Quoted: True and False Politeness

True and False Politeness
[by F.E.W. Harper]

False politeness can cast a glamour over fashionable follies and popular vices and shrink from uttering unpalatable truths, when truth is needed more than flattery.

True politeness, tender as love and faithful as truth, values intrinsic worth more than artificial surroundings. It will stem the current of the world’s disfavor, rather than float ignobly on the tide of popular favor, with the implied disrespect to our common human nature, that it is a flaccid thing to be won by sophistry, and satisfied with shams.

False politeness is an outgrowth from the surface of life. True politeness is the fair outflowing of a kind and thoughtful life, the sweet ripe fruit of a religion which gives to life its best expression and to humanity its crowning glory.

True politeness is broadly inclusive; false politeness narrowly exclusive. …

True politeness has no scornful epithets for classes or races, who, if not organically inferior, have been born under, or environed by inferior conditions. Humanity is God’s child, and to fail in true kindness and respect to the least of His “little ones” is to fail in allegiance to Him.

Contemptuous injustice to man is treason to God, and one of the worst forms of infidelity is to praise Christ with our lips and trample on the least of His brethren with our feet,-to talk sweetly of His love, and embitter the lives of others by cold contempt, and cruel scorn.

Beyond the narrow limitations of social lines are humanity’s broader interests…

If today you believe that your faith is simple and vision clearer than that of other forms of belief, should not the clasp of your hand be warmer, the earnestness of your soul greater, and the throbbings of your heart quicker to clasp the world in your arms and bring it nearer to the great heart of God and His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ?

…via Collecting My Thoughts

Portrait of a Friend

I visited a blog of someone I have never met -online or off, read a post about someone I don’t know, and came away with a lasting impression of someone I would like to be.

When reading this post memorializing Debbie Wells, a woman who obviously impacted people with her Christian life and manner, it inspired me. I want to be this woman, when all is said and done. Here is what inspired me:

She is one of those people that people like. Everyone does. There are many reasons to like her. For one thing, she is kind. Always. And, she smiles. She was a friend to me and opened her home to me so many years ago that it’s hard to count sometimes.

She taught me how to iron ruffles on little girl’s dresses. She taught me how to iron pockets and collars. She thought I was funny and smart. She let me help and made me feel helpful. She could deliver a hard correction without leaving me bloody and demoralized. She oozed God stuff.

If she hadn’t been there for me that one week, I would have been lost forever to my fears and sucked back into the swirling mess that was my life. She was clear. She was peaceful.

She opened God’s word to me and made it come alive. She made me hungry for LIFE.

She laughed hard. She wept beautifully.

One time they came to my little apartment with all the kids. (I don’t remember how many at that time.) They ate spaghetti with me, told me it was good, settled back and enjoyed my home. At church on Sunday they told everyone of my hospitality. I was embarrassed but I grew a lot that day. Good affirmation.

She made repentance and growth seem possible and good and I believed her.

from GuitPicken61 on Vox

Finding happiness

It’s about flow:

It is by being fully involved with every detail of our lives, whether good or bad, that we find happiness, not by trying to look for it directly. ~Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

That is process, but that isn’t the total answer….

7 Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do. 8 Always be clothed in white, and always anoint your head with oil. 9 Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun— all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun. 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.

Remember Your Creator While Young

7 Light is sweet,
and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.

8 However many years a man may live,
let him enjoy them all.
But let him remember the days of darkness,
for they will be many.
Everything to come is meaningless.

9 Be happy, young man, while you are young,
and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth.
Follow the ways of your heart
and whatever your eyes see,
but know that for all these things
God will bring you to judgment.

10 So then, banish anxiety from your heart
and cast off the troubles of your body,
for youth and vigor are meaningless.

Ecclesiastes 12

1 Remember your Creator
in the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble come
and the years approach when you will say,
“I find no pleasure in them”-
11 The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one Shepherd.

12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.
Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.

13 Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the whole duty of man.

but if you would find a better way…

Rejoice in the Lord always… and again, I say, rejoice.

….6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Psalm 40:16
But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation always say, “The LORD be exalted!”

Be Faithful Stewards of God

God’s word to women:

When Dr. Katharine Bushnell died in 1946, her book had been out of print for years. The work she had done seemed to have been in vain. Yet, she never quit writing. Like the prophets of old, she continued to work, looking toward the day when women would take their God-given place in society and the church.

There have been many times in my Christian walk that I have despaired close to giving up. It seemed I was simply a failure, that I was too messed-up, too inept, just too something or another to continue in seeking to know who Christ was, who I was in Him, and whether I could possibly be of any worth to anyone, especially in something of as eternal significance as the Kingdom of God.

Finding myself, over and over, in this place:

7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

By the grace of God, there seemed something that kept welling up inside me… making me to have renewed will to find truth, do what was right, despise the obvious disdain that I seem so capable of inspiring from those who felt either my position in life, my gender, or my lack of documentable expertise ought to subordinate me.

My choices in life, from the ones that led to being a SAHM, to having a large family, even at times the choices of homeschool or homebirth, have exposed me to censure oftentimes. And though I appear strong enough to take it, the force of social rejection has, more times than not, wounded me in my inner recesses of the heart. Ignoring the criticism of others does not mean not feeling it.

But there are times when the importance of the cause is more than the importance of our personal comfort. Perhaps I’m just a person more given to that turn of mind, I don’t know…. but I keep on being convinced that despite the imperfection of myself as a person, the need for someone to speak up for truth, for the side which is neglected in the cacaphony of life has to be the banner taken up. Even if it has to be someone like me to do it.

Because my perspective could be wrong, I could be mistaken, I might be missing the mark…. but better that than for no one to raise the discussion into the horizon of the attention. Better to draw attention, even negative attention, than to ignore the injustice done in allowing a wrongful status quo to go unaddressed.

When I read of those who have lived faithful lives, not receiving approval or appreciation, it gives me encouragement. The question is not how are we received, but how faithful are we to our call? How highly do we value the One who calls us? Are we more purposed to collect accolades of our fellow man or are we purposed to hear and follow a call from the One Who Made Us? Who laid down His life for ours, unworthy and useless as we are in our own mortality and faultiness?

I cannot afford my own self-pity or self-indulgent emotional needs if they interfere with the higher plane of living for something more than my own small interests. Popularity is a chimera.

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.


Brigid was one the first of the Irish saints to have her life written down. Hers is a controversial place in the church… being so laced with parallels with the pagan goddess of the same name. Yet, there is enough evidence for the life of an actual Christian saint that I believe her story should be included for all Christians. Many sources seem to think that there may have actually been a figure named Brigid who lived in Kildare, but according to Davies and Bowie, “it is likely that imagery and themes associated with a powerful pre-Christian goddess figure became associated with her.”

BrigidImage.jpgIn the fifth century, (according to Irish church tradition) a king,of the race of Eochaidh Finnfuathairt, son of Feidhlijidh Reachtmhar, son of Tuathal Teachmhar, monarch of Erinn, fathered a baby by a slave,a bondwoman of Connacht. That baby, Brigid, was raised as a servant. Being musical and intelligent, Brigid was also known as Bánfhile (“poet-woman”), her father arranged her marriage to a poet. Resolved to belong only to Christ, Brigid found the man another wife, then deserted the castle.

A quote attributed to her:”It is in the name of Christ I feed the poor; for Christ is in the body of every poor man”‘. She was known for her generosity- which gives rise to an amused observation by a later admirer as seen in the sidequote

Well, one must love her.
In thinking of her
There’s no denial
She must have been
A sort of trial
Unto her kin.
The moral, too, seems rather quaint.
WHO had the patience of a saint,
From evidence presented here?
Saint Bridget? Or her near and dear?
-The Giveaway
Phyllis Mcginley

Brigid sought other women wanting to choose to serve only Christ, and with them she organized a community of nuns, the first religious house of women in Ireland, which later became a center of learning and religion for both women and men. The monastic settlement at Kildare, where women were given a special place, became a busy compound within a great stone wall with thatched-roof buildings. She founded a school of art, including metal work and illumination, over which St. Conleth presided. From the Kildare scriptorium came the wondrous book of the Gospels, which elicited praise from Giraldus Cambrensis, but which has disappeared since the Reformation .This and similar settlements became industrious communities, with some of the most beautiful craftsmanship in Europe. The slaves and the poor bettered themselves by becoming artisans. Brigid herself traveled by chariot as an evangelist through the countryside, helping the poor, preaching the gospel, and organizing nunneries. By her death on February 1, c. 453, 13,000 women had escaped from slavery and poverty to Christian service.

So what message may we get from the life of Brigid? The blessedness of giving, of the generous spirit coupled with diligence and industry. A compassion for the poor and the honor of women. All good things to emphasize as winter draws to a close in February.

information gathered together from many sources

From the Pages of History

You probably couldn’t tell from my blog, but I have a love of history. I had many enjoyable hours looking into the history of my area, especially, and researching some things about the original Indian tribes.

In the Northwestern part of Ohio were the Wyandot. Ohio isn’t sliced up with nice neat boundaries concerning the Indian tribes, who were quite fluid in their borders at times. These were the effects of those forced from the East, and there were mingling of those who were in alliance, but basically the Wyandot were in the upperleft quadrant of what is now the map of Ohio. The name “Hurons” was given to the Wyandots of the Huron Confederacy by the French.

The story of the Wyandot is a heartbreaking one. One of broken treaties and promises from our government and of removal to the West, but one of the highlights in reading about them was to happen upon the biography of Joseph Chiwatenhwa. This man was a great saint of the Christian faith, but one of whom little is known.

I have a startup page that keeps a quote from him, up front, so that I can think of it often:

I have courage because fearing God, I fear nothing else.

Joseph Chiwatenhwa was born in 1602, in Huron country. He was converted to the Christian faith through Jesuit missionaries, the Christian presence in that part of the frontier ( they arrived in 1625). He took hold upon Christ in a complete and personal way, and became the nucleus for a growing Christian community among his people. It was not an easy road as his people felt it would end their ancient way of life and did their best to discredit Christianity, and those who had converted to it.

Chiwatenhwa suffered through many vicissitudes, including death of loved ones and war, but his faith held strong and he weathered the offense of some of his tribesmen. He had premonition from God, in numerous dreams, about his early death. Lastly he had a dream sometime in the early summer of 1639:

“… that three or four Iroquois attacked him; that, having defended himself, he was thrown to the ground; that they took off his scalp, and gave him a blow with a hatchet on the head from which they removed it. ”

Fourteen months later, it was fulfilled.
Here is his recorded prayer:

Joseph Chiwatenhwa’s Prayer

O God, at last I start to understand you. You made the earth, which we live in.
You made the sky, which we see above us. You made us, we who are called people.
Now you let me start to know who you really are. I know how to make a canoe, and how to enjoy it.
I know how to build a cabin and how to live in it. But you… you made us, and you live in us.
The things we make last for a few seasons. We only use the canoes we create for a short time.
We only live in the houses we build for a few years.
But your love for us will endure so long that we cannot count the time. You will comfort us forever.
As long as we live, how can anyone not acknowledge you? You are the one who protects us.
The time we feel your presence the most is when we face death.
You are the one with the power to keep our souls alive,
because only you know how to love us in the deepest part of ourselves.
Not even a mother or father can love a human being the way you do.
Your love for us is so strong that it makes evil spirits lose their power.
Now I begin to see that the reason you made us is because you want to share your love.
Nothing attracts you as much as your people. Thank you for letting me understand you.
You love us so deeply that all I can do in return is offer myself to you I claim you as my elder and chief.
There is no one else. Ask me for anything you want. Just let me always hold you in my heart.
I always want to feel you watching and protecting me. I offer you my family.
If any evil strikes them when I am away, I know you will take care of them.
Your love is more than I can ever give them. Thank you … from my heart.
I see the loving way you lead us along the path of life. You want what is best for us.
If we have poverty, let us feel your love in it. If we get rich, do not let comfort make us forget that we need you.
Never let us turn into selfish people. Never let us think we are better than others who have less.
You love us equally, rich and poor. We are people, your people, and you love us as we are.
It fills me with joy to know you. I can feel the presence of your love.
Thank you for letting me give you myself just as I am.
The more I thank you, the more I find I can give myself to you.
Help me let go of the things I used to place my faith in. All I ask is to be yours.
It would have been enough to give us ~ and the gifts of the earth. Thank you for them.
But you’ve given us much more. In you, we live forever. I can hardly imagine what heaven is like,but it is enough for me to know your love and to believe in you with all my heart.
You have promised to let us be free spirits in you, and because I know you love us,your promise gives me hope. Help us to welcome suffering fit means we will know our need of you more deeply.
In our suffering, help us give ourselves to you.
We don’t have to be afraid to die, because death is the new birth that lets us live fully in you.
Life is a journey, and with you as our companion and our destination, it will end with great joy.
Lord, I am not afraid of death anymore. I will rejoice when I know the time has come for me to die.
I do not even want to mourn the passing of my relatives.
All I need to remember is you are bringing them to be with you in paradise.
You want to take them away so they can have perfect happiness.

The wars went on in this part of the world, we read of them in the French and Indian Wars, the American Revolution. The struggle that the Indian tribes found themselves in, as the push towards the west and the fighting European powers pressed upon them, resulted in dispersal of many. Christian Hurons found refuge among the Ojibway and the Chippewa. And here is an intersection with my own family’s history, who also have an arm within these tribes. The names of the Wyandots, the Delaware, the Miami, and the Shawnee are all remain of these storied people in Ohio. The occasional powwow and those who claim the ancestry are few.

However, the history of Joseph Chiwatenhwa remains to inspire us, and some of his recorded words.

Read on for the farewell of the Wyandot people as they leave Ohio
Continue reading From the Pages of History