Friday, July 10, 2015

The seaweed floating on the waves or rolled up high along the shore, we count as a useless weed littering our beaches. Yet it is truly a glorious algae and man should be humbled for his ignorance because health is in the freshness of its taste, and for all its inconvenience it has a wealth of uses.

Kelp is a rich source of protein, amino acids, enzymes, beta-carotene, chlorophyll and dietary fiber. Although it’s probably best known as a source of iodine, kelp contains a wealth of other minerals, such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium. It is a weapon against Diabetes, helps protect the liver, reduces cholesterol, and helps eliminate toxins, it is an anti-inflammatory and has other medicinal properties.

Let this be a lesson to your soul, that you reckon nothing worthless because you heed not its use, nor know the virtues of it. So, from now on, when you walk by the sea, let weeds be a type and promise of the stored and uncounted riches lying hid in all creatures of God. Martin Tupper.

I added the original quote in Old English for those that enjoy it. 

The sea-wort floating on the waves, or rolled up 
    high along the shore,
Ye counted useless and vile, heaping on it names of 
Yet hath it gloriously triumphed, and man been 
    humbled in his ignorance, 
For health is in the freshness of its savor, and it 
    cumbereth the beach with wealth; 
Comforting the tossings of pain with its 
    violet-tinctured essence,
And by its humbler ashes enriching many proud. 
Be this, then, a lesson to thy soul, that thou reckon 
    nothing worthless, 
Because thou heedest not its use, nor knowest the 
    virtues thereof. 
And herein, as thou walkest by the sea, shall weeds 
    be a type and an earnest
Of the stored and uncounted riches lying hid in all
    Creatures of God. 

  "Where there is no deep faith in the spiritual basis of human life, nor belief in the revelation and the power of Right in the conscience of mankind, then there is in the heart no certain source of "honor towards all men,' no patient hope of future nobleness for them to soothe the disappointment at their unworthiness." Martineau.

I like this quote and think it is right on target: if we become cynical and lose every line of tenderness: indulge a suspicious prophecy about others, eager to shape a tale of shame, and see little or no hope for those in desperate trials, how then can we say we obey the scripture to "show honor towards all men"?

  I love the following piece about how a godly person lovingly rebukes and encourages another who has failed. The tenderness and hope he describes is very touching to me; wish I could be, will try to be, more like that.

  "Rebuke itself acquires a solemn weight where it falls with impersonal gentleness, spoiled by no heats of fluttered egotism, and tinged only with the sorrow of disappointed trust...... The very light of his eye kindles into life the spot on which it falls: he looks for the conscience, and it is there. All who come into his presence learn to feel that they have more than justice done to them; that the best they have is seen in them, and the best they can be is expected from them; and under this warmth of appreciation every promise of good hastens its growth, opens the upper air, and is nourished into strength. Yet, even if they fail, they know it is a part of the same faith which led him to expect the good, that he will make tender allowance for the ill, and not surrender the hope baffled for the moment, but true for ever." Martineau.

I love the line where one who is truly godly in their rebuke, hastens the growth of the one rebuked, "opens the upper air," and nourishes them to strength. 

Thursday, July 02, 2015

"An ant went to a fountain to quench his thirst, and tumbling in, was almost drowned. But a dove that happened to be sitting on a neighboring tree, saw the ant's danger, and plucking off a leaf, let it drop into the water before him, and the ant mounting upon it, was presently wafted safe ashore. Just at that time, a fowler was spreading his net, and was in the act of snaring the dove, when the ant perceiving his intent, bit his heel. The start which the man gave made him drop his net; and the dove, aroused to a sense of danger, flew safe away." Aesop.

  I like these kind of stories, it is good to have a store of them when talking with children. They are eager to hear them, unlike most moralizing we do. 

 "He alone is worthy of the appellation who does great things, or teaches how they may be done, or describes them with a suitable majesty when they have been done; but those only are great things which tend to render life more happy, which increase the innocent enjoyments and comforts of existence, or which pave the way to a state of future bliss more permanent and more pure." 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

  "It was a fine saying of the good priest George Herbert, when reproached with doing an act of kindness to a poor man considered beneath the dignity of his office --- that the thought of such actions “would prove music to him at midnight.”

Dr. Arnold.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

  The following piece by James Martineau, speaks to us who have not attained the high and mystical experience with God: we have not taken heaven in a single bound, but neither are we content with a secular life separated from the divine. We pursue God but fumble and stumble along the way looking for helps. In this piece he suggests an intermediate path where we draw on the Christian history to help us kindle our weak faith and gain hope by the successes of others.

  "There is an intermediate realm, or rather an intervening path that spreads from the one extreme to the other, and it has with it stages of sweet rest for weary souls, and many loving helps on the way from earth to heaven. For the Christian with weak faith or just beginning the journey and cannot take the whole distance at a bound, God has prepared, between the natural and the spiritual, the heroisms, the martyrdoms, the sanctities of History. If we cannot live in the high realms of spirituality at first and being alone with God is difficult, we may at least live with those, through books etc., who have lived with Him; and find in our admiring love for their purity, their truth, their goodness, an intercession with his pity on our behalf. To study the lives, to meditate on the sorrows, to commune with the thoughts of the great holy men and women of this rich world, is a sacred discipline, which helps us as we begin our walk of faith and deserves at least to rank, so to speak, as the forecourt of the temple of true worship, and may train the spiritual tastes, before we pass the very gate of heaven. It strengthens what is weak in our souls by the sympathy of the ages: it relieves the sense of our life's littleness by showing us the possibilities of greatness. Above all, it corrects and inverts our delusive estimates of what is solid and powerful in this world.
In our individual experience we are ever tempted to think nothing real, nothing positive and practical, except our material business, the visible produce of our pains, the outward administrations of our life; while the inner and ideal life is deemed so unsubstantial a dream that those who speak of it are supposed to be beating the air or speaking of the unattainable. But the experience of the nations and history of the ages reverses and contradicts this. The glories of the past are not in huge businesses and trades, or fine properties, nor the laws and rites and institutions which in their day kindled the passions of the public: these, chafed into dust by the moldering hand of time, successively fall away with the earthly conditions from which they come; while the mere impulses of expression, through which affection and admiration pour themselves forth and heart appeals to heart, mold themselves into imperishable Arts, taking form and tones in color and language; and precisely the most ethereal and interior of thoughts, which visit us only in evanescent gleams, or of something terrible in sin, of something infinite in duty, of a possible union with God through love and a mastery of life through entire surrender to Him, these prove the most permanent realities of history; constructing themselves into faiths which have been the cradle of nations and the divine nurse of the most vivifying individual minds."
Photo by Sara Treanor.