Thursday, February 11, 2016

Self-made braggart

  "He was a rich man: banker, merchant, manufacturer, and what not. A big loud man, with a stare and a metallic laugh. A man made out of course material, which seemed to have been stretched to make so much of him. A man with a great puffed head and forehead, swelled veins in his temples, and such a strained skin to his face that it seemed to hold his eyes open and lift his eyebrows up. A man with a pervading appearance on him of being inflated like a balloon, and ready to start.

A man who could never brag enough of being a self-made man. A man who was always proclaiming, through that brassy speaking-trumpet voice of his, his old ignorance and his old poverty. A man who was the bully of humility. Dickens.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

  In the two following quotes by Martineau and Beecher, I find many reasons we enjoy life.

 "On an ocean liner traveling to some far off destination, there were many different and interesting people; there was a family in mourning taking to their home-graves the body of a loved one. And there was one who was of rare truth and wisdom, the likes of which is seldom heard; and another person of deep faith that everyone respected; and another person of such love that all trusted her; and another with persuasive lips, from which thoughtful genius and the simplest heart poured forth the true music of humanity.

  The whole globe is a museum to those who have eyes to see. Rare plays are unfolding before every man who can read the drama of life intelligently. Not go to theaters? Wicked to see plays? Every street is a theater.
One cannot open his eyes without seeing unconscious players. There are Othellos, and Hamlets, and Lears, and Juliet’s all about us.
Be cheerful yourself, and good natured, and respectful, and every man has a secret for you worth knowing. There is a schoolmaster waiting for you behind every door. Every shopman has a look at life different from yours."

Sunday, February 07, 2016

The following passage comes from Jeremy Taylor's book titled, The Rule and Exercises of Holy Dying. It is a serious look at the shortness of life, the vanities of life and the joy and purpose of living with God: so, when death approaches, we will be prepared to face it. Now in this passage he is laying the ground-work and takes a cynical peek into the lives of many. I just love his style and his underlying humor makes me smile, without missing the lesson.

  "Life is like a bubble and some of us die before we reach seven years, but if the bubble stands the shock of a bigger drop, and outlives the chances of a child, of a careless nurse, of drowning in a pail of water, of being overlaid by a sleepy servant, or such little accidents, then the young man dances like a bubble empty and gay, and shines like a doves neck or the image of a rainbow, which has no substance, and whose very imagery and colors are fantastical; and so he dances out the gaiety of his youth, and is all the while in a storm, and endures only because his is not knocked on the head by a drop of bigger rain, or crushed by the pressure of a load of indigested meat, or quenched by the disorder of an ill-placed humor: and to preserve a man alive in the midst of so many chances and hostilities is as great a miracle as to create him...." Jeremy Taylor

Friday, February 05, 2016

Ya gotta love this piece from Alexander Pope's, "An essay on man." This little extract about knowing oneself is a classic.  
"Know, then, thyself, presume not God to scan; The proper study of mankind is man. Placed on this isthmus of a middle state, A being darkly wise, and rudely great: With too much knowledge for the skeptic side, With too much weakness for the stoic's pride, He hangs between; in doubt to act or rest; In doubt to deem himself a god, or beast; In doubt his mind or body to prefer; 'Born to die, and reasoning but to err; And alike in ignorance, his reason such, Whether he thinks too little, or too much; Chaos of thought and passion, all confused; Still by himself abused, or disabused; Created half to rise, and half to fall; Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all; Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurled."

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

  In many shamanic societies, if you came to a medicine person complaining of being
disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions:
"When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing, When did you
stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop being comforted by
the sweet territory of silence?"

Gabrielle Roth

A Deed And a Word

A little stream had lost its way
Amid the grass and fern;
A passing stranger scooped a well,
Where weary men might turn;
He walled it in, and hung with care
A ladle at the brink;
He thought not of the deed he did,
But judged that all might drink.
He passed again, and lo! The well,
By summer never dried,
Had cooled ten thousand parching tongues,
And saved a life beside.

A nameless man, amid a crowd,
That thronged the daily mart,
Let fall a word of hope and love,
Unstudied, from the heart.
A whisper on the tumult thrown,
A transitory breath ----
It raised a brother from the dust,
It saved a soul from death.
O germ! O fount! O word of love!
O thought at random cast!
Ye were but little at the first,
But mighty at the last.    

Charles Mackay.

  This prowling beast with his shrieking scream and low guttural snarl, bellows at the believer with his incessant cry of “LESS”. You are less, less than you should be; you are less, less than others; less faith, less hope and less future. His fangs and claws tear at your self-image: leaving you maimed in a cloud of stifling inadequacy. Oh, but deliverance is bounding your way, with a message of acceptance and love; a deliverer who heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds, never to have been and forever to be “less” no more.

1 Peter 5:8 “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”