Why Not Hook Up?
Sexual desire is a spiritual phenomenon. When I touch this keyboard, that's a physical act. But a man and woman can just look at each other from across the room and experience a physical stirring without any physical contact.
Sexual intercourse brings about a spiritual bond between the partners. You'll remember that person and that experience for a long, long time--even when you want to forget it.
Spiritual bonds are eternal. Acts that bear eternal consequences are not designed for temporary relationships. (from “How Demons Enter--and Leave" in No Small Snakes: A Journey into Spiritual Warfare)
Father, forgive me for criticizing people instead of praying for them.
A Bad Prayer
As a Father, God enjoys giving good things to His children. All too often, however, we resist, saying, “But I don’t deserve it!” And that, of course, is quite true. What could any human being do to deserve Jesus’ dying for you?
Jesus is not about what we deserve. He’s about what the Father wants to give us, because if we don’t receive Him, we can’t know God as our true Father and receive His power to do what He created us to do.
If you want to pray, “God, give me what I deserve!” let me have a minute first to get out of the way, so I don’t get toasted when the lightning strikes you. If you want to fall gratefully on your face and pray, “Thank you, Father, for giving me what I don’t deserve,” I’m with you.(from Religion vs Reality)
The world scoffs that modesty is just an imposed cultural taboo or a religious guilt trip. In the Bible, however, Adam and Eve’s turning away from God prompted an awareness of shame, which focused on their sexuality with the fig leaves.
From this view, modesty is not simply fabricated and imposed, but intrinsic to our human sin-nature, an organic response to exposure. As such, it cannot be overridden—as today’s media nakedness--without beckoning that sin-nature and wounding the human spirit. (from Sexuality & Spirituality: A Marriage Made in Heaven, book in progress)
Peace Is Not Quiet
Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of Jesus. (from Religion vs Reality)
Santa Barbara Campus Shootings
We're getting too good at civic mourning. Today our local University of California Santa Barbara had a memorial service for the seven students killed last week and almost 20,000 attended. Time and again this ritual is taking place in our country. I can’t help wondering, Whenever is it time to fight back?
Yes, it’s good, even necessary for our own sanity to grieve the afflicted. But it's not enough to stop the afflictor. What about the others of us yet un-killed? Warriors know that grieving the fallen may make you a more determined soldier, but does not win the war.
What if 20,000 people decided literally, “To Hell with this killing!”? What if we took up the sword of the Spirit, marched through the university community to serve the enemy an eviction notice, and in the name of Jesus drove this Destroyer out from among us?
Apparently, it's easier to suffer senseless deaths over and again than face the reality of evil, confess the shame of our own powerlessness, and wield the power God has given us in Jesus.
Evil and Addictive Denial
To deny the reality of evil is to forfeit the power to overcome it. (from Religion vs Reality)
Christmas: God’s D-Day
Warriors know that the flak is thickest when you're over the target. That means the closer you get to Jesus, the harder the enemy will attack. The well-fed Western Church has lied to its people. Its civilians of religion pout, "I gave my life to Jesus, so why isn't everything coming up roses for me?!" Becoming a Christian is not a heavenly joy ride but being equipped at last for a fierce battle against the enemy of God and humanity. Christmas is D-Day, God coming to retake earth back from that enemy's forces. Yes, Jesus assures His victory. But He's not the end of the war; He's the authentic beginning. D-Day assured the victory, but many good soldiers fought and died between then and Armistice a year later. (from Fight like a Man: A New Manhood for a New Warfare)
Better Real than Right
The healing God seeks in us today is not about doing the right thing, but about being a real person, so that His Spirit can empower us to do right. (from Fight like a Man)
You Don’t Have to Forgive—You Get to
The Risen Christ proclaimed not that we have to forgive, but rather, that at last we can forgive–and thereby free ourselves from consuming bitterness and the offender from our binding condemnation. This process requires genuine human anger and grief, plus–and here is the awful cost of such freedom–a humble willingness to see the offender as God sees that person, in all his or her terrible brokenness and need for God's saving power. I would never tell another, "You have to forgive." But my uncomfortable duty as a Christian is to confess the truth, so lethal to our self-centred human nature: "Jesus, who suffered your sin unto his own death, calls you likewise to forgive, so that God's purposes may be accomplished in both you and your offender."
When the Wound Becomes Normal
To a boy, Daddy defines manhood—which therefore requires bonding with his father. If his father is absent, disengaged, or abusive, it's painful for him to identify with Daddy, and he withdraws from manhood. He covers his shame with anger, unto a hatred of his father and thereby, of manhood itself--even his own. Today, fatherlessness has become a worldwide epidemic. When the wound becomes normative, the healed become outcasts, and the Healer gets crucified. But the true Father of us all has come for His sons in Jesus. (from "Homosexuality and the Father Wound" in Religion vs Reality)
"Dad, I want to give my son the best." (Gordon Dalbey, 1944- )
"No, you want him to have the best." (Earle Dalbey, 1916-2010) (from Do Pirates Wear Pajamas? and Other Mysteries in the Adventure of Fathering)
Why We Don't Want to be Healed
God's Holy Spirit has been freely available since Jesus. Our problem today is not a lack of resources. It's simply that most of us don't want to be healed as badly as we want to cover our shame--which Jesus has already done on the cross. (from Sons of the Father: Healing the Father-Wound in Men Today)
WWJD became a popular, seductive invitation to speculate “What Would Jesus Do?”—that is, IF He were real, present, caring, and active. The WWJD paraphernalia, from bracelets to T-shirts, in fact broadcasts a profoundly anti-Christian message. It speaks for self-sufficent folks who prefer to keep Jesus dead and his truth-telling at a safe distance—who dare not ask, “What Is Jesus Doing?” and thereby, allow Him actively to enter their lives and challenge their controlled worldview. I’m still waiting for my WIJD T-shirt. (from Broken by Religion, Healed by God)
Your Control for His Power
In Jesus, God has invited us to exchange the illusion of our control for the reality of his power. This book extends that invitation to you. (from No Small Snakes: A Journey into Spiritual Warfare)
Recently I spoke at the Eastern Regional Hope for Wholeness sexual healing conference in NC on "Sexuality and Spirituality: A Marriage Made in Heaven," based upon my book-in-progress with that title. My books about manhood, spiritual warfare, and church unity cover what I've sensed are the Father's major agendas today--except for sexuality. That's as close as I can get to a book on womanhood--which I'm wise enough not to attempt! In fact, Mary will be contributing.