Book Review: Fathered by God

Fathered by GodA few years back my counselor recommended I read Wild at Heart to help me understand how my addiction was fueled by misunderstandings of how God made me as a man.

To say that book changed my view of what Biblical masculinity looks like would be an understatement.

As much as I enjoyed Wild at Heart though, I believe Fathered by God is perhaps even more helpful for men who struggle with living as the man God calls them to be.

Where Wild at Heart teaches us about how God has made us as men, Fathered by God shows us the path He wants to walk us through to bring us into that position of authentic, Biblical masculinity.

In Fathered by God, John Eldredge outlines the six stages of manhood that God walks every man through over the course of their life. There are lessons to be learned—that must be learned—in every stage:


“We must remember that above all else, boyhood is the time of affirmation, the time when a boy comes to learn deeply that he is the beloved son… Without this bedrock of affirmation this core of assurance, a man will move unsteadily through the rest of his life, trying to prove his worth and earn belovedness through performance or achievement, through sex, or in a thousand other ways.”


“A notable shift begins to take place in the boy’s soul as he approaches his teens, a yearning for real adventure. Something inside tells him that he needs to prove himself, needs to be tested. He wants to learn how to do things—how to drive a car, to hunt birds, to build a loft in his room. And now the question of a man’s soul begins to present itself in nearly everything the boy-becoming-a-young-man does: Do I have what it takes?”


“The recovery of the warrior is absolutely crucial to the recovery of a man. All else rests on this, for you will have to fight, my brothers, for everything you desire and everything you hold dear in this world. Despite what you feel, or what you may have been told, you have a warrior’s heart, because you bear the image of God. And He will train you to become a great warrior, if you’ll let Him.”


“Learning to be loved, and learning to love, learning to be romanced, and learning to romance—that is what this stage is all about. Not duty. Not merely discipline. But an awakening of our hearts to the beauty and love of God, and at the same time, we offer our hearts as well—to God, to the women in our lives, to our sons and daughters, to others.”


“[A good king] uses all he has to make his kingdom like the kingdom of Heaven for the sake of the people who live under his rule… Most of the men I know in some position of power and influence [kings] are not holy enough to handle even what they do have, and they are doing damage as we speak. They operate out of their business training and “principles of leadership,” they operate out of a great deal of their own brokenness, but they do not, on any sort of regular basis, check in with God, submit to Him, live as a man yielding his plans to Him.”


“There comes a time when a king must yield his throne. This does not mean failure. It means it’s time to become a sage, and let another man be king… It will appear that at this stage a man’s “kingdom” may be shrinking—he retires from his career position, perhaps moves into a smaller home or apartment, lives on a fixed income. But, his influence should actually increase.”

If a man is wounded in any of these stages (or skips over any of them completely), he will miss the lesson it has for him. He will move forward in life with holes in his masculinity, functioning as an incomplete man.

But God, as our loving Father, wants to bring us back into these overlooked stages to teach us what we missed. He wants to heal those gaps in our development and raise us up as His beloved sons into authentic, Biblical masculinity.

This is the message of Fathered by God—a message that can give any man hope, no matter what stage of life he is in.

Book Review: Wild at Heart

Wild at Heart“Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul”

Looking back over all the books I’ve reviewed so far, I’m shocked to realize that Wild at Heart has somehow slipped through the cracks. After all, if I could only to choose one book to recommend to you, it would be a toss-up between The Bondage Breaker and Wild at Heart, mainly due to the huge impact they’ve both had on my life.

When I first read Wild at Heart, I took it as permission to pursue my own adventures while giving no regard to the responsibilities God had put in my life. I used it as an excuse to spend my weekends in the mountains rather than with my family at home. “Just read this book, Babe. God made me to be in the wilderness.”

Needless to say, I had completely missed the point.

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:

  • As I worked through each chapter, I began to recognize how God had made me as a man, and how the enemy had strategically wounded me in many of those core areas. He wanted to keep me from living out of my true masculine heart, and it had been working.
  • I learned that my desire for adventure was a good thing, however, I had been seeking to meet it in ways that would never fulfill it to the level God could. It was only once I began to trust God in the adventure of faith that my heart truly began to come alive.
  • I began to understand why pornography was such a draw for me: I felt drawn towards women (part of how God made me as a man) but I feared I wouldn’t have what it would take to truly love one. So I opted for the “safe” approach to my sexuality instead.
  • Lastly, God used Wild at Heart to open my eyes to the larger story of redemption that He’s invited me into—a story where I am called to fight for others who are still in bondage.

Needless to say, I believe Wild at Heart should be required reading for every guy who—if he’s being honest—recognizes his current experience as a  “Christian Man” isn’t living up to what the Bible promises him.

Why? Because Wild at Heart will help them discover how everything God promises as part of the Christian life is available, but it only comes after a man gets his heart back.

I first read Wild at Heart.

Purchase Wild at Heart on Amazon today!

Highlighting My Highlights:

I’m one of those guys who can’t read a book without a highlighter in my hand, and as far as I’m concerned, it would be a shame to mark up my favorite content and never share it with you. With that in mind, here are some of my favorite quotes from Wild at Heart:

“Adventure, with all its requisite danger and wildness, is a deeply spiritual longing written into the soul of man. The masculine heart needs a place where nothing is prefabricated, modular, nonfat, zip lock, franchised, on-line, microwavable. Where there are no deadlines, cell phones, or committee meetings. Where there is room for the soul.”

“I’ve noticed that so often our word to boys is don’t. Don’t climb on that, don’t break anything, don’t be so aggressive, don’t be so noisy, don’t be so messy, don’t take such crazy risks. But God’s design—which he placed in boys as the picture of himself—is a resounding yes. Be fierce, be wild, be passionate.”

“Why is pornography the number one snare for men? He longs for the beauty, but without his fierce and passionate heart he cannot find her or win her or keep her. Though he is powerfully drawn to the woman, he does not know how to fight for her or even that he is to fight for her. Rather, he finds her mostly a mystery that he knows he cannot solve and so at a soul level he keeps his distance. And privately, secretly, he turns to the imitation. What makes pornography so addictive is that more than anything else in a man’s life, it makes him feel like a man without requiring anything of him.”

“Why don’t men play the man? Why don’t they offer their strength to a world desperately in need of it? For two simple reasons: We doubt very much that we have any real strength to offer, and we’re pretty certain that if we did offer what we have it wouldn’t be enough.”

“Most of what you encounter when you meet a man is a facade, an elaborate fig leaf, a brilliant disguise.”

“Even if he can’t put it into words, every man is haunted by the question, ‘Am I really a man? Have I got what it takes?’”

“We’re asking the wrong questions. Most of us are asking, ‘God, why did you let this happen to me?’ Or, ‘God, why won’t you just… (fill in the blank—help me succeed, get my kids to straighten out, fix my marriage—you know what you’ve been whining about).’ But to enter into a journey of initiation with God requires a new set of questions: What are you trying to teach me here? What issues in my heart are you trying to raise through this? What is it you want me to see? What are you asking me to let go of? In truth, God has been trying to initiate you for a long time.”

“The true test of a man, the beginning of his redemption, actually starts when he can no longer rely on what he’s used all his life. The real journey begins when the false self fails.”

“A man needs a much bigger orbit than a woman. He needs a mission, a life purpose, and he needs to know his name. Only then is he fit for a woman, for only then does he have something to invite her into.”

“It is out of your brokenness that you discover what you have to offer the community.”


Purchase Wild at Heart on Amazon today!


Book Review: Unburdened

Unburdened-Book-Cover-200x300“The Christian Leader’s Path
to Sexual Integrity.”

If you’ve paid any attention to the media in the past… well… forever, it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that pastors (and other Christian leaders) are not immune to the pull of sexual temptation. What can be surprising though, is these men are often at a much higher risk of struggling with lust than the average Joe sitting within their congregations.

There are many reasons why this hard-to-believe statistic is true: isolation, the deep fear of failure, and a lack of non-ministry time with God to name a few.

In his new book, Unburdened, Michael Todd Wilson not only unpacks all these reasons, but he shows the reader how God’s grace will lead them down a clear path to freedom as well.

Michael has taken his multiple years of counseling experience and distilled it into this short, yet surprisingly dense, resource to guide men on the path to healthy sexuality. I was able to read the majority of the book over a single weekend, although I’m sure I will continue to refer back to it on a regular basis.

And while Unburdened is undoubtedly a book written for men in Christian leadership, I believe it can be a helpful book for any guy who has recognized his struggle with sexual integrity—regardless of whether he holds a position of leadership in the Church or not.


Purchase Unburdened on Amazon today!

Highlighting My Highlights:

I’m one of those guys who can’t read a book without a highlighter in my hand, and as far as I’m concerned, it would be a shame to mark up my favorite content and never share it with you. With that in mind, here are some of my favorite quotes from Unburdened:

“Do you struggle with sexual integrity?” seems like a straightforward enough question.

But now consider another question: “How do you struggle with sexual integrity?”

The two sentences only differ by one word. Yet the difference between them represents a significant shift I’d like to see among Christian leadership.

The first question begs us to not tell the truth or, at least, to tell only part of the truth. The second question not only makes the assumption that we struggle in some way, but it also signals it’s okay to talk about it.

The first question tends to trigger our fear-driven fight-or-flight response. Confronted with only two option for answering, the knee-jerk response of many would be, “No, not really.”

But the second question feels safer and invites conversation beyond a simple yes or no answer, causing a shift away from defensiveness toward a freedom to engage in honest dialogue.

These two questions represent the difference between shame and grace, law and love.

When out of fearful pride we isolate and become self-sufficient, we project an image toward others like that of a blowfish—a bigger than life persona as a defensive coping mechanism for survival. Most who see our exterior misinterpret its meaning. Either they are codependently drawn toward our veneer of strength or offensively repelled away from us as self-absorbed egotists.

Yet in reality, most of us are simply little boys who are physically all grown up but who still struggle to internalize a solid, masculine identity.

Just because it may not be appropriate to share intimate details with those who follow us doesn’t mean there isn’t a need for processing private and personal thoughts in some relationship somewhere. There’s a difference between prudence in being publicly guarded and wearing a mask in every setting as a part of our core identity of hiding.

“What’s wrong with you? Get your act together! I can’t believe you screwed up again! You need to get back closer to God so this doesn’t happen again. One more mistake like this and you’ll lose it all!”

Notice how these statements sound like they’re coming from outside of us? They are. They sound like our voice, alright. But it’s another clever parlor trick from the enemy. Our voice, his words. Often we’ve heard these words before, perhaps from a critical parent, teacher, or coach. But ultimately, messages of condemnation come from our enemy.

In marital situations, I can confidently say that more marriages dissolve among my clients due to the mistrust from multiple discoveries than ever dissolve from the actual sexual infidelities themselves. Even in cases where the Christian leader continued to intermittently make poor choices after starting recovery, marital trust was rebuilt more frequently and more quickly when the leader consistently and proactively disclosed those choices moving forward than in cases where the spouse had to confront him time and again—even when the leader was completely truthful after being confronted.

[Overachievers] function a lot like ducks. They look calm on top of the water, moving with proud confidence. But under the surface, there’s a compulsive paddling that nobody ever sees.

The synergy that comes from having a few men who really know us, warts and all, is tremendous. In addition, living openly among these relationships circumvents shame and steals a significant tool the enemy so often uses to torpedo Christian leaders.


Purchase Unburdened on Amazon today!


Book Review: Love Hunger

“A Harrowing Journey from Sexual Addiction to True Fulfillment.”

David Kyle Foster’s life is proof that no one could ever run so far away from God that He would no longer be able to reach them.

David was raised in the church from an early age but never truly felt loved by those around him. This hunger for acceptance led him to pursue fame as a Hollywood actor, but it also led him into some of the darkest corners of Los Angeles where he became ensnared by prostitution, pornography, and cultic practices.

His life may have appeared to be the perfect hollywood dream on the outside, but internally he was trapped in a nightmare he couldn’t get away from.

After multiple attempts on his life—some by others, some by himself—David finally began to trust the love of his Heavenly Father to set him free from the bondage of his double life. From that point on, his life took an amazing turn towards the healing and freedom he continues to walk in to this day.

I found David’s story to be one of the most inspiring examples of God’s never-ending pursuit of a man I’ve ever read. No matter where you are on your journey, I believe Love Hunger will give you a deeper understanding of God’s relentless love towards you and all who are struggling to find their way in this world.

Purchase Love Hunger on Amazon today!

Highlighting My Highlights:

I’m one of those guys who can’t read a book without a highlighter in my hand, and as far as I’m concerned, it would be a shame to mark up my favorite content and never share it with you. With that in mind, here are some of my favorite quotes from Love Hunger:

“Bracing for the worst, I let it fly. In a torrent of white-hot honesty, I let God know how much I hated Him for all the painful things I had experienced in my life. Exposed and unguarded before God for perhaps the first time, I fully expected a harsh reply, or at best the same sort of lengthy sermon that Job had received. Instead, I was stunned as God hit me with a wave of love. I could literally feel the wave wash over me, and I was for quite some time rendered speechless.

Finally, I mustered, ‘I just told You how much I hated You. Why did you just hit me with a wave of love?’

His reply: ‘You’ve finally been honest with Me. Now I can help you.’

In some cosmically mysterious way, in spite of my insufferable ignorance and disrespect, the greater good was the honesty. God could handle the anger, but He would do nothing without the honesty. That was a tremendous breakthrough moment for me that bore fruit for decades to come.”

“I pretended not to hear and continued committing the sin. When I was finished, to my utter shock, the Lord spoke to me again, saying, ‘David, if you turn to me right now, I will love you, forgive you, and embrace you.”

The second time He said it, He used the same positive, loving, and inviting tone for the first time. It blew all my circuits. I was stunned! I had just ignored the Lord of all glory and had chosen a pathetic sin instead of Him. Yet He was still offering the same love and grace as before—and without the slightest change in His attitude toward me. It was a glimpse of the flawless grace of the Holy One.

Clearly, God was not someone I had to hide from. He did not look on my in disgust when I chose an idolatrous behavior over His glory. He was not trying to spoil my fun or take something good from me. He loved me, He loved me, He loved me! And there was nothing I could do to change that.

I said to Him, ‘Lord, if this is what You are really like, I want to follow You!’ In that moment, I went from obeying Him because I was supposed to, to obeying Him because I wanted to. It was grace teaching me to say no to ungodliness.”

“Our goal must never be perfect behavior, and the means must never be our own wisdom and power. The goal is to know God and be transformed by that relationship. Revelation and freedom come as a byproduct of intimacy with Him.”

“Surprisingly, living free from bondage is not the sign that we have discovered God’s way of escape. Most people ‘in recovery’ achieve some measure of progress in maintaining their sobriety by following the rules of their program. But to the degree that they see results by following that program, their sense of a need for God diminishes. What they end up with is a maintenance program based on self-effort rather than the transformation that God wants to give them.”

Purchase Love Hunger on Amazon today!

Book Review: Ashamed No More

Ashamed No MoreThere’s a dark secret lurking behind the pulpit of many churches these days: the shocking fact that pastors and clergy are actually more likely to be struggling with compulsive sexual behaviors than those who are merely sitting in the pews each Sunday.

This statistic becomes much easier to understand once you recognize how much shame, hiddenness, and isolation contribute to these behaviors—all of which can be fueled (and sometimes even encouraged) by the demands the church places upon their leaders today.

Tom Ryan was one of those pastors whose life behind closed doors was very different from what he allowed his congregation to see on Sunday mornings. In his book, Ashamed No More: A Pastor’s Journey Through Sex Addiction, Tom shares the story of not only his downfall, but also the ways in which God has restored his life and brought him to a place of freedom and influence beyond what he previously imagined possible.

Tom’s writing style reminds me quite a bit of Brennan Manning’s, in the sense that I often found myself reading a paragraph multiple times over due to the density of information contained within. I don’t mean that as a negative at all, it just means I had a hard time reading it if I wasn’t somewhere where I could concentrate fully on the book without distraction.

I would recommend that anyone who needs a reminder that freedom truly is possible to pick up this book—especially if you’re a pastor or clergy member. I believe you will find it to be a helpful resource to stoke the fires of hope in your soul.

Purchase Ashamed No More on Amazon today!

Highlighting My Highlights:

I’m one of those guys who can’t read a book without a highlighter in my hand, and as far as I’m concerned, it would be a shame to mark up my favorite content and never share it with you. With that in mind, here are some of my favorite quotes from Ashamed No More:

“For more than forty years, a defining and crippling characteristic of my life was a daily struggle with compulsive sexual behavior. I was a dopamine and adrenaline junky. I used my sexuality to get my “drugs.” But my problem wasn’t just sex. Anyone who is an addict and then experiences genuine recovery from addiction sooner or later learns that addictions are not our real problem. Addictions or compulsive behaviors are merely the symptoms of something deeper.”
“One of the most important things I’ve learned is that I was not and I am not alone. There are thousands of other clergy with this struggle, and hundreds of thousands of well-intentioned Christians struggle with guilt, shame, and fear—all hiding their secret lives. Can this be what Christ wants for His church? Absolutely not.”
“It might seem highly incongruous to some people that a person can be a growing, earnest Christian—especially a spiritual leader like a minister, priest, or pastor—and also struggle with compulsive sexual behaviors. For years I was sure I was the only person in my church, in my clergy associations, and among my Christian friends who did. It was startling to discover later that far more pastors struggle with compulsive sexual behaviors than don’t. How can that be?”
“Even though shame can cause us to alter our behavior, at least for a while, we are not utilizing self-control out of love for ourselves or someone else. We are “changing” to stop the pain. We don’t like how it feels to be ashamed, so we do what we can to stop the pain, but that is not a healthy motivation for changing our behavior. Why? Because we’re responding to the message “I’m a worthless person” and hoping that by behaving differently we will no longer be worthless. We can stop the pain of false guilt, we think, by performing. It’s trying to achieve a personal identity based on behavior and approval of others.”
“We want to see ourselves as people who’ve taken the forgiveness of the cross and gotten our act together; people who are worth being saved. But we’re not saved because we’re worth it. We’re saved because we’re loved.”
“Until the church once again becomes the place where people who are on the outside of society, folks who struggle with darkness in their souls and brokenness in their lives, know they are welcome, wanted, and loved just for who they are, we will continue to be one of the least significant organizations in our culture, just taking up space and wasting people’s time.”
“In thinking and speaking of ethics and morals, and especially if we want to be faithful to the spirit of the Bible, there is something very important to remember: we primarily are to use ethics and morals to address our own lives, not the loves of others.”
“I know my old wiring is still there, and I could relapse, but I work hard to partner with God so that doesn’t happen. Even if I did relapse, it wouldn’t change who God is. It wouldn’t change what He has done. And it wouldn’t change who I am to God—it wouldn’t change my identity.”

Purchase Ashamed No More on Amazon today!

Book Review: Sex God

{F4B9DC3A-E2B1-4574-AB29-C711F7B375BE}Img400When my wife and I moved into our new home a few months back, I claimed the all-important task of merging our individual book collections into one glorious, unified library. After all, that’s what everyone looks forward to the most in a new marriage, right?

As I was unpacking my wife’s books, however, one of them caught my eye: Sex God, by Rob Bell.

Yes, that Rob Bell.

My wife owned a book by Rob Bell, which is probably something she should have brought up in premarital counseling.

Now, before anyone runs away at the mention of Rob, I have a confession I would like to make. Actually, I have two:

  1. My first reaction when seeing the book was to get rid of it. I’d heard enough about Rob to subconsciously categorize him as a heretic in my mind, even though I’d never read any of his stuff myself. I had judged him based solely on the testimony (and tweets) of others. To be honest, I’m ashamed of that reaction, as it’s exactly the type of thing I try to avoid.
  2. My second reaction, which came after reading Sex God, was that it is hands-down the best book on Biblical sexuality I have read to date.

All that being said, my second confession makes me all the more ashamed of the my first confession. It also made me realize I should never question my wife’s ability to discern which books are worthy of being added to our library.

In all seriousness though, what is it about Rob Bell that polarizes people so much? Granted, I’ve only read one of his books, so I don’t know all the things he’s said in his other works, but are a few questionable beliefs enough reason to reject everything he’s put in print? Especially considering he has never claimed to be “right” about everything, he’s just trying to figure stuff out like the rest of us:

“Just because I’m a Christian and I’m trying to articulate a Christian worldview doesn’t mean I’ve got it nailed. I’m contributing to the discussion. God has spoken, and the rest is commentary, right?” —Robb Bell, back cover of Velvet Elvis

I doubt many Christians agree with everything Russell Brand says, yet we’re willing to stand unashamedly with him as he talks about the destructive nature of pornography. Most of us love Russell even though we don’t agree with him universally, so why don’t we treat Rob the same way? Is it because he carries the label of pastor? I don’t know.

What I do know, though, is Sex God is an amazing book, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is trying to develop a deeper understanding of the connection between their spirituality and their sexuality. When my daughter is older and our discussions about sexuality become deeper, this is the book I will recommend to her. It’s that good.

And as for Rob? The way I see it, if I had even half the ability to connect with the hearts (and hurts) of people the way he does, I’d be a better person for it. Rob may not get everything right (as none of us do), but he loves others amazingly well. And for that reason, I can now say that I’ve become a huge fan of Rob Bell.

Purchase Sex God on Amazon today!

Highlighting My Highlights:

I’m one of those guys who can’t read a book without a highlighter in my hand, and as far as I’m concerned, it would be a shame to mark up my favorite content and never share it with you. With that in mind, here are some of my favorite quotes from Sex God.

Chapter 1: God Wears Lipstick

“The problem is when a ‘she’ becomes a ‘that.’ We forget the objects of our sexual desire are human beings with the image of God and reduce them to body parts.”

“How you treat the creation reflects how you feel about the creator.”

Chapter 2: Sexy on the Inside

“There’s a saying in the recovery movement: ‘You are only as sick as your secrets.’This is true for relationships as well. If there are secrets that haven’t been shared, topics that can’t be discussed, things from the past that are forbidden to be brought up, it can cripple a marriage… And so they’re sleeping together, but they’re really sleeping alone.”

Chapter 3: Angels and Animals

“In the creation poem that begins the Bible, people are created after animals. And from the rest of Scripture, we learn that people were also created after angels… When we act like angels [shut down our desires] or animals [blindly give in to our desires], we’re acting like beings who were created before us. We’re going backwards in creation. We’re going the wrong way. We’re headed back toward the chaos and disorder, not away from it.”

Chapter 4: Leather, Whips, and Fruit

“Whatever it is that has its hooks in you, you will never be free from it until you find something you want more. It’s not about getting rid of desire. It’s about giving ourselves to bigger and better and more powerful desires.”

Chapter 5: She Ran Into the Girl’s Bathroom

“Anytime we move toward another in any way, we are taking a risk. A risk that she may say no. Our gesture may not get returned. Our invitation may be rejected. Our love may never be reciprocated.”

“Why is heartbreak so universal? It’s universal because we’re feeling something as old as the world. Something God feels. The Bible begins with God making people who have freedom. Freedom to love God or not to love God. And these people consistently choose not to love God. It’s written in Genesis 6:6 that God “regretted that He had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled [broken].”

Chapter 6: Worth Dying For

“There is something about losing yourself to another and their losing themselves in you at the same time that defies our ability to categorize. Healthy marriages all have this sense of mutual abandon to each other. They’ve both jumped, in essence, into the arms of the other. There is a sense of mutual abandon between them. If one holds back, if one refrains, it doesn’t work.”

Chapter 7: Under the Chuppah

“Sometimes when a couple is living together, one of their friends tells them they should make things right in God’s eyes by making their relationship a legal marriage. But maybe it’s already a marriage in God’s eyes, and maybe their having sex has already joined them as man and wife from God’s perspective. This isn’t a low view of sex, it’s a higher view of sex. It’s a higher view of marriage. It’s people living in the reality of the decisions they’ve already made… Often people are unaware of just how serious this bond is, and it suffers—they suffer.”

Chapter 8: Johnny and June

“When our trust has been betrayed and those who were supposed to stand by us don’t, this naturally has consequences for how we think about God. It becomes hard to trust that God is good when our significant relationships simply aren’t that good.”

“The passage in Genesis about Adam and Eve is about whole persons coming together. All of Him being given to all of her. All of her being given to all of him. If he wants her just for her body, that splits her. It means that she is good to him only for a part of her. That’s why when she’s slept with him, she wants to know where the relationship is headed. She wants to be integrated. She craves it. She wants to know that he will be there in the morning, and the next morning, and the next morning. She wants to know that beyond the sex, he loves her, he wants her—all of her.”

Purchase Sex God on Amazon today!

Book Review: Seriously?!

Seriously Front CoverI’ve been following Pastor Bob’s ministry for a few years now, mainly through his awesome YouTube channel: Pastor Bob Daily. So when he asked me to help him design his new book, Seriously?! Letters to Myself at 21, I immediately jumped on board.

The problem with trying to design a book like Seriously?! though, is I kept finding myself drawn into the words and stopping to read the book rather than merely formatting it.

Because Seriously?! is written as a collection of short letters, typically no longer than a paragraph or two, it ends up having the potato chip effect: “Just one more and then I’ll stop…”

But I couldn’t stop.

For example, check out this letter on sexuality and tell me you don’t want to read just one more:

The most important sex organ you have is your brain. That’s where it all begins. There are so many messages being thrown at you these days. Society expects you to experiment sexually. You are expected to become self-educated by creating your own experiences. Naiveté is considered immature. But actually, it’s not. You will never have to be an expert in this field. Marriage is an excellent school. Marriage provides a great paradigm for exploring and experiencing with your sexuality. You can learn together with the person you love the most and have an emotional and mental connection with—your spouse. Inside the paradigm of marriage you have security, freedom, and trust.”

Pastor Bob writes in a style that makes you feel like you’re siting across the table from a wise, older sage as he shares with you the lessons he’s learned throughout his own life. Only this sage has truly been in the trenches and ran with some colorful characters—think Gandalf, but with more tattoos.

As an example, just look at a few of the folks endorsing his book:

“Pastor Bob is a man of the street. His wisdom, philosophies & theology are a tremendous ministry to those who have lived ‘outside the box’ themselves.”
David Ellefson, MEGADEATH

“As I reflect back over twenty-six years of marriage, twenty-six years of walking with JESUS and traveling to twenty-six countries I am full of gratitude for this undeserved adventure. Although many have contributed, there is one Pastor/teacher that had the biggest impact on where I am today: Pastor Bob Beeman”.
Tracy A. Ferrie, BOSTON

You can add my name to the list of folks endorsing Pastor Bob and Seriously?! as well.

So, even if you’re far past your 21st birthday, I think you will get a lot out of Pastor Bob’s new book, Seriously?!.

Purchase Seriously?! today on Amazon


Amazon Description: Seriously?! is a collection of letters from Pastor Bob to his 21-year-old self. Direct. Transparent. Personal. And deeply intimate.

What if you could go back in time and meet yourself face-to-face four decades earlier?

What would you tell your younger self?

“There are so many things I’d like you to know… So many mistakes I wish you didn’t have to make. And so much wisdom I wish you would have had at 21. I’m excited to write these letters to you. I’ve learned so much. I’ve come so far. And in many ways, I’m just beginning… You feel like you know everything. You don’t think there is much anyone can teach you. You look at people with more age and maturity as being somewhat uninformed and unenlightened. You have the world by the tail, or so you think. But you are not enlightened, you are ill-informed, and the world will begin to get very confusing. And that will be the beginning of wisdom.”

Book Review: Eyes of Integrity (Free Download)

Eyes of Integrity“The sheer number of people mired in the destructive world of online pornography is overwhelming. Every day lives are broken, hearts and minds are corrupted. How can we help free the many hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of people trapped by sexual addiction?” 

This is the question Craig Gross attempts to answer in Eyes of Integrityand I believe he does an excellent job.

Eyes of Integrity begins with a description of how widespread porn addiction has become, not only for nonbelievers, but for those in the church as well. The book also outlines what healthy biblical sexuality and wholeness can look like for men, women, couples, and even those who are part of the pornography industry themselves.

More importantly though, Eyes of Integrity offers advice on how each of these groups can overcome (or help others overcome) the temptation of pornography by implementing practical techniques and trusting in the healing power of Christ.

The book has a heavy emphasis on accountability and the necessity for a safe community to come beside you in your struggle. Some readers, however, have misinterpreted this as a marketing strategy to sell x3watch, the accountability software produced by the author’s ministry. I must disagree with these readers though, as I whole-heartedly believe this type of accountability is vital in anyone’s recovery. I encourage you consider the author’s suggestions regardless of his involvement with the recommended product (which, consequently, is free—so there really isn’t any financial incentive to promote it).

I highly recommend you read Eyes of Integrity. I also recommend you check out Craig Gross’s ministry site,, where you will find a ton of additional resources to help you find freedom from pornography addiction.

From Amazon: As a young pastor, Craig Gross became overwhelmed with the sheer number of people he found himself counseling who were mired in the destructive world of online pornography. Their lives were broken, their hearts and minds corrupted. How, he wondered, could he minister to the many hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of people trapped by sexual addiction?

Through accountability software and an online hub called, Craig began to give hope. Now, with Eyes of Integrity, he offers a helping hand to pastors, counselors, concerned friends, and those personally struggling with sexual addiction. Through these pages he and coauthor Jason Harper cover how bad the problem is and what can be done about it. From porn-proofing your home and nurturing your marriage to what to do when someone you know is in trouble, the chapters in this book offer hope in what can seem like a hopeless situation.

Book Review: 10 Lies Men Believe about Porn

Full Disclosure: This is my book. But I shamelessly recommend it to you because I strongly believe the message I share throughout it. If you are looking for one single book to help you understand and experience God’s path to freedom from pornography, 10 Lies Men Believe about Porn is the book for you.

10 Lies Men Believe about PornStatistics show roughly 50% of men are currently struggling with a pornography addiction; boys are being exposed to porn at younger ages each year; and technology now provides an environment of access where you no longer need to search for porn—it comes looking for you.

Despite these facts though, this epidemic is largely being ignored. When it is addressed, the message is always “Try harder, get an internet filter, be a better man.” At best, this message merely addresses the symptoms of a much deeper issue. More often than not, it feeds the lies men believe that are contributing directly to their addiction.

10 Lies Men Believe about Porn shares a much different message—a message of hope.

Ultimately, you will find that 10 Lies Men Believe about Porn uncovers the true cause of pornography addiction, exposes the lies that are trapping men in their bondage, and shows them the Biblical path to true and lasting freedom.

10 Lies Men Believe about Porn Noisetrade Ad

  • 10 Lies Men Believe About Porn is written in an inviting and non-condemning style and feels more like a conversation at a coffee shop than a religious research paper.
  • 10 Lies Men Believe About Porn focuses on healing the root issues of addiction (intimacy, identity, acceptance) rather than controlling the symptoms (acting out sexually).
  • 10 Lies Men Believe About Porn is shockingly Authentic. I share the details of my own addiction, as well as the path to redemption God brought me down, throughout the book with openness and honesty.
  • 10 Lies Men Believe About Porn offers a path to true freedom (no longer needing to fight because the desire is gone), rather than merely teaching the reader how to manage or control their behavior (lifelong struggle of behavior management).

Book Review: Abba’s Child

Abba's ChildIf you’ve spent any time on this site, you are no doubt aware of my appreciation for the ministry of the late Brennan Manning. His ability to communicate the message of God’s unconditional love was (and still is) transformational in my journey.

I picked up a copy of Manning’s best-selling book, Abba’s Child, from a used book store a while back and set it on my bookshelf where it collected dust for over a year. This was a shame. Once I finally opened the book, I couldn’t get enough of it.

Written in Manning’s signature style, Abba’s Child is full of honest transparency, humble trust, and constant reminders of his (and our) never-ending need to rest in God’s love.

What I found especially interesting in Abba’s Child though, was its relevance for those of us who struggle with addiction. Manning is quick to admit his lifelong struggles with alcohol, but more importantly, how he has found healing and freedom through the Grace of God:

When I relapsed, I had two options: yield once again to guilt, fear, and depression; or rush into the arms of my heavenly Father—choose to live as a victim of my disease; or choose to trust in Abba’s immutable love.

If you’re tired of guilt, fear, or depression controlling your life; tired of being a slave to sin and addiction; pick up a copy of Abba’s Child and learn how the unconditional love of God sets you free to live a life of untethered freedom, unbelievable peace, and unfathomable joy.

Amazon Description:

Many Christians feel broken and angry but don’t think they can express these real feelings around others—or to God. So we put on a mask to hide our identity. Feelings of embarrassment and shame make us hide from the One who truly loves us. Author Brennan Manning encourages you to let go of this stressful, unreal impostor lifestyle and freely accept your identity as a child of God. Find the rest that you long for as you grow in character and accept His lordship.