Welcome Home, Grief.

By |2020-10-05T16:12:18+00:00October 5th, 2020|Death, God, Grief, Healing, Shame|

Hello, Grief. Come into my house; make yourself comfortable. I trust you, as you are a relentless yet steady companion.  Come to the table. Yes, my friend, you are invited to eat. You may have the seat of honor, for though I do not love you, I respect you.  I [...]

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Pornography Accountability Software: Yes or No?

By |2020-09-09T21:29:14+00:00September 9th, 2020|patriarchy, Addiction, Healing, Loss, Marriage, Pornography, Relationships, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame|

  It's a question I hear often in the work I do with men recovering from unwanted sexual behaviors: “Is accountability software helpful or effective?” My answer, like most of the advice given in this field, is a nuanced one; yes it is, and no it isn’t. Let me explain.  [...]

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Male Embodiment

By |2020-09-09T16:35:15+00:00September 6th, 2020|Masculinity, Glory, Healing, patriarchy, Pornography, Sexism, Shame, Wildness|

I am realizing that men are innately disconnected from their own bodies in a way that is unique to their maleness. (I am clearly not saying all women are connected to their bodies, clearly, and trauma warps all bodily connection.) But girls grow into womanhood with their monthly cycles literally [...]

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WAP: A Celebration of Female Sexuality or An Internalization of Male Supremacy? 

By |2020-09-02T17:57:56+00:00September 2nd, 2020|Domestic Violence, Addiction, Grief, Healing, Marriage, Masculinity, patriarchy, Pornography, Relationships, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame, Violence|

  *trigger warning: Degrading language, graphic sexual abuse described    Patriarchy’s influence on popular culture has made objectification and violence against women normative. We are so accustomed to violence against women, we don’t even react to it anymore. Songs I grew up listening to, for example, “O.P.P." by Naughty By [...]

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Sexualizing Sorrow: How Trauma Informs Our Sexual Brokenness

By |2020-03-11T02:33:48+00:00March 11th, 2020|Addiction, Glory, God, Grief, Healing, Loss, Marriage, Masculinity, patriarchy, Pornography, Relationships, Sexism, Sexuality, Shame|

For us to break free from our unwanted compulsive behaviors, we must have the courage to delve deeper into our woundedness and explore what lies beneath it. We must begin to kindly yet decisively cut out the roots of our sexual acting out. To do this, we must first gain [...]

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If I Were an Abuser, What Church Would I Want to Attend?

By |2020-09-10T13:34:06+00:00March 9th, 2020|Addiction, Church, Domestic Violence, Forgiveness, God, Grief, Healing, Kindness, Marriage, patriarchy, Relationships, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Shame, Violence|

I am proud to feature the work of Dr. Nancy Murphy on my blog today. Dr. Murphy is a professor, Executive director of Northwest Family Life, and runs www.DVtraining.net to help educate churches in navigating issues of Domestic Violence. She has been my teacher and supervisor for the past 10 [...]

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Seeing My Dad’s Body

By |2020-03-03T20:24:37+00:00March 3rd, 2020|Addiction, Death, Fatherlessness, Forgiveness, Glory, Grief, Healing, Shame, Uncategorized|

The hot Clearwater, Florida sun demanded that we turn up the AC in the rental car on our way to the funeral home. As Christy and I drove up to the faded yellowish-white brick building, I felt the familiar tension of grief deep in my body. I knew this feeling, [...]

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Breaking Down Stigmas & Sexism

By |2020-01-30T23:26:03+00:00January 29th, 2020|Death, Domestic Violence, Healing, Marriage, patriarchy, Pornography, Relationships, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame, Violence|

There are many stigmas that need to be broken in the Christian tradition. The stigma of divorce in the Christian community is a phenomenon where folks are, after much pain and heartache, retraumatized and relegated to a second-class-citizen type of Christian and branded as damaged goods, a failure, or both. [...]

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Pornography Saved Your Life By Matt Mulder

By |2020-01-09T18:01:20+00:00January 9th, 2020|Addiction, Forgiveness, Kindness, Masculinity, Pornography, Relationships, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame|

I am pleased to host a guest post today by therapist Matt Mulder. Until you can name the goodness of what your addiction gave/gives you, you cannot let go of its devastating cycles. I asked her when she first started looking at pornography. She looked up at me with a [...]

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Grieving a Lost Self

By |2019-12-04T16:53:03+00:00December 4th, 2019|Death, Death, Fatherlessness, Glory, God, Grief, Healing, Kindness, Loss, Marriage, Masculinity, Relationships, Self-Contempt, Sexuality, Shame|

I knew what had to be done; now I had to convince my body to carry out what my mind was telling me. It was about 9:00 p.m. when I reluctantly began gathering my belongings. I opened my pack and began filling it with my sleeping bag, a lighter, a [...]

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Liberation From Sex Addiction? By Stephen Grant

By |2019-11-14T17:13:18+00:00November 14th, 2019|Addiction, Healing, Pornography, Relationships, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame|

Pleased to have a guest post by counselor Stephen Grant today on the blog. Read his bio and check out his work below.  As I walked up the outside stairs to the church’s classroom I couldn’t believe it was really happening. I was a dead man walking. Life as I [...]

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I Roll Back: A Poem for the Abused

By |2019-10-31T15:52:43+00:00October 31st, 2019|Domestic Violence, Healing, Marriage, Poetry, Relationships, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Shame, Violence|

I am a bowling ball  heavy with holes,  unwilling to be used by you any longer.  You finger me at your will then Throw me away again and again,  and again.  I have become hard to survive; your grip is squeezing the life from me You toss me away, send [...]

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I Carry You With Me, Everywhere. 

By |2019-10-29T20:52:53+00:00October 29th, 2019|Addiction, Fatherlessness, Glory, Grief, Healing, Masculinity, Poetry, Relationships, Self-Contempt, Shame|

I carry you with me, everywhere.  The lines of my hands resemble yours.  The wrinkles beginning to form on my face bear a time when you used to smile. I see you in my crooked nose;  it looks a lot like your integrity. These types of recognitions stun me on [...]

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Hello, Good Penis: The Practice of Blessing Our Genitals

By |2019-09-10T19:18:59+00:00September 10th, 2019|Addiction, Healing, Kindness, Marriage, Masculinity, Pornography, Relationships, Self-Contempt, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame|

Our genitals are good.  They were made for giving and receiving pleasure, new life, and experiencing radical divine joy.  Many times our sexual organs get a bad rap. Sometimes we feel they have betrayed us. This happens often in the context of sexual abuse. Many victims of sexual abuse experience [...]

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The Savior & The Goat: A Relational Theory

By |2019-09-03T17:30:38+00:00September 3rd, 2019|Forgiveness, Healing, Kindness, Marriage, Relationships, Shame|

A common theme in marriage is a relational dynamic I call “the Savior & the Goat”. Typical Saviors and Goats are initially attracted to each other because of function; each person serves an unconscious role of utility and psychological soothing. For example, if I have a high level of self-contempt [...]

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Face to Face with a Dying God: Engaging Beauty & Arousal

By |2019-08-27T18:18:44+00:00August 26th, 2019|Addiction, Anxiety, Domestic Violence, Healing, Kindness, Loss, Marriage, Masculinity, Pornography, Relationships, Self-Contempt, Sexism, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame|

 I was attending a professional training group to improve my therapeutic skills when I was brought face to face with deep, lingering fear and shame around my past treatment of women and idolatry of beauty.   One of the exercises we were asked to do was to pair up with another [...]

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My Child Was Exposed to Pornography: From a Concerned Mother

By |2019-08-19T17:09:16+00:00August 19th, 2019|Death, Fatherlessness, Grief, Healing, Kindness, Marriage, Pornography, Sexual Abuse, Sexuality, Shame|

Below is a note from a concerned mother about her and her child's traumatic experience with pornography. We have chosen to protect the identity of the child and the family. Yet this letter is a gift for many of us to learn from as we continue the fight against the [...]

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Eulogy for Marriage: Honoring Life & Death

By |2019-08-21T16:21:58+00:00August 15th, 2019|Death, Domestic Violence, Forgiveness, Kindness, Loss, Marriage, Shame|

  Some of the most committed Christians I know have suffered the heartbreak of a divorce. Each story is different, each heartache unique. Some are the result of infidelity and betrayal or covert abuse. Other times, contempt extends so deeply over the years that the other begins to look more [...]

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My Testimony is Better Than Yours

By |2019-09-09T16:28:39+00:00July 3rd, 2019|Calling, Church, Death, Glory, Healing, Kindness, Relationships, Shame|

We Christians love a good story. We know that stories are powerful, and sometimes we get caught up in the craving for that power.  I've told my life's story hundreds of times. In fact, when I was a pastor, I was applauded time and time again for the “power” of [...]

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Where I Come From: My Racist Roots

By |2019-06-24T22:55:47+00:00June 24th, 2019|Death, Grief, Poetry, Racism, Shame, Violence|

“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.” – James Baldwin   Put your fingers in your ears; you will still hear us.  Go ahead, run. Faster, boy; you [...]

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