If there is anything we resent God for more, it is being outside of our understanding. We want God to be a like an omnipotent train conductor; completely in control but completely predictable. This is why one of the most glaringly obvious aspects of God’s relationship to us goes unnoticed, untaught, and often contradicted. We want to think God is completely consistent, and that everyone is treated the same way. However, the truth is that God actually changes how he interacts with us based on *gasp* our own behavior.
Archives For Other Quotes
From my Facebook Link….
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Unemployment insurance is a pre-paid vacation for freeloaders. – Ronald Reagan April 28, 1966
If ever there was one quote that distinguishes the present difference between the two political parties in Washington this is probably it.
Nothing else needs to be said….