I have been thinking about the prevailing issue of self-contradiction and confusion of many individuals who are supposed to be thinkers and visionaries. I decided to post this random online data on a book (which was made into a movie) by Paul Theroux. I was very young when I first read the book and I was increasingly disillusioned as I stepped into the hero’s son’s shoes. What is one man’s utopia is another man’s hell. Today I find the same issue of utopia emerges and is making such loud and discorded noises in the Western world. Ironically it is the reversed that is being clambered now as masses from the third world are straining to gate crash into the Western world, which to them means paradise.
Allie Fox is a genius, a fool, a loving father, a madman, a dreamer, and a selfish… (by a reviewer)
In a breathtaking adventure story, the paranoid and brilliant inventor Allie Fox takes his family to live in the Honduran jungle, determined to build a civilization better than the one they’ve left. Fleeing from an America he sees as mired in materialism and conformity, he hopes to rediscover a purer life. But his utopian experiment takes a dark turn when his obsessions lead the family toward unimaginable danger. (Goodreads)
Once he has arrived in the jungle, Fox, a Harvard dropout, father of four, and an amateur inventor with an intense disgust for the state of his original nation, his vision are slowly corrupted and he becomes a cult leader, like the preacher he despises. The black migrant workers who follow him to Mosquitia even address Fox as “father.”
Spellbinding adventure story of a family that rejects its homeland and tries to find a happier and simpler life in the jungles of Central America. The motivation comes from the father, Allie Fox, who is a character in the classic American mold. A cantankerous inventor, he is articulate, shrewd, scornful, funny, very angry, and slightly cracked. An individualist, Fox sees modern American culture as a despicable combination of the wasteful, the immoral, and the messy. Uprooting his family from their Massachusetts farm home, he takes them off to a primitive world in order to escape what he considers the imminent breakdown of civilization.
The Mosquito Coast has the fascination of an ironic version of Robinson
Crusoe or a sardonic Swiss Family Robinson, along with the deeper levels
akin to those of The Lord of the Flies. As a sheer teller of tales
Theroux is at the top of his form, but he also succeeds as a moralist
with a subtle fable in mind.
The story is told with fresh innocence by the fourteen year old Charlie,
who observes his father with a mixture of love, horror, and
astonishment. He describes the voyage, the trip into the interior, his
father’s invention of a giant ice-making machine (which is supposed to
bring a new era to the jungle), and all of the adventures that ensue.
Charlie watches as his father becomes ever more obsessive, evermore lost
The Mosquito Coast Quotes
Fox says to his son: “Look around you, Charlie. This place is a toilet.”
“I’m the last man,” Fox tells Charlie.
“One of the sicknesses of the twentieth century? I’ll tell you the worst one. People can’t stand to be alone. Can’t tolerate it! So they go to the movies, get drive-in hamburgers, put their home telephone numbers in the crapsheets and say ‘Please call me up!’ It’s sick. People hate their own company — they cry when they see themselves in mirrors. It scares them, the way their faces look. Maybe that’s a clue to the whole thing…”
“I guessed it was a migratory bird, too innocent to be wary of the spiders in the jungle grass. It worried be to think that we were a little like that bird”
“Why do things get weaker and worse? Why don’t they get better? Because we accept that they fall apart! But they don’t have to — they could last forever. Why do things get more expensive? Any fool can see that they should get cheaper as technology gets more efficient. It’s despair to accept the senility of obsolescence…”
“And father said “I never wanted this. I’m sick of everyone pretending to be old Dan Beavers in his L. L. Bean moccasins, and his Dubbelwares, and his Japanese bucksaw — all these fake frontiersmen with their chuck wagons full of Twinkies and Wonderbread and aerosol cheese spread. Get out the Duraflame log and the plastic cracker barrel, Dan, and let’s talk self-sufficiency!”
“Nature is crooked. I wanted right angles and straight lines. Ice! Oh, why do they all drip? You cut yourself opening a can of tuna fish and you die. One puncture in your foot and your life leaks out through your toe. What are they for, moose antlers? Get down on all fours and live. You’re protected on your hands and knees. It’s either that or wings.”
“The world is plain rotten. People are mean, they’re cruel, they’re fake, they always pretend to be something their not. They’re weak. They take advantage. A cruddy little man who sees God in a snake, or the devil in thunder, will take you prisoner if he gets the drop on you. Give anyone half a chance and he’ll make you a slave; he’ll tell you the most awful lies. I’ve seen them, running around bollocky, playing God. And our friends… they’ll be lonely out there. They’ll be scared. Because the world stinks.”
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
“He used the word savages with affection, as if he liked them a little for it. In his nature was a respect for wildness. He saw it as a personal challenge, something that could be put right with an idea or a machine. He felt he had the answer to most problems, if anyone cared to listen.”
Summary The Mosquito Coast begins in contemporary suburban America. Allie Fox is brilliantly clever with his hands and his head is full of ideas. But he hates the modern world. His children have no television or toys, they wear old clothes and they don’t go to school. He hates his boss, Mr Polski, who, Allie thinks, is only interested in making money and doesn’t care about the future. One day Allie decides to get out. He puts his wife and children in his van and drives them away from their old life. They travel by ship to Honduras. At La Ceiba, on the Honduran coast, his bewildered family watches as he buys a place called Jeronimo, a small town on a river in the jungle…
Background and themes Travelling: Paul Theroux is a traveller. The nature of travelling means that you move on. Moving on, leaving things behind and looking for new experiences, is an important theme in The Mosquito Coast. Allie Fox doesn’t like what he sees in America. His solution is not to stay and try to change it, but to walk away. When things don’t work out at various places in Honduras, he makes his family move on and start again. Obsession: The Mosquito Coast is a character study of a man who develops a paranoid obsession – of a man who thinks the whole world is against him and only he can save the world. He lives in a state of high tension, never resting in his attacks on America and western civilization. He fights against the current of modern life. He thinks he is the last real man in the world. Control: In Allie’s attempts to create a new world in the jungle, he tries to control everyone and everything around him. He makes everyone see things his way. When he feels threatened, he reacts aggressively and violently.
Father/son relationship: The novel also examines the relationship between father and son. Theroux elicits warm feeling towards Allie by telling the story through the eyes of his loyal son, Charlie Fox. We feel sorry for Charlie as he comes to understand his father’s failings and to lose his belief in him. The natural world versus the modern world: Theroux sets up an interesting paradox as the basis of the novel. All the time that Allie is searching for a simple paradise, he is planning how to change it and tame it. In fact it is the children who learn better to live with nature – eating wild plants, protecting themselves against insects with leaf juices, building a simple shelter from materials in the jungle. Allie, meanwhile, plants western crops in neat rows, puts up elaborate mosquito nets and builds an ice-making machine.
Paul Edward Theroux is an American travel writer and novelist, whose best known work is The Great Railway Bazaar (1975), a travelogue about a trip he made by train from Great Britain through Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, through South Asia, then South-East Asia, up through East Asia, as far east as Japan, and then back across Russia to his point of origin. Although perhaps best known as a travelogue writer, Theroux has also published numerous works of fiction, some of which were made into feature films. He was awarded the 1981 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his novel The Mosquito Coast.
The Mosquito Coast, also known as the Miskito Coast and the Miskito Kingdom, historically included the kingdom’s fluctuating area along the eastern coast of present-day Nicaragua and Honduras.
Note added: a famous Christian man who lived for 99 years and is known to perhaps millions in this world died on 21st February 2018 . This poem was written and posted on the 16th five days before that day while fasting for Lent.
they call to compose an official song
to cherish entrance of wintry solace long
why they never know it’s an impossible task
anyone with brain would always ask
how long is winter to be long
haha you must be joking all along
how wide is winter to be white
is he the old guy with snow whiskers uphill hiding a wife
she’s beautiful so so much
to be goggled at by many eyes
old guy loves wife so so much
he vows she’ll not be seen by any more disrespectful, aye
you want to hide Winter with her light
brilliantly glistening deep at night
or reverse her silky white waterfall
Nay, even Spring won’t do impossible chore
he cannot remember now
how she grows her pure white snow
when his matching whiskers start their show
It seems just yesterday they were both stage-fright-voices
so simple in love in spring in songs in dances
Rumors say of late a celestial laser show persistently brews on them
with dazed drooping eyes he now lisps new sounds
decked in red digital coat and virtual hat and geeky boots and all
i give you the official winter solace rap
nothing more nothing less on
eight foot long
as my elementary AI sleigh tap
with laser beaming Reindeer Day
begin our show show show
starring L E D Pivot Stel and Winter Wanda La La La
Note: Towards the end of 2017 I switch to write funny/dramatic/satirical experimental poems telling a story. Is it a new direction? Or is it just an intermission? I would like to think it’s both.
I always find Bridges fascinating. Each one encompasses three main phases of life: beginning, ending and in-between. Some bridges we cross for a temporary purpose and we cross back after we have fulfilled that purpose. Some bridges we cross but never intend to return. Some we cross at predictable regular intervals like the crossing is an extended part of one’s being. Some we just never cross. Perhaps we do not have the opportunity to do so in this life. Is there a bridge I must cross but with great reluctance and a sense of immense loss? Yes. I believe the bridge is called “Goodbye, my love.” (Somehow I suspect everyone who loves has a bridge by this name)
i found this at random from the internet. i marvel at the use of words like identity, name, seed and step. The definition is coined for programmer and it reflects a meaning deeper than its intention!
Quote:”Definition (Identity Columns in TSQL*)
An identity column has a name, initial seed and step. When a row is inserted into a table the column will take the value of the current seed incremented by the step.” Unquote.
“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)
When I plant a word (seed) in my heart (mind), I can see an image of me. That image of me will produce an identify of the “me” I see in my own thought image.
what word seed am i planting in my heart today? this moment?
what current seed incremented by my thought step?
Jesus said in Matthew 15:18 “But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you.”
a man’s identity can be defiled by what he thinks he is.
Romans 3:22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.
Romans 5:9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation.
Romans 5:11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
Galatians 2:20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 3:26 For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:27 And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.
Galatians 3:28 There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.
*Note:Transact-SQL is Microsoft’s and Sybase’s proprietary extension to the SQL used to interact with relational databases.
(I translated, re-written and re-named this love song. I call it Gracefully love)
Even if I should come once to
in one dash
one kairos moment
in one billion years
joining you so brief
for all its sweet tears
and all its grief
Well, let all that must happen
happen in a flash
let me bow
thanking all the stars
holding you I won’t let go
penning this poem now
with an unseen hand
slowly growing old
holding you I won’t let go
(1983 Taiwan Campus Folk Song) The original love poem was written by the Mongolian painter/poet/writer MuRong Xi , music by Su Lai 作詞：席幕容，作曲：蘇來
(Poem II) “Since we parted –2” (I translated this second poem, rewritten, but tried to follow the original pattern of her thought)
And now I realize
what we have slowly squandered off
is one life we both have loved
our whole life, my beloved!
别後——之二 ◎席慕蓉 (MuRong Xi wrote this poem during her grief for the demise of her husband)
Blogger’s notes: photo credit goes to La Center’s Greg Marshall who photographs a universe most never imagine. By training, Marshall is an electronics engineer and computer-imaging expert, but the stars have led him into art. He catches images many light years away. I got it at random while browsing.
The poems are about love and loss. Instead of choosing sentimental pictures I decided to use the stars of the universe. The first poem took on a new meaning…I then decided to alter the poem to a hopeful end. A happy and prosperous Lunar New Year for my Asian friends!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~In the geographical terrain where the traveler now stations on this globe he sees a different sky. Another shade of blue color. Another formation of clouds. Another regiment of trees. Same globe but different. The waves of the ocean sky are different. The foams are different. Often it makes him think of how a tiny globe can have such a rich variety of colors, shades, shapes, forms, textures, tints, tones, patterns, habitat, living creatures, sounds, tastes, smells, tunes, depths, widths, heights, breadths, smiles, laughs, eyes, skins, hair, fingers, feet, babies, wind, breezes, streets, lanes, paths, roads, waysides, hills, rivers, streams, mountains, valleys, cliffs, rocks, pebbles, shores, marshlands, nests, eggs, twigs, branches, buds, flowers, plants, trees, bushes, grass, fishes, dogs and cats, snow and falls, seasons and weather. The list is in-exhaustive. There is no lack of topics for a haiku-writing traveler to record, report, and write. Compared to perhaps another habitable planet somewhere in another remote universe, this earth garden is not doing too bad in the richness in varieties. In a way, this reflects the human soul. There is no lack of the richness in varieties and peculiarities rich display of which he often takes a snapshot and jots down lest he may forget when he next comes this way.
Quotation from the Bible: Psalm 46:2-4 New Living Translation (NLT)
2 So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. 3 Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge! Interlude
4 A river brings joy to the city of our God, the sacred home of the Most High.
Why does this traveler write Haiku? I started writing Haiku in my teen days. I happened to read a book on Japanese Haiku (translated to English) in the library and tried writing some myself. It is simple and short and precise. It is not ambitious. It describes a moment like clicking a snapshot of something in a specific time and space. The result is a picture that tells a story.
Stretching over you
My omnipotent feathers
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
And from the perilous pestilence.
He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
For a long time, the traveler travels. He (or she) sees life, tastes life, lives life. Sometimes he mirrors life. Sometimes he evades life. Often he sits around at an invisible corner and watches life.
He likes a story named, Velveteen Rabbit. Here are quotes that impact his young life.
“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’
‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.
‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’
‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’
‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
― Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit
Does being real matter? Being hurt. Being worn out. Being very ‘shabby looking’ to those who do not understand the meaning of being real. The traveler once asked (when he was very young and tender).
The traveler traveled for a long time to many foreign lands and sat at the corner of many different events, sights, sounds, colors, purposes, missions, programs, activities, chores, causes, systems, worlds.
And he found that he actually had hind legs! Instead of dingy velveteen he had brown fur, soft and shiny, his ears twitched by themselves, and his whiskers were so long that they brushed the grass.
He gave one leap and the joy of using those hind legs was so great that he went springing about the turf on them, jumping sideways and whirling round as the others did, and he grew so excited that when at last he did stop to look for the Fairy she had gone.
He was a Real Rabbit at last, at home with the other rabbits.
At Last! At Last!
Autumn passed and Winter, and in the Spring, when the days grew warm and sunny, the Boy went out to play in the wood behind the house. And while he was playing, two rabbits crept out from the bracken and peeped at him. One of them was brown all over, but the other had strange markings under his fur, as though long ago he had been spotted, and the spots still showed through. And about his little soft nose and his round black eyes there was something familiar, so that the Boy thought to himself:
“Why, he looks just like my old Bunny that was lost when I had scarlet fever!”
But he never knew that it really was his own Bunny, come back to look at the child who had first helped him to be Real.
~~~~~~~~~~~~(Note from the traveler: The real rabbit is not shabby looking. He is beautiful.)
This mini magazine is a compilation of articles on the topic of your identity in Christ.There is an identity crisis in the world today. Mankind is only a shadow of what God created us to be. Most people have become so accustomed to being miserable that they don’t know what they are missing. They don’t realize from where we’ve fallen. Modern man believes he came from monkeys and acts accordingly. They practice homosexuality. Even monkeys are smarter than that. They protect the unborn eagles more than their own young. They have lost all sense of who they are and where they came from.
quote: “factor which controls our actions. Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as hethinketh in his heart, so is he.” Romans 8:6 says, “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Notice that carnal mindedness doesn’t just tend toward death — it is death!No one can consistently perform differently than the way they think; therefore, we cannot change our actions without changing our thinking. It’s not just what we think about that needs changing, but we must change our thinking process. Our emotions are linked directly to how we think.
All people have a perception, or image, on the inside of them of what they are like. This image is not necessarily based on facts but on feelings. One negative experience can distort a person’s perception of themself for a lifetime.
For instance, some people who are beautiful may think of themselves as ugly or undesirable because of unkind words spoken to them as a child. Some who achieve great success still see themselves as failures, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
To a degree, psychology has correctly diagnosed this problem. Psychologists use terminology such as “self-esteem” or “identity” in relating these truths; however, today’s secular wisdom is totally inadequate to help a person change the inner self image.
First, most people shift the blame for bad self-esteem, or self-image, to someone else. It has become popular to blame others for every negative thing in our lives. People often say, “I came from a dysfunctional family,” “My problems came because I’m part of a minority group,” “It’s that woman you gave me” (Gen. 3:12). Other people are not our problem!
All of us have had negative experiences. The choice is ours whether we become bitter or better as a result of them. For every person who can claim some dysfunctional behavior because of a traumatic experience in their life, there are others who have had similar or worse things happen to them, yet they overcame their circumstances. Why? Because problems do not dictate failure; we have a choice.
Deuteronomy 30:19 says, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” God Almighty gave us a choice. God doesn’t make the choice for us, and Satan can’t make it for us. We have the privilege and responsibility to choose blessing or cursing.
Placing the blame on others is denying the real problem, and it will prevent finding a solution. If other people are my problem, I’m in trouble because God did not give me the ability to control other people. The devil will always send someone across my path who knows how to hit my hot button.
If the problem is within me, then there is hope because through Christ, I can change. This is freedom. Regardless of what others do, I can prosper through Christ.
After psychology tries to place the blame for your problems on someone else, they try to bolster your self-esteem by having you focus on the positive things in your self and minimize the negative attributes. That’s not what the Bible teaches. Jesus said, “For without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5).
“Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Mark 8:34). Paul said, “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are” (1 Cor. 1:27-28).
The Bible teaches that there must be an end to self-esteem before true service can begin. Christians should not try and store up the feeble positive attributes of their personalities. That is like trying to stop the bleeding from an amputated arm with a Band-Aid; it won’t work for long.
Regardless of how successful or talented we are in ourselves, we will eventually fail. If nothing else, we will get older someday and will not be as productive as before. If our self-esteem is rooted in our accomplishments, then it will ultimately fail. All the security we have found in ourselves will then come crashing down around us.
The Christian should have Christ-esteem. Just like the Apostle Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).
The secret to victorious Christian living is not found in self-improvement but in self-denial so that Christ can live through us.
This does not mean that God wants us to have a bad self-image. It just depends upon which self we are talking about. You see, every born-again believer has become a new person in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). (Eph. 4:22-24).
The old man is corrupt and, at his best, is incapable of living the Christian life. This is the self that most people try to patch up and feel good about. Give it up! We have to die to this old self life with all its good and bad, and find a new identity in Christ.
The new man is exactly as Jesus is (1 Cor. 6:17)! That’s right. We are a totally brand-new person in Christ. We have everything that Jesus has, in our spirits (1 John 4:17). We have a totally new identity in Christ. Why then would we want to fix up our old selves instead of just living in our new selves?
If we let the new man dominate us, we’ll walk in power and victory in every area of our lives.
How can you tell if your thoughts and emotions are coming from the new, born-again self or the old carnal self? God’s Word is the key. Jesus says in John 6:63, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” Any thought or emotion that agrees with what God’s Word says about you is from your new man. Any thought or emotion that violates God’s Word is from your old man or the devil.
If you are angry at someone, you’re in the flesh (old man). Just repent and get back in the spirit (new man) where you have love, joy, and peace (Gal. 5:22). If you are afraid, you’re in the flesh, “for God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7). Instead of going to God and asking Him to remove the fear, just step out of the flesh and into the spirit where there is no fear (1 John 4:18).
This is so simple you have to have someone help you misunderstand it. The problem is that we have had a lot of help misunderstanding these simple, biblical truths, but we have a solution.” (Harnessing Your Emotions – Andrew Wommack)
This teaching reveals that positive emotions are not optional. God commands us to take control of our emotions. In fact, sin is conceived in our emotions. A person who doesn’t master their emotions is a person who cannot overcome sin.
Emotions are a result of how we think. A person who has low self-esteem is going to be depressed. But how does this square with the statements of God’s Word about denying ourselves and becoming nothing in our own sight before God can use us? The answer lies in Christ-esteem, not self-esteem. Our born-again self is the only part of us that we need to esteem. Anything less is destined to fail.
Identity in Christ
We need to analyze and then identify with the new self that we have become in Christ. This teaching will give you a look at who you are in Christ that very few Christians have seen. This is life-changing and one of the major keys to a victorious life in Christ. “
The Cost of Discipleship (Quotes from Dietrich Bonhoeffer)
“When all is said and done, the life of faith is nothing if not an unending struggle of the spirit with every available weapon against the flesh.”
“Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: ‘Ye were bought at a price’, and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.”
“Not hero worship, but intimacy with Christ.”
“Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”
“It is only because He became like us that we can become like Him.”
“Fruit is always the miraculous, the created; it is never the result of willing, but always a growth. The fruit of the Spirit is a gift of God, and only He can produce it. They who bear it …know only the power of Him on whom their life depends”
“[Jesus] stands between us and God, and for that very reason he stands between us and all other men and things. He is the Mediator, not only between God and man, but between man and man, between man and reality. Since the whole world was created through him and unto him (John 1:3; 1st Cor. 8:6; Heb. 1:2), he is the sole Mediator in the world.”
“There is no way from one person to another. However loving and sympathetic we try to be…we cannot penetrate the incognito of the other man…Christ stands between us, and we can only get into touch with our neighbors through him. That is why intercession is the most promising way to reach our neighbors, and corporate prayer, offered in the name of Christ, the purest form of fellowship.”
“The messengers of Jesus will be hated to the end of time. They will be blamed for all the division which rend cities and homes. Jesus and his disciples will be condemned on all sides…The disciples will be sorely tempted to desert their Lord. But the end is also near, and they must hold on and persevere until it comes. Only he will be blessed who remains loyal to Jesus and his word until the end.”
“To be called to a life of extraordinary quality, to live up to it, and yet to be unconscious of it is indeed a narrow way. To confess and testify to the truth as it is in Jesus, and at the same time to love the enemies of that truth, his enemies and ours, and to love them with the infinite love of Jesus Christ, is indeed a narrow way. ..it is indeed an impossible way. But if we behold Jesus Christ going on before step by step, we shall not go astray.”
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.’ These men without possessions or power, these strangers on Earth, these sinners, these followers of Jesus, have in their life with him renounced their own dignity, for they are merciful.”
“So many people come to church with a genuine desire to hear what we have to say, yet they are always going back home with the uncomfortable feeling that we are making it too difficult for them to come to Jesus.”
“[God says] Discipleship is not limited to what you can comprehend.”
“True prayer is done in secret, but this does not rule out the fellowship of prayer altogether, ..True prayer does not depend either on the individual or the whole body of the faithful, but solely upon the knowledge that our Heavenly Father knows our needs.”
“The community of the saints is not an “ideal” community consisting of perfect and sinless men and women, ..No, it is a community which proves that it is worthy of the gospel of forgiveness by constantly and sincerely proclaiming God’s forgiveness…Sanctification means driving out the world from the Church as well as separating the Church from the world. But the purpose of such discipline is not to establish a community of the perfect, but a community consisting of men who really live under the forgiving mercy of You.”
“Anything I cannot thank God for the sake of Christ, I may not thank God for at all; to do so would be sin. … We cannot rightly acknowledge the gifts of God unless we acknowledge the Mediator for whose sake alone they are given to us.”
“The earthly form of Christ is the form that died on the cross. The image of God is the image of Christ crucified. It is to this image that the life of the disciples must be conformed; in other words, they must be conformed to his death (Phil 3.10, Rom 6.4) The Christian life is a life of crucifixion (Gal 2.19) In baptism the form of Christ’s death is impressed upon his own. They are dead to the flesh and to sin, they are dead to the world, and the world is dead to them (Gal 6.14). Anybody living in the strength of Christ’s baptism lives in the strength of Christ’s death.” ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship