Playlist

This post is largely geared towards EMB alumni.

Saturday night at EMB is a special time. It’s worshipful. It’s experiential. It is typically a time to rest and just be. Attendees often say they wish we could stay in that moment longer. We as staff usually agree! It is special.

I am often asked for the playlist from that event, so I thought I would just post it. That way folks can download the songs they choose. That said, each month it changes a little bit, so depending on when you attended there may be a song or two added or deleted. I’ve included the artists with the song titles; some of them are unique and not the original artists.

Enjoy!

Eastern Hills Church / Eric Ochocki

I Surrender All

Come Ye Sinners

Jesus Paid it All

David Crowder Band

Deliver Me

Because He Lives

Never Let Go

Big Daddy Weave

Redeemed

Gungor

Beautiful Things

Jason Gray

Remind Me Who I Am

Jadon Lavik

Nothing But The Blood

Abandon

Hero

Paul Baloche

You Gave Your Life Away

Coldplay

Fix You

Shane Everett Band

Came to My Rescue

Delirious?

My Soul Sings

 Jars of Clay

The Valley Song

 

 

Final Four

After the brief detour to talk about the many faces of a man in recovery, we’re getting back on track. Time to round out the discussion on Secondary Boundaries. What we’ve covered so far:

  1. Geographic
  2. Situational
  3. Relational
  4. Intellectual
  5. Psychological
  6. Financial

Now for the final 4.

7. Emotional feelings. This is the stuff going on at a heart level that might propel us into the addictive cycle. It is important to identify and acknowledge which emotions increase your propensity to medicate. That said, we have to go to the deepest levels. For example, Anger is easy to identify. However, underneath that anger may be hurt, fear, failure, shame or disappointment. We must identify those. Stress is a common one. But when many people say stress, what they mean is they feel overwhelmed and fearful of failure. Some guys act out when they feel excited and happy. Others when they feel sad, lonely or rejection.

8. Spiritualwhere are you and God? We know we can’t fight this alone. And we know that if God doesn’t intervene we’re hopeless. Sometimes God is near, sometimes far. In one of my groups a guy described his relationship with God like this: “I feel like I’m a member of a large audience, 1000’s of people, and I know God the way I know the speaker on a stage. He doesn’t know me, he just knows I’m out there. I don’t really know him, but I know he’s up there speaking, and I should be listening.” Living in that relational space with God could be a space where you act out sexually. Or perhaps when you feel like God is miles away. Or maybe even when you come off a mountain top high with God, like after a mens retreat. The important thing here is again to raise your awareness and plan for those occasions.

9. Physiological – think body. It is unfortunately too frequent for guys to say that crossed a line and acted out sexually because of some bodily urge. Is there a reality to our cycles of sperm production and the feelings of needing a release? Yes. And did God make appropriations in our bodies for that release? Yes. Which means we don’t have to take matters into our own hands (literally or figuratively). Don’t let natural urges be the driver on acting out. Create plans around physiological boundaries. Limit time laying in bed in the morning, or limit time in the shower. Double check your motive for pursuing sexual intimacy with your wife. Don’t give yourself the excuse that your urges and just natural impulses and thus you are entitled to some behavior. I always come back to this verse when thinking about these boundaries:

Jude 1:10b – and what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals – these are the very things that destroy them.

10. Technologicalanything related to technology. We’ve heard so many of the stories of guys acting out using playstations, kindles, ipads, cellphones, laptops, etc. There’s an endless supply of media devices to be used for evil or good. Don’t be so careless as to think that using an online device is safe. It is not. There is always a risk, even if you have a filters in place. Create safeguards around how & when you use technology. Make sure your accountability folks know those boundaries and help you be accountable for them.

Hopefully this info is helpful. Another reminder, the goal isn’t to have a narrow, boxed in life. It is to have freedom because we have guard rails that keep us from getting off in the ditch.

New Years Resolution = No More Porn

The new year is approaching, and so are the resolutions. For a ton of men around the country their resolution will be to quit porn. Maybe it will be yours? Unfortunately many of those same men will decide they can do so in quiet isolation, keeping their secrets to themselves, thinking they can pray their way out of an addiction they’ve behaved their way into.

It just won’t happen.

You’ll never find freedom this way.

The road to perpetual disappointment is paved with resolutions, good intentions and is littered with failed attempts to quit.  As my friend Doug Barnes, an EMB Counselor says, the road to freedom is paved with connection, accountability and relationships.

I hope you’ll change your new year’s resolution. Instead of quitting porn, I urge you to commit to daily accountability. Instead of focusing on what you want to stop, begin to focus on what you want to start. Resolve yourself to finding a couple of people willing to walk this with you: every single day. Ask them to receive your phone calls and to call you, to encourage you in the struggle and to demand you take next steps for help like counseling or the EMB workshop. If you’re married, ask them to help you find new ways to pursue your wife (non-sexually) and to serve her well. Ask them to help you renew your relationship with God and find new ways to pursue Him. With the help of people willing to walk with you, porn can become a distant memory. It will take time and effort, but it will be worth it. If you will commit to daily connection with God and a few healthy, safe men, your life will be different in a year.

2012 can be the year it all changes. I hope it will be for you.