No Apologizing

Christian Apologetic, and Social Commentary in a world gone mad

Tag Archives: Spiritual Growth

2011 Challenge


Another new year is here.  And like every New Year I began thinking about goals for the upcoming year.  Most call this New Year’s resolutions.  Some would balk at the idea of using that phrase because of the lackadaisical approach that it might apply.  I however look at it as simply goals for next year.  2010 will be the year of incredible spiritual growth for me.   I want this process to continue. This challenge will be a stretch for Christian’s of all ages and growth levels.  Without furtherer due…

1.       Read a non-fiction Christian book(s)

It can only help to get another view.  When I read books like this, I immediately think of the movie Dead Poet’s Society – Specifically the scene where Robin Williams tells his students to stand on their desks to get a different perspective on things.  The room just looks different when you see it from a different angle.  Another person’s perspective may help change yours.  A quick word of caution, be careful of the book you choose.  For obvious reasons, we would not recommend books written by certain pastors that may have been mentioned previously in the “Are you a God” series.  We would, however, recommend any of the following books:

  1. Servant Leadership
  2. More than a Carpenter
  3. Victory over the Darkness
  4. Families Where Grace is in Place
  5. The Unexpected Journey
  6. Dare2Share

We’d be happy to recommend other books/authors… just drop us a line!

2.       Deeply study three books of the Bible.

Have you ever read something in the Bible, looked over at someone and said…”HAVE YOU READ THIS!  IT IS INCREADIBLE!”, only to have them say “I have read the whole Bible”.  There is a huge difference between reading, and digesting the Word of God.  I would suggest that of the group of people that have read the Bible, that probably only 25% – 50% of the Bible was actually digested.  By digested I mean, knowing the context of the books, why they were written, historicity behind them, spiritual impact of certain passages, etc…  The point here is to understand and internalize these books. 

3.       Have a 90% attendance rate at church.

This should be probably number 1.  If you are of the thought that you can have an effective relationship with God without attending a church you are wrong.  The truth of the matter is that the church is critical for your personal development.  Imagine learning how to become a computer programmer without going to school or doing programming work.  The exact same thing applies here.  You limit your growth potential in the body of Christ, by not attending church.

4.       Volunteer for an event/function/job at church.

Now that you are attending church on a regular basis, it is time to volunteer.  Serving is critical to our spiritual growth as well.  Remember James 2:14-26.  Faith without works is dead.  This is the works part of the challenge. 

5.       Invite at least 12 people to your church.

Inviting people to church can open the door to being able to share your testimony.  Your invite can include other functions such as church picnic’s, or small group.  See number 3.

6.       Have spiritual conversations that lead to you sharing your testimony and/or the Gospel with at least 6 people

Evangelism is a central part to being a Christian.  There are a number of biblical passages that demonstrate that evangelism is asked but is required of all Christians…REQUIRED.  That doesn’t mean maybe, or I’ll get to it later or it’s not my temperament.  REQUIRED.

7.       Sacrificially give to your local church.

We know that the economy is tough – it has been for your church too!  Needless to say there is a biblical foundation for tithing (giving at least 10% of your gross income).  God’s got a plan for your church that takes money to implement, and you should be a part of it.  If you’ve never tithed before start small and grow throughout the year – Dave Ramsey calls it a giving snowball.

8.       Pray for at least 2 minutes a day.

What do you do when you have problems?  Pray.  Anxiety? Pray. Need Help? Pray.  Need guidance, wisdom, truth, or WHATEVER?  PRAY!  2 minutes a day seems small in the amount of time you should devote to speaking with the Lord.  I make it a point to talk to him as I would my father or wife.  While he is God, he is still my Father.  If you think that you shouldn’t talk to him in a normal way…read Psalms.  That was the point of that book.

This is a yearlong challenge.  And it should be just that…a challenge.  No Apologizing will have your back though with posts about various biblical books, commentary on the books we have read, commentary on the spiritual conversations we’ve had, etc.  If you have feedback that you want to share regarding the challenge you will be able to.  A new page will be created on the blog specifically for this challenge.  In the mean time, get those books ready.  Have a great year.  Be focused.  Make no excuses!  Remember only one person is in charge of their relationship with God…YOU!  No one else can do it for you.

Better than the P90X


One of my personal ministry heroes has recently thrown down the gauntlet, so to speak. Robert and I have determined to take him up on the spiritual aspect of his challenge… Below is an edited down version of the G90X plan you can CLICK HERE for the full article.

Robert and I will start tomorrow and we commit to posting weekly updates on Mondays letting you know how we’re doing… We’ll also post random stuff from our G90X experience periodically both on our site and on Greg’s – Will you join us?

1. Go through the Bible in 90 Days.

I’m going to read a lot of it and listen to the rest on CD. One of the things I want to do is to journal my thoughts along the way so that I can write down key insights from the Word of God as I go through it. There is an excellent reading guide on the biblein90days  that I have downloaded to use (you can also read any One Year Bible at a rate of 4-5 of their “days” at a time). Call this the nutrition program for my soul. There’s no better than God’s Word.

2. Spend 90 minutes of concentrated prayer per week

What I mean by this is, not your typical “Good morning Lord” or “thanks for the food” quickie prayers, but concentrated, passionate and intensive worship, supplication and intercession where I spend time in PRAYer (Praising him, Requesting stuff, Admitting sins and Yielding to his Spirit.)

I am a big believer in prayer walking for the simple reason that ADD guys like me have a hard time sitting still. Walking and praying… brings solitude, worship and focus.

3. Memorize 90 Verses.

Yes, that’s right, one verse per day for 90 days. That may sound extreme but when you consider that Jewish boys in Jesus’ day had the first five books of the Bible memorized by the time they were 14. At the bottom of this blog are the verses I’ve chosen to memorize and their categories… (see Greg’s full article for his suggestion on how to do this)

4. Sin attack

I’ve identified two sins in my life (no, I’m not going to share them with you) that I’m going to attack in the next 90 days. Pray for me as I do. Scripture reminds us to search and destroy those sins that hurt our relationship with God.

4. Accountability

If you choose to join me, you can come back to this blog and give me updates and I’ll do the same. Invite your friends to join us! It should be fun, challenging and somewhat painful but, as Tony Horton of P90X fame reminds us, “Do your best and forget the rest!”

By the way, let’s not be legalistic with this. G90X is just an intensive spiritual workout to jumpstart our spiritual disciplines. Remember that those who choose to do it with me are not necessarily more spiritual than those who don’t. You can do all the disciplines in the world and if you are not controlled by the Spirit and fueled through God’s power in your motives it is all wood, hay and stubble.

If you are choosing not to do it (which is totally fine) I challenge you to, at the least, amp up your spiritual disciplines. Maybe this means 9 verses instead of 90, reading through the Bible in a year rather than 90 days, etc. But, whatever you choose to do, do it in the strength that God provides and not the flesh. Some great spiritual pump up advice is found in Ephesians 6:10, “Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power….”

Why do this? For Christ and his cause, THE Cause, to know Him and to make Him known. Let’s be disciples and make them. But for us to do both effectively we must be energized, disciplined and fueled in our own souls. God has given us the Spirit of self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7) so that we can live and give the gospel to everyone around us out of a heart that overflows with divine power (and huge triceps may intimidate some into the kingdom as well!)

The 90 verses (and the categories they fall under).

7 Warm up verses: 1 Timothy 4:7, 8 and 1 Corinthians 9:23-27

16 Worship verses: Colossians 3:16, 17; Ephesians 5:18-20; Psalm 66:1,2, Psalm 95:6,7; 1 Chronicles 16:23-29

12 Prayer verses: Luke 5:15,16; Matthew 7:7,8; 1 Timothy 2:1-4; Psalm 34:15; Psalm 66:18; James 5:16; 2 Thess 3:1

11 Dependence on God verses: Colossians 3:1-4; Galatians 2:20; John 15:1-5; Isaiah 12:2

16 Dive into Scripture verses: Psalm 119:97-104; 1 Timothy 4:13; Psalm 1:1-3; 2 Timothy 3:14-17

16 Sin killing verses: Romans 8:12,13; Psalm 101:1-4; Galatians 5:16-24; 2 Timothy 2:22

12 Fasting verses: Isaiah 58:1-9; Matthew 6:16-18

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