All posts by steve

Letters Home

This is a copy of a letter written from a daughter to a father…

It touched my heart so I want to share it here –

 

” Dear Dad,

I want to let you know first of all that I love you and forgive you for what this has done in my life. I also wanted to let you know exactly what your porn use has done to my life. You may think that this affects only you, or even your and mom’s relationships. But it has had a profound impact on me and all of my siblings as well.

I found your porn on the computer somewhere around the age of 12 or so, just when I was starting to become a young woman. First of all, it seemed very hypocritical to me that you were trying to teach me the value of what to let into my mind in terms of movies, yet here you were entertaining your mind with this junk on a regular basis. Your talks to me about being careful with what I watched meant virtually nothing.

Because of pornography, I was aware that mom was not the only woman you were looking at. I became acutely aware of your wandering eye when we were out and about. This taught me that all men have a wandering eye and can’t be trusted. I learned to distrust and even dislike men for the way they perceived women in this way.

As far as modesty goes, you tried to talk with me about how my dress affects those around me and how I should value myself for what I am on the inside. Your actions however told me that I would only ever truly be beautiful and accepted if I looked like the women on magazine covers or in porn. Your talks with me meant nothing and in fact, just made me angry.

As I grew older, I only had this message reinforced by the culture we live in. That beauty is something that can only be achieved if you look like “them”. I also learned to trust you less and less as what you told me didn’t line up with what you did. I wondered more and more if I would ever find a man who would accept me and love me for me and not just a pretty face.

When I had friends over, I wondered how you perceived them. Did you see them as my friends, or did you see them as a pretty face in one of your fantasies? No girl should ever have to wonder that about the man who is supposed to be protecting her and other women in her life.

I did meet a man. One of the first things I asked him about was his struggle with pornography. I’m thankful to God that it is something that hasn’t had a grip on his life. We still have had struggles because of the deep-rooted distrust in my heart for men. Yes, your porn watching has affected my relationship with my husband years later.

If I could tell you one thing, it would be this: Porn didn’t just affect your life; it affected everyone around you in ways I don’t think you can ever realize. It still affects me to this day as I realize the hold that it has on our society. I dread the day when I have to talk with my sweet little boy about pornography and its far-reaching greedy hands. When I tell him about how pornography, like most sins, affects far more than just us.

Like, I said, I have forgiven you. I am so thankful for the work that God has done in my life in this area. It is an area that I still struggle with from time to time, but I am thankful for God’s grace and also my husband’s. I do pray that you are past this and that the many men who struggle with this will have their eyes opened.

Love, Your Daughter”

I trust that the words of this letter are causing you to think and reflect on whichever aspect you relate to…

Whether you are the father who is struggling with an addiction, a wife who is struggling to keep a porn polluted marriage together, a daughter who finds her life forever effected or maybe these roles are reversed in your own situation –

…remember, you CAN be successful in your pursuit for purity and God wants to help you !

Marriages CAN be restored ! Families CAN thrive ! Lives CAN be made whole !

Please contact us –

The Flow

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/07/health/07brain.html

This study shows that when the Holy Ghost speaks through us – we are conduits…the portion of the brain controlling speech is not engaged. We should pray to be conduits and seek to remove any blockage of The Flow of the Spirit through us.

As we know – pornography is rampant in every demographic and desires to be a destroyer of both saved and unsaved alike. I encourage you to become familiar with HeSetMeFree.org and to be sensitive to those around you…understanding that as many as 70% of men, 40% of women and even 50% of ministers struggle with this problem.

We are standing against this giant on the battlefield and we WILL be victorious ! If you or anyone you know needs support or direction – please speak up – don’t let shame keep anyone bound because by its nature it secludes and destroys its victim…remember, we are only as sick as our secrets !

These two topics connect as the use of pornography and self gratification releases natural physical chemicals that cause us to become addicted – the act creates ruts in our physical brain. Those ruts will impede the path that the Holy Ghost wants to take through our thought process !

I want HIM to flow through every part of my life !

Community Accountability

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I endeavor to consistently educate myself concerning pornography and the many ways our adversary uses it to destroy the lives of people. Statistics change and demographics seem to vary but there are some things that will always be the same…the devil is out to steal, kill and destroy ! There are many tactics used in waging warfare and so it is with the WAR against pornography…I want to take a minute tonight and address one part of our campaign for purity –

ACCOUNTABILITY….accountability is partly described as “responsibility” and is, if done correctly, well described by a good friend of mine as “holding a mans feet to the fire” .
We live in a society of people who are quick to point fingers and blame others…Moms fault, Dads fault, school teachers fault, religious leaders fault – anyone but my own.
This attitude, accompanied by its treacherous twin, “entitlement mentality” can quickly cause people to embrace an erroneous thought that they have a “right” to indulge and the belief that its not their fault – after all, they were created this way !
As a young man I learned a saying; “if it is to be, its up to me”…
I have endeavored to teach my sons this principle and I urge you to find a place in your life to reflect on this thought…
Take a good long look in the mirror, look yourself directly in the eyes and be honest with yourself about what you see…

Let us briefly glance at three areas of accountability that we must have actively involved in our lives :
– peer
– spouse/family
– personal by relationship with God

…as we finish with the last area of accountability I compel you to take some time looking into the mirror of Gods Word.

Many people have the concept that they can overcome pornography on their own, without help and each time they fall they are certain will be the last time…ever..
Anyone who has struggled with sexual sins for any length of time know that the moment after you have “given in” you can, with utmost confidence and conviction, promise that you will never
fall for that again (…again).

When we fall for the idea that we can beat porn addiction by ourselves we will remain frustrated in our pursuit for purity.
Simply put – WE NEED EACH OTHER !
Accountability MUST be more than just a programmed and programmable activity…
it has GOT to become a lifestyle !

Enter peers…James 5:16 of the King James Version of the Holy Bible says to “confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that ye may be healed”.
There are two steps mentioned here and both of them involve you talking to another…
First, you must find trustworthy peers that you can bare this secret to – because we are only as “sick as our secrets”.
These peers must also be people that you are not going to lie to.
The sickness will never heal until it is uncovered and treated in our lives.

Enter family…I have a wife and two kids and there is never a moment that they cannot immediately have my phone or device to do something with it.
My sons pick and retain my access code for the restrictions on my phone and even get to see what apps I download or delete.
If I will model good accountability in front of and with them – they will learn and run with the concept !
My wife has all of my passwords for everything that I own and free access to my messaging and phone records ( which should never be deleted without her looking at them first ).

Enter God…HE is, omni-present, an ever-present God…
HIS Word is the final word on any subject and I desire to please HIM in all that I do..
Being accountable to God is only logical, right ?
Then why do we find it so easy to sin – knowing that HE is seeing and watching all that we do ?
Its time that we rethink our relationship with GOD !
If we will seek HIM early, pray for the strength that we need and then remain mindful of HIM ~ if we will fall in love with HIM and love HIM with our whole heart, mind, soul and strength ~ if we will truly love HIM, we will seek to please HIM.

When we engage these areas in our lives and open ourselves to scrutiny and accountability from each area, we are surrounding ourselves and living a lifestyle of accountability.

Instead of picking one lone person to be accountable to, being accountable all across the board will provide more security and likelihood of catching a problem before it becomes a problem !
Its important that each person doesn’t assume the others are watching you – expand your base until you have enough people involved in your ” accountability portfolio ” that you are well covered.
Never give anyone any reason to be uncomfortable in asking you questions and never grumble !

There are many resource available on this topic and I will post a couple at the end of this post…
They are more thorough in execution but I felt God directed me to review MY personal approach to accountability and I find that a community accountability is a much more effective plan than a single individual trying to keep tabs on me !
CovenantEyes:
http://t.co/MkwPjzNZMp/s/PcgJ

http://www.challies.com/articles/how-to-make-accountability-work?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_content=3634952
http://www.challies.com/articles/how-to-make-accountability-work?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_content=3634952

These are just two to get you started on your way…take the time to research the most effective accountability system for your needs and employ that plan immediately !

Good decisions made today make good decisions tomorrow feel natural !

Walking in the Word

The following is adapted from “Your Brain on Porn”, a free e-book available from Covenant Eyes….

Exploring the Bible, we can “reverse engineer” the bad training pornography has given us and replace it with God’s thoughts.

1. Porn promises gratification but only decreases our sexual satisfaction. But God is the creator of sexual satisfaction and has designed marriage for its enjoyment (Song. 4:9-16). For single men and women, it means pursuing wholesome, intentional relationships with each other (1 Thess. 4:4). For married men and women, this means renewing our minds towards our spouses, choosing to make them our standard of attractiveness. It means returning again and again to the enjoyment of sex in marriage (Prov. 5:18-19; Song. 7:11-13).

2. Porn disconnects us from real relationships, training us to believe that the best sex is solo-sex. But God has defined good sex as an expression of “oneness,” not emotional detachment (Gen. 2:24).

3. Porn lowers our view of women, training us to see each other as sexual commodities. But God created women in His image, and as such, women are worthy of great honor (Gen. 1:27; 1 Pet. 3:7).

4. Porn desensitizes us to and eroticizes cruelty. But God has designed sex as an expression of affection, not aggression (Deut. 22:25; Eph. 5:28-30).

5. Porn hooks us deeply, leading to possible addiction and sexual bondage. But God redeems our warped sex drive so that sex is a holy act of love and giving, not selfishness and slavery (1 Cor. 13:4-7; Gal. 5:22-23). Sex becomes our master when we believe the lie that porn tries to sell us: that sex is a “need.” If sex is a need, then we feel justified when we get mad at the world or at God for not giving us the sex or the kind of sex we so rightly deserve. But if sex is not a need, but rather a good desire, then we can set it alongside other good desires and go to the Word to understand its place.

For married men and women, this means surrendering our sexual desires to the Lord in a spirit of giving, not taking, and regularly returning to our spouse to be intoxicated with love (Song. 1:4; Prov. 5:18-20). For single men and women, this means surrendering our sexual desires to the Lord, practicing self control, and using one’s undivided interests to serve the Lord (1 Cor. 7:32-35).

Each of these ideas is only the beginning, but the more the mind engages with the Bible around these truths, the more our thoughts are renovated. Over time our minds will be rewired to see things the way God does. As we do this we are “sowing to the Spirit” and in time will reap a harvest of eternal life (Gal. 6:8).

Holiday gifts

As the traditional gift giving season is upon us, it is imperative that we choose what we give with educated intent …

There is a virtual cornucopia of electronic devises  that are on the market.  From laptops to tablets to phones and even watches that are going to be on some folks shopping lists.

In the hustle and bustle it is easy to get caught up in good intentions and a desire to see someone’s face light up in excitement upon receiving a new device as a gift, but allow me to interject a sobering thought…is there a filter on this device ?   Can a filter be installed on this device ?

A recent study by Pewinternet said “about three in four (74%) teens ages 12-17 say they access the internet on cell phones, tablets, and other mobile devices at least occasionally”. This means that  74% of teens have access to a mobile xxx theatre in their pocket…one that they can utilize at any time…in complete privacy and secrecy.

As a parent, a leader and a Christian I understand that we MUST help posture ourselves and our loved ones for success !

Let it never be said that we handed anyone any thing that was the cause of their destruction without having protected them through safeguards and instruction …

Just as a we would never gift a firearm without proper instruction and supervision or an automobile without proper instruction, education of safety features and instruction of safe usage…we cannot be guilty of handing  someone a devise with the potential of the destruction of their life !

Be educated !  Be intentional !   Be protective !   Be proactive !

 

Threshold Thinking

“Threshold Thinking”…

Threshold thinking is when you guard your mind by grabbing and analyzing every thought that comes to you as soon as it comes…immediately !

Don’t let any negative thought enter your mind and stay.

Do not allow lust and temptation to brush against you in its seductive and seemingly harmless way…

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; “(2 Corinthians 10:5 KJV)

We cannot keep the birds of thought from flying over our head but we CAN keep them from building a nest of contemplation in our hair !

Furthermore we can build a roof of covering through an overcoming relationship with God !

I know that the enemy has caused many to believe that the lust of the eye is a natural thing that you can’t change – but you  don’t have to believe everything you think !

We DO NOT have to believe the things that the devil tells us – he IS a liar !

The Word of God tells us to not set any unclean thing before us …the using of pornography is a tool of the devil  to cause us to …

1) look upon a creation of God with lust.     2) lead us down a path of destruction.     3) cause us to fall into sin and eternal damnation !

i encourage you to exercise the power and effectiveness of threshold thinking today !

Focus…

The late Reverend Billy Cole once stated……. “After you have found out what God wants you to do, it is very important to stay focused on it. Do not be distracted. For some of us, the devil will not distract with some bad thing; he’s too smart for that. He distracts with some good thing. Do not let the devil distract you, not even with something that is good.”

As we walk the path of purity, let us beware the wiles of the adversary. How subtle the serpent was when he beguiled Eve in the utopian setting of the garden of Eden…a place created for God and His creation to commune and develop a relationship of intimacy and fulfillment.

In Genesis 2:15 the bible tells us that the Lord God took man and placed him into Eden to dress and keep the garden. As Adam went about the business of naming the plants and animals it may have been a task that took quite some time…and was apparently one that allowed for some distraction. At some point in the “good” that Adam was doing, the serpent found his way to a position of influence in the garden…

The Lord had told Adam and Eve that of all the trees of the garden, they could freely eat…but of the tree of the knowlege of good and evil they were not to eat for in the day that they ate they would surely die. One tree… Every tree was permissible except one… That is where we read about the serpent meeting up with Eve. The enemy knew that there was only one place that he could get Gods creation to mess up…and that is where he camped out…and waited, and waited until finally his patience paid off.

The entire garden was created for Adam and Eve to enjoy and there were doubtlessly so very many beautiful places to go and delicious things to eat, but, as is in our human nature we seem to feel a draw toward the forbidden. So Eve has migrated toward that tree of the knowlege of good and evil and has proven the serpents efforts to have not been in vain. Eve was in the one place that she should have stayed away from…. It wasnt sin for her to go there, but it placed her near temptation !

It is imperative that we not give the enemy of our soul and place for a foothold in our minds, thoughts and lives ! Create safegaurds to protect yourself ! Flee from temptation ! You are literally running for your life… As the story of Eves interaction with the serpent continues it becomes plain to see another weakness in Eves life – a failure to know the true words that God had spoken to them… The serpent recognized that flaw and exploited it and beguiled Eve into sinning.

My exhortation to you today is to :                                                                            – watch and pray that you enter not into temptation                  (Matthew26:41)                                                                                                                                         – dont place yourself into areas that will place temptation before you (Psalm 101:2)                                                                                                                – know the Word that God has spoken, that you might not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11)

The holiday seasons are upon us and we are about to enjoy wonderful times of fellowship with friends and with family. Many people will be involved in Christmas programs, food drives, gift gathering for loved ones and for the less fortunate…many good and appropriate endeavors. While we enjoy these blessed times, let us also stay focused on the pursuit of purity ! Make time for praying before temptations come… Make time for reading Gods word that we may know His desires… Make NO provision for temptation to overtake us… Dont let the enemy catch you distracted by the good that you are doing and charm you into destruction !

Hidden in Shame

We want to invite you to review the video, Hidden in Shame, presented by He Set Me Free ministries.  This video highlights the passion of this ministry to facilitate the freedom of Men and Women from sexual addictions including pornography.  Christian Counselor Carol Clemans does a great job of presenting this overview and the steps necessary to begin healing!

We want to thank you for viewing the video at the following link:  Hidden in Shame.  You may contact us  for additional information.  Carol Clemans has additional resources available on her website  as well.