Tag Archives: faith

Come celebrate

…come celebrate with me that everyday something has tried to kill me and has failed.                  —Lucille Clifton Some weeks it’s easier than others to write a post appropriate for a blog titled Defeat Despair. This has been one of the more difficult weeks. I had Clifton’s brief …

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To trade places

“Today you will be tempted to feel sorry for yourself. Don’t! Lots of people would love to trade places with you. Before you get down in the dumps over whatever is bothering you, read today’s obituaries to see how many people younger than you died yesterday, or visit the burn or stroke rehab center at …

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A song for all the years

“Christmas Eve was a night of song that wrapped itself about you like a shawl. But it warmed more than your body. It warmed your heart… filled it, too, with a melody that would last forever. Even though you grew up and found you could never quite bring back the magic feeling of this night, …

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Downright goodness

“It is, without doubt, the gifts we get from our excursions into differences—the people we come to know whom we could never have met otherwise, the wisdom we see in those we consider to be simpler than ourselves, the downright goodness of those we fear because we do not know them—that make us bigger of …

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A never-tiring affection

“One by one, as they march, our comrades vanish from our sight, seized by the silent orders of omnipotent Death. Very brief is the time in which we can help them, in which their happiness or misery is decided. Be it ours to shed sunshine on their path, to lighten their sorrows by the balm …

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Because you once traversed

“These trees are yours because you once looked at them. These streets are yours because you once traversed them… You once spoke to Him, and then God became yours. He sits with us in darkness now…” ― Kamand Kojouri We talked here recently about how, in a sense, experiences in our past belong to us …

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Not alone

“One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.” ― Shannon L. Alder The online world is full of contradictions, and none more obvious than its tendency to create feelings of isolation even as it facilitates digital connection. Still, the anonymity and freedom …

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Like a million suns

Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns,  and calls me on and on across the universe…     — John Lennon & Paul McCartney Recently while I was driving to York County, I began getting sleepy as I almost always do when I make long drives alone. The coffee I brought along …

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Such beautiful lessons

Another morning and I wake with thirst  for the goodness I do not have. I walk  out to the pond and all the way God has given us such beautiful lessons. Oh Lord,  I was never a quick scholar but sulked and hunched over my books past the hour and the bell; grant me, in your …

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Hard to imagine

“Instead of running away from our loneliness and trying to forget or deny it, we have to protect it and turn it into a fruitful solitude. To live a spiritual life we must first find the courage to enter into the desert of our loneliness and to change it by gentle and persistent efforts into …

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My state of general wonder

“Not until years later would I realize that my state of general wonder throughout this process, peppered though it was with fear and doubt, would help preserve my sanity through the events that followed.” — Hilary Tindle Sometimes I will hear or read a sentence that rings so true in my own experience that I …

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Perceptibly nearer

“New Year’s eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence…yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights. The vast and shadowy stream of time sweeps on without break, but the …

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We’re a parade

“Friends: we’re a parade – even by ourselves!” – Mary Anne Radmacher Pictured above are three people whose presence in my life is a tremendous blessing. Without going into the details, let’s just say that without friends and loved ones, life is unbearable. But with them, it can be a celebration, even in the midst …

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A good calling

“We live in a world where bad stories are told, stories that teach us life doesn’t mean anything and that humanity has no great purpose. It’s a good calling, then, to speak a better story. How brightly a better story shines. How easily the world looks to it in wonder. How grateful we are to …

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My sentiments

Besides the Autumn poets sing A few prosaic days A little this side of the snow And that side of the Haze — . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Perhaps a squirrel may remain — My sentiments to share — Grant me, Oh Lord, a sunny …

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The garden of the spirit

“The ground I tend sustains me in early summer, but the garden of the spirit is the place I go when the wind howls…Raised in the mind’s eye, nurtured by the faithful composting of orange rinds and tea leaves and ideas, it is finally the wintergarden that produces the true flowering, the saving vision.” — Louise …

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The metaphor holds

“It has become cliché to talk about faith as a journey, and yet the metaphor holds. Scripture doesn’t speak of people who found God. Scripture speaks of people who walked with God. This is a keep-moving, one-foot-in-front-of-the-other, who-knows-what’s-next deal, and you never exactly arrive.” — Rachel Held Evans The metaphor does hold, on so many levels. I could talk …

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Sometimes we do

Sometimes Sometimes things don’t go, after all, from bad to worse.  Some years, muscadel faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don’t fail, sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well. A people sometimes will step back from war; elect an honest man, decide they care enough, that they can’t leave some stranger poor. …

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The bigger, more beautiful picture

“When we do the hard, intimate work of friendship, we bring a little more of the divine into daily life.  We get to remind one another about the bigger, more beautiful picture that we can’t always see from where we are.”– Shauna Niequist Okay, so imagine you are traveling across several states to northern Virginia, …

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The whole world, 2017

“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 Hello friends, Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging comments. I have appreciated each one, and will respond as soon as I am able. I wrote the …

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You won’t be the same

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what …

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A pretty good diet

“I am living on hope and faith…a pretty good diet when the mind will receive them.” — Edwin Arlington Robinson It’s interesting that a poet of Robinson’s stature, who penned the devastatingly powerful “Richard Cory,” would describe himself as living on hope and faith. Such somber work does not seem consistent with what we think …

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Among these winters

Be ahead of all parting, as though it already were behind you, like the winter that has just gone by. For among these winters there is one so endlessly winter that only by wintering through it all will your heart survive. Be forever dead in Eurydice-more gladly arise into the seamless life proclaimed in your …

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We conquer

“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” — Edmund Hillary Hillary makes an excellent point. The mountain can’t be conquered by any person. But its magnificent, inevitable presence can be a venue for the building of skill, courage and resilience. It’s not surprising that mountains have become a favorite metaphor for the challenges of daily living. …

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More present

He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man. — Antoine de Saint-Exupery At times the pain of missing Jeff stabs me with a grief so severe and sudden that I wonder how I will survive without him. More often, though, I feel …

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