DON'T FORGET! red Rubber Stamp over a white background.

How Quickly We Forget

Recently I have been saddened by the all out sprint to judgement of people and institutions that have made mistakes. It often seems the harshest comments come from people who ought to tap the brakes before they go there. These are folks that have made their own mistakes. Big ones. And they were offered grace and second chances. My initial response was self-righteous indignation because, let’s be honest, I am good at that. Eventually the quiet voice of the Spirit reminds me that I am also that guy who is too often quick to judge. I am that guy who tries to argue with God about forgiveness and whether someone “deserves” mercy. A little snippet from my book Stay addressed this very issue after Paul threw down an incredible statement to the Ephesian church. Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. (Ephesians 4:32, NLT) That is a very tall order
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Is Grace Worth It?

Sometimes I just want to step away from ministry. I get tired. And then the song “Lean On Me” cycles up on the iPod. That is not funny Lord. The lyrics sung by Bill Withers talks about being there for others. Life happens, John Lennon famously said, when you are making other plans. Life has been happening to us and many close to us in recent months. Sometimes in our lives We all have pain We all have sorrow But if we are wise We know that there’s Always tomorrow Lean on me, when you’re not strong And I’ll be your friend I have been thinking a lot about community. I have, to be honest, had many moments recently when I wondered if living in community with messy people is worth it. I am drawn to the dysfunctional. My heart goes out to the wounded lambs. But I will confess that I struggle with the cost of walking in honest
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Young lamb on the road after escaping the fences

Prone to Wander

Joni and I recently enjoyed a brief and delightful getaway to Fredericksburg, Texas. But there was one sad moment that I keep thinking about. We stayed away from the city and drove country roads into town. Each day we passed a sheep pasture. We chuckled about one adventurous sheep that found a way to get out of the fenced area and grazed happily in tall grass along the road. He seemed to know what he was doing and never got too close to the dangerous highway. The next day he was out again enjoying his freedom and a different grazing menu. Then we spotted another sheep that had also tried to find greener grass on the other side. This poor creature had gotten stuck under the fence and it had not taken long for the searing Texas heat to take his life. It was obvious that this unforunate animal had everything he had needed on the safe side of the
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steps of change to spiritual growth

The Outrageous and Scandalous Mystery of Grace!

I think a lot about the church. When you write a book called “When Bad Christians Happen to Good People” you tend to hear from angry and wounded churchgoers. I have received hundreds of emails and blog posts from hurting believers. If a modest selling author and blogger like me gets that many responses then you can extrapolate that this is a big problem for the American church. I began the book mentioned above with this paragraph. “I am a hypocrite. I can be arrogant and selfish. I have been known to stretch, conceal, or slightly message the truth. I am sometimes inconsiderate and insecure. I struggle with lust and impure thoughts. My ego often rages out of control, and I battle foolish pride. I can be lazy and foolhardy with my time. I get angry, petty, and ill-tempered. I am sarcastic and cynical. I am a Christian.” I can make the claim in the final sentence only because of
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American football balland de-focused players

Training Camp for Team Jesus

I love football. The opening of football training camps gets my juices going. I watch some of the greatest athletes in the world getting ready to play a highly skilled game. So what do they start with every summer at training camp? Footwork and technique drills. Coaches demanding constant repetition of fundamental skills. The best teams are the ones that most consistently execute the basic fundamental aspects of their craft. Legendary Coach Vince Lombardi famously began each training camp by gathering wide-eyed rookies and grizzled veterans around him. He would begin by holding the pigskin in front of him and solemnly proclaiming this truth. “Gentlemen, this is a football.” From that rather rudimentary start he would detail the importance of understanding the fundamentals of the sport. I can learn something from that approach. When I first came to faith I was so excited to learn the fundamentals of faith. How do I study the Bible? How do I pray? How
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Savannah

Enjoy Another Free Chapter From Stay!

In honor of National Mutt Day my friends at Tyndale are providing another free chapter from my latest book Stay: Lessons My Dogs Taught Me about Life, Loss, and Grace. Since our newest rescue Maggie is a mutt she wanted me to feature her. This chapter relates how difficult it was for our rescued friend to learn her brand new forever name. Download “Forgetting Her Name” from Stay by clicking on this link. I hope you enjoy this sample! If you want to read the rest of Stay you can find it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Christianbook.com and other fine retailers.    
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Mallard duck closeup.

Can’t “Duck” The Truth That We Need Community!

Last week the “ducks were on the pond”. Baseball fans will recognize that phrase as a colorful way to describe having a runner on every base. But this time I was enjoying some time off from the baseball gig with my lovely bride. We were sitting on the porch of our little cabin near Fredericksburg, Texas when a flock of eight ducks noisily left the pond and waddled toward us. They lined up and quacked expectantly. If I spoke duck I suspect the translation would have been something like the famous quote from Caddyshack. “Hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know.” We fed the ducks some cereal flakes and apparently that was an acceptable offering. Every time we went out on our porch the ducks would waddle over and wait for their snack. Joni and I were fascinated by their behaviors. They always stayed together. There was a clear leader of the pack and
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