Posts Tagged ‘excerpt’
We have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints – the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you. We pray that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation – if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel.
I have become a servant to the church by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness – the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints.
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.
Of course, I’ve had a lot of time to formulate my opinion about divinity since that night on the bathroom floor when I spoke to God directly for the first time. In the middle of that dark November crisis, though, I was not interested in formulating my views on theology. I was interested only in saving my life. I had finally noticed that I seemed to have reached a state of hopeless and life-threatening despair, and it occurred to me that sometimes people in this state will approach God for help. I think I’d read that in a book somewhere.
What I said to God through my gasping sobs was something like this: “Hello, God. How are you? I’m Liz, it’s nice to meet you.”
That’s right – I was speaking to the creator of the universe as though we’d just been introduced at a cocktail party. But we work with what we know in this life, and these are the words I always used at the beginning of a relationship. In fact, it was all I could do to stop myself from saying, “I’ve always been a big fan of your work…”
“I’m sorry to bother you so late at night,” I continued. “But i’m in serious trouble. And I’m sorry I haven’t ever spoken direclty to you before but I do hope I have always expressed ample gratitude for all the blessings that you’ve given me in my life.”
This thought caused me to sob even harder. God waited me out. I pulled myself together enough to go on: “I am not an expert in praying, as you know. But can you please help me? I am in deserate need of help. I don’t know what to do. I need an answer. Please tell me what to do. Please tell me what to do. Please tell me what to do…”
And so the prayer narrowed itself down to that simple entreaty – Please tell me what to do – repeasted again and again. I don’t know how many times I begged. I only know that i begged like someone who was pleading for their life. And the crying went on forever.
Until – quite abruptly – it stopped.
Quite abruptly, I found that I was not crying anymore. I’d stopped crying, in fact, in mid-sob. My misery had been completely vacuumed out of me. I lifted my forehead off the floor and sat up in surprise, wondering if I would see now some Great Being who had taken my weeping away. But nobody was there. I was just alone but not really alone, either. I was surrounded by something I can only describe as a pocked of silence – a silence so rare that I didn’t want to exhale, for fear of scaring it off. I was seamlessly still. I don’t know when I’d ever felt such stillness.
Then I head a voice. Please don’t be alarmed – it was not an Old Testament Hollywood Charlton Heston voice, nor was it a voice telling me I must build a baseball field in my backyard. It was merely my own voice, speaking from within my own self. But this was my voice as I had never heard it before. This was my voice, but perfectly wise, calm and compassionate. This was what my voice would sound like if I’d only ever experienced love and certainty in my life. How can I desciribe the warmth of affection in that voice, as it gave me the answer that would forever seal my faith in the divine?
The voice said: Go back to bed, Liz.
It was so immediately clear that this was the only thing to do. I would not have accepted any other answer. I would not have trusted a great booming voice that said either: You Must Divorce Your Husband! or You Must Not Divorce Your Husband! because that’s not true wisdom. True wisdom gives the only possible answer at any given moment, and that night, going back to bed was the only possible answer. Go back to bed, said this omniscient interior voice, because you don’t need to know the final answer right now, at three o’clock in the morning on a Thursday in November. Go back to bed, because I love you. Go back to bed, because the only thing you need to do for now is get some rest and take good care of yourself until you do know the answer. Go back to bed so that, when the tempest comes, you’ll be strong enough to deal with it. And the tempest is coming, dear one. Very soon. But not tonight. Therefore:
Go back to bed, Liz.
In a way, this little episode had all the hallmarks of a typical Christian conversion experience – the dark night of the soul, the call for help, the responding voice, the sense of transformation. But I would not say that this was religious conversion for me, not in the traditional manner of being born again or saved. Instead, I would call what happened that night the beginning of a religious conversation. The first words of an open and exploratory dialogue that would, ultimately, bring me very close to God, indeed.
– Excerpt: Chapter 4 from Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.
I’m only 1/3 of the way through the book, and loving it so far, but this chapter is by far my favorite. Loving this book so much. Amped to see the movie when I finish as well.
This is an excerpt from here: follow the link to read the whole thing…
Love is a beautiful and wonderful and even sacred thing…but until it arrives, shouldn’t we give ourselves permission to THRIVE? The thing that the movies and greeting cards and your great-aunt Ida who shoots sympathetic looks your way and slips copies of “The Old Maid’s Survival Guide” to you at family gatherings fail to portray is an accurate picture of the life of The Single Woman. I don’t know about you, but I LIKE being able to spend money on myself without asking anyone’s permission. I LIKE to take myself out on a weekly date to the bookstore or the movies and spend time in my own company. I LIKE staying in my pajamas all day long and watching “Friends” reruns while eating a box of Oreos and not feeling guilty about it. I LIKE not having to shave my legs if I don’t want to and taking pole-dance aerobics on a whim and blasting Britney Spears tunes while singing into the broom handle while I’m cleaning my house. I LIKE the freedom that comes with belonging to ME and only me, to have and to hold in sickness and in health, forsaking all others til death do us part. And while I’d love to eventually have someone join me on my journey, I refuse to stay grounded if they don’t. So I want to encourage you, my beautiful single ladies, to flip the script on your inner Single Woman and start to see yourselves for the truly brave, empowered, sassy women that you are. In the Single Woman Dictionary, RIP OUT the pages “Needy” & “Desperate,” because YOU ARE NEITHER. After all, fabulous, fearless females through the ages have helped redefine The Single Woman.
So, here’s my confession: I am a Quran burner…
Oh, I’m not planning to actually burn the Muslim Holy Book on Saturday, but in many ways, I may as well have. Or perhaps I’m a Bible burner, or a Gita burner or a Book of Mormon burner. Anytime I refuse to acknowledge the humanity of another because of some label I choose to use to separate us, I have treated their sacredness as so much rubbish to be burned. Anytime I point a finger at another, while refusing to recognise the evil in my own heart, I have denied God’s image in them. Anytime I allow my fear, or my anger, or my pride, or my need to be right to leave someone else diminished or wounded, I have denied all of the sacred writings that instruct me to honour and love even my enemies – and I may as well have burned every Holy Book within reach.
this is an excerpt from here…click to read the rest…thought provoking indeed.
This one’s for the girls who believe in love, but also believe in themselves.
The ones that have looked settling in the eye and walked away.
The ones who know their worth better than to accept a life less than the one they deserve.
The girls who happen to prefer registering for pole-dancing aerobics to registering for china.
The girls who choose margarita parties over Tupperware parties.
The girls who know they don’t need a ring to sing…or a mate to be great.
The girls who know that ME has to come before WE.
The ones who aren’t afraid to be late bloomers.
The ones who like owning their own schedules, their own weekends, their own independence.
The ones who boldly chart their own path…even if it doesn’t include a white picket fence.
The ones who hope for romance but with or without it, crank up the music and DANCE.
The ones who refuse to be grounded by the unaccompanied journey – but realize that those who fly solo often have the strongest wings.
The ones who know it takes guts and heart and courage to walk a mile in a single woman’s shoes – and sometimes a fabulous pedicure.
The girls who don’t wonder why they’re single – but wander while they’re single.
The girls who don’t allow their joy to depart simply because love hasn’t yet arrived.
This one’s for the girls who know that: “Being single used to mean that nobody wanted you. Now it means you’re pretty sexy and you’re taking your time deciding how you want your life to be and who you want to spend it with.” ~Sarah Jessica Parker
At the end of the day, next time you check the box “S” for single, remember this: No longer is “S” a scarlet letter to be ashamed of, but a mark of your true Superwoman status. Single is no longer a lack of options – but a choice. A choice to refuse to let your life be defined by your relationship status but to live every day Happily and let your Ever After work itself out. Whether or not you have someone in the passenger seat, you are still the driver of your own life and can take whatever road you choose. So the next time you hit a speed bump otherwise known as the age-old question “Why are you still single?” look ‘em in the eye and say: “Because I’m too fabulous to settle.”
Excerpt from here
I’ve posted this on here before i think, or at least added it as a link on my reads of the week, but it’s a good reminder so here it is again. it is an excerpt from a post by John Acuff on Stuff Christians Like:
The world is pretty big. There are a lot of countries, with millions and millions of square miles of people and land and ocean. The universe is even bigger than that. I’ve never been but from the photos I’ve seen it’s massive. Pathways of stars, belts of black holes and galaxies and planets. It’s just endless, and somewhere up there, God knows your boyfriend broke up with you.
Maybe He doesn’t. I mean, maybe He’s up there and He’s working on really big stuff. He’s healing famines and trying to bring peace to war torn lands. The greatness of His issues makes your little issues look ordinary and simple and maybe even boring. But every now and then I come across a verse that shakes my deep belief that I am beneath God’s radar. One that I love is Psalm 56:8. “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”
So if you’re feeling like you’re too small and insignificant, remember that in the 6 470 818 671 people on earth, He knows you by name, and He sees you, and He loves you!
I was at the book fair the other day and found a copy of The Prayer of Jabez for $2.99. I’d completely forgotten about that book. Which is odd considering how popular it was ten years ago. Seemed like everyone had a copy of that book. Or the Bible study. Or the journal. Or the workbook or the copy for teens or women.
It was quite the industry really, and the reasons for it were pretty apparent. Say a little prayer, and God will bless you in abundance. It almost seemed too good to be true, but there it was. There was even a verse to back it up.
I never bought a copy. Didn’t even buy the $2.99 copy at the book fair. Not because I didn’t (and still do) want to be blessed in abundance, but because once upon a time I said my own version of Jabez’s prayer without knowing it. The answer I got was a little different than his. And though that prayer was uttered at years ago, I still remember that conversation between God and me.
It was like this:
Follow this link to read the rest…worth it!
Also, what I have found many people have done, is read that because I don’t want to be a Pastor, I have given up on the whole idea of Church. Not so. I have nothing against ‘Church’, how could I? It’s, by definition, a collection of people choosing to band together so they can better connect with God, each other, and then unleash the Kingdom on the rest of the world. That’s good stuff! While I do have many issues with our modern-era, western-style church structures and culture, I still believe that Church is the best idea we have.
this is an excerpt Sean Tucker’s blog this past week…find the rest here.
It’s excerpt friday, and without further adieu…
I think Christianity should come with a disclaimer. Something like… to find your life you must lose it…or take up your cross daily…or something like that.
I heard somewhere that following Jesus will wreck you….this has become more and more aparent as I grow up. When you’re young Christianity sells like “Want to cure your addiction…follow Jesus!” or “Want all your dreams to come true….come to church!”
But deciding to follow Jesus is this crazy, insane idea that works backwards.
another one of those great reads. Read the whole post here.
Does hell exist? If there was no heaven/hell would you still believe as you do? Would knowing there was a literal heaven/hell change your beliefs or the way you live?
I’d much rather hell not exist. I’d rather go to heaven and find out that everyone got there. It wouldn’t bother me in the least that I had been a Christian my whole life and fought the urge every day to smoke cigarettes and juggle cats, just to get to heaven and found my slovenly neighbor standing next to me in his beer-stained T-shirt. I’d rather not worry about family and friends that don’t believe what I do.
this was an excerpt from a blog post i read earlier this week. click here to read the rest of it.