I never behold the heavens filled with stars that I do not feel I am looking in the face of God. I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist. but I cannot conceive how he could lie looking up into the heavens and say there is no God.
When any church will inscribe over its altar, as its sole qualification for membership, the Saviour’s condensed statement of the substance of both law and Gospel. “‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul and thy neighbor as thyself.” that church will I join with all my heart and all my soul.
I have scores of books of quotations from many different people but one of them that I enjoy the most, besides Will Rogers of course , is Abraham Lincoln. He had a way of being able to find just the right words to say something simply but in the most meaningful way. The above quotes are a glowing example.
I was a moody kid growing up. I was much too serious for my young age. In that regard I used to spend hours looking up at the sky at night. It was a wondrous sight to behold. It seems I remember that there were many more stars visible in my early years than now. Could that be because of childhood perceptions or maybe increased air pollution? That is beyond the topic of this post so I will leave it unanswered.
In my studies of Jesus and religion I have come to very much agree with Lincoln’s second quote here. The very core of the message of Jesus is to love God with all your heart and to love each other. Unfortunately it seems to be lost, or at least vastly shrunken in importance, in many of today’s churches. It is nice to know that Abe believed this long before I did.
By the way, I am still looking for that church at puts others ahead of their membership…..
Fear less, hope more; eat less, chew more; whine less, breathe more; talk less, say more; hate less, love more; and all good things are yours. -Swedish proverb
I don’t know many Swedes I guess so I don’t know if any of them actually live by this proverb. I briefly had a Norwegian roommate in college and he definitely liked to party with his friends. I can’t imagine another proverb that has so many lessons of life in it. I wonder where it came from.
Of course all of us Christians know about the Book of Proverbs in the Bible. There is a lot of wisdom in those words, or at least in some of them. But some are downright scary. What is a proverb? Here is what Wikipedia says about that:
A proverb (from Latin: proverbium) is a simple and concrete saying popularly known and repeated, which expresses a truth, based on common sense or the practical experience of humanity. They are often metaphorical. A proverb that describes a basic rule of conduct may also be known as a maxim. Proverbs are often borrowed from similar languages and cultures, and sometimes come down to the present through more than one language.
I guess I will have to do some studying on American proverbs. About the only one that comes to mind right now is “A bird in had is worth two in the bush”. But as far as proverbs go I think I like the Swedish one better. Fear, gluttony, whining, complaining, hating seem so endemic in our society today that maybe we should hijack the proverb above and try to put it in action.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones. -Albert Einstein
When I came across this Einstein quote it almost made me shudder. Even though I have heard it before it struck me this time. We are advancing technologically at an astounding pace in recent years. Integrated circuits are in just about every device we now buy. Artificial intelligence is being used for so many things today. Unfortunately because the Pentagon budgets take the biggest bite out of our discretionary spend technology is at the forefront in our ability to kill those we currently don’t like for one reason or another.
Our killing machines are becoming so advanced that we can now kill thousands of times more of the “enemy” than we could even fifty years ago. With all this in mind I know that Albert was saying that our next world war would likely destroy worldwide civilizations such that the one after that would be amongst the few survivors that are left.
We seem to alway have an enemy that we want to destroy. In the past it has been the dreaded communists. In the present it is those who have a radicalized view of their religion. For one reason or another we have been at war with each other throughout our history. Do we stand a chance of not having a World War III? I just don’t know but I selfishly don’t want to be around when or if it happens as it will likely truly be the “was to end all wars”.
Thanks Albert for bringing this to our attention. I only pray that I am not the only one to shudder at the possibility of your words…
I wish I knew who originally penned these words. They are inspiring indeed.
You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand. — Woodrow Wilson
I am falling back on to one of my primary heroes in life and that is President Woodrow Wilson. He like some other that followed was totally immersed in altruism. That is he was more concerned about his fellow man than he really was about himself or his own greatness. Many seem to go through their lives as if they were the only thing that mattered in this world. They live their lives in such a self-centered mode as to degrade their very existence.
We Christians must always remember the Great Commandments to love God and to love each other. Jesus told us this is the very meaning of life. I’m sure my friends of other faith beliefs can cite similar commands in their respective religions. We are not merely to go through life just making a living. We are here to enable the world , the whole world, to live more peaceably and with a spirit of hope. We all need to remember that we, if only in small ways, can help achieve this task.
Don’t impoverish yourself by forgetting that errand……
Its time to lighten up a little and what better way than to make fun of old people. Being a collector of quotes I have an arsenal of them. So, here goes:
You are over the hill when you back goes out more than you do. – R.J. Walters (I think?)
Old age is always 15 years older than you are — Oliver Wendell Holmes
You know you are getting old when all the names in your black book have M.D. after them – Arnold Palmer
Just remember that once you are over the hill you begin to pick up speed – Charles Schultz
No man is ever old enough to know better — Holbrook Jackson
None are so old as those who outlive enthusiasm — Henry David Thoreau
True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country – Kurt Vonnegut
We are not limited by old age; we are liberated by it. — Stu Mittleman
I kind of like the last one. At least I personally feel liberated right now. I hope at least a few of these made you smile.
Happy old age
I am a collector of quotes. That is just who I am at this point in my life. I look for quotes that are short and to the point. So I thought for this “inspiration” Sunday I would compile a list of quotes that are central to my life.
- I apologize for the long letter but I didn’t have the time to write a short one. ~ Thomas Jefferson
- Essays should be like miniskirts. Short enough to be attractive, yet long enough to cover the main parts. ~ Unknown
None of us have time to listen to one-hundred words where twenty will relay the same message. Well, actually we all have the same amount of time but don’t care to use them up when we don’t have to. At first thought Jefferson’s quote here seems strange but I have come to realize that it is actually harder to say things in fewer words than to just ramble on and on. That is why I am almost fixated on my blogs not exceeding approximately five-hundred words. When I initially set down my thoughts on about any topic it is almost always longer than my limit and as Jefferson implies it takes time to parse out all the unneeded ones so that only the most necessary ones shine through. The second quote is very much like the first, keep it short and to the point but make sure you cover what you intended. Ok, here is another one:
- An education is like a crumbling building that needs constant upkeep with repairs and additions. ~ Edith Wharton
When I was young I dreamed of going to college one day. Even though no one in my family had accomplished it I was determined to do it. At that young age I thought that when I finished college I would be ready to tackle the world and all the problems associated with it. What I eventually came to learn was that college is actually a starting point. Learning goes on as long as we live. When I stop learning I stop living as far as I am concerned. One last round here and then I am finished:
- Ask a question and you’re a fool for three minutes; do not ask a question and you’re a fool for the rest of your life. ~ Chinese Proverb
- There are no foolish questions, and no man becomes a fool until he has stopped asking questions. ~ Charles Proteus Steinmetz
Questions are who I am and have been throughout my life. My constant questions seem to frequently get into trouble, or maybe I just annoy people too much when I ask them. But that has not stopped me from questioning anything even in my old age. As far as I am concerned when you stop questioning things you stop making a difference and don’t we all want to make a difference with our lives.
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe. ~ Albert Einstein
Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. ~ Albert Einstein
If a cluttered desk is that of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk? ~ Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was one of my first heroes in life. His biography was one of the first “really long” books I read in my early life. I always felt an almost kindred relationship with him. I think maybe I am an “ignorant” version of him. From his early life he, like me, was always asking “why?”. If he were a kid today I’m sure he would be diagnosed as ADD; I’m sure I would have too. So, with this post I want to bring up a few of his quotes that inspire me. More…
Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment. ~ Ben Franklin
I have read several books about Ben Franklin. He is certainly a fascinating character but he is generally not one of my favorite founding fathers. He led a pretty pretentious life and was probably one of the original “dirty old men” But his words above do inspire me. More importantly they help me keep my mouth shut on occasion. On this blog, and in life in general, I seek just the right words to say something, especially something I am passionate about. I often look to say the right thing in the right place.
But in the spur of the moment I often say things that are maybe best left unsaid. Given what I have read about Franklin, he also didn’t do a very good job of taking his own advice. I admit that one of my worst traits is to speak before I think. Maybe that is why I love blogging so much. It allows me to temper my words before they become public and believe it or not most of my posts are tempered.
It seems that many in public life also need to learn this lesson of leaving some things unsaid. I just watched a little of the grilling of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before a Senate committee about the embassy attack of last September that resulted in four deaths. I was amazed how well she kept her cool during the vitriol words from Senators McCain and Paul. Criticism is one thing that has its place but when it is done for primarily political or self-seeking purposes it degrades the speaker.
And then of course there are the marital spats that all of us have from time to time. (I’m not the only one who has them am I?). In the heat of the moment we often say some pretty cruel things to our spouses that should never have left our lips. We all need to learn to let somethings remain unsaid especially with those we love.
Thanks Ben for these inspiring words…..
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
It is obvious to most of you that I think Gandhi was a very inspirational person. The above quote is certainly an example of that. Of course the bible has many quotes with the same message. The ultimate example of this is when in Matthew 20 Jesus himself said he came to serve, not to be served. I looked up the phrase “to serve” in my bible app and it returned 150 occurrences. That tells me that to be a Christian means is to be in service to others.
Regrettably there are so many today that are almost totally self-focused. It is becoming a “What’s in it for me” world. The thought is if I get no gain then what is the point? Gandhi lived his live with very few material comforts but he probably lived one of the most rewarding lives of anyone in the twentieth century.
Almost all young people, certainly me included, spent quite a bit of time trying to find themselves. We seemingly looked on every mountain top for the answer to that question. It consumed much of our early existence. Many times the answer was facing us head on but they just didn’t see it. When we finally get around to focusing outside of ourselves we find the answers we seek about our purpose in life….
At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. — Albert Schweitzer
I must admit that in some ways I am not a very creative person. I have often times in my life needed a spark from another person to get me headed down a path. So, I certainly appreciated the quote above from Albert Schweitzer. I have deep gratitude for those who have lighted the flame within me.
I am a passionate person who often wears his emotions on his sleeve. I have causes that I now firmly believe in. Most of those causes were not originally part of my being but instead were planted there by words from someone wiser than myself. In that light I thank the Lord for exposing me to all the virtual mentors I have had in my life.
Since this is a first day of the year post it has to be about the resolutions I have made for 2013. Being a list maker you might think that my list is quite long but you would be mistaken. We are all the slaves to the calendar so when we turn from one year to the next it seems a nature time for changes. I am no stranger to changes; in fact I most often embrace them! This year my list of changes is quite short. I don’t know if that is because I am starting to see the end of the tunnel now or for some other reason.
It used to be that my list of changes was quite long but since I have now managed to give up most of my vices either willingly or because of doctor’s orders I really don’t have but a couple of things on the list for this year.
I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow. — Woodrow Wilson
I know Ben Franklin said to be neither a lender or a borrower but simply speaking he was just plain wrong about that when you put it in context to the Woodrow Wilson quote above. When you borrow wisdom from others it is definitely not a bad thing. That’s called pragmatism and in my mind that is definitely a good thing. But this is an area that we Americans have a LOT to learn. We just can’t seem to learn from other’s wisdom or experiences. Particularly those beyond our shores.
The rest of the world has pretty much figured out how to contain their healthcare costs but we in the United States stubbornly refuse to learn from them. Instead we blame our bloated healthcare costs on Medicare and those seniors who are gobbling up our health dollars.
To be like Christ is to be a Christian - 1718 William Penn’s last words
Although I have never attended a meeting I feel quite close to the Society of Friends known as Quakers. They are so throughly grounded in “being” a Christian instead of just proclaiming a set of beliefs. To see William Penn’s last words here it is obvious that he was a faithful Quaker.
I am going to do a couple of posts here on a pretty controversial topic and that is church and State. I just finished three months worth of political posts so I thought I might as well tackle another difficult issue before my blood pressure finally goes down to normal.
Being a U.S. history buff I have read quite a bit on Jefferson and his views of the separation of church and State. The primary information about this topic comes from his writing called “An Act For Establishing Religious Freedom” written in 1786. Another writing prominently mentioned in this area is his response to Danbury Baptist Association letter written in 1801 when he was president. More…
Thomas Jefferson said, “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.”
Thomas Jefferson, March 11, 1790: “The republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind.”
Alexander Hamilton, in debate, said: “Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate government.”
Alexander Hamilton, in Senate: “It has been observed that a pure democracy, if it were practicable, would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position is more false than this. The ancient democracies, in which the people themselves deliberated, never possessed one feature of good government. Their very character was tyranny: their figure deformity.”
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
I haven’t put up a Lincoln quote in quite a while so here is one that interlaces with what Will Rogers also said. And it seems very appropriate to the current crop of presidential wanna-bes out there. The one who keeps his/her mouth shut long enough will become the nominee