Friday, August 30, 2013

Rob Bell:

I believe that this is one of the most urgent questions people are asking at this time about the very nature of faith: Can conviction and humility coexist as the dance partners we need them to be?  I say yes, they can.  I have seen it up close, and it's possible.  It requires that we pay as much attention to how we are talking as to what we are talking about, and it requires us to leave the paradox as it is, the tension unresolved, holding our convictions with humility.

What We Talk About When We Talk About God, p. 95

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Honoré de Balzac:

For artists, the great problem to solve is how to get oneself noticed.

Lost Illusions

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Misty Irons:

This brings us back to the problem with "love" because here is where I think Christians get tripped up. Sometimes when you determine that you are going to "love" another person, you subtly start viewing that person as someone who needs you, not as someone whom you need just as much. And since this person who is the object of your great loving affection needs you, your approval and your advice so much, that gives you the right to be stern, instructive and somewhat overbearing, particularly when you believe you know what is best for them.  On the other hand, if someone is truly your friend, then you ought to have the humility to recognize that you can't just say whatever the heck you want, because if you drive them away you are hurting yourself too. You will be more gentle, more respectful, and make a genuine effort to be winsome and helpful. If you hurt that person and they walk away, you won't smugly tell yourself that "that's just the collateral damage of speaking the truth in love." You would feel quite devastated, and you wouldn't rest until you made things right.
"On having gay friends"

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Heather Sellers:

I couldn't bear to think of my mother loving me but unable to face me, to stare into my eyes, to care for me emotionally, to offer me her face.  Like any daughter, as much as I wanted to separate from her, I wanted to be deeply connected to her, I wanted to redeem her, I wanted to protect her.  I wanted to love and to understand, in that order.

You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know, p. 224

Monday, August 26, 2013

Rachel Held Evans:

Ignorance and hateful attitudes thrive when they are normalized and accepted without pushback. Your friends may just assume you agree with them when you don’t speak up about their homophobia.  On more than one occasion, I’ve heard Dan calmly respond to a crude homophobic joke with something simple like, “Hey, man. That’s not funny. You’re talking about real people here. Please don’t say that kind of stuff around me.” It’s awkward for about 10 seconds. But it’s better than replaying that conversation over and over and wishing you had said something. And it sends the signal that not everyone is okay with crude jokes or ugly language at the expense of gay and lesbian people.  More often than not, there will be someone else in the group who is relieved you said something and may even offer support. And sometimes, there will be someone in the group who is relieved to know he or she is not also hated or despised by you. Try thinking ahead of time about a line or two you can use in situations like these so you’re ready.

"Responding to homophobia in the Christian community"

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Frank Schaeffer:

Indeed, (Richard) Dawkins needs the evangelicals and they need him.  As the authors of An Evangelical Manifesto wrote, "striking intolerance shown by the new atheists is a warning sign."  Conversely, how would Dawkins' followers use their Scarlet A pins to open their conversations if America weren't full of evangelical/fundamentalists?  The fundamentalists in both camps need to claim they are hated.  The leaders push their followers to fear each other to maintain their identity -- and lecture fees.

Patience With God, p. 118

Saturday, August 24, 2013


A state of affairs which leads to daily vexation is not the right state.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Rob Bell:

Years ago I was struggling -- really, really struggling to make sense of a number of things in my life, in a lot of pain.  I started going to a counselor who gradually helped me understand why I was feeling how I was feeling and how I got there and what a better future might look like ... He was kind and humble and open, and yet firm and rock solid and unshakable.  All at the same time.  He was a man of faith, deeply grounded in his convictions, and yet those firm convictions didn't close him down or harden him or make him brittle and closed-minded; they had the exact opposite effect.  They seemed to make him more flexible and limber and engaging.

What We Talk About When We Talk About God, p. 94-95

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Eric Hoffer:

The feeling of being hurried is not usually the result of living a full life and having no time.  It is on the contrary born of a vague fear that we are wasting our life.  When we do not do the one thing we ought to do, we have no time for anything else.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Misty Irons:

You might object that loving people is more important than liking them, so shouldn't I be emphasizing that instead? I know that love is supposed to be biblical and all, yet I've become somewhat suspicious of that approach. I've noticed that we tend to justify committing all sorts of abuses and cruelties against people in the name of love (at least our idea of love), particularly against our gay friends and family members. Don't ask me why. All I know is that if you work on how you're going to "be loving" toward someone who is gay, you're liable to say or do something very un-Christian. But if you work on liking someone, you'll have a much better chance of being like Christ to them.

"On having gay friends"

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Heather Sellers:

For the first time in my life, I felt I could see all the versions of my mother at once.  For the first time, I recognized my mother and saw chaos for what it was: chaos.  It was something I knew, but not something I was in.  I felt clear and strong and calm.  I didn't need her to see me or know me; she wasn't going to be able to do that.  And I could see what needed to happen next.  I could hear Helder whispering in my ear: Sure, help her, do the good-daughter thing -- but do it for yourself and with no attachment to any outcome.  Nothing you do will hold.  Nothing will change.  You can live with a lack of clarity.

You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know, p. 217

Monday, August 19, 2013


We must exercise ourselves in the things which bring happiness, since, if that be present, we have everything, and, if that be absent, all our actions are directed toward attaining it.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Frank Schaeffer:

Most of that sense of lost battles is related to the so-called culture wars issues in which evangelical/fundamentalists did not fare so well, from the legalization of abortion to gay rights.  But rather than admitting that they were often losing the arguments, or had come across as so mean (or plain dumb) that few outsiders wanted to be like them, they blamed everyone else, from the courts to organizations such as Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, the New York Times, and the "left-wing media."  Just about any scapegoat would do to deny or disguise the simple fact that fewer Americans wanted to follow the evangelical/fundamentalist Church Ladies into their gloomy cave (and/or the never-never land of the Rapture) and park their brains there.

Patience With God, p. 115

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Annie Dillard:

If you're going to publish a book, you probably are going to make a fool of yourself.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Rob Bell:

Do you believe the exact same things you did in the exact same way you did five years ago?  Probably not.  You've grown, evolved, changed, had new experiences, studied, listened, observed, suffered, reflected, and reexamined.  That's how faith is.  We learn as we go.

What We Talk About When We Talk About God, p. 93-94

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Eric Hoffer:

There is a perfect ant, a perfect bee, but man is perpetually unfinished...Moreover, the incurable unfinishedness keeps man perpetually immature, perpetually capable of learning and growing.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Misty Irons:

Fortunately, it's not difficult for me to find things I like about people who are thoughtful, honest, introspective, compassionate and courageous, which fits the profile of many gay and lesbian people I know simply because of [the] kind of hardships they've been through. I also like people who think outside the box, have a sense of humor, and understand that life can be disappointing so that they appreciate how things like a good meal, good conversation or a decent movie can get you through the day.

"On having gay friends"

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Heather Sellers:

Helder shook his head.  "The adult speaks.  The child who wants to please her mother, who never wants to do anything to make Mom unhappy, she has to be kept in the backseat.  She can't have the car keys."

You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know, p. 191

Monday, August 12, 2013

Anne Lamott:

Sometimes circumstances conspire to remind us or even let us glimpse how thin the membrane is between here and there, between birth and the grave, between the human and the divine.  In wonder at the occasional direct experience of this, we say, Thank you.

Help, Thanks, Wow, p. 45

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Frank Schaeffer:

When you are no longer defined by what you are not, you can begin to be for something -- say, trying to write a real book and let the chips fall where they may.  This may not seem like a very big deal to someone raised in a secular home, but believe me, for me it was.

Patience With God, p. 104

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Samuel Butler:

The one serious conviction that a man should have is that nothing is to be taken too seriously.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Rob Bell:

Two people can believe the same thing but hold that belief in very different ways.  You can believe something with so much conviction that you'd die for that belief, and yet in the exact same moment you can also say, "I could be wrong..."  This is because conviction and humility, like faith and doubt, are not opposites; they're dance partners.  It's possible to hold your faith with open hands, living with great conviction and yet at the same time humbly admitting that your knowledge and perspective will always be limited.

What We Talk About When We Talk About God, p. 93

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Tom Rothman:

The trick is, from the business side, to try to be fiscally responsible so you can be creatively reckless.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Rachel Held Evans:

What millennials really want from the church is not a change in style but a change in substance. We want an end to the culture wars. We want a truce between science and faith. We want to be known for what we stand for, not what we are against. We want to ask questions that don’t have predetermined answers. We want churches that emphasize an allegiance to the kingdom of God over an allegiance to a single political party or a single nation. We want our LGBT friends to feel truly welcome in our faith communities. We want to be challenged to live lives of holiness, not only when it comes to sex, but also when it comes to living simply, caring for the poor and oppressed, pursuing reconciliation, engaging in creation care and becoming peacemakers.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Heather Sellers:

He looked at me, kind of checking me over, to see, I suspected, if I could handle the truth.  He cocked his head.  "You might not ever know -- you might not get a clear diagnosis regarding your mother.  You can still take a clear position."

You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know, p. 191

Monday, August 5, 2013

Anne Lamott:

To watch one dance number by Fred Astaire or Pina Bausch is to see the sacred in communal energy ... We see in art a moment in time, an instant, and this is holy.

Help, Thanks, Wow, p. 83

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Frank Schaeffer:

How individuals are treated affects everyone.

Patience With God, p. 53

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Rita Mae Brown:

If there's good in life, I'm going to find it.

Rita Will, p. 420

Friday, August 2, 2013

Rob Bell:

Fundamentalism shouldn't surprise us.  When a leader comes along who eliminates the tension and dodges the paradox and neatly and precisely explains who the enemies are and gives black-and-white answers to questions, leaving little room for the very real mystery of the divine, it should not surprise us when that person gains a large audience.  Especially if that person is really, really confident.  Certainty is easier, faster, awesome for fundraising, and it often generates large amounts of energy because who doesn't want to be right?

What We Talk About When We Talk About God, p. 92-93

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Amanda Duberman:

There is an intimacy ensconced within the prison that we scarcely see outside of it -- a reminder that Piper, and all the characters, will never really be free until they emancipate themselves from whom they've tricked themselves into being.

"Surrendering to Orange Is the New Black"