CASTIMONIA’S PARATUS MEN’S RETREAT 2017

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/castimonias-paratus-mens-retreat-2017-tickets-36664868609

Here is some information on the retreat.  I pray that the Lord uses this retreat to help men in their sexual purity journey.  The link to register for the retreat will be available later this Summer.

Friday, November 3rd – Sunday, November 5th

Castimonia’s Paratus Retreat is a retreat for any man who struggles with any type of sexual purity.  Paratus is Latin for equipped.

If you are wondering about whether to attend this retreat, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you fully equipped for the spiritual battle that is raging around us right now?
  • Are you a man who strives for biblical sexual purity?
  • Are you a man who struggles with maintaining that sexual purity?
  • Do you want a circle of brothers helping you in your sexual purity journey?

Join us for a weekend dedicated to equipping adult men of all ages, all walks of life, and various levels of struggle with the tools necessary to wage this spiritual battle and emerge on the other side as the sexually pure men that God intended us to be.

At the retreat, we will discuss strategies for equipping ourselves with tactics necessary for battling the enemy. We will discover the true meaning of brotherhood and fellowship. The leaders of the retreat will set the example of vulnerability and accountability. We hope to pave the way for all men to be fully equipped to wage war against Satan’s tempting assaults and emerge VICTORIOUS.

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/castimonias-paratus-mens-retreat-2017-tickets-36664868609

Early Bird Registration up until September 15 – $175

Regular Registration after September 15 – November 1st – $200


What is Celibacy? 

Celibacy can be a choice in life, or a condition imposed by circumstances 
  
While attending a Marriage Weekend, Frank and his wife Ann listened to the instructor declare, “It is essential that husbands and wives know the things that are important to each other.” 

He then addressed the men. 

“Can you name and describe your wife’s favorite flower?” 
  
Frank leaned over, touched Ann’s arm gently, and whispered, 
“Gold Medal-All-Purpose, isn’t it?” 


  


And thus began Frank’s life of celibacy. 
  


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You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose – Dr. Seuss, Oh The Places You’ll Go!

Dear child, you need to know that the moment you were placed in our arms, and we breathed in your sweet being, our hopes and dreams skyrocketed for you. Our lives would never be the same because of you. And neither would the world.

You see, you were born into a pretty amazing generation, where things seem to move at warp speed and advances in technology happen every second. At an early age you’ll have the privilege to embrace tools and opportunities that technology gives you. Discover and learn and make your mark on the world. Use these tools to build relationships and love others.

We can’t wait to see the places you’ll go and the things you’ll accomplish. Undoubtedly, technology will have a huge influence on your journey. But it can also threaten your future.

Because of this, we have a few things we want to share with you. Please know that with great technology comes great responsibility. What can be used for good can very easily take you down a path you never intended. So as you grow up in this amazing time, we wish for these things for you.

May you have discernment and courage.

You’ll get mixed up of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. – Dr. Seuss, Oh The Places You’ll Go!

Someday on your journey, you’ll see images that don’t seem right, you don’t understand or are just plain weird. Maybe someone will send you a message that’s crude or hurtful or ask you to look at things that make you feel uncomfortable. It might make you feel scared or uncertain or even ashamed.

Whatever it is, may you have discernment to listen to that little voice inside your head that says, “This is not right.” May you have the courage to overcome any fear or embarrassment and come to us. Talk to us. No matter what. We’re here for you, we love you, and it’s ok. It’s truly ok.

May you be able to recognize true beauty and love.

You’ll know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams. – attributed to Dr. Seuss

Reality. It’s something you might struggle with later on, as along the way, you’ll be tempted with images and messages that push an unrealistic, unhealthy, and dangerous dream world of what “real” beauty and “real” love are. It’s easy to fall into this trap, to gravitate and take comfort in these images. We tell you this because we know you will be faced with this challenge. It will be all around you.

You see, if you learn to desire and expect an unattainable idea of perfection and adoration from people who are imperfect and flawed, your relationships will fail.

Dear child, we wish for your relationships to thrive. We pray that you always keep a clear view of what true beauty and real love are, and to experience another’s love someday, untainted. Remember it’s about real people and not pixels.

May you feel protected.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.  – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

As we close this letter to you, we want you to know how much you are loved. And from that love comes our intense desire to protect you. May you always feel that our family and home are a safe haven.

We take seriously our responsibility to protect you from things you’re not ready to handle. You’re growing up in a special time, with the power of technology at your young fingertips. But sometimes it’ll be too much to handle and it’s our responsibility to help you navigate this.

We don’t expect you to know how to make those tough choices—that’s our job. We don’t hold you responsible to know these things—it’s our job to teach you. If we don’t, we are failing you.

We’ll be learning together, which means sometimes you’re not going to like the answers and it will seem unfair. You will not understand at times and that’s ok. This is the part where we ask you to believe us and respect us, even when it’s hard to do.

You’re an amazing kid who will change the world—and we’re not about to let the world change you.

Experiencing Loss and Loss to Come

Posted: August 10, 2017 by K.LeVeq in Sexual Purity Posts
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Loss. That word hasn’t left me recently. I keep coming back to this concept of loss. What loss means as part of my life now. There are so many losses. And so many more to come. Some losses are ever present, looming over me like that impending storm on the horizon, where the sky is so dark and ominous. I know they are coming. I know I am not prepared. Some losses are hidden in my previous life of compartmentalization. These are the losses I pushed deep into my psyche and buried. My life of compartmentalization is over. And now these hidden wounds are surfacing.

When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time at my aunt and uncle’s house. The only interaction I had with anyone was with a guy named David, who was a couple years older than me. My aunt basically arranged for him to come hang out with me so I wouldn’t be alone. Fortunately, he was kind and caring, the older brother I yearned for and didn’t have at that time. I actually looked forward to the time there because of the friendship I built with him. He included me in his group, took me with him and his girlfriend to parties and with other people. I felt wanted not just tolerated.

The summer after my freshman year in college, I was struggling. I was in an unhealthy relationship with an older woman who really wanted to be with me because of what she thought she could gain from me. I didn’t know how to stay away from her. My parents did what they normally did when they didn’t want to face difficult situations: they sent me away to Colorado to work for some acquaintances. I lived in a tent with no facilities. I spent 12 hours a day hauling rocks to clear a road. And I was isolated. Again.

Weekly calls home and to my friend David were the only touch points I had. David told me that he had proposed to his girlfriend and that I was to be one of his groomsmen. The wedding was the weekend after I would return from Colorado. I spoke to him on the phone a week before I was to fly home. He was excited. He told me he was going to Jackson to buy her some pearls as a surprise gift for the wedding. He was going to ride with another guy we knew, one that I really didn’t like too much. This guy was known for drinking and partying too much.

I got a call the next morning. David and the guy he went with didn’t show up that night back at his house. They found him early the next morning, dead and trapped under the car when it flipped. The other guy was driving. He was legally drunk and unharmed. I couldn’t mentally process all of that and at the time I just didn’t.

My father is in bad health. He has been in a downward spiral the last few months. The impending certainty has surfaced the loss of my friend, David. A loss I never really faced the past 30 years. One I pushed deep down into my memory so I wouldn’t have to remember it. The impact of his absence in my life is stifling. I can’t breathe as I dwell on what him not being in my life has really meant. And I weep as I face the loss of my father to come. Emotions I haven’t allowed myself to feel for 30 years. Until now.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. – Psalm 34:18

From Blog: Not Unknown by KL Baker


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Sex trafficking: it’s a well-known injustice which affects millions of women and children around the world; whereas porn: a well-known and widely accepted form of “entertainment.”

What’s their connection? Well, let’s take a look at some facts from the experts.

1. Let’s start by defining sex trafficking: according to the Trafficking in Persons Report published by the US Department of State, “When an adult engages in a commercial sex act, such as prostitution, as the result of force, threats of force, fraud, coercion or any combination of such means, that person is a victim of trafficking.” Further, “it’s child sex trafficking when a child (under 18 years of age) is induced to perform a commercial sex act.” In the case of a minor, proving force, fraud or coercion against their pimp is not necessary for the offense to be categorized as human trafficking.

2. Like any commercial enterprise, sex trafficking is a matter of supply, distribution, and demand. Supply: the girls. Distribution: the pimps and brothels. And demand: the johns. Experts are now seeing more and more that pornography fuels the demand by promoting the belief that women are sexual commodities, which is a key belief necessary for sex trafficking to exist.

3. If you watch porn, you are 31% more likely to blame a rape on the victim. Those who watch porn are more likely to believe the victims of sex trafficking, who are being raped, are responsible for their situation.

4. Watching porn is correlated with a 22% increased risk of committing sexual offenses, and this includes being involved in sex trafficking in some way.

5. According to former prostitute turned reformer, Norma Hotaling, “Pornography provides rationalizations for exploiters as to how and why their sexually exploitive behaviors are acceptable. Itnormalizes prostitution and commercial sexual exploitation allowing men to more freely engage in these criminal activities.”

6. When it comes to watching pornography, viewers minds can become very desensitized, which can escalated to new genres, sometimes harder and stranger forms of pornography.

7. Pornography is a training ground for johns. As Victor Malarek comments in his book, The Johns: “The message is clear: if prostitution is the main act, porn is the dress rehearsal.”

8. Police have found that porn can be used and is often used to “groom” children into thinking sex between an adult and child is an acceptable, even enjoyable activity.

9. As for prostituted women, many victims of trafficking say they are shown pornography to demonstrate what the john wants. In fact, 86% of prostituted women say johns have actually shown them pornography in order to illustrate specific acts they want them to perform. More broadly in our culture, women exposed early to porn are shown to (a) be more likely to have rape fantasies, and (b) be more likely to have attitudes that support sexual violence against women.

10. Legal distinctions aside, even if one deems pornography a potentially legitimate business enterprise, the actual recruitment, procurement, or employing of pornographic actors and actresses frequently involves false promises, threats, verbal abuse, and heavy drug use. Going back to the definition of sex trafficking, for regardless of the legalities of the media product, the production of porn in many instances is clearly an example of trafficking in persons.

Laura Lederer, former Senior Advisor on Trafficking in Persons for the U.S. State Department, says,“Pornography is a brilliant social marketing campaign for commercial sexual exploitation.” Porn is marketing for sex trafficking both directly and indirectly: directly because online and offline hubs for trafficking use pornographic images to draw the buyers, indirectly because of porn’s influence on the culture.

So before we go around pointing our fingers at the pimps or johns responsible for the injustices being done to millions of people around the world through the form of sex trafficking, let’s make changes to our own habits and hearts to stop the demand, because there is a greater connection between porn and sex trafficking than you may initially think.

For more information on this topic, check out the free e-book, “Stop the Demand.


1- U.S. Department of State, “Trafficking in Persons Report 2015,” http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2015/ (accessed January 19, 2016).

2- Ron DeHaas, Luke Gilkerson, Stop the Demand: The Role of Porn in Sex Trafficking, Owosso: Covenant Eyes, 2014.  http://www.covenanteyes.com/resources/stop-demand/

3- Hearing on Pornography’s Impact on Marriage & the Family: Hearing Before the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Property Rights, U.S. Senate Hearing: Committee on Judiciary, 109th Cong. Sess. 1 (2005) (statement of Jill C. Manning, M.S., Visiting Social Science Fellow, Heritage Foundation, Washington, D.C.), 1-3, http://s3.amazonaws.com/thf_media/2010/pdf/ ManningTST.pdf (accessed April 26, 2014).

4- Hearing on Pornography’s Impact on Marriage & the Family: Hearing Before the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Property Rights, U.S. Senate Hearing: Committee on Judiciary, 109th Cong. Sess. 1 (2005) (statement of Jill C. Manning, M.S., Visiting Social Science Fellow, Heritage Foundation, Washington, D.C.), 1-3, http://s3.amazonaws.com/thf_media/2010/pdf/ ManningTST.pdf (accessed April 26, 2014).

5- L.J. Lederer, “Sex trafficking and illegal pornography — Is there a link?” Enough is Enough, https://internetsafety101.wordpress.com/2010/09/09/sex-trafficking-illegal-pornography-is-there-a-link-part-2/ (accessed January 20, 2015).

6- “Johns Acting Out,” Stop Trafficking Demand, http://stoptraffickingdemand.com/johns-acting-out/ (accessed January 20, 2015).

7- Victor Malarek. The Johns: Sex for Sale and the Men Who Buy It. (Toronto, Key Porter, 2009), 196.

8- “Training Tool,” Stop Trafficking Demand, http://stoptraffickingdemand.com/training-tool/ (accessed January 20, 2015).

9- Shawn Corne, John Briere, and Lillian Esses, “Women’s attitudes and fantasies about rape as a function of early exposure to pornography,” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 7 (1992): 454-461.

10- Ron DeHaas, Luke Gilkerson, Stop the Demand: The Role of Porn in Sex Trafficking, Owosso: Covenant Eyes, 2014.  http://www.covenanteyes.com/resources/stop-demand.

11- Israel Gaither, Linda Smith, Janice Shaw-Crouse, Thomas Stack, Lisa Thompson, Shelley Luben, Laura Lederer, Patrick Trueman, David Shaheed, David Kuehne, Donna Rice Hughes, Judith Resiman, Mary Anne Layden, Patrick Fagan, William Struthers, and Ron DeHaas, “Porn Has Reshaped Our Culture,” Speech, Convergence Summit, from PureHope, Baltimore, April 17, 2011. http://www.covenanteyes.com/convergence/ (accessed April 26, 2014).


At the beginning of my Step 11, seeking to improve my constant contact with God, my sponsor (as a reminder, he is the only smiling happy sadist I have ever met) instructed me to develop a process for making decisions. I did that and it actually works for me and my wife. Good stuff. So on to finishing these steps, right? Not quite.

So he challenged me to make a list. Every day. A list of the things that were distracting, anxiety inducing, stressful. Things that seemed insurmountable. Things that were too big for me. That felt too big for God. Ok, that seems a little bit scary, put the source of my fear into writing. Giving them reality and weight.

And I did. I started writing them down. Actually acknowledging their existence. By doing that I found…that they didn’t immediately go away. Ok, so that sucks. Thanks, sponsor. Now I am even more anxious about them. So I kept doing that, writing them down, putting them aside.

I pulled out a list from a month ago. Here is my list in its entirety. These are the things that were keeping me up at night:

My son’s college choice
Paying our bills
My job
Paying for college
Moving
Work credit card bill

Those were my worries, the things that were causing me endless anxiety and stress. Thirty days ago. Thirty days of focusing on identifying my issues and fears and making sure I talked about them with God.

Something weird happened. Those aren’t fears or anxieties anymore. They weren’t all solved how I wanted them to be solved. What did happen is I gave them up. By identifying them and recognizing my powerlessness, I got practiced at overtly sharing them with the One who can.

In focusing on improving my constant contact with God, I have realized something that I learned in step one. Yes, I know, I am a very slow learner. I am powerless…not just over my addiction. I am powerless over my fears, my anxieties, my bills, my relationship with my wife, my son’s college. My list.

Psalm 55:22 says “Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you.” Not He will give you everything you want or He will solve all your problems. Not He will check all the boxes on my “wish” list. He will sustain me.

My list is different now. It includes things like worrying about my parents being able to continue to afford assisted living, my youngest son integrating into a new school, my wife starting a new job. My list keeps changing. I wish I could say I don’t worry or stress or feel anxiety over my list. I could say that but I wouldn’t be rigorously honest. What has changed is my contact with God has changed.

Instead of holding onto my list, obsessing over it, trying to fix everything, I do some of those things, but I also talk to God about my list. I know I am powerless to handle my list. I know he isn’t powerless. He is all powerful, the Almighty, the Great I Am (does that name for God just not sound cool??). Talking to him about my list breaks my isolation and my control. It improves my constant contact with God, and He listens.

 


Image  —  Posted: August 7, 2017 by Castimonia in Humor, Sexual Purity Posts
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