Butterfly Sparks Designs

Sunday, September 23, 2007

...i like blue like jazz...still....

another weekend home with the girls with steve gone. he's in the mountains of new mexico speaking at the texas tech wesley fall retreat. (lucky dog). he's wearing a hoodie in crisp fall air while we are staying inside at home, avoiding temperatures in the 90's.
the girls and i skipped church this morning. sara hasn't slept well the past two nights- she's fighting a cold- so i figured it would be fun to have a relaxing morning at home. just the girls. so, while the girls and i were sitting around looking at books i grabbed blue like jazz by donald miller off the shelf. it's been a while since i've read it, but i really do adore this book. don miller's perspective is interesting, and he challenges me. and that is always good, albeit painful at times.
here are some of my favorite excerpts from the book- may you reflect and be challenged yourself!
p.s. if you haven't read this book, go get it now

p.110 "Andrew is the one who taught me that what I believe is not what I say I believe; what I believe is what I do."
p. 111 "Andrew would say that dying for something is easy because it is associated with glory. Living for something, Andrew would say, is the hard thing. Living for something extends beyond fashion, glory, or recognition. We live for what we believe, Andrew would say."
p. 112 " I am learning to believe better things. I am learning to believe that other people exist, that fashion is not truth; rather, Jesus is the most important figure in history, and the gospel is the most powerful force in the universe. I am learning not to be passionate about empty things, but to cultivate passion for justice, grace, truth, and communicate the idea that Jesus likes people and even loves them."
p.132 "Jesus taught that we are all bad and He is good, and He wants to rescue us because there is a war going on and we are hostages in that war. The truth is we are supposed to love the hippies, the liberals, and even the Democrats, and that God wants us to think of them as more important than ourselves. Anything short of this is not true to the teachings of Jesus."
p.182 "The most difficult lie I have ever contended with is this: Life is a story about me."
p. 185 "If we are not willing to wake up in the morning and die to ourselves, perhaps we should ask ourselves whether or not we are really following Jesus."
p. 203 "I love how the Gospels start, with John the Baptist eating bugs and baptizing people. The religious people started getting baptized because it had become popular, and John yells at them and calls them snakes. He says the water won't do anything for them, it will only get their snakeskins wet. But if they meant it, if they had faith that Jesus was coming and was real, then Jesus would ignite the kingdom life within them. I love that because for so long religion was my false gospel. But there was no magic in it, no wonder, no awe, no kingdom life burning in my chest. And when I get tempted by that same stupid Christian religion, I go back to the beginning of the Gospels and am comforted that there is something more than the emptiness of ritual. God will ignite the kingdom life within me, the Bible says. That's mysticism. It isn't a formula that I am figuring out. It is something God does."
p. 216 "I was tired of biblical ethic being used as a tool with which to judge people rather than heal them."
p. 216 " On the other hand, however, I felt by loving liberal people, I mean by really endorsing their existence, I was betraying the truth of God because I was encouraging them in their lives apart from God. I felt like there was this war going on between us, the Christians, and them, the homosexuals and environmentalists and feminists. By going to a Unitarian church and truly loving those people, I was helping them, I was giving joy to their life and that didn't feel right. It was a terrible place to be. This was, at that time, my primary problem with Christian faith. With all its talk about pure love, in the end it shook down to conditional love. Again, this is a provocative statement, but I want to walk you through the emotional process I went through. How could I merge the culture of the woods and the Unitarian church with Christian culture and yet not abandon the truth of Scripture? How could I love my neighbor without endorsing what, I truly believed, was unhealthy spirituality?"
p. 220 "Nobody will listen to you unless they sense that you like them. If a person senses that you do not like them, that you do not approve of their existence, then your religion and your political ideas will all seem wrong to them. If they sense that you like them, then they are open to what you have to say."
p. 221 "I loved the fact that it wasn't my responsibility to change somebody, that it was God's, that my part was just to communicate love and approval."

p. 176 "I didn't know what to think about the idea of living in comunity at first. I had lived on my own for about six years, and the idea of moving in with a bunch of slobs didn't appeal to me. Living in community sounded so, um, odd. Cults do that sort of thing, you know. First you live in community, and then you drink punch and die."


lindsay said...

i love this book!

"then you drink punch and die." Michael has a phrase like that for when people just buy into an idea without thinking about it. He calls it "drinking the Kool-Aid." Makes me laugh every time I hear it. :-)

ManUtd17 said...

I just finished that book for the first time a few weeks ago. Really enjoyed it. I should read it again though because I took forever to get through it reading a chapter here and there.

John Mitchell said...

love the quotes ... so convicting too ... hope you are well!