Wednesday, 30 November 2011

THE CROSS

'The the root of every caricature of the cross there lies a distorted Christology. The person and work of Christ belong together. If he was not who the apostles say he was, then he could not have done what they say he did. The incarnation is indispensable to the atonement.'
John Stott, The Cross of Christ, p.189.

SIN & SALVATION

'The concept of substitution may be said, then, to lie at the heart of both sin and salvation. For the essence of sin is man sustituting himself for God, while the essence of salvation is God substituting himself for man. Man asserts himself against God and puts himself where only God deserves to be; God sacrifices himself for man and puts himself where only man deserves to be. Man claims prerogatives which belong to God alone; God accepts penalties which belong to God alone.' 
John Stott, The Cross of Christ, p.188.

THE CROSS

'...in order to save us in such a way as to satisfy himself, God through Christ substituted himself for us. Divine love triumphed over divine wrath by divine self-sacrifice. The cross was an act simultaneously of punishment and amnesty, severity and grace, justice and mercy.
Seen thus, the objections to a substitutionary atonement evaporate. There is nothing even remotely immoral here, since the substitute for the lawbreakers is none other than the divine Lawmaker himself. There is no mechanical transaction either, since the self-sacrifice of love is the most personal of all actions. And what is achieved through the cross is no merely external change of legal status, since those who see God's love there, and are united to Christ by his Spirit, become radically transformed in outlook and charcter.'
John Stott, The Cross of Christ, p.187.  

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

THE BIBLE

'Since one who loves more risks more, I must reprimand my most illustrious son Theodore. He has received from the most holy Trinity the gifts of intelligence, well-being, mercy and charity. But they are forever being stifled by profane questions, by constant comings and goings. Thus he neglects to read the words of his Redeemer each day. What is Scripture if not a letter from Almighty God to his creature? If Your Excellency lived somewhere else and received mail from an earthly monarch, he would have no peace, he would not rest, he would not shut his eyes until he had read the contents of that letter. The king of heaven, the Lord of men and angels, has written you a letter that you might live, and yet, illustrious son, you neglect to read it wirh ardent love. Strive therefore, I beg you, to meditate each day on the words of your Creator. Learn to know the heart of God in the words of God. Thus you will long for the things of heaven with greater desire and you soul will be more eager for the joys that are invisible...May the Spirit fill your soul with his presence, and in filling it make it more free.'
Gregory the Great in Mariano Magrassi, Praying the Bible, p.125.

PRAYER

'In order to pray, we do not need to rack our brains, artificially evoking interior acts, thoughts or excessively refined affections. All we need to do is react in the presence of the text with free and spontaneous prayer. And when this spontaneous outpouring stops, we return to the text for fresh nourishment.
Too often prayer dies on our lips or takes refuge in mechanically repeated formulas. Or if we insist on pressing our inner faculties into service, it vacillates between dry reasoning and sentimental daydreaming. Lacking nourishment, in runs on empty. There is only one remedy for this: to nourish prayer with the rich deposit left for us by the Word, either read silently of heard live in the liturgical proclamation. There we find irresistable words that go directly to the heart of God. From there we can change the accents to express to God the various movements of our heart. And when spiritual dryness prevents us from doing anything else, it is enough to address to him the same words God has spoken to us, making certain that our mind and hearts are in harmony with them. This will not be simple repitition because that word, having touched my life, is rich with new meaning.'
Mariano Magrassi, Praying the Bible, p.114.

BIBLE STUDY

'We moderns, when we read, are usually in a hurry. Our haste stems from curiosity and a thirst for novelty. We can see this in the avalanche of written words in which we are drowned, thanks to modern publishing. But this is deadly when it comes to dealing with a Word that holds the mystery of God. It prevents us from understanding, and above all, from assimilating.'
Mariano Magrassi, Praying the Bible, p.105.

BIBLICAL MEDITATION

'Reading, as it were, puts food whole into the mouth, meditation chews it and breaks it up, prayer extracts its flavour, contemplation is the sweetness itself which gladdens and refreshes.'
Guigo in Mariano Magrassi, Praying the Bible, p.104.

Monday, 28 November 2011

THE BIBLE

'It is understood only by those who live it. True exegesis explains the word precisley by fulfilling it.'
Mariano Magrassi, Praying the Bible, p.86.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

IDENTITY

'Your soul has a curious shape because it is a hollow made to fit a particular swelling in the infinite contours of the Divine substance, or a key to unlock one of the doors in the house with many mansions.'
CS Lewis, The Problem of Pain, p.122.

HELL

'In the long run the answer to all those who object to the doctrine of hell, is itself a question: "What are you asking God to do?" To wipe out their past sins and, at all costs, to give them a fresh start, smoothing every difficulty and offering every miraculous help? But He has done so, on Calvary. To forgive them? They will not be forgiven. To leave them alone? Alas, I am afraid that is what He does.'
CS Lewis, The Problem of Pain, p.105.

SUFFERING & HAPPINESS

'The Christian doctrine of suffering explains I believe, a very curious fact about the world we live in. The settled happiness and security which we all desire, God witholds from us by the very nature of the world: but joy, pleasure, and merriment, He has scattered broadcast. We are never safe, but we plenty of fun, and some ecstasy. It is not hard to see why. The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world and oppose an obstable to our return to God: a few moments of happy love, a landscape, a symphony, a merry meeting with our friends, a bathe or a football match, have no such tendency. Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.'
CS Lewis, The Problem of Pain, p.94.

SUFFERING

'...suffering is not good in itself. What is good in any painful experience is, for the sufferer, his submission to the will of God, and, for the spectators, the compassion aroused and the acts of mercy to which it leads. In the fallen and partially redeemed universe we may distinguis (1) the simple good descending from God, (2) the simple evil produced by rebellious creatures, and (3) the expolitation of that evil by God for His redemptive purpose, which produces (4) the complex good to which accepted suffering and repented sin contribute.'
CS Lewis, The Problem of Pain, p.89.

SUFFERING

'My own experience is something like this. I am progressing along the path of life in my ordinary contentedly fallen and godless condition, absorbed in a merry meeting with my friends for the morrow or a bit of work that tickles my vanity today, a holiday or a new book, when suddenly a stab of abdominal pain that threatens serious disease, or a headline that threatens us all with destruction, sends this whole pack of cards tumbling down. At first I am overwhelmed, and all my little happinesses look like broken toys. Then, slowly and reluctantly, bit by bit, I try to bring myself into the frame of mind that I should be at all times. I remind myself that all these toys were never intended to possess my heart, that my true good is in another world, and my only real treasure is Christ. And perhaps, by God's grace, I succeed, and for a day or two become a creature consciously depedent on God and drawing its strength from the right sources. But the moment the threat is withdrawn, my whole nature leaps back to the toys: I am even anxious, God forgive me, to banish from my mind the only thing that supported me under the threat because it is now associated with the misery of those few days. Thus the terrible necessity of tribulation is only too clear. God has had me for forty-eight hours and then only be dint of taking everything else away from me. Let Him  but sheathe the sword for a moment and I behave like a puppy when the hated bath is over - I shake myself as dry as I can and race off to reacquire my comfortable dirtiness, if not in the nearest manure heap, at least in the neaerest flower bed. And that is why tribulations cannot cease until God either sees us remade or sees that our remaking is now hopeless.'
CS Lewis, The Problem of Pain, p.86.

THE CROSS

'...God saw the crucifixion in the act of creating the first nebula...'
CS Lewis, The Problem of Pain, p.65.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

GOD'S ANGER

'When we merely say that we are bad, the "wrath" of God seems a barbarous doctrine; as soon as we pereceive our badness, it appears inevitable, a mere corollary from God's goodness.'
CS Lewis, The Problem of Pain, p.43.

SIN

'A recovery of the old sense of sin is essential to Christianity. Christ takes it for granted that men are bad. Until we really feel this assumption of His to be true, though we are part of the world He came to save, we are not part of the audience to whom His words are addressed. We lack the first condition for understanding what He is talking about. And when men attempt to be Christians without this preliminary consciousness of sin, the result is almost bound to be a certain resentment against God as to one always inexplicablt angry. Most of us have at times felt a secret sympathy with the dying farmer who replied to the Vicar's dissertation on repentance by asking "What harm have I ever done Him?" There is the real rub. The worst we have done to God is to leave Him alone - why can't he return the compliment? Why not live and let live? What call has He, of all beings, to be "angry"? It's easy for Him to be good?'
CS Lewis, The Problem of Pain, p.42.

HAPPINESS

'When we want to be something other than the thing God wants us to be, we must be wanting what, in fact, will not make us happy. Those Divine demands which sound to our natural ears most like those of a despot and least like those of a lover, in fact marshal us where we should want to go if we knew what we wanted.'
CS Lewis, The Problem of Pain, p.37.

GOD'S LOVE

'...God's love, far from being caused by goodness in the object, causes all goodness which the object has, loving it first into existence and then into real, though derivative, lovability. God is Goodness. He can give good, but cannot need or get it. In that sense all His love is, as it were, bottomlessly selfless by very definition; it has everything to give and nothing to receive.'
CS Lewis, The Problem of Pain , p.35.

CHRISTIANS

'We are, not metaphorically but in very truth, a Divine work of art, something that God is making, and therefore something with which He will not be satisfied until it has a certain character. Here again we come up against what I have called the "intolerable compliment." Over a sketch made idly to amuse a child, an artist may not take much trouble: he may be content to let it go even though it is not exactly as he meant it to be. But over the great picture of his life - the work he loves, though in a different fashion as intensely as a man loves a woman or a mother a child - he will take endless trouble - and would, doubtless, thereby give endless trouble to the picture if it were sentinent. One can imagine a sentinent picture, after being rubbed and scraped and recommenced for the tenth time, wishing that it were only a thumbnail sketch whose making were over in a minute. In the same way, it is natural for us to wish that God had designed for uis a less glorious and less arduous destiny; but then we are wising not for more love but for less.'
CS Lewis, The Problem of Pain, p.28.

GOD'S LOVE

'What would really satisfy us would be a God who said of anything we happened to like doing, "What does it matter so long as they are contented?" We want, in fact, not so much a Father in Heaven as a grandfather in heaven - a senile benevolence who, as they say, "liked to see the young people enjoying themselves" and whose plan for the universe was simply that it might be truly said at the end of each day, "a good time was had by all." Not many people, I admit, would formulate a theology in precisely those terms: but a conception not very different lurks at the back of many minds. I do not claim to be an exception: I should very much like to live in a universe which was governed on such lines. But since it is abundantly clear that I don't, and since I have reason to believe, nevertheless, that God is Love, I conclude that my conception of love needs correction.'
CS Lewis, The Problem of Pain, p.25.

CHRISTIANITY

'If any message from the core of reality ever were to reach us, we should expect to find in it just the unexpectedness, that wilful, dramatic anfractuosity which we find in the Christian faith. It has the master touch - the rough, male taste of reality, not made by us, or, indeed, for us, but hitting us in the face.'
CS Lewis, The Problem of Pain, p.12.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

PRAYER

'...Christian prayer that does not begin with the Bible is inconceivable. The same holds true for Bible reading that does not ultimately lead to prayer.'
Mariano Magrassi, Praying the Bible, p.82.

GOD

'Too often, God is seen only as an object of faith. All I have then is a set of truths to memorize, rather like dry grammar. I cannot enter into communion with the living God. No, he is first of all the subject of the relationship. God comes to meet me and addresses me through the free and sovereign initiative of God's love. Then for me, as for Abraham, God has a face and a voice. God call me by name and speaks God's Word to me. And I fall on my knees before God like Thomas, with a cry of faith, "My Lord and my God."'
Mariano Magrassi, Praying the Bible, p.80.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

WISDOM

'...contemplative knowledge...'
Mariano Magrassi, Praying the Bible, p.74.

BIBLE STUDY

'We want to insist on a conviction that is deeply rooted in all Christian tradition: knowledge that does not lead to love is vain. The truth must be a principle of life. No one disagrees in theory, but we often deny it in practice. We all know the real risk of Bible study that becomes nothing but philogy at the scientific level, and a pedantic exercise in the cold accumulation of facts at a textbook level. The very soul of Scripture perishes in such research. Surely that is not why God has spoken.'
Mariano Magrassi, Praying the Bible, p.72.

Monday, 21 November 2011

THE BIBLE

'We cannot venture into the Bible as tourists; we must become inhabitants of the land. We need to retrace our steps, stop and reflect at each site in order to explore it in depth. To become part of this world we must enter it, immmerse ourselves in it in order to be absorbed by it. Then it will reveal to us the charm of its secret places. The same thing happens with certain pieces of classical music. Only after repeated listening do we detect the secret harmonies, discover the language, catch the dominant themes.'
Mariano Magrassi, Praying the Bible, p.68.

BIBLICAL MEDITATION

'Seek, then, to meditate every day on the words of your Creator. Learn to know the heart of God in the words of God, so that you may desire eternal goods more ardently and your soul may be enkindled with greater longing for the goods of heaven.'
Gregory the Great in Marian Magrassi, Praying the Bible, p.68.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

THE BIBLE

'The meaning of Scripture is not an impersonal truth but the fascinating figure of Christ...The whole science of exegesis is the ability to recognize Christ.'
Mariano Magrassi, Praying the Bible, p.52.

THE BIBLE

'This is the constant of Christian exegesis through the ages. Climates change and exegetical methods are refined, but the believer who reads the Bible with faith always finds only Christ there.'
Mariano Magrassi, Praying the Bible, p.50.

Friday, 18 November 2011

THE BIBLE

'The divine words grow with the one who reads from them. Where the mind of the reader is directed, there, too, the sacred text ascends; for...it grows with us, it rises with us.'
Gregory the Great in Mariano Magrassi, Praying the Bible, p.40.

THE BIBLE

'Scripture is an unfathomable world. Its dimensions are as long and wide, as high and deep as the mystery it contains. We may venture there, but we can never say we have reached the bottom.'
Mariano Magrassi, Praying the Bible, p.35.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

THE BIBLE

'Since it is a living word, Scripture implies the presence of the lifegiving Spirit and the Word of God expressed therein. The Spirit's instruments from Moses to John, are of course dead; their task is finished. But the task of the Word of God and his Spirit is not finished. He is present on every page, still speaking to us and revealing his power from beginning to end, touching the depths of our soul like the edges of the universe.'
Mariano Magrassi, Praying the Bible, p.28.

THE BIBLE

'Sacred Scripture is the table of Christ...where we are fed, where we understand what we must love and what we must desire, and to whom we must lift up our eyes.'
Alcuin in Mariano Magrassi, Praying the Bible, p.22.

THE BIBLE

'Scripture is God present who speaks to me.'
Gregory the Great is Mariano Magrassi, Praying the Bible, p.21.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

THE CROSS

'The essential background to the cross...is a balanced understanding of the gravity of sin and the majesty of God. If we diminish either, we thereby diminish the cross. If we interpret sin as a lapse instead of a rebellion, and God as indulgent instead of indignant, then naturally the cross appears superfluous. But to dethrone God and enthrone ourselves not only dispenses with the cross; it also degrades both God and man. A biblical view of God and ourselves, however, that is, of our sin and God's wrath, honours both. It honours human beings by affirming them as responsible for their own actions. It honours God by affirming him as having moral character.'
John Stott, The Cross of Christ, p.129.

SIN

'...is is partly because sin does not provoke our own wrath, that we do not believe that sin provokes the wrath of God.'
RW Dale in John Stott, The Cross of Christ, p.129.

HUMANKIND

'It is part of the glory of being human that we are held responsible for our actions.'
John Stott, The Cross of Christ, p.120.

SIN

'The emphasis of Scripture...is on the godless self-centredness of sin. Every sin is a breach of what Jesus called "the first and greatest commandment", not just by failing to love God with all our being, but by actively refusing to acknowledge and obey him as our Creator and Lord. We have rejected the position of dependence which our createdness inevitably involves, and made a bid for independence. Worse still, we have dared to proclaim our self-dependence, our autonomy, which is to claim the position occupied by God alone. Sin is not a regrettable lapse from conventional standards; its essence is hostility to God (Romans 8:7), issuing in active rebellion against him.'  
John Sott, The Cross of Christ, p.106.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

JESUS

'At the birth of the Son of God there was brightness at midnight; at the death of the Son of God there was darkness at noon.'
Douglas Webster in John Stott, The Cross of Christ, p.93.

Monday, 14 November 2011

PREACHING

'For I know that in the presence of my brothers and sisters I have very often understood many things in the sacred text that I could not have understood alone...Thus it happens, by the grace of God, that as perception grows pride diminishes, since on your behalf I learn what I am teaching in your midst for - I must confess - I often hear with you what I am saying.'
Gregory the Great in Mariano Magrassi, Praying the Bible, p.10.

THE CHURCH

'The Church and the individual are not two different realities - not just because the individual is part of the Church but because the entire mystery of the Church is in some way contained in every soul. Thus it is not an accomodation to hear the Lord's words to his Bride addressed to oneself.'
Mariano Magrassi, Praying the Bible, p.9.

BIBLICAL MEDITATION

'It is not enough to eat; we must assimilate, or as the ancients would say "ruminate." Thus lectio sacra is the natural complement of ecclesial proclamation. There the soul digs deeper and deeper into the riches of an inexhaustable text. There it is surprised by those inner and often unexpected flashes that shed new light on the message. At last we pereceive the true meaning of a text we have heard a thousand times before - a meaning that can nourish and direct an entire life.'
Mariano Magrassi, Praying the Bible: An Introduction to Lectio Divina, p.7.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

MEN

'"...men are much of a mediocrity...vaunters about what they can't do, humble about what they can; liars in safety, truthful in danger; cowardly in smoke-rooms and brave in shell-holes; lewd with strange women and tender with their wives; hating the misery they can't see and succouring that which they can; stupid with books and clever with spanners; all with bellies and all alone with the stars and the sky not caring; all so very pitful when you see them asleep; and all stamped in God's image, all fearfully and wonderfully made, all with eyelashes and fingernails and ears."'
Bruce Marshall, The World, the Flesh and Father Smith, p.138.

SOCIAL ACTION

'"One of the reasons that the world is not convinced is, I think, that men believe that the Church, which they confuse with churchmen, teaches a short-range rather than a long-range morality. They hear the adulterer, the thief, and the murderer condemned from our pulpits, but not the the employer of sweated labour, not the shareholder in the armaments factory, not the men who make their money out of films about gangsters, not the politicians who compromise with the perpetrators of cruelty in faraway lands. They argue that, in the eyes of the Church, a man who owns shares in a company which makes its profits through underpaying Chinese coolies is a good Christian so long as he doesn't murder the friend who beats him at golf or cohabit with his parlour maid. We, who are priests, know this is not the teaching of the Church, but can we honestly say that we have taken the trouble to let men of good faith know that is not the teaching of the Church? For, as is evident, many men of good faith remain outside the Church. Is it not for us to ask ourselves if we have not, by condeming only those sins which it takes little courage to chasten, prevented them from finding their way into the Fold which is Christ's?"'
Bruce Marshall, The World, the Flesh and Father Smith, p.134.

THE CHURCH

'"...both the stupid and the intelligent have always crowded out the Church of God; it is the half-educated who have always been too proud to come in."'
Bruce Marshall, The World, the Flesh and Father Smith, p.61.

PREACHING

'...perhaps it was just that it was the hardest thing in the world for one human being to shine into another human being the glow that burned within himself, even when the glow was from God.'
Bruce Marshall, The World, the Flesh and Father Smith, p.11.

SUFFERING

'"That's the great thing about persecution: it keeps you up to the mark. It's habit, not hatred, that is the real enemy of the church of God."'
Bruce Marshall, The World, the Flesh and Father Smith, p.6.

FAILURE

'...if a servant of God falls, then the first question I should ask is, Have I shared his burden? Specifically, have I treated him as a piece of wood or a religious symbol, or have I prayed for him as a person.'
Francis Schaeffer, 'The Weakness of God's Servants' in No little people, p.61.

PERFECTIONISM

'...we must understand that the expectation of personal perfection is a romanticism not rooted in Scripture. If I demand perfection from myself, then I will destroy myself. Many Christians vacillate between being permissive in regard to sin toward themselves on the one hand, and demanding perfection from themslves on the other. They end up battered and crushed because they do not live up to their own image of perfectionism.'
Francis Schaeffer, 'The Weakness of God's Servants' in No little people, p.51.

RELATIONSHIPS

'If we demand, in any of our relationships, either perfection or nothing, we will get nothing.'
Francis Schaeffer, 'The Weaknness of God's Servants' in No little people, p.51.

THE BIBLE

'If someone asks us, "What is the Bible?" we probably would not begin our answer by saying, "The Bible is a realistic book." Yet in the twentieth century this might be the best place to start - to stress the realism of the Bible in contrast to the romanticism which characterizes the twentieth-century concept of religion. To most modern people, truth is to be sought through some sort of leap from which we exract our own personal religious experience.
Many feel that that the Bible should portray a romantic view of life, but the Bible is actually the most realistic book in the world. It does not glibly say, "God's in heaven - all's right with the world!" It faces the world's dilemmas squarely. Yet unlike realism which ends in despair, it has answers for the dillemmas. And, unlike modern romanticism, its answers are not optimism without a sufficient base, not hope hung in a vacuum.'
Francis Schaeffer, 'The Weakness of God's Servants' in No little people, p.47.

LEADERSHIP

'...if we deliberately and egotistically lay hold on leadership, wanting the drums to beat and the trumpets to blow, then we are not qualified for Christian leadership. Why? Because we have forgotten that we are brothers and sisters in Christ with other Christians. I have said on occasion that there is only one good kind of fighter for Jesus Christ - the man who does not like to fight. The belligerent man is never the one to be belligerent for Jesus. And it is exactly the same with leadership. The Christian leader should bea quiet man of God who is extruded by God's grace into some place of leadership.'
Francis Schaeffer, 'No Little People, No Little Places' in No little people, p.31.

BELIEF & BEHAVIOUR

'Throughout Jesus' teaching...two words know and do occur constantly and always in that order. We cannot do until we know. but we can know without doing.'
Francis Schaeffer, 'No little people, no little places' in, No little people, p.28.

HOME

'...the beauty of Home...'
EB Sledge, China Marine: An infrantryman's life after World War II, p.126.

FRIENDSHIP

'Almost all of my close friends are walking personality disorders...'
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird, p.205.

HOSPITALITY

'It is one of the greatest feelings known to humans, the feeling of being the host, of hosting people, of being the person to whom they come for food and drink and company.'
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird, p.204.

PASTORAL CARE

'...I have come to think of almost everyone with whom I come into contact with as a patient in the emergency room. I see a lot of gaping wounds and dazed expressions.'
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird, p.204.

TRUTH

'...you don't always have to chop with the sword of truth. You can point with it too.'
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird, p.156.

WRITING

'Writing is about hynotising yourself into believing in yourself, getting some work done, then unhypnotizing yourself and going over the material coldly.'
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird, p.114.

TRUTH

'...truth doesn't come out in bumper stickers. There may be a flickering moment of insight in a one-liner, in a sound bite, but everyday meat-and-potato truth is beyond our ability to capture in a few words.'
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird, p.103.

WRITING

'Writing is about learning to pay attention and to communicate what is going on.'
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird, p.97.

ROOMS

'Just as every person is a walking advertisemnet for who he or she is, so very room is a little showcase of its occupants' values and personalities. Every room is about memory. Every room gives us layers of information about our past and present and who we are, our shrines and quirks and hopes and sorrows, our attempts to prove that we exist and are more or less Okay. You can see in our rooms, how much light we need - how many light bulbs, candles, skylights we have - and in how we keep things lit you see how we try and comfort ourselves. The mix in our rooms is so touching: the clutter and the cracks in the wall belie a bleakness or brokeness in our lives, while photos and a few rare objects show our pride, our rare shining moments.'
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird, p.74.

SUFFERING

'She explained that when we have a wound in our body, the nearby muscles cramp around it to protect it from any more violation and infection, and that I would need to use those muscles if I wanted them to relax again...
I think that something similar happens with our psychic muslces. They cramp around our wounds - the pain from our childhood, the losses and disappointmnets of adulthood, the humiliations suffered in both - to keep us from getting hurt in the same place again, to keep foreign substances out. So these wounds never have a chance to heal.'
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird, p.29.

PERFECTIONISM

'I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping stone just right, you won't have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren't even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they're doing it.'
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird, p.28.

PREACHING

'...the first draft is the down draft - you just get it down. The second draft is the up draft - you fix it up. And the third draft is the dental draft, where you check every tooth, to see if it's loose or cramped or decayed, or even, God help us, healthy.'
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird, p.25.

GOD

'...you can safely assume you've created God in your image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do...'
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird, p.22.

BOOKS

'...books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid, squares of paper unfolds world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort or quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die. They are full of all the things you don't get in real life - wonderful, lyrical language, for instance, right off the bat. And quality of attention: we may notice amazing details during the course of the day but we rarely let ourselves stop and really pay attention, and this is a great gift. My gratitude for good writing is unbounded; I'm grateful for it the way I'm grateful for the ocean. Aren't you?'
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird, p.15.

HOPE

'...hope is a revolutionary patience...'
Anonymous in Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, p.xxiii.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

THE CROSS

'Before we can begin to see the cross as something done for us (leading us to faith and worship), we have to see it as something done by us (leading us to repentance).'
John Stott, The Cross of Christ, p.72.

ENVY

'Envy is the reverse side of a coin called vanity. Nobody is ever envious of others who is not first proud of himself.'
John Stott, The Cross of Christ, p.65.