2015 Belt of Truth Honest Christmas Letter

Lego Family

The Kuhn Family, December 2015

We have a tradition here at Belt of Truth Ministries where I send out a Christmas letter recapping all that has happened in the previous year.

Now, you’re probably thinking that’s not anything new. Everyone does that, right?

Yes, but I do mine a bit differently. Rather than merely listing the highlights of the year, I try to be honest and share the stuff I’m not super proud of as well, since I believe not hiding your junk is one of the fundamental practices that helps keep you free from bondage.

After all, trusting others to love and accept you right where you’re at is often the first step in trusting that God loves and accepts you right where you’re at.

So, in the spirit of “practice what you preach,” I give you the 2015 Belt of Truth Honest Christmas Letter:


Dear Friends,

If I had to put a label on 2015, I would call it the year of Job 42. For those of you who are not familiar with the book of Job, chapter 42 is where God restores to Job all that he had lost in ways far exceeding what he hoped for or deserved:

So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. For now he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 teams of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys (Job 42:12).

I may not have received a herd of donkeys this year, but I have nevertheless been blown away by His unending grace and mercy.

Marriage Update #1

If you’ve read my book, you already know of the call God put on my heart to wait and pray for reconciliation with my former wife. In fact, I’ve had many readers contact me asking how things turned out and whether or not we’ve gotten back together. As it turned out, she married a really great guy in the fall of 2014, closing the door on the possibility of us reconciling (at least as a married couple).

To be honest, God had been preparing my heart for that moment for a while, so there was no mourning the relationship as I’d always imagined there might be. On the contrary, I was genuinely happy for her and her new husband. I will admit that it’s an odd thing at first to see your former wife married to another man, but now, only a year later, it no longer seems strange at all. In fact, I just saw them holding hands last week and thought to myself, that’s cute. I’m glad they’re happy.

Marriage Update #2

WeddingDuring those years when I was still waiting for her, there was always the question in my mind of what I would do if she did remarry, releasing me to date again. I’d be lying if I said I’d never thought about marrying anyone else.I always knew if I started dating again, there was only one girl that I would even consider pursuing. Luckily, when the time became right and I told her how I felt, she had the same feelings for me as well. We both knew we were a good fit for each other because we’d already been friends for years, so we ended up dating for only a few months before making it official. I rented a live owl to deliver an engagement ring to her (naturally), and we were married last March.

You may think that’s moving pretty fast, and you’re probably right. Patience is clearly not our thing, though, because we also managed to get pregnant only a few days into our honeymoon. We already planned to start a family quickly, but this was a bit sooner than expected. We’re super excited though, and like to think of our new little girl as God’s wedding gift to us.

For most people, getting married and having a baby would be enough major changes for one year, but not for us. We recently had an offer accepted on our first house, and hope to close by the end of the year. So, for those of you keeping track at home, that means we’ll be having a baby, celebrating Christmas, watching Star Wars, closing on a house, fixing up said house, and (hopefully) moving—all in the next two months.

I think our New Years resolution should be to not make any more changes in 2016 (although who am I kidding, we’re totally getting a dog).

It has been an amazing year to say the least. But in true “Honest Christmas Letter” fashion, there are a few things that I wish could have been different.

Walking in Freedom

In last years Christmas letter, I admitted to the following:

“Even though God has set me free from the chains of my addiction to porn, I still walk back into its trap once or twice a year. 2014 was a ‘twice year,’ but I have hope that 2015 will be a ‘once year.’ Perhaps it will even be a ‘none year.’”

Well, I’m excited to share that 2015 was indeed a “none year.” That doesn’t mean I’m prefect through. There were a few times where I’d allowed some old patterns to creep back in that required dealing with.

For instance, we moved into an apartment with a swimming pool, which I quickly realized was not a safe place for me to spend time alone given the propensity for girls to be there tanning in their swimsuits. There was a big part of me that wanted to not only hide that struggle, but to justify and embrace the temptation as well. I’m pleased to say that I did bring it up with the guys in my group, as well as with my wife, and invited them to check in with me regularly to make sure I wasn’t heading to the pool on my own.

Now, for some of you reading that, you may be rolling your eyes at how minor it sounds. Many of you will also find it insulting or discouraging that I’m considering the pool my biggest struggle with lust at this point. I get that. Keep in mind though, I’m years into my recovery. I have known what it’s like to struggle with porn daily, and I also know what it’s like to be set free from that struggle. More importantly though, I know that no matter how free I become, I’m still only a few bad decisions away from being right back to where I was. That’s why I treat these seemingly small struggles with the same importance that I would treat a full-on relapse.

Learning Humility

As many of you know, I published my second book, DONE, earlier this year. It was well received from the start, but sales have since dropped off significantly. 10 Lies Men Believe about Porn, followed a similar path at first, however, it is slowly picking up momentum. Either way, I’m not exactly headed for the New York Times best-seller list any time soon.

I knew that writing a book on porn addiction wasn’t going to make me rich, but that’s not why I wrote it. I wrote it to try to get this message out to as many people as possible and help them find the same freedom from addiction that I have found. That’s why it’s hard for me to see my sales numbers remain low each week. I know there are hundreds of people who would benefit from my books, and I strongly believe God wants this message out there, but I just can’t figure out how to get these books to rise above the endless sea of titles being added to Amazon every day.

On my worst days, this discourages me to the point where I consider walking away from writing altogether. “What’s the point?” I think to myself, “No one will read this stuff anyway.” I know that’s the enemy talking though. I believe God has called me to write, so I will continue to write… regardless of how many people are going to read it. After all, even if one guy finds freedom through reading my books, it’s worth it.

The Lord Blesses Job…

We are told that Job was blameless and upright, but I can tell you I was definitely not. I was clearly the one who screwed everything up and caused the majority of the destruction in my life. Yet, regardless of my guilt, God has still chosen to restore me in the same manner that He restored Job. That, my friends, is grace.

I pray that you may experience this same lavish grace of God in your life this coming year, regardless of whether or not you deserve it. Because let’s be honest, none of us deserve it.

With His love,

What you are you sharing in your Christmas letter this year?

Weekly Web (W)roundup


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.

Tim Challies: Satan’s Great Trick

“Do you see the pattern? Do you see the cycle? Do you see the sheer evil of it? Satan’s great joy is to convince you that the sin you are about to commit is very small and the sin you have just committed is very large.”

XXX Church: 3 Quick Tips to Handle the Truth About Yourself

“Even with our voice shaking: we must sometimes become the truth for each other, because friendship and accountability means we’re there to see the best in one another.”

Storyline: Three Things To Remember When You’re Walking Toward Healing

“The journey I started that day in counseling has been the most liberating, exhausting and healing path I could have chosen for myself. It gave me a chance to answer the biblical call to ‘choose life, that you might live.’”

Relevant: Why Don’t Christians Talk About Sex After Marriage?

“Like any other couple, we figured things out, but looking back, it makes me wonder if the Church needs to reconsider some of the ways it talks about (or doesn’t talk about) sex.”

Pastor Bob: Does God Like Me?

Friday Only: Save 50% on your entire order!

50% off at the Belt of Truth Store

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Simply use the code “FRIDAY” at checkout to receive your discount.

Belt of Truth Bookstore



DONE: You Became Part of God’s Royal Priesthood

You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light
(1 Peter 2:9).

Imagine you’re at your wedding standing across from the woman you love. The pastor is saying something about forever…rich or poor…better or worse… But if you’re honest, it’s all a blur. Your mind is fixated on the beauty in front of you.

You know you love this woman, and you decided long before this moment that you want to spend your life with her, so whatever you agree to at this point is just confirmation of what you already know in your heart.

The important thing to recognize though, is this ceremony is the moment when you will finally become her husband.

For those of you who have been there, did you have any idea how to be a husband on the day of your wedding? Did you fully understand what you were agreeing to when you made those vows?

Nope. None of us did.

But that didn’t change the fact that you still became a husband the moment you said “I do.” It just means you now get to spend the rest of your life figuring out what being a husband looks like.

That’s the thing about identity. You often become something long before you know how to actually be that something.


You often become something
long before you know how to
actually be that something.


The moment you put your faith in Christ you became a royal priest. You became holy. You are now possessed by God in the same way a husband and wife possess one another.

Do you know how to be a priest? Do you know how to be holy? Probably not completely. But the more you trust that God has already made those descriptors true of you, the more you will learn how to live according to that truth.

You are already a priest. Now you can learn how to live as one.

You are already holy. Now you get to learn how to walk in holiness.

You are already God’s possession, and not even death can separate the two of you.

And as a result, “you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.”

Done Cover MockupThis post was an excerpt from my book, DONE. 52 Amazing Things that Became True of You the Moment You Trusted Christ.

The entire book is available as individual posts here, but if you prefer a good old-fashion paperback, you can purchase a copy from Amazon.

Smart Quote: Matt Chandler

“The litmus test I’ve always used on whether or not you really grasp grace is what you do when you blow it. If you blow it and you run from the Lord to try to clean yourself up and then come back, you do not understand grace and what God has done for you in Christ. But if you blow it and you run to him, that’s an evidence of grace.” —Matt Chandler

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

How Buying a New Bible Made Me a Better Father

Journaling Bible

I’ve long been a fan of those”Read-the-Bible-in-a-Year” plans. This year, however, I decided to try something slightly different.

It all started when I discovered the Journaling Bible, complete with oversized, lined margins perfect for heavy note-takers.

I, however, have never been a note-taker.

I felt led to buy this Bible though, not to take notes for myself, but for my daughter.

So, on January 1st this year, I began reading the entire Bible, highlighting verses and writing notes in the margins for her to read someday.

Now that I’m coming down to the home stretch, I can tell you it’s been one of my favorite things I’ve done to father her toward the Kingdom, and I haven’t even given the Bible to her yet. In fact, she probably won’t get it until she’s 13, which is still years away.

That doesn’t mean she hasn’t benefited from this practice though. She’s already well aware that this is “Her Bible,” and loves to catch me writing in it so she can ask me to read her what I just wrote down. Not only that, it’s helped me to read the Bible as if I’m reading it again for the first time. Instead of getting hung up in the deeper aspects of theology, I’m re-examining the foundational truths with fresh eyes.

For example, just this morning, I was reading in 1 Peter and came across a verse I’ve been well aware of for many years:

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:14-16).

It struck me that I had been reading that verse through the lens of a legalistic faith for most of my life. But now that God has been opening my eyes to the reality of what it means to be In Christ,” the meaning was completely different to me.

Here’s what I wrote in my daughter’s Bible:

For years I read this verse as a call to try harder and make myself perfect because that’s what God calls us to do, right? That’s not true though. That thinking leads to self-righteousness and shame. Notice verse 16 here—it’s not a command to be holy, it’s Peter telling you that you already are holy because Jesus is holy (and He is living in you). You don’t need to try to be holy, you just need to trust that Jesus has already given you His holiness. See how that changes everything?!

Now, will she read this and interpret it as me telling her she can go do whatever she wants? Perhaps. But I have confidence that once she starts to trust the permanence of her union to Christ and the unconditional love and acceptance that comes with it, that will be what motivates her to live out of the holiness Jesus has given her rather than the passions of her former ignorance.

As for the journaling Bible, I’d say its been a huge win. So much so, that I just ordered a second one this morning for daughter #2 (even though she’s not scheduled to be here for a few more weeks). My plan is to switch back and forth each year, adding more notes and highlights until the time comes to hand each Bible off.

If you want to get your own copy of the Journaling Bible, you can do that here. I’d also recommend you get some fine-tipped pens as well. After all, you’ll be using them a lot next year, right?

Weekly Web (W)roundup


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.

Fierce Marriage: 3 Ground Rules for Building an Honest Marriage

“Problems in marriage present themselves like spiders sometimes. You feel their effects – their webs – but you can’t always pinpoint the cause. You feel like something’s wrong, but you don’t know the source of the problem.”

XXX Church: 3 Reasons Why You Can Celebrate Your Failures

“Where you are weak, God’s grace rises like a flood plain, covering you in a truth about the nature of God. Your failures exist only in your conscious and unconscious. The nature of God is that ‘nothing can separate you from the love of Christ.’ Nothing.”

Biblical Counseling Coalition: 7 Gospel-Centered Principles for Protecting Your Marriage

“Nothing is more destructive to marriages than falsehood. More than once I have heard the victim of marital infidelity say, ‘I can forgive the sex, but I don’t know if I can forgive the lies or if I can ever trust her again.’”

Covenant Eyes: 10 Ways to Begin Talking to Your Children About Sex & Porn

“Before you are even ready to talk to your child about sex and porn, you may want to consider some of the groundwork Aaron did to get to this moment.”

Steve McVey: Knowing Who You Are

DONE: You Have Been Granted Full Access to God

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most (Hebrews 4:16).

As a child of God, you have full access to God whenever you want. You can come before God and ask Him to help you with your struggles, give you His strength to make it through a difficult circumstance, or even give you His wisdom in a specific situation.

You can come before Him and ask Him anything.

Not only that, God actually wants you to come before Him with your needs and desires. He honestly cares about whatever is on your mind:

Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you (1 Peter 5:7).

Think of it this way: How hard is it to be granted an audience with the president of the United States? Apparently, there isn’t even a clear path laid out for the average citizen to meet the president. The closest I could find was a page on the presidential website allowing you to enter a drawing to hopefully win an invitation to a dinner with him—but it expired four years ago. That leaves me the option of performing some amazing act of heroism that will gain me national attention, or winning the Super Bowl (I think those guys usually get a White House invitation).

But what if the president was my dad?

Do the president’s kids need to enter a contest to win dinner with their daddy? Nope. They can walk into the Oval Office and hang out with him pretty much whenever they want.

As a child of God, you’ve got the same level of access to Him as the president’s kids have to their dad. 

So come before God and let Him know what’s on your heart. He won’t reject you or push you away. He will accept you fully as His son, showering you with His unending mercy and grace.

Done Cover MockupThis post was an excerpt from my book, DONE. 52 Amazing Things that Became True of You the Moment You Trusted Christ.

The entire book is available as individual posts here, but if you prefer a good old-fashion paperback, you can purchase a copy from Amazon.

My One Thing: Cory Schortzman

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

Cory Schortzman is the Executive Director of Transformed Hearts Counseling Center and author of multiple books.

Connect with Cory

Website: transformedhearts.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/transformedhearts

Twitter: @TransformedH

YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/transformedheartsctr

Google Plus: plus.google.com/+transformedheartsctr/videos?hl=en

Email: [email protected]


Out of the Darkness

Into the Light Series

Ashes to Beauty Series

301 Series

10 Lies Men Believe about Porn Preview

Check out all the “One Thing” video interviews here.


Stephen: I’ve got Cory Schortzman on the line. Cory is the executive director of Transformed Hearts Counseling Center and the author of multiple books on recovery. Cory, what’s the one piece of advice that you would give to somebody struggling with porn addiction?

Cory: Thanks. Good afternoon, Stephen. A couple of main things I’d like to talk about as maybe kind of a typical… There’s always accountability, honesty, lying, these sorts of things that help men come out of pornography, and getting in groups. But the one thing that I don’t find a lot of people talking about is this addiction to being offended. I believe that underneath any and every addiction is an addiction to being offended. And I find this in my own recovery, my own sobriety. And what does this really mean? So these are people that generally to go and act out, underneath that is deeper issues of feeling hurt, real or imagined offences get us to a place to want to go medicate those feelings and emotions. I have a website. I do a lot of blogging and an offended test. The Anatomy of Peace, Leadership, Self-deception by The Arbinger Institute. These books have taken me beyond my 12-step program over the years and really identifying that it is true and God’s word, when in the last days, many will be offended. Many will be lovers of themselves. It goes on to say love will grow cold. As we know, lust takes… I like to define lust as taking fantasy, takes… Imagination is about giving to others. Love is about giving.

So they’re just some quick little tidbits here on what this assessment looks like. If you find yourself thinking and believing your qualities are better than others, or you find yourself thinking and believing that the qualities of others are worse than yours, you find yourself as judge, jury, and executioner. You think about getting even with those that have hurt you.

Number three, you’re quick to accuse, blame, and criticize others for your own problems, thoughts, and actions. Another one here, you find yourself unable to sleep and awaken at night, unable to fall back to sleep, having your racing thoughts and feeling disrespect that you’ve been done wrong. You’re easily angered and become defensive when you ask to change or are confronted about your behaviors. You believe that only if others change, then your relationships with them would be better.

Here’s another one: you allow your emotions to dictate how you act. Generally, typical things that I see… and there are several more of these as I’ve assessed. So if you explore five or more of these, you might have an addiction to being offended. And part of this assessment too is we hear a lot [inaudible – 03:49] parts [inaudible] is the lesser known. Everybody is familiar with sex addiction, but what’s lesser known is intimacy anorexia. And this is an intentional withholding of our hearts, feelings, and emotions with our spouse. And in my research, about 64 percent of the guys that come to our office are not only sex addicts but intimacy anorexics. So to do that assessment, I have also on our website. And it can be very helpful for the guy we’re trying to help. So if you’re a guy not finding much success, you’ve been in recovery for a while from your acting out, there might be a 6 out of 10 chance that you’re only dealing with half the addiction, and that is intimacy anorexia.

So if there’s one thing today, I guess there are two things I want to bring to the table, and that’s an addiction to being offended, which I believe is also underneath the anorexia addiction. So a lot of things. I don’t want people to feel overwhelmed like oh, I’ve got more stuff to work on. But we do want tools and information out there, so check out our website and the blog. I’ve been blogging now for over a year. We have some YouTube clips out there that can help get them started. Thanks, Stephen.

Stephen: Yeah, awesome. I think those are a couple of great resources. I encourage all the guys watching this to check out those assessments, fill them out, and just see. It’s amazing what you can learn from just answering some of those introspective questions. I know in my own journey that intimacy anorexia was something that I worked through with my counselor. And it’s not something that’s on a lot of guys’ radars. But once their eyes are open to it, then they recognize it in their life. And you can see how it really does play a big part in pornography addiction. So I’m glad you shared that, Cory.

Can you tell people where they can find out more about you and your ministry?

Cory: Yeah, absolutely. We are based in Colorado Springs, and we also have a satellite office in Denver. But surprisingly, most of our practice is by phone. So don’t let that limit you. Give us a call. Our website is transformedhearts.com. The phone number is 719-590-1350. We do free assessments. We have lots of books and resources, YouTube stuff, the blogs. We do 3-day and 5-day intensives. We do phone counseling groups. So really, at any point of entrance, depending on your budget and availability, we want to help you out. So give us a call and see how we can serve you. Thanks.

Stephen: Yeah, awesome. As always, all that information will be in the show notes. So if you guys didn’t catch all that watching, just scroll down below and you’ll see all those links. Cory, thanks again for your time, I love what you’re doing, and keep up the great work.

Cory: Thanks Stephen, be blessed.

Stephen: See you.

Cory: Bye.

Smart Quote: Oswald Chambers

“If the Spirit of God detects anything in you that is wrong, He does not ask you to put it right; He asks you to accept the light, and He will put it right.” —Oswald Chambers

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