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

Hot buttons!

Our second nature came equipped with hot buttons. We all have them. When these buttons are pressed, an eruption of indignation lets loose. It’s an explosion of renegade neurons firing wildly in our heads. All of our buttons are linked to our self-serving or self-protective tendencies in one way or another. They remind us of the ways we’re conformed to the world.

One of these standard equipment buttons is the button of our rights. We have the right to be happy. We have the right to be loved and respected. We have the right to a short line at the grocery store. We have the right to an unobstructed traffic lane. We have the right to spout our indignant opinion. And we have the right to be wrong, without having to admit we’re wrong. We even have the right to protect our rights. When this hair-trigger button is pressed and our rights are “violated,” we can go from zero to livid—from sane to insane—in a neurological flash.

As Christ followers, our rights become secondary to what is right from God’s perspective. In fact, we need seriously to question whether or not we still have any rights at all. Based on God’s Word, “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal. 2:20). So, in essence, I’m a dead man. What rights does a dead man have?

When I look at situations from God’s vantage point, I learn that my most godly right is the right to waive my rights. Or possibly that should read the right to waive my phantom rights. The default mode of my second nature is to stake my claim, defend my ground, and set the world straight, but when I am in the flow of God’s way, these things no longer make sense.

Satan wants to bind us up in our phantom rights—the rights we no longer have. He smirks at the things we cling to, like our grudge-encased right to judge, for instance. Or even our right to be hurt, or offended. We are tempted to react according to the gospel of our own selfish ambitions. After all, it’s our second nature.

Every day, all day long, we are confronted with decision points…will I do what I feel like doing, or will I submit my way to the guidance of God’s Spirit at work within me? These opportunities are forks in our path, and we will choose to go one way or the other.

A Leap of Faith…

Christ followers accept the Father’s teaching with the same unquestioning trust a child displays when he believes what he’s told by his dad. My son Derick illustrated this principle to me in a way that has always stuck in my mind. I was attending Purdue University at the time, and I lived with my family in a mobile home park near the campus in West Lafayette. Whenever I got an opportunity, I enjoyed hanging out with my young sons, Derick and Aaron.

During one these special times we were wobbling a Frisbee back and forth between us when somehow it landed on the top of the trailer. So I did what any safety-conscious dad would do. Rather than boosting Aaron up, who was lighter, I decided on Derick, because he was older—about five years old. Aaron was two, and my better judgment told me he was a tad too young to be on the roof alone.

As I boosted Derick up onto the roof to retrieve the Frisbee, I reminded him to be careful. That’s what good dads do. I didn’t want him to learn from experience what it felt like to fall from that height. Derick tossed the Frisbee to me, and then asked how he should get down. I told him to jump. As soon as the words—or rather word—left my lips, he was in the air, headed in my direction.

I didn’t think about it at the time, but afterward I wondered how much more free-flowing my life would be if I was as trusting of my heavenly Daddy as Derick was of me at that moment. At the time I was just focused on catching him. He was in the air, and the only thing between him and the concrete pad was me.

There’s no need for a Christ follower with the mind of a trusting child to understand why it’s safe to trust. We just do. And we don’t need evidence to prove what God has told us. Our faith is never bolstered by studies and discoveries that prove by science that the impossible may be explained by scientific knowledge.

(Excerpt from Holy Libido)

Hey people, take your places!

Possibly you’ve heard a movie director shout into the megaphone, “Okay people, take your places!” If we’re paying attention, we’ll notice God is calling us to do the same thing. The Director of Life wants us to find our place in the story. For many of us the flow of our spirits has stopped because we lost our place in the scheme of things. How have we lost our place? As silly as it sounds, some of us have elevated ourselves to a place we do not belong. We are pretending to be God. Whoever would have dreamed up such a silly idea?

Possibly you have heard there’s a difference between you and God? Actually, there are several differences, but one of the big differences is that he doesn’t think he’s us. He’s not trying to be us; why are we trying to be him? We need to let God be God. It’s difficult to word this in a way that makes good sense because God will be God whether or not we let him be God—in the grand scheme of things. His God-ness is not dependent on whether or not we approve of him being God of the universe. He is the “I Am.” Nothing is going to change that. So a better question is whether or not we’re letting God be God in our lives.

Life…at a wild speed…

Life is meant to be a fantastic heart pounding adventure. At least that’s the way it seemed to me one day when I was in my early teens. It was a picture-perfect morning in Michigan and I was riding Cheetah, my Quarter Horse, at a reckless gallop across a field of alfalfa. With the spring-fresh wind in my face the exhilaration of the moment filled my entire body with delight. It seemed natural to release my grip on the reins and lean back in the saddle, with my hands stretched high into the air. It was something I had seen in a movie and I was living it—the unrestrained freedom of such a breathtaking adventure. At that moment I determined to live my life at a wild speed with the wind in my face.

The next moment I was tumbling through the alfalfa like Raggedy Rod. I my fleeting thought it would have been better if I was holding onto something when the ring-necked pheasant flew up directly in front of Cheetah. I’m sure she was as surprised as I was when it happened. She veered to the left and I didn’t. I went straight. I think that’s called inertia—one of Newton’s laws of motion.

Cheetah circled back around to pick me up. As I was climbing back on the saddle I felt a little dejected. The reality of how fleeting these moments of elation are came crashing down on me—literally. As I rode back toward the barn with a firm grip on the reins I remember the distinct realization that the thrill of life could be easily tripped up; taken off course. The sensation of tumbling through the alfalfa has come to my mind several times throughout my wild, crazy ride through life.

But I’ve never given up on the idea we are created for something more profound than the lives we live. Knowing we are the brainchild of the One who spoke the magnificence of all creation into being, somewhere deep within me I believe we are created for something much greater than ordinary life. Possibly just knowing we were created for something more than the life we’re living today, even if our knowing is nothing more than a faint sense that something is missing, may be all we need to get on with allowing our original splendor—the splendor of God—to flow in our lives.

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