Step Two

“We became aware that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity” (Step 2, AA). Let’s break down the all-important second step of recovery. 1. Awareness: Until we become aware of our situation and the ability of God to heal, we do not get well. 2. Power: Recovery requires more than personal resolve.…

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Melville Weston

If today is your birthday, you are in good company. The following people were born on February 11: Thomas Edison (1847), Lloyd Bentsen (1921), Leslie Nielsen (1926), Tina Louise (1934), Burt Reynolds (1936), Jeb Bush (1953), Sheryl Crow (1962), Sarah Palin (1964), and Jennifer Aniston (1969). And Melville Weston. Don’t forget about Melville Weston. You…

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Child Abuse

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in four girls and one is six boys are sexually abused by the age of 18. Psychologist and trauma specialist Susanne Babbel writes, “Thirty-five percent of child sexual abusers were once abused themselves.” With that, the cycle of abuse continues. God puts a premium on children.…

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Walk Well

Your current sexual behavior is the predictable result of your childhood experiences. Most likely, your early childhood was littered with isolation. Or trauma. Or abuse. Or all three. And that explains how you got here. However, that does not excuse why you’re staying here. Let me be clear. You owe no one an apology for…

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Is Porn Use an Affair?

We live in a porn-crazed time. Covenant Eyes reports that $3,075.64 is spent on porn every second and that young adults think that not recycling is worse than viewing porn. Further, more than 50,000 church leaders in the United States are using porn on a regular basis. The Bible is abundantly clear. “Marriage should be…

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Misery

In the Heidelberg Catechism, a Protestant confessional document, there is a question about how human beings know their misery. It’s an odd question, until you understand that the German word for misery is elend, meaning to be out of one’s native land, with a deep sense of homesickness. Translation: when removed from familiar surroundings, a…

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The Ohio River

The Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers join together in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to form the Ohio River. If you want to understand the Ohio River, you must first take a look at the Allegheny and the Monongahela. Jesus said, “It is what comes out of a person that defiles him” (Mark 7:15). Medical News Today identified the…

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The Challenge with Middle Age

In 2017, the Boston Globe released an article titled “The Biggest Threat Facing Middle Aged Men Isn’t Smoking or Obesity, It’s Loneliness.” Actress Anne Hathaway said, “Loneliness is my least favorite thing about life.” The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) studied loneliness in America. Among their findings: Loneliness is more damaging to our health…

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Screwtape Letters

C.S. Lewis wrote, in his preface to The Screwtape Letters, “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe in them too strongly.” “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, rules of…

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Serenity Prayer

Someone recently gave me a copy of the Serenity Prayer for those of us who are getting a little older. “God, grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to know the difference.” The more popular version of the…

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Getting Started

When I first got into recovery, I felt like a mosquito at a nudist colony. I didn’t know where to begin. Recovery, like a thirsty mosquito at a nudist colony, is all about getting started. Mark Twain said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” And Drew Houston, the 37-year-old founder of Dropbox (worth…

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Out of Gas

Dad warned me about this, but it happened anyway. As a new driver, I forgot to check the fuel level in my car. So I ran out of gas. This was in the pre-cell phone era, so a long walk to a gas station was in order. Many times, recovery is like that. We don’t…

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Saint Ambrose

Saint Ambrose wrote, “Many a sin has sullied me in body and in soul because I did not restrain my thoughts nor guard my lips; nevertheless, it is to Thee, O God of majesty and love, that I turn in my extremity, for Thou are the fount of mercy; to Thee, as quickly as I…

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F-16 Fighter Jet

A U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds air demonstration is an amazing thing to see. The F-16 fighter jet was developed to act as a support weapons system for the military’s larger and more expensive fighter aircraft, the F-14 Tomcat and the F-15 Eagle. Blindingly fast and agile, the F-16 Fighting Falcon has a top speed of…

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Tuned Pianos

A.W. Tozer wrote with his typical brilliance, in The Pursuit of God. “Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must…

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Flat Tire

I hopped in my car at 4:15 a.m. to go pick up a friend to take him to the airport for an early flight. But before I left my driveway, this message flashed from the screen above the steering column: Low air pressure in back right tire. Only one tire was going flat. The other…

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It Could Have Been Me

Richard Elliot was born on January 16, 1960. So was I. Richard Elliot was given a tenor saxophone as a young teenager. So was I. Richard Elliot played tenor sax for years. So did I. Richard Elliot was nominated for a Grammy Award for his excellent play of the tenor sax. I wasn’t. Richard Elliot…

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Lost Wallet

A man was on his hands and knees under a street light late at night when another man passed by and asked what he was doing. The following discussion ensued. “I’m looking for my wallet,” the man said. “Are you sure you lost it here?” asked the passerby. “No, I lost it at the other…

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2 Questions

There is a story in Genesis 16 about an Egyptian teenager named Hagar. She is brought in as a concubine for Abraham because he and Sarai had been struggling with infertility for more than ten years. Hagar successfully conceived a child for Abraham and Sarai. But Sarai mistreated Hagar. In the next scene, we find…

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The Brothel

In his book, The World, The Flesh, and Father Smith, Bruce Marshall wrote, “The young man who rings the bell at the brothel is unconsciously looking for God.” Billy Graham said it like this: “There is a God-shaped emptiness in all our hearts that only God can fill.” The answer for the sex addict is…

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Fire Hydrants

A Sunday School helper was delivering a station wagon full of kids to their homes when a fire truck zoomed past them. Sitting in the front of the truck was a Dalmatian dog. The children immediately began to debate the role of that dog. “They use him to keep crowds back,” suggested one child. Another…

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Is Addiction a Sin?

There is this ongoing debate among those who fancy themselves as both addiction specialists and theologians. The debate centers on one question – is addiction a sin? Let me answer that for you with two truths. Addiction is not a sin. Acting out is. Joyce Myer said, “No matter what has happened to you in…

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Someone Is Watching You

A woman had been shopping and had bought a dress that she knew she couldn’t afford. “Why did you do it?” asked her husband. “I just couldn’t help it,” she replied. “The devil tempted me.” Her husband countered, “Why didn’t you say, ‘Get thee behind me, Satan’?” The wife answered, “I did. But he just…

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Avoid the Aisle

“Jack” was a very heavy man, and in need of back surgery. Before the doctor could do the surgery, Jack had to lose close to 100 pounds. His diet meant staying away from the grocery store. But one day, he went. And then it happened. He wandered down the ice cream aisle, and eventually bought…

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Perez

Ever heard of a guy in the Bible named Perez? Perez was an obscure character in the Old Testament. Here’s his story. A woman named Tamar seduced a fellow named Judah, who was the great-grandson of Abraham. Tamar became pregnant, and had twins nine months later, born outside of marriage. One of those twins was…

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Consistency

On this date in 1996, Crazy After You closed at Shubert Theater after 1,622 consecutive performances. From 1992 to 2010, Brett Favre started 199 consecutive games as a quarterback in the NFL. From 1982 to 1998, Cal Ripken played in 2,632 straight baseball games for the Baltimore Orioles. My favorite record of consistency was set…

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Facelift

Linda was 65 when she suffered a serious heart attack and was rushed to the local hospital. Before surgery, she prayed that she would survive the surgery. God said, “Not only will you survive the surgery, I will give you 40 more years of good health.” Sure enough, Linda came through the surgery well. Trusting…

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Can God Use a Sinner?

Do you think God can’t use a sinner? In the lineage of Jesus (Matthew 1), we find only four women named. Two were prostitutes, one was an adulteress, and the other was from a foreign land. Still think God can’t use a sinner? Only one man in Scripture was described as being a man “after…

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Plane Dumb

Jim decided to finally face his fear of heights. On his 50th birthday, he decided to jump out of an airplane. After the necessary training, Jim was in the plane. As the plane neared the point where Jim would jump, he turned to his instructor and asked a question. “What if my parachute doesn’t open?…

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Anyone Can Do It

George Carlin said it well: “In the United States, anybody can be president. That’s the problem.” Carlin’s point is well taken. In America – and many other countries – a person becomes the sum total of his decisions. If he strings together enough wise decisions, he will enjoy the intended outcome. But what about addiction?…

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Necessary Mistakes

Consider these words as you launch a new year. “I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you’re making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing…

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New Things

Actress Tallulah Bankhead said, “If I had to live my life again, I’d make the same mistakes, only sooner.” As we turn the page to a new year, it is important to learn from the mistakes of our past, and then to move forward. An article in Country Living last month offered 15 suggestions on…

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Strawberries

A farmer was driving down a road with a load of fertilizer in the back of his truck. A young boy saw him and yelled out, “What do you have in the back of your truck?” “Fertilizer,” said the farmer. “What are you going to do with it?” asked the boy. “I’m putting it on…

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Comebacks

The date was December 27, 2000. For those of you who aren’t so gifted in mathematics, that makes that 20 years ago today. Here’s what happened. Hockey legend Mario Lemieux scored a goal and had two assists, leading the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 5-0 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Not a big deal, except…

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Beware of Relapse

Did you have a great Christmas yesterday? If so, beware of relapse today. Did you have a lousy Christmas yesterday? If so, beware of relapse today. There are two times when you are in heightened danger of relapse – when things are going well and when things are going poorly. We see it all the…

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A Very Special Christmas

December 25, 1914 was a very special Christmas. For one day, World War I hostilities ceased. At dawn that day, soldiers emerged from their trenches and crossed “no man’s land” to exchange gifts and goodwill with their enemies. German and British troops joined together to sing carols, break bread, and pose for photos. Several soldiers…

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Wise Decisions

Christmas is the season when you buy this year’s gifts with next year’s money. That’s also how we live in addiction. The pleasure of the moment is robbing us of the blessings of tomorrow. The mistakes I make today will affect my life tomorrow, in so many ways: My marriage My checkbook My shame My…

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Flashlight Day

In late December, we celebrate the biggest holiday of the year. Today’s the day – National Flashlight Day. Because December 21 is the day of winter solstice, making this the day with the least sunshine, this date has been forever immortalized. It is for today that David Misell was born. On January 10, 1899, the…

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There’s Still Hope

The message of this Christmas Season is one of hope. James Cameron was the only survivor of a 1930 lynch mob, and he would go on to found America’s Black Holocaust Museum. How did he survive the mob – physically and emotionally? In his autobiography, A Time of Terror, he wrote, “With faith and prayer…

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Death Notice

The Bible tells us to deal rather harshly with our sexual sins. “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5). We are to “put to death” all sexual immorality. What does that look like? How do we do that, exactly? I…

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Get Started

A full 100% of those who never started recovery never recovered. Amazing stat, huh? But the reality is that so many men and women fail simply because they don’t start. I love the words of Anne Frank: “How wonderful it is that nobody should wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” Here’s…

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Fear

Let’s talk about fear. The funny thing about fear is that, to quote Mark Twain, “I have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” Someone defined fear as “False Evidence Appearing Real.” There is enough trouble in the world without imagining more. The prophet said, “Say to those with fearful hearts,…

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Potato Chips

Best Life publication has produced “20 Crazy Facts that Will Blow Your Mind.” On their list: Humans are the only animals that enjoy spicy foods. Humans are also the only animals whose brains shrink. It is impossible to hum while holding your nose. Aldous Huxley and C.S. Lewis died the same day as JFK. Potato…

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Ruth

There was a woman in the Bible named Naomi. With her husband, she had two sons, and was blessed to see them both marry. But a famine in the land brought great loss, as Naomi’s husband and both of her sons died young. Out of pure loyalty to her mother-in-law, Ruth vowed to stay with…

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35 Years

Satirist Tom Lehrer commented, “It is a sobering thought that when Mozart was my age, he had been dead for two years.” Born in the Holy Roman Empire in 1756, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived just 35 years. But in those 35 years, he composed more than 600 works and is still considered perhaps the most…

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Whispers

When your child wants to tell you a secret, she may climb into your lap, cup her hands around your ear, and then whisper in such a way that you are the only person on earth who hears what she has to say. God is waiting for you to crawl into his lap. You may…

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TV Dinners and Pot Pies

Batman has been listed as the 82nd greatest show in television history (by Zoller Seitz). From January 12, 1966 to March 14, 1968, my brother and I watched all 120 riveting episodes. Every Wednesday night, an episode would play, always ending with the caped crusaders in perilous danger. So we had to tune into the…

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One Man’s Dying Request

The Apostle Paul worked with the giants of the faith – men like Peter, Barnabas, Silas, and Timothy. And then there was another fellow, a young man who checked out when trouble checked in. John Mark abandoned Paul early in his first missionary journey. Fast forward several years. Paul is now an aging missionary, and…

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I Write the Songs

On this date in 1975, Barry Manilow reached #1 on the Billboard adult contemporary charts with his greatest hit ever, I Write the Songs. There was just one problem. Manilow didn’t write the song. The 32-year-old singer-songwriter was proud of his songwriting skills, but he had not written anything that was really that successful. Producer…

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The First Heart Transplant

Dr. Adrian Kantrowitz made history when his team performed the first heart transplant in America, at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, on December 6, 1967. Neary 41 years later, on November 14, 2008, Dr. Kantrowitz died – of heart failure. Putting the irony of his cause of death aside, Dr. Kantrowitz taught us an important…

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Pythagoras

There is a famous line from the movie Network. “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.” Let’s talk about that – anger. The Bible warns us, “Let not the sun go down on your wrath” (Ephesians 4:26). There are actually two distinct kinds of anger identified in the Greek New…

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Elvis

The most successful musician in American history said, “I don’t know anything about music, In my line, you don’t have to.” Elvis had a good point. It is not knowledge that matters as much as what we do with that knowledge. My favorite author said is like this: “We don’t fall because we don’t know…

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Through Many Dangers

“Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come. Tis grace has brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home.” Those immortal words by John Newton have brought comfort to millions, if not billions of saints for the last 250 years. And we need those words – to read, quote, and…

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Instant Gratification

“Give careful thought to your ways. You eat, but you never have enough. You drink, but you never have your fill” (Haggai 1:5-6). Addiction seeks the next thrill, the next hit, the next high. But it is never enough. To that way of thinking, George Orwell said, “Men can only be happy when they do…

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Tag Team

It was one of the most significant events in sports history. The date was March 31, 1985. In Wrestlemania I, The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff defeated Barry Windham and Mike Rotundo for the WWE World Tag Team Championship. A lot of us treat the Christian life as a tag team event. When we get…

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Free Bagels

Trevor started a new job. On his first day, he noticed a box of bagels in the break room, with a sign that read, “Please drop in a quarter for every bagel.” After a few days, Trevor noticed that no one seemed to be monitoring the payment system. So he’d occasionally take a bagel without…

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Sax and Sex

Change comes slowly. Just ask my Dad. The three years that began with Dad handing me my first tenor saxophone when I was in 7th grade until I made first chair in the high school band in 10th grade were tortuous for the entire family. The early days of practicing my sax every day after…

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The Enemy

All recovery is spiritual. The Bible is clear: “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil” (Ephesians 6:12). In an excellent sermon on spiritual warfare, Pastor Sam Rainer said there are two false views of…

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Born This Day

If you were born on November 25, you share today’s birthday with some pretty impressive people: Andrew Carnegie, John F. Kennedy, Jr., Joe DiMaggio, Amy Grant, Christina Applegate, and Anastas Mikoyan. Yes, Anastas Mikoyan. Mikoyan was an Armenian revolutionary who made his mark as a loyal servant to Joseph Stalin. He would play a leading…

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Strong Medicine

Life can be heavy. This is especially true in addiction recovery. The road to freedom is often marked with challenges and set-backs. That leads me to a very important ingredient of successful recovery. Humor. Educator Frank Moore Colby noted, “Men will confess to treason, murder, arson, false teeth, or a wig. But how many of…

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Snow White

I have never met a man or woman who said their life turned out exactly as they had hoped and planned. For each of us there have been trials, challenges, and failures. But because we have a God who is up to the challenge, we overcome. Our story actually becomes more historic because of our…

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Only In Florida

In 2014, Beth and I moved to Florida. We are still learning some things about this amazing state. For example: No matter where you are in Florida, you are within 60 miles of a beach. It is illegal to sing while wearing swimwear in public. It is illegal for an unmarried woman to skydive on…

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Lost Wallet

A man was on his hands and knees under a street light late at night when another man passed by and asked what he was doing. The following discussion ensued. “I’m looking for my wallet,” the man said. “Are you sure you lost it here?” asked the passerby. “No, I lost it at the other…

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The Cost of a Good Brain

A surgeon entered the waiting room of the hospital with shocking news for his patient’s family. “Your loved one needs a brain transplant immediately,” he said. The family asked, “How much does that cost?” The doctor replied, “It all depends. A female brain goes for $20,000. A male brain costs $50,000.” The family asked, “Why…

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Time Up

I don’t know anyone who says they have more time than they need. We all feel rushed to accomplish all we want to in a day, week, month, year, and life. Leonard Bernstein said, “To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time.” If we are to achieve all…

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Overcoming the Pain

Nothing is so devastating as discovering that your spouse is addicted to porn. But there is hope. Sharon Salzberg said, “Even in the midst of devastation, something within us always points the way to freedom.” That is true for the addict and his/her spouse. God promised, “I am the Lord your God who takes hold…

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Reginald

Reginald dropped out of high school to pursue his musical aspirations. It seems this was a good decision. In 2013, Billboard ranked him as the most successful male artist of all-time. He is a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is the winner of multiple…

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Life Is Unfair

In a comic strip written by Bill Watterson, Dad said, “The world isn’t fair, Calvin.” Calvin responded, “I know, but why isn’t it ever unfair in my favor?” If you are an addict – or are married to one – you can identify with that sentiment. Life isn’t unfair in your favor. Author Sherrie Bourg…

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The Quarrymen

Sixty-one years ago today, on November 15, 1959, a singing group known as The Quarrymen lost in the preliminary round of Carroll Levis’s TV Star Search competition. This was the third time they entered the competition and lost. They lost to a woman who played a tune on her spoons. The Quarrymen found little success,…

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Keeping It Simple

Don’t overthink things. Confucius said, “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” Recovery is like that. We never fall because we don’t know what to do, but because we don’t do what we know. Here’s my advice – seek God more than you seek recovery. In my experience, when I seek…

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Anyone Can Do It

George Carlin said it well: “In the United States, anybody can be president. That’s the problem.” Carlin’s point is well taken. In America – and many other countries – a person becomes the sum total of his decisions. If he strings together enough wise decisions, he will enjoy the intended outcome. But what about addiction?…

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Avoid the Slide

Visit any recovery meeting and you will hear addicts describe how they “fell into addiction.” May I respectfully disagree? It is my observation, after knowing and working with hundreds of addicts, that no one ever falls into addiction. We slide into addiction. To fall implies an unintended slip or stumble. But the way we got…

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She Played Hockey

A grocery store manager wanted to get to know his new employee, so he asked him a few basic questions. He led with, “Where are you from?” The young employee said, “Sir, I’m from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the home of ugly women and great hockey teams.” The manager responded, “That’s interesting. My wife is from Lancaster.”…

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Blockbuster

It was a weekly routine early in our marriage. We would run to the Blockbuster video store to rent a movie, which we could then watch as many times as we wanted for the next three days. Then on this date in 2013, the unthinkable happened. Blockbuster closed its doors for the final time, marking…

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The Demise of a Holywood Star

Philip Seymour Hoffman won the Academy Award for his leading role in Capote (2005). Hoffman was nominated for three other Academy Awards, along with three Tony Award nominations. Unfortunately, Hoffman held another title. Addict. In 2006, Hoffman told his story on 60 Minutes. He was a drug and alcohol addict. At age 22, he got…

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Breaking the Curse

On this date in 1811, William Henry Harrison’s army prevailed over the Shawnee leader Tecumseh in the Battle of Tippecanoe. The Shawnee leader proceeded to place a curse on Harrison and every president who would be elected at 20-year intervals. Harrison (elected in 1840) caught a cold and died one month into office. Abraham Lincoln…

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The Solution

Why do we act out sexually? Dr. Timothy Fong addresses this in his article, “Understanding and Managing Sexual Behaviors.” He writes, “Psychologically, sexual behaviors serve to escape emotional or physical pain or are a way of dealing with life stressors. The irony is that the sexual behaviors become the primary way of coping and handling…

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Growing Old with You

A man told his wife that he had invited a friend home for dinner. His wife was enraged. “Are you crazy?” she asked him. “The house is a mess, I didn’t go shopping, the dishes are dirty, and I look like a wreck!” “I know all that,” the husband responded. “Then why did you invite…

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Walk in His Shoes

Billy Connolly said, “Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes. After that, who cares? He’s a mile away and you’ve got his shoes!” Jesus was pointed: “Do not judge others” (Matthew 7:1). Through the years, I have observed that we tend to judge others by their worst actions, while we judge…

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The Price of Success

Vince Lombardi said, “The price of success is hard work.” Peter Drucker said it like this: “Plans are only good intentions unless they degenerate into hard work.” The Bible is pro-work. King David wrote, “You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with…

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How to Spot a Sex Addict

Coach Mike Ditka used to say, “You are what your record says you are.” By that he meant that our actions define us. Johann Wolfgang Goethe said it like this: “Behavior is the mirror in which everyone shows their image.” Jesus said we are known by our fruit (Matthew 7:16). Action trumps intent; it is…

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Addiction on the Brain

Physicist Michio Kaku said of his own profession, “Physicists are made of atoms. A physicist is an attempt by an atom to understand itself.” For centuries, men have been trying to understand themselves. And often, they turn to science for those answers. And when they look hard enough, they usually find the Creator waiting at…

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Five Ways to Love Your Wife

Travis went to see his supervisor in the front office. “Boss,” he said, “we’re doing some heavy cleaning at our house tomorrow, and my wife needs me to help in the attic and the garage, moving and hauling stuff.” “We’re shorthanded here, Travis,” replied his boss. “I can’t give you the day off.” “Thanks, boss,”…

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Pinky Pull-ups

On October 7, 2018, Tazio Gavioli set a new world record by completing 36 consecutive pull-ups. With his pinkies. I’m not sure I’ve done 36 pull-ups in my whole life, using all ten fingers. And while I admire this incredible feat by the Italian pull-up king, it sends two dangerous messages. Dangerous message #1 –…

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Structure

In my never-ending pursuit of good recovery material, I browse through several blogs and articles each week. I recently came across an article which identified 12 tips for staying sober. I love #6 on their list – develop a structured schedule. It’s so true. Having a chaotic or disorganized lifestyle can hinder your recovery. It’s…

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Where Were Doritos Invented?

Here are a few things you probably didn’t know. Doritos were invented at Disneyland. The U.S. is visited by more missionaries than any other country. The word “hundred” used to mean 120. Buzz Aldrin’s father was friends with Orville Wright. At a food safety conference in Baltimore in 2014, 100 attendees got food poisoning. The…

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Cutting the Cord

October 24 is a significant date in history. It was on this date in 1857 that the first soccer club was formed, in Yorkshire, England. On October 24, 1931, gangster Al Capone was sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion. This date marks the deaths of three civil rights icons. All dying on…

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Do 5 Things Well

Sometimes, the key to recovery is simply staying at it. No one gets it right the first time. I often tell clients that all who fail in recovery have one thing in common – they quit too soon. Samuel Johnson wrote, “Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance.” The Bible addresses this…

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High Expectations

Recovery is about progress, not perfection. Beware of overly high expectations. They can look good, but turn deadly. George Elliot wrote, “Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand.” The Bible says, “I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and…

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Kintsugi

Kintsugi is the centuries-old Japanese art of fixing broken pottery. Rather than rejoin ceramic pieces with an adhesive, the Kintsugi technique employs a special tree sap dusted with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. Once completed, beautiful seams of gold glint in the cracks of ceramic give a one-of-a-kind appearance that actually enhances the beauty –…

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Lesson From Chess

Some play football. Others play basketball, baseball, or hockey. But real men play my sport. Chess. I was pretty good in my day (Houston high school champion, 1977). So bear with me while I quote an international chess champion. Savielly Tartakower was the Polish chess champion and a gold medal winner of the 1931 Chess…

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You Gotta Have This

The psalmist said, “Passion for God’s house will consume me” (Psalm 69:9). I love that word passion. You can’t achieve anything meaningful without passion. Vincent Van Gosh said, “I would rather die of passion than of boredom.” I agree. What is passion, exactly? I recently came across this definition: the degree of difficulty one will…

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God and Air Conditioning

Poet Amiri Baraka said of modern culture, “God has been replaced with air conditioning.” We seek comfort above all else. Many of us have been duped into thinking God’s primary interest in our lives is our comfort rather than our character. We think he never wants us to suffer or feel pain. That doesn’t square…

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The Final Question

2 Chronicles was the last book in the Hebrew Bible. The final verse of the final chapter offers an interesting insight to God’s purpose for our lives. King Cyrus issued a decree that allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. Why did he do this? His explanation was simple. “The Lord…

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iBrik

First, there was the iPhone. Then there came the iPad, iPod, and iCloud. Now there is the ibrik. I’m sure our most tech-savvy readers will know what that is. For the rest of you, let me help. An ibrik is a metal pot with a wooden handle, used to brew Turkish coffee. The ibrik was…

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Great Expectations

Expectations are an illusion. In the Old Testament, the people of Israel wanted a new king. Samuel was directed to a man named Jesse, who had several sons. One of them would be the man. But which one? Samuel began the search with a set of expectations. The chosen one would have a certain height,…

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Emotional Abuse

It has long been my observation that virtually all addicts have in their past a combination of the following: (a) abuse, (b) trauma, and (c) isolation. Let’s talk about that first one – abuse. Specifically, emotional abuse. Jill Bley, a clinical psychologist and sex therapist, estimates that 85-90 percent of sex addicts have suffered from…

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Shut Doors and Open Windows

Television host Fred Rogers said, “Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.” There’s a great little book called The Story of Everything. Author Neal Layton writes, on page 122, “You know, it’s possible that God’s plan for us is littleness. His plan for us may…

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Years Restored

Every sex addict tells the same story. He or she has lost years, if not decades, to this disease. If you add up the hours on the Internet, trolling social media, visiting dating sites, and in therapy, the lost time is staggering. A year into my recovery, my past was discovered, and it cost me…

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Restoration

A rusty gate, a broken-down car, an old house. To most of us, they look past their prime, beyond hope, and pretty much worthless. But to the person in the restoration business, these are not problems; they are opportunities. The same is true of each of us. The depth of your fall does not limit…

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Premeditated Resentments

A friend recently sent me this quote: “Expectations are premeditated resentments.” That is powerful. Said another way, we can’t tie our self-perception to the perception of others. Here’s the thing – not everyone will understand your journey, and that’s fine, because it isn’t their journey to understand. I stopped explaining myself when I realized people…

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Cognitive Bliss

Every person who has ever lived (except Jesus) has suffered from the same flaw – cognitive bias. Cognitive bias is defined as “the systematic pattern of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment, whereby inferences about other people and situations may be drawn in an illogical fashion.” Because we all have cognitive bias, James said,…

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Signs You Are a Sex Addict

How can you recognize an addiction? More directly, how can you recognize your addiction? Jesus offered a really simple standard: “You shall know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:6). So let me suggest three fruits of sex addiction. If these characterize your life, well, there’s your answer. Sex dominates your thought life. Your sexual activities…

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Three Learning Steps

One of the keys to lasting recovery is to never quit learning. Aristotle said, “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.” And Henry Ford said, “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether he is 20 or 80.” A really smart guy named Solomon spoke from experience when he said, “Let the…

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The Fence Has Fallen

A wealthy man called three repairmen to his house to bid on rebuilding a fallen fence. The first man measured the fence, calculated the hours it would take to do the job, then told the homeowner his price – $800. The second repairman measured the fence, did the calculations, and offered his bid – $700.…

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Faith

Mark Twain said, “October is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and February.” The Bible says, “We have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining…

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He Ate an Airplane!

Over the course of his 57 years (1950-2007), a Frenchman named Michel Lotito bit off more than he could chew – many times. In the process, he managed to consume “food items” that most of us would probably pass on. Lotito ate television sets, bicycles, shopping carts, and – get this – an airplane. How…

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When Your Car Is In The Pool

Wife: “There’s a problem with the car. It has water in the carburetor.” Husband: “Water in the carburetor? That’s crazy!” Wife: “I’m telling you, the car has water in the carburetor.” Husband: “You don’t even know what a carburetor is. “I’ll check it out. Where is the car?” Wife: “In the pool.” Sometimes, life takes…

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Depression

Many addicts suffer with depression. They aren’t alone. Major depressive disorder affects 17.3 million American adults (National Institute of Mental Health, 2017). If you struggle with depression, repeat this at least 20 times every day: “Depression lies. It tells you you’ve always felt this way, and you always will. But you haven’t, and you won’t”…

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Not Enough Blood

I recently came across this line: “Men were given a brain and reproductive machinery, but only enough blood to run one at a time.” Maintaining sexual integrity is a battle that men have struggled with as long as there have been men. The man who was said to pursue God’s own heart reflected, “How can…

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Purpose

In his classic book, The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, “Not all who wander are lost.” Let’s talk about purpose. Sometimes, we must wander until we find it. And finding that purpose is critical for addiction recovery. In his best-selling book Unwanted, Jay Stringer concludes, “In the research I completed for my book,…

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Try This Fast

Israel’s first king died a tragic death. When David heard about it, he responded in a way many of us would not understand. “Then David and all the men with him took hold of their clothes and tore them. They mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for…

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Pleasure

Acting out is to delve into one’s pleasures at all costs. With no regard for the consequences, we return to the thrill – over and over. Recovery, on the other hand, is about self-denial. And self-denial is counterintuitive 100 percent of the time. For many, there is no greater pleasure than sex. Perhaps you can…

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The Mysteries of Life

Al McGuire once mused, “The only mystery of life is why the kamikaze pilots wore helmets.” There are other great mysteries of life. For example, why do cows always face north or south while eating? Why does lemonade have artificial flavoring, but furniture polish contains real lemon juice? Why do we believe someone when they…

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Some Scary Facts

In case there was any doubt about the problem of addiction in America, here are a few numbers. 1. Cost to the economy – $600 billion/year. 2. Addiction is the leading cause of youth suicide. 3. Alcohol contributes to over 200 diseases and health conditions. 4. In the last ten years, 48,000 women died from…

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A Sad Death

The following obituary told the story of a dear church member’s unexpected death. “Our church was saddened to learn this week of the death of one of our most valued members – Someone Else. Someone’s passing creates a vacancy that will be difficult to fill. Else always did more than his share of the work.…

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Forgive

Pick one – sobriety or bitterness. You can have one, but you can’t have both. You have been wounded deeply by someone who matters a great deal to you. I know that because you are a member of the fallen race. Now you have a decision to make. To forgive or not forgive – that…

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The Sabbath

The Jews took the Sabbath Day seriously. This command was central to their being: “Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8). Henry Ward Beecher said, “A world without a Sabbath would be like a summer without flowers. It is the most joyous day of the week.” The Jews took the principles of the…

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Abe Lincoln’s Son

The date was April 14, 1865. It was 10:15 p.m. President Lincoln was enjoying a play with his wife Mary. Then with one bullet fired from the derringer of John Wilkes Booth, everything changed. The President was declared dead nine hours later. Among his survivors was Mary. She lived the rest of her life in…

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The Parrot

Three sons left home and prospered. Each was proud of the gift he was able to give their mother. The first bought her a big house. The second son bought her a new Mercedes. And the third bought their mother a parrot that was able to recite Scripture and keep her company. A few weeks…

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No More Excuses

There’s a reason Step 1 comes first. Until we quit making excuses for our addiction, we will never get well. Dr. Elizabeth Hartney offers seven common justifications for one’s addiction. Denial: “It’s not a problem.” Minimization: “I have already cut down.” Comparisons: “Uncle Ted is worse than I am.” Defiance: “I’d rather live a short…

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Sleep On It

If you are seeking real, lasting sobriety, try this – take a nap. Seriously, one of your problems may be that you aren’t getting enough sleep. Jenna Fletcher offers several health benefits from simply getting enough sleep: Better productivity and concentration Lower weight gain risk Better calorie regulation Greater athletic performance Lower risk of heart…

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Hope

Hope is an indispensable ingredient of recovery. Thomas Carlyle said, “He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope has everything.” Dr. Dale Archer writes, “The power of hope defines the psychological victim and psychological survivor. As long as a patient, individual, or victim has hope, they can recover from anything and everything.…

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Two Old Golfers

Two old golfers had a problem: one could still hit the ball, but could not see; the other could still see, but could not hit the ball. They came up with the perfect solution. The one who could hit would tee off, while the other golfer would tell him where the ball had gone. After…

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The Moral of Humpty Dumpty

Comedian Ricky Gervais said, “I’ve never worked out what the moral of Humpty Dumpty is. I can only think of this – don’t sit on a wall if you’re an egg.” Application: If you struggle with sexually compulsive temptations, get off the fence (or wall). Put up some boundaries. This means living within predetermined guardrails.…

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Losing Your Mind

From the comic strip, Blackadder, we read the following dialogue. Edmund Blackadder: “Baldrick, your brain is like the four-headed, man-eating haddock/fish/beast of Aberdeen.” Baldrick: “In what way?” Edmund Blackadder: “It doesn’t exist.” Porn has the same effect on the brain. In an extensive article, “Neuroscience of Internet Pornography Addiction” (2015), four authors state the conclusion…

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Chicken Little

Mrs. Johnson went to the butcher shop to buy a chicken. The butcher had just one scrawny chicken left. He put it on the scale. “Three pounds,” he said. “That’s too small,” said Mrs. Johnson. “Don’t you have something bigger?” The butcher didn’t want to lose the sale, so he pretended to rummage about, as…

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Mr. Potato Head

It was the first toy advertised on television. On April 30, 1952, Hasbro, Inc. bought ad space to promote Mr. Potato Head. It apparently worked, as the sales of the three-year-old product went through the roof. At a cost of $0.98, the original Mr. Potato Head did not come with a potato “body,” so parents…

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The Pooh Speaks

The great theologian, Winnie the Pooh, opined, “I always get to where I’m going by walking away from where I have been.” While there is no empirical evidence that Winnie was a recovering sex addict, this one quote is quite revealing. But let’s talk about you. What are you walking away from? The problem is…

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The Need for Speed

Addicts are adrenaline junkies. We can all relate to my double – Tom Cruise. He famously said, “I feel the need – the need for speed!” (Top Gun, 1986). Carey Mulligan said, “Sex addiction is a subject that should be discussed.” So let’s discuss it. We all like to pretend our addiction is only the…

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Become Who You Are

For each of us there comes a time when we need to decide who we’re going to be. The choices are clear: addiction or recovery, insanity or peace, death or life. Paulo Coelho said, “Stop being who you were and become who you are.” The Bible promises, “If any man be in Christ, he is…

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Sad Songs

Paul felt sorry for his friend’s son Julian. Paul’s friend, John, had left his wife for another woman, which Julian took really hard. To offer comfort, Paul wrote the boy a song. To conceal Julian’s identity, Paul changed his name to “Jude” for the song, which he released on this date – August 26, 1968.…

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Ralph Lifshitz

Ralph Lifshitz was a shy boy, who was constantly ridiculed because of his last name. By the age of 16, he was relegated to the back of every classroom, picked last on every sports team, and without a hint of a first date. Tired of the ridicule, by the age of 30, Ralph did something…

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Hiccups

Charles Osborne spent 68 consecutive years hiccupping. He finally found a cure, then died within a year. Don’t feel too sorry for Charles. A lot of us die before we find a cure, rather than after. I suggest you start chasing after your dreams now; there is no good reason to wait. But first, you…

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Great Advice

Letter to advice columnist: “The other day, as I drove off to work, my car made a horrible noise, and then the engine began to smoke. The car died about three miles from my house. I had forgotten my cell phone, so I walked home, which took me three hours. When I got home, I…

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The Best of Times

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Though Charles Dickens wrote those words in the 19th century, they could have been written this week. 2020 has been a year for the record books. In many ways, these are the best of times; in others, they are the worst of times.…

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The Enemy

“Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer” (The Godfather: Part II). It’s usually pretty easy to spot a friend. That is the person who loves you more because of your addiction, not despite your addiction. What’s not so easy to spot is an enemy. Let me help. An enemy is someone who . .…

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Which Is Not Right?

Which of these is not correct? Babies have 100 more bones than adults. The Eiffel Tower can be 15 cm taller during the summer. 20% of Earth’s oxygen comes from the Amazon rainforest. In 2.3 billion years it will be too hot to live on Earth. It takes 8 minutes, 19 seconds for light to…

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Running Your Day

Ours is a society of lists. We make a list each day, of all the things we want to accomplish that day. And that’s a good thing. But then our lists can become our god. And that’s a bad thing. Jim Rohn said, “Either you run the day, or the day runs you.” “The fruit…

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Listen to Your Feelings?

Can a sex addict trust his feelings? Maybe not. Writer Mignon McLaughlin said, “Hope is the feeling we have that the feeling we have isn’t permanent.” Jeremiah 17:9 goes even further: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” And Solomon wrote, “Whoever trusts in his own mind is…

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Raising Heroes

After tucking three-year-old Jimmy into bed, his parents heard sobbing coming from his bedroom. Rushing back in, they found their son crying hysterically. After they calmed him down a bit, Jimmy managed to tell them what had heppened. He said he had swallowed a penny and was afraid he would die. His parents were unable…

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Roger Rabbit

I love this line from Who Framed Roger Rabbit. “I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way.” Every addict can relate. No one asks for sex addiction. Addicts were “drawn that way” through abuse, trauma, and isolation. So far today, I have heard men tell me of the following abuse: (a) physical abuse by a…

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Healed at 40

Most of us are familiar with the story of Acts, chapter 2. On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came upon the Church. This would change everything. But it is what happened next that I want to talk about. In Acts 3, we read about a 40-year-old man who had been crippled from birth.…

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Beauty Is Pancreas Deep

Today’s topic – beauty. Author Jean Kerr wrote, “I’m tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin deep. That’s deep enough! What do you want – an adorable pancreas?” King Solomon praised the beauty of his wife. You can read about it in Song of Solomon, chapter 4. Solomon was smitten with his…

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Wheelbarrows

A strong young man at the construction site was bragging that he could outdo anyone in a feat of strength. He made a special case of making fun of Morris, one of the older workmen. After several minutes, Morris had enough. “Why don’t you put your money where your mouth is?” he said. “I will…

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Is It Really Relapse?

I have heard dozens of addicts confess to a relapse to sex addiction – every few days. Here’s the hard question: If you continue to have relapses, is it really a relapse? Poet Pablo Neruda offered an interesting perspective. “He who returns never left.” I believe there is a danger in saying, “I have had…

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The Day Olajuwon Scored 100

It’s a record for which the NBA legend is little known – the day he scored 100. During his Hall-of-Fame career, the two-time NBA champion and 12-time All-Star averaged about 25 points per game. But on one very special day, “The Dream” scored 100 – chicken nuggets. Hakeem was shooting an ad for McDonald’s, promoting…

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75 Years Ago Today

It happened August 6, 1945 (75 years ago today). The U.S. B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb code-named “Little Boy” on Hiroshima, Japan, resulting in an estimated 140,000 deaths. Three days later, the United States dropped a second nuclear device over Nagasaki. Five days later, Imperial Japan surrendered. The atomic bomb represented the…

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There Is No Try

Vince Lombardi famously said, “Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.” I like this quote from Bobby Knight even more. “The key is not the will to win. Everybody has that. The key is the will to prepare to win.” In recovery, it’s what we do before the temptation hits that will determine our response.…

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Keep Learning

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), an estimated 2.2 million new books are published worldwide each year. That comes to 6,027 books per day, or one new book every 15 seconds. President John Adams was right: “The more one reads, the more one sees he has to read.” There is…

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Go Too Far

Recovery is a journey that knows no end, makes incredible promises, and whose freedom is only limited by your refusal to engage the process. T.S. Eliot said, “Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far it is possible to go.” Here’s my challenge for today. In recovery, risk going too…

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Get A Shovel

In the fable of Hercules and the Wagoner, first recorded by Babrius in the first century AD, the story is told of a wagon that fell into a ravine. When the driver appealed to Hercules for help, he was told to fix it himself. This, and other similar stories, gave birth to the common teaching,…

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Does Your Spouse Complete You?

In the movie bearing his name, Jerry Maguire offered an impassioned speech to Dorothy, concluding with this memorable line: “You complete me.” Many a young romantic has fallen into that same trap. We marry someone, expecting them to “complete us.” And we are invariably disappointed. Why? Because we are never made “complete” by another human…

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Eggs and Cake

Recovery is all about making wise decisions. So let’s talk about it – wisdom. We often mistake knowledge for wisdom. But if you have to pick one, take wisdom every time. Knowledge is the accumulation of facts; wisdom tells you what to do with those facts. President Coolidge said it like this: “Knowledge comes, but…

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Minimizing Dumb Mistakes

Sometimes, recovery is about doing the next right thing. Other times, it is about avoiding the next wrong thing. Here are a few mistakes I see people make, which lead them down the road to relapse. Shame game Comparison trap Unrealistic expectations Fantasy island Premature disclosure No one ever said recovery would be easy. Or…

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The Minefield of Recovery

Humorist Michael O’Donoghue said, “Life is one big minefield, and the only place that isn’t a minefield is the place they make the mines.” In recovery, you have probably discovered a few mines along the way: Temptations Triggers Trials Tests We all walk through the minefields. Jesus said it like this: “It rains on the…

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The Answer to Relapse

Sadly, we all know that relapse is all too common among recovering addicts of all kinds. One study (cited by Clinical Psychology in 2007, “Relapse and Relapse Prevention”) found that 85 percent of addicts relapse within the first year of sobriety. Yale University conducted a one-year study on 878 patients entering clinical recovery. They identified…

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The Price of Success

Today’s subject is something you probably aren’t going to like. If you will risk it all – your reputation, time, and secrets – in order to chase after recovery, you will find it. Otherwise, you probably won’t. Seneca said, “It’s not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It’s because we dare not…

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Working Girl

In the 1988 movie, Working Girl, Tess McGill (Melanie Griffith) stated her acute dilemma: “I have a head for business and a bod for sin.” That speaks to the inner battle each of us faces. Paul said it like this: “I do not do the good I want to do, Instead, I keep doing what…

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B x 6

Maya Angelou was right when he said, “All great achievements require time.” Solomon wrote, “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise” (Proverbs 6:8). Anything worthwhile takes time to achieve. This is especially true of recovery from any addiction. There are early wins that you can achieve quickly. Others will take…

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The Road to Authenticity

A great aspiration for any man or woman would be a life of authenticity. Socrates offered great advice to all of us. He said, “The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.” J.B. Cachila wrote an article for Christian Post, “Three Ways to Be Authentic.” He…

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Dreaming into Action

“This isn’t a dream! This is really happening!” (Bette Davis, Rosemary’s Baby, 1968). That’s the funny thing about dreams. Sometimes, they do happen. Daniel was a dreamer – way back in Old Testament times. He spoke truth to power one day. “There is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known…

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Mind Games

Stephen King wrote, “The thing under my bed waiting to grab my ankle isn’t real. I know that, and I also know that if I’m careful to keep my foot under the covers, it will never be able to grab my ankle.” Yogi Berra said, “The problem with my mind is that sometimes it gets…

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Cool Hand Luke

In Paul Newman’s classic 1967 movie, Cool Hand Luke, the cruel prison warden justified his beating of Luke with this classic line: “What we have here is a failure to communicate.” A failure to communicate has been at the root of many failed relationships, especially in marriage. Author Julie Baumgardner offers several keys to good…

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Addicted to Virginia

Beth, Heidi (our 14-year-old Westie), and I are planning our next vacation. Destination – Virginia. The more I plan, the more excited I become. We are plotting every day, in order to see as much as possible. The more I look at pictures and think about the historical places we will see, the more hyped…

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The #1 Commonality of Sex Addiction

In his groundbreaking book, TINSA (Trauma Induced Sexual Addiction), Dr. Michael Barta contends, “In my findings, the single commonality that sex addicts share is that they were all subjected to developmental trauma.” He further states that “most addicts suffer from abandonment and neglect.” Barta concludes, “The TINSA model theorizes that episodes of past trauma are…

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Can Medicine Help My Addiction?

It’s a reasonable question. Is there medicine I can take that will help reduce my sexual urges, and thereby help with my addiction? The short answer is yes. In their incredible book, Real Hope, True Freedom, Dr. Milton Magness and Marsha Means report the following data. Naltrexone, a medication primarily used to treat addictions to…

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Over/Under

Two ways we get into big trouble are by underestimating God and overestimating ourselves. Oscar Wilde said it well: “I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.” Jesus said it even better: “Without me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Step 1 says we are powerless over our addiction. Coming to grips with…

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Time to Get Started

Eddie Van Halen said, “There’s a plaque on our wall that says we’ve sold over 65 million albums, and I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything. I feel like I’m just getting started.” The rock legend continues to travel the world and perform before enormous crowds, 48 years since he got started. Now 65, Van…

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3 Ways to Avoid a Relapse

We all acted like we hadn’t heard it. To a man, the 15 of us just listened and nodded. But what we heard shook many in the group to their core. “I’ve had a relapse.” “Jeff” had been sober for five years – no slips and no relapses. Jeff is an active member of our…

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Six Pitfalls in Early Sobriety

Marcus Tullius Cicero said, “Everything has a small beginning.” We see an example of this in the 1991 movie, What About Bob? Richard Dreyfus plays a psychiatrist who has written a book called Baby Steps, which Bill Murray’s character takes to heart and uses to help him step out of his neurotic life. Robert Taibbi…

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Pulling the Trigger

It was a good day. We were in the Christmas season and I was excited about, what was for me, a creative gift idea for my husband. My plan was to gather some pictures of a recent vacation and put together a photo album to commemorate a fresh start with new memories. Creative and inexpensive!…

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Secrets

For most of its 15-year run, from 1952 to 1967, it was rated among the top 20 shows on television. It was called “I’ve Got a Secret.” Millions of Americans tuned in to watch celebrities try to guess another person’s secret. We love seeing secrets exposed – unless they are our own. As I work…

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Self-Care

The Bible offers us a wonderful story about self-care. We read about a man named Elijah, one of the most prominent figures of the Old Testament. “Elijah was afraid…Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. ‘I have…

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Nine Ways to Stop Lusting

There is a line in the SA “white book” that defines sobriety as “progressive victory over lust.” Note, the goal is not to (a) quit masturbation, (b) quit porn, or (c) quit any behavior. The goal is to quit lust. So what’s the big deal about lust? It’s simple. When we lust, we tend to…

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Security Screening

Recently I traveled by plane, requiring me to go through airport security screening. My ID was checked to verify that I was the person I reported to be. I was instructed to remove any objects from my pockets, my shoes, and electronics from my bag. All of my items were x-rayed and scrutinized and I…

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Good Grief

Who among us has not witnessed the all too familiar scene at the grocery store check-out line of the parent trying to control the hysterical child who is screaming and crying for the now forbidden candy or toy that has been strategically displayed in his sight? In the child’s defense, millions of dollars have gone…

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Rigorous Honesty

In Chapter Five of the AA “Big Book,” we read, “Those who do not recover are incapable of grasping and developing a manner of living which demands rigorous honesty.” Nothing matters more to recovery than that – rigorous honesty. Ben Franklin famously said, “Honesty is the best policy.” William Shakespeare commented, “No legacy is so…

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Betrayal

Betrayal – With its discovery comes an unbelievable pain that reaches to the core of our being, bringing suffering that feels like our hearts are literally shattering into a million pieces. There is this realization that life as we’ve known it is over. Often, many tears follow, but not the polite, respectable kind like in…

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I’ve Had a Slip – Now What?

The shortest distance between addiction and recovery is rarely a straight line. Let me explain. Recovery is like boxing. Before a fight one night, Mike Tyson told his opponent, “Your game plan will work perfectly – until you get punched in the face.” If you are just entering recovery, get ready to get punched in…

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