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A potpourri of quotations about receptivity and offering

Lynne Baab • Tuesday May 31 2022

A potpourri of quotations about receptivity and offering

I have had a great time writing weekly posts about receptivity and offering since mid-December 2021. I am more convinced than ever that life in Christ is a two-beat rhythm. God acts, we respond. In that first movement, like the downbeat in a measure of music, God acts in our lives through the Holy Spirit, challenging us, comforting us, encouraging us, guiding us, empowering us, and affirming us as God's beloved in so many ways. In the second movement, the upbeat of the measure, we respond. Some of those responses involve offering something back to God. At various times, we offer our thanks, our love, our commitment, our willingness, our attentiveness, and ultimately our whole lives, our bodies, souls, spirits, and hearts. After we respond to God, we can expect that God will act in our lives again. And we can choose to respond again. The two-beat rhythm goes on and on.

This is the second to last post in this long series on receptivity and offering. Next week I will focus on the core of it all: offering to God our hearts. As I end the series, I’m left with five quotations I didn’t use. These quotations vividly portray some of the areas that we offer to God. This week I’m going to give you these quotations for you to ponder.

1. We offer the light that is in us, no matter how much we think it flickers and no matter how faint it looks to us.

“Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world.
All things break. And all things can be mended.
Not with time, as they say, but with intention.
So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally.
The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.”
—L. R. Knost, author of numerous parenting books and editor-in-Chief of Holistic Parenting Magazine

2. We offer thanks, over and over and over.

“You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.”
—G. K. Chesterton(1874-1936)English writer, philosopher, lay theologian, and literary and art critic

3. We pay attention to the amazingly beautiful world God created so we can thank God for it.

“What inexpressible joy for me, to look up through the apple-blossoms and the fluttering leaves, and to see God's love there; to listen to the thrush that has built her nest among them, and to feel God's love, who cares for the birds, in every note that swells her little throat; to look beyond to the bright blue depths of the sky, and feel they are a canopy of blessing—the roof of the house of my Father; that if clouds pass over it, it is the unchangeable light they veil; that, even when the day itself passes, I shall see that the night itself only unveils new worlds of light; and to know that if I could unwrap fold after fold of God's universe, I should only unfold more and more blessing, and see deeper and deeper into the love which is at the heart of all.”
—Elizabeth Charles (1828-1896), an English writer

4. We offer our willingness to be taken, blessed, broken, and given.

“To identify the movements of the Spirit in our lives, I have found it helpful to use four words: ‘taken,’ ‘blessed,’ ‘broken,’ and ‘given.’”
—Henri J. M. Nouwen, The Life of the Beloved

5. We offer God our trust for the future

“God does not bid us bear the burdens of tomorrow, next week, or next year. Every day we are to come to Him in simple obedience and faith, asking help to keep us, and aid us through that day's work; and to-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, through years of long to-morrows, it will be but the same thing to do; leaving the future always in God's hands, sure that He can care for it better than we. Blessed trust! that can thus confidingly say, ‘This hour is mine with its present duty; the next is God's, and when it comes, God's presence will come with it.’”
—W. R. Huntington, 19th century Anglican priest

We receive so much from God, and in response we can offer to God so many areas of our lives. May the Holy Spirit continue to open your eyes to see God's blessings, and may the Spirit guide you each moment in what to offer back to God. 

(Next week: we offer God our hearts. Illustration by Dave Baab. If you’d like to get an email when I post on this blog, sign up below under “subscribe.” I love getting new subscribers.)

As I approach the end of this series on receptivity and offering, here are some of the posts that got the most feedback:

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