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Philip Yancey quotes
Much of the misgiving that Muslims feel for the West stems from our strong emphasis on freedom, always a risky enterprise. I've heard some say they would rather rear their children in a closely guarded Islamic society than in the United States, where freedom so often leads to decadence.
What I see in the Bible, especially in the book of Psalms, which is a book of gratitude for the created world, is a recognition that all good things on Earth are God's, every good gift is from above. They are good if we recognize where they came from and if we treat them the way the Designer intended them to be treated.
In China, where you can be arrested and imprisoned for your faith, getting together with other Christians is a lifeline and you'll risk anything for the privilege. No one attends church in China casually, or for a social advantage - quite the opposite.
I think guilt is directional. You should get rid of it, but the way to get rid of it is not to get rid of the guilt feelings. It is to get rid of the wrong that you did that caused the guilt feelings.
I wrote a book on grace, and grace is a free gift, but to receive the gift you have to have your hands open. And a lot of people don't have their hands open, there's something they're grasping because there's a lot of things to grasp in a prosperous country.
It's too bad prayer comes bundled in a package of 'spiritual disciplines.' Really, we should see prayer as a spiritual privilege. We don't do it as a callisthenic exercise to gain points with God; we do it, because it is good for us in every way.