This is one of those rare books that really makes you think and then makes you want to change how you relate to God.
Donald Miller is so willing to be transparent and vulnerable about his own life. His style is casual and often humorous. My 28 year old son, Jordan, loaned me this book and I'm so glad he did. Blue Like Jazz has a stream-of-consciousness sort of feel to it. It breaks many of the rules I'm learning in college writing classes and I think it's great! I found so many quotable passages reading through it that I'm not sure where to begin, but I'll try to choose a few to whet the reader's appetite.
"I wonder what it would be like to use food stamps for a month. I wonder how that would feel, standing in line at the grocery store, pulling from my wallet the bright currency of poverty, feeling the probing eyes of the customers as they studied my clothes and the items in my cart: frozen pizza, name-brand milk, coffee. I would want to explain to them that I have a good job and make good money.
I love to give charity, but I don't want to be charity. This is why I have so much trouble with grace." (quote from Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller p.84)
"The days and weeks before a true commitment to Jesus can be terrible and lonely. I think I was feeling bitter about the human experience. I never asked to be human. Nobody came to the womb and explained the situation to me, asking for my permission to go into the world and live and breathe and eat and feel joy and pain. I started thinking about how odd it was to be human, how we are stuck inside this skin, forced to be attracted to the opposite sex, forced to eat food and use the rest room and then stuck to the earth by gravity. I think maybe I was going crazy or something. I spent an entire week feeling bitter because I couldn't breathe underwater. I told God I wanted to be a fish. I also felt a little bitter about sleep. Why do we have to sleep? I wanted to be able to stay awake for as long as I wanted, but God had put me in a body that had to sleep. Life no longer seemed like an experience of freedom." (p. 98-99)
"I am wanted by God. He is wanting to preserve me, to guide me through the darkness of the shadow of death, up into the highlands of His presence and afterlife. I understand that I am temporary, in this shell of a thing on this dirt of an earth. I am being tempted by Satan, we are all being tempted by Satan, but I am preserved to tell those who do not know about our Savior and our Redeemer. This is why Paul had no questions. This is why he could be beaten one day, imprisoned the next, and released only to be beaten again and never ask God why. He understood the earth was fallen. He understood the rules of Rome could not save mankind, that mankind could not save itself; rather, it must be rescued, and he knew that he was not in the promised land, but still in the desert, and like Joshua and Caleb he was shouting, "Follow me and trust God!" (p. 100-101)
I'm finding it's harder than I thought picking out passages to quote because they must be read in context. These quotes don't really capture his "writing voice", but the parts that do get rather lengthy. I don't recommend this book for youngsters as he gets into some nitty-gritty aspects of his life, but us oldsters may learn a thing or two. If you're struggling with too much "religion" or just asking questions about Christianity this book will give some fresh perspective. I found it quite life changing.
The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
My son Josh and d-i-l Jess (parents of Nathan and Starry)
Click on photo to go to Josh's blog.
Daughter Micah and Adam (parents of Audrey and Hazel)
Before Audrey's birth...obviously.
'Simple pleasures are the last refuge of the complex.' ( Oscar Wilde)
“All around you, people will be tiptoeing through life, just to arrive safely at death. But, dear children, do not tiptoe. Run, hop, skip, or dance, just don’t tiptoe.”
Tony Campolo as quoted in "The Irresistible Revolution" by Shane Claiborne.
Grandson Nathan Aslan Richards
What a little sassyfrass!
Love that little face!
Granddaughter Danielle Starry Hope Richards
Feb. 3, 2012
A little doll!
Clever use of feet!
Granddaughter Audrey Rayne Yliniemi
Hazel Jane Yliniemi
Our little peach.
My Pen and Ink Blog
MY BOOK REVIEWS
"We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased." C.S. Lewis
I live in the northwoods of Minnesota on a small farm. My husband, Bob, went home to be with Jesus on November 19, 2013. God is leading me through this new part of my life. Our seven kids ranging in age from 23-52 are strewn around the country and I'm proud of all of them!
I love to read (especially English literature), write, draw and sing. My main goal in life is to become more like Jesus and make Him the center of my life. (I say goal because I haven't arrived yet!) My prayer is that my children will also live this out. Thanks for dropping by!
"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket-- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable."~ C.S. Lewis, British scholar and novelist. 1898-1963
My husband's great-grandfather, Hans Langseth. He's in the Guninness Book of World Records for his beard, which is 18-1/2 feet long in this photo. It is recorded as 17-1/2 feet because 12 inches of it were left on him when it was cut after his death.
Books Read from 2007 to the Present (in no particular order)
Fyodor Dostoevsky-Peter Leithart
Beyond Personality-C.S. Lewis
Green Dolphin Street-Elizabeth Goudge
Through Painted Deserts-Donald Miller (still reading)
Light From Heaven-Jan Karon
Blue Like Jazz-Donald Miller
Searching for God Knows What-Donald Miller
Hamlet's Dresser-Bob Smith
Crazy Love-Francis Chan
Breaking Intimidation-John Bevere
John Bunyan-Kevin Belmonte
One Writer's Beginnings-Eudora Welty
Agatha Christie-An Autobiography
Castle Blair-Flora L. Shaw
If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name-Heather Lende
The Irish Country Doctor
The Irresistible Revolution-Shane Claiborne
Bread and Butter-What a Bunch of Bakers Taught Me About Business and Happiness by Tom McMakin
I Capture the Castle-Dodie Smith
The Pastor's Wife-Sabina Wurmbrand
No Holly for Miss Quinn-Miss Read
Kabul 24-Henry Arnold
Reflections on the Psalms-C.S. Lewis
The Hollow Hills-Mary Stewart
The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth-Tolkien
Smith of Wootton Major-J.R.R. Tolkien
Leaf by Niggle-J.R.R. Tolkien
The Child From the Sea-Elizabeth Goudge
The Shack-William Young
You Gotta Keep Dancing-Tim Hansel
The World's Last Night and other Essays-C.S. Lewis
Letters of C.S. Lewis
In the Beginning-Chaim Potok
Space Trilogy-C.S. Lewis
On Stories and other Essays on Literature-C.S. Lewis
There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, "All right, then, have it your way." C.S. Lewis
Borrowed From Bread and Roses
Our minds need many kinds of exercise, and creativity which uses mind and muscles is a source of balance and a wellspring of joy. A woman who walks in the woods, who makes a lampshade, who bakes a loaf of bread, who refinishes an old chair, has not time for bitterness and depression.
-The Pace of a Hen by Josephine Moffett Benton
You can't get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me. C.S. Lewis