Human need is always more apparent than God's presence for the same reason that the earth always looks flat. The human need is very visible in the sickness, the loneliness, the boredom, and the busyness, while all the signs and symbols of God's word and presence are several miles away in the church sanctuary. That is why so many of us perform more like psychological therapists than Christian priests when we are out of the pulpit. Our awareness of human need crowds out and then takes precedence over our attentiveness to God's presence.

-Eugene Peterson in

"Under the Unpredictable Plant"


Some years ago we often sang a hymn, "Take Time to Be Holy." I wish we sang it more in these days. It takes time to be holy; one cannot be holy in a hurry, and much of the time that it takes to be holy must go into secret prayer. Some people express surprise that professing Christians today are so little like their Lord, but when I stop to think how little time the average Christian today puts into secret prayer the thing that astonishes me is, not that we are so little like the Lord, but that we are as much like the Lord as we are.

-Reuben Archer Torrey in

"The Best of R. A. Torrey"


I was at a record store a few days ago. Whilst I was looking through classical recordings, the store's system droned on with the latest CD by Ms. Abdul. Every song sounded exactly the same. … Yet, reviewers have praised the album, citing its "depth" and "grittiness." … Apparently all it takes to qualify as "profound" nowadays are oblique references to bulimia or a painful divorce. This qualifies you as a successor to W. H. Auden or T. S. Eliot. This means that I have to take you seriously, even ...

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