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Everyone Has a Story

Jon Malstrom is a great friend of mine who has a gift for writing, among other things.  He wrote today’s post and it’s longer than usual for Punch and Press, but I didn’t want you to miss what he has to say or the way he says it.  I know you will be blessed by reading Jon’s story about risk, authenticity, healing  and relationship.    – Brandon   It seems as if every single day I must once again face the fact that life is unpredictable and the only thing […]

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Cultivate Thankfulness

To cultivate something of value, you often must get your hands dirty. Hard work of digging, pruning, watering and weed pulling all are building blocks to cultivation. I have fond memories of walking behind my grandmother as we hunted our way through her incredible garden. She plucked weeds, and I ate the spoils of her hard work. I remember her dirty work gloves and small spade she carried in her hand. She cared for each plant and loved every second of it. When I think of cultivation, those images come […]

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Choosing Restoration

Today’s guest blogger is my great friend, Judy Cintron. She and her husband, Sam, have treated us like family since we first met.  Judy has the heart of a disciple and she is an intentional discipler of others. – Brandon Is there a relational situation where you have given up? Until recently my answer would have been yes until I re-read the stories of Joseph and David. Let me give you the cliff notes version. Joseph’s brothers were jealous of the relationship he had with their father. The brothers threw […]

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A Simple Life

Is life more convenient today? Do we have it easier than those that plowed dirt with their livestock or canned their own vegetables? My kids have often told me that I was born in the wrong century. I’m not quite sure how to take that, but I know there is some truth in it. I love the simplicity of life in spite of the hardships that presented themselves for those that lived off the land. Maybe you are like me. Are there times you find yourself wanting to take anything […]

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Shoring Up

Wow, did it rain! It was mid-September during elk season. Ominous storm clouds had been passing overhead for days. We could feel the weather changing, almost like it was about to unleash a beast of a storm. My hunting partner Tony and I stayed optimistic and hoped for the best. The elk hunting that week was outstanding, and we had so much fun camping and enjoying the time in God’s creation. We tried to ignore the possibility of the elements bringing our hunting to a soggy end. That positive outlook […]

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Spring is not here yet

This blog post is from my friend, Erik Eclov. He is a student pastor at our church. As I have said before, I firmly believe in developing people and giving opportunities for others to write about what God has been teaching them. Enjoy this post from Erik.  ~ Brandon About a year ago, a close friend of mine died unexpectedly. He was fun loving and constantly moving. He was an ingenious tinkerer. He was married and had a son. He was the type of person who didn’t always understand people, […]

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Spiritual Seasons

Where are the beautiful fall colors? That question runs through my mind now that I live in Houston, Texas. In the Pacific Northwest at this time of the year, the orange, red and yellow colors explode from the trees. It is a bit of a paradox for me. I love the warmer weather of Houston, but miss the changing of the seasons. I especially miss what the change of season brings. In many parts of the world, the fall season brings cooler weather and often the end of a harvest. […]

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Living Water

Driving across Ethiopia’s rural landscape can be both inspiring and confusing. The beauty sometimes leaves me feeling like I am in the middle of some National Geographic Documentary. Huge Eucalyptus trees, dense banana groves and coffee plants fill the countryside with a green beauty we just do not see in North America. But as I said, it can also be confusing. The chaotic traffic patterns with near head on collisions are common on most roads. They can leave you clenching muscles you didn’t know you had. I’m telling you as […]

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Mercy Squirrel

Wow, it was cold. I sat in a tree stand listening and watching for any signs of elk moving through the area. Huddled up, I watched the fog from my breath rise into the clear, fall air. My view of the distant mountains and the smell of the forest around me was medicine to my soul. I love experiencing the vastness of God’s creation. Down deep in the canyon below, maybe a half mile away, I heard faint bugles of an elk. Such a beautiful sound, the call of an […]

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The Precious Years

This week’s entry on Punch and Press is a guest post from my good friend, Heidi.  I know you will appreciate her perspective on parenting and discipleship.  Enjoy! – Brandon Our family has entered what I call “the precious years.”   Our son has just started middle school. The stinkiest, most awkward and angst-ridden years that I can remember in my own life, I am now reliving to walk my own son through. I think revisiting those years brings a whole new meaning to self-sacrifice. I thought I’d done a pretty bang-up […]

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