daveburchettDave Burchett

All articles by daveburchett

 

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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Hump Day Hope – You’ve Got A Friend

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

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

One of my favorite speakers/authors is Steve Brown. He speaks from his heart and with an honesty that only comes from a man who knows how desperately he needs Jesus to cover his considerable sins (his words). I recently started his new book “When Being Good Isn’t Good Enough” and I am loving it. He correctly states that all of us on this journey with Jesus desire to be holy and righteous. How to get there is where so many of us get derailed. Steve Brown says that we are killing ourselves to achieve what we already have. That holiness and righteousness have already been achieved for us by Christ at the Cross. Here is a snippet of Steve Brown’s book. “That is a cold hard fact; you don’t have to try so much anymore to be holy and righteous. You are now free to fail and, more importantly, free to allow Him to love you and to love Him
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Done

One of my favorite songs from Tenth Avenue North popped up in the rotation recently. The song “You Are More” talks about a young woman lost in fear and shame. She says, “How did I get here? I’m not who I once was. And I’m crippled by the fear That I’ve fallen too far to love” That is a lie from the very pit of hell. The lyrics beautifully convey that no one has gone too far to experience God’s amazing Grace. But don’t you know who you are, What’s been done for you? Yeah don’t you know who you are? You are more than the choices that you’ve made, You are more than the sum of your past mistakes, You are more than the problems you create, You’ve been remade. Most of us have heard the passage from 2nd Corinthians preached over and over. So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time
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God’s Weight Loss Plan for 2015

Most of us see New Years Day as a fresh start. We make steadfast resolutions of how we are going to do better next year. The reality is that January 1st is just another day. We could just as easily resolve on May 18th or August 3rd that we are going to change how we live. But there is something psychologically powerful about a New Year. The most cited resolutions generally include things like exercising more, saving more money, getting out of debt, and reading the Bible all the way through without getting bogged down in Leviticus and skipping directly to the Psalms. The most popular resolution year after year is losing weight. I thought I would be doing a real service if I gave you God’s Weight Loss Plan to take into 2015. This weight loss plan will make you healthier, reduce stress, give you more joy and cause you to grow in your relationship with the Lord. By following this no
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Avoiding the Post Christmas Letdown

Greeting cards have all been sent The Christmas rush is through But I still have one wish to make A special one for you     Lyrics from ‘Merry Christmas Darling’ – The Carpenters During my caffeinated quiet time today I reflected on the odd way we celebrate Christmas. We rush pell mell to Christmas Day with intensity that would make a football coach proud. The build up to Christmas goes on for weeks and then, almost before you can file a Nativity lawsuit, it is over. I felt a little melancholy. Somehow I managed to let another Christmas sneak up on me and pass me by while I was busy getting “ready” for the day. I have a calendar. I know from the Beach Boys helpful lyrics that Christmas comes this time each year. How does this happen? Maybe the idea of the Twelve Days of Christmas is a good one if we can pare down the odd and sometimes messy gift
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My Grown-up Christmas List

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 are reading this are lonely. Right seems to lose way too often and love ends for many. So what could
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Need Another Gift Idea For Jesus?

I love Dave Barry. As long as he is alive I will not have the weirdest brain on the planet. Here is his take on the secularizing of Christmas greetings. Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice. In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it “Christmas” and went to church; the Jews called it “Hanukkah” and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say “Merry Christmas!” or “Happy Hanukkah!”or (to the atheists) “Look out for the wall!”  These days, people say “Season’s Greetings,” which, when you think about it, means nothing. It’s like walking up to somebody and saying “Appropriate Remark” in a loud, cheerful voice. But “Season’s Greetings” is safer, because it does not refer to any actual religion.
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Another Gift Idea For Jesus on His Birthday

As a public service I am providing a shopping guide for things you can give to Jesus on His upcoming birthday. For the internet hall monitors who love to send anonymous and snarky comments I understand that the celebrated date of Christ’s birth is likely off a bit. But since this is when we celebrate we will go with the date assigned. Let’s be honest…giving the King of Kings and Lord of Lords a unique gift is really tough. The last post examined the gifts brought to the young Christ child over 2,000 years by the wise men, I had hoped that examining what the Magi brought might jump start our gift giving ideas.  Alert readers from the last article remember that the first gift was gold. That is always a lovely gift. But now it gets a little tougher. Then they opened their luggage and presented gifts: gold, frankincense, myrrh. (Matthew 2:11, The Message) The second gift brought out of the luggage by the Magi was
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Gift Ideas For Jesus on His Birthday

Christmas shopping can be really difficult for my species. Many of us men give gifts to our significant others with fear and trembling. Humor writer Dave Barry relates the confusion most men deal with when giving a gift to their wife. He could tell by her reaction to the gift that she had not been dreaming of getting an auto emergency kit, even though it was the deluxe model with booster cables and an air compressor. Clearly, this violated an important rule, but the man had idea what the rule was, and his wife was too upset to tell him. Barry continues his thoughtful treatise… So why is the Christmas season so difficult for men? There are many complex reasons, by which I mean: women. The problem goes back to the very first Christmas. We know from the Bible that the Wise Men showed up in Bethlehem and gave the baby Jesus gifts of gold,frankincense, and myrrh. Now Gold is always
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The Horror of War Paused by a Silent Night

One of my favorite Christmas stories happened during the horrors of war. The Christmas carol “Silent Night” was responsible for a wartime Christmas miracle. The year was 1914 and soldiers were having to spend Christmas Eve night on the battlefields of France during World War I, the Great War, as it was called. After only four months of fighting, more than a million men had already perished in the bloody conflict. The bodies of dead soldiers were scattered between the trenches. Enemy troops were dug-in so close that they could easily exchange shouts. On December 24, 1914, in the middle of a freezing battlefield in France, a miracle happened. The British troops watched in amazement as candle-lit Christmas trees began to appear above the German trenches. The glowing trees soon appeared along the length of the German front.  Henry Williamson, a young soldier with the London Regiment wrote in his diary: “From the German parapet, a rich baritone voice had begun to sing a song I remembered my German nurse singing to me…. The
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Weekend Wildcard: Coming Attractions

Please take a moment to sign up to receive each new article as it is posted at Confessions of a Bad Christian. Next week I am posting an article about a World War I Christmas Miracle plus the first two parts of “A Gift List for Jesus on His Birthday”. Go to the front page by clicking here. Look to your right just below the smiling disembodied picture of yours truly and my well thought out mission statement. “Bringing sporadic joy and intermittent wisdom to tens of readers several times a week.” There you will find a “sign up for my blog” box. Type in your email address and hit send. You will receive a confirmation email to make sure you really want to go through with this. Hit the confirmation link and you will have the latest ramblings delivered to your email as they are rambled. Thanks for taking the time! Your encouragement is a blessing and inspiration.
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Thursday Thought

“If we are going to grow in grace, we must stay aware of being both sinners and loved children in Christ.” — Tim Keller Wisdom (@DailyKeller) February 12, 2014
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