When beat up by losers...think like a winner!

I worked at a lumber yard with a man who beat me over the head daily, and it almost killed a dream. The mind games he shot at me were, in retrospect, evil. He mocked the way I walked, my hair, the way I worked (because I could work laps around him), and the even my manhood. I was in the final year of preparing for the Iditarod and this dude who turned out to be one of the biggest losers, was actually in deep pain and wanted the world to join him – one soul at a time. People who are losing can't handle winners or anyone who is winning. It's the nature of lostness!

How do you deal with these people who live in pain and want you to join them? Think like a winner! I'm not suggesting mind games, I'm championing God's truth that's marinating in our minds. Thinking on transcendent things isn't playing games, for God's kids it's our calling to think like a winner..."For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God". What a God, he's constantly coaching, directing, correcting and inspiring us to get our lives aligned with the spiritual reality that we are brand new in Christ and we GET to live like it. We can't afford to get sucked into a losing mindset because what rolls around in our brain in the morning will likely be rolled out in our life by evening. The cause and effect of our thoughts and its direct impact on our lives are undeniable. There is no time to waste on this one. It's time to think like a winner. Not to prop up our self-esteem, but to honor God and get in the streams of His life and our joy! This is the only way to deal with the bully's who want to beat us down.

You gotta get your head around this staggering vision from God: The direct impact of rehearsing God's truth over and over in your mind produces awesome results in your life..." like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers". This isn't a pipe dream or reserved for "super saints", this is God's unblushing promise for you! Please make a note: The flip side is ugly. Hang out with gossipers, mockers, small-thinkers, crass-jokers, downers or holier-than-thou'ers and life ain't gonna be pretty, because over time they get in your head. It's true...you'll start drinkin' and thinkin' from the same bath water..." futile thinking...darkens hearts". But note this little nuance: The absence of right thinking isn't necessarily neutral thinking. It can be setting us up for negative and destructive thinking. My co-worker is a metaphor for the spiritual Committee (Satan and demons) loves to fill empty spaces. So let's get our thinking aligned with God's winning truth.

Col. 3, Ps. 1:1-3, Rom. 1:21

This weekend at 180 Chicago I'll be inspiring you to defend your God-given vision. Join us...(CLICK HERE)

Walk in Truth

Truth is the anchor of substance. Without truth, there is no baseline or starting point. People who can't speak or live the truth are in a race to the bottom - and there is no bottom.

We've all seen that people who can't be truthful or persist in embellishment for their own ends are bound by the law of bravado and movement. They race to diminish one person and soon move on to the next big thing. Drama becomes the necessary mode of operation. Noise is the friend of liars. Quiet reflection on communication is too risky - it may result in the need for confession.

What should we do? Truth telling must begin "in our heart". A heart that is hurting needs to be tended to by God. The unattended or unnurtured heart perpetuates the very pain they've encountered. But here's the real danger – a heart that is not in step with the Holy Spirit will serve almost any other spirit. From the overflow or abundance of the heart, "the mouth speaks" (Luke 6:45).

I have a close friend who saw a need to break the habit of lying and twisting the truth. This happened shortly after they surrendered to Jesus many years ago. They decided to double back and correct any falsehood or half truth immediately upon realizing that they had not been truthful. It took some people off guard and blew away others with their candor. But soon lying or twisting the truth was no longer a part of their life - the pain of confession was replaced by the habit of truth.

Truth is solid ground. We sleep better in truth. The need to justify and dramatize dissipates - peace fills the void. Truth is the bedrock of hope. Truth is the launching pad of a healthy legacy. Walk in Truth!

Who gets to sleep is a sacred tent or live on a Holy Mountain? "He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart; who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend." Psalm 15:2-3

 

Bandwagoning & Rumormongering - (I believe it now more than ever)

Sometimes the impact of a writing comes back like a boomerang. That's the case with this blog. On Monday I wrote the blog below and posted it on Facebook. On Tuesday I did the very thing I despise. On the radio, I made a comment about Tiger Woods. My comment made the assumption that Tiger must have been drinking because he sure looked like he had in his mug shot. Well, within a few hours there were reports that Tiger blew 0.0 into the breathalyzer. 

Now I'm the illustration for my own blog! Please accept my apologies for being so quick to do the very thing that has devasted me personally in the past. I feel like God has used this in my life most which is always his intent. I praise God for his grace and believe every word you're about to read. Like never before.

We live in a speculative and rumormongering world. There is a bandwagon for anything. If you want to dislike someone or something - you can always find circumstantial stuff to support it...always!

This soul-sickness is what afflicted those who crucified Jesus. Anyone can condemn but fewer run to believe the best - saving runs counter to our nature of condemning. Just a few may drive the judgment train, but many join it because the fear of being left out of the gossip or standing alone is just too much to take. But one thing to remember: Someone always pays for cowardice.

I've witnessed this from both sides. I've made broad conclusions only to find out it was based on twisted truth or outright lies. I've also had the same occur toward me. This is the way of our world but we don't have to get sucked into this downward swirling bowl.

God didn't send Jesus to condemn the world but to save it (John 3:17). If you lean toward condemnation you've turned and are leaning away from God. The only solution is admitting it all - times of refreshing will come. God will fill the sails of what has become the doldrums. We can be freed from trying to convince ourselves and others that we're okay.

I now trust almost nothing I hear or read until it can be substantiated with credible evidence. Even then, there is very little worth being consumed with unless we have the ability to effect change. And when our focus is directed toward belief and transformation, it is truly the way to honor God and impact the world.

Fight with Light

Get in the fight for faith and never leave until we break through to the other side! The only thing worse than facing an enemy is the wounding we receive when we turn away. Don't walk away from the goals you've discovered. Never stop dreaming. Don't doubt your gifting. Never neglect your calling. The price God paid to get you on this path was high and the promises of God are too rich to be denied. Each day may appear like a flat-line trajectory, but even holding the ground we've gained can be a lift-hands-high victory. Fight for faith!

There is one thing that changes everything in our fight for faith. God shines light into the darkness. He doesn't leave us groping and guessing. God let's us see that our fight for faith is..."against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." So let God's illumination be your ammunition. If you have a sliver of God's light of truth, stand in it. If you hear the darkness uttering lies, speak the light of truth into it. If you feel the forces of evil deceiving you, ask Jesus to shed the light of truth directly on it. The greatest way to fight for faith is with light.

Every word of God you speak into "this present darkness", lights a torch of truth that let's you make a little more progress. God's word is "a lamp to our feet and a light to our path", so get some light on every situation. Guess and grope no more. Open up the truth, pour in the truth, speak out the truth, and watch your world light up! In our fight for faith, God is not constrained by the weapons of common warfare. Flip on the switch of truth, fight with light, and I'll see you on the other side!

Eph. 6, Ps. 119

Never Try to Hit a Bully - Confront evil with Truth

Intimidation is a tool of evil and it's very effective. It attempts to beat us down and hold us there. Sometimes we can no longer get a glimpse of our God-given dreams...because we're buried under mounds of accusation and condemnation. Satan doesn't need to get physical because his most lethal assault is mental.

That's why he "roars like a lion". Bullies, Satan and demons have something in common, they fight with words and bravado. Evil is a real and powerful spiritual force. Believe in it or not but we're sure to get smacked by it. The blows it throws are always low. It connects well with its target and it always plays dirty.

The reason Satan wants to intimidate us mentally is so we won't get on our feet emotionally. And he will accuse us of almost anything. Here's the problem: Some accusation has an element of truth to it. And evil's plan is to "magnify the memories of our spiritual failures". But no matter the amount of times we fall or the depth of our failure, we have a Savior!

This conflict will never end in this life. The enemy can't be underestimated: Satan is cruel and masterful. And when these two horrendous character traits come together it can be deadly to our dreams. But we are never a slave to evil's intimidation. The wounds are survivable, the chains are breakable, and the dreams God has for us can be reclaimed...if we fight the bully with truth!

This is why we must never try to hit back at evil...we must confront the bully of our soul with truth. 

I Peter 5:8, A.W. Tozier

Two Issues - One Vote

Two vital things drive me to the ballot box for every general election. Never before have I felt such a need to pray and vote – in that order.

This is a brutal political season. I'm not looking at the quality of the candidates as much as the impact of the decisions they're likely to make. Much is on the line. Although voting can't change the hearts of man, because only God can transform lives, we can vote for values that most reflect the heart of a true and loving God.

First, I'm compelled to vote for the issue of life. I'm heartened by this new young generation. The trend lines are moving toward life as never before since Roe v. Wade. Science has allowed us to see the beauty of life in the womb and the world is in awe. What a marvelous creator we have. Now we have hi-def pictures into the home of a child before we bring them into the world and hold them in our hands. I truly believe we will live to see the day when the vast majority of Americans are eager to bring every child into the world – parenting and adoption will become the only humane response of the masses. The day will come when life for every child will be a reasonable freedom – the next emancipation.

Second, our constitution is a document that has successfully crafted and carved "we the people" into the greatest nation in the world. It reflects the heart of God in freedom, work, respect, and honor. The constitution must not change with the whims of culture, culture must be guided by the constitution. Even in a post-Christian America we are a people who are etched with God's image. When our national moral compass pulls at our very cultural fabric, our constitution will keep us true to God-imaged values. Our country cannot afford to be guided by an unmoored judiciary. We must be anchored to a constitution that has allowed us to identify past injustices, correct wrongs, and all without capitulating to the cultural crash of moral relativism.

I know that no matter the outcome of this election, God is ultimately in control. I won't lose my mind, I will seek the mind of God. I won't wring my hands, God's not worried in the least. But while I have such a great freedom, secured by the sacrifice of spilled blood...I will vote.

See you at the polls...

Bulletproof

How great would it be to go through life unwounded and unfazed? What if, more than fending off physical threats, we could take direct emotional/spiritual hits and keep stepping forward? That's not a foolish dream. If we get wrapped up and armored up in God's soul suit, we'll undoubtedly flinch but we can keep moving with victory.

There's a few things we've gotta get branded into our thinking:

1. People are NEVER the enemy. "Our battle is not against flesh and blood". We can see people's actions and hear their words but the power behind every shot we take is from a force of darkness. We need to look through people, almost make them translucent to the minds eye, and see that they are only pawns of spiritual "principalities" (Ephesians 6:12)

2. Some people ARE pawns of the enemy. We must remember that we have all been a pawn of darkness at some point in time. Jesus didn't tell Peter to "get behind me satan" because he was the devil. Peter, in a weak moment, was being driven by personal agenda. He was hasty and off the page of God's plan and God's agenda. Be alert for when people running counter to God's will. (Matthew 16:23)

3. Spiritual wars are NOT your fight. If we fight spiritual forces with our own wisdom and strength we're going to get beaten badly. Sceva's boys got rolled and bloodied because they came to a fight in their own prideful power. If we take on dark forces, even if there's 7 of us, we'll hear the words "who are you" right before we get our spiritual keister kicked. Battle in the name and confidence of Jesus. (Acts 19:15)

4. It's NOT about you. It's a freeing thing to know that we simply don't have to take things personally. Tim Keller calls it the "freedom of self forgetfulness". When we are so secure in our friendship with God, we become increasingly oblivious to the attacks on our lives. When we can truly say, "I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ live in me", we are well on our way to being bulletproof. (Galatians 2:20)

Within each of us is the capacity to hold deep reservoirs of rich and powerful faith. To be so filled with the power of God that we see things for what they are. To recognize that well meaning people can harness a personal agenda and ride right over the top of others. To respond, not just in the name of God, but also with the words that flow from the God who indwells us.

We may never be fully bulletproof. But we can suit up in armor from the inside out. Yes, we can fend off direct emotional/spiritual hits and keep stepping forward!

Through Raging Waters: From Belief To Freedom

If you want to get across a swift moving river there’s only one way to do it. Get it wrong and you may die. Get it right and you'll have a story to tell.

I’d been swept away by a stream or two so getting a lesson from an expert was a Godsend. I’d always walked in with firm steps, eyes fixed on the other side, and leaning sideways as I fought against a raging river. Invariably I’d lose the battle when the water rose to waist level. So watching this crazy dude cross an ice-cold glacial stream that was chest high and make it across? Amazing! 

He did what seemed counter-intuitive. Facing up-stream he stared the raging waters in the face. One tool changed everything. He had a strong long pole held out in front of him, plunged vertically into the riverbed. With every sideways step he moved the pole just slightly and anchored it in the river bottom again, keeping the pole firm and into the teeth of the water that was unrelenting. After 20 minutes he was a touch hypothermic but he made it across. Simply breathtaking to watch! 

There’s millions of Christians today who stand in belief of one side of a spiritual river. But on the other side is true freedom. Freedom from addictions, a foul mouth, laziness, gossip, and pride of every kind is on the other side – getting over is the only way for us to experience the spiritual freedom Jesus came to give us. 

That’s the picture Jesus paints for some Jewish people he encountered who believed but were still stranded in slavery to all kinds of nagging sins – the very sins you and I battle with today. Look at these two simple verses:

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

There is a way to cross over from mere belief and into true freedom. You and I MUST be people of the word. It’s the truth of God’s word that keeps us balanced, solid, and secure in the face of opposition - God’s word is mighty pole of spiritual river crossers. By the truth of God’s word we stay on our feet and taste freedom on the other side. Freedom is not the privilege of a select few. Freedom is for all of God’s kids. Amazing indeed! 

This isn’t a one-time gig. You’ll have more rivers to cross but keep God’s truth and promises ever in front of you. When you’re anchored by truth you won’t be as intimidated by raging forces of evil.  

You believe God? Good! But do you want freedom? Very good! Then get the word of God in your hands and don’t let go. It serves us best when opened regularly. Yes, you CAN move from belief to freedom.

 

Truth - Freedom - Big Steps of Faith

The following truths are designed to bury bad habits and renew our thinking so new habits can be built. Repeat these daily for thirty days and watch what God does in your mind and life.

1.  I’m free to step out in faith because God is ready to take the weight of my fears. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6–7).

2.  When I aim for eternity and holiness, my earthly needs will be fully met by God. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

3.  I can be certain that God will reward every single step I take to honor Him.And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

4.  My next big step of faith is not reliant on my natural ability, but God’s supernatural strength.For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:6–7). 

You never have to get stuck again. These truths will strip off the old thoughts that have covered our minds and allow truth to give us hope. It’s more important to invest time in speaking truth to yourself than trying to fight off lies. Repeat these often and watch radical change continue in your life.

Think Biblically - Live Extraodinarily

What holds us back? "Stinkin' thinkin'", is what one wise theologian once told me! We have to get soaked in truth to escape the fire of lies. Here's some key things from, the soon to release, Volume 3 of The Seven Series. If you haven't jumped into this series yet, just click the link to the right and join the journey. Big Blessings and Extraordinary Living...

1.    I’m free to step out in faith because God is ready to take the weight of my fears.  “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” (I Peter 5:6-7)

2.    When I aim my life at eternal things, my earthly needs will be fully met by God. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)

3.    I can be certain that God will reward every single step I take to honor him. “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

4.    My next big step of faith is not reliant on my natural ability, but God’s supernatural strength.  “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (II Timothy 1:7)

Habit of Hope

Any move we make toward something great requires steely-eyed resistance to shame. Spiritual vitality is the result of seeing all things clearly while not letting the past failures diminish the light of the future. Honesty is the passageway to spiritual and emotional health. Jesus championed clear vision. He said, “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light” (Matthew 6:22). The promise is simple: If you’re willing to step into the light, your future is bright, even if your past was darkened with shame. There is so much hope for your life.  

No matter how many missed opportunities fill our life to this point, today is a new day. God is not tired of you or done with you when you waste extended seasons of opportunity. He doesn’t count the squandered days/hours/minutes against you. Your “misses” don’t anger God as much as they break his heart.

The character of God compels him to extend mercy. His passion for us to win is pure, and he possesses all the power necessary to execute a kick start in any life—your life. Even the most shame-filled lives have found love, acceptance, and power in God. God has more love and light than our sin and shame can exhaust. 

Building a habit of hope and focusing on your future could feel like just another motivational speech that will soon disappoint you. But the difference-maker is God. Fresh starts are what God does and what only God can do.

Tugging on the bootstraps of our life is what some people do to get up. But many try to get up by pulling the covers over their shame. It doesn’t work. Admission of sin and shame is the only way to clean it up. God sweeps away all unrighteousness. That’s not jargon, it’s truth. God’s cleansing power allows you to focus intently on your future.

God is doing a new thing, and it’s time you jump into it. Maybe you can get your mind around freedom from shame, but you still feel like you’re in the middle of a wilderness. Well, you aren’t the first, and here’s a challenge for you: “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:18–19).

God will make a way. You have one job today, and it is to not let shame own your mind or soul another moment. Focus on your future. Tell the taunting voices in your head that God has dealt with the past, so you’re fixing your eyes on the future. You can’t settle for less than God’s best another day. Your journey to extraordinary is underway.

 Matthew 6:22; John 4:1–26; 1 John 1:9; Isaiah 43:18–19

Right Thinking - Biblical Thinking

The toughest battle we face is between our ears. Right thinking is powerful. Biblical thinking is revolutionary. I offer these four truths up to you today. This is just an excerpt from the next Volume of The Seven Series. You can join the journey by clicking on the link in the right banner of this page.

Many blessings and many victories!

  • My weakness is where God’s power begins and dreams are made possible. "But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (II Corinthians 12:9)

  • I don’t need to fear change because God will strengthen me, help me, and uphold me."fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
     
  • Confession of my past failures cleans my slate with God and gives me a fresh start."If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (I John 1:9)
     
  • My life will flourish as I separate myself from fools and saturate my mind with truth. "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. (Psalm 1:1-3)

Hope Matters!

Hope is incredibly powerful. It can heal a broken heart. It can fill our lungs with breath and lift the crushing load from our shoulders. And hope can radically alter our perspective on things that, at first blush, appear completely hopeless.

Here's the awesome truth that evil doesn't want you to know: Hope is both a destination and the vehicle that gets you there. (Romans 5:1-5)

So here's some easy takeaways: Get every hope killer out of your life that you possibly can. Stop negative self-talk right now. Open God's word and pour truth into your mind until it's overflowing onto others around you. Don't ignore the facts of life but never draw conclusions until the "eyes of your heart" have seen "the hope to which he has called you". Let's roll! (Ephesians 1:18)

Personal Revival Is Possible

If we can live and bask in God's direction and wisdom, we'll be tasting a life that is out of this world. To take in a breath and have God's peace grip our heart is a dynamite reality, and it can happen frequently. The potential for us to rise above the noise of a twisted and tangled world is real. The hand wringing, white knuckles and shortness of breath will never be fully eradicated but they can be radically reduced. This isn't "super saint" stuff. And I'm sure not proposing a false spirituality that looks down our nose at others. I'm championing humble dependence on God. This is child of God stuff. So put this in the spiritual bank: When we desire to be blown away by the voice of God...we're in the will of God.

Here's a danger: We can let the power of time with God slip through our hands. Asking, sharing, praising, singing and a bunch of other "ings" are great, but without listening we're going to miss something that could well be mind-blowing. 

Here's the great news: When humble people take time with God, God speaks. The earliest Jesus followers received the biggest breakthroughs from God while opening their hearts and ears to God. While they were worshiping and forgoing some food, "the Holy Spirit said...". This "word" resulted in a massive movement of the gospel around the world. What a beautiful thing. No strategy sessions, no polling and no consultants (by the way, these have their place and are great gifts from God). But this time was just time with God - willing and ready to hear his voice.

Now the payoff! Listening is within the reach of everyone. We don't need a PhD in hearing. All that's required is a humble heart and willing feet to go the direction God points. We can do this. My only advice is simple but a touch painful. Get a sharp spiritual knife and carve some time to hear from God. Keep a bible open in front of you and confirm what you hear with some wise counsel. But make no mistake: We set aside time with God...and we'll be blown away by what we hear. Personal revival is possible

Acts 13:2-3

Gospel is Transformational

The gospel can't help us. It can't even make us the slightest bit better. I know this is true because I tried to bring Jesus into my life, like a fuel additive is added to a tank of gas. It never worked for me because Jesus will never be reduced to the role of an "enhancer". 

This is why so many believe that God over-promises and under-delivers. But the problem is that we've set our sights too low. We desire him to adjust us and take the pain away. But our vision must be greater or our life will never be truly better.

No, the gospel can't help or make us better. Here's the truth: The gospel totally transforms us or it was never the gospel. Take a good long look at your life. Don't talk yourself into something that may not exist. And if you've tasted the power of God's transformation, give praise to God!

John 3

Never Settle For Less Than God's Best (part2)

Renew Your Thinking

Our mind is a battle field. We can’t expect to break from the old and build something new if we approach change in a wimpy, half-hearted manner. Renewed thinking is a life discipline that develops your muscle of faith. Let truth irrigate your thoughts so that old habits die and new habits can be born.

New habits can be built and real change can happen if you rehearse and repeat these truths:

  • “My weakness is where God’s power begins and dreams are made possible.” (II Corinthians 12:9)
  • “I don’t need to fear change because God will strengthen, help, and uphold me.” (Isaiah 41:10)
  • "Confession of my past failures cleans my slate with God and gives me a fresh start.” (I John 1:9)
  • “My life will flourish as I separate myself from fools and saturate my mind with truth.” (Psalm 1:1-2)

You never need to settle for less than God's best ever again. These truths will flush out the old habits and allows new habits to be built. It’s more important to invest time in truth than trying to fight off lies. Repeat these often and watch radical change begin in your life.

What Jesus Did For Us All

Life is a battle and the stakes are high. Recognizing that we are broken and in need of help is the best thing that could happen to any of us. The truth is that self reliance and pride are the enemies of real life. When we have a moment of clarity we're then ready for the deepest and most important questions of life.

If you're uncertain about where you stand with God, this will help clear things up. God's passion and power to save people from their sin and tangled brokenness is truly amazing. Let God speak into your heart and soul. Let him remind you of his goodness or maybe you can taste it for the first time. 

The Cost Is Too Pickin' High

We live in a world without a distinct compass of morality, ancient anchors, or even now...dignity. That's not a view held only by rabid fundamentalists (for which I am not), it's actually shared by an atheist/liberal who recently blew me away with her candor.

In an Interview with Salon, Camille Paglia stated something profound: "I’m speaking here as an atheist. I don’t believe there is a God, but I respect every religion deeply. All the great world religions contain a complex system of beliefs regarding the nature of the universe and human life that is far more profound than anything that liberalism has produced. We have a whole generation of young people who are clinging to politics and to politicized visions of sexuality for their belief system. They see nothing but politics, but politics is tiny. Politics applies only to society. There is a huge metaphysical realm out there that involves the eternal principles of life and death."

There it is, and not from a bible professor at a tiny conservative Christian college. But couldn't this be said of professing Christians who long to be accepted? I'll go first. I've clung to cultural hipness over truth a time or two and I'm sad to say it. I've traded-down for fear of what others might think or that I might be shunned. But the hollowness and fallout of compromise is costly to ourselves and those closest to us. Each time truth is avoided/rejected the lightness is turned a notch lower.

But the slow dimming of our culture is now creeping into the church. Even the church is splitting but this time it's far worse than even worship-style wars. My view is that we're guilty of cultural eisegesis – we're forcing the word to conform to culture rather than allowing the view of ourselves and our culture to be shaped by the word. I've witnessed some good friends trade in their passionate desire to reach people for a passionate desire to be accepted by people. The former causes us to contextualize the gospel, the later causes us to inevitably compromise the gospel. The trade-off will ultimately starve us spiritually.

Just imagine what a "politicized vision of sexuality" will garner us. We'll lose the ability to celebrate the unique design and role-distinction of men and women – forcing sameness instead of being champions of equality. And nothing is as dull as sameness. We stand to lose the beauty and power of the metaphor "bride of Christ". The children who lack the benefit of their biological fathers in their lives have told me how much pain they bare – and yet we risk causing even more confusion and pain for many more children.

God's power is as real today as the beginning of time. His promise of life is for everyone! The standard of truth is not a life constrictor, it's a life giver. We could "gain the whole world" and even that would never fill/satisfy/save our soul. The crazy little secret is that there are many people who are looking for answers outside the mainstream. And that's the secret of Jesus. He loved people, like me, who were swimming with the tide. He bucked cultural currents and called us to come alongside him for the ride of our lives. Here's the truth: There are millions more who are ready to go a new direction. Let's go turn the world onto The Word, and watch him turn things around.

Mark 8:36

Freedom Of Speech For Christians

Freedom of speech for Christians is not a liberty to use recklessly, but it must be exercised. I believe that our freedom requires both the calculation to not sound like a lunatic & the courage to speak in the face of cultural lunacy.

The harvesting of an unborn babies vital organs by "crushing" the baby, so as to not damage the organ is truly the mindset of a lunatic. And we as a nation are complicit through our silence. As Ed Stetzer has said, "Sadly, if Planned Parenthood was selling the body parts of puppies, not aborted babies, the mainstream media would actually cover it."

We are becoming a carnival of hedonism. Oblivious to our shame, we instead rabidly resist the sweetness of truth and civility.

But freedom of speech for the Christ follower champions most the life that is found in Jesus. Our mantra is life in Christ alone. Our drum is grace. In Him, we are just a recovering carnival attendee who was called out of hedonism into the enjoyment of the mercy and love of a good and gracious God. Remember, no one is beyond his reach - I wasn't.