Seven Simple Ways to Grow through Your Church

Most people want to know the magic formula for integrating into the life of a church. They desire to feel known, to grow, and to move from an outsider to an insider.

While a hospitable church will provide on-ramps for assimilating people, my experience has taught me that fully integrating into the life of a church ultimately falls on the individual. Are they willing to take an intentional step or two to get involved, or do they watch from a distance, staying in the crowd without ever trying to get into the game?

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November Gratitude Reading Plan: The Psalms

November is always a great time to leverage the national focus on gratitude by leaning into thanksgiving. One way to keep gratitude on your mind and tongue is a reading plan. While The Grumbler’s Guide to Giving Thanks has a 30-Day Challenge which includes a reading plan, and you can find a daily devotional for each of those days here, below is another 30-Day Reading Plan. This one is exclusively in the Psalms. Each day, the chapter will includes themes related to gratitude, ingratitude, or thanksgiving. My hope is these psalms can lead you into giving thanks this November.

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Genesis Reading Plan

Here’s a Genesis Reading Plan that will take you sixty days, roughly a chapter a day with rest days built in. You can use these questions to ask when reading the Bible.

And here are a few recommended studies and commentaries on Genesis.

What does it mean that God is “simple”?

God’s attributes are not like characteristics that are parts of who he is, as if he can act out his attribute of kindness in one moment but do apart from his attribute of justice (as an example). His attributes aren’t separate from who he is, nor do we separate his attributes from one another. It’s not as if he scores a 97 on kindness, 85 on patience, and 75 on gentleness. He is not a conflicted being where his mercy and wrath are at odds with one another. God is all his attributes perfectly and seamlessly.

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HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY!

It’s hard to believe it, but today marks one year from when The Grumbler’s Guide to Giving Thanks was published by Moody Publishers. Thank you to all of you who have read it (or listened to the audiobook). I’ve been greatly encouraged by the interactions, feedback, comments, and conversations. Once a book releases, you know little about who’s reading it and what they might be gleaning from it, so it’s always nice to hear what people learn from it or find helpful in it.

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Your Children Are Arrows

Children are a gift from God. We love and treasure them. Children are also sheep needing shepherded. Parents must know, feed, protect, lead, and care for their kids.

But did you know the Bible also describes children as arrows? “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth” (Psalm 127:4). This metaphor gets at the missional aspect of raising a child. God wants us to love and enjoy them but also to train them so they can be missionaries wherever they go. God doesn’t want us to hoard them or shelter them but to release them. Parents think about their kids in terms of what they mean to us or what we want from them and for them, but we often neglect what God intends to do in them and through them.

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Resources for Parents on Creation

Next Sunday, our Children’s Ministry kicks off week 1 of The Gospel Project. The first session is on “God Created the World” and Genesis 1. While all of Scripture is inspired and profitable (2 Tim. 3:16), not every section is  equally significant to the Story. Genesis 1-2 summarizes Creation. It reveals God as the Maker of all things, and how all things point to Him. It provides conceptual seeds for truths and themes that bloom throughout the Bible.

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Books for Sale

I’m looking to reduce the amount of books I own and move more toward ebooks (I know, I know). Below is a list of books I”m selling. It includes some great deals on sets, and then $10 for hardback and $5 for paperback. If you’re local, we can maybe find a way to connect, or if you’d like to cover shipping and handling, I can ship books as well. Some books will have penciling or notes inside

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