Monday, December 31, 2012

Christin's Quote Book

  • To escape criticism―do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. ―Elbert Hubbard
  • A cucumber should be well sliced and dressed with pepper and vinegar and then thrown out, as good for nothing. ―Samuel Johnson
  • Death: to stop sinning suddenly. ―Elbert Hubbard
  • Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression. ―Dodie Smith
  • A good way to perk up your spirits whenever you’re downcast is to think back over the persons you might have married. ―Anonymous

Monday, December 24, 2012

The God in the Cave

An Excerpt from G.K. Chesterton’s
Everlasting Man: “The God in the Cave”

 This sketch of the human story began in a cave; the cave which popular science associates with the cave-man and in which practical discovery has really found archaic drawings of animals. The second half of human history, which was like a new creation of the world, also begins in a cave. There is even a shadow of such a fancy in the fact that animals were again present; for it was a cave used as a stable by the mountaineers of the uplands about Bethlehem; who still drive their cattle into such holes and caverns at night. It was here that a homeless couple had crept underground with the cattle when the doors of the crowded caravanserai had been shut in their faces; and it was here beneath the very feet of the passersby, in a cellar under the very floor of the world, that Jesus Christ was born. But in that second creation there was indeed something symbolical in the roots of the primeval rock or the horns of the prehistoric herd. God also was a Cave-Man, and, had also traced strange shapes of creatures, curiously colored upon the wall of the world; but the pictures that he made had come to life.
A mass of legend and literature, which increases and will never end has repeated and rung the changes on that single paradox; that the hands that had made the sun and stars were too small to reach the huge heads of the cattle. Upon this paradox, we might almost say upon this jest, all the literature of our faith is founded. It is at least like a jest in this; that it is something which the scientific critic cannot see. He laboriously explains the difficulty which we have always defiantly and almost derisively exaggerated; and mildly condemns as improbable something that we have almost madly exalted as incredible; as something that would be much too good to be true, except that it is true. When that contrast between the cosmic creation and the little local infancy has been repeated, reiterated, underlined, emphasized, exulted in, sung, shouted, roared, not to say howled, in a hundred thousand hymns, carols, rhymes, rituals pictures, poems, and popular sermons, it may be suggested that we hardly need a higher critic to draw our attention to something a little odd about it; especially one of the sort that seems to take a long time to see a joke, even his own joke.
Any agnostic or atheist whose childhood has known a real Christmas has ever afterwards, whether be likes it or not, an association in his mind between two ideas that most of mankind must regard as remote from each other; the idea of a baby and the idea of unknown strength that sustains the stars. His instincts and imagination can still connect them, when his reason can no longer see the need of the connection; for him there will always be some savor of religion about the mere picture of a mother and a baby; some hint of mercy and softening about the mere mention of the dreadful name of God. But the two ideas are not naturally or necessarily combined. They would not be necessarily combined for an ancient Greek or a Chinaman, even for Aristotle or Confucius. It is no more inevitable to connect God with an infant than to connect gravitation with a kitten. It has been created in our minds by Christmas because we are Christians; because we are psychological Christians even when we are not theological ones. In other words, this combination of ideas has emphatically, in the much disputed phrase, altered human nature. There is really a difference between the man who knows it and the man who does not…. Omnipotence and impotence, or divinity and infancy, do definitely make a sort of epigram which a million repetitions cannot turn into a platitude. It is not unreasonable to call it unique…
There is something defiant in it also; something that makes the abrupt bells at midnight sound like the great guns of a battle that has just been won. All this indescribable thing that we call the Christmas atmosphere only bangs in the air as something like a lingering fragrance or fading vapor from the exultant, explosion of that one hour in the Judean hills nearly two thousand years ago. But the savor is still unmistakable, and it is something too subtle or too solitary to be covered by our use of the word peace. By the very nature of the story the rejoicings in the cavern were rejoicings in a fortress or an outlaws den; properly understood it is not unduly flippant to say they were rejoicing in a dug-out. It is not only true that such a subterranean chamber was a hiding place from enemies; and that the enemies were already scouring the stony plain that lay above it like a sky. It is not only that the very horse-hoofs of Herod might in that sense have passed like thunder over the sunken head of Christ. It is also that there is in that image a true idea of an outpost, of a piercing through the rock and an entrance into an enemy territory. There is in this buried divinity an idea of undermining the world; of shaking the towers and palaces from below; even as Herod the great king felt that earthquake under him and swayed with his swaying palace…
It was resented, because, in its own still and almost secret way, it had declared war. It had risen out of the ground to wreck the heaven and earth of heathenism. It did not try to destroy all that creation of gold and marble; but it contemplated a world without it. It dared to look right through it as though the gold and marble had been glass. Those who charged the Christians with burning down Rome with firebrands were slanderers; but they were at least far nearer to the nature of Christianity than those among the moderns who tell us that the Christians were a sort of ethical society, being martyred in a languid fashion for telling men they had a duty to their neighbors, and only mildly disliked because they were meek and mild.
Herod had his place, therefore, in the miracle play of Bethlehem because he is the menace to the Church Militant and shows it from the first as under persecution and fighting for its life. For those who think this a discord, it is a discord that sounds simultaneously with the Christmas bells…
No other birth of a god or childhood of a sage seems to us to be Christmas or anything like Christmas. It is either too cold or too frivolous, or too formal and classical, or too simple and savage, or too occult and complicated. Not one of us, whatever his opinions, would ever go to such a scene with the sense that he was going home. He might admire it because it was poetical, or because it was philosophical or any number of other things in separation; but not because it was itself. The truth is that there is a quite peculiar and individual character about the hold of this story on human nature; it is not in its psychological substance at all like a mere legend or the life of a great man. It does not exactly in the ordinary sense turn our minds to greatness; to those extensions and exaggerations of humanity which are turned into gods and heroes, even by the healthiest sort of hero worship. It does not exactly work outwards, adventourously to the wonders to be found at the ends of the earth. It is rather something that surprises us from behind, from the hidden and personal part of our being; like that which can sometimes take us off our guard in the pathos of small objects or the blind pieties of the poor. It is rather as if a man had found an inner room in the very heart of his own house, which he had never suspected; and seen a light from within.

Christin's Quote Book

  • Conscience is the inner voice that warns us that someone may be looking. ―H.L. Mencken
  • The contented man is never poor; the discontented man is never rich. ―Anonymous
  • Real happiness don’t consist so much in what a man don’t have as it does in what he don’t want. ―Josh Billings
  • There is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for someone she loves. ―Thomas Wolfe
  • Craftiness must have clothes, but truth loves to go naked. ―Anonymous

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Come join us for a "Lessons & Carols" Christmas Eve Service at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, in Nacogdoches, 5:00 - 6:00 pm.

The Second Helvetic Confession (1566); The Festivals of Christ and the Saints: “Moreover, if in Christian Liberty the churches religiously celebrate the memory of the Lord’s nativity, circumcision, passion, resurrection, and of his ascension into heaven, and the sending of the Holy Spirit upon his disciples, we approve of it highly.”

Monday, December 17, 2012


Next Sunday is all yours. We’re going to put your name at the top of the banner and proclaim you to be the model citizen; that is, the one everyone else should imitate. The Apostle Paul urged his readers to imitate him (1 Cor. 4:16; 11:1); and so, as we imitate him imitating Christ, perhaps we should all take a seat in that head chair. As you assume this powerful position, all your brothers and sisters in Christ will do as you do; they will attend, participate, listen, give, serve, fellowship, show hospitality, pray, sing, study, and witness just like you. They will imitate your attitude and duplicate your dedication. Perhaps we can extend your role for several weeks (if you like).

So, what kind of church will we see at the end of this experiment? Improved or diminished?

1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. ―Ephesian 5:1

Christin's Quote Book

  • If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee. ―Abraham Lincoln
  • Some are born with cold feet, some acquire cold feet, and others have cold feet thrust upon them. ―Anonymous
  • A committee is a group that keeps minutes and loses hours. ―Milton Berle
  • I can live two months on a good compliment. ―Mark Twain
  • Conceit is God’s gift to little men. ―Bruce Barton

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christin's Quote Book

  • How can you expect to govern a country that has 246 kinds of cheese? ―Charles de Gaulle
  • Ask your child what he wants for dinner only if he’s buying. ―Fran Lebowitz
  • You do not sew with a fork, and I see no reason why you should eat with knitting needles. ―Miss Piggy
  • Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. ―Mark Twain
  • If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, what is the significance of an empty desk? ―Laurence J. Peter

Monday, December 3, 2012

Christin's Quote Book

  • Out of the mouths of babes comes…cereal. ―Anonymous
  • Bagpipes are the missing link between music and noise. ―E. K. Kruger
  • One thing about baldness: it’s neat. ―Don Herold
  • It’s easier to behave your way into a new way of thinking than to think you way into  a new way of behaving. ―Anonymous
  • We’ve got a cat called Ben Hur. We called it Ben till it had kittens. ―Sally Poplin
  • Her face was her chaperone. ―Rupert Hughes