Category Archives: GROW WITH GOD

WHY GO TO CHURCH? 010816

group of people watching a screenHad an interesting conversation with a couple of brothers today.  One of them, call him Bill, along with his wife, has been searching for a new church home.  The church where they had been going for several years was changing.  Many of the couples they had relationships with had moved away, changed churches, or otherwise lost contact with them.  Several of their friends had gone to one particular church nearby, and they tried that church, but they didn’t like the preachers. The assistant preachers were younger than Bill and his wife, and in their sermons they told stories that were not relevant to Bill’s life.

So for several months (maybe even a year or more) they have been casting about for a ‘new’ church.  They have partially settled on a large church in the area (with an auditorium that seats about 3,000 people, which is filled every Sunday morning.  They like the preaching.  The preachers preach from the Bible and they expect the congregation to participate in application of what is preached to their lives.  And one of the primary reasons for their attendance there is that their 17-year-old son  knows several kids who attend church there and they’re all actively involved in the church activities.  In Bill’s words, “If my son is willing to get up and go to church regularly, then that’s the place for me.”  His wife is not yet so enamored of that church, so they have not yet made a commitment to join.  But they are going to worship services regularly.

I asked Bill if they were involved in any church activities besides attending worship services, and he said no.  He said they don’t say much about personal involvement with small groups in the church.  He said if you want to become involved in small groups you can locate them on their website.  He said at their old church the pastors spent a good deal of time during the worship services on Sunday morning talking about small groups, where they meet, what they’re into, and what they’re studying.  (He even mentioned the “motorcyclists for Jesus” group that meets on Sunday morning before or after church.)  He again mentioned that he and his wife had many friends at the church, but they’d all moved away.  He said that was a substantial difference between the ‘big’ church and their ‘old’ church.  Continue reading

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PRACTICING CHRISTIAN 6: Daily Quiet Time, Part 1. Bible.102615

Corinthians 13Just for the record, a “Daily Quiet Time”, is a short (maybe 15 minute) time each morning when we focus our attention on talking to, and listening to, God.  It usually begins with reading a Bible verse or two, and a short devotional from some brother or sister or group, concerning our lives and our hearts as Christians, and writing in a journal the main point of the verse and the devotional.  It ends with a period of sitting (or kneeling) alone, in the Presence of God, and thinking about what I’ve read, how it applies to my life and what is happening to me today, and listening for God to tell me what I should do or think about it.  That’s where the revelations come in.  Do you know that verse/passage in Matthew 11:25-28, where Jesus is talking to God, and He says, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have REVEALED them to babes.

I haven’t been having a “daily quiet time” all my life.  I didn’t know what one was, or even hear the expression till about 10 years ago.  I guess I’ve been reading the Bible early in the morning almost every day for maybe 20 years or longer.  Continue reading

PRACTICING CHRISTIAN, PART THREE.102215

Stress Burdens Sticky Notes Reminders for Stressful LifeIn the most recent post on this subject, I discussed that ‘practicing’ Christians follow certain fundamentals in their lives, the way baseball players follow certain fundamentals in playing baseball, and 1] is FOCUS ON GOD EVERY DAY.  I said something like, “Give Him some time and attention”.

Just this week I’ve been reminded that there are a lot of distractions in the world that keep us from (or impede our progress in) building this kind of relationship with Jesus.  I’m talking A LOT of distractions.  Some of them large and threatening, others apparently small and insignificant, but just as distracting.  Many of these are serious problems that require a great deal of time and attention, particularly in the eyes of well-meaning, God-fearing, Bible-believing people.  Things such as the state of our nation; the many astounding changes in our culture regarding sex, marriage, constitutional issues, leadership problems, immigration, liberal vs conservative disputes, and others too numerous to mention.  There are many, many things wrong, and someone just MUST do something about them.  All are legitimate concerns that require attention.

On the next level are all the things that we have to do TODAY!  Depending on what stage of life you’re at right now, Continue reading

WANT TO WALK ON WATER? 071715

Walk on water with a businessman walking on the surface of an ocean as a business concept of confidence and courage to take on an impossible challenge and achieve success with the power of belief.

Matt. 14:28-30. “And Peter answered [Jesus] and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”  So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”

This is a great story!  It has all the ingredients of a growing relationship with Jesus.  Everybody knows that Jesus walked on water.  There are three times in the Bible that mention Jesus “walking on water” or “walking on the sea”.  Often people use this as ‘best evidence’ of Jesus deity, that He was able to walk on water, when no one else could.  But this was Peter, just a common, ordinary human, like you and me.  They didn’t wear pants in those days, but if they had, he would have put his pants on one leg at a time, just like you and me.  Peter did a lot of good stuff in his time on the earth, but he also did some bad stuff, and occasionally some really stupid stuff.  But Jesus chose him, and Jesus loved him.  And Peter walked on water.

There had to be something going on in Peter’s heart (and imagination) for him to even think to say, “Lord, if it’s you, make me walk on the water.”  Continue reading