Final Launch Reminder

For all who have followed this little blog, a little reminder it has moved:

Growing In Grace has moved from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. There is an all new look, with a magazine kind of flair. In its new location you will find an out-front homepage with:

  • a sermon page
  • a rotator containing feature articles
  • Recent News
  • More News, with a focus on the preaching ministry of Calvary Community Church
  • wrapped up with an area containing a Tag Cloud, Twitter feed, Social Media connection, Instagram feed, and blogroll.

Please update your bookmarks and RSS feeds when you go there.

As always, I hope this little blog will help you “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,” and to enjoy the journey as we do that together.

Launch!

The re-tooling is complete.

Growing In Grace has moved from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. There is an all new look, with a magazine kind of flair. In its new location you will find an out-front homepage with:

  • a sermon page
  • a rotator containing feature articles
  • Recent News
  • More News, with a focus on the preaching ministry of Calvary Community Church
  • wrapped up with an area containing a Tag Cloud, Twitter feed, Social Media connection, Instagram feed, and blogroll.

Please update your bookmarks and RSS feeds when you go there.

As always, I hope this little blog will help you “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,” and to enjoy the journey as we do that together.

Bella’s Musings

I wanted y’all to know my daughter’s blog, Bella’s Musings, has a new home. She’s worth following.

Welcome!

2Pet. 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

It seems good to me, upon opening up shop in this new location, to let one of my favorite writers and the prince of preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, provide an unpacking of this exhortation from Peter above. May we all be encouraged to pursue these things, all our days:

“Grow in grace”—not in one grace only, but in all grace. Grow in that root-grace, faith. Believe the promises more firmly than you have done. Let faith increase in fullness, constancy, simplicity. Grow also in love. Ask that your love may become extended, more intense, more practical, influencing every thought, word, and deed. Grow likewise in humility. Seek to lie very low, and know more of your own nothingness. As you grow downward in humility, seek also to grow upward —having nearer approaches to God in prayer and more intimate fellowship with Jesus.

May God the Holy Spirit enable you to “grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior.” He who grows not in the knowledge of Jesus, refuses to be blessed. To know him is “life eternal,” and to advance in the knowledge of him is to increase in happiness. He who does not long to know more of Christ, knows nothing of him yet. Whoever has sipped this wine will thirst for more, for although Christ does satisfy, yet it is such a satisfaction, that the appetite is not cloyed, but whetted.

If you know the love of Jesus—as the deer pants for the water-brooks, so will you pant after deeper draughts of his love. If you do not desire to know him better, then you love him not, for love always cries, “Nearer, nearer.” Absence from Christ is hell; but the presence of Jesus is heaven.

Rest not then content without an increasing acquaintance with Jesus. Seek to know more of him in his divine nature, in his human relationship, in his finished work, in his death, in his resurrection, in his present glorious intercession, and in his future royal advent. Abide hard by the Cross, and search the mystery of his wounds. An increase of love to Jesus, and a more perfect apprehension of his love to us is one of the best tests of growth in grace.

Signing On

Back on December 26, after a nudge from the Spirit, I decided to sign off of blogging, reading blogs via my reader, and FB and Twitter activity.

Well, as you can see, I’m back.

So, what did I learn from my technology fast?

At first, I didn’t miss any of it.  It felt good to have a break from being on the computer and plugged-in to these various outlets.  The time was well spent in other areas: family, reading books, contemplation, reflection, and meditation.  In the process of more time for these things and less time for technology, a couple things happened.

First, something I had a suspicion about in my heart was confirmed.  I was hooked in, at times, for the wrong reasons.  I felt like I had to read every post in my RSS reader (“What if I miss something important!”), I felt like I had to tweet or update FB, I felt like I had to post on the blog.  And (confession time) – sadly, I would check to see if people were responding to any of those outputs.  Of course, that could be an activity void of sin.  But too frequently I was checking in for approval and validation.  If y’all commented in any of those areas, then I could feel good about myself.

So the fast was a way for me to fight the sin of pride, and the sin of seeking the approval of man rather than the approval of God.  My identity is not wrapped up in wether I am keeping up on my RSS reader, or how many people are following me, or how many hits are on my blog, or how many are commenting on or linking to my posts.  No, my identity is in Christ.  The fast reminded me of that.

Second, it also reminded me that all these things can still be good things.  So I am signing back on.  Here are my goals upon returning, albeit not altogether different for why I engaged with all this technology in the first place:

  • I will post on Twitter and FB mainly as a way to share overflow from my Bible reading each morning, sermon preparation throughout the week, and what I am currently reading.  This will probably be 3-4 posts per day.
  • I will post on the blog to practice writing, document my thoughts, teach, interact, and be known (see this for an extended treatment of my reasons).  Writing in these areas is a helpful discipline, a way to think through things – exercise for the mind, if you will.  This will be material mainly original to me, and will probably be 2-3 posts per week.
  • I will also post to recommend and share information.  This has become a big part of this blog, though unintended when I began (back on January 29th, 2009).  I think that one of my strengths is tying into a network of people who are writing, speaking, posting, tweeting, and updating, and who do it better than me because they are far smarter and more talented than I am.  So, when someone can say it better and clearer, why not try and bless y’all by pointing to them?  So that is what I’ll do.  Posts here will come daily.

It is my prayer as I enter back in – for you and for me – that God will guard our hearts from sin in the area of technology and social networking (maybe you need to take a fast too).  May God use my little efforts for HIS glory.