Blog - Life

Let’s Be Honest

The stories that resonate most deeply with us are those that are honest. We appreciate authors and actors and songwriters who take off their masks and tell it like it is. Perhaps this can best be seen in the New York Times’ Most-Read Stories of 2016. The No. 1 story, by quite a large margin, was Alain de Botton’s article […]

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Why Your (Crazy, Messy, Beautiful) Story Must Be Told

Can I say that? Is that too much? I’m so nervous. Can we delete that? I’ll spare you the details. How much do you really want to know? This part isn’t for church. I can’t count how many times I’ve had this conversation with someone who has agreed to share their story. I work with the video and writing teams at Hoboken Grace, and regardless of the format, my job is to help people tell their stories. But the process is always full of fear, hesitation and anxiety.

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Learning to Fail Significantly

For more than a decade, Jackie has been devoted to making her salon in Union City a success. But recently, she turned the lights out and locked up for the last time. After all of those years doing her best to attract and keep clients and care for her staff, she was walking away from the business she had built from the ground up. At the same time, Jackie was stepping down after two years of leading a dinner group. Both felt like failure.

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PORTRAITS: Great Expectations

“Remember who you are and who you represent.” Jon’s mom always said the same thing to him as he headed out the door to hang out with friends, and the words trailed after him and echoed in his head. “Remember who you are and who you represent.” “She meant for those words to keep me grounded and focused on what was really important,” said Jon. “But every time I heard them, I piled a little more pressure on myself to live up to what I thought was expected of me.”

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Is This What You Want Me to Do, God?

As I discovered and accepted who Jesus was in my life, what He had done for me and all that He had in store, I couldn't help but feel like I wanted to do something BIG for God. I wanted to share with as many people as possible what I had just found out, it was THAT good. I wasn’t about to stand on the sidelines ㅡ I wanted a BIG role! And while I didn’t know how it would all unfold, I knew God had a BIG plan.

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Forgiveness

Recently, a co-worker did something that bothered me. When I confronted them, they didn’t accept responsibility. It wasn’t that serious of a situation; it was more annoying than anything. This happens to all of us. Someone does something that bothers you, but it isn’t a big deal. Maybe they minimized your contribution, mocked a mistake you made or blocked a […]

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Home Away From Home

John and Erica were just starting their life together when John got an internship ㅡ then a job ㅡ in New York City. So the couple moved to New Jersey, where they’d spend their first year of marriage hundreds of miles from friends, family and the small town where they grew up. In addition to desperately missing everyone back home, living in a city setting took some getting used to.

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The Annual Christmas Letter

Some families spend hours baking cookies every Christmas, then package them up to give to all their friends and relatives. In my family, we spent hours sending out Christmas cards with the annual holiday letter — 400 of them. My dad was in the military. As my parents moved from post to post every few years, they made friends in each location with other service people who lived the same transient lifestyle.

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Everything Can’t Be Amazing

We want so much for someone to speak truth about who we are and what we’re meant to be, but we often hope that they’ll say something we’ve already contrived, rather than trusting God with what He has given and promised us; rather than trusting Him with the journey of finding our gifts and letting Him direct us as to how to use them for His mission.

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A Passionate Debate

It’s a conversation I’ll never forget. It was meaningless until it completely changed my life. My friend and I were going back and forth about a football team. The argument was pointless and had very little if any actual merit from either side, but I loved to argue. I was presenting my position passionately and with precision when he interrupted […]

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Imperfect.

He calls us to embrace the spaces of our hearts and minds where we are still growing. I can choose to see the good in the world and celebrate His victories and still experience disappointments. I can be fragile and raw and vulnerable and still encourage others. I can love people — and myself — by reaching out to the people God has put in my life when I need comfort and by graciously accepting their love when I need it. I can fall down and inspire others with my bravery to stand back up.

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The Gift of Running

Countless people who attend Hoboken Grace have spent the past year training for marathons, 5Ks and their own personal fitness goals. And while most of them likely got started for the health benefits, many say running's also had an impact on their faith. It's offered lessons about the importance of getting started, building endurance and even developing community.

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