Stumbling Blocks Quotes

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The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.
Julia Child
A stumbling block to the pessimist is a stepping-stone to the optimist.
Eleanor Roosevelt
There will always be rocks in the road ahead of us. They will be stumbling blocks or stepping stones; it all depends on how you use them.
Friedrich Nietzsche
The bible and the church have been the greatest stumbling block in the way of women's emancipation.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Christmas and Easter can be subjects for poetry, but Good Friday, like Auschwitz, cannot. The reality is so horrible it is not surprising that people should have found it a stumbling block to faith.
W.H. Auden
Princes & Kings Isn't it strange how princes and kings, and clowns that caper in sawdust rings, and common people, like you and me, are builders for eternity? Each is given a list of rules; a shapeless mass; a bag of tools. And each must fashion, ere life is flown, A stumbling block, or a Stepping-Stone.
R. Lee Sharpe
To be free is to learn, to test yourself constantly, to gamble. It is not safe. I had learnt to use my fears as stepping stones rather than stumbling blocks, and
Robyn Davidson (Tracks)
I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Letter from the Birmingham Jail)
I don't go in for being sorry for people. For one thing it's insulting. One is only sorry for people if they are sorry for themselves. Self-pity is the biggest stumbling block in our world today. ~Jessop
Agatha Christie (Destination Unknown)
The difference between a stumbling block and a stepping stone is how high you raise your foot.
Benny Lewis (Fluent in 3 Months: How Anyone at Any Age Can Learn to Speak Any Language from Anywhere in the World)
Remember particularly that you cannot be a judge of anyone. For no one can judge a criminal until he recognizes that he is just such a criminal as the man standing before him, and that he perhaps is more than all men to blame for that crime. When he understands that, he will be able to be a judge. Though that sounds absurd, it is true. If I had been righteous myself, perhaps there would have been no criminal standing before me. If you can take upon yourself the crime of the criminal your heart is judging, take it at once, suffer for him yourself, and let him go without reproach. And even if the law itself makes you his judge, act in the same spirit so far as possible, for he will go away and condemn himself more bitterly than you have done. If, after your kiss, he goes away untouched, mocking at you, do not let that be a stumbling-block to you. It shows his time has not yet come, but it will come in due course. And if it come not, no matter; if not he, then another in his place will understand and suffer, and judge and condemn himself, and the truth will be fulfilled. Believe that, believe it without doubt; for in that lies all the hope and faith of the saints.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
How often do we stand convinced of the truth of our early memories, forgetting that they are assessments made by a child? We can replace the narratives that hold us back by inventing wiser stories, free from childish fears, and, in doing so, disperse long-held psychological stumbling blocks.
Benjamin Zander (The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life)
Arrogance is blind to the stumbling block.
Toba Beta (Master of Stupidity)
Abstraction can provide stumbling blocks for people of strange intelligence.
Gustave Flaubert (Bouvard and Pecuchet)
Man's inability to understand and appreciate the thought and viewpoint of another man would be a stumbling block which no amount of mechanical ability could overcome.
Clifford D. Simak (City)
The farmer was and remains the stumbling block to socialist experiments everywhere. Since he raises his own food and tends to live in his own house, he is less “controllable” than say, the urban dweller.
Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn (Leftism Revisited: from de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Pol Pot)
Some folks may be really bummed to find that "God bless America" does not appear in the Bible. So often we do things that make sense to us and ask God to bless our actions and come alongside our plans, rather than looking at the things God promises to bless and acting alongside of them. For we know that God's blessing will inevitably follow if we are with the poor, the merciful, the hungry, the persecuted, the peacemakers. But sometimes we'd rather have a God who conforms to our logic than conform our logic to the God whose wisdom is a stumbling block to the world of smart bombs and military intelligence.
Shane Claiborne (Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals)
If life throws you a few bad notes or vibrations, don't let them interrupt or alter your song.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
One of the Secrets in Life is to Make Stepping Stones out of Stumbling Blocks.
Jack Penn
And then we jerked to a stop. Jared was blocking the exit. "Have you lost your mind, Ian?" he asked, shocked and outraged. "What are you doing to her?" "Did you know about this?" Ian shouted back, shoving me toward Jared and shaking me at him. "You're going to hurt her!" "Do you know what she's planning?" Ian roared. Jared stared at Ian, his face suddenly closed off. He didn't answer. That was answer enough for Ian. Ian's fist struck Jared so fast that I missed the blow - I just felt the lurch in his body and saw Jared reel back into the dark hall. "Ian, stop," I begged. "You stop," he growled back at me. He yanked me through the arch into the tunnel, then pulled me north. I had to almost run to keep up with his longer stride. "O´Shea!" Jared shouted after us. "I'm going to hurt her?" Ian roared back over his shoulder, not breaking pace. "I am? You hypocritical swine!" There was nothing but silence and blackness behind us now. I stumbled in the dark, trying to keep up. He jerked me along faster, and my breath caught in a moan, almost like a cry of pain. The sound made Ian stumble to a stop. His breathing was hoarse in the darkness. "Ian, Ian, I..." I chocked, unable to finish. I didn't know what to say, picturing his furious face. His arms caught me abruptly, yanking my feet out from under me and then catching my shoulders before I could fall. He started running forward again, carrying me now. His hands were not rough and angry like before; he cradled me against his chest.
Stephenie Meyer (The Host)
I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Today God is bypassing men—not because they are too ignorant, but because they are too self-sufficient. Brethren, our abilities are our handicaps, and our talents our stumbling blocks!
Leonard Ravenhill (Why Revival Tarries)
Anyone who realises what Love is, the dedication of the heart, so profound, so absorbing, so mysterious, so imperative, and always just in the noblest natures so strong, cannot fail to see how difficult, how tragic even, must often be the fate of those whose deepest feelings are destined from the earliest days to be a riddle and a stumbling-block, unexplained to themselves, passed over in silence by others.
Edward Carpenter (The Intermediate Sex: A Study Of Some Transitional Types Of Men And Women)
I sprang toward him with the stake, hoping to catch him by surprise. But Dimitri was hard to catch by surprise. And he was fast. Oh, so fast. It was like he knew what I was going to do before I did it. He halted my attack with a glancing blow to the side of my head. I knew it would hurt later, but my adrenaline was running too strong for me to pay attention to it now. Distantly, I realized some other people had come to watch us. Dimitri and I were celebrities in different ways around here, and our mentoring relationship added to the drama. This was prime-time entertainment. My eyes were only on Dimitri, though. As we tested each other, attacking and blocking, I tried to remember everything he'd taught me. I also tried to remember everything I knew about him. I'd practiced with him for months. I knew him, knew his moves, just as he knew mine. I could anticipate him the same way. Once I started using that knowledge, the fight grew tricky. We were too well matched, both of us too fast. My heart thumped in my chest, and sweat coated my skin. Then Dimitri finally got through. He moved in for an attack, coming at me with the full force of his body. I blocked the worst of it, but he was so strong that I was the one who stumbled from the impact. He didn't waste the opportunity and dragged me to the ground, trying to pin me. Being trapped like that by a Strigoi would likely result in the neck being bitten or broken. I couldn't let that happen. So, although he held most of me to the ground, I managed to shove my elbow up and nail him in the face. He flinched and that was all I needed. I rolled him over and held him down. He fought to push me off, and I pushed right back while also trying to maneuver my stake. He was so strong, though. I was certain I wouldn't be able to hold him. Then, just as I thought I'd lose my hold, I got a good grip on the stake. And like that, the stake came down over his heart. It was done. Behind me, people were clapping but all I noticed was Dimitri. Our gazes were locked. I was still straddling him, my hands pressed against his chest. Both of us were sweaty and breathing heavily. His eyes looked at me with pride—and hell of a lot more. He was so close and my body yearned for him, again thinking he was a piece of me I needed in order to be complete. The air between us seemed warm and heady, and I would have given anything in that moment to lie down with him and have his arms wrap around me. His expression showed that he was thinking the same thing. The fight was finished, but remnants of the adrenaline and animal intensity remained.
Richelle Mead (Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy, #3))
That belief in Christ is to some a matter of life and death has been a stumbling block for readers who would prefer to think it a matter of no great consequence.
Flannery O'Connor (Wise Blood)
Sophokles is a playwright fascinated in general by people who say no, people who resist compromise, people who make stumbling blocks of themselves, like Antigone or Ajax.
Aeschylus (An Oresteia: Agamemnon by Aiskhylos; Elektra by Sophokles; Orestes by Euripides)
Where it Matters Being with you today is worth all the broken hearts of yesterday. In a flash, all of the stumbling blocks of relationships gone wrong have become the stepping stones to our perfect love. We fit. I now understand the feeling I used to think was pain that came along with love was actually the discomfort from being in a place I didn’t fit. Thank you for being you… for sharing your love with me… for inspiring me to accept myself… for helping me see the unique beauty in imperfection… for showing me that love is something you do; something not just to be said, but also to be shown. I am not perfect; neither are you. I love that! Our love is perfect. And even though we may not be, our love creates a bridge that spans over our imperfections and joins us where it matters. I love you!
Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience)
There is nothing in this world that you cannot do. Every goal is achievable. You just need to focus on your objectives, be persistent in your efforts and work hard to make it happen. There can be no hurdle uncrossable, no obstacle invincible and no stumbling block insurmountable.
Roopleen
Our life is a walk in the night, we know not how great the distance to the dawn that awaits us. And the path is strewn with stumbling blocks and our bodies are grown tyrannous with weeping yet we lift our feet. We lift our feet.
Rachel Kadish (The Weight of Ink)
If you are living your life to the best of your ability, and pursuing your purpose, you will not be jealous, envious or try to place a stumbling block in the way of another person.
Dee Dee M. Scott (Joy Cometh In The Morning)
The difference between a stumbling block and a stepping stone is the character of the individual walking the path.
Shanna Hogan (Picture Perfect: The True Story of a Beautiful Photographer, Her Mormon Lover, and a Deadly Obsession)
When stumbling blocks can become stepping stones, then these stones that the builders reject can equally become chief corner stones!
Israelmore Ayivor
The stumbling block will turn out to be the traditional one for students of consciousness: the flashlight is incapable of shining on itself, so we can't trust what its light reveals.
Jonathan Lethem (Fear of Music)
The difference between stepping stones and stumbling blocks is not in the event itself but how you think about it and what you do after it. Every failure and setback can become part of your success or an excuse for quitting or failing. People who develop the discipline of positivity are both happier and more successful. www.whatwillmatter.com
Michael Josephson
To my thinking, miracles are never a stumbling block to the realist. It is not miracles that dispose realists to belief...Faith does not, in the realist, spring from the miracle but the miracle from faith.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
Let your pain birth your purpose. Let your mess become your message. Let this be a stepping-stone and not a stumbling block. Change
Tony A. Gaskins Jr. (Mrs. Right: A Woman's Guide to Becoming and Remaining a Wife)
You can use the stumbling blocks to build your success.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
By the study of Boltzmann I have been unable to understand him. He could not understand me on account of my shortness, and his length was and is an equal stumbling block to me.
James Clerk Maxwell
But if rejection was his only stumbling block, then pride was his real problem
Mesu Andrews (Love Amid The Ashes)
God doesn’t promise to remove the stones from the path, but He does promise to make them stepping-stones and not stumbling blocks. He promises to help us climb higher because of the difficulties of life.
Warren W. Wiersbe (The Bumps Are What You Climb on: Encouragement for Difficult Days)
One of the secrets to life, Epiphany, is to find your gifts and focus on those. Leave your liabilities in the dust of the road not taken. The world is an imperfect place. Everyone struggles. Successful people see trials as growth experiences, rather than stumbling blocks. You have everything you need for success. You're a beautiful young woman, and you're strong, and you have a clever mind. If you let anyone convince you otherwise, you steal from yourself.
Lisa Wingate (Dandelion Summer (Blue Sky Hill #4))
humanity suffers terribly from the demons it has created over lengths of time. we learn from nothing that we do. we create religions, heritage, race, traditions, then they all in turn become our stumbling blocks from becoming one. we suffer from the creations of our own inability to interpret history. the only thing we have succeded on is seperation.we are not that different from one another as we think we are. but we are too corrupted to break our deconstruction.
Jeffrey Fischer
Forgiving ourselves and learning from our inevitable mistakes transforms failure from a stumbling block into a stepping stone.
L.R. Knost
I had learnt to use my fears as stepping stones rather than stumbling blocks,
Robyn Davidson (Tracks: One Woman's Journey Across 1,700 Miles of Australian Outback)
Read the book through, undeterred and undismayed by the paragraphs, footnotes, comments, and references that escape you. If you let yourself get stalled, if you allow yourself to be tripped up by any one of these stumbling blocks, you are lost.
Mortimer J. Adler (How to Read a Book)
The truth is that so long as we hold both sides of the proposition together they contain nothing inconsistent with right belief, but as soon as one is divorced from the other, it is bound to prove a stumbling block. "Only those who believe obey" is what we say to that part of a believer's soul which obeys, and "only those who obey believe" is what we say to that part of the soul of the obedient which believes. If the first half of the proposition stands alone, the believer is exposed to the danger of cheap grace, which is another word for damnation. If the second half stands alone, the believer is exposed to the danger of salvation through works, which is also another word for damnation.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (The Cost of Discipleship)
Your greatest difficulty is with yourself; for you are your own stumbling-block. You do not know what you want. You are better at approving the right course than at following it out. You see where the true happiness lies, but you have not the courage to attain it.
Seneca
It was not that she felt any allegiance to the truth. God knows she had cheated on too many men for the truth to be more than a stumbling block. But sometimes falsehood took more strength than she could summon up.
Stephen Dobyns (Eating Naked)
When the ancients discovered ‘Phi’, they were certain they had stumbled across God’s building block for the world.
Dan Brown (The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon, #2))
This divergence of experience was not a stumbling block to conversation; indeed, it was what made the conversation interesting.
Michael David Lukas (The Oracle of Stamboul)
Life is going to throw you some blocks. You will decide if they are going to be your stumbling blocks or your building blocks
Saji Ijiyemi
The good son imitates the father with such passion that father and son become each other's chief stumbling block - a situation the indifferent son more easily avoids.
René Girard (Violence and the Sacred)
In junior high, the term stumbling block annoyed me. The implication that my friends and I were nothing more than things over which men and boys could trip was not lost on me.
Linda Kay Klein (Pure: Inside the Evangelical Movement That Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free)
I offer my life's breath for the sake of the Cross, which is a stumbling block to the unbelievers, but to us it is salvation and eternal life.
Ignatius of Antioch (Epistle to the Ephesians)
It is better to be a stepping stone than a stumbling block
Mark Samraj
Very often we are our own worst enemy as we foolishly build stumbling blocks on the path that leads to success and happiness.
Og Mandino (Og Mandino's University of Success)
Your only stumbling block is the man in the mirror
Thabiso Daniel Monkoe (The Azanian)
The main stumbling block in the way of any progress is and always has been unimpeachable tradition. (Chien-Shiung Wu)
Rachel Ignotofsky (Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World)
I have come to the conclusion that the use and knowledge of words acts sometimes as a stumbling block rather than a clarifier.
Anaïs Nin (A Literate Passion: Letters of Anais Nin & Henry Miller, 1932-1953)
We cultivate refinement without extravagance and knowledge without effeminacy; wealth we employ more for use than for show, and place the real disgrace of poverty not in owning to the fact but in declining the struggle against it. Our public men have, besides politics, their private affairs to attend to, and our ordinary citizens, though occupied with the pursuits of industry, are still fair judges of public matters; for, unlike any other nation, regarding him who takes no part in these duties not as unambitious but as useless, we Athenians are able to judge at all events if we cannot originate, and instead of looking on discussion as a stumbling-block in the way of action, we think it an indispensable preliminary to any wise action at all.
Pericles
Wise Blood was written by an author congenitally innocent of theory, but one with certain preoccupations. That belief in Christ is to some a matter of life and death has been a stumbling block for readers who would prefer to think it a matter of no great consequence. For them Hazel Motes' integrity lies in his trying with such vigor to get rid of the ragged figure who moves from tree to tree in the back of his mind. For the author Hazel's integrity lies in his not being able to. Does one's integrity ever lie in what he is not able to do? I think that usually it does, for free will does not mean one will, but many wills conflicting in one man. Freedom cannot be conceived simply. It is a mystery and one which a novel, even a comic novel, can only be asked to deepen.
Flannery O'Connor
I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
Martin Luther King Jr. (Letter from the Birmingham Jail)
Never give up on your dream. The size of your dream in life will determine the type of challenges you face. Little dream attract little problems. And the bigger your dreams the bigger the challenges you face. Always remember, these challenges are not a stumbling blocks rather a stepping stone towards your championship.
Kelly Benedict
I say to my congregants, "If you believe in God, the best thing you can do for yourself is to suspend your belief for a while, because undoubtedly your God is too small and you must grow beyond that God. On the other hand, if you don't believe in God, your very disbelief is a stumbling block. Kick it away and place your faith in somehting more ennobling than disbelief. Take a flier. Expand your purview. Take a leap of faith.
Forrest Church (The Cathedral of the World: A Universalist Theology)
Wise Blood has reached the age of ten and is still alive. My critical powers are just sufficient to determine this, and I am gratified to be able to say it. The book was written with zest and, if possible, it should be read that way. It is a comic novel about a Christian malgré lui, and as such, very serious, for all comic novels that are any good must be about matters of life and death. Wise Blood was written by an author congenitally innocent of theory, but one with certain preoccupations. That belief in Christ is to some a matter of life and death has been a stumbling block for some readers who would prefer to think it a matter of no great consequence. For them, Hazel Motes's integrity lies in his trying with such vigor to get rid of the ragged figure who moves from tree to tree in the back of his mind. For the author, Hazel's integrity lies in his not being able to do so. Does one's integrity ever lie in what he is not able to do? I think that usually it does, for free will does not mean one will, but many wills conflicting in one man. Freedom cannot be conceived simply. It is a mystery and one which a novel, even a comic novel, can only be asked to deepen. (Preface to second edition, 1962)
Flannery O'Connor (3 by Flannery O'Connor: The Violent Bear It Away / Everything That Rises Must Converge / Wise Blood)
Coincidences, in general, are great stumbling-blocks in the way of that class of thinkers who have been educated to know nothing of the theory of probabilities---that theory to which the most glorious objects of human research are indebted for the most glorious of illustration.
Edgar Allan Poe (The Murders in the Rue Morgue)
The message of the cross will always be foolishness to some, a stumbling block to others. But if our attention is on the market reaction, we move away from the power of the gospel. This fearfulness to talk about the blood of Christ is an overreaction. Worse than that, it borders on heresy, distorting and deflating the power of the Good News.
Jim Cymbala (Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire)
I wandered out like a haggard ghost, and there she was, Frisco - long, bleak streets with trolley wires all shrouded in fog and whiteness. I stumbled around a few blocks. Weird bums (Mission and Third) asked me for dimes in the dawn.
Jack Kerouac (On the Road)
That to be free one needs constant and unrelenting vigilance over one’s weaknesses. A vigilance which requires a moral energy most of us are incapable of manufacturing. We relax back into the moulds of habit. They are secure, they bind us and keep us contained at the expense of freedom. To break the moulds, to be heedless of the seductions of security is an impossible struggle, but one of the few that count. To be free is to learn, to test yourself constantly, to gamble. It is not safe. I had learnt to use my fears as stepping stones rather than stumbling blocks, and best of all I had learnt to laugh.
Robyn Davidson (Tracks: One Woman's Journey Across 1,700 Miles of Australian Outback)
The first stumbling block those raised as girls in the purity movement must overcome is the message that if you are suffering, it’s your fault: It may be your sin; it may be your psychosis; but it is certainly not the shaming system you find yourself in. When taken to heart, this message can make us miss—or, when we do see it, dismiss—our suffering, until one day, it’s too late.
Linda Kay Klein (Pure: Inside the Evangelical Movement That Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free)
Pride,” said the hermit to his guests, “has destroyed an angel created for good. It is the stumbling-block against which the destinies of man strike. You cannot reason with pride, the principal of all the vices, since, by its very nature, the proud man refuses to listen to it...
Jules Verne
Not every affection which seems good is to be immediately followed. Neither is every opposite affection to be immediately avoided. Sometimes it is expedient to use restraint even in good desires and wishes, lest through importunity you fall into distraction of mind, lest through want of discipline you become a stumbling block to others.
Thomas à Kempis (The Imitation of Christ)
The bible and the church have been the greatest stumbling blocks in the way of women’s emancipation.
Elizabeth Stanton
Man’s inability to understand and appreciate the thought and the viewpoint of another man would be a stumbling block which no amount of mechanical ability could overcome. That
Clifford D. Simak (City)
The senator...was a smart man who had made his way in life with a single-mindedness oblivious to any of those stumbling blocks known as conscience, sworn oaths, justice, duty...
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
In the constant pursuit of perfection, junk food will always be a rather painful stumbling block
C.S. Woolley
Centaurs!” Annabeth yelled. The Party Pony army exploded into our midst in a riot of colors: tie-dyed shirts, rainbow Afro wigs, oversize sunglasses, and war-painted faces. Some had slogans scrawled across their flanks like HORSEZ PWN or KRONOS SUX. Hundreds of them filled the entire block. My brain couldn’t process everything I saw, but I knew if I were the enemy, I’d be running. “Percy!” Chiron shouted across the sea of wild centaurs. He was dressed in armor from the waist up, his bow in his hand, and he was grinning in satisfaction. “Sorry we’re late!” “DUDE!” Another centaur yelled. “Talk later. WASTE MONSTERS NOW!” He locked and loaded a double-barrel paint gun and blasted an enemy hellhound bright pink. The paint must’ve been mixed with Celestial bronze dust or something, because as soon as it splattered the hellhound, the monster yelped and dissolved into a pink-and-black puddle. “PARTY PONIES!” a centaur yelled. “SOUTH FLORIDA CHAPTER!” Somewhere across the battlefield, a twangy voice yelled back, “HEART OF TEXAS CHAPTER!” “HAWAII OWNS YOUR FACES!” a third one shouted. It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. The entire Titan army turned and fled, pushed back by a flood of paintballs, arrows, swords, and NERF baseball bats. The centaurs trampled everything in their path. “Stop running, you fools!” Kronos yelled. “Stand and ACKK!” That last part was because a panicked Hyperborean giant stumbled backward and sat on top of him.
Rick Riordan (The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #5))
Few Americans today recognize mass incarceration for what it is: a new caste system thinly veiled by the cloak of colorblindness. Hundreds of thousands of people of color are swept into this system and released every year, yet we rationalize the systematic discrimination and exclusion and turn a blind eye to the suffering. Our collective denial is not merely an inconvenient fact; it is a major stumbling block to public understanding of the role of race in our society, and it sharply limits the opportunities for truly transformative collective action.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Revised Edition))
Our great stumbling block, in our stride toward freedom, is not the White Citizens’ Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner. It’s the white moderate who is more devoted to order than to justice;
Ken Follett (Edge of Eternity Deluxe (The Century Trilogy #3))
Yet, unbelief doesn't see God as the ultimate good. So it can't see sin as the ultimate evil. It instead sees sin as a good thing and thus God's commands as a stumbling block to joy. In believing the devil, I didn't need a pentagram pendant to wear, neither did I need to memorize a hex or two. All I had to do was trust myself more than God's Word. I had to believe that my thoughts, my affections, my rights, my wishes, were worthy of absolute obedience and that in laying prostrate before the flimsy throne I'd made for myself, that I'd be doing a good thing.
Jackie Hill Perry (Gay Girl, Good God: The Story of Who I Was and Who God Has Always Been)
Our great stumbling block, in our stride toward freedom, is not the White Citizens’ Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner. It’s the white moderate who is more devoted to order than to justice; who constantly says, like Bobby Kennedy: ‘I agree with the goal you seek, but I cannot condone your methods.’ He paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom.
Ken Follett (Edge of Eternity Deluxe (The Century Trilogy #3))
In a manner of speaking, the fact that humankind itself is unpredictable is the quintessential stumbling-block for archaeologists. We have to assume that the people whose dwelling-places, artefacts, lives even, we are dealing with were rational, integrated, sane and sensible human beings. Then we look around at our own contemporaries and wonder how this belief can possibly be sustained.
Laurence Flanagan (Ancient Ireland: Life Before the Celts)
Anesthesia was discovered. Do you know what it means to relieve man of his pain and suffering? Anesthesia is the most humane of all of man's accomplishments, and what a merciful accomplishment it was. For this great discovery we are indebted to Dr. W. T. G. Morton. Do you know that the religionists opposed the use of anesthesia on the ground that God sent pain as a punishment for sin, and it was considered the greatest of sacrileges to use it—just think of it, a sin to relieve man of his misery! What a monstrous perversion! This one instance alone should convince you of the difference in believing in God or not. No believer in God would have spent his energies to discover anesthesia. He would have been in mortal fear of the wrath of his God for interfering with his 'divine plan,' of making man suffer for having eaten of the fruit of the 'Tree of Knowledge.' The very crux of the matter is in this one instance. Man seeks to relieve his fellow man from the suffering of disease and the pangs of mental agony. The believers in God are content that man's suffering is ordained, and therefore he accepts life and its trials and tribulations as a penance for living. The fear of the wrath of God has been a stumbling block to progress.
Joseph Lewis (An Atheist Manifesto)
These tiny groups that make us feel loved and save and part of something even on our loneliest nights when we stumble home to our computers - partnerless, tired, awake. We won't have those next year. We won't live on the same block as all our friends. We won't have a bunch of group texts. This scares me. More than finding the right job or city or spouse, I'm scared of losing this web we're in. This elusive, indefinable, opposite of loneliness. This feeling I feel right now.
Marina Keegan
In order to embrace holiness without the stumbling blocks of attractive sin, we must stop sugar-coating and glamorizing what slips and sneakily slides off the straight and narrow. Putting lipstick and diamonds on a corpse will not prevent it from rotting!
Sarah Hawkes Valente (31 Days to Lovely: A Journey of Forgiveness)
He was confused. I was confused. Just like every couple who ever had to climb over a few stumbling blocks was confused. That was romance.It wasn’t paint-by-numbers or color within the lines. It was messy and scribbly and up to us to draw it how we wanted.
Pepper Winters (Throne of Truth (Truth and Lies Duet, #2))
More personally, my intellect is a stumbling block to much that makes life worth living: laughter, love; a wiling acceptance of being created. The rational intellect doesn't have a great deal to do with love, and it doesn't have a great deal to do with art.
Madeleine L'Engle (A Circle of Quiet (Crosswicks Journals #1))
Honorifics and meaningless ritual phrases of greeting, leave-taking, permission-asking, and false gratitude, please, thank you, you're welcome, goodbye, fossil relics of primitive hypocrisy—all were stumbling blocks to truthfulness between producer-consumers.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Telling (Hainish Cycle, #8))
Sister Valsa kept trying to work against the criminal nexus led by the Naxals and she was seen as a stumbling block to their evil aspirations. On November 15, 2011, a mob of fifty armed men, out of which over thirty were Naxals, broke into her house and hacked her to death.
Vivek Agnihotri (Urban Naxals: The Making of Buddha in a Traffic Jam)
Faith is the oil that takes the friction out of living. Faith will enable you to turn liabilities into assets and stumbling blocks into stepping stones. When you begin to have faith, your load will get heavy but your knees won’t buckle, you’ll get knocked down but you won’t get knocked out. You’ve got to have faith if you are going to make it in life. You must believe in yourself and in a power greater than yourself, and do your best and don’t worry about the rest. You must maintain faith and work as if everything depended on you, and pray as if everything depended on God.
T.D. Jakes (Why? because You're Anointed)
In 1996, the artist Gunter Demnig started laying stolpersteine, or "stumbling blocks" -- cobblestone-sized, brass memorials -- in front of houses where victims of the Nazis used to live. Now in over 800 German towns and villages, they make the number of victims palpable: In some streets there are stolpersteine in front of every other house, sometimes with a single name, sometimes with the names of an entire family. On these streets it would have been glaringly obvious that some neighbors were missing: the Jewish family, the girl with Down syndrome, the homosexual, the communist.
Jennifer Teege (My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers Her Family's Nazi Past)
Our great stumbling block, in our stride toward freedom, is not the White Citizens’ Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner. It’s the white moderate who is more devoted to order than to justice; who constantly says, like Bobby Kennedy: ‘I agree with the goal you seek, but I cannot condone your methods.
Ken Follett (Edge of Eternity)
Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice;
LaTasha Morrison (Be the Bridge: Pursuing God's Heart for Racial Reconciliation)
We Don't Need to Leave Yet, Do We? Or, Yes We Do One kind of person when catching a train always wants to allow an hour to cover the ten-block trip to the terminus, And the other kind looks at them as if they were verminous, And the second kind says that five minutes is plenty and will even leave one minute over for buying the tickets, And the first kind looks at them as if they had cerebral rickets. One kind when theater-bound sups lightly at six and hastens off to the play, And indeed I know one such person who is so such that it frequently arrives in time for the last act of the matinee, And the other kind sits down at eight to a meal that is positively sumptuous, Observing cynically that an eight-thirty curtain never rises till eight-forty, an observation which is less cynical than bumptious. And what the first kind, sitting uncomfortably in the waiting room while the train is made up in the yards, can never understand, Is the injustice of the second kind's reaching their scat just as the train moves out, just as they had planned, And what the second kind cannot understand as they stumble over the first kind's heel just as the footlights flash on at last Is that the first kind doesn't feel the least bit foolish at having entered the theater before the cast. Oh, the first kind always wants to start now and the second kind always wants to tarry, Which wouldn't make any difference, except that each other is what they always marry.
Ogden Nash
Inertia is, perhaps, the single most powerful stumbling block to writing. It takes energy, courage, patience, and commitment to keep writing in your journal. It’s no small thing to open doors, let down barriers, enter sealed rooms, and walk obscure avenues of memory that haven’t been traveled in years—or perhaps ever been traveled.
Frank McCourt (Write for Life: Healing Body, Mind, Spirit through Journal Writing)
It was freezing, but the cold effortlessly numbed my feet and aching hands. I walked quietly, barefoot, to the end of the block, leaving my shoes behind to remind me how to find my way home. I stood at the end of the street, catching snow in my mouth, and laughed softly to myself as I realized that without my insomnia and anxiety and pain I’d never have been awake to see the city that never sleeps asleep and blanketed up for winter. I smiled and felt silly, but in the best possible way. As I turned and looked back toward the hotel I noticed that my footprints leading out into the city were mismatched. One side was glistening, small and white. The other was misshapen from my limp and each heel was pooled with spots of bright red blood. It struck me as a metaphor for my life. One side light and magical. Always seeing the good. Lucky. The other side bloodied, stumbling. Never quite able to keep up. It was like the Jesus-beach-footprint-in-the-sand poem, except with less Jesus and more bleeding. It was my life, there in white and red. And I was grateful for it. “Um, miss?” It was the man from the front desk leaning tentatively out of the front door with a concerned look on his face. “Coming,” I said. I felt a bit foolish and considered trying to clarify but then thought better of it. There was no way to explain to this stranger how my mental illness had just gifted me with a magical moment. I realized it would have sounded a bit crazy, but that made sense. After all, I was a bit crazy. And I didn’t even have to pretend to be good at it. I was a damn natural.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
I'm afraid that just as wealth and privilege can be a stumbling block on the path to the gospel, theological expertise and piety can also get in the way of the kingdom. Like wealth, these are not inherently bad things. However, they are easily idolized. The longer our lists of rules and regulations, the more likely it is that God himself will break one.
Rachel Held Evans (Evolving in Monkey Town: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask the Questions)
Don't waste your time to appease people who have already stumbled in you because of what you stand for. Respect their decision & move on...
Assegid Habtewold (The 9 Cardinal Building Blocks: For continued success in leadership)
Your greatest difficulty is with yourself; for you are your own stumbling-block.
Seneca (Letters From A Stoic: Epistulae Morales AD Lucilium (Illustrated. Newly revised text. Includes Image Gallery + Audio): All Three Volumes)
Mathematics is to the scientist and the engineer a tool, to the professional mathematician a religion, but to the ordinary person a stumbling-block.
J.E. Gordon (Structures: Or Why Things Don't Fall Down)
The local politics made matters worse. There was virtual paralysis of analysis and the scheme rolled out in fits and starts. However, despite the stumbling blocks, the scheme picked up and the state gradually emerged as one of the finest performing states in the country. It happened as the utility of the scheme finally dawned on the functionaries of the State Government.
Anil Swarup (NOT JUST A CIVIL SERVANT)
We could summarize all of this background to Bonhoeffer’s christology in one sentence, albeit a complex one: The cross was a stumbling block to the Romans; the cross was a stumbling block to the Nazis; the cross was a stumbling block to moderns; and—unless we are humbled and brought low beneath the cross to see its power and beauty—the cross can be a stumbling block to us.
Stephen J. Nichols (Bonhoeffer on the Christian Life: From the Cross, for the World (Theologians on the Christian Life))
All are architects of Fate, Working in these walls of Time; Some with massive deeds and great, Some with ornaments of rhyme. Nothing useless is, or low; Each thing in its place is best; And what seems but idle show Strengthens and supports the rest. For the structure that we raise, Time is with materials filled; Our todays and yesterdays Are the blocks with which we build. Truly shape and fashion these; Leave no yawning gaps between; Think not, because no man sees, Such things will remain unseen. In the elder days of Art, Builders wrought with greatest care Each minute and unseen part; For the gods see everywhere. Let us do our work as well, Both the unseen and the seen; Make the house where gods may dwell Beautiful, entire, and clean. Else our lives are incomplete, Standing in these walls of Time, Broken stairways, where the feet Stumble, as they seek to climb. Build today, then, strong and sure, With a firm and ample base; And ascending and secure Shall tomorrow find its place. Thus alone can we attain To those turrets, where the eye Sees the world as one vast plain, And one boundless reach of sky.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
We should get into the way of appearing lively in religion, more by being lively in the service of God and our generation than by the liveliness and forwardness of our tongues, and making a business of proclaiming on the house tops with our mouths the holy and eminent acts and exercises of our own hearts. Christians that are intimate friends would talk together of their experiences and comforts in a manner better becoming Christian humility and modesty, and more to each other's profit: their tongues not running before, but rather going behind their hands and feet, after the prudent example of the blessed apostle, 2 Cor. xii. 6. Many occasions of spiritual pride would thus be cut off, and so a great door shut against the devil. A great many of the main stumbling-blocks against experimental and powerful religion would be removed, and religion would be declared and manifested in such a way that, instead of hardening spectators, and exceedingly promoting infidelity and atheism, it would, above all things, tend to convince men that there is a reality in religion, and greatly awaken them, and win them, by convincing their consciences of the importance and excellency of religion. Thus the light of professors would so shine before men, that others, seeing their good works, would glorify their Father which is in heaven.
Jonathan Edwards (The Religious Affections)
dramatic. God speaks no more. He ceased to be transparent to us. Nevertheless we have God's lieutenant—Jesus Christ. In Jesus, God made himself weak and impotent in the world.43 In this manner he resolved the problem of pain and evil, the permanent stumbling block and basis of argument for atheism. The God questioned by atheism in the name of the evils of the world was the omnipotent, infinite God, creator of heaven and earth, cosmic Father and Lord. In Jesus Christ, God took upon himself the evil and the absurd. By identifying with the problem he resolved it, not theoretically but through life and love. Consequently, this God alone is the God of the Christian experience. He is no longer the eternal and infinite loner but one with us, in solidarity with our pain and anguish caused by the absence and latency of God in the world.
Leonardo Boff (Jesus Christ Liberator: A Critical Christology for Our Time)
This question about the reason we do not observe any quantum mechanical uncertainty in the appearance of flies or stars was never tackled by the inventors of quantum mechanics. Given that we are convinced that the basic laws of quantum mechanics are at the bottom of all mechanical laws, and that the beginning of our world can be understood exclusively in quantum mechanical terms, we have to ask ourselves: Why are there any observable systems at all on the classical side of the demarcation line between classical mechanics and quantum mechanics? Why are there these stumbling blocks, these flies, these stars? The demarcation line proper, between quantum physics and classical physics, was clearly stated by the fathers of quantum mechanics: Classical laws govern large and heavy classical systems. But they failed to tell us how and why the world became that way.
Henning Genz (Nothingness: The Science Of Empty Space)
Our entrenched cultural ideas associate men with leadership qualities and women with nurturing qualities and put women in a double bind,” she said. “We believe not only that women are nurturing, but that they should be nurturing above all else. When a woman does anything that signals she might not be nice first and foremost, it creates a negative impression and makes us uncomfortable.”7 If a woman is competent, she does not seem nice enough. If a woman seems really nice, she is considered more nice than competent. Since people want to hire and promote those who are both competent and nice, this creates a huge stumbling block for women. Acting in stereotypically feminine ways makes it difficult for women to reach for the same opportunities as men, but defying expectations and reaching for those opportunities leads to being judged as undeserving and selfish.
Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: For Graduates)
And I, who believe that God is love, what answer was there to give my young interlocutor whose dark eyes still held the reflection of the angelic sadness that had appeared one day on the face of a hanged child? What did I say to him? Did I speak to him of that other Jew, this crucified brother who perhaps resembled him and whose cross conquered the world? Did I explain to him that what had been a stumbling block for his faith had become a cornerstone for mine? And that the connection between the cross and human suffering remains, in my view, the key to the unfathomable mystery in which the faith of his childhood was lost? And yet, Zion has risen up again out of the crematoria and the slaughterhouses. The Jewish nation has been resurrected from among its thousands of dead. It is they who have given it new life. We do not know the worth of one single drop of blood, one single tear.
Anonymous
By exerting its will, Descartes declared, the immaterial human mind could cause the material human machine to move. This bears repeating, for it is an idea that, more than any other, has thrown a stumbling block across the path of philosophers who have attempted to argue that the mind is immaterial: for how could something immaterial act efficaciously on something as fully tangible as a body? Immaterial mental substance is so ontologically different-that is, such a different sort of thing-from the body it affects that getting the twain to meet has been exceedingly difficult. To be sure, Descartes tried. He argued that the mental substance of the mind interacts with the matter of the brain through the pineal gland, the organ he believed was moved directly by the human soul. The interaction allowed the material brain to be physically directed by the immaterial mind through what Descartes called "animal spirits"-basically a kind of hydraulic fluid.
Jeffrey M. Schwartz (The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force)
The gospel is more radical, more countercultural, more confronting than anything the Bible has to say about men and women, or wealth, or sex, or whatever! And so it is entirely worng-footed to think we can silence a 'dificult part of God's word in order to win souls for Christ. Christ is the stumbling block (Romans 9:33) and the miracle of faith is that once we trust in Christ, God enables us by his Spirit to see the truth and wisdom and goodness of all his word and his ways.
Claire Smith (God's Good Design: What the Bible Really Says About Men and Women)
Brought up with an idea of God, a Christian, my whole life filled with the spiritual blessings Christianity has given me, full of them, and living on those blessings, like the children I did not understand them, and destroy, that is try to destroy, what I live by. And as soon as an important moment of life comes, like the children when they are cold and hungry, I turn to Him, and even less than the children when their mother scolds them for their childish mischief, do I feel that my childish efforts at wanton madness are reckoned against me. "Yes, what I know, I know not by reason, but it has been given to me, revealed to me, and I know it with my heart, by faith in the chief thing taught by the church. "The church! the church!" Levin repeated to himself. He turned over on the other side, and leaning on his elbow, fell to gazing into the distance at a herd of cattle crossing over to the river. "But can I believe in all the church teaches?" he thought, trying himself, and thinking of everything that could destroy his present peace of mind. Itentionally he recalled all those doctrines of the church which had always seemed most strange and had always been a stumbling block to him. "The Creation? But how did I explain existence? By existence? By nothing? The devil and sin. But how do I explain evil?... The atonement?... "But I know nothing, nothing, and I can know nothing but what has been told to me and all men." And it seemed to him that there was not a single article of faith of the church which could destroy the chief thing--faith in God, in goodness, as the one goal of man's destiny. Under every article of faith of the church could be put the faith in the service of truth instead of one's desires. And each doctrine did not simply leave that faith unshaken, each doctrine seemed essential to complete that great miracle, continually manifest upon earth, that made it possible for each man and millions of different sorts of men, wise men and imbeciles, old men and children--all men, peasants, Lvov, Kitty, beggars and kings to understand perfectly the same one thing, and to build up thereby that life of the soul which alone is worth living, and which alone is precious to us. Lying on his back, he gazed up now into the high, cloudless sky. "Do I not know that that is infinite space, and that it is not a round arch? But, however I screw up my eyes and strain my sight, I cannot see it not round and not bounded, and in spite of my knowing about infinite space, I am incontestably right when I see a solid blue dome, and more right than when I strain my eyes to see beyond it." Levin ceased thinking, and only, as it were, listened to mysterious voices that seemed talking joyfully and earnestly within him. "Can this be faith?" he thought, afraid to believe in his happiness. "My God, I thank Thee!" he said, gulping down his sobs, and with both hands brushing away the tears that filled his eyes.
Leo Tolstoy (Anna Karenina)
Aleister Crowley told a friend he could make any random fall over without touching them. To illustrate, he walked behind a stranger for a block or so, matching his footsteps precisely to the stranger’s. He then scuffed his heels, as if stumbling and falling. And the stranger fell over. The stranger had heard himself fall, and so he fell. If Facebook tells you that everything around you is sad and depressing often enough, you get sad and depressed. All hail the Great Beast 666 of black marketing.
Warren Ellis (CUNNING PLANS: Talks By Warren Ellis)
God does not will evil or sin. Many things happen that God does not will. But he still permits them, in his wisdom, and they remain a stumbling block or scandal to our minds. God asks us to do all we can to eliminate evil. But despite our efforts, there is always a whole set of circumstances which we can do nothing about, which are not necessarily willed by God but nevertheless are permitted by him, and which God invites us to consent to trustingly and peacefully, even if they make us suffer and cause us problems. We are not being asked to consent to evil, but to consent to the mysterious wisdom of God who permits evil. Our consent is not a compromise with evil but the expression of our trust that God is stronger than evil. This is a form of obedience that is painful but very fruitful. It means that after we have done everything in our power, we are invited, faced with what is still imposed on our will by events, to practice an attitude of abandonment and filial trust toward our heavenly Father, in the faith that “for those who love God, everything works together for good.”12
Jacques Philippe (In the School of the Holy Spirit)
From the beginnings of Israelite religion the belief that God had chosen this particular people to carry out His mission has been both a cornerstone of Hebrew faith and a refuge in moments of distress. And yet, the prophets felt that to many of their contemporaries this cornerstone was a stumbling block; this refuge, an escape. They had to remind the people that chosenness must not be mistaken as divine favoritism or immunity from chastisement, but, on the contrary, that it meant being more seriously exposed to divine judgment and chastisement.
Abraham Joshua Heschel (The Prophets)
RECONSTRUCTING OUR PAST The pathway of the A offers us a profound opportunity to transform our personal histories. It allows us to reevaluate the grades we assigned to others when we were children, grades that affect our lives now, as legends we live by. How often do we stand convinced of the truth of our early memories, forgetting that they are but assessments made by a child? We can replace the narratives that hold us back by inventing wiser stories, free from childish fears, and, in doing so, disperse long-held psychological stumbling blocks.
Rosamund Stone Zander (The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life)
...published in the June 1963 issue of Liberation Magazine and written from a prison cell in Birmingham, Alabama, Martin Luther King, Jr also mused: 'First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can't agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically feels he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a "more convenient season". Shallow understanding from people of goodwill ismore frustrating than absolute misunderstandingfrom people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
Reni Eddo-Lodge (Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race)
It is not in God’s nature to control us, so if we begin to work in a lesser way than we were designed to, he can only invite us into a higher place. If we do not respond to God when he draws us, then we become stumbling blocks because of our own self-centered desires. Even good Christian people can become the enemies of what God wants to accomplish: If their agenda and will do not imitate his, then they are against His. This is why it is so important to let our spirit and understanding be disciplined by God’s Word so that we can comprehend his desires and will.
Shawn Bolz (Keys to Heaven's Economy: An Angelic Visitation from the Minister of Finance)
Look, if you want to wear a blindfold and stumble around your house bumping into things to learn how to play ‘blind,’ you can do that. A lot of actors do. You can block your hearing and not speak. But great performances are based on truth. And the truth is that you, Rob Lowe, can hear and you can speak.
Rob Lowe (Love Life)
The “losers” in memory competitions, this research suggests, stumble not because they remember too little. They have studied tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of words, and often they are familiar with the word they ultimately misspell. In many cases, they stumble because they remember too much. If recollecting is just that—a re-collection of perceptions, facts, and ideas scattered in intertwining neural networks in the dark storm of the brain—then forgetting acts to block the background noise, the static, so that the right signals stand out. The sharpness of the one depends on the strength of the other.
Benedict Carey (How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens)
Dealing with this system on its own terms is complicated by the problem of denial. Few Americans today recognize mass incarceration for what it is: a new caste system thinly veiled by the cloak of colorblindness. Hundreds of thousands of people of color are swept into this system and released every year, yet we rationalize the systematic discrimination and exclusion and turn a blind eye to the suffering. Our collective denial is not merely an inconvenient fact; it is a major stumbling block to public understanding of the role of race in our society, and it sharply limits the opportunities for truly transformative collective action.
Michelle Alexander (The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (Revised Edition))
tall, gangly boy stumbled through a swinging door with a burlap cloth in his arms, the tail of a fish wagging out the end. “Loafhead! Where’s my cod? I’m to make stew with a crappie?” She grabbed the fish from him anyway, slapped it down on the butcher block, and with one decisive chop, whacked its head off with a cleaver. I guessed the crappie would do. So
Mary E. Pearson (The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1))
First, we have to humble ourselves at the foot of the cross, confess that we have sinned and deserve nothing at his hand but judgment, thank him that he loved us and died for us, and receive from him a full and free forgiveness. Against this self-humbling our ingrained pride rebels. We resent the idea that we cannot earn – or even contribute to – our own salvation. So we stumble, as Paul put it, over the stumbling-block of the cross.36
John R.W. Stott (The Cross of Christ)
The democracy of to-day hold the liberty of one man to be absolutely nothing when in conflict with another man's right of property... This is a world of compensations; and he would -be- no slave must consent to -have- no slave. Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it. All honor to Jefferson - to the man who, in the concrete pressure of a struggle for national independence by a single people, had the coolness, forecast, and capacity to introduce into a merely revolutionary document, an abstract truth, applicable to all men and all times, and so embalm it there, that to-day, and in all coming days, it shall be a rebuke and a stumbling-block to the very harbingers of re-appearing tyranny and oppression. Your obedient Servant, [Abraham Lincoln] April 6, 1859, in a letter to MA State Rep Henry L. Pierce Springfield, Ill.
Abraham Lincoln (Speeches and Writings 1859–1865)
When I first consciously faced my own emptiness, it felt like a sheer drop off a cliff; I could not find the way back up. I was floating in a sea of pain and sorrow that had no words. All I could do was try to welcome what came, weep every day, and let those close to me know what I was going through. I needed to tend and care for this vulnerable place. This well of grief was deeper than anything else I had faced in my life, and the terrain was suffused with emptiness and darkness. There was no one else in this place, no hands to comfort, no arms to hold and support. No other voices could assure me of my connection to the world. I felt utterly alone. Whether or not there is any personal history to this perception is not what is important. What did matter was that I stumbled into this place, and its truth was undeniable. Daily weeping was something I had never experienced before. In fact, I had always been in control of myself emotionally, having shaped a life made up only of the known. I stayed in the well-lit areas, at the shallow end of the pool. I kept other people outside safe peripheries. I had built a strategically controlled life in which I was appreciated and respected. But when I plunged into this place of emptiness, it was like a wall that had been blocking my view was shattered, and I could finally see how I was limiting my life in hopes of avoiding the emptiness.
Francis Weller (The Wild Edge of Sorrow: Rituals of Renewal and the Sacred Work of Grief)
Whenever I talk with fellow Christians about the necessity of an intellectually responsible faith, I often receive a response that is a mixture of agreement and anxiety. Most Christians would agree that our belief system should not look like the secular caricature–a blind leap past the cliff edge of rationality. However, in some important respects, many believers are at a loss for how to improve upon loving God with their minds. The vast number of books, journals, articles, video lectures, online courses, and formal degree programs overwhelms them, and sadly, many never begin at all, choosing instead to continue through life with an intellectually shallow, emotions-driven faith. Others do just enough studying to make them dangerous. In this post, I’d like to offer a short set of guidelines for Christians who wish to be obedient to the command to worship God with their minds while avoiding the common pitfalls that, quite frankly, produce more stumbling blocks for unbelievers than they remove.
Melissa Cain Travis
The biggest stumbling block that has traditionally plagued all the unification endeavors has been the simple fact that on the face of it, general relativity and quantum mechanics really appear to be incomprehensible. Recall that the key concept of quantum theory is the uncertainty principle. When you try to probe positions with an ever-increasing magnification power, the momenta (or speeds) start oscillating violently. Below a certain minuscule length known as the Planck length, the entire tenet of a smooth spacetime is lost. This length (equal to 0.000...4 of an inch, where the 4 is at the thirty-fourth decimal place) determines the scale at which gravity has to be treated quantum mechanically. For smaller scales, space turns into an ever-fluctuating "quantum foam." But the very basic premise of general relativity has been the existence of a gently curved spacetime. In other words, the central ideas of general relativity and quantum mechanics clash irreconcilably when it comes to extremely small scales.
Mario Livio (The Equation That Couldn't Be Solved: How Mathematical Genius Discovered the Language of Symmetry)
I decided that being a peacemaker was a Christian’s role and recommitted to pacifism. But this was a new kind of pacifism for me. It didn’t mean standing still while someone repeatedly punched me in the face. That wasn’t what Jesus wanted. We shouldn’t fight violence with violence, but that doesn’t let us off the hook when it comes to fighting it. We just fight it in a different way. It’s the trap so many pacifists fall into. We think we can avoid violence by avoiding conflict and not getting involved. We forget that silence can be a violent act.
Kristy Burmeister (Act Normal: Memoir of a Stumbling Block)
For he has already borne in himself what we could never have borne and survived. He endured such hostility against himself because he was committed to our freedom from the power of sin. When I consider just how unfair it might have been for God to have created that tree in Eden that caused so much grief and pain, I only have to look at the cross. Why could he put the tree there? Because he had already determined that he would pay the greatest price for the stumbling block it would be for Adam and Eve. Even in giving us the freedom to trust him or trust ourselves, God already knew that he would suffer the most for that choice. Somehow to him, the glory of fellowship with his created ones outweighs any price he had to pay to experience it. By enduring to the end, sin was fully conquered in him. Its spell over humanity was broken and no longer does anyone have to be consumed by sin itself, nor God's wrath against it. The antidote had not only worked in him, by doing so it had produced in his blood a fountain of life as well. Transfused into any person who desires it, his blood can cleanse us of sin and reunite us with God himself--fulfilling the dream that he had when he first decided to create man and woman and place them in the center of his creation.
Wayne Jacobsen (He Loves Me!: Learning to Live in the Father's Affection)
in the monastery he fully believed in miracles, but, to my thinking, miracles are never a stumbling-block to the realist. It is not miracles that dispose realists to belief. The genuine realist, if he is an unbeliever, will always find strength and ability to disbelieve in the miraculous, and if he is confronted with a miracle as an irrefutable fact he would rather disbelieve his own senses than admit the fact. Even if he admits it, he admits it as a fact of nature till then unrecognized by him. Faith does not, in the realist, spring from the miracle but the miracle from faith. If the realist once believes, then he is bound by his very realism to admit the miraculous also.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
Life sometimes is like tossing a coin in the air calling heads or tails, but it doesn’t matter what side it lands on; life goes on. It is hard when you’ve lost the will to fight because you’ve been fighting for so long. You are smothered by the pain. Mentally, you are drained. Physically, you are weak. Emotionally, you are weighed down. Spiritually, you do not have one tiny mustard seed of faith. The common denominator is that other people’s problems have clouded your mind with all of their negativity. You cannot feel anything; you are numb. You do not have the energy to surrender, and you choose not to escape because you feel safe when you are closed in. As you move throughout the day, you do just enough to get by. Your mindset has changed from giving it your all to—well, something is better than nothing. You move in slow motion like a zombie, and there isn’t any color, just black and white, with every now and then a shade of gray. You’ve shut everyone out and crawled back into the rabbit hole. Life passes you by as you feel like you cannot go on. You look around for help; for someone to take the pain away and to share your suffering, but no one is there. You feel alone, you drift away when you glance ahead and see that there are more uphill battles ahead of you. You do not have the option to turn around because all of the roads are blocked. You stand exactly where you are without making a step. You try to think of something, but you are emotionally bankrupt. Where do you go from here? You do not have a clue. Standing still isn’t helping because you’ve welcomed unwanted visitors; voices are in your head, asking, “What are you waiting for? Take the leap. Jump.” They go on to say, “You’ve had enough. Your burdens are too heavy.” You walk towards the cliff; you turn your head and look at the steep hill towards the mountain. The view isn’t helping; not only do you have to climb the steep hill, but you have to climb up the mountain too. You take a step; rocks and dust fall off the cliff. You stumble and you move forward. The voices in your head call you a coward. You are beginning to second-guess yourself because you want to throw in the towel. You close your eyes; a tear falls and travels to your chin. As your eyes are closed the Great Divine’s voice is louder; yet, calmer, soothing; and you feel peace instantly. Your mind feels light, and your body feels balanced. The Great Divine whispers gently and softly in your ear: “Fallen Warrior, I know you have given everything you’ve got, and you feel like you have nothing left to give. Fallen Warrior, I know it’s been a while since you smiled. Fallen Warrior, I see that you are hurting, and I feel your pain. Fallen Warrior, this is not the end. This is the start of your new beginning. Fallen Warrior, do not doubt My or your abilities; you have more going for you than you have going against you. Fallen Warrior, keep moving, you have what it takes; perseverance is your middle name. Fallen Warrior, you are not the victim! You are the victor! You step back because you know why you are here. You know why you are alive. Sometimes you have to be your own Shero. As a fallen warrior, you are human; and you have your moments. There are days when you have more ups than downs, and some days you have more downs than ups. I most definitely can relate. I was floating through life, but I had to change my mindset. During my worst days, I felt horrible, and when I started to think negatively I felt like I was dishonoring myself. I felt sick, I felt afraid, fear began to control my every move. I felt like demons were trying to break in and take over my life.
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
MSB: The triumph of Christ marks the culmination of your work from a thematic point of view. But in the world itself, it also marks the culmination of the long journey of human violence. RG: I think that Saint Paul's letters, particularly Romans and Corinthians, have the form of a mimetic spiral. Everything we've been talking about constitutes a sort of exegesis of what Paul had to say about the centrality of the Cross. The Cross is not only knowledge of God, but first and foremost an understanding of mankind. Paul was perfectly aware of this. It seems to me essential that the notion of the crucified Christ as “a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles” (1 Corinthians 1:23) be examined more closely. I had thought that Jacob Taubes, in his book on Paul's political theology, would develop this idea, but he never really gets around to it.6 MSB: Your acquaintance with Paul seems to have deepened over the years. RG: I hope it has. In a way it is rather recent. I have come to better understand Paul through reading and talking with Protestants. Most Catholics speak mainly of the Gospels. Protestants, on the other hand, speak mainly of Saint Paul; they consider Saint Paul's letters to be the primary Christian documents. I would find nothing more interesting than to write on the relationship between Protestantism and Catholicism. True ecumenicism would be exactly this, understanding what the Gospels and Saint Paul fundamentally have in common. The anthropological interpretation of Satan offers an opportunity for going further in this direction, it seems to me. MSB
René Girard (The One by Whom Scandal Comes (Studies in Violence, Mimesis, & Culture))
His booted feet pounded out an insane, frantic rhythm underneath him as he raced into the cavern across from Baba Yaga’s den at a dead sprint. Pieces of dragon dung flew off him and hit the ground behind him in miniature chunks. He didn’t dare look behind him to see if the dragon had risen from the ground yet, but the deafening hiss that assaulted his ears meant she’d woken up. Icy claws of fear squeezed his heart with every breath as he ran, relying on the night vision goggles, the glimpse he’d gotten of the map, and his own instincts to figure out where to go. Jack raced around one corner too sharply and slipped on a piece of dung, crashing hard on his right side. He gasped as it knocked the wind out of him and gritted his teeth, his mind screaming at him to get up and run, run, run. He pushed onto his knees, nursing what felt like bruised ribs and a sprained wrist, and then paled as an unmistakable sensation traveled up the arm he’d used to push himself up. Impact tremors. Boom. Boom. Boom, boom, boom. Baba Yaga was coming. Baba Yaga was hunting him. Jack forced himself up onto his feet again, stumbling backwards and fumbling for the tracker. He got it switched on to see an ominous blob approaching from the right. He’d gotten a good lead on her—maybe a few hundred yards—but he had no way of knowing if he’d eventually run into a dead end. He couldn’t hide down here forever. He needed to get topside to join the others so they could take her down. Jack blocked out the rising crescendo of Baba Yaga’s hissing and pictured the map again. A mile up to the right had a man-made exit that spilled back up to the forest. The only problem was that it was a long passage. If Baba Yaga followed, there was a good chance she could catch up and roast him like a marshmallow. He could try to lose her in the twists and turns of the cave system, but there was a good chance he’d get lost, and Baba Yaga’s superior senses meant it would only be a matter of time before she found him. It came back to the most basic survival tactics: run or hide. Jack switched off the tracker and stuck it in his pocket, his voice ragged and shaking, but solid. “You aren’t about to die in this forest, Jackson. Move your ass.” He barreled forward into the passageway to the right in the wake of Baba Yaga’s ominous, bubbling warning, barely suppressing a groan as a spike of pain lanced through his chest from his bruised ribs. The adrenaline would only hold for so long. He could make it about halfway there before it ran out. Cold sweat plastered the mask to his face and ran down into his eyes. The tunnel stretched onward forever before him. No sunlight in sight. Had he been wrong? Jack ripped off the hood and cold air slapped his face, making his eyes water. He held his hands out to make sure he wouldn’t bounce off one of the cavern walls and squinted up ahead as he turned the corner into the straightaway. There, faintly, he could see the pale glow of the exit. Gasping for air, he collapsed against one wall and tried to catch his breath before the final marathon. He had to have put some amount of distance between himself and the dragon by now. “Who knows?” Jack panted. “Maybe she got annoyed and turned around.” An earth-shattering roar rocked the very walls of the cavern. Jack paled. Boom, boom, boom, boom! Boom, boom, boom, boomboomboomboom— Mother of God. The dragon had broken into a run. Jack shoved himself away from the wall, lowered his head, and ran as fast as his legs would carry him.
Kyoko M. (Of Blood and Ashes (Of Cinder and Bone #2))
When we proceed with all this caution, we find stumbling-blocks everywhere; for we are afraid of everything, and so dare not go farther, as if we could arrive at these Mansions by letting others make the journey for us! That is not possible, my sisters; so, for the love of the Lord, let us make a real effort: let us leave our reason and our fears in His hands and let us forget the weakness of our nature which is apt to cause us so much worry. Let our superiors see to the care of our bodies; that must be their concern: our own task is only to journey with good speed so that we may see the Lord. Although we get few or no comforts here, we shall be making a great mistake if we worry over our health, especially as it will not be improved by our anxiety about it -- that I well know. I know, too, that our progress has nothing to do with the body, which is the thing that matters least. What the journey which I am referring to demands is great humility, and it is the lack of this, I think, if you see what I mean, which prevents us from making progress. We may think we have advanced only a few steps, and we should believe that this is so and that our sisters' progress is much more rapid; and further we should not only want them to consider us worse than anyone else, but we should contrive to make them do so.
Teresa of Ávila (Interior Castle)
I quickly scrambled back up to my feet just in time to see Vinny’s big hand coming right at me. I swiftly ducked underneath it and then swung my sword at the giant’s arm, grazing his right arm. “Ooof!” Vinny groaned and reeled back. I took the opportunity to swing at him with another strike, this time at his feet. Vinny stumbled and shook as he tried to keep his balance. As sneaky as he sometimes can be, Jack had already finished digging a hole behind the giant while he was busy fighting me. Vinny, as he kept taking his steps backwards, tripped on the hole and came crashing down on the ground below. Jack and I both jumped on top of the giant. I smacked him a little with the blunt side of my sword, while Jack slapped the giant with a porkchop. “Ready to answer questions now?” I asked the giant. The giant opened his mouth to reply but was promptly slapped by Jack with another porkchop. “Jack, you have to let him talk first, then smack him if he refuses to answer,” I explained. “Oh, right. My bad. I was really into it,” Jack apologized, “To be fair, I was just tossed through a barn. I feel like I deserve a bit of vengeance.” “Okay, okay. Stop with the porkchop slapping,” Vinny pleaded, “I’m a vegan.” “Oh, sorry,” Jack reached into his pocket and pulled out a roll of bread and then slapped the giant with the bread instead.
Write Blocked (Champions Royale (Stuck Inside Minecraft #6))
Making good use of that room?” Lucius asked them, having a laugh with the trollop at his side. Oscar stood unwavering in the center of the hall, forcing Lucius to skirt around him. “You’re a pig,” Camille replied, but he only squealed and snorted like a sow. “Either of you figure out yet how we’re going to get home?” Lucius asked. “Don’t get me wrong. I’m perfectly content here for the time being.” A pair of sloppy-looking men stumbled through the front door, obviously drunk, and howling like wolves. Oscar stepped up beside Camille, blocking her from their view. His shoulders and chest were the perfect shield against whatever misguided attentions the men might show her. “When did you become concerned about the three of us sticking together?” she asked Lucius. “We haven’t set eyes on you since you disappeared into the orlop deck of the Londoner.” Lucius nodded over his shoulder. “I’m being nursed back to health, can’t you see?” She glared at him. Why someone like Lucius had survived the shipwreck instead of a worthier person like her father angered her. Maybe she really was cursed. “You don’t have a plan, do you?” Lucius asked Oscar, who continued to block Camille from the two men anxiously waiting by the front door for someone to greet them. Lucius snorted a laugh. “Should’a guessed as much.” Oscar took a step forward, pressing Camille between his chest and Lucius’s. “What do you mean by that?” Lucius laced his fingers together and bowed them, cracking his knuckles. “Just that everyone knew you were only good for dishing out orders that came from someone else.” Camille placed one hand on Oscar’s chest and the other on Lucius and shoved them apart. “Stop it,” she said. “I liked it better when you were out of sight, Lucius.
Angie Frazier (Everlasting (Everlasting, #1))
But won’t political involvement distract us from the main task of preaching the Gospel? At this point someone may object that while political involvement may have some benefits and may do some good, it can so easily distract us, turn unbelievers away from the church, and cause us to neglect the main task of pointing people toward personal trust in Christ. John MacArthur writes, “When the church takes a stance that emphasizes political activism and social moralizing, it always diverts energy and resources away from evangelization.”83 Yet the proper question is not, “Does political influence take resources away from evangelism?” but, “Is political influence something God has called us to do?” If God has called some of us to some political influence, then those resources would not be blessed if we diverted them to evangelism—or to the choir, or to teaching Sunday School to children, or to any other use. In this matter, as in everything else the church does, it would be healthy for Christians to realize that God may call individual Christians to different emphases in their lives. This is because God has placed in the church “varieties of gifts” (1 Cor. 12:4) and the church is an entity that has “many members” but is still “one body” (v. 12). Therefore God might call someone to devote almost all of his or her time to the choir, someone else to youth work, someone else to evangelism, someone else to preparing refreshments to welcome visitors, and someone else to work with lighting and sound systems. “But if Jim places all his attention on the sound system, won’t that distract the church from the main task of preaching the Gospel?” No, not at all. That is not what God has called Jim to emphasize (though he will certainly share the Gospel with others as he has opportunity). Jim’s exclusive focus on the church’s sound system means he is just being a faithful steward in the responsibility God has given him. In the same way, I think it is entirely possible that God called Billy Graham to emphasize evangelism and say nothing about politics and also called James Dobson to emphasize a radio ministry to families and to influencing the political world for good. Aren’t there enough Christians in the world for us to focus on more than one task? And does God not call us to thousands of different emphases, all in obedience to him? But the whole ministry of the church will include both emphases. And the teaching ministry from the pulpit should do nothing less than proclaim “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27). It should teach, over the course of time, on all areas of life and all areas of Bible knowledge. That certainly must include, to some extent, what the Bible says about the purposes of civil government and how that teaching should apply to our situations today. This means that in a healthy church we will find that some people emphasize influencing the government and politics, others emphasize influencing the business world, others emphasize influencing the educational system, others entertainment and the media, others marriage and the family, and so forth. When that happens, it seems to me that we should encourage, not discourage, one another. We should adopt the attitude toward each other that Paul encouraged in the church at Rome: Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God…. So then each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother (Rom. 14:10–13). For several different reasons, then, I think the view that says the church should just “do evangelism, not politics” is incorrect.
Wayne Grudem (Politics - According to the Bible: A Comprehensive Resource for Understanding Modern Political Issues in Light of Scripture)
We then reached a fork in the valley. Should we go left or right? Dad called it left. I had a very powerful intuition that right was the choice we should make. Dad insisted left. I insisted right. It was a fifty-fifty call and he relented. Within two hundred yards we stumbled across a snowy track through the woods and followed it excitedly. Within a mile it came out on a mountain road, and within ten minutes we had flagged down a lift from a car heading up the hill in the darkness. We had found salvation, and I was beat. The car dropped us off at the gates of the garrison thirty minutes later. It was, by then, late into the night, but I was suddenly buzzing with energy and excitement. The fatigue had gone. Dad knew that I had made the right call up there--if we had chosen left we would still be trudging into the unknown. I felt so proud. In truth it was probably luck, but I learned another valuable lesson that night: Listen to the quiet voice inside. Intuition is the noise of the mind. As we tromped back through the barracks, though, we noticed there was an unusual amount of activity for the early hours of a weekday morning. It soon became very clear why. First a sergeant appeared, followed by another soldier, and then we were ushered into the senior officers’ block. There was my uncle, standing in uniform looking both tired and serious. I started to break out into a big smile. So did Dad. Well, I was excited. We had cheated a slow, lingering hypothermic death, lost together in the mountains. We were alive. Our enthusiasm was countered by the immortal words from my uncle, the brigadier, saying: “I wouldn’t smile if I was you…” He continued, “The entire army mountain rescue team is currently out scouring the mountains for you, on foot and in the air with the search-and-rescue helicopter. I hope you have a good explanation.” We didn’t, of course, save that we had been careless, and we had got lucky; but that’s life sometimes. And the phrase: “I wouldn’t smile if I was you,” has gone down into Grylls family folklore.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
I want to move my hands, but they’re fused to his rib cage. I feel his lung span, his heartbeat, his very life force wrapped in these flimsy bars of bone. So fragile yet so solid. Like a brick wall with wet mortar. A juxtaposition of hard and soft. He inhales again. “Jayme,” he says my name with a mix of sigh and inquiry. I open my eyes and peer into his flushed face. Roses have bloomed on his ruddy cheeks and he looks as though he’s raced the wind. “Mm?” I reply. My mind is full of babble, I’m so high. “Jayme,” he’s insistent, almost pleading. “What are you?” Instantaneous is the cold alarm that douses the flames still dancing in my heart. I feel the nervousness that whispers through me like a cool breeze in the leaves. “What do you mean?” I ask, the disquiet wringing the strength from my voice. “It doesn’t hurt anymore,” he explains, inhaling deeply. I feel the line of a frown between my brows. Gingerly, I lift the hem of his shirt. And as sure as I am that the world is round and that the sky is, indeed, blue the bruises and welts on his torso have faded to nothingness, the golden tan of his skin is sun-kissed perfection. Panic has me frozen as I stare. “I don’t understand,” I whisper. He looks down at his exposed abdomen. “I think you healed me.” He says it so simply, but my mind takes his words and scatters them like ashes. I feel like I’m waking from a coma and I have amnesia and everyone speaks Chinese. I can’t speak. If I had the strength to, I wouldn’t have the words. I feel the panic flood into me and fear spiked adrenaline courses through me, I shove him. Hard. Eyes wide with shock, he stumbles back a few steps. A few steps is all I need. Fight or flight instinct taking root, I fight to flee. The space between us gives me enough room to slide out from between him and the car. He shouts my name. It’s too late. I’m running a fast as my lithe legs will carry me. My Converse pound the sidewalk and I hear the roar of his engine. It’s still too late. I grew up here and I’m ten blocks from home. No newbie could track me in my own neighborhood. In my town. Not with my determination to put as much distance as I can between me and the boy who scares the shit out of me. Not when I’ve scared the shit out of myself. I run. I run and I don’t stop.
A.D. Grant (Born Wicked (The Wicked Sorcer Series #1))
Torin, I didn’t know it was possible to find someone like you. You love me for who I am, not what I am. You’ve taught me that it’s okay to walk on my own, yet you’re always there to carry me when I can’t. You’ve taught me it’s okay to run, stumble, and fall, and pick myself up because a fall is nothing to be ashamed of. You’ve taught me it’s okay to fly because the sky is the limit and you’ll catch me if I fall. You inspire me, challenge me, and celebrate me. You are the first man I’ve ever loved and you will be the last man I’ll ever love. You are my one and only true love, and I promise I will love you for eternity.” Hawk draped the silk rope around our wrists and picked up the second one. Torin looked into my eyes as he started to speak, his voice sure, his words sincere. “Raine Cooper, from the moment you opened your door and our eyes met for the first time, I knew I had reached the end of my quest, yet I didn’t even know what I was searching for. I just knew you were the one, my omega. Where there was cold, you’ve brought warmth. Where there was sadness, you’ve brought happiness. Where there was pain, you’ve brought relief. Where there was darkness, you’ve brought light. You know me better than anyone, my fears, my shortcomings, my habits, yet you still love me. My vows to you are a privilege because I get to laugh with you, cry with you, walk with you, run with you, and fight with you for the rest of our lives. I promise to be patient. Most of the time,” he added, smiling. “I promise to be faithful, respectful, attentive, and to become even a better man for you. I promise to celebrate your triumphs and step back so you can shine like the star you are, but I’ll always be there when you need me. My shoulders are yours to cry on and to carry your burdens. My body is the shield that blocks the blows that might harm you and yours to do with as you wish. My hopes and dreams will always start and end with you. Yours will be the name I cry when I’m in need. Your eyes are the balm I seek when I’m in pain. And your soul is the beacon that my soul searches for when I’m lost. I will love you fiercely, tenderly, and passionately. And when we have children, I promise to be the best father a child could ever want. For you, Raine Cooper, deserve the best and I plan to give it you. You are my one and only true love, and I promise I will love you for eternity.
Ednah Walters (Witches (Runes, #6))
20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks* foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
Anonymous (The One Year Bible NKJV)
However helpful some might find the formulations continued in the CSBI, when given prescriptive force, it obstructs the kind of critical dialogue clearly surfacing within evangelicalism, and therefore threatens to neutralize self-criticism, a necessary quality of any healthy intellectual pursuit. At such times, evangelicalism appears intellectually dishonest, thus forfeiting intellectual witness to our culture and creating spiritual stumbling blocks for its own members.2
Anonymous (Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy)
10You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11It is written: “ ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’ ”† 12So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. 13Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.
Various (New Women's Devotional Bible)
And if we make our own inability a stumbling block or an excuse not to be obedient, it means that we are telling God that there is something which He has not yet taken into account.
Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest)
Our stumbling blocks are transformed into building blocks.
Ava Cadell (NeuroLoveology: The Power To Mindful Love & Sex)
Most ministers don’t become independently wealthy working for faith-based organizations. Money can be one of our biggest stumbling blocks. God
Michael Todd Wilson (Preventing Ministry Failure:A ShepherdCare Guide for Pastors, Ministers and Other Caregivers)
Science doesn’t yet know for certain why a universe ever managed to begin, or why it began so highly ordered, scientists just believe that once time begins the flow is naturally toward greater disorder. So a considerable stumbling block of Boltzmann’s vision is that it doesn’t explain how the universe started off preorganized, which one might say contradicts the law itself. How could the universe ever have organized itself into the most ordered state in all of nature, or at least very near to it, if that state is logically and mathematically so improbable?
Gevin Giorbran
You can easily discern whether someone is truly interested to learn & know when s/he asks you or cornering and ambushing you to stumble...
Assegid Habtewold (The 9 Cardinal Building Blocks: For continued success in leadership)
I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”;
Bryan Loritts (Letters to a Birmingham Jail)
hatred can be the greatest stumbling block to the development of compassion and happiness. If you can learn to develop patience and tolerance towards your enemies, then everything else becomes much easier—your compassion towards all others begins to flow naturally.
Dalai Lama XIV (The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living)
Father Joe grinned. “What is good, and what is evil?” People shifted uncomfortably in their chairs. “Islam says good is doing whatever Allah has decreed is good. Evil is the opposite. Hinduism talks about ignorance that causes one to err and those errors are the karma of past lives that hurt one in the present. Not only is evil inevitable in creation, but it is said to be a good thing, a necessary part of the universe, the will of Brahma, the creator. If the gods are responsible for the existence of evil in the world, they either create it willingly—and are thus evil themselves—or are forced to create it by the higher law of karma, which makes them weak. “Buddhism disagrees. In fact, the whole of life for the Buddhist is suffering that stems from the wrong desire to perpetuate the illusion of personal existence. The Noble Truth of Suffering, dukkha, is this: ‘Birth is suffering; aging is suffering; sickness is suffering; death is suffering; sorrow and lamentation, pain, grief, and despair are suffering; association with the unpleasant is suffering; dissociation from the pleasant is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering—in brief, the five aggregates of attachment are suffering.’ Samyutta Nikaya 56, 11. According to that belief, good is the complete abolition of personhood, because that is what ends suffering. “The monotheistic religions go another route. Now listen to this: “‘When you reap your harvest, leave the corners of your field for the poor. When you pluck the grapes in your vineyard, leave those grapes that fall for the poor and the stranger. Do not steal; don’t lie to one another, or deny a justified accusation against you. Don’t use My name to swear to a lie. Don’t extort your neighbor, or take what is his, or keep the wages of a day laborer overnight. Don’t curse a deaf man or put a stumbling block before a blind man. Don’t misuse the powers of the law to give special consideration to the poor or preferential honor to the great; according to what is right shall you judge your neighbor. Don’t stand by when the blood of your neighbor is spilled. Don’t hate your fellow man in your heart but openly rebuke him. Do not take revenge nor bear a grudge. Love your neighbor’s well-being as if it were your own.’ “And overarching all these commandments is the supreme admonition not to be good but to be holy, ‘because I am holy.’” The class looked stunned. “Pretty specific, no?” He smiled. “Especially in contrast to the detachment from life of the Eastern religions. In this, we find perhaps the greatest piece of moral education and legislation ever given to mankind in all human history. Do any of you recognize the source?” “Gospels?” someone guessed. “It’s from the Old Testament of the Jews. From the book of Leviticus.
Naomi Ragen (An Unorthodox Match: A Novel)
You must value yourself, first and foremost . Other will see your value or they won't. This is not your hurdle to jump . You have come along way in this race called life .Do not let others become a stumbling block on your course.
Christine Szymanski
Another issue I often see with Bees (and Crickets for that matter) is the fear of disposing of items incorrectly. Again, this comes from perfectionism. I have had more clients than I can count obsess over the best place to recycle old electronics or torn and soiled used clothing. Everything from empty boxes to fabric scraps can be a huge stumbling block when they focus on the “right” and “perfect” way to dispose of something. Sometimes, the garbage really is the best option. It’s sad and wasteful, but holding onto garbage because you are afraid to put it in a landfill isn’t a long-term option.
Cassandra Aarssen (The Clutter Connection: How Your Personality Type Determines Why You Organize the Way You Do)
Successful people are the change agent, they know how to turn the stumbling blocks to stepping-stones.
Ebinezar Gnanasekaran
The difference between a stumbling block and a stepping stone is how high you raise your foot. – BENNY LEWIS
Benny Lewis (Fluent in 3 Months)
We need education, not bullets. That the only way we win. Not all these white men bad. We got to make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks. That the only way progress last.
Lalita Tademy (Red River)
You want more mobs? More death? Isn’t there already enough? What are you, a psychopath?” I shoved him away and he stumbled to the ground. “You’re pathetic!
Dr. Block (Diary of a Surfer Villager: Book 23: (an unofficial Minecraft book for kids))
By the time he spotted the City of Naru from afar, moonlight sent long, wiry shadows across the hillside leading up to the towering stone walls. He told himself he could do it. No matter how hard it was to continue carrying her, he was determined to bring her home alive.  Lights flickered from countless braziers mounted hundreds of feet high on the upper part of the city. Naru stood ominous under the garish light of the four moon sisters and as the evening gong sounded from atop a watchtower, Talis knew he had made it.  He stumbled toward the main gates, barely able to stand. A group of soldiers making their rounds noticed and ran over to help.  “Young Master Talis, what’s wrong?” said Baratis, the captain of the guard. His eyes blazed in fear at the sight of Mara. “Is she alive?” “I can’t talk now… open the gates… she’s hurt!”  “Carem and Jorem! Help them,” Baratis shouted. “You! Ride and fetch a healer. Have them run straightaway to House Lei. Now go!” Two soldiers lifted Mara from Talis' arms and carried her while another raced inside the city. Massive steel shafts stared down at them from inside the stone walls as they jogged past. If they weren’t quick about it, she would die. Ahead, Talis could see a soldier speed off on horseback. He prayed that the healer would arrive in time. He ran ahead, urging them to run faster.    Past the gate was the Arena of the Sej Elders, formed of gigantic white granite blocks, rising over everything in the lower part of the city. Stone towers lined the wide avenue leading up to the arena. They had to move faster. The soldiers’ boots clapped against the cobblestone streets as they marched past the arena, finally winding up and around until they reached the gates of the upper city. Up the snaking rise, they charged past merchant shops and eyes that gawked at the soldiers carrying Mara. They continued on to the highest part of the city, beneath the Temple of the Goddess Nestria, the Goddess of the Sky. To Mara’s house, the House of Viceroy Lei and Lady Malvia, daughter of the king and second in line to the throne.  They were going to be furious; Talis knew he was in serious trouble for taking Mara out on the hunt. But he couldn’t think of that, all that mattered was Mara’s life. As the soldiers carried her into the white marble mansion, Talis worried her wounds were too grave to cure. Today was the worst day and he was all to blame. Why did he have to chase after the boar? Two servants ran up and gasped when they noticed Mara and they quickly helped her inside.  Lady Malvia rushed to them, her silver robe swirling.
John Forrester (Fire Mage (Blacklight Chronicles, #1))
In 2014, the ad that the NFL turned down featured a former Marine talking about his responsibility for his family’s safety. Unlike Bloomberg’s ads, this ad never even mentions the word gun, just the concept of personal protection. The company even told the NFL that it would happily remove its logo, which features a gun, and replace it with a picture of an American flag. But apparently the stumbling block was the vague reference to someone being responsible for his family’s safety. The NFL and NBA are private organizations that are free to support Bloomberg if they so choose. But right now, these organizations seem to be guided by political correctness rather than consistent rules or guiding principles
John R. Lott Jr. (The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies)
When we really, deeply understand each other, we open the door to creative solutions and third alternatives. Our differences are no longer stumbling blocks to communication and progress. Instead, they become the stepping stones to synergy.
Stephen R. Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change)
When you embrace the mystery and refuse to give in to temporary stumbling blocks, you will not receive what you think you deserve, but rather what you deeply wish in your heart, even though your mind doubts it.
Dragos Bratasanu (Sleepers: A Little Book on How to Find Hope, Meaning and the Courage to Fall in Love with Your Dreams)
I'm afraid,' wrote someone on a school report, 'that Claudia's intelligence may well prove a stumbling-block unless she learns how to control her enthusiasms and channel her talents.' Of course, intelligence is always a disadvantage. Parental hearts should sink at the first signs of it.
Penelope Lively (Moon Tiger)
Now, any further excuses would be stumbling blocks for the collective, and all plans and acts would be highly efficient. This was the decision of all.
Chen Qiufan (Waste Tide)
What does someone need to know before being ready to purchase the ebook: There is a simple strategy to break old habits. Why mindset is the biggest stumbling block.
Meera Kothand (The One Hour Content Plan: The Solopreneur’s Guide to a Year’s Worth of Blog Post Ideas in 60 Minutes and Creating Content That Hooks and Sells)
I was jogging this morning and I noticed a person about half a km ahead. I could guess he was running a little slower than me and that made me feel good, I said to myself I will try catch up with him. So I started running faster and faster. Every block, I was gaining on him a little bit. After just a few minutes I was only about 100 feet behind him, so I really picked up the pace and pushed myself. I was determined to catch up with him. Finally, I did it! I caught up and passed him. Inwardly I felt very good. "I beat him". Of course, he didn't even know we were racing. After I passed him, I realized I had been so focused on competing against him that ..... I had missed my turn to my house, I had missed the focus on my inner peace, I missed to see the beauty of greenery around, I missed to do my inner soul searching meditation, and in the needless hurry stumbled and slipped twice or thrice and might have hit the sidewalk and broken a limb. It then dawned on me, isn't that what happens in life when we focus on competing with co-workers, neighbours, friends, family, trying to outdo them or trying to prove that we are more successful or more important and in the bargain we miss on our happiness within our own surroundings? We spend our time and energy running after them and we miss out on our own paths to our given destination. The problem with unhealthy competition is that it's a never ending cycle. There will always be somebody ahead of you, someone with a better job, nicer car, more money in the bank, more education, a prettier wife, a more handsome husband, better behaved children, better circumstances and better conditions etc. But one important realisation is that You can be the best that you can be, when you are not competing with anyone. Some people are insecure because they pay too much attention to what others are, where others are going, wearing and driving, what others are talking. Take whatever you have, the height, the weight and personality. Accept it and realize, that you are blessed. Stay focused and live a healthy life. There is no competition in Destiny. Everyone has his own. Comparison AND Competition is the thief of JOY. It kills the Joy of Living your Own Life. Run your own Race that leads to Peaceful, Happy Steady Life.
Nitya Prakash
That’s why Jesus could say about Peter, “I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it,” only to directly correct and confront Peter just verses later: “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns” (Matthew 16:18, 23)
Steven Furtick (Crash the Chatterbox: Hearing God's Voice Above All Others)
Too often the church is a stumbling block that catches the feet of trans people on the road to God, rather than the sanctuary that houses the fountain of living water.
Austen Hartke (Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians)
The core development that makes new organization alignments successful is a change in organizational thinking that results in behavior change.
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
The more people are involved in alignment deliberations, the more likely the effort will result in substantial organizational and behavioral change, and thus improvements to the bottom line. Organization alignment discussions are where change management begins, not several days or weeks later when a beautifully packaged presentation is pitched to the enterprise. It is best to broaden alignment participation as much as you can, and then work to replicate the experience for other enterprise members in a cascade down through the organization.
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
the people who work in an organization can reliably and expertly redesign it, even if it involves workforce cuts. Even if they design themselves out of a job. We constantly work with teams who reallocate or eliminate their own jobs, professionally and amicably.
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
To be dubbed organization aligners for a few weeks converts people into alignment leaders for the rest of their careers.
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
Widespread organization involvement has another advantage: though it takes more coordination and planning up front, it takes less time to execute the design. The result of high participation is widespread mutual understanding of what is to be accomplished. People know what they need to start doing and what they need to stop doing. They are less resistant because they have already imagined themselves in the new world and had time to adjust. In fact, they are often eager to get the show on the road.
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
when it comes to realigning an organization, generally we would argue that the right sequence is to begin with strategy, then move eventually to structure, and only then to staffing. It is better first to define the roles required in the new organization and then to fill those roles with folks who have the right skills and abilities for the job—whether or not they already work in your company.
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
A group of leaders with an intimate understanding of the marketplace can systematically reconceive their organization in three to five days.
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
If you are committed to bringing about lasting organizational change, then you need to focus on this task for a set block of time—at least three to five intense days. And those days only include the time with your executive team when you are in the conference room or off-site making the first sweeping pass.
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
One of the most important workflows Jobs inaugurated was daily informal product reviews in the studio of Apple’s design chief, Jony Ive. Here Jobs would finger foam prototypes and discuss minute details of product design. Thus, “there [were] no huge decision points,” said Ives. “Since we iterate[d] every day and never ha[d] dumb-ass presentations, we [didn’t] run into major disagreements.”7
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
To deepen alignment across specialties, the Apple organizational structure was very different from that of most other firms. There were no product divisions that were their own profit centers. “We run one P&L for the company,” said operations head Tim Cook (who became CEO after Jobs’s death).8 Thus, divisions did not compete against each other for customers or worry about "cannibalization.” This proved a huge competitive advantage when Apple introduced the iPod and iTunes. Rival Sony, rich in assets that could have given Apple a run for its money, was undermined by their organization structure, which was divided into profit centers that drove focus on product lines but hampered collaboration across these lines. Sony’s music division and their consumer electronics division were never able to successfully join forces to compete against Apple. Conversely, at Apple, all departments could celebrate a sale, whether a consumer chose to download music through their iPod or iPhone, or send emails using an iPad or MacBook.
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
Organization alignment efforts are not complete until micro alignment choices are put into action.
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
When you have a unique set of aligned organizing choices that allows you to be recognizably different from your competitors, what you have is a differentiating capability
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
Strategy is about the future; capabilities are about the past. Understanding the delta between your current capabilities and the needed capabilities is the crux of organization alignment. You need to select which existing capabilities will be augmented and which will be attenuated or discontinued altogether. Developing new capabilities takes time, and backing off from old capabilities takes courage
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
If the work doesn’t change, results don’t change.
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
When strategy is adjusted, leadership teams must scrutinize the work of the organization and discern what new or existing activities and touch points will actually deliver differentiation in the marketplace. Not what activities are familiar old friends that have previously contributed to success. Not what activities are headed by the most charismatic or brilliant people in your company. Not what activities are considered "best in class.” Not what activities are prescribed by the myriad of institutions that inform the education and professional certification of technical experts you have hired. Not what activities are legislated. Just those activities that will help you win because they set you apart from everyone else.
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
The aim for competitive work will be to make it as effective as possible, reengineering it if necessary and possibly spending more to deliver a better product or customer experience as the strategy directs. The aim for non-competitive work will be to make it as efficient as possible, ensuring it hums along steadily without unnecessarily consuming resources that could be used by work that has a strong marketplace upside.
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
It is easy to buy into exciting new strategies that promise to take you into the insanely awesome future. “We’re going to differentiate ourselves by customer experience. Woot! Woot!” It is a downer to make the trade-offs. “We’re moving heads and budgets from the juggernaut divisions of the past to fund the skunkworks and startups of the future.” Ouch, that hurts.
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
Cost cutting is an organization alignment challenge because it impacts many systems that work together to contribute to organization results—among them work routines, job design, and staffing. When it is time to raise revenues or cut costs, decisions should be made that align with the strategic priorities. All work is not strategically equal.
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
Spending where you shouldn’t prevents you from investing where you should.
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
The other caution has to do with coordinating what work is phased out as a result of lower staffing levels. Leaders often let any such phasing out proceed of its own accord because they have faith that when they eliminate layers in the organizational chart or increase leadership spans of control, people who feel the increased workload will wisely and naturally eliminate tasks that are non-value added or of reduced competitive importance. But this faith is misplaced if employees are not clear about the relative value of work or what the strategic trade-offs should be. If they do not know what work to eliminate, they may not eliminate any at all and instead pass it on to someone else. In this way the organization chart is like a square of jiggly jelly. If you squeeze the jelly from the top and the bottom, it is going to squelch out the sides, and if you squeeze from the sides, it is going to squelch out the top and the bottom. Increasing spans of control—giving leaders more responsibility—may soon result in more layers (for example, one firm created “senior technician” roles for technicians to fill as intermediaries for busy managers). Decreasing layers of the organizational chart may increase spans of control (for example, another company eliminated a layer of managers but then hired a couple of new directors to handle the additional workload when all the reports were reassigned to the next highest management level). The total headcount dollars are never reduced, just reapportioned.
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
Many functional groups fall into sheer and utter chaos because of misalignment (to their own dismay). They are not clear about how they hook up to enterprise strategy, and so their processes, structures, roles and responsibilities, and staffing are way out of line with what generates income in the marketplace. And they know it—people inside these functional failures often feel extraordinarily frustrated and cynical.
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
Protect strategically vital work from becoming engulfed by the transactional work that characterizes so much of what must get done on a daily basis.
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
Nearly without exception, the companies we work with are morphing their offerings to help customers bypass the clutter. They have recognized that in the sea of choice that surrounds us, the offerings that are simplest from the customer’s perspective are often the winningest.
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
offering simplicity within a complex domain is likely to be so appreciated and valued by customers that it ends up being perceived as a luxury.”3
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
Offerings that help people bypass the clutter are often called solutions. Solution-based offerings bundle goods and services together so the customer does not have to spend the time sorting through individual items, making choices about which are preferable, and assembling them for the job to be done.
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
The folks who make up the workforce crave simplicity at work just as much as consumers crave simplicity in what they purchase. But it is an irrefutable reality that someone along the value chain is going to have to do new work to absorb added complexity. Enter Building Block 7: Absorb complexity for your
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
Simplicity for the customer first; simplicity for the organization second.
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
The set of upsides and downsides that characterize your organization have an expiration date.
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
As leaders identify necessary strategic changes or declining organization performance, they respond by launching organization changes. If necessary, they take the plunge on major transformations when triggered by one of the legitimate reasons we discussed above. But short, targeted adjustments can keep an organization on track between major strategic shifts. By making incremental change on a constant basis, leaders can lengthen the time between large-scale realignments.
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
Continuous organization alignment should feel natural and comfortable, just one of the ongoing activities that come with running a company. People should be able to continue to run the business while engaged in alignment; indeed, alignment should feel like the everyday innovative work of responding to changes in the environment and in the customer. Thus, rather than coveting a perfect design that never has to change again, alignment leaders should be helping their organizations strengthen the muscle of ongoing organization alignment.
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
I would say that the organization has to align to the future state,” says Abbott. “More often than not, what you find is organizations are aligned to where you've been, not where you’re going.
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
We would like to see one of the primary deliverables from [our next] project be a repeatable process that we can fold into our long-term planning process, instead of having it as a one-off type of project.” Companies like this want their profit center leaders to develop continuous alignment know-how.
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
Our colleague Adam Anderson calls this marriage of strategic planning and organization alignment liquid design. The term indicates that large enterprises can and should be in a constant state of change as divisions or groups within divisions are continuously renewed and realigned. In this approach to planning, profit center heads are masters of launching and leading organization alignment. They report on misalignments within their divisions and ensure new processes, structures, or other practices are funded or existing ones adjusted to produce the strategic capabilities required by the business.
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)
Continual, systemic alignment assessments are needed both to identify and amplify small pockets of innovation and to tune up the whole enterprise.
Reed Deshler (Mastering the Cube: Overcoming Stumbling Blocks and Building an Organization that Works)