Archive for February, 2012

Handling Heart Breaks.

Posted: February 29, 2012 in Relationships

If you’ve just had a break-up and are feeling down, you’re not alone. Just about everyone experiences a break-up at some point, and many then have to deal with heartbreak — a wave of grief, anger, confusion, low self-esteem, and maybe even jealousy all at once.

Millions of poems and songs have been written about having a broken heart and wars have even been fought because of heartbreak.

What Exactly Is Heartbreak?

Lots of things can cause heartbreak. Some people might have had a romantic relationship that ended before they were ready. Others might have strong feelings for someone who doesn’t feel the same way. Or maybe a person feels sad or angry when a close friend ends or abandons the friendship.

Although the causes may be different, the feeling of loss is the same — whether it’s the loss of something real or the loss of something you only hoped for. People describe heartbreak as a feeling of heaviness, emptiness, and sadness.

How Can I Deal With How I Feel?

Most people will tell you you’ll get over it or you’ll meet someone else, but when it’s happening to you, it can feel like no one else in the world has ever felt the same way. If you’re experiencing these feelings, there are things you can do to lessen the pain.

Here are some tips that might help.

Let It Out

  • Share your feelings. Some people find that sharing their feelings with someone they trust — someone who recognizes what they’re going through — helps them feel better. That could mean talking over all the things you feel, even having a good cry on the shoulder of a comforting friend or family member. If you feel like someone can’t relate to what you’re going through or is dismissive of your feelings, find someone more sympathetic to talk to. (OK, I know that sharing feelings can be tough for guys, but you don’t necessarily have to tell the football team or your basketball coach what you’re going through. Talk with a friend or family member, a teacher, or counselor. )
  • Don’t be afraid to cry. Going through a break-up can be really tough, and getting some of those raw emotions out can be a big help. We know this is another tough one for guys, but there’s no shame in crying now and then. No one has to see you do it — you don’t have to start blubbering in class or at soccer practice or anything. Just a find a place where you can be alone, like crying into your pillow at night or in the shower when you’re getting ready for the day.

Be Kind to Yourself

  • Remember what’s good about you. This one is really important. Sometimes people with broken hearts start to blame themselves for what’s happened. They may be really down on themselves, exaggerating their faults as though they did something to deserve the unhappiness they’re experiencing. If you find this happening to you, nip it in the bud! Remind yourself of your good qualities, and if you can’t think of them because your broken heart is clouding your view, get your friends to remind you.
  • Take good care of yourself. A broken heart can be very stressful so don’t let the rest of your body get broken too. Get lots of sleep, eat healthy foods, and exercise regularly to minimize stress and depression and give your self-esteem a boost.
  • Do the things you normally enjoy. Whether it’s seeing a movie or going to a concert, do something fun to take your mind off the negative feelings for a while.
  • Keep yourself busy. Sometimes this is difficult when you’re coping with sadness and grief, but it really helps. This is a great time to redecorate your room or try a new hobby or even simply try realising your talent. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about what happened — working things through in our minds is all part of the healing process — it just means you should focus on other things too.
  • Give yourself time. It takes time for sadness to go away. Almost everyone thinks they won’t feel normal again, but the human spirit is amazing — and the heartbreak almost always heals after a while. But how long will that take? That depends on what caused your heartbreak, how you deal with loss, and how quickly you tend to bounce back from things. Getting over a break-up can take a couple of days to many weeks — and sometimes even months.

Some people feel that nothing will make them happy again and resort to alcohol or drugs. Others feel angry and want to hurt themselves or someone else. People who drink, do drugs, or cut themselves to escape from the reality of a loss may think they are numbing their pain, but the feeling is only temporary. They’re not really dealing with the pain, only masking it, which makes all their feelings build up inside and prolongs the sadness.

Sometimes the sadness is so deep — or lasts so long — that a person may need some extra support. For someone who isn’t starting to feel better after a few weeks or who continues to feel depressed, talking to a counselor or therapist can be very helpful.

So be patient with yourself, and let the healing begin.

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Is He/She The One?

Posted: February 27, 2012 in Relationships

We have looked at what dating is, we have looked at the yardsticks of dating – the questions that you need to ask yourself before settling for somebody and even 5 tips on perfect dating.

Now today we try and look at some of the things that can be employed to determine whether the one person you are dating is ‘THE ONE’ or not.

A common dating question often asked by singles in a relationship is:

How do you know if someone you are in a relationship with is the one, or is there even such a thing as the one?

There are many different takes on this, some people will argue from the perspective that you have to hear God before you can know that someone you are dating is the one. The problem with that statement is that some people are still struggling with knowing whether the voice they have heard is truly God’s voice or just their own thinking.

Then there are others that say that God won’t choose for you, and that God stopped choosing for us ever since Adam accused God that it was the woman that God brought to him that made him sin.

Many people think that “the one” is this perfect person without flaws that is so romantic and will know all their needs and desires and be able to meet them. They have this unrealistic picture of a relationship without challenges where everything is rosy and they think that the person that makes them feel that way is “the one” – nothing can be further from the truth.

Here is my take on this. I believe that faith or belief has a big part to play in determining whether someone is the one. You have to believe in your heart that this person is the right person for me.

I also believe that “the one” is largely about your personal choice. God will lead you to potential partners but ultimately you have to choose. God never forces us to do anything, he doesn’t even force us to serve Him we choose whether we want to serve Him or not.

Since I believe that faith and Choice is what determines whether someone you are relationship with is “the one” it is only right that I share with you some things you should consider when making your choice about whether this person you are dating is truly “the one”

5 clues to knowing whether he or she is “the one”

1. “The one” has to be someone that you can live with their flaws. People are not perfect and you are not perfect yourself so why demand from other people what you yourself can’t deliver. Singles often have this unrealistic picture of “the one” some go as far as having a list of the qualities they are looking for but they make no room on that list for flaws because they are looking for a perfect and finished person. The only problem is that that perfect person doesn’t exist.

Even the best of us have our flaws and “the one” will have their flaws too. “The One” will have annoying habits, “the one” will get you angry sometimes, “the one” will be insensitive to you sometimes, “the one” might not understand you sometimes; “the one” will definitely make some mistakes. Don’t let people’s flaws blind you from their overall goodness. If all you ever focus on is the negatives in people then you will never see the good in them and chances are you will never find “the one”

2. “The One” has to accept you even with your mistakes. The person you make allowances for equally has to make allowances for you. Be careful of labelling someone that doesn’t accept you for you as “the one” be careful if someone you are dating is constantly trying to change you and force you to change. Be careful if they are always critical of you and your ways.

It is good when someone you are dating wants you to change for the better and motivates you to be the best you can be, but if they are going about it in a critical and controlling way and nothing you do ever seems to be good enough and they think that motivating you is them putting you down so that you can take action or they are always comparing you to other people then I doubt that such a person is “the one”

Remember that in point 1 I said that “the one” is someone that you are ready to live with their flaws. Ask yourself if you are willing to put up with someone who is constantly trying to change you, someone who is always putting you down and comparing you to others and be honest about whether you want to spend the rest of your life with such a person.

3. “The One” is the person you are willing to stick by or the person who is willing to stick by you even after your relationship has been tested. It is easy to think that someone you are in a relationship with is “the one” when everything is going good and everything is perfect. But never measure the strength of your relationship based on when things are good, measure the strength of the relationship based on the challenges you are able to overcome. I can go as far as saying that you don’t really have a relationship until that relationship has endured and overcome a test.

4. “The One” is someone that believes in you, someone that believes in your dream and vision, someone that can see gifts and abilities in you that you might not even see in yourself, someone that keeps believing in you, someone that keeps encouraging you even when you stop believing in yourself and someone who will see qualities in you that you dint even know they existed.

5. “The One” Is someone you truly love not someone you are just settling for. People stay in relationships for all sorts of crazy reasons. I will never understand why people end up marrying someone they are not in love with (or even grown in love with, so to speak). I will never understand why people go into marriage or stay in a relationship when they know they have doubts about the person they are in the relationship with. It really baffles me.

Remember that I said earlier that faith has a large part to play when determining if someone is “the one”. You have to believe it in your heart, you can’t afford to be doubtful, because when you are doubtful you will never be content and the grass will always look greener on the other side. There has to be true love, relationships are hard enough when there is true love among two people, it is a complete nightmare when there isn’t true love.

I have seen people settle into a so called Christian relationship and even get married to someone they are not really in love with, maybe because the girl got pregnant and they wanted to do “the right thing” or maybe due to immigration problems, or because the guy or girl is rich and they want someone rich who can provide them with material things. Such people are never truly happy in their relationship and such relationships always end up falling apart eventually.

5 Tips Of Perfect Dating

Posted: February 25, 2012 in Relationships

Yesterday we looked at the what dating is and what yardsticks or what the thresholds are when it comes to looking for a date. Hope it was an exciting learning experience for you though to some i know it came as a reminder and as a way of emphasis.

Now today I want us to look at something very interesting. What are the rules that govern perfect dating? What are some of the tips that one can use to make sure that they get the right person? It is all going to be handled in today’s edition. I am not writing this because i am an expertise, but only to help you by introducing the fourth side of the coin.

The first of the dating rules:

ALLOW GOD TO LEAD YOU TO THE RIGHT PERSON

I am not trying to be over spiritual with this point even if it sounds that way. God can lead you to the right person if you let Him. Sometimes we think we have to figure everything out ourselves and we leave no room for God to do his thing. Psalms 37:23 says “The steps of a righteous man are ordered by God” God can order your steps to the person that will compliment your life. When you order your own steps you might end up with someone that will take advantage of you.

The second of the dating rules:

PRAY THAT GOD WILL BRING YOU OR LEAD YOU TO SOMEONE THAT WILL COMPLIMENT YOUR LIFE.

For some reason many people don’t pray anymore especially when it comes to relationship and dating issues, we kind of just do our own thing and don’t involve God then expect God to put his approval on something he didn’t initiate. We go out, find our own mate, pick the person we want without involving God then we want him to bless it. No wonder most relationships fail, even the Christian ones. The reason most people never find a good or suitable mate is because they never prayed for one, so they keep falling into the hands of the wrong people.

When you pray and ask God for a suitable mate, he will answer you. “Ask and it shall be given unto you” – Matthew 7:7. If you don’t ask God then you won’t get, “You do not have because you do not ask” – James 4:3 and if you do have without asking then you can’t guarantee that who you have is who God wants you to be with, so don’t blame God if it all goes wrong. When you ask, you might not get the answer when you want but God will answer you at the right time, and also when you ask, you might not get the answer you want in the package you expected, they might not look like “your type” but if you go with God, you will never regret.

The third of the dating rules:

DON’T LEAD PEOPLE ON AND PLAY WITH THEIR EMOTIONS

If you know that you are not ready to settle down, if you know that you are not ready to fully commit to someone, then don’t lead them on, don’t get people’s hopes up and lead them on to think that there is a future between you and them when you know in your mind that you are not sure. Don’t start taking them out, calling them all the time, telling them how you feel about them and getting them emotionally attached to you when you know that you are not sure you want to commit and settle down with them. You will end up breaking their heart and hurting them especially if they have started to fall for you. Be sensitive towards the feelings of other people and don’t take people for a ride.

You reap what you sow and if you hurt someone that really likes you because you were playing games with their heart, someone you really like will also break your heart one day. You reap what you sow.

The fourth of the  dating rules:

DON’T GET CARRIED AWAY WITH YOUR FEELINGS

It is very easy to get carried away when you start dating someone you really like, you automatically start dreaming about the future and how you will live happily ever after, you start dreaming about becoming husband and wife and having children and a nice family home etc and if care isn’t taken you will allow your feelings to get the better of you and you will throw common sense out of the window.

Don’t get so carried away that you start giving them access to your body and they are placing their hands all over your private parts, making out with you, kissing you, heavy petting etc when you hardly know them, yes there will be attraction and with attraction will come the temptation to do all those things but you have to keep your feelings in check. No one qualifies to do all those things to you until they have said “I DO” period. You will end up cheapening yourself and lose the respect of the very person you are trying to win.

Also don’t get so carried away that you begin to act as if you’re married to them when you are only just dating. You are already carrying them financially, cooking for them, cleaning their house, sleeping over, etc when you are still just dating.

If you give them all the benefits of marriage without the commitment then there is no incentive to get married. Slow your roll, do your due diligence on the person, test their character. You might find that after testing their character that they don’t even qualify for your ears, that they are not even someone you should give audience to let alone your heart, body and soul.

The Fifth of the dating rules:

ESTABLISH WHERE THE RELATIONSHIP IS GOING EARLY ON

Personally, I don’t believe in dating just to “see how it goes” the reason many Christian singles get hurt in relationships and dating is because one person was just “seeing how it goes” while the other person had committed their heart and soul.

When you allow God to lead you, it shouldn’t be about “seeing how it goes” because God won’t lead you to someone just to “see how it goes” He will lead you to someone who he knows you can have a future with, it should be about developing a friendship because I know that the rest of my life will be committed to you so I need to take the time to get to know you, so that we can learn to function as one, it is a time to know your habits so that I can deal with them and not necessarily try to change you, it is a time for me to discover your like and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses and love you through all those things rather than but put off by them and run away in search of the “perfect” person that doesn’t exist. When you have this understanding you will save yourself from many heartaches and mistakes.

When God is leading you then you will be able to establish where the relationship is going very early on, you will know that you are both working towards a common goal, but many cant establish that because they didn’t even seek God in their decision, so they themselves don’t know whether the relationship is going anywhere, there is no conviction that something fruitful will yield from the dating and that’s why they’re “seeing how it goes”.

Before dating both of you should seek God and let him direct you, then when you do start, your dating will be for a goal and a purpose and not just “seeing how it goes”.

Hope you learned something from these christian dating rules, if you follow them they will make dating a better experience for you and there will be less heartaches. Share these christian dating rules with your single friends, you can tweet the link of this page on twitter or even share it on face book, and just because they are christian dating rules doesnt mean you cant share them with your non-christian friends, they too can benefit from some of these rules.

Dating Yardsticks

Posted: February 24, 2012 in Relationships

Ever asked yourself; What Is Dating? Well here is your chance to know; The word dating comes from the idea of two people setting a date and time to get together to participate in some kind of activity, for example going to watch a film at the cinema or going to a restaurant to have dinner. The purpose of this is so that the people have the opportunity and environment to get to know each other. Even though dating doesn’t really have any scriptural or biblical references, it has become a social norm. Dating gives you the opportunity to assess the behavior, beliefs and character of someone that you might be interesting in having a long term relationship with. The general belief being that the way someone behaves while dating is an indication of how they’ll behave in marriage. But as important as dating is in today’s society; many people are still unsure about what it is and still ask themselves the question; What is dating? What is the purpose of dating? When is a person ready to date? What are the rules and guidelines for dating?

Today we are are going to look at the yardsticks of dating summarized in fundamental questions.

These dating questions have been put together to help you decide and make a better judgement about whether the person you are dating or in a courtship relationship with is right for you.

It is all too common for singles to jump straight into a relationship without carefully considering whether this person they are head over heels “in love with” is actually right for them. We sometimes allow ourselves to be blinded by love and as a result we don’t do a thorough analysis on the people we date, we allow ourselves to get carried away, with our feelings and their good looks that we sometimes miss obvious danger signs.

These dating questions will therefore help you to discern whether this person you are about to date or are already dating or in a relationship with is actually any good for you, they are searching questions that will help you and guide you to make a better decision about choosing a life-partner.

Questions On Their Relationship With God

  1. Does you potential mate have a relationship with Jesus Christ? Is your potential mate a committed Christian (A born again Christian)?
  2. Is your potential mate committed to a local church?
  3. Is your potential mate willing to let the church leadership know about your relationship?

Questions On Attraction

  1. What are you attracted to about your potential mate?
  2. What is your potential mate attracted to about you?
  3. Is the attraction you have for each other purely physical?
  4. How do you look at your potential mate – with respect or lust?
  5. How does your potential mate look at you – with respect or lust?

Questions On Needs

  1. Are you only dating or in a relationship with your potential mate because you feel needed by them?
  2. Is your potential mate emotionally wounded and therefore needs your support?
  3. Are you emotionally dependent on your potential mate – Can you still be happy on your own without them?
  4. Do you feel like you have to have someone in your life in order to feel fulfilled, whole and happy?

 

Pornography. There is no word more sinister to those enslaved by its powerful grasp. And addiction to porn rarely manifests itself without masturbation and over time, other sexual deviations. If you’ve promised yourself again and again that you’d stop looking at porn and it’s begun to interfere with your life in negative ways, there’s hope! First let me startle you with some startling statistics about this animal, Porn;

Pornography Time Statistics

  • Every second – $3,075.64 (around Kshs. 250,000) is being spent on pornography.
  • Every second – 28,258 internet users are viewing pornography.
  • Every second – 372 internet users are typing adult search terms into search engines.
  • Every 39 minutes: a new pornographic video is being created in the United States.

Internet Pornography Statistics

  • Pornographic websites 4.2 million (12% of total websites)
  • Pornographic pages 420 million
  • Daily pornographic search engine requests 68 million (25% of total search engine requests)
  • Daily pornographic emails 2.5 billion (8% of total emails)
  • Internet users who view porn 42.7%
  • Received unwanted exposure to sexual material 34%
  • Average daily pornographic emails/user 4.5 per Internet user
  • Monthly Pornographic downloads (Peer-to-peer) 1.5 billion (35% of all downloads)
  • Websites offering illegal child pornography 100,000
  • Sexual solicitations of youth made in chat rooms 89%
  • Youths who received sexual solicitation 1 in 7 (down from 2003 stat of 1 in 3)
  • Worldwide visitors to pornographic web sites 72 million
  • Monthly Internet Pornography Sales $4.9 billion

Source: http://internet-filter-review.toptenreviews.com/internet-pornography-statistics.html

Now it is quite evident that this is a real problem not only among us young people but also across the divide.

Song of Solomon 2:15 says, “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” Foxes sometime in search of food would enter into the grape orchards and devour the grapes and spoil the crop. However, the little foxes were too small to reach the grape bunches so they would chew on the vines and it would kill the whole vine. Instead of the farmer just losing his crop, he would lose his vine which was more disastrous. Spiritually some things we do or allow that we might think are little or insignificant can also be disastrous for us.

One of the most devastating problems that has ensnared many good people is the sin of pornography. Many of these same people will testify that they were ensnared with just a “peek.” This one “little fox” led to their downfall. Many, out of curiosity, just went to a site to see what was there. This is one of the devil’s tricks to get people ensnared. Satan, is the power behind this attraction to forbidden sexual images. People that are trapped today can tell you there is an evil “drawing” that compels them to return again and again. Many are desiring to be free, but seem hopelessly gripped by this evil desire. We want to share the good news — there is a way out through Jesus Christ.

God hates this sin, but He loves the sinner and wants to set them free. Many marriages are being destroyed by this evil, as after the addiction of pornography has set in, then the normal marital relationship with their spouses is no longer satisfying. Many husbands then want their wives to partake in bizarre sexual behavior with them or use sexual toys as stimulants. Some couples even watch erotic videos together to arouse each other before they engage in sex. These abnormal approaches to what God intended to be a wonderful relationship, defiles them. Instead of finding satisfaction… guilt, shame, and dissatisfaction set in. True love and intimate sharing is replaced with raw lust. What God meant to be the most beautiful experience between two people becomes a hellish depravity. God can, and will restore this relationship if they will call on Him. There is absolutely nothing that is outside of God’s ability to forgive, deliver, heal and restore.

How did it all begin;

How did our world arrive at a time in history that has so much emphasis on sexual perversions? This did not happen overnight. It all started when standards began to drop. Movies started to be watched and produced such that each year became a little more dirty, a little more violent, a little more immoral, a little more deviant, a little more crazy and a little more erotic. Now today, there are unspeakable things on film that come directly from hell. They were inspired by the devil himself. These “little foxes” are now raging wolves. Sin and evil are progressive. Several layers of gray have now become black.

How To Be Free From Pornography;

1. First, you must acknowledge the addiction exists. Many who are caught in the trap of addiction will adamantly deny the problem. He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion. – Proverbs 28:13

2. You must recognize that what you are doing is wrong. Addicts find a way to justify their problem in their mind. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. – I John 2:16

3. You must not blame others – “If women/men were not so seductive.” Adam blamed Eve and she blamed the serpent. Instead, you must begin to take responsibility for your actions.

4. Make yourself accountable to a spiritual authority, perhaps a pastor or mature believer. Everybody needs a “safe” person to share their struggles with. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. – James 5:16

5. You must recognize that “will power” is not the answer. At a weak moment, your “will” may fail you. By admitting that you are in need of God’s help, you open access to His supernatural intervention in your life. You must yield your will to God’s will. That’s when He can begin a new work in your life.

6. Study the Word of God concerning sexual purity. Therefore putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the Word implanted, which is able to save your souls. – James 1:21

7. You must destroy any pornography in your possession. You can’t wean yourself off pornography. Think of the hidden pornography in your home as a ticking time bomb that will ultimately destroy your family.

8. You must learn to flee temptation. Self-deception may enter when you think you can play with fire without getting burned. Do not enter the path of the wicked, and do not proceed in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not pass by it. Turn away from it and pass on. – Proverbs 4:14 -15

9. Give yourself time to work through the process of recovery. More often than not, God chooses to take us through a learning and growing process, that can be very painful. Victory over addiction should be viewed as a marathon, not a sprint.

10. It’s cliche, but you must approach your addiction one day at a time. Look for little victories and rejoice in the progress you’re making. Recovery is a cinch by the inch, but a trial by the mile.

The Masturbation Menace Part 2

Posted: February 22, 2012 in Sex

This is the last part on The Masturbation Menace. Hoping it will be as educative as Part 1.

Today we look at;

1.      “Isn’t God unreasonable to demand sexual purity after giving us sexual drives that seem to overwhelm us at times?”

2.      “I agree with all the theory, but living it out on a day to day level is another story.”

3.      “Can I really be set free?”

“Isn’t God unreasonable to demand sexual purity after giving us sexual drives that seem to overwhelm us at times?”

Our loving God never demands from us what is impossible for us to do. We are so weak within ourselves that it may seem impossible, but He will equip us with His holy power to overcome any sin, if we ask in faith.

Of course, sexual urges in and of themselves are not wicked. They are natural. God created us that way. He desires that we get optimum pleasure out of them by using them the way they were created to be used. However, many desires for physical gratification (whether it be food, sex, etc.) stem from a deeper need that is unfilled deep inside us. Gorging our flesh can never fill a hunger that grows out of our spirit. Only intimacy with God can fill the deepest needs inside of us. No other created thing has that power.

God is no more unreasonable than any caring parent who lovingly disciplines their child. It is only because He knows what is best for us. He sees a mighty potential in each one of us that far supersedes our wildest dreams, and He loves us enough to do all He can to bring it to pass.

“I agree with all the theory, but living it out on a day to day level is another story.”

This is the place where we need the empowerment of the Holy Spirit in our everyday lives. The Holy Spirit is not a vague “force,” but the very power of God to comfort you and strengthen you against the sins that used to rule you before you were born again. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we have the very ability that Jesus had to resist temptation. He depended completely upon the Father and so must we.

Something you must know is that God is not the one who is tempting you in this area to “test” you. God is on your side and wants to set you free from these things, not lead you into them! “When tempted, no one should say “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed” (James 1:13-14).

God wants us to overcome every sin and temptation in our lives. Please slowly read the following verses and let their message seep deep inside your spirit.

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

“For though we live in the world we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

“In the same way count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master for you are not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:11-14).

“For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16, King James Version).

“Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).

“Can I really be set free?”

“In (this) freedom, Christ has made us free—completely liberated us; stand fast then, and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to a yoke of slavery—which you have once put off ” (Galatians 5:1 Amp).

If you are in a real struggle with any form of sexual sin, we do not believe it was by accident that God led you to this teaching. He wants to set you free, starting right now! We would like to share several things that you can do to break loose from this stronghold:

1. Confess this sin first to God, then go to a committed Christian you trust, such as your pastor. Ask God to lead you to someone that you can be accountable with, who will be faithful to pray with you and for you. This will take humility on your part, but it will lead to life. James 5:16 says: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (You may not feel “righteous” but if you have admitted your sin to God and received His forgiveness, you are! That means your prayers are powerful and effective!)

2. Flee from and reject anything that aggravates this sin. For example, you may need to get off the Internet for a season or purchase software that blocks out pornography. This may sound too drastic, but it certainly is mild compared to Jesus who said, “If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body, than for your whole body to go into Hell” (Matthew 5:30).  His point was that we must be willing to part with anything that causes us to sin—even if it hurts temporarily.

3. You may need to seek healing and deliverance from qualified Christians who are anointed in this area of ministry. If you have been deeply involved in sexual sins, the devil probably has a stronghold in that area of your life. If you can, find some people who can help you stand against the devil, for he is the one who seeks to lead you into temptation, and whispers lies of hopelessness and shame into your ears. If he drops a filthy thought into your mind just when you are trying to pray (he has used this tactic on even the holiest saints of God), tell him to leave in the name of Jesus! Recognize his voice for what it is, and submit yourself to God. As you do this and resist the devil, he will flee from you! He is deathly afraid of those who are submitted to God in brokenness and humility.

4. Don’t give up! Deliverance might take time. Self-control takes effort. You may slip occasionally—or even a lot. But remember that God loves you and He will be faithful to perfect His character in you as long you keep submitting to Him. Eventually you will win—and not because of your best efforts, but because of God’s mercy (Titus 3:5). Just as salvation is received in faith, so deliverance must be received in faith. This has nothing to do with our character, strength, or failings. The only thing it is dependant upon is you receiving it in humility. If you should fail, recognize it quickly, ask God to forgive you—and then receive His forgiveness! He is faithful to do that which He promised, not just in a select few mighty men and women of God, but in all who are willing to come humbly before Him. That includes you! We want to encourage you to hold on to this scripture as your anchor:

“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).

Hope it has been a helpful series.

The Masturbation Menace. Part 1

Posted: February 21, 2012 in Sex

“What does the Bible say about masturbation?” is one of our most frequently asked questions. Many Christians have found it difficult to answer this question according to the Bible, because the Bible never mentions masturbation specifically. To understand how God feels about this subject, we must examine other verses that deal with issues such as lust, self-control and purity. Also, we must examine its fruit to see if it is from God. We have tried to address this issue by answering some of the most frequently asked questions. Our prayer is that God will use this page to bring freedom and deliverance.

In this Part 1 of the 2 part series on The Masturbation Menace we are going to discuss about;

1.      “Does God care about what we do in the privacy of our bedrooms?”

2.      “Isn’t it still better to masturbate than to commit fornication?”

“Does God care about what we do in the privacy of our bedrooms?”

Sex is God’s invention. He is the mastermind behind it—and His creation is worth far more to Him than it is to us. This beautiful expression of love was created out of His own heart, as a gift to be experienced between a husband and wife. It is only in marriage that this manifestation of intimacy can be fully enjoyed in the depth for which it was created.

“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4, NIV).

 “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4, KJV).

The more beautiful and unique something is (like sexual intercourse), the more power it holds over our lives, either for good or bad influence. That is why it is so easy for the devil to corrupt the most precious of God’s gifts. When we become more in love with the gifts than the One who endowed them, the things that were designed to bless us begin to destroy us instead. Yes, God cares about what we do with our bodies, in public or in private. He doesn’t want us to abuse ourselves in any way.

In fact, an older definition of masturbation is “self-abuse.” Although more modern dictionaries may no longer carry this definition, they are still linked together under self-abuse:

Self-abuse noun¹

1. Abuse of oneself or one’s abilities.
2. Masturbation.

1 Corinthians 6:18 (NIV) further confirms this, saying that unlawful sexual relations defile our own bodies. “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.”

“Isn’t it still better to masturbate than to commit fornication?”

The easy answer to this question would be, “Yes, it is better to masturbate, because at best it corrupts only one person. It certainly is the lesser of two evils.” However, why would a loving, holy, all-powerful God abandon you to a situation in which you have to choose any evil, whether it be “lesser” or “greater?” To really answer this question, we must again go back to God’s original plan for sex.

First of all, masturbation will not truly relieve the sexual pressure that one may feel. It may for a short moment, but in the long run it only creates a deeper desire and capacity for sex, which will lead to more masturbation. If you let yourself become enslaved to a sexual high, you will find that you need to go to increasingly extreme acts to maintain the same degree of excitement. There are even ungodly sex therapists who recommend masturbation as a way of increasing sexual desire, not lessening it. This creates a vicious circle, like the junkie who craves a “fix,” but is only temporarily satisfied. The more he indulges in his dependency, the more ensnared by addiction he becomes. This is the nature of all sin. That is why Jesus declared that all who sin become a slave to sin (John 8:34).

Furthermore, masturbation usually involves fantasy, visualization, and often pornography. The Bible is very clear as to what God expects of us in these areas of fantasy and lust. It teaches that we must not look lustfully at each other nor should we behave in such a manner as to entice others to lust after us.

“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust upon a girl. I know full well that the Almighty God sends calamity on those who do” (Job 31:1-3, The Living Bible).

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).

While the above verses refer to men lusting after women, all women know that it can very easily be reversed to apply to themselves as well. Men may be more easily visually stimulated than women, but women can be just as vulnerable to sexual fantasy in the emotional realm. Both are sin in God’s eyes, and both can be brought into subjection by controlling our thoughts through Christ’s power.

All sexual immorality begins with a thought. A lustful thought not taken captive, will eventually lead to other perversions, because sin reproduces itself in increasingly greater measures. If we do not deal with our evil thoughts, they will take root in our hearts.

It is for this reason that God is so concerned with our thought life. Jesus came not only to deliver us from our “outward” sins, but also from wickedness that begins in the heart.

Since masturbation begins with sin in the mind, it might be called an “affair of the mind” because it brings about sexual sin inflicted against one’s own body. Although it brings a short lived gratification, it makes one feel defiled when continued on a regular basis.  In fact, it is a form of fornication because fornication is more that just sex with someone before marriage, it includes many other sexual sins such as pornography and the use of sexual toys for gratification. People who are not satisfied with God’s plan for sex commit idolatry by using evil things to experience weird and unlawful forms of sexual intercourse.  Some verses in Ezekiel actually describe this kind of fornication.

Ezekiel 16:15-17:
15But you trusted in and relied on your own beauty and were unfaithful to God and played the harlot [in idolatry] because of your renown, and you poured out your fornications upon anyone who passed by [as you worshiped the idols of every nation which prevailed over you] and your beauty was his.

    16And you took some of your garments and made for yourself gaily decorated high places or shrines and played the harlot on them–things which should not come and that which should not take place.

    17You did also take your fair jewels and beautiful vessels of My gold and My silver which I had given you and made for yourself images of men, and you played the harlot with them.

Check Out For Part 2 as we Discuss;

1.      “Isn’t God unreasonable to demand sexual purity after giving us sexual drives that seem to overwhelm us at times?”

2.      “I agree with all the theory, but living it out on a day to day level is another story.”

3.      “Can I really be set free?”

Sex Before/Outside Marriage? Think Twice

Posted: February 20, 2012 in Sex

I know this is one topic that raises dust even at the mention of it. Now with the article below, we hope to answer most of the questions that have been continuously banging in our minds;

10 Reasons Not to Have Sex Outside of Marriage

Reason #1 – God Tells Us Not to Have Sex Outside of Marriage

In the seventh of God’s Ten Commandments, he instructs us not to have sex with anyone other than our spouse. It is clear that God forbids sex outside of marriage. When we obey God, he is pleased. He honors our obedience by blessing us.

Deuteronomy 28:1-3
If you fully obey the LORD your God … [he] will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God … (NIV)

God has a reason for giving us this command. First and foremost, he knows what’s best for us. By obeying him, we trust God to look out for our best interests.

Reason #2 – We Won’t Miss Out on the Blessing of the Wedding Night

There’s something very special about a couple’s first time. In this physical act the two become one flesh. Yet it is more than just physical oneness — a spiritual union takes place. God planned for this exclusive experience of discovery and pleasure to happen only within the intimacy of marriage. If we don’t wait, we miss out on a very special blessing from God.

1 Corinthians 6:16
Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two become one.” Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never “become one.” (The Message)

Reason #3 – We Will Be Spiritually Healthier

If we live as carnal or fleshly Christians, we will seek to gratify the desires of the flesh and live only to please ourselves. If we live this way, the Bible says we cannot please God. We will be miserable under the weight of our sin. As we continue to feed our fleshly desires, our spirit will grow weak and our relationship with God will be destroyed. Complacency with sin leads to worse sin, and eventually, spiritual death.

Romans 8:8,13
Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live … (NIV)

Reason #4 – We Will Be Physically Healthier

This one is a no-brainer. If we refrain from sex outside of marriage, we will be protected from the risk of catching sexually transmitted diseases.

1 Corinthians 6:18
Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. (NLT)

Reason #5 – We Will Be Emotionally Healthier

One reason God tells us to honor marriage and keep the marriage bed pure has to do with baggage. We carry baggage into our sexual relationships. Memories from the past, emotional scars and unwanted mental images can defile our thoughts and make the marriage bed less than pure. Certainly God can forgive the past, but that doesn’t mean we’re free from the baggage that can linger in our minds.

Hebrews 13:4
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. (NIV)

Reason #6 – We Will Show Consideration for Our Partner’s Well-Being

If we put our partner’s needs above our own and consider their spiritual well-being, we’ll be compelled to wait for sex. We, like God, will want what’s best for them.

Ephesians 5:2
Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. (NLT)

Philippians 2:3
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; (NASB)

Reason #7 – Waiting is a Test of True Love

Love is patient. That’s about as simple as it gets. We can learn the sincerity of our partner’s love by their willingness, or lack thereof, to wait.

1 Corinthians 13:4-5
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking … (NIV)

Reason #8 – We Will Have No Negative Consequences to Deal With

There are always consequences to sin. Some of those effects can be devastating. An unwanted pregnancy, a decision to have an abortion or place a child for adoption, broken relationships with family and friends — these are just a few of the possible outcomes we face when we choose to have sex outside of marriage. We should be sure to consider the snow ball effect of sin. And what if the relationship does not last? Hebrews 12:1 shows that sin hinders our lives and easily entangles us. We will be much better off if we avoid these negative consequences.

Reason #9 – We Will Keep Our Christian Testimony Intact

We don’t set a very good example of godly living when we disobey God. The Bible says in 1 Timothy 4:12 to “be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” (NIV)

In Matthew 5:13 Jesus compares his followers to “salt” and “light” when we represent him in the world. When we no longer shine the light of Christ, when we lose our Christian testimony, we lose our “saltiness.” In other words, we become flavorless and bland. We lose our ability to attract the world to Christ. Luke 14:34-35 puts it strongly, saying that salt without saltiness is worthless, not even fit for the manure pile.

Reason #10 – We Won’t Settle For Less Than God’s Perfect Will

When we choose to have sex outside of marriage, we settle for less than God’s perfect will — for ourselves and for our partner. And if we do this, we don’t know what we might end up with. Perhaps we’ll end up in a miserable marriage.

So, here’s some food for thought: If your partner wants sex before marriage, consider this as a warning sign about their spiritual condition. If you are the one who wants sex before marriage, consider this as a warning sign of your own spiritual condition.

christianity.about.com

The Thruth About Alcoholic Beverages

Posted: February 19, 2012 in Alcohol

Proverbs 20:1 (KJV):
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

Proverbs 20:1 (AMP):
Wine is a mocker, strong drink a riotous brawler, and whoever errs or reels because of it is not wise.

The Bible has much to say about many subjects; and drinking alcoholic beverages is one of them.  There is a debate in religious circles in regard to the question – was the wine in the Bible referring to grape juice or fermented grape juice, which is alcoholic in nature? To answer this question we must study the original language in which the Bible was written.

Actually, there are fifteen words from the Hebrew and Greek languages, which are translated “wine” in the Bible. When we compare these words in the context in which they are used we can better understanding their scriptural meanings.

The first scripture in which wine is mentioned is found in the book of Genesis. The Hebrew word used there is “yayin.” It always means fermented wine, primarily from grapes.

Genesis 9:20-21:
20 And Noah began to be a husband, and he planted a vineyard:
21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.

Noah could not have become drunk by drinking grape juice, so we must assume he drank an alcoholic beverage made from the grapes of his vineyard.

The New Testament word translated wine is usually the Greek word “oinos.” We also find in the New Testament the account of Jesus performing his first miracle which was turning water into wine.  You can read the entire account of this miracle in John 2: 1-11.

9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.

Notice in verse 10 the comment that men usually served the good wine first and kept the wine that was not as good to be served lastly so that its quality was not noticed. This had to be a reference to fermented wine, as the alcoholic content of the wine would be more inclined to cause them not to notice bad wine later in the evening after they had a few drinks.

There are many other references to wine throughout the Bible showing that it is actually an alcoholic drink.  Now with this scriptural evidence, comes the next question.  Is it sinful to drink wine?  The answer to this question is that the wine itself is not sinful, because sin is in the heart of man and does not exist in any object of itself.  It is the drunkenness and intoxication that comes about when a man drinks too much that causes him sin. The Bible teaches discipline and moderation; even eating too much food is a sin and is called the sin of gluttony in the Bible.

The scripture in Proverbs 20:1 warns us what wine and strong drink can do to a man.  Men can end up raging and brawling and doing things in a drunken stupor that are very unwise and that they will also regret. How many times have we heard the expression when someone talks unwisely after drinking too much — “That was the alcohol talking.” The Bible does make a distinction, as to the affect that strong drinks (alcoholic beverages like whiskey, vodka, etc.) have on a person, as opposed to wine, showing that the strong alcoholic drinks are far worse at causing men to become out of their heads and violent. The wine is bad enough, as it can cause men to loose their senses and mock others. People will also mock them for their out of control inebriation.

So what should our position be as Christians since we know the many sorrows that drunkenness causes?  We know that alcoholism is responsible for many broken homes because of the abusive behavior toward family and others. We know the many deaths on our highways caused by drinking and driving. What about the many premature deaths caused by health problems stemming from alcoholism? Alcoholism has now become a costly drug addiction problem. Yes, drunkenness is a very evil sin that hurts the whole nation. The Bible says all drunkards who do not repent will not inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10:
9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Although, a Christian may be free to drink moderately as long as they do not become drunk, is that the highest thing we should do?  Paul stated in the New Testament that he would not allow his liberty to be a license to sin, nor would he do anything that would cause a brother to stumble.

Galatians 5:13: “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.”

1 Corinthians 8:9: “But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.”

In the Old Testament there was a group of people known as Nazarites that took a vow to separate themselves unto the Lord and therefore they would not drink any wine or alcoholic beverages.

Numbers 6:2-3: “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When either man or woman shall separate themselves to vow a vow of a Nazarite, to separate themselves unto the LORD: He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried.”

We must all give an account of ourselves before our Lord.  What would please Him?  Would it not be pleasing to Him if we loved others enough to give up those things we could have, for a greater cause?  Would it not be a more powerful witness to others in our age to stand out as one who did not drink alcoholic beverages because we had no need to do so. When we are filled with the Spirit of God, His spirit gives us the joy and release that many are seeking by drinking.  May we instead desire to be filled with the Holy Spirit and have no need for “spirits.”

Ephesians 5:18-20:
18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

    ___________________________________

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for the liberty we have in Christ. Help us not to judge one another in regard to the issue of drinking a little wine, but rather to be honest before You as to the issue in our own hearts in this regard. May we be a good witness before those in the world. When we make our choices in this life, may they be pleasing to You and show love to those around us.  You told us the highest law is the law of love.  We are first to love You, and then, to love one another.  May we do this in word and deed.  Keep us from temptation and sin and let our actions prove to the world that we are true Christians. Deliver those who are addicted to alcohol and who are in this snare of the devil. I ask this in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.    

Betty Miller