"Has this world [of the church] really remained the church of Christ? Has it not perhaps become an obstruction blocking the path to God instead of a road sign on the path to God? … Yet no one can ever obstruct the way to God. The church still has the Bible, and as long as she has it we can still believe in the holy Christian church. God’s word will never be denied (Isa. 55:11), whether it be preached by us or by our sister church. We adhere to the same confession of faith, we pray the same Lord’s Prayer, and we share some of the same ancient rites. This binds us together … The designation of Catholic or Protestant is unimportant. The important thing is God’s word."
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer
He who knows not,
And knows not that he knows not,
Is a fool - shun him.
He who knows not,
And knows that he knows not,
Is a child - teach him.
He who knows,
And knows not that he knows,
Is asleep - wake him.
He who knows,
And knows that he knows,
Is wise - follow him.
O for a Booke and a Shadie Nooke
Eyther in-a-doore or out;
With the greene leaves whispering over-hede,
Or the Streete cries all aboute,
Where I maie reade all at my ease,
Both of the Newe and the Olde,
For a jollie goode Booke whereon to looke,
Is better to me than Golde.
- John Wilson
I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day,
I’d rather one should walk with me than merely show the way.
The eye’s a better pupil and more willing than the ear;
Fine council is confusing, but example’s always clear;
And the best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds,
For to see the good in action is what everybody needs.
I can soon learn how to do it if you’ll let me see it done.
I can watch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run.
And the lectures you deliver may be very wise and true;
But I’d rather get my lesson by observing what you do.
For I may misunderstand you and the high advice you give,
But there’s no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.
- Edgar A. Guest
Today I acquired an old book at a garage sale. When I picked it up I knew nothing about it, except that it looked old and leatherbound, and thus potentially interesting. As I’ve poured over it today, I’ve discovered it is probably one of my favorite books of all time.
Entitled Leaves of Gold, the 1938 publication
is a compilation of quotes, sayings, proverbs, poems, and other rich insightful literature material. The following block quote is the foreword of the book. I intend to frequently post content from this book for the foreseeable future.
Poor indeed is the man whose mind is not enriched by some phrase of lasting truth and beauty which serves to restore his soul in the exigencies of life. Each of us needs in his heart’s treasury the memory of a lovely line to renew fellowship with the great and noble of this earth - and, indeed, almost as great as the ability to write a line of strength is the ability to use that line to higher levels of emotion and achievement.
To discover afresh in truth expressed with elemental force our eternal kinship with God is a universal urge. “Leaves of Gold” had its origin in the recognition of this impulse. From those who spoke with authority have been chosen words in which the Word becomes flesh to dwell among us. Here are maxims, phrases, anecdotes, passages, proverbs and essays from the best minds among men; here are words of wisdom and thoughts of comfort for all mankind.
Consolation is the objective of “Leaves of Gold”; to provide a key to things of the spirit as inspiration for daily living, its design.
Dedicated to the great minds, both past and present, who have made the compilation of this volume a pleasant duty, our sincere and humble thanks. - The Editors.
"I wonder how many real world issues [the Church] could tackle if we weren’t so busy bickering about the correct way to define a doctrine or which political party is better equipped to solve the crises in our country and beyond. What if we decided that we were going to use our numbers, our expertise and our (potential) unity to solve real problems?"
- From Disunity in Christ by Christena Cleveland
I wrote this spoken word after returning from a missions trip to Turkey and Moldova, where we worked among poverty, Syrian refugees, victims of human trafficking, and other such stark realities of a depraved world. And if we’re honest with ourselves, we can observe similar horrific realities in our own backyard, even here in our picture-perfect America.
As a Christian, I think one of the hardest things is having someone ask you, “If this God of yours is real, if He even exists, then why are there all these bad things in the world?” I can think of a number of ways to answer this question, but my purpose here is not to answer it. My purpose is to sympathize with the emotional pain and anguish behind the question, and to say that in spite of all the bad, I still believe there’s hope.
It is from this perspective that I wrote The Question.
O God in Heaven above,
Hear my cry.
Although words -
Words such as these -
Make me full of unease,
I do believe
That the oldest of Beings
Of the oldest of inquiries.
Now, as I clear my mind,
This is not an accusation,
But merely the cry
Of a broken heart,
And broken Nation.
My Question is one of sorrow,
Of yesterday, today and tomorrow -
Of all time.
So please, God,
Just tell me Why?
Why are the Wicked wealthy
And the Righteous unhealthy?
Why is Evil in vogue,
But your Children are met with stones?
Why is Innocence endangered,
Replaced by sorrow and hate,
Bitterness, rage and anger?
Why do the Young know too much,
And the Old care so little?
Why have beatings and rape
Replaced Grandfather’s Fiddle?
Why do good men fall,
Replaced by hateful regimes?
Why are families destroyed
In the name
Of the American Dream?
Why does food find its Famine,
And water its Drought?
Why is Corruption so insidious?
And why is Hope assaulted by Doubt?
God, please just tell me Why?
Yet this I know to be True:
That even on the Blackest of nights,
The Darkness can never overcome the Light.
Truth - yes -
That the cry of the Saints
Is more powerful than Hate,
That Life itself has overcome the Grave,
And that with every breath,
We draw closer to a time
When there will be no more Pain,
And there will be no more Death.
Hunger, oppression, fear,
Thirst, suffering and tears
Will be gone forever,
Because you are a God
Who Loved us so much,
That when you read
The Pricetag of Humanity,
"The Death of a God,"
You said to yourself,
And this is what gives me Hope.