Thursday, 30 December 2010

TOP 10 BOOKS OF 2010

In no particular order....

Thomas Brookes, Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices
Deborah Devonshire, Wait for Me! Memoirs of the Youngest Mitford Sister
Paul David Tripp, Broken-Down House: Living Productively in a World Gone Bad
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
Susan Hill, Howards End is on the Landing: A year reading from home
Wesley Hill, Washed & Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality
William M Struthers, Wired for Intimacy: How pornography hijacks the male brain
Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
Eric Metaxas, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy
Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor

Monday, 27 December 2010


'He said he wanted God back in his life. I said, well what's wrong with the God you grew up with, your Anglican God? He's too soft, he said, too reasonable and understanding, doesn't really want to interfere - more like the ideal next-door neighbour than a deity. I need to feel God's terrible wrath, his retribution waiting for me, he said. My Anglican God will just look sad and give me a ticking off.'
William Boyd, Any Human Heart, p.224.

Sunday, 26 December 2010


'It is often said that mankind needs a faith if the world is to be improved. In fact, unless the faith is vigilantly and regularly checked by a sense of man's fallibility, it is likely to make the world worse. From Torquemada to Robespierre and Hitler the men who have made mankind suffer the most have been inspired to do so by strong faith; so strong that it led them to think their crimes were acts of virtue necessary to help them achieve their aim, which was to build some kind of an ideal kingdom on earth.
But as we have been told on very good authority, the Kingdom of Heaven is not of this world. Those who think they can establish it here are more likely to create a hell on earth.'
Lord David Cecil in Susan Hill, Howards End is on the Landing, p.156.


'...[the literary critic's] aim should be to interpret the work they are writing about and to help readers appreciate it, by defining and analysing those qualities that make it precious and by indicating the angle of vision from which its beauties are visible.
But many critics do not realise their function. They aim not to appreciate but to judge; they seek first to draw up laws about literature and then to bully readers into accepting these laws...[but] you cannot force a taste on someone else, you cannot argue people into enjoyment.'
Lord David Cecil in Susan Hill, Howards End is on the Landing, p.156.


'Books help form us. If you cut me open, will you find volume after volume, page after page, the contents of every one I have ever read, somehow transmuted and transformed into me? Alice in Wonderland. The Magic Faraway Tree. The Hound of the Baskervilles. The Book of Job. Bleak House. Wuthering heights. The Complete Poems of W.H.Auden. The Tale of Mr Toad, Howards End. What a strange person I must be. But if the books I have read have helped to form me, then probably nobody else who ever lived has read exactly the same books, all the same books and only the same books, as me. So just as my genes and the soul within me make me uniquely me, so I am the unique sum of the books I have read. I am my literary DNA.'
Susan Hill, Howards End is on the Landing, p.202.


'A couple of years ago a friend of extremely left-wing and politically correct bent was looking at the shelf of children's books and remarked that they were all "escapist". She felt that my children had not been encouraged to engage in the gritty problems and troubles of real life through their reading. No, they had not. I always steered clear of "issue literature" when choosing picture books for them - but then, there were few of that kind available for the under-fives in the early 1970s and early 1980s, though occasionly there were titles aimed at helping overcome a fear of dogs, for example, or the dentist. But she did not mean that sort of simple, helpful story. She was looking through the fiction they read between the ages of around eight to thirteen or so, before they moved on to adult novels. Escapist? I would call it imaginative. But if the lives of children in Elizabethan England, or a magical countytry called Narnia, and the stories about creatures called Moomins are a means of escape from the often dull and tiresome everyday world, as well as being good books, what is the argument against that? Computer games are escapist, going to football matches or the cinema, or watching soaps or costume drama on television, are all forms of escapism. We need some.'
Susan Hill, Howards End is on the Landing, p.196.


'Everything I am reading during this year has so much to yield but only if I give it my full attention and respect it by reading it slowly. Fast reading of a great novel will give us the plot. It will get us names, a shadowy idea of characters, a sketch of settings. It will not get us subtleties, small differentiations, depth of emotion and observation, multilayered human experience, the appreciation of simile and metaphor, any sense of context, any comparison with other novels, other writers. Fast reading will not get us cadence and complexities of style and language. It will not get us anything that enters just the conscious mind but the unconscious. It will not allow the book to burrow down into our memory and become part of ourselves, the accumulation of knowledge and wisdom and vicarious experience which helps form us as complete human beings. It will not develop our awareness or add to the sum of our knowledge and intelligence. Read parts of a newspaper quickly or an encyclopaedia entry, or a fast-food thriller, but do not insult yourself or a book which has been created with its author's painstaking acquired skill and effort, by seeing how fast you can dispose of it.'
Susan Hill, Howards End is on the Landing, p.171.


'Writers are formed by their childhoods, by places which have given up their inner meaning, by people glimpsed, and above all by emotions both felt and observed.'
Susan Hill, Howards End is on the Landing, p.142.


'I think the greatest satisfaction of reading published diaries is that of being admitted into other people's worlds, of living in their houses, knowing their friends, accompanying them on their travels - and at the same time being party to their views of it all. It is like plunging into the imaginary world of a novel and yet satisfying in a rather different way...'
Susan Hill, Howards End is on the Landing, p.87.


'It is such a have someone who wishes to sit with you on a sofa and listen to a watch tick.'
Penelope Fitzgerald in Susan Hill, Howards End is on the Landing, p.75.


'The point about every single book that I re-read in order to laugh is that every one is so much more funny because the authors write so well. Wodehouse uses the English language to perfection, Durrell evokes scenes so wonderfully, Nancy Mitford's prose is so elegant, so arch. One could learn to write from any of them and I wish more people would. No matter what the genre, good writing always tells. Crime novels? Look at Raymond Chandler, master of style. Spy novels? How many do you know who write as well as le Carre? Style wins every, every time.'
Susan Hill, Howards End is on the Landing, p.57.


'...can have an insidious, corrosive effect. Too much internet usage fragments the brain and disipates concentration so that after a while, one's ability to spend long, focused hours immersed in a single subject becomes blunted. Information comes pre-digested in small pieces, one grazes on endless ready-meals and snacks of the mind, and the result is mental malnutrition...
Rationing it strictly gave me back more than time. Within a few days, my attention span increased again, my butterfly-brain settled down and I was able to spend longer periods concentrating on single topics, difficult long books, subjects requiring my full focus. It was like diving into a deep, cool ocean after flitting about in the shallows. Slow reading as against Gobbling-up.'
Susan Hill, Howards End is on the Landing: A year reading from home, p.3.


'War is brutish, inglorious, and a terrible waste. Combat leaves an indelible mark on those who are forced to endure it. The only redeeming factors were my comrades' incredible bravery and their devotion to each other. Marine Corps training taught us to kill efficiently and to try to survive. But it also taught us loyalty to each other - and love. That esprit de corps sustained us.
Until the millenium arrives and countries cease trying to enslave others, it will be necessary to accept one's responsibilities and to be willing to make sacrifices for one's country - as my comrades did. As the troops used to say, "If the country is good enough to live in, it's good enough to fight for." With privilege goes responsibility.'
EB Sledge, With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa, p.344.

Thursday, 23 December 2010


'What stops us from living on less? It's not just our love for things, it's our fear of loneliness or abnormality. If simple living were the norm in our churches, it would be much easier to live simply ourselves. But we don't want to be left out or seem weird. We need examples to follow, models of simpler lifestyles that we can observe firsthand to convince us it's really possible - and desirable. We need to see people we respect, people like us who choose to live differently. A mandate to "live simply" won't do it. It's easier to follow footprints than to follow orders. If most people in the church have new cars, beautiful homes, hot tubs, and cutting-edge entertainment centers, it's hard to remember these aren't what the church is here for.
One Christian told me, "When I look at the Bible, I get really convicted to chnage my lifestyle. But then I look around at all the other Christians who live like I do and I end up saying, "It must be okay - everybody else lives this way too."'
Randy Alcorn, Money, Possessions & Eternity, p.298.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010


'...the single greatest deterrent to giving - and to living more simply - is the illusion that this world is our home.'
Randy Alcorn, Money, Possessions & Eternity, p.294.


'Giving is the safety valve that releases the excess pressure of wealth.'
Randy Alcorn, Money, Possessions & Eternity, p.293.


'Regarding our attitude toward wealth, Jesus gave commands. Regarding our possessions and lifestyle, he gave us principles. Jesus did not hand us a checklist of what we can and cannot own, and how we can or cannot spend money. Jesus didn't just say one thing about money and possessions. He said many things. They aren't randomly clashing noises, but a carefully composed melody and harmony to which we must carefully listen as we develop our lifestyles. If Jesus gave us a checklist, we would not have to depend prayerfully and thoughtfully on him to guide us into the kind of lifestlye that pleases him.'
Randy Alcorn, Money, Possessions & Eternity, p.290.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010


'Let me tell you a most wonderful experience I had early on Monday morning, March 19, 2007, a little after six o'clock. God actually spoke to me. There is no doubt that it was God. I heard the very word in my head just as clearly as when a memory of a conversation passes across your consciouness. The words were in English, but they had about them an absolutely self-autheticating ring of truth. I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God still speaks today.
It was through the Bible that I heard these divine words, and through the Bible I have experiences like this almost every day...If you would like to hear the very same words I heard on the couch in northern Minnesota, read Psalm 66:5-7. That is where I heard them. O how precious is the Bible...This is the very voice of God.
Something is incredibly wrong when the words we hear outside Scripture are more powerful and more affecting to us that the inspired word of God.'
John Piper in CJ Mahaney, 'The Pastor and the Trinity' in For the Fame of God's Name, p.400.


'...are those you serve certain of the Father's love for them? Are you laboring to convince them of it? How do you leave your church at the end of a sermon? Where do you leave them at the end of a counseling appointment? What is the effect of even a casual conversation with you? Does a member of your church leave your presence more aware of his sin, or more aware of the love of God the Father? Is your church more secure in the Father's personal and passionate love as the result of your ministry?
Let me ask a more personal question: Are you convinced of the Father's love for you? He crushed his Son for you so that he might adopt you, so that he might convince you of his holy love for you. Pastor, are you more aware of your sin, the weakness in your pastoral ministry, the deficiencies in your church, or of the Father's love? You cannot convince your church of the Father's love if you are not convinced of it it yourself.'
CJ Mahaney, 'The Pastor and the Trinity' in For the Fame of God's Name, p.398.


'I will crush my Son under the full fury of my righteous wrath for you. In the Garden of Gethsemane, my Son will cry out for this bitter cup to pass from him. And I will remain silent. Why? Because I love you that much.
And when my Son utters that shriek on the cross, unlike any other protest in all of history "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" I will again remain silent. Why? To convince you that I love you.
Behold the supreme demonstration of my love - the cross - the death of my Son, What more can I say? What else do you require to be convinced of my love for you?'
CJ Mahaney, 'The Pastor and the Trinity' in For the Fame of God's Name, p.397.


'Some facet of gospel truth is the ultimate answer for every pastoral situation you confront - every one.'
CJ Mahaney, 'The Pastor and the Trinity' in Sam Storms & Justin Taylor (Eds.), For the Fame of God's Name: Essays in Honour of John Piper, p.393.


'As we have a high old time this Christmas, may we who know Christ, hear the cry of the damned as they hurtle headlong into the Christless night without ever a chance. May we be moved with compassion as our Lord was. May we shed tears of repentance for those we have failed to bring out of darkness. Beyond the smiling scenes of Bethlehem may we see the crushing agony of Golgatha. May God give us a new vision of His will concerning the lost and our responsibility.'
Nate Saint in Randy Alcorn, Money, Possessions & Eternity, p.238.


'Put yourself in the place of every poor man and deal with him as you would God deal with you.'
John Wesley in Randy Alcorn, Money, Possessions & Eternity, p.227.


'It is our care of the helpless, our practice of loving kindness that brands us in the eyes of many of our opponents. "Only look," they say, "look how they love one another."'
Tertullian in Randy Alcorn, Money, Possessions & Eternity, p.226.


'One of the great tests for Christian leaders is whether we can trust God to provide financially without courting or favoring big donors. And perhaps the greatest test for givers is whether we are able to give of ourselves and our resources without getting the credit, concerned only that God gets the glory.'
Randy Alcorn, Money, Posessions & Eternity, p.212.


'We don't like risky faith. We like to have our safety net below us, a backup plan in case God fails. Our instinct for self-preservation leads us to hedge our bets. If we give at all, we will give as much as we can without really feeling it and no more. We take away the high stakes, and we also lose the high returns. We miss the adventure of seeing God provide...'
Randy Alcorn, Money, Possessions & Eternity, p.203.


'Money never stays with me. It would burn me if it did. I throw it out of my hands as soon as possible, lest it should find its way into my heart.'
John Wesley in Randy Alcorn, Money, Possessions & Eternity, p.195.


'Tithing gives perspective. It reminds us that all we are and all we have is from God. Tithing is not a tip thrown mindlessly down on a table after a meal, but a meaningful expression of dependence on God and gratitude to him. Tithing requires calculation. When we deal specifically with the amounts God has provided, we assess God's goodness to us. We literally count our blessings, thank him for his generosity. Tithing was, and can still be, a built in reminder at every juncture of the life of our unlimited debt to God.'
Randy Alcorn, Money, Possessions & Eternity, p.179.

Thursday, 16 December 2010


'There are many principles contrary to love, that make this world like a tempestuous sea. Selfishness, and envy, and revenge, and jealousy, and kindred passions keep life on earth in a constant tumult, and make it a scene of confusion and uproar, where no quiet rest is to be enjoyed except in renouncing this world and looking to another. But oh! what rest is there in that world which the God of peace and love fills with his own gracious presence, and in which the Lamb of God lives and reigns, filling it with the brightest and sweetest beams of his love; where there is nothing to disturb or offend, and no being or object to be seen that is not surrounded with perfect amiableness and sweetness; where the saints shall find and enjoy all that they love, so and be perfectly satisfied; where there is no enemy and no emnity; but perfect love in every heart and to every being; where there is perfect harmony among all the inhabitants, no envying one another, but everyone rejoicing in the happiness of every other; where all their love is humble and holy and perfectly Christian, without the least carnality and impurity; where love is always mutual and reciprocated to the full; where there is no hypocrisy or dissembling, but perfect simplicity and sincerity; where there is no treachery, or unfaithfulness, or inconstancy, or jealousy in any form; where there is no clog or hindrance to the exercises or expressions of love, no imprudence or indecency in expressing it, and no influence or folly or indiscretion in any word or deed; where there is no separation wall, and no, misunderstanding or strangeness, but full acquaintance and perfect intimacy in all; where there is no division through different opinions or interests, but where all in that glorious and loving society shall be most nearly and divinely related, and each shall belong to every other, and all shall enjoy each other in perfect prosperity and riches, and honor, without sickness, or grief, or persecution, or sorrow, or enemy to molest them, or any busybody to create jealousy or misunderstanding, or mar the perfect, and holy, and blessed peace that reigns in heaven! And all this in the garden of God - in the paradise of love, where everything is filled with love, and everything conspires to promote and kindle it, and keep up its flame, and nothing ever interrupts it, but everything has been fitted by an all-wise God for its full enjoyment under the greatest advantages forever! And all, too, where the beauty of the beloved objects shall never fade, and love shall grow never weary nor decay, but the soul shall more and more rejoice in love forever!'
Jonathan Edwards, Heaven - a World of Love, p.11. Available at:

Wednesday, 15 December 2010


'...all our life is but a going out to the place of execution, to death.'
John Donne, 'An Easter Sermon - 28th March 1619' in John Donne on death, p.3.


'Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.'
CS Lewis in Randy Alcorn, Money, Possessions & Eternity, p.170.


'In the truest sense, Christian pilgrims have the best of both worlds. We have joy whenever this world reminds us of the next. And we have comfort whenever it does not. We have the promise of a new heaven and a new earth, where the worst elements of this world - sorrow, pain, death, and the tears they produce - will be gone forever (Revelation 21:4). Yet we also know that the best elements of this world - love, joy, wonder, worship, and beauty - will not be gone but intensified and perfected in the remade world.'
Randy Alcorn, Money, Possessions & Eternity, p.167.


'Because we love something else more than this world, we love even this world better than those who know no other.'
CS Lewis in Randy Alcorn, Money, Possessions & Eternity, p.167.


'Life's great disillusionments come as we try to force our round, made-for-eternity hearts into the rectangular hole of this earth. They just don't fit. We do not fit.'
Randy Alcorn, Money, Possessions & Eternity, p.161.


'It has been cited as a flaw in Christianity that it is more concerned with the world to come than with the world that now is, and some timid souls have been fluttering about trying to defend the faith of Christ against this accusation as a mother hen defends her chicks from the hawk.
Both the attack and the defense are wasted. No one who knows what the New Testament is about will worry over the charge that Christianity is other-worldly. Of course it is, and that is precisely where it power lies...
Let no one apologize for the powerful emphasis Christianity lays upon the doctrine of the world to come. Right there lies its immense superiority to everything else within the whole sphere of human thought and experience. When Christ arose from the dead and ascended into heaven He established forever three important facts: namely that this world has been condemned to ultimate dissolution, that the human spirit persists beyond the grave and that there is indeed a world to come...
The church is constantly being tempted to accept this world as her home, and sometimes she has listened to the blandishments of those who would woo her away and use her for their own ends. But if she is wise she will consider that she stands in the valley between the mountain peaks of eternity past and eternity to come. The past is gone forever and the present is passing as swift as the shadow on the sun dial of Ahaz. Even if the earth should continue a million years, not one of us could stay to enjoy it. We do well to think of the long tomorrow.'
AW Tozer in Randy Alcorn, Money, Possessions & Eternity, p.160.


'If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themeselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the slave trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven. It is since Christians largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.'
CS Lewis in Randy Alcorn, Money, Possessions & Eternity, p.160.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010


'Women sometimes have the problem of trying to judge by artificial light how a dress will look by daylight. That is very like the problem of all of us: to dress our souls not for the electric lights of the present world but for the daylight of the next. The good dress is the one that will face that light. For that light will last longer.'
CS Lewis in Randy Alcorn, Money, Possessions & Eternity, p.150.

Monday, 13 December 2010


'If there be so certain and glorious a rest for the saints, why is there no more industrious seeking after it? One would think, if a man did once hear of such unspeakable glory to be obtained, and believed what he heard to be true, he should be transported with the vehemency of his desire after it, and should almost forget to eat and drink, and should care for nothing else, and speak of and enquire after nothing else, but how to get this treasure. And yet people who hear of it daily, and profess to believe it as a fundamental article of their faith, do as little mind it, or labour for it, as if they had never heard of any such thing, or did not believe one word they hear.'
Richard Baxter in Randy Alcorn, Money, Possessions & Eternity, p.137.


'Christianity propses not to extinguish our natural desires. It promises to bring the desires under just control and direct them to their true object.'
William Wiberforce, Money, Possessions & Eternity, p.135.


'They are such as should make us leap to think on, and that we should remember with exceeding joy, and never think this contrary to the Christian faith, to rejoice and be glad for.'
John Bunyan in Randy Alcorn, Money, Possessions & Eternity, p.135.


'Every time I obey God, I'm doing what's ultimately best for all. Every time I disobey him, I'm doing what's ultimately worst for all.'
Randy Alcorn, Money, Possessions & Eternity, p.132.


'Two men owned farms side by side. One was a bitter atheist, the other a devout Christian. Constantly annoyed at the Christian for his trust in God, the atheist said to him one winter, "Let's plant our crops as usual this spring, each the same number of acres. You pray to your God, and I'll curse him. Then come October, let's see who has the bigger crop."
When October came the atheist was delighted because his crop was larger. "See, you fool," he taunted, "what you you have to say for your God now?"
"My God," repiled the other farmer, "doesn't settle all his accounts in October."'
Randy Alcorn, Money, Possessions & Eternity, p.123.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010


'On February 6, 1870, George Muller's wife, Mary, died of rheumatic fever. They had been married thrity-nine years and four months. He was sixty-four years old. Shortly after the funeral he was strong enough to preach a "funeral sermon" as he called it. What text would he choose when God had taken his best beloved? He chose Psalm 119:68, "You are good, and do good." His three points were:
  1. The Lord was good, and did good, in giving her to me.
  2. The Lord was good, and did good, in so long leaving her to me.
  3. The Lord was good, and did good, in taking her from me.'
John Piper, The Pleasures of God, p.183.

Monday, 6 December 2010


'We miss something in missionary martyr Jim Elliot's famous words, "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." We focus on his willingness to sacrifice and serve, but we neglect his passion for personal gain. Reread his words and you'll see that Jim Elliot was a priofit seeker! What separated him from the common Christian wasn't that he didn't want treasure, but that he wanted true and lasting treasure. He wasn't satisfied with treasure that would be lost, only treasure that would last.'
Randy Alcorn, Money, Possessions & Eternity, p.95.


'What do we value most? What would we most hate to lose? What do our thoughts turn to most frequently when we are are free to think of what we will? And finally, what affords us the greatest pleasure?'
AW Tozer in Randy Alcorn, Money, Possessions & Eternity, p.94.


'I have held many things in my hands and I have lost them all. But whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess.'
Martin Luther in Randy Alcorn, Money, Posssessions & Eternity, p.93.

Saturday, 4 December 2010


'At issue here is the question: "To whom do I belong? To God or to the world?" Many of my daily preoccupations suggest that I belong more to the world than to God. A little criticism makes me angry, and a little rejection makes me depressed. A little praise raises my spirits, and a little success excites me. It takes very little to raise me up and thrust me down. Often I am like a small boat on the ocean completely at the mercy of the waves. All the time and energy I spend in keeping some kind of balance and preventing myself from being tipped over and drowning shows that my life is mostly a struggle for survival: not a holy struggle but an anxious struggle resulting from the the mistaken idea that it is the world that defines me.
As long as I keep running around asking: "Do you love me? Do you really love me?" I give all the power to the voices of the world and put myself in bondage because the world is filled with "ifs." The world says: "Yes, I love you if you are good-looking, intelligent, and wealthy. I love you if you have a good education, a good job, and good connections. I love you if you produce much, sell much, and buy much." There are endless "ifs" hidden in the world's love. These "ifs" enslave me, since it is impossible to respond adequately to all of them. The world's love is and always will be conditional. As long as I keep looking for my true self in the world of conditional love, I will remain "hooked" to the world - trying, failing, and trying again. It is a world that fosters addictions because what it offers cannot satisfy the deepest craving of my heart.
"Addiction" might be the best word to explain the lostness that so deeply permeates contemporary society. Our addictions make us cling to what the world proclaims as the keys to self-fulfillment; accumulation of wealth and power; attainment of status and admiration; lavish consumption of food and drink, and sexual gratification without distinguishing between lust and love. These addictions create expectations that cannot but fail to satisfy our deepest needs. As long as we live within the world's delusions, our addictions condemn us to futile quests in "the distant country," leaving us to face an endless series of disillusionments while our sense of self remains unfulfilled. In these days of increased addictions, we have wandered far way from our Father's home. The addicted life can aptly be designated a life lived in "a distant country." It is from there that our cry for deliverance rises up.
I am the prodigal son every time I search for unconditional love where it cannot be found. Why do I keep ignoring the place of true love and persist in looking for it elsewhere? Why do I keep leaving home where I am called a child of God, the Beloved of my Father?'
Henri JM Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son, p.42.


'Home is the center of my being where I can hear the voice that says: "You are my Beloved, on you my favour rests" - the same voice that gave life to the first Adam and spoke to Jesus, the second Adam; the same voice that speaks to all the children of God and sets them free to live in the midst of a dark world while remaining in the light. I have heard that voice. It has spoken to me in the past and continues to speak to me now. It is the never-interrupted voice of love speaking from eternity and giving life and love whenever it is heard. When I hear that voice, I know that I am home with God and have nothing to fear. As the Beloved of my heavenly Father, "I can walk in the valley of darkness: no evil would I fear."...Having "received without charge." I can give without charge." As the Beloved, I can confront, console, admonish, and encourage with fear of rejection or need of affirmation. As the Beloved, I can suffer persecution without desire for revenge and receive praise without using it as a proof of my goodness. As the Beloved, I can be tortured, and killed without ever having to doubt that the love that is given to me is stronger than death. As the Beloved, I am free to live and give life, free also to die while giving life.
Jesus has made it clear to me that the same voice that he heard at the River Jordan and on Mount Tabor can also be heard by me. He has made it clear to me that just as he has his home with the Father, so do I.'
Henri JM Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming, p.37.

Friday, 3 December 2010


'Do you not know that God entrusted you with that money (all above what buys necessities for your family) to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to help the stranger, the widow, the fatherless, and, indeed, as far as it will go, to relieve the wants of all mankind? How can you, how dare you, defraud your Lord, by applying it to any other purposes?'
John Wesley in Randy Alcorn, Money, Possessioons & Eternity, p.86.


'If you've prayed for healing, and not received it, take heart - you're in good company! Not only was Paul himself not healed, but he also had to leave Trophimus in Miletus because of sickness (2 Timothy 4:20). His beloved friend Epaphroditus was gravely ill (Philippians 2:24-30). His son in the faith, Timothy, had frequent stomach disorders, for which Paul didn't tell him "claim healing" but to drink a little wine for medicinal purposes (1 Timothy 5:23). Those who claim "anyone with enough faith can be healed" apparentely have greater faith than Paul and his ministry associates.'
Randy Alcorn, Money, Possessions & Eternity, p.81.

Thursday, 2 December 2010


...we have a knotty generation to deal with...'
Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor, p.231.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010


'The only thing worth counterfeiting is what's valuable. People make counterfeit currency and jewels, not couterfeit bottle caps or garabage. Because the truth of the gosple is priceless, we should expect it to be continously counterfeited. Bank employees are taught to idfentify counterfeit bills by handling the real thing - not be studying all the possible counterfeits. If you're not acquainted with the original, you can easily be deceived by an imitation. But once you're familiar with the genuine article, you will be able to spot a counterfeit.'
Randy Alcorn, Money, Possessions & Eternity, p.72.


'Theological a man-centered, earth-centered system that denies eternal realities. The "good news" is that somehow a God without holiness helps a man without sin by a Christ without a cross. God is not taken seriously but is simply used to promote a human agenda. The fact that this agenda may include some benevolent causes doesn't eliminate its exclusive focus on the present life...Denying the heart and soul of the gospel, liberalism's attempts to help the world without addressing its ultimate spiritual problems have the same effect as rearranging the furniture on the Titanic.'
Randy Alcorn, Money, Possessions & Eternity, p.62.