What Does God Want From You and Me?

Regular readers of these humble ramblings know that I love music and the power of lyrics to implant truth in my heart. The group Tenth Avenue North is especially good at doing that for me. A new song resonated from the moment I heard it. What You Want is a powerful plea to give up my personal agenda and my need to be in control. You can check it out here.  Here is a sample of the lyrics. Everyday I’ve been feeling the pressure I always gotta know the plan It’s a weight that I’ve tried to shoulder I thought I could, but I can’t And I’m so tired of chasing dreams When I am wired to let you lead But I resist that innate wiring to follow God and I try to control my path. James wrote about our attempts to “control” our future. Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town
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stop doing what does not work handwritten on blackboard

Quit Trying So Dadgum Hard!

Recently my buddy Ed Underwood (you should read his books and blog) texted that he had found the official anthem for Christians who try to live this journey in their own insufficient strength. I agreed so much that I asked his permission to steal his insight for today’s musing. I will not share the details of the deal but it may or may not involve a future karaoke performance at the fabulous Garman’s Restaurant and Irish Pub in Santa Paula, California. But that unfortunate possibility is not today’s topic. Ed had texted that rock icon Janis Joplin’s song “Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)” perfectly summed up the frustration of Christians who think that just a little more effort or doing more of the right things will make them holy. It is a losing game. Joplin’s lyrics address a love interest but they fit perfectly into the frustrating cry of many followers of Jesus trying desperately to “be holy”. Yeah,
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Top View of Boot on the trail with the text: You Don't Need a Reason to Help People

Change Me From the Inside Out

Watching the news on television is depressing. Election years seem to pour fuel on the culture war fires. I much prefer to spend my leisure moments reading, listening to music and walking with canine friend Maggie. Today a song on my from Seventh Day Slumber caused me to ask some questions about the way the church engages our culture. The song is From the Inside Out. My heart and my soul I give You control Consume me from the inside out Lord Let justice and praise Become my embrace To love You from the inside out Change happens from the inside out. I wrote about the culture war in my book “When Bad Christians Happen to Good People”. Here is an excerpt from that discussion. If I were to ask the average Christian what victory in the culture war would look like today, I would probably get answers along these lines: Abortion would be outlawed. Homosexuality would be less visible.
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It Really Isn’t Funny How Time Slips Away

Recently the life odometer rolled over another year so it was only fitting that a little tune from Willie Nelson caught my attention. The song is titled “Funny How Time Slips Away” and it is one of his signature songs. I realize that Willie is, for some, an acquired taste. I do not endorse Willie’s recreational choices or his tax paying discipline but I do love his ability to make lyrics real. In this song he laments the loss of a love. Well hello there my it’s been a long long time How am I doin’ oh I guess that I’m doin’ fine It’s been so long now but it seems now it was only yesterday Gee ain’t it funny how time slips away It is not really funny how time slips away. It is downright scary. It seems like yesterday that I was playing sandlot baseball as a kid. Moments ago I was in high school being ADD before ADD was cool.
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Patriot Paws 8

Give a Personalized Copy of Stay and Help Patriot Paws!

I am partnering with Patriot Paws and donating a portion of the advances and royalties for Stay and my next book releasing in 2017. Patriot Paws is an organization that trains service dogs to assist veterans who deal with PTS, mobility and  other injuries. Go to Amazon, Barnes and Nobles or other book sellers to buy a copy of Stay. Then private message me at my Facebook author page and I will send you a personalized autograph plate to place inside the book. Here is an example… Give a special gift (or receive one) and help a wonderful cause!  
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Patriot Paws Logo

I Once Was Lost…

I was honored and blessed to witness a very emotional day at Patriot Paws recently in Rockwall, Texas. “Matching Day” was the culmination of two years of training for some special service dogs and two years (or more) of agonizing waiting for some deserving veterans. The graduating service dogs are introduced to the veterans during some training and social sessions. The staff watches the interaction and chemistry between various canine/veteran combinations. Then the trainers match the veteran with the best fit for their needs. The veterans might have had a hunch but did not know for sure until the official “Matching Day” ceremony. Watching the tears stream down the faces of these men as they officially met their new companion was heartwarming. Many of you know that I have committed to share a portion of royalties and advances from Stay and my next book project due out in 2017 with the Patriot Paws organization. After watching Friday I am convinced
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Jackie Robinson

Here’s To You Mr. Robinson!

(This is an 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. Traditional tax day is never fun for a guy who is organizationally challenged. My idea of being prepared is having everything in one box. But I was heartened to find that 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 maybe 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
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