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Finding God in the Story of Your Life

Can I quote you on that?

I love finding great quotes—thought provoking, interesting nuggets, wise and concise. I’ll often underline and flag them in books, or just find them in random spots—perhaps even in collections of quotations.

            Lately, I’ve been getting some flak for quoting certain authors. My critics make a completely illogical leap: they assume that because I quote someone, I am giving blanket endorsement to everything else that person has ever said or written.

            It’s possible that I don’t even know what else the person I’m quoting has written! When I quote someone, I’m not saying I agree with them on everything. I may not even agree with what they say in that quote—I’m merely saying it’s an interesting thought.

            I assume that you, my dear readers, have enough discernment to know that. I know that you may not agree with everything I write here, and I wouldn’t want you to. I want this blog to be a place where we can share and discuss ideas, think about how to apply our faith to our lives.

            That said, let’s share some of our favorite quotes. What wise words do you have taped to the mirror or wall? After we get a few comments I’ll share a few of mine.

           

            Side note: The Christianity Today “Gifted for Leadership” blog is running part two of my article “the Rested Leader” now. Click here to read part one, and part two.

            Also, author Judith Couchman (who was a mentor and encourager to me when I first started writing books) is featuring my newsletter article on her new “Starting Over” blog. Please go over and leave a comment!

9 Comments

  1. Well said. I have several quotes on my inspiration board that are from Buddhist or atheist thinkers who have eloquently expressed an idea I agree with. However, that doesn’t mean I’m an atheist or Buddhist!
    On my board are four quotes right now: one is Jeremiah 29:11, an encouraging verse for me right now. The other three are… “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” -Helen Keller.

    “Live is not a particular place or a destination. Life is a path. To practice walking meditation is to go without needing to arrive. Every step can bring us peace, joy and liberation.” -Thich Nhat Hahn

    …and a third very long one from Ralph Waldo Emerson, my favorite part being “To appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one’s self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived-this is to have succeeded.”

    Have a wonderful weekend, Keri.

  2. If it can be verified, we don’t need faith…. Faith is for that which lies on the other side of reason. Faith is what makes life bearable, with all its tragedies and ambiguities and sudden, startling joys. ~ Madeleine L’Engle

  3. copied this out of Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller a couple of years ago – perhaps not as inspirational or wisdom-giving, but fun and perhaps thought-provoking:

    “We would eat chocolates…and read the Bible, which is the only way to do it, if you ask me…the Bible is so good with chocolate. I always thought the Bible was more of a salad thing, you know, but it isn’t. It is a chocolate thing.”

  4. I am a quote junkie. One of the things I love about your writing is how many references to others’ writings/quotes you use to share ideas and provoke thought. I was criticized for having a Henri Nouwen quote as a leading thought on my blog. I LOVE it, and it expresses perfectly my daily walk with gratitude. Like you said, it doesn’t mean I agree with every thing Henri ever wrote. Let’s face it, God’s Word is the only thing we could ever quote if we are looking for perfect truth. So let’s keep writing and growing an learning from one another!

    “Gratitude… goes beyond the “mine” and “thine” and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift. In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.” -Henri J. M. Nouwen

  5. I LOVE quotes and quote books. You can never have too many!

    I just noticed Monica’s comment above that she used a Henri Nouwen quote — I happened to share several from that very author in my blog posting today (http://awordfromhome.blogspot.com/2009/02/book-em.html)

    Ohhhh, and I loved the quote Kirsten shares about the Bible being a ‘chocolate thing’. Which reminds me of the little insight I got once about God’s will being good, not just like good like broccoli, but good like ice cream.

    So, what to leave for my quote? I’m going to share the one that’s taped with edges curling on the side of my computer screen. It’s written by a writer, Dayna E. Mazzuca, about writers: “To be successful, they must…speak the language of one who walks alongside their companion, as one who knows their story, and is confident of the ending.”

    Keri, I enjoyed every minute of my visit to your blog. I’m inspired by the list of books you’ve authored, (I’ll have to go and find them now) and I so appreciate your tag line about being passionate about making faith real.

  6. First, thanks everyone for joining the conversation.

    The quote taped to the wall by my computer is

    “I beg you… to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” (Rainer Maria Rilke)
    So much of my writing has sprung from living the questions.

  7. “I don’t want what you do for me. I want you.” Teresa of Avila

  8. Keri, the quote you put in the comments sounds so familiar…perhaps you’ve used it in one of your books or at the Voyager’s Women’s Retreat? I remember it because I was once given a book of Rilke’s poems by a guy I was very disinterested in and I gave it away to charity without reading it…now I wish I’d kept it! Little did I know that such good words could be given to me by such a creepy guy! I love that quote.

  9. Love these quotes as I have my self a website with quotes about life. Thought it would be wise to share my favorite quote: “It’s the choices that make us who we are, and we can always choose to do what’s right.” – Peter Parker

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