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Finish Strong

Uncategorized Jan 02, 2024

Note: This is a 3 part email sequence, all the 3 parts have been compiled in this blog post. Each email is separately labeled.

(1/3) Finish Strong – Ain't Over Til The Fat Lady Sings

A husband of 20 years began to realize that he and his wife had drifted apart.

Between their careers, raising kids, and trying to stay active in church, little time or attention was given to their marriage.

He made a few attempts to rekindle old flames. Each of them fizzled. His wife was checked out.

One day at the supermarket, he had "that" feeling...

The feeling where someone is looking at you. You want to look back to see who it is, but you also don't want to make things weird.

He looked up to see a gorgeous, leggy brunette smiling at him.

Trying to fight his joy over finally getting some attention from the opposite sex, he cracked a tiny smirk and carried on. Barely making eye contact.

The woman persisted.

She struck up a conversation, and before you know it, the two were laughing away like they had been friends for years...

But it was clear that this was more than just a "friendly" interaction.

One thing quickly leads to another. The man and the supermarket stranger hook up.

Afterwards, the man feels awful. He knows he messed up.

As he gets back into his car to go home and somehow get back to normal life, his pastor happens to drive by.

He yells something at him. He can't make it out.

"What?!" replies the man, cracking a forced smile to mask the terror of his pastor driving by just as he cheated on his wife.

"There's something on your leg!" he exclaims.

The man turned white as a ghost, as he sees a pair of women's underwear wrapped around his ankle.

The pastor notices the change in expression and suddenly puts two and two together.

He immediately halts the brakes and pulls over. 

"Come with me, buddy," he says sternly.

The man, not knowing how to get out of the situation, obliges. He gets in the car.

The pastor doesn't say a word.

Rather, he begins to make a few phone calls.

Deacons, elders, and a few local pastors in the area all get the same call. 

"Hey, got a major situation, meet me at the church in 25 minutes. Need your counsel."

The rest of the car ride was silent.

In those moments - nothing is worse than silence.

The man is literally sick to his stomach anticipating what comes next, but he manages to keep it in.

When they arrive at the church, a semi-circle of men are standing in the parking lot. Arms crossed, dejected looks on their faces.

What the man didn't realize is that this group of deacons, elders and pastors have a "system".

When any of them get the call for a "major situation", they know that a man has been caught in adultery. And that he must pay for it.

The pastor ushers the man into the center of the semi-circle, each man staring him square in the eyes.

The pastor takes his place at the top of the semi-circle. He and the man are now standing face-to-face, the other men on his left and right.

The man caught in adultery is staring down at the ground. Too ashamed to look up.

"What do you have to say for yourself?" the pastor says.

The man stays silent.

"Surely you must have a great explanation for why you had a woman's lingerie wrapped around your ankle while at someone else's house?"

*Crickets*

"Not going to talk? No problem. Let me call, Pastor Josh. Let's see what he has to say."

The other guys began to snicker. Pastor Josh was the new pastor everyone was talking about.

His teachings were unusual, he dressed differently than a typical pastor, and he had no problem picking a fight with people he disagreed with.

Let's just say - he was controversial. And the other pastors in the area were determined to trip him up.

Pastor Josh answered the phone and happened to be around the corner. Just a few short minutes later, he joins the semi-circle.

"Well Pastor Josh," chimed the main Pastor, "what should we do?"

Pastor Josh remained silent, reached into his pocket, pulled out a piece of sidewalk chalk, and began writing on the pavement.

It was silent for a moment...then the pastors fired back, eager to trap him in his response.

Question after question. Pastor Josh stayed silent.

Finally, Pastor Josh turned away from the man and faced the pastors, looking each of them in the eye.

He opened his mouth, finally ready to speak. You could tell the others in the group were relieved he was finally breaking his silence.

"He who is without sin cast the first stone."

He knelt on the ground, picked the chalk back up, and continued to write.

One by one, each member of the semi-circle walked back to their vehicles. Their heads hung low.

Eventually, it was just the man caught in adultery and Pastor Josh.

"Where did everyone go?" asked Pastor Josh. "Has no one condemned you?"

"No one, sir," replied the man.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Pastor Josh declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

My brother, 2023 is almost over. 

Maybe this was the best year of your life and you finally quit porn.

Maybe this felt like just another year.

Or maybe in 2023 you went through hell and you're ready to turn a new page.

Sometimes when we read a story in the Bible, it's easy to be an observer and not realize that we can be inserted into these stories just as easily.

We are all the woman caught in adultery. Every time we sleep around, view porn, fantasize, or even do a double take.

And Jesus's response to us each and every single time is no different than the response He had to the woman in John 8.

"I do not condemn you. Go and sin no more."...

I know that many of you reading this intended to quit porn in 2023, and not all of you were successful.

In tomorrow's email, I'm going to talk about how you can ensure 2024 is the year you actually quit.

But for now – I want you to know that Jesus is not condemning you if you failed to quit porn this year.

Rather, He is inviting you into a new life that is holy, righteous and above reproach (Col 1:22).

We serve a God of second chances. And 1001st chances lol.

Put more emphatically: Your recovery journey ain't over til the fat lady sings.

And God won't let her sing until you quit.

Let's make 2024 your best year yet – make sure you read tomorrow's email to find out how.

 

(2/3) Finish Strong – How's Your Mo?

Brother,

We're in our "Finish Strong" series as we wrap up 2023.

Today's email is all about your "mo".

No, this is not a reference to that piddly, 3-haired caterpillar you call a moustache (I joke, I know some of you can probably grow a way better stache than me).

And no, this email is not about the lovable and equally hatable Moe Szyslak from The Simpsons (I'm on season 14 right now lol been nice to take a stroll down memory lane the last few months - in your face Mom [my parents wouldn't let me watch the show when I was younger]).

(In case you're reading this mom - love you).

Rather, this email is about one of those "intangibles" that is present in all successful recoveries.

It's not getting to the roots.
It's not getting professional help.
And no - it's not journaling.

Even though I would hang my hat on the 3 things I listed above any day of the week.

What we're exploring today is invisible. Undetectable to the senses.

But when it's there, you can feel it. And there's no feeing like it.

A few years back, I was counseling a friend who was dealing with some church drama.

He had been serving as a worship leader, but the pastor of the church was moving on. 

He could tell that with the leadership change, the culture was going to change too and he wanted out.

So he submitted his resignation, but agreed to stay on for a few months to assist with the transition.

Some of his peers at the church were calling him a coward for wanting to leave.

When he came to me, he was ready to delete their numbers from his phone and never show his face at the church again.

"I want to finish strong, but I don't know how. These people are making it tough. How do you do it?"

He came to me because oddly enough, I have endured some pretty epic work/church/life drama over the years, and have managed a way to finish strong every single time.

Examples include:
-My girlfriend/co-worker cheating on me (while were employed at the same place)
-My best friend's wife developing feelings for me while I was pastoring them (stay tuned for a future email about this one)
-My senior pastor/leader getting jealous of the opportunities I was getting while I was an Associate Pastor (I know because he told me straight up)

... to name a few.

All is to say – I have figured out the keys to finishing strong over the years. And I can truthfully say, there's only one thing you really need to worry about...

Mo.

As 2023 closes, here's what most men are going to do.

Eat like pigs over the holidays.
Watch ungodly amounts of TV (queue "The Simpsons" theme song).
Get a couple things done around the house (but not as many as they'd like)
Sleep in more, stay up late most nights.
Make a few hollow new years resolutions.

And then worst of all – resume normal life in January riding the dopamine high of a new year with no tangible plan in place.

Oh! You need to have a plan - that's the intangible, right?

Wrong. Be patient - I'll get there, I promise.

There's nothing wrong with enjoying holiday food, spending time around the TV with family, getting some extra sleep, and setting some goals for the new year.

You know what the issue is?

The mindset.

So that's the intangible?

No - but we're close. I promise.

People tend to 'take their foot off the gas' around this time of the year.

And it leads to some beautiful things – memories with family, recuperation physically and mentally, and some catching up around the home.

But it kills Mo.

Not because of the actions, but the MINDSET.

Even if 2023 was a total dud, how you finish matters.

You can treat the end of this year like it's irrelevant.

Do what you want.
Eat what you want.
Fix it all in the new year.

But I'll be straight with you – that is rookie.

The pros protect their mo.

Why not treat the last bit of this year as an OPPORTUNITY to build momentum going into 2024?

You don't have to David Goggins it and wake up at ungodly hours to do ungodly workout regiments while eating grass-fed celery and drinking diet water day and night.

But what if amidst the end of the year festivities, you chose ONE thing that you were going to do every single day to generate some recovery momentum going into the New Year.

Let me ask you something...

What's easier?

Pushing a car in neutral that is at a dead stop or pushing a car in neutral that is already in motion at 10 mph?

My friend...read the next sentence carefully:

Momentum is PRICELESS.

And I bet if you took a look at where you were in January 2023 and where you are now, you would be able to identify at least 2-3 areas where you have some momentum.

And then...

Ask yourself, "What can I do to keep this momentum going into the new year?"

Let's find the cars that are already in motion rather than trying to kickstart things all over again.

The pros protect their mo.

Tomorrow, we're going to talk through the #1 mistake men make when they start a new year, and an easy way to GUARANTEE you don't make it. This could be the difference between whether or not you successfully quit in 2024.

PS. If you want 2024 to be the year to generate unstoppable recovery momentum and finally quit for good, Book A Call with my team. We have a few spots open and would love to see if we can help you achieve your recovery goals

 

(3/3) Finish Strong – Ditch The Rear View Mirror

Alright brother, we're wrapping up a CRITICAL series called "Finish Strong".

I want you to spring in 2024 with momentum, clarity, and the odds massively stacked in your favor to quit porn and any other misbehavior once and for all.

In the first email, we talked about how EVERYONE gets second chances. Jesus's words to the woman caught in adultery are the same to us: I do not condemn you. Go and sin no more.

In yesterday's email, we talked about the incalculable value of MOMENTUM – and why you must do everything you can to defend it once it is present in recovery.
Pros protect their mo.

Today, we're going to talk about why men are ridiculously POWERFUL when they ditch the #1 mistake people make this time of the year.

In case you didn't know, from Grade 4-12 I attended Christian school. 

(Oh that's why he's 'like that').

Part of attending Christian school means you go to chapel once a week.

I don't remember many of those chapels –  when you do something every week for 9 years straight, only the special ones stand out.

One notable message was about the importance of looking forward in life.

The speaker used the windshield of a car as an example. 

When you drive, you must look ahead – otherwise you risk crashing the vehicle.

The rearview mirror is there as you need it. 

Similarly, we should only look behind us when it's necessary.

If all we did was look at the rearview mirror while we drove, problems would arise quickly! And safe to say – we would not move forward in the way we long to.

This simple message has always stuck with me, and it's helped reframe my thinking as I pursue goals in life and long to become more of the man God has made me to be.

But at times – I have had to scrap the advice altogether.

Something I still hear a lot of people talking about is "work-life balance".

I am not a fan of the balance concept. I don't think it's useful. 

Rather, I am a fan of "seasons".

Know your season, then set your priorities accordingly.

When I first started DeepClean, I was locked in on building the business.

I gave minimal time for social life, ditched most of my hobbies, and worked 60-70 hours/week trying to get things in motion (aka. building momentum).

In these kinds of building seasons, I ditch "the rear view mirror" – anything that isn't helping my priorities in that season. I am locked in and push forward 110%. 

I don't believe anyone should do that long-term. But it was the season.

Now that things are off the ground and running, I can work more normal hours (in fact, when Judah, my firstborn, arrived earlier this year I working about 25 hrs/week). My priorities have shifted.

The key in all of this is of course... know your season.

If you are bound and determined to make 2024 the year you quit porn, then guess what – your season STARTING NOW is to quit porn.

And if you're dead set on quitting, then ditch the rear view mirror for a few months and make EVERYTHING you think, say and do be about recovery.

It may only take a few concentrated months to get the momentum you're looking for, but that momentum could literally change the rest of your life.

Proverbs 3:16 says, "Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established."

If previous attempts to recover failed because you were confused and felt uncertain about what you were doing, then it might have been because you lacked commitment.

That's why in these seasons - when you really need to move things forward, it's better to ditch the rear view mirror and commit 100% to the season at hand.

As we enter 2024, I'm looking for a handful (10 max) of professional Christian men who want to quit p*rn this year once and for all.

I am not looking for people that are "interested" in quitting.

I am looking for men who are committed to quitting.

If that's you, and you want to apply for our program, here is the link to book a call with our team. We'd love to speak with you and see if this is a good fit.

My prayer for you as we enter 2024 is three-fold:

1) That you would embrace the mercy and forgiveness of Jesus that is readily available to you, even now in this moment
2) That the momentum already generated in 2023 would carry you into 2024
3) That you would fearlessly commit your recovery efforts to the Lord this year, ditching the "rearview mirrors" in the process

From my home to yours – A Happy New Year :) May this be the year you walk in greater levels of holiness, freedom and joy.

PS. The calendar is jam-packed around this time of the year, so if the original booking link I gave didn't work, try this one.

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