March Blessings Quotes

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There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. ... No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others
Martha Graham
No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissastifaction; a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.
Martha Graham
Blessed be you, mighty matter, irresistible march of evolution, reality ever newborn; you who, by constantly shattering our mental categories, force us to go ever further and further in our pursuit of the truth.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (Hymn of the Universe)
There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.
Martha Graham
We need to send our words out in the direction we want them to go. In other words, we need to start talking victory when we’re staring at defeat. We need to start talking healing when we’re feeling sick. We need to start blessing and prosperity when we don’t have anything. We need to speak about marching when we feel like quitting.
Jentezen Franklin (Believe That You Can: Moving with Faith and Tenacity to the Dream God Has Given You)
My mother used to say that rain here pours like a blessing, like a thick veil that parts to reveal the bride's face. But nearly every day, when this rain parted, it revealed a long line of soldiers, like you, like death, marching toward us, and we would scatter with a practiced silence and hide.
Mia Kirshner (I Live Here)
You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world. Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely. But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory! I have full confidence in your courage and devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory! Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Compared with the person who had decorated and furnished the place, the Archduke Ferdinand had been blessed with the taste of a troupe of Turkish circus dwarves.
Philip Kerr (Berlin Noir: March Violets / The Pale Criminal / A German Requiem)
A strange mood has seized the almost-educated young. They're on the march, angry at times, but mostly needful, longing for authority's blessing, its validation of their chosen identities. The decline of the West in new guise perhaps. Or the exaltation and liberation of the self. A social-media site famously proposes seventy-one gender options – neutrois, two spirit, bigender…any colour you like, Mr Ford. Biology is not destiny after all, and there's cause for celebration. A shrimp is neither limiting nor stable. I declare my undeniable feeling for who I am. If I turn out to be white, I may identify as black. And vice versa. I may announce myself as disabled, or disabled in context. If my identity is that of a believer, I'm easily wounded, my flesh torn to bleeding by any questioning of my faith. Offended, I enter a state of grace. Should inconvenient opinions hover near me like fallen angels or evil djinn (a mile being too near), I'll be in need of the special campus safe room equipped with Play-Doh and looped footage of gambolling puppies. Ah, the intellectual life! I may need advance warning if upsetting books or ideas threaten my very being by coming too close, breathing on my face, my brain, like unwholesome drugs.
Ian McEwan (Nutshell)
I see the way you look at me. I feel the way you touch me. I hear the hidden messages in your voice. Unlike you, I’ve been blessed knowing the warmth that comes with love. The way a person’s eyes glow and body softens. You love me! And if you can stand there and deny it—when it’s so blatantly obvious—then there really is no hope for us. You might as well march me outside and complete the Final Debt, because I’d rather you kill me quickly than live through this endless death!”-Nila
Pepper Winters (Third Debt (Indebted, #4))
We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power. … But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us. (“A National Day of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer.” Proclamation March 30, 1863)
Abraham Lincoln
I'd long thought that a surfeit of sensitivity could be a killing thing, too much insight malignant in its own right. The best survivors--there are studies that show it--are those blessed with an inordinate ability to deny. And keep on marching.
Jonathan Kellerman (Blood Test (Alex Delaware, #2))
But why should the daffodils and tulips Get all the praise and blessings? My rebirth goes unnoticed- I am worthy Of smiles and dazzled cries of worship.
Lea Malot (Coffins & Rhinestones)
There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. … No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.
Martha Graham
We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us, then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness. Abraham Lincoln, “A National Day of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer.” Proclamation March 30, 1863
Deborah Nazemi (Red Alert America, Sound the Alarm!)
You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth. For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life's procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite. When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music. Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison? Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour a misfortune. But I say to you that when you work you fulfil a part of earth's furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born, And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life, And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life's inmost secret. But if you in your pain call birth an affliction and the support of the flesh a curse written upon your brow, then I answer that naught but the sweat of your brow shall wash away that which is written. You have been told also that life is darkness, and in your weariness you echo what was said by the weary. And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge, And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge, And all knowledge is vain save when there is work, And all work is empty save when there is love; And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God. And what is it to work with love? It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth. It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house. It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit. It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit, And to know that all the blessed dead are standing about you and watching. Often have I heard you say, as if speaking in sleep, "He who works in marble, and finds the shape of his own soul in the stone, is nobler than he who ploughs the soil. And he who seizes the rainbow to lay it on a cloth in the likeness of man, is more than he who makes the sandals for our feet." But I say, not in sleep but in the overwakefulness of noontide, that the wind speaks not more sweetly to the giant oaks than to the least of all the blades of grass; And he alone is great who turns the voice of the wind into a song made sweeter by his own loving. Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy. For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man's hunger. And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distils a poison in the wine. And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man's ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.
Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet)
His mom lived in Long Island for ten years or so. God rest her soul. And- although, she's- wait- your mom's still- your mom's still alive. Your dad passed. God bless her soul." --Joe Biden, on the mother of Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen, who is very much alive, Washington, D.C., March 17, 2010
Joe Biden
I confessed that I had a burning desire to be excellent, but no faith that I could be. Martha said to me, very quietly: “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. As for you, Agnes, you have so far used about one-third of your talent.” “But,” I said, “when I see my work I take for granted what other people value in it. I see only its ineptitude, inorganic flaws, and crudities. I am not pleased or satisfied.” “No artist is pleased.” “But then there is no satisfaction?” “No satisfaction whatever at any time,” she cried out passionately. “There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.
Agnes De Mille (Martha: The Life and Work of Martha Graham)
Blessed be the inventor of photography! I set him above even the inventor of chloroform! It has given more positive pleasure to po or suffering humanity than anything else that has "cast up" in my time or is like to--this art by which even the "poor" can possess themselves of tolerable likenesses of their absent dear ones. And mustn't it be acting favourably on the morality of the country?
Jane Welsh Carlyle (The Collected Letters of Thomas and Jane Welsh Carlyle: July 1847-March 1848)
No artist is pleased.... there is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction; a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.
Martha Graham
There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. No artist is pleased. There is no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and m akes us more alive than the others.
Martha Graham (Martha Graham)
He spends the night in prayer. God’s voice, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, tells him what the politician in him already knows: that whatever he might stand to gain from playing one against the other, the prospect of a foreign army marching through Italy can bring only instability and devastation in its wake for all. He is, it seems, the Church’s shepherd after all.
Sarah Dunant (Blood & Beauty: The Borgias)
The Truth the Dead Know For my Mother, born March 1902, died March 1959 and my Father, born February 1900, died June 1959 Gone, I say and walk from church, refusing the stiff procession to the grave, letting the dead ride alone in the hearse. It is June. I am tired of being brave. We drive to the Cape. I cultivate myself where the sun gutters from the sky, where the sea swings in like an iron gate and we touch. In another country people die. My darling, the wind falls in like stones from the whitehearted water and when we touch we enter touch entirely. No one's alone. Men kill for this, or for as much. And what of the dead? They lie without shoes in the stone boats. They are more like stone than the sea would be if it stopped. They refuse to be blessed, throat, eye and knucklebone. Anne Sexton was a model who became a confessional poet, writing about intimate aspects of her life, after her doctor suggested that she take up poetry as a form of therapy. She studied under Robert Lowell at Boston University, where Sylvia Plath was one of her classmates. Sexton won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1967, but later committed suicide via carbon monoxide poisoning. Topics she covered in her poems included adultery, masturbation, menstruation, abortion, despair and suicide.
Anne Sexton
Blessed is that man who has done with chance,[3] who never speaks of luck, but believes that from the least even to the greatest, all things are ordained of the Lord. We dare not leave out the least event! The creeping of an aphid upon a rosebud is as surely arranged by the decree of Providence as the march of a pestilence through a nation. Believe this, for if the least is omitted from the supreme government, so may the next be, and the next, until nothing is left in the Divine hands. There is no place for chance, since God fills all things.”–1891, Sermon 2205
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Spurgeon Gems)
TO MY SISTER IT is the first mild day of March: Each minute sweeter than before The redbreast sings from the tall larch That stands beside our door. There is a blessing in the air, Which seems a sense of joy to yield To the bare trees, and mountains bare, And grass in the green field. My sister! ('tis a wish of mine) Now that our morning meal is done, 10 Make haste, your morning task resign; Come forth and feel the sun. Edward will come with you;--and, pray, Put on with speed your woodland dress; And bring no book: for this one day We'll give to idleness. No joyless forms shall regulate Our living calendar: We from to-day, my Friend, will date The opening of the year. 20 Love, now a universal birth, From heart to heart is stealing, From earth to man, from man to earth: --It is the hour of feeling. One moment now may give us more Than years of toiling reason: Our minds shall drink at every pore The spirit of the season. Some silent laws our hearts will make, Which they shall long obey: 30 We for the year to come may take Our temper from to-day. And from the blessed power that rolls About, below, above, We'll frame the measure of our souls: They shall be tuned to love. Then come, my Sister! come, I pray, With speed put on your woodland dress; And bring no book: for this one day We'll give to idleness.
William Wordsworth
WHEN the hours of Day are numbered, And the voices of the Night Wake the better soul, that slumbered, To a holy, calm delight; Ere the evening lamps are lighted, 5 And, like phantoms grim and tall, Shadows from the fitful firelight Dance upon the parlor wall; Then the forms of the departed Enter at the open door; The beloved, the true-hearted, Come to visit me once more; He, the young and strong, who cherished Noble longings for the strife, By the roadside fell and perished, 15 Weary with the march of life! They, the holy ones and weakly, Who the cross of suffering bore, Folded their pale hands so meekly, Spake with us on earth no more! 20 And with them the Being Beauteous, Who unto my youth was given, More than all things else to love me, And is now a saint in heaven. With a slow and noiseless footstep 25 Comes that messenger divine, Takes the vacant chair beside me, Lays her gentle hand in mine. And she sits and gazes at me With those deep and tender eyes, 30 Like the stars, so still and saint-like, Looking downward from the skies. Uttered not, yet comprehended, Is the spirit's voiceless prayer, Soft rebukes, in blessings ended, 35 Breathing from her lips of air. Oh, though oft depressed and lonely, All my fears are laid aside, If I but remember only Such as these have lived and died!
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
A Little Note to My Late Mother Today is Sunday the 13th March 2016, it is a Mother's Day here in the UK and I'm missing you desperately ntombi kaMdyogolo, mamtipha, bhayeni, manzimade, yiwa. There is no day, no moment that goes by without thinking of you precious mother. Your priceless love carries me day in day out. Your voice of love whispers in my ears morning, noon and night. Your teachings are giving me the reason to live and I'm so proud and blessed to be the seed of your blessed womb. I wish you were here to see your grandchildren who make me proud to be a mother too and a proud grandmother. Your great grandchildren are beautiful and graceful. Happy Mothersday mama and your precious soul may rest in peace my beautiful mother. I love you forever.
Euginia Herlihy
He walked right past me.” Sophie turned before the harpsichord, skirts swishing, and paced back to Val’s side. “He barely looked at me, Valentine. Am I not even worth a glance?” She veered off and marched over to the great harp. “Maggie offered to poison his drink. What has the blessed punch bowl got that I haven’t got? What is that?” “Your cloak. Some fresh air will settle you down, Soph.” “I don’t want to settle down !” He held her gaze, thinking his wife would be proud of him. Only a brave—or perhaps very foolish man—tried to console a woman with a heart in the process of breaking. “I rather think you do want to settle down, preferably with Sindal and a brace of offspring.” Her head came up, and Valentine was grateful he’d be leaving in a couple days. Much more of this drama, and he’d be swearing off family holidays for the next decade. “I
Grace Burrowes (Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish (The Duke's Daughters, #1; Windham, #4))
We stand on the edge of national metamorphosis armed with hope and lengthy dreams, and the desire to leave the mistakes of the past far, far behind us. Some wake to a blessed plague of amnesia hoping never to recover the damage that was done. Some keep marching forward feeling the heavy ache of everything they wish to change about themselves and our nation dragging behind them like a long, prolonged shadow. And still others shine above the sun, sparkling like raging cosmonauts, propelled by the strength and power of their pathological optimism. I tend to slingshot between all 3 of these distinct planets with unruly fortitude. This is where art comes in. It helps me deal with my compulsive randomness, and allows me to abate life's repressions while exploring all possibilities of transformation and growth. And for this, I am eternally grateful.
Otep Shamaya (Quiet Lightning On The Noisy Mountain)
Jase and I asked Mia what she wanted to do before her surgery. “How about a family party?” she suggested. So the invitation went out. It’s interesting when you mention to family members that they are going to be on TV--schwoom, they are there. As Willie said, “I didn’t know we had this much family.” Mia had always heard the funny stories about Jase wrestling with his brothers and cousins growing up, particularly how cousin Amy beat up Willie, so that’s what she requested for the special entertainment. As Jase said, “It’s the ultimate redneck dinner theater.” A wrestling ring was delivered, and the warmup act was the Robertson boys clowning around, performing their best wrestling moves. Willie surprised everyone with guest professional wrestlers, including Jase’s favorite, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan. I felt kind of bad for them, wearing only their little wrestling pants, while the rest of us were bundled up in winter coats. Yes, it was January, but it was unusually cold in Louisiana--about twenty degrees. The wrestlers had to keep moving fast; otherwise, they would have frozen to death! At the end of the party, Mia took the stage between Jase and Willie, thanking everyone for coming and then sharing from her heart: “My favorite verse is Psalm 46:10: ‘Be still, and know that I am God!’ God is bigger than all of us, and He is bigger than any of your struggles, too.” I think I can say that there was hardly a dry eye in the crowd. Going into her surgery, Mia was being brave for all of us. In the end, seeing the final version of the episode, I thought the network did a great job of including enough humor to make people laugh but also providing a tender glimpse into the love our family shares with one another and the love we all have for Mia. When Duck Dynasty fans saw it on March 26, 2014, they agreed completely!
Missy Robertson (Blessed, Blessed ... Blessed: The Untold Story of Our Family's Fight to Love Hard, Stay Strong, and Keep the Faith When Life Can't Be Fixed)
March 10 MORNING “In my prosperity I said I shall never be moved.” — Psalm 30:6 “MOAB is settled on his lees, he hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel.” Give a man wealth; let his ships bring home continually rich freights; let the winds and waves appear to be his servants to bear his vessels across the bosom of the mighty deep; let his lands yield abundantly: let the weather be propitious to his crops; let uninterrupted success attend him; let him stand among men as a successful merchant; let him enjoy continued health; allow him with braced nerve and brilliant eye to march through the world, and live happily; give him the buoyant spirit; let him have the song perpetually on his lips; let his eye be ever sparkling with joy — and the natural consequence of such an easy state to any man, let him be the best Christian who ever breathed, will be presumption; even David said, “I shall never be moved;” and we are not better than David, nor half so good. Brother, beware of the smooth places of the way; if you are treading them, or if the way be rough, thank God for it. If God should always rock us in the cradle of prosperity; if we were always dandled on the knees of fortune; if we had not some stain on the alabaster pillar; if there were not a few clouds in the sky; if we had not some bitter drops in the wine of this life, we should become intoxicated with pleasure, we should dream “we stand;” and stand we should, but it would be upon a pinnacle; like the man asleep upon the mast, each moment we should be in jeopardy. We bless God, then, for our afflictions; we thank Him for our changes; we extol His name for losses of property; for we feel that had He not chastened us thus, we might have become too secure. Continued worldly prosperity is a fiery trial. “Afflictions, though they seem severe, In mercy oft are sent.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening-Classic KJV Edition)
I prop my guitar up against the nightstand. Then I turn toward the bed and fall into it face first. The mattress is soft but firm, like a sheet of steel wrapped in a cloud. I roll around, moaning loud and long. “Oh, that’s good. Really, really good. What a grand bed!” Sarah clears her throat. “Well. We should probably get to sleep, then. Big day tomorrow.” The pillow smells sweet, like candy. I can only imagine it’s from her. I wonder if I pressed my nose to the crook of her neck, would her skin smell as delicious? I brush away the thought as I watch her stiffly gather a pillow and blanket from the other side of the bed, dragging them to . . . the nook. “What are you doing?” She looks up, her doe eyes widening. “Getting ready for bed.” “You’re going to sleep there?” “Of course. The sofa’s very uncomfortable.” “Why can’t we share the bed?” She chokes . . . stutters. “I . . . I can’t sleep with you. I don’t even know you.” I throw my arms out wide. “What do you want to know? Ask me anything—I’m an open book.” “That’s not what I mean.” “You’re being ridiculous! It’s a huge bed. You could let one rip and I wouldn’t hear it.” And the blush is back. With a vengeance. “I’m not . . . I don’t . . .” “You don’t fart?” I scoff. “Really? Are you not human?” She curses under her breath, but I’d love to hear it out loud. I bet uninhibited Sarah Von Titebottum would be a stunning sight. And very entertaining. She shakes her head, pinning me with her eyes. “There’s something wrong with you.” “No.” I explain calmly, “I’m just free. Honest with myself and others. You should try it sometime.” She folds her arms, all tight, trembling indignation. It’s adorable. “I’m sleeping in the nook, Your Highness. And that’s that.” I sit up, pinning her gaze right back at her. “Henry.” “What?” “My name is not Highness, it’s fucking Henry, and I’d prefer you use it.” And she snaps. “Fine! Fucking Henry—happy?” I smile. “Yes. Yes, I am.” I flop back on the magnificent bed. “Sleep tight, Titebottum.” I think she growls at me, but it’s muffled by the sound of rustling bed linens and pillows. And then . . . there’s silence. Beautiful, blessed silence. I wiggle around, getting comfy. I turn on my side and fluff the pillow. I squeeze my eyes tight . . . but it’s hopeless. “Fucking hell!” I sit up. And Sarah springs to her feet. “What? What’s wrong?” It’s the guilt. I’ve barged into this poor girl’s room, confiscated her bed, and have forced her to sleep in a cranny in the wall. I may not be the man my father was or the gentleman my brother is, but I’m not that much of a prick. I stand up, rip my shirt over my head. and march toward the window seat. I feel Sarah’s eyes graze my bare chest, arms. and stomach, but she circles around me, keeping her distance. “You take the bloody bed,” I tell her. “I’ll sleep in the bloody nook.” “You don’t have to do that.” I push my hand through my hair. “Yes, I do.” Then I stand up straight and proper, an impersonation of Hugh Grant in one of his classic royal roles. “Please, Lady Sarah.” She blinks, her little mouth pursed. “Okay.” Then she climbs onto the bed, under the covers. And I squeeze onto the window bench, knees bent, my elbow jammed against the icy windowpane, and my neck bent at an odd angle that I’m going to be feeling tomorrow. The light is turned down to a very low dim, and for several moments all I hear is Sarah’s soft breaths. But then, in the near darkness, her delicate voice floats out on a sigh. “All right, we can sleep in the bed together.” Music to my ears. I don’t make her tell me twice—I’ve fulfilled my noble quota for the evening. I stumble from the nook and crash onto the bed. That’s better.
Emma Chase (Royally Matched (Royally, #2))
Know thyself!” There is nothing that so aids and assists the awakening of omniscience within us as insistent thoughts about one’s own transgressions, errors, mistakes. After the difficult cycles of such ponderings over many years, whenever I mentioned the heartlessness of our highest-ranking bureaucrats, the cruelty of our executioners, I remember myself in my captain’s shoulder boards and the forward march of my battery through East Prussia, enshrouded in fire, and I say: “So were we any better?” When people express vexation, in my presence, over the West’s tendency to crumble, its political shortsightedness, its divisiveness, its confusion—I recall too: “Were we, before passing through the Archipelago, more steadfast? Firmer in our thoughts?” And that is why I turn back to the years of my imprisonment and say, sometimes to the astonishment of those about me: “Bless you, prison!”… (And from beyond the grave come replies: It is very well for you to say that—when you came out of it alive!)
Alexander Solzhenitsyn
MARCH 6 YOU WILL DEFEAT THE ENEMIES OF YOUR FINANCES I HAVE PROMISED that I will defend My people and keep them from harm. I will strike your enemies with great panic, and they will seize each other by the hand and attack one another. The wealth of all your surrounding enemies will be collected—great quantities of silver and gold and material possessions—and will be given to My people. Blessed is the man who fears Me and finds great delight in My commands. Your children will be mighty in the land, and your generations will be blessed. Honor Me with the wealth that I give to you, and your barns will be filled to overflowing. My blessing upon you brings wealth, and I will add no trouble to it. ZECHARIAH 14:13–14; PSALM 112:2–3; JOHN 10:10 Prayer Declaration In the name of Jesus I bind and cast out every thief that would try to steal my finances. The Lord will rebuild the finances of His people and give the treasures of the nations to them. I will not put my hope in my wealth, but I will place my hope in God, who richly has provided me with everything for my enjoyment. I will lay up treasure for myself in heaven and take hold of life eternal.
John Eckhardt (Daily Declarations for Spiritual Warfare: Biblical Principles to Defeat the Devil)
H-22: Father Corby Monument 39º48.205’N, 77º14.063’W This monument honors the hundreds of chaplains present on the field in 1863. As chaplain of the Eighty-eighth New York Infantry of the famed Irish Brigade, Father William Corby, twenty-nine years old, has become as famous as many of those who actually bore arms those three fateful days. As the Irish Brigade formed up to enter the fight, Father Corby stepped onto a boulder—some historians believe the very boulder on which the monument stands—and raised his hand. Three hundred soldiers drew silent, many of them dropping to their knees, as the battle raged around them. The priest blessed them, prayed for their safety, and granted a general absolution, after which the troops marched into the fight. Corby’s admonition that the church would refuse a Christian burial for any man who failed to do his duty that day rang in their ears as they headed off. Following the war, Father Corby became president of the University of Notre Dame. A replica of this monument stands on the university’s campus, marking his grave. Years after the war, veterans of the Irish Brigade petitioned to have the Medal of Honor awarded to Corby, a request that was ultimately denied.
James Gindlesperger (So You Think You Know Gettysburg?: The Stories behind the Monuments and the Men Who Fought One of America's Most Epic Battles)
She made herself ill remembering her last words to him, hearing them over and over as she carried her bucket up and down the stairs, as she ate her lonely soup, as she sat in the confessional before the priest. “Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.” She leaned on the partition, feeling the dampness at her forehead and her breast from the holy water’s anointment. “It has been one month since my last confession.” “And what sins have you committed since then?” Father Marche’s question was so familiar, his cadence always precisely the same, kind but tired, a little bored. Violetta always gave her rote response: acts of laziness and selfishness, disobeying the prioress, taking the Lord’s name in vain. Not today. Her words choked her. She could hardly get them out. “I have lied to a friend.” Father looked at her through the grate. He’d never done that. “This weighs on you.” She nodded; tears spilled from her eyes. “It is unforgivable.” “Nothing is unforgivable with penance and contrition,” he said with a kind of faith Violetta could not muster. He went on about Hail Marys; she said them aloud in a daze. He gave her absolution, but it did nothing to ease her mind or heart. As she left the confessional, she felt diseased by her own actions. Mino thought she didn’t care. But apart from music, he was the best thing in her life.
Lauren Kate (The Orphan's Song)
March 19 The Way of Abraham in Faith He went out, not knowing whither he went. Hebrews 11:8 In the Old Testament, personal relationship with God showed itself in separation, and this is symbolised in the life of Abraham by his separation from his country and from his kith and kin. To-day the separation is more of a mental and moral separation from the way that those who are dearest to us look at things, that is, if they have not a personal relationship with God. Jesus Christ emphasised this (see Luke 14:26). Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One Who is leading. It is a life of faith, not of intellect and reason, but a life of knowing Who makes us “go.” The root of faith is the knowledge of a Person, and one of the biggest snares is the idea that God is sure to lead us to success. The final stage in the life of faith is attainment of character. There are many passing transfigurations of character; when we pray we feel the blessing of God enwrapping us and for the time being we are changed, then we get back to the ordinary days and ways and the glory vanishes. The life of faith is not a life of mounting up with wings, but a life of walking and not fainting. It is not a question of sanctification; but of something infinitely further on than sanctification, of faith that has been tried and proved and has stood the test. Abraham is not a type of sanctification, but a type of the life of faith, a tried faith built on a real God. “Abraham believed God.
Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest)
We end up at an outdoor paintball course in Jersey. A woodsy, rural kind of place that’s probably brimming with mosquitos and Lyme disease. When I find out Logan has never played paintball before, I sign us both up. There’s really no other option. And our timing is perfect—they’re just about to start a new battle. The worker gathers all the players in a field and divides us into two teams, handing out thin blue and yellow vests to distinguish friend from foe. Since Logan and I are the oldest players, we both become the team captains. The wide-eyed little faces of Logan’s squad follow him as he marches back and forth in front of them, lecturing like a hot, modern-day Winston Churchill. “We’ll fight them from the hills, we’ll fight them in the trees. We’ll hunker down in the river and take them out, sniper-style. Save your ammo—fire only when you see the whites of their eyes. Use your heads.” I turn to my own ragtag crew. “Use your hearts. We’ll give them everything we’ve got—leave it all on the field. You know what wins battles? Desire! Guts! Today, we’ll all be frigging Rudy!” A blond boy whispers to his friend, “Who’s Rudy?” The kid shrugs. And another raises his hand. “Can we start now? It’s my birthday and I really want to have cake.” “It’s my birthday too.” I give him a high-five. “Twinning!” I raise my gun. “And yes, birthday cake will be our spoils of war! Here’s how it’s gonna go.” I point to the giant on the other side of the field. “You see him, the big guy? We converge on him first. Work together to take him down. Cut off the head,” I slice my finger across my neck like I’m beheading myself, “and the old dog dies.” A skinny kid in glasses makes a grossed-out face. “Why would you kill a dog? Why would you cut its head off?” And a little girl in braids squeaks, “Mommy! Mommy, I don’t want to play anymore.” “No,” I try, “that’s not what I—” But she’s already running into her mom’s arms. The woman picks her up—glaring at me like I’m a demon—and carries her away. “Darn.” Then a soft voice whispers right against my ear. “They’re already going AWOL on you, lass? You’re fucked.” I turn to face the bold, tough Wessconian . . . and he’s so close, I can feel the heat from his hard body, see the small sprigs of stubble on that perfect, gorgeous jaw. My brain stutters, but I find the resolve to tease him. “Dear God, Logan, are you smiling? Careful—you might pull a muscle in your face.” And then Logan does something that melts my insides and turns my knees to quivery goo. He laughs. And it’s beautiful. It’s a crime he doesn’t do it more often. Or maybe a blessing. Because Logan St. James is a sexy, stunning man on any given day. But when he laughs? He’s heart-stopping. He swaggers confidently back to his side and I sneer at his retreating form. The uniformed paintball worker blows a whistle and explains the rules. We get seven minutes to hide first. I cock my paintball shotgun with one hand—like Charlize Theron in Fury fucking Road—and lead my team into the wilderness. “Come on, children. Let’s go be heroes.” It was a massacre. We never stood a chance. In the end, we tried to rush them—overpower them—but we just ended up running into a hail of balls, getting our hearts and guts splattered with blue paint. But we tried—I think Rudy and Charlize would be proud
Emma Chase (Royally Endowed (Royally, #3))
March 19 MORNING “Strong in faith.” — Romans 4:20 CHRISTIAN, take good care of thy faith; for recollect faith is the only way whereby thou canst obtain blessings. If we want blessings from God, nothing can fetch them down but faith. Prayer cannot draw down answers from God’s throne except it be the earnest prayer of the man who believes. Faith is the angelic messenger between the soul and the Lord Jesus in glory. Let that angel be withdrawn, we can neither send up prayer, nor receive the answers. Faith is the telegraphic wire which links earth and heaven — on which God’s messages of love fly so fast, that before we call He answers, and while we are yet speaking He hears us. But if that telegraphic wire of faith be snapped, how can we receive the promise? Am I in trouble? — I can obtain help for trouble by faith. Am I beaten about by the enemy? — my soul on her dear Refuge leans by faith. But take faith away — in vain I call to God. There is no road betwixt my soul and heaven. In the deepest wintertime faith is a road on which the horses of prayer may travel — ay, and all the better for the biting frost; but blockade the road, and how can we communicate with the Great King? Faith links me with divinity. Faith clothes me with the power of God. Faith engages on my side the omnipotence of Jehovah. Faith ensures every attribute of God in my defence. It helps me to defy the hosts of hell. It makes me march triumphant over the necks of my enemies. But without faith how can I receive anything of the Lord? Let not him that wavereth — who is like a wave of the Sea — expect that he will receive anything of God! O, then, Christian, watch well thy faith; for with it thou canst win all things, however poor thou art, but without it thou canst obtain nothing. “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening-Classic KJV Edition)
It seemed that out of the battle I escaped Down some profound dull tunnel, long since scooped Through granites which Titanic wars had groined. Yet also there encumbered sleepers groaned, Too fast in thought or death to be bestirred. Then, as I probed them, one sprang up, and stared With piteous recognition in fixed eyes, Lifting distressful hands as if to bless. And by his smile, I knew that sullen hall, By his dead smile, I knew we stood in Hell. With a thousand pains[3]that vision's face was grained; Yet no blood reached there from the upper ground, And no guns thumped, or down the flues made moan. "Strange, friend," I said, "Here is no cause to mourn." "None," said the other, "Save the undone years, The hopelessness. Whatever hope is yours, Was my life also; I went hunting wild After the wildest beauty in the world, Which lies not calm in eyes, or braided hair, But mocks the steady running of the hour, And if it grieves, grieves richlier than here. For by my glee might many men have laughed, And of my weeping something had been left, Which must die now. I mean the truth untold, The pity of war, the pity war distilled. Now men will go content with what we spoiled. Or, discontent, boil bloody, and be spilled. They will be swift with swiftness of the tigress, None will break ranks, though nations trek from progress. Courage was mine, and I had mystery, Wisdom was mine, and I had mastery; To miss the march of this retreating world Into vain citadels that are not walled. Then, when much blood had clogged their chariot-wheels I would go up and wash them from sweet wells, Even with truths that lie too deep for taint. I would have poured my spirit without stint But not through wounds; not on the cess of war. Foreheads of men have bled where no wounds were. I am the enemy you killed, my friend. I knew you in this dark; for so you frowned Yesterday through me as you jabbed and killed. I parried; but my hands were loath and cold. Let us sleep now. . . .
Wilfred Owen (The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen)
For our part, we thought we would be following her path from a distance in the press. Our friends called to tell us when the photo of Diana pushing Patrick in his stroller appeared in Newsweek, or when our name was mentioned in a news magazine or paper. We were generally mislabeled as the Robinsons. Everyone asked if we would be going to the wedding, and we would reply, “Us? No, of course not.” We truly never expected to hear from Diana again, so her January letter became especially precious to us. We were stunned when a letter from Diana on Buckingham Palace stationary arrived in late March. She was clearly happy, writing, “I am on a cloud.” She missed Patrick “dreadfully.” She hoped that we were all “settled down by now, including your cat too--.” Diana had never even seen our cat. We’d left him with my brother because England requires a six-month quarantine for cats and dogs. How did she ever remember we had one? Then, “I will be sending you an invitation to the wedding, naturally. . . .” The wedding . . . naturally . . . God bless her. Maybe we weren’t going to lose her after all. She even asked me to send a picture of Patrick to show to “her intended(!), since I’m always talking about him.” As for her engagement, she could never even have imagined it the year before. She closed with her typical and appealing modesty: “I do hope you don’t mind me writing to you but just had to let you know what was going on.” Mind? I was thrilled and touched and amazed by her fondness and thoughtfulness, as I have been every single time she has written to us and seen us. This was always to be the Diana we knew and loved—kind, affectionate, unpretentious. I wrote back write away and sent her the two photographs I’d taken of her holding Patrick in our living room the previous fall. After Diana received the photographs, she wrote back on March 31 to thank me and sent us their official engagement picture. She said I should throw the photograph away if it was of no use. She added, “You said some lovely things which I don’t feel I deserve . . . .” Surely, she knew from the previous year that we would be her devoted friends forever.
Mary Robertson (The Diana I Knew: Loving Memories of the Friendship Between an American Mother and Her Son's Nanny Who Became the Princess of Wales)
Muffled footsteps sounded in the distance. Goldie heard a shout, and the heavy clank of punishment chains. The footsteps came closer. A boy began to sing in a hoarse, adolescent voice. "Awa-a-a-y, across the ocean-a-an, awa-a-a-y, across the sea-a-a-a-." There was a slap, and a yell. The singing stopped, but only for a moment. When it started up again, there were a dozen or more voices, all caterwauling at the top of their lungs. "-I'll go-o-o-o where my heart takes me, where my-y-y-y love waits for me-e-e-e-e." A pause. A furious adult's voice said, "It's not your love that's waiting for you, you little villains, it's the House of Repentance! Deliberate destruction of property, putting the lives of others at risk, oh you're in for it, you are!" Clank clank clank, went the punishment chains. "I’ve be-e-e-e-en away so long, dear, I've tra-a-a-aveled far and wi-i-i-i-i-ide-" sang the voices. Goldie edged along the wall and eased the door open. There was a bustle and a shoving and a clanking, and suddenly the corridor in front of her was full of boys, milling backward and forward, rattling their chains and singing loudly. They were all older than Goldie, but they wore the same gray threadbare smock and leggings. Somewhere in the middle of them were two Blessed Guardians. The smell of burning hung over them all. There was no time to think. Goldie couldn't see Toadspit, but she was sure he must be there somewhere. She whispered a quick "thank you" to Bald Thoke, then she stepped out into the corridor and tucked herself between two of the boys. For a heart-stopping moment the song faltered. The boys on either side of Goldie shot incredulous glances at her- Then they closed smoothly around her and began to sing louder than ever, their voices bouncing off the high ceilings. "Three yea-a-a-a-ars I rowed the galley-y-y-ys, three year-a-a-a-ars I was a sla-a-a-a-ave-." They spilled out into the foyer, a laughing, shouting, singing rabble. The Guardians who led them were shouting too. Only Goldie was silent. She crouched between the tall, raucous boys, her smock blending with theirs, her pulse thundering in her ears. "What's this?" shouted the toad-like Guardian. "Where are you taking them at this time of night?" "Set fire to their beds?" shouted one of the other Guardians. "Don't know what's got into them! Marching them off to Repentance!" "I'll need their names!" "If I-I-I-I-I could turn back time, dea-a-a-a-ar, if I-I-I-I-I-I could start aga-a-a-a-a-in-" "For Great Wooden's sake, we'll give them to you when we come back. I can't bear this appalling racket a moment longer!" And with that, the boys, Goldie and the two Guardians spilled out the front door of Care, across the yard and through the gate.
Lian Tanner (Museum of Thieves (The Keepers, #1))
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)
Naturally, without intending to, I transitioned from these dreams in which I healed myself to some in which I cared for others: I am flying over the Champs-Élysées Avenue in Paris. Below me, thousands of people are marching, demanding world peace. They carry a cardboard dove a kilometer long with its wings and chest stained with blood. I begin to circle around them to get their attention. The people, astonished, point up at me, seeing me levitate. Then I ask them to join hands and form a chain so that they can fly with me. I gently take one hand and lift. The others, still holding hands, also rise up. I fly through the air, drawing beautiful figures with this human chain. The cardboard dove follows us. Its bloodstains have vanished. I wake up with the feeling of peace and joy that comes from good dreams. Three days later, while walking with my children along the Champs-Élysées Avenue, I saw an elderly gentleman under the trees near the obelisk whose entire body was covered by sparrows. He was sitting completely still on one of the metal benches put there by the city council with his hand outstretched, holding out a piece of cake. There were birds flitting around tearing off crumbs while others waited their turn, lovingly perched on his head, his shoulders, his legs. There were hundreds of birds. I was surprised to see tourists passing by without paying much attention to what I considered a miracle. Unable to contain my curiosity, I approached the old man. As soon as I got within a couple of meters of him, all the sparrows flew away to take refuge in the tree branches. “Excuse me,” I said, “how does this happen?” The gentleman answered me amiably. “I come here every year at this time of the season. The birds know me. They pass on the memory of my person through their generations. I make the cake that I offer. I know what they like and what ingredients to use. The arm and hand must be still and the wrist tilted so that they can clearly see the food. And then, when they come, stop thinking and love them very much. Would you like to try?” I asked my children to sit and wait on a nearby bench. I took the piece of cake, reached my hand out, and stood still. No sparrow dared approach. The kind old man stood beside me and took my hand. Immediately, some of the birds came and landed on my head, shoulders, and arm, while others pecked at the treat. The gentleman let go of me. Immediately the birds fled. He took my hand and asked me to take my son’s hand, and he another hand, so that my children formed a chain. We did. The birds returned and perched fearlessly on our bodies. Every time the old man let go of us, the sparrows fled. I realized that for the birds when their benefactor, full of goodness, took us by the hand, we became part of him. When he let go of us, we went back to being ourselves, frightening humans. I did not want to disrupt the work of this saintly man any longer. I offered him money. He absolutely would not accept. I never saw him again. Thanks to him, I understood certain passages of the Gospels: Jesus blesses children without uttering any prayer, just by putting his hands on them (Matthew 19:13–15). In Mark 16:18, the Messiah commands his apostles, “They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” St. John the Apostle says mysteriously in his first epistle, 1.1, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life.
Alejandro Jodorowsky (The Dance of Reality: A Psychomagical Autobiography)
Blessed Man” is a tribute to Updike’s tenacious maternal grandmother, Katherine Hoyer, who died in 1955. Inspired by an heirloom, a silver thimble engraved with her initials, a keepsake Katherine gave to John and Mary as a wedding present (their best present, he told his mother), the story is an explicit attempt to bring her back to life (“O Lord, bless these poor paragraphs, that would do in their vile ignorance Your work of resurrection”), and a meditation on the extent to which it’s possible to recapture experience and preserve it through writing. The death of his grandparents diminished his family by two fifths and deprived him of a treasured part of his past, the sheltered years of his youth and childhood. Could he make his grandmother live again on the page? It’s certainly one of his finest prose portraits, tender, clear-eyed, wonderfully vivid. At one point the narrator remembers how, as a high-spirited teenager, he would scoop up his tiny grandmother, “lift her like a child, crooking one arm under her knees and cupping the other behind her back. Exultant in my height, my strength, I would lift that frail brittle body weighing perhaps a hundred pounds and twirl with it in my arms while the rest of the family watched with startled smiles of alarm.” When he adds, “I was giving my past a dance,” we hear the voice of John Updike exulting in his strength. Katherine takes center stage only after an account of the dramatic day of her husband’s death. John Hoyer died a few months after John and Mary were married, on the day both the newlyweds and Mary’s parents were due to arrive in Plowville. From this unfortunate coincidence, the Updike family managed to spin a pair of short stories. Six months before he wrote “Blessed Man,” Updike’s mother had her first story accepted by The New Yorker. For years her son had been doing his filial best to help get her work published—with no success. In college he sent out the manuscript of her novel about Ponce de León to the major Boston publishers, and when he landed at The New Yorker he made sure her stories were read by editors instead of languishing in the slush pile. These efforts finally bore fruit when an editor at the magazine named Rachel MacKenzie championed “Translation,” a portentous family saga featuring Linda’s version of her father’s demise. Maxwell assured Updike that his colleagues all thought his mother “immensely gifted”; if that sounds like tactful exaggeration, Maxwell’s idea that he could detect “the same quality of mind running through” mother and son is curious to say the least. Published in The New Yorker on March 11, 1961, “Translation” was signed Linda Grace Hoyer and narrated by a character named Linda—but it wasn’t likely to be mistaken for a memoir. The story is overstuffed with biblical allusion, psychodrama, and magical thinking, most of it Linda’s. She believes that her ninety-year-old father plans to be translated directly to heaven, ascending like Elijah in a whirlwind, with chariots of fire, and to pass his mantle to a new generation, again like Elijah. It’s not clear whether this grand design is his obsession, as she claims, or hers. As it happens, the whirlwind is only a tussle with his wife that lands the old folks on the floor beside the bed. Linda finds them there and says, “Of all things. . . . What are you two doing?” Her father answers, his voice “matter-of-fact and conversational”: “We are sitting on the floor.” Having spoken these words, he dies. Linda’s son Eric (a writer, of course) arrives on the scene almost immediately. When she tells him, “Grampy died,” he replies, “I know, Mother, I know. It happened as we turned off the turnpike. I felt
Adam Begley (Updike)
Montreal October 1704 Temperature 55 degrees Eben was looking at Sarah in the way every girl prays some boy will one day look at her. “I will marry you, Sarah,” said Eben. “I will be a good husband. A Puritan husband. Who will one day take us both back home.” Wind shifted the lace of Sarah’s gown and the auburn of one loose curl. “I love you, Sarah,” said Eben. “I’ve always loved you.” Tears came to Sarah’s eyes: she who had not wept over her own family. She stood as if it had not occurred to her that she could be loved; that an English boy could adore her. “Oh, Eben!” she whispered. “Oh, yes, oh, thank you, I will marry you. But will they let us, Eben? We will need permission.” “I’ll ask my father,” said Eben. “I’ll ask Father Meriel.” They were not touching. They were yearning to touch, they were leaning forward, but they were holding back. Because it is wrong? wondered Mercy. Or because they know they will never get permission? “My French family will put up a terrible fuss,” said Sarah anxiously. “Pierre might even summon his fellow officers and do something violent.” Eben grinned. “Not if I have Huron warriors behind me.” The Indians rather enjoyed being French allies one day and difficult neighbors the next. Lorette Indians might find this a fine way to stab a French soldier in the back without drawing blood. They would need Father Meriel. He could arrange anything if he chose; he had power among all the peoples. But he might say no, and so might Eben’s Indian family. Mercy translated what was going on for Nistenha and Snow Walker. “They want to get married,” she told them. “Isn’t it wonderful?” She couldn’t help laughing from the joy and the terror of it. Ransom would no longer be the first word in Sarah’s heart. Eben would be. Mercy said, “Eben asked her right here in the street, Snow Walker. He wants to save her from marriage to a French soldier she doesn’t want. He’s loved Sarah since the march.” The two Indians had no reaction. For a moment Mercy thought she must have spoken to them in English. Nistenha turned to walk away and Snow Walker turned with her. If Nistenha was not interested in Sarah and Eben’s plight, no Indian would be. Mercy called on her memory of every speech in every ceremony, every dignified phrase and powerful word. “Honored mother,” she said softly. “Honored sister. We are in need and we beg you to hear our petition.” Nistenha stopped walking, turned back and stared at her in amazement. Sarah and Eben and Snow Walker stared at her in amazement. Sam can build canoes, thought Mercy. I can make a speech. “This woman my sister and this man my brother wish to spend their lives together. My brother will need the generous permission of his Indian father. Already we know that my sister will be refused the permission of her French owners. We will need an ally to support us in our request. We will need your strength and your wisdom. We beseech you, Mother, that you stand by us and help us.” The city of Montreal swirled around them. Eben, property of an Indian father in Lorette; Sarah, property of a French family in Montreal; and Mercy, property of Tannhahorens, awaited her answer. “Your words fill me with pride, Munnunock,” said Nistenha softly. She reached into her shopping bundle. Slowly she drew out a fine French china cup, undoubtedly meant for the feast of Flying Legs. She held it for a moment, and then her stern face softened and she gave it to Eben. Indians sealed a promise with a gift. She would help them. From her bundle, Snow Walker took dangling silver earrings she must have bought for Mercy and handed them to Sarah. Because she knew that Sarah’s Mohawk was not good enough and that Eben was too stirred to speak, Mercy gave the flowery thanks required after such gifts. “God bless us,” she said to Sarah and Eben, and Eben said, “He has.
Caroline B. Cooney (The Ransom of Mercy Carter)
It must be wonderful to have your way carved out for you. [...] To have a pathway ready hewed through the mountains, and follow it happily masticating in your nosebag - blinkers on the trail. And all the awesome pomp. The sweet-smelly smoke, and those nose-picking plebeian acolytes toddling round with watering-cans tinkling little bells. Then the doctrine of happy accommodation - flexible as any bulrush when the emotional gales of March are blowing. Ah, blessed idiosyncratic interpretation!
Angus Stewart (Sandel)
tender. Laurie was growing more serious, strong, and firm, and both were learning that beauty, youth, good fortune, even love itself, cannot keep care and pain, loss and sorrow, from the most blessed for ... Into each life some rain must fall, Some days must be dark and sad and dreary. "She is growing better, I am sure of it, my dear. Don't despond, but hope and keep happy," said Mrs. March, as tenderhearted Daisy stooped from her knee to lay her rosy cheek against her little cousin's pale one.
Louisa May Alcott (Little Women (Illustrated))
Our Daily Epiphanies You shall be radiant at what you see… Isaiah 60:5 Two people can experience the same event very differently. One might “see” God’s hand at work while another may not. For example, one will curse his bad luck upon having a car accident, while the other will give thanks that God saved him from serious injury. In the end, some will have experienced their lives as a succession of little miracles, and they will count themselves blessed. Others will judge that life has been unfair and cheated them. The difference is typically in the eye of the beholder. If we have eyes to see the daily epiphanies in our lives, we will end up with grateful and joyful hearts. If we do not, we can easily become angry and dissatisfied. Let’s begin this day with a prayer: “Lord, give me the eyes today and every day to see your generous and merciful hand at work.” May every day be for us an epiphany of the Lord. Msgr. Stephen J. Rossetti Msgr. Rossetti is a priest of the Diocese of Syracuse, clinical associate professor at the Catholic University of America and visiting professor at the Gregorian University in Rome. He is author of numerous books, including his latest, Letters to My Brothers: Words of Hope and Challenge to Priests from Ave Maria Press.
Mark Neilsen (Living Faith - Daily Catholic Devotions, Volume 30 Number 4 - 2015 January, February, March (Living Faith - Daily Catholic Devotions Volume 30))
Home—that blessed word, which opens to the human heart the most perfect glimpse of Heaven, and helps to carry it thither, as on an angel’s wings. —LYDIA M. CHILD
Emily March (Angel's Rest (Eternity Springs, #1))
on the blessed day of Dushehra when all great undertakings are commenced – when armies begin their march and teachers accept new students– a time when rains having broken up, promises of new adventures frolic in the air, so on that cusp of a day, Firangia who had thrown all his concerns aside and had made his choice, was initiated as a Thug.
Mukta Singh-Zocchi (The Thugs & a Courtesan)
I have always been confident and see gain in failure. I know I will make good of this situation eventually. God I will stand by my promise I made to you on March 20th. Please guide and protect me and my kids through this difficult time. Obviously the Christian groups attempting to obtain The Palace wasn’t in God’s Favor. If they were in God’s favor. The deal would have gone through. The devil is alive in Branson and this is why the Lord has contacted me and others with an attempt to rid this villain and stand up to his hate that is front center in Branson, Missouri. The Grand Palace obviously has demons that are rooted inside it’s walls and maybe a exorcism needs to be performed at The Palace to rid those devils from her walls. I realize this sounds crazy. But somehow every time something good is going to happen with The Grand Palace, A negative occurrence finds it’s way to surface. I could very easily turn and walk away now. I cannot. I could very easily turn on God now and join the Devil’s army. I cannot. I will stay strong and fight the good fight. Figure out a way to defeat the FDIC and all the hate that has been thrown at me. I will say now very confidently, ‘God Bless Us All.
Paul M. Dunn (The Grand Palace Battleground Branson Missouri)
Today I feel like a bride. Fragrant. I am every love song ever played. I am pink confetti. I am the wedding march personified. I am God’s best promise, an open sack, waiting to be filled with matrimonially blessed seed. I am hope.
Leone Ross (Come Let Us Sing Anyway)
Suddenly, Samuel put his hand on Saul’s head in blessing. Saul jerked back as if penetrated by a rush of wind. The tall king fell back to his knees. The crowd hushed. “What happened?” Ittai whispered to Micah. “The Spirit of Yahweh has come upon the king.” Saul stood up again and appeared to rise taller than he had been. His posture straightened and he now exuded the confidence he had lacked just moments earlier. It fascinated Ittai. Saul turned to the crowd and announced in a firm kingly voice, “All Israel, send your military units and anyone who will fight to Gibeah. We will march on Jabesh-gilead and I will lead our forces in victory over these enemies of Yahweh!
Brian Godawa (David Ascendant (Chronicles of the Nephilim, #7))
At the moment, most of our ways of defining the unit of morality are similar in their intentions, but they differ in their details. So the priests of one nation bless their soldiers as they march to war, and the imams of another country bless their soldiers as they march out to meet them. And everybody who is involved in the killing, says that he has God on his side. There is no objective and universally acceptable definition of good and evil. And until we have one, we will go on justifying our own actions, while condemning the actions of the others.
Gregory David Roberts (Shantaram)
A strange mood has seized the almost-educated young. They’re on the march, angry at times, but mostly needful, longing for authority’s blessing, its validation of their chosen identities. The decline of the West in new guise perhaps. Or the exaltation and liberation of the self. A social-media site famously proposes seventy-one gender options—neutrois, two spirit, bigender…any colour you like, Mr. Ford. Biology is not destiny after all, and there’s cause for celebration. A shrimp is neither limiting nor stable. I declare my undeniable feeling for who I am. If I turn out to be white, I may identify as black. And vice versa. I may announce myself as disabled, or disabled in context. If my identity is that of a believer, I’m easily wounded, my flesh torn to bleeding by any questioning of my faith. Offended, I enter a state of grace. Should inconvenient opinions hover near me like fallen angels or evil djinn (a mile being too near), I’ll be in need of the special campus safe room equipped with Play-Doh and looped footage of gambolling puppies. Ah, the intellectual life! I may need advance warning if upsetting books or ideas threaten my very being by coming too close, breathing on my face, my brain, like unwholesome dogs.
Ian McEwan (Nutshell)
The Truth the Dead Know" For my Mother, born March 1902, died March 1959 and my Father, born February 1900, died June 1959 Gone, I say and walk from church, refusing the stiff procession to the grave, letting the dead ride alone in the hearse. It is June. I am tired of being brave. We drive to the Cape. I cultivate myself where the sun gutters from the sky, where the sea swings in like an iron gate and we touch. In another country people die. My darling, the wind falls in like stones from the whitehearted water and when we touch we enter touch entirely. No one's alone. Men kill for this, or for as much. And what of the dead? They lie without shoes in their stone boats. They are more like stone than the sea would be if it stopped. They refuse to be blessed, throat, eye and knucklebone.
Anne Sexton
It was a beautiful sunny day in March, made more special after three continuous days of rain. The bright day was one of the reasons that Marvin’s spirits were high, and the other reason was his four-year-old niece, Rose. Of the five older members of the Kauffman family, Marvin was the one with whom Rose spent most of the day. The little girl was the closest person to Marvin, who always loved to spend time with the little girl. Rose would always bring a smile to his face and Marvin thought her the most precious blessing. He thought about Rose and a smile played on his lips again. “Look who is smiling to himself. You finally found your better half, bruder?” a familiar voice broke Marvin from his thoughts. He turned back, startled by the sudden remark. “Eric, you’re here!” Marvin exclaimed as he rushed toward his childhood best friend and gave him a boyish hug. Eric seemed equally excited. It was the first time the boys were meeting since Eric’s wedding. Marvin had missed his best friend after he went on his honeymoon, but even now that he
Saraah Sowell (13 Amish Maidens Pursuing Love Boxed Set)
After all, who are they - these egoists! Every single one of them stands up only for the interests of his class. Behind all of them stands either a Jew or their own moneybag. They are nothing other than profiteers; they live from the profits of this war; no good will follow it. I confront these folk as nothing other than the simple fighter for my German Volk that I am. And I am convinced that, just as this struggle has been blessed by Providence up to now, so it will also be blessed in the future. When I stepped before you in this hall for the first time, twenty-one years ago, I was unknown, nameless, and I had nothing other than my own faith. In these twenty-one years, a new world was created! The way from the present to the future will be easier than the one from February 24, 1920, leading to this day and to this place. With zealous confidence I look to the future. The whole nation has stepped up, and I know that the moment there is the command to “fall into step,” Germany will march! Speech for the 21st anniversary of the N.S.D.A.P. in the Hofbrauhaus Munich, February 24, 1941
Adolf Hitler (Collection of Speeches: 1922-1945)
March 16 MORNING “I am a stranger with thee.” — Psalm 39:12 YES, O Lord, with Thee, but not to Thee. All my natural alienation from Thee, Thy grace has effectually removed; and now, in fellowship with Thyself, I walk through this sinful world as a pilgrim in a foreign country. Thou art a stranger in Thine own world. Man forgets Thee, dishonours Thee, sets up new laws and alien customs, and knows Thee not. When Thy dear Son came unto His own, His own received Him not. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. Never was foreigner so speckled a bird among the denizens of any land as Thy beloved Son among His mother’s brethren. It is no marvel, then, if I who live the life of Jesus, should be unknown and a stranger here below. Lord, I would not be a citizen where Jesus was an alien. His pierced hand has loosened the cords which once bound my soul to earth, and now I find myself a stranger in the land. My speech seems to these Babylonians among whom I dwell an outlandish tongue, my manners are singular, and my actions are strange. A Tartar would be more at home in Cheapside than I could ever be in the haunts of sinners. But here is the sweetness of my lot: I am a stranger with Thee. Thou art my fellow-sufferer, my fellowpilgrim. Oh, what joy to wander in such blessed society! My heart burns within me by the way when Thou dost speak to me, and though I be a sojourner, I am far more blest than those who sit on thrones, and far more at home than those who dwell in their ceiled houses. “To me remains nor place, nor time: My country is in every clime; I can be calm and free from care On any shore, since God is there.” “While place we seek, or place we shun, The soul finds happiness in none: But with a God to guide our way, ’Tis equal joy to go or stay.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening-Classic KJV Edition)
March 27 MORNING “Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.” — Matthew 26:56 HE never deserted them, but they in cowardly fear of their lives, fled from Him in the very beginning of His sufferings. This is but one instructive instance of the frailty of all believers if left to themselves; they are but sheep at the best, and they flee when the wolf cometh. They had all been warned of the danger, and had promised to die rather than leave their Master; and yet they were seized with sudden panic, and took to their heels. It may be, that I, at the opening of this day, have braced up my mind to bear a trial for the Lord’s sake, and I imagine myself to be certain to exhibit perfect fidelity; but let me be very jealous of myself, lest having the same evil heart of unbelief, I should depart from my Lord as the apostles did. It is one thing to promise, and quite another to perform. It would have been to their eternal honour to have stood at Jesus’ side right manfully; they fled from honour; may I be kept from imitating them! Where else could they have been so safe as near their Master, who could presently call for twelve legions of angels? They fled from their true safety. O God, let me not play the fool also. Divine grace can make the coward brave. The smoking flax can flame forth like fire on the altar when the Lord wills it. These very apostles who were timid as hares, grew to be bold as lions after the Spirit had descended upon them, and even so the Holy Spirit can make my recreant spirit brave to confess my Lord and witness for His truth. What anguish must have filled the Saviour as He saw His friends so faithless! This was one bitter ingredient in His cup; but that cup is drained dry; let me not put another drop in it. If I forsake my Lord, I shall crucify Him afresh, and put Him to an open shame. Keep me, O blessed Spirit, from an end so shameful.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening-Classic KJV Edition)
MARCH 6 SUGGESTED READING: ISAIAH 45:1–15 Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour (Isa. 45:15). There is an aspect of God’s nature that can be expounded in no other term than astonishing. It is probably best explained by saying that the sovereign will of God is really His free will; yet this presents a mystery so deep to His children that the Bible must say that we serve “a God that hideth Himself.” This hiding of God’s face toward us is not on account of our sin or backsliding. God is simply working His sovereign will, trusting that His children will love Him, even when they do not understand His ways—as in the case of Job. In this respect, one application of the Beatitudes is rarely explained by preachers. In Matthew 5:7, we read, “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.” As children of God we should, when God is putting us through strange and mysterious circumstances, convey a merciful impression to the minds of others regarding their attitude toward God! It is a real danger, and perilous to their souls, to allow people to sympathize so much with us in our suffering that they have resentful thoughts of God. PRAYER THOUGHT: I accept what You permit to come into my life, heavenly Father, as Your will for me.
Oswald Chambers (Devotions for a Deeper Life)
MARCH 7 NO ENEMY WILL BE ABLE TO STEAL YOUR JOY BECAUSE YOU LOVE My name and rejoice in Me, you will take refuge in Me and will be glad. I will cause you to sing for joy as I spread My protection over you. I will bless My righteous servant and will surround you with My favor. I will make known to you the path of life and will fill you with joy in My presence and with eternal pleasures at My right hand. I will be your strength and your shield. I will be your shepherd and carry you forever. I will turn your wailing into dancing and will remove your sackcloth and clothe you with My joy. PSALMS 5:11–12; 16:11; 126:5–6 Prayer Declaration In the name of Jesus I bind and cast out any spirit that would try to steal my joy. I will shout to God with cries of joy. How awesome is the Lord Most High, the great King over all the earth. You have restored to me the joy of my salvation and have filled me with Your spirit. Therefore I will joyfully teach transgressors Your ways and will declare Your praise.
John Eckhardt (Daily Declarations for Spiritual Warfare: Biblical Principles to Defeat the Devil)
March 2 MORNING “But all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his share, and his coulter, and his ax, and his mattock.” — 1 Samuel 13:20 WE are engaged in a great war with the Philistines of evil. Every weapon within our reach must be used. Preaching, teaching, praying, giving, all must be brought into action, and talents which have been thought too mean for service, must now be employed. Coulter, and axe, and mattock, may all be useful in slaying Philistines; rough tools may deal hard blows, and killing need not be elegantly done, so long as it is done effectually. Each moment of time, in season or out of season; each fragment of ability, educated or untutored; each opportunity, favourable or unfavourable, must be used, for our foes are many and our force but slender. Most of our tools want sharpening; we need quickness of perception, tact, energy, promptness, in a word, complete adaptation for the Lord’s work. Practical common sense is a very scarce thing among the conductors of Christian enterprises. We might learn from our enemies if we would, and so make the Philistines sharpen our weapons. This morning let us note enough to sharpen our zeal during this day by the aid of the Holy Spirit. See the energy of the Papists, how they compass sea and land to make one proselyte, are they to monopolize all the earnestness? Mark the heathen devotees, what tortures they endure in the service of their idols! are they alone to exhibit patience and self-sacrifice? Observe the prince of darkness, how persevering in his endeavours, how unabashed in his attempts, how daring in his plans, how thoughtful in his plots, how energetic in all! The devils are united as one man in their infamous rebellion, while we believers in Jesus are divided in our service of God, and scarcely ever work with unanimity. O that from Satan’s infernal industry we may learn to go about like good Samaritans, seeking whom we may bless!
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening-Classic KJV Edition)
March 13 MORNING “Why sit we here until we die?” — 2 Kings 7:3 DEAR reader, this little book was mainly intended for the edification of believers, but if you are yet unsaved, our heart yearns over you: and we would fain say a word which may be blessed to you. Open your Bible, and read the story of the lepers, and mark their position, which was much the same as yours. If you remain where you are you must perish; if you go to Jesus you can but die. “Nothing venture, nothing win,” is the old proverb, and in your case the venture is no great one. If you sit still in sullen despair, no one can pity you when your ruin comes; but if you die with mercy sought, if such a thing were possible, you would be the object of universal sympathy. None escape who refuse to look to Jesus; but you know that, at any rate, some are saved who believe in Him, for certain of your own acquaintances have received mercy: then why not you? The Ninevites said, “Who can tell?” Act upon the same hope, and try the Lord’s mercy. To perish is so awful, that if there were but a straw to catch at, the instinct of self-preservation should lead you to stretch out your hand. We have thus been talking to you on your own unbelieving ground, we would now assure you, as from the Lord, that if you seek Him He will be found of you. Jesus casts out none who come unto Him. You shall not perish if you trust Him; on the contrary, you shall find treasure far richer than the poor lepers gathered in Syria’s deserted camp. May the Holy Spirit embolden you to go at once, and you shall not believe in vain. When you are saved yourself, publish the good news to others. Hold not your peace; tell the King’s household first, and unite with them in fellowship; let the porter of the city, the minister, be informed of your discovery, and then proclaim the good news in every place. The Lord save thee ere the sun goes down this day.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening-Classic KJV Edition)
MARCH 24 THE ENEMY WILL FLEE AT YOUR REBUKE JUST AS I rebuked Satan and defended My servant Joshua, so too will I defend you, My child, and will cause the accusations of the enemy to be harmless to you. I have given you the power to speak to the enemy with rebuke, and you will see him flee from you. I have promised that those who rebuke the wicked will have delight, and a good blessing will come upon them. Follow My instruction and learn to do good; seek justice, rebuke the oppressor, defend the fatherless, and plead for the widow. I will rebuke the devourer for your sake, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field. ZECHARIAH 3:1–2; PROVERBS 24:25; MALACHI 3:11 Prayer Declaration Satan, the Lord rebukes you. Let the enemy flee at Your rebuke, O Lord. Because the Lord has strengthened me, I will rebuke Satan and cause him to cease from attacking my family and me. I will speak to the storm of my life and say, “Quiet! Be still!
John Eckhardt (Daily Declarations for Spiritual Warfare: Biblical Principles to Defeat the Devil)
March 31 MORNING “With His stripes we are healed.” — Isaiah 53:5 PILATE delivered our Lord to the lictors to be scourged. The Roman scourge was a most dreadful instrument of torture. It was made of the sinews of oxen, and sharp bones were inter-twisted every here and there among the sinews; so that every time the lash came down these pieces of bone inflicted fearful laceration, and tore off the flesh from the bone. The Saviour was, no doubt, bound to the column, and thus beaten. He had been beaten before; but this of the Roman lictors was probably the most severe of His flagellations. My soul, stand here and weep over His poor stricken body. Believer in Jesus, can you gaze upon Him without tears, as He stands before you the mirror of agonizing love? He is at once fair as the lily for innocence, and red as the rose with the crimson of His own blood. As we feel the sure and blessed healing which His stripes have wrought in us, does not our heart melt at once with love and grief? If ever we have loved our Lord Jesus, surely we must feel that affection glowing now within our bosoms. “See how the patient Jesus stands, Insulted in His lowest case! Sinners have bound the Almighty’s hands, And spit in their Creator’s face.” “With thorns His temples gor’d and gash’d Send streams of blood from every part; His back’s with knotted scourges lash’d. But sharper scourges tear His heart.” We would fain go to our chambers and weep; but since our business calls us away, we will first pray our Beloved to print the image of His bleeding self upon the tablets of our hearts all the day, and at nightfall we will return to commune with Him, and sorrow that our sin should have cost Him so dear.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening-Classic KJV Edition)
March 3 Vexation … Her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her.—1 Samuel 1:6b We don’t use the word rival much in referring to relationships in the office, neighborhood or family. It’s a word used in game-playing or competitive sports. Yet, there is probably one person who loves to push your buttons, who manipulates the conversation, who drinks the last cup of coffee and never makes another pot—you know who I’m talking about. Why, just thinking about the last little trick they pulled makes your face blush a bit with anger or embarrassment. Their daily digs or sick sarcasm is a constant wear on your attempts to be at peace while you do your job. At times you’ve thought of strangling them, but more often you simply try to avoid them. If you are a Christian, you are going to be targeted by the enemy of peace. Satan will send a few darts your way: a bossy co-worker, a meddling aunt, a gossipy neighbor and your most-of-the-time adoring husband to name a few. Don’t be surprised when it happens, because it will happen. Your peace is too good to be true in the world’s eyes. The world doesn’t understand it, the world can’t have it, and therefore the world doesn’t want you to have it either. Hannah’s story in 1 Samuel is an example of the woman who faces daily vexation from someone who is bent on robbing her of her peace and joy in the Lord. When she could take the ridicule no longer, she turned to the Lord. In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the Lord (1 Samuel 1:10). She called to God for release of the heaviness in her soul. Is your soul heavy because of conflict in relationships? I encourage you to pray for the person who is casting the darts. Forgive their trespasses against you, and ask for strength from the Lord. Ask boldly; He will hear your request. The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses His people with peace (Psalm 29:11).
The writers of Encouraging.com (God Moments: A Year in the Word)
March 4 MORNING “My grace is sufficient for thee.” — 2 Corinthians 12:9 IF none of God’s saints were poor and tried, we should not know half so well the consolations of divine grace. When we find the wanderer who has not where to lay his head, who yet can say, “Still will I trust in the Lord;” when we see the pauper starving on bread and water, who still glories in Jesus; when we see the bereaved widow overwhelmed in affliction, and yet having faith in Christ, oh! what honour it reflects on the gospel. God’s grace is illustrated and magnified in the poverty and trials of believers. Saints bear up under every discouragement, believing that all things work together for their good, and that out of apparent evils a real blessing shall ultimately spring — that their God will either work a deliverance for them speedily, or most assuredly support them in the trouble, as long as He is pleased to keep them in it. This patience of the saints proves the power of divine grace. There is a lighthouse out at sea: it is a calm night — I cannot tell whether the edifice is firm; the tempest must rage about it, and then I shall know whether it will stand. So with the Spirit’s work: if it were not on many occasions surrounded with tempestuous waters, we should not know that it was true and strong; if the winds did not blow upon it, we should not know how firm and secure it was. The master-works of God are those men who stand in the midst of difficulties, stedfast, unmoveable, — “Calm mid the bewildering cry, Confident of victory.” He who would glorify his God must set his account upon meeting with many trials. No man can be illustrious before the Lord unless his conflicts be many. If then, yours be a much-tried path, rejoice in it, because you will the better show forth the all-sufficient grace of God. As for His failing you, never dream of it — hate the thought. The God who has been sufficient until now, should be trusted to the end.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening-Classic KJV Edition)
March 4 The Salt of the Earth Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.—Colossians 4:6 I grew up out in the country of east Tennessee, and our neighbors were dairy farmers. I remember the cows gathering around the salt-lick, a huge block of salt hung on a post about as high as the cattle’s mouth. They not only craved the salt, they needed it. All of us need a certain amount of salt in our bodies. This verse reminds me of a salt-lick. Just as all creatures crave salt, all people crave words of blessing and encouragement. Salt adds flavor. As Christians, our conversation should be flavored with words that bless the lives of others —words that compliment, build up, comfort, express kindness. Salt also preserves against corruption. The things we do and say can be a witness to others to bring them to the Lord; perhaps to bring them back to Him and help them remain faithful. In Matthew 5:13, Jesus tells his disciples that they are the salt of the earth, but warns them that if the salt loses its flavor, it is of no good to anyone. In Bible time, the salt they used was sea salt which was mixed with impurities. Those impurities caused the salt to lose its flavor. I have a friend who works for Morton Salt Company. He says their salt is 100% sodium chloride. It will never lose its flavor, because it is pure. You are the salt of the earth. Don’t let the impurities of the world cause you to lose your flavor!
The writers of Encouraging.com (God Moments: A Year in the Word)
Elantris (Sanderson, Brandon) - Your Highlight on page 237 | Location 4560-4562 | Added on Friday, March 21, 2014 2:19:28 AM Sometimes we must fall, sometimes we will rise—some must be hurt while others have fortune, for that is the only way we can learn to rely on one another. As one is blessed, it is his privilege to help those whose lives are not as easy. Unity comes from strife,
Anonymous
was surprised by how quickly I was forgotten, how calm the waters were, as soon as I paddled out of the center of the evangelical right-wing whitewater. From one day to the next, I went from daily calls to be on some TV show, or be on the radio, or to be a participant in this or that symposium, march, seminar, or publishing venture, to blessed silence. It was a relief. It also confirmed what I already knew: that evangelicalism is not so much a religion as a series of fast-moving personality cults. As soon as a leader steps aside, or is shoved aside, or stumbles, the crowd looks for the next man or woman to briefly follow. There is always a bigger show down the street, another even better Bible-study leader or congregation to try, another hot author/guru to read, another trend, from speaking in tongues to giving homeschooling a try. And most evangelicals spend a good portion of their time wandering from church to church, from leader to leader, even from one radio and TV personality to another, in the same way that when I was a teen I’d switch my loyalty from one rock band to another. It’s all about who is “hot.” In
Frank Schaeffer (Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back)
Lying in my tent alone that night I wept quietly, as all the emotion seeped out of me. For the second time in recent years, I knew I should have died. I wrote: March 31, midnight. The emotions of today have been crazy. And through it all, I just can’t quite fathom how the rope held my fall. Over supper this evening, Nima spoke in rapid, dramatic gestures as he recounted the episode to the other Sherpas. I received double rations from Thengba, our hard-of-hearing cook, which I think was his way of reassuring me. Sweet man. He knows from experience how unforgiving this mountain can be. My elbow is pretty darned sore where I smashed it against the crevasse, and I can feel small bits of bone floating around inside a swollen sack of fluid beneath it, which is slightly disconcerting. The doctor says you can’t do much about an elbow apart from medicate and let time try to heal. At least it wasn’t my head! I can’t get to sleep at the moment--I just keep having this vision of the crevasses beneath me--and it’s terrifying when I close my eyes. Falling is such a horrible, helpless feeling. It caused me the same terror that I felt during my parachute accident. I don’t think I have ever felt so close to being killed as I did today. Yet I survived--again. It leaves me with this deep gratitude for all the good and beautiful things in my life, and a conviction that I really don’t want to die yet. I’ve got so much to live for. I just pray with my whole heart never to go through such an experience again. Tonight, alone, I put in words, thank you my Lord and my friend. It’s been a hell of a way to start the climb of my life. P.S.: Today is my Shara’s birthday. Bless her, wherever she is right now.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
Brrr,” Nic complained, her voice drifting across the darkness. “It’s so cold. Do you have a spare bearskin over there?” An image of naked limbs on a bear skin rug flashed through his mind. He cleared his throat. “I thought you were asleep.” “I dozed for a bit. My boots were killing me, so I took them off. Now my feet are cold, and that makes me uncomfortable and cranky.” Gabe hesitated a moment before saying, “Well, we can’t have cranky. Scoot them over here. I’ll rub your feet for you.” “God bless you, Gabe Callahan.” She whipped her legs out from beneath her covers and set them in his lap. She wore thin trouser socks, and when he took her right foot between his hands, he sucked in a breath. “You have ice cubes for feet.” “I told you so.” He tugged off her sock and began rubbing her bare, freezing foot. While he tried to keep his touch clinical and his thoughts impersonal, he couldn’t help noticing her foot’s slender width, the graceful arch of her instep, the softness of her skin. It was the most personal touch he’d shared with a woman in months, and damn his soul, he enjoyed it. While he massaged her right foot, her left foot crept up and rested on his thigh, inches from his torso. Inches from his erection. He should put her ice cubes right on his crotch, but he settled for the next best thing. He tugged his shirttail from his jeans and yanked her sock off her left foot. “Look, don’t take this personally. Consider it payback for doctoring my scratches that day.” He took both her feet and tucked them against his belly, sucking in an audible breath. It truly was like putting ice on his stomach. “Whoa. Have you no circulation in your feet whatsoever?” “Oh, you feel good, Callahan,” she purred. “How can you be so warm? Are you hiding a heater or something?” A heater? Was that a come-on? Or was she just clueless? He wished he could see her expression to help him judge. Wryly he replied, “Or something.” Gabe
Emily March (Angel's Rest (Eternity Springs, #1))
That night, Marjan dreamt of Mehregan. The original day of thanksgiving, the holiday is celebrated during the autumn equinox in Iran. A fabulous excuse for a dinner party, something that Persians the world over have a penchant for, Mehregan is also a challenge to the forces of darkness, which if left unheeded will encroach even on the brightest of flames. Bonfires and sparklers glitter in the evening skies on this night, and in homes across the country, everyone is reminded of their blessings by the smell of roasting 'ajil', a mixture of dried fruit, salty pumpkin seeds, and roasted nuts. Handfuls are showered on the poor and needy on Mehregan, with a prayer that the coming year will find them fed and showered with the love of friends and family. In Iran, it was Marjan's favorite holiday. She even preferred it to the bigger and brasher New Year's celebrations in March, anticipating the festivities months in advance. The preparations would begin as early as July, when she and the family gardener, Baba Pirooz, gathered fruit from the plum, apricot, and pear trees behind their house. Along with the green pomegranate bush, the fruit trees ran the length of the half-acre garden. Four trees deep and rustling with green and burgundy canopies, the fattened orchard always reminded Marjan of the bejeweled bushes in the story of Aladdin, the boy with the magic lamp. It was sometimes hard to believe that their home was in the middle of a teeming city and not closer to the Alborz mountains, which looked down on Tehran from loftier heights. After the fruit had been plucked and washed, it would be laid out to dry in the sun. Over the years, Marjan had paid close attention to her mother's drying technique, noting how the fruit was sliced in perfect halves and dipped in a light sugar water to help speed up the wrinkling. Once dried, it would be stored in terra-cotta canisters so vast that they could easily have hidden both both young Marjan and Bahar. And indeed, when empty the canisters had served this purpose during their hide-and-seek games.
Marsha Mehran (Rosewater and Soda Bread)
Sooner or later in life you will be released from every calling in the Church. Perhaps my release is not the best alternative, but it will surely come. You will quit or retire from every position in life except two: You brethren will never be released from being a husband and a father. You sisters will never be released from being a wife and a mother. You cannot be exalted without an eternal mate. That is the sum of it.... Remember, you can be exalted without a college degree. You can be exalted without being slender and beautiful. You can be exalted without having a successful career. You can be exalted if you are not rich and famous. So focus the best that you can on those things in life that will lead you back to the presence of God--keeping all things in their proper balance. There are those who may never marry in mortality. But all of God's blessings will ultimately come to those who are righteous and true to the gospel. Oh, my dear young brothers and sisters, these are the days of your probation. This time is a precious window of opportunity to prepare for your future. Do not waste this time away. Get out a paper and pencil and write down the things that matter most to you. List the goals that you hope to accomplish in life and what things are required if they are to become a reality for you. Plan and prepare and then do. (Brigham Young University, 3 March 2002)
M. Russell Ballard
April 9 MORNING “And there followed Him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented Him.” — Luke 23:27 AMID the rabble rout which hounded the Redeemer to His doom, there were some gracious souls whose bitter anguish sought vent in wailing and lamentations — fit music to accompany that march of woe. When my soul can, in imagination, see the Saviour bearing His cross to Calvary, she joins the godly women and weeps with them; for, indeed, there is true cause for grief — cause lying deeper than those mourning women thought. They bewailed innocence maltreated, goodness persecuted, love bleeding, meekness about to die; but my heart has a deeper and more bitter cause to mourn. My sins were the scourges which lacerated those blessed shoulders, and crowned with thorn those bleeding brows: my sins cried “Crucify Him! crucify Him!” and laid the cross upon His gracious shoulders. His being led forth to die is sorrow enough for one eternity: but my having been His murderer, is more, infinitely more, grief than one poor fountain of tears can express. Why those women loved and wept it were not hard to guess: but they could not have had greater reasons for love and grief than my heart has. Nain’s widow saw her son restored — but I myself have been raised to newness of life. Peter’s wife’s mother was cured of the fever — but I of the greater plague of sin. Out of Magdalene seven devils were cast — but a whole legion out of me. Mary and Martha were favoured with visits — but He dwells with me. His mother bare His body — but He is formed in me the hope of glory. In nothing behind the holy women in debt, let me not be behind them in gratitude or sorrow. “Love and grief my heart dividing, With my tears His feet I’ll lave — Constant still in heart abiding, Weep for Him who died to save.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Morning and Evening-Classic KJV Edition)
He guarded him . . . like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions. The Lord alone led him; no foreign god was with him. (Deuteronomy 32:10–12) Our almighty God is like a parent who delights in leading the tender children in His care to the very edge of a precipice and then shoving them off the cliff into nothing but air. He does this so they may learn that they already possess an as-yet-unrealized power of flight that can forever add to the pleasure and comfort of their lives. Yet if, in their attempt to fly, they are exposed to some extraordinary peril, He is prepared to swoop beneath them and carry them skyward on His mighty wings. When God brings any of His children into a position of unparalleled difficulty, they may always count on Him to deliver them. from The Song of Victory When God places a burden upon you, He places His arms underneath you. There once was a little plant that was small and whose growth was stunted, for it lived under the shade of a giant oak tree. The little plant valued the shade that covered it and highly regarded the quiet rest that its noble friend provided. Yet there was a greater blessing prepared for this little plant. One day a woodsman entered the forest with a sharp ax and felled the giant oak. The little plant began to weep, crying out, “My shelter has been taken away. Now every fierce wind will blow on me, and every storm will seek to uproot me!” The guardian angel of the little plant responded, “No! Now the sun will shine and showers will fall on you more abundantly than ever before. Now your stunted form will spring up into loveliness, and your flowers, which could never have grown to full perfection in the shade, will laugh in the sunshine. And people in amazement will say, ‘Look how that plant has grown! How gloriously beautiful it has become by removing that which was its shade and its delight!’ ” Dear believer, do you understand that God may take away your comforts and privileges in order to make you a stronger Christian? Do you see why the Lord always trains His soldiers not by allowing them to lie on beds of ease but by calling them to difficult marches and service? He makes them wade through streams, swim across rivers, climb steep mountains, and walk many long marches carrying heavy backpacks of sorrow. This is how He develops soldiers—not by dressing them up in fine uniforms to strut at the gates of the barracks or to appear as handsome gentlemen to those who are strolling through the park. No, God knows that soldiers can only be made in battle and are not developed in times of peace. We may be able to grow the raw materials of which soldiers are made, but turning them into true warriors requires the education brought about by the smell of gunpowder and by fighting in the midst of flying bullets and exploding bombs, not by living through pleasant and peaceful times. So, dear Christian, could this account for your situation? Is the Lord uncovering your gifts and causing them to grow? Is He developing in you the qualities of a soldier by shoving you into the heat of the battle? Should you not then use every gift and weapon He has given you to become a conqueror? Charles H. Spurgeon
Lettie B. Cowman (Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings)
Celeste Blessing.
Emily March (Dreamweaver Trail: An Eternity Springs Novel)
Eternity’s newest permanent resident, Celeste Blessing,
Emily March (Angel's Rest (Eternity Springs, #1))
Death may be the greatest of all human blessings.
Emily March (Reflection Point (Eternity Springs, #6))
the Irish blessing that her grandmother had cross-stitched in green thread against a cream linen background and hung in her parlor: “May the road rise to meet you, May the wind be always at your back, May the sun shine warm upon your face, May the rains fall soft upon your fields, And, until we meet again, May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.
Emily March (Reflection Point (Eternity Springs, #6))
The March 26, 1979 Agreement between Israel and America states in quite simple, easily understood terms that if Israel’s “security” is “threaten(ed),” including “an armed attack against Israel” that the United States “on an urgent basis” will “be responsive to military and economic assistance requirements of Israel.” That’s not very subtle diplomatic language for ‘if you are invaded militarily, we’ll respond militarily.’ Frankly, it might have been better from a Genesis 12:3 perspective (“I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you”) if the 1979 military defense agreement with Israel had been 202 pages, with multiple sub-parts, and several whereas clauses, instead of two pages which can’t be easily misinterpreted. Any lawyer will tell you that the most difficult contract to defeat by finding a ‘loophole’ is a contract that is short, simple, and straight forward. That’s exactly what America signed with Israel about thirty years ago.
John Price (The End of America: The Role of Islam in the End Times and Biblical Warnings to Flee America)
His desire that we grow ever closer to him in love and obedience has no season, no calendar. Go gently into that reality today, knowing that you are blessed.
Terence Hegarty (Living Faith - Daily Catholic Devotions, Volume 31 Number 4 - 2016 January, February, March)
There is no satisfaction, whatever, at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.
Anonymous
At the moment, most of our ways of defining the unit of morality are similar in their intentions, but they differ in their details. So the priests of one nation bless their soldiers as they march to war, and the imams of another country bless their soldiers as they march out to meet them. And everybody who is involved in the killing, says that he has God on his side. There is no objective and universally acceptable definition of good and evil. And until we have one, we will go on justifying our own actions, while condemning the actions of the others.’ ‘And you’re putting the physics of the universe up as a kind of platinum-iridium bar?
Gregory David Roberts (Shantaram)
There is no satisfaction, whatever, at any time. There is only a queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.
random person
Christianity has thus passed through many stages of its earthly life, and yet has hardly reached the period of full manhood in Christ Jesus. During this long succession of centuries it has outlived the destruction of Jerusalem, the dissolution of the Roman empire, fierce persecutions from without, and heretical corruptions from within, the barbarian invasion, the confusion of the dark ages, the papal tyranny, the shock of infidelity, the ravages of revolution, the attacks of enemies and the errors of friends, the rise and fall of proud kingdoms, empires, and republics, philosophical systems, and social organizations without number. And, behold, it still lives, and lives in greater strength and wider extent than ever; controlling the progress of civilization, and the destinies of the world; marching over the ruins of human wisdom and folly, ever forward and onward; spreading silently its heavenly blessings from generation to generation, and from country to country, to the ends of the earth. It can never die; it will never see the decrepitude of old age; but, like its divine founder, it will live in the unfading freshness of self-renewing youth and the unbroken vigor of manhood to the end of time, and will outlive time itself.
Philip Schaff
They've said: PRAYING isn't enough in this situation. Contrary to belief, prayer is all you need. If you believe that it isn't, it's only because you haven't truly experience the power of praying in your life. Keep praying. When there was a battle, one man prayed, and God caused the sun to delay setting, so they could win the battle. (Joshua 10) The prayers of the Righteous, they have overwhelming impacts and I encourage you to include that in whatever your next move is in this situation. I don't march, I don't openly protest... No important reasons... I just don't... but I can do what I do best... Help behind the scenes.. and PRAY.. because, I know it works. Peace and Blessings
Jennifer M. Malone (Absent In His Presence)
Gulag Archipelago brings to a logical conclusion what was outlined first in August, 1914. The book is the manifesto of a vicious enemy of the Russian people. We read on page 277: 'There is a simple truth, but it must be suffered and lived through: in war it is not victories but defeats that must be blessed. For it is governments that need victories, the people need defeats... The Victory of the Russian troops at Poltava brought nothing but misfortune to Russia: two centuries of great strain, ruin and slavery, and more wars... We are so used to being proud of our victory over Napoleon that we leave out a very important thing: it is because of that victory that the emancipation of peasants did not take place half a century earlier, it is because of this victory that the Russian tsar, whose position became much stronger than before, managed to smash the Decembrists. (As for the French. they could not possibly have occupied Russia).' This monstrous hodgepodge needs no other comment but this: that in making this admission of hatred for everything that is sacred to a Russian, the slanderer has exposed himself. The above-quoted passage may be regarded as a kind of introduction to Solzhenitsyn's treatment of the Great Patriotic War of the Soviet people (1941-1945). It is hard to believe, but he is genuinely sorry that we won a victory in the life-and-death struggle with Nazism and saved humanity from Nazi enslavement. The Soviet people rejoiced in the victory which finally came on May 9, 1945, but for Solzhenitsyn 'that wearisome spring with its music of Victory marches became the spring of retribution for my generation.' (A. Solzhenitsyn. Gulag Archipelago, Paris, 1973, pp. 244)
Nikolai N. Yakovlev (Solzhenitsyn's Archipelago of Lies)
COME AWAY WITH ME for a while. The world, with its nonstop demands, can be put on hold. Most people put Me on hold, rationalizing that someday they will find time to focus on Me. But the longer people push Me into the background of their lives, the harder it is for them to find Me. You live among people who glorify busyness; they have made time a tyrant that controls their lives. Even those who know Me as Savior tend to march to the tempo of the world. They have bought into the illusion that more is always better: more meetings, more programs, more activity. I have called you to follow Me on a solitary path, making time alone with Me your highest priority and deepest Joy. It is a pathway largely unappreciated and often despised. However, you have chosen the better thing, which will never be taken away from you. Moreover, as you walk close to Me, I can bless others through you.
Sarah Young (Jesus Calling Morning and Evening Devotional)
I speak tonight for the dignity of man and the destiny of democracy. . . . At times history and fate meet at a single time in a single place to shape a turning point in man's unending search for freedom. So it was at Lexington and Concord. So it was a century ago at Appomattox. So it was last week in Selma, Alabama. There, long-suffering men and women peacefully protested the denial of their rights as Americans. Many were brutally assaulted. One good man, a man of God, was killed. There is no cause for pride in what has happened in Selma. There is no cause for self-satisfaction in the long denial of equal rights of millions of Americans. But there is cause for hope and for faith in our democracy in what is happening here tonight. For the cries of pain and the hymns and protests of oppressed people have summoned into convocation all the majesty of this great Government--the Government of the greatest Nation on earth. Our mission is at once the oldest and the most basic of this country: to right wrong, to do justice, to serve man. In our time we have come to live with moments of great crisis. Our lives have been marked with debate about great issues; issues of war and peace, issues of prosperity and depression. But rarely in any time does an issue lay bare the secret heart of America itself. Rarely are we met with a challenge, not to our growth or abundance, our welfare or our security, but rather to the values and the purposes and the meaning of our beloved Nation. The issue of equal rights for American Negroes is such an issue. And should we defeat every enemy, should we double our wealth and conquer the stars, and still be unequal to this issue, then we will have failed as a people and as a nation. For with a country as with a person, "What is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul ?" There is no Negro problem. There is no Southern problem. There is no Northern problem. There is only an American problem. . . . But even if we pass this bill, the battle will not be over. What happened in Selma is part of a far larger movement which reaches into every section and State of America. It is the effort of American Negroes to secure for themselves the full blessings of American life. Their cause must be our cause too. Because it is not just Negroes, but really it is all of us, who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice. And we shall overcome." -Lyndon B. Johnson, 15 March 1965
Andrew Aydin John Lewis
Amy was on the point of crying, but Laurie slyly pulled the parrot's tail, which caused Polly to utter an astonished croak and call out, "Bless my boots!" in such a funny way, that she laughed instead. "What do you hear from your mother?" asked the old lady gruffly. "Father is much better," replied Jo, trying to keep sober. "Oh, is he? Well, that won't last long, I fancy. March never had any stamina," was the cheerful reply. "Ha, ha! Never say die, take a pinch of snuff, goodbye, goodbye!" squalled Polly, dancing on her perch, and clawing at the old lady's cap as Laurie tweaked him in the rear. "Hold your tongue, you disrespectful old bird! And, Jo, you'd better go at once. It isn't proper to be gadding about so late with a rattlepated boy like . . ." "Hold your tongue, you disrespectful old bird!" cried Polly, tumbling off the chair with a bounce, and running to peck the `rattlepated' boy, who was shaking with laughter at the last speech.
Louisa May Alcott (Little Women (Great Illustrated Classics))