Friday, October 31, 2014
Countless times I have looked at those who parade themselves with a swagger and a cold, unapproachable look and met them in return with a vacant face only to find out later that they had so much to offer and through conversation, made a connection that ripened into a friendship. The following quote speaks to this with far more eloquence.
"How often may you hear the querulous dialogue, the mutual complaint, the artificial fence of hurting speech, between those who, if they would but burst the barrier of their pride, would fall into each other's arms, and in dismissing the fiend, let the reconciling angel in! The pure and tender eye which is not arrested by the troubled and broken surface, but sends its glance behind and within, not only sees the actual love that lives there, but warms and wakes the possible love that was asleep and never stirred before." James Martineau.
Monday, October 27, 2014
"Words, words; who can tell their power for good or ill? How they go like bullets of fire into wounded spirits, or like notes of music to happy souls.
Harsh words are the heart-hurters, the home-spoilers, the union-breakers. They make divorces, antagonisms, prodigals. They break in upon the quiet homes like burglars and carry away its peace.
Let a gust of wind come into a house through an open door and how the doors slam, the curtains rattle, the papers careen about the room, and general confusion is stirred up. So it is when a gusty, passionate and raised voice comes in at our open ears. It wakes up bedlam inside of us in a minute. It does not subdue us but arouses us. It does not govern but excites us. It does not help us to govern ourselves, but puts self-government into rebellion. Oh the voice, the voice, what an instrument of harmony or discord it is in the home! G.S. Weaver, 1882.
Saturday, October 25, 2014
"O child of my Father, wounded, bleeding, and worn by inward woes, turn not thy face away; let me lift thee from thy bed of rock, and stretch thee on the green sod of a pure affection; for am I not thy brother, stricken in thy stripes, and healed in thy rest?" James Martineau, photo by Lisa Kristine.
I like this following quote; I take it to mean that the secret dwelling place of God is where the souls of men concern themselves with others. For the soul struggling with enslavements, we help them to overcome: standing by them, encouraging, consoling: rejoicing in victories, compassionate in failures.
And to those that breathe purer air, those diligent in goodness: watching their steps, inspired on by their successes, horizons broadened by their example.
God dwells in the society of men and it is there we see him most clearly.
"If there were no ranks of souls within our view; if all were upon a platform of republican equality; if there were but a uniform citizenship of spirits, and no royalty of goodness, and no slavery of sin; if nothing unutterably great subdued us to allegiance, and nothing sad and shameful roused us to compassion; -- I believe that all divine truth would remain entirely inaccessible to us, and our existence would be reduced to that of intelligent and amiable animals; the secret dwelling of the Almighty would be closed against our most penetrating vision." James Martineau.
Friday, October 24, 2014
The men and women at the correction center are battling addictions and the results of childhood abuses of the most horrific nature. They are at war with their past and need encouragement to continue the battle for wholeness.
I took the address Washington made to his soldiers before the battle of Long Island in 1776, and changed some of the wording to help make it applicable to the men and women there.
"The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether we are to be freemen or slaves; whether we are to have any property we can call our own; whether our houses and farms are to be pillaged and destroyed, and be consigned to a state of wretchedness from which no human efforts will deliver us.
The fate of our unborn progeny will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of our selves. Our cruel and unrelenting enemy leaves us only the choice of a brave resistance, or the most abject submission. We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or to die.
Let us, then, rely on the goodness of our cause, and the aid of the Supreme Being, in whose hands victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble actions.
The eyes of all of our family are now upon us; and we shall have their blessings and praises, if haply we are the instruments of saving them from the tyranny that faces us.
Liberty, property, life, and honor are all at stake. Upon your courage and conduct rest the hopes of our bleeding and insulted families. Our wives, children and parents, expect safety from us only; and they have every reason to believe that Heaven will crown with success so just a cause. The enemy will endeavor to intimidate by show and appearance; but remember they have been repulsed on various occasions by brave men and women."
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
“Behold the fowls of the air; God feedeth them.” Do they, then, stay at home, and do nothing, expecting crumbs of manna to drop from rich table in the skies? Are they found, empty of all craving, regardless of the changing year, and hanging ever upon miracle? Why, their whole existence is a continued quest after that physical good which is their true and only end; and to pilfer the garden and the field, to skim and sip the stream, to dress their plumage with finer gloss, and sing the song of glad abundance, is their work from morn to night. What eager industry flutters in the spring around the skirts of the plantation, gathering the bits and brakes scattered for them by the winter’s storm! What busy preparation, at autumn’s first chill wind, wheels and musters overhead, for the long flight over Southern seas, the swift cheering on the slow, and the young wing supporting the old! What studious watch, under the semblance of flashing sport, does the home-loving swallow keep! And is not this truly called a feeding of the creatures by their Maker? Is it not his hand that is opened, when they are filled with good? Yes; only, “That which he giveth them, they gather”: he supplies their wants, not without activity of theirs, but by means of it; not by causal miracle, but by constant law; by putting his skill within them, as well as spreading his affluence without."
James Martineau, photo by Vezon Thierry.