Monday, February 28, 2005

on Suffering

Exposing sin was more important to God than relieving human suffering.

God permits what he hates to achieve what he loves. (p.85)

God uses suffering to purge sin from our lives, strengthen our committment to him, force us to depend on grace, bind us together with other believers, produce discernment, foster sensitivity, discipline our minds, spend out time wisely, stretch our hope, cause us to know Christ better, make us long for truth, lead us to repentence of sin, teach us to give thanks in times of sorrow, increase our faith, and strengthen character. (p. 117)

Joni Erickson Tada. WHEN GOD WEEPS.

The Gift of Truth

God's truth is REVEALED, which means that a truth we learn from Scripture is not something we accomplish but a gift to us from God.

Roger Gulick.
Sorry, nothing more to read on this, i think he just said this as we were talking but i wrote it down and think it's quote worthy :-)

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Worth and Usefulness

In solitude we become aware that our worth is not the same as our usefulness.
Henri Nowen. SHOW ME THE WAY: Readings for each day of Lent. Originally from OUT OF SOLITUDE.

Write It Down!

Remember the sovereign rule: don't say it; write it.

Of the 10 million great stories that have been told to admiring friends, especially by Irishmen in their pubs, literature consists of 5000 that were written down.

If it's not written, it doesn't exist.
James Michener. THE NOVEL. (quote torn out of some magazine and stuck in my journal long ago)

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Lists vs. Stories

While having dinner with a friend recently, she commented that the primary concern for Christians today is to translate the precepts of Scripture for a postmodern audience. And I don't know what postmodern means, but i kindly disagreed with her and wondered out loud if we didn't need to stop translating the Bible for a modern audience, an audience endeared to the simplification of reality, an audience that likes to memorize lists in an attempt to understand God.

Perhaps if we stop reducing the text to formulas for personal growth, we can read it as stories of imperfect humans having relations with a perfect God and come to understand the obvious message He is communicating to mankind.

Donald Miller. SEARCHING FOR GOD KNOWS WHAT. "Free Verse: A Whole Message to a Whole Human Being."

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Nature's School

If you take nature as a teacher she will teach you exactly the lessons you had already decided to learn....
What nature-lovers get from nature is an iconography, a language of images....In them each man can clothe his own belief.
We must learn our theology or philosophy elsewhere.
C.S. Lewis. THE FOUR LOVES. Likings and Loves for the Sub-Human.

Friends or Companions

Companionship is only the matrix of Friendship. It is often called Friendship, and many people when they speak of their "friends" mean only their companions.

Friendship arises out of mere Companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden).

C.S. Lewis. THE FOUR LOVES. Friendship.

The Discipline of Disillusionment

If we love a human being and do not love God, we demand of him every perfection and every rectitude, and when we do not get it we become cruel and vindictive;
we are demanding of a human being that which he or she cannot give.
There is only one Being Who can satisfy the last aching abyss of the human heart, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Oswald Chambers, MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST, July 30th.