How To Be A Christian Without Being A Jerk

Faith in real life

You Can Connect With My Content In These Place

April 11th, 2016

I am currently experimenting with a social media consultant and am generating much of my work to my church website. Here are places you can find content I am creating. (the congregation where I serve as senior pastor)

personal Facebook page

church Facebook page

Facebook page for my book, Reboot: 70 Life Lessons With Dallas Willard

Facebook page for my Grandpablogger blog (my grandparenting site) (I write for Life Model Works) (I podcast for Life & Liberty Magazine)


Psalm 10

March 2nd, 2015

10:1 Why, O Lord, do you stand far away?    Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

God does not need to test you to find out about you…He already knows. So understand that testing comes, but it’s not God’s work to test by causing suffering…When trouble does come, the important thing is to understand that God is against it.

-Dallas Willard

Start or Continue…

September 29th, 2014

Jesus tells us to love a lot of people…

Your Neighbor
Your self
Your Friend
Your Enemy
One Another

If he can do it we can do it.

Just hang around people who already enjoy?

Try as hard as you can?

I guess only Jesus can do it.

As I am more open to learning from Jesus and becoming more like him I become the kind of person who can love like he loves.

He isn’t giving a time frame.
He is just saying one of two things…


Dear Dallas…

May 15th, 2013

Dear Dallas,


(I start with this salutation because I know you didn’t want to start abbreviating yours when starting to email. No, “Hey, Dana,” or “Hi Dana,” or “Dana-”…Didn’t bother you when others did this, just wasn’t your thing.)


There are few people in my life who know me and what makes me tick as well as you. I think my role may have been to make you laugh and test your graciousness by putting someone a bit crazy in your life.


It’s no shock how much I learned from you through words and model. You are the real deal. That’s why it’s not shocking that I am able to pass this on into other people’s lives. I would have to say the greatest impact has been on our own children.


Here are some of the things I learned from you:


How to pray with people for healing, not just for them, and how to teach others to do so.


How to walk off a stage, down from a podium, out of a pulpit, out of a venue, and never once ask again, “I wonder how that went?”


When you have people who are challenging you and your thinking from the left and the right, now, that’s not such a bad place to be.


That putting Bible passages in my head, or singing songs or hymns in my head, is a good way to stay focused on Jesus…And keep my mind off of other things!


That it would do me good to just sit there for hours and do nothing. You didn’t say it that way. You called it, “Silence and Solitude,” I called it, “Torture,” but you were right. Like getting my spiritual “hearing aids.”


That being a friend and mentor of other pastors was an extremely important role for me to follow. I still am.


How to so appreciate the works of people I had never heard of before, like Agnes Sanford or Frank Laubach. After all, that’s how I first heard of you, because of your pastors, Bill and Lynn.


That spending time conversing with waiters and waitresses is a normal sign of being gracious. You were never too busy and they sure appreciated your genuine attention.


That you were gracious enough to allow me to connect some of my close friends to you.  I tried to keep that to a minimum, but even those brief encounters were very helpful to their being used in Kingdom living. I know how much they appreciated your hospitality.


To never worry about aging. You said, “As our bodies wear out, our spiritual beings get stronger.”


To realize that when I die, I may not even be aware that I died.


Thanks, brother.





The End of This Journey

May 8th, 2013

It is beyond coincidence that this is the last blog post on my series “Inside Out,” which recaps the teachings of Dallas Willard.


Dallas died this morning and is now fully healed and at rest with the Lord. Prayers of love and support go out to his wife, Jane, son, John, daughter, Becky, her husband, Bill, and their daughter,Larissa.


A great warrior is receiving a hero’s welcome in the heavenly dimensions!


Here then is the end of my series.


We have spent much time examining a vision of what it can mean to live a transformed life. As we have the intention to make our renovation a reality, we have been given the means to follow through.


Dallas Willard connects us to God’s path of transformation as recorded in the Bible. Neither he nor God himself can force us to take that path, but we will not see transformation without it.

If you have been following the progress of change of the five parts of who you are as you have been practicing what you are reading, you are well on your way.


If you haven’t begun yet, you are invited to return to the beginning and actually try living this out. God’s desire for you since before the beginning of time is that you would come to him in complete transparency and say, “Yes,” to him and his ways.


I leave you with these words from a song:

Just like King David I cry out to You
Create in me a clean heart

I’ve grieved You again I need Your release

From patterns that keep me in sin

But there’s only one way I can finally break free

Change me on the inside…

“Change Me On The Inside” CCLI Song No. 2956367
© 2000 Vineyard Songs Canada (Admin. by Music Services)
Brian Doerksen


God is in charge of the results

May 8th, 2013

One of Dallas’ key teachings is we are not in charge of outcomes. We partner with Jesus, arranging and rearranging our lives to learn from him, and we work with him any way possible. But, when it comes to outcomes, these are solely in Jesus‘ hands

This is such a freeing way to look at life, like the biblical parables of farming. We plant and wait.


No manipulation.


No, “Come on seed, get growing!”


We simply follow the faithful work Jesus is working through us and we watch and wait.


This takes a large dose of humility.


1 Peter 5:5-7 (NLT)

You younger men, accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, serve each other in humility, for

“God sets himself against the proud,

but he shows favor to the humble.”


So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in his good time he will honor you. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you.


Dallas likes to comment on why so many pastors dread hospital visits. The reason? They pray with patients, but rarely do they see “healing.” At least healing the way they think healing should happen. So, they become discouraged. Dallas reminds us all, “We are not in charge of the outcomes.”


Pray for someone’s healing in a way that expects the healing to already be happening.


The first day of the rest of your life?

May 2nd, 2013

God is not doing great things in the world to make it possible for us to receive accolades. It’s not as if God starts his day saying,


“This morning I am going to make sure that everyone knows how wonderful Dana is. I want all eyes on him. Let’s see, what can I do to make him look better?”


It is enough to know God has me in mind, at all. Yet, it is more than that. I know he does think I am precious, regardless of what others think. I know I am the “apple of his eye.” His confidence in me makes me want to give my life to him. Sinful as I am, it is in bits and pieces, but I am moving in his direction, yoked to Jesus.


How about it?


The essence of the transformed life is where God’s Word is taken into your very soul and becomes a way of life. Are you ready?


It is not as if the Bible is simply one of many sources for all that is necessary to lead a healthy and complete existence, fully immersed in the reality of God’s Kingdom. The Bible is the only source. It always fascinates me when even the most conscientious people seek other paths rather than Jesus and his Word. They don’t even give him a try.


Actually, there are many teachings in modern times that come directly from the Bible that are quite helpful, but people don’t always know the source. When you see some teaching out there that proves very helpful, you don’t have to dig too far to discover it comes out of biblical principles.



For example, the recovery movements, like AA, are based on biblical principles. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey? Biblical principles. Business books by Ken Blanchard and John Maxwell? Bible. Yes, even Dr. Phil.



I am not saying that all of these, and other resources, are 100% pure Bible, I am just saying that they have actually proven helpful in the long term. People make progress because biblical principles are being lived out. They don’t even have to know this!



Here’s a test. Intentionally and honestly follow just one teaching of Jesus for an extended period of time, let’s say, six weeks, then he will draw you to all that is necessary for you to come to confident faith in him. You will begin to learn from him to have faith in him . Start anywhere. One teaching.



Have you actually tried to live one teaching of Jesus? Have you actually incorporated this into your life? Until a conscious, obedient effort is made to let Jesus guide you in a specific arena of your life, it doesn’t make sense to say, “I can’t,” or “It won’t work for me.”


Spend some time reading Psalm 119. Soak in the rhythm of respect given to God’s ways.


When Jesus says, “Take my yoke…”

April 25th, 2013

Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.”

A yoke is a wooden harness that is used in agriculture to put two oxen together so they can work together pulling a load or plowing a field. The system works best when you take an experienced older ox and yoke him to an inexperienced younger one. The younger ox learns to follow the lead of the older, and the older teaches to share the load. After a while, the oxen work together as one.

Jesus invites me to yoke to him. In this way he can teach me to live my life as he would live it if he were me, and he actually guides me as I am yoked to his lead. I am no longer working on my strength, but his; not my direction, but his. In this way I am able to succeed in the way he desires for me in every area of transformation.

Who would actually make a yoke? A carpenter? Interesting…

The soul can be repaired

April 24th, 2013

Ultimately, it is the renovation of the soul that God desires to accomplish in you. If I am to make any headway in transformation, and the soul is at the center of who I am, my operating system, then it is critical to think deeply about my soul.

The key starting point is to realize I am not contained in my body. I am not only a physical being. I am a spiritual being who has a body.

You see, it is tempting to think that scientific understanding is the sign of greatest intelligence. If this is not the case, if the spiritual world is actually the real world, then we will miss out on the most important aspect of reality. True intelligence is not measured by lab instruments. True intelligence starts with realizing the physical is not all there is.

And just like the physical body, the soul needs proper care. The soul lasts forever. It is not a ghost that leaves our body and floats around after we die. The soul is a non-physical entity that isn’t limited to our body’s boundaries.

Caring for the soul centers on spiritual disciplines which bring refreshment to our existence. Our souls are grievously damaged over the years. Abuse, betrayal, abandonment, and other destructive forces in our lives chip away at our identity. We need God to “renew” us. We need God to make us new. We need to give ourselves over to God’s care.

Think about these words from Psalm 23. “He restoreth my soul.” (KJV)

How To Be A Christian Without Being A Jerk

Faith in real life