Posts Tagged ‘Houston’


I think I missed something. Or maybe its just my screwed up decision making. Regardless of why, I most definitely didn’t completely understand the purpose of Step Four. Let me explain. I think I told you that Step Four was the step I most dreaded after I started working through the steps. I truly didn’t want to have to face my own flaws. I knew they were there but just felt that it was easier to blame God for why I was the way I was than actually look at myself and how my character defects kept me in a never ending cycle of sin and shame. The only upside of Step Four to me was that I at least would have dealt with those character flaws and they would be gone and therefore I wouldn’t have to worry about them anymore. That is what I believed would happen.

This may come as a surprise to some of you. I truly hope not. They didn’t all go away. I know, shocked aren’t you? Ok, you can stop laughing at me now. I really thought that they were gone. Or maybe I told myself that so I wouldn’t dwell on what they are. Manipulation, lying, pride. Things I didn’t want to continue to face. Somehow, they are still there. They show up when I am stressed, angry, isolated, emotional, even when I am just not strong enough on my own and don’t give God control in the moment .  Basically at the same times they used to show up before recovery.  So what is the difference between now and recovery?

Let me try to muddle through this. Recently, I was talking with my wife. We were just catching up at the end of a long day. The TV was on, a normal evening. That’s how it started, normal. Anyway, I wasn’t really paying attention to what was on the TV but did hear a female begin to speak in an English accent. To set the stage here, one of my affair partners was English. My wife had actually spoken with her. In an instant, without forethought or delay, I started changing to another station. I was really good, or so I thought. I stated how I had just remembered we had one of the shows we liked saved and I wanted to start it.

My wife got silent. Dangerously silent. She said, and I quote, “I know what you are doing.” I said what do you mean? She told me not to insult her intelligence. She said I was trying to manipulate her by turning the channel. Ouch.

Yeah, manipulation. Right up there at the top of my list of character flaws. The only problem is, everyone close to me knows my flaws. I have named them for them. They have agreed and added a little more clarification to make sure I knew they recognize them when they manifest. Exactly what my wife just did. She called me out. I wish I could say I recognized it, immediately dealt with it, and know I won’t respond that way again.  I didn’t. I tried to say no, I want to watch a show. You know…manipulate.  Again.

So I stopped, listened again, listened to myself, and heard the truth. I was manipulating. I was going back to a character flaw. I thought when I brought them to God they were truly gone. Actually, they are part of my sin nature. I have lived in that nature for so long, my character flaws won’t just magically disappear. I do have one thing going for me now. I know what they are, so do my loved ones, and we can address them. The manipulation is still there. However, my recognition of it is heightening. Thank you, God, for that.


Working the 12 steps is starting to get really real. That is such a cliche but so apt to where I am. I am about to start Step 8. As a quick reminder, Step 8 is as follows: We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.  Yeah. That Step 8. No other way to put it but damn.

I have been working on my list in my mind since I did Step 4, identifying my flaws and defects of character. I knew this was coming. There is one person at the top of my list. My wife. She is numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. She has her own list and the rest are secondary, including my kids. They are next. But first, its her.

As I was preparing for this list, I kind of discounted it. You know, its just a list and becoming willing. However, as my sponsor and counselor both pointed out to me, it is so much more. That whole becoming willing part. That’s more than just saying the words, making the list and then taking action.

For me, its been about understanding the true reasons for the amends. Why are the people on my list actually on my list? What did I do to give them that honored place on my amends list? I am being facetious. (That means sarcastic for you native Texans!)

Anyway, I was struggling with this. I identified the people who belonged there. The ones that I had lied to, manipulated, taken advantage of, used for my own selfish gains, not been engaged with, not been present with, and just had been mean and ugly and rude with. I had the reasons but I was struggling with connecting with those reasons.  I didn’t really feel the impact. And then I did. I got it. Just from being with the first person on my list.

My wife and I were working through intimacy exercises. Just checking in on how we both felt, what we loved about each other, and then a devotional reading and prayer. She said something she said quite often and I had repeatedly dismissed. She said she couldn’t help but think that the reason I had relationships outside of our marriage and broke my sexual vow to her was because of how she looked, that she wasn’t pretty enough, that she was overweight. And I said the things I usually do, I told her that wasn’t true, she was beautiful, and it was all my fault. I said the words because I was hopeful it would stop her from getting triggered and would give her some comfort. The problem was, I didn’t really own it. I didn’t own WHY she felt that way.

I was talking with my counselor the next day, telling him about how she went to that place and that I was realizing that it was my fault. Being the supportive, loving, touchy-feely counselor that he is (again, sarcasm for you native Texans), he pointed out that it most definitely was my fault. And by allowing her to continue down that path, I was allowing her to take away my responsibility for my actions. They were my actions that caused that damage, that caused her to feel less than enough. That’s when I felt it, that’s when I owned it. It’s my responsibility. I am sorry, my love, for making you feel less than enough.


I am humbled to announce that we will officially be starting a new Castimonia meeting on Monday nights at Lifepath Church in the Northwest Houston area on June 2nd!  Location information is written below.
Beginning June 2, 2014
Monday Nights
Time: 7:00PM – 8:30PM
Location: Lifepath Church – Room 108
17703 W Little York Rd
Houston, TX 77084
281.855.0222
NEWLocationMap
This meeting should help alleviate the Monday night meeting in Katy and allow for more attendees from Northwest and North Houston to attend a Castimonia meeting.  We are currently working on a meeting in La Porte, TX as well.
Praise be to God, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for all He has done to grow His ministry!

Gen 225 Retreat
48 Hours – Houston – May 16-18th, 2014
Cost: $295
  • Registration for the 48 Hours Men’s Retreat in Palacios, TX (4pm Friday – 4pm Sunday) at “Palacios by the Sea”.
  • For a non-refundable 50% deposit to guarantee a spot – use Coupon Code: ‘DEPOSIT’
  • There is a Maximum of 40 Men
  • You will receive a Packing List and Welcome Packet by E-mail – 2 Weeks Prior to the Retreat
What is Gen225?

A ministry focused on the redemption of men, women and marriages through providing a safe place for healing and freedom as we walk together toward Christ. We not only seek healing for ourselves but also to break the past and future bonds of generational sin.  We long for the time when we walked and will walk in the very presence of the Almighty God without fear or shame.
“The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” Gen. 2:25


It truly is a “God thing” that I found Redeemed Ministries’ brochure on a table in the room where we hold the Saturday morning Castimonia meeting.  As we try to reduce the demand for sex trafficking, they are on the front lines attacking the supply, trying to help the women trapped in sexual slavery.  Please watch this video! For those of us living in the Houston metro area, it brings the issue of sexual slavery close to home.

Redeemed Ministries founded in 2005 is a faith-based non-profit 501 (c) 3 incorporated in the State of Texas.  We are an all volunteer organization with our people serving from a wide variety of church backgrounds with our unity found in serving Jesus our Lord and Savior.  Because we have seen and understand the problem in our community, we have set our core competencies include Outreach, Aftercare and Advocacy giving churches and their congregations the opportunity to network and find their place in the fight against human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.  Being a faith-based organization, it is our desire to share our passion and to bring unity to the whole church body and giving them the opportunity to engage as they feel led and called to use their gifts and talents in partnering with us to provide holistic care.

Redeemed Ministries serves the following mission: To bring Christ’s loving redemption and amazing liberation to those trapped and exploited within the commercial sex industry and/or by human trafficking for sexual exploitation or forced labor.

The core strategies of Redeemed Ministries are:

EDUCATE people – Raise awareness of the existence of modern day slavery
SEEK victims – Enter into the places of slavery to identify the enslaved.
BUILD relationships – Foster cooperation between legislators, law enforcement, service providers, etc.
IDENTIFY resources – Facilitate and advocate on behalf of victims to receive aftercare.
REDEEM hearts – Restore honor, worth, and reputation