Archive for April, 2023

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein is considered to be a great genius. As Hitler rose to power and the Nazis took over in his homeland of Germany, Einstein immigrated to the United States in 1933 after accepting a position at Princeton’s Institute of Advanced Study. Einstein was both Jewish and German-born who left us a treasure trove of truths. Consider these.

“The difference in genius and stupidity is that genius has its limitation and stupidity doesn’t.”

“I fear the day when technology will surpass the day of human interaction.” 

“The world will have a generation of idiots.”

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” 

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.”

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.”

“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”

“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”

“Let us not forget that human knowledge and skills alone cannot lead humanity to a happy and dignified life.”

“He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.”

“A happy man is too satisfied with the present to dwell too much on the future.”

“I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.”

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”

“Learn from yesterday,
Live for today,
Hope for tomorrow.
The important thing 
is not to stop questioning.”

While at Princeton Einstein commuted by train. One day as the ticket agent moved through the coach Einstein began futilely searching for his ticket. The ticket agent assured him he need not hurry; he would check again when he came back through the car. When he did return Einstein was on his knees searching beneath his seat. The agent again sought to comfort him by saying. “That is alright Dr. Einstein I know you and how honest you are.” He replied, “I too know who I am, but I don’t know where I am going.” Even genius has its limitations.

That poses the question, do you know where you are ultimately going? Have you asked Jesus to punch your ticket to heaven?

Comments by President Jimmy Carter

The faith of a person is expressed verbally and experientially in many ways. In the case of President Carter, he spoke of and showed his faith by actions.

“We should live our lives as though Christ was coming this afternoon.”  

“I have one life and one chance to make it count for something… I’m free to choose what that something is, and the something I’ve chosen is my faith. Now, my faith goes beyond theology and religion and requires considerable work and effort. My faith demands — this is not optional — my faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can, for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference.”

“God always answers prayers. Sometimes it’s “yes.” Sometimes the answer is “no.” Sometimes it’s “you gotta be kidding.”

“Earlier in my life I thought the things that mattered were the things that you could see, like your car, your house, your wealth, your property, your office. But as I’ve grown older I’ve become convinced that the things that matter most are the things that you can’t see — the love you share with others, your inner purpose, your comfort with who you are.”

“I believe that anyone can be successful in life, regardless of natural talent or the environment within which we live. This is not based on measuring success by human competitiveness for wealth, possessions, influence, and fame, but adhering to God’s standards of truth, justice, humility, service, compassion, forgiveness, and love.”

In public he stated many times, “I am a born again Christian.”  

“Piety alone isn’t sufficient- followers of Jesus must live out their convictions with acts of love.” 

Following is an extract from a Carter biography entitled “His Very Best.”

One afternoon in late 1973 Carter called in Dr. Nelson Price, pastor of the ten-thousand-member Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta, one of the first megachurches in the world. When he told Price he might run for president, Price replied that it was a good time for an evangelical Christian to run because large numbers of previously apolitical evangelicals were now planning to vote for the first time. The men got down on their knees in front of Carter’s desk and Price prayed. When they got up Price placed his hand of Carter’s shoulder and said, “My brother, get your life right because this might be what God has in mind for you.”

The next time the two prayed together was in the Oval Office in the White House.

Quotes by Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan, the Great Communicator, is one of the most quoted presidents of the modern era. His speech was so refined many of his sayings were sermons in a sentence. It is little known that Reagan was baptized at age 11 and started teaching a Sunday School class at age 15, which he didn’t miss for two years. As president his favorite hymn was the one with the line “Lord make me an instrument of your peace….”

Many of the following quotes are faith based.   

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

“If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be one nation gone under.”

“Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.”

“As government expands, liberty contracts.”

“I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born.”

“We don’t have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.”

“The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

“We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”

“A nation that cannot control its borders is not a nation.”

“Christmas can be celebrated in the school room with pine trees, tinsel and reindeers, but there must be no mention of the man whose birthday is being celebrated. One wonders how a teacher would answer if a student asked why it was called Christmas.”

“Sometimes when I’m faced with an atheist, I am tempted to invite him to the greatest gourmet dinner that one could ever serve, and when we have finished eating that magnificent dinner, to ask him if he believes there’s a cook.”

“Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

He, like the rest of us, wasn’t a perfect person, but he did have a personal faith that influenced all of his life and decisions. Make sure yours does.

Jefferson’s Words of Wisdom

The neoclassical building known as the Jefferson Memorial is situated in West Potomac Park on the shore of the Potomac River. The first time I stood in it I was impressed not only with its architectural beauty, but even more by the inscriptions on the walls that are attributed to Jefferson. Before I go further I acknowledge he, like all of us, had his flaws, though he had impressive academic acumen unlike most of us. He has not been listed in the Vatican as a saint and has no reason to be. However, by reading the inscriptions we gain insight into the mood of those founding our nation. Following are some.

In the Rotunda
“I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

In the Southwest Portico
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men. We…solemnly publish and declare, that these colonies are and of a right ought to be free and independent states…and for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

Excerpted from the Declaration of Independence, 1776.

Northwest Portico
“Almighty God hath created the mind free. All attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens…are a departure from the plan of the holy Author of our religion…No man shall be compelled to frequent or support religious worship or ministry or shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion. I know but one code of morality for men whether acting singly or collectively.”

On the Northeast Portico
“God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever. Commerce between master and slave is despotism. Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free. Establish the law for educating the common people. This it is the business of the state to effect and on a general plan.”

Pray that sound reasoning may once again  prevail as an evidence that God is blessing America. Be a prayer warrior for America.

Gun Control

We need more and better gun laws! OK, but you have to be naive to believe that will correct the gun violence of today. No civil law will solve the problem. It is systemic in our culture. It is not guns that need controlling, it is culture. The problem is our culture.

Build an eight foot fence and illegal users of guns will build a nine foot ladder. Build a ten foot fence and they will build an eleven foot ladder and the process goes on.

In my youth we carried guns to school so we could go hunting right after school. At recess we played “mumbly-peg” with jack knives. A young adult in Montana told me they took guns to school and shot varmints during recess. Nobody got shot nor knifed. There were less gun laws and more guns per capita then than now. It was the culture of the era.

What happened.? There was a change in our culture. Our culture is our problem

The problem can’t be legislated away. Out of the heart comes the issues of life. It is in the Book. We’ve got a heart problem. Denying it only exacerbates the problem.

Indirectly we have created an environment that encourages violence. Social media, TV, movies, books, and music approve, if not advocate, it. Kids walk around with an X-rated movie theater in their pockets. There is the old computer axiom, GIGO, garbage in, garbage out. Like a computer, what you put in your heart is what comes out. It has become the norm in our culture.

As a generality, churches have gone silent on social issues. There is even a new theology being advocated that portends to make the matters more intense. It goes by a number of titles, but is most commonly called Liberation Theology. The thesis is the church alienated the world by proposing a morality that is outdated. To reach the world we must change our stance on most moral issues and agree with the world. Instead of exhorting the world to elevate its standards, it is proposed the church lower its standard.     

Morality has no national voice. There is no John the Baptist crying in the wilderness. Consider our own community, what compassionate, reasonable and logical voice does societal morality have? There are a lot, I mean a lot of good people, but what unofficial spokesman do they have? Who holds the banner to follow?

Our legislative halls have some courageous spokespersons, but the louder voices are often not the voice of reason. Exhibit A is our Electoral College. In their collective wisdom our Founders gave us the Electoral College so that in presidential elections heavily populated states could not impose their standards on less populated states. 

They built safeguards to protect the College. In order to amend it a two-thirds vote of both Houses, or two-thirds of state legislatures to propose an amendment to change it and then three-forth of state legislatures for ratification. It is not likely to be changed. Yet, with loud voices proponents of change advocate change.

There is a lot at risk. We are not a democracy, but we are increasingly acting like one. We are a republic. The word democracy is not in either the Declaration of Independence or Constitution. We pledge allegiance to the Republic. Acting like a democracy is risky. John Adams warned, “Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself.”

Former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall opined, “Between a balanced republic and a democracy, the difference is like that between order and chaos.” 

May reason prevail and societal sanity be restored.