when integrity vanishes

It’s a sad commentary on our world that “integrity” has slowly been coming to mean self-centeredness. Most people who worry about their integrity are thinking about it in terms of themselves. It’s a great excuse for not doing something you really don’t want to do, or are afraid to do: “I can’t do that and keep my integrity.” Integrity, like humility, is a quality which vanishes the moment we are conscious of it in ourselves. We see it only in others.

Madeleine L’Engle, A Circle of Quiet, pages 130.

you’ve had a terrible life

My mother lived a wild kind of life in her day. She may be a grande dame now, but in her youth she rode camels across the desert, watched ancient religious rituals from a Moslem harem, was chased by bandits down the Yangtze River. During one time of crisis, her best friend, who grew up as unscarred as it is possible to grow, came to offer help and sympathy, and instead burst into tears, crying, “I envy you! I envy you! You’ve had a terrible life, but you’ve lived!”

Madeleine L’Engle, A Circle of Quiet, pages 154.

love prerequisite to leading

We are to lead the people of God into the mission of God and to care for each person with the love of the tangible embrace of Christ.

We are called to offer both love for people just where they are and to call and equip them to be part of the kingdom mission of Jesus in the world around them. But to be sure, people need to experience the love of God as they are led into the mission of God. If they don’t feel loved, they will likely not let anyone lead them anywhere.

Tod Bolsinger, Canoeing Over Mountains, page 56.

hate destroys ourselves

It is one of God’s grand plans that in trying to destroy that which we hate, we often destroy ourselves. Yet in coming to know that we hate, we often find enrichment and salvation.

Anthony Ugolnik, The Illuminating Icon

grand, perfect, glorious love

The man who loves most will love best. The man who thoroughly loves God and his neighbour is the only man who will love a woman ideally—who can love her with the love God thought of between them when he made man male and female. The man, I repeat, who loves God with his very life, and his neighbour as Christ loves him, is the man who alone is capable of grand, perfect, glorious love to any woman.

George MacDonald, The Day Boy and the Night Girl. Kindle Edition.

the deepest longing of the human psyche

This questioning of the meaning of being, and dying, and being, is behind the telling of stories around tribal fires at night; behind the drawing of animals on the walls of caves; the singing of melodies of love in spring, and of the death of green in autumn. It is part of the deepest longing of the human psyche, a recurrent ache in the hearts of all of God’s creatures.

Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water, page 13.

making more disciple-making disciples

The definition of a disciple in modern parlance is tilted toward knowledge rather than obedience. A two-step process of evangelism and discipleship becomes the working model for most of Christianity. Instead of making disciples, we make converts and call them Christians. Jesus asked us to make disciples who would bring heaven to earth.

This intrusion of thought in the Great Commission creates an argument between the Great Commission and the Great Commandments that is foreign to Jesus’ thinking. They are seen as a both/and function of Christianity rather than in the cause/effect relationship that Jesus intended. The natural effect of disciple-making disciples is living out Jesus’ commands, great and small and making more disciple-making disciples.

Roy Moran, Spent Matches, pp. 44-45.

god who told stories

A friend of mine, a fine story-teller, remarked to me, “Jesus was not a theologian. He was God who told stories.”

Yes. God who told stories.

Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water, page 54.

explore the truth in smaller portions

If a little is good, more is better. So we value people who can write and speak well. If I am going to obey something, however, I might want less information to work with rather than more. If information is going to help me obey, it’s because information helps to explore the truth in smaller portions.

Roy Moran, Spent Matches, p. 76.

check your calling

Jesus didn’t call us to be communicators, He called us to be disciple-makers.

Roy Moran, Spent Matches, p. 91.

refusal to forgive

It may be infinitely less evil to murder a man than to refuse to forgive him. The former may be a moment of passion: the latter is the heart’s choice. It is spiritual murder, the worst, to hate, to brood over the feeling that excludes, that, in our microcosm, kills the image, the idea of the hated.

Madeleine L’Engle, A Circle of Quiet, pages 157-158.

we cannot forget our selves

But I withhold my pen; for vain were the fancy, by treatise or sermon or poem or tale, to persuade a man to forget himself. He cannot if he would. Sooner will he forget the presence of a raging tooth. There is no forgetting of ourselves but in the finding of our deeper, our true self—God’s idea of us when he devised us—the Christ in us. Nothing but that self can displace the false, greedy, whining self, of which, most of us are so fond and proud. And that self no man can find for himself; seeing of himself he does not even know what to search for. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.”

George MacDonald, The Day Boy and the Night Girl. Kindle Edition.