Disciples Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Disciples. Here they are! All 200 of them:

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I wanted to be one of those people who have streaks to maintain, who scorch the ground with their intensity. But for now, at least I knew such people, and they needed me, just like comets need tails.
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John Green (Looking for Alaska)
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Jesus promised his disciples three thingsβ€”that they would be completely fearless, absurdly happy, and in constant trouble.
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William Barclay (The Gospel of Luke - Enlarged Print Edition)
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In friendship...we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years' difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another...the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting--any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you," can truly say to every group of Christian friends, "Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another." The friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others.
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C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)
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There is divine beauty in learning... To learn means to accept the postulate that life did not begin at my birth. Others have been here before me, and I walk in their footsteps. The books I have read were composed by generations of fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, teachers and disciples. I am the sum total of their experiences, their quests. And so are you.
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Elie Wiesel
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Men are born soft and supple; dead they are stiff and hard. Plants are born tender and pliant; dead, they are brittle and dry. Thus whoever is stiff and inflexible is a disciple of death. Whoever is soft and yielding is a disciple of life. The hard and stiff will be broken. The soft and supple will prevail.
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Lao Tzu
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There is a beautiful transparency to honest disciples who never wear a false face and do not pretend to be anything but who they are.
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Brennan Manning
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I realized that the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by His letting us have our way in the end, but by His making us wait, bearing with us in love and patience until we are able to honestly to pray what He taught His disciples to pray: Thy will be done.
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Elisabeth Elliot (Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Life Under Christ's Control)
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Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. At the end all his disciples deserted him. On the Cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers. For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God. So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the thick of foes. There is his commission, his work. 'The kingdom is to be in the midst of your enemies. And he who will not suffer this does not want to be of the Kingdom of Christ; he wants to be among friends, to sit among roses and lilies, not with the bad people but the devout people. O you blasphemers and betrayers of Christ! If Christ had done what you are doing who would ever have been spared' (Luther).
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Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian Community)
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Every true faith is infallible. It performs what the believing person hopes to find in it. But it does not offer the least support for the establishing of an objective truth. Here the ways of men divide. If you want to achieve peace of mind and happiness, have faith. If you want to be a disciple of truth, then search.
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Friedrich Nietzsche
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These... things, householder, are welcome, agreeable, pleasant, & hard to obtain in the world: Long life is welcome, agreeable, pleasant, & hard to obtain in the world. Beauty is welcome, agreeable, pleasant, & hard to obtain in the world. Happiness is welcome, agreeable, pleasant, & hard to obtain in the world. Status is welcome, agreeable, pleasant, & hard to obtain in the world. ...Now, I tell you, these... things are not to be obtained by reason of prayers or wishes. If they were to be obtained by reason of prayers or wishes, who here would lack them? It's not fitting for the disciple of the noble ones who desires long life to pray for it or to delight in doing so. Instead, the disciple of the noble ones who desires long life should follow the path of practice leading to long life. In so doing, he will attain long life... [Ittha Sutta, AN 5.43]
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Gautama Buddha
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The defenders of decent society and the disciples of degeneracy are often the same people.
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Caleb Carr (The Alienist)
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Arrogance is someone claiming to have come to Christ, but they won't spend more than five minutes listening to your journey because they are more concerned about their own well being, rather than being a true disciple of Christ. Blessed is the person that takes the time to heal and hear another person so they can move on.
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Shannon L. Alder
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…Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I don't know what will go first, rock 'n' roll or Christianity. We're more popular than Jesus now. Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me.
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John Lennon
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As soon as a religion comes to dominate it has as its opponents all those who would have been its first disciples.
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Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human)
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Too often we forget that discipline really means to teach, not to punish. A disciple is a student, not a recipient of behavioural consequences.
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Daniel J. Siegel (The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mind, Survive Everyday Parenting Struggles, and Help Your Family Thrive)
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Here the ways of men divide. If you wish to strive for peace of soul and happiness, then believe; if you wish to be a disciple of truth, then inquire.
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Friedrich Nietzsche
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Every great man nowadays has his disciples, and it is usually Judas who writes the biography.
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Oscar Wilde (The Critic as Artist)
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Diocesan exams are given at the end of March to students in Catholic schools throughout Massachusetts from the fourth to the twelfth grade. You have to answer four out of seven essay questions. A typical question goes something like this: Theologians speculate about whether Christ actually appeared to His disciples after He rose from the dead. Is the scripture clear on this? Discuss, with reference to the different gospels and their variations, and to different theological interpretations
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Kathleen Zamboni McCormick (Dodging Satan: My Irish/Italian, Sometimes Awesome, But Mostly Creepy, Childhood)
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In our family, there was no clear line between religion and fly fishing. We lived at the junction of great trout rivers in western Montana, and our father was a Presbyterian minister and a fly fisherman who tied his own flies and taught others. He told us about Christ's disciples being fishermen, and we were left to assume, as my brother and I did, that all first-class fishermen on the Sea of Galilee were fly fishermen and that John, the favorite, was a dry-fly fisherman.
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Norman Maclean (A River Runs Through it and Other Stories)
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I felt like praying or something, when I was in bed, but I couldn't do it. I can't always pray when I feel like it. In the first place, I'm sort of an atheist. I like Jesus and all, but I don't care too much for most of the other stuff in the Bible. Take the Disciples, for instance. They annoy the hell out of me, if you want to know the truth. They were all right after Jesus was dead and all, but while He was alive, they were about as much use to Him as a hole in the head. All they did was keep letting Him down.
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J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)
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The backslider likes the preaching that wouldn't hit the side of a house, while the real disciple is delighted when the truth brings him to his knees.
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Billy Sunday
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Disciples and devotees…what are most of them doing? Worshipping the teapot instead of drinking the tea!
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Wei Wu Wei
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Truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect ... Your have to be your own teacher and your own disciple. You have to question everything that man has accepted as valuable, as necessary.
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Jiddu Krishnamurti
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How often does a man ruin his disciples by remaining always with them! When men are once trained, it is essential that their leader leave them, for without his absence they cannot develop themselves. Plants always remain small under a big tree.
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Swami Vivekananda
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Earthly goods are given to be used, not to be collected. In the wilderness God gave Israel the manna every day, and they had no need to worry about food and drink. Indeed, if they kept any of the manna over until the next day, it went bad. In the same way, the disciple must receive his portion from God every day. If he stores it up as a permanent possession, he spoils not only the gift, but himself as well, for he sets his heart on accumulated wealth, and makes it a barrier between himself and God. Where our treasure is, there is our trust, our security, our consolation and our God. Hoarding is idolatry.
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Dietrich Bonhoeffer (The Cost of Discipleship)
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The greatest issue facing the world today, with all its heartbreaking needs, is whether those who, by profession or culture, are identified as β€˜Christians’ will become disciples – students, apprentices, practitioners – of Jesus Christ, steadily learning from him how to live the life of the Kingdom of the Heavens into every corner of human existence.
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Dallas Willard (The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus's Essential Teachings on Discipleship)
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Smartass Disciple: Why do arrogant people like to say complex words ? Master of Stupidity: Ask them straight! You'll get a simple scary version.
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Toba Beta (Master of Stupidity)
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If ye love me, keep my commandments." This is the essence of what it means to be a true disciple: those who receive Christ Jesus walk with him.
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Dieter F. Uchtdorf
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I can almost picture the disciples faces. "No, not the drink-my-blood speech! We'll never get on the list of fastest-growing movements if you keep asking them to eat you!
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David Platt (Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream)
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We are in a period of such individualism that one no longer speaks of disciples; one speaks of thieves.
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Jean Cocteau (Opium: The Diary of His Cure)
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We could copeβ€”the world could copeβ€”with a Jesus who ultimately remains a wonderful idea inside his disciples' minds and hearts. The world cannot cope with a Jesus who comes out of the tomb, who inaugurates God's new creation right in the middle of the old one.
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N.T. Wright (Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church)
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The Hermit was known to be pretty sniffy about disciples who returned in failure. There was a wall of the institute layered with their skins- an ingenious display that encouraged vigor in his students, as well as nicely keeping out the drafts.
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Jonathan Stroud (Ptolemy's Gate (Bartimaeus, #3))
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Christian love draws no distinction between one enemy and another, except that the more bitter our enemy's hatred, the greater his need of love. Be his enmity political or religious, he has nothing to expect from a follower of Jesus but unqualified love. In such love there is not inner discord between the private person and official capacity. In both we are disciples of Christ, or we are not Christians at all.
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Dietrich Bonhoeffer (The Cost of Discipleship)
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The teaching of the Sermon on the Mount is not--Do your duty, but--Do what is not your duty. It is not your duty to go the second mile, to turn the other cheek, but Jesus says if we are His disciples we shall always do these things. There will be no spirit of--"Oh, well, I cannot do any more, I have been so misrepresented and misunderstood". . . Never look for right in the other man, but never cease to be right yourself. We are always looking for justice; the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount is--Never look for justice, but never cease to live it.
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Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest)
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The Samaritan woman grasped what He said with fervor that came from an awareness of her real need. The transaction was fascinating. She has come with a buket. He sent her back with a spring of living water. She had come as a reject. He sent her back being accepted by God Himself. She came wounded. He sent her back whole. She came laden with questions. He sent her back as a source for answers. She came living a life of quiet desperation. She ran back overflowing with hope. The disciples missed it all. It was lunchtime for them.
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Ravi Zacharias (Jesus Among Other Gods: The Absolute Claims of the Christian Message)
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There was just such a man when I was youngβ€”an Austrian who invented a new way of life and convinced himself that he was the chap to make it work. He tried to impose his reformation by the sword, and plunged the civilized world into misery and chaos. But the thing which this fellow had overlooked, my friend, was that he had a predecessor in the reformation business, called Jesus Christ. Perhaps we may assume that Jesus knew as much as the Austrian did about saving people. But the odd thing is that Jesus did not turn the disciples into strom troopers, burn down the Temple at Jerusalem, and fix the blame on Pontius Pilate. On the contrary, he made it clear that the business of the philosopher was to make ideas available, and not to impose them on people.
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T.H. White (The Once and Future King (The Once and Future King, #1-4))
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The lack of women among the twelve disciples isn't prescriptive or a precedent for exclusion of women any more than the choice of twelve Jewish men excludes Gentile men from leadership.
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Sarah Bessey (Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women)
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Smartass Disciple: Master, how do you heal the broken heart? Master of Stupidity: It isn’t a disease need to be healed. It’s life.
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Toba Beta
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A disciple...can never imitate his guide's steps. You have your own way of living your life, of dealing with problems, and of winning. Teaching is only demonstrating that it is possible. Learning is making it possible for yourself.
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Paulo Coelho (The Pilgrimage)
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An old alchemist gave the following consolation to one of his disciples: β€œNo matter how isolated you are and how lonely you feel, if you do your work truly and conscientiously, unknown friends will come and seek you.
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C.G. Jung
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Smartass Disciple: Why we shouldn’t judge others? Master of Stupidity: Don’t! Unless you are paid for it.
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Toba Beta
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Disciple making is not a call for others to come to us to hear the gospel but a command for us to go to others to share the gospel.
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David Platt (Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream)
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If men learn this, it will implant forgetfulness in their souls; they will cease to exercise memory because they rely on that which is written, calling things to remembrance no longer from within themselves, but by means of external marks. What you have discovered is a recipe not for memory, but for reminder. And it is no true wisdom that you offer your disciples, but only its semblance, for by telling them of many things without teaching them you will make them seem to know much, while for the most part they know nothing, and as men filled, not with wisdom, but with the conceit of wisdom, they will be a burden to their fellows.
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Plato (Phaedrus)
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if a person wishes to achieve peace of mind and happiness then they should acquire faith, but if they want to be a disciple of truth, which can be "frightening and ugly,” then they need to search.
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Friedrich Nietzsche
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I am a disciple of the philosopher Dionysus, and I would prefer to be even a satyr than a saint.
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Friedrich Nietzsche (Ecce Homo)
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Smooth seas don't produce skillful sailors.' It's the rought waters that train us to e His disciples. He uses the turbulent times I our lives to prepare us for His purposes-if we'll let Him.
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Lynn Austin
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Cheap grace means grace sold on the market like cheapjacks' wares. The sacraments, the forgiveness of sin, and the consolations of religion are thrown away at cut prices. Grace is represented as the Church's inexhaustible treasury, from which she showers blessings with generous hands, without asking questions or fixing limits. Grace without price; grace without cost! The essence of grace, we suppose, is that the account has been paid in advance; and, because it has been paid, everything can be had for nothing. Since the cost was infinite, the possibilities of using and spending it are infinite. What would grace be if it were not cheap?... Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate. Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble; it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him. Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: "ye were bought at a price," and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.
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Dietrich Bonhoeffer (The Cost of Discipleship)
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The messengers of Jesus will be hated to the end of time. They will be blamed for all the division which rend cities and homes. Jesus and his disciples will be condemned on all sides for undermining family life, and for leading the nation astray; they will be called crazy fanatics and disturbers of the peace. The disciples will be sorely tempted to desert their Lord. But the end is also near, and they must hold on and persevere until it comes. Only he will be blessed who remains loyal to Jesus and his word until the end.
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Dietrich Bonhoeffer (The Cost of Discipleship)
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A disciple is an asshole looking for a human being to attach itself to.
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Robert Anton Wilson
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It never cost a disciple anything to follow Jesus; to talk about cost when you are in love with anyone is an insult.
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Oswald Chambers
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The most effective way to share the gospel is to live it. When we live like disciples of Christ should live, when we aren't just good but happy to be good, others will be drawn to us.
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Sheri Dew (Saying It Like It Is)
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Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me.
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John Lennon
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Fortunately, God made all varieties of people with a wide variety of interests and abilities. He has called people of every race and color who have been hurt by life in every manner imaginable. Even the scars of past abuse and injury can be the means of bringing healing to another. What wonderful opportunities to make disciples!
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Charles R. Swindoll
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And in our Scripture class, Owen said, "IT'S TRUE THAT THE DISCIPLES ARE STUPID - THEY NEVER UNDERSTAND WHAT JESUS MEANS, THEY'RE A BUNCH OF BUNGLERS, THEY DON'T BELIEVE IN GOD AS MUCH AS THEY WANT TO BELIEVE, AND THEY EVEN BETRAY JESUS. THE POINT IS, GOD DOESN'T LOVE US BECAUSE WE'RE SMART OR BECAUSE WE'RE GOOD. WE'RE STUPID AND WE'RE BAD AND GOD LOVES US ANYWAY - JESUS ALREADY TOLD THE DUMB-SHIT DISCIPLES WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN. "THE SON OF MAN WILL BE DELIVERED INTO THE HANDS OF MEN, AND THEY WILL KILL HIM..." REMEMBER? THAT WAS IN MARK, RIGHT?" "Yes, but let's not say "dumb-shit disciples" in class, Owen," Mr. Merrill said.
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John Irving (A Prayer for Owen Meany)
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Smartass Disciple: Master, I’m going to change the whole world. Master of Stupidity: It changes within you. It changes without you.
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Toba Beta
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I abhor the supreme folly of those who blame the disciples of nature in defiance of those masters who were themselves her pupils
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Leonardo da Vinci (Thoughts on Art and Life)
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They would have to sing better songs for me to learn to have faith in their Redeemer; and his disciples would have to look more redeemed!
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Friedrich Nietzsche
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It is for the inconsistent, unsteady disciples whose cheese is falling off their cracker.
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Brennan Manning
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Live as long as you want, but you must die; love whatever you want, but you will become separated from it; and do what you want, but you will be repaid for it!
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Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (Al-Ghazali's Letter to a Disciple)
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When you give your master his letter, also give him this. And tell him that in the Red Desert, we do not abuse our disciples.
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Sarah J. Maas (The Assassin and the Desert (Throne of Glass, #0.3))
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To me there is no more tragic sight than the average missionary. …We have given so much, yet not the one thing that counts; we aspire so high, and fall so low; we suffer so much, but so seldom with Christ; we have done so much and so little will remain; we have known Christ in part, and have so effectively barricaded our hearts against His mighty love, which surely He must yearn to give His disciples above all people.
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Amy Carmichael (God's Missionary)
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When we truly understand what it means to love as Jesus Christ loves us, the confusion clears and our priorities align. Our walk as disciples of Christ becomes more joyful. Our lives take on new meaning. Our relationship with our Heavenly Father becomes more profound. Obedience becomes a joy rather than a burden.
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Dieter F. Uchtdorf
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Opinion, O disciples, is a disease; opinion is a tumour; opinion is a sore. He who has overcome all opinion, O disciples, is called a saint, one who knows.
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Gautama Buddha (Buddhist Scriptures)
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What makes authentic disciples is not visions, ecstasies, biblical mastery of chapter and verse, or spectacular success in the ministry, but a capacity for faithfulness. Buffeted by the fickle winds of failure, battered by their own unruly emotions, and bruised by rejection and ridicule, authentic disciples may have stumbled and frequently fallen, endured lapses and relapses, gotten handcuffed to the fleshpots and wandered into a far county. Yet, they kept coming back to Jesus.
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Brennan Manning (The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out)
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[God says] Discipleship is not limited to what you can comprehend - it must transcend all comprehension. Plunge into the deep waters beyond your own comprehension, and I will help you to comprehend even as I do. Bewilderment is the true comprehension. Not to know where you are going is the true knowledge. My comprehension transcends yours.
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Dietrich Bonhoeffer (The Cost of Discipleship)
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If Marx came back to life today, he would probably urge his few remaining disciples to devote less time to reading Das Kapital and more time to studying the Internet and the human genome.
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Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
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But in Friendship, being free of all that, we think we have chosen our peers. In reality, a few years' difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another, posting to different regiments, the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meetingβ€”any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking, no chances. A secret Master of the Ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you," can truly say to every group of Christian friends "You have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another." The Friendship is not a reward for our discrimination and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each the beauties of all the others. They are no greater than the beauties of a thousand other men; by Friendship God opens our eyes to them. They are, like all beauties, derived from Him, and then, in a good Friendship, increased by Him through the Friendship itself, so that it is His instrument for creating as well as for revealing.
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C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)
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You and I won't ever find ourselves on that cross, but we repeatedly find ourselves at the foot of it. And how we act there will speak volumes about what we think of Christ's character and His call for us to be His disciples.
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Jeffrey R. Holland (Created for Greater Things)
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There is only one difference between teacher and disciple: the former is slightly less afraid than the latter.” ~Deidre O’Neill, known as Edde (p. 213)
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Paulo Coelho (The Witch of Portobello)
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Smartass Disciple: Does stupidity a sin? Master of Stupidity: No stupidity, no sin.
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Toba Beta (Master of Stupidity)
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Smartass Disciple: Master, I want to be the better me by forgetting my past. Master of Stupidity: If you just forget it, how would you measure you're better?
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Toba Beta (Master of Stupidity)
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The devil makes many disciples by preaching against sin. He convinces them that the great evil of sin, induces a crisis of guilt by which β€œGod is satisfied," and after that he lets them spend the rest of their lives meditating on the intense sinfulness and evident reprobation of other men.
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Thomas Merton (New Seeds of Contemplation)
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[Martin Luther King, Jr.] concluded the learned discourse that came to be known as the 'loving your enemies' sermon this way: 'So this morning, as I look into your eyes and into the eyes of all my brothers in Alabama and all over America and over the world, I say to you,'I love you. I would rather die than hate you.'' Go ahead and reread that. That is hands down the most beautiful, strange, impossible, but most of all radical thing a human being can say. And it comes from reading the most beautiful, strange, impossible, but most of all radical civics lesson ever taught, when Jesus of Nazareth went to a hill in Galilee and told his disciples, 'Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you.
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Sarah Vowell (The Wordy Shipmates)
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Real men don't dance to other people's tune, instead, they play for others to dance.
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Michael Bassey Johnson
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The Church is in the world, it is part of the suffering in the world, and though Christ condemned the disciple who struck off the ear of the high priest's servant, our hearts go out in sympathy to all who are moved to violence by the suffering of others. The Church condemns violence, but it condemns indifference more harshly. Violence can be the expression of love, indifference never. One is an imperfection of charity, the other the perfection of egoism.
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Graham Greene (The Comedians)
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Rousseau and his disciples were resolved to force men to be free; in most of the world, they triumphed; men are set free from family, church, town, class, guild; yet they wear, instead, the chains of the state, and they expire of ennui or stifling lone lines.
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Russell Kirk (The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot)
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Smartass Disciple: Which one was first created, time or things? Master of Stupidity: No things, no changes. No changes, no time.
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Toba Beta (Master of Stupidity)
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Smartass Disciple: Master, why there was no second chance in garden of eden? Master of Stupidity: Of course. Perhaps, human can only enjoy one-time virginity.
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Toba Beta (Master of Stupidity)
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Smartass Disciple: If you are really a master, then make me see miracles! Master of Stupidity: Go to sleep and dream, then wake up thirty years later!
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Toba Beta (Master of Stupidity)
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Smartass Disciple: Master, we should not spend our time to low life like them. Master of Stupidity: If I don’t, then how should I lead men like you to be wiser?
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Toba Beta (Master of Stupidity)
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Jesus said his disciples would be known for their love, not for their placards of protest and angry letters to the editor.
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Brian Zahnd (Radical Forgiveness: God's Call to Unconditional Love)
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One by one, these disciples would infect the nations with grace. It wasn't a call to take the sword or the throne and force the world to bow. Rather, they were to live the contagious love of God, to woo the nations into a new future.
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Shane Claiborne (Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals)
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i mean talk about decadence," he declared, "how decadent can a society get? Look at it this way. This country's probably the psychiatric, psychoanalytical capital of the world. Old Freud himself could never've dreamed up a more devoted bunch of disciples than the population of the United States - isn't that right? Our whole damn culture is geared to it; it's the new religion; it's everybody's intellectual and spiritual sugar-tit. And for all that, look what happens when a man really does blow his top. Call the Troopers, get him out of sight quick, hustle him off and lock him up before he wakes the neighbors. Christ's sake, when it comes to any kind of showdown we're still in the Middle Ages. It's as if everybody'd made this tacit agreement to live in a state of total self-deception. The hell with reality! Let's have a whole bunch of cute little winding roads and cute little houses painted white and pink and baby blue; let's all be good consumers and have a lot of Togetherness and bring our children up in a bath of sentimentality -- and if old reality ever does pop out and say Boo we'll all get busy and pretend it never happened.
”
”
Richard Yates (Revolutionary Road)
β€œ
Strengthening the hearts of the disciples by encouraging them to continue in the faith, and by telling them, "It is necessary to pass through many troubles on our way into the kingdom of God." Acts 14:22
”
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Anonymous (Holy Bible: New International Version)
β€œ
I believe in God, Mozart and Beethoven, and likewise their disciples and apostles; - I believe in the Holy Spirit and the truth of the one, indivisible Art; - I believe that this Art proceeds from God, and lives within the hearts of all illumined men; - I believe that he who once has bathed in the sublime delights of this high Art, is consecrate to Her for ever, and never can deny Her; - I believe that through Art all men are saved.
”
”
Richard Wagner
β€œ
I remind you that no man who makes disparaging remarks concerning those of another race can consider himself a true disciple of Christ," said President Hinckley. "How can any man holding the Melchizedek Priesthood arrogantly assume that he is eligible for the priesthood whereas another who lives a righteous life but whose skin is of a different color, is ineligible?
”
”
Gordon B. Hinckley
β€œ
Isn't it interesting that in Acts 11, at the end of verse 26, it says, "The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch." What I find interesting is the simple thought that the Christians didn't name themselves. But rather, they were called (or named) "Christians" by those watching their lives. I wonder if it would be the same today. Could someone look at your life or look at my life and name me a Christian? A humbling thought for sure.
”
”
Chris Tomlin
β€œ
I'm a disciple of the Tao of Peter Parker, obviously,
”
”
Jim Butcher (Death Masks (The Dresden Files, #5))
β€œ
Smartass Disciple: Master, why do some people so stubborn and unruly ? Master of Stupidity: Only when you want them do according to your wish.
”
”
Toba Beta (Master of Stupidity)
β€œ
Perhaps the transformation of the disciples of Jesus is the greatest evidence of all for the resurrection.
”
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John R.W. Stott
β€œ
Smartass Disciple: Master, do you really believe in the second chance? Master of Stupidity: That supports the basis of lost-then-found concept.
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”
Toba Beta (Master of Stupidity)
β€œ
An ordinary teacher instructs and leaves his disciple, but a great teacher strives to make his disciple see reason by pushing him to his limits
”
”
Samarpananda (Junglezen Sheru)
β€œ
Jesus didn't really die-someone gave him a long drug that made him look like dead, and he revived in the tomb. Answer: Roman soldiers knew how to kill people, and no disciple would have been fooled by a half-drugged, beat-up Jesus into thinking he'd defeated death and inaugurated the kingdom.
”
”
N.T. Wright (Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church)
β€œ
Jesus did not urge his disciples to commit their lives to a doctrine, but to a person who was the doctrine, and only as they continued in his Word could they know the truth ( John 8:31–32).
”
”
Robert E. Coleman (The Master Plan of Evangelism)
β€œ
Dearest creature in creation, Study English pronunciation. I will teach you in my verse Sounds like corpse, corps, horse, and worse. I will keep you, Suzy, busy, Make your head with heat grow dizzy. Tear in eye, your dress will tear. So shall I! Oh hear my prayer. Just compare heart, beard, and heard, Dies and diet, lord and word, Sword and sward, retain and Britain. (Mind the latter, how it’s written.) Now I surely will not plague you With such words as plaque and ague. But be careful how you speak: Say break and steak, but bleak and streak; Cloven, oven, how and low, Script, receipt, show, poem, and toe. Hear me say, devoid of trickery, Daughter, laughter, and Terpsichore, Typhoid, measles, topsails, aisles, Exiles, similes, and reviles; Scholar, vicar, and cigar, Solar, mica, war and far; One, anemone, Balmoral, Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel; Gertrude, German, wind and mind, Scene, Melpomene, mankind. Billet does not rhyme with ballet, Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet. Blood and flood are not like food, Nor is mould like should and would. Viscous, viscount, load and broad, Toward, to forward, to reward. And your pronunciation’s OK When you correctly say croquet, Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve, Friend and fiend, alive and live. Ivy, privy, famous; clamour And enamour rhyme with hammer. River, rival, tomb, bomb, comb, Doll and roll and some and home. Stranger does not rhyme with anger, Neither does devour with clangour. Souls but foul, haunt but aunt, Font, front, wont, want, grand, and grant, Shoes, goes, does. Now first say finger, And then singer, ginger, linger, Real, zeal, mauve, gauze, gouge and gauge, Marriage, foliage, mirage, and age. Query does not rhyme with very, Nor does fury sound like bury. Dost, lost, post and doth, cloth, loth. Job, nob, bosom, transom, oath. Though the differences seem little, We say actual but victual. Refer does not rhyme with deafer. Foeffer does, and zephyr, heifer. Mint, pint, senate and sedate; Dull, bull, and George ate late. Scenic, Arabic, Pacific, Science, conscience, scientific. Liberty, library, heave and heaven, Rachel, ache, moustache, eleven. We say hallowed, but allowed, People, leopard, towed, but vowed. Mark the differences, moreover, Between mover, cover, clover; Leeches, breeches, wise, precise, Chalice, but police and lice; Camel, constable, unstable, Principle, disciple, label. Petal, panel, and canal, Wait, surprise, plait, promise, pal. Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair, Senator, spectator, mayor. Tour, but our and succour, four. Gas, alas, and Arkansas. Sea, idea, Korea, area, Psalm, Maria, but malaria. Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean. Doctrine, turpentine, marine. Compare alien with Italian, Dandelion and battalion. Sally with ally, yea, ye, Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, and key. Say aver, but ever, fever, Neither, leisure, skein, deceiver. Heron, granary, canary. Crevice and device and aerie. Face, but preface, not efface. Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass. Large, but target, gin, give, verging, Ought, out, joust and scour, scourging. Ear, but earn and wear and tear Do not rhyme with here but ere. Seven is right, but so is even, Hyphen, roughen, nephew Stephen, Monkey, donkey, Turk and jerk, Ask, grasp, wasp, and cork and work. Pronunciation (think of Psyche!) Is a paling stout and spikey? Won’t it make you lose your wits, Writing groats and saying grits? It’s a dark abyss or tunnel: Strewn with stones, stowed, solace, gunwale, Islington and Isle of Wight, Housewife, verdict and indict. Finally, which rhymes with enough, Though, through, plough, or dough, or cough? Hiccough has the sound of cup. My advice is to give up!!!
”
”
Gerard Nolst TrenitΓ© (Drop your Foreign Accent)
β€œ
Jesus-shaped spirituality hears Jesus say "believe and repent," but the call that resonates most closely in the heart of a disciple is "follow me." The command to follow requires that we take a daily journey in the company of other students. It demands that we be lifelong learners and that we commit to constant growth in spiritual maturity. Discipleship is a call to me, but it is a journey of "we.
”
”
Michael Spencer (Mere Churchianity: Finding Your Way Back to Jesus-Shaped Spirituality)
β€œ
Remember…you always have a choice to be better. You always have a choice to…to pick the right path.” She smiled sadly. β€œEven if that choice comes a little late.
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”
Christie Golden (Dark Disciple: Star Wars)
β€œ
Rule number six: Everybody should have a car Rule number seven: All maids should eat at the table with the others Rule number eight: No old person should have to suffer Grandmother: In that case, I'll be your first disciple. Persepolis: Really? Grandmother: But tell me how you'll arrange for old people not to suffer? Persepolis: It will simply be forbidden.
”
”
Marjane Satrapi (The Complete Persepolis (Persepolis, #1-4))
β€œ
Why would the disciples invent a God whose holiness was more terrifying than the forces of nature that provoked them to invent a god in the first place?
”
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R.C. Sproul (The Holiness of God)
β€œ
No seventeenth-century pedagogue would have publicly advised his disciple, as did Erasmus in his Dialogues, on the choice of a good prostitute.
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”
Michel Foucault (The History of Sexuality, Volume 1: An Introduction)
β€œ
Smartass Disciple: Master, what is the secret recipe of your happiness? Master of Stupidity: If I tell you, there is nobody left to be made fun of.
”
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Toba Beta
β€œ
Smartass Disciple: Master, what did you do to earn wisdom ? Master of Stupidity: Well, I forget. Shit happened, life goes on.
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Toba Beta (Betelgeuse Incident: Insiden Bait Al-Jauza)
β€œ
Smartass Disciple: Master, you keep preaching the truth. They don't listen. Master of Stupidity: Oh that's not bad. That attitude keeps us in the business.
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Toba Beta (Master of Stupidity)
β€œ
Science is not only a disciple of reason but, also, one of romance and passion.
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”
Stephen Hawking
β€œ
Jesus gave us a model for the work of the church at the Last Supper. While his disciples kept proposing more organization ─ Hey, let's elect officers, establish hierarchy, set standards of professionalism ─ Jesus quietly picked up a towel and basin of water and began to wash their feet.
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Philip Yancey (Church: Why Bother?: My Personal Pilgrimage)
β€œ
The Lord gave the wonderful promise of the free use of His Name with the Father in conjunction with doing His works. The disciple who lives only for Jesus' work and Kingdom, for His will and honor, will be given the power to appropriate the promise. Anyone grasping the promise only when he wants something very special for himself will be disappointed, because he is making Jesus the servant of his own comfort. But whoever wants to pray the effective prayer of faith because he needs it for the work of the Master will learn it, because he has made himself the servant of his Lord's interests.
”
”
Andrew Murray (With Christ in the School of Prayer)
β€œ
If any man would come after me, let him deny himself." The disciple must say to himself the same words Peter said of Christ when he denied him: "I know not this man." Self-denial is never just a series of isolated acts of mortification or asceticism. It is not suicide, for there is an element of self-will even in that. To deny oneself is to be aware only of Christ and no more of self, to see only him who goes before and no more the road which is too hard for us. Once more, all that self denial can say is: "He leads the way, keep close to him.
”
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Dietrich Bonhoeffer (The Cost of Discipleship)
β€œ
A disciple: I am worried about human suffering all over the world. What is the solution?Spiritual leader: The solution to our miseries lie within central atom of our being, β€˜I’. Once this central atom transcends to β€˜WE’, human sufferings can be resolved.
”
”
Santosh Kalwar (Quote Me Everyday)
β€œ
We do not rush toward death, we flee the catastrophe of birth, survivors struggling to forget it. Fear of death is merely the projection into the future of a fear which dates back to our first moment of life. We are reluctant, of course, to treat birth as a scourge: has it not been inculcated as the sovereign goodβ€”have we not been told that the worst came at the end, not at the outset of our lives? Yet evil, the real evil, is behind, not ahead of us. What escaped Jesus did not escape Buddha: β€œIf three things did not exist in the world, O disciples, the Perfect One would not appear in the world. …” And ahead of old age and death he places the fact of birth, source of every infirmity, every disaster.
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Emil M. Cioran (The Trouble with Being Born)
β€œ
The good news of the kingdom is not freedom from hardship, suffering, and loss. It is the news of a Redeemer who has come to rescue me from myself. His rescue produces change that fundamentally alters my response to these inescapable realities. The Redeemer turns rebels into disciples, fools into humble listeners. He makes cripples walk again. In him we can face life and respond with faith, love, and hope. And as he changes us, he allows us to be a part of what he is doing in the lives of others. As you respond to the Redeemer’s work in your life, you can learn to be an instrument in his hands.
”
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Paul David Tripp (Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change)
β€œ
Here’s the thing, effective parenting and, more specifically, effective discipline, don’t require punishment. Equating discipline with punishment is an unfortunate, but common misconception. The root word in discipline is actually disciple which in the verb form means to guide, lead, teach, model, and encourage. In the noun form disciple means one who embraces the teaching of, follows the example of, and models their life after.
”
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L.R. Knost (The Gentle Parent: Positive, Practical, Effective Discipline (A Little Hearts Handbook))
β€œ
It is related that Sakyamuni [the historical Buddha] once dismissed as of small consequence a feat of levitation on the part of a disciple, and cried out in pity for a yogin by the river who had spent twenty years of his human existence learning to walk on water, when the ferryman might have taken him across for a small coin.
”
”
Peter Matthiessen (The Snow Leopard)
β€œ
Smartass Disciple: Master, I feel really really confused about the truth. Master of Stupidity: Only confused? Walk in my shoes then you tell me.
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Toba Beta (Betelgeuse Incident: Insiden Bait Al-Jauza)
β€œ
Smartass Disciple: Master, why should people love each other ? Master of Stupidity: Well, orgasm is felt better than kill each other.
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Toba Beta (Betelgeuse Incident: Insiden Bait Al-Jauza)
β€œ
… what I’m saying is that if we and all the other species on earth are the only life forms in the universe and if there are no gods and let’s face it apart from a few tired scrolls written 300 years after the death of Jesus and his disciples there is no actual proof of a God or gods then we, the humans, who are meant to be at the height of the evolutionary tree, are in fact at the bottom because no other species on this planet is enslaved to the economy. Every other species is born free and lives free. We humans are born into economic slavery and life crippling debt.
”
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Arun D. Ellis (Corpalism)
β€œ
Jesus of Nazareth always comes asking disciples to follow him--not merely "accept him," not merely "believe in him," not merely "worship him," but to follow him: one either follows Christ, or one does not. There is no compartmentalization of the faith, no realm, no sphere, no business, no politic in which the lordship of Christ will be excluded. We either make him Lord of all lords, or we deny him as Lord of any.
”
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Lee C. Camp (Mere Discipleship: Radical Christianity in a Rebellious World)
β€œ
Discipling our children is not about teaching them to behave in a way that won’t embarrass us. We’re working toward something much more important than that. We’re actually raising our children with a view toward leading them to trust and to follow Christ.
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Voddie T. Baucham Jr. (Family Shepherds: Calling and Equipping Men to Lead Their Homes)
β€œ
Whereas Jesus and his disciples were distrusted by the state largely because they respected the poor and shared everything, the fundamentalists of the present hour would appear not to know that the poor exist.
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James Baldwin (The Cross of Redemption: Uncollected Writings)
β€œ
Durnik needs a tower somewhere in the Vale," Belgarath was saying. "I don't see why, father," Polgara replied. "All of Aldur's disciples have towers, Pol. It's the custom." "Old customs persist --even when there's no longer any need for them." "He's going to need to study, Pol. How can he possibly study with you underfoot all the time?" She gave him a long, chilly stare. "Maybe I should rephrase that.
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David Eddings (The Seeress of Kell (The Malloreon, #5))
β€œ
False conversions are a wart on the face of Christian evangelism.
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Kevin Roose (The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University)
β€œ
Now that system has weakened to the point he and his worst disciples are able to be free. He wants total mayhem and bloodshed. Most of all, he wants Sin to suffer for helping to lock him in there. (Zakar) Oh, this just gives you the warm and fuzzies, doesn’t it? (Kat)
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Sherrilyn Kenyon (Devil May Cry (Dark-Hunter, #11))
β€œ
Fortunately Jesus didn't leave [the disciples]-or any of us-without hope or direction. Where we fail, Jesus succeeded. The only One who as able to recognize and follow His purpose from the beginning was Jesus. He alone was able to obey consistently and please God completely. And His divine mission was to make a way for each of us to do the same.
”
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Charles R. Swindoll
β€œ
Individually the disciple and friend of Jesus who has learned to work shoulder to shoulder with his or her Lord stands in this world as a point of contact between heaven and earth, a kind of Jacob’s ladder by which the angels of God may ascend from and descend into human life. Thus the disciple stands as an envoy or a receiver by which the kingdom of God is conveyed into every quarter of human affairs.
”
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Dallas Willard (Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God)
β€œ
The women of the Band were learning that if the Lord of Glory took a towel and knelt on the floor to wash the dusty feet of His disciples, then no work, even the relentless and often messy routine of caring for squalling babies, is demeaning. To offer it up to the Lord of Glory transforms it into a holy task.
”
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Elisabeth Elliot (A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael)
β€œ
So may there be grace and kindness, gentleness and love in our hearts, especially for the ones who we believe are profoundly wrong. The Good News is proclaimed when we love each other. I pray for unity beyond conformity, because loving-kindness preaches the gospel more beautifully and truthfully than any satirical blog post or point-by-point dismantling of another disciple's reputation and teaching.
”
”
Sarah Bessey (Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women)
β€œ
The earthly form of Christ is the form that died on the cross. The image of God is the image of Christ crucified. It is to this image that the life of the disciples must be conformed; in other words, they must be conformed to his death (Phil 3.10, Rom 6.4) The Christian life is a life of crucifixion (Gal 2.19) In baptism the form of Christ's death is impressed upon his own. They are dead to the flesh and to sin, they are dead to the world, and the world is dead to them (Gal 6.14). Anybody living in the strength of Christ's baptism lives in the strength of Christ's death.
”
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Dietrich Bonhoeffer (The Cost of Discipleship)
β€œ
Fundamentalist Christianity: fascinating. These people actually believe that the world is twelve thousand years old. Swear to God. Based on what? I asked them. "Well, we looked at all the people in the Bible and we added 'em up all the way back to Adam and Eve, their ages? Twelve thousand years." "Well, how fucking scientific, OK. I didn't know that you'd gone to so much trouble there. That's good. You believe the world's twelve thousand years old?" "That's right." "OK, I got one word to ask you, a one word question, ready?" "Uh huh." "Dinosaurs." You know, the world's twelve thousand years old and dinosaurs existed, and existed in that time, you'd think it would been mentioned in the fucking Bible at some point: And O, Jesus and the disciples walked to Nazareth. But the trail was blocked by a giant brontosaurus... with a splinter in its paw. And the disciples did run a-screamin'. "What a big fucking lizard, Lord!" "I'm sure gonna mention this in my book," Luke said. "Well, I'm sure gonna mention it in my book," Matthew said. But Jesus was unafraid. And he took the splinter from the brontosaurus paw, and the brontosaurus became his friend. And Jesus sent him to Scotland where he lived in a loch, O so many years, attracting fat American families with their fat fuckin' dollars to look for the Loch Ness Monster. And O the Scots did praise the Lord: "Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!" Twelve thousand years old. But I actually asked this guy, "OK, dinosaur fossils-- how does that fit into your scheme of life? What's the deal?" He goes: "God put those here to test our faith." "I think God put you here to test my faith, dude. I think I've figured this out." Does that-- That's what this guy said. Does that bother anyone here? The idea that God might be fucking with our heads? Anyone have trouble sleeping restfully with that thought in their head? God's running around burying fossils: "Ho ho! We'll see who believes in me now, ha ha! I'm a prankster God. I am killing me, ho ho ho!" You know? You die, you go to St. Peter: "Did you believe in dinosaurs?" "Well, yeah. There were fossils everywhere. (trapdoor opens) Aaaaarhhh!" "You fuckin' idiot! Flying lizards? You're a moron. God was fuckin' with you!" "It seemed so plausible, aaaaaahh!" "Enjoy the lake of fire, fucker!" They believe this. But you ever notice how people who believe in Creationism usually look pretty unevolved. Eyes really close together, big furry hands and feet? "I believe God created me in one day." Yeah, looks like he rushed it. Such a weird belief. Lots of Christians wear crosses around their necks. You think when Jesus comes back he's gonna want to see a fucking cross, man? "Ow." Might be why he hasn't shown up yet. "Man, they're still wearing crosses. Fuck it, I'm not goin' back, Dad. No, they totally missed the point. When they start wearing fishes, I might show up again, but... let me bury fossils with you, Dad. Fuck 'em, let's fuck with 'em! Hand me that brontosaurus head, Dad.
”
”
Bill Hicks (Love All the People: Letters, Lyrics, Routines)
β€œ
He was of the opinion... that his ideas were generally misunderstood and distorted even by those who professed to be his disciples. He doubted he would be better understood in the future. He once said he felt as though he were writing for people who would think in a different way, breathe a different air of life, from that of present-day men. {Von Wright on his tutor, the great philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein}
”
”
Georg Henrik von Wright
β€œ
But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking, no chances. A secret Master of the Ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you," can truly say to every group of Christian friends "You have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another." The Friendship is not a reward for our discrimination and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each the beauties of all the others. They are no greater than the beauties of a thousand other men; by Friendship God opens our eyes to them. They are, like all beauties, derived from Him through the Friendship itself, so that it is His instrument for creating as well as for revealing. At this feast it is He who has spread the board and it is He who has chosen the guests. It is He, we may dare to hope, who sometimes does, and always should, preside. Let us not reckon without our Host.
”
”
C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)
β€œ
But first I want you to tell me this: do you know the power of love? Christ passed over all the marvellous works which were to be performed by the apostles and said, "By this shall men know that ye are my disciples, if ye love one another.
”
”
John Chrysostom
β€œ
Apprentices Needed, Not Disciples For many, the knowledge of a Jesus, a Lao-tzu, a Buddha, or a Gandhi is complete and unassailable. But we do them and their vision a disservice when we follow them rather than using what they have taught to build upon as we strive toward our goal of a better society.
”
”
William Coperthwaite (A Handmade Life: In Search of Simplicity)
β€œ
I don’t want my kids safe and comfortable. I want them BRAVE. I don’t want to teach them to see danger under every rock, avoiding anything hard or not guaranteed or risky. They are going to encounter a very broken world soon, and if they aren’t prepared to wade into difficult territory and contend for the kingdom against obstacles and tragedies and hardships, they are going to be terrible disciples. I don’t want to be the reason my kids choose safety over courage. I hope I never hear them say, β€œMom will freak out,” or β€œMy parents will never agree to this.” May my fear not bind their purpose here. Scared moms raise scared kids. Brave moms raise brave kids. Real disciples raise real disciples.
”
”
Jen Hatmaker
β€œ
All my tendencies are deadly ones, he once said to me, everything in me has a deadly tendency to it, it's in my genes, as Wertheimer said, I thought. He always read books that were obsessed with suicide, with disease and death, I thought while standing in the inn, books that described human misery, the hopeless, meaningless, senseless world in which everything is always devastating and deadly. That's why he especially loved Dostoevsky and all his disciples, Russian literature in general, because it actually is a deadly literature, but also the depressing French philosophers.
”
”
Thomas Bernhard (The Loser)
β€œ
The Seventeenth Amendment serves not the public's interest but the interests of the governing masterminds and their disciples. Its early proponents advanced it not because they championed 'democracy' or the individual, but because they knew it would be one of several important mechanisms for empowering the federal government and unraveling constitutional republicanism.
”
”
Mark R. Levin (The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic)
β€œ
From now on a fire burned within us, as it did in the disciples on the road to Emmaus. β€œSnowflakes cannot fall on a hot stove,” says an Indian proverb. The coldness of this world could no longer harm us, although we had to pass through bitter times.
”
”
Richard Wurmbrand (Christ on the Jewish Road)
β€œ
The Universe is the Practical Joke of the General at the expense of the Particular, quoth FRATER PERDURABO, and laughed. But those disciples nearest to him wept, seeing the Universal Sorrow. Those next to them laughed, seeing the Universal Joke. Below these certain disciples wept, Then certain laughed. Others next wept. Others next laughed. Next others wept. Next others laughed. Last came those that wept because they could not see the Joke, and those that laughed lest they should be thought not to see the Joke, and thought it safe to act like FRATER PERDURABO. But though FRATER PERDURABO laughed openly, He also at the same time wept secretly; and in Himself He neither laughed nor wept. Nor did He mean what He said.
”
”
Aleister Crowley (The Book of Lies)
β€œ
Singing in the midst of evil is what it means to be disciples. Like Mary Magdalene, the reason we stand and weep and listen for Jesus is because we, like Mary, are bearers of resurrection, we are made new. On the third day, Jesus rose again, and we do not need to be afraid. To sing to God amidst sorrow is to defiantly proclaim, like Mary Magdalene did to the apostles, and like my friend Don did at Dylan Klebold's funeral,t hat death is not the final word. To defiantly say, once again, that a light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot, will not, shall not overcome it. And so, evil be damned, because even as we go to the grave, we still make our song alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.
”
”
Nadia Bolz-Weber (Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner Saint)
β€œ
But you will imagine that it is best that He should at once enable you to see clearly. If it is, you may be sure He will do it. He never makes mistakes. But He often deals far differently with His disciples. He lets them grope their way in the dark until they fully learn how blind they are, how helpless, how absolutely in need of Him. What His methods will be with you I cannot foretell. But you may be sure that He never works in an arbitrary way. He has a reason for everything He does. You may not understand why He leads you now in this way and now in that, but you may, nay, you must believe that perfection is stamped on His every act.
”
”
Elizabeth Payson Prentiss (Stepping Heavenward)
β€œ
The Devil answer'd: bray a fool in a morter with wheat, yet shall not his folly be beaten out of him; if Jesus Christ is the greatest man, you ought to love him in the greatest degree; now hear how he has given his sanction to the law of ten commandments: did he not mock at the sabbath, and so mock the sabbaths God? murder those who were murder'd because of him? turn away the law from the woman taken in adultery? steal the labor of others to support him? bear false witness when he omitted making a defense before Pilate? covet when he pray'd for his disciples, and when he bid them shake off the dust of their feet against such as refused to lodge them? I tell you, no virtue can exist without breaking these ten commandments; Jesus was all virtue, and acted from impulse, not from rules.
”
”
William Blake (The Marriage of Heaven and Hell)
β€œ
A disciple came to the celebrated Master of the Good Name with a question. β€œRabbi, how are we to distinguish between a true master and a fake?” And the master of the good name said, β€œWhen you meet a person who poses as a master, ask him a question: whether he knows how to purify your thoughts. If he says that he knows, then he is a fake.
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Elie Wiesel
β€œ
When Epicurus defined happiness as the supreme good, he warned his disciples that it is hard work to be happy. Material achievements alone will not satisfy us for long. Indeed, the blind pursuit of money, fame and pleasure will only make us miserable. Epicurus recommended, for example, to eat and drink in moderation, and to curb one’s sexual appetites. In the long run, a deep friendship will make us more content than a frenzied orgy. Epicurus
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Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
β€œ
If you cannot see that divinity includes male and female characteristics and at the same time transcends them, you have bad consequences. Rome and Cardinal O'Connor base the exclusion of women priests on the idea that God is the Father and Jesus is His Son, there were only male disciples, etc. They are defending a patriarchal Church with a patriarchal God. We must fight the patriarchal misunderstanding of God.
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Hans KΓΌng
β€œ
The real warriors in this world are the ones that see the details of another's soul. They see the transparency behind walls people put up. They stand on the battlefield of life and expose their heart's transparency, so other's can finish the day with hope. They are the sensitive souls that understand that before they could be a light they first had to feel the burn.
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Shannon L. Alder
β€œ
We are not a voice for the voiceless. The truth is that there is a lot of noise out there drowning out quiet voices, and many people have stopped listening to the cries of their neighbors. Lots of folks have put their hands over their ears to drown out the suffering. Institutions have distanced themselves from the disturbing cries.. It is a beautiful thing when folks in poverty are no longer just a missions project but become genuine friends and family with whom we laugh, cry, dream, and struggle. One of the verses I have grown to love is the one where Jesus is preparing to leave the disciples and says, "I no longer call you servants.... Instead, I have called you friends" (John 15:15). Servanthood is a fine place to begin, but gradually we move toward mutual love, genuine relationships. Someday, perhaps we can even say those words that Ruth said to Naomi after years of partnership: "Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried" (Ruth 1:16-17).
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Shane Claiborne
β€œ
life is not a puzzle to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.
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Michael Tsarion (Disciples of the Mysterium)
β€œ
Mary is a woman who loves. How could it be otherwise? As a believer who in faith thinks with God's thoughts and wills with God's will, she cannot fail to be a woman who loves. We sense this in her quiet gestures, as recounted by the infancy narratives in the Gospel. We see it in the delicacy with which she recognizes the need of the spouses at Cana and makes it known to Jesus. We see it in the humility with which she recedes into the background during Jesus' public life, knowing that the Son must establish a new family and that the Mother's hour will come only with the Cross, which will be Jesus' true hour (cf. Jn 2:4; 13:1). When the disciples flee, Mary will remain beneath the Cross (cf. Jn 19:25-27); later, at the hour of Pentecost, it will be they who gather around her as they wait for the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1:14).
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Benedict XVI (God Is Love: Deus Caritas Est)
β€œ
The road that leads to heaven is risky, lonely, and costly in this world, and few are willing to pay the price. Following Jesus involves losing your life-and finding new life in him. Follow Me, pg. 11
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David Platt
β€œ
The mission of the Holy Ghost is to partake of the things of the Father and the Son and teach them unto those who have received the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. He guides the true disciples in all truth, shows them things to come, reveals the past and makes known the hidden treasures of the kingdom of God.
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Parley P. Pratt
β€œ
There are three stages in one’s spiritual development,” said the Master. β€œThe carnal, the spiritual and the divine.” β€œWhat is the carnal stage?” asked the eager disciples. β€œThat’s the stage when trees are seen as trees and mountains as mountains.” β€œAnd the spiritual?” β€œThat’s when one looks more deeply into thingsβ€”then trees are no longer trees and mountains no longer mountains.” β€œAnd the divine?” β€œAh, that’s Enlightenment,” said the Master with a chuckle, β€œwhen trees become trees again and mountains, mountains.
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Anthony de Mello (One Minute Wisdom)
β€œ
Disciples of Jesus Christ understand that compared to eternity, our existence in this mortal sphere is only β€œa small moment” in space and time. They know that a person’s true value has little to do with what the world holds in high esteem. They know you could pile up the accumulated currency of the entire world and it could not buy a loaf of bread in the economy of heaven.
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Dieter F. Uchtdorf
β€œ
It was the first time that ever George had sat down on equal terms at any white man's table; and he sat down, at first, with some constraint, and awkwardness; but they all exhaled and went off like fog, in the genial morning rays of this simple overflowing kindness. This indeed, was a home, - home, -a word that George had never yet known a meaning for; and a belief in God, and trust in His providence, began to encircle his heart, as, with a golden cloud of protection and confidence, dark, misanthropic, pining, atheistic doubts, and fierce despair, melted away before the light of a living Gospel, breathed in living faces, preached by a thousand unconscious acts of love and good-will, which, like the cup of cold water given in the name of a disciple, shall never lose their reward.
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Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom's Cabin)
β€œ
Jesus has chosen, even in a resurrected, otherwise perfected body, to retain for the benefit of His disciples the wounds in His hands and in His feet and in His side-signs, if you will, that painful things happen even to the pure and the perfect; signs, if you will, that pain in this world is not evidence that God doesn't love you; signs, if you will, that problems pass and happiness can be ours.
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Jeffrey R. Holland (Created for Greater Things)
β€œ
the so-called radical Negroes who have read and misunderstood Karl Marx and his disciples and would solve the political as well as the economic problems of the race by an immediate application of these principles. History shows that although large numbers of people have actually tried to realize such pleasant dreams, they have in the final analysis come back to a social program based on competition.
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Carter G. Woodson (The Mis-Education of the Negro)
β€œ
So what, you her daddy or something?” the little goon laughs at Tank. Tank steps around me right up to the guy. Tank’s got a good eighty pounds and nine inches on him. The little goon looks even smaller standing by Tank. β€œOnly when I'm fuckin' her,” Tank retorts with a satisfied smile.
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Jaci J. (The Ride (Hells Disciples MC, #1))
β€œ
My fear is that of all the choices people face today, the one they rarely consider is, "How can I serve most effectively and fruitfully in the local church?" I wonder if the abundance of opportunities to explore today is doing less to help make well-rounded disciples of Christ and more to help Christians avoid long term responsibility and have less long-term impact.
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Kevin DeYoung (Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God's Will)
β€œ
Enthusiasm needs to be effective enthusiasm. We must distinguish between the contribution and enthusiasm of the cheerleader and the enthusiasm of the player. While cheerleaders serve an important purpose, the real contest involves players on the field or on the court of life. We must not go through life acting only as enthusiastic cheerleaders available for hire; we must be anxiously and personally engaged.
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Neal A. Maxwell (Deposition of a Disciple)
β€œ
Metaphors are tiny saviors leading the way out of sentimentality, small disciples of Pound, urging "Say it new! Say it new!" It's hard for emotion to feel flat if its language is suitably novel, to feel excessive if its rendering is suitably opaque. Metaphors translate emotion into surprising and sublime language, but they also help us deflect and diffuse the glare of revelation.
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Leslie Jamison (The Empathy Exams)
β€œ
We've invented a thousand shades of gray, devising a comfortable Christian existence we can all live withβ€”super awesome, except the Bible doesn't support it. According to Scripture, no real disciple serves God while addicted to the dollar. There is no sheep/goat hybrid. There is no middle road. There is no true believer who hates his brother. Grayed-down discipleship is an easier sell, but it created pretend Christians, obsessing over Scriptures we like while conspicuously ignoring the rest. Until God asks for everything and we answer, "It's yours," we don't yet have ears to hear or eyes to see.
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Jen Hatmaker (7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess)
β€œ
Too many disciples neglect their thorn-like qualities. For instance: Opting for singleness doesn't count if you can't attract a mate. Patience doesn't count if you are too cowardly to defend what is right. Forgiveness doesn't count if the offender never respected you enough to ask for it. Don't label your character flaws as noble sacrifices. pg 47
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Michael Ben Zehabe (Song of Songs The Book for Daughters)
β€œ
The Savior taught His disciples, 'For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it' (Luke 9:24)."I believe the Savior is telling us that unless we lose ourselves in service to others, there is little purpose to our own lives. Those who live only for themselves eventually shrivel up and figuratively lose their lives, while those who lose themselves in service to others grow and flourishβ€”and in effect save their lives.
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Thomas S. Monson
β€œ
tahiya hote pavan nahin pani, tahiya srishti kown utpati; tahiya hote kali nahin phula, tahiya hote garbh nahi mula; tahiya hote vidya nahin Veda, tahiya hote shabd nahin swada; tahiya hote pind nahin basu, nahin dhar dharni na pavan akasu; tahiya hote guru nahin chela, gamya agamya na panth duhela. Sakhi: avigati ki gati ka kahown, jake gawn na thawn gun bihuna pekhana, ka kahi lijai nawn In that state there is no air or water, and no creation or creator; There is no bud or flower, and no fetus or semen; There is no education or Vedas, and no word or taste; There is no body or settlement, and no earth, air or space; There is no guru or disciple, and no easy or difficult path. Sakhi: That state is very strange. I cannot explain it. It has no village or resting place. That state is without gunas (qualities). What name can on give it?
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Kabir (The Bijak of Kabir)
β€œ
Save yourself for my sake. And I will go with you to the end of the world.
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George Bernard Shaw
β€œ
Now I go alone, my disciples, You too, go now alone. Thus I want it. Go away from me and resist Zarathustra! And even better: be ashamed of him! Perhaps he deceived you… One pays a teacher badly if one always remains nothing but a pupil. And why do you not want to pluck at my wreath? You revere me; but what if your reverence tumbles one day? Beware lest a statue slay you. You say that you believe in Zarathustra? But what matters Zarathustra? You are my believers – but what matter all believers? You had not yet sought yourselves; and you found me. Thus do all believers; therefore all faith amounts to so little. Now I bid you to lose me and find yourselves; and only then when you have all denied me will I return to you… that I may celebrate the great noon with you.
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Friedrich Nietzsche (Thus Spoke Zarathustra)
β€œ
But I know, with all the certainty of my being, that Jesus has no interest in my doing this. To just say, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, I'm your biggest fan," causes him to stare at his watch, tap his feet, and order a double Glenlivet on the rocks with a twist. Fandom is of no interest to Jesus. What matters to him is the authentic following of a disciple. We all settle for saying, "Jesus," but Jesus wants us to be in the world who he is.
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Gregory Boyle (Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship)
β€œ
When we hear the ancient bells growling on a Sunday morning we ask ourselves: Is it really possible! This, for a jew, crucified two thousand years ago, who said he was God's son? The proof of such a claim is lacking. Certainly the Christian religion is an antiquity projected into our times from remote prehistory; and the fact that the claim is believed - whereas one is otherwise so strict in examining pretensions - is perhaps the most ancient piece of this heritage. A god who begets children with a mortal woman; a sage who bids men work no more, have no more courts, but look for the signs of the impending end of the world; a justice that accepts the innocent as a vicarious sacrifice; someone who orders his disciples to drink his blood; prayers for miraculous interventions; sins perpetrated against a god, atoned for by a god; fear of a beyond to which death is the portal; the form of the cross as a symbol in a time that no longer knows the function and ignominy of the cross -- how ghoulishly all this touches us, as if from the tomb of a primeval past! Can one believe that such things are still believed?
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Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits)
β€œ
He was a physicist, more precisely an astrophysicist, diligent and eager but without illusions: the Truth lay beyond, inaccessible to our telescopes, accessible to the initiates. This was a long road which he was traveling with effort, wonderment, and profound joy. Physics was prose: elegant gymnastics for the mind, mirror of Creation, the key to man's dominion over the planet; but what is the stature of Creation, of man and the planet? His road was long and he had barely started up it, but I was his disciple: did I want to follow him?
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Primo Levi
β€œ
Evangelism cant be our focus! We must not stop sharing the good news, but here’s the deal, here’s the wonderful thing, it gets done along the way as you do discipleship. Great commission is just about going to disciple the nations and you know what happens... as you disciple them evangelism takes place, because it’s done in the context of discipleship. Here’s the issue: We have to reframe evangelism within the context of discipleship
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Alan Hirsch
β€œ
The choice between James’s vision of a Jewish religion anchored in the Law of Moses and derived from a Jewish nationalist who fought against Rome, and Paul’s vision of a Roman religion that divorced itself from Jewish provincialism and required nothing for salvation save belief in Christ, was not a difficult one for the second and third generations of Jesus’s followers to make. Two thousand years later, the Christ of Paul’s creation has utterly subsumed the Jesus of history. The memory of the revolutionary zealot who walked across Galilee gathering an army of disciples with the goal of establishing the Kingdom of God on earth, the magnetic preacher who defied the authority of the Temple priesthood in Jerusalem, the radical Jewish nationalist who challenged the Roman occupation and lost, has been almost completely lost to history.
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Reza Aslan (Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth)
β€œ
I like it that they [disciples] feed me and pay for my clothes and protect me. And in return I will do for them what I can, but no more than that. Just as I cannot breathe the breath of another or help the heart of someone else to beat or their bones not to weaken or their flesh not to shrivel, I cannot say more than I can say. And I know how deeply this disturbs them, and it would make me smile, this earnest need for foolish anecdote or sharp simple patterns in the story of what happened to us all, except that I have forgotten how to smile.
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Colm TΓ³ibΓ­n (The Testament of Mary)
β€œ
There are many reasons to steer clear of  Christianity. No question. I fully understand why people make that choice. Christianity has survived some unspeakable abominations: the Crusades, clergy sex-scandals, papal corruption, televangelist scams, and clown ministry. But it will survive us, too. It will survive our mistakes and pride and exclusion of others. I believe that the power of  Christianity — the thing that made the very first disciples drop their nets and walk away from everything they knew, the thing that caused Mary Magdalene to return to the tomb and then announce the resurrection of Christ, the thing that the early Christians martyred themselves for, and the thing that keeps me in the Jesus business (or, what my Episcopal priest friend Paul calls β€œworking for the company”) — is something that cannot be killed. The power of unbounded mercy, of what we call The Gospel, cannot be destroyed by corruption and toothy TV preachers. Because in the end, there is still Jesus.
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Nadia Bolz-Weber (Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People)
β€œ
The great ones do not set up offices, charge fees, give lectures, or write books. Wisdom is silent, and the most effective propaganda for truth is the force of personal example. The great ones attract disciples, lesser figures whose mission is to preach and to teach. These are gospelers who, unequal to the highest task, spend their lives in converting others. The great ones are indifferent, in the profoundest sense. They don’t ask you to believe: they electrify you by their behavior. They are the awakeners. What you do with your petty life is of no concern to them. What you do with your life is only of concern to you, they seem to say. In short, their only purpose here on earth is to inspire. And what more can one ask of a human being than that?
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Henry Miller (Sexus (The Rosy Crucifixion, #1))
β€œ
But drunkenly, or secretly, we swore, Disciples of that astigmatic saint, That we would never leave the island Until we had put down, in paint, in words, As palmists learn the network of a hand, All of its sunken, leaf-choked ravines, Every neglected, self-pitying inlet Muttering in brackish dialect, the ropes of mangroves From which old soldier crabs slipped Surrendering to slush, Each ochre track seeking some hilltop and Losing itself in an unfinished phrase, Under sand shipyards where the burnt-out palms Inverted the design of unrigged schooners, Entering forests, boiling with life, Goyave, corrosol, bois-canot, sapotille. Days! The sun drumming, drumming, Past the defeated pennons of the palms, Roads limp from sunstroke, Past green flutes of the grass The ocean cannonading, come! Wonder that opened like the fan Of the dividing fronds On some noon-struck sahara, Where my heart from its rib cage yelped like a pup After clouds of sanderlings rustily wheeling The world on its ancient, Invisible axis, The breakers slow-dolphining over more breakers, To swivel our easels down, as firm As conquerors who had discovered home.
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Derek Walcott (Another Life: Fully Annotated)
β€œ
...ideas are definitely unstable, they not only CAN be misused, they invite misuse--and the better the idea the more volatile it is. That's because only the better ideas turn into dogma, and it is this process whereby a fresh, stimulating, humanly helpful idea is changed into robot dogma that is deadly. In terms of hazardous vectors released, the transformation of ideas into dogma rivals the transformation of hydrogen into helium, uranium into lead, or innocence into corruption. And it is nearly as relentless. The problem starts at the secondary level, not with the originator or developer of the idea but with the people who are attracted by it, who adopt it, who cling to it until their last nail breaks, and who invariably lack the overview, flexibility, imagination, and most importantly, sense of humor, to maintain it in the spirit in which it was hatched. Ideas are made by masters, dogma by disciples, and the Buddha is always killed on the road. There is a particularly unattractive and discouragingly common affliction called tunnel vision, which, for all the misery it causes, ought to top the job list at the World Health Organization. Tunnel vision is a disease in which perception is restricted by ignorance and distorted by vested interest. Tunnel vision is caused by an optic fungus that multiplies when the brain is less energetic than the ego. It is complicated by exposure to politics. When a good idea is run through the filters and compressors of ordinary tunnel vision, it not only comes out reduced in scale and value but in its new dogmatic configuration produces effects the opposite of those for which it originally was intended. That is how the loving ideas of Jesus Christ became the sinister cliches of Christianity. That is why virtually every revolution in history has failed: the oppressed, as soon as they seize power, turn into the oppressors, resorting to totalitarian tactics to "protect the revolution." That is why minorities seeking the abolition of prejudice become intolerant, minorities seeking peace become militant, minorities seeking equality become self-righteous, and minorities seeking liberation become hostile (a tight asshole being the first symptom of self-repression).
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Tom Robbins (Still Life with Woodpecker)
β€œ
Jesus never concealed the fact that his religion included a demand as well as an offer. Indeed, the demand was as total as the offer was free. If he offered men his salvation, he also demanded their submission. He gave no encouragement whatever to thoughtless applicants for discipleship. He brought no pressure to bear on any inquirer. He sent irresponsible enthusiasts away empty. Luke tells of three men who either volunteered, or were invited, to follow Jesus; but no one passed the Lord’s test. The rich young ruler, too, moral, earnest and attractive, who wanted eternal life on his own terms, went away sorrowful, with his riches intact but with neither life nor Christ as his possession…The Christian landscape is strewn with the wreckage of derelict, half built towersβ€”the ruins of those who began to build and were unable to finish. For thousands of people still ignore Christ’s warning and undertake to follow him without first pausing to reflect on the cost of doing so. The result is the great scandal of Christendom today, so called β€œnominal Christianity.” In countries to which Christian civilization has spread, large numbers of people have covered themselves with a decent, but thin, veneer of Christianity. They have allowed themselves to become somewhat involved, enough to be respectable but not enough to be uncomfortable. Their religion is a great, soft cushion. It protects them from the hard unpleasantness of life, while changing its place and shape to suit their convenience. No wonder the cynics speak of hypocrites in the church and dismiss religion as escapism…The message of Jesus was very different. He never lowered his standards or modified his conditions to make his call more readily acceptable. He asked his first disciples, and he has asked every disciple since, to give him their thoughtful and total commitment. Nothing less than this will do
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John R.W. Stott (Basic Christianity)
β€œ
Been thinking of my grandfather, whose wayward brilliance skipped my father’s generation. Once, he showed me an aquatint of a certain Siamese temple. Don’t recall its name, but ever since a disciple of the Buddha preached on the spot centuries ago, every bandit king, tyrant, and monarch of that kingdom has enhanced it with marble towers, scented arboretums, gold-leafed domes, lavished murals on its vaulted ceilings, set emeralds into the eyes of its statuettes. When the temple finally equals its counterpart in the Pure Land, so the story goes, that day humanity shall have fulfilled its purpose, and Time itself shall come to an end. To men like Ayrs, it occurs to me, this temple is civilization. The masses, slaves, peasants, and foot soldiers exist in the cracks of its flagstones, ignorant even of their ignorance. Not so the great statesmen, scientists, artists, and most of all, the composers of the age, any age, who are civilization’s architects, masons, and priests. Ayrs sees our role is to make civilization ever more resplendent. My employer’s profoundest, or only, wish is to create a minaret that inheritors of Progress a thousand years from now will point to and say, β€œLook, there is Vyvyan Ayrs!” How vulgar, this hankering after immortality, how vain, how false. Composers are merely scribblers of cave paintings. One writes music because winter is eternal and because, if one didn’t, the wolves and blizzards would be at one’s throat all the sooner.
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David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas)
β€œ
I often wonder if the role of the clergy in this age is not to dispense information or guard the prestige of their authority, but rather to go first, to volunteer the truth about their sins, their dreams, their failures, and their fears in order to free others to do the same. Such an approach may repel the masses looking for easy answers from flawless leaders, but I think it might make more disciples of Jesus, and I think it might make healthier, happier pastors. There is a difference, after all, between preaching success and preaching resurrection. Our path is the muddier one.
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Rachel Held Evans (Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church)
β€œ
THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS I. Suffering does exist. II. Suffering arises from "attachment" to desires. III. Suffering ceases when "attachment" to desire ceases. IV. Freedom from suffering is possible by practicing the eightfold path: 1. Right understanding (view). 2. Right intention (thought). 3. Right speach. 4. Right action. 5. Right livelihood. 6. Right effort. 7. Right mindfulness. 8. Rght meditation (concentration). Buddha's fourfold consolation: With a mind free from greed and unfriendliness, incorruptible, and purified, the noble disciple is already during this lifetime assure of a fourfold consolation: β€œIf there is another world (heaven), and a cause and effect (Karma) of good and bad actions, then it may be that, at the dissolution of the body, after death, I shall be reborn in a happy realm, a heavenly world.” Of this first consolation (s)he is assured. β€œAnd if there is no other world, no reward and no punishment of good and bad actions, then I live at least here, in this world, an untroubled and happy life, free from hate and unfriendliness.” Of this second consolation (s)he is assured. β€œAnd if bad things happen to bad people, but I do not do anything bad (or have unfriendliness against anyone), how can I, who am doing no bad things, meet with bad things?” Of this third consolation (s)he is assured. β€œAnd if no bad things happen to bad people, then I know myself in both ways pure.” Of this fourth consolation (s)he is assured.
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Gautama Buddha
β€œ
The soul was not made to run on empty. But the soul doesn’t come with a gauge. The indicators of soul-fatigue are more subtle: β€’ Things seem to bother you more than they should. Your spouse’s gum-chewing suddenly reveals to you a massive character flaw. β€’ It’s hard to make up your mind about even a simple decision. β€’ Impulses to eat or drink or spend or crave are harder to resist than they otherwise would be. β€’ You are more likely to favor short-term gains in ways that leave you with high long-term costs. Israel ended up worshiping a golden calf simply because they grew tired of having to wait on Moses and God. β€’ Your judgment is suffering. β€’ You have less courage. β€œFatigue makes cowards of us all” is a quote so ubiquitious that it has been attributed to General Patton and Vince Lombardi and Shakespeare. The same disciples who fled in fear when Jesus was crucified eventually sacrificed their lives for him. What changed was not their bodies, but their souls.
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John Ortberg (Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You)
β€œ
The newly created Darth Vader flexes his Force-muscle as the Emperor's enforcer to maintain order and obedience in a galaxy reeling from civil war and the destruction of the Jedi Order. To the galaxy at large, Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker - the Chosen One - died on Coruscant during the siege of the Jedi Temple. And, to some extent, the was true - Anakin was dead. But from the site of Anakin Skywalker's last stand - on the molten surface of the planet Mustafa, where he sought to destroy his friend and former master, Obi-Wan Kanobi - a fearsome spectre in black has risen. Once the most powerful Knight ever known to the Jedi order he is not a disciple of the dark side, a lord of the dreaded Sith, and the avenging right hand of the galaxy's ruthless new Emperor. Seduced, deranged and destroyed by the machinations of the Dark Lord Sidious, Anakin Skywalker is dead ... and Darth Vader lives ...
”
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James Luceno
β€œ
Contrary to Expectation. A wise man, the wonder of his age, taught his disciples from a seemingly inexhaustible store of wisdom. He attributed all his knowledge to a thick tome which was kept in a place of honour in his room. The sage would allow nobody to open the volume. When he died, those who had surrounded him, regarding themselves as his heirs, ran to open the book, anxious to possess what it contained. They were surprised, confused and disappointed when they found that there was writing on only one page. They became even more bewildered and then annoyed when they tried to penetrate the meaning of the phrase which met their eyes. It was: 'When you realise the difference between the container and the content, you will have knowledge.
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Idries Shah (The Book of the Book)
β€œ
This vulgar grace is indiscriminate compassion. It works without asking anything of us. It's not cheap. It's free, and as such will always be a banana peel for the Orthodox foot and a fairy tale for the grown-up sensibility. Grace is sufficient even though we huff and puff with all our might to try to find something or someone it cannot cover. Grace is enough. He is enough. Jesus is enough. John, the disciple Jesus loved, ended his first letter with this line: "Children, be on your guard against false gods." In other words, steer clear of any God you can comprehend. Abba will's love cannot be comprehended. I'll say it again: Abba's love cannot be comprehended.
”
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Brennan Manning (All Is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir)
β€œ
... the powerful changes that happen in the life of a disciple never come from the disciple working hard at doing anything. They come from arriving at a place where Jesus is everything, and we are simply overwhelmed with the gift. Sometimes it seems as if God loves us too much. His love goes far beyond our ability to stop being moral, religious, obedient, and victorious, and we just collapse in his arms. Out of the gospel that Jesus is the only Mediator between God and humanity comes a Christian life that looks like Jesus, a life Jesus would recognize. It's a life that looks like Jesus, because Jesus does everything, and all we do is accept his gift. And to accept his gift, we have to give up trying to be Jesus. Out of that discovery comes a Christian life that is free from the tyranny of unnecessary adjectives - even my preferred modified, Jesus-shaped - and simply follows after the One who loves us beyond words or repayment.
”
”
Michael Spencer (Mere Churchianity: Finding Your Way Back to Jesus-Shaped Spirituality)
β€œ
When our Lord said to the disciples, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19), His reference was not to the skilled angler, but to those who use the drag-net--something which requires practically no skill; the point being that you do not have to watch your "fish," but you have to do the simple thing and God will do the rest. The pseudo-evangelical line is that you must be on the watch all the time and lose no oportunity of speaking to people, and this attitude is apt to produce the superior person. It may be a noble enough point of view, but it produces the wrong kind of character. It does not produce a disciple of Jesus, but too often it produces the kind of person who smells of gunpowder and people are afraid of meeting him. According to Jesus Christ, what we have to do is to watch the source and He will look after the outflow: "He that believeth on me,...out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water" (John 7:38).
”
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Oswald Chambers (Our Ultimate Refuge: Job and the Problem of Suffering)
β€œ
A dying man asked a dying man for eternal life; a man without possessions asked a poor man for a Kingdom; a thief at the door of death asked to die like a thief and steal Paradise. One would have thought a saint would have been the first soul purchased over the counter of Calvary by the red coins of Redemption, but in the Divine plan it was a thief who was the escort of the King of kings into Paradise. If Our Lord had come merely as a teacher, the thief would never have asked for forgiveness. But since the thief's request touched the reason of His coming to earth, namely, to save souls, the thief heard the immediate answer: 'I promise thee, this day thou shalt be With Me in Paradise' (Luke 23:43) It was the thief's last prayer, perhaps even his first. He knocked once, sought once, asked once, dared everything, and found everything. When even the disciples were doubting and only one was present at the Cross, the thief owned and acknowledged Him as Saviour.
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Fulton J. Sheen (Life of Christ)
β€œ
Now, I ask this question of all of us and lay this burden upon us: What circumstances are at work right now in our wards, silently separating one sister here and another sister there from the sisterhood of the Relief Society, marginalizing them, making them invisible? And what can we do about it? . . . For example, LDS women are participating in the labor force in ever-increasing numbers. These women need Relief Society. They need the strength of sisterhood. They need to be understood. They need support with their families. They don’t need to be told that they’re selfish or unrighteous because they’re working. They need to be told they are loved.
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Chieko N. Okazaki (Disciples)
β€œ
The resurrection does not consist merely of the appearances of Jesus to his disciples after his death. Many think that these appearances in Galilee and Jerusalem are the resurrection. But they are simply to confirm the faith of the disciples. The real resurrection is the passing beyond the world altogether. It is Jesus' passage from this world to the Father. It was not an event in space and time, but the passage beyond space and time to the eternal, to reality. Jesus passed into reality. That is our starting point. It is into that world that we are invited to enter by meditation. We do not have to wait for physical death, but we can enter now into that eternal world. We have to go beyond the outer appearances of the senses and beyond the concepts of the mind, and open ourselves to the reality of Christ within, the Christ of the resurrection.
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Bede Griffiths (The New Creation in Christ)
β€œ
Many Christians assume that we can just experience God in a personal relationship apart from doctrine, but that’s impossible. You cannot experience God without knowing who he is, what he has done, and who you are in relation to him. Even our most basic Christian experiences and commitments are theological. β€œI just love Jesus,” some say. But who is Jesus? And why do you love him?
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Michael S. Horton (Pilgrim Theology: Core Doctrines for Christian Disciples)
β€œ
Committing myself to the task of becoming fully human is saving my life now...to become fully human is something extra, a conscious choice that not everyone makes. Based on my limited wisdom and experience, there is more than one way to do this. If I were a Buddhist, I might do it by taking the bodhisattva vow, and if I were a Jew, I might do it by following Torah. Because I am a Christian, I do it by imitating Christ, although i will be the first to admit that I want to stop about a day short of following him all the way. In Luke's gospel, there comes a point when he turns around and says to the large crowd of those trailing after him, "Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple" (14:26). Make of that what you will, but I think it was his way of telling them to go home. He did not need people to go to Jerusalem to die with him. He needed people to go back where they came from and live the kinds of lives that he had risked his own life to show them: lives of resisting the powers of death, of standing up for the little and the least, of turning cheeks and washing feet, of praying for enemies and loving the unlovable.
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Barbara Brown Taylor (Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith)
β€œ
Well, my dear sisters, the gospel is the good news that can free us from guilt. We know that Jesus experienced the totality of mortal existence in Gethsemane. It's our faith that he experienced everything- absolutely everything. Sometimes we don't think through the implications of that belief. We talk in great generalities about the sins of all humankind, about the suffering of the entire human family. But we don't experience pain in generalities. We experience it individually. That means he knows what it felt like when your mother died of cancer- how it was for your mother, how it still is for you. He knows what it felt like to lose the student body election. He knows that moment when the brakes locked and the car started to skid. He experienced the slave ship sailing from Ghana toward Virginia. He experienced the gas chambers at Dachau. He experienced Napalm in Vietnam. He knows about drug addiction and alcoholism. Let me go further. There is nothing you have experienced as a woman that he does not also know and recognize. On a profound level, he understands the hunger to hold your baby that sustains you through pregnancy. He understands both the physical pain of giving birth and the immense joy. He knows about PMS and cramps and menopause. He understands about rape and infertility and abortion. His last recorded words to his disciples were, "And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28:20) He understands your mother-pain when your five-year-old leaves for kindergarten, when a bully picks on your fifth-grader, when your daughter calls to say that the new baby has Down syndrome. He knows your mother-rage when a trusted babysitter sexually abuses your two-year-old, when someone gives your thirteen-year-old drugs, when someone seduces your seventeen-year-old. He knows the pain you live with when you come home to a quiet apartment where the only children are visitors, when you hear that your former husband and his new wife were sealed in the temple last week, when your fiftieth wedding anniversary rolls around and your husband has been dead for two years. He knows all that. He's been there. He's been lower than all that. He's not waiting for us to be perfect. Perfect people don't need a Savior. He came to save his people in their imperfections. He is the Lord of the living, and the living make mistakes. He's not embarrassed by us, angry at us, or shocked. He wants us in our brokenness, in our unhappiness, in our guilt and our grief. You know that people who live above a certain latitude and experience very long winter nights can become depressed and even suicidal, because something in our bodies requires whole spectrum light for a certain number of hours a day. Our spiritual requirement for light is just as desperate and as deep as our physical need for light. Jesus is the light of the world. We know that this world is a dark place sometimes, but we need not walk in darkness. The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, and the people who walk in darkness can have a bright companion. We need him, and He is ready to come to us, if we'll open the door and let him.
”
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Chieko N. Okazaki
β€œ
Someone is pounding on a door within you and hoping for an answer. They want to tell us the secret tale of ourselves. The stories we’ve never told. Some African tribes believe if you were to tell someone your entire story the audience would actually become you. From then on, the only life the teller would have would be in and through the listener. Some believe this is the relationship between Jesus and his disciples. How I wished for my story to be blemish free. How I wished to be a good-natured soul giving back to the world, regardless of how broken I was. In the end, it’s those things we are willing to die to change that sculpt our story. Some people open the floodgates of their minds and hearts so memories burst forth like water through a breached dam. Pieces of our lives can be found among the floating wreckage, and somewhere, the presence of God hovers over the surface of the deep. Inside, I am treading, biding my time, waiting for the magic I thought I owned as a child. Many seek this enchantment. I sought my wife, daughter and the power to conjure hope.
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Christopher Hawke (Unnatural Truth)
β€œ
Discipleship is not limited to what you can comprehend--it must transcend all comprehension. Plunge into the deep waters beyond your own comprehension, and I will help you to comprehend even as I do. Bewilderment is the true comprehension. Not to know where you are going is the true knowledge. My comprehension transcends yours. Thus Abraham went forth from his father and not knowing whither he went. He trusted himself to my knowledge, and cared not for his own, and thus he took the right road and came to his journey's end. Behold, that is the way of the cross. You cannot find it yourself, so you must let me lead you as though you were a blind man. Wherefore it is not you, no man, no living creature, but I myself, who instruct you by my word and Spirit in the way you should go. Not the work which you choose, not the suffering you devise, but the road which is clean contrary to all that you choose or contrive or desire--that is the road you must take. To that I call you and in that you must be my disciple.
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Martin Luther
β€œ
When those who have been placed in my life to lead me and train me betray me and turn against me, as Saul turned against David, I will follow the example of David and refuse to let hope die in my heart. Holy Spirit, empower me to be a spiritual father or mother to those who need me to disciple, love, support, and encourage them. Father, raise up spiritual leaders in our land who can lead others with justice, mercy, integrity, and love. Allow me to be one of these leaders. When I am cut off from my father [physical or spiritual] through his insecurity, jealousy, or pride, cause me to recognize that as You did with David, You want to complete Your work in my life. Holy Spirit, release me from tormenting thoughts or self-blame and striving for acceptance. Cause me to seek only Your acceptance and restoration. I refuse to allow the enemy to cause me to seek revenge against those who have wronged me. I will not raise my hand against the Lord’s anointed or seek to avenge myself. I will leave justice to You. Father, cause my heart to be pure as David’s was pure. Through Your power, O Lord, I will refuse to attack my enemies with my tongue, for I will never forget that both death and life are in the power of the tongue (Prov. 18:21). I will never seek to sow discord or separation between myself and my Christian brothers and sisters, for it is an abomination to my Lord. I will remain loyal to my spiritual leaders even when they have rejected me or wronged me. I choose to be a man [or woman] after the heart of God, not one who seeks to avenge myself. Holy Spirit, like David I will lead my Christian brother and sister to honor our spiritual leaders even in the face of betrayal. I refuse to sow discord among brethren. I will show kindness to others who are in relationship with the ones who have wronged me. Like David I will find ways to honor them and will not allow offense to cause me to disrespect them. Father, only You are worthy to judge the intents and actions of myself or of those around me. I praise You for Your wisdom, and I submit to Your leading. Lord, I choose to remain loyal to those in a position of authority over me. I choose to focus on the calling You have placed on my life and to refuse to be diverted by the actions of others, even when they have treated me wrongly. Father, may You be able to examine my life and know and see that there is neither evil nor rebellion in my heart toward others (1 Sam.24:11).
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John Bevere (The Bait of Satan: Living Free from the Deadly Trap of Offense)
β€œ
Whether pilgrim or wayfarer, while seeking to be taught the Truth (or something), the disciple learns only that there is nothing that anyone else can teach him. He learns, once he is willing to give up being taught, that he already knows how to live, that it is implied in his own tale. The secret is that there is no secret. Everything is just what it seems to be. This is it! There are no hidden meanings. Before he is enlightened, a man gets up each morning to spend the day tending his fields, returns home to eat his supper, goes to bed, makes love to his woman, and falls asleep. But once he has attained enlightenment, then a man gets up each morning to spend the day tending his fields, returns home to eat his supper, goes to bed, makes love to his woman, and falls asleep. The Zen way to see the truth is through your everyday eyes.2 It is only the heartless questioning of life-as-it-is that ties a man in knots. A man does not need an answer in order to find peace. He needs only to surrender to his existence, to cease the needless, empty questioning. The secret of enlightenment is when you are hungry, eat; and when you are tired, sleep. The Zen Master warns: β€œIf you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him!” This admonition points up that no meaning that comes from outside of ourselves is real. The Buddhahood of each of us has already been obtained. We need only recognize it. Philosophy, religion, patriotism, all are empty idols. The only meaning in our lives is what we each bring to them. Killing the Buddha on the road means destroying the hope that anything outside of ourselves can be our master. No one is any bigger than anyone else. There are no mothers or fathers for grown-ups, only sisters and brothers.
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Sheldon B. Kopp (If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him: The Pilgrimage Of Psychotherapy Patients)
β€œ
Eliot, huh?" she says. The thin fabric of her long T-shirt brushes my arm. "Is everyone in your family named for a famous symbolist poet?" No, I'm named for someone who was supposed to be in the Bible but isn't." No? What happened to him?" I glance over at her, the way the corner of her mouth turns up, half-smirk, half-smile. Her hair moves as she walks. He was called to be a disciple, but he had, you know, stuff to do." Stuff, like...polishing his sandals? Making lunch?" We keep walking, over the bridge across the lake, past the swings and the playground equipment, just walking. Exactly. And what about you, Calliope...is everyone in your family named after a...what is it? A keyboard? An organ?" It's a steam-powered piano. It's also the name of the Greek goddess of poetry. You should read stuff other than chemistry; you'd know these things." Her smirky smile again, her sleeve touching my arm. I feel like my skin has been removed, every nerve exposed. I open my mouth, and this comes out: "I think you are more goddess than piano." Stupid, stupid. But she laughs. "You know, that's the nicest thing anyone's said to me today." You don't see too many calliopes," I tell her. I'm Cal, actually. I mean, that's what I prefer." I meant the steam pianos...you don't see too many." She stops and looks at me, full-on, and right away I put it on the list of the best moments in my life. Until you said that, Eliot, I wasn't fully aware of the demise of the steam piano, so thank you. Really." I smirk at her and we both fight not to smile. "Okay, smart-ass," I say.
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Brad Barkley (Scrambled Eggs at Midnight)
β€œ
Do you know the first thing Jesus did with that meager offering? He looked up to heaven and gave thanks to God for the little he was given by the boy. I wonder what it was like for that boy to see his meager meal held up to the heavens by the hands of a grateful Jesus. Jesus, of course, knew it wasn’t going to remain little, that it was about to be multiplied into great abundance. But let’s not miss this moment. The Son of God, holding our offering up to Almighty God and blessing it with his thanks! Remember Kalli, unable to imagine what she could possibly do to help but volunteering anyway? We need to be like her. We don’t need to know how God is going to use our meager offering. We only need to know that he wants to use it. Always remember that God celebrates our gifts to him and blesses them. Next, Jesus broke the bread and the fish. When he blessed it, there were five and two. But when he broke it, we lose count. The more Jesus broke the bread and fish, the more there was to feed and nourish. The disciples started distributing the food, and soon what was broken was feeding thousands. The miracle is in the breaking. It is in the breaking that God multiplies not enough into more than enough. Are there broken places in your life so painful that you fear the breaking will destroy you? Do you come from a broken home? Did you have a broken marriage? Did you have a broken past? Have you experienced brokenness in your body? Have your finances been broken? You may think your brokenness has disqualified you from being able to run in the divine relay, but as with my own life and Kalli’s, when we give God our brokenness, it qualifies us to be used by God to carry a baton of hope, restoration, and grace to others on the sidelines who are broken.
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Christine Caine (Unstoppable: Running the Race You Were Born To Win)
β€œ
Were you there?” She shook her head. β€œNo. I was here in Nain having a child.” β€œThen why do you weep as though you had part in his crucifixion? You had no part in it.” β€œI’d like nothing better than to think I would have remained faithful. But if those closest to himβ€”his disciples, his own brothersβ€”turned away, who am I to think I’m better than they and would have done differently? No, Marcus. We all wanted what we wanted, and when the Lord fulfilled his purpose rather than ours, we struck out against him. Like you. In anger. Like you. In disappointment. Yet, it is God’s will that prevails.” He looked away. β€œI don’t understand any of this.” β€œI know you don’t. I see it in your face, Marcus. You don’t want to see. You’ve hardened your heart against him.” She started to walk again. β€œAs should all who value their lives,” he said, thinking of Hadassah’s death. β€œIt is God who has driven you here.” He gave a derisive laugh. β€œI came here of my own accord and for my own purposes.” β€œDid you?” Marcus’ face became stony. Deborah pressed on. β€œWe were all created incomplete and will find no rest until we satisfy the deepest hunger and thirst within us. You’ve tried to satisfy it in your own way. I see that in your eyes, too, as I’ve seen it in so many others. And yet, though you deny it with your last breath, your soul yearns for God, Marcus Lucianus Valerian.” Her words angered him. β€œGods aside, Rome shows the world that life is what man makes of it.” β€œIf that’s so, what are you making of yours?” β€œI own a fleet of ships, as well as emporiums and houses. I have wealth.” Yet, even as he told her, he knew it all meant nothing. His father had come to that realization just before he died. Vanity. It was all vanity. Meaningless. Empty. Old Deborah paused on the pathway. β€œRome points the way to wealth and pleasure, power and knowledge. But Rome remains hungry. Just as you are hungry now. Search all you will for retribution or meaning to your life, but until you find God, you live in vain.
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Francine Rivers (An Echo in the Darkness (Mark of the Lion, #2))
β€œ
Exoneration of Jesus Christ If Christ was in fact God, he knew all the future. Before Him like a panorama moved the history yet to be. He knew how his words would be interpreted. He knew what crimes, what horrors, what infamies, would be committed in his name. He knew that the hungry flames of persecution would climb around the limbs of countless martyrs. He knew that thousands and thousands of brave men and women would languish in dungeons in darkness, filled with pain. He knew that his church would invent and use instruments of torture; that his followers would appeal to whip and fagot, to chain and rack. He saw the horizon of the future lurid with the flames of the auto da fe. He knew what creeds would spring like poisonous fungi from every text. He saw the ignorant sects waging war against each other. He saw thousands of men, under the orders of priests, building prisons for their fellow-men. He saw thousands of scaffolds dripping with the best and bravest blood. He saw his followers using the instruments of pain. He heard the groansβ€”saw the faces white with agony. He heard the shrieks and sobs and cries of all the moaning, martyred multitudes. He knew that commentaries would be written on his words with swords, to be read by the light of fagots. He knew that the Inquisition would be born of the teachings attributed to him. He saw the interpolations and falsehoods that hypocrisy would write and tell. He saw all wars that would be waged, and-he knew that above these fields of death, these dungeons, these rackings, these burnings, these executions, for a thousand years would float the dripping banner of the cross. He knew that hypocrisy would be robed and crownedβ€”that cruelty and credulity would rule the world; knew that liberty would perish from the earth; knew that popes and kings in his name would enslave the souls and bodies of men; knew that they would persecute and destroy the discoverers, thinkers and inventors; knew that his church would extinguish reason’s holy light and leave the world without a star. He saw his disciples extinguishing the eyes of men, flaying them alive, cutting out their tongues, searching for all the nerves of pain. He knew that in his name his followers would trade in human flesh; that cradles would be robbed and women’s breasts unbabed for gold. And yet he died with voiceless lips. Why did he fail to speak? Why did he not tell his disciples, and through them the world: β€œYou shall not burn, imprison and torture in my name. You shall not persecute your fellow-men.” Why did he not plainly say: β€œI am the Son of God,” or, β€œI am God”? Why did he not explain the Trinity? Why did he not tell the mode of baptism that was pleasing to him? Why did he not write a creed? Why did he not break the chains of slaves? Why did he not say that the Old Testament was or was not the inspired word of God? Why did he not write the New Testament himself? Why did he leave his words to ignorance, hypocrisy and chance? Why did he not say something positive, definite and satisfactory about another world? Why did he not turn the tear-stained hope of heaven into the glad knowledge of another life? Why did he not tell us something of the rights of man, of the liberty of hand and brain? Why did he go dumbly to his death, leaving the world to misery and to doubt? I will tell you why. He was a man, and did not know.
”
”
Robert G. Ingersoll
β€œ
For the first time I understood the dogma of eternal pain -- appreciated "the glad tidings of great joy." For the first time my imagination grasped the height and depth of the Christian horror. Then I said: "It is a lie, and I hate your religion. If it is true, I hate your God." From that day I have had no fear, no doubt. For me, on that day, the flames of hell were quenched. From that day I have passionately hated every orthodox creed. That Sermon did some good. In the Old Testament, they said. God is the judge -- but in the New, Christ is the merciful. As a matter of fact, the New Testament is infinitely worse than the Old. In the Old there is no threat of eternal pain. Jehovah had no eternal prison -- no everlasting fire. His hatred ended at the grave. His revenge was satisfied when his enemy was dead. In the New Testament, death is not the end, but the beginning of punishment that has no end. In the New Testament the malice of God is infinite and the hunger of his revenge eternal. The orthodox God, when clothed in human flesh, told his disciples not to resist evil, to love their enemies, and when smitten on one cheek to turn the other, and yet we are told that this same God, with the same loving lips, uttered these heartless, these fiendish words; "Depart ye cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." These are the words of "eternal love." No human being has imagination enough to conceive of this infinite horror. All that the human race has suffered in war and want, in pestilence and famine, in fire and flood, -- all the pangs and pains of every disease and every death -- all this is as nothing compared with the agonies to be endured by one lost soul. This is the consolation of the Christian religion. This is the justice of God -- the mercy of Christ. This frightful dogma, this infinite lie, made me the implacable enemy of Christianity. The truth is that this belief in eternal pain has been the real persecutor. It founded the Inquisition, forged the chains, and furnished the fagots. It has darkened the lives of many millions. It made the cradle as terrible as the coffin. It enslaved nations and shed the blood of countless thousands. It sacrificed the wisest, the bravest and the best. It subverted the idea of justice, drove mercy from the heart, changed men to fiends and banished reason from the brain. Like a venomous serpent it crawls and coils and hisses in every orthodox creed. It makes man an eternal victim and God an eternal fiend. It is the one infinite horror. Every church in which it is taught is a public curse. Every preacher who teaches it is an enemy of mankind. Below this Christian dogma, savagery cannot go. It is the infinite of malice, hatred, and revenge. Nothing could add to the horror of hell, except the presence of its creator, God. While I have life, as long as I draw breath, I shall deny with all my strength, and hate with every drop of my blood, this infinite lie.
”
”
Robert G. Ingersoll
β€œ
And so when the generation, which itself desired to level and to be emancipated, to destroy authority and at the same time itself, has, through the scepticism of the principle association, started the hopeless forest fire of abstraction; when as a result of levelling with this scepticism, the generation has rid itself of the individual and of everything organic and concrete, and put in its place 'humanity' and the numerical equality of man and man: when the generation has, for a moment, delighted in this unlimited panorama of abstract infinity, unrelieved by even the smallest eminence, undisturbed by even the slightest interest, a sea of desert; then the time has come for work to begin, for every individual must work for himself, each for himself. No longer can the individual, as in former times, turn to the great for help when he grows confused. That is past; he is either lost in the dizziness of unending abstraction or saved for ever in the reality of religion. Perhaps very many will cry out in despair, but it will not help them--already it is too late...Nor shall any of the unrecognizable presume to help directly or to speak directly or to teach directly at the head of the masses, in order to direct their decisions, instead of giving his negative support and so helping the individual to make the decision which he himself has reached; any other course would be the end of him, because he would be indulging in the short-sighted compassion of man, instead of obeying the order of divinity, of an angry, yet so merciful, divinity. For the development is, in spite of everything, a progress because all the individuals who are saved will receive the specific weight of religion, its essence at first hand, from God himself. Then it will be said: 'behold, all is in readiness, see how the cruelty of abstraction makes the true form of worldliness only too evident, the abyss of eternity opens before you, the sharp scythe of the leveller makes it possible for every one individually to leap over the blade--and behold, it is God who waits. Leap, then, into the arms of God'. But the 'unrecognizable' neither can nor dares help man, not even his most faithful disciple, his mother, or the girl for whom he would gladly give his life: they must make the leap themselves, for God's love is not a second-hand gift. And yet the 'unrecognizable' neither can nor dares help man, not even his most faithful disciple, his mother, or the girl for whom he would gladly give his life: they must make the leap themselves, for God's love is not a second-hand gift. And yet the 'unrecognizable' (according to his degree) will have a double work compared with the 'outstanding' man (of the same degree), because he will not only have to work continuously, but at the same time labour to conceal his work.
”
”
SΓΈren Kierkegaard (The Present Age)
β€œ
There is a vast difference between being a Christian and being a disciple. The difference is commitment. Motivation and discipline will not ultimately occur through listening to sermons, sitting in a class, participating in a fellowship group, attending a study group in the workplace or being a member of a small group, but rather in the context of highly accountable, relationally transparent, truth-centered, small discipleship units. There are twin prerequisites for following Christ - cost and commitment, neither of which can occur in the anonymity of the masses. Disciples cannot be mass produced. We cannot drop people into a program and see disciples emerge at the end of the production line. It takes time to make disciples. It takes individual personal attention. Discipleship training is not about information transfer, from head to head, but imitation, life to life. You can ultimately learn and develop only by doing. The effectiveness of one's ministry is to be measured by how well it flourishes after one's departure. Discipling is an intentional relationship in which we walk alongside other disciples in order to encourage, equip, and challenge one another in love to grow toward maturity in Christ. This includes equipping the disciple to teach others as well. If there are no explicit, mutually agreed upon commitments, then the group leader is left without any basis to hold people accountable. Without a covenant, all leaders possess is their subjective understanding of what is entailed in the relationship. Every believer or inquirer must be given the opportunity to be invited into a relationship of intimate trust that provides the opportunity to explore and apply God's Word within a setting of relational motivation, and finally, make a sober commitment to a covenant of accountability. Reviewing the covenant is part of the initial invitation to the journey together. It is a sobering moment to examine whether one has the time, the energy and the commitment to do what is necessary to engage in a discipleship relationship. Invest in a relationship with two others for give or take a year. Then multiply. Each person invites two others for the next leg of the journey and does it all again. Same content, different relationships. The invitation to discipleship should be preceded by a period of prayerful discernment. It is vital to have a settled conviction that the Lord is drawing us to those to whom we are issuing this invitation. . If you are going to invest a year or more of your time with two others with the intent of multiplying, whom you invite is of paramount importance. You want to raise the question implicitly: Are you ready to consider serious change in any area of your life? From the outset you are raising the bar and calling a person to step up to it. Do not seek or allow an immediate response to the invitation to join a triad. You want the person to consider the time commitment in light of the larger configuration of life's responsibilities and to make the adjustments in schedule, if necessary, to make this relationship work. Intentionally growing people takes time. Do you want to measure your ministry by the number of sermons preached, worship services designed, homes visited, hospital calls made, counseling sessions held, or the number of self-initiating, reproducing, fully devoted followers of Jesus? When we get to the shore's edge and know that there is a boat there waiting to take us to the other side to be with Jesus, all that will truly matter is the names of family, friends and others who are self initiating, reproducing, fully devoted followers of Jesus because we made it the priority of our lives to walk with them toward maturity in Christ. There is no better eternal investment or legacy to leave behind.
”
”
Greg Ogden (Transforming Discipleship: Making Disciples a Few at a Time)