9 Quotes From Theodore Roosevelt’s Autobiography

Theodore Roosevelt never pulled his punches! And you could never misunderstand exactly what he was saying. Check out my review of his autobiography by clicking here, and then enjoy some of these straight-shooter quotes from TR. 

“With soul of flame and temper of steel we must act as our coolest judgment bids us. We must exercise the largest charity towards the wrong-doer that is compatible with relentless war against the wrong-doing. We must be just to others, generous to others, and yet we must realize that it is a shameful and a wicked thing not to withstand oppression with high heart and ready hand. With gentleness and tenderness there must go dauntless bravery and grim acceptance of labor and hardship and peril.” 

“The necessity of character as the chief factor in any man’s success—a teaching in which I now believe as sincerely as ever, for all the laws that the wit of man can devise will never make a man a worthy citizen unless he has within himself the right stuff, unless he has self-reliance, energy, courage, the power of insisting on his own rights and the sympathy that makes him regardful of the rights of others.” 

“I never won anything without hard labor and the exercise of my best judgment and careful planning and working long in advance.” 

“For I then held, and now hold, the belief that a man’s first duty is to pull his own weight and to take care of those dependent upon him; and I then believed, and now believe, that the greatest privilege and greatest duty for any man is to be happily married, and that no other form of success or service, for either man or woman, can be wisely accepted as a substitute or alternative.” 

“I did not then believe, and I do not now believe, that any man should ever attempt to make politics his only career. It is a dreadful misfortune for a man to grow to feel that his whole livelihood and whole happiness depend upon his staying in office. Such a feeling prevents him from being of real service to the people while in office, and always puts him under the heaviest strain of pressure to barter his convictions for the sake of holding office.” 

“No man can lead a public career really worth leading, no man can act with rugged independence in serious crises, nor strike at great abuses, nor afford to make powerful and unscrupulous foes, if he is himself vulnerable in his private character. … He must be clean of life, so that he can laugh when his public or his private record is searched; and yet being clean of life will not avail him if he is either foolish or timid. He must walk warily and fearlessly, and while he should never brawl if he can avoid it, he must be ready to hit hard if the need arises. Let him remember, by the way, that the unforgivable crime is soft hitting. Do not hit at all if it can be avoided; but never hit softly.” 

“I am glad to see wrong-doers punished. The punishment is an absolute necessity from the standpoint of society; and I put the reformation of the criminal second to the welfare of society. But I do desire to see the man or woman who has paid the penalty and who wishes to reform given a helping hand—surely every one of us who knows his own heart must know that he too may stumble, and should be anxious to help his brother or sister who has stumbled. When the criminal has been punished, if he then shows a sincere desire to lead a decent and upright life, he should be given the chance, he should be helped and not hindered; and if he makes good, he should receive that respect from others which so often aids in creating self-respect—the most invaluable of all possessions.” 

“My duty was to stand with every one while he was right, and to stand against him when he went wrong.” 

“We must ever judge each individual on his own conduct and merits, and not on his membership in any class, whether that class be based on theological, social, or industrial considerations.” 

More quotes coming soon! You can subscribe to this blog to be notified when more quotes are published, and you can also check out the quotes I publish daily on Tumblr. 

Churchill’s Trial (book review)

Churchill's TrialI have read so much written by and about Winston Churchill, that it’s hard to imagine learning something new about this remarkable man. And yet, I was amazed at how much more I learned in reading Churchill’s Trial by Larry Arnn.

It’s easy to take for granted the freedoms people have in countries like England and the United States because of the foresight of the framers of our Constitutions. But there are trials which put these freedoms in a precarious place, and if it were not for strong and insightful men—like Winston Churchill—those freedoms could have disappeared.

Churchill played key roles in his country, and in world politics, through two world wars, a global depression, the coming of age of new military super-powers, the dawn of the era of atomic warfare, and the rise of Communism. In all of these intense events, the temptation was there to make radical changes to meet the challenge of the moment. Churchill had the wisdom and foresight to leverage the strength of his country’s Constitution, without undermining it nor setting a precedent which would erode future freedoms.

In what Churchill did for England, he also helped strength the resolve of key leaders in the United States, who faced similar challenges in a shifting geopolitical climate. Churchill not only saved the world from the spread of fascism and communism, but he did so in a way that would guarantee freedom for millions of people in generations to follow. The question before us now is: Will we learn from Churchill’s example, or will we fail the trial we now face?

For history buffs, political junkies, and fans of Winston Churchill, Churchill’s Trial is an excellent read.

I am a Thomas Nelson book reviewer.

Links & Quotes

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“Don’t dare to be different, dare to be yourself—if that doesn’t make you different then something is wrong.” —Laura Baker

“Real joy is to be found in the presence of God, with Jesus Christ, secure and loved forever and ever (Psalm 16:11). Knowing the presence of God is the unique privilege of all who have made the Kingdom turn. God never changes in His love for us, and Jesus Christ holds us fast forever, regardless of the outward circumstances of our lives. The result of experiencing this is joy.” —T.M. Moore

“We can do nothing unless by a supernatural grace of God. It is God who gives the will. It is God who gives the power.” —John Calvin

“How singularly does God, in political events, prepare men’s minds for the particular phase which His church assumes! … I cannot go into the question now, but every Christian student of history knows that the circumstances of the outward world have ever been arranged by God so as to prepare the way for the advance of His great cause.” —Charles Spurgeon

“There is no such thing as genuine knowledge of God that does not show itself in obedience to His Word and will.” —Sinclair B. Ferguson

Eric Metaxas reminds us why Darwinism cannot explain religion. Check out Saber-tooth Psychology.

New emails continue to show the tragedy that Benghazi is. Hold our leaders accountable!

Tim Elmore explains how leading and following must go hand-in-hand.

[VIDEO] John Maxwell challenges us to enrich other people’s lives—

Links & Quotes

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“How may I tell when satan hinders me? I think you may tell thus: first by the object. satan’s object in hindering us is to prevent our glorifying God. If anything has happened to you which has prevented your growing holy, useful, humble, and sanctified, then you may trace that to satan. If the distinct object of the interference to the general current of your life has been that you may be turned from righteousness into sin, then from the object you may guess the author.” —Charles Spurgeon

“Every step on satan’s ground deprives us of the security of the promises of God. Often has ruin followed by not refraining from the first step (cp. Mark 14:54, 71). The only safety is in flight (Genesis 39:10, 12). Run then into ’thy hiding-place, and behind thy shield,’ and boldly bid thy tempter ‘depart from thee’ (Psalm 119:114, 115; cp. Matthew 4:10).” —Charles Bridges

“The corruption of the first sinner consists not in choosing some evil thing (there are no evil things for him to choose) but in preferring a lesser good (himself) before a greater (God).” —C.S. Lewis

“We may think we’re living in dark days, that things are going from bad to worse, and there’s no end in sight. But the truth is just the opposite. satan is back on his heels, bound and reeling; the rulers of this world are deceived and deceiving; the Church is complacent, at least in the West, but always a spiritual tinder box, ready for a new spark of the Spirit; and the Kingdom of God is advancing wherever men and women cling to Jesus’ compelling vision and seek the Kingdom of God as their highest priority in life.” —T.M. Moore

“Science and research are proving that porn harms the brain, damages relationships, and is also linked to prostitution and sex trafficking. Porn is a fantasy that is proven to make it harder for users to have real loving relationships.” Read more reasons why pornography is harmful.

Pastors, check out Rev. Dave Barringer’s spot-on post: confronting the diva pastor.

Sheriff David Clarke has some facts that refute the “Black Lives Matter” chatter.

[VIDEO] Ted Cruz is exactly right. The media doesn’t care about substance, but about style—

Alien Government

Are we submittingPerhaps you can relate to one or more of these quotes about our government:

  • “Government is like a baby: …a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.” —Ronald Reagan
  • “If you ever injected truth into politics you have no politics.” —Will Rogers
  • “The word ‘politics’ is derived from the word ‘poly,’ meaning ‘many,’ and the word ‘ticks,’ meaning ‘blood sucking parasites.’” —Larry Hardiman
  • “Politics have no relation to morals.” —Nicolo Machiavelli

But if you are a Christian, the Bible calls you to not give in to the cynicism that many feel toward our government. As aliens and strangers on Earth, we are called to to interact with government officials in a peculiar way.

In a single word, the Bible calls us to submit. The Greek word that both Peter (1 Peter 2:13) and Paul use (Romans 13:1, 5) has a couple of definitions. On the one hand it carries a military meaning to arrange troops under the command of a leader. On the other hand, it’s also a voluntary attitude of cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden for the common good.

No where does submission imply letting leaders abuse us, or remaining silent and uninvolved if their activities are immoral or unbiblical. Instead submission recognizes that government officials have been placed in their positions by God (Daniel 4:25, 32the Most High is sovereign over all the kingdoms of men, and gives them to anyone He wishes), and that they are God’s servants (Romans 13:4, 6) who have to give an accounting to God for their actions.

Our alien response of properly submitting is our way of supporting them in their God-given responsibilities. How do we do this?

  1. Treat them with respect (Romans 13:7; 1 Peter 2:17).
  2. Separate the person [loved by God] from the policy [may or may not line up biblically], then disagree with the policy, not with the person.
  3. Pray for them (1 Timothy 2:1-4).

This way of interacting with them will bring glory to God (1 Timothy 2:3; 1 Peter 2:15).

Here’s a good question to ask ourselves: Are we submitting like servants of the King of kings?

Politics & Religion

Aliens and StrangersAs requested, here are some of the quotes I shared this morning in my message on how Christians are to interact with our government officials.

First the humorous quotes—

“Government is like a baby: …a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.” —Ronald Reagan

“If you ever injected truth into politics you have no politics.” —Will Rogers

“The word ‘politics’ is derived from the word ‘poly,’ meaning ‘many,’ and the word ‘ticks,’ meaning ‘blood sucking parasites.’” —Larry Hardiman

Then a sadly serious one—

“Politics have no relation to morals.” —Nicolo Machiavelli

And finally, the very thoughtful quotes—

“Church and state are supposed to work together. The Church…does not set up the voting booths, but it motivates and it equips people to go into them and make a difference. The Church does not write the laws, but bears witness to the truth of God to which those laws must correspond. Politics is not our salvation; Jesus Christ is. But fidelity to Him includes doing our part as faithful citizens, and to exercise our rights as citizens appropriately, we have to understand the relationship between the Church and the state, and how both of these entities are responsible for protecting and safeguarding….” —Father Frank Pavone

“I close with three words of pastoral advice—

“First, to Assemblies of God ministers: Politics reflects culture, and culture reflects religion. If you are concerned with the political drift of American culture, preach the gospel! As it sends out roots in the lives of believers, the seeds of the Gospel will change hearts and minds.

“Second, to Assemblies of God adherents: You are privileged citizens of a blessed nation. Use your citizenship well! Seek the common good. Advocate for the last, the lost, and the least. Speak the truth in love. And vote for candidates and issues that reflect a biblical perspective. The difference in so many conflicts in American politics and culture turns on who turns out to vote.

“Third, to all Christians: If you are troubled with the Supreme Court’s [Obergefell] decision, keep perspective! In this and every other matter, always remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ: ‘In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world’ (John 16:33).

“Let us all pray for a great spiritual awakening in our country!” —George O. Wood

Billy Graham On The Church

BillyGraham“Many persons today insist on coming into the church head first rather than heart first.”

“I am afraid that we in the church are making a great mistake by trying to make Christianity popular and pleasant. We have taken the Cross away and substituted cushions.”

“I wonder if the church has not failed this generation of young people by failing to make the Christian faith the thrilling, joyful, triumphant experience that it really is.”

“The greatest need in the church today is a spiritual revival that will drive her back to her knees and will cause her earnestly to contend for the faith once delivered.”

“There is a viewpoint prevailing in some areas of the church that its function is to change social structures, through political power and political pressure. In my opinion, this is not supported from the Bible. I think the biblical approach is to change men and men themselves will change society for the better.”

“I am convinced that if the church went back to its main task of preaching the Gospel and getting people converted to Christ it would have far more impact on the social structure of the nation than it can have in any other thing it could possibly do.”

All quotes from The Quotable Billy Graham (1966)

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