Category title says it all. Good stuf, but a little random.


Nurturing Genuine Beauty in Your Wife

Men, how do you talk about your wife? Do you praise her? If so, in what ways? Do you criticize or belittle her? When the opportunity arises to say something (publicly) about your wife, what comes out of your mouth: words that oppress or applaud her? What adjectives roll off your tongue concerning the one with whom you are in covenant?

This should go without saying, but I won’t take anything for granted. Never, ever belittle your wife with your words, either to her face, to your friends, or in public! If you have an honest, loving critique that needs to be addressed in private, that is different. But never use your words to cut down God’s daughter whom He has entrusted to your care–to nurture and love as Christ loves His Bride–His Church.

Physical attraction matters in marriage, but there is something that matters infinitely more. Don’t just praise your wife’s outer beauty: “My smoking hot wife” “My super-sexy wife” etc. That’s great, to an extent, although most women would rather be “beautiful” than “hot”. What in your wife are you wanting to encourage and nurture? Outer beauty that will fade (just as yours will or already has)? Or a soul that is growing in Christ-likeness? Yes, she needs to hear from you that you think she is beautiful, but do your compliments only focus on the physical?

Praise her godly character (and her beauty) to her face, to your friends when she is not around, and in public when she is with you. So long as you both have a proper understanding of God’s grace in her life that empowers these qualities, your praise will edify her and not make her prideful. It helps her know you love her and care about more than just her body. In the Bible women are praised for their godly character. Their appearance may be recognized, but their integrity is what is praised.

My wife and I have an agreement. We never really sat down and made the deal, it has just happened and we share it with each other. She never criticizes me in a group setting when she is with other women, no matter how much of a jerk I might have been that day or how angry she may be with me. Same goes for me in my groups. We each have a very small, trusted group of people with whom we share our frustrations from time to time. We know they will not gossip and trust that they will pray for both of us. In our culture this for sure takes Spirit-empowered self control…and a good deal of practice!

Sir, your words matter! No more so than to the person who loves you most on this earth. Use them well. Life and death are in the power of the tongue.


Exciting News!

We are entering a new domain of content creation at, and we’re extremely excited (and a touch nervous) about it! Enter: The Podcast Show! It is a show that has the same mission as the website; helping men grow in knowledge and love of God, and live grace-filled, Spirit-empowered lives to the glory of God in light of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

This will be a place for the hosts to meet together and talk through issues happening in our time and culture that impact our lives as Christian men trying to live out of a biblical worldview. We will do our best to help men grow, as we grow too, in sound, biblical theology as well as offer practical advice for living out that theology.

If you have questions or issues you are wrestling with, we would love a chance to think through those with you and offer our opinions on how God, in His Word, would instruct us to think and act in that area. So, please send in your questions or topics. There are several ways you can send those to us which are listed on the “Connect” page of the website.

The new podcast show will also give me a good excuse to do one of my favorite things in the world… sit around and talk about God and His Word with other godly people who are seeking to please Him in their lives too. So, what you will be hearing in the show is basically us turning on our mics and hitting record as we have a conversation. The show will have kind of a live radio feel to it, with very little editing. You get what we say… Let’s hope that a good thing  😉

There are several ways you can join us for the conversation. First, you can listen to the podcast with your podcast app of choice or here on the website. Second, send in your questions for discussion. Either way, we would love to have the chance to serve you!

Thank you for listening, subscribing, and supporting this ministry. May God alone receive the glory and honor due Him!

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Listen on the Website


Glorious, Continuous Salvation!

[8] But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); [9] because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. [10] For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. [11] For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”

What a wonderful promise! Not only for those trusting in Christ for the first time, but also for those of us who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ daily! God’s salvation is for those who continuously recognize their need for His grace and submit to His Lordship. True, justification–our legal standing before God as forgiven and righteous because of Christ’s work on our behalf–is instant and unchanging. But, praise God that His saving of us is perpetual! It is happening all the time.

Christians, don’t be discouraged and defeated because we ALWAYS need His grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love. No, be overjoyed that He has promised them to us, always, without measure. Allow His kindness to lead us to repent of our sin and run,as His beloved children, into our Father’s open arms of acceptance!


New Year's Resolu… Goals

I never have been much on New Year’s Resolutions. Not that I think they are wicked, evil, or legalistic (though they could be), but mainly because I stink at keeping them. Then I feel all guilty and stuff. Okay, so maybe I do see them as legalistic… for me anyway. So, at the risk of sounding like I’m jumping on the blogosphere resolution bandwagon, I offer this post for your consideration.

God is outside of time. He is not limited to or bound by days, weeks, years, etc. We are! And though I believe life is marked more by stages or seasons than years, the start of a new year does offer a natural break for us. It offers us a chance to reflect and think deeply about our life, goals, accomplishments, and failures in our walk with Christ, family life, vocation, church, and more.

I would urge you in the next few weeks to begin to think about the past year or season of life, see where God’s Word, His Spirit, and good old common sense would have you make some changes for His glory. Then, make some Spirit-empowered goals, not hard-core resolutions (i.e. “By God’s grace I will try to ____” versus “I resolve to always _____ and never _____ again.”). Try to go beyond, but not neglect, the surface level issues. Dig down deep, asking God how you can, in His strength, fight the hidden issues of the heart as you also wage war on the surface/practical issues.

Since I usually struggle a lot in the areas of busyness and technology, I have read several books on those topics. Below is a list of books that would be beneficial to you if you happen to struggle in these areas. There are probably others that are very helpful, these are just the ones I have read and would recommend–in order.

Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem by Kevin DeYoung (very short, lightly theological, more practical application)

The Next Story: Life and Faith after the Digital Explosion by Tim Challies (longer, more theological, practical application)

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nick Carr (historical, scientific, philosophical, some application)

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman (historical, philosophical)

And if you are looking to read a few more books as well as be a better book reader, I highly recommend Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books by Tony Reinke!


Christmas Beyond The Fluff

When we think about the Christmas story, our minds are filled with images we’ve seen or ideas we were taught growing up. Some of it right. Some of it, well, less than accurate. It can be difficult for us, in our 21st century Western culture, to see both the people and events of that first Christmas the way they actually were. It’s not that these things are necessarily bad or sinful, they just can cloud our understanding and ability to think deeply about the beauty of what truly took place.

Having a deeper understanding of what really happened will give us better grasp of the Bible, the God of the Bible, and ourselves. It will also allow us to pass on to our children the reality, seriousness, and historicity of a story that often gets commercialized, distorted, watered down, and fairytale-ized today.

This is not just a story for kids that we read once a year so they can dress up in shower curtains, bath robes, and Burger King crowns, or so we can have a good back story for our cute little Miss Martha’s Originals nativity set. I’m not slamming on nativity sets or Christmas plays. My wife, kids, and I have been in tons of them and will be in more, I’m sure. And I stare at our cute little Miss Martha’s nativity set as I write.

The point is that I fear we can easily forget the significance of it all (I’ve been guilty of it). This is the story of God, Creator God, Omnipotent God coming to earth as a man (a baby) in human flesh. God the Son, second Person of the Trinity, set aside His divine rights, subjecting Himself to the laws that govern a world that HE MADE! No amount of set directors, camera angles, or star studded casts can capture the significance of this story. But, if we slow down and actually think about it for a while, we might just be led to the same conclusion the wise men came to – worship the Lord!

I love reading the Jesus Storybook Bible stories to my kids, and then also being able to communicate to them what was happening in the context of that culture. It helps them connect with the humanity of the people in the story. They know that the story is real, but now they can grow in their appreciation of it, and truly understand what they are celebrating and why we celebrate the birth of a little Jewish baby in the first place.


Church Sign Confusion

Okay, so I’ve wrestled with this post for years–literally. I would write a few sentences, save, rewrite, save, delete, and so on. I would get it like I thought I wanted it, pray about posting it, and decide I probably shouldn’t because it may paint me as a church hater or it might not be as helpful as I want it to be. Anyway, it’s about church signs. Those annoying signs that are supposed to be witty or funny that actually make Christians look like idiots or bigots. Not all church signs fit this description, but this post isn’t about those.

My wife and I usually just make fun of them to ourselves and don’t make a big deal of them to anyone else, even our kids. And living in the South, we have no shortage of church sign fodder. But, every now and then there comes a sign that crosses a theological line that I just can’t take. They’re not cheesy, corny, dumb, or fortune-cookie-esk. They trample the grace found only in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They cheapen the sacrifice of our Lord just to produce some little play on words or cliche. Enter, the sign I saw today.

I will start off by giving the people of this local church the benefit of the doubt. I do love my brothers and sisters in Christ. That’s why I want to point out the error I see in thinking without slandering their character. I would like to think that they really love Jesus. I would like to think they understand the Gospel and don’t mean to twist it. I would like to think that they don’t really believe what the sign says. I would like to think that they, well, they  just didn’t think this one all the way through before they put it up. But you see, that’s part of the problem. The sign portrays, in more ways than one, that a lot of Christians don’t think deeply. We don’t think deeply about what we believe, what we read, what we say, etc. We just live on a steady diet of cliches and Bible verses snatched out of context.

“Christianity is not a religion, it’s a lifestyle,” read the sign as I strained my neck looking back at it to make sure I saw what I thought I saw from my ’94 Accord. What?! No matter how you interpret their use of the word religion here, it teaches the exact opposite of what the entire New Testament teaches about justification.

Let’s say that religion here means religious works–trying to get to heaven by adhering to religious or traditional practices. I would agree with that being wrong. But now the sign reads “Christianity is not about religious works, it’s about living the Christian life.” So it’s not about works, but it is? Huh? Where is grace, mercy, forgiveness? Where is the Gospel? I mean, if this is what “Christianity is,” don’t you think we should get this right?

Let’s say that by religion they mean a set of beliefs (per the dictionary). So now the sign would read “Christianity is not a set of beliefs, it’s a lifestyle.” So, it’s not about faith, it’s about works. Hmm. I think my Bible teaches it a bit differently than that. We have become so afraid of the word religion that we have forgotten that a religion is a set of beliefs–doctrines. We are saved by God’s unmerited grace–get this–through faith (what we believe) says Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 1:16, Romans 3:24, and 3:28!

It is what we believe that changes how we live, not the other way around. So, Christianity is not about a lifestyle. Christianity is about faith in the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself up for us (Ephesians 5:2). The “lifestyle” is a byproduct of God graciously saving and justifying wicked sinners, making us His children, placing His Holy Spirit within us, and conforming us to the image of Christ from the inside out.

“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, [2] and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. [3] For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, [4] that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4, ESV) (emphasis mine).

Brothers and Sisters, let’s think deeply about this undeserved grace that we have been given–there is so much to be explored. Let’s seek to represent our faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ accurately and well, with love for the lost in our culture. Let us think before we spout off one of our cliches that may not be biblical. Let us be Berean-like (Acts 17:10-12) as we consider how we and others are using the Bible. Finally, let us “contend for the Faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3)


Family Project Rocket

Granted, this post has nothing to do with doctrine or theology. But, it does have something to do with dads building fun things around the house with their crews… that explode! Dads should teach their children about God and His creation… AND have fun with them.

The kids and I finished building our first family rocket today. We all had lots of fun and it was actually pretty simple. Now that I know it works I’m going to let the kids paint and decorate their own rockets.

It shouldn’t cost all that much if you have a few of the materials laying around the house. I followed the instructions from a youtube video I found the other day. If you are looking for a way to spend some time with your kidos and be able to teach them a little science in the process, this is a great idea.

I believe I only changed one element from the guy’s video that I thought would make an improvement. Other than that, I did everything just as he did. I did have a few misfires and I haven’t quite gotten the height he seems to be getting yet. I think it’s all a matter of figuring out how much hair spray to put into the launcher. You need to have the right fuel to air ratio to get an ignition. Once you get that ratio figured out, you’ll be good to go.

UPDATE: After some trial and error, I found a few ways to have less misfires. First, drill a small hole (the size of the screws or smaller) in the bottom of the launcher tube on the opposite side of the screws. This will allow a little air to mix with the fuel. Also before your first launch, find a way to heat the inside of the launcher tube. Spray some hair spray in the tube and use a long lighter at the top of the tube to cause a small explosion. The heated tube allows the hair spray to vaporize more easily.

You may be able to find some of this stuff, or at least good substitutes, laying around the house.

  • Thin foam camping pad
  • 2′ piece of 3″ PVC
  • 3″ PVC cap
  • Electric grill ignition (They had the manual one he uses in the video, but I got the electric one for the quick repeated firing.)
  • Self tapping screws
  • PVC cement and primer
  • A 2 liter soda bottle
  • Duct tape
  • Can of aerosol hair spray

My Rocket Launch Video

[vimeo 74785317 w=340 h=600]Family Project Rocket from Chad Gray on Vimeo.

Instructional Youtube Video



Finding Comfort In Abraham

Romans 4 is largely Paul using Abraham to make a theological point–salvation through faith, not works. And yes, this chapter alone gives me great comfort, knowing that God saves sinners like me the same way He saved Abraham–through faith. But, taking a little closer look at Abraham’s life, seeing his struggles, seeing his failures, seeing his weak faith at times, seeing his self-reliance, then seeing God faithfully keep His covenant, strengthens my faith in and love for this God who has covenanted with me and every other believer in Christ. We WILL be saved (Romans 1:16-17; 3:22, 24; 4:24-25; 5:1-2; 6:23; 10:9, 13)!

Much like my own story, Abraham was minding his own business when God called him out of paganism. He was not special. God chose him, set His love on Him, and saved Him apart from works. He wasn’t looking for God when God revealed Himself to Abraham and made a covenant with him.

Abraham’s weak faith and disobedience throughout his life didn’t disqualify him. He did not exhaust God’s patience. In fact, God knew all this beforehand and chose him any way. Abraham received perfect justification through his imperfect faith. It was neither his works nor the greatness of his faith that saved him. His faith was acceptable to God only because our great Lord graciously counted it as righteousness.

God has promised to save us through the same faith that Abraham had (no matter how weak at times) apart from works. He has graciously chosen to count our faith in the crucified, resurrected Messiah as righteousness. Don’t get discouraged and run away from God in shame because of your weak faith or failures. Run to Him. Repent. Rest in the promises of His grace. No one, not even you, if you are truly in Christ, can separate you from His love (Romans 8:31-39)!

Crowe Family-web

A Godly Legacy

A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of birth. (Ecc. 7:1)

As we awoke this morning my wife and I received some sad news that we had actually been expecting for some time now. We found out that her 94 year old granddad had passed away in his sleep early this morning. There were/are the normal tears and pains of grief that occur when someone you love dearly is not here anymore. Accompanying those pains were also a peace, happiness, and comfort that only believers in Jesus Christ can have about the death of a brother or sister in Christ.

Times like this are a reminder to us that this is not how it was meant to be! We know something is broken and wrong. Death is wrong. God created this world perfect. Adam and Eve (and we as their children) were to live in perfect peace and harmony with God and His creation forever. But their rebellion brought sin into the world. Because of sin we live in a world of hardships, pain, and death (Rom. 5:12). So for now, the sting of death (sin) is with us. And death has (only) a temporary victory. But, there is coming a day when we WILL mock death! There is coming a day when God will restore all things, including our bodies, to their rightful glory through Christ! In the words of the Jesus Storybook Bible “He will make everything sad come untrue!” Read more


If Everything is Awesome – Nothing Is

Having to put a pretty face on everything is exhausting, even if it is a digital face. Instead of enjoying other people’s success or blessings we feel as if we have to one up them or at least be as glamurous or funny as they are. Otherwise, we think, no one will “follow me” or be my “friend” or comment on my posts. As if acquiring comments, retweets, and likes was the point.

Think about how we broadcast ourselves and our lives on social media. Mike Cosper in his post at The Gospel Coalition says “Social media compels its users to project idealized versions of themselves. A photo of a meal can bear the caption, ‘UnbeLIEVable homemade ravioli!!!!!!!!’ Meanwhile the pasta is chewy, the sauce is tasteless, and the dining couple fights throughout the entire meal. The nature of social media, and its accompanying audience, leads us to glamorize the mundane, leaving no superlatives for truly great experiences.” Read more


The Gospel Project

This is a good interview between Matt Chandler (Gospel Project Advisory Counsel) and Trevin Wax (Gospel Project Managing Editor). The Gospel Project is a new curriculum put out by LifeWay that is a three year discipleship cycle that is broken into age groups for children, students, and adults.

This is very intriguing to me because it is designed to show the story of God’s redemption throughout the entire Bible. It shows that the Gospel includes and runs through all of Scripture, not just Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. It is our responsibility as parents and church members to be sure that our children are learning the Gospel. They should be learning that the stories are there to point to Christ and show God’s love, not just for moral character building or entertainment.

Thanks to LifeWay and others for leading the way in this area.



Context Matters

In biblical interpretation, context matters – a lot. The context of the passage dictates how it is to be interpreted. In missing this crucial point many Texts have been snatched out of their original context and given meanings they were never intended to have. Each Scripture or passage only has one meaning, not many. It cannot mean one thing to me and another thing to you. Either you, or I, or both are wrong. There can be many different applications of a passage, but only one meaning.

Contexts to keep in mind when looking at a specific passage:

  • Context of the whole Bible. What is the big picture and over all story? How does this passage fit with the whole story? The Bible is not an instruction manual that we consult when things aren’t going our way. It is not God’s love letter to us. It is God’s self revelation to us of His will, His character, His glory, His sovereignty, His story, and how He displays His glory through choosing a people for Himself to love and save.
  • Context of the letter or book you’re reading. What is the cultural setting of the addressed people? What was the intent of the human author in writing it? To whom was it written? What was going on there?
  • Context of the passage itself. What topic or idea is being explained or debated? What people group is being addressed (Christians, unbelievers, Pharisees, etc.)? It’s helpful to keep the passages directly before and after the section in question in mind while interpreting.

Two texts I hear/have heard misinterpret most often are the story of David and Goliath & Phil. 4:13. In both cases the story or context has nothing to do with us in any way being the heros or focus of the story. But, in our narcissistic culture, they get snatched kicking and screaming out of their contexts and taught in a way that makes us look good or helps us look within ourselves to do something really awesome. We love to think that God is on OUR sideline, cheering US on in OUR pursuits, you know, He’s there just in case we need Him.

In the story of David and Goliath, we become David, facing down our giants. With God’s help and a few smooth stones, we can defeat our bullies, overcome our hardships, conquer our fears, or defeat the opposing football team that beat us earlier in the season so we can go to the state playoffs. You get the point. In actuality this story (that really happened) is a picture of how Christ defeats our enemies (sin, Satan, death) for us as we look on like scared, paralyzed Israelites. If you consider all WE gain from HIS victory… this is a much better story.

In Philippians 4:13 Paul says “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” I can’t help but think of how much disappointment this verse must cause people when it is misinterpreted to them. One of the most grievous misuses of this Text I see in my part of the country is in the area of sports, which happens to be a very influential god down here. A runner falls behind in a race. A boy stands on the free throw line at the end of the fourth quarter with his team down by one. Insert any underdog in any sport, ad nauseam. Then all they have to do is continue to think to themselves “I can do all things through Christ,” and boom! supernatural strength. Given this meaning the verse simply is not true and can’t bear the weight we place on it. The Bible is not a magical book from which we can pick and choose verses to chant for good luck.

The context of Philippians 4 is suffering and contentment. Paul is saying that he can endure all kinds of suffering and be content in any situation through Christ’s strength. This is much better news than “Jesus will help you win your sporting event” because hard times are coming for us all!

The point being, read the verses in context and allow them to say what they say instead of forcing them to say what you would like them to say. We trivialize the Bible when we make it about us. It does TALK about us, but that is NOT the same as us being the point of it. Christ is always the point of the Bible.


Rest in Christ!

I love how in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 5:1 – 7:29) Jesus gives us the Beatitudes first! Christ gives us the promises of God saying you and I, as Christians, ARE blessed before He gets into telling us how we should respond in faith to these promises. We are not blessed because of anything we did or can do. The Beatitudes are not things we are to strive for in order to obtain the blessings. They are not a “todo list” we are to check off each day. They are promises in Christ to us as believers.

We have such a tendency to look at the Sermon on the Mount and turn the entire sermon into a list of do’s and don’ts.  For example: “If I’m really meek I will inherit the earth” or “If I mourn I will be comforted”, etc. We place thoughts like these right along side “I need to try and be salt and light.” This only proves that we love the law. We run back to it every chance we get. We love the imperatives (commands) more than we love the indicatives (statements of fact). This is one reason we have such a hard time, in our Western culture, resting in Christ. We even take His statements and promise of blessing, that he accomplished for us, and turn them into things we must do or strive to earn! Jesus says: “You ARE blessed” and “You ARE salt and light” because of Him. Read more


Are Christians Hypocrites?

A hypocrite is someone who pretends to be someone or something that they never intend to become. Hence, the term in Greek usually referred to a play actor. True Christians are people who do fail, sin, and struggle as they work by the grace of God and the power of His Spirit to be conformed to the image of Christ.

It bothers me when I hear someone, who claims to be “open-minded” and “tolerant”, completely overlooking the good, loving, gentle and kind acts of a genuine Believer only to crucify them for one honest mistake, labeling them a hypocrite. This shows they do not understand biblical Christianity and use this cop-out to justify their own run from God, nor are the tolerant.

In a side note to Christians: Don’t justify your sin by “well, Christians aren’t perfect.” Own your mistakes, repent and move on!

Are “churches full of hypocrites?” I think “full” is a bit of an exaggeration. But, are there hypocrites in church? Absolutely! Where you find something genuine that has great value you will always find a counterfeit. You will always find those who are into Jesus and church only for what they can get out of it, with no intention of submitting to Christ and the Bible.

So, to answer the title question… Are Christians Hypocrites? Not the real ones. Read more

Sinners Saved by Grace or Children of the King?

There seems to be an ongoing debate in evangelicalism today concerning salvation. Well okay, several, but I want to discuss one out that tends to polarize Christians in America and one that I run into here in the South quite a bit.  Are Christians “sinners saved by grace”? Or are we “children of the King”? The answer is yes!

We are both sinners saved by the wonderful, unmerited grace of God through faith in Christ. That faith also being a gift from God Himself (Eph 2:8). We are also adopted by the King upon salvation making us co-heirs with Christ (Rom 8:17a). I think the big problem arises when we try to emphasize one over the other. Or worse, pit one position against the other.

There are ditches on both sides of this road! If we only see ourselves as disgusting, pitiful, powerless sinners we have a tendency to forget the majesty of Christ and the fact that not only are our sins forgiven, but His righteousness is imputed to us (2 Cor 5:21). Therefore God sees us as blameless before Him. We forget that Christ Himself is interceding for us (Rom 8:34). Think about that. Jesus is praying for you!  Forgetting these truths, and many others, leads a lot of times to despair when we have a recurring sin issue or just a hard time. It can lead to depression, despair, and constantly beating yourself up. It’s not you. It’s all about Him!

The other ditch is when we see ourselves as a “child of the King,” often times throwing that phrase around as if that entitles us to earthly, material blessings. I hear this a lot when people are expecting God to unload financial wealth, physical health, and over-all ease of life on them because they used the correct formula (which ever formula is popular at that time). If you come to Christ in order to receive anything but Christ Himself, then that thing is your god, not Jesus. The Gospel (good news) is that we, who deserve Hell, get God (Rom 6:23)! Read more