Pithy quotes from our current reading which give us pause to reflect

I’m also not saying I’ll never have a “dark night of the soul”. I do hope, should such circumstance tend to influence me that way, that I will be obedient and remember all the times God has faithfully rescued me (and others), as we are admonished to do from the Psalms particularly, but elsewhere as well. (A Spurgeon on fear: April 22, p.m.)

Nope. It’s saying you don’t have some complete and objective understanding of gravity. Which you don’t.

You said access. I have access to God, not just an idea of him or ‘a belief’.

I hope you are able to live by these words, Dale. The seem to be of utmost importance to you. However I hope you will trust my testimony that others go through differently and legitimately.

In my family’s experience going through I couldn’t think and barely function. Obedience was a meaningless category to apply. God the Father was utterly terrifying in the face of his unstaid destructive power, and Jesus seemed not to be mediating. Prayer was out of the question.
I have no comprehension why I still have faith or any interest in it. God seems not to be done with me or my family. I get no points for victory or obedience or anything else. Dogged plodding through those days was all I accomplished and that through the power of other people pushing and pulling me along.

When someone tells you of their “dark night” and how they found themselves at the end of themselves, it’s best not to interpret for them. You simply cannot know until you’ve been crushed yourself. Having been somewhere near, and not nearly so deep, Austin’s experience rings true to me.


I’m pushing 74. I’ve been more than once, yet God has been faithful and surprising, not that there are no chronic griefs. So please.

One time I’ve divulged here you may remember – prostrate pleading. Another time about a decade later, I was distraught and pretty much in a fetal position on the floor, but sitting and rocking.

Been there done that too, at least a decade in toto, almost certainly more.

Nor I, only grace. But cannot a loving Father give his children gifts? He is not likely to with disobedience, however.

I’m not questioning or doubting your witness, Dale. Just like other people also have their own experiences which won’t be exactly like yours.


What I have trouble with is Christians talking about God as if he is just an abstraction or ‘a belief’.

It’s certainly a book that lends itself to feeling and intuition. I’m really enjoying his gorgeous use of imagery and powerful associations with place.


Phil, this poem! I recently printed it out nice on beautiful paper and sent it to a friend, who needed to hear all of it. I keep the “test print” on my desk for myself. I’ll be reading it regularly for a long, long time.

Sitting on the flagstone that leads to the garden swing dealing with long-neglected weeding and listening to Jayber Crowe over the neighbors arguing an acre away. Jayber is talking about the “rememberers” and them bring their i struments in after hours to the barber shop.
Well, now the weeds are further neglected because I’m telling you this about this beautiful novel on a splended mild evening, sitting here among the weeds and woodchips.

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Thank you for bringing me back. I may have to become more of a rememberer myself.

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These rumination sections in Jayber Crowe are stellar pieces of writing and thought, I stopped listening yesterday where he was ruminating in how fear and grief (related to WWII) are processed by a community that is utterly insignificant to the rest of the world. Exquisite.
And the whole time I was thinking about the lateral universals from Penner, human experiences that, while different, contain elements that are universal to being human. I have no experience like the terror of having a husband or friend or son ar war or, who has died at war. But grief and fear i understand and how communities behave together in such circumstances.
My head was just swimming, listening.

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        Joy & Strength

Kierkegaard: a Very Short Introduction by Patrick Gardiner. p. 24
“Kierkegaard’s numerous comentators have tended to agree that he was not a philosopher in any customary or traditional sense of the term…Readers who come to his work in the expectatation of being confronted by clear lines of argument, preceeding from carefully formulated premisses and issuing in determinate conclusions, will often be disappointed…”

I laughed over this. Out on the swing in the shade surrounded by singing bugs and birds. Armed with my lunch and my PoMo notebook.


A few good quotes from Carolyn Custis James’ Half the Church:

This book is the inevitable progression from those earlier books because it moves us from knowledge to action. One can’t simply learn the truth and sit on it. Truth not only changes how we see ourselves, it changes what we do and how we live.

Into this world of breathtaking opportunities and shocking atrocities, the church attempts to speak a solid message for women. But the message we offer is not robust enough to address the opportunities, changes, and extremities of life in a fallen world. It is too small for successful women leaders in the secular world and too weak to restore full meaning and purpose to women who have been trampled. It is not far-reaching enough to encompass every woman’s whole life or the variegations that exist for us within this multicultural, rapidly changing world.

This was waiting in the mailbox, when I got home. I ordered it from the Wade Center at Wheaton, where they had a wonderful letter on display that Lewis had written to a class of children who had sent him some questions about Narnia books. He wrote back intelligently and respectfully, taking the kids questions (and their effort to bother to write) seriously. Scott was enamored. As a school board member, he loves to visit the elementary schools and spend time with the kids. That letter spoke right to his way of being. Some of you would probably like it, too. I’ll to pull some quotes soon, rather than merely brag that I have received yet another new book!

EDIT: Here is the letter to the 5th graders, of which we saw a copy on display at the Wade Center.


Thanks for posting the letter. Nice.

It does show what engaging one’s imagination can do and how that can be inspiring for so many.


Well I haven’t started reading the1500 pages of The Matter With Things but certainly intend to. For now I’m making do with occasional videos that talk about it. Apparently in this book there is more about the sacred than was included in the earlier book The Master and His Emissary. In fact the entire final chapter is devoted to it.

Alas his books are so thorough and heavily foot noted that I don’t think many will ever read either book. Even many of his videos have shown his penchant for thoroughness. But this recording of a Zoom interview by a man associated with the Theos Think Take, a Christian organization, managed to get him to chip away at his verbiage. The interview proceeds at breakneck speed and comes in well under an hour with between a third and a quarter of it devoted to answering participants questions. It also gets him to talk about his own early experience with the sacred early on.

But my strongest recommendation is for the segment between 39:15 and 45:35 during which they discuss both the Problem of Evil and the Hard Problem of Consciousness. Hold onto your hats.

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