daveburchettDave Burchett

All articles by daveburchett

 

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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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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Welcome to the Dog Days of Summer

Summer has made it’s presence known this week in Texas. The oppressive heat leads to scenes like this for the canine friend Maggie. For years I have been throwing around the phrase “dog days of summer” with no clue about its origin. The Romans noticed that the hottest days of the years happened to coincide with the appearance of the “dog star” Sirius which is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major. They believed the appearance of this bright star contributed to withering heat. The Greeks were likely the first to use the term dog days and you will surely recall this reference from your most recent reading of the Iliad by Homer. Sirius rises late in the dark, liquid sky On summer nights, star of stars, Orion’s Dog they call it, brightest Of all, but an evil portent, bringing heat And fevers to suffering humanity. I was surprised to find that dog days appear in the first copies
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My Heroes Are Not Famous

One of the problems with our cultural Christianity is that we too often confuse giftedness and godliness. Someone may be gifted at speaking or writing or singing and we elevate that person in our spiritual estimation. God uses gifted people to be sure. But I am learning that God can use regular people reflecting Jesus through trials and suffering in miraculous ways. These heroes of the faith generally don’t make headlines. What they make is much more important. They make a difference. Our friends Debbie and Jim Dixon have made a difference in our lives. Two years ago our non-smoking friend Debbie was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. I don’t think the cancer realized what a tenacious foe it had attacked. Debbie has unleashed every single thing she has in her battle with this terrible disease. She has suffered a heartbreaking litany of side effects and setbacks in her long struggle. I think I might well have conceded after
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Is Christianity Dying in America?

There have been a lot of dire statements over the past few days about the future of Christianity in America. Some have declared that America will be judged harshly by God after the recent events. I am not smart enough or holy enough to know how or why God will judge America. I remember in Genesis when God mercifully offered to withdraw judgement if a handful of righteous people could be found in Sodom.  Abraham started by pleading for the city if fifty righteous people could be found. He eventually asked for mercy if only ten righteous could be found and the Lord agreed. You know the rest of the story. There were not ten righteous people to be found in that city of debauchery. I am pretty sure there is a far bigger number of sincere followers of Jesus in our country than that. So I don’t know how God is going to proceed. Maybe we needed a wake-up
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3 Ways Dads Can Leave a Legacy-Part 3

Every dad leaves a legacy. I have learned a few things through trial and many errors about being a dad who is trying to leave a positive legacy. Previous installments detailed two ways to leave a good legacy. Love Your Wife Affirm Your Kids Today we will examine one more way to establish a positive legacy. And we are adding a very dangerous twist today. I polled my three sons about my strengths and (gasp) shortcomings as their father. Those knee-buckling results were both sobering and encouraging. First, the third way to leave a positive legacy as a dad. 3.  Enjoy every mile of the journey as you model being a man The best description I have heard about being a parent is this bit of wisdom:  “Parenting…the days are long and the years are short.” In his book, Being a Good Dad When You Didn’t Have One, Tim Wesemann gives his readers a two-word piece of advice: “Lighten up!”  He says that adults laugh an average
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3 Ways Dads Can Leave a Legacy-Part 2

This week I am doing a brief series on leaving a legacy as an earthly father. Every dad leaves a legacy. The only question is what kind. The first step to leaving a positive legacy is to love your wife. For some readers that already has not worked out. That does not mean that you cannot leave a positive legacy. There are many ways to redeem the father/child relationship. The second part of leaving a legacy that endures is to be an encouragement to your kids. Paul wrote this simple instruction to the church at Colossae. Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged. The Message translates this verse  like this…. Parents, don’t come down too hard on your children or you’ll crush their spirits. I cannot remember hearing a lot of teaching on that verse over the years. It is really easy in this success mad culture to discourage your children. Nearly every dad wants his child to be
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3 Ways Dads Can Leave a Legacy-Part 1

Occasionally people will observe our three wonderful sons and ask something like this. “What did you do to parent such great kids?” My response is simple. “I married Joni. The rest is a blur.” There is a little too much truth in that answer. She was and is remarkable. But we did partner in this grand adventure called parenting. Along the way I learned some things mostly by error and stumbling trial. Over the next two days I will share what I have figured out with the disclaimer that I do not claim to be an expert. It is with humility and grateful appreciation to God that He has given me the gift of this family. One thing I have learned in my journey is that every dad leaves a legacy. The only question is whether that legacy will be good, bad, or indifferent. Being a father is tough because we generally learn how to parent while on the job. Ken
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Monday Musing – Do I Really Think I am a Bad Christian?

I am often blessed by really kind comments from you about my books or blogs. I truly appreciate the encouragement. But what I remind myself everyday is this simple truth. I would be impressed with me except for one thing. I know me. I know how often I am selfish. I know how often I judge. I know how often I have a bad attitude. The list goes on and on. I got a lot of feedback and some not so complimentary when my book “When Bad Christians Happen to Good People” hit the scene. Some where offended that I could suggest there are “bad Christians”. My answer probably didn’t help much. Bad Christians are all God has to work with. To be sure some are more productive than others. Some clean up better and some have whiter teeth. But when we measure our performance against God’s perfect law we are devastated. All of us fall short (from inches to
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Pondering Jesus and the Doobie Brothers

A song from a career long, long ago and far, far away cued up on the iPod today. Right out of high school I worked as a disc jockey at a small radio station in Southern Ohio. Nice hair huh? And notice the amazing technology at my fingertips. I remember being so excited to play a song from The Doobie Brothers called “Jesus Is Just Alright”. Hearing The Doobie Brothers sing about Jesus was pretty amazing in my still young faith journey. I was sure they had to be believers to release a song like this. I know. I was incredibly naive. Apparently none of the group was particularly religious but the song became an anthem for the incredible Jesus Movement that swept the land. I remember one critical Christian (hard to imagine that) hearing the song and smugly declaring that Jesus was “much more than just alright”. In one fell swoop he revealed both his judgmentalism and stupidity. He
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Give A Personalized Copy of Stay for Father’s Day!

Father’s Day is just around the corner. Many of you have told me you plan to give a copy of Stay: Lessons My Dogs Taught Me about Life, Loss, and Grace to your Dad or Grandfather. In my very biased world that is MUCH better than a tie! I have 100 Autograph plates ready to send out that you can place inside the book before you give it. Just send your address and how you want the plate inscribed to dave@daveburchett.com. I will sign it and return it to you. I pay the postage as my small thank you to you! However, this is a first come, first served offer so get your copy today and send me your request. You can get Stay at Barnes and Noble, Booksamillion, Mardels and online at Amazon, Christianbook.com, and Barnes and Noble. You can link to any of the online sellers at my website. I would love to help you celebrate your Dad
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Musical Comfort Food For a Monday

Father’s Day is less than three weeks away and that day is always bittersweet. I am so grateful to be the father of three wonderful sons but the day also reminds me how much I miss my Dad. I thought of him as I watched the news today. The current debate in Washington and the selfish agendas of our “representatives” would have driven him nuts. I could almost hear him ranting about the politicians and how we just need someone with “some uneducated good old common sense” in our Nation’s Capital. He earned the right to rant. He was one of the incredible men and women who served our country during World War II. The flag from his military funeral is one of my proudest possessions. I find myself becoming my Dad more and more each day. I dialed up a couple of his favorite songs that I have on my iPod. It was the musical version of comfort food. The first
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Confessing My Christian Agenda

One of my favorite comedians is Jim Gaffigan. You have to be truly funny to generate laughs and be “clean” in your act. And now the truth is coming out. Jim Gaffigan is a Christian! He is introducing a new TV show this summer called the Jim Gaffigan Show.  I promise you he is a more creative comic than TV show-namer. One of the issues he will address on the show is the challenge of being branded by his faith. One episode plot explores the risk when a popular entertainer comes out as religious. In the show Gaffigan is accidentally photographed carrying a massive Bible. There is subsequent comedic panic about public opinion about him after that career faux pas. Washington Post religion writer Michele Boorstein featured this snippet of dialogue from the show. ““I don’t want to get involved in the culture war. Religion is a very iffy business. As soon as you identify yourself as believing something, you
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Are You Reluctant To Read Stay?

My new book Stay: Lessons My Dogs Taught Me about Life, Loss, and Grace has been available for about 3 months. Your response has been an encouragement and blessing. Today I wanted to address the elephant in the kennel. When I have done book signings or talked about the book on the radio I often get these responses. “Is this a sad book?” “Will it make me cry?” “Does the dog die?” Those are usually followed by something like this. “I can’t read it if it is (any of the above).” My honest answers to the above queries would be sometimes, maybe and yes. But Stay is not a book about dying. It is entirely a book about living! The sad moments are wrapped in the redemptive joy of life, relationship and grace. I am pretty sure you will laugh, relate often to the stories of friendship, and marvel at the gift God has given us with these furry friends.
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Tragedy in Waco and the Heartbreaking Consequences of Sin

It is Monday. Enough said. And it has been raining pretty consistently here in Texas for weeks. That is the combo platter The Carpenter’s made famous when they sang Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down. The first stanza really captures my mood today. Talkin’ to myself and feelin’ old Sometimes I’d like to quit, nothin’ ever seems to fit That seems about right today as I contemplate the devastating and heartbreaking toll of sin. I know. That is not politically correct. But there is no other word that describes what I am seeing today. I see a beloved and effective pastor lose his ministry for the false hope of an inappropriate relationship. Sin says that there is more. Sin says that you deserve to be happier and that will only be true in a different relationship. Sin says that God does not really have your best interest at heart. I hate those lies from Satan that we continue
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How Do You Become God’s Favorite Child?

I love my pastor and his family. That is a such a blessing to be able to say that. Jeff Denton brought his unique blend of wisdom, geekiness, humor, grace, leadership, Biblical truth and pastoral care to Wylie, Texas several years ago. Waterbrook Bible Fellowship will never be the same and that is a very good thing. Our church has four amazing and gifted pastors on staff with Jeff as the Lead Pastor. Check it out if you are churchless in Collin County. You never know what Jeff will say or post online. He is totally out there as a pastor, husband and dad. Recently he shared this exchange with one of his teenagers. “All it takes to be my favorite child is obedience.” “Well, I guess I’ll never be your favorite then.” I don’t know which one said that but I am sure it could have come from either J.J. or Amelia. I know that Jeff said that with
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4 Profound Lessons I Learned From My Dogs

Reposted from Faithstreet.com. Esteemed theologian and reformer Martin Luther wrote about his canine companions, “The dog is the most faithful of animals and would be much esteemed were it not so common. Our Lord God has made his greatest gifts the commonest.” We can learn so much from these faithful friends about life, love, and grace. Who knew that some of my most profound lessons would be taught by a couple of rescued puppies? I am not ashamed to confess I have been discipled by my dogs. Here are a few “bite-sized” treats I’ve learned from my canine companions: 1. Revel in the life you have. Is there a better example of this than a canine companion? If only we could live like we were just let off the leash to run in freedom and joyous abandon. I wish I enjoyed anything as much as my dog enjoys everything! Enjoy the day you have. Sure, life can be hard and
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The “Revengers” Are Not Superheroes!

The Avengers: Age of Ulton is the blockbuster movie that recently debuted to record numbers. It features the familiar Marvel comic book superheroes. The team struggles to stop Ulton’s plan to make humanity extinct. Sadly I have played a non-superhero for much of my journey with the Lord. I have tried (mostly unsuccessfully) to be a Revenger. When I am wronged I fight for my truth and my justice. If a relationship becomes extinct in the process that is the price of being right and for justice to prevail. Fortunately my role did not include any Spandex costumes. But the truth is I find revenge a much easier road to take than forgiveness. When I am wounded or offended my first response is usually sinful. I am hardly unique. A couple of guys who were really close to Jesus had the same sinful response to bad behavior. He sent messengers ahead to a Samaritan village to prepare for his arrival.
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One Secret of Happiness.

Regular readers of these humble ramblings (all tens of you) know what an over the top dog lover I am. I shared this illustration in my new book Stay. A sick man turned to his doctor, as he was preparing to leave the examination room and said, “Doctor, I am afraid to die. Tell me what lies on the other side.” Very quietly, the doctor said, “I don’t know.” “You don’t know? You, a Christian man, do not know what is on the other side?” The doctor was holding the handle of the door; on the other side of which came a sound of scratching and whining, and as he opened the door, a dog sprang into the room and leaped on him with an eager show of gladness. Turning to the patient, the doctor said, “Did you notice my dog? He’s never been in this room before. He didn’t know what was inside. He knew nothing except that his
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What The World Really Needs Now

In 1965 Jackie DeShannon recorded the hit song “What the World Needs Now is Love”. Three years later Dion recorded a song called “Abraham, Martin and John”.  In 1971 a Los Angeles disc jockey named Tom Clay combined those tunes with some news audio clips to create a powerful social commentary. What the World Needs Now by Tom Clay covers the two songs with versions by The Blackberries, a session recording group from LA. The record begins with a child trying to define some grown-up words like segregation and prejudice. It is a powerful reminder that although all of us are born broken and with a sin nature. The truth is that a lot of how we act on that sin nature is learned behavior from our culture and those around us. There is a better way. Here is how the song began… Interviewer: What is segregation? Child: I don’t know what seggeration is. Interviewer: Uh, what is bigotry? Child:
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Want A Personalized Copy of Stay For Your Graduate?

If your Graduate is a dog lover you can give them a personally autographed copy of Stay. I have a limited number of special adhesive autograph plates that I am going to send out to purchasers of Stay. What a unique gift for Graduation to give your graduate a personalized and autographed book! I will personalize and sign this adhesive plate and promptly mail it to you. Go out and buy a copy of Stay or order online (this is on the honor system). Email me at dave@daveburchett.com and tell me where you bought it, how you want it signed and where you want it mailed. Simple. The cutoff date for Graduation gifts is May 31st or whenever I  run out of plates. Don’t miss out on this unique and special gift for your Graduate. Buy your copy, send me your address and how you want the book signed. This offer will end soon so fetch your copy today! (If
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6 Things I Wish I Had Known in High School

  1.    I wish I had known that my high school years did not define me for life My teen years were a mixed bag of memorable highs and incredible lows. Now I realize that I am grateful for what I once considered some of the worst moments of my life. In many of those spiritual valleys you could not have begun to convince me that God was molding me or that those experiences could ever be of value. I have developed a heart of compassion for those who are wounded. Why? God gave me the privilege of being wounded early in my life. That sounds crazy as I read back over that last sentence. But I can now see that my struggles as an overweight, geeky and often outcast adolescent molded my heart to empathize with those who are hurt and ostracized by their peers. Had I been the coolest guy or the best athlete I most likely would not have developed
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Fetch a Personalized Copy of Stay for Mother’s Day!

If your Mom is a dog lover you can give her a personally autographed copy of Stay. I have 200 special adhesive autograph plates that I am going to send out to purchasers of Stay for Mother’s Day gifts. What a unique gift for Mother’s Day to give her personalized and autographed book! I will personalize and sign this adhesive plate and promptly mail it to you. Go out and buy a copy of Stay or order online this week (this is on the honor system). Email me at dave@daveburchett.com and tell me where you bought it, how you want it signed and where you want it mailed. Simple. The cutoff date for Mother’s Day is May 4th or whenever I run out of plates. Don’t miss out on this unique and special gift for Mom. Buy your copy today, send me your address and how you want the book signed. This offer will end soon so fetch your copy
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A Modern Twist on Casting Stones

I have become so discouraged with the level of discourse on Twitter, Facebook and the internet in general. The anonymity of cyberspace makes the cowardly courageous and the mean spirited downright evil. I have watched with sadness as Twitter trolls have destroyed or severely damaged people who posted unfortunate or thoughtless remarks. Sometimes the venom is directed at those who simply have a sincere difference of opinion on moral issues. Recently a video went viral with ESPN reporter Britt McHenry. Her rant against an employee of a towing company was disturbing. It was particularly hard for me to hear because I am from a working class and uneducated family. I immediately found myself judging her and condemning her. Then I stepped back and remembered a wonderful line from Pastor Tullian Tchvidjian. “We all sin and fall short of the glory of God. But that doesn’t keep us from comparing distances.” That is exactly what I was doing! I was comparing
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There Is At Least One Reason Why April 15th Is A Wonderful Day!

(This is my annual revisit of one of the great stories in sports. Something to take your mind off of tax day) April 15th is not my favorite day of the year. Tax day is never fun for a guy who is organizationally challenged. My idea of being prepared is having everything in one box. But April 15th is a great day for baseball fans. Jackie Robinson made his major league debut at first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers on this date in 1947. It was a historic and significant day for baseball but even more so for our country. You can argue that the American civil rights movement was ignited when Robinson came to bat in Dodger Blue. The journey for Robinson was difficult at best and nearly impossible at worst. Many Dodgers players, mostly Southerners led by Dixie Walker, threatened to walk if forced to play with a black player. That ended when Dodger management let them know
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The Unbelievable Power of Affirmation

A recent feel good story got only modest play in the everyday tsunami of bad news. Gainesville State School is a Texas juvenile correction facility for felony offenders. The school fields a basketball team that gets to make a few visits outside of the facility to play games. One of the givens is that the Gainesville Tornadoes cheering section will be non-existent. That bothered some of the students at Vanguard College Preparatory School in Waco, Texas and they decided to do something about it. The students organized a cheering section for Gainesville when they traveled to Waco in January. T-Shirts were produced with the Tornadoe’s logo and the words “We Believe” across the bottom. The cheerleading squad was split in half and they wore the black and white for Gainesville instead of their familiar green and white colors. Vanguard fans wore black in support of the visiting team. The Tornadoe players had no idea what was about to happen when
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When Feeling Like A Nobody Can Be A Very Good Thing

Yesterday the life odometer clicked over another year. No matter how hard we try we cannot roll it back. Part of acquiring higher mileage is getting some hard earned perspective on your life decisions. Some decisions were good. Some benign. Some not so good. Some truly regretful. That is life. The encouragement I have discovered is that even the really bad decisions can be redeemed by the grace of God. D.L.Moody was one of the greatest communicators of the Gospel in church history. A great Christian university bears his name. One of my favorite Moody quotes is about the learning curve of Moses. Moses ended up having a fairly decent impact for God. “Moses spent 40 years thinking he was somebody; 40 years learning he was nobody; and 40 years discovering what God can do with a nobody.” I have to adjust the numbers for my life. I spent 40 years thinking I was somebody. Twenty years learning I was
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Opening Day Is Truly Magic!

Monday, April 6th will be my thirty-third opening day as the television director for Texas Rangers broadcasts. Someone asked me at church if I ever get tired of opening day. The answer is a resounding no! When I do it will be time to move to a rocking chair at the old director’s home. I feel like I am just behind Lou Gehrig as the “luckiest man on the face of the earth” to be able to do this year after year. In my mind there is no more special day in sports than Opening Day in baseball. The smell of freshly cut emerald green grass delights the senses. The base lines painstakingly and perfectly defined by a grounds crew that is committed to perfection on this day. Red, white, and blue bunting give the ball park a festive World Series look. The players bounce around like little boys. They seem a little extra grateful that they are paid to
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The Worst Day Ever?

There is much written about Good Friday. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross is incomprehensible to my puny human intellect. There is much written about Easter Sunday. Christians around the world rejoice and proclaim that “He is risen!”. But there is not nearly as much written about one of the saddest and most confusing days in history. The Saturday between the Friday horror of Jesus on the Cross and the Sunday mystery of the resurrection. Some churches do observe Holy Saturday but it was never a tradition in my faith upbringing. I have been thinking about what that day must have been like for those who dropped everything to follow Jesus. How crushing those events had to be. I imagine the fear they felt that they would also be killed. And for what? On Saturday they feared they had given their careers and their very souls for a false hope. I think in particular of Peter. I identify
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You Want What?

One of the really weird things for me is when people want me to sign my book. I feel like the only time my signature is valuable is on a check written from the good account. I do love signing books at a bookstore because they can’t return them to the publisher. That fits into my narrative that my signature actually makes it worth less! Nonetheless, I am honored when people find some value in a personal word or signature. I have gotten many inquiries via Facebook and Twitter about getting signed copies. The logistics and expense of that is a bit daunting. However, I am offering a low cost alternative if you would like a personal note in your book or a book for a friend. Tyndale House Publishing provides autograph plates that adhere to an inside page of the book. Send me a self-addressed and stamped envelope (#6 envelope works great) inside of a regular business envelope. Clearly
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Reader Mail: Why Are You Being So Obnoxious About Your Book?

Dear Bad Christian, Why are you bombarding us with reminders everyday about the release of your new book. I get it. Love in Jesus, Speaking the Truth In Love Believer Dear Speaking the Truth In Love, Look at your salutation. What else would you expect from a Bad Christian? But the truth is that over 300,000 new books and editions will be printed in the United States this year. Even if you narrow the field to those published by the leading Christian publishing houses the number is around 6,000 titles. It is easy to get lost in the flurry of books that hit the shelves every week. An author like Max Lucado will automatically get prime shelf space when he publishes a book every other day. Oops…Max just published another book while I was writing this blog. When a book like Stay comes out from a relatively unknown guy like me you have about 60 days to make a mark
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Worrying About Worry

“Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere.” That old proverb came to mind as I read a study about the link between increased worry and stroke risk. After adjusting for other behaviors they discovered that those participants with the highest level of anxiety factors had a thirty-three percent higher risk of strokes than those in the lowest range of anxiety. The study was sobering on a personal level. My Dad was a chronic worrier. He died from complications of a stroke. Worry is a thief that steals joy and peace from it’s victims. I saw it with my Dad. I see it all around me. As I get older I see more and more how practical Scripture is for daily living. In the teaching of my youth the Bible was a book of lofty and seemingly impossible demands to behave in a way that would please God. Now I
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Read Stay With Your Book Club or Small Group!

Now you can download free discussion questions for Stay: Lessons My Dogs Taught Me about Life, Loss, and Grace. Here is the link to download the discussion guide for Stay. So fetch a copy, sit, stay, and enjoy “good dogma” with  your group!              
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Rainy Days and Mondays Don’t Have To Get You Down

The Carpenters sung about how Rainy Days and Mondays always got them down. Today both are in play on a rainy day in Texas. We often joke about how much we hate Mondays. But one of the things I learned in writing Stay is that everyday is Saturday for our canine friends. They find joy in each day no matter how they feel or what the circumstances might be. One story that did not make the book involved our newest rescue friend Maggie. One day Joni and I heard a commotion from the home office. I went to investigate and found Maggie joyfully pulling each sheet off the printer as they came off. The machine was playing with her! This is a great day! I wrote this about loving each day in Stay. Hannah woke up convinced that every day was the best day ever. Maggie does the same. I think Satan’s strategy is devastatingly simple and effective. He wants
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Your Reviews Are Vital

Honest reviews from real people like you are critical to keeping the momentum going for a new book release. Curious shoppers pay attention to the reviews. One of the concerns about Stay is that it will be only a sad book about a dog that has cancer. Many reviewers have expressed that Stay is a book that is hopeful, joyful and fun even though there are some sad moments. That is life on this planet and I hope Stay reflects all of those emotions. It would be another big favor if you could (honestly) post a positive review at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook.com, Goodreads, or any combination of those sites. I am praying that God will use Stay to get this message of grace to people that normally would not pick up a Christian book. Perhaps some good “dogma” will help spread the word of His amazing grace! Sorry. And once again, thank you. I am blessed by your
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Deepest Appreciation For Your Help During The Launch of Stay!

Joni and I just returned from a wonderful vacation and I am catching up. I want to thank all of you who took the time to share the word about the release of Stay: Lessons My Dogs Taught Me about Life, Loss, and Grace. Thanks to you we are off to a good start. I would be grateful if you would take the time to post a review at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook, Goodreads or wherever you got your copy of Stay. That keeps the momentum going if curious shoppers see good reviews. I am humbled by the response from you and others to my new book. Thanks again! Dave Burchett
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Tomorrow is the Day!

Finally, the official release of Stay: Lessons My Dogs Taught Me about Life, Loss, and Grace happens Tuesday, February 24th. Spread the word! http://www.daveburchett.com/my-books/stay-lessons-my-dogs-taught-me-about-life-loss-and-grace/
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4 Love Lessons My Rescued Dogs Taught Me

(Re-posted from Crosswalk.com) “Stay: Lessons My Dogs Taught Me about Life, Loss, and Grace” is a collection of spiritual truths I learned from my rescued Labrador Retrievers Hannah and Maggie. Martin Luther wrote about his canine companions. “The dog is the most faithful of animals and would be much esteemed were it not so common. Our Lord God has made his greatest gifts the commonest.” We can learn so much from these faithful friends about life, love, and grace. Who knew that some of my most profound lessons would be taught by a couple of rescued puppies? Here is a sampler from the book. Love Your Life Is there a better example of this than a canine companion? If only we could live like we were just let off the leash to run in freedom and joyous abandon. I wish I enjoyed anything as much as my dog enjoys everything! Enjoy the day you have. Sure, life can be hard
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Free Preview of Stay!

We are just over a week away from the release of my new book. Tyndale Publishing has provided a free preview of the Intro, Forward and Chapter 1 for you to sample. Click on this link and then download the preview by clicking the “First Chapter Free” button at the top of the page. I would be grateful if you helped spread the word.    
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A Wonderful Endorsement

I am very excited and honored to have received this praise from a truly credible source for Stay. You can count on one opposable thumb how many books hold my interest. But Dave Burchett has written an incredible piece that describes what we’ve been trying to model to you all about God’s grace, His astonishing love, and what life feels like when humans discover who He’s remade them to be, even on their worst day. And the pages smell like a freshly cut lawn. I gotta get my master to read this! ~ Bali Lynch    John Lynch’s Golden Retriever Bali, who loves to chew on her master’s books The Cure and On My Worst Day Thanks Bali! Your best friend writes some pretty good books! Give him a nuzzle for all of us.
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The Dogs of Stay: Maggie and Discipline

I am delighted to share a brief snippet of my new book Stay. The book releases in less than 2 weeks. You can pre-order a copy now by clicking here. Today Maggie and I traversed the usual path. She sniffed and I listened to a podcast as we paced briskly through a comfortable Texas fall morning. She spotted something and moved toward the curb. My eye caught something at the same time, and I jerked violently on her leash to pull her toward me. She looked surprised, puzzled at what she had done wrong for such a harsh correction from me. The truth was that she hadn’t done anything wrong. Some knucklehead had shattered a beer bottle and a jagged piece was right in her path. She could have been seriously cut by the razor-sharp glass. I was thankful I had spotted it, but I could see that my action confused and maybe hurt Maggie’s feelings. I needed to assure
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The Dogs of Stay: Sweet Hannah and Condemnation

I am delighted to share a brief snippet of my new book Stay. The book releases in about 2 weeks. You can pre-order a copy now at my website. Paul talks about no condemnation from an eternal perspective. It is the passage that contains a verse that has already played a role in this journey. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but
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The Dogs of Stay – I Once Was Lost

Several years ago youngest son and dog lover Brett called from Baylor University. He had spotted five abandoned puppies along the side of the road. He tried to round them up but could only catch one. Brett called to let me know that he intended to bathe, feed, care for the dog and then take him to the Humane Society on Monday for adoption. I knew I was in trouble when Brett decided to let me know what his rescued puppy looked like. I called the lovely Mrs.Burchett. “He is working me,” I told her. “He is falling in love with this dog.” On Sunday I was driving through Waco and I stopped to see Brett and his alleged short term friend. The way this puppy followed Brett around and looked at him was astounding. He appeared to sense that Brett was, for him, the canine version of Amazing Grace. That dog seemed to understand that he once was lost and now was
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The Dogs of Stay – Shake it Off!

Leading up to the release of Stay I will be posting some brief excerpts from the book. This lesson came from a summer outing and watching Hannah “shake off” water in impressive fashion. The life lesson from Hannah was not how to shake off water. What I need to learn is how she can shake off rejection and disappointment way better than I can. If I say no, Hannah doesn’t get insecure and touchy. When she is rejected, she doesn’t start wondering why she is not good enough. She doesn’t hear condemning barks from her puppyhood. She doesn’t flash back to her littermates mocking her with cruel yips. She doesn’t think, Maybe Dad doesn’t like that toy; if I bring his favorite toy I’m sure he won’t be able to resist. Hannah doesn’t slink away and hide, thinking she is worthless if I don’t respond. She simply accepts that now is not the time and communicates through her body language
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The Dogs of Stay – Part 2

One of the great philosophical questions of our age was addressed lyrically a few years ago. And I quote from that thoughtful anthem by Baja Men. Who let the dogs out (woof, woof, woof, woof) (woof, woof, woof, woof) Today we know a partial answer to that haunting query. On February 24th Tyndale Publishing House will let the dogs of Stay out to your E-Reader, bookstore, and online vendor of choice. As a lead up to that day we thought it would be fun to do some bios of the dogs featured in my new book. The stars of the book are Hannah and our new rescued friend Maggie. Hannah was our amazing friend and canine comforter during Joni’s cancer journey nine years ago. Hannah’s best canine friend was Sadie. Our son Scott adopted Sadie while attending Baylor University and it was love at first sight for both of them.      A bit later Hannah joined the family and these
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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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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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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 EdUnderwood.com.) 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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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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