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.

  • Past, Present, and Future Sins are Forgiven
    October 18, 2018
    Blog
    Did you know that all your sins, past, present, and future are already forgiven? That may seem like a radical statement. How can God forgive sin we haven’t even committed yet? In Hebrews 10, the author of Hebrews contrasts the Old and New Covenants. In verse 11 he says, “And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftetimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.” He’s saying that under the Mosiac Law there were many sacrifices that were offered over and over again, every day and every year.  These sacrifices renewed the covenant, but they never actually took away people’s...
  • Free Will in the Creation Story
    October 10, 2018
    Blog
    In Genesis 1 God creates the heavens and the earth, all the animals and plants, and man. After creating the universe, God sits down with Adam and begins to describe what He’s created and man’s role in it. Man is to be a steward of a special corner of God’s creation. Adam is, in conjunction with his family, to fill the earth, and “subdue it” (Gen 1:28). The Hebrew word for “subdue” is “Kabash” and it means to conquer or subjugate. This is pretty startling when you think about it.  To conquer something means there must be resistance.  It means...
  • God Sounds Like You
    October 4, 2018
    Blog
    When Jesus was walking the earth, it was a lot harder to recognize who He was than we might imagine. We give the Pharisees a lot of grief for missing it, but His own family didn’t believe in Him (John 7:5). The difficulty they had was that they grew up with Jesus. They saw Him every day working with their dad. He didn’t do any miracles.  He made furniture and ate food.  He slept. He was totally normal.  Boring even.  They knew Him (or at least they thought they did). They knew His voice so well that it was crazy to think...
  • What is God Really Like?
    September 19, 2018
    Blog
    What is God really like? That’s a big question. It’s so big we’ll never have the full answer, but we’re meant to continually seek it. Jesus described knowing God as eternal life (John 17:3).  Real living starts when we begin to see God for who He really is. This is a lifelong journey that doesn’t even stop when we die. For all eternity, we’ll be learning about the eternal riches of His gracious character. (Eph 2:7) We have some misconceptions about God that come not from the Bible, but Greek philosophy.  Greek philosophers like Plato and Aristotle heavily influenced Augustine, who in turn...
  • Stand Still or Move Forward?
    September 6, 2018
    Blog
    I read a sign the other day that said, “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.” This is a quote from Exodus 14:14. Moses says it to the children of Israel when they get to the red sea and Pharaoh’s army is closing in. We have a tendency in Christianity to pull verses like this out and use them as slogans that seem to apply in every situation.  I don’t think that’s inherently an awful thing to do, and certainly it’s encouraging to read that sign. However, I worry that sometimes we let that kind of thing...
  • Set the Genie Free
    August 29, 2018
    Blog
    Recently I was reading the book version of Disney’s Aladdinto my kids.  If you don’t remember it, it’s the one where Robbin Williams is the Genie and he partners with “Al” to rescue princess Jasmine and the Sultan from the evil wiles of the counselor Jafar. As I was reading it, something really jumped out to me.  The way genies work in the story is that if you rub their lamp, the genie becomes your slave for 3 wishes.  You have total control over the genie, and you get the instant gratification of having 3 of your wishes granted. The problem...
  • Facing Our Fears With Courage
    August 22, 2018
    Blog
    The high dive is no joke. I remember watching people jump off that thing as a kid and thinking they were crazy and awesome.  I really wanted to try it.  Finally, one year I stirred myself up and climbed that long ladder. I can still remember slowly making my way the end. The board was rough beneath my feet, and I could smell the chlorine wafting up from way down below.  Up there, the wind whips around and you feel the chill as it evaporates the water off your skin.  Up there, people’s eyes are on you, and you’re conscious of...
  • What's Causing the Storms in our Lives?
    August 8, 2018
    Blog
    The other day I was listening to someone teach about the time Jesus’s disciples almost drowned in the boat as they crossed the sea of Galilee.  It’s always intense to imagine 12 guys, many of whom were experienced sailors, panicking because of a storm.  It must have been pretty serious! The teacher went on to make the point that the disciples were in that storm as a direct result of following Jesus.  He had ordered them to cross to the other side, so in effect, he was responsible for them being in the storm’s path. This story shows us that sometimes...
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