love-inpursuit asked a question:

What if I keep sinning? Am I not really saved? I can’t pinpoint the fear of losing my salvation.

Hey there my friend: So every once in a while, I get this question from fellow Christians and I see two very different motives.

1) I’m really worried that I’m not doing enough to overcome my sinful selfish inclinations, or

2) I want to know how much I can keep sinning without pissing off God.

Since most people are not binary creatures who fit in a one-dimensional box, your motives might be a mix of both.  But if you’re more #2 (I want to get away with stuff) than #1 (I want to overcome), then it’ll be very hard for anyone to reach you.  It’s like the addict who keeps saying “I can handle a little bit, I know my limits, just once, only one more time.”  If you’re already convinced in your mind that you can do what you want, then I can’t help.  I can only graciously ask you to gut-check your motives.

But since you even asked me this question, I can see that it bothers you that it doesn’t bother you, and that shows you actually care.  This means you’re in the right place, right now, making a step forward.

You see, every spurt and blip of righteousness in your life is a God-given miracle.  Our default mode is sin.  We’re all naturally selfish in the wild.  Left to ourselves, we’d devour each other in Darwinian cycles of the walking dead.

I meet Christians who freak out when they slip up over a melt-down or flip-out or back-slide or relapse, but if you even care that you messed up, that’s a miracle.  An act of Christ-like righteousness is like giving birth.  It’s amazing, it’s supernatural, and it’s worth celebrating.

I don’t mean to pamper you here.  I’m also not talking about “worldly sorrow,” where you’re just sorry you got caught or you’re sorry about the consequences.  I mean: there’s a certain kind of grief when you’re not becoming the person that God has made you to be and saved you for, and if even a tiny seed of that grief is pulsing in your heart, you’re growing in the right direction.

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My dear beloved friend:

- No one really has it all together yet. We force so many self-pressuring parameters on our performance that most of us are neurotic, twitchy, over-productive busybodies with no real destination. In a culture where we celebrate only victory and are scared to talk about defeat: please don’t measure yourself on an impossible grading scale. Don’t measure your private moments with everyone else’s highlight reels.

- Mistakes are how you learn. Everyone is afraid of failure: so we protect ourselves by bargaining with the teacher or begging for extensions or ensuring we never get a scraped knee. Such a pampered coddled culture will keep you feeling safe for a while, but it’ll also keep you sterile, shrink-wrapped, and cold. It’s a lifeless journey. It’s okay to make mistakes, and occasionally it’s even better. Scrape a knee, brush it off, get up and move on. Learn from the past and laugh with it too.

- You’re doing better than you think. You’re in the middle of your motion, so it’s hard to see where you are. But so long as you’ve been taking one heavy step forward after another, no matter how awkward your stumbling, then this is worth celebrating. Every moment you’ve done right is a miracle in itself.

- Be willing to pursue a new dream. Sometimes we try so hard to grab our old dreams that we’re not open to new ones. We look too long in the rearview instead of what’s ahead of us. I’ve missed a lot of opportunities this way. But keep your eyes open for open doors, and be flexible enough for a new vision that will be even better than the last.

- Dear Christian: Your confidence is in Him. We are works in progress looking towards the work finished, Jesus. We believe in a God who knew we couldn’t ever reach perfection, so perfection came to us. If you feel like you’ve failed today, the very reason Jesus came was to take on your failures, your ego, your pride, your pain, your sorrows, your sin. And He’ll keep working on you until glory. Everything good in you is God in you: and anything bad in you, He’s working on that.

This is His grace.

— J.S. from What The Church Doesn’t Talk About



Hello wonderful friends! The book is finally here on Amazon!

It’s called, What The Church Won’t Talk About: Real Questions From Real People About Raw, Gritty, Everyday Faith

The Foreword is by the amazing T.B. LaBerge of tblaberge and the cover art is by my most excellent friend Rob Connelly.

It’s only $4.29!  With every purchase, you’ll also be supporting my new calling into urban inner-city ministry, plus a soon-to-be-married couple!  And if you’re blessed by the book, please consider writing a review on Amazon! The reviews will really, really help out.

The book is made for the Amazon Kindle Reader program, which is totally free and works on everything. You can download the program here or directly here!

Here’s the Preface:

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Big Announcement Tomorrow.

September 28, 2014 — 9 Comments

JS Park cup cover

Hello wonderful friends!

Big announcement coming tomorrow.
It might or might not have to do with a book maybe.
— J.S.

Continue Reading…

I’ve always had trouble approaching someone with a fragile ego, because I know if I say anything disagreeable or honest, they’ll defend themselves like crazy with a million excuses or throw insults or throw things off the desk or make ugly-cry-face and cut me off for a month.

I know this because it’s me too.  It’s hard to hear the truth about yourself.  It’s hard to confront the ugliness inside.

But confronting yourself is the only way to be truly liberated from the lies we believe.  Without rebuke, we’re left sauntering in an unseen momentum of darkness that threatens to destroy us by a gradual downhill fade.  The most dangerous way to die is slowly, unaware, in descent.

A few years ago, one of my best friends was messing up with something.  No one else knew but me.  It probably wasn’t a big deal, and no one would’ve been hurt if he continued, but as a friend I had to bring it up.  I really didn’t want to, but I couldn’t just sit by.

My friend is the coolest guy in the world.  I’ve never seen him rage out or say a harsh word in his life.  He was the kind of guy who would walk away from a group the second they began to gossip, who wouldn’t hesitate to break up a street fight on his way home.

But even when I bring the truth to the coolest people: I’ve seen the worst come out of them.  There’s always a mirror-defense where they decide to bring up your grievances, or a lot of casual dismissal, or loud angry hostility.  Honestly, I was jaded to this sort of thing whenever I tried to confront someone, and I expected it to go bad just like with everyone else.

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About a year ago, I donated half my salary to charity to fight human trafficking.  I had saved for the entire year to make one check for $10,000.

I don’t say this to brag, at all.

I say this because I’m a selfish person.  I love comfort, my shiny things, the safety of a new gadget and adding things to my wish list.  I am naturally lazy and indulgent and self-absorbed.

But I also believe in a God who humbled Himself to become one of us.  I believe in a God who paid an infinite price to set us free.  I believe in a God who wrote Himself into the story of humanity to enter our struggle, to lead us into life, and to ultimately exchange our brokenness for grace.

Because I believe in a God who has this sort of heart –

I am compelled to have the same heart for others.

The selflessness of God utterly melted my selfishness to pieces.  His grace tenderized my conceited heart.  I gave my life away because God did the same for me.

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I was going through followers the other day and noticed some blogs that were “last updated 6 months ago” or longer. There were a lot of these.

Maybe they got bored or distracted or busy — but my guess is they probably didn’t get the huge number of likes and follows and reblogs they were expecting, and just gave up.

Please don’t do that. There are very few things we do consistently in this life. We’re quick to jump from island to island of halfway commitment. Taking a break is totally okay: but I exhort you to persist in sharing your one unique voice with the world community.

If you’re about to jump ship: please do NOT bail on your blog. Do what you must — take a sabbath, go on hiatus, commune with nature, restore relationships, try new things — but come back and tell us about it.

It doesn’t matter if you only have a few readers. You’re not doing it for that. And even if you were, those few people who follow you might really be encouraged by what you have to say. You might be the only one saying it.

But more than that: your blog is a captured snapshot of your one fleeting transitory life, like the dust mote suspended in a sunbeam that shimmers for a spectacular moment in time. It is beauty wrapped in expression, and you are putting something into the world that no one else can. God made you for it.

So keep sharing. Keep making art. Keep writing music. Keep taking pictures. Keep encouraging others. In some small way: you are healing your part of the universe. You are needed more than you know. You are making a bigger impact than you think.

— J.S.



image

If you ever met me, you would think I was an extrovert — I preach, I lead praise, I talk to everyone, I talk too much, and you can hear me laughing from across the street — but I am a full-blooded introvert.

If it were up to me, I’d rather be in my boxers all day eating Godiva while browsing food photo blogs and bothering my dog and cracking up at YouTube videos of Whose Line Is It Anyway and leaving dry ironic comments all over Facebook while reading the latest theory on how Sherlock survived the second season finale. 

I intensely guard my personal space and my private life.  It takes a herculean effort to step outside my comfort zone and interact with messy, fleshy, real live human beings.

Here’s how you handle us.

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Ever prayed more for someone just because they’re hot?

Come on, I’ve done that too. Let’s not act like we’re above judging looks here. We give more cred to someone based on their defined jawline and bigger bra size than their less tangible patience and hospitality and compassion.

A very fleshy part of our human nature presumes that good-looking people are also just good, or that less good-looking people don’t really count somehow.

In church it’s easy to ask for prayer requests from the well-off, well-dressed, clean-cut, easily approachable mid-twenties demographic. Not the weird cat lady off the street, not the dude with the one rotten tooth who talks up a storm, not the pale socially awkward kid who says dorky things.

Most Christian books have the same problem: they’re geared to that same easygoing group of believers who attend the same megachurch in a crimeless suburban gated neighborhood with the sparkling 2.5 kids and Hollywood acceptable appearance, but they have nothing to say for the sick struggling screwed-up former addict who can’t find a job because he just “looks wrong.”

Wired into all our unaware brains is the deception that appearance means more than it should: but if I could give you a pair of X-ray goggles, you’ll see a bunch of skeletons with the same hopes, dreams, ambitions, anxieties, and worries that everyone else has too.

That seventeen year old pimply kid who loves Call of Duty is the same bag of meat and bones as the athletic football captain with the perfect hair; that girl who everyone hates because of her so-called overweight body could just as easily have been the same girl with the slightly higher cheekbones who runs the gang of cheerleaders. You can honk your car horn at the punk teenager on his skateboard crossing the street, but wave at the old lady on her walker: when both are just people who run deeper than what you see.

Take a Spiritual X-Ray and we all have the same vacuum of eternity within our souls with the same desperate longing inside. You and I could do way better than our visual addiction to all things sight, and instead see by vision.

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An ongoing discussion about victory over sexual addiction.

The introduction here.

Part One, excuses and myths, here.

Part Three, the soul, here.

Part Three and a half, the soul, here.

Part Four: I’m Ready To Cut It Off. Here.

Part Five: Quitting Isn’t Enough. Here.

My podcast series “Cutting It Off” — here.

Why Do I Use Porn? Why Can’t I Stop? Here.

Every question submitted about porn on this blog, here.

**Updated: May 2013

For the podcast episode based on this post, click here.

The science behind porn addiction will not surprise you.  It can be easily mocked as apocalyptic research with an old-fashioned bias, but excuses to use porn are also biased by the hand down your pants. Objective evidence of pornography’s effects has one goal: to show how much porn screws up your brain. For some that will be enough to quit.

Obviously, something serious is happening in the neurology of a person who will not stop using porn.  Constant exposure to graphic, unreal, out-of-bounds sex doesn’t just go in one hand and out the other (bad pun). Like the heroin addict or the gambler or the alcoholic, several key things are happening.

Much of the following research is borrowed and not my own. Please keep in mind that the term “addiction” is a serious term and might or might not apply to you, but it’s worth investigating. I don’t mean to over-dramatize here or make a big show of scientific language, but porn use does have a particular undeniable effect on the brain.

Sources include Craig Gross’ Pure Eyes, Eyes of Integrity, and Dirty Little Secret, and William Struther’s Wired For Intimacy. I’ve read and re-read these important resources and highly recommend them to you.  There is also Michael Leahy’s Porn Nation, Mike Wilkerson’s Redemption, Tim Chester’s Closing The Window, and David Powlison’s tiny booklet Slaying The Dragon. Where possible, I’ve tried to research articles and current news behind pornography and the porn industry. And of course, there is personal experience with addiction plus countless hours spent with young and old porn addicts.

The Addict’s Path:

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Hello dear wonderful friends!

My e-book will be released this coming Monday, September 29th!

It’s called What The Church Won’t Talk About: Real Questions From Real People About Raw, Gritty, Everyday Faith.

Here’s the book description:

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Quote: Loving Someone

September 26, 2014 — 1 Comment


“Loving someone is a process. Whether that’s God, or that’s another sticky human, it’s a process. The movies will say it’s something different but— no matter how instant that first draw to someone is— love is a building process. It’s doors unlocking. It’s windows breaking. It’s the discovery of new rooms inside of yourself. It’s the dark. And it’s the light. And it’s dark and light all scrambled into one. At the root of it, it’s a slow, trusting, building process that starts with letting someone in.”

– Hannah Brencher


TB LaBerge prof

I’m thrilled to have T.B. LaBerge write my Foreword for my upcoming e-book, releasing next week (September 29th!).  He also reveals my first name.

Here it is.  Thank you, my amazing brother!

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Trust, Faith.

September 25, 2014 — 2 Comments


I’m discovering that God must be so wise to know all the innumerable outcomes of our poor choices and still orchestrate all the tiny infinitesimal butterfly effects for our good.

I’m finding that God must be so gracious to know all our messed up motives and methods and selfishness and still offer grace at every step, every choice, every fork and branch in the road.

I’m understanding that God must be so compassionate to hear the prayers of billions of people at the same time and still answer them all with individual care at the same exact moment, even to two people sitting right next to each other who can’t stand each other, like a Father who wants us to get along.

I’m trusting that terrible uncontrollable circumstances don’t always need a moral spiritual lesson: but only need the presence of my ever-present Father who embraces me in my darkest shivering and my worst lament. It’s the difference between a friend giving me a lecture or a friend who is simply there. I can hear the lecture one day, but I just need Him first.

I have found that God has always had His providential loving hand in all the ways I’ve failed, entering into the fray like a divine crane to protect and provide and rebuke, writing His story into mine with many things I couldn’t understand then: but now I’m understanding them, even if only a small glimpse of His heart with my frail limited sight.

I’m seeing that His vision is bigger than mine.

— J.S.



Quote: For The Sake

September 24, 2014 — Leave a comment


“If I want to get closer to God, I have to stop walking in sin – not just because I don’t like the effects of sin but because I want to draw near to God and you cannot be sinful and get near God. Yes, God promises his rewards to those who diligently seek Him – but knowing Christ for the sake of knowing Him far surpasses rewards – the reward of knowing Him is more than enough. His grace is sufficient.”

– Matt Chandler


light-unshakable asked a question:

Hey Mr. Park, I have to say I’m always inspired by your thoughts/ideas/writings. I’m wondering if you have any advice or encouragement on following your calling. I have a few things I’m interested in, but not sure what will end up blooming from it all. Thanks! -Steven

sjpark11 asked a question:

Hey Pastor Joon! I read some of your replies to people’s questions and really liked all of your responses. I was wondering if you could give me some advice! I’ve been thinking about my future and what God has planned for me. I have a heart for ministry, worship-leading, and sports therapy. So, I don’t know if I should go into Ministry, either part-time or full-time, or pursue the career that I desire. How do I decide which path to choose knowing that it is in God’s will? Thank you so much!

Hey there Steve and John, thank you for trusting me with these huge questions about your future.  While I can’t hope to give you a total solid answer, I can do my best to point the way and to jumpstart your own process.  As always, please feel free to skip around.  I’ll be throwing you guys a prayer.

1) “God’s Will” is not just about what you do, but about who you’re becoming.

This probably sounds like a cute cliche on a cat poster, but really: Decide who you want to be before you decide what you want to do.

When you’re about to decide on your college or career or spouse or city or home, always ask, Is this leaning into who I want to become?  Or even bigger, Who does God want me to be in where I’m going?

And at the same time, don’t hesitate to keep serving, keep giving, keep trying new things.  We don’t need to wait for a fully fleshed out answer of your identity, and I don’t want to paralyze you with such a daunting question all at once.  You don’t have to figure out your life in a day.  If you’re really very lost, then try everything.  Out of your heart emerges what you do, and what you do with your hands will work its way into your heart too.

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JSP Book 3

My awesome friend Rob made three beautiful book covers for my upcoming e-book, and this is the second one. The first one is here. It won’t be the final cover, but it was very, very hard not to pick this one. I still wanted to share it with everyone!

Look for the book coming soon to Amazon!

Be blessed and love y’all. :)

— J.S.



Anonymous asked a question:

I sometimes don’t understand the point of the cross. I don’t feel like I did anything bad enough for Jesus to die for. Some lustful thoughts that aren’t hurting anyone, an occasional lie that (again) doesn’t have consequences…Im not a great person, but almost nothing I or any “normal” person could do seems bad enough to earn Hell, or Jesus’s death. I want to feel thankful for it, but it’s hard when it also seems kinda unfair to make Jesus (or us) go through such wrath for such small things.

My friend, I know exactly what you mean, and I hope you will allow me the grace to dig deep on this one and perhaps challenge our thinking together.  I won’t try to convince you that you’re so bad and sinful and evil, and I also think it’s way more complicated than that.  We’re also free to disagree here, because I know that most of us do not see eye-to-eye on this one.

Before I even look at the idea of “sin,” I think it’s way more helpful to talk about our idea of “good.”  In my entire pastoral ministry, I never had difficulty talking about “sin” to the addicts, the ex-convicts, the struggling, the criminals.  They already knew they’ve messed it up.

My difficulty was always with very “good people,” because what could I say?  They weren’t in desperate need for correction, for a Savior.  They would hear the sermon and say, “Oh yeah, I already do all that stuff.”  Most people in general are not doing black tar heroin or punching animals.

I came to Christ very late in life, and as an atheist, I absolutely believed that everyone was capable of moral good.  I still do believe that.  My morality back then was simple: I believed we all have a common human decency, and we ought to respect each other out of dignity.  Anyone who didn’t do this was a jerk.  I didn’t want to be a jerk. I thought this was common sense.  If you needed a “God” to love people, then I thought: you’re already a terrible person.

When I heard about Jesus “dying for my sin,” I felt two things.  1) This is absolutely stupid, because I didn’t ask for anyone to die for me, and 2) I was aware of the wrong things I did, and so at the very least, Jesus made a pretty nice gesture.

Here’s where my logic turned into Swiss cheese: and as I’ve said before, we might not agree, and our journeys might look very different from here.

The Bible made it clear that my self-inflation and self-comparison were merely self-righteousness.  To say, “I don’t want to be a jerk” is still a jerk-ish thing to say, because I’m instantly condemning others.  My morality for “common human decency” was rigging my heart by pride, so that my motivation was to look like a good neighbor and upstanding citizen.  I would look down on others if they were not.

On one hand, the “fear of God” is the worst kind of motivation to be a good person, but on the other hand, the fear of lettings others down or letting myself down was an equally false motivation.  Even respecting each other out of “dignity” was grading myself on a moral paradigm of performance that would crush me or crush others.   I was tricking my behavior while never really changing on the inside.  I was using shame and guilt-trips to motivate me into morality: and we all do it.

If we’re motivated to do good to look good and get good back, then of course: none of this is very good.  We need a pure motivation, a piercing kind of goodness that doesn’t need self-inflation.

Some of us are simply “bad” because we fall into being very “good.”  Trying to escape your life by thrills is just as toxic as trying to elevate yourself by self-will.

In Colossians 2, Paul doesn’t call out the obvious bad things that we do.  He says that our drive to be good people is a “deceptive philosophy.”  It’s a sort of inner-flagellation with an “appearance of wisdom” and “self-worship” and “false humility,” and it “lacks any value to restrain sensual indulgence.”  In other words: the only reason we’re good is so we don’t look bad, and it’s bad when that’s your only reason to be good.

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Join Me On The Twitter.

September 22, 2014 — Leave a comment

JSP Twitter


Follow me and Rosco on the Twitter for the tweeting.

– J.S.


Quote: What You Love

September 22, 2014 — Leave a comment


“You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”

– Jim Carrey


do-you-know-the-mustache-man asked a question:

So I’m speaking to my youth group this Wednesday (I’m 16 and this is the first time speaking at church) and I was just wondering if maybe you had any tips?

My friend, that is awesome. Woo!! Let’s first be grateful to God for this amazing opportunity that you’ve been given.  You and I never earned the right to preach or teach, but were given this honor by the Creator of everything so that others might know Him, be loved by Him, and love Him in return.  Please start there, in a place of humility, recognizing we are absolutely unworthy to teach others with our squishy tiny 3 lb. brains and our half-inch vocal cords, to other squishy fallen human beings from a wild variety of diverse back-stories — except by the grace of God.

I mean that’s really crazy, when you think about it.  I’ve never gotten over that.

I don’t want to give you a formula or checklist because then you might be tempted to follow that instead of Jesus.  So here just a few things to pray about and consider.  You’re not obligated to any of these nor to memorize them, so simply reflect and go forth, my friend.

1) Love your people.  This is obvious, but so very often I forget to love the people who are right in front of me.  Sometimes I’m so quick to check off my awesome agenda of great sermon points, that I forget these are real hurting broken struggling people who care less about my intelligence and more about their maker.  Every word and sentence and theme must be fashioned out of love for your people.  Let your group know that this is a big deal for you and that you’re available outside of preaching time.  If they know you care about them, they’ll remember that more than the message.

2) You be you.  My initial problem in preaching was imitation.  When I first started, I listened to a lot of James MacDonald, who is a fiery aggressive preacher with a booming voice and roughly twenty points in every sermon.  I even took on some of his tone and inflections.  Soon I learned, I wasn’t good at preaching like this.  My strengths were not a booming voice and twenty-point messages.  If you’re not naturally funny, you don’t have to try.  If you’re loud, use that to your advantage. Be comfortable with how God has made you.  Part of trusting God is trusting how He made you to be you in the world.  Let yourself out to play.

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Of Stars, Of Dust.

September 18, 2014 — Leave a comment


Life is short. Time goes fast. Our youth is once. We fly, we crawl, of stars and dust.
We look back: and we wish to be back there.
But dreams are made to be chased.
We define who we are today.
I cherish all that has gone before me: the good, the bad, the stumbling.
And I look forward to future memories.
I trust God for the better story, for the huge scary audacious proposition of following Him into eternity.
And we are fellow travelers over dust, under stars.
We are never too far.
We are the chasers of dreams.
We will fight this good fight.
I will miss you, but love closes the distance.
We will finish this race: together.
Us. Together.

— J.S.




I was at a funeral for an older gentleman and we were shown a video of his life from birth to death. We watched as he grew up from Kindergarten to high school graduation to becoming a barber and an Air Force pilot and a husband and a father and then his battle with multiple sclerosis, which took his life with a stroke.

It was amazing to see him as a handsome, agile young man with a head of dark flowing hair and the posture of a superhero. Most of us didn’t even know he was a barber. It was amazing to see the wedding photos, this couple growing old together, smiling all the way, his wife by his side to the very end.

The video was four minutes and fifty-four seconds long. An entire life, told through pictures, in less than five minutes.

As selfish as it seems, I wondered about my own video one day. I wondered how it would be be sitting in a building watching my entire life in a slideshow.

I thought about what they would say about me, if some would say “He wasn’t all he was hyped up to be” or “We really lost an amazing person today” or “We disagreed often, and I loved him for it.” I wondered if they would show that picture from third grade when I was at Disney World wearing a giant Mickey Mouse hat with my brother and pretending to eat him. Or that one the day after I got out of the hospital after swallowing a bottle of pills and losing thirteen pounds in three days over a girl. Or the one of me battling to the very last breath over some sickness, all youth behind me, my story at a close.

The pastor said every life cannot control the start or end of their book. But we write the in-between. It’s between us and God and all the merging stories we find of love, heartache, heaven, laughter, doubts, and goodbyes. And the many, many pictures.

It’s quick, you know. We only have so many highlights in that reel. I don’t want my head to be somewhere else when I’m here. I want to be here, now. We think we have forever, but really, it’s just a few minutes. We have a few snapshots, and then it’s gone.

Here’s to celebrating you, and for the memories.

— J.S.



Two anonymous questions:

- Hi pastor, i’m a 21 year old girl from philippines. i messaged you before about my doubts about God’s existence and my faith in Him. that was almost a year ago. Praise God that I was able to recover my faith and go back to normal living with God and i believe it became even better. but i feel so sad again right now because my doubts came back just a week ago. the desire to know God is still here but questions are bothering me. i still have lots of things to share. please help me. thank you!

- Hi:), i write to you because i think of you as an understanding and matured faith person so i thought maybe i could share with u my problem.. So, i have a big faith crisis now, like somehow i found myself drowning among doubts … I just started a biblestudy on God’s personality but somehow i found myself on a worst place. As i do the biblestudy something says these “cool things” should make an impact in me, but they dont, like my inner radar would be broken … i wanna thank u that you share things so openly!:)

Hey my dear friends: Please first know that I love you both dearly in Christ, and I know how hard it is to fall into this fog of doubt.  I appreciate you both being so honest and real about this, and I’m also grateful for your encouragement even in the midst of this harder time.

You see, the Big Christian Secret is that every Christian in the world runs into doubts, question, confusion, and frustration, because there isn’t anything wrong with you that isn’t already wrong with everyone else.  This doesn’t make you a bad Christian, but an honest one.

In fact, I would say that every human being who ever existed runs into doubts about their own worldviews, a sort of existential panic about what they truly believe, and it can be downright disorienting.

Here are three simple things we must know.  I have said them many times before and they could sound familiar, so please feel free to skip around.

Continue Reading…

speaktenderly asked a question:

Since your porn addiction and recovery, do you have freedom in the way you see women now? Are you still affected by objectifying thoughts? I ask as I am a woman, discouraged at the state of men. Just recently a very godly man attempted to push boundaries with me – and it honestly broke my heart. Can you make sense of how men and lust works? Can someone love you and in the next moment hurt you because of being led by lust? Then he claimed it was because he wanted to be close? I need truth.

Hey there my friend, thank you for your honesty, and I’m really sorry about what you just went through.  I know that broken trust is one of the most hurtful things that can happen.

What happened to you is absolutely dead wrong.  If a man goes against your consent, that is completely done and over.  No sympathy, no pity, no pampering.  He cannot rationalize his way out of this one.  You can forgive him, but you don’t ever have to be his friend or anything else.

Inevitably though: Any man that you meet today, no matter how good and godly, will struggle with lust in a lifelong battle of both internal and external turbulence, and while some are better at it than others, you’ll definitely be engaging to fight that battle together.  This goes for women, too, because illegitimate lust is not specific to gender.

About a hundred years ago, most of the sensual lewd images of that day would’ve been bare feet or maybe an ankle bone.  Imagine a bunch of dudes with mustaches and monocles looking at a picture saying, “Unfh, dat ankle.”  I’m being dumb here, but only a few generations before us, we weren’t bombarded with so many visual lures.

I say this knowing that 1) the human heart has always been twisted, and 2) we can’t blame external stimuli for our internal troubles.  But the pervasive access to pornography has certainly heightened our sexual dysfunction, and there’s no doubt that we live in a much more sexualized culture than ever before.  And the US is not even the most sexually “free” nation.  So all this is an uphill reality that needs a new arsenal.

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