Gender Issues, Men, Quick Read, sex, Women

Images of Imtimacy

***The following is an article I just found!***

Images of Intimacy by Josh Glasser

March 22, 2018

https://regenerationministries.org/images-of-intimacy/

 

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“If you struggle with lust, consider this for a moment: Can you explain why you are drawn to the form of a woman or the form of a man?

Beyond the specifics of what part of the body titillates you sexually, have you ever considered why it titillates you? Why does your body stir at the sight of another’s body? Is it a learned response because your body knows the pleasure that awaits if you engage in sexual activity? Maybe, but it did not begin that way.

At the core, the bodily stirring, the feeling of being drawn, the romantic and sexual desire, all these happen because sex is relational.

In other words, the core reason you’re drawn is because you’re longing for intimacy.

In pornography and other forms of sexual fantasy, intimacy isn’t really there, of course, but something in the images suggests it is. Nakedness suggests it.

By God’s design, nakedness is a sign, an icon, an expression, an image of intimacy. It has always been so. God has made the human body wonderful and glorious—“fearfully and wonderfully made”—beautiful to behold.

We might also think of this in this way: The naked body reveals the person without covering, without veil, without obstruction. If intimacy is knowing and being known fully, then of course nakedness would serve as a sign of more complete knowing than clothing would. Clothing veils, even disguises the physical person. Nakedness reveals.

And nakedness as a sign of intimacy goes further still. Consider the sexual parts of the body. What makes them “sexual”? Isn’t it that they are designed to connect intimately with another human being?

In nakedness, a man and woman’s genitalia is exposed—the specific parts of the body by which we experience deeply intimate physical knowing and being known. The man and woman’s bodies are designed for intimate connection—two becoming “one flesh” with each other.

So doesn’t it make sense that the naked images of man or woman draws us because of our God-given need and our good longing for intimacy—to know and be known fully and without fear?

Lust, pornography, and other expressions of sexual sin hijack the icon of intimacy and use it instead as a false intimacy—the form without the substance. For a few moments, the brain and body may have a sense of nakedness without shame, a sense of being known and knowing. The human body on its own cannot tell the difference between the real and the false. But the soul can.

This is why lust never satisfies.

Jesus came to restore the union between body and soul. We were rent apart in the fall, but Jesus can make us whole again. Jesus can help us see again.

We are drawn to nakedness because we are created for intimacy.

Nakedness is a sign, an image, an icon of intimacy because it reveals that our bodies are created by God for intimacy, for knowing and being known, to love and to be loved. In this way, human nakedness is most profoundly an image, a sign, an icon created to reveal God Himself.

Do you struggle with lust? Recognize your longing for intimacy. Seek out healthy, non-sexual intimate relationships. Ask Jesus to show you who He sees when all you see is a what. And keep asking Jesus to raise your body from the death of false intimacy and to make you whole again—body and soul—an image bearer of God.

Question for you: What stands out to you in this post? How might this change your approach to dealing with lust? Leave a comment here.

For you,
Josh

P.S. Listen and subscribe to our new podcast! Search for “Regeneration Ministries Podcast” on iTunes or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts!”

 

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Quick Read

Introverting as an INTJ female

The following is list of the inner details of my life. Only my closest people know some of these but I’ve been feeling bold lately so I’m sharing even more. Enjoy or not.

-drink coffee

-envision the next time I’ll get to drink coffee

-get excited for future events

-Pinteresting my heart out

-pre-plan future hobbies

-watch X-Files

-never asking a store employee for help finding anything

-get cozy …alone

-question use of social media because the CIA

-feel conflicted about SnapChat because the CIA- but love the filters because they give me long eyelashes

-vow to never send in my DNA for purposes of determining ancestry because the CIA and FEMA camps

-examine emotions under a microscope

-try to figure out how to be vulnerable

-make lists

-listening to what people say and what they dont say

-spurts of productivity

-longer spurts of analyzing everything

-creating conversation scripts that people don’t follow

-send email and immediately go to sent box- reread email I sent 10 times

-deliberate if I said everything in the correct way in the email

– spend an hour trying to find the right genre of music for my mood

-never have Kleenex in my office for when people cry

-vow to buy Kleenex

-go to store- never buy Kleenex

-type multiple sentence reply- erase it all-send one word reply

-think in terms of memes, movies, songs, Youtube videos, conspiracy “theories,” Key & Peele skits, Portlandia skits

-imagine as if I would have to explain the modern world to George Washington

-daydream of adventures

-never be spontaneous

-scared the Holy Spirit will make me do something I wasn’t expecting

-screenshot cute outfits that I will never buy

-have an arsenal of memes ready to go

-daydream of Bae -Tom Hardy

-have an arsenal of Tom Hardy pics ready for me to insert my face

-organize the clothes in my closet in color order

-have delightful conversation with someone- later determine that I said too much- now they know too much

-not read texts or Facebook messages right way—go into app to read the first line

-write down what to say before making an important phone call

-put off making phone call for 6 hours

-hope call goes to voicemail

-suspect someone following me if they make too many same turns

-cards in wallet are face down so other people can’t see my information

-love escape room games and picture find games

-love documentaries

-listen to music almost 15 hours per day

-buy books

-read 3 books at time

– tv viewing varies from X-Files to Hart of Dixie

-music varies from Billie Holiday to Bizzle to Romeo Santos to Lauren Daigle to Miranda Lambert to Five Finger Death Punch

– want to go on a date – don’t want to talk to a stranger

-want to stay home everyday because people

-have a calling on my life to reach the broken and hurting -have to pep talk myself out of bed

– love public speaking

-hate small talk

-get energized from deep heavy conversations

-zone out when i’m too peopled

-strategize how i would escape being kidanapped

-live everyday out of my comfort zone

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Quick Read, The Cross

Its Not About You

Your calling is not for you. Your testimony is not for you. Your deliverance is not for you. All these are for the King.

Theres someone that needs you to do what God called you to do. Theres someone waiting for you to show up where God told you to go. Theres someone that needs to hear your story.  Someone needs to know freedom is possible.

After awhile you should’ve realized this whole thing is not about you. This is God’s story. How He created the heavens and Earth. Its the story of how He loved us and wanted us to purposefully choose Him, how He never stopped coming for us. Its His story inside and out. He is the producer, director,  script writer, set design, musical score, sound guy and leading man. We are just the extras in the background, but He knows us by name, individually, intimately and uniquely.

Accepting this truth is the greatest self- actualization. The achievement of one’s own potential through God, Jesus and Holy Spirit.

When you take yourself out of the equation theres freedom to live as God intended. It takes the pressure off. If we fail, God is Good. If we succeed, God is Good. It was never about us anyway. We’ve gotten it all wrong reading Genesis first. We interpret God creating the heavens and Earth before us as Him creating it for us. This is not the case. Defining moments happened before us, before Genesis 2:7. This is God’s story and we should feel honored we get to be a part of it.

Isaiah 14:12-17 details satan forced out of Heaven. Luke 10:18 Jesus says He remembers seeing satan falling out of Heaven like lightening in the sky. This event predates our arrival in Eden.

There were acts taking place before and more to come after us. We are just players in Act II.  The backdrop of Genesis is to display God’s power, creativity, authority and love.

So if this story is not about us, what about Jeremiah 29:11? It is often quoted on anything from decor to coffee mugs,

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Isnt God saying we will be prosperous? That we will have great things happen to us? Isnt it saying God doesn’t want us to hurt or be uncomfortable? Typically this is the verse that makes us feel good about our future. No matter where we find ourselves in life, this truth stands the test of time to give us assurance that God is for us not against us. However, we mistakenly interpret this verse to mean God will cosign on our plans or that our plans and God’s plans are a match. Even further, that we will recognize and agree with His plans. Some can take this to mean that if I feel harmed or feel that I am not prosperous  (by human definition or an American definition) then it must not be of God. If I’m suffering (even by my own hand, facing the consequences of my sins, facing the after-math of my own poor decision making, or by the sins of others, the poor decision making of others) then this must not be God’s plan.

Because this is God’s story He is gracious enough to give us all almost 100 years to get in line. The average lifespan for humans is 79. Of course many people live longer and we celebrate those that reach over 100 years old. So what do we have to show for those 80 years?

The most miserable people I know are those that are solely focused on themselves. They cannot fully empathize with others, are rarely interested in others (unless they are comparing themselves with another person), they rarely inconvenience themselves for others, they are extremely deflated in the presence of others, they dont function efficiently amongst others. When we are so self-focused we will become anxious, depressed and hopeless. We are imperfect subjects, if you refuse to admit that and take it to the Cross- you will be miserable. Because what hope can you have knowing how imperfect you are? That it is a huge bummer. You are actually heirs to the Messiah, the only divine human that transcended the human limitations of death. If you really knew deep inside the cells of your body that you were Loved beyond human understanding by a cosmic intergalactic Source wouldn’t you be emboldened to give this life your best shot? Knowing whether you win or lose, You still Win! We win because its not about us! We win because God is Good!

God gives us victory.                                     He opens doors.                                             He provides.                                                    He protects.                                                    He gives.                                                         He loves supernaturally.

When things don’t go your way, they’re most likely going God’s way. Submit to it and keep it push’n. Get out of God’s way and there is where you’ll find peace.

 

Related Reading:

https://relevantmagazine.com/life5/god-doesnt-want-live-comfort-zone/

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1574103102653871&id=191900549668

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Quick Read, Transformation

Still Me

           (circa ’08?’09? I  was Snookie before Snookie was Snookie…)

You’re right, I’m not who I used to be. I believe in different things now. The things we used to believe together. I no longer do the things I used to do. The things that made you feel comfortable. The things we did together.

I don’t drink.

I don’t go to bars or clubs.

I don’t sleep with guys.

I don’t flirt or seduce.

I don’t use foul language.

I rarely listen to secular music.

I’m not a feminist anymore.

I believe in traditional marriage.

I don’t try to be seen.

I don’t try to intimidate.

I don’t put my ego first.

I’m a patriot but I pledge allegiance to Jesus.

I don’t believe the color of my skin entitles me or makes me a victim.

I’m Pro-Life.

And I was never a democrat anyway.

There’s plenty more I can’t articulate at this moment.
I cashed in all my chips and ended up with zero. These things bankrupted my spirit. As I moved closer to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit I could no longer hold on to those things. They no longer served any purpose because they are not based on anything long withstanding. 

I admit, perhaps I never made it clear in years past of what I did stand for. Though in my defense, I never claimed to be For some of those things; my only fault-remaining silent in my disagreement. 

I gave up those things willingly and freely. I’ve never felt and thought more clearly. I’m doing great. 

I am still Me. Unapologetic and Resolute.

When you probably roll your eyes at the sight of my name and the things I stand for now, know that I’m fine with whatever reaction you have. The disagreements that permeate in your bones, you’re allowed to have.  But know this –

It was you that shut me out. 

So I continue on, always available for non-spontaneous coffee dates, froyo meet-ups and other such treats.

With Love,

Still Me 

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Journaling, Quick Read, Transformation

Creatures

“God take these chains off of me, take the chains off of my heart off my body off my brain. Take these chains Take these chains off of me. God take these chains. These chains of consequences.

he raped my heart now I’m dealing with the consequences of low self-esteem no confidence. I gave him full reign on my body & mind. It’s all over now, it’s gotta be over. Cuz there’s no other way.”                                                                                               July 7, 2010

 

I wrote that in a journal I found in a box in my closet, literally and figuratively. A box inside my closeted soul. I wrote in the Purge how there was a time in my life where I teetered the line of crazy. That post was centered on a particular individual and the merry-go-round I rode with him.

This post however, I want to focus on myself.

I sat on the floor in my room reading these excruciating types of entries, recalling the events or being shocked at events I never remembered. Texting him in the middle of the night “delete my number and forget about me” and “tell me to stop talking to you.” Most going unanswered, unacknowledged driving me even madder. Never in a million years would I have ever admitted to being that crazy girl. In fact, I had like most people remembered the past as I chose to. Glossing over my own poor behavior and over emphasizing the poor behavior in the other person. After a text was ignored I wrote how I cried “all night” or “until I feel asleep.” This scenario saturated my journal.

I began to cry myself. Six years later, I am 31 years old and so far removed from the person I once was. My heart broke for the young me. Someone so lost. Lost in someone else. Lost in reality. I cried and apologized to God for not knowing Him then. I know YOU now though. You came for me, you never stopped coming for me. I felt shaken to my core.

I never truly saw the cage I was in until the other night reading page of page of utter nonsense. Pages of illogical and immature behavior. I was caged up in insecurity and rejection. An embalmed cycle.

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I told God later, I forgive him [the guy] even though I already have. Just in case there is something still there and I don’t know it. I release him. I forgive myself.

As I continued to process my thoughts and raw emotions, I believe God told me that it was not him [the guy] – it was not flesh and blood but principalities at work.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”    Ephesians 6:12

Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only LIGHT drives out darkness. I was in some of the darkest rooms stumbling around, trying to find my way, getting bumped and bruised. The enemy liked me in the dark. Falling down and grasping, hurting myself. My sense of self hanging on the whims of another person [the idea of the other person]. Clouds and storms of dysfunction in between us. Looking back, I now believe there was only a small fraction of our real selves that were present with one another. We came to the surface sporadically only to retreat in fear moments later. What a sad way to live your life.

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The old me died a while ago, specifically on May 31, 2015 when I was baptized. I am a NEW creature and NEW thing in Christ.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”   2 Corinthians 5:17

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”     Isaiah 43:19

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”      Romans 6:4

For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—“     Romans 6:6

“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.”     Romans 6:12-14

new_creature_in_christ_by_marlacalandradesigns-d3hnpdz.jpgRelated Music: 

Once and For All- Lauren Daigle


 

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Quick Read, satire

10 #ChristianLife Hacks

The last few years have been my Christ following years and I have learned a few things here and there. Some lessons came easier than others but God has taught me so much and I would like to share some pointers.

This is also my first attempt at *satire*…

1. First of all, you don’t have to change. God loves you, just as you are and wants to leave you like that. He made you and He doesn’t make mistakes. So things like sin, generational curses and inequities – He loves them! God’s grace covers all things especially unrepentant, cold hearts. By all means, go to the club and at a drunken IHOP pit stop is the optimal time to invite your unsaved friends to church in just a few hours! They will definitely take you up on the offer. Another sure fire way to advance the Kingdom is to continue to see every rated R movie there is as well as spend time worshipping worldly musicians and bands. 

2. Don’t devote your time to “duties” like studying the Word, prayer, worship, serving others. Be a Mary not a Martha!

3. There’s nothing better than showing off God’s handiwork by posting provocative selfies. Pouty lips? Cleavage? Abdominal V? How might others ever know there is a God if they never see your lust provoking hot bod? 

4. Live in your feelings. Make large decisions based on your feelings. God wants us to follow our hearts even if we follow them into sin, strife, judgment, uncontrolled anger or bitterness. 

5. Pursue relationships with unsaved people that don’t encourage you spiritually. Its even better if you can develop a deep connectedness (often called a soul tie) to someone that is hostile to the Word of God. How else can we welcome suffering like the those persecuted in Hebrews 11?

6. Overzealously champion politicians and gluttonous corporations that are contrary to the Word of God. We must love our enemies so much that we become them.

7. When refering to God use key phrases like: The Universe, good vibes, mindfulness, patriarchy, outdated traditions and barbaric gender roles. This bridges the gap between Christ followers and everyone else. God wants us to go into all the nations and assimilate.

8. It is also important to divide people racially. After all, Egyptians are slave owners and Romans are elitists. Neither of which ever made it to Heaven. God only loves the oppressed not the oppressors.

9. Date many many many Christians. Always remember to #blessed all of you & Bae’s kissing pics.

10. If I could sum up all of these into one main point it would be, as a Christian you have all of the rights and none of the responsibility to feed yourself. Why eat filet mignon when you can have all of the milk and honey you want?

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Men, Quick Read

a Desolate Man

 

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The desert is a desert because it gets no rain. It gets no rain because it gets no clouds. The conditions are hostile to plant or animal life.

Your heart is a desert. Uninhabited. Barren. It gets no replenishing rain because you never embrace the clouds. You’re stingy with what little water you receive and produce creations like shrubs and cacti. Your shrubs produce limited sustenance and the cacti, no soft place to rest.

I often used to settled in your desert like Terah dying in Harran (Gen. 11:31-32) and made idols of you like the golden calf (Ex. 32) only to be sunburned and left to endure the desert’s below freezing temperatures all alone. My heart became too sensitive to your elements and ravaged by your weather. 

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

“I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.”  -Ezekiel 11:19

You parked at the point of your pain. Its time to put the keys in the ignition and rev up the engine. The road belongs to you.

This is your invitation to Eden. Please join me…

Related Music:

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