Weekly Web (W)roundup

weekly_roundup-img-640x290

Each week, I round up the best resources, articles, and videos I find that are relevant to finding freedom from porn addiction. Please note that by posting a link here it does not mean I agree with everything in the linked article. It just means I found it interesting enough to share.


Desiring God: Confessing Our Sins Together

I’m sure that most of us agree with Bonhoeffer that the confession of sin, grounded in the gospel, is a vital component of our personal spirituality. But we get a little uncomfortable when it comes to corporate dimensions of confession. It’s not too threatening to engage in silent confession when the liturgy calls us to do so in the weekend service, but when it comes to times of confession in small-group settings, we often settle for less-indicting statements like ‘I’m struggling with…’”

Tim Challies: Your Deepest Identity

More than anything else, your new identity hinges on this one simple truth: You are in Christ. You are united to Christ, and identified with him. Many Christians through the years have said that of all the blessings you receive as a Christian, none is greater than this. ”

J.D. Greer: Why God Doesn’t Remove Our Sinful Cravings Immediately

“Every Christian I know has had the experience of coming up against the same sin—again—and wondering, ‘Will this struggle ever end? Why doesn’t God just remove this?’ (If you haven’t had that experience, just give it time.) This seems to be a frustration common to all believers, and not just with sin, either. When we experience any prolonged suffering or pain or discomfort, we have to ask, Why?

Pyromaniacs: Poor Exchanges

“If you were once profane and are now hypocritical, you have only changed iniquities. It is a very curious thing how one sin feeds on another: the death of profligacy may be the resurrection of greed; the flight of pride may be the advent of shameless folly. The man who was lewd, riotous, brawling and irreligious has killed those sins, and on their graves he has sown a handful of a poisonous weed called pride, and it flourishes amazingly.”

Matt Chandler: Waiting

You Have been Given Wisdom from God

God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin (1 Corinthians 1:30).

Who You are In Christ

For the most part, school came fairly easily for me. I don’t recall ever getting a poor grade on a test or paper unless I purposefully chose to blow it off (which is a whole nother story). As long as I paid attention and read my assignments, I could get a decent grade without having to put in too much effort.

For an overly imaginative and creative kid like me, this was both a blessing and a curse. Sure, I could breeze through my homework quicker than most kids, which was a good thing. But then what was I supposed to do with all my free time?

In my younger years, I would typically play with Legos, read Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books, or draw epic Ninja Turtles vs. Star Wars battles. As I got older though, my decision-making skills seemed to regress.

Instead of building robots, I decided to stink-bomb the school cafeteria.

Instead of reading books, I chose to look at porn.

Instead of battling with action figures, I broke into cars for drug money.

The irony is, no matter how much trouble I got myself into, my grades never dropped. I remained on the honor roll at school despite all my poor decision-making.

I may have had a ton of knowledge, but I clearly didn’t have enough wisdom.

Wisdom is “the knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action”(1). You can know true facts about a million different things, but if you don’t know how to apply that information to your life, it’s just knowledge. Knowing facts and information may get you into the final round of Jeopardy, but it won’t help you navigate life unless you pair it with wisdom.

True wisdom, however, isn’t something you generate on your own. As Paul shows us in this verse, the source of true wisdom is Jesus: “God made [Christ] to be wisdom itself.”

Once again, Paul is speaking in the past tense. God made… It’s been done.

Furthermore, God did this for our benefit. He knew that many of the decisions we would be faced with in life would far exceed our pay-grades. Which is why He made Christ to be the embodiment of wisdom, placed Him within us, and granted us full access to everything we will ever need to know.

As Charles Ellicott says in his Commentary for English Readers:

“Christ became to us God’s revelation of Himself, thus giving us a wisdom from the source of all wisdom, which surpasses utterly any wisdom we could have derived from nature or from man” (2).

You can rest assured that God will never bring you to a tough decision only to leave you hanging. If you find yourself in a situation where you need wisdom, remember that Wisdom itself already lives inside of you. All you need to do is ask for it. He will make your path clear or give you the words to say.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that God’s widom far exceeds my own. Perhaps I’m wrong, but I have a feeling my decision to stink-bomb the school cafeteria wouldn’t have seemed like such a great idea if I’d sought the Lord’s wisdom first.

But then again, if I had asked Him, I probably would have missed out on all those fun hours I spent staring at the wall of the detention room.


This has been a repost from the archives.

10 Lies Men Believe about Porn Preview

My One Thing: Carl Thomas

“What’s the one piece of advice you would give
to someone struggling with porn addiction?”

Carl Thomas is the Outreach Pastor, X3groups Network Director, and site manager for xxxchurch.com.

Connect with Carl:

Twitter: @carl_t

 

10 Lies Men Believe about Porn PreviewTranscript:

Stephen: Hey guys! This is Stephen Kuhn with Belt of Truth Ministries. I’ve got Carl Thomas on the line. Carl is the Outreach Pastor and Network Director for X3groups. Carl, I just wanted to ask your real quick, what’s the one piece of advice you would give to somebody struggling with pornography addiction?

Carl: There’s so many different things out there, so I wouldn’t say this is like the most important thing because I don’t know if there is one single important thing, but u would say that the one thing I would highly recommend is community, which is just a churchy term for having a group, having a team, having a tribe. I think that’s super important. Pornography addiction is one of those things that’s tremendously isolating. I know when I dealt with it; it was not something you want to share with people. Obviously it could get a little awkward at times. Pornography traps you into this belief that you’re all by yourself and you’re not. We run a small group recovery program online through XXXChurch. I’ve led these groups for like 2 years. Not only do I run the program but I lead a group. The change I’ve seen in some of the guys in these groups has been amazing, and I honestly think for some of those guys, that was like the missing component in their life. They had the individual accountability. They had filtering. They had all these different things. They have read the books. They’ve done the workshops. But one thing they never did was open up to a group. They just kept it all bottled up inside and maybe only shared it with like 1 or 2 really close friends. It’s something really freeing in being able to have a group or a tribe that supports you. There’s a ton of benefits a community. There’s group accountability for one versus individual accountability. It’s kind of like “I’m not just doing this for me. I’m doing it for my team,” which is not something we tell people. We don’t say “hey may, when you join our group, don’t you look at porn because you’re going to let us down.” We don’t tell them that, but it’s one of these things where people just naturally, like I’ve had guys come on and say “this week I struggled a little bit” but then what happen they develop this team mentality. The encouragement’s huge because let’s be honest – porn is one of those really shame-ridden addictions. We are always kicking all our own asses all the time. Can I say that?

Stephen: Oh yeah.

Carl: Okay. But I mean we’re always getting our teeth kicked in, whether it’s by sometimes our spouse or whatever. But honestly, some of the people that are hardest on us are ourselves. We don’t give ourselves any grace. It’s good to hear from somebody else other than your buddy who you say “you’re my buddy. What else are you going to say?” That “hey man, this doesn’t define you. You’re still a good person. You’re still okay.” This is something we got to get rid off but it doesn’t lessen who you are. That’s not your identity. And also obviously the support is huge because there’s going to be those times where you really need it. You can learn from your peers. Sometimes you’ll see guys in group, they’ll hear from somebody else like “I never really thought of that” something simple like in Twitter because they see an image and then someone else in the group says “I just got rid of Twitter and it’s been better” and they go “oh I never really thought of that.” Like really stupid, simple things, but you’d be surprise. Some people need to hear it from somebody else where they say again. You’re decompressing these things. You get a chance to just kind of be you. One of the things about porn is like, at least what we tell people, is a lot of it has to do with the fact that we’re trying to be something we’re not and we’re trying to meet people’s expectations so we get all stressed out and that drives us to use porn sometimes because we’re trying to release the stress from trying to be somebody who we’re not. But in these groups, you can just be you. In my pastor’s group, when I get a new guy come in, I tell him. I say “hey man, I know this is a group for pastors, but please do me a favor – forget you’re a freaking pastor. I don’t want to hear any pastor-y talk. I don’t want to hear any church lingo. If your day was crap…” I actually would say if your day was shit, well whatever. I said “don’t put the pastor’s spin on it. Just be real. We’re not going to judge you.” For these guys, especially pastors, that’s huge. They’re like “wow! This is the only place I know where I can just be me.

I think community is super important for all those reasons and more. It’s biblical too. Ecclesiastes 4 it says, this is a really awful paraphrase. This is not like seminary-approved by any stretch of the imagination, but it basically says the guys who falls by himself, he’s in bad shape. But the guy that has a brother has someone to pick him up. That’s huge. It’s like I’m not in this by myself, so when I have a bad day, I got brothers I can fall back on who are going to help me out of this. I’m not stranded. For me that’s huge and I think that’s something that is honestly missing for a lot of people and a lot of people’s lives because it’s like that last thing. They get the accountability, but the hardest thing for a lot of guys to do is just step out and get into a community and just say “hey man, here it is. This is who I am. This is where I am and this is where I want to be.

Stephen: That’s awesome. Thanks for sharing that, Carl. Tell people where they can find you online.

Carl: X3groups is actually a part of XXXChurch Ministry, so best thing to do is go to XXXChurch.com. We have plenty of resources on there for men, women, spouses, parents, couples, everything from not only just to help with porn addiction or porn addiction recovery, but also like parenting, keeping the kids off porn, better marriages. We just released the course called Best Sex Life Now, which just help married couples find out what really great sex is supposed to look like. But X3groups, like I said that’s our small group recovery program. It’s a monthly thing. You meet every week though via video chat, kind of like right there at x3groups.com. That’s the website for that to sign up.

Stephen: Awesome. Thanks again, Carl. I appreciate your time and love what you’re doing. Keep up the good work.

Carl: Thanks man, appreciate it.

Stephen: Alright, see you later.

Carl: See you.

 

Smart Quote: Simon Tugwell

“So long as we imagine that it is we who have to look for God, we must often lose heart. But it is the other way about; He is looking for us. And so we can afford to recognize that very often we are not looking for God; far from it, we are in full flight from him, in high rebellion against him. And He knows that and has taken it into account. He has followed us into our own darkness; there where we thought finally to escape him, we run straight into his arms.” —Simon Tugwell

Thoughts on this quote? Feel free to discuss them in the comments below.

Weekly Web (W)roundup

weekly_roundup-img-640x290

Each week, I round up the best resources, articles, and videos I find that are relevant to finding freedom from porn addiction. Please note that by posting a link here it does not mean I agree with everything in the linked article. It just means I found it interesting enough to share.


Desiring God: The Real Faces Behind the Gay Issue

As they stumbled their way on the ice, he told her about being raised and shunned in a small town, being kicked out of school and out of his church, moving to work on his singing career, all the while dealing with ‘the pressure of being different’ — ‘being gay.’”

Paul Robinson: Religion vs. Jesus

Religion and Christian culture tells you that you are accepted when you… stop looking at porn… worship God in everything you do… are excited about turning up to church…”

Relevant: How I’m Overcoming Shame in My Sex Life

“Lately, I’ve seen a lot of discussion about the effects of the Evangelical purity culture that dominated the past few decades. Many Christians are talking about how we might approach sexuality and purity differently with the next generation. But what about those of us who are already living with the fallout?”

Joe Dallas: Slimed

“You can’t prevent Stimulation. You can, though, decide not to entertain it.”

Covenant Eyes: Does Porn Impact the Brain?

You can never be separated from God’s love

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).

Who You are In ChristChalk it up to my love of all things Middle Earth, but I can’t read this verse without thinking of the Lord of the Rings movies.

When I hear “No power in the sky…” I envision the Nazgûl swooping down on the backs of their fell beasts to pick off the men of Gondor during their ill-fated retreat from Osgiliath.

“In the earth below…” brings to mind the fellowship’s encounter with the fiery Balrog deep within the caverns of Moria.

And of course, “nothing in all creation” could include all the orcs, goblins, trolls, and the myriad of other nasties found within Tolkein’s world.

I picture those foul creatures and think of how lucky we are that these “powers” are only the stuff of fantasy.

Or are they?

Now, I’m not saying the Nazgûl are real, but it does sound like Paul wants us to recognize how sometimes the things we think of as fantasy are actually a very real (but unseen) part of our reality.

Angels… Demons… Powers of Hell…

Paul is telling us that spiritual creatures do exist…and some of them are bent on your destruction. But his point isn’t that you need to be afraid of them. Quite the opposite in fact.

Paul wants you to know that no matter what you come up against, none of it will ever be able to separate you from God’s love.

Why? Because Christ has already sealed your destiny for all eternity. Which means that even death itself will be nothing more than your passage from this world into the loving arms of your Father.

So no matter what happens in your life from here out, God will always love you just as much as He loves Jesus. And nothing will ever change that.

Not your secret sins.

Not the sins of others against you

Not the mistakes from your past.

Not even the full power of hell set against you.

Nothing will ever separate you from the love of God because of what Christ has done for you.


This has been a repost from the archives.

10 Lies Men Believe about Porn Preview

My One Thing: Russ Shaw

“What’s the one piece of advice you would give
to someone struggling with porn addiction?”

Russ ShawRuss Shaw is the host of the ASI247: Attitudes of Sexual Integrity podcast.

Connect with Russ:

Twitter:  @russshaw

 

10 Lies Men Believe about Porn Preview

Transcript:

Steve: Hey guys! Steve with Belt of Truth Ministries here. I’m here with Russ Shaw of the ASI247 podcast. We just got done recording an interview, and I figured I’ll let you guys kind of behind the scenes and see where the magic happens.

Russ: That’s right.

Steve: This is Russ’ basement. Right behind us is his old laptop.

Russ: Most of the podcast were made right here on this monstrosity.

Steve: Nice.

Russ: That’s right, right there.

Steve: Russ, you are my first interview on video.

Russ: Nice. I’m honored and humbled, of course.

Steve: I’ve got one question for you. If you guys have seen City Slickers, Curly has got the one thing. My question for you, Russ, is what’s your one thing, if you can share one thing with guys that are struggling with pornography addiction, what would you say?

Russ: I think the biggest thing, the one thing if I had one thing to say, and I come from a jacked up background – alcohol, drugs. I had my chemical romances before the pornography thing. Actually that was there too. I come from not the most churchy background. I guess I’ll use that term. I would say the biggest one thing when it comes to taking this thing on is – is God good? Asking that question is powerful. Is God good? Who are you? Are you a good creation? That’s something that Paul Young asked me and I think that’s powerful too, but really for me the one thing is – is God good? Because we want us to think about pornography as like God’s destroying our fun. Right? Like this is a fun thing. What’s wrong with looking at naked…desires aren’t bad. Right? Stuff like that. God created our sexual desire. God created us. He made that, but we can mess them up and the bible isn’t out to destroy all our fun. Is God good? A question that’s something that you’re going to have to intimately answer with your creator. It’s powerful. It’ll light you up. I challenge you to ask that with your life and with passion and without BS and being honest and not having the right answer about it but asking it diligently to your Creator because He is real and He is personal and He’s not distant. You don’t have to force your prayer life because the Holy Spirit is right there with you all the time, and that’s true. And I hope that helps.

Steve: Alright. Is God good? Ask yourself guys. Thanks Russ.

Russ: Thanks Steve.

Smart Quote: Saint Patrick

“I am imperfect in many things, nevertheless I want my brethren and kinsfolk to know my nature so that they may be able to perceive my soul's desire.” —Saint Patrick

Thoughts on this quote? Feel free to discuss them in the comments below.

Weekly Web (W)roundup

weekly_roundup-img-640x290

Each week, I round up the best resources, articles, and videos I find that are relevant to finding freedom from porn addiction. Please note that by posting a link here it does not mean I agree with everything in the linked article. It just means I found it interesting enough to share.


Desiring God: Ammunition for the Fight Against Porn

“Paul clearly assumes that we should already have the knowledge he is about to give us. He also believes that this knowledge will shape and govern our sexuality because of the power these truths contain. Good theology triumphs over biology.”

Randy Alcorn: Some Thoughts for Those Who Are Considering Divorce

“This is NOT an attack piece on the divorced. It is written for the many believers who may be considering a divorce too soon because it is a cultural norm. Please don’t feel judged, but this is to help some people even though it may be of no help to you.”

Family Studies: The Problem with Exposing Kids to Sexual and Violent Content

“Sex and violence are at an all-time high in the movies our children watch, the music they hear, and the games they play. And, in bad news for moms and dads a new study, published recently in Pediatrics, suggests that it is parents who are unknowingly dropping the ball.”

Paul David Tripp: Man Does Not Live by Man Skills Alone

What does a real man look like? What do we do about the growing cultural dynamic of protracted boyhood? Who will teach our boys to be men? What does the Bible say about gender distinction? What does it teach about a man being a man? How different are men from women? These are ongoing debates whose conclusions will shape the lives of thousands of boys who are in the process of becoming men. The “manhood” conversation is something no serious Christian can avoid.”

Covenant Eyes: Is Porn Addiction Real?

In Christ, You are an Heir of God’s Glory

Since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering (Romans 8:17).

Who You are In ChristImagine receiving an email one day informing you that you’re the last remaining relative of a wealthy king. You have never met this man, but if it turns out to be true, it means you’re now the heir of a great fortune. Your financial troubles are over.

Sadly, these emails are rarely (if ever) true.

But what if there’s an even better inheritance set aside for you? One that would put any earthly kingdom to shame? One that would solve more than just your financial troubles?

That, my friend, is true.

The moment you are adopted as a child of God through your union with Jesus, you become an heir to His glory. Your name is written into God’s will, right next to Jesus.

It seems rather pointless for God to have a will though, doesn’t it? After all, He is eternal, so why would He need to dictate where His stuff goes after He dies if He’s never going to die?

That’s why this will is different: It’s tied to your life, not to God’s.

In other words, this will kicks in when you die.

But here’s where it get’s really good: You’ve already died.

As one who has trusted Jesus, you’ve been crucified with Him. The old you is dead. The new you, however, was resurrected with Christ and is currently seated in Heaven. Which means you’ve already received your inheritance.

The riches of God’s glory and grace are available to you today.

This is great news, because, as the second half of this verse warns us, life won’t always be all rainbows and kittens for those who follow Christ. We’re going to need God’s help to get us though.

But we can trust that He will always give us what we need. Why?

Because He already has.


This has been a repost from the archives.

10 Lies Men Believe about Porn Preview