Archive for October, 2016

Appreciation

Monday, October 31st, 2016

This is why appreciating and being appreciated are so appealing in relationships: both parties become better people. What’s more, my appreciation of you has a ripple effect. It helps me appreciate the beauty of the sunset, the drama of the painting, or the excitement of the movie or play.

— Steven Stosny, Soar Above, p. 111

Life Wins.

Sunday, October 30th, 2016

We have staked it all on this — that life wins. Oh, dear friends — life wins.

Life wins. Sometimes now, especially if we will pray. But life wins fully, and very soon.

Just as we must fix our eyes on Jesus when we pray, we must also fix our hearts on this one undeniable truth: life will win. When you know that unending joy is about to be yours, you live with such an unshakable confidence it will almost be a swagger. You can pray boldly, without fear, knowing that, “If this doesn’t work now, it will work totally and completely very soon.” We can have that kingdom attitude of Daniel’s friends, who said, “God is able to deliver, and he will deliver. But if not . . .” we will not lose heart. Period.

— John Eldredge, Moving Mountains, p. 228-229

No Darkness

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

Whatever seems to me darkness, that I will not believe of my God. If I should mistake, and call that darkness which is light, will he not reveal the matter to me, setting it in the light that lights every man, showing me that I saw but the husk of the thing, not the kernel? Will he not break open the shell for me, and let the truth of it, his thought, stream out upon me?

— George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons, Series Three, quoted in Discovering the Character of God, edited by Michael Phillips, p. 155

Happiness and Joy

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

Happiness keeps joy honest. If the heart is joyful, let it tell our face.

— Mike Mason, Champagne for the Soul, p. 32

Being Happy Is Unselfish.

Saturday, October 22nd, 2016

Research suggests that cultivating your own joy and happiness has benefits not just for you, but also for others in your life. When we are able to move beyond our own pain and suffering, we are more available to others; pain causes us to be extremely self-focused. Whether the pain is physical or mental, it seems to consume all of our focus and leave very little attention for others. In his book with the Dalai Lama, psychiatrist Howard Cutler summarized these findings: “In fact, survey after survey has shown that it is unhappy people who tend to be most self-focused and are socially withdrawn, brooding, and even antagonistic. Happy people, in contrast, are generally found to be more sociable, flexible, and creative, and are able to tolerate life’s daily frustrations more easily than unhappy people. And, most important, they are found to be more loving and forgiving than unhappy people.”

— Douglas Abrams, The Book of Joy, p. 62-63

Love Is an Inside Job.

Monday, October 10th, 2016

Through her own challenging experiences of both love and solitude, she had come to know that love is first and foremost an inside job — not in the sense of trying to love herself with positive affirmations but rather in becoming intimate with her own experience, with allowing herself to be transparent to herself and others rather than protecting her heart for fear of being known too well and then rejected.

She was also engaged in a creative and fulfilling life that she loved. As an individual ripens, becomes something in herself, as Rilke puts it, there is less need to find someone else to fill the missing gap. Athena wasn’t averse to an intimate relationship; on the contrary, she knew that she wanted one, but she didn’t need it.

— Roger Housden, Dropping the Struggle: Seven Ways to Love the Life You Have, p. 74-75

Mixed Joy

Saturday, October 8th, 2016

When joy is colored sad, it’s because in the midst of sadness it comprehends something greater. When joy is mixed with fear, it’s because it smells victory in the offing. When joy’s heart breaks, it’s because joy feels free and safe enough to embrace everything, even the feeling of falling to pieces.

— Mike Mason, Champagne for the Soul, p. 25

Worthiness

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

This rumble taught me why self-righteousness is dangerous. Most of us buy into the myth that it’s a long fall from “I’m better than you” to “I’m not good enough” — but the truth is that these are two sides of the same coin. Both are attacks on our worthiness. We don’t compare when we’re feeling good about ourselves; we look for what’s good in others. When we practice self-compassion, we are compassionate toward others. Self-righteousness is just the armor of self-loathing.

— BrenĂ© Brown, Rising Strong, p. 119

Obstacles to Joy

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

It’s easier to let God’s law convict than to let His gospel set free. Two great obstacles to joy are guilt and grudge: Either we feel guilty about our own sin, or we bear a grudge against someone else. In each case we fail to grasp the gospel, which teaches that both conditions are entirely unnecessary, for they can be readily healed through forgiveness — either receiving it for ourselves or extending it to another. The prerequisite for forgiveness is our repentance.

— Mike Mason, Champagne for the Soul, p. 17-18