Note: This is a 3 part email sequence, all the 3 parts have been compiled in this blog post. Each email is separately labeled.
This week I had the chance to interview a man named Jon Gordon.
The guy has sold over 5 million books. Advises professional teams and athletes that you and I would immediately recognize. Charges 75k to speak at an event. You get the idea...
His core messages have revolved around positive psychology, leadership, personal development, etc. But he recently launched a book called The One Truth that is all about oneness with God.
I brought him on to my podcast because I believe his message is speaking into an area where men like me and you need help (plus he doesn't charge for podcast interviews 😅).
And our time together really impacted me – so it has inspired this month's email sequence. I really believe this series could be a game-changer for you so please read all the way through.
Also - I guarantee you will laugh out loud when you read the story I'm going to share with you tomorrow. I've been telling the story for 10 years and still laugh every time I tell it.
So here's the deal. Most men that we work with love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength. But nearly all of them struggle to feel connected to God.
Now just to be clear – when I say "feel connected" I'm not talking about getting the tinglies down your spine or having a good cry during worship.
Those may be part of it.
I'm talking about that rooted sense that you and God are in a fluid, dynamic relationship.
I'm talking about when you pray to God, you're not throwing up words to a dude high in the sky. You're aware that He's literally closer than your breath.
I'm talking about not just treating God like a slot machine, praying He will answers your urgent needs, but also having times where you and Him are together just for the sake of being together.
A few years ago, I would've heard something like this and thought "What a patsy. Too ooey gooey for me."
But as I've dug into addiction research, and as I've navigated a lot of life change and hardship the last few years, it's become incredibly clear...
Nothing in this world is more important for my well-being than my connection with God.
As I write this, my wife and I are getting ready to have our firstborn, and it's a boy! Woo woo.
Side note – when we did the anatomy scan, which is where you discover the gender of the child, the technician warned us that sometimes they get the gender wrong. There's always a margin of error.
You have to sign a waiver any anything so that they don't get in trouble if they get the gender wrong.
But when they began scanning between the legs – it was clear, not only was this child a boy, he was a SAM (if you know what I mean 🍆 😉).
The kid's not even born yet and I'm already beaming with pride.
Becoming first-time parents is similar to getting married from a social standpoint.
At first, everyone is super excited for you.
Then, the people who are ahead of you in this stage start to project their trauma.
"Oh just you wait buddy, it gets WAY worse"
"Oh yeah we said we were going to do that too... good luck with that"
"HAHAHA - is that how you think it works? Oh boyyyyyy..."
THEN you start making decisions, and suddenly everyone is an expert on the subject and has super strong opinions...
And if you don't see things the way they do, you get accused of being a "child abuser" (to use a totally fictional example that definitely did not actually happen to us...🙄...sigh. And no we weren't talking about spanking!!! It was something much more mild).
Even though some of these conversations are pretty intense, and some of the opinions are pretty extreme, they have forced my wife and I to have some pretty great discussions ourselves.
Those conversations have led to a lot of reading, listening to podcast, doing a course, etc.
We're doing our best to prepare even though you and I both know that preparing for your first kid is like wearing your seatbelt on a plane. You know you're supposed to do it but is it really going to help?
But I realized something recently...
There is one thing I can do in preparation for this well-endowed child that is GUARANTEED to help, no matter how things go.
No, it's not painting the baby's room or building furniture.
And it's not helping my wife with her birth plan (why is that a thing anyway?!).
But if I can do this one thing – it pretty much ensures that my wife and I will survive the beginning of parenthood and parenthood at large.
All I need to focus on is my marriage.
My marriage is the bedrock of my family.
If the marriage is strong, then we can figure out the parenting stuff.
I can't control the kid's temperament. Or his sleep cycles (debatable depending on who you ask lol). Or his health.
But I can control how good of a husband I am to his mother.
So I'm still making preparations to become a Dad, but my primary focus is strengthening what is already a solid marriage by God's grace.
Why am I telling you this?
Because in your efforts to abandon sexual sin – pornography, infidelity, masturbation, etc...
There is so much you cannot control.
But there's one thing you can. And if you get a stranglehold on it, literally everything else falls into place.
Your relationship with God is the bedrock of recovery.
And if you can prioritize that area of your life – not just "doing the stuff" – but actually building a legitimate connection with the living God...
You will make a recovery. It's just a matter of time.
Tomorrow, I'm going to show you how to get out of the hot-cold cycles using a story that I promise will make you laugh (or at least bring a huge smile to your face).
In the meantime, if you want to explore this a bit more, check out one of our most downloaded episodes of all time on spiritual disciplines.
Make sure you subscribe so you get notified when my interview with Jon Gordon comes out.
Alright my man,
We are in the middle of a critical email sequence about you furthering your relationship with God.
Not just upping the spiritual disciplines but actually building a connection with God where you relate with Him the same way you'd relate with a best friend.
Yesterday, we talked about why connecting with God is literally the plumb line for successful recovery.
There are so many factors in recovery that are beyond your control. Your relationship with God is not one of them.
If you can master this area, many of the other areas that are beyond your control will start to take form.
Today, we're going to look at why "Slow and steady" wins the race, using an epic story that I've been promising.
And tomorrow, I'm going to give you a few secrets to quickly deepen your relationship with God (including an epic resource that I've been slaving at for a while now).
I'm not even sure I'm going to be able to type this story without cracking up, but here goes...
I'm fortunate to have a variety of friends. Some are very similar to me – driven, ridiculously good-looking, and relatively calm in their demeanor.
Others are complete opposites – ultra adventurous, spontaneous, creative, etc.
One of my friends is just downright crazy. Has no filter, no sense of where the lines in life are, and lives accordingly.
To give you an idea, he nicknamed me "Slum Dog" back in the day and thought it was funny. To be fair - it was.
I called him Ethan Hawke in return - since he more or less looks like any ordinary white guy. It was our thing.
Anyway, let's call this friend Trey.
A couple of things you need to know about Trey. Firstly, he is witty. Secondly, he used to work on construction sites.
So the story goes that a group of construction workers began working on a major project that lasted several months.
In other words, the crew was getting pretty familiar with each other.
One gentleman in particular was a pretty notorious smoker. Packs a day kind of deal. Let's call him Troy.
And every 3-4 months, Troy would make a "big decision" to finally quit.
He'd flush the cigs down the toilet. Buy new clothes that didn't have cigarette smell. And start his new life smoke-free.
Usually this would last for a bit and then eventually Troy was back to his usual ways.
I'm not sure if this is a thing still, but at the time of this story, McDonald's sold a Shamrock Shake around St. Patty's Day.
It had some funky flavoring and was Leprechaun green. And of course - it was only available around the holiday.
Everyone responds differently to quitting cold turkey. Some get headaches and brain fog, others lose motivation and energy. And some get physical symptoms.
Sadly, Troy would often get the shakes when he tried to quit smoking.
So any time he was on-site and he had the shakes, everyone knew that Troy was trying to quit again.
And everyone also knew that it was just a matter of time before he was smoking a pack a day...again.
Eventually, after seeing this cycle repeat a few times, Trey started to call Troy "Shamrock."
"Because his shakes were around for a limited time only." 😂😂😂
I don't know why but that story cracks me up. I appreciate good wit.
But there's a moral here...
A lot of men's relationship with God resembles Troy's experience with smoking.
Mostly disconnect and struggle, marked by short flashes of spiritual highs and a sense of connection.
I know this first hand.
My relationship with God for most of my life revolved around conferences, my performance in life, and my ability to follow the rules of the Bible.
If I fell short in any of those areas, then my sense of connectedness to God would plummet.
So you can imagine how tough things got when I was addicted to porn for 15 years...
Every day that I didn't relapse, I was king of the world.
But on the days that temptation got the better of me – God felt miles away.
If you're relating to this kind of cyclical dynamic in your relationship with God, I have great news for you:
There's a better way.
I'm going to recommend you do 3 things and that you do them regularly to break out of the cycle.
(1) Shift Your Mindset.
This is so important. Remember that your relationship with God is not just something you'll be working on the rest of your life. This thing lasts for ETERNITY.
Rather than chasing the emotional highs of being connected with God, let's agree we are going to take a slow and steady approach to this instead.
That means, small wins are big wins.
No setback is major.
And we will always ask ourselves "What are the implications of this long-term?"
(2) Share What's Hidden In Detail
A lot of guys confuse confession with admission.
Most of us admit our problems, but we don't confess them.
Admission is simply stating what you've done.
"Oh God I watched porn again, I'm so sorry".
Confession is sharing the impact of what you've done.
"Oh God I failed to talk to my wife about why I've been so angry lately. I watched porn instead. I feel so empty, I feel so much regret."
The greater the detail the better. Journaling can really help with this.
(3) Start Small
If you have a hard time prioritizing God in your life - start small.
Remember, we want a long-term mindset...
So rather than getting all fired up and spending hours with God for 3 days and then fizzling out like Kim Kardashian's newest boyfriend...
Ask yourself, "how much time can I give God each day realistically for the next 2 years?"
Think about vacations.
Kids getting sick.
You getting sick.
If you needed to maintain it through all the ebbs and flows of life – how much could you commit?
NOW we're talking.
And you know what's awesome?
God is SO pleased with the smallest amount of time. Even a mere moment with you and Him is thrilling.
Tomorrow, I'm going to give you a bunch of tools and resources to help you kick start things (despite your struggles, the dust collecting on your Bible, etc).
We're wrapping up a series on one of the most important subjects in the world: your relationship with God.
Here's a recap of what we've covered so far:
I hate it when people give great information, inspire you to take action, and then give you ZERO guidance on how to take a next step.
So I promise to not be that guy.
Today, I basically just want to give you a bunch of resources and tools that could help you take one more step towards a deeper relationship with God.
When I felt God call me to full-time ministry at the age of 21, I had one main goal: Don't burn out.
I had seen too many pastors experience moral failure, a loss of faith, and a whole slew of other problems.
So while I was studying in ministry school, I paid extra attention to any teachings about longevity.
They all pointed back to the same place...
The secret place.
That time in your day where it's just you and God.
You're not spending time for sermon ideas (that would be professional intimacy – not a good look).
You're not spending time to look the part or check the box (like the pharisees would).
You're spending time for the sake of spending time.
I'm not in a full-time pastoral role anymore. I run a business now, but the habits and mindsets I learned in that season of life still serve me now.
I still spend an hour with God every day, just like I used to when I was a full-time pastor.
That's because my time with him had nothing to do with my profession.
See what I mean?
The habits and mindsets you adopt from this sequence could last SEVERAL seasons of your life.
You don't know where God may take you in the next 5, 10, 20 years.
I'm about to share some key principles and resources with you.
And if you can anchor them into your life NOW, they will serve you no matter where you wind up in the next couple of years.
Resource: Bible Reading Plan
I'm pretty proud of this one. I created a 5-day Bible Reading plan.
This is for guys who struggle to find time to read the Bible or don't know what to read when they get into the word.
Each power-packed lesson takes max 10 mins/day.
Get your copy here.
Principle: Eliminate Barriers
One thing that is really important to consider is any blocks/barriers that are preventing you from connecting with God.
The biggest barrier Christian men face today is sexual sin – porn, affairs, masturbation, etc.
Not only does it disconnect us from God, but the shame and guilt keep us stuck for WAY longer than we should (I was addicted 15 freaking years).
If you know that quitting porn is your next step to getting your relationship with God back on track, I highly encourage you to check out my program and see if it's a good fit for you.
Our specialty is helping men get to the roots of their issue so they can quit porn in 120 days or less.
Click here to book a call.
Resource: Man's Secret Weapon
I did a podcast about my journaling methodology in the early days that we still get a lot of comments about.
Our journaling approach is unique in that it addresses clinical aspects of articulating emotions and defining thoughts, while also integrating hearing God's voice.
You can listen to it here.
Principle: Don't Do This Alone
Your chances of succeeding in your relationship with God are MUCH higher if someone else is involved.
Maybe it means your accountability partner asks you whether or not you've been connecting with God when you guys meet up.
Maybe it means you do a reading plan together with a buddy.
Or you just have someone that you text every day to check-in and confirm that you did your God time.
Who is someone else in your life that may be interested in doing this with you?
Forward the email sequence to them so they're caught up to speed and then formulate a plan.
I'll close with this...
If you just read this, and don't take any action at all.
You've missed out.
The gold in these emails I send you is not the knowledge but the execution.
So all I ask of you is that as I share these killer concepts and resources with you, is that you ask yourself one simple question...
"Which of these can I take action on today?"
And if you're willing to do that, then your future looks bright.
The greatest gap in man's success today is not knowledge, but action.
Here's the booking link if you're looking for specialized help getting permanently free of porn in the next 120 days.
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