“…like a housebroken gypsy.” (>>)
“living in a small college town can really mess with your priorities. everyone and their brother has a graduate degree, and if you don’t have one, then you’re constantly being asked if you’ve thought about getting yours? yeah i think about it every freaking time someone ASKS me and that’s about it. i don’t want one, i don’t really care… work is not life, life is people…. who did i have lunch with today? who calls me and reads to me from funny books to cheer me up? who can i call or chat with for advice or encouragement? these are the important things. these are the things that keep me alive. these are the things that change the world… this is how i want to be successful.” (>>)
“I wanna buy you an old upright.
I wanna accidentally stay all night.
I wanna read the Bible, and I wanna make out.” (>>)
“If we do not come, if we insist on conditions of our own, if we come to someone else, if we call ‘coming to God’ a system to bring God to us on our own terms, we are not answering this invitation.” (>>)
“And I think, ‘No, you’ve really confused Jesus with Loki, the trickster god of Norse mythology.’ ” (>>)
“We say so much about the healing power of the body of Christ, but it seems like most of my friends in the body were too busy attending church choir or leading their small groups to check up on me.” (>>)
“How many soldiers got killed in Iraq today?”
“I don’t know.”
“How many people died in Darfur today?”
“I don’t know.”
“But everyone knows Paris Hilton’s out of jail.”
“Doesn’t that strike you as fucked up?” (>>)
“Not learning those lessons may be attributable to some ADD, mule-headed stubbornness or simply feeling a lot of self-pity so I didnâ€™t want to take responsibility for anything. Acting as if there were no lessons to be learned was always a convenient way to act as if everything happening today was my wifeâ€™s fault, when in fact I was responsible for knowing where we were on the map, what was happening and how I should act/react.
“This time around I wanted things to be different. I was praying that God would show me and teach me how to deal with what we were facing, and what I needed to be and do for our marriage to heal and grow.
“And so the idea came.
“Write a book about my wife. A book about my wife and what I have learned about her and us, about being a good husband, and about what will make our marriage better.
“So far, there are an even 50 lessons. Some short, some detailed. There will be a lot more. They cover things Iâ€™ve known for 29 years and things I learned yesterday. There are lessons from books and truths God showed me in the aftermath of some gruesome messes. There are reminders of what it means to be kind, of how long my wife can stand to hear my voice without a break, of what I know will assure her that I love her and warnings of things to never bring up. There is an inventory of some of my fears that have shaped too many interactions. There are reassurances of things I know are true no matter what happens. There is a prayer for humility and unconditional love. There are reminders of what I know about my wifeâ€™s family and what she learned about marriage there. There are reminders of what I never learned about marriage in my home. There are reminders of what works and what never has worked. There are list of what annoys and what hurts and what angers. There are lists of what I should never mention and what I should say several times a day. There are small suggestions and principles so vital the whole marriage depends on them.” (>>)
“[Jesus] insists that we must always remember that the God to whom we pray is a God of love who is more ready to answer than we are to pray. His gifts and his grace have not to be unwillingly extracted from him. We do not come to a God who has to be coaxed, or pestered, or battered into answering our prayers. We come to one whose wish is to give. When we remember that, it is surely sufficient to go to God with the sigh of desire in our hearts, and on our lips the words, ‘Thy will be done.’ ” (>>)
“If our great need is to be delivered from the wrath of God, then Jesus is our mediator. But what if our big problem is losing ten pounds? Finding a bigger house? Paying for college? Getting out of debt? What if the guilt that concerns us is the guilt of not having a pool like our neighbor? What if the center of our prayers is the moral life of our kids or our physical health? Do we actually need a crucified Jesus for any of these things?” (>>)
“…whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” (>>)