Letters to Ash!

Real life letters to a Christian man caught it the worst kind of war with sexual addiction! Ever felt like a lost cause? Ever felt like you didn't know how to talk to a lost cause?
Ash not his real name, a refrence to sackcloth and ashes.
Esther 4:1 | Isaiah 58:5 | Jeremiah 6:26 | Daniel 9:3 |Jonah 3:6 | Matthew 11:21 | Luke 10:13

Ash, herd the show you did last week, http://godandcigarettes.blogspot.com/ I commented about it on my show episode 59.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire! Luke. 3:16

Most Christians I feel miss this scripture. What does it mean to be baptized by fire?
Some believe it is the gift of toungs, Like you can't receive the holy spirit unless you speak in toungs.
The Gift of toungs is on of the many gifts of the holy spirit. People need to get out of this Do Do DO.
I gotta get something going and look in side themselves.

I believe repentance is recovery!

The Bible teaches that all of us have addictions in our lives. Sin is addicting, and the Bible says, "all have sinned." Not one of us is perfect. We've all blown it; we've all made mistakes. We've hurt ourselves, we've hurt other people, and others have hurt us.

Because of sin, each of us needs repentance and recovery in order to live the way God intended. But how?
In the midst of heart searing pain how do we repent? Though talking about it! I'm sorry the people in your life seem to be trying to fix you.
They maybe well meaning but they really don't know you. How you think how you feel. Letting people in was a recovery in its self for me.
Letting people know me? Not safe scary!

Knowing and getting to Know your own heart takes courage! The Dark and the light of our own hearts.
I believe most Christians just wanna focus on the light. Like it's more spiritual or something to just focus on happy thoughts of our selves.
I think that is great to have positive self talk. It is something I talk about a lot. I've got good stuff in my heart! God loves the Good works I do, All good I do out of love comes from him.
God is Love its self and glory thats his Glory in me.

But what about the dark? I hurt people! If I'm an image bearer of God why do I hurt people? Why does Sin seem to own me at times?
How have I been sinned against? and how and why do I sin? In turning from our sin we will have to ask these questions, This is repentance this is being baptized by fire.

I rember being critical of our pastor for being so heavy on the ritual of water baptizem.
I felt for really mess up people like my self this could build falts hope in the fact that getting dunked would not fix them.
Don't get me wrong I believe in water baptizem I think it is a great wright of passage by for most of us spiretual growth comes by trial. By fire.

  • 1 Pet. 1:7 Our faith is tested by fire. The fiery trial with which our faith is tested is the test of faithfully living according to God's word (cf. 1 Pet. 1:6; 4:17).
  • Rev. 3:18 Lukewarm Christians are counseled by Christ to buy gold refined in fire from Him. This gold is a genuine faith which has been tested and refined with fire. With this gold, we are spiritually rich.
  • Mk. 9:49 All Christians are seasoned (i.e., salted) with fire. Salt is a preservative. Christians are salted (strengthened to preserve through temptations) with fire (the trials that all Christians must endure). Therefore Christians rejoice in trials and tribulations knowing that the testing of their faith produces patience whereby they become perfect and complete (Ja. 1:2-4; Rom. 5:3-5).
  • 1 Cor. 3:13, 15 Each person's work is tested by fire. No work will stand in the end except the work which is according to the word of God.

    Letter 2

    The most dangerous adventure! Getting this outta your head and in to your heart!

    Ash I'm not some guru dude, I don't have it all together.
    You think I never felt like that? Wanting to quit? having QUIT! It's way to hard I can do this. Truth be told you can't!
    I couldn't do this on my own! I say get real NEKKED like David, pressing in to God, in to Jesus in the midst of your pain.

    I got a little stirred up with some guys last night about this "I not some f$#*ing winner" I said being Christian is not about how great I am or look what I've done!
    I fall at the feet of Jesus and he saves me! I'm a fucking disaster! an emotional disaster! I'm not a "GOOD" Person!

    Listen, I did not walk this all out right! Getting real is two fold being honest about where your at! (You do that! And you don't see how far ahead of the game you are in that one!)  And the REAL hard honest TRUTH of how things are! Listen realize this!

    The most powerful thing on this planet is LOVE, How you love will leave a ripple effect! You not any one elts leaves your ripple effect!

    God is Love ASH! Listen He can't love you any more or any less because of your behavior!

    God did not do this to You ASH! You and I did it to our self's God did not give it to us! That is a lie from hell.The guilt and shame you feel is from the accuser.
    Revelation 12:10
    Calles the devil the accuser of the brethren accusing them day and night.

    Truth be told ASH guys like you and I put SEX in the place of God and that god destroyed our lives!

    God is after your long term JOY Ash! He and he alone will save you from that hell! Any Church that may be telling you God is doing this to you is spreading a faults gospel.

    You Saved all ready the Gospel means "good news" not Advice! Your saved by grace you did not earn it!

    John 3:16 (New International Version) 16"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

    Galatians 2:19-21 (New International Version) For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!"

    2 corinthans 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

    I'll tell you after the dust settled. And when all the stuff I tried to put in the place of Jesus didn't work he was right there waiting like a loving father. hebrews 13:5 because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

    It sounds like you put a lot of hope in meeting this women. And she did not come through as your functional savior. She did not save you from your EMO hell.
    Dude you are not ready for a relationship yet. The only relationship You need to be focusing on right now is between you and god!

    And when I finally got back Up I reached Up for Christ to Save me! I reached for Jesus to save me not my self.

    Self love will cause a ripple effect too. Like me when I was at where you are, TBT you love to hate your self. its still self love! Where will your kids be if you off your self? What will you be teaching them. Your listeners Ash? Not the leadership I was totally talking about your are a leader like it our not! We all are! if we call our selves Christians.

    Getting real has to do with turning to God. Truth is that this is a spiritual battle ASH! Not just one you fight in your head. Its A fight in you heart!

    You get knocked down fine just don't you stay down my brother! Get back up, some one said something powerful to me a few weeks back.
    Pain is weakness leaving the body. That was you ASH, Jesus speaking through you. Two me, at a time I need to hear it, Thanks.

    When things go wrong; as they sometimes will When the road your trudging; seems all up hill
    When the funds are low; and the debts are high
    when you want to smile; But you have to sigh
    When care is pressing you down a bit;
    Rest if you must but do not quit!
    Success is failure turned inside out
    the silver tint of the clouds of doubt
    And you never can tell how close you are;
    it may be near when it seems afar
    So stick to the fight when your hardest hit Because you have to remember....
    Its when things go wrong That you must not Quit!

    Press in to him ASH! He loves you and longs to save you. Save you from your self.
I'm praying for you fellow Leader! Get back up and Fight! If I can so can you!
Russ Shaw
John 10:10

Letter 3

Remember ASH, I Russ Shaw am a f*&%ing disaster! Who does Jesus save me from he saves me from? me!

The chief was sitting at the edge of the village, obviously deep in thought. He sat there for hours and hours, seemingly unmoving. The tribe was beginning to get worried and restless, but nobody wanted to disturb him. An elder eventually got up his courage and walked over. 'Chief,' he asked, 'what's going on? You look so troubled!' The chief just sat there, and the elder thought that he had not heard. Finally the chief spoke.

And he said:

'You know, it's like there are two dogs fighting inside of me all the time - a dog of glowing light and beauty and a dog of fire. This dog is not glowing with the light but, life choking smoke and consuming fire. He is mean, irritable, and angry. It is driven by fear, and has me look at the world through the lens of shortage, struggle, and judgment. This is how I am when I'm feeling small, anxious, and spiritually disconnected.

The dog Light is guided by love and kindness. This is the part of me that longs to live with purpose and to have an impact on the world. It is my God given soul my authentic self, my essence and my creativity live here, as does my intuition, faith, and sense of connection and compassion.. And the fire and smoke dog is constantly fighting the glowing light dog.'

The elder looked at the chief and said quietly, 'Chief, so which dog wins?' The chief sat quietly for a moment, and then replied: 'the one I feed the most.'

I totally identify with that story and this one. I am this women, If we get honest we all are! The Woman At the well.

Russ Shaw
John 10:10

this letter was March 16th 2008

Letter 4

The two dog battle 2.0 Truth! Not a hallmark moment.

Truth: Law of gravity is that "truth in a law" if you step off a 10 story building your gonna hurt or die. I'm not trying to kick any body's ass by making you feel bad. You have this pick and choose kind of Economy with the truth ASH. I'm simply telling you the truth not trying to hurt you, the truth is doing that. God's not some cosmic kill joy. He loves you he is after you all jacked up just as your are. He wants you to stop hurting your self and others, The hurt you experience in the process is the surgery. The pain of the surgery goes on and on if we choose not to heal.

The chief was sitting at the edge of the village, obviously deep in thought. He sat there for hours and hours, seemingly unmoving. The tribe was beginning to get worried and restless, but nobody wanted to disturb him. An elder eventually got up his courage and walked over. 'Chief,' he asked, 'what's going on? You look so troubled!' The chief just sat there, and the elder thought that he had not heard. Finally the chief spoke. 
He said: 'You know, it's like there are two dogs fighting inside of me all the time A dog of glowing light and beauty, and a dog of fire and smoke. This dog of fire is not glowing with the light but, life choking smoke and consuming fire. He is mean, irritable, and angry. He is fighting for me to stay isolated. His venomous bites fill me with anger and resentment like things will never get better. He wounds my sense of being with self righteous or self destructive pride. His blows have me feeling fearful, anxious, judgmental and spiritually disconnected.

The dog of glowing light is fighting for me to shine light from the inside. As he bites in to the fire and smoke dog I'm brought to live fearlessly outside myself with love, passion and kindness. I feel his bites sinking in to me like good pain, when I go the extra mile or push through fear. He slashes at the smoke and fire dog with forgiveness, grace and hope for the future. This dog shines bright, He is the me that longs to live with purpose. This dog is my God given soul my authentic self, my essence and my creativity flow from here, as does my intuition, faith, and sense of connection and compassion. The mystery of the glowing light dog has me reaching to know more about the depths of vibrant, real, unconditional love and spiritual connection.

Behind these eyes is a battle. The fire and smoke dog is constantly fighting the glowing light dog.'
The elder looked at the chief and said quietly, "Chief, so which dog wins?" The chief sat quietly for a moment, 
and then replied: "the dog I feed."

What do I know about you? What does any one know about you? As much as you let them. 
Do you go to a church where its not OK to not be OK? Easter is this week.

Martin Luther said Religion is the default mode of the heart.

We seem in our human nature to go "merit / demerit Right?"

We are saved by Jesus. Not our self's this is karma! We know that in our minds. but like Martin Luther says.

We keep going to look I'm doing the law. I'm a pretty good person. 
Or I can't do the law I suck.

(Matthew 26:28) "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."
(John 10:11) "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep."
(John 10:15) "As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep."
I could go on and on my point is how much of that is about what you do?

Ephesians 2, 8-9 .And, Galatians 2:21 If by works we are saved Jesus Died for nothing!

Listen, repentance is letting Jesus become our righteousness not by our own power.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (New International Version)
21God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Listen God Loves us that much To pay my debt.

You can will your self in to having 27 million bucks!

Most Christians don't understand the debt that was paid. and why?

John 3:16 God so loved the world He Gave his Son.

He loves us that much! He gave us eternal life that releases us from the bondage of sin. The more I realize that! The more Sin loses its stranglehold on me.

You need help Email me. I'm right here. 

Letter 5
March 26, 2008.

Ash! Did you see the letters to Ash on my web site? http://asi247.org/Porn_Addiction_weblinks/letters_to_ash.htm Would love your feed back on that.
You got great courage my friend my hats off to you! You blog and podcast are what most people need to do (getting open but are not) not really.

I herd your Podcast about the group with the book and study material. A big ass book and tons of homework! No way! Is that helping? Does that really help long term?
Or is is just another heavy burden? I don't believe heavy burdens help! if we look at them as another thing I have to get through. 
Real recovery is a heart matter, not dogmatically following some big book of rules. That is where change comes when we get honest about the "why". Getting down to where Jesus meets us in the "Why do I want to?".

Matt 23:4-7 (the message) "Instead of giving you God's Law as food and drink by which you can banquet on God, they package it in bundles of rules, loading you down like pack animals. They seem to take pleasure in watching you stagger under these loads, and wouldn't think of lifting a finger to help. Their lives are perpetual fashion shows, embroidered prayer shawls one day and flowery prayers the next. They love to sit at the head table at church dinners, basking in the most prominent positions, preening in the radiance of public flattery, receiving honorary degrees, and getting called 'Doctor' and 'Reverend.'

 8-10"Don't let people do that to you, put you on a pedestal like that. You all have a single Teacher, and you are all classmates. Don't set people up as experts over your life, letting them tell you what to do. Save that authority for God; let him tell you what to do. No one else should carry the title of 'Father'; you have only one Father, and he's in heaven. And don't let people maneuver you into taking charge of them. There is only one Life-Leader for you and them—Christ.

Not making this about Religion is a challenge in and of its self. This is about a very real relationship with God the Father. I heart trust, even deeper then choice.

My favorite step? step one, If there is any thing I'm doing as a result of my ministry it is get people to do step one! Deeply, Daily.

Step one - We admitted we were powerless over our addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable.

Matrin luther said the real addiction is the addiction to self. The good thing about addiction? We are takin over by something inside us that is making our lives unmanageable.
We REALIZE we are not in control of our own lives. No one is really, But addictics are blessed to have to deal with this truth or die.

Step 2 is the hard part. God came to earth as a man he name is Jesus. With out him there is no hope! any other higher power we make "god" has the ability to own us.

Step 3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God. A very dangrious delima, Is God creatior of all things and redeamer of all things back to him self?

OOOH I say that and is like I'm saying that real 1st century christianity is acctuly true! Not just religion, but truth. OHH MAN thats why they hate me! Especally the ones called 'Doctor' and 'Reverend.'

Jesus is God any thing elts is idiotry. A letter to the colossians by the aposal Paul. A culture that belived any thing can go a head and be your higher power.

Colossians 1 (New International Version) 15

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

 21Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

I just had a guy Email 12 pages of SCA material.

Great stuff if you can do it! I've had lots of 'Doctor' and 'Reverends in my lifetrying to "fix me" I'm over 2 and 1/2 years Clean and it's embracing Jesus. (not some ambiguous higher power).
Listing to and learning my own heart. The truth the heart matters trusting God to do a real deep step 4.

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. We can say we have done that but really on a heart level have we? That I had to face with the help of Jesus, that got me feeling freedom.

and he Christ is the only one who could have walked me through that. On my own I couldn't even rember it. 

2 Corinthians 12:9 (The Message)
 7-10Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn't get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan's angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn't think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

   My grace is enough; it's all you need.
   My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ's strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.

Only the living God can be strong when I'm weak, No dead Idol can do that. Only Jesus, on my own power I couldn't even get through High School much let kick this thing on my own.

I was diagnosed ADHD twice. I'm not disciplined to follow all that religious SCA or SA stuff. (Book Work).

Rember you are saved no matter what! here some one sent me this great stuff no your not worth of it nether am I that is the point.

Romans 8:38 (The Message) 31-39So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn't gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God's chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ's love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

   They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
   We're sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I'm absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

Check this out Mark of Mars hill church in Seattle. We are all in a continutious state of worship. That is truth, I would say we all wake up and put our hope in somthing.
Special: Continuous Worship - Idolatry
Pastor Mark Driscoll teaches on the subject of idolatry. This teaching session was recorded at the 'Continuous Worship' conference in September 2007.

Russ Shaw
John 10:10

Letter 6
April 2, 2008

This is the real heart felt stuff I've been talking about. This guy is Real ASH, very Real. But he is not God. My challenge for you is to find out who he is.

The analogy that occurs to me is it's as if your Dad said he was going to teach you to ride a bike. He hands you a manual, tells you to carry it with you everywhere and then he quietly watches as you crash into the pavement over and over again. He doesn't run to help. He doesn't console. He doesn't help take away the pain. He just tells you to get back on the bike and try again. His displeasure with my falls is obvious but he's content to simply watch me make a wreck of my bike and my knees as he stands there with his arms crossed.

Jesus said that we can figure out which sheep are true sheep, and which are wolves. He said we'll know, because even if a wolf is dressed like a sheep, it acts like a wolf. A wolf can't baaa like a sheep, it can't chew cud like a sheep, it can't eat grass, or even smell like a sheep. Jesus said that a wolf can try to look like a sheep, but you can tell it apart by its actions.

Russ Shaw
John 10:10

Letter 7
April 3, 2008
This, Ash this, This is not God. In my recovery I had to face this same person. The person you wright about here.

Your Words "The analogy that occurs to me is it's as if your Dad said he was going to teach you to ride a bike. He hands you a manual, tells you to carry it with you everywhere and then he quietly watches as you crash into the pavement over and over again. He doesn't run to help. He doesn't console. He doesn't help take away the pain. He just tells you to get back on the bike and try again. His displeasure with my falls is obvious but he's content to simply watch me make a wreck of my bike and my knees as he stands there with his arms crossed."

I feel you Ash! my relationship with God (After I had quit on church for about 5 years) started here.
My return back to God Like the protical son. Pulling myself out of the slop with the pigs getting up and seeing that he accutly was awaiting my return.
(Thats not an obedience thing its a heart thing, First) I couldn't will myself out of sexual addiction, ADD or being bipolar for that matter. (Told you I'm a mess)

it all Started with some one with some bible experience, some one who helped me see. Exposing me to the truth that this is God. Your line "he stands there with his arms crossed" this is how I saw God for most of my life. The biggest problem with that The Bible!

God is NOT poring out his wrath on you Ash! He pored out his wrath or Jesus not you. Jesus laid himself down for you!

Paul would say in 1 Corinthians 15 understanding this is "of first importance." (NASV)
1Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. 3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

(Matthew 26:28 KJV) "For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."

(John 10:11KJV) "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep."

(John 10:15 KJV) "As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep."

(John 10:14-15 New International Version) 14"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father and I lay down my life for the sheep.

Ash, ask yourself how much of that is about what you do or do not DO?
On and On God's grace is pored out on you!

Galatians 3:21 (ESV) Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law.

Hebrews 7:18-20 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19(for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.

Ephesians 2, 8-9 (NIV)

8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast.

.And, Galatians 2:21 (Amplified Bible) 21[Therefore, I do not treat God's gracious gift as something of minor importance and defeat its very purpose]; I do not set aside and invalidate and frustrate and nullify the grace (unmerited favor) of God. For if justification (righteousness, acquittal from guilt) comes through [observing the ritual of] the Law, then Christ (the Messiah) died groundlessly and to no purpose and in vain. [His death was then wholly superfluous.]

(ESV) 21I do not nullify the grace of God, for(A) if righteousness[a] were through the law,(B) then Christ died for no purpose.
If by works we are saved Jesus Died for nothing!

Listen, repentance is letting Jesus become our righteousness! It is not by our own power.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (New International Version)
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

God is not shaking his head in disappointment wile watching you hurt. The pain you feel is the great surgeon lovingly pushing on the Pain in your life saying "this hurts here right?" Ash here is what that pain is dude, God saying "There is a canser here you'll have to trust me to remove! You will have to go under the knife I'll remove it if you let me".

He doesn't run to help. He doesn't console. Ash, this is my calling. I feel Gods calling on my life to do this, to talk to hurting people like your self. And maybe just maybe God sent me to talk to you.

Jesus is our savior I'm just a guy walking this path with you, But listen I've stepped on the land minds. I can help show you where they are so you don't blow any more limbs off.

The Knife? Who is this guy you have speaking to you and telling you he is God?  The devil maybe. who is the devil using or who has the devil used in your life. A person or a falts doctrine? Both? Who knows this is going under the knife my friend.

Jesus Died on a cross for your sin and all you have to do is receive that. Sounds easy right? To good to be true?
no this is the narrow gate. Jesus speaking to the pharisees.  "do to others what you would have them do to you," This is about love! The pharisees had not time for those disobedient sickos! God is a loving father he is there to love his children not beat them!

Resentment, hate, contempt is in perspective a lazy heart, this is the wide gate.

Matthew 7:10-20 (New International Version) 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

The Narrow and Wide Gates
13"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
A Tree and Its Fruit
  15"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

    The analogy, in your analogy is a wolf in sheep's clothing someone who taught you 2+2=5 some who is blocking you from Love. I'm challenging you to find out who that is Ash!

From the Matrix 1999 Neo: "Why do my eyes hurt?"
Morpheus: "You've never used them before. Rest, Neo, the answers are coming."

Like you said "where ever you go God is there." There is no turning back for here Ash, I think you realize that.

Your brother in battle, Russ

Letter 8
April 7, 2008

Great to hear Ash! Pray for those that never get to where you are. you don't know how blessed you are to be to the point where you are actually wrestling with God. I've talked to so many who don't think they should talk like that about or to God. Truth is they don't really know him until they do.

I love them I pray for there recovery but they have Jesus on some shelf some where ready to pull him off if they need him. The idolatry of religion. Don't worry about the "Christians" that may shun you for being honest. Pray for them they don't know. I feel like a missionary. Not just to the lost who don't know Christ but in the church, to worship leaders, pastors, priests even a rabbi.

Matthew 7:21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

The "Know" here was the Hebrew word for intimacy. Like a man Knows his wife, Inside of her. Jesus wants to know us deeply. He is seeking us out to be our savior.

Your Email and those of others. Inspired this show thanks. And with your permission I would like to put up the letters to ash on my web site. I ask because I use your words on my email back to you the ones I post are my side of the conversation. I used your words in the show anonymous as a listener.

Ash, so many people are stuck like you and never let it out. Our frustration with God. Alone not letting his light shine on our hearts.
They are keeping it in the dark. Freedom comes when we meet him there. The chains of sin lose there death grip in the light of his love.

Episode 64 - I Still haven't found what I'm looking

Episode 64 -The Church is great at helping to remove stains. Drugs and alcohol addicts are welcomed with open arms. I believe the church has compassion for the hurting hearts of addicts.
But sexuality runs deep, Sexual addiction, sexually compulsive behavior or same sex attraction is deeper then getting out the cleansers out and scrubbing the dirty stains off the surface. What happens when all the getting saved, prayer and all the recovery material doesn''t seem to work?
What do you do when you still haven''t found what your looking for?

Music by U2, Pillar and This Beautiful Republic.
- Show quoted text -

On Sun, Apr 6, 2008 at 6:40 PM, godand cigarettes <godandcigarettes@gmail.com> Posted with his premission wrote....
Matthew 18:12-14

"What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost.

I've blogged about the way I sometimes leave just to see if anyone cares. If anyone will follow after me. Lately, the one I've been leaving is God.


mar 25 2008 (from G+C)

i came here to leave and see if you'd follow
i came here to see if you love me the same
i've followed and fallen and wrecked after you
i'm broken and battered and tired of the race
my tears have dried up now along with my dreams
my wishes are gone except that you show me
the reason to fall after you again and again


Following has seemed too hard and so I've grown resentful of God for asking me to follow. I've pulled away and thought that somehow I could actually "forget my faith". I thought I could go back to the guy I was BEFORE I found Christ. But I've found I can't do that either. I cut myself off from God and went running (or so I thought) in the other direction.

I expected wrath and in a real sense, I expected to see a tangible level of condemnation on my life. I expected things to start to go wrong (fear, worry, sleeplessness , rashes, thefts, maybe even a car accident) as God would no doubt remove whatever blessing He has provided me thus far. I expected Him to leave me too.

Instead, what I got was an ongoing presence of Him. He was gently reminding me of where I was going off the path. He was speaking to my GF too and bringing her to conclusions about her own need for sexual and relational healing. When I would feel a "burden" to discuss things with her but would be too afraid of doing it, she would end up bringing up nearly the same things later that night.

Instead of shutting me off or angrily slamming the door behind me, I sensed God gently "wooing me back".  He has been loving and kind. He has brought encouraging words and people into my life and has reminded me that He does not desire perfection so much as He wants my heart.

I continue to see "M" and we continue to seek a balance between ending the relationship and continuing but with a healthier approach (not physical but intimate). She has recognized that she has been finding her validation for many years by providing sex and hoping love would follow.

We make quite a pair.

So now I'm left to wonder about what comes next. I don't want to be alone and I don't want to stop my relationship with "M". We enjoy each other immensely.

We often talk about God and faith and grace and it's interesting how she has so often got a better view of grace and true christianity than I do.

I am not struggling with porn currently but we have been physical and I don't really see that as the same thing. Granted, it's not what folks in the church would call "a Biblical level of purity" but then they aren't in my shoes now are they? (It's easy to tell others where they are falling short until you realize the pain they are in and the reasons for their choices.)

My wife told me last week she's been seeing a guy from her church. I had pretty much figured that out anyway as the kids are often mentioning going there to play and have sleep-overs. She heard that I had a GF and was happy for me but was concerned that she wasn't a christian. (as were my daughters)

I really can't imagine myself ever fitting in to christian circles again or wanting to date christian women exclusively. I feel I owe each person I date, a "snapshot" of my struggles and my past before it goes too far. And from the "church folks" I've known of late, I can't imagine any of them sticking around past the first few stories of my past.

"M" and I accept each other. (I've told her EVERYTHING and she just hugged me and accepted me.) And we understand each others' needs both emotionally and physically. I hope we can work things out so that we both can embrace all aspects of our relationship. Time will tell I 'spose.

In the meantime, I will continue to remember God's love for me and His grace. And I'll try to tune out the bully that you rightly pointed out was masquerading as God.
I trust in Him to help us through this difficult time and hope for things to be better in the future.
Keep fighting.

~ Ash

Thanks for the encouragement Russ.
You are free to use any and ALL of whatever I write or say on your blog or podcast or whatever okay? You have my total permission.

"M" and I are still seeing each other and still having sex. We have talked about her needs for sex as a way to feel valued and my use of sex /porn for escape and yet we still find ways to allow ourslves to have this part of the relationship.

We are close though and it doesn't feel like "acting out" per se. I am still somewhat conflicted about it though. I feel I'll have to keep this area of my life a secret from my kids and that bothers me. They are very "legalistic" and at 9 and 12 years old they tend to see things in very black and white ways (doesn't hurt that they go to a Christian school either I spose')

Pray for us to find the right way to relate to one another without feelings of guilt, fear or condemnation. I'd like to end the sexual part but we both feel so needy right now that we go there anyway.

I went to my old church on Sunday. I snuck in late and left early to avoid all the uncomfortabel small talk. They're starting a 12 week series on something that really doesn't speak to me so I may unplug from them a while longer and attend one closer to where I live now. It's a Vineyard church and has lots of folks with peircings, tats and smoke-stained fingers. I feel a bit more at hiome amoung scruffier people right now.

I'll keep whispering to God and trying to hear. No guarantees about my obedience though.

Blessings my friend.


Letter 9
April 11, 2008
Ash First of all you can't sin enough for god to stop loving you, we have established that. Right?

Listen from the words of your last Email Its seems you have given up on your recovery. Banging your girl friend is still sexual sin weather it doesn't feel like "acting out" per se or not. Its addiction you even said she uses sex as a way to feel loved. To let you inside of her body with out havening to let you (or any one elts in to her heart and soul long term) to be responsible for her deep, heart and soul.

Real intercourse happens when she hurts you or you hurt her how will ether of you stand up under the heat of conflict and heart ache. This will happen your in a relationship it happens to all of us. The real question is can ether of you make the commitment to love each other when the next storm hits or are you using each other for the mind blowing pain numbing sex?

Are you friends with benefits? or are you in that uphoric state of new Love? Its a chemical reaction in the brain, surface love, It passes, real love does not.

I tell you this as your brother who loves you Ash, I'm not some legalistic neet nic. The truth is What we love have far more ability to destroy us (and others that we love) then what we hate.

The Destroyer, you said "Pray for us to find the right way to relate to one another without feelings of guilt, fear or condemnation." Why would or do you feel that way? Asking your selfs that is a critical question.

Remember my saying from Alaska? Sin is like peeing your self to keep your back side warm, Feels really great for a little wile then PAIN Long term.
Where do you see your selves in a year 2 or 5? Do you really even know each other on a heart level.

Isn't willfully sinning just a miss trust of God? Listen, God is not after your begrudging submission, he is after your long term Joy. Right? do you believe that our are you is the rebellious teen state? "will God still love me if?" Great things to ask your self. This is recovery buy the way. Not studying, and doing homework on some big book of behavior. But knowing and being honest about your own heart.

Like, Are you both really looking for Love? Real heart level love? or are you feeding off each other sexually? Would you want that for your daughters?

Like fatherhood right? God is your loving father and M's to. Your daughters? What what you do if one of your little girls said they where in "M" in her shoes? how would you feel about the boy she was seeing?

She told me her name was Billie Jean
As she caused a scene
Then every head turned with eyes
That dreamed of being the one
Who will dance on the floor, in the round

People always told me,
'Be careful of what you do
And don't go around
Breaking young girls' hearts'
And mother always told me,
'Be careful of who you love
And be careful what you do
'Cause the lie becomes the truth'

1 Corinthians 13 (The Message)

1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. 3-7If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.

   Love never gives up.
   Love cares more for others than for self.
   Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
   Love doesn't strut,
   Doesn't have a swelled head,
   Doesn't force itself on others,
   Isn't always "me first,"
   Doesn't fly off the handle,
   Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
   Doesn't revel when others grovel,
   Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
   Puts up with anything,
   Trusts God always,
   Always looks for the best,
   Never looks back,
   But keeps going to the end.

God does not hate you he is not punishing you. He will chastise however, because he loves you. the bible says God does this for those he loves.

Hebrews 12:3-17 (ESV) Do Not Grow Weary

3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

"My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
nor be weary when reproved by him.
6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and chastises every son whom he receives."

7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. 14 Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no "root of bitterness" springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; 16 that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. 17 For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.

A listener sent this to me, "what we do in like echoes in eternity"
Maxmus, Gladiator.

Your compassionate brother in battle, Russ
Russ Shaw
John 10:10

Damn Russ. You DO have a way of cutting through the BS!

All true what you said.

We ARE using each other I think. We've had discussions about how we are addicted to love and sex and still we are stepping right into it. Eyes open.

It just feels so much easier than facing the pain and loneliness. I KNOW it has to end (or change significantly) but I guess I've been too chicken to end it.

Thanks for the reality check Russ. I really appreciate your wisdom and no BS approach.

Have a great weekend!

Letter 8
April 7, 2008
Do you have Christians you can be open and honest with? "I'm Not Okay (I Promise)"

"I'm Not Okay (I Promise)"

Well if you wanted honesty, that's all you had to say.
I never want to let you down or have you go, it's better off this way.
For all the dirty looks, the photographs your boyfriend took,
Remember when you broke your foot from jumping out the second floor?

I'm not okay
I'm not okay
I'm not okay
You wear me out

What will it take to show you that it's not the life it seems?
(I'm not okay)
I've told you time and time again you sing the words but don't know what it means
(I'm not okay)
To be a joke and look, another line without a hook
I held you close as we both shook for the last time take a good hard look!

I'm not okay
I'm not okay
I'm not okay
You wear me out

Forget about the dirty looks
The photographs your boyfriend took
You said you read me like a book, but the pages all are torn and frayed

I'm okay
I'm okay!
I'm okay, now
(I'm okay, now)

But you really need to listen to me
Because I'm telling you the truth
I mean this, I'm okay!
(Trust Me)

I'm not okay
I'm not okay
Well, I'm not okay
I'm not o-F-ing-kay
I'm not okay
I'm not okay

Apr 11, 2008 12:43 PM
I do have ppl like that. I just haven't liked what they had to say I guess and so I've backed away.

That plus the shame I feel around lots of them too.

Russ Shaw
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