Archive | Small Group RSS for this section

Walk in the Light – Be Ever Accountable (guest blog by Matt Cooper)

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7

Hello everyone!

My name is Matt and I’m part of the team at Ever Accountable. We offer tools designed to help people live above pornography and walk in the light through accountability.

Today I’m very excited to share some thoughts with you on the importance of accountability when it comes to winning the fight against pornography. Many thanks to pastor Bernie Anderson for letting speak to you from his blog – so let’s get into it!

When it comes to pornography, there’s one simple fact to be aware of: it’s a deed done in darkness. And why is it done in darkness? Because that’s where it thrives. If we find ourselves cornered and alone, that’s when pornography tries to tighten its grip. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 tells us that two are better than one and because they can help each other up; naturally, our enemy seeks to tempt us when we are by ourselves, can’t be seen, and are therefore at our weakest.

So that’s the bad news, but here’s the good news: the Bible has an answer for how to have victory!
Ephesians 5:11 advises us to “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” In the original Hebrew language, the word reprove can be found to mean, “call to account” or “demand an explanation”. So, in other words – to be accountable for our actions! That, my friends, is a powerful key to success in the fight against pornography.

You see, accountability allows us to work together to overcome the temptation to view pornography. By sharing our deeds with a trusted friend, we are exposing them to the light and robbing pornography of its power over us. In this open relationship built upon a foundation of trust, we no longer enable the temptation of pornography to back us into a corner by ourselves. Without darkness and in an environment brightened by the light, pornography simply cannot survive.

The Bible counsels us to not go it alone and when it comes to taking advice, the Bible is one source I’ve learned not to question! So how do we incorporate accountability into our lives? First, we need to find at least one person we trust to who can serve as our accountability partner. This is the person we will open up to and look to for support. From there, we need to make sure that we leverage the tools available to us to make sure we are guarding the avenues to our soul – our eyes and ears.

One such tool is our Ever Accountable Android application for phones and tablets. Ever Accountable monitors internet browsing and application usage on mobile phones and tablets and sends clear weekly reports to the individual user’s accountability partners. We are also currently working to add an iOS version of our application along with supporting Windows PCs, those exciting developments are coming in the very near future.
In Romans 12:12, we read the following: “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”

Friends, I encourage you to live above pornography and walk in the light through accountability. You won’t regret it!

All the best,
Ever Accountable


#2 Less Hero, More Light

Less Hero More Light

Less Hero, More Light

As a kid I spent hours pretending to be my favorite Super hero Superman.  Since I didn’t have a real red cape I regularly scavenged through my mother’s linen closet to see what could work with my Underroos!  I still love all the super hero movies but I’ve retired my Underroos, and my wife would have some real issues with me pilaging the linen closet looking for a “cape”, not to mention the Underoos!  Looking back on it now I can’t help but think of how obvious it was to all of us that Clark Kent was actually Superman. Watching Lois and others interact with him, it’s hard to believe they didn’t see past the nerdy glasses and awkward persona.

But Superman’s anonymity didn’t undermine his strength.  When he needed to be faster than a locomotive or leap tall buildings in a single bound he simply discarded the suit and glasses and dawned his red cape, revealing himself as the man of steel. As a guy I’ll confess I still have those boyhood visions of being the hero. I love the thought of living incognito only to reveal my true identity in a moment of crisis and save the day!  That may be why us guys have a tendency toward living anonymously.  That is, we tend to live rather private, sequestered lives, with very few friends, and very little sharing of our lives.  Somehow we’ve convinced ourselves there’s “strength” or even “heroism” in our solo existence. Yet if we’re really honest we would have to confess that anonymity, like kryptonite, is what keeps us powerless and in bondage.

In other words we can’t get away with a hidden, anonymous, “super hero” life especially if we struggle with sexual sin. In fact the most heroic, courageous thing we can do is lose the cape, and tights and begin to open our lives up to those around us. I’m convinced that, a loss of anonymity is a powerful weapon in living a life free from porn. Unlike the fictional Superman character living anonymously depletes our spiritual strength and renders us powerless against sexual sin.

Here’s a truth that I’m still learning to live by. God’s power is much greater when we choose to allow His light to shine into the darkest corners of our lives. That same light leads to real fellowship with those around us. I believe that’s what John had in mind in his first letter:

“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”

I John 1:5-7

Here are some ways we can begin to “walk in the light” and commit to losing our anonymity:

  • JOIN and PARTICIPATE a small group.
  • RECRUIT a mentor or accountability partner
  • INSTALL X3Watch on your computer NOW!
  • INVITE your wife or girlfriend on a talk date and really TALK.
  • WRITE a “love letter” to your wife expressing what’s truly on your heart.
  • CONFESS your secret porn addiction to a friend (Prov. 28:13).

Don’t take this to mean that we need to confess everything to everyone all the time!  As one pastor I know says, we don’t have permission to “emotionally vomit” on our family and friends in a spirit of “coming into the light.” But we should have healthy and appropriate places to share what is going on in our lives for the sake of growth and accountability.

What will you do, starting today, to walk in the light?

A Response to An SDA Young Adult Addicted to Porn

PeaceThanks for sharing what is going on with you. I can certainly identify with your story. I’ve lived it as well and to some extent continue to battle daily.  I think what you are experiencing is the ongoing struggle to maintain purity and sobriety while still emerging from the addiction. In other words it isn’t just a “clean break” the temptations and old patterns linger for months even years.  What I’ve learned over the years in dealing with the same thing is that I must diligently be seeking Christ first in everything. That means my daily walk with Him is the most integral part of my remaining sober. Scripture reading, praying, solitude, and serving others are all critical to not only staying away from porn but also losing a taste for it altogether. In other words if we engage with a Holy God enough then the thought of consuming something as unholy as porn will become extremely unattractive.
There’s also a matter of the heart. Or the “inner life” typically people who struggle with porn DON’T have a SEX problem! They have an INTIMACY problem that manifests itself through an unhealthy dependency on porn because it provides a FALSE INTIMACY.  That is why I believe it is so critical for you to have friends and have a community of people you are connecting with on a regular basis.  It means that you are connecting in an open and authentic way too.
You’re right too, that porn steals your PEACE and that is exactly our enemy’s plan!  Where there is no peace, there is no progress or spiritual growth! So as long as porn is causing you to be uneasy or lack peace then you won’t grow spiritually and in fact you will likely digress!
So three things I want you to think and pray over:
1. Surrender your sexuality every day during your personal devotional time. Read, pray, and simply enjoy the presence of God but specifically speak the words, “I surrender my sexuality to you today Lord”
2. Find a group/community you can be a part of IMMEDIATELY and don’t give me the excuse that you are shy! Every Christian needs a community and you’re not the exception. Gather regularly with this group. Share honestly and open your life up to them. It may be that you need to find a Celebrate Recovery group somewhere in the area.
3. Read, read , read. Read some good Christian books about the issue of sexual integrity. Every Man’s Battle, The Game Plan, are just a couple I recommend. Also read my book Breaking the Silence.
Courage, Bernie

Got 90 Days? (A Small Group Experience)

I’m wondering if anyone here in my local congregation at Wasatch Hills would like to join me in reading the entire Bible through in just 90 days? Why such an ambitious adventure through the Bible you say? Well, last year I talked with a buddy of mine who is also a big football fan. We generally spend some time talking about our favorite teams and how they are doing for the season. I was a bit confused when I started to ask him how his team was doing and he couldn’t respond with any up to date data. I wondered had he given up on his Minnesota Vikings (like so many have!)? Well it turns out that my friend had made a pact that rather than being absorbed with sports he would spend the time (roughly 3 hours) that he would normally spend watching a football game and spend it reading through his Bible. I thought to myself, “wow what a sacrifice!” But then I thought about how many times I’ve committed to the goal of reading through my entire Bible only to quit after a few weeks or even just a few days. Sure I’ve read large portions of the New Testament as well as the Old Testament but never through the entire Bible in a specific amount of time with a group to hold me accountable. I’m wondering if there is anyone else out there wanting to read scripture together? Basically we would read our assigned sections of scripture daily and then meet once a week to watch a DVD lecture on what we read or the next section that we’re going to read. We would do this until we’ve read the entire Bible. Anyone up to the challenge? I think it would be fun and a great way to connect in a small group for fellowship and spiritual growth. I would like to have at least 5-7 people in the group. I would like to get started soon so let me know ASAP.

%d bloggers like this: