The Act of Creating

October 26th, 2017

We will not have the courage . . . to keep our child’s creativity, unless we are willing to be truly “grownup.” Creativity opens us to revelation, and when our high creativity is lowered to two percent, so is our capacity to see angels, to walk on water, to talk with unicorns. In the act of creativity, the artist lets go the self-control which he normally clings to and is open to riding the wind. Something almost always happens to startle us during the act of creating, but not unless we let go our adult intellectual control and become as open as little children. This means not to set aside or discard the intellect but to understand that it is not to become a dictator, for when it does we are closed off from revelation.

— Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water, p. 75, quoted in Madeleine L’Engle, Herself, compiled by Carole F. Chase, p. 54.

Open Ourselves to Love

October 24th, 2017

People often think that love should be all sweetness and light – but the truth is, love frequently hurts. When we open ourselves to love, we also open ourselves up to being hurt. So many of us have learned from the time we are children to harden ourselves, to lock away our love for fear of being hurt. In locking away this love we make ourselves and our world much more coldhearted, selfish, and sadder. In locking love away deep within us, we diminish our humanity.

— Lorna Byrne, Love from Heaven, p. 2

The Forgiveness Channel

October 23rd, 2017

It saddens me to see countless people who fail to pay attention or be grateful to those they love because they are either thinking of people who have hurt them or feeling sorry for their loss. Let me make one thing clear. I am not saying to ignore problems in your life or deny that people have hurt you. What I am saying is that focusing too much attention on a hurt makes it stronger and forms a habit that can be difficult to break. I am saying that you do not have to dwell endlessly on the painful things in your life. Dwelling on wounds gives them power over you. What you remember, or focus your attention on, can be shifted in the same way that you can change the channel on your TV. If we get used to watching the grievance channel we are likely to see that the world has many grievances, but if we get used to watching the forgiveness channel the world can begin to look very different.

— Dr. Fred Luskin, Forgive for Good, p. 9-10

Amnesia

October 17th, 2017

Happiness, healing, and forgiveness are all about remembering who we truly are and what we have come here to do. As we join with other people, we begin to see no separation, judgment, or fear between us; we remember ourselves and our oneness. Amnesia means that we have forgotten who we are as children of God, which is the very thing that would fulfill us and make us happy; we are all amnesiacs. We are the spiritual prince and princess of a kingdom we left long ago. We have forgotten that we have a rich Father.

— Chuck Spezzano, If It Hurts, It Isn’t Love, p. 263.

Intrinsic Results

October 15th, 2017

It ought to be clear from all this that the reason “sin” leads to “death” is not at all (as is often supposed) that “death” is an arbitrary and somewhat draconian punishment for miscellaneous moral shortcomings. The link is deeper than that. The distinction I am making is like the distinction between the ticket you will get if you are caught driving too fast and the crash that will happen if you drive too fast around a sharp bend on a wet road. The ticket is arbitrary, an imposition with no organic link to the offense. The crash is intrinsic, the direct consequence of the behavior. In the same way, death is the intrinsic result of sin, not simply an arbitrary punishment. When humans fail in their image-bearing vocation, the problem is not just that they face punishment. The problem is that the “powers” seize control, and the Creator’s plan for his creation cannot go ahead as intended.

— N. T. Wright, The Day the Revolution Began, p. 86-87.

Find Jesus in the Scriptures

October 14th, 2017

Read, reread, and meditate on the Scriptures as you would a love letter, not a research paper. Always search for Jesus wherever you are reading, not getting sidetracked with anything else. Make Jesus your primary lens as you read through the Scriptures. Remember, it’s the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law, that matters. Focusing on the letter of the law was the mistake the religious leaders who confronted Jesus made, and he was continually correcting them. They were so wrapped up in Bible memory and organizing the Scriptures into doctrinal systems that they missed Jesus in the process. Jesus can be seen throughout these Scriptures.

— Tim Timmons, Simply Enough, p. 219

Broken Places

October 13th, 2017

The places where we feel most broken often don’t need to be fixed. What they need is to be heard.

— Ken Page, Deeper Dating, p. 71

Live Today.

October 12th, 2017

I’ve said elsewhere that I hate the question, “What is my destiny?” It seems to imply that life is about one or a few big tasks or goals. My understanding from God and the angels is that each and every one of our destinies is to live life to the fullest. This means living every minute of every day to the fullest and trying to be aware and conscious of every moment and, where possible, to enjoy them all. Your life is today. It’s not yesterday or tomorrow. It’s now. This moment.

— Lorna Byrne, A Message of Hope from the Angels, p. 90

Thorn in the Flesh

September 27th, 2017

He asked God over and over to remove this thorn, but God said no. God said that grace and mercy had to be enough, that nothing awful or fantastic that Paul did would alter the hugeness of divine love. This love would and will have the last say. The last word will not be our bad thoughts and behavior, but mercy, love, and forgiveness. God suggested, Try to cooperate with that. Okay? Keep your stupid thorn; knock yourself out.

What was the catch? The catch was that Paul had to see the thorn as a gift. He had to want to be put in his place, had to be willing to give God thanks for this glaring new sense of humility, of smallness, the one thing anyone in his right mind tries to avoid. Conceit is intoxicating, addictive, the best feeling on earth some days, but Paul chose instead submission and servitude as the way to freedom from the bondage of self. Blessed are the meek.

We don’t know if Paul was ever healed of his affliction. I do know that being told I could keep my awfulness made holding on to it much less attractive.

— Anne Lamott, Hallelujah Anyway, p. 133-134

God is Like Jesus.

September 26th, 2017

Add to Jesus’ depiction of God as Father his startling Last Supper announcement, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father” (John 14:9). Somehow we need to let his words jar us again. Maybe we’re too used to the phrase, but it’s what I’ve hinted at in the title. For our own sakes, we might take a break from trying to convince ourselves that Jesus was and is God and to spend this twenty-first century meditating on the truth that God is like Jesus. Exactly like Jesus.

— Bradley Jersak, A More Christlike God, p. 22