Passion, Preaching…and Kidney Stones

Crying girlIt’s challenging to describe an over-the-top experience you’ve had to a person who hasn’t witnessed it for themselves. As Mark Twain once said, “A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.”

My friend Stephen Manley is an evangelist, with a passion for what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross that is difficult to adequately describe. His delivery of the the Word of God is one of those things you have to experience in order to fully appreciate.

The intensity with which Manley preaches is intense. It’s like the intensity a person experiences when they pass a kidney stone [I told you it’s hard to adequately describe some things]. Sounds bad but it’s not; it’s just intense. Some things in life are power-packed, and we never forget the intensity of the moment.

When I had my first stone-passing experience, the excruciating pain in that moment assaulted my brain. Nothing but my pain mattered. Within seconds after the initial attack, I was doubled over by the searing intensity of the pain. It felt as if the white-hot blade of a jagged-edged knife had been plunged into my gut. I was digging a hole in the backyard when it struck. I staggered my way back into the house and into the living room, where Rose was reading a book. The look on her face probably mirrored the look on my face as she blurted out, “You’re white!”

Even in the midst of the pain that was making me crazy, I was a little amused by her comment. Rose is Mexican, and she has beautifully dark skin that was passed along to her by her ancestors. Her grandfather was Yaqui Indian, and his skin was the color of burnished bronze. I’m white. My family heritage is English. I was white when I met her, and I’m certain I’ll be white the day I die (which I thought might be that day). She later explained that her comment about me being white was made in reference to the blood having drained from my face.

But this is about the intensity of the moment, not the cultural distinctions between my wife and me. There are no words to express the pain to someone who has not passed a stone. Those who have had their own personal experience need no description. It easy to know who’s had the experience by the unmistakable cringe at the mention of a kidney stone. My mom has “passed” five kids and one kidney stone. She said she’d rather pass the kids.

Manley has this same kind of intensity, only without the excruciating pain. Nothing else matters when he’s preaching other than the Word of God. The message—to have an intimately personal relationship with Jesus—penetrates the deepest longing of our soul. Once again, you can tell who has experienced this intensity by listening in on the conversations following Manley’s preaching. Some folks just want an ice cream cone or a slice of pie and some coffee. Others are still reeling from the invitation to experience passionate intimacy with Jesus.

[Excerpt from Holy Libido]

God’s Story has a Villain

Eve in the GardenLike every great story, God’s story has a villain. The villain in God’s story is Satan. From the very beginning, Satan has had a sole diabolical purpose—to entice us to live our lives outside of God’s plan. Here’s a little background on how this rogue entered the picture.

God the Sculptor was busy at work creating a stunning figure of clay—perfect in every intricate detail. It was a breathtaking masterpiece, more beautiful than the mind can conceive and too stunning to express with words. When the Sculptor completed his work of art, he rested.

While he was resting, his archenemy slithered onto the scene. I imagine he was somewhere nearby as God was forming his masterpiece in the garden. As he watched, he schemed in his rancorous brain how to destroy the splendor of the Sculptor’s creation.

Some of us have wondered why God allowed this to happen. Why did he allow his newly formed works of art—beings of pure innocence—to be subjected to the wiles of one so evilly wise? We wonder if they possessed an understanding of right and wrong since they had not yet eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And if not, how could they possibly have made the right choice? Even if they did understand the concept of right and wrong, they certainly did not have knowledge of the consequences of choosing to disobey. They were like kids in a candy store with only one forbidden piece of candy. “You can have anything in the store, except that!”

We all live with the enticement of forbidden fruit, and we go for it. And we do have knowledge of good and evil, and we know there will be consequences for our sinful choices.

It was no surprise that Satan successfully deceived Eve since he was the master of deception – the Father of Lies – and she was an innocent babe. I don’t believe the fall of humankind was one of Satan’s most challenging accomplishments.

God allowed the deception and the consequential abduction of humanity. But why? The world we live in is all about God’s demonstration of grace, and evil is the variable that makes grace necessary. There can be no rescue without a hostage. There is no need for grace apart from the separation of humankind from God by spiritual death caused by sin. And it is evident throughout Scripture that God is all about redemption, and redemption is all about grace.

Excerpt from Holy Libido: Craving Passionate Life in God…available at and

The group study version, Holy Libido: Spurring One Another On, Coming Soon!


Holy Libido! Will You Pass it Around the Globe?

Holy Libido_3-D Cover

We are THRILLED with the response we’ve received to the release of Holy Libido!

Here’s the thought I had this morning: With all of Rose’s friends and my friends on Facebook and Twitter, and with all of our friends friends, and their friends…AROUND THE GLOBE…I’d love to see how far and wide we can spread the news.

So here’s my offer/challenge: If you’d be willing to post the link to this blog on your social media site…whether Facebook or Twitter or Pintrest…or any other site, we will enter your name in a drawing for a personalized copy of the book.

Just let me know you’ve passed this along by sending me a direct message on either Facebook or Twitter (or by responding to this post). If you’ve already purchased a book (THANK YOU!) and if you win the drawing, I’ll personalize a book for your family member or friend.

Holy Libido in the softcover format is available on The e-book should be available on Amazon by June 10th.

I’m excited to think about this message making it around the world!

May the Spirit of God blow your mind with his splendor flowing in and through you…for your good and HIS GLORY!

You can watch the trailer here:

Holy Libido ~ Christian News Wire Release!

We are the most effective way to get your press release into the hands of reporters and news producers. Check out our client list.


‘Holy Libido’ Ignites a Craving for Passionate Life in God
Author Roderick Lee Smith uses refreshing humor and a bit of wisdom to take on the challenging topic of developing an intimate relationship with our Creator

Contact: Robyn Williams, WinePress Publishing, 360-802-9758,

SEATTLE, May 20, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ — It seems that books espousing intimate relationships are all the rage today. So how about a book that fans into flame our deepest desire for an intimate relationship with God? According to author Rod Smith, we were designed for a life of splendor, and we experience a hint of the original splendor as we allow the passionate Spirit of God to flow freely in our lives. Throughout the pages of “Holy Libido”, readers will be amused one moment, and moved to tears the next by stories of both triumph and tragedy. They will be compelled to pursue an “all in” relationship with God as they learn about the importance of removing the spiritual debris that has accumulated over the years.

Smith grew up as a country boy, and has always had a heart for adventure. And he has always enjoyed the “tension” questions about God’s plan for us while we’re here on earth. His life has been tempered with both deep trials and hard-fought victories, all of which have made him a man deeply in love with God. After obtaining a PhD from Purdue University, Dr. Smith became a marriage and family therapist. During his nearly twenty years as a therapist, he encountered many people who shared in the struggle to find a transparent and fulfilling relationship with God.
“Holy Libido” inspires readers to abandon the lies of the Enemy, and get on with allowing God to be God in our lives. Smith goes places that many fear to go, and does so in a way that is both entertaining and inspiring.   “Some of us have plugged God in as the copilot of our lives,” says Smith. “He’s welcome to ride along with us, just not behind the driver’s wheel. Others of us seem to have more faith in luck than we do in God. We still knock on wood and cross our fingers and hope for the best. We wear a shiny and bright cross around our neck like a lucky rabbit’s foot…”
Smith wrote the book he would like to have read years ago in the early days of his journey with God. It is a book that will serve as a guide for anyone who craves a life-transforming relationship with his or her heavenly Father. Only in an intimate relationship with God will one be able to live the life they were designed to live — a life with a bit of splendor.
Watch the book trailer online! Click Here.
For more information, to request a review copy or to schedule an interview, please contact Robyn Williams by phone at 360-802-9758, by email at, or by fax at 360-802-9992. To purchase a copy of this book visit or call 877-421-7323

What is Holy Libido? (Part 2…)

As a marriage therapist for nearly twenty years, I was invited into the personal life stories of hundreds of people. I was invited into the profound struggles, and the anguish of life gone wrong. Early in my practice, I mistakenly believed that if I offered godly counsel to those who came to see me for help, their lives would change. But frankly, I saw very little authentic life change. Most clients were happy to settle for a momentary reorientation that made life a little more manageable…for a while.

I think there are a couple of key reasons for this. One reason is that too many people are hoping that the world around them will change to make their lives more suitable and comfortable. Few people I’ve met are truly willing to allow God to do the deep work of healing that needs to be done within them. And the second reason is that too many people seem to be blind to the truth about themselves. We all have the uncanny ability to see clearly the truth about others, but we fail to see the truth about ourselves with as much clarity or keenness.

But there were a few that experienced deep transformation within their hearts, and the change within their hearts inevitably resulted in radical transformation in their lives—and in their relationships. I wish I could say these true transformations were the result of some profound wisdom I shared with them. But that would not be true. The eruptions of transformation were simply the result of God’s Spirit igniting a dynamic desire—or craving—for an intimate relationship with him. It was as if he super-charged their spiritual libido. And along the way of transformation, God’s Spirit began blowing away the obstacles—whatever they were—that obstructed the flow of his Spirit.

So, I have no fantasy in my mind that I will be able to say anything in Holy Libido that will change your life. Not even a fleeting fancy. Every libido-fired transformation I’ve witnessed has been triggered and facilitated by God. He simply invited me along for the adventure…to behold our Creator at work to restore a bit of the original design in a person’s life.

I wrote Holy Libido to share what I believe is the profound possibility of passionate life in God. I pray that you will sense his Spirit stirring something within you as you read. And I pray that you will begin to crave him—deeply—and that you will experience more of the splendor of all that he wants to be in your life.

(Holy Libido will be published in early 2013)

What is Holy Libido? (Part 1…)

Holy Libido is intended to be a disruptive book. It may rouse an insatiable craving—or libido—for the passionate flow of God’s Spirit in your life. The unrestrained flow of his Spirit in our day-to-day lives reignites a hint of the original splendor of what our life on earth was designed to be.

Of all the things in life that have perplexed me, nothing has baffled me more than this: If God breathed himself into us, making us humans in his image, why do we tend to live such disoriented lives—spiritually speaking? If the infinite energy that makes us us is energy that radiates from God himself, it seems to me that we should need to exercise extreme caution so as not to explode with his splendor. But we don’t explode with his splendor. We rarely even sense a quiver of his splendor in our day-to-day lives.

We’re invited to be a part of something so much bigger—so grand in scale—we can only begin to imagine the height and depth and breadth of the plan. Holy Libido is a quest to discover in greater depth what that “something” is—becoming the person we were designed to be. The good news is this: We only need to be willing to imagine the possibility. Sometimes that’s where we begin—simply considering the possibility. Possibly the longing in your spirit is there because God put it there. Could it be true? If so, we can be assured that everything we need to know in order to experience this life will be revealed to us . . . in the fullness of his time.

I have an idea about why our lives are so “ordinary.”  I believe that we accidentally block the flow of God’s Spirit in our lives. Over time, we adapt to the anomalies within us and along our path, and our adaptations impede the flow of life—which is the flow of God’s Spirit within us.

But even though we’ve learned to adapt, we’re not altogether happy about our adaptation. Something within us still wonders if we’re missing something. A part of us yearns – or craves – to experience more of the splendorous image of God in our life. (to be continued…)

(Holy Libido will be published in early 2013)

Here’s the cranberry with different color fonts…easier to read?

Got a minute to help?

We’re in the process

of selecting a cover concept for

Holy Libido,

and we need your help!

Which of the two concepts do you prefer:

the one on the left, or

the one on the right?

Thank you for your input!!

Gasping for God…

There’s a story about a young man who came to Socrates in his quest for wisdom. The great philosopher told the young man to follow him, which the lad did submissively. Together the two men walked through town to the edge of the ocean, then continued their way into waist-deep water. Socrates stopped, but he instructed the young man to continue walking. Obediently the lad continued walking, looking back occasionally for reassurance he was doing it the way the teacher wanted him to do it.

Soon the young man was submersed beneath the water’s surface. Intent on following the instruction of the master, he stayed under for as long as he possibly could. His mind was racing to understand the lesson. Finally he burst from the water, gasping for a breath of air. He was agitated and perplexed by what seemed to be a mockery of his quest. But the lesson was simple. “You will find wisdom,” Socrates reassured him, “when you crave it as much as you did a breath of air.”

We know how to crave. We do it all the time. But we crave the things that satisfy our second nature. Things like being happy, for instance, or an addiction to sports, or a love relationship with Mammon. Cravings of the flesh squeeze the life out of our relationship with God and with our family and friends. Yet we feed our craving . . . (un)naturally.

What will cause us to crave life the way we crave entertainment and our comfort and looking good? What will make us crave life the way the young student craved a gulp of oxygen? What will compel us to pore through the Scriptures with a fervent desire to find our daily connection with our Creator? Usually the craving for a deeper life in God is the result of some kind of disruption in our lives. We need something to awaken us from our slumber. We need something to pinch off our air supply of self-sufficiency.

(Excerpt from Holy Libido, to be published by WinePress)

Captain in Chains…

A sea captain was charged with treason and was chained to the mast, where he would remain for the rest of the voyage. He was replaced by a new captain who took over the helm. As the ship sailed on, the chained captain continued to bark out orders to the men, just as he had always done. Some of the crew members were inclined to follow his orders because that’s what they had always done. When the chained captain shouted, they instinctively sprang into action, obeying the commands of a condemned man.

The other men knew they were no longer under the old captain’s authority. Their allegiance belonged to the new captain, so they responded only to his commands. These sailors knew the chained captain was sentenced to die when the ship reached port; his power was broken. For the rest of the crossing, the condemned captain could do nothing more than spew empty threats.

Satan is chained and he is scheduled for execution, and our new Captain is at the helm of our ship. Our allegiance is to our Captain who broke the chains that bound us because he has set us free to live life the way we were designed to live it. When God determines it’s over, the chained captain will be silenced, and we will enter into the eternal life for which we are being prepared. In the meantime, there is no need to listen to the terminally condemned captain, let alone do what he says.

If you have not committed your life to God, you are being brainwashed by the diabolical god of this world. I realize that sounds harsh and possibly judgmental, but I can’t think of a reason to soften the reality of something so eternally important. “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor. 4:4). If this is true for you, you are going through the motions of life, but you are being held captive by the condemned captain, marching to his orders.

Unfortunately, those of us Jesus ransomed often behave as if we are still under Satan’s spell. Satan’s best shot with a true Christ follower is to create the illusion of power and control in his or her life. He even masquerades as a lion. “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8 NLT). But Jesus is the true Lion—the Lion of the tribe of Judah (Rev. 5:5). Satan can only pretend to be a lion. Does Satan’s roar bring to mind the bellows of the chained sea captain?

~excerpt from Holy Libido

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