That way God can also relate to those of other traditions or of no religious affiliation. Still, your experience was a divine blessing! Kalle Antero July 29, Reply. I never had a connection with god when i was young. My parents did not believe nor they had any experienced with God. I alienated from happiness and love when i was around teenage. I felt a lot of rejection from every direction possible. I had troubles with law and with mental health, in a sense i had problems with life itself; and I thought life had problems with me.
When i got older I got involved with more unhappiness in form of violence, drugs and a criminal way of life. You know the feeling, when you are surrounded by fog. I had that feeling except it was in my head, all the time. I even thought about suicide. When i was at my lowest point I prayed. That was the first contact with God.
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I felt surreal happiness and feeling of comfort. I felt love. From that point on I started to change my life. Few years later I am at this point, writing this. Today I cried. I cried because of happiness. God is that happiness. God is love. My heart goes out to you, Kalle, for your suffering and joins in joy to hear that God has connected with you.
You did the right thing: at the lowest point you prayed. But that is human nature, I guess. Continue reading God: An Autobiography, because I think God has a message for you personally somewhere in those pages.
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Bernadette May 29, Reply. My husband and I are going through a difficult time at the moment. We went through the physical and emotional difficulties of a miscarriage, I was nearly admitted as I was bleeding so heavily. Three days later, the baby was still there on a scan confusing ourselves and the midwife. We are awaiting a scan in two weeks to see if the baby is still there.
Today, I set up an alter of spiritual items I had gathered and prayed a lot. I asked for a sign that my everything would be okay for us. You may not believe me, but my small bible fell off the table and into my lap. It was inexplicable how it happened. I believe that this was a sign. Jerry L Martin July 14, Reply. One always have to balance the skepticism that keeps us from being superstitious on the one hand and an openness to divine signals on the other.
Your experience was dramatic. It might mean that the baby is fine, or it might be that, whatever you are about to go through, God will be with you and by your side and on your side in the experience. Jerry L Martin July 19, Reply. What an ordeal! And what a dramatic experience — a small bible falling right into your lap after you asked for a sign! I dearly hope that everything did work out well.
But it is hard to interpret signs. It might mean that the baby would be fine, or it might just be a divine reminder that God will be by your side and on your side through the struggle or that, in some larger sense, everything will be well. You are living in a divinely-oriented, open-hearted way. God is your partner in that! There was a time in my life were I was not happy. But one morning I experienced the most beautiful moment of my life. The day was 15th may and on my Bible app that is on my Phone it said: Psalm This is the day that the lord has made, and its good that we experience this day with big happiness.
When I woke up I had read that and I was still laying in my bed. On the app there is a reading plan that helps u through life with tasks and scriptures to read. So the first task was ASK- God to connect with you here. In prayer, start by slowing down, inviting God to be present. I was a little lazy to get up, so I kept laying in bed put my Phone away and hesitated to speak out loud. Instead I started thinking about life, and my struggles, and God. Yesterday, I was on my way to church and I decided to go back home not telling anyone why..
It rained the whole day when I got home.. Like God was sad for me skipping church or something.. So I thought about me being lonely as well. I started to cry silently. The thing is.. I cried silently with no sound.. He was sleeping in the living room on the couch. I wanted to stop crying but all of a sudden I started crying with Sound! Like something took over.. I was surprised, a little scared, relieved..
The most beautiful thing happened when I cried uncontrollably.. My bed is faced towards the Windows in my room and my windows were closed. But I knew it was God. I have never felt or experienced something like this.. When I stopped crying I felt joy and I was slowly laughing through my tears and I could hear the weather changing back to normal again.. And now I totally understand why.
After that happened I said : I love you God. I knew he was with me all the time, but to actually have the privilege to experience his Goodness is so wonderful! He knows u better then u know yourself. I feel a lot better and this was like crying my troubles away. Martin May 20, Reply. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. It is chock full of spiritual lessons you discerned. But what we most want, what we most need, is to not be alone. You now know you are not alone, that God is with you, that God is present to your life, and it is a loving presence.
You are right to share your story with others, and to post it here. We can learn, for example, from your final thought: to keep a keen eye out for what God has in store for you. Now that God has got your attention, there may be something he wants you to do. It may be some dramatic assignment — to feed the hungry in Africa — or it might be something as simple as being nicer to your parents or your friends or as studying harder or playing more fairly. Acts of kindness, fairness, duty, and self-care are the main stuff of a life in synch with God.
Cat Park December 19, Reply. But I am excited and I am at peace. I want to share what happened to me. My name is Cat Park. I was open that there was a God out there. I come from a rough life. Recently I found myself thinking about how I needed a constant, and I was thinking I really truly needed to seek God out. Last night I had a dream. It was so weird. But today I was going through a particularly rough day and I was crying in my room. And I decided to try something from my dream last night. And right next to my fan there was His answer.
But God is there. And he listens. But he finally gave me what I needed and that was a clear answer. It may be hard to believe but I hope God sends you a clear message or feeling someday to you too. Joanne Nitkowski December 29, Reply. Cat, thank you for writing about your experiene with God. I just wanted you to know that people are listening! May I share my experience? I am finding that when my heart is honest, and I am seeking, I find Him in all that is good, and right, and true. For He is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. And He is life, and no lie is of the truth.
And this is my knowledge of God that is beginning to become real in my life, because it is changing me on the inside and helping me to become the kind of person who loves what is good. And God is good! Martin January 8, Reply. Thank you, Joanne, for supporting Cat and sharing your own experience of God. When, though a lifelong nonbeliever, I had my own encounter with God, I found three striking traits — God was undeniably real, benign, and authoritative.
I have found God to be that way ever since the events recorded in God: An Autobiography. Yes, God is the great Constant, the ever-present, loving Witness of your life, the Companion who knows your suffering and your loneliness and shares your burdens and cares. It is great that you looked to God for an answer, and wonderful that God responded in so vivid a way. Be well, and bless you! Carter Colson February 17, Reply.
I grew up as a popular kid who had sex at an early age and started sinning young. Thankfully, my brother had shown me God and that He is real through his examples in life. My brother is only 4 years older than me and we are nothing alike physically. He has always been a computer geek and got bullied growing up. From him, I gained sympathy and compassion for all people. About a year ago I had broken up with my girlfriend who I had been dating for about a year before that.
Throughout the relationship, I was leading her on and making her love me, when all I was thinking about was sexual sin. I turned my back on God by creating a mindset for myself that this relationship was going to be temporary. I knew what I had done was not right and that the lust I had for this girl was tearing me apart.
The pain of turning my back on God was too much for me so I broke up with her. I was devastated and at the lowest point of my life I had ever been. The night I broke up with her, my brother and my mom both went on their first dates with the love of their lives. Today, they are still dating these people and my mom got moved out of her crummy house into her boyfriends beautiful house who is a Godly man.
My brother, on the other hand, continued to date his girlfriend until 5 months into the relationship where she was sentenced to jail for past mistakes. Within those 5 months, I witnessed my brother and my mother fall in love the correct way. This made me pray and pray that I may too experience love the way they did.
My brothers girlfriend has been in jail for 8 months now and he still calls her everyday. God has displayed love for me through the holy spirit of my brother and my mom. My senior year began in august, 2 months after my brothers girlfriend has been in jail, and that was when I began speaking to God and being in his presence day by day. Every day, I began getting closer to the one I love.
Finally, God gave me the perfect girl who I feel no jealousy, anger, shame, worry, or doubt with her. So far, I have been preaching about God and Jesus to the rest of my school for I feel I need to express His love to everyone: that is my purpose on this earth. I am here to tell you that God is more real than he has ever been, He is here! Now that I am spiritually prepared to be with the girl I love because of the love displayed from my brother and my mom, God is allowing me to fall in love and never experience jealousy, worry, doubt, hatred, shame, or lust again.
Martin May 13, Reply. Regardless of wrongs, you showed great spiritual openness in correctly observing, and taking to heart, the meaning of the examples set by your brother and your mother. Divine love and human love are intertwined. Our love for one another orients our souls toward God.
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That is true even of sexual love, when it is really love, not just lust. These are truths you have been learning from your own experience. You will have a long future, and many surprised, ahead of you. Meeting the right girl is the greatest gift God could give you! But do not expect to glide to a perfect life. Do not be surprised, or thrown off, by ups and down. God will be by your side in bad days as well as the good.
Your task is meet whatever challenges come your way and stay on course. Those will be lessons God sends you way. Lukman Clark November 1, Reply. In the late summer of I was given a vision of the simultaneity of lives, past, present, future. It took me a few years to find the vocabulary to begin to describe this.
The following poem gives an idea of it. To the howsoever blinder eye My peripatetic Patti Doe Travels in a greater company Of hidden intervals, revolving Vertices, braces, trusses Of time lines intersecting. The curve of time arcs unseen, Horizons misinforming, Overreaching the anxious mind. What seems a dark ending edge Is only gentle bending. Not big bangs, not great crushes, To use measures different, The ways of time demarcate. Biting of the luminous apple, Fruit of the knowledge of time, We experience the shortest time Between times out of time lies. In some sense hard to grasp, all times — past, present, and future — are always present, always real.
Thank you for sharing these insights, expressed so poetically, with me and with my readers. Jacqui Brooks August 8, Reply. My moment with God came to me after the death of my then only child Gregory. We had lived alone together and I was a single mother. My sweet Lord. I moved to walk toward my kitchen and as I did, I felt a source of love only way I can describe it being poured into my entire body from the top of my head. I had no faith before this experience and in my grief and misery,I was in hell.
God and his mercy gave me this experience to remember for the rest of my life. I continued to have some profound experiences around this time and I was given a vision of my son after he had passed. These experiences have long passed but I still think of them every day. Jerry L Martin August 29, Reply. Thank you for sharing this moving experience. And you took it to heart. And, thanks to your sharing it, the glimmer of your experience now warms and enlightens all of us.
Thank you, Jacqui. May God continue to shine on you. My first experience with the Holy Spirit was when I was baptised at night in a lake at the age of around 10 years old. I recall being enveloped by a bright light and the feeling of sheer joy it brought me to tears. Though it felt like a goodbye rather than a hello. It was intense and it is a memory which will stay with me for the rest of this life experience. I remember when I was in my early 20s I was at the train station drunk with friends and I stupidly stood on the rail line and was electrocuted.
It was a scary experience. I remember feeling the electricity surge through my entire body and seeing the train coming towards me. I then had to endure the death of my nan, then I had to watch my father die in front of my two children and then my special friend Rosey died in my arms. This all happened within the space of six months.
My faith was tested but then during my darkest time of utter despair was when I found you and I confess you are the best thing I have experienced. Eye found true love and I will never let you go lol. Jerry L Martin May 23, Reply. I hope it is the latter, which would mean that, in spite of all your suffering, you have been able to open your heart to faith and a great blessing has come into your life. If the former, you have been disrespectful and moved farther away than ever. Either way, I hope and pray for the best for you.
James January 19, Reply. Alyssa April 19, Reply. An amazing, real, experience just happened to me but I must share!! To start off I am 14 years old. When I was younger, my parents had never taught me about God. My dad believed, but he never taught me about it. Lots of pain and suffering happened to me in my life. My parents were divorced, I was emotionally and physically abused by my mother and brother.
I was manipulated and a very confused girl. I have a very low self esteem. I lost many many friends because how depressed I have been becoming. I was even recently a victim of a sexual crime. I committed a lot of wrong too. This included doing drugs, hanging with the wrong people, and getting into trouble at school. Everyone around me was depressed. But still, things were terrible. My dad is broke with barely any money.
Well today was a bad day for me. I felt overwhelming depressed and sad. I was getting suicidal. I looked at my phone to find my dad texted me that I needed to pray right now. I broke into tears and prayed to God. I asked him to protect me and my dad. I asked him to bring me love and joy and to forgive me and let me spread happiness. But I had doubt and I cried and cried. As I went to bed that night, I laid in my bed. My mind was racing so I had an urge to write in my journal.
I began writing about how depressing my day was, but then a sudden burst of positivity went through out my body. God was speaking to me through my writing in the journal. I was writing about positivity and steps into a new chapter of my life. I will get protection and good will come to me. I am shocked and have never felt such a powerful love from God. I wanted to cry in tears of joy.
I grabbed a bible my dad had given to me. I spoke to God and told him to open onto a page where he can talk to me and tell me what I need to hear. Chills ran through my body and I carefully held my fingers through the pages. Then I felt a crease. I opened to the page Psalm 3, which is protection. It acceptance of job also, which good things started to happen once God accepted hints. The psalm talked about protection. Very powerful to what had just happened to me. Remember I am 14, raised not to believe in God, and I was spoken to.
I truly know God is real and he is bringing positivity. I am connected to the Holy Spirit. Love and protection is coming. I have to share this amazing experience. I have gained full faith, and feel as a new person. Lots of love x. Jerry L Martin April 20, Reply. You have taught us all several important lessons, Alyssa. God can speak to any person, regardless of age or past belief.
God can speak to us when we are at the very pit of life, as well as when we are on top. And that can also be a way God answers. I have received divine guidance by a line in a novel suddenly seizing my attention. Your story is a blessing to all of us. Maxine Doles April 8, Reply. This has been a fascinating experience, reading all the comments from these wonderful people that have had various walks with our Lord and life itself. It never ceases to amaze me that we serve a God that is always every day, day in and day out, allowing us to see His glory and His desire for us to accept Him, the creator that made us and who knows us better than anybody on this earth.
He knows the beginning to the end and everything in between; trying to guide us, talking to us, providing us with various situations to accept Him, never giving up, in order to deepen our faith and better help us understand His never ending love, His grace and mercy. We, of course, have many trials and tribulations through this life; we are in a world of sin with satan nipping at our heels each day.
Who is going to win? It is our decision and only our decision. It is so very important to God, the most important decision we will ever make. It is the decision of life eternal with God and our loved ones OR eternal darkness. Yes, I have seen God do His wondrous works and He still working with me, forgiving me each day. I was diagnosed with cancer at the age of I knew God at the time, I was a believer. I experienced His presence on two occasions during this challenging time. While I was lying in bed in the hospital and had already gone through three surgeries… I was in a private room, it was early in the morning around 2 a.
I truly believe when God speaks to you, you somehow know it is from Him. I had another experience while I was rehabbing at home… again I felt his His presence in the room, giving me a feeling of peace and comfort. I never questioned it, it was very clear to me. I am now 73 years old and so many situations have come and gone and my faith has been strengthened with each one. I have lost a child, I have had many deaths in my family, my husband has recently had open heart surgery, I have been rich and I have been poor.
I am a normal person; living, loving and praying until my life is over on this earth. I have full and complete assurance that when I die that my next life will be made perfect, without sickness, without tears or death…why? Jerry L Martin April 18, Reply. Thank you for your moving testimonial. It is uncanny that, when God speaks to us or is palpably present, we somehow know that it is God. As a philosopher, trained to doubt everything, I find this an extraordinary fact.
I would not have believed it, if it had not happened to me personally. Maxine, as a cancer survivor and as a parent who has lost a child, you have come through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. God has been by your side even, perhaps especially, in the suffering. And you have had the wisdom not to turn away from the divine presence. Be well, my friend. Brandon Lee January 10, Reply. The time between my prior lover and current was short, maybe a month.
I personally did not consider her a rebound, the connection with her started from a core value: Christianity. From the onset the relationship seemed justified and correct, we fell in love and time progressed. I cut off all connections — with the persuasion of my new lover and a few mistakes of my own — with my ex and she was not to hear from me for years. Onto the present; my ex messaged me a couple weeks before I was planning on proposing to my current lover interesting timing….
This message contained a plea to me calling out for forgiveness of her actions toward me during our relationship and asking me to let her know that I do not hold poison towards her so she could move on spiritually. I knew in my heart that I had forgiven her and let it go, but as far as she could see I had written her off long ago and never wanted anything to do with her. At first, I wanted to reply, but I spoke with my current lover first and she did not want me to and I convened my ex stated I did not have to respond, but in reality humans usually always want responses.
Time passed and I began to forget about the message from the excitement of being engaged, but then through social media I saw memories pop up with her and suddenly a weight started to hit my heart… I felt the urge to respond. For almost two weeks my conscious was reminding me of memories of her, and I began to feel pain within my soul and anguish in the heart. I needed to respond…. So I did, through a social media, expecting a response the next day or so but it never happened.
I was a bit distraught thinking maybe she did not want to respond, but then, this is where I believe God kicked in. My ex. So my mother calls me before work and tells me this then my mind goes crazy thinking that maybe there is a way to get connected and wala it came to me — my mother could message her through social media and ask for her email.
So I reiterated what I sent through social media and sent it to her email knowing that now she will see it. Her response did not come until two days later, but it lifted the burden that my heart had been holding onto and made my heart warm. I feel like God was calling us to put the last chapter between us behind so she and I can both move forward in our spiritual lives.
Jerry L Martin January 21, Reply. Brandon, you have to balance what you feel God wants with your own best judgment and sense of responsibility toward the people involved. Why balance what God wants?
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Because maybe it is not what God wants. It is hard to be sure. In anything that engages a mix of strong feelings, it is hard for us to separate divine prompts that are real from other pulls and pushes. I hope your resolution of the situation is right for all concerned, God included. Sandra July 3, Reply. I feel He finds me a very difficult person. On the flip side of the coin, He knows who I am He knew it right from the beginning. My experience with God is this, the help and persistence and stamina that He sent to me when dealing with Bank of America over almost losing our home due to their error was phenomenal.
I kept getting messages about David slaying Goliath. So this Italian woman got stronger and stronger, I was led to a great attorney, last name of Abdullah, meaning in Arabic servant of God. Funny huh,not a christian, he helped me with the language of law, and how to present things he helped me on an as needed basis and the fees were not expensive. God helped me get right into the office of Brian Moynihan CEO of BofA I emailed his office with a letter basically telling him of what his bank has done, I was not nice, and reminded him of how BofA actually started, I sent the same letter over and over and bombed up his email, 3 days later I got a call from his office.
From then on the situation here with my home was getting taken care of. I won this battle, Goliath was taken down with an apology, a better rate, and a new modification contract that my lawyer Mr. Abdullah said was great, because before I signed anything he needed to see it. Then Mr. That is how God worked with me, I still think he needs to go out for a smoke break once in awhile in his dealings with me, LOL, I do get really angry at Him still at times, but I know I do bring up some very valid points. Again, he knows I am difficult.
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Jerry L Martin July 13, Reply. We are all difficult, Sandra, lol. But that need not stop us from working with God as best we can, just as you did here. And, at the end of it all, it was Goliath, not you, who was flat on the ground. Be well. Reubensis November 30, Reply.
A chronic sinner though I am, is it possible for me to experience God? To surrender my whole being to Him, I want to be a blazing fire for God. Sir, how can I achieve this, please assist me less I wallow away in sin but one thing that gives me strongest of heart is that my soul was not created by Satan and can never get to him. Jerry L Martin December 23, Reply. To your first question, the answer is definitely Yes. To feel the Divine Presence may be simpler than you think. You do not need a superhuman leap into pure holiness.
The key is to focus on what God wants for you in particular. How do you do that? The first step is to stop worrying about being a sinner. Look forward, not backward. Just relax and put your self-concerns am I too big a sinner? Just try to still your mind and heart. Take one small step. When you pray, still your feelings, pray quietly, and ask yourself, if God had something to tell me today, what would it be?
Trust that, once you get the clutter out of the way, God will be able to lead your thoughts in a fruitful direction. You will be standing in the divine light, whether you know it or not. Eventually, you will be able to sense His Presence, perhaps only faintly and uncertainly, but He is there. I have experienced an encounter with Jesus just as I have experienced encounters with demons and satan himself. This morning I had a dream and it was satan laughing at me. I woke up from this dream to realize God has a plan for me. He has given me a gift.
In my dreams are when spirits and the devil try to attack, but here I am able to speak about it. God woke me up this morning and I know he wants me to spread his word. I want to give my all to the Lord and it is truly the greatest feeling. I hope someone reads this and asks about this gift, there is so much more to tell. Jerry L Martin August 16, Reply. There will be more about evil later in the book. May God bless you and guide you with wisdom and love! Charles February 6, Reply. I was having a good day hanging with my friends and everything going pretty swell.
When I went home I was confronted with a problem that I had been dealing with in my personal life. I always prayed to god about it, but in a simple matter of just words, not going into depth about how I felt on the matter. This day the problem really got to me and I had to speak to someone about it. I went over to my couch and started praying silently to myself. As I continued praying the problem just started to break me down, I started praying harder and harder and harder till I was out of words. That although he never speaks directly to me that I need a sense of direction, that I needed help at probably one of the lowest points I had faced in my life.
I let the feeling stay for a bit, and then it got so overwhelming I had to open my eyes and look around, I strongly felt my chances seeing something out of the norm would be good. I opened them and nothing was there. Although the sun outside beaming through my window, was so bright and had a very bright white color to it.
Usually my prayers are the same short with emotion but never really any true passion. I was born Jehovah witness, which gave me the opportunity later in life to leave the religion because of how strict it was.
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I am familiar with God. But this incident was different, what I felt was different. Sometimes you have to force your mind to believe you felt something, but no this was physical and mental. Never had I felt it before in a prayer. Almost as if someone told me they were listening. I struggle whether to call myself crazy or embrace and invest in what I felt. Very confusing episode in my life, as far as what to take on it. If that was truly Him or if it was something, I truly hope it comes back because there are so many things I need answers for in my life.
Jerry L Martin February 10, Reply. What you have described, Charles, is what it is like to feel the presence of God. We are not alone. God is with us and on our side. Call yourself crazy? No, this was probably the sanest moment of your life. Embrace and invest in what you felt? Yes, it is a blessing, one you should cherish and remember and keep close to your heart. My sense is that God will almost certainly help you, but help may come in a form you do not expect.
You may not even recognize it as help. It might come from someone around you or within reach — a friend, a minister, a counselor, or just a stranger. It could require that you reach out for their help. Pay close attention if you sense that God is pointing you in a direction. Be well, my friend, and God bless!
Matthew Foster February 1, Reply. Jerry, reflection on your experience of hearing God speak to you reminds me of others with similar accounts, and both lead me to consider a variety of questions. Various people in history have said God spoke to them, and now a friend of mine, whose sanity and rationality I do not doubt, is one of them.
What am I to make of what he reports—and of what others reported long ago as well? I notice that as long as I am in the majority who has not had such an experience, I can comfortably view your and their accounts as curious, puzzling specimens of abnormal human experience. But even a brief look at what more than a few people have written at this website indicates that there are more like you than I imagined—yikes! What should we make of such experiences? What do you make of your own experience, Jerry, and how do you compare it to other such cases in history?
You have written eloquently of how you accepted the authenticity of what you experienced. But I know you acknowledge that such an acceptance is not the end of reflection on what has happened to you. Is God really speaking to you and to all of these people in history? What about the ancient prophets of the Hebrew scriptures, like Isaiah and Jeremiah, Amos and Hosea—did they really hear what they wrote down? Or did they invent it and deceive us?
Or were they trying to give expression to what they thought God would say if God were to speak in a human language? But then why go to such lengths to describe a seemingly independent source of these thoughts? Whatever we conclude about them, should it also guide how we view other famous cases? What did Muhammad really hear or experience? Or are none of them what they appear to be, and they should all be demythologized, deconstructed somehow?
While these two appear to be mutually exclusive, is it possible in any sense for both to be true? Are there any additional possibilities? Of course, any of us can choose to ponder these questions, and to many of us they may seem ultimately irresolvable. Thus, Jerry, you have an opportunity most of us do not have, to engage in an internal dialogue—between the mind which has had these experiences of God speaking, and the mind that can investigate, as logically and as objectively as one can, what these experiences mean.
Nor do I myself think one must take such a position, although I acknowledge that on this I can only speak as an outsider. On the contrary, it seems to me, to be a human being is to be thrown into a life where we cannot avoid such questions, a life in which these questions assail and also intrigue us—and, yes, may also tempt with distracting digressions as well as enlighten with new understanding. To take one example of this kind of comparing and testing: Muhammad said God told him there would be no subsequent messengers after him.
Who is right, and why?
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But perhaps neither claim should be judged by whether it corresponds to an objective reality, which in any case seems impossible to resolve empirically. Alternatively and this, for now, is perhaps my response to my own inquiry here , we could interpret such claims through an hypothesis about how all humans are quite capable of finding within ourselves many voices.
All these voices give us information about the world, the whole of reality, and, simultaneously, information by means of which we try to navigate our way in that reality. We may wish that the investigation of such experiences could end by telling us whose claims are correct and whose are false. I suspect we all cling or one of the voices within us clings! And obviously, sometimes we must, with fear and trembling, make such judgments about the more mundane, internal conflicts we all experience. And no experience excuses any of us, as either subjects or observers, from the tasks of life and the challenges of being faithful to God as best we can understand God.
While that conclusion may be disappointing, there is at least one respect in which it leaves me glad: It preserves Jerry, certainly in my mind and I hope in his, from the burden of somehow having to prove he is neither weirdly gifted nor bizarrely deficient, and lets him continue to be himself—and just my friend. Most religious people sometimes sense the divine presence. It may be a moment of inner prompting or warning, similar to the voice of conscience. It may be a moment of worship or meditation, of tragedy or joy, of profound loss or miraculous rescue.
It may occur in the I-Thou of love and family and friendship, or in appreciation of the mighty frame of the universe, as we sense the divine auspices. Or, for some of us, it comes in a voice or vision. The voice and vision are not strange, separate categories. They are merely at one end of a spectrum of ways the divine reality manifests itself.
If you were an atheist, all this would make no sense, of course, but this is a conversation between friends. Can such experiences be mistaken? Of course. Human beings are fallible. Mistakes can range from mental derangement to mistaking the thrill of seeing the Grand Canyon for a burst of the divine. How do you test the spirits, the voice, the divine prompting or warning?
There are two places to check, the inward and the outward. Was the person on drugs or prone to fantasy? Does the person have a fanatical desire to believe that God is speaking to him or her, or an ego gratification at stake? When I felt a swell of pride at hearing from God, the line immediately went dead. Meditation and devotional moments can be helpful. If it is telling me that it is okay to cheat on my wife, it is probably not God speaking. Or to jump off the cliff. Even Jesus rejected such devilish dares. Did the ancient prophets actually hear God speak?
Why not? It is much more likely if you believe in God at all than that they took the liberty to attribute to God merely what they themselves thought. Look at the circumstances. More often than not, they were quite surprised to hear God speaking to them and resisted the assignment God gave them. What of all the other prophets and seers?
Here we have to exercise spiritual discernment, and it is not easy. Because of my own experience, I have a bias in favor of giving some credence to their reports, but always keeping in mind that we are all fallible. In my own case, it is clear that God speaks to me in my own language and using my own concepts which are sometimes challenged. God answers questions as I have framed them. Someone else would have asked different questions. Later in the book, I am told to read the ancient scriptures of the various religions and ask about them. I am told that the divine reality has many sides, both personal and transpersonal, both immanent and transcendent.
One reason the various revelations differ is that the divine reality manifested different sides of itself to different peoples, and I am told why. I am told what parts they got right and what parts less so. What status should a reader give to what God has told me? First, I am fallible as were the seers and prophets. Second, I was told explicitly that God was not giving me any authority. Well, it certainly could be the voice of God, as I believe it is, so I think you and other readers should take it seriously.
You should read it with an open heart and mind, guided more by your own spiritual attunement than by more distant doubts and worries, and take in those parts that speak to you, as if you alone were their intended audience. I have not answered all your questions, Matthew, and I would welcome further discussion. Maple Green Beans January 17, Reply. I really enjoy you sharing your message, THE message, because I do believe their is one unifying message. There is, a for lack of better terms, a harmonic expression that is in all living things; it permeates all that we are and every living thing around us, and we are part of that too.
When we have something to tell someone,we communicate through words. To be hear, which is a vibration. To feel! To truly feel the greatest story ever told. In the Bible it says in the beginning was the Word. So powerful that it caused men to write IT down…for what? What could possibly be so important that men were moved to put what they were experiencing down onto paper. They were inspired! The energy is always there because it comes through us, not to us. A lot of people are waiting for that perfect AH! Its like waiting for the phone to ring rather than picking it up.
Its there. Waiting like a lover. For me, we were taught trinity, 3 in 1. He comes with a lot to share and it is unlimited: Wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and awe! I think the main thing is to be at peace with the idea that there is a higher power, that we are NOT the be all end all and that we are connected to every single living thing…when you get plugged into that, it really is a WOW!
Look forward to reading more! Jerry L Martin February 4, Reply. Yes, waiting for that perfect Ah, an undeniable epiphany, a clear communication like, as you put it, the phone ringing, is a mistake. Yes I have true experience with God, in the year ,I had a major accident. I was in I. U at that time I did not know how many days had passed. I was unconscious there— all of a sudden I was conscious and I felt there is God near me who saved my life fractures,14 blood bottles and many operations and fully 9 months rest. Jerry L Martin October 20, Reply. The worst experience of your life became the best.
And, to this day, you know with palpable certitude that God is with you. I pray that you will always be blessed in this way. To The Lighthouse, it had a huge impact on me when I first read it. It really made me consider and reconsider how I think and find direction. There are so many books by women that I love, but TTL is my favourite. Pretty much all of Woolf, whom I read voraciously during the late 90s and still dip into now and then for a quick dose of writerly inspiration. Hard to pick any one favorite, fiction or non-fiction. I heard of her just a month ago, from a Korean American friend.
All I can say about her at this stage is that she knows me better than I do. I am reading The Complete Stories published , which is full of lovely and shocking surprises. I finish one of her stories with a huge grin that lasts all day, another story may leave me arguing with myself She inspires me more than any other author in this second half of my life. Her uniquely fluid style reveals a mind so perspicacious, so permissively poetic … and utterly radical. Her trademark self-acceptance is so refreshingly robust that I have found myself at times interrupting my reading with whoops of awe and admiration for her freedom of thought and spirit.
I would describe it as transformational because it provided an insight into the reality of what it means to be a young, ambitious, highly intelligent, sometimes single black woman in contemporary America. I was also moved by the story because it touchingly describes the loving relationship between the two central characters, showcasing that neither space nor time can erase love. We usually go back to the same desires and preferences we had as year-olds, and Americanah captures this sentiment. Ngozi Adichie is a new, powerful and incredibly talented voice; her novel Americanah is the expression of a different African tale, of a continent and its people that have many more magnetic stories to tell, as well as critiques to raise about the so-called enlightened West.
She predicted all that is happening today in that book. Everything about it is scarily easy to imagine. Her descriptions of how women began to be punished for abortions reminds me of legislation happening right now in the USA, for example. White Teeth, by Zadie Smith. Could read it over and over again. On Beauty by Zadie Smith is absolutely brilliant.
Smith is often categorized first by race and gender and thus is never considered the peer of other modern literary fiction writers like Franzen and Rushdie, but she easily beats them at their own style. How many far less-privileged women, in hostile corners of the world, face the threat of vanishing completely, dissolving into the boundaries of others without a trace? Start with: The Days of Abandonment , a short novel Ferrante wrote before her famous Neapolitan series — a great taster, and brilliant in its own right.
It was probably another year or so before I got my hands on a copy but I was not disappointed. We are painfully aware that this list could go forever. So, please, add more authors to the conversation by leaving your thoughts in the comments. April 2, We have celebrated female authors on the Books site before, but we contacted some of our readers and asked them to tell us which female writers shaped their lives.
Here are 10 of the most mentioned authors, in no particular order, and what our readers had to say about them: 1. Doris Lessing -
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