Sunday, March 27, 2005

Giving advice

Advice and reprehension (blame and reproof) require the utmost delicacy; painful truths should be delivered in the softest terms, and expressed no farther than is necessary to produce their due effect.
A courteous man will mix what is conciliating with what is offensive; praise with censure; deference and respect with the authority of admonition, so far as can be done in consistence with probity (sincerity, integrity) and honor.
The mind revolts against all censorian power which displays pride or pleasure in finding fault; but advice, divested of the harshness and yet retaining the honest warmth of truth, is like honey put round the brim of a vessel full of wormwood.—
Even this, however, is sometimes insufficient to conceal the bitterness of the draught. -- Percival

I had opportunity to use this outline for advice just recently, and I am so glad I did.
So practicle. Would that I had followed this outline many times in the past.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Measuring Stick

“Deceive not yourselves, there is no other measure but this; so much good as a man does, or so much as he would do, if he could, -- so much of religion, and so much of repentance he hath, and no more….”
Jeremy Taylor

When I first read this, I questioned that religion could be reduced to such a short definition.
I look forward to comments. Certainly the statement embodies much of Christ's teaching.
It stings all earnest Christians I'm sure. I found some comfort in it as well; "or so much as he would do, if he could.." I have read before that a true Christian always feels that he should do more, where a professor only, feels too much is demanded. I think it is an indication that God lives and moves in us, as we wish we could do more in those areas that practically, prayer is our only option.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Polywog Christians

“It so happens in the mud and slime of the river Borborus, when the eye of the sun hath long dwelt upon it, and produces frogs which begin to move a little under a thin cover of its own parental matter, and if they can get loose to live half a life, that is all; but the hinder parts, which are not formed before the setting of the sun, stick fast in their beds of mud, and the little moiety of a creature dies before it could be well said to live; so it is with those Christians, who will do all that they think lawful, and will do no more than what they suppose necessary; they do but peep into the light of the Sun of righteousness; they have the beginnings of life; but their hinder parts, their passions and affections, and the desires of the lower man, are still unformed; and he that dwells in this state, is just so much of a Christian, as a sponge is of a plant, and a mushroom of a shrub; they may be as sensible as an oyster, and discourse at the rate of a child, but are generally short of the righteousness evangelical.” -- Jeremy Taylor

I love a barbed arrow tipped with wit. But now I must see myself as a mushroom.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Many persons might have attained to wisdom had they not assumed that they already possessed it. ----Seneca
What do we live for if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?

The Cabin on the homestead

There's a cabin on the homestead
In a valley far away;
Where the pines are always sighing,
and the lazy breezes play.

There's a creek that's ever winding,
ever winding to the sea;
Just a silver ribbon gleaming
In a land that's far and free.

There's a mother ever waiting,
and a light that ever shines
In the cabin on the homestead;
and the tie that ever binds.

But they've roped me in the city
and I guess I'm doomed to stay,
While ever my mind's a wand'ring
and ever my mem'ries stray.

Dreaming, dreaming, ever dreaming
While my eyes grow dim with age;
Drifting, drifting, ever drifting,
life is passing page by page.

E'er I long for the solitudes
stretched beneath the Milky Way;
To dream alone, the world my own
In the evening's dusky gray.

To sit at night, in dreamy light
Of my campfire's flapping flare;
To rest in peace, where worries cease,
Forgotten, the world of care.

Oh, I'd love to ditch my collars
and my jewel-studded shirt;
Leave behind the smoke-screened cities
and their sorrow, noise and dirt.

Just to sit again and ponder
on the banks of that old stream;
Not a care, a task, a sorrow,
Just to sit and dream and dream.

But life drives us ever onward,
One step backward and we fall;
And grim duties ever lead us
O'er a rough and winding trail.

So I must forget my dreaming
of the days that used to be,
And the cabin on the homestead;
For no more will I be free.
-- Roy Thomas Greenup