Book Review: The Broken Way

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“Busy is a choice. Stress is a choice. Giving yourself to joy is a choice. Choose well.” Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way

 

The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp is a great one to put on your list to read during Thanksgiving or Christmas break.  I sense that you’d particularly rest in the words of this text when you have time to slow down and really digest it…perhaps wearing sweatpants, drinking coffee, sitting in front of the fire?  Don’t have room for that?  I read this book standing in line outside in 85 degree sunshine for 3 hours waiting to early vote in Georgia.  So…just read it, wherever you can find some time and space and I think you will find Ann’s words to be a deep breath of refreshment.  Are we truly taking the time to notice the way the Lord is working around us?  My goal is to be intentional and not to miss what the Lord is doing.  Then…around 6:05am life gets busy  and I start missing it.  The Broken Way reminds me to surround myself with people who will help me not miss what God is doing.  These godly sisters can help me to fix my eyes on Him and let the rest fall under that authority in the proper position.  That is what the abundant life is all about…seeking Him first…and then all those other things.

I highlighted several things while reading and have posted those notes below…

  • “The very thing we are afraid of, our brokenness, is the door to our Father’s heart.” PAUL MILLER
  • Let the abundance of God in.
  • The real Jesus turns to our questions of why—why this brokenness, why this darkness?—and says, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here.”4 “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.”
  • I had wanted someone to reach over to me at eighteen, sit in that church pew next to me, someone to touch my shoulder, to steady things and say: “Shame is a bully but grace is a shield. You are safe here.”
  • Out of the fullness of the grace that He has received, He thanks, and breaks, and gives away—and He makes a way for life-giving communion. A broken way.
  • Remembrance—it comes from the Greek word anamnesis. The only four times this word anamnesis is used in Scripture, it is in reference to the sacrifice that Christ made and is “remembered” in the Last Supper (Luke 22:19; 1 Corinthians 11:24, 25; Hebrews 10:3).
  • “The creation of the world seems to have been especially for this end, that the eternal Son of God might obtain a spouse towards whom he might fully exercise the infinite benevolence of his nature, and to whom he might, as it were, open and pour forth all that immense fountain of condescension, love, and grace that was in his heart.” JONATHAN EDWARDS
  • All our brokenness meets in the mystery of Christ’s brokenness and givenness—and becomes the miracle of abundance.
  • “It is beyond the realm of possibilities that one has the ability to out give God. Even if I give the whole of my worth to Him, He will find a way to give back to me much more than I gave.” CHARLES SPURGEON
  • The soul craves more than only communication; it seeks communion. Is the most authentic communication always a kind of communion, a breaking and giving into oneness, into love?
  • God is most glorified in us when we are most enjoying Him—and giving others the joy of Him.
  • There is no life worth living without generosity because generosity is a function of abundance mentality. And abundance mentality is a function of identity and intimacy. When you know you are loved enough, that you are made enough, you have abundantly enough to generously give enough. And that moves you into the enoughness of an even more intimate communion.
  • “The Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ—to make them little Christs,” C. S. Lewis
  • Hand over your whole self. Your whole broken self. Givenness. Because this is far easier than pretending to be whole and not broken.
  • Who needs more when He’s already made us enough?
  • When you are filled to the brim with the enoughness of Christ, the only way you can possibly have more is to pour yourself out. The only way to more life is by pouring more of yourself out.
  • “Our lifelong nostalgia, our longing to be reunited with something in the universe from which we now feel cut off . . . is . . . the truest index of our real situation.” C. S. LEWIS
  • Why is it so hard to receive? Why is it so hard to believe you are believed in? Why can it be easier to pour out than to let yourself be loved? What in the busted world am I afraid of?
  • Love is so large that it has to live in the holiness of very small moments of sacrifice. Love demands you lie down and die in the small moments, the moments not scripted for screens, but written into the inner hem of a heart that can change how someone breathes.
  • “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken.” C. S. LEWIS
  • “You are to pay special attention to those who by accidents of time, or place, or circumstances, are brought into closer connection with you.” SAINT AUGUSTINE
  • Busy is a choice. Stress is a choice. Giving yourself to joy is a choice. Choose well.
  • Be the bread so broken and given that a hungry world yearns for more of the taste of such glory. Be bread so broken and given to a hungry world that your own hunger is filled in communion with God.
  • “Forgiveness is the giving, and so the receiving, of life.” GEORGE MACDONALD
  • fight back the dark with doxology.
  • Pick up your cross. It’s the only way you or anyone else can know a resurrection. Carry your cross so this carrying of pain makes love. It is never the cross you carry, but your resistance to the cross, that makes it a burden. Absorb the pain with a greater love—touch a shoulder. Bite your tongue. Swallow your complaint. Still your wagging finger. Let yourself be worn down to love. Let your joints grow loose with love so your hands swing easy enough to give, to break and give your struggling-to-be-willing self away.
  • You become real when you make every situation, every suffering, every single moment, into a way to lead you into closer communion with Christ. A broken way.
  • “The joy of the Lord happens inside the sorrow.” TIMOTHY KELLER
  • “If today were your last, would you do what you’re doing? Or would you love more, give more, forgive more? Then do so! Forgive and give as if it were your last opportunity. Love like there’s no tomorrow, and if tomorrow comes, love again.” MAX LUCADO
  • Be brave and do not pray for the hard thing to go away, but pray for a bravery that’s bigger than the hard thing.
  • Koinonia is more than a cup of coffee and small talk; it is the fellowship of the broken sharing brokenness.
  • The real sinew of community, the muscle of koinonia, is not in how well we impress each other, but in how well we inconvenience ourselves for each other.
  • Your theology is best expressed in your availability and your interruptability—and ability to be broken into.
  • “He went without comfort so you might have it. He postponed joy so you might share in it. He willingly chose isolation so you might never be alone in your hurt and sorrow.” JONI EARECKSON TADA
  • You can’t experience intimacy with Christ until you know your identity in Christ. Activity for God—is not the same as intimacy with God or identity in God. And it is your intimacy with Christ that gives you your identity. You can’t experience the power of Christ, the mission of Christ, being made new in Christ, until you know who you are in Christ.
  • What if speaking your most unspoken broken is what it takes to release a dammed-up Niagara Falls of grace? Grace that says your faith doesn’t have to try to measure up to anyone else because Jesus came down—and He measures you as good enough, as worthy enough, as loved more than enough. Grace embraces you before you prove anything, and after you’ve done everything wrong. Every time you fall down, at the bottom of every hole is grace. Grace waits in broken places. Grace waits at the bottom of things. Grace loves you when you are at your darkest worst, and wraps you in the best light. Grace seeps through the broken places and seeps into the lowest places, a balm for wounds.
  • “Christians who understand biblical truth and have the courage to live it out can indeed redeem a culture, or even create one.” CHUCK COLSON
  • Every one of us can start changing headlines when we start reaching out our hands.
  • The only way to care for the disadvantaged is to disadvantage yourself, which is guaranteed to turn out to your advantage.
  • Give the gift forward to the stranger who cannot repay you, to those outside the gate, so the only repayment is the abundance of God.
  • Hope lights candles.
  • The only life worth living is the life you lose.
  • Exactly how many times have I had no credible defense and a Shepherd had compassion on me, co-suffered with me, suffered alone for me?
  • Why do we want to be publicly known in far-flung places for our great compassion instead of knowing a great compassion in the places we live?
  • There is nothing to fear in the wilderness of suffering—it is the land where God woos. The crush of crisis is but a passage into communion with Christ.
  • A Christ-shaped life is not a comfortably shaped life, but a cross-shaped life.
  • Communion is our course to abundance. Communion is the way Jesus ultimately came to show us, because ultimately, the givenness of communion is the essence of really living.

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