C. S. Lewis
“For my own part, I tend to find the doctrinal books often more helpful in devotion than the devotional books, and I rather suspect that the same experience may await others. I believe that many who find that ‘nothing happens’ when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hand.”
C. H. Spurgeon
The minister who does not earnestly pray over his work must surely be a vain and conceited man. He acts as if he thought himself sufficient of himself and therefore needed not to appeal to God.
E. H. Peterson
I realized that this was my place and work in the church, to be a witness to the truth that dazzles gradually. I would be a witness to the Holy Spirit's formation of congregation out of this mixed bag of humanity that is my congregation - broken, hobbled, crippled, sexually abused and spiritually abused, emotionally unstable, passive and passive-aggressive, neurotic men and women. Men at fifty who have failed a dozen times and know that they will never amount to anything. Women who have been ignored and scorned and abused in a marriage in which they have been faithful. People living with children and spouses deep in addiction. Also fresh converts excited to be in on this new life. Spirited young people, energetic and eager to be guided into a life of love, compassion, mission and evangelism. A few seasoned saints who know how to pray and listen and endure. And a considerable number of people who pretty much just show up. I wonder why they bother. There they are. The hot, the cold, the lukewarm, Christians, half-Christians, almost Christians. New-agers, angry ex-Catholics, sweet new converts. I didn't choose them. I don't get to choose them.
When I enter the pulpit with the Bible in my hands and in my heart, my blood begins to flow and my eyes sparkle for the sheer glory of having God's Word to expound. We need to emphasize the glory, the privilege, of sharing God's truth with people.
Oftentimes in reading it (the Bible), every word seemed to touch my heart. I felt a harmony between something in my heart, and those sweet and powerful words. I seemed often to see so much light, exhibited by every sentence, and such a refreshing ravishing food communicated, that I could not get along in reading. Used oftentimes to dwell long on one sentence, to see the wonders contained in it; and yet almost every sentence seemed to be full of wonders.
You can't get away from yourself by moving from one place to another (Jake Barnes to Robert Cohn in The Sun Also Rises).
He that will learn to pray, let him go to sea.
For the first time in my life that year in New York I started going to church regularly. My reason for going was simply that on the same block when I lived there happened to be a church with a preacher I had heard of and that I had nothing all that much better to do with my lonely Sundays. And then there came one particular sermon with on particular phrase in it that does not even appear in a transcript of his words that somebody sent me more than twenty-five years later so I can only assume that he must have dreamed it up a the last minute and ad-libbed it - and on just such foolish, tenuous, holy threads as that, I suppose, hang the destinies of us all. Jesus Christ refused the crown that Satan offered him in the wilderness, Buttrick said, but he is king nonetheless because again and again he is crowned in the heart of the people who believe in him. And that inward coronation takes place, Buttrick said, 'among confession, and tears, and great laughter.' It was the phrase 'great laugher' that did it, did whatever it was that I believe must have been hiddenly in the doing all the years of my journey up till then. It was not so much that a door opened as that I suddenly found a door had been open all along which I had only just then stumbled upon.
When you're lost and you're found
And you're found and you're lost
And you're dancing with no one around
You're coming home to me, just remember
You're coming home to me.