Saturday, February 2, 2008

Famous Christmas Quotes !

The joy of brightening other lives, bearing each
others' burdens, easing other's loads and supplanting
empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for
us the magic of Christmas.

-- W. C. Jones

Happy, Happy Christmas, that can win us back to
the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the
old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport
the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home!

-- Charles Dickens

A Christmas candle is a lovely thing;
It makes no noise at all,
But softly gives itself away.

-- Eva Logue

Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine;
Love was born at Christmas;
Star and angels gave the sign.

-- Christina Rossetti

When Christmas bells are swinging above the fields of snow,
We hear sweet voices ringing from lands of long ago,
And etched on vacant places. Are half-forgotten faces
Of friends we used to cherish, and loves we used to know.

-- Ella Wheeler Wilcox
("Christmas Fancies" Poems of Power)

I have always thought of Christmas time as a good time;
a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time;
the only time I know of in the long calendar of the year,
when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely.

-- Charles Dickens

Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart,
a wide open heart that thinks of others first.
The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history,
because it has meant the pouring into a sick world of the healing medicine of love
which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years...
Underneath all the bulging bundles is this beating Christmas heart.

-- George Mathhew Adams

And so, this Christmas season
may our hearts with gladness glow,
As we read the blessed story
That took place so long ago.

-- Alpha L. Buntain ("The First Christmas")

Whatever else be lost among the years,
Let us keep Christmas still a shining thing:
Whatever doubts assail us, or what fears,
Let us hold close one day, remembering
Its poignant meaning for the hearts of men.
Let us get back our childlike faith again.

-- Grace Noll Crowell

Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer,
but always it will be a day of remembrance,
a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved.

-- Augusta E. Rundel

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Can We Grow To Be Like God ?

Christians often hear people telling us of the need to be more like God, perhaps through being more like Jesus, through whom we get our best impression of what God is like. But is it realistic to expect to grow to be like God? Does God actually expect us to become more like him?

Can We Share In God's Nature?Of course, spiritual growth is the process of growing in God. In fact, in Peter's Second Letter we are actually called into a process of sharing in the divine nature:
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.(2 Peter 1.3, 4, NIV).

This scripture is at first extremely startling: being called to actually share in the divine nature. But it must be possible or Peter, first and pre-eminent among the Apostles of Jesus, would not call us into such a process.

Indeed, this growth of sharing is a process which involves all the divine nature: whatever we can imagine is part of God, we are called to share in that. An even more powerful way of expressing it is to talk of our increasing union with God.

Grasping The ConceptThat is a concept which most of us will have difficulty grasping because we do not even understand the real nature of God, let alone how to grow in union with it. We have greater difficulty in understanding what is involved in even much simpler concepts.

For instance, a husband and wife may pray for the oneness of marriage which is theirs by right of God's giving (Genesis 2. 21 - 24; Mark 10. 1 -9). Look at these scriptures. They are not talking about husband and wife becoming as if they were one. They quite clearly state that they are one. This is a difficult truth to grasp and cannot even be begun to be understood without entering into the actual living of it in faith.

But, as this begins to find deeper expression in their lives, its manifestation may come in ways which are entirely unexpected. For example, they may both have spiritual gifts of teachings, and these may have developed separately, in at least some degree. Even in a local church, it would be pointless for God to give more than one person identical expressions of a particular gift. Even more so in marriage: what would be the point of God exactly duplicating a gift? Any spiritual gift can take on a multitude of different characteristics, according as God recognises, and responds to, the uniqueness which he has given to each individual. What he might do, therefore, is to give different kinds of expressions of the same gift to different people who are associated together, such as husband and wife. The wife, say, may be the heart while the husband is the head: one may have the gift of receiving the basic essence of a teaching, indicating to the other, as it were, where he should be working; the other then has the gift of structuring and developing the teaching. And the teaching comes out as a single unity -- and from two observeably separate people who nonetheless do the work of one.

Living The ConceptAll of this sounds reasonable when put this way, but it is quite different while the situation is being worked out in people's lives -- and this is a very simple illustration!

Yet there will be many aspects of growing in union with God which will cause us difficulties and take us unaware, because we do not really know what we are talking about, let alone understand the process, and still less being able to anticipate how God will act in any given set of circumstances in order to further this process within us.

There are, however, certain aspects of our patterns of thought and behaviour which may need to be put in order. While these problems are quite simple and straightforward, the process may be a somewhat painful one. No-one likes change, especially if it means changing habits because, by definition, habits are patterns which have become ingrained in the way we think and behave. Some might even say they are part of our personality.

That depends on how we define personality. Many of these characteristics are not part of our genetic inheritance, but are, rather, responses which we have learned during various periods of our lifetime. Some of them are good, but we need not spend too much time on them (unless it is to cultivate them). We need to concentrate on the not-too-good.

But we need to start with the conviction that what God has called us to be can be accomplished. He just needs our co-operation.

Monday, January 28, 2008

2008 Swami Vivekananda Jayanti Spiritual Quotes !

".....I do everything to be sweet, but when it comes to a horrible compromise with the truth within, then I stop. I do not believe in 'humility'. I believe on 'Samadarshitva' - same state of mind with regard to all.

The duty of the ordinary man is to obey the commands of his 'God' - society; but the children of light never do so. This is an eternal law. One accomodates himself to surroundings and social opinion and gets all good things from society, the giver of all good to such. The other stands alone and draws society up towards him. The accommodating man finds a path of roses; the non-accommodating, one of thorns. But the worshippers of "Vox Populi" go to annihilation in a moment; the children of light 'live for ever'.

I will compare truth to a corrosive substance of infinite power. It burns its way in wherever it falls - in soft substance at once, hard granite slowly, but it must. What is writ is writ. I am so, so sorry, that I cannot make myself 'sweet' and accomodating to every black falsehood. But I cannot. I have suffered for it all my life, but I cannot.

At last I have given it up. The Lord is Great!....He will not allow me to become a hypocrite....Now let what is in come out. I have not found a way that will please all, and I cannot but be what I am, true to my own self......"Youth and beauty vanish, life and wealth vanish, name and fame vanish, even the mountains crumble into dust. Friendship and love vanish. TRUTH ALONE ABIDES."..........God of Truth, be Thou alone my guide! I am too old to change now into milk and honey. Allow me to remain as I am...."Without fear, without shopkeeping, caring neither for friend nor foe, do thou hold on to truth, Sannyaasin, and from this moment give up this world and the next and all that are to come - their enjoyments and their vanities....Truth, be thou alone my guide."

I have no desire for wealth or name or fame or enjoyments, they are dust unto me....I want to help my brethren. I have not the 'tact to earn money', bless the Lord....What reason is there for me to conform to the vagaries of the world around me and not obey the voice of Truth within? The mind is still weak; it sometimes mechanically clutches at earthly help....But I am not afraid....Fear is the greatest sin, my religion teaches......"

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Meditation Spiritual Quotes !

God'. It is a loaded word which, for many people seems incomprehensible. This is unfortunate because there are so many personal experiences of direct encounters with the One who is the purest source of truth and love. If we attempt, as some do, to make our approach to the Source easier by making it an impersonal one, we deny ourselves the essential richness and nourishment of a personal relationship. When the meditator practices meditation with purely spiritual intentions they are aiming to enhance their own level of enlightenment and create a state of being that is open to receiving directly the light and love of the spiritual parent whom we all share. Contrary to some popular beliefs it does not take many lifetimes to master. However, it is an extremely personal and spiritually intimate relationship where the energy of God is directly felt.

~ Brahma Kumaris, Mt Abu.