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Posts Tagged ‘addiction’

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.

Amen.

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I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.

+ Exodus 20:2-3

One of the ideas we have been examining in our Purity Platoon is intimacy with God. True intimacy with God leads to serenity, joy, and purity. False intimacy leads to acting out, sexual sin, and addiction.

My life has been filled with false intimacy. Rather than turning to God for my deepest needs, I turn to and rely on myself. I don’t trust God, I trust me.

Because of this reliance on self, I use behaviors and substances to meet my needs – needs that can only truly be met by God. I don’t have a true sense of self worth, so I continually try to prove to myself and others how valuable and/or significant I am. And to find acceptance, I will do what others want me to do.

That is false intimacy.

True intimacy begins with the understanding that God is God – He is the only source for meeting all of my needs and He has commanded me to have no other gods besides Him.

True intimacy with God means that I trust God alone to meet my deepest needs for the following:

  • Identity

  • Security & Protection

  • Significance & Value

  • Intimacy & Love

  • Provision

  • Direction

  • Acceptance

As I have noted before, there is a god-shaped hole in my heart and there is only one source for filling that hole – God Himself.  True intimacy with God is the way to fill the hole.

+++

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“PLEASURE”?

As I’ve been trying to overcome my “need” for the pleasure of addiction, I found the following description of pleasure from C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters on point:

[This is a fictional elder demon writing to a younger, less experienced demon]

“Never forget that when we are dealing with any pleasure in its healthy and normal and satisfying form, we are, in a sense, on the Enemy’s [God’s] ground. I know we have won many a soul through pleasure. All the same, it is [God’s] invention, not ours. He made the pleasures: all our research so far has not enabled us to produce one. All we can do is to encourage humans to take the pleasures which our Enemy has produced, at times, or in ways, or in degrees, which He has forbidden. Hence we always try to work away from the natural condition of any pleasure to that in which it is least natural, least redolent of its Maker, and least pleasurable. An ever-increasing craving for an ever diminishing pleasure is the formula…. To get the man’s soul and give NOTHING in return–that is what really gladdens [Satan’s] heart.”

That definitely sounds like addiction to me: “an ever-increasing craving for an ever-diminishing pleasure.” Selling my soul and getting nothing in return.

It is good to remember, however, that pleasure is not the problem. God created pleasure for our enjoyment. It is seeking pleasure in the wrong ways–from drugs, acts, and things as opposed to affection, love, and people–that is the problem.

We were made for pleasure.

Addiction robs us of this gift.

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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.

THANK YOU PHONE ACCOUNTABILITY!!!

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AT THE END OF THE ROPE


Since the day you were born
… you were looking for hope
You’ve looked everywhere
… but the end of your rope!

—Chris Taylor, “Down Goes the Day” (Rhythm House Music 1998)



When I can’t hold on much longer
To a rope weathered and frayed
When I can’t find hope
and I’m losing faith

The savior reaches in
To still the howling wind
To calm the storm within
To rescue me

–Steve Hindalong/The Choir, “To Rescue Me,” O How the Mighty Have Fallen (Galaxy Music 2005)


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As men of the Purity Platoon, we dedicate ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ whose Spirit is a Holy Spirit and whose job it is to produce holiness in His Bride.

Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.


+ 2 Corinthians 7:1

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RETURN OF THE TURTLE?

I really don’t know …

But I do know I have been struggling lately.  No, I haven’t gone off the deep-end into a series of acting-out episodes.  But I have been casually looking at pornography on the internet several times a week.  And that is not who I want to be.

Or do I?  Is it ok if I have this one vice if I manage everything else?  Part of me wants the answer to be “Yes.”  Part of me wants it to be normal, ok, and even healthy.  But my conscience doesn’t buy it.

So I am struggling.  I am wandering from the straight path.  But I am not wandering far enough to fell the exigency of the situation.  It might be better if I failed … bottomed out … found out how serious this problem is.  Then I might be ready for surrender.

But today … today I still believe I can handle it.  I can be in control.  I am a man and I am strong. Today I see surrender as weakness.

But in my heart I know that surrender is the strongest thing a man could do.  Admit my weakness and walk in the light.

Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief!

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