Friday, January 31, 2014

The Dry times Come ~ Douglas V. Steere

"The dry times come, the plateaus in the curve of spiritual learning, the lean weeks and months. Then, as never before, do we come to recognize the preciousness of a life that is devoted to the principle in spite of all. It is in those times that we are schooled in patience. "There is a time to want as well as to abound while we are in this world. And the times of wanting, as well as abounding are greatly advantageous to us," wrote Penington after he had known the most extreme worldly as well as inner privations. Von Hügel used to remind us of the way a desert traveler took a sandstorm. He would get his camel to lie down, lie down behind him, cover himself with his robe and quietly wait. When the storm had ceased, he would rise, shake out the blanket, mount the camel, and ride on. Holy obedience, devotion, calls for patience with ourselves as we move in the vocation, in the decision, keeping close to the root."

Douglas V. Steere 

Artwork from Norbertine Bresslern-Roth

Monday, January 27, 2014

Upsetting a Status Quo ~ Geoffrey Durham

"People speak of Quaker silence, of silent meetings, but we make a mistake, I think, if we talk too long or too often about our lack of noise. The right holding of meeting for worship encourages stillness out of the silence, and it is Quaker stillness that can engender radical change.
But there are more elements to Quakerism than the meeting for worship – this isn’t one-day-a-week religion. Quakers believe – all of us – that the whole of life is sacramental. There is no difference between the sacred and the secular. We work for peace, for sustainability, for economic justice. And we accept that our concerns are often profoundly counter-cultural – you can’t seriously believe in truth and equality, you can’t make them the essence of every decision, without upsetting a status quo."

~Geoffrey Durham

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Artwork John Sloan

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Confirm the Purpose ~ Dennis Kucinich

"Peace is not just the absence of war, it is the active presence of a capacity for love and compassion, and reciprocity. It is an awareness that our lives are not to be lived simply for ourselves through expressing our individuality, but we confirm the purpose of our lives through the work of expressing our shared sense of community in a purposeful and practical way; to sustain our own lives we sustain the lives of others - in family, in a community of neighborhoods called a city, and in a community of nations called the world."
~ Dennis Kucinich

Monday, January 13, 2014

Simple Welcome ~Kenneth Grahame

“He saw clearly how plain and simple - how narrow, even - it all was; but clearly, too, how much it all meant to him, and the special value of some such anchorage in one's existence. He did not at all want to abandon the new life and its splendid spaces, to turn his back on sun and air and all they offered him and creep home and stay there; the upper world was all too strong, it called to him still, even down there, and he knew he must return to the larger stage. But it was good to think he had this to come back to, this place which was all his own, these things which were so glad to see him again and could always be counted upon for the same simple welcome.”

~Kenneth Grahame

Friday, January 10, 2014

Worry is the Opposite of Faith ~ Ben Pink Dandelion

"And, as Jesus' teachings tell us, worry does not add one moment to our life, one measure to our life's journey. Worry is the opposite of faith. It is focused on particulars, built on notions, and has no room for the spectacular and that which is not yet known.....Faith takes us we know not where but the destination is unimportant, the process of being led and following faithfully is all. God will take us where we need to go and the 'big picture will emerge in time', a glimpse or reflection of the republic of heaven. Worry takes up energy and time so much more usefully spent on the fruits of discipleship, testimony to the grace of God acting in our lives now calling us to help others and to help create a just and peaceful world."

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Our Wholeness ~ Keith Stewart

“At this point in history, our society tends to elevate and reward the specialist...This concentrated focus has brought some benefits...It may also be a modern malady. Specialization, when taken too far and allowed to define who and what we are, becomes limiting. It robs us of our wholeness and our self-sufficiency. It misses the big picture and confines us to a narrow zoom. And it leaves us at the mercy of experts.”

~ Keith Stewart

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Artwork from Gwenda Morgan

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Within Reach ~ Arthur Gish

"Revolution is an attempt to close the gap between the ideal and the real. It is a struggle to move from the ‘is’ to the ‘ought’. It is motivated by both a revulsion at the injustice of the present and a feeling of loyalty to something higher. Thus it is an attempt to move beyond the present to a future that seems within reach."

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BBC Interview ~ Ray Lovegrove (Hay Quaker)

This is a short interview that I gave to BBC1 television broadcast in January 2014.

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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Irons in the Fire ~ Thomas R. Kelly

"Too many of us have too many irons in the fire....  Quaker simplicity needs to be the structure of a relatively simplified and coordinated life-program of social responsibilities." 

~ Thomas R. Kelly, 1941

Artwork from Len Gale (About whom the internet has little to say). 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Doing what Needs to be Done ~ Masanobu Fukuoka

“I do not particularly like the word 'work.' Human beings are the only animals who have to work, and I think that is the most ridiculous thing in the world. Other animals make their livings by living, but people work like crazy, thinking that they have to in order to stay alive. The bigger the job, the greater the challenge, the more wonderful they think it is. It would be good to give up that way of thinking and live an easy, comfortable life with plenty of free time. I think that the way animals live in the tropics, stepping outside in the morning and evening to see if there is something to eat, and taking a long nap in the afternoon, must be a wonderful life. For human beings, a life of such simplicity would be possible if one worked to produce directly his daily necessities. In such a life, work is not work as people generally think of it, but simply doing what needs to be done.”

~ Masanobu Fukuoka

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

So You are Filled ~ James Nayler

"Mind and consider well the spirit of Christ in you, that's he that's lowly in you, that's just and lowly in you: mind this Spirit in you, and then whither will you run, and forsake the Lord of Life? Will you leave Christ the fountain which should spring in you and hunt for yourselves? Should you not abide within, and drink of that which springs freely, and feed on that which is pure, meek and lowly in spirit, that so you might grow spiritual men into the same Spirit, to be as He is, the sheep of His Pasture? For as is your pasture, so are you filled.... And you shall say no more, I am weak and can do nothing, but all things through him who gives you strength." ~ James Nayler

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