IN CHAPTERS TITLE
IN CHAPTERS CLASSNAME
IN CHAPTERS TEXT
2 Meister Eckhart
NEW FULL DB (2.4M)
10 Stephen King
4 Peter Kreeft
4 Daniel Defoe
4 Dallas Willard
3 Philip Yancey
3 Meister Eckhart
3 Hunter S Thompson
3 C S Lewis
2 Yasmin Mogahed
2 Will Durant
2 Warren W Wiersbe
2 Stormie Omartian
2 Shannon L Alder
2 Nikos Kazantzakis
2 Meister Eckhart
2 Mary Connealy
2 Marianne Williamson
2 Libba Bray
2 Lauren F Winner
1:Where there is Isness, there God is. Creation is the giving of isness from God. And that is why God becomes where any creature expresses God. ~ Meister Eckhart,
2:Why God sometimes allows people who are genuinely good to be hindered in the good that they do. God, who is faithful, allows his friends to fall frequently into weakness only in order to remove from them any prop on which they might lean. For a loving person it would be a great joy to be able to achieve many great feats, whether keeping vigils, fasting, performing other ascetical practices or doing major, difficult and unusual works. For them this is a great joy, support and source of hope so that their works become a prop and a support upon which they can lean. But it is precisely this which our Lord wishes to take from them so that he alone will be their help and support. This he does solely on account of his pure goodness and mercy, for God is prompted to act only by his goodness, and in no way do our works serve to make God give us anything or do anything for us. Our Lord wishes his friends to be freed from such an attitude, and thus he removes their support from them so that they must henceforth find their support only in him. For he desires to give them great gifts, solely on account of his goodness, and he shall be their comfort and support while they discover themselves to be and regard themselves as being a pure nothingness in all the great gifts of God. The more essentially and simply the mind rests on God and is sustained by him, the more deeply we are established in God and the more receptive we are to him in all his precious gifts - for human kind should build on God alone. ~ Meister Eckhart,
*** NEWFULLDB 2.4M ***
1:Boredom is why God invented books. ~ Julie Schumacher
2:The sun is a liar, that's why God created curtains. ~ Brittainy C Cherry
3:Why God got to be so big? Why he got to be bigger than me? ~ August Wilson
4:Solace? That's why God made fermented beverages and the blues. ~ Tom Robbins
5:Men don’t always know what they need. That’s why God made women. ~ Louis Bayard
6:I don't see why God made any night; day is so much pleasanter… ~ Louisa May Alcott
7:Girls are supposed to dance. That's why god gave them parts that jiggle. ~ Donald Glover
8:And here he stood, wondering why God had seen fit to bless a man such as him. ~ Joanne Bischof
9:I don’t know why God spared me,” he said. “But I know I need to use my life for good. ~ Nadia Murad
10:I think I finally understand why God went away and left the world to destroy itself. ~ Blake Crouch
11:Becoming saints is the meaning of life. It is why we exist. It is why God created us. ~ Peter Kreeft
12:That's why God created marriage, so people wouldn't have to fight with strangers. ~ Garrison Keillor
13:We don't always know why God allows trials. We do know He wants us to trust Him. ~ Jill Eileen Smith
14:We don’t always know why God allows trials. We do know He wants us to trust Him. ~ Jill Eileen Smith
15:I can’t understand why God made every tiny snowflake different and all these men the same. ~ Joy Williams
16:Why God has instituted Prayer:— To communicate to his creatures the dignity of causation. ~ Blaise Pascal
17:Women will always pay the price for love, that is why God makes us so much stronger than men. ~ Robin Lim
18:now he knew why God didn’t give people superpowers. Humans were dangerous enough as it was. . . ~ J R Ward
19:You could spen the rest of your lifewondering why God let you die but refused to bury you ~ Dylan Saccoccio
20:I do not know any way to explain why God's grace touches a man who seems unworthy of it. ~ Whittaker Chambers
21:Ive seen the meanness of humans till I dont know why God aint put out the sun and gone away. ~ Cormac McCarthy
22:In the name of all that is holy, tell me why God felt the need to make a hell. It seems so redundant. ~ Rick Yancey
23:I often wonder why God saw fit to limit man’s intelligence but to still allow him limitless stupidity. ~ Craig Zerf
24:That is why God is a scandal to men and women—because He cannot be comprehended by a finite mind. ~ Brennan Manning
25:if God much strong, much might, as the devil, why God not kill the devil, so make him no more wicked? ~ Daniel Defoe
26:My heart aches for my people. I don’t understand why God gives more power to some and less to others. ~ Tess Uriza Holthe
27:New Testament writers do not tell me why God chose to save me. They only tell me to be thankful that He did. ~ J I Packer
28:Sometimes it does a chap's heart good to rescue a beautiful woman. Makes him remember why God rescued him. ~ Rachel Hauck
29:You know why God invented Golf?' Service asked the ME, who shrugged. 'To keep assholes off trout streams. ~ Joseph Heywood
30:And suddenly, her day turned into the kind that explained why God invented chocolate, comfy pants, and booze. ~ Avery Flynn
31:Common people are often enough; that is why God made so many of them. Your job is to be--- EXTRAORDINARY. ~ Shannon L Alder
32:That’s why God gave us families—and community. No one is meant to live life alone, to carry their grief alone. ~ Beth Wiseman
33:That's why God gave us families - an community. No one is meant to live life alone, to carry their grief alone. ~ Tricia Goyer
34:Do ye suppose that's why God gave Eve to Adam ---to let him know what he needed before he even knew he needed it? ~ Mia Marlowe
35:I’m a coward, I close my eyes. I don’t understand why God made sight the only sense that can be blocked off. ~ Christopher Pike
36:Everyone has an enemy. It's why God gave us baseball bats. Well, He gave us trees, but we knew what He meant. ~ Christopher Titus
37:That's why God made liquor, strippers, and football, Skeeter, so straight men never have to discuss their feelings. ~ John G Hartness
38:Who knows why God allows heartbreak, but the answer must be important enough because God allows His heart to break too. ~ Ann Voskamp
39:Do you know why God wants you rich? So you can do more. The wealthier you become, the more responsible you are to God. ~ Jerry Savelle
40:I learned real early why God gave us two ears and one mouth, because you're supposed to listen twice as much as you talk. ~ Quincy Jones
41:My mom always used to say that average people are the most special people in the world. And that's why God made so many. ~ Michael Scott
42:Maybe that’s why God made childbirth so painful, so that when your life is wrecked by children you know it could be worse. ~ J T Lawrence
43:We learn that we are lovable or unlovable from other people... That is why God tells us so many times to love each other. ~ Donald Miller
44:But," says he again "if god much strong, much might as the devil, why god no kill the devil, so make him no more do wicked? ~ Daniel Defoe
45:Just because you can't see or imagine a good reason why God might allow something to happen doesn't mean there can't be one. ~ Timothy Keller
46:The Holy Spirit builds on the smooth ground of humility. That's why God will tear you down in order to build you back up. ~ Alisa Hope Wagner
47:I wondered why God created so many varieties of faiths in the world if He intended all of us to worship Him in the same fashion. ~ Laila Lalami
48:The main reason why God gave us imaginations is to allow us to have a specific power that can help us make realistic decisions. ~ Israelmore Ayivor
49:WHY GOD GAME SECRETS HAVE BEEN NOT SO FAR UNDERSTOOD BY ANY CREATURES OF UNIVERSE EXISTING ON EARTH, IN WATERS AND ENTIRE VACCUME SPACE??? ~ Various
50:Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba. ~ Hunter S Thompson
51:Somewhere a woman is praying her toddler wins a beauty pageant. I say this because sometimes people wonder why God lets tornadoes happen. ~ Dana Gould
52:You know why God’s so hard to find, Trevor? No, Mr. Shaw, I say, why is God so hard to find? God’s so hard to find because he ain’t lost! ~ Ryan Winfield
53:Sometimes in the great soundtrack of our lives there are no words, there are only emotions; I believe this is why God gave us classical music. ~ Anonymous
54:Do you not find it happens very often, that you are as gay as Garrick at dinner and then by supper-time you wonder why God made the world? ~ Patrick O Brian
55:God knows why God has made some of us ecclesiastically homeless, but I hope and pray that our being so may be in service to Christian unity. ~ Stanley Hauerwas
56:Where there is Isness, there God is. Creation is the giving of isness from God. And that is why God becomes where any creature expresses God. ~ Meister Eckhart
57:All paradises have gates,” Falchi said. “You’d wonder why God made Paradise with an exit if he didn’t anticipate having to use it eventually. ~ Aleksandr Voinov
58:My desire to live is as intense as ever, and though my heart is broken, hearts are made to be broken: that is why God sends sorrow into the world. ~ Oscar Wilde
59:Where there is Isness, there God is. Creation is the giving of isness from God. And that is why God becomes where any creature expresses God. ~ Meister Eckhart,
60:Smartass Disciple: Master, why God let human did sins in the beginning?
Master of Stupidity: If the saviour must come, why should He prevent that? ~ Toba Beta
61:Instead of taking the wheat germ out of the bread for our convenience, we should ask ourselves why God created wheat like that in the first place. ~ Caroline Leaf
62:experienced a bout of atheism. With adolescent self-importance, I wondered why God would allow all this to happen to a fourteen-year-old girl. When ~ Padma Lakshmi
63:There will be people the old flesh will rise up and wonder why God blessed them. But no one will ever be envious on God's blessings on their children. ~ Johnny Hunt
64:But of course these conjectures as to why God does what He does are probably of no more value than my dog's ideas of what I am up to when I sit and read. ~ C S Lewis
65:(Seriously, if I catch another person commenting out something instead of deleting it, I will write a whole book titled Why God Invented Source Control.) ~ Anonymous
66:there is, he reasoned, no such thing as evil or suffering from God’s point of view, and this explains why God never tries to do anything about it. ~ Anthony Gottlieb
67:D’you know why God made Hijras? It was an experiment. He decided to create something, a living creature that is incapable of happiness. So he made us. ~ Arundhati Roy
68:I don't reckon men are supposed to think," Sally said philosophically, as the pile of hemp rope grew at her feet. "That's why God gave 'em big muscles. ~ Mary Connealy
69:You will never understand why God does what He does, but if you believe Him, that is all that is necessary. Let us learn to trust Him for who He is. ~ Elisabeth Elliot
70:The first time it happened, I laid there marveling at the beauty of it, wondering why God would forbid such bliss when He makes us endure so much misery. ~ Julia Scheeres
71:Five thousand dollars for a baby doll?” Olive fanned herself with the magazine, lifting her peach-preserve hair. “I guess that’s why God invented white folks. ~ Tayari Jones
72:If you search for an escape route before understanding why God has you in a particularly dry situation, you unwittingly will prolong your wilderness time. This ~ John Bevere
73:I wondered a little why God was such a useless thing. It seemed a waste of time to have him. After that he became less and less, until he was... nothingness. ~ Frances Farmer
74:Seems like in real life, it’s not one person saving the other… more like both people making each other better. I mean, that’s why God made both genders, right? ~ Dana Mentink
75:True. I don't pretend to even begin to understand any of it now. Least of all why God went to so much effort to get through to a gito like me. But I'm glad He did. ~ Kara Isaac
76:Even if we may not always understand why God allows certain things to happen to us, we can know He is able to bring good out of evil, and triumph out of suffering. ~ Billy Graham
77:Men have too many rules, like their god. Maybe that's why god is a man, he tells other people what to do but doesn't have to follow the laws he makes others follow. He's ~ Poppet
78:Sire, je n'avais besoin de cet hypothèse. ~ Sire, I had no need for that hypothesis. ~ La Place to Napoleon, who asked why God was not mentioned in Traite de la Méchanique Céleste
79:Sometimes I wonder why God ever trusts talent in the hands of women, they usually make such an infernal mess of it. I think He must do it as a sort of ghastly joke. ~ Willa Cather
80:they go and set up free-will with the heathen philosophers and say that a man's free will is the cause why God chooseth and not another, contrary to all scriptures. ~ William Tyndale
81:Play and mirth is also “necessary for the intercourse of human life” and “to cheer the heart of man”. This is why God invented not just water but also wine (Ps 104:15). ~ Peter Kreeft
82:You don't need to know why God sent you to the earth before you say "yes" to what He sent you for! He wants you to prosper and he is the only one who knows "how?"! ~ Israelmore Ayivor
83:Habakkuk couldn’t understand why God seemed to do nothing about the wickedness in society. Then he realized that faith in God alone would supply the answers to his questions. ~ Anonymous
84:Maybe we should stop looking at why God doesn’t answer every prayer the way we think He should. But instead we should count it a blessing that He hears our prayers at all. ~ Jody Hedlund
85:Alternatively, anyone who favors Intelligent Design in lieu of evolution might pause to wonder why God devoted so much of His intelligence to designing malarial parasites. ~ David Quammen
86:giving is not the same as imposition. That is why God does not just give us what we need without being asked. Prayer is nothing but a proper way for persons to interact. Thus ~ Dallas Willard
87:There will never be another Ren Lewis. And that’s why God gave you such impossible talents. Because you were meant to do things humans shouldn’t. That is your talent and your curse. ~ Sarah Noffke
88:God with form and the formless God are both equally true. What do you say? One cannot keep one's mind on the formless God a long time. That is why God assumes form for His devotees. ~ Sri Ramakrishna
89:Richard wanted to ask why God had allowed the war to happen in the first place. Yet their faith moved him. If God could make them care so genuinely, God was a worthy concept. ~ Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
90:I always wondered why God was supposed to be a father," she whispers. Fathers always want you to measure up to something. Mothers are the ones who love you unconditionally, don't you think? ~ Jodi Picoult
91:Major, I do not know why God does the things He does, but I believe you have the same duty to God as you have always had: to follow the right path, to live your life with a clear conscience. ~ Jeff Shaara
92:We have hands; we can stand on them if we want to. That's our privilege. That's the joy of a mortal body. And that's why God needs us. Because God loves to feel things through our hands. ~ Elizabeth Gilbert
93:If God has given you a kingdom vision, if you see it clearly and feel it deeply, you had better take responsibility for it. You had better give your life to it. That’s why God made you a leader. ~ Bill Hybels
94:Colin tried to remember if he’d prayed for the Lord to teach him patience recently because he could think of no other reason why God would constantly be throwing Lady Georgina into his path. ~ Kristi Ann Hunter
95:I don’t know. She didn’t exactly say she didn’t want me. Shit. You’re making me sound like an ass.”
“Aww. You’re not an ass. You’re just a confused man. That’s why God gave you a sister. ~ Claudia Connor
96:I always wondered why God was supposed to be a father,” she whispers. “Fathers always want you to measure up to something. Mothers are the ones who love you unconditionally, don’t you think?” Faith ~ Jodi Picoult
97:Vengeance doesn’t heal pain, Logan. Love heals pain. That’s why God tells us to leave the vengeance to Him and instead focus on loving each other, including our enemies. ~ Karen Witemeyer page 248 ~ Karen Witemeyer
98:I mean, sometimes I wonder why God would grant a favor if trouble's just waiting around the corner? It feels disingenuous. If it's fate, then it's written in the stars, and we can't do much to avoid it. ~ Stacey Lee
99:This is why God has allowed you to have more: not for you to waste on prostitutes, drink, fancy food, expensive clothes, and all other kinds of indolence, but for you to distribute to those in need. ~ John Chrysostom
100:A lot of people think Christianity is about always being perfect. It's actually the opposite of that. It's realizing that we're all humans, and that's why God sent his Son to this earth - to save people. ~ Billy Ray Cyrus
101:Christians often ask why God does not speak to them . . . the rabbi was asked . . . nowadays nobody sees God . . . the rabbi replied" "Nowadays there is no longer anybody, who can bow low enough." P. 92 ~ Carl Gustav Jung
102:This is why God has allowed you to have more: not for you to waste on prostitutes, drink, fancy food, expensive clothes, and all other kinds of indolence, but for you to distribute to those in need. ~ Saint John Chrysostom
103:Can't find a reason why God gave you to me. But that's not a question to be asked. May be question is how did God knew that I needed someone like you Love is like pi - natural, irrational, and very important. ~ Lisa Hoffman
104:I know now why God gave us babies. They require constant attention, of course. They make messes and disturb the peace, but their cuteness and smiles are something the only reminder of God we have in the house. ~ Ann Rinaldi
105:the actress playing Celia could ask why god had ever put her on earth.
and then the voice from the back of the theater could rumble: "to reproduce. nothing else really interests me. all the rest is frippery. ~ Kurt Vonnegut
106:We give glory to God when we trust him to do what he has promised to do-especially when all human possibilities are exhausted. Faith glorifies God. That is why God planned for faith to be the way we are justified. ~ John Piper
107:I cannot be the only reader who has wondered why God, having given him [St. Paul] so many gifts, withheld from him (what would seem so necessary for the first Christian theologian) that of lucidity and orderly exposition. ~ C S Lewis
108:How rich a God our God is! He gives enough, but we don't notice it. He gave the whole world to Adam, but this was nothing in Adam's eyes; he was concerned about one tree and had to ask why God had forbidden him to eat it. ~ Martin Luther
109:I don't think there is anyone who needs God's help as much as I do. Sometimes I feel so helpless and weak. I think that is why God uses me. Because I cannot depend on my own strength, I rely on Him twenty-four hours a day. ~ Mother Teresa
110:Most of my struggles in the Christian life circle around the same two themes: why God doesn’t act the way we want God to, and why I don’t act the way God wants me to. Prayer is the precise point where those themes converge. ~ Philip Yancey
111:For when you looked into my mother's eyes you knew, as if He had told you, why God sent her into the world - it was to open then minds of all who looked to beautiful thoughts. And that is the beginning and end of literature. ~ James M Barrie
112:All suffering is suffering. As C. S. Lewis said, there is no such thing as “the sum of the world’s suffering,” an abstraction of the philosophers. There are simply individual people who hurt. And who wonder why God permits it. ~ Philip Yancey
113:It is why God created matter, most of all the human body, which has the greatest power to make spirit visible. (Thus the philosopher Wittgenstein, asked what a human soul could possibly look like, answered, “Like a human body.”) ~ Peter Kreeft
114:God is jealous for your heart, not because he is petty or insecure, but because he loves you. The reason why God has such a huge problem with idolatry is that his love for you is all-consuming. He loves you too much to share you. ~ Kyle Idleman
115:Well, let me declare once and for all that there is no sin that a Christian is not forgiven of. When you understand why God sent the Holy Spirit, you will realize that the unpardonable sin is simply to consistently reject Jesus! ~ Joseph Prince
116:When his life was ruined, his family killed, his farm destroyed, Job knelt down on the ground and yelled up to the heavens, "Why god? Why me?" and the thundering voice of God answered, There's just something about you that pisses me off. ~ Stephen King
117:When his life was ruined, his family killed, his farm destroyed, Job knelt down on the ground and yelled up to the heavens, "Why god? Why me?" and the thundering voice of God answered, "There's just something about you that pisses me off. ~ Stephen King
118:When his life was ruined, his family killed, his farm destroyed, Job knelt down on the ground and yelled up to the heavens, 'Why god? Why me?' and the thundering voice of God answered, 'There's just something about you that pisses me off.' ~ Stephen King
119:The Indian never hurts anything, but the white people destroy all ... How can the spirit of the earth like the white man? That is why God will upset the world - because it is sore all over. Everywhere the white man has touched it, it is sore. ~ Pretty Shield
120:I've always thought that the key to a good sex life is variety. That's why God gave me two hands. Humans love sex, we need sex, it's how we connect, it reminds us we're alive, it's the third most basic human need, after food and good movie popcorn. ~ Billy Crystal
121:You feel like quitting, like giving up. You can’t understand why the road doesn’t get easier, why God doesn’t remove the stones and straighten the path. If God did that, you might never get to the top, because the bumps are what you can climb on. ~ Warren W Wiersbe
122:But, he says again, if God much strong, much might as the Devil, why God no kill the Devil, so make him no more do wicked?
I was strangely surprised at his question, [...] And at first I could not tell what to say, so I pretended not to hear him... ~ Daniel Defoe
123:It takes mystical insight to see the beauty and innocence in each other, even when that is not what we are showing to the world. That is why God is needed in intimate relationships, to move us beyond the perceptions that can so often poison love. ~ Marianne Williamson
124:This is my theory: the people who shouldn't hate themselves, do hate themselves. And the people who should hate themselves, don't hate themselves. The world is all backwards. See, this is one of the many reasons why God and I are not good friends. ~ Benjamin Alire S enz
125:You will make mistakes, disappoint God and others, and have days when you wonder why God ever called you in the first place. Don’t despair! Your usefulness to God is based on His consistency, not yours. Your call is sustained by God’s faithfulness, not yours. ~ Jeff Iorg
126:Like it or not, sin has consequences. Which is why God lovingly warns us against it. Thankfully, He is merciful and ready to forgive if we ask Him. But that doesn’t erase natural consequences of our actions. Cause and effect.”
“The Secret of Pembrooke Park. ~ Julie Klassen
127:Could it be — no one receives the peace of God without giving thanks to God? Is thankfulness really but the deep, contented breath of peacefulness? Is this why God asks us to give thanks even when things look a failure? When there doesn’t seem much to give thanks for? ~ Ann Voskamp
128:I agree we have enough books that attempt to explain why God allows suffering, presumably in a way that lets God off the hook. And while much smarter men than I have constructed elaborate systems in this pursuit, they are by definition exercises in speculation. ~ Tullian Tchividjian
129:Some roads we travel in life can feel like the ones that might break us, but that's why God surrounds us with people who will cheer us on and wipe our tears and listen as we pour out our hearts. Because often, it's not what you say but what you do that really matters. ~ Melanie Shankle
130:So if you want to convince me that there’s something bigger going on here, some sort of grand plan or map or order in the universe, you’re going to have to first explain why God makes bad moms.” Ruth shrugs. “I don’t know why.” “Well, I do and it’s because he doesn’t exist. ~ Samantha Hunt
131:The reason why God has given us a thinking faculty, is that we may think on his Name. When our thoughts run out in vain things, we should think with ourselves thus: Did God give us this talent to misemploy? Did he give us thoughts that we should think of everything but him? ~ Thomas Watson
132:need and want that His Word has promised and believe you receive them when you ask for them. Then you will have whatever it is you need from God. Some people continually ask me why God won’t heal them after they have had many people pray for them and have had no results. Very ~ Kenneth E Hagin
133:Transcendence is the business of poets. That’s what they’re for. They’re not like you and me. They have that extra bit that’s always ready for take-off. Poets understand why God didn’t give us wings: he wanted entertainment. He wanted us to aspire, to ascend. He wanted poetry. My ~ Niall Williams
134:Foreknowledge is a burden, a weight I can hardly bear. Maybe that’s why God keeps the future hidden from us. If I knew I would have a terrible accident, would I live my life trying to avoid it? Would I lock myself inside a room being safe? Or would I go outside and live day to day ~ Lurlene McDaniel
135:Loneliness is simply the felt experience of our “Obediential Potency.” In our loneliness, “in the torment of the insufficiency of everything attainable,”18 we experience our nature, learn the reason why God had made us, and are pushed out of ourselves in order to move toward that end. ~ Ronald Rolheiser
136:Maybe that's why God made us kids first and built us close to the ground, because He knows you got to fall down a lot and bleed a lot before you learn that one simple lesson. You pay for what you get, you own what you pay for... and sooner or later whatever you own comes back home to you. ~ Stephen King
137:Maybe that’s why God made us kids first and built us close to the ground, because He knows you got to fall down a lot and bleed a lot before you learn that one simple lesson. You pay for what you get, you own what you pay for . . . and sooner or later whatever you own comes back home to you. ~ Stephen King
138:Some people will tell you that slow is good - but I'm here to tell you that fast is better. I've always believed this, in spite of the trouble it's caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba. ~ Hunter S Thompson
139:It is only charlatans who are certain. We know nothing of first principles. It is truly extravagant to define God, angels, and minds, and to know precisely why God formed the world, when we do not know why we move our arms at will. Doubt is not a very agreeable state, but certainty is a ridiculous one. ~ Will Durant
140:I have been asked hundreds of times in my life why God allows tragedy and suffering. I have to confess that I really do not know the answer totally, even to my own satisfaction. I have to accept, by faith, that God is sovereign, and He is a God of love and mercy and compassion in the midst of suffering. ~ Billy Graham
141:Which is why God has erected such a firewall between the living and the dead: because the predead always distort whatever the postalive tell them. Jesus or Mohammad or Siddharta, whenever any dead person has come back to offer some banal bit of advice, the living recipient misinterprets every word of it. ~ Chuck Palahniuk
142:Too many of us live on the horizontal, vain level of life: We want to acquire more and more things; we want the material blessings of life and we are neglecting the elevated state of existence! And that's why God said of Abraham he was neither a Christian nor a Jew, he was a Muslim: he was an upright man. ~ Louis Farrakhan
143:Most fear is fear of the unknown. We do not know what lies ahead of us, so we become apprehensive. Our imaginations can magnify problems until they seem insurmountable. We need a sound mind to see things in proper perspective. That is why God gave us His Holy Spirit, to enable us to see things as God sees them. ~ Henry T Blackaby
144:If prayer stands as the place where God and human beings meet, then I must learn about prayer. Most of my struggles in the Christian life circle around the same two themes: why God doesn't act the way we want God to, and why I don't act the way God wants me to. Prayer is the precise point where those themes converge. ~ Philip Yancey
145:That’s why God is the answer to all our fears. If God is good and loving (and He is), and if God is all-powerful (and He is), and if God has a purpose and a plan that include His children (and He does), and if we are His children (as I hope you are), then there is no reason to fear anything, for God is in control of everything. ~ David Jeremiah
146:...to be in a relationship with God is to be loved purely and furiously. And a person who thinks himself unlovable cannot be in a relationship with God because he can't accept who God is; a Being that is love. We learn that we are lovable or unlovable from other people...That is why God tells us so many times to love each other. ~ Donald Miller
147:...you pay for what you get in this world. Maybe that's why God made us kids first and built us close to the ground, because He knows you got to fall down a lot and bleed a lot before you learn that one simple lesson. You pay for what you get, you own what you pay for...and sooner or later whatever you own comes back home to you. ~ Stephen King
148:She’d never been the kind of woman who angered over being told what to do. She’d never felt unequal or demeaned in a submissive role, rather more like a helpmate and compliment to her lover. And, she’d never once asked why God had made her this way. She didn’t care why. She just wanted to play her part—and for her part to have value. ~ Elizabeth SaFleur
149:Why God should want and need us is a mystery. But it is true: otherwise he would not have created us and life would ultimately have no meaning for us. It is good to remember that in God the is a constancy, a consistency of attitude which never changes, irrespective of what we are or how we act: he never changes in is wanting us or needing us. ~ Basil Hume
150:I don’t think there is anyone who needs God’s help and grace as much as I do. Sometimes I feel so helpless and weak. I think that is why God uses me. Because I cannot depend on my own strength, I rely on Him twenty-four hours a day. If the day had even more hours, then I would need His help and grace during those hours as well.1 —MOTHER TERESA ~ Heidi Baker
151:It was easy enough to see why God, having called the dry land "Earth" and the gathering together of the waters "the Seas," saw that it was good.
I could picture the Old Fellow lifting up the horizon like the lid of a stewing pot and peeking in with one red eye to admire His Creation: to see how it was coming along.
It was good! ~ Alan Bradley
152:We do not know why God allowed the enemies of His people to prevail at one time and restrained them at another. It is enough to know that God can and does restrain the harmful acts of others toward us when that is His sovereign will. Furthermore, God, in His infinite wisdom and love, intends that good ultimately comes from those harmful acts. The ~ Jerry Bridges
153:Men are always the last to ken what women know by sniffing the air. That's why God gave bodily might to Adam, to balance the inequities in strength. for if Eve had been given the power to serve her cunning and cruelty, there would have been a terrible reckoning for all mankind, and the archangel would have trod on Adam's heels to escape paradise unsinged. ~ Kathleen Kent
154:Men are always the last to ken what women know by sniffing the air. That's why God gave bodily might to Adam, to balance the inequities of strength. For if Eve had been given the power to serve her cunning and cruelty, there would have been a terrible reckoning for all mandkind, and the archangel would have trod on Adam's heels to escape paradise unsinged. ~ Kathleen Kent
155:Could God exist if nobody else did? No. That’s why gods are very avid for worshipers. If there is nobody to worship them, there are no gods. There are as many gods as there are people thinking about God. In choosing your god, you choose your way of looking at the universe. There are plenty of Gods. Choose yours. The god you worship is the god you deserve. ~ Joseph Campbell
156:Do you know why God invented writers? Because he loves a good story. And he doesn't give a damn about the words. Words are the curain we've hung between him and our true selves. Try not to think about the words. Don't strin for the perfect sentence. There's no such thing. Writing si guesswork. Every sentence is an educated guess, the readers as much as yours. ~ J R Moehringer
157:We don’t ask why God chose as his prophet a stutterer with a public speaking phobia. But we should. The book of Exodus is short on explication, but its stories suggest that introversion plays yin to the yang of extroversion; that the medium is not always the message; and that people followed Moses because his words were thoughtful, not because he spoke them well. ~ Susan Cain
158:I don’t reckon men are supposed to think,” Sally said philosophically, as the pile of hemp rope grew at her feet. “That’s why God gave ’em big muscles.” Mandy tilted her head sideways for a second. “Makes as much sense as anything else.” Sophie nodded. “Men do the lifting and women do the thinking. That sounds fair. I suppose God could have planned it that way. ~ Mary Connealy
159:The problem of why God created the universe still troubles thinking men; but if we cannot know why, we can at least know that He did not bring His worlds into being to meet some unfulfilled need in Himself, as a man might build a house to shelter him against the winter cold or plant a field of corn to provide him with necessary food. The word 'necessary' is wholly foreign to God. ~ A W Tozer
160:Have you ever stopped to think in your own personal life why God permits certain people to cross your path? Do you wish that you had never met certain people? Are there people whom you would call your enemies? Someone may have caused you sorrow, but it is all for His purpose. God has permitted all that for a particular purpose. Learn to recognize the hand of God in your life. ~ J Vernon McGee
161:We do need to be born again, since Jesus said that to a guy named Nicodemus. But if you tell me I have to be born again to enter the Kingdom of God, I can tell you that you have to sell everything you have and give it to the poor, because Jesus said that to one guy, too. But I guess that's why God invented highlighers, so we can highlight the parts we like and ignore the rest. ~ Shane Claiborne
162:The world that contains the possibility of evil is the one that also contains the greatest possibility of good. And the question of why God allows evil to happen has to be put against the question of what a world where evil could not happen would be like. It’s by working on those questions that people can come to some resolution in their minds about the reality of evil and what it means. ~ Dallas Willard
163:I could never understand my purpose in this world. I have had nothing but pain and loss my hole life. But now I know why god saved me the first time. It was so I could find you. Then he saved me the second time so I could love you forever. This house is perfect; you are perfect and no one will ever take that away from us. Our love is infinite and I’m going to spend the rest of my life showing you. ~ Sandi Lynn
164:I was reminded just why God wants us to forgive. Not simply because it’s the key to a better world, but because of what it does for ourselves. Forgiveness is God’s gift to us. Christ forgave us. He forgave our sins. That was his gift. But by allowing us to forgive each other, he opened us up to that divine love. The article had it right. Forgiveness: It’s a miracle drug. It’s God’s miracle drug. ~ Gayle Forman
165:This is why God created so many different religions: to be training grounds to make a path for every people, culture, custom, and tradition. Religions polish people to be qualified to enter the region of the original homeland. Because of humankind's many different cultural backgrounds, God sought and set the standard of comparison and has been leading the way toward one unified religious world. ~ Sun Myung Moon
166:As to why God had singled out John D. Rockefeller for such spectacular bounty, Rockefeller always adverted to his own adherence to the doctrine of stewardship—the notion of the wealthy man as a mere instrument of God, a temporary trustee of his money, who devoted it to good causes. “It has seemed as if I was favored and got increase because the Lord knew that I was going to turn around and give it back.”73 ~ Ron Chernow
167:The Church is God's Bride. All the saints and mystics say the ultimate purpose of human life, the highest end for which we were made, is the Spiritual Marriage. This is not socially relative; it is eternal. And in it, the soul is spiritually impregnated by God, not vice versa. That is the ultimate reason why God must always be he to us, never she. Religion is essentially heterosexual and therefore fruitful. ~ Peter Kreeft
168:Most Christians who've been around for a while have their Story in bits and pieces, but have never seen how powerful it really is when assembled as a whole. I want them to see how well it fits together and how it offers tremendous explanatory power regarding the world as we actually find it. I want them to see how it resolves the problem of evil, and why God's solution - the God/man Jesus - is the only solution. ~ Greg Koukl
169:It is not easy to explain why God permits evil; but it is impossible for an atheist to explain the existence of goodness. How could a spiritless, soul-less, cross-less, Godless universe become the center of faith, purity, sacrifice, and martyrdom? How can decency be the decent thing if there is no God? Since God is love, why should we be surprised that want of it should end in pain, hate, broken hearts, and war? ~ Fulton J Sheen
170:And in that moment, I was reminded just why God wants us to forgive. Not simply because it’s the key to a better world, but because of what it does for ourselves . Forgiveness is God’s gift to us . Christ forgave us. He forgave our sins. That was his gift. But by allowing us to forgive each other, he opened us up to that divine love. The article had it right. Forgiveness: It’s a miracle drug. It’s God’s miracle drug. ~ Gayle Forman
171:as he grew older trust came harder. Ma had said that was Satan’s way of trying to wiggle into a young Christian’s heart. Satan liked to attack before a fellow could make his faith strong enough to stand the tests of life. That was why God gave children God-fearing parents and other adults of Christian faith. “Those who have fought the good fight for longer in life are able to pray and encourage those who are weak, ~ Tracie Peterson
172:You and Merrin's mother-have you really been praying for me to die?" "More or less," Mould said. "To be honest, most of the time when she's calling to God, she's riding my dick." "Do you know why He hasn't struck me down?" Ig asked. "Do you know why God hasn't answered your prayers?" "Why?" "Because there is no God. Your prayers are whispers to an empty room." ..."Bullshit." "It's all a lie. There's never been anyone there. ~ Joe Hill
173:I’m going, because all I’ve ever gotten and all I have now is somehow due to what we did then, and you pay for what you get in this world. Maybe that’s why God made us kids first and built us close to the ground, because He knows you got to fall down a lot and bleed a lot before you learn that one simple lesson. You pay for what you get, you own what you pay for . . . and sooner or later whatever you own comes back home to you. ~ Stephen King
174:But I’m going, because all I’ve ever gotten and all I have now is somehow due to what we did then, and you pay for what you get in this world. Maybe that’s why God made us kids first and built us close to the ground, because He knows you got to fall down a lot and bleed a lot before you learn that one simple lesson. You pay for what you get, you own what you pay for . . . and sooner or later whatever you own comes back home to you. ~ Stephen King
175:But I'm going, because all I've ever gotten and all I have now is somehow due to what we did then, and you pay for what you get in this world. Maybe that's why God made us kids first and built us close to the ground, because He knows you got to fall down alot and bleed alot before you learn that one simple lesson. You pay for what you get, you own what you pay for...and sooner or later whatever you own comes back home to you." pg 78 ~ Stephen King
176:we don’t have to put down the Sword of the Spirit (the Word of God) to raise up the Shield of Faith. The way I see it, that’s why God gave us two hands. If we want to live abundantly and victoriously, we must pick up both. To pick up the Sword of the Spirit without the Shield of Faith is to shrivel and dry up in the desert of legalism. To pick up the Shield of Faith without the Sword of the Spirit is to try walking by faith on quicksand. ~ Beth Moore
177:It is all well and good for children and acid freaks to believe in Santa Claus - but it is still a profoundly morbid day for us working professionals. It is unsettling to know that one out of every twenty people you meet on Xmas will be dead this time next year.... Some people can accept this, and some can't. That is why God made whiskey, and also why Wild Turkey comes in $300 shaped canisters during most of the Christmas season... ~ Hunter S Thompson
178:I used to wonder why God used a prop like the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil to inflict guilt on Adam&Eve, until I realized it could have been a steak or a plate of fries or a bagel. Anything. Making people feel guilty is a staple of religion and society in general. It works. And if you can transfer guilt from a real criminal to an innocent bystander, you've really got something going. It's a magic stage trick that can make a career. ~ Jon Rappoport
179:For crying out loud, stop comparing and start living! And you'll be happier with your life, I guarantee. This is crucial: the most difficult thing in the world is to be who you are not. Pretending and trying to be someone else is the official pastime of the human race. And the easiest thing in the world is to be yourself. Be happy. Live! There must be a reason why God made you tall or short or fat or thin or bumpy all over. Love who you are! ~ Bo S nchez
180:There’s been some discussion as to why God created the world.
Let me clear it up.
He made the world because that’s what he does. He makes things.
A more pertinent question, though pertinence is hardly the point at
this point: why did he make humans?
Now there’s a question.
He made us as a bulwark against loneliness and boredom. Too late
he discovered we were in fact the opposite. We augment boredom; we
deepen loneliness. ~ Jeet Thayil
181:God's grace is the most incredible and insurmountable truth ever to be revealed to the human heart, which is why God has given us His Holy Spirit to superintend the process of more fully revealing the majesty of the work done on our behalf by our Savior. He teaches us to first cling to, and then enables us to adore with the faith He so graciously supplies, the mercy of God. This mercy has its cause and effect in the work of Jesus on the cross.
13. ~ John Bunyan
182:If by 'God' you have something definite in mind - a being that is loving, or jealous, or whatever - then you're faced with the question of why God's that way and not another way. And if you don't have anything very definite in mind when you talk about 'God' being behind the existence of the universe, then why even use the word? So I think religion doesn't help. It's part of the human tragedy: we're faced with a mystery we can't understand - Steven Weinberg ~ Jim Holt
183:I thought I was over him! So why did my heart still rip? Why did I still feel this sorrow? I got this strange sensation that God was with me. And he was angry. He was very angry--not at me and not at Jack. God was angry at the pain I was going through. I wondered if that was why God hated sin, because of the destruction it caused. For a moment I felt awe for a God who loved me enough to hate the things that hurt me without hating me for causing them. ~ Susan E Isaacs
184:Do you know that every morning, the children of Israel had to go out to collect fresh manna? The manna could not be stored overnight as it would turn stale and breed worms. Ever wondered why God didn’t just give them a week’s supply of manna? Well, that is because God wants us to open the Scriptures every day to collect fresh manna of Jesus. He doesn’t want us to live on past and stale revelations of Jesus, for His mercies are new every morning. Hallelujah! ~ Joseph Prince
185:This elaborate concatenation of life-forms and sequential strategies is highly adaptive and, so far as mosquitoes and hosts are concerned, difficult to resist. It shows evolution’s power, over great lengths of time, to produce structures, tactics, and transformations of majestic intricacy. Alternatively, anyone who favors Intelligent Design in lieu of evolution might pause to wonder why God devoted so much of His intelligence to designing malarial parasites. ~ David Quammen
186:We often wonder why God gives and takes, constricts and expands. What we forget is that human beings understand things by their opposites. Without dark, we can’t understand light. Without hardship, we wouldn’t *experience* ease. Without the existence of deprivation and loss, we couldn’t grasp the need for gratitude or the virtue of patience. And without separation, we wouldn’t taste the sweetness of reunion. Glory be to the one who gives—even when He takes. ~ Yasmin Mogahed
187:We often wonder why God gives and takes, constricts and expands. What we forget is that human beings understand things by their opposites. Without dark, we can’t understand light. Without hardship, we wouldn’t *experience* ease. Without the existence of deprivation and loss, we couldn’t grasp the need for gratitude or the virtue of patience. And without separation, we wouldn’t taste the sweetness of reunion.
Glory be to the one who gives—even when He takes. ~ Yasmin Mogahed
188:You will, Judas, my brother. God will give you the strength, as much as you lack, because it is necessary—it is necessary for me to be killed and for you to betray me. We two must save the world. Help me." Judas bowed his head. After a moment he asked, "If you had to betray your master, would you do it?" Jesus reflected for a long time. Finally he said, "No, I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to. That is why God pitied me and gave me the easier task: to be crucified. ~ Nikos Kazantzakis
189:I think we all need to learn to like ourselves-just the way we are. And if there are moderate ways to improve our looks and if we're doing it for the right reasons (not to impress our friends!), then maybe it's just fine. Beauty is very subjective-meaning that it all depends on your personal taste. I think that's why God made us all different. So instead of turning ourselves into cookie-cutter images of the latest fashion icon, why not take a moment to enjoy our differences? ~ Melody Carlson
190:You will, Judas, my brother. God will give you the strength, as much as you lack, because it is necessary—it is necessary for me to be killed and for you to betray me. We two must save the world. Help me."
Judas bowed his head. After a moment he asked, "If you had to betray your master, would you do it?"
Jesus reflected for a long time. Finally he said, "No, I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to. That is why God pitied me and gave me the easier task: to be crucified. ~ Nikos Kazantzakis
191:Psalm PSALM—NOTE ON 37. This can be called a wisdom psalm because it reflects on themes normally dealt with in the Bible’s Wisdom Literature, particularly in Proverbs. It addresses the issue of why godless people often prosper. It shows that it really is better to stay loyal to the Lord—a loyalty expressed in contentment, honesty, and generosity. In his own good time, the Lord will make a clear distinction between the godless and the faithful. Meanwhile, the faithful must wait patiently. ~ Anonymous
192:But with her eyes closed, she began to whisper. “If you have someone to love, then love. If you have someone to forgive, then forgive. You think, when you’re seventeen, there’s time enough for that, but there’s not. There’s no time at all.”
I squeezed her hand, trying to think of how to respond. But she took the burden from me and kept whispering. “You want to know why God gave us people to love? Because that’s the only way we can understand how he feels about us. Desperate and jealous. ~ Laura Anderson Kurk
193:Then perhaps there is a third kind of loss---the loss that comes when you notice the limits of your knowledge of God, when you feel bereft of guidance, when you feel the loss of God's saving power or of God's grace. This feeling of loss is really a way of noting, and mourning, God's hiddenness. This is the loss you name when you ask why God does not answer your prayers. It is the loss entailed when you realize that Jesus is more mysterious and more inscrutible than you had at first understood. ~ Lauren F Winner
194:God answers prayer, not just to meet the needs of his burdened children but to bring glory to his name through the answers. That’s one reason why God permits difficulties in our lives, so that his ministry to us will reveal his power and glory to those who are watching. Do we pray only to have our needs met and our wants supplied as soon as possible, or do we pray because we want to see Jesus glorified on earth? Are we willing to suffer or even to fail if this will honor the Lord in a greater way? ~ Warren W Wiersbe
195:2. The problem of evil. One has to wonder why God would create beings like Satan and Hitler if he was certain they’d turn out as evil as they did and certain they would end up in hell. We can easily understand why God must allow free agents to do evil and eventually go to hell once he gives them free will, for to revoke this gift once it is given is disingenuous. But why would God give this gift in the first place if he were certain ahead of time that the agent would misuse it to destroy themselves and others? 3 ~ Gregory A Boyd
196:God doesn't like lesbians," Grandma Huberman hised, throwing the magazine in the trash. Jennifer knew what lesbian meant, and she knew she probably was one. But she couldn't understand why God would hold that against her or against Monica Mathers, who'd never started a war or killed anybody, and whose deadeye three-pointers were straight-up amazing. After all, hadn't God made both of them? But people were like that, she'd noticed. They'd invoke Godly privilege at the weirdest of times and for the most stupid reasons. ~ Libba Bray
197:Having absolutes in our life is freeing. Parents who love their children give them rules for their protection, and God does the same for His children. As a child of God, His laws free you to move into the plans and purposes He has for you. From His Word you find out what works and what doesn’t work and never will. You don’t have to wander down paths that will hurt you, rob you, ruin your life, and take you far away from the fulfillment and purpose God has for you. That’s why God’s Word is His love letter to you. ~ Stormie Omartian
198:The biblical concept of agape love involves giving of yourself for the benefit of another, even at your own expense. Biblical love is defined by passionately and righteously seeking the well-being of another. Biblical love is an act of the will and not just a fuzzy feeling in the stomach. That’s why God can command us to love one another. Love really has nothing to do with whether you feel loving at a particular moment. It has to do with the need of the person being loved, not the feelings of the one doing the loving. ~ Tony Evans
199:God doesn't like lesbians," Grandma Huberman hised, throwing the magazine in the trash.
Jennifer knew what lesbian meant, and she knew she probably was one. But she couldn't understand why God would hold that against her or against Monica Mathers, who'd never started a war or killed anybody, and whose deadeye three-pointers were straight-up amazing. After all, hadn't God made both of them? But people were like that, she'd noticed. They'd invoke Godly privilege at the weirdest of times and for the most stupid reasons. ~ Libba Bray
200:People are going to come into your life, and God is going to use them to help you. To them you’re insignificant and don’t matter. They are not going to understand you, or even see the point of why God had you hang in there with them for so long. Remember this: Sometimes meeting someone has nothing to do with what you can provide for him or her and everything to do with what God needs you to recognize in that person. If you didn’t understand the message, God will keep sending the same person or situation into your life. ~ Shannon L Alder
201:What will you do if your product still further increases next year? You should then destroy again the warehouses which you are now preparing to build, and build bigger. For the reason why God has given you fruitful harvests is that He might either overcome your avarice or condemn it; wherefore you can have no excuse. But you keep for yourself what He wished to be produced through you for the benefit of many - nay, rather, you rob even yourself of it, since you would better preserve it for yourself if you distributed it to others. ~ Ambrose
202:the freedom of it all—the sense of having left one’s body, but not one’s mind, behind. Unless you happened to be a bird, the body was of little use up here: You could not run or jump as you did on the ground, but only observe. In a strange way, being an aviator was like being a departed soul: You could look down upon the Earth without actually being present, see all without being seen. It was easy enough to see why God, having called the dry land “Earth” and the gathering together of the waters “the Seas,” saw that it was good. ~ Alan Bradley
203:His last words hung in the air, their gravity slowly sinking in. After a few heavy moments, I spoke. “Then what hope is there for us, David?” David smiled reassuringly. “Only the grace of God.” “But why would He give me His grace?” “Because He loves you.” “Why would He love me, a sinner?” “Because He’s your Father.” David’s words hit me powerfully. I had heard Christians call God “Father,” but it never clicked. Only when trying to figure out why God would give me mercy and grace when I deserved none did the gears start turning. ~ Nabeel Qureshi
204:One of the great causes why God cannot bless His Church is the want of love. When the body is divided, there cannot be strength. In the time of their great religious wars, when Holland stood out so nobly against Spain, one of their mottoes was: “Unity gives strength.” It is only when God’s people stand as one body, one before God in the fellowship of love, one toward another in deep affection, one before the world in a love that the world can see—it is only then that they will have power to secure the blessing which they ask of God. ~ Andrew Murray
205:If love were the only thing, I
would follow you—in rags, if need be—to the world's end; for you hold
my heart in the hollow of your hand! But is love the only thing?
"I know people write and talk as if it were. Perhaps, for some, Fate lets
it be. Ah, if I were one of them! But if love had been the only thing, you
would have let the King die in his cell.
Honour binds a woman too, Rudolf. My honour lies in being true to
my country and my House. I don't know why God has let me love you;
but I know that I must stay. ~ Anthony Hope
206:So I stood up and did a handstand on my Guru's roof, to celebrate the notion of liberation. I felt the dusty tiles under my hands. I felt my own strength and balance. I felt the easy night breeze on the palms of my bare feet. This kind of thing -- a spontaneous handstand--isn't something a disembodied cool blue soul can do, but a human being can do it. We have hands; we can stand on them if we want to. That's our privilege. That's the joy of a mortal body. And that's why God needs us. Because God loves to feel things through our hands. ~ Elizabeth Gilbert
207:I had wondered for a long time why God had preferences and why all souls did not receive an equal amount of grace [...] Jesus saw fit to enlighten me about this mystery. He set the book of nature before me and I saw that all the flowers He has created are lovely. The splendor of the rose and whiteness of the lily do not rob the little violet of its scent nor the daisy of its simple charm. I realized that if every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness and there would be no wild flowers to make the meadows gay. ~ Therese of Lisieux
208:I had wondered for a long time why God had preferences and why all souls did not receive an equal amount of grace [...] Jesus saw fit to enlighten me about this mystery. He set the book of nature before me and I saw that all the flowers He has created are lovely. The splendor of the rose and whiteness of the lily do not rob the little violet of its scent nor the daisy of its simple charm. I realized that if every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness and there would be no wild flowers to make the meadows gay. ~ Saint Therese of Lisieux
209:All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. 14 Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. 15 If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. 16 But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. ~ Anonymous
210:You may be going through a confusing time. You may not know how God is going to use a situation in your life or why certain things have happened to you. But you can be encouraged and strengthened by recalling what you know about God in the midst of uncertainties. In confusing times, recounting what we do know refreshes us. David still had many unanswered questions. He would never know for sure why God allowed certain things to happen, but he knew God had done exactly what He promised. You may never know why or how, but you can always know who is faithful. ~ Beth Moore
211:Regarding how God is to be worshiped, God must be worshiped as he wishes, not as we wish. The Bible is clear that God is to be worshiped in ways and forms that he deems acceptable. This explains why God judges those who seek to worship him with either sinful forms externally20 or sinful hearts internally.21 This is incredibly important. Some churches care more about what is in people’s hearts than about what they do in their lives, whereas others are more concerned about doing things the “right” way and care little about the motivations behind those actions. ~ Mark Driscoll
212:To be sure, law is not the source of rightness, but it is forever the course of rightness. Accordingly, in his Discourse on the Hill Jesus responds to his hearers’ emerging idea that the law is to be abolished (Matt. 5:17) by making the strongest possible statement to the contrary. So long as creation stands, not the least element of the law—not “one jot or one tittle” of what God intended with it—will be retracted (5.18). This must be, simply because the law is good. It is right. That, and not some sense of his offended dignity, is why God stands behind it. ~ Dallas Willard
213:I hated when Rafael said he hated himself. Sometimes he would say something like that. I just didn’t like hearing that. Why would he want to hate himself? Okay, people don’t really want to hate themselves. I get that. It comes from somewhere deep inside and getting to that place is hard as hell. I get that too. This is my theory: the people who shouldn’t hate themselves, do hate themselves. And the people who should hate themselves, don’t hate themselves. The world is all backwards. See, this is one of the many reasons why God and I are not good friends. ~ Benjamin Alire S enz
214:Voltaire rejects all systems, and suspects that “every chief of a sect in philosophy has been a little of a quack.”
“The further I go, the more I am confirmed in the idea that systems of metaphysics are for philosophers what novels are for women.”
“It is only charlatans who are certain. We know nothing of first principles. It is truly extravagant to define God, angels, and minds, and to know precisely why God formed the world, when we do not know why we move our arms at will."
"Doubt is not a very agreeable state, but certainty is a ridiculous one. ~ Will Durant
215:Many people want God to call them to a big assignment. However, they try to bypass the love relationship...the love relationship is why God created you. That is far more important to Him than what you do. So anticipate that God will start working with you and drawing you to an intimate love relationship that is real and personal. When the love relationship is right, God will be free to begin giving you assignments at His initiative. Whenever you do not seem to be receiving assignments from God, focus on the love relationship and stay there until the assignment comes. ~ Henry T Blackaby
216:Our God is a God of love. He waits with open arms, and the unfolding of His merciful plan of salvation is not only therefore the mark of divine power but also the mark of God's relentless, redeeming love. It is a point well worth pondering because, among other reasons, it will help us to understand better why God, through the prophets, denounces sin and corruption in such scalding terms. He loves all of us, His spirit sons and daughters, but hates our vices. His denunciation of those vices may, if we are not careful, seem to obscure the enormous and perfect love He has for us. ~ Neal A Maxwell
217:Then no motive can be imagined why God should lie?
Then the superhuman and divine is absolutely incapable of falsehood?
Then is God perfectly simple and true both in word and deed; he changes not;
he deceives not, either by sign or word, by dream or waking vision.
Your thoughts, he said, are the reflection of my own.
You agree with me then, I said, that this is the second type or form in which we
should write and speak about divine things. The gods are not magicians who
transform themselves, neither do they deceive mankind in any way.
I grant that. ~ Plato
218:That was another thing people used to be able to do, which they can't do anymore: enjoy in their heads events which hadn't happened yet and might never occur. My mother was good at that. Someday my father would stop writing science fiction, and write something a whole lot of people wanted to read instead. And we would get a new house in a beautiful city, and nice clothes, and so on. She used to make me wonder why God had ever gone to all the trouble of creating reality.
Imagination is as good as many voyages - and how much cheaper!
- GEORGE WILLIAM CURTIS ~ Kurt Vonnegut
219:Please,’ Hannah cries, sitting up on her knees and sobbing to the sky. She chokes, shudders, blinks away the tears. ‘Please, either help me or take this away from me. I don’t want this anymore.’
But her stormy heart does not settle. Her muscles do not relax. She looks at the stars and wonders why God made them so good, so brilliant, but made her so wrong and broken. Her eyes spill over with tears and her throat burns. She pounds her fists into the earth, into the grass and soil, and emits an animal-like cry from the depths of her body.
‘Please,’ she sobs, digging her hands into the soil. ‘Please. ~ Kelly Quindlen
220:I'm not sure why God made us the way He did... As to why we're here, well, I think maybe we're here to learn to love Him. To learn to love God and to want to be with Him. I think we're here to cultivate our longing for heaven. '
Luke sighed. 'Heaven,' he said, 'seems like a long, long way off, Dad.'
Jack nodded. 'It does. But I think God gives us glimpses of heaven from time to time to help up nurture the desire... I see glimpses every spring when the earth renews itself. And sometimes I see glimpses in a worship service when I'm singing about Jesus and all of a sudden I feel like I'm right there in His arms. ~ Susan Meissner
221:My personal belief is that Job is the key book in the Bible,” Virgil said. “The question of why God allows evil to exist.” Feur leaned forward, intent on the point: “Job talks of the world as it is. Revelation tells us what is coming. I’m not entirely of this world, Mr. Flowers; not entirely. Some of this world has been burned out of me.” Virgil said, “We’re all entirely of this world, Reverend. You’re just like anybody else, going to and fro on the earth, and walking up and down on it.” Feur was smiling at him, then shook his head once and said to Trevor, “Show Mr. Flowers to the door. And give him one of our booklets about the niggers. ~ John Sandford
222:I'm scared almost insane by whatever else I may remember before tonight's over, but how scared I am doesn't matter, because it's going to come anyway. It's all there, like a great big bubble that's growing in my mind. But I'm going, because all I've ever gotten and all I have now is somehow due to what we did then, and you pay for what you get in this world. Maybe that's why God made us kids first and built us close to the ground, because He knows you got to fall down a lot and bleed a lot before you learn that one simple lesson. You pay for what you get, you own what you pay for...and sooner or later whatever you own comes back home to you. ~ Stephen King
223:Prayers are not always…“granted.” This is not because prayer is a weaker kind of causality, but because it is a stronger kind. When it “works” at all it works unlimited by space and time. That is why God has retained a discretionary power of granting or refusing it. Except on that condition prayer would destroy us. It is not unreasonable for a headmaster to say, “Such and such things you may do according to the fixed rules of this school. But such and such other things are too dangerous to be left to general rules. If you want to do them you must come and make a request and talk over the whole matter with me in my study. And then—we’ll see.”8 ~ Dallas Willard
YOUR bony head, Jazbo, O dock walloper,
Those grappling hooks, those wheelbarrow handlers,
The dome and the wings of you, ****,
The red roof and the door of you,
I know where your songs came from.
I know why God listens to your, 'Walk All Over God's Heaven.'
I heard you shooting craps, 'My baby's going to have a new dress.'
I heard you in the cinders, 'I'm going to live anyhow until I die.'
I saw five of you with a can of beer on a summer night and I listened to the five
harmonizing six ways to sing, 'Way Down Yonder in the Cornfield.'
I went away asking where I come from.
~ Carl Sandburg
225:God is the Self of the world, but you can’t see God for the same reason that, without a mirror, you can’t see your own eyes, and you certainly can’t bite your own teeth or look inside your head. Your self is that cleverly hidden because it is God hiding. “You may ask why God sometimes hides in the form of horrible people, or pretends to be people who suffer great disease and pain. Remember, first, that he isn’t really doing this to anyone but himself. Remember, too, that in almost all the stories you enjoy there have to be bad people as well as good people, for the thrill of the tale is to find out how the good people will get the better of the bad. ~ Alan W Watts
226:Joseph spent most of his life not knowing why God had allowed his brothers to sell him into slavery, why he had allowed him to be brought to a foreign land, why he had allowed him to be falsely accused and thrown into prison. From behind bars, it must have all seemed so unjust. But from the summit of understanding that God later granted him, it all made perfect sense (Genesis 50:20). It was there he learned that the seemingly meandering ways of God weren't simply leading to the shaping of his character but also to the saving of his family (a lineage that led to Christ), preserving them through seven years of famine and prospering them for generations to come. ~ Ken Gire
227:Standing in that half-finished church, surrounded by statues of prophets and saints, I wondered why God created so many varieties of faiths in the world if He intended all of us to worship Him in the same fashion. This thought had never occurred to me when I was a young boy memorizing the Holy Qur'an, but as I spent time with the Indians I came to see how limiting the notion of one true faith really was. Was the diversity in our beliefs, not their unity, the lesson God wanted to impart? Surely it would have been in His power to make us of one faith if that had been His wish. Now the idea that there was only one set of stories for all of mankind seemed strange to me. ~ Laila Lalami
228:When the late Dr. Chafer (founder of Dallas Theological Seminary) was once asked why God loosed Satan after he once had him bound, he replied, “If you will tell me why God let him loose in the first place, I will tell you why God lets him loose the second time.” Apparently Satan is released at the end of the Millennium to reveal that the ideal conditions of the kingdom under the personal reign of Christ do not change the human heart. This reveals the enormity of the enmity of man against God. Scripture is accurate when it describes the heart as “desperately wicked” and incurably so. Man is totally depraved. The loosing of Satan at the end of the 1,000 years proves it.1 ~ Mark Hitchcock
229:Gods also remain important because of their functions. We can turn to places with relatively less religiosity to see why gods are so important everywhere else. In Sacred and Secular (2004), the political scientists Pippa Norris of Harvard and Ronald Inglehart of the University of Michigan show that, in prosperous regions where secular forms of social services and justice become really effective, religiosity dwindles. This inverse relationship between secular justice and economic equality and religious adherence suggests that the social functions of religion can be co-opted by secular institutions, thus rendering our obsession with what God knows and cares about more or less irrelevant. ~ Anonymous
230:When you put on the garment of praise, that spirit of heaviness has to go. Sometimes you won’t feel like doing it. You won’t feel like having a good attitude. You won’t feel like being grateful. That’s why God says to offer up the sacrifice of praise. God knew it would not always be easy. You will have to dig your heels in and say, “God, I don’t feel like doing this. It doesn’t look like it will ever work out. I’m tired, lonely, discouraged. But God, I know You’re still on the throne. I know You are good and You are good all the time, so I choose to give You praise. I choose to give You thanks anyway.”
When you offer up that sacrifice of praise, supernatural things begin to happen. ~ Joel Osteen
231:To remember that you are part of God, that you are loved and lovable, is not arrogant. It’s humble. To think you are anything else is arrogant, because it implies you’re something other than a creation of God. Love is changeless and therefore so are you. Nothing that you have ever done or will ever do can mar your perfection in the eyes of God. You’re deserving in His eyes because of what you are, not because of what you do. What you do or don’t do is not what determines your essential value—your growth perhaps, but not your value. That’s why God is totally approving and accepting of you, exactly as you are. What’s not to like? You were not created in sin; you were created in love. ~ Marianne Williamson
232:We make an idol whenever we worship an image rather than listening to the Word. One of the problems with physical images of God is that they keep us from hearing God’s voice. This is why God did not reveal himself in a physical form on Mount Sinai. Moses said to the Israelites, “You saw no form of any kind the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol” (Deut. 4:15, 16a). The way God revealed himself at Mount Sinai was not through a visible image but through an audible word. This tells us something about the way he wants to be worshiped. He does not want us to look but to listen. ~ Anonymous
233:My mother was the best and most beautiful woman who ever lived. She was clean, and good, and always helped "the poor and needy who cluster round your door," like it says in the poetry piece, and there never could have been a reason why God would want a woman to suffer herself, when she went flying on horseback even dark nights through rain or snow, to doctor other people's pain, and when she gave away things like she did—why, I've seen her take a big piece of meat from the barrel, and a sack of meal, and heaps of apples and potatoes to carry to Mandy Thomas—when she gave away food by the wagonload at a time, God couldn't have wanted her to be hungry, and yet she was that very minute almost crying for food; ~ Gene Stratton Porter
234:…the worshipers here are not likely to kill one another, they all offer the same sacrifice, and how the fat spits and the carcasses sizzle as God in the sublime heavens inhales the odors of all this carnage with satisfaction. Jesus pressed his lamb to his breast, unable to fathom why God could not be appeased with a cup of milk poured over His altar, that sap of life which passes from one being to another, or with a handful of wheat, the basic substance of immortal bread. Soon he will have to part with the old man’s generous gift, his for such a short time, the poor little lamb will not live to see the sun set this day, it is time to mount the stairs of the Temple, to deliver it to the knife and sacrificial fire, as if it were no longer worthy of existence or being punished… ~ Jos Saramago
235:All throughout Torah, we find people looking for God, and not finding God, because God doesn't often conform to our expectations. God is somewhere other than the place we think to look. And our sages show that you can respond to God's hiddenness in many different ways. You can, like the writer of Lamentations, respond to God's hiddenness by mourning. Or, like the writer of Ecclesiastes, instead of asking where the God you thought you were looking for had gone, ask what God is like now. Or you can respond to God's hiddenness by being like Esther: if God is hiding, then you must act on God's behalf. If you look around the world and wonder where God has gone, why God isn't intervening on behalf of just and righteous causes, your very wondering may be a nudge to work in God's stead. ~ Lauren F Winner
236:For by the just judgment of God it was decreed, and, as it were, confirmed by writing, that, since man had sinned, he should not henceforth of himself have the power to avoid sin or the punishment of sin; for the spirit is out-going and not returning (est enim spiritus vadens et non rediens); and he who sins ought not to escape with impunity, unless pity spare the sinner, and deliver and restore him. Wherefore we ought not to believe that, on account of this writing, there can be found any justice on the part of the devil in his tormenting man. In fine, as there is never any injustice in a good angel, so in an evil angel there can be no justice at all. There was no reason, therefore, as respects the devil, why God should not make use of his own power against him for the liberation of man. ~ Anselm of Canterbury
237:Have you ever gone to the furniture store to buy a chair without sitting in it? Have you ever purchased a car without test-driving it? Of course not, and God also tests us to reveal the quality of our faith. No matter what we think of ourselves, we find out what we are truly like in times of difficulty. Good times don’t bring the worst out of us, but hard times do. That is why God says these difficult times are good for us. They allow us to see what is in our character that needs to be changed. They also give us opportunity to use our faith, and faith only grows through our using it. As we choose to learn to trust God instead of getting upset about something, we experience His faithfulness, which, in turn, increases our faith for the next time we need it. The more we use our muscles, the more they grow—and our faith is the same way. ~ Joyce Meyer
238:WASN’T POLYGNY AN EXAMPLE OF WOMEN AS MEN’S PROPERTY? In no country at no period of time, were women safe from . . . the insistence that their bodies existed only in relation to man, for his pleasure and progeny. —The Women’s History of the World46 Academic feminism often equates mistresses, concubines, and polygyny* (a man having more than one wife) with male dominance. Once we understand the Immortality Rule, though, we can move to a deeper understanding of why God blessed the many wives and concubines of David—as in David and Goliath. As a king, David had enough wealth and power to support more than one woman—so why should other women miss out? Polygyny did not mean any man could have many wives—it meant a poor man would be deprived of a wife so a woman could have a rich man. No one took pity on the man who was poor for being deprived of love. ~ Warren Farrell
239:WHERE ARE THE FATHERS? I have seen this cry in countless men and women in the body of Christ. Most of them are young and with a strong call of God on their lives. They cry out for a father, a man to disciple, love, support, and encourage them. This is why God said He would “turn the hearts of the fathers [leaders] to the children [people], and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse” (Mal. 4:6). Our nation lost its fathers (dads, leaders, or ministers) in the 1940s and 1950s, and today our condition is getting worse. Not unlike Saul, many leaders in our homes, corporations, and churches are more concerned with their goals than with their offspring. Because of this attitude, these leaders view God’s people as resources to serve their vision instead of seeing the vision as the vehicle to serve the people. ~ John Bevere
240:Power can do everything but the most important thing: it cannot control love . . . In a concentration camp, the guards possess almost unlimited power. By applying force, they can make you renounce your God, curse your family, work without pay, eat human excrement, kill and then bury your closest friend or even your own mother. All this is within their power. Only one thing is not: they cannot force you to love them. This fact may help explain why God sometimes seems shy to use his power. He created us to love him, but his most impressive displays of miracle—the kind we may secretly long for—do nothing to foster that love. As Douglas John Hall has put it, “God’s problem is not that God is not able to do certain things. God’s problem is that God loves. Love complicates the life of God as it complicates every life.” (Philip Yancey, Disappointment with God) ~ John Eldredge
241:God has cordials, but they are to comfort them that are cast down (2 Cor 7:6); and such are the broken-hearted; as for them that are whole, they need not the physician (Mark 2:17). They are the broken in spirit that stand in need of cordials; physicians are men of no esteem but with them that feel their sickness; and this is one reason why God is so little accounted of in the world, even because they have not been made sick by the wounding stroke of God. But now when a man is wounded, has his bones broken, or is made sick, and laid at the grave’s mouth, who is of that esteem with him as is an able physician? What is so much desired as are the cordials, comforts, and suitable supplies of the skilful physician in those matters. And thus it is with the broken-hearted; he needs, and God has prepared for him plenty of the comforts and cordials of heaven, to succour and relieve his sinking soul. ~ John Bunyan
242:But if you could read my thoughts, you would be welcome to come in
and listen to the story of my life. At least, you could slip your arm through
the bars and touch me and I will hold out my forepaw to greet you, after
retracting my claws, of course. You are carried away by appearances - my
claws and fangs and the glowing eyes frighten you no doubt. I don't blame
you. I don't know why God has chosen to give us this fierce make-up, the
same God who has created the parrot, the peacock, and the deer, which
inspire poets and painters. I would not blame you for keeping your distance
— I myself shuddered at my own reflection on the still surface of a pond
while crouching for a drink of water, not when I was really a wild beast, but
after I came under the influence of my Master and learnt to question, 'Who
am I?' Don't laugh within yourself to hear me speak thus. I'll tell you about
my Master presently. ~ R K Narayan
243:Do you see, then, why God takes this seriously? Cosmic ingratitude is living in the illusion that you are spiritually self-sufficient. It is taking credit for something that was a gift. It is the belief that you know best how to live, that you have the power and ability to keep your life on the right path and protect yourself from danger. That is a delusion, and a dangerous one. We did not create ourselves, and we can’t keep our lives going one second without his upholding power. Yet we hate that knowledge, Paul says, and we repress it. We hate the idea that we are utterly and completely dependent on God, because then we would be obligated to him and would not be able to live as we wish. We would have to defer to the one who gives us everything. Therefore, because the sin in our hearts makes us desperate to keep control of our lives and to live the way we want, we cannot acknowledge the magnitude and scope of what we owe him. We are never as thankful as we should be. ~ Timothy J Keller
244:I looked around the property. “It’s a lot different here now, with the primary in custody and the lifter about to be nailed. You can almost enjoy it.” I glanced at the imposter’s black angular machine gun. It wasn’t pointed near me but if he caught on that I knew who he was I’d be dead before I could move an inch. The man said, “That’s true—except for some deer with a suicidal personality who jumped out of the bushes over there a little while ago. We almost had venison for breakfast. Just heard him again, the same place. They’re not really very bright, are they?” “I don’t think that’s why God made them.” Was he suspicious? I couldn’t tell. I continued, “Listen, Tony, when I get back I want to coordinate getting the Kesslers to Fairfax in the morning. Loving’ll be in custody by then. But I want some protection on them for the next couple of days, until everything’s resolved. Agent Frederick said you might be willing to take that on.” I was vamping. Overdoing it? I wondered. I wasn’t sure. A bad performance would kill me. ~ Jeffery Deaver
245:But,” says he again, “if God much stronger, much might as the wicked devil, why God no kill the devil, so make him no more do wicked?” I was strangely surprised at this question; and, after all, though I was now an old man, yet I was but a young doctor, and ill qualified for a casuist or a solver of difficulties; and at first I could not tell what to say; so I pretended not to hear him, and asked him what he said; but he was too earnest for an answer to forget his question, so that he repeated it in the very same broken words as above. By this time I had recovered myself a little, and I said, “God will at last punish him severely; he is reserved for the judgment, and is to be cast into the bottomless pit, to dwell with everlasting fire.” This did not satisfy Friday; but he returns upon me, repeating my words, “‘Reserve at last!’ me no understand—but why not kill the devil now; not kill great ago?” “You may as well ask me,” said I, “why God does not kill you or me, when we do wicked things here that offend Him—we are preserved to repent and be pardoned.” ~ Daniel Defoe
246:We all have a life to live! We all have unique and distinctive purposes to fulfill! Everybody has a purpose on earth, and everybody must live the true purpose why God gives life to us each day! You are not on earth to compete with anybody but your true purpose. You are not on earth to compare yourself to anybody, but the you in you and the true purpose for which you came here! Life is good when you don’t compare yourself in a manner that will make you feel bad. Life is good when you know your true purpose in life and who you must live to be and to please! You fulfill your true you distinctively when you understand you are you and not anybody! So many people are living others destiny just because they have neglected their own true purpose! So many people think badly just because they compare themselves wrongfully with others and things! Everybody has a life and everybody must live a life! If there is any reason to compare yourself to others and things, let it be the inspiration you get from comparing yourself with others and things that makes you do something unique! There is a true reason for our existence on earth and we must reason from nothing, but the true reason why we live each day! ~ Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
247:Paul knew what he was talking about when he called Christians “earthen vessels.” We’re baked clay. We’re privy pots. The advance of the gospel will never occur on account of us. This helps explain why God chose none of the early preachers among the apostles because of his superior intellect, position, or prominence. As I wrote in my book Twelve Ordinary Men, these twelve were so ordinary it defies all human logic: not one teacher, not one priest, not one rabbi, not one scribe, not one Pharisee, not one Sadducee, not even a synagogue ruler—nobody from the elite. Half of them or so were fishermen, and the rest were common laborers. One, Simon the Zealot, was a terrorist, a member of a group who went around with daggers in their cloaks, trying to stab Romans. Then there was Judas, the loser of all losers. What was the Lord doing? He picked people with absolutely no influence. None of the great intellects from Egypt, Greece, Rome, or Israel was among the apostles. During the New Testament time, the greatest scholars were very likely in Egypt. The most distinguished philosophers were in Athens. The powerful were in Rome. The biblical scholars were in Jerusalem. God disdained all of them and picked clay pots instead. ~ John F MacArthur Jr
248:Once inside his office, Cade took a seat at his desk and resolved, as he had many times over the last two weeks, to focus on work. He managed to do a decent job of that, putting himself on autopilot until the end of the day, when a knock on his office door interrupted him.
Vaughn stood in the doorway. “Thought I’d see if you want to grab a drink at O’Malley’s.”
Cade rubbed his face, realizing that he’d been reading audio transcripts for hours. “Sure.” He blinked, and then cocked his head. “I didn’t realize you had any meetings here today.”
Huh. “Then why are you here?”
Vaughn shrugged. “I just figured you might, you know, need a drink.”
Cade frowned. “Why would you th—” Then it dawned on him. “Oh, no. You and I are not doing this. We are not having this conversation.” The idea of him and Vaughn having some sort of best friend heart-to-heart about his relationship troubles was laughable at best.
“You’ve been brooding for two weeks, Morgan. So yes, we are having this conversation.”
“I appreciate it, Vaughn. Really. But no offense—you suck at this stuff as much as I do.”
Vaughn tucked his hands into his pants pockets, not looking offended in the slightest. “Yep. And that’s why God made whiskey. ~ Julie James
249:We all have gifts and talents. When we cultivate those gifts and share them with the world, we create a sense of meaning and purpose in our lives. Squandering our gifts brings distress to our lives. As it turns out, it’s not merely benign or “too bad” if we don’t use the gifts that we’ve been given; we pay for it with our emotional and physical well-being. When we don’t use our talents to cultivate meaningful work, we struggle. We feel disconnected and weighed down by feelings of emptiness, frustration, resentment, shame, disappointment, fear, and even grief. Most of us who are searching for spiritual connection spend too much time looking up at the sky and wondering why God lives so far away. God lives within us, not above us. Sharing our gifts and talents with the world is the most powerful source of connection with God. Using our gifts and talents to create meaningful work takes a tremendous amount of commitment, because in many cases the meaningful work is not what pays the bills. Some folks have managed to align everything—they use their gifts and talents to do work that feeds their souls and their families; however, most people piece it together. No one can define what’s meaningful for us. Culture doesn’t get to dictate if it’s working outside the home, raising children, lawyering, teaching, or painting. Like our gifts and talents, meaning is unique to each one of us. Self-Doubt ~ Bren Brown
250:The objection we are dealing with argues from the standpoint of an agent that presupposes time and acts in time, but did not institute time. Hence the question about 'why God's eternal will produces an effect now and and not earlier' presupposes that time exists; for 'now' and 'earlier' are segments of time. With regard to the universal production of things, among which time is also to be counted, we should not ask, 'Why now and not earlier?' Rather we should ask: 'Why did God wish this much time to intervene?' And this depends on the divine will, which is perfectly free to assign this or any other quantity to time. The same may be noted with respect to the dimensional quantity of the world. No one asks why God located the material world in such and such a place rather than higher up or lower down or in some other position; for there is no place outside the world. The fact that God portioned out so much quantity to the world that no part of it would be beyond the place occupied in some other locality, depends on the divine will. However, although there was no time prior to the world and no place outside the world, we speak as if there were. Thus we say that before the world existed there was nothing except God, and that there is no body lying outside the world. But in thus speaking of 'before' and 'outside,' we have in mind nothing but time and place as they exist in our imagination. ~ Saint Thomas Aquinas
251:I do not think there is a demonstrative proof (like Euclid) of Christianity, nor of the existence of matter, nor of the good will and honesty of my best and oldest friends. I think all three are (except perhaps the second) far more probable than the alternatives. The case for Christianity in general is well given by Chesterton…As to why God doesn't make it demonstratively clear; are we sure that He is even interested in the kind of Theism which would be a compelled logical assent to a conclusive argument? Are we interested in it in personal matters? I demand from my friend trust in my good faith which is certain without demonstrative proof. It wouldn't be confidence at all if he waited for rigorous proof. Hang it all, the very fairy-tales embody the truth. Othello believed in Desdemona's innocence when it was proved: but that was too late. Lear believed in Cordelia's love when it was proved: but that was too late. 'His praise is lost who stays till all commend.' The magnanimity, the generosity which will trust on a reasonable probability, is required of us. But supposing one believed and was wrong after all? Why, then you would have paid the universe a compliment it doesn't deserve. Your error would even so be more interesting and important than the reality. And yet how could that be? How could an idiotic universe have produced creatures whose mere dreams are so much stronger, better, subtler than itself? ~ C S Lewis
252:If Genesis 1 is a welcome to transcendence, then Genesis 3 is about the tragedy of the shrinking of transcendence. Adam and Eve were created so that their lives would reach as wide as the kingdom and glory of God. In that one disastrous moment they did not expand their boundaries; they dramatically narrowed them. The vertical “more” for which transcendent human beings were created was replaced by a horizontal “more” that was never to be a human being’s life motivation. In that one tragic moment, Adam and Eve migrated to the center of their world, the one place where glory-wired human beings must never live. They did not just opt for independence; they opted for God’s position, and in doing so they forsook any chance of a personal participation in the transcendent glory of a relationship with God. This is why God sent his Redeemer Son to earth. He came to rescue us from ourselves and return to us participation in his transcendence. In his adoption we are restored to the God glory which is to be central to everything we do. In his church we are restored to the community glory in which we were built to participate. In freeing us from idolatry, rather than being ruled by the creation, we are restored to the stewardship glory over creation to which we were called. In the ministry of his indwelling Spirit, through Scripture, we are restored to the truth glory that was meant to be the interpretive lens of every human being since Adam took his first breath. His is a gorgeous work of rescue! ~ Paul David Tripp
253:Over the past five years, I’ve said my best prayers every night, haven’t missed a night, though I gotta admit, if it wouldn’t break my mother’s heart, I’d probably have stopped a year ago. I mean, praying to be free of Hiskott only makes me expect to be free soon, and then when the prayer’s never answered, you feel even worse, and you wonder what’s the point. I’m not criticizing God, if that’s what you think, because nobody knows why God does things or how He thinks, and He’s humongously smarter than any of us, even smarter than Ed. They say He works in mysterious ways, which is for sure true. What I’m saying is, maybe the whole praying business is a human idea, maybe God never asked us to do it. Yeah, all right, He wants us to like Him, and He wants us to respect Him, so we’ll live right and do good. But God is good—right?—and to be really good you’ve got to have humility, we all know that, so then if God is the best of the best, then He’s also the humblest of the humble. Right? So maybe it embarrasses Him to be praised like around the clock, to be called great and mighty all the time. And maybe it makes Him a little bit nuts the way we’re always asking Him to solve our problems instead of even trying to solve them ourselves, which He made us so we could do. Anyway, so after almost giving up on prayer, and being pretty darned sure that God is too humble to sit around all day listening to us praise Him and beg Him, the funny thing is, I’m praying like crazy for Oddie. I guess I’m hopeless. ~ Dean Koontz
254:Why God sometimes allows people who are genuinely good to be hindered in the good that they do. God, who is faithful, allows his friends to fall frequently into weakness only in order to remove from them any prop on which they might lean. For a loving person it would be a great joy to be able to achieve many great feats, whether keeping vigils, fasting, performing other ascetical practices or doing major, difficult and unusual works. For them this is a great joy, support and source of hope so that their works become a prop and a support upon which they can lean. But it is precisely this which our Lord wishes to take from them so that he alone will be their help and support. This he does solely on account of his pure goodness and mercy, for God is prompted to act only by his goodness, and in no way do our works serve to make God give us anything or do anything for us. Our Lord wishes his friends to be freed from such an attitude, and thus he removes their support from them so that they must henceforth find their support only in him. For he desires to give them great gifts, solely on account of his goodness, and he shall be their comfort and support while they discover themselves to be and regard themselves as being a pure nothingness in all the great gifts of God. The more essentially and simply the mind rests on God and is sustained by him, the more deeply we are established in God and the more receptive we are to him in all his precious gifts – for human kind should build on God alone. ~ Meister Eckhart
255:Why God sometimes allows people who are genuinely good to be hindered in the good that they do. God, who is faithful, allows his friends to fall frequently into weakness only in order to remove from them any prop on which they might lean. For a loving person it would be a great joy to be able to achieve many great feats, whether keeping vigils, fasting, performing other ascetical practices or doing major, difficult and unusual works. For them this is a great joy, support and source of hope so that their works become a prop and a support upon which they can lean. But it is precisely this which our Lord wishes to take from them so that he alone will be their help and support. This he does solely on account of his pure goodness and mercy, for God is prompted to act only by his goodness, and in no way do our works serve to make God give us anything or do anything for us. Our Lord wishes his friends to be freed from such an attitude, and thus he removes their support from them so that they must henceforth find their support only in him. For he desires to give them great gifts, solely on account of his goodness, and he shall be their comfort and support while they discover themselves to be and regard themselves as being a pure nothingness in all the great gifts of God. The more essentially and simply the mind rests on God and is sustained by him, the more deeply we are established in God and the more receptive we are to him in all his precious gifts - for human kind should build on God alone. ~ Meister Eckhart,
256:God’s Anger at Sin 18 But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness.* 19 They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them. 20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God. 21 Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. 22 Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. 23 And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles. 24 So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. 25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. 26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved. ~ Anonymous
257:Sir James Frazer speculated that the original oral myth about the Garden of Eden was not about a Tree of Knowledge and a Tree of Life, as found in Genesis, because they are not a polar pair.164 Myths repeatedly seek out polarities whenever possible—day and night, sun and moon, heaven and earth. It would be unlikely that the original myth had two trees that were not polar, as is the case with the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life. Rather, Frazer suggests, the two trees were likely the Tree of Life and the Tree of Death.165 According to his theory, God gave Adam and Eve a divine test to determine if mankind would be mortal or immortal. God wanted them to be immortal,166 so He gave them a big hint: “Don’t eat from the Tree of Death!” Of course, human nature being what it is, that is exactly what they did, thus becoming mortal. If the fruit that Adam and Eve had first tasted had been from the Tree of Life, they would have lived forever, but having eaten from the Tree of Death, they could no longer be permitted access to the Tree of Life. That is why God stationed east of the garden of Eden the cherubim and the fiery ever-turning sword, to guard the way to the Tree of Life (Gen. 3:24). If Frazer is correct—and his theory has the ring of truth—it suggests that the original purpose of the myth, to provide the origin of death, was replaced by a shift to ethical issues, seeing the events of the Fall primarily as a sin against God. This would indicate that this biblical myth was considerably changed from its oral version when the text of Genesis was edited. ~ Howard Schwartz
258:Death was more like what we went through in the park: two people walking side by side in the mist, rubbing against trees and bushes, and not a word between them. It was something emptier than the name itself and yet right and peaceful, dignified, if you like. It was not a continuation of life, but a leap in the dark and no possibility of ever coming back, not even as a grain of dust. And that was right and beautiful, I said to myself, because why would one want to come back. To taste it once is to taste it forever - life or death. Whichever way the coin flips is right, so long as you hold no stakes. Sure, it's tough to choke on your own spittle - it's disagreeable more than anything else. And besides, one doesn't always die choking to death. Sometimes one goes off in his sleep, peaceful and quiet as a lamb. The Lord comes and gathers you up into the fold, as they say. Anyway, you stop breathing. And why the hell should one want to go on breathing forever? Anything that would have to be done interminably would be torture. The poor human bastards that we are, we ought to be glad that somebody devised a way out. We don't quibble about going to sleep. A third of our lives we snore away like drunken rats. What about that? Is that tragic? Well then, say three-thirds of drunken rat-like sleep. Jesus, if we had any sense we'd be dancing with glee at the thought of it! We could all die in bed tomorrow, without pain, without suffering - if we had the sense to take advantage of our remedies. We don't want to die, that's the trouble with us. That's why God and the whole shooting match upstairs in our crazy dustbins. ~ Henry Miller
259:What is the purpose of grace? Primarily, to restore our relationship with God. When God lays the foundation of this restored relationship, by forgiving our sins as we trust his Son, he does so in order that henceforth we and he may live in fellowship. And what he does in renewing our nature is intended to make us capable of, and actually to lead us into, the exercise of love, trust, delight, hope and obedience Godward—those acts which, from our side, make up the reality of fellowship with God, who is constantly making himself known to us. This is what all the work of grace aims at—an ever deeper knowledge of God, and an ever closer fellowship with him. Grace is God drawing us sinners closer and closer to himself. How does God in grace prosecute this purpose? Not by shielding us from assault by the world, the flesh and the devil, nor by protecting us from burdensome and frustrating circumstances, nor yet by shielding us from troubles created by our own temperament and psychology; but rather by exposing us to all these things, so as to overwhelm us with a sense of our own inadequacy, and to drive us to cling to him more closely. This is the ultimate reason, from our standpoint, why God fills our lives with troubles and perplexities of one sort and another: it is to ensure that we shall learn to hold him fast. The reason why the Bible spends so much of its time reiterating that God is a strong rock, a firm defense, and a sure refuge and help for the weak, is that God spends so much of his time bringing home to us that we are weak, both mentally and morally, and dare not trust ourselves to find, or to follow, the right road. ~ J I Packer
260:I cannot understand why we idle discussing religion. If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination. It is quite understandable why primitive people, who were so much more exposed to the overpowering forces of nature than we are today, should have personified these forces in fear and trembling. But nowadays, when we understand so many natural processes, we have no need for such solutions. I can't for the life of me see how the postulate of an Almighty God helps us in any way. What I do see is that this assumption leads to such unproductive questions as why God allows so much misery and injustice, the exploitation of the poor by the rich and all the other horrors He might have prevented. If religion is still being taught, it is by no means because its ideas still convince us, but simply because some of us want to keep the lower classes quiet. Quiet people are much easier to govern than clamorous and dissatisfied ones. They are also much easier to exploit. Religion is a kind of opium that allows a nation to lull itself into wishful dreams and so forget the injustices that are being perpetrated against the people. Hence the close alliance between those two great political forces, the State and the Church. Both need the illusion that a kindly God rewards—in heaven if not on earth—all those who have not risen up against injustice, who have done their duty quietly and uncomplainingly. That is precisely why the honest assertion that God is a mere product of the human imagination is branded as the worst of all mortal sins. ~ Paul A M Dirac
261:One wonders, then, why God allowed literally tons and mountains of evidence to remain in verification of the Bible. Church leaders have become very concerned by the questions being raised due to the absence of evidence, and the fact that descriptions of cities, rivers, mountains, and journeys in the Book of Mormon cannot be correlated at all with topography and geography. To quiet these questions, for which The Brethren have no answers, an article was published in the Church Section of the Deseret News cautioning Church members about putting too much importance upon facts and evidence:
The geography of the Book of Mormon has intrigued some readers of that volume ever since its publication. But why worry about it?
Efforts to pinpoint certain places from what is written in the book are fruitless.... Attempts to designate certain areas as the Land Bountiful or the site of Zarahemla or the place where the Nephite city of Jerusalem sank into the sea "and waters have I caused to come up in the stead thereof" can bring no definitive results. So why speculate?
To guess where Zarahemla stood can in no wise add to anyone's faith. But to raise doubts in people's minds about the location of the Hill Cumorah, and thus challenge the words of the prophets concerning the place where Moroni buried the records, is most certainly harmful. And who has the right to raise doubts in anyone's mind?
Our position is to build faith, not to weaken it, and theories concerning the geography of the Book of Mormon can most certainly undermine faith if allowed to run rampant.
Why not leave hidden the things that the Lord has hidden? If He wants the geography of the Book of Mormon revealed, He will do so through His prophet.... ~ Ed Decker
262:+ 21Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. + 22Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. + 23And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles. + 24So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. + 25They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen. 26That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. + 27And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved. + 28Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. 29Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. 30They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. + 31They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. + 32They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too. ~ Anonymous
263:God likes to play hide-and-seek, but because there is nothing outside of God, he has no one but himself to play with! But he gets over this difficulty by pretending that he is not himself. This is his way of hiding from himself. He pretends that he is you and I and all the people in the world, all the animals, plants, all the rocks, and all the stars. In this way he has strange and wonderful adventures, some of which are terrible and frightening. But these are just like bad dreams, for when he wakes up they will disappear.
Now when God plays "hide" and pretends that he is you and I, he does it so well that it takes him a long time to remember where and how he hid himself! But that's the whole fun of it-just what he wanted to do. He doesn't want to find himself too quickly, for that would spoil the game. That is why it is so difficult for you and me to find out that we are God in disguise, pretending not to be himself. But- when the game has gone on long enough, all of us will WAKE UP, stop pretending, and REMEMBER that we are all one single Self- the God who is all that there is and who lives forever and ever.
You may ask why God sometimes hides in the form of horrible people, or pretends to be people who suffer great disease and pain. Remember, first, that he isn't really doing this to anyone but himself. Remember too, that in almost all the stories you enjoy there have to be bad people as well as good people, for the thrill of the tale is to find out how the good people will get the better of the bad. It's the same as when we play cards. At the beginning of the game we shuffle them all into a mess, which is like the bad things in the world, but the point of the game put the mess into good order, and the one who does it best is the winner. Then we shuffle the cards and play again, and so it goes with the world. ~ Alan W Watts
264:The Field Of Glory
War shook the land where Levi dwelt,
And fired the dismal wrath he felt,
That such a doom was ever wrought
As his, to toil while others fought;
To toil, to dream -- and still to dream,
With one day barren as another;
To consummate, as it would seem
The dry despair of his old mother.
Far off one afternoon began
The sound of man destroying man;
And Levi. sick with nameless rage,
Condemned again his heritage,
And sighed for scars that might have come,
And would, if once he could have sundered
Those harsh, inhering claims of home
That held him while he cursed and wondered.
Another day, and then there came,
Rough, bloody, ribald, hungry, lame,
But yet themselves, to Levi's door,
Two remnants of the day before.
They laughed at him and what he sought;
They jeered him, and his painful acre;
But Levi knew that they had fought,
And left their manners to their Maker.
That night, for the grim widow's ears,
With hopes that hid themselves in fears,
He told of arms, and featly deeds,
Whereat one leaps the while he reads,
And said he'd be no more a clown,
While others drew the breath of battle.
The mother looked him up and down,
And laughed -- a scant laught with a rattle.
She told him what she found to tell,
And Levi listened, and heard well
Some admonitions of a voice
That left him no cause to rejoice.
He sought a friend, and found the stars,
And prayed aloud that they should aid him;
But they said not a word of wars,
Or of reason why God made him.
And who's of this or that estate
We do not wholly calculate,
When baffling shades that shift and cling
Are not without their glimmering;
When even Levi, tired of faith,
Beloved of none, forgot by many,
Dismissed as an inferior wraith,
Reborn may be as great as any.
~ Edwin Arlington Robinson
265:If we are honest — and scientists have to be — we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality. The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination. It is quite understandable why primitive people, who were so much more exposed to the overpowering forces of nature than we are today, should have personified these forces in fear and trembling. But nowadays, when we understand so many natural processes, we have no need for such solutions. I can't for the life of me see how the postulate of an Almighty God helps us in any way. What I do see is that this assumption leads to such unproductive questions as why God allows so much misery and injustice, the exploitation of the poor by the rich and all the other horrors He might have prevented. If religion is still being taught, it is by no means because its ideas still convince us, but simply because some of us want to keep the lower classes quiet. Quiet people are much easier to govern than clamorous and dissatisfied ones. They are also much easier to exploit. Religion is a kind of opium that allows a nation to lull itself into wishful dreams and so forget the injustices that are being perpetrated against the people. Hence the close alliance between those two great political forces, the State and the Church. Both need the illusion that a kindly God rewards — in heaven if not on earth — all those who have not risen up against injustice, who have done their duty quietly and uncomplainingly. That is precisely why the honest assertion that God is a mere product of the human imagination is branded as the worst of all mortal sins. ~ Paul Dirac, Remarks made during the Fifth Solvay International Conference (October 1927), as quoted in Physics and Beyond: Encounters and Conversations (1971) by Werner Heisenberg, pp. 85-86; these comments prompted the famous remark later in the day by Wolfgang Pauli: "Well, our friend Dirac, too, has a religion, and its guiding principle is "God does not exist and Dirac is His prophet." Variant translations and paraphrases of that comment are listed in the "Quotes about Dirac" section below.
266:Your daddy is standing in a swimming pool out a little bit from the edge. You are, let’s say, three years old and standing on the edge of the pool. Daddy holds out his arms to you and says, “Jump, I’ll catch you. I promise.” Now, how do you make your daddy look good at that moment? Answer: trust him and jump. Have faith in him and jump. That makes him look strong and wise and loving. But if you won’t jump, if you shake your head and run away from the edge, you make your daddy look bad. It looks like you are saying, “he can’t catch me” or “he won’t catch me” or “it’s not a good idea to do what he tells me to do.” And all three of those make your dad look bad.
But you don’t want to make God look bad. So you trust him. Then you make him look good–which he really is. And that is what we mean when we say, “Faith glorifies God” or “Faith gives God glory.” It makes him look as good as he really is. So trusting God is really important.
And the harder it seems for him to fulfill his promise, the better he looks when you trust him. Suppose that you are at the deep end of a pool by the diving board. You are four years old and can’t swim, and your daddy is at the other end of the pool. Suddenly a big, mean dog crawls under the fence and shows his teeth and growls at you and starts coming toward you to bite you. You crawl up on the diving board and walk toward the end to get away from him. The dog puts his front paws up on the diving board. Just then, your daddy sees what’s happening and calls out, “Johnny, jump in the water. I’ll get you.”
Now, you have never jumped from one meter high and you can’t swim and your daddy is not underneath you and this water is way over your head. How do you make your daddy look good in that moment? You jump. And almost as soon as you hit the water, you feel his hands under your arms and he treads water holding you safely while someone chases the dog away. Then he takes you to the side of the pool.
We give glory to God when we trust him to do what he has promised to do–especially when all human possibilities are exhausted. Faith glorifies God. That is why God planned for faith to be the way we are justified. ~ John Piper
267: The first premise is that you should know that in the world as a whole and in its parts, both upper and earthly, there is nothing which forms an exception to the facts that God is the cause of its being and origination and that God has knowledge of it, controls it, and wills its existence; it is all subject to His control, determination, knowledge, and will. This is a general and superficial account, although in these assertions we intend to describe it truly, not as the theologians understand it; and it is possible to produce proofs and demonstrations of that. Thus, if it were not that this world is composed of elements which give rise to good and evil things in it and produce both righteousness and wickedness in its inhabitants , there would have been no completion of an order for the world. For if the world had contained nothing but pure righteousness, it would not have been this world, but another one, and it would necessarily have had a composition different from the present composition; and likewise if it had contained nothing but sheer wickedness, it would not have been this world but another one. But whatever is composed in the present fashion and order contains both righteousness and wickedness.
 The second premise is that according to the ancients Rewards is the occurrence of pleasure in the soul corresponding to the extent of its perfection, while Punishment is the occurrence of pain in the soul corresponding to the extent of its deficiency. So the soul's abiding in deficiency is it's 'alienation from God the exalted', and this is the 'curse' 'the penalty', [God's] 'wrath' and 'anger', and pain comes to it from that deficiency; while its perfection is what is meant by [God's] 'satisfaction', with it, its 'closeness' and 'nearness' and 'attachment'. This, then, and nothing else is the meaning of 'Reward' and 'Punishment' according to them.
 The third premise is that the resurrection is just the return of human souls to their own world: this is why God the Exalted has said, 'O tranquil soul, return to your Lord, satisfied and satisfactory.'
These are summary statements that need to be supported by their proper demonstrations. ~ Avicenna
268:The Christian life requires a form adequate to its content, a form that is at home in the Christian revelation and that respects each person's dignity and freedom with plenty of room for all our quirks and particularities. Story provides that form. The biblical story invites us in as participants in something larger than our sin-defined needs, into something truer than our culture-stunted ambitions. We enter these stories and recognize ourselves as participants, whether willing or unwilling, in the life of God.
Unfortunately, we live in an age in which story has been pushed from its biblical frontline prominence to a bench on the sidelines and then condescended to as "illustration" or "testimony" or "inspiration." Our contemporary unbiblical preference, both inside and outside the church, is for information over story. We typically gather impersonal (pretentiously called "scientific" or "theological") information, whether doctrinal or philosophical or historical, in order to take things into our own hands and take charge of how we will live our lives. And we commonly consult outside experts to interpret the information for us. But we don't live our lives by information; we live them in relationships in
the context of a personal God who cannot be reduced to formula or definition, who has designs on us for justice and salvation. And we live them in an extensive community of men and women, each person an intricate bundle of experience and motive and desire. Picking a text for living that is characterized by information-gathering and consultation with experts leaves out nearly everything that is uniquely us - our personal histories and relationships, our sins and guilt, our moral character and believing obedience to God. Telling and listening to a story is the primary verbal way of accounting for life the way we live it in actual day-by-day reality. There are no (or few) abstractions in a story. A story is immediate, concrete, plotted, relational, personal. And so when we lose touch with our lives, with our souls - our moral, spiritual, embodied God-personal lives - story is the best verbal way of getting us back in touch again. And that is why God's word is given for the most part in the form of story, this vast, overarching, all-encompassing story, this meta-story. ~ Eugene H Peterson
269:Outside of your relationship with God, the most important relationship you can have is with yourself. I don’t mean that we are to spend all our time focused on me, me, me to the exclusion of others. Instead, I mean that we must be healthy internally—emotionally and spiritually—in order to create healthy relationships with others. Motivational pep talks and techniques for achieving success are useless if a person is weighed down by guilt, shame, depression, rejection, bitterness, or crushed self-esteem. Countless marriages land on the rocks of divorce because unhealthy people marry thinking that marriage, or their spouse, will make them whole. Wrong. If you’re not a healthy single person you won’t be a healthy married person. Part of God’s purpose for every human life is wholeness and health. I love the words of Jesus in John 10:10: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” God knows we are the walking wounded in this world and He wants the opportunity to remove everything that limits us and heal every wound from which we suffer. Some wonder why God doesn’t just “fix” us automatically so we can get on with life. It’s because He wants our wounds to be our tutors to lead us to Him. Pain is a wonderful motivator and teacher! When the great Russian intellectual Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was released from the horrible Siberian work camp to which he was sent by Joseph Stalin, he said, “Thank you, prison!” It was the pain and suffering he endured that caused his eyes to be opened to the reality of the God of his childhood, to embrace his God anew in a personal way. When we are able to say thank you to the pain we have endured, we know we are ready to fulfill our purpose in life. When we resist the pain life brings us, all of our energy goes into resistance and we have none left for the pursuit of our purpose. It is the better part of wisdom to let pain do its work and shape us as it will. We will be wiser, deeper, and more productive in the long run. There is a great promise in the New Testament that says God comes to us to comfort us so we can turn around and comfort those who are hurting with the comfort we have received from Him (see 2 Corinthians 1:3–4). Make yourself available to God and to those who suffer. A large part of our own healing comes when we reach out with compassion to others. ~ Zig Ziglar
270:You have to remember, you are in a controlled environment. It may seem that your circumstances are out of control, but the Creator of the universe is in complete control. He has you in the palm of His hand. Nothing can happen to you without God’s permission.
In fact, God is even in control of our enemies. The Scripture talks about how God caused Pharaoh to harden his heart and not let the people go. Notice that God caused him to be difficult. Why was that? So God could show His power in extraordinary ways.
When something unexpected happens and catches you off-guard, instead of falling apart and blaming God and panicking, your attitude should be: God, I know You are still on the throne. This is not a surprise to You. I know You wouldn’t have allowed this unless You had a purpose. The surprise may look like a setback, but I know the truth. It’s a setup for You to show Your power in a greater way. It’s a setup for You to show my unbelieving co-workers Your greatness.
God’s purpose in crises is to show not just His power but to show other people what He can do. If you will view that adversity as an opportunity for God to display His greatness, God will use you as an example. He wants your neighbors to say, “How in the world did she make it? The medical report said ‘impossible,’ but look at her today. She’s as strong and healthy as can be.” Or, “He was laid off at the worst possible time, but look at him now. He has an even better job than before.”
God wants to turn your test into a testimony. That’s why God will allow you to face adversity. Being a believer doesn’t make you immune to difficulty. But God promises if you will stay in faith, He will take what was meant for your harm and use it not only to your advantage but to display His greatness to other people.
When something unexpected happens, instead of falling apart and panicking, expect God to show up and turn the situation around. Expect God’s favor. Expect His supernatural power.
It is true that the rain falls on the just and the unjust. But here is the difference. For the just, for the believers—that’s you and me—the Scripture says no weapon formed against us will ever prosper. It doesn’t say the challenges will never take form. Instead, it says you may face difficulties, but because you’re a child of the Most High God, they will not prosper against you. They will not get the best of you. You will get the best of them. God will bring you out better off than you were before. ~ Joel Osteen
271:When We Seek Protection from Sexual Immorality Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. 1 CORINTHIANS 6:18 SEXUAL SIN IS WORSE than other sins because it has consequences in our own body. Being that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, that means sexual sin of any kind—even in the mind—causes great conflict within us, for how can dark live alongside light? One of the ways to avoid sexual temptation is to stay close to God and His Word. The other is not to neglect the sexual needs of your spouse. Sexual intimacy is an important way to bring unity into your marriage. Joining your hearts, minds, and bodies breaks down any stronghold of separation between you and reaffirms your oneness. Your husband most likely is out working in the world where a spirit of lust is everywhere. He needs your prayers for protection and the strength to resist it when it presents itself. The same is true for you too. It is dangerous to think that sexual failure cannot happen to you or your husband in a moment of weakness or vulnerability—even if it is only in the mind. Thoughts have consequences, and that’s why God tells us to take every thought captive. We have to take charge of our mind in order to stay undeceived. There is no safe place where infidelity, or the idea of it, cannot reveal itself as an option. If infidelity has already happened to one of you, ask God for His healing and restoring power to work a miracle of deliverance, forgiveness, and restoration in both of you. And get help. This is too big an issue to go through alone. Ask God to enable you and your husband to see to it that this important area of your life is not polluted by neglect, selfishness, busyness, or the inability to keep your eyes from evil. Seek God for the strength to flee sexual sin—even if you think this can never happen to you. That story is way too familiar. My Prayer to God LORD, I pray You will help my husband and me to resist sexual temptation of any kind, even in the mind. Strengthen us so we will not surrender to the lust of the world that strives to keep us dissatisfied with what we have. Protect us from being lured to look and wonder, or to succumb and wander. Help us to flee at the first sign of any possibility of sexual sin and run immediately to You. Give us eyes to see what is truly happening even before it happens so that we can avoid the deception of immorality. Teach us how to maintain control over our own body, mind, and soul so that we are ever mindful of the purity You want us to live in (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5). Where either of us has fallen into sexual immorality in the past—even if only in the mind—I pray You would set us completely free from the severe bondage of that. Work a miracle of restoring trust and forgiveness between us. Only You have the power to free us from the debilitating sense of betrayal and can restore us to a new beginning. Keep us both strong in faith, in self-control, in Your Word, and in Your presence so that sexual sin is never a part of our future. In Jesus’ name I pray. ~ Stormie Omartian
272:Diablos: the name given to the igniting of, and ignited, farts. Trevor Hickey is the undisputed master of this arcane and perilous art. The stakes could not be higher. Get the timing even slightly wrong and there will be consequences far more serious than singed trousers; the word backdraught clamours unspoken at the back of every spectator’s mind. Total silence now as, with an almost imperceptible tremble (entirely artificial, ‘just part of the show’ as Trevor puts it) his hand brings the match between his legs and – foom! a sound like the fabric of the universe being ripped in two, counterpointed by its opposite, a collective intake of breath, as from Trevor’s bottom proceeds a magnificent plume of flame – jetting out it’s got to be nearly three feet, they tell each other afterwards, a cold and beautiful purple-blue enchantment that for an instant bathes the locker room in unearthly light.
No one knows quite what Trevor Hickey’s diet is, or his exercise regime; if you ask him about it, he will simply say that he has a gift, and having witnessed it, you would be hard-pressed to argue, although why God should have given him this gift in particular is less easy to say. But then, strange talents abound in the fourteen-year-old confraternity. As well as Trevor Hickey, ‘The Duke of Diablos’, you have people like Rory ‘Pins’ Moran, who on one occasion had fifty-eight pins piercing the epidermis of his left hand; GP O’Sullivan, able to simulate the noises of cans opening, mobile phones bleeping, pneumatic doors, etc., at least as well as the guy in Police Academy; Henry Lafayette, who is double-jointed and famously escaped from a box of jockstraps after being locked inside it by Lionel. These boys’ abilities are regarded quite as highly by their peers as the more conventional athletic and sporting kinds, as is any claim to physical freakishness, such as waggling ears (Mitchell Gogan), unusually high mucous production (Hector ‘Hectoplasm’ O’Looney), notable ugliness (Damien Lawlor) and inexplicably slimy, greenish hair (Vince Bailey). Fame in the second year is a surprisingly broad church; among the two-hundred-plus boys, there is scarcely anyone who does not have some ability or idiosyncrasy or weird body condition for which he is celebrated.
As with so many things at this particular point in their lives, though, that situation is changing by the day. School, with its endless emphasis on conformity, careers, the Future, may be partly to blame, but the key to the shift in attitudes is, without a doubt, girls. Until recently the opinion of girls was of little consequence; now – overnight, almost – it is paramount; and girls have quite different, some would go so far as to say deeply conservative, criteria with regard to what constitutes a gift. They do not care how many golf balls you can fit in your mouth; they are unmoved by third nipples; they do not, most of them, consider mastery of Diablos to be a feather in your cap – even when you explain to them how dangerous it is, even when you offer to teach them how to do it themselves, an offer you have never extended to any of your classmates, who would actually pay big money for this expertise, or you could even call it lore – wait, come back! ~ Paul Murray
273:How we can appropriately enjoy good food, fine clothes and cheerful company as these come our way in the natural course of things. You should not worry yourself about food or clothing, feeling that these things are too good for you, but train your mind and the ground of your being to be above them. Nothing should rouse your mind to love and delight but God alone. It should be above all other things. Why? It would be a sickly form of inwardness which needed to be put right by external clothing; rather, as long as it is under your control, what is inside should correct what is outside. And if the latter comes to you in a different form, then you should accept it as being good from the ground of your being, but in such a way that you would accept it just as willingly if it were different again. It is just the same with the food, the friends and relatives and with everything that God may give you or take from you. And so in my view the most important thing of all is that we should give ourselves up entirely to God whenever he allows anything to befall us, whether insult, tribulation or any other kind of suffering, accepting it with joy and gratitude and allowing God to guide us all the more rather than seeking these things out ourselves. Willingly learn all things from God therefore and follow him, and all will be well with you. Then we will be able to accept honour and comfort, and if dishonour and discomfort were to be our lot, we could and would be just as willing to endure these too. So they can justifiably feast who would just as willingly fast.15 And that must also be the reason why God relieves his friends of both major and minor suffering, which otherwise his infinite faithfulness could not allow him to do, for there is so much and such great benefit in suffering and he neither wishes nor ought to deny his own anything which is good. But he is content with a good and upright will, or else he would spare them no suffering on account of the inexpressible benefit which it contains. As long as God is content, you too should be content, and when it is something else in you which pleases him, then you should still be content. For we should be so totally God’s possession inwardly with the whole of our will that we should not be unduly concerned about either devotional practices or works. And in particular you should avoid all particularity, whether in the form of clothes, food or words – as in making grand speeches, or particularity of gesture, since these things serve no useful purpose at all. But you should also know that not every form of particularity is forbidden to you. There is much that is particular which we must sometimes do and with many people, for whoever is a particular person must also express particularity on many occasions and in many ways. We should have grown into our Lord Jesus Christ inwardly and in all things so that all his works are reflected in us together with his divine image. We should bear in ourselves all his works in a perfect likeness as far as we can. Though we are the agents of our actions, it is he who should take form in them. So act out of the whole of your devotion and your intent, training your mind in this at all times and teaching yourself to grow into him in all that you do. ~ Meister Eckhart
274:Swift as a spirit hastening to his task
Of glory & of good, the Sun sprang forth
Rejoicing in his splendour, & the mask
Of darkness fell from the awakened Earth.
The smokeless altars of the mountain snows
Flamed above crimson clouds, & at the birth
Of light, the Ocean's orison arose
To which the birds tempered their matin lay,
All flowers in field or forest which unclose
Their trembling eyelids to the kiss of day,
Swinging their censers in the element,
With orient incense lit by the new ray
Burned slow & inconsumably, & sent
Their odorous sighs up to the smiling air,
And in succession due, did Continent,
Isle, Ocean, & all things that in them wear
The form & character of mortal mould
Rise as the Sun their father rose, to bear
Their portion of the toil which he of old
Took as his own & then imposed on them;
But I, whom thoughts which must remain untold
Had kept as wakeful as the stars that gem
The cone of night, now they were laid asleep,
Stretched my faint limbs beneath the hoary stem
Which an old chestnut flung athwart the steep
Of a green Apennine: before me fled
The night; behind me rose the day; the Deep
Was at my feet, & Heaven above my head
When a strange trance over my fancy grew
Which was not slumber, for the shade it spread
Was so transparent that the scene came through
As clear as when a veil of light is drawn
O'er evening hills they glimmer; and I knew
That I had felt the freshness of that dawn,
Bathed in the same cold dew my brow & hair
And sate as thus upon that slope of lawn
Under the self same bough, & heard as there
The birds, the fountains & the Ocean hold
Sweet talk in music through the enamoured air.
And then a Vision on my brain was rolled.
As in that trance of wondrous thought I lay
This was the tenour of my waking dream.
Methought I sate beside a public way
Thick strewn with summer dust, & a great stream
Of people there was hurrying to & fro
Numerous as gnats upon the evening gleam,
All hastening onward, yet none seemed to know
Whither he went, or whence he came, or why
He made one of the multitude, yet so
Was borne amid the crowd as through the sky
One of the million leaves of summer's bier.
Old age & youth, manhood & infancy,
Mixed in one mighty torrent did appear,
Some flying from the thing they feared & some
Seeking the object of another's fear,
And others as with steps towards the tomb
Pored on the trodden worms that crawled beneath,
And others mournfully within the gloom
Of their own shadow walked, and called it death
And some fled from it as it were a ghost,
Half fainting in the affliction of vain breath.
But more with motions which each other crost
Pursued or shunned the shadows the clouds threw
Or birds within the noonday ether lost,
Upon that path where flowers never grew;
And weary with vain toil & faint for thirst
Heard not the fountains whose melodious dew
Out of their mossy cells forever burst
Nor felt the breeze which from the forest told
Of grassy paths, & wood lawns interspersed
With overarching elms & caverns cold,
And violet banks where sweet dreams brood, but they
Pursued their serious folly as of old.
And as I gazed methought that in the way
The throng grew wilder, as the woods of June
When the South wind shakes the extinguished day.
And a cold glare, intenser than the noon
But icy cold, obscured with [[blank]] light
The Sun as he the stars. Like the young moon
When on the sunlit limits of the night
Her white shell trembles amid crimson air
And whilst the sleeping tempest gathers might
Doth, as a herald of its coming, bear
The ghost of her dead Mother, whose dim form
Bends in dark ether from her infant's chair,
So came a chariot on the silent storm
Of its own rushing splendour, and a Shape
So sate within as one whom years deform
Beneath a dusky hood & double cape
Crouching within the shadow of a tomb,
And o'er what seemed the head, a cloud like crape,
Was bent a dun & faint etherial gloom
Tempering the light; upon the chariot's beam
A Janus-visaged Shadow did assume
The guidance of that wonder-winged team.
The Shapes which drew it in thick lightnings
Were lost: I heard alone on the air's soft stream
The music of their ever moving wings.
All the four faces of that charioteer
Had their eyes banded . . . little profit brings
Speed in the van & blindness in the rear,
Nor then avail the beams that quench the Sun
Or that his banded eyes could pierce the sphere
Of all that is, has been, or will be done.
So ill was the car guided, but it past
With solemn speed majestically on . . .
The crowd gave way, & I arose aghast,
Or seemed to rise, so mighty was the trance,
And saw like clouds upon the thunder blast
The million with fierce song and maniac dance
Raging around; such seemed the jubilee
As when to greet some conqueror's advance
Imperial Rome poured forth her living sea
From senatehouse & prison & theatre
When Freedom left those who upon the free
Had bound a yoke which soon they stooped to bear.
Nor wanted here the true similitude
Of a triumphal pageant, for where'er
The chariot rolled a captive multitude
Was driven; althose who had grown old in power
Or misery,all who have their age subdued,
By action or by suffering, and whose hour
Was drained to its last sand in weal or woe,
So that the trunk survived both fruit & flower;
All those whose fame or infamy must grow
Till the great winter lay the form & name
Of their own earth with them forever low,
All but the sacred few who could not tame
Their spirits to the Conqueror, but as soon
As they had touched the world with living flame
Fled back like eagles to their native noon,
Of those who put aside the diadem
Of earthly thrones or gems, till the last one
Were there;for they of Athens & Jerusalem
Were neither mid the mighty captives seen
Nor mid the ribald crowd that followed them
Or fled before . . Now swift, fierce & obscene
The wild dance maddens in the van, & those
Who lead it, fleet as shadows on the green,
Outspeed the chariot & without repose
Mix with each other in tempestuous measure
To savage music. Wilder as it grows,
They, tortured by the agonizing pleasure,
Convulsed & on the rapid whirlwinds spun
Of that fierce spirit, whose unholy leisure
Was soothed by mischief since the world begun,
Throw back their heads & loose their streaming hair,
And in their dance round her who dims the Sun
Maidens & youths fling their wild arms in air
As their feet twinkle; they recede, and now
Bending within each other's atmosphere
Kindle invisibly; and as they glow
Like moths by light attracted & repelled,
Oft to new bright destruction come & go.
Till like two clouds into one vale impelled
That shake the mountains when their lightnings mingle
And die in rain,the fiery band which held
Their natures, snaps . . . ere the shock cease to tingle
One falls and then another in the path
Senseless, nor is the desolation single,
Yet ere I can say where the chariot hath
Past over them; nor other trace I find
But as of foam after the Ocean's wrath
Is spent upon the desert shore.Behind,
Old men, and women foully disarrayed
Shake their grey hair in the insulting wind,
Limp in the dance & strain, with limbs decayed,
Seeking to reach the light which leaves them still
Farther behind & deeper in the shade.
But not the less with impotence of will
They wheel, though ghastly shadows interpose
Round them & round each other, and fulfill
Their work and to the dust whence they arose
Sink & corruption veils them as they lie
And frost in these performs what fire in those.
Struck to the heart by this sad pageantry,
Half to myself I said, "And what is this?
Whose shape is that within the car? & why"-
I would have added"is all here amiss?"
But a voice answered . . "Life" . . . I turned & knew
(O Heaven have mercy on such wretchedness!)
That what I thought was an old root which grew
To strange distortion out of the hill side
Was indeed one of that deluded crew,
And that the grass which methought hung so wide
And white, was but his thin discoloured hair,
And that the holes it vainly sought to hide
Were or had been eyes."lf thou canst forbear
To join the dance, which I had well forborne,"
Said the grim Feature, of my thought aware,
"I will now tell that which to this deep scorn
Led me & my companions, and relate
The progress of the pageant since the morn;
"If thirst of knowledge doth not thus abate,
Follow it even to the night, but I
Am weary" . . . Then like one who with the weight
Of his own words is staggered, wearily
He paused, and ere he could resume, I cried,
"First who art thou?" . . . "Before thy memory
"I feared, loved, hated, suffered, did, & died,
And if the spark with which Heaven lit my spirit
Earth had with purer nutriment supplied
"Corruption would not now thus much inherit
Of what was once Rousseaunor this disguise
Stained that within which still disdains to wear it.
"If I have been extinguished, yet there rise
A thousand beacons from the spark I bore."
"And who are those chained to the car?" "The Wise,
"The great, the unforgotten: they who wore
Mitres & helms & crowns, or wreathes of light,
Signs of thought's empire over thought; their lore
"Taught them not thisto know themselves; their might
Could not repress the mutiny within,
And for the morn of truth they feigned, deep night
"Caught them ere evening." "Who is he with chin
Upon his breast and hands crost on his chain?"
"The Child of a fierce hour; he sought to win
"The world, and lost all it did contain
Of greatness, in its hope destroyed; & more
Of fame & peace than Virtue's self can gain
"Without the opportunity which bore
Him on its eagle's pinion to the peak
From which a thousand climbers have before
"Fall'n as Napoleon fell."I felt my cheek
Alter to see the great form pass away
Whose grasp had left the giant world so weak
That every pigmy kicked it as it lay
And much I grieved to think how power & will
In opposition rule our mortal day
And why God made irreconcilable
Good & the means of good; and for despair
I half disdained mine eye's desire to fill
With the spent vision of the times that were
And scarce have ceased to be . . . "Dost thou behold,"
Said then my guide, "those spoilers spoiled, Voltaire,
"Frederic, & Kant, Catherine, & Leopold,
Chained hoary anarch, demagogue & sage
Whose name the fresh world thinks already old
"For in the battle Life & they did wage
She remained conquerorI was overcome
By my own heart alone, which neither age
"Nor tears nor infamy nor now the tomb
Could temper to its object.""Let them pass"
I cried"the world & its mysterious doom
"Is not so much more glorious than it was
That I desire to worship those who drew
New figures on its false & fragile glass
"As the old faded.""Figures ever new
Rise on the bubble, paint them how you may;
We have but thrown, as those before us threw,
"Our shadows on it as it past away.
But mark, how chained to the triumphal chair
The mighty phantoms of an elder day
"All that is mortal of great Plato there
Expiates the joy & woe his master knew not;
That star that ruled his doom was far too fair
"And Life, where long that flower of Heaven grew not,
Conquered the heart by love which gold or pain
Or age or sloth or slavery could subdue not
"And near [[blank]] walk the [[blank]] twain,
The tutor & his pupil, whom Dominion
Followed as tame as vulture in a chain.
"The world was darkened beneath either pinion
Of him whom from the flock of conquerors
Fame singled as her thunderbearing minion;
"The other long outlived both woes & wars,
Throned in new thoughts of men, and still had kept
The jealous keys of truth's eternal doors
"If Bacon's spirit [[blank]] had not leapt
Like lightning out of darkness; he compelled
The Proteus shape of Nature's as it slept
"To wake & to unbar the caves that held
The treasure of the secrets of its reign
See the great bards of old who inly quelled
"The passions which they sung, as by their strain
May well be known: their living melody
Tempers its own contagion to the vein
"Of those who are infected with itI
Have suffered what I wrote, or viler pain!
"And so my words were seeds of misery
Even as the deeds of others.""Not as theirs,"
I saidhe pointed to a company
In which I recognized amid the heirs
Of Caesar's crime from him to Constantine,
The Anarchs old whose force & murderous snares
Had founded many a sceptre bearing line
And spread the plague of blood & gold abroad,
And Gregory & John and men divine
Who rose like shadows between Man & god
Till that eclipse, still hanging under Heaven,
Was worshipped by the world o'er which they strode
For the true Sun it quenched."Their power was given
But to destroy," replied the leader"I
Am one of those who have created, even
"If it be but a world of agony."
"Whence camest thou & whither goest thou?
How did thy course begin," I said, "& why?
"Mine eyes are sick of this perpetual flow
Of people, & my heart of one sad thought.
Speak.""Whence I came, partly I seem to know,
"And how & by what paths I have been brought
To this dread pass, methinks even thou mayst guess;
Why this should be my mind can compass not;
"Whither the conqueror hurries me still less.
But follow thou, & from spectator turn
Actor or victim in this wretchedness,
"And what thou wouldst be taught I then may learn
From thee.Now listen . . . In the April prime
When all the forest tops began to burn
"With kindling green, touched by the azure clime
Of the young year, I found myself asleep
Under a mountain which from unknown time
"Had yawned into a cavern high & deep,
And from it came a gentle rivulet
Whose water like clear air in its calm sweep
"Bent the soft grass & kept for ever wet
The stems of the sweet flowers, and filled the grove
With sound which all who hear must needs forget
"All pleasure & all pain, all hate & love,
Which they had known before that hour of rest:
A sleeping mother then would dream not of
"The only child who died upon her breast
At eventide, a king would mourn no more
The crown of which his brow was dispossest
"When the sun lingered o'er the Ocean floor
To gild his rival's new prosperity.
Thou wouldst forget thus vainly to deplore
"Ills, which if ills, can find no cure from thee,
The thought of which no other sleep will quell
Nor other music blot from memory
"So sweet & deep is the oblivious spell.
Whether my life had been before that sleep
The Heaven which I imagine, or a Hell
"Like this harsh world in which I wake to weep,
I know not. I arose & for a space
The scene of woods & waters seemed to keep,
"Though it was now broad day, a gentle trace
Of light diviner than the common Sun
Sheds on the common Earth, but all the place
"Was filled with many sounds woven into one
Oblivious melody, confusing sense
Amid the gliding waves & shadows dun;
"And as I looked the bright omnipresence
Of morning through the orient cavern flowed,
And the Sun's image radiantly intense
"Burned on the waters of the well that glowed
Like gold, and threaded all the forest maze
With winding paths of emerald firethere stood
"Amid the sun, as he amid the blaze
Of his own glory, on the vibrating
Floor of the fountain, paved with flashing rays,
"A shape all light, which with one hand did fling
Dew on the earth, as if she were the Dawn
Whose invisible rain forever seemed to sing
"A silver music on the mossy lawn,
And still before her on the dusky grass
Iris her many coloured scarf had drawn.
"In her right hand she bore a crystal glass
Mantling with bright Nepenthe;the fierce splendour
Fell from her as she moved under the mass
"Of the deep cavern, & with palms so tender
Their tread broke not the mirror of its billow,
Glided along the river, and did bend her
"Head under the dark boughs, till like a willow
Her fair hair swept the bosom of the stream
That whispered with delight to be their pillow.
"As one enamoured is upborne in dream
O'er lily-paven lakes mid silver mist
To wondrous music, so this shape might seem
"Partly to tread the waves with feet which kist
The dancing foam, partly to glide along
The airs that roughened the moist amethyst,
"Or the slant morning beams that fell among
The trees, or the soft shadows of the trees;
And her feet ever to the ceaseless song
"Of leaves & winds & waves & birds & bees
And falling drops moved in a measure new
Yet sweet, as on the summer evening breeze
"Up from the lake a shape of golden dew
Between two rocks, athwart the rising moon,
Moves up the east, where eagle never flew.
"And still her feet, no less than the sweet tune
To which they moved, seemed as they moved, to blot
The thoughts of him who gazed on them, & soon
"All that was seemed as if it had been not,
As if the gazer's mind was strewn beneath
Her feet like embers, & she, thought by thought,
"Trampled its fires into the dust of death,
As Day upon the threshold of the east
Treads out the lamps of night, until the breath
"Of darkness reillumines even the least
Of heaven's living eyeslike day she came,
Making the night a dream; and ere she ceased
"To move, as one between desire and shame
Suspended, I said'If, as it doth seem,
Thou comest from the realm without a name,
" 'Into this valley of perpetual dream,
Shew whence I came, and where I am, and why
Pass not away upon the passing stream.'
" 'Arise and quench thy thirst,' was her reply,
And as a shut lily, stricken by the wand
Of dewy morning's vital alchemy,
"I rose; and, bending at her sweet command,
Touched with faint lips the cup she raised,
And suddenly my brain became as sand
"Where the first wave had more than half erased
The track of deer on desert Labrador,
Whilst the fierce wolf from which they fled amazed
"Leaves his stamp visibly upon the shore
Until the second burstsso on my sight
Burst a new Vision never seen before.
"And the fair shape waned in the coming light
As veil by veil the silent splendour drops
From Lucifer, amid the chrysolite
"Of sunrise ere it strike the mountain tops
And as the presence of that fairest planet
Although unseen is felt by one who hopes
"That his day's path may end as he began it
In that star's smile, whose light is like the scent
Of a jonquil when evening breezes fan it,
"Or the soft note in which his dear lament
The Brescian shepherd breathes, or the caress
That turned his weary slumber to content.
"So knew I in that light's severe excess
The presence of that shape which on the stream
Moved, as I moved along the wilderness,
"More dimly than a day appearing dream,
The ghost of a forgotten form of sleep
A light from Heaven whose half extinguished beam
"Through the sick day in which we wake to weep
Glimmers, forever sought, forever lost.
So did that shape its obscure tenour keep
"Beside my path, as silent as a ghost;
But the new Vision, and its cold bright car,
With savage music, stunning music, crost
"The forest, and as if from some dread war
Triumphantly returning, the loud million
Fiercely extolled the fortune of her star.
"A moving arch of victory the vermilion
And green & azure plumes of Iris had
Built high over her wind-winged pavilion,
"And underneath aetherial glory clad
The wilderness, and far before her flew
The tempest of the splendour which forbade
Shadow to fall from leaf or stone;the crew
Seemed in that light like atomies that dance
Within a sunbeam.Some upon the new
"Embroidery of flowers that did enhance
The grassy vesture of the desart, played,
Forgetful of the chariot's swift advance;
"Others stood gazing till within the shade
Of the great mountain its light left them dim.
Others outspeeded it, and others made
"Circles around it like the clouds that swim
Round the high moon in a bright sea of air,
And more did follow, with exulting hymn,
"The chariot & the captives fettered there,
But all like bubbles on an eddying flood
Fell into the same track at last & were
"Borne onward.I among the multitude
Was swept; me sweetest flowers delayed not long,
Me not the shadow nor the solitude,
"Me not the falling stream's Lethean song,
Me, not the phantom of that early form
Which moved upon its motion,but among
"The thickest billows of the living storm
I plunged, and bared my bosom to the clime
Of that cold light, whose airs too soon deform.
"Before the chariot had begun to climb
The opposing steep of that mysterious dell,
Behold a wonder worthy of the rhyme
"Of him whom from the lowest depths of Hell
Through every Paradise & through all glory
Love led serene, & who returned to tell
"In words of hate & awe the wondrous story
How all things are transfigured, except Love;
For deaf as is a sea which wrath makes hoary
"The world can hear not the sweet notes that move
The sphere whose light is melody to lovers-
A wonder worthy of his rhymethe grove
"Grew dense with shadows to its inmost covers,
The earth was grey with phantoms, & the air
Was peopled with dim forms, as when there hovers
"A flock of vampire-bats before the glare
Of the tropic sun, bring ere evening
Strange night upon some Indian isle,thus were
"Phantoms diffused around, & some did fling
Shadows of shadows, yet unlike themselves,
Behind them, some like eaglets on the wing
"Were lost in the white blaze, others like elves
Danced in a thousand unimagined shapes
Upon the sunny streams & grassy shelves;
"And others sate chattering like restless apes
On vulgar paws and voluble like fire.
Some made a cradle of the ermined capes
"Of kingly mantles, some upon the tiar
Of pontiffs sate like vultures, others played
Within the crown which girt with empire
"A baby's or an idiot's brow, & made
Their nests in it; the old anatomies
Sate hatching their bare brood under the shade
"Of demon wings, and laughed from their dead eyes
To reassume the delegated power
Arrayed in which these worms did monarchize
"Who make this earth their charnel.Others more
Humble, like falcons sate upon the fist
Of common men, and round their heads did soar,
"Or like small gnats & flies, as thick as mist
On evening marshes, thronged about the brow
Of lawyer, statesman, priest & theorist,
"And others like discoloured flakes of snow
On fairest bosoms & the sunniest hair
Fell, and were melted by the youthful glow
"Which they extinguished; for like tears, they were
A veil to those from whose faint lids they rained
In drops of sorrow.I became aware
"Of whence those forms proceeded which thus stained
The track in which we moved; after brief space
From every form the beauty slowly waned,
"From every firmest limb & fairest face
The strength & freshness fell like dust, & left
The action & the shape without the grace
"Of life; the marble brow of youth was cleft
With care, and in the eyes where once hope shone
Desire like a lioness bereft
"Of its last cub, glared ere it died; each one
Of that great crowd sent forth incessantly
These shadows, numerous as the dead leaves blown
"In Autumn evening from a popular tree
Each, like himself & like each other were,
At first, but soon distorted, seemed to be
"Obscure clouds moulded by the casual air;
And of this stuff the car's creative ray
Wrought all the busy phantoms that were there
"As the sun shapes the cloudsthus, on the way
Mask after mask fell from the countenance
And form of all, and long before the day
"Was old, the joy which waked like Heaven's glance
The sleepers in the oblivious valley, died,
And some grew weary of the ghastly dance
"And fell, as I have fallen by the way side,
Those soonest from whose forms most shadows past
And least of strength & beauty did abide."
"Then, what is Life?" I said . . . the cripple cast
His eye upon the car which now had rolled
Onward, as if that look must be the last,
And answered. "Happy those for whom the fold
Composed at Lerici on the Gulf of Spezzia in the spring and early summer of 1822 -- the poem on which Shelley was engaged at the time of his death. Published by Mrs. Shelley in the Posthumous Poems of 1824, from a MS. (now in the Bodleian library), whose corrections, omitted words, passages of unrevised improvisation, difficult hand, and long inaccessibility have so far prevented much certainty in the establishment of a text.
Form: terza rima.
The reference to Dante's Divine Comedy in lines 471-76 and to Petrarch's Triumphs in the title (both of which, like The Triumph of Life, are written in terza
rima stanzas) suggests two probable models for the poem.
Mary Shelley's text seems impossible, but no textual authority has been
adduced for amending it. Misreading or miswriting of some kind must be
responsible for that apparently parallel, but conflicting, pair, "were there" and
"were neither." W. M. Rossetti makes some sense out of the passage by amending
"or" in 132 to "for" and "were there" in 134 to "whether", and by placing a
semi-colon at the end of 131.
Of Athens or Jerusalem. Commentators assume that the renouncing figures
of which Shelley is thinking are Socrates in Athens and Jesus in Jerusalem. But
the corruption of the text here makes any interpretation doubtful.
Grim Feature: a reminiscence of Paradise Lost, X, 279, where it
represents Death and carries the Latin meaning of "factura" or "creature."
Rousseau. Compare Byron's portrait of Rousseau in Childe Harold's
Pilgrimage, III, lxxvii-lxxxii.
Frederick and Paul, Catherine and Leopold: Frederick the Great of Prussia,
Czar Paul and Catherine the Great of Russia, and Leopold II of the Holy Roman
Plato. In the lines which follow, Shelley refers to the legend that Plato in
his old age fell in love with a boy, whose name, Aster, is Greek for a star as
well as for a particular (and short-lived) flower.
The tutor and his pupil: Aristotle and Alexander the Great.
The heirs of Caesar's crime from him to Constantine. Julius Caesar's
crime was to undermine the Roman republic and prepare the way for the
Roman emperors ("anarch chiefs" in 286), a procession of which up to
Constantine Shelley now observes.
Gregory and John. "Gregory the Great is appropriate, as the true founder
of the independent political power of the papacy. Which of many Johns is
involved, there is no way of telling" (H. Bloom).
Lucifer: the Morning Star.
The soft note in which his dear lament the Brescian shepherd breathes.
"The favourite song, 'Stanco di pascolar le peccorelle, [being weary of pasturing
the little sheep], is a Brescian national air" (Mrs. Shelley's note).
Iris: classical goddess of the rainbow.
Him: Dante in The Divine Comedy.
Here the MS. breaks off.
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Triumph Of Life
1 Integral Yoga
2 Saint Augustine of Hippo
3 The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna
2 City of God
0.10 - Letters to a Young Captain, #Some Answers From The Mother, #The Mother, #Integral Yoga
deeply depressed hips and twisted legs. It was a pitiful
sight. One wonders why God has made all these deformations in Nature. The only answer — which answers
1.pbs - The Triumph Of Life, #Shelley - Poems, #Percy Bysshe Shelley, #Fiction
In opposition rule our mortal day
And why God made irreconcilable
Good & the means of good; and for despair
2.0 - THE ANTICHRIST, #Twilight of the Idols, #Friedrich Nietzsche, #Philosophy
superfluous? Man cannot of his own accord know what is good and what is
evil, that is why God taught man his will.... Moral: the priest does
_not_ lie, such questions as "truth" or "falseness" have nothing to do
2.17 - M. AT DAKSHINEWAR, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
"That is why God incarnates Himself as man and teaches people the path of devotion.
2.20 - 2.29 - RULES FOR HOUSEHOLDERS AND MONKS, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
"God with form and the formless God are both equally true. What do you say? One cannot keep one's mind on the formless God a long time. That is why God assumes form for His devotees.
2.40 - 2.49 - THE MASTER AT THE HOUSES OF BALARM AND GIRISH, #The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, #Sri Ramakrishna, #Hinduism
MASTER (to M.): "Do you know why God incarnates Himself as a man? It is because through a human body one can hear His words. He sports through it. He tastes divine bliss through a human body. But through His other devotees God manifests only a small part of Himself. A devotee is like something you get a little juice from after much sucking - like a flower you get a drop of honey from after much sucking. (To M.) Do you understand this?"
BOOK V. - Of fate, freewill, and God's prescience, and of the source of the virtues of the ancient Romans, #City of God, #Saint Augustine of Hippo, #Christianity
Since, then, it is established that the complete attainment of all we desire is that which constitutes felicity, which is no goddess, but a gift of God, and that therefore men can worship no god save Him who is able to make them happy, and were Felicity herself a goddess, she would with reason be the only object of worship,since, I say, this is established, let us now go on to consider why God, who is able to give with all other things those good gifts which can be possessed by men who are not good, and consequently not happy, has seen fit to grant such extended and long-continued dominion to the Roman empire; for that this was not effected by that multitude of false gods which they worshipped, we have both already adduced, and shall, as occasion offers, yet adduce considerable proof.
BOOK XII. - Of the creation of angels and men, and of the origin of evil, #City of God, #Saint Augustine of Hippo, #Christianity
With good cause, therefore, does the true religion recognise and proclaim that the same God who created the universal cosmos, created also all the animals, souls as well as bodies. Among the terrestrial animals man was made by Him in His[Pg 520] own image, and, for the reason I have given, was made one individual, though he was not left solitary. For there is nothing so social by nature, so unsocial by its corruption, as this race. And human nature has nothing more appropriate, either for the prevention of discord, or for the healing of it, where it exists, than the remembrance of that first parent of us all, whom God was pleased to create alone, that all men might be derived from one, and that they might thus be admonished to preserve unity among their whole multitude. But from the fact that the woman was made for him from his side, it was plainly meant that we should learn how dear the bond between man and wife should be. These works of God do certainly seem extraordinary, because they are the first works. They who do not believe them, ought not to believe any prodigies; for these would not be called prodigies did they not happen out of the ordinary course of nature. But, is it possible that anything should happen in vain, however hidden be its cause, in so grand a government of divine providence? One of the sacred Psalmists says, "Come, behold the works of the Lord, what prodigies He hath wrought in the earth." why God made woman out of man's side, and what this first prodigy prefigured, I shall, with God's help, tell in another place. But at present, since this book must be concluded, let us merely say that in this first man, who was created in the beginning, there was laid the foundation, not indeed evidently, but in God's foreknowledge, of these two cities or societies, so far as regards the human race. For from that man all men were to be derivedsome of them to be associated with the good angels in their reward, others with the wicked in punishment; all being ordered by the secret yet just judgment of God. For since it is written, "All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth," neither can His grace be unjust, nor His justice cruel.
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