It was Brennan Manning (along with Jesus) who well over a decade ago set me off in a new trajectory when it came to my walk with Christ. The Ragamuffin Gospel was kinda where it began. I think Jesus must have dictated to him as he wrote this book. Everything began to unravel ( in a good way) as I read. Everything began to really make sense in such a simple childlike way. It’s been a journey for me and I’m still evolving. Today I am living in gratitude for a life well lived, as unbeknownst to him, he was one of my best mentors.
Some of his quotes I have loved:
“The saved sinner is prostrate in adoration, lost in wonder and praise. He knows repentance is not what we do to earn forgiveness; it is what we do because we have been forgiven. It serves as an expression of gratitude rather than an effort to earn forgiveness. Thus the sequence of forgiveness and then repentance, rather than repentance and then forgiveness, is crucial for understand the gospel of grace.”
“I’ve decided that if I had my life to live over again, I would not only climb more mountains, swim more rivers, and watch more sunsets; I wouldn’t only jettison my hot water bottle, raincoat, umbrella, parachute, and raft; I would not only go barefoot earlier in the spring and stay out later in the fall; but I would devote not one more minute to monitoring my spiritual growth. No, not one.”
“I could more easily contain Niagara Falls in a tea cup than I can comprehend the wild, uncontainable love of God”
“The gospel is absurd and the life of Jesus is meaningless unless we believe that He lived, died, and rose again with but one purpose in mind: to make brand-new creation. Not to make people with better morals but to create a community of prophets and professional lovers, men and women who would surrender to the mystery of the fire of the Spirit that burns within, who would live in ever greater fidelity to the omnipresent Word of God, who would enter into the center of it all, the very heart and mystery of Christ, into the center of the flame that consumes, purifies, and sets everything aglow with peace, joy, boldness, and extravagant, furious love. This, my friend, is what it really means to be a Christian.”
“We need a new kind of relationship with the Father that drives out fear and mistrust and anxiety and guilt, that permits us to be hopeful and joyous, trusting, and compassionate.”
“Grace means that God is on our side and thus we are victors regardless of how well we have played the game.”
“Trust defines the meaning of living by grace rather than works.”
“The poor in spirit are the most nonjudgemental of peoples; they get along well with sinners. The poor man and woman of the gospel have made peace with their flawed existence. They are aware of their lack of wholeness, their brokenness, the simple fact that they don’t have it all together. While they do not excuse their sin, they are humbly aware that sin is precisely what has caused them to throw themselves at the mercy of the Father. They do not pretend to be anything but what they are: sinners saved by GRACE.”
“Honesty is such a precious commodity that is seldom found in the world or the church. Honesty requires the truthfulness to admit the attachment and addictions that control our attention, dominate our consciousness, and function as false gods. (food, performance, money, power, TV, weight, etc.) When we give anything more priority than we give to God, we commit idolatry. Thus we all commit idolatry countless times a day.”
“Biblically, there is nothing more detestable than a self-righteous disciple.”
“The way we are with each other is the truest test of our faith. How I treat a brother or sister from day to day, how I react to the sin-scarred wino on the street, how I respond to interruptions from people I dislike, how I deal with normal people in their normal confusion on a normal day is be a better indication of my reverence for life than the antiabortion sticker on the bumper of my car.”
“Risking everything on Jesus: the ragamuffin gospel says we can’t lose, because we have nothing to lose.”
“In the end everything will be all right, nothing can harm you permanently; no loss is lasting, no defeat more than transitory, no disappointment is conclusive. Suffering, failure, loneliness, sorrow, discouragement, and death will be part of your journey, but the kingdom of God will conquer all these horrors. No evil can resist grace forever.”
Wow. And that is just a little of his God-given wisdom. How could I not have strengthened my trajectory? Thanks be to God.