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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Saturday, June 16 2001

Disciples

Author Jack Kerouac, one of the major voices speaking on nonsexual friendship in the contemporary world, says in one of his books that he was always following "Cody" (the fictional name given to his real-life friend Neal Cassady in several of his books), and that he would follow him anywhere. Such friendships, which I've experienced, too, could be called "discipleships," at least for as long as they last. In Kerouac's case, "Cody" abandoned him sick and broke in Mexico City after some years of Kerouac's following him, so the relationship was interrupted for a time, though they resumed close camaraderie before their untimely deaths.

Of course, the archetype of discipleship is the relationship between Jesus and The Twelve. Jesus had already created a stir as a teacher of a new way of life and a wonderworker in Galilee when he approached the core of the group at their workplaces and beckoned, "Follow me." They followed immediately and though not all of the 12 were always unfalteringly loyal, all but one of them continued following Him all the way till death (probably more than 60 years in the case of at least one of them, St. John, the "beloved disciple," who is believed to have lived to past 90).

William Golding's novel, The Lord of the Flies, is an attempt to delve into discipleship friendships of a more malign type, among boys marooned in a desert island, and the whole phenomenon of youth gangs is often described, and explained, as a discipleship structure. The same structures probably exist in mafia-type crime "families" that continue beyond the youthful years. Wolves and dogs are also said to find and follow an alpha leader when they form packs and travel together, though like human beings they're capable of living solitarily. The relationship between the master and his dog is also described as an alpha/follower relationship, with the human master being regarded by the dog as his pack leader.

Among churches there has been lots of study and effort expended in the past generation to learn and apply "the principles of discipleship," some concluding that those principles are keys to dynamic churchlife and both personal and corporate growth. But I wonder, based on my own experience as a disciple for some years in my youth, whether it's a matter of basic human instinct or principle, or (more likely, I think) a matter of charisma that is either found and "works," in any given circumstance, or not. All Christians are called to be disciples of Christ, but I suspect that there's a difference between the real discipler/disciple relationship and the teacher/student roles.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

The Top 40 Things You Will Never Hear A Southern Boy Say (collect 'em all!)

5. I don't have a favorite college team.
4. Be sure to bring my salad dressing on the side.
3. You All.
2. Those shorts ought to be a little longer, Darla.

And the Number One thing you'll never hear a Southern Good Ole Boy say, is:

1. No more for me. I'm drivin' tonight.

Sent by Mike Harrison

Four more to grow on

"United States citizens have been dumbed-down by years of collectivist drivel taught in schools. Forced into feeling rather than thinking, Americans are at a crossroads. We have become tolerant instead of judicious and fair; inclusive instead of discerning; filled with self-esteem instead of intelligence and wisdom." Diane Alden
"Demand excellence! From yourself! From others!" Michael Jordan
"The best audience is intelligent, well-educated, and a little drunk." Vice President Alben W. Barkley
"An education is what a person has when you remove all their schooling." Cecil Cearley

Selected
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