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Blog - Life

Hopeful Grieving

I learned my mom’s disease was terminal the moment she was diagnosed. I remember the doctor coming out of surgery and ushering me into a quiet room that was just off from the waiting room. I sat anxiously awaiting the results from her surgery. “Your mom is in serious trouble,” he said. He was a kind doctor and his eyes told me he was deeply [...]

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Beach Day Away with God

“Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16). That was the verse at the top of the handout. My dinner group was taking a seaside retreat from our everyday lives. Piling into vehicles, we headed down to a member’s beach house for a Saturday of spiritual focus. There had been a storm the day before (with flood warnings), [...]

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Defining Moment

You know how on social media, they let you set up your profile? It’s a way for people to identify you – a way for people to connect with you. You know what’s hard? When people have other people in their portrait picture. When that happens, I can’t tell who is who. Here’s my picture. Okay, maybe I don’t have a leg to stand on. They say that couples [...]

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A (Grown-Up) Love Story

Once upon a time, at a college far, far away, a girl met a boy. The boy’s name was Jose, and he was very good at math. The girl’s name was Liliana, and she was… not very good at math. “I had a tutor, but the tutor left. And I kept hearing about this one guy, Jose,” recalls Liliana. “Everyone kept talking about how great he was. At the tutoring [...]

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Down in the Dumps

The other day, I felt pretty down in the dumps. I don’t know why, but I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Has this ever happened to you? You can’t explain it, but you’re just grumpy. I don’t mean those of you who need a morning coffee before you can speak, much less speak coherently and kindly. I mean just being grumpy — those times [...]

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The Surprising Colors of God’s Plan

It had been a long, frustrating day, trying to balance my website expansion with a desire to clean out closets. My life was changing, but this shift seemed to be taking so long. For several years I’d been re-examining priorities, refocusing my goals and working to make my career dreams a reality. But parts of my life still felt out of sync, and I was [...]

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Japan, Year 1

One morning last June, Dario woke up in surprise to a chorus of cicadas. “They were incredibly loud,” he remembers. “They would wake me up every day at 6 a.m. and go for three or four hours straight, and they were like that the whole summer.” It was one of the many things that reminded Dario he was not back home in New Jersey. [...]

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How a Spin Class Changed the Way I Worship

I’ve had a complicated relationship with my body these last few years thanks to some significant health issues. I’ve moved through cycles of frustration and exhaustion to hatred to forgiveness and grace to hopefulness more times than I can count. Scripture says my body was “fearfully and wonderfully made,” but more often than not, it has just felt fearful.

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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 about Why You Will [...]

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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 [...]

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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.

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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 [...]

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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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