August 2014

This month, Bill reflects upon 'Power' and 'Joy'.


A brief reminder of the practice of Reflection  - “mull over”,  “ponder on”,  and “inwardly ruminate on,” and “consider,” the following quotations, aiming to get the maximum value out of these sayings.



I remember reading an account about a miner who had been converted to Christianity. He was being teased by his fellow-miners. One of them mocked him with the following repost; “I suppose you really believe He turned water into wine?”

To this he gave the following answer:  “I don’t know about that, but I do know that in my own life he has turned beer into furniture, and that is good enough for me.”  


“The power of a great personality.” Stuart Jackman

“Energy of will may be defined to be the very central power of character in a man.” Samuel Smiles

“Meet the world with the fullness of your being, and you shall meet God. Of you wish to believe, love.” – Martin Buber

“The power of thought, the vast regions it can master.” Bertrand Russell

“The night is given to us to take breath, to pray, to drink deep at the fountain of power.” Florence Nightingale

“A cultivation of the powers of one’s personality is one of the greatest needs of life.” Randolph Bourne

“Love is strong dynamic and strong; the secret of moral force.” Ronald Higgins

“Happiness is the full use of your powers along the lines of excellence.” John F.  Kennedy

“Concentration is the secret of strength in politics, in war, in trade, in short, in all management of human affairs.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I desire a greatness of soul, an irradiance of mind, a deeper insight, a broader hope. Give me power of soul, so that I can actually effect by its will, that which I strive for.” Richard Jefferies

“And what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power.” Ephesians 1.19



In 1968, having been ordained for three years, I went on a six month secondment to Ibadan, a city in the Western State of Nigeria, to look after a Church whilst the regular priest returned to England for long leave. It was in Nigeria that I learnt a lot about joy, even though the country was going through a difficult time in a bitter civil war. Every so often I would come across a Nigerian and feel that this particular person had been feasting with the gods. He, or she, was brimming and overflowing with joy. Joy is an important fruit of the Holy Spirit.


“Joy rises in me, like a summer’s morn.” Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“,Joy is the triumph of life; it is the sign that we are living our true life as spiritual beings.” W.R. Inge

The mainspring of life is in the heart. Joy is the vital air of the soul.” Henri Frederic Amiel

“A joyful  heart is life itself, and rejoicing lengthens one’s life span.” Ecclesiasticus 30.22

“Real joy comes not from ease of riches or from the praise of men, but from doing something worthwhile.” -Sir Wilfred Grenfell

“Joy is the effect which comes when we use our powers.” – Rollo May

“This joy is a divine gift that does not leave us during times of illness, poverty, oppression or persecution.” Henri J.M. Nouwen

“I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.” John 15.11

“For in the depth is truth; and in the depth is hope; and in the depth is joy.” Paul Tillich

“We have within ourselves enough to fill the present day with joy, and overspread the future years with life.” – William Wordsworth

“I asked God for all things, that I might enjoy life. God gave me life that I might enjoy all things." found on the body of a Confederate soldier.


I hope you find this material useful. All these Reflections have come from A Still More Excellent Way, a compilation published by me just over a year ago. In it are 26 Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit, each one having about 140 short expressions or quotes. There are about 3,000 of them, enough to last a lifetime! If you wish to acquire a copy contact me through Univ or email me – cost of the book £12.50


Also for those who were in Reflection Groups and want to follow them up, I am selling off the material used in those groups. There are five volumes – Visions of Faith, Visions of Love, Visions of Hope, Visions of Grace and Visions of Glory. Each volume has 300 pages, and the cost is £10 per copy. There is also a shortened version of these five volumes, called The Canterbury Book of Spiritual Quotations. This is 559 pages. Cost - £14.99.  Again email me if you wish to purchase these books


Final pause for thought – “Joy is the echo of God’s life within us.” – Joseph Marmion