After putting Brennan Manning's The Ragamuffin Gospel down for a few weeks, I decided to re-start reading it a few nights ago. Here are some quotes I liked in the first chapter and some thoughts on a few of them.

Too many Christians are living in the house of fear and not in the house of love.

I definitely think this is true. We are afraid of what we don't understand or what we are not used to. We are also afraid of not being accepted; for me, it's a problem with not being able to accept myself at times. We speak in grandiose terms of God's grace and love and acceptance, but it's a lot harder to live it.

Why am I afraid to dance, I who love music and rhythm and grace and song and laughter? Why am I afraid to live, I who love life and the beauty of flesh and the living colors of the earth and sky and sea? Why am I afraid to love, I who love love? --Eugene O'Neill, The Great God Brown

Unfortunately, I feel like this more often than I care to admit. Life becomes ordinary; I don't feel the joy that Scripture promises. I have a Scripture hanging on the door of my bedroom to remind me that I don't have to live that kind of life: "...Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10).

"Justification by grace through faith" is the theologian's learned phrase for what Chesterton once called "the furious love of God." He is not moody or capricious; He knows no seasons of change. He has a single, relentless stance toward us: He loves us. He is the only God man has ever heard of who loves sinners.

That's about enough said. Thank God He loves me, a sinner, a silly girl who has her head screwed on straight only about 5 percent of the time, if that.

The church is not a museum for saints but a hospital for sinners. --Morton Kelsey

This is something that's way to easy to forget. Christ summed it up well when He spoke in Scripture about how the healthy aren't the ones who need a doctor.

God not only loves me as I am, but also knows me as I am. Because of this I don't need to apply spiritual cosmetics to make myself presentable to Him. I can accept ownership of my poverty and powerlessness and neediness.

Amen. Amen.
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On 12:24 PM, March 16, 2006 , Renee said...

I love Brennan Manning... He knows what's up. And so does Misty Bell!!
Be incredibly blessed this week!!