Ruining Jesus: More False Images of the God of Grace

You may remember, but in 2013, a woman famously ruined Jesus. While she probably had good intentions, the 82-year-old Spanish pensioner named Cecilia Gimenez turned an oil fresco painted in the Misericordia Church in Borja, Spain, into an abomination described by the BBC as resembling a “crayon sketch of a very hairy monkey.” Her restoration of the 1910 depiction of Christ…

Getting a Better God Image, pt. 2

We simply can’t imagine a God who doesn’t think and act like us in relation to failure. Which is why we need a new mind. To be clear, when I say failure, I mean sin. How do we view ourselves when we fail again…and again…and again? How do we treat others when they fail? The fact is,…

Why Do We Need a Great Grace Awakening?

A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM DEAN . . . Dear friends, I feel this issue deeply enough I decided to compose it as a personal appeal, rather than a blog. We all know we need revival. Our nation and the nations of the earth truly need another Great Awakening. Unto this end, we pray, we believe, we hope. In fact, my family and I just spent…

Joy and the Dominos of Grace

In New Testament Greek, the root word for grace is ‘joy.’ Isn’t that interesting? By inference, when our lives are full of grace—if we truly understand grace—then joy increasingly characterizes our personality and outlook. A domino effect begins, tempering our words and attitudes. We are less easily offended, more understanding, more patient. Joy extends inward with peace…

How Eternity Anchors Us, Pt. 2

If you love Jesus in this life, you will eventually awaken to the truth that in a sense you exist outside your true place. We are all outside perfection. We dwell in the land of mess and rain, where bullies roam. Yes, grace is there with us, like a friend drawing us back toward warmth and shelter,…

The Bird is As You Choose it to Be

This is not my own. It is a retelling of an old Oriental proverb. Yet the wisdom it contains is simple, memorable, and impacting. High in the Himalayan mountains lived a wise old man. Some said he was crazy. Periodically, he ventured down into the local village to entertain the villagers with his knowledge and…