Archive for March, 2017


https://www.createspace.com/6471391

I am humbled to announce the  publishing of our ministry’s second book:

CASTIMONIA
Battle Plan
Weapons & Armor in the Fight for Sexual Purity

 

Authored by Servants of Christ
Edition: First Edition

Castimonia is Latin for “moral purity” something every man should strive for.

Castimonia is a Christ-centered 12-Step Support and Recovery program for sexual impurity or sexual addiction with the goal to achieve a Biblically-based sexual purity. We share our experience, strength, and hope with each other so that we may achieve sexual purity and help others overcome sexual impurity or compulsive sexual behaviors.

This book is used for helping men in the Castimonia program fight for their sexual purity with various weapons (proactive tools) and armor (reactive tools). The copyright to this book belongs to Armaturam, LLC and all material in this book is being used by permission of the copyright holder.  

Many thanks to Alcoholics Anonymous and Sex Addicts Anonymous for paving the way in the 12-Step world as well as the countless men in recovery and the therapists that have helped facilitate God’s healing of their wounds.  Most importantly, thank you to the patient spouses who have put up with our issues long enough to make this ministry and book possible.

Original Publication Date: March 30, 2017

5″ x 8″ (12.7 x 20.32 cm)
Black & White on Cream paper
136 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1536886634
ISBN-10: 1536886637
Related Categories: Self-Help / Twelve-Step Programs

The book can be purchased at any Castimonia meeting  or via the Create Space store. 

If you are a man struggling with Sexual Purity and would like to purchase a copy of the book for the same amount as sold at Castimonia meetings ($12) please contact the publisher, Armaturam, LLC for a discount rate: Jorge@Armaturam.org

https://www.createspace.com/6471391


https://applyingmybeliefs.wordpress.com/2015/05/05/two-paths/

by applyingmybeliefs

It can be said that the Bible is the book of recovery, recovery of the human race.  In today’s topic we’re going to look at one way Jesus discussed salvation, the goal of God’s plan of recovery for each human, and what we call recovery in our modern language.  Jesus spoke these words:

Matt 7:13-14 – Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.  For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

Most observers use this scripture to discuss or emphasize that the choice a person makes in becoming a saved person is a narrow choice, which it is.  Contextually though, this scripture is in the middle of a section of the Sermon on the Mount that discusses how to live.  Therefore the better application is when we think of His words with the perspective that life is travelled on a path.  Here the salvation application is that of sanctification, the ongoing salvation work of God in our lives.

One way of looking at this picture of the paths is that we can work through our everyday existence God’s way, which leads to eternal life, or do it our way which leads to destruction, or eternal death.  It is the same story with recovery.  We can work the proven program or we can go our own way, dealing with the problems under our own power, and go back to acting out.

In every 12 Step program that we know, the same basic promise is found in different words.  For example in the blue book of Narcotics Anonymous it says:

  • We do not have to understand this program for it to work. All we have to do is follow directions.  (p91, sixth edition)

This is the same promise found in scripture.  Success, salvation, recovery, whatever way we choose to describe it is found in following directions.

Here are some comparisons that can be made between God’s way and recovery:

  • A life focused on personal pleasure leads to destruction, acting out leads there too.
  • Following God’s recovery program leads to eternal life, a recovery program leads to a healthy life.
  • Communicating with God is part of His program, seeking God is part of every successful recovery program.
  • God says we are powerless to save ourselves, recovery programs say that too.
  • God says we have to admit our faults, so do all successful recovery programs.
  • God says to make amends, so do we.
  • The Bible says to be still and know God, recovery programs say to meditate and seek conscious contact with God.

These are just a few examples of a comparison of ultimate recovery and earthbound recovery.  Share with us what you think on this subject.


I love meetings. I hear stuff that I just don’t believe at first. Ok, I know this is a goofy path for a journal entry but hang with me. I believe and the Bible is clear that God reveals Himself to us in many ways including reading His word, prayer, being still and shutting up and listening, worship, and even yes even other people. That includes recovery meetings. See, God LOVES revealing himself to me in recovery meetings. Only, I am too thick to see Him coming most of the time.

So I am going to shamelessly steal this incredible share that a friend of mine used recently in the Thursday night group. Yes, you know who you are. He announced very proudly that tonight his topic would be on shame. I seriously felt the air leave the room. If it was a larger group, you would have audibly heard the collective “ughhhhhh.” Sorry my friend, maybe it was just me but I think we all felt it.

I seriously considered just mentally checking out. I steadied myself for another reminder that shame meant I thought “I am bad” and guilt meant I healthily thought “I did bad things.” So moral of the story, feel guilt not shame. Blah blah blah, right? Only my friend is way smarter than me so of course that isn’t what he said at all.

His opening statement was that shame is an emotion from God but can be completely self centered and hinder recovery. What did he just say? Ok, I am awake now. He said that allowing ourselves to wallow (his words, not mine!) in our shame was another form of justification for our actions. Ok, so that is a bit harsh, don’t you think? I mean, come on. I thought we are supposed to feel sorry for guys stuck in shame because they are wrongly focused on thinking they are a bad person, not in the right area of guilt where they remember God’s salvation and redemption and that they have done bad things. Only…that isn’t what he was saying. He was saying that staying in shame is a cop-out, basically.

Ok, I am really paying attention now. Keep going. So my friend said there are three ways of recognizing that we are stuck in shame in our own lives. Three warning signs that we are in shame and that staying there is selfish.

  1. We are acting out of fear because we are afraid to expose our true self and need to hide. Yikes, that hurt. Definitely a cop out I take
  2. We are blaming and refusing to admit the truth. Basically, I let myself off the hook by setting such a low standard. Obviously, I suck so therefore I can’t expect to be much better. Yep, definitely a technique I have used.
  3. We disconnect and don’t feel or experience our emotions. This robs us from feeling compassion for those we have hurt. Yeah, emotional avoidance. I rock at that.

So shame is selfish. Yeah, I guess it is. So what do I do about it? Community. Community is the key. Being able to walk into my groups, share my garbage, and still be loved. Wow, what an antidote for shame. I love the quote he closed the share with and dropped the mic, so I will steal it (again, sorry my friend!): “As long as I am conditionally known, I will be conditionally loved.”


Doug discusses the importance of telling your story in addiction recovery. It is a powerful way to become more connected and develop a stronger community.  We learn to overcome our character defects, and we see how God can use our brokenness to benefit others.

Doug discusses the practical ways to begin the process as well as the overall importance in doing so.

Please email us at puritypodcast@castimonia.org to get help, gather information, or let us record your testimony! 

Remember that as you walk this road of recovery, you are not alone.


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Ephesians 4:26-27 – “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”

Children need more than a parent who will talk about boundaries. They need a parent who will be boundaries. This means that in whatever situation arises, you respond to your child with empathy, firmness, freedom, and consequences. This is how God handles his children, and he is our model. But, sometimes parents contribute to the problem by trying to justify their kid’s behavior, rather than addressing the issue.

Setting boundaries with kids isn’t about “making” your child do anything. It is much more about structuring your child’s existence so that he experiences the consequences of his behavior, thus leading him to be more responsible and caring. Use the following three key steps to help begin the process with your kids:

Step 1: Acknowledge that your child is not perfect.
All kids are immature sinners; this is our human condition. Some parents have difficulty with this first step. They deny their child’s behavior. They rationalize genuine problems. For example, smarting off becomes a cute sense of humor. Laziness becomes fatigue. Intrusiveness becomes high-spiritedness.

Parents rationalize their child’s problems for many reasons. Some do it to avoid guilty feelings. Some don’t want their own perfectionism challenged. Some feel as if their child is being victimized. Others don’t want to be embarrassed. Still others don’t want to go through the effort of disciplining. Parents need to look at the possibility that they might be sacrificing their child’s well-being to protect their own sense of comfort and well-being. God never denied our craziness, and he went through the ultimate discomfort to solve the problem. Be a parent.

Step 2: Identify problems that aren’t really problems.
After acknowledging that your child isn’t perfect, the next step is to identify that some of your child’s behavior problems aren’t really the problem. The action or attitude driving you crazy isn’t the real issue. It is the symptom of another issue, which in many cases is a boundary problem. Your child’s behavior may be driven by something broken or undeveloped within her character. The symptom alerts you to the inner problem.
Don’t just react to the symptom, or you will be guaranteeing more problems later. Parents often have a knee-jerk reaction in a crisis, then back off from their job when the crisis resolves. A boundaryless child will have symptoms until she develops boundaries. Here are some examples of problems that aren’t really the problem:

Outward Problem:

  • Bad Grades
  • Control other kids
  • Doesn’t listen to instruction
  • Defiant attitude

Boundary Problem:

  • Lack of concern about consequences
  • Lasck of respect for other’s boundaries
  • Lack of fear of consequences
  • Lack of boundaries or entitlement

Step 3: Realize that time does not heal problems
The third step you will need to come to terms with is that time does not heal all. Many parents avoid addressing boundary problems because someone told them, “Just wait it out. They’ll get older.” Yes, your kids will get older. But, how many 42-year-olds do you know who are getting older but still have no boundaries? Time is only a context for healing. It is not the healing process itself. Infections need more than time; they need antibiotics.

In fact, avoiding dealing with problems in your child simply gives the Devil more opportunity to stunt his growth (see Ephesians 4:26-27). Time is a necessary but not sufficient condition for boundary growth and repair. You also need lots of love, grace, and truth for your child. Get involved in the repair process. With nothing but time, things do not improve, but break down further.

The words “parenting” and “problems” sometimes seem to be redundancies. You may simply be preventing problems in your child. Or you may have a troublesome situation that is breaking your heart. Yet, God has anticipated it, is fully aware of it, and wants to help you to help your child develop boundaries. He has provided hope for your and your child’s future that is real and helpful.

Don’t give up on your child, even as they enter adulthood. You are the only mom or dad they will ever have; no one in the world has the position of influence in their heart that you do.

Today’s content is drawn from Boundaries with kids by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. Copyright 2014 by Zondervan; all rights reserved. Visit BoundariesBooks.com for more information.


For as long as I can remember, I have been involved in my local church. I was a leader in my youth group. I was a Sunday school teacher. I led adult Bible studies and small groups. I led men’s groups. One of the gifts that I have always known that God gave me is the gift of teaching. My writing informs that.

Much as my writing has been dormant for many years, my teaching has been as well. Prior to recovery, I couldn’t take a lot of joy out of the gift God gave me for His own glory because I felt unworthy. I knew I wasn’t being honest with God. I was keeping part of myself from Him, from my wife, from my family. So…I stopped. I stopped using the gifts He gave me because I felt unworthy. I felt disqualified.

I have for so long looked for reasons to avoid my local church. Now, I long for and crave the Biblical instruction. This week, my pastor spoke through the audience of a couple thousand to speak to me directly. I didn’t even see it coming.

He opened his sermon with Romans 11:29 – “for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.” Huh. Ok, I didn’t know that. He then zeroed in. On me. Or it felt like it was just me. He started talking about being disqualified. About the things that disqualify you from occupations, or society, or being able to vote, or being a member of an organization. How it felt to be disqualified, excluded, kicked out. Exactly how I felt. Unworthy to serve God.

He reminded me that I am not here to please other people. That isn’t my purpose. In fact, if I was worried about the judgment or opinion or esteem of others, I was defying God. If I wasn’t using the gifts and telling the story He gave me, then I wasn’t paying attention to scripture. Wait, what?

Yeah, Galatians 1:10 kinda nailed me on this one. In it, Paul writes: “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

Sometimes Paul ticks me off. So does my pastor. Really, so does God. I am running out of ways to fail Him. I keep disqualifying myself from His service. From being worthy of being of use to Him. But…that’s my flesh talking, not God. I am not disqualified. I am qualified…because I belong to God. Really, my story does. So do my gifts.

Hear me out. God has given me some gifts. I know they don’t come from me so they most definitely come from Him. In my sin, in my addiction, those gifts have stagnated from lack of use. And I have justified that lack of use as my sin deeming me disqualified. Only, that isn’t what God says in His word. Quite the opposite. He tells us that His gifts and His call are irrevocable. Not dependent on being “good enough.” Irrevocable.

God has given me gifts. I can write some. I can teach a little. I feel in His will when I do both for His purpose. Me not using those gifts, not telling the story He has given me through the gifts he has given me…basically, my call…then I am glorifying Him. I am not fulfilling the purpose He gave me. So I guess I am qualified. How about that.