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Here s a Journal entry from Saturday, April 30, 2006: I remember as a young boy, in Smiths Falls, Ontario, watching another boy about my age climbing a tree next to a large field. Behind the tree, on the edge of a small bluff, stood a bagpiper playing a mournful dirge on his pipes, dressed in kilt and all, while the sun set. The scene is so beautiful and surreal, that it has an almost dream-like feel to it, but I know it really happened. As I was watching the boy climb the tree, I saw him slip and fall...

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God s work is accomplished most incisively through suffering (Athanasiadis, George Grant and the Theology of the Cross, p. 44). Here s another quote that I think is SO important in any kind of community, especially a Christian one: a direct connection is seen between suffering and the maintenance of religious integrity ( Humility , International Dictionary of the Bible). I believe this is true. I ve seen it over and over again: those who suffer are more likely the ones with true spiritual integrity. Those who live a life of denial and escape from suffering, usually couched in the...

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Read this quote, then what I have to say about it: The Christian knows that God s Word in Jesus Christ pronounces him guilty, even when he does not feel his guilt, and God s Word in Jesus Christ pronounces him not guilty and righteous, even when he does not feel that he is righteous at all (Bonhoeffer, Life Together, p. 22). This is what I wrote about that quote in my journal on Saturday, April 1, 2006: If what Bonhoeffer says is true, then these two truths cancel each other out. Do we have the courage to live in...

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I love this passage from Bono in Conversation with Michka Assayas: the children of Israel are wandering through the desert. They ve just been delivered from captivity by Moses, but they re straight back to worshipping the Golden Calf. It s business as usual, they have forgotten the God who delivered them. They keep getting warnings, and finally God just has enough and says to Moses: Get out of the way, I m gonna destroy my people. Then I m gonna start again. This experiment has just run out of gas, and this freedom thing is really not working out....

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"... people who are open spiritually are open to being manipulated more easily, are very vulnerable. The religious instinct is a very pure one in my opinion. But unless it's met with a lot of rigor, it's very hard to control" (Bono, in Bono in Conversation with Michka Assayas, p. 221). May I suggest what might be meant by "rigor"? In my case: critical self-awareness; critical search for the revelation of God (truth); and these two tested against how well I love others unconditionally. Am I free? Do I free others? Or am I manipulated and manipulate others?

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