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Episode #6: One man’s journey into sexual sin (and his restoration)

This episode is a re-broadcast of an interview that took place during a Sunday morning service at our church, Capshaw Baptist, in Harvest, AL (http://www.capshaw.org) a few years ago.  It’s an interview conducted by our pastor, Zach Terry (http://www.zachterry.org) with our former worship leader, Brandon Watkins.  In this conversation, Brandon shares how he fell into sexual sin, the price he paid for doing so, and his road (to date) regarding his restoration.  A special thanks is in order to Pastor Zach for giving me permission to rebroadcast this interview on my podcast.

I’ve listened to this recording many times since it was first recorded.  I do so in order to remind myself that the grass isn’t greener on the other side, that guarding my heart against sexual temptation is an on-going battle that I dare not ignore.  It’s my hope that you listen closely to Brandon’s words…and heed his warnings.  And please consider sharing this episode with other men in your church.

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Episode #5: The Time of Your Life

In this episode I briefly discuss the topic of time, and offer some insights on how we men can look at time with some fresh perspectives.  They include, but aren’t limited to, the following: (1) Regardless of the season of life that we are currently in, it’s very likely that we men will have less quality time than we think we will have so as to fulfill our purpose in God’s will; (2) Because of item (1) the time we have left is FAR more valuable than we most likely realize; and (3), In order to look back on our life with the fewest regrets, we are going to have to be intentional about learning to trust God enough to walk intimately with him on a daily basis.

 

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Episode #1: Why I’m No Longer a Lukewarm Christian

In this episode I, your host, share how God used a sequence of major life events to wake me up from a spiritual slumber.  Many men find themselves in a similar situation, and it’s my hope that this episode will help you to realize that true peace can only be found in a close, personal relationship with Jesus.

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The worst mistake I’ve ever made

I always take advantage of the New Year holiday to look back over the past 12 months with respect to faith, family, and career and to set goals for the upcoming year. This year I’ve looked back much further with respect to my spiritual walk…and have decided to share with you the one mistake that’s cost me and my family dearly. Let me explain.

Even though I “walked the church aisle” as a young boy, it wasn’t until my early twenties, with a wife and small child, that I truly became a Christian. Just in time, right?  Who needs godly wisdom more than a new husband and dad. I started reading the Bible constantly and began to get more and more involved with church.

Within a couple of years, my almost daily routine of investing time alone with God and his Word became a less-than-daily routine.  So much so that I’d often go weeks or months without spending quality time alone reading the Bible and spending time in prayer. The truth was that I’d fallen for Satan’s most effective trap… allowing the busyness of life ,especially church life, to form a wedge between me and the Word of Life.

I did continue to grow intellectually as a Christian, which isn’t a bad thing, but intellectual growth doesn’t automatically result in intimate growth.  The hundreds of sermons, the scores of Christian books, the tithing, and even the volunteering for other worthy faith-based organizations can’t substitute for alone time with God and his Word.  Intimacy with Christ is the core and foundation of which all else flows in the life of a believer.  It’s no wonder so few of my lost family, friends, or colleagues ever asked me about my Savior.  My busyness left little time to show them what they needed to see the most in me…Grace.

I’m ashamed to admit this, but it would be almost twenty years later before I would return to intentionally chasing after the heart of Christ as my number one priority in life (better late than never). By then, in the blink of an eye, my season of fathering would largely be over, the critical formative years of my marriage long past.

If I’d stayed passionately moored to Christs’ words for all those years, I’d have been constantly encouraged in the Scriptures that I’m to love my wife like Christ loved the Church.  To make sure that as a godly husband she would know in action and word that I cherished her above all else and to make sure she felt safe and unconditionally loved by me and her heavenly father.  Instead, most of the time I treated my wife, especially during stressful situations, like what I’d seen modeled in my divorce-plagued family or how I saw husbands on television treat their wife.  How spiritually stupid is that?  Yes, we are still married…33 years.

If I’d consistently deep-dived into the Bible during all those years, I’d have read in the Scriptures that I’m to train up my children in the way they should go, but I’d also have been constantly reminded that I needed to season my fathering tasks with grace, tenderness, and patience at all times. I cheated my kids out of their opportunity to see a man wholeheartedly, even if not perfectly, attempt to model for them what a godly dad is to look like during their adolescent years.

The one thing Satan wants to do in the life of a Christian man is to keep him away from becoming intimate with Christ, which in practical terms means that he wants to separate you from regularly spending unrushed, alone time with God and his Word. Of course the Holy Spirit knows this, which is why he continually invites us to fellowship with him.  Our usual answer of “I need to do “X” now because it’s urgent but will spend time later with Jesus” plays exactly into Satan’s hand because exhaustion usually arrives before later does.

You know where I’m going with all of this.  So how do you avoid repeating my worst mistake?  Make a daily, unrushed quite time with Christ your highest priority. I didn’t say it would be easy, nothing worthwhile ever is.  Start with small goals, like maybe trying to just read a couple of verses and saying a short prayer before starting your day.  Work with a buddy to hold each other accountable.  If you are like me, ever so often you’ll miss a day or two but don’t let that discourage you.  God has a purpose, plan, and passion for you and your family.  The key to unlocking these areas in your life depends on you intentionally nurturing an ongoing, intimate relationship with him.