A collection of thoughts and quotes from things I am reading, learning, and experiencing….  It will probably only make sense to me, but here they are.

July 29, 2014

“The Father that Jesus addresses in the garden is the one that he has known all his life and found to be bountiful in his provision, reliable in his promises and utterly faithful in his love. He can obey the will that sends him to the cross, with hope and expectation because it is the will of Abba whose love has been so proved that it can now be trusted so fully by being obeyed so completely. This is not legal obedience driven by commandment, but trusting response to known love.”

[O]ur relationship to the Father is a ‘trusting response to known love.’ Jesus knew he was loved by his Father and was therefore able to trust him through the pain. The reason Jesus could trust God in his darkest hour is because he had lived closely with his good and beautiful Father for all eternity. I now see how love that has been proved can be trusted even when things don’t make sense. So when I encounter a world full of tsunamis and child molesters, airplane crashes and methadone-addicted moms, I don’t try to force myself to say all is well. Rather, I say, “Jesus trusted his Abba, and I will also trust in the God I know to be good.” The Good and Beautiful God – James Bryan Smith (quoting Thomas Smail)


June 2, 2014

“But God has put this Word into the mouth of men in order that it may be communicated to other men. When one person is struck by the Word, he speaks it to others. God has willed that we should seek and find His living Word in the witness of a brother, in the mouth of man. Therefore, the Christian needs another Christian who speaks God’s Word to him. He needs him again and again when he becomes uncertain and discouraged, for by himself he cannot help himself without belying the truth. He needs his brother man as a bearer and proclaimer of the divine word of salvation. He needs his brother solely because of Jesus Christ. The Christ in his own heart is weaker than the Christ in the word of his brother; his own heart is uncertain, his brother’s is sure.

And that also clarifies the goal of all Christian community: they meet one another as bringers of the message of salvation. As such, God permits them to meet together and gives them community.”   – Life Together p22 Dietrich Bonhoeffer

May 15, 2014

(I’ve read a bunch of things and found a bunch of quotes that I have neglected to put here… I need to catch up)

“The kind of work God usually calls you to is the kind of work that you need most to do and that the world most needs to have done….The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” -Frederick Buechner

February 21, 2014

bell hooks Belonging, A culture of place

“Hearing the same story makes it impossible to forget.”p3

culture of belonging – when there is “intimate connection with the land to which one belongs, empathic relationship to animals, self-restraint, custodial conservation, deliberateness, balance, expressiveness, generosity, egalitarianism, mutuality, affinity for alternative modes of knowing, playfulness, inclusiveness, nonviolent conflict resolution and openness to spirit.” P13

“Living away from my native place I become more consciously Kentuckian than I was when I lived at home. This is what the experience of exile can do, change your mind, utterly transform one’s perception of the world of home.”p13

“life is full of peaks and valleys, triumphs and tribulations. We often cause ourselves suffering, by wanting to live in a world of valleys, a world without struggle and difficulty, a world that is flat, plain, consistent.” “We resist acknowledging that our constants exist within a framework where everything is always changing.”

“When we are able to face the reality of highs and lows embracing both as necessary for our full development and self-actualization, we can feel that interior well-being that is the foundation of inner peace.”p25

“[Grandmother] too would walk with pride among the rows and rows of growing vegetables showing us what the earth will give when tended lovingly.” P35 (Makes me think of discipleship and the communityof the church)

P45 from Booker T. Washington quote: “Go out and be a center, a life-giving center, as it were, to a whole community, when the opportunity comes, when you may give life where there is no life, hope where there is no hope, power where there is no power. Begin in a humble way, and work to build up institutions that will put black people on their feet.”

August 30, 2013 “Freedom is a word that can express the highest idealism and the crassest selfishness.” from Freedom and the Contemporary Crisis – Bauckham

“God has refused our refusal to be  a people of God.” Stanley Hauerwas

“God has made us a people of promise in a world of impatience.” Stanley Hauerwas

“He became what we are, that we might become what he himself is.” Irenaeus

“Such a radical disease could be met only by the most sovereign of remedies: the reunion of God and man, of creature and Creator, was the only means of reconstituting an authentic creaturehood.” -Alasdair Heron – Homoousios

July 16, 2013 “I do not always feel like a child of God. I do not always look like a child of God. God knows I do not always act like a child of God! But I am. I am one of God’s children not because of what I did or because of who I am but because God chose me…I am owned.” From Will Willimon – Remember Who You Are

June 27, 2013 “The question is not, “Are we doing more?” but, “Are we accomplishing more?”  “What would be different if the mission were accomplished?”   “I will do _______so that________will happen.”  “The essential element for fruitful church leadership is teh discernment and implementation of God’s vision for a community of faith at a particular time in their journey.”   “Leadership is helping God’s people take the next faithful step.” –Scott Cormode    Bearing Fruit – Lovett H. Weems Jr. and Tom Berlin

June 5, 2013 “The surprise you will discover is that you will not change Africa, my dear. No Africa will change you. The key is for you to discover what you love to do, what you were created to do, then do it for the people around you with love. That is the abundant life, dear girl, no matter where in the world you live.”  from a book Jill is reading – Finally and Forever (Katie Weldon Series) by Robin Jones Gunn

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” – african proverb

March 21, 2013 “Faith is trust and loyalty to God and God’s cause.” Allen Verhey lecture

March 4, 2013 ” True love is the gift that Father Rutilio Grande gives us in his death with the two campesinos. The Church loves in this same way and, through the deceased, presents us with the transcendence of the Kingdom. The Church loves them and it should be pointed out that it was at the time when Father Grande walked among the people, proclaiming the message of salvation and the Mass, that he was shot down. A priest with his campesinos, walking to meet his people, to identify himself with them, to live with them — this is an inspiration of love and not revolution. It is an inspiration of love because love is what inspires us, my sisters and brothers. Who knows if those responsible for this criminal act and who have been excommunicated are listening to the radio in their hideout and hearing these words? My dear criminals, we want to tell you that we love you and we ask God to pour forth repentance into your hearts. The Church is incapable of hatred. The Church has no enemies. Its only enemies are those who declare themselves as such. But even these she loves and dies like Jesus, saying to them: Father, forgive them, they know not what they do (h).”

February 25, 2013 “Through baptism people are called into becoming disciples of Jesus. Baptism is no human act or decision, but a gift of grace. Through baptism the one who is baptized is made to partake of the entire fullness of the divine promse and the reality of the forgiveness of sins.” Gerhard Friedrich (translated by Bosch)

February 17, 2013 “He confines us to the place where we have grown up and calls us to serve the nearest neighbor to whom we do not have to travel more than a thousand yards.” Bosch talking about what Philip Nicolai from the 1500s thought about missions.

“The power of the church is the power of prayer – a seemingly impotent force in the face of Herod’s legions.” Willimon’s commentary on Acts

“Whatever the mission to the gentiles means, it does not mean getting names on a membership roll. It means winning disciples for the apostolic faith in Jesus. In Acts being a Christian is clearly a matter of having experienced the presence of the risen Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. But it is also a matter of having the facts, understanding. … Christianity is a religion to be discussed, learned, debated, and taught.” Willimon’s commentary on Acts

“Here is a faith so strange, so against the grain of our natural inclination, that only by careful instruction and long-term nurture can it be apprehended in the lives of those who would believe.” Willimon’s commentary on Acts

“Whatever the Gospel is about, it is about change of mind and life.” Willimon’s commentary on Acts

“The church, even in its most trying times, may take heart, knowing that all is not left up to us nor is the community of faith our sole creation.” Willimon’s commentary on Acts

“Conversion is adoption into a family” Willimon’s commentary on Acts

February 7, 2013 [[short version: Contrary to the gospel we think our good and bad behavior will determine God’s attitude toward us.]] “The risky element in the analogy of law is its implication that our good or evil behavior will determine God’s attitude toward us. Quite naturally (and quite contrary to the gospel) when we construe our moral performance as obedience to God’s law or as violation of divine law, we infer that God will cherish and bless those who submit, and that God will take offense at those who take the law into their own hands. But Jesus who dies for those that kill him reveals a love that defies defiance  that is persistent to the point of wrathlessness, that is determined to cherish us quite beyond our ability to alienate him.” -James Tunstead Burtchaell

February 5, 2013 “Jesus never taught His disciples how to preach, only how to pray.” quote is from Andrew Murray in With Christ in the School of Prayer (I read the quote from Building a Discipling Culture)

“God is very close and yet he is very different.” Mike Breen and Steve Cockram Building a Discipling Culture

February 3, 2013 “If everything is mission, nothing is mission.” – Stephen Neill

“The deep significance for mission of the kingdom in our world today is that God’s kingdom is established wherever the Lord Jesus Christ is present. And this begins with our proclamation  In other words, wherever God’s people proclaim Jesus, the Kingdom is being ushered in and therefore demons shudder, satanic strongholds are pulled down, evil structures are challenged and men and women are liberated. God’s power needs to be demonstrated through our proclamation. ”           “While there is a need to renew our allegiance to proclaim the word faithfully, there is a greater need to flesh the message out in acts that express this kingdom. Proclamation is urgent, but demonstration is the priority.”  Ken Gnanakan

“Ignoring isn’t the same as ignorance, you have to work at it.” – Margaret Atwood

January 30, 2013 : “Love does not question; it gives an answer. Love does not think; it knows. Love does not hesitate; it acts. Love does not fall into raptures; it is ready to undertake responsibilities. Love puts behind it all the Ifs and Buts, all the conditions, reservations, obscurities and uncertainties that may arise between a man and a woman. Love is not only affinity and attraction; it is union. Love makes these two persons indispensable to each other. Love compels them to be with each other.”  – Karl Barth Church Dogmatics III/4 p221

January 16, 2013 “We serve a God for whom there are no giants.” Keith Sexton FUMC Elon

January 16, 2013 “The scriptures declare that God…is the chief evangelist.” from an article by Stephen B. Chapman and Laceye C. Warner “Jonah and the Imitation of God: Rethinking Evangelism and the Old Testament”

January 16, 2013 Need for Moral Discourse in the church – Instead of using moral discourse to figure out the right action for a church many times church leaders rely on “the persuasive power of personality to bring support to some moral judgment or cause that the minister in his isolation has decided is worthy of loyalty and action. Ministers are often unwilling to enter discourse; they prefer to come to conclusions without its benefit, and then seek in pulpit or in one-to-one relations to bring men to their own point of view…. this sets the minister up as the isolated intellect, assures him of freedom from the anxiety of public alteration of his opinions, and if he is successful feeds his ego-needs.”  James Gustafson The Church as Moral Decision-Maker

January 14, 2013 Summary of THE NARRATIVE  “The God of Israel, the creator of the world, has acted (astoundingly) to rescue a lost and broken world through the death and resurrection of Jesus; the full scope of that rescue is not yet apparent, but God has created a community of witnesses to this good news, the church. While awaiting the grand conclusion of the story, the church, empowered by the Holy Spirit, is called to reenact the loving obedience of Jesus Christ and thus to serve as a sign of God’s redemptive purpose for the world.”

He goes on to paint three major images/metaphors that connect and overlap that can help us see the stories of the bible as narrating the major story. Community, Cross, and New Creation Richard B. Hays The Moral Vision of the New Testament