True Grit

Who do you think of when you hear the words, true grit? Nearly all of you answered, John Wayne, which is who I think of as well. It’s been over 50 years since the 1969 classic starring John Wayne as Marshall Rooster Cogburn in his only Oscar-winning performance.
        Historians believe Cogburn was based on Deputy U.S. Marshal Heck Thomas, who brought in some of the toughest outlaws.
        In the movie, fourteen-year-old Mattie Ross hires Rooster Cogburn to hunt, arrest, and bring to trial her father’s killer, Tom Chaney. Mattie seeks Cogburn out because she had heard that Cogburn had “true grit”. The rattlesnake scene still brings chills up my spine!
Read more

Fixed Enough

Blog Team
I hope you enjoyed Chris Jackson’s blog last week. Chris (AL), along with Ray De La Nuez (FL), Ken Watson (OR), Kai Munshi (GA) And Gary McCusker (CO), are on our new volunteer Writing Team. You’ll be hearing from one of them at least once a month. If you are interested and have writing experience, reach out, and we’ll send you an application.

Free not Fixed

After 30 years of full-time ministry I’ve recently become skeptical of “perfect” men. Cynical might be a better word. I’m not proud of this. In fact, I’ve recognized my cynicism as a heart issue that needs to be changed and am working intently to rectify it. Nonetheless, I’ve been pondering a phrase that keeps running through my mind—Free not Fixed.
          During my tenure in ministry I’ve encountered a myriad of men who, on the outside look free in Christ, but inside are held in bondage by secret sin. Experience has taught that the free in Christ aren’t fixed at all, but the admission of brokenness, and subsequent repentance puts the soul on the road to freedom.
          Alcoholics Anonymous has a saying, “You’re only as sick as your secrets.” I would add that being free (in Christ) does not mean fixed by Christ.
          I can already hear theologians typing their rebuttal!
Read more

Made for Friendship

About Contributing Writer Chris Jackson:
Chris is an insurance agency owner and an avid outdoorsman who lives in Andalusia, Alabama, with his wife Shannon. They love to road trip and chase adventures all over the country


I just got home from another Stupid Movie Night where some friends and I get together to…you guessed it…watch stupid movies! Our wives don’t like stupid movies, so my friends and I use this as an excuse to get together. Usually there is a hot grill, cold drinks, and a stupid movie. Sometimes there is a cigar, but always sore ribs from laughter.
        This same group of friends sends out a group text most days around lunch time, “Anyone available for lunch?”
        We get together a lot. Our gatherings are usually light, but sometimes…
        One of our friends has a wife with cancer. Another recently went through a divorce. Another is having some major health issues. Sometimes we attend Bible study together, but not usually.
        Usually we just get together and hang out. Unfortunately, to have a group of friends like this is unusual today.

Read more


Learning to Cast
I grew up in a fishing family, learning to accurately cast a spinning rod at four years old. The spinning was my go-to for many years until the open spool reels (aka “bait casters”) entered my life. Open spool reels are used for casting large baits to warm water game fish, salt-water fish ranging from marlin to rock cod, and cold-water game fish like salmon and steelhead.
        The first, and most important, rule when using a bait caster is to keep your thumb on the spool. It’s learning the art of placing just enough thumb pressure on the spool to cast it maximum distances, while maintaining just enough tension to prevent the notorious rat’s nest, which occurs when the reel is allowed to free spool until rotations abruptly decrease upon impact.
Read more



I love the story of the guy who went to the Pharmacy to pick up some medicine for an ear infection. When he picked it up the instruction read, “Place one drop every eight hours in ® ear, circling the “R” for emphasis. A few days later he called the doctor to say that his ear still hurt, and he had questions about the prescription instructions.
        “Hey Doc, my wife told me to call you because she thinks I’m crazy. The medicine isn’t helping and is very uncomfortable to apply. Why do I have to put ear drops in my rear?!”

It is finished. It is finished? It is finished!

Something similar—yet very different—recently occurred on the Men in the Arena forum when men were asked about their favorite man quote. Over 200 men responded, including Brent from Texas who offered one of my favorite quotes from Jesus, ‪"It is finished. (John 19:30)"
        Trying to hide my passion I politely replied that he forgot the exclamation mark but opened a Pandora’s Box when I typed “Explanation” on accident. Brent kindly explained that “It is finished is actually one word—tetelestai”—and continued with an excellent teaching on the subject.
        Once I realized my typo, we had a good laugh (online of course).

Read more