Guest Post: Pornography. Me. The Church

I love guest posting, I think I am more confident on other people’s blogs than I am on mine. Even though I talk about deep issues on my blog, I think I talk deeper issues in other people’s blogs.

Now, the post: I am a Christian woman, born and raised in a Christian family and was addicted to pornography. I wrote a little bit about it in my book, because I didn’t have the confidence to talk more about it. I was introduced to it when I was very young, in my teens. It became a close companion when I was in the university, that stage when I did not know how to deal with my emotions and sexual desires. After graduating from college, I reached a point where I made a conscious decision to fight it, and so every day, I woke up and prayed to God for help to win the war over this temptation. Currently, I have set my Twitter page in such a way that no inappropriate content appears in my feed because that could trigger unwanted desires. I am always, and consciously on the watch, praying to God to give me strength in this weakness, yet I battle it alone in silence and behind closed doors, like many other Christians.

Now that you know about pornography and me, let’s get to pornography and the church.

In this day and age, where we are loud, open and very bold, you might think we will be talking about this issue. You would think we will be open now that 64% of the people watching porn are between the ages of 13-24 (Barna Group Survey) and the church would know that not just 21 million men are addicted to porn but women and kids are also on this new drug.

Sin is not picky; it goes with anyone who falls for it and as we are being taught in the church to save ourselves for marriage but not being told how we can fight or deal with our hormones, emotions, sexual temptations and desires, we are left in guilt and fight this sin in secrecy. I personally want to advise pastors to talk about this issue because the times are changing but holiness isn’t. Holiness is still the goal and without it no one can see the Father, therefore, pastors need to talk about this openly and make themselves less judgmental and more accepting to the people who watch porn. They should receive and help these people because we, as the body of Christ, all get hurt when one is hurt.

Here are some helpful tips that I use to fight pornography and I know it’ll be useful to you too:

  • Talk to a friend about it and let her/ him keep you accountable
  • Like all other sins, pornography feels good when you are viewing it and then, you feel dirty and guilty later. After sometime, you thirst again for the water that leaves you thirsty still. What I have done is to write down all the ways pornography makes me feel, and how I would feel leaving it, and I have a vision of the woman that I want to be in the future, and how she is affected by the addiction now. This can be posted on the wall as a reminder and to encourage you in your fight.
  • Follow Christian blogs and read books about freedom from pornography addiction (I would recommend some on my blog).
  • Put some sort of control on your phone (I personally use parental control where a friend can act like my parent and get notified when I search anything related to porn, and it blocks my searches and so nothing shows up).
  • Tell your pastor and parents (I am yet to do this too).
  • Write in your journal about your struggles.
  • Connect with others and keep each other accountable.
  • Some things cannot end without prayer and fasting regardless of your level of discipline, and so, pray and fast. I personally have heard testimonies of different people who have been healed by God miraculously, or even slowly from pornography addiction and so I still have hope that there is healing for even me… and You.     

(Now that I have shared this, I think I will be brave enough to talk about this in my blog).   

This is a guest post submitted by Eunice Tossy. Eunice is a 24-year old Tanzanian blogger who is still learning and growing. She shares her experiences on her blog, http://abiblegirl.com/ . You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram : @eunietj and on YouTube: Eunice Tossy.

Book Review: Francine Rivers’ ‘The Masterpiece’

The Masterpiece was the huge book I got for myself last Christmas. With a more busy schedule currently, I wondered when and how I was going to read the almost 500-page Christian romance novel but surprisingly, I took two days to read the entire book. Uh-huh! That shows how gripping the story line was.

As usual, Francine Rivers did not disappoint with this novel. The two main characters – Roman Velasco (aka the Bird) was the rich, handsome, famous and accomplished (in the eyes of everyone) artist and Grace Moore – the rather simple, mother of one and a divorcee, who came to seek employment as Velasco’s assistant. Their story gently develops into a simmering romance which none of them was willing to admit to until later in the story. Hell broke loose when Velasco finally proposed in the manner that he was familiar with but sending Grace packing out of his life in the process. Did she come back? If yes, how did it happen? That is why you need to read this book for yourself. 😂

After reading several of Francine Rivers’ books – And the Shofar Blew, The Atonement Child and Scarlet Thread, I’ll definitely vote Velasco as my favourite character. He was affected by experiences from his childhood and that defined who he became as an adult. Even in his ‘raw state,’ I could sense some innocence in his actions. I actually found him very masculine and charming and wouldn’t mind meeting him if he was real. You can say I fell in love with the character. 🙈🙈🙈😏😏😏

Anyway, Francine Rivers always has strong underlying themes in her stories and even though they are entertaining and could be full of suspense, they teach loads of lessons. For instance, the two main characters both had disturbing pasts but were influenced differently by them. This raises the issue of the amount of power we give to past events/experiences and its influences. How do you know whether you are giving the ghosts and shadows from your pasts too much space in your life? This book provides the reader with some insight into this subject.

There are several other lessons that can be taken out of the book including dealing with disappointments, learning to walk away from the people you love for God/the Holy Spirit to work on them, childhood trauma, among others.

The Masterpiece is a beautiful and well-researched story. I like how the past lives of the two main characters were intricately interwoven into the main plot. The reader gets the opportunity to appreciate the life of those in the creative arts, particularly, graffiti artists. The ending, like many Christian novels and the typical Francine Rivers’ style, was very much expected and a little predictable but that did not take away the niceness out of the story. I like it but not as much as I enjoyed And the Shofar Blew.

I will rate it 4.5 out of 5 and recommend it over and over again to anyone looking to read a book full of lessons or just for leisure.

©  

picasion.com_9CWp

The Prophet Who wasn’t (A personal experience with two fraudsters)

He was speaking to somebody on the phone when he saw me approaching. A middle-aged man, probably in his late forties, fair in complexion and quite well-built. He wore a checked shirt, predominantly, white, red and blue and had a sling bag.

He ended the call and asked,

“Please, can you direct me to Monaco Missions.”

I was completely lost because I had lived in the neighbourhood for close to three years, yet, I had no clue where he was referring to. It had been a long day at work and the only thing on my mind was getting home to rest.

As if by some coincidence, a shorter man, possibly in his forties was passing by and this fair man asked me to inquire the location of the said Mission House.

“Oh, that place? It’s right over there,” the shorter man replied.

He pointed to a junction that I knew quite well but wasn’t sure if I had seen the building they were referring to. The shorter man volunteered to go show this man on the place on condition that I came along to translate to the fairer man who needed the directions. Like the children in the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, I followed them, not knowing what laid ahead.

The fairer man who urgently needed the direction, started prophesying about the shorter man who was now providing the directions to the Mission House. He asked me to explain to the shorter man who seemed unable to communicate in English. I did most of the translation which included relaying information about the shorter man’s drinking habit to which the ‘prophet’ advised him to stop because it was hurting his heart. The shorter man would also respond,

“Oh what did he say? It’s true. Whenever I drink, my heart would be hurting,”

Once in a while, a ‘harmless prophecy’ was thrown my way which included the fact that I’ll be traveling outside of Ghana and this year will be good for me and, the usual things that I already knew about. Menawhile, most of the prophecies were directed to the shorter man and they included pieces of advice on buying house instead of a car, investing his money properly etc. These two men managed to get my attention fully and I thought I was helping the fairer prophet to probably win the soul of the shorter man.

Eventually, the ‘Prophet’ asked the shorter man to give me his bag and keys while the shorter man walked away to about three electric poles, reciting the Lord’s Prayer. I took the shorter man’s bag while he went to do his penance and before he arrived, Fairer Prophet had mentioned two names of the people who seemed to be troubling Shorter Man. That was great. I was excited for shorter man.

“It’s now your turn. Give your bag to Shorter Man and say the Lord’s prayer and God will reveal something to you,” Fairer Prophet said.

“Please, I am not comfortable giving my bag out,” I said.

They started pulling my bag gently, cajoling me to hand my bag over to them. Shorter man swore they were good people and that God would certainly reveal something to me. Fairer Prophet chastised me for allowing worldly possession like the content in bag to prevent me from receiving my blessings.

I became confused and helpless at this point because these two men started teasing, taunting and pushing me to take the walk while reciting the Lord’s prayer. Fairer Prophet even walked a few meters with me but in a twinkle of eye, I turned and say neither him nor Shorter Man. They had bolted with my bag that contained my laptop, phone, some money and even my house key. This is one night that I do not want to remember.

One Day I met with an Atheist

One day, I met with an atheist
He challenged me
He told me my ‘religion’ wasn’t real
He said Jesus did not exist
Well, not quite
He said Christianity was a form of mental slavery
He questioned the content of the Bible and went ahead to say those stories were fabricated.

He challenged my faith
Step by step
He provided me with reasons
He said the exodus did not happen because scuba divers, after several attempts, had no evidence to it.
He said Christmas was not real and so was Easter
He laughed at me and admonished me to seek enlightenment
He pleaded with me to not follow blindly.

I listened with rapt attention because this was not my first experience with one of this kind.
I once fell into the ditch by allowing one to lead me.
That one succeeded because I started to doubt God’s existence
I decided to rely on me but instead of feeling empowered, wise and knowledgeable
I felt distraught and empty
I was confused.
I felt lost.
I had fallen.

I was locked in a cage.
Nothing made sense and then I decided to do the U-turn
I came back and pleaded for forgiveness.
I sought the presence of the Holy Spirit and vowed never to let go of Him.
The other side wasn’t meant for me
What I needed was His presence, love, grace, goodness and mercy
I found it and was overjoyed.
I prefer to face battles with Him than none without Him.
I have found peace and I won’t be convinced.
Not this time, my friend.
Not this time.

©

On Keeping One’s Virginity for the Wedding Night

Facebook groups are becoming popular and an easy way of wasting ones time killing boredom. Different topics are discussed by individuals from all walks of life and people seem very comfortable sharing their opinions quite freely. A question I pounced on in one of the groups read:

The comments underneath the post varied and you’ll be shocked (or not shocked) at the reactions. Majority simply downplayed the importance of keeping one’s virginity. A guy remarked,

“Why should I waste my honeymoon breaking the virginity of my wife. I want to enjoy and not be hearing moans of pain,” 🤷🏾‍♀️

A lot of women also commented they would like to see, know and ‘taste’ their husbands to ensure they loved the size and its ‘power’ before saying ‘I do.’ 👀

It looks like the subject of keeping one’s virginity is archaic, has expired and simply lost its significance, judging from the remarks of the commentators.

It is very disheartening to know that this is the point we’ve gotten to – a place where sex is being dished out like mere handshakes and abstinence means NOTHING at all.

Yes, I agree that marrying as a virgin does not guarantee a successful marriage but even if you use logic to analyze, keeping your virginity saves you so much stress.

If you are woman, for instance:

1. You may not need a menses/ovulation calculating app when you’re not sexually active.

2. When your menses delay for a couple of days, you’re not that frightened because you know you’ve done ‘nothing.’

3. Abortion, sexually transmitted diseases and birth controls are subjects that won’t even matter to you.

4. You can dump that guy because you haven’t done ‘anything’ with them. This helps you to choose the right partner.

5. Your conscience is always clear.

For the men (yes, yes, you must keep your virginity too):

1. You’ll not connive with any woman to go commit abortion because you aren’t ready to have that child, thus, not living with the guilt.

2. In case she keeps the pregnancy, you’ll not be forced to marry her.

3. Your judgments are also not clouded when it comes to selecting a life partner. You can drop her if she does not meet your criteria.

4. Sexually transmitted diseases, birth control methods are not your worries. You’re indeed a ‘free’ man till you get married.

Don’t allow the world to make you believe that keeping your virginity/abstinence means nothing. What is more beautiful than keeping yourselves for each other till after the marriage ceremony.

The Bible even admonishes us that we shouldn’t deceive ourselves because we’ll definitely reap whatever we sow. Freely dishing out sex to everyone will definitely come with its consequences.

If we (both men and women) would stick to what the Bible has instructed, most of the issues we face in our marriages concerning our sexuality, including, making comparisons with our husband and a previous sexual partner will not even come up. Both of you will enjoy your ‘naivety’ and learn what works best.

If you are at a crossroad, trying to decide whether you should keep your virginity of not, take this from someone who abstained, GUARD IT. It’s worth the wait and will save you a lot of trouble. For those who have lost it for whatever reason, don’t be sad and bitter, you can still protect what you have. If you think it’s a challenge keeping it, the Holy Spirit is always there to help you. Let Him know what your difficulties are. He’ll direct you.

©

Help! I lost my job and I’m in my 40s.

Dear CBG,

I am a bit old. I’m in my 40s and this is not my first job. I’ve done several contract jobs but I knew this job was permanent. I had dreams of retiring from this organisation but just last week, my employers invited me to a meeting and bluntly informed me they were laying me off. I was sad, confused and hurt. I haven’t really saved up so much money because of some projects I’ve been undertaking. Now, look at my age. Who will employ me in their firm? I’m a good Christian and I’m wondering how God can do this to me, especially, at this time. What should I do? I’ll be reading your response.

—- A very worried woman

CBG’s Response

Hello Madam,

To start with, it’s important to note that your situation is not an isolated one neither is this the first time it’s ever happened. This should give you some comfort but how you handle this is crucial to the success of the next phase of your life.

You need, also, to note that age is just a number and it has very little to do with how much you can achieve in this world. There were those who were successful at their early age and those who were, much later in their lives. In the Bible, there are several examples of individuals that God used in their old age. When God called Moses, he was old and well-stricken in age. Moses and Noah were not young either but they were used by God. Take a cue from Col. Sanders who started KFC (a worldwide brand) in his 60’s. This is to emphasize the point that age is only a number. All you need to do is to be smart and wise about your decisions.

God is not the author of your current situation and you need to thank Him for the next phase of your life. Don’t be bitter and sore for losing your job but be grateful for what God has placed in your hands (gift and skills). Instead of displaying negative emotions, gather every positive energy because you’re going to need it.

Practically, you need to make adjustments to your lifestyle because your regular source of income has been cut off. Cut out the unnecessary expenditure and keep to your budget. It may be uncomfortable in the initial stages but you’ll gradually adjust to it.

One question God will pose to you is

“what do you have in your hands?”

Like He posed to Moses. In other words, what are your gifts, skills and, channels that God can use to bless you? You shouldn’t look too far. It could be a simple skill as baking, selling or farming. Even in your 40s, it’s not too late to learn a new skill but it’s advisable to focus on the ones you’ve gathered over the years. You can either decide to work for yourself or for another firm that requires your skills. Your age shouldn’t be a barrier. If you had dreams initially, this is the time to put them to use. Don’t lose hope, we’ll be praying with you.

To our readers who are gainfully employed now, the Bible says Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest (Proverbs 6:6-8).

The ant gathers it’s food in anticipation for the drought. There is a thing as “fat season and lean season” (drawn from Joseph’s interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream – Genesis 41). In simple terms be wise like Joseph who instructed Egypt to store up food during the fat season so they could have some during the lean season. Egypt became the hub of trading because of the wisdom of one man. Be wise especially in your fat season.

Do you have any piece of advice for this woman? Please share in the comment section. She’ll be reading.

Captain Hoks

Lurking in dark alleys like an apparition, he wears a black robe that hangs loosely on his thin frame except for his waist that is defined by the soft fabric serving as a belt. The over-sized hood covering his head makes his face darker, invisible and mysterious. His fingernails are gnarled and dirty and, no sound is heard when he moves but the impact he makes is quite extensive.

His victims – the wise, young, aged, vulnerable and even the strongest because status means nothing to him and his movements are purposeful. Those who encounter him limit their explanation to the tap they experience first on their shoulder that later moves steadily and slowly like a serpent. They feel his hairy hands slither into their clothes till they are rested firmly on the victim’s chest.

The impact – palpitations, cold sweat, dilation of the pupil, nausea and immobility. Delightfully, he watches on and breaks into a smile that reveals the toothless content of his mouth. All this time, his eyes never leave his victim’s and his palms presses more firmly on their chest, causing their hearts to beat faster. He moves a little more confidently this time, till he faces the victim, still maintaining eye-contact.

His most memorable moment – when the victims continue to feel the impact of his touch and try to break eye contact. When they continue to wriggle, moan and cry with indignation. It is at this point that even the most stubborn victims cower. Most of them drop down, sometimes on their knees and at other times, lying face down. Paralyzed and in tears, they plead for escape.

“I can’t do it.”
“I’ll fail.”
“I am scared”
“I’m afraid”

These are the familiar statements uttered by Captain Hok’s victims.

©