Caught Out! My Internet Pornography Addiction

Caught Out! My Internet Pornography Addiction
…His heart was beating in his chest, his hands clammy with perspiration. A slight tremble passed through his body. He knocked on the bathroom door. He could hear her cries from behind the locked door as he waited for her reply.
His stomach knotted as beads of sweat ran from his forehead. Tears filled his eyes. Ashamed and embarrassed, he wondered how he could have been caught. He had intended to stop. This was the last time. She would never have known. He was going to change. He loves her.  It all started the day he bought that computer and downloaded the swimsuit model calendar. How could this have happened? A cold tingle passed through his body. He struggled to breathe. He would lose his wife and three month old baby. What would everyone think of him? He fell to his knees and dropped on his side on the passage floor. Curling into a ball, he sobbed silently to himself…”
Deadly secrets
Pornography is only one of the many sins that block our spiritual development, our relationships with loved ones, colleagues and, most importantly, our relationship with the Heavenly Father. We cannot accomplish any goals or life dreams if we live our lives in secret. The devil is waiting for a hold on us so that he can turn our lives upside down, hurting us and our loved ones. The devil is a manipulator with evil intentions. John 10:10 NKJ “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy…”
We have to make a decision to commit our lives 100% to God. Heb 11:6 NKJ “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”  Many of us fear commitment to God because it brings rejection and loss from the world. However, God loves us and wants to be part of every area of our lives.
Mercy is God not giving us what we deserve. God is a merciful God; therefore, we must confess our sins before him.  1 John 1: 9 NKJ, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  Secrets are chains that keep us from living the life God wants us to live. We must expose the work of the devil, in order to release the hold he has on our lives.  John 3:19-22 NKJ, “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil, for everyone practising evil hates the light and does not come to the light lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
We must confess our sins before man. James 5:16 NKJ, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
Be accountable to a minister or trusted friend.
Serving God completely
The more people pray for our burdens, the lighter they are for us. We must understand that there are consequences for our actions even though we have been forgiven. Once forgiveness comes, healing can begin and an inner transformation will occur.
We must serve God wholeheartedly. 2 Chron 16:9 NKJ, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.”  We cannot do it alone; we need the help of others.  Heb 10:23-25 NKJ, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much more as you see the Day approaching.”
 God is in control, He has the power to give and to take away. Isa 45:9-10, “Woe to him who strives with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth! Shall the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’ Or shall your handiwork say, ‘He has no hands’?” vs. 12, “I have made the earth, and created man on it. I – My Hands – stretched out the heavens, and all their hosts I have commanded.”
Don’t let it get to the point where the devil has control. Don’t end up lying on the passage floor. Hand it all to God, give Him control of your life, and never give up. Prov 24:16 NKJ, “For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again…”
Practical steps for change
“It seemed as though hours had passed since his wife had locked herself in the bathroom. His sobbing had stopped and a fog of silence had filled the house. The key in the lock turned and the bathroom door opened slowly. He quickly lifted himself off the floor and looked his wife in the eyes and saw they were red and swollen from crying. Their baby lay sleeping in her arms. He gently wiped the tears from under her eyes and put his arms around her and their baby. He had decided to make a commitment to fight the addiction to pornography and regain the trust he had lost from his wife. 
He returned to his local church to seek council. It was not going to be easy. His pastor suggested that he sit down with his wife and inform her of the changes he needed to make and the support he needed from her in order to fight the addiction; that he purchase a programme that filters any pornographic sites and blocks access to them immediately; that he ask that all magazines in the house be kept hidden from him – for as the saying goes – ‘Out of sight,out of mind’. 
In the months ahead inner transformation had begun and the relationship with his wife was growing from strength to strength. He had broken the hold that the devil had on his marriage and had made a commitment to become a true man of God.”

Turn Good Friday into God Friday

Turn Good Friday into God Friday
“The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Cor 1:18
This Good Friday gather your family together to study the immense importance of what God accomplished for us on the Cross of Calvary.  Study these Scriptures and show your family ‘Ben Hur’ or ‘The Passion of the Christ’ films.  If you could hear a recital of Handel’s Messiah that would be a tremendous worship experience.
The Centrality of the Cross
All too often the Cross is seen as the ‘national flag’ of the Church. But the Cross was never meant to be the mere nostalgic symbol of a religious system. Neither is the Cross a signpost. The Cross was not meant to re-direct our lives, but to end them. The Cross is not an ornament, but an instrument of death!
The Cross was used by the Romans in the same way as others have used the gallows, a gas chamber, an electric chair or a firing squad. The Cross in the Bible was an instrument of death, yet out of it has come life. It was meant to be the sign of a curse, but it has become a symbol of God’s blessing. It should have signified defeat, yet through it Christ achieved a triumphant victory. Christ has turned that instrument of destruction into the means of salvation.
 The Necessity of the Cross
 (1) God is Holy and He cannot overlook sin. His justice must be maintained.“God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood. He did this to demonstrate His justice, so as to be the One who justifies the man who has faith in Jesus.”  Rom 3:25-26
(2) God’s Law is immutable and His Holy Nature demands punishment of sin.“God’s curse on anyone who does not obey all of God’s Laws and teachings.”  Deut 27:26
(3) God had declared that the penalty for sin would be death.“The soul who sins is the one who will die.”  Ezk 18:4  “For the wages of sin is death.”  Rom 6:23
 (4) Christ taught His disciples that the Atonement was necessary.“These are the very things I told you about while I was still with you: everything written about Me in the Law of Moses, the writings of the Prophets and the Psalms had to come true… this is what is written: the Messiah must suffer and must rise from death three days later.”  Luke 24:44-46
Christ, by His death on the Cross, gave His life as a ransom for our sins. “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.” God was the initiator; it was because He “so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” Christ’s death reveals His infinite love for us and awakens in us a reciprocal love (2 Cor5:14), but that is not the basis of our acceptance before a Holy God. Christ, through His death on the Cross, overcame the world (John 16:33); disarmed the powers and authorities; made a public spectacle of them and triumphed over them by the Cross (Col 2:15).  Christ destroyed the works of the devil (1 John 3:8) and set us free (Heb 2:14, 15). Yet we are not only victims of Satan needing deliverance and liberation, we are also guilty sinners needing forgiveness.
The Work of the Cross
“As it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one’ … for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  Rom 3:10-12, 23
There are four New Testament words which express the Salvation we have in Christ: Sacrifice, Propitiation, Reconciliation and Redemption.
1. Sacrifice
Throughout the Old Testament redemption is connected with the shedding of blood and substitution.
When Abel killed the firstborn of his flock as a sacrifice (Gen 4:4), he symbolised several important truths:
a) sin must be judged
b) a price must be paid for sin
c) the innocent must die for the guilty
d) without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
When Abraham was told to kill his only son, God provided a substitute to die in place of Isaac (Gen 22:8). This foreshadowed the time when God would show His love for us by sending His own beloved Son as a sacrifice to die in our place for our sins.
At the Passover God delivered His people from both the bondage of slavery and from the danger of death through the shed blood of the sacrificial lambs (Exod 12). In this powerful picture of God’s redemption of His people, we can see a type of the Lamb of God. For “Christ our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed” 1 Cor 5:7, in order to deliver us from the bondage of sin and from the sentence of death.
Hundreds of years before Christ, the prophet Isaiah described in detail the future sacrifice of Christ:
“He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed … the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all… For the transgression of my people He was stricken… and the Lord makes His life a guilt offering… My Righteous Servant will justify many, and He will bear their iniquities.”  Isa 53:5-11
 The New Testament era begins with John the Baptist pointing to Jesus and proclaiming: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!”  John 1:29
Jesus is our Passover lamb (1 Cor 5:6-8); our sin offering (Rom 8:3); our atonement (Rom 3:25). When Christ, the perfect Son of God, a lamb without spot or blemish (1 Pet 1:19) shed His precious blood on the cross it was a substitutionary death. He died for us, in our place (1 Pet 3:18), the innocent for the guilty, the just in the place of the unjust.
2. Propitiation
While the ‘Sacrifice’ deals with our guilt, ‘Propitiation’ refers to Christ’s covering of our sin in order to remove God’s wrath. God’s wrath is that Holy revulsion by the Godhead against all sin and evil. Christ’s propitiation is God Himself taking upon His own holy and eternal heart the implications of His own wrath.
“He is the propitiation for our sins.”  1 John 2:2  “This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”  1 John 4:10
Through His death on the Cross, Christ removed the wrath of God, which was abiding over us, by covering over our sins. By removing our guilt, Christ saved us from God’s wrath.
3. Reconciliation
On the Cross, Christ’s love dealt sacrificially with the implications of our sin and gave us “peace with God.”  Rom 5:1
“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we have now received reconciliation.”  Rom 5:8-11. Reconciliation is God’s work: “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.” 2 Cor 5:19. Our sin had made us enemies of God and it was necessary that Christ should make peace between us by dealing with the cause of the enmity, our sin, on the cross.
 “For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things . . . by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.”  Col 1:19, 20
4. Redemption
Because of our bondage to sin, Christ died to set us free. Christ gave His life “as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45. A ransom is the price paid in order to secure a release. The sinner has been bound to the law of sin and death.
Our redemption from sin is past, present and future:
We were redeemed from the Penalty of our sins. This deals with our guilt. We are fully forgiven for our sins.  (Col 1:14)
We are being redeemed from the Power of our sin. This deals with our natures. We are progressively delivered from our sin.  (Titus 2:14)
We shall be redeemed from the Presence of all sin. This deals with the very presence of sin. We shall be eternally freed from sin.  (Rom 8:23)
 “We wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our Great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness.”  Titus 2:13
 “You are worthy . . . because You were slain and with Your blood You purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.”  Rev 5:9
PETER HAMMOND is a missionary, Bible-teacher and author. For more information, contact:
021 689 4480;; or email

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Married But Not Engaged

Married But Not Engaged
Many women are happily married, but long for greater intimacy with their husbands.  They may mention that their spouses are withdrawn and quiet and that they don’t take the leadership role in the home.  Other women say that although their husbands go to church, they back down from leadership positions or they may be constantly walked over in the workplace and do nothing about it.  These men come home and it may seem as though they are in a different world.  Quiet, aloof and completely disengaged, these men battle to express their emotions which leaves their wives feeling alone, frustrated and angry.  This is a man who is married, but not engaged with his wife at all.  He is passive and disconnected.
The problem with passive husbands is that they are still so ‘nice’.  They smile sweetly and go out of their way to never ruffle any feathers, even when they should.  Extremely easy going, the ‘Christian Nice Guy’ would rather stand back than be part of the action.  Are you married to one?
•              Does he battle to say no to people or projects?
•              Does he lack leadership in your family?
•              Do you resent how his passivity influences your life?
•              Is he hard to respect because he appears weak?
•              Does he avoid setting and achieving goals?
•              Does he avoid conflict?
These are just some clues that your husband may indeed be too passive, but it is not simply a ‘shy personality’.  Masking pain with a smile and pretending that everything is fine, while deep down he is boiling with anger, is actually a much bigger problem that needs to be addressed.  No-one can be ‘nice’ all the time, and if they are, they are hiding a much deeper, underlying problem.
Forces that make and keep men passive

A culture at ends with masculinity – our culture is becoming more and more women-dominated.  Women are raising children on their own, women are working hard and earning enough money to support their whole family, women are growing into leadership in church, work and sadly, in the home too.  Men can start to feel disposable and no longer needed.  Men used to be the ones who went to work and supported their families; they were the ones who had to step up and take leadership in the home.  These days those lines are blurred and the result is that many men just sit back and ‘go with the flow’.


The psychology of passivity – many men have a psychological tendency to passivity, especially men who have survived the trauma of childhood abuse, neglect and abandonment.  Later in life, the shame and fear associated with these events may lead to depression and anxiety and ultimately, passivity.

These forces and many others may have contributed to your husband’s passivity, but they pale when compared to the power a good woman has in the life of a man.  No other person possesses your potential to help move your husband in a better direction.  You might just be the person God uses to help set him free.
Emotions of a ‘Christian Nice Guy’
Passive people the world over have difficulty expressing emotions and men, on average, have a harder time expressing emotions. So it’s a dual challenge for a passive ‘Nice Guy’ to be emotionally available – a prerequisite to being intimate.  Men need to be encouraged and shown how to harness their emotional power to help create stronger bonds with the people they love. 
Some ‘Christian Nice Guys’ also struggle with depression, which further diminishes and marginalises emotional engagement.  Signs that your husband may be depressed include the following:
•              loss of interest in activities he once enjoyed
•              feelings of sadness or emptiness that last more than two weeks
•              change in appetite
•              sleep disturbances
•              anxiety, irritability and fatigue
Men suffering from depression seldom talk about it and these symptoms often need to be highlighted in order for them to see and realise what they are.
When your husband learns to be honest about what he thinks and feels, especially with you, your relationship can only improve. Nagging your husband and repeatedly going after him with unkind words or criticism will only push him deeper and deeper into his ice cave.  You need to approach him gently and, once you have said what you need to say, rather back down and allow the Lord to work in his heart. 
Handling your emotions
Of the negative and unpleasant emotions that go through the upset mind of a woman married to a passive man, three of the biggest are anger, dwindling respect and resentment.  Some of the anger you face is the result of false expectations and the feeling that you have no control, leaving you with the sinking feeling of powerlessness.  This is, however, inaccurate.  You have far more power than you realise.  The state that most men long to experience in their home is tranquility.  You can start to create that state by letting go of illegitimate expectations of him.  Don’t expect him to change, rather change yourself first and see the amazing transformation that occurs in his life. Respect for your husband needs to be unconditional. You may not feel respectful, but you need to show it in your behaviour.  Respect is crucial to a man’s feeling of self-worth.  In an American survey, 400 men were given a choice:  Be left alone and unloved in the world or feel inadequate and disrespected by everyone.  Faced with one or the other, 74% said they’d rather be alone and unloved.  These are startling statistics that show how critical your respect is to your husband’s self-esteem, confidence and ultimately his growth away from passivity.
More practical ways to nurture intimacy
Express yourself, then listen with empathy.  One study shows that the average married couple actively communicate 27 minutes a week.  Most businesses would crash and burn under the same priorities and circumstances. Expressing yourself in a truthful, concise, non-shaming and gracious manner builds intimacy.  Many women expect their spouses to somehow read their hearts and minds to discover how they feel and think.  Men need to be told how we feel.  Listening to what he has to say is just as important.  Listening empathetically means you need to give him your undivided attention and try to feel what he feels.  Live your life as an example and instead of complaining about others, focus on your own growth, healing and development.  Instead of praying to be delivered from life’s inevitable difficulties, pray for strength to endure.  Let your husband see your struggles, warts and all.  You don’t need to be perfect.  Joyful, hopeful people know the world isn’t always fair and they charge ahead anyway.  This is a huge lesson for passive people to learn as they often blame others for their problems.  By setting a Godly example you will be helping your husband, and anyone else around you, to be inspired to live a better, more productive life.
Think of all the wonderful things about your husband and don’t just focus on the negative.  Think of:
•              The things that physically attract you to him
•              Something about him you cherish
•              A way you can spoil him, such as planning a night out together
•              His many gifts
•              Ways you can spend more time together
Johan Wolfgang Von Goethe said, “If you treat a man as he is, he will stay as he is.  But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become the bigger and better man.”
The best chance of creating greater intimacy with your husband begins with you.  He isn’t so much a problem to be fixed as a person that needs to be understood and appreciated.  Pray that the Lord will give you strength and that He will guide you every step of the way.  Developing a closer relationship with the Lord will go a long way in developing a deeper relationship with your husband.
Marriage is the most demanding classroom of love.  Loving someone who right now appears to unlovely to you, may be a larger display of spiritual brawn and faith than all the money you will ever tithe or Scripture verses you will ever memorise.  Get behind your husband and support him unconditionally.  Possess the kind of character and strength that will help your husband refuse to be passive any longer.  
When you muster your courage, creativity and faith and when you begin to rightly trust the power of the Lord in your lives, you will help forge a path toward the intimacy with your husband that he will soon realise he wants and he will desire to build this same intimacy with you.  You will discover that although your husband’s overcoming of passivity is challenging, it is certainly not impossible.  You can share a life of being both married and engaged.

Angus Buchan, Dying to Live

Angus Buchan, Dying to Live
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Gal 2:20 
The biggest Christian event in South Africa’s history is about to take place. In just a few weeks the annual pilgrimage to Greytown in KwaZulu-Natal will be happening. This has become an event which has grown from 200 men five years ago, to an estimated 30 000 men in 2008. They come from all over the world with hope, dreams and expectations and leave with renewed faith in God who continues to answer prayer!  At last year’s Mighty Men’s Conference, God’s Glory fell on the tent which housed 7 000 men, and lives were changed forever.  The question everyone is asking: ‘What will God do this year?’  Whatever He decides will be closely watched and word will spread far and wide bringing praise and glory to His Name. Never before has an event of such staggering proportions been staged on a farm. Yet it is destined to succeed as God is behind it and His Word never fails!
Jill, how long have you and Angus been married?
Close on 40 years and still enjoying it!
How do you cope with being married to a man with such great vision?
The vision is ours – we have grown in it together.
What role do you have in the organising of this whole conference?
I pray for Angus personally.
Do you ever get nervous?
Not much, my trust is in the Lord.
How many children do you have?  
Five – two boys and three girls.
Do they have a role in this conference?
Yes, Andy leads the Praise and Worship, Robyn and Jilly sell our books and ‘Grassroots’ DVDs, Fergie and my two sons-in-law, Greg & Dougal, are involved in the camping and organisation of MMC 2008.
Do you travel with Angus on his international ministry trips?
No, I stay and look after Shalom with the help of the family.

Angus, what made you jump from 7 000 men last year to wanting 30 000 this year?
This was the response from the men last year. In faith they expect 23 000 – 30 000 men for 2008.
The logistics for this event must be staggering…
We have booked the biggest tent in the world.  It is called the ‘Super Structure’.  It was located on the internet and according to the website it is the biggest tent in the world.  It resides in Johannesburg and takes professional riggers three weeks to erect.  It is the size of three rugby fields put together. The weight of the canvas alone is 200 tons. It is going to take 18 pantechnicons to bring it down to the farm in KwaZulu-Natal. The main masts, 16 of them, stand the height of a three-storey building. 30 000 chairs will be needed.  We are camping
20 000 men on the three farms surrounding the tent. Grass has been planted instead of crops and the grass is growing well – it has been mowed three times already. We are looking at placing eight giant TV screens inside the tent to allow the men to see what is happening.
An elevated platform will be set up in the middle of the tent to house the band and the speakers.  The video team and photographers will have their own platform from which to shoot. The sound system is awesome. Security will be in place to keep order. We are catering for 90 000 meals/teas with 15 000 loaves of bread and 200 000 cold drinks. 
Why are you hosting this conference on your farm instead of just preaching around the country?
We had a mandate from God five years ago and the men want to come to Shalom.  In 1980 God called us to make Shalom a place for the Holy Spirit to move.  The name of our chapel is ‘Bethel’ which means ‘God is here’. God has been moving ever since.
What do you hope the results of this conference to be?
Men will take up their rightful positions in the home as prophets, priests and kings. Reconciliation:  marriages, fathers and sons.  The spirit of Elijah is coming before the Lord returns again. Read Mal 4:6
What has the Lord laid on your heart for this conference as the main focus ?
This year’s theme is ‘Dying to Live’.  Gal.2:20; John 12:24
Can you mention some of the issues you will deal with?
The Sovereignty of God in a man’s life will be looked at.  Men will be encouraged to walk by faith and not by sight and to take ownership of what God has given them eg: families, businesses and farms.  God will restore men’s dignity and break bondages in their lives, setting them free.
Do you expect many unsaved men to attend?
Yes, we have experienced this in the last four years. Some arrive as sinners and by the time they leave they are on fire for God. Thousands have made first time commitments to Jesus Christ.
You normally do not take up an offering at your conferences – how is the conference financed?
By faith in God.  God told us to do this and He has supplied all our needs every year.
Are you able to share some of the costs with our readers…How are you testing your faith?
I would rather not.  Suffice to say that God has to do this because no man can as the costs are enormous.
If men make a commitment to Christ, how will you follow up?
There is an opportunity for every man to make a commitment. Their friends who bring them are responsible to follow up and we can put them in touch with churches in their communities. 
How involved are you personally in the arrangements?
I’m not involved at all!  There is a dedicated committee in place which handles all the necessary arrangements. I have the final say in their decisions.
Do you think your farm roads can handle all the traffic?
The KwaZulu-Natal Road Traffic Department will assist us. They were very gracious last year. This year there will be more emphasis on coming from every angle to the main tent.
What happens if everyone arrives at the same time – i.e. Friday lunchtime?
That will be very exciting! However, I think there will be a constant influx during the afternoon.
How are you going to handle all the admin work for registering folks?
We have set up a website for direct registration and the office staff assist those who do not have access to the internet.
Are people bringing tents or caravans?
Yes, both – we are providing campsites to accommodate 20 000 men. Hot and cold showers and portable toilets will be provided.
Can the men bring their own braai equipment for Friday night or must they eat the meals provided?
They are free to do what they wish.  Food will be supplied for three meals, which includes the Friday evening. The men must supply their own breakfast, all other meals are free.
How are you going to get around in such a large tent?
Various ideas on this issue are being looked at this time – perhaps a quad bike!
How does one go about booking for the conference?
Telephone the Shalom office on 033 417 1695 if you do not have any access to the internet.
So there you have it!  Are you ready to be a part of this major God-inspired event which will be making history throughout South Africa and the rest of the world? Book early to avoid disappointment! This is a Spirit-filled event that will impact your eternal choices. Be prepared to be changed, be willing to allow God to change and direct you as He shakes your comfort zone and guides you on the path He wants you to follow. Remember, He will never leave you nor forsake you. See you in Greytown in April.