Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I may not forget you.
Optimists enrich the present, enhance the future, challenge the improbable and attain the impossible
Failure is not fatal. Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. It should challenge us to new heights of accomplishments, not pull us to new depths of despair. From honest failure can come valuable experience
Another fresh new year is here . . . Another year to live! To banish worry, doubt, and fear, To love and laugh and give! This bright new year is given me To live each day with zest . . . To daily grow and try to be My highest and my best! I have the opportunity Once more to right some wrongs, To pray for peace, to plant a tree, And sing more joyful songs!î
On the day of Pentecost Christianity faced the world, a new religion, without a history, without a priesthood, without a college, without a people, and without a patron. She had only her two sacraments and her tongue of fire. The latter was her sole instrument of aggression.
Presumption has many forms; and it is worth considering, whether a great and good Being would most disapprove the presumption which expected too much from His goodness, or the presumption which dared positively to disbelieve His promise.
The regeneration of a sinner is an evidence of power in the highest sphere moral nature; with the highest prerogative to change nature; and operating to the highest result not to create originally, which is great; but to create anew, which is greater.
In the primitive church were not prayers simple, unpremeditated, united; prayers of the well-taught apostle; prayers of the accomplished scholar; prayers of the rough but fervent peasant; prayers of the new and zealous convert; prayers which importuned and wrestled with an instant and irrepressible urgency; were they not an essential part of that religion, which holy fire had kindled; and which daily supplications alone could fan?
Every accessory, every instrument of usefulness, the church has now in such a degree and of such excellence as was never known in any other age; and we want but a supreme and glorious baptism of fire to exhibit to the world such a spectacle as would raise ten thousand hallelujahs to the glory of our King.
Thousands of pulpit orators have swayed their audiences as a wind sways standing corn; but in the result, those who were most affected differed nothing from their former selves. An effect of eloquence is sufficient to account for a vast amount of feeling at the moment; but to trace to this a moral power, by which a man, for his life long, overcomes his besetting sins, and adorns his name with Christian virtues, is to make sport of human nature.
Religion has never, in any period, sustained itself except by the instrumentality of the tongue of fire. Only where some men, more or less imbued with this primitive power, have spoken the words of the Lord, not with " the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth," have sinners been converted, and saints prompted to a saintlier life.
No enumeration of the fruits of the Spirit will be found which excludes peace and joy, much less love; and from these graces, if, indeed, not from the last alone, spring the various fruits which unitedly constitute righteousness.
A religion without the Holy Ghost, though it had all the ordinances and all the doctrines of the New Testament, would certainly not be Christianity.
Come, then, with what voice Thou wilt come, Thou power- clad Messenger of my Redeemer! Come with thunder on Thy tongue, or with a sweet " harp of ten strings; " come to us simple as a little child, or wise as a scribe instructed of God; but, O! let us only feel that fire in Thy message which lies not in sentences nor in tones, but in a heart itself inflamed from above, and pouring fire into our hearts.
Return, O Power of the Pentecost, return to Thy people! Shed down Thy flame on many heads! To us, as to our fathers and to those of the old time before them, give fullness of grace! Without Thee we can do nothing; but filled with the Holy Ghost, the excellency of the power will be of Thee, O God! and not of us.