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Growing in Faith

One Good Friday

The ladies hurried in and started removing items one by one. The lights were dim in the room that brought a quiet solitude. Everyone was reverently sitting and watching. One by one the candles disappeared, the flowers were next, then the cross that was centered on the veiled stone altar. In only a few minutes, nothing was left but the…

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Some reasons to get out of bed today

If you are like me you are running on empty most days, and your to-do list just keeps growing and growing.  Most days are overwhelming with a cumulative list of tasks. Ever get to the point of thinking twice about getting out of bed?  The doorway to depression is often calling your name, beckoning your heart to just succumb to the…

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What’s the deal with purity?

Purity.  Isn’t that just for single people or those who have claimed a life of celibacy? Usually when you hear that word it’s used in the same sentence as a youth minister’s Wednesday night lesson.  It certainly is a battlefield that seems to have few victories in the lives of teens and singles.  …

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What to do before you get angry

I can make a lot of excuses for what happened on Friday evening. I got up at 4:30 am, so I was cranky I had been traveling most of the day I hadn’t had a real meal in 8 hours I had not seen my family for 3 weeks It was a combination of those things and more that led to McDonalds for dinner, and ultimately, a life lesson. I just wanted a grilled…

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I think I’m praying wrong

You do not have in mind the things of God, but merely human concerns. – Mark 8:33 The funny thing about the Bible; you can read a story all your life, and still get a new message from what you read. That happened to me this week as I went through Mark 8.  There is a moment when Jesus is, very clearly, telling his disciples what his death…

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Don’t Fall Down The Worry Slope!

As I have been transitioning and moving from Oklahoma to Minnesota, my wife, Colleen, and our two children, Ezra (10 Months) and Joash (6 Years) are living in Oklahoma so Joash can finish school for the year.  There have been some challenges, as it seems as if the moment I left 3 weeks ago, everything in the house started falling apart. …

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Listen to God

I’ve lived a good chunk of my 51-years learning some very difficult lessons.  I might add, with gratefulness to God, some very valuable lessons.  While we all face lessons to be learned, most come out of choices made, good or bad.  I’ve made some choices out of fear, rebellion and unforgiveness.  I’ve also made choices…

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The memory of God’s people

Last summer, someone made a wise observation that has stayed with me for weeks – the Church responds swiftly when there’s an acute, immediate need. Food drives are organized, candlelight vigils spring up across the community, and every person feels a call to get involved and serve the hurting. Then we drift from…

Why does God allow bad things?

“Who sinned, this man or his parents?” the disciples asked Jesus when they saw a man who had been blind his entire life (John 9:1). They wanted to know why God allowed this terrible affliction. This is the same thought Job’s friends had when they saw Job suffering through the loss of his children, his prosperity, and his health.…

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Rising negative tide towards Christians

As a kid back in the 60’s, my Sunday school teacher Earl Palmquist said to something to me that I’ve never forgotten. It’s a long time ago, but I have a vivid memory of that morning in the basement, by the kitchen at Brooklyn Center Baptist Church.  Mr. Palmquist told our class, there will come a day, perhaps…

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