Posted by: JennyRain | January 26, 2010

Some of my favorite expressions

I collect words.

Words – for me – are “containers of power” so to speak. Since I struggled for so long finding my own words to describe events, feelings, people… as I have learned to find my own unique voice, I can now recognize the memorable words of others that I admire.

I chew on these when I need some encouragement and inspiration.

Here are some of my favorite expressions… collected over a lifetime of listening.

Functional-Atheism: Though I don’t think she invented this statement, Dr. Massey used it once in class and it had a profound impact. Functional atheism is when you say that you believe in God and have faith in what God can do, but your actions and behavior show that you are more of an atheist than a believer.

Dr. Denise McLain Massey, McAfee School of Theology

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. The danger lies in refusing to face the fear, in not daring to come to grips with it. You must make yourself succeed every time. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Wealth must be processed through a philosophy of life that is greater than wealth itself.

Ravi Zacharias, Jesus Among Other Gods

The problem with the prosperity gospel is that anytime you put an adjective in front of the gospel, you distort the gospel.

Mark Batterson, Primal

Church people think about how to bring the world into the church. Kingdom people think about how to get the church into the world.

Howard Snyder

Your gifts can get you where your character can’t keep you.

Joyce Meyer

Watching floating commas.

One of my classmates in the University of Iowa creative writer’s program. She was describing gnats flying around her head while she sat and wrote in a summer field.

Kicking-legs bored.

Alexandra Fuller, Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight

Be the change you wish to see in the world.


It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.

Mother Teresa

Writing on Loss

This morning, I heard something on Family Life Today written by a young boy who walked into the living room just in time to see a policeman deliver the news to his parents that his sister had been killed. Ben Bray describes the moment of finding out about her death so powerfully…

I lay my tender red face down onto the seeping-wet pillow, waiting, wondering in a mental cloud of darkness, peering at the clock reading, “16 April, 2:47 AM.”  I silently begged God to spare an older sister and also an amazing friend.  Cries in the lounge made me spring to my feet.  I steadily opened the door as light from the lounge crept into the somber room.  Through the diminutive space, I wearily gazed across the lounge to see a mournful police officer, grasping a police hat in his shaky hand, surrounded by tearful, blood-shot eyes.  Just at a slight glance, I knew.  Suddenly I felt light-headed and confused.  I felt like I was going to faint or completely lose it and pulverize everything in sight, but all I could do was flee, hide, and cry.  Lying in bed, unable to sleep, I concealed myself in the covers, praying that this mournful night was just a horrible dream.

What phrases or words inspire you?




  1. thank you – thank you

    May God make your journey blessed and fllled with meaning and context and purpose.

  2. Jenny, this words are awesome and they have challenged my heart this morning.



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