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The 99% Game Plan

September 24, 2010 1 comment

Part of being young is being stupid. As a boy growing up in the days of Evel Knievel, I was inspired to more than my fair share. They knew me by name in the ER. I remember one particularly nasty little altercation with the ground. Gravity was involved – as it often is. We had a trampoline in our backyard, and I was getting quite good at a full flip with a half twist. I practiced this over and over. In my mind, I was an Olympic athlete executing a perfect 10. One sunny Saturday, I decided that doing a dismount like the pros do would be just the thing to put the polish on the routine.

I started out by just jumping off the trampoline and landing on the ground with a flourish. I would try to point my toes and give a little wave of the hand, with all the snap an untrained seventh grader could muster. It was pretty pitiful. It really needed some pizazz. I don’t know when the brilliant idea of adding the flip with a half twist to the dismount struck me, but like a space rock hurling from the outer reaches, strike it did. I knew I had to try.

Well, I started practicing these little dismounts. The great thing was that the ground was even a little wet and soft. It really didn’t hurt so much landing. It looked awesome! After ten or so times, my socks were nice and wet and the trampoline was getting wetter with each try.

You know where this is going, don’t you?

The bones in my forearm made two neat, audible snaps… clear as a bell. I can still hear them today. Time slows to a crawl when you’re watching your arm bend into a neat little right angle between your elbow and wrist!

My bright idea turned out to be less than stellar. There were a lot of places I could have stopped this little event from happening. Let’s list some:

  • Don’t buy a trampoline
  • Don’t do dismounts without a spotter
  • Don’t do dismounts at all
  • Stop if the ground is wet
  • Use pads on the ground
  • Go watch TV instead
  • Be really, really skilled in falling so I can avoid breaking my arm

There were so many better boundaries that I could have put in place. By doing this crazy flip off the trampoline, I was just setting myself up for a potentially life changing injury. I was relying on my skill in the latest of moments to avert disaster.

Somehow, we think that the place to put the boundary is where our toes are right up against the line between sanity and sin, when we’re struggling to stay on the sanity side of the line.

We let all these thoughts rattle in our heads… Fantasies that inspire acting out. Desires that sooth the pain and hurt from years past. Eyes that roam. We decide that if we ever find ourselves at that certain website, or in the park, or going to lunch with that woman in accounting, or face to face with a prostitute, that we would run. If those are our only boundaries then we are kidding ourselves.

Putting our only boundaries at the end game is creating a 99% failure plan. It’s the Hail Mary play – a desperate plan in a desperate moment almost certain to fail in the long run. It’s like jumping from an airplane with no parachute with the plan of finding a soft spot to land. The reality is that temptation starts as a small seed – a little 1% thought. It’s tiny but can grow to immense tragedy in our lives.

Next article – Drastically increase your chances for success – the 1% rule.

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What kind of soil are you?

June 21, 2010 1 comment

I was reading an excellent blog posting here by Jeff Fisher. He knows the road to recovery. He writes a great blog about it at PornToPurity.com that you may want to bookmark it. He asks, “What is your goal [in recovery]?” It got me thinking about my goal … remaining faithful to God’s calling for the rest of my life. It means maintaining boundaries, doing heartwork, improving relationships and staying sexually pure until I die. It means being good soil.

Sexual purity - good soilIt you are in this for long you will see success and failure. The patterns remind me of the parable of the sower in Luke 8. Some seeds are sown on pavement, rocks, weedy soil and in good soil. Birds eat the seeds on the pavement. The seed that land on the rocks spring up but die quickly. Weeds choke the seedlings that grow at their feet. The only seeds that excel land in good soil. The parable is really about the state of our heart (the soil).

I have seen all four examples in my heart:

The pavement: I asked the question “Is masturbation really wrong?” and heard the radio programs about sexual sin and avoided them. The strategy is to ignore the message. A hard heart will not respond to the Spirit.

Rocky soil: I knew I needed to turn from this. I felt the pressure to change but wasn’t ready to let go of my way of coping. It’s common to get pressure from wives, friends, counselors, parents, employers or other people in our lives. We respond to get along. There is short-term success but lacking real motivation to do the hard work, it dies. Rocky hearts soon return to their old tricks.

Weedy soil: It’s having a deeper desire to quit but being afraid of the solution. I’ve found resolve isn’t all that counts. I also had to weed my soil. Weeds come in all shapes and sizes. Some weeds even look like good plants. Lack of honesty. Minimizing the real story. Secrecy. Double mindedness. Isolation. Not finding good support. Not fixing our baggage. It’s fear that the medicine is more bitter than the problem.

Good soil: Weeding the garden really helped. It you are like me, you have some trouble recognizing your own weeds. I had friends help me weed. I told a good, wise, spiritually mature, confidential friend. I got involved in a support group. Heartwork to deal with my stuff was key. I have seen guys pulling up the roots of self deception. Living honestly, setting up healthy boundaries. Getting in the Word and applying it in their lives. Spending consistent time in prayer. Helping others who are not as far along. Finding experts to help them. It’s a total commitment to water, fertilize and pull weeds for the rest of their lives.

What about you? What kind of soil are you? How will you respond? If you’re ready please email me. It’s free and confidential. I have never felt better, been more on track with the Lord or been more sexually pure. You can be too!

Categories: General, My Story

Check out porntopurity.com!

June 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Hey everybody. I’ve been asked to post a guest post at the PornToPurity.com blog. It’s a post on the basics of my program that has worked for me…structure, heartwork and relationship. You can hop over there and read it here.

Another note. Jeff’s blog (porntopurity.com) is a great blog. He knows what it means to be committed to recovery and has a lot of great insight. He also has a good podcast if you are into those. Put it on your bookmarks or your newsreader.

Categories: General, My Story