Grace Isn’t Cheap – But It’s Greater Than Anything

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Dietrich Bohnoeffer, the German pastor who was executed by the Nazis for his role in the Stauffenberg plot to assassinate Adolph Hitler (famously-known as “Operation Valkyrie”), preached against what he called “cheap grace,” a grace without discipleship, without the cross, “without,” in his words,”Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.” It is the kind of grace we bestow upon ourselves without doing a lot of the prerequisite work. And it is truly more than just a few sacred words spoken before a meal.

It might be too easy to define what grace is not. Fortunately, through, we have a guide to help us see what grace actually is: Grace is Greater: God’s Plan to Overcome Your Past, Redeem Your Pain, and Rewrite Your Story by Kyle Idleman.

Idleman, Teaching Pastor at Louisville’s Southeast Christian Church, has written a concise guide about the experience of grace. It is by no means a theological discussion on the doctrine of grace, but over its 188 pages Idleman explains how grace has worked in his own life and in the lives of others whose stories he shares.Grace is, as he states, “best and most fully understood not by way of explanation alone but through experience.”

The grace Idleman invites us to experience is definitely not the cheap kind Bonhoeffer spoke of. There’s work involved – confessing sins, admitting weaknesses, releasing regrets and anger and bitterness and vengeance. God’s grace is greater than all of these and more. The trick is to finally open up and accept it, to stop, as Idleman states:

“. . .trying to outrun God because because he’s chasing you to collect what you owe – when he’s really chasing you to give you what you could never afford.”

That gift of grace is, as Idleman describes throughout the book with stories and scripture, is beautiful, redemptive, healing, forgiving, peaceful, powerful, and hopeful. In short, it is greater than anything that keeps us from experiencing it.

“It is a terrible thing to think of the grace that is wasted in this world,” Thomas Merton wrote in The Seven Storey Mountain, “and of the people that are lost.” Too many of us are uncomfortably cocooned in our sins, bitterness, anger, disappointments, and so much more that we become poisoned, lost.

Hebrews 12:15 instructs us to “See to it that no one misses the grace of God.” And Kyle Idleman’s Grace is Greater can be a way to cut ourselves out of that cocoon and accept a gift that we need.



The Game is (Always) Afoot!

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Why we’ve always loved Sherlock Holmes. Short answer: he’s a study in ourselves.

So What Do Your Students Call You?

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A fair question, answered here on the PrawfsBlawg. I tell mine on the first day to call me “sir,” but only if they ask. Scares the hell out of the freshmen. Mostly they address me as “Professor,” which I’m not since I don’t have a Ph.D. and I’m not on any kind of tenure track. It’s sort of a generic catch-all title. However, I do correct them if they call me “Doctor,” and I say, “I don’t have a Ph.D. I have to work for a living.”

(h/t: Instapundit)

The New and Improved Radio Face Report

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Well, sort of. Thing is, I returned to teaching last year as an adjunct lecturer of English at a major university somewhere in the south. Yes, I’ve posted some critical pieces about the state of higher education over the years, and I still view that realm with a critical eye. However, I do so as someone who has spent more than 25 years in the private sector, who has returned from the wilderness, so to speak. Or as T.S. Eliot put it in Prufrock, “I am Lazarus, come from the dead / Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all. . . .”

(And as a note: instead of searching for a version of Prufrock online so I could find that quote, I actually searched through my bookshelves for my edition of T.S. Eliot’s complete poems and plays, which shows that: a) I fell back onto old-school methods to find a source and b) I actually still have my copy of Eliot’s complete works and knew exactly where it was and which line I was going to use.)

I’ve had some great students this past year, worked with some great folks, and had some experiences where I’ve grown as a teacher and a writing professional. I think I’ve gone as far as I could as a technical writer and e-learning developer. Guess it’s time for a new adventure.


A Big Shout Out to CFDC November Cohort

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Telling this fine soldiers about the importance of using technology to enhance instruction. This is for them:

The Request Line is Open

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And this one goes out to our soldiers in the Juliett and Charlie Cohorts getting themselves ready to train our next generation of Army leaders at the Cadre & Faculty Development Course at Ft. Knox, Kentucky. Going back to 2012 and the first Avengers movie, here’s Soundgarden reminding us that we “Live to Rise!”

Due to the length of this video, play it loud. Huah!

Charlie Cohort is American Badass

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Today I’m teaching another group of outstanding U.S. Army NCOs who are all military science instructors preparing our next generation of Army leadership.

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