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January 28, 2018

How will you be remembered? As the bad Scrooge or the good Scrooge

How will you be remembered? As the bad Scrooge or the good Scrooge

If there is one Christmas movie that stands out as a classic for the ages, maybe it’s the one that has been repeated and adapted more than any other: the Charles Dickens book A Christmas Carol. There seems to be a new version of it every few years. Black & white, color, animated, live-action, singing, no singing, Muppets, and Mickey Mouse. (Those last two are my favorites.) Charles Dickens must have really connected with something deep inside people for that story to continue being told and adapted into so many new versions decade after decade. Maybe it’s lasted so long because Scrooge’s transformation in the story is so heartfelt: from a greedy miser who takes as much as he can, to a merry friend who gives as much he can. Or maybe it just inspires us, because it shows a hurting world–a hurting family with a hurting boy (Tiny Tim)–but it also shows that one person can make a difference, if their heart is in the right place…

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July 20, 2016

A Spiritual Fitness Tracker

A Spiritual Fitness Tracker

Everybody wants strong muscles, right? Well, your physical muscles aren’t the only ones you have. People shouldn’t just exercise their physical muscles but also their intellectual, emotional, and definitely their spiritual muscles. Just like lifting weights, doing sit-ups, and going for runs make us physically stronger and fit, we should also monitor and exercise our faith…

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November 30, 2014

A Word from the Pastor

Like I mentioned in my last pastor’s column, I’ve been learning many fascinating things about Hickory Rock’s history in my research for our 100th anniversary next year. The most incredible thing I’ve learned so far is that I actually have a relative buried in the churchyard. Not only that, but some of my relatives have […]

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June 17, 2014

You’re way more important than the preacher

Sermons are nice but not near as important as the things people share with each other during regular times of life, in the middle of the day, sitting at work, or visiting at home. Some of those listeners will never walk into a church, so the words they hear about how God loves them, coming from their friends and neighbors, are the most important words that they will hear. That means you’ve got a big job to do!

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May 14, 2014

A Word from the Pastor

When I was a kid, I really enjoyed Legos. Many hours were spent on the floor combing through piles of pieces, hunting for the exact shape and shade I needed to complete the next step in assembling whatever spaceship or castle I was constructing that day. Then, when completed, the playing began as my imagination […]

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March 4, 2014

A Word from the Pastor

I loved the children’s message Sharon did a few weeks ago, when she held some pencils and asked, “What do they have in common?” The answer: all their erasers had been used up, so the people who used them must have made a lot of mistakes. And in life, we all make mistakes. But through […]

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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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October 24, 2013

Church: The Next Generation

Church: The Next Generation

One young adult Christian laments, “The most frustrating part of being a Millennial is that my church does not understand me.” Yikes! Is it even possible to understand them? (Hint: Yes! And we’re in a good position to do it.)

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October 17, 2013

Following Jesus: Crazy, Hard

Our lives will be better the more we follow Jesus. We know that and we say it, but it’s actually hard to put it into practice because the way of Jesus is totally different from the rest of the world. For the first people who followed Jesus, his disciples, he called them to a life […]

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October 14, 2013

Small church = Big impact

Small church = Big impact

I totally agree: In a time of extraordinary transformation, small churches are a resource and a gift to the wider church. They are the ones best-prepared to enter the way of revitalization and renewal, and to report back to those who will follow. That quote comes from this article, which also says that “small churches […]

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