October 20, 2014

Chapter 9 Lines

Chapter 9  The Gift Nobody Wants: Confrontation

p 169 "Nothing can be more cruel than the leniency which abandons others to their sin.  Nothing can be more compassionate than the severe reprimand which calls another Christian in one's community back from the path of sin." ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

p 169  This is a foundational paradox about the porcupines in our world; we want to know the truth about ourselves, and we want very much NOT to know the truth about ourselves. We both seek and resist awareness about the reality of who we are.

p 171  We need Truth-Tellers because our capacity to live in denial is astounding.

p 171  Many of us have never invited someone else to be a Truth-Teller in our lives for the same reason we don't get on a scale: we are afraid of what we might find out.

p 172  "One who because of sensitivity and vanity rejects the serious words of another CHristian cannot speak the truth in humility to others. Such a person is afraid of being rejected and feeling hurt by another's words.  Sensitive, irritable people will always become flatterers, and very soon they will come to despise and slander other Christians in their community... When another Christian falls into obvious sin, an admonition is imperative, because God's Word demands it.  The practice of discipline in the community of faith begins with friends who are close to one another. Words of admonition and reproach must be risked." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

p 173  We need others to help us live up to our best intentions and deepest values.

p 179  There is a very important theological distinction between being a prophet and being a jerk.  What burns deeply in the heart of a true prophet is not just anger but love.

p 179  Accountability is a tool and a gift we give to one another to try and realize the growth we could never know all by ourselves.

p 180  Let us consider the cost of truth-telling and why it happens so rarely in our world.  the answer, simply, is fear.  It takes enormous courage to be a Truth-Teller.  If we speak painful truth to someone, things get messy.

p 180  Scott Peck says that most of the time we live in what he calls 'pseudo-community'.  It's hallmark is the avoidance of conflict  Pseudo community is agreeable and polite and gentle and stagnant - and ultimately - fatal.

p 181  To go beyond pseudo-community, Peck says, we have to be will to enter into chaos.  Chaos happens when someone is willing to speak risky truth.  Chaos is always unpleasant.

p 181  People who love authentic community always prefer the pain of temporary chaos to the peace of permanent superficiality.

p 183  When we have nobody to answer to - no one holding us accountable for living up to the values we most deeply hold - we become very vulnerable.
   *vulnerable to sin and sliding away from God (my note)

October 16, 2014

New and Improved Sewing Room

It continues to be proven how very blessed I am as Steve's wife.  He designed and built a fabulous addition to my sewing space over the last few days.
It went from this:

To this:

Which then allowed me to make it like this:

Which means that what once looked like this:

Now looks like this:

Almost every bit of fabric I have is now organized on this massive shelf wall along with space underneath for notions (zippers, trims, etc), shelves for current projects in process, and even a floor cubby for one or more cats to nap in while they keep me company.  All the shelves are adjustable too! 

My husband loves me so!

October 14, 2014

Chapter 8 Lines

Chapter 8  Spiritual Surgery: Forgiveness

p 151  Community always involves a kind of promise, whether or not it ever gets stated out loud.  It is a promise of commitment and loyalty.  When that promise gets broken, so does someone's heart.

p 152  Forgiveness is the only force strong enough to heal relationships damaged by hatred and betrayal.

p 156   But forgiveness does not come cheap.

p 157   Some things forgiveness is NOT:
             1. Forgiving is not excusing - forgiving doesn't mean tolerating or pretending.  When an action is excusable - it doesn't require forgiveness.
             2. Forgiving is not forgetting - forgiving is what's required precisely when we can't forget.
             3. Forgiving is not the same thing as reconciling.

p 158   Forgiveness takes place in the heart of one human being. It can be granted even if the other person does not ask for it or deserve it.  Reconciliation requires the rebuilding of trust, and that means good faith on the part of both parties.

p 158   Forgiveness begins when we give up the quest to get even. This is difficult because getting even is the natural obsession of the wounded soul.

p 159  Of course, letting go of vengeance doesn't mean letting go of justice. Justice must still be honored.

p 159  The next stage of forgiveness involves a new way of seeing and feeling. When we forgive, we begin to see more clearly. We don't ignore the hurts, but we see beyond them. We rediscover the humanity of the one who hurt us.

p 160  The third stage of forgiving, the one that shows you have begun to make some real progress, is when you find yourself wishing the other person well. When you want good things for someone who hurt you badly, you can pretty much know that the Great Forgiver has been at work in your heart.

p 160  God commands us to forgive because it is the best way to live. God commands forgiving because to refuse to forgive means I allow the one who hurt me to keep me chained in a prison of bitterness and resentment.  No human beings are more miserable than the unforgiving.

p 164  If you don't forgive - if you let pride, resentment, stubbornness, and defensiveness stand in your way - you become a hard and bitter person.  You carry a burden that will crush the humanity out of your spirit.  You will grow a little colder every day.  You will die.

p 165  True forgiveness is never cheap.  Hurt is deep; hurt is unfair. ... only one thing costs more than forgiving someone - NOT forgiving them. Non-forgiveness costs your heart.

p 166  Don't forgive, and your anger will become your burden. Don't forgive, and bit by bit all the joy will be choked out of you. Don't forgive, and you will be unable to trust anybody, ever again. Don't forgive, and the bitterness will crowd the compassion out of your heart slowly, utterly, forever.

October 9, 2014

Chapter 7 Lines

Chapter 7  Community is worth fighting for: Conflict

"Communities need tensions if they are to grow and deepen. Tensions come from conflicts...  A tension or difficulty can signal the approach of a new grace of God. But it has to be looked at wisely and humanly. " ~Jean Vanier

p 127  There is no greater challenge in building community than to master the art of handling anger and conflict.  ..we must consider how important this topic is in God's eyes. It is both remarkable and appalling that by and large in churches today, we are not scandalized by broken relationships and chronic enmity between people.  We are not scandalized by lack of love.
But Jesus is.

p 128  We have been invited into the Fellowship of the Trinity. When we violate oneness, when we contribute to relational brokenness, it doesn't just affect us and the other person.  We are contributing to the destruction of that which is most prized by God and was purchased by him at greatest cost - the oneness of the Trinitarian community.

p 130  Matthew 18:15 may be the single most violated of all the instructions Jesus gave the human race.

p 131  To be alive means to be in conflict.  It's part of the dance of the porcupines. People may not be normal, but conflict surely is - at least in our world.

p 132  Interestingly, while Jesus tells his hearers they should take the responsibility to set things right if the other person has sinned, in another setting (Matt 5:23-24) he tells his hearers to take the first step if they are the ones in the wrong.  Jesus puts the burden on you in both cases.
Why?  Because people who value community are people who own responsibility to deal with relational breakdowns.

p 132  "Go" Jesus says. Take action. Don't let resentment fester.

p 133  Anger exists to tell you something is wrong and to move you to action.  Anger exists so you will be motivated to make it go away.  However, remember Proverbs 14:17 and Ephesians 4:26.

p 134-135 Causes of our anger? Fear? Frustration? Hurt? What outcome do we want? to win? to hurt someone?

p 136  Sometimes you should become angry. However even then you still must decide how to express your anger.

p 138 Conflict is inevitable. Resentment is optional.

p 139  The need for sensitivity is one of the most important - and often misunderstood - aspects of healthy anger management.

p 141 The simplest guideline is to approach the other people the way you would want to be approached in their place.

p 142  We must speak truth in love - clearly.

p 143  The goal in conflict resolution is not to win or score points - it's reconciliation.  Your aim should be to restore the relationship.  Reconciliation is rarely simple and almost never quick.

p 144  Direct confrontation doesn't always do good.  Sometimes it escalates the conflict. Sometimes it leads to violence. Confrontation can do tremendous damage. Then we need a miracle.  God created one.  It's called forgiveness - that's in the next chapter.