One White Brick

"If you look at a red brick wall that has just one white brick, all you'll see is the one white brick." – Dale Partridge

In Short

A mini-blog…

We’re never more intolerant than when we demand tolerance. We have chips on our shoulders and we call them convictions. Planks in our eyes and we call them vision.

May humility begin now–in classrooms and executive committee meetings, from both liberal and conservative pulpits and pews, on social media, and over the dinner table. May we show restraint, wisdom, compassion, humility, and respect toward all so our children will stay close.

Arrogance will scatter us before ignorance does.

That which enslaves our minds enslaves our actions.

If we let go of every good thing that is accompanied by pain, we let go of every good thing.

Some days are like a Celtic spelling bee.

It is dangerous to lose sight of the possibilities. To cease to be curious. To stop seeking deeper understanding. To feel justified by limited knowledge. To proclaim that a matter is settled because the “research says.” To embrace philosophy simply because it explains one’s personal or group experience. To claim sacrifice rather than extend mercy.

There is no more dangerous moral compass than “I don’t want to.”

Think people hear what you’re intending to say? I played a TED talk for my business communication class this past week and asked each student to write down the main point of the speech. They identified 20 somewhat related but fundamentally different assertions. Speaking is an art. So is listening.

The most valuable gift you can give someone is the benefit of the doubt. To believe that they intended things for good. That whatever they did made perfect sense to them at the time, and if you could see through their eyes it would make perfect sense to you, too.

Funny how pain does not leave. It forms a crater, and love flows in.

Sometimes you get everything you ever wanted and everything you never wanted at the same time. And it reminds you that temporal life is a zero sum game, that anything of real value is eternal, and that joy is ultimately a choice.

Love casts out fear because it is selfless. When you act out of love, you act without fear of personal consequences.

Diversity is less of an issue than human empathy and caring in general. A respectful and caring person will respect and care for everyone.

If his mercies are new every morning, then so should ours be.

It is one of life’s great blessings that people miraculously change, gain greater wisdom, redirect formerly misguided efforts, and exhibit new levels of courage. I’ve experienced it and seen it happen time after time. Conversely, it is one of life’s great tragedies that we set up their former selves as standards, embracing the old and rejecting the new, forcing new wine into old wine skins and self-righteously shaking our heads when they burst from the pressure. Let new things be new.

Courage rarely roars.

“Keeping your eyes on Jesus” means keeping your eyes on, deeply caring for, and unselfishly serving all of the people He has put in your life–the “least of these.” Christianity is an experiential, hands-on religion. It’s an earthly glimpse into eternal loyalty. In loving those nearest (and sometimes those “least deserving”), you come to know what it means to love Him. Not the other way around.

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