Grace “found” me

(From the weekly devotional at theFish.com)

A new song to the iPod rotation set up today’s iPod Devotional and (full disclosure) a chance to give a sneak preview from a brand new chapter in the new release of  When Bad Christians Happen to Good People.

The song is by a group called Rush of Fools. First of all, their name sounds like a group of guys that a random “bad Christian” might fit in with comfortably. The song “Your Grace Found Me” perfectly reflects my journey over the past decade. I have to be honest and report that I wasn’t looking for grace. I was looking for an exit to get far, far away from most Christians.

Stuck in Legalism: The Airing of Grievances

(An excerpt from Chapter One of the new version of When Bad Christians Happen to Good People)

And at the Festivus dinner, you gather your family around, and you tell them all the ways they have disappointed you over the past year!
—Frank Costanza, Seinfeld episode “The Strike”

Most of us chuckle over the invented holiday of Festivus. In the famous Seinfeld episode, Frank Costanza explains how he grew frustrated with the commercialism of Christmas:

Frank Costanza: Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.

The New Edition is available now

My first book, When Bad Christians Happen to Good People, is being re-released with new content and a study guide for small groups. Here is part of the intro from the book. More excerpts will follow in days to come.

I must begin with some words of disclosure. I am a hypocrite. I can be arrogant and selfish. I have been known to stretch, conceal, or slightly massage 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.

Still the one

Thirty-five years ago today (July 17th) my beautiful bride to be “pledged her troth” to me. To a recovering hayseed that sounded mildly naughty but I learned it meant that she promised her fidelity to our relationship. She meant it. Today we celebrate well over three decades together. Hard to believe.

Just for grins I went back and took a look at some of the top music in the year we got married. There were some hits that did not make the cut for the solo at our modest wedding. For example, Paul Simon’s “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover” was axed. Go figure. Joni rejected The Captain and Tenille’s moving rendition of “Muskrat Love” without allowing debate. I felt like Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” would be a great crowd warmup. Rejected. “Shake Your Booty” by KC and The Sunshine Band was summarily dismissed.

You are more…

(From theFish.com)

One of my go to artists for the iPod Devotional walks with dog friend Hannah is Tenth Avenue North. Their lyrics touch my heart and inspire me on the journey. Today an old favorite popped up thanks to the shuffle feature. The song “You are more” talks about a young woman lost in fear and shame.

She says, “How did I get here?
I’m not who I once was.
And I’m crippled by the fear
That I’ve fallen too far to love”

That is a lie from the very pit of hell. The lyrics beautifully convey that no one has gone too far to experience God’s love.

Live Like We’re Dying

(From theFish.com)

Never know what the shuffle mode will turn up on the old iPod.

Today a song by Kris Allen provided the fodder for today’s devotional. The topic may seem a bit dark but it actually provides a blueprint for joy and peace.

We only got 86,400 seconds in a day to
Turn it all around or to throw it all away
We gotta tell them that we love them
While we got the chance to say

Gotta live like we’re dying

Live like we’re dying? What would that look like? Here are my thoughts.