Imagine a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, praying in the quiet stillness of the Garden of Gethsemane, tracing the footsteps of the Messiah and walking through Hezekiah’s tunnel. . .. You can experience all this and much more when you join Steve Arterburn and New Life Ministries on this unforgettable tour of Israel in the summer of 2014.. For more information click here
Sunday, October 6th is the first day of Mental Health Awareness Week. Join us in our effort to urge educators, lawmakers, healthcare professionals, and church congregations to raise the awareness and lower the stigma of mental illness . . . and support the families that deal with mental illness on a daily basis. Tune in Monday, October 7 to hear a pre-recorded show that featured Kay Warren. Click here to listen to this short promo for the show.
In talking to alumni over the past few weeks, the thing that seems to keep cropping up is, “It’s summertime, and the women are wearing less clothing. How do I deal with that?” This summer is the perfect opportunity to practice ‘bouncing the eyes’ as Steve Arterburn and Fred Stoeker wrote about in the ‘Every Man’s Battle‘ book.
First of all, what exactly is meant by ‘bouncing the eyes?’ Well, as those of you who have read the book will know, it’s not complicated, but it is extremely effective. Steve writes: “The problem is that your eyes have always bounced toward the sexual, and you’ve made no attempt to end this habit. To combat it, you need to build a reflex action by training your eyes to immediately bounce away from the sexual, like the jerk of your hand away from a hot stove. Let’s repeat that for emphasis: “When your eyes bounce toward a woman, they must bounce away immediately. . .”
If you bounce your eyes for six weeks, you can win this war. As I write this, it is the middle of July, which means there are six weeks left of summer. Coincidence? I think not!
First Step: Make a List of Your Enemies!
The first way to start, Fred tells us, is by making a list of your “greatest enemies”. These could be lingerie ads, either in a seemingly harmless department store catalog, or that Victoria’s Secret magazine that your wife left laying around. It could include billboards, it could be TV shows or ads, it may be female joggers, or maybe it’s that female co-worker who tends to dress a little suggestively. And then there’s always the beach.
Second Step: Set up a Battle Plan!
In any event, the second step is to set up a “battle plan”, a way you are going to get victory. Let’s look at each of our examples:
- If you are looking at a department store catalog, make a covenant with your eyes and with yourself that you will only look at men’s clothes, and then you will close it.
- And if Victoria’s Secret is an issue, simply ask your wife to be discreet with where she leaves it. She will respect you for being honest with her.
- If billboards are a problem on your drive into work, and an alternate route is out of the question, make a mental note of which streets or exits on the freeway the billboards falls between, and then as you approach that area, focus on something else; prayer, some verses you’ve memorized, or even something else near the road that is neutral.
- As far as the TV goes, use your TV guide, turn on one show that you know is safe, and don’t flip around during commercials. Or if you’re watching a ball game and the advertisements are the problem, have the remote handy, and when the commercials come on, go to a program that you have already designated as being safe.
- Joggers. Practice bouncing your eyes to the other side of the road, or straight ahead. It will be tough at first but if you continue to do it, it will get easier as time goes on.
- At work, again, practice bouncing the eyes onto something else when that female comes into your line of sight. Have a picture of your family at your work place. Pretend that your wife, or if you’re single, maybe Jesus, is sitting next to you at your desk or wherever you’re working.
- If you have a problem at the beach, don’t go, at least until you feel this part of your life is under control. There are other ways to have fun during the summer.
The above suggestions are admittedly not rocket science, but too many of us neglect them. Let’s use this summer as a way to get victory, not an excuse to act out. Make it a goal to be regularly bouncing your eyes by Labor Day. God will honor you for it.
For more help, see Every Man’s Battle. You can also call 800-NEW-LIFE (639-5433)
In order to stay ‘in the fight’ for the long haul and be successful, you have to connect with others. For most of us, we may have the hunger and desire to connect, but struggle with HOW we do that especially when we’re in the midst of temptation.
It’s rather ironic that the Internet is about connecting people to each other, and it can be such a great tool for doing just that. But like any powerful tools, its purpose can be corrupted to the opposite extreme.
So many of the people I work with have found isolation and avoidance of interpersonal connections through the Internet. It’s amazing how subtle and desirable a substitute for the real can be.
“Who is SAFE?”
So, how do we go about making quality connection so that we can fight being in the battle alone? One of the first questions you must ask is: ‘Who is safe?’ The problem is that for many of us, we don’t even know what the word ‘safe’ means in regards to relationships. Professionals, who are bound by confidentiality are usually safe. But there are many others too. To understand what makes for safety in a relationship that will move you toward health and healing, think of a safe spot that you may have in your home. It’s a place where you place valuable things and know they will stay there protected. You’ll want to apply this same principle to your struggle. Look for who you can tell the ‘good, bad, and ugly’ stories to and be rest assured that they will stay ‘safe!’ It’s by communicating these personal stories that each of us can find freedom from many of the lies that Satan would have us believe about ourselves.
Make the Accountability Connection Work for You
Being connected to someone for accountability means that they will know what questions to ask you, because they will know your weaknesses. But to help make the accountability connection work for you, ask your partner to do the following:
- Call you every day (or whatever the two of you work out between you).
- Ask you ‘How you are feeling.’
- Then ask you, ‘Now, how are you REALLY feeling!?’
- Ask you ‘What do you have planned today to build the life God wants for you?’
- Ask you, ‘Who are you resenting, angry at? Where do you feel out of control?’
- Ask you, ‘Where is the greatest point of desperation in your life?
- Connecting with someone who will ask you these questions and encourage you in your life’s journey will change your life. If finding a trustworthy confidant is tough for you, we’d like to help.
Call us today on 800-NEW-LIFE (639-5433).
Tune in on July 4th and listen to Steve Arterburn talk about this remarkable story of love, purity and the power of prayer. Read more . . .
There is a stark contrast between family life a hundred years ago and today’s modern family. Boys of yesteryear had significant daily interaction with their dads, but today’s dad is mostly absent for one reason or the other. Somehow the American father has all but disappeared from his family. Yet one thing remains constant: boys still long for intimacy and input from their fathers. The lyrics in that great country song by Rodney Atkins so succinctly makes my point:
“I’ve been watching you dad, ain’t that cool?
I’m your buckaroo, I wanna be like you.
And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are.
We got cowboy boots and camo pants
Yeah, we’re just alike, hey, ain’t we dad?
I want to do everything you do.
So I’ve been watching you.”
Boys beg their fathers to teach them how to do ‘men’ things, like play baseball, be in the outdoors, or fix things. But with their dads missing from their lives, many boys grow up with those yearnings and needs largely unfulfilled. The result of this absent dad has left behind a generation that is riddled with stories of masculine anger.
Many men today have approached manhood feeling unprepared and ill equipped. They come into manhood knowing very little about how a man works, plays, relates to other men, and loves women. Men today are trying to act and function as men in this world, just as their fathers seem to have done. But at the same time, they struggle because their dads never showed them how.
Experience has shown us that the men who are happiest and most content in their masculine role are those whose fathers invested time and energy into their lives. These dads may have worked outside the home, as the vast majority of fathers in our society do today. But their priorities were in the right place. They were committed in principle, and found concrete ways to maintain a positive, nurturing relationship with their sons. These fathers helped their sons discern and nurture their individual talents, and supported them in their chosen careers. They identified their sons’ strengths and weaknesses and addressed them accordingly. They attempted to understand their sons’ unique ambitions, and appreciated their achievements. In short, these fathers helped their sons become men. And as a result of their investments, their sons are among the most well-adjusted and peaceful husbands and fathers in our society.
However, men with these kinds of dads are in the minority today. Most men are struggling to recover from relationships with fathers who failed to nurture, affirm, and validate them at the most fundamental level. These men have had fathers who have abdicated their role and have left behind a legacy of pain, confusion, frustration, anxiety, bitterness, fear, and anger. These adult sons are often the angry men of our society.
If you are reading this today and are a dad, my question for you is which description best fits your situation? Are you reaping the benefits of a committed, invested father, or are you struggling to overcome a sonship that has left you a wounded and angry man? If it’s the latter, don’t remain stuck there—won’t you take steps to get some help? Call us today at 800-NEW-LIFE (639-5433) and let us help you on your journey to restoration.
This article was published in The Huffington Post yesterday. A great article that every Christian should read. Click here to read it. Excerpted from The Seven Minute Marriage Solution by Stephen Arterburn
Mothers of the Bible by Shamilla Yeary
The Bible is not known to feature women very prominently and the ones that are mentioned with the exception of Mary (the mother of Jesus) are not exactly the heroine type. They were broken and flawed yet God chose them to fulfill His plans and purpose.
Eve – the Mother of all Mothers. Conned by the serpent she lives on in infamy for causing the fall of man. Created out of the rib bone of her mate, Adam, she was intended to be a companion and helper but when she helped herself to the fruit of the tree of good and evil, her world was irrevocably changed. It must not be forgotten however that she was the Mother of all mankind. The first woman to endure the grueling pains of childbirth; she was also the first mother to feel the heartache of having her son murdered. While we can pin the fall of man on Eve, we must admit that she was a pioneer in a world with no operating instructions. She had no mom to consult about her children’s childhood diseases, no babysitters and definitely no Motherhood for Dummies books. As flawed as Eve was, she has some valuable lessons for us. As women we are vulnerable, vulnerable to Satan and His plans to destroy our marriages and families. We are most vulnerable when we are alone, hence staying connected with our spouse, family, church, friends and other women is important. We must protect ourselves by being discerning, we become discerning by knowing and studying the word of God. Our knowledge of what God’s truth is for our lives gives us an edge when the enemy comes to rob, steal and undermine God’s truth. I believe that God brought restoration to Eve when she bore Seth, whose heritage can be traced to Jesus. The Savior of the world was born to the line of the first woman who had chosen to disobey Him. Now that’s Redemption!
Sarah – Mother of the Nation of Israel. The promise that God made Sarah might have seemed a little far-fetched, just a tad crazy even. He promised her motherhood when she was a crusty ninety-year old. So she laughed at the idea, out loud! Then as if laughing in disbelief was not bad enough, she tried to help God by convincing her husband to have a baby with her servant, Hagar. She doubted God, laughed at His promise and then acted on her unbelief. Yet through Sarah, we see the God of the impossible, God the promise keeper, through this broken woman He birthed a nation that He called the apple of His eye. Then later, He tested her again, when He asked for the life of her beloved son, Isaac. He showed her His mercy and love for both Abraham and herself when He provided a lamb for the sacrifice instead. That’s His Provision!
Hannah – Mother to the prophet Samuel. Hannah bore the worst stigma of her time, she was barren. Even in these modern times, the word “barren” is an ugly word. A word no woman who desires a family wants to hear. Hannah did not have the luxury of expensive fertility treatments; worse still while her husband’s other wives bore him children, she could not. In her time, a big family was a sign of blessing, and she had none. She was probably looked down upon, ridiculed, and therein laid Hannah’s brokenness. Yet she was unrelenting in her pursuit of God to answer her prayers for a child. She prayed fervently and spent many, many hours in His temple begging that the Lord would allow her to bear a child. Even though, she prayed so fervently, Hannah seemed to get her affirmation from the people around her rather than God. Yet He chose to answer her pleas. He gave her Samuel. Years later she would keep her promise to God and give Samuel back to Him. As mothers we know how difficult letting go of our children can be even when we release them to the perfect will of God. God honored the prayers and perseverance of a very determined woman and went on to give her the acceptable blessing of her time by giving her three more sons and two daughters. That’s Restoration!
Mary – The Mother of a Savior. God called her blessed among women because He chose her to carry and birth His son. She carried in her a sacred treasure, a God in flesh. A poor, lowly, unassuming, and ordinary girl who would bear the King of Kings. God chose Mary because she was obedient and willing. She was willing to endure the shame of being unwed (at first) and pregnant. She risked losing the love and respect of Joseph, her fiancé when she said yes to God. She chose obedience. Mary did not have the comfort of an epidural or the indulgence of a private hospital room. She brought a King, the Son of God into the world on a filthy stable floor and years later she would watch her perfect, blameless son endure one of the most violent deaths. For those who have surrendered a child to death, you know that it is probably the single most heartbreaking thing a parent goes through. Mary grieved for her son……but she also had to go on with the business of living. That’s Hope!
On this Mother’s Day I pray that you will know how very precious you are in God’s eyes. If your children have forgotten to celebrate you, know that He celebrates you. The Bible says that He rejoices over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). God uses the broken, the unworthy, the poor, the humble and even the disobedient, unfaithful and disbelieving because He is faithful. He is our provider and our redeemer. He promises hope and restoration. Whatever your story is, there is room in His heart for you. Happy Mother’s Day!
The Trenner Family has been long time friends of the ministry. Last month their daughter, Ashley, lost her battle with melanoma. Ashley was 40 years old when she died. In her younger adult years, she was a frequent user of tanning beds. She threw off the warnings and concerns that the use of tanning could be dangerous to her and might cause melanoma. However before she died, she became a strong spokesperson against the use of tanning beds and regretted that she didn’t heed those warnings. Below is her story, which was shared at her memorial service. We share this with you knowing that God is a redemptive God. Ashley’s desire was that out of her death there might come a new awareness of melanoma – how to prevent it and find early detection and treatment.
Thank you, Bob and Karen, for allowing us to share Ashley’s story with our New Life family and audience.
In 2003, a tiny lesion appeared on Ashley’s right buttock. A dermatologist removed the lesion and the pathology was negative. Within a year the lesion reappeared. Since she didn’t have medical insurance or the money to have it removed again, she didn’t go to a doctor until the lesion got a little larger than a quarter and it became very painful. In 2006, she went to a different dermatologist to have the lesion removed. This time the result was melanoma. At Seattle Cancer Care Alliance she immediately had a larger biopsy on her right buttock and a lymph node dissection in the right groin. This was crucial surgery because if the cancer spread internally the survival rate is less than 50% in 5 years, and difficult to treat. If melanoma is caught in the beginning stages and hasn’t metastasized the survival rate is over 95% and is highly treatable. Ashley’s sentinel node, which is closest to the lesion, tested positive. One month later she had another surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible removing more tissue and lymph nodes in the groin. Treatment began with Interferon 2 months after this surgery. For 3 years her checkups were negative for melanoma. On Thanksgiving in 2009, she discovered a lump on her right hip which was diagnosed as melanoma. In 2010, she started a series of clinical trial drug studies; MDX, Yervoy, and OncoVex. In January, 2011, her scans showed cancer in her lymph nodes, both sides of her groin, liver, upper back, and lungs. In October, 2011, she entered another clinical trial drug study, MEK/BRAF. The cancer eventually reached the brain and in October, 2012, she had gamma knife surgery. Two months after this surgery she did one phase of InterLuken 2. Her scans showed continued growth of melanoma so nothing more could be done. In January, 2013, she entered the hospital to remove 4 inches of her intestines due to a blockage. A few weeks later she reentered the hospital to have a PEGG tube placed in her stomach. On February 6, Ashley moved to her parents where she received hospice care. On March 1, she was taken to the emergency room and the next day she was moved to the Evergreen Hospice Center. On March 11 she was taken by ambulance to her parents where she wanted to be when she died. On March 15 at exactly 5:00 am Ashley left us after her seven year, courageous battle against metastatic melanoma.
Lessons learned by Ashley:
- Don’t use tanning beds.
- Don’t procrastinate if you see something suspicious on your skin.
- Do get regular skin checkups by a dermatologist.
And Mom says, “ask for help if you need it.”