Except a living man there is nothing more wonderful than a book! A message to us from the dead, - from human souls whom we never saw, who lived perhaps thousands of miles away; and yet these, on those little sheets of paper, speak to us, teach us, comfort us, open their hearts to us as brothers.
These two heritages are logically, thoroughly consistent. But logic is not all; one needs one's heart to follow an idea. If people are going back to religion, what are they going back to? Is the modern church a place to give comfort to a man who doubts God
When playing Russian roulette the fact that the first shot got off safely is little comfort for the next.
It is much to be desired that there were that love in all men to teach what they know, and that humility in others to be instructed in what they know not. God humbles sometimes great persons to learn of others that are meaner, and it is our duty to embrace the truth whoever brings it, and oftentimes ordinary persons are instruments of knowledge and comfort to many that are greater than themselves
The swift passing of the seasons brings all of us at time to think upon the length of life, as friends and loved ones come and leave, and as we ourselves face always such uncertainties. Not one of us knows how long he will live, how long his loved ones will live. "No one can be ignorant that he must die," said Cicero, "nor be sure that he may not this very day." But beyond all this -- beyond all fretting, worrying, and brooding about the length of life -- there is evidence everywhere to quiet our hearts, to give us peace and faith for the future, and assurances that we can count on. Spring returned again this year. We knew it would -- and it did. And just so surely as all this, life has purpose, plan, and pattern that includes eternal continuance with loved ones waiting. And with all sorrows, loss of loved ones, loneliness, there is this that we may know: That in a universe which runs so well, the Power who runs it well is that same Power who knows each human heart, and quiets and softens sorrow, and gives assurances we so much seek, as each day brings its undisclosed events. We come; we live; we leave. Our loved ones leave -- but we and they live always and forever. Don't fret. Don't doubt. Don't cling to grieving. Don't fight life, or give up, or brood, or be bitter and rebellious, or let go of faith in the future. All of us know loneliness; all of us search ourselves, and ask for answers. Trust Him, who has done so much so well, to do all things well. Trust Him to bring peace and comfort and quietness and assurance to your soul inside. "Once more the Heavenly Power makes all things new." (Alfred, Lord Tennyson, "Early Spring"). This you can count on.
I say to thee be thou satisfied. It is recorded of the hares that with a general consent they went to drown themselves out of a feeling of their misery; but when they saw a company of frogs more fearful than they were, they began to take courage and comfort again. Confer thine estate with others.
The ongoing strife in Iraq, and the billions of dollars that the President is seeking to continue that war, give me little comfort that this Administration has learned from its mistakes in Iraq.
IT'S WHAT YOU SCATTER
I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes... I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily apprising a basket of freshly picked green peas.
I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes.
Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.
'Hello Barry, how are you today?'
'H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas. They sure do look good'
'They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?'
'Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time.'
'Good. Anything I can help you with?'
'No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas.'
'Would you like to take some home?' asked Mr. Miller.
'No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with.'
'Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?'
'All I got's my prize marble here.'
'Is that right? Let me see it', said Miller.
'Here 'tis. She's a dandy.'
'I can see that. Hmm mmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?' the store owner asked.
'Not zackley but almost.'
'Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble'. Mr. Miller told the boy.
'Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.'
Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me.
With a smile she said, 'There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever.
When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store.'
I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado , but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.
Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died. They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.
Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts...all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket.
Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her and moved on to the casket. Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one; each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.
Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband's bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.
'Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about.
They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim 'traded' them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size....they came to pay their debt.'
'We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,' she confided, 'but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho ...'
With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shiny red marbles.
The Moral: We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
Today I wish you a day of ordinary miracles ~
A fresh pot of coffee you didn't make yourself...
An unexpected phone call from an old friend....
Green stoplights on your way to and from work....
The fastest line at the grocery store....
A good sing-along song on the radio..
Your keys found right where you left them.
IF THIS DIDN’T BRING A FEW TEARS, IT MEANS YOU ARE IN WAY TOO MUCH OF A HURRY TO EVEN NOTICE THE ORDINARY MIRACLES WHEN THEY OCCUR. SLOW DOWN…
IT'S NOT WHAT YOU GATHER, BUT WHAT YOU SCATTER THAT TELLS WHAT KIND OF LIFE YOU HAVE LIVED!
Open the gate, my love,
Arise and open the gate,
For my soul is dismayed
And sorely afraid
And Hagar’s brood mocks my estate.
The heart of the hand-maid’s sons
Is hateful and haughty grown,
And all because of the cry
Of Ishmael piercing the sky,
Ascending and reaching the Throne.
I stumble ’twixt beast and beast,
The wild ass swift to slay
Has followed my flight
From the courts of Night
Where crushed of the boar I lay.
Alas! for my thick-sealed fate,
Ah woe for the days to come!
It helps but to pain me
That none can explain me,
And I, myself, I am dumb.
That day I encountered the first American soldiers
in the Buchenwald concentration camp.
I remember them well.
Bewildered, disbelieving, they walked around the place,
hell on earth,
where our destiny had been played out.
They looked at us,
and did not know what to do or say.
Survivors snatched from the dark throes of death,
we were empty of all hope—
too weak, too emaciated to hug them or even speak to them.
Like lost children, the American soldiers wept and wept with rage and sadness.
And we received their tears as if they were heartrending offerings
from a wounded and generous humanity.
They love the Good they worship Truth They laugh uproariously in youth (And when they get to feeling old, they up and shoot themselves, I'm told).
Throughout human history, when humans fight each other, there is a lot of posturing. Adversaries make loud noises and puff themselves up, trying to daunt the enemy. There is a lot of fleeing and submission. Ancient battles were nothing more than great shoving matches. It was not until one side turned and ran that most of the killing happened, and most of that was stabbing people in the back. All of the ancient military historians report that the vast majority of killing happened in pursuit when one side was fleeing.
I heard many discourses which were good for the soul, but I could not discover in the case of any one of the teachers that his life was worthy of his words.
What is there astonishing in the death of a mortal? But we are grieved at his dying before his time. Are we sure that this was not his time? We do not know how to pick and choose what is good for our souls, or how to fix the limits of the life of man.
A man cannot receive spiritual knowledge unless he is converted and becomes like a little child. Only then does he experience that delight which belongs to the Kingdom of the Heavens. By 'Kingdom of the Heavens' the Scriptures mean spiritual divine vision.
Men have the power of thinking that they may avoid sin
God aids the valiant...both to you and to me He will give the help needed.
I do not fear Satan half so much as I fear those who fear him.
O my God, what must a soul be like when it is in this state! It longs to be all one tongue with which to praise the Lord. It utters a thousand pious follies, in a continuous endeavor to please Him who thus possesses it.
There is no book so poor that it would not be a prodigy if wholly wrought out by a single mind, without the aid of prior investigators.