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QUOTE (Dominique Pire)

February 10, 2016

800px-Georges_Pire_1958“Let us not speak of tolerance. This negative word implies grudging concessions by smug consciences. Rather, let us speak of mutual understanding and mutual respect.  There is perhaps no surer road to peace than the one that starts from little islands and oases of genuine kindness, islands and oases constantly growing in number and being continually joined together until eventually they ring the world.”
~ Dominique Pire

In honor of Dominique Georges Pire, a Belgian cleric and Noble Prize winner for helping refugees in post-world war II Europe, who was born on this day in 1910.

Resources:

Father Dominique Pire
Today in History

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Thinking Thursday: Accused [my poetry]

February 1, 2016

Ann Marie Thinking Out Loud

Book

The line of the accused stretched off into the mist,
the clerk of the court was working through his list.
To each of the accused he gave a big fat file,
“Read your charges to save time, ” he said with a smile.

As they read, some people wept, some groaned and some stared,
this was not what they’d expected, they weren’t prepared.
“Where’s the angels and the harps and the life of bliss?
I want my friends and family, I don’t want this.”

They all looked through their files with dismay and despair,
as they saw all their thoughts and their actions laid bare,
and they knew they were guilty and saw on each face
they had lived without God and in heav’n had no place.

But sometimes came someone who didn’t have a file,
the clerk gave them a slip of paper with a smile.
The people crowded…

View original post 146 more words

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QUOTE (Zane Grey)

January 31, 2016

By Unknown photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Recipe For Greatness – To bear up under loss; To fight the bitterness of defeat and the weakness of grief; To be victor over anger; To smile when tears are close; To resist disease and evil men and base instincts; To hate hate and to love love; To go on when it would seen good to die; To look up with unquenchable faith in something ever more about to be. That is what any man can do, and be great.”
~ Zane Grey

In honor of Zane Grey, a dentist and popular American author of Western genre novels, who was born on this day in 1872.

Resources:
Zane Grey>Quotable Quotes
Zane Grey

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“RAISING THE UNDEAD” (Part 1) – Jan. 30

January 30, 2016

“For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”  Matthew 7:14

The group had been trudging for days along the wet, desolate, and narrow way.  They had been skirting a monolith, silently resting to the south, covered with a black cloud perpetually weeping over it.  They stared in dread of this place, always filling the periphery of their vision, knowing all too well the horror that lay within.

The dirt road meandered endless ahead, being lost to sight behind rocky climbs, just to suddenly reappear as a silhouetted streak across distant meadow, only to be lost again as it dipped over the horizon.  However, the oppressive presence of what they simply call the Place, suppressed the chatter of even the most stringent follower of this normally joyful fellowship.  Silence clung to the travelers each time the narrow path swung into close proximity of the Place.

The narrow road was navigating a circuitous route around the monochromatic city lying below, filling a landscape of hewed hills and diverted streams.  There were many diverting roads along the narrow path.  Each beckoning the earthly into the unearthly with an avenue of wide, smooth pavement, gently descending as if following a meandering stream into a welcoming reservoir.  However, each follower knew that what lay below was not a reservoir of refreshment but a cesspool of filth.

They had plodded past many tempting diversions never with a hint of turning from their long familiar path.  This was the reason for the gasp that moved as a wave through the group as their Leader silently turned, onto the pavement without the slightest warning.  His intention were clear.  They were to travel into the Place.

Many stopped, confused by the new direction.  Having recently escaped the clutches of the Place that now lay directly before them.  They dreaded any step in that direction.  Others slowed as deep apprehension made each step a force of will.  Even the longest followers of the Leader looked ahead with grave concern.  They had followed the Leader on several such diversions into the Place.  They knew what lay ahead.

The group had quickly strung out into a long single file string despite the width of the roadway.  Their Leader continued at the head, gracefully moving ahead with an effortless, yet deliberate pace.  Normally, each follower found the Leader’s pace easy to shadow despite their varying levels of conditioning.  However, many now found the pace uncommonly tasking and began to fall back.

By Roberto Strauss from Frankfurt am Main, Deutschland (Orange night sky Frankfurt) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Without any direction from the Leader, the long-time followers peeled back from their normal positions, to lend their strength to those struggling with indecision.  These experienced trekkers quietly stepped alongside those struggling with the dread ahead; gently lifting them, urging them forward with the confidence that they would all survive.  They had been through this before.  All would be fine if they just stayed together in the presence of their long-time Leader.

The quick diligence of these faithful followers successfully pulled the ranks of the group together just as they came to gates of the now towering terror.  The Leader looked over his shoulder and smiled to see that all who he had called were packed in tight.  He knew a long night was before each and every one.

Despite what the others sensed, he knew there was glory ahead.  He turned and took a step through the gates of the undead.

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for drawing us through the narrow gate.  Thank you for coming into this dark world to seek and find the lost.  Thank you for saving me while I was still dead in my sin.  Thank you for cleansing me and making me a new creation in Christ Jesus.  I praise your glorious name.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

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Under the Shadow ~

January 30, 2016

WONDERFUL REALITY!

CHRISTian poetry ~ by deborah ann

Under The Shadow ~ CHRISTian poetry by deborah ann

There is a shadow,
that comes from up above
we walk under it . . .
when we lose someone we love.

The void casts upon our souls,
the worst of our fears . . .
leaving us so heartbroken
our words, become our tears.

For, underneath the shadow,
there is but pain and grief
and the gloom that we feel
seems to have no real relief.

Laying beneath the shadow,
there is a raw darkness . . .
making everything around us
seems to dull, in its starkness.

But God has promised us,
this valley we’d get though
so remember while under it . . .
He is right there with you!

~~~~~~

Psalm 23:4

“Yea, though I walk
through the valley
of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil:
for thou art with me;
thy rod and thy staff
they comfort me.”

King James Version
by…

View original post 7 more words

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QUOTE (Epictetus)

January 29, 2016

Epicteti_Enchiridion_Latinis_versibus_adumbratum_(Oxford_1715)_frontispiece“If anyone tells you that a certain person speaks ill of you, do not make excuses about what is said of you but answer, “He was ignorant of my other faults, else he would not have mentioned these alone.”

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. ”

“He who laughs at himself never runs out of things to laugh at.”

In honor of Epictetus, a Greek speaking Stoic philosopher, who died in 135.

Resources:

Episode 12 – The Hellenistic Age Pt. 3 – Hallmarks of Stoic Ethics
Epictetus>Quotes

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“DID ANYONE NOTICE” – Jan. 28

January 28, 2016

“And he said to me, “Son of Man, do you see what they are doing, the great abominations that the house of Israel are committing here, to drive me far from my sanctuary?…” Ezekiel 8:6

This is a post inspired by this article from Pew Research Center: Global Christianity – A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World’s Christian Population


 

If your life never spanned beyond a day, would you know the sun sets?
If a shadow never moved, would you recognize the dimming of radiance?
If Fall never yielded to Winter, could you comprehend a sweltering sun?

How can you miss what you’ve never known?

Did any Priests see it go?  Did any holy man know?
Did the sacrifices seem different?  Did the smoke feel distant?
Did worshipers sense an absence?  Did any prayers miss His presence?

Did anyone notice God’s glory go?  Did anyone see a covenant’s closing show?

“Then the glory of the Lord went out from the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubim.”  Ezekiel 10:18

What did the next generation think?  What did they accept as normal, natural or spiritually chic?  They would never know a temple filled with the Holy One’s blinding brightness; an inner chamber clouded with a living God’s danger.  How could they know it had become a show?

They were confined to their own time. Their experience in traditions ways. Yet, God’s plan spans every generations day.

How can you miss what you’ve never known?

Has Western Civilization’s time come?  Are we too living in age where “spiritual” is more of the theatrical?  Has anyone noticed God’s glory go?

lede_globalchristianityI don’t know how the Spirit flows.  I don’t know from whence He comes or where He goes.  I don’t know if this time is a Spiritual high or low.

Was the early Church the pinnacle?
How am I supposed to know?

Was the Great Awakening better?
If it is true, should I be bitter?

Are today’s abominations more than times long ago?
There is no one left who really knows.

What happened to the faithful in Ezekiel’s day?  Those who sighed over admonition’s sway?  When God’s glory left, did they still obey?

“And the Lord said to him, “Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.”  Ezekiel 9:4

What if the glory of God has lifted once again?  Am I of a time filled with mere traditional feign?  Has He gone forth from the north; preferring the austere of the other hemisphere?

Am I hanging onto an echo from another day?
How can I know what is beyond show?

I’m confined to my own time.  My experience bound in traditions ways.  Yet, God’s plan spans even my generation’s day.

I’m prone to compare the temperature of my soul; gauging my fire on a consensus poll.  I have my traditional ways but from what era?  It is hard to say.

It may not matter.  Who am I to say to the Potter, “I should be the primary vessel of the day”.

What I do know, is that the Spirit comes and goes.

He resides within me; marking me for eternity.  I am called to follow but not to know.  I don’t know if this time is a Spiritual high or low.
All I know is I want more.

So, I will continue to sign and groan over abominations secret and known.
I will continue to pray as a social dissenter from a place no longer at the epicenter.

I will continue to give my life, heart, and soul, to the One whose glory overflows.

“And the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub to the threshold of the house, and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was filled with the brightness of the glory of the Lord.”  Ezekiel 10:4

PRAYER: Lord, I read the news about all the abominations celebrated and normalized.  I watch friends and family accept ways contrary to your world with an indifference to what you have called sin.  Father, I sigh and groan as someone who is not home.  Keep me uncomfortable with this world. Conform me to your will.  Transform me into a slave of righteousness.  Help me to understand my time.  Lord, do not harden this generation.  Do not leave my society in its works of flesh.  Father, send your Spirit to move mightily in this time; revive us Lord.  Draw this rebellious generation to salvation.    I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen

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