11 Quotes From “The Way Of Abundance”

Ann Voskamp speaks lovingly to the hurting and broken. She never condemns them for their brokenness, nor does she encourage them to stay in their difficult place. Instead, Ann brings a new perspective to the path of healing; a path that allows our brokenness to become our givenness to other broken and hurting people. This is The Way Of Abundance. Be sure to check out my full book review by clicking here. 

“Go fall in love with grace and mercy and the only One who has ever loved you to death—and back to the realest, abundant life. Because the world is begging us all to get out of bed and live given, get out of bed and sacrifice for someone hurting, for someone different, for someone forgotten or marginalized, to hold the hand of someone who doesn’t look like a us, to lean in and listen to someone angry and grieving and doubting the likes of us, to give a bit of ourselves to those who feel like they aren’t given much real space at the table.” 

“The real Jesus turns our questions of why—why this brokenness, why this darkness?—and says, ‘You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here.’ ‘This happened so the power of God could be seen in him’ [John 9:3]. There’s brokenness that’s not about blame. There’s brokenness that makes a canvas for God’s light to be lavishly splashed across the darkness. There’s brokenness that carves windows straight into our souls. Brokenness cracks open a soul so the power of God can crack the darkness in the world.” 

“When you aren’t afraid of being afraid, you transform fear into friend. … Feelings can accompany you, but they don’t get to control you. Feelings get to inform you, but they don’t get to form you. Feelings get to keep you company, but they don’t get to keep you in bondage. Only God keeps you.” 

“We are always lost until our heart makes its home inside of someone else. Our lives are unfulfilling if we only let our hearts fill us instead of filling other people’s broken places. The art of living is believing there is enough love in you, that you are loved enough by Him, to be made into love to give. Fulfilling lives happen when we give our hearts to fill other people’s empty spaces.” 

“There are really only two choices when begging temptation looks you square in your twitching eye: there is either the pain of self-denial, or the pain of self-destruction. … They’ll tell you there’s no such thing called temptation anymore, only repressed self-limitation. They’ll tell you temptation isn’t an issue for the sophisticated. And all I want to say: just don’t say you’re a follower of Christ if you’re actually following your own heart.” 

“Shame dies when stories are told in safe places. … Shame gets unspeakable power only if it’s unspeakable.” 

“The only way to live a truly remarkable life is not to get everyone to notice you, but to leave noticeable marks of His love everywhere you go.” 

“When you feel basically respectable, you want religion. And when you know you feel the brokenness of rejection, you want the gospel. In religion, it’s the ‘respectable’ who search for a God to impress. But in the Gospel, it’s God who searches for the brokenhearted rejected to save.” 

“Never fear the moments you imagine will freeze you: unexpected blasts of cold can be what draws you nearer to the flame of His love.” 

“The body of Christ must recapture its vision as the only collective in the world that exists for its nonmembers. … We are a community that will not dish out condemnation but courage, that will lean in and listen long and love large.” 

“You love as much as you are willing to be inconvenienced. … The brokenness of people is never truly an intrusion. Loving the broken people when it is inconvenient is the way to have fuller inclusion in the life of Christ.” 

11 Quotes From “The Last Arrow”

Erwin McManus will get you fired up to make the most of the life God has given you! Check out my full review of The Last Arrow by clicking here. 

“I do not believe anyone is born average, but I do believe that many of us choose to live a life of mediocrity. I think there are more of us than not who are in danger of disappearing into the abyss of the ordinary. The great tragedy in this, of course, is that there is nothing really ordinary about us. We might not be convinced of this, but our souls already know it’s true, which is why we find ourselves tormented when we choose lives beneath our capacities and callings.” 

“Here is the painful reality: we will find ourselves defined by the average if we do not choose to defy the odds. … We can refuse to be average. We must refuse to be average. We must war against the temptation to settle for less. Average is always a safe choice, and it is the most dangerous choice we can make. Average protects us from the risk of failure, and it also separates us from futures of greatness.” 

“Most of us underestimate how much God actually wants to do in our lives and through our lives.” 

“I wonder how many victories are lost before the battle has even begun. I wonder how much more good God desires to usher into the world that has been thwarted by our own lack of ambition.” 

“If one day we are to have a conversation with God about the measure of our lives, I would rather have Him ask me why I tried to do too much than to have Him ask me why I settled for so little.” 

“Many of us keep longing for a new future while holding on to the past. We desperately want God to create something new for us, but we refused to let Him tear away all the old from us.” 

“The tragedy of a life that is never fully lived is not solely the loss of that one life. The tragedy is the endless number of lives that would have been forever changed if we had chosen to live differently.” 

“We do not help the world by choosing to be less or to do less; we help the world by choosing to be more and give more.” 

“Be ready when you get there. Don’t make the mistake of living your life waiting for good things to happen—make good things happen. Be faithful in the small things that do not matter to you as much and treat them with the same level of respect and importance as the big things connected to your hopes and dreams.” 

“The great tragedy would be to live your life waiting for that moment to come instead of living your life preparing for when that moment comes.” 

“If you truly live before you die, your life will have a power that not even death can conquer.” 

Take Your Life Back (book review)

take-your-life-backStephen Arterburn and David Stoop say it’s quite simple—you are either living a reactive life or a responsive life. One keeps us trapped by our past or other people, and one sets us free to live life to the fullest. Arterburn and Stoop want you to Take Your Life Back.

Arterburn and Stoop vividly describe the childhood wounds and experiences that can lead to so many of us burying our real selves and living out of a reactive, false self that we believe others want to see. Then, using the imagery from the story of the Prodigal Son, they talk about how the younger son came home to address his concerns, and how the elder brother who never left home also had to come to grips with his woundedness.

To some extent or another, we all carry some sort of woundedness in our hearts—someone abused us, or let us down, or led us to believe that we weren’t valuable. The question now is: “Do I know my wound? Am I willing to admit to my wound? Am I willing to take the necessary steps toward healing and freedom?” Far too many people hide their wound and end up living restricted, reactive lives. But Arterburn and Stoop want to help lead you to confront your wound and take the necessary steps to live a free, responsive life.

Whether you have a wound in your life that you need to address, or you know someone close to you struggling with their woundedness, Take Your Life Back will be an invaluable resource. Stop letting your past or other people control and limit you, take your life back to live the abundant life God wants you to live!

I am a Tyndale book reviewer.

Guardrails

GuardrailWe need a different way of thinking about God’s laws. We can’t think of them as a bunch of Thou-shalt-nots, because—as I blogged last week—that would mean we would have to look at The Lawgiver in an unbiblical way.

So let’s try this…

Suppose you are out for a drive on a crisp fall afternoon in a brand new sports car. You are really excited to see what this car can do! I’ll bet as you drive along the straight stretches of road, you will see very few guardrails along the sides. The guardrails you do see on the straight stretches usually protect us from things like rivers, roads passing underneath us, or perhaps a steep drop-off.

When you come into a tight turn, in addition to seeing a curved-arrow sign and perhaps a sign cautioning you to reduce speed, you are very likely to see guardrails along the turns.

Do those guardrails make you feel ripped off? Do they rob you of driving enjoyment? Have you ever felt like, “I really wish those guardrails were gone, because I’d love to get a couple of my tires off the side of the road”? Of course not!

We all know that those guardrails are there to protect us. In fact, the guardrails actually increase our driving enjoyment, because the dangerous places have been identified, and the metal guardrails will keep us from going somewhere that could be fatal.

This is a good way to think of God’s laws.

Abundant lifeJesus told us that He had come not to remove the guardrails, but to fulfill them through His life, death and resurrection (see Matthew 5:17-20 and Luke 22:20). Jesus didn’t come to rob us of life!

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36)

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10).

Far from ripping us off and saying “No!” to us, Jesus came to show us that God’s laws were rooted in God’s love. He came for us to see that God’s laws are His guardrails to keep us away from the places that are dangerous, and perhaps even fatal.

If God didn’t love us, He would let us do whatever we wanted to do. But He does love us, and so He gives us His guardrails to keep us safe. Instead of looking at His laws as something which is robbing you of life, see them as protections that are giving you more abundant life!

I am continuing our series called The Love In The Law next Sunday, and I’d love to have you join us.

Poetry Saturday—Let Me Go On Growing Up

Art LinkletterI never want to be
What I want to be,
Because there’s always something out there
Yet for me.
I get a kick out of living
In the here and now,
But I never want to feel
I know the best way how.
There’s always one hill higher,
With a better view,
Something waiting to be learned
That I never knew.
Till my days are over,
Never fully fill my cup;
Let me go on
Growing up. —Art Linkletter

 

Poetry Saturday—How Did You Die?

Edmund Vance CookeDid you tackle that trouble that came your way
With a resolute heart and cheerful?
Or hide your face from the light of day
With a craven soul and fearful?
Oh, a trouble’s a ton, or a trouble’s an ounce,
Or a trouble is what you make it,
And it isn’t the fact that you’re hurt that counts,
But only how did you take it?


You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what’s that?
Come up with a smiling face.
It’s nothing against you to fall down flat,
But to lie there—that’s disgrace.
The harder you’re thrown, why the higher you bounce;
Be proud of your blackened eye!
It isn’t the fact that you’re licked that counts,
It’s how did you fight—and why?


And though you be done to the death, what then?
If you battled the best you could,
If you played your part in the world of men,
Why, the Critic will call it good.
Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,
And whether he’s slow or spry,
It isn’t the fact that you’re dead that counts,
But only how did you die? —Edmund Vance Cooke


10 Quotes from The Gospel Of Yes

I really loved this book by Pastor Mike Glenn (you can read my review here). I want you to have a chance to love this book too. In a minute I’ll tell you how you can win a FREE copy of The Gospel Of Yes.

But first, here are 10 quotes I loved from this book:

“Following Jesus is much more than being careful not to do wrong. …Defining your life by what you oppose makes your life small….”

“For too many of us, Christianity has been narrowed down to sin management. Sure, we all want to go to Heaven. But under the sin-management paradigm, getting to Heaven is no longer about Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf and His invitation to follow Him in a new life. The focus on sin makes getting to Heaven a matter of keeping score. You get points for doing good things and lose points for doing bad things. Being a Christian becomes a spiritual frequent-flier program. If you work at it hard enough and accumulate enough points, you can fly for free.”

“As long as our first thought is What do I need to avoid?, the guiding influence in our lives is sin, not Christ. To be sure, we are working hard to avoid things that God disapproves of, but we are missing God in the process. The hard work of avoiding a mistake or misstep looms so large that God gets blocked from our view. If all we think about is sin, even when we’re thinking of ways to avoid it, we increase our chance of failure. This is the irony of sin-management Christianity.”

“No matter how much [your circumstances] look like ‘no,’ God does everything possible to turn then into a ‘yes.’”

“God said ‘no’ to sin because it violates His holiness, but wanting us not to break His laws is not His number-one reason for opposing sin. He hates sin because it destroys the people He loves. Jesus took into Himself the ‘no’ of our sin and died in God’s mercy so we might find our ‘yes.’” 

“Christianity is not an escape from the past but redemption of the past.”

“Why do we think that we alone committed a sin so horrible it exceeds Jesus’ ability to forgive? This kind of thinking is the ultimate heresy. What we are saying is the death of Jesus was payment enough for everyone else’s sin, but our sin is so monstrous that His death isn’t enough to cover it.”

“The gospel message isn’t ‘Do these ten things, and you can get to God.’ The gospel message is ‘The Shepherd is still looking for lost sheep.’”

“The Christian teaching is that people are extremely valuable indeed. But our value is not based on the promise of exceptional achievement or a positive feeling about ourselves. It is grounded in the reality of Who God is and what He has done for us in Christ.”

“What unifies us as believers is our shared relationship with Jesus Christ, not the protocol of a particular discipleship process.”

To win a free copy of The Gospel Of Yes courtesy of Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers, you must do two things:

  1. Leave a comment below on which quote you liked, and why you liked it.
  2. Post the following message on Facebook and/or Twitter: You can win a FREE copy of “The Gospel Of Yes” by @mikeglenn from @craigtowens http://wp.me/pmy10-1OI

I’ll be drawing four winners this weekend. Good luck!

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