"All words are symbols that represent unspeakable realities. Which is also why words are magical." (Donald Miller tweet)

Friday, September 02, 2011

reading

I've been reading. For pleasure.

Here are some random quotes from books I am currently - or have just finished - reading. Thoughts that grabbed my mind, if even just for a moment.

From Ta'n Teli-ktlamsitasit, which was a thank-you gift from my scary-turned-very-interesting prof last spring.

"Generally speaking, the Mi'kmaw people do not think of spirituality as an abstract entity.
Spirituality is not something that one has.
Rather, it is something that one does every day."

From Ordained Women in the Church of the Nazarene, which I must have put on my Amazon wish list at some point, because someone gave it to me for Christmas. I'm just getting to it now, specifically, at 11:45 last night.

"The denomination officially maintains a position that allows for the ordination of women,
yet there has been little denominational support for women in the ministry.
Many local congregations, perhaps most, do not consider calling a woman
to serve as pastor when vacancies arise.
Cultural prejudice, combined with prior experience with only male ministers,
causes many churches to seek out the best man for the job.
Without female role models and denominational support,
it is no wonder that few women succeed in being ordained and in finding placement
in a profession presently dominated by men."

I'll tell you why that grabbed me. I'm sure I have made that very same observation, out loud and in writing, many times. (Although for the record, and for my own denominational VIPs who might be planning my demise at this moment ... [Just kidding. The VIPs are my friends. I hope.] ... I have not made that very same observation recently - things are changing.) I would suggest that the author was spying on me and stole my stuff, but it was published in March 1993, and I didn't start pastoring until June 1993. Furthermore, I didn't start making speeches until later on. Correction: I didn't start making THAT speech until after later on. At this precise moment, I am realizing that I have been making speeches of all kinds for a good long while.

Anyway, the OTHER reason it grabbed me - is that I'm not IN the denomination of the Church of the Nazarene. No connection at all. And yet, I have had the same speech. Interesting.

From A Modest Proposal and Other Satirical Works, in particular the essay entitled, "Argument Against Abolishing Christianity in England". Note: It's satire. First published in 1708. Don't get your shorts in a knot.

"I hope no reader imagines me so weak to stand up in the defence of REAL Christianity,
such as used in primitive times to have an influence upon men's belief and actions:
to offer at the restoring of that would indeed be a wild project;
it would be to dig up foundations;
to destroy at one blow all the wit and half the learning of the kingdom;
to break the entire frame and constitution of things;
to ruin trade, extinguish arts and sciences, with the professors of them;
in short, to turn our courts, exchanges, and shops into deserts;
and would be full as absurd as the proposal of Horace,
where he advises the Romans all in a body to leave their city,
and seek a new seat in some remote part of the world,
by way of cure for the corruption of their manners.

....Every candid reader will easily understand my discourse
to be intended only in defence of NOMINAL Christianity;
the other having been for some time wholly laid aside by general consent,
as utterly inconsistent with our present schemes of wealth and power."

OH he did NOT just say that!!!! That is just ... just ... brilliant sarcasm at its most glorious. By an Anglican priest, no less. I'm going to go read it again. It makes me laugh.

I wanted to give you a quote from This Child Will Be Great, which was excellent. But I set it down somewhere. When I find it again, I'll give you a tidbit. I know. You can hardly wait.

So I end this post with The Barbarian Way.

"The speaker went on to explain that the innovator
is the guy who eats the poisonous mushroom and dies.
The early adopter is the guy right next to him, who doesn't have to eat it.
He can learn from the innovator's misfortune.

I am a mushroom eater ....
Without risking the poisonous mushroom, we never would have discovered the joys of portobellos ....
If we wait for someone else to take the risk,
we risk that no one will ever act
and that nothing will ever be accomplished.
John the Baptist was a mushroom eater, and it cost him his life.
Jesus, too, was a mushroom eater, and He found Himself nailed to a tree.
Neither man saw his thirty-fifth birthday."

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