As a young man, I recall friends saying that they would one day write a book with this title: "Humility and How I Achieved It." Obviously, they were joking. Someone has accurately observed that anyone who refers to his or her humility certainly has none.
This is the third book of quotations I have written and had published during the past few years:
Quotes For the Bathroom Wall: Through the Bible, Around the World, Across the Years (Lima, Ohio: Express Press, 2000)
Quotes From the Edge: Raising Kids, Friends, Funds, Awareness and The Flag.
(Lima, Ohio: Express Press, 2001)
Humility and How I Achieved It: Quotations Related to The Fruit of the Spirit
This book adds 5,000 quotations to the 5,000 that were included in the first two books. These 10,000 quotations represent less than one-fifth of the quotations that I have collected during the past decade. During this decade, I have continued to be an itinerant administrator and professional fundraiser; I have filled four more college vice presidencies and the chief staff position with a major national service organization. In all honesty, I have not gained humility, but I have discovered a source for humility; commonly known as "the fruit of the Spirit," nine attributes of humility are enumerated in these two special verses from the Apostle Paul's (St. Paul's) Letter to the Church at Galatia (see Galatians 5:22-23, above and throughout this book).
The first two books named above have quotations from a variety of sources -- inspirational, motivational, informational: each book is broken down into five chapters (essentially enumerated in the titles) and each chapter has 366 entries, one for each day of the year. Some entries contain a very short quotation (as short as one word), while others contain semi-lengthy quotations of more than a full page; some entries have several related quotations [hence, the two books combined contain almost 5000 entries, rather than a total of 3,660 (366 x 5 x 2)]. This book has nine chapters, each one of which includes an introduction as well as 366 entries; each of these entries contains one or more quotations. The three books combined have 10,000 quotations, almost none of which are duplicates.
The famous quotation compiler, John Bartlett, summarized his work thusly: "I have gathered a posie of other men's flowers, and nothing but the thread that binds them is mine own." The editor of the most comprehensive history book of the world in the past few decade was Will Durant, and he had a different take on quotations: "I hate quotations; tell me what you know!" Ralph Waldo Emerson, that voice of early American wisdom, also has been "quoted" as saying "I hate quotations."
In my case, I love good quotations and they have helped to make me who I am. While others read for content, I read for good quotations (not that these two goals are mutually exclusive). Bumper stickers, fortune cookies, pithy sentences in obscure and/or well-known books, lyrics, verses, wall hangings, off-the-cuff remarks, sermon excerpts, media extractions (radio, TV or publications): there are so very many places where good content gets dropped on ears like mine or into my brain through one of the other gates (eyes, feelings, touch, or taste).
This book is, in a sense, two books. I have been impressed with the strength of Paul's summary of "the Fruit of the Spirit" and also by the fact that not nearly enough is made of this special set of gifts. I realized, on examination, that the first five values listed (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Gentleness) are really parts of the Grace given to us by God; the last five, on the other hand (Gentleness, Kindness, Faith, Meekness, Self-Control) are by-products of our actions: His Grace to us, and our heart to Him. Gentleness is on both lists . and it should be: The Holy Spirit is Gentle, but we are also called upon to "be still and know ."
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