Blog

My Morning Routine

I love to read about other people’s routines. One thing I’ve learned: everyone is different. In the book Daily Rituals, we learn about the routines of famous artists. They’re all different. While it’s wise to use routines, the way we use them will look different...

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Read a Sample of How to Grow

My book How to Grow: Applying the Gospel to All of Life comes out on August 7. But you don’t need to wait until then to get started. My desire in writing this book was to provide a clear, practical, guilt-free guide on how to take the next step in growth. So many of...

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One of Those Weeks

We had a family wedding last week. On Thursday I was scrambling to get work done, keep my appointments, and maintain my sanity. I’m not sure I succeeded. Do you ever have one of those weeks? You know: there’s too little time and too much stress. These weeks impact our...

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Hope at Every Stage

It’s human nature. We tend to see the negative. We can quickly identify the areas in which we’re falling short. We’re not growing enough. We’re not praying enough. We could be doing more. We can quickly begin to beat up on ourselves and give up in discouragement. For...

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Your Body Matters

There are a couple of verses that we’ve been misapplying for far too long. Paul writes in 1 Timothy 4:7-8: Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every...

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Grace for the Struggling

We struggle. Not just some of us, but all of us. There are days when we wonder if we have grown at all. James, the half-brother of Jesus, speaks bluntly about the danger we face in the middle of our struggles in James 4:1-5. Addressing one issue — interpersonal...

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Put Down Your Phone and Pray

Our lives are busy. It seems that we don’t have much time to linger, to just spend time doing nothing. We are often caught in a perpetual rush, feeling increasingly behind. We wonder if we will ever catch up. That’s why I’m interested in Laura Vanderkam’s new book Off...

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The Cost of Church — and Why It’s Worth It

There’s no way around it. Participating in the life of a church costs us. It takes time, involves commitment, and it involves inconveniencing ourselves for the sake of others. The resources we invest in the life of church are resources we can’t spend in other ways. To...

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We Need Church to Grow

What behaviors lead to spiritual growth? According to Daniel Im, author of No Silver Bullets, studies show that three behaviors matter most: Reading the Bible Attending a worship service at your church Attending small classes or groups for adults from church, such as...

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Building a Prayer Habit

Prayer is both easy and hard at the same time. It’s easy, because anyone can do it. There are no secrets other than to communicate openly with God. It’s hard, because prayer doesn’t come naturally to any of us. We all feel like beginners when it comes to prayer....

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Simple Instructions on Prayer

Want to grow? Engage in three practices regularly: Read or listen to the Bible. Pray. Commit to worship and community within a local church. These three practices are simple but not easy. Practice them well, and you’ll set yourself up for a lifetime of growth. Here...

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Listening to the Bible

I was going to write this week about prayer, but this blog post changed my mind: It sounds a bit shocking to twenty-first-century ears, but hearing has been the primary way Christians have taken in Scripture throughout the centuries. We should all thank God for...

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Reading and Listening to the Bible

We’re inundated with information: blog posts, social media updates, emails, and more. It’s no surprise, then, that many of us struggle to read books. Nor is it a surprise that one of those books, the Bible, is going unread even by Christians who claim to live by the...

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Planning for Growth

When I ran my first 10K race, I wasn’t prepared. I’d gone for a few runs, but didn’t follow a training plan. I completed the race through sheer determination and a lot of walking breaks. I didn’t have a plan, and it showed. Limping across the finish line counted for...

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Sudden Change, Slow Change

Do you ever wonder why we aren’t changing as quickly as we thought we would? Sudden Change The Bible says that those who trust in Jesus are changed. Immediately. It’s dramatic and it’s complete. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has...

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Only One Message

The Bible’s a big book. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the different themes, genres, and sections. Because of this, it helps to simplify and to keep the main point in mind so we can always understand how the parts relate to the whole. The main point can be...

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Focus on Joy

If we’re not careful, we can miss the whole point of discipleship. We can go through the motions but experience none of the joy. Here are three steps to keep joy in mind as you pursue God. Remember the Goal Sam Storms, a pastor in Oklahoma, explains: The single most...

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What to Do When You Feel Spiritually Stuck

It happens to all of us. No matter who we are, we all feel stuck sometimes. Here are some steps you can take to figure out why you’re stuck, and to get unstuck. Think of Seasons Sometimes we expect that growth will be linear. The reality: our growth follows seasons....

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When Spiritual Disciplines Become Routine

I’ll admit it. I can sometimes lose focus on what discipleship is all about. I can be so focused on the tasks themselves — prayer, Bible reading, fasting, church attendance, etc. — that I lose sight of why I’m engaging in these tasks. This is a big problem. The...

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