Dr. Doug Weiss is all about healing. He has devoted his life
to healing the sexually broken. Through his work as a counselor and clinical
psychologist as well as his many books, public speaking and numerous media appearances,
Dr. Weiss has been able to help rescue thousands from sex addictions and other
problems. He claims an 85 percent success rate. He personally understands
sexual addiction, and has been successfully sober for more than 24 years. read more
C. S. Lewis wrote in The Problem
of Pain: "If God were good, He would wish to make His
creatures perfectly happy, and if God were almighty, He would be able to
do what He wished. But the creatures are not happy. Therefore, God lacks
either goodness, or power, or both. This is the problem of pain in its
Of the many questions raised by suffering
and evil, these four capture most of the heart issues:
Does God know? (the issue of His omniscience)
Does God care?·(the issue of His benevolence and love)
Can He do anything about it? (the issue of His omnipotence)
If He knows, cares, and can do something about it, why doesn't He?·(the·issue of His purposes and will)
So much about suffering and evil remains opaque and impenetrable. On the other
hand, a lot is knowable. read more
You've tried it your way and failed.
Don't give up! Choose to stay in the game and see how God even takes our
mistakes and builds them into our greatest victories.
many times have we heard this one: “It doesn't matter if you win or lose, it's
how you play the game that counts.” Some of us realized winning meant a lot
when we noticed that the guys who got the girls were the ones who won the
starting positions on the team. Even if how they played the game was anything
but nice, they still won and got the girls.
out in life thinking that winning does not matter and you will be very
disappointed. Winning matters a lot.
get the best stuff. The world talks about and celebrates winners, while it
shuns the loser who seems to not have what it takes or has it for a while and
then loses it. Few can tell you who raced in the Indianapolis 500 in any given
year. The winners are the ones that count.
Your Personal Battles Everybody
struggles with something and battles it day after day. Your main battle might
be overeating, pornography, drinking, anger, depression or one of many other
things that could have been tripping you up, perhaps for years.
have made two choices that most everybody else has made: (1) You have tried
real hard to fix it yourself; (2) You have asked God to take the battle from
you and just heal it right now.
may have begged Him and even questioned whether or not there actually is a God,
or whether or not He loves you based on the fact that your battle has
continued. You may have even defended your problem, saying it is just the way
God made you since He hasn't seen fit to change it for you.
is always good to ask for God's healing, but if you are still struggling, still
losing the battle, now is the time to make some different choices that will
turn your life around.
dealing with your innermost battles, keep in mind that winners are not just
those men who develop a plan for their life, go out and execute it and then
watch everything fall perfectly in place. Winning also comes from the response
we choose when things don't go so well.
coaches train the team to go out and win. But championship coaches take it a
step further: They train their teams to respond when the other team scores
first. Great teams know how to come back when they are behind. It is the
response to things not going well that often determines whether or not a team
wins or loses. The same goes with individuals.
have a choice of how to respond when things go wrong. Most likely there is some
area, some battle in which you have experienced defeat over and over again. Now
you have choices before you that will either turn your life into a succession
of loss upon loss or a life defined in every way by winning.
Giving Up Old Choices One
choice in response to mistakes and personal failures is arrogant defensiveness.
This is the choice to justify, rationalize and stand your ground. It is the
choice down a path of repeated failures and stunted growth. I have used this
response often and have to surrender it up every day.
always feels good for the moment to exercise my right to defend what I did and
stand my ground. But it never helps me move forward, and, eventually, I have to
acknowledge my arrogance and let it go.
have to replace the choice to remain stubborn, resistant, arrogant and
defensive with the choice of a winner. It is the unattractive choice of humble
The Choice of Humble Willingness Those
who are both humble and willing realize they do not have all the answers, and
they are willing to do whatever it takes to find them. This place of humility
allows them to seek help from others and shift their reliance from themselves
3:5-7 tells us to not lean on our own understanding and to not be wise in our
own eyes. A humble willingness to do whatever it takes, to reach out and get
the help that is needed is a sign of character and strength. It is the
beginning of the path to the victory circle. But to get there you have to allow
God to use your struggle to teach you to rely less on your own resources and
totally on Him.
the years I have watched people reach this crucial point where they are willing
to do whatever it takes, and I have watched everything in their lives turn
around. I have also seen those who reach the point and turn and run in the
opposite direction. The biggest reason is that they are unwilling to make a
bold move toward healing.
can't just declare yourself a winner. You have to heal the things that are
preventing you from having victory. The biggest reason you have lost the battle
is that you have relied on your own strength, trying to win on your own.
you are humbly willing, you can move to connect your life with others who can
help you. This means that you are willing to call someone or get in the car and
go to a meeting or find a counselor to help you. In humble willingness, tell
your wife or close friend that you are finally willing to look into getting
some help that they suggested. Humbly acknowledge that you are only as sick as
your secrets, and you must break out of secrecy and into connection that heals
and helps you to win whatever battles you are facing.
winning life starts by moving beyond trying harder and merely asking for
healing. You give up the old ways and defending the old ways, and you are
willing to become involved in the healing by reaching out and connecting.
connection begins the healing process that will include several difficult processes,
such as grieving your past losses so you can move forward. It may involve
forgiving those who have hurt you, and giving up old resentments and grudges.
And rather than numb your feelings or deny they are there, you will need to
acknowledge them and feel the depths of your emotions.
as the reality of your situation becomes clearer, it will require that you
embrace your life, the good and the bad of it all, and allow God to do with it
what only God can do.
Embracing Rather Than Rejecting Life God
takes our mistakes and blends them and builds them into our biggest wins. I
know that may sound strange, but it is true.
probably familiar with the Old Testament story of Joseph. The guy went from
being the favorite son in his father's house to the depths of an Egyptian
prison. Some would say that he had it coming.
was so arrogant that he was not smart enough to edit what he tells his brothers
about God's plan for his life: “One night Joseph had a dream and promptly
reported the details to his brothers, causing them to hate him even more.
'Listen to this dream,' he announced. 'We were out in the field tying up
bundles of grain. My bundle stood up, and then your bundles all gathered around
and bowed low before it!' 'So you are going to be our king, are you?' his
brothers taunted. And they hated him all the more for his dream and what he had
said” (Gen. 37:5-8, NLT).
Joseph's brothers decided to kill him, but they changed their minds and sold
him into slavery instead. He found favor with his new master only to be thrown
in jail after the lady of the house lied about Joseph, accusing him of an
impropriety. At some point, I'm sure Joseph was kicking himself for the way he
had bragged to his brothers, which started the chain of events leading to his
imprisonment. But he didn't give up.
prison he connected with his fellow inmates, telling them what their dreams
meant and that eventually led to his release. Once again, he gained favor by
telling Pharaoh what his dreams meant and ended up running the country,
enabling him to save his family and, ultimately, an entire nation.
I don't think God meant for those mean brothers to sell Joseph or for him to be
falsely accused and thrown in prison. But, somehow, God worked out a big win in
the end. As Joseph notes, “God turned into good” what his brothers meant for
evil (Gen. 50:20).
may feel like you are living in your own self-constructed prison. You may think
your life is wasted and you are the loser of all losers. But it is not true. If
you will stay true to God, God will work with your circumstances and weave them
into a wonderful win. But you must humble yourself and become willing to do
whatever it takes to heal.
must reach out and connect with others, getting support, accountability and
even treatment for the character defects within you. You must open up your life
to others and allow God to manage the outcome. Then you must embrace the
reality of your life and allow God to use the things you are most ashamed of. Allow
God to weave them and wind them into your future.
final element to win at anything is perseverance. Whether it is a personal
battle or a new project, be in it for the long haul.
often, we want the quick fix and the instant solution. We want the big win now
and when it does not happen, we give up, throw in the towel and walk away a
loser. But if we persevere, hang on and hang in, the win we so badly want may
be just around the corner.
is how perseverance worked for me. One of the things I feel best about in my
life is the creation of the Women of Faith conference. God gave me a vision for
discouraged and disappointed women, and we began conferences for women in 1996.
Now, almost 15 years later, they are stronger than ever with more than 3
million women having attended, more than 400,000 attending each year. Nothing
has ever made me feel more like a winner than the success of Women of Faith and
the hundreds of thousands of lives that have been changed by it.
in 1995, the year before the conferences started, I felt like the biggest loser
around. It was then that I created a traveling conference that toured the
country in 12 cities. That year, my efforts at creating conferences resulted in
a grand total of less than 1,000 people showing up … total.
remember the grand ballroom in Chicago where we had less than 30. No one looked
like or felt like a bigger loser than me. But I did not take the loss as an
indictment on who I was. A losing idea and the mistakes I made in implementing
it did not make me a total failure. So I persevered with conferences, and it
was the next year that Women of Faith started filling every seat available.
I given up, I would have never experienced the joy of seeing Women of Faith
become the ministry that it is today. The win was not in pulling it off. The
win was persevering with God and watching Him do what I had proved I could not
you are about to give up. You don't feel there is any hope for you. If I were
sitting there with you, I would encourage you to look for the big win just
around the bend or just over the next hill. You may not see it, but it is
strong in God's Spirit and resist Satan's lies that you will fail. Take Paul's
encouragement in Ephesians 6:10-13 to heart: “Be strong with the Lord's mighty
power. Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against
all strategies and tricks of the Devil. For we are not fighting against people
made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the
unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and
against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms. Use every piece of God's armor
to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will
still be standing firm.”
matter how low you feel or the degree of humiliation you have experienced, you
can choose to keep going and stay in the game rather than quit right before you
see what God is about to do. Your loss could actually be the springboard to
living the life of a winner because of what you have experienced and what you
have learned in the heat of battle. But to experience the life of a winner, you
must have a willingness to wait on God and to persevere.
than give up on life, I encourage you to give up your old ways of handling your
battles and turn your life over to God. Trust in Him and those He chooses to
use to help you. You will heal, and you will win. And, you will find purpose
for your life that you never dreamed possible.
8:28 will unfold before your eyes over your lifetime: God really “causes
everything to work together for the good.” But first you must choose to win His
way and not your own. And once you experience winning God's way, you will want
to share the message with others and help them understand the path toward
creating a winning life.
KEYS TO WINNING ANY BATTLE
Give up your old ways of trying to win.
Give up arrogant defensiveness and stubborn resistance.
Humble yourself and become willing to do whatever it takes.
Reach out and connect with those who can help you heal.
Heal old wounds by grieving your losses, forgiving those who hurt you and
feeling the depths of your emotions.
Embrace the reality of your life, including the past you want to forget.
Persevere and watch God create something amazing from it all.
Reach out to others who need to find the way to win.
Steve Arterburn is the founder and chairman
of New Life Ministries and hosts the nationally syndicated Christian counseling
talk show New Life Live. He also serves as a teaching pastor at Heartland
Church in Indianapolis and is the author and co-author of more than 60 books,
including Every Man's Battle. Contact him at newlife.com. read more
The Ides of March is a
well-executed but unoriginal drama that features an incredible cast and serves
as a coming out party for Ryan Gosling’s status as a major leading actor. What
this movie lacks in originality and creative writing, it more than makes up for
in the acting and directing, making it one of the best dramas of the fall movie
Gosling (pictured here with actor/director George Clooney) stars as an
up-and-coming political staffer who gets corrupted while trying to win a
presidential election. Again, there’s nothing groundbreaking about the plot
(really, politics can corrupt people!?), but when you throw in George
Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Jeffrey Wright and a
surprisingly good Marisa Tomei, every scene becomes a pleasure to watch.
Gosling is in every
scene, and he’s magnetic. There’s no overacting here. When he starts having to
make the morally questionable decisions, you can tell he’s torn, but it’s
underneath the surface. He knows his character and makes him believable in
every scene. After breaking out with The Notebook and then working his
considerable talents on a number of indie films for the last six years, it was
time for him to step up to the plate with a leading role in a mainstream
Hollywood movie. Combined with his charismatic, hilarious performance in Crazy,
Stupid, Love, it feels like Gosling is finally hitting the big time in
2011, and it’s good to have him.
The funny thing is that
Gosling is overshadowed in a number of scenes by Hoffman and Giamatti, who
absolutely kill their roles as rival political campaign bosses. Watching these
guys chew cigars while dishing political barbs is an absolute joy. Tomei and
Wright get limited time but make the most of it, and Evan Rachel Wood gives a
compelling turn as an intern on the campaign.
I haven’t even
mentioned Clooney yet, and that’s because his role as the seemingly perfect
politician almost comes as an afterthought in this movie. Clooney actually did
much better work directing The Ides of March than acting in it. He plays
down the glitz of politics in favor of the gritty details, which works well
given that the film takes place almost entirely in Ohio. This is not Mr.
Smith Goes to Washington, and that’s a good thing. If you’re looking for
solid, well-acted drama to see, you can’t go wrong with The Ides of March.
Not for the kids. The movie features pervasive language. There is no nudity,
but the film deals with mature subjects, including abortion. read more
When CNN posted an article on its Belief Blog asking, “Do you
speak Christian?” author John Blake looked into the various phrases that
Christians use to describe things, like being “born again,” that may be
confusing to those outside the Christian culture. It’s actually a pretty poor
article that merely catalogs a bunch of phrases the author seems to find amusing,
but it brings up an important point. Are you aware of the words and phrases you
are using in your everyday life and how others, especially nonbelievers,
This is a debate that goes on in many churches and
ministries across the country. Our culture is less Christian and less
knowledgeable about Christian ideas than at any point in its history. We can’t
assume that our co-workers and neighbors are going to understand a lot of words
and phrases that we take for granted, especially those of us who have grown up
in the church.
If I tell my co-workers that I have been “saved by grace,”
many of them would have no idea what that means. Terms like that are so common
to Christians that we don’t even notice when we’re using them. But it is
important to be aware; because if we use phrases like that with people who
don’t understand, it can be off-putting. It hints to them at a special group—a
special language that only insiders understand.
Unfortunately we are not talking about something as tangible
or simple as what we had for breakfast. In Christianity God reveals himself to
us, and we are dealing with ideas and concepts that aren’t normally discussed
at the water cooler. We have to be able to describe these ideas; and so,
naturally, we are forced to use words that many people do not use in their
everyday lives. The word justification explains a very important,
essential Christian idea, but it’s not exactly trending on Twitter right now.
There’s nothing wrong with having words and phrases that
explain important concepts, as it allows us to discuss our faith intelligibly.
The issue lies in how and when we use these words and how comfortable we get
with them. It’s all about knowing your audience.
I remember when I was in college leading a Bible study of mature
Christian guys. We were studying Romans and throwing around a lot of these
words and phrases because everyone understood them and was comfortable using
them. Then in the middle of the semester, one of our members brought a
non-Christian friend with him. Immediately we had to change the tone of the
study so he wouldn’t feel left out or ignorant. My co-leader and I kept
catching ourselves saying things he might not understand. We started
re-phrasing. We still studied the same material and discussed the same
subjects, but we had to be mindful of our new audience. read more
Men who are growing spiritually, emotionally and relationally know the
importance of having other men in their lives who can hold them
accountable. They also recognize the value of helping other men.
Proverbs 27:17 says it well: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man
sharpens another” (NIV). We need one another in order to be sharp. We
also need to realize that every man is sharpened differently.
Accountability is not about asking a list of questions. It’s about
being involved in another man’s life. It’s coming alongside other men.
Godly men know they need to be accountable, but they don’t always know
what that looks like. I’ve been in good accountability relationships
and bad ones. I've noticed that the accountability partner has four key
responsibilities. read more
With four comic-book movies coming out this summer, X-Men:
First Class seemed to draw the least amount of excitement. “Another X-Men
movie?” seemed to be the common thought. However, X-Men: First Class surprisingly
turns out to be the best movie about Xavier’s mutants so far, and it may turn
out to be the best comic movie of the summer.
Set mostly in the '60s, the film details the story of the
beginning of the X-Men, and, more importantly, the beginning of the
relationship between Charles Xavier and Magneto. It’s this relationship and the
two actors, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, that bring it to life and really set this movie above your normal comic action-fest.
The plot follows Xavier and Magneto as they grow up in very
different childhoods, one with a privileged upbringing and one in a Nazi
concentration camp (guess which one ends up turning into a bad guy). As they
grow older, they cross each other’s paths in search of the movie’s villain, a
mutant who is arranging the Cuban Missile Crisis in hopes of starting World War
III. They form a team to deal with the threat, and the first class of X-Men is born. read more
With Father’s Day coming up, we took some time to speak
with David Horner, pastor of Providence Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C. Horner
is the author of When Missions Shape the
Mission, which examines America’s role in world missions. Passionate
about spreading the gospel abroad, Horner also took his three sons on mission
trips as each turned 16 and had memorable and life-changing experiences with
them. He details these accounts to us and recommends other ways fathers can
give their children a heart for missions. read more
The thing I miss most about being a pilot in the Marines is the Ready Room, where we gathered before and after our flights.
It smelled of sweaty flight suits, and occasionally, coarse humor blued the air while our inflated egos competed, but I loved it nonetheless.
Then came the day I had to let it all go. I hadn't grown up in the church, so when I met Christ in a bunker in Vietnam, my life had to change.
Being a fighter pilot had been my dream since childhood, and here I was living it. But one morning as I sat reading the Bible, I struggled to understand what Paul was saying in Romans 8:15: "You received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father'" (NIV).
Are you in full-time Christian service? If you say "No" because you work in the secular world, you may be wrong, Robert J. Tamasy says. He explained: "Recently a friend of mine, a financial planner, commented, 'I'd give anything to be able to go full time for the Lord.'
I thought about his statement for a moment and then replied, "What makes you think you haven't already done that?" read more
Bono and Bush, Jakes and Jennings. The Men of the Year for 2005 have dug wells of inspiration from which others who aspire to the exceptional might drink.
There is little more beautiful to behold in the world than a man in the grasp of an idea. Women, of course, are also thrilling when they passionately give themselves to belief, but since men are the more easily distracted and the more commonly willing to settle for less than they might be, it is a man possessed of an idea who most often holds the fascination of the world.
Our 2005 Men of the Year are just such men. Except for one of them, they are not particularly exceptional apart from the ideas they serve. Yet, because they have chosen to preserve the heritage of a people or to loose the grip of poverty upon nations or to lead a tradition-bound church into cultural relevance, among other causes, they are living exceptional lives. They are also digging wells of inspiration from which others who aspire to the exceptional might drink.
People were surprised when actor Stephen Baldwin became a born-again Christian and started preaching the gospel. And that's exactly what God had in mind.
Michael McManus is lying face down on the bed ... shirtless. Rousing from a deep sleep, he squints at the flood of blinding white light coming from the police flashlights. More annoyed than frightened, he cusses as the black-gloved hands grab at him and pull him out of bed to take him downtown for a meeting that will change the course of his life... (The Usual Suspects DVD).
Stephen Baldwin is lying face up on the table … shirtless. The tattoo artist is working on his right arm. Ryan Dobson-whose father, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, probably wouldn't be caught dead at Sid's Tattoo Parlor-is sitting in the corner, recording a Podcast for ryan dobson.com.
Many people regard the story of Adam and Eve as a myth. But scientific evidence is mounting in support of a single shared ancestor, indicating not only that Adam existed, but that he was also a pretty amazing guy.
With the crack of his whip, the anthropologist snagged an overhanging branch, swung his khaki-clad body over the ravine, then hacked his way through the jungle growth before reaching the clearing. There he greeted a tall, well-muscled man who was wearing only a fig leaf. “Adam, I presume?”
Of course, this Indiana Jones fantasy isn't going to happen. The Bible tells us that Adam lived for 930 years, but that was still a long time ago. And, yet, in a very real sense, modern-day explorers are closing in on mankind's ultimate ancestor. They're more likely to wear white lab coats than khaki, and they use microscopes rather than machetes. But in laboratories around the world, scientists are finding clues that point to Adam-the original “new man.”
Do you have what it takes to be your own boss? Before you say no, consider this: Your quest for 'security' may be keeping you from seeing new and better opportunities.
We often refer to the workplace as “being in the rat race,” but this is probably unfair. It's actually demeaning to the rats. Rats won't stay in a race when it's obvious there's no cheese.
Research shows that even average rats quickly look for new territory when the cheese is gone. Humans, on the other hand, seem to often get themselves into career traps from which they never escape.
You've tried it your way and failed. Don't give up! Choose to stay in the game and see how God even takes our mistakes and builds them into our greatest victories.
How many times have we heard this one: “It doesn't matter if you win or lose, it's how you play the game that counts.” Some of us realized winning meant a lot when we noticed that the guys who got the girls were the ones who won the starting positions on the team. Even if how they played the game was anything but nice, they still won and got the girls.
Go out in life thinking that winning does not matter and you will be very disappointed. Winning matters a lot.
Predictability. Control. Safety. Comfort. Jesus said that God's men can throw all these words out the window. In the end, all the energy we spend trying to eliminate risk from our lives actually works against us when it comes to our faith.
"If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will find true life."
Mark 8:35 (NLT)
He knew their tendencies. He studied their film. He recognized their ability to compartmentalize commitment--to live an 80/20 life. Faced with the gauntlet of His own commitment to His mission, Jesus asked for His disciples' dying breath.
In 1986, Patrick Morley discipled a handful of men who met together in an Orlando-area bar to study the Bible. Today, he challenges men in 80 countries to be Christ's disciples. New Man recognizes an icon of the modern men's movement.
The letter came from a New Jersey man who attended a conference sponsored by a Methodist men's group. The featured speaker: Patrick Morley.
"I truly believe [Pat's] presentation saved my marriage," the man wrote. "My wife and I had agreed to get a divorce the night before the gathering. I felt as though Pat were talking directly to me. Everything he said fit what I was going through and made perfect sense."
Making sense to men is what Morley, the founder of the Orlando, Fla.-based Man in the Mirror (MIM) ministry, has been doing now for 20 years.
A look inside the mind of Islamic terrorists reveals why they are willing to give up their lives-and why they can't be stopped by weapons made by man.
Indoctrinated since childhood and trained in secret camps across the Middle East, they are dominated by an aggressive religion and fueled by a belief that they are doing God's will. Ultimately, they can't be stopped with weapons made by man.
“Why we are fighting and opposing you? The answer is very simple: Because you attacked us and continue to attack us. … The British handed over Palestine, with your help and your support, to the Jews, who have occupied it for over 50 years; years overflowing with oppression, tyranny, crimes, killing, expulsion, destruction and devastation. The creation and continuation of Israel is one of the greatest crimes, and you are the leaders of its criminals. … It brings us both laughter and tears to see that you have not yet tired of repeating your fabricated lies that Jews have a historical right to Palestine, as it was promised to them in the Torah. … The blood pouring out of Palestine must be equally revenged.”
From Osama bin Laden's 2002 “Letter to America”
Mark Gabriel knows the spirit of hatred and revenge. Back in Egypt, the teachers in his Muslim-run school taught him to hate Christians and Jews-hate them for the crime of stealing Palestine, for occupying sacred land and for opposing the one true religion of Islam.
He has the unenviable task of following in the tracks of a NASCAR legend-chasing records that may never be broken. But make no mistake, Kyle Petty is his own man … fueled by a desire to leave his mark on the racing world and to carry on the work of the son he lost five years ago.
For a moment, the ground is still. The toxic smell of burnt rubber and 110-octane leaded gasoline has yet to be released into the air. On this warm August day in Michigan, 43 drivers climb into race cars riddled with corporate logos, eagerly anticipating the famous call to start their engines.
The skies are clear, so comparing the pre-race atmosphere to the cliché “calm before the storm” doesn't exactly work out. In fact, once the speedway goes “hot,” it will feel a lot more like an earthquake than any meteorological phenomenon.
As crews make final preparations in pit road and the sold-out crowd of over 137,000 waits in anticipation, Tim Griffin takes a deliberate walk down the starting grid. As one of chaplains for Motor Racing Outreach (MRO), he has the unique privilege of praying with each driver individually. read more