Starting Whole

November 19th, 2017

Is it possible, since skin is the largest organ of the body, that new babies don’t know the inside from the outside when they first come out? That there is no difference? That they are Möbius strips? This is how we came; wow. Talk about whole.

— Anne Lamott, Hallelujah Anyway, p. 176

Close and Caring

November 16th, 2017

We will begin to explore the grand mystery of how a kenotic, cruciform and Christlike God can reign — can be present, active and ‘sovereign’ — in the world, when he is neither coercive nor controlling, but nevertheless infinitely close and caring. We’ll notice together how such a God rules, saves and serves by grounding and filling all that is with the power of love — a divine love with a particular content defined as consent and participation.

— Bradley Jersak, A More Christlike God, p. 121

Never the Right Solution

November 10th, 2017

I knew Bapuji would say that revenge is never the right solution. A desire for revenge eats away at you, destroying your peace of mind and leaving you constantly on edge. Instead of hurting you once, the evildoer takes over your life and destroys you again and again. I couldn’t let that happen — or I would be letting Bapuji down.

— Arun Gandhi, The Gift of Anger, p. 246-247

Outshine the Resentment

November 10th, 2017

Forgiveness and mercy mean that, bit by bit, you begin to outshine the resentment. You open the drawer that was shut and you take out the precious treasures that you hid there so long ago and, with them, the person who marvels at tadpoles, who pulls for people to come clean and then have a second chance, who aches and intervenes for those being bullied, forgives the evil brothers and unforgivable you.

— Anne Lamott, Hallelujah Anyway, p. 170-171

Interpretations

November 9th, 2017

There is an objective, absolute, universal truth about who God is, but our knowledge of this truth is never objective, absolute, or universal. To pretend otherwise is a testimony to human pride.

— Heath Bradley, Flames of Love, p. 7

Choosing Joy

November 9th, 2017

I haven’t the slightest doubt that God is bending over backward all day long to give me joy — but I must take it. Jesus stands at the crossroads pointing the way to joy, inviting and encouraging, but I must choose. Lasting happiness comes only through choice, through the making of countless small decisions, one day at a time. Once I see this, it’s not hard to choose. The hard part is admitting I have a choice.

— Mike Mason, Champagne for the Soul, p. 52

True Belonging

November 7th, 2017

We’re going to need to intentionally be with people who are different from us. We’re going to have to sign up, join, and take a seat at the table. We’re going to have to learn how to listen, have hard conversations, look for joy, share pain, and be more curious than defensive, all while seeking moments of togetherness.

True belonging is not passive. It’s not the belonging that comes with just joining a group. It’s not fitting in or pretending or selling out because it’s safer. It’s a practice that requires us to be vulnerable, get uncomfortable, and learn how to be present with people without sacrificing who we are. We want true belonging, but it takes tremendous courage to knowingly walk into hard moments.

— Brené Brown, Braving the Wilderness, p. 37

Better in Small Ways

November 6th, 2017

If you focus continually on making the world a better place in some small way by improving, appreciating, connecting, and protecting, you’ll develop conviction, stand for something, and model those things for other people. In a small way, you’ll make the world a better place. You and those you love will be happier, your life will have more meaning and purpose, and you’ll create a legacy that will give you peace in your later years.

— Steven Stosny, Soar Above, p. 165

Give Joy

November 1st, 2017

“Hey, remember you are not alone, and you do not need to finish the work. It takes time, but we are learning, we are growing, we are becoming the people we want to be. It helps no one if you sacrifice your joy because others are suffering. We people who care must be attractive, must be filled with joy, so that others recognize that caring, that helping and being generous are not a burden, they are a joy. Give the world your love, your service, your healing, but you can also give it your joy. This, too, is a great gift.”

— Archbishop Desmond Tutu, quoted by Douglas Abrams in The Book of Joy, p. 273-4

Helping People Speak Up

October 31st, 2017

The Library is a good gig to have — convincing people that I want to help them with literally WHATEVER they want to learn about. Helping create more “examiners, critics, knowers.” But it’s harder than it might seem to get people to listen.

Maybe it would be easier if we were allowed to yell? The public librarian has been typecast. We’re supposed to whisper and shush, demand silence, when in reality we work our asses off trying to help people speak up. Maybe it seems safer for us to whisper. Because maybe if we could shout, it would shake the walls down.

— Annie Spence, Dear Fahrenheit 451, p. 86.