Kill the meat!

I have a great friend…like a Jonathan in my life who happens to be a life long bodybuilder.  He’s good at what he does to say the least.  I don’t think he has eaten a cookie in 25 years or longer!  His loss?  Not if you ask him.  He is dedicated to seeking the Lord for what his body should have in it.  What a privilege to have learned so much from him over the years.  But I still enjoy cookies!  haha

In working out with him he would say, “kill the meat,” then your done!  What that meant was far more than just testosterone driven terms that seem good in his gym (to which we named, Bethel).  To kill the meat meant to work out with purpose in every rep.  To think through what you are doing.  Your form, your body & the oxygenation to the muscle.  It too meant to do this until your muscle is done, finished, no longer able to go!  You could always do more, but the potential for harm would go up considerably because you have already, “killed the meat!”  There is a time where you have done just enough.  No more is needed.

When we think of getting rid of things that hinder our walks with Christ, I can think of it as killing the meat.  What I mean here is that amputation of your phone, tv, etc…can get tiresome over time.  You do well, and then you fall to something else.  The pattern goes on and on.  But what amputation of these items does is make it quite tiresome to find the password or by-pass the road blocks that have been set.  Do you get my meaning.  Over the time of my life, I have amputated time and time again.  And over time I have fought and fought to once again get through the blocks to watch more of what I wanted.  Many just give up the fight all together.  But don’t do that!  Keep on with the seesaw gyration of amputating and then not amputating if we must!  Over time what we hope will happen is we will become a worn out rebel!  Too tired to break back into the enemies castle.  What was once an exciting venture in our youth (not so much age) our knees cannot take anymore.  Our hands hurt.  The back is damaged.  It is just too tuff muster the energy and fight to rebel anymore.  We have now surrendered.  Yet in doing so, we found the peace we sought at the beginning of it all!

This is where the Lord will take us in our rebellion from his ways when we enter into sexual sin.  He is patient and longsuffering.  Much more than you or I.  He will wait it out!  Until then.  Keep amputating until you are too pooped to fight against the blocks that have been put in place.  May then the white flag be raised!

And if your hand–even your stronger hand–causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.  Matthew 5:30

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.  Galatians 6:9

What’s In a Webpage Statement?

What does it mean to Advocate for Faith Hope and Love in Sex, Sexuality & Sensuality as our webpage states?

It is a question that I have wanted to answer for a time now, but now just getting around to it.  As the founder of RLM I have given it thought how the three; faith, hope and love, should support our decisions regarding sex, sexuality and sensuality.  But first let me discuss the later three just for a moment.

I believe that sex, sexuality and sensuality are all different yet very relatable to one another.  We do think that the three working together, in consort with one another, is much better than when one is singled out at the expense of the others.  We could have sex without sensuality, yet Im not sure that would be a very fun & healthy experience. It might look more like a prostitute kind of relationship.  You might not care much about their sensuality, or even there sexuality for that matter. The buyer simply wants to get off.  He is not interested in the catch or the life of the ‘other.’ But when the three are in unity with faith, hope & love we believe we have the best potential of lasting joy in the sexual experience.  This is our opinion.

But how would we know if sex, sexuality and sensuality were being expressed in right ways?  What a good question! Which brings us to finding a standard to measure these three against.  What we have found is when Biblical faith, hope and love become that standard which the other three are influenced by, then we get further to the intent of God for sex, sexuality and sensuality, and closer to glorifying God in them, which is our passion.  To be perfect in sex, sexuality and sensuality would be awesome to us. Yet we feel that we have not done so well. Though we understand we are not alone. Just because we know that we will never be able to hit a home run ever time we are up to bat does not mean we do not learn and practice to get closer to such a high goal!  Faith, Hope and Love become our teachers in such an education.

Let me try and begin by defining these words:

  • When we refer to sex, we are referring to sexual activity.
  • As human beings we have the capacity of sexual feeling and preferences.  This is what we are calling sexualtiy.
  • Sensuality can be defined as the enjoyment, expression, or pursuit of physical, especially sexual, pleasure

These are well enough definitions I think.  Sure we could dink around with them a bit here and there, but for my purposes, they work, and all of us believe there included in the Biblical narrative as seen in the lives of men & women.

The Bible was written over 1500 years by many authors, yet it is said in the New Testament book of Peter, that it actually was the Holy Spirit that moved upon the writers.  I find this kind of cool due to the inclusion of these three in it’s pages. Having these three included in the Bible reiterates what I already understand in life. That is these three are a part of the human condition of being.  As humans we have sex. As humans we have feelings and desires regarding sex. And as humans we can pursue the joy of sexual pleasure in our lives. Wouldn’t it be odd if you had a Holy book that did not include such normal observed behavior in the world?  Ours does!

When I was younger, I did not look at the three in light of such words as Faith, Hope and Love.  These three never actually related much to the other three. Where would I have learned about faith in sex?  What is faith in sex? What is faith? Or how does Biblical hope in Christ’s return to earth affect my sexual feelings and preferences?  I never thought that a BIblical definition of love could govern my pursuit of sexual pleasure. In short, I was completely secular. And this is what our statement is striving against at it’s basic level.

The inclusion of Faith, Hope & Love in Sex, Sexuality & Sensuality is our aim here.  And this leads us to search our sacred texts for answers regarding such things. Having a safe place to do so within the Church culture is what we are offering.  

We also recognize that within the Church environment there has been a plethora of strong opinions regarding sex, sexuality and sensuality.  Some of these views have lead to heinous acts in the name of God. We do not recognize these acts as being in faith, hope and love. Within our current culture we find having a place to discuss, study & pray about the topics of sex, sexuality and sensuality, in a familiar Bible study format can be very intellectually satisfying.  This is why we use the term advocating. It means to publicly support. And our hope is to support those that desire to pursue that standard which is ultimately God. Quite an endeavor for sure!

 

 

You Better Discuss Sex & Porn

By now, hopefully you know that the internet has much of everything.  You want to learn more about cooking, just get on google and type ‘cooking,’ and you’ll have a million or so pages to sift through of every kind of cooking imaginable.

So you certainly understand that sex too is a topic looked for as well.  Your not ignorant of that right?  And since sex is pretty much a vital part of our life it shouldn’t surprise you that many people young and old search for something related to sex every day online.
It also shouldn’t surprise you that being excited about watching sexual things on the computer is common.  People are sexually aroused by many things.  Sounds, touch, tastes, and seeing.  This is all very common knowledge.
Another common thing you should know is that arousal knows both genders!  Yep, girls and guys both are aroused!  Some are aroused more than another, and others by various means.  You get that I’m sure too.
So because you understand these common truths, start talking about it with your spouse or loved one.  This is a topic that you should not be running from.  Not in our world!
Why would you not talk about such a topic which is so common?
Do you think you can talk about sex and online porn with your ‘other?’  I sure hope so.
Maybe you will disagree on things, maybe not.  Maybe you will be able to work through some mis-understandings or past experiences that you have had before which have bothered you.  Maybe you’ll develop more compassion on one another or grow in your understanding of each others fears, insecurities and desires.  Maybe there will be opportunity for mercy, grace and forgiveness in your relationship.  What if you both grow in your knowledge of what the Bible teaches about this most interesting subject!  Maybe you would be able to chat with your kids about the subject before there school friends do! What if!  What if!!!
Avoiding a subject is education from absence.  And with it the ramifications which are deep and many, in a culture, family, marriage, and a person.
Change things.  Try not to avoid, instead engage.  Look for opportunities to bring up topics like this.  And ask non threatening questions.  It will get conversation going.  Are you scared you will hear something you do not want to?  Good, you are finally getting to the reason why you have avoided this.  It has nothing to do with sex or porn.  It’s fear.

Giving…

It is more blessed to give than to receive.  Acts 20:35
What a great passage and one that changed my sexual paradigm!  I never really thought of this passage dealing with the marriage bed.  Have you?
How is it more blessed to give?
The act of giving is such that its effects reach into the future, meaning it’s effects carry on.  The grace of giving has future implications.
It’s easy to see how sex (semen) can give to a wife a child, which is no small deal!  It’s how we all came to be.  This benefit continues to have it’s effects throughout our entire lives.  Our children impact our lives, and there kids etc…It’s very deep to think about this, and hope you spend a bit of time doing such a thing.  There is an amazing impact pro-creation  has on us.  But it starts with a initial giver, and receiver.
Giving is a reflection of God.  “God so loved the world that He gave.”  This means that there is a fruit with the giving which continues, and in turn produces more fruit.  In this way it is greater.  Living to receive alone, is a dead end.  Giving carries with it a impactful grace for continued future grace!  Gifts are like that.  They impact us not only in the present, but there effects stay with us.
Two ideas I would like to think through when it comes to this kind of giving are;   A. The giving of semen for the production of offspring, and B. the giving of pleasure for the bonding of the union.
Both are seen as a blessing in the Bible.  Hannah who desperately desired to have a child in 1st Samuel pleaded with God for a child.  She needed her tubes and his pipes to be productive.  One to receive and the other to give for her desires to come to fruition.  There is a uniqueness to the act of procreating.  The Song of Solomon concerns itself with the pleasure between a man and a woman.  There is no mention of children, and nor does there have to be.  There is plenty of giving one to another, and the bonding it produces is evident in our own lives.  Affectionate intimacy is important because it bears it’s own positive fruit in our lives.
Giving semen for a child and giving pleasure are beneficial and with incredible future implication.  In this way, it is more blessed to give than to receive.   And in these ways it  reflects the glorify of God.  God puts his seed in us to bear fruit, and our bonding with God is to be a bond of pleasure.  Think through these truths for a bit and I think you will see there is much Biblical merit in them.  Here is another quick blog on the idea of seed in the Bible and it’s link to God’s relationship with us.  https://runninglight.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/he-is-in-you/
There also other amazing implication to our Acts 20 passage; “it is more blessed to give than to receive.”
What if you brought this passage into your bed?  Here are some 3 ideas I come up with:
Sex would not be so narcissistic.
Growing up in the 80’s hair metal era in Southern California, I thought sex was about receiving alone.  It never dawned on me that there was a benefit in the giving of pleasure and the positive implications of procreating.  My mind was desperately cloudy and limited in its scope at the time. Porn only solidified my thoughts that receiving was where the benefit was.  Though porn did not create that idea.  It was already in me.
Arousal could be by giving.
This is not a new or entirely Christian concept.  Many of us have had the experience of being aroused by the giving of pleasure to another.  Sometimes just the thought of pleasing your beloved can keep a person awake!  Does your arousal come from only receiving?  And when giving, try to not give with the idea to get something back from your beloved.  Try thinking that your can be satisfied in the act of giving.  Think through this a bit.  For some, this is scary, as motivation for most giving in sex caries the idea of a return of like manner.
I would value procreating and pleasure.
God is about the business of both of these..  What does sex look like if it is unbalanced?  It can become simply about a selfish pleasing of ourselves or a un passionate duty of family planning.  Have you given it any thought how these two ideas glorify God in your sex life?  The implications of both on our future are cosmic!

Let The Souls Go Free!

This phrase is taken from the Bible.  Ezekiel 13:20.  It concerns God’s judgement on the daughters of Israel that were into divination.  Divination is seeking the knowledge of the future through the supernatural.   Like going to a gypsy who has a crystal ball to tell you your future.   They made money by it, and in turn captivated their audiences.  Men & women.

I find that pornography is something that is quite captivating as well just as these lady diviners were.  For all; men, women, young and old.  And though there is no clear spiritual exchange taking place in pornography, there can be such a pull to view pornography that it verifiably can seem like a magic spell of sorts on many.

Like I said, though there is nothing clearly stating, “Hi I am moved by spiritual beings to create porn,” there are Biblical passages that let us know otherwise.

“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you:[b] sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”  Colossians 3:5

Notice what sexual devious behavior is called; idolatry!  Idolatry is worshiping something that is not God.  It is a putting value on something greater than God.  But the word idolatry also carries the definition of fetishism which is an abnormal drive towards the valuing of a kind of sexual focus or desire.  A worshiping of it.  It seems this is a spiritual idea after all isn’t it?  In the temptation of the Christ, the goal of Satan was to have Jesus see his own personal health, wealth, and power to be of more value than obeying the Father.  Satan would win if Jesus would cave in to his own selfish desires.  But he would have none of it!

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”  Ephesians 6:12

When we come against the temptations, or after caving into a temptation, we later move against it by a repentant heart, or removing the obstacle in our way, then we are actually wrestling against spiritual entities!   That’s radical to pontificate on.  We fight not against people, but against an unseen, organized army behind the scene.  And there powerful.

There is a spiritual reality that the Bible stresses is real and active behind the things in our world.  Making sex a commodity or the unregulated capitalist context it thrives in are both made up of a spiritual component.   They both are powerful; the selling of sex and the economic context it thrives in have a goal in mind.  What are we to do?  Do we all have to unplug totally from the internet/cable or go hardcore of the grid to have a shot of victory?

Sport, Exhausting, To Clench Teeth, Give All, Leisure
Frustrated and Overwhelmed!

There is a comfort I get from the passage in Ezekiel.  It goes something like this…  God will judge those who prey on me.  Not just in the area of the entertainment of the world, but on the powers that be which create such a society.

The passage goes on to say that the ladies made the hearts of those who were taken in by them sad.  The people were burdened down by such promises from those who received financial gain through there exploitation’s.  Certainly many can attest to this sadness when being taken in by the availability of material that is made to cause lust in us.  It is created to cause a stumble, a downfall.  Such downfalls seem like out of control behavior.  Even giving our money over to them!  It can seem all to hard to resist!  But God promises to judge.

“‘This is because they have led my people astray saying, “All is well,” when things are not well.  Ezekiel 13:10

“Will you entrap my people’s lives, yet preserve your own lives?”  Ezekiel 13:18

There is always a promise that is made by those who receive money in most exchanges.  It can be that your investment will work out well, or that you will be satisfied with the product purchased.  In some cases there is a deception as the promised outcome is not what was promised.  This is so true with today’s lustful programming or entertainment.  How many world-wide spend hours a night watching adult material or reading adult material only to be bummed!  Bummed that you have wandering eyes, a seeming inability to say no, or not being honest about your actions.  There are many reasons to be bummed isn’t there!  It seems the power of this worlds ways are overwhelming and certainly exhausting.  And it is.  And it makes sense why!  We never in any time of history had so much eye candy to look at!  Our ancestors did not have to deal with this.  What we face today is underrepresented and not normal to us humans!

Just as we were not made to sit and look at a screen for hours, or eat foods that are made in a lab.  Looking at people having sex for hours on end has no benefit, and is a waste.   It actually makes many depressed.  I know it does and wish I never struggled with this.  May God use my own battles to help others.

God is compassionate to understand what we are up against.  Don’t blame God for the system that we are in.  It is our doing for sure.  Blaming God won’t get us anywhere.  I simply am comforted that he will judge.  There is a day coming, that God Almighty will set things right.
In the meantime, do not give up contending.

God will judge.  And in turn, the souls shall go free!