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Posts Tagged ‘plan during times of strength’


HAIL TO THE SALT BRIGADE!

The SALT Brigade met again on Friday. The first part of the meeting involved confessions. It seems we had each struggled over the past seven days.

But an issue was identified early in the meeting: What is proper disclosure? Two of us had simply acknowledged that we had “acted out.”

NOT GOOD ENOUGH!

We talked as a group about accountability and our goals. We are trying to attain sexual purity. And one of the first steps is to defeat addictive sexual behavior. Such act6s must be held up to the light — the full light!

In order to grow, we must be specific about the nature of our sexual sins. We must come clean with our brothers or we are still hiding behind lies. And lies are where Satan is on his solid ground. So we came to an agreement that we will be specific in confessing our sexual sin as we march forward.

Friday was also a time for setting fences. It was time to post a rear guard and make a plan during a time of strength for a coming time of weakness.

My wife is going out of town for an educational convention and I will be home alone, caring for the children for five days. This will definitely create some stress, anger, and loneliness — and it will give me ample opportunity to pursue sexual lust.

So I have committed to calling each of my accountability partners every day while my wife is gone and giving a full and truthful account of how the Battle is going in my wife’s absence. If they do not hear from me, they will call me and hold me accountable for each day.

Thank you, SALT Brothers!!!

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

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Today I have returned from a business trip to Dallas.  I am happy to report that I had no lapses in purity while I was away.

We set up a plan during our SALT Meeting last Friday:

First, we scheduled phone calls for each day of the trip – calls where SALT Brothers would call me and hold me accountable.

Second, I took a picture of Beth and the family to place out in my hotel room – a reminder of what’s at stake.

Third, I committed to prayer twice daily while on the road – Christ is the only true source of strength for this battle.

Fourth, I made a commitment to turn off all media (tv and computer) at 10:30 each night.  This has been a source of struggles in the past.

The plan worked well.  I am very grateful for a clean trip.  It is another reminder of the power of planning during times of strength so that you can make good choices during times of weakness.

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Turtle


I am sitting at the airport in Las Vegas waiting to catch my flight home.  I don’t have too much time, but I wanted to take a moment and express my gratefulness for a clean visit to Las Vegas.

When I was on the road two weeks ago I struggled and had my second slip in 5 months.  I had a chance to reflect on what the causes were for my slip and made some changes to my Battle Plans for while I am on the road.  I made plans during a time of strength for a future time of weakness.

I wrote my plans out and brought them with me.  Amongst other things, my Battle Plan included daily prayer, daily phone calls, and a pre-determined time to turn off all media.  I stuck to my plan and God honored my commitment with the grace to avoid sexual immorality while traveling.

PRAISE BE TO GOD!!!!!!

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Certainly time had as much to do with the tragedy as the weather, and ignoring the clock can’t be passed off as an act of God. Delays at the fixed lines were foreseeable and eminently preventable. Predetermined turn-around times were egregiously ignored.

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It can’t be stressed strongly enough, moreover, that Hall, Fischer, and the rest of us were forced to make such critical decisions while severely impaired with hypoxia. In pondering how this disaster could have occurred, it is imperative to remember that lucid though is all but impossible at 29,000 feet.

– Jon Krakauer, Into Thin Air, 354-355.

The book Into Thin Air narrates the tragic events of May 10, 1996 which ended with the deaths of 11 climbers on the slopes of Mount Everest – the deadliest season of climbing ever on that formidable peak. Many things went wrong in the days and hours leading up to the tragedy and the elimination of any one of the mishaps could have produced a much better outcome. And while many of that day’s problems were outside of the climbers’ control – unexpected changes in weather, experienced guides succumbing to hypoxia, etc. – there were still some very basic things within their control that could have saved most, if not all, of those lost lives.

In particular, the climbers on that day ignored one of the most basic safety precautions used for high-altitude climbing – have a pre-agreed upon turn-around time at which all climbers must abandon the ascent and head down no matter how close they are to reaching the summit. None of the survivors to the tragedy recalls why this most basic safety protocol was abandoned that day, but every climber that died had stayed on the mountain well beyond the times usually set for turn-around.

I think there is some wisdom here for those of us who struggle with sexual purity. The struggle with sexual sin is cyclical and each of us revolves between times of relative strength and times of weakness. And when we find ourselves in a time of weakness or temptation, we are really very much like the climber who is experiencing hypoxia (insufficient oxygen to the brain). We are simply not able to think rationally or make good decisions when we are caught in the throes of sexual temptation.

So we need to plan ahead for these times of temptation much the way high-altitude climbers need to plan ahead for how to handle decision making during the climb. We need to set boundaries for ourselves now that are clear and that will be easy to understand even during times of weakness.

For example, I recently went on a business trip to Fort Worth, Texas. It had been a while since I traveled and I forgot about the panic that sometimes sets in if I have trouble sleeping. During times of strength, it is easy for me to remember that I can simply read a book when I have trouble sleeping and that I do not really need to be worried about getting enough sleep. But when the panic has already set in — and I am experiencing spiritual hypoxia — I flail out for anything that will comfort me. I turn on the tv or go online and expose myself to the potential hazards of coming across porn or other inappropriate images. And if I do see these inappropriate images, I am not likely to be strong enough to resist them. Having turned to media in a time of panic, I have placed myself in real danger of losing my sexual purity.

And that was my experience in Fort Worth. I panicked. I turned on the tv. I went on the internet. And I ended up viewing pornography.

It was easy for me the next morning to realize what I should have done. I should have kept the tv off, read a book, and told myself that it was ok to stay up as late as necessary. But none of those thoughts occurred to me when the hypoxia set in.

I am about to embark on another business trip — this time to Las Vegas. I am now adding another written guideline to my travel check-list: The television goes off at 11:00 or earlier. Period. I can read as late as I want, but no media after that time.

MAKE YOUR PLANS DURING TIMES OF STRENGTH SO YOU HAVE A FIGHTING CHANCE DURING TIMES OF WEAKNESS!

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