The Week In Words

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.

Just a further note — if you’ve posted a quote on your blog this past week, feel free to link it here as well. You don’t have to save it for Mondays. :) And please do read and comment even if you’re not posting quotes.

Here are a few that stood out to me this week:

On several friends’ Facebook statuses:

The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything they have.

That speaks much to being content with such things as we have, as we’re instructed to be (Hebrews 13:5-6). It seems no matter how much we have, there is always a craving for more.

I saw this at Semicolon’s:

“It is not enough to simply teach children to read; we have to give them something worth reading. Something that will stretch their imaginations–something that will help them make sense of their own lives and encourage them to reach out toward people whose lives are quite different from their own.”~Katharine Paterson, U.S. National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

I so agree with this! I am astounded when I hear parents or teachers say, “I don’t care what my kids are reading as long as they’re reading.” We don’t say the same about physical food: “I don’t care what my kids are eating, as long as they’re eating.” Why would we care less about what kids are putting into their brains? I am not talking about the extremes of censorship but rather teaching discernment and providing good books to read (for them and ourselves). There are so many good choices, we don’t need to read shoddy stuff just to have something to read.

Then in an article titled 10 Writing Tips at ChristianWritingToday.com (I got there via Semicolon’s link to 8 Writing Tips From C. S. Lewis on the same site) these first two were the ones that most stood out to me:

1.  Write only when you have something to say. (Playwright David Hare).

2.  The reader is a friend, not an adversary, not a spectator. (Jonathan Franzen)

That second one especially spoke to me: if writing is to be a means of communication rather than just self-expression, writers need to engage the reader, and then not be offended if a reader doesn’t “get” or like something, but rather look for ways to better communicate with the reader (though of course we all understand that we can’t please everybody. But pleasing and effectively communicating aren’t always the same thing.)

Then from an Elisabeth Elliot e-mail devotinal from her book A Lamp For My Feet concerning Romans 12:1-2:

The primary condition for learning what God wants of us is putting ourselves wholly at his disposal. It is just here that we are often blocked. We hold certain reservations about how far we are willing to go, what we will or will not do, how much God can have of us or of what we treasure. Then we pray for guidance. It will not work. We must begin by laying it all down–ourselves, our treasures, our destiny. Then we are in a position to think with renewed minds and act with a transformed nature. The withholding of any part of ourselves is the same as saying, “Thy will be done up to a point, mine from there on.”

That is the sticking point, isn’t it? I want God’s perfect will in my life…unless it means that.

From the same source comes this quote:

If God is almighty, there can be no evil so great as to be beyond his power to transform. That transforming power brings light out of darkness, joy out of sorrow, gain out of loss, life out of death.

Sometimes we boggle at the evil in the world and especially in ourselves, feeling that this sin, this tragedy, this offense cannot possibly fit into a pattern for good. Let us remember Joseph’s imprisonment, David’s sin, Paul’s violent persecution of Christians, Peter’s denial of his Master. None of it was beyond the power of grace to redeem and turn into something productive. The God who establishes the shoreline for the sea also decides the limits of the great mystery which is evil. He is “the Blessed Controller of all things.” God will finally be God, Satan’s best efforts notwithstanding.

We tend to want bad things prevented rather than transformed. That day will come, but it is not now. A friend once said she realized that if God were to wipe out all the evil in the world, He would have to wipe out all of us, for we all sin. I am thankful He transforms us rather than just doing away with us, and and we can trust Him to limit what He allows of evil and trust Him to somehow work it together for good (Romans 8:28) until the day when it is taken out of the way completely.

If you have some family-friendly quotes you’d like to share, please leave the link to your “Week In Words” post (not just to your general blog) with Mr. Linky below. Of course, it is fine to just leave a quote in the comments section if you’d rather. I hope you’ll visit some of the other participants, too: this is a small enough meme so far that it is not hard to visit around with others who love to glean quotes from their reading as well.

The Week In Words Participants

1. bekahcubed 2. Susan 3. Jerrie

Powered by… Mister Linky’s Magical Widgets.

(Mr. Linky is closed for this post: Please see the current Week In Words post to put your new quotes in.)

10 thoughts on “The Week In Words

  1. By the way, generally I try to have this up before I go to bed Sunday nights, but that doesn’t always work out. I think I might try starting this up as a draft with the first quote I see that I like and then adding to it through the week rather than trying to assemble a post with quotes on Sunday or Monday. At any rate, I do want to and will try to have this up earlier next time.

  2. I love the first line of that last quote “If God is almighty, there can be no evil so great as to be beyond his power to transform.”

    It seems like our most common response to evil and suffering is to question God’s goodness–and the most common response of (liberal) apologists is to question God’s sovereignty.

    Yet it is only in God’s sovereignty AND His goodness that we can truly have hope in the midst of trials–for He is Almighty and He will transform all evil to accomplish His purposes.

  3. Pingback: Does the cross promote pacifism? « bekahcubed

  4. Excellent thoughts this week! I often used to pray for the evil to end and peace to rein, then a pastor friend of mine reminded me that when the evil stops and Jesus claims his bride, the condemned are truly forever condemned. Instead she suggested that I pray for more effective and fruitful witnesses to spread God’s word.

  5. Cowabonga! You give us too much too think about girl! Hmmmm. I love that one about nothing is beyond his power to transform. –so encouraging.

    The writing quotes were good…..I think when I blog I sometimes do it for myself. I like to have things that I need to think on, or remember, or things that make me smile, etc. So I do write when I have nothing to say, ha! My hubby would say the same thing goes for my speech…..I Sometimes need to reign (sp?) it in.

    Eliot’s quote was good–but I really wonder how much we can be giving ourselves wholly—seems impossible when sin is always creeping around.

    There is a quote by Ryle I would share that hit me this week, but I am not sure I could find it because it was one my hubby shared with me. If I do I will post it. When is your linky finished? Would I need to link next week?

    • I leave the links open til the following Monday, but you might want to save it til then when more people will see it, as most of my readers have already seen this post.

  6. I stumbled on your site and was so encouraged by the writing. I recently saw this on a friends plaque that read, “The Will of God Will Never Take You Where The Grace of God cannot Sustain You.”

    I love to see blogs that lift up the name and person of Jesus! Bless you!

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