Back on the Radio

Hey Friends,

Please pray for me as I'm going back on the radio this Thursday afternoon. I will be on a show that airs throughout the midwest called, "Along the Way with Kim Jeffries." Kim is a featured speaker at the Ruth Graham conferences that I have started doing recently.

She is very transparent about her life, so you know I appreciate her! She made the decision to have an abortion when she was younger, and carried that by herself for over 23 years, and now ministers to the thousands of women that feel guilt and shame from making the same choice. She is a woman who understands the radical grace of the Gospel of Jesus.

The show can be heard by clicking here and then clicking on the listen online link on the right side of the page. I hope to be taking some calls while on the air, so call in!

I'll be on from 12:15 to 12:45 Central Standard Time. Please listen in, and most of all, please pray that God will be glorified and that slaves will be set free tomorrow!

Thank you!

The Original Podcaster

Podcasting has become quite a big deal, hasn't it? It's changing media culture, and how information is disseminated. It is good and bad, and you have to be careful who you trust in podcast land. Podcasting has exploded onto the scene, and there are now thousands upon thousands of podcasts available on the internet.

But do you know who the original podcaster is? Go check out Luke 15 and start reading in verse 11. Go ahead...I'll wait here, and listen to a podcast while you read. Ok, did you see it? Luke 15:16 says, "And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything." Jesus is telling the parable of the prodigal son here, so I know it's a fictional story, but it is still the words of Jesus, and they are therefore important and intentional.

What did you notice about the pods? They were what the pigs ate, and no one would give the Prodigal any, but he longed to be fed with them. He was totally dependent. He couldn't eat them himself. Have you ever been that hungry?

Because I believe in the Sovereignty of God, and that He provides everything that we need. So, I believe He provided the pods for the Prodigal. But wait - He wanted someone to give him some, but no one did, right? How then do I say God provided?

Well, it was at that moment that the Prodigal realized that His Father fed slaves better than this. He realized he had reached bottom, and it was time to go home. God is the ultimate provider in our lives. He promises to give us what we need, and He knows what we need before we do. Jesus is giving us a picture in this parable of how God provides what we need, which is not always what we want.

The Prodigal wanted to eat the mud covered pods, but what he needed was an incentive to go home. A quick boot to the head to wake him up. I think when you hear yourself say out loud, "Hmmm, those mud covered pods are looking pretty tasty," you have reached a turning point in life. God provides us those turning points. God casts those pods before us.

What was it for you? What's the podcast he used to get your attention? Was it a certain type of porn you swore you would never sink to? Was it getting caught in a lie? Was it the departure of a spouse? Maybe it was an arrest. Maybe it was time in prison. Maybe it was the realization that you had absolutely no control over your life. The Prodigal realized that his Father was infinitely better than living in the far country. He went home - and you can too.

Your Father in Heaven is providing for you. He doesn't always provide what you want, but he does provide what you need. Sometimes what you need is a pod cast from Him to bring you to your senses. He is, after all, the original podcaster.

Apology To Subscribers

Hey Friends,
The post I wrote on Temptation was a little screwy. I was sitting in bed writing, with my wife asleep next to me. I wasn't sleepy when I started writing, but I did start nodding off towards the end.

After waking up this morning, I read the post in my newsreader, and was fairly stunned at the last few paragraphs. They made little to no sense, as you may be aware! I did go back and at least attempted to try to make some sense out of it this morning.

So, you may want to go to the site and read the corrected post.

Thanks for understanding!
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Wow - It's been awhile. Sorry!

So, let's get started. What's temptation to you? Most of us can quickly scare up a list of the standards - Ummm, Porn, Pride, Drugs, Lying, Cheating, Stealing, Eating, etc.,

Maybe for you temptation takes the form of a Ginsu Knife - who can blame your, right? Those things cut through tin cans, tennis shoes, and then cut a tomato! So, on second thought, I'm not sure if that's temptation, or good stewardship. I can't tell you the number of times I have sliced, well actually hacked away at, my shoe, and then - with that very knife - tried to cut a tomato. It NEVER works. Not because it's not a good idea - because it is - I mean who can deny the infusion of flavor that comes from using a knife that just cut through a shoe, to slice a tomato. Just imagine the salty goodness!

Back to my original question - what is tempting to you? Actually, what is temptation to you? Bonhoeffer said that temptation is not Satan's attempt to get man to hate God - it is his attempt to get man to forget about God, if only for a second. Ouch. So, anything that can distract us from God is temptation. So, what distracts you from God?

It would seem that good things can also be temptations. What about kids? Friends? Religion? Even Bible Study? What things does our enemy use to distract you from God? What "good" things does he use to distract your from God.

That gets a lot less comfortable, doesn't it? C.S. Lewis was right in The Screwtape Letters. Demons need only keep us distracted, and they have won.

Martin Luther wrote in his classic Hymn, "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" that we are to let, "goods and kindred go..." What? Is it possible that good things and even our own family can distract us from Kingdom issues? Ummm, yeah.

Notice the piece of art from famous artist and mathematician, Albrecht Duerer. The knight is clearly beset by beings that obviously appear to be demons. They usually are a bit more undercover than that, but if we've identified them and know who they are and what they look like, we should have an easier time with them, right? It would be great if it really did work that way, wouldn't it. Truth is, we get way too familiar with some of those demons, and they actually can become friends, can't they?

The knight in this picture is not focusing on the demons, the temptations, or even the mansion on the hill. His focus is straight ahead - exactly where ours should be. We must battle distraction. We have to keep our focus on God and His Grace. Notice his helmet is acting as a blinder - In our gospel armor, he is wearing the Helmet of Salvation, and it is acting as a blinder and keeping him focused.

Do you see how our enemy works? Distraction. It's not always the big obvious temptation. It's a very slow burn when we walk away, and lose touch with the Gospel and our communities.

The good news is that Jesus understands. That' s why he gave us this marvelous model prayer in Matthew 6. "lead us not into temptation." Jesus understands temptation well as he was put through what we all go through. He took on flesh and came to walk this earth and was tempted in every way that we are. EVERY way. That has some pretty tough implications, doesn't it? Don't be afraid of that thought - embrace it and be comforted by it! Jesus was tempted in every way, but he withstood the temptation. If we have his power living in us, then what does that mean? It means we can too, through his power!

His grace is more than sufficient, if we will keep our focus set on Christ. When we take our focus off of Christ, just like Peter did when he walked out on the stormy waves, we sink. When our focus shifts off of God, bad things happen, don't they?

Notice the fact that the Knight here is not engaging the demons. He is not talking with them, he is not fighting them. He is not slowing down to look at them. What would happen if he stopped to fight the demons around him? His forward progress would be stopped! He would not be following where Christ is leading him. Isn't that true for us? SO many times we engage the temptations and distractions around us, and our forward progress in the Gospel is stopped.

Also, when we start to engage the temptations and distractions, it is not long before we lose the battle. Why? Because our focus is not where it should be - on Christ.

Never lose sight of the fact that Jesus loves you, and is still the only one that can keep us from Temptation. It's great! If he commands us to pray asking God to Lead Us Not into Temptation, then he assumes the responsibility to fulfill the prayer. How long since you really prayed that way? Maybe today is a great day to start...

Please Pray

Hey Friends,

Would you please pray for me on Friday, November 9? I'm going to be on the Dale and Jena radio show from Noon to 1:00PM CST. If you are in the Birmingham area, please tune in to 92.5 FM and listen.

If you're not in the Birmingham area, you can listen online by clicking here

Thanks for praying for me as we try to bring glory to God by sharing my story. Pray that cell doors swing open for those trapped in prisons of porn.

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