Author: Gary Black

“Die Happy”

Have you ever thought about the end of your life? What it looks like, how it will end, and will you die happy? I honestly have not had many thoughts about my personal death—I used to say I would die a martyr, and I actually would proclaim that while I was preaching. It was all ego driven, not Holy Spirit at all. Death is really not the issue for me at all anymore. I now know how I could “die happy”. This past year we have been watching my mother die a slow death. It has been beyond frustrating...

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Simply because of love.

In the past couple of weeks, we have lost two more amazing young men in our community of friends. Each time we hear of the loss of another young life, Lisa and I take a deep breath, but air is hard to find. For a moment it takes us back to the shock, the pain, and the unending darkness. After our Michael died in April 2013, one month and one day after, I did the funeral of his 20 year-old cousin. One year later I did the funeral of one of Michael’s friends and our son Tyler’s best friend....

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Vulnerability, truth, and relentless grace and forgiveness

God has been taking me through a season of reflection and repentance. I am realizing more and more that there are some ways where I have been self-focused and have fallen short with people. He is showing me how important it is that I take responsibility for ways I have hurt or let down people in the past. It is a raw and a very necessary journey into my heart and hopefully into yours. Throughout my life I have rejected God’s mercy because it came clothed in failure and disappointment. I didn’t recognize it because I believed what every...

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Dead at 40, Buried at 70 Something.

A couple of months ago, I had the privilege of walking the Camino De Santiago (something I would highly recommend to do at least once in your life)! As five of us walked through the wine country of northern Spain, a thousand year-old bridge, over 2000-year-old roads, and what seemed to be a place lost in time, we talked. One of the men on our small pilgrimage shared a conversation he had recently had with a young 20 something year old. He asked this young man who was courting his daughter, “Are you a Christian?”. The young man replied,...

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Can you imagine?

This past Sunday evening I gathered around the Barnes family kitchen-table down in Georgia. Seth and Karen, all five kids, a few spouses and two brilliant grandchildren – the food was over the top like it always is with Mrs. Barnes at the helm, and the conversation was loud and the laughter was flowing… As we took the hand next to us for prayer, little Mrs. Emily Barnes-Dunlop broke out in song! The whole family joined in, and we sang at the top of our lungs! It’s what I imagine every family is supposed to be. After dinner I...

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