"When you begin to think outside the box, you often become some other "leaders" lousy follower. That usually costs something" (Andy Rayner)

"Our guardian angels are bored." (Mike Foster)

It's where I feel I'm at these days. “In the second half of life, it is good just to be a part of the general dance. We do not have to stand out, make defining moves, or be better than anyone else on the dance floor. Life is more participatory than assertive, and there is no need for strong or further self-definition” (Falling Upward. Richard Rohr.120).

Saturday, August 18, 2018

God Forgives A Thousand

"God passes by all he can. He passes by and forgets a thousand sins, yay, tens of thousands, forgiving them all....."
- George MacDonald. From Christ in Creation

But That Wasn't Real Communism, Socialism, or Marxism?????

But That Wasn't Real Communism, Socialism, or Marxism".

"..... it's all socially constructed, which is really convenient if what to be the author of an entirely social constructed Utopia that you can run. And, then, when the Marxists say, "Well, that wasn't real Marxism", what it really means, and I thought about this for a long time, it's the most arrogant possible statement anyone could ever make. It means, "If I would have been in Stalin's position, I would have ushered in the damn utopia instead of the genocidal massacres. Because, I understand the doctrine of Marxism and everything about me is good."
Well, think again sunshine! You don't understand it. You don't understand it, and you are not that good.

And, if the power was in your hands, assuming you had the competence, which you don't, you wouldn't have done any better, and even if you had, there would have been someone else waiting right behind you to shoot you the first time you actually tried to do anything good. And that is what happened to all the old guard who ran the damn Revolution. Stalin rounded them all up and shot them, along with their families and millions of other people.
So, even if you do happen to be that Avatar of moral purity that you claim implicitly, the probability that you'd act out your goodness in relationship to those possessed by your ideology is zero."

- Jordan Peterson. But That Wasn't Real Communism, Socialism, or Marxism". Lecture. Available on YouTube.

You Are Better Than Stalin As a Marxist

"..... it's all socially constructed, which is really convenient if what to be the author of an entirely social constructed Utopia that you can run. And, then, when the Marxists say, "Well, that wasn't real Marxism", what it really means, and I thought about this for a long time, it's the most arrogant possible statement anyone could ever make. It means, "If I would have been in Stalins position, I would have ushered in the damn utopia instead of the genocidal massacres. Because, I understand the doctrine of Marxism and everything about me is good."

 Well, think again sunshine! You don't undetstand it. You don't undstand it, and you are not that good. 

And, if the power was in your hands, assuming you had the competence, which you don't, you wouldn't have done any better, and even if you had, there would have been someone else waiting right behind you to shoot you the first time you actually tried to do anything good. And that is what happened to all the old guard who ran the damn Revolution.  Stalin rounded them all up and shot them, along with their families and millions of other people. 

So, even if you do happen to be that Avatar of motal purity that you claim implicitly, the probability that you'd act out your goodness in relationshio to those possessed by your ideology is zero."

- Jordan Peterson. But That Wasn't Real Communism, Socialism, or Marxism".  Lecture.  Available on YouTube. 

CAn Men Live Without God?

"The greatest question of our time is not communism versus individualism; not Europe versus America; not even the East versus the West.  It is whether men can live without God." (Will Durant quoted by Ravi Zacharias in "The Real Face of Atheism," p. 19)

Marisism At Is Core Hates Faith

".....the world had never before known a godlessness as organized, militarized, and tenaciously malevolent as that practiced by Marxism. Within the philosophical system of Marx and Lenin, and at the heart of their psychology, hatred of God is the principal driving force, more fundamental than all their political and economic pretensions. Militant atheism is not merely incidental or marginal to Communist policy; it is not a side effect, but the central pivot."
- Nietzsche

Nietzsche on Socalism

- Nietzsche 
Socialism ― or the tyranny of the meanest and the most brainless, ―that is to say, the superficial, the envious, and the mummers, brought to its zenith, ―is, as a matter of fact, the logical conclusion of “modern ideas” and their latent anarchy: but in the genial atmosphere of democratic well-being the capacity for forming resolutions or even for coming to an end at all, is paralysed. Men follow―but no longer their reason. That is why socialism is on the whole a hopelessly bitter affair: and there is nothing more amusing than to observe the discord between the poisonous and desperate faces of present-day socialists―and what wretched and nonsensical feelings does not their style reveal to us! ―and the childish lamblike happiness of their hopes and desires.

- Nietzsche

Friday, August 17, 2018

Ironing Out Your Complex Beliefs

".... it is your actions that most accurately reflect your deepest beliefs - those that are implicit, embedded in your being, underneath your conscious apprehensions and articulable attitudes and surface-level self-knowledge. You can only find out what you actually believe (rather than what you think you believe) by watching how you act. You simply don't know what you believe, before that. You are too complex to understand yourself. 
It takes careful observation, and education, and reflection, and communication with others, just to scratch the surface of your beliefs. Everything you value is a product of unimaginable lengthy developmental processes, personal, cultural and biological."
- Jordan Peterson. 12 Rules For Life

Responsability For A Better Life

"And you must be cautious, because making your life better means adopting a lot of responsibility, and that takes more effort and care than living stupidly in pain and remaining arrogant, deceitful and resentful."
- Jordan Peterson. 12 Rules For Life

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

I Control Men's Freedom

"These men control people's military or official duties, wages, reputations,  but you control people's freedom. And no one there speak about you at meetings, and no one will ever dare write about you in the newspaper - not only something bad but anything good! They don't dare."

- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The Gulag Archipelago. Vol 1, pg 148

So You Want Power Over Others?

"Power is a poison well known for thousands of years. If only no one were ever to acquire material power over others! But to the human being who has faith in some force that holds dominion over all of us, and who is therefore conscious of his own limitations, power is not necessarily fatal. For those, however, who are unaware of any higher sphere, it is a deadly poison. For them there is no antidote."

- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The Gulag Archipelago 

Make-Believe Enemies

 "Low totals led to their being kicked out, to the loss of their feedbag. For Stalin could never be convinced that in any district, or city, or military unit, he might suddenly cease to have enemies.

That was why they felt no mercy, but, instead, an explosion of resentment and rage toward those maliciously stubborn prisoners who opposed being fitted into the totals, who would not capitulate to sleeplessness or the  punishment cell or hunger. By refusing to confess they wanted to bring him down. In such circumstances all measures were justified!  If it's to be war, then war it will be! We'll ram the tube down your throat - swalow that salt water."

- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The Gulag Archipelago

Monday, August 13, 2018

You Are Welcome Here

Not being welcome is your greatest fear. It connects with your birth fear, your fear of not being welcome in this life, and your death fear, your fear of not being welcome in the life after this. It is the deep-seated fear that it would have been better if you had not lived. Here you are facing the core of the spiritual battle. Are you going to give in to the forces of darkness that say you are not welcome in this life, or can you trust the voice of the One who came not to condemn you but to set you free from fear? You have to choose life. At every moment you have to decide to trust the voice that says, “I love you. I knit you together in your mother’s womb” (Psalms 139:13). Everything Jesus is saying to you can be summarized in the words “Know that you are welcome.”
-Henri Nouwen 

Act Ahead Of Your Feelings

"Act ahead of your feelings and trust that one day your feelings will match your convictions."

- Henri Nouwen 

Friday, August 10, 2018

Listen To Our Stories.

And I’m begging every pastor to find a better way.

Be our father.
Be our mother.
Herald the Word of God.
Steward the riches of the gospel among us.
Love us. Eat with us. Listen to our stories.

- Pastoring in a post-Hybels world. by Michael Frost | Aug 10, 2018 | 


But our church isn’t immune to the pervasive nature of contemporary Christian leadership theory. Recently, it was proposed that we create a new church vision statement. I begged Christine not to give into the temptation to comply with that.

And I’m begging every pastor to find a better way.

Be our father.

Be our mother.

Herald the Word of God.

Steward the riches of the gospel among us.

Love us. Eat with us. Listen to our stories.

And print this quote by Henri Nouwen and stick it on your refrigerator or the noticeboard in your office. And do what he says:
  “More and more, the desire grows in me simply to walk around, greet people, enter their homes, sit on their doorsteps, play ball, throw water, and be known as someone who wants to live with them. It is a privilege to have the time to practice this simple ministry of presence. Still, it is not as simple as it seems. My own desire to be useful, to do something significant, or to be part of some impressive project is so strong that soon my time is taken up by meetings, conferences, study groups, and workshops that prevent me from walking the streets. It is difficult not to have plans, not to organize people around an urgent cause, and not to feel that you are working directly for social progress. But I wonder more and more if the first thing shouldn’t be to know people by name, to eat and drink with them, to listen to their stories and tell your own, and to let them know with words, handshakes, and hugs that you do not simply like them, but truly love them.”

- Pastoring in a post-Hybels world, by Michael Frost | Aug 10, 2018 | 

Ministry Is This

"Ministry means the ongoing attempt to put one's own search for God, with all the moments of pain and joy, despair and hope, at the disposal of those who want to join this search but do not know how. "

― Henri J.M. Nouwen

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Cheap Tricks

"His face had the blank corrupted look of a man who has fooled too many people with cheap tricks.

- The Saddest Pleasure: AJourney on Two Rivers.  Moritz Thomsen. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

My True Identity

"Personally, as my struggle reveals, I don’t often “feel” like a beloved child of God. But I know that that is my most primal identity and I know that I must choose it above and beyond my hesitations."
- Beloved. Henri Nouwen 

We Meet The Whole World There

"Prayer and solitude are ways to listen to the voice that speaks to our heart, in the center of our being. One of the most amazing things is that if you enter deeper and deeper into that place, you not only meet God, but you meet the whole world there."
- Beloved: Henri Nouwen

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Neithet Dance Nor Crying

We tend to stay away from mourning and dancing. Too afraid to cry, too shy to dance...we become narrow-minded complainers, avoiding pain and also true human joy...While we live in a world subject to the evil one, we belong to God. Let us mourn, and let us dance.

- Henri Nouwen

Creating A Case

Sounds like modern Journalists these days....

""Just give us a person - and we'll create the case!" That was what many of them said jokingly, and it was their slogan. What we think of as torture they think of as good work."
- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The Gulag Archipelago.

Dogmatic Anti-Religion

"You wonder why people who hate religion tend to attack it with the same dogmatism that they hate in religion."

- Richard Rohr. The Naked now

Moving From Wondering To Answering

"...asking of questions opened up wonder and encourage spiritual curiosity.....
At that time, Franciscans and Dominicans were like a Catholic debating Society, hardly ever holding the same exact opinion, and in those days both of us could remain inside the Catholic fold. 
Unfortunately, in later centuries this practice degenerated to just needing answers. And preferably certain answers. And preferably about everything. We moved from wondering to answering, which has not served us well at all."
- Richard Rohr. The naked now

I Don't Own The Truth

"Have you ever noticed that in any situation, when your ego is invested, afraid, or needy, it's very hard to smile? But when the truth is not your personal possession, it is very easy to smile."

Richard Rohr. The Naked Now 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Proper Support

"If you surround yourself with people who support your upward aim, they will not tolerate your cynicism and destructiveness."

- Jordan Peterson. 12 Rules for Life.

I Don't Envy Future Me

"As the infamous father of the Simpson clan put it, immediately prior to downing a jar of mayonnaise and vodka, "That's a problem for Future Homer. Man I don't envy that guy!"

- Jordan Peterson.12 Rules for Life 

Assume We Are Doing The Easy Things

About our motives and choices, assume this to be true, as with hard examination it's probably closer to the reality. 

"Assume first that you are doing the easiest thing, and not the most difficult."
- Jordan Peterson. 12 Rules for Life 

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Travelled A Great Distance But Gone Nowhere

"One time, when I was about fifteen, I went with Chris and another friend, Carl, to Edmonton, a city of six hundred thousand. Carl had never been to a city. This was not uncommon. Fairview to Edmonton was an eight hundred mile round trip. I had done it many times, sometimes with my parents, sometimes without. I liked the anonymity that the city provided. I liked the new beginnings. I liked the escape from the dismal, cramped adolescent culture of my hometown. So, I convinced my two friends to make the journey. But they did not have the same experience. As soon as we arrived, Chris and Carl wanted to buy some pot. We headed for the parts of Edmonton that were exactly like the worst of Fairview. We found the same furtive street-vending marijuana providers. We spent the weekend drinking in the hotel room. Although we had traveled a long distance, we had gone nowhere at all."

- Jordan Peterson. 12 Rules for Life 

Long Memories

"I sloughed off a lot of my past. In a small town, everyone knows who you are. You drag your years behind you like a running dog with tin cans tied to its tail. You can't escape who you have been. Everything wasn't online then, and thank God for that, but it was stored equally indelibly in everyone's spoken and unspoken expectations and memory."

- Jordan Peterson. 12 Rules for Life 

Dismal Affairs

"I did not like teenage parties. I do not remember them nostalgically. They were dismal affairs. The lights were kept low. That kept self-consciousness to a minimum. The over loud music made conversation and possible. There was little to talk about in any case. There were always a couple of the town psychopaths attending. Everybody drank and smoked too much. A dreary and oppressive sense of aimlessness hungover such occasions, and nothing ever happened (unless you count the time my two quiet classmate drunkenly began to brandish his fully loaded 12 gauge shotgun. Or the time the girl I later married contemptuously insulted someone while he threatened her with a knife, or the time another friend climed a large tree, swung out on a branch, and crashed flat on his back, half dead right beside the campfire we had started at its base, follow precisely one minute later by his half-wit sidekick).

No one knew what the hell they were doing at those parties. Hoping for a cheerleader? Waiting for Godot? (Although the former would have been immediately preferable although cheerleading squads were scarce in our town), the latter was closer to the truth. It would be more romantic, I suppose, to suggest that we would have all jumped at the chance for something more productive, bored out of our skulls as we were. But it's not true. We were all too prematurely cynical and world-weary and leery of responsibility to stick to the debating clubs and air Cadets and school sports that the adults around us try to organize.......

I wanted to be elsewhere. I wasn't the only one. Everyone who eventually left the Fairview I grew up in knew they were leaving by the age of 12. I knew. My wife, who grew up with me on the street our families shared, knew."

- Jordan Peterson. 12 Rules for Life

Simplicity Costs Everything

'A condition of complete simplicity
(Costing not less than everything)"

- The Little Gidding. T. S. Eliot (1943)

Proof That Human Evil Exists

"Only man could conceive of the rack, the iron maiden and the thumbscrew. Only man will inflict suffering for the sake of suffering. That is the best definition of evil I have been able to formulate. Animals can't manage that, but humans, with their excruciating, semi-divine capacities, most certainly can. And with this realization we have well nigh legitimization of the idea, very unpopular in modern intellectual circles, of original sin."

- Jordan Peterson 

No Sense Questioning A Guilty Man

" I, too, was taken to such a questioning..... He was required by law to ask what complaints I had about the conduct of the interrogation and whether coercion had been used or any violations of my legal rights had occurred. But it had been a long time since prosecutors ask such questions. And what if they had? After all, the existence of the entire Ministry building with its thousands of rooms, and of all five thousand of the ministry's other interrogation buildings, railroad cars, caves, and dugouts scattered throughout the Soviet Union, was based on violation of legal rights. And it certainly wasn't up to Lieutenant Colonel Kotov and me to reverse that whole process...."

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The Gulag Archipelago. Vol 1. 

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Only Jesus Makes True Community

"I now often wonder whether it is true that America is the country without a reformation. If reformation means the God-given knowledge of the failure of all ways of building up a kingdom of God on earth, then it is probably true......

Whether the church in America is really “free,” I doubt . They are lonely Sundays over here. Only the Word makes a true community."

- Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy.  Eric Metaxas

Don't Marry With Your Eyes Or Fingers

"Olympias, on another occasion, when a young courtier had married a wife who was very handsome, but whose reputation was not very good, remarked, "This fellow has no sense, or he would not have married with his eyes." We ought neither to marry with our eyes, nor with our fingers, as some do, who reckon up on their fingers what dowry the wife will bring, not what sort of partner she will make."

- Plutarch. Plutarch's Morals. First Century Greek Philosopher and Priest of Apollo and Guardian of the Oracle of Delphi. 

Where She Pinches Marriage

"The Roman who was taken to task by his friends for repudiating a chaste wealthy and handsome wife, showed them his shoe and said, "Although this is new and handsome, none of you know where it pinches me.""

- Plutarch. Plutarch's Morals. First Century Greek Philosopher.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Not What I Own......

“Dear God,

I am so afraid to open my clenched fists!

Who will I be when I have nothing left to hold on to?

Who will I be when I stand before you with empty hands?

Please help me to gradually open my hands and to discover that I am not what I own, but what you want to give me.”

- Henri Nouwen 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Old Stories

".......old stories contain nothing superfluous. Anything accidental - anything that does not serve the plot - has long been forgotten in the telling. "

- Jordan Petterson. 12 Rules For Life.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

A Reason To Pay Attention

"How dull and contemptible would we become if there was no longer reason to pay attention."
- Jordan Peterson
12 Rules For Life

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Faithful as a Bear

We have also heard of servant girls who have refused the embraces of their masters, and of private individuals who have scorned an amour with queens, when Love has had dominion in their hearts.....
For a noble woman united by Love to her lawful husband would prefer the embraces of bears and dragons to those of any other man."
- Plutarch. Plutarch's Morals 

Silence Is Rarely Regrettable

"For silence at the proper season is wisdom, and better than any speech. And that is, I think, the reason why the ancients instituted the mysteries that we, learning therein to be silent, might transfer our secrecy to the gods to human affairs. And no one ever yet repented of his silence, while multitudes have repented of their speaking. And what has not been said is easy to say, while what has been once said can never be recalled."

- Greek Plilisopher Plutarch. 1st cen AD. Priest of Apollo and Guardian of the Oracle of Delphi.

Point of View

"A human being has a point of view!"

- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The Gulag Archipelago 

Arrested For Nothing

"But the interrogator-butcher isn't interested in logic; he just wants to catch two or three phrases. He knows what he wants. And as for us -- we are totally unprepared for anything......
But neither our education, nor our upbringing, nor our experience prepares us in the slightest for the greatest trial of our lives; being arrested for nothing and interrogated about nothing."
-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The Gulag Archipelago 

Lie Close

"After all, people say that when you lie you should always stay as close to the truth as possible."
-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Gulag Archipelago. Vol 1

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Render Them Competent Rather Than Protection

"Even the most as assiduous of parents cannot fully protect their children, even if they lock them in the basement, safety away from drugs, alcohol and internet porn. In that extreme case, the too-cautious, too-caring parent merely substitutes himself or herself for the other terrible problems of life. This is the great Freudian Oedipal nightmare. It is far better to render Beings in your care competent than to protect them."
-Jordan Peterson. 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote To Chaos 

Other Ways Of Seeing

"Because we are so scientific now and so determinedly materialistic it is very difficult for us even to understand that other ways of seeing can and do exist."

- Jordan Peterson 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote To Chaos

Sunday, July 8, 2018

More than Belonging And Believing But Actual Being

"Now do not let the word Mystic scare you off. It simply means one who has moved from mere belief systems or belongings systems to actual inner experience. All spiritual Traditions agree that such a movement is possible, desirable, and available to everyone."

- Richard Rohr. The Naked Now

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Those Who Avoid Philosophy Wear Themselves Out In Useless Pursuits

"Next our freeborn lad ought to go in for a course of what is called general knowledge, but a smattering of this will be sufficient, a taste as it were (for perfect knowledge of all subjects would be impossible); but he must seriously cultivate philosophy. I borrow an illustration to show my meaning: it is well to sail round many cities, but advantageous to live in the best. It was a witty remark of the philosopher Bion, that, as those suitors who could not seduce Penelope took up with her maids as a pis aller, so those who cannot attain philosophy wear themselves out in useless pursuits. Philosophy, therefore, ought to be regarded as the most important branch of study. For as regards the cure of the body, men have found two branches, medicine and exercise: the former of which gives health, and the latter good condition of body; but philosophy is the only cure for the maladies and disorders of the soul. For with her as ruler and guide we can know what is honourable, what is disgraceful; what is just, what unjust; generally speaking, what is to be sought after, what to be avoided; how we ought to behave to the gods, to parents, to elders, to the laws, to foreigners, to rulers, to friends, to women, to children,......  that we ought to worship the gods, honour parents, reverence elders, obey the laws, submit ourselves to rulers, love our friends, be chaste in our relations with women, kind to our children, and not to treat our slaves badly; and, what is of the greatest importance, to be neither over elated in prosperity nor over depressed in adversity,  nor to be dissolute in pleasures, nor fierce and brutish in anger. These I regard as the principal blessings that philosophy teaches. For to enjoy prosperity nobly shows a man; and to enjoy it without exciting envy shows a moderate man; and to conquer the passions by reason argues a wise man; and it is not everybody who can keep his temper in control."

Plutarch. Plutarch's Morals. 1st Century Greek Philosopher, Roman Citizens, and Priest of Apollo and Guardian of the Oracle of Delphi, 

George Washington Was Baptized Twice, But Once!

Biblical words actually have precise meaning at times. 
It may come as a surprise to many to know that George Washington was twice baptized. According to his mother's Bible, he was baptized (Christened by Sprinkling) when he was not quite two years old… This baptism was in the orthodox Episcopal manner, and when he reached the age of thirty - three he took an oath to conform to the doctrine of the Church of England.   
  During Washington's life a strong wave of evangelicalism swept the Methodist and Baptist faiths, and it was during this period that he remarked to John Gano, Chaplain in the Continental Army, “I have been investigating the Scripture and I believe immersion to be the baptism taught in the Word of God, and I demand it at your hands. I do not wish any parade made or the Army called out, but simply a quiet demonstration of the ordinance.”
  Accordingly, George Washington was immersed in the Potomac in the presence of forty - two witnesses.
  John Gano was, at the time, a Baptist Minister and remains so all his life. His son, also named John, became a preacher in the Church of Christ in the early days of the Restoration Movement, and his son R.M. Gano, became a highly successful and popular preacher. He was an early leader in the church in Dallas and is said to have baptized 1000s of converts in his long ministry."

Avoid Developing An Imprudent or Servile Soul?

"I am also of the same opinion with regard to the disposition of the soul, which ought to be neither audacious nor timid and easily dejected: for the one ends in impudence and the other in servility; but to keep in all things the mean between extremes is artistic and proper."

Plutarch, Plutarch's Morals.  1st Centuray AD Greek Philosopher.