(Please ignore my unfinished, unorganized, undecorated mess… I just feel the need to write, and it’s overriding my usual desire to not let anyone visit my house unless it’s “just right”…)

So I’ve been on a journey of sorts for the last 14+ months. Oh heck. Who am I kidding — I’ve been on a journey all my life. We are all on a journey; sometimes we get sidetracked from the journey, or get too comfortable with where we are and stay in the same place for a long long while. Or we just flat-out forget that that we were headed somewhere. Or looking for something. We are no longer excited about what is around the next bend. “I’ll just sit on this bench and rest a little while, thankyouverymuch.”

Regardless of why mine stopped (that is a post that may never be published), I finally picked my journey up, albeit with shaky nerves, wobbly knees and little confidence.

All that to say: I’ve been reading a book. Don’t laugh. It had been awhile. It’s hard to find the time to read when you are doing things like, oh I don’t know… trying to survive. And even though my circumstances are now different and I’m no longer treading water, there are relationships, business, and kids, and the house, and OH.MY.WORD The Laundry! Reading a book is a luxury these days. I love to read. I especially love to read about other people’s journeys.

So I started with something light, fluffy and easy*

Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality

I’ve read this book before, but I’m reading it again with different eyes. When it first came out, it was quite the controversial book in some of the circles I ran with. To the point where I was almost afraid to read it. I finally read it for myself. It’s not without flaws, but he’s not claiming to be a schooled theologian.

I’d love to just post the entire book on here for you to read, but then the copyright attorneys would be banging on my door. And I don’t think they’d appreciate my “But I love my Internetz” excuse… Plus, Donald Miller seems like a cool guy (<— for those of you who have read the book, this is a play on a part of it) and deserves to make any profits from it. So go to the library and check it out or click on the link above and get your own copy.

Until you get your hands on it, enjoy some of these thoughts. And share yours with me in the comments.

Some of my favorite thoughts from the book (so far; I’m sure there will be a part 2 to this post)

From Chapter 5, Faith: Penguin Sex:

Love, for example, is a true emotion, but it is not rational. What I mean is, people actually feel it. I have been in love, plenty of people have been in love, yet love cannot be proved scientifically. Neither can beauty. Light cannot be proved scientifically, and yet we all believe in light and by light see all things. There are plenty of things that are true that don’t make any sense… (God) doesn’t (make sense). He will make no more sense to me than I will make sense to an ant. (p. 54)

From Chapter 7, Grace: The Beggar’s Kingdom:

(I realized) I was too proud to receive God’s grace, I was humbled. Who am I to think myself above God’s charity? And why would I forsake the riches of God’s righteousness for the dung of my own ego? (p. 85)

From Chapter 8, gods: Our Tiny Invisible Friends:

I felt as if believing in God was no more rational than having an imaginary friend. They have names for people who have imaginary friends, you know. They keep them in special hospitals. Maybe my faith in God was form of insanity. Maybe I was losing my marbles. I start out believing in Christ, and the next thing you know I am having tea with the Easter Bunny or waltzing with my toaster, shouting, “The redcoats are coming!” (p. 87)

From Chapter 9, Change: New Starts at Ancient Faith:

I said to a guy the other day ‘God bless you’, but what does that mean? I have been saying that stuff all my life, but what does it mean? Then I started thinking about all the crap I say. All the cliches, all the parroted slogans. I have become an infomercial for God, and I don’t even use the product. (p. 97)

From Chapter 10, Belief: The Birth of Cool:

I don’t think any church has ever been relevant to the culture, to the human struggle, unless it believed in Jesus and the power of His gospel. If the supporsed new church believes in trendy music and cool Web pages, then it is not relevant to culture either. It us just another tool of Satan to get people to be passionate about nothings.(p. 111)

From Chapter 11, Confession: Coming Out of the Closet:

(this is such a good one, and it’s long, and I wish I could just type it all out…)

Upon being asked to defend Christianity and telling the questioner (a radio host) he couldn’t:

Of the hundreds of thousands of people listening to his show that day, some of the had terrible experiences with Christianity; they may have been yelled at by a teacher in a Christian school, abused by a minister, browbeaten by a Christian parent. To them, the term ‘Christianity’ meant something that no Christian I know would defend. By fortifying the term, I am only making them more and more angry. I won’t do it. Stop ten people on the street and ask them what they think of when they hear the word “Christianity”, and they will give you ten different answers. How can I defend a term that means ten different things to ten different people?… “I would rather talk about Jesus and how I came to believe that Jesus exists and that He likes me.” (my emphasis)

Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality **

*Yeah, that’s sarcasm…

(**disclosure: the Blue Like Jazz links above are affiliate links on If you purchase the book, I receive a portion of the sale. Which is kind of like a tip in a jar, no?)


  1. Karla,

    Love your thoughts on Blue Like Jazz. I read it back in 2006-ish era. My brother gave it to me for Christmas. Loved it. Donald Miller really has insights about modern Christianity for believers who aren’t dogmatic.

    Look forward to more regular posts here….


    • Karla Archer says

      Sheree – he always manages to write in a way that takes me aback. I also really enjoyed “Searching for God Knows What”

  2. I started this book several months ago and got away from it. Thanks for the reminder to dig it back out and read it in its entirety!

    • Karla Archer says

      PunkinMama: it’s because you’ve been too busy beating me at Words With Friends! ;)
      Let me know what you think.

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