Thursday, July 07, 2005
“jesus was a lover. He had a fire in his eyes that could burn away excuses, cremate your alibis. He had a gaze that would expose to you all the subtle lies, that you soul permits your heart to tell concerning all that it denies…”
~don chaffer, against the windowpane
“those who believe they believe in God but without passion in the heart, without anguish of the mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself.”
~madeleine l’engle as quoted in matthew paul turner’s provocative faith
“solitude is the furnace of transformation.”
~uncle henri, the way of the heart
“i intend to go anywhere, sponsored by anybody, to preach the gospel of Christ, if there are no strings attached to my message. the one badge of christian discipleship is not orthodoxy but love. christians are not limited to any church. the only question is: are you committed to Christ?"
~billy graham, responding to the charges of fundamentalists who charged him with heresy for treating mainline protestant pastors as his brothers and sisters in Christ. i thought about this passage time and again, when i read articles like this
(http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=45083)* that condemned billy for treating bill and hillary clinton, at least one of whom is a confessing Christian, with respect. i never thought i would find the position of fundamentalists more acceptable than that of many evangelicals. at least the former drew their lines along doctrinal, instead of political, lines.
“y’all don’t know what it’s like, being male, middle-class and white.”
~ben folds, rockin’ the suburbs
*please excuse the lack of a link. blogger can suck my white ass!
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
becky tucker, a liturgical poet and alumnus of sinners and saints, penned this remarkable prayer for our little community. since it says things about s & s that i could not say and observes realities that i often cannot see, i thought i would post it for you.
"jeff, i pray immeasurable blessings for you and for the community at sinners and saints as you lead in a journey where the community - the transformation of individuals into a cohesive, interdependent, kingdom residing and kingdom seeking family - replaces self-change as focus.
this is where "recovering evangelical" seem so appropriate. for myself and my community, taking eyes off self and replacing the unspiritual discipline of navel gazing with the spiritual discipline of intentional community is a stretch so painful, i often feel unconfident that it will not break us-or atlest me.
God is active in the entity that sinners and saints has become and, though increasingly cynical about most things, i am hopefully confident that your growth and leadership will be a fruitful seed for a breath-taking work of communal art!!!!"
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
“life isn’t happily ever after and golden sunsets and shit like that. it’s work. the person you love is rarely worthy of how big your love is. because no one is worthy of that and maybe no one deserves the burden of it, either. you’ll be let down. you’ll be disappointed and have your trust broken and have a lot of real sucky days. You lose more than you win. you hate the person you love as much as you love him. but, shit, you roll up your sleeves and work - at everything - because that’s what growing older is.”
~annabeth marcus in dennis lehayne’s mystic river
“we want to make good time, but for us now this is measured with emphasis on good, rather than time. and when you make that shift in emphasis, the whole approach changes.”
~robert pirsig, zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance
“she seems so depressed sometimes by the monotony and boredom of her city life, I thought that maybe in this endless grass and wind she would see a thing that sometimes comes when monotony and boredom are accepted. It’s here, but I have no names for it.”
~robert pirsig, ibid.“it is infinitely easier to cultivate a congregation that will listen to the Word of God than to cultivate one that will worship God.”
~pastor jack hayford, quoted in christianity today
“every crutch you use is keeping you from a deeper dependence,” he said. i believe him.
i have a closet full of crutches that keep me from fully depending upon God and entrusting my broken body to the strong, sustaining arms of the other. these crutches promise to help me stand and so sustain my life. however, every time i fall flat on the pavement i realize that their promises are illusory.
so i’m throwing them out. i’m going to cast off my crutches like a paralytic at a tent-revival. i’m going to snap them in half and set them out with the garbage. i’m sure there are crutches hidden in long-forgotten places and i know that every trial i face will tempt me to buy another set, but i can’t allow those facts to distract me from this moment of decision. the hymn is playing friends, and i’m walking forward. damn those crutches to hell…i’m going to lean on the only one that can sustain me. i’m going to depend on the life, grace and mercy that he promises and his people dispense.