Monthly Archives: February 2011

Ben & Brady’s Amazing Race Video

So my friends and I watch the Amazing race every season and pick teams! Me and my buddy Brady are on the same team and are going to win it all this year, and we made a video about it! Enjoy! 🙂

-bent 😉

Happy Valentines Day

Well another Valentines day has come and is nearly gone. I don’t have much to say on the matter besides the fact that this day can be good and bad. It is a good day if girls have the opportunity to be treated with the respect and care they deserve from men, however it is bad if it is the only day out of the entire year that they get this treatment! So men if you are blessed with a beautiful girl, make sure she knows it today and go above and beyond and then tomorrow remind her again of her beauty and why she means so much to you, and then do that again and again and again!

Also today is my birthday and I was reminded this morning of how important God is in my life and how small I really am. I went to chapel this morning and quickly realized that today is NOT about me, today much like everyday is about God and the second I lose sight of that and think that it is all about me I need to wake up to reality (which is an even funnier thought just after you watch the movie Inception). 22 was an amazing year for me and I’m looking forward to what God has in store for me during my 23rd!

So in honor of today, do something nice for a girl even if she is not your girlfriend, send a prayer out for me cause if you know me you’ll know I need it, and most importantly thank God for another day!

-bent 😉

What Porn Does To Relationships Part 2-Relevant Magazine

Part 2: A wife examines what porn did to her marriage—and how they found healing.

[Editor’s note: This is part two of a two-part series. Click here to read the first part, written by Rachel’s husband, John.]

A few weeks ago, my husband sat across from me and told me he had betrayed me by looking at porn.

It had happened innocently enough (if that’s even possible)—he was surfing and ran across some inappropriate pictures. Stumbling across inappropriate pictures turned into looking for them and then actively seeking out pornography to watch while I was falling asleep in the next room, wondering why my husband hadn’t come to bed with me on our four-month anniversary.

Not only was I shocked when he told me, I was also hurt, confused, scared, betrayed and angry. I felt like my world had just been turned upside down; my safety and security were crumbling away. His confession was overwhelming.

Within minutes, the foundation of our marriage was shaken. The trust we had built was destroyed. I no longer felt safe or loved. I was suddenly bombarded with lies—he doesn’t find me attractive; it’s my fault he strayed; I’m not beautiful; I’m not sexy; I am a horrible wife; I’m a failure; he is stuck with me; he doesn’t love me … these seemed to instantly go from ridiculous to quite possibly true.

Through God’s strength (and only through His strength—my first instinct was to withdraw and never trust my husband with my vulnerability again), I met my husband’s gaze and told him I forgave him and still loved him. And then we proceeded to talk about the crippling consequences of his actions to our marriage.

The conversation was eye-opening not only about the reality of lust, but also about its devastating effects. While I had known for quite some time that he struggled with lust, I had refused to really admit it to myself and deal with it, assuming it would dissipate with marriage. I didn’t understand the reality of lust, and no one had ever openly explained it or been willing to talk about it. Even in the church, it was always glossed over: “Men struggle.” End of story. How far from the truth that is! That day, I listened to my husband tell me that he not only struggled with lust, but was also addicted to sex.

For those like me who don’t know what sexual addiction is or how severe it can be, here is a definition. According to allaboutlifechallenges.org, “sexual addiction is, in its simplest form, a normal sex drive that has become obsessive to the point that behavior is out of control. … Sexual addiction can take on many forms, from the use of pornography and masturbation to repeated sexual affairs, patronizing prostitutes, and voyeurism. … The many forms of sexual addiction have one thing in common, the behavior is done in secret, and the sex addict becomes skilled in hiding this secret life from those closest to him.”

This isn’t just looking at girls in low-cut tops, and it doesn’t go away when men can have sex with their wives, as I had assumed. In fact, according to my husband, it has nothing to do with wives and love. Also, what I hadn’t understood is that it is an addiction—like alcoholism—and should be taken seriously.

Though I still don’t fully understand sexual addiction and lust, my husband and I talk about it, how he struggles and how it affects me and our relationship. We have both come to realize the importance of open and honest communication with each other, even when it isn’t easy to talk about this struggle. When I go to bed early, I ask him to be careful—a practice he says helps him fight against the temptation. In the morning, I ask him if anything happened the night before. This open communication keeps us accountable to each other; accountability is key in fighting this battle since it brings light to what was hidden. My husband is not only accountable to me, I know that he discusses his struggles with men in his life, which is incredibly valuable, in my opinion, since they can understand the temptation and struggle in a way I simply cannot. The struggle with lust and sexual addiction is not a battle that can be fought alone since sin thrives in darkness; shedding light on the struggle lessens its power.

Not only does open and honest communication help my husband fight this battle, it is also necessary for a healthy marriage. When my husband felt ashamed because of his struggle, he withdrew. Sensing his withdrawal, I would close off as well rather than trying to be open and run up against the wall I felt my husband building. Our lack of openness led to us not sharing life with each other, including not discussing the difficulties and trials we were facing. To be honest, the less we connected and communicated, the less intimate I wanted to be with him. So I wouldn’t initiate sex as much and was more likely to reject his advances, which caused him to not initiate sex as much either. It was a vicious cycle, because the longer we went without having sex, the harder his struggle with lust and sexual addiction became.

The struggle against lust and sexual addiction is serious and certainly not something to blow off or take lightly. It isn’t simple, and it doesn’t go away with marriage and the accompanying sex. It has far-reaching consequences that affect every aspect of life—from the physical to the mental and emotional to the spiritual—and not just for the partner struggling with lust and sexual addiction, but also for the other partner as well. It is a battle to be grappled with that cannot be fought alone. Vulnerability and communication, along with accountability, are crucial since they unite husbands with wives and/or with brothers in Christ that can fight alongside them. But most importantly, we have a fearsome warrior in God, who loves us, provides us with armor to withstand the schemes of the devil, and fights for us. This struggle against lust and sexual addiction is not an easy one, but it can be fought.

Rachel Buckingham just returned to the States from living in China, where she gained an appreciation for tea while maintaining her love of coffee. She is married, writes freelance, blogs avidly, teaches English, loves connecting with people, and most importantly seeks after God to surrender her life to Him for His glory. Feel free to contact her at Buckingham.rachel@gmail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or at www.rachelbuckingham.wordpress.com.

What Porn Does To Relationships-Relevant Magazine

Part 1: A husband’s confession, a wife’s grief and truly confronting temptation.

[Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part series detailing the damage that pornography and sexual addiction can do to a relationship. Check back tomorrow to read about the other side of that addiction, written by John’s wife Rachel.]

Hi, my name is John, and I was a sex addict.

I am also a believer in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and married to an amazing and beautiful woman of God.

To be honest, I thought my addiction would go away with marriage, thought I had been prepared for the strong pull of lust and pornography by a four month fast from my personal computer, thought I was strong enough to stay pure, thought that the safeguards I had built against myself were enough, thought I wouldn’t look at pornography ever again.

How wrong I was.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

The truth is, the temptation of sexual addiction doesn’t lessen with marriage at all. On the contrary, it actually becomes stronger. In spite of what we see today in movies and television, marriage is hard, and true sexual intimacy within marriage is even harder. Unfortunately, while behaving selfishly is easy and natural to our flesh, serving takes a great deal of hard work and sacrifice. And although some find it easy to love, serve and sacrifice, it certainly isn’t a first instinct of mine.

Therefore, in spite of the fact that my wife is everything I could want or ask for in a woman, my flesh nonetheless turns to the “thrill” of feeding an addiction to sex that began when I was twelve years old. An addiction that continued to grow in strength into my teen years and throughout college, eventually leading to daily porn use and several sexual flings that ended in dramatic heartache. As commonly happens with sex addicts, my use of pornography wrought havoc on my ability to have healthy relationships with “real girls,” and it wasn’t until a year after I graduated from college that I found even a vague semblance of healing from what had become a serious addiction to sex.

In early 2010, I asked my girlfriend to marry me. She said yes, and a few long months later we were married. It was a happy and and joyful day, to be sure, but I felt more relief than anything else. “Finally,” I thought. “My struggle against pornography is over.” Although I was confident that I would be “OK,” I nonetheless felt it necessary to try to explain my addiction to my wife. Like a fool, I tried to do it gently and without going into too many specifics or actually explaining the ugliness of the sin in which I had lived for so long. “Things will be fine,” I told myself. “After all, we can have sex whenever we want now.”

And without further ado, we started our new life together.

The first couple of months went great, and because I didn’t have much temptation, I began to let down my guard. And suddenly the streets seemed to fill with alluring girls in all-too-tight clothing. The world around me was one humongous temptation, and it seemed that everywhere I laid my eyes was yet another source of temptation. Even worse, every website I visited seemed to have some woman or another inviting me to indulge in a bit of lust, to relive the days of pornography and masturbation. Convicted, I tried to communicate these things to my wife, but I was ashamed by my sin and the fact that I was struggling, and avoided being clear on the true nature of my struggle.

And so the barrage continued.

Finally, four months after my wife and I were married, my defenses—weakened by my fear of the consequences and a concurrent lack of support—completely crumbled; I again used pornography. Not far away were my old tormentors guilt and shame, and that night I could barely sleep from the sense of condemnation that washed over me. I hated myself for what I had done; this sin didn’t just affect me now, it also affected my wife. I had betrayed her trust. I felt worthless, faithless, and disgusting. A Judas. A traitor.

The next day I could barely look my wife in the eye. I knew that I had to truly tell her what I had done. I didn’t want to live a life of deceit, constantly lying to the very person closest to me. I wanted the intimacy of a marriage without deception or secrecy, no matter how terrified I was to confess my sin. Slowly, painfully, I told her what I had done.

She was devastated. All the love and trust and intimacy we had worked so hard to build for the last four months was called into question and our marriage was shaken to its very core. I feared it wouldn’t stand, and I wouldn’t have blamed her in the least for walking out altogether. She had every right to do so.

Before I was married, I believed I could overcome the temptation of lust and pornography by mere force of will; while after my wedding day, I assumed all sexual temptation would simply disappear. The truth is that I, in and of myself, am completely incapable of conquering an addiction to sex, and being married just raises the stakes. Neither is permissible to gloss over the sin itself in order to save face or avoid shame.

Throughout various conversations with Christian men about their struggles with lust, masturbation and pornography, I hear (and have myself used) a great deal of softening rhetoric. Language such as “I’ve had some problems with lust …,” “I stumbled again …,” and “I messed up the other day …” are very common. They are also untrue. The sin of lust isn’t just a “mistake”, a “mess up”, or a “problem”; it is no less than an act of sin which is reprehensible to God, and nothing short of honestly confessing and repenting of that sins is good enough for God.

Sexual addiction is not a thing to be taken lightly. It is a destroyer of relationships and a corruptor of the body of Christ. Satan uses it against us to crush us and divide us one from another as we cover our shame with lies or half-truths. We simply cannot master it without the power of Christ in our lives, and we must not be reluctant to make any sacrifice in order to break the hold of such sins. To make any excuse for sin is to allow it an ever-widening foothold in our lives, and we must be utterly ruthless and aggressive in rooting it out.

John Buckingham is a wordsmith, English teacher, former homeschooler and international bumbler. He maintains several blogs and has recently returned from China, where he learned that he’s neither as humble nor as patient as he originally believed.

The Top 20 Deadliest Robots

Its finally in! Check it out. I’m surprised the i-robots weren’t mentioned! Or those robots that vacuum your house!

http://irobotscooba.org/top-20-deadliest-robots/

-bent 😉

Funny and Cute

-bent 😉

Goodbye White Stripes

In Honor of one of the coolest/weirdest bands ever splitting. I give you “The Hardest Button to Button”

-bent 😉

A Word From Donald Miller

It’s no secret that one of my favorite authors is Donald Miller. I read his blog quite often and thought this post was helpful. Check it out.

I liked this line from the film True Grit: “I do not entertain hypotheticals, the world as it is is vexing enough.”

Most of the things we worry about, as creators, never happen. We are not as rejected as we think we are, in fact, our creation has given us a greater community, even if we do have a few critics. And we did not fail as badly as we thought we would, and if we did fail, people hardly noticed. Most of the fears we entertain as creators have to do with hypothetical situations, things that could happen. But this is a waste of valuable creative energy. Most likely, things we think will happen won’t. A creator takes risks, a consumer lives in safety. Are you a creator or consumer?

When you are tempted to entertain thoughts of pending doom, ask yourself what real problems you have, not what hypothetical problems you have. Most likely you have very few real problems. Most likely the resistance between you and your creation is in your head. The only thing you really have to do, then, is work. Let the consumers serve on committees about pending earthquakes, about serial killers, about the return of small pox, you just do your work.