25.4.20

A Bunch of Great Quotes

If I'm wanting to archive the great words of someone else, why not do it in a public place.  We'll tack the following on to the old list of "Quotables" on the right sidebar link:


"Despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt.  We do not." - Gandalf (JRR Tolkien)

"A man who will not help or support others unless he can do so without affecting his safety or his property will never help his neighbor.  He will always reckon with the possibility that doing so will bring some disadvantage and damage, danger and loss.  No neighbor can live alongside another without risk to his safety, property, wife, or child."  - Martin Luther

"The whole Church is needed to receive God's whole revelation in all its beauty and richness." - The Lausanne Covenant

"We must not equate salvation with political liberation, yet the message of salvation implies judgment upon alienation, oppression and discrimination.  Salvation is deliverance from evil; implicit in God's desire to save people from evil is his judgment on the evil from which he saves them.  God hates evil and injustice." - The Lausanne Covenant

"[But] he's as God made him," said the marquis.  "He's not as God will make him," returned Malcolm.  - George MacDonald

Life is to be measured by the amount of interest and not the amount of ease it it, for the more ease the more unrest.  - George MacDonald

Sorrow is noble and gracious.  It enlarges the soul until the soul is capable of mourning and rejoicing simultaneously, of feeling the world's pain and hoping for the world's healing at the same time.  - Jerry Sittser

Better to give up my quest for control and live in hope.  - Jerry Sittser

I am in the throes of being born again.  - Ignatius of Antioch

In a world of fugitives, the person taking the opposite direction will appear to run away.  - TS Eliot

The church exists to set up in the world a new sign which is radically dissimilar to the world's own manner and which contradicts it in a way which is full of promise.  - Karl Barth

This life, therefore, is not righteousness but growth in righteousness, not health but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise.  We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it; the process is not yet finished but it is going on; this is not the end but it is the road.  All does not yet gleam in glory but all is being purified.  - Martin Luther

Doubt seems more like forgetfulness than unbelief.  - Philip Yancey

Any redemption that fails to take such evil into account is no redemption at all.  - Diane Langberg

The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice.  - Martin Luther King Jr.

The sun pours down on the east, on the lovely land that man cannot enjoy.  He knows only the fear of his heart.  - Alan Paton

The good are vulnerable
As any bird in flight...
The good incline to praise,
To have the knack of seeing that
The best is not destroyed
Although forever threatened.
- Brendan Kennelly

Lord, send us forth into the day to rejoice in all things, to trust you in all circumstances, and to proclaim your coming kingdom to all people.  Amen.  - Common Prayer (June 8)

Beware of world changers - they have not yet learned the true meaning of sin.  - Andy Crouch

Joy is the echo of God's life in us.  - Columba of Iona

What is most needed in our time are Christians who are deeply serious about cultivating and creating but who wear that seriousness lightly - who are not desperately trying to change the world but who also wake up every morning eager to create.  The worst thing we could do is follow that familiar advice to "pray as if it all depended on God, and work as if it all depended on you."  Rather, we need to become people who work as if it all depends of God - because it dose, and because that is the best possible news.  - Andy Crouch

No man can give the impression that he himself is clever and that Christ is might to save.  - James Denney

The final secret, I think, is this: that the words "you shall love the Lord your God" become in the end less of a command than a promise.  - Frederick Buechner

Keep our frailty before us, Lord: that we might set our hearts on you.  - Common Prayer (Jan 17)

Lord, this is the day that you have made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it, even as we know it will bring more than we can do.  Amen.  - Common Prayer (Jan 19)

Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?  - Isaiah 2:22

Hound us Lord with affection and conviction until we renounce all lesser things to follow you.  - Common Prayer

If even our exile be so full, what must our fullness be?  - Robert Farrar Capon

It is the ordinary that groans with the unutterable weight of glory.  - Robert Farrar Capon

One real thing is closer to God than all the diagrams in the world.  - Robert Farrar Capon

Oneness is not unity.  It is what we do in the face of our differences.  - Paul Tripp

Unless we sit in adoration of you, we will forget whom we serve and for what purpose.  - Common Prayer (Jan 24)

Nor should we look at earlier times of spiritual ministry in our lives that we'll never be capable of that again.  You weren't capable of it the first time.  It was God.  And he is still there.  - Timothy Keller

It is a sin to be less than joyful at what God has done in our lives.  - Timothy Keller

Make my words honest, few, wise, and kind.  - Timothy Keller

We are to be characterized by patience and longing.  Hope in God and in his promise means being able to wait patiently, trusting that fallow ground is never dormant.  - Tish Harrison Warren

As we get to know Jesus, we learn to expect what we cannot yet see.  - Bethany Ferguson

We must know, then, what we are, and that it is not of ourselves that we are what we are.  Unless we know this thoroughly, either we shall not glory at all, or our glorying will be vain.  - Bernard of Clairvaux

2.1.20

The 10 Best Books I Read in 2019


This year, I decided to keep a list of the books that I read.  The primary advantage of this was not knowing how many books I read (which I imagine would just encourage the reading of short books, thus missing out on some great long reads), but rather a chance to look back and consider the best books that I encountered.  So, because sharing a good read is always a worthy task, I give you the 10 best books I read in 2019 (in the order that I read them, not as a ranking).

1. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah.  
Trevor's storytelling is not only hilarious, but incredibly valuable as a way to see race relations up close and personal, but (since he's mostly talking about South Africa) not so personal that you can't hear what he's saying.
 

2. The Sacrifice of Africa by Emmanuel Katangole.  
I love reading Africans who are way smarter than me, and Katangole is a joy in that regard.  This Ugandan priest tackles the question of why the Christianization of Africa hasn't transformed African societies like it seems that it should have.  The positive examples that he gives are tremendous, and his treatment of the subject is brilliant.

3. So Brave, Young, and Handsome by Leif Enger.  
Though the title rings of a paperback romance, this beautiful novel is simply a great, American adventure story.

4. Culture Making by Andy Crouch.  
My favorite quote from this one: "What is most needed in our time are Christians who are deeply serious about cultivating and creating but who wear that seriousness lightly - who are not desperately trying to change the world but who also wake up every morning eager to create.  The worst thing we could do is follow that familiar advice to "pray as if it all depended on God, and work as if it all depended on you."  Rather, we need to become people who work as if it all depends on God - because it does, and because that is the best possible news."

5. On Loving God by Bernard of Clairvaux.  
I love being able to read words from 900 years ago, and find them so relatable even today.  A short book that anyone can download for free.  "We must know, then, what we are, and that it is not of ourselves that we are what we are.  Unless we know this thoroughly, either we shall not glory at all, or our glorying will be vain."

6. Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton.  
This is the only book here that was a re-read for me.  I loved it the first time, but wanted to re-read it prior to heading to South Africa this summer.  There is simply a beautiful mix of poetry, story, and social concern woven throughout that is hard to find replicated elsewhere.


7. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey.  
I loved Ivey's At the Bright Edge of the World last year, and so I thought I would read Ivey's first book, which had been a finalist for the Pulitzer.  They are both Alaskan novels (which makes it a bit special for me, I suppose), and they both have a wonderful magical realism.


8. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.  This one is thanks to Rachel.  I hear there is a movie, but haven't seen it.  The novel, at any rate, is about as fun as dystopia can get.


9. The Golden Key by George MacDonald, illustrated by Ruth Sanderson.  Diane Telian gave us this one.  The story is a typically beautiful fairy tale from MacDonald.  The illustrations from Sanderson are gorgeous and worth hanging on a wall to ponder.  The whole story can be read in a couple hours, preferably on a lazy Sunday afternoon, where it's beauty can be properly and leisurely enjoyed.


10. Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson.  I've been trying to decide whether this book would have the same appeal for someone who is not a long-time Andrew Peterson fan like myself.  I'm still not sure, but the book is certainly more than a fan read.  Peterson has fantastic wisdom for the creative process in the world, which it turns out, touches most of our relationships.


BONUS:  Given Rachel and I's longtime goal of reading all the Newbery medal winners and ranking them, we can say a word here at the 2019 winner Mercy Suarez Changes Gear.  Nice story, fairly typical coming of age tale, this time set in a fun Cuban-American family in Florida.  Though it beats Hello Universe from the year prior, it's hard to see what made it stand out to win the medal.  Hoping for something great in 2020.