Scott Hodge


Thank You Brennan Manning

Nov 2, 2011

I owe a debt of gratitude to Brennan Manning.

A few years ago I started diving into a few of Brennan’s writings which started me on a journey that continues to challenge and transform my way of thinking and living today.

But my gratitude goes much deeper than that.

As most of you know, my dad was a pastor for more years than I’ve been alive.  Over those years he preached and taught….I don’t know, probably hundreds of sermons on the love and grace of God.  He knew the scriptures and concepts and communicated them well!  But it wasn’t until the last couple years of his life, as he began reading a handful of books by Brennan Manning and a few others…..that my dad came to this life-altering realization: Believing in God’s unconditional love and grace is a far cry from actually trusting it, experiencing it, and allowing it to transform a person’s life.

And so my dad began a journey – a journey into grace, love, and acceptance.  And that journey radically changed his life.  I mean it deeply, deeply changed him.  Everyone saw it!  He was free.  He even looked physically younger and his energy level and passion for God’s work reached a level beyond what any of us had ever seen in him before.

See, for the first time in his life (at the age of 57!) my dad began seeing himself through an entirely new set of lenses.  He was being released from his constant efforts of trying to earn God’s approval and love.  He was learning how to freely receive acceptance from a God who loved him just as he was – not as he should be.  His days of emotional self-flagellation were over.

Brennan Manning played a huge role in the transformation my dad experienced.  And for that….I’m so, so thankful.

Brennan has just released a new book.  It’s likely his last (I hope not).  The book is called All Is Grace.  It’s his memoir.  The story behind the stories.

It’s been quite a read.  So honest and transparent, yet so freeing and beautiful.

You’ll catch the heart and spirit behind the book in this short snippet from Brennan’s introduction:

Over the tar of my life, I have usually been headed toward something along the lines of “professional commitments.” Or at least I thought they were. But those trips are over now. I am liv-ing in a different emotional direction. I am steering toward home, hardly a poster child for anything … anything, that is, but grace. And what exactly is grace? These pages are my final words on the matter. Grace is everything. I am Brennan the witness.

I have 10 free copies of Brennan’s new book (courtesy of David C Cook Publishing) that I will send out to the first 10 people who comment on this post.  Be sure to leave your email so we can email you for your address.

PS – You can read more of my dad’s and The Orchard’s story here.

28 Responses to “Thank You Brennan Manning”

  1. Tonja says:

    The journey your dad took, and the way it transformed his church and your life, is fascinating to me for several reasons. I printed out the blog post you wrote about it and keep it in my desk drawer at the church where I work. I’d love to read this book about the man who influenced your dad!

  2. brandon Morris says:

    Here’s my comment looking forward to reading the book

  3. Rob Griffin says:

    Awesome article Scott! I feel such an kindred attachment to this! Your original article about the transformation–especially your dad’s journal–helped me greatly! Be blessed! Rob Griffin!

  4. Eric Kieb says:

    Hey Scott,

    I love Brennan. His book the Ragamuffin Gospel transformed my own life so much so that my first born son is named after him. I’m halfway through this book and literally I have laughed and cried. Oh that we could all live with that kind of honesty and transparency!



  5. NathanaelV says:

    This is very encouraging to read Scott, I am glad that Brennan influenced your father and that his story has helped to cultivate your story.

  6. Scott says:

    This is incredible. Thinking about my dad and my son, how awesome this must have been for you. If nothing else, I need to find this book and read through it!

  7. Adam Nunley says:

    Incredible! Thank you for share the story about your dad.

  8. Troy Medlin says:

    Brennan Manning has also helped me tremendously in my journey and appreciate him very much!!

  9. Looking forward to reading the book.

  10. I LOVE BRENNAN MANNING! You rock! :)

  11. Scott… Brennan Manning has been a huge influence in my own life, too!Ragamuffin Gospel is one of the best books I have ever read. I;m totally exited that he;s got a new book out, especially one that gives us an insight into his thinking and soul. I love your dad’s story, and have been inspired to go back and read my Manning books again. Thank you!

    Todd Garrison

  12. justin Prim says:

    it sound like this man really did wonders for your dad and your family. I think i am going to go and. get one of his books to start reading. but as for this book if you could give it to my sister intead that would be great. thanks

  13. Marc says:

    What an incredible journey. I always want to trust in that same unconditional love and grace.

  14. Would love to read the book. Thanks Scott!

  15. I agree. His writing totally redefined Grace and understanding my connection to God. Beginning with reading “Ragamufin Gospel” in College, and Abba’s Child and more, I too awe a debt of gratitude, both in my personal spiritual journey, and in my leadership to the influence, shepherding, challenge and encouragement in the writings of Brennan Manning.

  16. Edgar says:

    It is an awesome thing to see our parents change. It gives us hope that our story is still in the making, doesn’t it? Manning’s “Furious Longing of God” was a life changer for me. Manning’s writings are so fresh for those of us who have long lived in the midst of organized religion and have been shaped by church.

  17. NathanaelV says:

    It is encouraging to read personal narratives and the ways others have influenced other people’s journeys. To know in some detail of the “many dangers, trials and snares” your father went through to get where he needed to be and then on to you, what a legacy! God bless you on the road you’re on Scott!

  18. Wendy Hagie says:

    The book sounds wonderful. Amazing how God has used Brennen Manning to touch so many lives! Mine included

  19. Jeff Brace says:

    Love the story of your dad and Orchard. Would love to read this book!

  20. The line in Ragamuffin Gospel “disciple with the cheese falling off his cracker” was one of the most beautiful, freeing lines I’ve ever heard. As your dad experienced, I truly felt set free by that little phrase, and the greater concept of grace and forgiveness. So glad for Manning’s voice, and can’t wait to read his newest work. Congrats to the first ten!

  21. Randy Schoof says:

    Scott, I’m thankful to have known your dad well – as you know he was my mentor, friend, and partner in serving Jesus in Aurora. It was awesome to see him come to experience God’s grace and freedom in a huge way. I miss him a lot!

  22. Tammy says:

    This book was great! I’m so thankful you told me about his writing a while ago. His words speak to me in an unbelievable way. I love hearing about the amazing changes in your Dad. Those changes he made are the reason The Orchard is what it is today, and I am incredibly grateful to him and you for following God’s plan for this community.

  23. Julie Vogt says:

    “Ruthless Trust” by Brennan Manning has been the most life changing book I’ve ever read! Thanks for making me aware of his latest release….I’m going to carve out time to read it!

  24. Josephine says:

    Didn’t make the 1st ten but I plan on getting Brennan Manning books on audio. Sounds truly liberating.

  25. Peter Carino says:

    I have seen your journey through your posts over the past few years. I appreciate your transparency, honesty, and truthfulness. I can see how Manning and others (Richard Rohr, et al) have had a great influence on you and your ministry. It is often through the greatest failures and tragedies in our lives that we truly encounter the transformative grace of God. What our culture tells us to run from, grace invites us to run to. I am thankful for you many posts on grace over the years and for the way that you proclaim that grace!

  26. Scott Hodge says:

    Pete, thx for your kind words. You’ve been a faithful reader. Appreciate you. -SH

  27. Scott Hodge says:

    Thanks Tonja, glad you were encouraged by it! -SH

  28. Scott Hodge says:

    Thanks Randy, he loved you a ton. Thankful you had the opportunity to hang w/ him. Appreciate you friend! -SH

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