For the Love of Jen Hatmaker, even when she is wrong

Greetings, friends and followers of all things Jen Hatmaker.

I write to those of you who find yourselves disturbed by Jen’s recent, very public response to LGBT issues, specifically where she declared gay marriage “holy.”

My oldest daughter is Jen’s age. In fact, my daughter first introduced me to Jen’s writing, through which I gained respect for this writer’s humor, personality and slightly off-kilter take on ChristiaIMG_0895ns.

Jen has opened some windows and the church today needs the fresh air.

I write because Jen Hatmaker declares herself a Christ-follower. Like the rest of believers, flawed head-to-toe, she needs God’s grace every single day. And so do I. I will not condemn her, or gay people. Period.

But that does not mean I can agree with her theology.

Legal is one thing. Holy is something else. Read more

“The Pursuit of Goals of the Unruly Ego”

Jane Austen’s classic novel Emma had a birthday; she turned 200 a year ago.

A writer for Britain’s The Guardian described the original novel:

Its heroine is a self-deluded young woman with the leisure and power to meddle in the lives of her neighbours. The narrative was radically experimental because it was designed to share her delusions. The novel bent narration through the distorting lens of its protagonist’s miemma-book-covernd.

Emma, has undergone updating by author Alexander McCall Smith. A deliciously clever reincarnation of that “self-deluded young woman” inhabits the pages of this modern retelling.

While I haven’t compared the two books side-by-side, I will say that in both cases the story has a moral.

Almost an imperative, since [SPOILER ALERT] the novel ends with these words:  “You do it too.”

Almost biblical, the ending sets readers on a mission to recognize in themselves the impulse to control other people and manage situations, trying to make improvements in other people’s lives.

And like Emma, we who would do likewise would also expect both to congratulate ourselves for our successes and to receive thanks from those who benefit from our meddling.

Sharing Emma’s delusions

Read more

More Jen Hatmaker and why I drove to Buda, TX Labor Day weekend

In September, the Launch Team for Jen’s book For the Love attended a party at Jen’s house. Yep, that same Big Family Renovation you may have seen on HGTV. Shazam!

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Emphasis on family. And community. And loving people because Jesus loves people.


Earlier in the day, Jen’s husband Brandon did what all great husbands do on party days. Yard work.


All things bright and beautiful, a picture-perfect Texas evening set the scene.

Jen showed up looking like Lorelai from “Gilmore Girls,” all boots and cut-offs––cute as could be.

IMG_7248 Read more

Jen Hatmaker’s “For the Love” Debuts Today

JenHatmaker4Meet Jen Hatmaker

After you read her new book, you will feel as if you know her. And you will think she knows you too. She knows what you are up against. She wants to help readers who find themselves “Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards.”

Jen writes the way a cowboy hero rides. You know, the good guy wearing his white hat comes to town to stand up to the ruthless cattle baron, that character who always wants more. More cattle or land or power over people.

Instead of letting people be defeated by the bad guys, Jen’s mission impossible is to free people everywhere from strangleholds of fear, perfectionism and competition. And did I mention guilt for not measuring up?

Jen says, “We measure our performance against an invented standard and come up wanting, and it is destroying our joy. No matter how hard we work to excel in an area or two, it never feels like enough.” Read more

Harper Lee and Go Set a Watchman Sets Up Controversy


If ever a novel demonstrated the ability of its author to create characters that leave the page and take on a life of their own, To Kill a Mockingbird, published in 1960did just that. Hence, the recently released follow-up novel, Go Set a Watchman, arrives fraught with expectations about the lives of Scout and Atticus.

When last we saw these iconic characters they had settled in an idyllic epilogue to the story that transpired over 3 summers in tiny Maycomb, AL during the Depression.

Atticus stood for truth and justice even when the legal system failed. The children got Boo to come out. Sheltered by their loving father, Scout and Jem grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with readers everywhere.

Readers can still imagine Scout tucked in her bed, Atticus reading to her––even though her teacher disapproves.

Now here comes a Watchman

In Watchman, Scout returns to Maycomb, her fifth visit home since living in New York.

The reader watches Jean Louise’s images from her childhood shattered by what she sees mirrored and distorted in the life of her beloved father. Atticus has become a Southern racist. Read more