Book Quotes | 13 August 2020

Okay, so I have been reading a lot lately – well, a lot for a husband and father of three who works way too much…so probably not that much, but for me it’s been much more than recent history… Not that we have that cleared up, this is probably going to be pretty extensive, so here we go:

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Up From Slavery: An Autobiography by Booker T. Washington

Edition I am reading | image taken from: http://www.randomhousebooks.com/books/185981/

Of my father I know even less than of my mother. I do not even know his name. I have heard reports to the effect that he was a white man who lived on one of the near-by plantations. Whoever he was, I never heard of his taking the least interest in me or providing in any way for my rearing. But I do not find especial fault with him. He was simply another unfortunate victim of the institution which the Nation unhappily had engrafted upon it at that time.

Washington, Booker T., Up From Slavery: An Autobiography, New York, NY: Modern Library, Random House 1999, pg. 4 [fyi, this was originally published in 1901]

So far as I can now recall, the first knowledge that I got of the fact that we were slaves, and that freedom of the slaves was being discussed, was early one morning before day, when I was awakened by my mother kneeling over her children and fervently praying that Lincoln and his armies might be successful, and that one day she and her children might be free. In this connection I have never been able to understand how the slaves throughout the South, completely ignorant as were the masses so far as books or newspapers were concerned, were able to keep themselves so accurately and completely informed about the great National questions that were agitating the country. From the time that Garrison, Lovejoy, and others began to agitate for freedom, the slaves throughout the South kept in close touch with the progress of the movement. Though I was a mere child during the preparation for the Civil War and during the war itself, I now recall the many late-at-night whispered discussions that I heard my mother and the other slaves on the plantation indulge in. These discussions showed that they understood the situation, and that they kept themselves informed of events by what was termed the ‘grape-vine’ telegraph.

Ibid, pgs. 6-7

One may get the idea, from what I have said, that there was bitter feeling toward the white people on the part of my race, because of the fact that most of the white population was away fighting in a war which would result in keeping Negro in slavery if the South was successful. In the case of the slaves on our place this was not true, and it was not true of any large portion of the slave population in the South where the Negro was treated with anything like decency. … I know of a case on a large plantation in the South in which a young white man, the son of the former owner of the estate, has become so reduced in purse and self-control by reason of drink that he is a pitiable creature; and yet, notwithstanding the poverty of the coloured people themselves on this plantation, they have for years supplied this young white man with the necessities of life. One sends him a little coffee or sugar, another a little meat, and so on.

Ibid, pgs. 10-11

Then, when we rid ourselves of prejudice, or racial feeling, and look facts in the face, we must acknowledge that, notwithstanding the cruelty and moral wrong of slavery, the ten million Negroes inhabiting this country, who themselves or whose ancestors went through the school of American slavery, are in a stronger and more hopeful condition, materially, intellectually, morally, and religiously, than is true of an equal number of black people in any other portion of the globe. This is so to such an extent that Negroes in this country, who themselves or whose forefathers went through the school of slavery, are constantly returning to Africa as missionaries to enlighten those who remained in the fatherland. This I say, not to justify slavery – on the other hand, I condemn it as an institution, as we all know that in America it was established for selfish and financial reasons, and not from a missionary motive – but to call attention to a fact, and to show how Providence so often uses men and institutions to accomplish a purpose.

Ibid, pg. 12

And that’s just in the first chapter of this amazing book…

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Jesus Among Other Gods: The Absolute Claims of the Christian Message by Ravi Zacharias

All-inclusive philosophies can only come at the cost of truth. And no religion denies its core beliefs. Within such systemic relativism …

Zacharias, Ravi, Jesus Among Other Gods, Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2000, pg. 7

Unsuspecting people make a fatal mistake when they give their allegiance to a system of thought by focusing on its benefits while they ignore its systemic contradictions. The entire life of anyone making prophetic or divine claims must be observed in concert with the teaching offered. Numerous historical and philosophical matters come into play when one seriously evaluates such claims.

Ibid, pg. 55

You see, that is the way God has designed us. One of the most startling things about life is that it does not start with reason and end with faith. It starts in childhood with faith and is sustained either by reasoning through that faith or by blindly leaving the reason for faith unaddressed. The child’s mind has a very limited capacity to inform if of the reason for its trust. But whether she nestles on her mother’s shoulder, nurses at her mother’s breast, or runs into her father’s arms, she does so because of an implicit trust that those shoulders will bear her, that her food will sustain her, and that those arms will hold her. If over time that trust is tested, it will be the character of the parent that will either prove that trust wise or foolish. Faith is not bereft of reason.

Ibid, pg. 60

Do you see what has happened? The skeptic started by presenting a long list of horrific things, saying, ‘These are immoral, therefore there is no God.’ But to raise these issues as moral issues is to assume a state of affairs that evolution cannot afford. There is just no way to arrive at a morally compelling ought, given the assumption of naturalism. What then does the skeptic do? He denies objective moral values because to accept such a reality would be to allow for the possibility of God’s existence. He concludes then that there really isn’t such a thing as evil after all.

Ibid, pg. 114

When evil justifies itself by posturing as morality, God becomes the devil and the devil, God. That exchange makes one impervious to reason.

Ibid, pg. 154

That last quote is a great description of American culture currently…

I have been reading some other things too, but this will suffice for now. More to come, but this is waxing long enough. Blessings on your readings.

What do you think?! Do any of these quotes strike a chord with you? Let me know in the comments!

Published in: on 7 AMpThu, 13 Aug 2020 06:34:00 -040034Thursday 2016 at 6:34 am  Comments (6)  
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7-Word Story | Misleading Media

Precariously pitiful ponderings permeate public’s poisonous perception.

Published in: on 7 AMpFri, 31 Jan 2020 08:00:11 -050000Friday 2016 at 8:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Unwrinkled Wooden Socks

It’s the mid 1960s in the United States of America.

Racial and social upheaval and renewal is swirling around as the country attempts to mend some of its tattered and poorly sewn founding fabric. The fight for equality and access. The fight for justice to be led by righteousness instead of prejudice. Marches, protests, beatings, arrests, speeches, sacrifices, forging relationships, courageous acts, and death collide on streets all around the nation.

 

Picture used from this article.

 

While dreams and revolutions are being whispered throughout every corner of the country, schools are beginning to integrate. As a result sports are taking on new challenges and becoming better. It’s a hard fought road that took time to pave. However, thanks to some forward and godly individuals, the process of integration in basketball started earlier. The first time collegiate post-season basketball was integrated was during the 1947-1948 season. It was integrated by the Indiana State Teacher’s College, which would become Indiana State University (that little school Larry Bird went to). Who was the coach? John Wooden.

 

See the source image

 

Going forward again to the mid-1960s, John Wooden is now the coach at a school by the name of UCLA. In coaching at this school for twelve years, he won ten national championships and seven of these were in a row. [By the way, UCLA has the most National Championships of any other school with 11; yes, Wooden won 10 of their 11!] This streak is unheard of even to this day! Needless to say, he created a basketball powerhouse; a dynasty that caused havoc for the rest of college basketball. A journey that started with humble roots on an Indiana farm is now making thunderous waves in the sports world in the context of tumultuous cultural times.

It’s true in any sport, winning attracts talent as the best players want to be on the best teams. Imagine you were one of these players coming to the campus of UCLA in the mid-1960s. You arrive at the school as one of the best high school players in the country. When you meet your new coach, what’s one of the first things he teaches you about the game? A new unstoppable offensive play? A havoc inducing defensive play? Does he start a conditioning program? No! None of the above. Instead he sits you down and teaches you how to put your socks on! What would you be thinking as one of the best athletes in the country? I know how to do that! Well, this is the type of thing that set Wooden apart as a coach.

Why did he do this? He told his players that it’s simple. If you do not put your socks on correctly, you will end up with blisters. If you get blisters you will not be able to play at your highest level. If you are not able to play at your highest level, the team will not be as successful as it could be. Foundations. The little things.

This post really isn’t about Civil Rights, the 1960s cultural upheavals and renewals, or even basketball. It’s about our habits; the small things that make up our foundation. How are we putting on our socks?

At work these last two days, our team forgot to put air into a hub. Something so simple. Three little seconds of air into a rubber lining of a metal shaft. Outcome? Due to no air holding the rolls in place, they moved on the shaft and it shut down the production line for over two hours! Three seconds = over two hours. The small blisters that pester our production. This story of Wooden came back to my mind when these things were occurring and caused a pause in me.

How am I putting on my socks? My work socks? My husband socks? My father socks? My writing socks? What small habits am I discipling myself with, or ignoring, that will inevitably have an outcome on my production?

 

It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen. – John Wooden

 

I hope you find your socks in good condition today!

Published in: on 7 AMpThu, 30 Jan 2020 09:50:07 -050050Thursday 2016 at 9:50 am  Comments (3)  
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Threads of the Divine Nature of Jesus | Week 3 | The High Priest

Saturday! The Sabbath day! A day of rest and worship. The day to refocus your attention on the Most Hight and to evaluate your past week and your priorities. The day to really spend time focusing on the eternal and not temporal.

Yet, we live in the temporal and still have temporal needs. The disciples, spending time walking around with Jesus on the Sabbath, were no different. They got hungry! While walking through a grain field, they took some of the heads of grain and ate them.

 

sunset cereals grain lighting

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

The problem with this? They were Sabbath breakers! Or, so said the Pharisees. Jesus chides these leaders and explains that neither he or his disciples broke the Sabbath. They just didn’t abide by the rules set by the Pharisees regarding the Sabbath. These are very different things. Jesus ends this part of the conversation by saying that he is the Lord of the Sabbath. Now, there is much there that speaks to the divine nature of Jesus, but I want to touch on something a bit more subtle.

Here is the passage in view; Matthew 12.1-8:

At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. 2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” 3 He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: 4 how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? 5 Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? 6 I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. 7 And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8 For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

I find verse three very interesting. Jesus is making the point to these leaders that what the disciples are doing is okay because, well, David broke the rules and ate food he wasn’t supposed to eat, so why can’t the disciples, right?! At least, that’s how it seems to read to us. However, it is highly likely these leaders knew the details of this David story well and caught some of the subtleties of it. Let us go to that story and see what takes place. We find it in 1 Samuel 21.1-6:

Then David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. And Ahimelech came to meet David, trembling, and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one with you?” And David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has charged me with a matter and said to me, ‘Let no one know anything of the matter about which I send you, and with which I have charged you.’ I have made an appointment with the young men for such and such a place. Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever is here.” And the priest answered David, “I have no common bread on hand, but there is holy bread—if the young men have kept themselves from women.” And David answered the priest, “Truly women have been kept from us as always when I go on an expedition. The vessels of the young men are holy even when it is an ordinary journey. How much more today will their vessels be holy?” So the priest gave him the holy bread, for there was no bread there but the bread of the Presence, which is removed from before the Lord, to be replaced by hot bread on the day it is taken away.

Did David eat bread that he wasn’t allowed to eat? Yes, he did! However, did he unlawfully go into the Temple and take the bread, breaking God’s holy Laws? No, he did not! He beseeched the priest for bread and the priest granted David the shewbread – the bread that was consecrated only for the priests. David received permission from the one that had lawful access to the bread, took it as a gift and then he ate it. So, what are we seeing with the disciples?

 

shewbread

Picture used from bcooper

 

We see the disciples being accused of breaking the laws of the Sabbath. We see Jesus standing up in their defense. We see Jesus make a parallel to David, lawfully beseeching a priest for bread and the priest making the decision to grant David bread that he did not have access to.

Jesus, by his actions and then his defense, is declaring, as the Lord of the Sabbath, that he is the priest granting permission to his followers access to what was “not allowed” for them. He granted them legal access to partake. He is the eternal and divine priest. He is the one who was serving when the Father showed Abraham the pattern of the Tabernacle in heaven. As declares Hebrews 6.20, “where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”

He is the eternal one! He is the divine one! He grants us legal access to places we dare not tread alone. Indeed, the vail is torn asunder!

May your thoughts abide in Christ on this day. Shabbat Shalom!

 

[Scriptures taken from the ESV]

Published in: on 7 AMpSat, 25 Jan 2020 08:53:02 -050053Saturday 2016 at 8:53 am  Leave a Comment  
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G.O.S.P.E.L | Spoken Word

For today’s post, I would like to share another video. This is Propaganda with his work “G.O.S.P.E.L.”. I hope you enjoy!

 

Published in: on 7 PMpTue, 21 Jan 2020 22:13:34 -050013Tuesday 2016 at 10:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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MLK2020

I have always been prone to deep thoughts. When I say deep, I don’t mean profound, but all-consuming. I live in my head and mull things over and over again, regardless of the topic. Social issues are no different.

When it comes to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I have really changed my position over the last few years. Growing up, he was one of my favorite historical heroes. In more recent years, as I have grown in my own thinking, particularly in my religious and political ideas, I have grown apart from him to a large degree. I found myself in disagreement with much of his ideology.

 

 

This year, I find myself drawn to a specific area of his life – his life in the public eye. His public life still garners much respect from me. The way he stayed composed under extreme pressure (which may be a contributing factor as to why he didn’t stay as composed under extreme pressure behind closed doors…something I am thinking through), the vision that he held, inspired in others and maintained in the face of opposition and, lastly, the way he articulated himself, even when I disagree, I find compelling and it causes one to pause and think.

 

 

On this day, and the days leading up to this one, I find myself trying to understand why I am drawn to certain people. I am praying about what I am to learn from people God has set in my path, no matter to what degree I agree with them. I am learning to ask – in new ways – what am I supposed to learn from them?

With this in mind, I think what I am supposed to learn this year from this man at this stage in my life:

  1. How to be utterly committed to a vision for my life
  2. Staying calm and disciplined in the face of opposition
  3. Being able to articulate this vision effectively (which means I need to read and write a lot more this year…I don’t know how to make time for this, but I must figure it out!).

The last thing I really appreciate this year in grappling with this day and the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is respecting the action he – and hundreds and thousands of others – took to inspire change. I have done a lot of thinking and talking about heavy topics to form my thoughts…time for action! Just what action needs to be taken…?

 

 

I hope you find yourselves well today. For me, it’s been a day of great confusion, and great clarity.

Published in: on 7 PMpMon, 20 Jan 2020 17:11:19 -050011Monday 2016 at 5:11 pm  Comments (2)  
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Eternity in View

As this Sunday comes to a close – at least in my neck of the woods – I have been revisiting the great importance of vision. What is my vision for my life, family, etc.? We all know the importance of knowing our ‘Why’?

Well, as I continue to ponder on this idea over the weekend, I am reminded that the core of my vision needs to be eternity. Here’s the message I want to share today: Live like we have eternity in mind! It comes for us all…

This is one of my favorite short pieces on the importance of keeping the eternal in view. It’s by Francis Chan. It just under 5 mins. Enjoy!

 

Published in: on 7 PMpSun, 19 Jan 2020 23:33:42 -050033Sunday 2016 at 11:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Food for Your Week’s Grind

As we’re on our grind this week, let’s keep in mind a few things:

  • When we do our work, let’s work hard, but do it right:

If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”

  • Let us be wise in who and what we spend our time around:

A man’s character always takes its hue, more or less, from the form and color of things about him.”

  • Let us not be frustrated in falling short, but rather fully embrace each failure:

Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.”

Image result for C.S. Lewis

– C.S. Lewis, picture from http://www.cslewis.org

  • In the face of difficulty, let’s allow our character to shine bright:

Great necessities call out great virtues.”

  • Let us remember to choose love, because it’s primarily a decision and not an emotion:

“Love is an act of the will, accompanied by emotion and leads to action on behalf of the object.”

See the source image

– Voddie Baucham, picture from https://answersingenesis.org

Let’s have a great week grinders and a creative and productive week writers!

Published in: on 7 AMpMon, 13 Jan 2020 09:09:43 -050009Monday 2016 at 9:09 am  Comments (1)  
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Tapestry

This home you’ve given me – such beauty!
No! You know you don’t deserve this place!
The designs, furnishings and décor of tapestry!
Remember who you are – you cannot embrace.

So warm and clean; built for a king.
A king?! No, stick to what you know!
It’s a glorious gift I can hardly fathom.
Because it’s not for you – it’s all show!

But He calls me to this place – it’s mine.
Isn’t better to stay where you feel at home,
But he has graciously given us much more,
No! You need to make your own shalom!

Father, this home is so wonderful,
Come back to the comfort of the dark.
Thank you for being so merciful and kind,
NO! Don’t do it! It’s too glorious; too stark!

But, look at …
Stop talking now! It’s built with light,
Furnished in such beauty, full of majesty
Look at your wretched and filthy plight,

You don’t deserve something with such tapestry,
Furnishings built for kings, a place so warm,
You sinner! You don’t deserve his grace!
Come back home and prepare for this storm –

It’s funny you thought you could live in that place!
Take my embrace! Yes this place is dark and dank,
But it’s our home. Remember your place; your rank.
Remember your vile thoughts? My how they stank!
Still denying and setting your hopes? I’ll be more frank!

Remember when …
No, stop! You’ve said enough…much of it is true,
I don’t deserve it; my heart is sick like the flu,
I shouldn’t long for such glory, but stay here with you.

But, like always you miss the point that’s so clear,
And you don’t see or perceive what’s reality,
Open your eyes to the beauty; dissolve that fear,
What you keep thinking is that all of this is about me!

Look at the King – the glorious One who gives the gift,
It’s Him you need to again clearly see and bend your knee,
It’s about his faithfulness and promises – He’s done the work –
The sin in me – you – I flee and trust His word; His guarantee!

My King – may all these voices be silenced inside of me,
Please forgive me of my sins I continue to choose,
All of you – here at your feet – is all I want to see,
In your home, full of peace, arrayed in such beauty!

Published in: on 7 AMpSun, 12 Jan 2020 08:14:29 -050014Sunday 2016 at 8:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Appearance!

A magnificent display lit up the night sky! A star that could only come out of folklore and prophecies from peoples around the world. A star of significance for many…as many others, like many of us today, see an extraordinary event unfolding before us as we glance and carry on with our lives.

 

astrology astronomy beautiful constellation

Photo by Sam Kolder on Pexels.com

 

Yet, there were men who were sky watchers; the students of the stars. These men knew the stars well and knew when something significant was taking place. Like Centaurs, watching and waiting.

They witnessed this event unfolding and were well aware of the significance; a baby, the King of all kings, had been born west of where they lived. They gathered their belongings, along with extraordinarily precious gifts and set out with a large company of others.

 

three camels resting in the desert

Photo by Alexis Azabache on Pexels.com

 

After crossing the desert and arriving in Israel, they went to the place of kings – Jerusalem. They entered Herod’s Palace, but alas, the King was not there. As they departed, behold the star appeared to them again and stopped in the sky over the head of the King – a servant, leading the way for other servants to come and enter into the magnificent presence of the child King.

 

Matthew 2.9-10 “9 After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.” (ESV)

 

These Gentile Wise Men found the King and they worshipped him and gave him great gifts. Although they saw, traveled, searched, and found, they did not appear to this child King, but rather, this child King appeared before them – the Light of the World!

 

Luke 2.25-32 “25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,

29  ‘Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word;
30 for my eyes have seen your salvation
31 that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.‘” (ESV, emphasis mine)

 

John 8.12 “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'” (ESV, emphasis mine)

 

God has always loved and been after all people – even while creating Israel (Caleb, Rahab, Ruth, etc.). The Hebrews came out of Egypt with a “mixed multitude.” Ahh, but this moment was something altogether special. The world came to the feet of Jesus – Yeshua – the King of kings, and laid down their most precious gifts and worshipped. A proper response and a foreshadow of the life Jesus would lead, and of events still to come!

 

silhouette photography of hanging rosary

Photo by Vanderlei Longo on Pexels.com

 

Church, have a blessed Epiphany!
– NoblemanWarrior

 



 

Epiphany


EPIPH’ANY, noun [Gr. appearance; to appear.] A Christian festival celebrated on the sixth day of January, the twelfth day after Christmas, in commemoration of the appearance of our Savior to the magians or philosophers of the East, who came to adore him with presents; or as others maintain, to commemorate the appearance of the star to the magians, or the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles. Jerome and Chrysostom take the epiphany to be the day of our Savior’s baptism, when a voice from heaven declared, ‘This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.’ The Greek fathers use the word for the appearance of Christ in the world, the sense in which Paul used the word. 2 Timothy 1:10. – from the 1828 Noah Webster dictionary

Published in: on 7 AMpMon, 06 Jan 2020 07:33:01 -050033Monday 2016 at 7:33 am  Comments (2)  
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