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Dec 20, 1979
Confucius has a lot of wisdom. Anyone who is serious about living life well would do well to read the Analects.
If you try to guide the...more Confucius has a lot of wisdom. Anyone who is serious about living life well would do well to read the Analects.
If you try to guide the common people with coercive regulations and keep them in line with punishments, the common people will become evasive and will have no sense of shame. If, however, you guide them with Virtue, and keep them in line by means of ritual, the people will have a sense of shame and will rectify themselves.
Give your parents no cause for anxiety other than the possibility that they might fall ill.
Both keeping past teachings alive and understanding the present - someone able to do this is worthy of being a teacher.
If you learn without thinking about what you have learned, you will be lost. If you think without learning, however, you will fall into danger.
This is wisdom: to recognize what you know as what you know, and recognize what you do not know as what you do not know.
When you see someone who is worthy, concentrate upon becoming their equal; when you see someone who is unworthy, use this as an opportunity to look within yourself.
People in ancient times were not eager to speak, because they would be ashamed if their actions did not measure up to their words.
Zigong said, "What I do not wish others to do unto me, I also wish not to do unto others." The Master said, "Ah, Zigong! That is something quite beyond you."
When Zilu learned something, but had not yet been able to put it into practice, his only fear was that he would learn something new.
He was diligent and loved learning, and was not ashamed to ask advice from his inferiors. This is why he was accorded the title "Cultured."
I should just give up! I have yet to meet someone who is able to perceive his own faults and then take himself to task inwardly.
One who knows it is not equal to one who loves it, and one who loves it is not the equal of one who takes joy in it.
When walking with two other people, I will always find a teacher among them. I focus on those who are good and seek to emulate them, and focus on those who are bad in order to be reminded of what needs to be changed in myself.
The gentleman is self-possessed and relaxed, while the petty man is perpetually full of worry.
The Master was affable yet firm, awe-inspiring without being severe, simultaneously respectful and relaxed.
Learn as if you will never catch up, and as if you feared losing what you have already attained.
When a man is rebuked with exemplary words after having made a mistake, he cannot help but agree with them. However, what is important is that he change himself in order to accord with them. When a man is praised with words of respect, he cannot help but be pleased with them. However, what is important is that he actually live up to them.
Yan Hui is of no help to me - he is pleased with everything that I say.
The Master said, "The Good person is hesitant to speak. When being Good is so difficult, how can one not be hesitant to speak about it?"
The Master said, "The gentleman is free of anxiety and fear. If you look inside yourself and find no faults, what cause is there for anxiety or fear?"
A gentleman helps others to realize their good qualities, rather than their bad. A petty person does the opposite.
Imagine a person who can recite the several hundred odes by heart but, when delegated a governmental task, is unable to carry it out, or when sent abroad as an envoy, is unable to engage in repartee. No matter how many odes he might have memorized, what good are they to him?
Those who possess Virtue will inevitably have something to say, whereas those who have something to say do not necessarily possess Virtue. Those who are Good will necessarily display courage, but those who display courage are not necessarily Good.
Do not worry that you are not recognized by others; worry rather that you yourself lack ability.
Yuan Rang sat casually, with his legs sprawled out, waiting for Confucius. On seeing him, the Master remarked, "A young man devoid of humility and respect for his elders will grow into an adult who contributes nothing to his community. Growing older and older without the dignity to pass away, he becomes a burden on society." He then rapped him on the shin with his staff.
The gentleman does not promote someone solely based upon their words, nor does he dismiss words simply on account of the person who uttered them.
To make a mistake and yet to not change your ways - that is what is called truly making a mistake.
When attending a gentleman, there are three types of errors one may commit. To speak when it is not yet time to speak - this is called being rash. To not speak when it is time to speak - this is called being secretive. to speak without taking into account the countenance of one's lord - this is called being blind.
Learning broadly and firmly retaining what one has learned, being incisive in one's questioning and able to reflect upon what is near at hand - Goodness is to found in this.
Become like Christ - humbly observe others to emulate the holy and discard the unruly
Notes are private!
Dec 17, 2008
Dec 16, 2008
**spoiler alert** It an interesting tragedy fully of irony, deception, and regret.
Iago to Brabantio - "...an old black ram is tupping...more **spoiler alert** It an interesting tragedy fully of irony, deception, and regret.
Iago to Brabantio - "...an old black ram is tupping your white ewe"
Duke to Brabantio - "And noble signior, if virtue no delighted beauty lack, Your son-in-law is far more fair than black."
Cassio - "Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial."
Iago scheming - "Dull not device by coldness and delay."
Iago - "Men should be what they seem; or those that be not, would they might seem none!"
Iago - "Poor and content is rich, and rich enough; but riches fineless is as poor as winter to him that ever fears he shall be poor."
Othello - "O curse of marriage, that we can call these delicate creatures ours and not their appetites! I had rather be a toad and live upon the vapour of a dungeon than keep a corner in the thing I love for others' uses."
Othello to Iago - "Villain, be sure thou prove my love a whore; be sure of it. Give me the ocular proof, or by the worth of mine eternal soul, thou hadst been better have been born a dog than answer my waked wrath!"
Lodivico to Iago - "Is this the noble Moor whom our full senate call all-in-all sufficient? Is this the nature whom passion could not shake? Whose solid virtue the shot of accident nor dart of chance could neither graze nor pierce?"
Othello about to be with Desdemona - "It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul: let me not name it to you, you chaste stars. It is the cause. Yet I'll not shed her blood, nor scar that whiter skin of hers than snow and smooth as monumental alabaster - yet she must die, else she'll betray more men. Put out the light, and then put out the light..."
Emilia: O, the more angel she, and you the blacker devil!
Othello: She turned to folly, and she was a whore.
Emilia: Thou dost belie her, and thou art a devil.
Othello: She was false as water
Emilia: Thou are rash as fire to say she was false. O, she was heavenly true!
Emilia to Othello after Othello kills Desdemona- "This deed of thine is no more worthy heaven than thou wast worthy her."
Othello to Iago after stabbing Iago - "I'd have thee live, for in my sense 'tis happiness to die."
Othello - "[I:] threw a pearl away richer than all his tribe..."
Othello's last words - "I kissed thee ere I killed thee: no way but this, killing myself, to die upon a kiss."
Choose wisely my counselors
Notes are private!
Feb 21, 2009
Feb 21, 2009
Jan 20, 2001
As was about a 1/3 of the way through the book when it hit me that I was reading an abridged and modernized text. I was quite frustrated and felt like...more As was about a 1/3 of the way through the book when it hit me that I was reading an abridged and modernized text. I was quite frustrated and felt like I was not even reading Edwards' actual words. Despite this I was thoroughly roughed up in my soul by his words. The whole book is about how we need to examine our own sense of salvation. He argues that the surest sign of inward salvation is outward Christian obedience and character.
"So it is God's way of dealing with mankind to lead them into a wilderness before He speaks comfortably to them. The principle that is many times demonstrated in Scripture is this: God will bring people into distress in order to make them see their own utter helplessness and absolute dependence upon His power and grace before He appears to work any great deliverance for them (Deut. 32:36,37)
"But what indecent self-exultation and arrogance it is when poor, fallible, and ignorant mortals pretend that they can determine and know who are really sincere and upright before God and who are not!"
"...perhaps God's goodness depends upon what they themselves define to be good. On false grounds such as these, men may love a god of their own imagination and be far removed from loving the true God who reigns in heaven."
"It is not primarily that they first see that God loves them and therefore He is to be loved, but rather that they first see that God Himself is lovely. Christ appears so glorious and excellent that their hearts are enraptured by Him alone. This then is what really motivates their true love of God."
"So a true saint is so wrapped up in the enjoyment of the true discoveries of the sweet glory of God and Christ that he never sees himself and his own attainments...he never wants to take his eye off the ravishing object of God."
"Holiness comprehends all the true virtues of a good man such as his love to God, his gracious love to men, his justice, his charity, his mercy, his gracious meekness and gentleness, and all the other true Christian virtues that he has"
"the test of affections, particularly love and joy, lies in whether or not holiness is the foundation of the affections."
"...spiritual understanding consists in: 'a sense of the heart for the supreme beauty and sweetness of the holiness of moral perfection of divine things, as well as all the discernment and knowledge of things of religion that depends on and flows from such a sense."
"Yet how small is the love of the most eminent saint in comparison to what God deserves!"
"All gracious affections that are a sweet perfume to Christ and that fill the soul of a Christian with a heavenly sweetness and fragrance are brokenhearted affections."
"...a true Christian can delight in religious fellowship and conversation, yet he also delights to retire from all fellow men and converse with God in solitude."
"To them the realities revealed in the Word of God are so great and so infinitely more important than anything else, that if a person believes in them it is inconsistent with human nature that he should not be influenced by them in practice."
"Trials and temptations are the vital proofs by which to determine truly whether men have the right disposition of heart to cleave to God or not."
APPLICATION: Pray daily for a week to see God more clearly in all his Holiness and Beauty.(less)
Notes are private!
Sep 25, 2007
Sep 26, 2006
Insightful book on the importance of relating well with others and being in tune with one's emotions.
...childhood and adolescence are...more Insightful book on the importance of relating well with others and being in tune with one's emotions.
...childhood and adolescence are critical windows of opportunity for setting down the essential emotional habits that will govern our lives.
...social intelligence is both distinct from academic abilities and a key part of what makes people do well in the practicalities of life.
social competence - how well or poorly people express their own feelings
With a complaint a person criticizes the other person's actions. With a personal criticism the person critiques the character/personality of the person.
XYZ Method - I feel X when you do Y and I would prefer you to do Z
Men also need to be on guard against short-circuiting the discussion by offering a practical solution too early on - it's typically more important to a wife that she feel her husband hears her complaint and empathizes with her feelings about the matter (though he need not agree with her).
John Dewey - a moral education is most potent when lessons are taught to children in the course of real events, not just abstract lessons
-improvement in recognizing and naming own emotions
-better able to understand the cause of feelings
-recognizing the difference between feelings and actions
-better frustration tolerance and anger management
-better able to express anger appropriately
-better at handling stress
-less loneliness and social anxiety
Harnessing Emotions Productively
-better able to focus on the task at hand and pay attention
-less impulsive; more self-control
Empathy: Reading Emotions
-better able to take another person's perspective
-improved empathy and sensitivity to others' feelings
-better at listening to others
-Increased ability to analyze and understand relationships
-better at resolving conflicts and negotiating disagreements
-better at solving problems in relationships
-more assertive and skilled in communicating
-more sought out by peers
-more concerned and considerate
-more harmonious in groups
-more sharing, cooperation, and helpfulness
-more democratic in dealing with others
emotion - a feeling and its distinctive thoughts, psychological and biological states, and range of propensities to act
In the outer ripples are moods, which, technically speaking, are more muted and last far longer than emotion and beyond moods are temperaments.
Some emotions follow from thoughts and others precede or are simultaneous with thought
Self-awareness - observing yourself and recognizing your feelings; building a vocabulary for feelings; knowing the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and reactions.
Personal decision-making - examining your actions and knowing their consequences; knowing if thought or feeling is ruling a decision; applying these insights to issues such as sex and drugs
Managing feelings - monitoring "self-talk" to catch negative messages such as internal put downs; realizing what is behind a feeling (i.e. the hurt that underlies anger); finding ways to handle fears and anxieties, anger, and sadness
Handling stress - learning the value of exercise, guided imagery, relaxation methods
Empathy - understanding others' feeling and concerns and taking their perspective; appreciating the differences in how people feel about things
Communications - talking about feelings effectively; becoming a good listener and question-asker; distinguishing between what someone does or says and your own reactions or judgments about it; sending "I" messages instead of blame
Self-disclosure - valuing openness and building trust in a relationship; knowing when it's safe to risk talking about your private feelings
Insight - identifying patterns in your emotional life and reactions; recognizing similar patterns in others
Self-acceptance - feeling pride and seeing yourself in a positive light; recognizing your strengths and weaknesses; being able to laught at yourself
Personal responsibility - taking responsibility; recognizing the consequences of your decisions and actions, accepting your feelings and moods, following through on commitments
Assertiveness - stating your concerns and feelings without anger or passivity
Group dynamics - cooperation; knowing when and how to lead, when to follow
Conflict resolution - how to fight fair; win/win model for negotiating compromise
Love others - growing in Emotional Intelligence will help me love people better in a way they feel loved(less)
Notes are private!
Dec 17, 2008
Sep 27, 2007
Jun 01, 1987
I was thoroughly impressed by the quality of the exhortation and teaching from Maxwell. This is the first book I have read by him. This is a little an...more I was thoroughly impressed by the quality of the exhortation and teaching from Maxwell. This is the first book I have read by him. This is a little and powerful book. Don’t let the cheesy cover deceive you.
“Success means a person is reaching the maximum potential available to him at any given moment.” – Ted Engstrom
“Plans go wrong with too few counselors; many counselors bring success” – Proverbs 15:22
You will never succeed beyond the purpose to which you are willing to surrender.
Success is due to our stretching to the challenges of life. Failure comes when we shrink from them. There’s no such thing as a man who was born great.
Some of us have to be racing for our lives before we’re motivated to stretch. What motivates you? What makes you want to be your best for the glory of God?
If we have no goals, we won’t recognize failure, but if we’re stretching for success, we will fail from time to time.
The most important time to affirm people is when they stretching.
When you stop stretching, you become boring.
Few people stretch all their lives, but those few people inspire the rest of us.
I have found that you do one of two things in life. You either pay the price now and enjoy later, or you enjoy now and pay the price later. But you will always pay the price.
Average doesn’t look so good when you realize it’s the worst of the best and the best of the worst. When I counsel people, I find that their number-one problem is that they’ve lost their dreams.
Victory becomes ours when we think right about our problems, feel right about our problems, and then act right about our problems. We need more than just a positive mental attitude.
P.U.R.P.O.S.E. – John C. Maxwell
Pray more than the ordinary person
Unite more than the ordinary person
Risk more than the ordinary person
Plan more than the ordinary person
Observe more than the ordinary person
Sacrifice more than the ordinary person
Expect more than the ordinary person
In addition to criticism, you should count on some loneliness
Every person who has never killed a giant will tell you that it’s impossible
As a leader, I will listen to anybody. There’s no one who can’t teach me something. But the only ones I’m really going to take seriously are those who have an investment in my cause and are willing to charge the hill with me. When they give me their advice, they’re putting their lives on the line with me. There are all kinds of people who are willing to stay in the background and tell you how to do it – but they’re not willing to be part of it themselves.
I can’t emphasize enough the importance of getting success under our belts. We’ve got to have some victories. It is winning that gives us confidence.
P.L.A.N.A.H.E.A.D. – John C. Maxwell
Predetermine your course of action
Lay out your goals
Adjust your priorities
Notify key personnel
Allow time for acceptance
Head into action
Always point to success
Daily review your plan
When leaders fail to conquer their own problems, their followers never become victorious
We ought to pray that God will give us a seemingly insurmountable barrier so that our people can see the power of God at work in us to defeat giants
We fail, not because of big problems, but because of small purposes
We usually have to charge Goliaths by ourselves
Small successes lead to greater successes
Success for most people comes after someone else has done the impossible
A vision will help us pay the price. It provides the motivation for us to give up good things now for better things later.
A big vision will help you overcome any problem, but a small vision or no vision at all will cause the smallest of problems to trip you up and keep you from becoming what you should be.
Vision always comes before victory.
It’s seeing the dream consume us and seeing the commitment that makes us act on that dream that causes others to follow it. Commitment is contagious. People will only catch what has caught you.
Fear of failure probably keeps more people from positive action than anything else.
S.E.C.U.R.E. That Dream! – John C. Maxwell
The secret to handling conflicts successfully is to live according to the 101 percent principle. If there is someone under your umbrella of leadership who tends to be obstinate, find the 1 percent on which the two of you agree, and give it all you’ve got – 100 percent of your effort and ability. Let that 1 percent shred of agreement be the tie that binds you together.
Love people more than opinions. Anyone who loves his opinions more than he does his friends will defend his opinions and destroy his friends.
Give others the benefit of the doubt.
The greater the man, the more flexible he is. Good leaders learn how to say “I’m sorry” more quickly than followers.
I decided that leaders will always be hurt. Don’t let anybody sell you on the idea that everybody’s going to love you all the time. If you are out front leading people, you will be hurt. The issue is not will you or won’t you but in what way will you be hurt? I decided that I would be hurt because I trust people and make myself vulnerable to them.
Cultivating Good Relationships
Know them. ABCs of beginning effective relationships. Acknowledge your need for others. Believe in the value of others. Concentrate people, not programs.
Timing is more important than time in a relationship. Walking into the lives of people when they really need you is more important than being with them all the times when they don’t really need you. Timing is essential.
As a leader, be reliable so your people can always feel comfortable coming to you.
Our relationships with people will determine the success of our leadership.
If you are going to be a successful leader, you are going to experience a great amount of discomfort.
The great goal of becoming what one is capable of becoming can be achieved only by those who are willing to pay the price, and the price always involves sacrifice, discomfort, unpleasantness, and even pain.
Paul would tell us to never get comfortable. He understood that if comfort is our highest aim, we will miss out on the riches of the kingdom of God.
The Apostle Paul didn’t have to survive; he was committed beyond the point the survival
Never fall into a maintenance mind-set.
Dissatisfaction is a tool God can use to motivate us to greater things.
You show me a person that is in a strategic leadership position and I’ll show you a person who will be disrupted.
People who are schedule oriented, who have their to-do lists, and who have strong goals will always have some tension over disruptions.
Don’t try to survive.
Do the circumstance of your day have to be smooth and easy for you to have a good day? Some people’s only happiness comes on vacation – so they can only be happy two weeks out of the year. It’s a sad thing when people can’t enjoy the problems of life.
What conditions do you set on your service to God before you’ll be happy in ministry? I would encourage you to put down the book as you finish this chapter and spend some time answering that question. Write down what you need to have before you’ll be happy. Is it a place where you must live? Is it a salary you must receive? What conditions must be met?
The happiest people on earth are people who have learned to appreciate the possibilities for growth that problems bring.
The first similarity is that all fail. There’s not one person who does not experience failure. The second similarity is that we all fail often. We don’t just fail once and walk gingerly through life so that we’ll never fail again. Failure is something that we experience every day. And third, we will continue to fail until we die. Death itself is the only thing that’s going to keep us from failing. Sometimes I have a feeling that people are trying to tiptoe safely to the grave without goofing up somewhere along the way.
How can I allow failure to make me a better person?
The second observation I want you to see is that too many people treat their failures as enemies. They look at a flop and see a foe. This kind of thinking; in itself, is a mistake; failure should be treated as a friend.
We successfully fail when it stirs us to keep trying.
We successfully fail when we see our mistakes and are willing to change. The greatest mistake we make is not correcting the first mistake. When we see where we went wrong, we should make every effort to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.
Leaders bring people to a point of decision.
Anticipate problems. Don’t let problems take you by surprise. List them. Write down all the problems you’re aware of. Address them. Examine each problem thoroughly and think of a solution. Outsmart them. If plan A doesn’t work, be ready with plan B.
The wrong decision at the wrong time = disaster
The wrong decision at the right time = a mistake
The right decision at the wrong time=unacceptance
The right decision at the right time=success
A leader’s ability to make decisions and see them work means the difference between success and failure. Remember, success is not for the chosen few, but for the few who choose.
If our number one goal is to survive, we’re no longer free to make the best decisions.
Also, if we desire to survive, we are encouraged to excuse our lack of effectiveness. We talk a lot about being faithful in the church; we talk very little about being fruitful. A fruitful person has to die first, so since most of us haven’t died, we would rather talk about faithfulness. We may not really accomplish much, be at least we’re consistent.
There’s something common to all these people who tried to survive: they lost what they tried to keep. Whatever the survivor holds tightest he loses. It’s a paradox evident in the teachings of Jesus. “Whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it” (Luke 9:24)
Let me give you four characteristics of “I don’t have to survive” people.
They have faith in god, not in themselves.
They change people, nations, and generations.
They are willing to stand alone.
They possess unusual powers.
But if you can become secure in God, you will gain a freedom that people can never give you.
He was telling me that if I’m to be successful for Him, He needs my listening ability, not my preaching ability.
If you are running in the reputation race, you need to decelerate and get off the track. I’d like to suggest five courses of action that will help you do this.
Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Fear God more than man.
Make room for innovators, entrepreneurs, to work. We need to make room for people who don’t fit the average mold, people who are daring enough to risk failure. We need to be their cheering section.
When we feel satisfied with ourselves, we lack the compassion needed to reach out to others. It’s hard to care for others when you don’t understand need. When we are satisfied and full, it’s hard to help people who are hungry and hurting.
You show me a satisfied person or a satisfied church, and I will show you one that is not able to make right decisions, because the right decisions are the hard decisions, and the hard decisions are going to cost them something.
Before you accomplish anything great for God, I promise you, the issue of survival will arise in your life.
If I’m to be like Jesus, I too have to give up all my rights. The first step in “becoming of no reputation” and relinquishing our rights is in coming to the clear understanding that everything we are and everything we can ever hope to be can only be due to the power and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let me give you three characteristics of people who have been willing to die for a greater cause than themselves.
A purpose worth the price.
A vision that is bigger than life.
A power that is greater than theirs.
The greatest days of your life are the days when you sense your commitment to its highest degree.
Our concept of God in crisis situations will determine our commitment. If we think God will fail us, flee, or be fickle, we’ll never make strong commitments. We would be foolish to commit ourselves to someone who is irresponsible. But if our concept of God tells us He’s sure, steadfast, true, and faithful, then we can make those commitments confidently.
…God expects us to do right regardless of the consequences.
Our problem is not a lack of display of the power of God, the miracles of God, or the anointing of God; God is ready to His part. He’s just waiting for somebody to get into the furnace.
There is relationship between our willingness to die for God and His willingness to deliver us.
All great men have a fiery furnace in their lives. The second thing is that the degree of their commitment is what really made them great. They weren’t smarter, they weren’t faster, and they weren’t better educated; they were more committed.
Commitment starts with the little things in our lives.
The battle is won before the battle is begun.
Love God – dream big and don’t think I must survive. Relish in the freedom to fail and learn from mistakes which are normative.
Notes are private!
Jul 27, 2009
Jul 27, 2009
Nov 01, 1983
Dec 03, 1998
I was encouraged by his comments on the idea of Hope. His books are consistently based on the Scriptures which I appreciate. However, they seem quite...more I was encouraged by his comments on the idea of Hope. His books are consistently based on the Scriptures which I appreciate. However, they seem quite simple and unchallenging, but who can always apply even one principle from Scripture?
…I share life’s experiences with others that I can enjoy them or endure them to the greatest advantage.
While I understand the spies’ feeling intimidated, I cannot excuse their forgetting God’s unconditional promise. Furthermore, no giant is any match for God. When God stands, everybody is smaller. When God promises, nobody dares to question it.
There must be an admission of need for others.
There must be the cultivation of deeper relationships.
There must be a firm commitment to assimilation.
John Donne – “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.
Not until we begin to see the value of each member of the Body (rather than just a few of the more prominent people) will we enter into this full dimension of family life.
Close relationships aren’t automatic. They are the direct result of time, energy, and cultivation.
Winston Churchill – “Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.”
How many congregations have you ever been a part of who regularly encouraged their pastor?
Theodore Epp – “Once a man is satisfied that he is in the center of God’s plan and God is working out His will through him, that man is invincible.”
We should not be surprised or offended, therefore, when others, today, remove themselves from involvement due to pain. On the contrary, a sensitive understanding heart of compassion is our best response. However, when we reach out to them it must be with utmost tact and sensitivity.
Burned out and fatigued, the prophet was finished and famished. His vision of the big picture was blurred and his motivation for ministry had vanished. It is beautiful to study how graciously God dealt with His man. No guilt trip. No long sermon. Not even a frown or a threat. With divine compassion he allowed the prophet time to repair, and He gave him space to recover. He even catered a meal for the exhausted prophet to enjoy. All of us could learn much from God’s therapy.
How unusual we are! If we have trouble with our car, we don’t give up driving. If we have roof that leaks, we don’t abandon the house and move to another place. But the irony of it all is that when a couple of folks have a conflict, only rarely are they big enough to stay at it and work things out. More often, they walk away and live lives of quiet desperation. If antiques are worth the time and energy and expense involved in restoring, so are broken relationships.
Most fellowship breakdowns that are the result of open disobedience against God will not heal themselves. GET INVOLVED.
The longer the breakdown, the greater the impact. START TODAY
Solutions will be initially painful but ultimately rewarding. DON’T QUIT.
David Smith – “Rarely do men plan a meeting together simply because they have a need to enjoy each other’s company.”
I don’t believe hate is the opposite of love. Apathy is.
I accept you as you are, I believe you are valuable, I care when you hurt, I desire only what is best for you, I erase all offenses.
And, even though we deserve a swift kick in the pants, who will embrace us with understanding and give us time to heal without quoting verses?
Christianity may be like a mighty army, but we often handle our troops in a weird way. We’re the only outfit I’ve ever heard of who shoots their wounded.
Unguarded, open relationships within the body of Christ are just as important as the nourishing, accurate dispensing of scriptural truth. We need both.
Accountability is rare because there are certain qualities:
Vulnerability – capable of being wounded, open, and unguarded. Nondefensive
Teachability – anxious to learn. Humble, quick to hear, willing to change, inviting advice.
Honesty – committed to truth. Hating anything phony, counterfeit, or false. Models sincerity.
Availability – touchable, accessible. Can be interrupted. Willing to meet on a regular basis.
Those who choose to be accountable have the greatest hope of change.
What the heart is to the physical body, what morale is to the unit of fighting men, what spirit is to a ball team, hope is to the church.
Hope is the prince and power of motivation.
If hope leaves the heart of the leader, it isn’t long before the entire congregation follows suit. Naturally, they need is initial words of counsel.
For flocks to flourish they need acceptance, freedom, love, lots of reinforcement, regular nourishment, room to fail, an atmosphere of expectation, and true enthusiasm.
Uptight, intense, superdefensive, easily threatened leaders do not spawn congregations of close, caring, relaxed, accepting, completely human, and believable relationships.
The style and “flavor” of a church come from those in leadership. As is always true, right leadership results in maximum benefits.
The worried church doesn’t risk. It reacts. Instead of staying on the cutting edge, it retreats and adopts a fight-back mentality. It spends less time dreaming and more time defending. An anxious congregation is more aware of what’s wrong in the world than what’s right with the Lord.
It’s not a matter of will they suffer, but how much more can they endure?
Problems do not go away. They must be worked through or else they remain forever a barrier to the growth and development of our spirit.
Problems call forth our courage and our wisdom; indeed, they create our courage and our wisdom. It is only because of problems that we grow mentally and spiritually…As Benjamin Franklin said, “Those things that hurt, instruct.” It is for this reason that wise people learn not to dread but actually welcome problems and actually to welcome the pain of problems.
Notes are private!
Feb 15, 2009
Feb 15, 2009
Jan 01, 2004
It was interesting but I didn't like it as much as some other plays by Shakespeare.
Edmund - "This is the excellent foppery of the worl...more It was interesting but I didn't like it as much as some other plays by Shakespeare.
Edmund - "This is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are sick in fortune, often the surfeits of our own behavior, we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and stars; as if we were villians on necessity, fools by heavenly compulsion, knaves, thieves, and treachers by spherical predominance, drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforc'd obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on. An admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish disposition to the charge of a star!"
Fool - "Have more than thou showest, speak less than thou knowest, lend less than thou owest, ride more than though goest, learn more than thou trowest, set less than thou throwest; leave thy drink and thy whore, and keep in-a-door, and thou shalt have more than two tens to a score."
Edgar - "Who alone suffers, suffers most i' th' mind"
Duke of Albany - "Wisdom and goodness to the vile seem vile."
Edgar - "The weight of this sad time we must obey; speak what we feel, not what we ought to say. The oldest hath borne most: we that are young shall never see so much, nor live so long."(less)
Notes are private!
Feb 08, 2009
Feb 08, 2009
Jan 28, 2000
Oct 29, 2002
This is a sad and sobering book about how a village massacred almost all of its Jewish inhabitants by archaic means such as stoning, clubbing, and bur...more This is a sad and sobering book about how a village massacred almost all of its Jewish inhabitants by archaic means such as stoning, clubbing, and burning to death. It hurt my heart to read it, and reminded me of the depravity of man and a yearning for God’s justice.
Since it appeared impossible to save the Jewish people who were being methodically annihilated by the Nazi-organized killing process, a sense of obligation grew among Jewish record-keepers (they say so explicitly and repeatedly) that they must at least preserve the evidence of the very process of destruction.
The bulk of documentation for this study comes not from Jewish victims, however, but from the perpetrators and produced during a court trail.
They took the hated Jews out, beat them till the Jews fell down bloodied and unconscious. Not even women and children, or mothers with newborn babies, were spared. From time to time they brought Jews from their houses to the square and they beat them there. The screams were unbearable. Around the tortured ones crowds of Polish men, women, and children were standing and laughing at the miserable victims who were falling under the blows of the bandits.
At the time the overall undisputed bosses over life and death in Jedwabne were the Germans. No sustained organized activity could take place there without their consent. They were the only ones who could decide the fate of the Jews. It was within their power also to stop the murderous pogrom at any time.
But it is also clear that had Jedwabne not been occupied by the Germans, the Jews of Jedwabne would not have been murdered by their neighbors.
So it was not only the sight of the massacre of Jews that was unbearable. Also, the screams of the tormented people were numbing, as was the smell of their burning bodies. The slaughter of Jedwabne Jews lasted an entire day, and it was confined to a space no bigger than a sports stadium. Sleszynski’s barn, where the majority of the pogrom victims were burned in the afternoon, was but a stone’s throw from the square in the center of town. The Jewish cemetery, where many of the victims were knifed, clubbed, and stoned to death, is just across the road. And so everybody who was in town on this day and in possession of a sense of sight, smell, or hearing either participated in or witnessed the tormented deaths of the Jews of Jedwabne.
And what the Jews saw, to their horror and, I dare say, incomprehension, were familiar faces. Not anonymous men in uniform, cogs in a war machine, agents carrying out orders, but their own neighbors, who chose to kill and were engaged in a bloody pogrom – willing executioners.
…the so-called local population involved in killings of Jews did so of its own free will.
Weep and mourn for others who are under the wrath of God
Notes are private!
Apr 24, 2009
Apr 24, 2009
Feb 14, 2003
A humbling preaching of God’s Word and His wrath
So that thus it is, that natural men are held in the hand of God over the pit of hell;...more A humbling preaching of God’s Word and His wrath
So that thus it is, that natural men are held in the hand of God over the pit of hell;
they have deserved the fiery pit, and are already sentenced to it; and God is dreadfully
provoked, his anger is as great towards them as to those that are actually suffering the
executions of the fierceness of his wrath in hell, and they have done nothing in the least to
appease or abate that anger, neither is God in the least bound by any promise to hold ‘em
up one moment; the devil is waiting for them, hell is gaping for them, the flames gather
and flash about them, and would fain lay hold on them, and swallow them up; the fire
pent up in their own hearts is struggling to break out; and they have no interest in any
mediator, there are no means within reach that can be any security to them.
There is the
dreadful pit of the glowing flames of the wrath of God; there is hell’s wide gaping mouth
open; and you have nothing to stand upon, nor anything to take hold of: there is nothing
between you and hell but the air; ‘tis only the power and mere pleasure of God that holds
‘Tis true, that judgment against your evil works has not been executed hitherto; the floods
of God’s vengeance have been withheld; but your guilt in the meantime is constantly
increasing, and you are every day treasuring up more wrath; the waters are continually
rising and waxing more and more mighty; and there is nothing but the mere pleasure of
God that holds the waters back that are unwilling to be stopped, and press hard to go
forward; if God should only withdraw his hand from the floodgate, it would immediately
fly open, and the fiery floods of the fierceness and wrath of God would rush forth with
inconceivable fury, and would come upon you with omnipotent power; and if your
strength were ten thousand times greater than it is, yea ten thousand times greater than
the strength of the stoutest, sturdiest devil in hell, it would be nothing to withstand or
However unconvinced you may now be of the truth of what you hear, by and by
you will be fully convinced of it.
Notes are private!
Apr 23, 2009
Apr 23, 2009
Dec 25, 1983
Jan 14, 1984
Continuation of Poignant Quotes:
The Spirit of God does not give immediate holiness of life by faith or any other means. True, His method of producing...more Continuation of Poignant Quotes:
The Spirit of God does not give immediate holiness of life by faith or any other means. True, His method of producing holiness is by faith, but it is through the process of growth. The Spirit matures the new life in Christ as He holds the old life in the position of death via the Cross. there are no shortcuts to maturity.
Sir Robert Anderson - "In proportion therefore as mind and heart are fixed on Christ, we may count on the Spirit's presence and power..."
To be filled with the Holy Spirit is to be filled with the life of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Spirit of Christ within is at work, and has been from the moment we were saved.
They do not realize the blessed fact that, ever since their new birth, the Spirit has been faithfully ministering within by taking them down into defeat that self might be revealed and repudiated.
Notes are private!
Nov 14, 2008
Dec 14, 2008
Jul 09, 1981
Jun 27, 1981
A very encouraging book on Christian liberty and spiritual growth.
Real faith is always increased by opposition, while false confidence...more A very encouraging book on Christian liberty and spiritual growth.
Real faith is always increased by opposition, while false confidence is damaged and discouraged by it.
Trials, obstacles, difficulties, and sometimes defeats, are the very food of faith.
It seems that most believers have difficulty in realizing and facing up to the inexorable fact that God does not hurry in His development of our Christian life. He is working from and for eternity!
Our satisfaction can only spring from and rest in His satisfaction.
When all is going well, and God seems to be blessing, then it is that they feel He loves and accepts them. But when they are stumbling, and everything seems dry and hard, then they feel He does not love and accept them. How can this be? There is nothing about us to commend us to God, our acceptance being in Christ, plus the fact that most of our true spiritual development comes through the dry and hard times.
Our heavenly Father is still carrying out His purpose of making man in His image.
It is one thing to know what God's purpose is for our lives, and it is another to know something of the "how"as to entering into it all right here and now. One of God's most effective means in the process is failure.
Failure where self is concerned in our Christian life and service, is allowed and often engineered by God in order to turn us completely from ourselves to His Source for our life - Christ Jesus, who never fails.
If I am to be like Him, then God in His grace must do it...I cannot do it. Don't try to be like Him, just look at Him. Come to the Word for one purpose and that is to meet the Lord. - Norman Douty
Now it so happens that God's basic ingredient for growth is need. Without personal needs, we would get nowhere in our Christian life.
Wisdom and philosophy never found out God; He makes Himself known to us through our needs; necessity finds Him out. I doubt much if we have ever learned anything solidly except we have learnt it thus - J. N. Darby
The first thing for which He sets us here is to create hunger in others. No true work will ever begin without a sense of need being created.
Without a bitter experience of their own inadequacy and poverty they are quite unfitted to bear the burden of spiritual ministry. It takes a man who has discovered something of the measures of his own weakness to be patient with the foibles of others. Such a man also has a first-hand knowledge of the loving care of the Chief Shepherd, and his ability to heal one who has come humble to trust in Him and Him alone. - P. B. Power
Our personal, heart-breaking failure in every phase of our Christian life is our Father's preparation for His success on our behalf.
It is the man who lacks the yearning to know Him that will easily be turned aside.
There is great glory in the Lord in a quiet, confident walk in a day of adversity, a day of dread, when things about us are shaking and trembling. - G. P.
Our part is not production, but reception of our life in Christ.
Only those who have sought to grow by effort and fail are in the position to appreciate the fact that is the aggressor in the realm of development
"Life is meant to bring a succession of discoveries of our need of Christ, and with every such discovery the way is opened for a new inflow of the supply...and as our need is met, as we prove the sufficiency of Christ to meet our inward need, so there can be a new showing forth of His glory through us" - H.F.
a prophet is one who has a history, one who has been dealt with by God, one who has experienced the formative work of the Spirit. We are sometimes asked by would-be preachers how many days should be spent in preparation of a sermon. The answer is: At least ten years, and probably nearer twenty! For the preacher matters to God at least as much as the thing preached.
And from the outset, until hard experience teaches him otherwise, the well-meaning believer thinks that since he has the will to obey God and to be what He intends for him, he should attempt to carry it out through personal consecrated effort with help.
It is the man who is conscious of his won impotence as a believer who will learn that by the Holy Spirit he can lead a holy life.
Immaturity considers the Lord Jesus a Helper. Maturity knows Him to be life itself.
Our Father strips everything away from time to time to give us the opportunity of loving and trusting and responding to Him just because He is our Father.
If our hearts are really true to Him we may be assured He will lead us on in the knowledge of Himself just as fast as we are able to advance. he knows how much we can take in, and He does not fail to minister to us the very food that is suitable to our present need.
We have to trust His love all through, and to learn increasingly to distrust ourselves.
Apart from abiding there is nothing but frustration and failure.
Assurance of salvation is not gained through the senses
Read Ch. 21 - "Reconciliation and Acceptance"
Our present condition is infinitely inferior to our eternal position, but our Father accepts us - not in ourselves, but in His Son.
All too few are enjoying the benefits of acceptance in their daily walk. The believer who is not aware of his position of acceptance in Christ is caught in the struggle to improve his condition in order to feel acceptable to God.
We make the natural mistake of depending on condition, instead of position, for our acceptance.
When service is given predominance over fellowship with and growth in the Lord Jesus, doing, instead of being, takes over in the life. Fellowship and growth must ever take precedence over service and activity, otherwise spiritual declension sets in.
Love functions according to its nature, not according to the quality of its object.
We are resting in a position, in a Person who is fully and forever accepted by God, One in whom there is no improvement necessary or possible. We have exchanged unimproveable self for the perfect One.
Each step of faith we take concerning the facts of our position prepares us for the following one, since every succeeding step is established on all that precedes.
The believer who rests in the Sovereignty of God, the Will of God, and in the Love of God knows he is eternally secure.
Even when the unbeliever's conscience is clear, this state is often attained by a combination of rationalization and good works, resulting in self-righteousness. Hence his so-called good conscience is the very element that tends to keep him from seeing his need for God's righteousness and life. On the other hand, when his conscience is bad, he flees from God with a sense of despair because of personal unworthiness. It is only when the Holy Spirit convicts the mind, heart, and conscience concerning sin, whether of self-righteousness or of unworthiness, that the sinner can see his need of turning to Christ.
One of the chief reasons so many believers are spiritually ill is a guilty, oppressed conscience. They are laboring under the burden of their unrighteous condition, rather than resting in the liberty of their righteous position.
The awakened Christian who is not resting in his position becomes discouraged by his condition.
Our present experience is greatly inferior to our eternal position, no matter what the stage of our spiritual growth. The development of our condition is toward our finished position, and at the same time from that completed source.
...our Lord keeps us dependent on Himself, and at the same time fully confident in Him. Needy, but bold.
Only the believer who has repeatedly gone down in defeat under the relentless power of the Adam-nature can appreciate the necessity of walking in dependence on the Holy Spirit.
The carnal believer is depending on fleshly means for deliverance from fleshly failure; he is looking for strength to the very source from which he is seeking deliverance.
By various maxims, forms and rules,
That pass for wisdom in the schools,
I sought my passions to restrain;
But all my efforts proved in vain.
But since my Savior I have known
My rules are all reduced to One,
To keep my Lord by faith in view,
This strength supplies and motive too. - John Newton
...barrenness of life produces busyness!
His will for the Christian is expressed in the word "being", which in turn will result in effective "doing."
Our Father's ultimate purpose in saving us is that we might be conformed to the image of His Son, not simply to keep us out of hell and get us into heaven. We have been born into Christ that he may be our life, not just our Savior.
The feeling of constraint expressed in "I must" makes for Romans 7 defeat.
His perfect will becomes a delight to us, not a duty.
There is only one true and adequate motivating power for living the Christian life, and that is the very life of the Lord Jesus - ministered within by the Spirit of Life Himself.
Our hatred of self is actually developed and strengthened during our miserable years of slavery to it.
"the fellowship of his sufferings." Suffering is the lot of all men, the privilege of all believers. The general thinking is that God is not blessing unless He keeps us from, or relieves us of, suffering. Far from it! There is no fellowship with, and growth in, the crucified Lord without suffering - physical, mental, and spiritual.
He knows what needs we need to keep us needy!
...most new converts begin to live and work for Him from the motive of gratitude for their salvation. The usual exhortation they are given is, "Now get busy and serve the Lord." This they seek to do on the basis of the birth truths. From this inadequate ground the majority of young Christians go down in defeat.
Notes are private!
Nov 23, 2008
Nov 18, 2008
Dec 01, 1988
Dec 01, 1988
Book on relational evangelism which discussed making Christ the center of spiritual conversation. Also discussed getting nonbelievers into God’s Word...more Book on relational evangelism which discussed making Christ the center of spiritual conversation. Also discussed getting nonbelievers into God’s Word allowing the Spirit to transform.
Notes are private!
Sep 10, 2007
Sep 29, 1998
It was a good book on the history of risk and how it applies to finance.
The capacity to manage risk, and with it the appetite to take...more It was a good book on the history of risk and how it applies to finance.
The capacity to manage risk, and with it the appetite to take risk and make forward-looking choices, are key elements of the energy that drives the economic system forward.
The Law of Large Numbers says in essence that the difference between the observed value of a sample and its true value will diminish as the number of observations in the sample increases.
The more uncertain the outcome, the greater may be the value of procrastination.
Fear of harm ought to be proportional not merely to the gravity of the harm, but also to the probability of the event.
The value of an item must not be based on its price, but rather on the utility that it yields.
…the objective facts and a subjective view about the desirability of what is to be gained, or lost, by the decision. Both objective measurement and subjective degrees and belief are essential; neither is sufficient by itself.
Expected values are computed by multiplying each possible gain by the number of ways in which it can occur, and then dividing the sum of these products b the total number of cases. – David Bernoulli
Even when probabilities are known, rational decision-makers will try to maximize expected utility – usefulness or satisfaction – rather than expected value.
The utility resulting from an small increase in wealth will be inversely proportionate to the quantity of goods previously possessed.
If the satisfaction to be derived from each successive increase in wealth is smaller than the satisfaction derived from the previous increase in wealth, then the disutility caused by a loss will always exceed the positive utility provided by a gain of equal size.
All the law tells us is that the average of a large number of throws will be more likely than the average of a small number of throws to differ from the true average by less than some stated amount.
…the main purpose of the bell curve is to indicate not accuracy but error.
At the extremes, the market is not random walk. At the extremes, the market is more likely to destroy fortunes than to create them. The stock market is a risky place.
The greater the number of individuals observed, the more do peculiarities, whether physical or moral, become effaced, and allow the general facts to predominate, by which society exists and is preserved.
Regression to the mean is dynamite. …the Law of Large Numbers into a dynamic process in which the successors to the outliers are predestined to join the crowd at the center.
Dependence on reversion to the mean for forecasting the future tends to be perilous when the mean itself is in flux.
Game theory says that the true source of uncertainty lies in the intentions of others.
Winner’s Curse – overpaying out of determination to win.
While the return on a diversified portfolio will be equal to the average of the rates on return on its individual holdings, its volatility will be less than the average volatility of its individual holdings. This means that diversification is a kind of free lunch at which you can combine a group of risky securities with high expected returns into a relatively low-risk portfolio, so long as you minimize the covariances, or correlations, among the returns of the individual securities.
The central idea is that variability should be studied in reference to some benchmark or some minimum rate of return that the investor has to exceed.
We have trouble recognizing how much information is enough and how much is too much. We pay excessive attention to low-probability events accompanied by high drama and overlook events that happen in routine fashion.
The failure of invariance frequently takes the form of what is known as “mental accounting,” a process in which we separate the components of the total picture. In so doing we fail to recognize that a decision affecting each component will have an effect on the shape of the whole.
…”decision regret” is the result of focusing on the assets you might have had if you had made the right decision.
...”endowment effect” describes our tendency to set a higher selling price on what we own (are endowed with) than what we would pay for the identical item if we did not own it.
Derivatives cannot reduce the risks that go with owning volatile assets, but they can determine who takes on the speculation and who avoids it.
Derivatives have value only in an environment of volatility.
The value of an option depends on four elements: time, prices, interest rates, and volatility.
Volatility is always the key determinant
Keep learning about finance, and realize I don’t know what I don’t know.
Notes are private!
Apr 24, 2009
Mar 12, 2009
Jun 30, 1983
This is the first book I have read that analyzes laughter, and I enjoyed the insights that the author brought to the table.
The oldest,...more This is the first book I have read that analyzes laughter, and I enjoyed the insights that the author brought to the table.
The oldest, and probably still most widespread theory of laughter is that laughter is an expression of a person’s feelings of superiority over other people.
“Nothing produces laughter more than a surprising disproportion between that which one expects and that which one sees.” – Pascal
…one way for a speaker to get a laugh is to set up a certain expectation in his listeners and then to his them with something they did not expect.
“Laughter is an affection arising from the sudden transformation of a strained expectation into nothing.” – Kant
Incongruity will not excite what he calls the “risible emotion” when our perception of incongruity is “attended with some other emotion of greater authority.” – James Beattie
The relief theory states that a more or less physiological point of view in which laughter is seen as a venting of nervous energy.
Many discussions of prohibitions leading to laughter cite traditional societal prohibitions against sex and violence. All cultures forbid some activities connected with sex. Many forbid intercourse outside of marriage, for example, and most have restrictions on when sex can even be talked about. Such restrictions cause people to suppress their sexual desires, according to the relief theory, and so when someone, say a comedian, breaks the taboo and talks about sex, forbidden sexual thoughts are called up and some of the sexual energy which has been repressed is released in laughter.
“…a person’s ‘typical’ behavior extends to his preferences in the humor field,” – Eysenck
…the essence of humor lies in the enjoyment of incongruity.
There is an interesting connection here between what we find humorous or funny, and what we find to be fun. What makes an activity fun is not just that it is pleasant (eating familiar food is often pleasant yet not fun), but that it has an element of surprise for us. Children have a great capacity for having fun doing even simple things, because so much of the world is unfamiliar to them. Adults often play games to have fun; and a game with lots of turns of action is more fun – even for the eventual winner – than one in which it is clear from the start who is going to win. Activities stop being fun for us when there are no longer any surprises, when they have become so familiar to us that what happens next is predictable. Many people have the most fun doing something like skiing or sailing before they get really good at it; complete mastery of a skill, paradoxically, can take a good share of the fun out of it.
People who have a positive self-concept and a confident view of themselves as masters of their own fate laugh and enjoy humor more than those who do not feel in control.
…some very insecure people who exhibit a great deal of nervous laughter in social situations are hardly conscious that they are doing so.
…laughter is an expression of pleasure at a psychological shift.
…what a person finds incongruous depends on what he finds congruous, and that the latter is based on the conceptual patterns which have been built up in his existence.
H.P. Grice - Guidelines for conversation:
1. Make your contribution as informative as is required for the current purposes of the exchange.
2. Do not make your contribution more informative than is required.
3. Do not say what you believe to be false.
4. Do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence.
5. Avoid obscurity of expression
6. Avoid ambiguity
7. Be brief
8. Be orderly
The first [principle of comic technique:] is that in order to bring about the shift in humor, the person creating the humor must engage the interest of those he wants to amuse, and thus have some control over their train of thought.
Since humor involves a disturbance of our ordinary patterns of thought and expectation, a jolt to our picture of reality, it is important in any extended sequence of humor stimuli, such as a comic monolog or play, to maintain an atmosphere in which the audience’s sense of reality is preserved.
The third and last principle of comic technique I want to mention here is the necessity of originality and freshness. If the audience is to experience a mental shift, they must be caught off guard with something that they cannot smoothly assimilate.
The job of the humorist, then, is a challenging one. He or she must have a solid grasp of reality in its manifold patterns, and at the same time be constantly looking at things from new and unusual perspectives.
Aesthetic experience generally is important in our lives. We need to be able to stop occasionally amid the practical stream of everyday living to simply enjoy attending to things and situations we perceive or imagine.
The reason why many teachers do not have any humor in their teaching, and indeed fear humor when it comes from their students, is that their own view of the world is relatively humorless. They don’t show flexibility in their perspective on the material they teach, or in their interactions with students, because as people they are basically inflexible. They do not try to cultivate playfulness or even imagination in their students because their own attitudes toward things are neither playful nor imaginative, and so in their teaching they project a one-dimensional attitude which tells students that education, and life in general, is a serious business, consisting essentially (and solved as straightforwardly as possible). Life is fundamentally doing one’s job. Is it any wonder that under the tutelage of such teachers, children who come to school at age five with imagination, playfulness, and curiosity, have lost these qualities – at least in the classroom – within a year or two?
The person with a sense of humor can never be fully dominated, even b a government which imprisons him, for his ability to laugh at what is incongruous in the political situation will put him above it to some extent, and will preserve a measure of his freedom…
But we all need the occasional bout of irrationality and even silliness. If things get too understandable and too orderly, the novelty and surprise goes out of our experience; and then, even if things are going smoothly, life easily becomes “just one damn thing after another.”
But the more well developed a person’s sense of humor, the wider the range of situations in which he can achieve the necessary distance to laugh.
When the person with a sense of humor laughs in the face of his own failure, he is showing that his perspective transcends the particular situation he’s in, and that does not have an egocentric, overly precious view of his own endeavors.
In this regard it is interesting to note that humor is one of the best weapons against the procedure known as “brainwashing.”
The person with a sense of humor, even in practical situations, is likely to interact with others more smoothly than the humorless person. As we saw earlier, someone with a sense of humor is more imaginative and flexible in his general outlook, and so is less likely to get obsessed with any particular issue or approach to an issue. Such a person will be more open to suggestions from others, and so will be more approachable. The fact that a sense of humor keeps one from getting too self-centered or defensive about his ego helps in this regard.
Indeed, the frequency of nonmanipulative humor in a group’s interaction is a good indicator of the intimacy of the group. We can usually determine who someone’s best friends are by determining whom he enjoys humor with the most – people who talked for hours without any humorous interchange by all odds just couldn’t be close friends.
While the serious person tends to be solemn and anxious about how things are going to turn out, the person with a rich sense of humor tends to be more relaxed, less disappointed by failure, and in general more cheerful.
Become like Christ – be serious about what I should be serious about and be humorous about what I should be humorous about!
Notes are private!
Jun 14, 2009
Mar 16, 2009
Feb 12, 2004
Our relationship with Christ is that of an intimate dance
That I would love You more by the end of each day than when I awoke
Truth: Instead of “tinkeri...more Our relationship with Christ is that of an intimate dance
That I would love You more by the end of each day than when I awoke
Truth: Instead of “tinkering” with my soul and stressing about the possibility of failure in spiritual growth, rather focus on jesus and fall in love with Him and as You do that He will transform and provide and come through for you. Matt. 6:24-34
“If we are indifferent to the art of dancing, we have failed to understand, not merely the supreme manifestation fo physical life, but also the supreme symbol of spiritual life.” – Havelock Ellis
I ask that by evening I would love Jesus more than I did that morning. I know that I will love him more if I see him more and hear him more, so I ask to see even the slightest glimpse of him during the day and hear even the smallest echo of his voice above the others voices in my day.
“Except for the point, the still point, There would be no dance, And there is only the dance.” T. S. Eliot
The face of Christ, O how beautiful. You look in the face of somone who loves him. Someone who really loves him! Someone who has left everything to follow him
There is something in the face that reflects the love of Christ
“I fell in love with Him”
A lot of busyness stems from individual and corporate efforts aimed at helping people get over their struggles so they can go on to maturity. A.W. Tozer said “ The man who has struggled to purify himself and has had nothing but repeated failures will experience real relief when he stops tinkering with his soul and looks away to the perfect One. While he looks at Christ, the very things he has so long been trying to do will be getting done within him. It will be God working in him to will and to do”
Love changes us in way that law cannot. Spiritaul formation, that is becoming like Christ, doesn’t happen by following disciplines. It happens by falling in love. When we fall in love with Jesus, all the other loves in our life fall into place. And those that once competed with Christ now subordinate themselves to him. Everything in our life finds its proper value once we have porperly valued him.
We take time for what we value. And we behold what we love. It is not the duty of beholding that changes us, though, but rather the beauty of the one we behold. When Christ at last appears, we will behold him not only in all his beauty but for all eternity. And we will be like him, John says, because we will see him for the first time as he really is 1 John 3:2
One day we will be transformed. And it will be a face transforms us. Here on this earth it is also a face that transorms us, though here we see it through a glass darkly, often distordedly, and only fleetingly 1 Cor. 13:12
That is why busyness is lethal – it keeps us from beholding the face of Jesus. And that is why stillness is essential – to get the best possible look at his face, for the longest possible time.
Beholding Christ’s face is the still point of the dance, around which all our activity should revolve.
If that is not the still point in our lives, there is no dance.
There is only movement.
Dancing is more than about getting the steps right. It is about feeling the music and moving to the music. It is about losing ourselves in the embrace of someone we love. Above all, it is about joy.
The joy of the dance is in the delight in our partner’s eyes
I want them to feel something of how they might feel if Jesus were there instead of me. I want them to feel the love he would feel for them. I want them to feel how precious they are to him, how dear the very sound of their name is to his ears. I want to listen to them the way he would listen, and communicate to them by my listening that their stories matter, their pain matters, they matter
Christ had a tender heart to the hurting and He even gravitated toward them
“He danced as naturally as a bird flies or a fish swims. By now I knew that I didn’t even have to think; I could just give myself to his arm around me with assurance. The guiding arm was so sure and firm, the rythem such a part of my body now athat I could almost forget about my feet” – Catherine Marshall
The Christian life is about us following Christ’s lead, not about him following ours
He doesn’t ask us to write the notes to the music or choreograph the steps to the dance. He asks us merely to take his hand and follow him. To move when he moves. To speed up when he speeds up. To slow down when he slows down. And to stop when he stops
Following Christ’s lead is dependent on hearing his voice.
“Don’t worry about what you don’t’ know. Life’s a dance. You learn as you go.” John Michael Montgomery
The most important thing to dancing is this: If we fall in love, our feet will follow. If we draw close to him and stay close, we won’t have to worry about our feet or where he may be leading them
The fear of criticism is silenced by falling in love. If we fallin love with Jesus, not only will nothing on this earth attract us, nothing on this earth will intimidate us.
“I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping stone just right, you won’t have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren’t even lookin at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they’re doing it.” Amy Lamott
“And now I’m glad I didn’t know the way ti all would end, the way it all would go Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain, But I’d of had to miss the dance” Garth Brooks
Because Jesus was a man of sorrow, apart from suffering there is a part of Jesus we can never know
Dear Jesus, I love You more than anything else in the entire world
The Holy Spirit reminds us of how much Christ loves us and how much he wants us to love Him
Notes are private!
Sep 10, 2007
Jan 01, 1994
Refreshing and challenging book on praying and believing God's promises laid out in the Word.
But if it is a specific promise limited t...more Refreshing and challenging book on praying and believing God's promises laid out in the Word.
But if it is a specific promise limited to a specific person, time or place, we need to be careful about applying the text to ourselves.
He wants us to be ever more dependent upon Him. Thus, He allows times of testing in our lives that will give us opportunity to depend more upon Him and His Word that He might prove His faithfulness. It is through these times of testing that we grow in maturity and faith and learn more about the character of God.
He has and will always prove Himself worthy of our trust.
"Some say the Book of Isaiah is for the Jews. Well it's full of promises, and I looked around, I didn't see the Jews claiming them - somebody should be using them!"
Over-strained faith is not pure faith; there is a mixture of the carnal element in it. There is no strain in the 'rest of faith.' It asks for definite blessing as God may lead. It does not hold back through carnal timidity, nor press ahead too far through carnal eagerness.
I believe the promises of God, but many of them I have personally tried and proven. - Spurgeon
From Daniel's example recorded in this passage, we can see that we are to claim promises in prayer, for it states that Daniel pleaded with God in prayer and fasting and in sackcloth and ashes. Daniel was assuming an attitude of humility before the Lord as he pleaded the promises in prayer. This principal attitude is one that we too must have as we pray over God's promises. We are not demanding performance from God, for He is our Creator and Lord. We come before Him in reverence, awe and holy fear; yet we come with confidence, knowing that as His sons, we are gladly given an audience with the King to plead our case.
This is the first step in praying over a promise; we must acknowledge before God our sinfulness and confess our sins as the Holy Spirit brings them into remembrance.
Secondly, we too should bring before the Lord our concerns or the details of the situation.
Thirdly, Daniel makes his request based on what God has promised.
Though we are to make specific requests, we must again yield to the Lord the right to answer them in His way and His time.
...concerning protection from error in claiming promises:
1. Correctly interpret the passage.
2. Glean biblical principles from the passage.
3. Apply it to your life.
4. Does it stand the test of godly counsel?
5. Does it stand the test of time of prayer?
You will find it very helpful if you memorize the verses that you are claiming in prayer.
Hudson Taylor - All God's giants have been weak men and women, who did great things for God because they counted on His faithfulness.
Walking by faith is like our making butter; it takes three elements: promises (Cream), faith (jar), and patience (vigorous shaking over time).
Promises and faith, without patience, will lead to compromise and our attempt to answer our own prayers. Promises and patience without faith will result in walking by sight, trusting in what is seen, and there will be a lack of dynamic in our lives. Faith and patience without the promises of God is presumption and can lead to great hardship and error. We must have all three: promises, faith and patience, if we are to realize the blessings of God.
Faith is the simple acceptance and trust of what God has promised in the Scriptures.
It is because when God allows a delay, we are given more opportunities to trust, to walk by faith; we have more time to exercise our muscle of faith. For once the answer comes, the opportunity to grow in faith is past.
We often give up too soon. Because God is omnipotent and omniscient, He knows no deadlines.
Hebrews 10:36 "You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised."
We are to pray as if it all depends upon God and work as if it all depends upon us.
Richard C. Trench - "Prayer is not overcoming God's reluctance; it is laying hold of His highest willingness.
We must know the meaning of any passage to the original audience before we can begin to seek application for our own lives.
The following are several reasons for unfulfilled promises:
Lack of Patience
J.O. Fraser - "Is not this another secret of many unanswered prayers - that they are not fought through? If the result is not seen as soon as expected, Christians are apt to lose heart and, it it is still longer delayed, to abandon it altogether. We must count the cost before praying the prayer of faith. We must be will to pay the price. We must mean business. We must set ourselves to see things through (Eph. 6:18) with all perseverance."
Misclaiming the promise
We do not go looking for personal promises, they will come as we walk with God and as He sovereignly chooses to bestow them.
The Lord will often take longer to answer than we think is necessary. But, remember that He is using the process of waiting to build Christlike character into our lives. This process is more important than the answer.
Know God -
Love God -
Love People -
Become like Christ - increase in faith as I pray the promises, and memorize them.
Notes are private!
Sep 21, 2008
Oct 10, 2007
Mar 09, 1994
I would definitely recommend to anyone who wants to progress in holy leadership
"In Paul's times, only deep love for Christ and genuine...more I would definitely recommend to anyone who wants to progress in holy leadership
"In Paul's times, only deep love for Christ and genuine concern for His church would provide men with a sufficiently powerful motive to aspire to that office."
"Those real qualities of leadership are to be found in those who are willing to suffer for the sake of objectives great enough to demand their wholehearted obedience."
"Have you ever broken yourself of a bad habit? To lead others, one must be master of oneself."
"Can you use disappointment creatively?"
"Leaders must expect opposition and should not be offended by it."
"Do you possess tact? Can you anticipate the likely effect of a statement before you make it?"
"The perfectionist usually sets goals quite beyond his ability to attain and then entertains a false of guilt because of failure to achieve."
"Many a gifted man has been lost to high office and spiritual effectiveness because of the unsuitability of the wife he has chosen."
"Only the disciplined person will rise to his highest powers. He is able to lead because he has conquered himself."
"The pessimist sees a difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees an opportunity in every difficulty."
"Indeed it is a most serious deficiency if a missionary lacks a sense of humor."
"All vital praying makes a drain on a man's vitality."
"Not how long we live but how well and how fully."
"Often the pressures that come upon the spiritual leader are the result of his having assumed responsibilities not assigned to him by God and therefore for which he cannot expect God to give the extra strength required."
"One reason why people are unable to understand great Christian classics is that they are trying to understand without any intention of obeying them" - Tozer
"Reasons to read: spiritual quickening and profit, mental stimulation, cultivation of style, acquiring information, fellowship with great minds."
"We can afford to read only the best and what will be most helpful to us in the fulfillment of our mission. In other words, our reading should be regulated largely by what we are and what we do or intend to do."
"A student will find his mental constitution is more affected by one book thoroughly mastered than by twenty books he has merely skimmed." - C. H. Spurgeon
"It is for the leader to cut a channel between what he reads and what he says of writes, so that others may reap its benefits to the full."
"When God wants to drill a man And thrill a man And skill a man, When God wants to mold a man To play the noblest part; When He yearns with all His heart To create so great and bold a man That all the world shall be amazed, Watch His methods, watch His ways! How He ruthlessly perfects Whom He royally elects! How He hammers him and hurts him, And with mighty blows converts him Into trial shapes of clay which Only God understands; While his tortured heart is crying And he lifts beseeching hands! How He bends but never breaks When his good He undertakes; How He uses whom He chooses And with every purpose fusses him; By every act induces him To try His splendour out - God knows what He's about!"
"The missionary who has made himself indispensable to the church he has helped into being has done it a grave disservice. From earliest days it should have been his studied aim to remain in the background, to cultivate in its members a real dependence on the Lord, and to train spiritual men who, as soon as practicable, could assume complete responsibility for the work."(less)
Notes are private!
Jun 08, 2008
Sep 25, 2007
Nov 30, 1980
Dec 03, 2005
I believe this book was very influential in helping Christ-followers see that God has truly put eternity in the hearts of men who have had no influenc...more I believe this book was very influential in helping Christ-followers see that God has truly put eternity in the hearts of men who have had no influence by Christianity
…has the God who prepared the gospel for all peoples also prepared all peoples for the gospel?
Significant numbers of non-Christians, therefore, have proved themselves many times more willing to receive the gospel than we Christians historically have been to share it with them.
Redemptive means contributing to the redemption of a people, but not culminating it.
Looking back over history, it appears that the Evil One’s strategy has been to try to superimpose formal religions over folk religions before the gospel arrives – to prevent the native monotheism in the vast majority of folk religions from fulfilling its amazing role as an ally of the gospel.
Christ is lord of both special and general revelation.
We can hardly expect the church to manifest a Pauline zeal for all remaining unblessed peoples if we ourselves have failed to infuse the church with the very historical perspectives which accelerated Paul himself to that high level of zeal.
There is no way, then, that Jesus the Messiah could have abandoned the “all-peoples imperative”! God had already staked His very name and character upon its fulfillment! What’s more, His very name and character are still staked upon the fulfillment of that imperative today! Anyone who does not understand this cannot possibly understand what God is doing in history.
Hundreds of millions of Christians think that Luke’s Acts of the Apostles records the 12 apostles’ obedience to the Great Commission. Actually it records their reluctance to obey it.
Philip, as far as we know, was the first “swift messenger” who ever came close to fulfilling that strongly cross-cultural directive found in the very book from which the Ethiopian was reading.
Whatever the answer or answers, clearly a new apostolic band was needed at once to rescue Jesus’ last command from oblivion. Who on earth could qualify to do what Jesus’ own hand-picked, Spirit-filled apostles were in large measure failing to do? “Saul, Saul..why do you persecute me?”
Only a small minority have obeyed the last great command in each generation. But that small minority of Christians has been for 2,000 years the single most powerful determiner of human history!
Notes are private!
Apr 19, 2009
Dec 17, 2008
Mar 01, 1998
This is Tozer's most well known book and for good reason. I was stirred in my heart to pursue God all out, humbly rest in Him, and see all of my life...more This is Tozer's most well known book and for good reason. I was stirred in my heart to pursue God all out, humbly rest in Him, and see all of my life as a holy sacrament.
"The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in hte core and center of their hearts."
"[God] waits to be wanted. Too bad that with many of us He waits so long, so very long, in vain."
"The man who has God for his treasure has all things in One."
"Abraham's testing was, at the time, not known to him as such, yet if he had taken some course other than the one he did, the whole history of the Old Testament would have been different."
"Let us beware of tinkering with our inner life, hoping ourselves to rend the veil. God must do everything for us. Our part is to yield and trust."
"...they (holy saints) had spiritual awareness and that they went on to cultivate it until it became the biggest thing in their lives. They differed from the average person in that when they felt the inward longing they did something about it."
"We will know Him in increasing degree as our receptivity becomes more perfect by faith and love and practice."
"...faith is the gaze of a soul upon a saving God."
"The man who has struggled to purify himself and has had nothing but repeated failures will experience real relief when he stops tinkering with his soul and looks away to the perfect One. While he looks at Christ, the very things he has so long been trying to do will be getting done within him. It will be God working in him to will and to do."
"The man of God set his heart to exalt God above all; God accepted his intention as fact and acted accordingly. Not perfection, but holy intention made the difference."
"In himself, nothing; in God, everything. That is his (holy saint) motto."
Notes are private!
Feb 07, 2008
Nov 12, 2007
May 01, 1990
My understanding and empathy for China's form of communism was deepened.
...When human society advances to the point where classes and...more My understanding and empathy for China's form of communism was deepened.
...When human society advances to the point where classes and states are eliminated, there will be no more wars, counter-revolutionary or revolutionary, unjust or just; that will be the era of perpetual peace for mankind.
Over a long period we have developed this concept for the struggle against the enemy: strategically we should despise all our enemies, but tactically we should take them all seriously.
Place problems on the table, do not talk behind people's back, and nothing is more important than mutual understanding, support and friendship
Be a pupil before you become a teacher
Guard against arrogance. For anyone in a leading position, this is a matter of principle and an important condition for maintaning unity. Even those who have made no serious mistakes and have achieved very great success in their work should not be arrogant.
Our army has always had two policies. First, we must be ruthless to our enemies, we must overpower and annihilate them. Second, we must be kind to our own, to the people, to our comrades and to our superiors and subordinates, and unite with them.
Every comrade must be helped to understand that as long as we rely on the people, believe firmly in the inexhaustible creative power of the masses and hence trust and identify ourselves with them, we can surmount any difficulty, and no enemy can crush us while we can crush any enemy.
We should be modest and prudent, guard against arrogance and rashness, and serve the Chinese people heart and soul.
All genuine knowledge originates in direct experience.
If a man wants to succeed in his work, that is, to achieve the anticipated results, he must bring his ideas into correspondence with the laws of the objective external world; if they do not correspond, he will fail in his practice. After he fails, he draws his lessons, corrects his ideas to make them correspond to the laws of the external world, and can thus turn failure into success; this is what is meant by "failure is the mother of success" and "a fall into the pit, a gain in your wit".
It is not hard for one to do a bit of good. What is hard is to do good all one's life and never do anything bad, to act consistently in the interests of the broad masses, the young people and the revolution, and to engage in arduous struggle for decades on end. That is the hardest thing of all!
Complacency is the enemy of study. We cannot really learn anything until we rid ourselves of complacency. Our attitude towards ourselves should be "to be insatiable in learning" and towards others "to be tireless in teaching".(less)
Notes are private!
Nov 03, 2008
Aug 08, 2008
May 05, 1999
Dallas is good as usual. I think his chapter on money and poverty is the most insightful and biblical perspective I have ever read on the idea of mone...more Dallas is good as usual. I think his chapter on money and poverty is the most insightful and biblical perspective I have ever read on the idea of money. Good read.
“It costs a man just as much or even more to go to hell than to come to heaven.” – Soren Kierkegaard
A successful performance at a moment of crisis rests largely and essentially upon the depths of a self wisely and rigorously prepared in the totality of its being – mind and body.
And in this truth lies the secret of the easy yoke: the secret involves living as he lived in the entirety of his life – adopting his overall life-style.
We intend what is right, but we avoid the life that would make it reality.
These responses, generally and rightly understood to be characteristic of Christlikeness, were set forth by him as illustrative of what might be expected of a new kind of person – one who intelligently and steadfastly seeks, above all else, to live within the rule of God and be possessed by the kind of righteousness that God himself has…
There is no realization that what he (Jesus) did in such cases was, in a large and essential measure, the natural outflow of the life he lived when not on the spot.
Practical theology studies the manner in which our actions interact with God to accomplish his ends in human life.
If the steady, longtime faithful devotes to our ministries are not transformed in the substance of their lives to the full range of Christlikeness, they are being failed by what we are teaching them.
They could not help but see that spiritual growth and vitality stem from what we actually do with our lives, from the habits we form, and from the character that results.
Failure to act in certain definite ways will guarantee that this transformation does not come to pass.
It is precisely obscurity and confusion here that led to the abuses of the disciplines history reveals and ultimately to today’s exclusion of them from the mainstream of Protestant religious life.
…a thoughtless theology guides our lives with just as much force as a thoughtful and informed one.
Full participation in the life of God’s Kingdom and in the vivid companionship of Christ comes to us only through appropriate exercise in the disciplines for life in the spirit.
The faith of the New Testament is a distinctive life force that originates in the impact of God’s word upon the soul, as we see in Romans 10:17, and then exercises a determinating influence upon all aspects of our existence, including the body and its social and political environment.
Governance by a person, whether over other people or animals, is at its best when the outcome is harmony, understanding, and love, and at its best then the governed experience that “rule” as merely doing what they would want to do anyway.
The disciplines are activities of mind and body purposefully undertaken, to bring our personality and total being into effective cooperation with the divine order.
The spiritual and the bodily are by no means opposed in human life – they are complimentary.
“Spirituality is not a pious pose. It is not a “Thou shalt not”; it is “Thou shalt.”
But talk will not win the race. Zeal without knowledge or without appropriate practice is never enough. Plus, one must train wisely as well as intensely for spiritual attainment.
It is solitude and solitude alone that opens the possibility of a radical relationship to God that can withstand all external events up to and beyond death.
Most to whom I have spoken about this matter are shocked at the suggestion that the “wilderness,” the place of solitude and deprivation, was actually the place of strength and strengthening for our Lord and that the Spirit led him there – as he would lead us there – to ensure that Christ was in the best possible condition for the trial.
Our most serious failure today is the inability to provide effective practical guidance as to how to live the life of Jesus.
The Pauline doctrine of “reckoning” reminds us we have the power to identify and dismiss wrong thoughts, to separate them from our “selves,” and thus by grace to escape them.
And if I do not submit my actions through the disciplines that fit my personality, I will not enter into the powerful, virtuous new life in a psychologically real way.
We must accept it and submit ourselves to it, knowing that the rigors of discipline certainly lead to the easy yoke and the full joy of Christ.
Outward manifestations and inward motivation must both be right.
The activities constituting the disciplines have no value in themselves.
Personally, I would never undertake to pastor a church or guide a program of Christian education that did not involve a continuous program of memorization of the choicest passages of Scripture for people of all ages.
…whether in our natural life or in our spiritual life – the mark of disciplined persons is that they are able to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done.
Until we have taken the steps to achieve such unconscious readiness, we cannot honestly intend to carry out the good deed, any more than we can honestly intend to speak Japanese without engaging in learning activities that prepare us to speak that language.
Disciplines of Abstinence: solitude, silence, fasting, frugality, chastity, secrecy, sacrifice
Disciplines of Engagement: study, worship, celebration, service, prayer, fellowship, confession, submission
Fasting confirms our utter dependence upon God by finding in him a source of sustenance beyond food.
Fasting unto our Lord is therefore feasting – feasting on him and on doing his will.
Persons well used to fasting as a systematic practice will have a clear and constant sense of their resources in God.
Fasting teaches temperance or self-control and therefore teaches moderation and restraint with regard to all our fundamental drives.
Healthy abstention in chastity can only be supported by loving, positive involvement with members of the opposite sex.
With secrecy we abstain from causing our good deeds and qualities to known.
But as we practice this discipline, we learn to love to be unknown and even to accept misunderstanding without the loss of our peace, joy, or purpose.
We allow [God:] to decide when our deeds will be known and when our light will be noticed.
Secrecy at its best teaches love and humility before God and others. And that love and humility encourages us to see our associates in the best possible light, even to the point of our hoping they will do better and appear better than us.
If we see needs met because we have ask God alone, our faith in God’s presence and care will be greatly increased. But if we always tell others of the need, we will have little faith in God, and our entire spiritual life will suffer because of it.
Our need to give is greater than God’s need to receive, because he is always well supplied.
…the disciplines of abstinence counteract tendencies to sins of commission, and the disciplines of engagement counteract tendencies to sins of omission.
…study involves giving much time on a regular basis to meditation upon those parts of the Bible that are most meaningful for our spiritual life, together with constant reading of the Bible as a whole. We should also make every effort to sit regularly under the ministry of gifted teachers who can lead us deeply into the Word and make us increasingly capable of fruitful study on our own. Beyond this, we should read well the lives of disciplines from all ages and cultures of the church, building a small library as we make them our friends and associates in the Way.
When we worship God we fill our minds and hearts with wonder at him.
We engage in celebration when we enjoy ourselves, our life, our world, in conjunction with our faith and confidence in God’s greatness, beauty, and goodness. We concentrate on our life and world as God’s work and as God’s gift to us. Typically this means that we come together with others who know God to eat and drink, to sing and dance, and to relate stories of God’s action for our lives and our people.
Holy delight and joy is the great antidote to despair and is a wellspring of genuine gratitude – the kind that starts at our toes and blasts off from our loins and diaphragm through the top or our head, flinging our arms and our eyes and our voice upward toward our good God.
…a healthy faith before God cannot be built and maintained, without heartfelt celebration of his greatness and goodness to us in the midst of our suffering and terror.
Talking about Mark 10:43-45, Willard says, “we misunderstand this passage if we read it merely as instructions on how to become great. It is, rather, a statement on how those who are great are to behave.
…the effect of conversing with God cannot fail to have a pervasive and spiritually strengthening effect on all aspects of our personality.
Personalities united can contain more of God and sustain the force of his greater presence much better than scattered individuals.
Confession alone makes deep fellowship possible, and the lack of it explains much of the superficial quality so commonly found in our church associations.
The walk with Christ certainly is one that leaves room for and even calls for individual creativity [in the spiritual disciplines:] and an experimental attitude in such matters.
Which disciplines must be central to our lives will be determined by the chief sins of commission and omission that entice or threaten us from day to day.
They call for a comparably hard-nosed, tough response on our part, supported by infinite grace.
The activities mentioned – when we engaged in them conscientiously and creatively and adapt them to our individual needs, time, and place – will be more than adequate to help us receive the full Christ-life and become the kind of person that should emerge in the following of him.
The idealization of poverty is one of the most dangerous illusions of Christians in the contemporary world.
To trust in riches, on the other hand, is to count upon them to obtain or secure what we treasure most.
Those poor people whose faith is in riches they neither own nor can use are among the most unhappy people on earth.
A simple test reveals an individual’s attitude toward the religious and moral significance of wealth. Suppose that by owning a great deal of property and money you are able, in the long run, to give much more away and do much more good for others or the promotion of God’s purposes than if you simply gave your surplus away to the poor as it came to hand or if you followed some other course of service that dissolved your financial base. Plus, as a prosperous industrialist, businessperson, merchant, government official, publisher, farmer, or university administrator, suppose that you have a wide range of influence over your employees or associates and others in the community and you use that influence to set an example in living and to testify to the reality of Christ’s Kingdom.
But would it not have been equally well, or even better, had he been found to have had great possessions carefully managed for the good of others and the glory of God? Especially if it turned out that he did more good in that way than he could have done by giving it all away?
While certain individuals may be given a specific call to poverty, in general, being poor is one of the poorest ways to help the poor.
It may be said with assurance that most rich people do trust and serve mammon.
It is not money or gain, but the love of it, that is said by Paul to be the root of all evil (1 Tim. 6:10), and none love it more desperately and unrealistically than those without it.
Let’s be clear about one thing. Whoever cannot have riches without worshiping them above God should get rid of them, if that will enable him or her to trust and serve God rightly. If it does not enable them to do that, then there well may be no point at all in getting rid of the riches. And whether or not there is a point to it will depend upon the effect on those who receive the given-away money. There is no guarantee the recipients will actually benefit from it. The wealth may actually do harm.
Our possessions vastly extend the range over which God rules through our faith.
But to abandon the goods of this world to the enemies of God is to fail the responsibilities we are given at creation to have dominion, to rule over all life forms above the plants (Gen. 1:26).
The truly poor of the earth know poverty for what it is: it is crushing deprivation and helplessness.
[we must:] understand that possession and right rule over material wealth is spiritual service of the highest order. And our response must be to develop a ministry that prepares people for that service.
Poverty, for example, whether in spirit or in pocketbook, is not the cause or reason for blessedness – entry into the Kingdom of God is the reason…
The essential point can be put into one shocking statement: under the rule of God, the rich and the poor have no necessary advantage over each other with regard to well-being or well-doing in this life or the next.
But much can and must be done in all dimensions of life to eliminate the harmful effects of the rich/poor distinction in a fallen world, such as freeing those with ethnic and cultural differences from socially enforced economic deprivation.
While the biblical teachings do not speak of eliminating poverty; they always insist that the needy are to be cared for, that the poor are not to be taken advantage of but defended and given opportunity, and that they are to be taken into consideration in all aspects of life.
[Living among and near the poor will do more for our understanding of the poor than any charity we may give or be a part of:]
...giving is only a part and by no means the largest part of stewardship before our Lord.
…it is as great and as difficult a spiritual calling to run the factories and the mines, the banks and the department stores, the schools and government agencies for the Kingdom of God as it is to pastor a church or serve as an evangelist.
…[the hard part:] is to live simply, even frugally, though controlling great wealth and power.
We continue to be misled by the world’s view of well-being, which holds riches to be well-being, and that is why we react by thinking of possessions as inherently and essentially evil, instead of as a domain of spiritual work of the purest sort.
Riches are not holy, riches are not evil. They are creations we are to use for God.
Of course giving must have a great place in the life of Christ’s disciple, no matter what else. But it cannot take the place of keeping, using, and controlling possessions as responsible stewards of God’s creation for our individual time in his world.
[Wesley’s:] famous formula, “Get all you can; save all you can; give all you can,” must be supplemented. It should read: get all you can; save all you can; freely use all you can within a properly disciplined spiritual life; and control all you can for the good of humankind and God’s glory. Giving all you can would then naturally be a part of an overall wise stewardship.
…to make [poverty:] the especially holy calling is to destroy all possibility of Christ’s people guiding the world for the best of all people, which requires that the godly substantially own and otherwise control the wealth of the earth.
The church certainly is to lead the way in charitable works…
…we wish to continue living as we now live and continue being the kinds of people we are. We do not want to change. We do not want our world to be really different. We just want to escape the consequences of its being what it truly is and of our being who we truly are.
…we do not want to bother with becoming the sort of people who actually, naturally [practice the fruit of the Spirit.:]
We are drawn to evil, excited by it. Yet, interestingly enough, we seem surprised when it becomes reality.
Human wrath is an explosive, unrestrained impulse to hurt or harm.
Thus, if in our lives we are not protected by a hearty confidence in God’s never failing and effective care for us, these “readinesses” for various wrongdoing will be constantly provoked into action by threatening circumstances.
…the righteous can stop the wave [of evil:] before it starts, if they are stable in their righteousness, empowered by God, and distributed through society appropriately. The impersonal power structures in the world are, though independent of any one person’s will and experience, nevertheless dependent for their force upon the general readiness of normal people to do evil.
Living and dying are the only options and both are transcendentally wonderful, because liberation from fear of death is an inevitable result of living in the faith of Jesus (Matt. 10:28, Heb. 2:15)
I believe…that the coming rule of God is to be a government by grace and truth mediated through personalities mature in Christ.
Thomas a Kempis – “Occasions make not a man fail, but they show what the man is.”
…power makes corruption apparent, and absolute power makes corruption absolutely apparent.
Continued in Doc
Become Like Christ – Live in the biblical knowledge of the disciplines and wealth/poverty
Make Disciples – help others become holy through the practice of the disciplines
Love People - help others see the desirability of becoming like and knowing Christ through a healthy and habitual practice of the disciplines
Notes are private!
Jan 28, 2008
Dec 31, 2007
Feb 21, 2006
This was a very enjoyable and educational book on investing. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to have a better understanding of a good philoso...more This was a very enjoyable and educational book on investing. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to have a better understanding of a good philosophy of investing.
The defensive (or passive) investor will place his chief emphasis on the avoidance of serious mistakes or losses. His second aim will be freedom from effot, annoyance, and the need for making frequent decisions. The determining trait of the enterprising (active/aggressive) investor is his willingness to devote time and care to the selection of securities that are both sound and more attracitve than the average. Over many decades an enterprising investor of this sort could expect a worthwhile rewar for his extra skill and effort, in the form of a better average return than that realized by the passive investor.
The investor’s chief problem – and even his worst enemy – is likely to be himself.
Being intelligent means being patient, disciplined, and eager to learn; you must be able to harness your emotions and think for yourself.
The intelligent investor realizes that stocks become more risky, not less, as their prices rise – and less risky, not more, as their prices fall. The intelligent investor dreads a bully market, since it makes stocks more costly to buy. And conversely (so long as you keep enough cash on hand to meet your spending needs), you should welcome a bear market, since it puts stocks back on sale.
The heart of Graham’s argument is that the intelligent investor must never forecast the future exclusively by extrapolating the past.
The only indisputable truth that the past teaches us is that the future will always surprise us – always!
…most new issues are sold under “favorable market conditions” – which means favorable for the seller and consequently less favorable for the buyer.
To obtain better than average investment results over a long pull requires a policy of selection or operation possessing a twofold merit: 1. It must meet objective or rational tests of underlying soundness and 2. it must be different from the policy followed by most investors or speculators.
A great company is not a great investment if you pay too much for the stock.
In any case the investor may as well reign himself in advance to the probability rather than the mere possibility that most of his holdings will advance, say, 50% or more from their low point and decline the equivalent 33% or more from their high point at various periods in the next five years. A serious investor is not likely to believe that the day-to-day or even month-to-month fluctuations of the stock market make him richer or poorer.
It is for these reasons of human nature, even more than by calculation of financial gain or loss, that we favor some kind of mechanical method for varying the proportion of bonds to stocks in the investor’s portfolio.
A stock does not become a sound investment merely because it can be bought at close to its asset value. The investor should demand, in addition, a satisfactory ratio of earnings to price, a sufficiently strong financial position, and the prospect that its earnings will at least be maintained over the years.
Basically, price fluctuations have only one significant meaning for the true investor. They provide him with an opportunity to buy wisely when prices fall sharply and to sell wisely when they advance a great deal. At other times he will do better if he forgets about the stock market and pay attention to his divident returns and to the operatings results of his companies.
The speculator’s primary interest lies in anticipating and profiting from market fluctuations. The investor’s primary interest lies in acquiring and holding suitable securities at suitable prices.
He should always remember that market quotations are there for his convenience, either to be taken adavantage of or to be ignored. He should never buy a stock because it has gone up or sell one because it has gone down.
Nothing important on Wall Street can be counted on to occur exactly in the same way as it happened before.
The primary cause of failure for the individual investor is that hey pay too much attention to what the stock market is doing currently.
…for anyone who will be investing for years to come, falling stock prices are good news, not bad, since they enable you to buy more for less money. The longer and further stocks fall, and the more steadily you keep buying as they drop, the more money you will make in the end – if you remain steadfast until the end. Instead of fearing a bear market, you should embrace it.
Make an Investment Owner’s Contract pg. 225
…buying funds based purely on their past performance is one the stupidest things and investor can do.
…recognize that an index fund – which owns all the stocks of the market, all the time, without any pretense of being able to selece the “best” and avoid the “worst” – will beat most funds over the long run.
Most fund buyers look at the past performance first, then at the manager’s reputation, then at the riskiness of the fund, and finally (if ever) at the fund’s expenses. The intelligent investor looks at those same things – but in the opposite order.
Patience is the fund investor’s most powerful ally.
However, we must point out a troublesome paradox here, which is that mathematical valuations have become most prevalent precisely in those areas where one might consider them least reliable. For the more dependent the valuation becomes on anticipations of the future – and the less it is tied to a figure demonstrated by past performance – the more vulnerable it becomes to possible miscalculation and serious error. A large part of the value found for a high-multiplier growth stock is derived from future projections which differ markedly from past performance…
The management factor is most useful, we think, in those cases in which a recent change has taken place that has not yet had the time to show its significance in the actual figures.
The intelligent investor excels by making decisions that are not dependent on the accuracy of anybody’s forecasts, including his or her own.
Dividend Record – one of the most persuasive tests of high quality is an uninterrupted record of dividend payments going back over many years. We think that a record of continuous dividend payments for the last 20 years or more is an important plus factor in the company’s quality rating.
The burden of proof is on the company to show that you are better off if it does not pay a dividend. If the firm has consistently outperformed the competition in good markets and bad, the managers are clearly putting the cash to optimal use. If, however, business is faltering or the stock is underperforming its rivals, then the managers and directors are misusing the cash by refusing to pay a dividend.
The more seriously investors take the per-share earnings figures as published, the more necessary it is for them to be on their guard against accounting factors of one kind and another that may impair the true comparability of the numbers: the reduction in the normal income-tax deduction by reason of past losses, and the dilution factor implicit in the existence of substantial amounts of convertible securities and warrants, depreciation methods.
Important things to look for in a company:
1. Adequate size
2. A sufficiently strong financial condition
3. Continued dividends for at least the past 20 years
4. No earnings deficit in the past ten years
5. Ten-year growth of at least one-third in per-share earnings
6. Price of stock no more than 1 ½ times net asset value
7. Price no more than 15 times average earnings of the past three years.
If all analysts were agreed that one particular stock was better than all the rest, that issue would quickly advance to a price which would offset all of its previous advantages (EMH).
We were not willing to accept the prospects and promises of the future as compensation for a lack of sufficient value in hand.
Our preference for the analyst’s work would be rather that he should seek the exceptional or minority cases in which he can form a reasonably confident judgment that the price is well below value. He should be able to do this work with sufficient expertness to produce satisfactory average results over the years.
Although there are good and bad companies, there is no such thing as a good stock; there are only good stock prices, which come and go.
When you buy a stock, you become an owner of the company. Its managers, all the way up to the CEO, work for you. Its board of directors must answer to you. Its cash belongs to you. Its businesses are your property. If you don’t like how your company is being managed, you have the right to demand that the managers be fired, the directors be changed, or the property be sold.
Assume in a typical case that the earning power is 9% on the price and that the bond rate is 4%; then the stockbuyer will have an average annual margin of 5% accruing in his favor.
The margin of safety is the difference between the percentage rate of the earnings on the stock at the price you pay for it and the rate of interest on bonds, and that margin of safety is the difference which would absorb unsatisfactory developments.
The philosophy of investment in growth stocks parallels in part and in part contravenes the margin-of-safety principle.
If, as we suggest, the average market level of most growth stocks is too high to provide an adequate margin of safety for the buyer, then a simple technique of diversified buying in this field may not work out satisfactorily
Even the best company becomes a “sell” when its stock price goes too high, while the worst company is worth buying if its stock goes low enough.
more on Word doc
Notes are private!
Feb 03, 2009
Feb 05, 2008
Jan 01, 1990
Dec 10, 2006
This was a good book on the basic evidence for pro-young earth creationism. Since I am more acquainted with an old earth perspective it was good to he...more This was a good book on the basic evidence for pro-young earth creationism. Since I am more acquainted with an old earth perspective it was good to hear the other side.
…everything that has a beginning requires a cause. The universe has a beginning and therefore requires a cause. But God has no beginning since He is beyond time. So God does not need a cause. There is nothing illogical about an eternal Being who has always existed even though it might be difficult to fully understand.
Adding evolution to God’s creation has serious scriptural implications because it undermines and attacks the authority of the Word of God.
Another result of believing that god used evolution or that millions of years of earth history can fit into the Bible is that God’s character comes into questions.
How could a God of love allow such horrible processes as disease, suffering, and death for millions of years as part of His “very good” creation?
Thus, when Christians compromise with the millions of years attributed by many scientists to the fossil record, they are, in that sense, seemingly worshipping a different god – the cruel god of an old earth.
The battle is not one of young earth vs. old earth, or billions of years vs. six days, or creation vs. evolution – the real battle is the authority of the Word of God vs. man’s fallible opinions.
Many sincere Christians have invented reinterpretations of Scripture to avoid intellectual conflicts with popular scientific ideas.
But since churched lack in the teaching of apologetics, particularly in regard to the book of Genesis, most believers in the church are not able to be “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.”
…if Christians cannot defend that all humans, including Cain’s wife, can trace their ancestry ultimately to Adam and Eve, then how can they understand and explain the gospel? How can they justify sending missionaries to every tribe and nation? Therefore, one needs to be able to explain Cain’s wife, to illustrate that Christians can defend the gospel and all that it teaches.
Let’s face it, the main reason we call each other normal is because of our common agreement to do so!
When God upholds things perfectly, wearing out or being hurt in any way is not even an option.
Most people, including most Christians, tend to observe the world as it is today, with all its death and suffering, and then take that observation to the Bible and interpret it in that light. But we are sinful, fallible human beings, observing a sin-cursed world (Romans 8:22); and thus, we need to start with diving revelation, the Bible, to begin to understand.
If everything made itself through natural processes – without God – then God does not own us and has no right to tell us how to live. In fact, God does not really exist in this way of thinking, so there is no absolute basis for morality. Without God, anything goes – concepts of right and wrong are just a matter of opinion. And without a basis for morality, there is no such thing as sin. And no sin means that there is no need to fear God’s judgment and there is no need for the Savior, Jesus Christ. The history in the bible is vital for properly understanding why one needs to accept Jesus Christ.
Having a true bird appear before alleged feathered dinosaurs, no mechanism to change scales into feathers, no mechanism to change a reptilian lung into an avian lung, and no legitimate dinosaurs found with feathers are all good indications that dinosaurs didn’t turn into birds.
Notes are private!
Apr 21, 2009
Jun 04, 2008
Sep 19, 2002
The sorrow of God lies in our fear of Him, our fear of life, and our fear of ourselves.
In my experience, self-hatred is the dominant m...more Poignant Quotes:
The sorrow of God lies in our fear of Him, our fear of life, and our fear of ourselves.
In my experience, self-hatred is the dominant malaise crippling Christians and stifling their growth in the Holy Spirit.
Often breakdowns lead to breakthroughs.
If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others…but when we dare to live as forgiven men and women, we join the wounded healers and draw closer to Jesus.
Living out of the false self creates a compulsive desire to present a perfect image to the public so that everybody will admire us and nobody will know us.
This is the man I want myself to be but who cannot exist, because God does not know anything about him. And to unknown to God is altogether too much privacy. My false and private self is the one who wants to exist outside the reach of God’s will and God’s love – outside of reality and outside of life.
The sad irony is that the impostor cannot experience intimacy in any relationship.
The false self specializes in treacherous disguise. He is the lazy part of self, resisting the effort, asceticism, and discipline that intimacy with God requires.
Self-hatred always results in some form of self-destructive behavior.
[the true self is:] unself-conscious, unpretentious, immersed in life, absorbed in the present moment, breathing in God as naturally as a fish swimming in water.
It is the story of an ordinary man whose soul was seduced and ravished by Jesus Christ.
Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. God’s love for you and his choice of you constitute your worth. Accept that, and let it become the most important thing in your life.
We give glory to God simply by being ourselves.
“Who am I?” asked Merton, and he responded, “I am one loved by Christ.” This is the foundation of the true self.
Our controlled frenzy creates the illusion of well-ordered existence. We move from crisis to crisis, responding to the urgent and neglecting the essential.
The false self is skilled at the controlled openness that scrupulously avoids any significant self-disclosure.
“In a revealed religion, silence with God has a value in itself and for its own sake, just because God is God. Failure to recognize the value of mere being with God, as the beloved, without doing anything, is to gouge the heart out of Christianity.” – Edward Schillebeeckx
I take myself less seriously, become aware that the breath of the Father is on my face and that my countenance is bright with laughter in the midst of an adventure I thoroughly enjoy.
We huff and puff to impress God, scramble for brownie points, thrash about trying to fix ourselves, and live the gospel in such a joyless fashion that it has little appeal to nominal Christians and unbelievers searching for truth.
My dignity as Abba’s child is my most coherent sense of self.
Because the shining sun and the falling rain are given both to those who love God and to those who reject God, the compassion of the Son embraces those who are still living in sin.
Experientially, the inner healing of the heart is seldom a sudden catharsis or an instant liberation from bitterness, anger, resentment, and hatred. More often it is a gentle growing into oneness with the Crucified who has achieved our peace through His blood on the cross. This may take considerable time because the memories are still so vivid and the hurt is still so deep. But it will happen. The crucified Christ is not merely a heroic example to the church: He is the power and wisdom of God, a living force in His present risenness, transforming our lives and enabling us to extend the hand of reconciliation to our enemies.
The heartfelt compassion that hastens forgiveness matures when we discover where our enemy cries.
Living in the wisdom of accepted tenderness profoundly affects my perception of reality, the way I respond to people and their life situations.
The self-acceptance that flows from embracing my core identity as Abba’s child enables me to encounter my utter brokenness with uncompromising honesty and complete abandon to the mercy of God. As my friend Sister Barbara Fiand said,”Wholeness is brokenness owned and thereby healed.”
Instead of expanding our capacity for life, joy, and mystery, religion often contracts it.
Blame is a defensive substitute for an honest examination of life that seeks personal growth in failure and self-knowledge in mistakes.
A vague uneasiness about ever being in right relationship with God haunts the pharisee’s conscience. The compulsion to feel safe with God fuels this neurotic desire for perfection. This compulsive endless moralistic self-evaluation makes it impossible to feel accepted before God. His perception of personal failure leads to a precipitous loss of self-esteem and triggers anxiety, fear, and depression.
In sharp contrast to the pharisaic perception of God and religion, the biblical perception of the gospel of grace is that of a child who has never experienced anything but love and who tries to do her best because she is loved. When she makes mistakes, she knows they do not jeopardize the love of her parents. The possibility that her parents might stop loving her if she doesn’t clean her room never enters her minds. They may disapprove of her behavior, but their love is not contingent on her performance.
For the Pharisee the emphasis is always on personal effort and achievement. The gospel of grace emphasizes the primacy of God’s love. The Pharisee savors impeccable conduct; the child delights in the relentless tenderness of God.
The gospel portrait of the beloved Child of Abba is that of a man exquisitely attuned to His emotions and uninhibited in expressing them. The Son of Man did not scorn feelings as fickle and unreliable. They were sensitive emotional antennae to which He listened carefully and through which He perceived the will of His Father for congruent speech and action.
Our inner child is not an end in itself but a doorway into the depths of our union with our indwelling God, a sinking down into the fullness of the Abba experience, into the vivid awareness that my inner child is Abba’s child, held fast by Him, both in light and in shadow.
Limiting the resurrection either to the past or to the future makes the present risenness of Jesus largely irrelevant, safeguards us from interference with the ordinary rounds and daily routine of our lives, and preempts communion now with Jesus as a living person.
In other words, the resurrection needs to be experienced as present risenness. If we take seriously the word of the risen Christ, ”Know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time” (Matthew 28:20), we should expect that He will be actively present in our lives. If our faith is alive and luminous, we will be alert to moments, events, and occasions when the power of resurrection is brought to bear on our lives. Self-absorbed and inattentive, we fail to notice the subtle ways in which Jesus is snagging our attention.
Hope knows that if great trials are avoided great deeds remain undone and the possibility of growth into greatness of soul is aborted.
The central miracle of the gospel is not the raising of Lazarus or the multiplication of the loaves or all the dramatic healing stories taken together. The miracle of the gospel is Christ, risen and glorified, who this very moment tracks us, pursues us, abides in us, and offers Himself to us as companion for the journey
Contemplation, defined as looking at Jesus while loving Him, leads not only to intimacy but to the transformation of the person contemplating.
Our impulse to tell the salvation-story arises from listening to the heartbeat of the risen Jesus within us.
The imposter recoils at the prospect of telling the story because he fears rejection. He is tense and anxious because he must rely on himself; his power is limited by his paltry resources. He dreads failure.
The moment we acknowledge that we are powerless, we enter into the liberating sphere of the risen One and we are freed from anxiety over the outcome.
The heart is the symbol we employ to capture the deepest essence of personhood. It symbolizes what lies at the core of our being; it defines irreducibly who we really are. We can know and be known only through revealing the revelation of what is in our heart.
“All religion experience at its roots is an experience of an unconditional and unrestricted being in love.” – Bernard Lonergan
The recovery of passion begins with the recovery of my true self as the beloved…John did not believe that Jesus was the most important thing; he believed that Jesus was the only thing.
Until I lay my head on Jesus’ breast, listen to His heartbeat, and personally appropriate the Christ-experience of Johns’ eye-witness, I have only a derivative spirituality.
The Christ of faith is no less accessible to us in His present risenness than was the Christ of history in His human flesh to the beloved disciple.
Leadership in the church is not entrusted to successful fund-raisers, brilliant biblical scholars, administrative geniuses, or spellbinding preachers (though these assets may be helpful), but to those who have been laid waste by a consuming passion for Christ – passionate men and women for whom privilege and power are trivial compared to knowing and loving Jesus.
In John’s Gospel, the Jews are said to be incapable of believing because they “look to one another for approval” (5:44). There appears to be a radical incompatibility between human respect and authentic faith in Christ.
Anthony of Padua opened every class he taught with the phrase, “Of what value is learning that does not turn to love?”
The one great passion in Jesus’ life was His Father. He carried a secret in His heart that made Him great and lonely.
…who we are in God is of ultimate significance. Who one is transcends what one does or what one says or what descriptive traits and qualities one has.
If you want to know what a person really believes, don’t just listen to what he says, watch what he does.
A profound mystery: God becomes a slave. This implies very specifically that God wants to be known through servanthood. Such is God’s own self-disclosure.
The imponderable trait of the human psyche is its ability to make irrational judgments about worthwhile human investments along with its refusal to view life in light of eternity.
Saint Benedict, the founder of Western monasticism, offers the sober advice to “keep your own death before your eyes each day.” It is not a counsel to morbidity but a challenge to faith and fortitude. Until we come to terms with this primal fact of life, as Parker Palmer noted, there can be no spirituality worth speaking of.
“The prospect of being hanged concentrates a man’s mind wonderfully.” – Samuel Johnson
My death-defying no to despair at the end of my life and my life-affirming yes to seemingly insurmountable problems in the midst of my life are both animated by hope in the invincible might of the risen Jesus and in the immeasurable scope of His power in us who believe (Ephesians 1:19).
Paul Claudel once stated that the greatest sin is to lose the sense of sin.
The release from chronic egocentricity starts with letting Christ love them where they are.
The lives of those fully engaged in the human struggle will be riddled with bullet holes. Whatever happened in the life of Jesus is in some way going to happen to us. Wounds are necessary. The soul has to be wounded as well as the body. To think that the natural and proper state is to be without wounds is an illusion. Those who wear bulletproof vests protecting themselves from failure, shipwreck, and heartbreak will never know what love is. The unwounded life bears no resemblance to the Rabbi.
Confession of fault requires a good self-concept. Repression of fault means a bad self-concept.
The ragtag cabal of disciples who have caught the spirit of the bride, opened the door to Jesus, reclined at the table, and listened to His heartbeat will experience at least four things.
First, listening to the Rabbi’s heartbeat is immediately a Trinitarian experience.
Second, we realize we are not alone on the Yellow Brick Road.
Third, when we recline at the table with Jesus we will learn that the recovery of passion is intimately connected with the discovery of the passion of Jesus.
The etymological root of “passion” is the Latin verb passere, “to suffer.”
Christianity consists primarily not in what we do for God but in what God does for us – the great, wondrous things that God dreamed up and achieved for us in Christ Jesus.
Love people – pass on to others what God has shown me about enjoying him and drawing near to Him
Become like Jesus
Notes are private!
Jun 07, 2009
Sep 26, 2007
Sep 01, 1995
Jan 05, 2005
The most heady theological book I have read thus far by Piper. He is good at making the concepts practical. The fundamental thesis is that we walk in...more The most heady theological book I have read thus far by Piper. He is good at making the concepts practical. The fundamental thesis is that we walk in obedience by faith in God's future grace.
Gratitude is a spontaneous response of joy to receiving something over and above what we paid for.
Past grace is glorified by intense and joyful gratitude. Future grace is glorified by intense and joyful confidence. This faith is what empowers us for venturesome obedience in the cause of Christ.
Jesus says that the root of anxiety is inadequate faith in our Father's future grace.
Ultimately, the proud must persuade themselves that there is no God.
...confidence in someone's future reliability is grounded in a history of past faithfulness. This is also the way it is with God.
When we look back to strengthen our faith in future grace, we look primarily to Jesus.
I do not know where I would turn in the ministry if I did not believe that almighty God is taking every setback and every discouragement and every controversy and every pressure and every pain, and stripping it of its destructive power and making it work for the enlargement of my joy in God.
The confidence that a sovereign God governs for your good all the pain and all the pleasure that you will ever experience is an incomparable refuge and security and hope and power in your life. When God's people really live by faith in the future grace of Romans 8:28 - from measles to the mortuary - they are the freest and strongest and most generous people in the world.
This means that shame is a proper and redemptive step in conversion and in a believer's repentance from a season of backsliding. Shame is not something to be avoided at all costs. There is a place for it in God's good dealing with his people.
It is for our good that God commands us to do his will.
In other words, the memory of bygone grace in "the works of God" encourages "confidence in God" for future grace, which enables them to "keep His commandments."
We do not make ourselves born again by deciding to believe. God makes us willing to believe by causing us to be born again.
Loving your enemy doesn't earn you the reward of heaven. Treasuring the reward of heaven empowers you to love your enemy.
Patience is the evidence of an inner strength. Impatient people are weak, and therefore dependent on external supports - like schedules that go just right and circumstances that support their fragile hearts.
The key to patience is faith in the future grace of God's "glorious might" to transform all our interruptions into rewards.
It was God's goal in all his dealing with job to be merciful, and fit him for a greater blessing.
How can I magnify rather than nullify the grace of God?
Paul has in mind a special reason why faith glorifies God's future grace. Simply put, the reason is that this God-glorifying faith is a future-oriented confidence in God's integrity and power and wisdom to follow through on all his promises.
...the essence of faith is "being satisfied with all that God is for us in Jesus."
Covetousness is desiring something so much that you lose our contentment in God.
...what it means to believe in Jesus is to experience him as the satisfaction of my soul's thirst and my heart's hunger.
"Grant me the future grace of strong influences on my heart to give me an appetite for your truth that breaks the power of my appetite for things."
The safest place in the universe is with our arms around the neck of God. And the most dangerous place is any path where we flee from his presence.
Keeping the covenant of God did not mean living perfectly. It meant a life of habitual devotion and trust and love to the Lord, that turned from evil and followed him in his ways.
We are not required to perform, before faith, what faith alone can perform.
All the benefits of the world, minus God, would mean misery in the end. Moreover, achievement of compassion without God only feed the self-exalting ego; they are anathema to faith.
The Spirit loves to exalt Christ; and nothing exalts Christ like being trusted and treasured above all other future fortunes.
Faith has an insatiable appetite for experiencing as much of God's grace as possible.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones - "Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?
...And then you must go on to remind yourself of God, Who he is, and what God is and what God has done, and what God has pledged Himself to do. Then having done that, end on this great not: defy yourself, and defy other people, and defy the devil and the whole world, and say with this man: 'I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.' "
If Satan drops a bomb on your peace, and you don't make ready for war, people are going to wonder whose side you're on.
There were several tactics in Jesus strategic battle against despondency. First, he chose some close friends to be with. Second, he opened his soul to them. Third, he asked for their intercession and partnership in the battle. Fourth, he poured out his heart to his Father in prayer. Fifth, he rested his soul in the sovereign wisdom of God. Sixth, he fixed his eye on the glorious future grace that awaited him on the other side of the cross.
But there is another possible explanation for why a person might grow weary of the battle and consider giving up on Christianity. They might be poorly taught about what the Christian life really is. They might think that things are going wrong, when they are going right. They might think that they are losing, when they are in fact winning. They may not know the biblical categories for understanding what God is really doing in their lives.
The fight for faith in future grace is the fight for joy.
The way to thwart the devil is to strengthen the very thing he is trying most to destroy.
The power of all temptation is the prospect that it will make me happier. No one sins out of a sense of duty, when what they really want is to do what's right.
When my thirst for joy and meaning and passion are satisfied by the presence and promises of Christ, the power of sin is broken.
The fight of faith against lust is the fight to stay satisfied with God.
I have often told young people that they must fight fire with fire. The fire of lust's pleasures must be fought with fire of God's pleasures. If we try to fight the fire of lust with prohibitions and threats alone - even the terrible warnings of Jesus - we will fail. We must fight it with a massive promise of superior happiness.
Strange as it may seem, one of the primary purposes of being shaken by suffering is to make our faith more unshakable.
It is astonishing how disinterested people are in the reality of dying.
The breadth and depth of our pursuit of joy in God is the measure of his worth in our life.
Notes are private!
Aug 04, 2008
Jan 23, 2008
Jul 01, 1978
Dec 24, 2002
It was a good overview of the spiritual disciplines. Definitely a book you have to read a chapter at a time and let it all soak in.
Joy...more It was a good overview of the spiritual disciplines. Definitely a book you have to read a chapter at a time and let it all soak in.
Joy is the keynote of all the Disciplines.
The primary requirement is a longing after God.
The Spiritual Disciplines are an inward and spiritual reality and the inner attitude of the heart is far more crucial than the mechanics for coming into the reality of the spiritual life.
The moment we feel we can succeed and attain victory over our sin by the strength of our own will alone is the moment we are worshiping the will.
The Disciplines allow us to place ourselves before God so that He can transform us.
Let us be among those who believe that the inner transformation of our lives is a goal worthy of our best effort.
P.T. Rohrbach - "The best over-all preparation for successful meditation is a personal conviction of its importance and a staunch determination to persevere in its practice."
The church fathers often spoke of Otium Sanctum: "holy leisure." It refers to a sense of balance in the life, an ability to be at peace through the activities of the day, an ability to rest and take time to enjoy beauty, an ability to pace ourselves.
Whereas the study of Scripture centers on exegesis, the meditation of Scripture centers on internalizing and personalizing the message.
One way to meditate is to think upon the events of our time and seek to perceive their significance.
We would do well to hold the events of our time before God and ask for prophetic insight to discern where these things lead.
God always meets us where we are and slowly moves us along into deeper things.
Next I sought out individuals who seemed to experience greater power and effectiveness in prayer than I, and asked them to teach me everything they knew.
Listening to the Lord is the first thing, the second thing, and the third thing necessary for successful intercession.
Imagination opens the door of faith. If we can "see" in our mind's eye a shattered marriage whole or a sick person well, it is only a short step to believing it will be so.
Bless is the child who is blessed by adults who know how to bless!
Without a knowledge of the truth, we will not be free.
When we come to the Scripture we come to be changed, not to amass information.
I know that one of the great needs among Christians today is simply the reading of large portions of Scripture.
...the key to the Discipline of study is not reading many books but experiencing what we do read.
He called all who would follow Him to a joyful life of carefree unconcern for possessions.
Of all the Disciplines simplicity is the most visible and therefore the most open to corruption.
The central point for the Discipline of simplicity is to seek the kingdom of God and the righteousness of His kingdom first - and then everything necessary will come in its proper order.
Simplicity become idolatry when it takes precedence over seeking the kingdom.
If what we have we receive as a gift, and if what we have is to be cared for by God, and if what we have is available to others, then we will posses freedom from anxiety.
Environmental responsibility alone should keep us from the majority of the gadgets produced today.
...reject anything that will breed the oppression of others.
Bonhoeffer - "One who wants fellowship without solitude plunges into the void of words and feelings, and one who seeks solitude without fellowship perishes in the abyss of vanity, self-infatuation, and despair."
Only when we have learned to be truly silent are we enabled to speak the word that is needed when it is needed.
Four times a year withdraw for three to four hours for the purpose of reorienting your life goals.
Take a retreat once a year for no other purpose in mind but solitude.
The purpose of the Disciplines is freedom. Our aim is the freedom, not the Discipline. The moment we make the Discipline our central focus we will turn it into law and lose the corresponding freedom.
The Disciplines in themselves are of no value whatever.
Not only must we understand but we need to underscore it to ourselves again and again, so severs is our temptation to center on the Disciplines. Let us forever center on Christ and view the Spiritual Disciplines as a way of drawing us closer to His heart.
In submission we are at last free to value other people.
Our happiness is not dependent upon getting what we want.
The revolutionary thing about this teaching is these people, to whom first-century culture afforded no choice at all are addressed as free moral agents. Paul gave personal moral responsibility to those who had no legal or moral status in their culture. He makes decision-makers of people who were forbidden to make decisions.
...the most fundamental feature of this new order is universal subordination.
In fact, they illustrated revolutionary subordination by meekly refusing a destructive command being willing to suffer the consequences.
We must become highly skeptical of all laws that purport to handle every circumstance.
After all, if we had a book of rules to cover every circumstance in life we would not need dependence.
Revolutionary subordination would command us to live in submission to human authority until it becomes destructive.
True service ministers simply and faithfully because there is a need. It know that the "feeling to serve" can often be a hindrance to true service.
More than any other single way the grace of humility is worked into our lives through the Discipline of service.
If we voluntarily choose to taken advantage of, then we cannot be manipulated. When we choose to be a servant we surrender the right to decide who and when we will serve. We become available and vulnerable.
...service of hiddeness.
Bonehoffer - "One who worries about the loss of time that such petty, outward acts of helpfulness entail is usually taking the importance of his career too solemnly."
Any word that they received from God they were to bring back and share with others. This is a gracious service to be rendered, for no individual can hear all that God wants to say. We are dependent upon one another to receive the full counsel of God.
Today we take far too lightly our offenses to the love of God. If we had only a tinge of the sense of revulsion that God feels toward sine, we would be moved to holier living.
St. Alphonsus Luguori - "For a good confession three things are necessary: an examination of conscience, sorrow, and a determination to avoid sin."
Sorrow is necessary to a good confession. Sorrow as it relates to confession is not primarily an emotion, though emotion may be involved. It is an abhorrence at having committed the sin, a deep regret at having offended the heart of the Father. Sorrow is an issue of the will before it is an issue of the emotions. In fact, being sorrowful in the emotions without a godly sorrow in the will destroys the confession.
It is important that when others are opening their griefs to us we discipline ourselves to be quiet.
It hardly needs to be said that as they share you are praying for them. Inwardly and imperceptively (it would be unkind to make a display of your praying) you are beaming prayers of love and forgiveness into them. Also you are praying that they will share the "key" that would reveal any area needing the healing touch of Christ.
Worship is human response to divine initiative.
Like a child taking first steps we are learning through success and failure, confident that we have a present Teach who through the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth.
Singing is meant to move us into praise. It provides a medium for the expression of emotion.
The real question is "what kind of worship does God call for?" It is clear that God call for wholehearted worship. And it's as reasonable to expect wholehearted worship to be physical as to expect it to be cerebral.
If worship does not change us, it has not been worship. To stand before the Holy one of eternity is to change.
Willard Sperry - "Worship is a deliberate and disciplined adventure in reality."
Individual guidance must yield to corporate guidance.
No one could hear the whole counsel of God in isolation.
Unity rather than majority rule is the principle of corporate guidance.
Freedom from anxiety and care forms the basis for celebration.
Celebration brings joy into life, and joy makes us strong.
Without joyous celebration to infuse the other Disciplines we will sooner or later abandon them.
Joy comes through obedience to Christ and joy results from obedience to Christ.
Celebration comes when the common ventures of life are redeemed.
One of the things that nearly destroys children is being forced to be grateful when they are not grateful.
When we determine to dwell on the good and excellent things in life, our lives will be so full of things that they will tend to swallow our problems.
Far and away the most important benefit of celebration is that it saves us from taking ourselves too seriously.
Of all people we should be most free, alive, interesting.
...we do need an occasion to laugh at ourselves.
But when we look back we see that progress has been made and in that we rejoice.
Know God - developing a more well-rounded practice of the disciplines as a means of knowing Him more
Love God - being with Him through the disciplines
Love Others - practice the disciplines helps me love others better
Become Like Christ - inner transformation through disciplines
Make Disciples - teach my disciple to practice the disciplines from a godly motive and passion(less)
Notes are private!
Jul 26, 2008
Jan 22, 2008
May 29, 2006
...God's blessing does not depend on our performance.
[Christian's often think] that, although we are saved by grace, we earn or forfei...more Poignant Quotes:
...God's blessing does not depend on our performance.
[Christian's often think] that, although we are saved by grace, we earn or forfeit God's blessings in our daily lives by our performance.
Regardless of our performance, we are always dependent on God's grace, His undeserved favor to those who deserve His wrath.
We need to continue to hear the gospel every day of our Christian lives. Only a continuous reminder of the gospel of God's grace through Christ will keep us from falling into good-day-bad-day thinking, wherein we think our daily relationship with God is based on how good we've been.
Duty or guilt may motivate us for awhile, but only a sense of Christ's love for us will motivate us for a lifetime.
The problem with self-righteousness is that it seems almost impossible to recognize in ourselves. We will own up to almost any other sin, but not the sin of self-righteousness. When we have this attitude, though, we deprive ourselves of the joy of living in the grace of God. Because, you see, grace is only for sinners.
This thought (Philippians 1:6) is both encouraging and sobering. It is encouraging because it assures us that our spiritual growth is not left to our initiative, nor is it dependent upon our wisdom to know in which areas and in which direction we need to grow. Rather, it is God who initiates and directs our spiritual growth.
We must work simultaneously at putting off the characteristics of our old selves and putting on the characteristics of the new selves. One without the other is not effective.
What does it mean that God administers His discipline in the realm of grace? It means that all His teaching, training, and discipline are administered in love and for our spiritual welfare. It means that God is never angry with us, though He is often grieved at our sins. It means He does not condemn us or count our sins against us. All that He does in us and to us is done on the basis of unmerited favor. To use the words of William Hendricksen, 'God's grace is his active favor bestowing the greatest gift upon those who have deserved the greatest punishment.'
It is important for us to understand this difference between the unbeliever living complacently in sin and the believer struggling against sin. If we are going to pursue holiness, we must accept the fact that there will be continual tension within us between our desires and our performance. As British theologian J. I. Packer so often says, our reach will always exceed our grasp.
John Murray - "We must not suppose that the measure of our understanding or experience is the measure of the Spirit's working."
To the degree that we feel we are on a legal or performance relationship with God, to that degree our progress in sanctification is impeded.
To behold the glory of Christ in the gospel is a discipline.
Daily review and meditation on key passages is far and away the most effective means of keeping God's commands continually before us.
Our motive for obedience is just as important, probably more so, to God than the level of our performance.
To the degree that we live with an abiding sense of His love for us in Christ, to that degree will we love God with all our heart and soul and mind.
"Man's part is to trust and work. God's part is to enable the man or woman to do the work." Or perhaps it is more helpful to say,"Our part is to work, but to do so in reliance upon God to enable us to work."
We can chart what a farmer can and cannot do in relation to his harvest:
CAN AND MUST DO:
We cannot make ourselves grow.
If we are going to make any progress in becoming like Christ, we must learn to rely on the Holy Spirit rather than on our own virtues and abilities.
Our prayers of dependence should be of two types: planned periods of prayer and unplanned, spontaneous prayer.
Nehemiah's prayer life was planned, protracted, and persevering. It was also unplanned, short, and spontaneous.
...keep in mind that dependence on the Holy Spirit should permeate [all the disciplines.]
When we commit ourselves to the pursuit of holiness, we need to ensure that our commitment is actually to God, not simply to a holy lifestyle or a set of moral values.
Far too often our concern with sin arises from how it makes us feel.
When we sin we are more vexed at the lowering of our self-esteem than we are grieved at God's dishonor.
There is no point in praying for God's help in the face of temptation if we have not made a commitment to obedience without exception.
William Law - "It only supposes that through the [lack] of a sincere intention of pleasing God in all our actions, we fall into such irregularities of life, as by the ordinary means of grace, we should have power to avoid."
It is the intention to please God in all our actions that is the key to commitment to a life of holiness.
The principle, then, is that we should commit ourselves to doing everything we do, not in the way that might seem to bring us the most gain or best accomplish our personal objective, but in the way that will be most pleasing to God.
...you may find you will need to make several commitments - sins to put off or avoid and Christlike traits to put on. If you do not commit yourself to the pursuit of holiness in these areas of your life, you will find a tendency to vacillate in the face of these temptations.
So we see once again the relationship of grace and discipline. A loving response to God's grace and mercy is the only motive acceptable to God for the commitment Paul called for. And it is the continual reminding of ourselves of His grace and mercy that provides the only enduring motivation to sustain such a commitment and keep it from becoming oppressive. That is why we must preach the gospel to ourselves every day.
So an all-out, unreserved, nothing-held-back commitment to the pursuit of holiness may be exhausting, but it will not be oppressive if it is grounded in grace.
What value do we place upon the Word of God? Do we search it as if we were seeking for hidden treasures, or do we read it and study it only because we know ti is something we should do?
The question is, do we really believe we are dependent upon the Holy Spirit to enlighten our understanding, or do we actually depend on our own intellectual ability in our study of Scripture?
We become proud over our "superior" knowledge of biblical truth rather than humbled over our lack of obedience to what Scripture teaches.
The truth is, however, all forms of discipline require work and are often discouraging. But the person who perseveres in any discipline, despite the hard work and discouraging times, reaps the reward the discipline is intended to produce.
So I encourage you to memorize Scriptures that deal with the particular temptations to which you are especially vulnerable. Then ask the Holy Spirit to bring them to your mind at times of temptation.
One of the banes of present-day evangelical Christianity is the way we sit every week under the teaching of God's Word, or even have private devotions and perhaps participate in a Bible study group, without a serious intent to obey the truth we learn.
But convictions are really developed when we begin to apply the teachings of Scripture to real-life situations.
So it is through knowledge, plus meditation, plus application of Scriptures to concrete situations in our daily lives that we develop Bible-based convictions. And, as we develop those convictions, we will be transformed by the Holy Spirit more and ore into the likeness of Christ.
It is helpful to distinguish between a meritorious cause of God's blessing, and an instrumental cause. The meritorious cause is always the merit of Christ. We can never add to what He has already done to procure God's blessing on our lives. The instrumental cause, however, is the means or avenues God has ordained to use. God has clearly set forth certain disciplines for us to practice in the pursuit of holiness. As we practice them God will use them in our lives, not because we have earned His blessing, but because we have followed His ordained path of blessing.
So it is through righteous actions that we develop holy character. Holiness of character, then, is developed one choice at a time as we choose to act righteously in each and every situation and circumstance we encounter during the day.
So pride or frustration is always the result of attempts to mortify sin that are carried on apart from utter dependence on the Spirit.
Mortification involves dealing with all known sin in one's life. Without a purpose to obey all of God's Word, isolated attempts to mortify a particular sin are of no avail.
Mortification begins with the realization that sin is wrong, not because of what it does to me, or my spouse, or child, or neighbor, but because it is an act of rebellion against the infinitely holy and majestic God who sent His Son to be the propitiation for my sins.
Godly sorrow is developed when we focus on the true nature of sin as an offense against God rather than something that makes us feel guilty.
Our only safeguard is a sense of deep humility as we realize how powerful indwelling sin still is. Never begin to think there are areas of temptation where you don't need to be on your guard. That could be your downfall.
We practice these disciplines, not to earn favor with God, but because they are the means God has given to enable to us to pursue holiness.
All pain is meant to bring us closer to God.(less)
Notes are private!
Oct 23, 2008
Oct 06, 2007
Mar 31, 1992
Among the few books I have read more than once because of its immense value in loving and trusting God.
"The Wager resolved decisively...more Among the few books I have read more than once because of its immense value in loving and trusting God.
"The Wager resolved decisively that the faith of a single human being counts for very much indeed. Job affirms that our response to testing matter."
"...the remarkable truth that our choices matter, not just to us and our own destiny but, amazingly, to God himself and the universe he rules."
"Faith means believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse."
"We have little comprehension of what our faith means to God."
"God did not exempt Himself from the same requirements of faith He makes of us."
"Everything difficult indicates something more than our theory of life yet embraces." - George MacDonald
"From below, we tend to think of miracle as an invasion, a breaking into the natural world with spectacular force, and we long for such signs. But from above, from God's point of view, the real miracle is one of transposition: that human bodies can become vessels filled with Spirit, that ordinary human acts of charity and goodness can become nothing less than the incarnations of God on earth."
Notes are private!
Mar 18, 2008
Jan 01, 1900
Jan 01, 2000
Encouraging biography of a former slave
I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life...more Encouraging biography of a former slave
I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to
The older I grow, the more I am convinced that there is no education which one can get from books and costly apparatus that is equal to that which can be gotten from contact with great men and women.
In order to be successful in any kind of undertaking, I think the main thing is for one to grow to the point where he completely forgets himself; that is, to lose himself in a great cause. In proportion as one loses himself in this way, in the same degree does he get the highest happiness out of his work.
I early learned that it is a hard matter to convert (persuade) an individual by abusing him, and that this is more often accomplished by giving credit for all the praiseworthy actions performed than by calling attention alone to all the evil done.
I have found that the happiest people are those who do the most for others; the most miserable are thos who do the least.
...the one thing that that is most worth living for-and dying for, if need be-is the opportunity of making some one else more happy and more useful.
I make it a rule never to let my work drive me, but to so master it, and keep it in such complete control, and to keep so far ahead of it, that I will be the master instead of the servant. There is a physical and mental and spiritual enjoyment that comes from a consciousness of being the absolute master of one's work, in all its details, that is very satisfactory and inspiring.
I pity the man or woman who has never learned to enjoy nature and get strength and inspiration out of it.
...that any man, regardless of color, will be recognized and rewarded just in proportion as he learns to do something we-learns to do it better than some one else-however humble the thing may be. As I have said, I believe that my race will succeed in proportion as it learns to do a common thing in an uncommon manner; learns to a thing so thoroughly that no one can improve upon what it has done; learns to make its services of indispensable value.
I believe that any man's life will be filled with constant, unexpected encouragements of this kind if he mas up his mind to do his level best each day of his life-that is, tries to make each day reach as nearly as possible the high water mark of pure, unselfish, useful living.
Notes are private!
Oct 06, 2008
Oct 06, 2008
Mar 01, 1992
It was doctrinally rich and insightful.
"The Father knows that his people can bring no greater hurt to his loving heart than to have su...more It was doctrinally rich and insightful.
"The Father knows that his people can bring no greater hurt to his loving heart than to have such hard thoughts of him."
"Sin brought infinite punishment because it was committed against an infinite God. Christ, being the infinite God in human nature, could suffer the infinite punishment that the sinner deserved. An so, by this personal union in Christ we are saved."
"To encourage our hearts to give themselves up more fully to the Lord Jesus Christ, consider his glories and excellences."
"We are too needy to be satisfied by a mere creature."
"From his all-sufficiency, God has power to impart and communicate his goodness and himself so as to satisfy and fill his creatures to their utmost capacity with whatever is good for them and with whatever they desire."
"Sin was allowed entry into the world in order that God's glorious grace may be praised in the pardoning and forgiveness of sin."
"When faith rests in God and in Christ with delight, desire and satisfaction, it is called love."
"Now this freedom of our Father's family which we have as sons and children, being adopted by Christ through the Spirit, is a spiritual largeness of heart by which the children of God freely, willingly, genuinely without fear, terror, bondage or constraint, set out in Christ to live a life of holy obedience. This is our liberty in our Father's family."
"The liberty of sons is in the inward spiritual freedom of their hearts gladly and willingly obeying God in everything."
"No sooner does the soul begin to feel the life of a promise warming his heart, freeing him from fear, worries and troubles, than it may know, and it ought to know, that the Holy Spirit is doing his work. This will add to the believer's joy and lead him into deeper fellowship with the Holy Spirit."
"To persuade a poor, sinful soul that God in Jesus Christ loves him, delights in him, is well pleased with him and only has thoughts of kindness towards him is an inexpressible mercy."
"Without the comfort and strength of the Holy Spirit, we will either despise afflictions or collapse under them and God's purpose in sending them to us will be defeated."(less)
Notes are private!
Mar 14, 2008
Dec 02, 2007