How To Be A Christian Without Being A Jerk

Faith in real life

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.





How To Be A Christian Without Being A Jerk

Faith in real life