Tag Archives: lust

Book Review: Sex is Not the Problem, Lust Is

Book Review:   Sex is Not the Problem, Lust Is by Joshua Harrissex-not-problem-lust-is-393x350

The Good:   The overarching positive of the book is its honesty.  Joshua Harris even brings several personal battles into the book, which allows the reader to relate to its content.  The honesty has a good balance of providing personal battles and not allowing the reader to drift off in their imagination causing more harm than good.  That being said, it does not shy away from topics such as masturbation, pornography, and sexual fantasies.

Also, it provides great value in counseling.  All throughout the book there are practical helps, homework assignments you could give counselees struggling with sexual purity, and Bible verses that combat false ideals and useful for withstanding temptation (chapter 9 happens to be my favorite chapter where it give Bible passages that dispel the lies of the enemy).

The Bad:   The target audience (teens to young adults) took away from some of its firepower.  You were forced to adapt some of the application as an adult reader. 

The Grade:  B+.  The principles were still very solid and practical for the most part.  It paints a realistic picture of the power of lust, and provides Biblical ways to combat and overcome lust.  It provides a solid challenge to any reader, and great tool for anyone fighting for purity.  Also, if you are looking for a book to counsel teenagers or young adults who are struggling in sexual purity, this book would be on my recommended list.

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Double Book Review: I’m a Church Member & Closing the Window

churchmemberBook Review:  I Am a Church Member by Thom Rainer

The Good:  First off, bravo for the impact of this book, yet it taking only 30-45 minutes to read.  Don’t let the brevity full you, like a featherweight boxer it still packs a punch.  This book contains 6 chapters and 6 ways to become a better church member, each with Biblical backing and strong conviction and practicality.  Rainer does a great job combating what he calls the “country club” philosophy of church membership and promotes a giving, serving, and putting others first membership philosophy.  The opening illustration in each chapter keep the reading fresh and applicable to real life.  If anything, you have to read the “child facing two scenarios” illustration in chapter 6.  Priceless.

The Bad:  The pledge in the back of each chapter may be a little corny.  I get the concept, but could be condensed in the final chapter holding all the truths.

The Grade:  A.  There a great misunderstanding of both the importance of being a member of a church and also the responsibilities associated with church membership.  This books helps solve that mystery.  It is a much needed kick in the pants for those that would rather their backsides not be bothered and heavily cushioned during a church service.  It puts people in motion to properly serve and function in the church body, like Christ, the head of the church, intended.

Book Review:  Closing the Window by Tim Chester

closing-the-windowThe Good:  My fingers may get tired from typing if I listed how important this book is in today’s society, especially for young people.  Here’s a stat for you…93% of teenagers have access to the internet.  Do you know the percentage of teenage boys who have been exposed to internet pornography…93%!  Girls aren’t far behind, with exposure at 62%.  I realize this is under the GOOD column.  Here is the good news, this book provides a solution to the problem.  It offers a five-tier process that breaks through the myths and straw-like answers that often fail, and presents a Biblical, life-transforming model that withstands for the long haul.

What’s great about this book is its approach.  While there are underlying reasons for the use of porn, it goes even deeper than the emotional or personality struggles.  The solution starts and ends with God.  Think about it, you really think someone can defeat porn using filters, accountability, or DVD pass codes.  Come on, those should be used, but the user will find a way around those man-made barricades if he or she so desires.  Removing porn from your life is not about what you are losing or blocking, but what you gain.  Many try to take porn away, but don’t replace it, and then find themselves returning to fill the void.  Let me use a quote from the book to explain:  “What happens if you weigh a life with porn against a life without porn?  Put like that, porn will always win, for it offers excitement, pleasure, thrills…by definition…a lesser life…weighing a life with porn against a life lived for God’s glory.  Porn versus glory, porn versus God, fleeting pleasure versus lasting pleasure, shame versus glory, destruction versus eternal life:  which looks the lesser now?”

The Bad:  The only bad…how this book is not better known (this picture above was only available on google images) & how this book is not required for every man to read.  Let me ask you a question:  Do you or anyone you know ever struggled with porn?  Virtually everyone will answer yes to that question.  Whether you need help, or you are in a position to offer help, you need to consider reading this book.

The Grade:  A+.  Please listen to me when I say this, this is not just a book for someone that is addicted to pornography.  This book will help you in your marriage, it will provide you with a proper view of women, and along the way provide Biblical and life-lasting ways to defeat lust in your life.  I’ve read in multiple articles that this book is the best book on counseling someone who is addicted to pornography.  It did not disappoint.  Read it to get out of your addiction.  Read it to help others with their addiction.  Read it to prevent addiction.  Read it to bring you closer to your spouse (or to your future spouse) and read it to become closer in your relationship with God.

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Baseball Illustration – Running the Wrong Way

A few weeks ago I was able to attend a youth baseball game with my family.  We were cheering on one of our students that will be in 7th grade next year.  It was a great opportunity to show our support for him and his family…and then it happened…

Picture this.  The home team had been down the whole game, and they were mounting a comeback.  There was only one out, and there were runners on 2nd and 3rd.  The batter stepped in for the pitch.  “Ball four, take your base”, the umpire yelled.  The coach on 3rd claps his hands, and says “At a boy, hustle on down there”.  The player on 1st, who had limited baseball experience, took the coach’s advice.  He hustled to home.  The only problem was the catcher still had the ball, and he was tagged out easily.  The coach (with visible steam coming out of his ears) wisely did not say a word, but his face said it all.  The mom of the boy (she was sitting in front of me) asked me what happened.  I told her.  She said with sympathy and believability, “Oh OK, it was a miscommunication.  This is a learning experience.”  Probably knowing she would have to console her son after the game.

stealinghome2Why do I tell you this heartbreaking story?  Well, the mom was right, this is a learning experience.  You see, we listen to the wrong instruction all the time, thinking it is for us.  We fall into the trap of what the world labels as success, whether it is money, fame, prestige, title, or possessions.  We run towards those.  Yes you do.  You don’t?  You mind if I check your credit card statement?  Can I follow you around for a week and journal how you spend your time?

I’ve mentioned this on my blog before; one of my biggest fears is that I would waste my life.  That I would run towards things that have no value.  As Francis Chan said in Crazy Love, “Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” And everything in me does not want my life to be a road to nowhere… Let me give you a few examples of those things we run towards from a sermon a few weeks ago…

Is it lust?  Where it takes you to places that will shock you and leave you lost on a road to more destruction?

Is it worldly gain?  Money, career success…You keep on that road, you will be shocked you were on a road to unfulfillment and never-ending toil.

Is it approval/love from others?  You think you are doing everything right, but you are shocked all this time it was for the wrong reasons and you were on a road to a shallowness and frivolity.

I don’t want my life to be a baffling mistake, and when it is time to go home, my coach in heaven looks at me with disappointment.  On the contrary, I want to cross home plate knowing I did everything I could for the glory of God and to spread the Gospel and love of Jesus to others.  Let all of us strive to NEVER be an easy out, and to cross home with our coach saying “well done”.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Advertisements