Excerpt from an interview with Bill Hybels
Q: At the end of a really bad day, when you lay your head on the pillow and it’s just you and God, what goes through your mind?
A: “The worst day of doing God’s bidding is better than than the best day of not doing it. So no matter how the circumstances have stacked up against my efforts or whatever bad news I’ve received, if my efforts have aligned with the call of God on my life and I’ve been faithful to Him, I sleep very well. If, on the other hand, I’ve made secret compromises in my spirit, or haven’t been on mission or responsive to God’s promptings, that will be a longer night. At the end of the day I only have to please one person – God.”
I chose the Superman pic cos Hybels looks a bit like Superman and he is also a legend!
“One effect of the increasing uniformity of life and of the crowding of people together in huge populations has been to mould vast numbers of them to a standard pattern. It is frightening sometimes to watch the crowd go by, catching the same bus every day so as to arrive at the same time at the same office or factory, in order to perform some excessively specialized operation never requiring of them anything but the same robot-like movement.
They have become merely cogs in the machine of production, tools, functions. All that matters is what they do, not what they think or feel. In any case their thoughts and feelings are similarly moulded by propaganda, press, cinema and radio. They read the same newspaper each day, hear the same slogans, see the same advertisements.
…For their part those who aspire to live like real persons and not like automata find themselves caught in the toils of a mass society, against which originality rebels for a time, and then grows weary and is extinguished. The more people there are crowded together, the more does the herd-instinct develop. The massive undertaking in the long run turns its participants into automata. I have often had to quote a remark made by Professor Siebeck: ‘It is the calling that creates the person'”
From the chapter “This Impersonal World” in The Meaning of Persons by Paul Tourier
I have started a new Bible reading plan, the M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan (M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan) which is going well. Some cool and profound quotes on the Word of God:
“The Bible is God’s chart for you to steer by, to keep you from the bottom of the sea, and to show you where the harbor is, and how to reach it without running on rocks or bars” – Henry Ward Beecher
“The Bible…is the one supreme source of revelation of the meaning of life, the nature of God, and spiritual nature and needs of men. It is the only guide of life which really leads the spirit in the way of peace and salvation” – Woodrow Wilson
“There is one sure and infallible guide to truth, and therefore, one, and only one, corrective for error, and that is the Word of God” – G. Campbell Morgan
“We cannot attain to the understanding of the Scripture either by study or by intellect. Your first duty is to begin by prayer. Entreat the Lord to grant you, of His great mercy, the true understanding of His Word. There is no interpreter of the Word of God than the Author of this Word, as He Himself has said, “They shall all be taught of God” (John 6:45). Hope for nothing of your own labors, from your own understanding: Trust solely in God, and in the influence of His Spirit. Believe this on the word of a man who has experience” – Martin Luther
“Go to the Scriptures…the joyful promises it contains will be a balsam to all your troubles” – Andrew Jackson
“Though we claim to believe the whole of Scripture, in practice we frequently deny much of it by ignoring it.” – Dr Martyn Lloyd Jones
“To what greater inspiration and counsel can we turn than to the imperishable truth to be found in this treasure house, the Bible?” – Queen Elizabeth II
“What Dryden said about Chaucer applies in infinitely greater degree to the Bible: “Here is God’s plenty” – Robert J McCracken
“Everything must be decided by Scripture” – Dr Martyn Lloyd Jones
And one more quote that is related to the Word of God through Jesus, the ‘Word made flesh’, by Queen Victoria
“I wish Jesus would come in my lifetime so that I could take my crown and lay it at His feet.”
“One of our problems is that very few of us have developed any distinctive personal life. Everything about us seems secondhand, even our emotions. In many cases we have to rely on secondhand information in order to function. I accept the word of a physician, a scientist, a farmer, on trust. I do not like to do this. I have to because they possess vital knowledge of living of which I am ignorant. Secondhand information concerning the state of my kidneys, concerning the effects of cholesterol, and the raising of chickens, I can live with. But when it comes to questions of meaning, purpose, and death, secondhand information will not do. I cannot survive on a secondhand faith in a secondhand God. There has to be a personal word, a unique confrontation, if I am to come alive!”
-Alan Jones in Scott Peck’s “The Road Less Traveled”
Kahlil Gibran – The Prophet
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.
“One mark of genuine Christianity is faith in the eye-witness testimony concerning the historical facts of the gospel (1 John1:1-4). Another test is love: how we respond when we are ill-treated, whether we show kindness or whether we lack kindness, our freedom from jealousy or envy, our unfeigned graciousness towards people, our endurance when people are difficult, our humility or lack of humility, our attitude to our ‘self’, our ability to control anger, our freedom from a critical spirit, our willingness to suffer for the sake of good relationships, our determination to persist in friendship no matter what happens, our determination to make goodwill characterise everything we do.”
What a useful description of how we can test for love in ourselves. Eaton is a machine!
From Michael Eaton’s Commentary on 1,2,3 John. Focus on the Bible. 1996. Christian Focus Publications