Tag Archives: pornography

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.

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5 Teen Culture Trends of 2013

As a youth pastor, youth culture is a passion of mine.  Throughout the year, I do my best to stay current with the trends, cultural shifts, and behavior of this generation.  Here is a summary or review of the youth culture in 2013:2012culturecloud

  1. Violence and bullying is a growing problem among teenagers.  (Dating Violence; Teen kindness & cruelty; Teen Violence; E-Venge)
  2. Social Media is taking over…As if you didn’t know.  (Social Media Report; Information Age; Boys & Girls Messages)
  3. Pornography use is just going to get worse and worse, as it gets more accessible.  (ABC News Report; What Parents Don’t Know; Biggest Issue of Teenagers Today)
  4. Cell Phones used to be for safety…now becoming more dangerous – From car accidents to easy internet access.  (Sleep Texting; Internet Use on Mobile Phones; Texting & Driving; Smartphones Causing Dementia?
  5. They like to play video games…a lot. (Gaming Addiction; Call of Duty; Grand Theft Auto Sales)

Articles are listed after each cultural trend.  Credit is due to http://www.cpyu.org for finding many of these articles and my favorite app Evernote for keeping them organized throughout the year)

 

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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.

 

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Parenting the internet & Angry dad shoots his teens’ laptop…How’s that for a title?

20 million views and counting!  That’s how many people watched a dad shoot his daughter’s laptop after she complained about them on Facebook.  Most parents of teenagers would probably admit to wanting to shoot or throw their teens laptop out the window, but is it the right way to handle things?  I’m gonna go with…probably not.  But with studies showing internet addictions being  similar to drug or alcohol addictions, we can see how parents or youth workers may get frustrated…or worried over this.

Just remember some key principles with parenting the internet:

  1. TALK to your child about the internet dangers –  including stranger danger, pornography,
  2. Set limits – The average teens uses 13 hours of technology a day, you hear me (mostly because they text while watching tv, study on the internet, and listen to Bieber, Gaga, or DC Talk…oh wait, that last one was me when I was a teenager).  It’s time to SET SOME LIMITS!
  3. Educate your child about internet behavior – not a place to complain/gossip/bully.
  4. Keep the computer in a public area of the house...you let your teen have their computer in their bedroom, you are asking for trouble.
  5. Install software – protect, monitor…you are the parent, you most likely own the computer, and yes you DO have the right to see what your kids are doing on the computer.
  6. Know all your kids passwords, be a friend on facebook – don’t let them share their password with others and tell them to be careful who can view their info on Facebook

You may know most of these, but it always a good reminder.  Save yourself from having to shoot your teen’s laptop, and save yourself from seeing your teen suffer because of their internet activity.

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