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    The Word became flesh--and then through theologians it became words again. 

    Karl Barth.

    Kierkagaard in "And I looked around and nobody was laughing" says this, "I went into church and sat on the velvet pew. I watched as the sun came shining through the stained glass windows. The minister dressed in a velvet robe opened the golden gilded Bible, marked it with a silk bookmark and said, "If any man will be my disciple, said Jesus, let him deny himself, take up his cross, sell what he has, give it to the poor, and follow me."


    Clarence Jordan, author of the "Cotton Patch" New Testament translation and founder of the interracial Koinonia farm in Americus, Georgia, was getting a red-carpet tour of another minister's church. With pride the minister pointed to the rich, imported pews and luxurious decoration. As they stepped outside, darkness was falling, and a spotlight shone on a huge cross atop the steeple. "That cross alone cost us ten thousand dollars," the minister said with a satisfied smile. "You got cheated," said Jordan. "Times were when Christians could get them for free."  

    Michael Jinkins.

    A religion that gives nothing, costs nothing, and suffers nothing, is worth nothing. 

    M. Luther.

    It is better to train ten people than to do the work of ten people. But it is harder. 


    Statistics and Stuff

    At the close of life, the question will not be,

    "How much have you gotten?" but "How much have you given?"
    Not "How much have you won?" but "How much have you done?"
    Not "How much have you saved?" but "How much have you sacrificed?"
    It will be "How much have you loved and served," not "How much were you honored?"  

    Nathan C. Schaeffer.

    G.C. Morgan wrote concerning the special three: "There can be no doubt that these men, Peter, James, and John, were the most remarkable in the apostolate. Peter loved Him; John He loved; James was the first to seal his testimony with his blood. Even their blunders proved their strength. They were the men of enterprise; men who wanted thrones and places of power...Mistaken ideas, all of them, and yet proving capacity for holding the keys and occupying the throne. What men from among that first group reign today as these men?

    On four special occasions, Jesus admitted them to experiences from which they leanred precious lessons. On the occasion of the raising of Jairus's daughter (Luke 8:51), they were granted a preview of their Lord's mastery over death ... On the mount of transfiguration (Matt 17:1), they gained clearer insight into the importance of His impending death ... On the Mount of Olives (Mark 13:3), they marveled at His prophetic discernment ... In the Garden of Gethsemane (Matt 26:37), they glimpsed in the sufferings of the Savior something of the cost of their salvation..." 

    J.O. Sanders, Enjoying Intimacy with God, Moody, p. 19.

    Relationship building is a process which takes time; when that time is invested, trust and vulnerability grow. We offer these questions as part of this building process, knowing that when used in love and wisdom they will help men open their hearts to each other.

    1. Have I been with a woman in the past week that could be viewed as compromising?
    2. Have all my financial dealings been filled with integrity?
    3. Have I viewed sexually explicit material?
    4. Have I spent adequate time in Bible study and prayer?
    5. Have I spent quality time and given priority to my family?
    6. Have I fulfilled the mandates of my calling?
    7. Have I just lied to you?

    Source Unknown.

    In Rebuilding Your Broken World, Gordon MacDonald suggests twenty-six questions to help develop accountability and invite feedback. If we desire to grow, we should submit our selves to a spiritual mentor and answer these questions honestly.

    1. How is your relationship with God right now?
    2. What have you read in the Bible in the past week?
    3. What has God said to you in this reading?
    4. Where do you find yourself resisting Him these days?
    5. What specific things are you praying for in regard to yourself?
    7. What are the specific tasks facing you right now that you consider incomplete?
    8. What habits intimidate you?
    9. What have you read in the secular press this week?
    10. What general reading are you doing?
    11. What have you done to play?
    12. How are you doing with your spouse? Kids?
    13. If I were to ask your spouse about your state of mind, state of spirit, state of energy level, what would the response be?
    14. Are you sensing spiritual attacks from the enemy right now?
    15. If Satan were to try to invalidate you as a person or as a servant of the Lord, how might he do it?
    16. What is the state of your sexual perspective? Tempted? Dealing with fantasies? Entertainment?
    17. Where are you financially right now? (things under control? under anxiety? in great debt?)
    18. Are there any unresolved conflicts in your circle of relationships right now?
    19. When was the last time you spent time with a good friend of your own gender?
    20. What kind of time have you spent with anyone who is a non-Christian this month?
    21. What challenges do you think you're going to face in the coming week? Month?
    22. What would you say are your fears at this present time?
    23. Are you sleeping well?
    24. What three things are you most thankful for?
    25. Do you like yourself at this point in your pilgrimage?
    26. What are your greatest confusions about your relationship with God?

    Paul Borthwick, Leading the Way, Navpress, 1989, pp. 171-172.