Assorted Thoughts and Quotes

“Because she wants to feel rescued, Thomas. And she wants to feel chosen. As much as you are desperate to be chosen. We all are. Elyon chooses us. He rescues us and protects us and woos us and, yes, lavishes love on us. This is the Great Romance. And this is how you will win Rachelle’s heart.”

This quote from Ted Dekker’s Black is an incredible and wonderful reminder of how God treats us. The allegorical quality of The Circle Trilogy has been nothing short of amazing to and for me. Maybe it’s only because of my age and immaturity at this point, but the idea of physically dying at the point of salvation instead of metaphorically made a great impact on me. There are many other points in the trilogy in which I cried because of the allegory.

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What is church to you? A building? Your home church building? Do you go to church every Sunday morning, night, and Wednesday evening? I’m sure you know what I’m getting at. However, I like reminding myself (and others — share the wealth, you know ;)) that we only meet as a church in a building. We go to a building to have church. We don’t go to church. The body of Christ (comprised of all believers, regardless of denomination) is the church (Colossians 1:24). If you belong to a family which are all believers, you are “at church” as long as you are with one. This is why I’d really like to change our terminology. We should no longer have “Such-and-such Church”, rather find a word which better suits a meeting-place for a church gathering.  Instead of calling it “Wednesday night Bible study”, “Wednesday night church-gathering”. Do you see my point? If more people realized we are the church, less people would consider “going to church” making them a good person.

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It is probably impossible to love a human being simply ‘too much.’ We may love him too much in proportion to our love for God; but it is the smallness of our love for God, not the greatness of our love for the man, that constitutes the inordinacy.

From The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis, I learned a lot about human nature and how natural and how beautiful love is. It really set me at ease to love somebody until it hurt. It encouraged me to reach out to people I hardly knew and love them. Since reading this gem of a book, I have been known to break down and cry (in the privacy of my home) out of concern for dear friends. I have cried with hurting friends as they struggle through tough times. I have been able to bare my heart and feel raw love for people. This may sound like a romanticization of a teenage girl’s imagination, but it’s true. And I’m here to tell you today that it’s not easy. I don’t want to love certain people. I will be ridiculed and misunderstood for loving certain people. It’s near impossible some days to love a particular person. But by the grace of God, I am learning. Nothing but His love can fuel my love.

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Reader, you must know that an interesting fate (sometimes involving rats, sometimes not) awaits almost everyone, mouse or man, who does not conform.

Conforming is not a theology often taught in the circles I run in. The opposite is usually the topic of conversation. I have made many proud in the ways that I have not conformed and made some very angry with the ways I have conformed. Romans 12:2 tells us not to conform to this world. Does this mean reject everything about the world? Reject brand-name clothing? Reject anything not recorded under a Christian label? I would argue, no, of course not. The ideology of being in the world, not of it is found in John 17:14-16,18 (thanks, Chris :P). It is something Christ lived while on earth. He was in this world, wearing culturally acceptable clothes, listening to culturally acceptable music, going to cultural events, hanging out with the culture, but instead of being of it, He changed it. He made waves, He brought redemption. Obviously, we cannot bring the same redemption He brought in the same way. However, we can present it to the world. We can show them why Christ is not just a prophet, He changes lives. He changed my life, He changed yours. And He can change the punk in school, the girlfriend who finds her identity in the football player who finds his identity in football. We cannot limit God. We cannot put Him in a box. Therefore, we cannot limit ourselves, we cannot put ourselves in a box.

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Often believers see Christianity as an experience to add on to normal life rather than something that is at the core of their existence. Understandably, those who give little, receive little when it comes to spiritual fulfillment.

I think I’ll leave this quote from You Are Not Your Own by Jason Perry by itself. It packs a whole lot of punch on its own.

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We make time for what we truly value. We build habits and routines around the things that really matter to us. This is an important principle to understand as we seek to build our lives around the gospel. Do you want a cross centered life?

A cross centered life is made up of cross centered days.

The 70-ish-page book by C.J. Mahaney, The Cross-Centered Life, was worth the short time it took to read it. This single quote tied it up nicely. It’s true, we make time for what is important to us. What do you have the most time for? Is it most important to you? Do you need to re-evaluate your priorities? I know I do.

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The cross is the blazing fire at which the flame of our love is kindled, but we have to get near enough to it for its sparks to fall on us.

John Stott is right. The closer I am to Christ in my walk (effected daily by my choices and attitude) the more I feel loved and the more I love others. Draw near to the cross. You will find someone you may have never met — the real you. It is almost guaranteed to be frightening, but it will change your life. Allow the saving grace of the cross to show you who you are and who Christ wants you to be. Allow your life to be bared, volunteer to be vulnerable. You can trust God with your heart. Or can’t you?

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~ by neverxxforsaken on August 31, 2009.

One Response to “Assorted Thoughts and Quotes”

  1. Two thoughts: “In the world not of it” does not appear in the Bible verbatim, but it is a condensation of what is said in John 17 (especially verses 11, 15 and 16). There is a good reason people keep saying it, though some abuse it.

    Concerning the church, I just learned that GoDaddy hired a new “girl” to work for them. As a company they make a big deal about how some of their ads are “too hot” to be aired even during the Superbowl (and she is a model for these types of ads). Lots of immoral stuff is done. This new hire is the daughter of a pastor and she brags about her family’s church life. I would certainly not say that this woman is having church at work because she talks to others who call themselves “Christians.” Just a disclaimer. 🙂

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