All the great words of praise come, not from those who have never suffered, but from those who have known God’s help in it. Praising God is not the naive optimism of the sheltered, but the hearty realism of the delivered.
Anyone whose sense of well-being depends upon stock market quotations, weather forecasts, or the statistics of a public opinion pollster will be constantly on edge, “afraid of evil tidings.” Those who listen in faith to God’s word and respond in praise, however, have foundations of eternity built into the structure of their soul and thereby acquire a firm heart.
Spontaneity in prayer develops intimacy with God. But gossip and rumor (saying whatever comes into our minds without considering the consequences) are also products of spontaneity. We are encouraged to cultivate open, uncensored speech with God; it does not follow that our speech with other people should be without restraint.
“We can’t sing ‘moon and June’ songs any longer. And like Marvin Gaye, we may find ourselves simultaneously in a social and spiritual awakening.”
“Unlike this clear focus on God in prayer, popular Christian prayers tend to pray focus on the needs of the person praying.”
“The places pilgrims come to see today show centuries of scars from the ruins and reconstructions of many faiths and peoples. But in the Wilderness of Judea, one can see what the ancients saw.”
“So what does it take to cultivate a voice that has depth? What would it take for you to nurture a voice that speaks meaning into the lives of others during your lifetime, and perhaps beyond?”
“… watch out for fraudsters that are spoofing the Social Security Administration’s official 1-800 number.”
The story of our faith, our very existence, begins and ends with joy. … Joy at the beginning, joy at the end, joy everywhere in between. Joy is God’s creation and gift. No authentic biblical faith is conceivable that is not permeated with it.
1. It’s Getting Harder to Talk About God by Jonathan Merritt
“A paltry 7 percent of Americans say they talk about spiritual matters regularly. But, here’s the real shocker: Practicing Christians who attend church regularly aren’t faring much better. A mere 13 percent had a spiritual conversation around once a week.”
“This year alone, pet spending in the U.S. is estimated to exceed $72 billion, which is more than the combined GDP of the 39 poorest countries in the world.”
3. The Point of the Book of Job by Greg Boyd
“… our original job description – a job description God is yet calling on us to fulfill – involves very little knowing but a great deal of loving. Our limited domain of responsibility is primarily to love God and others as we are ourselves filled with God’s love. Hence the Bible repeatedly calls on us to love and refrain from judgment (Mt 7:1-5; Rom 2:1-5; Jame 4:11-12).”
“… Peterson is a ‘shepherd’s shepherd’ …”
5. A First Glimpse of Our Magnificent Earth, Seen from the Moon [30 min. video]
“The first people to view our planet from the moon were transformed by the experience. In this film, they tell their story.”