Wednesday, December 6, 2006
Greetings! We would like to thank you for your faithfulness and commitment to the members of your Support Group. We pray the Lord will inspire you in spirit, mind and body to continue helping others to Live In Freedom Everyday!
Every addict responds to the challenge of recovery differently, largely in part because each person has a unique perception of what has happened to them. Some will naturally minimize it, others will outright dismiss it. Much of this can be tied to our human nature in coping with crisis, trauma or dilemma. Each person will cope differently. This interesting dynamic will create a variable drive for recovery that can be applied to some well known laws of nature.
Cause and effect is the relationship between two things when one thing makes something else happen. For example, if we eat too much food and do not exercise, we gain weight. Sexual addiction can be an obvious example of this principle. If we persist in acting out sexually over time, our lives and the other people in them will be negatively impacted. This negative impaction leads us to another behavioral principle in recovery.
Isaac Newton’s third law of motion says that “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” In recovery from sexual addiction we can formulate a concept using Newton’s third law to say; “recovery is directly proportional to the index rating of experienced trauma.” In other words, the sex addict’s perception of how serious, traumatic and destructive the action has been will usually dictate how responsive he or she will be to recovery. More simply stated:
The motivation, desire and intensity of your recovery efforts is in direct proportion to how extreme or traumatic your consequences were.
The acting out is either disclosed, discovered or intervened upon. Some of us were facing loss of jobs, marriages and in some severe cases, our freedom. Others were threatened with consequences that usually never came. Perhaps we remember an addict coming to our meeting who said; “My wife will leave me if I don’t come here.” Or perhaps it was a motive of monetary losses that compelled some to seek recovery. The bottom line was that denial really held the motive, if you didn’t think that what you had done was all that bad, you generally weren’t going to go the lengths called for by many facilitators and programs for those who have truly felt the burden of the destructive consequences.
One of the first questions I ask someone who says they are ready to commit to a program of recovery is; “What have you got to lose?” How seriously some people will take recovery, the efforts they are willing to apply, is directly tied to what they have to lose. Those who stay superficial in recovery are those who don’t have much to lose. Real recovery begins when we “hit bottom” (which is defined differently for each individual). Hitting bottom or suffering loss is part of the process.
These principles are for you, the facilitator to think about. You are faced with the task of discerning which people in your groups are really going to go the journey and which ones will flee when the rubber starts to hit the road. Denial will more often be the obstacle for motivation to recover. Those addicts who don’t think that what they’ve done was all that bad will generally resist the lengths called for by many facilitators. Thinking about these dynamics in human behavior can help us with how to direct our resources, and allocate our efforts. As long as we remain open to the Holy Spirit’s gift of discernment, we will be able to identify those sexual addicts in whom is “The Variable Drive For Recovery.”
With Shields Locked,
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
I'm intersted to find out how many of you have commited to an abstinence contract or have facilitated them in your group?
What are your thoughts? In my groups, my wife and I have encouraged many couples to do one and I have made it a challenge to all men individually who make commitments to my meetings. Some have discussed it with their therapists and recieved negative feedback about it.
When I attended a men's workshop in Nashville three years ago, Mark Laaser said it was an essential component to my journey. I know it was something that both my wife and I wanted to do, it was rough! It was suggested to be ninety days in length and we didn't make it the first time. We failed around the ninth week, but undeterred, we did it again. All in all, we abstained for nearly six months.
I welcome any thoughts any of you may have on the subject. Take care, stay on the wall.
Monday, November 27, 2006
We are writing this week to tell you what is on our hearts - L.I.F.E. Ministries is growing by leaps and bounds! We are joyous in how the Lord supports this growth by directing your hearts, as well as the hearts of our staff and volunteers. We hope that you are truly blessed in your role of recovery.
This month, L.I.F.E. is faced with a difficult decision that could affect the entire ministry and we want your feedback. We are in the process of ordering the fourth printing of the L.I.F.E. Guide for Men and new printings of other L.I.F.E. publications. This is a blessing – God’s love and healing is reaching out to those seeking recovery and support!!
While the ministry has the option to borrow the money, we believe it is God’s purpose that the ministry continue to live on in financial freedom. L.I.F.E. has now come into a situation where we need to ask supporters for financial help. The staff and volunteers of L.I.F.E. feel that this financial need warrants a call for help from supporters so that the ministry can limit its financial indebtedness.
Our goal to cover the expenses associated with this need is $ 20,000. We are trusting God to provide the finances needed, and the most logical place to start is with those who know and love the ministry. If L.I.F.E. has truly blessed you, your group, and your life, please prayerfully consider making a donation of $25, $50, $100 or more, as God lays it on your heart.
L.I.F.E. is poised for a tremendous swell of growth in 2007 – our greatest harvest is coming! The revised L.I.F.E. Guide for Men and new publications will be released. Our website will evolve from an information hub into a safe, online community for addicts and their spouses. And we will continue reaching out to those suffering from the shame of sexual dysfunction with your help.
Blessings to you and your family,
In His Trust,
Johna and Bob Hale
Executive Director and President
L.I.F.E. Ministries International
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
This is fantastic!! It's great to find a place where people can come together to find strength, encouragement and inspiration by connecting with each other. I look forward to being part of this community and being blessed by what I read and who I meet.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
You see I had confessed my “little problem” on occasion. I even went to counseling and was on medication for depression. These helped me but did little to address my addiction that had yet to be diagnosed. Over the prior 15+ years as a Christian I had struggled with porn and masturbation in varying levels and tried to quit countless times. By this point I was in a spiritual low and ready for help.
A brother in our congregation told me about L.I.F.E. Ministries and encouraged me to attend. I made the connection and began going to group the following Monday. Within a few weeks I committed to the 90 days of abstinence and my wife also began to attend meetings. I tell you it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. The support and friendship I received from my group leader and the other attendees were crucial to my success. Even with all the support I had a slip-up in mid-December after 60+ days of sobriety. Having to confess it to my wife was devastating. It was very difficult going through the Christmas season with this on my heart. I felt like I was in the doghouse with everyone.
I was encouraged to continue in the work and not give into unhealthy shame. I never stopped attending the meetings, journaling and assignments in the workbook. There have been some close calls but I’ve been sober since that date. On one occasion right before my new 90 day mark the cable company decided to surprise me with free paid channels during a weekend. The temptation was great but GOD helped me say no. I told my wife the next day and we promptly cancelled our cable. To this day we only have antennae TV as a boundary we set up.
I do regret all the time I lost viewing porn and the lack of heart level intimacy between my wife and I that was destroyed by my acting out. In addition there were financial losses due to the time I spent on the internet instead of at work. Since I cannot change the past I choose to learn from it and choose to practice healthy behaviors I learned and keep learning with L.I.F.E.
- Anonymous L.I.F.E. Group Member
By Bob Hale, President and Johna Hale, Executive Director
So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
We would like to express our gratefulness to all the Group Facilitators who are giving their time, hearts, and commitment to continue helping those in recovery. In today’s busy world it is difficult to find balance between work, family, and church. Many find it difficult to take on a volunteer role such as Group Facilitator. Your hearts have led you to make time in life to help others that (in most cases) are where you have been. We applaud and appreciate your commitment to those seeking freedom from sexual sin.
He is the one who gave these gifts to the church; the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do His work and build up the church, the body of Christ, until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ. (Ephesians 4: 11-13)
L.I.F.E. empowers and relies on Group Facilitators because Headquarters staff and volunteers cannot be in every city around the country! God has chosen you to take your gifts and experiences and help others down their path of recovery. Your experiences help you to relate, encourage, and further your group. Another vital role of Facilitators is to build up new Facilitators from their Group Members so that they may reach the next level of recovery and help other recovering addicts.
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do. (2 Timothy 3: 16-17)
God has blessed us with His word. L.I.F.E. Ministries uses God’s word to equip Group Facilitators with biblically-driven resources. The L.I.F.E. Guide workbook series is based on the Nehemiah Principles and Dr. Mark Laaser’s Seven Principles for Living In Freedom Everyday, rather than the secular 12-step programs that exist.
Group Facilitators are the leaders on the battlefield of sexual addiction. Your role allows our ministry to reach as many of God’s people as we possibly can. Your encouraging words hearten Group Members. Your empowerment spreads hope and healing to those seeking integrity. Your resources are based on God’s word so that you may facilitate in His way. L.I.F.E. Ministries thanks you for your time, your passion, and your commitment to helping God’s people live everyday in sexual integrity.
End of the year newsletter. Our Winter newsletters usually feature an end-of-the-year reflection on L.I.F.E. Ministries’ progress, growth, and development for the year. This year, we want to feature stories of healing and success in Support Groups. Please consider submitting a brief summary of successful stories and initiatives that you have experienced in your Support Group. For more information, contact Brockwell Bone at email@example.com or call (262) 248-4900.
Resources for Group Members. L.I.F.E. would like to see Group Members receiving every bit of knowledge that they thirst for to promote their growth! Please feel free to duplicate this newsletter or download & print a copy from our website at www.freedomeveryday.org/newsletter and give it to your Group Members. Those Members that have internet access can visit our website and signup to receive Living In Freedom via email.
Tele-L.I.F.E. Update. Our Tele-L.I.F.E. telephone support group program is scheduled to start up again at the turn of the year. Tele-L.I.F.E. is great for those who travel a lot, those wishing to supplement their local support group meetings, or those who do not have a meeting in their area. For more information, visit www.telelifegroups.org or call (866) 408-LIFE.
Discounts on Workbooks and Resources. Become a Vested L.I.F.E. Group by Giving Back each month and your group can receive discounts on their workbooks and other L.I.F.E. Resources. For more information, call (866) 408-LIFE.
Evolution on the Web. We are currently evolving our website into an online community and safe-haven for recovering addicts. Current ideas include online forums, polls, friendly links, Christian event calendar, Christian business directory, personalized homepage, and more. If you have any ideas, requests, etc. that may help us achieve this, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.