Misplaced Love

Here’s the deal. No man or woman can fulfill us. I know it sucks to hear, but love delights in truth. For me, I know that this hard truth needed to be beat into my entire person all over again. Is it wrong to want a relationship? And a healthy one at? Of course not, God created us for that.

In my prior blog entry, I spoke about my frustration with the current standing of the so called “Alpha Males”. The more I listened and read to what many of them had to say, I quickly noticed that many of them were simple pick up artists. And sadly I found myself buying into this crap.

I then wanted to go out and see how many women I could pick up, by saying all the right things etc. And then it hit me… Wow that’s really, really shallow and frankly cheap. Because all the cheap thrill really leads to nothing of substance.

I don’t think there is anything wrong to long for someone be with, to long for healthy communication affection, marriage and so on. But as a follower of Christ, I/we should know that no one could possibly love us as madly as Christ does.

I also confess, that at times I have driven myself crazy trying to find a mate. Which again, isn’t wrong. But it is wrong to lose yourself in it. Without looking more at the one that loves us the most. Which is Jesus Christ.

Our love in turn becomes misplaced, we take the love from a person and put above the love of God. Which in many ways can cripple the mind and soul. Scripture tells us to seek first his kingdom, this really just means to seek God first. Let him fill us up first.

Now, I don’t believe that because we seek God first, that it then means a mate will fall into our laps or living room couches. I still think that we ought to keep our hearts, eyes and minds open. The same way that if we our hungry, we have the ability to get up and go get food.

When we seek first his kingdom, we re-order our hearts, our thinking is clearer, we are more at peace and we are more ready to love as Christ loves us. So, today if you find yourself in the same boat as me. I implore you to seek God boldly and confidently without condemnation. As him to reorder your heart. And he will. Its so worth it!

Put Your House In Order. While You Still Can.

I was reading my Bible this morning, and this particular phrase in 2 kings 20:1

This is what the Lord says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover.”

I do not intend to dig a lot in the context of this passage, but rather center the focus of this around what verse one means for us today. My room has a lot of clutter in it, I know where everything is at, but it has a lot of clutter.

Now, on one hand there is a method to how my room is, its easier for me to reach certain things and doesn’t require me to stand and reach for high objects. I know this annoys my family, but for me it works. It’s not because I intend to live like a slob. My clothes are not neatly folded because folding can be tough for me.

My parents come sometimes and fold things as they see it should be, it stays neat for awhile but then as time goes by, things return to the way they were before. People within the design word, claim that your outside world reflects your inside world.

So, if I have a lot of clutter in my room, I probably have a lot of clutter on the inside too. It makes sense and I would agree that it is true. I do have a lot of clutter on my inside life. I’ve been trying to get it in order for a long time now, I’m not where I want to be but I am damn sure much better than what I was.

Getting your room in order is not only physical, but it is mentally, emotionally and spiritually too. I would submit that the latter three are of greater significants. All of us are headed to our graves, and to a degree we can choose how we get there.

Maybe for someone its getting your mental health in order, so that the heaviness of depression and anxiety don’t completely drain you of all joy and appreciation of life. Perhaps its getting your money in order, where you actually plan for a future and not burn your money on meaningless pleasure. Maybe it’s making peace with your past and people that you have wronged or wronged you.

If you and I don’t do this, what is the consequence? We die in the state we have chosen to live in and we will not recover. We will die holding onto that shame, regret, bitterness and anger. We will die, never know what we could have been.

I think hell is a real reality, not some metaphorical reality. And I believe that God reaches out to us every day, telling us that he is the way out from the suffering in our lives. That’s why he sent his son Jesus on a rescue mission, for us. He can make us new, fill us with peace and joy and give us a completely new road map to destiny.

The sad part is, some choose to stay in the pain and suffering because that’s all they know. It’s become their norm of comfort. Shedding the old skin and experience new life can be painful too. In one of the Narnia movies, a young boy turned into a dragon, who was then a mean and grumpy soul.

In order for the boy to be transformed from being a dragon, Aslan had to remove the dragon flesh from his body. Which was extremely painful. Which is true for us as well, it hurts an extreme amount. But when our own dragon skin is removed, it is as though we are all new people.

I’m still working on getting myself in order, you can too. We can still recover while there’s still time.

The Beauty and Invitation of Grace

Lots of people are addicted to many things, me, however. I am addicted to the grace of God. I can’t get enough of it, I need it almost every moment of every day. Grace is the one sustaining reality in my life that keeps everything else going. I talk about grace so much, because it has utterly changed my life.

Many churches have hot button topics that they love to preach about, and for me grace is that truth. I was am the prodigal sons, before I gave in to the affectionate calling of the Lord drawing my heart, I was the other younger son that was arrogant, and felt like God owed him everything (if there was a God) and now, being a redeemed Christ follower, I am the eldest son that runs away and comes back home.

Yet, the father still runs to be every single time. No, grace is not an invitation to live a careless life, grace is the gift and ability to walk closely with Christ each and everyday. And with joy. But the reality is that, we do wander off the path. Take for example, the timeless hymn “Come Thou Fount”

“Prone to wander Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love”

We sing this all the time, but I don’t believe that we understand what we are singing. God is not stupid, he isn’t. He knows that you and I are gonna screw up and screw up a lot. He knows we are gonna lose our tempers, say things we don’t mean, totally blow it and act counter to how we Christians should act.

But you know what? He’s not shocked. He knows. And dare I believe that he is shaking his head at us, rather he picks us up, brushes us off and reminds us who we are in him. And sets us on the narrow road. Any anger that we may believe that God has toward us, was poured out on the cross. If you are in Christ, you are a new creation. The old has been done away with and the new has come.

The sins you cannot forget, are the sins that God has forgotten.

I believe that because God is slow to anger, his hearts cry is for people to finally notice how much they need his grace. On one hand, proud people who already think they are amazing. Have no need for the beautiful gift of grace. While on the other hand, those that know they have blown it time and time again. The grace of God is the most precious of gifts.

It’s a gift, you can do nothing to deserve it, let alone un-deserve it. But you can embrace it with all its joy and beauty.

But I’ve Sinned Too Much (Grace Part 2)

The other day I was writing in my journal, about how I simply could not understand how God could be so loving toward me. How deep and wide his grace is for me, how!? I have clearly sinned far too much in my life, I am far too prideful, stubborn and absorbed and have clearly out sinned the grace of God…

Except, I haven’t, you haven’t and we cannot exhaust his grace for us. If you are in Christ, your sin has been removed as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103). We are new creation in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:27).

The problem becomes, when we can know this in our heads, but we fail to live as if we are out of our hearts. We know it mentally, be we live as though we are still condemned. Yet scripture tells us, that there is NO condemnation when you are in Christ (Romans 8:1-1)

There is no condemnation for us, no guilt, no shame! But I still struggle, you say, yes me too, I believe that we are struggle in our own ways. And anyone who says that they no longer struggle I believe is a liar. Furthermore, if a person is fully healed and does not struggle with his or her sin nature any longer. Then they need to speak up and share their secrets.

For the the only way I have learned to combat my former self, is to renew my mind with the truth and love that Christ offers me through his word.

You might even think that there is no way, you could have victory over the besetting sin in your life. whatever it is. And so you think, there’s no way Gods grace is big enough for your situation, but I tell you that that is a lie the enemy wants you to believe.

I believe that the grace of God is big, far and wide, that you can complete wreck your life, and God’s grace would still be more than enough to cleanse, re-create your heart and sustain you.

Consider the thief on the cross (Luke 23:39-43)

Not much is know about this man, he might have had an entire life of stealing, cheating and lying has way to get what he wants. And in the last moments of his life, he begs the Lord to remember him in his kingdom.

What happens inside this man? In the final moments of his life, I believe that the holy spirit softens this mans heart and opens his eyes to see the Christ that is suffering beside him and for him. And so in other words he, says, Jesus have mercy on me a sinner.

The common reply to this is:

So your saying I can screw my life up and God will forgive me?  Well, yes and no. We just saw that Christ can forgive the man on the cross, who was asking to be remembered. Yet that was only by the grace of God to begin with. And even though Gods grace can make anyone new, I do not believe that God is saying to go make a disaster of your life. In fact, I would submit that he wants us to live a better life. One in line with him.

I’m telling you that the grace of God is so good, is more amazing than anything else in the world. It can make everything new in your life, regardless of what your prior life has been. But it is always amazing because it will set you on a pathway to a new destiny.

For his grace to us is this, when you and I are in Christ, it as though we have never sinned. For the father see’s the perfect image of his son in us, therefore the father see’s us as he see’s his beloved son.

There is hope,

don’t give up the fight.

Because he hasn’t given up the fight for you!

download

 

Day 3: Fighting Back

Yesterday was a huge success, the Lord gave me the strength to resist and fight back. I am filled with joy that He is so faithful. Today however, this particular moment is filled with a bit of temptation to cope in Unhealthy ways.

The good news is, I have noticed the trigger and rather than giving in. I am going to sit with tension, wrestle with it even. I refuse to let this win any longer. It will not be my master. But I will master it.

I want to reiterate that there is hope, that things can get better. Even when people tell you they can’t. A new future, a new mind a new heart and new eyes are possible. You simply have to choose fight. You’re not alone in the fight. You were never meant to be.

If you have an hour to burn, please read this book:

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2014/10/09/how-to-quit-porn/

Motivate and fight my friends.

72086-004-DDFAAC8E

Day 2: Fighting Back

Well, yesterday was a failure and victory all at the same time. While I fell again, I did not beat myself up in the process. Instead I repented and asked for forgiveness and fixed my eyes on the Lord. This was truly a victory for me, because I would wallow in my shame, regret and sorrow.

A friend of mine is going to be setting a password on my computer with a program called K-9. Which is anti porn software. I’ve tried XXX Church’s program, but I find it complicated and not worth the seven bucks a month. Anti-porn software is a start, but the real work lies in dealing with the triggers that make a person crave whatever they’re addicted to.

For example, if you fear the future or worry about not having enough money. It can then seem logical to run to what “soothes” us the the most. But it’s not really soothing when they bring us momentary fixes. Only the presence of God and his mercy can give us the freedom we desire.

Two ideas that come mind: When it comes to fighting addiction, we need to approach it with speed and violence of action. That doesn’t mean we harm ourselves, but that we do what it takes to bring our addiction and destructive habits into submission.

The second idea is, I’ve been listening to a song called “beautiful things” by Gungor, I must confess that it s still very hard to see myself as a beautiful thing, because I mess up so much. It’s hard to see myself as God see’s me. My prayer for this year, is that I (and others) would see and believe this beautiful reality.fighting_back

 

 

 

Day 1: Fighting Back

I have decided to start posting each day that my eyes and mind don’t consume porn. I’m doing this in spite of fear, ridicule and rejection. No matter how people view me or what they think. I’ve made it 90 days before and with God’s help I’ll do it again. That being said, here we go.

Day 1

I’m wrestling with the idea of this is an actual addiction, or simply a dirty habit. After all, it’s not really interfering with my life in massive ways. But man, does my mind and body crave it.The temptation comes between early mornings and when I know i’ll be alone for awhile.

The truth is, I know I’m far better than this. Better, meaning that I am not better than anyone else, but better in the sense that I am better than this addiction, vice, habit whatever we want to call this thing.  Regardless I don’t want this thing to interfere in my life down the road. I honestly believe that real freedom is possible.

Even though my insides scream other wise, I could sit here and feel sorry for myself, I could think of every justification. But that is rubbish, it’s all filth. It’s time to clinch these fists and fight.images

Fighting My Addiction Part 2

I believe that one of the hardest elements of fighting any addiction, be it porn, sex, food, drugs or what have you. Is actually believing that you can fight back against it. The truth is that when we have been bogged down by addictive patterns for so long it can be extremely difficult to believe that anything better can become of your life.

Being that I fight my own addiction daily (porn), there was a time when I deeply believed that I couldn’t break free from the grasp that addiction had on my life. So I basically surrendered myself to this addiction, believing that it was now my master. Eventually though, I became sick of looking at pornography and quickly realized that it was never really that satisfying as people made it sound.

And if we’re honest, we might very well say the same thing. We also have to remember that simply because people choose porn over a real person, yes very little to do with them actually  being “satisfied” and more to do with the wiring in their brains being so high jacked.

There are some therapists who claim that there are some people, whose brains will never be the same because of how much exposure they have had to pornography. While that might be true, it does not mean that things cannot get better. Far too many in medical/ helping professions have very little belief in faith and what inner strength and courage can actual do.

When I first started walking away my own addiction, it was the most difficult challenge I have ever had to face. Everyday that I fought the temptation grew stronger. There were many times when I had no choice but to get on my knees and cry out to God for help. There were many times when I would call a friend or spend lots of time in the gym. Anything to get myself through the tempting moments. Slowly but surely, days started to stack on top of one another.

By God’s grace, my desire to look at poronagraphy became less and less. And I began to desire a real relationship, with a real woman. Change is possible, healing is possible, hope is possible. You just have to be willing to commit to a daily fight. One that you will not win on your own.

images

 

Fighting My Addiction

keep-craving-in-checkAs a psychology major, one area of study that has caught my attention of the last few years is substance abuse. Also known as chemical dependency. Ironically enough, Christians have questioned why a biblically centered college has a program like this.

Shouldn’t it be obvious? Every single one of us is addicted to something, the question then lies in whether we know it to be true of ourselves and whether we are willing to admit it as well.

What’s my addiction then? Pornograpy, yes I am a Christian and I struggle daily against the temptation to view pornography. How hypocritical right? I’m not afraid to say so myself, the fact is no is consistent with how they live their lives all the time.

I am not proud of having this vice in my life, in any way. Yes I’m aware that sex is a gift. One to be enjoyed and even to be longed for. But in a certain context. The context of marriage with a real person. The research is very clear that pornography is extremely harmful to the brain

http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/9-things-you-should-know-about-pornography-and-the-brain

The amount of shame, guilt and regret that has stemmed from this has almost been too much. God’s grace has been the only way that I have gotten through this. It hasn’t been easy, I’ve made it over 90 days without it in my life. However, I have recently relapsed back into the habit again.

It’s sucks and I feel horrible about it, but I’m not giving up the fight. And neither should you. I don’t care if you addicted to overeating, and you recently filled your stomach with so much food you couldn’t get out of bed the next day. Get back on the saddle.

The last thing we need to is to enter a cycle of self hatred and abuse. Know that you are forgiven and cleansed.