Archive for the ‘hardships of a youth’ Category

EVERY YOUNG MAN’S BATTLE: STRATEGIES FOR VICTORY IN THE REAL WORLD OF SEXUAL TEMPTATION
STEPHEN ARTERBURN, FRED STOEKER AND MIKE YORKEY

What a friend taught me:

I’d heard nothing about this practice before then. My parents never talked about sex, and my two older brothers never told me about it either. I’d never had an orgasm and had no idea what one was, but my buddy seemed to know everything. I remember the night very well.

He said all I had to do was reach inside my pants and rub my penis up and down. If I kept doing that, it would feel even better and better, and then some stuff would come out, and when that happen, it would feel really good. But first I had to get my penis hard to get things started.

When you learned to masturbate, you didn’t learn to commit the unpardonable sin.

No matter how spiritually strong you start out, a life of pornography, masturbation, pre-marital foreplay, and intercourse will weaken you and leave you distant from God.

Is masturbation a sin?
If it is, why can’t I stop it?
If it isn’t, why do I feel so guilty?

Let’s get right to it, first things first. Masturbation isn’t address in the Bible, so there’s no direct, definite scripture that says the practice is right or wrong. In other words, the issue of masturbation won’t be as cut and dried as say, adultery. But the fact that adultery is a sin helps us out a great deal in defining almost all marital masturbation as sin. Jesus said:

I tell you that anyone who looks at woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Matthew 5:28)

If Jesus defines simply looking lustfully at a woman as adultery for the married man, certainly looking at a woman and masturbating is adultery. But what about you single guys? While the Bible is unclear about masturbation, this same scripture makes a similarly strong case against lustful looks in single men. If looking lustfully at a woman is the same as going to bed with her for married guys, looking lustfully at a woman is the same as going to bed with her for single guys. We don’t see much difference.

Some make a case that isolated instances of masturbation to relieve sexual tension are okay, if you’re married and focusing on your wife, not some supermodel, during periods of separation or illness.

Looking at it from another direction, is masturbation the only way to release sexual tension? There may be purer ways. We need to discuss all these questions.

I feel most comfortable simply calling masturbation a “sin” because its effects are exactly like the effects of any other sin in a man’s life. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it likely is a duck:

*Habitual masturbation consistently creates a distance from God.

*Jesus said that lusting after women in your heart is the same as doing it. Since most masturbation involves a lustful fantasy or pornography, we’re certain that nearly all circumstances violate Scripture.

*The pornography and fantasy that surround masturbation change the way we view women. How can that be right?

*Habitual masturbation is hard to stop. If you don’t believe it, wait till you get married and try to quit masturbating.

*Masturbation is progressive. You’re more likely to masturbate the day after you masturbate than you’re likely to do it the day after you didn’t. In other words, the pleasurable chemical reactions draw you to repeat the practice more and more. This is bondage, and God hates bondage in His sons.

Masturbation is not rare, and most have tried it at some point. They just don’t admit it or talk about it.

When they (men) go without masturbating for a month, they feel so clean and good about themselves.

“Pond the sin and shame aspect too hard, and his insecurity problems get only stronger.”

Self-condemnation only sets the cycle of masturbation into a downward spiral, causing deeper embarrassment and humiliation.

The desire to become close to somebody can also drive you quickly into the arms of women or one-sided friendships. Rather than turn to God, you truly can begin looking for love in all the wrong places, hoping for something, anything, to take that place of that loss.

For these guys, masturbation makes them feel good and takes away the loneliness–for a moment.

If you masturbate to fix your feeling of insecurity and isolation, then the masturbation just adds to your loneliness because you’re not receiving true intimacy when you do the act.

This is why many young men fighting for sexual purity seek support in a men’s Bible study group or a smaller accountability group with one or two other men. Having a safe place to discuss this tough issue often results in an honest exchange, although getting there can be awkward. (Another drawback of being a male is that we don’t verbalize our feelings very well.)

This should be a male friend, perhaps someone older and well respected in the church, a person who can encourage you in the heat of the battle.

As your intimacy with God grows , you’ll need less of that false intimacy. You’ll find Him to be your best accountability partner.

What helps bring true intimacy with God quickly? Worship. We were created to worship. Worship and praise brings intimacy with the Lord and ushers us quickly into His presence.

We can change our views and legalize them, therefore removing the shame.  But they’ll still ensnare us in addictive, binding cycles that isolate us in despair.

Men are sexual beings. Women are emotional beings.

For most young men, it’s a major victory to come to the point of asking for help. HAVE YOU DONE THAT YET?

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Teenagers, please be serious about love!

I will go straight forward right now.  Believe me or not, teenagers nowadays are more serious about romantic love than anything else.  Romantic Love!  They know so much about this matter.  They know the feeling of being in love.  The feeling of being heartbroken.  The feeling of being rejected by someone.  The emotions they go through.  They know how to be tough and how to get through with those brokenness.  Not just on the negative side, they also know how to make someone fall in love with them.  They know how to take care of a relationship.  They know how to dig deeper into love.  They know how to fight, to sacrifice, to give up or to give in just for love.  Believe me, teenagers know everything about ROMANTIC LOVE.

You know what I mean.  We are surely surprised by these real facts.  These are true.  THESE ARE REAL EMOTIONS!

The thing is, all of these are real emotions FOR THEM but they have the WRONG PERCEPTION about romantic love.  Let me emphasize, these are real emotions FOR THEM but they have the WRONG PERCEPTION.  They thought that entering into an early relationship is okay. It’s good.  Nothing’s wrong about it because everyone does the same.  EVERYONE DOES THE SAME. Even people who are not in their teenage years anymore have these real emotions but have wrong perception, wrong context. Now that is the concerning matter for me.  This post is actually not just for teenagers who are entering into an early relationship but for those people who we are looking up to.  For those people who we seek advise about this matter.  For those people who we thought have more knowledge about romantic love. This is for those people who they thought know more about this matter.  Those people who  give advise to our teenagers.  (I’m not telling everyone, but most!)

Surely, they know so much things about romantic  love.  But what they do not actually know is, again, teenagers have the real emotions but in the wrong perception.  (Shall I now begin explaining?)  We should be very sensitive about the emotions of our teenagers when giving an advise.  We should also give our truest emotions so that they would also give theirs. Honest conversation, I mean. For example,

“Go on, talk to me.”
The kid starts talking and talking and you start listening and listening. Then you give your advise. The kid says thank you then left. When the kid left, you say,
“Oh teenagers! They don’t know anything about love. They’re just kids.”

I mean, c’mon! That’s why they’re asking for an advise because they don’t know anything.  Even though they’re just kids, their emotions are real so we should, too, be real.

Sometimes, we, adults try to listen, try to give our truest emotions, then we give advise. But then, we give wrong advise because we also have the wrong context about romantic love.
For example,

“I love her so much. I want to fight for this love. I can’t go on without her.”
You start giving true emotions.  Then you give advise.
“Don’t give up! You have to keep on fighting for that love. Even if everyone’s going against your way, keep on fighting. Stand with your emotions. Stand with your decision.”

WHAT?! What are you talking about? We should give advise to teenagers that fighting for an immature love is wrong. We should give real emotions, but our advise should also be real. Our advise should be right. We should teach the right thing.

I will give another scenario.

“I love her. I want to be her boyfriend. But no one’s supporting me and they just keep on telling me that this is wrong.”
“I am not telling you not to listen to them, but you have your own decision. You just have to listen to your heart. Whatever your decision is, I’m here to support you.”

Oh dear, please give a break!
I AM NOT TELLING YOU NOT TO LISTEN TO THEM?
Duh?!
YOU JUST HAVE TO LISTEN TO YOUR HEART?
Duh?!

So now we teach our teenagers to go against doing the right thing.

Dear, brothers and sisters, let us take full responsibility of our thoughts, actions and words. Remember, there are teenagers who are looking up to us. Whatever we do, we say or think, they will surely imitate.  Let us not mislead our teenagers.   Yes, they do have their own decisions, but we shouldn’t be comfortable about that.  Just like us, they, too, are still immature about certain matters, like romantic love.  Maturity is a process.  We don’t land on adulthood and then, automatically we’re mature enough to give advise.  We don’t instantly know what to tell them or to teach them. It is a constant process. That’s why we should be responsible with our actions. Let us direct our teenagers on the better side.  Let us open their minds what true love really is. Let us teach them the value of waiting. Let us teach them to obey their parents, their leaders and those people who are accountable to them.

We should be concerned with our teenagers, but we shouldn’t tolerate them. Please, please, please! Remember this, teenagers have these real emotions, but they have the WRONG PERCEPTION.  That’s why we are here to teach them the right thing to do and to tell them what true love really is.  God bless us all!

“Trapped”
(January 18, 2013)

I’m afraid of everything
Everything that is so true
So serene, so calm, secrets
Truest of me? It’s unreal!

Thoughts are floating in the air
Feelings are hidden deeply
Actions, they’re always controlled
Limited! Chained by motions.

You’re talking, words just fall down
Just as the air, you’re moving
You’re felt, yet nobody cares
Desperate sounds, no one hears.

Here we are, hear the unvoiced
Young people under pressure
Oh, listen! We are lighted
Yet darkness is upon us.

Darkness, gloom, chaos, free us
Our hearts, broken and shackled
Sep’rated from the real world
Lives with unclear purposes.

Pretension! Life’s a big stage
We laugh, we cry, we get mad
Battling everyone for fame
Competing for attention.

A life cycle of drama
It’s time, we need to end this
Compassion, rise up, be freed
Save the earth, rescue yourself.

Yes! We’re trapped to prepare us
For a fight, yet to unfold
We’re trapped by wrong emotions
Trapped by unsettled motives.

O, my friend! Be freed, be freed.

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I’m still working on. I’m not yet so good on writing poems but I’m still working on it. You know, the old saying goes like, “Practice makes perfect.” I’m now interested on it. It’s something different. So, here is my second one. I hope it would sound a lot better and more dramatic than the first one. I love to hear your comments. Criticize it, please!

(An entry from my notebook.)

What is a lot important? Our heartache or God’s heartache? Instantly, we might say, “Of course, God’s heartache is more important than mine.” But let me tell you this, sometimes we’re just lying because actions speak louder than words. We have the tendency to over-react when we are hurt and not knowing that we give more importance to our feelings than God’s.

Minsan kasi, we just focus on our loss, heartaches and brokenness rather than His. We self-pity and then ask God to restore us from all the troubles we experienced, have a strong faith and get healed. Then what’s next? A cycle? Get hurt again, self-pity, ask for restoration, have faith, get restored over and over again. Don’t get me wrong. It is not difficult for God to forgive us and restore us. There’s no ill-burden for Him. The question is, “Reasonable ba yung binibigay na forgiveness and restoration ng Lord sa atin, if we ask for restoration and healing from our brokenness by such repeated actions?” ‘Cause you know why? We have a big tendency to focus only on ourselves.

The reality is, we don’t matter but He matters. We focus on His heartaches and brokenness caused by our wrong-doings and short-comings. We keep on sinning and sinning, then when we get hurt, we ask for, you know it, forgiveness and restoration. If we love God, we should know the truth and we stop sinning. We stop sinning not because we are afraid of breaking His rules but we are afraid of breaking His heart.

Securing an Undivided Heart to the Lord

By Joshua Canlas

“I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them: I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.” – Ezekiel 11:19 (NIV)

“Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth: give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name.” – Psalm 86:11 (NIV)

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Many are asking, “How will I find the one I’m waiting for if I will restraint myself from having boyfriend-girlfriend relationship?”  There is no quick answer for this question that’s why I opened my Bible and God led me to this verse, ““I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion (or heart) to the Lord (secure an undivided devotion to the Lord).”  1 Corinthians 7:35 (NIV: emphasis mine)

Its message is securing an undivided devotion to the Lord. It asks us the following questions:

“Do you really love me?” “Yes Lord, I’ll do anything for You!” “Well then, can you abstain from having a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship for one full year to focus on Me?” God is asking us to enter into a covenant with Him. “Yes Lord, I will not enter into a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship for one full year as a sign of sacrifice, love and commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Maybe you are now asking, “Wait, wait, wait Joshua! Your introduction might be wrong. You said our topic is about the undivided heart. But right now, you are talking about love, romantic dating, relationship. What do they have to do with the undivided?”

They have a big part to have an undivided heart to the Lord. Let’s wait and we’ll just figure it out later.

God said from Jeremiah 29:11-12, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.’”  These coming years that God has prepared for us are years for great outpouring of miracles and anointing.  We’ve got to be ready for those greater miracles as we prepare the way of the Lord.  That’s why I praise God more and more for giving us these words, “I will give you an undivided heart” to prepare us for these coming years.

When the great outpouring of blessings has come, God said, “You need to have an undivided heart”. A heart that is not distracted a heart that will never compromise, a heart that will remain focus on God. A heart that is willing to give up anything, any person, any relationship because this heart is so focus, so in love with God. It is called the undivided heart.

Biologically speaking, the heart is the organ that pumps blood throughout the whole body. Simply means, the heart is the center-most of our being. It is the core of our deepest intentions and thoughts. The heart means a lot to the other parts of the body. The bible says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart.” This means that we should love Him with everything we have, our whole being. Because the heart represents the whole that whatever it dictates, the body just omits, the body obeys. “Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23) The issue of the heart is an important issue.

The heart means everything to our body and the situation of it can affect us spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally. “Above all else, guard your heart.” Maybe the bible said that because the devil knows our weakest point, and it is the heart. The devil can give us heartaches, disappointments, struggles, hassles and more that can cause us to be broken. Physically, we can carry on. But emotionally, we won’t be able. With those struggles, they can affect our devotion to the Lord. An undivided heart will be soon divided.

Physically, emotionally and spiritually, once a heart is broken into pieces, it does hurt you, of course. A broken heart is a divided heart already. And that kind of heart loses it purpose. It will be dead. It won’t pump blood, it won’t beat, it won’t feel and it won’t be devoted to its Creator because it’s dead. But one great thing is for sure, God hears the cry of the broken. Ask Him to restore your heart and use it again for His purpose. Once He restores and heals your heart, present it to the King again. Present it as whole and without any distractions. Start securing an undivided heart to the Lord. “Above all else, guard your heart.”

One of the biggest steps of the devil to keep us from having an undivided devotion or heart to the Lord is the impressments of the wrongly-mannered, wrongly-idealized and wrong-timed boyfriend/girlfriend relationships. When you enter into that kind of wrong-timed relationship, though you may not know it, but you are already setting God aside and placing the person you thought you love to the place where God should be. Voila! You now have a divided heart. You will now start looking out for comfort, contentment, joy, crying shoulders and peace from the person (your boyfriend/girlfriend) instead of looking out for those things from God. God has been replaced.

One good thing that we can do is, we quiet our hearts, feel the presence of the Holy Spirit and spend time with Him. Well, why do we need to quiet our hearts? It is because the Holy Spirit sometimes speaks in whisper; so when our lives, minds and specially the heart are busy, it can be hard to hear His voice. Allow God to show you how He feels about you. Seek Him first, not a mate. Give Him your heart, your undivided and fully devoted heart, and His blessings will follow your obedience.

You may have all the riches in life, all the wealthiest friends and all the relationships in the world, but this is my assurance, you will never be completely happy and contented with your life and with what you have. The truth is, there will still be a part in your life that can never be replaced or filled by anything in this world because only God can fill those emptiness and restore the broken. Pray to God to give you a new heart of flesh, an undivided heart.

For us teenagers, it may be difficult to secure an undivided heart to the Lord and enjoying life as singles. Insecurities and discontentment may still arise. But if we said we encountered God and have experienced His grace in an extreme way, we will be decided to keep an undivided heart to the Lord and enjoy this period, our single years to devote ourselves to God alone. A heart that is focus to God only.

If you are having difficulty to do this, seek advice from the people you trust, and allow yourself to really listen to their advice and assistance. God will give them wisdom to help you in making a decision, and I know He has put people in your path to help you along your way.  Remember this, “Boyfriend-girlfriend relationship is a preparation for marriage.  If you’re not ready yet, go for friendship.”

Asking God to prepare ourselves as He gives us a new and undivided heart is not just a request, not just a prayer. It’s an action. It takes place, it moves. Being singles and securing an undivided heart and devotion to the Lord should take place by our actions. One purpose of being devoted to God by being single is that it helps you discover the value of having the right priorities in life, upholding purity and rendering service to God and other young people. By encountering God and asking Him to give you an undivided heart, you can make a potent decision that can change your life forever.

“Lord, I will do anything for you. I will secure an undivided devotion to You. I will not enter into a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship until your perfect timing has come as a sign of sacrifice, love and commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Please say this prayer:

“Lord, help me prepare my whole being as you give me a new and undivided heart as you have said in Ezekiel 11:19. Help me to secure an undivided devotion to You. Give me the sufficient strength to strive to become emotionally and physically pure. Lord God, as I enjoy my single years, please use me within this period mightily and prosperously. I am longing for Your guidance and presence. This is my prayer, in Jesus Name, Amen!”

“Your Present Situation”

Hey! I have something to tell. There’s a letter from your friend and you need to know it.

I know almost all of the things about you and those things that surround you. I know those times when you were sad, mad, happy, hesitating, tired or anything. I know the time when you needed someone to talk with or to lean on. That’s why I am here with you. I can be that friend that you are looking for.

When you are with your family, what do you feel? Are you happy with them or not? Maybe you’re sad, really sad. Maybe you belong to a broken family, that’s why. Maybe the love you are getting from them is not sufficient. ” Palibhasa’y napakaraming mag-asawa ngayon ang naghihiwalay.” Many youths are growing in this society with a single parent only and that is a very difficult situation.

How about the way of discipline from your parents? Can that affect your emotions of attitudes? ” Masyado ba silang mahigpit o ‘di nama’y maluwag?” Are you experiencing emotional, physical, or mental abuse from them? Do you ever feel inferior? Do you feel that they treat you as their child or just like any other kids in town? Maybe they are just thinking that you need money and you’re okay, another difficult situation. ” May pera ka nga, but you’re still broken.” Too many questions, ha? These questions can help you think about your present condition in life. I want you to cry.

How about, hmm? Why don’t you check yourself? Is it okay that you are always alone? I know many teenagers that they look at themselves as no one, no identity—that they are not happy, that they are already content with what they have or what they do, that they think that they’re okay when they are really not. And these are the reasons why they put their attentions on these things—computer, cellphone, iPod, and other gadgets that they think can fill up their brokenness and loneliness in life. You know, it is really hard to look a friend that you can trust about your secrets and brokenness. Also, it is not that easy to find an opportunity to talk with your parents maybe because they are just too busy about their jobs. This letter can help you realize that you are not alone.

Many youths today are directly hurting or abusing themselves in able to express the thing that is inside of them. They cut, bite, or burn their own body, I hope you will not do those things. Don’t ever do it unless you want your life to be ruined. If you do those things, you are already testifying that you feel nothing or no one. We have our own purposes to do.

Remember, there will always be some circumstances that you will feel inferior, lonely or broken. Well, you still need to force yourself to be happy in order to lessen your sadness. Express yourself in as good manner and understand the situation of your parents.

Bare in mind, you are not the only person in the world who’s experiencing those things, ” Marami tayo.”

PROBLEMS—they are allowed by Jesus Christ to happen to prove our trust or faith in Him.

There was a moment in my life when I was alone in the house and I was staying inside my room. I was doing nothing, just staring at the ceiling because I was at my bed at that time, suddenly, the tears dropped down from my eyes. I was surprised. I felt that there was something inside of me that wants to explode. It was like…I just really wanted to cry.

Maybe I was crying because there were just too many things that I was thinking of. Past life, experiences, struggles, etch. Well, I’ve got no one to talk with.

Could you be my friend? Could you be that somebody that I could lean on? I’m hoping for that.

” You are too weak for it!
You don’t have the guts to pursue your dreams.
He will definitely not make it, trust me! ”

These are just some of the words that create pressure inside of me. Anytime, it could explode and as expected, it happened. I created a mess. I got mad, angry at the spur of the moment. That thing put a heavy weight on my shoulders. That pressure inside of me created anger and defeated me. I cried hard because of that. I told about this thing to a person that I trust the most.

=+=: Go on, cry. I will let you cry.
+=+: This must not happen. I shouldn’t let this to happen.
=+=: There’s nothing wrong about what you have done. Remember, we are not perfect or good enough to stop our
anger. Even the Lord got mad for once, says in the bible. But the good thing here is, at least you tried to stop
your anger.
+=+: Thank you so much. I feel better now.

It is my weakness when I get mad. There was again a moment in my life when I was inside of my room and of course, being a drama actor again. There was a voice inside my head and said,” Why don’t you try to cut your pulse? Just one time only. ‘Bakit si *** nagawa iyon’ and nothing happened to her. Go on, try it. You will not die with just one slash.” And it happened, I bought a blade at the store near our house, got back inside my room and prepared myself in cutting my pulse. I did it. As I were looking at my bleeding wrist, I felt like along with it was my problem pouring out of my body. I felt like I was really happy in doing that thing. I just don’t know why I allowed that to happen.

There were so many things that I realized because of what happened. You cannot live in a place by just being alone or isolating yourself from others. Look for a friend, the real one. How foolish am I? The friends that I was looking for were already there, waiting for me to approach them. I was just the one who’s hiding. Maybe I’m nowhere right now if I didn’t find them.

Anger is not a bad thing. Being angry is also not bad. That is a natural sensation. The bad thing here is when we do not know how to control or place our anger. The worst will surely follow and we can get our life a big mess. I just have a message for all those people who are in the same situation. Oh please! Do not be a big —— like me, do not be a big fool. Find someone to talk with about something. You know, I really get emotional when it comes about my life. Behind this happy face is another face of mine, meet SADNESS.

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This is not a real story.
I just created it from the experiences of my friends.
I’m happy with my life.
A close friend of mine read it and said,
” Creepy! Don’t ever do it for any reason.”
I just smiled at her.