Creating Value

June 17th, 2018

Although we have an innate drive to create value, we have to make choices of who and what to value. A sunset has value if, and only if, you give it value — you invest energy and effort to fully perceive it, thus allowing you to appreciate it. While it does nothing for the sunset if you value it, valuing it does wonders for you. The moment of value creation makes you feel more vital, engaged, interested, appreciative — in short, more alive. Life means more to you at the instant you create value, just as it means less to you when you are not creating value. Most positive emotion, passion, meaning, purpose, and conviction come from creating value, and most emptiness, aggression, and depression result from failure to create value.

— Steven Stosny, Living and Loving After Betrayal, p. 57-58

[Photo: Waterside Inn, Chincoteague, Virginia, November 2017]

Our Vulnerabilities

June 16th, 2018

We all have to show our vulnerabilities. We all have to learn that it is okay to be vulnerable and that no one is perfect. Friendships are often the best place to show this vulnerability. The next time you are with your friends, observe who is allowing their true selves to show, warts and all, and who is keeping the barriers up, presenting themselves and their lives as perfect. It may be you.

— Lorna Byrne, Love from Heaven, p. 56

A Perfect Place

June 13th, 2018

Today, take time to realize that you are in a perfect place for the lessons that you are learning, for the healing that you are doing, and for the growth that you are ready to make at this point in your life.

— Chuck Spezzano, If It Hurts, It Isn’t Love, p. 317

[Photo: Above Gundersweiler, Germany, July 1998]

It’s About Love.

June 12th, 2018

This should not put us off. A world full of people who read and pray the Sermon on the Mount, or even a world with only a few such people in it, will always be a better place than a world without such people. Church history reminds us of the radical difference that can be made, that has been made, and that please God will be made. But the point is that once the revolution was launched on Good Friday, the vital work was already done. We do not have to win that essential victory all over again. What we have to do is to respond to the love poured out on the cross with love of our own: love for the one who died, yes, but also love for those around us, especially those in particular need. And part of the challenge of putting that into practice is that the powers, in whatever form, will be angry. They want to keep the world in their own grip. They will fight back.

N. T. Wright, The Day the Revolution Began, p. 365-366

[Photo: Hug Point, Oregon, November 10, 2015]

The Worth of Our Emotions

June 11th, 2018

Honoring the worth of our emotions — no matter what they are or how little we or others understand them — is a skill that changes the entire tenor of our lives.

— Ken Page, Deeper Dating, p. 192

[Photo: Hug Point, Oregon, November 10, 2015]

Grievances Don’t Happen by Chance

June 9th, 2018

I want to make clear beyond the shadow of a doubt that a grievance does not occur by chance. Just because we were mistreated does not mean we have to create a grievance. A grievance isn’t inevitable just because of a deep wound. A grievance forms when you react to painful situations in a specific way….

When we realize our role in the grievance process, we can then decide to play the central role in our healing. The most powerful way to heal is through forgiveness. When we forgive, we take something less personally, blame the person who hurt us less, and change our grievance story. Through learning the process of forgiveness, we can forgive anyone who has hurt us in any way.

— Dr. Fred Luskin, Forgive for Good, p. 64

[Photo: Assateague Island, October 24, 2016]

As Though…

June 8th, 2018

In all this subject of death, there is an extraordinary narrowness in the views held generally, as though the fact of dying could change God’s unchanging purpose; as though his never-failing love were extinguished because we pass into a new state of existence; as though the power of Christ’s cross were exhausted in the brief span of our earthly life.

— Thomas Allin, Christ Triumphant, p. 213-214

More Life and Freedom

June 7th, 2018

I really hate that Jesus’ Gospel is so much about death. I hate it. I wish that Jesus’ message was, Follow me and all your dreams of cash and prizes will come true; follow me and you’ll have free liposuction and winning lotto tickets for life. But obviously he’s not like that. Jesus says, “Deny yourself, take up your cross and follow me.” He says, “The first shall be last and the last shall be first,” and infuriating things like “if you seek to find your life you will lose it but those who lose their life will find it.” And every single time I die to something — my notions of my own specialness, my plans and desires for something to be a very particular way — every single time I fight it and yet every single time I discover more life and more freedom than if I had gotten what I wanted.

— Nadia Bolz-Weber, Pastrix, p. 186-187

[Photo: Hug Point, Oregon, November 10, 2015]

High Value Investment

June 6th, 2018

The experience of value gives a heightened sense of vitality — you feel more alive looking at a beautiful sunset, connecting to a loved one, knowing genuine compassion for another person, having a spiritual experience, appreciating something creative, committing to a cause, or identifying with a community. Valuing gives a greater sense of authenticity and often a greater sense of connection. High value investment gives meaning and purpose to life, with a stronger motivation to improve, create, build, appreciate, connect, or protect.

— Steven Stosny, Empowered Love, p. 82

[Photo: South Riding, Virginia, June 6, 2018]

Pleased with Us

June 5th, 2018

God would seem to be too occupied in being unable to take Her eyes off of us to spend any time raising an eyebrow in disapproval. What’s true of Jesus is true for us, and so this voice breaks through the clouds and comes straight at us. “You are my Beloved, in whom I am wonderfully pleased.” There is not much “tiny” in that.

— Gregory Boyle, Tattoos on the Heart, p. 20

[Photo: Meadowlark Gardens, Virginia, April 3, 2012]