Lighten Up, For God’s Sake!

December 10th, 2016

As a parent, would you be pleased with dutiful children who went around heavy-hearted, oppressed with guilt and anxiety, fearful of suffering consequences for their every misdeed and never lightening up enough to share a laugh or a relaxing moment with you? Don’t loving parents want their children to enjoy life? “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?” (Matthew 7:9).

— Mike Mason, Champagne for the Soul, p. 40

Growing Up

December 9th, 2016

We turn Toddler brain feelings into Adult brain values by activating instinctual motivations to improve, appreciate, protect, and connect. We make the final transition from feelings to values by expanding on “I’m disappointed, but I’m okay.” It looks like this: “I’m disappointed, so I will improve, appreciate, connect, protect.”

— Steven Stosny, Soar Above, p. 117

A Bit of Love Frozen

December 9th, 2016

Everything beautiful is a bit of love frozen: the love that gives is to the gift as water is to ice. Ah, you should hear our torrent shout in the spring! The thought of God fills me so full of life, that I want to go and do something for everybody.

— George MacDonald, Warlock O’Glenwarlock, chapter 22, quoted in Discovering the Character of God, edited by Michael Phillips, p. 230.

Regret

December 6th, 2016

Regret is a tough but fair teacher.
To live without regret is to believe you have
nothing to learn,
no amends to make, and
no opportunity to be braver with your life.

— BrenĂ© Brown, Rising Strong, p. 184

Corruption and Sin

November 30th, 2016

Corruption is the sin which, rather than being recognized as such and making us humble, is elevated to a system, it becomes a mental habit, a way of living. We no longer feel the need for forgiveness and mercy, but we justify ourselves and our behaviors. Jesus says to his disciples: Even if your brother offends you seven times a day and seven times a day he returns to you to ask for forgiveness, forgive him. The repentant sinner, who sins again and again because of his weakness, will find forgiveness if he acknowledges his need for mercy. The corrupt man is the one who sins but does not repent, who sins and pretends to be Christian, and it is this double life that is scandalous.

— Pope Francis, The Name of God Is Mercy, p. 81

Growth and Development

November 26th, 2016

We get very angry with ourselves. We think we ought to be supermen and superwomen from the start. The Dalai Lama’s serenity didn’t come fully formed. It was through the practice of prayer and meditation that the gentleness, the compassion grew, his being patient and accepting — within reasonable limits. Accepting circumstances as they are, because if there are circumstances that you cannot change, then it’s no use beating your head against a brick wall; that just gives you a headache. This is a vale of growth and development.

— Archbishop Desmond Tutu, quoted by Douglas Abrams in The Book of Joy, p. 92

Joyful Voices

November 25th, 2016

Joy has a voice. People are unhappy because they listen to unhappy voices. If you’re unhappy right now, it’s certain that an unhappy voice is sounding in your mind. To become joyful you must listen to a joyful voice, distinguishing the one note of joy from all the other voices that clamor for attention.

— Mike Mason, Champagne for the Soul, p. 37

Do It For You.

November 23rd, 2016

The ultimate issue isn’t whether people deserve your negative thoughts; certainly many people do. The more important point is that they are your thoughts in your head, and you want them to be as beneficial to you as possible. We cannot appreciate and feel devalued at the same time. As long as you appreciate, you will not feel devalued, and you’ll eventually soar above.

— Steven Stosny, Soar Above, p. 113

To Move Mountains

November 18th, 2016

We can pray until that day comes when every prayer will be an immediate incarnation, becoming reality even as we speak it, like creation became reality as God spoke it. For we are his sons and daughters, and he is maturing us to love all that he loves, and to do all that he does. To move mountains, and more.

— John Eldredge, Moving Mountains, p. 230

An Ever-Enlarging Enough

November 16th, 2016

There are good things God must delay giving, until his child has a pocket to hold them — until God gets his child to make that pocket. God must first make him fit to receive and to have. There is no part of our nature that shall not be satisfied — and that not by lessening it, but by enlarging it to embrace an ever-enlarging enough.

— George MacDonald, Unspoken Sermons, Third Series, “The Light,” quoted in Discovering the Character of God, edited by Michael Phillips, p. 156