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Thank You Brennan Manning

I owe a debt of gratitude to Brennan Manning.

A few years ago I started diving into a few of Brennan’s writings which started me on a journey that continues to challenge and transform my way of thinking and living today.

But my gratitude goes much deeper than that.

As most of you know, my dad was a pastor for more years than I’ve been alive.  Over those years he preached and taught….I don’t know, probably hundreds of sermons on the love and grace of God.  He knew the scriptures and concepts and communicated them well!  But it wasn’t until the last couple years of his life, as he began reading a handful of books by Brennan Manning and a few others…..that my dad came to this life-altering realization: Believing in God’s unconditional love and grace is a far cry from actually trusting it, experiencing it, and allowing it to transform a person’s life.

And so my dad began a journey – a journey into grace, love, and acceptance.  And that journey radically changed his life.  I mean it deeply, deeply changed him.  Everyone saw it!  He was free.  He even looked physically younger and his energy level and passion for God’s work reached a level beyond what any of us had ever seen in him before.

See, for the first time in his life (at the age of 57!) my dad began seeing himself through an entirely new set of lenses.  He was being released from his constant efforts of trying to earn God’s approval and love.  He was learning how to freely receive acceptance from a God who loved him just as he was – not as he should be.  His days of emotional self-flagellation were over.

Brennan Manning played a huge role in the transformation my dad experienced.  And for that….I’m so, so thankful.

Brennan has just released a new book.  It’s likely his last (I hope not).  The book is called All Is Grace.  It’s his memoir.  The story behind the stories.

It’s been quite a read.  So honest and transparent, yet so freeing and beautiful.

You’ll catch the heart and spirit behind the book in this short snippet from Brennan’s introduction:

Over the tar of my life, I have usually been headed toward something along the lines of “professional commitments.” Or at least I thought they were. But those trips are over now. I am liv-ing in a different emotional direction. I am steering toward home, hardly a poster child for anything … anything, that is, but grace. And what exactly is grace? These pages are my final words on the matter. Grace is everything. I am Brennan the witness.

 

I have 10 free copies of Brennan’s new book (courtesy of David C Cook Publishing) that I will send out to the first 10 people who comment on this post.  Be sure to leave your email so we can email you for your address.

PS – You can read more of my dad’s and The Orchard’s story here.

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scotthodge@churchleaders.com'
Scott Hodge serves as lead pastor of The Orchard Community in Aurora, IL, a missional church community journeying together to become more like Jesus and make a difference both locally and globally. Learn more about Scott at ScottHodge.org.