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Grounded in Faith

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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Why I love my Pastor; my last Tweet

If someone asked you if you loved your Pastor…what would you say? Do you ever think about that? Do you ever pray for the man who is serving in one of the loneliest jobs in the church today? Think about how he has to spend time studying truth to teach you the Truth? How about the countless times he is available for those who need prayer?…

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Good gone bad

“Mom, what are those blue spots on the loaf of bread?” my daughter questioned as I was reaching for my morning coffee. Uh oh. I walked over to the counter, plucked up the half loaf with the plastic bag clearly displaying the fuzzy spots of my neglect, and tossed it into the garbage. Summertime for me means fewer hours in the kitchen…

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Ways to pray for your family, friends, and neighbors

for your spouse to feel God’s daily presence for your children to grow up strong in God for neighbors to find Jesus for an unemployed friend to find meaningful work for unsaved family members to come to Christ for the safety of friends and family in the military for healing for a friend suffering illness or injury for the spiritual…

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Help me find it

My friend Carder told me last week that his mom’s quote for his growing up years was “you never know”. I have let that settled a bit in my mind, wondering that phrase. It speaks to the unknown, the “you-never-know-what’s-going-to-happen-next” future. Honestly that is what has really been…

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Rick Hall

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Surviving the Dog Days

It’s easy to talk about trusting God when things are going well, when there are no dangers on the horizon and the road is smooth. But when the road starts getting bumpy, when the storm clouds appear, when your world begins to collapse…that’s when your willingness to trust can be put to the test. About a year ago, I was on day two…

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