Growing Pains, Pt. 7 | “Changing Circles”

Difficult Choices… What happens when we make life decisions that make a change in the way that we live our lives? It is hard to change the way that we do things. How much more difficult can those changes be for our families and friends? If we have Christian family we should consider ourselves blessed. But, there are many who make a decision for Christ … Continue reading Growing Pains, Pt. 7 | “Changing Circles”

Growing Pains, Pt. 6 | “Evangelism”

Give What Has Been Given If there is one characteristic that embodies the essence of Christianity it is selflessness. Another word for this humility. Rick Warren wrote in The Purpose Driven Life that humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less. I could stop right there, but that would only be part of the picture. If we are going to … Continue reading Growing Pains, Pt. 6 | “Evangelism”

Growing Pains, Pt. 5 | “Discipleship”

Being Stretched

One of the most difficult things that we as Christians must face is ourselves. For the most part there is no greater barrier to spiritual growth than our own preconceived and long standing beliefs–or misbeliefs. It is hard to get rid of those ideas and thoughts that have guided us throughout our lives. This is more the case for adults than for children because when a child comes to Christ they have not lived too much life. They have not experienced as much or seen as much. A child comes in innocence and through the love and structure of a church and family can learn the faith without having to replace or undo other ideas and feelings and thoughts from outside sources. The child asks this question, “Is what I have been taught the truth?” The adult on the other hand asks a different question. An adult’s question is, “Why should I change what I already believe and hold to be true?” This fundamental difference is what causes the stretching in people’s lives.

For the child it is a struggle to hold on to what he or she has been taught. For the adult it is the process of replacing already held beliefs for Christian ones. And it is through the process of discipleship that the stretching occurs. It is through the struggle of finding the truth and learning to exercise faith that we become more and more like Jesus. Continue reading “Growing Pains, Pt. 5 | “Discipleship””

Growing Pains, Pt. 4 | “Participation (Time)”

What Do You Value?

If looking at your checkbook will give you an idea of where and for what your money is being spent, what will determine where and for what you life is being spent? The simple truth, I believe, is that what we give to most is what, in the end, we value most. This is not a comment of judgment, but a reality. When I look at what I do with these few precious moments that I have been given in and on this world, I have to ask, “What good is coming of my being here?” When the time comes for all of us, and it will, when we will breath our last, will what we remember be memories of a life filled with years or years filled with life?

Being a Christian means that we have made a choice. Whether we understood it completely or not the choice was made. It was a choice to live by a certain code of morals, ethics and values. The choice was to change the way we were living our lives because we had met someone who had a better way. A vote of confidence in Jesus is a vote of no confidence in ourselves-that we cannot find the best way, let alone live that way on our own. I think that it is an injustice to new Christians not to explain this to them. If a plant is not growing or bearing fruit the assumption is that it must be dead. Continue reading “Growing Pains, Pt. 4 | “Participation (Time)””

Growing Pains, Pt. 3 | “Service”

Prove It! Caring for our neighbor is not something that can be passed by and overlooked as unimportant. Of all the things that Jesus said, the love of God and the love of neighbor are the most important. Jesus went so far as to say that upon these two commandments hang, hinge, stand, all of the law and the prophets (Matthew 22:34-40, NKJV). Everything that … Continue reading Growing Pains, Pt. 3 | “Service”