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Facing life challenges together—an honest discussion on purity

This past Saturday our Men’s Breakfast dealt with an issue that often goes under-discussed–purity in a sex saturated society.

Our goal was to put the topic on the table for discussion.  To remove some of the secrecy and allow men to develop positive accountability to walk faithfully and in purity before the Lord.  Our theme verse was

2 Timothy 2:22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. (ESV)

We emphasized three parts
Flee–run away from temptation (don’t try to fight with it, flee from it)
Pursue–run to the Lord in righteousness, faith, love and peace
With–run with others who are also calling on the Lord from a pure heart

The internet has made pornography and sensual material available in a way that makes us think we can access it anonymously without cost or consequences.  But immorality is not a victimless act.

It is also true that, like many other sins, escaping the clutches of sexual addiction (even when rationalizing away the addiction) requires the help of others.  Accountability with honest men is critically important.  We want to create safe, but not comfortable environments.  Environments where it is expected that individuals will share struggles without condemnation–but also with the promise that we will walk together, we won’t abandon someone to their struggle.

I hope that this first discussion on a broad scale will allow us as a church and men individually to continue to address the issue.  We had many young men, some with their fathers–so my prayer is that Dads will lead well.

Here are some of the resources we recommended 

Reading

Every Man’s Battle by Steve Arterburn and Fred Stoeker
The Purity Principle by Randy Alcorn
Measure of the Man by Gene Getz
Rebuilding Your Broken World by Gordon MacDonald, also Ordering Your Private World
God up Close by Doug McIntosh

Movie

Fireproof    (and the book The Love Dare)

Website

http://www.everymansbattle.com/
http://www.calvarychurch.org/177312.ihtml

Events

Men at the Cross, September 11-12, 2009

External accountability

Accountability groups (Calvary’s Faithful and True group, plus other small groups)
K9 web filtering
OpenDNS.org
X3watch.com

Resources for accountability groups

http://www.maninthemirror.org/biblestudy/register.htm
http://www.menatthecross.org

Enjoying Worship Monday

I had a little bit of time to enjoy worshipping today, so in the next couple post I will be included some song I was using to reflect on God.

God sure has blessed us with great hymn writters–both old and new.

You might be interested in checking out a couple British composers, Stuart Townend and Keith Getty.  Read about their writing here.

A little taste, several are very familiar

In Christ Alone

Speak, O Lord

The Power of the Cross

More to follow.

And since I have a Scott-Irish heritiage, I’ll even include some Irish Hymns.

What God did/does for us through Jesus

I’m reading Jesus in Trinitarian Perspective  by Fred Sanders and Klause Issler, so when I read this quote on Justin Taylors‘ blog is too good not to shar.

I can’t resist reproducing one more quote from Packer’s Praying the Lord’s Prayer. It’s vintage Packer–Pauline in both its length and theology:

  • By wisdom God found a way to justify the unjust justly;
  • in love he gave his Son to bear death’s agony for us;
  • in justice he made the Son, as our substitute, suffer the sentence that our disobedience deserved;
  • with power he unites us to the risen Christ, renews our hearts, frees us from sin’s bondage, and moves us to repent and believe;
  • and in faithfulness he keeps us from falling, as he promised to do, till he brings us triumphantly to our final glory.

(Page 43. My italics and bullets.)

True Love

Heard this song for the first time yesterday.  I was struck by the word–think of the passages

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3ZK5jHYuoU&feature=PlayList&p=1973B28D7D40FD99&playnext=1&index=41

True Love 
by Phil Wickham

Come close listen to the story
About a love more faithful than the morning
The Father gave his only son just to save us

The earth was shaking in the dark
All creation felt the Father’s broken heart
Tears were filling heaven’s eyes
The day that true love died, the day that true love died
When blood and water hit the ground
Walls we couldn’t move came crashing down
We were free and made alive
The day that true love died, the day that true love died

Search your heart, you know you can’t deny it
Come on, lose your life just so you can find it
The Father gave his only son just to save us

The earth was shaking in the dark
All creation felt the father’s broken heart
Tears were filling heaven’s eyes
The day that true love died, the day that true love died
When blood and water hit the ground
Walls we couldn’t move came crashing down
We were free and made alive
The day that true love died, the day that true love died

Now Jesus is alive
Jesus is alive
Jesus is alive
Jesus is alive
Jesus is alive
oh He is alive
He knows he can

When blood and water hit the ground
Walls we couldn’t move came crashing down
We were free and made alive
The day that true love died, the day that true love died

Come close listen to the story

Wednesday Wisdom: Frienship

Oh, the comfort-the inexpressible comfort of
feeling safe with a person.
Having neither to weigh thoughts,
Nor measure words-but pouring them
All right out-just as they are-
Chaff and grain together-
Certain that a faithful hand will
Take and sift them-
Keep what is worth keeping-And with the breath of kindness
Blow the rest away.

Dinah Maria Mulock Craik