Tag: Faith (home)

Fear and faith are not opposites. Fear is not a lack of faith, but faith in circumstances. You fear when you trust your circumstances more than you trust God.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Fear, Faith, Trust

Human cardiac catheterization was introduced by Werner Forssman in 1929. Ignoring his department chief, and tying his assistant to an operating table to prevent his interference, he placed a uretheral catheter into a vein in his arm, advanced it to the right atrium [of his heart], and walked upstairs to the x-ray department where he took the confirmatory x-ray film. In 1956, Dr. Forssman was awarded the Nobel Prize.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Character, Courage, Faith

I stopped believing in Santa Claus when my mother took me to see him in a department store, and he asked for my autograph.

permalink source: Shirley Temple
tags: Faith

Therefore salvation is linked with faith, which earns nothing but elicits all, like the touch that evokes electricity but which no man supposes to have made it.

permalink source: G. A. Chadwick, The Gospel of St. Mark [1887]
tags: Faith

In my intellect, I may divide [faith and works], just as in the candle I know there is both light and heat; yet put out the candle, and both are gone.

permalink source: John Selden (1584-1654)
tags: Discipline, Discipleship, Faith

A small boy once approached his slightly older sister with a question about God. "Susie, can anybody ever really see God?" he asked. Busy with other things, Susie curtly replied, "No, of course not, silly. God is so far up in heaven that nobody can see him." Time passed, but his question still lingered so he approached his mother: "Mom, can anybody ever really see God?" "No, not really," she gently said. "God is a spirit and he dwells in our hearts, but we can never really see him." Somewhat satisfied but still wondering, the youngster went on his way. Not long afterwards, his saintly old grandfather took the little boy on a fishing trip. They were having a great time together--it had been an ideal day. The sun was beginning to set with unusual splendor as the day ended. The old man stopped fishing and turned his full attention to the exquisite beauty unfolding before him. On seeing the face of his grandfather reflecting such deep peace and contentment as he gazed into the magnificent ever-changing sunset, the little boy thought for a moment and finally spoke hesitatingly: "Grandpa, I-I--wasn't going to ask anybody else, but I wonder if you can tell me the answer to something I've been wondering about a long time. Can anybody--can anybody ever really see God?" The old man did not even turn his head. A long moment slipped by before he finally answered. "Son," he quietly said. "It's getting so I can't see anything else."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Perception, Faith

The experiment started in 1927 when a physics professor at Australia's Queensland University poured some molten tar into a stoppered glass funnel. Three years later, he removed the stopper, placed the funnel on a stand, and put the whole setup inside a glass bell jar. Slowly, the almost-solid tar began oozing down the funnel. Every nine or ten years the accumulating drop of tar drips down into a beaker below. The seventh drip happened in 1988. The eighth drip was expected to happen over Christmas in 1998, but the tar oozed more slowly than expected because the room had been air-conditioned, cooling it slightly and hardening the tar. According to the current physics professor at the University, the tar should keep dripping for another century at ever-increasing intervals. Drip number eight might have been witnessed on the internet: http://www.physics.uq.edu.au/pitchdrop/pitchdrop.shtml http://www.physics.uq.edu.au/media/drop.htm http://www.physics.uq.edu.au/media/drop_news_release.html

permalink source: The Learning Kingdom
tags: Patience, Faith

What should I think of my child, if I found that he limited his faith in me and hope from me to the few promises he had heard me utter! The faith that limits itself to the promises of God seems to me to partake of the paltry character of such a faith in my child -- good enough for a Pagan, but for a Christian a miserable and wretched faith. Those who rest in such a faith would feel yet more comfortable if they had God's bond instead of His word, which they regard not as the outcome of His character but as a pledge of His honour. They try to believe in the truth of His word, but the truth of His Being they understand not. In His oath they persuade themselves that they put confidence: in himself they do not believe, for they know Him not.

permalink source: George Macdonald (1824-1905), "The Higher Faith"
tags: Faith

We have all been inoculated with Christianity, and are never likely to take it seriously now! You put some of the virus of some dreadful illness into a man's arm, and there is a little itchiness, some scratchiness, a slight discomfort -- disagreeable, no doubt, but not the fever of the real disease, the turning and the tossing, and the ebbing strength. And we have all been inoculated with Christianity, more or less. We are on Christ's side, we wish him well, we hope that He will win, and we are even prepared to do something for Him, provided, of course, that He is reasonable, and does not make too much of an upset among our cozy comforts and our customary ways. But there is not the passion of zeal, and the burning enthusiasm, and the eagerness of self-sacrifice, of the real faith that changes character and wins the world.

permalink source: A. J. Gossip, From the Edge of the Crowd [1924]
tags: Evangelism, Faith, Passion, Culture

Ultimate confidence in the goodness of life cannot rest upon confidence in the goodness of man. If that is where it rests, it is an optimism which will suffer ultimate disillusionment. Romanticism will be transmuted into cynicism, as it has always been in the world's history. The faith of a Christian is something quite different from this optimism. It is trust in God, in a good God who created a good world, though the world is not now good; in a good God, powerful and good enough finally to destroy the evil that men do and redeem them of their sins. This kind of faith is not optimism. It does not, in fact, arise until optimism breaks down and men cease to trust in themselves that they are righteous.

permalink source: Reinhold Niebuhr, Beyond Tragedy
tags: Optimism, Faith

I hear men praying everywhere for more faith, but when I listen to them carefully, and get to the real heart of their prayer, very often it is not more faith at all that they are wanting, but a change from faith to sight. Faith says not, "I see that it is good for me, so God must have sent it," but, "God sent it, and so it must be good for me." Faith, walking in the dark with God, only prays Him to clasp its hand more closely.

permalink source: Phillips Brooks (1835-1893)
tags: Faith

If someone wants proof that [Jesus] is alive... all I can say in honesty is that I have none to give. No preacher can prove it, no teacher, no book, not even the Bible. It defies logic and reason, and it breaks the laws of nature as we understand them. If we are to believe he is really alive with all that that implies, then we have to believe without proof. And of course that is the only way it could be. If it could be somehow proved, then we would have no choice but to believe. We would lose our freedom not to believe. And in the very moment that we lost that freedom, we would cease to be human beings. Our love of God would have been forced upon us, and love that is forced is of course not love at all. Love must be freely given. Love must live in the freedom not to love; it must take risks. Love must be prepared to suffer even as Jesus on the Cross suffered, and part of that suffering is doubt, even as Jesus on the Cross doubted.

permalink source: Frederic Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
tags: Apologetics, Faith, Resurrection, Doubt

Musician Michael Card said in an interview: Again and again in China I talked to people who had never heard of Christianity, never heard of Jesus, never heard a single word from the Bible. Yet through nature and their God-given conscience, many believed in God. Not only did they believe God existed, they had derived some understanding about His loving character because he provided food, water, and a beautiful world. One old woman told me, "I've known him for years. I just didn't know his name."

permalink source: Michael Card, from interview in Discipleship Journal (Nov/Dec 2002), p. 72
tags: Apologetics, Atheism, God, Faith

June 6, 1994, was the 50th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy, which began the historic World War II battle to liberate continental Europe from Nazi control. All the major television networks ran anniversary programs that included interviews with aging veterans. One of the programs paired two contrasting interviews back to back. The first interview was with a marine who had landed on Omaha Beach. He recalled horrors that sounded like scenes from Steven Spielberg's Academy Award-winning movie Saving Private Ryan. The aging veteran recalled looking around at the bloody casualties surrounding him and concluding, "We're going to lose!" The next interview was with a U.S. Army Air Corps reconnaissance pilot who had flown over the whole battle area. He viewed the carnage on the beaches and hills, but he also witnessed the successes of the marines, the penetration by the paratroopers, and the effectiveness of the aerial bombardment. He looked at everything that was happening and concluded, "We're going to win!"

permalink source: Leith Anderson, Leadership That Works, (Minneapolis, Bethany House, 1999), pp. 164-165
tags: Perspective, Faith, Circumstances

[Carl] Sagan was fascinated by the phenomenon that educated adults, with the wonders of science manifest all around them, could cling to beliefs based on the unverifiable testimony of observers dead for 2000 years. "You're so smart, why do you believe in God?" he once exclaimed to [cleric Joan Brown] Campbell. She found this a surprising question from someone who had no trouble accepting the existence of black holes, which no one has ever observed. "You're so smart, why don't you believe in God?" she answered.... Sagan never wavered in his agnosticism. "There was no deathbed conversion," [his wife Ann] Druyan says. "No appeals to God, no hope for an afterlife, no pretending that he and I, who had been inseparable for 20 years, were not saying goodbye forever." Didn't he want to believe? she was asked. "Carl never wanted to believe," she replies fiercely. "He wanted to know."

permalink source: Jerry Adler, Newsweek (3-31-97), 64-65
tags: Atheism, Faith

The African impala can jump to a height of over 10 feet and cover a distance of greater than 30 feet. Yet these magnificent creatures can be kept in an enclosure in any zoo with a 3-foot wall. The animals will not jump if they cannot see where their feet will fall. Faith is the ability to trust what we cannot see, and with faith we are freed from the flimsy enclosures of life that fear allows to entrap us. [I don't know if this is really true]

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Faith

The rich young ruler was willing to obey, but not to trust.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Faith, Trust

Elephants in the Sky Using the Largest Living Land Mammal to Calculate Cloud Mass By Robert Krulwich Sept. 3— Ever wonder how much a cloud weighs? What about a hurricane? A meteorologist has done some estimates and the results might surprise you. Let's start with a very simple white puffy cloud — a cumulus cloud. How much does the water in a cumulus cloud weigh? Peggy LeMone, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, did the numbers. "The water in the little cloud weighs about 550 tons," she calculates. "Or if you want to convert it to something that might be a little more meaningful … think of elephants." Floating Masses Assume an elephant weighs about six tons, she says, that would mean that water inside a typical cumulous cloud would weigh about one hundred elephants. The thought of a hundred elephants-worth of water suspended in the sky begs another question — what keeps it up there? "First of all, the water isn't in elephant sized particles, it's in tiny tiny tiny particles," explains LeMone. And those particles float on the warmer air that's rising below. But still, the concept of so much water floating in the sky was surprising even to a meteorologist like LeMone. "I had no idea how much a cloud would weigh, actually, when I started the calculations," she says. Outweighing Elephant Populations So how many elephant units of water are inside a big storm cloud … 10 times bigger all the way around than the "puffy" cumulus cloud? Again, LeMone did the numbers: About 200,000 elephants. Now, ratchet up the calculations for a hurricane about the size of Missouri and the figures get really massive. "What we're doing is weighing the water in one cubic meter theoretically pulled from a cloud and then multiplying by the number of meters in a whole hurricane," she explains. The result? Forty million elephants. That means the water in one hurricane weighs more than all the elephants on the planet. Perhaps even more than all the elephants that have ever lived on the planet. And that is a lot of water. — ABC News' Justine Schiro and Alex Travelli contributed to this report.

permalink source: ABC News
tags: Power, Faith

You shouldn't speak until you know what you're talking about. That's why I get uncomfortable with interviews. Reporters ask me what I feel China should do about Tibet. Who cares what I think China should do? I'm a damm actor! They hand me a script. I act. I'm here for entertainment, basically, when you whittle everything away. I'm a grown man who puts on makeup. Right around the time that Fight Club came out, Pitt was interviewed about one of the themes in the movie—the idea that the American dream is somehow unfulfulling. Here’s what he said: Pitt: Man, I know all these things are supposed to seem important to us—the car, the condo, our version of success—but if that's the case, why is the general feeling out there reflecting more impotence and isolation and desperation and loneliness? If you ask me, I say toss all this—we gotta find something else. Because all I know is that at this point in time, we are heading for a dead end, a numbing of the soul, a complete atrophy of the spiritual being. And I don't want that. Rolling Stone: So if we're heading toward this kind of existential dead end in society, what do you think should happen? Pitt: Hey, man, I don't have those answers yet. The emphasis now is on success and personal gain. [smiles] I'm sitting in it, and I'm telling you, that's not it. I'm the guy who's got everything. I know. But I'm telling you, once you've got everything, then you're just left with yourself. I've said it before and I'll say it again: it doesn't help you sleep any better, and you don't wake up any better because of it. Citation: Rolling Stone (10-28-99) It's only when we later drift into an unlikely debate about one of the New Testament parables that I realize just how different a kind of God Pitt grew up with. To him, the parable of the prodigal son is an authoritarian tale told to keep people in line. "This," he explains, "is a story which says, if you go out and try to find what works for you, then you are going to be destroyed and you will be humbled and you will not be alive again until you come home to the father's ways." It is not hard to see how he relates this to his own departure westward. When I ask whether he thought he would come back, he says, "I never thought past the leaving." (same interview) “I remember one of the most pivotal moments I’ve had,” says Pitt, “was when I finally couldn’t buy the religion I grew up with. That was a big deal. It was a relief in a way that I didn’t have to believe that anymore, but then I felt alone. It was this thing I dependent on.” (another Pitt quote, Rolling Stone Dec 1, 1994)

permalink source: Brad Pitt on religion and other stuff
tags: Church, Politics, Faith, Religion

I have a small collection of baseball cards. The card that is worth the most is called "Future Stars" and is valued at $100. There are three players on this card. The first is Jeff Schneider. Schneider played 1 year of professional baseball, pitched in 11 games, and gave up 13 earned runs in those 11 games. The second player is Bobby Bonner, who played 4 years of baseball but only appeared in 61 games, with 8 runs batted in, and 0 home runs. The third "Future Star" played 21 years for the Baltimore Orioles and appeared in 3,001 games. He came to bat 11,551 times, collected 3,184 hits and 431 home runs, and batted in 1,695 runs. His name is Cal Ripken, Jr. Now imagine if you met Bobby Bonner, and he shook your hand and boasted, "Did you know that my baseball card is worth over $100?" You would laugh because you know the worth of the card has nothing to do with him. That's how it is when we come to Christ and point to our good works, our statistics, and ask, "Is this good enough?" If you want to hold up your stats to God, you don't have a chance. But when you put your faith in Christ, his statistics become yours, and your baseball card becomes worth a lot because of someone else's stats. Bobby Bonner and Jeff Schneider's baseball card is worth $100, not because of their statistics, but because of what someone else has done. Citation:

permalink source: Shaun Brown, Newport News, Virginia
tags: Salvation, Grace, Faith

Those who believe they believe in God but without passion in the heart, without anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself.

permalink source: Madeleine L’Engle
tags: Faith, Doubt

Patience with others is Love, Patience with self is Hope, Patience with God is Faith. -- Adel Bestavros

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Love, Patience, Hope, Faith

It's said that Thomas Jefferson could not accept the miraculous elements of scripture, so he edited his own special version of the New Testament in which all references to the supernatural were deleted. The gospels, therefore, contain no miracles--only the moral teachings of Christ. The gospel account closes with these words: "There laid they Jesus and rolled a great stone at the mouth of the sepulcher and departed." Thank God that's not how the story really ends!

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Faith, Resurrection, Miracles, Crucifixion

Religion is a fashionable substitute for Belief.

permalink source: Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891
tags: Faith, Religion

Among all my patients in the second half of my life... there has not been one whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a religious outlook on life. It is safe to say that every one of them fell ill because he lost that which the living religions of every age have given their followers and none of them has really been healed who did not regain his religious outlook.

permalink source: Carl Jung
tags: Faith, Religion

Where there is no longer any opportunity for doubt, there is no longer any opportunity for faith either.

permalink source: Paul Tournier
tags: Faith, Doubt

An Arab chief tells a story of a spy who was captured and then sentenced to death by a general in the Persian army. This general had the strange custom of giving condemned criminals a choice between the firing squad and the big, black door. As the moment for execution drew near, the spy was brought to the Persian general, who asked the question, "What will it be: the firing squad or the big, black door?" The spy hesitated for a long time. It was a difficult decision. He chose the firing squad. Moments later shots rang out confirming his execution. The general turned to his aide and said, "They always prefer the known way to the unknown. It is characteristic of people to be afraid of the undefined. Yet, we gave him a choice." The aide said, "What lies beyond the big door?" "Freedom," replied the general. "I've known only a few brave enough to take it."

permalink source: Don McCullough, "Reasons to Fear Easter," Preaching Today, Tape No. 116.
tags: Salvation, Freedom, Faith, Easter

There is a mystery about kite-flying that has always intrigued me. When the kite string breaks for some reason, one would think that the kite freed from all restraints would soar higher into the skies. But it doesn't. It starts zigzagging, flipping, and diving. Finally, it crashes into a tree or power line. People react in a similar fashion. That person who claims to be utterly free, to be obligated to nothing or nobody, is almost always a pitiful slave to selfishness. His life usually is a tale of tragedy, ending with a crash. On the other hand, the happiest and most creative people on earth are those who keep a taut line of faith between themselves and God, allowing God to direct and support them. If you would compare yourself to kite, how are you flying these days? (Bill Bouknight, "Just a thought")

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Community, Freedom, Faith

As a boxer, Chuck Wepner earned the nickname "The Bayonne Bleeder" because of the punishment he took even while winning. Tom Donelson of Inside Boxing writes of him, "Wepner was what one would call ‘a catcher', a fighter who often used his head to block the other guy's punches - not the kind of strategy that leads to long careers… He constantly pressured his opponent until he either won or was knocked out. He never truly cared how many shots he would absorb before landing the telling blow." Trainer Al Braverman called Wepner "the gutsiest fighter I ever met. He was in a league of his own. He didn't care about pain or cuts. If he got cut or elbowed, he never looked at me or the referee for help. He was a fighter in the purest sense of the word." When Wepner knocked out Terry Henke in the 11th round in Salt Lake City, boxing promoter Don King offered Wepner a title shot against then-heavyweight champion George Foreman. But when Ali defeated Foreman, Wepner found himself scheduled to fight The Great One – Muhammad Ali himself. On the morning of the fight Wepner gave his wife a pink negligee and told her that she would "soon be sleeping with the heavyweight champion of the world." Ali scored a technical knockout of Wepner with just 19 seconds remaining in the fight. But there was a moment… one glorious moment in the 9th round, when a ham-like paw to Ali's chest knocked the reigning champion off his feet. "When Ali was down, I remember saying to my ringman Al Braverman, ‘Start the car, we're going to the bank, we're millionaires.' And Al said to me, ‘You'd better turn around. Because he's getting up, and he looks pissed off." After the fight, Wepner's wife pulled the negligee out of her purse and asked, "Do I go to Ali's room or does he come to mine?" A struggling writer watching the fight remembers it well. "I went to the fights and I saw this Chuck Wepner character who was called ‘The Bayonne Bleeder,' who was just this fighter of really very, very little skill, but you know, kind of like a real American, you know, working-class stiff who just takes it on the chin and comes back and just a very symbolic kind of character. And I thought, ‘There it is. There… it… is.' He was fighting Muhammad Ali who was like, you know, the perfect fighter and he knocked him down. And that validated his entire life. He didn't expect to win. He knocked him down. You could never take that away. I went, ‘There… My God. Now if I can get that onto the page...' So I went home and I started writing. And I wrote for three days straight…" – Sylvester Stallone, telling James Lipton of the birth of Rocky on Inside the Actor's Studio. The movie studio offered the struggling writer an unprecedented $400,000 for his script, but Stallone refused the money, choosing instead just $20,000 and the right to play the part of Rocky for actor's minimum wage - just $340 a week. The studio then offered Chuck Wepner a similar choice - a $70,000 flat fee or one percent of the movie's gross profits. Believing that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, Chuck took the guarantee - a decision that cost him $8 million. Chuck Wepner now lives in Bayonne and works as a liquor salesman. Stallone believed in Wepner. Wepner didn't believe in Stallone. Roy H. Williams

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Persistence, Faith, Confidence

"On the whole, I do not find Christians, outside of the catacombs, sufficiently sensible of conditions. Does anyone have the foggiest idea what sort of power we so blithely invoke? Or, as I suspect, does no one believe a word of it? The churches are children playing on the floor with their chemistry sets, mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. It is madness to wear ladies' straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should all be wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews. For the sleeping god may wake someday and take offense, or the waking god may draw us out to where we can never return." (40)

permalink source: Annie Dillard, Teaching a Stone to Talk (40)
tags: Church, Faith, Call To Worship

Believe in God and you will have to face hours when it seems obvious that this material world is the only reality; disbelieve in Him and you must face hours when this material world seems to shout at you that it is not all. No conviction, religious or irreligious, will, of itself, end once and for all this fifth-columnist in the soul. Only the practice of Faith resulting in the habit of Faith will gradually do that. I define Faith as the power of continuing to believe what we once honestly thought to be true until cogent reasons for honestly changing our minds are brought before us.

permalink source: C. S. Lewis
tags: Apologetics, Atheism, Faith

What is faith? Faith is my acceptance of God's fact. It always has its foundations in the past. What relates to the future is hope rather than faith, although faith often has its object or goal in the future, as in Hebrews 11. Perhaps for this reason the word chosen here is `reckon'. It is a word that relates only to the past -- to what we look back to as settled, and not forward to as yet to be. This is the kind of faith described in Mark 11:24: "All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for, believe that ye have received them, and ye shall have them." The statement there is that, if you believe that you already have received your requests (that is, of course, in Christ), then `you shall have them'. To believe that you may get something, or that you can get it, or even that you will get it, is not faith in the sense meant here. This is faith -- to believe that you have already got it. Only that which relates to the past is faith in this sense. Those who say `God can' or `God may' or `God must' or `God will' do not necessarily believe at all. Faith always says, `God has done it'.

permalink source: Watchman Nee, The Normal Christian Life, http://www.ccel.org/n/nee/normal/normal07.htm
tags: Hope, Faith

I still say a church steeple with a lightning rod on top shows a lack of confidence.

permalink source: Doug McLeod
tags: Church, Faith

Einstein Was A Deist

One particular evening in 1929, the year he turned 50, captures Einstein's middle-age deistic faith. He and his wife were at a dinner party in Berlin when a guest expressed a belief in astrology. Einstein ridiculed the notion as pure superstition. Another guest stepped in and similarly disparaged religion. Belief in God, he insisted, was likewise a superstition. At this point the host tried to silence him by invoking the fact that even Einstein harbored religious beliefs. "It isn't possible!" the skeptical guest said, turning to Einstein to ask if he was, in fact, religious. "Yes, you can call it that," Einstein replied calmly. "Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible laws and connections, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent I am, in fact, religious."

permalink source: Walter Isaacson, Einstein & Faith, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1607298-2,00.html
tags: Science, Faith

Faith Is Thinking

Faith according to our Lord’s teaching in this paragraph, is primarily thinking; and the whole trouble with a man of little faith is that he does not think. He allows circumstances to bludgeon him. . . . We must spend more time in studying our Lord’s lessons in observation and deduction. The Bible is full of logic, and we must never think of faith as something purely mystical. We do not just sit down in an armchair and expect marvelous things to happen to us. That is not Christian faith. Christian faith is essentially thinking. Look at the birds, think about them, draw your deductions. Look at the grass, look at the lilies of the field, consider them. . . . Faith, if you like, can be defined like this: It is a man insisting upon thinking when everything seems determined to bludgeon and knock him down in an intellectual sense. The trouble with the person of little faith is that, instead of controlling his own thought, his thought is being controlled by something else, and, as we put it, he goes round and round in circles. That is the essence of worry. . . . That is not thought; that is the absence of thought, a failure to think.

permalink source: Martin Lloyd-Jones, commenting on Matthew 6:30 in Studies in the Sermon on the Mount
tags: Logic, Faith

The Limits of Reason

But reason is an eyeball, and not a source of light. God created us with a faculty for rational weighing and sifting of evidence so that we could submit to light from outside. Every form of religion and secularism that tries to make the eyeball shed light is therefore doomed to failure.

permalink source: Papa Don't Pope, Douglas Wilson, page 58
tags: Apologetics, Reason, Faith