• Mercy, Mercy Me!

       November 20, 2015 For 21 years Mercy Me has been recording hit after hit and then taking to the road to play almost as long as people would stay. You would think by now they would just be mailing it in; playing with detached disinterest, in smoky casino lounges, with bad lighting, next to the kitchen. Tiny rooms, usually reserved for acts like the “Paul Revere and the Raiders’ Reunion Tour,” featuring the lead singer’s ex-bass player.

  • Without the leash

    Just came back from a walk with my thirteen-year-old Golden Retriever, Bali. I believe she has just stayed around primarily to protect me. We go on walks each day when I'm in town.

  • Excuse Me, I've Got Important Work To Do

    Living to not perform never means living less, or not working hard. Or giving myself a pass to not do something really worth doing. It means working hard at the right things.

  • Still New to This Chapter

    I discover, in my preaching, that I write and lean towards these kinds of thoughts. To show God good and kind and wise, above and in, next to and standing with, over and amidst, missing nothing and redeeming everything. If I don't have these as my starting point, then all talk about grace seems like whistling in the dark.

  • Cheese graters

    I have maintained, apart from baseball cards, hats, music and shoes, only two real collections I can readily think of. In the early 70s my friend Ric DelaHoussaye and I went to swap-meets nearly each Saturday. He was so cool.

  • New Life Wins Again

      Many of you know my feet are working less and less and less. Neuropathy. The sensors are no longer carrying the freight.

  • When a Mask is Not a Mask

    Once we learn that maybe we were wearing masks for acceptance, love, self-protection, or religious entirely new conversation begins. "What does it look like to not wear a mask?" This is no attempt to answer that question. But I'm learning being free from mask wearing is not synonomous with telling everyone everything I know all the time.

  • The New Water Guideline Requirements

    Apparently the word on the street, (some street, somewhere) is that buying into a conviction of living by grace, over a period of time, will cause God followers to pray or read their Bible less. The argument can sound like this: "You have to keep folks on a pretty strict regimen of quiet times and prescribed Bible readings. If you just let people alone with what they'd choose, they'll end up reading only Facebook and cereal boxes."  While its probably true that a young, new God truster prob...

  • Talking to Myself

    For all my well-documented idiosyncrasies, sustained out-loud talking to myself has not been one of them. That is, until Sunday morning, May 15th, in my Memphis hotel room. Just the evening before I'd had an outstanding time in the home of one of the host couples along with the pastor who'd brought me out to speak to his community.

  • Mr Yukech

    In “On My Worst Day” I write pieces from my memory, and imagine what Jesus might say in the middle of my experiences. Here is one such snapshot. 1962 Mr.

  • Feeling Jesus

    Long ago, I stopped worrying when I don’t feel Jesus. I used to dread the feeling of no feeling. Only slowly have I come to realize he is not like what I would make him.

  • So Says Dostoevsky

    Dostoevsky wrote these words to someone, somewhere: “I believe there is nothing lovelier, deeper, more sympathetic and more perfect than the Savior; I say to myself with jealous love that not only is there no one else like Him, but that there could be no one. I would say even more. If any one could prove to me that Christ is outside the truth, and if the truth really did exclude Christ, I should prefer to stay with Christ and not with the truth.” Each time I read those words, I think, “I agree w...

  • No Speeding Up

    How do I describe playful, God-centered freedom? I can’t. I only know I stumbled into it.

  • Atheism and the Aluminum Tree

    (Here is an excerpt from "On My Worst Day" which will be published in the next six weeks. Enjoy!) As a boy, I remember thinking there was nothing as stupid or irrelevant as anything having to do with God. The Lynches were atheists.

  • To My Grandchildren

    To my grandchildren… Did I mention I’m losing my memory? I can feel it, though others try to assure me I’m wrong. My dad had Alzheimer’s.

  • Hole in the Heart

    “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God…” Blaise Pascal The vacuum does not get filled with the promise of heaven. It does not get filled by assenting to creeds about God. It is not filled with a more moral life.

  • Nobodys Grandfather

    This is a piece from John's upcoming book As long as I believe God’s goal for my life should be painless, smooth, validation and happy endings, I will live in a cognitive dissonance, which will eventually cause me to pull back and protect myself. We can slip into the dangerous thinking that if he’s good and powerful, our lives should be smoother and less messy than others. Bad guys should lose more often.

  • Nobody Has the Market

    There is a lifetime of maturing into truths I find myself being able to articulate. This is not an excuse or a pass, only a reality. Stacey will tell you, without much prodding, that I often do not extend to her the grace I tell others about.

  • The Idol of Self Effort

    Jesus might kindly say to us-“You will be tempted to want to identify your idols and then, one by one, with watchful diligence and slavish intention-eradicate, be freed, fixed or released from them. In truth, you will have only allowed in another idol; your confidence in your ability to vanquish your idols. Your idols will never be eradicated by good intention and rigorous self-examination, but by substitution.

  • Somethings in the Water

    You may be healthy in every other way, but if you drink this water, you will live with amoebas, dysentery, diarrhea, indigestion, typhoid, cholera, and ironically thirst, or dehydration. Most people who drink bad water don't know it is, or if they know, they don't have a choice. Desperate!

  • Avoiding Blythe

    Grief is part of the entire spectrum of what makes life sacred. It is a gift from God’s own hand. If we don’t hide from it, it reveals us in wiser, kinder and more compassionate beauty.

  • I Have Not Forgotten

    I imagine this might be from Jesus to us. “I have not forgotten. You may have forgotten that I think more about you than you do.

  • Grace Reduced to Paprika

    Until we actually believe this is what God wants for us, we’ll hedge our bets. We’ll see grace as a garnish; or a spice, a condiment, like paprika, to be sprinkled sparingly. We’ll constantly keep using that same lame cliché that it must be balanced with something else.

  • The Successful Person Worst Day

    Those who are of high capacity can have a harder time getting in touch with the pain God allows to free you from a greater pain. In truth, you often don’t struggle with life the way many others do. So, it is tempting to surround yourself with others who appear on their game; operating in a higher gear than others.

  • You Enjoyed Me Even Then

    “Jesus, you were there the whole time, weren’t you? All through the careless, thoughtless carnage of my youthful disbelief. You were at all the parties, all the ridiculous choices, all the attempts to feel something loud enough to make the questions go away.

  • Sin Shall Not be Master

    …The moralists say: “Paul, you’re teaching, ‘Lets sin that grace might abound!’” Paul answers, “That’s like saying, ‘Hey we got plenty of gauze and antibiotics so lets keep hitting each other with shovels!’” What about the Law kept you mastered by sin? 1) The condemnation of it 2) The lie that I could have no power over it 3) The lie that I could never be any different 4) The sense that the accusation was correct 5) The sense that I angered, disgusted God 6) The conviction that I had to solve it...

  • A Tailored Fit

    If I know I have worth because of His choice of fully loving me… Then I don’t have to manufacture a reason to be loved. I can instead, love you and offer you affirmation and attention. If I know my acceptance to Him is irrevocable… Then I don’t have to gossip about you to tear you down and bring myself up.

  • Will He Break Us

    I imagine Jesus might be saying this to us: “You have heard it from nearly the moment you came to me. That eventually, for your own good, I will have to break you. Often, for the rest of your life.” It is not true.

  • Not Just Consolation

    Just for the record, the goal of what God is forming on my worst days is not only consolation. It’s maturity, health and destiny. Consolation is stunningly wonderful, but it doesn’t free me into my tomorrows.

  • Rock On

    One of our favorite churches is up in Seaside, Oregon. This wonderful community is risking these truths of grace with incredible intentionality and passionate love. One of the pastors called me awhile back, with a broken heart.

  • Along This Road

    “Jesus, you have refused to expose me for the fraud I have often feared I am. You could have; in the name of my own good. But you didn’t.

  • How God Explains

    How does God explain that no one is an outcast with Him? Jesus heals a leper How does God explain that He does not condemn? Jesus defends the prostitute from religious authorities How does God explain His humility?

  • Any Other Plan

    It would change everything if we could just get our hearts around it. God has no interest in you promising him anything. He has even less interest in you proving anything to him.

  • Immanuel God With Us

    Stunning. He was given a name to explain exactly where He is during my deepest need. He is Immanuel-“God is with us” He is not a concept, a theory or a theology.

  • Trumped by Love

    *Nothing ever happens to me by chance but by love *No pain, disappointment or loss is ever wasted *Nothing happens you won’t work out for my best *You will not give me a second-class life *Even now, your life is fully redeemable into joy *You have prepared a fulfilling life for me to walk *You are never ashamed of me *You have given me all your nature, love, ability *I will stand in front of you one day-face to face *If only I trust you with me, you will be pleased *You will not forget my needs,...

  • Man in the Bright Yellow Shirt

    The man in the bright yellow shirt Brennan won’t live forever. I recently read his autobiography. He’s in a very crippled and helpless last season of life.

  • How He Sees You

    How he sees you Everything you have experienced and felt that is beautiful, kind, true, warm, safe, real, full of laughter, full of joy, full of elation is directly from Him, made custom to your unique heart. He believes in you, He knows everything about you and nothing that can be told about you will change His love for you.  He’ll stay here with you for the whole game. He grieves with you, He never listens to untruth about you, He is your fan, He is your protector.

  • Daily Convincing You

    Your God, every moment of every day, is wooing, drawing, calling out your new heart. He is not compelling you to try harder, strain more, prove your love more or even trust harder. Instead, He is drawing you to become daily more and more convinced of His love, your new identity and His power in you to mature you into who He has called you-Righteous.

  • Pyracantha

    Satan’s personal plant of choice Pyracantha is undeniable proof there is a devil. I believe it to be his personal plant of choice. It grows into a thatched-sticker-hedge of death.

  • Writing at Half Mast

    Writing this book has been incredibly wonderful, but painfully ironic. This thought wakes me up in the middle of the night: I’ve waited to get to write this book for decades. I think I could have written such a magnificent piece awhile back.

  • Why Us

    I imagine the room, that evening of Levi’s invitation, full of actively immoral outcasts, carrying all manner of vile and visible scars of depravity, desperately trying to be on their best behavior. Quiet and awkward. If we could have filmed it, a camera would now pan in from the back of the room…Soon there’s a circle around Jesus, all of them with elbows on knees, chins on hands.

  • More Than Just Brutally Honest

    Being Truefaced is not so much about being brutally honest about everything and anything. Sometimes being brutally honest is the most unloving and dishonest thing you can do. Some of the most loudly obnoxious and destructive folk in the Room of Good Intentions are utterly and brutally honest.

  • Joy Will Come

    This is for all of us who set up a life we thought would live out and validate the convictions of Christ's love, grace, life, freedom, healing and goodness we had come to place our hope in. And then it didn't play out the way we thought it would. Our own failure, or stuff that just came out of left field ran like a brush fire through the world we naively thought was unharmable.  At first we sit devastated amid the rubble...But God...

  • Actually New

    This one snuck up on me. The discovery that this new life in me wants to do right. I’m not a bad person who believes in a good God.

  • Walk Bawi Apa

    In this season, my life is marked by one singular block directly outside my home. The place where God meets me, where I most accurately reflect on where I’ve been and where I’m going, is no longer in a pulpit, on the road, or in words typed onto an electronic page. Every time her parents bring her over, my nearly 2 year old granddaughter Maci points to the front door and urgently pleads these words to me: “Alk.

  • Here it is

    Here’s an excerpt that hopefully will make it through editing, from our new book, “On My Worst Day”. It is at least a sliver of proof that I haven’t spent my entire time spearfishing on a secluded island off Corsica. “The most darkness-defying risk a human can take is to believe that in even this moment, the following is true.

  • The Village Wheelbarrow

    Well, I'm writing, like a angry, chafed ferret gnawing on a stick of bacon-infused balsa wood! I so want to bring you along the journey. I will be including snippets of the book as we go.

  • So Excited I Might Break A Rib Just Thinking About It

    Dear Friends, (From our Friends of Truefaced e-mail sent out today) For the first time in 17 years we are about to write a Truefaced book without three authors. Bill and Bruce think the time is right for John Lynch to write the book he has been dreaming of for years. Much like C.S.

  • When I Try to Run

    Sometimes you just get tired telling other people. There are seasons where it feels like you’re the issue. You’ve been telling everyone, everything, all the time, because it feels like if you don’t let others in on it, your stuff, you’ll cease to exist.

  • Vital Connection

    If a system, any system, has a broken epistemology at its core, it will all eventually spill badly into the street. And it will usually start with its leader. If you have an organizing principle built around numbers, conversions, baptisms, excellence, missions, participation, world relief, community advancement, or any other wonderful goal, but have little relational value at the core of your leaders, something will inevitably hit a fan.

  • Makes No Mistake

    It seems, in some manner, what is singularly most delightful to God are the choices of humans to continue trusting when there is very little indication of payoff. They are not throwing God’s promises in His face, saying, “Do this, now! I’m standing on the promises, so keep up your end of the deal.” They are not pretending they know what is right for God to do in any situation.

  • Sound and Spirit

    So, the other day I’m sitting by myself, out on the balcony of a beautiful, sprawling home, overlooking the entire San Diego basin. A tourist, a grateful refugee, sitting in a lush, God-favored land that blissfully doesn’t even seem to notice that others, less than 400 miles to the East, are taking on low flame, like so many quail roasting on a spit. I have finished my speaking for the weekend at a local church, and now I have an afternoon with nothing I really have to do.

  • First Love Loved

    You can go almost nowhere in Christian circles without hearing the term, “spiritual formation.” And you can rarely hear the term without the accompanying term “spiritual disciplines.” Spiritual formation is a wonderful concept. It potentially captures the entirety of what it means to mature into who we’ve already been made. And spiritual disciplines are as right as rain, the very practices of believers for centuries, who enjoy their God.

  • On the Move

    It was one of those moments you can’t predict or coerce. The Original Good News, this ever-growing tribe of grace, is attempting to fan into a new reformation and it does not always travel well. It’s the oddest phenomenon; by its very nature grace desires to release a response of joy, safety, hope, freedom and kindness.

  • A Nice Party at the Dock

    When a community begins to thirst for the Original Good News, of life without the shame, and moralistic, sin-management from reading the Scriptures with a filter, often the last one to get their thirst slaked is the leader most responsible for the culture of that community. Those words are written with deep respect and compassion, not smug and flippant superiority. It is easy to take shots at leaders.

  • The Voice Seems Real

    I love to golf. I rarely get to. Its expensive, it takes a lot of time…and I’m a hideously bad golfer.

  • Free Lovers Love

    It is not hard to fall into this trap of thinking because I can articulate the tenets of freedom that I have learned how to live relationally in these freedoms with God and man. After awhile we'll get anesthetized from these truths if they haven't affected the way we relate to our world. We'll become the grace police.

  • Who I Look Past

    I'm coming to the realization that I am more comfortable with the oddly innapropriate and flamboyantly eccentric, even the theologically porous-who clumsily find themselves hungering and thirsting for the Room of Grace, than I am with the intimidatingly, smugly together and aloof, airtight proponents of the Room of Good Intentions. I just returned from two days of filming television shows with Jim Bakker. I've never met anyone even nearly like him.

  • In an Instant

    I can still remember it like it was yesterday. Probably the late 70s. I’m sitting on a couch somewhere with a few other devotedly non-believing buddies, stoned, eating Cheetos and waffles, watching him on the religious channel, mocking and laughing ourselves silly.

  • Hot Potato

    You’re aware we don’t have to take the bait, right? So, last week the political process threw out another hot potato. Guessing it won’t be the last by November.

  • We are Coming to You

    Word on the street has it that the publisher’s last copies of Truefaced have left the building. Its been rumored you can still procure copies from a local numbers runner named “Louie”. He sells them, at an inflated price, out of the back of his van, late at night, behind a bowling alley, somewhere near the town of Alamogordo, New Mexico.

  • Not Word One

    Many of us might presume the individual with the best grasp on the subtle nuances of the original languages and the most comprehensive and capacious mind for systematic theology would invariably best understand the intention and wisdom of the Scriptures. And while it might always be preferable to understand the original languages and be proficient in historic linguistics, they are no guarantee you’ll have a better life in Christ than the soy farmer in Blanchwood, Iowa with a 7th grade education ...

  • Measuring Heart

    One of the ways a community can discover if they’re reading the Word with a filter, is in evaluating the means by which you try to measure your effectiveness. If I’m in the Room of Good Intentions, striving to please God I may want to measure our effectiveness through an external criterion using the easiest measurable behaviors and convince myself that real change is taking place. So, if I think the goal is to get our people to read their Bibles more, I might test how much people are initially r...

  • Taking off the Filter

    For the first time in public, last week, during our “Cure Experience” in Louisville, Kentucky, we tried out an exercise called, “Taking Off the Filter.” We took several verses of Scripture and imagined how they would be understood in the Room of Good Intentions or in the Room of Grace. Small groups, teams and couples grappled with the difference it would make. We are convinced that many, if not most of us, have been reading the Word through a filter of our own shame or the religious moralism tau...

  • All the Ships in the Harbor

    I actually think I caused more interpersonal damage in my 30s and 40s as a believer trying to do meaningful things for God, than I ever did as a dope chain smoking, whipped-cream-aerosol- inhaling atheist in my 20s. (…Well, there goes our attempts to get me booked in larger Christian venues.) There is something disproportionately damaging when newly discovered capacity, gifting and talent is mixed with a sincere but immature ambition, clutching to a lofty spiritual goal. I need to clarify.

  • To Be Like Bubba

    If I could spend four days anywhere in the world, these would be my top picks, in reverse order: #5-Dingle Peninsula, Ireland #4-Venice, Italy #3-Lake Louise, Canada #2-Anywhere in Hawaii #1-Augusta Georgia, sleeping, if necessary, in the lawnmower shed, during the Masters I love the Masters. I do not like the politics and sometimes defiant backwardness of the Masters Club. But I love everything about the history, lore, and magic of the tournament played there each year.

  • We Carry This Together

    a "what! No John two blogs in a row" blog by: David Pinkerton I tell people that I would make the world’s worst POW. I would sell out after 3 minutes of water depravation.

  • Nice Snacks and Clean Hands

    (One of my favorite people is a journalist from Atlanta named Bill Sanders. I’m so honored that he agreed to guest blog for us. I’m going to get out of the way.

  • Living in the Light épisode Deux

    This last week a total stranger walked up to me and said, “those two blogs about the neighbor’s dogs, oh, those were the best ever!” I wrote those like three years ago! I couldn’t believe someone in North Dakota would have read those pieces and actually remembered them. It was so delightful to share that moment.

  • Reason to Believe

    I will inaccurately quote him. Maybe because I really didn’t grasp the gravity of what he was saying until after he walked away. But I do think I can pretty accurately convey his sadness.

  • Better For It

    Historically, I have avoided board meetings like I’ve avoided scurvy and blood sausage. Anyone who knows me well will attest that I bring little value to them and they have brought such little value to me. I am usually brought in for humor or a brief anecdote and then allowed to leave.

  • Picture Painters

    The 15th century father of modern political science, Niccolo Machiavelli, penned these dangerous and astounding words, expressing the high cost of championing new ideas, or wooing a new generation back to ancient ones. “…There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukew...

  • The Humor Element

    I sometimes wonder if the most sacred times on earth are when friends are laughing with each other in trusted delight. I wonder if self-effacing humor is what can help defuse a non-believer’s mistrust of us talking to them about God. I wonder if laughing at ourselves is a big part of what makes us safe.

  • Worth the Cold

    So, this is what it looks like now, eh? Last week I’m flying into Indianapolis to speak two main sessions at a conference. After the 1st talk, I’ve also been scheduled to meet and speak with a group of 40 from a wonderful faith community in Kentucky.

  • It Has to Jive

    Part of the art of learning to live out of my new identity is learning to read the Scriptures without the filter of moralism or my own shame. Part of that art is learning to not run from, ignore or hide from verses that appear to want to scare me back into the Room of Good Intentions. Scripture is replete with the concept that I have died with Christ.

  • Starting Again

    I’d just gotten seated, on the second leg of my flight home last night, after speaking back East. I look up to notice a mother and her young daughter, juggling overflowing shopping bags of belongings, spilling out each step, as they stumble towards me. After several minutes of commotion, involving the assistance of several kind passengers gathering up spilled items and jamming their “luggage” into the overhead, the two eventually flail into the seats, next to me.

  • Look to Your Right

    So how do I get home? After I’ve spent too long stuck, wounded, and devastated in my bitterness and not being able to forgive one who has deeply hurt me? This entire process is written down for us in chapter five of “The Cure”.

  • The Haunting Question

    We’ve been spending the last few times together talking about forgiveness. But before we get to the good news-the way home, let me first address this haunting question being asked by many of you: “What about the forgiveness I can’t give myself? How do I forgive myself?” Bill and Bruce would do this much better, but they’re probably on some Polynesian island with friends, drinking fun concoctions from the shells of coconuts.

  • Complete With Soundtrack

    Why would we spend a some blogs on forgiveness when we just wrote a chapter on it in “The Cure”? Probably because, in the blinding pain of hurt, the way home is hard to get our head and hearts around. So we need to keep seeing it from different angles.

  • Rehearsing

    Ever struggle forgiving someone? (That’s like asking: “Ever put shoes on over socks?”) We’ve devoted an entire chapter to it in “The Cure” because it confronts every one of us, often. “First you get hurt.

  • True Dat

    Few, other than parents, read the Acknowledgment section in a book. But we spent the better portion of several hours on this so I’m going to give it more airplay. And besides, we’re writing this about you.

  • An Artificial Bitterer

    In the last blog I explained in our upcoming study guide for “The Cure” we devote considerable time to discovering how the same Scripture can be understood differently in the Room of Grace and the Room of Good Intentions. We describe it as a “filter” placed onto the unvarnished Word. While the words are agreed upon, our own shame and even unintentional attempts to get ourselves and others to do better, be better, has often distorted the meaning and intention of the verse.

  • Signposts

    In each section of our upcoming study guide for “The Cure” we devote considerable time to discovering how the same Scripture can be understood differently in the Room of Grace and the Room of Good Intentions. We describe it as a “filter” placed onto the unvarnished Word. While the words are agreed upon, our own shame and even unintentional attempts to get ourselves and others to do better, be better, has often distorted the meaning and intention of the verse.

  • Uncoerced

    When people read The Cure, we get this single response almost more than any other: “I don’t get it. You make it sound too easy. Aren’t we supposed to do something?” Now, stop for just a moment and stare at that question-“Aren’t we supposed to do something?” Then think about when you first fell in love with another person.

  • Not Neat

    When I wear a mask it’s because I’m still believing the lie of my old shame, that says there is something uniquely and unusually wrong with me. So, I wear a mask to cover that reality from you, in hopes you’ll love me more. It doesn’t ever work, but if I’m not trusting who Jesus says I am on my worst day, I’ll still default to it.

  • Adjusting to Light

    It seemed appropriate this morning, as “The Cure” is newly wending its way around the neighborhood, to repeat a statement I’ve made in several sermons and posted onto my Facebook page. People give me credit for the statement, but like most things I express that are wise, insightful or a betterment for society, they did not usually emanate from me. This particular one is from Bill, I think.

  • Not a Bad Gig

    Last night I looked around the room once again. I’ve been catching myself doing it for over 20 years. Some of the faces have changed, but what I’m about to say never has.

  • Table Talk

    A month ago, I was walking through the Stamps Theological Library at Azusa Pacific with my daughter Carly. We were strolling along beautiful rows of commentaries, theological dictionaries and word studies. Suddenly, Carly looked at me and smiled, “Dad, look.

  • Quick Payback

    It’s the 26th. And I’m reflecting on the season. I’ve been a bit out of it this year.

  • It Will Not

    Every Christmas morning of my childhood I had the same thought. “Today the world gets new again.” I loved it. I could imagine all over the world new and better changing the world into a happier and more magical place.

  • Giant Cardboard Checks

    One of the great perks the three of us get is to receive the stunned, elated appreciation of those experiencing for the first time these truths about their righteousness, these reformational truths of the Original Good News. They say things like, “You just don’t know. My life is changed, forever!

  • Close to Each Other

    What is it with this season? I don’t think I’ve ever gone through it unscathed. It undoes me.

  • Sneaking Through the Paneling

    As I was checking how many hits we had on a particular “Cure” trailer piece, You Tube invited me to watch a video of a popular Christian speaker chastising followers to not participate in any “Christianized” version of yoga. His warning was that any such practice opens one to demons. As I watched it, I was again struck with our propensity to want to be frightened, shamed, mistrusting almost everything around us.

  • A Flexible 90

    Two weeks ago I was driving the long, painful stretch from Banning to Indio, on my way back from Los Angeles to Phoenix. The route is littered with energy-generating windmills and billboards of coming performances at local casinos. One of them announced a Christmas season show with Carol Channing.

  • The Address Changes

    My bags are packed. I think they’ve always been packed. You might not know it to look at me.

  • Out of the Drift

    Grace, if nothing else, you’d think, would give us the ability to tell others we love when we’re hurting. We make the statement “What if there were a place so safe that the worst of you could be known, and you’d discover that you would not be loved less but more in the telling of it?” Oh, how I love that statement. I love how God has wired it to be so.

  • Re-adjusting Tupperware Lids

    So, the release of “The Cure” begins. It initiates with me driving through the three-block target area around my home. I first strategically shout through a bullhorn while pressing on the horn, just to gain initial consumer awareness.

  • Grateful

    In preparing a message this last Sunday I was reminded gratefulness is most certainly not… *A positive attitude or personality *A religious denial of reality, pain, grief. Not about denying what is real, in some distorted manner of loyalty check. God can handle your unvarnished doubts and cries to Him.

  • Which Lens

    This life in Christ is not primarily about learning more stuff. It’s almost all about the lens through which we interpret what we’re learning; the lens through which we see God and His Word. Same words, same syntax.

  • They Didn't Buy it

    The three of us are often asked why so many in this next generation are moving away from their religious culture the first chance they get. Not just the expression of their faith, but often their hope in any of it. Our answer is this: They didn’t buy it.

  • Here Comes The Cure

    Our new book “The Cure” comes out this week, or soon after. Folks in Topeka may be reading it at this very moment. Though I doubt it.

  • Andrew Sundar

    The Grace Journey Trans World Radio, Singapore One of my mentors gave me a book called The Ascent of the Leader, authored by Bill Thrall and Bruce McNicol of Truefaced and Leadership Catalyst. Since then these two and John Lynch have also written TrueFaced, Behind The Mask and Bo’s Cafe. Reading through The Ascent of a Leader opened my eyes to facts such as ‘character development is assumed’.

  • Kemp Otto

    A Chapter of My Story With Grace For more than twenty years I relegated Grace to an academic concept, safely buried in commentaries that belonged and stayed on shelves. You see, I already knew about Grace. And I knew that I was the one person for whom it didn’t extend quite far enough over the chasm.

  • Lee Blum

    FINDINGbalance Grappling with Grace… June 11th, 2010 Hey FINDINGbalance Friends! I just returned from Fb’s amazing Hungry for Hope Conference in Colorado Springs. If you didn’t attend this year, be very sorry you didn’t and get your behind there next year!

  • Erik Kakimoto

    Associate Pastor Cerritos Baptist Church Cerritos, CA Growing up as a 2nd generation Asian-American Christian, I was brought up in a culture deeply rooted in shame along with a theological framework that is often more shame-driven than grace-driven. In other words, I had to be someone “better” than who I was if I wanted to be accepted and valued by God and by others. Being me wasn’t enough—I had too many flaws, weaknesses, and imperfections.

  • Dave Kaufman

    Retired Prescott Valley, Arizona It was September of 2004. I had just been given notice that my job of almost 15 years had just been shutdown and along with 300 other personal, I was out of a job. It was only four more months and then I would retire.

  • Gin Dagger

    Co-Founder The Broken D Ranch Denver, Colorado I had known for quite a long time that I had a story to write. Too many things had happened to me and evidence of God’s presence and protection was scattered throughout my life, even before I gave my life to Christ. My fear of putting my thoughts on paper for all to read was my excuse.

  • Carol Barger

    Phoenix, AZ (Grew up in Nebraska) A late in life surprise has transformed my perspective and lifestyle. From early childhood I had known and experienced the grace of God through salvation in Jesus Christ. Intentionally and with satisfaction to the degree I had been taught about spiritual matters I walked with God.

  • Rosemary Carlson

    Biblical Discipler Bella Vista Church Rockford, Michigan I grew up in a home where my father didn’t want me. He told me I was stupid and that I never should have been born. His treatment of me dealt a blow to my self-worth.

  • Shirlee Lamoureux

    San Juan Islands, WA Registered Counselor/Certified in Domestic Violence Advocacy/Spiritual Mentor (Grew up in Farmington, NM and Ashland, OR) I remember my early childhood with fondness. It was an idyllic time when neighborhoods were safe and being part of a gang meant being in a gang of kids who played Kick the Can and Run Sheep Run. It was a time without televisions, computers and iPods; a time of family togetherness; listening to the Hit Parade on the radio, having taffy pulls, and summer ca...

  • Lindy Black

    Associate National Field Leader The Navigators Colorado Springs, Colorado I was born into a football family. My dad was (and still is at 79) a football coach. I am the oldest of 5 kids.

  • Brady Steenhoek

    Director of Student Life Southwestern College Phoenix, Arizona (grew up in Iowa) I grew up in a Christian home, and have been involved with a church my entire life. Early on I learned how to behave really, really well. I learned to be good kid.

  • Stewart Black

    Cave Creek, AZ In 1984 I looked, perhaps, a lot like you. Although I was a pastor, I lived a life of hiddenness, a life of barely concealed shame: Shame caused by the secret sexual sins that plagued me, sins I would contritely and tearfully confess before God, vowing with all my heart never again to be lured into their sticky web. And then it would start all over again… I knew the people in my congregation; however they did not know the real me.

  • Paul Hadley

    High School Principal (retired) Glenbard East High School Chicago, Illinois I am at the stage of life where I have more history than future! As I get older I find that dramatic, life changing “before and after” experiences tend not to be the norm. But don’t confuse this statement with meaningful change not taking place.

  • Michael Elia

    Open Door Fellowship – Jail Ministry Phoenix, Arizona It had been almost two decades since I had first smoked pot, and rarely a day passed that I had not used or pursued the use of some mind-altering substance. My addiction had progressed into harder drugs like cocaine and methamphetamines, and it was taking its toll on my life. Homeless, penniless, hopeless and lost, I was finally arrested and incarcerated, and though I didn’t know it at the time, my life would take an incredible new direction....

  • Don Hammond

    Phoenix, Arizona As I think about it, most of my life has been spent trying to please people. As a child, I tried to please my parents. As a student, I tried to please my teachers.

  • What For?

    I didn’t used to get out much. For twenty years I learned grace in a pretty sheltered environment. Now, go figure, I go out and speak about it.

  • The Citrus Tastes Sweeter These Days

    Thanksgiving Day 1970 was not a good one in the Lynch home. Dad and I were not in a good place. By 17, I had developed into a fast talking, rebellious punk, with a sharp, clever and sarcastic vocabulary and attitude.

  • One of Three Options

    Several weeks ago, my wife Stacey and I got into a fight. It was over nearly nothing. But that we would get so sideways revealed much deeper sadness and disappointment had been lingering around for awhile.

  • This New Heart

    “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” After thousands of years of sincerely religious people bluffing and play-acting with love, God gives His children a new heart: completely new creatures, fully righteous, without any condemnation, who can actually live out this verse without it enflaming them to rebellion, like every other command had done before. So, you’d think we’d automatically now fully love each other...

  • Something is afoot…

    Maybe it’s just me. (I’m told it often is)…But I witnessed something wonderful and maybe even historic at our TrueFaced 12 Intensive Conference, held last week in Scottsdale, Arizona. When we started inviting others, back in the early-90s, to partner with us in these truths of identity and environments of grace-it was often kind of sketchy.

  • Black Friday

    Late afternoon, on “Black Friday” my daughter Carly was dropping off Stacey and Amy in front of a Scottsdale mall. Each had armloads of gifts and boxes to retrieve. Stacey couldn’t get out of the car until Amy had gathered all her packages.

  • Step onto the Tilt-A-Whirl

    So, our State Fair is going on here in Arizona. It’s not quite like State or County Fairs in places like Wisconsin or Oregon. I imagine in those places all manner of fall magic: real cider, pumpkin soup and fresh smells of cinnamon and roasted corn with churned butter.

  • So Much Fun!

    I can’t adequately describe how much fun I’m having writing content for the characters from “Bo’s Café” as they talk to each other on our new website-bo’ You click on the door of the restaurant and it takes you out onto the upstairs deck, where you’re seated at a table next to the regulars. Each week some combination of Hank, Cynthia, Lindsey, Carlos, Bo, Andy and Steven show up to discuss their lives, Bo’s cooking and whatever messy stuff coming out of an environment trying to figure o...

  • Machiavelli

    I spoke last week at a wonderful Arts Conference at Woodmen Valley Church in Colorado. I quoted a snippet by the 14thcentury philosopher Machiavelli from his work “The Prince”. Bruce McNicol handed me the quote long ago.

  • Surgery

    Hey, it’s me, John. By the time you read this I will probably have already come out of my surgery. No big deal.

  • That place in us

    September 7th, 2009 by John Lynch Today I’ve been thinking about that place in us that doesn’t change by will power, diligence or good intention. It’s our perception of ourselves. My self-perception,  historically, has seemed to fluctuate like the stock market, between an inflated sense of greatness and irrational inferiority.

  • Ernest Borgnine

    It’s been several weeks now since I returned from the eleventh annual Ernest Borgnine Memorial Music Appreciation Society weekend. I know. Odd.

  • Bo’s Cafe Review

    September 1st, 2009 by John Lynch So, “Bo’s Café” is coming out September 25th! I was cruising around the Internet the other day, seeing if anyone had written anything…and I came across our first review! It’s from “The Review Broads.” I love that our first review was from such a title.

  • Move on to the real stuff

    August 24th, 2009 by John Lynch Not long ago we were out on the road again, presenting the Two Roads talk. I think I have spoken that message over 200 times and have never lost my passion for it. Anyway, long story short-afterwards I’m chatting with a handful of new friends-and a man I don’t recognize steps into the circle.

  • 1:03 AM

    It’s the middle of the night-and I’m up. This happens predictably when I don’t take a Tylenol PM. Somewhere in middle age I’ve lost the ability to sleep.

  • King of My World? Cont…

    If if we are supposed to trust God, and if we can trust God;, then what are we to trust Him with? *1st-trust is not expecting that He’ll make things work out the way we always want. That’s not trusting God-it’s conjuring up a stupid and mean genie.

  • King of My World? Cont…

    All my childhood I can’t remember trusting anyone with me. My best guess is I wasn’t sure anyone could or would adequately protect me. My response to hurt was not to find protection, but to resolve I wouldn’t allow others close enough to hurt me.

  • Back from New Zealand

    Well, the three amigos are back from the Land Down Under. One of our conferences was cancelled, Bill’s luggage handles were torn off in transit, I got food poisoning the evening before speaking four times in one day, and Bruce and I most assuredly made enemies throughout New Zealand as we drove on the wrong side of the road, inadvertently turning on our windshield wipers every time we wanted to indicate a lane change. …But what we asked God for happened in spades.

  • Leaving for Australia and New Zealand

    Hello everyone. So, today Bruce, Bill and I head off for Australia and New Zealand! It sounds romantic but most of the time we’ll actually be enjoying some of the continent’s finest conference halls and room partitions.

  • Next Generation Leadership

    Tonight, I’m setting up a discussion time for our next generation leadership group. Some of our leaders and all our elders are taking about 70 young leaders through a process of preparing them to gradually take over the leadership of our fragile, funky church. We call it Timothy Trust.

  • Letters

    I never wanted children. I just wanted to be married. Stacey never wanted to be married.

  • Memorial

    We did the memorial service for an old friend yesterday. Gordon Barr. Yea, most of you have never heard of him before.

  • The note

    “There are no together people, only those who dress better”, or as Bruce says, “…only those with brighter teeth.” Everyone needs grace all the time. Everyone needs to live out of their new identity all the time. No exceptions.

  • Misconceptions

    It was two and a half years ago. He picked me up at the Springfield airport for a convocation series at the College of the Ozarks. The moment I met Dean Zehnder I didn’t feel good about this whole gig.

  • On the Elevator

    So, I’m on this elevator, to see the doctor about my elevated cholesterol and general physical malaise. Across from me is a mom and her 8 year old son. He is all boy.

  • Merry Christmas!

    I became a believer 29 years ago. On December 23rd. This week I was transported back to that time.

  • Super Heroes

    I have donned the cape of Middle Aged Man for the last time. Last Sunday ended my run with the “Lesser Known Super Heroes”. I will no longer fight crime next to Poultry Man, Accordion Man andSopapilla Woman.

  • A Grace Anniversary

    Several weeks ago I was on facebook, instant messaging with a really funny and great guy named Dave Burchett.  He’s a writer, blogger and television producer for the Texas Rangers baseball games. Anyway, in the middle of our conversation he wrote these words: “Hey John, my 1-year Grace Anniversary was this week.” I stopped typing, took my hands off the keyboard and just smiled. My friend gets it.

  • Exceedingly thankful for…

    When I start thinking about what I’m thankful for, it all gets garbled with the normal things: God, family…oatmeal with peanut butter. The things I’ve been given, which I deeply appreciate. Today, I’m thinking about a few things that God, in His tender and kind grace, didn’t allow to happen, when by all means they should have: 1.

  • Trying It On

    So, anyway, here’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. How do these truths of grace and identity and humility and trust, and received love, and safety and permission and protection and vulnerability and so on and so forth…how do they really get transferred? We’ve got a DVD and CD entitled something like “The 2 Roads Talk.” It’s a fairly revolutionary message for folk who’ve grown up in environments of performance or young people who are discovering their own faith.

  • Living in the Light – Part 2

    Well, if you remember, in my previous blog, I was recounting an incident of getting trapped in a lie regarding a neighbor’s dog and my garden hose. (That sounded like an introduction on one of those old radio shows. “When we last left our hero, he was trapped in a mine shaft and his flashlight had fallen out of his hand. Let’s see what happens today on Crisco theater!”) Anyway, some of you wanted to know how things turned out with the woman I lied to.

  • Living in the Light

    The Lynches have a nice backyard. It used to be crab grass mixed with dirt and a rusted swing set. Over the years we’ve added a pool and some dear friends surprised me one birthday with a giant, tiled “grilling center” and glorious fireplace.

  • Hannah

    I know a really neat high school student in our church. Recently she was spending the weekend with a friend and visited that friend’s church. Early the following week I received a text that she’d like to speak to me about the message.

  • "Meet the Teachers" Night

    I went to Carly’s “Meet the Teachers” deal last night. It’s a fine Christian school. Carly loves it.

  • Vacation with Bali

    About a week ago, the Lynch family came back from a vacation at Newport Beach.  It was a great time.  I was allowed to take naps and mindlessly surf cable stations through Ginsu knife infomercials and reruns of Barnaby Jones.  None of this, of course, am I allowed at home. Stacey works me pretty hard.  But I digress. With us, was our Golden Retriever, Bali.  I like her more than I do most humans.  We made a bed for her across the front seat, while all three girls cr...

  • Remembering Ourselves on the Mountaintop

    My wife Kelsie and I were comparing notes last night after 6 days away with high school students in San Diego. As we continued to roll out our memories, ask each other questions, and reminisce on our favorite times something was apparent; with 10-15 camps in our rear view, we had never experienced a week like this. We sat on our couch too tired to move but unable to stop talking when Kelsie said, “Our kids were so benefited from you working at Truefaced.”I filtered that statement for a minute as...

  • Thinking about Blood Diamond Country and the Chandlers

    This morning on my run in the desert mountains I was asking myself, “What’s a diamond ring mean to the typical married woman?” Treasure beyond price. So, why did Lisa give hers away to start a prosthetics ministry for the maimed children of blood diamond country, Sierra Leone? And, this.

  • Father of the Groom

    So, my son Caleb is getting married this Saturday… to his childhood sweetheart-Kali. Ten years of dating for committed believers is no small deal. I’m pretty sure if it were me in those shoes we would have eloped to Vegas and been married by an Elvis impersonator by the time I was 18…I’m just saying.

  • Sunny in Seattle

    The Leadership Catalyst Team was in Seattle last week for our second 24-hour Taste of Bo’s Café of the year. We were joined by 20 couples from the Washington and Oregon area. Sunny and 90 degrees is nothing new to our Phoenix-based team, but for the couples from the Northwest the weather couldn’t have been better.

  • "Those Tests Are Only 99.9% Accurate"

    So far being a new mom has been the most exhilarating, thrilling, tiring, joyful, humbling ride I’ve ever been on. I never thought it would be possible to function on two hours of sleep, but not only through God’s grace can you function, but you can also have some really fun, albeit delirious, conversations with other new moms who also had little sleep that previous night. ☺ Karly Grace turned 9 months this week.

  • A Revamped Golf Swing and a Revitalized Life

    I was 15 when I purchased my first set of golf clubs. There they were, unceremoniously propped against the range ball machine at our neighborhood par-3 course; a bulky black bag containing a used set of 3 through 9 irons, several “Tommie Bolt” woods and a non-descript putter. A sign taped to it read “25 bucks”.

  • When I Say Freedom, I Don't Mean 'Fixed'

    Ever since I was little, I remember feeling a sense of entrapment, even claustrophobia when I was in the dark. My most treasured possession at bed time was a MacGyver pen light I would sneak into bed. The fear of abandonment or harm from a burglar was so real to me even though I had never been exposed to either.

  • Until Hope Shows Up

    Last weekend, our TrueFaced/Catalyst team offered a marriage retreat for business and professional couples, from their 20′s to their 60′s. One of the last persons I talked to said to me, “For the first time in several years, I have hope for our family.” This couple has been through many Bible studies and even more sermons during those years. They have generously served many people during those times.

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