I don’t talk about it much in the newsletters, but I was a local church pastor for 9.5 years, starting at the tender age of 18.
The two biggest times of the year for a local church are Christmas and Easter for two reasons. First, the holidays themselves commemorate significant events in Christian history.
On a more practical level, they are the best attended weekends of the calendar year.
For me personally, it meant dressing a bit better than normal, preparing the songs further in advance, and unfortunately a couple of the churches I pastored did “Sonrise” services…which started at 6am to commemorate the early rising of Jesus.
Now Easter may just be another weekend for you, and that’s fine. But I want to make sure you don’t lose sight of WHAT we are commemorating and celebrating this weekend.
Jesus saves. God redeems. Every single believer in the Body of Christ is chock full of resurrection power. That is good freakin news!
This is one of my FAVORITE questions because if someone is asking, they must be making major progress!! After you begin to go weeks, and then months, without pornography, your life begins to dramatically change. The mind is clearer, your heart is hopeful, and you become more present in your relationships. But anyone who's had an addiction knows just how frail success can be. So how do you know you're truly getting free?
This is the right question to ask as you begin to make progress. Let me start by saying that typically, you don't need to worry about this until you reach about 3 months of freedom. If you haven't gone that long yet, then keep doing the work until you have.
Assuming you've hit the 3 month mark and you're starting to feel good, here are a few things to look for that might indicate you're truly free. You might...
1) Think about porn/not watching porn a lot less
2) Feel confident in your own skin and comfortable with your imperfections
3) Be emotionally present in your key...
I had the chance to sit down with Dr. Tamara Rosier recently, one of America's leading experts on the subject of ADHD, specifically from a neurological perspective. She shared something in our interview that really shocked me. The ADHD brain will get addicted to something. Period. No questions asked. As I started to poke around, it turns out that the wiring of the brain is different when you have ADHD, and these differences are subject to addictive and compulsive behaviors.
If you have ADHD (or speculate you have ADHD), you may be thinking, "Oh great. Guess that's it for me." But there's hope, and lots of it!
For starters, protective factors can often mitigate the impact of ADHD on someone's life in the early years, and ultimately reduce their propensity for addiction. What is a protective factor? Here are some examples (this is not a comprehensive list but hopefully gives you an idea):
-Growing up with two parents in the home
-Having an educated parent/parents
One of my friends recently pointed out that as the world starts to settle down from the pandemic (in a majority of places) and we are eagerly awaiting a return to some degree of normalcy, we are now faced with a war that has global implications.
So much for settling down!
I still remember in March 2020, my boss called an emergency staff meeting to explain that we were going to start working from home for 2 weeks. By April 1, 2020, the pandemic would be over and things would be back to normal.
So much for normal!
I told everyone I knew many years ago that I was going to become a psychiatrist – it was my ultimate goal in life. Then I gave my life to Christ and God called me to full-time ministry.
So much for med school!
The only thing that is certain in life is uncertainty.
While that may be frustrating to hear for someone like me who enjoys meticulous scheduling, spreadsheets, and 20-year visions, the reality is we all need to build capacity for flexibility.
If we don’t,...
If there is one thing that is certain in this life it is change.
We are all creatures of comfort by default. Those who are not have likely conditioned themselves away from their innate tendencies. The brain gravitates towards convenience and comfort.
Interestingly enough, the brain also loves novelty! This is actually the birthplace of many addictions and the reason why porn can be so invasive. New content, genres and experiences are paradise for the human brain.
This is why life transitions can bring about great excitement and great fear.
When guys join DeepClean, they have typically undergone transitions.
Sometimes they are exciting transitions – a recent engagement/marriage, the birth of their firstborn child, a career change, a new city. Other times, they are harder transitions – separation, divorce, getting fired, etc.
Whether the transition is a blessing or a challenge, it is often these changes that drive men to realize they must...
Many recovery programs recommend abstaining from all forms of orgasm while you recover from porn addiction – that includes having sex. At DeepClean, we do not uphold that stance (with one exception). I have tremendous value for that approach, but we have a few very specific reasons that we choose a different way to handle the recovery process.
For starters, I want to be clear that I am talking to married people primarily (or those of you who intend to be married one day), because I believe that sex is for marriage. If you are unmarried (single, dating, or engaged) then I believe that abstaining from sex should be part of your recovery.
I am also fully aware that many Christian couples are not waiting to have sex today, and if you are in that camp, you should still read this article.
The basic mindset around avoiding sex during recovery is that your brain and body need a reset. Your body has become addicted to the orgasm – the climax of a sexual experience. So if you want...
Whether you are single or in a relationship, men want to be attractive. We want to know that we are desirable and worthy of attention. Sometimes we fear that having these desires makes us vain or superficial, but the reality is they are innate. The question then is how can you be attractive? And the answer may surprise you.
When I was in ministry school, we had a module devoted to healthy relationships taught by a seasoned clinical psychologist from the south who worked for some of America's largest megachurches.
I was single at the time, so when he began talking about how to be attractive my ears perked up. He went on this long discourse about what a girl wants versus what a guy wants and what guys should be doing while they're single and so on. It was all really good.
Then he made this statement that CHANGED EVERYTHING.
"Men," he said with his southern drawl, "You may think that you need to have a fancy car, big salary, or nice hair to get yourself a pretty lady. But you're wrong....
Last month marked 6 years since my last relapse. I can hardly believe it!
In those 2200+ days, I have:
The list could go on.
Gee, thanks Sathiya… you wrote this post to brag about how great your life is now that you’re free of porn?
Not at all. But I STILL remember what it was like to be addicted. To be afraid of getting caught and losing my job. To enter into marriage with hidden baggage that could destroy our intimacy.
The sense of worthlessness and shame lingering every single day, especially after slips. And the pure frustration that my relationship with God was suffering as a result.
I’m often asked, “what’s the best thing about being free?” and the answer always comes back to the same thing: security. To be...
You may have heard of the abbreviation HALT, which is used to describe 4 conditions that impair your decision-making abilities (HALT = Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired). I have heard this term used in an addiction environment, but found it to be only partially useful. In the DeepClean community, we use the expression BLT, which seems to address the three most common conditions for relapse. If you understand BLT, then you can begin to prevent relapses from happening.
I should start by saying that BLT really is about articulating a STATE that you may find yourself in which leaves you vulnerable for porn consumption. While accounting for your environment is very important, it is likely not a complete solution in of itself. In addition to guarding against BLT, I highly recommend that you are doing the inner work necessary to resolve the roots of your addiction.
When we say avoid BLTS, we are specifically referring to situations where you are Bored, Lonely or Tired. These seem to be the...
About 11 years ago, I was in a season of personal renewal. I had committed my life to Jesus, surrendered my psychiatry dreams to pursue ministry, and was devouring ANYTHING in sight that would help me further my relationship with God.
My greatest fear in this season was that God would call me to be a local church pastor like my Dad. I love and respect my Dad, but I wanted to do something different if I was going to be in ministry.
This led me to an evening meeting at our church where a prophetic leader was brought in to minister. You may have different beliefs about modern prophecy than myself, I’m hoping you can put that aside so that you learn from this important story.
Below is the word that I was given…pay attention to the emphasized parts…
Whether you believe in prophecy or not, what I want you to see is that something was spoken over my life about what I could do and accomplish…11 years ago! And here we are today – nearly everything...