Two hands of different races grip each other in a handshake

Black Feelings Matter Too

My heart has been deeply saddened by the racial tension that has surfaced in recent months. Like many white Americans I rationalized that I was not a part of the problem. Three friends have been helping me to see another side. My eyes began to be opened by my friend Kevin Butcher. Kevin is a white pastor to a predominately black congregation at Hope Community Church in Detroit. He told me that Black Christians want their White brothers and sisters to listen to their hearts and not offer excuses or rationales. They simply want to be heard. So I decided to do just that by seeking to hear the hearts of two Black brothers in Christ. I know Duke Barnett well. He is an amazingly talented educator, administrator and leader. He is a great husband, dad and friend. The other man I asked to share his heart is a pastor in Nashville, Tennessee. I became friend with Montagne McDonald through
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Sad woman

No One Escapes Suffering

Being in community with others means you share in their joys and their sorrows. Sometimes the sorrows come in tsunami waves and all you can do is care, pray and be present. Good and decent people deal with financial, emotional and physical suffering all around us and it is easy to lose heart. The news seems to be only tragedy and heartbreaking sadness. What can be redeemed of all of this suffering? A song called “The Hurt and the Healer” by MercyMe resonated when I first heard it but now that same song ministers much deeper in my soul recently. Why? The question that is never far away The healing doesn’t come from the explained Jesus please don’t let this go in vain I can’t explain why things happen. Sometimes it is sin. Sometimes it is simply life. I have learned in my years of following Jesus that He does not let suffering go in vain. I have seen over
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Jesus Has The Answer for a Hurting Nation and It is NOT political!

Another sad Monday in our country and the world. I don’t want to just sit in paralyzed sorrow. I want to be a part of the solution. I am amazed at the power of music and lyric to move my heart and soul. Today a tune from Casting Crowns touched my heart. One or two lyrical thoughts can have more impact than a beautifully written article or book. The song “Jesus, Friend of Sinners” has a number of those powerful lyrics. Jesus Friend of sinners we have strayed so far away We cut down people in your name but the sword was never ours to swing Ouch. How much damage has been done in the name of Christ by well-meaning or by just mean churchgoers? The toll is heartbreaking. Truly that sword was never ours to wield. The next few lines are just as powerful. Jesus friend of sinners the truth’s become so hard to see The world is on
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Unit and concord in multiethnic team, all hands together


The events in my adopted home state of Texas have been heartbreaking. But I have never been more proud to be an adopted Texan. The response of our police officers and those who were peacefully expressing their views were both extraordinary. The response of the community did not surprise me. Contrary to some national stereotypes, Dallas is a truly good place with all of the flaws of a major city but with something in her heart that gives me hope for healing. Pastor TD Jakes voiced a powerful prayer at Thanksgiving Square near the site of the horror. “We are being tested down to the core. Not just to see – can we survive the atrocities that have confronted us last night, but to see if we will rebound and reinvigorate ourselves in such a way that we come up a better city than we were before. What we faced in Dallas did not start in Dallas. It is a
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Open Bible with Dog Tags on American Flag

Two Freedoms to Cherish on this 4th of July

I love the Fourth of July. My beloved and I had our first unofficial “date” on an Independence Day celebration in Fort Collins, Colorado many, many years ago. A song from Five for Fighting  called “Freedom Never Cries” is timely for this holiday. Writer/singer John Ondrasik has become one of my favorites. Ondrasik writes personal and powerful songs that resonate with me. “Freedom Never Cries” is a song about how we take freedom for granted. Ondrasik talked about the song in an interview posted at liveDaily. It was definitely a statement song that has a point of view. I think it kind of speaks to the fact that, I know at least for myself, we tend to only appreciate things when we need them. The chorus of that song says “I never loved the soldier until there was a war / Or thought about tomorrow ’til my baby hit the floor.” I know I never started thinking about my future until I had my
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Dad Bible cropped

The Leader of the Pack Left a Legacy

Singer Dan Fogelberg was also one of my favorite songwriters. The song that I remember most is a song written about his dad called “Leader of the Band”. His father was a musician and he passed that talent down to Dan. Parts of the lyric made me think of my Dad in his final years.. The leader of the band is tired and his eyes are growing old But his blood runs through my instrument and his song is in my soul I thank you for the music and your stories of the road I thank you for the freedom when it came my time to go I thank you for the kindness and the times when you got tough And, papa, I don’t think I said ‘I love you’ near enough My Dad knew how much I loved him. Still I wish I had told him more. But this is the portion of the song that continues to impact me
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My Dad’s Favorite Songs Remind Me of Where My Hope Really Is…

Father’s Day is here again and that day is always bittersweet. I am so grateful to be the father of three wonderful sons. I am grateful as I watch my sons being great dads to our grandchildren. But the day also reminds me how much I miss my Dad. I thought of him as I watched the news today. The current climate in Washington and the selfish agendas of our “representatives” would have driven him nuts. I could almost hear him ranting about the politicians and how we just need someone with common sense in our Nation’s Capital. He earned the right to rant. He was one of the incredible men and women who served our country during World War II. The flag from his military funeral is one of my proudest possessions. I find myself becoming more like my Dad every day. I dialed up a couple of his favorite songs that I have on iTunes as a musical version of
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