“To offer hospitality to a stranger is to welcome something new, unfamiliar and unknown into our life-world. . . . Strangers have stories to tell which we have never heard before, stories which can redirect our seeing and stimulate our imaginations. The stories invite us to view the world from a novel perspective” (Thomas Ogletree in Hospitality to the Stranger).
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“We truly live at the mercy of our ideas; this is never more true that with our ideas about God. Those who operate on the wrong information aren’t likely to know the reality of God’s presence in the decisions that shape their lives, and they will miss the constant divine companionship for which their souls were made” (Dallas Willard in Hearing God).
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“Sorrow is a burden any way you look at it. It seems there are only two things it can do to us or we can do with it. First, sorrow can bear down on us, causing us to crack and break, which is not a completely bad thing. Brokenness is a vital companion on the walk.
Second, the sorrow can settle down somewhere deep inside us and solidify. Then it becomes like the ballast in a ship, the weight that keeps the ship upright in the fiercest storm. I’m not sure which of these is happening in me . . . . But I believe in tears and the purpose of pain” (Christian song-writer and author Michael Card writing about the death of his friend and mentor Bill Lane in The Walk, The Life-Changing Journey of Two Friends).
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“God requires us to be real. He knows there is no other way to be with him. He will be with us in trouble. He will be with us in hardship and persecution and famine and nakedness and danger. He will be with us in life and in death. But he will not be with us in denial. It’s one place even God will not go. But if we will stand in the truth that our confidence in God is shaky, he will stand with us” (Shayne Looper in the Holland Sentinel, March 13, 2015).
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[In the parable of the prodigal son], “Jesus is showing us the God of great expenditure who is nothing if not prodigal to us, his children. God’s reckless grace is our greatest hope” (Tim Keller in The Prodigal God).