Sunday, March 26, 2017

Mentors and Critics

  " The only critic who helps me is the critic whose humility keeps pace with his acuteness, who leads me gently where he has himself trodden patiently and observantly, and does not attempt to disfigure and ravage the regions which he has not been able to desire to explore.
The man who will show me unsuspected connections, secret paths of thought, who will teach me how to extend my view, how I may pass quietly from the known to the unknown; who will show me that stars and flowers have voices, and that running water has a quiet spirit of its own; this is the interpreter and guide whom I would welcome, even if he know but a little more than myself; but if my guide is infallible and disdainful, if he denies what I cannot see and derides what he has never felt, then I feel that I have but one enemy the more, in a place where I am beset with foes." Arthur Benson.

Friday, March 24, 2017

This link takes you to a great video for fathers and their daughters.


  I love this description of feelings after conversion to Christ......
  "Thereafter one goes about like one who was lonely and has found a lover, like one who was perplexed and has found a solution. 
One is assured that there is a Power that fights with us against the confusion and evil of the world.   H.G. Wells.

  "Granted that life is tragic to the marrow, it seems that proper function of religion to make us accept and serve in that tragedy." 
Robert Lois Stevenson. 

   "The presence of a wise population implies the search for happiness as well as for food.
  The desire of he heart is also the light of the eyes.
  No scene is continually and untiringly loved, but one rich by joyful human labor---
  Smooth field; fair in garden; full in orchard; trim, sweet and fragrant in homestead.
  No air is sweet that is silent; it is only sweet when full of low currents of under-sound.
  Murmur and chirp of insects, deep-toned words of men, wayward trebles of childhood.
  As the art of life is learned, it will be found at last that all lovely things are also necessary -----
  The wild-flower by the wayside, as well as the tended corn, the wild-creatures of the forest, as well as the tended cattle.
  Man does not live by bread alone, but by every wondrous word and
unknowable work of God." Ruskin.

Friday, March 17, 2017

  You may become weary of earthly gifts, an estate may be a snare, life itself a burden, but you never knew any weary of spiritual blessings to whom grace or the love of God was a burden. Thomas Manton. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

  "I am suspicious of that church whose members are one in their beliefs and opinions. When a tree is dead, it will lie any way; but when alive, it will have its own growth. When men’s deadness is in the church, and their life elsewhere, all will be alike.
They can be cut and polished any way. But when they are alive, they are like a tropical forest – some shooting up, like the mahogany tree; some spreading, like the vine; some darkling, like the shrub; some lying, herb-like, on the ground; but all obeying their own laws of growth, -- a common law of growth variously expressed in each, -- and so contributing to the richness and beauty of the woods.”
H. W. Beecher.

I can't remember when I've read a more moving piece on Christian compassion.

 "Here is a little penurious, destitute, whipster of a man, --- as it were, made up of that which was left, a mere biscuit after the loaf. You hear the neighbors say he is "the smallest specimen of a man in this neighborhood. But if you, a minister of Christ's gospel, look upon him, there is that in him which ought to make our heart yearn and swell towards him. Christ died for him, and eternity has registered his name. Simple as he is, poor as he is, thin as he is, unsatisfactory as he is, though he were but a sand-bank among rich soils, it is for you to find a way of culture that shall bring forth some beauty out of the very barrenness of his nature. Your heart should sympathize with him in such a way that you can say, "I will add to him what he lacks; I will shine into him and warm him, I will brood over him and will help him. I will do it myself!"
Lay down your life for him. Give him something of your life.

This is what you ought to live for, and this is what is meant by living a godly life, producing not ideas alone, not arguments only, but living, loving manhood, --- doctrine in living forms. It is what men ought to seek for in their closet and in their daily conversation. Henry Ward Beecher.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

  "Those of us who endeavor to rule our lives to be as tranquil, as perceptive, as joyful as possible, are apt to be too impatient of the petty, mean, and sordid things with which the fabric of life is so much interwoven --- the ugly works of spiteful people, little fretting ailments, unsympathetic criticisms, coldness and indifference, tiresome business, wearisome persons. It is a deep-seated mistake. We cannot cast these things away as mere debris. They must be used, applied, accommodated. These are our materials, which we must strive to combine and adapt. To be disgusted with them, to allow them to disturb our serenity, is as though a painter should sicken at the odor of his pigments and the off-scouring’s of his pallet.  The truer economy is to exclude all such elements as we can, consistently with honor, tenderness and courage. Then we must not be dismayed with what remains; we must suffer it quietly and hopefully, letting patience have her perfect work. After all, it is from the soul that our work arises; and it is through these goads and stings, through pain and weariness joyfully embraced, that the soul wins strength and subtlety. They are as implements which cleave and break up the idle fallow, and without their work there can be no prodigal or generous sowing."

Arthur Benson.