Archive for April, 2008

You Are Enough.

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Throughout this book, I’ve been carrying on about men and finding them and getting them and keeping them and deciding whether or not to kill them, and if so, how, and so on.  And that’s all funny and mostly true and all that, but the real truth is you are enough — just the way you are, just who you are.  You are a complete entity, a whole person, right there in the skin you’re in.  You don’t need to have a guy to be happy.  Admit it:  You have more fun with a gang of girlfriends than you’ve had on the absolute best date of your entire life.  If somebody comes along who treats you right and makes you happy and you can do the same for him, well, that’s just dandy.  But I’m telling you, the only way that I know to get and keep a happy, healthy relationship is first to create a happy and healthy life for yourself without one.  This is your life to live.

— Jill Conner Browne, The Sweet Potato Queens’ Field Guide to Men, p. 206

The Man’s Own Faith

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Observe the grandeur of redeeming liberality in the apostle.  In his heart of hearts he knows that salvation consists in nothing other than being one with Christ….

And yet he says, and says plainly, that a man thinking differently from all this, or at least quite unprepared to make this wholehearted profession of faith, is yet his brother in Christ.  Even in such a one he believes that the knowledge of Christ, such as it is, will work, the new leaven casting out the old leaven until he too, in the revelation of the Father, shall come to the perfect stature of the fullness of Christ….

But how can he help him if he is not to press upon him his own larger and deeper and wiser insights?

The answer is clear.  Paul will press, but not his opinion, not even the man’s own opinion.  But he will press the man’s own faith upon him….

Obedience is the one condition of progress, and Paul entreats them to obey.  If a man will but work that which is in him, will but make the power of God his own, then it will go well with him forevermore.  Like his Master, Paul urges to action…. 

Whereto you have attained, walk by that.

George MacDonald, Your Life in Christ, p. 203-205

Forgive

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Forgive.  This is the critical antidote to break the toxic cycle of rejection, resentment, and revenge.  People who feel hurt end up hurting others.  Somewhere along the line, someone has to stand up and say “the hurting stops with me.”  Forgiveness is the essential first step.

— Tim Murphy, PhD, and Loriann Hoff Oberlin, Overcoming Passive-Aggression:  How to Stop Hidden Anger from Spoiling your Relationships, Career and Happiness, p. 101

Rock Bottom

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

It’s a good thing to have all props pulled out from under us occasionally.  It gives us some sense of what is rock under our feet, and what is sand.  It stops us from taking anything for granted.

— Madeleine L’Engle, The Summer of the Great-Grandmother, quoted in Glimpses of Grace, compiled by Carole F. Chase, p. 104

Hope Is on the Horizon.

Monday, April 28th, 2008

What we needed was a new perspective.  Our gratitude had grown tired, and we needed grace.

We found it when we stumbled across today’s verse, Romans 5:3.  There is something wonderfully man-sized about the apostle’s response to his hardships.  Stand the test, friends, for the end is in sight.  Hope is on the horizon.  A right approach to problems — whether great or small — is a wonderful thing to have hammered into your character.

Sometimes we think of the suffering in Romans 5 as the huge life catastrophes.  We forget that God’s grace-giving power is mostly for everyday sorts of tests and trials. . . .

What are your tests today?  Where do you need perseverance, staying power, and hope?  Ask God to help you step back and see a bigger picture than the trial right in front of your nose.  He uses everything in our lives to mold our character and make us more like his Son.

— Joni Eareckson Tada, Pearls of Great Price, April 28 entry

God Catches Our Balloons

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

When my children were young, they loved brightly colored helium balloons.  But sometimes either accidentally or purposely, they’d let go of the string.  There they’d stand, with tears in their eyes, watching their precious balloon fly high into the heavens until it disappeared from sight.

When that happened, I’d tell them a story.

“Don’t cry,” I’d say.  “God’s up there.  And you know what?  He catches every balloon you let go of.  He’s keeping all of them just for you.  Someday, when you get to heaven, you’ll get every one back.”

My children are older now; so am I.  But we still believe God’s saving our balloons for us.

And I believe God catches all our balloons too — each one we let go of.  Only we don’t have to wait until we get to heaven to get them back.  The best and most perfect of our balloons, the ones just right for us, He gives back as soon as we’re ready to accept them.  Sometimes, He gives back better ones than we let go of.

— Melody Beattie, Beyond Codependency, p. 243

Happiness Is Simple.

Friday, April 25th, 2008

Happiness is that simple.  Once you discover what the Lord wants you to do, and you start doing it, you will achieve happiness….

If God has told you to stand for marriage restoration, you will not be happy doing anything else.

— Robert E. Steinkamp, The Prodigal’s Pen, p. 59, 61

Your Own Wonderful Life

Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Frankly, I think it’s time we take a page out of their book.  The next time a guy you have a remote interest in fails to call you when he says he will, do not ponder the potential whys and wherefores of the situation.  If at all possible, be so busy with your own wonderful life that you simply don’t even notice he hasn’t called.  It would be great if you could just be so involved having a Big Time with all the people in your life who do right that if in fact he does call at some point, it takes you a minute to remember who he is.

— Jill Conner Browne, The Sweet Potato Queens’ Field Guide to Men, p. 195

God Must Reveal

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

Opinion is, at best, even the opinion of a true man, but the cloak of his belief, which he may indeed cast to his neighbor, but not with the truth inside it.  That remains in his own bosom, the oneness between him and his God.  St. Paul knows well — who better? — that by no argument, the best that logic itself can afford, can a man be set right with the truth.  He knows that the spiritual perception which comes of hungering contact with the living truth — a perception which is in itself a being born again — can alone be the mediator between a man and the truth.  He knows that, even if he could pass his opinion over bodily into the understanding of his neighbor, there would be little or nothing gained from it.  For the man’s spiritual condition would be just what it was before.

God must reveal, or nothing is known.  And this, through thousands of difficulties occasioned by the man himself, God is ever and always doing his mighty best to accomplish.

— George MacDonald, Your Life in Christ, p. 202-203

Willingness and Trust

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Surrendering and letting go are about willingness and trust.  They’re about having enough faith to want something so much that we can taste it; then deliberately letting go of our desires and trusting our Higher Power to do for us what He wants, when He wants.  They’re about believing in God and His love for us even when it hurts….

We don’t have to surrender or let go perfectly.  We only need do it as well as we can, today.

— Melody Beattie, Beyond Codependency, p. 241