daveburchettDave Burchett

All articles by daveburchett

 

How Does God See Me?

Philip Yancey wrote this insightful paragraph in his book “What’s So Amazing about Grace?”. “Sociologists have a theory of the looking-glass self: you become what the most important person in your life (wife, father, boss, etc.) thinks you are. How would my life change if I truly believed the Bible’s astounding words about God’s love for me, if I looked in the mirror and saw what God sees?” Indeed. One of my biggest struggles has been trusting that what God says is true about me is actually true. That is not a very flattering admission on my part. I have read this verse from Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth dozens of times: “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) Because of Christ I have a new identity. I am righteous because of Him and not because of trying
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Don’t Store Your 2018 Hope in the Attic

Last week I finished one of my least favorite tasks of the year. Taking down the Christmas decorations always makes me melancholy. I love Christmas and the message of hope it brings. That God entered human form and gave us hope in a Savior who understands our struggle. We packed up a treasured Nativity creche that has been a part of our family tradition for decades. That miracle in Bethlehem is where I place my joy as I head into a very unstable New Year. I find my joy in the Messiah, the Lord – who was born in the city of David. It is so easy to remember the reason for hope during Christmas. But now that we are past this wonderful season it is very easy to pack my hope away and unpack lots of worry. The twenty-four news cycle feeds on negativity. Hearing the message of gloom and doom over and over has it’s effect on even the most steadfast
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There are NO Misfits on the Island of Grace!

Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year. I love the music, the memories, the traditions and the chance to annually think about Burl Ives. His memory returns with the annual airing of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Ives is the voice of Sam the Snowman who narrates the “enhanced” story of Rudolph. Rudolph and his elf buddy Hermey don’t fit in with the others. Rudolph looks different than the others. Hermey is not interested in making toys. In an odd plot twist, Hermey wants to be a dentist. Not surprisingly, his elf supervisor is upset with the unproductive Hermey. So the two outcasts set off to find their fame and fortune.                                                       The part of the story that resonates with me these days is when Hermey and Rudolph find their way to the Island of Misfit Toys. All of the toys on this island are castoffs because they are flawed or deemed as worthless. There is a “Charlie in the
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If I could have one wish for those of you who read these humble ramblings it would be very simple. Amy Grant recorded “My Grown-up Christmas List” for her “Home For Christmas” album. The lyrics imagine an adult going back to Santa with a different perspective on what matters most in life. Instead of material things the writer now asks for good things for others. I love the sentiment of the song. No more lives torn apart That wars would never start And time would heal all hearts Everyone would have a friend And right would always win And love would never end This is my grown-up Christmas list I thought about my “grown-up” Christmas list this week. I would love for all of the things in the lyric above to come true. But I have lived enough to know they will not. Everyday lives are torn apart. Wars start too frequently. Time does not heal every heart. Some who
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The Cattle Are What????

One of my contributions with these modest little musings is to continually ask the tough questions. While listening to  “Away in a Manger” my inquiring mind kicked in. You likely know verse three of the song. The cattle are lowing The poor Baby wakes But little Lord Jesus No crying He makes As I listened an important series of difficult and probing inquiries popped into my head. What noise, exactly, were the cattle making when they started lowing? Was this normal cow talk? Did lowing just sound better than mooing in the lyric or is lowing a more spiritual and reverent cow sound? And then the most important question came to mind. What is wrong with me? I can’t answer the last question but I can help with the others. Lowing is defined at dictionary.com as “the characteristic sound uttered by cattle; a moo”. So little baby Jesus was awakened by the characteristic sound uttered by a cow. That would not have flowed well
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That’s What Christmas is All About

One of the songs that popped up on a Christmas station came from the original soundtrack for A Charlie Brown Christmas. Jazz musician Vince Guaraldi’s score is simple and brilliant. Listening to the vocal version of “Christmas Time Is Here” brought back some wonderful Christmas memories. Christmas time is here Happiness and cheer Fun for all that children call Their favorite time of the year A Charlie Brown Christmas is one of my annual delights. (Watch it online at ABC.com) In many ways Christmas has become an economic and not a religious holiday. One of the most powerful reminders of the message of Christmas came from the genius of the late Charles Schultz. One simple and elegant scene captures it all. Charlie Brown has failed miserably in his attempt to find the true meaning of Christmas. But then Linus recites the following passage from the King James version of the Bible. “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding
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The Bad Theology of Santa Clause Comin’ to Town

The conversation from the backseat was illuminating. I quizzed the grand-kids about what they asked Santa to bring this year. After telling me their wish they followed up with this statement. “Unless we have been bad. Then maybe we won’t get it until next year.” I smiled and assured them that they were not bad. Parents have dangled that Santa “nice list” carrot to get good behavior for generations. Santa Clause is comin’ to town and you had better watch out because he is making a list. So no pouting, No crying. Better be on your best behavior or else. And that performance trap learned as a child waiting for Santa can also profoundly and dangerously impact Christians.  I am borrowing some content from my dear friend John Lynch, one of the authors of the The Cure. He addresses how we are programmed from childhood to default to performance theology. He calls it the “Santa Claus is Coming to Town
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Not Always So Jolly Saint Nicholas

My nomination for the most obvious lyric ever written is awarded to the Beach Boys.  In their tune “Little Saint Nick” the boys gave us this incredibly helpful piece of information. Christmas comes this time each year! (To be faithful to the text I will show it in context) It’s the little Saint Nick Ooooo, little Saint Nick It’s the little Saint Nick Ooooo, little Saint Nick Ahhhhhh Oooooooo Merry Christmas Saint Nick Christmas comes this time each year!!!! So if the Christmas holiday has been sneaking up on you perhaps you haven’t noticed that Christmas comes at this time every single year! Thanks to the Beach Boys for that amazing insight. The Beach Boys song imagined Santa’s sleigh as a holiday hot rod but the homage to Saint Nick is intriguing. A little research on Saint Nicholas revealed that he could be both naughty and nice. First, a little background on his “saint” side. The fourth-century bishop of Myra (present-day Turkey) was the
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Concerned? Yes. Afraid? No.

Watching the news is depressing and even frightening. My first tendency is to react with fear about the future. But I can’t get around a couple of things that Jesus said about worry. “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today”(Matthew 6:34, NLT) That is a true statement! But Jesus was not saying that my concerns are not valid or even important. He was saying that worrying about the future misses the point of what really matters. “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” The key word is need. I long for wants but our Father promises only that my needs will be met. And over and over God tells us another thing. Do not be afraid. Over 80 times you find the phrase “do not be afraid” in the Bible. Perhaps the most relevant example is when
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Give a PERSONALIZED copy of Stay or Waking Up Slowly for Christmas!

Looking for a truly unique gift idea? How about giving a personalized edition of Stay:Lessons My Dogs Taught Me about Life, Loss, and Grace or Waking Up Slowly to a friend or family member. Just go to your local Barnes and Noble, Christian book store or order one or both online. Send me your mailing address and how you want the book/books signed. I will mail you an autograph plate(s) that you can affix inside the book. Simple and very personal! Send your requests to dave@daveburchett.com or private message me on Facebook with your mailing info and requests. Merry Christmas!   Dave Burchett    
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No More Spiritual “Stats”

I live in the performance driven world of sports. We too often measure value not by character but by statistics like how many tackles for loss or how many yards gained per carry. Character is a nice bonus but performance is generally king. Recently I heard a comment from Northwestern University football coach Pat Fitzgerald about the impact of negative stats on a football player’s performance. Coaches often talk about the need to reduce “missed” tackles and they keep track of each miscue. Coach Fitzgerald has a different philosophy. His staff does not keep track of missed tackles at all. The staff evaluates each play by their effort even if it does not produce perfect results. His next comment stuck with me. “I don’t like to put negative results in their minds because you become what you think about.” It immediately hit me how profound that comment is for followers of Jesus. We tend to keep spiritual stats on failure.
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One Amazing Thing All of Us Can be Thankful For

A lot of folks on social media are writing about what they are thankful for this November. I have so much to be grateful for this year. Joni is now an eleven year cancer survivor. New grandbabies have joined the tribe. Good health to enjoy those little blessings. Wonderful family and friends. A job I enjoy. The truth is that most of the things on the list are out of my control. I can’t dictate Joni’s or my own health. I know that grandchildren are a gift some don’t get to enjoy. Job situations change without notice. Some may struggle with a family member or the betrayal of a friend. Thanksgiving may be a little less obvious for some reading these words this year. But there is one gift that is available to everyone. You don’t have to worry that it may change or go away. That gift is grace. The gift of being in a relationship with God and
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Committing Acts of God Make All the Difference

Our Sunday plans took a hard left turn yesterday morning. Instead of going to church Joni and I headed to the emergency room to check out a little medical scare. Thankfully all is well. But part of the process brought back some difficult memories from my bride’s cancer journey many years ago. As we went through the check-in process Joni began to tear up. The nurse filling in the paperwork stopped dead in her tracks and stood up. “Do you need a hug?” Then she leaned across the counter and gave my wife a hug. It was a remarkable example of remembering that all of us are in the people business. It was a moment that changed the narrative for both of us. In retrospect it was a pretty simple gesture. It cost this nurse about 30 seconds in her form filling task but it made a huge impact. Acts of kindness are something all of us can do and
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Can We Ever Get Together?

The song “Get Together” was written in 1963 by a songwriter who went by the stage name of Dino Valente. “Get Together” was recorded by The Kingston Trio and also by We Five (of “You Were on My Mind” fame) in the mid-60’s. The Youngbloods recorded the song in 1967 and it became a minor hit. The song had a major breakthrough after the National Council of Christians and Jews used the song for radio commercials to promote unity. In 1969 the song became a top five hit and 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 in 1969. I was in my junior year in high school and I was sure that my generation could make a difference. We would fix the mess that my parents and grandparents had made. Now my kids dream of repairing the mess my generation has
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An Interview with Paul of Taursus

Church signs sometimes make me smile. Sometimes they make me cringe. Recently a church sign made me think about a remarkable gift. Here is that church sign message. Don’t Fear The Full Ten Commandments They Are The Character of God Uhhhhh…Actually I do fear both the full and even the partial Ten Commandments. And the reason I fear them is because the Ten Commandments actually do reveal the character of God. They also reveal that I can never measure up to God’s character. What can we do about this conundrum? I decided to invite a man who is an expert on Biblical law to the Monday Musing. It is my honor to welcome our special guest Paul of Taursus. Paul of Taursus: May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace. Dave of Garland: Thanks. I know you wrote a bit about the crushing requirements of the law that God gave the Jews. Yet you
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The Only Thing Grace Doesn’t Cover

I talk about Grace so much that the auto-suggest on my phone pops up the word as soon as I hit “G”. I suspect that sometimes you faithful readers wish I would mix up my topics. The truth is I cannot. Understanding grace rocked my spiritual world and changed my walk with God in dramatic and wonderful ways. I regularly extol the virtues of grace for a follower of Jesus. Grace compels you to trust others with you. Grace compels you to trust Jesus with your sin because you can’t manage it yourself. Grace compels you to forgive because you have been forgiven. Grace compels you to accept others and not judge them. Grace compels you to move toward the unlovable and not away. Grace compels you to sacrifice when you desire security. Grace compels you to love when your heart is hateful. Grace compels you to trust God when you are afraid and weak. The amazing thing about God’s
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Is Joyful Christian Living an Impossible Dream?

Every forty-six years or so I like to be involved with a stage production of Man of La Mancha. Recently Joni and I enjoyed a top notch production of the musical by the Orlando Shakespeare Theater. The musical is probably most remembered for the song “Impossible Dream” but it is also a powerful story of believing that you do not have to be trapped in your current or past identity. I wrote a bit about that long ago experience in my book Stay: Lessons My Dogs Taught Me about Life, Loss, and Grace. Many years ago, for reasons I still don’t understand, I was cast as the lead in our Senior high school production of Man of La Mancha. I had never acted and was not a trained singer. And yet that stellar résumé somehow landed me the role as Don Quixote. Go figure. The play is based on Miguel de Cervantes’s seventeenth-century novel Don Quixote. The drama unfolds as
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The Secret of Contentment

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  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 master
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Wonderful, Messy Grace

Sometimes I just want to step away from people. I get tired. Living in honest community can be frustrating and discouraging. 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
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When Life is Tough, Grace is Enough

I have been writing a lot about where our hope truly lies and that we need to be a positive light in a negative world. Last week Joni and I were meeting with our wonderful church small group from Waterbrook Bible Fellowship. The study was from John and we each read a verse from the passage. Here is my verse and I am not making this up. “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. (John 6:43) I laughed and told the group this might become my new life verse for this very negative cultural season. The verse follows a section where Jesus talks about how He is the bread of life and has come from Heaven. This was just too much for the locals who knew Him as the kid raised by Mary and Joseph down at the carpenter shop. But the message is timeless. I need to stop grumbling and start living out of who God says I am as
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Remembering Rich Mullins

Rich Mullins was (and still is) one of my favorite Christian songwriters. It seems impossible that it was 20 years ago today that he was killed in a car accident. His music impacted me greatly and this song was one of my favorites. “We Are Not As Strong As We Think We Are” 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. We need God and community to be spiritually and emotionally healthy. 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.
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Satan Loves Prevent Defense

If you read more than a snippet of my writings you know that I am a grace guy. But there is a question that confounds me. “If grace based theology as the way to live out the Christian life is true then why is it not more popular in the church?” That is a great question. I have been swept away by grace. Everything in my life has been changed by taking away my performance based faith and believing in Christ’s performance for me. During a recent football telecast I thought about a parallel between one of my least favorite football strategies and this grace conundrum. Perhaps it was an insight from the Holy Spirit. Perhaps it was simply because my brain is not wired to factory specs. But this idea popped in my mind. A lot of football teams play a defense that is called the prevent defense. That style of defense is designed to allow the opponent short yardage gains as
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Dealing with Doubt Honestly

I am amazed by people who are so brazenly sure they are right about what they believe. I have friends who are completely sure there is no God and there is no logical need for such beliefs. They believe science is the ultimate answer for everything and they view my faith as a naive weakness. I have always felt that absolute certainty is the trump card of a fool. So I will be honest. I have wrestled with doubt in my faith journey. I am not convinced that I know everything. Here is a bit of what I wrote about that journey in Waking Up Slowly. The story line of the movie Risen was intriguing to me. Historically, there was a Nazarene who was crucified, and two groups had a tremendous interest in making sure that his death was the end of the story. The Romans wanted no movement to grow so large that it would cause political unrest. The
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Where am I? Who am I? Identity Alert!!!!

I had some social media fun with the picture above helpfully proclaiming “YOU ARE HERE”. As if I could be anywhere else while I was, well, there. But as you probably already suspect that picture produced some musing that begat today’s blog. For years I wandered spiritually wondering where I was on my journey. Was I going to Heaven? Was I a good, bad, or indifferent Christian? Was I loved? Was I significant? The question of where I was as a follower of Christ and who I was as a person consumed and confused me. The always present Enemy answered the questions above on a regular basis. Probably not going to Heaven. Definitely a bad Christian. Not really loved or bad things wouldn’t happen to you. Totally insignificant. The following is a little excerpt on this topic from my latest book Waking Up Slowly. For too many years I believed the accusations, without considering the question that Philip Yancey asks.
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What If?

Regular consumers of my humble ramblings (Bless your hearts!) know that I often find spiritual application from song lyrics both secular and sacred. Blame it on faulty brain wiring at the factory. This week I heard a snippet from Carly Simon’s haunting ballad “That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be” that triggered today’s musing. The song talks about the ideal of marriage. Her partner wants to marry and is convinced their union will be different. The lyrical response hit my heart. You say we can keep our love alive Babe – all I know is what I see – She had seen too many marriages start with fairy tale dreams and end in sorrow. That sad topic is another blog. What hit me on this day was how that principle of believing only what you see is true for us as followers of Jesus. We tell people we have good news. We tell people we have an eternal
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A Gentle Assignment for my White Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Listen!

My heart has been deeply saddened by the racial tension that has surfaced recently with frightening intensity. Like many white Americans I rationalize that I am not a part of the problem. I have always condemned those organizations that teach hate toward my brothers and sisters of color so I felt like I was a spectator in this battle. Three friends have been helping me to see another side. My eyes began to be opened by my friend Kevin Butcher. Kevin is white pastor of a mulitcultural flock in a predominantly black Detroit neighborhood at Hope Community Church. He told me that Black Christians want their White brothers and sisters to listen to their hearts and not offer excuses or rationales. They simply want to be heard. So I decided to do just that by seeking to hear the hearts of two Black brothers in Christ. I know Duke Barnett well. He is an amazingly talented educator, administrator and leader.
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Glen Campbell Had it Right!

Even in my rock and roll days I liked Glen Campbell. There was something about his smile and warmth that made him seem real. Glen seemed like the kind of person you could approach and he would be kind. You never know with celebrities so I was delighted to hear from sound technicians who worked with him that he was exactly that. Kind and approachable. His final gift before his death was a moving and deeply personal look at how Alzheimer’s affects a family in the documentary “I’ll Be Me”.  So that background makes this week’s musing even more impactful. One of my favorite Glen Campbell songs, “Try a Little Kindness”, is a message that we desperately need to hear and heed in our current societal climate. You got to try a little kindness Yes show a little kindness Just shine your light for everyone to see And if you try a little kindness Then you’ll overlook the blindness Of
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The Minefields of Marriage

Real and honest relationships are messy. Marriage is at the top of that difficulty list. If you take the chance to be known and get hurt it is easy to build a wall. If you take another chance and get the same result the temptation is to build an impenetrable fortress around your heart. And that is tragic. I see that happening with too many people around me. Sara Groves is a powerful lyricist with a great voice. That’s a very appealing combo plate. Her song entitled “It’s Me” is amazing. She captures the insecurities, old stories about our past and selfishness that leads to relationship meltdowns. And those moments seem to come out of nowhere. weather came and caught us off our guard we were just laughing and feelin’ alright had such a great time just last night we walked into a minefield undetected you took a tone and I took offense anger replacing all common sense oh run for you
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Can Money Buy Love?

A new channel on satellite radio features songs by the Beatles. Today a song took me back to 1964 when I was an overweight nerd struggling to find my place in the world. What a difference fifty-three years makes. Now I am not overweight. “Can’t Buy Me Love” reached the top of the charts for the group. When asked about the deeper meaning of the song Paul McCartney gave this reply. “The idea behind it was that all these material possessions are all very well, but they won’t buy me what I really want.” Sing along with me aching Boomers… I’ll buy you a diamond ring my friend if it makes you feel alright I’ll get you anything my friend if it makes you feel alright ‘Cause I don’t care too much for money, money can’t buy me love I’ll give you all I got to give if you say you love me too I may not have a lot to give but what
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Ready for a Better Way?

Even occasional readers of my humble ramblings know that the start of my faith narrative was mired in legalism. My first church believed you could not spell denomination without “no”. Starting from that faulty foundation led me to years of sadness, tiredness and performance bondage. I replayed my long and fragmented journey to grace and freedom as I listened to a song from Hillside United titled, “From the Inside Out”. One thousand times I’ve failed Still your mercy remains Should I stumble again I’m caught in your grace Everlasting your light will shine when all else fades I remembered day after day of agonizing self-loathing because I kept failing. I did not understand His mercy nor did I believe I could fall on His grace. I was taught that such an attitude showed a lack of obedience and a dependence on “cheap grace”. Somehow I missed the message of Jesus to the religious hypocrites as I was influenced by the
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Maggie’s Favorite Chapter

Here is a free preview of Chapter 21 in Waking Up Slowly. You can get an idea of how you can use these short chapters as daily devotionals to connect more fully to God, yourself, and one another. Maggie and I hope you enjoy! SOUNDS OF SILENCE Let us be silent that we may hear the whisper of God. Ralph Waldo Emerson I love to watch Maggie when she is overseeing her backyard domain. Sometimes she goes to the fence and lets out a couple of deep-throated barks to let some perceived threat know that she is on duty. Or she patrols every inch of the yard, sniffing as if it is her first and not her one-thousandth time to do this. Sometimes she stops to growl at a feral cat behind the fence. But the routine I love most is when she lies in the yard with head high, surveying her kingdom in silence. She is completely dialed in,
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Remembering When I “Knew It All”…

OK, I admit it. I like country music. I also like rock, Motown, jazz, pop, folk, gospel, and classical music. I once tried to distance myself from country in an ill-fated attempt to be sophisticated. To quote an old family idiom, that effort was like putting earrings on a hog. I am a small town boy and my roots are in the hills of Kentucky. So I no longer deny that I have a few banjos and some fine squirrel recipes in my genetic pool. In addition to my chromosomal predisposition toward Nashville, I am developing a deep appreciation for the honesty of country music. It is one of the few safe places to discuss God, country, and old-fashioned values without fear of politically correct busybodies getting their undergarments twisted. We all laugh at a few outrageously titled country tunes, but there are many songs that reflect exactly who I am: a proud father, a husband who married way up,
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Freedom is a Gift to be Cherished

I love the Fourth of July. My beloved and I had our first unofficial “date” on an Independence Day celebration in Fort Collins, Colorado many, many years ago. A song from Five for Fighting  called “Freedom Never Cries” is timely for this holiday. Writer/singer John Ondrasik writes personal and powerful songs that resonate with me. “Freedom Never Cries” is a song about how we take freedom for granted. Ondrasik talked about the song in an interview posted at liveDaily. “It was definitely a statement song that has a point of view. I think it kind of speaks to the fact that, I know at least for myself, we tend to only appreciate things when we need them. Growing up here in the bubble of the United States, we are statistically lucky to be born into this country where freedom, to us, seems natural. We couldn’t imagine anything else. I think sometimes we don’t recognize that. Freedom never cries. Freedom doesn’t sit in the corner
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Blessings Sometimes Wear Camouflage

A very dear friend is going through a deep trial. This faithful follower prays for wisdom, guidance, assurance and peace. The result so far is confusing. When they pray to hear the voice of God they hear spiritual crickets. Nothing. The frustration is real. I want to do something to help and all I can offer is prayer and presence. But when we study how God works in our lives should we be surprised with the process? A song by Laura Story resonates with my soul when I face this question. The song is called “Blessings” and the words are profound. We pray for blessings We pray for peace Comfort for family, protection while we sleep We pray for healing, for prosperity There is nothing inherently wrong with praying for those things. But my attempt to maneuver God to grant my wishes is wrong. Laying out my will and praying for God’s Divine notary seal is not how this works. Blessings
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That’s The Way I’ve Always Heard it Should Be

One of my favorite songs from Carly Simon touched an emotional chord recently. That’s the Way I’ve Always Heard It Should Be features raw and emotional lyrics detailing the dashed dreams of too many marriages. These couples have everything they were sure would make them happy. A beautiful house, manicured lawns, and an Instagram picture perfect family. Yet the truth of their lives is starkly different. Carly Simon’s lyrics are haunting. Their children hate them for the things they’re not They hate themselves for what they are And yet they drink, they laugh Close the wound, hide the scar My heart hurts that I personally know a lot of people caught in that cycle. They wear a mask and smile bravely through the pain. My heart cries out that there is a better way. There is a different path that ends in a room of grace. But you have to be tired enough and sad enough to quit trying to
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My Hope is Not in Washington

A song by Joe South reflected my teenage disdain for those in power who seemed to not care a whit about the regular folk. I check the comments of Millenials today and I realize that not much, if anything, has changed since this song was recorded in the turbulent late 60’s. “The Games People Play” was recorded by Joe South and here are the first two stanzas. Oh the games people play now Every night and every day now Never meaning what they say now Never saying what they mean And they wile away the hours In their ivory towers Till they’re covered up with flowers In the back of a black limousine I have to admit that a bit of the anger and power of the protest was diminished with this hard-hitting chorus. La-da da da da da da da La-da da da da da de Talking ’bout you and me And the games people play Hard to gin
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3 Ways for Dads to Leave a Legacy – Day 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 and Encourage Your Children 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 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 of 15 times a day while children laugh 400 times. “Sometime between childhood and adulthood, we lose 385 laughs a
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3 Ways for Dads to Leave a Legacy – Day 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 for Dads to Leave a Legacy – Day 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 learn how to parent while on the job. Ken Druck
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Postcards from God Get Delivered in the Most Unusual Places

What if we are stubbing our toes on the sacred every day and not realizing it? That is one of the taglines promoting my book Waking Up Slowly. The book proclaims that we are the most connected culture in history but arguably the most disconnected from the awareness of God’s presence. I examine twenty-one different attitudes and actions that cause me to miss the sacred moments that I believe can be found in every day. But like the believers of the early church at Galatia I have an amazing ability to forget what I have learned (and written). Paul could have addressed this to me in recent weeks. You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? It certainly isn’t God, for He is the one who called you to freedom. (Galatians 5:7-8, NLT) I run along smoothly for a day. Sometimes two. Then I forget who I am. Not my actual name.
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I Was Born In A Small Town

John Mellencamp’s song Small Town is, in many ways, my story. I was born in the small town of Chillicothe, Ohio and even though I have moved to the big town I am still a small town guy at heart. Educated in a small town Taught the fear of Jesus in a small town Used to daydream in that small town Another boring romantic that’s me I was indeed taught the fear of Jesus in a small town. Boy howdy was I taught that! The respect of God’s Holy nature is certainly something that needs to be taught. But the rest of the Gospel story was not proclaimed nearly as well. I wasn’t shown the love of Jesus nearly as passionately as I was taught judgment and the need to shape up and not sin. Dr. Karl Barth was one of the most brilliant theologians of the twentieth century.  He wrote weighty volumes on faith.  A reporter once asked Dr.
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Who (or What) Are We Going to Serve Today?

Bob Dylan wrote some powerful songs about his faith journey in the late 70’s. One song he composed popped up on the music feed recently. “Gotta Serve Somebody” simply says that no matter how independent, self-sufficient or in control we might try to be we still serve something or somebody. But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed You’re gonna have to serve somebody Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord But you’re gonna have to serve somebody That lyric struck a spiritual chord because it reminded me of some seriously head and heart messing stuff I have been reading from Tim Keller. Keller wrote a thought provoking definition of idolatry and how we can substitute even good things for God. “Sin is building your life and meaning on anything, even a very good thing, more than on God. Whatever we build our life on will drive us and enslave us. Sin is primarily
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Smiling Faces Sometimes…

On a day off in Detroit I finally got the chance to visit the Motown Museum. I loved every minute of it! One of the songs that played during the tour was Smiling Faces Sometimes from a group called Undisputed Truth. The song was originally recorded by the Temptations but the version released by Undisputed Truth in 1971 became the number 3 song that year. Here are the opening lyrics from that song… Smiling faces sometimes pretend to be your friend Smiling faces show no traces of the evil that lurks within Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes They don’t tell the truth uh Smiling faces, smiling faces Tell lies and I got proof I often hear from wounded Christians who could have started their note with those lyrics. They have been hurt and betrayed by other churchgoers, often with smiling faces. I try to encourage them. I remind them that we are all human. I ask them to look to Jesus. I
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Note to Self…

A song from Jason Gray is on my “I need to remember this every single day” playlist. The song is called “Remind Me Who I Am”. Jason Gray’s song is exactly what I need for this season of my life. Here are some of the lyrics. When I lose my way When I forget my name Remind me who I am In the mirror all I see is who I don’t wanna be Remind me who I am I have to be reminded constantly that to be effective in this journey you have to remember who you are in Christ. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is in play here. Paul had spent a little over two years teaching and discipling the new believers in Ephesus. Just a few short years after he left Paul received reports that those new hearts had reverted to old habits. Things were a bit of a mess and the word came back that the old
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Words Do Matter. A lot.

The uproar over late night comedian Stephen Colbert’s rant has focused a lot of attention on how far you can go in public discourse. Colbert often talks about his faith and I do not doubt his sincerity. However, I would challenge him to take a look at what Scripture has to say about the words we say and the power they have. That is an uncomfortable challenge I have taken.  I have included an excerpt from my new book Waking Up Slowly about the power of words. When it comes to social media people seem to be on the attack all the time. We say truly ugly things and assign terrible motives to people we don’t know. I quit going negative on social media many years ago. I affirm where I can and stay silent when I cannot. I just don’t understand what satisfaction people get from savaging someone or something from the safe bunker of the Internet. Maybe I
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Let He (or She) Who is Without Sin Tweet the First Mean Tweet

Twitter makes cowards courageous. The anonymity of cyberspace can make the mean spirited downright evil. I have watched with sadness as Twitter tyrants have destroyed or severely damaged people and institutions. Sometimes the venom is directed at those who simply have a sincere difference of opinion on moral issues. Nothing seems to generate more glee than a Christian leader or institution failing. Without fail the hypocrite word is used with smug satisfaction. And it is true. Let me make this personal since I can only speak honestly for me. I am a hypocrite. I do not consistently live up to the teachings of Jesus. I fail. I sin. That is why I need a Savior and not a self-help course. I am confident not in my holiness but in the holiness of Jesus. I remember hearing a pastor say that “we all sin and fall short of the glory of God. But that doesn’t keep us from comparing distances.” That
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It Truly is Amazing Grace!

(I wanted to share a little excerpt from Waking Up Slowly. I hope you enjoy it!) I have everything I need as a follower of Christ to be content. Yet I wander looking for something new or the latest trend in the church. What I was looking for in every book, program, study, and event was the sweet Gospel of unconditional love, unmerited forgiveness, and complete acceptance. I was looking for grace. This line from poet Nancy Spiegelberg may be the most indicting summary of my misunderstanding of grace for decades. Lord I crawled across the barrenness to you with my empty cup uncertain in asking any small drop of refreshment. If only I had known you better I’d have come running with a bucket. I wish that everyone who hears the gospel message would comprehend the love that God demonstrates to everyone who will receive that love. Instead of turning His back on sinners who deserved just that, God
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Give a Personalized Book to Mom!

You can give your Mom or someone special a personally autographed copy of Waking Up Slowly. I have 200 special adhesive autograph plates that I am going to send out to purchasers of Waking Up Slowly for Mother’s Day gifts. What a unique gift for Mother’s Day to give her a personalized and autographed book! I will personalize and sign this adhesive plate and promptly mail it to you. And this offer is not just for Mother’s Day. You can grab a personalized copy for a birthday gift or any special occasion. Go out and buy a copy of Waking Up Slowly or order online now (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. No receipts required. Simple. The cutoff date for Mother’s Day is May 8th or whenever I run out of plates. Don’t miss out on this unique
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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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Even If…

Sometimes we wonder if God is still there. Sometimes we wonder if He really cares about what is happening in our lives. Sometimes we wonder if it will ever get any better. Those are questions that every honest follow of Jesus has wrestled with. My friend Bart Millard of MercyMe was pondering those questions when he wrote one of the most powerful songs from their amazing new record Lifer. I found it interesting that in the same time frame I was writing a chapter about doubt in my new book Waking Up Slowly. Bart can write in a stanza what it takes me hundreds of rambling words to say. But both of us experience the same struggle. We share the hope of grace. We write and sing about how our identity is not worldly success but who we are in Christ and who God says we are because of that relationship. You should be extremely grateful that Bart Millard is
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