Hump Day Hope – Religion vs Relationship

The Hump Day Hope comes from two of my favorite grace rabble-rousers. My friend Ed Underwood wrote an excellent piece about our innate mistrust of grace. The title alone was enough to generate deep thought. Before You Decide that Grace is Too Radical: Who Thought of Grace? Religion is about control and performance. Jesus changed the dynamic completely and made it about relationship. Ed’s writes that the idea of grace does not come from the heart or mind of man. If you leave human beings to themselves and ask them, “If there’s a God, what do you think He’d demand from people if they wanted to have a relationship with Him?” the answer is always the same, “Be good enough for Him to accept you!” Grace says you can’t be good enough to earn it. Grace says you can’t be too bad to receive it. Grace gives up the need to control. Grace gives up the requirement to perform for
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The Plan

For those of you who inexplicably look forward to my ramblings I have established a schedule so you know when to expect something new. I will post a short devotional called Monday Musings to start the week. At midweek I will offer a little booster called Hump Day Hope. And on Friday a Weekend Wildcard that may be serious, silly or a combo plate of both. I will post at other times as well but you can plan on having something on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Looking forward to interacting with all of you! Blessings and grace, Dave
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Perspective

  I recently visited a large rehabilitation hospital for patients dealing with spinal cord injuries, strokes and traumatic brain trauma. As I walked  toward my car I noticed two young men in wheelchairs chatting near the entrance. I overheard a snippet of conversation that rocked my day. The tone was not bitter nor sad. This is the sentence I overheard. “I would give it all up just to be able to scuba dive one more time.” What this young man once did without thought or difficulty now was a nearly impossible dream. My heart was pierced. Just that morning I had fussed about a balky hip and yet I was walking freely to my car. I often thought about an aching shoulder but I had freedom to lift and move. All of us take so much for granted. Since that encounter I think of that young man when my hip or shoulder aches. I say a quick prayer of thanksgiving
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Maggie 6

More Confessions Ahead…

I know that a few of you have been patiently wondering if Confessions of a Bad Christian would be returning anytime soon. If you have been staring out your PC Window looking for new posts I apologize.  I took a brief leave from the blog which became a pretty long leave of absence. Now I am refreshed and ready to dispense my marginal “wisdom” for my tens of readers. I am sure as new folks stumble to this site I will get this question again. “Why do you call your blog ‘Confessions of a Bad Christian’? Do you really think you are a bad Christian?” And my answer is always something like this. Yeah.  I really am. Sometimes “badder” than on other days. The blog heading of “Confessions of a Bad Christian” started out as a bit of a joke. It was based on the title of my first book, When Bad Christians Happen to Good People. But I will tell you that I have
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The Power of Thanksgiving

(Reposted from theFish.com) I love watching the giant balloons of the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade floating through New York as wide-eyed children watch. I love the traditional football games. The official start of the Christmas season. The post feast nap. I love Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving Song by Mary Chapin Carpenter captures the intimacy of this wonderful holiday. Grateful for each hand we hold Gathered round this table. From far and near we travel home, Blessed that we are able. I have so much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. I am grateful for another year with my best friend and bride Joni. I am grateful for three wonderful sons, two amazing daughter-in-laws, one heart stealing grandchild and more on the way. I am blessed that our family will be able to be together this Thanksgiving. I am grateful for good friends. I am grateful for the abundant blessings of this country. Grateful for this sheltered place With light in every window,
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Questions

(Reposted from theFish.com) Those who know me well would say that “speechless” is not a descriptor often directed at me. I have ideas about a lot of things and occasionally some insight. But the past two weeks have brought events that have left me stunned, numb and speechless. I have been friends with Dr. Steve Wilkes for many years. We served together as “Ranger Steve” and “Ranger Dave” in church youth ministry with our sons. His son Paul was a constant fixture around our house for many years. His wife Debbie was a loving mom who nurtured Paul and his little sister Amy to become amazing adults. Our lives followed the trajectory of many friendships. Different schools, different churches and different seasons of life allowed us to drift apart. But my respect for this family never changed. I heard the first bit of sad news two weeks ago that Steve said goodbye to his beloved wife Debbie after a long
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How We Can Help Be The Hands And Feet Of God

(Reposted from theFish.com) I have watched the news recently with sadness. I cannot imagine the suffering and stress that many of our fellow citizens are enduring today. Sometimes we wonder if our prayers are even heard let alone answered. And then a song by country/Christian band Diamond Rio played on the iPod shuffle today. The title? God Is There. Carrying the weight of the world God is there Where you think he won’t come to where he’ll be waiting for you God is there I believe that with all of my heart. But we have a role in His plan. God uses you and me to be His arms and legs on this planet as well. I keep thinking about the slogan that the Salvation Army has on their website. “We combat natural disasters with Acts of God” I love that thought. We as the body of Christ commit “acts of God” by loving, helping and healing those who suffer
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