Snippets from The Long Road From Highland Springs

Here is a collection of brief quotes from the Arthur Lough biography, The Long Road from Highland Springs: A Faith Odyssey, which I started posting last April, onCapturee per day, as status updates on my Facebook page. That pattern continued until the snippet from chapter twenty-five was posted in late May. After a three-month hiatus, I have begun posting them on Facebook once again. After a snippet appears there, I will add it to the collection here. The posting of the final snippet, from the epilogue following chapter fifty, should roughly coincide with the release of the book around the first of September. I hope you enjoy this collection of quotes, and I hope they will encourage you to purchase a copy of the book, either in softcover format or as an ebook, after it is published.

Source Quote
Prologue There was activity in the hallway outside his office, but Arthur didn’t notice. Several students waved to him through the window in his office door, but Arthur didn’t see them. After a half hour or so, still in something of a daze, he stood up, slid some books and folders into his brief case, put on his coat and hat, and left for home.
Chap. 1 Arthur had been on his journey a long time, and he did not believe it was over yet. On a few occasions, he was almost overwhelmed by his circumstances. He lost sight of the road ahead, and he almost lost confidence in God. Eventually, the clouds parted, the fog lifted, and his hope was restored.
Chap. 2 For two hours they filled in many of the details of their respective stories, augmenting the bits and pieces they had shared with each other during his physical therapy sessions. Meg answered Jackie’s myriad questions about Ireland and England, and he told her all about growing up in America. By the end of the evening, Jackie was certain he was in love. Meg, on the other hand, was not.
Chap. 3 “Ian Paisley was not an eloquent speaker in any classical sense, but he was energetic and clearly confident of the truth of his message. Jackie had never heard such preaching—clear, concise, and forceful. Paisley knew what he believed, and he invited—no, demanded—his hearers to take up the cause of Jesus Christ and the Christian faith. Jackie was first intrigued, then enthralled, then convinced.”
Chap. 4 The McCutcheon place was a thirty-acre tract of land, including a house, a barn, and some other out-buildings, which Jackie had dreamed of owning since he was in high school. It had been unoccupied for years, but the family had refused to offer it for sale—until now. It was too small to ever be self-supporting, and it would take an immense effort just to make the house livable. But the setting, on a grassy knoll within sight of his parents’ house, made Jackie weak in the knees when he thought about it.
Chap. 5 “I did not hear an audible voice,” Arthur told the congregation of Ivydale Baptist Church one Sunday evening in October 1966. “But even if I had, I would not be more certain of God’s call than I am at this moment.”
Chap. 6 Not long before he lost his life in the service of Christ and his Kingdom, Jim Elliot wrote, ‘He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.’ Arthur copied those words onto a piece of paper which he carried in his wallet from that day forward.
Chap. 7 In years to come Arthur would attribute his own prudent financial management, in large part, to the example of the faithful servants of Christ at AHBI. Their sacrificial stewardship would also foster his lifelong intolerance of those who approached vocational ministry as a profession or squandered church finances or taught that faithful discipleship would always lead to economic wealth and material prosperity.
Chap. 8 For as long as he could remember, Arthur had been subject to periodic bouts of depression. It wasn’t called that in those days, at least not in Arthur’s circles. His mother called it “the gloomies,” or, on especially bad days, “the grumpies.” Arthur didn’t like the sound of that, since she used those same words to describe his sister as well, roughly every four weeks.
Chap. 9 “A thorn in the flesh. What an interesting turn of phrase,” the chapel speaker observed. “What could it mean? Perhaps it was some physical malady or limitation. Some have suggested it may have been poor eyesight. Could it have been arthritis or maybe depression or perhaps a combination of things like these? Whatever it was, it would likely have been debilitating had Paul not understood that its presence in his life was evidence of the will and intention of God.”
Chap. 10 Somewhere Arthur saw the word mentor defined as ‘a brain to pick, a shoulder to cry on, and a kick in the pants.’ He liked that. David Soderman was his mentor.
Chap. 11 Arthur was beginning to feel uncomfortable with the fundamentalist label. It seemed burdened with more baggage than he wanted to carry. That conviction only deepened after David introduced him to yet another writer whose work would stir his imagination and transform his ministry.
Chap. 12 Arthur prayed fervently that God would use his words to penetrate the wall of unbelief that prevented Adam from understanding the truth about Jesus and the Christian faith. At the same time, he prayed equally fervently that God would restore his confidence and seal the tiny fissures which had begun to develop in the foundation of his own faith.
Chap. 13 If books by C. S. Lewis and Francis Schaeffer encouraged him to use his mind as a follower of Jesus Christ, the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer would constantly remind him that right thinking produces right living. Moreover, Bonhoeffer made clear, we have not really cultivated what the New Testament calls the “mind of Christ” until the way we think about God and life and reality issues in a consistent pattern of behavior that reflects the character of Christ.
Chap. 14 On the day Arthur brought Ellie home from the hospital, he sat by her bed and held her hand while she slept. He leaned over and gently kissed her forehead.”We’ll get through this,” he told her. He knew she couldn’t hear him, and he didn’t want to wake her, but he needed to say it, perhaps as much to reassure himself as anything else.God had given him this wonderful woman, and he felt sure they could withstand any hardship as long as they had each other. She was his helper, his teammate, his partner. They would make it, together, whatever the future might hold, even if they had to go through it all by themselves.And far too often, they did.
Chap. 15 What a journey this was turning out to be. He had not known what to expect when he set out the previous Wednesday morning. With four days down and one to go, it seemed likely the trip would be an unqualified success. Ellie’s suggestion had resulted in a balm for his soul. A geographical review of his pilgrimage in chronological order was yielding unexpected spiritual and emotional reward.
Chap. 16 There was another reason Arthur began to think seriously about returning to college to complete his undergraduate degree. He was twenty-five years old, and people were calling on him for counsel in the midst of crises he could barely comprehend. He lacked wisdom, he lacked experience, and he was beginning to think he lacked the courage to be a good pastor. In the pulpit, he was a competent preacher. In the study, sitting across the desk from someone facing problems of life-changing proportions, he felt worse than useless. He simply hadn’t lived long enough to be helpful in situations like that.
Chap. 17 In future years, Arthur would often say that two of the smartest decisions he ever made as an adult were asking Ellie Beaumont to marry him and choosing to complete his undergraduate education at Houghton College.
Chap. 18 An introvert by nature and a thinker by vocation, Arthur found it easy—perhaps too easy—to keep to himself much of the time. Over the years, however, he had learned that introverts need to make room for people in the same way that extraverts need to appreciate the benefits of solitude.
Chap. 19 Shortly after he became pastor of Carver Community Church, Arthur undertook a series of sermons on Matthew 5-7, The Sermon on the Mount. He began the series by asking the congregation to consider a simple question: What if Jesus really meant for the principles and lessons he taught in the Sermon on the Mount to be taken seriously and applied consistently?
Chap. 20 In the end, they together decided that Arthur should delay his enrollment at Wheaton until Ellie’s health issues were resolved. The decision to postpone grad school until at least the fall of 1979 took a load off their minds but raised another set of questions altogether. How would they support themselves in the interim? What kind of work could Arthur secure on short notice? Where would Ellie seek treatment if her pain flared again, and how would they pay for it?
Chap. 21 Arthur had always valued loyalty and trust above all other qualities in a friendship. Sadly, he had been burned on a few occasions, and the memories still caused him pain. In most of those cases, the relationship had been restored, but he regarded them as broken canes that had been mended. In each case, the mend was almost invisible, the restoration visually perfect, but would he ever lean on them again?
Chap. 22 “In the Kingdom, self-sacrificing love, like Jesus practiced, is the controlling principle in all human relationships,” Arthur said. “That single aspect of Kingdom truth has probably influenced the character and direction of my ministry more profoundly than any other.”
Chap. 23 While the nurse drew another sample of blood, the doctor explained the situation. The last two reports of the lab analysis of Lauren’s blood showed a blood gas level that was not only improved, it was now altogether normal. Thirty minutes earlier, the lab report had indicated a near lethal level of toxic gases in her blood. Now the report showed no sign of toxicity. Her blood gas level was normal, similar to that of an infant carried to term and born with fully-functioning lungs.
Chap. 24 “Well,” Arthur said, “all my life I have tried to follow a consistent pattern. If I learn something new about what it means to follow Jesus faithfully, something I may never have thought about before, and if the Holy Spirit confirms it as truth to my mind and heart, then, as best I can, I try to bring my behavior into conformity with that new knowledge, no matter what it costs.”
Chap. 25 As a recording studio engineer, Arthur worked with clients to produce programs of broadcast quality. In that role, he met many of the major figures in evangelical Christian broadcasting during his fourteen months at Domain. In some cases, he was impressed and inspired. In other cases, he was astonished and disappointed. In every case, however, he was enlightened and educated—about professionalism, Christian character, and human nature in general.
 Chap. 26 Arthur found the Eastern Mennonite Seminary community warm and welcoming and the academic environment challenging but invigorating. A student body of just over 100 students made for smaller classes than at Wheaton, and faculty members, including the seminary dean, preferred to be addressed by their first names rather than by their academic titles.
 Chap. 27 “Well, Nate,” Arthur replied, “I’ve heard luck defined as the intersection of preparation and opportunity. In this case, I like to think that God put me in the very place he had been preparing me for.”
 Chap. 28 Sometimes it was difficult to make sense of the circuitous path his life had taken since Bible college. Arthur was not surprised, then, that many observers were bewildered by some of the choices he had made. They simply could not grasp the underlying principles upon which his developing convictions were grounded, nor could they appreciate the intensity and sincerity with which he held them.
 Chap. 29 Steve’s personality and skill-set meshed well with Arthur’s. Where Arthur was reticent in groups of more than three or four and uncomfortable in most social settings, Steve seemed to thrive on that kind of interaction. Arthur’s natural introversion was often mistaken for aloofness. Steve’s extraversion sometimes came off as brash and even arrogant. The better they came to know one another, however, the more they recognized how easily each could be misunderstood and mischaracterized.
 Chap. 30 Arthur began to pray. He thanked God for bringing him to this place at this time. He thanked God for the potential impact which High Street Church could have on the city of Harrisonburg. For some reason, he began to cry. He felt compelled to kneel on the floor in front of the communion table. A moment later, he was prostrate on the carpet, and his tears flowed like rain. He couldn’t explain what was happening. 

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