Thoughts (Stolen and Otherwise)

There are probably more stolen thoughts in this edition than normal, but that also probably means that the thoughts are of a higher quality. So let’s get started.

1. It is not at all unusual to start out a work with a stolen thought, some call them quotes, today I am going to start out with the same stolen thoughts that begin CS Lewis’s book The Screwtape Letters;

“The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn.” ~ Luther

“The devil… the prowde spirite… cannot endure to be mocked.” ` Thomas More

I’m up for a little fun at the expense of the adversary, heck it’s an election year, let’s not pretend that he isn’t mocking us.

demon

2. That being said, I try not to get too tied up in the political process, and it’s always worth a reminder that as the psalmist says, “some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the LORD our God”.[Psalm 20:7] So we cannot let ourselves forget that even if we live in a nation that allows us to worship our God as we choose, that we always have and will continue to “sing the LORD’s song in a foreign land”. [Psalm 137:4]

3. One of the points in the biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer written by Eric Metaxas that I keep on coming back to is that Bonhoeffer had a value for truth that would not allow him to lean on more carnal means of persuasion to win people over to his way of thinking. Again, I read this in a book written by Eric Metaxas, who is currently in the middle of a little controversy over his new book, where he is being accused of whitewashing history to suit his own agendas.

I kind of still hope that version of Bonhoeffer existed, but I’m pretty sure I can’t take Metaxas’s word for it. [Further Reading]

4. Kevin H posting at the Phoenix Preacher blog writes about the constant stream of news and concerns that we are flooded with in today’s culture. It’s a topic that I have been grappling with quite a bit lately. I have to admit that much of this overload is self-inflicted. I can go as far as to say that there are times when our global awareness is necessary, but more often than not I know that I can get caught up in the messiness of the whole world while losing track of the people in my own neighborhood.

There is a balance there somewhere, but I’ve always been uncoordinated.

5. The more that I read it the more I fall in love with the book of Daniel. I spent a good chunk of time a couple years ago digging through the second half of Daniel and was amazed at how much it opened up other passages of scripture. This time around, I have been focusing more on the first half and the most striking part has been the way that God revealed himself to the rulers who were over God’s exiled people.

There is language that comes out of the mouths of these men that wouldn’t be out of place in the book of Psalms.

“Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries…” [Daniel 2:47]

“How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion endures from generation to generation.” [Daniel 4:3]

“…for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” [Daniel 4:34b-35]

“…for he is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end. He delivers and rescues; he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth…” [Daniel 6:26b-27a]

Quotes, scripture, links… there is less of me here than normal. 

Feel free to share your thoughts in comments whether you have some quotes or scripture to share, some thoughts of your own… or you just want to mock the devil in his wussy red pajamas.

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14 thoughts on “Thoughts (Stolen and Otherwise)

  1. “That there is a Devil, is a thing doubted by none but such as are under the influences of the Devil,” said Cotton Mather.

    Yet who isn’t, in some small or large way, not under the influences of the Deceiver?

    Especially in the churches and seminaries. Which brings to mind this Mike Mason quote:

    Theology, it turns out, is Satan’s favorite game.

    • Good quotes.

      I really do think that on the other side of eternity it is going to be shocking when it is revealed just how deep the devil’s influence runs in this world.

  2. Love the quotes and the verses from Daniel. I wouldn’t worry about stealing. The politicians wives can steal speeches after all lol.

    • It’s actually kind of funny, I’ve been using this same tagline for over a year now, and it just occurred to me last night to more directly refer to quotes as “stolen thoughts”. I am under no illusion of being the most interesting person in the blogsphere so I have no issue in pointing people in other interesting directions when they get here.

      • I pretty much steal everything. Doesn’t everyone? We are what we read and learn. So I have no problem admitting I get my “good stuff” from people more intelligent than me. Lol

        • It’s like I said before, part of the fun of finding someone with something interesting to say is finding out the people that made them interesting in the first place.

          On a different level, the last post that I did on books was a very social one for me. I remember bonding with my friend Greg on (among many other things) Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I remember my friend James lending Harry Potter to me. I remember my parents buying me my first Bible, then letting it sit on a shelf for ten years. I remember my former pastor Eric giving me that commentary. I kicked myself for not including Tortured for Christ which my friend David had sent to me.

          All people that I have had relationships with who have shaped each other, but were first shaped by these other influences as well.

          Quotes and references help us lower our bucket down into a deep well of awesomeness that we were previously unaware of.

  3. If you get a chance, go read Mike Rowes take on the plagiarism debacle. It’s quite interesting actually. It’s on his Facebook page.

    • I’ll have to check it out. I don’t always agree with him, but he is almost always worth a read when someone else causes him to pop up in my news feed.

      • I just liked his history lesson on a quote Reagan said. And he has some background on speech writers. I found it interesting but understand if you don’t.

        • I like the thought that most of what we see from our politicians in general, and in elections in particular is little more than acting. The people we see and the words they say are prepackaged and branded to be sold to us.

          What I said up top about the devil mocking us is pretty relevant here. I remember the comedian Bill Hicks likened elections to puppet theatre where we are presented two diametrically opposed puppets who are being manipulated by one puppeteer… wonder who that is.

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