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Archive for August, 2012

ESCAPING THE QUICKSAND OF PORNOGRAPHY

Why a message on Porn?

This is a huge problem in our society, as we will discover in a moment. The church must be bringing answers to hurting people. God’s word brings an answer for any of life’s problems. But as well as that, Christian Men are struggling with porn and we want to bring help and answers to our own church. You may not be struggling with porn, but be aware of what is happening in our families and be prepared to help others. Of course the use of pornography is shameful, and no one is going to want to own up to it. This hidden aspect of pornography is creating a sleeping giant in its capacity to damage teens and families. If you’re a parent here today, you need to understand how to protect your young children and teens from porn’s insidious effects.

THE CULTURE OF OUR TIMES

Teens and Porn

http://catholicexchange.com/the-teen-porn-epidemic-and-what-to-do-about-it/   –

June 7th, 2012  –  Matt Fradd

When Nathan started using internet pornography, he found that over time it somehow got less and less exciting. His daily routine soon included hours spent consuming porn, yet he had grown “almost numb to it,” he recalls. Like many men with addictions, he was discovering that the compulsive use of porn dulls the pleasure receptors of the brain, forcing them to seek ever-greater amounts of stimulation in a desperate quest for sexual satisfaction.

But Nathan was not yet a man. He was just twelve years old.

And unfortunately, he is not alone. We are witnessing the beginning of nothing less than an epidemic of porn addiction among teens and even younger children.

In today’s wired world, internet porn is everywhere, it’s easy to get, and it’s washing like a wave over every child who can hold an iPhone or log on to a laptop—according to one recent study, by the time they reach eighteen only three percent of boys and seventeen percent of girls will have never laid eyes on it. And these kids aren’t witnessing the kind of “soft-core” centerfold images that their parents may have stumbled across in a magazine or cable TV twenty years ago; no, they’re filling their heads with explicit, graphic depictions of sexual acts. In fact, according to the same study, which surveyed 563 teenage boys and girls, sixty-five percent had seen depictions of group sex, and twelve percent had seen rape or sexual violence.

This exposure to porn, which in adults causes dependent behaviours, spiritual emptiness, and a diminished ability to love, does additional harm to children by distorting their mental, emotional, and social development. One young woman—for it’s not just boys who are getting hooked on porn—who like Nathan became addicted at the age of twelve, observed, “’I started to isolate myself, because I hated what I was doing. I hated that I couldn’t stop.” A bewildered mother wrote of her eleven-year-old son, whose dependence on internet porn had left him psychologically devastated, “How could my beautiful boy, who could light up a room and my heart with his smile, have turned into this hollow, self-hating shell? What had I done wrong?”

With the threat that pornography use poses to their children only continuing to grow (as technology makes porn access ever easier and as porn becomes destigmatized in mainstream culture), more parents are sharing this mother’s despair. What can be done? Today’s world is a different place for children than it was even for an adult generation that grew up trained to be wary of drugs, bullies, and sexual predators on every street corner. Today’s new world poses new threats, and those threats require new strategies to keep children safe.

“How do we train our kids to be pure in heart?”

Drawing from my experiences, allow me to offer three strategies that you can implement to cooperate with God’s grace.

1 – Affirm the goodness of their sexuality

2 – Be a parent, not a buddy

3 – Use Filters and Accountability Software

What does the word of God say?

1Th 4:3  For this is the will of God, that you should be consecrated (separated and set apart for pure and holy living): that you should abstain and shrink from all sexual vice,

1Th 4:4  That each one of you should know how to possess (control, manage) his own body in consecration (purity, separated from things profane) and honor,

1Th 4:5  Not [to be used] in the passion of lust like the heathen, who are ignorant of the true God and have no knowledge of His will,

1Th 4:6  That no man transgress and overreach his brother and defraud him in this matter or defraud his brother in business. For the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we have already warned you solemnly and told you plainly.

1Th 4:7  For God has not called us to impurity but to consecration [to dedicate ourselves to the most thorough purity].

1Th 4:8  Therefore whoever disregards (sets aside and rejects this) disregards not man but God, Whose [very] Spirit [Whom] He gives to you is holy (chaste, pure).

Mat 5:28  But I say to you that everyone who so much as looks at a woman with evil desire for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Mat 5:29  If your right eye serves as a trap to ensnare you or is an occasion for you to stumble and sin, pluck it out and throw it away. It is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be cast into hell (Gehenna).

THE PREVALENCE OF PORNOGRAPHY

http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=32644

How wide is the problem? The report cites one 2008 study of undergraduate and graduate students ages 18-26 that showed 69 percent of the men and 10 percent of the women viewed pornography more than once a month. But it’s not just adults. In 2009, the fourth-most searched word on the Internet for kids ages 7 and under was “porn,” according to data by OnlineFamily.Norton.com. For all kids — those up to age 18 — sex was No. 4, porn No. 5.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/porn-and-violence-do-not-have-a-place-in-childrens-lives/story-fn56aaiq-1226132547946

Research suggests that 70 per cent of boys and half all girls will have looked at porn by the age of 12.

(Large amount of Statistical Data from Australia 2003 – http://www.tai.org.au/documents/dp_fulltext/DP52.pdf )

Research done by Australian Pastor Alan Meyer, author of Valiant Man, has confirmed that in the church around 50% of men are engaging with pornography to some extent.

INTERVIEW WITH JASON HUXLEY

During the service we will interview Jason Huxley, an Australian staying in Canada.

Link for Jason – http://www.guiltypleasure.tv/

I’m glad to say that this is now in my past but I know that I’m still susceptible to porn, so I make sure that I guard myself everyday. For me porn did nothing to improve my life but just made it worse. The compound issues of being a Christian and porn addict made my life almost unbearable and today I feel so much compassion for people who are in the same place. – Jason Huxley

THE EFFECTS OF PORNOGRAPHY

Porn has hijacked sexuality and is destroying men – Gail Dines  October 14, 2010

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/porn-has-hijacked-sexuality-and-is-destroying-men-20101013-16jy4.html?comments=189#comments

Porn addicition is a serious issue, with a generation of men accustomed to graphic images.

A generation raised on hard core has trouble with the real thing.

In a recent radio interview the host suggested that since I didn’t like porn, the solution was to not look at it. If only it was that easy to avoid. Many women I know don’t look at porn, but this doesn’t mean that they are not affected by it every day.

The men they date, have sex with and marry are increasingly being brought up on a steady diet of porn, and the more they watch, the less capable they are of forming connected, intimate relationships.

The porn these men consume looks nothing like your father’s Playboy. In place of soft core, soft focus images of naked women smiling coyly at the camera, consumers are catapulted into a world of cruel and brutal sex acts designed to dehumanise women.

In the vast majority of porn today, sex is not about making love, as the feelings and emotions we normally associate with such an act – connection, empathy, tenderness, caring, affection – are missing, and in their place are those we normally associate with hate – fear, disgust, anger, loathing, and contempt.

http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?ID=32645

“Similarly, pornography is sexual junk food, and we have fallen under the spell of the myth that there is no such thing as too much sex and there’s no sex that’s bad sex,” said Layden, director of education at the Center for Cognitive Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania.

Porn affects society – secular view

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/porn-not-just-a-little-harmless-fun/story-e6frg6zo-1225935783393

Although not all compulsive users, these men talked about their feelings of inadequacy relating to sex after using porn. Whether it was their inability to bring their girlfriends to a screaming orgasm, their need to conjure up porn images to reach their own orgasm with their girlfriends, their “inadequate size” male anatomy parts or their tendency to ejaculate “too quickly”, they were using “porn sex” as their yardstick and they all failed to measure up.

Some argue that porn has no effect in the real world, while others, especially anti-porn feminists, view pornography as material that encourages and justifies the oppression of women.

http://www.catholichighered.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=42KSYEXgZqE%3D&tabid=670

Professors Dolf Zillman of Indiana University and Jennings Bryant of the University of Houston have found that repeated exposure to pornography results in a decreased satisfaction with the sex life that you are experiencing in your marriage, a decrease in the valuation of faithfulness and a major increase in the importance of sex without attachment.

WHY PORNOGRAPHY IS SO ADDICTIVE

From a book: Wired for Intimacy – How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain. By William M. Struthers.

The male brain is the built like an ideal pornography receiver, wired to be on the alert for these images of nakedness. The male brain and our conscious visual experience is the internal monitor where we perceive them. The images of sexuality grab our attention, jumping out and hypnotizing a man like an HD television among a sea of standard televisions.

The Visual Magnetism of Pornography

Human sexuality affects every aspect of human life, but sexual acts are generally understood as private acts, taking place in the bedroom. We live in a culture that is clothed, and we do not regularly stumble across people having sex in public. We have laws against nudity and performing sexual acts in public. This cultural reality along with the intuitive notion that sex is a private, intimate act makes pornography so qualitatively different from the majority of our everyday visual experience. Our culture has trained us so that there is something about the naked form that is distinctive. When we come across it, we reflexively turn our attention toward it. But why do so many men find it difficult to look away after that first glance? Perhaps it is because their receiver is merely locking onto this strong signal.

A man’s brain is a sexual mosaic influenced by hormone levels in the womb and in puberty and molded by his psychological experience. Male brains can be very different from female brains because of this.

(Arnold, 2004, pp. 701-8; Ariely and Loewenstein. 2006, p. 87; Baron–Cohen, Lutchmaya and Knickmeyer, 2004; Brizendine, 2006; Cahill, 2006, p. 477).

Although neither superior nor inferior, they are very different in the way they detect stimuli, process information and respond to emotions. This is important because men detect sexual cues rapidly when it comes to nakedness or sex-related stimuli. Men seem to be more sensitive to visual cues for sexual arousal.

(Lykins, Meana and Kambe, 2006, pp. 569-75; Janssen, Carpenter and Graham, 2003, pp. 243-51; Karama et al., 2002, p. 1; Koukounas and McCabe, 1997, pp. 221-30).

The visual scanning of the naked image has a power in it that forces itself onto the male brain. The peculiar proficiency that the male brain has to relay this signal, combined with a man’s personal history and thought habits (his experience with looking at pornography), are why so many men have difficulty looking away. The signal is received and then projected onto the display, the visual experience of the viewer. The depiction of nudity and sexual acts have a hypnotic effect and the ability to hold their attention similar to an HD television. As men fall deeper into the mental habit of fixating on these images, the exposure to them creates neural pathways. Like a path is created in the woods with each successive hiker, so do the neural paths set the course for the next time an erotic image is viewed. Over time these neural paths become wider as

they are repeatedly traveled with each exposure to pornography. They become the automatic pathway through which interactions with women are routed. The neural circuitry anchors this process solidly in the brain. With each lingering stare, pornography deepens a Grand Canyon–like a gorge in the brain through which images of women are destined to flow.

They have unknowingly created a neurological circuit that imprisons their ability to see women rightly as created in God’s image. Repeated exposure to pornography creates a one-way neurological superhighway where a man’s mental life is over-sexualized and narrowed. It is hemmed in on either side by high containment walls making escape nearly impossible. This neurological superhighway has many on-ramps. The mental life is fixated on sex, but it is intended for intimacy. It is wide—able to accommodate multiple partners, images and sexual possibilities, but it is intended to be narrow—a place for God’s exclusive love to be imaged. This neurological superhighway has been reconstructed and built for speed, able to rapidly get to the climax of sexual stimulation. It is intended, however for the slow discovery and appreciation of a loving partner. The pornography built pathway has only a few off-ramps, leading to sexual encounters that have only a fleeting impact and hasten the need for more. But these encounters are intended to be long lasting and satisfying for both partners and have many off ramps for creative expressions of intimacy that are not genitally oriented.

http://www.amazon.com/William-M.-Struthers/e/B002LFKZA2

Some authors have stated that the addictive power of pornography has an effect greater than that of heroin in terms of difficulty to break. The reason is, that eventually all the heroin is gone from your system. But for men, these images will stay with them for the rest of their lives. You can’t make yourself forget images in your mind.

ANSWERS

  1. The Church must bring answers not condemnation. Many people stuck in porn addiction do not understand why it is so hard to stop. I encourage wives to understand the predicament men face. We can say there’s no excuse, but that may not help solve the issue. Men need to make tough decisions, but they need understanding and support because many are stuck and can’t get out.
  2. The power of sin is broken when we surrender to Jesus and immerse ourselves in His word. Rom 8:7  [That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God’s Law; indeed it cannot.

Rom 8:8  So then those who are living the life of the flesh [catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature] cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him.

Rom 8:9  But you are not living the life of the flesh, you are living the life of the Spirit, if the [Holy] Spirit of God [really] dwells within you [directs and controls you]. But if anyone does not possess the [Holy] Spirit of Christ, he is none of His [he does not belong to Christ, is not truly a child of God]. [Rom. 8:14.](AMP)

  1. Valiant Man series. This church will run a teaching series for all the guys called Valiant man which we have run in the past with good results. It is developed by an Australian Pastor Alan Meyer and helps men change and be set free from addiction to sexual images. Our attitude in this church is not to bring shame which is unproductive; but to assume no one has this problem but to equip all men with answers. This series will begin later in the year after a period of promotion.
  2. The author and cinematographer Jason Huxley who we interviewed this morning is producing a resource called Guilty Pleasure that will be available next year and we will bring that resource to this church to further assist everyone.
  3. Counselling is available. For those who are struggling with porn addiction and want to get out sooner rather than later. The pastoral staff of this church will assist you and maintain confidentiality. We will refer you to trained counsellors where appropriate.
  4. The pastoral staff are prepared to fast and pray with anyone who would like to be accountable for their ongoing progress.
  5. We recommend internet filters for all home computers. We recommend one called Covenant Eyes. The link is http://www.covenanteyes.com/  This includes iPhone and iPad apps. Understand that filters do not break the underlying problem of addiction, but are helpful to protect teenagers and to keep people free after they have broken through the barrier of addiction.

EXTRA STUFF

For people who want to use Covent Eyes use this link. http://www.covenanteyes.com/?promocode=guiltypleasure
Guilty Pleasure is an affiliate of Covenant Eyes and 15% of subscriptions go towards Guilty Pleasure if people use this link.
Also, coming up soon; ex porn producer Donny Pauling’s visit as it would be very relevant as a follow up topic. Here is a video clip that you can play  http://vimeo.com/46208764

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Why a Policy?

 

 

 

 

We affirm that all people have the right to be emotionally and physically safe, respected, and have their views and opinions valued at all times.

 

Our policy has the following goals:

To minimize the risk of abuse to staff, volunteers and members of the public.

To ensure that all cases of suspected abuse are handled in a consistent and thorough manner.

To ensure that leaders and programs are safe.

To ensure that all people are respected and valued, irrespective of their gender, age, country of origin, cultural heritage, socio-economic background or ability

 

 

Safe Leaders: We commit to

  1. Safe recruitment of Leaders: We will screen all prospective staff and volunteers

before they are appointed. We will use the relevant ‘working with children’ type checks where relevant.

2.  Adequate training of leaders: We require that all staff and volunteers attend an

Safe Church Workshop, and ongoing three year refresher workshops.

 

        3.  Continued on going supervision of leaders: We commit to ongoing leadership

training, supervision and support. All leaders will agree to follow our staff and         volunteers behaviour code.

 

         4.  Responding to allegations of risk of harm: All leaders will report disclosures or   Suspicions of significant harm in the prescribed manner to the Plenty Valley safe

church  co-ordinator.

 

Safe Programs

We commit to safe physical and emotional environments. Leaders will exercise a duty of

care through the use of forms, checklists and templates made available by Christian

Outreach Centre. A Safe Church co-ordinator is appointed to ensure fire safety,

building safety, first aid, food safety practices, risk assessment for activities, adequate

supervision for activities, critical incident and emergency protocols.

 

STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS BEHAVIOURS CODE

 

We commit to:-

  1. Disclosing to Plenty Valley Church if we are or have been investigated for any criminal offences.
  2. Obeying the law.
  3. Not engaging in any form of reportable or non reportable abuse.
  4. Treating others with respect.
  5. Being accountable to our team, and watching out for each other and protecting each other’s integrity.
  6. Confidentiality where requested unless there is an exception where there is a legal obligation or a duty of care issue.
  7. Using words that build up and avoiding words that ridicule or embarrass people.
  8. Being responsible in our use of addictive substances and services (e.g. prescriptions/alcohol).
  9. Not using any prohibited substance.
  10. Acting with financial integrity.

 

Code Violations

 

1)      Occasional / minor violations:

This is not a breach of civil or criminal law. These may simply constitute poor judgement or memory lapse. Deal with such matters confidentially.

2)      Unknown violations:

Not all leaders will understand ‘unacceptable’ behaviour. Even after explaining the covenant some may be unaware they are exhibiting unacceptable behaviour.

3)      Constant violations:

These are breaches that are not a breach of civil or criminal law. Where a leader has been made aware of their behaviour and yet refuses to change.

4)      Breaches of the law or allegations of abuse:

These are allegations of abuse or serious misconduct which are to be referred to Plenty Valley Church safe church co-ordinator or the police.

 

IF YOU’RE A LEADER IN PLENTY VALLEY CHURCH AND YOU WANT TO RUN AN EVENT

You can log onto the Main COC website and fill in nan event risk assessment form

To do that you need a password so….

Please email Pastor John Matthews on john@pvcoc.org.au   and

Tell him your name and a password that you make up and he will give you a log in URL location so you can use the Main COC Church Book Program to fill in your event risk assessment form.

 

Thanks

 

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WEEK 4

Summary

What happens in an Urban Connect Group meeting?

How to run a meeting. Learning in the classroom and on the job.

The goal of every Urban Connection is – Discipleship – lives are being changed

BRAINSTORM

Q. Each Trainee leader will write down on your notepad what you believe discipleship means. What does it look like?

  • A disciple is a learner, a student, an apprentice.
  • Helping people to steadily learn from Jesus how to live the life of the Kingdom.
  • Reaching out to lost people and showing them what Jesus has done for them.
  • Teach people how to live as Christ lived and taught.
  • Show people how to be with Jesus in an attitude of observation, study, obedience and imitation.
  • Doing the journey with someone as they become like Jesus.
  • Learning how to love enemies, bless those that persecute, go the second mile etc, living out the gracious inward transformations of faith hope and love.

Q. Now what does that look like in the environment of an Urban Connect Group in this local church?

  • The Core leader gets to know the sheep in his group.
  • The Core leader asks the members great questions of his disciples about what they are learning.
  • The Core leader builds an environment of support for all.
  • The Core leader shares with the learners how he/she overcame certain difficulties.
  • The Core leader points the sheep to Jesus always.
  • The Core leader leads his sheep to the word of God and helps them express hwat they get out of it.
  • The Core leader leads the team in reaching lost people.

Mat 10:24  The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.

Mat 10:25  It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?

Q. What does the Core leader do between meetings?

  •  The Core leader prays for his sheep regularly.
  • The Core leader contacts everyone who was away from the UC meeting.
  • The Core leader thinks strategically about what each member needs to keep growing. Eg. Water baptism, Holy Spirit baptism, DNA, counselling, extra care etc
  • The Core leader refuels themself every week to be on fire for God and possessed by the vision.

ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF THE URBAN CONNECT MEETING

How to run your group on the night

  1. Warmly welcome each person
  2. Offer tea, coffee and biscuits or similar
  3. Ask each person to share either
  • Answers to prayer
  • About when they shared their faith with someone
  • A prayer need
  1. Discipleship growth – Remind the group of which passage/chapter that the group was asked to read since the last meeting. Encourage each member to share what is God saying to them through this passage and what will they do about it.
  2. Affirm each person who shares and ensure that members don’t hog the time preventing others from sharing.
  • There are no wrong answers let people express their thoughts, peer discipling means you don’t have to correct every doctrinal point, people will learn from one another.
  • Keep the focus on hearing God’s voice.
  1. Pray for each persons needs and PRAY FOR YOUR LOST FRIENDS YOU ARE REACHING OUT TO. – Use a harvest list.

URBAN CONNECT GROUP LEADERS ROLE

  1. You are a shepherding leader. Your role is to care for 10 placed under your care.
  2. Keep your focus on building relationships. Member with God, member to member and member to unsaved friends.
  3. Your main aim is to assist each person to grow in their walk with God.
  • Are they saved?
  • Next step be baptised in water
  • Then filled with the Holy Spirit – speaking in tongues is encouraged as the only clear evidence that one has received.
  • Invite them to participate in the DNA class to join the church, discover their gifts, and find a serving role.
  1. Community – when people are hurting the group must gather around them and assist in any way possible – phone calls, prayer, visitation, meals, work,
  2. Be a builder – call up each member that missed your Discipleship group meeting and see how they are going. You need to do this every time you meet to grow your UC.
  3. Plan an event at least quarterly to invite the unsaved friends you are praying for.

UC Leaders JD

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If you’re going to go for Gold, then you better be prepared for some fails along the way. 

Here’s some of the painful moments in the London Games…

Bloopers – http://youtu.be/eHQSPjdfpmw

And now for a story of inspiration.

Matthias Steiner (born 1982 in Vienna) is an AustrianGerman weightlifter, and Olympic gold medalist. Earl in life since an untreated infection[2] Steiner suffers from diabetes, diagnosed at his 18th birthday.[3] Before the diagnosis, the first symptom was an intense thirst, then he lost appetite, and 5 kilograms (11 lb) body weight within three months.[3] He went to the doctor when his sight deteriorated.[3]  Despite the diagnosis he followed his dream to become a weightlifter.

On July 16, 2007 his wife Susann died in a car accident.[8][9] Despite the tragic loss, and after losing 7 kilograms (15 lb)[6] body weight, he was able to continue his training.

He received German citizenship in early 2008, won overall silver at the 2008 European Championships, and the gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Here is the story of his gold medal performance

VIDEO LINK http://youtu.be/xLN4OHxfbGQ

What a story of passion to triumph!

He won gold and broke his personal best.

German Olympic weightlifter Matthias Steiner promised his wife that one day he would win a gold medal in the Olympics. Just a year before the competition of 2008 Olympics, his wife tragically died in a car accident. In order to break the record, he needed to beat his personal record by 10 kg. This is the video of his attempt at the gold medal.

When he had lifted his final lift to win the gold he broke down and wept profusely… he was winning it for his wife. He told her on her death bed “I will win gold for you”

How huge was his motivation?

The medal ceremony was VERY moving! He wept so much holding a photo of his wife all the time.

What motivates you?

Winning a gold medal is a great motivation, but this man had an even bigger motivation – LOVE

He was motivated by doing it for another.

Often what separates gold medal winners from the rest of the pack is not the talent or ability; but the shear courage and will to win. Passion is a strong force that propels you towards your dream.

A famous Australian competitor Gillian Rolton is Australia’s first female equestrian gold-medallist. A schoolteacher from Adelaide, Gillian Rolton was a Show and Dressage rider from the age of ten until her early twenties. In 1992 she was a late inclusion the Australian equestrian team competing at the Barcelona Olympic Games after she beat all male members of the team in the final selection trial at Savernake, England. Competing alongside Matt Ryan and Andrew Hoy, Rolton rode an excellent round on Peppermint Grove on the final day of competition, and became the first Australian female equestrian to win a gold medal.

Rolton achieved even greater notoriety after the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996. Thrown twice from Peppermint Grove in the cross-country section, Rolton remounted and finished the course despite a broken collar-bone and two broken ribs. The Australian team, comprised of Andrew Hoy, Wendy Schaeffer, Phillip Dutton and Rolton, won gold.

You would have to ask the question – how much do you want it?

What is the passion that rules your life?

Some people live passionless lives because they have not been shown a cause that has lifted them to strive for more.

Some people have begun in passion but have run out of gas along the way due to pain or disappointment.

What is the cause that you are passionate about?

My brother in law Tony Kirwan is passionate about rescuing young girls from sexual exploitation. His organisation Destiny Rescue rescues young girls from brothels. Its dangerous and difficult work, but he has a huge passion to rescue girls because as he says, “What would you do if your daughter was imprisoned against her will in one of these brothels.”

Passion for others is a powerful motivation and strength giver when you are on your quest for gold or for any great achievement

Jesus was motivated to do it for you.

For the joy that was set before Him He endured the cross

Heb 12:2  Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. [Ps. 110:1.]

Is there not a cause?

King David, while stil, ayoung man saw goliath threatening Israel and wanted to see him defeated. But his older brother was cynical and negative about this young passion carrier…

1Sa 17:28  And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why did you come down here? and with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride, and the naughtiness of your heart; for you have come down that you might see the battle.

1Sa 17:29  And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause? (NKJV)

Isn’t there something that motivates us to live a bigger life?

To overcome every difficulty, to press on when we would rather give up, to try again when it all seems too hopeless?

Yes its for others. It’s for people who don’t know Jesus yet.

The Cause…… Australia For Christ

Jesus was motivated by love for others. He died on the cross for you.

His passion was enormous and carried Him through the most unbelievable agony of suffering just so you and I could find forgiveness and pardon for our sins.

Give your life to Christ and Go for Gold, find a cause worth giving your life for.

Mine is Australia For Christ.

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We live in a fallen world.

We live in a world where values of integrity and fidelity have moved significantly over the last 100 years.

Adultery has always been a factor in every era, but now in this day in which we live it is sold as exciting and adventurous; being openly displayed on almost every TV program, movie and magazine. It has become far more acceptable now then ever before.

MOVIE CLIP – AN AD FOR THE “GOOD WIFE”

http://youtu.be/M5wbUmhf3ro

The hurt caused by betrayal is seldom given the prominence that a salacious affair is given.

The Effect of the media.

The media glamorises adultery.

Catholic news service  http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=28831

LOS ANGELES (LifeSiteNews) – The Parents Television Council released a new study, Happily Never After: How Hollywood Favors Adultery and Promiscuity Over Marital Intimacy on Prime Time Broadcast Television, which revealed that broadcast networks depict sex in the context of marriage as either non-existent or burdensome, while showing positive depictions of extra-marital or adulterous sexual relationships with alarming frequency.
Across the broadcast networks, the new PTC report found that verbal references to non-marital sex outnumbered references to sex in the context of marriage by nearly 3 to 1, and scenes depicting or implying sex between non-married partners outnumbered similar scenes between married couples by a ratio of nearly 4 to 1.

Durex’s Global Sex Survey has found that worldwide 22% of people surveyed have had extramarital sex. Some countries the prevalence was as high as 58%

United States

Alfred Kinsey found in his studies that 50% of males and 26% of females had extramarital sex at least once during their lifetime.[20] Depending on studies, it was estimated that 26–50% of men and 21–38% women,[21]

In Australia http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/Cheating-hearts/2004/12/22/1103391840011.html?oneclick=true

Depending on which study you believe, between 30 per cent and 50 per cent of people in long-term relationships have been unfaithful, and, according to the Australian Institute of Family Studies, infidelity is cited as the main provocation in 20 per cent of divorce cases.

In the 2005 Global sex survey taken by the condom company Durex; Australia rated second highest nation on earth for the number of sexual partners respondents had. An average of 13.3.

http://wayback.archive.org/web/jsp/Interstitial.jsp?seconds=5&date=1203149228000&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.durex.com%2Fcm%2Fgss2005result.pdf&target=http%3A%2F%2Fweb.archive.org%2Fweb%2F20080216080708%2Fhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.durex.com%2Fcm%2Fgss2005result.pdf

There is now a website that facilitates adultery; It is a website for people who want a fling. AshleyMadison.com their slogan is Life is short – Have an affair.

Christians commit adultery too. In spite of the bible saying

1Co_6:9  Do you not know that the unrighteous and the wrongdoers will not inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived (misled): neither the impure and immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who participate in homosexuality,

1Co 6:10  Nor cheats (swindlers and thieves), nor greedy graspers, nor drunkards, nor foulmouthed revilers and slanderers, nor extortioners and robbers will inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God. (AMP)

Yet many Christians fall into this trap.

Most likely your marriage is fine. This message may seem irrelevant to you, but consider who else you can help who may be struggling in this area. More to the point; be on your guard, for we are all subject to temptation and we need Godly advice to protect us from errors.

Why do some Christians fall into this trap?

 

1. The culture of the age

The culture of the age is drowning in moral relativism. That is: if it feels good – Do it! The trend is to question all kinds of restraint. Who says pre-marital sex is wrong? The result: the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases sky rockets. Who says adultery is wrong? Result: the divorce rate is the highest ever, throwing massive costs on to the economy through a multitude of ramifications.

As people move away form God, righteousness and fidelity, they look more and more like the nation of Israel who suffered the consequences of disobedience to God. If you don’t believe in God or don’t care about righteousness then none of this makes sense to you and Christians are just prudes and kill joys, hypocrites who try to tell others how to live.

But the bible calls us Christians to be salt and light. Not only are we called to live in righteousness but our example is to show the way for others. It’s our joy to walk with Jesus and to be ever so grateful for our release from the prison of sin and the horror of eternity in hell, that we draw on all His power to live a new life of freedom, righteousness and purity.

As born again Christians we have a new nature. We are born from above we don’t want to sin any longer; this salvation we have, is power over sin, and we have a new heart that wants to please God.

2. Everyone is tempted

Jas_1:14  But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions). (AMP)

We learned last week about the power of walking in the spirit, we have a carnal nature – that old man that still has influence in our lives if we let it. But we choose to walk in the spirit and thereby we do not fulfil the lusts of the flesh.

You may be tempted, but here’s why you don’t yield to it.

  1. God is so generous and gracious to call you out of darkness. We say no to sin because of so great a salvation. We know what we are saved from.
  2. We count the cost. Is one night of passion worth losing our marriage, losing the respect of my kids, breaking up the family home, paying lawyers thousands of dollars in divorce settlements etc etc? (It cost Greg Norman $9mill to divorce his first wife… might have been less pain to stay together)
  3. There’s a massive amount of evidence that such relationships rarely work out. 41% of marriages end in divorce and 83% of second marriages.

MY STORY IN KIEV.

3. The absence of the fear of God

The church must stay true to the word of God. If the church strays away from truth it loses its power and effectiveness. The church cannot wink at pre-marital sex, adultery, and homosexuality because the society is changing. We must preach bible values. To preach the gospel is to present the true picture of salvation. The reality of what Jesus has done on the cross is so awesome and amazing that we are deeply moved by our understanding of the consequences of sin and the great gift of salvation we have received. It is a gift that we do not deserve in any way. Our ability to see it and repent is totally a gift from God and for us to take it for granted is the height of foolishness.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Depth of His love equals the height of His anger against sin. If we truly know Him we are people who walk in a Godly fear and walk in a manner worthy of so great a salvation.

Heb 10:26  If we give up and turn our backs on all we’ve learned, all we’ve been given, all the truth we now know, we repudiate Christ’s sacrifice

Heb 10:27  and are left on our own to face the Judgment–and a mighty fierce judgment it will be!

Heb 10:28  If the penalty for breaking the law of Moses is physical death,

Heb 10:29  what do you think will happen if you turn on God’s Son, spit on the sacrifice that made you whole, and insult this most gracious Spirit?

Heb 10:30  This is no light matter. God has warned us that he’ll hold us to account and make us pay. He was quite explicit: “Vengeance is mine, and I won’t overlook a thing,” and, “God will judge his people.”

Heb 10:31  Nobody’s getting by with anything, believe me. (MESS)

God is so gracious and forgiving, and yes, of course, adultery is not the unforgivable sin, but can we trade on that grace and enter a forbidden relationship in the belief that God will forgive and pardon us in the end?

I have counselled many people who have made that decision. Some ended up far from God, others serve in the ministry today. My only plea to all people I serve with the word of God, is walk carefully, this is very dangerous ground.

4. Spiritual and emotional adultery

Physical adultery breaks a covenant made in the sight of God between two people. Often this step comes at the end of what began as emotional and spiritual adultery.

Some people may even enter emotional and spiritual adultery and not actually come together physically.

Jesus speaks so clearly about this practice when he says…

Mat 5:27  You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery. [Exod. 20:14; Deut. 5:18.]

Mat 5:28  But I say to you that everyone who so much as looks at a woman with evil desire for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (AMP)

When a man and a woman marry they covenant to live together and give each other their hearts and their souls and their bodies. Scientists have discovered that when a couple makes love, the hormone oxytocin is released in both the man and the woman. This hormone creates a bonding experience in the mind and emotions of each one. The act of sex is so much more than physical.

When a married person shares their heart with a person other than their spouse they begin to forge a link that supplies the rest and refreshment of the soul that should be provided only by your spouse. Often counsellors get into trouble because they show empathy and express care and listening skills which create a bond emotionally that leads to emotions of infidelity. That is why in this church we do not counsel the opposite sex.

These emotions can seem so real that the person believes they have fallen in love with someone else and now they feel their own partner does not love them.

Often the man feels his wife does not understand him and he finds solace in the caring of another woman. His own wife will sense he has distanced himself from her and alarm bells go off. Soon her fear of another being present in the relationship, pushes her to criticism and anger, pushing him away.

At this point the offending pair will say, “It all seems so right. Perhaps we married the wrong person.”

They have been duped by deception. This deception stops them from seeing the truth – that their new relationship is of their own making and it is fuelled by pride. “This is what I want – it’s for me”

Pro 6:32  But whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks heart and understanding (moral principle and prudence); he who does it is destroying his own life.

Pro 6:33  Wounds and disgrace will he get, and his reproach will not be wiped away. (AMP)

 The way out

  1. Cut it off now. Don’t wait another hour. Don’t expect your feelings to approve. Run from the snare that has caught you.   Pro 7:21  With much justifying and enticing argument she persuades him, with the allurements of her lips she leads him [to overcome his conscience and his fears] and forces him along.

Pro 7:22  Suddenly he [yields and] follows her reluctantly like an ox moving to the slaughter, like one in fetters going to the correction [to be given] to a fool or like a dog enticed by food to the muzzle

  1. Seek God and cry out for His mercy that perhaps He will lift the deception off your soul.
  2. See a counsellor. Be open to someone who is Godly and confess your sins and receive instruction. Chris and I are willing to see anyone. You may wish to see a professional counsellor outside the church. Here is a resource for Christian counsellors. http://www.ccaa.net.au/find-a-christian-counsellor/all-christian-counsellors.php?intstate=2  and another  http://www.totalwellbeing.com.au/counselling-service

We live in a crazy world where the moral standards are plummeting – lets be a church that shines the light so bright. Let’s be a church that empowers great marriages and heals broken ones. Let’s be a church that helps adulterers find a way back home and let’s be a church that helps to heal the broken hearted ones who have been betrayed.

Love one another, go easy on one another, pray for each other.

 

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WEEK 3

The role of the Visionary Leader, Demographic Leader and Core Leader.

Your role as a core leader = Urban Connect Group Leader.

Lets look at the different kinds of leaders that function in the local church.

There are:

  1. Visionary Leaders
  2. Demographic Leaders
  3. Core Leaders

In Ex 18: 17-21

Exo 18:17  Moses’ father-in-law said to him, The thing that you are doing is not good.

Exo 18:18  You will surely wear out both yourself and this people with you, for the thing is too heavy for you; you are not able to perform it all by yourself.

Exo 18:19  Listen now to [me]; I will counsel you, and God will be with you. You shall represent the people before God, bringing their cases and causes to Him,

Exo 18:20  Teaching them the decrees and laws, showing them the way they must walk and the work they must do.

Exo 18:21  Moreover, you shall choose able men from all the people–God-fearing men of truth who hate unjust gain–and place them over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens, to be their rulers.

Exo 18:22  And let them judge the people at all times; every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they shall judge. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you.

Exo 18:23  If you will do this, and God so commands you, you will be able to endure [the strain], and all these people also will go to their [tents] in peace.

BRAINSTORM

From verse 19,20,21 – what was Moses role?

Moses Heard form God and set the vision. His role was to lead the people out of the land of Egypt and into the Promised Land. This is the big picture.

He needed other leaders to help him.

Leaders of 1000’s;  100’s;  50’s and 10’s

In our church who is the visionary leader?

In our church we have leaders of 50’s and leaders of 10’s. The leaders of 50’s are called demographic leaders. For example, Tim and Ariel over youth.

Leaders of 10’s are called Core Leaders, these are the Urban Connect group leaders.

They lead about 10 people in their Urban Connect group.

In the new testament we see a similar organisation.

Acts 6:1-4

Act 6:1  NOW ABOUT this time, when the number of the disciples was greatly increasing, complaint was made by the Hellenists (the Greek-speaking Jews) against the [native] Hebrews because their widows were being overlooked and neglected in the daily ministration (distribution of relief).

Act 6:2  So the Twelve [apostles] convened the multitude of the disciples and said, It is not seemly or desirable or right that we should have to give up or neglect [preaching] the Word of God in order to attend to serving at tables and superintending the distribution of food.

Act 6:3  Therefore select out from among yourselves, brethren, seven men of good and attested character and repute, full of the [Holy] Spirit and wisdom, whom we may assign to look after this business and duty.

Act 6:4  But we will continue to devote ourselves steadfastly to prayer and the ministry of the Word.

BRAINSTORM

Who are the visionary leader/s?

What was the role of the Visionary leaders?

They chose leaders under them like Stephen and Philip, who became demographic leaders. They impacted regions or cities for God.

THE ROLE OF THE VISIONARY LEADER

  • Creators, owners and inspirers of vision.
  • Chief “passionary” (value holder).
  • Chief believer in the potential and destiny of others.
  • Provides excellent self leadership.
  • Provides hands on development and partnership and vision for demographic leaders.
  • Facilitates the development and partnership of core leaders.
  • Calls others up by lifting,

THE ROLE OF THE DEMOGRAPHIC LEADERS

  • These are leaders who take responsibility for whole demographic target areas e.g. Schools/Youth/young adults/young families/business etc
  • They can see and follow the vision of their visionary leader
  • They make room by violent prayerfor a move of God
  • They are able to see how to turn the tide of war and win souls
  • They are culture setters; positive influencers
  • They cast vision to Core Leaders (the vision carriers) and inspire them to serve the vision. If Core Leaders are not multiplying disciples, Demographic Leaders do not complain. They work out how to walk with them so that they do
  • Will leave the one for the ninety nine

THE ROLE OF THE CORE LEADERS

  •  They multiply disciples, taking them from infancy to maturity
    • They are people who understand, articulate and facilitate the vision of the Demographic leader
    • They identify their place in the Church under a Demographic leader
    • They create community
  1. Around the Word of God
  2. By building relationships/friendships and making disciples
  3. By winning the lost and maintaining an outward focus
  • They carry the core values of the Church
  • They maintain the unity of the Spirit in the Church by embracing the vision and values set by Church leaders/visionary leader
  • They will leave the ninety nine to go for the one

Have a look at the Core Leaders Checklist. (at the bottom)

BIG THINKING

I will grow a group and multiply it in the next year.

I will make sure I get refuelled by the visionary leader every week, so I don’t grow stale or cold.

Core Leaders Checklist

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PRISON BREAK 2

Message for 12-08-12

 

OVERCOMING SIN

 

Main thought – the power of the blood and the cross is to not only forgive sin but also give the believer power over sin.

 

The power of “Don’t” – It doesn’t work.

When we tell a young child. “don’t touch” we empower them with a big desire to touch.

 

Video – the marshmallow test.

This is what Paul said in Romans when we read last week…

 

Rom 7:8  But sin, finding opportunity in the commandment [to express itself], got a hold on me and aroused and stimulated all kinds of forbidden desires (lust, covetousness). For without the Law sin is dead [the sense of it is inactive and a lifeless thing].

 

To illustrate the effect of the Law on the mind, the apostle in this verse depicts its influence in exciting to evil desires and purposes.

 

What we learned last week was that you and I have at work within us a sin principle. A desire to disobey which is unconquerable. Even the most disciplined and desperate soul in an effort to do good fails at this point in becoming proud of his perceived achievement and sins by pride or religious self righteousness.

 

Mat 19:17  And He said to him, Why do you ask Me about the perfectly and essentially good? There is only One Who is good [perfectly and essentially]–God. If you would enter into the Life, you must continually keep the commandments.

 

 

THE ANSWER

 

The answer is not “don’t”

Saying don’t do it, is a strategy without power.

Sins incessant demands and our complete impotence to achieve goodness means that we can never be perfect. We can never live without sin no matter how hard we try. To say just don’t is the height of foolishness.

 

What about a change of heart? – No that won’t do it either the only way is death!!

 

The only person who doesn’t sin is a dead person.

When the police are searching for a criminal on the run. They are preparing evidence to charge him. They are ready to take him to court and put him on trial. If they find out he is dead, everything stops. There’s no searching, no more investigation, no trial, it’s all over.

 

Here’s how the bible puts it…

Rom 7:1  DO YOU not know, brethren–for I am speaking to men who are acquainted with the Law–that legal claims have power over a person only for as long as he is alive?

Rom 7:2  For [instance] a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives; but if her husband dies, she is loosed and discharged from the law concerning her husband.

Rom 7:3  Accordingly, she will be held an adulteress if she unites herself to another man while her husband lives. But if her husband dies, the marriage law no longer is binding on her [she is free from that law]; and if she unites herself to another man, she is not an adulteress.

Rom 7:4  Likewise, my brethren, you have undergone death as to the Law through the [crucified] body of Christ, so that now you may belong to Another, to Him Who was raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God. (AMP)

 

The only way you can be free from sin is to die. God’s so smart He figured out a way to do this without putting an end to your earthly existence!! Interested?

 

Here’s how it works…

Rom 7:4  Likewise, my brethren, you have undergone death as to the Law through the [crucified] body of Christ

Or as Paul puts it in Romans 6…

Romans 6:6  We know that our old (unrenewed) self was nailed to the cross with Him in order that [our] body [which is the instrument] of sin might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we might no longer be the slaves of sin.

Rom 6:7  For when a man dies, he is freed (loosed, delivered) from [the power of] sin [among men].

So get this picture…

Jesus died – and you died

Jesus was buried and you were buried in the waters of Baptism

Jesus rose from the dead – and you rose from the dead into newness of life out of the waters of Baptism

Jesus lived a new supernatural life – and you now live a new life filled with God’s spirit.

 

The truth about salvation, about you repenting and surrendering your life to Christ is that your old life died. You were in Christ when He died on the cross.

 

At that exact moment you became a totally new person. A different person. BORN AGAIN, BORN ANEW,  a new birth for a new person.

 

The old Craig Anderson died and a new person began, a person now created in the likeness of Jesus and with a new life on the inside, no longer subject to sin.

 

Let’s see how the bible explains that…

2Co 5:17  Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come! (AMP)

1Pe 1:23  Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and abides for ever. NKJV

 

Let’s make this really clear…. When you get born again, you are a new person, with a totally new heart/spirit. You have been changed, regenerated, a new beginning.

Yes you are acquitted, pardoned, forgiven of all your sins, but more than that you begin anew, with a new heart that does not want to sin. Now you desire to please Him who has saved you.

 

Rom 6:17  But thank God, though you were once slaves of sin, you have become obedient with all your heart to the standard of teaching in which you were instructed and to which you were committed.

Rom 6:18  And having been set free from sin, you have become the servants of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in thought, purpose, and action).

To accomplish this great change we must do two things.

Repent and believe – Turn to Christ in full surrender. Capitulate. Lay down and ie to the old life – it wasn’t taking you anywhere nice anyway. This means reckon yourself as dead to sin

Rom 6:11  Even so consider yourselves also dead to sin and your relation to it broken, but alive to God [living in unbroken fellowship with Him] in Christ Jesus.

And secondly choose to walk in the spirit.

 

In Romans just before we read…

Rom 7:6  But now we are discharged from the Law and have terminated all intercourse with it, having died to what once restrained and held us captive. So nowwe serve not under [obedience to] the old code of written regulations, but [under obedience to the promptings] of the Spirit in newness [of life].

This new life we have we don’t live alone, but we have the Holy Spirit leading and prompting us to do good, to live right, to please God.

 

Later in Galatians Paul explains this a little more….

Gal 5:16  But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God). (AMP)

 

To stop sinning – give up, surrender, die to the old way of life in complete surrender to Christ. Reckon yourself dead to sin. Walk in the spirit, be filled and empowered by the spirit. You can never stop sinning by your own human effort and will, it’simpossible. You can only do it with the grace of God. Stop fighting and surrender. Dump pride and give up trying to be a better person.

 

HOW?
1. Read and mediate on Romans chap 6 and 8

2. Humble yourself to God and ask Him to show you that you are dead to sin.

3. Sometimes that humbling is greatly assisted by fasting if you are trapped in a stronghold of sin.

4. Humble yourself and ask a brother or sister to pray with you and be accountable to.

 

 

 

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