Theology

Presidential Quotes

Today is President’s Day in the U.S. Originally established in 1885 as a recognition of George Washington’s birthday (February 22nd), it was later expanded to include Abraham Lincoln and all other U.S. presidents.

Some of the words of these leaders have stood the test of time. For example from Abraham Lincoln:

  • Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
  • And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.
  • My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth.

and these from George Washington:

  • My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.
  • 99% of failures come from people who make excuses.
  • In politics as in philosophy, my tenets are few and simple. The leading one of which, and indeed that which embraces most others, is to be honest and just ourselves and to exact it from others, meddling as little as possible in their affairs where our own are not involved. If this maxim was generally adopted, wars would cease and our swords would soon be converted into reap hooks and our harvests be more peaceful, abundant, and happy

And others:

  • “On matters of style, swim with the current, on matters of principle, stand like a rock.” ―Thomas Jefferson
  • “It’s easier to do a job right, than to explain why you didn’t.” ― Martin Van Buren
  • “There are men and women who make the world better just by being the kind of people they are. They have the gift of kindness or courage or loyalty or integrity. It really matters very little whether they are behind the wheel of a truck or running a business or bringing up a family. They teach the truth by living it.”―James Garfield
  • “Never waste a minute thinking about people you don’t like.” ― Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • “Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly, leave the rest to God.” ― Ronald Reagan

There have been some incredible orators who held the office of president. Some of the above phrases have a brilliant cadence to them. Others are simple and yet still poignant. As you think about these words, think about your own writing. Is there a better turn of the phrase you can use? Is there a way to smooth your prose so it isn’t clunky (like using the word “clunky” in a sentence!). Can you wait a few moments before you spill your thoughts on the screen so that they may be seasoned with a measure of grace. Who knows maybe your words will touch someone’s heart today and bring light into our dark world.

Presidential trivia: Did you know that Ulysses S. Grant’s autobiography had a rather famous publisher? Published shortly after his death in 1885 (he finished the work days before he passed away) the two volume work sold 350,000 copies. His publisher? Mark Twain. Many feel it is the greatest presidential memoir ever written.

[By the way, this is not a post about politics nor is this blog a place to voice political opinions. Please keep to the topic of writing and not the politics of your country of residence or elsewhere. Thanks!]

Leave a Comment

Christian Criticism

Most agents to the Christian publishing world represent a variety of authors from a wide spectrum of theological thought, so we understandably have a little more forgiving attitude than others about differences between fellow believers. There is one type of book I have always felt uncomfortable representing…one which criticizes a …

Read More

Getting Ready to Give Thanks

No doubt about it, it’s been a tough year. In publishing. In politics. In our nation. In our world. There are so many things to worry about, to be frustrated about, even to fear. And yet… God is. Whoever runs the country…God is. Whatever personal or professional trials you face…God …

Read More

Give Thanks to God

http://www.gratisography.com/

There is a verse in scripture which sets out in bold relief the great besetting problem of the human race. It is Romans 1:21: ‘for even though we knew God…we did not give thanks.’ Astonishing! How can we actually know God and not give thanks? Scarcely a day passes in which we are not deluged by at least a hundred instances of God’s goodness to us. Thanksgiving ought to be the most natural of human reflexes, as spontaneous as drawing breath.

Doubtless there are a plethora of reasons why we do not feel thankful. Perhaps business is stressful, or marriage is disappointing, or parenting is unfulfilling, or health is deteriorating, or school is unrewarding. Or maybe we simply take for granted God’s goodness to us.

How important it is, then, to rehearse frequently all that God does for us. Only then will an unending torrent of thanksgiving be unleashed from our hearts. Nowhere is God’s goodness more compellingly set out in His word. Immerse yourself in what follows, luxuriate in the story of God’s grace to you. . . and be thankful!

__________

Who is like the Lord our God? Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been declared to you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is He who is enthroned above the vault of the earth . . . and who stretches out the heavens like a curtain. How majestic is His name . . . When we consider His heavens, the work of His fingers, the moon and the stars which He has ordained, what are we that He should take thought of us?

Read More

Lessons from a Crab

No, the title isn’t talking about a grouchy person. It’s about a real, live crab. One that I encountered one day on the Oregon coast as I walked along the beach. It was early morning, with the rising sun streaming across the vast water, the glory of the sunrise reflected …

Read More

How Do You See God?

I love going to the Oregon coast. love the power and beauty and sense of God’s creative genius that surrounds me when I’m there.  Ever since I was little, I’ve looked on the ocean as a friend, even played tag with the water as it came in, daring it to …

Read More

Prayer is Not a Transaction

Recently I was teaching on Luke 18:1-5 (verses are below) about the parable of the persistent widow and developed some thoughts that might be pertinent for you today. In our world, commerce is based on the idea of a transaction. I give you something (like money) and you give me something …

Read More

The Writer’s Prayer

Mainly because he isn’t around to defend himself, I am going to take issue today with the great Saint Augustine of Hippo.* Intellectually and spiritually I know he would eat my lunch, so I waited sixteen hundred years after his death to be sure it was safe. Also, since Augustine …

Read More