David Mullen

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Practicing the Power by Sam Storms
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George MacDonald
“Who obeys, shines.”
George MacDonald, The Works of George MacDonald

Greg Garrett
“Parker Palmer (who by now you’ve guessed is one of my discernment gurus) writes that when we are doing what we are supposed to be doing, we will know it because we will be energized by it, joyful in it. (Think of the apostle Paul’s fruit of the spirit in Galatians 5: love, joy, peace, and so on.) And when we are not doing what we’re supposed to be doing, we will be dragged down by it, disheartened by it, and perhaps, if we are not careful, destroyed by it. Simply put: Does the path you’re on bring you joy or pain? Note that the question is not, Is this what others think I should be doing? It’s not, Is this what makes me look good—or makes me a lot of money? It’s not even, Is this what other people whose walks with God I respect are doing? Does the path you’re on bring you joy or pain? I’m not talking, of course, about temporary hardships: internships, residencies, two-shift careers while you’re finishing something. I believe that most worthwhile things require hard work, the solving of difficult problems, stamina, faithfulness. In my three years of seminary I was challenged to my limits. I had never worked so hard, had to manage time so well. And I loved every minute of it. Okay, maybe not every minute—I can’t say I enjoyed Greek, or my hospital chaplaincy, although I understood why I was doing them. But even in those hard things I knew I was doing the right thing, and my life, in general, was filled with joy. And if you are doing even the most worthy of things, but it breaks you down instead of building you up, you may need to take notice. Once you set your foot on the path, ask yourself, “Is this the path of God’s joy for me?” If after a while you’re not sure you can answer that question in the affirmative, give some serious thought to whether or not you ought to continue. Merton’s prayer ends in this way: You will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always.5 As I’ve spent time thinking about who and what God is, I’ve come to believe that God’s job is not to make things easy for me. Not to give me a candy-coated existence. Not even to make me feel good about myself. But what has made my life possible—or at least, made it possible to continue living—is that I have felt God’s presence with me in good times and bad, and come to the genuine belief that if I try hard to live in God’s will instead of chasing my own, good things will happen. I rarely, if ever, know exactly what those good things will be, and sometimes they don’t seem particularly good in the moment. But that’s what faith is all about. Not a naive belief that God is going to give me what I want. Instead, it’s my own resolve to go on believing and trusting, and to keep my feet moving on the path, so that up around the next bend or over the next rise, maybe what God has in store for me will come into view.”
Greg Garrett, No Idea: Entrusting Your Journey to a God Who Knows

Oswald Chambers
“You may often see Jesus Christ wreck a life before He saves it. (Cf. Matthew 10:34)”
Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest: Traditional Updated Edition

Brennan Manning
“How have we gotten it so screwed up? I was speaking to the Navigators not long ago and they asked, “Do you have a word for us?” I said, “Yes, I do. Instead of being identified as a community that memorizes Scripture, why not be identified as a community of professional lovers that causes people to say ‘How they love one another!’” Why do we judge Jesus’ criterion for authentic discipleship irrelevant? Jesus said the world is going to recognize you as His by only one sign: the way you are with one another on the street every day. You are going to leave people feeling a little better or a little worse. You’re going to affirm them or deprive them, but there’ll be no neutral exchange. If we as a Christian community took seriously that the sign of our love for Jesus is our love for one another, I am convinced it would change the world. We’re denying to the world the one witness Jesus asked for: LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I’VE LOVED YOU. (JOHN 15:12)”
Brennan Manning, The Furious Longing of God

“It is therefore not true that we become less through loss—unless we allow the loss to make us less, grinding our soul down until there is nothing left but an external self entirely under the control of circumstances. Loss can also make us more. In the darkness we can still find the light. In death we can also find life. It depends on the choices we make.”
Jerry Sittser, A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss

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