Catch up on the latest posts from the GGM team!

Last week, our building caught fire...

Early Thursday morning of last week (12/15/16) our building caught fire in the space adjacent to us. Our suites of 3000 square feet sustained significant water and smoke damage. Our contents were declared a total loss and we’re not even sure what will happen with the building. Even though we have insurance, it looks like we will exceed our insurance limits.

"I went from needing medication every day, to living free from medication."

Before I went to Growing in Grace Ministries (GGM), I had suffered from fibromyalgia for 10 years.  I basically went to work and then slept from dinner until the next day.  I had extreme fatigue and pain. In addition, I was on 5 medications and suffered from depression and anxiety attacks.  I was missing out on my life, my kids, and my husband.  My day revolved around when I could go home and sleep again

"I couldn't shake the fear of letting people down..."

I was first introduced to Growing in Grace Ministries (GGM) right after I graduated college. I had been struggling with fear and anxiety issues and had terrible nightmares when I slept. I was feeling overwhelmed and run down. I wanted to find freedom.

"I was healed of 40+ years of traumatic events..."

The first SOZO session was a turning point in my walk with God. He really revealed Himself to me in my heart. I went through the first year of Ministry Training Bible School (MTBS) and gained a new perspective on the Word and who God was for me. My wife and I were still struggling, however.

The Exchange (Part 4) - written by Jeff Dean

As I started to go into the presence of Father God, I decided (because of my previous teaching and preconceived ideas) to go into His presence after a few minutes of thanksgiving and praise. That’s never a bad idea, but He told me that there’s no need for a formula or procedure.

The Exchange (Part 3) - written by Jeff Dean

For many years I have talked to Jesus on a regular basis. How I got there is another story, but it has been amazing. He is with me always; instantly there when I look for Him. He is my King and my friend. He has taught me truth about myself and others for years. He is my “go to” for insight, advice, tips, and decisions. There is probably a more spiritual, less offensive way to say it, but “Jesus and I are tight.”

The Exchange (Part 2) - written by Jeff Dean

When I say I “may have been a little irritated with the Lord on that score” I’m just guessing. I don’t really remember. Dad was in hospice and that whole time is slightly blurry in my memory. It was only a few months ago. I do remember that I spent every day talking to Jesus. I wanted to “do it right”. I knew that success in that stressful time would only come through Christ’s strength. So I attempted to keep short accounts.

The Exchange (Part 1) - written by Jeff Dean

I’ve gone down a slightly different path in my spiritual life. Although it is new it feels familiar. The attached emotions are buried deep. These passions entwine with the basic needs of the human condition: love, acceptance, relevance, connection, belonging… In fact, while this change seems profound, I still have no understanding about its destination. Please bear with me. I’m just going to tell the story without knowing the ending.

An Answer In The Dark - written by Jeff Dean

My beloved Father is dying just now in hospice care 12 minutes away from my home. The process will go on awhile although his end is near. He is fairly comfortable and is facing death head on. He insists on no extraordinary measures to prolong life and enough medication to subdue pain. He is meeting death the way he lived his life: authentically and without drama. He is and has always been a manly man.

What Jesus Did In The Face Of Suffering

As a human, Jesus must have been acutely aware of the physical and emotional pain that lay before Him. He would be falsely accused, face an unjust trial, and then be cruelly beaten and crucified. Ultimately, He would rise from the dead, but between that victory and Jesus’ present lay a road full of suffering. This was no easy thing for Him to face, as is so clear in His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane (see Matt. 26:36–46).

How To Rise Above The Lies

Recently, God spoke to me about the power of seeing my life from His perspective. Occasionally, I will look back at old prayer journals to remind myself of the answered prayers and direction I received from God in those seasons. As I was doing so, the Holy Spirit showed me that for many years my journals were filled with a continual pleading for the same needs—my marriage, my relationships, my parenting, my finances, and so forth.

Are You Still Keeping Jesus At Arms Length?

Though Jesus had become my Savior, the walls barricading my heart remained. Some of them softened, but many of them were my closest allies. It’s hard, even for Jesus, to have a relationship with someone who has walls like I did. I only had so much capacity for His love. Because I didn’t believe He really loved me unless I worked hard and somehow measured up to His standards, I held Him at arm’s length.

God Does Not Love Us Out Of Obligation

This is God’s promise to us. Yet, many of us have a very hard time believing it. For a variety of reasons, we find ourselves unlovable, and though we know in our heads that God loves us, we do not really believe it in our hearts. We have a hard time believing He is really as optimistic and positive about us as the Bible says.

God Gave Jesus Two Things: Love And Approval

​Jesus, like the rest of us, needed love and approval from His Father; He needed to know who He was as the Son. In other words, He needed to understand His identity. The Bible doesn’t tell us how much Jesus knew about Himself from childhood, but somewhere along the way, He began to realize who He was and the special call on His life as the Messiah.

You Don't Have To Perform For Significance

When we adopt a performance-based mindset, we welcome shame and fear into our lives. Shame tells us something is wrong with us. Fear tells us we will be rejected, we don’t belong, and we won’t measure up. The result is control. Without realizing it, we begin to overcompensate by trying to exert control. Control tells us to strive to win the approval of others. Then we will feel better about ourselves, be accepted, and fill our love void. But it is a lie, a very futile and exhausting lie.

Welcomed Back As A Son, Not A Servant

When God’s children stray from His heart, it is often because they, too, wrongly see themselves as unlovable orphans. This causes them to question the Father’s love for them, no matter what He does. It causes them to expect, like the younger son, that they will not be welcomed home as children, but only as servants. Of course, the father’s prodigal response to his son’s return is the opposite of all he had expected. Jesus tells us the father saw his son coming, even when he was still far away (s

What Happens When Our Hearts Have Unhealed Pain?

The first problem [resulting in us looking for greener pastures] is unhealed pain in our hearts. When we are wounded, it’s like a little place in our souls is broken or crushed. The more pain we experience, the more broken our hearts become. Since this process begins in our very early years, many of us grow up accumulating a lot of pain at the hands of others, our environment, our circumstances, and our own self-sabotage. To try to make the pain stop, we self-medicate through addictive living.

Who Was The Real Prodigal? The Father or The Son?

This is God’s heart for all of His sons and daughters, for every person ever born. He is extreme, excessive, and extravagant with His love toward His children, even when those children have wandered far from His heart. In Jesus’ parable, we see in both sons a picture of God’s response to those children who have wandered from His heart.

Are You Looking For More?

The decision to invite Jesus into my life changed everything—especially for my family. Prior to the retreat, my husband, Richard, and I had been experiencing serious marital issues. We had been on the brink of divorce more than once. But, my encounter with Jesus had changed me. When I came home from the retreat, it didn’t take Richard long to realize something big had happened in my heart.

New Year's Blessing and Declarations!

New Year Blessing, Declarations

Living In Authentic Masculinity (Part 4) - written by Jeff Dean

Living in relationship with Father God is the craziest thing. As a young man I found adventure but found no peace. At age 40 I sought the Lord and gained genuine adventure and elusive peace. What a deal. As I think back to the last 15 years I just laugh and I cry. The tears come from joy.  

Living In Authentic Masculinity (Part 3) - written by Jeff Dean

If Father God seems too much like your earthly Dad remember that that the amazingly kind, graceful, smart, funny, manly man Jesus Christ is what you get with Father God. You can believe it on faith until you experience Father God for yourself.

Living In Authentic Masculinity (Part 2) - written by Jeff Dean

For 17 years Dad taught me all about being a godly man. It was mostly by example and without many words. I got a better start than most, but it still wasn’t enough for me to know how to live as a believer and a man. That came later.

Living In Authentic Masculinity (Part 1) - written by Jeff Dean

When we know our true identities, we will live as authentic men.