Friday, 31 May 2019


'The forest ecosystem is held in a delicate balance. Every being has its niche and its function, which contribute to the well-being of all. Nature is often described like that, or something along those lines; however, that is, unfortunately, false. For out there under the trees the law of the jungle rules. Every species wants to survive, and each takes from the others what it needs. All are basically ruthless, and the only reason that everything doesn't collapse is because there are safeguards against those who demand more than their due. And one final limitation is an organism's own genetics: an organism that is too greedy and takes too much much without giving anything in return destroys what it needs for life and dies out.'  
Peter Wohlleben, The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate:Discoveries from a Secret World, p.113. 


'...a mystery discerning exercise...'
Thomas Weinandy in Richard J Mouw, Restless Faith: holding evangelical beliefs in a world of contested labels, p.96. 

Thursday, 30 May 2019


'Mrs Tulliver had lived thirteen years with her husband, yet she retained in all the freshness of her early married life a facility of saying things which drove him in the opposite direction to the one she desired.' 
George Eliot, Mill on the Floss, p.81. 


'We could never have loved the earth so well if we had no childhood in it...Our delight in the sunshine on the deep bladed grass today, might be no more than the faint perception of wearied souls, if it were not for the sunshine and grass in the far-off years, which still live in us and transform our perception into love.' 
George Eliot, Mill of the Floss, p.45.  


'When we are not grateful for the little things, it is only a very short step to no longer being grateful for anything. When we do not enjoy and savour and love and love and laugh and delight in the little things, then we are heading towards losing our delight in anything.' 
David Gibson, Destiny, p.135. 


'...pleasure is a divine decree that we ignore at our peril. For it is precisely in enjoying the world God has made that we show how we have grasped the goodness of the God we say we love. Failure to enjoy is an offence, not merely an oversight. When the child does not enjoy the gift the parent has lavished on them, it is an affront to the parent's love as much as the child deliberately breaking the toy. No parent is glad that Buzz Lightyear sits pristinely in the box rather than being lovingly bashed and bumped in daily adventures. Real relationship involves seeing another person take pleasure in gifts given; delight is what we ask of the other as we freely give to them.'
David Gibson, Destiny, p.133. 


'Those without Christ often abandon themselves to eating and drinking because sometimes it looks as if tht's all there is to do before we die. But those who love Christ cherish eating and drinking because it looks a little like what we will do after we die.' 
David Gibson, Destiny, p.111. 


'...there are two types of people at the funeral in the crematorium. The fool sits there thinking how unbearably grim this is, and can't wait to be outside in the sunshine and back to what he was doing, and to get out to the pub in the evening. But the wise person sits in the crematorium and stares at the coffin, and realizes that one day it will be his turn. The wise person asks himself, "When it is my turn, what will my life have been worth? What will they be saying about me?" He loved his bowling and his partying and his holidays. Is that it?'
David Gibson, Destiny, p.88.   


'...the reality of God is measured by the truthfulness of his speech, not by my grasp of his presence. Under the sun sometimes everything is mixed up and back to front that actually we are meant to learn that God intends for us to be suspicious of ourselves - suspicious of why we doubt him and why cannot find him, suspicious of the deceptions our our own hearts - but nevertheless trusting the truth of his Word with every fibre of our being, even when we cannot see him.' 
David Gibson, Destiny, p.79. 


'To be unhappy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition.'
Samuel Johnson in David Gibson, Destiny, p.64. 


'There is something unique, however, about the Christain approach to injustice and oppression. Any relief organisation will be eloquent in their explanantion of the damage that the powerful can inflict on the weak. But the Bible is just as concerned with the damage done to the oppressor in their acts of oppression.'  
David Gibson, Destiny, p.39. 


' the heart of our human condition is an unwillingness to accept things as they really are. We long for lives of permanence in a world of constant change and we strive to achieve it. We long for change in a world of permanent repetition and we dream of how to interrupt it.'  
David Gibson, Destiny, p.32. 


'Ecclesiastes teaches us to live life backwards. It encourages us to take the one thing in the future that is certain - our death - and work backwards from that point into all the details and decisions and heartaches of our lives, and to think about them from the perspective of the end.' 
David Gibson, Destiny: Learning to live by preparing to die, p. xii. 


'Interviews: silence is the weapon, silence and people's need to fill it - as long as the person isn't you, the interviewer. Tow of fiction's greatest interviewers - George Simeon's Inspector Maigret and John le Carre's George Smiley - have little devices they use to keep themselves from talking, and let silence do its work. Maigret cleans his ever-present pipe, tapping it gently on his desk and then scraping it out until the witness breaks down and talks. Smiley takes off his eyeglasses and polishes them with the thick end of his necktie. As for myself I have less class. When I'm waiting for the person I'm interviewing to break a silence by giving me a piece of information I want, I write "SU" (for Shut Up!") in my notebook. If anyone were ever to look through my notebooks, he would find a lot of "SUs" there.' 
Robert A Caro, Working, p.137. 


'An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man.'
Ralph Waldo Emerson in Robert A Caro, The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York, p.633.