Monday, April 30, 2012


Knowledge Puffeth Up, But Charity Edifieth. -- (1 Corinthians 8:1)
It is impossible to have fellowship with anyone who has great head knowledge of doctrine, but has not the love of Christ shed abroad in their heart. They will want to argue with you, but never rejoice with you. They will find fault with you, but never comfort you. They will defend their positions, but never just declare Christ crucified with love for those who hear. Even among those who agree on doctrine, there will always be a hair to split, a nit to pick, but never real fellowship. And Paul here, with a word from God almighty, has given us the reason. Only Christ will do.
– Chris Cunningham, pastor Tennessee, USA

The Gospel of God’s grace in Christ Jesus is not a thing to be proved, but truth to be believed. It is not submitted to our reasoning powers as a subject for critical examination. The gospel is a message from God, addressed to the conscience, feelings, and affections. For this reason, men fond of argument and proving everything by strictly logical deduction generally make very poor preachers. In the Scriptures, God does not argue, He proclaims!
– J.C. Philpot (1802-69), English pastor

I am weary of theological controversies and disputes, and desire to choose for myself, and to point out to others, Mary’s part – to sit at Jesus’ feet, and to hear his words. And, blessed be his name! so far as I have learned from him, I am favored with a comfortable certainty: I know whom I have believed, and am no longer tossed about by the various winds and tides of opinions, by which I see many are dashed one against the other. But I cannot, I must not, I dare not, be contentious. Only, as a witness for God, I am ready to bear my simple testimony to what I have known of his truth, whenever I am properly called to it.

– John Newton (1725-1807), English minister & author of hymn “Amazing Grace”

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Careless Word

A word is ringing in my brain,
It was not meant to give me pain;
It had no tone to bid it stay,
When other things had pass’d away;
It had no meaning more than all
Which in an idle hour fall:
It was, when first the sound I heard,
A lightly utter’d, careless word.

When in the laughing crowd some tone,
Like those whose joyous sound is gone,
Strikes on my ear, I shrink--for then
The careless word comes back again.
When all alone I sit and gaze
Upon the cheerful home-fire blaze,
Lo! freshly as when first 'twas heard,
Returns that lightly uttered word.

When dreams bring back the days of old;
With all that wishes could not hold;
And from my feverish couch I start
To press a shadow to my heart --
Amid its beating echoes, clear
That little word I seem to hear:
In vain I say, while it is heard,
Why weep?--'twas but a foolish word.

It comes--and with it come the tears,
The hopes, the joys of former years;
Forgotten smiles, forgotten looks,
Thick as dead leaves on autumn brooks,
And all as joyless, though they were
The brightest things life's spring could share.
Oh! would. . . I ne'er had heard
That lightly uttered, careless word!

That word--oh! it doth haunt me now,
In scenes of joy, in scenes of woe;
By night, by day, in sun or shade,
With the half smile that gently played
Reproachfully, and gave the sound
Eternal power through life to wound.
There is no voice I ever heard,
So deeply fix'd as that one word.

It was the first, the only one
Of those which lips for ever gone
Breathed in their love--which had for me
Rebuke of harshness at my glee:
And if those lips were here to say,
'Beloved, let it pass away,'
Ah! then, perchance--but I have heard
The last dear tone--the careless word!

Oh ye who, meeting, sigh to part,
Whose words are treasures to some heart,
Deal gently, ere the dark days come,
When earth hath but for one a home;
Lest, musing o’er the past, like me,
They feel their hearts wrung bitterly,
And, heeding not what else they heard,
Dwell weeping on a careless word.

- Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton

Saturday, April 21, 2012

I sin not with my Tongue

Tis storied of Bembo, a primitive Christian, that coming to a friend to teach him a Psalm, he began to him the thirty-ninth, “I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my Tongue;” upon hearing of which first verse, he stopped his Tutor, saying, “This is enough for me, if I learn it as I ought”; and being after six months rebuked for not coming again, he replied, that he had not yet learned his first lesson: nay, after nineteen years he professed, that in that time he had scarce learned to fulfill that one line. I give not this instance to discourage, but rather to quicken men to the study; for a lesson that requires so much time to learn, had need be early begun with.

Preface to The Government of the Tongue by Richard Allestree

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Before You Can Dry Another’s Tears. . . You Too Must Weep

Let me not live a life that's free
From "the things" that draw me close to Thee,
For how can I ever hope to heal
The wounds of others I do not feel?
If my eyes are dry and I never weep,
How do I know when the hurt is deep?
If my heart is cold and it never bleeds
How can I tell what my brother needs?

For when ears are deaf to the beggar's plea,
And we close our eyes and refuse to see,
And we steel our hearts and harden our mind,
And we count it a weakness whenever we're kind,
We are no longer following the Father's Way
Or seeking His guidance from day to day.

For without "crosses to carry" and "burdens to bear,"
We dance through a life that is frothy and fair;
And "chasing the rainbow" we have no desire
For "roads that are rough" and "realms that are higher."

So spare me no heartache or sorrow, dear Lord,
For the heart that is hurt reaps the richest reward,
And God enters the heart that is broken with sorrow
As He opens the door to a "brighter tomorrow" ...
For only through tears can we recognize
The suffering that lies in another's eyes.

~ Helen Steiner Rice ~

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Quarrel

I quarreled with my brother,
I don’t know what about,
One thing led to another
And somehow we fell out.
The start of it was slight,
The end of it was strong,
He said he was right,
 I knew he was wrong!
 We hated one another.
The afternoon turned black.
Then suddenly my brother
Thumped me on the back,
And said, “Oh, come on!
We can’t go on all night—
I was in the wrong.”
So he was in the right.

- Eleanor Farjeon

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Follow fashion no further than fashion follows propriety

"Do not imagine, my daughter," he said, "that you are agreeable or attractive when your person is exposed, or when you aid nature by artificial means. Two classes of persons may gaze on you, to be sure; the immoral and licentious with familiarity, the reflecting and serious with sadness. Will you consent to such scrutiny? Follow fashion no further than fashion follows propriety. Never let your mantuamaker dictate to your morals."

Recollections of a Southern Matron by Caroline Howard Gilman