The Week In Words

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Welcome to The Week In Words, where we share quotes from the last week’s reading. If something you read this past week  inspired you, caused you to laugh, cry, think, dream, or just resonated with you in some way, please share it with us, attributing it to its source, which can be a book, newspaper, blog, Facebook — anything that you read. More information is here.

A couple stood out to me from a Notable Quotes section of a recent issue of Frontline Magazine.

O what I owe to the furnace, fire, and hammer of the Lord. ~ Samuel Rutherford

So true — much as we resist them, there are things we can only learn via trials and tribulations.

Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home. ~ C. S. Lewis

There are cozy spots in this life, but I need to remember “This world is not my home — I’m just passing through.”

This was from an Elisabeth Elliot e-mail devotional taken from a chapter titled “Spontaneity” from her book All That Was Ever Ours:

I wonder if spontaneity is not sometimes a euphemism for laziness… Isn’t it much easier not to prepare one’s mind and heart, not to premeditate, simply to have things (O, vacuous word!) “unstructured”?

If you leave a thing altogether alone in hopes that it will happen all by itself, the chances are it never will. Who learns to play the piano, wins an election, or loses weight spontaneously?

From the chapter “Some of My Best Friends Are Books” from the same book and author:

A reader understands what he reads in terms of what he is. As a Christian reader I bring to bear on the book I am reading the light of my faith.

Everything I read may not line up exactly with what I believe the Bible to be teaching, but I read it with Christian eyes and discernment and sometimes even see spiritual truth when the author hasn’t meant to share it. On the other hand, I don’t think that okays an “anything goes” mentality with reading. I’m still responsible for thinking on right things (which is hard to do if I am filling my mind with wrong things), and “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not” (I Corinthians 10:23.) In fact, I am a little concerned about a friend who swoons over romances while her marriage crumbles (and I have to wonder if there is a connection) and whose language is becoming increasingly less Christlike and more vulgar while she reads books with that I personally wouldn’t be comfortable with. We do bring our frame of reference to bear on our reading, but our reading does influence us as well.

I have a few marked from Anne of Avonlea, but I think I will wait to post them until I review the book.

If you’ve read anything that particularly spoke to you that you’d like to share, please either list it in the comments below or write a post on your blog and then put the link to that post (not your general blog link) in Mr. Linky below. I do ask that only family-friendly quotes be included. I hope you’ll visit some of the other participants as well and glean some great thoughts to ponder.

And please — feel free to comment even if you don’t have quotes to share!

9 thoughts on “The Week In Words

  1. I appreciated your thoughts on choosing reading material today. It is a balancing act (like many things in life)…I’ve seen this pendulum swing far the other way too…where only the Bible and “approved Christian authors” are permissible…which seems legalistic in the extreme. It is just as wrong as totally disregarding smut to be influencing your soul.

    Everything needs to be held up to the light of God’s Word…but for me that means being able to read and think about, dare I say, un-christian things…I found Lisa’s to be “case in point” today. She wrote a fabulous book review by an non-christian author who was speaking on the dangers of the internet…and SHE compared and held it up to God’s Word and shared many valuable nuggets of God’s truth…admirably done.

    I recently had a fabulous opportunity to share Christ with a teen in my church…over the popular Twilight series. I’ve read them…all…and while I can see them as entertaining fiction…I see the many moral and spiritual issues the book presents too…and I was able to point some of these out to this girl. ONE BIG POINT, “Searching for deep and perfect love…it can ONLY be found through Jesus Christ. No super-natural hunky vampires…just a REAL, wonderful Heavenly Father!” I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to talk to her if I hadn’t read it.

    • I agree, Bobbi, and that’s one reason I posted that EE quote in the first place. But then, partly because of the situation I alluded to, I felt the need to balance it out on the cautious side. Balance — so much of life comes back to that.

  2. I agree with you both, Barbara and Bobbi. “In the world but not of it” is what we are called to. It is hard to find that spot sometimes, but it helps to have other Christians along the way who are also searching. I appreciate you ladies!

    Love the spontaneity quote. I admit I thought of some “other people who need that” when I read it. ha. I know of some folks who should be doing a bit more coordinating for their jobs, but instead, they’re proud that the Spirit pulls it together for them at the last minute instead. Yes, but… He can also work in them DURING some planning if they’d allow, and perhaps it would be even more cohesive…

    Thanks for hosting us on this snowy day down South!

  3. This is why I choose to read mostly Christian fiction. Some time ago, I decided not to fill my mind with stuff that I don’t want to haunt me later on. However, I’ve read the first Harry Potter book and the first Twilight book simply because as a teacher, I wanted to be informed as to what my students/some of my grandchildren are reading.

    It is important not to become “Odd for God.”

  4. I really enjoyed the E. Elliot comment on reading and your thoughts on it. You’re right that it’s a balancing act. I bring my Christian worldview to what I read, yet I need to be wise because what I read influences my thoughts and attitudes.

    Sven Birkerts made a good comment on it in The Gutenberg Elegies. I just went and looked it up:

    “Maybe books, like pharmaceuticals, should carry warnings: ‘May induce sudden fits of hilarity,’ or ‘Provokes irreverence,’ or ‘If melancholy persists after reading, consult a qualified therapist.’ The books that matter to me — and they are books of all descriptions — are those that galvanize something inside me. I read books to read myself.”

  5. Barbara, you post such wonderful quotes that really make me think and I appreciate your efforts so much…the time that you put into these posts! Especially loved the one from the chapter, “Some of My Best Friends Are Books”!

  6. A reader understands what he reads in terms of what he is. I pointed this out ion Sunday School class this week. We had people in the class asking questions about the old testament study in light of our current morals and values. In many instances we have to bring our own schema to what we read in order to understand and decide whether or not it has value. In some instances, we have to set aside our schema and try to evaluate what we are reading through the eyes of the culture it was written for.

  7. This quote spoke the loudest to me, especially in this dreary season of winter!

    “There are cozy spots in this life, but I need to remember “This world is not my home — I’m just passing through.”

    As for EE’s quote about spontaneity. I go back and forth on the subject. My weakness is not too much spontaneity, but too little. I’ve learned to receive all those interruptions that come into my life with joy, and as the movement of the Spirit.

    Obviously, learning to play the piano takes discipline. There seems to be passion–a strong “want to”–that goes along with the discipline necessary to learn an instrument, lose weight, or win an election. In my mind, those who lack the passion will by default, lack the discipline. I think the solution is building the fire of desire that assuages the pain necessary for achievement, not more scheduling.

    Well, I just disagreed with our beloved EE! So sorry!

    Blessings Barbara. Thanks again for hosting.

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