I’ve always said that I’d like to feature more American Idol finalists on the blog, so today I’m going to start realizing that goal.

Okay, maybe I’ve never said it. But after today, maybe I will.

Because today, I’ve got Scott MacIntyre, and some excerpts from our phone conversation last week. Scott was an American Idol season 8 finalist, the only legally blind contestant in the show’s history (he has about a 2% field of vision. He’s also got an inspiring story to share, is a great Christian guy, and has a new book out just last week. He’s been making the rounds on television shows lately, but he also made some time to talk to me about Idol, faith, and his new book.

I had a fun time talking with Scott, and we’ve got a couple of copies of his book to give away, By Faith, Not By Sight too, so keep reading. (Oh, and there’s exclusive bonuses, just for you readers, that you won’t find anywhere else.) Lucky!

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Welcome back, everyone.  I hope you had a good Easter.

Chances are, your church may have gone the extra mile to fill some seats yesterday.

It may have been something modest, or something huge.  A couple of Easters ago, I compiled a list of some of the biggest gimmicks churches have ever come up with.  Looks like I may need to update the list, because Eugene Cho has apparently seen the mother of all Easter egg hunts.

Anyway, next week will be a real let down because most of those Easter people will be gone.

And it just reminded me of something.  We can do all kinds of things for people.  But there’s one thing we can’t do.

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Good Friday, everyone.

Today, I’m taking a breather from the blog.  I’ve got a long weekend.  I plan to do some writing.  I’m going to mow my worship guy’s grass because he jacked up his knee.  I may even motivate myself to start painting the living room.  Probably won’t eat any peeps.  If I’m given any, they’re going into the microwave.

Remember this Good Friday, that it was only good in retrospect.  The original Good Friday was pretty dang awful.  And in the midst of all that awfulness, which no one could see past, God’s beautiful plan was coming to fruition.

Maybe you’re having just an awful day…or week…or year.  But maybe in retrospect, you’ll see how God’s beautiful plan was unfolding all along, even when things seemed their worst.

Today, I’ll share with you a few of the blog posts I’ve got starred on my blog reader.  They are amazing.  Go read them.

Is Easter Too Violent for Children?Russell Moore – When you’re done looking for pastel colored eggs, remember that the Easter story is about a gruesome, offensive execution, and a mangled corpse coming back to life.

In the Cleft of the RockAlece Ronzino – It’ll take you ten seconds to read this.  And somehow, Alece has said more than I’ve said all week.

Saying No After Saying YesMandy Steward – Let your yes be yes, and your no be no…unless you promise to make a balloon panda for someone.

The Before and AfterBen Arment – A new version of you is now available.

When I Am GodTim Challies – Amazing.

Have a great Easter, everyone!  What are you doing to celebrate?

Over the course of this blog, I’ve talked with a lot of people who have one thing in common.

They’ve been burned.  Badly. 

And to make it worse, they were burned in church, by other Christians.  A place that was supposed to be safe and free became a place of conflict.  Kind of a huge breach in trust.

Maybe you’ve been there.  It’s not a good place to be.  But I don’t think you can go to church very long without some conflict being inevitable.

Since Easter is this week, I think it’s a good idea to share some of these stories, and finally put them into perspective.

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My wife came home last week, all in a huff.

She had been listening to NPR.  Like all indulgences, I urge moderation when listening to NPR.

Anyway, she told me all about the commentary she had listened to – about TOMS, as in the shoes.  The criticisms were scathing.

We have more charitable organizations reaching into more corners of the world than ever.  People are touching more lives in more ways than ever.  You might even call it a charity boom, like the dot-com boom a decade ago.  But we all witnessed the major meltdown of the Kony campaign.  It makes me wonder if the charity boom is headed for a major crash.

Read on, and decide for yourself.

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This may be the first time an entire city has said, “Good job,” to its local abortion doctor.

Since it’s Friday, and you might want some good news to end your week, I just want to share this bit of local news with you.

See, I’ve never been a fan of abortion doctors. Something about them just seems a little…creepy. But it turns out that Krishna Rajanna, 74, is a hero. He says that during his career, it was a never ending witch hunt, and he’s just trying to do something good. He’s not the monster his opponents always portrayed him as being. Unfortunately, no good deed goes unpunished.

Keep reading to see what makes this guy such an upstanding citizen, and lovable community hero.

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