The Dogs of Stay

I almost changed the title of this series of canine bios leading up to the release of my new book Stay. The title sounded like the followup reality series to the Housewives of Orange County. But rest assured the Dogs of Stay are far less catty. Sorry. Couldn’t resist. I am really excited about Stay and I thought it would be fun to get to know some of the “stars” of my new book. First up is our unforgettable Golden Retriever Charlie.       Puppy Charlie making sure the dishes are all clean. Most of us remember our dogs because they leave paw prints on our heart. Charlie certainly did that. But just to make sure he was not forgotten he left chew marks on our table, scratch marks on our doors and teeth marks on our doorknobs. I quoted John Grogan (of Marley fame) in Stay about the charm of dogs like Charlie. “Dogs are great. Bad dogs, if we
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Peace and  love symbol

Can We Ever Really Get Together?

A peace anthem from my youth came on the radio today. The Youngbloods recorded “Get Together” in 1967 and it became one of the quintessential peace songs of the era. I remember listening to the static on my AM transistor radio while singing along with The Youngbloods. I was sure that my generation could make a difference. We would fix the mess that my parents and grandparents had made. We believed peace was possible. We just had to get together. This would be easy enough. Just love one another. Everybody sing now… C’mon people now, Smile on your brother Ev’rybody get together Try and love one another right now Nice words. The problem was contained in the last line of lyric above. Try and love one another right now. How is that working out for our peace loving generation? Not so well. It is far easier to sing about loving one another than it is to actually love another. No matter how much
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Influence is power concept

Hump Day Hope – Power Versus Influence

The pundits are parsing the State of the Union address this morning. My friend Ed Underwood wrote a wonderful piece on the topic of power versus influence. Today I yield my space to the gentleman from California. (Reposted from Every time Jesus’ first disciples dreamed of position and power, He warned them that His measure of greatness was serving (Mark 9:33-37; 10:35-45). When we ignore His warning dreams of position and power sidetrack us. Books and sermons on a Christian’s relationship to government often fail to distinguish between political power and cultural influence. The primary passages—Matthew 5:13-16, Romans 13:1-7, 1 Timothy 2:1-4, 1 Peter 2:13-16—clearly teach us that our role is to use whatever position we have to influence society toward righteousness and justice as we submit to governmental authority. Biblically, influence and power are not the same. The influence is ours, but the power is God’s. Historically, when Christians confuse the two, we lose both—today and forever. Confusing influence
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Monday Musing: Redeemed. Believe it.

One of my phone apps offers new music that I can redeem from the app. Recently I went to download a song and this message came up. Already redeemed. I had already acquired the song. There was no need for further redemption. It was mine. How I wish I could trust that for my relationship with God. A song by Big Daddy Weave called “Redeemed” sums up my struggle and encourages me to know that I am not alone in this battle. Seems like all I can see was the struggle Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past Bound up in shackles of all my failures Wondering how long is this gonna last Then You look at this prisoner and say to me “son stop fighting a fight that’s already been won” That is the truth I have to remind myself just about every day. The fight has already been won. Yet I too often live as if my
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Kirchenbesucher mit Gotteslob

Where Is My Treasure?

I have been doing this church thing for a lot of years. I have sung hundreds of songs over the four decades or so that I have been a follower of Jesus. Some lyrics moved me to deep worship of God. Some times I really meant what I was singing. Other times I was singing through the motions while thinking about when the kick off was going to happen. One song has always made me uncomfortable. The song was put to music by the legendary George Beverly Shea in 1932. The words were a poem written by Mrs.Rhea Miller in 1922. I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold; I’d rather be His than have riches untold; I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands, I’d rather be led by His nail pierced hand. Can I really say that I would rather have Jesus than silver or gold? Maybe my retirement fund will make that decision for me. Do I mean
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Friends written on big blackboard

Hump Day Hope – You’ve Got A Friend

A song by James Taylor called “You’ve Got a Friend”  has been on my heart this week. Life can be really hard. Good friends are a big part of making it to the finish line successfully. Taylor’s lyrics resonated with me after returning from seeing friends in California. Ain’t it good to know you’ve got a friend. Ain’t it? Real friends are a treasure. We spend so much time acquiring stuff. We spend so much time acquiring titles and power. We often spend far too little developing real friends. When the world comes crashing in what you really need is a not a Ferrari. You need a friend. True friends fill your bucket with affirmation and love. True friends tell you the truth about yourself in a way that you can stand to hear it. This past weekend Joni and I were incredibly blessed to spend the weekend with friends like that. We go back a long way with Ed
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Weekend Wildcard – We Are Not As Strong As We Think We Are

I miss Rich Mullins. Hard to believe that it is approaching twenty years ago that Mullins was killed in a car accident in Illinois. His music is still all over my iPod and one of his songs is the subject of the Weekend Wildcard. The song is called “We Are Not As Strong As We Think We Are” and it opens with this stanza. Well, it took the hand of God Almighty To part the waters of the sea But it only took one little lie To separate you and me Oh, we are not as strong as we think we are. If only we could acknowledge that we are not as strong as we think we are and then live accordingly I believe we would see an amazing difference. Yet pride tells me that I am able to handle the situation. Fear tells me that telling the truth in love will only make it worse. So one little lie or misunderstanding dealt
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