Here are some quotes from just the intro and 1st chapter of Learning My Name that I had to write down:
Maybe it's time for me to give up my illusions about my condition in hopes of giving up a condition that needs illusions to make it survivable
Truth be told, my sin isn't what makes me feel like a failure. What makes me feel so lousy is the lens through which I see myself and the meaning of my sin. The problem is woven deep within the fabric of how I see the world and it has everything to do with my ongoing refusal to truly -even indolently- allow myself to be love by God
"Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly. For he is victorious over sin, death, and the world." -Martin Luther
I don't want to be broken. I hate the sin within me and I do want God to reshape me. But when I look to people like Augustine, Luther and Yancy it doesn't take long before I see that maybe I focus more on my sins than on Gods love for me. Something is broken with the way I interact with the world and with my sin and it costs me the experience of God's love. It leaves me trapped in my own fallen stated. I want to experience the healing and freedom in addition to the forgiveness of God's love.
I am coming to have this feeling that for all of us in one way or another, God eventually lets the pressures of our sins pile up against our best efforts and most ardent attempts at faith so that we crumble, throw in the towel and give the bastardly parts of ourselves to God to do with as he will
I don't want to pay the social cost I'm sure to pay if other people see me in my desperate need and brokenness
As dutiful Christians who've come to believe that Jesus only heals all at once and often only to the level of our faith, many of us refuse to give each other permission to admit it yet, but the embarrassing truth is that we need to return to the Cross again and again, even if it's only a brief visit under the cover of night or because a profound momentary crisis drives us to cry out for Christ's mercy once more.
We will forever stumble back into the need for the Cross, whether it's for salvation or relief from our burdens. The horrible bottom-line truth is the Cross is the only place where we make sense.
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