by Charlie Peacock

In 1986, when Charlie was producing Diamonds and Rain for my band The Choir, he turned me on to chocolate-covered coffee beans. s Charlie has been a great influence on me. He's notorious for all his gifts and talents-as a solo artist, producer, author and spiritual leader-and for being a man of obvious integrity. Even after knowing him all these years, I still stammer when conversing with him. I admire him so. s But I've discovered that he is actually quite "down to earth." Only recently Charlie confessed to me that he had just finished reading an entire series of Louis L'Amour cowboy books. He asked me emphatically not to tell anyone, butsorry Charlie, I made no such promise! Anyhow, the next day I picked up a cowboy book of my own. Ride fast and shoot straight! - Steve Hindalong



Something's wrong and I can't keep quiet. This world is so full of lousy thinking. My brain is filled with lousy thinking too. Since I'm part of what's wrong, I talk to myself about it. I rattle, skip, stutter, and try the best I can (with deft imprecision) to lock my mind around what might be called good thinking. Good thinking is, I believe, learning to think like God thinks. It is my fuel. It is the way of truth, the way of life, the way that leads me to God. Whenever and wherever I find good thinking I give thanks to the Good King.

I give thanks as I try to understand why a trout will rise from the river to take a certain kind of artificial fly. I give thanks as I attempt to comprehend the complex structure of a horse's hoof or what holds a hummingbird aloft. I give thanks to God for the 23rd Psalm, lovemaking, and my friend Phil Keaggy's mastery of the guitar. If it's got God-thoughts in or behind it, I'm thankful.

There is all manner of good thinking to be found in the Bible, but lots of really lousy thinking too. Like a great work of art, the principle of contrast is always at work in the Story-darkness and light. Since good travels in the brightness of light, that's how I purpose to travel as I make my way across the timescape of the hours I'm given. And while I'm traveling I write-drawing on the gift of words-trying to find ways that I can encourage and inspire others to love well through thinking well and doing good.

Years ago, while working in Leatherhead, England I came across an old sundial with these words engraved on it: "Count the Bright Hours Only." If you take Jesus literally, only the bright hours count. I think that's what Jesus must have meant when He said apart from Him we can do nothing. Of course I've done all kinds of things apart from Him. And they were something. But I suppose the point He was making is that because those things were empty of Him, they are empty of any real worth or value. They carried no brightness, no light.

Jesus did nothing on His own, but only what the Father told Him. He was God-directed, about His Father's business. For little ones like you and me, the bright life is composed of doing what Jesus taught us to do. He's pointed us in a God-direction. Part of what makes life difficult is that we keep looking back.

Here is my prayer: I'm going somewhere new and I will not return to this place (call it the Dead Zone). I will not be the same again. I will be changed. After all, how can I follow the Teacher (the Light-Bearer), walk with Him, do as He taught, and not be changed? It's takeover time. Take me over, Teacher. I'm all Yours. I want to know what life is. If there's no life apart from You, then what is life in You? Teach me. This is my request.

How can any of us who profess to be followers of Jesus follow without knowing the answer to the question of what life in Christ is? Or what exactly the Father's business is? Perhaps our stories are the best evidence. When one sees a true follower, they really stand out. Bob Briner was one such follower. Bob's life-work was to give himself away. For most of his professional life he was involved in sports television. He was one of the best writer/producers in the world and instrumental in bringing the sport of tennis to the small screen. In the early nineties he started phasing out of sports broadcasting in order to have more time to write and give himself away. When Bob died on June 6, 1999 he left behind a legacy of mentorship and wise counsel.

Shortly after his death, in the midst of helping plan his memorial service, I made this entry in my journal: "What if every Christian lived life in such a way, that upon their death, a tribute and memorial service had to be planned? I don't mean a funeral; I'm talking about a celebration where thousands are invited and story after story is told of how this one human being gave himself away in the power and in the name of Jesus. If every Christian lived with the intentionality that Bob did, this would be a very different world. And critics of the church would have considerably less to say."

Continue "This Bright Life" - HERE!