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Seven Ways to Influence a Human Today

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Pretend. I recommend this with your kids and not with the adults you work with. I drove my son to work this morning and my 15-year-old daughter to school. My daughter was in the back with only me in the front after I dropped off my son. I pretended to be her chauffeur and told her she could go anywhere in the world. She said, "Costa Rica!" Unfortunately for her I still had to take her to school.   
Pray. But don't just pray quietly without the other person knowing anything. Actually call the person on the phone or stop them in the hallways at work and pray for them. Who knows what the power of acknowledgement and prayer will do for someone today?
Serve. Fill in a gap for someone. Someone has a need today. Keep your eyes and ears open. Look for someone's need and do something about it. It might be a huge answer to their prayers. 
Share. Open up your life to someone. Let another person know that you're afraid of failing or that you're struggling with self control. Vulnerability breaks down walls. All of us struggle. It's so good to share that reality with others. 
Laugh. Belly laugh with someone. Look up something hilarious on YouTube and just laugh your head off. Laughter can brighten a day gone bad. 
Encourage. It's so easy to reach out to people nowadays. Text. Private messaging. Facebook posts. Think very intentionally about someone's personal giftedness and let them know that they make a difference. 
Forgive. Most likely there's someone in your world that's hurt you in some way lately. Let them off the hook. Get in touch with them and let them know that you forgive them. You might help them remove a ton of excess weight off their shoulders. 
Influence a human today. Go ahead. Just do it. 
You Are Loved!
Posted by Brent Halvorsen with

He Owns the Hammer Made Shirt Co.?

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Winston Churchill was known for saying, "My tastes are simple. I am easily satisfied with the best."
True confession. I can resonate with Churchill. I really love things that are known to be the best. I'd rather eat at a skillfully prepared steak at Capitol Grille than choke down a piece of meat at The Sizzler. I prefer to take a trip across the country in the exclusive comforts of first class rather than cram myself into the pampering-starved experience of discount airlines. I'd rather enjoy a scoop or two of Sebastian Joe's homemade ice cream in Uptown than be disappointed by cheap grocery store wannabes. 
Another true confession. I've never ever flown first class. Maybe someday. I've also never ever bought a men's shirt that retailed for over $100. But this year I wanted a more expensive shirt. Lately I've been on this kick to accumulate less but purchase better quality stuff. 
So, my heart was set on acquiring a truly quality shirt from Hammer Made shirts; shirts based right here in Minneapolis. They're expensive though. They easily retail over $100. 
I couldn't pull the trigger. I just couldn't convince myself to spend that much money on a shirt. 
Then Christmas comes along and I open a box lovingly wrapped by my children. Past Christmas gifts from my children included things like a multi-faceted hammer retailing at $3.99, a bobblehead fishermen with a spot to put a picture of my face on its face, and various things like candy and socks and other things that I've quickly forgotten. 
But the content inside this box was different. It was a men's shirt. A nice shirt. A really nice shirt. I pulled it out of the cardboard gift box and raised it high and glanced at the tag. It was made by Hammer Made. 
No way. 
"How did you guys afford to buy me a Hammer Made shirt?!", I asked with big-time excitement. 
My oldest daughter Mariah didn't realize that she nanny's for the owner and founder of Hammer Made shirts. This Christmas he gave her a special gift card and told her to go to one of his stores and pick out any shirt for her dad and give it to him at Christmas. 
"Wait, you work for the guy who owns the Hammer Made shirt company?" I was shocked. And then I wanted to scold her for not knowing. Kidding. Sort of. 
Mariah had no idea that I really wanted a Hammer Made shirt. 
But God did. God totally knew. 
We're not always going to get everything we want. But God is often willing to give us the desires of our hearts. And sometimes he'll do it in ways that will truly make us want to get on our faces and simply worship Him out of gratitude and joy. 
Keep trusting our great and caring Lord! He knows and he's very kind. 
You Are Loved, 
Posted by Brent Halvorsen with

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