A digital commonplace for a Regular Guy called Charlie Pharis

Category: Quotes (page 1 of 4)

Thankful Friday…

Ooh! Ooh! Two posts…in the same month! And on the same day!

As I was writing the ol’ Morning Pages this morning, I began to think of how Fridays are the perfect time for reflecting on The Week That Was, The Weekend That Is To Come, and The General State Of Things In This Life As We Know It. (Looks more epic if you capitalize it like a title, no?)

Anyway, there are several items that make me thankful today, even in the midst of—especially in the midst of—these topsy-turvy times in which we are called to live. Here we go. Add your own if you’re playing along.

  • Gooey, cheesy ziti al mondo at our favorite reliable American Eye-talian joint is better when it’s shared across the table from My Favorite Hoosier. Oh, and keep the rolls coming, please.
  • Playlists. Yeah, yeah…I know. More AI-generated “music” than real artists sometimes. But I’m very thankful for the people who have the knowledge and the time to curate and share their playlists. Right now, for instance, Tsh Oxenreider’s “Deep Work” is powering this blog post. Thanks, Tsh!
  • And finally, this story showed up in my Twitter…I mean…X! feed. The original feature was in 2021, so I don’t even know if Caitlin and Street Brew Coffee are still a thing in Toronto, but it sure made me smile out loud this morning. Turns out Caitlin is still pumping out coffee and good vibes!

Remember (he says to himself)…you’re pretty much going to find what you’re looking for. This quote from Katherine May’s Enchantment is a sound observation…

Enchantment is small wonder magnified through meaning, fascination caught in the web of fable and memory. It relies on small doses of awe, almost homeopathic: those quiet traces of fascination that are found only when we look for them.

So today, dear both of you readers, make your Friday a day for looking for and finding The Good Stuff that’s all around, the Stuff That Makes Your World Wonderful.

On Journals and Whatnot…

I’ve been keeping a somewhat regular journal/notebook since around 2003. Coincidentally, that’s about when I started blogging (but not nearly as regularly).

Anyway, I’ve never been real sure about how to format my journal, what to include and leave out, pencil or pen, computer or whatever. Somewhere along the line I came to the conclusion that what I have is not a journal in the classic sense, but more of a commonplace book that includes all kinds of stuff.

Today as I was making my way through the stack o’ stuff in my Reeder feeds, I happened upon this article from The Millions. This part about Lynda Barry helping non-creative people learn to express themselves included this:

I’m turning this over when I come across Lynda Barry’s Syllabus. Barry is a cartoonist, author, and teacher whose recent books are devoted to changing the way people think about their own creativity. Syllabus is based on a workshop Barry teaches called “Writing the Unthinkable.” The main course requirement is keeping a notebook—and not just any kind. Each day’s hand-written entry must contain these items: 1) a list of seven things you did, 2) a list of seven things you saw, 3) something you heard someone say, and 4) a sketch of one item from the “saw” list. Don’t even think about skipping the sketching step.

Much like , this approach has been bouncing around in my brain this morning. I think I’ll try it. Here’s my hack, though. I’m going to try to start each day’s entry with Barry’s list, and then keep using the same book for the commonplace items I come across throughout my day. We’ll see.

On the Supposed “Historical Jesus”…

C.S. Lewis on the alleged “historical Jesus”…

Any theory which bases itself on a supposed ‘historical Jesus’ to be dug out of the Gospels and then set up in opposition to Christian teaching is suspect. There have been too many historical Jesuses—a liberal Jesus, a pneumatic Jesus, a Barthian Jesus, a Marxist Jesus. They are the cheap crop of each publisher’s list, like the new Napoleons and new Queen Victorias. It is not to such phantoms that I look for my faith and my salvation.

C. S. Lewis, “Why I Am Not a Pacifist,” in The Weight of Glory: And Other Addresses (New York: HarperCollins, 1949/2001), 88.

Random Thoughts, 03.12.17…

marielinden4 via Compfight

Some random smatterings from my Moleskine, via my head and my heart and my reading this weekend. No particular order, no particular subject, no particular plan or process, just words, such as they are…

  • Now closer to sixty than fifty, he felt the burden of the years piling up. Everything was the same from day to day. Which is to say, everything seemed pointless-er and hopeless-er every day.
  • It’s quiet, eerie quiet. Restless quiet. Unsettling quiet. Weird quiet.
  • (From Frederick Buechner) “The magic of words is that they have power to do more than convey meaning; not only do they have the power to make things clear, they make things happen.”
  • For me, the real adventure is in creating the adventure, in my head, in my heart, in my words – to tell the story as though it really happened, whether or not it really did.
  • Slowly, deliberately, he fit the pencil neatly into the crease of the book, and slid it away from him on the floor. The pencil and blank lines seemed to take a life of their own, and they were whispering, calling, beckoning him to enter into their world. These inanimate objects now fairly pulsed with life, and they called to him, and at the same time, chastened him, mocking and taunting because he was unable to pick them up, and yet unable to turn away.
  • We’re doing good, but we’re not doing so well.
  • We lost the hour this morning to the dreaded Daylight Saving Time transition, and every time I’ve stopped today, I’ve nodded off. Now, all of a sudden, I have that second wind and I can’t turn off my mind.
  • Twenty more words to three hundred. Now thirteen. Only 211 more to the mythical 500! Now seven.
  • The desire is there, but not the talent or the skill.
  • He whisked the sugar, strong, dark, and sweet, into the scalded milk. The coffee would come later, and the sugary milk was now almost as dark as the coffee itself would be. There really wasn’t enough coffee left in the grinder from two days before, but the grinder was too noisy to use after she had gone to bed. So, he imagined, the dark sweetness of the sugar would make up for the weaker brew. “Not sweet enough,” he thought after the first sip. “Coffee that is neither sweet enough nor strong enough is not fit to drink.”

Leslie Brandt, Psalm 25…

Shame

jugrote via Compfight

I am reaching for You again, O God.

From the abyss of defeat,

   the suffocating shame of failure,

   I seek Your mercy and Your help.

Enable me to see something of Your will for my life,

Break through this stifling darkness

   with some direction, some meaning,

   some purpose for my existence.

You are my God; You have promised me salvation.

How long must I wait for Your response?

 

The Barn…

(Image via flickr.com/mytimemachine)

Ed Stetzer has some thoughts on the evolution of the Church Growth Movement. This quote grabbed me early this morning…

The church can never become the place where I live, work, and play. My neighborhood is where real people live. I am not sent by God to a church facility, ever how convenient and impressive it may be. I am sent away from the church gathered to my tribe and household with the Good News of the Gospel. That is where transformational movements take place that engage every man, woman, and child with the Gospel. So, too many in church growth focused on the barn, rather than how we might live on mission among the white fields. When focusing too much on the barn, we sometimes forget that the wheat will not harvest itself.

I’m living and leading in such a context right now.

(OK, not leading so much. There, I said it….)

The War of Art…

I’ve just finished reading Steven Pressfield’s great book The War of Art. Some parts of it – OK, most of it – jacked me up pretty good. Here are some of the quotes that are doing it to me today…

Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us.

The most pernicious aspect of procrastination is that it can become a habit. We don’t just put off our lives today; we put them off till our deathbed.

What counted was that I had, after years of running from it, actually sat down and done my work.

It is one thing to study war and another to live the warrior’s life. (Telamon of Arcadia)

Make the tale live for us in all its many bearings….(T.E. Lawrence’s translation of The Odyssey)

A Couple of Random Thoughts…

…head…heart…torn-up Moleskine…

  • How can I tell if I know Jesus? If I’m keeping His commandments! That’s it!
  • How can I tell if I’m following Him? If I walk in the same way in which He walked!
  • Just because I’m in a difficult or even impossible place, it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m out of God’s will, or that I’m disobedient, or that I missed His leading, or even that I’m a colossal failure. It may just mean I’m right where He took me (cf. Ezekiel 37) or where He sent me (cf. Jeremiah 29). I really need to remember that right now!
  • Mike Slaughter wrote…“Renewal is much more than adding a little more Jesus to the mix. A little more Jesus won’t work. Jesus must be the absolute focus.” (Spiritual Entrepreneurs, p. 35)

Rush Was Right…

One day last week, Rush Limbaugh opined something like…

You mean to tell me that there are over 300 million people in our country, and these are the best two we can find to run for President?

The more I hear, the more I agree…