Enjoy Another Free Chapter From Stay!

In honor of National Mutt Day my friends at Tyndale are providing another free chapter from my latest book Stay: Lessons My Dogs Taught Me about Life, Loss, and Grace. Since our newest rescue Maggie is a mutt she wanted me to feature her. This chapter relates how difficult it was for our rescued friend to learn her brand new forever name. Download “Forgetting Her Name” from Stay by clicking on this link. I hope you enjoy this sample! If you want to read the rest of Stay you can find it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other fine retailers.    
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Mallard duck closeup.

Can’t “Duck” The Truth That We Need Community!

Last week the “ducks were on the pond”. Baseball fans will recognize that phrase as a colorful way to describe having a runner on every base. But this time I was enjoying some time off from the baseball gig with my lovely bride. We were sitting on the porch of our little cabin near Fredericksburg, Texas when a flock of eight ducks noisily left the pond and waddled toward us. They lined up and quacked expectantly. If I spoke duck I suspect the translation would have been something like the famous quote from Caddyshack. “Hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know.” We fed the ducks some cereal flakes and apparently that was an acceptable offering. Every time we went out on our porch the ducks would waddle over and wait for their snack. Joni and I were fascinated by their behaviors. They always stayed together. There was a clear leader of the pack and
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cooling down for dog at the beach

Welcome to the Dog Days of Summer

Summer has made it’s presence known this week in Texas. The oppressive heat leads to scenes like this for the canine friend Maggie. For years I have been throwing around the phrase “dog days of summer” with no clue about its origin. The Romans noticed that the hottest days of the years happened to coincide with the appearance of the “dog star” Sirius which is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major. They believed the appearance of this bright star contributed to withering heat. The Greeks were likely the first to use the term dog days and you will surely recall this reference from your most recent reading of the Iliad by Homer. Sirius rises late in the dark, liquid sky On summer nights, star of stars, Orion’s Dog they call it, brightest Of all, but an evil portent, bringing heat And fevers to suffering humanity. I was surprised to find that dog days appear in the first copies
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Faith Word Graphic Montage

My Heroes Are Not Famous

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

Is Christianity Dying in America?

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

3 Ways Dads Can Leave a Legacy-Part 3

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

3 Ways Dads Can Leave a Legacy-Part 2

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