Faith Works, 7 August 2011

Big Idea: Faith and works are marks of true believers.

When I was in middle school, I asked the question of friends, all of whom said heaven. “Why?” I asked. “Because I’m a good person and haven’t killed anyone,” they would usually respond.

“There’s a problem, though” I would say. “You’re not good enough. I’m not good enough.”

...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:23-24)

All of my goodness is as filthy rags it says in Isaiah 64:6.

Let’s look at some of Paul’s writings for a moment:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

How are we saved? By grace. Through faith. By God.

This is one of the most vital passages in the Bible. You are not good enough to go to heaven.

It’s not what you do that gets you to heaven but what was done by Jesus.

So does that mean that all dogs go to heaven, and people, too? No. We must receive the gift. Action is required. Faith is not merely something in your head, but something that is expressed.

Niagara Falls story

The Great Blondin - the man who invented the high wire act, announced to the world that he intended to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope. More than five thousand people gathered to watch. Halfway across, Blondin suddenly stopped, steadied himself, back flipped into the air, landed squarely on the rope, and then continued safely to the other side. Blondin crossed the Falls again and again; blindfolded, carrying a stove, in chains, and on a bicycle. Just as he was about to begin yet another crossing, this time pushing a wheelbarrow, he turned to the crowd and shouted, "Who trusts that I can cross pushing this wheelbarrow?" Every hand in the crowd went up. Blondin pointed at one man:

"Do you trust that I can do it?" he asked.
"Yes, I trust you can." said the man.
"Are you certain that you trust me?" said Blondin.
"Yes" said the man.
"Absolute trust? Absolutely certain?"
"Yes, absolute trust, with absolute certainty."
"Thank you," said Blondin, "please get into the wheelbarrow."

On Thursday I took my son and two friends to see the Detroit Tigers. They were losing 5-0 near the end of the game and I told my friend, “If I was a betting man, I’d say the Tigers will lose.” After the Tigers scored two runs and had opportunities for more, I leaned over and said, “I’m glad I’m not a betting man.”

There’s a difference between saying you believe something and putting action behind it. It’s one thing to say the Tigers will win and another to put money on it, not that I’m advocating gambling!

Are you willing to get in the wheelbarrow?

Let’s look at today’s passage from the book of James.

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (James 2:14-17)

Here James refers to the poor again as he did in his definition of “pure religion.”

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (1:27)

Talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words. That’s why I love Jesus. He didn’t just tell people, “I love you.” He demonstrated His love by giving His very life for us, dying on the cross in our place, receiving the punishment of
our sins.

Martin Luther took issue with James, arguing that we are not saved by works, but instead by faith.

James' point is not to argue whether we are saved by faith or by works. His point is that our belief, which saves us, is only true belief if it is confirmed by our actions, if it is confirmed by hopping in the wheelbarrow.

But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that — and shudder.

Check this out—satan believes in God, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to heaven!

It’s not enough to say you believe in God. Again, talk is cheap. Knowledge isn’t enough. Following Jesus is a verb, it involves action. Demons may believe in God, but they don’t serve Him, they don’t call Him LORD, they haven’t died to themselves in order to let Jesus live in and through them. Jesus said if we want to follow Him we must pick up our cross daily. We must die. We must put our faith into action.

You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. (2:20-24)

Real faith requires action.

At this point it should be obvious that in context James is talking about works and faith being so tightly interwoven that to suggest you are saved, but do not do good works in response to that salvation then it's likely you are not really saved.  Notice that James does not say, "You are justified by works alone." He very clearly unites works and faith. Either one alone is useless. It’s like a screen door on a submarine.

It’s so useless that James equates it to a body without a spirit, which is a dead body. The living dead. Those who claim to have faith but have no works are living with a dead thing; their dead spirit.

In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. (2:25-26)

Jesus did not die 2000 years ago to simply make history. His butchered body didn’t hang on a cross for people to say they witnessed a death. He died to demonstrate His love for us that we would die to ourselves, be recreated in His image, and make a difference in our world. Christians are to do more than talk the talk...we are to walk the walk. The world can’t see our mental beliefs, but they can see our actions...and often they FAIL to see our actions, making us hypocrites.

Jesus’ ministry was filled with good works as he healed the sick and fed the poor. That opened the door to dialogue about faith.

We need to walk in faith, not sit in faith.

So my challenge to you...and to to walk the walk and put are faith into action. That’s what our Master did.

You can listen to the podcast here.

Favoritism, 31 July 2011

Big Idea: God loves each of us equally and we are, likewise, to love others equally.

We all have preferences. That’s probably why there are dozens of different types of toothpaste to choose from when we go to the store. Jesus’ half-brother, James, had some strong words about favoritism.

My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? (2:1-4)

Last week’s message could be boiled down to three words:

Just Do It (obey the Word)

This week’s message could be boiled down to three words from another 80’s slogan:

Just Say No (to favoritism)

The message is pretty simple to understand, yet it can be difficult to obey.

Why do people show favoritism?

I’m continually amazed that in a nation whose Declaration of Independence reads “all men are created equal,” it was nearly 100 years later in 1870 that race was removed as a barrier to voting and it took another 50 years in 1920 for women to vote. Favoritism?

By the way, note that it says that all are “created.” Just a thought!

God originated the idea of love, of respect, and of equality. In fact, He loves the underdog, the humble, and the weak. Why? He hates pride!

Today’s passage in James 2 comes on the heels of the final verses from last week. It’s important to note that the Bible was not written with chapters and verses. They were added centuries later. Right before James talks about favoritism, he writes

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (1:27)

God loves the poor and the orphan and the widow. He cares for them—uses us to show that love. The next time you pray for God to bless the hungry, He may ask you to feed them. The next time you pray for God to bless the orphans, be ready to become a foster parent or even adopt.

There’s an old saying that you can’t judge a book by its cover, yet we do. It’s our human nature to judge people by what we see or know about them, yet even if our assumptions are true, they are created in the image of God with dignity, value, and worth.

One of the greatest examples of God’s concern for the underdog is found in 1 Samuel 16. Samuel is told by God to visit the home of Jesse where he would find the next king of Israel.

When they arrived, Samuel saw Eliab and thought, “Surely the LORD’s anointed stands here before the LORD.”

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:6-7)

I love that last sentence.

Why do we pay so much attention to outward appearance?

I’m ashamed to confess this, but this week I judged someone by their outward appearance. I got my hair cut at one of those walk-in places where you get whoever is available to cut your hair. I was hoping for one of the trendy-looking stylists and was called into the chair of an older, not-terribly attractive person…who then proceeded to give me a terrific haircut.

One of the greatest examples I have ever seen of judging the outward appearance of someone happened two years ago on a British television program. You can view it

I have a friend who is a multi-millionaire. You’d never know it by the way that he dresses. He told me of a time when he entered a car showroom ready to buy a new car—or two!—with cash!—yet was ignored by numerous salespeople who gave their attention to better-dressed shoppers.

That’s an unusual case of a rich man NOT getting preferential treatment, but there was obviously no perceived wealth. James continues

Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong? (2:5-7)

Why are we drawn to the rich? There’s nothing evil about being wealthy, but favoritism is clearly a sin. It’s amazing to me how some of the most rich and famous people are the most miserable—and make others around them miserable.

James continues...

If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker. (2:8-11)

There are only two things we must do as followers of Jesus—love God and our neighbor. The Golden Rule is referenced here. Love your neighbor as yourself. James is saying that’s the true test of our maturity and obedience. Too many people will tell you that they’re going to heaven because they haven’t killed anyone, but James is saying that favoritism is a sin and all sin leads to death. Period.

The early church certainly had their issues or else James would not have needed to write these words, yet they became known for taking care of the poor and the widow and the orphan and the outcast. The Good News of Jesus Christ is alive and well 2000 years later because men and women and children before us followed the Golden Rule and lived radical, counter-cultural lives of faith, hope and love.

The next time you are tempted to pre-judge someone, show favoritism, or discriminate against someone, remember Susan Boyle. Remember James. Remember Jesus. Remember the Golden Rule. Imagine what would happen if we treated everyone we encounter with the dignity, value and respect that they deserve as being created in the image of God.

James concludes...

Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment! (2:12-13)

James is referring to the Old Testament law that no one was able to follow perfectly, yet Jesus came not to destroy the law but to fulfill it. Mercy is not getting the punishment that we deserve and it’s only because of Jesus that we have the opportunity to experience both abundant and eternal life.

You can listen to the podcast here.

Words, 24 July 2011

Big Idea: We are to know the Word, obey the Word, and share the Word.

What is your favorite word? Probably your name. Words are the building blocks of communication. They are the subject of the game Scrabble and its newer rival Words with Friends. Words are powerful. They convey meaning. Words can encourage or destroy, inform or confuse.

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. (1:19-20)

That sounds simple, doesn’t it?

Quick to listen
Slow to speak
Slow to become angry

Let’s go back for a moment and review the context. The previous verses say

Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. (James 1:16-18)

Notice that phrase...

...“word of truth.” The Greek is “logos” and means “word, spoken or written, often with a focus on the content of a communication.” Jesus is referred to as “The Word” in John 1:1 which emphasizes His own deity and the communication of who God is and what He is like.

We have been given the Word, both Jesus Christ and the Bible. God chose to give us new life and the Word.

Followers of Jesus that know Jesus and the Bible are to be...

Quick to listen
Slow to speak
Slow to become angry

When I was writing my message this week, I accidentally wrote

Quick to speak
Slow to listen
Slow to become angry

Unfortunately, that probably describes me more accurately. I love to speak (aren’t you glad!). It has been said, however, that God has given us one mouth and two ears. I’m trying to become a better listener. It’s difficult. Sometimes I catch myself thinking about what I’m going to say next rather than truly listening to the speaker.

We are also to be slow to anger. This is impossible without being filled with the Holy Spirit, something we talked about a few weeks ago. If you missed it, I encourage you to download the podcast because being filled with the Holy Spirit is one of the most vital and yet ignored aspects of following Jesus. We need to confess our sins, get rid of the junk in our lives, and invite the Holy Spirit to fill us. That’s exactly what the next verse says...

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. (1:19-21)

Is there any moral filth or evil in your life? Get rid of it!

Last week I mentioned my (weed) garden. Before I could plant my garden, I had to first remove all of the weeds from last year. I rototilled the soil and then planted seeds.

What is in the garden of your mind? Fox News? Facebook? Gossip? Lust? Or the Word?

Let me be very frank: if you are not filling your mind with the Word, it’s sin!

Last week I said there were sins of commission that we commit and sins of omission when we ignore things. You cannot follow Jesus if you don’t know Him. You can’t obey God’s Word if you don’t know what it says.

We have more resources and opportunities to fill our minds with God’s Word than ever before. People in other countries smuggle pages of the Bible, risking their own lives, in order to read it. We can listen to it in our cars, read it on our phones, buy countless translations and study editions, and even watch much of it on film.

If you spend any time online, I urge you to download the free
YouVersion app or bookmark on your computer. It’s a totally free resource where you can both read and listen to the Bible, post notes, interact with others, and view various reading plans. I’m reading through the Bible this year with the Life Journal reading plan. I begin most every day using my iPad to read the Bible before I even get out of bed. It’s a great way to start the day!

Perhaps you’ve tried to read the Bible and found it to be boring or difficult to understand. If so, a reading plan is great, especially one that takes you through both the Old and New Testament each day. I often find that out of the four or five chapters I read each day, if one or two are less than exciting, inevitably one or two will be timely and powerful. For daily reading, I’m using the New Living Translation and love it.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it — he will be blessed in what he does. (1:22-25)

Did you catch that? Don’t just read the Bible, do what it says.

I’ve met people that love to study the Bible, but they never apply it. That’s like a soldier who spends all day polishing his gun collection but never goes into battle. There are many so-called Bible scholars that are atheists! They completely miss the point! They are educated, but not transformed. The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were like that. Their brain was filled, but it never reached their heart.

Watching workout videos won’t help you lose weight!

Most of us are educated far beyond our level of obedience.

A common complaint to pastors is that they want deeper teaching. Deep teaching means I want you to confuse me so I don’t have to do anything about it! Mark Twain famously said, “It ain't those parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.”

Jesus said

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27)

They both heard the same word but had different outcomes.

Listen to this!

“That servant who knows his master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. (Luke 12:47-48)

We’re judged by what we do, not what we know (the opposite of most schools!).

James concludes...

If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (1:26-27)

A few years ago I was talking with a man who told me that he was not into organized religion. I told him that I hated organized religion! He was surprised and said, “But I thought you were a pastor.” I explained that I follow Jesus, not a religion. I know Jesus through prayer and the Word and the power of the Holy Spirit. Religion is man’s attempt to know God, but Jesus didn’t come to start a new religion. He came to foster a relationship, to give us freedom and real life, and to establish His Kingdom. He has sent us on a mission to be His hands and feet, serving orphans and widows and the poor and needy. He wants us fully engaged in the world, but so filled with the Word that it transforms the world rather than the world polluting us.

It grieves me when I see Christianity reduced to information without transformation. We need information, but it most not stop with information. We need application which then leads to transformation.

We were created to know God, not merely know about God. Jesus Christ is the Word. Do you know Him? He gave Himself and also the Bible. Let’s get into the Word. Let’s let the Word get into us. Finally, let’s practice true religion and get the Word into the world, our broken world that is desperately in need of faith, hope, and love.

You can listen to the podcast here.

Temptation, 17 July 2011

Big Idea: James provides encouragement to those facing temptation.

Last week we began our current series, PrACTical Christianity, a study of the book of James. We saw how James was written by Jesus’ half-brother who led the Church in Jerusalem. We also said this is one of, if not, the most practical books in the Bible. The messages are fairly universal and relevant 2000 years later.

The focus of much of the first chapter of James is the Greek word
peirasmo/ß, (peirasmos) which means trial or test…or temptation. James tells us to “consider it pure joy…whenever we face trials of many kinds” because they help us develop perseverance, grow, and mature. Although that’s not always much consolation in the midst of trials, it is encouraging to know that they serve a purpose, are meant for our ultimate good, and that God truly is in control, especially when we aren’t (which is always!).

Temptation began…in the Garden of Eden as Adam and Eve were tempted by satan to disobey God. Our enemy is real…and real crafty. Satan has no power to create, but he loves to distort and destroy God’s creation, including us.

It is important to realize that temptation is not sin. Many people feel guilty when they are tempted, yet it is possible to be tempted and not sin. Jesus proved this.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet was without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)

I love that verse! How many of you struggle with temptation? Jesus understands! He really does. He did not have a superpower sin shield that kept him from temptation. He “has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.”

When you are tempted, pray! Jesus understands!

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; (James 1:13)

The Greek word for temptation is…
peira¿zw, (peirazoœ). This is the same root as “trial” that we examined last week, but it has the emphasis of a trap. “The difference between a test and a temptation is found in the tester’s motivations and expectations; the devil tempts that the believer might fail God’s standards of faith and so sin; God tests that he might determine and sharpen true character, with no focus on making the believer fail.” (NIV Greek Dictionary)

What can we learn about God in this verse?

  • - God cannot be tempted
  • - God does not tempt; He tests us, but He does not lead us toward sin
  • - God is holy; nothing about sin is appealing to God

Who tempts? The devil or satan.

I found this helpful chart that shows the distinctions between God’s discipline, God-ordained trials, and God-allowed temptations (www.Acts




The Lord

God, World, Satan
The Devil



Following God
Pride or Exposure


Fits Crime

Proves Faith
Leads Astray





Make Light of

Shrink Back
Fall into


We are Sons

His Name is in Us
The Flesh is Weak


Fear and Holiness

Death and Glory
Sin or Victory

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. (James 1:13-14)

Oswald Chambers said, "Until we are born again, [this is] the only temptation we understand. But by regeneration we are lifted into another realm where we face the kind of temptations Our Lord faced... Satan does not tempt us to do wrong things, he tempts us in order to make us lose... the possibility of being of value to God... Temptation is a suggested short-cut to the realization of the highest at which I aim--not at what I understand as evil, but towards what I understand as good... [At this point Satan] does not come along the line of tempting us to sin, but on the line of shifting the point of view, and only the Spirit of God can reveal this as a temptation of the devil."

Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. (1:15)

Did you notice the progression?


Years ago a famous televangelist was caught, uh, with his pants down. I remember him saying, “I never thought it could happen to me.” That was his problem. He thought he was above the possibility of sin.

The crazy thing is that we all have healthy, God-given desires. Again, it’s satan that distorts those desires or gets us to seek their fulfillment in inappropriate ways.

Think about Adam and Eve. Did they need to eat? Yes. The question was not should they eat, but should they eat from
that tree.

People don’t just wake up one day and do crazy things. Our prisons are not filled with people who randomly decided to kill or steal. There was a desire that grew into a sin and all sin ultimately leads to…death.

Romans 6:23 clearly affirms this.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We are in the midst of a cosmic war between God and satan, good and evil.

C.S. Lewis: "No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because he was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means--the only complete realist."

Two Types of Sin

Perhaps you are feeling pretty good right now thinking you’ve resisted temptation, after all, you’ve never killed anyone! There are sins of commission—wrongful things that we commit or do—and sins of omission—things that we should do that we don’t. Honestly, that’s where I get in the most trouble. God draws me to prayer, yet I choose to ignore him and talk to a friend on the phone. He draws me to read the Bible, yet I choose to read blogs online. He draws me to give generously to others, yet I choose to spend money on myself.

And how does that sin lead to death? It kills the potential for a deeper relationship with God.

Perhaps you are feeling pretty bad right now thinking about how you’ve messed up. Here’s the good news!

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

Because Jesus endured temptation without sinning, His death on the cross allows Him to forgive us from ALL unrighteousness. Hallelujah!


When tempted, we should pray. Jesus knows, understands, and the Holy Spirit can fill us and help us in our struggle.

Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak. (Matthew 26:41)
Understand that you’re not alone in being tempted. Everyone in this room faces it daily.
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. (1 Peter 5:8-10)

It’s so easy to become discouraged as we battle with sin, but don’t give up. Don’t ever give up! It’s worth the fight. It’s literally a fight for life, the abundant life that Jesus came to give us.

We can also share our struggles with one another, encouraging one another when we have gained victory and even when we’ve blown it.

Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. (Galatians 6:1)

The wisdom of Proverbs says

As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17)


Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7b)

You can listen to the podcast here.