A potpourri of ideas worth taking time to think aboutPublished 11:08am Monday, April 23, 2012
I first smelled something unexpected in what my parents called our “front room” on an afternoon when my mother was expecting the girls for tea. To the side was a package of mixed dried flowers, and the label said it was potpourri. The way I read it, I presume it had been poured from a pot. I later learned it also means a miscellaneous mixture of any substance or other items. Indeed, this is what today’s column, and others I present occasionally, is: a potpourri of miscellaneous thoughts that have come to mind.
Some of these I will yet develop into full essays, each with an introduction with a thesis, a body of reasoning or evidence, and a conclusion as to what we might do with the thought expressed. Others might better stand alone so readers can develop them in their own minds. Some, alas, might not be worth developing. But for what they are worth, here is the present collection of thoughts.
Nothing “works out in time,” but wise people use time to work things out.
In our teens we looked into each others’ eyes and ignored everything around us; when we matured we began to look together at what is ahead.
We gain nothing when we keep peace by ignoring truth, yet we achieve nothing when we obsess with truth and ignore love.
Plants naturally bend to where the light is; people must choose the light.
God did not create life and he does not redeem lives for his amusement and our punishment, but for his glory and our enjoyment. So, let’s glorify God by our enjoyment of life.
Life is not to be suffered and endured, but to experience and enjoy.
God either removes the problem situation or he removes the problem from the situation. At least he does for those willing to trust him.
Faith is not necessarily rational, but it is always reasonable. If it is not reasonable, it is not faith.
Fruit grows to ripeness and then rots. Humans are always in the process of maturing; but if they are not, they turn rotten.
A major reason people resist our religious appeals is they have gained the impression from us that it is all about our credit and has nothing to do with any need of theirs they can recognize. We win favor with God — they lose everything they have enjoyed. So, what’s the point?
Faith enables us to realize what physically we can now only anticipate and the persuasive evidence of what is beyond our ability to examine empirically.
Success is distinct from effectiveness, and we must aim at ultimate effectiveness and care less about immediate success.
An effective sermon causes people to say not “What a great sermon,” but “What a great God.”
An effective pastor does not just try to keep everyone happy but nurtures changed lives.
Immature children never want what they need and never need what they want. Parents who always give whatever children want, seldom give what they need.
Parents must love their children enough to allow them to hate them when it comes to this.
The usual friend tells you what you want to hear, while the genuine friend tells you what you need to know.
Life is living, not possessing.
It is more to the point to see the church as belonging to the people than it is to see people as belonging to the church.
Man is God’s only uncompleted creation, so we can become self-fulfilling and bring maximum glory to God by what we do with ourselves.
Sin is not irreligion, naughtiness, or even simple immorality, but inhumanity that destroys the human within us and renders us but social animals.
The task of humans is not to be angelic or superhuman but authentically human.
We must be as religious as necessary to become as spiritual as possible but not so religious we are but religious and not yet spiritual.
The great malady of many Christians is we suffer from religious obesity complicated by spiritual malnutrition.