Posts Tagged ‘ptsd’


by Humble servant

26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil.  Ephesians 4:26-27

Anger can be a dangerous thing.  We are all human so therefore we are all broken.  We are imperfect people who on a daily basis is following the leading of the Holy Spirit.  But from time to time we may fall into the pitfall of allowing our flesh to lead us instead of the Holy Spirit.  One manifestation of this is anger.

We are surrounded by people who are broken and who also make mistakes.  A person may cut us off in traffic, a person may say something or do something that offends us, a person may do something that either injures us or injures someone we love and as a result we may become angry.  What we do in response to this anger is the key.  The anger we have will either control us or we will control it.  We must guard our hearts from being led by our flesh or our emotions.

One of the greatest ways that we can be led by the Holy Spirit is abiding in the Lord each day.  By spending time in God’s word and prayer it will prepare our heart for everything we will face and it will make us more sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  The more time we spend with the Lord the more we will be transformed into His image.  This is key when dealing with anger.  The Lord will empower and strengthen us to be led by the Holy Spirit instead of being led by our flesh and our emotions.


… are a lot like this.


You will never go where God is not. Envision the next few hours of your life. Where will you find yourself? In a school? God indwells the classroom. On the highways? His presence lingers among the traffic. In the hospital operating room, the executive boardroom, the in-laws’ living room, the funeral home? God will be there. “He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27).

Each of us. God does not play favorites. From the masses on the city avenues to the isolated villagers in valleys and jungles, all people can enjoy God’s presence. But many don’t. They plod through life as if there were no God to love them. As if their only strength was their own. As if the only solution comes from within, not above. They live Godless lives.

But there are Josephs among us: people who sense, see, and hear the presence of God. People who pursue God as Moses did. When suddenly tasked with the care of two million ex-slaves, the liberator began to wonder, How am I going to provide for these people? How will we defend ourselves against enemies? How can we survive? Moses needed supplies, managers, equipment, and experience. But when Moses prayed for help, he declared, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here” (Ex. 33:15).

Moses preferred to go nowhere with God than anywhere without him.

Do likewise. Make God’s presence your passion. How? Be more sponge and less rock. Place a rock in the ocean, and what happens? Its surface gets wet. The exterior may change color, but the interior remains untouched. Yet place a sponge in the ocean, and notice the change. It absorbs the water. The ocean penetrates every pore and alters the essence of the sponge.

God surrounds us in the same way the Pacific surrounds an ocean floor pebble. He is everywhere – above, below, on all sides. We choose our response – rock or sponge? Resist or receive? Everything within you says harden the heart. Run from God; resist God; blame God. But be careful. Hard hearts never heal. Spongy ones do. Open every pore of your soul to God’s presence.

Today’s devotional is drawn from Max Lucado’s Second Chances.


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. 
  


Written by

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.


Written by

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).