Embrace Gratitude! Free Scripture Art Download

Embrace Gratitude! Free Scripture Art Download

How’s your attitude? Is it one of gratitude?

This time of year naturally lends itself to our reflection of God’s blessings in our lives and what he has done for us.

Take a minute to meditate upon the verses below and give thanks with a grateful heart.

As my gift to you, I invite you to download this beautiful graphic of a favorite Bible verse, Psalm 136:3. It’s a high resolution image, so you may print it at a large size and frame it if you wish.

DanBoone_GiveThanks_graphic

 Click here to download the art print.

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Black Friday, Blue Laws, and Thanksgiving Blessings

Black Friday, Blue Laws, and Thanksgiving Blessings

The day after Thanksgiving has become the biggest shopping day of the year. And now, some of the big box stores are inching into Thanksgiving Day itself by opening on Thursday afternoon. A national day of giving thanks has become a national day of acquiring more. We call it Black Friday. At least we named it well.

I think football is to blame. When over-fed men won’t converse with their families, but pile into stuffed chairs and watch football into oblivion, women go shopping. It is payback for the scant thanks the women got for all their hard cooking. I know; this sounds very sexist. Men do cook and women do like football. I’m generalizing here.

But I’m still sad that stores are opening on Black Friday and Thankful Thursday. Because we don’t need more practice at buying stuff. We need more practice at conversing, playing, walking, and talking—at being a family who exits the rat race for a respite of gratitude. It’s hard to do that while you’re wrestling a bargain toy from a fellow human or snoozing to another NFL game.

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Class Reunions and Homecomings

Class Reunions and Homecomings

Are you going back this year? Will you attend homecoming and/or your high school or college reunion? Is the class of 1964, ‘74, ‘84, ’94, or 2004 beckoning you to come back and see all your long-lost pals?

Sometimes we want to go back. Sometimes we don’t. My conclusion is that yesterday looks better and better in the rearview mirror. The things that once embarrassed us when we were cool young college students are not so embarrassing now that we have kids of our own. The failures that marked us early in life have melted away as we learned to accept who we are.  We have less to prove. We’re all aging. Raising kids has humbled, if not humiliated, us.

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Your Kingdom Come

Your Kingdom Come

Words can get us in trouble.

Depending on where they are spoken, who is speaking them, who they are spoken to, and the consequences involved, words can radically change our life.

Go on an airplane and say, “I have a bomb.” Your life will be different.  Stand in front of an altar with the one you love and say, “For better for worse, for richer or poorer, I do.” Raise your right hand in a court of law and say, “I solemnly swear to tell the truth.” Words can rearrange your life.

But I believe the most life-altering, radical, dangerous, consequential words we can say are recorded in the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray – “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Now I know we can say these words without meaning them, and not much happens, except we get more used to praying things we don’t really mean.

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Hallowed Be Your Name

Hallowed Be Your Name

It costs one million dollars to use the name, Krispy Kreme. They are the best doughnuts this side of heaven. I’m convinced that angels own the recipe and their melt-in-your-mouth creation is simply divine. My friend, Dan, checked into the franchise price and discovered if you want to sell doughnuts and you want to call them Krispy Kreme, the price tag is $1 million.

But compared to Disney, Krispy Kreme is pocket change. Last time I checked, Disney’s name is worth $15 million. You get the rights to the name with all the legal requirements attached. There are places you can and can’t use the name. Things you can and can’t do with it. If you pilfer, slander, or misuse the name, you will meet the well-heeled lawyers whose job it is to protect the use of the Disney name.

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A Day in the Life of a University President

A Day in the Life of a University President

Peter Drucker became my best friend the day he said something like this: “The three toughest jobs in the world are large church pastor, president of a small university, and school superintendent in a mid-sized town.” I’m one away from a trifecta of hard work.

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The Deadly Sin of Greed

The Deadly Sin of Greed

Today concludes our blog series focused on the Seven Deadly Sins.  Find all of the links to each post here. And to read more on this topic, check out my book, Seven Deadly Sins: The Uncomfortable Truth.


God started working on the greed of his people as soon as they cleared the Red Sea. Wilderness was their training ground for life. They were totally dependent on God. No crops. No fast food restaurants. No grocery stores. Just God. He gave them manna in the morning and quail in the evening. The instructions were simple. Gather only what you need.

Some got greedy and began to stockpile the heavenly groceries, only to discover maggots in their manna. The lesson was simple. Learn to live from the hand of God. Go out every day and work for what he gives you. On the sixth day, gather enough for the seventh day. Enough is enough. Don’t stockpile. Don’t get greedy.

The Deadly Sin of Greed Destroys Our Capacity to Trust God

Greed is a deadly sin because it destroys our capacity to trust God. It suggests that we can secure ourselves and please ourselves by the possession of things rather than in obedient relationship with God. It destroys our concern for our neighbor and for their “enough.” Greed makes us small.
But in a consuming world, can we imagine ourselves unplugged from greed? Is there a spiritual laxative that can loosen the constipation of stuff that clogs our soul? Stuff that is consumed but never passes through our hands. Stuff that clutters our lives like trinkets in a musty attic.

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All Hallows’ Eve

All Hallows’ Eve

It’s All Hallows’ Eve!

I’ve never jumped on the bandwagon of fighting Trick-or-Treat. I have no problems with Christians who do. I suppose we are not all called to fight the same battles.

Tonight you will find me in our neighborhood driving my John Deere riding mower, pulling a large cart with six grandkids in it. They will be costumed as cute creatures of an imaginary world – probably no demons or darkness. Their mothers are all children of the Light. They’ll go door to door in our neighborhood because our neighbors give out better candy than their neighbors. And because it is a family tradition. It is also tradition that I, the designated driver of these six  2-to-10-year-olds, get all the Snickers. They usually tip me with one or two, but I don’t believe they have yet been converted to total obedience to the law that all Snickers belong to Papa. Please join me in praying for them.

And then the next day, we remember the saints and celebrate All Saints’ Day. Our parents and grandparents, the people from the church who graced us with love, and the odd ones who never seemed to be entrapped in the glitz and glitter of a dark world. We recall their names and give thanks to God for their lives.

My prayer is that the people costuming and hauling kids around on All Hallows’ Eve night will become the same people that are remembered the next day when they are gone.

The Deadly Sin of Lust

The Deadly Sin of Lust

The deadly sin of lust seems to meet us at every turn.

Today, we swim in a cultural ocean of blatant eroticism, sexual advertising, accessible pornography, seductive clothing, and body mania. Men are applauded for sexual conquest. Women draw attention by looking and acting seductive. Pre-marital sex is quietly becoming commonplace. Affairs are quickly excused.

I could write post after post about “how bad it is out there,” but the truth is, it has always been bad out there. Except for the “Good Old Days.”

I think there were about three of them.

We find them in Genesis 1-2, where the world as God made it is a sinless nudist colony in a sensual garden where a man and a woman live together in perfect fellowship with their Creator. There has never been better sex than in the Garden.

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My Favorite Villain

My Favorite Villain

Flannery O’Connor used to say that any playwright has a problem when they introduce the devil into a script—how to keep him from becoming the main character. In literature, every great story needs an enemy of some sort. Somebody has to play the villain.

Miles Turner used to cast my Christian daughters as the evil characters in his high school dramas. They played murderers in Agatha Christie scripts, heart breakers in romances, and wild women in contemporary plays. When I asked him why, he said it would develop their character reach since everyone knew they were not normally like that—and he could trust them with evil. I think he just wanted to see the local pastor squirm.

I think my favorite villain of all time is Javert in Les Miserables. I know; he was actually a religious character, though quite enslaved to the law. I guess I am mesmerized by him because I see how easy it is to move from self-assured religiosity to evil.

In my favorite movies, books, and plays I am always intrigued by the characters that seem to hold the moral power and use it in ways that diminish people. Whether it is the administration of Mr. Holland’s school (Mr. Holland’s Opus), the administration of Mr. Keating’s boys’ school (Dead Poets Society), or the administration of the prison (Cool Hand Luke), I find misuse of power villainous.

Maybe I am seeing my own dark side in them. Could it be that villains are nothing more than projections of us at our worst? And they have something wise to tell us—if we have ears to listen.

Who is your favorite villain?