University Ministry
  • Hours
  • 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday
  • Clarice L. Osborne Memorial Chapel
  • Baker University
  • 515 6th Street
  • Baldwin City, KS 66006

Thought for the Week

From University Minister Ira DeSpain

These weekly thoughts are intended to stimulate your thinking and provide a context and backdrop for your life, work and study for the week ahead.

April 13-19

Try not to become a [man] of success, but rather try to become a [man] of value.
—Albert Einstein

I bracketed the word [man]. It's an old quote – women, you know it can apply to you too, right?

April 6-12

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind.
—Bernard M. Baruch

March 30 - April 5

My responsibility is getting all my players playing for the name on the front of the jersey, not the one on the back.
—Author Unknown

My contribution to March Madness!

March 23-29

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.
—Anne Bradstreet

March 9-15

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
—Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)

March 2-8

History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, however, if faced with courage, need not be lived again.
—Maya Angelou

February 23 - March 1

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
—Harriet Tubman

February 16-22

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.
—Booker T. Washington

February 9-15

Greatness occurs when your children love you, when your critics respect you and when you have peace of mind.
—Quincy Jones

February 2-8

The battles that count aren't the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself—the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us—that's where it's at.
—Jesse Owens

January 26 - February 1

There is no negro problem. The problem is whether the American people have loyalty enough, honor enough, patriotism enough, to live up to their own constitution.
—Frederick Douglass

What currently marginalized groups deserve the protection of the United States Constitution?

January 19-25

Non-violence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of the spirit. You not only refuse to shoot someone, you refuse to hate them.
—The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 12-18

Snowflakes are one of nature's most fragile things, but just look what they do when they stick together.
—Verna M. Kelly

January 5-11

Everyone should be born again on the first day of January. Start with a fresh page. Take up one hole more in the buckle if necessary, or let down one, according to circumstances; but on the first of January let everyone gird themselves once more, with face to the front, and take no interest in the things that were and are past.
—Henry Ward Beecher

December 8-14

In the spirit of the season of giving and receiving:

What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.
–Albert Pike

Have a really great final exam week and a blessed Christmas season of giving.

December 1-7

In the Christian calendar we have entered the season of Advent, the four weeks preceding Christmas day. It is a time of waiting, hoping and expecting. Here's a thought for entering this season as we also prepare for the end of the semester:

You keep us waiting. You, the God of all time, Want us to wait. For the right time in which to discover Who we are, where we are to go, Who will be with us, and what we must do. So thank you . . . for the waiting time.
—John Bell, quoted in The Westminster Collection of Christian Prayers, compiled by Dorothy M. Stewart

November 24-30

This is Thanksgiving week, and I do pray that it will be a great week for each of you. Here are a couple of thoughts as we find enjoyment:

If you wish to make an apple pie truly from scratch you must first invent the universe. 
—Carl Sagan

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.
—W.T. Purkiser

November 17-23

November 22 marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. I have selected a Kennedy quote as our thought for the week. Given the massive changes taking place at Baker University this year, this seems most appropriate:

Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.
—John F. Kennedy

November 10-16

November 11 is Veteran's Day – originally Armistice Day, signaling the official end of World War I, described at the time as "The War To End All Wars." We now know differently. As we honor all who have served in the armed forces, may we also join forces with religious traditions whose desire is for peace. Because:

In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.
—José Narosky

November 3-9

Welcome to November. What a month of change it is! Speaking of change, it appears Baker University is in store for many changes over the next year. So in the changing spirit of November, I offer the following thought for this week:

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
—Charles Darwin

October 27-November 2

In the Christian calendar, this Friday, November 1, is known as All Saints Day. It's a time to remember and be thankful for everyone who has been a positive influence in your life. Sometimes these people are well known, other times only known by you. Take a few moments this week to reflect and remember important people in your life. And now, I offer this thought for the week:

The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.
—Oscar Wilde

October 20-26

I found this, and I want to honor the recently passed Maple Leaf Festival:

October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came,—
The Ashes, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The sunshine spread a carpet,
And every thing was grand;
Miss Weather led the dancing;
Professor Wind, the band....
The sight was like a rainbow
New-fallen from the sky....
—George Cooper, "October's Party"

October 13-19

October 12 is known as Columbus Day. Monday, October 14, banks are closed to honor the day.
Here are a pair of quotes that I hope will encourage you to keep the day in perspective.

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore
for a very long time.
—André Gide

When asked by an anthropologist what the Indians called America before the white man came,
an Indian said simply, "Ours."
—Vine Deloria, Jr.

October 6-12

Some of you will enjoy a Fall Break this week. Others will proceed with business as usual. Look around you – the world is never ordinary or usual. God is good – all the time . . .

Winter is an etching, spring a water color, summer an oil painting, and autumn a mosaic of them all.
—Stanley Horowitz

September 29-October 5

In honor of Homecoming Week, I offer the following quotes on the unique qualities of home and why we celebrate that for colleges one week every fall:

Home is a name, a word, it is a strong one; stronger than magician ever spoke, or spirit ever answered to, in the strongest conjuration.
—Charles Dickens

There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.
—Jane Austen

I had rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world.
George Washington

Peace - that was the other name for home.
—Kathleen Norris

September 22-28

Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why.
—Bernard Baruch

September 15-21

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect
has intended us to forgo their use.
—Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

September 8-14

Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.
—G.K. Chesterton

September 1-7

Labor wants also pride and joy in doing good work,
A sense of making or doing something beautiful,
To be treated with dignity and respect as a brother or sister.
—Source Unknown

Enjoy Labor Day, not only as a chance to be away from work, but also to reflect on the sacred nature of the work we all do.

August 21-31

Saturday marks the anniversary of the death of Princess Diana in 1997. I found this quote from her that not only speaks about her life, but is a good reminder to us all:

Being a princess isn't all it's cracked up to be. 
—Princess Diana

August 18-24

Doubt and faith are not the opposites of each other. They define each other, like Light and Shadow.
—Leonard Pitts