As I look back over they years there are a number of sentences that have had a huge influence upon my life. No doubt, books have made a significant impact upon me. But what made the books influential were the sentence or two within its covers that tattooed themselves upon my mind or heart or soul.
Here is a sampling of sentences from my favorite books and writers used by the Spirit of God to bring about transformation in my life. Although I could write pages about each sentence I will let them stand on their own for your reading and pondering.
"But there is such a thing as rising early for the love of God." (Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, p. 44)
"Beyond all and in all is God." (Pursuing the Monk's Life by Thomas Merton, July 17, 1956)
"Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace." (Now and Then by Frederick Buechner, p. 87)
"For it is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God Himself, and unless and until the hearers find God in personal experience they are not the better for having heard the truth. The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His Presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts." (The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer, p. 9-10)
"for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men's faces."
(Poems and Prose by Gerard Manley Hopkins, p. 51)
"God and passion. That is why I was a pastor, that is why I had come to this place: to live in the presence of God, to live with passion - and to gather others into the presence of God, introducing them into the possibilities of a passionate life." (Under the Unpredictable Plant by Eugene H. Peterson, p. 45)
"The whole purpose for which we exist is to be thus taken into the life of God." (Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis, p. 161)
"We are like sponges trying to mop up the ocean. We can never know God exhaustively. We can never picture God or imagine him. Either we make him too small, and we strain at that, or we make him too big, and he strains us. We have not got to invent God, nor to hold him. He holds us. I want you to hold very clearly the otherness of God, and the littleness of men. If you don't get that you can't have adoration, and you cannot have religion without adoration. I know more and more how small I am, how great God is." (Letters to a Niece by Baron Fredrich von Hugel, p. 24)
That's a start. I could go on and on. Enjoy!