On the desktop of my computer I keep a document called “Current Quotes”, easily found to be opened quickly (the app Evernote works just as well). It’s for brief thoughts and quotes, from deeply trusted sources that reveal deep truths and that speak to me in the moment I first read them. Sometimes they find their way into sermons or articles, but more often they are reminders and encouragements to me to keep living life well and forward, to keep my eyes on the deepest and highest things, and my heart stirred. Maybe they’ll lift your eyes and stir your hearts as well.
They’re gleaned from a wide variety of places. A few have come from Beautiful Day and inward/outward and Plough, most are just stumbled up along the way, cut then pasted or retyped, picked up like little jewels among many stones, then saved, in order to not be forgotten.
“Go and set the world on fire.” St. Ignatius
“Critique by creating.” Michelangelo
“The calling to speak is often a vocation of agony. But we must speak.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
“No one cares what you know until they know you care” Jack Kemp
“Courage…is the indispensable requisite of any true ministry…. If you are afraid of men and a slave to their opinion, go and do something else. Go make shoes to fit them. Go even and paint pictures you know are bad but will suit their bad taste. But do not keep on all of your life preaching sermons which shall not say what God sent you to declare, but what they hire you to say. Be courageous. Be independent.” Phillips Brooks
“To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects … is to succumb to violence. The frenzy of the activist …kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.” Thomas Merton
“Be what you seem. Live your creed”. Horatius Bonar
“The great thing to remember is that, though our feelings come and go, God’s love for us does not.” CS Lewis
“I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am” John Newton
“God loves you for who you are, not who you’re not.” WRLH
“Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.” Victor Hugo
“The gospel is not about how to get to heaven when you die. It’s about how to get to heaven before you die.” Dallas Willard
“Religion is what you do with your solitude.” Archbishop William Temple
“Set yourself on fire in the pulpit, and the whole world will come to watch you burn.” John Wesley
“You yourself are the child you must learn to know, rear, and above all enlighten. To demand that others should provide you with textbook answers is like asking a strange woman to give birth to your baby. There are insights that can be born only of your own pain, and they are the most precious.” Janusz Korczak (Korczak was a remarkable martyr of the Holocaust)
“Wherever you are, be all there.” Jim Elliot
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Winston Churchill
“Not to speak is to speak.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer