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You’re never going to be truly filled with joy unless you truly know yourself for who you are, and until you are a real sinner with a real savior, you will be a hypothetical and theoretical sinner with a hypothetical and theoretical savior. — Derek Webb

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Josh has an incredible heart for God and is passionate about helping create environments that lead people to experience God.  He has tremendous gifts that enable him to help churches advance the Kingdom of God.

How I Remember Brennan Manning

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Church

I’ll never forget that day, walking through the hotel, stumbling across him. Here sat this great contemplative, sitting there on the couch almost as if he were waiting for me, expecting me to sit down next to him. He wasn’t like other famous writers or famous celebrities. He had the time, and he was glad to share a few moments with me.

His name was Brennan Manning.

The Ragamuffin Gospel was perhaps one of his greatest works, and one that I have read over and over again. It’s impossible to read and come away unscathed.

His last book, “All Is Grace,” is not just a beautiful picture of his tortured story, living in the tension of the already and the not yet, but somehow paints the picture for all us of what it means to live by grace.

“But if I’ve learned anything about the world of grace, it’s that failure is always a chance for a do-over.” -Manning in All Is Grace

Part of why I’ve always been attracted to Brennan Manning, and why meeting him had such a profound impact on my life is because I’ve met and worked with hundreds of so-called celebrities.

I’ve worked with Usher, Jay-Z, John Legend, Babyface, The Roots, and even Stevie Wonder to name a few. And although they could be considered great in the world’s eyes, not a one could compare to the beauty of Brennan Manning.

I have loved reading many fellow authors’ rememberings of Brennan. This notion that a man could be so torn and tattered, full of depravity and yet overflowing with the knowledge of grace, speaks to my soul. The dichotomy that in one minute, Brennan, could be warm and inviting, and the next a cold, embittered soul, comforts my own trite wanderings.

But of one thing I’m sure, he’s experiencing some glorious grace now! I imagine him hearing the words, “well done,” by our Great Father. What a truly glorious thought!

I am a fellow wrestler, as Brennan was, and I’m sure you probably are too.

May we all continue to wrestle in grace following Brennan’s example, to finally end up knowing “All Is Grace.”

If you have any fond memories of either reading a Brennan Manning book or hearing him speak, I’d love to hear about them!

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Josh Collins

Josh Collins is a Communicator and Experience Architect who lives in Franklin, Tn. His passion is to create awesome experiences that change the way we engage audiences and help you do the same.
  • http://www.ipaintiwrite.com/ Pamela Hodges

    I wish I could have met him. I have never read any of his books, however they are on my wish list. I did order “Telling Secrets” by Buechner. What book by Manning do you suggest I read first?
    My goal is to write a short memoir.

    • http://thejoshcollins.com/ Josh Collins

      Well since you like memoir, you definitely need to check out All is Grace by Brennan. It will move you!

Posted on: April 16, 2013

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