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" Love of learning led to monasteries, which became the cradle of academic guilds. "
" Gratitude is what we radiate when we experience grace, and the soul was made to run on grace the way a 747 runs on rocket fuel. "
" Pastors have historically understood their primary battle to be not the battle to build a big church, but the battle against the power of sin. "
" Tithing is a bad ceiling but an excellent floor. "
" I have always heard that you need to give yourself a long time to unplug when you do a sabbatical. I unplugged so fast I was a little concerned that I was losing brain capacity. "
" God has decided, for his own good reasons, that people are not transformed outside of community. "
" Learning something new is a fabulous way to be refreshed. When work can grind you down, something about learning a new activity thrills the soul. It reminds you that the world is bigger than your desk and your to-do list. "
" The soul is both the most fragile and most resilient thing about you; a healthy soul is what holds you together when your world falls apart. Since you will carry your soul into eternity, it's worth checking up on it at least as often as your teeth. "
" This much I have learned: human beings come with very different sets of wiring, different interests, different temperaments, different learning styles, different gifts, different temptations. These differences are tremendously important in the spiritual formation of human beings. "
" The only true and lasting inspiration for life is genuine love for God, and submitted gratitude that I get to be a part of the redemptive quest. "
" I have given up the idea that there is an opposition-free church out there. But I have gained something else - an appreciation for the gift of opposition. When it comes, I learn something about my motives. When it comes, I get to test my courage. "
" Spiritual formation is for everyone. Just as there is an 'outer you' that is being formed and shaped all the time, like it or not, by accident or on purpose, so there is an 'inner you.' You have a spirit. And it's constantly being shaped and tugged at: by what you hear and watch and say and read and think and experience. "
" The most important criterion is this: hire someone whose character and humility and attitude you would like to have reproduced in your church and in yourself. "
" The church is in the hope business. We, of all people, ought to be known most for our hope because our hope is founded on something deeper than human ability or wishful thinking. "
" There are no clear boundary lines between what is physiological, what is psychological, and what is spiritual. Those are language domains that make sense and have integrity but overlap significantly. "
" Nobody lives up to the norms that God had in mind when he first created human beings. "
" As a preacher who is fully human, and clearly not divine, I can't speak as Jesus did. But I do seek to speak truth that carries weight and authority. All of us who preach the gospel aspire to speak under the authority of Jesus. "
" I'm not sure ministry can ever have the urgency it requires if it is not aware of evil, both externally and internally. "
" Women are the first witnesses to the resurrection and pillars of the early church. "
" Better to be a loving person without knowing how you got there, than an expert no one can stand to be around. "
" In the context of worship, amusement is a waste of time and a waste of life, and therefore a form of sin. "
" Skill at helping people grow spiritually, like skill at playing chess, depends on understanding and valuing differences. "
" We all want to feel spiritually vigorous, and we hurt when we don't. This pain is intensified for people who lead church ministries. "
" Normally, if someone's legacy will outlast their life, it's apparent when they die. On the day when Alexander the Great, or Caesar Augustus, or Napoleon, or Socrates, or Muhammad died, their reputations were immense. When Jesus died, his tiny, failed movement appeared clearly at an end. "
" As much as we complain about it, though, there's part of us that is drawn to a hurried life. It makes us feel important. It keeps the adrenaline pumping. It means I don't have to look too closely at my heart or life. It keeps us from feeling our loneliness. "
" Sin is, somehow, at the root of all human misery. Sin is what keeps us from God and from life. It is in the face of every battered woman, the cry of every neglected child, the despair of every addict, the death of every victim of every war. "
" When I teach the formal curriculum, I have the chance to think about it ahead of time. I can rehearse it. I can illustrate it with self-deprecating humor and humble-sounding personal disclosure. I can try to make it comes out just right. "
" Amusement is a way of boredom-avoidance through external stimulation that fails to exercise our minds. It's mere diversion. "
" When the soul is understood and attended to, we can be liberated from hurry, preoccupation, unsatisfied desires, and chronic discontent. "
" Opposition is an inevitable reality of pastoral life. "
" Tithing is considerably less popular than words like generosity or sharing. "