In this Issue:
** When God and His Word Are All You Have
** Our Forums
** How Many Porn Addicts are in Your Church, Revisited
** Wives Support Group
** Newsletter Archives
**Mike Genung’s Books
** More Reading
** Final Words
When God and His Word Are All You Have
By Mike Genung
On a cold Colorado morning November of ‘98, we made a fire in our wood burning fireplace at home. Hours later, my wife emptied the ashes from the fireplace and placed them in the trash can in the garage, not knowing there were hot embers within. She left with our son to run some errands, leaving our six month old daughter and I alone in the house.
A little later, I started to prepare to put our daughter down for a nap, with the same in mind for myself. Smoke began to fill the house; I searched every room but couldn’t find the source. I opened the garage door and was met with flames and thick smoke. The plastic garbage can, which was next to the garage door that led from the house to the garage, was on fire, as was the wall next to it.
In a moment of panic I hit the garage door button to open the door and let the smoke out, not realizing that a rush of oxygen would have fueled the fire even more. By God’s grace the switch had melted, so I couldn’t get it open.
I ran to the backyard, hooked up the hose, turned on the water, rushed back to the garage, and got the fire put out.
I’d left our daughter on the couch in the living room, where she was crying.
Something snapped inside of me, and I started going into shock. A year earlier our second son had died 5 days after he was born, and I was still on the mend. Seeing my daughter in what was a life threatening situation broke something inside of me. I started to check out, and feel numb.
I called my wife, told her what happened, and she rushed home. The house was still filled with smoke and we weren’t able to stay there that night, so we checked into a hotel.
Or at least we tried to.
In the lobby, my heart rate went through the roof and I started gasping for air. I felt like I was going to pass out, and dropped to the floor. We called for an ambulance; they took me to the hospital and administered medication to calm me down.
A month later, I started having anxiety attacks. I’d encounter mild chest pain accompanied by anxiety, and would freak out, fearing having a heart attack. I made multiple trips to the doctor’s office and the emergency room, but each time they confirmed my heart was fine.
I saw a psychiatrist and he did what those doctors do best; prescribe pills. Over the next six months I went through several anti-depressants and tranquilizers, but nothing helped. I got off the pills, not seeing a point. The anxiety attacks continued for the next several years. I’d get some relief for several months, and then an anxiety attack would hit without warning. Being around a fireplace with wood burning in it would also spark them.
Of course, other than my wife, this wasn’t something I didn’t think I could talk to anyone about. People might start to look at me like I was a nut case or something and tell me to “just relax and have more faith.” No thanks.
Then, in June of 2002, the Hayman fires in Colorado hit. Where we live in Colorado Springs, the glow of the fire could be seen on the top of the mountains. The anxiety attacks reared their head again, big time.
I had no idea what to do; meds didn’t work, praying about it hadn’t gotten me anywhere, and all my attempts to “just relax” fell short.
One night, right in the middle of an attack, the idea came to my mind to start reading the Bible. I went to 1 John and started reading and praying through it. Several chapters in, my nervous system started to go calm. A sense of peace eventually made its way in. I don’t know what God did, but ever since that time the fire related anxiety attacks stopped cold.
I don’t share this story to say that we shouldn’t go to the doctor or take medication for chemical issues. He doesn’t work that way.
Sometimes God gives us moments where all we have are Him and His word, and He wants us to step out on a ledge of faith and take Him at His promises. I had no idea that He was going to provide healing just from reading and praying through 1 John, I just rolled with what He gave me.
Another lesson I learned is that there are trials that last for years, and we have to keep persevering until we get the answer. Our take-a-pill-so-you-can-feel-better-now culture trains us think we should and need to feel better immediately. This is not what builds inner character, true faith, strength, patience, or toughness. You can read the Bible all you want, but there’s nothing like suffering to forge your trust in Him. God seems to place more emphasis on our character and how He wants to shape us than our comfort.
If you’d have told me in November 1998 that I had to endure anxiety attacks for the better part of four years, I wouldn’t have taken it well. I wanted to feel better, NOW, no matter what it took. Those heart attack-like experiences freaked me out, and I hated them.
Sometimes it takes a long trial to transform our faith from the Sunday School type to that which knows God is faithful, is always near, has a plan, and cares for us. Having been through several of these trials that take years to work out, I’ve learned that there will always be a blessing in the end. That doesn’t mean our circumstances will turn out how we wanted, but that we won’t be the same weak, fearful, selfish person we were before.
Trusting Him during the trial may be difficult at times, but He’s always there, and He knows what He’s doing. He’s not going to abandon us; we can bank on that.
We have forums at our website for persons and their spouses who are dealing with the fallout from sexual sin. You’ll find encouragement, transparency, people who can relate to what you’re going through, and direction there. I encourage you to stop by the forums, introduce yourself, and share your story.
Go to http://www.blazinggrace.org/forums// to get started.
How Many Porn Addicts Are in Your Church; Revisited
In 2005, I wrote How Many Porn Addicts are in Your Church? that showed at least 50% of Christian men were viewing porn. Eight years later, how are we doing?
Here’s what todays numbers show:
Porn has gone mainstream:
67% of men and 59% of women say that porn is acceptable.
More Christians are struggling with it:
- Josh McDowell quotes statistics that 60% of Christian men are viewing porn.
- A Christian missions agency reports that 80% of new applicants admit to viewing porn. They no longer ask “if,” but “how often.”
- One youth minister estimated that 90% of the kids who come to him for help, all who are from Christian families, are addicted to porn.
- 21% of Christian girls admitted to texting a sexually explicit picture of themselves.
- 50% of pastors regularly view porn.
Porn has exploded among our youth:
- According to a worldwide survey of 19,000 parents, kids as young as age six are accessing porn.
- The largest age group of porn users is 12 to 17 year olds.
- 70% of 18 to 24 year olds visit porn sites monthly
Can all of this be true?
Read the rest of the article at Crosswalk
Wives Prayer Group
For wives who are hurting from their husband’s porn addiction or adultery, we offer a weekly prayer group for support and encouragement. Women are encouraged to share what they’re going through and receive prayer for ongoing needs. The group is also open to women who are engaged and/or are considering marriage. Our ladies prayer group meets by conference call once a week. If you’d like to be a part, please reply to this newsletter and request more information.
You can read this and previous editions of the Blazing Grace Newsletter online at www.roadtograce.net:
October 2013: To Live the Christian Life to the Fullest Requires…
September 2013: God Shines Through the Cracks
August 2013: How God Brought New Life to My Marriage
July 2013: What Porn is Doing to Us
June 2013: Which One Will You Serve?
May 2013: What Defines You?
April 2013: 15 Principles for Freedom
March 2013: I Believe; Help My Unbelief!
February 2013: Adultery
January 2013: Speak, Lord, Your Servant is Listening
Mike Genung’s Books
The Road to Grace; Finding True Freedom from the Bondage of Sexual Addiction is Mike Genung’s book on breaking free from sexual addiction.
Topics covered include:
* Biblical tools for overcoming sexual temptation.
* Healing from shame.
* How to stop a masturbation habit.
* Dealing with the core issues that drive sexual sin.
* Understanding and receiving the love of God in the heart.
* Healing for Wives
* How to restore a marriage that’s been broken by sexual sin and/or adultery.
The Road to Grace is used in support groups, and provides plenty of material for discussion.
100 Days on the Road to Grace; a Devotional for the Sexually Broken, is a new book that just came out last month.
For more information and to purchase, visit www.roadtograce.net
A helpful prayer for the person experiencing emotional pain is found in Romans 15:13
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Blazing Grace’s purpose is to minister to the sexually broken, encourage believers to draw closer to God, and encourage the church to effectively deal with the porn epidemic.
Please feel free to forward this newsletter.
Content from the Blazing Grace Newsletter may be posted on websites or otherwise reprinted for ministry purposes. (Please show the correct byline, and add a link to www.blazinggrace.org when posting any material electronically.) Publication for commercial use is prohibited without written permission.
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May God’s grace abound to you.
All material copyright 2013 Mike Genung