One of the things I love about our source text as Christians, the Bible, is that it teaches us not to avoid conflict. And it teaches us that before the fall of man, in Paradise, there was conflict. God wants conflict to be a part of your life.
I think, in the grand epic, Jesus is the hero of our stories. And our stories, as they were, are subplots in a grand epic and our job is not to be the hero of any story. Our job is to be a saint in a story that he is telling.
I used to write when I was in the mood or felt inspired. Anymore, I write whether I feel inspired or not. It's a discipline. So that's definitely different. It's part of maturing as a person and as a professional.
I started 'Storyline' after I'd accomplished all my goals and still wasn't happy. I'd become a 'New York Times' bestselling author, which was my goal from high school, and yet I was less happy after accomplishing my goals than I was before.
I think that's the true litmus test for someone who has become closer to Jesus: their heart is more loving, accepting, childlike, less believing that they have all the answers and more believing in Him.
Life is a story. You and I are telling stories; they may suck, but we are telling stories. And we tell stories about the things that we want. So you go through your bank account, and those are things you have told stories about.
Dwight Eisenhower said that from the beginning, his mother and father operated on an assumption that set the course of his life - that the world could be fixed of its problems if every child understood the necessity of their existence. Eisenhower's parents assumed, and taught their children, that if their children weren't alive, their family couldn't function. (page 34)
People assume when you're swimming in a river you are supposed to know which way you are going, and I guess some of the time that is true, but there are certain currents that are very strong, and it's when we are in those currents we need somebody to come along, pull us out, and guide us in a safer direction. (page 18)
I think that's why so many couples fight, because they want their partners to validate them and affirm them, and if they don't get that, they feel as though they're going to die. And so they lash out. But it's a terrible thing to wake up and realize the person you just finished crucifying wasn't Jesus.
I don't know why it is, exactly, but the people with the healthiest self-esteem, are also the greatest at intimacy. I'm not talking about arrogant people. I'm talking about people who know they are both good and bad yet believe at the deepest level they are really good for people.
When you fly across the country in an airplane the country seems vast; but it isn't vast. It's all connected by roads one can ride a bike down. If you watch the news and there's a tragedy at a house in Kansas, that guy's driveway connects with yours, and you'd be surprised by how few roads it takes to get there.
And through a dark night of the soul, I came to realize that salvation happens through a mysterious, indefinable, relational interaction with Jesus in which we become one with Him. I realized Christian conversion worked more like falling in love than understanding a series of concepts of ideas. This is not to say there are no true ideas, it is only to say there is something else, something beyond.
I am early in my story, but I believe I will stretch out into eternity, and in heaven I will reflect upon these early days, these days when it seemed God was down a dirt road, walking toward me. Years ago He was a swinging speck in the distance; now He is close enough I can hear His singing. Soon I will see the lines on His face.
I can't do it. It would be like, say, trying to fall in love with somebody, or trying to convince yourself that your favorite food is pancakes. You don't decide those things, they just happen to you. If God is real, He needs to happen to me.
And once you live a good story, you get a taste for a kind of meaning in life, and you can't go back to being normal; you can't go back to meaningless scenes stitched together by the forgettable thread of wasted time.
Before I studied story, I was trying to write a novel, and it was terrible. It wasn't going anywhere, and I couldn't figure out what I was trying to do. It was really hard; much harder than I thought it was going to be. Now that I've studied story, I think I'd have a different approach and maybe I could actually get it done.
I am human because God made me. I experience suffering and temptation because mankind chose to follow Satan. God is reaching out to me to rescue me. I am learning to trust Him, learning to live by His precepts that I might be preserved.
...to be in a relationship with God is to be loved purely and furiously. And a person who thinks himself unlovable cannot be in a relationship with God because he can't accept who God is; a Being that is love. We learn that we are lovable or unlovable from other people...That is why God tells us so many times to love each other.
I think we can provide better stories through providing mentors, and certainly part of my story is providing mentors to kids growing up without dads. I think positive male role models go a long way in terms of rescuing kids from a life of trouble.I think positive male role models go a long way in terms of rescuing kids from a life of trouble.
At the time, I didn't know what forgiveness meant. I wouldn't really know what forgiveness meant for another year, until my pastor, Rick McKinley, happened to spell it out in a sermon. He said that when you forgive, you bear the burden somebody has given you without holding them accountable.
I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn't resolve. But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes.
...the words alone, lonely, and loneliness are three of the most powerful words in the English language...those words say that we are human; they are like the words hunger and thirst. But they are not words about the body, they are words about the soul.
I once listened to an Indian on television say that God was in the wind and the water, and I wondered at how beautiful that was because it meant you could swim in Him or have Him brush your face in a breeze.
All this gave way to my first encounter with guilt, which is still something entirely inscrutable to me, as if aliens were sending transmissions from another planet, telling me there is a right and a wrong in the universe.
And if these mountains had eyes, they would wake to find two strangers in their fences, standing in admiration as a breathing red pours its tinge upon earth's shore. These mountains, which have seen untold sunrises, long to thunder praise but stand reverent, silent so that man's weak praise should be given God's attention.
I didnt like being reminded about how self-absorbed i was. I wanted to be over this, done with this. I didnt want to live in a broken world or a broken me. I wasnt trying to weasel out of anything. I just wasnt in the mood of being on the earth that night. I get like that sometimes when it rains, or when i see certain sad movies.
I think the best thing a person can do is to read through the Gospels in the Bible and really look at Jesus, because if a person does this, they will realize that the Jesus they learned about in Sunday school or the Jesus they hear jokes about or the skinny, Gandhi Jesus that exists in their imaginations isn't anything like the real Jesus at all.
We believe we will be made whole by our accomplishments, our possessions, or our social status. It's written in the fabric of our DNA that life used to be beautiful and now it isn't, and if only this and only that, it would be beautiful again.
My Sunday school teachers had turned Bible narrative into children's fables. They talked about Noah and the ark because the story had animals in it. They failed to mention that this was when God massacred all of humanity.
I tend to write first drafts that are incredibly cognitive, very rational, very boring. They come off as justification. Like, 'This is my idea and here's all the reasons that it's right.' It doesn't make for very compelling reading.
The most often repeated commandment in the Bible is 'Do not fear.' It's in there over two hundred times. That means a couple of things, if you think about it. It means we are going to be afraid, and it means we shouldn't let fear boss us around. Before I realized we were supposed to fight fear, I thought of fear as a subtle suggestion in our subconscious designed to keep us safe, or more important, keep us from getting humiliated. And I guess it serves that purpose. But fear isn't only a guide to keep us safe; it's also a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life.
I do not believe a person can take two issues from Scripture, those being abortion and gay marriage, and adhere to them as sins, then neglect much of the rest and call himself a fundamentalist or even a conservative. The person who believes the sum of his morality involves gay marriage and abortion alone, and neglects health care and world trade and the environment and loving his neighbor and feeding the poor is, by definition, a theological liberal, because he takes what he wants from Scripture and ignores the rest.
Let's show up to life. Let's prove how beautiful it can really be. Let's face the conflict, redeem it, conquer it, and allow it to mold our character. Let's participate in what God is doing in the world.
What Iâm saying is I think life is staggering and weâre just used to it. We all are like spoiled children no longer impressed with the gifts weâre givenâitâs just another sunset, just another rainstorm moving in over the mountain, just another child being born, just another funeral.
If I have a hope, it's that God sat over the dark nothing and wrote you and me, specifically, into the story and put us in with the sunset and the rainstorm as though to say, âEnjoy your place in my story. The beauty of it means you matter, and you can create within it even as I have created you.â
Earthly loveâ¦ is temporal and slight so that is has to be given again and again in order for us to feel any sense of security; but Godâs love, Godâs voice and presence, would instill our souls with such affirmation we would need nothing more and would cause us to love other people so much we would be willing to die for them.
In an age in which we can project an image and score that image based on immediate Facebook and Twitter feedback, thus making a video game of life and a false-reality composed of lies, what gets lost is a joyful obsession with the work we create from the purest of motives, a sheer joy in the act of creation itself that causes us to lose ourselves in something else, and in a way die to ourselves over the absolute love of a thing we are breathing into life.
Sometimes I wish I could go back in time, sit down with myself and explain that things were going to be okay, that everybody loses ground sometimes and it doesnât mean anything. Itâs the way life works. This is hard to understand in the moment. You get to thinking about the girl who rejected you, the job you got fired from, the test you failed, and you lose sight of the big picture â the fact that life has a beautiful way of remaking itself every few weeks.
When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are. And when you stop expecting material possessions to complete you, you'd be surprised at how much pleasure you get in material possessions. And when you stop expecting God to end all your troubles, you'd be surprised how much you like spending time with God.
It's not what people do that scares me. It's what they hide. It's the secrets that keep us from bonding and create distrust. If we were more willing to accept each other's depravity we'd be more united, we'd be more honest. If you hide two things from me, I'll assume you're hiding a million. And I'll keep you at a distance. I'm not afraid of the evil in you. It's in me too.
What we really need is somebody who loves us so much we donât worry about death, or about [anything for that matter]â¦ We need this; we need this so we can love other people purely and not for selfish gain, we need this so we can see everybody as equals, we need this so our relationships can be sincere, we need this so we can stop kicking ourselves around, we need this so we can lose all self-awareness and find ourselves for the first time, not by realizing some dream, but by being told who we are by the only Being who has the authority to know, by that I mean the Creator.
I think if you like somebody you have to tell them. It might be embarrassing to say it, but you will never regret stepping up. I know from personal experience, however, that you should not keep telling a girl that you like her after she tells you she isn't into it. You should not keep riding your bike by her house either.
It is always the simple things that change our lives. And these things never happen when you are looking for them to happen. Life will reveal answers at the pace life wishes to do so. You feel like running, but life is on a stroll. This is how God does things.
I heard once that real love doesn't ask what is in it for me; it just gives unconditionally. It just tries to take the weight out of somebody else's pack, lessen his load, and if it gets reciprocated, that's great, but that isn't what you did it for.
The times in my life when I have been most happy haven't been the times when I have had the most money or the most freedom or the most anything, but rather when I've been in love or in community or right with people.
Itâs interesting that in the Bible, in the book of Ecclesiastes, the only practical advice given about living a meaningful life is to find a job you like, enjoy your marriage, and obey God. Itâs as though God is saying, Write a good story, take somebody with you, and let me help.
I fell in love with books. Some people find beauty in music, some in painting, some in landscape, but I find it in words. By beauty, I mean the feeling you have suddenly glimpsed another world, or looked into a portal that reveals a kind of magic or romance out of which the world has been constructed, a feeling there is something more than the mundane, and a reason for our plodding.
I will love you like God, because of God, mighted by the power of God. I will stop expecting your love, demanding your love, trading for your love, gaming for your love. I will simply love. I am giving myself to you, and tomorrow I will do it again. I suppose the clock itself will wear thin its time before I am ended at this altar of dying and dying again. God risked Himself on me. I will risk myself on you. And together, we will learn to love, and perhaps then, and only then, understand this gravity that drew Him, unto us.
I think this is when most people give up on their stories. They come out of college wanting to change the world, wanting to get married, wanting to have kids and change the way people buy office supplies. But they get into the middle and discover it was harder than they thought. They can't see the distant shore anymore, and they wonder if their paddling is moving them forward. None of the trees behind them are getting smaller and none of the trees ahead are getting bigger. They take it out on their spouses, and they go looking for an easier story.
I believe the greatest trick of the devil is not to get us into some sort of evil but rather have us wasting time. This is why the devil tries so hard to get Christians to be religious. If he can sink a man's mind into habit, he will prevent his heart from engaging God. I was into habit.
And there is something profoundly humbling about knowing God. Iâm not talking about the trinket God or the genie-in-a-lamp God. I mean the God who invented the tree in my front yard, the beauty of my sweetheart, the taste of a blueberry, the violence of a river at flood. There are a lot of religious trends that would have us controlling God, telling us that if we do this that and the other, God will jump through our hoops like a monkey. But this other God, this real God, is awesome and strong, all-encompassing and passionate, and for reasons I will never understand, he wants to father us.
I think writers would do better to consider that idea [to write to yourself], because you know yourself really well, and you never know your demographic fully. You only get into trouble if you try to please somebody you don't really understand.
My most recent faith struggle is not one of intellect. I donât really do that anymore. Sooner or later you just figure out there are some guys who donât believe in God and they can prove He doesn't exist, and there are some other guys who do believe in God and they can prove He does exist, and the argument stopped being about God a long time ago and now itâs about who is smarter, and honestly I donât care.
I've wondered, though, if one of the reasons we fail to acknowledge the brilliance of life is because we don't want the responsibility inherent in the acknowledgment. We don't want to be characters in a story because characters have to move and breathe and face conflict with courage. And if life isn't remarkable, then we don't have to do any of that; we can be unwilling victims instead of grateful participants.
No, life cannot be understood flat on a page. It has to be lived; a person has to get out of his head, has to fall in love, has to memorize poems, has to jump off bridges into rivers, has to stand in an empty desert and whisper sonnets under his breath... We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn't it?" -Donald Miller,Through Painted Deserts
I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn't resolve. But I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes. After that I liked jazz music. Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way. I used to not like God because God didn't resolve. But that was before any of this happened.
Dying for something is easy because it is associated with glory. Living for something is the hard thing. Living for something extends beyond fashion, glory, or recognition. We live for what we believe.
I think Jesus is saying, Look, you guys are running around like monkeys trying to get people to clap, but people are fallen, they are separated from God, so they have no idea what is good or bad, worthy to be judged or set free, beautiful or ugly to begin with. Why not get your glory from God? Why not accept your feelings of redemption because of His pleasure in you, not the fickle and empty favor of man? And only then will you know who you are, and only then will you have true, uninhibited relationships with others.
When I started studying the issue and issues related to fatherlessness, I realized I had all of them. Fear of intimacy, fear of commitment, poor work ethic, just stuff that you don't have when you don't have a man in your life to look you in the eye and say, "You're good," or "Good job."
Of his new book, Don says: âIt might be the greatest book ever written. I donât think anybody is going to read a book again after they read my new one. I think God is proud of me. I am going to make a killing off this thing and Iâm going to use the money to go to space.
If you watched a movie about a guy who wanted a Volvo and worked for years to get it, you wouldnât cry at the end when he drove off the lot, testing the windshield wipers. You wouldnât tell your friends you saw a beautiful movie or go home and put a record on to think about the story youâd seen. The truth is, you wouldnât remember that movie a week later, except youâd feel robbed and want your money back. Nobody cries at the end of a movie about a guy who wants a Volvo.
If the point of life is the same as the point of a story, the point of life is character transformation. If I got any comfort as I set out on my first story, it was that in nearly every story, the protagonist is transformed. He's a jerk at the beginning and nice at the end, or a coward at the beginning and brave at the end. If the character doesn't change, the story hasn't happened yet. And if story is derived from real life, if story is just condensed version of life then life itself may be designed to change us so that we evolve from one kind of person to another.
I don't wonder anymore what I'll tell God when I go to heaven when we sit in the chairs under the tree, outside the city........I'll tell these things to God, and he'll laugh, I think and he'll remind me of the parts I forgot, the parts that were his favorite. We'll sit and remember my story together, and then he'll stand and put his arms around me and say, "well done," and that he liked my story. And my soul won't be thirsty anymore. Finally he'll turn and we'll walk toward the city, a city he will have spoken into existence a city built in a place where once there'd been nothing.
Here's the truth about telling stories with your life. It's going to sound like a great idea, and you're going to get excited about it, and then when it comes time to do the work, you're not going to want to do it. It's like that with writing books, and it's like that with life. People love to have lived a great story, but few people like the work it takes to make it happen. But joy costs pain.
What I believe is not what I say I believe; what I believe is what I do. I used to say that I believed it was important to tell people about Jesus, but I never did. A friend kindly explained that if I do not introduce people to Jesus, then I don't believe Jesus is an important person. It doesn't matter what I say. We live for what we believe.
There is a time when every person who encounters Jesus, who believes Jesus is the Son of God, decides that they will spend their life following Him. Some people, like the Apostle Paul, make this decision the minute they meet Him, the minute they become a Christian. Others, like the Apostle Peter, endure years of half-hearted commitment and spiritual confusion before leaping in with all their passion. Still others may enjoy some benefits of God's love and grace without entering into the true joy of a marriage with their maker.
Many of our attempts to understand Christian faith have only cheapened it. I can no more understand the totality of God than the pancake I made for breakfast understands the complexity of me. The little we do understand, that grain of sand our minds are capable of grasping, those ideas such as God is good, God feels, God loves, God knows all, are enough to keep our hearts dwelling on His majesty and otherness forever.
I'm amazed at how much my writing is improved when I step away from the computer, even in small amounts. If I'm stuck, I vacuum the living room or walk the dog. I'm amazed at what comes out of that... We have to realize that part of the writing life where we're sitting down at the computer is harvesting the crops, but you have to have planted them and watered them and created fertile soil - and that's a life.
The thing about being irresponsible is it's only cute till you are about twenty-two or so, then it becomes a liability. One day you wake up under a pizza box, the television blaring in your bedroom, the laundry piled up over what might be a bedside table, and you ask yourself: 'How did my life get like this? Why don't people like me? Didn't I have a cat and what is that smell?'
Much of the time Iâve spent trying to impress people has been a waste. The reality is people are impressed with all kinds of things: intelligence, power, money, charm, talent, and so on. But the ones we tend to stay in love with are, in the long run, the ones who do a decent job loving us back.
It is hard for us to admit we have a sin nature because we live in this system of checks and balances. If we get caught, we will be punished. But that doesn't make us good people; it only makes us subdued. Just think about the Congress and Senate and even the president. The genius of the American system is not freedom; the genius of the American system is checks and balances. Nobody gets all the power. Everybody is watching everybody else. It is as if the founding fathers knew, intrinsically, that the soul of man, unwatched, is perverse.
Leave. Roll the world around on your tongue for a bit. It is a beautiful world, isn't it? So strong and forceful, the way you have always wanted to be. And you will not be alone. You have never been alone. Don't worry. Everything will still be here when you get back. It is you who will have changed.
And I found Jesus very disturbing, very straightforward. He wasn't diplomatic, and yet I felt like if I met Him, He would really like me. Don, I can't explain how freeing that was, to realize that if I met Jesus, He would like me. I never felt like that about some of the Christians on the radio. I always thought if I met those people they would yell at me. But it wasn't like that with Jesus.
There is something beautiful about a billion stars held steady by a God who knows what He is doing. (They hang there, the stars, like notes on a page of music, free-form verse, silent mysteries swirling in the blue like jazz.) And as I lay there, it occurred to me that God is up there somewhere.
Somehow I had come to believe that because a person is in need, they are candidates for sympathy, not just charity. It was not that I wanted to buy her groceries, the government was already doing that. I wanted to buy her dignity. And yet, by judging her, I was the one taking her dignity away.
Right, but you know, what would any of us lose by losing our possessions. Maybe we would gain something, like relationships, like the beauty of good friends, intimacy, you know what I mean, man? Like we wouldn't be losing anything if we lost our stuff, we'd be gaining everything.
I know our culture will sometimes understand a love for Jesus as weakness. There is this lie floating around that says I am supposed to be able to do life alone, without any help, without stopping to worship something bigger than myself. But I actually believe there is something bigger than me, and I need for there to be something bigger than me. I need someone to put awe inside me; I need to come second to someone who has everything figured out.
But the people who took the bus didn't experience the city as we experienced the city. The pain made the city more beautiful. The story made us different characters than we would have been if we had skipped the story and showed up at the ending an easier way.
We live in a world where bad stories are told, stories that teach us life doesn't mean anything and that humanity has no great purpose. It's a good calling, then, to speak a better story. How brightly a better story shines. How easily the world looks to it in wonder. How grateful we are to hear these stories, and how happy it makes us to repeat them.
At the end of the day, when I am lying in bed and I know the chances of any of our theology being exactly right are a million to one, I need to know that God has things figured out, that if my math is wrong we are still going to be okay. And wonder is that feeling we get when we let go of our silly answers, our mapped out rules that we want God to follow. I don't think there is any better worship than wonder.
Humans are designed to seek comfort and order, and so if they have comfort and order, they tend to plant themselves, even if their comfort isn't all that comfortable. And even if they secretly want for something better.
When you live on your own for a long time, however, your personality changes because you go so much into yourself you lose the ability to be social, to understand what is and isn't normal behavior. There is an entire world inside yourself, and if you let yourself, you can get so deep inside it you will forget the way to the surface. Other people keep our souls alive, just like food and water does with our body.
He thought about the story his daughter was living and the role she was playing inside that story. He realized he hadn't provided a better role for his daughter. He hadn't mapped out a story for his family. And so his daughter had chosen another story, a story in which she was wanted, even if she was only being used. In the absence of a family story, she'd chosen a story in which there was risk and adventure, rebellion and independence.
*I want to keep walking away from the person I was a moment ago... *So soon you will be in that part of the book where you are holding the bulk of the pages in your left hand, and only a thin wisp of the story in your right. *We get one story, you and I, and one story alone....It might be time for you to go. It might be time to change, to shine out.
Sometimes when I watch my dog, I think about how good life can be, if we only lose ourselves in our stories. Lucy doesn't read self-help books about how to be a dog; she just IS a dog. All she wants to do is chase ducks and sticks and do other things that make both her and me happy. It makes me wonder if that was the intention for man, to chase sticks and ducks, to name animals, to create families, and to keep looking back at God to feed off his pleasure at our pleasure.
Christ, in short, asks us to give everything, all our false redemption in the lifeboat, all our false ideas about who God is, all our trust in something other than God to redeem us. In so doing, we die to our broken natures in exchange for His perfect nature, and find unification with Him that will allow God to see us as one.
They are lonely. I'm not talking about lonely for a lover or a friend. I mean lonely in the universal sense, lonely inside the understanding that we are tiny people on a tiny little earth suspended in an endless void that echoes past stars and stars of stars.
The thing about new things is you feel new when you buy them, you feel as though you are somebody different because you own something different. We are our possessions, you know. There are people who get addicted to buying new stuff. Things. Piles and piles of things. But the new things become old things so quickly. We need new things to replace the old things.
Robert McKee says humans naturally seek comfort and stability. Without an inciting incident that disrupts their comfort, they wonât enter into a story. They have to get fired from their job or be forced to sign up for a marathon. A ring has to be purchased. A home has to be sold. The character has to jump into the story, into the discomfort and the fear, otherwise the story will never happen.
For me, the beginning of sharing my faith with people began by throwing out Christianity and embracing Christian spirituality, a nonpolitical mysterious system that can be experienced but not explained.
The truth is there are a million steps, and we don't even know what the steps are, and worse, at any given moment we may not be willing or even able to take them; and still worse, they are different for you and they are always changing. I have come to believe the sooner we will fall in love with the God who keeps shaking things up, keeps changing the path, keeps rocking the boat to test our faith in Him, teaching us to not rely on easy answers, bullet points, magic mantras, or genies in lamps, but rather in His guidance, His existence, His mercy, and His love.
But playing your music as loud as you want and coming home drunk aren't real life. Real life, it turns out, is diapers and lawnmowers, decks that need painting, a wife that needs to be listened to, kids that need to be taught right from wrong, a checkbook, an oil change, a sunset behind a mountain, laughter at a kitchen table, too much wine, a chipped tooth, and a screaming child.
The real voice is stiller and smaller and seems to know, without confusion, the difference between right and wrong and the subtle delineation between the beautiful and profane. It's not an agitated voice, but ever patient as though it approves a million false starts. The voice I am talking about is a deep water of calming wisdom.
When I walked into the Christian section of a bookstore, the message was clear: Faith is something you do alone. Rick does not have much tolerance for people living alone. He's like Bill Clinton in that he feels everyone's pain. If Rick thinks somebody is lonely, he can't sleep at night. He wants us all to live with each other and play nice so he can get some rest. Tortured soul.
I listened so hard because it felt like, while she was telling me stories, she was massaging my soul, letting me know that I was not alone, that I will never have to be alone, that there are friends and family and churches and coffee shops. I was not going to be cast into space.
I kept imagining these people, just living their daily lives, and then having them suddenly ended in unjust tragedy. When we watch the news, we grieve all of this, but when we go to the movies, we want more of it. Somehow we realize that great stories are told in conflict, but we are unwilling to embrace the potential greatness of the story we are actually in. We think God is unjust, rather than a master storyteller.
Do I still think there will be a day when all the wrongs are made right, when our souls find the completion they are looking for? I do. But when all things are made right, it wonât be because of some preacher or snake-oil salesman or politician or writer making promises in his book. I think, instead, this will be done by Jesus. And it will be at a wedding. And there will be a feast.
The thing I loved about her was that I never felt like she was selling anything. She would talk to God as if she knew Him, as if she had talked to Him on the phone that day. She was never ashamed which is the thing with some Christians I had encountered.
It's funny how you can't ask difficult questions in a familiar place, how you have to stand back a few feet and see things in a new way before you realize nothing that is happening to you is normal. The trouble with you and me is we are used to what is happening to us. We grew into our lives like a kernel beneath the earth, never able to process the enigma of our composition...Nothing is normal. It is all rather odd, isn't it, our eyes in our heads, our hands with five fingers, the capacity to understand beauty, to feel love, to feel pain.
I used love like money, but love doesn't work like money. It is not a commodity. When we barter with it, we all lose. When the church does not love it's enemies, it fuels their rage. It makes them hate us more.
If we hear, in our inner ear, a voice saying we are failures, we are losers, we will never amount to anything, this is the voice of Satan trying to convince the bride that the groom does not love her. This is not the voice of God. God woos us with kindness. He changes out of character with the passion of his love.
The trouble with deep belief is that it costs something And there is something inside me, some selfish beast of a subtle thing that doesn't like the truth at all because it carries responsibility, and if I actually believe these things I have to do something about them. It is so, so cumbersome to believe anything. And it isn't cool.
Some people skip through life. Others are dragged through it. I sometimes wonder if we are moving through time, or whether time is moving through us. Light, unlike anything else in the universe is not effected by time. Light exists outside of time.. It is still a mystery to physicists.
I think that every living person, every person who is awake to the functioning principles within his reality has a moment where he stops blaming the problems in the world on group thinking, on humanity and authority, and starts to face himself. I hate this more than anything. This is the hardest principle within christian spirituality for me to deal with. The problem is not out there, the problem is the needy beast of a thing living in my chest.
More than my questions about the efficacy of social actions were my questions about my own motives. Do i want social justice for the oppressed or do i jusy want to be known as a socially active person? I spend 95 percent of my time thinking about myself anyway. I dont have to watch the evening news to see the world is bad, i only have to look at myself. I am not brow beating here, i am only saying that true charge , true living giving, God honoring change would have to start with the individual. I was the very problem i had been protesting. I wanted to make a sign that read âI am the problem
It comforts me to think that if we are created beings the thing that created us would have to be greater than us, so much greater, in fact, that we would not be able to understand it. It would have to be greater than the facts of our reality and so it would seem to us, looking out from within our reality that it would contradict reason. But reason itself would suggest it would have to be greater than reality or it would not be reasonable.
Everybody wants to be fancy and new. Nobody wants to be themselves. I mean, maybe people want to be themselves, but they want to be different, with different clothes or shorter hair or less fat. It's a fact. If there was a guy who just liked being himself and didn't want to be anybody else, that guy would be the most different guy in the world and everybody would want to be him.
We don't think much about how our love stories will affect the world, but they do. Children learn what's worth living for and what's worth dying for by the stories they watch us live. I want to teach our children how to get scary close, and more, how to be brave. I want to teach them that love is worth what it costs.
As a human, I am flawed in that it is difficult for me to consider others before myself. It feels like I have to fight against this force, this current within me that, more often than not, wants to avoid serious issues and please myself, buy things for myself, feed myself, entertain myself, and all of that.
I am a person of faith, so I come from a community that's involved in 360,000 churches across the country, that is an institution that could, in a relatively short period of time, provide hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of positive male role models.
When you write, you're alone in a room. And when someone reads a book, they're alone in a room, too, usually. It's a really intimate exchange. And so people ask me where I get the boldness to talk about this or that, but I didn't feel like it required any sort of courage, because I was alone. Sometimes it feels weird for people to read it.
I posted the first three chapters and I had enough people say that chapter two was dragging that I cut it out just before the book went to press. And I'm glad I did. The book is a lot better without it.
You're always weighing whether you should be that accessible or not, but my personality is naturally just to throw it all out there, so I'm much more comfortable with doing thatmy personality is naturally just to throw it all out there, so I'm much more comfortable with doing that.
I didn't know how story worked. So, when writing the screenplay, people introduced me to the science of it. And I'm grateful. I'll probably use that information for the rest of my career, in terms of writing novels or writing stories. And then, of course, to help me live a better story, a more meaningful story
I had some friends commenting me books, but mostly it was people I didn't know. But they're fans. They're fans of the books, so they have a working knowledge of how I write, and they know what they like and what they don't like. I'm really grateful for their feedback.
There are about 360,000 churches in America, so we could mentor a million kids within a short period of time if everyone signed on, which, of course, is a pipedream, but we're going to reach toward that.
I posted chapters online and let people give feedback, and I was surprised at how much of that feedback I actually used for the book.I posted chapters online and let people give feedback, and I was surprised at how much of that feedback I actually used for the book. It was a different process for me, but I liked it.