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Posts Tagged ‘jesus’

But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

+ John 16: 32-33

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Obedience Unto Death by Rita Ford
“Obedience Unto Death” by Rita Ford

The golden rule for understanding spiritually is not intellect, but obedience. If a man wants scientific knowledge, intellectual curiosity is his guide; but if he wants insight into what Jesus Christ teaches, he can only get it by obedience.

+ Oswald Chambers, “My Utmost for His Highest”

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John the Baptist
John the Baptist

Heard John the Baptist preaching,
“Make way for the King!
… but if you want to recognize him,
you gotta tell me all your sins.”

+ Bill Mallonee/Vigilantes of Love, “Welcome to Struggleville”

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The cross is laid on every Christian. The first Christ-suffering which every man must experience is the call to abandon the attachments of this world. It is that dying of the old man which is the result of his encounter with Christ. As we embark upon discipleship we surrender ourselves to Christ in union with his death—we give over our lives to death. Thus it begins; the cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise god-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ. When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die. It may be a death like that of the first disciples who had to leave home and work to follow him, or it may be a death like Luther’s, who had to leave the monastery and go out into the world. But it is the same death every time—death in Jesus Christ, the death of the old man at his call.

+ Dietrich Bonhoeffer (2/4/1906 – 4/9/1945)

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A leper came to him begging him, and kneeling he said to him, ‘If you choose, you can make me clean.’ Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, ‘I do choose. Be made clean!’ Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.

+ Mark 1:40-42

D-Monk:

“Jesus, if you choose, you can make me clean.”

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The fourth chapter of Luke’s gospel relates Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. The narrative concludes with these words (Luke 4:13):

Καὶ συντελέσας πάντα πειρασμὸν ὁ διάβολος ἀπέστη ἀπ᾽ αὐτοῦ ἄχρι καιροῦ.

And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

The Devil exposed Jesus to an array of temptation, and was met at every turn by Scripture, and by an unshakable reliance thereupon. Matthew relates that our Lord ordered Satan to leave (Matthew 4:10). Luke agrees that he did so… adding, “until an opportune time.”

Just mull that one over a bit. Satan had gained not a yard, not a foot; not a centimeter, not a millimeter. In Jesus, he had found no sympathetic response, no wavering, no quivering, not the least inclination to yield.

Yet when he left, it was only for a time. He would be back. He wasn’t finished. He’d try again.

+ From Dan Phillips at Pyromaniacs

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Photobucket

Today marks one year since I attended the one-day Battle event at Evergreen Church in Bloomington, Minnesota.  I went to the Battle as a broken man — a man enslaved to internet pornography with little hope of breaking the cycle of addiction.  I left that day with a sense of hope.

The Battle came with a plan and that first day was simply Stage 1.  Stage 2 was a one-week “Boot Camp” that started early Monday morning two days after the Battle.  And after that would be Stage 3 — sixteen weeks of meetings with a core group of men called the Purity Platoon.

The goal — Purity.  No sexual gratification apart from my wife.  No masturbation, no pornography, no mental fantasies. Purity — nothing less.

For six months I flourished in that program.  I was blessed with the gift of purity.  Purity like I have never known in my life.  Not  only did I stay away from internet pornography, but I also abstained completely from masturbation and kept my mind free of sexual fantasy.

Unfortunately I made the grave mistake of taking “one little look” at pornography after six months of purity.  And as they say in alcoholics anonymous, it’s the “first drink” that has to be avoided at all costs.  Since I took that first look, I have been back in the trenches — engaged in an inch by inch battle for progress while crawling through mud.

So what do I think today?  Do I celebrate?  Do I mourn?

Yes.

But mostly I celebrate.  While I do not have a hold on purity in my life right now, there is evidence that I am moving towards purity rather than away from it.  I have hope.  I know that with Christ purity is possible.  I have my brothers in the SALT Brigade who are fighting this Battle at my side.

And another Battle event is being hosted in 2 weeks at the same church as the one I attended one year ago.  I am going back.  I am going to give my whole self in obedience to Christ by following the commands of the leaders Christ appoints for me.  I am renewing my pledge to flee from sexual immorality, to refrain from looking at a woman with lust, and to avoid pornography in all of its forms.

I am a broken man and a sinner.  I have sinned with my eyes and with my body by giving myself away sexually outside of the sacrament of my marriage.  Jesus Christ came to this earth to call me and liberate me from my sins.  Jesus gave his body up for me as an atoning sacrifice for all of my sins.  From the very cross of his sacrifice Jesus said to me, “It is finished”!

I believe.

It is finished.


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