Overcoming the Distance Thing
March 2005
Key Topics: Spiritual Growth, Grace, Encouragement, Life In Christ

"The path of spiritual growth is a path of lifelong learning. The experience of spiritual power is basically a joyful one." - M. Scott Peck

“We grow up hungry for love, and in ways so deep as to remain unexpressed we long for our Maker to love us.” - Philip Yancey

Hi Friends:

Growth spurts . . . just an ordinary part of childhood. In my home, I was measured by my mother with a yard stick and pencil marks on the kitchen door frame. Thinking back, I am not sure why "the numbers" mattered that much . . . but it made "that one year" stand out with even more clarity. I speak of course of THE physical growth spurt of my life . . . new jeans which had replaced new jeans becoming too small . . . growing pains keeping me up at night . . . and the "pencil updates" becoming a monthly , nearly weekly practice.

No question that there are times when parents wonder "Where did this growth come from and how did it happen so fast?" I have watched four amazing sons "shoot up" at blistering rates, defying reasonable clothing budgets.

There are also times when I look at spiritual leaders and many of my best friends . . . and wonder . . . where did their spiritual growth come from? Where and how did they acquire that wisdom and sense of maturity and stability in Christ? Did it happen over a long period? Was there one particular growth spurt?

Closing the Gap

Are you looking today for a better connection, a closer relationship . . . maybe even a "growth spurt" . . . with God? . . . you know . . . the "distance thing" has become the norm rather than the exception. God's "miracle grow" for divine and horizontal relationship is amazingly simple and can be reduced down to three core ingredients:


1) Discovery . . . when we are committed to learning new things about our Creator and others, it requires investigation . . . a commitment of time . . . which creates connection and understanding. It can also at times be very uncomfortable . . . as we sometimes learn less than "wonderful" things about ourselves!

2) Surrender . . . when we actually break from doing or not doing things "our way" but with thought and respect for His will . . . and interest in the hopes and dreams of others, it breaks isolation and creates a bond.

3) Dependence . . . when we do the right things, but do them in our own strength . . . it is all work. When we learn to depend on God for the strength that only He has . . . His joy becomes evident to all. We at that point are no longer working hard for God, God is working hard through us.

Resisting Discouragement

Sustaining, growing . . . yes, thriving in life . . . on both a physical and spiritual level . . . requires regular periods of refreshment, renewal and encouragement. With that in mind, I make this simple little writing ministry known as "Life Letter" available to you . . . your friends, your colleagues, your home group, your church, your school and your family.

Think of Life Letter stories as nourishment that promotes growth and greater trust in God's grace . . . not only shortening the distance between us and Him . . . but making us alive to the needs of lives in close range. Liberty Mutual gets it best . . .

I draw my inspiration to write out of the way God meets me , protects me, redirects me . . . in the highs and lows of everyday life at ground zero. I take to heart the gifts that God has given me and passages such as this one in II Thessalonians 2 . . .

"May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word."

With joy I open my heart to you through "Life Letters" and pray that God is using this ministry to refresh your heart and life . . . especially in those times . . . when you are trying to . . .

. . . overcome that distance thing.




"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever! Amen" (II Peter 3:18)

"Here" by Kari Jobe:


Come and rest here
Come and lay your burdens down
Come and rest here
There is refuge for you now

You'll find His peace
And know you're not alone anymore
He is near
You'll find His healing
You're heart isn't shattered anymore
He is here

Breathe in
Breathe out
You will
You will find Him here

I will rest in You

You will find Him
You will find Him here
You will find Him
You will find Him here



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