the Trinity, the role and interpretation of Scripture, and the fundamentals of Christianity. As a result, many of us entered the world with both an unparalleled level of conviction and a crippling lack of curiosity. So ready with the answers, we didn’t know what the questions were anymore. So prepared to defend the faith, we missed the thrill of discovering it for ourselves. So convinced we had God right, it never occurred to us that we might be wrong. In short, we never learned to doubt. Doubt is a difficult animal to master because it requires that we learn the difference between doubting God and doubting what we believe about God. The former has the potential to destroy faith; the latter has the power to enrich and refine it. The former is a vice; the latter a virtue. Where would we be if the apostle Peter had not doubted the necessity of food laws, or if Martin Luther had not doubted the notion that salvation can be purchased? What if Galileo had simply accepted church-instituted cosmology paradigms, or William Wilberforce the condition of slavery? We do an injustice to the intricacies and shadings of Christian history when we gloss over the struggles, when we read Paul’s epistles or Saint Augustine’s Confessions without acknowledging the difficult questions that these believers asked and the agony with which they often asked them. If I’ve learned anything over the past five years, it’s that doubt is the mechanism by which faith evolves. It helps us cast off false fundamentals so that we can recover what has been lost or embrace what is new. It is a refining fire, a hot flame that keeps our faith alive and moving and bubbling about, where certainty would only freeze it on the spot. I would argue that healthy doubt (questioning one’s beliefs) is perhaps the best defense against unhealthy doubt (questioning God). When we know how to make a distinction between our ideas about God and God himself, our faith remains safe when one of those ideas is seriously challenged. When we recognize that our theology is not the moon but rather a finger pointing at the moon, we enjoy the freedom of questioning it from time to time. We can say, as Tennyson said, Our little systems have their day; They have their day and cease to be; They are but broken lights of thee, And thou, O Lord, art more than they.15 I sometimes wonder if I might have spent fewer nights in angry, resentful prayer if only I’d known that my little systems — my theology, my presuppositions, my beliefs, even my fundamentals — were but broken lights of a holy, transcendent God. I wish I had known to question them, not him. What my generation is learning the hard way is that faith is not about defending conquered ground but about discovering new territory. Faith isn’t about being right, or settling down, or refusing to change. Faith is a journey, and every generation contributes its own sketches to the map. I’ve got miles and miles to go on this journey, but I think I can see Jesus up ahead.
Rachel Held Evans (Faith Unraveled: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask Questions)
We are committed to involving as many people as possible, as young as possible, as soon as possible. Sometimes too young and too soon! But we intentionally err on the side of too fast rather than too slow. We don’t wait until people feel “prepared” or “fully equipped.” Seriously, when is anyone ever completely prepared for ministry? Ministry makes people’s faith bigger. If you want to increase someone’s confidence in God, put him in a ministry position before he feels fully equipped. The messages your environments communicate have the potential to trump your primary message. If you don’t see a mess, if you aren’t bothered by clutter, you need to make sure there is someone around you who does see it and is bothered by it. An uncomfortable or distracting setting can derail ministry before it begins. The sermon begins in the parking lot. Assign responsibility, not tasks. At the end of the day, it’s application that makes all the difference. Truth isn’t helpful if no one understands or remembers it. If you want a church full of biblically educated believers, just teach what the Bible says. If you want to make a difference in your community and possibly the world, give people handles, next steps, and specific applications. Challenge them to do something. As we’ve all seen, it’s not safe to assume that people automatically know what to do with what they’ve been taught. They need specific direction. This is hard. This requires an extra step in preparation. But this is how you grow people. Your current template is perfectly designed to produce the results you are currently getting. We must remove every possible obstacle from the path of the disinterested, suspicious, here-against-my-will, would-rather-be-somewhere-else, unchurched guests. The parking lot, hallways, auditorium, and stage must be obstacle-free zones. As a preacher, it’s my responsibility to offend people with the gospel. That’s one reason we work so hard not to offend them in the parking lot, the hallway, at check-in, or in the early portions of our service. We want people to come back the following week for another round of offending! Present the gospel in uncompromising terms, preach hard against sin, and tackle the most emotionally charged topics in culture, while providing an environment where unchurched people feel comfortable. The approach a church chooses trumps its purpose every time. Nothing says hypocrite faster than Christians expecting non-Christians to behave like Christians when half the Christians don’t act like it half the time. When you give non-Christians an out, they respond by leaning in. Especially if you invite them rather than expect them. There’s a big difference between being expected to do something and being invited to try something. There is an inexorable link between an organization’s vision and its appetite for improvement. Vision exposes what has yet to be accomplished. In this way, vision has the power to create a healthy sense of organizational discontent. A leader who continually keeps the vision out in front of his or her staff creates a thirst for improvement. Vision-centric churches expect change. Change is a means to an end. Change is critical to making what could and should be a reality. Write your vision in ink; everything else should be penciled in. Plans change. Vision remains the same. It is natural to assume that what worked in the past will always work. But, of course, that way of thinking is lethal. And the longer it goes unchallenged, the more difficult it is to identify and eradicate. Every innovation has an expiration date. The primary reason churches cling to outdated models and programs is that they lack leadership.
Andy Stanley (Deep and Wide: Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend)
The approach taken to the Bible in almost all Protestant (and now Catholic) mainline seminaries is what is called the “historical-critical” method. It is completely different from the “devotional” approach to the Bible one learns in church. The devotional approach to the Bible is concerned about what the Bible has to say—especially what it has to say to me personally or to my society. What does the Bible tell me about God? Christ? The church? My relation to the world? What does it tell me about what to believe? About how to act? About social responsibilities? How can the Bible help make me closer to God? How does it help me to live?
Bart D. Ehrman (Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (And Why We Don't Know About Them))
How is it that in the Bible it is the Devil and his vessel the Antichrist that are repeatedly referred to as the schemers, liars and the deceivers; but in the Qur’an, it is Allah who is the greatest of all deceivers? Satan knows full well who he is, and as he was inspiring the Qur’an, he couldn’t help but brag a little.
Walid Shoebat (God's War on Terror: Islam, Prophecy and the Bible: Islam, Prophecy and the Bible)
A T-shirt is a T-shirt. Spending hundreds of dollars on it doesn't elevate it. He was under-dressed, even if his casual outfit did cost more than my suit and tie. I once had another fashion victim tell me, 'This T-shirt cost twelve thousand dollars!' What difference does that make? If that's the message you want to send about yourself and your fashion sense, you should wear the price tag, or that should be the message on your T-shirt: 'Hi. This T-shirt costs more than a semester of college.' Or: 'Hi. I have money to burn. Please help me get rid of all this wealth.' And my shirt, in turn, would say, 'Great. Please write a $12,000 check to charity.
Tim Gunn (Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible: The Fascinating History of Everything in Your Closet)
Most churches do not grow beyond the spiritual health of their leadership. Many churches have a pastor who is trying to lead people to a Savior he has yet to personally encounter. If spiritual gifting is no proof of authentic faith, then certainly a job title isn't either. You must have a clear sense of calling before you enter ministry. Being a called man is a lonely job, and many times you feel like God has abandoned you in your ministry. Ministry is more than hard. Ministry is impossible. And unless we have a fire inside our bones compelling us, we simply will not survive. Pastoral ministry is a calling, not a career. It is not a job you pursue. If you don’t think demons are real, try planting a church! You won’t get very far in advancing God’s kingdom without feeling resistance from the enemy. If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day. Once a month I get away for the day, once a quarter I try to get out for two days, and once a year I try to get away for a week. The purpose of these times is rest, relaxation, and solitude with God. A pastor must always be fearless before his critics and fearful before his God. Let us tremble at the thought of neglecting the sheep. Remember that when Christ judges us, he will judge us with a special degree of strictness. The only way you will endure in ministry is if you determine to do so through the prevailing power of the Holy Spirit. The unsexy reality of the pastorate is that it involves hard work—the heavy-lifting, curse-ridden, unyielding employment of your whole person for the sake of the church. Pastoral ministry requires dogged, unyielding determination, and determination can only come from one source—God himself. Passive staff members must be motivated. Erring elders and deacons must be confronted. Divisive church members must be rebuked. Nobody enjoys doing such things (if you do, you should be not be a pastor!), but they are necessary in order to have a healthy church over the long haul. If you allow passivity, laziness, and sin to fester, you will soon despise the church you pastor. From the beginning of sacred Scripture (Gen. 2:17) to the end (Rev. 21:8), the penalty for sin is death. Therefore, if we sin, we should die. But it is Jesus, the sinless one, who dies in our place for our sins. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus died to take to himself the penalty of our sin. The Bible is not Christ-centered because it is generally about Jesus. It is Christ-centered because the Bible’s primary purpose, from beginning to end, is to point us toward the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus for the salvation and sanctification of sinners. Christ-centered preaching goes much further than merely providing suggestions for how to live; it points us to the very source of life and wisdom and explains how and why we have access to him. Felt needs are set into the context of the gospel, so that the Christian message is not reduced to making us feel better about ourselves. If you do not know how sinful you are, you feel no need of salvation. Sin-exposing preaching helps people come face-to-face with their sin and their great need for a Savior. We can worship in heaven, and we can talk to God in heaven, and we can read our Bibles in heaven, but we can’t share the gospel with our lost friends in heaven. “Would your city weep if your church did not exist?” It was crystal-clear for me. Somehow, through fear or insecurity, I had let my dreams for our church shrink. I had stopped thinking about the limitless things God could do and had been distracted by my own limitations. I prayed right there that God would forgive me of my small-mindedness. I asked God to forgive my lack of faith that God could use a man like me to bring the message of the gospel through our missionary church to our lost city. I begged God to renew my heart and mind with a vision for our city that was more like Christ's.
Darrin Patrick (Church Planter: The Man, The Message, The Mission)
Christ is all in the entire work of salvation. Let me just take you back to the period before this world was made. There was a time when this great world, the sun, the moon, the stars, and all which now exist throughout the whole of the vast universe, lay in the mind of God, like unborn forests in an acorn cup. There was a time when the Great Creator lived alone, and yet he could foresee that he would make a world, and that men would be born to people it; and in that vast eternity a great scheme was devised, whereby he might save a fallen race. Do you know who devised it? God planned it from first to last. Neither Gabriel nor any of the holy angels had anything to do with it. I question whether they were even told how God might be just, and yet save the transgressors. God was all in the drawing up of the scheme, and Christ was all in carrying it out. There was a dark and doleful night! Jesus was in the garden, sweating great drops of blood, which fell to the ground; nobody then came to bear the load that had been laid upon him. An angel stood there to strengthen him, but not to bear the sentence. The cup was put into his hands, and Jesus said, "Father, must I drink it?" and his Father replied, "If thou dost not drink, sinners cannot be saved"; and he took the cup and drained it to its very dregs. No man helped him. And when he hung upon that accursed tree of Calvary, when his precious hands were pierced, when: "From his head, his hands, his feet, Sorrow and love flowed mingled down," there was nobody to help him. He was "all" in the work of salvation. And, my friends, if any of you shall be saved, it must be by Christ alone. There must be no patchwork; Christ did it all, and will not be helped in the matter. Christ will not allow you, as some say, to do what you can, and leave him to make up the rest. What can you do that is not sinful? Christ has done all for us; the work of redemption is all finished. Christ planned it all, and worked out all; and we, therefore, preach a full salvation through Jesus Christ.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Struggling with faith is normal. Journey and pilgrimage have become powerful words for me for describing the life of faith. I have come to expect periods of unsettledness, uncertainty, and fear to remind me that who I am, where I am, and what I think do not define reality. Facing and then truly being present with my experiences along the way help me remember that my experiences at any moment are not the entire journey—including those periods where God is distant. I have come to believe that periods of struggling and doubt are such common experiences of faith, including in the Bible, that something is meant to be learned from such periods, however long in duration they might be.
Peter Enns (The Sin of Certainty: Why God Desires Our Trust More Than Our "Correct" Beliefs)
Luckily for the people she helped, my mother was gloriously inconsistent. She lived according to the more enlightened parts of the Bible and ignored the rest. For instance, no matter what she claimed the Bible taught about homosexuality, Mom acted as if being born gay was just another way to be human. She provided refuge, love and compassion to many gay
Frank Schaeffer (Why I am an Atheist Who Believes in God: How to give love, create beauty and find peace)
Great, then, is the glory of justice; for she, existing rather for the good of others than of self, is an aid to the bonds of union and fellowship among us. She holds so high a place that she has all things laid under her authority, and further can bring help to others and supply money; nor does she refuse her services, but even undergoes dangers for others.
Ambrose of Milan (The Complete Works of St. Ambrose (11 Books): Cross-Linked to the Bible)
Nothing can make up for the absence of someone whom we love, and it would be wrong to try to find a substitute; we must simply hold out and see it through. That sounds very hard at first, but at the same time it is a great consolation, for the gap, as long as it remains unfilled, preserves the bonds between us. It is nonsense to say that God fills the gap; God does not fill it, but on the contrary, God keeps it empty and so helps us keep alive our former communion with each other, even at the cost of pain. . . . The dearer and richer our memories, the more difficult the separation. But gratitude changes the pangs of memory into a tranquil joy. The beauties of the past are borne, not as a thorn in the flesh, but as a precious gift in themselves. We must take care not to wallow in our memories or to hand ourselves over to them, just as we do not gaze all the time at a valuable present, but only at special times, and apart from these keep it simply as a hidden treasure that is ours for certain. In this way the past gives us lasting joy and strength. —Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison
Anonymous (The NRSV Daily Bible: Read, Meditate, and Pray Through the Entire Bible in 365 Days)
For Jesus the point is fruit. You’ll know people by their fruit, by their life, by how they actually live in the world. Lots of people get excited about new ideas, and then they shove these new understandings in other people’s faces and become the very thing they despise. (If you have bought more than five copies of Love Wins for the same person and they still haven’t read it, I’m talking about you. Ha-ha.) If a new idea or understanding or interpretation doesn’t help transform you into the kind of person Jesus is calling us all to be, then it isn’t worth much. Are you more forgiving than you were? Less judgmental? More present? More courageous? Less worried and anxious, more free and loving? That’s what’s interesting, you being transformed.
Rob Bell (What Is the Bible?: How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything)
Recognizing that God has called you to function as his agent defines your task as a parent. Our culture has reduced parenting to providing care. Parents often see the task in these narrow terms. The child must have food, clothes, a bed, and some quality time. In sharp contrast to such a weak view, God has called you to a more profound task than being only a care-provider. You shepherd your child in God's behalf. The task God has given you is not one that can be conveniently scheduled. It is a pervasive task. Training and shepherding are going on whenever you are with your children. Whether waking, walking, talking or resting, you must be involved in helping your child to understand life, himself, and his needs from a biblical perspective (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).
Tedd Tripp (Shepherding a Child's Heart)
I have had great enlightenment from the writings of St. John of the Cross. When I was between seventeen and eighteen, they were my only spiritual food. But as I grew older, religious writers left me quite unmoved. I’m still like that. If I glance at a book, no matter how good and moving it is, my heart at once contracts and I read without understanding or, if I understand, I cannot meditate on it. When I’m in this state, the Bible and The Imitation come to my rescue. In them I find hidden manna, a pure and substantial food. But, above all, the Gospels help me in my prayers. They are always showing me new ways of looking at things, and I am always finding hidden and mysterious meanings in them. I understand and, by experience, I know that the Kingdom of God is within us. Jesus has no need of books or doctors of the Church to guide souls. He, the Doctor of doctors, can teach without words. I have never heard Him speak, but I know that He is within me. He guides and inspires me every moment of the day. Just when I need it, a new light shines on my problems. This happens not so much during my hours of prayer as when I’m busy with my daily work.
John Beevers (The Autobiography of Saint Therese: The Story of a Soul)
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)
the world is much stranger than we know or can say. And I know how you think, or how you like to think, but maybe this is one instance where you can’t boil down to pure ‘good’ or pure ‘bad’ like you always want to do—? Like, your two different piles? Bad over here, good over here? Maybe not quite so simple. Because—all the way driving here, driving all night, Christmas lights on the motorway and I’m not ashamed to tell you, I got choked up—because I was thinking, couldn’t help it, about the Bible story—? you know, where the steward steals the widow’s mite, but then the steward flees to far country and invests the mite wisely and brings back thousandfold cash to widow he stole from? And with joy she forgave him, and they killed the fatted calf, and made merry?” “I think that’s maybe not all the same story.
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
Maybe you’ve woken up in the middle of the night and needed to go to the bathroom or wanted to go to the kitchen, and then while you were walking across a dark room, you stubbed your toe. I know I’ve done this—and it hurts! I bet you’ve done this too. What will help in a situation like that? The answer is simple. Turn on a lamp. When we flip on a light switch, there is no argument between light and dark. When the light is on, the darkness is gone. There’s no fight. There’s no struggle. Similarly, if we feel confused about which direction to turn, then the first thing we ought to do is turn to God and read the Bible. Go to God through the pages of His Word. King David, in Psalm 119:105, states it plainly: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Light dispels darkness. First John 1:5 declares this truth: “God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
Robert Morris (Frequency: Tune In. Hear God.)
The Refuge is a mission center and Christian community dedicated to helping hurting and hungry people find faith, hope, and dignity alongside each other. We love to throw parties, tell stories, find hope, and practice the ways of Jesus as best we can. We’re all hurt or hungry in our own ways. We’re at different places on our journey but we share a guiding story, a sweeping epic drama called the Bible. We find faith as we follow Jesus and share a willingness to honestly wrestle with God and our questions and doubts. We find dignity as God’s image-bearers and strive to call out that dignity in one another. We all receive, we all give. We are old, young, poor, rich, conservative, liberal, single, married, gay, straight, evangelicals, progressives, overeducated, undereducated, certain, doubting, hurting, thriving. Yet Christ’s love binds our differences together in unity. At The Refuge, everyone is safe, but no one is comfortable.24
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
born and raised in Honolulu but had spent four years of his childhood flying kites and catching crickets in Indonesia. After high school, he’d passed two relatively laid-back years as a student at Occidental College in Los Angeles before transferring to Columbia, where by his own account he’d behaved nothing like a college boy set loose in 1980s Manhattan and instead lived like a sixteenth-century mountain hermit, reading lofty works of literature and philosophy in a grimy apartment on 109th Street, writing bad poetry, and fasting on Sundays. We laughed about all of it, swapping stories about our backgrounds and what led us to the law. Barack was serious without being self-serious. He was breezy in his manner but powerful in his mind. It was a strange, stirring combination. Surprising to me, too, was how well he knew Chicago. Barack was the first person I’d met at Sidley who had spent time in the barbershops, barbecue joints, and Bible-thumping black parishes of the Far South Side. Before going to law school, he’d worked in Chicago for three years as a community organizer, earning $12,000 a year from a nonprofit that bound together a coalition of churches. His task was to help rebuild neighborhoods and bring back jobs. As he described it, it had been two parts frustration to one part reward: He’d spend weeks planning a community meeting, only to have a dozen people show up. His efforts were scoffed at by union leaders and picked apart by black folks and white folks alike. Yet over time, he’d won a few incremental victories, and this seemed to encourage him. He was in law school, he explained, because grassroots organizing had shown him that meaningful societal change required not just the work of the people on the ground but stronger policies and governmental action as well. Despite my resistance to the hype that had preceded him, I found myself admiring Barack for both his self-assuredness and his earnest demeanor. He was refreshing, unconventional, and weirdly elegant.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
The man who wields the blood-clotted cowskin during the week fills the pulpit on Sunday, and claims to be a minister of the meek and lowly Jesus. The man who robs me of my earnings at the end of each week meets me as a class- leader on Sunday morning, to show me the way of life, and the path of salvation. He who sells my sister, for purposes of prostitution, stands forth as the pious advocate of purity. He who proclaims it a religious duty to read the Bible denies me the right of learning to read the name of the God who made me. He who is the religious advocate of marriage robs whole millions of its sacred influence, and leaves them to the ravages of wholesale pollution. The warm defender of the sacredness of the family relation is the same that scatters whole families,— sundering husbands and wives, parents and children, sisters and brothers,—leaving the hut vacant, and the hearth desolate. We see the thief preaching against theft, and the adulterer against adultery. We have men sold to build churches, women sold to support the gospel, and babes sold to purchase Bibles for the poor heathen! all for the glory of God and the good of souls! The slave auctioneer’s bell and the church-going bell chime in with each other, and the bitter cries of the heart-broken slave are drowned in the religious shouts of his pious master. Revivals of religion and revivals in the slave-trade go hand in hand together. The slave prison and the church stand near each other. The clanking of fetters and the rattling of chains in the prison, and the pious psalm and solemn prayer in the church, may be heard at the same time. The dealers in the bodies and souls of men erect their stand in the presence of the pulpit, and they mutually help each other. The dealer gives his blood-stained gold to support the pulpit, and the pulpit, in return, covers his infernal business with the garb of Christianity. Here we have religion and robbery the allies of each other—devils dressed in angels’ robes, and hell presenting the semblance of paradise.
Frederick Douglass (Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass)
[S]in in popular Christianity is often understood individualistically, obscuring the reality of “social sin.” An emphasis upon sin most often leads to introspection about what I have done wrong. Of course, such introspection can be helpful, but it clouds the fact that much of human suffering and misery is not because of our individual sins, but because of collective sin. For example, when it is emphasized that Jesus “died for our sins” (and thus for your sins and my sins), our sins are seen as responsible for Jesus’ death. But it wasn’t individual sins that caused Jesus’ death. He wasn’t killed because of the impure thoughts of adolescents or our everyday deceptions or our selfishness. The point is not that these don’t matter. The point, rather, is that these were not what caused Jesus’ death. Rather, Jesus was killed because of what might be called “social sin,” namely, the domination system of his day. The common individualistic understanding of sin typically domesticates the political passion of the Bible and Jesus.
Marcus J. Borg (The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith)
I'll keep in touch, says Lige, ain't going to let you go. This makes John Coke very quiet. John is a tall man and thin and maybe he don't have much painted on his face. He likes to make his decisions and then do a thing. He has my back and he wants the best world for Winona and he don't neglect his pals. When Lige Magan intimates his seeming love for him, John Cole does show something on his face though. Maybe remembers the old sick days when John Cole couldn't move a muscle and that Lige danced attendance. Why should a man help another man? No need, the world don't care about that. The world is just a passing parade of cruel moments and long drear stretches where nothing is going on but the chicory drinking and whiskey and cards. No requirement for nothing else tucked in there. We're strange people, soldiers stuck out in wars. We ain't saying no laws in Washington. We ain't walking on yon great lawns. Storms kill us, and battles, and the earth closes over and no one need say a word and I don't believe we mind. Happy to breathe because we seen terror and horror and then for a while they ain't in dominion. Bibles weren't wrote for us nor any books. We ain't maybe what people do call human since we ain't partaking in the bread of heaven. But if God was trying to make an excuse for us He might point at that strange love between us. Like when you fumbling about in the darkness and you light a lamp and the light comes up and rescue things. Objects in a room and the face of the man who seeing a dug-up treasure to you. John Cole. Seems a food. Bread of earth. The lamplight touching his eyes and another light answering.
Sebastian Barry (Days Without End (Days Without End #1))
I'll keep in touch, says Lige, ain't going to let you go. This makes John Cole very quiet. John is a tall man and thin and maybe he don't have much painted on his face. He likes to make his decisions and then do a thing. He has my back and he wants the best world for Winona and he don't neglect his pals. When Lige Magan intimates his seeming love for him, John Cole does show something on his face though. Maybe remembers the old sick days when John Cole couldn't move a muscle and that Lige danced attendance. Why should a man help another man? No need, the world don't care about that. The world is just a passing parade of cruel moments and long drear stretches where nothing is going on but the chicory drinking and whiskey and cards. No requirement for nothing else tucked in there. We're strange people, soldiers stuck out in wars. We ain't saying no laws in Washington. We ain't walking on yon great lawns. Storms kill us, and battles, and the earth closes over and no one need say a word and I don't believe we mind. Happy to breathe because we seen terror and horror and then for a while they ain't in dominion. Bibles weren't wrote for us nor any books. We ain't maybe what people do call human since we ain't partaking in the bread of heaven. But if God was trying to make an excuse for us He might point at that strange love between us. Like when you fumbling about in the darkness and you light a lamp and the light comes up and rescue things. Objects in a room and the face of the man who seeing a dug-up treasure to you. John Cole. Seems a food. Bread of earth. The lamplight touching his eyes and another light answering.
Sebastian Barry (Days Without End (Days Without End #1))
That month he developed the habit every night of picking up the Bible the last thing before he went to bed and reading a few verses, and from thinking a prayer and from thinking thanksgiving, he advanced to the place where he boldly, in the silence and serenity of the little room, got down on his knees and prayed the prayer of thanksgiving. Then he followed it by the prayer of asking. He found himself asking God to take care of all the world, to help everyone who needed help; to put the spirit and courage into every heart to fare forth and to attempt the Great Adventure on its own behalf... Then he arose, in some way fortified, a trifle bigger, slightly prouder, more capable, more of a man that he had been the day before. He had asked for help and he knew that he was receiving help, and he knew that never again would he be ashamed to face any man, or any body of men, and tell them that he had asked for help and that help had been forthcoming, and that the same experience lay in the reach of every man if he would only take the Lord at His word; if he would only do what all men are so earnestly urged to do--believe.
Gene Stratton-Porter (The Keeper of the Bees)
Rather than boasting a doctrinal statement, the Refuge extends an invitation: The Refuge is a mission center and Christian community dedicated to helping hurting and hungry people find faith, hope, and dignity alongside each other. We love to throw parties, tell stories, find hope, and practice the ways of Jesus as best we can. We’re all hurt or hungry in our own ways. We’re at different places on our journey but we share a guiding story, a sweeping epic drama called the Bible. We find faith as we follow Jesus and share a willingness to honestly wrestle with God and our questions and doubts. We find dignity as God’s image-bearers and strive to call out that dignity in one another. We all receive, we all give. We are old, young, poor, rich, conservative, liberal, single, married, gay, straight, evangelicals, progressives, overeducated, undereducated, certain, doubting, hurting, thriving. Yet Christ’s love binds our differences together in unity. At The Refuge, everyone is safe, but no one is comfortable.24 Imagine if every church became a place where everyone is safe, but no one is comfortable. Imagine if every church became a place where we told one another the truth. We might just create sanctuary.
Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
We decided to attend to our community instead of asking our community to attend the church.” His staff started showing up at local community events such as sports contests and town hall meetings. They entered a float in the local Christmas parade. They rented a football field and inaugurated a Free Movie Night on summer Fridays, complete with popcorn machines and a giant screen. They opened a burger joint, which soon became a hangout for local youth; it gives free meals to those who can’t afford to pay. When they found out how difficult it was for immigrants to get a driver’s license, they formed a drivers school and set their fees at half the going rate. My own church in Colorado started a ministry called Hands of the Carpenter, recruiting volunteers to do painting, carpentry, and house repairs for widows and single mothers. Soon they learned of another need and opened Hands Automotive to offer free oil changes, inspections, and car washes to the same constituency. They fund the work by charging normal rates to those who can afford it. I heard from a church in Minneapolis that monitors parking meters. Volunteers patrol the streets, add money to the meters with expired time, and put cards on the windshields that read, “Your meter looked hungry so we fed it. If we can help you in any other way, please give us a call.” In Cincinnati, college students sign up every Christmas to wrap presents at a local mall — ​no charge. “People just could not understand why I would want to wrap their presents,” one wrote me. “I tell them, ‘We just want to show God’s love in a practical way.’ ” In one of the boldest ventures in creative grace, a pastor started a community called Miracle Village in which half the residents are registered sex offenders. Florida’s state laws require sex offenders to live more than a thousand feet from a school, day care center, park, or playground, and some municipalities have lengthened the distance to half a mile and added swimming pools, bus stops, and libraries to the list. As a result, sex offenders, one of the most despised categories of criminals, are pushed out of cities and have few places to live. A pastor named Dick Witherow opened Miracle Village as part of his Matthew 25 Ministries. Staff members closely supervise the residents, many of them on parole, and conduct services in the church at the heart of Miracle Village. The ministry also provides anger-management and Bible study classes.
Philip Yancey (Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News?)
It's through the cross that we reach the resurrection. We should be absolutely sure of this truth, and we should keep this cross hidden and not place it on the shoulders of others. It is our cross we have to carry. It is the one God has given us to go through into His resurrection. This is the one we should keep hidden. But there are crosses and crosses, some of our own making. These we should immediately discard. Some permitted by God for our sanctification. These we can share for they are also for the sanctification of others. True, we can help to carry other people's crosses and they can help to carry our crosses, but the operative word is "hidden." The Lord said, "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by men," and "When you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." (Mt 6:16-18) Our very hiddenness becomes a light if we do not complain, if we carry our cross manfully, ready to help in the carrying of other people's crosses. Then we become a light to our neighbour's feet because we become an icon of Christ—shining!
Catherine de Hueck Doherty (Sobornost: Experiencing Unity of Mind, Heart and Soul)
The British Bible translator J. B. Phillips, after completing his work on this section of Scripture, could not help reflecting on what he had observed. In the 1955 preface to his first edition of Acts, he wrote: It is impossible to spend several months in close study of the remarkable short book … without being profoundly stirred and, to be honest, disturbed. The reader is stirred because he is seeing Christianity, the real thing, in action for the first time in human history. The newborn Church, as vulnerable as any human child, having neither money, influence nor power in the ordinary sense, is setting forth joyfully and courageously to win the pagan world for God through Christ…. Yet we cannot help feeling disturbed as well as moved, for this surely is the Church as it was meant to be. It is vigorous and flexible, for these are the days before it ever became fat and short of breath through prosperity, or muscle-bound by overorganization. These men did not make ‘acts of faith,’ they believed; they did not ‘say their prayers,’ they really prayed. They did not hold conferences on psychosomatic medicine, they simply healed the sick. But if they were uncomplicated and naive by modern standards, we have ruefully to admit that they were open on the God-ward side in a way that is almost unknown today.1
Jim Cymbala (Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire)
With the fate of Roe v. Wade now hanging in the balance, I'm calling for a special 'pro-life tax.' If the fervent prayers of the religious right are answered and abortion is banned, let's take it a step further. All good Christians should legally be required to pony up; share the financial burden of raising an unwanted child. That's right: put your money where your Bible is. I'm not just talking about paying for food and shelter or even a college education. All those who advocate for driving a stake through the heart of a woman's right to choose must help bear the financial burden of that child's upbringing. They must be legally as well as morally bound to provide the child brought into this world at their insistence with decent clothes to wear; a toy to play with; a bicycle to ride -- even if they don't consider these things 'necessities.' Pro-lifers must be required to provide each child with all those things they would consider 'necessary' for their own children. Once the kid is out of the womb, don't wash your hands and declare 'Mission Accomplished!' It doesn't end there. If you insist that every pregnancy be carried to term, then you'd better be willing to pay the freight for the biological parents who can't afford to. And -- like the good Christians that you are -- should do so without complaint.
Quentin R. Bufogle (SILO GIRL)
It’s not my fault. So you can’t blame me. I didn’t do it and have no idea how it happened. It didn’t take more than an hour after they pulled her out from between my legs to realize something was wrong. Really wrong. She was so black she scared me. Midnight black, Sudanese black. I’m light-skinned, with good hair, what we call high yellow, and so is Lula Ann’s father. Ain’t nobody in my family anywhere near that color. Tar is the closest I can think of yet her hair don’t go with the skin. It’s different—straight but curly like those naked tribes in Australia. You might think she’s a throwback, but throwback to what? You should’ve seen my grandmother; she passed for white and never said another word to any one of her children. Any letter she got from my mother or my aunts she sent right back, unopened. Finally they got the message of no message and let her be. Almost all mulatto types and quadroons did that back in the day—if they had the right kind of hair, that is. Can you imagine how many white folks have Negro blood running and hiding in their veins? Guess. Twenty percent, I heard. My own mother, Lula Mae, could have passed easy, but she chose not to. She told me the price she paid for that decision. When she and my father went to the courthouse to get married there were two Bibles and they had to put their hands on the one reserved for Negroes. The other one was for white people’s hands.
Toni Morrison (God Help the Child)
FOR ALL COUPLES What aspects of your past did you hope remarriage would “cure”? Which of the following emotions have you felt in the past? Which still haunt you from time to time? Anger. Bitterness. Depression. Sadness. Longing. Hurt. Resentment. Guilt. Fear. Pain. Rejection. In what ways did you experience disillusionment, and at what point did you realize things weren’t working out like you expected? How have you adjusted your expectations? In what ways was your remarriage another loss for your children? How can you be sensitive to that loss without being guilt-ridden (or easily manipulated because you feel guilty)? Look again at the list of uncharted waters on page 19. Which of these represent areas of growth for you or your stepfamily? What areas do you consider to be the priority growth areas right now? In what ways have you or your stepfamily members experienced God’s leading or his healing hand? Be sure to share with your stepfamily how you see him at work in your lives. What Scriptures have been helpful or inspiring to you recently? If you haven’t been reading the Bible much lately, how can you begin to do so again? Share a time with your spouse when you weren’t sure the work was worth the effort. If that time is now, what do you need to help you stay determined? If you trusted God to bring you through, what would you be doing differently than you are now to work in that direction? Which, if any, of the Promised Land Payoffs have you experienced to some degree already?
Ron L. Deal (The Smart Stepfamily: Seven Steps to a Healthy Family)
Or is it the opposite-that the US has moved so far and so fast toward cultural permissiveness that we've reached a kind of apsidal point? It might be instructive to try seeing things from the perspective of, say, a God-fearing hard-working rural-Midwestern military vet. It's not that hard. Imagine gazing through his eyes at the world of MTV and the content of video games, at the gross sexualization of children's fashions, at Janet Jackson flashing her aureole on what's supposed to be a holy day. Imagine you're him having to explain to your youngest what oral sex is and what it's got to do with a US president. Ads for penis enlargers and Hot Wet Sluts are popping up out of nowhere on your family's computer. Your kids' school is teaching them WWII and Vietnam in terms of Japanese internment and the horrors of My Lai. Homosexuals are demanding holy matrimony; your doctor's moving away because he can't afford the lawsuit insurance; illegal aliens want driver's licenses; Hollywood elites are bashing America and making millions from it; the president's ridiculed for reading his Bible; priests are diddling kids left and right. Shit, the country's been directly attacked, and people aren't supporting our commander in chief. Assume for a moment that it's not silly to see things this man's way. What cogent, compelling, relevant message can the center and left offer him? Can we bear to admit that we've actually helped set him up to hear "We 're better than they are" not as twisted and scary but as refreshing and redemptive and true? If so, then now what?
David Foster Wallace (Consider the Lobster and Other Essays)
So let us be clear once and for all that Jesus is not suggesting that certain classes of people are to be viewed as pigs or dogs. Nor is he saying that we should not give good things and do good deeds to people who might reject or misuse them. In fact, his teaching is precisely the opposite. We are to be like the Father in the heavens, “who is kind to the unthankful and the evil” (Luke 6:35). The problem with pearls for pigs is not that the pigs are not worthy. It is not worthiness that is in question here at all, but helpfulness. Pigs cannot digest pearls, cannot nourish themselves upon them. Likewise for a dog with a Bible or a crucifix. The dog cannot eat it. The reason these animals will finally “turn and rend you,” when you one day step up to them with another load of Bibles or pearls, is that you at least are edible. Anyone who has ever had serious responsibilities of caring for animals will understand immediately what Jesus is saying. And what a picture this is of our efforts to correct and control others by pouring our good things, often truly precious things, upon them—things that they nevertheless simply cannot ingest and use to nourish themselves. Often we do not even listen to them. We “know” without listening. Jesus saw it going on around him all the time, as we do today. And the outcome is usually exactly the same as with the pig and the dog. Our good intentions make little difference. The needy person will finally become angry and attack us. The point is not the waste of the “pearl” but that the person given the pearl is not helped.
Dallas Willard (The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life In God)
You must realize...that the men of the Valley have built their houses and brought up their families without help from others, without a word from the Government. Their lives have been ordered from birth by the Bible. From it they took their instructions. They had no other guidance, and no other law. If it has produced hypocrites and pharisees, the fault is in the human race. We are not all angels. Our fathers upheld good conduct and rightful dealing by strictness, but it is in Man Adam to be slippery, and many are as slimy as the adder. The wonder is to me that the men of the Valley are as they are, and not barbarians at all.I was sorry for Meillyn Lewis, too. But that session of the deacons was helpful as a preventative. It was cruel, but it is more cruel to allow misconduct to flourish without check.
Richard Llewellyn (How Green Was My Valley)
MY FIRST ASSIGNMENT AFTER BEING ORDAINED as a pastor almost finished me. I was called to be the assistant pastor in a large and affluent suburban church. I was glad to be part of such an obviously winning organization. After I had been there a short time, a few people came to me and asked that I lead them in a Bible study. “Of course,” I said, “there is nothing I would rather do.” We met on Monday evenings. There weren’t many—eight or nine men and women—but even so that was triple the two or three that Jesus defined as a quorum. They were eager and attentive; I was full of enthusiasm. After a few weeks the senior pastor, my boss, asked me what I was doing on Monday evenings. I told him. He asked me how many people were there. I told him. He told me that I would have to stop. “Why?” I asked. “It is not cost-effective. That is too few people to spend your time on.” I was told then how I should spend my time. I was introduced to the principles of successful church administration: crowds are important, individuals are expendable; the positive must always be accented, the negative must be suppressed. Don’t expect too much of people—your job is to make them feel good about themselves and about the church. Don’t talk too much about abstractions like God and sin—deal with practical issues. We had an elaborate music program, expensively and brilliantly executed. The sermons were seven minutes long and of the sort that Father Taylor (the sailor-preacher in Boston who was the model for Father Mapple in Melville’s Moby Dick) complained of in the transcendentalists of the last century: that a person could no more be converted listening to sermons like that than get intoxicated drinking skim milk.[2] It was soon apparent that I didn’t fit. I had supposed that I was there to be a pastor: to proclaim and interpret Scripture, to guide people into a life of prayer, to encourage faith, to represent the mercy and forgiveness of Christ at special times of need, to train people to live as disciples in their families, in their communities and in their work. In fact I had been hired to help run a church and do it as efficiently as possible: to be a cheerleader to this dynamic organization, to recruit members, to lend the dignity of my office to certain ceremonial occasions, to promote the image of a prestigious religious institution. I got out of there as quickly as I could decently manage it. At the time I thought I had just been unlucky. Later I came to realize that what I experienced was not at all uncommon.
Eugene H. Peterson (Run with the Horses: The Quest for Life at Its Best)
True blues ain't no new news about who's been abused For the blues is as old as my stolen soul I sang the blues when the missionaries came Passing out bibles in Jesus' name I sang the blues in the hull of the ship Beneath the sting of the slavemaster's whip I sang the blues when the ship anchored the dark My family being sold on a slave block I sang the blues being torn from my first born And hung my head and cried when my wife took his life And then committed suicide. I sang the blues on the slavemaster's plantation helping Him build his free nation I sang the blues in the cottonfield, hustlin' to make the daily yield I sang the blues when he forced my woman to beg Lord knows how I wished he was dead I sang the blues on the run, ducking the dogs and dodging the gun I sang the blues hanging from the tree in a desperate attempt to break free I sang the blues when the sun went down, cursing the master when he wasn't around I sang the blues in all these wars dying for some unknown cause I sang the blues in a high tone, low moan, loud groan, soft grunt, hard funk I sang the blues in land sea and air, about who when why and where I sang the blues in church on sunday, slaving on monday, misused on tuesday, abused on wednesday, accused on thursday, fried alive on friday, and died on saturday. Sho nuff singing the blues I sang the blues in the summer, fall winter and spring I know sho nuff the blues is my thing I sang the backwater blues, rhythm and blues, gospel blues, saint louis blues, crosstown blues, chicago blues, mississippi GODDAMN blues, the watts blues, the harlem blues, hoe blues, gut-bucket blues, funky chunky blues, i sang the up north cigarette corp blues, the down south sprung out the side of my mouth blues, I sang the blues black, i sang the blues blacker, i sang the blues blackest I SANG BOUT MY SHO NUFF BLUE BLACKNESS! from "True Blues" by the Last Poets
Jalal Mansur Nuriddin
The key point here is Macaulay’s belief that “knowledge and reflection” on the part of the Hindus, especially the Brahmanas, would cause them to give up their age-old belief in anything Vedic in favor of Christianity. The purpose was to turn the strength of Hindu intellectuals against their own kind by utilizing their commitment to scholarship in uprooting their own tradition, which Macaulay viewed as nothing more than superstitions. His plan was to educate the Hindus to become Christians and turn them into collaborators. He persisted with this idea for fifteen years until he found the money and the right man for turning his utopian idea into reality. He needed someone who would translate and interpret the Vedic texts in such a way that the newly educated Indian elite would see the superiority of the Bible and choose that over everything else. Upon his return to England, after a good deal of effort he found a talented but impoverished young German Vedic scholar by name Friedrich Max Muller who was willing to take on the arduous job. Macaulay used his influence with the East India Company to find funds for Max Muller’s translation of the Rig Veda. Though an ardent German nationalist, Max Muller agreed for the sake of Christianity to work for the East India Company, which in reality meant the British Government of India. He also badly needed a major sponsor for his ambitious plans, which he felt he had at last found. The fact is that Max Muller was paid by the East India Company to further its colonial aims, and worked in cooperation with others who were motivated by the superiority of the German race through the white Aryan race theory. This was the genesis of his great enterprise, translating the Rig Veda with Sayana's commentary and the editing of the fifty-volume Sacred Books of the East. In this way, there can be no doubt regarding Max Muller’s initial aim and commitment to converting Indians to Christianity. Writing to his wife in 1866 he observed: “It [the Rig Veda] is the root of their religion and to show them what the root is, I feel sure, is the only way of uprooting all that has sprung from it during the last three thousand years.” Two years later he also wrote the Duke of Argyle, then acting Secretary of State for India: “The ancient religion of India is doomed. And if Christianity does not take its place, whose fault will it be?” This makes it very clear that Max Muller was an agent of the British government paid to advance its colonial interests. Nonetheless, he still remained an ardent German nationalist even while working in England. This helps explain why he used his position as a recognized Vedic and Sanskrit scholar to promote the idea of the “Aryan race” and the “Aryan nation,” a theory amongst a certain class of so-called scholars, which has maintained its influence even until today.
Stephen Knapp (The Aryan Invasion Theory: The Final Nail in its Coffin)
First, READ this book a chapter a day. We suggest at least five days a week for the next seven weeks, but whatever works for your schedule. Each chapter should only take you around ten minutes to read. Second, READ the Bible each day. Let the Word of God mold you into a person of prayer. We encourage you to read through the Gospel of Luke during these seven weeks and be studying it through the lens of what you can learn from Jesus about prayer. You are also encouraged to look up and study verses in each chapter that you are unfamiliar with that spark your interest. Third, PRAY every day. Prayer should be both scheduled and spontaneous. Choose a place and time when you can pray alone each day, preferably in the morning (Ps. 5:3). Write down specific needs and personal requests you’ll be targeting in prayer over the next few weeks, along with the following prayer: Heavenly Father, I come to You in Jesus’ name, asking that You draw me into a closer, more personal relationship with You. Cleanse me of my sins and prepare my heart to pray in a way that pleases You. Help me know You and love You more this week. Use all the circumstances of my life to make me more like Jesus, and teach me how to pray more strategically and effectively in Your name, according to Your will and Your Word. Use my faith, my obedience, and my prayers this week for the benefit of others, for my good, and for Your glory. Amen. May we each experience the amazing power of God in our generation as a testimony of His goodness for His glory! My Scheduled Prayer Time ___:___ a.m./p.m. My Scheduled Prayer Place ________________________ My Prayer Targets Develop a specific, personalized, ongoing prayer list using one or more of the following questions: What are your top three biggest needs right now? What are the top three things you are most stressed about? What are three issues in your life that would take a miracle of God to resolve? What is something good and honorable that, if God provided it, would greatly benefit you, your family, and others? What is something you believe God may be leading you to do, but you need His clarity and direction on it? What is a need from someone you love that you’d like to start praying about? 1. ______________________________________________ 2. ______________________________________________ 3. ______________________________________________ 4. ______________________________________________ 5. ______________________________________________ 6. ______________________________________________
Stephen Kendrick (The Battle Plan for Prayer: From Basic Training to Targeted Strategies)
Early in my career, I formed a personal motto, one by which I continue to live: If offering a criticism, accompany it with one potential solution. In the case I described, the individual didn’t want to work together to find a solution. Unfortunately, I’ve never found an effective way to deal with adults who exhibit immaturity. The Bible offers a bit of interesting insight that I consider applicable: “Do not eat the bread of a selfish man, or desire his delicacies; for as he thinks within himself, so he is. He says to you, ‘Eat and drink!’ but his heart is not with you. You will vomit up the morsel you have eaten, and waste your compliments. Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the wisdom of your words” (Proverbs 23:6-9). The Bible also says, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men” (Romans 12:18). It saddens me to say, but in that individual’s case, peace meant limiting my interactions with him. To foster peace, I stopped saying hello in the mornings. Not out of spite, but because friendly conversation led to comfort, and comfort, I noticed, opened the door for negative comments. Rarely do I take such an extreme measure, but sometimes distance is helpful. His visits ended. My peace and fervor began to reemerge.
John Herrick (8 Reasons Your Life Matters)
THE OBEDIENCE GAME DUGGAR KIDS GROW UP playing the Obedience Game. It’s sort of like Mother May I? except it has a few extra twists—and there’s no need to double-check with “Mother” because she (or Dad) is the one giving the orders. It’s one way Mom and Dad help the little kids in the family burn off extra energy some nights before we all put on our pajamas and gather for Bible time (more about that in chapter 8). To play the Obedience Game, the little kids all gather in the living room. After listening carefully to Mom’s or Dad’s instructions, they respond with “Yes, ma’am, I’d be happy to!” then run and quickly accomplish the tasks. For example, Mom might say, “Jennifer, go upstairs to the girls’ room, touch the foot of your bed, then come back downstairs and give Mom a high-five.” Jennifer answers with an energetic “Yes, ma’am, I’d be happy to!” and off she goes. Dad might say, “Johannah, run around the kitchen table three times, then touch the front doorknob and come back.” As Johannah stands up she says, “Yes, sir, I’d be happy to!” “Jackson, go touch the front door, then touch the back door, then touch the side door, and then come back.” Jackson, who loves to play army, stands at attention, then salutes and replies, “Yes, sir, I’d be happy to!” as he goes to complete his assignment at lightning speed. Sometimes spotters are sent along with the game player to make sure the directions are followed exactly. And of course, the faster the orders can be followed, the more applause the contestant gets when he or she slides back into the living room, out of breath and pleased with himself or herself for having complied flawlessly. All the younger Duggar kids love to play this game; it’s a way to make practicing obedience fun! THE FOUR POINTS OF OBEDIENCE THE GAME’S RULES (MADE up by our family) stem from our study of the four points of obedience, which Mom taught us when we were young. As a matter of fact, as we are writing this book she is currently teaching these points to our youngest siblings. Obedience must be: 1. Instant. We answer with an immediate, prompt “Yes ma’am!” or “Yes sir!” as we set out to obey. (This response is important to let the authority know you heard what he or she asked you to do and that you are going to get it done as soon as possible.) Delayed obedience is really disobedience. 2. Cheerful. No grumbling or complaining. Instead, we respond with a cheerful “I’d be happy to!” 3. Thorough. We do our best, complete the task as explained, and leave nothing out. No lazy shortcuts! 4. Unconditional. No excuses. No, “That’s not my job!” or “Can’t someone else do it? or “But . . .” THE HIDDEN GOAL WITH this fun, fast-paced game is that kids won’t need to be told more than once to do something. Mom would explain the deeper reason behind why she and Daddy desired for us to learn obedience. “Mom and Daddy won’t always be with you, but God will,” she says. “As we teach you to hear and obey our voice now, our prayer is that ultimately you will learn to hear and obey what God’s tells you to do through His Word.” In many families it seems that many of the goals of child training have been lost. Parents often expect their children to know what they should say and do, and then they’re shocked and react harshly when their sweet little two-year-old throws a tantrum in the middle of the grocery store. This parental attitude probably stems from the belief that we are all born basically good deep down inside, but the truth is, we are all born with a sin nature. Think about it: You don’t have to teach a child to hit, scream, whine, disobey, or be selfish. It comes naturally. The Bible says that parents are to “train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
Jill Duggar (Growing Up Duggar: It's All About Relationships)
MAY 1 His Consistent Character In ages past you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. Even they will perish, but you remain forever; they will wear out like old clothing. You will change them like a garment, and they will fade away. But you are always the same; your years never end. The children of your people will live in security. Their children’s children will thrive in your presence. Psalm 102:25-28 Our world has seen more change from 1900 to the present than in all history recorded before 1900, and things continue to accelerate rapidly. As time speeds by, measured not just in minutes or seconds but in nanoseconds (billionths of a second), everything changes. Technology changes so fast in our twenty-first-century world that we can barely keep up with the upgrades on our computers. Our bodies undergo the inevitable aging process, and we witness constant upheaval in the nations of the world. Material things change and deteriorate. Even the flowers of the field and the stars in the heavens will fade away. But you, Lord, are always the same, says the psalmist in these verses. The changes in the world do not change God one bit or thwart his plans. He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever, and his love extends to the next generation and the next. This psalm reminds us that our security can’t be found in any of the things in this ever-changing world. Instead, our security is in God and his promises, including the wonderful ones in these verses: that the children and grandchildren of God’s people will live in security and will thrive in the Lord’s presence.   UNCHANGING LORD, I praise you and worship you for your love and faithfulness that extend from one generation to the next. Thank you for this reminder that although our circumstances may change and the things around us pass away, you remain the same forever. Help me to find my security in your eternal sameness.
Cheri Fuller (The One Year Praying through the Bible (One Year Bible))
Unqualified Champions Consider these individuals from the Bible. Each person was aware of a personal shortcoming which should have rendered him disqualified for service. God, however, saw champion potential … Moses struggled with a speech impediment: “Then Moses said to the LORD, ‘Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue’” (Exodus 4:10). Yet God served as Moses’ source of strength. God used him to deliver the Israelites from bondage. Jeremiah considered himself too young to deliver a prophetic message to an adult population: “Then I said, ‘Alas, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, because I am a youth’” (Jeremiah 1:6). God’s reply: “Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you,” (Jeremiah 1:8). Isaiah, whose encouragement I quoted earlier, had reservations of his own. Perhaps his vocabulary reflected my own—especially my vocabulary as a teenager: “I am a man of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5). Despite Isaiah’s flaws, God saw him as a man He could use to provide guidance to the nation of Judah. Paul the Apostle had, in his past, persecuted the very people to whom God would send him later. To most of us, Paul’s track record would disqualify him for use. But God brought change to Paul’s heart and redemption to his fervency. Samson squandered his potential through poor life choices. As I read about him, I can’t help but think, “The guy acted like a spoiled brat.” But God had placed a call on his life. Though Samson sank to life’s darkest depths—captors blinded him and placed him in slavery—at the end of his life, he turned his heart toward God and asked to be used for God’s purposes. God used Samson to bring deliverance to the Israelites. Do you feel like the least qualified, the least important, the least regarded? Perhaps your reward is yet to come. God has high regard for those who are the least. Jesus said, “For the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great” (Luke 9:48) and “But many who are first will be last; and the last, first” (Matthew 19:30). If heaven includes strategic positioning among God’s people, which I believe it will, that positioning will be ego-free and based on a humble heart. Those of high position in God’s eyes don’t focus on position. They focus on hearts: their own hearts before God, and the hearts of others loved by God. When we get to heaven, I believe many people’s positions of responsibility will surprise us. What if, in heaven, the some of today’s most accomplished individuals end up reporting to someone who cried herself to sleep at night—yet kept her heart pure before God? According to Jesus in Matthew 6:5, some rewards are given in full before we reach heaven. When He spoke those words, He referred to hypocritical religious leaders as an example. Could we be in for a heavenly surprise? I believe many who are last today—the ultimate servants—will be first in heaven. God sees things differently than we do.
John Herrick (8 Reasons Your Life Matters)
Making A Connection With The Word Of God Now that we’ve discussed the various methods of memorizing, we will move on to what is necessary to prepare for the memorization session itself. When you’re preparing to memorize the first thing that you need to do is read the text to make sure you understand it. It is easier to retain and recall what you memorized if you have full comprehension of what the scriptures are saying. Therefore it is always good to read the scriptures first. When you memorize focus on the meaning of the scripture that it may remain true to you. When you read the word of God certain things will jump out at you. This is God speaking to you through the pages. By memorizing what speaks out to you, you have a heartfelt association linked to the memory. Similar to peg and memorization by association, having a deep heartfelt connection to what you memorize gives your mind something extra to grab onto. It is infinitely more powerful to have a personal heart felt attachment to the verses in order to be able to recall it at the most practical or emotional times. Whereas other methods require a silly mental image or the smell of bacon to associate a verse with which has no emotional connection with you. If we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength then we also should love His word by which we are saved. If then we love His word we will have the heartfelt connection necessary to practically apply the scriptures in a daily walk with Him. However if we do not have a heartfelt connection with the word of God, then we will not apply it at the appropriate times and thus our walks with God will be hindered. Rather than using the other seemingly ridiculous memorizing methods that are out there it is better to focus on the meaning while retaining it for later use. Seeing that it has a special place in your heart you will be able to more accurately recall it at the most necessary times. This is why I teach that you should only memorize what is jumping out at you from the pages. When this happens God is speaking to you through the pages for your daily walk. He uses life experiences mixed with teaching from His “text book” (the bible) to teach you. If then God uses this method to help you retain the scripture and the meaning behind it, shouldn't we also apply it when memorizing? Whatever God is teaching you at the time, He will compare the scriptures to your experiences in life that you’re currently going through. Even as it is written, “These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” 1Co 2:13  Understanding this it is good to memorize the subject He is giving us to learn. It will have practical, heartfelt meaning for you and for what you’re going through now. As a result because the meaning was associated with your heart, every time you need to recall this scripture accurately it will pop back up in your mind. A walk with God in His Spirit and His word must be heartfelt. Therefore Beloved, take the time to memorize what God is teaching you. Whatever is speaking true to the current situations of your life, memorize. These current situations God will use for lessons for growth, a troubling situation to overcome, or maybe a doctrinal dispute. If you’re learning new lessons then it’s good to remember these things as a good student of God. If it’s something to overcome always memorize what God has encouraged you with.
Adam Houge (How To Memorize The Bible Quick And Easy In 5 Simple Steps)
You are my friend, Prairie Flower. If I tell you what is in my heart, will you promise never to tell?" Prairie Flower laid a hand on Jesse's shoulder, pulling it away quickly when her friend flinched in pain. "I will not betray my friend." Taking a deep breath, Jesse lifted her head. "When Rides the Wing comes near to me, my heart sings.But I do not believe that he cares for me.I am clumsy in all of the things a Lakota woman must know.I cannot speak his language without many childish mistakes. And..." Jesse reached up to lay her hand on her short hair, "I am nothing to look at.I am not..." Prairie Flower grew angry. "I have told you he cares for you.Can you not see it?" Jesse shook her head. Prairie Flower spoke the unspeakable. "Then,if you cannot see that he cares for you in what he does,you must see it in what he has not done. You have been in his tepee. Dancing Waters has been gone many moons." "Stop!" Jesse demanded. "Stop it! I..just don't say any more!" She leaped up and ran out of the tepee-and into Rides the Wind, who was returning from the river where he had gone to draw water. Jesse knocked the water skins from both of his hands. Water spilled out and she fumbled an apology then bent stiffly to pick up the skins, wincing with the effort. "I will do it, Walks the Fire." His voice was tender as he bent and took the skins from her. Jesse protested, "It is the wife's job." She blushed, realizing that she had used a wrong word-the word for wife, instead of the word for woman. Rides the Wind interrupted before she could correct herself. "Walks the Fire is not the wife of Rides the Wind." Jesse blushed and remained quiet. A hand reached for hers and Rides the Wind said, "Come, sit." He helped her sit down just outside the door of the tepee. The village women took note as he went inside and brought out a buffalo robe. Sitting by Jesse,he placed the robe on the ground and began to talk. "I will tell you how it is with the Lakota. When a man wishes to take a wife..." he described Lakota courtship. As he talked, Jesse realiced that all that Prairie Flower had said seemed to be true.He had,indeed, done nearly everything involved in the courtship ritual. Still, she told herself, there is a perfectly good explanation for everything he has done. Rides the Wind continued describing the wedding feast. Jesse continued to reason with herself as he spoke. Then she realized the voice had stopped and he had repeated a question. "How is it among the whites?How does a man gain a wife?" Embarrassed,Jesse described the sparsest of courtships, the simplest wedding.Rides the Wind listened attentively. When she had finished, he said, "There is one thing the Lakota brave who wishes a wife does that I have not described." Pulling Jesse to her feet, he continued, "One evening, as he walks with his woman..." He reached out to pick up the buffalo robe.He was aware that the village women were watching carefully. "He spreads out his arms..." Rides the Wind spread his arms,opening the buffalo robe to its full length, "and wraps it about his woman," Rides the Wind turned toward Jesse and reached around her, "so that they are both inside the buffalo robe." He looked down at Jesse, trying to read her expression.When he saw nothing in the gray eyes, he abruptly dropped his arms. "But it is hot today and your wounds have not healed.I have said enough.You see how it is with the Lakota." When Jesse still said nothing, he continued, "You spoke of a celebration with a min-is-ter.It is a word I do not know.What is this min-is-ter?" "A man who belives in the Bible and teaches his people about God from the Bible." "What if there is no minister and a man and a woman wish to be married?" Jesse grew more uncomfortable. "I suppose they would wait until a minister came.
Stephanie Grace Whitson (Walks The Fire (Prairie Winds, #1))
Adventists urged to study women’s ordination for themselves Adventist Church President Ted N. C. Wilson appealed to members to study the Bible regarding the theology of ordination as the Church continues to examine the matter at Annual Council next month and at General Conference Session next year. Above, Wilson delivers the Sabbath sermon at Annual Council last year. [ANN file photo] President Wilson and TOSC chair Stele also ask for prayers for Holy Spirit to guide proceedings September 24, 2014 | Silver Spring, Maryland, United States | Andrew McChesney/Adventist Review Ted N. C. Wilson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, appealed to church members worldwide to earnestly read what the Bible says about women’s ordination and to pray that he and other church leaders humbly follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance on the matter. Church members wishing to understand what the Bible teaches on women’s ordination have no reason to worry about where to start, said Artur A. Stele, who oversaw an unprecedented, two-year study on women’s ordination as chair of the church-commissioned Theology of Ordination Study Committee. Stele, who echoed Wilson’s call for church members to read the Bible and pray on the issue, recommended reading the study’s three brief “Way Forward Statements,” which cite Bible texts and Adventist Church co-founder Ellen G. White to support each of the three positions on women’s ordination that emerged during the committee’s research. The results of the study will be discussed in October at the Annual Council, a major business meeting of church leaders. The Annual Council will then decide whether to ask the nearly 2,600 delegates of the world church to make a final call on women’s ordination in a vote at the General Conference Session next July. Wilson, speaking in an interview, urged each of the church’s 18 million members to prayerfully read the study materials, available on the website of the church’s Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research. "Look to see how the papers and presentations were based on an understanding of a clear reading of Scripture,” Wilson said in his office at General Conference headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. “The Spirit of Prophecy tells us that we are to take the Bible just as it reads,” he said. “And I would encourage each church member, and certainly each representative at the Annual Council and those who will be delegates to the General Conference Session, to prayerfully review those presentations and then ask the Holy Spirit to help them know God’s will.” The Spirit of Prophecy refers to the writings of White, who among her statements on how to read the Bible wrote in The Great Controversy (p. 598), “The language of the Bible should be explained according to its obvious meaning, unless a symbol or figure is employed.” “We don’t have the luxury of having the Urim and the Thummim,” Wilson said, in a nod to the stones that the Israelite high priest used in Old Testament times to learn God’s will. “Nor do we have a living prophet with us. So we must rely upon the Holy Spirit’s leading in our own Bible study as we review the plain teachings of Scripture.” He said world church leadership was committed to “a very open, fair, and careful process” on the issue of women’s ordination. Wilson added that the crucial question facing the church wasn’t whether women should be ordained but whether church members who disagreed with the final decision on ordination, whatever it might be, would be willing to set aside their differences to focus on the church’s 151-year mission: proclaiming Revelation 14 and the three angels’ messages that Jesus is coming soon. 3 Views on Women’s Ordination In an effort to better understand the Bible’s teaching on ordination, the church established the Theology of Ordination Study Committee, a group of 106 members commonly referred to by church leaders as TOSC. It was not organized
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