Between the White Lines Available Now!

By late December of 2018 over five million people had watched an emotional sideline television interview with Newton, Texas High School football coach W.T. Johnston.  Just moments after the Texas State Championship game he shared one of the most powerful post-game messages I have ever witnessed. Now the story of this remarkable man and his heroic example of faith and courage is told in my brand-new book “Between the White Lines”.   W.T.Johnston Interview   I have been around sports figures and coaches for over forty years and I can say with complete honesty that W.T. Johnston is one of the most exceptional leaders I have ever encountered. W.T. allowed me total access to his past, his struggles, and his amazing insight to life honed by the fires of adversity. You will take away so many life lessons that may, as they have in my own life, change your daily journey. His story is a heartfelt lesson of how you
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Peace and  love symbol

Can We Ever Come Together?

An 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 a staticky 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 I
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A Sacred Space

(Excerpted from Between the White Lines) It is almost impossible to comprehend what it is like for a sixteen-year-old boy to run onto the Dallas Cowboys home field to play for a state championship. Kids who have played in front of a few dozen or a few hundred look at a vast sea of faces. They struggle to balance fear and exhilaration. Some teams thrive on this big stage and others wilt. The Newton Eagles always looked to one source of strength in these moments: their coach W.T. Johnston. “There is nothing like being in the battle with these young men,” W.T. says. “One of the things I love the most about coaching is the team huddle. It is a sacred place that only I get to share with my players. No one else gets to invade that sacred space between the white lines. I always ask them to take a knee and I get down to their level. I
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A Great Gift

(This is an excerpt from my new book Between the White Lines. I hope you read this remarkable story.) W.T. Johnston sat alone in a service tunnel inside the cavernous home of the Dallas Cowboys. From his folding chair he could hear the cacophony of sounds as two high schools—Brock and Rockdale—battled for a state title. Soon he would lead his Newton Eagles football team against undefeated Gunter for the UIL 3A Division II Championship of Texas. Johnston’s mind raced as he considered the miracle of this moment. Most Texas high school coaches only dreamed of being on this stage. He chuckled to himself. The entire population of Newton would fit forty times into AT&T Stadium with just a few seats left over. He knew that most of the town had made the 265-mile trek from Newton County to Texas football’s crown-jewel facility. Three years earlier, Johnston had his first chance as a head coach to win a title on
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How Thomas Jefferson Tried to “Fix” Christianity

Thomas Jefferson is an enigma for many. Political enemies in his day accused him of being an atheist yet he started the statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom with the phrase, “Almighty God hath created the mind free.” He certainly would not have been invited to speak at an evangelical conference to share his view that most clergymen are “soothsayers and necromancers.” You likely have a bigger brain than I do but I will confess that I had to look up necromancers. It literally means one who interrogates the dead. Okay. Not sure what church Jefferson was frequenting. Jefferson believed that authentic Christianity had been hijacked by church leaders. Jefferson decided to fix the problem. He took out his scissors and cut out the parts of the Bible that he didn’t believe. He excised the virgin birth, all of the miracles and the Resurrection. He cobbled together a book he titled “The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth”. Jefferson described his
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Unmasking My Christian “Agenda”

The title “Evangelical Christian” seems to have become a pejorative to many in the media and culture. I understand the frustration (I have written about it a lot) when very vocal or celebrity Christian leaders fail spectacularly. I share your anger when a religious person espouses hateful or judgmental comments. I grieve when an institution or leader fails to protect the innocent. Critics say that Christians have an agenda and dangerous desire to control other people’s lives. I confess that has been true for some religious types. But the followers of Jesus that I have gotten to know over many decades don’t resemble that stereotype at all. Perhaps that is why Jesus warned so plainly about the dangers of power. The selfless, giving, and caring believers get little notice in this world but I believe they are quietly and faithfully making a difference. I thought about what my answer would be if I was asked to outline my agenda. I
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The Mystery of Grace

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