“Not as an emblem of suffering, but as an example of faithfulness in the midst of suffering. Job never doubted God.”
We are faithful in anything in life — our work, our family, our duties, not simply to do it. We do it because we cherish the values they represent, or, it supports the people we love.
We go to work because we are impassioned by it and how we can make the world better, whether you are an international diplomat or a garbage man who helps keep our streets and health safe. We are faithful to cherish others, such as showing up for our grandson’s game or niece’s game, because we love them and want to nurture that love. Most importantly, we have faith in God because we trust that He/She has the best plan for us. So if we love our work and love our families, shouldn’t we love an all Powerful God the most?
The Mennonites are a group of Christian Anabaptists named after Menno Simons (1496–1561). His teachings were a relatively minor influence on the group, though. They are of the historic peace churches. Mennonites are committed to nonviolence, nonviolent resistance/reconciliation, and pacifism. There are about 1.5 million Mennonites worldwide as of 2006. There are many different types of mennonite communities in the world. There are those that dress in old-fashioned ways, and others which are hard to tell apart from other people leading a modern lifestyle. Most Mennonites are in the United States and Democratic Republic of Congo, but Mennonites can also be found in tight-knit communities in at least 51 countries on six continents or scattered amongst the populace of those countries.
Mennonites have an international distinction among Christian denominations in disaster relief. They also place a strong theological emphasis on voluntary service. Mennonite Disaster Service, based in North America, provides both immediate and long-term responses to hurricanes, floods, and other disasters. Mennonite Central Committee provides disaster relief around the world alongside their long-term international development programs. Other programs offer a variety of relief efforts and services throughout the world. In the last few decades some Mennonite groups have also become more actively involved with peace and social justice issues, helping to found Christian Peacemaker Teams and Mennonite Conciliation Service.
“Young man, young man, your arm’s too short to box with God.”
-James Weldon Johnson
James Weldon Johnson was born on June 17, 1871, in Jacksonville, Florida. Johnson distinguished himself equally as a man of letters and as a civil rights leader in the early decades of the twentieth century. A talented poet and novelist, Johnson is credited with bringing a new standard of artistry and realism to black literature in such works as The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man and God’s Trombones. He founded the Daily American newspaper in 1895, passed the bar in 1897, and wrote the song, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” His pioneering studies of black poetry, music, and theater in the 1920s also helped introduce many white Americans to the genuine African American creative spirit, hitherto known mainly through the distortions of the minstrel show and dialect poetry. Meanwhile, as head of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) during the 1920s, Johnson led determined civil rights campaigns in an effort to remove the legal, political, and social obstacles hindering black achievement.
“When you have laboriously accomplished your daily tasks, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.”
- Victor Hugo
Mr. Hugo points to our American culture for sure: We work and work and work. We are a productive country, a do-er people. Even though lately we have so many inefficiencies in government and programs, as individuals, we ‘do.’
And so we must pause. We must reflect. We realize when we lay our heads gently down for rest, that God is watching.
She is caring and loving. He is standing guard. This loving Principle may even be shaping our thoughts so that we awake refreshed. We can start the day with greater clarity and positive purpose than the day before.
And so we live Life fully.
Victor Hugo (1802 – 1885) was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist. He is considered as one of the most well-known French Romantic writers. In France, Hugo’s literary fame comes first from his poetry. Among many volumes, Les Contemplations and La Légende des siècles stand particularly high in critical esteem. Outside France, his best-known works are the novels Les Misérables, 1862, and Notre-Dame de Paris, 1831 (known in English as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame). Les Miserables focused on social issues of the time, and helped bring these to wider attention. Hugo was married to a childhood friend, Adele Foucher, and they had five children.
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“In happy moments, praise God. In the difficult moments, seek God. In the quiet moments, trust God. In every moment, thank God.”
– Robert Albert Wood
“Oh Still, Small Voice of Calm”
Breathe through the pulses of our desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm!
- John Greenleaf Whittier
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807 – 1892) was an influential American Quaker poet and abolitionist. Highly regarded in his lifetime and after, he is remembered for his patriotic poems and a number of poems turned into hymns. Whittier grew up on a poor farm with a large extended family and little formal education. However, he was heavily influenced by Quaker ideologies of humanitarianism, compassion, and social responsibility, introduced to him by his father. He remained an outspoken proponent of abolitionism as a founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society. Many of his early poems dealt with the cause of slavery. After the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, Whittier turned to other forms of poetry; his most famous include Snow-Bound and Dear Lord and Father of Mankind. Starting around 1850, he also wrote folksy New England ballads and narrative poems, sentimental country idylls, and simple religious poems that appealed strongly to his readers.