Welcome to Our Growth Center

Our little corner of the internet dedicated to helping you grow spiritually.

Welcome to Our Growth Center

Our little corner of the internet dedicated to helping you grow spiritually.

  • Explaining Abraham and Isaac to Kids
    October 2, 2019
    Blog, Readings
    Let’s face it, there’s some tough material in the Bible.  It’s hard for adults, and even harder sometimes for kids.   The other night I read the story of Abraham sacrificing Isaac to my five-year-old, who is also named Isaac.  He called me back into his room afterwards crying.  He had a hard time getting it out, but the obvious concern in his little mind was how could God ask this dad to kill his child? Moreover, what were the implications for our relationship? At first, I just felt bad and thought maybe we should’ve skipped that part.  There are times to do that, but I believed...
  • Valuing What You Do
    September 5, 2019
    Blog, Readings
    There is an old saying that familiarity breeds contempt. Jesus said it this way, “A prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.” (Mark 6:4) People who spend a lot of time around you are less likely to think you’re a superhero.  They’ll see not only the good stuff, but all your mistakes. The closer we are to something the more it loses its mystery.  Sometimes as our awe dissolves, so too does our respect.   This of course can have a negative effect on our relationships, but I want to share another...
  • What Was Paul's Thorn in the Flesh?
    June 12, 2019
    Blog, Readings
    One of the more difficult passages of scripture in the Bible is 2 Corinthians 12:1-10.  In this passage, Paul seems to indicate that he was taken into heaven and shown revelations that it’s not lawful for him to even talk about. He goes on to link these revelations with what he calls a “thorn in his flesh.” The debate over what this “thorn” is and why it’s there is intense.  It comes down to basically 2 worldviews: 1)  If we believe God to be the ultimate cause behind everything (omnicausality) then God must’ve given Paul the thorn in the flesh.  From here,...
  • Focus: The Key to Unlocking Destiny
    May 31, 2019
    Blog, Readings
    Jesus said, “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light” (Matthew 6:22).  In the context, He’s talking about the importance of focusing on God and His Kingdom.  He says later that if we’re single-minded in our pursuit of God, everything else we’re worried about will come to us (Verse 33). This teaches us the power of priorities and keeping God in first place. It also teaches a broader truth about how focus enables us to walk in our destiny. Jesus is saying, “You really can’t focus...
  • Building From Love instead of Fear
    May 2, 2019
    Blog, Readings
    I often say that love is a greater motivator than fear and that people driven by fear won’t accomplish as much in the long run as those compelled by love.  But it doesn’t always appear that way from the outside. If we look around, a lot of stuff seems to be getting accomplished by anxious activity.  A major minister I listen to tells a story about how he worked really hard to get into green rooms and be on TV. When he got there, he was really disappointed because everyone was just as insecure as he was.  From his view,...
  • Why Outrage Can't Build the Kingdom
    April 4, 2019
    Blog, Readings
    “For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” James 1:20 This is one of the most counter-cultural verses in the Bible. The Contemporary English Version says it this way:  “If you are angry, you cannot do any of the good things God wants done.” This is stunning because we live in a time where the currency is outrage. We move from one appalling event to another, channeling our anger into an endless stream of memes, diatribes, and attacks.  We’re outraged because of current events, but also because those around us aren’t sufficiently outraged.  We tend to measure our righteousness by...
  • Stop Stressing About Your Stress
    February 21, 2019
    Blog, Readings
    “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.”  Col 3:15 We quote this verse and it's principles often.  It’s common Christian jargon to say things like, “I felt peace about that” or “I didn’t feel peace, so I didn’t do it.” We’ve pulled  a principle from this verse that says peace is supposed to help us make good decisions. The word “rule” in the Greek means to be an arbiter or umpire.  Peace, then, is meant to help us judge whether or not we should...
  • How to Overcome Sin
    February 7, 2019
    Blog, Readings
    “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.”  Romans 6:12 Christians know they aren’t supposed to sin.  This is drilled into to most of us pretty early on.  The trouble is, most of the communication sounds like, “Don’t do this, don’t do that, and whatever you do, make sure you don’t…” It’s fine to be taught moral principles. Paul said he wouldn’t have known what sin was if the law hadn’t told him (Rom 7:7). However, at some point we’ve got to get past just pointing out that certain things are...