Time and again, those who opposed Jesus would quote Scripture. They would remind him of the Sabbath law, the requirement to fast, the provision for divorce, and the penalty for adultery. Jesus seemed unimpressed with a person’s ability to quote Scripture. His interest was in a person’s ability to hear God’s voice. He said, “He who belongs to God hears what God says” (John 8:47). To limit the word of God to the written word is to muzzle God.
Gulley, Philip; Mulholland, James (2009-03-17). If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person
Archives For Quotes
Learning from the wisdom of Will Rogers and Others
No slick lawyers, or income tax experts can get you out of a national sales tax. It’s so much on the dollar on every luxury you buy. Then, if you live in luxury, the poor fellow knows you are paying for it and he will even encourage you to buy more so it will help out the government. — Will Rogers November 2, 1924
Do the best you can, and don’t take life too serious.
This is one of my favorite quotes from my hero Will Rogers. He just had a way of finding humor at almost all situations. I try to emulate him in that regard. I often mention that much of what I say has a certain level of jest in it. I just love pulling people’s chains because some just take life too serious.
Some of my readers and especially one who was once a frequent commentor seemed to often forget that. She took almost everything I post here with the utmost seriousness and her comments reflected that mood. It seemed when I was trying to smile she put a frown on my face. I guess I hurt her feelings with a recent reply and she has vowed to never come back. I don’t like to offend people in any serious manner, after all I like my hero have never met a person I really dislike. But if everything to you is serious then maybe this is not the blog for you. I kind of like to poke fun at almost everything! Some call that disrespectful; I call it not taking life too serious…
Maybe I should end every post with the quote above? Will Rogers lived in some of the most serious times for our country. He made jokes about living during the Great Depression. Since he was one of the most famous during his time I think he got it right for most people. I hope I am taken the same way. Yeah, some of my comments might seem disrespectful to some but just don’t take life too serious and you can see my underlying message.
Do the best you can, and don’t take life to serious.
“The time to worry about debt is before you get it, not after you got four-fifths of it.” – Will Rogers, 21 December 1932
These words of wisdom were just as ignored in Will’s day as they are today by almost all of us and especially by our government.
It would be so much easier if God spoke to us through burning bushes or from boiling clouds, or even just sent a text message. But unfortunately, we’re expected to discern what God’s call is on our life, without specific, written-down instructions, custom made for each of us on what to do.
We live in an age disturbed, confused, bewildered, afraid of its own forces, in search not merely of its road but even of its direction. There are many voices of counsel, but few voices of vision; there is much excitement and feverish activity, but little concert of thoughtful purpose. We are distressed by our own ungoverned, undirected energies and do many things, but nothing long. It is our duty to find ourselves.
Woodrow Wilson, Baccalaureate address, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, June 9, 1907
It is funny how somethings are very different than they were one hundred years ago and how some are very much the same.
“I don’t suppose there ever was a time when everybody knew as little about what they were talking about as they do today.” – Will Rogers, 19 September 1933
I often wonder what Will would say about the current crop of politicians that we now have in DC?
He went on: “The answer is to promote views that are open-minded and tolerant towards those who are different, and to fight the formal, informal and internet propagation of closed-minded intolerance.
“In the 21st century, education is a security issue.”
Even though I did not usually agree with Tony Blair’s stand with Mr. Bush on the invasion of Iraq, I always respected his intellect on other issues. Much more so than Mr. Bush. The more I study the history of the U.S. the more I am convinced that our acceptance of our diversity is what keeps us away from all the sectarian violence that seems to dominate much of the rest of the world.
Part of the accepting, maybe even celebrating, our diversity is recognizing that we all have a right to our own opinions and our own versions of spirituality as long as they don’t impact others rights to do the same thing. We, thankfully, seem to be almost unique in that regard. But regrettably that tolerance seems to be frayed in recent years. Let us pray that intolerance is not getting its grip on us as it has so many other countries in the world.
A new study shows that the jet stream over Northern Europe and North America may be taking a longer, more meandering path as a result of a rapidly warming Arctic narrowing the differential between upper and middle latitudes, reports the BBC.
Temperatures in the Arctic have been rising two to three times as rapidly as the rest of the globe, and as the difference in temperature between the Arctic and middle latitudes diminishes, the jet stream that separates them slows. That means that cold weather over North America tends to linger longer, according to the study presented at American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Chicago.
I’ve been using the word ‘empower’ for years. It’s a great word – one that implies giving dignity to others; the whole ‘give a man a fish and he eats for a day, but teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime’ type story comes up when I hear the word empower….
It had never crossed my mind before that what this word implies is that I have the power and you do not. Therefore, let me give you the power. This also goes against my theology of humanity: that no matter our circumstances we are all uniquely created in the image of God, with our own thoughts, our own beliefs, our own strengths and weaknesses. A beautiful messy collection of broken and poor people, this word ‘empower’ implies a giving of my strength to your weakness, rather than a mutual exchange of dignity. Thereby degrading you and elevating me.
I believe that we need to stop empowering and start inspiring. The word inspire is to fill someone with the urge or ability to do or feel something (especially something creative). We inspire by living an inspired life ourselves. It is natural to be attracted to and want to spend time around inspired people. People passionate about life, creative, honest and fully present. I am inspired when I am with these people to be a better me. So what if, instead of seeking to empower, we began to seek to inspire? To focus inward in an effort to live our own lives fully, to love deeply, to be conscious in our mistakes and present to our pain.
Like the author of the above quote, these words got me to thinking about just was the word “empower” means. I also admit that I have used it frequently without really considering the meaning presented here. One of the primary tenets of Quakerism is the equality of man. We are all considered equal in God’s eyes. He doesn’t love the millionaire, the American, or those who have power any more than the poor and the downcast. As the thought above so adequately convey the word empower implies that I am giving you the power to do something.
Yes, I thoroughly realize that in an economic sphere all men are not equal. Some have managed to accumulate vast wealth while other, for whatever reasons, struggle to just maintain a daily existence. All people might be created equal but all are not equal when it comes to money or power.
We all need people to inspire us to do things we might not tackle on our own. I have many heroes in life who inspire me in that regard. But we have to get over the idea of giving people the power to do something. They don’t need any power that we could give them, they need the inspiration of seeing that something can be accomplished if they put their minds to it.
It really is as simple as that…..
Communities like RLC (Red Letter Christians) are so important because the Church, those of us who claim to follow Jesus Christ have more responsibility to be constantly examining our actions and behavior than anyone. This isn’t about being “self-hating Christians” or “criticizing the Church” it is about growing up. In the end, the wisdom and understanding needed to change the world and do real good will not come from the past, but from working together in the present
“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” ― John Steinbeck
Make no mistake, there are some horrible people in prison, people who delight in the power of causing others suffering. Some are mentally ill. Others have been wounded first and learned that way of life. There is no excuse for violent crimes.
I just want you to see their eyes for a moment. I want you to see the pain and the fear. Their eyes don’t change the past for anyone, but they tell us a deeper, more complicated story. They show us that there are some trapped people who can’t find an escape hatch. If they could, they’d use it in a heartbeat.
I like prison ministry because it cuts through all of the grandstanding Christians are tempted to do. A guy in blue prison scrubs can comb his hair nice and wear a cool pair of sneakers or sport an impressive tattoo, but even a prisoner on top of the inmate pecking order is still in prison. You can’t act like you’ve got your act together for long—especially if you’re going to open yourself to the Holy Spirit.
While volunteering in that prison I never felt like I could write about it. I didn’t want these men to become a writing project. As I look back on them, I think of their struggles and uncertainty. I pray for them. The reality is that many of them will end up back in prison. Change can take time.
Be it therefore enacted by the General Assembly, That no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship,place of ministry whatsoever….
Thomas Jefferson — An Act For Establishing Religious Freedom — 1786
From my study of Jefferson I think his separation of Church and State was more to keep the Church out of the State’s business than the other way around….
We are so used to the things that the Red Cross does, that we sometimes just forget to praise them. But this time, in this flood, they outdid themselves feeding and housing and caring for as many as six hundred thousand.
Lord, what a blessing an organization like that is. I would rather have originated the Red Cross than have written the Constitution of the United States.
Will Rogers June 19,1927
Sometimes it is hard to remember that the Red Cross has been around since before Will’s day. If this quote moves you a little bit please consider giving a little something to your local chapter.
“We’ll show the world we are prosperous if we have to go broke to do it.” – Will Rogers, 18 November 1927
This phenomenon seems to be so prevalent in our world today. Everyone wants to live a higher lifestyle even if they can’t really afford it.
“A fool that knows he is a fool is one that knows he don’t know all about anything, but the fool that don’t know he is a fool is the one that thinks he knows all about anything. Then he is a dam fool.” – Will Rogers, 7 August 1927
This is one of Will’s more philosophical quotes. Those who think they know everything are just damn fools. I have certainly run across my share of these folks. Many have even passed through this blog on occasion but thankfully they don’t stay long.