David Speas - Husband; Pastor; Clinton Wesleyan;
Joseph Hough - God First; Music; Evart Michigan; Coffee!
Step 1 - Confession: Confess that pornography is a sin. It hurts me and it hurts others. Studies show that it is as addicting as heroin or cocaine. I must confess that I have a problem and need help.
Step 2 - Repentance: Turn 180 degrees from pornography and to God. I must beg God for real sorrow and repentance that leads to salvation. (II Cor. 7:10-11) Many people struggle here because sex addictions cause experiences that we are likely to enjoy remembering. It’s easy to feel guilty for our sin, yet still inwardly cherish it.
Step 3 - Accountability: One of porn’s strengths is secrecy. This power is broken through exposure. (Eph. 5:11) We expose it by confessing it to a trusted pastor, counselor, spouse, or friend and having them ask us specific questions on a weekly (or even daily) basis.
Step 4 - Radical Removal: Purity precedes power! Get rid of your source or porn. (Matt. 5:29-30) Destroy magazines, movies, books, etc. Get rid of your computer, TV, iPod, phone, game consoles, etc. If you absolutely can’t get rid of these things, try accountability software, filters, and blockers on these devices. Check out www.covenanteyes.com and www.xxxchurch.com. They have some great resources in these areas.
Step 5 - Radical Replacement: (Read Luke 11:24-26) Don’t just try to cast out the “evil spirit” of pornography and fail to replace it with God, His Word, His Spirit, and daily time in worship and prayer! Enjoying God continuously is the answer! “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”(Matt. 5:6)
Step 6 - Plan: Have a battle strategy. Be prepared! The enemy loves to attack when we’re tired, lonely, depressed, and vulnerable. You’ve programmed yourself to just give in at these times. That’s what you’ll do again, if you don’t have a concrete, workable plan ready to use at a moment’s notice, and USE IT!
For more resources, check out:
Amy Weddle - Missionary; Santa Barbara, Honduras; Loves kids!
Why should I take a mission trip? I believe the better question would be, why shouldn’t I take a mission trip? Though your reasons may be numerous, I am sure I could refute them all! Why should you take a mission trip? Let’s look at the reasons…
Taking a missions trip allows you to experience the difficulties and blessings of the life of a missionary firsthand so you know how to better pray for them. Not only can you be a help to missionaries by monetary support, you can also support them in prayer! Experiencing their life gives you a better idea of what to pray for.
Even just a short time doing mission work in another country will help to broaden your perspectives and experiences in several ways. I remember my aunt, who served as a missionary in Rwanda, telling me once that missionary life helps you to see how vast God’s kingdom really is. Being in another culture and worshipping their way will truly open your eyes to a broader perspective of worship and fellowship in God’s kingdom.
Many times, missionaries can be overwhelmed by the everyday and the mundane, because of the amount of mission work they do. Even if you are not a pastor, singer, or up-front sort of person, I daresay that a missionary would just as well love your help on a more practical level!
You may not feel called to foreign missions. I encourage you – don’t let that stop you! It can truly be a life-changing experience! I never actually felt called to foreign missions, myself, but I made a promise to God that I would go wherever He led me. That has allowed me to be involved in different ministries in the States as well as foreign countries, and to currently be serving as a homeschool teacher to the three sons of a missionary couple. Though I still feel no direct call, I am in the center of God’s will, and where is a better place to be?
Joel Chopp – Husband, Theology Student, Canadian, Banjo Enthusiast
Theology does not typically enjoy scoring very high on our “important things to do today” list. This can even be true of pastors and church leaders: often the “more practical” aspects of ministry, the activities where we “get our hands dirty” crowd out the time in our day for deep, serious reflection. For some, theology doesn’t even register as an activity to be crowded out—it’s boring and divisive, and the last thing our churches need is more of it.
Though these tendencies likely stem from good motives, they’re also working with a poor definition of theology. Theology is nothing less than the exercise of holy reason in thinking and speaking well about the Triune God, and I submit that there are few activities more important than this for the life of a church, or for an individual believer. A.W. Tozer said “What comes into our mind when we think about God is the most important thing about us,” in part because what we think and how we speak determines how we order our lives. A church that does not slow down to think and speak rightly about God—that is, to think and speak in accordance with his Word spoken to us—is a church that may be outwardly growing, but inwardly wasting away.
Theology is not for the academy, it is for the church. Theology is not first the professor’s job, it is the task of every disciple of Jesus. Every Christian is a student of theology because every Christian thinks and speaks about God. Today, we students have an embarrassing amount of riches at our fingertips—the works of the fathers and the scholastics, of Augustine and Anselm, of Aquinas and Arminius and Wesley and Whitfield—all at our fingertips. Take them. Read them. Drink deep and search the Scriptures: think and speak well of the Triune God.