That’s Quotable

Hello.  My name is Lisa and I’m a quote junky.

I was having a conversation with someone not long ago and we became friends instantly when we both learned we read with a highlighter.  In fact, I don’t read unless I have a highlighter.  How else will I find that really cool thing someone said that I may want to refer to later?  In addition to all the coloring I’ll also often make myself a couple of notes of when the thought would be helpful again, i.e., if the quote is about prayer, love, etc. I’ll write that in the margin to make it easier to find.  All this drives Luke nuts because most of this scribbling is taking place in his books because his library is much cooler than mine.

So I’m reading several different books right now and wanted to pitch out some things that have been thought-provoking for me:

From R.C. Sproul’s, The Holiness of God (25th Anniversary Edition, Ligonier Ministries, 2010):

Confirmation that I’m justified in my neurotic need to always, always capitalize the pronouns of God:

“Because God is infinitely holy, I can not bring myself to refer to Him as ‘him,’ even though my younger readers may be bothered by what they perceive to be an outdated use of capital letters.  To me it is a gesture of awe and respect for a holy God.” p. 26

After Isaiah’s Chapter Six encounter with a Holy God:

  “Isaiah could still speak in terms of ‘I’. He still had an identity.  He still had a personality. Far from God seeking to destroy the ‘self’ as many distortions of Christianity would claim, God redeems the self. He heals the self so that it may be useful and fulfilled in the mission to which the person is called.  Isaiah’s personality was overhauled but not annihilated. (emphasis mine)  He was still Isaiah ben Amoz when he left the temple. He was the same person, but his mouth was clean.” p. 41

(There are many more profundities in The Holiness of God but many take a page or two to develop .  I highly recommend you read it for yourself.)

From Mark Batterson’s, Soul Print (Multnomah, 2011)

I was given this book at a conference.  I haven’t finished it yet and the jury is still out on whether I recommend it but I did love this thought on aging which interestingly enough isn’t Mark’s own.  In essence, I’m quoting Mark quoting ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ (Random House, 1997, p. 120-21) which I have never read.  This line of thinking explains to me why I often still react to life as if I’m 12:

“The truth is, part of me is every age.  I’m a three-year-old, I’m a five-year-old, I’m a thirty-seven-year-old, I’m a fifty-year-old.  I’ve been through all of them, and I know what it’s like.  I delight in being a child when it’s appropriate to be a child.  I delight in being a wise old man when it’s appropriate to be a wide old man.  Think of all I can be! I am every age, up to my own.”

Some things I read and found myself saying, ‘Dude, I’m going to need a reference on that one.”  Such as when Mark is writing on spending time on the sidelines versus the front lines, he says:

“Even Jesus needed to craft masterpieces in wood before He made masterpieces out of us.”  (p.25)

I have difficulty with the suggestion that Jesus had to practice in wood before He could deal in flesh.  In fact, I am critical of any statement that begins with God/Jesus/The Holy Spirit needs….  as if there is some insufficiency.     

 He also makes this suggestion in the same vein of thought:

“I went to a hundred conferences before I ever spoke at one.  I read thousands of books before I ever wrote one.  And I wouldn’t trade those seasons on the sidelines.  I wouldn’t want to go back to the days when I was a one-man staff preaching sermons, leading worship, copying bulletins, counseling couples, answering phones, editing videos, and organizing outreaches.  But I wouldn’t trade that season either.  It’s the time we spend on the sidelines that prepares us for the front lines.” 

Seasons of preparation I get; however, when he speaks of the work of the shepherd I would argue that all the above he just mentioned IS the work of the front line.  I can honestly say Luke and I have never felt side-lined because we are not serving the megachurch nor do we ambition to do so.  But again, maybe I’m touchy and/or defensive.  Draw your own conclusions.  Clearly this book makes me a little twitchy but in the interest of remaining open-minded and hopefully gracious, that’s not to say there aren’t some redeeming quotes I haven’t located as of yet.

And finally one of my favorites in a long time…

The Overcoming Life by D.L. Moody (Moody Press, originally published in 1896)

I actually finished this book back in January but it’s treasure to me.  Oh how I love the old school preachers/evangelists who needed no multi-media, who spoke the truth unashamedly, and did so in a suit and tie with no damage to the psyche of their audiences.  Relevant indeed.  Consider this quote about being not simply a hearer but a doer of the word:

“It is our sins God wants, not our tears only.  They alone do no good.  And we cannot come through resolutions.  Action is necessary.  How many times at church have we said, ‘I will turn over a new leaf,” but the Monday leaf is worse that then Saturday leaf.”

  And then regarding those prone to complaining:

“Some people go back into the past and rake up all the roubles they ever had, and then they look into the future and anticipate that they will have still more trouble, and they go reeling and staggering all through life.  They give you the cold chills every time they meet you.  They put on a whining voice and tell you what ‘a hard time they have had.’  I believe they embalm their troubles and bring out the mummy on every opportunity. (LOVE IT!)  the Lord says, ‘Cast all your care on Me.  I want to carry your burdens and your troubles.’  What we want is a joyful church, and we are not going to convert the world until we have it.  We want to get this long-faced Christianity off the face of the earth.” (p. 105)

So what are your thoughts on these quotes?  Also, I would absolutely love to hear what you are reading and if you feel so compelled, give us some of your own quotables in the comments. 

p.s.  I’m chomping at the bit to read ‘The Devil in Pew Number Seven’ by Rebecca Nichols Alonso.  It’s a true story of a pastor’s family terrorized by a church member.  (Why do I want to read it exactly?)  Luke is reading it first, albeit slowly, but I will let you know more about it when I get my hands on it.