Thursday, October 08, 2015

  "The best part of a dinner is the half hour before it." 
Or after. 

Clifford Raymond, painting by Pietro Saltini. 

  "With Christ, as with us all, it was no doubt difficult, so long as he was amid the surroundings of common life, to believe in the stirrings of a divine call within him.
The mystic promptings of the soul, the deep appealing look of men and things, the flash of inspired prayer into the mind, did not agree with the narrow home, the village cares, the synagogue routine: they would start away at the sound of plane and saw; be drowned in the gossip of neighbors; How should the youth suppose, even when the intimations were most full of wonder, that God had really sent for him?" 

  And so it is with us, regardless how powerful or mystical our salvation experience may be, when we are back to our routine among the common things of life, living in a low income house, weighed down by the burden of job demands, and the clamor of the factory's hammer and saw, or the office, filled with obscenities and gossip, and when church has become routine, how easy it is to doubt, even when the Spirit was most full of wonder, that God had really called us.

James Martineau, photo by Mg Lizi. 

Friday, October 02, 2015

  I like the simple truths of Christianity and I often run into those who seek the mystical or the philosophical in search of something higher. The following quote captures eloquently, the way I feel.

 "We don't want to overfly with wings of vain philosophy, beyond the blessed level of Christian simplicity and repose; of quitting the green homesteads of a human and a heartfelt faith for the trackless air of speculation clear and cold, and amid the naked rocks and un-melting snows of the lonely intellect, losing sight of the slopes of Nazareth and the villages of Galilee. The meek purity, the quiet trust, the reverent yet un-fearing spirit of Christ, and with the secret faith, which these imply, are the simple truths of Christianity."
James Martineau, photo from the Internet. 

In Sympathy with the families in Roseburg Oregon, the seventy first school shooting this year........

Thursday, September 24, 2015

"After Commandore McDonoug's great victory over the British fleet on Lake Champlain, the commander of the of the British land forces sent to him to inquire the secret of his success. He replied, "Hard fighting." He pushed on the battle, though his ship was riddled with shot, twice on fire and in a sinking condition. He was twice knocked down, and reported killed, but revived and returned to the gun, which he sighted in till the victory was gained."
Now, though our battles are no doubt less, we can learn a measure of courage from McDonoug's spirit. "Fight the good fight."

Monday, September 21, 2015

  "A mother whose children were remarkable examples of early piety, was asked the secret of her success. She answered, "While my children were infants on my lap, as I washed them, I raised my heart to God, that he would wash them in that blood which cleanseth from all sin; as I clothed them in the morning, I asked my Heavenly Father to clothe them with the robe of Christ's righteousness; as I provided them food, I prayed that God would feed them with the bread of heaven, and give them to drink of the water of life. When I have prepared them for the house of God, I have pleaded that their bodies might be fit temples for the Holy Ghost to dwell in. When they left me for the week-day school, I followed their infant footsteps with a prayer, that their path through life might be like that of the just, which shineth more and more unto the perfect day. And so I committed them to the rest of the night, the silent breathing of my soul has been, that their Heavenly Father would take them in his embrace and fold them in his paternal arms." 

Author unknown, photo by Jose A. Gallego. 

Over sensibility

  "To feel is amiable; but to feel too keenly is injurious both to mind and body; and a habit of giving way to sensibility, which we should endeavor to regulate, though not to eradicate, may end in a morbid weakness of mind, which may appear to romantic persons very gentle and very interesting, but will undoubtedly render its victims very useless in society. Our feelings were given to us to excite to action, and when they end in themselves, they are impressed to no one good purpose that I know of." Bishop Sandford, photo found on

I have to watch out for this, sometimes I get nearly paralyzed by sentimentalism and the like; I like his conclusion that, "that feelings were given to us to excite action.."