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Grounded in Faith

Perfecting the art of imperfection

For years, I didn’t smile with an open mouth. I had a mouthful of crooked, crowded teeth. Imagine a picket fence rearranged by a wildly errant bicyclist — or a Mack truck. That’s what my teeth looked like. I had postponed orthodontic care for years, because in my heightened state of teenage self-awareness, braces…

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Anticipation

Emery’s here. She’s a 7 lb.9 oz. bundle of joy!  I am so excited. Our fourth grand baby, born on October 18th couldn’t have come soon enough and we were all smiles when we saw her pretty face for the very first time. What a fun few weeks it has been! Anticipating her arrival got me thinking about another “anticipation”…

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The miracle of the happening

Few things get our attention as much as speed. We want the fastest computers, the fastest routes to work, the fastest ways to get rich, the fastest….well, everything. This is why the fastest growing churches often get attention, but the slow and steady often do not. Or immediate healings through prayer, as opposed to…

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If churches shut down

People across the United States are finding out what it means for their life when the government shuts down.  From this, a new hashtag on Twitter has started: #IfIShutDown.  Dentists are tweeting empty dentist chairs, newspaper editors blank sheets of paper, and Moms and Dads messy kitchens and unsupervised children. But what…

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The Theory of Desirable Difficulty

There are a handful of authors that I have been so consistently impressed by that I feel compelled to read whatever they produce.  In fiction, there’s C.J. Sansom.  In terms of business or leadership, there’s Jim Collins. And in a genre of writing hard to describe is Malcolm Gladwell.  His typical approach is to popularize…

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10 easy ways to promote your pastor

Pastor Appreciation Month (October) is a great opportunity for individuals and the church, as a whole, to show love and appreciation for their pastor.  Here are 10 ways to express gratitude, honor your clergy, and thank your pastor’s devoted family members during Pastor Appreciation Month: 1.  Pray for your pastor.  …

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Help wanted

It happened like this one Sunday morning at my brother-in-law’s church in Minnesota: Someone had taped a bright-yellow sign to the front door, with an apology to those gathering for worship: “Sorry. We weren’t able to find anyone to serve as greeters today. Let yourself in!” The congregants shrugged, then opened the door,…

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For better or for worse

The small country church where our family worships every Sunday turned 125 years old this summer. We celebrated with a pageant, picnics, and an old-fashioned “hymn sing” under a big white tent. We lingered long over tables, while our children ran unending circles around a church tucked into the crook of a farm field.…

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Are snakes biting your ankles?

Have you ever been bitten by a poisonous snake and felt its lethal effect coursing through your veins? I have. No, I never have been snagged by the fangs of a rattlesnake or cobra, but I been attacked by other kinds of snakes that inject their poison of hate, bitterness, irritation, discouragement, hopelessness, fear, depression…

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