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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:



The Preacher: Religious Rules And Hard Hearts
Ronnie McBrayer remembers harsh words spoken by a preacher with a hard heart - all fire and brimstone, but no compassion - and he doesn't accept them.
05:10 Aug 19, 2014 PST
God is No Imaginary Wizard
This God is no imaginary Wizard. He is a compassionate, loving, heart-sick parent who refused to keep his distance from us, who decided he would no longer allow his name or his reputation to be misrepresented
14:01 Aug 12, 2014 PST
What a Wonderful World
Ronnie McBrayer writes about the beginning and the end of music in America, Louis Armstrong, the man who wanted to give the Wonderful World a chance.
02:04 Aug 5, 2014 PST
Let Go... Or Be Dragged
Incredible strength, patience, and stamina are needed to match a horse. But sometimes, as the proverb goes, the breaker can become the broken.
11:09 Jul 29, 2014 PST
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
  
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