Posts Tagged ‘accountability’

So what’s up with the Turtle?

I am happy to have returned to the blogospeher, even if not as regularly as I would like.  And I am happy to be praying, even if not as regularly as I’d like.  As a turtle, I move and change slowly.  My best hope is that movement is in the right direction.

Last week we took a roadtrip with my youngest daughter.  She loves elephants, so we drove to Kansas City and saw elephants.  I’ve never spent any time in Kansas City before.  It is a fun town with lots to see (besides elephants).  Lots of fountains and monuments, music and barbecue, shopping and museums.

I really enjoyed spending time with family and I know the time was good for me.

… and yet.

And yet I did act out.  There was some time when my wife and daughter left to do some swimming or shopping and I stayed behind.  And I acted out.  I looked at internet pornography while they were away.  

Very disappointing.  I wonder some times if I am even trying.  Don’t I want to get better?

Still … I am trying.

I am back at the office and trying to work daily prayer back into my life.  I am trying to check-in with accountability partners.  I am trying to be honest when I blog.

Lord Jesus,

Have mercy on me a sinner!  And grant me the grace to want to do what is right and the strength to surrender to what is right.  May my struggles bring you glory.



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As I traveled for work this week, I was very grateful to have a new accountability partner.  Joe checked in with me each day while I was on the road and I returned clean and sober.


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Today I am in need of the Phone Brigade! I am filled with the desire to act out … the desire to view pornography.

Today is a day where I cash in the chips of accountability.

Why do I make those phone calls day after day? So that on days like today I can make a phone call to help save me from myself. To keep me from doing the thing that I know I don’t want to do (… and yet I so much want to do it!).

Today I call for …


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Last week’s meeting focused on honest confessions and setting up extra accountability for an extended period of being home alone. This week I got to celebrate some success and reflect on the “secret sauce.”

What is the Secret Sauce?

Well, I don’t know if it is truly a “magic bullet” or anything of that sort, but several weeks ago one of the SALT Brothers said that he had found the Secret Sauce — making TWO phone calls to accountability partners EVERY day.

That is exactly the recipe that I employed for the five days that Beth was away from home and it worked for me. There is something to really stepping up the frequency of check-ins with partners. It makes it harder to hide behind a wall of silence when you have already committed to two check-ins. I think two also works for this group because there are three of us total — if I promise two check-ins a day then that means everybody else in the group is expecting a phone call. If I promise only one, then each guy is able to assume that I made my check-in to the other accountability partner.

I don’t know if the Secret Sauce is a long-term salve for the problem of lust and pornography, but it was a great tool for working through a time of temptation.

And for that I am GRATEFUL!!!

S-A-L-T: Standing Against Lust Together

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But when Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs and the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the repairing of the walls of Jerusalem was going forward and the gaps were beginning to be closed, they were very angry, and all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it. So we prayed to our God, and set a guard as a protection against them day and night.

+ Nehemiah 4:7-9

Prayer is a powerful tool in the fight against sexual sin and sexual addiction. But prayer is not a license to abandon responsibility. In prayer we admit our inadequacies and turn to the one true source of hope in our Battle against sexual sin. Still, we ourselves must take whatever steps lie within our own power to protect ourselves against the enemy.

  • We must identify those circumstances which leave us vulnerable to sexual temptation.

  • We must post a rear guard against those situations.

  • We must set up fire drills.

  • We must make daily phone calls.

  • We must be part of an accountability group.

  • And we must be honest with ourselves and our accountability group.

Yes, we can and should call on our Heavenly Father for help. And we must also do what we can in obedience to carry out the will of our Heavenly Father. We must actively engage in the Battle for Purity.

We are in danger of making prayer a substitute for duty; or of trying to roll over on God, the burden of caring for us and doing things for us–while we sit still and do nothing! When we pray to be delivered from temptation–we must keep out of the way of temptation, unless duty clearly calls us there. We must also guard against temptation, resist the Devil, and stand firm in obedience and faith. When we ask God for our daily bread, pleading the promise that we shall not lack–we must also labor to earn God’s bread, and thus make it ours honestly.

+ J.R. Miller

[For a wider discussion of this topic, see “Prayerfully Coming to Grips With Inadequacy Without Becoming Inactive” on the Desire Spiritual Growth Blog]

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The SALT Brigade met this morning. It was a time for honesty amongst the brothers. Honesty about a curious week.

This was a triumphant week, in a sense. All of us had clean weeks and came to this morning’s meeting grateful for the gift of purity. Praise the Lord Jesus Christ for the good work he has begun in each of us!!!

Yet we also experienced a week of let-downs. None of us seemed able to “work the program” this week. We have all agreed that key elements to staying pure are prayer and accountability. We have all made commitments to one another to pray daily (especially using 7-minutes of prayer first thing each morning) and to make phone calls to each other daily. Yet we all struggled with these commitments over this past week.

As I told my brothers this morning, I really didn’t “feel like” working the program this week. I have felt happy, blessed, and grateful. But I haven’t “wanted” to interrupt my day for prayer or phone calls.

So what’s that all about?

Isn’t the God who gives so much o me each day worthy of some small portion of my time? And isn’t the incredible gift of purity worth the effort of daily phone calls?

And why don’t I WANT to do these things?

I don’t know what the answers are, but I do know that I love God and really do want to show my love for Him. I do know prayer is important and I do want it to become a habit – a loving habit – for me.

We all have made a commitment this week to make sure that we are starting each day with seven minutes of prayer and we will be checking-in on prayer as we check-in on purity.

S-A-L-T: Standing Against Lust Together

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Re-Post From One Year Ago

Last week I crawled away.

I bottomed-out (I hope) and crawled away.

After getting trapped in a cycle of acting out and missing a meeting of the Blueshirts, something had to change. I had to break away from a twisted and sick routine before crashing into flames (again). So after acting out on Monday I decided on the bus road home that I’d had enough. I quit.

Now many will argue that I quit the wrong way. Because I quit everything. I quit the Blueshirts. I quit daily phone calls. I quit check-ins and accountability. And I quit acting out.

For one short week I pretended I was normal. I know that I am not normal. I am an addict. But I am so desperately tired of always having to be aware that I am an addict. I felt a need to just divorce myself from being an addict.

The Blueshirts, to their credit, would have none of it. They called me several times each day. They left me voice mail messages and e-mail messages. They asked me to call and check-in. But I wasn’t having any of it. When I have decided on something I can be extremely obstinate. It’s one of my gifts!

Eventually one of the Blueshirts found me. Actually, he found my wife first. We worship at the same church and he asked her if I was ok. Naturally this prompted some questions on her part and it became clear both that I had acted out last week and that I was not currently “in the program.” She and I had a long talk on Sunday about what’s happening right now.

I am still angry. I am angry with all that is required for the process of recovery. I am angry that I haven’t been “healed.” I am angry at the continued intrusion into my life by accountability partners.

Of course, I understand that none of this anger is well placed. My accountability partners and my wife have shown great love for me. Especially my wife! The only person deserving of any true anger is me.

But I am tired and I continue to hold onto resentment. It is my job to forgive and my job to continue the program. No one else can do it for me and I cannot do it for anyone else.

Do I want it? Do I want to be healed? What am I truly thirsty for? And have I died yet?

I don’t know any of the answers. I know only what I have shared. I have isolated and I am angry and resentful. Yet the people in my life have continued to stand beside me and to love me.

I am a lucky man.

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