From the Blog

Harmful Deceiver

Before I gave my heart to Jesus in January of 1980, I used to think that pornography really didn’t hurt anyone. Even psychology painted a picture that it could be helpful to detour rape by giving an outlet—and, boy, that sounded good and right to me, until Ted Bundy did his interview with Dr. James Dobson.

I had hoped it was a good thing because I was drawn to it. Men are hardwired to be visually stimulated. God made it to be that way. God created godly marital sex to be an intimate bonding—a wonderful, exciting moment between husband and wife. Fornication includes all forms of sexual sin like adultery, premarital sex, multiple partners, pornography (fornicea), homosexuality, and masturbation. It destroys God’s beautiful purpose for sex.

Pornography is not harmless but hurtful. The first one it hurts is God. Joseph said to Potiphar’s wife when she was trying to seduce him, “How could I do this thing and sin against God?” King David said, after being convicted by Nathan the prophet of his sins concerning Bathsheba, “Against God and God alone have I sinned.” We all have sinned against others and have had others sin against us, so we deserve what we get. But God deserves to be honored and revered, so any sin is firstly against Him. Secondly, we hurt our wives, our children, and ourselves. We also support an industry that supports all sorts of ungodliness, including human trafficking. One thing God used to get my attention was this question, “How would you feel if you were to open a porno magazine or watch a porno DVD and see your beloved daughter? The ladies seen in these magazines or films were somebody’s ‘baby girl’ and made in the ‘image of God.’”

God says in His word that sin is “pleasurable for a season” but it will ultimately destroy us. Sin is not bad because it’s forbidden, it’s forbidden because it’s bad.

On a personal note, I was exposed to pornography at a very young age. I wasn’t looking for porn at six years old, but it came looking for me. I wasn’t addicted immediately, but through other circumstances (I’ll blog about that at another time) I became addicted, and it was instrumental in causing my two divorces. Porn is a fantasy world—not reality. It’s staged and posed and doesn’t portray a true picture of reality. It’s generally perverse and a definite deviation of God’s plan.


Even after I gave my heart to Jesus I didn’t see pornography as a sin, because it wasn’t real—only fantasy. It’s not like I was having an affair. I didn’t understand what the word fornication meant. I didn’t read through the Bible completely until 1997, and it was probably five years later before I heard Jesus’ teaching about lust being adultery. Even then I tried to convince myself that I really had no interest in any of those women personally. And until recently, churches just didn’t address pornography until it was an epidemic in the church. Once I was convicted of my sin, I couldn’t seem to stop.

Finally, after my second wife filed for divorce, I followed the words of James 5:16—I confessed my sin and began the process of deliverance. About ten years later when I was depressed, like an alcoholic returning to the bottle to self-medicate, I started slipping back into porn.

As God would have it, a little company in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, developed some material to address porn and sexual addiction. And again by the providence of God, my brother-in-law was approached by this company to come on board to help promote the product. Then he sent me the material to get my opinion. The material was called Freedom Begins Here. This material convicted me of backsliding, but more than that, it made me realize I was not alone and that there was hope. Like any addict, I always have to be on guard because pornography will always be a strong temptation, but with God’s help and materials out on the market and churches that promote transparency and seeking help with our issues, there is a future and a hope.

Jeff Fowler

Read Jeff's story here

The (Porn) Battleground – The Mind

By: Dan Wobschall

Quite literally every decision, conflict, battle and resolution to life's situations, begin and end in the mind.

Therefore, if you and I are to walk in purity with Christ and honor our wives, children and above all else, God, don't you think we should be on a vigilant watch over what we introduce our minds and thought life to? (might be a run-on sentence, but oh well) 

Here's just a couple of verses of New Testament scripture on the subject.

Mark 12:30  "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength."

2 Corinthians 10:5  "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."

Romans 12:2  "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."

I could stop here and let us ruminate on these verses. In fact, do that. Read them over a couple of times. Digest them a bit before moving on.

Mind Power

The brain performs an incredible number of tasks including the following:

  • It controls body temperature, blood pressure, heart rate and breathing.
  • It accepts a flood of information about the world around you from your various senses (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching).
  • It handles your physical movement when walking, talking, standing or sitting.
  • It lets you think, dream, reason and experience emotions.

All of these tasks are coordinated, controlled and regulated by an organ that is about the size of a small head of cauliflower. And it does this 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and never shuts off to rest!

Understanding a small bit of the science behind the mind gives us a pretty good insight on the power of the mind. It also tells us that we need to care for this body organ quite well. So, 'take captive every thought' to protect yourself from letting creeping crud enter your mind. 

Be mindful (pun intended) of what you watch, read, listen to, and think about. Everything you take in via your senses affects how you view the world around you. The avenues from which we receive information are nearly endless. From newspapers to the highest of tech methods to intake news, entertainment, music and you name it. 

Old but true

As the old saying goes, accurately so, garbage in - garbage out. Out of our mouths come that which dwells in the heart and mind. What dwells in the heart in mind is what the mind receives and we feed it. 

What kind of mind food are you feeding on today?

The Mind on Porn

The neural pathways of the brain are much like roads that take us to and from places, with the option of a few to choose from to make the journey. And the shortest path or most familiar roads are often what we choose. We're familiar with that road. We know it well. 

So it goes, as we create pathways of thought and behavior in the mind. 

Neuroscience Speaks: How Using Porn Destroys Your Willpower

Neuroscience now knows that willpower is a function of the prefrontal lobes of the brain. Scientific studies have also confirmed that using porn over and over actually reshapes these areas of the brain, literally eroding our willpower and our moral compass.

Neuroscientists call it hypofrontality. Hypofrontality is a state in which there is decreased blood flow to the prefrontal lobes of the brain. Hypofrontality is observed in schizophrenia patients, and is also observed in all manner of addictions.

What is Hypofrontality? In his book, The Porn Circuit, Sam Black explains what hypofrontality is for the porn viewer.

“Compulsiveness is a good descriptor of hypofrontality. Many porn users feel focused on getting to porn and masturbating even when a big part of them is saying, ‘Don’t do this.’ Even when negative consequences seem imminent, impulse control is too weak to battle the cravings.”

The porn-addicted brain has trouble thinking logically. When impulses and desires come from the midbrain, instead of being moderated, the brain feels these desires as compelling needs. The prefrontal region is supposed to be able to weigh consequences and situations and judiciously shut down cravings, but hypofrontality means the addict’s ability to do this is impaired.

To the addict, when the craving for porn surfaces, their whole body gears up for action. As unhindered hormones are released and neurotransmitters fire, the craving consumes them. The heart begins to race, blood pressure rises, and the addict is consumed by a single thought: “Just one more time.”

Speaking from experience

Changing my thought processes was the single hardest part of recovery from my porn addictiveness. My ability to think logically about sexual needs, desires and behaviors went out the window when the impulses were running with a head of steam. 

The addictive pornography behavior cost me valuable, unretrievable time lost away from my wife and children. 

What I found myself capable of thinking, watching, saying and doing on the internet is today scary and honestly sickening. Yet I did them over and over and over again, seeking relief from the very pain the behavior was bringing me. 

How to break the cycle

Just how do we abandon the old pathway of thinking and build new ones? That's a huge question with multiple correct answers. See the three verses at the beginning of this post, and start there. Here are a few others: 

  • Install filtering & accountability software on all computers & smart devices 
  • Daily time spent reading & meditating in the bible
  • Listen to Christian music and talk radio
  • Choose to watch safe & clean television, if any
  • Join an accountability group and get an accountability partner
  • Learn how to be held accountable effectively

We are and will become a product of our own self imposed mental environment. That is truth and fact. Choose wisely.  

Finally, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)

 

Sources for this article:

EveryMansHope.org

BibleGateway.com

CovenantEyes.com

How Stuff Works - Human Brain

Choosing Your Response

Dear sister, there are two relationships in which you WILL respond to, day in and day out, as you try to make sense of the pain you are experiencing.  Your response to God and obviously, your response to your husband.  The good news is if we recognize the first and are intentional about our perceptions, then our responses to both relationships will be what will help navigate our wounded hearts toward the healing that God has for us.

The truth is,  your response towards God and your husband is a reflection of your belief in God's love for you and His promises for your life.  Ouch! Did you get that? Tough stuff!  I am still trying to wrap my mind around it.  What I am seeing in my own life is a woman who's responses have not lined up with who she claims to be...ugh! Sounds like a heart probelm to me! Not pretty!! This revelation has really challenged me in EVERY area of my life.

It seems like on the onslaught of pain, the enemy tries to give us a dose of amnesia when it comes to WHO we KNOW our God is and WHO we are in Him. We become so consumed with our pain and every detail of  our husband's choices that nothing else seems to matter.  Not only are our hearts broken but our mind becomes the enemy's battleground to cause further damage.  He takes advantage of every opportunity to destroy TRUTH with LIES.

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2012: Another Amazing Year!

What if I told you…

We gave away and distributed more than 1000 resources to individuals who were seeking freedom.  We have not even scratched the surface of this struggle.  

Stories came in about how men were finding freedom!

We counseled and assisted over 70 churches in helping individuals with their addiction to porn.

We worked directly with high school students on their recovery from pornography.  More importantly, we saw them come to grips with their struggle and start on a path of freedom.

We were invited to share our wisdom on a global platform for parenting called the FLOW Summit.  The two sessions are about having conversations on pornography and sex. 

Our Plans for 2013

All of our online videos will now be FREE.

We will post every video from ALL of our resources online for free. You will see nearly 40 new videos added to the Freedom Begins Here Site 

We are working on some brand new video content.

We want to impact more lives, so we will post sections of our Devotional Journal online for FREE!

We will give away more free resources in 2013 with the goal of impacting 5,000 lives.   

So What Is Your Part?

Please tell anyone who is working with this issue that they can get free resources on our website. Communicate that freedom is possible!  

Pray that we gain supporters so this message can continue!

Written by: Bryson Moore

When it's Hard to Love

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a
resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom
all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains,
but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and
surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.  
Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  
Love never fails.  
But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled;
where there is knowledge, it will pass away.  For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.  When I was a child, I talked like a child,
I thought like a child, I seasoned like a child.  When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.
  Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.  Now I know in part;
 then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  
But the greatest of these is love.      
1 Corinthians 13
The above is commonly know as the LOVE chapter in the bible.  You can find parts of it on greeting cards, quoted at weddings, and even hung on walls.  It is so beautiful.  As Christians, we are in awe and filled with thankful hearts knowing that is how Jesus loves us.  That is what He does... that is Who He is. This knowledge is AWESOME because it is His love that the Holy Spirit uses to draws us to Him. The same Holy Spirit who indwells every believer. SO why don't WE love as Jesus loves? Could it be because it is easier to accept this gift of love from Him than to think that WE are called to give this gift to others? Seriously...how many of us really love this way?  This sacrificial, unconditional love is NOT the kind of love we are used to seeing, let alone giving....especially in marriages today. 

 

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Going to the Sexual Purity Gym

Below is a post from Jeff Fisher a friend who leads another organization called Porn to Purity www.porntopurity.com.   I really like his message and hope to share more of his thoughts in the future.  

Recently, I’ve been going back to the gym.  It’s a good habit, but it’s rough when I haven’t done it a while.  My muscles have atrophied and haven’t been challenged in a while.  So the last couple of days I have been sore, tired, achy. 

I could help but think about my sexual purity journey and the recovery process.  I have sexual purity muscles that get exercised when I dive into recovery.  It is a necessary shock to my system.  I want to highlight some of these areas that get a workout when we dive into sexual purity.

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Why My Husband?

Why God?  Haven't I done what I was supposed to do?
Why this?  Haven't I faithfully attended church and served in ministry?
Why now?  Haven't I fasted, prayed, and read your Word?
Why me?  Haven't I pleased you Lord by living like a christian woman should?
Why MY marriage? Haven't  I been a Godly wife?
Why MY husband?  Haven't I prayed SO many prayers for him and over him?
Why God? Why didn't you stop him?

Sound familiar?  Chances are, you are reading this blog because you have found out about your husband's addiction to porn.  Chances are, at some point you have shouted these questions to God.  I have too.  It's okay, my friend, because God can handle it.  BUT, maybe we need to look a little deeper and examine the root of these questions and our belief system.

Continue Reading >

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