Free Gift for You on Cyber Monday

cyber-mondayAt the end of 2015, we sent out a newsletter that mentioned we were going to create the best podcast possible on the topic of marriage. We didn’t want just another talking head host interviewing people around the up’s and down’s of marriage.

We wanted something that pulled people in that people could relate with, but at the same time wanted to listen to. To get a sneak peek of this new format of podcast, you can listen to the preview episode at www.strongermarriagespodcast.com

My friend Matt Carter knows how to do podcasts. He started badchristianmedia.com and went on to create www.jabberjawmedia.com.  

I called him at the beginning of last year and shared with him my simple idea. 

“I want to create the best marriage podcast.”

He said, “What is your budget?”

I said, “You tell me.” 

He called me back a few days later and said, “I have always wanted to do something more creative than just people talking and interviewing guests and if I had my wish I think I could do….”

He went on to talk for several minutes. I tracked with most of what he said and then he said the podcast could take 6-9 months if we wanted to do it right.

We gave Matt and his team what they asked for along with the 6-9 months to make the podcast amazing. The finished product is something that will blow you away because it blew us away!  

I don’t like waiting. I like things to happen quickly, but what Matt talked about doing was so exciting. He talked about finding a host who was a marriage and family licensed therapist, but also had a bit of an edge to them and possibly a personal story. He talked about music and the importance of this being quality content, but at the same time easy on the ears and driven by story. He asked for a list of experts who he thought could make appearances on the podcast and then he went to work with Melanie and Seth Studley and a team of other people.

Matt is a perfectionist, so when he sent me the first episode he had notes about what to change here and what music to add there. I was just blown away. I thought it was good to release and roll out then, but they kept working, and I kept waiting.

What we have for you is the Stronger Marriages Podcast Season #1 – Anatomy of Marriage. In this first season, we trace the almost failed marriage of the hosts, Melanie and Seth Studley, along with parallel stories of other marriages with similar struggles.

We have episode zero out right now which gives you an idea of what is to come with season #1 debuting on January 10th. Then we have 12 episodes that will come out every Tuesday after that. 

We ask you to check out www.strongermarriagespodcast.com or anatomyofmarriage.com to listen to the first episode and then subscribe in iTunes or RSS.

Subscribing to this podcast right now helps us a ton. When you subscribe you get episode ZERO instantly and then each week starting in January an episode will automatically download to your phone or computer.

That is our cyber Monday special.

No coupon code needed at checkout or credit card needed. Totally free just for you.

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3 Reasons Why Your Porn Addiction Is Your Best Friend

porn-addiction-best-friend-blogMost of us are afraid of people getting even a glimpse of who we are. Throw an addiction into the mix and we end up hiding every part of ourselves from the world.

I get it. When everyone else is seemingly happy and coping with life without any issues (btw – they’re not), we don’t want to be the one who stands out.

So we hide.

But maybe we need to drastically rethink how we approach those parts of ourselves. What if porn is nothing to be ashamed of but a friend who has been there all along?

Here are three reasons why I believe your porn addiction could be the best friend you never knew you had…

1. It shows that you don’t have the answers

One of the things that many of us who’ve been porn addicts have dealt with is constantly trying to find answers to the problem of how to stop looking at porn. We’re tired and depressed and we see any solution as to how to stop as our key goal.

The problem is that nothing seems to work. Yet, instead of thinking outside the box we hunker down and give it another try, thinking that if we just try harder then everything will be alright.

Because we’re so out of control, we try to fix it by finding more control. That’d be fine if it actually worked. But it doesn’t. So, instead of trying to be more certain, our addictions can actually guide us to the point where we realize we don’t have the solution.

This is why rock bottom is such a hopeful place to be. You’ve exhausted everything you thought would work. Rock bottom allows you to have a new type of faith – one where you step into the unknown and try something that may seem crazy, but just might bring you more freedom than you thought was possible.

2. It shows you where you are in pain

It’s really easy to believe the reason we view porn repeatedly is because we are a bad person, or that we have a sinful nature or that this is simply the “cross we have to carry.”

But this begs the question, what does it mean to be saved? If we’re saved, why do we keep doing what we do? Why, like Paul asks, do we do the things we don’t want to do and don’t do what we would like to do? Is salvation a one-off event, or is it more like a pilgrimage?

Are we supposed to always struggle with porn because we believe somehow this challenge is keeping us humble or centered on God? Well, there’s an easy question to ask to find out.

Is it working?

Perhaps, we tell ourselves that we’ll always struggle because it means we don’t have to truly be free? Think about it, if I accept that I will always struggle with porn then I don’t have to confront the pain and wounds that are leading me down this road.

We maintain a morsel of control amongst uncontrollable urges we face every day.

But what if we decided to confront those things head on and faced them in spite of our fears? Our addictions can shine a light on those areas that we are afraid of being exposed if we really want them to. Or, we can continue with the belief that this is just something we will struggle with.

For me at least, I know which one I would rather choose.

3. It gives you a chance to love/accept yourself

When we push those underlying issues further and further down, something happens to who we are at our very core.

In a world where others’ perceptions of us are so crucial to survival, we tend to only highlight and add filters to the parts of us that we don’t mind others seeing. It’s a continuous game that we’re all playing… but none of us are really winning.

What would it look like if we finally began to accept those dark parts of ourselves and brought them to the light? What if we loved everything about us? Even the porn addict in us?

Imagine that… I look at porn but I am learning to love that part of me. When we view that part of ourselves as a part of us that is in pain rather than just an inherently evil or bad person, it will change everything.

You can learn to have compassion for the addict in you. You can stop hating that part of you. We’re so willing to offer that compassion to others but reluctant when it comes to ourselves. Why do we do that? It just doesn’t make sense.

We have to learn to accept all parts of ourselves, because when we feel ashamed about a part of us, we feel ashamed about all of us.

So – if we truly want to be free – we may need to change something radical about how we believe we find freedom, and that may start with changing something radical about who we think we are.

Start to accept that what we’ve been doing hasn’t worked.

Learn to believe that you are not a bad person, just a person in pain.

And learn to love your whole self, especially your pain.

Then start to see who your real friends are.

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Friday Rant: The Best Way To Talk About Porn Addiction

talk-about-porn-addiction-blog[Note: On Fridays we post new rants from one of our writers, edited only for typos and spelling.This new series is not for those easily offended or for those who only like to play nice. So read this before you start posting your comments.]

Some Christians hate swearing. I am not one of them. I love a good swear word. Swear words are not the worst thing in the world. Swear words can really get to the core of how you are feeling. When no other word will do, a perfectly placed f-bomb can really get the point across.

I know some people are offended when someone swears but what actually offends me much more is “Christian-ese,” which is often a great example of what is NOT the best way to talk about porn addiction. (If you don’t know what Christian-ese is, here’s a quick beginner’s guide)

The thing about language that it is really important to remember is that words have meanings, but sometimes when those words are used over and over, they very quickly lose their meaning. Meanings can even change over time. Words can have incredible power for good and destruction, but sometimes we use them to protect ourselves.

Think about the word “Lust.” What does that really mean? When you say, “I struggle with lust,” what does that mean to you? How do you struggle with it? Do you not do it very well? I’ve never really struggled with it, personally. It just came naturally.

We want to talk about porn and we want to be brutally honest and finally get to the root of all of this, but we can wind up cloaking it in words that really don’t mean anything anymore. Case in point. Tell me how reading this next paragraph makes you feel:

“I like to look at pictures or clips of naked women having sex with men or with each other. It turns me on and I masturbate while I do it. I lie to the people closest to me, including my wife and kids, but I don’t really want to stop. Not really. I hate myself more every day and I sometimes wish that my life would just end. Or that I just didn’t exist anymore. Sometimes, I enjoy looking at images of bondage and clips of things that I wouldn’t in a million years dream of doing to another human being. But I can watch it and get the pleasure of pretending I have power over someone.”

Did it feel weird? Disturbing? Too honest? Not honest enough? Gross? Did it turn you on?

Now compare it to this paragraph:

“I struggle a bit with looking at stuff online that I shouldn’t. And I will act out when I do. Nobody knows. I don’t want to do this anymore because I feel so bad about myself when I do. I want to disappear. I look at some images that are worse than others, but it makes me feel good for a little while.”

Which of those did you prefer reading? How did it make you feel to read the first paragraph compared to the second paragraph?

No matter how it made you feel, sit with that feeling. What do you do with that? Ignore it or try and push it down?

The important thing is not to run and hide from that feeling. Both these accounts about someone who is clearly addicted to porn could be from the same person. The only difference is that one version of the person isn’t afraid to be brutally honest and hold anything back. You see, with porn, we cover up with words because we don’t want people to think we’re bad. At the same time and with the same breath, we are reaching out for help.

It’s like being stuck in a burning building and asking for help by saying, “It’s not really that hot, I’m fine. When you have a chance throw a ladder up here, I’d appreciate it, but don’t go to any bother.”

The reality is much different, but we don’t want people to look down on us. But screw that, I say! I don’t know about you, but I’ve had enough of pretending and covering up the real pain I’m in by cloaking my relentless addiction to porn (or social media, or food, or…..) by calling it “my struggle with viewing images online.”

We say we’re free, yet we don’t feel free enough to plainly explain what we’re experiencing.

We say we’re loved and accepted as we are, but we don’t experience that, which is why we water it down to gauge a reaction first.

We say we don’t want to look at porn every day, however….we look at porn every day.

The most important question isn’t, Do you look at porn? The real question is what are you afraid of if you were to talk plainly and openly? Don’t be afraid. No-one is going to reject you. You’ll create a sense of relief if you just say it as it is. Look at that fear, seek to understand that, and you will eventually get to the root of your “struggle with lust online.”

So swear if you need to! Get angry. Cry.

But don’t lie to yourself.

Because that’s exactly what’s keeping you stuck.

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Ready to fly away to Hounslow

One of the hottest duo dating team is getting ready to leave Hounslow escorts. The girls have been working there for the last two years, and say it has been great. However, the girls recently traveled to Las Vegas on a holiday and after a couple of days, were recruited by a Las Vegas escorts agency. Nina and Peggy say that they are going to miss the agency like mad but this is something they feel that they must do. It is not easy to live, the girls say, but we can always come back. After all, there are almost daily flights to Las Vegas from UK airports.

Hounslow Escorts
Hounslow Escorts

Nina and Peggy know that things will be different working for Las Vegas escort services compared to Hounslow escorts like https://charlotteaction.org/hounslow-escorts. They seem a bit pushier, says Peggy, so I suppose that we have to learn how to be pushier. Believe it or not, I am a bit scared but I am sure that it will be okay. One thing that we need to do is to come up with artistic names. We have never used them before says Nina, so this will be a first. I can’t see why we really need them, but this is often the standard in Las Vegas.

The girls would like to find names which reflect that they are English. They have asked their friends at Hounslow escorts to help. A couple of suggestions have been really useful so far. A few if the girls, think that we should go with names of flowers, and I rather like that says Peggy. We could call ourselves Bluebell and Rose. Some other of the girls have said that names of herbs would work as well. You have typical English names such as Lavender and Rosemary, says Nina, it would sound kind of cute.

We are planning a massive farewell party with all our Hounslow escorts friends. There are a few really good restaurants in town and we might take over one of those for the evening. The agency that we are going to be working for have actually arranged Green cards for us. I am not sure how they managed to do this, but the owner of the agency says that he has several “friends”, says Peggy. Maybe we will be dating some high flying politicians, you never, laughs Nina. It will certainly be one heck of a change from Hounslow escorts.

A lot of planning has gone into this, and the girls are being careful. They are not planning on selling their apartments. We can both get good rents for our apartment, says Nina, so we have arranged everything with an agent. He will be looking after our apartments and the money will be paid into our bank accounts here in the UK. By the end of the year, we should have some serious money in there but we plan to let it build up. One day we might be able to use it for something really important, says Nina.