Zack James Cole

Sleeping Ugly

BY ZACK JAMES COLE

Do you remember fairy tales? Tales of magical creatures and far away fantasy lands? They were legends of lore that included dragons, magic, a moral to the story or a hero saving the day. I am a history nut and love the old stuff. I am willing to bet that when you reflect on what are considered to be a fairy tale classics…

Sleeping Ugly

The Grace Pirate

BY ZACK JAMES COLE

You may be thinking to yourself, “What is a Grace Pirate? I have never heard of such a thing.” But I am willing to bet you have heard of some fictional person that functions like him. There is almost always one in the religious crowd that will suggest that the message of free grace will create “Grace Pirates.”

The Grace Pirate

The Final Review

BY ZACK JAMES COLE

With a new year comes many new things. In the corporate world, we again introduced to our yearly performance review. This might be exciting for some, but for me, it is always filled with anxiety. Sweaty palms, cottonmouth, an increased heart rate and loose bowels might all be present leading up to the review.

The Final Review

On Being Haunted

BY ZACK JAMES COLE

I am often haunted by my past. I am daily haunted by what I should be doing. I am frequently haunted by what I should do tomorrow. I am haunted by my failure to act like my exhortations, duties, and responsibilities expect me to. I often struggle with looking at myself and observing how I am lacking in living right.

On Being Haunted

NOT The Gospel

BY ZACK JAMES COLE

There was a TV show back in the ‘90s called “Dinosaurs” that I used to sneak into the living room at night to watch. The reason I had to sneak-watch this show was that my loving and protective parents had a problem with the Baby in the show who was very disrespectful (albeit hilarious).

NOT The Gospel

Turnt

BY ZACK JAMES COLE

When I hear the word “repentance” my mind quickly goes to those old terror inducing Chick Tracts. Say the word “repent” and I think of that guy on the corner yelling at me and the rest of the Atlanta United FC supporters as we march into Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Turnt

Enemy Prisoner of War

BY ZACK JAMES COLE

In the United States Marine Corps, part of my training involved Enemy Prisoner of War (EPW) handling. The 6 rules of EPW handling are: Search, Silence, Segregate, Safeguard, Speed and Tag. One of the main objectives is to keep an EPW out of the fight, to remove any hope of fighting, to remove any hope period. Providing a deep sense of being alone is one of the objectives of EPW handling.

Enemy Prisoner of War

Someone Over the Rainbow

BY ZACK JAMES COLE

I hate driving. I am more of a “pew-pew” guy than a “vroom-vroom” guy. I battle my own heart every day in Atlanta traffic. Everybody on the highway might as well be chasing down Ichabod Crane because they are driving like the Headless Horseman. The only thing that soothes the savage beast inside me as I drive is a podcast or music from the 80s and 90s or “real” country music.

Someone Over the Rainbow

Knowing is Half the Battle

BY ZACK JAMES COLE with JONATHAN MAXIM

I cannot recall how many times I sang along to this theme song, punching and kicking as a kid in the 80s. But much of my desire to join the Marine Corps had its genesis in the 80s cartoon “G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.”

Knowing is Half the Battle

The Gift of Righteousness

BY ZACK JAMES COLE

Not that long ago the idea of the “gift of righteousness” was dreadful to me. Being gifted and able to live righteously was a righteous joke. The gospel got me in but I was taught that it’s my job to act like a Christian, grow spiritually, and work on providing evidence that I am saved through my better living and less sinning...

The Gift of Righteousness

Bruised and Smoldering

BY ZACK JAMES COLE

“Obey God and he will bless you,” says the wind and the reed is bent over and bruised throughout. “God will never stop loving you but you can disappoint him,” says the wind and the once lit candle is now a sad smoldering wick. “God never gives you anything you can’t handle” says the coffee mug of Pop Christianity and the soul who is barely hanging on is now tapping out.

Bruised and Smoldering