Thursday, June 17, 2010

How Rich Mullins Wrote the Song "Hold Me Jesus"

This is worth the 10 minutes.  Rich was always one of the more honest and unique CCM artists out there.  I really enjoyed listening to to him talk about writing this great song (he starts talking at 3:40 on the video).


HT Luke Gilkerson

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

7 Tough Questions for Accountability

Getting started with an accountability partner can be an awkward experience at first.  Two guys getting together to make sure they haven't been "naughty" can feel childish and plain silly.  "Hey Bill!  What ya been lookin' at on the computer?"  or "Bob have you masturbated in the last 7 days caus' you said that was a big problem last week?" (HINT: if you say these with a deep southern drawl it sounds hilarious!)   Accountability meet ups need structure and shape or they will end up just being a catch up on life and not an intentional examination of one's struggles.  We'll talk more about accountability in the future but here is a post by Stephen Altrogge over at his blog The Blazing Center that I found really helpful in bringing some much needed focus to my meetings with my accountability partner.  Let me know in the comments if you have found other activities helpful.

Have you been consistently pursuing the Lord through scripture reading and prayer?

Above anything else, I want to make sure that my friends are faithfully pursuing the Lord. If there is a deficiency in reading scripture and prayer, there will be a deficiency in their relationship with the Lord.

Have you diligently pursued your wife/husband this week?

This questions applies to married folks only. Our relationship with our spouse is our second most important relationship after the Lord. If I’m not diligently investing in my relationship with my wife, there’s a problem.

Have you seen any persistent patterns of sin in your life recently?

Sin usually isn’t an isolated event. The same sin usually occurs multiple times in different contexts. It’s crucial that we help each other identify patterns of sin.

Last week you confessed struggling with [insert sin]. Have you taken steps to fight it this week?

It’s not enough to just confess sin. We want to help each other actively fight against the sin that we confess.

When you gave into [insert sin], what were you believing about God in that moment? What were you believing about yourself?
Sin is the result of believing lies about God and about ourselves. We sin in worry because we believe that God isn’t taking care of us. We sin in lust because we believe that it will satisfy us more than God. We sin in anger because we feel that our “rights” have been violated. Sin is the result of believing lies.

What is the truth that you need to believe in this situation?
We fight against the lies of sin by believing scriptural truth. We must help each other see how scripture applies to every area of our lives.

When you had the conflict with [insert person], what were you craving at that moment?
Scripture tells that conflict is the result of cravings. James 4:1-2 says, “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?
You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel.” Cravings underlie conflict.

Hopefully these questions get you going in the right direction. Let there be awkward questions!.
Read the rest of his post here

Friday, February 5, 2010

Does Sex Cure Porn Addiction?

Here is a quote from a thought provoking post by Dr. Bernell Christensen over at the Candeo site:

But what about sex? Why would someone continue seeking out pornography and masturbation when they can have sex with their partner? Why would they still have the need? Think of it this way—would having sex eliminate a cocaine addict’s desire for their drug? Of course not, because cocaine addiction is not about sex. The same principle applies to porn addiction. Most people are completely unaware that “pornography addiction is NOT about sex.” Pornography creates a literal chemical dependency in the brain. The individual uses porn as a “drug-of-choice” to escape and “self-medicate” in response to any number of pressures, difficulties, needs or situations in his life. Having sex is not going to heal a chemical addiction.

Read the whole article here.

Friday, January 29, 2010

iPad Porn??

Well, most of you visiting this site must know that a small startup tech company called Apple just announced a major new product call the iPad. I can just imagine hundreds if not thousands of porn site domain names were registered within seconds of the announcement of the name of this product. For the most part each new breakthrough technology is usually harnessed to it's full potential, not by education platforms or hospitals, but by the porn industry. From the invention of the home video camera to the VCR to the world wide web; tech has been the best friend of virtual sex.

Like many of you I can think of a million reasons why i need an iPad (by "need" I mean "want" really-painfully-bad!) There are many justifications for purchasing one of these devices if not just for fun. However, I learned a somewhat hard lesson after getting my first computer. I never knew the problem that internet porn would be for me. I sat in my dorm room and unpacked my new Dell desktop and probably before I had even thrown away the bubble wrap I had searched for something softcore on my high-speed connection. A number of years later I rushed, slightly too fast, into purchasing my first smart-phone and realized much quicker that I would need restrictions. Thankfully, with my iphone I found a way to lock down the device so that my addiction would not ruin my life and devastate those around me once again(click here to see my quitting iPhone porn post).

"We do what we must so that we can do what we want" Forest Whitaker's character in the movie, The Great Debaters, said this to his impressionable son in regards to studying/working hard. I think it relates perfectly to the porn addict. You could also say it this way, "We restrict ourselves so that we can be free." I have found this to be true time and time again as it relates to my addiction to online sex. I must find creative ways to limit and restrict my access to an unmonitored internet connection. Sometimes I can still use a device and feel very free because technology allows me to. Covenant Eyes, XXXChurch, Safe Eyes etc... these programs can be very freeing ways to continue using your PC or Mac without the feeling of restriction. In regard to my iPhone I have been required to give up at times a lot of the functionality of the device because filtering or monitoring technology has not caught up (or been allowed to catch up) with the use of the device. It is for this reason that I must use caution when deciding if/when to purchase a new internet enabled product such as the iPad.

The sinner must remind him/herself of the pain and devastation of enslavement in their past life of habitual sin. More importantly the freed slave must remind themselves of the joy and beauty of their current life in Christ. Paul says this about a life without freedom,
"21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
" -Romans 7:21-25 NIV
If you're reading this article chances are that you resonate quite well with Paul's struggle. Let us serve our new good master in Jesus. His yoke is easy and his burden is light. Though we may not get to be the earliest adopters of every shiny new product that Steve Jobs has created; we can wait with joy knowing that our treasure is laid up in heaven. And hopefully just around the bend one of our brothers will create a safe way for us to enjoy this new tech. I don't know about you but I'm quitting iPad porn before I have to.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Willfull Entrapment

A New Film called Willful Entrapment is coming out described as:

A visually arresting short film that removes the veil from the the perception of "innocent fun" from pornography and depicts it as the door to psychotic addiction and destruction that it really is.
Lead character, Alan Gerd (Jayson McDonald), has a social media encounter with pornography and soon finds himself haunted by a force that seems to destroy him and the ones he loves. What starts out as a slightly uneasy realization explodes into a desperate struggle between life and death as he fights to save the life of Bernice (Kathy Quayle), and his own sanity. But is he strong enough to win on his own?

Conceptually influenced in part by the history of the life of Ted Bundy - a seemingly normal man who is estimated to have murdered and raped 35 woman in the US with a strong involvement in pornography, writer / director Francois J Driessen paints a visually arresting picture of the surreal world of sexual addiction and its power to destroy the innocent.

"A serious wake-up call to everyone that tolerated the idea of pornography."

HT Samson Society

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Pastors and Porn (Nate Larkin Interview) Podcast # 3

Ministers, pastors, priests etc... are men, and women, just like anybody else. I'm trained as a minister. I personally have an undergraduate degree from the Moody Bible Institute in Bible and Theology. I have never wanted to do anything else with my life but be a pastor. I spent the better part of my part-time and full-time ministry (over a 7 year span) addicted to pornography. Of course I had periods of giving it up but it always came back and worse. Today, the main reason I'm in the marketplace and not in a pastor's study is because I am trying to put some distance between myself and my addiction. I find stories from and about pastors and sexual sin fascinating and heartbreaking. I see myself in every headline of a minister gone bad.

Nate Larkin is one of those stories. You can read about Nate's story on your own. The audio today is from the Covenant Eyes. Nate is a gifted communicator. His video from I am Second is definitely worth the watch.

Download mp3 file here -or- Subscribe to the podcast in Itunes


"Are you still there?"

This is the question many of you have been asking me recently. If you subscribe to this blog you may be surprised that it still exists. Yes it does but I have neglected it a lot recently. I've also had a couple of "minor relapses." These "relapses" I call "minor" because I still have accountability in my life and those who know me know about what's going on with me. Though admittedly no sin especially that of a sexual nature is "minor." Let's be frank, it leads to death. I'm going to recommit myself to ridding my life of even the smallest sexual sin. I've been coasting on past success' recently and has lead to some sloppiness in my pursuit of holiness. Hopefully, rather Lord willing, you will see a lot of activity on your RSS and Podcast feeds here. I'm going to blog through the book Holiness by J.C. Ryle with a small possibility of producing some original content for the podcast feed as well. Thanks for sticking with me and fighting the good fight with me.