Reckless Pursuit Announcement and Ch. 12 Teaser

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It’s August and it’s finally here! No, I’m not talking about school – we’re still a couple of weeks away from that! And I’m sure that my kids and your students aren’t happy with me even bringing it up. So, what’s here? What’s the big news?

Reckless Pursuit is finally ready to be released! Today starts a week-long countdown to when it will be made available for purchase! I can’t wait to share this with you and can hardly believe it is time. If you’ve been reading these book teasers over the past couple months, I want to ask for your help. Share them with your friends and get the word out. My greatest desire is that you, your family and your friends discover the relentless love of God in a fresh, life-changing way and I hope that Reckless Pursuit can play a small role in leading you there.

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As we work toward the release, I’d like to share with you the final book teaser taken from Ch. 12 – “What’s Your Name?”

Kristen and I play a game with Brycen that we have played with all our kids. From the time he started interacting with us, we have taken turns asking him, “Whose boy are you?” And then we start pointing at ourselves and pleading our case in an effort to get him to pick one of us. If he picks Kristen, she cheers and I start complaining. I beg him to pick me and I re-ask the question, this time with more passion, “Whose boy are you?” Sometimes this works and he changes his answer, causing Kristen to start begging. Sometimes he stays firm with his choice, which immediately causes me to attack him, tickling him and asking him the question over and over again until he changes his mind. It is a ridiculous game but it’s a lot of fun. And in the end, Brycen knows that we are both madly in love with him and want his love in return. 

Reckless Pursuit: God’s Story of Relentless Love – RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 19, 2013!

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Reckless Pursuit: Ch. 11 – That’s Incredible

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Have you ever considered just how much our world has changed because of these incredible devices? When I think about it, the word “phone” falls significantly short to what they really are. They function with more capacity than the laptop my wife bought me 13 years ago. And they don’t ever resemble those big, cumbersome cell phones we used to carry some 10 years ago. They are amazing little computers that keep us connected to our friends, keep us up to date on what’s happening in the world, keep us in the know about what our kids are doing, and of course – keep us entertained.

But sometimes, I question their role in our lives. Sometimes I wonder if they really make our lives easier…better. No, I’m not one of those over zealous anti-technology guys. I love seeing what the next thing will do (actually shared an idea with Kristen last night about a computer display that I’ve never seen before but except to see soon – I’m sure somebody much smarter than me has already thought of it). But for all the advancements, for all the apps and toys our phones have – are our lives really that much better? Are they less complicated? For all the extra connections we have, do we really have more authentic relationships? Are we personally engaged with people more?

Is it possible that all of this technology has actually lessened our intimacy? That it has multiplied the number of people we are exposed to while at the same time pushing us away from the most significant relationships? Is it possible that our phones have actually become a barrier to authentically connecting to people?

When was the last time you were heading into a deep conversation with someone and right as they begin to open up, you said, “Hang on. Let me take this for a minute.” and you answer your phone or check a text? Or have you found yourself finally on a date with your spouse, one that is long over due, and halfway through dinner you realize that you haven’t even been able to talk because of all the interruptions? Is this really better?

There’s a way to use this technology and not be controlled by it. To be plugged in but not distracted. To be connected but not constantly available. To embrace the tools available, while still being relational, authentic and intimately present.

That is a life that’s better. A life I want to grow more toward. A life I live in but need to protect more intentionally. But sometimes, the interruption is needed. Even ordained.

The following is a snapshot excerpt of the upcoming book…

Reckless Pursuit: God’s Story of Relentless Love – Chapter 11: That’s Incredible

It was Christmas and we had driven ten hours south to Tomball, Texas (a suburb of Houston) to spend the holiday with Kristen’s family. It had been an exciting but hectic fall, completely immersed in ministry and Christmas was going to be a much needed break. As usual, Kristen’s entire family descended on her parents’ house. The joy of family was tangible. Laughter and food dominated the atmosphere.

At the time, Brady and Reagan were the only children in the family and we all enjoyed being entertained by them into the early evening. However, as the evening grew late, we put them to bed and the real fun began. We pulled out the dessert, gathered around the kitchen table for a card game and partied late into the night. The next morning was more of the same. Lots of family time in the kitchen, with little other agenda than moving from one meal to the next throughout the day.

Then, the phone call.

It was a call I never wanted to receive. One that I couldn’t have been prepared for. One that would change me and so many others is countless ways.

Reckless Pursuit is currently being prepared for publishing. It will be made available to the public early this fall. Keep coming back here for more updates and teasers.

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Reckless Pursuit: Ch. 10 – Are You Still There?

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Do you remember the last time you sat in your grandfather’s lap? Do you remember the comfort of it? The joy of being engulfed in his arms?

The following is a snapshot excerpt of the upcoming book…

Reckless Pursuit: God’s Story of Relentless Love – Chapter 10: Are You Still There?

                   Buddy is my grandfather. I have strong childhood memories of him because of our holiday vacations at my grandparent’s home each year. The unmistakable smell of his pipe as we entered their house. The recliner he was almost always found in, sitting as a king on his throne, watching sports. His flattop hair cut. His infectious laugh that shook his whole body, much like the image I had of Santa Claus. But my most enduring memory of Buddy is his gentle, loving spirit. This is what drew me to him the most. He completely enjoyed just about any interaction he could have with the grandkids. He would turn his hands into a pretend man named “Tom Walker” and walk his forefinger and middle finger after us – which would send us, for some unexplainable reason, running into the next room. He would take turns asking one of us, “Do you know how Josh eats corn?” And then proceed to clamp his powerful hand down on a leg, just above the knee and squeeze; resulting in uncontrollable laughing and squealing. While we were still small enough, he would grab us up, put both of our ankles in one of his hands, turn us upside-down and tickle us with the other hand. This would instantly cause us to flop around like a trout dangling from the end of a fishing pole.

                   And then, there was the awe and wonder of his magic hands. He could make money appear from behind my ear! And more than that, he could put his hands together, pull on his finger and make the first knuckle completely separate. There would be a full inch of air in the middle of his finger. Then he would put it back and it would be normal again! 

Oh, the magic of childhood! Could there be a life available that is constantly that alive? That free? That exciting?

Reckless Pursuit is currently being prepared for publishing. It will be made available to the public early this fall. Keep coming back here for more updates and teasers.

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Reckless Pursuit: Ch. 9 – You Won’t Believe This

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Can you identify with this? Sitting at a broken desk top, trying to create but feeling as fragmented as the surface you’re working on.

When was the last time you sat down to write but the words just wouldn’t come. You crumple up your paper, clear your head and start again. But this time it’s even worse. You pick up your pen and there’s nothing. No words, no thoughts, no ideas, nothing but frustration. What do you do?

Do you get up and go for a walk? Do you quit for the day, knowing it’s just not going to happen? Do you let it get the best of you. Does the tension begin to rise, starting in your hamstrings and climbing ever so slowly up your back and into your neck?

This is a choice, right? We have the ability to step away, don’t we? Whether we’re frustrated because of writers block or because that home project that was supposed to take twenty minutes has now moved into its third hour – we still have a choice, right? We don’t have to allow it to overcome us, do we?

But what about those times when we don’t have a choice? When life suddenly spins out of control – and not by our doing! What about when our dreams are crushed and there’s absolutely no way to reclaim them? What then?

Where do we go in our hearts? Do we rage? Do we retreat? Do we look to self-medicate? Where do we turn for relief?

And what about God? What do we do with him?

The following is a snapshot excerpt of the upcoming book…

Reckless Pursuit: God’s Story of Relentless Love – Chapter 9: You Won’t Believe This

How difficult it is for the people of God to objectively view the story when we find ourselves in the midst of it. We sit in our lives, surrounded by the love and blessing of the Father, asking, “Where are you? Why don’t you…? You said you would…” We echo the ancient forerunner of our faith, Abram,  and cry out saying, “What good are your blessings when this is where I find myself?” Whether we say the actual words or not, we find ourselves in the position of putting the Father’s love on trial. His character is questioned and for so many of us, he becomes unsafe.

What a tragedy in view of Yahweh’s story! Especially in view of his reckless pursuit of us. Yahweh understands the struggle in our hearts. He understands our hurts, steps into our pain and responds with unbelievable dedication.

Reckless Pursuit is currently being prepared for publishing. It will be made available to the public early this fall. Keep coming back here for more updates and teasers.

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Reckless Pursuit: Ch. 8 – Would You Like To Choose?

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Is there anything better than birthday cake when you’re a toddler? Even though you have fork in hand, you can’t resist grabbing a handful and shoveling it as fast as you can into your mouth. And before it’s even possible to chew, there you are, reloading for the next bite.

When was the last time you attacked food with this much reckless abandon? For many of us, if we are honest, it was probably yesterday! Go ahead, admit it! We are a people of passion and often submit when no one is looking.

Question: How are these passions impacted by the people around us? When they are looking? When they join in? Whey they stand back and wait? When they give us a real opportunity to choose?

The following is a snapshot excerpt of the upcoming book…

Reckless Pursuit: God’s Story of Relentless Love – Chapter 8: Would You Like To Choose?

                  After all, who among us, if given the honest choice, would not take the best for ourselves? If your family is raiding the refrigerator for dinner and you are given the choice between cooking the last New York Strip or reheating the Hamburger Helper, what would you pick? Many of us would defer at first, giving up our desire for the other person but if given the ability to really choose, of course, we would choose the best. New York Strip, here I come!

                  But what if the meat was rotten? What if, on the outside it looked like the most delicious steak you ever tasted but when cut into, it was ruined…full of maggots? Wouldn’t your stomach turn? Wouldn’t your desire to sink your teeth deep into that beef immediately turn to disgust? Wouldn’t the Hamburger Helper become instantly attractive?

Reckless Pursuit is currently being prepared for publishing. It will be made available to the public early this fall. Keep coming back here for more updates and teasers.

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Reckless Pursuit: Ch. 7 – I’ve Got A Surprise For You

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Meet Kristen! Beautiful isn’t she!

She’s the amazing woman I’ve had the privilege to be married to for 16 1/2 years. Every day with her is a new adventure. Sometimes, it’s the new project she’s dreaming up. Sometimes, it’s the challenge of parenting alongside her. Sometimes, the joy of date night.

I love this woman and I love being married to her. There is never a dull moment with her. There is always something new and exciting. Another adventure.

Every once in a while, I intentionally change our routine in order to show her what she means to me. I lead her into an adventure of my creation. Shower her with little surprises. Little gifts that communicate my love.

The following is a snapshot excerpt of the upcoming book…

Reckless Pursuit: God’s Story of Relentless Love – Chapter 7: I’ve Got A Surprise For You

                  I wish I could tell you that my overwhelming love for Kristen just naturally led me to want to shower her with gifts. But I can’t. Instead, I gave to her because that’s what you do to show people you love them. She found a red dress hanging in the bathroom of our honeymoon suite because I heard about some brides getting wedding gifts from their husbands and I thought it was a good idea. I wrote a poem, had it framed and wrapped it up for her to open at Christmas, just five days later. I gave her gifts and wanted to express my love and then simply moved on to the next thing.

                  But Kristen doesn’t function that way. Gift-giving is an art form for her. She studies people, noticing what they like. Learning their style and their interests. She listens for clues in their speech, in their clothing and even in their home décor. When the time comes to give them a gift, she nails it. She seems to know exactly what they need, often when they haven’t even thought of it yet (I have benefited from this many times myself).

Reckless Pursuit is currently being prepared for publishing. It will be made available to the public early this fall. Keep coming back here for more updates and teasers.

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Reckless Pursuit: Ch. 6 – Can I Ask You A Question?

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When you hear the words, “best friend,” who comes to mind? What emotions instantly invade your heart? What memories rush in, taking back to a different time?

There are not many things in this world that are better than true, deep, meaningful friendships. They fill our lives with love and laughter. They fill our schedules with unending activities. They dominate our time on the web through Facebook, twitter, etc. They rank high on our priority list and we value their thoughts and opinions.

But there are some times when well-meaning friends aren’t that helpful. There are some times when “that kind word” is better left unsaid.

The following is a snapshot excerpt of the upcoming book…

Reckless Pursuit: God’s Story of Relentless Love – Chapter 6: Can I Ask You A Question?

                  So many times, well-meaning friends say things to people in the midst of their struggles that simply don’t help! They say things like, “Just let go and let God.” Or, “You know, God works all things for the good for those who love him.” Or even, “What do you think God is trying to teach you through this trial?” They think they are pointing the suffering person back to God but often they end up raising accusations, both against God and against their hurting friend.

                  Sometimes, there is nothing left to let go of. Sometimes, it isn’t God who is working in their situation and there is no apparent good to be found. Sometimes, we suffer at the hands of the Accuser. Sometimes, the only lesson to be taught is that we live in a broken and fallen world, where things are not as the Father desires for us.

Reckless Pursuit is currently being prepared for publishing. It will be made available to the public early this fall. Keep coming back here for more updates and teasers.

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