Tag Archives: hope

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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We must free ourselves

“We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest.  We must learn to sail in high winds.” — Aristotle Onassis Whatever else might be said of Aristotle Onassis, he certainly learned to make the most of adverse circumstances.  His family’s experiences could have led him into poverty.  Instead he became one …

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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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The people weeping

There is sobbing of the strong, And a pall upon the land; But the People in their weeping Bare the iron hand: Beware the People weeping When they bare the iron hand. — Herman Melville Almost all of us who are old enough to remember September 11, 2001, can describe where we were and what …

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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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The perturbing mystery

“The butterfly’s attractiveness derives not only from colors and symmetry:  deeper motives contribute to it.  We would not think them so beautiful if they did not fly, or if they flew straight and briskly like bees, or if they stung, or above all if they did not enact the perturbing mystery of metamorphosis: the latter …

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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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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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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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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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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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Just stand there shining

“Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.” — Anne Lamott I don’t want to sound paranoid, but people are watching us. They watch us in grocery store checkout lines, in doctors’ waiting rooms, or sitting at the wheel at a stoplight in gridlock. They overhear …

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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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The gateways

“The obstacles of your past can become the gateways that lead to new beginnings.”  — Ralph Blum If you’ve ever seen the arcade game called “Whack A Mole,”  you may feel as I do:  that it’s a pretty good visual representation of what life is like.  Troubles keep popping up all over, and as soon …

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Our song

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” — John Paul the Great Though I have never been a Roman Catholic, I was drawn to the writings of John Paul II.  His erudition and resolve impressed me, but I connected most with his steadfast devotion to the theme that …

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Divine surprise

“The story of Easter is the story of God’s wonderful window of divine surprise.” — Carl Knudsen It’s possible to hope with complete assurance for something, and still be delightfully surprised when you get more than you asked for. That’s how Christmas morning often felt to me in childhood– the anticipation, though great, never quite captured …

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Just three days

“Earth’s saddest day and gladdest day were just three days apart!“– Susan Coolidge The gospel story of Jesus and his victory over death was foreshadowed centuries earlier, and not only in the writing of the Old Testament prophets.  In the book of Psalms we find this hopeful verse: “Weeping may endure for a night, but …

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