Every day God invites us on the same kind of adventure. It’s not a trip where He sends us a rigid itinerary, He simply invites us. God asks what it is He’s made us to love, what it is that captures our attention, what feeds that deep indescribable need of our souls to experience the richness of the world He made. And then, leaning over us, He whispers, “Let’s go do that together.
Like Gandalf, God knows the battle going on inside our hobbitlike selves, the wrestling match between the Baggins and the Took. The Baggins side of us takes our creature comforts for granted. We assume these comforts are part of the terms and conditions outlined in the job description Jesus offers when he says, "Follow me." But God never said anything about discipleship being comfortable. He's more interested in coaxing the Took side of us to the fore, the side that's willing to endure a little hardship for the sake of the final destination. When we learn to live without, we discover what we're really made of.
Nature is what we know. We do not know the gods of religions. And nature is not kind, or merciful, or loving. If God made me — the fabled God of the three qualities of which I spoke: mercy, kindness, love — He also made the fish I catch and eat. And where do His mercy, kindness, and love for that fish come in? No; nature made us — nature did it all — not the gods of the religions.[October 2, 1910, interview in the NY Times Magazine]
My experience is that God will meet us anywhere. Grieving badly and under the covers? He's there. Sitting at the cemetery, wishing it were you? You're not alone. Sitting on your child's bedroom floor still in your nightgown in the middle of the afternoon? He's holding you up. God will meet you anywhere
God wants to rescue us, not destroy us. You don't have to be afraid of being happy, thinking that he wants to take that happiness away from you That's not who he is." "How can you be sure?" "Because when you've had a taste of goodness, it helps you recognize the difference between good and evil. I believe that people like Grace and St. Francis and a whole host of other kind, loving people show us what God is like. He isn't waiting to punish you and he doesn't give you blessings just to strip them away.
God reminds us again and again that things between He and us are forever fixed. They are the rendezvous points where God declares to us concretely that the debt has been paid, the ledger put away, and that everything we need, in Christ we already possess. This re-convincing produces humility, because we realize that our needs are fulfilled. We don’t have to worry about ourselves anymore. This in turn frees us to stop looking out for what we think we need and liberates us to love our neighbor by looking out for what they need.
Nobody is worthy to be loved. The fact that God loves man shows us that in the divine order of ideal things it is written that eternal love is to be given to what is eternally unworthy. Or if that phrase seems to be a bitter one to bear, let us say that everybody is worthy of love, except him who thinks he is.
If God meant for us to carry baggage around, he would have made our skin have little pouches like kangaroos. Or maybe he would have just made it so that each and every one of us were born with huge- ass shoulders to carry the load. Clearly, we weren’t made to carry the weight of the world, kinda makes you wonder why we do it anyway, huh?
In the beginning, God created the earth, and he looked upon it in his cosmic loneliness.And God said, "Let Us make living creatures out of mud, so the mud can see what We have done." And God created every living creature that now moveth, and one was man. Mud as man alone could speak. God leaned close to mud as man sat, looked around, and spoke. "What is the purpose of all this?" he asked politely."Everything must have a purpose?" asked God."Certainly," said man."Then I leave it to you to think of one for all this," said God.And He went away.
PROVERBS 18, GOD'S GOODY BAG OF FAVOR. God wants us to find the hidden treasures. When a person "finds" anything, it is implied that the object found is already there but "hidden." In this case, it would be hidden by God, so God would have to be the one to help you find a wife. You don't just pick a wife because of the qualities that you like. A lot of people do have the same qualities. What you want is the person that God chose for you to marry. What you will find is that God has hidden them so you could find them. Your very act of obedience in finding the wife that He has hidden for you and that He has shown you so you could get her brings favor from God.
Take the Holocaust for example: Why did God allow Hitler to kill millions of innocent Jews? Because God didn't want to step on Hitler's toes and interfere with his free will? That's a pretty lame excuse. What about the free will of all those Jews who died? I'm pretty sure that getting gassed to death was obviously not their choice. So, was the Holocaust part of God's great plan? Is that why he allowed it to happen? Is that why God didn't answer the prayers of all those Jews who begged him to make Hitler drop dead? Why didn't God just make Hitler have a heart attack before he could start World War 2? Why didn't he simply prevent Hitler from being born? How could a God who is supposed to be all good all the time allow something like the Holocaust?Or did God not just LET it happen? Maybe God MADE the Holocaust happen, because everything that happens, happens for a good reason? Are our minds simply too tiny, too inferior, to understand God's divine plan? Are we just too stupid to see the greater good that came out of the Holocaust?If that were true, and everything that happens, including the Holocaust, is part of God's perfect plan, then that means that Hitler really wasn't a bad man at all. He was actually doing God's work. And if Hitler did exactly what he was supposed to do in God's great plan, then Hitler obviously didn't have free will, but was just God's puppet. So that means Hitler was a good guy. A man of God.Sorry, but there is no religion in the world that could sell me on believing THAT bullshit.
You know, He's given us talents and gifts to share them, and that's part of the reason why I love what I do. [...] I think that when anybody is developing their talents and sharing it, I think you glow, I really think you do because you are representing the best side of yourself and the gifts that God's given you. And in that moment, I can almost feel the glow, I can see it.
But God made us to life in community, to laugh and cry. To hurt and to celebrate with each other, no matter what were going through.And transformation is tough, and we dont always end up where we think we will.But we have to remember, that even when we struggle to believe in Him, He always believes in us.He fills our lives with purpose and passion, if we just let Him.And the best part of the journey, is that the God of the universe, sometimes allows us to play a part in changing the world.
Well, God be with you,’ she said as she finally left him. ’I’m sure He is,’ he replied. She gave a start. ’Are you certain of that?’’He has every reason to be. Obviously He’s Lord over all Creation, but it can’t be anything special to be god of animals and mountains. It’s really us human beings that make Him what He is. So why shouldn’t He be with us?’Having delivered this impressive speech, Rolandsen looked rather pleased with himself. The curate’s wife would be puzzling over him as she walked home. Ha-ha, it was not so surprising that the little dome resting on his shoulders should have made such a great invention after all! But now the cognac had arrived.
Scripture breathes wisdom like we breathe oxygen. It can't not. Through Scripture, God reveals himself. This wisdom cannot be captured, let alone contained, on a neon bumper sticker or rubber bracelet. Wisdom itself invites us to go deeper- right into a relationship with God himself.Through wisdom, we learn to love God and love what he loves. We find rich counsel on the life we were meant for- in our families, communities, and world. We discover our personal responsibilities to others. And we unearth how to put love into action." -Organic God
Whenever God thinks of you, he has your best interests in mind; he has plans to take you further, deeper, and higher than you ever dreamed. This process begins when you seek God and spend time with him. Look for every opportunity to know God. Consider your daily schedule. What does it include? A workout at the gym? A trip to the post office? A lunch hour? A commute? Look for ways to include God in your activities. Invite God to accompany you by talking together. Look for moments- even if it's only ten or twenty seconds- to steal away with him. God will reward your efforts as you reshape your inner life to be focused around him. As you seek God, you will find yourself abiding in him." -Hungry for God
Hunger for God compels us to seek the Lord. At times our desire for God overcomes our physical desires, and the ache for God is palpable. Throughout the Scriptures, God is faithful to reward those who search for him. Written during one of King David's low points, while living on the run in the wilderness, he cries, "Oh God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water." Though David hides in the wilderness, he doesn't stay there physically or spiritually. When we seek God with our whole hearts and souls, he promises to reveal himself to us." -Hungry for God
They saw her husband, this giant of a man in God’s Kingdom, this man, that for over fifteen years was their example of what a great man and husband looked like, walking up to his weeping wife, gently embracing her, soothing her, lifting and holding her soul up high while she released her own pains and worries from the last two days, feeling him, leaning into him, and submitting her pain and fears to her husband out of her love and trust. His strength was shown in his softness. He was made strong in his wife’s pain. He was her man of God
In His free grace, God is for man in every respect; He surrounds man from all sides. He is man's Lord who is before him, above him, after him, and thence also with him in history, the locus of man's existence. Despite man's insignificance, God is with him as his Creator who intended and made mankind to be very good. Despite man's sin, God is with him, the One who was in Jesus Christ reconciling the world, drawing man unto Himself in merciful judgment. Man's evil past is not merely crossed out because of its irrelevancy. Rather, it is in the good care of God. Despite man's life in the flesh, corrupt and ephemeral, God is with him. The victor in Christ is here and now present through His Spirit, man's strength, companion, and comfort. Despite man's death God is with him, meeting him as redeemer and perfecter at the threshold of the future to show him the totality of existence in the true light in which the eyes of God beheld it from the beginning and will behold it evermore. In what He is for man and does for man, God ushers in the history leading to the ultimate salvation of man.
Think of the self that God has given as an acorn. It is a marvelous little thing, a perfect shape, perfectly designed for its purpose, perfectly functional. Think of the grand glory of an oak tree. God’s intention when He made the acorn was the oak tree. His intention for us is ‘… the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.’ Many deaths must go into our reaching that measure, many letting-goes. When you look at the oak tree, you don’t feel that the loss’ of the acorn is a very great loss. The more you perceive God’s purpose in your life, the less terrible the losses seem.
If there is a God who made us and we did wrong before His eyes—as George says—at least we did wrong only because we were as God made us, and I do not think that He should set traps. Oh, you should know better than George! Let us not bring all that back into the world again—the angry God, the mean God—the one who does not tell us the rules of the game, and then strikes us when we break them. Let us not bring Him back.