Thought-Provoking   Quotes

Chaim Potok, in his book The Gift of Asher Lev, tells of a wise rabbi who said: "learned people know there are no words that can ever speak fully of the important matters of life." Yet we must, as Potok insists, "speak, as it were, around them, under them, through them, but not directly of them." Talk and words are not cheap, contrary to popular opinion; rather, they are full of power to oppress or free us; spread evil or good; kill and hate or give life and love. It is my hope that the following quotes may spread freedom, goodness, life and love to all who read them.

NEWPaul preached the gospel in synagogue, marketplace, homes, rented halls—wherever he could gather a crowd. He did not shy away from dialogue with other religions and was not afraid to engage thinkers and leaders. He conversed with individuals and groups, discussed and debated, and delivered speeches when the occasion dictated. He used every means available to him for sharing his faith. –Raymond Bailey, Paul The Preacher

NEWAs Martin Luther once observed, nowhere in the New Testament does Jesus command his disciples to go out into the world and write books, not even the Gospels and the other books of the New Testament. Rather, as the New Testament itself is at pains to attest, “he said to them: ‘Go to every part of the world, and proclaim (preach) the gospel to the whole creation.’ –Jaroslav Pelikan, Whose Bible Is It? A History Of The Scriptures Through The Ages

NEWScottish preacher James S. Stewart had a theological test of a sermon for a congregation: “Did they, or did they not, meet God today?” –James S. Stewart, Heralds of God

Lord, when we are wrong, make us willing to change, and when we are right, make us easy to live with. -Peter Marshall

Grant that we might seek never, never to bend the straight to the crooked. That is, your will to ours. But help us to bend the crooked to the straight. That is, our will to yours. -Augustine

A God without wrath brought human beings without sin into a kingdom without judgment through ministrations of a Christ without a cross. -H. Richard Niebuhr, The Kingdom of God in America describing the Protestant liberalism of the day back in 1937.

Everything can be taken from a person but one thing; the last of the human freedoms--to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way. -Viktor E. Fankl

Who is a wise person? One who learns from all people. -Talmud

Courage is never to let your actions be influenced by your fears. -Arthur Koestler

Kindness is more than deeds. It is an attitude an expression, a look, a touch. It is anything that lifts another person. -C. Neil Strait

So great are the effectiveness and power of the Word of God that the more it is persecuted the more it flourishes and grows. -Martin Luther

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence. -Robert Frost

Self-awareness and healthy self-love go hand in hand. When we love what God has given us and share it with others naturally and without expectations for gratitude we are truly people who have spiritual self-confidence and compassion; and isn't that a great way to live? -Robert J. Wicks

God made (human beings) because he loves stories. -Elie Wiesel

One of the remarkable qualities of the story is that it creates space. We can dwell in a story, walk around, find our own place. The story confronts but does not oppress; the story inspires but does not manipulate. The story invites us to an encounter, a dialogue, a mutual sharing. As long as we have stories to tell to each other there is hope. As long as we can remind each other of the lives of men and women in whom the love of God becomes manifest, there is reason to move forward to new land in which new stories are hidden. -Henri Nouwen, The Living Reminder

You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life or death to you. -C.S. Lewis

Each person is a temporary focus of forces, vitalities, and values that carry back to an immemorial past and that reach forward into an unthinkable future. -Lewis Mumford

A faithful prophet is the most misunderstood, subversive, and revolutionary of human beings. He or she is usually respected and famous only posthumously. -Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson

God is of no importance unless He is of supreme importance. -Abraham Joshua Heschel

God is in the details. - Source unknown

The person who praises God is on the tracks of justice. - Soren Kierkegaard

The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet. - Frederick Buechner

To quarrel with God is to pay God the supreme compliment: it is to take God seriously. It is to say that God matters enough to be worth some anger. To be indifferent to God is to pay God the supreme insult. It is to say that nothing of consequence is at stake. - Robert McAfee Brown, in his book, Elie Wiesel Messenger To All Humanity

Life is not so much a matter of finding the answers as it is trusting in God the Answerer and living with the questions. Our questions are holy. - Garth Wehrfritz-Hanson

One can do without solutions. Only the questions matter. We may share them or turn away from them. - Elie Wiesel

If the victims are my problem, the killers are yours. - Elie Wiesel speaking to Christians.

Not much evil is done by evil (people); most evil is done by good people who do not know that they are not good. - Reinhold Niebuhr

All real living is meeting. - Martin Buber

We worry a great deal about the problem of church and state. Now what about the church and God? Sometimes there seems to be a greater separation between the church and God than between the church and state. - Abraham Joshua Heschel

It's only a drop in the ocean - but the ocean wouldn't be the same without that drop. - Mother Teresa, speaking of her work.

Only barbarians are not curious about where they come from, how they came to be where they are, where they appear to be going, whether they wish to go there, and if so, why, and if not, why not. - Isaiah Berlin

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious - the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Albert Einstein

Reading enables us to see with the keenest eyes, to hear with the finest ears, and listen to the sweetest voices of all time. - James Russell Lowell

Trade is now clearly designed to favor the wealthiest and most powerful corporations at the expense of the rest of us. The three wealthiest people on earth now control more assets than the combined incomes of 600 million people in the world's 48 poorest countries. - Jim Wallis

He had grown up in a country run by politicians who sent the pilots to man the bombers to kill the babies to make the world safer for children to grow up in. - Ursula Kroeber Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven

What one Christian does is his (her) own responsibility, what one Jew does is thrown back to all Jews. - Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

Water of life is gonna flow again/changed from the blood of heroes and knaves/Word mercy's gonna have a new meaning/ when we are judged by the children of our slaves. - Bruce Cockburn

Eighty percent success is showing up. -Woody Allen

Life's challenge is to find the gift in our grief. -Noah benShea

I was the accuser, God the accused. My eyes were open and I was alone - terribly alone in a world without God and without (hu)man(ity). -Elie Wiesel, "Night"

First they arrested the Communists - but I was not a Communist, so I did nothing. Then they came for the Social Democrats - but was not a Social Democrat, so I did nothing. Then they arrested the trade unionists - and I did nothing because I was not one. And then they came for the Jews and then the Catholics, but I was neither a Jew nor a Catholic and I did nothing. At last they came and arrested me - and there was no one left to do anything about it. -Rev. Martin Niemoeller, Nazi Prison Survivor

It took me a long time to understand that God is not the enemy of my enemies. God is not even the enemy of God's enemies. -Rev. Martin Niemoeller, (1892-1984, during W.W.II, imprisoned in Sachsenhausen concentration camp)

Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for (hu)man(ity) to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. (Hu)Man(ity) must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love. -Martin Luther King, Jr. Speech accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, December 11, 1964

Does one's integrity ever lie in what (one) is not able to do? I think that usually it does, for free will does not mean one will, but many wills conflicting in one (person). Freedom cannot be conceived simply. -Flannery O'Connor, "Wise Blood"

It is not love that sustains your marriage, but marriage that sustains your love. -Dietrich Bonhoeffer

North American civilization is one of the ugliest to have emerged in human history, and it has engulfed the world. Asphalt and exhaust fumes clog the villages...This great, though disastrous, culture can only change as we begin to stand off and see...the inveterate materialism which has become the model for cultures around the globe. -Arthur Charles Erickson, Speech at Simon Fraser University

If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being and who is willing to destroy his (or her) own heart. -Alexander Solzhenitsyn

I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something I can do. -Edward Everett Hale

Prayer is a serene force at work in human beings. It keeps them from growing unfeeling in the face of the turmoils experienced by whole sectors of humankind. From it are drawn vital energies of compassion. -Brother Roger of Taize'

Tradition is the living faith of the dead. Traditionalism is the dead faith of the living. -Jaroslav Pelikan

The things we fear most in organizations - flucuations, disturbances, imbalances - are the primary sources of creativity. -Margaret Wheatley

In the last resort, a love of God without love of humanity is no love at all. -Hans Kung

Riches, like manure, serve best when they are spread around. -Canadian Proverb

Whoever is married to the spirit of the times is bound to be a widow. -German Proverb

Sure I am of this, that you have only to endure to conquer. You have only to persevere to save yourselves. -Sir Winston Churchill

I drink from wells I have not dug. I am warmed by fires I have not built. -Anonymous

Father and Mother are apostles, bishops and priests to their children, for it is they who make them acquainted with the gospel. -Martin Luther

This life, therefore, is not righteousness but growth in righteousness; not health but healing; not being but becoming; not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it. The process is not yet finished, but it is going on. This is not the end, but it is the road. All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified. -Martin Luther