At one point, I began to think that I had a divine doorman. Lenny was the most unlikely incarnation of God I could imagine, and yet, I kept drifting irresistibly towards this absurd conclusion. Despite my staunchly atheistic inclinations, I couldn’t explain Lenny any other way. But eventually I came to my senses and realized that he was just one of those game show freaks with an encyclopedic memory. That didn’t make him God, did it? Would God proclaim so regularly how much he likes Patsy’s Pizza?
Once upon a time in the land of Shinar, God came down to see the city and the tower. People were united and spoke in one language. Then God confound their language and caused them scattered all over the planet earth. I believe, because of our technology, there will be one computer-based language on earth. Then God will come back again and make us all scattered all over the stars constellation.
It [Communism] is not new. It is, in fact, man’s second oldest faith. Its promise was whispered in the first days of the Creation under the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil: “Ye shall be as gods.” It is the great alternative faith of mankind. Like all great faiths, its force derives from a simple vision. Other ages have had great visions. They have always been different versions of the same vision: the vision of God and man’s relationship to God. The Communist vision is the vision of Man without God.It is the vision of man’s mind displacing God as the creative intelligence of the world. It is the vision of man’s liberated mind, by the sole force of its rational intelligence, redirecting man’s destiny and reorganizing man’s life and the world. It is the vision of man, once more the central figure of the Creation, not because God made man in his image, but because man’s mind makes him the most intelligent of the animals. Copernicus and his successors displaced man as the central fact of the universe by proving that the earth was not the central star of the universe. Communism restores man to his sovereignty by the simple method of denying God.
If your boss asks you to do a task… You’ll stay late for work to make sure it’s done. You’ll be confident that your boss wouldn’t have asked you if he/she didn’t trust that you could do it. You wouldn’t allow anyone or anything to distract you. No matter how hard it is, it’s not an option, you’ll find a way to make it happen. You’ll not only find time, you’ll try to get it done before the deadline. So, why when God gives you a task… you allow fear to consume you, find excuses, allow distractions, care about what people think and assume it’s impossible? If He gave it to you, He trusts you CAN get it done. Yes, they’ll be distractions. And no it’s not going to be easy, but know that it is POSSIBLE!!! Answer the call!
Change is not always a good thing. What I need is not change from one thing to another but transformation from who I am into who I was meant to become. Only when God’s transforming power touches me can I begin to live the simpler, freer, fresher, more creative, more patient, more passionate, more sacrificial, riskier, rawer, more real, more love-driven life God intended for me all along. That transformation is what awaits all who dare to enter the story of God. As Paul wrote, ‘Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think’ (Romans 12:2)
The gifts of the Master are these: freedom, life, hope, new direction, transformation, and intimacy with God. If the cross was the end of the story, we would have no hope. But the cross isn’t the end. Jesus didn’t escape from death; he conquered it and opened the way to heaven for all who will dare to believe. The truth of this moment, if we let it sweep over us, is stunning. It means Jesus really is who he claimed to be, we are really as lost as he said we are, and he really is the only way for us to intimately and spiritually connect with God again.
One of the most striking things about the New Testament teaching on homosexuality is that, right on the heels of the passages that condemn homosexual activity, there are, without exception, resounding affirmations of God’s extravagant mercy and redemption. God condemns homosexual behavior and amazingly, profligately, at great cost to himself, lavishes his love on homosexual persons.
You are a noted friendOf mine, a truly excellent beautifier of my tribute.”Yes, I would sacrifice my soul for the dust of his sanctuary.His favor should be that he accept my sacrifice.He has triumphed who ascribes himself to him!- Not that he needs such following,For he is not in need of creation at all,While they all need him without exception.He belongs to Allah alone, Whose purified servant he is,As his attributes and names have made manifest;And every single favor in creation comes from AllahTo him, and from him to everything else.
Humanity is its own worst enemy. What chance do any other species have?Survival is the parchment upon which the Law of Nature is inscribed.And what I’ll find was always mine.And what I’ll say, I’ve said before.Your kisses taste like blood and wineAnd leave me spent upon the floor.I have endured torments you cannot yet imagine. I have climbed mountains to attain greatness in body and spirit. I have dug to the depths of the Earth to learn the secrets of Creation. I have flourished on the Blood of my people and the blood of legends. I have slept in the arms of the infernal and walked a path of hopelessness. I dwell in Nothing and Nothing dwells within me. My god is castigation and I am the hand of God.For the more Blood one drinks, the more Blood one must have… Nightmares are the ineluctable lessons of the illuminated psyche.A Vampire’s love is like quicksand: it surrounds you and engulfs you but ultimately, it kills you.There is no good, beloved. This is no evil. There is only instinct.Own your darkness. It is the only way to be truly free.Do you know what I find most gratifying about being able to see into the depths of the cosmos? The myriad colours. The multitudinous hues. Humanity can never behold what wonder surrounds them. And you previously human Vampires can only grasp hints of the incredulous kaleidescope that makes up Creation. My Elven eyes can see colours that are beyond your comprehension, so the symphony of the universe is laid bare before my sight. It stirs both elation. and humility. I see a priest of these dread arcana, the mark of Tuthalidon carved and secreted away deep within a heart that exists only to devour. I behold a moon drenched in the blood of martyrs…the Blood of monsters. Blood spilt upon the altars of the Wise. The devastation of oblivion shall encompass all lands and twist all language. In the night shall the lost ones wander, pulling into their fold the immortal and doomed. I see the depth of his endless eyes, searching searching forever searching, seeking out the damned, cleansing Eterah and dressing her in the raiment of abominations.
The difference between this waiting period and the wait that I had already been enduring was that I was no longer hoping that he would see me, wishing that he would work, or wondering if he would care. Instead, I knew that he would be at work in my marriage, and that somehow, someway, someday he would be glorified through our sufferings.
If you are in a pit of stress or despair, don’t succumb to defeat. Don’t accept that difficult place as your fate. Even though God has allowed you to be there right now, he never intended for you to live there. Our God is bigger then whatever problem you are facing. The only way to see past the problem is to believe that he has not forgotten or abandoned you and that, at the exact time that he has ordained, he will reach down and pick you up.
Righteousness and love, law and grace, life and death, as well as time and eternity all intersect at the cross; displaying a divine wisdom that staggers the imagination and leads the humble heart to bow in thankful adoration. To understand the cross of Christ is to understand the heart of God toward a fallen world He wants to save.
Fine art refers to an accomplished or advanced skill being used to testify and reveal the knowledge, ability, and wisdom of the creator. There is no art more exquisite than the work of the Master Artist Himself. Even those who choose to deny Him credit for His own creation are often engaged as an admirer of His work. Refusing to acknowledge the Source will never minimize His glory or extinguish the truth.With God’s loving guidance our life can be a great masterpiece filled with beauty, adventure, hope and purpose.
People said there had to be a Supreme Being because otherwise how could the universe exist, eh?And of course there clearly had to be, said Koomi, a Supreme Being. But since the universe was a bit of a mess, it was obvious that the Supreme Being hadn’t in fact made it. If he had made it he would, being Supreme, have made a better job of it, with far better thought given, taking an example at random, to things like the design of the common nostril. Or, to put it another way, the existence of a badly put-together watch proved the existence of a blind watchmaker. You only had to look around to see that there was room for improvement practically everywhere. This suggested that the Universe had probably been put together in a bit of a rush by an underling while the Supreme Being wasn’t looking, in the same way that Boy Scouts’ Association minutes are done on office photocopiers all over the country.So, reasoned Koomi, it was not a good idea to address any prayers to a Supreme Being. It would only attract his attention and might cause trouble.
The portraits, of more historical than artistic interest, had gone; and tapestry, full of the blue and bronze of peacocks, fell over the doors, and shut out all history and activity untouched with beauty and peace; and now when I looked at my Crevelli and pondered on the rose in the hand of the Virgin, wherein the form was so delicate and precise that it seemed more like a thought than a flower, or at the grey dawn and rapturous faces of my Francesca, I knew all a Christian’s ecstasy without his slavery to rule and custom; when I pondered over the antique bronze gods and goddesses, which I had mortgaged my house to buy, I had all a pagan’s delight in various beauty and without his terror at sleepless destiny and his labour with many sacrifices; and I had only to go to my bookshelf, where every book was bound in leather, stamped with intricate ornament, and of a carefully chosen colour: Shakespeare in the orange of the glory of the world, Dante in the dull red of his anger, Milton in the blue grey of his formal calm; and I could experience what I would of human passions without their bitterness and without satiety. I had gathered about me all gods because I believed in none, and experienced every pleasure because I gave myself to none, but held myself apart, individual, indissoluble, a mirror of polished steel: I looked in the triumph of this imagination at the birds of Hera, glowing in the firelight as though they were wrought of jewels; and to my mind, for which symbolism was a necessity, they seemed the doorkeepers of my world, shutting out all that was not of as affluent a beauty as their own; and for a moment I thought as I had thought in so many other moments, that it was possible to rob life of every bitterness except the bitterness of death; and then a thought which had followed this thought, time after time, filled me with a passionate sorrow.
If there was a God he reasoned it would have the same relation to us as we have to blades of grass. Do we make them grow? Yes in the sense that we water the lawn. Do we care for them and worry over them? Again as a lawn but not as individual blades. We don’t give them names. We just want them to look nice and green. A God who created the earth would want it to look nice an blue from space. He would sit back after a long day of creating things and think to himself now that’s what a planet should look like.
I don’t know.” The brothers had begging, hungry looks, like dogs waiting to be fed. They wanted an answer. It would be nice if it was the right answer, but if it couldn’t be, then any answer would do, because then we would stop being worried…and then his mind caught alight.That’s what the gods are! An answer that will do! Because there’s food to be caught and babies to be born and life to be lived and so there is no time for big, complicated, and worrying answers! Please give us a simple answer, so that we don’t have to think, because if we think, we might find answers that don’t fit the way we want the world to be.
You feel like you’re cursed. Death follows you wherever you go and you feel completely abandoned. You wish it would all end for you. You think that death would be a release, yet something compels you forward.”The blood drained from Gabe’s face as he listened to Uri speak. “You’re not alone, Gabe, there are many more like us and we want to help you.
Our prayer life and rule of prayer will be shaped by the different stages of our spiritual journey as well. Many people who have just come to know Christ find that their words flow easily. Prayer is a joy for them. But, as with romantic relationships, there is a natural movement beyond this honeymoon phase. When feelings of intense connection with God ebb, we have a new opportunity to engage God – not based on cool spiritual vibes but as an expression of our genuine love for God. Times of spiritual dryness are normal for almost everyone, even if we haven’t sinned and to the best of our knowledge haven’t done anything to wall off our relationship with God. God may allow this dryness so that we can mature in our relationship with him and learn to seek him not for an ecstatic spiritual experience but out of a deeper love and commitment.
Father, be near as we are surrounded by this cloud of deep suffering. Open our eyes to see that you are all things, the light and the darkness, not only those things that seem good in our eyes, but the horrifying unexplainable. Wrap us up inside of the cloud and reveal the mysteries that can only be learned in places of sorrow, that when we walk out we will be as Moses, transformed by the shadow and beaming with the radiant light of your glory. Give us the strength to love on, though our hearts are broken.
Jude leaped out of arm’s reach, and walked along the trackway weeping–not from the pain, though that was keen enough; not from the perception of the flaw in the terrestrial scheme, by which what was good for God’s birds was bad for God’s gardener; but with the awful sense that he had wholly disgraced himself before he had been a year in the parish, and hence might be a burden to his great-aunt for life.
Adversity is a school that you need not apply to be enrolled. It has no respect for age, wealth, education, race, power, fame or beauty. It is a school among schools and every human being passes through the school in one format or the other. It is also possible to attend the post graduate department without your consent. You can never attend the school and be the same again. It will change you and purge you of all the things you think that you know. It will bring you to a leveling far beyond all your imaginations. You may also be required to repeat a class with different course or instructors.
When I speak about Jesus Christ, I do not speak about Christianity. Christianity has basically nothing to do with Jesus. The spirit of Christ can not be organized. Then it will not liberate you.Christ is the very essence of religion. Christ is the culmination of all human aspirations. In Christ all the aspirations of humanity are fulfilled.Christ celebrates life, he loves life, he is a song and a dance. He is also transcendental. When you come closer to him, you will find that his inner being is transcendence. You will meet the unknown, where the world disappears and God appears. You can trust him, because he is like you. He is part of your suffering, pain and sorrow, but he is also transcendental. That is why Jesus became a mile stone in the history of human consciousness. Jesus lived and loved with truth and grace. Jesus being was truth and grace. Whenever truth is there, grace is there. And whenever grace is there, truth is there. To come closer to Jesus, you have to find your own inner being, the kingdom of God. That is the whole message of Jesus. Then you will find that God is eternal. God is the whole existence. His creativity is eternal. God is creativity. God is not a person. God is existence, being. God is the energy that underlies all life, which is in the stones, in birds, in animals, in human beings and in the stars.
When I speak of God, I mean that god who prevented man from putting forth his hand and taking also of the fruit of the tree of life that he might live forever; of that god who multiplied the agonies of woman, increased the weary toil of man, and in his anger drowned a world—of that god whose altars reeked with human blood, who butchered babes, violated maidens, enslaved men and filled the earth with cruelty and crime; of that god who made heaven for the few, hell for the many, and who will gloat forever and ever upon the writhings of the lost and damned.
The spoken word has come to dominate many Protestant forms of worship: the words of prayers, responsive readings, Scripture, the sermon, and so forth. Yet the spoken word is perhaps the least effective way of reaching the heart; one must constantly pay attention with one’s mind. The spoken word tends to go to our heads, not our hearts.
What is this thing called life? I believeThat the earth and the stars too, and the whole glittering universe, and rocks on the mountains have life,Only we do not call it so–I speak of the lifeThat oxidizes fats and proteins and carbo-Hydrates to live on, and from that chemical energyMakes pleasure and pain, wonder, love, adoration, hatred and terror: how do these things growFrom a chemical reaction?I think they were here already, I think the rocksAnd the earth and the other planets, and the stars and the galaxieshave their various consciousness, all things are conscious;But the nerves of an animal, the nerves and brainBring it to focus; the nerves and brain are like a burning-glassTo concentrate the heat and make it catch fire:It seems to us martyrs hotter than the blazing hearthFrom which it came. So we scream and laugh, clamorous animalsBorn howling to die groaning: the old stones in the dooryardPrefer silence; but those and all things have their own awareness,As the cells of a man have; they feel and feed and influence each other, each unto all,Like the cells of a man’s body making one being,They make one being, one consciousness, one life, one God.
The Presence and the manifestation of the Presence are not the same. There can be the one without the other. God is here when we are wholly unaware of it. He is manifest only when and as we are aware of His Presence. On our part there must be surrender to the Spirit of God, for His work it is to show us the Father and the Son. If we co-operate with Him in loving obedience God will manifest Himself to us, and that manifestation will be the difference between a nominal Christian life and a life radiant with the light of His face.
God and Destiny are not against us, rather they are for us, they are the ones who never forget the things we have long forgotten, the ones who hear the desires of our heart that our own heads can’t hear, and they are the ones who never forget who we really are, long after our minds have forgotten the images of who we are. We come from God and we belong to Destiny, yet for some reason of ignorance we think that to be the master of our own fates and the captain of our own souls means to write everything down on a paper and plan everything out on a grid! Such great things to be done, and we think they are accomplished by our primitive ways! No. We must only know what we want. And want what we want. And then fly high enough to see all that which we want that we couldn’t yet see.
If I tell you that I would be disobeying the god and on that account it is impossible for me to keep quiet, you won’t be persuaded by me, taking it that I am ionizing. And if I tell you that it is the greatest good for a human being to have discussions every day about virtue and the other things you hear me talking about, examining myself and others, and that the unexamined life is not livable for a human being, you will be even less persuaded.
Those who live as though God sets the rules are not going by their own rules. That is the self-sacrifice, or selflessness, that peace more often than not requires. Those who insist on going by their own rules cannot make that sacrifice. They are the steady adherents of (global) conflict because they are forever fighting both themselves and others to do whatever they think that they want to do.
Jesus Christ knew he was God. So wake up and find out eventually who you really are. In our culture, of course, they’ll say you’re crazy and you’re blasphemous, and they’ll either put you in jail or in a nut house (which is pretty much the same thing). However if you wake up in India and tell your friends and relations, ‘My goodness, I’ve just discovered that I’m God,’ they’ll laugh and say, ‘Oh, congratulations, at last you found out.
Comparing what we’re looking for misses the point. It’s wanting to know that makes us matter. Otherwise we’re going out the way we came in. That’s why you can’t believe in the afterlife, Valentine. Believe in the after, by all means, but not the life. Believe in God, the soul, the spirit, the infinite, believe in angels if you like, but not in the great celestial get-together for an exchange of views. If the answers are in the back of the book I can wait, but what a drag. Better to struggle on knowing that failure is final.
Billions of years ago God was creating universes and life; thousands of years ago he was creating angry floods, sin-saving human sacrifices and audible burning bushes. Today he occasionally appears on a piece of toast. To state that God has become reclusive over the years would be an overwhelming understatement.
The entire Jesus concept, that human sacrifice should be the substratum of a moral religion of love, strikes me as incongruous. God condemned us and Jesus saved us, and they are actually the same being? Christianity is the idea that you are so abhorrent that God had to kill himself. He had to embody the human form and send himself on a bizarre suicide mission just to revoke the disgustingness of the humans he created. I balk at suggestions that these ideas dictate to the concepts of morality and love.
At what point, 2,000 years on from the life of Jesus, do we need a refresher course? Another 2,000 years? Imagine 100,000 years’ time – would the story of Moses’ burning bush amaze a generation laden with unimaginable scientific and technological wonders? Here lies religion’s biggest quandary. While science is squeezing the life out of God, how is religion going to muster a counterattack from here?