Book Notes & Quotes: G. K. Chesterton “Orthodoxy”

G.K. Chesterton inspired C.S. Lewis. I was first introduced to Chesterton’s work through a friend of mine a number of years ago when I owned a used bookshop. We had a reading club focused on the writings of The Inklings (CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, Dorthy L Sayers, etc.). We never really got to Chesterton’s work but my good friend Professor Jerry Bradford of Misericordia University and leader of the book club; who is in my opinion one of the most knowledgeable persons I have meet on literature written by these gifted storytellers, highly suggested further reading of Chesterton’s collections. Now many years later I am finally finding the place to begin to read his works. By Dr. Bradford’s recommendation I will start with this non-fiction piece called “Orthodoxy”. If you haven’t read this book I encourage you to. If you have read it and/or want to discuss the quotes, feel free to comment. Just keep it positive. I will be adding notes & quotes as I continue to read.

All quotes come from C. K. Chesterton’s book “Orthodoxy” first published in 1908. The copy I hold is the published from the 1934 reprint from Great Brittin by William Clowes and Sons, Limited, London and Beccles
A PDF version is available free at as well as many of his books.

“Complete self-confidence is not merely a sin; complete self-confidence is a weakness.” pg 5 Chapter II “The Maniac”

“Imagination does not breed insanity. Exactly what does breed insanity is reason. Poets do not go mad; but chess-players do. Mathematicians go mad, and cashiers; but creative artists very seldom. I am not, as will be seen, in any sense attacking logic: I only say that this danger does lie in logic, not in imagination.” pg 7 Chapter II “The Maniac”

“To accept everything is an exercise, to understand everything a strain. The poet only desires exaltation and expansion, a world to stretch himself in. The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.” pg 8 Chapter II “The Maniac”

“Their attitude is really this: that the man must stop thinking, if he is to go on living. Their counsel is one of intellectual amputation. If thy head offend thee, cut it off; for it is better, not merely to enter the Kingdom of Heaven as a child, but to enter it as an imbecile, rather than with your whole intellect to be cast into hell…” pg 12 Chapter II “The Maniac”

“The sane man knows that he has a touch of the beast, a touch of the devil, a touch of the saint, a touch of the citizen. Nay, the really sane man knows that he has a touch of the madman. But the materialist’s world is quite simple and solid, just as the madman is quite sure he is sane. The materialist is sure that history has been simply and solely a chain of causation, just as the interesting person before mentioned is quite sure that he is simply and solely a chicken. Materialists and madmen never have doubts.” pg 14 Chapter II “The Maniac”

“Mysticism keeps men sane. As long as you have mystery you have health; When you destroy mystery you create morbidity.” pg 17 Chapter II “The Maniac”

“Buddhism is centripetal, but Christianity is centrifugal: it breaks out. For the circle is perfect and infinite in its nature; but it is fixed for ever in its size; it can never be larger or smaller. But the cross, though it has as its heart a collission and a contradiction, can extend its four arms for ever without ever altering its shape. Because it has a paradox in its centre it can grow without changing. The circle returns upon itself and is bound. The cross opens its arms to the four winds; it is a signpost for free travellers.” pg 18 Chapter II “The Maniac”


Book Notes & Quotes: Harry Emerson Fosdick “The Secret of Victorious Living”

Harry Emerson Fosdick is one of my favorite modern writers. A few years back I was at a conference and this powerful preacher got up and spoke. Being a young ministry student I wanted what he had. His advice was simple, “Read everything you can get your hands on by Harry Emerson Fosdick”. Fosdick was an influential Pastor in New York City who often spoke on the social elements of the Gospel (i.e. feeding the poor, clothing the needy, etc…). He believed the Gospel had a relational and social aspect which demanded more than a simple acceptance in words and thought of salvation. He was the Pastor of Riverside Baptist Church. Most of his writings are his sermons put to print. This is the second collection of his printed sermons. If you haven’t read this book I encourage you to. If you have read it or want to discuss the quotes, feel free to comment. Just keep it positive. I will be adding notes & quotes as I continue to read.

All quotes come from Harry Emerson Fosdick’s book “The Secret of Victorious Living” published by Harper & Brothers: New York & London. Copyright 1934 by Harper & Brothers
A PDF version is available free at as well as many of his books.

“What life in the long run does to us depends on what life finds in us.” opening statement pg 1 Chapter 1 “The Secret of Victorious Living”

“Nobody ever finds life worth living. One always has to make it worth living. All people to whom life has been abundantly worth living have made it so by an interior, creative, spiritual contribution of their own, and such people commonly are not in fortunate circumstances.” Pg 3 Chapter 1 “The Secret of Victorious Living”

“Despite the accumulated experience of the ages and the insights of the seers, many think of an untroubled life as the ideal and of trouble, therefore, as an intruder to be resented, to be removed if possible, and, if not, to be endured.” pg 11 Chapter 2 “The High Uses of Trouble”

“Adversity, then, far from being a mere nuisance or cruelity, is one of constuent elements in all great living, to be finely used… When you and I have faced a personal calamity and have handled it well, we have always added a new dimension to our character.” pg 12 Chapter 2 “The High Uses of Trouble”

“It is nonsense to call an untroubled life the ideal. What can an untroubled life know about living? How can that help anyone?” pg 15 Chapter 2 “The High Uses of Trouble”

“Let every man say to his own soul: If you have had any experience with trouble use it now. Let it carry you out beyond the barricades which too commonly shut our understanding in, and make for you roads of insight into the life of people. Translate anything you know about trouble into such constructive care for individuals and for the social welfare that somebody will have cause to thank God that once you yourself faced adversity, so you can understand.” pg 16 Chapter 2 “The High Uses of Trouble”

“Again, consider that trouble finely used can serve our intellects as well as our characters and can cleanse us of some dangerous illusions. In particular, it ought to cleanse us of the vain illusion that life is always just, or that we ought to expect it to be just, to the individual.” pg 16 Chapter 2 “The High Uses of Trouble”

“No, the beginning of great character, like the beginning of deep wisdom, lies in renouncing the expectation that life will be just.” At any rate, without that there is no possibility of being a disciple of Jesus – “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me,” pg 17 Chapter 2 “The High Uses of Trouble”

“Of all the shining instruments that life put into the hands of Jesus with which to change the world, nothing remotely compared with the cross.” pg 18 Chapter 2 “The High Uses of Trouble”

“Finally, trouble nobly used can open up within is deep interior resources of spiritual power.” pg 18 Chapter 2 “The High Uses of Trouble”

“The fact that desperate trouble falls on multitudes does not indicate that the world is crazy. But what if a man could break all the laws of health and yet be healthy, break all the moral laws and still be loved and trusted – would not that indicate a crazy world? Well, our western civilization has broken all laws of social health, transgressed the principles of civilized society and the fact that in consequence we are now in trouble does not indicate that the world is crazy but, rather, that the foundations of the world are laid in moral law so that whatever a civilization soweth, that shall it also reap.” pg 25 Chapter 3 “The Cure of Disillusionment”

“Much of our disillusionment springs from self-pity. We feel sorry for ourselves so that we do not hear from others the call of help. Life is not fair to me, we say; life is not just to the individual. To which I answer, of course life is not just to the individual. The scales of God come level in the end, but seldom within the individual’s lifetime. Not since the day Christ was crucified has Christianity been able to teach that life is just to the individual.” pg 27 Chapter 3 “The Cure of Disillusionment”

“The tragedy of Christianity repeatedly has lain in the persistent, ingenious endeavor to make it costless. But that essentially ruins Christianity. The very charter of Christianity is difficult: “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.” pg 31 Chapter 4 “On Making Christianity Too Easy”

“Above the cross of Christ this superscription might well have stood : “He took it on Himself.” Without that principle of action no great thing has ever been done on earth – vicarious sacrifice where some one, who did not need to, voluntarily assumed a heavy task. Florence Nightingale did that for the wounded, John Howard for the prisoners; our mothers did that for us many a time; Christ did that for the world. The quality of spirit and mode of action exert the most tremendous, moral lifting power that the world has ever known, and if we are calling ourselves Christian without having a share in exercising it, we are making our Christianity too easy.” pg 32 Chapter 4 “On Making Christianity Too Easy”

“Some of you, I can imagine Jesus saying, are making your Christianity too easy. You build beautiful churches; you have glorious music; with loveliness you stimulate your souls to worship. So far, so good! I too loved the flowers, and when, swinging round the brow of Olivet, I saw the temple with its golden dome, I was moved to the depths. But to be a Christian is more than that.” pg 35 Chapter 4 “On Making Christianity Too Easy”

“Wherever one looks, this is a soiled and desperate world, where a merely aesthetic Christianity is of no more use than rose-water.” pg 35 Chapter 4 “On Making Christianity Too Easy”

Fosdick quotes Henry Ward Beecher “Religion means work. Religion means work in a dirty world. Religion means peril; blows given, but blows taken as well. Religion means transformation. The world is to be cleansed by somebody; and you are not called of God if you are ashamed to scour and scrub.” pg 35 Chapter 4 “On Making Christianity Too Easy”

“Again, some of us, especially we who are religious liberals, make our Christianity costless by watering down and thinning out our faith. We have tried to formulate our Christian ideas in easily credible forms, and, so doing, we have attenuated them so that hardly anything is left to believe at all… The woods of liberal religion are full of people whose faith is so vague and indefinite that nothing could be easier than to believe it. There lies the trouble of it – it costs nothing.” pg 36 Chapter 4 “On Making Christianity Too Easy”

Book Notes & Quotes: Joyce Meyer “The Approval Fix”

I am very grateful to my good friend Angie who gave me a copy of this book to read.  Joyce Meyer is not an author I read much, but this one came in a timely moment.  I knew it was something I needed to read as soon as she suggested it.  If you haven’t read it I encourage you to.  It is a very short book which can be used as a devotional of sorts.  If you have read it or want to discuss the quotes, feel free to comment.  Just keep it positive.  I am now finished reading the book so no more notes or quotes will be added.  Enjoy!

All quotes come from Joyce Meyer’s book “The Approval Fix: How to Break Free from People Pleasing” published by FaithWords: Hatchette Book Group.  Copyright 2014 Joyce Meyer – All rights reserved   ISBN: 978-1-4555-4715-9

Order a copy of the book at Joyce Meyer’s website –

“The first step to understanding and breaking free from approval addiction is to understand fear, because fear of some sort is at the root of an unbalanced need for approval.” pg 5 Chapter 1 “God Loves You”

“If our job were to achieve, we would be called achievers, not believers. We often want to emphasize what we do, but our focus should be on what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. We have a choice: we can concentrate on our sin and be miserable, or we can concentrate on God’s forgiveness and mercy and be happy.” pg 6-7 Chapter 1 “God Loves You”

“We must learn to trust His Word more than our own feelings. We often bow down to our feelings without realizing how fickle and unreliable they are.” pg 8 Chapter 1 “God Loves You”

“Many times in our lives, the circumstances we face or the decisions we make cause us to feel we have been dropped, crushed, or ground into the dirt. We feel worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, we will never lose our value in God’s eyes. Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, we are still priceless to Him.” pg 16 Chapter 2 “You are Valued”

“Give God not only what you are but especially give Him what you are not. Don’t hold anything back; give Him everything! Offering God our strengths is easy, but we should also offer Him our weaknesses, because His strength is made perfect in our weakness. The Lord doesn’t see only what we are right now, He sees what we can become if He is parent with us. He knows the plans He has for us, and they are plans for progress and success, not for defeat and failure (see Jeremiah 29:11).” pg 23 chapter 4 “God is on Your Side”

“But because you have been made right with God, you can stop comparing yourself to others and competing with them. Your acceptance is not found in being like someone else but in being who you are through faith in Jesus Christ. Don’t find someone who seems to have it all together and then try your best to be like they are. Be the best “you” that you can be!” Pg 30-31 Chapter 5 “You’ll Become What You Believe”

“The world may say you need to be like this person or that person, but God’s will is for you to be yourself.” Pg 31-32 Chapter 5 “You’ll Become What You Believe”

“When someone turns on a light in a dark room, we can see the dirt in it. God is light (1 John 1:5) and when His light begins to shine in our lives, it exposes things (see 1 Corinthians 4:5). When He gets involved in our lives, He begins to show us things we may prefer not to look at, things we have kept secret. even from ourselves. We are frequently deceived, especially about ourselves.” Pg 54 Chapter 9 “Turn the Light On”

“We cannot always please people if we want to please God, but He will give us favor with the people with whom He truly desires us to be in relationship.” pg 61 Chapter 10 “You Don’t Have to Live with Approval Addiction”

“God will never help us be anyone but ourselves.” pg 62 Chapter 10 “You Don’t Have to Live with Approval Addiction”

“Once you develop a pattern of pleasing people, you will need to take a genuine step of faith to break that cycle. Give people their freedom, but stand up for your right to be free as well.” pg 68 Chapter 11 “Establish Good Boundaries”

“Righteousness, or doing right, is a fruit that brings peace to our lives. Nothing feels better than simply knowing we did what was right.” pg 73 Chapter 12 “Don’t Let Your Feelings Stop You”

“When confronted by pain, we have three choices: 1) press past the pain now, 2) press past the pain later, or 3) keep the pain forever.” pg 73 Chapter 12 “Don’t Let Your Feelings Stop You”

“We must press past our lack of desire to do things we don’t enjoy. In the same way, we must also press past the emotional pain of abuse, rejection, disapproval, betrayal, judgment, guilt, shame, anger, unforgiveness, and criticism in order to be set free from them.” pg 74 Chapter 12 “Don’t Let Your Feelings Stop You”

“Don’t allow your past to ruin your future. God shows us in His word how we can be free, but we still have to make choices that may not always be easy or even seem fair. Doing so can be difficult, but once you do what you need to do, you will find blessing and reward.” pg 74 Chapter 12 “Don’t Let Your Feelings Stop You”

“Doing right when our feelings don’t support those actions builds strong character.” pg 74 Chapter 12 “Don’t Let Your Feelings Stop You”

“God’s Word has inherent power in it. When we release our faith in His Word, that power is released into our lives and circumstances to help us. I want to encourage you to replace one addiction with another addiction: I want you to become addicted to Jesus and to the Word of God! They are what you need more than anything else.” pg 79 Chapter 13 “Press Past the Pain of Disapproval”

“There are times when we must do things even when afraid. In other words, we must do what we know we should do even though we fear. When God says in His word, “Fear Not,” He means for us to keep going forward, taking steps of obedience to carry out His instructions. He is in essence saying, “This is not going to be easy, but don’t run away from it.” pg 81 Chapter 13 “Press Past the Pain of Disapproval”

“…the good news is that you are going through – and that means you will ultimately come out the other side with a victory that cannot be taken away from you.” pg 83 Chapter 13 “Press Past the Pain of Disapproval”

“People pleasers may think asking for help will make others feel obligated to them. Although they do most of what they do out of a sense of obligation, they don’t want others to feel obligated to them. Most people pleasers have such a poor self-image that they believe people would not want to do anything for them anyway. They don’t value themselves, so they think no one else values them, either.” pg 93 Chapter 15 “What Do You Need”

“God has given you authority first and foremost over your own life. If you don’t except and exercise that authority, you may spend your life blaming others for things you should do something about. Make your own decisions according to what you believe is God’s will for you; don’t let others make your decisions for you. On Judgment Day, God will not ask anyone else to give an account of your life; He will only ask you (see Romans 14:12).” pg 101 Chapter 16 “Take Authority Over Your Life”

“God has placed certain people in each of our lives to help us. If we do not receive their help, we become frustrated and overworked, and the feel unfulfilled because they are not using their gifts… You cannot be all things to all people all the time. You have legitimate needs. It is not wrong to need help and ask for it. However, needing help and being to proud to ask for it is wrong.” pg 101 Chapter 16 “Take Authority Over Your Life”

“God is a God of purpose. We may not always understand His Purpose, but we can be sure He definitely has one. Something may initially look terrible to us, and yet all the while God intends to show His glory by working something good from it.” pg 128 Chapter “Put Your Pain to Good Use”
– I don’t think God is the author of pain caused by others or ourself, but He certainly uses it to help build faith, character & strength. – Brother Sasquatch

“God has a purpose for you, too. No matter what you have been through, he is healing you and making you ready to help others.” pg 129 “Put Your Pain to Good Use”