Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Part of aging is seeing the world you grew up in change and migrate. Somethings good, some things not. These two photos are quite a contrast, and no doubt the McDonalds look appeals to many, but to me, it is soul-less, sterile and missing an ingredient that I will always love---- wood. 


One of the struggles I frequently see in young people, especially in the eighteen to twenty-eight year olds, is the feeling that they must "be."
The sense of urgency that they must "be" who they are to become.

 When we are in the lower grades of school, it is evident that we are learning to become who we will be; but when we're out of High School and into the College years we have this mistaken valuation that we should "be" and we will defend who we are inflexibly and vociferously, only to find the next year our opinions and values have changed.

I also see many young people discouraged and plunged into despair by who they are: completely overlooking the fact that they are still becoming.

 They compare themselves to others that have become something they admire, they recognize they have not accomplished or achieved the virtue they admire, and, again, fail to recognize they are becoming: and are not expected to "be."
The younger years of adulthood are when we establish what we want to be, what we consider noble, valuable and true, and then those young years, and beyond, are when we begin the process of gathering and shedding, bit by bit the traits we value and those that displease and detest us.
The process of "becoming" lasts our entire lifetime. The only failure is when we cease to strive towards our goals and endeavors.

  I think this is summed up by Carl Sandburg's quote,  
"I love you for what you are, but I love you yet more for what you are going to be. I love you not so much for your realities as for your ideals. I pray for your desires that they may be great, rather than for your satisfactions, which may be so hazardously little.

Not always shall you be what you are now. You are going forward toward something great. I am on the way with you and therefore I love you." 

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Footpath To Peace

To be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars.
To be satisfied with your possessions but not contented with yourself until you have made the best of them.
To despise nothing in the world except for falsehood and meanness, and to fear nothing except cowardice.
To be governed by your admiration rather than by your disgusts.
To covet nothing that is your neighbor’s except his kindness of heart and gentleness of manners.
To think seldom of your enemies, often of your friends, and every day of Christ;
And to spend as much time as you can, with body and with spirit in God’s out-of-doors.
These are the guideposts on the footpath to peace.

Henry Van Dyke.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

"Please Help Me - My weakness is lack of faith in God. I agree this is my weakness. I need help finding the love in such darkness. I feel like my mind and soul have been shrouded in a dark dense fog. I’m trying hard to find the love of God but I've experienced such darkness in my life, it has been very difficult. Why is this so hard for me? What should I do differently? Is there any hope for me? When will the darkness end?" --- 
This is a prayer request from the jail, please join me in praying for them.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The following is by Robert Louis Stevenson, and it is a random thought about the pursuits of life illustrated by an old fable. I love Stevenson's writings, they never fail to interest me.

 "There is one fable that touches very near the quick of life: the fable of the monk who passed into the woods, heard a bird break into song, hearkened for a trill or two, and found himself on his return a stranger at his convent gates; for he had been absent fifty years, and of all his comrades there survived but one to recognize him. It is not only in the woods that this enchanter carols, though perhaps he is native there. He sings in the most doleful places. The miser hears him and chuckles, and the days are moments. With no more apparatus than an ill-smelling lantern I have evoked him on the naked links. All life that is not merely mechanical is spun out of two strands: seeking for that bird and hearing him. And it is just this that makes life so hard to value, and the delight of each so incommunicable. And just a knowledge of this, and a remembrance of those fortunate hours in which the bird has sung to us, that fills us with such wonder when we turn the pages of the realist. There, to be sure, we find a picture of life in so far as it consists of mud and of old iron, cheap desires and cheap fears, that which we are ashamed to remember and that which we are careless whether we forget; but of the note of that time-devouring nightingale we hear no news."

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

In a story by Robert Louis Stevenson he relates sitting on a pile of rocks resting after a rigorous walk, when a beggar woman approached him and they began a warm conversation. Then came along a young Englishman who was an evangelist. Here he tells what happened next.

  "I had been noticing the approach of a tall man, with a high white hat and darkish clothes. He came up the hill at a rapid pace, and joined our little group with a sort of half-salutation. Turning at once to the woman, he asked her in a business-like way whether she had anything to do, whether she were a Catholic or a Protestant, whether she could read, and so forth; and then, after a few kind words and some sweeties to the child, he dispatched the mother with some tracts about Biddy and the Priest, and the Orangeman’s Bible. I was a little amused at his abrupt manner, for he was still a young man, and had somewhat the air of a navy officer; but he tackled me with great solemnity. I could make fun of what he said, for I do not think it was very wise; but the subject does not appear to me just now in a jesting light, so I shall only say that he related to me his own conversion, which had been effected (as is very often the case) through the agency of a gig accident, and that, after having examined me and diagnosed my case, he selected some suitable tracts from his repertory, gave them to me, and, bidding me God-speed, went on his way."

  This struck me as the way much evangelism is done today, with little thought for the welfare of people, but with a steadfast determination to "share the gospel."