Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Favorite quotes

Just wanted to share some favorite quotes of mine. One of my favorite authors is Frederick Buechner (pronounced "beekner") & he writes, "The best moments of any of us as human beings are those moments when for a little while it is possible to escape the squirrel-cage of being me into the landscape of being us." I love this quote as it is as good an explanation as any as to why I am blogging.

Other quotes from him,
"As much as it is our hope, it is our hopelessness that brings us to church of a Sunday, and any preacher who, whatever else he speaks, does not speak of that hopelessness might as well save his breath." (He is known for his long, convoluted sentences. I love his courage in not being completely grammatically correct.) Buechner

(This is one of my all time favorites...) "One of the blunders religious people are particularly fond of making is the attempt to be more spiritual than God." Buechner

"And the only solution to this (why the wicked seem to prosper) would be that the meaning of earthly existence lies not, as we have grown used to thinking, in prospering, the development of the soul. From that point of view our torturers have been punished most horribly of all: they are turning into swine, they are departing downward from humanity. From that point of view punishment is inflicted on those whose development...holds out hope." Alexander Sozhenitsyn (What a great way of understanding the verse, "Whom the Father loves, He chastens"!)

He could speak from experience having lived many years in the gulags of the Soviet Union because of his faith in Christ. I admire his spirit as an overcomer, having experienced torture yet being able to feel pity for those torturing him. One of the reasons why I think this is such a great quote is that it really blows holes in the idea of the "blessing gospel" which is so prevalent in the US today-->(that if we live rightly as Christians, God will bless us. This in turn implies the opposite is true...If we are going through trials and tribulations, we must have sinned which is not only painful but is most times completely untrue). Solzhenitsyn is extremely interesting to read from this perspective.

Here are some other favorite quotes,

"Men rush toward complexity; but they yearn for simplicity." GK Chesterton
"The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost." GK Chesterton

On that same note, a quote from another favorite, CS Lewis,

"When you are behaving as if you love someone, you will presently come to love him." CS Lewis

Also, he writes, "God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts to us in our pain; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world." CS Lewis
I love this quote mainly because I've experienced significant pain and suffering in the 38 years I've been on this earth. It comforts me to know that God is speaking to me through this and I am thankful for the grace and empathy He's brought out in me so that through my pain I can care for others more effectively, both as a nurse and a human being.

I have several other quotes that are dear to me but will save them for another time, with two exceptions. The following quotes are from the late Rich Mullins, a singer/song-writer, thealogian, mystic, sinner and most of all a lover of Christ. These quotes are something I hold onto desperately because it is what we should know if we are to call ourselves Christian.

"I think you can profess the Apostles' Creed until Jesus returns, but if you don't love somebody, you never were a Christian." Rich Mullins

"The not the pretty little anecdotes mouthed by pious little church mice--it does not so much nibble at our shoe leather as it cuts to the heart and splits the marrow from the bone. It does not give us answers fitted to our small-minded questions, but truth that goes beyond what we ever know to ask." Rich Mullins

I know, for me, these quotes cause me to think and reflect on my personal walk with the Lord Jesus. I long to know even a little of what these men knew out of their longing to know Christ more deeply...

May these quotes encourage you in your walk with Christ and may you seek to read more of their ministry. Most of all I desire that you seek out the Word of God that you might be comforted, strengthened and encouraged. I know this is something I need to do on a continuing basis for my own help...

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