Christian Spiritual Growth

When Christians speak of Spiritual Growth - and almost all varieties of Christians use that phrase - it is our way of acknowledging that we need to change. Or rather, we need to BE changed by a power greater than ourselves. We believe that practicing Christians will inevitably be changed. Paul said it this way: If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; behold, everything has become new. (II Cor. 5:17)

Beyond that, opinions vary greatly on how that change occurs, how quick the change comes, whether or not the change is accompanied by spectacular signs, and the various forms this change takes in our individual lives. But let not your heart be troubled when Christians disagree. That's invevitable when we are all seeking to make sense of the scriptures, the teachings of our various traditions, and the reality of our own experience.

Still, everyone seems to agree on one simple truth: Following Jesus Christ with a life of discipleship will change you. You cannot remain in Christ and remain the same.

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Aug 26, 2013

Books on Family: The Secrets of Happy Families, Part four

On any given Thursday night, you could find us—the mighty, mighty buffaloes of Trinity Junior High—defending the home court against our foe du jour . The smells of popcorn and sweat socks hung in the air, and the squeak of our high-topped Nike’s against the refinished floor echoed from the...Read more +
Aug 19, 2013

Books on Family: The Secrets of Happy Families, Part three

My wife Maile and I looked at each other. She laughed nervously. “Is now a good time?” I asked. “As good a time as ever,” she said. “You look a little anxious,” I said, smiling. She laughed again. I walked to the stairs and called down to our older two...Read more +
Aug 14, 2013

Books on Family: The Secrets of Happy Families, Part Two

In fifteen years of marriage, we've learned a few things about together . Oh, I've learned other things, too, and so has he. I am much better at respect, at laughter, and at putting grated Parmesan on the table with the Wednesday evening spaghetti. He is now a professional listener...Read more +
Aug 5, 2013

Books on Family: The Secrets of Happy Families, Part one

“What would you boys think if we started having family meetings every Sunday night?” I venture in casually, trying to keep my voice light as I pass the green beans around the table. Two pairs of teen-age-boy eyes regard me suspiciously, aware that their father is out for the evening...Read more +
Jul 31, 2013

The Spiritual Practice of Making Mistakes

My friend Howard recently completed a major feat: running a half-marathon, which is an impressive 13.1 miles. As a formerly overweight kid in high school who could barely manage to jog a mile without collapsing, this was a huge accomplishment and a major milestone in the journey of Howard’s spiritual...Read more +
Jul 29, 2013

Books on Faith: The Sabbath World, Week Five

Our minivan served us faithfully for over a decade, but we came to the point where we knew, as the Little River Band sings, that it’s time for a cool change . So on a sunny Sunday afternoon we gathered our laughable down payment, our credit score, and what little...Read more +
Jul 22, 2013

Books on Faith: The Sabbath World, Week Four

Eighteen years ago, my wife and I courted over a distance of 1700 miles. Though our courtship consisted mainly of lengthy phone calls and heartfelt letters, it was in those moments when I made myself still—to sit down and read a card she had sent or re-read a hand-written letter—that...Read more +
Jul 17, 2013

Books on Faith: The Sabbath World, Week Three

As a child growing up in the Midwest, Sunday afternoons seemed to last forever. After a lunch of pot roast with potatoes and carrots, carefully placed in the oven before leaving for Sunday school that morning, we had nothing to do until time to leave for discipleship class at our...Read more +
Jul 10, 2013

Community Post: The Holiness of Rest

To rest is to follow the Lord, our pastor pointed out. The body needs rest, he said, and only in God do we have true rest . . . our "ticket" into God's rest is faith and trust in Him. Our soul needs rest as well from anxieties, fears, and...
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Jul 8, 2013

Books on Faith: The Sabbath World, Week Two

One of the greatest returns on the investment of rest during vacation with my family is the seemingly insignificant lawn chair conversations. Often so casual, their richness can be missed. Sitting with a wet beach towel around my waist, face tilted toward the sun drenched sky, I peek through the...Read more +