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.

“Accidental” Life…?


Something that puzzles me about the accidental theory of life is this: If humans have been evolving for millions of years into progressively more advanced creatures, and all the adaptations are ultimately improvements that better equip these creatures for their existence on earth—survival—why did they evolve with a sense of God in their soul?

From my vantage point, the fingerprints of a Creator are everywhere. I find evidence of a Supreme Being in the laws and majesty of nature and in the intricacy of the human body. Every single human cell is an elaborate microscopic system of machines and functions that confound our minds. The universe we call home is a work of genius and divine design—and humans are the masterpiece—from my point of view.

Most notable is that we have a sense of God in our souls and we have a longing to connect with him. I believe he designed us with a longing—or craving—for a relationship with him.

A few people are discovering their way to God and his design for their lives in a life-trajectory-altering way. They have blown past the lies of the world into an intimate and honest relationship with their Creator. They’ve found their way home to their heavenly Father, and they are beginning to experience life that offers fulfillment and purpose—and peace. Life that was designed by a profound Creator.

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.

Flickering Embers…


The flicker of desire to live for something grander than our fleeting selves is not extinguished, even though at times it seems to be. If it was dead, the angst we feel would have died along with it. Even though the desire for something more may be weak, there’s still some life left in it. All it takes is a spark of hope and a breath of inspiration to reignite a flickering ember.

Something within us longs to fulfill the original design even though we don’t fully understand what that means. Just as a seed germinates, unlocking a sprout that wiggles its way to the surface of the earth and then continues to reach upward as it grows to be what it was programmed to be, so the human spirit reaches for the fulfillment of what it was designed to become. It’s in the DNA—the genetic code for all human life.

Invite God to breathe renewed life into your spirit today, reigniting the flickering desire to live life with him today…

A Dazzling Passion…


Passion for life finds its source in our passionate Creator. He has dazzled us with the majesty of his work. The spectacular vastness his workmanship is everywhere. We almost have to remind ourselves to breathe the first time we lay eyes on the Grand Canyon. Who can stand at the edge of an ocean and not feel his power in the crashing waves? And there’s an intimate and tender dimension to the spectacular ways of God. The birth of our child—sperm and egg that became human—unleashes a flood of emotion that flows from a place deeper within us than we knew existed.

I believe God designed us to experience his passion in our lives. Falling in love is one of those passionate experiences. When we fall in love, something from deep within surges to the surface, emerging with such force that we are stunned by the impact. We are unprepared for the intensity of the emotions we feel. Up until that time, our anger or sadness may have been the only emotions that really stirred us. But this is different—it’s in a realm of its own. The feelings are more powerful than anything we have ever imagined.

When we are in love, nothing else matters except the object of our passion. When we’re unable to be together physically, we’re together in our minds and hearts. We fabricate reasons to call on the phone, just to hear our lover’s voice, and we come up with an excuse to stop in—just for a minute. We explain we just happened to be in the area; never mind it was miles out of our way.

Here are the questions of the day: Is this the passion we feel for God? Are we distracted by our love for him? Will we go out of our way just to spend time with him?


Doin’ the C~R~A~V~E


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 exploded out of 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 – or fallen 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 God more than we crave entertainment and comfort? What will make us crave an intimate Vine~branch Life the way the young student craved a gulp of oxygen?

(Thanks to count-the-blessings.blogspot.com for the “satisfy the crave” image!)

An Audacious God?


Consider the audacity of a God who claims to be the “I Am.”

The essence of our Creator is beyond what we can comprehend with our limited one hundred billion neurons—give or take a few. Our brains possess enormous power to conceive and believe, but only to the extent of our innate potential. And we do not have the potential to fully understand or explain God. Human logic is incapable of explaining divine truth.

Our Creator defies human explanation. He said so himself (remember, we’re talking about an audacious God). “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the LORD. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts higher than your thoughts'”(Isaiah 55:8-9).

Many of us have probably made our own bold claims that we can explain the mysteries of God, but we can’t. Our finite brains can never fully comprehend the infinite mind of the One who set the world—make that the entire cosmos—in motion. We like to use analogies, especially parent-child analogies, to explain how God operates. But every example or illustration or analogy falls short of explaining the essence of God. The best we can do is offer a glimpse of who he is…by the way we reflect him in our day to day lives…

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