Category Archives: Leadership

The Courage of a Young Lion

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Watercolor artwork by Dylan Pierce (another one of my young lions!)

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Over the past few years I’ve featured a “lion’s share” segment on my blog, providing a platform for the ‘young lions’ I’ve been privileged to mentor and father spiritually.

Today I share with you, my beloved readers, one of the great young men of his generation. Shawn Buck has been with me in the pride for a bit over a year and will soon be moving on from the den as God has called him away from us. Lord willing, Shawn will be leaving for Cape Town, South Africa for a two-year (or life-long?) commitment with the Ubuntu Football Academy.

I’m honored to serve on Shawn’s board but even more blessed to call him a son of the faith. This dude is as real as they come! In this post, Shawn bravely shares his greatest fight and offers hope in overcoming addiction to pornography. As the guys and I have discussed on numerous occasions, we don’t affix the slang “porn” too often because that has become a designation that makes it a culturally acceptable norm. To call it what it is – pornography – paints it in a more ‘graphic’ light, relegating it to it’s more insidious and self-destructive nature.

Thank you, Shawn, my son, for listening to Wisdom’s call and learning to pass by the “forbidden woman’s” house on the other side (Proverbs 7:4,5). I love you, courageous lion of God.

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When I was 13 years old, I came across pornography for the first time. It led me down a destructive road of getting deeper and deeper into the world of porn, of continuously lusting after girls and after self-gratification. It led to incredible shame, gut-wrenching guilt, and loss of self worth. It destroyed relationships and it built a dependence on something that doesn’t satisfy. It led me to lie constantly to cover my tracks. It consistently brought me into a world I never dreamt I would be a part of.

It changed my life.

Lust and porn is a cruel drug. That isn’t just some saying. It acts the same way as cocaine by releasing large amounts of dopamine into your brain. The fact that it is so easy to get can make it more dangerous than cocaine, because you can keep your brain doped up for hours (fightthenewdrug.org). It truly is one of the most dangerous things on this earth.

Have you ever heard of a healthy marriage where either the husband or wife wishes they would have slept with more people or watched more porn?

No.

Lust and porn are damaging to our future relationships. There will be images you can’t get out of your mind, unfair expectations you will put on your spouse and even damage done to your own confidence.

I pray that people realize just how destructive lust and porn are. This isn’t just some harmless thing that everybody does. One, it is so degrading to women. Women are amazing and deserve to be held up and shown so much more respect than porn. It truly does alter your view of them subconsciously and starts to paint them as objects in your mind. Two, it plays a large role in human trafficking. Chuck Norris actually wrote an incredible article about that here (http://www.wnd.com/2013/11/porns-part-in-sex-trafficking/). And three, it ultimately hurts you by making you think that that’s what it should be like: by bringing down your confidence, and by taking something so beautiful as sex and making it a cheap, non-committal and perverse action between two random people.

I say all of this not to judge you, be pessimistic or throw hatred on you, but to convince some of you that this is not some cute pet to keep around and play with. It is a dangerous destructive lion just waiting to destroy you completely.

I wish so badly that I could sit here today and tell you that it is something that I’m free of and have victory over, but it’s not. I still have a sexual addiction that I struggle with daily. I have seen significant, positive change in my life with this sexual addiction, though, and that is the only reason I am able to open up enough to write this blog and share my story with you.

I want you to know that you aren’t the only one dealing with this. You haven’t gone too far and or done something too awful. You aren’t defined by your addiction and you can see freedom from it. I have tried every cure/fix there is: accountability partners, Internet filters, multi-step programs, books, and everything else under the sun, and can I tell you the only thing that has made a lick of change in my life? Honestly, Jesus.

I know that is going to turn someone off and I hope you continue to read because I’m going to tell you the difference between all of the things I’ve tried and Him.

He knows you’re going to mess up. He doesn’t guarantee that everything will be fixed after 5 easy payments. He understands exactly, let me say again, exactly what you are going through. Don’t get me wrong, he isn’t happy you are failing like this, and yet he takes you back anyways. You will never go too far, mess up too much or be too unworthy of his acceptance. He loves you and delights when you realize that you can do nothing but lean on HIM. That’s called dependence, and when you start to depend on something that can truly satisfy instead of the false hope of pornography, that is when you will start to see change.

That is my story. Here it is for the world to see and know about. I hope that one day you can open up about your struggles and share your story with people.

If you don’t know whom you can tell, my email is scbuck27@gmail.com. I would love to listen and help in anyway I can.

Thank you so much for listening to my story!

H/T to Karlye – one of our lionesses! – over at flower roots.com. Her layout is way better than mine anyhow. And more pictures.

Maddox

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This precious, tow-headed little charmer is one of the newest members of our extended family. His name is Maddox.

Sandy and I were asked by his mom and dad to be his godparents, in a larger sense of the word. This means we are willingly taking Maddox upon ourselves to speak life into him all the days we have left, and to foment his growth in the Lord, alongside his wonderful parents..

Of course, we are not taking this lightly. This afternoon, little Maddox was brought before the Lord to be dedicated by his parents for the bolstering of the lad’s opportunities to come into the fullness of Christ and the realization of why he was created.

One of my first official acts as a spiritual father was to listen to the Father and hear from Him a blessing for Maddox. As a pastor, I’ve done scads of these, and none so important to us as this one:

Maddox, your name means fortunate. Your place in the Kingdom of God finds its origin in the seventh son of Jacob, Gad – whose name gives yours meaning – and the people of Gad were men of strength and boldness, “mighty and experienced warriors, expert with shield and spear, whose faces were like the faces of lions and who were swift as gazelles upon the mountains” (1 Chr. 12:8).

Maddox, you are called out of the earth of men to be a son of boldness for what God calls holy, to be mighty in the Lord’s strength as a feared son of the kingdom, and to build a testimony of greatness that comes from submission to the Almighty God who directs all your steps, fights all your battles and uses you to bring holy justice to those who are unfortunate.

You are God’s javelin to execute righteousness and bring freedom to the captives and peace to those trapped in darkness. You are God’s shield for the lost, last and least among your generation. Though strong, and fearless, you will be kind, gentle and merciful to the weak, swift to give aid wherever God sends you.

Your people will speak great things about you, making special note of your compassionate heart; your family and offspring will trust your God because He has been so apparent in your life. The joy of the Lord will be your strength all your days.

And now, Maddox,

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Amen.

Father to Son: The Talk

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I was privileged to pastor for 17 years and remain a pastor of sorts in the same community. I consider shepherding a local community of saints one of the greatest joys of my life, albeit one of the most difficult. Because it demands so much of one’s self I have told numerous minister wannabe’s to pursue it only if they cannot have passion for – or picture themselves doing – anything else.

Still, I could not invent a better “profession”! It is like air that I breathe, food that I consume, a crown that I wear (1 Thess 2:19)…and for all the best of reasons. I like the emphasis that Artie Davis places on this magnificent calling in the context of encouraging a son with ministry aspirations…

If my son were starting a church this weekend…

…and he came to me and asked, “Dad, what are the most important things I need to know?” I would think, “Man, this is my BOY! He has got to get this right.” I would pray a minute, ask him to take out his Ipad, and then say…

1-What you’re doing is all about loving people. Forget that, and you’re doomed

2-Make your wife priority! Never let her feel she’s in the back seat behind ministry

3-Raise your kids in freedom! Don’t let your position make you feel they have to be superstars

4-Learn to hear God’s voice. Know what His whisper sounds like… There is NO other way

5-It would be better to promote someone a year late, than a day early

6-Invest in those on your team. Let them see the good, bad and ugly

7-Never get in a rut! If you change 1-Degree at a time, you will maximize effectiveness

8-Preach from the overflow of what God is telling you

9-Don’t serve bread dough on Sunday morning, serve hot bread

10-Find a group of other leaders, form relationships… They will save your life!

11-Never seek to please people. That is a merry go round that never stops

12-You serve a Supernatural God, look for His movement, if you don’t look, you wont see

13-Hear God, follow Him, and leave the results to Him. “And the Lord added.”

14-Never forget to have fun! Serving God is hard, but you have to fun too!

15-Don’t ever try to be someone else. God put you there to be you…He likes you just as you are!

16-Strive to be a giver and not a taker! Always sow into others, rather than being the “Asker”

-Pastor Artie Davis, Cornerstone Comm Ch, Orangeburg, SC

Let me close out this post by including this quote from our friend, John Wesley. I think he hits the nail on the head when he advises the candidate (and seasoned vets) never to be after a ministry but, well, let’s go straight to the source:

“Don’t seek for a ministry, but seek for the fruit of a disciplined life.”
John Wesley

Amen.