The Power of a Sentence (or Two)

What I have learned from about twenty-years of serious reading is this: It is sentences that change my life, not books. What changes my life is some new glimpse of truth, some powerful challenge, some resolution to a long-standing dilemma, and these usually come concentrated in a sentence or two. I do not remember 99% of what I read, but if the 1% of each book or article I do remember is a life-changing insight, then I don’t begrudge the 99%. (Dr. John Piper)

Such was my experience at the Abbey last week.  My Bible, journal and favorite pen (a Bic four-color fine tipped instrument) accompanied me just about everywhere I went.  Much time was spent at a dining table between the hours of 4:30 a.m and 7:00 breakfasts, and outdoors in a chair overlooking the gardens throughout the morning and again in the early evenings.  A library of reading material was available and many of my sentences came from the books I read.  Here are only a few of the jottings from my journal pages.

  • Vacare Deo - totally free to the Lord today.
  • "Lord, let me seek you by wanting you, and let me want you by seeking you.  Let me find you by loving you, and by loving you, find you."  (Anselm)
  • Don't pray for water.  Pray for thirst.
  • Christians are not entitled - but endowed.
  • Compassion is to suffer with--NOT give solutions!
  • Learn to do a common thing in an uncommon manner (George Washington Carver, I think)
  • Saints are those who judge possibilities and choices by asking, "What is this in reference to eternal life?"
  • Nequid nemis - "Nothing in excess."  (Terence)
  • "There is nothing as out of place in a Christian as excess."  (St. Benedict)


  1. Good Morning, Rebecca! Being the quote loving gal that I am...this post is divine! I love the notion that the sentences change our lives...I have always felt that way, but never thought to express it like that! So very true!

    My fave is "Don't pray for water. Pray for thirst!
    That is going in my Bible!

    Have a joyful week, my friend!!

  2. Great, I love all those. thanks for sharing, Gina

  3. This are all excellent sentences! So glad that your visit was productive. Love Di ♥

  4. Fantastic, Rebecca!!! And you know the quote "Nothing in excess" really struck me today as I just finished writing a post about just that! And was having trouble deciding whether I should post it or not...think I will now...I think God had me visit today to give me a little nudge! So thank you from the bottom of my heart! Yes, key sentences are what stick with us, aren't they?? what a WONDERFUL reminder!! You always inspire me, and are such a wonderful example for me of a TRULY godly woman! Thank you for that and EVERYTHING! Love you much! Janine XO

    P.S. I love the blog design update!! Just lovely!

  5. This is such a good post - so full and so filling.

    I loved the picture you posted, of your journal and your Bic pen... and also the Gethsemani marker.

    May I ask you for Father Carlos' email, if you have it?

    You have sparked an interest in my heart to push through with my dream to someday spend time at this very abbey that you visited.

    It would be good to reconnect with Fr. Carlos again and talk about the possibility.

    I loved the quote "Nothing in excess."

    Again, thanks!


  6. So true...a few words can speak volumes. I have a dear friend who is quite a talker, every one loves her to pieces, and every one tells her to "get to the pOINt" when she talks! Of course it is done in love and she knows it, but too many words can cause a persons mind to drift!


Writing a Song a Week #3

Writing a Song a Week #3
♪ I wait for the Lord; my soul waits and in his word I hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning ♪ (Psalm 130:5-6)