Blue Like Jazz (Donald Miller)

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Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller

For anyone wondering if the Christian faith is still relevant in a post-modern culture,

For anyone thirsting for a genuine encounter with a God who is real,

For anyone yearning for a renewed sense of passion in life…

Blue Like Jazz is a fresh and original perspective on life, love and redemption.

“I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn’t resolve. But sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself…I used to not like God because God didn’t resolve. But that was before any of this happened.

I’ve heard of Blue Like Jazz ever since Happy borrowed this book from her friend. I read some excerpts of it, but then what I really wanted was Searching for God Knows What by the same author because another friend recommended me that. I got that book, liked it, and planned to get this one as soon as I can…or ask for it as a birthday gift or something. But no one ever gave it to me, so I got it last Book Fair.

One of the things I really love about Donald Miller is how his books doesn’t feel like books; it feels like you’re listening to a story of a friend. Blue Like Jazz contains different stories on Miller’s life, about how his dad left them and how he sees God the Father, how he first sinned, his friends Penny and Laura and their conversions, studying in an “atheist” university in the US, being a recluse, church, tithing, love and of course, Jesus. How he tells it is very casual, never preachy. He makes things sound so simple, like when he says that what God really wants us to do is to love people, and let Him do the rest.

The book obviously makes one think, but not in a guilty way but in a way that he makes you realize that the things we think are so difficult to understand are actually quite easy. Did I make sense there? Ultimately, the book also made me feel like Jesus not only loved me, but He genuinely liked me too. :)

It’s a good book. It’s not too heavy, but not too light and fluffy to be dismissed. :) If you’re not much into church or Christianity but want to discover a bit more, then I’d recommend this book for you. :)

Some of my favorite lines in the book:

If you don’t love somebody, it gets annoying when they tell you what to do or what to feel. When you love them you get pleasure from their pleasure, and it makes it easy to serve. (p. 14)

There are plenty of things that are true that don’t make any sense. I think one of the problems Laura was having was that she wanted God to make sense. he doesn’t. He will make no more sense to me than I will make sense to an ant. (p. 54)

I think the things that we want most in life, the things we think will set us free, are not the things we need. (p. 63)

…I will love God because he first loved me. I will obey God because I love God. But if I cannot accept God’s love, I cannot love Him in return, and I cannot obey Him. Self discipline will never make us feel righteous or clean; accepting God’s love will. The ability to accept God’s unconditional grace and ferocious love is all the fuel we need to obey Him in return…by accepting God’s love for us, we fall in love with him, and only then do we have the fuel we need to obey. (p. 86)

…God has never been nor ever will be invented. He is not a product of any sort of imagination. He does not obey trends…He was answering your prayers because He is a God of compassion. He could have left you to Satan. Don’t complain the way God answers your prayers. You are still living on an earth that is run by the devil. God has promised us a new land, and we will get there. your problem is not that God is not fulfilling, your problem is that you are spoiled. (p. 92)

There is something beautiful about a billion stars held steady by a God who knows what He is doing…I imagined Him looking down on this earth, half angry because His beloved mankind has cheated on Him, had committed adultery, and yet hopelessly in love with her, drunk with love for her. (p. 100)

…when a relationship is right, it is no more possible to wake up and want out of the marriage than it is to wake up and stop believing in God. What is, is what is…I realized that believing in God is as much like falling in love as it is like making a decision. Love is both something that happens to you and something you decide upon. (p. 104)

…dying for something is easy because it is associated with glory. Living for something…is the hard thing. Living for something extends beyond fashion, glory or recognition. We live for what we believe. (p. 111)

I like the idea of loving people just to love them, not to get them to come to church. (p. 135)

…to be in a relationship with God is t be loved purely and furiously. And a person who thinks himself unlovable cannot be in a relationship with God because he can’t accept who God is; a Being that is love. We learn that we are lovable or unlovable from other people…that is why God tells us so many times to love each other. (p. 146-147)

There is no addiction so powerful as self-addiction. (p. 182)

If we are not willing to wake up in the morning and die to ourselves, perhaps we should ask ourselves whether we are really following Jesus. (p. 185)

When we do what God wants us to do, we are blessed, we are spiritually healthy. God wants us to give a portion of our money to His work on earth. By setting aside money from every check, you are trusting God to provide. He wants you to get over that fear — that fear of trusting Him. It is a scary place, but that is where you have to go as a follower of Christ. (p. 197)

…wonder is that feeling we get when we let go of our silly answers, our mapped out rules that we want God to follow. I don’t think there is any better worship than wonder. (p. 206)

…it wasn’t my responsibility to change somebody, [that] it was God’s that my part was just to communicate love and approval. (p. 221)

I think the most important thing that happens within Christian spirituality is when a person falls in love with Jesus. (p. 237)

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