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" Prudence is not the same thing as caution. Caution is a helpful strategy when you're crossing a minefield; it's a disaster when you're in a gold rush. "
" 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. "
" Ghettos and barrios and abusive homes and trauma wards may produce scarred souls; they can cripple more human spirits than they strengthen. "
" When it comes to sermon writing, generally there are two problems. Some preachers love the research stage but hate the writing, and they start writing too late. Others don't like doing research, so they move way too fast to the writing part. "
" I know that those of us who go into church work are to regard ourselves as servants, are to offer our lives as a gift. "
" When people feel they're getting to speak into what's being preached, there is high built-in motivation to participate. "
" I am struck by how quickly I am prone to judgmentalism. "
" Amusement is a way of boredom-avoidance through external stimulation that fails to exercise our minds. It's mere diversion. "
" Jesus had a universal concern for those who suffered that transcended the rules of the ancient world. "
" Congregations shaped by the Scriptures generally have preachers who are shaped by the Scriptures. "
" To have my mind racing and my heart beating fast over glorious possibilities is very close to the summit of life experience for me. "
" 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. "
" Evil exists. Evil is real. One of the hallmarks of evil is that it seeks to convince its victims that it exists 'out there.' "
" I am a political junkie. During a presidential campaign, I will often buy a couple of newspapers a day just to keep up. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" People with the strongest and healthiest sense of calling are not obsessed with their calling. They are preoccupied with the Caller. "
" 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. "
" A simple way to address hidden curriculum issues is to spend time talking with staff and key leaders about their spiritual lives. "
" 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. "
" The question isn't if someone will sign up for spiritual formation; it's just who and what our spirits will be formed by. "
" Being deeply contented with God in my everyday life is a focused attitude. It is always available. It means practicing letting go of my obsession with how I'm doing. It means training myself to learn to actually be present with people, and seeking to love them. "
" In the context of worship, amusement is a waste of time and a waste of life, and therefore a form of sin. "
" I'm not sure ministry can ever have the urgency it requires if it is not aware of evil, both externally and internally. "
" Sin is very important to the soul because sin is what disintegrates the soul; it's what attacks the soul. Sin kind of is to the soul what cancer is to the body. "
" In my love-challenged condition, seeing a difficulty for someone else can leave me feeling a little more smug or superior-by-comparison. "
" A bad sermon is like a car wreck - everyone slows down to see what happened. "
" Nobody lives up to the norms that God had in mind when he first created human beings. "
" Prudence is foresight and far-sightedness. It's the ability to make immediate decisions on the basis of their longer-range effects. "
" Jesus' life as a foot-washing servant would eventually lead to the adoption of humility as a widely admired virtue. "
" Although the church has often been far too slow to follow his lead, Jesus' insistence that women, as well as men, bear the full image of God has had a way of sparking reform movements across the centuries. "