Archive for September, 2018

It’s All About Connection.

Monday, September 17th, 2018

We communicate well with our intimate partners when we feel connected and poorly when we don’t. When you feel connected again, your desire to explore feelings with your partner will practically vanish. It’s a great combination: He’ll be able to do more of it, you’ll want less of it, and you’ll meet in the middle.

The bottom line is, think connection, not communication. Then you won’t shame him and he won’t make you afraid. Nor will he drive you away. Instead, he’ll fall back in love with you long before you walk out the door.

— Patricia Love and Steven Stosny, How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It, p. 64

[Photo: Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania, March 17, 2012]

Christ-life Inside Us

Saturday, September 15th, 2018

The Christian is in a different position from other people who are trying to be good. They hope, by being good, to please God if there is one; or — if they think there is not — at least they hope to deserve approval from good men. But the Christian thinks any good he does comes from the Christ-life inside him. He does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.

— C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, quoted in C. S. Lewis’ Book of Wisdom: Meditations on Faith, Life, Love, and Literature, compiled by Andrea Kirk Assaf & Kelly Anne Leahy, page 56.

More thoughts about this quote found on Sonderjourneys.

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, October 23, 2015

We Are Complete.

Friday, September 14th, 2018

One of the biggest barriers in romantic love is that so many people don’t love themselves enough. I repeat: if you don’t love yourself, you are not able to love another fully. So many people are looking to a romantic partner to complete themselves; but we are complete. We are all the same pure love we were as a baby, but the problem is we have locked away so much of it inside us. We feel this absence of self-love in our lives but instead of unlocking it — and only we can do this — we seek someone special to love us to compensate for our lack of self-love.

— Lorna Byrne, Love from Heaven, p. 136

[Photo: SchloƟ Neuschwanstein, June 2, 1997]

Sharing Enjoyment

Thursday, September 13th, 2018

We naturally gravitate toward what we love. The more we move toward what we love, the more we enjoy ourselves, and we begin to resonate with it. We find that what we love is also within us. This allows a giving and receiving, a sharing and joining in love, which lets us know it as ourselves. What we love, we then plant in our heart and help grow like a garden. We want to give it to everyone, so they, too, can receive and enjoy what we are receiving and enjoying. Enjoyment always wants to be shared.

— Chuck Spezzano, If It Hurts, It Isn’t Love, p. 327

[Photo: Keukenhof, Holland, April 17, 2004]

Join the Revolution!

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

The message for us, then, is plain. Forget the “works contract,” with its angry, legalistic divinity. Forget the false either/or that plays different “theories of atonement” against one another. Embrace the “covenant of vocation” or, rather, be embraced by it as the Creator calls you to a genuine humanness at last, calls and equips you to bear and reflect his image. Celebrate the revolution that happened once for all when the power of love overcame the love of power. And, in the power of that same love, join in the revolution here and now.

— N. T. Wright, The Day the Revolution Began, p. 416

[Photo: Donnersbergkreis, Germany, November 8, 2003]

Give Space to the Good

Monday, September 10th, 2018

The third benefit from forgiveness emerges as we give more love and care to the important people in our lives. I know from my own experience and those of many others that hurts from the past often cause us to draw away and mistrust the very people who are trying to love us. Too often the people who suffer from our grievances are not the people who hurt us but those who care for us today.

If we rent too much space to what went wrong, where is the space to appreciate the good in our lives? If we focus our attention on past defeats, how can we give our full loving attention to our significant other, friends, or co-workers? If we remain bitter over past parenting cruelties, who suffers — our parents or our current friends and loved ones?

— Fred Luskin, Forgvie for Good, p. 73

Photo: South Riding, Virginia, October 26, 2014

Anger of Limited Duration

Sunday, September 9th, 2018

Let us pause here for a moment to dwell on the significance of this fact of the limited duration of the divine anger, so clearly taught in the Old Testament. Take a few instances, “I am merciful, says the Lord, I will not keep anger for ever” (Jer 3:12). “His anger endures but a moment” (Ps 30:5), “while his mercy endures for ever” (Ps 136) — a statement repeated no less than twenty-six times in this one psalm. “He will not always chide, neither keeps he his anger for ever” (Ps 103:9). “He retains not his anger for ever, because he delights in mercy” (Mic 7:18).

But if this be true, what becomes of the popular creed? If God’s anger is temporary, how can it be endless? If it endure but a moment, how can it last for ever in even a solitary instance? I would invite our opponents fairly to face these plain and reiterated assertions: and to explain why they feel justified in teaching that God’s anger will in many cases last for ever, and that his mercy will not endure for ever.

— Thomas Allin, Christ Triumphant, p. 238

Photo: Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness, Scotland, July 11, 2003

Narrow Our Focus

Saturday, September 8th, 2018

Jesus, in Matthew’s gospel, says, “How narrow is the gate that leads to life.” Mistakenly, I think, we’ve come to believe that this is about restriction. The way is narrow. But it really wants us to see that narrowness is the way.

St. Hedwig writes, “All is narrow for me, I feel so vast.” It’s about funneling ourselves into a central place. Our choice is not to focus on the narrow, but to narrow our focus. The gate that leads to life is not about restriction at all. It is about an entry into the expansive. There is a vastness in knowing you’re a son/daughter worth having. We see our plentitude in God’s own expansive view of us, and we marinate in this.

— Gregory Boyle, Tattoos on the Heart, p. 31-32

Photo: Notre Dame, Paris, April 2001

Relational Sacred Text

Friday, September 7th, 2018

Midrash, with its imaginative engagement of the Bible’s stories, reminds us that biblical interpretation need not be reduced to a zero-sum game, but rather inspires endless insights and challenges, the way a good story does each time it is told and retold. Our relational God has given us a relational sacred text, one that, should we surrender to it, reminds us that being people of faith isn’t as much about being right as it is about being part of a community in restored and restorative relationship with God. This is how Paul engaged Scripture, after all, and Jesus — both of whom were Jews.

— Rachel Held Evans, Inspired, p. 25

Photo: Sunrise, South Riding, Virginia, September 7, 2018

Morning Gratitude

Thursday, September 6th, 2018


In a very real way, morning gratitude is a primary form of mindfulness, a practice of paying attention to abundance and life.

— Diana Butler Bass, Gratitude, p. 76

[Photo: Sunrise, South Riding, Virginia, March 16, 2015]