“52 Amazing Things That Became True of You the Moment You Trusted Christ” is finally here!

52 Amazing Things CoverHey friends,

Today is the day! 52 Amazing Things That Became True of You the Moment You Trusted Christ is now available.

Many of you have already pre-ordered it, which means your copy will likely show up today.

If you haven’t ordered a copy yet, you should be able to find it anywhere books are sold.

Either way, if you enjoy it as much as I believe you will, hop over to Amazon and/or Barnes & Noble and leave a review. Getting early reviews can be a huge boost for a book, so thanks in advance for those of you who take the time to do so.

Thanks again friends.
—Stephen

Give it Away, Give it Away, Give it Away Now! (Goodreads Giveaway is now live!)

Goodreads Giveaway

Why, you might ask, did I just quote the Red Hot Chili Peppers in this post title?

Because we’re giving away a bunch of copies of 52 Amazing Things That Became True of You the Moment You Trusted Christ!

And these aren’t just digital copies, they’re the real thing. Physical, paper-and-ink, drop-on-your-head-as-you-fall-asleep-reading, hardcover books.

All you need to do is fill out the entry form here and you’re entered. It’s that easy.

Good luck!

An Announcement, a New Book, and a Giveaway!

Hey friends,

It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? There are a few reasons for why I haven’t been very active around here, and perhaps those will warrant a more detailed explanation in the near future, but for now, I’ve logged back in to give you some exciting news:

I’ve got a new book coming out in less than a month!

And the best part is, you can read this book in public without having to hide the cover (I’m looking at you, 10 Lies Men Believe about Porn).

52 Things Cover

52 Amazing Things That Became True of You the Moment You Trusted Christ will be available April 4th pretty much everywhere (Amazon, iBook Store, Barnes & Noble, from the trunk of my car on the street corner… you get the idea).

This awesome little book unpacks many of the verses in Scripture describing who you are “In Christ” to help you understand more fully who God says you are, and what these truths mean for you personally—all of which can be deeply transformational and life-changing.

If this all sounds familiar to those of you who have been around for a while, you’re not having a case of deja vu. This book is a re-release of my old, self-published book, Done. Now that FaithWords has published it though, it will be available to a much greater audience (not to mention it has a snazzy new hard-cover as well).

Anyways, on to the giveaway!

We’ve got a couple of great prizes you can win by pre-ordering 52 Things prior to the launch on April 4th:

Prize #1: Pre-order 1 or more copies and you’ll be entered to win 1 of 5 hour-long Skype calls with me to chat about anything you want (the content of 52 Things, topics related to 10 Lies Men Believe about Porn, Star Wars, Legos, politics, etc.). Not only that, I’ll send each winner a Starbucks gift card so we can both have fancy coffee on our call (just as if we were meeting up in person!).

Prize #2: Pre-order 5 or more copies and I will send you a signed hard copy of 52 Things as well as entering you into the drawing for the Skype call.

IMPORTANT: For either option, all you need to do is email me a screen shot or photo of your receipt showing a purchase date prior to April 4th to be entered. Easy peasy.

And just in case you missed all the previous links:


PRE-ORDER 52 THINGS HERE!


Thanks again friends. I always appreciate the gift that it is to share these truths with such a wonderful group.

Good luck! I look forward to talking with some of you soon.

—Stephen

What If You’re the One Who Cheated?

I just noticed that xxxChurch.com reposted one of my older articles on their site today so I figured I’d share the link again here as well. If you aren’t familiar with xxxChurch, they’re the #1 site on the internet offering biblical help for those who struggle with porn addiction. I suggest you check out all the great resources they offer to help you on your journey to freedom. And, of course, check out my post on their site as well.

What-If-You're-The-One-Who-CheatedEarlier this week, Craig wrote about the hard question: “Should I stay or should I go?”

But what if you aren’t the one asking that question? What if you’re the spouse who cheated and brought the question into your marriage?

That, unfortunately, is my story.

I hid my porn addiction from my wife for the majority of our marriage. When I finally did confess it to her, it was like a bomb went off in her heart. She felt hurt, betrayed, blindsided, and angry.

Read the rest of the article on xxxChurch.com.

Have You Heard of the New Filter, PluckEye?

Hey Friends,
I’d like to introduce you to my friend Jon. He’s been working on a new type of web filter that has some really cool features I think will be helpful for those of you looking for something to help cut off the flow as you seek inner-healing. It’s completely free, and he’s seeking feedback from actual users, so try it out and let him know what you think.
—Stephen

pluckeyeGreetings! My name is Jon Wilkes, and I’m trying to spread the word about Pluckeye, a filter to help people better control their Internet use.

Pluckeye is the filter you’ve always wanted if you really, really, really want to avoid porn on your Windows/Mac/Linux box.

Pluckeye is quite configurable, but out of the box it does the following:

  1. Blocks all images and all video from all websites.
  2. Allows text content from all websites.
  3. Permits the user to select safe sites from which images will be allowed.
  4. Permits the user to set a delay which will initiate a waiting period (e.g. 24 hours) before the user can do any of the following:
    • Add a new safe site.
    • Uninstall Pluckeye.
    • Decrease the delay.

In short, the combination of these features makes it so that porn is no longer one click and one second away on the computer.

Here are a few other things that can be done with Pluckeye:

  • Block access to search engines except for a set period of time each day.
  • Allow access to the entire Internet except for a set period of time daily.
  • Give a friend or spouse a specific URL that allows them to view changes to your Pluckeye settings in real-time.

I believe Pluckeye may be very useful to some people, so I’m trying to spread the word about its existence. I’m also very interested in getting feedback—positive or negative—so that I have a better sense of whether Pluckeye ultimately helps the repentant porn user (or compulsive gambler, or gamer, or whatever).

Oh, and one last thing. It’s currently free. Give it a try, and let me know what you think! After using it for a while, contact me here and let me know what you think.

Thanks!

Jon Wilkes,
Creator of Pluckeye

Happy Father’s Day from Belt of Truth Ministries

Fathers: Sho Baraka

May “Belt of Truth Bullet Points”

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is from our monthly email newsletter. It consists of three quick “bullet points” updating you on various behind-the-scenes aspects of Belt of Truth Ministries. If you would like to receive these in your email each month, you can sign up here.

Bullet PointsMinistry: In the past week or so, we officially hit the three-year mark for BeltofTruth.com. During that time, we’ve published 524 posts reaching almost 50,000 unique visitors in more than 40 countries. How wild is that!? When I first started this blog I had no idea if anyone would even read what I posted, but to see the impact it’s having three years in is mind-blowing to say the least. So thank you once again to all of you who are reading, sharing, and interacting with our content in various ways. Without you guys, I probably would have given up to pursue a career in coconut farming years ago.

Books: I was excited to hear Josh McDowell wanted a few cases of 10 Lies Men Believe About Porn to hand out at his inaugural Set Free Summit. I wasn’t able to attend this year, but I hear there were more than 850 pastors, counselors, and other folks attending who were all looking for ways to help others overcome porn addiction. In other words, exactly the people I want to know about 10 Lies. If you happen to be one of those folks who were there, hit me up and let me know how the conference went. Hopefully next year I’ll be there to hand out copies of 10 Lies in person.

Life: If you reading this newsletter on the day you receive it (May 1st), then you can assume I’m currently defending my new backyard Pirate Fort from my invading daughters. You see, today is my 36th birthday, and like most guys on the downward slope to 40, I asked for a swing set for my birthday. We found one with a built-in playhouse fort, so naturally I am claiming it as my “No Girls Allowed Pirate Fort.” After all, it is my gift. Eventually I’ll let my girls turn it into some lame princess castle, but at least for one afternoon it will be mine. In all seriousness, the swing set has always been for them. The gift I truly wanted was to see the look of joy on my daughters’ faces when they get to play on my their new swing set. After all, isn’t that what every Father wants?

Thanks again for your interest in (and support of) Belt of Truth Ministries. Don’t forget you can hit me up any time if you’ve got a question or need anything from me.

Until next month,
Stephen

10 Lies Men Believe about Porn Study Guide

In Case You Missed It…

Here’s what we covered on the blog last month:

Main Article Posts

  • Doubting the Resurrection | “I know many of you have doubts about this whole resurrection thing as well. Perhaps you’ve been looking at Jesus and wondering if it really is true—wondering if the life and freedom He promises is actually available for you.”
  • And Now for Something Completely Different… | “For those of you who would like to see behind the curtain, please enjoy this virtual tour of the Belt of Truth World Headquarters…”
  • Reader Q/A: How Do I Deal with Triggers? | “Unless you live in the Arctic, there’s no way to avoid triggers in today’s world, which means you need to develop a plan of what to do when it happens.…”
  • Reader Q/A: Why is Pornography a Sin? | “You say pornography is a sin, but I don’t understand why. Why does God think it’s such a big deal? It’s not hurting anyone.…”

“Who You are in Christ” Posts  

  • You Have the Holy Spirit Living in You | “If you are struggling with sexual immorality, it’s not because you are still a slave to sin, it’s because you have forgotten who you are in Christ..”
  • You Have Been Cleansed and Made Holy | “When you reached out to Christ to save you, He made you clean. It had nothing to do with your ability to clean yourself up or become a good person.”
  • Your Value Has Been Confirmed by God | “The next time you feel flawed, worthless, or wonder if you even matter to God, remember how valuable you are truly are…”
  • You can call God “Abba” | “Paul tells us in this verse that we don’t need to fear God as a slave owner. The image of a cruel, impatient, and demanding God is simply not true.”
  • You Are an Heir to God’s Glory | “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.”
  • You Were Joined to the Lord | “Everything changed the moment I pledged myself to my wife on our wedding day. As wonderful as this has been, it is nothing compared to the eternal union we’ve received with Jesus.”
  • You Have Received Wisdom from God | “True wisdom isn’t something you generate on your own. As Paul shows us in this verse, the source of wisdom is Jesus. God made Christ to be wisdom itself.”
  • You Will Never Be Separated from God’s Love | “There is absolutely nothing in this world that will ever drive a wedge between you and God’s love.”

If you haven’t done so already, be sure to subscribe to www.beltoftruth.com so you don’t miss out on any future posts. And, as always, don’t forget to check out our Top-10 Posts.

And Now for Something Completely Different…

now

Here at Belt of Truth Ministries, we typically stick to writing and sharing content that helps men find freedom from porn addiction.

Today, however, I’d like to do something completely different.

If you received our latest email newsletter, then you already know I’ve been busy setting up a new home office Belt of Truth World Headquarters over the past few months. There are entire blogs set up to share people’s work environments and strategies, and I for one find them quite interesting.

Many of you will have zero interest in what my office looks like or what tools I use, in which case I assure you we will be back to our normal content tomorrow. But for those of you who would like to see behind the curtain, please enjoy this virtual tour of the Belt of Truth World Headquarters.

Belt of Truth World Headquarters

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Once of the main selling points for us with our new house was the large, finished wood shop that had been added on by the previous owner. Not because I needed a wood shop (I enjoy having all my fingers), but because it would make a perfect home office and gym. It took a few weeks to clean up the sawdust, paint the walls and ceiling, hook it up to the home heating system, and add lighting; but as of a few weeks ago everything was finally set up and operational.

Custom Desk

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I built the desk out of concrete CMU blocks and two salvaged doors. The CMU blocks were cheap and are perfect for displaying all the random stuff I like to keep at my desk. They also allow for a ton of customization in how the desk is set up.

I opted for a split level design that allows for both sitting and standing work stations, which I have found to be a game-changer for me. I get antsy when I’m sitting in one position for too long, and having the ability to move between sitting, standing, or even moving to the couch or chair allows me to stay focused for much longer. The key to a standing desk though (especially with concrete floors), is having a good mat beneath you. I use the Ergodriven Topo Mat, which I like because it has various contours that allows you to use it in multiple positions.

Computer

I’ve had my current laptop (17″ MacBook Pro) for only a year or so, but I’ve been using Apple laptops for more than a decade. Now that I have a permanent workspace though, I added an Apple Thunderbolt Display and Laptop Stand to make life easier for me when I’m doing my graphic design work (designing book spreads on a laptop display is less than ideal).

I opted for this setup rather than purchasing a new iMac because of how simply the whole system works. All I need to do is plug the display into my laptop and slide it under the stand. Everything fires up automatically, adjusts the resolution appropriately, and works seamlessly. My laptop instantly turns into a desktop. Brilliant. If you need a desktop and a laptop and don’t want to deal with keeping two machines synced up, this is hands-down the way to go.

Reading Spots

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It seems like I always have a stack of books I’m working through, so I wanted to create a few options where I could read comfortably without being distracted by bouncing email notifications or the lure of hilarious cat videos (in other words, not near my computer). In one corner I have my grandma’s old leather recliner, and in the middle of the office is a surprisingly comfortable Ikea sofa bed. You may have also noticed the amazing Star Wars pillows, which may be my favorite things in the office. They’re from a site called Society6 where you can print pretty much anything you want onto anything you want. It’s amazing. Go check it out. You’ll thank me.

Random Stuff

I love random stuff. I’ve never understood how people can work in those minimalistic studios where everything is white and geometric. I prefer my office to be an ever-changing collection of action figures, Legos, and whatever else I find at thrift stores and garage sales.

Here’s a random sampling of what’s currently on display:

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Me with John Eldredge, Mr. Miyagi action figure, Lego Double-Decker Couch

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Letterpress print from the original 1957 Haas Grotesk (Helvetica) type blocks

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Johnny Cash prayer candle (don’t ask), my Grandpa’s old lunchbox

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Han Solo and the Millennium Falcon

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The most honest mug I own

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Benny’s Spaceship from the Lego Movie

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Poe’s X-Wing, BB-8, Han and Chewie, Tie Fighter

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The world’s greatest mousepad

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My favorite thrift store find: a framed Radiohead Kid A poster

Perhaps in a future post I’ll show you guys our warehouse (the inside of the large cabinet), or even our shipping dock (a space on the floor beside the main door).

In all seriousness though, I am continually amazed at how the internet makes it possible for me to connect with each of you from all around the world, all from this former wood shop in the back of my garage. So yes, it may be tongue-in-cheek, but thanks to all of you, this really is the Belt of Truth Ministries World Headquarters.

Our Top (and Bottom!) Five Posts from 2015

Just about every blog publishes a list of their top posts from the previous year. It’s a fun way to look back at what resonated with readers, but it also can create a false impression that every post is a hit (which is rarely the case).

So, in order to stick to my M-O of being open and transparent, I’m going to share the 5 most-read and the 5 least-read posts of 2015. Enjoy!

thumbs-upThe Top-5

5. Why Porn Addiction is Not About Fulfilling Sexual Desire: The Deepest Needs of Your Heart

“As men, we tend to believe our struggles with pornography are purely about sexual desire. If this were the case, though, my addiction would have gone away once I was married. So why is it my addiction actually became worse within marriage? Why did I repeatedly choose to reject the advances of my beautiful, attractive, and loving wife in order to get my sexual needs met through pornography?”

4. My One Thing: Michael Cusick

I asked Michael Cusick of Restoring the Soul, “What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to someone struggling with porn addiction?”

3. 5 Things Pixar’s “Inside Out” Taught Me about Addiction

“I’m convinced that “Inside Out” is more than just a cartoon—it’s one of the more important movies of our day. Even if you don’t have kids, it’s still worth the few bucks it will cost to get in the door.”

2. The “One Thing” You Need to Know to Get Free from Porn Addiction

“When it comes to finding freedom from porn addiction, we often approach it the same way. We look for an easy answer—a one-size-fits-all solution—that will work for everyone, every time, without fail. We want to know the ‘One Thing,’ but that’s typically not the way God works.”

1. To All the Men Who Just Got Outed on Ashley Madison…

“I know very personally the shame that comes from being found out, from being discovered, from coming face-to-face with the destruction your hidden life has been causing in the lives of everyone you love. But I also know that for many people, myself included, this tragedy can also be the catalyst that springboards you into a life of freedom from the things that currently enslave you.”

hqdefaultThe Bottom-5

5. What I Wish I Could Say to Morrissey

“I’ve been hooked on Morrissey since my roommate introduced me to his music back in college. As much as I love his music though, the emotional honesty he puts into his lyrics makes it hard for me to listen at times. I can’t help but hurt for him when I hear him sing about the pain and rejection that has defined his life.”

4. Are You Viewing Recovery as an All-Star Game, or T-Ball?

“When I showed up to my first recovery group, I expected it to be like the MLB All-Star game. I just knew the other guys there were going to be so far ahead of me on their journey that I wouldn’t even fit in. What I soon discovered, though, was recovery is a lot more like T-ball than the majors.”

3. Book Review: Wild at Heart

“Fast forward 10 years to the second time I picked up Wild at Heart and things were quite different. I was reading and journaling through the book as an assignment from my counselor and could not believe how different it seemed from the first time I had picked it up.”

2. If Following Jesus is about Relationship, Why does He Seem so Distant?

“It’s the same with a relationship with Jesus. You can spend time with Him in prayer. You can seek to know all about Him by reading the Bible. But if you don’t trust Him, you will never experience a true relationship with Him.”

1. Why Isn’t God Coming Through for Me?

“You can be certain, however, that God does love you—no matter how messed up you may feel—and everything He calls you to do is for your benefit. The more you trust in this truth, the more your faith will grow. Eventually, you will come to realize that you really can trust everything Jesus promises to be true—even for you—no matter how illogical or unbelievable it may seem.”

Thanks for hanging with us in 2015! Let’s do this again next year, shall we?

Merry Christmas from Belt of Truth Ministries