The Glove

I’m 32 and have college aged friends. As a result, I throw in some references they won’t get and joke about being old enough to know it. One reference I throw out is the expression, “If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit.”

That famous quote came from the O.J. Simpson trial in 1994. O.J. Simpson was a former football player who was accused of murder. All of the evidence showed he was guilty. However, O.J.’s lawyer, Johnnie Cochran, asked O.J. to put on a glove. Of course, the glove was old and O.J. spread out his fingers so that it was difficult to put on the glove.

O.J. Simpson puts on the glove.

Most people consider this evidence weak and not reasonable doubt. However, Johnnie Cochrane said, “If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” Because of this sentence, the jury found O.J. Simpson innocent. Most people disagree with the verdict. However, a look at human psychology can give an explanation.

People in general cannot remember and process large amounts of information. We tend to go for short expressions. In fact, a short expression can override large amounts of information.

God’s Word explains why. We weren’t designed to make judgements about the things of the world. God did not design the jurors to decide whether or not O.J. Simpson was guilty.

He designed us all to be loved by Him and not even worry about the cares of this world. With this whole issue of coronavirus vaccines, God never designed us to decide whether or not to get a vaccine. He never designed us to decide if the coronavirus is dangerous or harmless. You are free to look at information and decide. However, just have peace knowing that you have eternal life and no decision can take that away.

With that, we can be at peace with our decisions and the decisions of others.

Capitalism vs Socialism

The two most common economic systems.

I grew up in a conservative household. The expectation was that I would work hard and get a decent paying job. That has not happened. Conservative philosophy would tell me that I need to make better decisions. Progressive philosophy would tell me that it’s because of flaws in the capitalist system. And I can tell you that both sides miss the point.

The truth is that all economic systems fall short of God’s life. They cannot produce immortality. They cannot produce the fruit of the spirit. And neither capitalism or socialism can end poverty.

That’s right. Both systems have failed to end poverty. Both are full of corruption and greed. Both will leave some people well off while others starve. And quite frankly, if we are immortal, we would not even need economic prosperity.

Why do I say that? On the return of Jesus, God will give immortality to those who accept is as a free gift. Why will I need money for food or healthcare. Why will I need shelter? Why will I need a bed to sleep in. Those things cannot maintain my life. They will fade and my body will be maintained by God.

To be honest, I could have made better mistakes to be well off financially. I did not know any better and I don’t beat myself up. With that in mind, I will shoot to make decent money doing something I enjoy. If I don’t make it, I am still peaceful.

Since I am not caught up in political ideologies I am free to look at an individual’s situation and see how to help them. One possibility is to not help them if they are not willing to do the work. Another possibility is to help them create a career path. In the end, it would not be from a need to fix all the problems in the world. It would just be my own unique way of reflecting God.

Chasing Girls

I would meet a girl. I would sense in my spirit that nothing would happen with her. I would still go after her. This pattern would repeat over and over again. Religion taught me that God told us what to do and we just followed the commands.

When I lived by a command to do what God said, my flesh was lusting after a wife. It tried on it’s own to find wife.

This mentality of doing the things that God tells us to flies in the face of God. God works through the heart. His only command is to believe in Him for eternal life. Once I believe in Him for eternal life, he guides me through decisions through the desires of my heart. He can give me the desire to do something, or the desire not to do something.

Now I don’t need a wife to be content. If I don’t want to chase after a particular girl, I am free not to. It’s nice that it’s not a command to follow. I get to live from my heart.

What is a Soul?

The word soul in the Bible is the English translation for the Hebrew word nephesh, or the Greek word psyche. With that, we really have to study these Greek and Hebrew words to really understand what they say about God as our source of life. First, let’s look at nephesh.

Nephesh means life or self. Just think about this. This word is used in Psalm 16 when it says, “My flesh will dwell securely. For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol. Nor will you let Your Holy One undergo decay.” A better translation would be, “My flesh will dwell securely. For You will not abandon my life to Sheol. Nor will you let your Holy One undergo decay.” Sheol means the grave. A deeper look at Sheol can be seen here.

We also see the word nephesh in the 23rd psalm when it says, “He restores my soul.” Another way to see it is, “He restores my life.” Another verse is Job 33:18 which shows that God raises the dead by saying, “He keeps back his soul from the pit, And his life from passing over into Sheol.”

Nephesh comes from the word naphash, which means to breath or to be breathed upon. It is passive, as we are receiving the air. Right now I am passively receiving the air around me. In the same way, God’s life is something we passively receive and continually depend on to live. On the day of the resurrection, out bodies won’t need physical oxygen because it will be forever sustained by God’s immortality.

Now that we know what nephesh means, we can look at psyche. Psyche means mind, will and emotion, but it is the Greek word that the Greek Old Testament uses for nephesh. For example, in Mark 8:36, Jesus says, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” When we see that soul means life, it means that gaining everything the world has is meaningless if we don’t have eternal life.

Psyche in some instances can refer to the original Greek definition of mind, will, and emotion. One example is 1 Thessalonians 5:23, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

This verse is for a Greek audience. It is meant to take a jab at Greek philosphy, which says that the body is evil and the soul needs to escape the body. The verse shows that the body is not evil and the complete man; body, soul, and spirit; will be restored by God’s immortality.

I know this is a lot. Just read it a few times and let the Holy Spirit precess it in you. You will see the work God does to preserve our lives.

Slidell’s Life

I watched a video of an African wild cat. The animal sleeps lightly and investigates every sound. It gets up to see what it is. The African wild cat is the ancestor to the house cat. They were domesticated years ago and went through a physical changes as they became house cats, but the behavior has remained the same.

This is why cats become curious. They tend to at least get curious about sounds. It’s a survival instinct. The cat needs to know if it’s a threat, harmless, or food. But, my cat, Slidell, does not investigate any sounds. I even made a few sounds for her to investigate, but she slept.

What’s going on? She feels safe. She knows that there are know real threats. All she knows is that her life is taken care of. Nothing harmful ever comes into her territory (my apartment).

All she knows is that her life is cared for. She has all the food she needs. She is free to do what she wants.

This captivates my heart because this is the life God intends for us. We were designed to live knowing that our lives are taken care of. The problem is that the death in the world will tell us our lives are not taken care of.

The same thing happened to Jesus. It looked like His ife was not taken care of. He was nailed naked to a cross and died as His friends abandoned Him. Yet, we see in His resurrection that His life was taken care of.

I do feel like my life is not taken care of. Money is super tight. I have no close friends. My sleep has been terrible. But the resurrection of Jesus tells me my life is taken care of. From that platform, I live like Slidell, knowing everything is taken care of.

Bible Knowledge

I was on the phone with a friend and going off about theology. The talk covered everything from Sheol to how Exodus is about God’s desire to dwell with man. He commented that he did not have as much Bible knowledge. That’s fine. That’s not evil. The Bible is a tool to see the Word, and you can have little Bible knowledge but understanding of the Word.

The Bible, not Jesus, is the Word. The Greek word for Word is logos, which means “thought or idea.” It’s God’s way of thinkimg that he put in Jesus. YYou can have tons of Bible knowledge and have no clue how God thinks.

But, Bible knowledge is one way God shows us how He thinks. As I study the Bible, I get no new truths. I just get different ways to see the same truth of how death was conquered in the resurrection of Jesus.

Not everyone is gifted to teach the Word like me. That’s okay. The body of Christ needs administrators, practical helpers, prophets, shepherds, apostles, evangelists and other roles.

This is why I am often tired. I have no resurrection fellowship. I’m a teacher. I’m not a shepherd. Without a shepherd, why will minister through personal relationships? What about an evangelist to share the gospel with others?

Teaching is a time consuming gift. It takes hours of continual study. Then I have to work everything out on my dry erase board. That’s why I have this donation page. If you support this ministry I will have more time to show you Jesus in the Bible. The truth is, when I gain Bible knowledge, I don’t gain more truth; I just have a different way to see the same truth.

However much you understand in the Bible is okay. If a person boasts that they know the Bible, ask them to quote the whole thing in Greek and Hebrew from memory. It’s about seeing who Jesus is, not knowing a book.

Do I Pray Out Loud?

Things religion made me self-conscious about: praying out loud. If I want to be a great husband, I should pray out loud. Many believers think that praying out loud means that you are verbally expressing something to God. But if you see that prayer is our union with God, then you will see that praying out loud is any expression of what the Holy Spirit produces in us.

The Holy Spirit is in me and thinks in me. It is a fellowship in which our thoughts are one. This leads us to verbally speak out of that union. Any verbal expression of that union is prayer out lout.

Directly expressing ourselves out loud includes directly expressing ourselves to God, but includes much more. If I explain the word to someone, that is praying out loud. If you encourage someone in the Word, that is praying out loud. If you prophecy or use a word of wisdom, that is praying out loud.

So don’t let those religious lies discourage you. Just speak what is on your heart.

Jungian Languages

What’s this about? Carl Jung never discussed languages!

No he didn’t. He was a psychologist. This post is actually about communicating and how the Holy Spirit helps us communicate with different personalities.

This ties into Carl Jung’s theories on cognitive functions. Cognitive functions are the ways in which we process information. The way we communicate. Under Jung’s theory, there are eight functions. There are 16 combinations of four of those functions that appear in people.

Our communication style often stems from our cognitive functions. They are like languages. The problem is that we don’t always understand these languages. The answer is the Holy Spirit.

God designed our personalities. He created our cognitive functions as unique ways to reflect him. He can give us the insight as to better explain things so that others will understand. The best part is that He frees our hearts from whether or not others understnd us.

This was quite freeing for me. I often felt like because of my intelligence, very few people understood me. This is because a lot of what I say will go over people’s heads. But, that’s okay. I’m content. God understands me and that is good enough.

Miracle in No Man’s Land

When I look at Christmas, I have a deep fascination with the 1914 Christmas Truce. This should come as no surprise. It’s emotionally complex and a mixture of British and German culture, and history.

It’s a famous Christmas story. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in 1914; German, French, and British soldiers agreed to not shoot at each other and actually celebrate Christmas together. While it may seem spontaneous, it was not. First of all, soldiers were told the war would be over by Christmas. Second, patrols from opposing often agreed to not shoot at each other and move on.

The other factor was the rain. It rained throughout the months of December, flooding the British trenches. This lead to a stand still in the fighting. The rain actually stopped on Christmas Eve. This led to German troops holding up signs that said, “You no shoot. We no shoot.”

One of the biggest surprises for the British was when the Germans put Christmas trees on the parapets and sung silent night in German. This went against the British notion that the Germans were barbarians.

With the Christmas carols and rain stopping, who would want to shoot at someone? Instead, the French, British, and Germans celebrated Christmas together. They even played a game of soccer.

Sadly, they did have to go back to shooting each other. Military authorities were not happy with the truce. A few people held out for a few, but the war continued for everyone. Even so, this story continues to warm our hearts.

This story is a miracle. I believe that God stopped the rain to speak to us. He used the event to show us why Jesus came. Jesus was a light in the darkness. People from opposing sides suddenly come together to celebrate Jesus. This is how you love your enemies. You see what Jesus did to save all man kind from the burden of death.

This means that everyone in a war is a good guy. I’m not saying we should never go to war. The purpose of this blog is not to make statements about political policy. But we have to remember that both sides are acting under of death.

WWI was clearly European aristocracy continuing the fights they always had. It started when Austria-Hungary falsley accused Serbia of an assassination. Most countries joined bacause their allies joined. The European aristocracy was acting under the burden of death.

Perhaps it is okay to enter war because a country needs to protect itself from a threat. It would be like fighting Hitler in WWII. Hitler was acting under the burden of death. I remember people complaining that war is just run by corporations that want to profit. If that’s the case, then the corporations are under the burden of death.

All man kind was under the burden of death when Jesus came. We long for peace in the midst of trouble. We want to see opposing sides become friends.

That’s why we love the story of the Christmas Truce. It’s what our hearts long for in world of darkness. And that is what Christmas is about. Amidst the darkness of the world, a baby was born. God became a man. He became one of us. He showed us good will.

It’s not just a few soldiers from opposing sides celebrating Christmas together. It is the answer to death.

My Dopamine Crashed

Do you want to know what a dopamine crash feels like? Have you ever had that feeling that you cannot start your day because you have not had your coffee yet? That is low dopamine. You have no motivation to get things done. Your brain feels foggy. If you have withdrawn from an addiction, you know the feeling. Multiply that by a million. I had that happen to me.

How did it happen? I was chatting with a girl online. It went well until she said that she felt she was not ready for online dating. She deleted her account. One month earlier, it did not work out with a different girl.

Two girls, a month apart. With heartbreak, there is a sudden drop in dopamine. The second time it was very bad. I even got addicted to caffeine and have to quit that.

Only one thing brought me through this rough time. It was Jesus’ reaction to the death of his cousin John the Baptist. Jesus took time away to be with his Heavenly father. The situation was hard on him. It was okay. That was not bad.

To be honest, I even pulled away from people. That was not bad. I know that God in me can love others, but I needed a break because of what happened. It took three weeks for my mind to start feeling clear.

Once my mind cleared up, a million familiar lies flooded my head. I knew they were just lies. The Holy Spirit burned them away.

As the lies burned away, I saw the truth of God’s logic. The Spirit took me back to my college days when I had a big crush on my best friend. I was innocent of compatability. I just liked how much she cared about other people. There was no thought of how she could help me build a life in the world.

This goes against a lie of the church that God meant for a wife to be a helper (Genesis 2:18) in that she helps a man build a life in the world. After college, I was told this lie and fell for it. A wife is supposed to be a helper in that the man’s love for her helps him see God’s love.

Bertie Brits shared this definition of a helper. It makes sense because it fits the gospel as a whole. There are verses to show that the husband’s love for his wife is a type and shadow of Christ’s love for the church.

With this freedom from the church’s lie, a man is free to pursue whomever he pleases. While I don’t know everything I want in a wife, I will say that something`stirs in my heart when I meet a tender girl who deeply cares about others. That’s the only thing I can say for sure I want. It’s not born from lack, but that personality deeply melts my heart.

The lies of lack came from difficulties with being intuitive and pursuing a girl who respected my dream of going into film.

An intuitive person is a person who process the world in terms of thoughts and ideas. This is opposed to sensors, who process the practical, physical world. This creates communication difficulties. Sensors often don’t understand intutives and this causes intuitives to feel lonely.

Perhaps God’s logic is the answer to this loneliness. What if no one understands my intuitiveness? So what! God understands me.

And as I experience freedom from the lie that I need others to understand me, the Holy Spirit comes to weed out another lie. This lie is that a woman needs to appreciate and respect a man. “Christian” marriage resources promote it.

This lead me to wonder if I should marry someone who likes film. This question haunted me. But the answer is to look at how we appreciate and respect God. He does not need our appreciation. But we benefit when we appreciate His love for us.

That is the platform from which a wife appreciates a husband. She appriatiates and respect God’s very logic in him. This logic produces a deep passion for the woman and a desire to see her safe from the devil’s lies. It has nothing to do with his personality or the things he does in this world. It’s perfectly fine to marry a girl who has no interest in movies.

This lie was the root of a lot of my approval issues. As this lie got rooted out, I focused less on how others treated me. My dependency on caffeine has dropped. I’ve been more relaxed.

This leaves me waiting for my caffeine withdrawal to clear up. If you do have low dopamine, try DL-phenylalanine. Don’t take this as medical advice, but there is evidence that it can help with withdrawal.

Right now, I still have a few things to reason with the father about.

Under resurrection influence,
James M. Tuttle