Wednesday, March 13, 2013

"The hope of the whole world rests on the shoulders of a homeless man..."


I love Rich Mullins and I don't care if you all think I'm a little off kilter because I post pages of his quotes - because that is how much I love all. of. this. Also, I am a little off kilter, so you only think the truth. PSYCH! So. There. Ha! lol

(Also, I am up so early because I went to bed at 8 and fell asleep immediately like an old lady because I was exhausted)

**Italics and Bold added by yours truly**

“People often ask me what I believe… which always cracks me up, because you always think, well, why would I write that song, ‘Creed,’ if I didn’t believe it? That should pretty much outline it for you. They want to know what my millennial view is. I don’t even have a millennial view. I can’t see it. They want to know what I believe about baptism. Well, I think a lot of things about baptism, but I don’t really know what I believe about it. My faith isn’t in that. My faith isn’t in creationism. Certainly isn’t in the Religious Right kind of reasoning. Everything that has ever happened has failed, and it will continue to fail. But I think that’s because God is a jealous God. And he will not share us even with our best ideas about him.”
And when Christ has stripped away all of your phony-baloney kind of systematic theology, all of your lame, Protestant kind of stupidity, all of your Catholic hang-ups, when Christ has stripped away everything that we have invented about him, then maybe we will encounter him as he really is. And we will know ourselves as we really are. So don’t be afraid that your faith gets shaken. Could be that God is shaking you forward, and shaking you free.
And the issue is not which side of which fence you end up on. The issue is really, has to do with, what does it mean to love Christ? What does it mean to obey him? And I’m not really even sure what that is. But if there is any meaning in the life of Jesus of Nazareth, it is this — that there is a God who created us, and who loves us so much that he would stop at nothing to bring us to him.
And I really suspect that of all the things we think we want to know, the only thing we really want to know is that we are loved. And if Jesus means anything, he means that you are loved. I hope you know that. And I hope you stop worrying about all the stuff you don’t know, because I don’t think it amounts to a hill of beans.”
– Rich Mullins

“Christianity is about a daily walk with this person, Jesus. The heart of Christian faith is a radical and reasonable trust and focus on Jesus, but for many of us our focus has shifted very subtly from love for Jesus and faithfulness to him and obedience to him to a set of doctrines. Life and living comes from God — it comes from Jesus — not from doctrines or good morals. You can be an utterly moral person and not be alive. Jesus came that we might have life, not good morals. It’s not that I’m opposed to good morals at all, it’s just that sometimes I think we put the cart before the horse… the goal is not that you should become a great Bible scholar. It’s not about mere intellectual assent to a set of doctrines. The goal is that you should be like Jesus.”– Rich Mullins

"Maybe it’s more important that we know Jesus than anything else in the world. And maybe all our questions, maybe all our answers don’t amount to a hill of beans. But they’re fun to ask. And it’s always impressive to have an answer even though they don’t ever amount to much. Sometimes wethink that Christianity will be communicated when we become really intelligent or really articulate. But Christianity is communicated the same way diseases are — it’s communicated through touch, through breath, through life, not through information. And Christian vitality does not come from having a great head, but it comes from being connected to a great God who really is life.” -Rich Mullins.

"Christ preached what he himself called the “Good News” of the kingdom of God — a kingdom full of miracles. He himself said that in this kingdom the poor would know comfort — and even the most debauched hedonists among us know that if comfort is found by anyone, it is a miracle.
In this kingdom of miraculous comfort, Christ said that the meek would inherit the earth (quite contrary to the law of survival of the fittest), the hungry would be satisfied (not a popular notion in a consumerist society), the pure would have vision (a threat to a world that thrives on sensationalism) and the peacemakers (not the most heavily armed aggressors) would be esteemed.
[But] herein is the rub. Christ said that his kingdom — the world where he himself reigns — is forchildren. He himself said that if we don’t need a miracle we will most likely have little interest in him. If we are able to get along joyfully in the grown-up world of supply, demand, survival, aggression, sensations and consumerism, then we’d probably have too low to stoop and too much trimming to do to slip through that needle’s eye gateway to him. If we aren’t sick, we don’t need a doctor. If we aren’t lost, we don’t need a leader.
But, if we can admit a need, if we aren’t as altogether as we sometimes secretly fear we’re not, if we can shed our thick-skinned self-reliance and peel off that thin veneer of satisfaction — then there is a place for us in his kingdom and a fairly fat chance that we can loosen our load and slip on through. If we can find that courage… or that honesty… if we can be needy, helpless, blessed as a child
Oh Lord, this is me calling — an adult in an adult world, needing to be a child again in a kingdom for children. Oh Lord — can you make me that? It will take a miracle." -Rich Mullins

“So many of you people try so hard to be good. And you think someday you’re going to be so good that God is going to look down on you favorably. Well, let me tell you something — God already looks down on you favorably. That’s what grace is. Not because you’ve earned it but because he is a favorable looking God.”
Some of you people are so afraid that someday you’re going to cross that line, that you’re going to do that one sin that God will never forgive you of, or you’re going to do that one sin that you’ve been doing so long but you have this feeling that there is a certain number of times you can get away with it and God can look away, but one time too many and your life is over.
Folks, God knew you at your worst before he ever sent Christ to die for you. And the good news of Christianity is not that Christ came into the world to make good little boys and girls. Christ came into the world to take away those sins that you’ve allowed to come between you and God. It’s sad to me to believe, to look out there and see, when you’re driving down the road and you see people who are afraid, you see people who are angry, and you go, ‘If only you knew how crazy about you God was… God has already loved you… if only you knew!
So I don’ t know if I can make a lot of sense in a lot of ways, but let me tell you this — that God will never give up on you. He will never stop loving you. That love is a reality no matter what you do or don’t do. God does not call us to be angelshe calls us to be his, and to be who we are in him.”
– Rich Mullins

“Our faith is not in ourselves. If our faith was in ourselves, we could never afford to fail. Who wants to go through a life where you never fail? What a drag. Perfection is boring, folks. People who are perfect are only perfect because they are nothing. Anyone who ever did anything messed up…where there’s life, there’s mess. Where someone is living, they’re gonna make mistakes.” -Rich Mullins

"God has called us to be lovers and we frequently think that he meant us to be saviors. So we “love” as long as we see “results.” We give of ourselves as long as our investments pay off, but if the ones we love do not respond, we tend to despair and blame ourselves and even resent those we pretend to love. Because if we love someone, we want them to be free of addictions, of sin, of self — and that is as it should be. But it might be that our love for them and our desire for their well-being will not make them wellAnd, if that is the case, their lack of response no more negates the reality of love than their quickness to respond would confirm it.
Love is a virtue and not a feeling. It is fed and fired by God — not by the favorable response of the beloved. Even when it doesn’t seem to make a dime’s worth of difference to the ones on whom it lavished, it is still the most prized of all virtues because it is at the heart of the very character of God. By loving we participate in his life and essence. When we stoop to bait and buy good behavior we are no longer loving as God loves. We are manipulating and cheapening the dignity of the person whom we are called — not to save, not even to change — but to love. If real salvation is possible (and we know it is) it is because real love is there. And love that is real, love that is truly a virtue and not just an act — agape love — gushes from God through those who know him. It is not strung along by those who don’t.
In a world where quantitative values have obscured the reality of qualitative values — where we long to measure progress and chart growth, it is easy to give in to the temptation to judge ourselves and to try to walk by sight. But into that confused and meaningless effort God speaks with his great, still and small voice, with his Christ. He speaks through these invisible virtues with which his people shine and in the light of their lives this desperate, smug world sees not strength, wisdom, or even love, but him who is the source of these things and the savior of humankind.
Let us in whom he dwells look also to him so we can shine more brightly.
-Rich Mullins.

If you live really good, you will be beaten up. If you really try to walk in faith, you will fall. You will stumble. If you believe that your life in Christ is one constant spiral upward, then you are badly mistaken. And if you think it’s heretical to say, then read the lives of the apostles. Their lives were blemished, their track records were not particularly good.
If you try to have faith, you will be attacked by doubts you never knew you were capable of. But you keep on believing, even if you fall, even if you struggle with doubts, you keep on believing. And if you live a life that is marked by hope, by the belief that God is good, and there is goodness in the world that awaits us, you’ll be disappointed. You’ll be crushed, even, sometimes. The Scriptures say hope deferred makes the heart grow sick. You’re gonna have a sick heart. But you keep on hoping. And if you choose to love, you will be misunderstood, you will be betrayed, you will be rejected by the people who most desperately need the love you have to offer. And remember that when you try to love, it’s not like love in the movies. In the movies, when people are loving each other physically, they are always perfectly fit and tan and beautiful. Most of y’all, I’ve seen you… you don’t look like that.
We are blemished people, and in order to love anybody, in any way, we have to expose that part of us that we’d rather keep hiddenOur own selfishness, our own fears, our own hangups, and it’s embarrassing. So humiliating. But you keep on loving.
Many of us are obsessed with becoming rich, many of us are obsessed with becoming smart. But all of our wisdom, all of our great insights, we see in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect comes, that which is in part is done away with. But there are three things that will remain — faith, hope, and love. Make sure you live in those. And if you do, you will be hurt, you will be crushed. But when you wash up on that other side, when life is done with you, when you wash up over there, those angels that were looking at your little works of art and saying how tragically misconducted they were, they will look at what’s left of your body and say, ‘Man, what is this?’ And Jesus will say, ‘Oh, I know who that is. HE’S MINE.’”
– Rich Mullins

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