The way we show respect is to give it a second look, a look not of the eyes but of the heart…To respect something is to understand that there is something there to see, that it is not all surface, that something lies beneath the surface, something that has the power to change the way we think…or how we live.” —Ken Gire
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A CONFEDERATE SOLDIER’S PRAYER
(Attributed to a battle weary C.S.A soldier near the end of the war)
I asked God for strength, that I might achieve;
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health, that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy;
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life;
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am among all men most richly blessed.
Outreaching understanding. What rises
Rises into comprehension
And beyond. Even falling raises
In praise of light. What is begun
Is unfinished. And so the mind
That comes to rest among the bluebells
Comes to rest in motion, refined
By alteration. The bud swells,
Opens, makes seed, falls, is well,
Being becoming what it is:
Miracle and parable
Exceeding thought, because it is
Immeasurable; the understander
Encloses understanding, thus
Darkens the light. We can stand under
No ray that is not dimmed by us.
The mind that comes to rest is tended
In ways that it cannot intend:
Is borne, preserved, and comprehended
By what it cannot comprehend.
Your Sabbath, Lord, thus keeps us by
Your will, not ours. And it is fit
Our only choice should be to die
Into that rest, or out of it.
“Vulnerability is not weakness, and the uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure
we face every day are not optional. Our only choice is a question of engagement.”
Faith is first and foremost not knowledge about Jesus but active trust that Jesus is sufficient for one’s deepest and heartfelt needs.
—James R. Edwards
If we do not transform our pain, we will most assuredly transmit it.
To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.
Graeme Goldsworthy has summarized a definition of the Kingdom of God as “God’s people in God’s place under God’s rule.”
Anthony Hoekema has described God’s Kingdom as “the reign of God dynamically active in human history through Jesus Christ, the purpose of which is the redemption of his people from sin and from demonic powers, and the final establishment of the new heavens and the new earth.”
George Eldon Ladd notes that “The primary meaning of both the Hebrew word malkuth in the Old Testament and of the Greek word basileia in the New Testament is the rank, authority and sovereignty exercised by a king. A basileia may indeed be a realm over which a sovereign exercises his authority; and it may be the people who belong to that realm and over whom authority is exercised; but these are secondary and derived meanings. First of all, a kingdom is the authority to rule, the sovereignty of the king.”
As Hope Presbyterian Church,
we long for every person to receive and thrive
in the embrace of the Father,
to be equipped as disciples of the Son,
and to engage the world by the power of the Spirit.
As a fellowship of broken, yet redeemed believers,
we invite our community in and around Winston-Salem
to experience with us true hope for real life
through the good news of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom.
“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” —Brené Brown
In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of God or spiritual-type thing to worship — be it J.C. or Allah, be it Yahweh or the Wiccan mother-goddess or the Four Noble Truths or some intangible set of ethical principles — is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things — if they are where you tap real meaning in life — then you will never have enough. Never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you. On one level, we all know this stuff already — it’s been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, bromides, epigrams, parables: the skeleton of every great story. The trick is keeping the truth up-front in daily consciousness. Worship power — you will feel weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to keep the fear at bay. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart — you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. And so on. —David Foster Wallace, “This Is Water”
Hope is faithful confidence that God continues to author a story that moves us from vision to action. —Mark Oestreicher, Hopecasting