Notes from the Other Side – Jane Kenyon

I divested myself of despair and fear when I came here.

Now there is no more catching one’s own eye in the mirror,

there are no bad books, no plastic, no insurance premiums, and of course

no illness. Contrition does not exist, nor gnashing

of teeth. No one howls as the first clod of earth […]

Love is the Hardest Lesson in Christianity

Love is the hardest lesson in Christianity; but, for that reason, it should be most our care to learn it.

—William Penn

Growth and Asking Questions

I heard Jeffrey Greenman, President of Regent College say, in a talk on ethics:

You grow in the direction of what you ask questions about.

My corollary: It’s when I think I’ve got it figured out that I stop asking questions. Life is a good corrective to such an attitude. God isn’t complacent about our […]

Trustworthiness

Quoting Miroslav Volf:

We are in a major crisis of legitimacy and trust. No better time to renew commitment to trustworthiness, as individuals and communities.

Well said.

Staying at the Bottom and the Edges

[Jesus] demands of his first followers a living witness to a simple life on the edge, because once you are at the visible center, once you are on the top, you have too much to prove and too much to protect… The only free positions in this world are at the bottom and at the […]

Un-Common Words from A Commonplace Book

Alan Jacobs, in his review of The Complete Words of W. H. Auden in the September/October 2016 issue of Books & Culture quotes an entry from a book written late in Auden’s life entitled A Certain World: A Commonplace Book:

Let me close with one more reflection by Auden, one of the longest in […]

“We are all thieves”

In his Journal, George Fox quotes Margaret Fell:

And so he went on, and said, “That Christ was the Light of the world, and lighteth every man that cometh into the world; and that by this light they might be gathered to God.” I stood up in my pew, and wondered at his doctrine, […]

On doing wrong to gain an advantage…

What is morally wrong can never be advantageous, even when it enables you to make some gain that you believe to be to your advantage. The mere act of believing that some wrongful course of action constitutes an advantage is pernicious.

-Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BCE)

Winston Churchill on writing a book, Dan Carlin on podcasting.

Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to […]

1887 Quakers on War (and Peace)

from Declaration of Faith issued by the Richmond Conference of Friends in 1887:

We feel bound explicitly to avow our unshaken persuasion that all war is utterly incompatible with the plain precepts of our divine Lord and Law-giver, and the whole spirit of His Gospel, and that no plea of necessity or policy, however urgent […]