Come to the Library!

The library is genius in its usefulness. It can be a different place for each person who walks in. Your library can help you find a job, go vegan, read up on the new medication you’ve been prescribed, or learn a new language. Your librarian can listen to your knock-knock jokes or provide a safe space and helpful resources if there is violence in your home. She or he can give you directions to your aunt’s house, or tell you if a celebrity is alive or dead, or help you figure out how to give your kid “the talk.” All while keeping your ass swimming in books. And movies. And music. And Internet access.

There is no other place where you can go and basically say, “I need help with this area of my life” and someone will respond, “All right, let’s figure this out.” Maybe your mom, but she’s not as good at “going online” as we are. So, please, go discover all the boundless glory awaiting you. And introduce yourself. Otherwise, you’re going to get a nickname based on whatever weird face you make or the thing you watched on YouTube that you didn’t think anyone noticed.

— Annie Spence, Dear Fahrenheit 451, p. 240-241.

Plain Statements of Scripture

The following pages are written under the pressure of a deep conviction that the views generally held as to the future punishment of the ungodly wholly fail to satisfy the plain statements of Holy Scripture. All forms of partial salvation are but so many different ways of saying that evil is in the long run too strong for God. The popular creed has maintained itself on a scriptural basis solely, I believe, by hardening into dogma mere figures of oriental imagery; by mistranslations and misconceptions of the sense of the original (to which our Authorized Version largely contributes); and finally, by completely ignoring a vast body of evidence in favour of the salvation of all men, furnished, as will be shown, by very numerous passages of the New Testament, no less than by the great principles that pervade the teaching of all revelation.

— Thomas Allin, Christ Triumphant: Universalism Asserted as the Hope of the Gospel on the Authority of Reason, the Fathers, and Holy Scripture, p. 3

Starting Whole

Is it possible, since skin is the largest organ of the body, that new babies don’t know the inside from the outside when they first come out? That there is no difference? That they are Möbius strips? This is how we came; wow. Talk about whole.

— Anne Lamott, Hallelujah Anyway, p. 176

Close and Caring

We will begin to explore the grand mystery of how a kenotic, cruciform and Christlike God can reign — can be present, active and ‘sovereign’ — in the world, when he is neither coercive nor controlling, but nevertheless infinitely close and caring. We’ll notice together how such a God rules, saves and serves by grounding and filling all that is with the power of love — a divine love with a particular content defined as consent and participation.

— Bradley Jersak, A More Christlike God, p. 121

Never the Right Solution

I knew Bapuji would say that revenge is never the right solution. A desire for revenge eats away at you, destroying your peace of mind and leaving you constantly on edge. Instead of hurting you once, the evildoer takes over your life and destroys you again and again. I couldn’t let that happen — or I would be letting Bapuji down.

— Arun Gandhi, The Gift of Anger, p. 246-247

Outshine the Resentment

Forgiveness and mercy mean that, bit by bit, you begin to outshine the resentment. You open the drawer that was shut and you take out the precious treasures that you hid there so long ago and, with them, the person who marvels at tadpoles, who pulls for people to come clean and then have a second chance, who aches and intervenes for those being bullied, forgives the evil brothers and unforgivable you.

— Anne Lamott, Hallelujah Anyway, p. 170-171

Choosing Joy

I haven’t the slightest doubt that God is bending over backward all day long to give me joy — but I must take it. Jesus stands at the crossroads pointing the way to joy, inviting and encouraging, but I must choose. Lasting happiness comes only through choice, through the making of countless small decisions, one day at a time. Once I see this, it’s not hard to choose. The hard part is admitting I have a choice.

— Mike Mason, Champagne for the Soul, p. 52