GOD, WHY DO I KEEP DOING THIS?


Hey Everybody,

 

Lori and I arrived at the Minneapolis airport exhausted. We had just completed a marathon weekend of ministry with our good friends, Pastor Dennis and Dana Calhoun. 

 

We flew in Friday. I went straight to a men’s retreat and spoke four times over the course of twenty four hours, while Lori spent time with Dana and some of the women who needed ministry in the church. We met up again on Sunday morning and I shared my message, “The Seven Dirty Little Secrets of Resurrection” with the church.

 

After lots of prayers and conversations post-service, we had lunch with Pastor Dennis and Dana and about 15 of their key leaders, and then were spirited to the airport. 

 

Standing at the check-in counter, the American Airlines agent informed us our plane was delayed and they could not get us home. We would have to spend the night in Dallas. And the first flight out the next day was not until 2:30pm. 

 

Deep exhale. Stay calm. It’s not her fault. She’s just the messenger. And God bless her for putting up with exasperated passengers like me 365 days a year. It is then that the thought occurs to me… 

 

God, Why do I keep doing this?

 

I’ve been traveling and speaking at churches and conferences for more than 30 years. I have three million miles on my American Airlines loyalty account. That's equivalent to 125 trips around the world. American made me a Lifetime Platinum Member. (all that means is I am first in line at boarding — nothing else — haha)  Needless to say, the new has worn off and any allure of being a keynote speaker anywhere is gone. 

 

I’ve been to all the big churches. 
Invited into the green rooms.
Met the “who’s who” of Christendom. 

 

SO - WHY - DO - I - KEEP - DOING - THIS?

 

What used to be an ego rush, is simply calling to serve today. 
I used to love speaking. Today, I love people. 

 

Each weekend we travel, whether it's to Los Angeles or Bald Knob, West Virginia, (yes, Bald Knob is a real town and respect to the founders who came up with that name) all I really care about anymore is three things… 
 

One — how is the Pastor and his (or her) family doing? 

 

We are primarily there for them. To love them well and allow the Spirit to breathe new wind into their sails. 15,000 pastors in America leave the ministry every — single — month — for a reason. They feel unappreciated and forgotten. 

 

When we step off that plane, we wrap our arms around the Pastors of that church and let them know, in every way possible, “We celebrate you. Your endless work and dedication is not unseen and will not be unrewarded!”

 

Two — We are there to be vulnerable and honest about issues that must be talked about in the church.


Pornography in the church is epidemic. Affairs are rampant. Addiction is silently... secretly... out of control. 

 

We cannot go on acting like the church is a holier version Disney World. Paul told young Timothy that being a follower of Jesus is more like being a good soldier and going to battle together, than wearing a Mickey Mouse mask and pretending everything is ok. (2 Timothy 2:3) 

 

Lori and I never attempt to hide our struggles and past failures.
Because grace is only amazing, when we realize how awful our sin was... or is.
Transparency and truth set captives free.

 

Three —  We are there to sniff out death. 

 

In all the lives of those who are secreting their brokenness.

 

Every time we speak. 
Every lobby moment we engage in.
Every table conversation we have.

 

We are asking Jesus to breath resurrection into those who are living silently without hope.

 

God has called us all to be resurrectionists. When Paul told the Roman believers that the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead, dwells in our mortal human-ness — know this — the Spirit is not there to just take up space.

 

We are meant to bring spiritual life-support to those who are suffocating in sin and shame. The last-leggers. Those who may have just one final breath in their soul, whose only hope is a resurrection encounter with the real Jesus.

 

I could tell you story after story. Marriages pieced back together. Men walking away from decades of lust and porn. Hearts being set free from the brooding thoughts of suicide.

 

So today I humbly appeal to you for prayer as Lori and I continue this good work. 

 

Though we don’t want to be away from home (and our local church) every weekend, when we do go, we earnestly want to make it count… to arrive at the departure counter  — exhausted — spent —- but with a deep sense of Jesus-satisfaction. We made a difference. 

 

Oh…. and our Minneapolis trip last weekend… suddenly the kind agent at the counter looked up at me and blurted this little miracle out, “You know what, how ‘bout I send you over to Delta and get you a straight shot home to Tulsa right now?” 

 

I looked over at Lori and we both just smiled. It doesn’t always work out this well. But when it does, all you can do is smile. And whisper thanks to Jesus. 

 

So many of you respond to our blogs, pray for us, give financially to our work….  and we never really have the opportunity to thank you in personI really do hope we will have that chance one day soon. That at some future moment, our travels will take us to your church or area, and we can hug your neck and say thanks! 


Blaine
 






I AM OFFICIALLY A LOSER.

00742421-bee4-43d1-8eed-05686e8f0d03.png

 

 

I had come to conquer this city. 



Four years later, it had conquered me.



And as I fixated on the glister of lights off my 14th floor balcony, I was coming to terms with the inescapable reality that Dallas had swallowed me whole.

 

HUHH2015-Urban_Dallas_14.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.616.411.jpg



And like the rebel prophet, I was spit up on the shores of it’s seductive witchery. Make no mistake. My lust and sin did not kidnap me. 



I willingly jumped in the back of the van. 



But once in, it was like I was fettered with chains and could not break out.



Yet somehow during the unforgettable nightfall of this particular evening, there was something unusual in the air. My life was about to take a disruptive turn. 



Here was the harsh reality. 



I had lost my marriage. 
My high profile ministry career was now a distant memory. 
Friends and colleagues had moved on from me. And I understood why. 
And all of it had broken me financially. 



For the first time in my life, I encountered poverty on every level. 
 


My bank account was on fumes. 
My soul was left wanting. 
My creative energies and optimism had abandoned me. 

 

And yet, on this night, a certain feeling - or knowing - suddenly came over me. In the depths of all my self-inflicted consequence, in nothing less than a pure act of mercy,  the God of the universe reached earth-ward from his starry heavens and presented a gift.

 

He allowed me to experience the sheer joy of losing everything. 

 

You see, Jesus had asked me to lose everything for His sake time and time again. 



Oh... that unavoidable passage. That I avoided. But couldn't avoid. 

 

“Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”

Matthew 10:38-39 (NIV) 

 

These words of Jesus just didn’t fit with my American theology. You know. The co-opting of the Jesus life with the pursuit of the American Dream. As I look back, Jesus had simply become the fuel in my brand new shiny dream car that I was driving off Car Lot Americana.



“Just help me get to where I want to go Jesus.” And if you do, I will be sure to give you some well-deserved credit. (aka glory) 
 

 

So there are times when we don’t willingly pick up our cross… or dare to lose our life on purpose — that our selfishness and ego does it for us. It certainly did for me. 

 

Back to my balcony. Spiritually bankrupt. Busted broke. Life lost. A lonely loser.

 

And encountering this out-of-the-blue, unanticipated freedom in that very moment. I had found my life. By finally losing it all. 



In the most beautiful and profound way, Jesus calls us all to be losers. 

 

You see, for the first time, I could honestly lose every part of my life to Jesus. Perhaps because I had so little left to surrender. But nonetheless, I relinquished it all. For the first time in my life. 
 

 

Like Solomon, I had experienced all that that America could possibly sell us, only to discover I was chasing wind. Grasping at vapor. 

 

“I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.”

Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 (NIV)


 

I am now 57 years old. And when it comes to the stuff of this world, Jesus has completely broke my “give a damn” meter. 


What I possess no longer possesses me. 
My personal approval rankings are unimportant. 
I have lost my fear of living or dying.
Because I have already died. 
I finally picked up my cross.
And find - I have to re-pick it up each day.


It doesn’t matter what Jesus asks me to do - the answer was already decided. Yes. 

 

For the first time in my life, I am free on the inside. I can honesty say nothing beneath my weather-beaten, dog-eared exterior is holding me captive. 



Fear has left.
Lust is broken. 
Envy is gone. 
Judgement has been traded for mercy.  

 

And here’s what I have discovered. When I truly lost my life in Jesus… and became a free man inside my head — and inside my soul… it was just a matter of time before the freedom of Jesus eclipsed all of my destructive past. 

 

Freedom begins in the heart -- and then --  transforms our world.

 

My prayer for us all today:


May nothing possess us, but the Spirit. 
May nobody take hold of us, but Christ. 
May we stand in awe of none, but the Father. 
May our kingdom crumble, and His Kingdom come. 

Amen.


Finally, two housekeeping notes:
 

I have two coaching openings left in August. If you are struggling with porn and lust and want to finally experience freedom once and for all, complete the coaching form HERE — and I will set up a personal consult with you within 48 hours. 

Second, I have a couple speaking openings left this year. The end of August and September are still available, along with the latter part of November. Hit me up HERE if you want to put together a Men’s Event, a Sunday Service, or a Bar-mitzvah. :) We will talk! 

Grace my friend,

Blaine

WHY I BREAK THE RULES

why I break the rules.png

 

You are not going believe this. 

 

When I paid $30,000 to go to a sex addiction rehab center eight years ago, my chances of finding freedom were absolutely mind-boggling. 

 

Twenty perecent. 

 

That’s right. According to studies by Dr. Patrick Carnes, the respected pioneer of porn and sex addiction therapy, just 2 out of 10 men remain free from their addictive vices one year after treatment. 

 

I am one of the twenty percenters. 

 

And now I have allowed God to take my conquering and fashion it into a calling. Coaching men. Calling men. Out of their shame and brokenness. Into genuine freedom. 

 

In the past 18 months, I have coached nearly 100 men through our RESURRECT777 Life Transformation Program. Guess how many guys I’ve had go off the rails and back into their old life of porn and sexual vice? 

 

One. 

 

I want to explain why I have so much success equipping men to conquer this awful obsession. 

 

I break the rules. 

 

Here is a short list of the industry rules I break. 

 

Rule #1 - “Don’t get emotionally invested in your client.”

 

I call BS! I am completely invested in every client I take on. Not just emotionally, but spiritually as well. I pray for all the guys I coach often… and for their families. I care like crazy… and they know it. And because they know it, they put the same emotional effort into the work they have to do. 

 

Rule #2 - “If a client has the money, take every one that walks through the door.”

 

Addiction counselors will see anyone that comes in the door. And I get that. It’s how they make their living. But I have chosen a different path. I pre-screen every potential client. If they are just coming to me because they “got caught” or fail to show any real passion for their freedom, I’m out. 

 

I learned this from my mentor, Dr. Ken McGill. He doesn’t mess around. He asked guys to leave our group work because they were not serious about their recovery.  They way I look at, I’m bringing 100% to your rediscovery of life — you should bring that and more. 

 

Rule #3 - “You must admit you are an addict the rest of your life.” 

 

This is commonplace in addiction therapy. Check-in’s at any therapy group start with each participant declaring, “My name is Bill and I am an alcoholic.” (or whatever Bill’s addiction has been) That’s the absolute worst protocol the professional addiction community has ever contrived. 

 

Here’s the truth. You can own your sin or addictive behavior and not be defined by it. If fact, if you continually identify yourself as an addict - you will likely remain an “eighty-percenter” — one of those who never finds freedom. I train men to transform their beliefs about who they are. That changes everything. 

 

Rule #4 - “Never share your own past with a client.” 

 

The majority of counselors do not talk of their past as a form of illustrative training. Maybe they don’t have a past in the area they are counseling. If they do, perhaps they still have their own struggles or just don’t like talking about it. 

 

But I do. And here’s why. Overcoming my past is precisely what gives me the right to speak with authority to the men I coach. And here’s what men tell me over and over — “Blaine, knowing your story and how you navigated your way to freedom, gives me more hope and more understanding than all the textbook instruction in the world.” 

 

Personally, I don’t want to learn from a “know-it-all.”
I want to learn from a “done-it-all.”

 

Rule #5 - “All we are required to do is counsel our clients and that’s where it ends.”

 

When you go to a counselor, you won’t be given their cell number and told to “call anytime.” And that’s cool - especially if you're meeting with 40 clients a week. But I'm not. 

 

You see, I call myself a coach and not a counselor for a very good reason. I don’t just want to meet in an office (or online) with you once a week and sit there looking at you introspectively while you do most of the talking. 

 

A coach is in the trenches with his players. 
A coach is more concerned about your future than your past.
A coach is always available when a player is struggling with an assignment. 
And a coach… 

 

Will kick your rear-end. (And a coach would never say rear-end) 

 

If we work together, I will be your coach, not a gentle advisor. Saddle up man of God — were going to work. 

 

Rule #6 “It’s all about recovery.”

 

When I was sent into rehab eight years ago, that’s all I heard. 

 

“Your a recovering sex addict”
“Stay in your recovery program”
“How’s your recovery going?” 

 

But I heard the whisper of the Spirit about a year into my “recovery” and it went something like this: “Blaine, I am not interested in giving you a recovery — I am calling you into resurrection.”

 

When you have blown your life apart, there is nothing to “recover.” What could I possibly want in my past? 

 

My head was a mess.
My relationships were all shallow or broken. 
My “success” was a mirage that masked my unhappiness. 

 

Jesus invited me into resurrection. A new way of living. A reimagining of what life could actually be. He energized me with the power to actually snatch me out my sepulcher of secrets into divine freedom.

 

Rule #7 “You can’t talk about Jesus.”

 

I’m sorry, but that’s all I talk about. The most significant aspect of my resurrection out of addiction was the revelation of who Jesus really is. 

 

I had been a “Christian” for 30 years. But I was literally born again — AGAIN. I encountered Jesus in the deepest possible way. There was something about finally revealing my pain and brokenness that invited Jesus into my life in a way I had never experienced. 

 

Religious shame was peeled away.
Laws to be kept were replaced by love to be encountered. 
Church attendance was replaced with healing community. 
Powerlessness was trumped by resurrection. 

 

My last word to you today my dear friend is this:

 

If you feel broken or overcome by your dark secrets today, embrace the courage to surrender. 

 

You don’t have to know all the answers. 
You don’t have to worry about how it’s all going to turn out. 
And you don’t have to be afraid of what people will think about you. 

 

All that matters, is you are courageously bringing your dead heart and your dead hopes to the healer. 

 

If I can help you, reach out to me today. Beginning in August, I have openings for three new clients. Let’s conquer this enemy once and for all. 

 

Click HERE and complete the coaching form and I will set up a free confidential consultation with you.


Grace and peace, 

 

Blaine



HOW CAN I HELP YOU?

 

If you want to read Blaine's extraordinary story... check out his brand new book, DEATH BY A THOUSAND LIES by clicking here. 
 

If you need marital or addiction coaching...  click here and discover your path to complete healing.

 

If you are a Pastor or conference leader… and are interested in having Blaine speak to your church or men's event,  click here and let’s plan something amazing!


If you would like to support us financially... click here and thank you for helping us make a difference in the lives of those who are fighting for freedom from addiction. 

 

THE ROGER BANNISTER EFFECT

Recordbreakers3_2901695b.jpg

 

"How does a man who was a slave to sexual addiction for 25 years stay free?"

 

It's the one question I've been asked hundreds of times. 

 

By God’s remarkable grace, I am so grateful to be walking in my seventh year of complete freedom from my horrid past. To be clear, when I say complete freedom — I mean no relapses of any kind. 

 

When I share this testimony with men that I coach out of porn and sexual addiction, most question whether that is even possible for them. And I completely understand — it felt impossible for me the first 12 months of my resurrection. 

 

This is why I am a huge fan of Roger Bannister. 
 

 

Roger Bannister broke 4 minute mile in 1954 for the first time in world history. Within 60 days, John Landy duplicated Bannister’s feat — and in following years, dozens of athletes would accomplish the same. 

 

What changed for John Landy? 

 

One solitary thing.
He saw that it was possible.
And he believed. 

 

Freedom is possible. If we dare to believe it. 

 

Here are 7 practices I live into every day to stay free and sustain my resurrection into a brand new life.  

 

1. I pray The Lord’s Prayer every day. 

 

According to the Didache, (an early church believers manual) Christians were encouraged to pray this prayer three times a day. Here’s what it does for me:

 

It centers me.
It reminds me whose I am. 
It relinquishes my will for His. 

 

2. I practice daily sabbath, as well as weekly. 

 

Along with my weekly day of rest, I believe in finding margin and space in my life each day for rest, meditation and reflection. It may be reading. Or listening to music or a podcast. It could be writing. Or perhaps just quiet contemplation. But 30-60 minutes a day is dedicated to renewal of soul. Remember that Jesus said that sabbath was not made for God, but rather for man. (Mark 2:27) It is a gift of rejuvenation, recreating and reimagination. 

 

I love the words of Dan Allender on this subject. 

 

SABBATH QUOTE.jpg

 

3. I journal.

 

I have an entire file on my laptop that is nothing by a collection of my thoughts about the past, present and future. It is therapy for me. I love looking back to entries I made 8 years ago and realize how far the Lord has brought me. And I love to dream forward and do spiritual speculation on where the Spirit might be blowing in Lori’s and my life. 

 

4. I have good conversation with Lori. 

 

Lori and I have a life routine. We meet on the porch after work each day. We talk. We dream. We work through challenges. And sometimes we just sit there and look at each other. Communication isn’t alway verbal in our world. We stay in touch with each other’s soul. 

 

5. I respect my boundaries. 

 

I have clear borders and boundaries. They protect me from returning to my past. I avoid certain parts of the city I live in. I never rent cars when I am alone in my travels. I never go near magazine racks in stores. I have high walls up in all  my technology. I don’t stay up late alone — Lori and I always go to bed together. Jesus said, “If your hand offends you, cut if off.” (Matt. 5:30) I have learned to cut off and cut out anything that could be offensive to my resurrection. 

 

6. I remain humble and vigilant. 

 

Sexual temptation 8 years ago was like a bullhorn in my ear from the morning I woke up until the time I went to sleep. It was loud. It was unavoidable. Today, it is closer to a whisper. But I am not stupid enough to take it lightly. I remind myself each day that the continued grace I experience in my life is directly proportionate to the humility I walk in before the Lord. 

 

In fact, God treats us with even greater kindness, just as the Scriptures say, “God opposes everyone who is proud, but he blesses all who are humble with undeserved grace.”

James 4:6 CEV

 

7. I practice honesty. 

 

I lied for years. And ultimately my lies destroyed me. Today I am honest to a fault. Lori tells me I am too honest sometimes. But I simply want to live in the light the rest of my life. What a complete delight it is today to know I have no secrets to hide. There is no internal stress or nagging fear that the hidden house of cards could fall at any time. I am honest with my wife, my advocates and my family and friends. And if you and I ever talk, I can promise I will be honest with you. 

 

All of these practices contribute to a healthy soul. They help to dismiss anxiety, stress, exhaustion, entitlement and anger — many of the contributors to my past behavior. 

 

And yet it all starts with this. I believe. 

 

With Jesus, it is possible it be free. And stay free. 

Blaine



HOW CAN I HELP YOU?

 

If you want to read Blaine's extraordinary story... check out his brand new book, DEATH BY A THOUSAND LIES by clicking here. 
 

If you need marital or addiction coaching...  click here and discover your path to complete healing.

If you are a Pastor or conference leader… and are interested in having Blaine speak to your church or men's event,  click here and let’s plan something amazing!


If you would like to support us financially... click here and thank you for helping us make a difference in the lives of those who are fighting for freedom from addiction. 

 

SEVEN SECRETS TO GREAT CHRISTIAN SEX

0933539a-fc37-4482-bbe9-444554e178ae.png

 

The first command God gave to a man and his wife was — have sex! 

 

Ok… so the directive was masked in the words, “Be fruitful and multiply.” But it was definitely about having sex and apparently in using the word multiply - it was meant to happen often. 

 

According to a survey conducted by the Barna Group in the U.S. 
 

55% of married men and 25% of married women say they watch porn at least once a month. But I actually believe these numbers are higher. Check this out:
 

Alexa Research examined 10 of the leading search engines and more than 9.1 million unique search terms. “Sex” was the #1 most popular search term. “Porn/porno/pornography” ranked #4. 
 

According to sociologist Jill Manning, the research indicates pornography consumption is associated with the following six trends, among others: 
 

1. Increased marital distress, and risk of separation and divorce 

2. Decreased marital intimacy and sexual satisfaction 

3. Infdelity 

4. Increased appetite for more graphic types of pornography and sexual activity associated with abusive, illegal or unsafe practices 

5. Devaluation of monogamy, marriage and child rearing 

6. An increasing number of people struggling with compulsive and addictive sexual behavior. 
 

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reported the following as the most salient factors present in divorce cases: 
 

68% of the divorces involved one party meeting a new lover over the Internet.

56% involved one party having “an obsessive interest in pornographic websites.” 

 

So I believe that one of the most important commitments we can make as married couples is not just saying no to porn — as much as it is saying yes to thriving sex together. 
 

The idea is like this. If our thirst for sexual intimacy is quenched authentically in our marriage, the desire to find “strange cisterns” will diminish. 

 

Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares? Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.

Proverbs 5:15-18 NIV

 

When the writer of this passage said “rejoice in the wife of your youth,” the context was actually taking new joy each day in the blessedness of your sacred sexuality together. So how do we do that? How do we keep our intimacy alive and vibrant with the same partner — for an entire lifetime? 

 

Realize this —  the better you know your partner, the better your sex can be!  There is something beautiful about getting to know each other’s needs, desires and “turn-ons.” As a married couple, your sex life should actually be way better than two strangers “hooking up.” 

 

Here are seven thoughts on how we can make this a reality.

 

1. Understand your sexual experiences together cement and bond your marriage. 

 

Paul taught the Corinthian Christians that sex was not some indiscriminate physical act. (1 Corinthians 6&7)  It is a deeply physical and spiritual endeavor that unites our souls and love for one another. It is one of God’s wondrous ways of reinvigorating our passion for each other regularly. Conversely, a dearth in intimacy will naturally lead to a detachment and disconnect. 

 

2. Schedule sex together.

 

What? Are you actually saying to put sex on the calendar in my smart phone?  It would probably be a good idea if you are always finding reasons why it’s never a good time to have sex. Rather than killing the mood with a lack of spontaneity, scheduling sex together will actually take away all the real excuses we could otherwise use. You know…  “I’m exhausted after working all day”… or  “The kids just wore me out today.“ Victoria Zdrok Wilson, JD, PhD, who cowrote The 30-Day Sex Solution with her husband, John Wilson says this,  “Instead of thinking of calendar sex as unromantic, view it instead as a delicious form of foreplay.” Send each other anticipatory texts, plan what you'll wear (or not), ok… you get it. 

 

3. Perfect the quickie.

 

There are times in our busy lives that time and energy are both at a premium. And if we have the idea that having sex always needs to be a long, drawn out experience, it will be much more easy to constantly postpone.  If you've avoided speedy sex adventures in the past, don’t anymore — they’re kinda fun!

 

4. Learn to experiment.

 

We like different kinds of music, people, movies, food, hair-styles, cars and even churches -- right? So why do we think the most creative person in the universe would limit us to one “modus operandi” when is comes to our sexuality?  So what does that look like for you? I’m not sure, but I know what it looks like for Lori and I. And that’s the deal -- you have to figure that out together. Don't be so conventional that it becomes boring. And don't be so absurd that you lose your intimacy -- or level of comfort and enjoyment.  Sexual ruts -- always doing it on a certain day, at a certain time, in a certain room -- can breed boredom. Something as simple as mixing up places, practices and positions will add some much-needed spice. 

 

5. Keep on communicating.

 

The number one reason that Lori and I have discovered so much fulfillment in our sex lives is communication. There is simply no other way to understand what your partner wants, needs or pleasures, other than honestly talking together — before, during and after your sexual moments together. Don't make assumptions: ask questions and make suggestions. And both partners in the marriage bed should be desirous to see the other’s enjoyment, even more than their own. 

 

6. Take care of your appearance and health.

 

Doing your best to stay in shape and pay attention to your appearance helps you and your partner maintain an ongoing and healthy sex life. I’m not saying you need to both look like magazine models, but we do have a responsibility to take care of our bodies. But it's not just about pleasing your partner's eye; taking care of yourself makes you feel better about your own sexuality. And — your libido is dependent on your overall health. When you feel unhealthy, tired, ill or lacking in energy, you're not likely to be motivated to engage in regular sexual activity. Oh and one more thing — learn how to create some romance in the moment — what you wear (or don’t wear), candles, the right music… all elevate the expectation level.

 

7. If you are struggling together in finding real joy and satisfaction - reach out.

 

There are often very personal issues that can contribute to our lack of desire or freedom in our marriage bed. Sometimes it is past trauma — even as far back as our childhood. It may be a strict religious indoctrination, however unbiblical, that prevents us from fully committing to a robust sex life. Or it could be a continuing addiction to porn or fantasy that sabotages your desire. I appeal to you — please reach out for help! Meet with a pastor, a counselor or a mentoring couple to work through your challenges. 

 

I hope this helps. It certainly isn’t exhaustive, but I pray if you are struggling in any way in your marriage, this will spark a new imagination of all that God’s gift of sexuality can be in your lives. 



Blaine

 

HOW CAN I HELP YOU?

 

If you want to read Blaine's extraordinary story... check out his brand new book, DEATH BY A THOUSAND LIES by clicking here. 
 

If you need marital or addiction coaching...  click here and discover your path to complete healing.

 

If you are a Pastor or conference leader… and are interested in having Blaine speak to your church or men's event,  click here and let’s plan something amazing!


If you would like to support us financially... click here and thank you for helping us make a difference in the lives of those who are fighting for freedom from addiction. 

OUR UNSEXY THEOLOGY

John C. Maxwell.png

 

Are you ready for this? 

 

Satan likes a marriage without sex —  as much as sex without marriage.

 

So why does the church only condemn one?

 

I have coached hundreds of men who were deeply entrenched in pornography or some other illicit sexual behavior. I have yet to meet one man who had both an addiction to lustful behavior and a great marital sex life.

 

Try this: Do a google search on “sex in the Bible.”


The results will take you to a plethora of religious websites who will then proceed to list a dozens of texts that speak to the evils of immoral sex. Most will say absolutely nothing about the magnificence of sex. 

 

Yes.. the magnificence of sex. Sounds almost blasphemous coming from a Christian, right? But sex is, first of all, primarily, and always.... 


Magnificent. 

 

Can I take you somewhere for just a moment… just think about the entangled, erotic, ecstasy of sexual intimacy. 

 

Now pause and ponder. 
God came up with that. 
It was His crazy, wonderous, extravagant, idea. 

 

And that is precisely why we have these calls to sexual intimacy in the scripture:

 

God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply…

Genesis 1:28

 

May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer- may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.”

Proverbs 5:18-19

 

The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife. 

1 Corinthians 7:3-5

 

Your stature is like that of the palm, and your breasts like clusters of fruit. I said, “I will climb the palm tree; I will take hold of its fruit.” May your breasts be like clusters of grapes on the vine, the fragrance of your breath like apples, and your mouth like the best wine.

Song of Solomon 7:7-9

 

 

The unenthusiastic view of sex we often find in the church today is not a new notion.

 

It’s roots actually go back to the ancient church. Just examine the writings of such notable early church fathers as Tertullian, Ambrose, and Jerome, all of whom believed that, even within marriage, intercourse involved sin. There were many other church fathers who believed that intercourse within marriage was only permissible for purposes of procreation. 

 

What it up with that?? There is absolutely nowhere in the scripture that even hints at this idea. 

 

This attitude toward marital sexuality, which dominated the church for more than ten centuries, regrettably led to the glorification of celibacy. By the fifth century, large segments of church leadership prohibited ministers from marrying. 

 

Two classes of Christians emerged: the “religious” (the spiritual clergy), which included monks and nuns who vowed to abstain from all sexual activity, and the “profane” (the secular laity), who, being unable to rise to the noble heights of virginity or celibacy, were conceded the right to marry.

 

I truly believe the church’s failure to communicate the truth about the beauty of marital sexuality is one of the greatest contributors to the pornography epidemic in America. (not to mention other sexual vice) 

 

Before I entered full-time ministry, my wife and I attended a prominent Bible School, where one of the teachers proceeded to tell our entire class that any kind of marital sex that deviated from “standard missionary sex” was depraved and sinful. And any sort of foreplay or sexual exploration in the marriage bed was forbidden by God. 

 

Sexual intimacy in our marriage was never the same from that day forward. 

 

It wasn't long before I found myself becoming bitter and resentful towards both God and the church. I had a thirst for a full and vibrant sexual expression with my wife — but according to God, (or the portrayal of God by his representatives) that was an evil desire in my soul that had to be suppressed. 

 

A few years later, pornography had become a sexual counterfeit in my life —  a bogus substitute to the robust and satisfying sex life that both my wife and I were meant to enjoy in our marriage. 

 

Now let me be clear. 

 

I am not presenting myself as a victim. I own my sin and I made my terrible choices. Nor is it my ex-wife’s fault. I should have insisted on reaching out for help in this exasperating plight. 

 

But I am going to hold the church in account for our silence in properly addressing this critical matter in our marriages. 

 

For those who are faint of heart, prepare yourself for some the most sexually suggestive writing ever to be published. Not from Playboy magazine. Not some illicit romance novel. 

 

The Bible. 

 

“How graceful are your feet in sandals, O queenly maiden! Your rounded thighs are like jewels, the work of a master hand. Your navel is a rounded bowl that never lacks mixed wine. Your belly is a heap of wheat, encircled with lilies. 

 

Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle. Your neck is like an ivory tower. Your eyes are pools in Heshbon, by the gate of Bath-rabbim. Your nose is like a tower of Lebanon, overlooking Damascus. Your head crowns you like Carmel, and your flowing locks are like purple; a king is held captive in the tresses. How fair and pleasant you are, O loved one, delectable maiden! 

 

You are stately as a palm tree, and your breasts are like its clusters. I say I will climb the palm tree and lay hold of its branches. Oh, may your breasts be like clusters of the vine, and the scent of your breath like apples, and your kisses like the best wine that goes down smoothly, gliding over lips and teeth. I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me.  

 

Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the fields, and lodge in the villages; let us go out early to the vineyards, and see whether the vines have budded, whether the grape blossoms have opened and the pomegranates are in bloom. There I will give you my love.”

 

Song of Solomon 7 (Message Translation)

 

Theologically sexy to say the least, eh?

 

Yes, the scripture can be shockingly, sublimely, sensually, sexy. And we should be ok with that. 

 

Until the church changes it's dismissive posture towards the gift of sacred sexuality, porn and sexual vice will remain the primary alternative for men in our Christian subculture. And that should be unacceptable to us all. 

 

Let’s learn to celebrate this magnificent gift of marital bliss!

 

Next week, I will share 7 Secrets to Great Christian Sex. We will take a close and candid look on how we can redeem this remarkable spiritual/physical/soulful experience —  for a lifetime together. 

 

Until then, grace and peace, and pomegranates, 



Blaine

HOW CAN I HELP YOU?

If you want to read Blaine's extraordinary story... check out his brand new book, DEATH BY A THOUSAND LIES by clicking here. 
 

If you need marital or addiction coaching...  click here and discover your path to complete healing.

 

If you are a Pastor or conference leader… and are interested in having Blaine speak to your church or men's event,  click here and let’s plan something amazing!


If you would like to support us financially... click here and thank you for helping us make a difference in the lives of those who are fighting for freedom from addiction. 

 

Now Anthony Bourdain. When being human is hard.

34814391_10214155703219326_6484249647329050624_n.jpg

 

Anthony Bourdain. 

 

kate-spade-110.jpg

 

Kate Spade. 

 

612576700.jpg

 

Pete Ham. 

 

This has been a difficult few days.


Kate Spade early in the week. The news of Anthony Bourdain today. And as it turned out, I happened to watch a documentary on one of my favorite 70’s bands this week, Badfinger. They sang the amazingly beautiful and happy song, No Matter What. And I was a little stunned to watch the unsettling account of the brilliant lead singer, Pete Ham, who hung himself… at just 27 years old.
 

There is one thing more difficult for me to talk about this than any other part of my broken past. 

 

Depression. 

 

Though I didn’t know any of these amazing and talented souls, I feel a kindred spirit with each of them. I find myself mourning in their pain. I feel like I know exactly what they were feeling moments before they made the bewildering choice to press stop on life. I have no judgement for any of them. Only a silent prayer that their pain has ended.

 

I actually hate the word depression. 

 

It sounds to quaint. Too manageable.

 

I would rather it be called Monster. Or F’ing SOB. 

 

If that abbreviation offends you, then perhaps you have never suffered through the kind of depression I am talking about. Because anyone who has, knows it is all that… and worse. 

 

In my recent book, Death by a Thousand Lies, I talk candidly about my oldest son’s suicide attempt in his mid-twenties. There is also the account of my walking head-long into traffic after the exposure of my horrid secret life to my unsuspecting family. 

 

I know this savage beast well. Sitting in the hospital waiting to hear if the doctors were able to flush 200 pills out of my son’s system. Looking down from the 17th floor patio deck of my downtown Dallas apartment. Leaning. Imagining. Contemplating. 

 

Hopelessly hopeless. 

 

Looking back, it was easier for me to beat a twenty-five year porn and sex addiction than the fight I have endured to assuage the sadness I was experiencing in my own soul. 

 

The most perplexing thing was this,

 

I could have the most wonderful day ever. Sunshine and song. Friends and good fortune. A cheerful sense that God was with me. 

 

And then it would hit. Hours later. Sometimes minutes. No warning and seemingly no way out. The only way I can describe the feeling is like this... being dropped in a deep, dark hole with absolutely no way out. It’s more like horror than sadness. You feel pain in every part of your being. 

 

Your mind is haunted.
Your body listless.
Your heart is spiritless. 

 

You don’t want to talk. You don’t want to move. You just want the pain to end. I would pull the covers over my head and go to sleep sometime fives times a day.  Because other than ending my life, that was the only way I could escape. 

 

At least until I would wake up again. 

 

Depression is an indiscriminate assassin. 

 

It doesn’t matter how little or how much you have in this life. It can find you. 

 

And there are no snappy little “Jesusy” answers that work. 

 

“Press in with prayer brother.”
“Speak to that mountain.”
“This too shall pass.” 

 

I’ve heard them all. You might as well spray me with a semi-automatic nail gun.Stop it. Do you think for one minute that I haven’t tried all of the above?

 

So Blaine, how did you overcome it? 

 

I honestly would say that I have never completely overcome it. I have seriously weakened it’s impact in life. It doesn’t carry the sheer weight and endless pursuit of my happiness that it once did. 

 

For the most part, my days are bright and hopeful now. I wake up with a sense of joy and optimism. And perhaps most importantly, I have come to believe that Jesus is right there in both my joys and my sufferings. Not with a magic wand to make things come and go. But just present. 

 

There are still dark seasons of the soul that will gut-punch me every so often. But I feel like I know what to do in those times now. 

 

I take heart in knowing — it will not last. 
I confide in my dear wife, Lori. 
And in her gentle way, she helps me walk through it. 
I protest my dark thoughts. 
With music.
Reading. 
Writing. 

 

And if I have to, I seek out an escape. Sports. A good movie. A nap. A trip to Starbucks. Anything to get my mind in a different space. 

 

And more often than not, a day or two later, I will break through. 

 

But seven years ago, it wasn’t that easy. I was in the fight of my life. For my life. And there wasn’t any one thing that romanced me out of my perpetual despondency. It was a coalescing of many…

 

Two solid years of counseling.
Understanding how depression works.  
Opening my heart up to my family and friends. 
Exercise and a healthy(er) diet. 
Developing a life liturgy. (prayers, readings, meditations)
Learning how to sabbath well. 
Prescribed medication. (which helped immensely) 

 

And time. 

 

One of my counselors told me that our soul will go into grieving for at least one year when we suffer a major loss in life. Divorce. Financial devastation. Public humiliation. Loss of career. 

 

I had all of these happen. It was the most abrupt and godawful twelve months of my life. 

 

So it took time. And I learned to patiently take every inch of hope that began to reappear in my gaze. Until finally, I truly felt like the worst was past me. 

 

And without being Jesusy — I am profoundly grateful today for God’s beautiful gift of life. I stand amazed at his his endless pursuit of my soul. I take in the absolute beauty of His creation each day. And I see His fingerprints on so many parts of my life. 

 

And I am aware that Jesus is close. Close enough. 

 

Until that indescribable day. When all is made right. And our mortal takes on immortality. 

 

How I long. 

 

If you suffer with any of what I’ve described, know this my dear friend…

 

“He is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. 

(Psalm 34:18) 

 

You are not alone. 
But don’t suffer in silence. 
Reach out.
Force yourself. 
To raise your voice.

 

May God grace each one of us to see past the happy countenance of those that suffer among us. Not to provide all the answers. But rather all the love.


Blaine


RESOURCES AND SUPPORT
 

If you want to read Blaine's extraordinary story... check out his brand new book, DEATH BY A THOUSAND LIES by clicking here. 
 

If you need marital or addiction coaching...  click here and discover your path to complete healing.

 

If you are a Pastor or conference leader… and are interested in having Blaine speak to your church or men's event,  click here and let’s plan something amazing!


If you would like to support us financially... click here and thank you for helping us make a difference in the lives of those who are fighting for freedom from addiction. 

SOMETHING BLEW UP

somethingblewup.-3.png

 

Some of you will remember last month, I opened up the month of March to provide coaching to men who could not afford my normal client fees. 

 

Here’s what happened.
Something blew up.

 

First, my month of March is packed. One man after another responded, who needed intervention but could not afford the cost. I love it! 

 

Secondly, Partners showed up. We’ve had both individuals and churches jump on board in monthly support of our ministry, which enables us to create a scholarship fund for men like this. Thank you! 

 

We haven't reached our monthly partnership goal yet, be we are inching closer all the time. 


There's more.

 

Our new book has been retitled, Death by a Thousand Lies: My cover up, my crash and my resurrection from sexual addiction. We had to redo the cover and some of the guts in the manuscript, but it was worth the time and effort. 

 

book photo.png


 

I have to be completely honest with you about this book. I have been this close (holding my fingers a millimeter apart) to sending the book off to print. Before pulling the trigger, I would re-read the manuscript one more time. And I would see something that I wanted to change and tell in a better way. 

 

This isn’t a teaching book. It’s not 5 Steps to… well… anything. It’s my life story. It’s deeply honest and very personal. And it’s been so hard to let it go… to finally say yes… I am ready for the entire world to know my story. I’ve told parts of my story in social media and at men’s events, but never ALL of it. It is a bit scary. 

 

But we are finally there. And you will be the first to know when it comes off the presses. Whew! 

 

Could a Netflix documentary be coming??

 

Yes, I believe this is going to happen. We have been working on a script angle for my story to be told on film. We’ve been through a hundred different versions. Here’s where we landed.

 

This is not going to be my story. It is going to be the stories of those who were impacted the most by my failure. Told from their perspective. I truly believe it will be the most powerful film on the subject of sexual addiction ever made. God’s grace has been so present every step of the process. 

 

It will cost around $100,000 to shoot, edit and market. Which is cheap, if you know the film world. Now we must raise the money. And I know God has people out there who believe in us… and more importantly, believe in the message we are bringing to the world. Pray for those friends and financiers to emerge. 

 

Is television in our future??

 

Most of you know, I hosted a national television program 20 years ago (maybe more - afraid to count) called Fire by Nite. Since then, I have had a thousand people ask me when we were going to do another show. To which I responded, “How does never sound?” 

 

TV is time-consuming, expensive and honestly… the desire to ever do it again was out of my system. 

 

And then this happened. A gentleman I have never met approached me the other day. He told me he has been thinking about me… praying for me… and believed God wanted to produce something in the television world that would impact young people again. To which I replied, “Well that sounds really good -- I wish you all the luck in the world."

 

His reply? “I want to help you do it Blaine. My reply? "It costs money and that's something I don't have right now." To which he retorted, "Don’t worry about that. I have some resources. Let’s start praying about a concept and what God is saying to the next generation.” 

 

So we are praying. And I'm consulting some trusted friends in ministry. Will it happen? Here’s my answer, “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done.” Period. Join me in this prayer. 

 

So check this out.

 

I coach a lot of Pastors and people in ministry. Porn and sexual addiction is rampant in ministry. And guys are getting set free! 

 

So Lori and I were talking last week and she said, “Blaine, wouldn’t it be awesome if we could bring in a handful of Pastors and just bless them and speak into their lives?” I just looked at her and said, “That is my dream honey! One day…” 

 

Well one day is here. This is unbelievable. The Lord providentially connected me with a Pastor and his family at Starbucks awhile back. He began to ask about my work with Pastors and I shared my story and the work we are doing to bring health back into those who are in the ministry trenches. 

 

Long story short: Together, we are covering the entire cost to do a retreat for about 20 Pastors and their spouses. Thank you Jesus! I will have all the details nailed down in the next 10 days, but if you are a Lead Pastor and would be interested in coming, shoot me an email today at bbartel99@gmail.com. Your only cost is transportation to get to our retreat center, near Tulsa. (location will be announced soon)


So........ needless to say, life has been busy and God has been good. I just wanted you to be in the loop. 

 

Thank you for your prayers. 
Thank you for your financial support.
Thank you for every word of encouragement. 

 

We love you,

Blaine (and Lori)

 

HOW CAN I HELP YOU? 

 

If you need marital or addiction coaching...  click here and discover your path to complete healing.

 

If you are a Pastor or conference leader… and are interested in having Blaine speak to your church or men's event,  click here and let’s plan something amazing!


If you would like to support us financially... click here and thank you for helping us make a difference in the lives of those who are fighting for freedom from addiction. 

YOU CAN’T CON A FORMER CON

a406938d-0449-4c2d-9e2e-a3f8fbad9818.png

 

You can’t con a former con

 

As I listened to his account of what and how things happened in his life, something didn’t ring true. A con was in play. 

 

Here’s what he didn’t understand. He wasn’t talking to some newcomer or novice to this game. There was a time I was exactly where he was — only deeper. 

 

I knew how to lie. I knew how reverse blame. I knew how to throw up a false flag. 

 

You can’t con a former con. 

 

Talking to his wife days later, the truth about this man and his lies were exposed. 

 

Someone once said, "Like a lumbering boulder rolling down a hill, truth will win out in spite of man's opposition. It may be hindered, but it is impossible to stop."

 

Do you want to know the greatest truth I’ve learned in my resurrection out of the death spiral of pornography and sexual addition? 

 

Tell the damn truth.

(I put damn in this sentence to get your attention. Did it? Because believing this will change your life.)

 

The first belief I drill into every guy I coach is the belief that honesty is your best friend.Why? Because addicts are liars. 

 

I had to lie. I had too much to hide. Too much I didn’t want anyone to see. Or know about. I learned to how to lie well. With a smile on my face. And without a hint of hesitation in my voice. 

 

In fact, that’s exactly what addiction is. It is the belief that a lying life is easier to manage than a truthful life.

 

We lie to ourselves. “This really isn’t hurting me that much.”
We lie to others. “I’m wonderful, thanks for asking.” 
We lie to God. “Just you and me Lord. We can beat this all alone.”

 

Quit the con. Stop the lies. Throw yourself into the safe arms of truth and an honest admission of your desperate need for help. 

 

Just before going to print, I re-named my new book. I’ll let you in on the new title.

 

“DEATH BY A THOUSAND LIES”

 

Because in the end, it wasn’t the addiction that killed me. It was the lies. 

 

Freedom was waiting to be had… as soon as I dared to utter the truth. 

 

I sinned.
I wasn't a victim.
I chose the life I was living.
I had learned how to live with my lies.  
My only hope for lasting freedom was honesty and humility. 

 

My new favorite quote is one I read recently by an amazing writer named Rachel Wolchin,

 

“Before the truth can set you free, you need to recognize which lie is holding you hostage.”

 

I pray for us today. 



That Jesus would help us see through the facades we create… and to stop believing the facades we have put up are actually true. May we drop the masquerade. And allow our hearts and lives to be seen for exactly who we are. That place where Jesus is invited to see His truth to do it’s ultimate work.

 

Setting us free. 




I love when I hear back from you. Your thoughts. Your questions. Perhaps a plea for help. There are resources links below and jump into the comments as well.


Blaine

 

RESOURCES
 

If you need marital or addiction coaching...  click here and discover your path to complete healing.

If you are a Pastor or conference leader… and are interested in having Blaine speak to your church or men's event,  click here and let’s plan something amazing!


If you would like to support us financially... click here and thank you for helping us make a difference in the lives of those who are fighting for freedom from addiction. 

AN OPEN LETTER TO MY CRITICS

An Open Letter to my Critics
 


Dear ________________, (fill in your name if you have ever thought I could do better) 

 

Thank you for letting your voice be heard.

 

I used to avoid you. 

 

I threw your letters in the garbage can and sent your emails to the trash.

 

But the older (and hopefully wiser) I have got, the more I have leaned into what others see about me, that I often miss. 

 

I received an email from one of you today. Here’s a part of what you had to say.

 

“For a long time I would get frustrated (with you) because I could not afford you for a day to help me out, but it didn't seem like you were willing to offer any help at all without a fee.”

 

That stung. 

 

Not because you were mean in your approach. You were actually quite gracious. 

 

It stung... because it was true.

 

You aren’t the first one to express frustration about the costs involved in hiring me as a coach. I’ve had dozens of guys who were turned on to my coaching by one of my clients or friends, only to drop off the radar when they discovered my fee schedule. 

 

You know what I think about all this? 

 

Bluntly… it sucks. And it breaks my heart. 

 

Because I’ve been in financial crisis. I literally went broke during my crisis. I remember having to borrow money from a good friend just to get through one month. It was humbling and deflating. 

 

Always remembering the struggle I went through, I have done my level best to make my fees as reasonable as possible. In fact, the money I earn today is 1/3 of my past salaries in churches. 

 

Why do I keep doing it? 

 

Because I am absolutely passionate about helping men find their life again. I love it so much that I would do it for free. 

 

And I told God that today. After reading this email, I dropped my head and asked the Lord to make a way for us to help the men that simply can’t afford the cost. 

 

It was a short prayer. That brought a short answer. 

 

In that moment, I heard the Spirit whisper.

 

“Give the month of March away.”

 

Huh... really?

 

Here’s what’s crazy. I am booked like crazy in February. And then April through the end of the summer is blowing up with meetings and clients. 

 

But March is virtually empty. 

 

So my response was this… “Ok Lord, March is yours. Bring the men who need it most.” 

 

As soon as I made that commitment, I knew intuitively what I had to do next.Because April will come around and there will by more men calling in a crisis. 


Here's what we must do.

 

Lori and I have to raise a baseline monthly income, provided by friends, supporters and churches that believe in what we are doing. If we were able to generate $3000 in monthly support, we would instantly have the ability to coach any man — any month, regardless of his ability to cover the costs. 

 

In effect, this would become scholarship funding for those in desperate need. 

 

I’ll end with part of another email that showed up in my inbox today.

 

“Greetings my mentor! I can't state how much our coaching day, almost 120 days ago, has meant to me. I continue to experience Resurrection in my recovery from sexual addiction and brokenness. I just smile.....and cry....tears of joy and thankfulness. No more women. No more one night stands. No porn. Just quiet, peaceful serenity. Devotion to Jesus. Keep up the good work my friend. You touched my life! Thank you!”

 

Through my tears, I gently tapped the keys of my computer in response… “Reading this filled my heart with joy. Thank you!” 

 

These are the outcomes I live for… I pray for… I work for… every single day. 

 

Can I leave you with two sincere requests?

 

1. Will you let me know if you need coaching, but are lacking funds?

 

If you are ready to commit to the coaching you need to live free of porn or sexual vice, I have set aside the month of March for you. All you have to do is email me at bbartel99@gmail.com and we will set up our first confidential coaching conversation. 

 

2. If you believe in what we are doing, would you consider helping us raise a baseline monthly support?

 

We would be so grateful. In fact, I will do an end zone happy dance in the kitchen if we can reach our goal of $3000 in monthly support.

 

If you are interested in joining us in this effort, please visit our donation page HERE. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to email me at bbartel99@gmail.com and I will respond in kind. 

 

Final note:  One the primary reasons I write these blogs is to spark something in you to respond... even write back. Many of you do shoot me messages back and I love reading what you have to say. Without trying to be corny, I have to tell you that I am here today because of friends like you. You’ve encouraged me through decades of ministry labor and somehow, the burden has felt lighter because of your support... and your stories.

 

One of the questions I’ve been asked often is how I have been able to stay so hopeful, in the midst of my struggles, failure and opposition. My response has always been… if you knew my friends and family… you’d be hopeful too.

 

Much love,

Blaine

HOW CAN I HELP YOU?
 

If you need marital or addiction coaching...  click here and discover your path to complete healing.

 

If you are a Pastor or conference leader… and are interested in having Blaine speak to your church or men's event,  click here and let’s plan something amazing!


If you would like to support us financially... click here and thank you for helping us make a difference in the lives of those who are fighting for freedom from addiction. 

 

COMING OUT OF HIDING

Coming out of-3.png

 

 

"One of the most common reasons we wear masks is what I think of as Imposter Syndrome."


These words were part of a sermon shared by Susan Sparks at the historic Madison Avenue Baptist Church in New York City. She went on to describe the Imposter Syndrome as "the fear that the world is going to find us out. I’ve heard it described as feeling like a fake, like you don’t really belong, or like you aren’t really successful, but are just posing as such."


I have to say that one of the passports to my resurrection was summoning the courage to come out of hiding. To stop being the imposter. 


Looking back, there were three masks I had to take off -- in order to find the real Blaine Bartel. I wonder if you may be wearing one of these masks right now... and perhaps not even be aware of it? 


Mask #1

FEAR OF CONSEQUENCE


I wore this mask for twenty-five years. If I told anyone about my porn and sexual addiction horrors, everything I had worked for would be taken away... my marriage, my career, my reputation... on and on. 


Here's what I had to get past: Did I want to continue to live in shame and fear the rest of my life... or did I want to rediscover a life actually worth living? (even if is costs me something to come out from hiding)


Stand up. Come out. Face your demons. 


Tell someone you trust and can guide you into healing and resurrection. And the truth is... if you don't come out of your hiding, eventually someone will take off your mask for everyone to see. That moment is not worth waiting for. 


Mask #2

LIVING INCONGRUENT


As counselors dug into my life and backstory during my 30 day addiction recovery program in Phoenix, one of them said these words that I have never forgotten, "Blaine, as long as you keep living an incongruent faith, you will never live an truly authentic life." That stuck. 


You see, there were a host of things about the faith I had been raised in, that I really didn't believe. But I felt like I had to appear to embrace these spiritual notions in order to stay in the good graces of the religious tribe I was running with. Challenging any of these sacred cows would result in ostracization. I know... because I had seen it happen to others.


So it was at that moment that I pushed all my cards to the middle of the table. I was out. I decided to be true to Christ. True to myself... and true to others. 


Wine wasn't grape juice. 
My "movement" (or Blaine Bartel) didn't have corner on truth. 
Jesus wasn't a Republican. (or a Democrat) 


There is so much more. And it goes so much deeper. (perhaps in book someday.) 


But guess what? When my faith, my ethics and my behavior all began to come into harmony, I began to live without fear for the first time in my life. 


My entire life perspective changed. The only way I can describe it is consummate freedom. 


You don't like me? That's cool... I like you. 
You don't believe that? Beautiful... share the faith you've discovered. 
You don't agree with my politics? No worries... I love people of all political persuasions. 


Dare to be you. The real you. And if you're not sure who that really is, do what I did. Go to Jesus. Ask him the difficult questions you've never had the courage to ask. And watch him lead you. To the right people. The right conversations. And the real you. 


Mask #3

THE VICTIM MASK


We hide behind our pain. 


"My father abused me."
"I was abandoned as a child." 
"My family was poor and didn't have the money to send my to college." 


We all have our reasons for failure and retreat. And I would never minimize the deep wounds you may be experiencing right now in your soul. 


I get it. I was molested when I was 14 years old. I experienced other childhood trauma that haunted me for years. Our pain is real.


But so is the power of forgiveness. 
And the power of resurrection. 


Take the victim card of our your deck. Throw down the King or the Queen. Because that's who you are. You don't have to be a culmination of your yesterdays. Call out your past... and make it a launching pad for a newly created future. You deserve better. 


Your calling is often found in your conquering. Embrace it. 


Final note: My brand new book is about to go to print. In next week's email series, I will be sharing the FIVE MOST POWERFUL PARAGRAPHS in the book. In doing so, I will also answer FIVE OF THE MOST CONSEQUENTIAL QUESTIONS in our lives. I think you will enjoy!


If there is anything I can pray with you about... or you have a questions, feel free to hit REPLY on this email and I am happy to respond. 

Blaine
 

HOW CAN I HELP YOU? 

 

If you need marital or addiction coaching...  click here and discover your path to complete healing.

 

If you are a Pastor or conference leader… and are interested in having Blaine speak to your church or men's event,  click here and let’s plan something amazing!


If you would like to support us financially... click here and thank you for helping us make a difference in the lives of those who are fighting for freedom from addiction. 

THE QUESTIONS I GET ASKED MOST

THE QUESITONS.png

 

One of my common refrains when I coach men is, "Ask me anything." I have nothing to hide anymore. 


 

So I thought it would be a good idea to answer the questions I get asked most. Here they are. 




IS IT REALLY POSSIBLE FOR ME TO BE COMPLETELY FREE FROM PORNOGRAPHY?



The answer is yes… and no. Yes, if you take this disease of the soul seriously and are willing to do the hard work of resurrection. No, if you think a wing and a prayer will take it away. I summoned everything I had. Read everything I could read. Listened to everything I could listen to. Met with everyone I could meet with. And opened my heart completely to authentic, earth moving, life-altering resurrection. Today I am completely free, without relapse in six years. I say that with deep humility and complete attribution to the grace of God and loving community. It's interesting... I have actually had men doubt that claim… thinking that is not possible. My reply? Get a polygraph set up and let’s do this! 

 

WHAT WAS IT LIKE BEING IN AN ADDICTION RECOVERY CENTER? 

 

Life in my first 30 days of rehab was what I can only call being on “the bright side of disaster.” In my first meeting with one of the leading sexual addiction therapists in America, he told me he had never heard a story quite like mine and that I was “the poster child for sexual addiction in America.” Rehab was literally 12 hours and day, 6 days a week of non-stop digging into the deepest parts of my soul. Answering questions I’d never been asked. Finding answers I would have never come up with on my own. When I walked out at the end of 30 days, I was still in the grave but it was like Jesus had put a defibrillator on my soul and I was beginning to breath again. 

 

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CHURCH YOU WERE PASTORING WHEN YOU CONFESSED AND RESIGNED?

 

First, I loved our wonderful church community in Frisco, Texas. I still have so many friends from our church that have loved me through my resurrection. I resigned from Northstar Church in March of 2010, just a few days away from Good Friday. How appropriate right? We had planted the church three years earlier with the help of Pastor Willie George and Church on the Move. We had just moved into our brand new building. Thankfully I had a wonderful board of Elders who transitioned the leadership of Northstar into the capable and caring hands of Pastor Robert Morris and Gateway Church in Dallas. They adopted the Northstar community as one of their extension campus’s and it has been thriving every since. 

 

AFTER GOING THROUGH A DIVORCE, DO YOU STILL FEEL QUALIFIED FOR MINISTRY?

 

There is nothing more painful in all the world than divorce. In the aftermath of mine, I felt completely disqualified and incapable of leading others again. It literally took years to find the grace to actually believe God could use my story to help others. One of the pastors who discipled me through my resurrection told me this, “Blaine, our calling is often found in our conquering.” I truly feel the presence of Jesus in each opportunity I have to disciple men into freedom from sexual brokenness. Today ministry happens more in a private space than it does on a stage. And that is good with me. 

 

HOW DID YOUR THREE BOYS REACT TO YOUR DISCLOSURE? 

 

Each of my three beautiful sons reacted differently. They were all in their 20’s at the time. There was a range of response and emotion, including anger, compassion and shock. The pain I brought into their lives and all of my family reduced me to a continual stream of tears for months on end. I could not stop pain. Though each of them have shown me a love I could never deserve, it has taken years to regain their trust and respect. Today, my relationship with each of them is deeper and closer than ever before. 

 

ISN’T THE TERM “SEX ADDICTION” JUST A LABEL TO JUSTIFY SINFUL BEHAVIOR?

 

First, sexual addiction is a real thing. And it is extremely complicated. The biblical counterpart to the word addiction is “stronghold” or being “held captive to sin.” The Apostle Paul talks about this in his second letter to the Corinthians when he tells them that the weapons of our spiritual warfare are able to break the strongholds in life. That’s what an addiction is: a STRONG HOLD. But this does not give the addict an excuse to remain in the chains of sin. Nor does giving any behavior a clinical diagnoses make it acceptable or justified. Addictions can be broken, but I believe it takes more than just breezing through a 12 step program to genuinely find life that is worth living again. 

 

HOW DID YOU MEET YOUR WIFE LORI?

 

Match dot com! Haha. I learned how to live single and free from sexual addiction for four years before meeting Lori. I knew I wanted a partner in my life. But….  I was having trouble meeting someone… anyone… that seemed compatible with my life and would accept and understand my past. One of my pastoral mentors suggested I carefully explore some online dating sites. Our first date was at Tia Amos Italian restaurant in Tulsa. Lori told me that the two things she liked most about me on our first date was my cologne and my shoes. There you go guys… smell good and dress good, right? The rest is history. Lori and I are about to celebrate our 4th anniversary and she is the joy of my life!

 

HOW COULD YOU CONTINUE TO PREACH AND PASTOR WHILE LIVING YOUR SECRET LIFE?

 

That is the question I get asked most. And it deserves a good answer. I lived in the private world of porn and sexual addiction for more than 20 years… all the while leading a very public life as a Christian leader. Did I feel like a complete hypocrite? Yes. Was I? Perhaps… but I really don’t think so. The word hypocrite was originally used by the Greeks to describe a stage actor in a play. My faith was never acting for me. I genuinely loved Jesus and desperately wanted to be free of my sexual sin. I hated myself for continually repenting and falling and repenting and falling. I guess I just kept preaching and hoping one day I would find the miracle of freedom. When I finally came to the end of myself… I did the one thing that I had refused to do for decades. Confess. Disclose. Ask for help. 

 

I’VE HEARD SOME PRETTY FAR-FETCHED RUMORS ABOUT YOUR PAST SINS. WHAT REALLY HAPPENED?

 

You will have to read my new book that will be released next month. It is raw and candid about all that really happened… parts of my past that I have never revealed before. I was messed up pretty bad. I had become two different people and literally created a second hidden identity and life. I am ashamed of my past and how deep I allowed myself to fall into the sexual underworld, but there is nothing I can do to change that now. I really don’t like to talk about it today, but feel an obligation to be honest about it in my writing and talks at men’s events. Why? Because it was the honesty and transparency of others that inspired hope in me for freedom from my own pain and addiction. I have found when I am open and honest about my past with guys I am coaching, it gives them the courage to be truthful about their own secrets. And it's the truth that sets us free. 

 

WHY DO YOU THINK SO MANY POPULAR MINISTERS FALL INTO IMMORALITY?

 

It’s really pretty simple. Pastors and ministers are put on a moral pedestal, both by their followers and often by their own actions and words. They begin to feel any admission of sin in their lives (other than the “minor” ones) will either cause them to lose their spiritual status or worse —  their jobs. And here’s the simple truth: if we can’t be honest with someone about your struggles, we are headed for a colossal crisis. Many popular ministers are so driven by achievement and exhausted from their work that they almost unknowingly begin to adopt a sense of entitlement. It is then that some begin justifying forms of indulgment. The “I work hard and deserve a little pleasure” internal mantra isn’t just a minister’s problem though. This sense of privilege can enter into any man’s life. This is why one of the most rewarding parts of my coaching today is with ministers that are coming to me for help before it is too late. And they know they can trust me with their stories, because I’ve been there.

 

DO YOU STILL GET TEMPTED WITH THE SINS OF YOUR FORMER LIFE?

 

Of course. But the temptation is different today than it was before. The best way I can explain it is like this. In my former days, the temptation was a continual loud screaming in my head every morning, afternoon and evening that would never stop. Today it is more like an occasional faint whisper. It simply doesn’t have the voice or power in my head and heart that it had before. And more importantly, I don’t allow that whisper to be amplified any louder by giving it space to grow in my head. I’ve discovered so many beliefs, tools and practices to mute the voice.

 

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO HAVE YOU SPEAK TO OUR CHURCH, CONFERENCE OR MEN’S GROUP? 

 

I get asked this a lot. Honestly, years ago I asked for certain honorarium fee to speak. I just can’t do that today. What Jesus has given me is too important to attach a financial cost that may prohibit an opportunity to see others set free. I realize that different churches and conferences have to work within the confines of different budgets. And I don’t want ministry to be a financial transaction anymore. So I just go where God is calling me and the need is great. 


Last note... If you have questions you would like to ask me that are personal to you, I am happy to do my best to answer them. Just shoot me a personal and confidential email to bbartel99@gmail.com. Everything you ask of share will be held in the strictest confidence. 

All out grace,


Blaine

 

HOW CAN I HELP YOU? 

 

If you need marital or addiction coaching...  click here and discover your path to complete healing.

If you are a Pastor or conference leader… and are interested in having Blaine speak to your church or men's event,  click here and let’s plan something amazing!

If you would like to support us financially... click here and thank you for helping us make a difference in the lives of those who are fighting for freedom from addiction. 

REIMAGINING LIFE WITHOUT PORN

du.png

 

When your head is full of naked women and secret shame, there's not much room left for divine imagination. 

 

I want to tell you about one of the least talked about consequences of porn. 



A lackluster life. 



When I look back at the multiplied thousands of hours I spent in my world of porn and sexual vice, I can't help but ask myself these questions:


What if I had put the same amount of time into prayerful imagination of what life could really be? 
How much more discerning would my heart have been to clearly see my future?
How many times did guilt and shame limit my belief that God was really for me? 


When porn's powerful chains wrap themselves around your mind, it paralyzes you from experiencing the beauty and wonder of what life can really be. You are literally sacrificing your future for a few fleeting moments of heart-numbing gratification. 


I know. It happened to me. 

 

My porn and sexual addiction stole years from my life. I stopped dreaming about my future. I lost my ambition and desire to grow as a human being. I was baring existing. 


Today, my world sans-porn is filled with the joy of imagining and creating a life without limits. Without the crippling darkness of pornography clouding my curiosity, creativity and passion for for living. 

 

Jeremiah 33:3 sheds some amazing light on what happens when we reach out to God in our darkness...

 

Call unto Me, and I do answer thee, yea, I declare to thee great and fenced things -- thou hast not known them. (Young's Literal Version)

 

Hmmmm.... fenced things. 



It's as if I was once locked in a dark, dingy prison cell and suddenly all four walls fell down and there it was... right in front of me for the first time in 25 years... the sunlight, colors and creation of God inviting me to explore!

 

Wow. How could life be this good? 

 

And all I can do is thank my gracious Savior for patiently waiting for me to finally cry out for help.
 


If you are struggling with this terrible stealer of dreams, I am here for you.



Email me at bbartel99@gmail.com. Let's connect. Let's talk about how you can recapture life again.


All the info on my coaching work is RIGHT HERE. 

 

May Jesus be more real to you than ever,


Blaine
 

WHY CONFIDENTIALITY IS KING

confidentiality.png

 

This threw me into hiding forever. 

 

I had a good friend in Florida who was an amazing student pastor. One day I called him on the phone and found out he was no longer at the church. After days of trying to track him down, we finally spoke. 

 

His story crushed me. 


He had confided in a friend of his at his church about his struggle with pornography. He wanted prayer and help. 


Within a few hours, he was in his pastor's office getting fired. The entire church was informed of his sin the following Sunday. 


Twenty years have passed. He has never returned to ministry. 


My heart broke for him and his precious wife and children. 


But there was another emotion that steamrolled me after I hung up the phone.


Out-and-out fear. 


I was in the very beginnings of my struggle with porn as a young minister. And that one phone call told me everything I needed to know about my growing enslavement to my sin. 


Dont. Tell. Anyone. 


From that moment forward, I was determined to find a way to overcome this secret obsession. 


Alone. 


Because you can't trust anyone. Especially the church. At least that was the lesson I had learned.


I remember thinking over and over again, "If I could just find some anonymous counselor, I would tell them everything." 


If you are struggling with porn or some other secret in your life, I want to throw you a life preserver of hope. 


Your sin and struggles do not have to be exposed to the world. The scripture bears this out.
 

"Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends."

Proverbs 17:9 NIV

 

Covering an offense does not imply ignoring the sin or it's consequences. It simply means the confessor can trust their friend, counselor or leader to protect them as they seek freedom. 


We've all heard of the adage, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas." Oh that this would apply in helping our brothers and sisters in our church communities. 


This is precisely why the first thing I do with any man I am coaching out of sexual sin is look him in the eye and tell him, "Your secrets are safe with me. Whoever else you share them with is completely up to you."  And then we sign a confidentiality agreement together. 


I will go to the grave with a thousand secrets from a thousand men. Because I am committed to being a trusted friend and brother.


The truth is, there are very few people we can trust with our innermost struggles and secrets. 


With all that said, now let me lay down the hard truth. 


You must find the right person in your life to trust with the secrets of your story. You will never beat this enemy of the soul alone. 


The text urges us...
 

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective."

James 5:16 NIV

 

There is healing and restoration in the honesty of our admission for help.


Through deep prayer.
Following by compassionate guidance. 
And a brother who will get in the trenches with you. 


If you are struggling today and need a brother...  a friend... a mentor to help guide you out of this terrible secret life, I am here for you.


Decide right now you're going to have the courage to reach out. 


Email me at bbartel99@gmail.com


Not only can you trust me with your secrets, but you can also trust me to equip you with the beliefs, tools and practices to make sure they become a thing of the past. 


All the info on my coaching work is right here. 


This decision you make today... right now... could alter your life forever. 

 

May God grace you with courage today,



Blaine


PS. Beginning the end of January, I am leading two recovery groups for guys who are serious about ending porn in their life. 

 

twenty percenter header.png


ne in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 
The second will be an Online Group for men all over the nation.
 

Space is limited to 12 men in each group. There is a small fee to join. Both groups are close to being filled, so if you have a desire to participate, don't wait --- shoot me a personal email at bbartel99@gmail.com and I will send you all the details.

 

RESOURCES
 

If you need marital or addiction coaching...  click here and discover your path to complete healing.

 

If you are a Pastor or conference leader… and are interested in having Blaine speak to your church or men's event,  click here and let’s plan something amazing!


If you would like to support us financially... click here and thank you for helping us make a difference in the lives of those who are fighting for freedom from addiction. 

 

WHY PORN IS CRUSHING YOUR CHURCH

WHY PORN IS CRUSHING YOUR CHURCH-2.png

 

Ok. True Confession. 

 

I am scared to death of snakes. 

 

For that matter, anything slithering around with no shoulders shoots shivers through my body. So with that in mind, imagine one of my boys telling me there was a huge snake in our house. Yes… that happened. 

 

It was time to man up. Conquer my greatest fear. 


So I grabbed my hockey stick. Because that's what Canadians do when life and death are at stake. 


And the rest is history.


Slapshot. Snake. Gone.  

 

Pastors and churches across America are ignoring the snake in the house. 

 

Maybe they don’t realize it’s there. 
Perhaps they don’t know how to get rid of it. 
Or worse yet — they really don’t think it’s that dangerous. 

 

Pornography has slowly slithered into the American church. And it is crushing us. 

 

I’m going to explain why in a moment — and it's going to hit you like a bombshell. 

 

But first, here are the facts.

 

80% of Christian men age 18-39 watch porn monthly. 
That figure still peaks at 70% for men ages 31-49. 

 

Now get this. 30% of the men in your church are porn addicts. That means they cannot stop themselves from watching porn for sexual gratification….


EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. 


If this doesn't alarm you, please allow me to hit the little red alarm button.

 

You're about to discover 4 ways porn is crushing your church. 

 

1. A man struggling with porn has no hope for help at most churches, so why go? 

 

Even though porn is perhaps the most significant struggle in the lives of most men, it is never talked about inside the walls of most churches. The reasons are many. 

 

Some pastors don’t know how to talk about it. Some are struggling in their own life and feel hypocritical for talking about it. And some misguidedly think the issue really won’t effect the church, since it is a hidden problem.

 

The bottom line is: If a guy’s church won’t speak to the most consequential struggle in his life, he isn’t likely to listen to anything else we have to say. 

 

2. Men struggling with porn start avoiding church. 

 

No one wants to be a hypocrite. And if a guy who is using porn continually feels a scalding sense of condemnation while everyone else is singing “How Great is our God”, it should be no surprise that man will avoid experiencing church any chance he gets. Watching Sunday football feels like a much better option emotionally. 


I believe we are losing more and more good men every week we fail to confront this issue.

 

3. Men who are porn users (or addicts) may come to church, but most won’t serve and give. 

 

I can’t even begin to tell you about the number of guys I’ve coached in the area of pornography who have lamented at how unqualified they feel to serve in God’s Kingdom because of the crap they look at each week. 

 

Unaddressed guilt most often leads to passivity.

 

How can a guy be enthusiastic about serving a vision that hasn’t helped him? Why would a man give his hard-earned money to a church that has failed to tackle his greatest challenge? 

 

4. Most men struggling with porn won’t trust the church with their problem. 

 

Why?


Pretty simple really.


Because most men have never seen another man in the pulpit or in a smaller group experience share his struggle honestly and provide hope for a porn-free existence. 

 

In other words, it’s not enough to throw out a few facts about the dangers of porn from your church pulpit or toss a couple scriptures about the evil of sexual sin… we must provide real-life testimonies of men that are learning to live free. 

 

When we go public with our stories, we have made our church community a safe place for men to be honest about their own struggles. 

 

Friends, a snake is in the house of Christ it is no harmless field snake. It is a a cobra and it’s venom is deadly. 

 

I have committed myself in 2018 to helping church communities successfully stem this clandestine epidemic. 

Here's how.

 

1. 24 Speaking Events in 2018.

 

1 copy.png


I am currently filling my travel schedule with Men’s Events and church services to share my story and speak to this issue clearly and compassionately. 
 


2. Training Local Church Leaders in each church I visit.

 

4.png

 

I am personally training church leaders how to lead a Men’s purity group during my visit to each church I speak at. In fact, I am actually staying to lead and model the first group on either the Sunday or Monday night following my time at each church. 

 

3. Providing Purity Curriculum at each church I visit.

 

3 copy.png

 

I am giving each local church I visit my brand new prototype men’s group curriculum to use with their guys. After years of work, I have finally completed and tested this program and the contents are life-changing. 
 

I hope you can see how serious I am about helping pastors and churches. It is going to take more than a bandaid to solve this crisis. 


Note: I am speaking a maximum of 2 times a month and my 2018 is filling up, so please respond quickly if you would want more information about hosting a weekend event. 

 

Simply click on this link, complete the brief form at the bottom of the page and I will call you personally and discuss all the options. 

 

I want to thank each of you for your prayers and support. My efforts in helping men come out of this destructive life can seem endless at times. 

 

Answering difficult emails.
Calls from guys in crisis. 
Spouses who are broken.

 

I have another coaching day tomorrow with a new hero in my books. He is a man in ministry who had the courage to call me and say, “Blaine, I desperately need help.” 

 

Pray for us. I believe resurrection is going to dislodge the death in his life! 

 

Until next time,

 

Blaine


PS. Beginning the end of January, I am leading two recovery groups for guys who are serious about ending porn in their life. 

One in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 
The second will be an Online Group for men all over the nation.
 

Space is limited to 12 men in each group. There is a small fee to join. Both groups are close to being filled, so if you have a desire to participate, don't wait --- shoot me a personal email at bbartel99@gmail.com and I will send you all the details.

3 REASONS CHURCH GUYS CRAVE PORN

celebrate with us!-2.png

 

 

I slammed my laptop shut. 

 

The anger and shame was no longer simmering beneath the surface — it reached a boiling point. 

 

“Why do I keep coming back to this sh*#… again and again and again?” 

 

This was the question that ruthlessly tormented me through my 20’s, 30’s and 40’s. 

 

I was a Christian. 
I was a preacher. 
I desperately wanted to please God.

 

So why was porn my constant “go to”?

 

Today I can look back and tell you exactly why. And I believe my experience and gravitational pull into the addictive world of pornography relates to 99% of Christian guys. 

 

There were 3 primary reasons I had an insatiable craving for porn in my life. 

 

1. It was my little secret. 

 

We church guys all know the sin “whoppers” right? 

 

Adultery. Murder. Divorce. Partying. Gambling. Drugs. And Porn. 

 

Well for me… of all those temptations, porn was the easiest to keep under wraps. (I only thought of killing someone once and it was myself) 

 

No one would know. And it was a harmless sin. Sure — I knew God wasn’t happy about it, but of all the sins out there, the repercussions of porn had no effect on anyone but me. (or so I thought) I could get away with it again and again and no one would know. Except me. 

 

And that was the problem in the end. I knew.


And I couldn’t live with it. I lost control. Lust took the wheel in my life. And it didn’t stop until it had taken everything. 

 

2. I believed porn was simply a spiritual problem.

 

If I just prayed more, fasted more often, read my Bible more… Jesus would deliver me from this terrible vice. And because I isolated my addiction as only a spiritual dilemma, I could never conquer it. So the craving only increased.  

 

I have learned that overcoming porn was a process of becoming a whole man on three levels. 

 

--->  Understanding my own mind and how to change my beliefs (and ultimately my thinking) about myself and women. 
 

--->   Understanding my body and what healthy sexuality really looks like.
 

--->  Understanding my spirit and why my misguided thoughts about God drove me deeper into lust. 

 

3. I believed God would reward my “purity pledge.”  

 

I was a virgin when I got married. So was my wife. We were told by many a pastor and evangelist that if we would “save ourselves for marriage” that God would give us a greater experience sexually than the world could ever offer us. 

 

True and not true. 

 

True —  if two partners enter marriage with a healthy sexual perspective and share openly with one another their desires, their fears and even their questions. And if they find roadblocks to mutual satisfaction intimately, they seek out wise counsel or therapy. 

 

Not true — if you assume because you abstained from sex before marriage that great sex would be “an automatic” in marriage. 

 

An amazing sex life does not fall down from heaven as some kind of reward for suffering through abstinence. It flourishes though trial and error together, loving and honest communication and learning to let yourself go and embrace the beauty of the deepest intimacy you will ever feel with another soul. 

 

I’ve coached many a Christian man who saved himself for marriage, only to be disillusioned with a disappointing sex life — then reverting to porn — all driven by a sense of bitterness, entitlement and emotional pain in his marriage. 

 

Certainly, these aren’t the only reasons guys in the church have been so impacted by porn. I have discovered a host of other triggers that seem to impact religious men even more than those outside the church. 


So more to come down the road.

 

If you are struggling, get help. 

 

How can I make this more clear?

 

If you are struggling, get help. 
If you are struggling, get help.  
IF YOU ARE STRUGGLING GET HELP.

 

You will never beat porn alone. 
That is a fact.
I have yet to meet a man who stopped by himself.
Ever. 

 

If I can help coach you out of your dependence or addiction, hit me up right here. Read though my coaching info and shoot me a message at the bottom of the page. And if money is an issue for you, let me know and I will figure out a way to help you. 

 

Let’s make 2018 the year we left porn and sexual vice behind.

 

For good.

 

Blaine



PS. Beginning the end of January, I am leading two recovery groups for guys who are serious about ending porn in their life. 
 

One in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 
The second will be an Online Group for men all over the nation.
 

Space is limited to 12 men in each group. There is a small fee to join. Both groups are close to being filled, so if you have a desire to participate, don't wait --- shoot me a personal email at bbartel99@gmail.com and I will send you all the details.

 

RESOURCES
 

If you need marital or addiction coaching...  click here and discover your path to complete healing.

 

If you are a Pastor or conference leader… and are interested in having Blaine speak to your church or men's event,  click here and let’s plan something amazing!


If you would like to support us financially... click here and thank you for helping us make a difference in the lives of those who are fighting for freedom from addiction. 

 

I Didn't See This Coming.

Let's soar higher!-2.png

 

No matter how much you think you know the person you’re engaged to, there will be things you didn’t see coming. 

 

Because everything changes when you wake up to each other...

 

EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. 

 

So here is what surprised me about Lori. And what surprised her about me. 

 

I knew Lori paid attention to detail, but I had no idea her eagle eye could spot a particle of dust on top of a lamp 20 feet away.  

 

And it was at that very moment I thought… “I’m in deep trouble.” 

 

Not because I’m a messy guy. (although I have less than tidy compartments of my life) 

 

I am the guy that rolls with the punches and can actually thrive in the midst of chaos and imperfection. In other words, I am currently at work in perfect peace knowing our rent is due today. No big deal. We have until the 3rd to get it in.



Not Lori. Rent due -- is like a blinking red light with sirens in her head until it is taken care of. NOW. 

 

So I was surprised at how important it was to Lori for me to have my act together in the minutia of life. And Lori was surprised at how important it was to yours truly to live with a certain amount of trust and abandon that everything is going to work out. 

 

So we’ve figured it out. Instead of letting our differences generate criticism and resentment, we have learned to love the tender and ticklish balance of obsession and effortlessness. 

 

So we pay every single one of our bills on time. 
And we leave the kitchen a mess Friday night and sleep in on Saturday.
We laugh. We love. And respect (even admire) each other’s weird ways. 


After all, our differences are what make life interesting.
 

Final Thought.

 

Here’s something else I didn’t see coming. 2018.



Well, I saw the year coming. Just not all that the Lord is about to unfold in the coming year. 

 

2017 has been a extra-hard and extra-ordinary year for Lori and I. 

 

Extra-hard
 

Transition from Kansas City to back to Tulsa. 

Moving from guaranteed salary to trusting God in a newly forming ministry.

Figuring out all the right steps in our new ministry adventure.

 

Extra-ordinary

 

Coaching dozens of men out of porn and sexual addiction. 

Speaking to thousands of men and women about freedom in Christ. 

Raising the funds for my new book, due for release in January. 

 

So we have 3 pretty exciting announcements for 2018. 

 

1. Book Release Speaking Tour 

 

Lori and I are opening up 24 weekends in 2018 to speak at Men’s Events, Marriage Events and Sunday services as we release my brand new book. Several of these weekends are already booked, but go here if you or your church/organization are interested in hosting an event or service.

 

2. Nationwide Online Men’s Recovery Groups

 

Starting in January, I will begin hosting men’s recovery groups with brand new online technology that allow 8-10 guys to be in a room together from all parts of the country and do the work of resurrection. If you are interested in getting the info on this, just hit reply on this email and let me know. 

 

3. Residential Recovery Center

 

For years, we have dreamed about opening up a residential recovery center where men and couples could come for an extended time to be immersed in a refuge of hope, help and resurrection. That dream will be released in the latter part of 2018! 

 

The Lord has beautifully orchestrated everything. We have an amazing facility that has recently opened up to us. We also have an outstanding team of counseling professionals that are joining forces with us. And… we have one of the most respected residential addiction consultants in the nation helping us design our model and programming. 

 

It goes without saying… WE. ARE. PUMPED. 

 

As we move forward, we will keep you abreast of all the details. 

 

Can I ask you one thing? 

 

Would you consider supporting us with a special year-end financial gift? 

 

Though I rarely ask for money, I need to right now. Two reasons. 

 

First, December is a tough month for a ministry sustained primarily by speaking events. Because there aren’t any. Churches and organizations are busy or in downtime. So we have zero income in December. 

 

Second, the plans we have for 2018 will take a fresh infusion of resources to make everything happen. We need some seed-money to begin moving these initiatives forward — especially the Residential Recovery Center. 

 

If you can help us — and I mean any amount — $25, $50, $100 or whatever is in your heart to do — we would be so grateful. 

 

Here’s a link where you can securely give online. SUPPORT US HERE. 

 

Or you are welcome to mail a check to: 

Blaine and Lori Bartel

1100 West Tucson St. 

#419

Broken Arrow, Oklahoma 74011 

 

Thank each and every one of for your love, support and prayers this past year. 

 

Grace everyday,



Blaine

 

If you need marital or addiction coaching...  click here and discover your path to complete healing.

If you are a Pastor or conference leader… and are interested in having Blaine speak to your church or men's event,  click here and let’s plan something amazing!

If you would like to support us financially... click here and thank you for helping us make a difference in the lives of those who are fighting for freedom from addiction. 

7 Ways to Affair-Proof Your Marriage

7 signs he may becheatingon you.-3.png

 

We met on Match.

 

As I sat across the table from this beautiful woman, this question stumbled out of my mouth. “What are you looking for in a man?” I was caught completely flat-footed by her answer. 

 

“Blaine, I just can’t deal with a man that has struggled with addiction.” 

 

Her answer was like telling Jonah she couldn’t deal with the faint smell of seaweed. 

 

That women’s name is Lori and today she is my wife. She knows my entire story. (I didn’t tell it to her that night) How did she get past — my past? How have we been able to foster a deep and trusting relationship in light of the unfaithful behavior in my previous marriage? 

 

Here’s our answer. We have built our relationship on a foundation that we believe has affair-proofed our marriage. 

 

Twenty-five percent of all American men (and some studies put the number even higher) will have extramarital affairs during their lifetime. So how do we stop from being 1 of the 4? What precautions — and even more important — what virtues can we hold close in our desire to stay true?

 

Start with these seven. (you may find more along the way)

 

1. COMMIT TO HONEST, OPEN AND EVEN AWKWARD COMMUNICATION. 

 

The seeds of an affair are planted when a husband and wife avoid deep conversation about the things that can make or break a marriage. 

 

Things like money. How are we spending? Are we hiding expenditures or accounts from each other? Jesus said if we are unfaithful with unrighteous mammon, we will be unfaithful in the virtues of righteousness. (Luke 16:11) 

 

How about sex? Have you both shared honestly what you love (or don’t love) in the marriage bed? Or do you avoid those uncomfortable conversations? Unspoken needs or frustrations in our sexuality will always lead to an underlying resentment towards our spouse — and sexual resentment has caused many a man (or woman) to stray. 

 

Talk honestly. Talk deeply. Talk often. 

 

2: DON’T DO MARRIAGE ALONE. 

 

There is a very well known verse in Proverbs that reads, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” What does this actually mean?

 

Iron was sharpened with a whetstone in the days of this writing. The whetstone would stay dull while one-side (the iron) was sharpened. The author of this observation uses iron as a means to indicate that people of similar values, virtues, and character have the power of sharpening each other in a way that is helps both parties. It is never a one-way sharpening, but both sides are sharpened concurrently. 

 

Connect with other strong and stable couples. Learn from them. Commit to a healthy church community. Share your lives with others of like faith. Seek out professional/pastoral counseling when you are navigating rough waters. This will keep you safe. (Proverbs 11:14) Lean into family together. Often, your loved ones will see things in your life that no one else does. 

 

3. ESTEEM, ENJOY AND IMPROVE YOUR SEX LIFE. 

 

Your sex life is one thing that is completely yours. It is meant to be the closest — deepest — most bonding moment of intimacy between a husband and wife. We are wise to value and protect these moments together. 

 

Esteem. Make it a continual priority in your marriage. If you’re always waiting for “the right moment”, it will never happen. 
 

Enjoy. Stop the boredom. Change the routine. Or the location. Tell your spouse what turns you on. 
 

Improve. Ask your spouse what you can do to make it better for them. Communicate during intimacy, not just after. 

 

There are times when past trauma, poor teaching or negative modeling of sexual behavior can dramatically effect a wife or husband (or both) in the marriage bed. It can lead to withdrawal, undue sexual shame and many other behaviors that will inhibit a healthy and vibrant sex life. If this comes to light in your marriage, seek out a good sexual therapist who has faith underpinnings for help and healing. 

 

4. HAVE EYES FOR YOUR SPOUSE AND TELL HER WHAT YOU THINK. 

 

Eugene Peterson interprets this Proverbs passage wonderfully in the Message translation…

 

Your spring water is for you and you only, not to be passed around among strangers. Bless your fresh-flowing fountain! Enjoy the wife you married as a young man! Lovely as an angel, beautiful as a rose— don’t ever quit taking delight in her body. Never take her love for granted! 

Proverbs 5:17-18

 

Guys… let your wife be your ultimate standard of beauty. Reminisce the memories of your lives. Envision growing older together and loving every minute of it. 

 

Constantly find the qualities that make your spouse so amazing. Tell them often why you love them so much. Write sweet cards. Plan special moments together. Surprise them with gifts and unusual kindnesses. 

 

Never stop falling in love. 

 

5. FIND AND SHARE A COMMON PURSUIT.

 

One of the reasons that a spouse strays is that they slowly find less and less in common with the person they married. 

 

In the beginning, they worked hard to discover common interests… favorite restaurants — the gym — concerts — a business — sports — the arts — a hobby… but somehow they have just stopped doing the stuff they both once enjoyed together. 

 

Start living life together again. 

 

6. BE CLEAR ABOUT YOUR BOUNDARIES TOGETHER.

 

Sit down with your spouse and discuss what you are both comfortable with in regards to your relationships with the other sex. Often this will be different with each couple. 
 

As an example, neither Lori or I allow ourselves to meet with someone of the opposite sex alone. Whether it is a business meeting or coaching session, we always make sure there is a third party in the mix for both safety and appearance. This works well for us, especially given my past. But you will have to talk through what is best for you. 


What about technology boundaries?
 

Lori and I share a lap top computer. We both have access to emails, passwords and browser history. This helps her feel safe. And that includes all my technology. I regularly leave both the computer and my smart phone with Lori and encourage her to review my history, calls, text messages, etc. I never delete history. She is equally transparent with me. 

 

Because of our openness with each other, we have formed a deep trust and confidence in our marriage. We have no reasons not to trust.  

 

7. REMIND YOURSELF OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF INFIDELITY. 

 

My life and marriage today is easier than ever before. 

 

My past life was filled with hiding, lies, fear and constant anxiety. I hated it. I hated myself. Though God has this unfailing love for us and offers complete forgiveness for our sins, there are still wages we end up paying for our selfish choices. 

 

I can’t even begin to innumerate all the costs I have paid for the unfaithful living of my past. Relationships lost. Reputation battered. Money squandered. Emotional distress. 

 

Perhaps the greatest battle I fight today is the sheer regret of the damage I caused in my family. While I have certainly embraced the immeasurable grace of Jesus in my life, there is no escaping the harsh reality of bygone decisions, even if I have escaped the shame of those decisions. 

 

Once again, the writer of Proverbs speaks plainly to this…

 

So, friends, listen to me, take these words of mine most seriously. Don’t fool around with a woman like that; don’t even stroll through her neighborhood. Countless victims come under her spell; she’s the death of many a poor man. She runs a halfway house to hell, fits you out with a shroud and a coffin.

Proverbs 7:24-27 Message Translation

 

Last thought. 

 

If you find your marriage lacking in some (or all) of the things listed above, take hope. We all are a work in progress. But don’t be the ostrich with it’s head in the sand — thinking everything will get better by itself. Or just praying a prayer or two. Prayer is a great beginning, but invite your spouse into a conversation about growing stronger together. 

 

You don’t want to miss tomorrow’s blog. I am going to share the most significant challenge Lori and I had in the first three years of our marriage. What started out as a perceived deficiency in our relationship, today has turned into our greatest strength.

 

Plus, I will be sharing a couple huge announcements for Chopping Wood and our personal lives for 2018.

 

Grace friends,
 

Blaine
 

If you need marital or addiction coaching...  click here and discover your path to complete healing.

 

If you are a Pastor or conference leader… and are interested in having Blaine speak to your church or men's event,  click here and let’s plan something amazing!


If you would like to support us financially... click here and thank you for helping us make a difference in the lives of those who are fighting for freedom from addiction. 

7 Signs He May be Cheating on You.

7 signs he may becheatingon you.-2.png

 

 I was a cheater. A liar and a scoundrel. 

In my twenty five years of sexual addiction and acting outside of my marriage, I learned how to cover my tracks. But as I look back, there were several tell-tale signs to the discerning eye that I was covering something up. 

Today, I can be around a married couple and in less than an hour I can tell if the husband is cheating. Because I was that guy. 

I know his tells. 
I know the questions to ask. 
And I can sniff out the B.S. 

I’m not sharing this to get married guys in trouble. If a guy is messing around in the world of sexual vice, he’s already in trouble. I’m sharing this to get guys out of trouble. 

The greatest gift of grace I ever received was finally having my secret sin, addiction and unfaithfulness exposed. Though painful in the moment, it saved me from complete death and destruction. 

The good news is Jesus loves liars, cheaters and scoundrels. He has this preposterous love for us all —  and loves to interfere in all the slop and bilge that is lethal in our lives. 

So here are seven sometimes subtle signals that a husband may be living a secret life. Perhaps in a world of pornography and sexual fantasy. Maybe in the beginnings of a potential affair. Or possibly hiding an ongoing unfaithful relationship. 


1. IF YOU THINK HE IS CHEATING ON YOU, HE PROBABLY IS. 

I’m not encouraging you to be constantly suspicious and always doubting your partner. But if you continually have this nagging feeling that something isn’t right — something is probably wrong. It doesn’t mean it’s the worst case scenario, but it is worth further investigation. 

Tammy Nelson, Ph.D., and author of The New Monogamy says this, “The number one sign that someone is cheating on you is your intuition. Listen to your gut. It usually will steer you in the right direction.” 

2. YOUR SEX LIFE HAS GROWN COLD AND NEARLY NON-EXISTENT. 

Men who are being sexually fulfilled through pornography, sexual vice or encounters with another woman, will almost always lose interest in their marriage partner. Their sexual needs are being met somewhere else and suddenly the marriage bed seems a little ordinary in their warped thinking. Any sex that does take place will often have a sense of indifference and obligation. 

3. HE IS UNUSUALLY PROTECTIVE OF HIS TECHNOLOGY.

I can’t even begin to overestimate how many affairs have started on Facebook or some other social media site. Technology and the internet has become the new gateway for affairs and sexual vice. That doesn’t mean we should all throw out our laptops, but it does mean we should be aware of the dangers. 
 
Psychiatrist Scott Haltzman, M.D., author of The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity, warns, “Never leaving his cell unattended, always taking his phone into the other room to text or to take a call, being unusually silent when receiving a text or call, or otherwise being especially secretive is a bad sign.”

If it appears your husband is hiding something, he probably is. People who are having affairs have to communicate, and 99% of it happens through text messages, private social media messages and emails. 


4. HIS CARE AND ATTENTION TO HIS BODY AND LOOKS HAS SUDDENLY BECOME VERY IMPORTANT TO HIM.

Now listen — for some men, this needs to happen. So if your man is legitimately trying to lose weight or take better care of himself, that can be a GREAT thing. 

But if you’ve been on him for months to trim his nose hair, and now he’s trimming not only his nostrils but every other part of his body, something might be amiss.

Behavioral scientist and relationship expert Christie Hartman, Ph.D. put it like this, “If you see a dramatic shift in your guy's attention to grooming, clothes, and his fitness habits (is he working out like crazy now?), that may indicate that he’s trying to impress another woman. 


5. HE IS INCREASINGLY SCHEDULING HIMSELF AWAY FROM THE HOUSE. 

It might be for a few hours here and there during the day or at night. It may be overnight work related projects. Whatever it is, he always goes by himself and never invites you. 

While every man legitimately has to work late at times and certainly there are times when men have to travel as a part of their jobs, I believe husbands should be transparent and open with their wives about all their personal activities. 

Here would be the warning signs: He plays his cards close to the vest about what he’s doing. He is usually unavailable to communicate with you while he is gone. He never asks you to join him. He avoids specific questions about what he was doing while he was gone — or has very vague answers or explanations. 

 
6. SOMETHING’S FISHY WITH YOUR MONEY OR BANK ACCOUNT. 

If your guy insists on handling all the money and bills, to the point of not wanting you to see any of what is going on — RED ALERT. 

Financial infidelity can point to sexual infidelity. Not always, but often. 

If your husband is having trouble explaining charges to a credit card or withdrawals from an account, it may be a sign that he’s spending money on sexual vice or another woman. 

7. HE IS QUICK TO GO ON THE OFFENCE.

“Cheating guy” has a number one “go to.” I know because it was my standard response if I felt my wife was digging a little to deep into my secret life. 

I would notch up the outrage and throw it right back on her.

Things like:
 

“I was at the office trying to make a living for this family while you sit at home watching TV.”

“Are you kidding me? How have I ever proved myself untrustworthy??” 

“You are constantly finding faults aren’t you? Does it ever end?”

 


All of this is meant to turn the tables on YOU and shame you into submission and capitulation. DISTRACT. DISTRACT. DISTRACT. Let’s talk about YOU — not me. 

Final thoughts.

Your husband having one of more of these signs, does not mean he is unfaithful. But it could mean that it might be time for you to lean in closer to your relationship. To pay attention a little more. And to have honest conversations together. 

So what should I do if I think my husband is cheating on me? 

First, pray and ask the Lord for wisdom on the steps to take. Every situation is different. At some point, open up in your concerns with him, without being accusatory, (unless you have irrefutable proof) but simply sharing the feelings of loss of romance and closeness with him and asking him the difficult questions. 

And if you uncover real issues in your marriage, don’t try to handle it alone. He will likely want to exclude any outside help. Stand your ground. 

If you discover an obsession with pornography, sexual vice or an affair, invite a pastor, a qualified counselor or life coach into the process of restoration.

Your husband didn’t get where he is overnight. Your marriage didn’t get to where it overnight. It is going to take some deep work and commitment with the steady guidance of loving professionals to find complete healing. 

Tomorrow’s blog will dovetail beautifully with the things I’ve shared today. I will be sharing, “7 WAYS TO AFFAIR-PROOF YOUR MARRIAGE.” 


Until then, I want to leave you with this passage, which meant so much to me and my family in our life resurrection: 

“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.”

Isaiah 54:10


May God’s unfailing love overtake you. 

Blaine

If you need marital or addiction coaching...  click here and discover your path to complete healing.

If you are a Pastor or conference leader… and are interested in having Blaine speak to your church or men's event,  click here and let’s plan something amazing!


If you would like to support us financially... click here and thank you for helping us make a difference in the lives of those who are fighting for freedom from addiction. 

 

YOU MIGHT BE A NARCISSIST IF...

things to TAKE camping.png

 

 

Seven years ago, I found myself in an addiction rehab center and was diagnosed as a "grandiose narcissist."

Psychology Today describes a narcissist this way:

“The hallmarks of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) are grandiosity, a lack of empathy for other people, and a need for admiration. People with this condition are frequently described as arrogant, self-centered, manipulative, and demanding. They may also concentrate on grandiose fantasies (e.g. their own success, beauty, brilliance) and may be convinced that they deserve special treatment. These characteristics typically begin in early adulthood and must be consistently evident in multiple contexts, such as at work and in relationships.”

I think it is important to highlight the word “manipulative.” Because narcissists also have the ability to feign humility and turn circumstances around in any relationship to give the appearance that they are the victim, rather than the perpetrator. 

As a grandiose “Christian” narcissist, I knew there were certain things required of me to be the center of my own universe. There was a certain amount of modesty, kindness and spiritual activity that needed to be expressed to camouflage my self-serving mentality and meet my voracious desire for approval and admiration in the church world.

When my self absorbed rational eventually resulted in a destructive sexual addiction, followed by the loss of everything I held dear, it was time to confront my egotistical demons. I began a process of un-learning my narcissistic mindset and behavior. Doing so, not only changed my own life, but dramatically changed every relationship I had in the most beautiful way.

The first step for all of us is honestly asking ourself, “Am I a narcissist?” So I thought I would put together a short list of traits that may help locates us. So here goes…
 

YOU MIGHT BE A NARCISSIST IF… 

 

1. YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF THE WORD, “EMPATHY.” 

Ok, you may have heard of it, but you are not in the habit of putting yourself in the shoes of “the other” and carefully contemplating their feelings and viewpoint. If your “go to” is always how you feel or are affected by a situation, that must change. 

 

2. YOU FEEL A CONSTANT NEED TO IMPRESS PEOPLE. 

This is more than the need to post selfies every ten minutes on Facebook, although that may be a starting place of restraint for some of us. The need to impress is born out of insecurity and a continually pining to feel liked and approved of. In fact it’s more than just being liked. This is what Roy Baumeister, a social psychologist at Florida State University in Tallahassee put it:

"It's not so much being liked. It's much more important to be admired. Studies have shown narcissists are willing to sacrifice being liked if they think it's necessary to be admired.” 

 

3. YOU ARE NEVER WRONG. 

Even when you know you’re wrong, you are still right because something happened… or somebody did something… that made you wrong. So in the end, it wasn’t your fault. When we constantly seek to justify our actions and avoid “owning” our sins, selfishness and shortcomings, we are narcissist material. Owning our behavior means saying, “I was wrong, forgive me.” (no buts, ifs or conditions)

 

4. YOU DON’T THINK THE RULES APPLY TO YOU.

Narcissism is seen in our driving, the way we play sports and the things we do at work. 

“I can drive recklessly because I have somewhere important to be.”


“I can kick my golf ball over a few yards because they shouldn’t have planted a tree in the middle of the fairway.”


“I don’t have to clean my dishes in the staff work kitchen… one of the secretaries can do that kind of work.” 

Of course, it becomes much more destructive when we think the rules don’t apply in our marriage, the way we do business, or how we interact with friends. 

 

5. YOU DON’T DO WELL WITH CRITICISM. 

When your wife (or husband), your boss or your coach attempts to bring some constructive criticism, your first urge is to bristle and deflect. Or you simply turn the critique right back at them. “Well if you wouldn’t DO THIS --- I wouldn’t DO THAT” is a constant refrain of the narcissist. When you begin to see correction in your life as an opportunity to get better at parenting, husbanding, working or playing — all of a sudden, it’s not a blow to your ego — but someone caring about you enough to help you live a better life. 

 

6. YOU ARE HORRIBLE LISTENER.

The entire time someone is talking, you are thinking, “Hurry up so I can talk.” What you have to say is way more important than anyone else’s opinion in the room. The truth is, a narcissist won’t muster the compassion or the sincerity to actually hear what someone else thinks or believes. It doesn’t matter. Because they already know what is right. 

Sadly, Christians are notorious for this. We often tune out or cut off a conversation because the other person is simply “liberal” or “uninformed” or an “unbeliever.” May we all learn the art of listening. 

 

7. YOU ULTIMATELY WANT TO BE IN CONTROL OF IT ALL. 

Narcissists want to control their marriage, their friends, their workplace, their bank account… heck… the universe if they could. Part of learning to living unselfishly is embracing the gift of surrender. As Jesus taught…. being willing to lose our own life… and to engage in a tenderhearted posture mentally, emotionally and spiritually that will ultimately cause us to find the joy of really living. 

Let go. Let others lead — it doesn’t have to be you all the time. Let others choose — even when you know you “have a better way.” Let others decide — because who knows… they might just be right… RIGHT? 

We would all create a much more beautiful life if we would remember the words of the Apostle Paul to the Christians at Philippi…

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”

Philippians 2:3 (CNT)


 

FINAL THOUGHTS AND UPDATES:
 


1. My book has been reviewed by my family and a few close friends and is in the final interior design stages. 

 We are hoping to go to print before the end of the year. So excited! 

2. I have space in my schedule right now for a couple more coaching relationships. 

If you are struggling on any level with addiction, depression or simply can't seem to get life on track, let me know. I will personally guide you into a freedom you've never experienced! 

We have some other exciting things in the works right now for 2018. Pray for the Lord to continue to lead us and give wisdom. Hope to share everything soon!

Lori and I love you all.

Grace always,
Blaine
 

RESOURCES

If you are a Pastor or conference leader… and are interested in having Blaine speak to your church or men's event,  click here and let’s plan something amazing!


If you would like to support us financially... click here and thank you for helping us make a difference in the lives of those who are fighting for freedom from addiction.