Friday, February 16, 2018

Silence


What a strange power there is in silence!
Says the Greek proverb, "speech is silver, silence is gold." 
It is a remarkable and very instructive fact that many of the most important operations of nature are carried on in unbroken silence. There is no rushing sound when the broad tide of sunlight breaks on a dark world and floods it with glory, as one bright wave after another falls from the mountain. The great trees bring forth their boughs and shelter the earth beneath them -- the plants cover themselves with buds, and the buds burst into flowers, but the whole transformation is unheard. The mightiest worker in the universe is the most unobtrusive. The grandest operations, both in nature and in grace, are the most silent and imperceptible. Not the least impressive scenes of Christ, before his enemies were those when he answered them not a word. The heaviest grief is borne in silence; the deepest love flows through the eye and touch; the purest joy is unspeakable, the most impressive prayer is silent prayer; and the most solemn preacher at a funeral is the silent one, whose lips are cold.

It is a great art in the Christian life to be silent. It is often easier to do than to suffer the will of God. 

The voice of wisdom cries, "Be still, and know that I am God."
Arthur Benson. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Betrayed



 "Rachel just cannot get over what I have done to her. We have been to counselors, both individually, and, only a little, together. I have treated her like a queen for six months, written her love letters, virtually abandoned my practice to spend time with her -- everything I can possibly think of. She says she can forgive me as a person, but that she can't as a husband. She says that I "threw her away" for another woman; that she can ever trust me again; that she doesn't love me, like me, or respect me, that she will never feel special to me again; that I killed her love for me; that she would rather I had killed her than have done what I did.
Just today, she has asked me to move out of the house. She has even said that I love this other woman and one day will go back to her.

Nothing can be further from the truth. I love my wife and family, and the thought of losing them is too much to bear. We've prayed for help and guidance, but we just haven't made any progress. Over the past six months, she has fluctuated quite a bit, but always seems to come back to a literal rage of depression, bitterness, anger, and hurt. It has been hell, and it looks like it's going to explode."

Wednesday, February 14, 2018



  "Hugh found reading must be for him an attempt to refine and quicken his insight into the human mind. He must study expression and personality; he must keep his spirit sensitive to any hint of truth or beauty, any generous and ardent intuition, any grace and seemliness of thought and as opening to him a larger perspective of human life, and revealing to him the conclusions to which experience and life had brought men of other nationalities and other creeds. Biography was his most beloved study, because it opened up to him the vast complexity of human motive; but he thought that its chief value had been in revealing to him the extra-ordinary part that convention and adopted beliefs and motives played in the majority of lives." Arthur Benson.


  I like this quote because the older I get the more interested I've become in learning about myself, others and their motives, my motives as well. Greek philosophy said, "Know thyself," and I can better learn myself through the thoughts and actions of others. So whether it is Bible, filled with all kinds of literature, or biography, or clinical case histories, it is where my focus has been these last few years: I think it has helped me grow.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018



  "The early Christians used to write that when they did not have enough food for the hungry people at their door, the entire community would fast until everyone could share a meal together. What an incredible economy of love. The early Christians said that if a child starves while a Christian has extra food, then the Christian is guilty of murder."    Shane Claiborne, Irresistible Revolution.


Saturday, January 27, 2018



  "In our spiritual life we have highs and lows; there are times indeed of kindled purpose and high affections to us all; when the spirit is willing and our faculties strong; when the mighty stream of Resolution sweeps rapidly away, and plays with difficulties as with the momentary bubbles that eddy on its wave; when a purer atmosphere seems to clear and swell the soul, and every speck of evil passion melts and disappears; and then indeed to the meek and holy there is no cross to bear; they do not pace up the hill of death, but are rather borne down the mount of triumph over scattered flowers to the City of their God.
But, duty is constant; affection is transient; obligation often rises, while the spirit sinks; and after the divine freshness of the morning air, a sluggish mist damps down, and turns life, which had looked brilliant as Eden, into a flat and weary marsh. And then it comes to pass, that we know the path that we should go, but love it no more.

Ease bids us stay at home; inclination shows us a pleasanter way; or if we set out on the thorny track, we begin to pity our own bleeding feet, and reward with admiration our half-spent strength. When the soul has lost its earliest tension, evil, with close collapse, presses in upon it again; worthless temptations resume a dreadful force; the dainty senses are not so easy to despise; peevish works and sullen thoughts torment us as our familiar friends; the moments lent for holy service we desire to steal for selfish whims; and to the dulled and slothful eye our nearest work seems unnaturally hard." Martineau.