Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Quote of the Day

By hiding my story away, I was not only shortchanging my own experience, but I was also keeping others from finding a place out of their own silence.

-- Jennifer Knapp, Facing the Music, p. 280

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Quote of the Day

Make stuff you love and talk about stuff you love and you'll attract people who love that kind of stuff.  It's that simple.

-- Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!, p. 132

Monday, December 29, 2014

Quote of the Day

For those who count the Bible as sacred, interpretation is not a matter of whether to pick and choose, but how to pick and choose.  We are all selective.  We all wrestle with how to interpret and apply the Bible to our lives.  We all go to the text looking for something, and we all have a tendency to find it.  So the question we have to ask ourselves is this: Are we reading with the prejudice of love or are we reading with the prejudices of judgment and power, self-interest and greed?

-- Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, p. 296

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Quote of the Day

The follower of Jesus' example -- be she an atheist scientist working on a neuropsychology project, a pastor counseling gang members, a husband bringing his wife her coffee or a mom picking up her child at preschool -- will do anything it takes to live the reality of what it means to walk in another person's shoes.  To help us do that is the only point of going to any church or, for that matter, logging on to an atheist website.

-- Frank Schaeffer, Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God, p. 91

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Quote of the Day

Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage.

-- Brene Brown, Daring Greatly, p. 37

Friday, December 26, 2014

Quote of the Day

In life we cannot avoid change, we cannot avoid loss.  Freedom and happiness are found in the flexibility and ease with which we move through change.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 78

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Quote of the Day

I came to understand the poem as a kind of prayer, an invocation, with an appeal to our higher selves at its emotional center.

-- Richard Blanco, For All of Us, One Today, p. 64

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Quote of the Day

I had hidden away for too long, fought too hard to find peace with my own person to give up by going back to a place that was less than honest.

-- Jennifer Knapp, Facing the Music, p. 252-253

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Quote of the Day

Connections don't mean shit.  I've never had any connections that weren't a natural outgrowth of doing things I was doing anyway.  Being good at things is the only thing that earns you clout or connections.

-- Steve Albini

Monday, December 22, 2014

Quote of the Day

If love was Jesus' definition of "biblical," then perhaps it should be mine.

-- Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, p. 295

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Quote of the Day

There is only one defense against the rising, worldwide, fear-filled fundamentalist tide engulfing all religions (including the intolerant religion of the New Atheists) which once engulfed me: the embrace of paradox and uncertainty as the virtuoso expression of love.

-- Frank Schaeffer, Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God, p. 90-91

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Quote of the Day

To let ourselves sink into the joyful moments of our lives even though we know that they are fleeting, even though the world tells us not to be too happy lest we invite disaster -- that's an intense form of vulnerability.

-- Brene Brown, Daring Greatly, p. 34

Friday, December 19, 2014

Quote of the Day

Just as a snake sheds its skin, we must shed our past over and over again.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 77

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Quote of the Day

In my mind, the purpose of being the inaugural poet and of my poem was to transcend politics and envision a new relationship between all Americans.  I wanted America to embrace itself, so to speak, and recognize -- no, feel -- how we are all an essential part of one whole, if only for those few minutes when I would stand at the podium.

-- Richard Blanco, For All of Us, One Today, p. 64

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Quote of the Day

I only had the energy left for truth.

-- Jennifer Knapp, Facing the Music, p. 193

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Quote of the Day

It is actually true that life is all about "who you know."  But who you know is largely dependent on who you are and what you do, and the people you know can't do anything for you if you're not doing good work.

-- Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!, p. 131

Monday, December 15, 2014

Quote of the Day

The Bible isn't an answer book.  It isn't a self-help manual.  It isn't a flat, perspicuous list of rules and regulations that we can interpret objectively and apply unilaterally to our lives.  The Bible is a sacred collection of letters and laws, poetry and proverbs, philosophy and prophecies, written and assembled over thousands of years in cultures and contexts very different from our own, that tells the complex, ever-unfolding story of God's interaction with humanity.

-- Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, p. 294

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Quote of the Day

Flee from exclusionary certainty.  As the bumper sticker says, "Mean People Suck!"  And that goes especially for people who are mean in the name of love.

-- Frank Schaeffer, Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God, p. 90

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Quote of the Day

To put our art, our writing, our photography, our ideas out into the world with no assurance of acceptance or appreciation -- that's also vulnerability.

-- Brene Brown, Daring Greatly, p. 34

Friday, December 12, 2014

Quote of the Day

Joy and openness come from our own contented heart.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 75

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Quote of the Day

I'm always amazed by the way unconscious feelings surface in poems, leading to a new or refined understanding of ourselves.  How they always seem to teach me something about myself and my world that I hadn't really acknowledged before.

-- Richard Blanco, For All of Us, One Today, p. 60

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Quote of the Day

Music is such a fascinating thing.  It's amazing how a single song can so strongly teleport us to a place and a time in our lives that we thought we had forgotten.  For those of us drawn in by music, there is a soundtrack that plays through the movie of our lives.  It's as if all we have to do is turn up the volume, close our eyes, and we are there, capable of remembering and reliving what had been only a hazy recollection.

-- Jennifer Knapp, Facing the Music, p. 189

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Quote of the Day

Stop worrying about how many people follow you online and start worrying about the quality of people who follow you.  Don't waste your time reading articles about how to get more followers.  Don't waste time following people online just because you think it'll get you somewhere.  Don't talk to people you don't want to talk to, and don't talk about stuff you don't want to talk about.  If you want followers, be someone worth following.

-- Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!, p. 129

Monday, December 8, 2014

Quote of the Day

It is a tragic and agonizing irony that instructions once delivered for the purpose of avoiding needless offense are now invoked in ways that needlessly offend, that words once meant to help draw people to the gospel now repel them.  Research shows that the overall number of women attending church has dropped by 11 percent in the last twenty years.  When female executives, entrepreneurs, academics, and creatives are told that they have to check their gifts at the church door, many turn away for good.

-- Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, p. 263

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Quote of the Day

Where we go to church, or whether we go, isn't the point.  The point is who are we becoming?  Does church help you to become the sort of person you'd pick to be stuck on a desert island with?  Good!  Go!  Does it hurt your chances of becoming that person?  Run!

-- Frank Schaeffer, Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God, p. 90

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Quote of the Day

Waking up every day and loving someone who may or may not love us back, whose safety we can't ensure, who may stay in our lives or may leave without a moment's notice, who may be loyal to the day they die or betray us tomorrow -- that's vulnerability.  Love is uncertain.  It's incredibly risky.  And loving someone leaves us emotionally exposed.  Yes, it's scary and yes, we're open to being hurt, but can you imagine your life without loving or being loved?

-- Brene Brown, Daring Greatly, p. 34

Friday, December 5, 2014

Quote of the Day

Learn to let go.  That is the key to happiness.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 74

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Quote of the Day

There is a popular misconception that poetry -- perhaps all art -- happens out of sheer genius or inspiration, and that all artists work alone.  That hasn't been my experience.  Most writers I know rely on someone they can trust with their work, which essentially implies someone we can also trust with our lives.

-- Richard Blanco, For All of Us, One Today, p. 57

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Quote of the Day

I wanted them to love me.  I wanted to tell them the truth.  I wanted them to rise to the occasion to deal with the reality of the human condition.  I wanted them to be the kind of Christian that I had searched the world for: comfortable with life's mysteries and unfazed by religious contradictions.  I wanted their kinship and affirmation, that I was loved and made, just as God wanted me to be.  I wanted them to be what they were not.

-- Jennifer Knapp, Facing the Music, p. 182

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Quote of the Day

If you want fans, you have to be a fan first.  If you want to be accepted by a community, you have to first be a good citizen of that community.  If you're only pointing to your own stuff online, you're doing it wrong.  You have to be a connector.  The writer Blake Butler calls this being an open node.  If you want to get, you have to give.  If you want to be noticed, you have to notice.

-- Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!, p. 127

Monday, December 1, 2014

Quote of the Day

We are thus led to the conclusion that when Paul asks women to be silent...he is not talking about ordinary Christian women; rather, he has a specific group of women in mind.  His concern is with some untrained, morally loose, young widows, who, because they are theologically unformed, are teaching unorthodox ideas.

-- Scot McKnight, The Blue Parakeet, p. 202

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Quote of the Day

My way of trying to encounter God within a church community may well be poison for others.  We all bring our backgrounds with us.  We're all running from something.  For instance, I know several people raised in the Orthodox Church who have fled to evangelical communities and found God there, or at least found a happier version of themselves.  I know other people who share my sort of religious background and they can only find spiritual solace in gatherings of atheists.  More power to them!  We are all recovering from what we've experienced in captivity to ourselves.

-- Frank Schaeffer, Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God, p. 89

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Quote of the Day

Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity.  It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity.

-- Brene Brown, Daring Greatly, p. 34

Friday, November 28, 2014

Quote of the Day

Stay centered, do not overstretch.  Extend from your center, return to your center.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 69

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Quote of the Day

I discovered that language had to be engineered in a way, just like the bridges and roads I was designing.

-- Richard Blanco, For All of Us, One Today, p. 21

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Quote of the Day

It was so dispiriting to have to continually defend the value of my faith and the methodology and places where I chose to share it.  To me, Christianity was more than a lifestyle club, where all the good kids wore WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) bracelets and sang only Christian music.  Beyond the culture, there was an opportunity to discover inner peace and divine consideration.  Yet, with increasing regularity, I seemed to be running into Christians devaluing the path of the journeyman.

-- Jennifer Knapp, Facing the Music, p. 146

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Quote of the Day

No matter how famous they get, the forward-thinking artists of today aren't just looking for fans or passive consumers of their work, they're looking for potential collaborators, or co-conspirators.  These artists acknowledge that good work isn't created in a vacuum, and that the experience of art is always a two-way street, incomplete without feedback.  These artists hang out online and answer questions.  They ask for reading recommendations.  They chat with fans about the stuff they love.

-- Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!, p. 126

Monday, November 24, 2014

Quote of the Day

Christians, don't let racist, misogynistic, and homophobic comments "slide."  Stand up for the bullied, not the bullies.  Advocate for the oppressed, not the oppressors.  And don't let anyone shame you as "divisive" when you do so.

-- Rachel Held Evans, "Changing the Culture that Enabled Mark Driscoll: 6 Ways Forward"

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Quote of the Day

Then again, if I only wanted to attend a church that was good, true and without error -- according to my transitory ego-stoked beliefs -- I'd have to invent my own religion.  But wait a moment.  There'd be a problem.  I'd have to excommunicate the priest and his entire congregation!  You see, I know that particular bishop/priest/congregation too well.  With apologies to Groucho Marx: I'd never want to join a church that had someone like me for their founding bishop, especially if I was the only member!

-- Frank Schaeffer, Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God, p. 85

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Quote of the Day

What makes this constant assessing and comparing so self-defeating is that we are often comparing our lives, our marriages, our families, and our communities to unattainable, media-driven visions of perfection, or we're holding up our reality against our own fictional account of how great someone else has it.   

-- Brene Brown, Daring Greatly, p. 26

Friday, November 21, 2014

Quote of the Day

Everything that has a beginning has an ending.  Make your peace with that and all will be well.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 68

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Quote of the Day

Every story begins inside a story that's already begun by others.

-- Richard Blanco, For All of Us, One Today, p. 6

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Quote of the Day

Music, for me, was about what it did when you told it your secrets.  Music seemed to turn our inner longings into prayers.  Played back, shared, and transmitted, the impossible happened.  We knew that we were known.  By someone, somewhere.

-- Jennifer Knapp, Facing the Music, p. 122

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Quote of the Day

When people realize they're being listened to, they tell you things.

-- Richard Ford

Monday, November 17, 2014

Quote of the Day

If we are to change the culture that far too often prioritizes the reputation of the bully/abuser over the health and safety of the bullied/abused, we have to stop shaming victims who come forward with their stories as "gossips" and dismissing Christians who call for accountability as "divisive."  We also have to ensure that our churches are prepared to respond to bullying and abuse when it happens.
 
-- Rachel Held Evans, "Changing the Culture that Enabled Mark Driscoll: 6 Ways Forward"

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Quote of the Day

I choose to try my best to be honest about problems in the church of my choice.  Jesus did that too.  He criticized everything religious around him yet still participated in the traditional liturgical formal worship of his day even though it was led by hypocrites he denounced.

-- Frank Schaeffer, Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God, p. 84

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Quote of the Day

When I look at narcissism through the vulnerability lens, I see the shame-based fear of being ordinary.  I see the fear of never feeling extraordinary enough to be noticed, to be lovable, to belong, or to cultivate a sense of purpose.  Sometimes the simple act of humanizing problems sheds an important light on them, a light that often goes out the minute a stigmatizing label is applied.

-- Brene Brown, Daring Greatly, p. 22

Friday, November 14, 2014

Quote of the Day

When you walk, just walk; when you eat, just eat.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 65

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Quote of the Day

I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.  Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day. It’s made me more empathetic, which has led to a richer life. It’s been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it has given me the confidence to be myself, to follow my own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry. It’s also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you’re the CEO of Apple.

-- Tim Cook, "Tim Cook Speaks Up"

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Quote of the Day

The best of what Christianity would ever teach me was that even on my darkest days, no matter what condition I was in, I was a person made to be loved.

-- Jennifer Knapp, Facing the Music, p. 105

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Quote of the Day

Teaching people doesn't subtract value from what you do, it actually adds to it.  When you teach someone how to do your work, you are, in effect, generating more interest in your work.  People feel closer to your work because you're letting them in on what you know.

-- Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!, p. 119

Monday, November 10, 2014

Quote of the Day

Perhaps the most effective silencing technique in Christian culture is telling those who challenge abusive or bullying behavior among church leaders that their objections are "gossip" and "slander" contributing to "disunity in the Church."
 
-- Rachel Held Evans, "Changing the Culture that Enabled Mark Driscoll: 6 Ways Forward"

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Quote of the Day

My question isn't, "Did I create God who creates me?" but, "Do I need God, however he, she or it came to be?"  My question isn't "Can I find a church, mosque, synagogue, a gathering of atheists or some other temple that's perfect to stroke me?" but "Where can I find spiritual beauty that feeds my soul?"

-- Frank Schaeffer, Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God, p. 83

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Quote of the Day

The topic of narcissism has penetrated the social consciousness enough that most people correctly associate it with a pattern of behaviors that include grandiosity, a pervasive need for admiration, and a lack of empathy.  What almost no one understands is how every level of severity in this diagnosis is underpinned by shame.  Which means we don't "fix it" by cutting people down to size and reminding folks of their inadequacies and smallness.  Shame is more likely to be the cause of these behaviors, not the cure.

-- Brene Brown, Daring Greatly, p. 21

Friday, November 7, 2014

Quote of the Day

 Inner freedom is not guided by our efforts; it comes from seeing what is true.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 64

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Quote of the Day

I don't consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I've benefited from the sacrifice of others.  So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it's worth the trade-off with my own privacy.

-- Tim Cook, "Tim Cook Speaks Up"

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Quote of the Day

In my own life, I was eager to move beyond the Christian idea of flawed humanity and get on with living life to the full.  If we are what we are -- that is, inescapably human -- then part of my responsibility is to learn how to honor myself and others along the way.  From a Christian perspective, if Christ's sacrifice was to represent how my sinful nature (read: human nature) is reconciled with God's perfect holiness, then why should I be afraid to acknowledge my true self?

-- Jennifer Knapp, Facing the Music, p. 105

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Quote of the Day

The minute you learn something, turn around and teach it to others.  Share your reading list.  Point to helpful reference materials.

-- Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!, p. 117

Monday, November 3, 2014

Quote of the Day

When Christians measure a church's "success" by numbers rather than the fruit of the Spirit, we create a culture that looks nothing like the Kingdom Jesus preached.  But Scripture does not teach us that the fruit of the Spirit is satellite campuses, book sales, and market share.  Scripture teaches us that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Jesus said that we identify false preachers, not by their position on obscure theological matters, but by the degree to which their lives exhibit this type [of] fruit.  In other words, getting men to go to church is not the same as making disciples of Jesus, and we best not confuse the two.

-- Rachel Held Evans, "Changing the Culture that Enabled Mark Driscoll: 6 Ways Forward"

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Quote of the Day

Scientists and theologians can't offer better than circular arguments, because there are no other kinds of arguments.  Bible believers quote the Bible, and scientists quote other scientists.  How do either scientists or theologians answer this question about the accuracy of their conclusions: "In reference to what?"

-- Frank Schaeffer, Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God, p. 78

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Quote of the Day

The main concern of Wholehearted men and women is living a life defined by courage, compassion, and connection.

-- Brene Brown, Daring Greatly, p. 11

Friday, October 31, 2014

Quote of the Day

Just as driving on the right side of the road gives us the freedom to go anywhere, so accepting the natural law of constant change is our route to freedom.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 60

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Quote of the Day

My life has been my music, it's always come first, but the music ain't worth nothing if you can't lay it on the public.

-- Louis Armstrong

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Quote of the Day

Music would be a gift that would help me understand that life is made up of all manner of serenity and despair, but that it is in how we choose to let those things pass through us that speak of our true character.

-- Jennifer Knapp, Facing the Music, p. 43

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Quote of the Day

Whatever we say, we're always talking about ourselves.

-- Alison Bechdel

Monday, October 27, 2014

Quote of the Day

How we treat our fellow human beings is not a peripheral issue, sidelined by supposedly "good theology."  It's central.  It's everything.  I don't care whether you are Calvinist or Arminian, charismatic or Catholic, you can't demean women or bully the marginalized and still have "good theology."  Misogyny is bad theology.  Bulling is bad theology.  And it's time we start identifying them as such.

-- Rachel Held Evans, "Changing the Culture that Enabled Mark Driscoll: 6 Ways Forward"

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Quote of the Day

I feel significant when I tell my stories, therefore I am.

-- Frank Schaeffer, Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God, p. 77

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Quote of the Day

Rather than sitting on the sidelines and hurling judgment and advice, we must dare to show up and let ourselves be seen.  This is vulnerability.  This is daring greatly.

-- Brene Brown, Daring Greatly, p. 2

Friday, October 24, 2014

Quote of the Day

When wishes are few, the heart is happy.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 57

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Quote of the Day

It's no easy business to be simple.

-- Gustave Flaubert

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Quote of the Day

None of us are at the end of what we experience.  It may feel like we are at times the target of sorrow or of anger, but these things must pass through us if we want to survive them.  We cannot keep joy to ourselves or love hidden away.  Nor can we harbor pain so deep it takes root.  We can set the love we have inside our hearts free to be enjoyed by those we hold dear.  We have in us the power to reshape the anger we experience into acts of forgiveness.

-- Jennifer Knapp, Facing the Music, p. 43

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Quote of the Day

Autobiography is only to be trusted when it reveals something disgraceful.

-- George Orwell

Monday, October 20, 2014

Quote of the Day

If your pastor has little to no accountability, and if your questions about accountability are met with hostility, leave.

-- Rachel Held Evans, "Changing the Culture that Enabled Mark Driscoll: 6 Ways Forward"

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Quote of the Day

This gorgeous universe would be such a waste if it were unobserved and unremembered.  Aren't we lucky that we're storytellers?  Isn't the universe lucky to have us!  

-- Frank Schaeffer, Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God, p. 76

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Quote of the Day

The surest thing I took away from my BSW, MSW, and Ph.D. in social work is this: Connection is why we're here.  We are hardwired to connect with others, it's what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and without it there is suffering.

-- Brene Brown, Daring Greatly, p. 8

Friday, October 10, 2014

Quote of the Day

Not getting what you desire and getting what you desire can both be disappointing.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 56

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Quote of the Day

A modern stoic knows that the surest way to discipline passion is to discipline time: decide what you want or ought to do during the day, then always do it at exactly the same moment every day, and passion will give you no trouble.

-- W. H. Auden

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Quote of the Day

To me, music was the voice of our inner spirit, that when we call out, answers our deepest longings.

-- Jennifer Knapp, Facing the Music, p. 42

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Quote of the Day

If you want to be more effective when sharing yourself and your work, you need to become a better storyteller.  You need to know what a good story is and how to tell one.

-- Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!, p. 95

Monday, October 6, 2014

Quote of the Day

An apology is for the benefit of the bully/abuser ... But it's a mistake to tell anyone in an abusive situation exactly when they should accept an apology. Until the victim is completely removed from [the] abusive situation and has had time to process what's happened on their own, what looks like beneficial forgiveness can actually enable the abuse cycle to continue. When the exchange of verbal apology and forgiveness allows abuse to continue it defeats the purpose and benefit of the forgiveness, which is to lessen the harm done to the victim… Forgiveness is renewable and not the same thing as trust which can be lost forever... If someone's been a victim of bullying at the hands of Mark Driscoll, for example, they are under no obligation to ever trust him again.

-- Dan Evans, "On Forgiveness and Abuse"

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Quote of the Day

We have Jesus and his Enlightenment prophets to thank for the humanist ideas on which America was founded.  If you're one of the people Jesus is said to have favored -- a child, a woman, someone ill, a sex worker, someone regarded as untouchable, old, ugly, abandoned or "the other" in some way -- and you are being cared for by unbelievers, is Jesus' example being followed?  Or does Jesus only live in correct theology regardless of how little a Christian may care about your wellbeing?

-- Frank Schaeffer, Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God, p. 65-66

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Quote of the Day

The level to which we protect ourselves from being vulnerable is a measure of our fear and disconnection.

-- Brene Brown, Daring Greatly, p. 2

Friday, October 3, 2014

Quote of the Day

There are no holy places and no holy people, only holy moments, only moments of wisdom.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 52

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Quote of the Day

It is a danger to wait around for an idea to occur to you.  You have to find the idea.

-- Gerhard Richter

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Quote of the Day

The middle ground is not the place to go if you’re going to show courage and vision.

-- Cornel West

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Quote of the Day

Why should we describe the frustrations and turning points in the lab, or all the hours of groundwork and failed images that precede the final outcome?  Because, rarified exceptions aside, our audience is a human one, and humans want to connect.  Personal stories can make the complex more tangible, spark associations, and offer entry into things that might otherwise leave one cold.

-- Rachel Sussman

Monday, September 29, 2014

Quote of the Day

When Nelson Mandela walked out of prison, he vowed to forgive.  He did not, however, vow to stop talking about injustice. 

-- Rachel Held Evans, "On Forgiveness and Abuse"

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Quote of the Day

Who then are Jesus' followers: the secular, godless Danes caring for the poor or the don't-tread-on-me Ayn Rand-inspired libertarians and their church-going enablers?  And for all the talk about the "real America" bandied about by right wingers, the humanistic impact of Jesus' thinking was central to America's founding.  The Declaration of Independence is an Enlightenment document containing the words "All men are created equal," a direct extension of Jesus' inclusive vision.  Lincoln built on this idea in his Gettysburg Address.

-- Frank Schaeffer, Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God, p. 65

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Quote of the Day

When we spend our lives waiting until we're perfect or bulletproof before we walk into the arena, we ultimately sacrifice relationships and opportunities that may not be recoverable, we squander our precious time, and we turn our backs on our gifts, those unique contributions that only we can make.

-- Brene Brown, Daring Greatly, p. 2

Friday, September 26, 2014

Quote of the Day

We do not need more knowledge but more wisdom.  Wisdom comes from our own attention.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 51

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Quote of the Day

I write when something makes a strong claim on me.

-- Marilynne Robinson

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Quote of the Day

...far too many Christians just don't know how to spot and respond to the signs of abuse -- be it spiritual abuse, abuse of authority, or even the physical/emotional/sexual abuse of women and children.  And I believe the impetus is on denominational leaders and on the media (religious and mainstream) to better educate the Christian public on these matters and to better hold church leaders accountable when they abuse. 

-- Rachel Held Evans, "Changing the Culture that Enabled Mark Driscoll: 6 Ways Forward"

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Quote of the Day

Words matter.  Artists love to trot out the tired line, "My work speaks for itself," but the truth is, our work doesn't speak for itself.  Human beings want to know where things came from, how they were made, and who made them.  The stories you tell about the work you do have a huge effect on how people feel and what they understand about your work, and how people feel and what they understand about your work effects how they value it.

-- Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!, p. 93

Monday, September 22, 2014

Quote of the Day

True reconciliation exposes the awfulness, the abuse, the hurt, the truth.  It could even sometimes make things worse.  It is a risky undertaking but in the end it is worthwhile, because in the end only an honest confrontation with reality can bring real healing.

-- Desmond Tutu

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Quote of the Day

Fewer than 5 percent of Danes attend church.  In godless Denmark, the national government funds a high quality education for all children, rich and poor alike, while in God-fearing America, education is funded through local property taxes, so neighborhood and income dictate a child's educational opportunities.  Add in race and ethnicity factors to create a perfectly stratified school system segregated by educational opportunity.  Yet American evangelicals would deem most of the compassionate citizens of Denmark -- who are living according to Jesus' teaching about how to treat people -- as "godless" and try to send American missionaries.

-- Frank Schaeffer, Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God, p. 64

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Quote of the Day

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is not effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly...

-- Theodore Roosevelt, "Citizenship in a Republic"

Friday, September 19, 2014

Quote of the Day

When you eat, eat slowly and listen to your body.  Let your stomach tell you when to stop, not your eyes or your tongue.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 49

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Quote of the Day

In both writing and sleeping, we learn to be physically still at the same time we are encouraging our minds to unlock from the humdrum rational thinking of our daytime lives.

-- Stephen King, On Writing

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Quote of the Day

Hearing is one of the body’s five senses.  But listening is an art.

-- Frank Tyger

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Quote of the Day

Stories are such a powerful driver of emotional value that their effect on any given object's subjective value can actually be measured objectively.

-- Joshua Glenn and Rob Walker, Significant Objects

Monday, September 15, 2014

Quote of the Day

The greatest failure of the church/Christian organizations when it comes to responding to abuse is institutional self-protection.  Too often Christian institutions have been willing to sacrifice the individual human soul in exchange for the protection of their own reputation.  What makes such responses even more heinous is that they are often justified in the name of "protecting the name of Christ."  Such a justification is nothing but a pious attempt at self-protection.

-- Boz Tchividjian, "No More Silence: An interview with Boz Tchividjian of G.R.A.C.E."

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Quote of the Day

Although the Enlightenment philosophers' followers rejected the institutional Church and the brutal hypocrites who ran it, they were among the first to challenge society to actually carry out Jesus' vision of compassionate humanism on a large, transformative scale.

-- Frank Schaeffer, Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God, p. 63

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Quote of the Day

It is in those (thankfully) obscured places where we have the opportunity to objectively better ourselves, make peace with who we are without the fear of failure or judgment. It seems incredibly self-centered, but surprisingly, it can lead to an amazing reaching out toward connecting with others.

-- Jennifer Knapp, "Ask Jennifer Knapp...(Response)"

Friday, September 12, 2014

Quote of the Day

Our body is precious.  It is our vehicle for awakening.  Treat it with care.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 48

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Quote of the Day

When it all comes together, a creative life has the nourishing power we normally associate with food, love, and faith.

-- Twyla Tharp

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Quote of the Day

I succeeded by saying what everyone else is thinking.

-- Joan Rivers

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Quote of the Day

Do what you do best and link to the rest.

-- Jeff Jarvis

Monday, September 8, 2014

Quote of the Day

As Christians, our first impulse should be to protect and defend the powerless, not the powerful, and yet too often, the reverse is the case. 

-- Rachel Held Evans, "On Forgiveness and Abuse"

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Quote of the Day

On all levels and in every aspect of our society, the poor are rejected, mistreated, and forced more deeply into their poverty.  Christianity should have taken up the cause of the poor; better yet, it should have identified with the poor.  Instead, during almost the entire course of its history, the Church has served as a prop of the powerful and has been on the side of exploiters and states.

-- Jacques Ellul, Jesus and Marx

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Quote of the Day

Being observed is often too great a temptation to imitate the style of characters we want to be rather than investing in the hard work of mindfully becoming our unique selves. Save the spotlight for the celebration, for the moments where connecting MUST occur to move forward.

-- Jennifer Knapp, "Ask Jennifer Knapp...(Response)"

Friday, September 5, 2014

Quote of the Day

No matter how difficult the past, you can always begin again today.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 47

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Quote of the Day

I've never believed that one should wait until one is inspired because I think that the pleasures of not writing are so great that if you ever start indulging them you will never write again.

-- John Updike

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Quote of the Day

We change, but always at a cost: to win this you lose that.

-- Geoffrey Wolff, A Day at the Beach

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Quote of the Day

We all love things that other people think are garbage.  You have to have the courage to keep loving your garbage, because what makes us unique is the diversity and breadth of our influences, the unique ways in which we mix up the parts of culture others have deemed "high" and the "low."

-- Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!, p. 81

Monday, September 1, 2014

Quote of the Day

But confronting bullying and abuse is not “bickering.” It’s the right thing to do. It’s standing in solidarity with the very people Jesus taught us to prioritize—the suffering, the marginalized, the vulnerable ... Defending the defenseless is an essential (and biblical) part of our calling as followers of Jesus. We don't just abandon it when the bully happens to be a Christian. 

-- Rachel Held Evans, "On Forgiveness and Abuse"

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Quote of the Day

Jesus was the first of the Enlightenment philosophers.  In John 8:4-7 speaking like some sort of first century Voltaire, Jesus questioned the laws and traditions of his day.  "And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, they said to him, 'Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.  Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?' ...  Jesus said unto them, 'He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.'"  Voltaire couldn't have said it better.

-- Frank Schaeffer, Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God, p. 60

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Quote of the Day

The moment that any of us allows another human being to push us off of the meaningful experiences in our lives, we begin to erode in spirit.

-- Jennifer Knapp, "Ask Jennifer Knapp...(Response)"

Friday, August 29, 2014

Quote of the Day

Learn to respond, not react.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 46

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Quote of the Day

I would write ads for deodorants or labels for catsup bottles, if I had to.  The miracle of turning inklings into thoughts and thoughts into words and words into metal and print and ink never palls for me.

-- John Updike

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Quote of the Day

Indeed, this sense of relief in the midst of our grief can be confusing.  Initially, I felt guilty about my excitement at finally becoming non-religious, especially since most of my friends and family remained faithful.  What they saw as the sudden and tragic death of my faith felt – to me – like the merciful pulling of tubes, allowing something lifeless to end.  When I expressed my happiness at no longer being religious, they often experienced my exuberance as inappropriate or disrespectful.

-- Jim Mulholland, "Religious Grief"

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Quote of the Day

"Dumpster diving" is one of the jobs of the artist -- finding the treasure in other people's trash, sifting through the debris of our culture, paying attention to the stuff that everyone else is ignoring, and taking inspiration from the stuff that people have tossed aside for whatever reasons.

-- Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!, p. 79-80

Monday, August 25, 2014

Quote of the Day

Grace does not require remaining silent about bullying and abuse.

-- Rachel Held Evans, "On Forgiveness and Abuse"

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Quote of the Day

Neither Marxist nor Christian feminism is possible to imagine without the Enlightenment just as the Enlightenment is impossible to envision other than as a reaction to the hypocrisy of the establishment, Church.

-- Frank Schaeffer, Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God, p. 59-60

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Quote of the Day

It wasn't until publication of Betty Friedan's "The Feminine Mystique" that women's dissatisfaction with life and frustration over lack of opportunities came to light.

-- Katie McLaughlin, “5 things women couldn't do in the 1960s

Friday, August 22, 2014

Quote of the Day

When leading, be generous with the community, honorable in action, sincere in your words.  As for the rest, do not be concerned.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 43

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Quote of the Day

I hate commitments, obligations and working under pressure.  But on the other hand, I like getting paid in advance and I only work under pressure.

-- Edward Abbey

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Quote of the Day

Some -- though reluctantly accepting my departure -- questioned my motivation for writing about it.  Was I burning my bridges, justifying my decision or hoping to recruit others?  Though hardly immune from such impulses, my primary reason for writing a book was easier to explain.  I'd always written about my inner journey in sermons, books and speeches.  The reflection others did in private I'd done in public.  Until now, friends and family had enjoyed eavesdropping on these internal conversations.  What had shifted was not my inclination, but my audience.  I wasn't writing for them any longer.  I was writing for those moving from a religious to a post-religious life, to ease their pain and encourage their persistence, to offer them what I had sought.

-- Jim Mulholland, "Why I Left Religion, Wrote a Book and Alienated Friends and Family"

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Quote of the Day

The problem with hoarding is you end up living off your reserves.  Eventually, you'll become stale.  If you give away everything you have, you are left with nothing.  This forces you to look, to be aware, to replenish...Somehow the more you give away, the more comes back to you.

-- Paul Arden

Monday, August 18, 2014

Quote of the Day

Forgiveness isn't earned, but trust is.  You can forgive a person without trusting him.

-- Rachel Held Evans, "On Forgiveness and Abuse"

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Quote of the Day

Nineteenth-century women first gained power in non-conformist denominations by arguing the example of Jesus.  They gained power in these churches before the secular society gave them the vote or modern secular feminism arose in the post-World War II period.

-- Frank Schaeffer, Why I Am a Atheist Who Believes in God, p. 59

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Quote of the Day

I think one reason I’m drawn to writing and art is that I don’t have to be competitive — if I’m competing with anyone, it’s against myself, or a bunch of my favorite (most of them dead) artists, or it’s a kind of friendly competition spurred on by seeing other folks’ work in the world. And even then, I’m not competing to be the best at what I do, I’m trying to be the only one who does what I do.

-- Austin Kleon, "Some thoughts on Layer Tennis and having another body in the room"

Friday, August 15, 2014

Quote of the Day

Joy comes not through possession or ownership but through a wise and loving heart.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 36

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Quote of the Day

On an ordinary day (Charles Dickens) could complete about two thousand words in this way, but during a flight of imagination he sometimes managed twice that amount.  Other days, however, he would hardly write anything; nevertheless, he stuck to his work hours without fail, doodling and staring out the window to pass the time.

-- Mason Currey, Daily Rituals, p. 161

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Quote of the Day

When I was struggling with whether to leave, I read two types of writing.  Writers like Spong, Borg and Vospar comforted those on the fringes of my religious tradition, calling all manner of disbelief acceptable.  Having written such books, I knew their inadequacies.  The rest were anti-religious.  Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris threw out the baby with the bathwater, demanding total renunciation and accusing religion of every imaginable evil.  Their judgments rang false.  What I sought was someone living in the middle -- appreciative of all the goodness of religion, but acknowledging its ultimate insufficiency for many.  Frustrated, I wrote what I could not find.
 
-- Jim Mulholland, "Why I Left Religion, Wrote a Book and Alienated Friends and Family"

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Quote of the Day

Build a good name.  Keep your name clean.  Don't make compromises.  Don't worry about making a bunch of money or being successful.  Be concerned with doing good work...and if you can build a good name, eventually that name will be its own currency.

-- William Burroughs

Monday, August 11, 2014

Quote of the Day

When Christians are told that Christlike forgiveness means accepting every apology as sincere, we can inadvertently perpetuate abuse. 

-- Rachel Held Evans, "On Forgiveness and Abuse"

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Quote of the Day

The humanist Enlightenment was the catalyst for Jesus' empathy time bomb, the message of inclusion for the excluded.  The Enlightenment came to Europe through philosophers like Voltaire who were influenced by the ethics Jesus taught.  Eventually these ethics -- as reinterpreted by secular Enlightenment philosophers -- caused countries like Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Holland and Norway to become places where being young, female, sick or old isn't such a bad thing,

-- Frank Schaeffer, Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God, p. 58

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Quote of the Day

Forgiveness means I carry no more resentment.  It doesn't mean I tolerate more abuse.
 
-- Elizabeth Esther

Friday, August 8, 2014

Quote of the Day

It is not our preferences that cause problems but our attachment to them.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 35

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Quote of the Day

We have failed to recognize our great asset: time.  A conscientious use of it could make us into something quite amazing.

-- Friedrich Schiller

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Quote of the Day

For many of us, leaving religion is like leaving home.  For others, it feels like a divorce.  We experience depression and sadness.  When I express this sadness to non-religious people, they seldom understand.  They think my departure from religion a rational decision.  In this, they are wrong.  Leaving was an emotional disconnection.  Some accuse me of still harboring religious sympathies.  In this, they are correct.  I will never see the religious with their cold calculation.  What I see is my grandfather who preached in the lumberjack camps of Northern Michigan, or my mother who played hymns at the piano while I played at her feet, or the genuinely kind people I had the pleasure of meeting as a pastor.

-- Jim Mulholland, "Religious Grief"

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Quote of the Day

If you work on something a little bit every day, you end up with something that is massive.

-- Kenneth Goldsmith

Monday, August 4, 2014

Quote of the Day

Just as I've never heard a sermon against the Cretans, I've also never heard a sermon on 1 Timothy 2:8, in which Paul tells Timothy, "I want men everywhere to pray, lifting holy hands without anger or disputing" that included a universal dictum that all men everywhere must raise their hands whenever they pray (UPDATED NIV).  But I've heard more than I can count on 1 Timothy 2:11, just three verses later, which says, "A woman should learn in quietness and full submission" that have included universal dictums that all women everywhere must submit to male authority in the church.

-- Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, p. 261

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Quote of the Day

Jesus built what I think of as an empathy time bomb.  He lit a slow-burning fuse -- then left.  Whatever you believe about how Jesus left -- be it via death, resurrection or flying into the clouds -- what he left behind remains: the accelerated pace of the evolution of our ethical consciousness.  Essentially Jesus said: To hell with mere survival.  Choose to evolve into a new and better animal!  What Jesus triggered was an inexorable shift to a higher level of ethics that eventually changed the trajectory of human history.  Love, fairness, opportunity, freedom and goodness eventually begin to trump mere survival and brute power.

-- Frank Schaeffer, Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God, p. 56

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Quote of the Day

We are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not.

-- Joan Didion

Friday, August 1, 2014

Quote of the Day

There is only one time when it is essential to awaken.  That time is now.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 33

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Quote of the Day

In most professions there's a beginning, a middle, and an end.  With writing, it's always beginning again.  Temperamentally, we need that newness.  There is a lot of repetition in the work.  In fact, one skill that every writer needs is the ability to sit still in this deeply uneventful business.

-- Philip Roth

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Quote of the Day

Many people find separating from their religious past emotionally challenging.  In some ways, leaving religion is like the death of a loved one.  Often, it’s a death after a prolonged illness.  Our faith has been on life support for months, even years.  Though there is sadness at its passing, there is also great relief.

-- Jim Mulholland, "Religious Grief"

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Quote of the Day

Don't say you don't have enough time.  We're all busy, but we all get 24 hours a day.  People often ask me, "How do you find the time for all this?"  And I answer, "I look for it."  You find time the same place you find spare change: in the nooks and crannies.  You find it in the cracks between the big stuff -- your commute, your lunch break, the few hours after your kids go to bed.  You might have to miss an episode of your favorite TV show, you might have to miss an hour of sleep, but you can find the time if you look for it.

-- Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!, p. 54

Monday, July 28, 2014

Quote of the Day

We also tend to ignore the embarrassing bits, like when Paul tells Titus, "Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons" (Titus 1:12 UPDATED NIV).  I've never once heard a sermon preached on this passage, and yet, if these words are truly the inerrant and unchanging words of God intended as universal commands for all people in all places at all times, then the Christian community needs to do a better job of mobilizing against the Cretan people, perhaps constructing some "God Hates Cretans" signs, or warning Christian travelers not to get off the ship when they stop at Crete on their Mediterranean cruises, or boycotting movies starring Jennifer Aniston, whose father, I am told, is a lazy, evil, gluttonous Cretan.

-- Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, p. 260

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Quote of the Day

Two millennia after Jesus taught, Christ-like change is beginning to infuse the world at many levels more widely than ever before.  So why does it seem as if so many Christians still fail to grasp the essential truth of our faith: inclusion and justice?  Maybe our blindness started when the first Christians didn't believe what Jesus told them about the kingdom of God: "Neither shall they say, Lo here!  Or, lo there!  For, behold, the kingdom of God is within in" (Luke 17:21, emphasis added).  Irrespective of Jesus' teaching we continue to tie faith to doctrine, geography, nation, male prerogatives, homophobia and race.  It is as if we've rewritten Jesus' saying as: "They shall say, Lo here!  And, Lo there!  For, behold, the kingdom of God is only found in correct doctrine believed by the chosen few of our tribe!"

-- Frank Schaeffer, Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God, p. 55

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Quote of the Day

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.

-- Gloria Steinem

Friday, July 25, 2014

Quote of the Day

Everything in moderation, including moderation.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 32

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Quote of the Day

Writing isn't hard work, it's a nightmare.

-- Philip Roth

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Quote of the Day

My seven year old daughter understands repentance, but she still struggles with it.  Like many of us, she finds it difficult to admit her mistakes and say she's sorry.  Thankfully, she hasn't had the task of repenting and forgiving complicated by the insertion of god.  She doesn't have to unlearn these misconceptions.  If you damage someone, God is not the injured party.  They are.  The forgiveness of God is irrelevant if you are unwilling to express and demonstrate your repentance to the one you have damaged.  There is nothing you can do for God that absolves you of that necessity.  Indeed, as soon as you involve God in issues of repentance and forgiveness, you can be nearly certain that you aren't all that interested in either.

-- Jim Mulholland, "Avoiding Repentance"

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Quote of the Day

Overnight success is a myth.  Dig into almost every overnight success story and you'll find about a decade's worth of hard work and perseverance.  Building a substantial body of work takes a long time -- a lifetime, really -- but thankfully, you don't need that time all in one big chunk.  So forget about decades, forget about years, and forget about months.  Focus on days.

-- Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!, p. 47

Monday, July 21, 2014

Quote of the Day

We forget sometimes that the Epistles are just that...epistles.  They are letters, broken pieces of correspondence between early Christians, dating back thousands of years.  In our rush to extract sound bites for our nature-themed desk calendars, we tend to skip past the initial greetings that designate the recipients of the message -- "to the church of God in Corinth," "to the churches in Galatia," "to God's holy people in Ephesus," "to Timothy," "to Titus," "to Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker -- also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow solider -- and to the church that meets in your home" -- and scan over the details that should remind us that we are essentially listening in on someones else's conversation...

-- Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, p. 259

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Quote of the Day

... two thousand years after Jesus treated women as equals, countless fundamentalist American parents are preparing their daughters to forgo personal goals and accept subservient roles in marriages better suited to first-century Israel.  It can seem as if Jesus failed to change anything.

-- Frank Schaeffer, Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God, p. 54

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Quote of the Day

With each passing month, too, I realized the importance of my First Commandment, "Be Gretchen."  As great minds throughout the ages have pointed out, one of our most pressing concerns should be to discover the laws of our own nature.  I had to build my happiness on the foundation of my character; I had to acknowledge what really made me happy, not what I wished made me happy.  One of the biggest surprises of the happiness project was just how hard it was to know myself.  I'd always been slightly exasperated by philosophers' constant emphasis on what seemed to me to be a fairly obvious question, but in the end I realized that I would spend my whole life grappling with the question of how to "Be Gretchen."

-- Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project, p. 288

Friday, July 18, 2014

Quote of the Day

Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with compassion.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 31

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Quote of the Day

Let's face it, writing is hell.  I get a fine warm feeling when I'm doing well, but that pleasure is pretty much negated by the pain of getting started each day.

-- William Styron

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Quote of the Day

When you learn, teach.
When you get, give.

-- Maya Angelou, "Our Grandmothers"

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Quote of the Day

Put yourself, and your work, out there every day, and you'll start meeting some amazing people.

-- Bobby Solomon

Monday, July 14, 2014

Quote of the Day

I think the strangest thing I heard was that a women preaching on a Sunday morning would inevitably lead to the acceptance of bestiality.  Part of me wanted to end the sermon with, "Okay, so how many of you want to have sex with a monkey now?"

-- Jackie Roese

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Quote of the Day

Oppression is most powerful when internalized and self-imposed.

-- Frank Schaeffer, Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God, p. 52

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Quote of the Day

One of the best ways to make myself happy is to make other people happy.  One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy myself.

-- Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project, p. 285

Friday, July 11, 2014

Quote of the Day

Life is so hard, how can we be anything but kind?

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 30

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Quote of the Day

(George Gershwin) was dismissive of inspiration, saying that if he waited for the muse he would compose at most three songs a year.

-- Mason Currey, Daily Rituals, p. 133

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Quote of the Day

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

-- Maya Angelou, "Still I Rise"

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Quote of the Day

You have to make stuff.  No one is going to give a damn about your resume; they want to see what you have made with your own little fingers.

-- David Carr

Monday, July 7, 2014

Quote of the Day

I've watched congregations devote years and years to heated arguments about whether a female missionary should be allowed to share about her ministry on a Sunday morning, whether students older than ten should have female Sunday school teachers, whether girls should be encouraged to attend seminary, whether women should be permitted to collect the offering or write the church newsletter or make an announcement ... all while thirty thousand children die every day from preventable disease.  If that's not an adventure in missing the point, I don't know what is.

-- Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, p. 255

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Quote of the Day

Want to be sure you have THE TRUTH about yourself and want to be consistent to that truth?  Then prepare to go mad.  Or prepare to turn off your brain and cling to some form or other of fundamentalism, be that religious or secular.

-- Frank Schaeffer, Why I Am an Atheist Who Believes in God, p. 19

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Quote of the Day

Enthusiasm is a form of social courage.

-- Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project, p. 269

Friday, July 4, 2014

Quote of the Day

Good-humored patience is necessary with mischievous children and your own mind.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 29

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Quote of the Day

My life is as simple as I can make it.

-- Philip Larkin

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Quote of the Day

"Greet Andronicus and Junia," Paul wrote in Romans 16:7, "my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me.  They are outstanding among the apostles..."  Junia is one of nine women mentioned by Paul in (his letter to the church at Rome) ... But as time went on, the mention of a female apostle in Scripture became inconvenient for the increasingly hierarchal Church, so a medieval theologian found a creative solution to the problem: he turned Junia into a man.  Andronicus and Junia became Andronicus and Junias.

-- Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, p. 247-248

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Quote of the Day

The one truth that would help us begin to solve our ethical and political problems [is] that we are all more or less wrong, that we are all at fault, all limited and obstructed by our mixed motives, our self-deception, our greed, our self-righteousness and our tendency to aggression and hypocrisy.

-- Thomas Merton

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Quote of the Day

...to be a teacher is to continue a certain kind of family line for people who don't have families.

-- Lynda Barry, "How Non-Artists Can Draw: Comics Great Lynda Barry on Teaching Creativity"

Friday, June 27, 2014

Quote of the Day

A small child typically laughs more than four hundred times each day, and an adult -- seventeen times. 

-- Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project, p. 259

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Quote of the Day

If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 28

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Quote of the Day

In order for connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be seen -- really seen.

-- Brene Brown

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Quote of the Day

When he's not shooting a film, most of [Woody] Allen's creative energy goes toward mentally working out the problems of a new story.  This is the hard part; once he's satisfied with the story elements, the writing itself comes easy (and the filmmaking is mostly a chore).  But to get the story right requires "obsessive thinking," Allen has said.

-- Mason Currey, Daily Rituals, p. 120

Monday, June 23, 2014

Quote of the Day

In the nineteenth century, the central moral challenge was slavery.  In the twentieth century, it was the battle against totalitarianism.  We believe that in this century the paramount moral challenge will be the struggle for gender equality in the developing world.

-- Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Quote of the Day

Beauty is a miracle of things going together imperfectly.

-- Anne Lamott, Stitches, p. 82-83

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Quote of the Day

I don’t think there’s any other reason we have art than to save us, the way our liver is there to keep us alive. I have come to regard the arts as external organs. They have always been as critical to me as my kidneys are. It’s like a dialysis machine you draw yourself.

-- Lynda Barry, "How Non-Artists Can Draw: Comics Great Lynda Barry on Teaching Creativity"

Friday, June 20, 2014

Quote of the Day

We can be spacious, yet full of loving kindness; full of compassion, yet serene.  Live like the strings of a fine instrument -- not too taut and not too loose.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 27

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Quote of the Day

Audiences not only want to stumble across great work, but they, too, long to be creative and part of the creative process.  By letting go of our egos and sharing our process, we allow for the possibility of people having an ongoing connection with us and our work, which helps us move more of our product.

-- Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!, p. 38

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Quote of the Day

The least strained and most natural ways of the soul are the most beautiful; the best occupations are the least forced.

-- Michel de Montaigne

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Quote of the Day

It almost seems as though a writer's works, like the water in an artesian well, mount to a height which is in proportion to the depth to which suffering has penetrated his heart.

-- Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past

Monday, June 16, 2014

Quote of the Day

It appears that more girls have been killed in the last fifty years, precisely because they were girls, than men were killed in all the wars of the twentieth century.

-- Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Quote of the Day

People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Quote of the Day

Pat [Mitchell] said to me, "Kerry I've worked with TED for a really long time, no man has ever said to me, I'm not ready to speak. But for TEDxWomen, you are part of a long list of women who have denied me by saying they're not ready."  I realized what that meant is, we as women put ourselves in this situation of feeling like we can't take a risk.  Like in order to step out there we have to be perfect because we're scared that if we don't say the right thing, or do the right thing, it will reflect poorly on ourselves and our community whether that be women, people of color, both. … I'm telling on myself because I didn't [speak] … I don't do that often, but when I do, I know that it's not good for me and it's not good for other women.  We each need to not be afraid to take risks. We need to be willing to be uncomfortable, to be flawed, to be imperfect, to own our voice, to step into our light, so we can continue to inspire other people and employ other people and make room for more and more voices and presence.
 
-- Kerry Washington, "Kerry Washington Stuns in First Post-Baby Appearance, Fangirls Over 'Frozen'"

Friday, June 13, 2014

Quote of the Day

Spiritual life should include a great measure of common sense.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 26

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Quote of the Day

I read the obituaries every morning ... Reading about people who are dead now and did things with their lives makes me want to get up and do something decent with mine.  Thinking about death every morning makes me want to live.

-- Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!, p. 27

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Quote of the Day

An atmosphere of growth brings great happiness, but at the same time, happiness sometimes also comes when you're free from the pressure to see much growth.  That's not surprising; often, the opposite of a great truth is also true.

-- Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project, p. 231

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Quote of the Day

There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision, and for whom the lighting of every cigar, the drinking of every cup, the time of rising and going to bed every day, and the beginning of every bit of work, are subjects of express volitional deliberation.

-- William James, Psychology: A Briefer Course

Monday, June 9, 2014

Quote of the Day

Justice is not a gift; it's a lifestyle, a commitment to the Jewish concept of tikkun olam -- "repairing the world."

-- Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, p. 227

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Quote of the Day

People like to say that it -- significance, import -- is all about the family.  But lots of people do not have rich networks of hilarious uncles and adorable cousins, who all live nearby, to help them.  Many people have truly awful families: insane, abusive, repressive.  So we work hard, we enjoy life as we can, we endure.  We try to help ourselves and one another.  We try to be more present and less petty.  Some days go better than others.  We look for solace in nature and art and maybe, if we are lucky, the quiet satisfaction of our homes.

-- Anne Lamott, Stitches, p. 4

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Quote of the Day

I'm intoxicated and turned on by people who are really honest about themselves.  And so the coming-out process, given that, is a great move.  Because people know that you're sexual and that's who you like, and you're not guarded and sketchy and awkward.

-- Neil Patrick Harris

Friday, June 6, 2014

Quote of the Day

For three or four days after (my near-death experience), it was the most beautiful world.  To have gotten back in it, you know?  And I thought, if you could walk around like that all the time, to really have that awareness that it's actually going to end.  That's the trick.

-- George Saunders

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Quote of the Day

We are not independent but interdependent.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 25

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Quote of the Day

Gratitude is important to happiness.  Studies show that consistently grateful people are happier and more satisfied with their lives; they even feel more physically healthy and spend more time exercising.  Gratitude brings freedom from envy, because when you're grateful for what you have, you're not consumed with wanting something different or something more.  That, in turn, makes it easier to live within your means and also to be generous to others.  Gratitude fosters forbearance -- it's harder to feel disappointed with someone when you're feeling grateful toward him or her.  Gratitude also connects you to the natural world, because one of the easiest things to feel grateful for is the beauty of nature.

-- Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project, p. 202-203

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Quote of the Day

The more of the details of our daily life we can hand over to the effortless custody of automatism, the more our higher powers of mind will be set free for their own proper work.

-- William James, Psychology: A Briefer Course

Monday, June 2, 2014

Quote of the Day

Women should not have to pry equality from the grip of Christian men.  It should be surrendered willingly, with the humility and love of Jesus, or else we miss the once radical teaching that slaves and masters, parents and children, husbands and wives, rich and poor, healthy and sick, should "submit to one another" (Ephesians 5:21).

-- Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, p. 219

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Quote of the Day

It is not now and never was in anybody's best interest for you to be a seeker.  It's actually in everybody's worst interest.  It's not convenient for the family.  It may make them feel superficial and expendable.  You may end up looking nutty and unfocused, which does not reflect well on them.  And you may also reveal awkward family secrets, like that your parents were insane, or that they probably should have raised Yorkies instead of human children.  Your little search for meaning may keep you from going as far at your school or your company as you might otherwise have gone, if you had had a single-minded devotion to getting ahead.  Success shows the world what you're made of, and that your parents were right to all but destroy you to foster this excellence.

-- Anne Lamott, Stitches, p. 24-25

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Quote of the Day

Music: what so many sentences aspire to be.

-- Mary Oliver, "More Evidence"

Friday, May 30, 2014

Quote of the Day

Usually, when we talk about creativity, it’s about self-expression, which is great, but for work to be art or design, there has to be someone on the other end. The audience makes the work come alive.

-- Austin Kleon, The Great Discontent Interview

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Quote of the Day

Curiosity is one of the permanent and certain characteristics of a vigorous intellect.  Every advance into knowledge opens new prospects, and produces new incitements to farther progress.

-- Samuel Johnson

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Quote of the Day

Nothing will work unless you do.

-- Maya Angelou

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Quote of the Day

In my opinion, the most ordinary things, the most common and familiar, if we could see them in their true light, would turn out to be the grandest miracles . . . and the most marvelous examples.

-- Michel de Montaigne, “On Experience

Monday, May 26, 2014

Quote of the Day

Dreams, books, are each a world; and books, we know,
Are a substantial world, both pure and good:
Round these, with tendrils strong as flesh and blood,
Our pastime and our happiness will grow.

-- William Wordsworth

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Quote of the Day

Public opinion is always more tyrannical towards those who obviously fear it than towards those who feel indifferent to it.

-- Bertrand Russell, Conquest of Happiness

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Quote of the Day

Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no mater how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what's inside you, to make your soul grow.

-- Kurt Vonnegut, Letter to Xavier High School

Friday, May 23, 2014

Quote of the Day

You have to learn to be unafraid when you're a nobody, because you're going to be really fucking afraid when you're a somebody and all the lights are on you.

-- Lady Gaga, The New Yorker

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Quote of the Day

You increase your self-respect when you feel you've done everything you ought to have done, and if there is nothing else to enjoy, there remains that chief of pleasures, the feeling of being pleased with oneself.  A man gets an immense amount of satisfaction from the knowledge of having done good work and of having made the best use of his day, and when I am in this state I find that I thoroughly enjoy my rest and even the mildest forms of recreation.
 
-- Eugene Delacroix

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Quote of the Day

In all creative work, there is a balance between what you want to give the world and what the world needs: if you’re lucky, your work is in the middle. Because of that, I believe that every job has a service element to it. If you want to make creativity your job, you have to think about what your creativity is in service of…What can you contribute?

-- Austin Kleon, The Great Discontent Interview

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Quote of the Day

Feedback is great for telling you what you did wrong.  It's terrible at telling you what you should do next.

-- Phil Libin

Monday, May 19, 2014

Quote of the Day

They always say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.

-- Andy Warhol

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Quote of the Day

Recollect that only when habits of order are formed can we advance to really interesting fields of action -- and consequently accumulate grain on grain of wilful choice like a very miser -- never forgetting how one link dropped undoes an infinite number.

-- William James

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Quote of the Day

I realized I was going to die.  And when that gets into your mind...it utterly changed me...I thought, I'm not going to sit here and wait for things to happen, I'm going to make them happen, and if people think I'm an idiot I don't care.

-- Wayne Coyne

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Quote of the Day

It is salvation if one can step forth from the
clutter of one's mind into that open space --
that almost holy space -- called work.

-- Mary Oliver, "More Evidence"

Monday, May 12, 2014

Quote of the Day

In the biblical narrative, hierarchy enters human relationship as part of the curse, and begins with man's oppression of women -- "your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you" (Genesis 3:16).  But with Christ, hierarchal relationships are exposed for the sham that they are, as the last are made first, the first are made last, the poor are blessed, the meek inherit the earth, and the God of the universe takes the form of a slave.

-- Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, p. 219

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Quote of the Day

But when something ghastly happens, it is not helpful to many people if you say that it's all part of God's perfect plan, or that it's for the highest good of every person in the drama, or that more will be revealed, even if that is all true.  Because at least for me, if someone's cute position minimizes the crucifixion, it's bullshit.  Which I say with love.

-- Anne Lamott, Stitches, p. 8-9

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Quote of the Day

The satisfaction gained from the achievement of a large undertaking is one of the most substantial that life affords.

-- Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project, p. 226

Friday, May 9, 2014

Quote of the Day

Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 24

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Quote of the Day

Life has much uneasiness; that is certain.  Always remember that, and it will never surprise you.

-- James Boswell

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Quote of the Day

It sounds a little extreme, but in this day and age, if your work isn't online, it doesn't exist.  We all have the opportunity to use our voices, to have our say, but so many of us are wasting it.  If you want people to know about what you do and the things you care about, you have to share.

-- Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!, p. 23

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Quote of the Day

And did you feel it, in your heart, how it pertained to everything?
And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?
And have you changed your life?

-- Mary Oliver, "Swan"

Monday, May 5, 2014

Quote of the Day

Biblical passages about wives submitting to their husbands are not, as many Christians assume, rooted in a culture epitomized by June Cleaver's kitchen, but in a culture epitomized by the Greco-Roman household codes, which gave men unilateral authority over their wives, slaves, and children.  As Sharyn Dowd has observed, the apostles "advocated this system not because God had revealed it as the divine will for Christian homes, but because it was the only stable and respectable system anyone knew about.  It was the best the culture had to offer."

-- Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, p. 216-217

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Quote of the Day

The search for meaning will fill you with a sense of meaning.  Otherwise life passes by in about seven weeks, and if you are not paying attention and savoring it as it unfurls, you will wake up one day in deep regret.  It's much better to wake up now in deep regret, desperate not to waste more of your life obsessing and striving for meaningless crap.  Because you will have finally awakened.

-- Anne Lamott, Stitches, p. 87

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Quote of the Day

But whatever your passion might be, happiness research predicts that making time for a passion and treating it as a real priority instead of an "extra" to be fitted in at a free moment (which many people practically never have) will bring a tremendous happiness boost.

-- Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project, p, 223

Friday, May 2, 2014

Quote of the Day

Weigh the true advantages of forgiveness and resentment to the heart.  Then choose.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 22

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Quote of the Day

My experience has been that most really serious creative people I know have very, very routine and not particularly glamorous work habits.

-- John Adams

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Quote of the Day

Find your voice, shout it from the rooftops, and keep doing it until the people that are looking for you find you.

-- Dan Harmon

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Quote of the Day

'Tis curious that we only believe as deep as we live.

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Beauty

Monday, April 28, 2014

Quote of the Day

And when you realize that faith is not static, that it is a living and evolving thing, you look less for so-called "spiritual leaders" to tell you where to go, and more for spiritual companions with whom to travel the long journey.

-- Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, p. 204

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Quote of the Day

Becoming famous is of momentary reward, and then stressfully unimportant, like winning the set of steak knives in Glengarry Glen Ross.

-- Anne Lamott, Stitches, p. 86

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Quote of the Day

Refusing to be happy because someone else is unhappy, though, is a bit like cleaning your plate because babies are starving in India.  Your unhappiness isn't making anyone else happier -- in fact, quite the opposite, given the fact that happier people are more likely to act altruistically.

-- Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project, p. 216

Friday, April 25, 2014

Quote of the Day

Let yourself be open and life will be easier.  A spoon of salt in a glass of water makes the water undrinkable.  A spoon of salt in a lake is almost unnoticed.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 21

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Quote of the Day

Getting the first draft finished is like pushing a peanut with your nose across a very dirty floor.

-- Joyce Carol Oates

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Quote of the Day

You can't find your voice if you don't use it.

-- Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!, p. 20

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Quote of the Day

Everyone once, once only.  Just once and no more.  And we also once.  Never again.  But this having been once, although only once, to have been of the earth, seems irrevocable.

-- Rainer Maria Rilke, Duino Elegies

Monday, April 21, 2014

Quote of the Day

As always, I felt a strange sense of relief upon giving all those amorphous fears a shape and parading them before the public like wild animals on a circus train.  Blogging is an inexpensive form of therapy if you do it right, if you use it to tell the truth about something other than what you had for dinner that night.

-- Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, p. 186

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Quote of the Day

Discipline, I have learned, leads to freedom, and there is meaning in freedom.  If you don't do ritual things in order, the paper doesn't read as well, and you'll be thrown off the whole day.  But when you can sit for a while at your table, reach for your coffee, look out the window at the sky or some branches, then back down at the paper or a book, everything feels right for the moment, which is maybe all we have.

-- Anne Lamott, Stitches, p. 86

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Quote of the Day

There are times in the lives of most of us when we would have given all the world to be as we were but yesterday, though that yesterday had passed over us unappreciated and unenjoyed.

-- William Edward Hartpole Lecky

Friday, April 18, 2014

Quote of the Day

Hatred never ceases by hatred; by love alone is it healed.  This is the ancient and eternal law.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 19

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Quote of the Day

Writers all devise ways to approach that place where they expect to make the contact, where they become the conduit, or where they engage in this mysterious process.

-- Toni Morrison

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Quote of the Day

On the spectrum of creative work, the difference between the mediocre and the good is vast.  Mediocrity is, however, still on the spectrum; you can move from mediocre to good in increments.  The real gap is between doing nothing and doing something.

-- Clay Shirky, Cognitive Surplus

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Quote of the Day

Some people will dislike you for standing firmly by your ideals because they envy you.  Spineless sourpusses can't tolerate another person who does what they fear.  Do not look down upon these people, but rather, aim to inspire them to live on their own terms.
 
-- Jordan Bates, "The Gorgeous Reality of Not Being Liked by Everyone"

Monday, April 14, 2014

Quote of the Day

Like all who search for truth out of fear, I desperately wanted someone else to tell me exactly what to do.

-- Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, p. 181

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Quote of the Day

I love ritual and repetition.  Without them, I would be a balloon with a slow leak.

-- Anne Lamott, Stitches, p. 82

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Quote of the Day

Zest and enthusiasm take energy, humility, and engagement; taking refuge in irony, exercising destructive criticism, or assuming an air of philosophical ennui is less taxing.

-- Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project, p. 216

Friday, April 11, 2014

Quote of the Day

Life is as fleeting as a rainbow, a flash of lightning, a star at dawn.  Knowing this, how can you quarrel?

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 18

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Quote of the Day

I write when the spirit moves me and the spirit moves me every day.

-- William Faulkner

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Quote of the Day

We're all terrified of being revealed as amateurs, but in fact, today it is the amateur -- the enthusiast who pursues her work in the spirit of love (in French, the word means "lover"), regardless of the potential for fame, money, or career -- who often has the advantage over the professional.  Because they have little to lose, amateurs are willing to try anything and share the results.

-- Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!, p. 15

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Quote of the Day

Historically, many of the most loved people were also among the most hated while they were alive.  Jesus Christ, Abraham Lincoln, and John Lennon were all assassinated for spreading messages of love and understanding.  So, I'm suggesting that we'd all be much better off embracing those who will find reason to despise us.  It's so much easier to do this than to waste our lives allowing the faultfinders to dictate our actions.  Moreover, being disliked by people is actually a sign that you're doing something worthwhile.

-- Jordan Bates, "The Gorgeous Reality of Not Being Liked by Everyone"

Monday, April 7, 2014

Quote of the Day

We tend to take whatever's worked in our particular set of circumstances (big family, small family, AP, Ezzo, home school, public school) and project that upon everyone else in the world as the ideal.  We do this, I think, to protect ourselves, to quiet those pesky insecurities that follow us through life, nipping at our heels.  To declare that your way is the only way effectively eliminates any fear that you might be wrong, or at least pushes it below the surface for a time.

-- Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, p. 177-178

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Quote of the Day

[Funky rustic quilts are] improvised, like jazz, where one thing leads to another, without any idea of exactly where the route will lead, except that it will refer to something else maybe already established, or about to be.  Embedded in quilts and jazz are clues to escape and strength, sanctuary and warmth.  The world is always going to be dangerous, and people get badly banged up, but how can there be more meaning than helping one another stand up in a wind and stay warm?

-- Anne Lamott, Stitches, p. 72

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Quote of the Day

There is, indeed, something inexpressibly pleasing in the annual renovation of the world, and the new display of the treasures of nature.

-- Samuel Johnson

Friday, April 4, 2014

Quote of the Day

Though we often live unconsciously, "on automatic pilot," every one of us can learn to be awake.  It just takes practice.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p, 15

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Quote of the Day

If you write a half hour a day it makes a lot of writing by year.

-- Gertrude Stein, Everybody's Autobiography

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Quote of the Day

Give what you have.  To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.

-- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Quote of the Day

The funny thing is -- whether we invest energy into making others like us or not, there will always be people who don't.

-- Jordan Bates, "The Gorgeous Reality of Not Being Liked by Everyone"

Monday, March 31, 2014

Quote of the Day

If Christians have learned anything from our rocky two-thousand-year theological history, it's that we make the most beautiful things ugly when we try to systematize mystery.

-- Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, p. 114

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Quote of the Day

Men and women alike, old and new at teaching, were like aunties or grandparents in their firm patience with me, in their conviction of my worth.  They had a divine curiosity about me -- "Hey, who's in there?  Are you willing to talk straight and find who you actually are, if I keep you company?  Do you want to make friends with your heart?  Here -- start with this poem."  This is who I want to be in the world.  This is who I think we are supposed to be, people who help call forth human beings from deep inside hopelessness.

-- Anne Lamott, Stitches, p. 79

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Quote of the Day

As I became more aware of the preciousness of ordinary life, I was overwhelmed by the desire to capture the floods of moments that passed practically unnoticed.

-- Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project, p. 198

Friday, March 28, 2014

Quote of the Day

Do not blindly believe what others say, even the Buddha.  See for yourself what brings contentment, clarity, and peace.  That is the path for you to follow.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 13

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Quote of the Day

All those I think who have lived as literary men, -- working daily as literary labourers, -- will agree with me that three hours a day will produce as much as a man ought to write.

-- Anthony Trollope, An Autobiography

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Quote of the Day

You don't really find an audience for your work; they find you.  But it's not enough to be good.  In order to be found, you have to be findable.

-- Austin Kleon, Show Your Work!, p. 1-2

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Quote of the Day

Within all of us, there are numerous things we really, deeply wish we could do -- travel the world, start a business, become a singer, etc.  And guess what?  The vast majority of us don't do these things because we're worried about what others will say or think.  We end up sacrificing our selves and our dreams to try to appease those around us.  What a shame.

-- Jordan Bates, "The Gorgeous Reality of Not Being Liked by Everyone"

Monday, March 24, 2014

Quote of the Day

Both husbands and wives bear the sweet responsibility of seeking beauty in one another at all stages of life.  No one gets off the hook because the other is wearing sweatpants or going bald or carrying a child or battling cancer.  Any pastor who claims the Bible says otherwise is lying.  End of story.

-- Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, p. 106

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Quote of the Day

When we try to see a damaged person as one of God's regular old customers, instead of a lost cause, it takes the pressure off everybody.  We can then loosen our death grip on the person, which usually results in progress for everyone, also known in certain circles as grace.

-- Anne Lamott, Stitches, p. 67-68

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Quote of the Day

I have built my entire life around loving music, and I surround myself with it.  I'm always racing to catch up on my next favorite song.  But I never stop playing my mixes.  Every fan makes them.  The times you lived through, the people you shared those times with -- nothing brings it all to life like an old mix tape.  It does a better job of storing up memories than actual brain tissue can do.  Every mix tape tells a story.  Put them together, and they add up to the story of a life. 

-- Rob Sheffield, Love Is a Mix Tape, p. 26

Friday, March 21, 2014

Quote of the Day

The heart is like a garden.  It can grow compassion or fear, resentment or love.  What seeds will you plant there?

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 11

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Quote of the Day

Routine, in an intelligent man, is a sign of ambition.

-- W. H. Auden

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Quote of the Day

Be so good they can't ignore you.

-- Steve Martin

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Quote of the Day

When we act in such a way that eliminates criticism, we also eliminate many, many possible lifestyles, actions, and directions from our realm of possibility.  We become slaves to that which we believe others will approve.

-- Jordan Bates, "The Gorgeous Reality of Not Being Liked by Everyone"

Monday, March 17, 2014

Quote of the Day

So for all of its complexity and incongruity, its mysteries and its dark stories, the Bible consistently presents us with a realistic and affirming view of female beauty.  The writers of ancient Scripture seemed to acknowledge what all women instinctively know -- that our bodies change as we get older, as we bear children, when we get sick, as as we experience joy, pain, life, death, victory, heartache, and time.  And frankly, the suggestion that men are too weak to handle these realities is as emasculating as it is unbiblical.

-- Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, p. 105

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Quote of the Day

It is most comfortable to be invisible, to observe life from a distance, at one with our own intoxicating superior thoughts.  But comfort and isolation are not where the surprises are.  They are not where hope is.  Hope tends to appear when we see that all sorts of disparate personalities can come together, no matter how different and jarring they may seem at first.

-- Anne Lamott, Stitches, p. 55-56

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Quote of the Day

A sense of growth is so important to happiness that it's often preferable to be progressing to the summit rather than to be at the summit.

-- Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project, p. 178

Friday, March 14, 2014

Quote of the Day

Our own worst enemy cannot harm us as much as our unwise thoughts.  No one can help us as much as our own compassionate thoughts.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 7

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Quote of the Day

Who can unravel the essence, the stamp of the artistic temperament!  Who can grasp the deep, instinctual fusion of discipline and dissipation on which it rests! 

-- Thomas Mann, Death in Venice

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Quote of the Day

Creativity is not a talent.  It is a way of operating.

-- John Cleese

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Quote of the Day

Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.  I use the word "love" here not merely in the personal sense but as a state of being, or a state of grace -- not in the infantile American sense of being made happy but in the tough and universal sense of quest and daring and growth.

-- James Baldwin

Monday, March 10, 2014

Quote of the Day

While young love is certainly celebrated in the Bible, particularly in Song of Songs, there is nothing in Scripture to suggest that a woman is expected to maintain a youthful appearance throughout all phases of life.  Nowhere does the Bible teach that a woman shares responsibility for her husband's infidelity because she "let herself go."  And nowhere does it teach that outer beauty reflects inner beauty.

-- Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, p. 105

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Quote of the Day

I also learned that you didn't come into this earth as a perfectionist or control freak.  You weren't born a person of cringe and contraction.  You were born as energy, as life, made of the same stuff as stars, blossoms, breezes.  You learned contraction to survive, but that was then.  You have paid through the nose -- paid but good.  It is now your turn to reap.

-- Anne Lamott, Stitches, p. 34

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Quote of the Day

Fun is energizing.  But I have to admit it -- being Gretchen and accepting my true likes and dislikes bring me a kind of sadness ... It makes me sad for two reasons.  First, it makes me sad to realize my limitations.  The world offers so much! -- so much beauty, so much fun, and I am unable to appreciate most of it.  But it also makes me sad because, in many ways, I wish I were different.  One of my Secrets of Adulthood is "You can choose what you do; you can't choose what you like to do."  I have a lot of notions about what I wish I liked to do, about the subjects and occupations that I wish interested me.  But it doesn't matter what I wish I were like.  I am Gretchen.

-- Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project, p. 122

Friday, March 7, 2014

Quote of the Day

Every wakeful step, every mindful act is the direct path to awakening.  Wherever you go, there you are.

-- Jack Kornfield, Buddha's Little Instruction Book, p. 6

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Quote of the Day

A lot of straight people move through life following a script that others wrote for them.  And many straight people only realize that they didn't want to settle down or have kids or marry the kind of person they married until it's too late (i.e., until after they've married and had kids with someone their parents like a lot more than they do).

-- Dan Savage, American Savage, p. 126

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Quote of the Day

When you share your taste and your influences, have the guts to own all of it. Don’t give in to the pressure to self-edit too much. Don’t be the lame guys at the record store arguing over who’s the more “authentic” punk rock band. Don’t try to be hip or cool. Being open and honest about what you like is the best way to connect with people who like those things, too.

-- Austin Kleon, "No More Guilty Pleasures"

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Quote of the Day

Some pastors and churches resent the fact that the world is becoming more sensitive to abuse, rape, sexism, victims and control.  A church can flourish in so many ways under the domination of a controlling pastor.  I've seen it.  But when all of a sudden we need to be careful about how we treat others... with mutual respect, dignity and compassion... and that we must allow others their freedoms and rights... and that we cannot use people for our own ends or even the ends of a noble cause... and that there are real victims out there... and that sexism is alive and well throughout our cultures and churches... and... well... you get my point.  For many people it's becoming annoying and complicated, kind of like peanut allergies.

-- David Hayward, "how some churches manage the accusation of abuse"

Monday, March 3, 2014

Quote of the Day

Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else.

-- Judy Garland

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Quote of the Day

What saved me was that I found gentle, loyal and hilarious companions, which is at the heart of meaning: maybe we don't find a lot of answers to life's tougher questions, but if we find a few true friends, that's even better.

-- Anne Lamott, Stitches, p. 33-34

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Quote of the Day

When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.

-- C. S. Lewis, "On Three Ways of Writing for Children"