Classic and contemporary excerpts

“Just charge it, silly.”

A recent experience showed me just how powerful the trend is toward materialism. My three-year-old daughter and I were leaving the record store when I noticed she was carrying an unopened, unpurchased Sesame Street video cassette. In a firm voice I said, “Jessica, let’s put that back where we found it.”

“But I want it, Daddy.” Ever wise, I said truthfully, “But Daddy doesn’t have enough money to buy it.” Pleased with my loving management of another parental crisis, I was shocked by her reply. She gave me that patronizing look known to all parents of three-year-olds and said, “Daddy, just charge it, silly.”

… My little girl is picking up the values of the consumer age in which she lives.

Dick Staub in World Christian (March/April 1988)

So little place for thanksgiving

It is probable that in most of us the spiritual life is impoverished and stunted because we give so little place to gratitude. It is more important to thank God for blessings received than to pray for them beforehand. For that forward-looking prayer, though right as an expression of dependence upon God, is still self-centered in part, at least, of its interest; there is something we hope to gain by our prayer. But the backward-looking act of thanksgiving is quite free from this. In itself it is quite selfless. Thus it is akin to love. All our love to God is in response to his love for us; it never starts on our side. “We love, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

William Temple, from 3000 Quotations on Christian Themes

The wrong measuring stick

A little boy once told his mother that he was six feet tall. When she doubted the statement, he assured her that he had just measured himself. His calculations were ...

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