Quotables: Immortal Diamond

I was privileged to speak to a group of university students on Monday night and in the Q&A I was asked, “What are the books that have had the greatest impact on your life?”  The truth of the matter is that I read so widely that nothing came to mind immediately, jumping out as the one or two life changing books.  However, the truth is that there have been hundreds, so I thought it would be fun to add a “quotables” section to this blog, highlighting various authors and books.

I don’t present them in order of importance.  Rather, I read this book last fall, saw it on my shelf, and thought, “Why not start with this one?” You need to know that when I recommend books, I’m not ever endorsing everything I read in the book.  Rather, I’m saying that, on the whole, a person with discernment can be well fed and shaped by the material this author shares.  The quotes, on the other hand, are truths I buy into!

Enjoy these as a starter, from Richard Rohr’s “Immortal Diamond”, one of many books I’ve read about the importance of being firmly established in our true identity “in Christ”.  Here are a few of my favorite thoughts from this book.

Church in any form should be a laboratory for resurrection.

All posturing and pretending are largely unnecessary….all accessorizing of any small fragile self henceforth shows itself to be a massive waste of time and energy.

Inside your true self you know that you are not alone, and you foundationally belong to God (I Cor. 3:23).  You no longer have to work to feel important.  You are intrinsically important, and it has all been ‘done unto you’ (Luke 1:38)

…if you do not learn the art of dying and letting go early, you will hold onto your false self for far too long, until it kills you anyway.

Satan tempts you to do proper, defensible, and often admired things, but for cold, malicious, or self-centered reasons.

…only the false self can and will sin

The anger and disrespect I find among both conservative and progressive Christians is disturbing.  It feels aligned much more with political ideologies of right and left than any immersion in the beautiful love of God.

The spiritual question is this:  Does one’s life give any evidence of an encounter with God? Does this encounter bring about any of the things that Paul describes as the ‘fruits of the spirit’, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, truthfulness, gentleness, and self-control?

What most of Christian history did was largely dress up and disguise the false self (in Christian clothing).

Remember that resurrection is not woundedness denied, forgotten, or even totally healed.  It is woundedness transformed.

The big and hidden secret is this: an infinite God seeks and desires intimacy with the human soul.


Quotes for Saturday – Today: Bonhoeffer, Berry, Rilke, Dahlstrom

ImageI have hundreds of them that are meaningful to me, so I thought, why not share a few each Saturday in hopes of bring a little thought, comfort, challenge, or inspiration to your weekend.  Enjoy.  –

Look people in the eye and you will discover their intentions.  Not how people laugh.  Listen to how they talk about their parents.  Listen to how they speak about God.  It is not the distant person who is the greatest mystery, but rather precisely our neighbor.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer

When silence profound now spreads itself around us, may we yet heart that full voice of the world unseen around us, the hymn sung by all your children.  By benevolent powers wondrously sheltered, we, confident, await what may come.  With us God abides, evening and morn, more surely still with each dawning day.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Let everything happen to you:  beauty and terror. Keep going, no matter what.  No sensation is too far out.  Let nothing separate you from me….the land which they call ‘life’ is near.  You will recognize it by it’s serious demands.  Give me your hand!”  Rilke

Sometimes I can no longer think in the house or in the garden or in the cleared fields.  They bear too much resemblance to our failed human history – failed because it has led to this human present that is such a bitterness and a trial.  And so I go to the woods.  As I go in under the trees, dependably, almost at once, and by nothing I do, things fall into place.  I enter an order that does not exist outside, in the human spaces.  I feel my life take its place among the lives – the trees, the annual plants, the animals and birds, the living of all these and the dead – that go and have gone to make the life of the earth.  I am less importantly than I thought.  My mind loses its urgings, senses its nature, and is free.  Wendell Berry

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Explore. Dream. Discover.”  –Mark Twain

Aware of danger but not controlled by fear, knowing that ultimately our safety lies in the love of Jesus, who keeps writing our story every day we follow Him, this story that doesn’t end in death, but goes on into eternity.  Kristi Dahlstrom