Grow

The Spirit is Alive!

A well-traveled highway connects Jimma and Gore, Ethiopia. Some of the highway is paved. More significantly to many Christian Ethiopians is the even stronger connection between Gore and Jimma that started with the “coming of the Holy Spirit” and subsequent “Great...

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Jesus Is Risen. Now Let’s Fish?

Because I love fishing I've been thinking about John 21 recently. This great chapter, which takes place a week or more after Jesus’ resurrection, recounts Jesus’ restoration of Peter. But the whole scene is set in the context of Peter and several disciples having gone...

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Grace, Not Guilt

Grace, not guilt, is what should drive us to spiritual disciplines. You see, when it comes to spiritual disciplines, it is easy to slip into guilt mode. We mistakenly let a low-grade guilt drive us to practice spiritual disciplines and think that if we just do enough...

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Knowing Who We Are in the Midst of Change

I’ve been reading a fantastic book, which was referenced in the National Gathering, titled Tempered Resilience by Tod Bolsinger. The book lays out that leaders in the face of rapid change need to develop the strength and flexibility of tempered steel. We can’t afford...

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Our Time or God’s Time?

Many of our problems come from confusing these two types of time. Abram and Sari confused chronos and kairos when it came to God’s promise of a child. The result was Ishmael but at the kairos, at the right time, Sarah gave birth to Isaac. I’ve been thinking about this...

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God Works in the Rise and Fall of Nations

When St. Augustine wrote the book in the 5th century, Rome was falling. As Rome fell, many came to St. Augustine and asked where God was in all of it. By this point in history, Christianity was the official religion of the empire, so for Rome to fall to pagan...

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What are you doing with the right now?

The start of a new year always tugs our thinking both backwards and forwards. We reflect on 2020 with its hardships and blessings, and we look forward to 2021 hoping for an easier year and perhaps setting some goals. This is both natural and healthy, but what I’m...

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12 Books you should read in 2021

Billy Craig Reaching The Unreached: Becoming Raiders of the Lost Art by Peyton Jones This book provides numerous ways and strategies to help the church reach the unreached. My prayer is that those who read it at First Pres can read it with a lens of what it would look...

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