Post Archives

Pastor Stuart
January 31, 2014

Gimme that Awe-Inspired Religion

Gimme that Awe-Inspired Religion

Church shouldn’t be boring. Worship shouldn’t be boring. It’s intended to help people connect and communicate with the Creator of the universe. So if anything, it should be the complete opposite of boring. But first, we need to make sure our faith isn’t boring either.

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January 28, 2014

The results are in: “Church is Good for You”

A recent psychological study suggests that people “who are more actively religious are more likely to report low levels of anxiety, depression, and fatigue–and feel that they cope with stress better and that their lives have meaning.” This is one of those things that church-goers have known for a long time, but it’s just nice to have scientific proof of now. It supports a ministry motto I like to use: “Church is good for the soul.”

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January 16, 2014

A Word from the Pastor

Even though it’s already printed here in the newsletter, I want to repeat the church’s newly-crafted mission statement: The mission of Hickory Rock is to show our love for God through worship, prayer, service, and fellowship, as we proclaim God’s love for all people, encouraging them to grow in the hope, peace, and joy of […]

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January 16, 2014

Motivated by Our Mission

Something really important happened last week in the life of the church: we formulated a mission statement for our congregation. It’s one sentence of what we believe God wants us to be and do. So how do we apply it?

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January 7, 2014

How To Be Unsatisfied With Your Church

How To Be Unsatisfied With Your Church

Everyone wants to be satisfied with their church-going experience. And there are a lot of things we can do to improve not just our church experience but the overall impact and warmth of our church for everybody who connects with it. But what if you didn’t want to be satisfied with your church?

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December 30, 2013

Bad Break Ups

No matter how nice you are, there’s always going to be people who manage to get on your nerves. It can be co-workers, supervisors, neighbors, frenemies, or even family members over the dinner table during Christmas. But what if there are people at your church that rub you the wrong way?

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December 19, 2013

E for Ethical – Grading Fashion Companies

As a kid, I was overwhelmed with curiosity about what Christmas presents I would get. For gifts that were wrapped under the tree early, I examined them like a CSI forensics expert examines a body for clues. Now, though, I don’t need anymore toys. But I do need socks and undershirts, so I actually welcome gifts of clothes. However, when money is spent on me, I don’t want it to go to mean, jerky people. So what’s a gift-giver to do?

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December 11, 2013

Farms, Food, and Faith

Farms, Food, and Faith

“Everybody eats.” There’s no getting around it, but for a long time, many people didn’t think about where their food comes from, but that’s beginning to change. I was reading¬†an article, called “Ministries blending food and faith,”¬†which said this: There’s a dawning awareness among Baptists and other Christians that agriculture, the environment, and theology are […]

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December 4, 2013

Do You Really Need Church?

What would you say if someone asked, “I get why you’re into ‘being spiritual’ and ‘helping people’ and everything, but why bother with Church? Do you really think you need it?” If churches are just places that organize service projects, have book clubs, host fun dinners, and offer support groups, and since you can find all that through other places, then why bother with church at all? Good question. (The short answer is: it helps you remember what you need to know.)

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November 26, 2013

Christianity is for the Dogs

Christianity is for the Dogs

Amazingly, we can learn to be better Christians by studying the evolution of dogs. Weird, right? Apparently, between 12,000 and 40,000 years ago, the wild wolf was domesticated into the common dog. But how did that happen? How did some parts of a species go from ruthless predators to cute fluffy balls of fur that snuggle with us on the couch? And what does that have to do with being a Christian?

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