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  • \n
  • The actor Lee Marvin, who died of a heart attack in 1987 at the age of 63, once made this despondent statement: “They put your name on a star on Hollywood Boulevard and you find a pile of dog manure on it. That’s the whole story, baby.” If we are only citizens of this world, Marvin was right; the achievements of fame, position, possessions, and power will not endure and will not satisfy. Our monuments and accomplishments will crumble around us and offer little comfort at the end of our brief sojourn on this earth. \n\n
  • The actor Lee Marvin, who died of a heart attack in 1987 at the age of 63, once made this despondent statement: “They put your name on a star on Hollywood Boulevard and you find a pile of dog manure on it. That’s the whole story, baby.” If we are only citizens of this world, Marvin was right; the achievements of fame, position, possessions, and power will not endure and will not satisfy. Our monuments and accomplishments will crumble around us and offer little comfort at the end of our brief sojourn on this earth. \n\n
  • The actor Lee Marvin, who died of a heart attack in 1987 at the age of 63, once made this despondent statement: “They put your name on a star on Hollywood Boulevard and you find a pile of dog manure on it. That’s the whole story, baby.” If we are only citizens of this world, Marvin was right; the achievements of fame, position, possessions, and power will not endure and will not satisfy. Our monuments and accomplishments will crumble around us and offer little comfort at the end of our brief sojourn on this earth. \n\n
  • The actor Lee Marvin, who died of a heart attack in 1987 at the age of 63, once made this despondent statement: “They put your name on a star on Hollywood Boulevard and you find a pile of dog manure on it. That’s the whole story, baby.” If we are only citizens of this world, Marvin was right; the achievements of fame, position, possessions, and power will not endure and will not satisfy. Our monuments and accomplishments will crumble around us and offer little comfort at the end of our brief sojourn on this earth. \n\n
  • The actor Lee Marvin, who died of a heart attack in 1987 at the age of 63, once made this despondent statement: “They put your name on a star on Hollywood Boulevard and you find a pile of dog manure on it. That’s the whole story, baby.” If we are only citizens of this world, Marvin was right; the achievements of fame, position, possessions, and power will not endure and will not satisfy. Our monuments and accomplishments will crumble around us and offer little comfort at the end of our brief sojourn on this earth. \n\n
  • The actor Lee Marvin, who died of a heart attack in 1987 at the age of 63, once made this despondent statement: “They put your name on a star on Hollywood Boulevard and you find a pile of dog manure on it. That’s the whole story, baby.” If we are only citizens of this world, Marvin was right; the achievements of fame, position, possessions, and power will not endure and will not satisfy. Our monuments and accomplishments will crumble around us and offer little comfort at the end of our brief sojourn on this earth. \n\n
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  • By contrast, consider Peter Kreeft’s words in his book, Three Philosophies of Life: \n“The world’s purest gold is only dung without Christ. But with Christ, the basest metal is transformed into the purest gold. The hopes of alchemy can come true, but on a spiritual level, not a chemical one. There is a “philosophers stone” that transmutes all things into gold. Its name is Christ. With him, poverty is riches, weakness is power, suffering is joy, to be despised is glory. Without him, riches are poverty, power is impotence, happiness is misery, glory is despised.”\n\n
  • By contrast, consider Peter Kreeft’s words in his book, Three Philosophies of Life: \n“The world’s purest gold is only dung without Christ. But with Christ, the basest metal is transformed into the purest gold. The hopes of alchemy can come true, but on a spiritual level, not a chemical one. There is a “philosophers stone” that transmutes all things into gold. Its name is Christ. With him, poverty is riches, weakness is power, suffering is joy, to be despised is glory. Without him, riches are poverty, power is impotence, happiness is misery, glory is despised.”\n\n
  • By contrast, consider Peter Kreeft’s words in his book, Three Philosophies of Life: \n“The world’s purest gold is only dung without Christ. But with Christ, the basest metal is transformed into the purest gold. The hopes of alchemy can come true, but on a spiritual level, not a chemical one. There is a “philosophers stone” that transmutes all things into gold. Its name is Christ. With him, poverty is riches, weakness is power, suffering is joy, to be despised is glory. Without him, riches are poverty, power is impotence, happiness is misery, glory is despised.”\n\n
  • By contrast, consider Peter Kreeft’s words in his book, Three Philosophies of Life: \n“The world’s purest gold is only dung without Christ. But with Christ, the basest metal is transformed into the purest gold. The hopes of alchemy can come true, but on a spiritual level, not a chemical one. There is a “philosophers stone” that transmutes all things into gold. Its name is Christ. With him, poverty is riches, weakness is power, suffering is joy, to be despised is glory. Without him, riches are poverty, power is impotence, happiness is misery, glory is despised.”\n\n
  • What does it take to finish well? How can we run in such a way that we can say with Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7; Acts 20:24; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27)? A number of observers have considered the characteristics of people who “run with endurance the race that is set before [them]” (Hebrews 12:1). I have arrived at a set of seven such characteristics:\n\n
  • Once we have committed our lives to Christ, there should be no turning back—indeed, if we think about it, there is nothing of real and lasting substance to which we can turn apart from Him. In spite of this truth, there is an epidemic of believers who drop out of the race during their middle years. Many begin well but finish poorly. It can be gradual erosion through a series of small compromises or a more sudden point of departure, but any number of things can divert us from the course on which we are called to run. \n\n
  • Once we have committed our lives to Christ, there should be no turning back—indeed, if we think about it, there is nothing of real and lasting substance to which we can turn apart from Him. In spite of this truth, there is an epidemic of believers who drop out of the race during their middle years. Many begin well but finish poorly. It can be gradual erosion through a series of small compromises or a more sudden point of departure, but any number of things can divert us from the course on which we are called to run. \n\n
  • Once we have committed our lives to Christ, there should be no turning back—indeed, if we think about it, there is nothing of real and lasting substance to which we can turn apart from Him. In spite of this truth, there is an epidemic of believers who drop out of the race during their middle years. Many begin well but finish poorly. It can be gradual erosion through a series of small compromises or a more sudden point of departure, but any number of things can divert us from the course on which we are called to run. \n\n
  • Once we have committed our lives to Christ, there should be no turning back—indeed, if we think about it, there is nothing of real and lasting substance to which we can turn apart from Him. In spite of this truth, there is an epidemic of believers who drop out of the race during their middle years. Many begin well but finish poorly. It can be gradual erosion through a series of small compromises or a more sudden point of departure, but any number of things can divert us from the course on which we are called to run. \n\n
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  • I have highlighted the seven key words (intimacy, disciplines, perspective, teachable, purpose, relationships, and ministry), and it is important to note that these characteristics move from the inside to the outside. \n
  • I have highlighted the seven key words (intimacy, disciplines, perspective, teachable, purpose, relationships, and ministry), and it is important to note that these characteristics move from the inside to the outside. \n
  • I have highlighted the seven key words (intimacy, disciplines, perspective, teachable, purpose, relationships, and ministry), and it is important to note that these characteristics move from the inside to the outside. \n
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  • The first two concern our vertical relationship with God (being), the next three concern our personal thinking and orientation (knowing), and the last two concern our horizontal relationships with others (doing).\n
  • The first two concern our vertical relationship with God (being), the next three concern our personal thinking and orientation (knowing), and the last two concern our horizontal relationships with others (doing).\n
  • The first two concern our vertical relationship with God (being), the next three concern our personal thinking and orientation (knowing), and the last two concern our horizontal relationships with others (doing).\n
  • The first two concern our vertical relationship with God (being), the next three concern our personal thinking and orientation (knowing), and the last two concern our horizontal relationships with others (doing).\n
  • The first two concern our vertical relationship with God (being), the next three concern our personal thinking and orientation (knowing), and the last two concern our horizontal relationships with others (doing).\n
  • The first two concern our vertical relationship with God (being), the next three concern our personal thinking and orientation (knowing), and the last two concern our horizontal relationships with others (doing).\n
  • The first two concern our vertical relationship with God (being), the next three concern our personal thinking and orientation (knowing), and the last two concern our horizontal relationships with others (doing).\n
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  • The exhortation, “let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” in Hebrews 12:1 is immediately followed by these words in 12:2: “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.” If we wish to run with endurance and finish our race well, we must continue to look at Jesus rather than the circumstances or the other runners. \n
  • The exhortation, “let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” in Hebrews 12:1 is immediately followed by these words in 12:2: “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.” If we wish to run with endurance and finish our race well, we must continue to look at Jesus rather than the circumstances or the other runners. \n
  • Remember Jesus’ strong words in Luke 14:26: “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.” The Scriptures call us to love and serve these people, but our Lord tells us that He must be preeminent in our affections. Our love and pursuit of Him must make all other relationships seem like hatred in comparison.\nTelescopic photographs of the sun often reveal massive areas on the solar photosphere called sunspots. These are temporary cool regions that appear dark by contrast against the hotter photosphere that surrounds them. But if we could see a sunspot by itself, it would actually be brilliant. In the same way, our love for others should shine except when compared with our love for the Lord Christ. Although we have not yet seen Jesus, we can love Him and hope in Him who first loved us and delivered Himself up for us (1 Peter 1:8; Ephesians 5:2).\n\n
  • Remember Jesus’ strong words in Luke 14:26: “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.” The Scriptures call us to love and serve these people, but our Lord tells us that He must be preeminent in our affections. Our love and pursuit of Him must make all other relationships seem like hatred in comparison.\nTelescopic photographs of the sun often reveal massive areas on the solar photosphere called sunspots. These are temporary cool regions that appear dark by contrast against the hotter photosphere that surrounds them. But if we could see a sunspot by itself, it would actually be brilliant. In the same way, our love for others should shine except when compared with our love for the Lord Christ. Although we have not yet seen Jesus, we can love Him and hope in Him who first loved us and delivered Himself up for us (1 Peter 1:8; Ephesians 5:2).\n\n
  • Remember Jesus’ strong words in Luke 14:26: “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.” The Scriptures call us to love and serve these people, but our Lord tells us that He must be preeminent in our affections. Our love and pursuit of Him must make all other relationships seem like hatred in comparison.\nTelescopic photographs of the sun often reveal massive areas on the solar photosphere called sunspots. These are temporary cool regions that appear dark by contrast against the hotter photosphere that surrounds them. But if we could see a sunspot by itself, it would actually be brilliant. In the same way, our love for others should shine except when compared with our love for the Lord Christ. Although we have not yet seen Jesus, we can love Him and hope in Him who first loved us and delivered Himself up for us (1 Peter 1:8; Ephesians 5:2).\n\n
  • Our highest calling is to grow in our knowledge of Christ and to make Him known to others. If any person, possession, or position is elevated above the Lord Jesus in our minds and affections, we will be unable to fulfill this great calling. Instead, we will sell ourselves cheaply for the empty promises of a fleeting world.\nWe would be wise to ask this question from time to time to examine our hearts and our direction in life: “Does my desire to know Christ exceed all other aspirations?” If not, whatever is taking His place in the center of our affections must yield to Him if we are to know the joy of bearing spiritual fruit as His disciples. \n\n
  • Our highest calling is to grow in our knowledge of Christ and to make Him known to others. If any person, possession, or position is elevated above the Lord Jesus in our minds and affections, we will be unable to fulfill this great calling. Instead, we will sell ourselves cheaply for the empty promises of a fleeting world.\nWe would be wise to ask this question from time to time to examine our hearts and our direction in life: “Does my desire to know Christ exceed all other aspirations?” If not, whatever is taking His place in the center of our affections must yield to Him if we are to know the joy of bearing spiritual fruit as His disciples. \n\n
  • Our highest calling is to grow in our knowledge of Christ and to make Him known to others. If any person, possession, or position is elevated above the Lord Jesus in our minds and affections, we will be unable to fulfill this great calling. Instead, we will sell ourselves cheaply for the empty promises of a fleeting world.\nWe would be wise to ask this question from time to time to examine our hearts and our direction in life: “Does my desire to know Christ exceed all other aspirations?” If not, whatever is taking His place in the center of our affections must yield to Him if we are to know the joy of bearing spiritual fruit as His disciples. \n\n
  • Our highest calling is to grow in our knowledge of Christ and to make Him known to others. If any person, possession, or position is elevated above the Lord Jesus in our minds and affections, we will be unable to fulfill this great calling. Instead, we will sell ourselves cheaply for the empty promises of a fleeting world.\nWe would be wise to ask this question from time to time to examine our hearts and our direction in life: “Does my desire to know Christ exceed all other aspirations?” If not, whatever is taking His place in the center of our affections must yield to Him if we are to know the joy of bearing spiritual fruit as His disciples. \n\n
  • Our highest calling is to grow in our knowledge of Christ and to make Him known to others. If any person, possession, or position is elevated above the Lord Jesus in our minds and affections, we will be unable to fulfill this great calling. Instead, we will sell ourselves cheaply for the empty promises of a fleeting world.\nWe would be wise to ask this question from time to time to examine our hearts and our direction in life: “Does my desire to know Christ exceed all other aspirations?” If not, whatever is taking His place in the center of our affections must yield to Him if we are to know the joy of bearing spiritual fruit as His disciples. \n\n
  • A key secret of those who finish well is to focus more on loving Jesus than on avoiding sin. The more we love Jesus, the more we will learn to put our confidence in Him alone. \n\nChrist’s first question in John’s Gospel is the crucial one: “What do you seek?” (1:38). This question determines what we will find, determines our eternal destiny, determines everything. (Christianity for Modern Pagans)\n\n
  • A key secret of those who finish well is to focus more on loving Jesus than on avoiding sin. The more we love Jesus, the more we will learn to put our confidence in Him alone. \n\nChrist’s first question in John’s Gospel is the crucial one: “What do you seek?” (1:38). This question determines what we will find, determines our eternal destiny, determines everything. (Christianity for Modern Pagans)\n\n
  • A key secret of those who finish well is to focus more on loving Jesus than on avoiding sin. The more we love Jesus, the more we will learn to put our confidence in Him alone. \n\nChrist’s first question in John’s Gospel is the crucial one: “What do you seek?” (1:38). This question determines what we will find, determines our eternal destiny, determines everything. (Christianity for Modern Pagans)\n\n
  • A key secret of those who finish well is to focus more on loving Jesus than on avoiding sin. The more we love Jesus, the more we will learn to put our confidence in Him alone. \n\nChrist’s first question in John’s Gospel is the crucial one: “What do you seek?” (1:38). This question determines what we will find, determines our eternal destiny, determines everything. (Christianity for Modern Pagans)\n\n
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  • In the section on disciplined spirituality, we saw that the disciplines are not ends in themselves, but means to the end of intimacy with Christ and spiritual formation. \n
  • In the section on disciplined spirituality, we saw that the disciplines are not ends in themselves, but means to the end of intimacy with Christ and spiritual formation. \n
  • The problem is that anything, when left to itself, tends to decline and decay. The second law of thermodynamics, which says that the quantity of useful energy in any closed system gradually diminishes, can be broadly applied to other systems, from information theory to relationships. Without an infusion of ordered energy, entropy (a measure of randomness and disorder) increases. In the case of objects and relationships, an infusion of directed intentionality and effort is necessary to sustain order and growth. \n\n
  • The problem is that anything, when left to itself, tends to decline and decay. The second law of thermodynamics, which says that the quantity of useful energy in any closed system gradually diminishes, can be broadly applied to other systems, from information theory to relationships. Without an infusion of ordered energy, entropy (a measure of randomness and disorder) increases. In the case of objects and relationships, an infusion of directed intentionality and effort is necessary to sustain order and growth. \n\n
  • The problem is that anything, when left to itself, tends to decline and decay. The second law of thermodynamics, which says that the quantity of useful energy in any closed system gradually diminishes, can be broadly applied to other systems, from information theory to relationships. Without an infusion of ordered energy, entropy (a measure of randomness and disorder) increases. In the case of objects and relationships, an infusion of directed intentionality and effort is necessary to sustain order and growth. \n\n
  • The twenty disciplines we touched upon earlier (solitude, silence, prayer, journaling, study, meditation, fasting, chastity, secrecy, confession, fellowship, submission, guidance, simplicity, stewardship, sacrifice, worship, celebration, service, and witness) can enhance our character, our thinking, and our practice. \n
  • The twenty disciplines we touched upon earlier (solitude, silence, prayer, journaling, study, meditation, fasting, chastity, secrecy, confession, fellowship, submission, guidance, simplicity, stewardship, sacrifice, worship, celebration, service, and witness) can enhance our character, our thinking, and our practice. \n
  • The twenty disciplines we touched upon earlier (solitude, silence, prayer, journaling, study, meditation, fasting, chastity, secrecy, confession, fellowship, submission, guidance, simplicity, stewardship, sacrifice, worship, celebration, service, and witness) can enhance our character, our thinking, and our practice. \n
  • The twenty disciplines we touched upon earlier (solitude, silence, prayer, journaling, study, meditation, fasting, chastity, secrecy, confession, fellowship, submission, guidance, simplicity, stewardship, sacrifice, worship, celebration, service, and witness) can enhance our character, our thinking, and our practice. \n
  • The twenty disciplines we touched upon earlier (solitude, silence, prayer, journaling, study, meditation, fasting, chastity, secrecy, confession, fellowship, submission, guidance, simplicity, stewardship, sacrifice, worship, celebration, service, and witness) can enhance our character, our thinking, and our practice. \n
  • The twenty disciplines we touched upon earlier (solitude, silence, prayer, journaling, study, meditation, fasting, chastity, secrecy, confession, fellowship, submission, guidance, simplicity, stewardship, sacrifice, worship, celebration, service, and witness) can enhance our character, our thinking, and our practice. \n
  • The twenty disciplines we touched upon earlier (solitude, silence, prayer, journaling, study, meditation, fasting, chastity, secrecy, confession, fellowship, submission, guidance, simplicity, stewardship, sacrifice, worship, celebration, service, and witness) can enhance our character, our thinking, and our practice. \n
  • The twenty disciplines we touched upon earlier (solitude, silence, prayer, journaling, study, meditation, fasting, chastity, secrecy, confession, fellowship, submission, guidance, simplicity, stewardship, sacrifice, worship, celebration, service, and witness) can enhance our character, our thinking, and our practice. \n
  • The twenty disciplines we touched upon earlier (solitude, silence, prayer, journaling, study, meditation, fasting, chastity, secrecy, confession, fellowship, submission, guidance, simplicity, stewardship, sacrifice, worship, celebration, service, and witness) can enhance our character, our thinking, and our practice. \n
  • The twenty disciplines we touched upon earlier (solitude, silence, prayer, journaling, study, meditation, fasting, chastity, secrecy, confession, fellowship, submission, guidance, simplicity, stewardship, sacrifice, worship, celebration, service, and witness) can enhance our character, our thinking, and our practice. \n
  • The twenty disciplines we touched upon earlier (solitude, silence, prayer, journaling, study, meditation, fasting, chastity, secrecy, confession, fellowship, submission, guidance, simplicity, stewardship, sacrifice, worship, celebration, service, and witness) can enhance our character, our thinking, and our practice. \n
  • The twenty disciplines we touched upon earlier (solitude, silence, prayer, journaling, study, meditation, fasting, chastity, secrecy, confession, fellowship, submission, guidance, simplicity, stewardship, sacrifice, worship, celebration, service, and witness) can enhance our character, our thinking, and our practice. \n
  • The twenty disciplines we touched upon earlier (solitude, silence, prayer, journaling, study, meditation, fasting, chastity, secrecy, confession, fellowship, submission, guidance, simplicity, stewardship, sacrifice, worship, celebration, service, and witness) can enhance our character, our thinking, and our practice. \n
  • The twenty disciplines we touched upon earlier (solitude, silence, prayer, journaling, study, meditation, fasting, chastity, secrecy, confession, fellowship, submission, guidance, simplicity, stewardship, sacrifice, worship, celebration, service, and witness) can enhance our character, our thinking, and our practice. \n
  • The twenty disciplines we touched upon earlier (solitude, silence, prayer, journaling, study, meditation, fasting, chastity, secrecy, confession, fellowship, submission, guidance, simplicity, stewardship, sacrifice, worship, celebration, service, and witness) can enhance our character, our thinking, and our practice. \n
  • The twenty disciplines we touched upon earlier (solitude, silence, prayer, journaling, study, meditation, fasting, chastity, secrecy, confession, fellowship, submission, guidance, simplicity, stewardship, sacrifice, worship, celebration, service, and witness) can enhance our character, our thinking, and our practice. \n
  • The twenty disciplines we touched upon earlier (solitude, silence, prayer, journaling, study, meditation, fasting, chastity, secrecy, confession, fellowship, submission, guidance, simplicity, stewardship, sacrifice, worship, celebration, service, and witness) can enhance our character, our thinking, and our practice. \n
  • The twenty disciplines we touched upon earlier (solitude, silence, prayer, journaling, study, meditation, fasting, chastity, secrecy, confession, fellowship, submission, guidance, simplicity, stewardship, sacrifice, worship, celebration, service, and witness) can enhance our character, our thinking, and our practice. \n
  • The twenty disciplines we touched upon earlier (solitude, silence, prayer, journaling, study, meditation, fasting, chastity, secrecy, confession, fellowship, submission, guidance, simplicity, stewardship, sacrifice, worship, celebration, service, and witness) can enhance our character, our thinking, and our practice. \n
  • The twenty disciplines we touched upon earlier (solitude, silence, prayer, journaling, study, meditation, fasting, chastity, secrecy, confession, fellowship, submission, guidance, simplicity, stewardship, sacrifice, worship, celebration, service, and witness) can enhance our character, our thinking, and our practice. \n
  • Our effectiveness in ministry is related to the depth of our Bible reading, study and memorization\nThe Cost is time and discipline, but benefits far outweigh the expenditures\n\nShallowness in the Word yields superficiality in the knowledge of God and hampered effectiveness in relationships\n
  • Our effectiveness in ministry is related to the depth of our Bible reading, study and memorization\nThe Cost is time and discipline, but benefits far outweigh the expenditures\n\nShallowness in the Word yields superficiality in the knowledge of God and hampered effectiveness in relationships\n
  • Our effectiveness in ministry is related to the depth of our Bible reading, study and memorization\nThe Cost is time and discipline, but benefits far outweigh the expenditures\n\nShallowness in the Word yields superficiality in the knowledge of God and hampered effectiveness in relationships\n
  • No one consistently practices all of these disciplines, and some are less meaningful for some people than for others, but fidelity to the disciplines we most need in our spiritual journeys will keep us on the path and bring repeated times of personal renewal. \n\n
  • No one consistently practices all of these disciplines, and some are less meaningful for some people than for others, but fidelity to the disciplines we most need in our spiritual journeys will keep us on the path and bring repeated times of personal renewal. \n\n
  • No one consistently practices all of these disciplines, and some are less meaningful for some people than for others, but fidelity to the disciplines we most need in our spiritual journeys will keep us on the path and bring repeated times of personal renewal. \n\n
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  • Without a growing sense of desperation, we will not maintain our focus on God. The Lord lovingly uses trials and adversities in a variety of creative ways in our lives, and part of the purpose of our suffering is to drive us to dependence on Him alone. \n
  • Without a growing sense of desperation, we will not maintain our focus on God. The Lord lovingly uses trials and adversities in a variety of creative ways in our lives, and part of the purpose of our suffering is to drive us to dependence on Him alone. \n
  • (This is part of the point of the mid-life process, as we face the combination of diminishing capacity and increasing responsibility. We usually come to grips with our mortality in an experiential way in our late thirties to mid-forties, though some see it sooner and others manage to defer it for a few more years.) \n\n
  • (This is part of the point of the mid-life process, as we face the combination of diminishing capacity and increasing responsibility. We usually come to grips with our mortality in an experiential way in our late thirties to mid-forties, though some see it sooner and others manage to defer it for a few more years.) \n\n
  • (This is part of the point of the mid-life process, as we face the combination of diminishing capacity and increasing responsibility. We usually come to grips with our mortality in an experiential way in our late thirties to mid-forties, though some see it sooner and others manage to defer it for a few more years.) \n\n
  • (This is part of the point of the mid-life process, as we face the combination of diminishing capacity and increasing responsibility. We usually come to grips with our mortality in an experiential way in our late thirties to mid-forties, though some see it sooner and others manage to defer it for a few more years.) \n\n
  • (This is part of the point of the mid-life process, as we face the combination of diminishing capacity and increasing responsibility. We usually come to grips with our mortality in an experiential way in our late thirties to mid-forties, though some see it sooner and others manage to defer it for a few more years.) \n\n
  • As God’s children, our pain causes us to ask, to seek, and to knock (Matthew 7:7-8), and in His time, God responds by revealing more of Himself to us. This personal knowledge increases our faith and our capacity to trust His character and His promises. Only as we experientially realize that we cannot survive without God will we willingly submit to His purposes in the midst of affliction. A growing faith involves trusting God through the times we do not understand His purposes and His ways. \n\nTribulation plays a significant role in clarifying hope (see Romans 5:3-5), because it can force us to see the bigger picture. As we saw in the section on paradigm spirituality, we must cultivate an eternal perspective in this temporal arena in order to understand that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18). When we view our circumstances in light of God’s character instead of God’s character in light of our circumstances, we come to see that God is never indifferent to us, and that He uses suffering for our good so that we will be more fully united to Christ (Hebrews 12:10-11; 1 Peter 4:12-17). In addition, He comforts us in our afflictions (2 Corinthians 1:3-5) and reminds us that they will not endure forever (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). \n\n
  • As God’s children, our pain causes us to ask, to seek, and to knock (Matthew 7:7-8), and in His time, God responds by revealing more of Himself to us. This personal knowledge increases our faith and our capacity to trust His character and His promises. Only as we experientially realize that we cannot survive without God will we willingly submit to His purposes in the midst of affliction. A growing faith involves trusting God through the times we do not understand His purposes and His ways. \n\nTribulation plays a significant role in clarifying hope (see Romans 5:3-5), because it can force us to see the bigger picture. As we saw in the section on paradigm spirituality, we must cultivate an eternal perspective in this temporal arena in order to understand that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18). When we view our circumstances in light of God’s character instead of God’s character in light of our circumstances, we come to see that God is never indifferent to us, and that He uses suffering for our good so that we will be more fully united to Christ (Hebrews 12:10-11; 1 Peter 4:12-17). In addition, He comforts us in our afflictions (2 Corinthians 1:3-5) and reminds us that they will not endure forever (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). \n\n
  • As God’s children, our pain causes us to ask, to seek, and to knock (Matthew 7:7-8), and in His time, God responds by revealing more of Himself to us. This personal knowledge increases our faith and our capacity to trust His character and His promises. Only as we experientially realize that we cannot survive without God will we willingly submit to His purposes in the midst of affliction. A growing faith involves trusting God through the times we do not understand His purposes and His ways. \n\nTribulation plays a significant role in clarifying hope (see Romans 5:3-5), because it can force us to see the bigger picture. As we saw in the section on paradigm spirituality, we must cultivate an eternal perspective in this temporal arena in order to understand that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18). When we view our circumstances in light of God’s character instead of God’s character in light of our circumstances, we come to see that God is never indifferent to us, and that He uses suffering for our good so that we will be more fully united to Christ (Hebrews 12:10-11; 1 Peter 4:12-17). In addition, He comforts us in our afflictions (2 Corinthians 1:3-5) and reminds us that they will not endure forever (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). \n\n
  • As God’s children, our pain causes us to ask, to seek, and to knock (Matthew 7:7-8), and in His time, God responds by revealing more of Himself to us. This personal knowledge increases our faith and our capacity to trust His character and His promises. Only as we experientially realize that we cannot survive without God will we willingly submit to His purposes in the midst of affliction. A growing faith involves trusting God through the times we do not understand His purposes and His ways. \n\nTribulation plays a significant role in clarifying hope (see Romans 5:3-5), because it can force us to see the bigger picture. As we saw in the section on paradigm spirituality, we must cultivate an eternal perspective in this temporal arena in order to understand that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18). When we view our circumstances in light of God’s character instead of God’s character in light of our circumstances, we come to see that God is never indifferent to us, and that He uses suffering for our good so that we will be more fully united to Christ (Hebrews 12:10-11; 1 Peter 4:12-17). In addition, He comforts us in our afflictions (2 Corinthians 1:3-5) and reminds us that they will not endure forever (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). \n\n
  • As God’s children, our pain causes us to ask, to seek, and to knock (Matthew 7:7-8), and in His time, God responds by revealing more of Himself to us. This personal knowledge increases our faith and our capacity to trust His character and His promises. Only as we experientially realize that we cannot survive without God will we willingly submit to His purposes in the midst of affliction. A growing faith involves trusting God through the times we do not understand His purposes and His ways. \n\nTribulation plays a significant role in clarifying hope (see Romans 5:3-5), because it can force us to see the bigger picture. As we saw in the section on paradigm spirituality, we must cultivate an eternal perspective in this temporal arena in order to understand that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18). When we view our circumstances in light of God’s character instead of God’s character in light of our circumstances, we come to see that God is never indifferent to us, and that He uses suffering for our good so that we will be more fully united to Christ (Hebrews 12:10-11; 1 Peter 4:12-17). In addition, He comforts us in our afflictions (2 Corinthians 1:3-5) and reminds us that they will not endure forever (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). \n\n
  • As God’s children, our pain causes us to ask, to seek, and to knock (Matthew 7:7-8), and in His time, God responds by revealing more of Himself to us. This personal knowledge increases our faith and our capacity to trust His character and His promises. Only as we experientially realize that we cannot survive without God will we willingly submit to His purposes in the midst of affliction. A growing faith involves trusting God through the times we do not understand His purposes and His ways. \n\nTribulation plays a significant role in clarifying hope (see Romans 5:3-5), because it can force us to see the bigger picture. As we saw in the section on paradigm spirituality, we must cultivate an eternal perspective in this temporal arena in order to understand that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18). When we view our circumstances in light of God’s character instead of God’s character in light of our circumstances, we come to see that God is never indifferent to us, and that He uses suffering for our good so that we will be more fully united to Christ (Hebrews 12:10-11; 1 Peter 4:12-17). In addition, He comforts us in our afflictions (2 Corinthians 1:3-5) and reminds us that they will not endure forever (2 Corinthians 4:16-18). \n\n
  • \n
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  • Those who finish well maintain an ongoing learning posture through the seasons of their lives. \n
  • A smug, self-satisfied attitude causes people to plateau or decline on the learning curve, and this is inimical to spiritual vitality. \n
  • A smug, self-satisfied attitude causes people to plateau or decline on the learning curve, and this is inimical to spiritual vitality. \n
  • In our youth, we have a problem with foolishness and lack of focus; in our middle years, we struggle with double-mindedness and entanglement; when we reach our later years, our great challenge is teachability. Those who maintain a childlike sense of wonder, surprise, and awe do not succumb to rigidity and “hardening of the categories.” Such people who continue to grow in grace “will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still yield fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap and very green” (Psalm 92:13-14). \n\n
  • In our youth, we have a problem with foolishness and lack of focus; in our middle years, we struggle with double-mindedness and entanglement; when we reach our later years, our great challenge is teachability. Those who maintain a childlike sense of wonder, surprise, and awe do not succumb to rigidity and “hardening of the categories.” Such people who continue to grow in grace “will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still yield fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap and very green” (Psalm 92:13-14). \n\n
  • In our youth, we have a problem with foolishness and lack of focus; in our middle years, we struggle with double-mindedness and entanglement; when we reach our later years, our great challenge is teachability. Those who maintain a childlike sense of wonder, surprise, and awe do not succumb to rigidity and “hardening of the categories.” Such people who continue to grow in grace “will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still yield fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap and very green” (Psalm 92:13-14). \n\n
  • In our youth, we have a problem with foolishness and lack of focus; in our middle years, we struggle with double-mindedness and entanglement; when we reach our later years, our great challenge is teachability. Those who maintain a childlike sense of wonder, surprise, and awe do not succumb to rigidity and “hardening of the categories.” Such people who continue to grow in grace “will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still yield fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap and very green” (Psalm 92:13-14). \n\n
  • Humility and responsive obedience is the key to maintaining a teachable spirit. Humility is the disposition in which the soul realizes that all of life is about trust in God, and that “from Him and through Him and to Him are all things” (Romans 11:36). The mystery of the grace of God humbles us more than our sinfulness, because grace teaches us to be preoccupied with God, and not with ourselves. When we surrender to this grace and invite God to be our all in all, we displace the self through the enthronement of Christ. \n\nLike our Lord in the days of His flesh, we must learn obedience through the things which we suffer (Hebrews 5:7-8). As Thomas Merton put it in Spiritual Direction & Meditation, “We must be ready to cooperate not only with graces that console, but with graces that humiliate us. Not only with lights that exalt us, but with lights that blast our self-complacency.” \nObedience requires risk taking, because it is the application of biblical faith in that which is not seen, and that which is not yet (Hebrews 11:1). As we mature in Christ, we learn to live with ambiguity in this world by trusting God’s character and promises in spite of appearances to the contrary. \n\n
  • Humility and responsive obedience is the key to maintaining a teachable spirit. Humility is the disposition in which the soul realizes that all of life is about trust in God, and that “from Him and through Him and to Him are all things” (Romans 11:36). The mystery of the grace of God humbles us more than our sinfulness, because grace teaches us to be preoccupied with God, and not with ourselves. When we surrender to this grace and invite God to be our all in all, we displace the self through the enthronement of Christ. \n\nLike our Lord in the days of His flesh, we must learn obedience through the things which we suffer (Hebrews 5:7-8). As Thomas Merton put it in Spiritual Direction & Meditation, “We must be ready to cooperate not only with graces that console, but with graces that humiliate us. Not only with lights that exalt us, but with lights that blast our self-complacency.” \nObedience requires risk taking, because it is the application of biblical faith in that which is not seen, and that which is not yet (Hebrews 11:1). As we mature in Christ, we learn to live with ambiguity in this world by trusting God’s character and promises in spite of appearances to the contrary. \n\n
  • Humility and responsive obedience is the key to maintaining a teachable spirit. Humility is the disposition in which the soul realizes that all of life is about trust in God, and that “from Him and through Him and to Him are all things” (Romans 11:36). The mystery of the grace of God humbles us more than our sinfulness, because grace teaches us to be preoccupied with God, and not with ourselves. When we surrender to this grace and invite God to be our all in all, we displace the self through the enthronement of Christ. \n\nLike our Lord in the days of His flesh, we must learn obedience through the things which we suffer (Hebrews 5:7-8). As Thomas Merton put it in Spiritual Direction & Meditation, “We must be ready to cooperate not only with graces that console, but with graces that humiliate us. Not only with lights that exalt us, but with lights that blast our self-complacency.” \nObedience requires risk taking, because it is the application of biblical faith in that which is not seen, and that which is not yet (Hebrews 11:1). As we mature in Christ, we learn to live with ambiguity in this world by trusting God’s character and promises in spite of appearances to the contrary. \n\n
  • Humility and responsive obedience is the key to maintaining a teachable spirit. Humility is the disposition in which the soul realizes that all of life is about trust in God, and that “from Him and through Him and to Him are all things” (Romans 11:36). The mystery of the grace of God humbles us more than our sinfulness, because grace teaches us to be preoccupied with God, and not with ourselves. When we surrender to this grace and invite God to be our all in all, we displace the self through the enthronement of Christ. \n\nLike our Lord in the days of His flesh, we must learn obedience through the things which we suffer (Hebrews 5:7-8). As Thomas Merton put it in Spiritual Direction & Meditation, “We must be ready to cooperate not only with graces that console, but with graces that humiliate us. Not only with lights that exalt us, but with lights that blast our self-complacency.” \nObedience requires risk taking, because it is the application of biblical faith in that which is not seen, and that which is not yet (Hebrews 11:1). As we mature in Christ, we learn to live with ambiguity in this world by trusting God’s character and promises in spite of appearances to the contrary. \n\n
  • Humility and responsive obedience is the key to maintaining a teachable spirit. Humility is the disposition in which the soul realizes that all of life is about trust in God, and that “from Him and through Him and to Him are all things” (Romans 11:36). The mystery of the grace of God humbles us more than our sinfulness, because grace teaches us to be preoccupied with God, and not with ourselves. When we surrender to this grace and invite God to be our all in all, we displace the self through the enthronement of Christ. \n\nLike our Lord in the days of His flesh, we must learn obedience through the things which we suffer (Hebrews 5:7-8). As Thomas Merton put it in Spiritual Direction & Meditation, “We must be ready to cooperate not only with graces that console, but with graces that humiliate us. Not only with lights that exalt us, but with lights that blast our self-complacency.” \nObedience requires risk taking, because it is the application of biblical faith in that which is not seen, and that which is not yet (Hebrews 11:1). As we mature in Christ, we learn to live with ambiguity in this world by trusting God’s character and promises in spite of appearances to the contrary. \n\n
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  • Life without a transcendent source of purpose would be an exercise in futility. As Malcolm Muggeridge puts it,\nIt has never been possible for me to persuade myself that the universe could have been created, and we, homo sapiens, so-called, have, generation after generation, somehow made our appearance to sojourn briefly on our tiny earth, solely in order to mount the interminable soap opera, with the same characters and situations endlessly recurring, that we call history. It would be like building a great stadium for a display of tiddly-winks, or a vast opera house for a mouth-organ recital. There must, in other words, be another reason for our existence and that of the universe than just getting through the days of our life as best we may; some other destiny than merely using up such physical, intellectual and spiritual creativity as has been vouchsafed us.\n\n
  • Life without a transcendent source of purpose would be an exercise in futility. As Malcolm Muggeridge puts it,\n“It has never been possible for me to persuade myself that the universe could have been created, and we, homo sapiens, so-called, have, generation after generation, somehow made our appearance to sojourn briefly on our tiny earth, solely in order to mount the interminable soap opera, with the same characters and situations endlessly recurring, that we call history. It would be like building a great stadium for a display of tiddly-winks, or a vast opera house for a mouth-organ recital. There must, in other words, be another reason for our existence and that of the universe than just getting through the days of our life as best we may; some other destiny than merely using up such physical, intellectual and spiritual creativity as has been vouchsafed us.”\n\n
  • Although we realize that we never arrive in this life, God has called each of us to a purposeful journey that involves risks along the way and is sustained by faithfulness and growing hope. This calling or vocation transcends our occupations and endures beyond the end of our careers. As we seek the Lord’s guidance in developing a personal vision and clarity of mission, we move beyond the level of tasks and accomplishments to the level of the purpose for which we “live and move and exist” (Acts 17:28). We are first called to a Person, and then we are called to express this defining relationship in the things we undertake, realizing that the final outcome of our lives is in the hands of God. We have a sense of destiny, but our ignorance of the invisible geography of the new creation means that we must trust God for what He is calling us to become. \n
  • Although we realize that we never arrive in this life, God has called each of us to a purposeful journey that involves risks along the way and is sustained by faithfulness and growing hope. This calling or vocation transcends our occupations and endures beyond the end of our careers. As we seek the Lord’s guidance in developing a personal vision and clarity of mission, we move beyond the level of tasks and accomplishments to the level of the purpose for which we “live and move and exist” (Acts 17:28). We are first called to a Person, and then we are called to express this defining relationship in the things we undertake, realizing that the final outcome of our lives is in the hands of God. We have a sense of destiny, but our ignorance of the invisible geography of the new creation means that we must trust God for what He is calling us to become. \n
  • Although we realize that we never arrive in this life, God has called each of us to a purposeful journey that involves risks along the way and is sustained by faithfulness and growing hope. This calling or vocation transcends our occupations and endures beyond the end of our careers. As we seek the Lord’s guidance in developing a personal vision and clarity of mission, we move beyond the level of tasks and accomplishments to the level of the purpose for which we “live and move and exist” (Acts 17:28). We are first called to a Person, and then we are called to express this defining relationship in the things we undertake, realizing that the final outcome of our lives is in the hands of God. We have a sense of destiny, but our ignorance of the invisible geography of the new creation means that we must trust God for what He is calling us to become. \n
  • Although we realize that we never arrive in this life, God has called each of us to a purposeful journey that involves risks along the way and is sustained by faithfulness and growing hope. This calling or vocation transcends our occupations and endures beyond the end of our careers. As we seek the Lord’s guidance in developing a personal vision and clarity of mission, we move beyond the level of tasks and accomplishments to the level of the purpose for which we “live and move and exist” (Acts 17:28). We are first called to a Person, and then we are called to express this defining relationship in the things we undertake, realizing that the final outcome of our lives is in the hands of God. We have a sense of destiny, but our ignorance of the invisible geography of the new creation means that we must trust God for what He is calling us to become. \n
  • There is always a chasm between our aspirations and our accomplishments, between our capacities and our contributions. This discrepancy turns from an occasion for despair to an opportunity for hope when we see it as our nostalgia for our true home. This hope is the realization that our purpose is not measurable and that our earthly calling is but the preface to the endless creative activity and community of heaven.\n\n
  • There is always a chasm between our aspirations and our accomplishments, between our capacities and our contributions. This discrepancy turns from an occasion for despair to an opportunity for hope when we see it as our nostalgia for our true home. This hope is the realization that our purpose is not measurable and that our earthly calling is but the preface to the endless creative activity and community of heaven.\n\n
  • There is always a chasm between our aspirations and our accomplishments, between our capacities and our contributions. This discrepancy turns from an occasion for despair to an opportunity for hope when we see it as our nostalgia for our true home. This hope is the realization that our purpose is not measurable and that our earthly calling is but the preface to the endless creative activity and community of heaven.\n\n
  • There is always a chasm between our aspirations and our accomplishments, between our capacities and our contributions. This discrepancy turns from an occasion for despair to an opportunity for hope when we see it as our nostalgia for our true home. This hope is the realization that our purpose is not measurable and that our earthly calling is but the preface to the endless creative activity and community of heaven.\n\n
  • There is always a chasm between our aspirations and our accomplishments, between our capacities and our contributions. This discrepancy turns from an occasion for despair to an opportunity for hope when we see it as our nostalgia for our true home. This hope is the realization that our purpose is not measurable and that our earthly calling is but the preface to the endless creative activity and community of heaven.\n\n
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  • In the section on corporate spirituality, we looked at the spectrum of supportive soul-care relationships that moves from spiritual friendship to spiritual guidance to spiritual mentoring to spiritual direction. We also considered the important dimensions of servant leadership as well as personal and group accountability. \n\nSpiritual Friendship: This is the most natural and spontaneous form of personal soul care, and it involves the give-and-take of unstructured interaction and caring between friends who walk together in peace and trust. \n\nSpiritual Guidance: involves informal interaction between people who may differ in spiritual maturity though not necessarily in spiritual authority. Guidance can take place through correspondence, through recommended reading, and through offering spiritual counsel as necessary. People who serve others as spiritual guides are able to provide help and healing through words of encouragement, exhortation, and advice.\n\nSpiritual Mentoring: This more formal and structured dimension of soul care entails the ministry of shepherding by people who use their spiritual knowledge and experience to equip others. Mentors are often disciplers who expose, equip, encourage, and exhort others in their walk with Christ. Many of them teach and train responsive people with the intention of bringing them to the point of doing the same with others. Mentors take pleasure in seeing potential in others and enjoy the process of equipping them to attain it.\n\nSpiritual Direction: this form of pastoral care that focuses on the cultivation of prayer, discernment, and practical implementation of spiritual truth. \nIn the early centuries of the church, spiritual direction was associated with desert monasticism and continued to develop within monastic contexts as a means of providing intensive personal guidance. As “physicians of the soul” who help people understand the workings of God in their lives, spiritual directors must be people of wisdom, depth, skill, and prayer. To be effective in this form of soul care, they must be marked by a combination of knowledge (Scripture, spiritual classics and spiritual theology, psychology, the nature and machinations of the psyche), discernment (the ability to perceive the nature of souls, sensitivity to the difference between the work of the Spirit and the work of the flesh and/or false spirits), and character (vitality in faith and prayer, holiness of life, humility and brokenness through personal suffering, loving concern, openness to the ministry of the Spirit). \n
  • In the section on corporate spirituality, we looked at the spectrum of supportive soul-care relationships that moves from spiritual friendship to spiritual guidance to spiritual mentoring to spiritual direction. We also considered the important dimensions of servant leadership as well as personal and group accountability. \n\nSpiritual Friendship: This is the most natural and spontaneous form of personal soul care, and it involves the give-and-take of unstructured interaction and caring between friends who walk together in peace and trust. \n\nSpiritual Guidance: involves informal interaction between people who may differ in spiritual maturity though not necessarily in spiritual authority. Guidance can take place through correspondence, through recommended reading, and through offering spiritual counsel as necessary. People who serve others as spiritual guides are able to provide help and healing through words of encouragement, exhortation, and advice.\n\nSpiritual Mentoring: This more formal and structured dimension of soul care entails the ministry of shepherding by people who use their spiritual knowledge and experience to equip others. Mentors are often disciplers who expose, equip, encourage, and exhort others in their walk with Christ. Many of them teach and train responsive people with the intention of bringing them to the point of doing the same with others. Mentors take pleasure in seeing potential in others and enjoy the process of equipping them to attain it.\n\nSpiritual Direction: this form of pastoral care that focuses on the cultivation of prayer, discernment, and practical implementation of spiritual truth. \nIn the early centuries of the church, spiritual direction was associated with desert monasticism and continued to develop within monastic contexts as a means of providing intensive personal guidance. As “physicians of the soul” who help people understand the workings of God in their lives, spiritual directors must be people of wisdom, depth, skill, and prayer. To be effective in this form of soul care, they must be marked by a combination of knowledge (Scripture, spiritual classics and spiritual theology, psychology, the nature and machinations of the psyche), discernment (the ability to perceive the nature of souls, sensitivity to the difference between the work of the Spirit and the work of the flesh and/or false spirits), and character (vitality in faith and prayer, holiness of life, humility and brokenness through personal suffering, loving concern, openness to the ministry of the Spirit). \n
  • In the section on corporate spirituality, we looked at the spectrum of supportive soul-care relationships that moves from spiritual friendship to spiritual guidance to spiritual mentoring to spiritual direction. We also considered the important dimensions of servant leadership as well as personal and group accountability. \n\nSpiritual Friendship: This is the most natural and spontaneous form of personal soul care, and it involves the give-and-take of unstructured interaction and caring between friends who walk together in peace and trust. \n\nSpiritual Guidance: involves informal interaction between people who may differ in spiritual maturity though not necessarily in spiritual authority. Guidance can take place through correspondence, through recommended reading, and through offering spiritual counsel as necessary. People who serve others as spiritual guides are able to provide help and healing through words of encouragement, exhortation, and advice.\n\nSpiritual Mentoring: This more formal and structured dimension of soul care entails the ministry of shepherding by people who use their spiritual knowledge and experience to equip others. Mentors are often disciplers who expose, equip, encourage, and exhort others in their walk with Christ. Many of them teach and train responsive people with the intention of bringing them to the point of doing the same with others. Mentors take pleasure in seeing potential in others and enjoy the process of equipping them to attain it.\n\nSpiritual Direction: this form of pastoral care that focuses on the cultivation of prayer, discernment, and practical implementation of spiritual truth. \nIn the early centuries of the church, spiritual direction was associated with desert monasticism and continued to develop within monastic contexts as a means of providing intensive personal guidance. As “physicians of the soul” who help people understand the workings of God in their lives, spiritual directors must be people of wisdom, depth, skill, and prayer. To be effective in this form of soul care, they must be marked by a combination of knowledge (Scripture, spiritual classics and spiritual theology, psychology, the nature and machinations of the psyche), discernment (the ability to perceive the nature of souls, sensitivity to the difference between the work of the Spirit and the work of the flesh and/or false spirits), and character (vitality in faith and prayer, holiness of life, humility and brokenness through personal suffering, loving concern, openness to the ministry of the Spirit). \n
  • In the section on corporate spirituality, we looked at the spectrum of supportive soul-care relationships that moves from spiritual friendship to spiritual guidance to spiritual mentoring to spiritual direction. We also considered the important dimensions of servant leadership as well as personal and group accountability. \n\nSpiritual Friendship: This is the most natural and spontaneous form of personal soul care, and it involves the give-and-take of unstructured interaction and caring between friends who walk together in peace and trust. \n\nSpiritual Guidance: involves informal interaction between people who may differ in spiritual maturity though not necessarily in spiritual authority. Guidance can take place through correspondence, through recommended reading, and through offering spiritual counsel as necessary. People who serve others as spiritual guides are able to provide help and healing through words of encouragement, exhortation, and advice.\n\nSpiritual Mentoring: This more formal and structured dimension of soul care entails the ministry of shepherding by people who use their spiritual knowledge and experience to equip others. Mentors are often disciplers who expose, equip, encourage, and exhort others in their walk with Christ. Many of them teach and train responsive people with the intention of bringing them to the point of doing the same with others. Mentors take pleasure in seeing potential in others and enjoy the process of equipping them to attain it.\n\nSpiritual Direction: this form of pastoral care that focuses on the cultivation of prayer, discernment, and practical implementation of spiritual truth. \nIn the early centuries of the church, spiritual direction was associated with desert monasticism and continued to develop within monastic contexts as a means of providing intensive personal guidance. As “physicians of the soul” who help people understand the workings of God in their lives, spiritual directors must be people of wisdom, depth, skill, and prayer. To be effective in this form of soul care, they must be marked by a combination of knowledge (Scripture, spiritual classics and spiritual theology, psychology, the nature and machinations of the psyche), discernment (the ability to perceive the nature of souls, sensitivity to the difference between the work of the Spirit and the work of the flesh and/or false spirits), and character (vitality in faith and prayer, holiness of life, humility and brokenness through personal suffering, loving concern, openness to the ministry of the Spirit). \n
  • In the section on corporate spirituality, we looked at the spectrum of supportive soul-care relationships that moves from spiritual friendship to spiritual guidance to spiritual mentoring to spiritual direction. We also considered the important dimensions of servant leadership as well as personal and group accountability. \n\nSpiritual Friendship: This is the most natural and spontaneous form of personal soul care, and it involves the give-and-take of unstructured interaction and caring between friends who walk together in peace and trust. \n\nSpiritual Guidance: involves informal interaction between people who may differ in spiritual maturity though not necessarily in spiritual authority. Guidance can take place through correspondence, through recommended reading, and through offering spiritual counsel as necessary. People who serve others as spiritual guides are able to provide help and healing through words of encouragement, exhortation, and advice.\n\nSpiritual Mentoring: This more formal and structured dimension of soul care entails the ministry of shepherding by people who use their spiritual knowledge and experience to equip others. Mentors are often disciplers who expose, equip, encourage, and exhort others in their walk with Christ. Many of them teach and train responsive people with the intention of bringing them to the point of doing the same with others. Mentors take pleasure in seeing potential in others and enjoy the process of equipping them to attain it.\n\nSpiritual Direction: this form of pastoral care that focuses on the cultivation of prayer, discernment, and practical implementation of spiritual truth. \nIn the early centuries of the church, spiritual direction was associated with desert monasticism and continued to develop within monastic contexts as a means of providing intensive personal guidance. As “physicians of the soul” who help people understand the workings of God in their lives, spiritual directors must be people of wisdom, depth, skill, and prayer. To be effective in this form of soul care, they must be marked by a combination of knowledge (Scripture, spiritual classics and spiritual theology, psychology, the nature and machinations of the psyche), discernment (the ability to perceive the nature of souls, sensitivity to the difference between the work of the Spirit and the work of the flesh and/or false spirits), and character (vitality in faith and prayer, holiness of life, humility and brokenness through personal suffering, loving concern, openness to the ministry of the Spirit). \n
  • In the section on corporate spirituality, we looked at the spectrum of supportive soul-care relationships that moves from spiritual friendship to spiritual guidance to spiritual mentoring to spiritual direction. We also considered the important dimensions of servant leadership as well as personal and group accountability. \n\nSpiritual Friendship: This is the most natural and spontaneous form of personal soul care, and it involves the give-and-take of unstructured interaction and caring between friends who walk together in peace and trust. \n\nSpiritual Guidance: involves informal interaction between people who may differ in spiritual maturity though not necessarily in spiritual authority. Guidance can take place through correspondence, through recommended reading, and through offering spiritual counsel as necessary. People who serve others as spiritual guides are able to provide help and healing through words of encouragement, exhortation, and advice.\n\nSpiritual Mentoring: This more formal and structured dimension of soul care entails the ministry of shepherding by people who use their spiritual knowledge and experience to equip others. Mentors are often disciplers who expose, equip, encourage, and exhort others in their walk with Christ. Many of them teach and train responsive people with the intention of bringing them to the point of doing the same with others. Mentors take pleasure in seeing potential in others and enjoy the process of equipping them to attain it.\n\nSpiritual Direction: this form of pastoral care that focuses on the cultivation of prayer, discernment, and practical implementation of spiritual truth. \nIn the early centuries of the church, spiritual direction was associated with desert monasticism and continued to develop within monastic contexts as a means of providing intensive personal guidance. As “physicians of the soul” who help people understand the workings of God in their lives, spiritual directors must be people of wisdom, depth, skill, and prayer. To be effective in this form of soul care, they must be marked by a combination of knowledge (Scripture, spiritual classics and spiritual theology, psychology, the nature and machinations of the psyche), discernment (the ability to perceive the nature of souls, sensitivity to the difference between the work of the Spirit and the work of the flesh and/or false spirits), and character (vitality in faith and prayer, holiness of life, humility and brokenness through personal suffering, loving concern, openness to the ministry of the Spirit). \n
  • In the section on corporate spirituality, we looked at the spectrum of supportive soul-care relationships that moves from spiritual friendship to spiritual guidance to spiritual mentoring to spiritual direction. We also considered the important dimensions of servant leadership as well as personal and group accountability. \n\nSpiritual Friendship: This is the most natural and spontaneous form of personal soul care, and it involves the give-and-take of unstructured interaction and caring between friends who walk together in peace and trust. \n\nSpiritual Guidance: involves informal interaction between people who may differ in spiritual maturity though not necessarily in spiritual authority. Guidance can take place through correspondence, through recommended reading, and through offering spiritual counsel as necessary. People who serve others as spiritual guides are able to provide help and healing through words of encouragement, exhortation, and advice.\n\nSpiritual Mentoring: This more formal and structured dimension of soul care entails the ministry of shepherding by people who use their spiritual knowledge and experience to equip others. Mentors are often disciplers who expose, equip, encourage, and exhort others in their walk with Christ. Many of them teach and train responsive people with the intention of bringing them to the point of doing the same with others. Mentors take pleasure in seeing potential in others and enjoy the process of equipping them to attain it.\n\nSpiritual Direction: this form of pastoral care that focuses on the cultivation of prayer, discernment, and practical implementation of spiritual truth. \nIn the early centuries of the church, spiritual direction was associated with desert monasticism and continued to develop within monastic contexts as a means of providing intensive personal guidance. As “physicians of the soul” who help people understand the workings of God in their lives, spiritual directors must be people of wisdom, depth, skill, and prayer. To be effective in this form of soul care, they must be marked by a combination of knowledge (Scripture, spiritual classics and spiritual theology, psychology, the nature and machinations of the psyche), discernment (the ability to perceive the nature of souls, sensitivity to the difference between the work of the Spirit and the work of the flesh and/or false spirits), and character (vitality in faith and prayer, holiness of life, humility and brokenness through personal suffering, loving concern, openness to the ministry of the Spirit). \n
  • In the section on corporate spirituality, we looked at the spectrum of supportive soul-care relationships that moves from spiritual friendship to spiritual guidance to spiritual mentoring to spiritual direction. We also considered the important dimensions of servant leadership as well as personal and group accountability. \n\nSpiritual Friendship: This is the most natural and spontaneous form of personal soul care, and it involves the give-and-take of unstructured interaction and caring between friends who walk together in peace and trust. \n\nSpiritual Guidance: involves informal interaction between people who may differ in spiritual maturity though not necessarily in spiritual authority. Guidance can take place through correspondence, through recommended reading, and through offering spiritual counsel as necessary. People who serve others as spiritual guides are able to provide help and healing through words of encouragement, exhortation, and advice.\n\nSpiritual Mentoring: This more formal and structured dimension of soul care entails the ministry of shepherding by people who use their spiritual knowledge and experience to equip others. Mentors are often disciplers who expose, equip, encourage, and exhort others in their walk with Christ. Many of them teach and train responsive people with the intention of bringing them to the point of doing the same with others. Mentors take pleasure in seeing potential in others and enjoy the process of equipping them to attain it.\n\nSpiritual Direction: this form of pastoral care that focuses on the cultivation of prayer, discernment, and practical implementation of spiritual truth. \nIn the early centuries of the church, spiritual direction was associated with desert monasticism and continued to develop within monastic contexts as a means of providing intensive personal guidance. As “physicians of the soul” who help people understand the workings of God in their lives, spiritual directors must be people of wisdom, depth, skill, and prayer. To be effective in this form of soul care, they must be marked by a combination of knowledge (Scripture, spiritual classics and spiritual theology, psychology, the nature and machinations of the psyche), discernment (the ability to perceive the nature of souls, sensitivity to the difference between the work of the Spirit and the work of the flesh and/or false spirits), and character (vitality in faith and prayer, holiness of life, humility and brokenness through personal suffering, loving concern, openness to the ministry of the Spirit). \n
  • Each of these relationships is a valuable resource that can encourage, equip, and exhort us to stay on the course we have been called to run. People who finish well do not do so without the caring support of other growing members of the body of Christ. \n
  • Each of these relationships is a valuable resource that can encourage, equip, and exhort us to stay on the course we have been called to run. People who finish well do not do so without the caring support of other growing members of the body of Christ. \n
  • Each of these relationships is a valuable resource that can encourage, equip, and exhort us to stay on the course we have been called to run. People who finish well do not do so without the caring support of other growing members of the body of Christ. \n
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  • We saw in the exchanged life spirituality section that Jesus Christ gave His life for us (salvation), so that He could give His life to us (sanctification), so that He could live His life through us (service). Spirit-filled spirituality stressed the importance of discovering and developing the spiritual gifts we have received and of exercising them in the power of the Spirit for the edification of others. \n
  • We saw in the exchanged life spirituality section that Jesus Christ gave His life for us (salvation), so that He could give His life to us (sanctification), so that He could live His life through us (service). Spirit-filled spirituality stressed the importance of discovering and developing the spiritual gifts we have received and of exercising them in the power of the Spirit for the edification of others. \n
  • We saw in the exchanged life spirituality section that Jesus Christ gave His life for us (salvation), so that He could give His life to us (sanctification), so that He could live His life through us (service). Spirit-filled spirituality stressed the importance of discovering and developing the spiritual gifts we have received and of exercising them in the power of the Spirit for the edification of others. \n
  • It is obvious that when we reverse these seven characteristics of people who finish well, we arrive at a corresponding list of barriers to running the course. Instead of doing this, let me observe that a failure to sustain the first characteristic (intimacy with Christ) is the key obstruction to progress in the other six. Indeed, the others contribute to our intimacy with Christ, but regression in our relationship with Jesus will soon erode fidelity in the others. The real question then is, “What causes us drift away from abiding in Jesus?” \n
  • ... The real question then is, “What causes us drift away from abiding in Jesus?”\n\nThe more visible sins of moral or ethical compromise and failure are generally the byproducts of inner spiritual disintegration—the loss of the clear eye (Matthew 6:22-23) and the pure heart (Matthew 5:8; 1 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 2:22). Declining passion for Christ eventually subverts calling and character.\n\n
  • ... The real question then is, “What causes us drift away from abiding in Jesus?”\n\nThe more visible sins of moral or ethical compromise and failure are generally the byproducts of inner spiritual disintegration—the loss of the clear eye (Matthew 6:22-23) and the pure heart (Matthew 5:8; 1 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 2:22). Declining passion for Christ eventually subverts calling and character.\n\n
  • ... The real question then is, “What causes us drift away from abiding in Jesus?”\n\nThe more visible sins of moral or ethical compromise and failure are generally the byproducts of inner spiritual disintegration—the loss of the clear eye (Matthew 6:22-23) and the pure heart (Matthew 5:8; 1 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 2:22). Declining passion for Christ eventually subverts calling and character.\n\n
  • ... The real question then is, “What causes us drift away from abiding in Jesus?”\n\nThe more visible sins of moral or ethical compromise and failure are generally the byproducts of inner spiritual disintegration—the loss of the clear eye (Matthew 6:22-23) and the pure heart (Matthew 5:8; 1 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 2:22). Declining passion for Christ eventually subverts calling and character.\n\n
  • ... The real question then is, “What causes us drift away from abiding in Jesus?”\n\nThe more visible sins of moral or ethical compromise and failure are generally the byproducts of inner spiritual disintegration—the loss of the clear eye (Matthew 6:22-23) and the pure heart (Matthew 5:8; 1 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 2:22). Declining passion for Christ eventually subverts calling and character.\n\n
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  • “What causes us drift away from abiding in Jesus?” In some way or another, the spiritual sin of pride and autonomy usually heads the list. This can take many forms, such as ego-driven ambition (often inspired by insecurity), unwillingness to learn from others, comparison and envy, refusal to submit to authority, strategies designed to avoid pain and vulnerability, and bitterness with God for allowing personal affliction and loss. \n\n
  • “What causes us drift away from abiding in Jesus?” In some way or another, the spiritual sin of pride and autonomy usually heads the list. This can take many forms, such as ego-driven ambition (often inspired by insecurity), unwillingness to learn from others, comparison and envy, refusal to submit to authority, strategies designed to avoid pain and vulnerability, and bitterness with God for allowing personal affliction and loss. \n\n
  • “What causes us drift away from abiding in Jesus?” In some way or another, the spiritual sin of pride and autonomy usually heads the list. This can take many forms, such as ego-driven ambition (often inspired by insecurity), unwillingness to learn from others, comparison and envy, refusal to submit to authority, strategies designed to avoid pain and vulnerability, and bitterness with God for allowing personal affliction and loss. \n\n
  • “What causes us drift away from abiding in Jesus?” In some way or another, the spiritual sin of pride and autonomy usually heads the list. This can take many forms, such as ego-driven ambition (often inspired by insecurity), unwillingness to learn from others, comparison and envy, refusal to submit to authority, strategies designed to avoid pain and vulnerability, and bitterness with God for allowing personal affliction and loss. \n\n
  • “What causes us drift away from abiding in Jesus?” In some way or another, the spiritual sin of pride and autonomy usually heads the list. This can take many forms, such as ego-driven ambition (often inspired by insecurity), unwillingness to learn from others, comparison and envy, refusal to submit to authority, strategies designed to avoid pain and vulnerability, and bitterness with God for allowing personal affliction and loss. \n\n
  • “What causes us drift away from abiding in Jesus?” In some way or another, the spiritual sin of pride and autonomy usually heads the list. This can take many forms, such as ego-driven ambition (often inspired by insecurity), unwillingness to learn from others, comparison and envy, refusal to submit to authority, strategies designed to avoid pain and vulnerability, and bitterness with God for allowing personal affliction and loss. \n\n
  • “What causes us drift away from abiding in Jesus?” In some way or another, the spiritual sin of pride and autonomy usually heads the list. This can take many forms, such as ego-driven ambition (often inspired by insecurity), unwillingness to learn from others, comparison and envy, refusal to submit to authority, strategies designed to avoid pain and vulnerability, and bitterness with God for allowing personal affliction and loss. \n\n
  • “What causes us drift away from abiding in Jesus?” In some way or another, the spiritual sin of pride and autonomy usually heads the list. This can take many forms, such as ego-driven ambition (often inspired by insecurity), unwillingness to learn from others, comparison and envy, refusal to submit to authority, strategies designed to avoid pain and vulnerability, and bitterness with God for allowing personal affliction and loss. \n\n
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  • The first two concern our vertical relationship with God (being), the next three concern our personal thinking and orientation (knowing), and the last two concern our horizontal relationships with others (doing).\n
  • The first two concern our vertical relationship with God (being), the next three concern our personal thinking and orientation (knowing), and the last two concern our horizontal relationships with others (doing).\n
  • The first two concern our vertical relationship with God (being), the next three concern our personal thinking and orientation (knowing), and the last two concern our horizontal relationships with others (doing).\n
  • The first two concern our vertical relationship with God (being), the next three concern our personal thinking and orientation (knowing), and the last two concern our horizontal relationships with others (doing).\n
  • The first two concern our vertical relationship with God (being), the next three concern our personal thinking and orientation (knowing), and the last two concern our horizontal relationships with others (doing).\n
  • The first two concern our vertical relationship with God (being), the next three concern our personal thinking and orientation (knowing), and the last two concern our horizontal relationships with others (doing).\n
  • The first two concern our vertical relationship with God (being), the next three concern our personal thinking and orientation (knowing), and the last two concern our horizontal relationships with others (doing).\n
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Transcript

  • 1. Living Well& Finishing Well Dr. Ken Boa and Bill Ibsen © Dr. Kenneth Boa & Bill Ibsen 2008.  All Rights Reserved.
  • 2. “They put your name on a star on Hollywood Boulevard and you find a pile of dog manure on it.
  • 3. “They put your name on a star on Hollywood Boulevard and you find a pile of dog manure on it. That’s the whole story, baby” -Actor Lee Marvin (1924-1987)
  • 4. “They put your name on a star on Hollywood Boulevard and you find a pile of dog manure on it. That’s the whole story, baby” -Actor Lee Marvin (1924-1987) Non-enduring and unsatisfying:
  • 5. “They put your name on a star on Hollywood Boulevard and you find a pile of dog manure on it. That’s the whole story, baby” -Actor Lee Marvin (1924-1987) Non-enduring and unsatisfying: Fame
  • 6. “They put your name on a star on Hollywood Boulevard and you find a pile of dog manure on it. That’s the whole story, baby” -Actor Lee Marvin (1924-1987) Non-enduring and unsatisfying: Fame Position
  • 7. “They put your name on a star on Hollywood Boulevard and you find a pile of dog manure on it. That’s the whole story, baby” -Actor Lee Marvin (1924-1987) Non-enduring and unsatisfying: Fame Position Power
  • 8. “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of
  • 9. “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.” - Jim Carrey
  • 10. The world’s purest gold is only dung without Christ.But with Christ, the basest metal is transformed intothe purest gold. The hopes of alchemy can come true,but on a spiritual level, not a chemical one.
  • 11. The world’s purest gold is only dung without Christ.But with Christ, the basest metal is transformed intothe purest gold. The hopes of alchemy can come true,but on a spiritual level, not a chemical one.
  • 12. The world’s purest gold is only dung without Christ.But with Christ, the basest metal is transformed intothe purest gold. The hopes of alchemy can come true,but on a spiritual level, not a chemical one.There is a “philosophers stone” that transmutes all thingsinto gold. Its name is Christ.
  • 13. The world’s purest gold is only dung without Christ.But with Christ, the basest metal is transformed intothe purest gold. The hopes of alchemy can come true,but on a spiritual level, not a chemical one.There is a “philosophers stone” that transmutes all thingsinto gold. Its name is Christ.
  • 14. The world’s purest gold is only dung without Christ.But with Christ, the basest metal is transformed intothe purest gold. The hopes of alchemy can come true,but on a spiritual level, not a chemical one.There is a “philosophers stone” that transmutes all thingsinto gold. Its name is Christ.With him, poverty is riches, weakness is power,suffering is joy, to be despised is glory.
  • 15. The world’s purest gold is only dung without Christ.But with Christ, the basest metal is transformed intothe purest gold. The hopes of alchemy can come true,but on a spiritual level, not a chemical one.There is a “philosophers stone” that transmutes all thingsinto gold. Its name is Christ.With him, poverty is riches, weakness is power,suffering is joy, to be despised is glory.
  • 16. The world’s purest gold is only dung without Christ.But with Christ, the basest metal is transformed intothe purest gold. The hopes of alchemy can come true,but on a spiritual level, not a chemical one.There is a “philosophers stone” that transmutes all thingsinto gold. Its name is Christ.With him, poverty is riches, weakness is power,suffering is joy, to be despised is glory.Without him, riches are poverty, power is impotence,happiness is misery, glory is despised.- Peter Kreeft, Three Philosophies of Life
  • 17. Finishing Well“I have fought the good fight,I have finished the course,I have kept the faith”2 Timothy 4:7
  • 18. Many Begin Well, But Finish Poorly
  • 19. Many Begin Well, But Finish Poorly Epidemic of believers who drop out of the race Sudden departure Gradual erosion
  • 20. 7 Keys to Finishing Well
  • 21. 7 Keys to Finishing Well1. Intimacy with Christ
  • 22. 7 Keys to Finishing Well1. Intimacy with Christ2. Fidelity in the spiritual disciplines
  • 23. 7 Keys to Finishing Well1. Intimacy with Christ2. Fidelity in the spiritual disciplines3. A biblical perspective on the circumstances of life
  • 24. 7 Keys to Finishing Well
  • 25. 7 Keys to Finishing Well4. A teachable, responsive humble and obedient spirit
  • 26. 7 Keys to Finishing Well4. A teachable, responsive humble and obedient spirit5. A clear sense of personal purpose and calling
  • 27. 7 Keys to Finishing Well
  • 28. 7 Keys to Finishing Well6. Healthy relationships with resourceful people
  • 29. 7 Keys to Finishing Well6. Healthy relationships with resourceful people7. Ongoing ministry investment in the lives of others
  • 30. Movement of the Keys
  • 31. Movement of the Keys Intimacy Inside Disciplines Perspective Teachability Purpose Relationships Ministry Outside
  • 32. Movement of the Keys Intimacy Inside Me Disciplines Perspective Teachability Purpose Relationships Ministry Outside Others
  • 33. KnowingLoving Self Correctly
  • 34. Knowing BeingLoving Self Correctly Loving God Completely
  • 35. Doing Loving Others Compassionately Knowing BeingLoving Self Correctly Loving God Completely
  • 36. Relationshipof the Keys Doing Loving Others Compassionately Knowing Being Loving Self Correctly Loving God Completely
  • 37. Relationshipof the Keys Doing Loving Others Compassionately Knowing Being Loving Self Correctly Loving God Completely * Intimacy
  • 38. Relationshipof the Keys Doing Loving Others Compassionately Knowing Being Loving Self Correctly Loving God Completely * Intimacy * Disciplines
  • 39. Relationshipof the Keys Doing Loving Others Compassionately Knowing Being Loving Self Correctly Loving God Completely * Perspective * Intimacy * Disciplines
  • 40. Relationshipof the Keys Doing Loving Others Compassionately Knowing Being Loving Self Correctly Loving God Completely * Perspective * Intimacy * Teachability * Disciplines
  • 41. Relationshipof the Keys Doing Loving Others Compassionately Knowing Being Loving Self Correctly Loving God Completely * Perspective * Intimacy * Teachability * Disciplines * Purpose
  • 42. Relationshipof the Keys Doing Loving Others Compassionately * Relationships Knowing Being Loving Self Correctly Loving God Completely * Perspective * Intimacy * Teachability * Disciplines * Purpose
  • 43. Relationshipof the Keys Doing Loving Others Compassionately * Relationships * Ministry Knowing Being Loving Self Correctly Loving God Completely * Perspective * Intimacy * Teachability * Disciplines * Purpose
  • 44. 1. Intimacy with Christ Doing Knowing
  • 45. 1. Intimacy with Christ Doing Knowing Being
  • 46. Intimacy with Christ
  • 47. Intimacy with Christ“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2
  • 48. Intimacy with Christ“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2 Focus on Jesus, not on circumstances or on other runners
  • 49. Intimacy with Christ
  • 50. Intimacy with Christ My love of Jesus must make other relationships seem like hatred, relatively speaking
  • 51. Intimacy with Christ My love of Jesus must make other relationships seem like hatred, relatively speaking s not d doe d e, an er an s to M moth s e y Ver Ke one come er and rs an d “ If any own fath nd brothe life, ha te his children a n his own and , and eve le.” wife , yes discip sisters ot be My cann he 14:26 Luke
  • 52. Intimacy with Christ My love of Jesus must make other relationships seem like hatred, relatively speaking
  • 53. Intimacy with Christ
  • 54. Intimacy with Christ Does my desire to know Christ exceed allother aspirations?
  • 55. Intimacy with Christ Does my desire to know Christ exceed allother aspirations? Persons
  • 56. Intimacy with Christ Does my desire to know Christ exceed allother aspirations? Persons Possessions
  • 57. Intimacy with Christ Does my desire to know Christ exceed allother aspirations? Persons Possessions Positions
  • 58. Intimacy with Christ Does my desire to know Christ exceed all other aspirations? Persons Possessions PositionsWe tend to sell ourselvescheaply for the emptypromises of a fleeting world.
  • 59. Intimacy with Christ
  • 60. Intimacy with Christ Tip: Focus more on loving Jesus than on avoiding sin
  • 61. Intimacy with Christ VerseKey u se ek?” d o yo“ Wha:t 8 3 1 John Tip: Focus more on loving Jesus than on avoiding sin
  • 62. Intimacy with Christ Tip: Focus more on loving Jesus than on avoiding sin
  • 63. 2. Fidelity in the Spiritual Disciplines Doing Knowing Being
  • 64. Spiritual Disciplines
  • 65. Spiritual DisciplinesNot ends in themselves
  • 66. Spiritual DisciplinesNot ends in themselvesMeans to the end of intimacy
  • 67. Fidelity in the Spiritual Disciplines
  • 68. Fidelity in the Spiritual Disciplines Anything, left to itself tends to decline and decay
  • 69. Fidelity in the Spiritual Disciplines Anything, left to itself tends to decline and decay 2nd Law of thermodynamics
  • 70. Fidelity in the Spiritual Disciplines Anything, left to itself tends to decline and decay 2nd Law of thermodynamics Without an infusion of ordered energy, entropy increases
  • 71. Spiritual Disciplines
  • 72. Spiritual DisciplinesPrayer
  • 73. Spiritual DisciplinesPrayerJournaling
  • 74. Spiritual DisciplinesPrayerJournalingStudy
  • 75. Spiritual DisciplinesPrayerJournalingStudyMeditation
  • 76. Spiritual DisciplinesPrayerJournalingStudyMeditationFasting
  • 77. Spiritual DisciplinesPrayer SolitudeJournalingStudyMeditationFasting
  • 78. Spiritual DisciplinesPrayer SolitudeJournaling SilenceStudyMeditationFasting
  • 79. Spiritual DisciplinesPrayer SolitudeJournaling SilenceStudy ChastityMeditationFasting
  • 80. Spiritual DisciplinesPrayer SolitudeJournaling SilenceStudy ChastityMeditation SecrecyFasting
  • 81. Spiritual DisciplinesPrayer SolitudeJournaling SilenceStudy ChastityMeditation SecrecyFasting Confession
  • 82. Spiritual Disciplines
  • 83. Spiritual DisciplinesSubmission
  • 84. Spiritual DisciplinesSubmissionStewardship
  • 85. Spiritual DisciplinesSubmissionStewardshipSimplicity
  • 86. Spiritual DisciplinesSubmissionStewardshipSimplicityFellowship
  • 87. Spiritual DisciplinesSubmissionStewardshipSimplicityFellowshipGuidance
  • 88. Spiritual DisciplinesSubmission CelebrationStewardshipSimplicityFellowshipGuidance
  • 89. Spiritual DisciplinesSubmission CelebrationStewardship WorshipSimplicityFellowshipGuidance
  • 90. Spiritual DisciplinesSubmission CelebrationStewardship WorshipSimplicity SacrificeFellowshipGuidance
  • 91. Spiritual DisciplinesSubmission CelebrationStewardship WorshipSimplicity SacrificeFellowship ServiceGuidance
  • 92. Spiritual DisciplinesSubmission CelebrationStewardship WorshipSimplicity SacrificeFellowship ServiceGuidance Witness
  • 93. Time in the Word
  • 94. Time in the WordInextricably linked to our effectiveness inministry
  • 95. Time in the WordInextricably linked to our effectiveness inministry Cost is time and discipline, but the benefits far outweigh the expenditures
  • 96. Time in the WordInextricably linked to our effectiveness inministry Cost is time and discipline, but the benefits far outweigh the expenditures Shallowness yields superficiality
  • 97. Balance in the Disciplines
  • 98. Balance in the DisciplinesNo one consistently practices all of these disciplines
  • 99. Balance in the DisciplinesNo one consistently practices all of these disciplinesSome are less meaningful for some people
  • 100. Balance in the DisciplinesNo one consistently practices all of these disciplinesSome are less meaningful for some peopleFidelity will keep us on the path and renewed
  • 101. 3. A Biblical Perspective on Life’s Circumstance Doing Being
  • 102. 3. A Biblical Perspective on Life’s Circumstance Doing Being Knowing
  • 103. Driving Us to Dependence
  • 104. Driving Us to Dependence Without growingdesperation, we won’tfocus on God
  • 105. Driving Us to Dependence Without growingdesperation, we won’tfocus on God Loving use of trials andadversity
  • 106. Driving Us to DependenceAmount Age
  • 107. Driving Us to DependenceAmount Age
  • 108. Driving Us to DependenceAmount Age
  • 109. Driving Us to DependenceAmount Age
  • 110. Driving Us to Dependence CapacityAmount Age
  • 111. Driving Us to Dependence Capacity ResponsibilityAmount Age
  • 112. Trials and Tribulation
  • 113. Trials and Tribulation Pain causes us to ask, to seek, and to knock (Matthew 7:7-8)
  • 114. Trials and Tribulation Pain causes us to ask, to seek, and to knock (Matthew 7:7-8) Tribulation clarifies our hope (Romans 5:3-5)
  • 115. Trials and Tribulation Pain causes us to ask, to seek, and to knock (Matthew 7:7-8) Tribulation clarifies our hope (Romans 5:3-5) God comforts us in our afflictions (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)
  • 116. Trials and Tribulation Pain causes us to ask, to seek, and to knock (Matthew 7:7-8) Tribulation clarifies our hope (Romans 5:3-5) God comforts us in our afflictions (2 Corinthians 1:3-5) Trials are temporary (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
  • 117. Trials and Tribulation Pain causes us to ask, to seek, and to knock (Matthew 7:7-8) Tribulation clarifies our hope (Romans 5:3-5) God comforts us in our afflictions (2 Corinthians 1:3-5) Trials are temporary (2 Corinthians 4:16-18) View circumstances in light of God’s character instead of God’s character in light of our circumstances
  • 118. Growth through Pain
  • 119. Growth through Pain“Contrary to what might be expected, I look back on experiences that at the time seemed especially desolating and painful with particular satisfaction.
  • 120. Growth through Pain“Contrary to what might be expected, I look back on experiences that at the time seemed especially desolating and painful with particular satisfaction. Indeed, I can say with complete truthfulness that everything I have learned in my seventy-five years in this world,
  • 121. Growth through Pain“Contrary to what might be expected, I look back on experiences that at the time seemed especially desolating and painful with particular satisfaction. Indeed, I can say with complete truthfulness that everything I have learned in my seventy-five years in this world, everything that has truly enhanced and enlightened my existence, has been brought through affliction and not through happiness, whether pursued or attained.” Malcolm Muggeridge
  • 122. 4. A Teachable, Humble, and Obedient Spirit Doing Being
  • 123. 4. A Teachable, Humble, and Obedient Spirit Doing Being Knowing
  • 124. Are You Teachable?
  • 125. Are You Teachable? A smug, self-satisfied attitudecauses people toplateau or decline
  • 126. Are You Teachable? A smug, self-satisfied attitudecauses people toplateau or decline Drains spiritual vitality
  • 127. Hardening of the Categories
  • 128. Hardening of the CategoriesAge: The Struggle: Foolishness Lack of Focus Doublemindedness Entanglement Teachability
  • 129. Hardening of the CategoriesAge: The Struggle: Foolishness Lack of Focus Doublemindedness Entanglement Teachability
  • 130. Hardening of the CategoriesAge: The Struggle: Foolishness Lack of Focus Doublemindedness Entanglement Teachability
  • 131. Hardening of the CategoriesAge: The Struggle: Foolishness Lack of Focus Doublemindedness Entanglement Teachability
  • 132. Antidote toUnteachableness
  • 133. Antidote toUnteachablenessHumility and responsive obedience
  • 134. Antidote to UnteachablenessHumility and responsive obedience Like Jesus, we must learn obediencethrough the things which we suffer(Hebrews 5:7-8)
  • 135. Antidote to Unteachableness Humility and responsive obedience Like Jesus, we must learn obedience through the things which we suffer (Hebrewsmust be ready to cooperate 5:7-8) “We not only with graces that console, but with graces that humiliate us. Not only with lights that exalt us,but with lights that blast our self-complacency.” - Thomas Merton, Spiritual Direction
  • 136. Antidote to UnteachablenessHumility and responsive obedience Like Jesus, we must learn obediencethrough the things which we suffer(Hebrews 5:7-8)
  • 137. Antidote to UnteachablenessHumility and responsive obedience Like Jesus, we must learn obediencethrough the things which we suffer(Hebrews 5:7-8) Obedience requires risk-taking
  • 138. 5. A Clear Sense of Purpose and Calling Doing Being
  • 139. 5. A Clear Sense of Purpose and Calling Doing Being Knowing
  • 140. The Futility of Life without Transcendent Purpose
  • 141. The Futility of Life without Transcendent Purpose“It has never been possible for me to persuade myself that the universe could have been created, and we, homo sapiens, so-called, have, generation after generation, somehow made our appearance to sojourn briefly on our tiny earth, solely in order to mount the interminable soap opera, with the same characters and situations endlessly recurring, that we call history...
  • 142. The Futility of Life without Transcendent Purpose
  • 143. The Futility of Life without Transcendent Purpose “It would be like building a great stadium for a display of tiddly-winks, or a vast opera house for a mouth-organ recital. There must, in other words, be another reason for our existence and that of the universe than just getting through the days of our life as best we may;some other destiny than merely using up such physical, intellectual and spiritual creativity as has been vouchsafed us. - Malcolm Muggeridge
  • 144. Purpose and Calling
  • 145. Purpose and Calling God has called each of us to a purposeful,risk-filled journey
  • 146. Purpose and Calling God has called each of us to a purposeful,risk-filled journey Calling which transcends our occupationsand endures beyond our careers
  • 147. Purpose and Calling God has called each of us to a purposeful,risk-filled journey Calling which transcends our occupationsand endures beyond our careers Purpose beyond the level of tasks andaccomplishments
  • 148. Purpose and Calling God has called each of us to a purposeful,risk-filled journey Calling which transcends our occupationsand endures beyond our careers Purpose beyond the level of tasks andaccomplishmentsWe must trust God for what He is callingus to become.
  • 149. Occasion for Despair, orOpportunity for Hope?
  • 150. Occasion for Despair, orOpportunity for Hope?Aspirations
  • 151. Occasion for Despair, orOpportunity for Hope?Aspirations Accomplishments
  • 152. Occasion for Despair, orOpportunity for Hope?Aspirations Capacities Accomplishments
  • 153. Occasion for Despair, orOpportunity for Hope?Aspirations Capacities Accomplishments Contributions
  • 154. Occasion for Despair, or Opportunity for Hope? Aspirations Capacities rue home ot # r t .!" " n.. Accomplishments Contributions
  • 155. 6. Healthy Relationships with Resourceful Knowing Being
  • 156. 6. Healthy Relationships with Resourceful Doing Knowing Being
  • 157. Soul-Care Relationships
  • 158. Soul-Care Relationships Spiritual Friendship
  • 159. Soul-Care Relationships Spiritual Friendship Spiritual Guidance
  • 160. Soul-Care Relationships Informal Spiritual Friendship Unstructured Spiritual Guidance Reciprocal
  • 161. Soul-Care Relationships Informal Spiritual Friendship Unstructured Spiritual Guidance Reciprocal Spiritual Mentoring
  • 162. Soul-Care Relationships Informal Spiritual Friendship Unstructured Spiritual Guidance Reciprocal Spiritual Mentoring Spiritual Direction
  • 163. Soul-Care Relationships Informal Spiritual Friendship Unstructured Spiritual Guidance Reciprocal Formal Spiritual Mentoring Structured Spiritual Direction One-directional
  • 164. Soul-Care Relationships Informal Spiritual Friendship Unstructured Spiritual Guidance Reciprocal Formal Spiritual Mentoring Structured Spiritual Direction One-directional Accountability
  • 165. Soul-Care Relationships Informal Spiritual Friendship Unstructured Spiritual Guidance Reciprocal Formal Spiritual Mentoring Structured Spiritual Direction One-directional Accountability Servant Leadership
  • 166. Soul-Care Relationships
  • 167. Soul-Care Relationships Are valuable resources to encourage, equip, and exhort us to stay the course
  • 168. Soul-Care Relationships Are valuable resources to encourage, equip, and exhort us to stay the course Finishers do so with the help of the Body of Christ
  • 169. Soul-Care Relationships Are valuable resources to encourage, equip, and exhort us to stay the course Finishers do so with the help of the Body of Christ No lone wolves
  • 170. Soul-Care Relationship Benefits
  • 171. Soul-Care Relationship BenefitsIncrease our intimacy with Christ
  • 172. Soul-Care Relationship BenefitsIncrease our intimacy with ChristMaintain the needed disciplines
  • 173. Soul-Care Relationship BenefitsIncrease our intimacy with ChristMaintain the needed disciplinesClarify our long-term perspective
  • 174. Soul-Care Relationship BenefitsIncrease our intimacy with ChristMaintain the needed disciplinesClarify our long-term perspectiveSustain a teachable attitude
  • 175. Soul-Care Relationship BenefitsIncrease our intimacy with ChristMaintain the needed disciplinesClarify our long-term perspectiveSustain a teachable attitudeDevelop our purpose and calling
  • 176. 7. Ongoing Ministry Investment in the Lives of Others Knowing Being
  • 177. 7. Ongoing Ministry Investment in the Lives of Others Doing Knowing Being
  • 178. Ministry
  • 179. Christ gave His life for us (salvation)
  • 180. Christ gave His life for us (salvation) so that He could
  • 181. Christ gave His life for us (salvation) so that He could give His life to us (sanctification)
  • 182. Christ gave His life for us (salvation) so that He could give His life to us (sanctification) so that He could
  • 183. Christ gave His life for us (salvation) so that He could give His life to us (sanctification) so that He could live His life through us--as us (service)
  • 184. Spiritual Withering
  • 185. Spiritual Withering Those who squanderthe resources, gifts, experiences and hard-learned insights which God has given them
  • 186. Spiritual Withering Those who squanderthe resources, gifts, experiences and hard-learned insights which God has given them by no longer investing them in the lives of others soon wither and withdraw.
  • 187. Barriers to FinishingWell Doing Knowing Being
  • 188. Barriers to Finishing Well
  • 189. Barriers to Finishing Well By-products of inner spiritual disintegration:
  • 190. Barriers to Finishing Well By-products of inner spiritual disintegration: Loss of a clear eye (Matthew 6:22-23)
  • 191. Barriers to Finishing Well By-products of inner spiritual disintegration: Loss of a clear eye (Matthew 6:22-23) Loss of a pure heart (Matthew 5:8; 1 Timothy 1:5)
  • 192. Barriers to Finishing Well By-products of inner spiritual disintegration: Loss of a clear eye (Matthew 6:22-23) Loss of a pure heart (Matthew 5:8; 1 Timothy 1:5) Declining passion for Christ eventually subverts calling and character
  • 193. “The problem with Christianity is not thatit has been tried and found wanting,
  • 194. “The problem with Christianity is not thatit has been tried and found wanting, but that it has been found difficult, and left untried.” - G.K. Chesterton
  • 195. Barriers to Finishing Well
  • 196. Barriers to Finishing Well Lack of intimacy with Christ
  • 197. Barriers to Finishing Well Lack of intimacy with Christ Pride and autonomy
  • 198. Barriers to Finishing Well Lack of intimacy with Christ Pride and autonomy Ego-driven ambition
  • 199. Barriers to Finishing Well Lack of intimacy with Christ Pride and autonomy Ego-driven ambition Unteachability
  • 200. Barriers to Finishing Well
  • 201. Barriers to Finishing Well Unsubmissiveness
  • 202. Barriers to Finishing Well Unsubmissiveness Comparison and envy
  • 203. Barriers to Finishing Well Unsubmissiveness Comparison and envy Pain avoidance strategies
  • 204. Barriers to Finishing Well Unsubmissiveness Comparison and envy Pain avoidance strategies Bitterness toward God
  • 205. The Deterioration Process
  • 206. The Deterioration Process “No man suddenly becomes base.
  • 207. The Deterioration Process “No man suddenly becomes base.Very few things suddenly happen with regard to deterioration.
  • 208. The Deterioration Process “No man suddenly becomes base.Very few things suddenly happen with regard to deterioration. No church suddenly splits.
  • 209. The Deterioration Process “No man suddenly becomes base.Very few things suddenly happen with regard to deterioration. No church suddenly splits. No child suddenly becomes delinquent.
  • 210. The Deterioration Process “No man suddenly becomes base.Very few things suddenly happen with regard to deterioration. No church suddenly splits. No child suddenly becomes delinquent.No relationship suddenly ends.
  • 211. The Deterioration Process “No man suddenly becomes base.Very few things suddenly happen with regard to deterioration. No church suddenly splits. No child suddenly becomes delinquent.No relationship suddenly ends. No marriage suddenly dissolves.
  • 212. The Deterioration Process “No man suddenly becomes base.Very few things suddenly happen with regard to deterioration. No church suddenly splits. No child suddenly becomes delinquent.No relationship suddenly ends. No marriage suddenly dissolves. No building suddenly collapses.
  • 213. The Deterioration Process “No man suddenly becomes base.Very few things suddenly happen with regard to deterioration. No church suddenly splits. No child suddenly becomes delinquent.No relationship suddenly ends. No marriage suddenly dissolves. No building suddenly collapses. No tree suddenly falls.
  • 214. The Deterioration Process “No man suddenly becomes base.Very few things suddenly happen with regard to deterioration. No church suddenly splits. No child suddenly becomes delinquent.No relationship suddenly ends. No marriage suddenly dissolves. No building suddenly collapses. No tree suddenly falls. Its been a process of time.
  • 215. The Deterioration Process “No man suddenly becomes base.Very few things suddenly happen with regard to deterioration. No church suddenly splits. No child suddenly becomes delinquent.No relationship suddenly ends. No marriage suddenly dissolves. No building suddenly collapses. No tree suddenly falls. Its been a process of time. Degree by degree. Grain of sand by grain of sand. Compromise by compromise.” F.B. Meyer
  • 216. Relationshipof the Keys Doing Loving Others Compassionately Knowing Being Loving Self Correctly Loving God Completely
  • 217. Relationshipof the Keys Doing Loving Others Compassionately Knowing Being Loving Self Correctly Loving God Completely * Intimacy
  • 218. Relationshipof the Keys Doing Loving Others Compassionately Knowing Being Loving Self Correctly Loving God Completely * Intimacy * Disciplines
  • 219. Relationshipof the Keys Doing Loving Others Compassionately Knowing Being Loving Self Correctly Loving God Completely * Perspective * Intimacy * Disciplines
  • 220. Relationshipof the Keys Doing Loving Others Compassionately Knowing Being Loving Self Correctly Loving God Completely * Perspective * Intimacy * Teachability * Disciplines
  • 221. Relationshipof the Keys Doing Loving Others Compassionately Knowing Being Loving Self Correctly Loving God Completely * Perspective * Intimacy * Teachability * Disciplines * Purpose
  • 222. Relationshipof the Keys Doing Loving Others Compassionately * Relationships Knowing Being Loving Self Correctly Loving God Completely * Perspective * Intimacy * Teachability * Disciplines * Purpose
  • 223. Relationshipof the Keys Doing Loving Others Compassionately * Relationships * Ministry Knowing Being Loving Self Correctly Loving God Completely * Perspective * Intimacy * Teachability * Disciplines * Purpose
  • 224. The End
  • 225. Reflections Ministries Resources
  • 226. Reflections Ministries Resources Reflections - A free monthly teaching letter
  • 227. Reflections Ministries Resources Reflections - A free monthly teaching letter
  • 228. Reflections Ministries Resources Reflections - A free monthly teaching letter
  • 229. Reflections Ministries Resources Reflections - A free monthly teaching letter KenBoa.org website - Daily Growth email and free text and audio resources
  • 230. DVD Series
  • 231. DVD Series- Audio/visual presentations of crucial topics
  • 232. DVD Series- Audio/visual presentations of crucial topics- $20 each
  • 233. DVD Series- Audio/visual presentations of crucial topics- $20 each- Call 800-DRAW NEAR (800-372-9632)
  • 234. KENBOA.ORG KenBoa.org ken_boa Kenneth Boa