Monday, October 19, 2015

Christian Marriage, Part 3

Finally! I’ve completed part 3 of a video series about Christian Marriage, and uploaded it so the good people of Barbados Grace Fellowship can get it for their church services.

In case you’ve wondered, this is the kind of thing I do (topical video messages for groups and churches), along with free videos at my YouTube channel (, live video meetings via Skype and FaceTime (, written posts here and at my blog (, and traveling and speaking at churches and with groups all over the globe (

I will be in Charlotte, North Carolina, most of this week, speaking with the staff, members and students of Grace Ministries International. How cool is that?


This was my sunrise this morning. While each dawn is different to me, my Shepherd carries on the same, perfectly.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Turning Zombie

“For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’” (Romans 1:19)

Well, now that we’ve made it past the end of the world—pat yourself on the back—an even more confusing season of lunacy draws near.  The passion of apocalyptic sign reading that afflicts and affects us Christians about every ten or fifteen years or so, is today fading away in favor of another mind-numbing, life-draining effort:  our search for the best sounding just-right political candidate.  It’s going to get ugly.

You can see what’s happening:  we’re turning from real life and true love found with Jesus and the gospel, which results in beautiful evidence and offerings to others of the same thing—life and love—because we’re drawn away by the entrancing scent of the rotten meat of politics.  And we’re turning zombie. 

For those who don’t know what zombies are, they are fictitious, lifeless and loveless, used-to-be-humans, who often gang-up together to overwhelm, feast upon and make converts of those who were before alive.  In the movies featuring zombies, entire communities are converted; life and love vanish, except in those who are prepared.  The survivors insist upon life—they fight for it—and they fight for each other.  They cling to a new kind of family and wisdom, because know what life is and what it is not.

It matters how our government works and how it doesn’t.  It’s important to know who people are that want to direct the affairs of our communities and nation and how they’re going to do it.  I know.  Really.  But the smell of this world’s wisdom—here’s how to make things work—is not as enticing to me as it once was.  Look, I’ve turned zombie in the past.  I’ve gotten ugly.  I’ve felt and behaved like the lifeless and loveless, walking dead, trying to convert anyone I could find with the wisdom of my argument.  I also found the company of other zombies to do it with me.  You know, Republican zombies trying to make converts, while Democrat zombies try to make converts.  (Think of the political parties in your part of the world.  Same thing, right?)  It’s quite an ugly competition.

I can still get that beckoning whiff of political meat and become nearly convinced that it’s perfectly seasoned, filet mignon, with just a little pink in the middle.  And I start to turn.  “Come and get it, zombie breath!” 

But I am not a zombie, and if you’re still reading this, you aren’t either.  Life Himself has come to you, and He has made you like Himself—loving

Since you and I are alive and not zombie, let’s watch over each other with the wisdom that comes from God, which has everything to do with His power and life for us:  the gospel, the good news about Jesus for us.  And, unlike in the movies, the gospel is the wisdom and power of God to convert zombies into fully alive, Spirit-born humans.

Listen to what Paul wrote to the zombie-wisdom threatened Corinthians: 

1 Corinthians 1:20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

So if you’re looking for real wisdom and power, and if you’re looking to help others with real wisdom and power that brings and keeps bringing life and love, then speak Christ, write Christ, offer Christ, share Christ and news about Him, even in the midst of zombies.  After all, the gospel is the power—the antidote—for them, too.  And you will help keep us who are beleaguered by the wisdom of this world from turning zombie.

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”  Romans 1:18

(This is a transcript of yesterday’s video, “Turning Zombie,” and is for those who might rather read than watch.  To see the video, click, or just scroll down this blog.  Photo is from, with text added.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Turning Zombie

Got 5 minutes?  There’s a growing threat coming at you, one that will harm and hinder you, robbing you of life and love. While it comes in the form of wisdom, it leaves you amongst the educated dead.  Your relationships will suffer.  Here’s how to see it and prepare yourself.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Inside Struggle

Today I am identifying where the inside struggle comes from, just as the apostle Paul did. Without Paul’s perspective that commandments empower sin (Romans 7:7-13; 1 Corinthians 15:56 “. . . the power of sin is the law.”), and that it is no longer he, himself, that is the sinner (Romans 7:17-18) because he is a new creation (“the old HAS gone, the new HAS come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17), we will lead terribly confused and powerless lives and, thinking we are still evil and unchanged, attempt life by commandments — the very thing finished by Christ.

Life for new creation sons, who still know the struggle of the flesh, is by grace and the Spirit because we are now spirit—in union with God—and not flesh. The good news is that good, and it’s vital we have it.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Guns and Weapons, Life and Death

I was especially saddened by the recent mass murders at the college in Roseburg, Oregon.  The terrible event has renewed the debate about gun control, as you might expect.  People are being shot, so we’ve got to do something, don’t we?  What’s your opinion?  What’s your take?  Almost immediately after the shootings, great and loud voices were heard seeking to manipulate public opinion.

As I view it, history reveals great swings for civilian life in communities and countries where weapon ownership is allowed for everyone, compared for when it is allowed only for the ruling government.  Most every continent has this swing on display in its history.  If stopping weapon violence and mass killings from weapons is the goal, what does history show is the better position?  Simply put, neither one.  When everyone has a weapon, people die; sometimes lots of people if groups form and fight against each other.  On the other hand, when only the ruling authority has weapons, just as many if not more people die.  That’s history, and this is the tension that we are living in today.  Many of us will at least come close to choosing a position and a side:  weapons for all, weapons for only a few.  It’s the choice of history.

Which side did Jesus support?  Maybe you know the answer:  neither one.

Jesus did not see government, a ruling authority, as the solution to anything, neither did he support the absolute rule of the individual.  Jesus did not come to give us a way to get along with each other, weapons or not.  His purpose was to move us from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light by giving us life — His life.  Not only at the cross, but also in you.  When once you have received that life, your identity and perspective have been radically changed, even if you don’t know it.  To become embroiled in the issues of this world as though there had been no change to you threatens to ensnare you in a way that twists you—even if you don’t know it.  You’re manipulated.  The debatable causes of this world are not entirely unimportant, but in those causes there is no solution, there is no healing humanity’s wound of lifelessness. 

If you have received the life of Christ, then the life of Christ is your cause.  You see “life” as the solution, and you point people to life in Christ.  Where and when people go crazy and do crazy things, you know that they either have no life or they have been manipulated by and into the causes of this world.  They’re confused about life.  They’re twisted, and they act like it. History shows that’s what happens.

The book of Ezekiel, chapter 37, tells of how God led Ezekiel in the Spirit to a valley of dry and lifeless bones, and I can only imagine what Ezekiel might have thought:  “This is not the kind of Spirit-filled day I was hoping to have.  I mean, what am I supposed to do with this?  Shall I stack up the bones and make a monument?  Shall I dress them up, arrange them, and make them look good?  Will that please you, Father?”  Perhaps you know what God had in mind for the dry bones:  life.  His life.  God led Ezekiel to speak to the helpless bones about God’s life because it was the solution.   It was the only thing that would work. 

I’m saying that that is our approach today.  Life.  It’s where our hope is.  It’s what we speak about.  It’s what we write about.  Life—God’s life—is the solution.  Knowing about God’s life.  Growing in God’s life.  Sharing God’s life.  We help people who are ensnared and twisted by the false hopes, lesser causes and solutions of this world, not by choosing a side and joining them, but by recognizing that what we all need is God’s life.  Jesus.  He is the way, He is the truth, and He is the life.  That’s why life showed up 2000 years ago to the troubled people of this world and refused to be dragged into their causes, however good they seemed.  He didn’t join us to choose a worldly side and beckon us to follow Him. 

Jesus said of His cause, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

In my experience, the thief, Satan, the biggest mass murder in history, steals life not all and at once, but incrementally—a little here, a little there—and leaves in the void a substitute, a pretend and false life that is not life and is no cause.  All too often, the absence of life becomes a wound we accept and put up with.  But if we will see the limp and feel the wound, the substitute is exposed and life, God’s life, becomes for us the cure that it is.  After that the substitute is seen for what it is:  this world’s attempt at life that leaves us wounded.  Having found life and healing, we become far less likely to accept the perverted substitute of the thief.  Instead, we find our calling:  to life!  And to the One who gives it.

That’s our cause:  to help each other to God’s life, and to help each other enjoy it to the full, especially wherever we’re limping still.If you want, choose an opinion about guns and weapons.  If you want, choose a political candidate.  If you want, choose a position about abortion, gay marriage, marijuana, taxes, GMO’s, the Middle East, global warming and what team is going to win the World Series.   But beware of arranging dry bones when life, God’s life, to begin with and to be continued in, is the only actual life.

(This is a transcript of the video, "Guns and Weapons, Life and Death," and is for those who might rather read than watch.  To see the video, scroll down this blog page, or click:

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Guns and Weapons, Life and Death

It’s a hot debate:  What do we do about guns?  How can we keep people from killing each other?  Take a few minutes with this video and see if there isn’t another side, a different issue you haven’t considered.  It’s life changing.