Lifting Everything To God Quotes

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His faith was like the radar of a bat, it took him through the darkness that surrounded him. It would guide him through everything that evil would throw at him. When his body gave up, God’s powers lifted him up and kept his heart thumping.
Mark A. Cooper (The Edelweiss Express (Edelweiss Pirates #2))
i thank You God for most this amazing day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes (i who have died am alive again today, and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay great happening illimitably earth) how should tasting touching hearing seeing breathing any--lifted from the no of all nothing--human merely being doubt unimaginable You? (now the ears of my ears awake and now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
E.E. Cummings
Instead of thanking God for my two strong legs that are able to run and jump and climb, I whined about my "thunder thighs" and "thick" ankles. Instead of rejoicing that I have two capable arms that can lift and carry and balance my body, I complained about the flab that hung beneath them. I have been totally and unbelievably ungrateful for everything. Like a completely spoiled brat, I took my healthy body for granted. I criticized it and despised it. With crystal clarity, I know that I do not deserve the good health that God has mysteriously blessed me with. Not only have I been unappreciative of my body and its amazing working parts, I tortured it by overexercising, and I put my entire health at serious risk by starving myself. What on earth was wrong with me? As I watch these kids with their less-than-perfect bodies, I feel so thoroughly ashamed of myself. I mean, how could I have been so stupid and shallow and self-centered?
Melody Carlson (Faded Denim: Color Me Trapped (TrueColors, #9))
i thank You God for most this amazing day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes (i who have died am alive again today, and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay great happening illimitably earth) how should tasting touching hearing seeing breathing any---lifted from the no of all nothing---human merely being doubt unimaginably You? (now the ears of my ears awake and now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
E.E. Cummings (100 Selected Poems)
Morality, as far as I could see, originates in atheism and the realization that no higher power is coming along to feed the hungry or lift the fallen. Mercy is left entirely to us.
Barbara Ehrenreich (Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever's Search for the Truth about Everything)
When her blue-black eyes lifted to his, everything disappeared. Their bodies dematerialized. The room they were in ceased to exist. Time became nothing. And in the void, in the wormhold, Wrath's chest opened up sure as if he'd been shot, a piercing pain licking over his nerve endings. He knew then that there are many ways for a heart to break. Sometimes it's from the crowding of life, the compression of responsibility and birthright and burden that just squeezed you until you couldn't breathe anymore. Even though your lungs were working just fine. And sometimes it's from the casual cruelty of a fate that took you far from where you had thought you would end up. And sometimes it's age in the face of youth. Or sickness in the face of health. But sometimes it's just because you're looking into the eyes of your lover, and your gratitude for having them in your life overflows...because you showed them what was on the inside and they didn't run scared or turn away: they accepted you and loved you and held you in the midst of your passion or your fear...or your combination of both. Wrath closed his eyes and focused on the soft pulls at his wrist. God, they were just like the beat of his heart. Which made sense. Because she was the center of his chest. And the center of his world.
J.R. Ward (The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider's Guide (Black Dagger Brotherhood))
Books,” I say firmly. “I’m crazy about books.” He laughs. “Okay. That’s cool.” “I like to read them and write them,” I say shyly. Hello, my name is Sparrow and I am a nerd. “He lifts his eyebrows, and his eyes land on my mouth. “God, everything you say is hot.
Willow Aster (True Love Story)
Simply having the courage to say senseless things made me euphoric. I was free, with no need to seek or to give explanations for what I was doing. This freedom lifted me to the heavens - where greater love, one that forgives everything and never allows you to feel abandoned, once again enveloped me.
Paulo Coelho
Religious Jews believe that all things come from God, as God owns everything. The Tanakh says, “The Lord makes some poor and others rich; he brings some down and lifts others up” (NLT, 1 Samuel 2:7). “The blessing of the LORD brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it” (NIV, Proverbs 10:22).
H.W. Charles (The Money Code: Become a Millionaire With the Ancient Jewish Code)
I missed you, Kitten,” he growled. Then his mouth crushed over mine, his kiss more filled with raw need than romantic welcome. That was fine; I felt the same way. Aside from my compulsive urge to run my hands over him to assure myself that he was really here, relief, happiness, and the most profound feeling of rightness zoomed through me, settling all the way to my core. I hadn’t realized how deeply I’d missed Bones until that very moment, hadn’t let myself acknowledge how everything felt off when I was apart from him. On some levels, it was frightening how much a part of me he’d become. It let me know just how much I’d crumble if anything happened to him. “Why didn’t you answer your mobile earlier?” Bones murmured once he lifted his head. “I tried you several times. Tried Mencheres, too. Even Tepesh. None of you answered. Scared the wits out of me, so I stowed away on a FedEx plane to make sure you were all right.” “You came all the way from Ohio because I didn’t answer the phone?” I was torn between laughter and disbelief. “God, Bones, that’s a little crazy.” And it was, except the part of me that had had images of his tombstone dancing in my head because he hadn’t answered his phone earlier was nodding in complete understanding. Despite all our protestations, we were so alike when it came to fear over the other’s safety, and I doubted we’d ever change. “Crazy,” I repeated, my voice roughening with the surge of emotion in me. “And have I told you lately. that your crazy side . . . is your sexiest side?” He chuckled before his mouth swooped back over mine in another dizzying kiss. Then he picked me up, brushing past Vlad and Mencheres without even a hello, though I doubted either of them was surprised.
Jeaniene Frost (This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress, #5))
I was just wishing for you," he said. "And here you are." "Must be your lucky day, Ace." "Eve." He lifted a hand, not quite steady, skimmed his fingers along her jaw. "Eve," he said again, and his arms were around her, banded like steel as he lifted her off her feet. "Oh God. Eve." She felt the shudder run through him as he buried his face in her hair, against the curve of her neck. And knew she'd been right to come. Whatever else there was, she'd been right to come. "Everything's okay now." To soothe, she ran her hands over his back. "It's okay." "You landed in a field of cows, in a jet-copter." "You're telling me?" He rubbed his hands up and down her arms before linking them with hers and easing back to look at her face. "You must love me madly." "I must." His eyes were wild and beautiful, his lips warm and tender as he pressed them to her cheeks. "Thank you." "You're welcome, but you missed a spot." She found his mouth with hers and let him sink in. When she felt the heat, the punch, her lips curved against his. "That's better.
J.D. Robb (Portrait in Death (In Death, #16))
I don’t have any regrets,” a famous movie actor said in an interview I recently witnessed. “I’d live everything over exactly the same way.” “That’s really pathetic,” the talk show host said. “Are you seeking help?” “Yeah. My shrink says we’re making progress. Before, I wouldn’t even admit that I would live it all over,” the actor said, starting to choke up. “I thought one life was satisfying enough.” “My God,” the host said, cupping his hand to his mouth. “The first breakthrough was when I said I would live it over, but only in my dreams. Nocturnal recurrence.” “You’re like the character in that one movie of yours. What’s it called? You know, the one where you eat yourself.” “The Silence of Sam.” “That’s it. Can you do the scene?” The actor lifts up his foot to stick it in his mouth. I reach over from my seat and help him to fit it into his bulging cheeks. The audience goes wild.
Benson Bruno (A Story that Talks About Talking is Like Chatter to Chattering Teeth, and Every Set of Dentures can Attest to the Fact that No . . .)
Jesus entered the temple area and revealed that he was the perfect and final priest; even more, he was the entire temple. All the temple symbols suddenly came to life. He was the wash basin, the Water of Life. He was the bread of the Presence, the Bread of Life. He was the candlesticks, the Light of the World. He was the perfect priest, the Great High Priest who would offer the sacrifice, and he was the sacrifice itself, “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Everything in the Old Testament temple was gathered together and fulfilled in Jesus.
Edward T. Welch (Shame Interrupted: How God Lifts the Pain of Worthlessness and Rejection)
All teachers of Scripture conclude that the essence of prayer is simply the lifting up of the heart to God. But if this is so, it follows that everything else that doesn’t lift up the heart to God is not prayer. Therefore, singing, talking, and whistling without this lifting up of your heart to God are as much like prayer as scarecrows in the garden are like people. The name and appearance might be there, but the essence is missing.
Martin Luther (Faith Alone: A Daily Devotional)
Let me remind you again. Do not try to change your thoughts, or to change your life style, or to work on your bad habits, or to try to remove fear, and the rest of it. Rather you lift your vision high, to the highest, by following the I-thought to its source. And one day you will discover something interesting. Your body will appear to melt, to dissolve. The world, the universe will appear to dissolve. Your God will appear to dissolve. Everything you stood up for, everything you have believed in, all of your thoughts, your feelings, your emotions, will dissolve. And you will find yourself as omnipresence, all-pervading consciousness. You will discover that you’ve always been the ultimate reality, ultimate oneness. You are the ‘I’ am. You are free.
Robert Adams
Can God create a mountain so big that He himself couldn’t lift it? It’s trying to put God in a corner, because if He can or if He can’t, He’s not all-powerful. But the question is silly, because it assumes God is as stupid as we are. If you’re as big as God, there’s no such thing as “lifting.” It’s all just floating in a million universes you made. If you made an object of some insane, unusual size, then it’d still be a thing. And God is as big as everything at once. And as small. Physical stuff is too simple. The better question is, Can God create a law so big that He himself has to obey it? Is there an idea so big that God doesn’t remember anything before it? That answer is love. Love is the object of unusual size.
Daniel Nayeri (Everything Sad Is Untrue: (a true story))
Faith for Jesus is the opposite of anxiety. If you are anxious, if you are trying to control everything, if you are worried about many things, you don’t have faith, according to Jesus. You do not trust that God is good and on your side. You’re trying to do it all yourself, lift yourself up by your own bootstraps.
Richard Rohr
I made it three days before the text messages started one afternoon while I was trying to finish warming up before our afternoon session. I had gotten to the LC later than usual and had gone straight to the training room, praising Jesus that I’d decided to change my clothes before leaving the diner once I’d seen what time it was and had remembered lunchtime traffic was a real thing. I was in the middle of stretching my hips when my phone beeped from where I’d left it on top of my bag. I took it out and snickered immediately at the message after taking my time with it. Jojo: WHAT THE FUCK JASMINE I didn’t need to ask what my brother was what-the-fucking over. It had only been a matter of time. It was really hard to keep a secret in my family, and the only reason why my mom and Ben—who was the only person other than her who knew—had kept their mouths closed was because they had both agreed it would be more fun to piss off my siblings by not saying anything and letting them find out the hard way I was going to be competing again. Life was all about the little things. So, I’d slipped my phone back into my bag and kept stretching, not bothering to respond because it would just make him more mad. Twenty minutes later, while I was still busy stretching, I pulled my phone out and wasn’t surprised more messages appeared. Jojo: WHY WOULD YOU NOT TELL ME Jojo: HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME Jojo: DID THE REST OF YOU KEEP THIS FROM ME Tali: What happened? What did she not tell you? Tali: OH MY GOD, Jasmine, did you get knocked up? Tali: I swear, if you got knocked up, I’m going to beat the hell out of you. We talked about contraception when you hit puberty. Sebastian: Jasmine’s pregnant? Rubes: She’s not pregnant. Rubes: What happened, Jojo? Jojo: MOM DID YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS Tali: Would you just tell us what you’re talking about? Jojo: JASMINE IS SKATING WITH IVAN LUKOV Jojo: And I found out by going on Picturegram. Someone at the rink posted a picture of them in one of the training rooms. They were doing lifts. Jojo: JASMINE I SWEAR TO GOD YOU BETTER EXPLAIN EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW Tali: ARE YOU KIDDING ME? IS THIS TRUE? Tali: JASMINE Tali: JASMINE Tali: JASMINE Jojo: I’m going on Lukov’s website right now to confirm this Rubes: I just called Mom but she isn’t answering the phone Tali: She knew about this. WHO ELSE KNEW? Sebastian: I didn’t. And quit texting Jas’s name over and over again. It’s annoying. She’s skating again. Good job, Jas. Happy for you. Jojo: ^^ You’re such a vibe kill Sebastian: No, I’m just not flipping my shit because she got a new partner. Jojo: SHE DIDN’T TELL US FIRST THO. What is the point of being related if we didn’t get the scoop before everybody else? Jojo: I FOUND OUT ON PICTUREGRAM Sebastian: She doesn’t like you. I wouldn’t tell you either. Tali: I can’t find anything about it online. Jojo: JASMINE Tali: JASMINE Jojo: JASMINE Tali: JASMINE Tali: Tell us everything or I’m coming over to Mom’s today. Sebastian: You’re annoying. Muting this until I get out of work. Jojo: Party pooper Tali: Party pooper Jojo: Jinx Tali: Jinx Sebastian: Annoying ... I typed out a reply, because knowing them, if I didn’t, the next time I looked at my phone, I’d have an endless column of JASMINE on there until they heard from me. That didn’t mean my response had to be what they wanted. Me: Who is Ivan Lukov?
Mariana Zapata (From Lukov with Love)
If you've never shot a gun, You can’t understand how it feels in your hands. Cool to the touch, all its venom coiled inside, deadly, like a steel-scaled serpent. Awaiting your bidding. You select it’s prey… paper, tin, or flesh. You lie in wait, learn that patience is the killer’s most trustworthy accomplice. You choose the moment. What. Where. When. Decided. But the how is everything. You lift your weapon, ease it into place, cock it, to load it, knowing the satisfying snitch means a bullet is yours to command. Now, make or break, it’s all up to you. You aim knowing a hair either way means bull’s-eye or miss. Success or failure. Life or death. You have to relax, convince your muscles not to be tense, not to betray you. Sight again. Adjust. Don’t become distracted by the heat of the hunt. Instincts take over. You shoot and adrenaline screams as your target shreds or the flesh drops. And for one indescribable moment you are God.
Ellen Hopkins (Burned (Burned, #1))
The Reason for Skylarks It was nearly morning when the giant Reached the tree of children. Their faces shone like white apples On the cold dark branches And their dresses and little coats Made sodden gestures in the wind. He did not laugh or weep or stamp His heavy feet. He set to work at once Lifting them tenderly down Into a straw basket which was fixed By a golden strap to his shoulder. Only one did he drop - a soft pretty child Whose hair was the color of watered milk. She fell into the long grass And he could not find her Though he searched until his fingers Bled and the full light came. He shook his fist at the sky and called God a bitter name. But no answer was made and the giant Got down on his knees before the tree And putting his hands about the trunk Shook Until all the children had fallen Into the grass. Then he pranced and stamped Them to jelly. And still he felt no peace. He took his half-full basket and set it afire, Holding it by the handle until Everything had been burned. He saw now Two men on steaming horses approaching From the direction of the world And taking a little silver flute Out of his pocket he played tune After tune until they came up to him.
Kenneth Patchen
Here I am, a bundle of past recollections and future dreams, knotted up in a reasonably attractive bundle of flesh. I remember what this flesh has gone through; I dream of what it may go through. I record here the actions of optical nerves, of taste buds, of sensory perception. And, I think: I am but one more drop in the great sea of matter, defined, with the ability to realize my existence. Of the millions, I, too, was potentially everything at birth. I, too, was stunted, narrowed, warped, by my environment, my outcroppings of heredity. I, too, will find a set of beliefs, of standards to live by, yet the very satisfaction of finding them will be marred by the fact that I have reached the ultimate in shallow, two-dimensional living - a set of values. This loneliness will blur and diminish, no doubt, when tomorrow I plunge again into classes, into the necessity of studying for exams. But now, that false purpose is lifted and I am spinning in a temporary vacuum. At home I rested and played, here, where I work, the routine is momentarily suspended and I am lost. There is no living being on earth at this moment except myself. I could walk down the halls, and empty rooms would yawn mockingly at me from every side. God, but life is loneliness, despite all the opiates, despite the shrill tinsel gaiety of "parties" with no purpose, despite the false grinning faces we all wear. And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter - they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you so long. Yes, there is joy, fulfillment and companionship - but the loneliness of the soul in it's appalling self-consciousness, is horrible and overpowering.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
But…” Hazel gripped his shoulders and stared at him in amazement. “Frank, what happened to you?” “To me?” He stood, suddenly self-conscious. “I don’t…” He looked down and realized what she meant. Triptolemus hadn’t gotten shorter. Frank was taller. His gut had shrunk. His chest seemed bulkier. Frank had had growth spurts before. Once he’d woken up two centimeters taller than when he’d gone to sleep. But this was nuts. It was as if some of the dragon and lion had stayed with him when he’d turned back to human. “Uh…I don’t…Maybe I can fix it.” Hazel laughed with delight. “Why? You look amazing!” “I—I do?” “I mean, you were handsome before! But you look older, and taller, and so distinguished—” Triptolemus heaved a dramatic sigh. “Yes, obviously some sort of blessing from Mars. Congratulations, blah, blah, blah. Now, if we’re done here…?” Frank glared at him. “We’re not done. Heal Nico.” The farm god rolled his eyes. He pointed at the corn plant, and BAM! Nico di Angelo appeared in an explosion of corn silk. Nico looked around in a panic. “I—I had the weirdest nightmare about popcorn.” He frowned at Frank. “Why are you taller?” “Everything’s fine,” Frank promised. “Triptolemus was about to tell us how to survive the House of Hades. Weren’t you, Trip?” The farm god raised his eyes to the ceiling, like, Why me, Demeter? “Fine,” Trip said. “When you arrive at Epirus, you will be offered a chalice to drink from.” “Offered by whom?” Nico asked. “Doesn’t matter,” Trip snapped. “Just know that it is filled with deadly poison.” Hazel shuddered. “So you’re saying that we shouldn’t drink it.” “No!” Trip said. “You must drink it, or you’ll never be able to make it through the temple. The poison connects you to the world of the dead, lets you pass into the lower levels. The secret to surviving is”—his eyes twinkled—“barley.” Frank stared at him. “Barley.” “In the front room, take some of my special barley. Make it into little cakes. Eat these before you step into the House of Hades. The barley will absorb the worst of the poison, so it will affect you, but not kill you.” “That’s it?” Nico demanded. “Hecate sent us halfway across Italy so you could tell us to eat barley?” “Good luck!” Triptolemus sprinted across the room and hopped in his chariot. “And, Frank Zhang, I forgive you! You’ve got spunk. If you ever change your mind, my offer is open. I’d love to see you get a degree in farming!” “Yeah,” Frank muttered. “Thanks.” The god pulled a lever on his chariot. The snake-wheels turned. The wings flapped. At the back of the room, the garage doors rolled open. “Oh, to be mobile again!” Trip cried. “So many ignorant lands in need of my knowledge. I will teach them the glories of tilling, irrigation, fertilizing!” The chariot lifted off and zipped out of the house, Triptolemus shouting to the sky, “Away, my serpents! Away!” “That,” Hazel said, “was very strange.” “The glories of fertilizing.” Nico brushed some corn silk off his shoulder. “Can we get out of here now?” Hazel put her hand on Frank’s shoulder. “Are you okay, really? You bartered for our lives. What did Triptolemus make you do?” Frank tried to hold it together. He scolded himself for feeling so weak. He could face an army of monsters, but as soon as Hazel showed him kindness, he wanted to break down and cry. “Those cow monsters…the katoblepones that poisoned you…I had to destroy them.” “That was brave,” Nico said. “There must have been, what, six or seven left in that herd.” “No.” Frank cleared his throat. “All of them. I killed all of them in the city.” Nico and Hazel stared at him in stunned silence. Frank
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
This time I watch him carefully, calculating everyone of his movements. Everything seems flawless, until I go to pick up my dealt cards. I noticed some shift his weight forward and scratch his leg. I swear to God it looks if you take something out from underneath his ass. "Wait a minute." I raise a finger, setting my cards down as I lean forward. "Did you just take the card out from under your ass?" "No why would I do that?" He lifts the two cards he has as he presses his hands innocently to his chest. "Besides, where would I put the other cards I dealt?" "How the hell should I know," I say. "Maybe if your ass.
Jessica Sorensen (The Destiny of Violet & Luke (The Coincidence, #3))
There was a long pause. “you know,” he went on, “I sometimes think mankind is dangerously arrogant. We do a few sums, and then claim we have the universe off pat. we measure the spaces between the stars, and declare them empty. We set a limit on infinity. We are like the occupants of a closed room; having worked out everything within the range of our knowledge, we announce that the room and its contents are all that exists. Nothing beyond. Nothing unseen or unknown, incalculable or neffable. This is it. And then every so often God lifts the veil—twitches the curtain—and gives us a glimpse, just a glimpse, of something more. As if He wishes to show us how narrow is our vision, how meaningless the boundaries we have set for ourselves. I felt that when Fern was talking. Just for a minute I though: This is truth, there’s a world beyond all the jargon of unbelief.
Jan Siegel (Prospero's Children (Fern Capel))
Hold your tongue, or I'll kill you! You'll kill me? No, excuse me, I will speak. I came to treat myself to that pleasure. Oh, I love the dreams of my ardent young friends, quivering with eagerness for life! 'There are new men,' you decided last spring, when you were meaning to come here, 'they propose to destroy everything and begin with cannibalism. Stupid fellows! they didn't ask my advice! I maintain that nothing need be destroyed, that we only need to destroy the idea of God in man, that's how we have to set to work. It's that, that we must begin with. Oh, blind race of men who have no understanding! As soon as men have all of them denied God -- and I believe that period, analogous with geological periods, will come to pass -- the old conception of the universe will fall of itself without cannibalism, and, what's more, the old morality, and everything will begin anew. Men will unite to take from life all it can give, but only for joy and happiness in the present world. Man will be lifted up with a spirit of divine Titanic pride and the man-god will appear. From hour to hour extending his conquest of nature infinitely by his will and his science, man will feel such lofty joy from hour to hour in doing it that it will make up for all his old dreams of the joys of heaven. Everyone will know that he is mortal and will accept death proudly and serenely like a god. His pride will teach him that it's useless for him to repine at life's being a moment, and he will love his brother without need of reward. Love will be sufficient only for a moment of life, but the very consciousness of its momentariness will intensify its fire, which now is dissipated in dreams of eternal love beyond the grave'... and so on and so on in the same style. Charming! Ivan sat with his eyes on the floor, and his hands pressed to his ears, but he began trembling all over. The voice continued. (The devil) The question now is, my young thinker reflected, is it possible that such a period will ever come? If it does, everything is determined and humanity is settled for ever. But as, owing to man's inveterate stupidity, this cannot come about for at least a thousand years, everyone who recognises the truth even now may legitimately order his life as he pleases, on the new principles. In that sense, 'all things are lawful' for him. What's more, even if this period never comes to pass, since there is anyway no God and no immortality, the new man may well become the man-god, even if he is the only one in the whole world, and promoted to his new position, he may lightheartedly overstep all the barriers of the old morality of the old slaveman, if necessary. There is no law for God. Where God stands, the place is holy. Where I stand will be at once the foremost place... 'all things are lawful' and that's the end of it! That's all very charming; but if you want to swindle why do you want a moral sanction for doing it? But that's our modern Russian all over. He can't bring himself to swindle without a moral sanction. He is so in love with truth-.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
Finally, by lifting our hands we symbolically receive everything God is doing in our lives.
Bob Sorge (Exploring Worship: A Practical Guide to Praise & Worship)
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. —Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)
Guideposts (Daily Guideposts 2017: A Spirit-Lifting Devotional)
My hope is that after you read Imprinted Wisdom, you will be able to see your blessings, to count more of them that you already have. Realize your thoughts touch holy ground. Action with compassion for others will heal all your sorrow. And prayer will lift your veil of tears. Give more of everything than you take. Know that the true spirit of God lies within your heart.
Catherine Nagle (Imprinted Wisdom)
The arm of the flesh can never save us, but humility and dependance on a loving God can. When we become dependant upon God, and submissive to him as being the only one who can lift us up, then we are heading for a real spiritual breakthrough. Such a breakthrough will be like something, which we have never experienced before. And then everything in our lives will start to change.
Christopher Roberts (365 Days With God: A Daily Devotional)
[THE DAILY BREATH] There are three important periods in your life. When you enter your twenties, you chase a career that other people suggested, recommended, or imposed on you. You are doing other people's purpose. When you finish your twenties, frustration and depression - sometimes illnesses - begin to set in because you feel you have no purpose in life. If you find the courage to break the bondage, you go to find your purpose. You discover your passion and follow your dreams for a while. You feel bliss because you feel you have found freedom. You are doing your purpose. And one day, God touches your heart and you put all your dreams at His feet. When you lift your hands and say: "Jesus, I am yours. Everything I am, use all of me," you begin to do God's purpose for you. You are finally free.
Dragos Bratasanu
May you, son, daughter, image of the very Creator God, fearfully and wonderfully made, knit together in your mother’s womb, fully seen, fully known, and fully loved, see with eyes that are open wide. Hear the Voice that speaks from inside of you with ears attuned and mind unshackled. Taste and see the goodness of the One who shall be all and in all. May your heart be opened to the love that formed you and everything else, the love that holds all things together and shall make all things new in the end, and may that love that was broken and poured out for you impel you into the world to break your own self open to be poured out for the world that God so loves. Poured out in acts of justice and mercy, poured out in good and hard work that brings order rather than disorder. Poured out in songs and liturgies, business plans and water colors, child-rearing and policy-making. May your life be a brush in the very hand of God—painting new creation into every nook and cranny of reality that your shadow graces. Be courageous. Be free. Prune that which needs pruning, and water that which thirsts for righteousness. You are the body of Christ, the light of the world. Pick up your hammer. Your brush. Your trumpet. Your skillet. Your pen. Lift up your head. And walk. Run. Dance. Fly. The great Artist, the future God, calls you into being. So go into your world, your valley, your garden, and create with His grace and in His peace. Amen. ________________________
Michael Gungor (The Crowd, The Critic And The Muse: A Book For Creators)
So the idea of being “lifted up” has everything to do with Christ’s crucifixion, a crucifixion that surely has in view his resurrection and ascension into glory that has come by way of the cross. And it is through this great work (atoning sacrifice) on the cross that Jesus will draw “all men” to himself, meaning that he will draw to himself men from every tribe, tongue, and nation (both Jew and Gentile), which is a common theme in this gospel account (cf. 6:44).
Eric J. Bargerhuff (The Most Misused Verses in the Bible: Surprising Ways God's Word Is Misunderstood)
We don't get to say. Not if we want to save ourselves. We can't question everything. We have to be able to give the help that is asked for. Not what we think is needed. What is asked for. We justify ourselves with a thousand small acts of grace and charity. It's all meaningless. We want to be liked. To be liked. (He is staring out at the sea. He lifts one hand and lets it fall again) God. It goes beyond lacking all conviction. At the very core of despair is the conviction that convictions do not exist. That their reality exists solely in the claims of criminals and lunatics. I was on the beach last night and there was a bright light out to sea. I don't know what it was. A flare. Something. And I thought: What would happen if chaos should come? Would we be worse off? What if this were the sun misrisen at midnight. What if all order were suddenly in abeyance, the skies given over to the access of sudden random moons, everything mindless and migratory. So that all we knew was to be set aside and we found ourselves dwelling in a silent pandemonium. Would we be worse off? Would we be more damned under the transit of constellations unknown to us? What if we suddenly knew nothing? Nothing at all?
Cormac McCarthy (Whales and Men)
I know it was personally right, it was divinely right, for those apostles to hear what Jesus said and to tarry for the Holy Spirit; however, it is not right now to tarry for the Holy Spirit. Then why do we not all receive the Holy Spirit, you ask? Because our bodies are not ready for it; our temples are not cleansed. When our temples are purified and our minds are put in order so that carnalities and fleshly desires and everything contrary to the Spirit have gone, then the Holy Spirit can take full charge. The Holy Spirit is not a manifestation of carnality. There are any number of people who never read the Word of God who could not be led away by the powers of Satan. But the power of the Holy Spirit is most lovely, divine in all its construction. It is a great refiner. It is full of life, but it is always divine—never natural. If you deal in the flesh after you are baptized in the Holy Spirit, you cease to go on. Beloved, I want to speak about something greater; something to lift your minds, elevate your thoughts, and bring you into divine ways; something that elevates you out of yourself and into God, out of the world and into a place where you know you have rest for your feet, where you cease from your own works (Heb. 4:10), and where God works in you mightily “to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). When I think about a river—a pure, holy, divine river—I say, “What can stand against its inrush?” Wherever it is—in a railway coach, in the street, or in a meeting—its power and flow will always be felt; it will always do its work. Jesus spoke about the Holy Spirit that was to be given. I want you to think about how God gave it, how its coming was manifested, and its reception and its outflow after it had come.
Smith Wigglesworth (Wigglesworth on the Anointing)
I reach for her. 'I'm so sorry I had to keep...' My words die on my tongue as she steps back, avoiding me. 'Not happening.' A world of hurt flashes in those hazel eyes, and I fucking wither. 'Just because I believe you and am willing to fight with you doesn't mean I'll trust you with my heart again. and I can't be with someone I don't trust.' Something in my chest crumples. 'I've never lied to you, Violet. Not once. I never will.' She walks over to the window and looks down, then slowly turns back to me. 'It's not even that you kept this from me. I get it. It's the ease with which you did it. The ease with which I let you into my hear and didn't get the same in return.' She shakes her head, and I see it there, the love, but it's masked behind defences I foolishly forced her to build. I love her. Of course I love her. But if I tell her now, she'll think I'm doing it for all the wrong reasons, and honestly, she'd be right. I'm not going to lose the only woman I've ever fallen for without a fight. 'You're right. I kept secrets,' I admit, pressing forward again, taking step after step until I'm less than a foot from her. I palm the glass on both sides of her head, loosely caging her in, but we both know she could walk away if she wanted. But she doesn't move. 'It took me a long time to trust you, a long time to realise I fell for you.' Someone knocks, I ignore it. 'Don't say that.' She lifts her chin, but I don't miss the way she glances at my mouth. 'I fell for you.' I lower my head and look straight into her gorgeous eyes. She might be rightfully pissed, but she sure as Malek isn't fickle. 'And you know what? You might not trust me anymore, but you still love me.' Her lips part, but she doesn't deny it. 'I gave you my trust for free once, and once is all you get.' She masks the hurt with a quick blink. Never again. Those eyes will never reflect hurt I've inflicted ever again. 'I fucked up by not telling you sooner, and I won't even try to justify my reasons. But now I'm trusting you with my life- with everyone's lives.' I've risked it all by just bringing her here instead of taking her body back to Basgiath. 'I'll tell you anything you want to know and everything you don't. I'll spend every single day of my life earning back your trust.' I'd forgotten what it felt like to be loved, really, truly, loved- it'd been so many years since Dad died. And mom... Not going there. But then Violet gave me those words, gave me her trust, her heart, and I remembered. I'll be damned if I don't fight to keep them. 'And if it's not possible?' 'You still love me. It's possible.' Gods, do I ache to kiss her, to remind her exactly what we are together, but I won't, not until she asks. 'I'm not afraid of hard work, especially not when I know just how sweet the rewards are.. I would rather lose this entire war than live without you, and if that means I have to prove myself, over and over, then I'll do it. You gave me your heart, and I'm keeping it.' She already owns mine, even if she doesn't realise it.
Rebecca Yarros (Fourth Wing (The Empyrean, #1))
I believe he has a purpose for everything. I believe he'll bring good out of this, maybe even in a way I won't like very much. It's his call, not mine." "Seems like any God a'tall would want you down here bustin' a gut, not leavin' it all up to him." "Seems like. But it doesn't work that way. We've got to let him do the heavy lifting. We've got to grunt, that's for sure, but we've got to let him lift. The challenge is to trust him. Right now, I'm trusting him. Running a little scared, but trusting him.
Jan Karon (Home to Holly Springs (Mitford Years, #10))
The face that Moses had begged to see – was forbidden to see – was slapped bloody (Exodus 33:19-20) The thorns that God had sent to curse the earth’s rebellion now twisted around his brow… “On your back with you!” One raises a mallet to sink the spike. But the soldier’s heart must continue pumping as he readies the prisoner’s wrist. Someone must sustain the soldier’s life minute by minute, for no man has this power on his own. Who supplies breath to his lungs? Who gives energy to his cells? Who holds his molecules together? Only by the Son do “all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). The victim wills that the soldier live on – he grants the warrior’s continued existence. The man swings. As the man swings, the Son recalls how he and the Father first designed the medial nerve of the human forearm – the sensations it would be capable of. The design proves flawless – the nerves perform exquisitely. “Up you go!” They lift the cross. God is on display in his underwear and can scarcely breathe. But these pains are a mere warm-up to his other and growing dread. He begins to feel a foreign sensation. Somewhere during this day an unearthly foul odor began to waft, not around his nose, but his heart. He feels dirty. Human wickedness starts to crawl upon his spotless being – the living excrement from our souls. The apple of his Father’s eye turns brown with rot. His Father! He must face his Father like this! From heaven the Father now rouses himself like a lion disturbed, shakes His mane, and roars against the shriveling remnant of a man hanging on a cross.Never has the Son seen the Father look at him so, never felt even the least of his hot breath. But the roar shakes the unseen world and darkens the visible sky. The Son does not recognize these eyes. “Son of Man! Why have you behaved so? You have cheated, lusted, stolen, gossiped – murdered, envied, hated, lied. You have cursed, robbed, over-spent, overeaten – fornicated, disobeyed, embezzled, and blasphemed. Oh the duties you have shirked, the children you have abandoned! Who has ever so ignored the poor, so played the coward, so belittled my name? Have you ever held a razor tongue? What a self-righteous, pitiful drunk – you, who moles young boys, peddle killer drugs, travel in cliques, and mock your parents. Who gave you the boldness to rig elections, foment revolutions, torture animals, and worship demons? Does the list never end! Splitting families, raping virgins, acting smugly, playing the pimp – buying politicians, practicing exhortation, filming pornography, accepting bribes. You have burned down buildings, perfected terrorist tactics, founded false religions, traded in slaves – relishing each morsel and bragging about it all. I hate, loathe these things in you! Disgust for everything about you consumes me! Can you not feel my wrath? Of course the Son is innocent He is blamelessness itself. The Father knows this. But the divine pair have an agreement, and the unthinkable must now take place. Jesus will be treated as if personally responsible for every sin ever committed. The Father watches as his heart’s treasure, the mirror image of himself, sinks drowning into raw, liquid sin. Jehovah’s stored rage against humankind from every century explodes in a single direction. “Father! Father! Why have you forsaken me?!” But heaven stops its ears. The Son stares up at the One who cannot, who will not, reach down or reply. The Trinity had planned it. The Son had endured it. The Spirit enabled Him. The Father rejected the Son whom He loved. Jesus, the God-man from Nazareth, perished. The Father accepted His sacrifice for sin and was satisfied. The Rescue was accomplished.
Joni Eareckson Tada (When God Weeps Kit: Why Our Sufferings Matter to the Almighty)
Somehow the realization that nothing was to be hoped for had a salutary effect upon me. For weeks and months, for years, in fact, all my life I had been looking forward to something happening, some intrinsic event that would alter my life, and now suddenly, inspired by the absolute hopelessness of everything, I felt relieved, felt as though a great burden had been lifted from my shoulders. At dawn I parted company with the young Hindu, after touching him for a few francs, enough for a room. Walking toward Montparnasse I decided to let myself drift with the tide, to make not the least resistance to fate, no matter in what form it presented itself. Nothing that had happened to me thus far had been sufficient to destroy me; nothing had been destroyed except my illusions. I myself was intact. The world was intact. Tomorrow there might be a revolution, a plague, an earthquake; tomorrow there might not be left a single soul to whom one could turn for sympathy, for aid, for faith. It seemed to me that the great calamity had already manifested itself, that I could be no more truly alone than at this very moment. I made up my mind that I would hold on to nothing, that I would expect nothing, that henceforth I would live as an animal, a beast of prey, a rover, a plunderer. Even if war were declared, and it were my lot to go, I would grab the bayonet and plunge it, plunge it up to the hilt. And if rape were the order of the day then rape I would, and with a vengeance. At this very moment, in the quiet dawn of a new day, was not the earth giddy with crime and distress? Had one single element of man's nature been altered, vitally, fundamentally altered, by the incessant march of history? By what he calls the better part of his nature, man has been betrayed, that is all. At the extreme limits of his spiritual being man finds himself again naked as a savage. When he finds God, as it were, he has been picked clean: he is a skeleton. One must burrow into life again in order to put on flesh. The word must become flesh; the soul thirsts. On whatever crumb my eye fastens, I will pounce and devour. If to live is the paramount thing, then I will live, even if I must become a cannibal. Heretofore I have been trying to save my precious hide, trying to preserve the few pieces of meat that hid my bones. I am done with that. I have reached the limits of endurance. My back is to the wall; I can retreat no further. As far as history goes I am dead. If there is something beyond I shall have to bounce back. I have found God, but he is insufficient. I am only spiritually dead. Physically I am alive. Morally I am free. The world which I have departed is a menagerie. The dawn is breaking on a new world, a jungle world in which the lean spirits roam with sharp claws. If I am a hyena I am a lean and hungry one: I go forth to fatten myself.
Henry Miller (Tropic of Cancer (Tropic, #1))
Though the cross and everything leading up to it violate our sensibilities and we are rightly aghast, the reality is that human beings have never liked God very much. At the cross, the nature of God was most fully revealed. As a result, human contempt was also most fully revealed and brought to a laser-like focus and intensity.
Edward T. Welch (Shame Interrupted: How God Lifts the Pain of Worthlessness and Rejection)
there is an important difference between embarrassment and shame. Whatever caused your embarrassment has been experienced by everyone else too, at one point or another. Your sense of social isolation was fleeting. Within the hour—or decade—you laugh about it. With shame, you never laugh at it. It feels like unending embarrassment, but it is more than that. Embarrassment doesn’t afflict the core of the person’s soul, but shame becomes your identity. It touches everything about you. Embarrassment points toward shame, but it wears away over time. For shame to wear away, it feels as though the shame-ful person would have to wear away, and some people have tried such things.
Edward T. Welch (Shame Interrupted: How God Lifts the Pain of Worthlessness and Rejection)
She stepped aside, dodging him with maddening ease. Grave lunged again. But faster than he could follow she ducked and slashed her sword across his shins. He hit the wet ground before he felt the pain. The world flashed black and gray and red, and agony tore at him. A dagger still left in his hand, he scuttled backward toward the wall. But his legs wouldn’t respond, and his arms strained to pull him through the damp filth. “Bitch,” he hissed. “Bitch.” He hit the wall, blood pouring from his legs. Bone had been sliced. He would not be able to walk. He could still find a way to make her pay, though. She stopped a few feet away and sheathed her sword. She drew a long, jeweled dagger. He swore at her, the filthiest word he could think of. She chuckled, and faster than a striking asp, she had one of his arms against the wall, the dagger glinting. Pain ripped through his right wrist, then his left as it, too, was slammed into the stone. Grave screamed—truly screamed—as he found his arms pinned to the wall by two daggers. His blood was nearly black in the moonlight. He thrashed, cursing her again and again. He would bleed to death unless he pulled his arms from the wall. With otherworldly silence, she crouched before him and lifted his chin with another dagger. Grave panted as she brought her face close to his. There was nothing beneath the cowl—nothing of this world. She had no face. “Who hired you?” she asked, her voice like gravel. “To do what?” he asked, almost sobbing. Maybe he could feign innocence. He could talk his way out, convince this arrogant whore he had nothing to do with it … She turned the dagger, pressing it into his neck. “To kill Princess Nehemia.” “N-n-no one. I don’t know what you’re talking about.” And then, without even an intake of breath, she buried another dagger he hadn’t realized she’d been holding into his thigh. So deep he felt the reverberation as it hit the cobblestones beneath. His scream shattered out of him, and Grave writhed, his wrists rising farther on the blades. “Who hired you?” she asked again. Calm, so calm. “Gold,” Grave moaned. “I have gold.” She drew yet another dagger and shoved it into his other thigh, piercing again to the stone. Grave shrieked—shrieked to gods who did not save him. “Who hired you?” “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” After a heartbeat, she withdrew the daggers from his thighs. He almost soiled himself at the pain, at the relief. “Thank you.” He wept, even as he thought of how he would punish her. She sat back on her heels and stared at him. “Thank you.” But then she brought up another dagger, its edge serrated and glinting, and hovered it close to his hand. “Pick a finger,” she said. He trembled and shook his head. “Pick a finger.” “P-please.” A wet warmth filled the seat of his pants. “Thumb it is.” “N-no. I … I’ll tell you everything!” Still, she brought the blade closer, until it rested against the base of his thumb. “Don’t! I’ll tell you everything!
Sarah J. Maas (Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, #2))
Then it was horn time. Time for the big solo. Sonny lifted the trumpet - One! Two! - He got it into sight - Three! We all stopped dead. I mean we stopped. That wasn't Sonny's horn. This one was dented-in and beat-up and the tip-end was nicked. It didn't shine, not a bit. Lux leaned over-you could have fit a coffee cup into his mouth. "Jesus God," he said. "Am I seeing right?" I looked close and said: "Man, I hope not." But why kid? We'd seen that trumpet a million times. It was Spoof's. Rose-Ann was trembling. Just like me, she remembered how we'd buried the horn with Spoof. And she remembered how quiet it had been in Sonny's room last night... I started to think real hophead thoughts, like - where did Sonny get hold of a shovel that late? and how could he expect a horn to play that's been under the ground for two years? and - That blast got into our ears like long knives. Spoof's own trademark! Sonny looked caught, like he didn't know what to do at first, like he was hypnotized, scared, almighty scared. But as the sound came out, rolling out, sharp and clean and clear - new-trumpet sound - his expression changed. His eyes changed: they danced a little and opened wide. Then he closed them, and blew that horn. Lord God of the Fishes, how he blew it! How he loved it and caressed it and pushed it up, higher and higher and higher. High C? Bottom of the barrel. He took off, and he walked all over the rules and stamped them flat. The melody got lost, first off. Everything got lost, then, while that horn flew. It wasn't only jazz; it was the heart of jazz, and the insides, pulled out with the roots and held up for everybody to see; it was blues that told the story of all the lonely cats and all the ugly whores who ever lived, blues that spoke up for the loser lamping sunshine out of iron-gray bars and every hop head hooked and gone, for the bindlestiffs and the city slicers, for the country boys in Georgia shacks and the High Yellow hipsters in Chicago slums and the bootblacks on the corners and the fruits in New Orleans, a blues that spoke for all the lonely, sad and anxious downers who could never speak themselves... And then, when it had said all this, it stopped and there was a quiet so quiet that Sonny could have shouted: 'It's okay, Spoof. It's all right now. You get it said, all of it - I'll help you. God, Spoof, you showed me how, you planned it - I'll do my best!' And he laid back his head and fastened the horn and pulled in air and blew some more. Not sad, now, not blues - but not anything else you could call by a name. Except... jazz. It was Jazz. Hate blew out of that horn, then. Hate and fury and mad and fight, like screams and snarls, like little razors shooting at you, millions of them, cutting, cutting deep... And Sonny only stopping to wipe his lip and whisper in the silent room full of people: 'You're saying it, Spoof! You are!' God Almighty Himself must have heard that trumpet, then; slapping and hitting and hurting with notes that don't exist and never existed. Man! Life took a real beating! Life got groined and sliced and belly-punched and the horn, it didn't stop until everything had all spilled out, every bit of the hate and mad that's built up in a man's heart. ("Black Country")
Charles Beaumont (American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny from the 1940s to Now)
God, but he was beautiful. After a time, Jackson lifted his free hand and slowly ran a finger under the length of her scar—from the space between her right eyebrow and nose, up her forehead, then repeating the path from under her right ear, up to the outside corner of her right eye. She didn’t speak, her breath unsteady from watching him, from feeling the gentle weight of his finger against her face. The circuit complete, he gently rested his palm on her cheek and began tracing the scar once more—this time with his thumb on the new skin. Under the gentle weight of his thumb, her skin felt tingly. Like a foot that had fallen asleep and was 90 percent awake again. Oh. Oh. She could feel it. She could feel it. Her whole body tensed at the sensation. His gaze moved from her skin to her eyes. His palm still rested on her cheek, and his thumb rubbed lightly back and forth against the actual scar line. “Go out with me,” he said. “We are out.” Her voice came out as husky as his, like they were in a crowded library, not alone on the beach. “Out out. Friday night, after you play.” He smiled, leaning in a little closer. “We’ll toast the standing ovation.” She frowned at this reminder. “More like drink away my sorrows.” “Or that.” He leaned closer and said again, “Go out with me.
Moriah McStay (Everything That Makes You)
Mary.” Turning at the soft sound of her name, she glanced behind herself. Then frowned. “Lassiter?” “I’m over here.” “Where?” She looked all around. “Why is your voice echoing?” “Chimney.” “What?” “I’m stuck in the fucking chimney.” She raced over to the fireplace and got on her hands and knees. Looking up into the dark flue, she shook her head. “Lass? What the hell are you doing up there?” His voice emanated from somewhere above her. “Don’t tell anyone, okay?” “What are you—” An arm came down. A very sooty arm that was encased in a red sleeve that had white trim. Or what had been white trim and which was now smudged with ash. “You’re stuck!” she exclaimed. “And thank God no one lit this fire!” “You’re telling me,” he muttered in his disembodied voice. “I had to blow out Fritz’s match like a hundred times before he gave up. Fuck, that sounds dirty. Anyway, just remind me never to try to be Santa for your kid, okay? I’m not doing this again, even for her.” Mary stretched a little farther in, but the logs on the hearth stopped her. “Lassiter. Why can’t you free yourself by dematerializing—” “I’m impaled on a hook that’s iron. I can’t go ghost. And will you just take this?” “What?” “This.” He turned his hand toward her and there was…a box…in it? A small navy blue box. “Open it. And before you ask, I already cleared it with your pinheaded hellren. He’s not jel or anything.” Mary sat back and shook her head. “I’m more worried about you—” “Justopenthefuckingthingalready.” Taking off the top, she found a slightly smaller box inside. That was velvet. “What is this?” As she lifted the lid, she…gasped. It was a pair of diamond earrings. A pair of perfectly matched, sparkly, diamond… “A mother’s tears,” Lassiter’s slightly echo-y voice said softly. “So hard, so beautiful. I told you everything was going to be all right. And those are to remind you of how strong you are, how strong your love for your daughter is…how, even in the worst of times, things have a way of working out as they should.” Blinking away tears, she thought of her crying in the foyer in front of the angel, crying because all had been lost. “They’re just beautiful,” she said hoarsely. -Lassiter & Mary
J.R. Ward (Blood Vow (Black Dagger Legacy, #2))
Men are foul, brutish creatures. But they own the world and always will…my brother liked the situation as it was - he had the best of everything without lifting a finger. Mother gave him whatever he wanted. And the selfish pig didn’t mind sacrificing me to keep himself comfortable. He was a man, you see. So I became a whore. And for years I prayed for rescue. But God doesn’t hear the prayers of women. He cares only for those He made in His own image.
Lisa Kleypas
Try to grasp the essence of what the great artists, the serious masters, say in their masterpieces, and you will again find God in them. One man has written or said it in a book, another in a painting. Just read the Bible and the Gospel, that will start you thinking, thinking about many things, thinking about everything, well then, think about many things, think about everything, that will lift your thoughts above the humdrum despite yourself. We know how to read, so let us read!
Vincent van Gogh
In this classic reversal of reality, we do not stand before him, but the King stands before us. We question him; he doesn’t question us. The irony of it all! While the name of the Lord was constantly blasphemed by men, Jesus is now accused of being a blasphemer (Matthew 26:65). Talk about a primitive form of defense—projecting your guilt onto another. Could it be any clearer that Jesus had come to the anti-kingdom, where everything was the opposite of the way it was intended? The mocking was nonstop. Accusers took turns kneeling before him, feigning homage.
Edward T. Welch (Shame Interrupted: How God Lifts the Pain of Worthlessness and Rejection)
I was already an atheist, and by my senior year I had became obsessed with the question “What is the meaning of life?” I wrote my personal statement for college admissions on the meaninglessness of life. I spent the winter of my senior year in a kind of philosophical depression—not a clinical depression, just a pervasive sense that everything was pointless. In the grand scheme of things, I thought, it really didn’t matter whether I got into college, or whether the Earth was destroyed by an asteroid or by nuclear war. My despair was particularly strange because, for the first time since the age of four, my life was perfect. I had a wonderful girlfriend, great friends, and loving parents. I was captain of the track team, and, perhaps most important for a seventeen-year-old boy, I got to drive around in my father’s 1966 Thunderbird convertible. Yet I kept wondering why any of it mattered. Like the author of Ecclesiastes, I thought that “all is vanity and a chasing after wind” (ECCLESIASTES 1:14) . I finally escaped when, after a week of thinking about suicide (in the abstract, not as a plan), I turned the problem inside out. There is no God and no externally given meaning to life, I thought, so from one perspective it really wouldn’t matter if I killed myself tomorrow. Very well, then everything beyond tomorrow is a gift with no strings and no expectations. There is no test to hand in at the end of life, so there is no way to fail. If this really is all there is, why not embrace it, rather than throw it away? I don’t know whether this realization lifted my mood or whether an improving mood helped me to reframe the problem with hope; but my existential depression lifted and I enjoyed the last months of high school.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
I once thought that would be the consummation of all joy—to be united by a bond of love—to be lost in His presence there as if nothing else mattered. "And now—there is much more. Instead of myself and my Christ and my love and my prayer, there is the might of a prayer stronger than thunder and milder than the flight of doves rising up from the Priest who is the Center of every priest, shaking the foundations of the universe and lifting up—me, Host, altar, sanctuary, people, church, abbey, forest, cities, continents, seas and worlds to God and plunging everything into Him.
Thomas Merton (The Sign of Jonas)
She was a hunchback with a sweet smile. She smiled sweetly at anything; she couldn't help it; the trees, me, the grass, anything. The basket pulled her down, dragging her toward the ground. She was such a tiny woman, with a hurt face, as if slapped forever. She wore a funny old hat, an absurd hat, a maddening hat, a hat to make me cry, a hat with faded red berries on the brim. And there she was, smiling at everything, struggling across the carpet with a heavy basket containing Lord knew what, wearing a plumed hat with red berries. I got up. It was so mysterious. There I was, like magic, standing up, my two feet on the ground, my eyes drenched. I said, "Let me help." She smiled again and gave me the basket. We began to walk. She led the way. Beyond the trees it was stifling. And she smiled. It was so sweet it nearly tore my head off. She talked, she told me things I never remembered. It didn't matter. In a« dream she held me, in a dream I followed under the blinding sun. For blocks we went forward. I hoped it would never end. Always she talked in a low voice made of human music. What words! What she said! I remembered nothing. I was only happy. But in my heart I was dying. It should have been so. We stepped from so many curbs, I wondered why she did not sit upon one and hold my head while I drifted away. It was the chance that never came again. That old woman with the bent back! Old woman, I feel so joyfully your pain. Ask me a favor, you old woman you! Anything. To die is easy. Make it that. To cry is easy, lift your skirt and let me cry and let my tears wash your feet to let you know I know what life has been for you, because my back is bent too, but my heart is whole, my tears are delicious, my love is yours, to give you joy where God has failed. To die is so easy and you may have my life if you wish it, you old woman, you hurt me so, you did, I will do anything for you, to die for you, the blood of my eighteen years flowing in the gutters of Wilmington and down to the sea for you, for you that you might find such joy as is now mine and stand erect without the horror of that twist. I left the old woman at her door. The trees shimmered. The clouds laughed. The blue sky took me up. Where am I? Is this Wilmington, California? Haven't I been here before? A melody moved my feet. The air soared with Arturo in it, puffing him in and out and making him something and nothing. My heart laughed and laughed. Goodbye to Nietzsche and Schopenhauer and all of you, you fools, I am much greater than all of you! Through my veins ran music of blood. Would it last? It could not last. I must hurry. But where? And I ran toward home. Now I am home. I left the book in the park. To hell with it. No more books for me. I kissed my mother. I clung to her passionately. On my knees I fell at her feet to kiss her feet and cling to her ankles until it must have hurt her and amazed her that it was I.
John Fante (The Road to Los Angeles (The Saga of Arturo Bandini, #2))
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist . . .” Lord, I put on the belt of truth. I choose a lifestyle of honesty and integrity. Show me the truths I so desperately need today. Expose the lies I’m not even aware that I’m believing. “. . . with the breastplate of righteousness in place . . .” And yes, Lord, I wear your righteousness today against all condemnation and corruption. Fit me with your holiness and purity—defend me from all assaults against my heart. “. . . and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace . . .” I do choose to live for the gospel at any moment. Show me where the larger story is unfolding and keep me from being so lax that I think the most important thing today is the soap operas of this world. “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one . . .” Jesus, I lift against every lie and every assault the confidence that you are good, and that you have good in store for me. Nothing is coming today that can overcome me because you are with me. “. . . Take the helmet of salvation . . .” Thank you, Lord, for my salvation. I receive it in a new and fresh way from you and I declare that nothing can separate me now from the love of Christ and the place I shall ever have in your kingdom. “. . . and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God . . .” Holy Spirit, show me specifically today the truths of the Word of God that I will need to counter the assaults and the snares of the Enemy. Bring them to mind throughout the day. “. . . And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Finally, Holy Spirit, I agree to walk in step with you in everything—in all prayer as my spirit communes with you throughout the day. (6:13-18)
John Eldredge (Wild at Heart Revised and Updated: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul)
Kiss me already, god. I can’t take the hungry looks any longer.” She told him with boldness. Her breath fanning his face and her eyes … fuck, her eyes could seduce any man and they trained on him. Then he kissed her. A growl gurgling at the back of his throat, he took her lips like he’d been starving for his whole life waiting for a kiss like this one. Her mouth offered him everything Butcher didn’t know he’d needed and now was dying for. She was a breath. A yearning. Her mouth parted so inviting and he dove in with his tongue. When her taste filled his mouth, the ticking bomb inside his head intensified. It only grew louder as her fingers speared into his hair and kissed him back like she was meant to kiss only him. Like she needed his flavor drenching her mouth in the same way. She moaned. Butcher grunted his arousal, holding the back of her head to keep her right there. And when her mouth opened again, he pushed in to chase her tongue. His free hand sloped down the curve of her back until he had a grip of her ass, helping her to move on him. Fuck, she was like a serpent curling her hips, driving him crazy and then crazier still, he lifted his pelvis from the chair in hopes of getting closer to that heaven but that would only happen if she let Butcher take her somewhere private. One more taste. Another bite and suck. One more bruising kiss. Not a kiss. It was a possession.
V. Theia (Savage Outlaw (Renegade Souls MC #8))
There is a moment following tragedy that some people never get to experience. You have to be ready for it or it will crush you to dust. It's like a window flung open and naked to the day. It's like being lifted away. It's like being stranded with everything you need. It's the moment you call a cornfield beautiful because you mean it, because you've never seen the world like this before, because newness no longer strikes terror but rather brings hope. You jerk awake into it like meeting yourself on a blind date. You surrender to that sudden first rush of joy without consequence, no more doom or fear or guilt, surrender to the sheer devastating presence of life, huge and indifferent, pushing into you like God's breath.
Sung Yim
Everything has been taken from me—my free will, my choice, my future—and I still have to suffer through the Duke’s lessons,” I spat out, shuddering. “I still have to stand there and let him hit me. Let him look at me and touch me! Do whatever he or the Lord wants—” Sucking in a fiery, painful breath, I lifted my hands, grabbing fistfuls of my hair, pulling them back as Vikter closed his eyes. “I have to stand there and take it. I can’t even scream or cry. I can do nothing. So I’m sorry that choosing something that I want for myself is such a disappointment to you, the kingdom, everyone else, and the gods. Where is the honor in being the Maiden? What exactly should I be proud of? Who would want this? Point me in their direction, and I’ll gladly switch places with them. It should be no shock that I want to be found unworthy.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (From Blood and Ash (Blood and Ash, #1))
We overcome the evil in the world by the charity and compassion of God, and in so doing we drive all evil out of our own hearts. The evil that is in us is more than moral. There is a psychological evil, the distortion caused by selfishness and sin. Good moral intentions are enough to correct what is formally bad in our moral acts. But in order that our charity may heal the wounds of sin in our whole soul it must reach down into the furthest depths of our humanity, cleaning out all the infection of anxiety and false guilt that spring from pride and fear, releasing the good that has been held back by suspicion and prejudice and self-conceit. Everything in our nature must find its right place in the life of charity, so that the whole man may be lifted up to God, that the entire person may be sanctified and not only the intentions of his will.
Thomas Merton (No Man Is an Island)
He looked her face over, loving the strong features and the short hair and the piercing forest green eyes. “I never would have asked you, you know…to blow everything you have here away for me.” “That’s only one of the reasons I love you.” “Will you tell me the others later?” “Maybe.” She slipped her hand between his legs, shocking the shit out of him and making him gasp. “Might show you, too.” He covered her mouth with his and pushed his tongue into her as he backed her up against the wall. He didn’t care if Rhage waited on the front lawn for an extra— His phone went off. And kept ringing. V lifted his head and looked through the window by the front door. Rhage was on the front lawn, phone to his ear, staring back. The brother made a show of checking his watch, then flashing his middle finger at V. Vishous pounded a fist into the Sheetrock and stepped off from Jane. “I’m coming back at the end of the night. Be naked.” “Wouldn’t you rather undress me?” “No, because I’d shred that shirt, and I want you sleeping in it every night until you’re in my bed with me. Be. Naked.” “We’ll see.” His whole body throbbed at the disobedience. And she knew it, her stare level and erotic. “God, I love you,” he said. “I know. Now run along and kill something. I’ll be waiting for you.” He smiled at her. “Couldn’t love you more if I tried.” “Ditto.” He kissed her and dematerialized out front to Rhage’s side, making sure some mhis was in place. Oh, great. It was raining. Man, he’d so much rather be cozied up with Jane than out with his brother, and he couldn’t help but shoot a short-stack glare at Rhage. “Like another five minutes would kill you?” “Please. You start down that road with your female and I’ll be here until summer.” -Vishous, Jane, & Rhage
J.R. Ward (Lover Unbound (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #5))
She gives just enough hints about him to make you wonder why he became so villainous. And if he dies, I’ll never learnt the answer.” Oliver eyes her closely. “Perhaps he was born villainous.” “No one is born villainous.” “Oh?” he said with raised eyebrow. “So we’re all born good?” “Neither. We start as animals, with an animal’s needs and desires. It takes parents and teachers and other good examples to show us how to restrain those needs and desires, when necessary, for the greater good. But it’s still our choice whether to heed that education or to do as we please.” “For a woman who loves murder and mayhem, you’re quite the philosopher.” “I like to understand how things work. Why people behave as they do.” He digested that for a moment. “I happen to think that some of us, like Rockton, are born with a wicked bent.” She chose her words carefully. “That certainly provides Rockton with a convenient excuse for his behavior.” His features turned stony. “What do you mean?” “Being moral and disciplined is hard work. Being wicked requires no effort at all-one merely indulges every desire and impulse, no matter how hurtful or immoral. By claiming to be born wicked, Rockton ensures that he doesn’t have to struggle to be god. He can just protest that he can’t help himself.” “Perhaps he can’t,” he clipped out. “Or maybe he’s simply unwilling to fight his impulses. And I want to know the reason for that. That’s why I keep reading Minerva’s books.” Did Oliver actually believe he’d been born irredeemably wicked? How tragic! It lent a hopelessness to his life that helped to explain his mindless pursuit of pleasure. “I can tell you the reason for Rockton’s villainy.” Oliver rose to round the desk. Propping his hip on the edge near her, he reached out to tuck a tendril of hair behind her ear. A sweet shudder swept over her. Why must he have this effect on her? It simply wasn’t fair. “Oh?” she managed. “Rockton knows he can’t have everything he wants,” he said hoarsely, his hand drifting to her cheek. “He can’t have the heroine, for example. She would never tolerate his…wicked impulses. Yet he still wants her. And his wanting consumes him.” Her breath lodged in her throat. It had been days since he’d touched her, and she hadn’t forgotten what it was like for one minute. To have him this near, saying such things… She fought for control over her volatile emotions. “His wanting consumes him precisely because he can’t have her. If he thought he could, he wouldn’t want her after all.” “Not true.” His voice deepening, he stroked the line of her jaw with a tenderness that roused an ache in her chest. “Even Rockton recognizes when a woman is unlike any other. Her very goodness in the face of his villainy bewitches him. He thinks if he can just possess that goodness, then the dark cloud lying on his soul will lift, and he’ll have something other than villainy to sustain him.” “Then he’s mistaken.” Her pulse trebled as his finger swept the hollow of her throat. “The only person who can lift the dark cloud on his soul is himself.” He paused in his caress. “So he’s doomed, then?” “No!” Her gaze flew to his. “No one is doomed, and certainly not Rockton. There’s still hope for him. There is always hope.” His eyes burned with a feverish light, and before she could look away, he bent to kiss her. It was soft, tender…delicious. Someone moaned, she wasn’t sure who. All she knew was that his mouth was on hers again, molding it, tasting it, making her hungry in the way that only he seemed able to do. “Maria…” he breathed. Seizing her by the arms, he drew her up into his embrace. “My God, I’ve thought of nothing but you since that day in the carriage.
Sabrina Jeffries (The Truth About Lord Stoneville (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #1))
Oh I'll die I'll die I'll die My skin is in blazing furore I do not know what I'll do where I'll go oh I am sick I'll kick all Arts in the butt and go away Shubha Shubha let me go and live in your cloaked melon In the unfastened shadow of dark destroyed saffron curtain The last anchor is leaving me after I got the other anchors lifted I can't resist anymore, a million glass panes are breaking in my cortex I know, Shubha, spread out your matrix, give me peace Each vein is carrying a stream of tears up to the heart Brain's contagious flints are decomposing out of eternal sickness other why didn't you give me birth in the form of a skeleton I'd have gone two billion light years and kissed God's ass But nothing pleases me nothing sounds well I feel nauseated with more than a single kiss I've forgotten women during copulation and returned to the Muse In to the sun-coloured bladder I do not know what these happenings are but they are occurring within me I'll destroy and shatter everything draw and elevate Shubha in to my hunger Shubha will have to be given Oh Malay Kolkata seems to be a procession of wet and slippery organs today But i do not know what I'll do now with my own self My power of recollection is withering away Let me ascend alone toward death I haven't had to learn copulation and dying I haven't had to learn the responsibility of shedding the last drops after urination Haven't had to learn to go and lie beside Shubha in the darkness Have not had to learn the usage of French leather while lying on Nandita's bosom Though I wanted the healthy spirit of Aleya's fresh China-rose matrix Yet I submitted to the refuge of my brain's cataclysm I am failing to understand why I still want to live I am thinking of my debauched Sabarna-Choudhury ancestors I'll have to do something different and new Let me sleep for the last time on a bed soft as the skin of Shubha's bosom I remember now the sharp-edged radiance of the moment I was born I want to see my own death before passing away The world had nothing to do with Malay Roychoudhury Shubha let me sleep for a few moments in your violent silvery uterus Give me peace, Shubha, let me have peace Let my sin-driven skeleton be washed anew in your seasonal bloodstream Let me create myself in your womb with my own sperm Would I have been like this if I had different parents? Was Malay alias me possible from an absolutely different sperm? Would I have been Malay in the womb of other women of my father? Would I have made a professional gentleman of me like my dead brother without Shubha? Oh, answer, let somebody answer these Shubha, ah Shubha Let me see the earth through your cellophane hymen Come back on the green mattress again As cathode rays are sucked up with the warmth of a magnet's brilliance I remember the letter of the final decision of 1956 The surroundings of your clitoris were being embellished with coon at that time Fine rib-smashing roots were descending in to your bosom Stupid relationship inflated in the bypass of senseless neglect Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah I do not know whether I am going to die Squandering was roaring within heart's exhaustive impatience I'll disrupt and destroy I'll split all in to pieces for the sake of Art There isn't any other way out for Poetry except suicide Shubha Let me enter in to the immemorial incontinence of your labia majora In to the absurdity of woeless effort In the golden chlorophyll of the drunken heart Why wasn't I lost in my mother's urethra? Why wasn't I driven away in my father's urine after his self-coition? Why wasn't I mixed in the ovum -flux or in the phlegm? With her eyes shut supine beneath me I felt terribly distressed when I saw comfort seize S
Malay Roy Choudhury (Selected Poems)
This is the last word. Jesus always has the last word, and it is always a good last word. It is always about him and it always takes you by surprise with his love and acceptance. What is your response? John’s message is clear: worship him. What does worship him mean? It means everything. It means you turn away from the stagnant pools where you once drank. For the Samaritan woman, it meant she would align her lifestyle with his kingdom. In technical terms, she would repent. She would turn away from acts of death to receive living water, and she would love it. For the young man struggling with thoughts of same-sex attraction, it means that he says to Jesus, “You are not like anyone I have ever known. I trust you.” For the anorectic woman, it means that she no longer puts all her trust in her husband’s love but trusts in Jesus alone, who is the only one capable of bearing the weight of her tremendous emptiness and need.
Edward T. Welch (Shame Interrupted: How God Lifts the Pain of Worthlessness and Rejection)
In a matter of sixty short minutes, that thing could whisk Neil away to civilization, I thought. Hmm. My goodness, that was a beautiful prospect. Somehow I had to get on that chopper with him. I packed in thirty seconds flat, everything from the past three months. I taped a white cross onto my sleeve, and raced out to where Neil was sat waiting. One chance. What the heck. Neil shook his head at me, smiling. “God, you push it, Bear, don’t you?” he shouted over the noise of the rotors. “You’re going to need a decent medic on the flight,” I replied, with a smile. “And I’m your man.” (There was at least some element of truth in this: I was a medic and I was his buddy--and yes, he did need help. But essentially I was trying to pull a bit of a fast one.) The pilot shouted that two people would be too heavy. “I have to accompany him at all times,” I shouted back over the engine noise. “His feet might fall off at any moment,” I added quietly. The pilot looked back at me, then at the white cross on my sleeve. He agreed to drop Neil somewhere down at a lower altitude, and then come back for me. “Perfect. Go. I’ll be here.” I shook his hand firmly. Let’s just get this done before anyone thinks too much about it, I mumbled to myself. And with that the pilot took off and disappeared from view. Mick and Henry were laughing. “If you pull this one off, Bear, I will eat my socks. You just love to push it, don’t you?” Mick said, smiling. “Yep, good try, but you aren’t going to see him again, I guarantee you,” Henry added. Thanks to the pilot’s big balls, he was wrong. The heli returned empty, I leapt aboard, and with the rotors whirring at full power to get some grip in the thin air, the bird slowly lifted into the air. The stall warning light kept buzzing away as we fought against gravity, but then the nose dipped and soon we were skimming over the rocks, away from base camp and down the glacier. I was out of there--and Mick was busy taking his socks off.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
Gentle hands, soft lips, and hot little breaths down my stomach. Pleasure, a thick syrup pouring over my limbs. My cock rose, growing heavy with desire. We were so new together, by all accounts, I should be panting madly, trying to take over. But I was slowly heating wax molding to her will. Emma palmed me through my briefs, and I grunted. I wanted them off, no barriers between us. As if she heard the silent demand, she kissed my nipple and slowly eased the briefs down. I lifted my butt to help her. My dick slapped against my belly as it was freed. Emma made a noise of appreciation and then wrapped her clever fingers around me. "Please," I whispered. My body was weak, but my need grew stronger, drowning out everything else. She complied, stroking, her lips on my lower abs, teasing along the V leading to my hips. "Em..." My plea broke off into a groan as her hot mouth enveloped me. There were no more words. I let her have me, do as she willed, and I was thankful for it. And it felt so good I could only lie there and take it, try not to thrust into her mouth like an animal. But she pulled free with a lewd pop and gazed up at me. Panting lightly, I stared back at her, ready to promise her anything, when she kissed my pulsing tip. "Go ahead," she said. "Fuck my mouth." I almost spilled right there. She sucked me deep once more, and a sound tore out of me that was part pained, part "Oh God, please don't ever stop." The woman was dismantling me in the best of ways. Waves of heat licked up over my skin as I pumped gently into her mouth, keeping my moves light because I didn't want to hurt her, and because denying myself was outright torture. Apparently, I was into that. She sucked me like I was dessert----all the while, her hand stroking steady circles on the tight, sensitive skin of my lower abs. It was that touch, the knowledge that she was doing this because she wanted to take care of me, that rushed me straight to the edge. My trembling hand touched the crown of her head. "Em. Baby, I'm gonna..." I gasped as she did something truly inspired with her tongue. "I'm gonna..." She pulled free with one last suck and surged up to kiss me, her hand wrapping around my aching dick and stroking it. Panting into her mouth, my kiss frantic and sloppy, I came with a shudder of pleasure. And all the tension, all the pain, dissolved like a sugar cube dropped into hot tea.
Kristen Callihan (Make It Sweet)
I'm sorry," Gansey said, not looking at her as she leaned on the car beside him. "That was very rude." Blue thought of a few things to reply, but couldn't say any of them out loud. She felt like one of the night birds had gotten inside her. It tumbled and fumbled every time she breathed. He's going to die; this is going to hurt-- But she touched his neck, right where his hair was cut evenly above the collar of his shirt. He was very still. His skin was hot, and she could very, very faintly feel his pulse beneath her thumb. It wasn't like when she was with Adam. She didn't have to guess what to do with her hands. They knew. This was what it should have felt like with Adam. Less like playacting and more like a foregone conclusion. He closed his eyes and leaned, just a little, so that her palm was flat on his neck, fingers sprawled from his ear to his shoulder. Everything in Blue was charged. Say something. Say something. Gansey lifted her hand gently from his skin, holding it as formally as a dance. He put it against his mouth. Blue froze. Absolutely still. Her heart didn't beat. She didn't blink. She couldn't say don't kiss me. She couldn't even form don't. He just leaned his cheek and the edge of his mouth against her knuckles, and then set her hand back. "I know," he said. "I wouldn't." Her skin burned with the memory of his mouth. The thrashing bird of her heart shivered and shivered again. "Thank's for remembering." He looked back over the valley. "Oh, Jane." "Oh, Jane, what?" "He didn't want me to, did you know? He told me not to try to get you to come to the table that night at Nino's. I had to talk him into it. And then I made such an idiot of myself--" He turned back to her. "What are you thinking?" She just looked at him. That I went out with the wrong boy. That I destroyed Adam tonight for no reason at all. That I'm not sensible at all--"I thought you were an asshole." Gallantly, he said, "Thank God for past tense." Then: "I can't--we can't do this to him." It was jagged inside her. "I'm not a thing. To have." "No. Jesus. Of course you're not. But you know what I mean." She did. And he was right. They couldn't do this to him. She shouldn't do it to herself, anyway. But how it made a disaster of her chest and her mouth and her head. "I wish you could be kissed, Jane," he said. "Because I would beg one off you. Under all this." He flailed an arm toward the stars. "And then we'd never say anything about it again.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2))
Note: I won’t be considering any theologically based Judeo-Christian views about these subjects beyond this broad summary here. As far as I can tell, most of the theological discussions center around omniscience—if God’s all-knowingness includes knowing the future, how can we ever freely, willingly choose between two options (let alone be judged for our choice)? Amid the numerous takes on this, one answer is that God is outside of time, such that past, present, and future are meaningless concepts (implying, among other things, that God could never relax by going to a movie and being pleasantly surprised by a plot turn—He always knows that the butler didn’t do it). Another answer is one of the limited God, something explored by Aquinas—God cannot sin, cannot make a boulder too heavy for Him to lift, cannot make a square circle (or, as another example that I’ve seen offered by a surprising number of male but not female theologians, even God cannot make a married bachelor). In other words, God cannot do everything, He can just do whatever is possible, and foreseeing whether someone will choose good or evil is not knowable, even for Him. Related to this all, Sam Harris mordantly notes that even if we each have a soul, we sure didn’t get to pick it.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Determined: A Science of Life without Free Will)
Don’t think, muñeca. Everything will work itself out.” “But--” “No buts. Trust me.” My mouth closes over hers. The smell of rain and cookies eases my nerves. My hand braces the small of her back. Her hands grip my soaked shoulders, urging me on. My hands slide under her shirt, and my fingers trace her belly button. “Come to me,” I say, then lift her until she’s straddling me over my bike. I can’t stop kissing her. I whisper how good she feels to me, mixing Spanish and English with every sentence. I move my lips down her neck and linger there until she leans back and lets me take her shirt off. I can make her forget about the bad stuff. When we’re together like this, hell, I can’t think of anything else but her. “I’m losing control,” she admits, biting her lower lip. I love those lips. “Mamacita, I’ve already lost it,” I say, grinding against her so she knows exactly how much control I’ve lost. She moves her hips in a slow rhythm against me, an invitation I don’t deserve. My fingertips graze her mouth. She kisses them before I slowly slide my hand down her chin to her neck and in between her breasts. She catches my hand. “I don’t want to stop, Alex.” I cover her body with mine. I can easily take her. Hell, she’s asking for it. But God help me if I don’t grow a conscience. It’s that loco bet I made with Lucky. And what my mom said about how easy it is to get a girl pregnant. When I made the bet, I had no feelings for this complex white girl. But now…shit, I don’t want to think about my feelings. I hate feelings; they’re only good for screwing up someone’s life. And may God strike me down right now because I want to make love to Brittany, not fuck her on my motorcycle like some cheap whore. I move my hands away from her cuerpo perfecto, the first sane thing I’ve done tonight. “I can’t take you like this. Not here,” I say, my voice hoarse from emotion overload. This girl was going to gift me with her body, even though she knows who I am and what I’m about to do. The reality is hard to swallow. I expect her to be embarrassed, maybe even mad. But she curls into my chest and hugs me. Don’t do this to me, I want to say. Instead I wrap my arms around her and hold on tight. “I love you,” I hear her say so softly it might have been her thoughts. Don’t, I’m tempted to say. ¡Noǃ ¡Noǃ My gut twists and I hold her tighter. Dios mío, if things were different I’d never give her up. I burrow my face in her hair and fantasize about stealing her away from Fairfield. We stay that way for a long time, long after the rain stops and reality sets in.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
When I’m under stress,” he emphasized, sliding the magnificent emerald onto her finger, “I buy everything in sight. It took my last ounce of control not to buy one of those in every color.” Her eyes lifted from his smiling lips, dropped to the enormous jewel on her finger, and then widened in shock. “Oh, but-“ she exclaimed, staring at it and straightening in his arms. “It’s glorious. I do mean that, but I couldn’t let you-really, I couldn’t. Ian,” she burst out anxiously, sending a tremor through him when she called him by name, “I can’t let you do this. You’ve been extravagantly generous already.” She touched the huge stone almost reverently, then gave her head a practical shake. “I don’t need jewels, really I don’t. You’re doing this because of that stupid remark I made about someone offering me jewels as large as my palm, and now you’ve bought one nearly that large!” “Not quite,” he chuckled. “Why, a stone like this would pay for irrigating Havenhurst and all the servants’ wages for years and years and years, and food to-“ She reached to slide it off her finger. “Don’t!” he warned on a choked laugh, linking his hands behind her back. “I-“ he thought madly for some way to stop her objections-“I cannot possibly return it,” he said. “It’s part of a matched set.” “You don’t mean there’s more!” “I’m afraid so, though I meant to surprise you with them tonight. There’s a necklace and bracelet and earrings.” “Oh, I see,” she said, making a visible effort not to stare at her ring. “Well, I suppose…if it was a purchase of several pieces, the ring alone probably didn’t cost as much as it would have…Do not tell me,” she said severely, when his shoulders began to shake with suppressed mirth, “you actually paid full price for all of the pieces!” Laughing, Ian put his forehead against hers, and he nodded. “It’s very fortunate,” she said, protectively putting her fingers against the magnificent ring, “that I’ve agreed to marry you.” “If you hadn’t,” he laughed, “God knows what I would have bought.” “Or how much you would have paid for it,” she chuckled, cuddling in his arms-for the first time of her own volition. “Do you really do that?” she asked a moment later. “Do what?” he gasped, tears of mirth blurring his vision. “Spend money heedlessly when you’re disturbed about something?” “Yes,” he lied in a suffocated, laughing voice. “You’ll have to stop doing it.” “I’m going to try.” “I could help you.” “Please do.” “You may place yourself entirely in my hands.” “I’m very much looking forward to that.” It was the first time Ian had ever kissed a woman while he was laughing.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
I maintain that nothing need be destroyed, that we only need to destroy the idea of God in man, that's how we have to set to work. It's that, that we must begin with. Oh, the blind race of men who have no understanding! As soon as men have all of them denied God - and I believe that period, analogous with geological periods, will come to pass - the old conception of the universe will fall of itself without cannibalism, and, what's more, the old morality, and everything will begin anew. Men will unite to take from life all it can give, but only for joy and happiness in the present world. Man will be lifted up with a spirit of divine Titanic pride and the man-god will appear. From hour to hour extending his conquest of nature infinitely by his will and his science, man will feel such lofty joy from hour to hour in doing it that it will make up for all his old dreams of joy and heaven. Everyone will know that he is mortal and will accept death proudly and serenely like a god. His pride will teach him that it's useless for him to repine at life's being a moment, and he will love his brother without need of reward. Love will be sufficient only for a moment of life, but the very consciousness of its momentariness will intensify its fire, which now is dissipated in dreams of eternal love beyond the grave.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
Lucian groaned, the sound almost animal. I arched my back in response, pulled by his need, my bared breast coming closer to the wall of his chest. I wanted to feel his skin on mine. But he didn't move. He gripped the edge tighter, his body working with heaving pants. "Fuck," he whispered. His pale gaze flicked to mine, a furrow knitting between his brows. "I want a taste. Please. God. Please, Em." That he was undone nearly had me sliding under the water. But the need in his eyes made me whimper. Lids heavy with desire, I nodded, and he swallowed hard, his expression becoming fierce. "Just a taste," he said, as if to hold himself to that. I whimpered, and his hot gaze snared with mine. Something passed over his expression----determination, reassurance, I couldn't tell; lust and need had scattered all rational thought. "Just a taste," he said again. "Take it," I whimpered, barely able to form the words. Lucian let out a breath, his mouth moving closer. "Fuck. Em... lift that sweetness up for me." My breath left in a swoosh, everything squeezing with a lovely tightness. With a shaking hand, I cupped my breast and lifted it out of the water. Offering myself to him. On a groan, he ducked his head. The hot, wet flat of his tongue dragged over my cold flesh. I let out a cry, a bolt of pleasure punching to my core. He made a sound of pure hunger, his lips gently kissing the tip before he sucked it deep...
Kristen Callihan (Make It Sweet)
She stared at him. Her head tipped to the side and she narrowed her eyes. “That’s the best you can come up with? What kind of platitude is that?” “Give me a second. I can do better.” He lifted her hand, then reached for her other one. He pulled her close so they stood toe to toe. She shivered a little. He didn’t think it had much to do with the cold. Her arms were bare, but the evening was warm. “Everything happens for a reason. God works in mysterious ways. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.” “You suck at this.” But she was smiling. She was so achingly beautiful. He slid his hands up her arms to her elbows so they were closer still. And then she leaned against him, resting her head on his shoulder, and he forgot how to breathe. He stood in the shadows, holding her in his arms, wanting to do the right thing and afraid he’d screw it all up. Her hands nestled the small of his back, thumbs hooked through his belt. Her lips brushed against the sensitive base of his throat. Awareness burned through every single spot her body came in contact with his. This was Danni, all grown up. He wanted one little taste. Just a bit. So he kissed her. And, without a second’s hesitation, she kissed him back. The world around them rocked back on its heels. Then some small noise interrupted—the sound of footsteps, passing too close. He lifted his head, not wanting any intrusion, and the moment ended as fast as it had begun.
Paula Altenburg (I'll Love You Forever)
All my life, everything’s been smooth and easy. My family loves me, lots of friends, I never wanted for anything. Nothing bad has ever happened to me. I knew God loved me. But now . . .” “He still loves you, sweetheart.” Hutch winced, and his cheeks flamed. Why on earth did he call her sweetheart? “I know. But I’ve always been good, and my life’s always been good, and now . . .” “Now your life stinks.” She lifted her face to look at him, so close he’d barely have to move to kiss her. He wouldn’t mind the taste of tears. “It does stink.” She buried her face in his shoulder again. “And you haven’t stopped being good.” “No. I know the Lord doesn’t make bargains like that. I know good people suffer and the wicked prosper, but I always thought . . .” Hutch sighed and rubbed her back. “You always thought you were the exception.” “It sounds stupid.” “No. It was a reasonable assumption based on observation.” Georgie sagged in his arms. “I also thought God spared me because I’m weak. He knows I can’t handle tragedy.” “Well, then.” He gave her a squeeze. “This tragedy shows you what I already know. You are strong enough. This is hard, the hardest thing you’ve ever gone through, but you can handle it if you lean on God. You’ll come through stronger and wiser and even more compassionate because of it.” “Thank you. You’re such a good friend.” Her arms loosened around his waist, and she pulled back slightly, staring at his chest. “I should get going. I just wanted to say good-bye.
Sarah Sundin (On Distant Shores (Wings of the Nightingale, #2))
The Hunter: “Your future refuses to behave.” Coo-yôn yanked off the jacket he’d sourced for me. Up was down. Then he stepped back. And released me— I toppled over, falling out of my seat onto the ground. Was the sosie dumping me on the side of the road? ’Cause I was about to die? “Now, let’s just talk . . . ’bout this, coo-yôn.” He caught hold of my good ankle, then dragged me farther away from the truck. He’d hauled me into . . . a bank of snow. _______________ The Empress: I’d thought the sight of snow—and all the emotions it brought—would make me less likely to be with Aric. Just the opposite; because I could see my future so clearly. If he died before I did, some symbol—like snow—would mark the end of his existence. Later I would experience that waypoint (because everything was connected) and wish to God I’d taken a different path. I decided then that I would map my own journey and mark my own waypoints. The snow would symbolize both the end of one story and the beginning of another. A new slate. But not a blank one. The red ribbon would be a cherished remembrance, but I wouldn’t keep it with me at all times. I lay in the snow and lifted my hand to the sky. Flakes landed on my damp face. Each one was a cool kiss good-bye. _____________ The Hunter Lying in that bank of snow, I gazed up at the falling flakes. They drifted over my face. Soft, soft. Like Evie’s lips. With effort, I lifted my scarred hand to the sky. I closed my eyes and pretended my Evangeline was caring for me. J’ai savouré. I savored each cold kiss. . . .
Kresley Cole (Arcana Rising (The Arcana Chronicles, #4))
I’ve been so mean to my body, outright hateful. I disparage her and call her names, I loathe parts of her and withhold care. I insist on physical standards she can never reach, for that is not how she is even made, but I detest her weakness for not pulling it off. I deny her things she loves depending on the current fad: bread, cheddar cheese, orange juice, baked potatoes. I push her too hard and refuse her enough rest. No matter what she accomplishes, I’m never happy with her. I’ve barely acknowledged her role in every precious experience of my life. I look at her with contempt. And yet every morning, no matter how terrible I have been to her, she gets us out of bed, nurtures the family, meets the needs of the day. She tells me when I am hungry or tired and sends special red-alert signals when I am overwhelmed or scared. She has safely gotten me to and from a thousand cities with fresh energy. She flushes with red wine, which she loves, which is pretty cute. She walked the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, the red dirt of Uganda, the steep opulence of Santorini, the ruins of Pompeii. She senses danger, trouble, land mines; she is never wrong. Every single time, she tells me when not to say something. She has cooked ten thousand meals. She prays without being told to; sometimes I realize she is whispering to God for us. She walks and cooks and lifts and hugs and types and drives and cleans and holds babies and rests and laughs and does everything in her power to live another meaningful, connected day on this earth. She sure does love me and my life and family. Maybe it is time to stop hating her and just love her back.
Jen Hatmaker (Fierce, Free, and Full of Fire: The Guide to Being Glorious You)
But if her idiot suitors were staying at Halstead Hall with her, then by thunder, he'd be here, too. They wouldn't take advantage of her on his watch. "We're agreed that you won't do any of that foolish nonsense you mentioned, like spying on them, right?" "Of course not. That's what I have you for." Her private lackey to jump at her commands. He was already regretting this. "Surely the gentlemen will accept the invitation," she went on, blithely ignoring his disgruntlement. "It's hunting season, and the estate has some excellent coveys." "I wouldn't know." She cast him an easy smile. "Because you generally hunt men, not grouse. And apparently you do it very well." A compliment? From her "No need to flatter me, my lady," he said dryly. "I've already agreed to your scheme." Her smile vanished. "Really, Mr. Pinter, sometimes you can be so..." "Honest?" he prodded. "Irritating." She tipped up her chin. "It will be easier to work together if you're not always so prickly." He felt more than prickly, and for the most foolish reasons imaginable. Because he didn't like her trawling for suitors. Or using him to do it. And because he hated her "lady of the manor" role. It reminded him too forcibly of the difference in their stations. "I am who I am, madam," he bit out, as much a reminder for himself as for her. "You knew what you were purchasing when you set out to do this." She frowned. "Must you make it sound so sordid?" He stepped as close as he dared. "You want me to gather information you can use in playing a false role to catch s husband. I am not the one making it sordid." "Tell me, sir, will I have to endure your moralizing at every turn?" she said in a voice dripping with sugar. "Because I'd happily pay extra to have you keep your opinions to yourself." "There isn't enough money in all the world for that." Her eyes blazed up at him. Good. He much preferred her in a temper. At least then she was herself, not putting on some show. She seemed to catch herself, pasting an utterly false smile to her lips. "I see. Well then, can you manage to be civil for the house party? It does me no good to bring suitors here if you'll be skulking about, making them uncomfortable." He tamped down the urge to provoke her further. If he did she'd strike off on her own, and that would be disastrous. "I shall try to keep my 'skulking' to a minimum." "Thank you." She thrust out her hand. "Shall we shake on it?" The minute his fingers closed about hers, he wished he'd refused. Because having her soft hand in his roused everything he'd been trying to suppress during this interview. He couldn't seem to let go. For such a small-boned female, she had a surprisingly firm grip. Her hand was like her-fragility and strength all wrapped in beauty. He had a mad impulse to lift it to his lips and press a kiss to her creamy skin. But he was no Lancelot to her Guinevere. Only in legend did lowly knights dare to court queens. Releasing her hand before he could do something stupid, he sketched a bow. "Good day, my lady. I'll begin my investigation at once and report to you as soon as I learn something." He left her standing there, a goddess surrounded by the aging glories of an aristocrat's mansion. God save him-this had to be the worst mission he'd ever undertaken, one he was sure to regret.
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
It’s like lifting—when you’re deep in a set, your arms are shaking and you’re a melting candle of pain that’s burned down to zero; you got nothing left to give. And in that darkest moment you cry out, ‘Lord, I can’t!’ and a voice comes out of the darkness and says, ‘But I can.’ That’s the still, small voice that comes in the night. That’s the sound of something bigger than yourself. That’s God talking. And he says, ‘You are not alone,’ and enfolds you in wings of the eagle, and he carries you up. But first you have to burn away everything that doesn’t matter. You have to burn away leg warmers and New Age crystals, and Madonna, and aerobics, and New Kids on the Block, and the boy you’re sweet on in school. You burn away your parents, and your friends, and everything you ever cared about, and you burn away personal safety, conventional morality. And when all that is gone, when everything is swept away in the fire and everything around you is ash, what you have left is just a tiny nugget, a little kernel of something that is good, and pure, and true. And you pick that pebble up, and you throw it at the fortress this demon has built in your friend’s soul, this leviathan of hatred and fear and oppression, and you throw this tiny pebble and it hits that wall and it goes ping . . . and nothing happens. That’s when you’ll have the hardest doubts you ever had in your life. But never doubt the truth. Never underestimate it. Because a second later, if you’ve been through the fire, you’ll hear the cracks start to spread, and all those mighty walls and iron gates will collapse like a house of cards because you have harrowed yourself until all that’s left is truth. That’s what that pebble is, Abby. It’s our core.
Grady Hendrix (My Best Friend's Exorcism)
When the white man came to Africa he studied us. Our way of living and he was amazed by our way of living. The Blackman didn’t have the sense of ownership but what the Blackman had was sharing living together. The Blackman was the richest Man on the planet. Poverty drove the white man to Africa. If the white man had everything why travel? When the white man saw the Blackman he saw God himself. Imagine a white man looking at a Blackman lifting heavy loads. The resistance to the hot weather. The Blackman was not afraid of the white man. The Blackman welcomed the white man. The white man took advantage and thought that he was more clever than the Blackman. Studied us day and night till he got the formula. Here is the formula what is it a Blackman values the most? “Life” Blackman knew they were something bigger than himself. The easy way is to brainwash give him what he believes in a white man form. Jesus Christ is just the same as our Ancestors. Proof Blackman never prayed to the Creator direct but used their Ancestor's spirit to connect. Ancestors mean we had different Ancestors but did the same thing. Jesus was introduced Son of the Creator! Blackman can talk to the Creator through the Creator's Son. Better than our Ancestors because we can talk to the Creator through his Son. The Bible was or is the proof that Jesus once existed and now he is in spirit form like our Ancestors. The Blackman has stories written on stones not curved into the stone but painted with high-quality paint. Time is being used to brainwash the whole world. Our forefathers and our future generations will be waiting for Jesus Christ because no time limit is set. What the whole world knows is One Day he will come. Just like the Blackman knows one day his Ancestors will come to guide his future generation.
Gauteng Handyman
Can anything possibly be salvaged from it?” Wherever you are right now in the story, I am going to interrupt you with Isaiah 35. The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. (verses 1–2) There is nothing wrong with a desert that a little rain can’t fix. Dry land is not inherently barren; the dirt itself is not evil. We are after all “formed…of dust from the ground” (Genesis 2:7). And no one’s life is apart from that basic ground from which God can bring his purposes to blossom. There are stretches of time when nothing is growing, but all the while nutrients are in the soil and seeds embedded just beneath the surface. A moment will come when the necessary moisture will bring faith to flower. Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong, fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.” (verses 3–4) You think that you have all you can take? That you can’t lift another burden? That you can’t manage another challenge? Well, “Be strong…! Behold, your God.” God comes. He comes in “vengeance.” He will take care, decisively and completely, of all that is wrong with the story. He comes with “recompense.” He will provide everything to make you whole and mature. The word recompense has a root meaning of “weaning from the mother’s breast.” A happy time, for it means you are making a transition from being a weak and dependent infant, but it’s a terrifying time too, for it means you are no longer treated indulgently as an innocent. “He will come and save you.” Everything God does is woven into the plot for your salvation—the judgments on your sin, the weaning from your innocence, the gifts of maturity. At the end of the story, for you who choose to be his people, you will have a put-together life, a life vibrant with health, a life whole and solid in love.
Eugene H. Peterson (As Kingfishers Catch Fire: A Conversation on the Ways of God Formed by the Words of God)
And then his mouth was on her, his tongue stroking in long, slow licks, curling almost unbearably at the place where pleasure pooled and strained and begged for release. She cried out, sitting up straight before he lifted his head and pressed one large hand to her soft stomach. "Lie back... let me taste you. Let me show you how good it can be. Watch. Tell me what you like. What you need." And she did, God help her. As he licked and sucked with his perfect tongue and his wicked lips, she whispered her encouragement, learning what she wanted even as she was not sure of the end result. More, Michael.... Her hands slid into his curls, holding him close to her. Michael, again... Her thighs widened, willing and wanton. There, Michael... Michael... He was her world. There was nothing beyond this moment. And then his fingers joined his tongue, and she thought she might die as he pressed more firmly, rubbed more deliberately, giving her everything for which she did not know to ask. Her eyes flew open, his name on a gasp. His tongue moved faster, circling at the place where she needed him, and she moved, all inhibitions gone, lost to the rising, cresting pleasure... wanting nothing more than to know what lay beyond. "Please, don't stop," she whispered. He didn't. With his name on her lips, she threw herself over the edge, rocking against him, pressing to him, begging for more even as he gave it to her with tongue and lips and fingers until she lost awareness of everything but the bold, brilliant pleasure he gave her. As she floated back from her climax, he pressed long lovely kisses to the inside of her thighs until she sighed his name and reached for his soft mahogany curls, wanting nothing more than to lie next to him for an hour... a day... a lifetime. He stilled at her touch as her fingers sifted through his hair, and they remained that way for long moments. She was limp with pleasure, her whole world in the feel of his silken curls in her hands, in the scrape of his beard at the soft skin of her thigh.
Sarah MacLean (A Rogue by Any Other Name (The Rules of Scoundrels, #1))
But wait. My eyes are almost burned by what I see. There’s a bowl in front of me that wasn’t there before. A brown button bowl and in it some apricots, some small oranges, some nuts, cherries, a banana. The fruits, the colours, mesmerize me in a quiet rapture that spins through my head. I am entranced by colour. I lift an orange into the flat filthy palm of my hand and feel and smell and lick it. The colour orange, the colour, the colour, my God the colour orange. Before me is a feast of colour. I feel myself begin to dance, slowly, I am intoxicated by colour. I feel the colour in a quiet somnambulant rage. Such wonder, such absolute wonder in such an insignificant fruit. I cannot. I will not eat this fruit. I sit in quiet joy, so complete, beyond the meaning of joy. My soul finds its own completeness in that bowl of colour. The forms of each fruit. The shape and curl and bend all so rich, so perfect. I want to bow before it. Loving that blazing, roaring, orange colour ... Everything meeting in a moment of colour and form, my rapture no longer abstract euphoria. It is there in that tiny bowl, the world recreated in that broken bowl. I feel the smell of each fruit leaping into me and lifting me and carrying me away. I am drunk with something that I understand but cannot explain. I am filled with a sense of love. I am filled and satiated by it. What I have waited and longed for has without my knowing come to me, and taken all of me. For days I sit in a kind of dreamy lethargy, in part contemplation and in part worship. The walls seem to be singing. I focus all of my attention on the bowl of fruit. At times I fondle the fruits, at times I rearrange them, but I cannot eat them. I cannot hold the ecstasy of the moment and its passionate intensity. It seems to drift slowly from me as the place in which I am being held comes back to remind me of where I am and of my condition. But my containment does not oppress me. I sit and look at the walls but now this room seems so expansive, it seems I can push the walls away from me. I can reach out and touch them from where I sit and yet they are so far from me.
Brian Keenan (An Evil Cradling)
Fig-tree, for such a long time I have found meaning in the way you almost completely omit your blossoms and urge your pure mystery, unproclaimed, into the early ripening fruit. Like a curved pipe of a fountain, your arching boughs drive the sap downward and up again: and almost without awakening it bursts out of sleep, into its sweetest achievement. Like the god stepping into the swan. ......But we still linger, alas, we, whose pride is in blossoming; we enter the overdue interior of our final fruit and are already betrayed. In only a few does the urge to action rise up so powerfully the they stop, glowing in their heart's abundance, while, like the soft night air , the temptation to blossom touches their tender mouths, touches their eyelids, softly: heroes perhaps, and those chosen to disappear early, whose veins Death the gardener twists into a different pattern. These plunge on ahead: in advance of their own smile like the team of galloping horses before the triumphant pharaoh in the mildly hollowed reliefs at Karnak. The hero is strangely close to those who died young. Permanence does not concern him. He lives in continual ascent, moving on into the ever-changed constellation of perpetual danger. Few could find him there. But Fate, which is silent about us, suddenly grows inspired and sings him into the storm of his onrushing world. I hear no one like him. All at once I am pierced by his darkened voice, carried on the streaming air. Then how gladly I would hide from the longing to be once again oh a boy once again, with my life before me, to sit leaning on future arms and reading of Samson, how from his mother first nothing, then everything, was born. Wasn't he a hero inside you mother? didn't his imperious choosing already begin there, in you? Thousands seethed in your womb, wanting to be him, but look: he grasped and excluded—, chose and prevailed. And if he demolished pillars, it was when he burst from the world of your body into the narrower world, where again he chose and prevailed. O mothers of heroes, O sources of ravaging floods! You ravines into which virgins have plunged, lamenting, from the highest rim of the heart, sacrifices to the son. For whenever the hero stormed through the stations of love, each heartbeat intended for him lifted him up, beyond it; and, turning away, he stood there, at the end of all smiles,—transfigured.
Rainer Maria Rilke (The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke)
So your theory is that Nancy plans to marry Samuel, pass off as her own the child he fathered on her maid, and then raise it, assuming it’s a boy, to be heir to the title. That doesn’t gain Nancy much, does it? It’s not her son, and she’s not Samuel’s only lover. He and his mistress and the son get everything; she gets only the privilege of knowing she’s married to a seducer.” Dom ignored the fact that some of what she said made sense. “She gains an exalted rank as mother to the new viscount. She gains a husband she’s always coveted. And she might not even care if Samuel was having an affair with her maid--you said yourself that Nancy wasn’t fond of the intimate side of marriage.” The moment Jane paled, he realized what he’d said. Something highly inappropriate. Something that revealed just how frank he and Jane had been in their conversations. God only knew what Blakeborough would make of that. Bloody hell. Whatever it was, it wouldn’t help Dom’s situation with Jane any. Not that any of this would. Damn Nancy for coming between them yet again. Jane’s gaze turned stormy as she poked him in the chest. “You’ve got it all figured out, don’t you? But as usual, you ignore all the ways that your theory doesn’t fit.” He stared her down. “Such as what?” Again she poked him in the chest. “Why did Samuel mention coming to London to see a doctor if they were sure that Nancy had lost the baby?” Another poke. “Why did she leave York in such strange circumstances that she roused our suspicions?” Poke. “Why did she not even pack bags for the journey?” When she started to poke him once more, he grabbed her hand. “Perhaps she and Barlow worked up the scheme once she got to York.” Jane snatched her hand free. “And she didn’t try to return to Rathmoor Park to allay the servants’ suspicions or pack or even take her dogs?” “Nancy didn’t take her dogs?” Sadler echoed. “That’s not right, not right at all. That girl carries those deuced dogs everywhere. Many is the trip I’ve taken with her when I’ve had to endure the mutts in my lap.” Sadler approached to stand beside Jane. “I tell you, the only way she’d leave them behind is if Barlow abducted her and forced her to do his bidding. That’s what has happened. I know it!” With a smug lift of her eyebrow, Jane crossed her arms over her chest and dared Dom to refute that. He couldn’t. Because until he could investigate more, he simply couldn’t be sure of the truth, damn it.
Sabrina Jeffries (If the Viscount Falls (The Duke's Men, #4))
IT’S ONLY SOUND Let me ask you an honest question. Is your music subject to God’s approval? If you discovered that He desired for you to listen to a different kind of music, would you obey willingly and gladly? Or would you resist and cling to “what you like”? Recently in a counseling session, I was speaking with a teenage young man about the power of music. After some thought about how strongly his music was holding on to his heart, he lifted his head, sort of chuckled and said, “It’s kind of strange when you really think about it…it’s only music…it’s only sound.” Oh, but how powerful that sound is! Just try to take away or suggest danger in the favorite CD or the favorite CCM group of a supposedly “surrendered” Christian. You’ll get everything from rage to ridicule—real fruits of the Spirit—all qualities that are produced by just such “good, godly music.” I’m being intentionally sarcastic to cause you to think. If pop-styled Christian music is so spiritually effective, why aren’t we having revival? Why isn’t it producing more holy, more separated, more godly individuals? Why are young people leaving Christianity in record numbers? Why do we have to have the world’s music? Should music really be such a stronghold in the Christian heart or in the local church? Should such self-absorption be the guiding force of our choices in entertainment? Should we view our music as entertainment at all? Does God really like “all kinds” of music? Music has a much higher purpose than our pleasure. Reducing music to mere entertainment would be something like asking a brain surgeon to roast marshmallows for a living. No, music is much too powerful and spiritually significant to reduce it to a petty place of pleasure. First Corinthians 10:14 admonishes us, “Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.” Again in Colossians 3:5 we’re told to, “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” God commands us to “mortify” or “put to death” our “members.” Anything less than full surrender of our bodies (including our ears) to God is a subtle form of idolatry. Is music an idol in your life? Is it a stronghold? Are you addicted to your style, your group, your sound? Do you find yourself putting up a wall of defense in your heart, even as you read these words? Is your primary concern that it “makes you feel good” or that you listen to “what you like”? Think about it. It’s only sound.
Cary Schmidt (Music Matters: Understanding and Applying the Amazing Power of Godly Music)
In a matter of sixty short minutes, that thing could whisk Neil away to civilization, I thought. Hmm. My goodness, that was a beautiful prospect. Somehow I had to get on that chopper with him. I packed in thirty seconds flat, everything from the past three months. I taped a white cross onto my sleeve, and raced out to where Neil was sat waiting. One chance. What the heck. Neil shook his head at me, smiling. “God, you push it, Bear, don’t you?” he shouted over the noise of the rotors. “You’re going to need a decent medic on the flight,” I replied, with a smile. “And I’m your man.” (There was at least some element of truth in this: I was a medic and I was his buddy--and yes, he did need help. But essentially I was trying to pull a bit of a fast one.) The pilot shouted that two people would be too heavy. “I have to accompany him at all times,” I shouted back over the engine noise. “His feet might fall off at any moment,” I added quietly. The pilot looked back at me, then at the white cross on my sleeve. He agreed to drop Neil somewhere down at a lower altitude, and then come back for me. “Perfect. Go. I’ll be here.” I shook his hand firmly. Let’s just get this done before anyone thinks too much about it, I mumbled to myself. And with that the pilot took off and disappeared from view. Mick and Henry were laughing. “If you pull this one off, Bear, I will eat my socks. You just love to push it, don’t you?” Mick said, smiling. “Yep, good try, but you aren’t going to see him again, I guarantee you,” Henry added. Thanks to the pilot’s big balls, he was wrong. The heli returned empty, I leapt aboard, and with the rotors whirring at full power to get some grip in the thin air, the bird slowly lifted into the air. The stall warning light kept buzzing away as we fought against gravity, but then the nose dipped and soon we were skimming over the rocks, away from base camp and down the glacier. I was out of there--and Mick was busy taking his socks off. As we descended, I spotted, far beneath us, this lone figure sat on a rock in the middle of a giant boulder field. Neil’s two white “beacons” shining bright. I love it. I smiled. We picked Neil up, and in an instant we were flying together through the huge Himalayan valleys like an eagle freed. Neil and I sat back in the helicopter, faces pressed against the glass, and watched our life for the past three months become a shimmer in the distance. The great mountain faded into a haze, hidden from sight. I leaned against Neil’s shoulder and closed my eyes. Everest was gone.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
I realized something tonight when you were in the arena doing your thing.” She took another deep breath of the roses’ scent. “What was it?” “I love you, Elle.” Her eyes flared wide to search his and her heart stopped. “Do you love me?” “Yes, I love you, Chase.” Simple, sure, an indisputable fact she couldn’t’ve held on her tongue if she’d wanted to. But was she ready to love somebody who loved her back? Was she? “You had me since Spin Master,” he said, with that grin she loved. “But I didn’t know it ‘til tonight.” “Oh, well, then, I get it,” she said, smiling back. “You only loved me ‘cause I saved your life.” “I want you to save it again.” He stood up to pull something out of the front pocket of his starched jeans. He reached for her hand. “I’m asking you to marry me, Elle. Will you?” Tears blurred her vision. They caught in her throat. Oh, God, how could she ever be a wife again? But how could she ever leave Chase? She tried to buy herself a little time to think. “You said you don’t trust women.” “Only you. I trust you. I trusted you with my life the first time I ever saw you.” That made her grin. And then she felt very solemn. He was looking right into her soul, holding her hand in his big calloused one. She clung to it. “You’re in a league of your own, Elle. Not just was a bull-fighter, but in every way.” She didn’t know what to say. She didn’t know what to think. She knew she loved him, but this was scary. “You’re not the marrying kind, Chase. You’ve told me that a dozen times.” “I changed my mind.” “I’ve been married, Chase. It didn’t last. I left him.” He lifted one big shoulder. “What will last is that I love you,” he said. “That’ll never change. I’ll follow you all over the country if I have to, just to get a glimpse of you. Just to hear you laugh. You can work as many rodeos as you want. You can do anything you want and even if I’m not there, wherever I am, I’ll be loving you. Until I die.” “You’re looking at me as if it’s a done deal,” she said, smiling. His grin broadened. “It is. I can convince you. I know I’m good.” She laughed. “You might as well save us some time. You know I got no quit in me.” “Yes, I do know that.” “So what do you say?” “The main problem is that you’re not the man who’ll do everything I say. I told you that’s what I have to have before I’ll marry again.” “How d’you know I’m not him? I’ve been pretty pliable here lately, wouldn’t you say?” “You are so full of it, Chase Lomax.” “You’re the one who told me I have to get a life after rodeo. Well, that’s exactly what I’m tryin’ to do, right here.
Genell Dellin (Montana Gold)
May God’s people never eat rabbit or pork (Lev. 11:6–7)? May a man never have sex with his wife during her monthly period (Lev. 18:19) or wear clothes woven of two kinds of materials (Lev. 19:19)? Should Christians never wear tattoos (Lev. 19:28)? Should those who blaspheme God’s name be stoned to death (Lev. 24:10–24)? Ought Christians to hate those who hate God (Ps. 139:21–22)? Ought believers to praise God with tambourines, cymbals, and dancing (Ps. 150:4–5)? Should Christians encourage the suffering and poor to drink beer and wine in order to forget their misery (Prov. 31:6–7)? Should parents punish their children with rods in order to save their souls from death (Prov. 23:13–14)? Does much wisdom really bring much sorrow and more knowledge more grief (Eccles. 1:18)? Will becoming highly righteous and wise destroy us (Eccles. 7:16)? Is everything really meaningless (Eccles. 12:8)? May Christians never swear oaths (Matt. 5:33–37)? Should we never call anyone on earth “father” (Matt. 23:9)? Should Christ’s followers wear sandals when they evangelize but bring no food or money or extra clothes (Mark 6:8–9)? Should Christians be exorcising demons, handling snakes, and drinking deadly poison (Mark 16:15–18)? Are people who divorce their spouses and remarry always committing adultery (Luke 16:18)? Ought Christians to share their material goods in common (Acts 2:44–45)? Ought church leaders to always meet in council to issue definitive decisions on matters in dispute (Acts 15:1–29)? Is homosexuality always a sin unworthy of the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9–10)? Should unmarried men not look for wives (1 Cor. 7:27) and married men live as if they had no wives (1 Cor. 7:29)? Is it wrong for men to cover their heads (1 Cor. 11:4) or a disgrace of nature for men to wear long hair (1 Cor. 11:14)? Should Christians save and collect money to send to believers in Jerusalem (1 Cor. 16:1–4)? Should Christians definitely sing psalms in church (Col. 3:16)? Must Christians always lead quiet lives in which they work with their hands (1 Thess. 4:11)? If a person will not work, should they not be allowed to eat (2 Thess. 3:10)? Ought all Christian slaves always simply submit to their masters (reminder: slavery still exists today) (1 Pet. 2:18–21)? Must Christian women not wear braided hair, gold jewelry, and fine clothes (1 Tim. 2:9; 1 Pet. 3:3)? Ought all Christian men to lift up their hands when they pray (1 Tim. 2:8)? Should churches not provide material help to widows who are younger than sixty years old (1 Tim. 5:9)? Will every believer who lives a godly life in Christ be persecuted (2 Tim. 3:12)? Should the church anoint the sick with oil for their healing (James 5:14–15)? The list of such questions could be extended.
Christian Smith (The Bible Made Impossible: Why Biblicism is Not a Truly Evangelical Reading of Scripture)
… Where are the ways through black wastes? God, do not abandon us! What are you summoning, God? Raise your hand up to the darkness above you, pray, despair, wring your hands, kneel, press your forehead into the dust, cry out, but do not name Him, do not look at Him. Leave Him without name and form. What should form the formless? Name the nameless? Step onto the great way and grasp what is nearest. Do not look out, do not want, but lift up your hands. The gifts of darkness are full of riddles. The way is open to whomever can continue in spite of riddles. Submit to the riddles and the thoroughly incomprehensible. There are dizzying bridges over the eternally deep abyss. But follow the riddles. Endure them, the terrible ones. It is still dark, and the terrible goes on growing. Lost and swallowed by the streams of procreating life, we approach the overpowering, inhuman forces that are busily creating what is to come. How much future the depths carry! Are not the threads spun down there over millennia? Protect the riddles, bear them in your heart, warm them, be pregnant with them. Thus you carry the future. The tension of the future is unbearable in us. It must break through the narrow cracks, it must force new ways. You want to cast off the burden, you want to escape the inescapable. Running away is deception and detour. Shut your eyes so that you do not see the manifold, the outwardly plural, the tearing away and the tempting. There is only way and that is your way; there is only one salvation and that is your salvation. Why are you looking around for help? Do you believe that help will come from outside? What is to come will be created in you and from you. Hence look into yourself. Do not compare, do not measure. No other way is like yours. All other ways deceive and tempt you. You must fulfil the way that is in you. Oh, that all men and all their ways become strange to you! Thus might you find them again within yourself and recognize their ways. But what weakness! What doubt! What fear! You will not bear going your way. You always want to have at least one foot on paths not your own to avoid the great solitude! So that maternal comfort is always with you! So that someone acknowledges you, recognizes you, bestows trust in you, comforts you, encourages you. So that someone pulls you over onto their path, where you stray from yourself, and where it is easier for you to set yourself aside. As if you were not yourself! Who should accomplish your deeds? Who should carry your virtues and your vices? You do not come to an end with your life, and the dead will besiege you terribly to live your unlived life. Everything must be fulfilled. Time is of the essence, so why do you want to pile up the lived and let the unlived rot?
C.G. Jung (The Red Book: Liber Novus)
Which reminds me that you’ve never said how you dueled at Needles against the city’s finest fighter and won.” It would be a mistake to tell him. It would defy the simplest rule of warfare: to hide one’s strengths and weaknesses for as long as possible. Yet Kestrel told Arin the story of how she had beaten Irex. Arin covered his face with one floured hand and peeked at her between his fingers. “You are terrifying. Gods help me if I cross you, Kestrel.” “You already have,” she pointed out. “But am I your enemy?” Arin crossed the space between them. Softly, he repeated, “Am I?” She didn’t answer. She concentrated on the feel of the table’s edge pressing into the small of her back. The table was simple and real, joined wood and nails and right corners. No wobble. No give. “You’re not mine,” Arin said. And kissed her. Kestrel’s lips parted. This was real, yet not simple at all. He smelled of woodsmoke and sugar. Sweet beneath the burn. He tasted like the honey he’d licked off his fingers minutes before. Her heartbeat skidded, and it was she who leaned greedily into the kiss, she who slid one knee between his legs. Then his breath went ragged and the kiss grew dark and deep. He lifted her up onto the table so that her face was level with his, and as they kissed it seemed that words were hiding in the air around them, that they were invisible creatures that feathered against her and Arin, then nudged, and buzzed, and tugged. Speak, they said. Speak, the kiss answered. Love was on the tip of Kestrel’s tongue. But she couldn’t say that. How could she ever say that, after everything between them, after fifty keystones paid into the auctioneer's hand, after hours of Kestrel secretly wondering what it would sound like if Arin sang while she played, after wrists bound together and the crack of her knee under a boot and Arin confessing in the carriage on Firstwinter night. It had felt like a confession. But it wasn’t. He had said nothing of the plot. Even if he had, it still would have been too late, with everything to his advantage. Kestrel remembered again her promise to Jess. If she didn’t leave this house now, she would betray herself. She would give herself to someone whose Firstwinter kiss had led her to believe she was all that he wanted, when he had hoped to flip the world so that he was at its top and she was at its bottom. Kestrel pulled away. Arin was apologizing. He was asking what he had done wrong. His face was flushed, mouth swollen. He was saying something about how maybe it was too soon, but that they could have a life here. Together. “My soul is yours,” he said. “You know that it is.” She lifted a hand, as much to block his face from her sight as to stop those words. She walked out of the kitchen. It took all of her pride not to run.
Marie Rutkoski (The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1))
23 When He Carries a Heavy Burden Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. GALATIANS 6:2 SOCIETY PUTS A LOT OF WEIGHT on a man’s shoulders. It is his burden to earn the finances to support his family. He is expected to do well at his work and on his job. There are so many expectations of him in that regard that he feels the pressure of it constantly. That’s why you read about so many men committing suicide when they are in serious financial trouble. The burden is too great. Few women commit suicide for financial failure. If you or I fell into financial ruin, we would just sell everything, pay off all the debts we could, get a job, and start over. Men can feel the burden of failure in life-threatening ways. That’s why your husband needs your prayers to keep his burdens lifted. One of the best ways to bear your husband’s burden is to pray for him about whatever heavy load he is carrying. Every time you do, pray especially for what burdens him the most. One of the most effective things you can do is let him know you are praying for him and ask him to tell you what his burdens are. He may reveal something you didn’t even know was bothering him. God’s Word says that sometimes our burden comes from the oppressor. The children of Israel had an oppressor, and they were overtaken by this oppressor because of their own disobedience. But God promised that the burden the oppressor put on them would eventually be broken by the power of His Spirit. “It shall come to pass in that day that his burden will be taken away from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck, and the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil” (Isaiah 10:27). The anointing oil refers to a work of the Holy Spirit. Your prayers can invite the Holy Spirit to break any burden of the oppressor off of your husband’s shoulders. You will be fulfilling the “law of Christ” every time you pray like that, not to mention how it will secure your husband’s devotion. My Prayer to God LORD, I pray my husband will be able to fully release his burdens to You. I know that when we cast our burdens on You, You will sustain us and not allow us to be shaken (Psalm 55:22 NASB). Help me to bear his burdens in prayer and in any other way You reveal to me. Show me what his greatest burden is and what I can do to lighten it. I ask that You would relieve him of his heavy load by Your presence in his life. Enable him to understand that when he yokes up with You, You will carry the burden for him. I pray that when he is oppressed by the enemy, whatever prayer or supplication is made by him—when he acknowledges his own burdens before You and turns to You for help—that You will hear him (2 Chronicles 6:29-30). I also pray that as You take his burden from him, he will know it’s You doing the heavy lifting. In Jesus’ name I pray.
Stormie Omartian (The Power of a Praying Wife Devotional)
A box sat on top of Jade’s pillows, wrapped in green paper with a white bow. He frowned slightly. Who would’ve left a gift on Jade’s bed? “You have a present.” “What?” Jade turned her head when he gestured toward the box. Confusion filled her eyes. She sat up and reached for the box. “I don’t understand.” Zach sat by her again and wrapped his arm around her waist. “Maybe there’s a card.” After searching beneath the large white bow, Jade pulled out a small envelope. Zach looked over her shoulder as she withdrew the card and read it aloud. “‘To Mom and Zach. Have fun tonight. Bre.’” Zach chuckled, both at Breanna’s card and at Jade’s blush. “Your daughter has quite a sense of humor.” “My daughter deserves to be spanked.” She lifted the box onto her lap. “I’m afraid to open it.” “Would you like me to? It’s addressed to both of us.” “I’m even more afraid for you to open it.” “Go ahead. It can’t be that bad.” “You don’t know my daughter.” Untying the bow, Jade raised the lid and pulled apart the bright green tissue paper. Several sex toys lay in the box. She gasped. “Oh, my God. I can’t believe she did this!” She started to push the tissue paper back over the contents, but Zach held her hand to stop her. “Wait. Let’s see what she bought.” “I am going to kill her, after I beat her.” Chuckling, Zach dug through the box, lifting the different items as he came to them. “Cock ring. Chocolate body paint. Stay-hard gel.” He looked into Jade’s eyes. “I don’t think I’ll need that tonight.” Her cheeks turned a deep pink. He dropped a kiss on her lips before beginning to explore again. “Anal beads. Ben-Wa balls. Fur-lined handcuffs. Nipple clamps. Lemon-flavored nipple cream.” His gaze dipped to her breasts. “Interesting.” She huffed out a breath. “Can we close the box now?” “Not yet. I like it when you blush.” Zach grinned when Jade scowled at him. “This is completely spoiling the mood.” “I won’t have any problem getting hard again.” “Zach!” Ignoring her outraged tone, he continued to sift through the items. “Lifelike dildo.” He held it up to eye level. “Close, but not quite as big as I am.” Jade covered her eyes with one hand. “I don’t believe this,” she muttered. “Butt plug. Wait, I’m wrong. It’s a vibrating butt plug. Very interesting. I hope you have batteries. Never mind. Breanna included several packages.” “Okay, that’s enough.” Jade tried to jerk the box out of his reach, but Zach held on to the side. “There’re only a couple more items. We might as well see what they are.” “I don’t care what they are.” “You might care about one of them.” Zach held up a large box of condoms. “Oh.” He turned the box in his hand. “I’m flattered, but I don’t think I’ll be able to use one hundred of these tonight.” “One hundred?” “All different types, sizes, and colors.” Jade laughed. “Oh, Bre.” She pushed her hair behind one ear. “What’s the last thing?” “Cherry-flavored lubricant. It looks like she thought of everything.” “You must think my daughter is crazy.” “I think your daughter loves you very much and wants you to be happy.” “That’s true. But we won’t use all this…stuff.” “Who says we won’t?
Lynn LaFleur (Rent-A-Stud (Coopers' Companions, #1))
He adopted his standard mocking approach. “Having trouble getting out of the pool, Lily? There’s a ladder on the side for the old ladies who come and do aqua aerobics.” Everything inside her stilled. That condescending wretch. She felt him come closer, and was careful not to stir an inch, not even a hair. “You should get out of the pool and take a long hot shower. It’ll make you feel better,” he suggested, not ungently. His brow furrowed with worry. She ignored the thread of concern in his voice and concentrated on not moving too suddenly. Slowly, as if in unbearable agony, she lifted her head. He was dressed once more in his khakis and shirt, his sneakers were in one hand, his gear bag in the other. Good. She let her face crumble, her expression slip into wretchedness. Her lower lip trembled, a special added effect. “I—I’m not sure I can even make it to the ladder,” she confessed haltingly. “My whole body’s shot.” Damn, she must be hurting worse than he’d imagined. Trying not to stare at her lush lower lip quivering helplessly, Sean dropped his gear bag and stepped forward. “Here,” he said, leaning over, stretching out his hand. “Grab my hand. I’ll pull you out.” She’d braced her feet against the wall of the pool, knowing she’d have to strike fast. They grasped hands. The second his tightened about her forearm, she jerked backward with all her strength. Physics were on her side. Caught off balance, Sean somersaulted through the air, with only enough time to yell, “Shit!” before he landed with a cannonball-sized splash. Lily braced her arms on the pool deck. She’d intended to jump out and make a mad dash for the ladies’ locker room but her efforts were hampered by her convulsive laughter. A surprised “Oof!” flew from her lips. Sean’s arm had snaked out and wrapped around her waist, dumping her backward into the water. She pushed to the surface to find Sean glowering menacingly. He was sopping wet and just as furious. Lily’s laughter redoubled, then died away when his hands took her by the shoulders and pulled her close. Mere inches separated their bodies. “What are you doing?” Her voice came out an alarmed squeak. Her eyes flew to his. They sparkled with green and gold lights. “Payback time, Lily. You’ve pushed me once too often. I had my cell phone in my pocket. I don’t think it’s waterproof. My leather wallet is in my rear pocket, crammed with pictures of my adorable niece and nephew. Basically, Banyon, you owe me. Big time.” His tanned face, with drops of water still clinging to its chiseled planes, descended. He was going to kiss her, she realized, panic-stricken at the thought. “Don’t, Sean, don’t!” “I think I have to. It’s been a long time coming. Oh, by the way, I like lots of tongue.” Indignant, her mouth opened, ready to skewer him. But Sean was quicker. He shut Lily up the way he’d been dreaming of for so long. For years she’d driven him mad, made him crazed with desire. Now, by God, he was going to taste her. The passion and frustration inside him erupted. He seized her mouth, molding her lips to his own. Carnal fantasies gave way to a reality a thousand times sweeter. Starved for her, Sean’s lips plundered, boldly claiming her as his.
Laura Moore (Night Swimming: A Novel)
Wyatt." She tore it open and stood there, drinking him in.Just the sight of him had her heart doing a happy dance in her chest. "Don't throw me out." He lifted a hand. "I come in peace.With food." When she didn't say a word he added, "Pizza.With all your favorite toppings.Sausage, mushrooms, green..." "Well,then." To hide the unexpected tears that sprang to her eyes,she turned away quickly. "Since you went to so much trouble,you may as well come in." "It was no trouble.I just rode a hundred miles on my Harley,fought my way through the smoke screen at the Fortune Saloon,had to fend off Daffy's attempts to have her way with me, and discovered that I'd left my wallet back at the ranch,which meant I had to sign away my life before Vi would turn over this pizza,wine,and dessert. But hey, no trouble at all.It's the sort of thing I do nearly every day." He followed her to the kitchen, where he set down the pizza box and a brown bag. He glanced over at the stove. "Are you going to lift that kettle, or did I interrupt you making a recording of you whistling along with it in harmony?" Despite her tears,she found herself laughing hysterically at his silly banter. Oh,how she'd missed it. He set the kettle aside.The sudden silence was shocking. Because she had her back to him, he fought the urge to touch her.Instead he studied the way her shoulders were shaking. Troubled,he realized he'd made her cry. "Sorry." Deflated,his tone lowered. "I guess this was a bad idea." "Wyatt." He paused. "It was a good idea.A very good idea." She turned,and he saw the tears coursing down her cheeks. "Oh,God,Marilee,I'm sorry.I didn't mean to make you..." "I'm not crying." She brushed furiously at the tears. "I mean I was,but then you made me laugh and..." "This is how you laugh?" He caught her by the shoulders and held her a little away. "Woman,I didn't realize just how weird you are. Wait a minute.Do you think being weird might be contagious? Maybe I ought to get out of here before I turn weird,too." The more she laughed,the harder the tears fell. Through a torrent of tears she wrapped her arms around his waist and held on, burying her face in his neck. "You can't leave.I won't let you." He tipped up her face,wiping her tears with his thumbs. "You mean that? You really don't want me to go?" "I don't.I really want you to stay, Wyatt." "For dinner?" "And more." "Dessert?" "And more." His smile was quick and dangerous. "I'm beginning to like the 'and more.'" She smiled through her tears. "Me,too." "Maybe we could have the 'and more' as an appetizer, before the pizza." Her laughter bubbled up and over, wrapping itself around his heart. "Oh, how I've missed your silly sense of humor." "You have?" "I have.I've missed everything about you." "Everything?" He leaned close to nibble her ear,sending a series of delicious shivers along her spine. "Everything." Catching his hand,she led him to the bedroom. "I worked very hard today making up the bed with fresh linens. Want to be the first to mess it up?" He looked from the bed to her and then back again. "Oh,yeah." He drew her close and brushed her mouth with his. Just a soft,butterfly kiss, but she felt it all the way to her toes. "I mean I want to really, really mess it up." "Me,t..." And then there was no need for words.
R.C. Ryan (Montana Destiny)
Stark Electric Jesus Oh I'll die I'll die I'll die My skin is in blazing furore I do not know what I'll do where I'll go oh I am sick I'll kick all Arts in the butt and go away Shubha Shubha let me go and live in your cloaked melon In the unfastened shadow of dark destroyed saffron curtain The last anchor is leaving me after I got the other anchors lifted I can't resist anymore, a million glass panes are breaking in my cortex I know, Shubha, spread out your matrix, give me peace Each vein is carrying a stream of tears up to the heart Brain's contagious flints are decomposing out of eternal sickness other why didn't you give me birth in the form of a skeleton I'd have gone two billion light years and kissed God's ass But nothing pleases me nothing sounds well I feel nauseated with more than a single kiss I've forgotten women during copulation and returned to the Muse In to the sun-coloured bladder I do not know what these happenings are but they are occurring within me I'll destroy and shatter everything draw and elevate Shubha in to my hunger Shubha will have to be given Oh Malay Kolkata seems to be a procession of wet and slippery organs today But i do not know what I'll do now with my own self My power of recollection is withering away Let me ascend alone toward death I haven't had to learn copulation and dying I haven't had to learn the responsibility of shedding the last drops after urination Haven't had to learn to go and lie beside Shubha in the darkness Have not had to learn the usage of French leather while lying on Nandita's bosom Though I wanted the healthy spirit of Aleya's fresh China-rose matrix Yet I submitted to the refuge of my brain's cataclysm I am failing to understand why I still want to live I am thinking of my debauched Sabarna-Choudhury ancestors I'll have to do something different and new Let me sleep for the last time on a bed soft as the skin of Shubha's bosom I remember now the sharp-edged radiance of the moment I was born I want to see my own death before passing away The world had nothing to do with Malay Roychoudhury Shubha let me sleep for a few moments in your violent silvery uterus Give me peace, Shubha, let me have peace Let my sin-driven skeleton be washed anew in your seasonal bloodstream Let me create myself in your womb with my own sperm Would I have been like this if I had different parents? Was Malay alias me possible from an absolutely different sperm? Would I have been Malay in the womb of other women of my father? Would I have made a professional gentleman of me like my dead brother without Shubha? Oh, answer, let somebody answer these Shubha, ah Shubha Let me see the earth through your cellophane hymen Come back on the green mattress again As cathode rays are sucked up with the warmth of a magnet's brilliance I remember the letter of the final decision of 1956 The surroundings of your clitoris were being embellished with coon at that time Fine rib-smashing roots were descending in to your bosom Stupid relationship inflated in the bypass of senseless neglect Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah I do not know whether I am going to die Squandering was roaring within heart's exhaustive impatience I'll disrupt and destroy I'll split all in to pieces for the sake of Art There isn't any other way out for Poetry except suicide
Maitreyee Bhattacharjee Chowdhury (The Hungryalists)
The Monk in the Kitchen I ORDER is a lovely thing; On disarray it lays its wing, Teaching simplicity to sing. It has a meek and lowly grace, Quiet as a nun's face. Lo—I will have thee in this place! Tranquil well of deep delight, All things that shine through thee appear As stones through water, sweetly clear. Thou clarity, That with angelic charity Revealest beauty where thou art, Spread thyself like a clean pool. Then all the things that in thee are, Shall seem more spiritual and fair, Reflection from serener air— Sunken shapes of many a star In the high heavens set afar. II Ye stolid, homely, visible things, Above you all brood glorious wings Of your deep entities, set high, Like slow moons in a hidden sky. But you, their likenesses, are spent Upon another element. Truly ye are but seemings— The shadowy cast-oft gleamings Of bright solidities. Ye seem Soft as water, vague as dream; Image, cast in a shifting stream. III What are ye? I know not. Brazen pan and iron pot, Yellow brick and gray flag-stone That my feet have trod upon— Ye seem to me Vessels of bright mystery. For ye do bear a shape, and so Though ye were made by man, I know An inner Spirit also made, And ye his breathings have obeyed. IV Shape, the strong and awful Spirit, Laid his ancient hand on you. He waste chaos doth inherit; He can alter and subdue. Verily, he doth lift up Matter, like a sacred cup. Into deep substance he reached, and lo Where ye were not, ye were; and so Out of useless nothing, ye Groaned and laughed and came to be. And I use you, as I can, Wonderful uses, made for man, Iron pot and brazen pan. V What are ye? I know not; Nor what I really do When I move and govern you. There is no small work unto God. He required of us greatness; Of his least creature A high angelic nature, Stature superb and bright completeness. He sets to us no humble duty. Each act that he would have us do Is haloed round with strangest beauty; Terrific deeds and cosmic tasks Of his plainest child he asks. When I polish the brazen pan I hear a creature laugh afar In the gardens of a star, And from his burning presence run Flaming wheels of many a sun. Whoever makes a thing more bright, He is an angel of all light. When I cleanse this earthen floor My spirit leaps to see Bright garments trailing over it, A cleanness made by me. Purger of all men's thoughts and ways, With labor do I sound Thy praise, My work is done for Thee. Whoever makes a thing more bright, He is an angel of all light. Therefore let me spread abroad The beautiful cleanness of my God. VI One time in the cool of dawn Angels came and worked with me. The air was soft with many a wing. They laughed amid my solitude And cast bright looks on everything. Sweetly of me did they ask That they might do my common task And all were beautiful—but one With garments whiter than the sun Had such a face Of deep, remembered grace; That when I saw I cried—"Thou art The great Blood-Brother of my heart. Where have I seen thee?"—And he said, "When we are dancing round God's throne, How often thou art there. Beauties from thy hands have flown Like white doves wheeling in mid air. Nay—thy soul remembers not? Work on, and cleanse thy iron pot.
Anna Hempstead Branch
Day 4 Jehovah-Nissi __________, I call your spirit to attention in the name of Jehovah-Nissi, God who promised to be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation. The context of the story is of Moses having to lead his people into battle when they weren’t ready to go to war. They were attacked by the Amalekites. As he lifted his hands to the Lord, the Lord warred on behalf of Israel. __________, I bless your spirit with knowing when to war and when to lift your hands to the Lord. There will be seasons when God calls you to use the greatest of your strength. There will be seasons when God presses you to the wall and yet expects you to work hard, like Israel had to make bricks; then they had to make bricks in a harder way without straw. Then they had to march during the middle of the night to escape from Egypt. There will be times when God will celebrate the gifts that He has placed in you, when He will celebrate your strength. At times God will place you in a context where every talent and ability that you possess can be brought to the front and be used to make changes in the kingdom. That is good. That is fine. That is excellent. That is the will of God. But there will be times, __________, when God will very specifically put you in a place where everything that you have is not good enough, where you have to do something you have never done before. Enemies that you have never irritated will seek to attack you just because they are opportunistic. I bless you, __________, with having the courage not to depend on a skillset that is inadequate but to have the courage to lift your hands up to God on the mountaintop and ask Jehovah-Nissi to war for you. Because where you are inexperienced against any enemy, Jehovah-Nissi has the experience of the ages. Where you don’t know how to do it, Jehovah-Nissi has done it endless times. Where you have not walked that way before, Jehovah-Nissi has worn a path with the mighty tread of His feet. __________, Jehovah-Nissi has promised and recorded in Scripture that He cannot lie, that He will be at war against the opportunistic coyote, the spirit of Amalek that prowls around. It never attacks directly but takes advantage of your vulnerabilities, takes advantage of the opportune times of transition when you are not ready for war. Jehovah-Nissi has promised to war on your behalf. __________, I bless you with finding profound security in Jehovah-Nissi, celebrating your giftedness while always knowing that Jehovah-Nissi is there for those battles that He permits which you don’t anticipate. He anticipates the battles that blindside you on a path that you’ve never walked before. Israel did not know the desert area. The Amalekites lived there. Israel didn’t know the safe places, the high places, the hidden places. They didn’t know how to craft an effective war strategy. They just went out and bumbled around while Moses stood on the mountain with his hands lifted high. __________, celebrate your areas of strength, but when you are in a new area and the enemy attacks you and you don’t know what to do or how to do or where to do it, go to the mountaintop. Lift your hands and let Jehovah-Nissi war on your behalf. I bless you with knowing Jehovah-Nissi experientially in your generation. I bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Sylvia Gunter (Blessing Your Spirit)
He sent messages to all fifteen of my former suitors, asking if they were still interested in marrying me-“ “Oh, my God,” Alex breathed. “-and, if they were, he volunteered to send me to them for a few days, properly chaperoned by Lucinda,” Elizabeth recited in that same strangled tone, “so that we could both discover if we still suit.” “Oh, my God,” Alex said again, with more force. “Twelve of them declined,” she continued, and she watched Alex wince in embarrassed sympathy. “But three of them agreed, and now I am to be sent off to visit them. Since Lucinda can’t return from Devon until I go to visit the third-suitor, who’s in Scotland,” she said, almost choking on the word as she applied it to Ian Thornton, “I shall have to pass Berta off as my aunt to the first two.” “Berta!” Bentner burst out in disgust. “Your aunt? The silly widgeon’s afraid of her shadow.” Threatened by another uncontrollable surge of mirth, Elizabeth looked at both her friends. “Berta is the least of my problems However, do continue invoking God’s name, for it’s going to take a miracle to survive this.” “Who are the suitors?” Alex asked, her alarm increased by Elizabeth’s odd smile as she replied, “I don’t recall two of them. It’s quite remarkable, isn’t it,” she continued with dazed mirth, “that two grown men could have met a young girl at her debut and hared off to her brother to ask for her hand, and she can’t remember anything about them, except one of their names.” “No,” Alex said cautiously, “it isn’t remarkable. You were, are, very beautiful, and that is the way it’s done. A young girl makes her debut at seventeen, and gentlemen look her over, often in the most cursory fashion, and decide if they want her. Then they apply for her hand. I can’t think it is reasonable or just to betroth a young girl to someone with whom she’s scarcely acquainted and then expect her to develop a lasting affection for him after she is wed, but the ton does regard it as the civilized way to manage marriages.” “It’s actually quite the opposite-it’s rather barbaric, when you reflect on it,” Elizabeth stated, willing to be diverted from her personal calamity by a discussion of almost anything else. “Elizabeth, who are the suitors? Perhaps I know of them and can help you remember.” Elizabeth sighed. “The first is Sir Francis Belhaven-“ “You’re joking!” Alex exploded, drawing an alarmed glance from Bentner. When Elizabeth merely lifted her delicate brows and waited for information, Alex continued angrily, “Why, he’s-he’s a dreadful old roué. There’s no polite way to describe him. He’s stout and balding, and his debauchery is a joke among the ton because he’s so flagrant and foolish. He’s an unparalleled pinchpenny to boot-a nipsqueeze!” “At least we have that last in common,” Elizabeth tried to tease, but her glance was on Bentner, who in his agitation was deflowering an entire healthy bush. “Benter,” she said gently, touched by how much he obviously cared for her plight, “you can tell the dead blooms from the live ones by their color.” “Who’s the second suitor?” Alex persisted in growing alarm. “Lord John Marchman.” When Alex looked blank, Elizabeth added, “The Earl of Canford.” Comprehension dawned, and Alex nodded slowly. “I’m not acquainted with him, but I have heard of him.” “Well, don’t keep me in suspense,” Elizabeth said, choking back a laugh, because everything seemed more absurd, more unreal by the moment.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
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))
MAY 17 LET GOD TAKE CONTROL Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. —1 PETER 5:6–7 THIS VERSE SOUNDS so easy but is oftentimes a very difficult thing to do. It is human nature to want to control everything in your life because it gives you a sense of security. I can say from personal experience that life gets much easier once you give in and let God take control—not only in the difficult times but in the good times as well. Let Him control everything in your life, and all of a sudden the stresses and burdens of everyday living disappear, and a peace comes over you. How awesome it is that we serve a God Who actually wants us to lay all of our burdens on Him? It is truly something we all take for granted. Prayer God, I give everything in my life to You, for I know You know the plans You have for me. I pray that I will be humble and not try to be in control and that I will lay all my burdens at Your feet—and leave them there. —Martin
Alan Robertson (The Duck Commander Devotional)
Oh, how everything gives way when affliction first comes upon us! The clinging stems of our hopes are quickly snapped, and our heart lies overwhelmed and prostrate, like a vine the windstorm has torn from its trellis. But once the initial shock is over and we are able to look up and say, “It is the Lord” (John 21:7), faith begins to lift our shattered hopes once more and securely binds them to the feet of God. And the final result is confidence, safety, and peace. selected
Jim Reimann (Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings)
Humility means that you acknowledge you don’t know everything, and you might be especially confused when it comes to God.
Edward T. Welch (Shame Interrupted: How God Lifts the Pain of Worthlessness and Rejection)
This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it… God has plans for me—to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future… I commit my actions to the Lord and my plans will succeed… I will overcome evil with good… I can do everything through him who gives me strength… I am content with what I have because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”… I say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”… I humble myself before the Lord, and He will lift me up… God is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us. To Him be the glory forever…
Glenn Langohr (Be a Prayer Warrior and Use Words Wisely: 30 Declarations and Prayers to Speak Victory into Your Life)
Divine power . . . what mom would turn it down? Jesus, who is God, full of power and might has poured down and lavished on us everything we need to live and serve God. Everything? What kind of resources are we talking about here? The blessings Jesus gives transcend physical things, so take a look at the spiritual blessings He pours out. Start with faith. It’s a gift. How happy can you be if all your anxieties are lifted by Someone you can trust? Because God is good and full of glory, He tells us to give all our worries to Him (1 Peter 5:7) and to worry about nothing (Philippians 4:6); and He promises to pour down peace (Philippians 4:7). He calls us His own, and gives us “very great and precious promises”—gifts of His Spirit, blessings of greater worth than anything money can buy. He gives salvation, eternal life, and the ability, while we’re earthbound, to “share in God’s nature.” Jesus’ Spirit is our companion, so we are never without a friend. He also protects us from spiritual defeat that rises from the evil surrounding us. We have all this available to us daily as we focus on the Person of Jesus. Today, we can pray, “Lord Jesus, thank You that You pour on me everything I need to live the life that pleases You. I want to be infused with Your mighty strength and to stay under the faucet of Your provision today.
Bobbie Wolgemuth (NCV, Mom's Bible: God's Wisdom for Mothers)
She shivered under his touch, desire dampening her panties and making her clench her thighs together in an attempt to find some relief. His devilish hands relaxed their grip on her hips and slid around to cup her ass, pulling her close. Thick, hard evidence of his desire pressed against her belly. God, she wanted this man, and not just to silent the stressful thoughts always swirling in her head. She wanted him, not just the divine moment of oblivion that blocked out everything else. The realization scared her and brought some unwanted reality into the room. "We shouldn't be doing this." "Why?" He made quick work of the buttons on her petal-pink cashmere sweater and parted her cardigan. Sean gave a soft growl as he stared at her silver satin pushup bra that presented her boobs like an all-you-can-lick buffet. "Because I'm your employee?" He licked his lips and slid his thumb across the satin covering her hard nipple. "Yes," she said, sighing. An answer to his question or a response to even the lightest of touches? Both. "Easy fix." He snapped the front closure of her bra and her tits tumbled out. "I quit." Bending forward, he lifted one heavy globe and took the hard nub into his hot mouth. Fire sizzled through her veins and it felt so good she couldn't wait to burn. "You can't quit." She reached down for the top button of his jeans and flicked it open. "We need you. I need you." He released her nipple and she groaned in frustration. Then he found the hem of her skirt and inched it higher and the soft groan that floated out of her mouth was for a whole other reason. "Hire me back in about an hour or, better yet, a few days." The cool air caressed her upper thighs as he raised her skirt, but it wasn't enough to relieve the molten heat engulfing her. "I like how you think.
Avery Flynn (Hollywood on Tap (Sweet Salvation Brewery, #2))