Miner

The Bunny Has Become the Canary

And just when you thought the news was good for God’s people…

If you worked in a mine and hated the sound of birds chirping, you may have felt a momentary happiness when the infernal tweeting stopped. This happiness vanished, though, when you realized that the canary had stopped because it was dead, and it was dead because toxic gas was leaking into the mine shaft.

The canary’s death was a warning of increasing danger.

Playboy’s recent decision to quit publishing nude photos might give those who appreciate the damaging effects of porn reason to rejoice, at least at first. CtC Chairman Mike Novotny would disagree – explaining why in a recent email to the CtC team:

Playboy is closing its doors…I mean, pages. Well, kind of. Did you all hear the news? Playboy magazine recently announced that it will stop publishing pictures of (completely) naked women.

Good news, right? Wrong.

Playboy spokesmen explained that the reason for the decisions was because of internet porn. In essence, they admitted, “You can get whatever sexual perversion you want for free online, so we can’t keep this old magazine thing going anymore.”

And just when you thought the news was good for God’s people…

Friends, maybe this is just a reminder of the importance of our work. We live in a digital age where the most notable name in sexual impurity, Playboy, is surrendering to the onslaught of free porn. Therefore, what we are doing in equipping parents for “the talks” (plural!), shipping brochures to pastors, presenting to hundreds of high schoolers, connecting with teachers, creating CtC’s mobile version, and everything else on our to-do list matters.

It matters because we are facing an enemy a billion times bigger than the magazine a 12 year-old used to find in dad’s bottom drawer. It matters because we are sharing a Savior whose broom is always bigger than the mess porn makes.

So, let’s finish the year strong and remember why we do what we do. Bodies and souls are at stake!

A fellow conqueror,
Mike

Digital Pimps

Digital Pimps

Internet porn is an industry. It isn’t passion or reality. It isn’t art or creativity.

When you watch porn online, you aren’t just helping the less-than-admirable version of yourself. You’re helping the digital pimps.

It is industry, and it is money. Money which does not go primarily to the “actors” or “actresses,” but instead goes to the gatekeepers – the producers and (mostly) the distributors.

To prove this, just consider the top pornographic site in the world. It has been in business for 16 years, boasts 25 million page views per day (to put that in perspective,cnn.com has been around for 21 years but only receives 16 million page views per day,) and is worth a whopping $54.8 million (cnn.com is worth $36 million.) This site does not pay royalties for the videos that get played, so the revenue goes to site maintenance and to those who work on it.

When you watch porn online, you aren’t just helping the less-than-admirable version of yourself. You’re helping the digital pimps.

The digital pimps need help, though. They’re being less-than-admirable versions of themselves, too.

And just like the only thing that’s going to relieve your conscience after you realize what you’ve done by using the porn is Jesus, who loves you still despite your secrets, Jesus is the only thing that will help them.

If you’re looking for something to fill the time you would have spent helping the digital pimps financially, maybe you should think about the ways you can help the digital pimps spiritually. Somebody’s got to do it. Maybe you and Jesus are the team for the job.


Author: Pastor Kent Reeder

What now

What do I do now?

For those reading this, you have the blessing of Conquerors Through Christ.

He has let out his nasty little secret. His burden has been put down; he feels relief and asks for forgiveness. You just got dumped on. You are in shock, angry, in disbelief, and cut to the core. Forgive? How? Do I stay? Do I go? How can I go? How far has he gone? With whom? How much do I need to know? How much can I handle? Am I safe? How could I ever trust him again? You have been traumatized.

Just what do you do?

Let the Tears Fall

They clear the heart and mind. Breathe. Slow and deep…just keep breathing.

Find Good Counsel

For me, my Pastor was my first go to, a safe haven, taking me to the Lord in prayer, helping me lay my burdens at His feet and learn to LET GO! Proverbs 3:5 | “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.” 1Peter 5:7 | “Cast all your cares upon him, for he cares for you.”

I also found a secular counselor to deal with depression and anxiety. Finding a Christian counselor was not enough; he/she had to know the need for the Savior as well as understand addiction and the trauma to a spouse. For those reading this, you have the blessing of Conquerors Through Christ. Editor’s Note: Conquerors through Christ does not offer direct, professional counseling, but we are very willing and able to connect you professional, Christian counselors who understand the psychology and the Gospel.

Give Yourself Grace

Allow yourself to mourn the losses, be angry for a while, and go through the cycles of grief: Shock, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Sorrow, and Acceptance. If you find yourself stuck in Angry-ville – get help! Anger is justified, but it should not last months on end and should never be violent in any way.

  • Shock is often fleeting, lasting minutes, hours, maybe days.
  • Denial: He just can’t be an addict; he is the model husband, a solid member of our church, a good father, a good man.
  • Anger: You start to realize he MAY actually be an addict. You get the full force of the betrayal. Things start making sense – the missing money, the late work nights, the silence and alone feeling even sitting right next to him. You begin to understand the impact this will have on your life: STD testing, counseling, support groups, healing, time in prayer and study.
  • Bargaining: God, if this isn’t true or if he isn’t an addict or if this could all go away, then I will promise to …
  • Sorrow: The deep sadness that accompanies the realization your life, through no fault of your own, has been forever changed. The life you dreamed of with this man will never be. Who you thought he was, is shattered. You feel as though you don’t know him anymore.
  • Acceptance: You accept his addiction. You stop blaming or looking for a magic fix. You begin recovery – your own. You become honest, even when it hurts. You can forgive.

Forgiving does not mean forgetting. Human nature doesn’t always allow us to forget such a painful act or the impact it has on our lives. I had a pastor years ago who taught us to forgive and remember – learn the lesson, but don’t hold a grudge. Forgiving helps you grow. Forgiving my husband gave me such peace! Withholding just kept the anger alive. And guilt – how could I accept God’s forgiveness for me and not forgive my husband? How could I go to communion and receive all it has to offer, when my heart held resentment – and worse? I would put my eternal life at risk. Colossians 3:13 | “Forgive, as the Lord forgave you.”

Forgiving also does not mean trusting. He has to earn that back through his actions. You are accepting and letting go of the past, starting anew, on to a new relationship with him, the old one is gone. If he is repentant, and even if he isn’t, forgive.

Pray

Oh, how important this one is! I debated putting it first. Pray every morning for help and guidance throughout your day. Pray during the day when life seems overwhelming. Pray every night, thanking God for helping you through the day, and ask for restful sleep. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 | Pray without ceasing. The un-uttered cries of your soul are heard by God. He knows what you need. Let Him give you His shelter, comfort and guidance. Philippians 4:6 | Be anxious (worry) for nothing. But in all things, by prayer and petition, ….present your requests to the Lord.

Read

The Bible. Find a concordance and look up whatever you are feeling at the time: Sorrow, Forgiveness, Worthiness, Beauty, Marriage, Family, Trust, Divorce. Our church had a Bible reading challenge to read the New Testament in 40 days. That got me into the Bible regularly, showing me how much of it I had never read, had never heard – even growing up in a parochial grade school, attending Sunday School for 8 years, and High School. It made me more comfortable really searching for what I needed. Some friends said they would let the book fall open and read to whatever God lead them.

Spousal Recovery Books – there are so many!!! I found Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado. Dr. Weiss has written many books on the subject. The group I attended for spouses used his workbooks – a 12 step recovery program. The first read they recommend is Partners: Healing from His Addiction by Dr. Doug Weiss. I also recently finished reading Your Sexually Addicted Spouse, How Partners Can Cope and Heal by Steffens and Means. I wished I had read it second – the lady authors write from experience, giving understanding, direction and advice so needed. Co-Dependent No More, by Beattie is one I fought reading. I wasn’t co-dependent! I didn’t support and condone his behavior! After only a few chapters, I found out I understood co-dependency all wrong. It made many relationships in my life more clear. To save money, I turned to Amazon.com. It is much more affordable than hitting the local or counselor’s bookstore. I have 5 typed pages of suggested reading materials, most of which I have not begun to read in 5 years! Ask your counselor for suggestions for you.

Care for Yourself

Get what you need. A message, pedicure, manicure is worth every penny. Go for a walk in the park or favorite woods. Garden or craft or read for enjoyment. Even 5 minutes a day. Get your mind off the issues of the day for a little while. Learn Tai Chi or yoga. My counselor recommended taking a trip away, alone at least once a quarter. It felt weird at first – and every time! But it was good to get away from the routine and the everyday reminders and do what I wanted, when I wanted, stay up late or sleep in. Find a friend. Someone in a recovery group is best, but if you have one friend you can confide in, ask her to be there by the phone for when you need to vent, to cry, to share at any time. She doesn’t have to say or do anything, just let you process. It should be someone who will not make judgments, or will keep them to herself, someone who will not tell you what you need to do before you’re ready. She must be trustworthy.

Don’t Make Any Important Decisions

…for a while, at least. Some say a year. Don’t feel you have to choose to stay or divorce right away. Don’t make a decision today you may regret tomorrow. Give yourself time to calm down and think rationally again. Do your research. Talk to a lawyer – initial consultation can be free, even if you are certain you will never take that route. The knowledge you will obtain is empowering, freeing. With that information, make an action plan, both short term and long term. What do you need to leave? What do you need to stay? How can you obtain that goal? Schooling? A Job? How can you become independent? Counseling or group? Make it as detailed as you can. Utilize it when and if you need. It takes much off your mind just knowing you have an action plan.

Hearing your prince has a deal-breaking flaw, that he broke the vows he pledged at your wedding, can be devastating. Don’t let it rule your future. You can be whole again. You can find peace.

What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear.
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.
Oh, what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless shame we bear
all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations, is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful? Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness. Take it to the Lord in Prayer.

What a Friend We Have in Jesus vs. 1-2, by Joseph M. Scriven

John 14:27 | Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you.


Author: Anabelle Woods

Top 6

Top 6 Reasons to Go Pro Vs. Porn

Should you seek professional help?

People often wonder if they are addicted to a certain behavior. The big question people often ask with addictions is “when is too much…too much?” Well, here are some signs indicating when an addiction to pornography might be beyond self-help.

Should you seek professional help? Well, here may be some triggers to consider …

  1. Out of control! You’ve attempted to make efforts to quit your usage, but every effort to stop or limit the use of porn is unsuccessful. The use feels like it is out of your control. You make unsuccessful efforts to quit or limit your use.
  2. Guilty as Charged! Your use of pornography is in direct conflict with your faith and conscience. You begin to sense strong feelings of guilt, shame, regret, and depression after using pornography. One of the casualties in pornography is our feelings.
  3. I’ve Got A Secret! Your use of pornography is a well-kept secret. You are obsessed, however, that someone might find out, so you find yourself perpetually trying to cover your tracks!
  4. Just A Little Bit More! You find that your use of pornography is consuming your time, your energy, and your thoughts. Even when you aren’t using porn, you think about it often and look forward to using it again.
  5. It’s All Bad! You begin to see the negative results that pornography is having on your life. You neglect basic responsibilities; you spend too much time with pornographic material and less and less time with people. You begin to spend money on pornographic material. Your appetite for other forms of pornography increases. You are willing to put yourself in compromising situations in order to satisfy your desire for porn, e.g. viewing it at work or other public locations. Work or academic performance begins to suffer.
  6. You’ve Got A Headache? That’s Okay, I’ve Got Porn! You begin to lack the desire for intimate contact with your spouse. You sense emotional distance between yourself and other people. The ones you love most begin to feel neglected. Pornography begins to be the preferred method for satisfying sexual desires.

Author: Ed Frey