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the eighth day

March 16, 2011

Living in Community

While reading Parker Palmer's "The Company of Strangers" I came across this provocative quote:
"Community is that place where the person you least want to live with always lives!"
Palmer adds a corollary:
"And when that person moves away, someone else arises to take his or her place!"

Posted by gary at 09:56 PM | Comments (0)

October 17, 2008

An old warning

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.

Thomas Jefferson 1802

Posted by gary at 06:26 PM | Comments (0)

November 24, 2007

It's Election Day in Australia

Democracy is a form of government that substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few. - George Bernard Shaw

Posted by gary at 04:17 PM | Comments (0)

December 12, 2006

Jesus and our needs

Wonderful quote I read today from an interview panel of four pastors on consumerism and church culture.

Jesus doesn't meet our needs; he rearranges them. He cares very little about most things that I assume are my needs, and he gives me needs that I would've never had if I hadn't met Jesus - Will Willimon

Posted by gary at 12:19 PM | Comments (0)

November 19, 2006

On Culture

"Culture is dictatorial unless understood and examined. It is not that humans must be in sync with or adapt to culture, but that culture grows out of sync with us. When this happens, people go crazy and they don't know it. In order to avoid mass insanity, people must learn to transcend and adopt their culture to the times and to their biological organisms. To accomplish this task, since introspection tells you nothing, we need experience of other cultures; i.e., to survive, all cultures need each other" - Edward Hall, Beyond Culture, 1976

Posted by gary at 10:28 AM | Comments (0)

October 16, 2006


The world is not always ready to receive talent with open arms. Very often it does not know what to do with genius. - Oliver Wendell Holmes

Posted by gary at 07:07 PM | Comments (0)

October 06, 2006

If I were 21

"If I were 21, I would walk the Earth. I would go barefoot longer; I'd learn how to throw a Frizbee, I'd go braless if I were a woman and I would wear no underwear if I were a man. I'd play cards and wear the same pair of jeans until they were so stiff they could get up and strut around the room by themselves... So don't take the short road. Fool around. Have fun... You're not going to get this time back. Don't panic and go to graduate school and law school. This nation has enough frightened, dissatisfied yuppies living in gated communities, driving SUVs and wondering where their youth went."

James McBride, addressing the 2005 Pratt University Commencement

Posted by gary at 01:17 PM | Comments (0)

June 16, 2006

Church signs

Do you reckon they ought to licence people before they are allowed to produce these things?

I first saw this at the time of the Commonwealth Games, but it was still up when I went by last week.

And I received an email from a friend who told me about another one...
I was in Auckland a few weeks ago and saw a sign outside a church ... It was a big black, white and green billboard in the Apple i-pod formation that had a silhouette of a minister with the white dog collar and the word “i-God”.

Posted by gary at 10:57 PM | Comments (0)

June 10, 2006

Looking for inspiration

You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. - Jack London (1876-1916)

Posted by gary at 09:11 AM | Comments (0)

May 30, 2006

Seen on a bumper sticker

"Lord, help me to be the person my psychiatrist medicates me to be."

Posted by gary at 09:47 AM | Comments (0)

March 27, 2006

God-Sized Assignments

Some people say, "God will never ask me to do something I can't do." I have come to the place in my life that, if the assignment I sense God is giving me is something that I know I can handle, I know it is probably not from God. The kind of assignments God gives in the Bible are always God-sized. They are always beyond what people can do, because He wants to demonstrate His nature, His strength, His provision, and His kindness to His people and to a watching world. This is the only way the world will come to know Him.

- Henry Blackaby in "Experiencing God"

Posted by gary at 10:16 AM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2006

Inner and Outer Morality

Outward as well as inward morality helps to form the idea of a true Christian freedom. We are right to lay stress on inwardness, but in this world there is no inwardness without an outward expression - Meister Eckhart

Posted by gary at 07:39 PM | Comments (0)

March 11, 2006

Improve your writing

(and by extrapolation... your speaking)

Write with nouns and verbs, not with adjectives and adverbs. The adjective hasn't been built that can pull a weak or inaccurate noun out of a tight place
- William Strunk and E.B. White, The Elements of Style

Posted by gary at 10:43 AM | Comments (0)

March 03, 2006

Attention to one's day

Love this quote: a reminder to be aware of what is happening around me each day.

Great opportunities come to all, but many do not know they have met them... The only preparation to take advantage of them is simple fidelity to what each day brings - Albert Elijah Dunning

Posted by gary at 04:10 PM | Comments (0)

February 17, 2006

Resigned to failure?

Children teach us a lesson adults should learn: to not be ashamed of failing, but to get up and try again. Most of us adults are so afraid, so cautious, so “safe” and therefore so shrinking and rigid and afraid. That it is why so many of us have resigned ourselves to failure. - Malcolm X

Posted by gary at 11:12 PM | Comments (4)

February 12, 2006

Being there for others

Don't think it is the right thing to say that I "love" Bonhoeffer, but he certainly challenges one's thinking, both in relation to his writings, and his choices. This one is a good one:

A transformation of all human life is given in the fact that 'Jesus is there only for others'... faith is participation in this being of Jesus (incarnation, cross and resurrection)... the church is the church only when it exists for others

Posted by gary at 11:02 PM | Comments (0)

February 11, 2006

Being Evangelical

Great description of what it means to be evangelical:

I'm a nineteenth-century evangelical born in the wrong century. Evangelicals led the battle against slavery; they fought for women's suffrage; they fought for child labor reform; they were revivalists and reformers, evangelists and abolitionists, and people like Charles Finney (the Billy Graham of his day, the nineteenth-century evangelist who invented the "altar call" to get the names of his converts to sign them up for the anti-slavery campaign). I like the idea of altar calls. I mean, don't just listen to a talk and clap your hands and go home. Respond. Commit. Make a decision. Join something. That's what it means to me to be an evangelical. - Jim Wallis

Posted by gary at 09:34 PM | Comments (0)

January 24, 2006

Finding Solitude

Insight from Henri Nouwen:

All human beings are alone. No other person will completely feel like we do, think like we do, act like we do. Each of us is unique, and our aloneness is the other side of our uniqueness. The question is whether we let our aloneness become loneliness or whether we allow it to lead us into solitude. Loneliness is painful; solitude is peaceful. Loneliness makes us cling to others in desperation; solitude allows us to respect others in their uniqueness and create community.

Letting our aloneness grow into solitude and not into loneliness is a lifelong struggle. It requires conscious choices about whom to be with, what to study, how to pray, and when to ask for counsel. But wise choices will help us to find the solitude where our hearts can grow in love.

Posted by gary at 09:11 AM | Comments (1)

January 20, 2006


It is not love in the abstract that counts. Men have loved a cause as they have loved a woman. They have loved the brotherhood, the workers, the poor, the oppressed - but they have not loved [humanity]; they have not loved the least of these. They have not loved "personally." It is hard to love. It is the hardest thing in the world, naturally speaking. Have you ever read Tolstoy's Resurrection? He tells of political prisoners in a long prison train, enduring chains and persecution for the love of their brothers, ignoring those same brothers on the long trek to Siberia. It is never the brothers right next to us, but the brothers in the abstract that are easy to love - Dorothy Day

Posted by gary at 10:58 PM | Comments (1)

January 17, 2006

the hundred and first blow

Saw this a few days ago on maggi dawn's blog. It has walked with me for a little while, so thought I'd post it here:

“When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at a rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I knew it was not that blow that did it – but all that had gone before.”

God is a Sea: The Dynamics of Christian Living, by David Walker - p 63

Posted by gary at 11:04 AM | Comments (1)

January 15, 2006


Powerful thought:

No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting it, not by giving in. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later.

That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it. (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, p 13)

Posted by gary at 08:42 PM | Comments (1)

January 13, 2006

Friday Morning Thought

"We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God. God will be constantly crossing our paths and canceling our plans by sending us people with claims and petitions. We may pass them by, preoccupied with our more important tasks, as the priest passed by the man who had fallen among thieves, perhaps - reading the Bible. When we do that, we pass by the visible sign of the Cross raised athwart our path to show us that not our way, but God's way must be done."
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Life Together

Posted by gary at 11:10 AM | Comments (2)

January 12, 2006

Absolute Security

"We will bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security" - Dwight David Eisenhower (former U.S. President)

Amazing wisdom in past presidents which seems to be overlooked in the present...

Which gives me pause to ask whether anyone has seen the movie "Good Night and Good Luck"?

Posted by gary at 04:33 PM | Comments (2)

January 05, 2006

Quiet time

A time of quietude brings things into proportion and gives us strength. We all need to take time from the busyness of living, even if it be ten minutes to watch the sun go down or the city lights blossom against a canyoned sky

Posted by gary at 02:43 PM | Comments (0)

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