Saturday, June 30, 2012

War & Peace

War & Peace

If you pray – pray for peace.

If you don’t pray – pray for peace.

War is an opportunistic disease. It is the outward expression of mankind’s own self-hatred. Yet selfish at the same time it says, “What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine also.” It is based in the primal fear that there is only so much to go around and that is in short supply.

War is the antithesis of life. It will not be satisfied until it destroys it. The only joy in victory is the end of conflict. Tranquility knows no enemy. True peace knows no foe. When the battle is over we are all wounded. When we stop trying to understand each other we are doomed to war again.

Kindness that is not shared freely is no kindness at all. Love that is meant for only a few is not love, but self-preservation. Hope that sees only the filling of the storehouse instead of the bellies of the hungry has no humanity in it. Prizes in and of themselves are empty and hollow. Ownership is merely a claim on something that we only hold temporarily. If, in that ownership, we are not heart-free and spirit-free enough to share it with those who need it then we are spiritual gluttons of obese proportions. This is true whether in regards to material or spiritual matters – for wars have been fought for both reasons.

When we move to war we enslave ourselves to hate and fear and all the things that rip and tear the nature of God from our hearts and souls and minds. It not only kills the body, but it destroys all that we are meant to be in the fullness of the One who calls us to be truly alive in Him.

Go, therefore, in peace. Be merciful to all for the sake of love, which leads to Life.

by Kris Hillenburg (from Quaker Life and Thoughts,

Friday, June 29, 2012

Quaker Wisdom

"Even in the Apostles' days, Christians were too apt to strive after a wrong unity and uniformity in outward practices and observations, and to judge one another unrighteously in these matters; and mark, it is not the different practice from one another that breaks the peace and unity, but the judging of one another because of different practices. For this is the true ground of love and unity, not that such a man walks and does just as I do, but because I feel the same Spirit and Life in him, and that he walks in his rank, in his own order, in his proper way and place of subjection to that; and this is far more pleasing to me than if he walked just in that track wherein I walk." - Isaac Penington (17th century Quaker)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ocean of Light

"I saw an ocean of darkness and death, but an infinite ocean of light and love, which flowed over the ocean of darkness." - George Fox

(Photo source:

Monday, June 25, 2012

Quaker Wisdom

"O Lord, help me not to despise or oppose what I do not understand." - William Penn

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Quote of the Day

"If our principles are right, why should we be cowards?" - Lucretia Mott (19th century Quaker activist for women's rights and the abolition of slavery)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Quaker Wisdom

"There is a turning of the soul from the darkness to the light; from the spirit of deceit to the spirit of truth; from all false appearances and imaginations about holiness to that which the eternal light manifesteth to be truly so." - Isaac Penington

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Preach it!!

Senior Pastor Frederick D. Haynes III of Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

A tiny pale blue dot

This is a photograph of Earth, taken on Valentine's Day, 1990 from the Voyager 1 space probe as it reached the edge of our solar system--4 billion miles from home. It is one of the last pictures that Voyager 1 took. Carl Sagan convinced NASA to rotate the spacecraft 180 degrees--so that the camera was facing back to Earth--and snap the photo before Voyager hurtled into the dark void beyond Neptune. The vertical colored bands are rays of light from our sun. In the right-most band--a little more than halfway down--is a tiny pale blue dot. That is Earth.

Carl Sagan had this to say about the picture:

“Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every 'superstar,' every 'supreme leader,' every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot."

Thursday, June 07, 2012


My friend Audrey is very wise. The other night at our book group she said this: "We tend to compare what is on the inside of us with what is on the outside of everyone else."

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Movie Review: Snow White and the Huntsman

Carla and I watched Snow White and the Huntsman last night. Not great, but fairly good. It had an interesting subtext about victimization: How dishonorable men victimize women and then those women may, in turn, victimize other women and perpetuate the cycle. The Evil Queen is warped and motivated by fear of losing her beauty (which is power). She hates men for using women, but destroys other women in order to maintain her own beauty. The Evil Queen's creepy brother--an older man who lusts after the teenage Snow White and likes to watch her as she sleeps--wears a ridiculous schoolboy haircut which symbolizes his gross immaturity. The heroes are men who honor Snow White for who she really is and accept her leadership. Sadly and predictably, the film relies on the tried-and-true myth of redemptive violence to solve problems. It would have been much more interesting (and imaginative) if, instead of stabbing the Evil Queen and killing her at the climactic confrontation, Snow White (who understood victimization and was supposed to personify life and goodness) had extended earnest understanding, compassion and forgiveness to the queen, thus breaking the Queen's power and redeeming her through the power of grace. Snow White and the Evil Queen were really two sides of the same coin--resourceful women who overcame captivity, injustice and victimization. It was disappointing (and incongruent with Snow White's character) that the storyteller could only see violence as the way to bring about resolution.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Love Wins - An Orthodox View