In Other's words

Flipping through an old book that I have read so much that it has more dog-ears than a kennel, I started noticing all the underlined parts, and they seemed to form a thought. So, in here are the words from Eugene Peterson’s “Run with the Horses.” Some are his, some are other’s.

“I stake the future on the few humble and hearty lovers who seek God passionately in the marvelous, messy world of redeemed and related realities that lie in front of our noses.” – W. McNamara.

Something very different takes place in the life of faith: each person discovers all the elements of a unique and original adventure. We are prevented from following in another’s footsteps and are called to an incomparable association with Christ. The Bible makes it clear that every time that there is a story of faith, it is completely original. God’s creative genius is endless. He never, fatigued and unable to maintain the rigors of creativity, resorts to mass-producing copies. Each life is a fresh canvas on which he uses lines and colors, shaded and lights, textures and proportions that he has never used before.

Goodness in him was not “being nice.” It was something more like prowess.

The terrible threat is “we might die earlier than we really do die. Before death has become a natural necessity. The real horror lies in just such a premature death, a death after which we go on living for many years.” - Vtezslav Gardavsky. (Read this man!)

I called you to live a life of purpose far beyond what you think yourself capable of living and promised you adequate strength to fulfill your destiny…it is easier to define oneself minimally (a featherless biped) and live securely within that definition than to be defined maximally (little less than God) and live adventurously in that reality.

All the great stories of the world elaborate one of two themes: that all life is an exploration like that in the “Odyssey” or that all life is a battle like that of the “Illiad.” The stories of Odysseus and Achillies are archetypal. Everyone’s childhood serves up the raw material that is shaped by grace into the life of mature faith…Life is a continuous exploration of ever more reality. Life is a constant battle against everyone and anything that corrupts or diminishes reality.

The meaning of a name is not in the dictionary, not in the unconscious, not in the size of the lettering. It is in RELATIONSHIP – with God…Who we are and will be is compounded with who God is and what he does.

Long before we ever got around to asking questions about god, God has been questioning us.

We enter a world we didn’t create. We grow into a life already provided for us. We arrive in a complex of relationships with other wills and destinies that are already in full operation before we are introduced. If we are going to live appropriately, we must be aware that we a re living in the middle of a story that was begun and will be concluded by another. And this other is God. My identity does not begin when I begin to understand myself. There is something previous to what I think about myself, and it what God thinks of me.

No one enters existence as a spectator. We either take up the life to which we have been consecrated or we traitorously defect from it.

The word “saint” did not refer to the quality or virtue of their acts, but to the kind of life to which they had been chosen, life on a battlefield.

Giving is what we do best. It is the air into which we were born…We don’t think we can live generously b/c we have never tried. But the sooner we start the better, for we are going to have to give up our lives finally, and the longer we wait the less time we have for the soaring and swooping life of grace

We are practiced in pleading inadequacy in order to avoid living at the best that God calls us to.

God does not send us into the dangerous and exacting life of faith because we are qualified; he chooses us in order to qualify us for what he wants us to be and do…

“I believe in getting into hot water, “ said G.K. Chesterton, “it keeps you clean.”

We don’t see what God is doing and conclude that he is doing nothing. We see everything that evil is doing and think it is in control of everyone.

Worship defines life. If worship is corrupt, life will be corrupt.

We think everything is fine b/c the appearances are fine and the statistics are impressive. The church is never in so much danger as when it is popular and millions of people are saying, “I’m born again, born again, born again.”

He experienced his life as the created work of God.

One way is the way of enhancing what I want; the other way is a commitment to become what God wants.

What is scandalous is to approve only what is applauded. What is disastrous is to assume that only the celebrated is genuine.

Truth is inward: we must experience within ourselves that which we profess. Truth is social: we must share with others what we profess. Statistics are a farce. Popularity a smoke screen. All that matters is God.

Prayer is the desire to listen to God firsthand, to speak to God firsthand, and then setting aside the time and making the arrangements to do it.

Anger can be a measure of our faith. Believers argue with God; skeptics argue with each other.

He didn’t get up to face rejection, he got up to meet with god. He didn’t rise to put up with another round of mockery, he rose to be with his Lord. That is the secret of his preserving pilgrimage – not thinking with dread about the long road ahead but greeting the present moment, every present moment, with obedient delight, with expectant hope: ”My heart is ready!”

Honestly written and courageously presented words reveal reality and expose our selfish attempts to violate beauty, manipulate goodness and dominate people, all the while defying God. Honest writing shows us how badly we are living and how good life is.

And that is all for now…
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