J Hall

J Hall

Goals: Good or Bad?

In the late 1960s, the Ford Motor Company was losing market share to foreign competitors that were selling small, fuel-efficient cars. CEO, Lee Iacocca, announced the specific, challenging goal of producing a new car that would be “under 2000 pounds and under $2,000” and would be available for purchase in 1970. This goal, coupled with a tight deadline, meant that many levels of management signed off on unperformed safety checks to expedite the development of the car—the Ford Pinto. One…

Money Minded

How important is money to you? What does money provide you? Besides the obvious physical/tangible elements like various items, housing, transportation, and sustenance – what else do you get out of your wealth and material possessions? Does the balance of your bank account provide your sense of self-worth or does it simply reflect the level in which you’ve been monetarily blessed? Is your identity found in the clothes that you wear and the belongings that you own or is it…

Selfless Control

Recently I read two articles in succession that struck me with how much they had in common. The first was from the Associated Press, it spoke of how a president of a Midwestern theological seminary was fired after the trustees determined that his temper had “imperiled his leadership.” The president confessed to “misappropriation of anger,” and “after hours of agonizing discussion and interviews with the president and the vice presidents, a majority of the board members concluded that the expressions…

Thoughtfulness & Thankfulness

My whole life, I’ve heard the phrase, “What would you have today if you woke up with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?” This thought is always a sobering one as I reflect on my daily prayer life and the level of thankfulness I show in it. A couple of weeks ago, our whole nation, at some point or another, had their minds on the topic of being thankful. They may have done so around a big Thanksgiving…

Patience Is A Virtue

More than likely, we have all heard the phrase “patience is a virtue” at one time or another in our lives. One might hear the phrase most commonly in a specific situation where patience is lacking at that time. As with many other common colloquialisms, we freely say it or hear it with little thought to its origin or full meaning. This sentiment is a reflection upon someone’s ability to wait for something. By calling patience a virtue, or state…

The Fear Factor

It seems that when tigers hunt, they have a remarkable capacity for causing their prey to paralyze with fear, a size greater than any of the other big cats. As the tiger charges toward its helpless victim, it lets out a spine-chilling roar. Now you’d think this would be enough to cause the prey to turn and run for its life, but instead, it often freezes and soon becomes tiger food. At the turn of the 21st century, scientists at…

Faith to Faith

Have you ever been in a situation where you were amazed by the faithfulness or loyalty of someone else? A friend who was there in difficult times, a boss who went above and beyond, or perhaps a pet that always sticks near. It’s an incredible feeling to know you have someone who will always be there for you and will not leave no matter what. It’s this ultimate security that we perhaps seek out more than anything else when choosing…

False Security

Have you ever had to work a graveyard shift at your job before? Have you ever even heard of the phrase “graveyard shift”? Certain jobs like factories, hospitals, or other 24-hour establishments require people to be there all around the clock. Therefore, employees are given the “graveyard shift” in which they clock in sometime around midnight and clock out in the early hours of the morning. For many, this would be a nightmare to endure, but for some, this is…

Who Do You Say That I Am?

In Matthew 16, Jesus’ fame and recognition among the Jews are on the rise. At this point in His ministry, people are starting to know who He is upon His arrival in their city. In the previous chapter, we see just how well-known and celebrated He has become.  Matthew 15:29-30, “Departing from there, Jesus went along by the Sea of Galilee and having gone up on the mountain, He was sitting there. And large crowds came to Him, bringing with…

Eye Exam

When reading the shortest of the four gospels, the book of Mark, one finds two miracles that are unique to the second gospel. Not only are they unique by only being found in Mark and not in the other three gospels, but they also are unique by how they are performed. The first of these is found in Mark 7:32-37 and describes how Jesus healed a deaf/mute man peculiarly. Before Jesus heals the man, He puts His fingers in the…

Pursuit of Happiness

In Toy Story, one of the first big scenes in the movie is when Andy first challenges Buzz to prove that he can fly. This is just minutes after the whole group meets Buzz for the first time, and Andy has already realized that Buzz truly believes he’s a “Space-Ranger.” Buzz, confident in his skills, steps close to the edge of the bed and boldly dives off! Thankfully for him, a series of very fortunate events unfold that make it…

Joy and Happiness

What are some things that bring you happiness in your life? What about these things provide you with that feeling of happiness? As you briefly stop and contemplate these things, it’s fairly easy to start coming up with multiple answers ranging from spending time with family or friends all the way to more simple things like enjoying ice cream or a good meal. Now, with that list made, what are some things that bring you joy? Is there a difference…
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