Monday, 25 June 2012


'A beautiful face is at all times pleasing to the eye, but the especially when there is joy manifested in the countenance. Joy in the face puts a new beauty, and makes that which before was beautiful to be exceedingly beautiful. It puts a lustre and glory upon beauty; so does joy in the face, heart, and life of a Christian, cast a general splendour and glory upon him, and the ways of God wherein he walks.'
Thomas Brooks, Heaven on Earth, p.29.


'...a Christian will part with anything rather than his hope; he knows that hope will keep the heart both from aching and breaking, from fainiting and sinking; he knows that hope is a beam of God, a spark of glory, and that nothing shall extinguish it till the soul be filled with glory.'
Thomas Brooks, Heaven on Earth, p.22.


'Satan promises the best, but pays with the worst: he promises honour and pays with disgrace, he promises pleasure and pays with pain, he promises profit and pays with loss, he promises life and pays with death; but God pays as he promises, all his promises are made in pure gold...'
Thomas Brooks, Heacen on Earth, p.21.

Sunday, 24 June 2012


'...lust in my experience follows disgruntlement nearly always.'
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.), The Collected Letters of CS Lewis Volume III, p.921.


'I don't think I can agree that the Churches are empty because the teach that Jesus is God. If so, the ones that teach the opposite, i.e. the Unitarians, would be full wouldn't they? Are they? It seems to me that the ones which teach the fullest and most dogmatic theory are precisely the ones that retain their people and make converts. While the liberalising and modernising ones lose ground every day.'
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.), The Collected Letter of CS Lewis Volume III, p.1554.  

Friday, 22 June 2012


'Assurance is a believer's ark, where he sits, Noah-like, quiet and still in the midst of all distractions and destructions, commotions and confusions.'
Thomas Brooks, Heaven on Earth, p.11.


' is not the marriage I dreamed of, nor the marriage it was. It is a bruised and careful truce; we walk in bandages and try not to bump our wounds.'
Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose, p.485.


' is an easy mistake to think that non-talkers are non-feelers...'
Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose, p.411.


'Home is a notion that only nations of the homeless fully appreciate and only the uprooted comprehend. What else would one plant in a wildernerss or on a frontier?'
Wallace Stegner, Angle of Respose, p.159.


'Towns are like people. Old ones often have character, the new ones are interchangeable.'
Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose, p.73.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012


'Perhaps the main task of the minister is to prevent people from suffering for the wrong reasons. Many people suffer because of the false supposition on which they have based their lives. That supposition is that there should be no fear or loneliness, no confusion or doubt. But these sufferings can only be dealt with creatively when they are understood as wounds integral to our human condition. Therefore ministry is a very confronting service. It does not allow people to live with illusions of immortality and wholeness. It keeps reminding others that they are mortal and broken, but also that with the recognition  of this condition, liberation starts.'
Henri JM Nouwen, The Wounded Healer, p.93.  


'A minister who talks in the pulpit about his own personal problems is of no help to his congregation, for no suffering human being is helped by someone who tells him that he has the same problems. Remarks such as, "Don't worry because I suffer from the same depression, confusion and anxiety as you do," help no one. This spiritual exhibitionism adds little faith to little faith and creates narrow-mindedness, instead of new perspective. Open wounds stink and do not heal.
Making one's own wounds a source of healing, therefore, does not call for a sharing of superficial personal pains but for a constant willingness to see one's own pain and suffering as rising from the depth of the human condition which all men share.'
Henri JM Nouwen, The Wounded Healer, p.88.


'Many churches decorated with words announcing salvation and new life are often little more than parlors for those who feel quite comfortable in the old life, and who are not likely to let the minister's words change their stone hearts into furnaces, where swords can be cast into plowshares, and spears into pruning forks.'
Henri JM Nouwen, The Wounded Healer, p.86.


'When we are impatient, when we want to give up our loneliness and try to overcome the seperation and incompleteness we feel, too soon, we easily relate to our human world with devastating expectations. We ignore what we already know with a deep-seated, intuitive knowledge - that no love or friendship, no intimate embrace or tender kiss, no community, commune or collective, no man or woman, will ever be able to satisfy our desire to be released from our lonely condition. This truth is so disconcerting and painful that we are more prone to play games with our fantatsies than to face the truth of our existence. Thus we keep hoping that one day we will find the man who really understands our experiences, the woman who will bring peace to our restless life, the job where we can fulfill our potentials, the book which will explain everything, and the place where we can feel at home. Such false hope leads us to make exhausting demands and prepares us for bitterness and dangerous hostility when we start discovering that nobody, and nothing, can live up to our absolute expectations.
Many marriages are ruined because neither partner was able to fulfill the often hidden hope that the other would take his or her loneliness away. And many celibates live with the naive dream that in the intimacy of marriage their loneliness will be taken away.'
Henri JM Nouwen, The Wounded Healer, p.85.

Monday, 11 June 2012


'It is not just curiosity which makes people listen to a preacher when he speaks directly to a man and a woman whose marriage he blesses or to the children of the man whom he buries in th3 ground. They listen in the deepseated hope that a personal concern might give the precaher words that carry beyond the ears of those whose joy or suffering he shares. Few listen to a semon which is intended to be applicable to everyone, but most pay careful attention to words born out of concern for only a few.'
Henri JM Nouwen, The Wounded Healer, p.73.


'The great illusion of leadership is to think that man can be led out of the desert by someone who has never been there.'
Henri JM Nouwen, The Wounded Healer, p.72.


' one can help anyone without becoming involved, without entering with his whole person into the painful situation, without taking the risk of being hurt, wounded or even destroyed in the process. The beginning and the end of all Christian leadership is to give your life for others.'
Henri JM Nouwen, The Wounded Healer, p.72.


'No man can stay alive when nobody is waiting for him. Everyone who returns from a long and difficult trip is looking for someone waiting for him at the station or the airport. Everyone wants to tell his story and share his moments of pain and exhiliration with someone who stayed home, waiting for him to come back.'
Henri JM Nouwen, The Wonded Healer, p.66.


'Through compassion it is possible to recognize that the craving for love that men feel resides also in our own hearts, that the cruelty that the world knows all too well is also rooted in our own impulses. Through compassion we also sense our hope for forgivenss in our friends' eyes and our hatred in their bitter mouths. When they kill, we know that we can do the same. For a compassionate man nothing human is alien: no joy and no sorrow, no way of living and no way of dying.'  
Henri JM Nouwen, The Wounded Healer, p.41.


'...pastoral conversation is not merely a skillful use of conversational techniques to manipulate people into the Kingdom of God, but a deep human encounter in which a man is willing to put his own faith and doubt, his own hope and despair, his own light and darkness at the disposal of others who want to find a way through their confusion and touch the solid core of life. In this context preaching means more than handing over a tradition; it is rather the careful and sensitive articulation of what is happening in the community so that those who listen can say: "You say what I suspected, you express what I vaguely felt, you bring to the fore what I fearfully kept in the back of my mind. Yes, yes - you say who we are, you recognise our condition..."'
Henri JM Nouwen, The Wounded Healer, p.38.


'...only he who is able to articulate his own experience can offer himself to others as a source of clarification. The Christian leader is, therefore, first of all, a man who is willing to put his own articulated faith at the disposal of those who ask for help. In this sense his a servant of servants, because he is the first to enter the promised but dangerous land, the first to tell those who are afraid what he has seen, heard and touched.'
Henri JM Nouwen, The Wounded Healer, p.38.


'When man is no longer able to look beyond his own death and relate himself to what extends beyond the time and space of his life, he loses his desire to create and the excitement of being human.'
Henri JM Nouwen, The Wounded Healer, p.13.  

Sunday, 10 June 2012


'Suffering tends to do two powerful things to us. First, it alienates us from the people nearest to us. It puts a big gulf between us. It makes us feel that there is no way anyone else could ever understand what we are going through. And if they could, they would be just as overwhelmed as we are and be looking for the quickest means of escape. We feel as if we have been swallowed up by suffering, and even though we are in the same room with others, it feels like we are more distant from one another than we have ever been.
Second, the shadow of suffering looms so large, it clouds any sense of God's presence. Suffering is like walking down into a windowless basement on a bright sunny day. The longer we stay in that subteerranean darkness, the harder it is to grasp that the sun is still shining. So suffering creates a double alienation. We not only experience the horizontal alienation from freinds and family, but we also experience a vertical alienation from God. This is where the promise of forever and its guarantee of God's presence in the here and now are so vital. When our souls are in the darkness, we need to keep telling ourselves again and again that the sun is still brightly shining. God is with us, even though the present darkness has blinded us from his nearness. We are not, nor will we ever be, alone. The God who has promised us forever has invaded our present so that nothing can get in the way of what he has stored away for us. He is near, and we are not alone.'
Paul David Tripp, Forever, p.116.


'I am persauded that the the deepest of suffering for a human being is not the suffering of physical, relational, or pesonal loss. No the hardest part of suffering is the the emotional/ spiritual suffering we go through as we suffer the loss of those things. It is the pain of not being able to make sense of life, the pain of feeling that God is distant, or the pain of utter powerlessness.'
Paul David Tripp, Forever, p.110.

Saturday, 9 June 2012


'All he'd ever wanted was for nothing to change. Or for things to change only in the right ways, improving little by little, day by day, forever. It sounded crazy when you said it like that, but that was what baseball had promised him, what Schwartzy had promised him. The dream of every day the same. Every day was like the day before but a little better. You ran the stadium a little faster. You bench-pressed a little more. You hit the ball a little hearder in the cage; you watched the tape with Schwartzy afterward and gained a little insight into your swing. Your swing grew a little simpler. Everything grew simpler, little by little. You ate the same food, woke up at the same time, wore the same clothes. Hitches, bad habits, useless thoughts - whatever you didn't need slowly fell away. Whatever was simple and useful remained. You improved little by little till the day it all became perfect and stayed that way. Forever.
He knew it sounded crazy when you put it like that. To want to be perfect. To want everything to be perfect. But now it felt like that was all he'd ever craved since he'd be born. Maybe it wasn't even baseball that he loved but only this idea of perfection, a perfectly simple life in which every move had meaning and baseball was just the medium through which he could make that happen. Could have made that happen. It sounded crazy, sure. But what did it mean if your deepest hope, the promise on which you'd based your whole life, sounded crazy as soon as you put it in words? It meant that you were crazy.'
Chad Harbach, The Art of Fielding, p.346.


'The Human Condition being, basically, that we're alive and have access to beauty, can even erratically create it, but will someday be dead and will not.'
Chad Harbach, The Art of Fielding, p.257.

Friday, 1 June 2012


'Every day you have to be willing to listen to the things you say to yourself as you interact with the temptation to step over God's boundaries. Are you one of sin's best salepersons, able to point yourself to sin's pleasure without ever mentioning its pain? Or are you one of sins's best watchperson's, always warning yourself that on the far side of God's boundaries is danger, destruction and death?'
Paul David Tripp, Forever, p.63.