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Updated: 11:59 PDT     289


Ronnie McBrayer

Ronnie McBrayer is a storyteller, a scribbler and a seeker, and the author of "Leaving Religion, Following Jesus," plus several other books. He writes and speaks about life, faith, and Christ-centered spirituality. Visit his website at www.ronniemcbrayer.net.

Connect with Ronnie McBrayer in other places:

Hitting The Road: Millions Take to The Great American Highway
Ronnie McBrayer says hitting the road is not religion, it is the true way to live. And while love is often a road less traveled, it is the worthiest of journeys.
14:16 Jul 23, 2014 PST
Suffering Vital in Maturation Process
Ronnie McBrayer says when we avoid suffering at all cost, we fail to see it costs us everything, for if we cannot tolerate anything, we never become people of faith, character, or maturity.
15:20 Jul 17, 2014 PST
Religion Mix With Political Power Leads to Disaster
Not long after these events played themselves out across our cable television news shows, Roy Moore's Ten Commandments monument went on tour.
14:02 Jul 8, 2014 PST
Losing Oneself for Christ
The short of it is this: We are un-crucified (if such a word exists). For when the nails of Providence painfully pierce our self-centeredness, we choose to jump down from our crucifixion.
08:04 Jul 3, 2014 PST
Faith Sustains Us
Here is mature faith: It is far more than a cheerful outcome contrived within our imaginations, or a happily ever after post-scripted to every story we tell.
06:45 Jun 25, 2014 PST
God as Father of Love and Safety
What comes to their mind when they think about God is not a beneficent image. And while they can speak of God as 'Creator,' 'Lord,' even 'Mother,' the idea of Father is associated with far too much pain to be useful. So let me be clear that th
16:31 Jun 20, 2014 PST
Love of God is 'Good News' For All
Before we breathe a word about the gospel or good news, we should be properly prepared. What is the proper preparation? Well, it's not about having all the theological answers...
05:33 Jun 12, 2014 PST
Chosen and Cherished
They are loved. They are chosen. They are cherished - and they were cherished long before they were even conscious of such emotion.
06:48 Jun 6, 2014 PST
On Loving The 'Unlovable'
No, the unlovable are everywhere, and they are fairly normal people, not sinister monsters who challenge our capacity to love. Bosses, coworkers, in-laws; your rival on the field, in the boardroom, or in the marketplace; your ex-spouse.
07:25 May 29, 2014 PST
Serving Jesus Through Helping Others
He is a refugee in Sudan, an exile from Syria, a war orphan in Bagdad or Baltimore. He is a humble textile mill worker trying to stay ahead of the bill collectors while keeping food in his children's bellies and a roof over their heads.
12:19 May 20, 2014 PST
Living a Fruitful Life
That obituary, written in the vibrant language of the time, captures her simple faith so well. It reads, 'Ola professed a hope in Christ in August 1901 and joined the Baptist church at Antioch.
08:07 May 18, 2014 PST
Growing Old With Faith
So it is with people. When you see a person of character, stability, authenticity, and strength in an otherwise desolate landscape, you know that something life-giving is beneath the surface,
11:16 May 11, 2014 PST
God Comes for The Weak and Vulnerble
God comes in the weak, the vulnerable and in a condition he calls, 'the least of these.' Look for God there, and help him for he is your neighbor. Pigs flying or not, we have no other choice.
04:57 May 5, 2014 PST
Love Changes The World
For all of Christianity's theoretical words and defenses, the Apostle John was simple and winsome with his definition of God: 'God is love,' John said.
12:53 Apr 30, 2014 PST
Jesus' Resurrection Speaks of Hope for The World and for Future
With 30 million people waiting and watching to see mysteries solved and questions answered, the vault was opened revealing nothing - unless you consider an empty gin bottle to be of historical importance.
05:09 Apr 25, 2014 PST
Fear Is Sand in Machinery of Life
We have been given the power to face each uncertain day; the love to overcome the hatred and bitterness that surround us; and self-discipline when everything else seems so out of control; for our security is not dependent upon the strength of our mi
08:12 Apr 23, 2014 PST
Palm Sunday Marks The Beginning of Jesus' Passion
In parts of Europe - particularly in the countries of Poland, Ukraine, and Lithuania - Christians bring their branches to church on Palm Sunday, though they do not carry palms.
16:57 Apr 19, 2014 PST
Nobody Can Be Great At Everything
In the business world this is known as the Peter Principle, named after Lawrence J. Peter. People will tend to be promoted until they reach their level of incompetence, said Dr. Peter.
16:14 Apr 8, 2014 PST
Christians Must Treat Everyone Like Family
The church could learn a few things from the Nick family. Their success is not the result of clever marketing, pumping thousands of dollars into publicity campaigns, or arguing that their food is better than some competitor down the street.
11:42 Apr 5, 2014 PST
Pushing Through The Pain and Let Go
What the Bible calls 'trials and tribulations' accumulate too. Gradually, imperceptibly at first, the flakes fall silently down. A setback here. A disappointment there. A protracted illness.
04:37 Apr 2, 2014 PST
The Scars of Forgiveness
Consider Christ himself. With the central act of God's loving grace, Christians believe that Jesus died on a cross and was resurrected from the dead, bringing life and forgiveness to all. But even the risen Jesus has scars.
11:44 Mar 24, 2014 PST
Just Give Me Jesus
Ronnie McBrayer says he is OK with not knowing everything. He knows more than he used to, but he says it doesn't mayyer, as long as he knows enough.
11:35 Mar 21, 2014 PST
End of The World as We Know It
The year was 387. The place was Kilpatrick in ancient Scotland. Their names were Calpurnius and Conchessa, Roman citizens living at the edge of the Roman Empire. These young Britons were gifted with a new born son. They named him Maewyn.
18:15 Mar 17, 2014 PST
Forgetting The Past and Letting Go
Can we really forget the past? No. Painful memories, bad choices we have made, ways we have been harmed or harmed others, the heartbreaking losses of offense and betrayal - none of these can be changed.
19:09 Mar 12, 2014 PST
God Rewards Diligent Seekers of Christ
Notes, homework assignments, flyers from the book fair, old report cards: All this scrap and crap is hanging out everywhere. I wish they were more organized. I wish they would take the time to clean up themselves and their notebooks.
10:46 Mar 11, 2014 PST
What Is Wrong With The World?
The burglary itself could have been much worse I suppose. My family and I have lived in the same small town for years now. It is the kind of town where everyone knows everyone, people look after each other's kids, and when your neighbor waves 'hel
16:21 Mar 5, 2014 PST
Faith Grows By Learning to Trust
Simply put, I don't have faith like Marta because I've never had to employ such faith. My life, though not without its challenges, by comparison has been quite comfortable, and comfort does not grow faith.
18:02 Mar 4, 2014 PST
God Loves The Drunks, Dunces, and Dumbos of The World
The once-smashed-but-now-made-well lined up at this man's bedside until his death and even after. They were mechanics, lawyers, cooks, contractors, teachers; their diversity and visits seemed to never end. And each one came to say 'thank you,'
18:27 Mar 2, 2014 PST
Christ Came to Love and Redeem The Untouchables and Forgotten
According to the script, Hal wasn't immediately killed in the accident, but he was badly injured. The first responders who initially swarmed the scene took his vitals, gave him a once-over, tagged him, and left him to theoretically die where he lay
05:05 Feb 28, 2014 PST
Are Churches Now Driven By Self-Indulgence and Vanity?
Terence Mann, James Earl Jones' character in 'Field of Dreams,' may have captured the sentiment best. Standing in that enchanted cornfield turned baseball diamond, he says, 'They'll walk out to the bleachers
13:42 Feb 26, 2014 PST
God Really Wants to Help, Fight, and Love Us
What if we give God a chance to be our friend and 'ever present help in time of trouble'? Yes, God is good, even when life is not.
19:18 Feb 23, 2014 PST
God Leads a Conspiracy of Patience in Our Life
The child for which you prayed is the product of much more than a single sexual act. He or she contains the genetic material of your ancestors going back thousands of years.
13:42 Feb 19, 2014 PST
Finding Balance and Rest in This Busy World
Without a doubt, finding balance and rest will not happen spontaneously. It will require you to be intentional - vigilant - about resting. You will have to say 'no' to some obligations.
16:28 Feb 17, 2014 PST
Bible Offers a Doorway to Experience Christ
Might you look deeper and read closer, for the Bible is a powerful thing, enlivened by God's Spirit and constructed by divine affection. It is Cupid's Arrow pointing us to the love of God in Christ.
18:24 Feb 11, 2014 PST
The Pickled Pain of The Past
Ronnie McBrayer reminds us that the greater part of the pain and regret we carry around with us is the result of not accepting this truth about ourselves...
07:00 Feb 9, 2014 PST
Spiritual Awakening is God's Work
So a 'revival' is something deeply meaningful and intangible that the people pray for, and it is also a traditional ceremony placed on the congregational calendar.
20:19 Feb 8, 2014 PST
Standing Boldly in The Sun With Jesus
And then the refrain that Seger screams into the microphone, a refrain about himself as a younger man: 'Like a rock, I was strong as I could be; like a rock, nothin' ever got to me; like a rock, I was something to see; like a rock.'
10:00 Feb 4, 2014 PST
Take It Slow and Enjoy The Moment
Honestly, it had been nearly a decade since I last climbed this particular mountain, and I had forgotten just how steep the trail was. I should have remembered when I saw the marker at the trail head.
09:25 Feb 2, 2014 PST
Run The Race, Don't Be Distracted
Ronnie McBrayer advises us to run our race, keep our eyes on the finish line, not be distracted by things that can divert us off the track; finish the course.
17:21 Jan 30, 2014 PST
God Knows What is Best for Us
Every 'Amen' becomes an argument to convince ourselves, over and over again, that God knows us best and knows what is best for us. And speaking of 'God knows,' God knows we tend to argue with ourselves, don't we?
13:39 Jan 29, 2014 PST
'Ain't No Damn Preacher'
As this went on for the next five minutes a knot began forming in my stomach. I'm no prude and cursing doesn't bother me too much. Growing up in the country I learned that farming animals and diesel engines only work when properly dosed
14:00 Jan 25, 2014 PST
You Will Be Free
The slaves were assisted by people known as 'conductors' who transported their precious cargo by clandestine means, all the dangerous miles to freedom.
18:26 Jan 21, 2014 PST
Spiritual Renaissance
Ronnie McBrayer says the most skillful artist is not necessarily the one with the best thoughts or ideas, the biggest public platform or the one who is a mass of pure talent.
09:20 Jan 18, 2014 PST
Is God's Grace Really a Safety Net?
So, is this grace? When we slip and fall will we actually be rescued by a soft landing in the catching, loving hands of God? Is God's grace really a safety net? Yes, that seems to be the exact answer from the Scriptures and human experience.
04:03 Jan 15, 2014 PST
Confession is Healing
Rarely have these confessions been a burden. Yes, some have come as a surprise. At times I have been struck speechless, and many admissions have left me so broken hearted I thought I would need a priest to administer last rites for myself.
09:43 Jan 11, 2014 PST
Speak Clearly
Mahatma Gandhi was a man that the world - including the Christian universe of which I am a part - could learn a great deal from.
07:55 Jan 9, 2014 PST
Faith Works Like a Personal Computer
Ronnie McBrayer says there are computer viruses and faith viruses and they have something in common, but don't trash your computer or faith yet...
05:06 Jan 6, 2014 PST
The Future Matters Most
The hymnal has incredible value for collectors, and those collectors were salivating to sink their teeth into this ancient book. Thus, when Sotheby's auctioned the hymnal last month,
03:24 Jan 2, 2014 PST
Keeping Churches as Simple Entities
Ronnie McBrayer asks why church leadership allows good and godly people to kill themselves for the organization, instead of letting them live their lives for Christ?
22:57 Dec 29, 2013 PST
Church is Here for Others, for Community, and for The World
Here is what sometimes happens, I think: Churches become narcissistic and self-centered. They focus all of their energy and resources upon themselves, leaving little if anything at all, for the greater community.
06:58 Dec 28, 2013 PST
A Church for People Business
This is what I have realized of late, about A Simple Faith, and about church in general: No, we don't need more churches as we have previously known church.
11:42 Dec 27, 2013 PST
Little Things Matter
The size of a telephone book? As thick as a mattress? As tall as a refrigerator? Not even close. Gladwell says the folded piece of paper would be as high as the distance from the earth to the sun - with only fifty folds. This is what mathematicians
07:03 Dec 27, 2013 PST
Peace Comes By Surendering To God's Will
Ronnie McBrayer relates a song of submission to a higher and better way. Not losing, not giving up, losing nothing, gaining everything.
10:40 Dec 25, 2013 PST
Love Will Win The Day
Love has been the inspiration for more songs and sonnets than you can shake a stick at. But, strangely enough, for all of its power, love is not always the first emotion we think of during the holidays. 'Joy to the World,' 'Peace on Earth,' 'O
19:12 Dec 21, 2013 PST
Peace Begins With 'Me'
In the end, Longfellow knew this too. After lifting his head from the deep despair of a morally bankrupt world, he wrote a superb, often ignored line: 'Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: 'God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;'
02:56 Dec 17, 2013 PST
The Big '10'
Curious, he asked his mother about them and she casually explained their meaning and importance. This got the gears turning in his little head until finally he was mourning the divine condemnation hanging over that same head.
19:11 Dec 14, 2013 PST
The Truths About Three Kings of Orient Unveiled
Tradition says that there were three kings, some traditions mention twelve, and over time they were even given names: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar.
04:18 Dec 13, 2013 PST
'The Gospel According to Waffle House' is Here!
In his new book, The Gospel According to Waffle House, Ronnie McBrayer challenges people of faith to rethink how they do church, proposing a modest, commonsense vision.
00:55 Dec 8, 2013 PST
Loving Christ Through Faith and Actions
A final note about Stradivarius' 'Messiah:' If someone could get their hands on this little beauty to play, it would likely sound terrible. Violins, like most stringed instruments, have to be played in order to retain their sound.
19:27 Dec 6, 2013 PST
Trusting in God Makes a Difference
He can't climb up, and he can't lower himself to the canyon floor below. Stuck as he is, with no one else to call upon, and powerless to save himself, he looks heavenward and prays: 'Dear God! Please help me!'
23:48 Dec 3, 2013 PST
Blessed Be The Name
My dad took me there one Saturday afternoon and I apparently wandered away. While searching for those magical Matchboxes my three feet tall frame got lost in the clothing department, dwarfed as I was, by the towering racks of dress shirts
04:32 Nov 28, 2013 PST
Some Christians Find 'Church' Unhelpful
They are people of generosity and integrity. They worship their God and cling to Christ.
22:13 Nov 25, 2013 PST
Surrendering to God in Prayer
Sure, prayer is a way of bringing our needs and requests to God, but sometimes, being human as we are, we can't tell the difference between what we want and what we need.
16:51 Nov 20, 2013 PST
Grace of God Prevails When Under Fire
His most prominent work, 'The Cotton Patch Gospel' is a masterpiece of New Testament interpretation, and Koinonia eventually birthed the organization now known as Habitat for Humanity which has partnered with those in need
15:48 Nov 15, 2013 PST
Let Us Remember 'The Fallen' Soldiers on Veteran's Day
Armistice Day survived the Second World War, though not everyone knew what to do with it since lasting peace had not arrived but the atomic age had.
05:39 Nov 12, 2013 PST
A 'Yes' Face of God
Now, that something better might be patience. It might be spiritual growth and maturity. It might be a change or improvement of character. It might be the good fruit of love, joy, peace, kindness, or self-control.
17:30 Nov 7, 2013 PST
'Blessed Hope' Amid Doomsday Hysteria
Unbalanced apocalypticism simply makes it easy to give up on today.
04:15 Oct 29, 2013 PST
Breaking The Holy Huddle
All religions have hang-ups - even my beloved game of football - and the worst of these is the excruciatingly slow pace of play late in the game. There is a lesson in this for us all.
05:20 Oct 26, 2013 PST
Heaven is Only for Those Still in Diapers
My wish can become reality, for a child, regardless of age, is one who is still learning, and still trusting, still relying upon God. A child is one who still has an impressionable mind and a pliable will.
19:41 Oct 22, 2013 PST
This Will Get Your Goat
You make a big show for everyone to see. You love the best and front seats in the meeting places. This makes you like an unmarked grave that people walk on without knowing it.
13:57 Oct 18, 2013 PST
Replacement, Not Revolution
While it could be said that the producers of the film took creative license with the flight and crash scenes of the movie (check it out for yourself), what the producers perfectly nailed is the nature of addiction. It devours.
19:29 Oct 14, 2013 PST
Putting Confidence in God While Waiting for Miracle
Waiting is not enough for the thousands of people whose livelihoods have been put in jeopardy by the spewing oil in the Gulf. Waiting is not enough for the marriage in trouble, the parents with a sick child, the couple facing foreclosure, or the man
18:00 Oct 11, 2013 PST
Knowing Jesus Layer By Layer
That stick of wood is a display of agonizing love shown to a world lost in self-centeredness and self-delusion, a world that has done nothing but be disloyal to and reject its Maker. That cross shows us how far Love will go: God, humiliated and blee
17:03 Oct 8, 2013 PST
What's Wrong With The World?
This whole duplicitous affair, oddly enough, reminded me of one of the greatest British writers of the twentieth century: G. K. Chesterton.
05:50 Oct 4, 2013 PST
At The Brink
Our planet and its people should be bursting with relieved celebration, because 30 years ago this week, life as we have known it, came perilously close to the end.
14:27 Oct 1, 2013 PST
God Loves The Dumbos of The World
He is immediately made fun of by the others in the circus and named 'Dumbo.' His mother loses her cool over all the name-calling and goes crackers and has to be locked away.
20:16 Sep 26, 2013 PST
Words Hold The Power of Life and Healing
When the writer of Hebrews instructs his readers to motivate and provoke others in the direction of love and good deeds, he is calling for all of us to act as constructive catalysts, as those who will ignite and stir up good in others.
05:10 Sep 25, 2013 PST
Accepting Religious Differences
A parish he once led desperately needed to expand its ministry. But one man in the parish absolutely resisted, always squelching prospective change by saying something like, 'My grandfather gave the land for this church; my daddy cleared the trees
04:51 Sep 17, 2013 PST
Falling Towers - A Historical Context
Ronnie McBrayer's 9/11 article makes us remember things past, the suffering of some, while others escape, to live another day.
18:24 Sep 11, 2013 PST
Living a Simple Life
Truth be told, this was no new phenomena. I had never known him to be happy for terribly long. He didn't suffer from hopelessness, depression, or despair. He simply wanted something better.
09:02 Sep 10, 2013 PST
'Don't Be Religious'
Once, when I was under a great deal of pressure to get finished mowing because I had other stuff to do - wholesome, worthy, honorable teenage stuff - the mower quit yet again.
18:27 Sep 5, 2013 PST
Let Your Soul Catch Up
Ronnie McBrayer urges us to think about rest, and what it really means, because our crazy-busy life is harmful to us, and we need to restore our life balance.
17:04 Sep 3, 2013 PST
What Are You Holding On To?
Ronnie McBrayer talks about preparing for a storm, and working out what is really important to us.
18:07 Aug 29, 2013 PST
There is No Peace in Trying to Master Others
For the sake of easing our anxiety (mistakenly thinking that control will equate with peace), we risk driving away, alienating, and otherwise distancing ourselves from some of life and love's greatest gifts and experiences.
07:16 Aug 27, 2013 PST
I Wonder About Your Wonderbread
'If there was one last loaf of bread in this town it would be mine.' I swear that's what he said. 'He' being a rather pretentious member of the clergy, stating how God would take care of him should the world come unhinged tomorrow.
16:55 Aug 22, 2013 PST
The Missing Piece
Ronnie McBrayer writes about the extraordinary literary, music, and art career of Sheldon Silverstein, a man whose name and face are not well known.
17:05 Aug 9, 2013 PST
Keeping Religious Activities on The Quiet Side
No matter what it is: Missionary work, teaching, preaching, giving, praying, singing, organizing, helping if it is done to impress or draw the attention of others, no matter how noble the act, it is wrong for if it is not driven by love for God
19:30 Aug 5, 2013 PST
Are You Ready to Turn Around to The Direction of Repentance?
The fear among scientists was that Adolf Hitler would create a mega-bomb and use it against Europe. This was significant enough, but what followed truly changed the world.
05:19 Aug 2, 2013 PST
'Take It Outside'
It is customary in Southern Baptist churches to take up an offering during the Advent season to support missionaries overseas. This story takes place in December in Texas during the early 1980s.
16:42 Jul 29, 2013 PST
Hope is About Re-Creating The World
Ronnie McBrayer looks at advancement tempered by destruction. Even though man has the capacity to destroy the world, he has hope the world will survive those men.
17:57 Jul 26, 2013 PST
Fight On for Cancer
For the last several months I have been keeping a regular appointment with an oncologist. I'm not the one receiving care, however. My friend has lung cancer, and I have been accompanying her as she receives weekly doses of chemotherapy.
06:57 Jul 22, 2013 PST
A One Night Revival
I was welcomed into a Southern congregation not long ago by the strangest message on the little placard in front of their church. It read: 'Ronnie McBrayer: One Night Revival.' When I saw this, I could not stop from laughing.
18:25 Jul 18, 2013 PST
Catching Up: It's Never Too Late to Do The Right Thing
My mother did what was expected: She complained, vigorously. Still, the thievery continued. That no one at the school seemed capable of correcting this wrong really sent her five foot, one inch frame into orbit.
09:20 Jul 15, 2013 PST
I've Seen Him for Myself, And That Is The Reason I keep Going
Ronnie McBrayer tells a great story, of why some people start a chase and never give up, while others begin, but soon give up.
08:01 Jul 12, 2013 PST
Mixing Religion And State Is A Mistake
Ronnie McBrayer wants no part in creating a Christian America, for such an effort might taint his ability to be a Christian who happens to reside in America
10:27 Jul 4, 2013 PST
Living a Life Without Pretentions
See, it used to be that my boys didn't care if their hair was brushed in the morning, if their shirts or socks matched, or if they had brushed their teeth or showered in the last eighteen days.
12:53 Jun 28, 2013 PST
You Have to Trust a Few People Every Now and Then
Multitudes of us have been harmed by those who gave us birth and those we have birthed. Our spouses, business associates, significant others, and supposed best friends have betrayed us.
08:35 Jun 25, 2013 PST
The Madness of Multitasking
So when we quickly switch from task to task, we think we are simultaneously paying careful and skillful attention to everything around us, but this is a trick of the brain. We are actually hopscotching rapidly between activities.
16:04 Jun 10, 2013 PST
A Sweet Surrender to God
A section several feet square had to be cut out. The cabinets had to be removed. The floor joists had to have additional supports put in.
07:41 Jun 6, 2013 PST
Teachers are Heroes
Sure, there are a few bad apples in the educational barrel those who do not take their calling or responsibility seriously enough, or who give the profession a bad name you can find these kinds of folks in all career fields.
09:50 Jun 4, 2013 PST
Get Behind The Wheel and Get Started
Long-sufferingly, your father, mother, or some other family member put you behind the wheel and began teaching you how to drive. You may have burned out the clutch trying to shift the manual transmission.
08:47 May 31, 2013 PST
Say Goodbye to Spiritual Junk Food and Eat Right!
When the experiment began, Spurlock was in better than average physical shape. At the end of the McDonalds month, however, things had changed dramatically. Eating upwards of 5000 calories a day, Spurlock gained twenty-five pounds.
18:24 May 23, 2013 PST
Choose to Be Happy
This seems so counterintuitive to me. No offense to the Scandinavians, but when I think of happy places, the cities of the Nordic north do not quickly come to mind. Nevertheless, the statistics don't lie.
18:06 May 20, 2013 PST
Pause and Enjoy The Beauty Around Us
There were mating woodpeckers, soaring hawks riding the warm updrafts from the valley below, and the most wonderful rock formations along the ridge above our heads.
07:59 May 11, 2013 PST
Do You Want to Be Happy? It's Time to Simplify Your Life
The most deeply spiritual thing that some of us could do is have a garage sale. Purge our calendars. Resign from a few of our many activities.
17:27 May 6, 2013 PST
Pray and Just Hang On
We are often jostled from the security of our raft, forced to scream out of desperation for a rope or lifeline of rescue. We struggle and fight just to keep our noses above the water line.
07:49 Apr 30, 2013 PST
Really Walking Tall
Buford the Bull stormed into the fray, 'Walking Tall' as the movie made recounting his life told it, fearlessly hauling in moonshiners, closing down brothels, and jailing prominent members of the Dixie Mafia and State Line Mob in his county jail.
20:05 Apr 25, 2013 PST
'Now' is Our Greatest Moment!
There is a Zen parable about a man who surprised a sleeping tiger while walking through the jungle. The ferocious animal pursued the man, causing him t
17:41 Apr 22, 2013 PST
Living Life One Swing At a Time
We quit chasing the runs and watching the scoreboard, hoping and praying the tide will turn as we trust the rhythm of God's grace and play the game in front us. One day, one pitch, and one swing at a time.
16:17 Apr 19, 2013 PST
Jesus Repairs The Broken Places of Our Lives
So the excavation has begun in earnest, and will continue for the foreseeable future. For years now I have lived in the Florida sand and never had a problem with frozen pipes. Never.
07:07 Apr 12, 2013 PST
Glory of God Will Leak Out Over The Entire World Amid Brokenness
He doesn't harm us. He doesn't cause evil. But he sure can use what has harmed us, and what is intended for evil against us, what cracks, dents, and breaks us - to transform us and change the world.
11:31 Apr 5, 2013 PST
Jesus Crouches to Wash Our Dirty Feet
Not to be missed in all this activity is the Thursday of Holy Week, referred to as Maundy Thursday. 'Maundy,' like so many Christian traditions, comes from the Latin word mandatum, meaning 'commandment.'
08:13 Mar 26, 2013 PST
No Grief, No Glory
Of course, not everyone accepts their troubles as the means to something great. We can look at what life has dealt us and be angry, bitter, mad-at-the-world, frustrated with ourselves, and bearing a grudge against everyone from God to the mailman.
16:32 Mar 22, 2013 PST
God's Grace and Healing Will Lighten One's Burden
If we are going to remain well, we can't go back. Life, redemption, wholeness, and healing: These are waiting for us only as we move forward.
06:17 Mar 19, 2013 PST
Jesus Came to Get Heaven Inside of People
Rather, Jesus' message was that the rule of God had been brought to bear in the present world: 'God has moved into the neighborhood,' to use Eugene Peterson's vivid phrase. Jesus did not come to live in your heart like an imaginary friend.
08:37 Mar 8, 2013 PST
Is Faith Built on The Bible?
Our faith isn't built on the Bible. It is built on a Person. There is only one foundation for Christian faith (the Bible says as much!), and that foundation is Jesus Christ.
10:49 Mar 5, 2013 PST
Have a Little Chutzpah
There were four rabbis who had a series of ongoing theological arguments, and three were always in alignment against the fourth.
18:26 Feb 21, 2013 PST
Putting the Pieces Together
When the workers are finished with their projects, whatever they may be, those projects are handed over with little knowledge of how they all fit together, or how these pieces contribute to the final product.
19:01 Feb 18, 2013 PST
Love Never Fails
Money, short as it is for everyone, I elected to fix the dryer myself or at least attempt to fix it and to do so posthaste, as there was no time to squander.
04:57 Feb 15, 2013 PST
Figuring Out Who is 'In' and Who is 'Out' is Just Too Much Work!
With this story, Jesus has dug his fingers into a very sore spot for we who are religious people. We preach grace, but we don't always practice it. We talk about God's mercy, but we don't always want the people who need it most to get in on it.
07:47 Feb 12, 2013 PST
You're Going to Lose Your Marbles
Along the way, I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. He was telling whomever he was talking with something about 'a thousand marbles.' I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say.
20:03 Feb 7, 2013 PST
God's Love Welcomes All Who Will Come
This belief was put to the test during the racial violence and upheaval of the 1960s. One of Will's best friends, a seminary student and Civil Rights worker named Jonathan Daniels, was shot and killed by an Alabama sheriff.
09:16 Feb 5, 2013 PST
Is Faith Minimum Protection From Suffering?
Who among us have never pelted heaven with our questions and doubts: Where is God now? Why doesn't he intervene? Why is he ignoring me? How could he let this happen to me?
07:18 Feb 1, 2013 PST
Answering the Call
Mexico, Central America, the Middle East, and the Persian Gulf: Scotty and Karen traversed the globe for nearly twenty years in faithful service, raising their children, aiding indigenous people groups, and living out the love and witness of Christ.
17:24 Jan 28, 2013 PST
Is There An Exact Formula for Finding 'God's Will'?
I don't think there is an exact formula for finding God's will. And every situation is so personal, no formula would hold up any way. Besides, the hang-up for most of us is not in the making of a decision.
09:01 Jan 25, 2013 PST
Empty Your Pockets First Before Judging Others
'Judging' does not prevent us from having and sharing opinions. It doesn't mean we can't give a verbal witness to our faith. But it does mean we refuse - absolutely refuse - to condemn others.
12:22 Jan 22, 2013 PST
Monkeys...and Mercy
Gary Hamel tells about a science experiment involving four monkeys in a room. In the center of the room, researchers had placed a tall pole with a bunch of bananas suspended at the top.
18:34 Jan 17, 2013 PST
Some Assembly Required
When UPS brings it to your door or you find the item you're looking for in the store, it's not ready to go like you saw in the online catalog or the advertisement in Sunday's paper. 'Some assembly required,' the tag on the box says.
14:28 Jan 15, 2013 PST
A Little More Light...A Lot More Direction
Tolstoy never held a flashlight, I am sure, but we have and can understand the analogy that way: To remain a rule-keeper, is to remain under a street light.
22:13 Jan 10, 2013 PST
It's Time
It's time for you to shine. Any dreams that were unfulfilled? Any unused talent that we gave you when you were born that you still have left? Now is the time for you to make those dreams come true.
12:34 Jan 7, 2013 PST
Get Out!!!
Here is one of the many things that make churches peculiar: The most heated arguments in the church were not over our location or theology or future plans. No, the worst controversies I ever endured were over our style of worship.
12:10 Dec 31, 2012 PST
What's So Amazing About 'Regrets'?
What does God want to do with our regrets? He does not want them to be the end of us. Where we fall, and a part of us dies, that is where God can bring new life to flourish and grow - life like we never thought possible.
08:53 Dec 27, 2012 PST
The World Needs a Real, Unconditional, Healing Love of God
God loves us, not because we are good; not because we are loveable; not because of what we can do for him or for others; and not because of the way we make him feel. He loves us because he is actually, truly, really that good.
07:02 Dec 17, 2012 PST
New Life After a Storm
David Garrett, who has been called the David Beckham of classical music, was playing with the London Philharmonic before he was ten years old.
11:32 Dec 14, 2012 PST
No Substitute for the Real Thing
The little boy would go down to the surf, scoop up handfuls of the salty water, and quickly carry it back to the hole and dump it in. The boy did this repeatedly.
16:50 Dec 9, 2012 PST
Love Conquers All in Streets of Berlin
They believe in Love, and the eternal truth that love conquers all, in the human heart, in the streets of Berlin, and eventually this world, when the kingdoms of earth are transformed and renewed into the kingdom of God.
06:51 Dec 7, 2012 PST
More Than Having it All
The human heart needs something to pursue. To chase after the higher and better, to possess that for which we long and love is a crucial part of our nature.
18:41 Dec 1, 2012 PST
God: Man's Best Friend
My friends' new pet is a rescued dog who must have suffered a terrible life of abuse before his adoption. Chowder won't let me or any other male for that matter, get near him.
14:34 Nov 29, 2012 PST
No Status-Striving in The Ways of God
The Carmelites certainly lent themselves to her pursuit. The Carmelites demanded strict obedience, continuous prayers, long periods of fasting and silence, vows of isolation and poverty, and overall a severe approach to spirituality.
08:10 Nov 27, 2012 PST
Thank You...One More Time
Grethel Thomas was a Georgia mountain farmer who was part of the church I once pastored. His wife and daughter were actually a part of the church. Grethel stayed out on the edge. We saw him on occasion, but not much.
18:26 Nov 23, 2012 PST
Love Produces Thanksgiving
It keeps going and keeps us going. It endures forever, and for that, we are forever grateful. We are not alone. We are not abandoned. We are not forgotten. God is with us. We are loved.
04:58 Nov 20, 2012 PST
Twenty Years From Right Now
Is twenty years really a lifetime? No, it's not the 77.7 years of average US life expectancy, but when you are young it is a long time. Twenty years is time enough to complete your primary, secondary, and advanced education.
12:26 Nov 19, 2012 PST
Religous People Work Very Hard for God
It's been my experience that we religious people work very hard, often killing ourselves for God, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Why? I believe it is because we do not believe that God is love or that he really loves us.
12:01 Nov 13, 2012 PST
Taking a Truly Compassionate Approach Matters Most
People were getting off of the airport shuttles in droves, wearing everything from Mardi Gras beads and rainbow wigs to pinstripe suits and night gowns.
08:22 Nov 9, 2012 PST
Help With the Missing Pieces
I love puzzles. Crosswords, brainteasers, and search-a-words to be sure, but nothing beats an old fashioned jigsaw puzzle with about gazillion pieces spilling out of the box.
13:09 Nov 6, 2012 PST
Some Things Are Better Left Alone
The rattlesnake was very old, yet, there was enough life left in the serpent to speak to the young Cherokee: 'Please,' he said, 'take me to the top of the mountain. I hope to see the sunset one last time before I die.'
11:10 Nov 5, 2012 PST
Humans Must Thrive in Community, Not in Dogged Isolation
Yet, this heresy is alive and well, even in our houses of worship. Places that should be blossoming gardens of communion and family-ship are rampant with the weeds of stubborn, self-reliance, and spit-in-the-wind individuality.
08:53 Nov 5, 2012 PST
Is God Heaven's Booger Man?
But we cannot make the Booger Man of our imagination reconcile with the God revealed to us in Jesus Christ. For Jesus did not come to condemn us or frighten us with rules and retribution. He came to give us a better way to live.
07:07 Nov 4, 2012 PST
Why Living a Simple Life Matters
It has to be simpler than this. Maybe we can trade in our locomotive for a bicycle. We can't go as fast, and we can't carry as much baggage, but maybe that is exactly the point.
08:43 Nov 2, 2012 PST
Set a Pace for Marathon of Life
No, it is their mother who must coach them when it comes to improving their weekly time. What with her little collection of 5K trophies and ribbons (continually they mock me), she's best qualified for showing them the way.
10:24 Nov 1, 2012 PST
Finding Balance in Hustle and Bustle of Life
So we are on this always-turning-merry-go-round where happily she launches out to quarry each week's garage sales, and I am perpetually, and sometimes bitterly, cleaning out our own garage.
05:59 Oct 31, 2012 PST
For The Long Haul
I didn't like this sort of exhortation. I was, after all, a teenager being told how big a sinner I was, but didn't feel like I had gotten to sin very much yet. I hadn't got to do much of anything!
13:11 Oct 29, 2012 PST
The World Needs Churches and Communities of Faith
My friend Rob Nash makes the point that the Catholic Church was never stronger than in the late 1400s, to early 1500s, dominating all of Europe.
07:35 Oct 26, 2012 PST
Is The Gospel a 'Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free' Card?
Now, hold your fire (and your fiery emails); I'm not saying there are no pearly gates or that there is no heavenly dimension to the gospel. I'm just saying there is more to it than that.
10:01 Oct 25, 2012 PST
Is God Re-Creating The World?
What if it were possible for us to travel back in time some hundred or so years? What if we could do that, and upon meeting our not so distant ancestors, we said to them, 'We are here to reveal the future!
20:03 Oct 24, 2012 PST
Letting Go of 'Pickled Limbs' in The Past
Is there a way to get well, to stop the pain? I think so. The greater part of the pain and regret we carry around with us (or what mocks us from the shelf) is the result of not accepting this truth about ourselves:
12:48 Oct 23, 2012 PST
Good All The Time
Personally, I don't appreciate very much of this unsolicited counsel (I don't know many who do). Yes, when we need advice we should seek it, and we should all bend listening ears to those people we genuinely trust and respect.
05:02 Oct 23, 2012 PST
Why Do The Godly Suffer?
Our faith informs us that one day God will set all things right. He will exercise complete justice and mercy, and the 'knowledge of the Lord will fill the earth like the waters cover the sea.'
07:47 Oct 22, 2012 PST
Aren't We All Brothers and Sisters?
All three are brothers. Our two oldest children are only six months apart. It has been the equivalent of raising twins, but the two couldn't be more different.
07:59 Oct 21, 2012 PST
Jesus Searches for The Lost Sheep
Who were these 'notorious sinners?' No one knows for sure. They were likely a collection of social outcasts and the ones your mother warned you to stay away from.
12:46 Oct 19, 2012 PST
Taking a 'Stand' Really Matters
I used to own one of these checklists. It was well-worn and dog-eared from being pulled from my pocket to hold up against others.
17:30 Oct 16, 2012 PST
How Love and Service Works
Stepping off of the sidewalk; tipping a hat in respect; visiting a little, poor, sick black boy in a slum hospital; handing over a few worn books to a hungry reader: Who knew what an impact these small acts of kindness would have on our world?
07:52 Oct 16, 2012 PST
Change is Inevitable
Our move is a migration of several hundred miles to be closer to aging parents/grandparents. They need a little more help these days, and we are happy to lend a hand.
12:28 Oct 13, 2012 PST
Why Won't Some People Go to Church?
Imagine you are seated in church on Sunday morning. It is your church, the one you have attended for many years. It is a good Sunday as far as worship services go. You were tempted to play golf or sleep in, but there you are as faithful as ever.
07:39 Oct 12, 2012 PST
God Offers Grace Best!
We all fail. We all disappoint. We all have moments - sometimes multiple moments - when the crowd peddles by us. And we sit there exhausted, used up, in over our heads. In those moments Christ comes to us.
05:29 Oct 11, 2012 PST
Keep Your Shirt On; God Will Speak
God doesn't really talk to people, does he? And those mystical types who routinely say things like, 'God spoke to me' or 'I heard God say,' are we to take them seriously, or should they be scheduled for a mental health examination?
04:50 Oct 10, 2012 PST
God's Grace Fills Emptiness of The Hearts
It is no wonder that Jesus said, 'God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him.' He said this, not to glorify poverty, but to show that the only receptacle for God's grace is a vacant human heart.
09:18 Oct 9, 2012 PST
Is 'Entire Bible' The Foundation of Faith?
Once after having a similar discussion, a listener came to me with the news that I had to believe everything in the Bible - the entire corpus of the church's theology - to become a Christian. So I asked this dear person a question: 'When did you c
09:42 Oct 8, 2012 PST
Sometimes Showing Up Is Enough
Michael is aged, fragile and weak, and yet after cancer, a heart attack, a quadruple bypass surgery, a stroke, and two-packs-a-day, he's still not dead.
12:35 Oct 7, 2012 PST
We Can't Forget, but We Can Forgive
The answer to this pain is not in the forgetting. The answer is in the forgiving. I don't use the word 'forgiving' or 'forgiveness' glibly, because forgiveness isn't easy.
06:39 Oct 7, 2012 PST
Jesus Came to Earth to Initiate a Way of Life
Jesus came to initiate a way of life, a new way to live, that knocks the props out from beneath everything else we have ever known.
10:06 Oct 5, 2012 PST
Church Must Be a Place of Welcome
This welcome is far more substantial than saying 'hello,' shaking hands, or sharing coffee and doughnuts in the fellowship hall (another questionable description of a church building).
08:45 Oct 3, 2012 PST
'Family' is a Messy Business
The truth is, 'family' is a messy business, and it doesn't really matter much whose family it is. They are all dysfunctional - all of them - and the dysfunction is measured only by degrees.
09:05 Oct 2, 2012 PST
God Has a 'Yes' Face
Another traveler - one on foot - watched this group navigate the waters. Finally, needing to get to the other side himself, this man asked the President to take him across. Jefferson quickly agreed and the two made it safely to the other side.
08:34 Oct 1, 2012 PST
Football Becoming a Religion in United States
Why? Well, there are timeouts to be taken, consultations on the sidelines that stop the clock, instant replay reviews by the officials, and of course the huddle.
06:18 Sep 29, 2012 PST
Don't Define Your Neighbor...Love Them
A religious leader came to Jesus with a question. 'If loving God and loving my neighbor is the totality of religious and spiritual requirement, then tell me Jesus, who is my neighbor?'
14:47 Sep 28, 2012 PST
Christians Becoming Spiritually Obese
To lament that you can't get spiritually 'fed' is like complaining of starvation while standing in line at the all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet. We're not hungry. We aren't getting rid of what we have been given.
07:53 Sep 27, 2012 PST
Why Kim Il-Sung Turned Away From Christ?
The 'Great Leader' answered that question with these words: 'Many people believed that they would go to Heaven...and Jesus would save them from their misery on Earth; faith in Christ would give them a better life...
04:56 Sep 25, 2012 PST
An Apple Pie Can Change The World
This poor woman looked at him, dumbstruck. To relieve the tension she turned to his wife: 'What about you, dear? Would you join me for church next week?'
07:23 Sep 21, 2012 PST
Bible is Like Healing Physician That Encourages Us to Be Better
The examination, the lab results, the endless questionnaires, the rubber-gloved poking and prodding: These all have a way of pointing to the truth of how the patient has lived his or her life.
11:14 Sep 18, 2012 PST
Sometimes Life Throws Us Bigger Projects Than Anticipated
Sometime in the distant past a water leak - undisclosed by the previous owners and undiscovered by the home inspectors - had rotted the bathroom floor. When I started painting, I discovered it.
04:46 Sep 17, 2012 PST
Your Laundry Is On The Line
Yes, it is now possible for one to come clean via the internet, be pardoned by instant message, or to do penance just as soon as God answers his email. Just fill out the proper online form and wait for forgiveness to arrive in your inbox.
18:31 Sep 15, 2012 PST
Some Fears Aren't All They are Cracked Up to Be
The power we have been given and the love we have been shown flows from the Providence who is larger than our fears, and when we live in Him, nothing can shake us.
14:37 Sep 14, 2012 PST
Love and Music: Use It or Lose It
See, the top five world record prices paid for any musical instrument are for Stradivarius violins. For example, in 2006, Christie's auctioned a Stradivarius called 'The Hammer' for a record $3.5 million.
07:46 Sep 13, 2012 PST
Never Point a Finger At Those You Consider Sinners
I left that Hollywood church thinking that it would have been better to give the revival budget to this biker's ministry rather than spending it on some flamboyant evangelist with a bouffant hair-do and expensive cuff links.
05:17 Sep 11, 2012 PST
God Loves The Dumbos of The World!
For more than thirty years this man had kept sober after throwing away most of his teenage years and young adulthood on a half-dozen legal and illegal substances.
06:57 Sep 9, 2012 PST
Love in a Grocery Bag
When I was a child my family lived hand to mouth. We were loved and we were cared for, but the cupboards were often bare. We ate a lot of Hamburger Helper in those days, with only the Helper.
08:48 Sep 7, 2012 PST
Forgiveness a Miracle Performed By God Himself
Some concepts are almost impossible to define; words like hope, love, happiness, or faith. And while these are terms we are all familiar with - we use these words every day - we sometimes struggle to say what they really mean.
05:14 Sep 4, 2012 PST
Jesus Never Said 'Be Religious!' But Simply 'Follow Me'
With our religious tendencies most of us approach our problems (and problems in our world) with this same eagerness and ignorance. We disassemble everything, knowing that something is seriously wrong.
14:00 Aug 31, 2012 PST
Do We Really Know Our Bibles?
All these, more often than not, turn the Bible into a checklist or a spiritual encyclopedia that just contains facts. We end up with a lot of information, but end up in danger of missing the point. Foy you see, the Bible is not the end.
13:58 Aug 30, 2012 PST
Step Into The Water
I was the first person in my church and immediate family to be baptized in an indoor baptistery. We borrowed the sanctuary of another church for the event, and most of the old-timers were sure it was an act of high sacrilege.
18:08 Aug 28, 2012 PST
You Have to Keep The Faith
When the ancients spoke of faith, they used a word that described a signature on a contract or a title deed. Faith was the oath that lay beneath such a document.
14:36 Aug 26, 2012 PST
Hating The Haters
Several years ago, on the courthouse steps of the town in which I lived, there was a rally. A homosexual couple in our community was seeking to become foster parents. You can imagine the kickback that erupted in a small Southern town.
06:14 Aug 25, 2012 PST
Doubt Enough for Me
Though millions have come, there's still room for one. Yes, there's room at the cross for you. I have sung it many times. The words apply to more than hard-core believers.
18:12 Aug 21, 2012 PST
Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
There are nearly 300 major religious groups in the world today, and we Christians, well, there are more than 30,000 distinct variations of us. The numbers and varieties of clock styles don't even come close.
06:56 Aug 20, 2012 PST
Sometimes Safety Can Go Too Far
I took my sons to the park a few days ago to enjoy a new playground installed by the city fathers, apparently with the help of a team of safety experts and a host of litigation-preventing-attorneys.
06:07 Aug 18, 2012 PST
Can We Learn to Trust God?
My friends have a new dog. His name is Chowder. Chowder is a black and white globe of fuzz and fun with one ear that points due north and another that falls like a floppy patch over his right eye.
08:07 Aug 15, 2012 PST
The Entire Universe Cannot Contain God
There is a story told about a meeting between Augustine, the early church father, and a little boy on a beach. At the time, Augustine was writing his book on the Trinity and was walking along the seashore, deep in prayer and thought.
05:40 Aug 15, 2012 PST
God and Glochids
Our game ended with that last catch. For the next 30 minutes Blayze soaked in a tub of hot water while I sat beside him with a flashlight, a pair of tweezers, and a bottle of Peroxide, pulling out glochids until I lost count.
13:40 Aug 13, 2012 PST
There is Electricity in the Air
The combination of these things (the low ceiling, shag carpet, ghosts of former pastors, and dry gas heat) caused the house to be so sufficiently charged with static, it could set off an electroscope.
12:50 Aug 11, 2012 PST
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