We all have scars Lines etched into the tents of our bodies that tell the stories of where we have been, what challenges we have overcome and how we have lived and loved: each line – a laugh, each stretch mark – a new life, each jagged white mark – an adventure survived.

When I was five years old, I was playing a boisterous game of hide-and-go-seek with my dad. He hid in an upstairs bathroom behind a shower curtain. When I got to the top of the stairs, he jumped out to surprise me. Surprise me he did! I shrieked and laughed and shut my eyes, running at top speed down the hall and into my bedroom, where I proceeded to trip and hit the bottom edge of my metal bedframe with the center of my forehead, splitting my skin to the bone. It wasn’t pretty. I was rushed to the emergency room where I received stitches and a scar that remains to this day, like a little bolt of lightning – my “Harry Potter” scar.

Looking back, it is one of the happiest moments I remember of him, a day when he was laughing and playing and full of joy, at least until my injury. I wouldn’t trade that memory for anything. I lost him several years later after his very brief battle with lung cancer brought on by years of smoking. I was only eighteen years old. He was only forty-three.

Each time I look in the mirror, I remember how absolutely happy he was to simply be playing with his young daughter that afternoon. This experience served as the inspiration for a chapter in The Prodigal Son called Scars, a chapter that is the most deeply personal in the book for me – a chapter about survival and overcoming and memory and those individual etchings we carry around with us called scars that mark our experiences in this life. As the softcover goes available for sale today, I hope my dad would be proud. Tanya

“Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.” (2 Cor 5:1, NIV



“Now at last they were beginning chapter One of the great story no one on earth has read: which goes on forever”. I love this line at the end of the Last Battle by C.S. Lewis. Everyone has a story to tell and ultimately we are all part of a greater story that someday will be revealed in full. “ For now, we can only see a dim and blurry picture of things”. ( 1 Corinthians 13:12). My story is not remarkable, although the events I have had the privilege in my life to witness have been. I grew up in the south “the land of cotton” and the old times there were definitely not forgotten. I remember where I was and what I was doing when JFK and Martin Luther King were murdered in Dallas and in Memphis. I remember the Civil Rights movement, a time of great unrest and change. I remember the dawning of the “Age of Aquarius” in the late 1960’s. It was also the dawning of my love for playing music, a love that has stayed with me throughout my life. If my life were chapters in a book one would tell of my precious bride of 20+ years who endured so much and stood beside me through the good and the bad. One would describe the blessings of being a father and a grandfather. One would tell about how despite being “the wretch” the song sings about God was able to change me, and use me to make a difference in others lives, make me a servant in His church, and surround me with friends all because of His goodness. All part of a story that has had many twists and turns. I think of the words Jimmy Buffet wrote in one of my favorite songs "As a dreamer of dreams and a travelin’ man I have chalked up many a mile Read dozens of books about heroes and crooks And I learned much from both of their styles" And so it is true for me. But in all of my travels and all I have read and experienced nothing compares to where I am headed. The place where my story here ends and the story that goes on forever begins! "" I am confident that He who began a good work in you will carry it on until completion until the day He returns". Philippians 1:6 My hope is that as we all run our race that in some small way my words will encourage and speak to you, as your story is being written. And draw you ever closer to the One who loves you. Further up and further in!
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