Spiritual Growth

Spiritual Growth

Our beliefs are all grounded in the Bible

Is the Bible Boring?

As a pastor, I shouldn’t be admitting this, but yes, the Bible is boring in some parts. On January 1, I began a reading plan to read through the Bible in a year. That means over the past 3 months I have read countless boring parts: genealogies, numerous censuses (or is it censii?), hundreds of verses of odd rules and regulations, and various boundary markers and travel routes. It’s at this point in trying to read the Bible that many…

Unity in a Nation of Disunity

As I was reading though my journal this morning, reflecting on yesterday’s message calling us to unity, I ran across my entry from November 9, 2016, the day after the election. While the election may be over, the divisiveness and division is not. I share this now because it seems as appropriate today as it did 9 months ago when I originally wrote it. The Day After an Election November 9, 2016 Congratulations, America. You’ve survived another election. But are…

Remix: Unexpected Power

Introduction I have a family of four sons. As a foster family, our conversations around the dinner table can be a bit different than the typical family.  A lot of learning takes place around our dinner table, and sometimes we find ourselves in some really funny moments. For instance, this week, one of my sons asked me about water baptism.  So I was explaining that water baptism is an outward sign to others of the inward change that happens when a person…
sticky note with question mark

More Thoughts on Doubt

A few weeks ago, we looked at how doubt can sneak up on us as Christians. Often, because we are unprepared, doubt can throw us for a loop, making us feel like we something is wrong with us or that we aren’t good Christians. But as we discussed, often doubt isn’t what derails our faith but is actually what strengthens it. Recently, I ran across a podcast that death with the issue of doubt. As I listened, I was encouraged…

Compassion

Over and over in the New Testament we find Jesus moved with compassion, reaching out, healing, and loving those who were hurting, neglected, or in pain. As followers of Christ, compassion is one trait that should not be lacking in our lives. In 1 John 3:17, we read, “If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?” (NLT) Recently, I saw a video…

What Does it Mean to be a Friend

The word friend has become so complex.  What does it actually mean?  In today’s culture we have work friends we only want to see at work, school friends we only see at school functions, facebook friends we only want to spy on online, and frenemies, those we socially have to pretend to like.  Some people have hundreds of “friends” while others struggle to find a single person they call “friend.”  Essentially, the word has lost all meaning by meaning so…

Life’s Not Fair

Growing up as a middle child, I suffered from a severe case of Middle Child Syndrome. What you read about Middle Child Syndrome is very true. We ARE the mistreated, abused, neglected children in every family. And no, you may not contact my mother to confirm what I just said! Every time I felt that I was being treated unfairly as a kid, my parents would respond with the same answer…Well, life’s not fair!  All of us at one time…

What’s Most Important?

Years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to an author by the name of Richard Foster. Foster has written several books and founded a ministry around the belief that spiritual renewal and spiritual formation and development can help Christ followers enjoy a closer walk with Jesus, leading to a more vibrant and fulfilling Christlike life. I recently read a quote by Foster, “The essential thing is this: Are people really growing into the life of Jesus? If they’re not, we better take a…

Getting out of the Pit

Have you ever felt like you were in a pit? The pit. A deep, dark place of isolation, helplessness, and hopelessness. A place where even God seems a million miles away. Inaccessible.  Most of our lives are like roller coasters with peaks and valleys. Times on the mountaintops and times in the pits. If you are in the pit, you are not alone. We’ve all been there. David wrote Psalm 40 following a time he spent in the pit. Even…