Tag Archives: faith

Let us love

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” — John, apostle of Jesus (I John 4:7-8, NIV) In a chapter that opens with ominous warnings about false teachers, John …

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A daybreak that’s wondrously clear

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise. — Maya Angelou I join millions in saying “Thank you, thank you, thank you, Maya …

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The inspiring force

“I was carried beyond myself by the inspiring force of urgent necessity.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry If you’ve been through anything especially difficult, harrowing or protracted and exhausting, chances are you’ve heard well-meaning people say “I don’t know how you do it” or “I could never do what you are doing.” It’s natural for them to feel that …

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Your message

“If you want to get your message across, shut up.” — Mardy Grothe I don’t take this advice nearly as often as I ought to, but today, I get it.  I schedule these posts about two weeks in advance, so I have no idea how I’ll be feeling when this post is published.  But right …

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We must discover

“We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.” — Marcel Proust As several readers have pointed out recently, we have many sources from which to seek wisdom. For people of faith, holy scriptures are primary; for all of us, other …

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Other springs

When we began this endless trek, I feared I saw a darkened door, Through which a line of marching sick Were heading for some winter shore. But now the news the doctor brings Seems to promise other springs. — Jane Yolen One year ago today, Jeff went into the local emergency room with sudden, acute …

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Persistent prayer

“The value of persistent prayer is not that He will hear us, but that we will finally hear Him.” — William McGill It’s all too easy for believers and unbelievers alike to confuse prayer with some sort of divine bargaining system, or a kind of formal ritual for advising God what we need — as …

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For this I was born

“I do not fear the soldiers, for my road is made open to me; and if the soldiers come, I have God, my Lord, who will know how to clear the route that leads to the Dauphin. It was for this that I was born!” — Joan of Arc “If Joan of Arc could turn the …

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Estimating our limits

“How many ships didn’t sail because of the belief that the earth was flat? How much progress was impeded because man wasn’t supposed to breathe underwater, fly through the air, or venture into outer space? Historically, we’ve done a remarkably poor job of estimating our limits.” — Gary Keller Okay, so the skeptical cynic in …

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The greatness of a nation

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way it treats its animals.” —  Mahatma Gandhi While Matt was at Ride a Wave in Santa Cruz, a fascinating drama was unfolding on the beach nearby, where a stranded seal pup was being rescued.  I watched as workers carefully manipulated the net …

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Higher ground

My heart has no desire to stay where doubts arise and fears dismay. Though some may dwell where these abound, My prayer, my aim is higher ground.  –Johnson Oatman, Jr. Growing up in a church where a cappella singing was a vital part of every worship, I was exposed early and often to verses that …

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You will flow

“As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit.” — author unknown; attributed to Emmanuel Tanay Among the most ultimately comforting but persistently difficult teachings …

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Hope is at the root

“Hope is at the root of all the great ideas and causes that have bettered the lot of humankind across the centuries.” — Ronald Reagan Touring the beautiful grounds of the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, it isn’t hard to understand why he was such an optimist.  There’s something about California that always …

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Everyone belongs

No one is a stranger here. Everyone belongs. Finding our forgiveness here, we in turn forgive all wrongs. — Bryan J. Leech On a recent Sunday during worship in northern Virginia, we sang one of my favorite songs before communion.  A verse from the song is quoted above.  Having entered the assembly that day feeling …

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Connected to something bigger

“When everything around you is changing, turn to the part of you that doesn’t change, that is calm, centered, and connected to something bigger.”  — Ariane de Bonvoisin Churchgoing people are accustomed to hearing various metaphors for faith.  It’s spoken of as an anchor, a rock, a fortress, and a shield.  It’s described as “the substance of things …

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A light from within

“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” — Elisabeth Kübler-Ross I love stained glass, from tiny sun-catchers hanging in kitchen windows, to magnificent soaring panels in cathedrals.   Whenever I see …

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The torch of freedom

“The stature of our homeland is no more than the measure of ourselves. Our job is to keep her free. Our will is to keep the torch of freedom burning for all. To this solemn purpose we call on the young, the brave, the strong, and the free.” — John Paul Jones Many of us …

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Dear earth

“…a greater glory I may one day see, but oh today, dear earth, how I love thee.” — Louise E. Weber, as recorded in The Notes by Ronald Reagan (page 47) Skeptics sometimes describe those of us who believe in heaven as people for whom religion is a crutch; a desperate hope to which we …

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Brilliantly disguised

“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities, brilliantly disguised as impossible situations…” — Charles Swindoll I will always remember the first time I saw this quote.  It was fairly recently, in an email I got from an extraordinary person, Dr. Anitha John. She specializes in adult congenital cardiology, a relatively new field …

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Being peace

“It is not by going out for a demonstration against nuclear missiles that we can bring about peace. It is with our capacity of smiling, breathing, and being peace that we can make peace.” — Thich Nhat Hanh The tragedy is that the world is a very broken place, and probably always will be so.  The beauty is …

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More than logical

“If we were logical, the future would be bleak, indeed. But we are more than logical. We are human beings, and we have faith, and we have hope…” — Jacques Yves Cousteau I’m a great fan of logic.  My highest scores on the GRE and other standardized tests were always in the “analytical thinking” category.  …

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Mind and soul

“Let knowledge grow from more to more, But more of reverence in us dwell; That mind and soul, according well, May make one music as before, But vaster.” —  Alfred, Lord Tennyson Several miles from the palaces of knowledge found at the Smithsonian Institution, the Washington National Cathedral stands in a quiet residential area seldom congested with the …

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The world would kick the beam

“If the whole world were put into one scale, and my mother in the other, the whole world would kick the beam.”  — Henry Bickersteth, Lord Langdale Even after I became a mother, I have never liked Mother’s Day.  It seems to me an artificially contrived and ultimately inadequate invention designed primarily to sell cards and …

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The day of liberation

“So now, muster your strength, and don’t lose heart. We shall all see the day of liberation. Have faith in life. Above all else, have faith. Drive out despair, and you will keep death away from yourselves…The same smoke floats over all our heads. Help one another. It is the only way to survive.” — …

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Built in hope

“The road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveler than the road built in despair, even though they both lead to the same destination.”  — Marian Zimmer Bradley I love the book Life of Pi, especially the ending where Pi asks the skeptics a valid but often overlooked question: which is the better story? There …

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