the principle of always seeking an alternative applies to nonviolence as well. It is this: If nonviolence is to be credible, it must answer the questions that violence purports to answer, but in a better way.

The key to happiness – or that even more desired thing, calmness – lies not in always thinking happy thoughts. No. That is impossible. No mind on earth with any kind of intelligence could spend a lifetime enjoying only happy thoughts. They key is in accepting your thoughts, all of them, even the bad ones. Accept thoughts, but don’t become them.
Understand, for instance, that having a sad thought, even having a continual succession of sad thoughts, is not the same as being a sad person.

Never be afraid to offer a smile; sure the risk is that a few foolish people may misinterpret your kindness as weakness, but the sweet reward is that as you make new friends and encourage others, the foolish have ignored the fact that you have already shown them your teeth.

Have you heard of the most evil things done by people in their lifetime? They have coveted men’s wives, killed hundreds of Christians and sold their best friend’s life away for just a few coins. Isn’t it interesting that they were God’s chosen in the bible? —Saul, Judas & King David

Beyond my immediate context of relationships, the central question my friends and I began asking was quite simple: How could the soul health and transformation available to us become normative in our experience as a church community? While such experience of soul transformation has certainly been normative in seasons throughout history and even today, it is largely absent, or at least rare and idiosyncratic, in many environments where I have served.

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