I love to read. Honestly summer reading, autumn/fall reading, winter reading, and spring reading are all the best times to read. Regardless of the season, I am always looking for books that are new (to me) to read.
Last month I ordered a copy of Pastor Steven Furtick’s book, “(Un)qualified: How God Uses Broken People To Do Big Things.” Two highlighters and one pen later, I finished the book. I highlighted, underlined, and marked up every part of this book. I wrote notes, reminders, scriptures, drew connections to prayers, jotted down questions, and identified matters I want to look more into. You could say that my book now looks like a piece of artwork or at least a creative expression of thoughts. My book is all marked up. Why? Because “(Un)qualified” is not the kind of book you just read and then put back on a shelf.
This isn’t a book review or a post designed to give you a summary of the book (which my high amount of highlighting and note-taking should suggest that my summary would end up just as long as the actual book). You should read the book for yourself. The book challenged and encouraged me in my journey. I’m grateful for God working through Pastor Furtick and all those who worked to get the book in the format in which I read it.
Below are a few quotes that stood out to me. So that the list makes some sense, I organized the quotes into categories and included the page(s) on which you can find each quote in the book.
Growth and Journey:
- “There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” -Leonard Cohen (Prior to Page 1)
- “Just because I am circling the same issue doesn’t mean I’m stuck on the same level.” Page 130
- “We must embrace who we are before we can become who we were meant to be.” Page 149
- “In some ways faith is going to be hard. To quote the old country preacher, ‘Jesus said take up your cross, not your Tempur-Pedic mattress.'” Page 30
- “Sometimes we do the same thing. We let fear force us into hiding who we are and what we’ve been given. We bury our identities because we are afraid we don’t measure up. We are scared that if we let the real us show, we won’t be good enough. We will mess things up. We won’t qualify. So we refuse to use the gifts God has given us. We decline to become the people God made us to be. And to top it off, we congratulate ourselves on being responsible, humble, and wise. But deep inside, it’s simply fear.” Page 51
- “Jesus saw the best in people at their worst. He met them in their messes, in their realities, in their most desperate moments. He loved them and believed in them when there was nothing lovable or admirable about them.” Pages 59-60
- “God is in love with the real you. That’s why pretending is so pointless.” Page 150
Qualified/Unqualified and Weaknesses:
- “If you look at the great men and women of Scripture, you find one common denominator: they were all un-qualified. God has a habit of picking people who have been passed over.” Page 4
- “Our weaknesses don’t disqualify us. They actually qualify us even more, because they are the portals through which God’s power permeates our lives.” Page 88
- “Admitting our weaknesses is not doubt, fear, or lack of faith. Actually, it is one of the clearest signs that we have faith. It means that our confidence is placed in God, not ourselves. It means we are secure enough in who he is to admit who we are not.” Page 102
- “…not everyone can or should be trusted with the details of our weaknesses. The goal isn’t to parade our problems, wearing our weakness for the world to see. But as we learn to be vulnerable with God and with the right, trusted people, we discover that every weakness, properly processed, contains secret strength.” Page 112
- “Consider this: we are never so awesome that success is inevitable, and we are never so terrible that success is impossible.” Page 168
- “…if you never hurt, suffered, or struggled, how could you develop the strength you need to sustain the blessings God wants to bring into your life?” Page 108
- “…somebody out there is praying to have your problems.” Page 176
- “God can’t bless who you pretend to be.” Page 11
- “We aren’t photos, frozen in a fleeting moment of perfection for all to admire. We can’t stage and light and crop and filter who we are.” Page 149
- “…this commandment [see Exodus 20:7] is about far more than how you use God’s name as a vocabulary word. It’s about how you take his name as a way of life.” Page 63
- “The end of yourself is often the beginning of grace.” Page 132
- “…it was as if the Lord said to me: I didn’t bring you here to meet their expectations. I brought you here to be my expression.” Page 186
- “We can never fill our emptiness from a place of emptiness. Only Jesus can fill us. Only Christ can qualify us. And when he does, nothing can take that away.” Page 187
- “In a very real way, the journey is the destination and the process is the goal. …And the ultimate destination is heaven.” Pages 203-204
What does your summer reading list look like? Any suggestions?
Blessings and Love,
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