“Live Pure and Free” Book Nominated!

I’m excited to report that my purity devotional book, Live Pure and Free-The 90 Day Game Changer has been nominated for a Christian Indy Award.

The Christian Indy Awards honor Christian books by independent authors and small publishers for outstanding contribution to Christian life.

This award is kind of a people’s choice award. Voting is now open.

Would you be so kind as to take a moment to vote for my book? Please!

Go to: https://www.christianaward.com/

  1. Click on “VOTE NOW: Click here to cast your ballot!
  2. Fill in name and email (only one vote per person)
  3. Scroll down to the Self-Help category
  4. Click on the circle above: Live Pure and Free-The 90 Day Game Changer
  5. Scroll all the way to the bottom and click on Submit Votes.

Thank you so much for taking a moment to vote. Winning an award helps the book get noticed and into more men’s hands where it can really make a difference for their purity.

 

Injured

The injured athlete

The Google definition of tackling in American football is: “to stop the forward progress of (the ball carrier) by seizing them and knocking them to the ground.” Sometimes in knocking the ball carrier to the ground someone gets injured. The injured athlete’s movement is restricted and they are on the bench until their movement has been restored. The athlete works hard on their recovery, using all the resources available, so that they can get back in the game they love. They want to get their career back on track and get back to living the life of their dreams.

Athletes know that not pushing through and overcoming from their wounds could lead to being dropped by their team, and not picked up by another team. They are not all that interested in opening up a car dealership. They want to play great football, make big money, be famous, and live a full life to the max! And why not?

John 10:10- Jesus said:  I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (ESV)

Your journey to healing

Unlike the football player’s injury, men who are in sexual sin may have emotional injuries. The thing about sexual sin is that we may not be injured physically, but we are injured and not realize it. We’re limping around spiritually and mentally. We are trying, in vain, to ease the pain, of an unrecognized injury, through sexual sins; be it porn, serial affairs, lust, or whatever. It’s not really working, and makes us feel worse with the guilt and shame.

We may be caught in a sin cycle because we are trying to feel better without understanding we need to work on uncovering our injury and allowing it to be healed. We need help figuring out what our injury is and how we can get better. It’s time we get started finding out what the injury is, and moving on with our recovery.

Unlike recovery from a football injury, as a Christian man, we have to understand that this is a spiritual battle, and we need to turn our will and our lives over to Christ. We need to surrender this battle to Him. On our own, we cannot win. We have tried before on own and felt weak,  but when we are weak, he is strong. As it says in 2 Corinthians 12:9:

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (ESV)

Get started now

Get started today. I invite you to get my book, Live Pure and Free and get a second copy for a friend. Together, take the 90 day challenge going through the 90 devotions together and discussing your answers to the “Take Action” questions. There is room in the book to write out your answers to the workbook questions. Use the feelings list in the Appendix of the book to help you identify your feelings. As you work through the 90 days you will draw closer to God than you have ever been before. You will also have a better understanding of who you are.

Let me know how you are doing on the 90 day challenge and contact me if you have any questions as you work through it.

Live Pure and Free is available from Amazon and directly from Tristan Publishing

Amazon link:

https://www.amazon.com/Live-Pure-Free-Dave-Howe/dp/1939881161/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1548967825&sr=8-1&keywords=live+pure+and+free+book

Tristan Publishing link:

https://tristanpublishing.com/products/live-pure-and-free

 

Photo credit: Photo by Keith Johnston on Unsplash

Celebration Tour! “Live Pure and Free”

Live Pure and Free will be on a Celebration Blog Tour starting September 1st and running through September 14th. Every day a blogger will either post a review of the book, have a spotlight for it, or feature an interview with the author. Oh, that’s me.

Follow the tour and share the link with your friends.

CONTEST !!

Enter for your chance to win A $25 Gift card for PETE’S COFFEE. My all-time favorite coffee started in Berkeley, California.

Here is the link that will be LIVE on Saturday, September 1st:

http://www.celebratelit.com/llivepureandfree/

blog tour logo

 

Warning: Teenage Danger Zone

Schools out!

With summer comes lots of unscheduled time for children. With many parents busy working, there will be occasions when school-age children are on their own or with peers. No parent wants to imagine that their child is looking at pornography, but it does happen. Some researchers say the average age of exposure to pornography begins at age eight. [1] Others say exposure begins by 11 years of age.

Many times the first viewing is accidental. Be aware that a child’s exposure to pornography may trigger some unresolved issues that parents have with pornography or other sexual behaviors, making it more difficult to deal with the child’s pornography viewing.

Five Keys to Successfully Raising Porn-Free Teens

  1. Love on your Kids
    Stay engaged in your teen’s life. Know what they are up to and who they are with when away from the house. If your teen spends a lot of time at a friend’s house, get to know the parents and their house rules. Travis Armstrong, Pastor of Junior High School Students at Grace Church said: “Keep an open dialogue going with your teen.” Spend time with each of your children individually. It will give you both an opportunity to get to know each other, and it makes children feel special. Tim Block, former Grace Church youth pastor, says, “Communication is critical in helping teens realize that this is a winnable war as we depend on God’s indwelling Holy Spirit to enable and strengthen us.” [2] Think seriously before accepting a job promotion that takes you out of town a lot, or worse, has you move the family during these teen years. I learned from hearing the stories of many men with father wounds that their fathers were just not involved during these critical years.
     
  2. Teach them to love God
    Encourage Bible memorization. Make it a fun game. There is great power in having verses memorized.“I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11

    Host Bible studies in your home, and encourage your teens to be involved in church groups. Go to church as a family on Sunday. “Parents need to set godly examples and model Christ-like behavior when it comes to sexual issues,” says Block. Show the teens that your faith is important to you. Memorize these verses with your teens: Romans 12:1-2, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Philippians 4:7-8.

    Why is reading the Bible so important for your teens? It is important because no matter how young in the faith your teens are, the Holy Spirit is at work when they read. The Holy Spirit will cause conviction. Conviction leads to obedience to the Word. When a teen commits to obey the conviction, they are moving towards surrender. Surrender is the willingness to do anything for God. [3] Surrender is giving up our rights and following what God has laid on our hearts. [4]

    Talk to your teens about their faith. Ask them about their personal testimony – not how they became saved – but their lifestyles. What areas need to be changed in order to make them better witnesses? Have them come up with their own “I” statements about what areas need changing. This gives something you can discuss as an accountability item. When you review these together, you are reviewing directions that they gave to themselves. [5] I recommend reading “Protecting Your Teen From Disturbing Behavior.” (See the “Information and Resource” list.)
     

  3. Be open and honest about your failings
    There is a transition that needs to happen from raising little children to raising teens. It is sad that we have to make this transition at such an early age now, even as young as eight. But since our children are facing such harsh realities, we need to be real with them. Realize that you, as a parent, can be a stumbling block to your child’s development into young adulthood. Admit when you are wrong. You have to be real and vulnerable and open. That way, when your teens have issues – and they will – they will know they can talk to you because you are not perfect either. Make it safe to talk. They need to know you’ve had to work through your own struggles with cigarettes, alcohol, and sexual matters.
     
  4. Expect the best from them
    You should always expect the best from your teens. Children tend to live up to, or down to, the expectations that are placed on them. Armstrong says, “We talk to the teens about having a ‘Prevent Defense.’” In order to help them do their best, set boundaries. Boundaries make children feel secure.”Establishing boundaries that are consistent with God’s Word are paramount,” says Block. John Young of Teen Hopeline and ZJAM ministries says, “Unsupervised Internet usage is more dangerous than alcohol in the life of a teen.” [6] Create an environment in which they can succeed.
     
  5. Monitor their behavior
    We will only know if our teens are staying within the boundaries we have set by monitoring their behavior. Accountability is important. Pastor Armstrong reports that teens are embracing the seriousness of the battle going on for their souls. “Teens hold each other accountable and use texting as the means of helping each other.”There are many options for monitoring teen’s behavior. Part of monitoring is checking what they are texting to people. Be aware of the slang and acronyms used in text messages. Find useful links and a short list of texting acronyms in the “Information and Resource” list at the end of this article.

Take on the Challenge
Pray for your teens, for the protection of their hearts and minds. You can’t be with them all the time. What you can do is be proactive. Get them out of the house. Do things with them that they enjoy. Go golfing, shoot hoops, or go camping to help them see there is more to living than their electronic toys. Take summer vacations at the lake, go skiing in winter, and go on retreats and mission trips. The years from age 11 to 18 can be the most challenging and rewarding years of raising your children. Take on the challenge and don’t shy away from it. This is no time to be on auto-pilot.

My views on this topic come from working for nine years with men in the For Men Only sexual integrity group at Grace Church. I have learned by listening to the men’s heartbreaking stories of father wounds, lack of boundaries, and the trouble they got into with sexual matters as teens. My hope in writing this article is that more teens will avoid pornography or other sexual sins. I pray they will have a healthy view of sexuality.

End Notes

1. Rob Jackson, When Children View Pornography, accessed 5/20/15.
2. Tim Block, Family Life Pastor, Mission Viejo Christian Church, Mission Viejo CA.
3. Lee Vuckich and Steve Vandegriff, Protecting Your Teen From Disturbing Behavior, Living Ink Books, 2007, pp 26-27.
4. Ibid., p. 34.
5. Ibid., p. 32.
6. Ibid., p. 44.

Information and Resources

YouTube Tutorial Videos:

Popular Texting Acronyms (partial list)

9: Parent watching
99: Parent gone
1337: Elite or leet or L337
143/459/ILU: I love you
1174: The meeting place, meet at
420: Marijuana
53X: Sex
ADR: Address
AEAP: As early as possible
ALAP: As late as possible
ASL: Age/sex/location
BROKEN: hung over from alcohol
CD9/Code 9: Parents are around
C-P: Sleepy
F2F: Face-to-face
HAK: Hugs and kisses
KOTL: Kiss on the lips
KFY/K4Y: Kiss for you
KPC: Keeping parents clueless
LMIRL: Let’s meet in real life
MOOS: Member of the opposite sex
MOSS: Member of the same sex
MorF: Male or female

Websites:

  • Covenant Eyes: www.covenanteyes.com
    Accountability software products that track a computer’s browsing history and periodically report questionable web activity to a designated accountability partner, such as a parent.
  • Common Sense Media: www.commonsensemedia.org
    Rate, educate, and advocate for kids, families, and schools.
  • Family Online Safety Institute: www.fosi.org
    Making the online world safer for kids and their families through enlightened public policy, industry best practice, and good digital parenting.
  • My Mobile Watchdog: www.mymobilewatchdog.com
    Over 20 parental controls that make it simple to monitor, block, filter, and track what your child is doing with their phone.

Recommended Books:

  • Kyle Idleman, Not a Fan – Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus, Zondervan, 2011.
  • Neil T. Anderson and Dave Park, Stomping Out the Darkness: Discover Your True Identity in Christ and Stop Putting Up with the World’s Garbage, Regal Books, 2008.
  • Neil T. Anderson, Victory over the Darkness, Regal Books, 2013. Find more information about Neil Anderson’s ministry at: www.freedominchrist.com. 
  • Timothy Keller, Counterfeit Gods- The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and The Only Hope That Matters, Penguin Group, 2009.
  • Lee Vuckich and Steve Vandegriff, Protecting Your Teen From Disturbing Behavior, Living Ink Books, 2007.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

Benefits of a Good Leader

My choir director, Brian, had an interesting way of approaching a new song. We did not start at the obvious place, like the beginning. “Go to number 5 on page 8,” Brian would say. We’d work on a difficult section of the song at number 5 until we had that down. “Turn to page 12 and we’ll take it from the third measure.” We went to what seemed like, random sections, and worked on parts of the song. Finally, “Let’s take it from the top.” We would turn to page 1 and start the song. The first part of the song was pretty easy, but as we got to the more difficult sections, we had the advantage of having worked on these with a trained guide, our choir director. What we worked on were not random parts, but were difficult sections that needed extra attention. Once we had sung the whole song together, we went back and worked on the difficult parts some more until we could do them confidently.

This is a good analogy for the journey to purity. Once the Holy Spirit has convicted us, and we listen to the prompting, we can start into the healing process with a group and a leader who has been through the battle and has freedom. As we did in the choir, we work on one issue at a time. Each issue is a challenge. The attraction to sexual immorality is not one issue, it has many component parts. You get to work on these difficult issues with your group. How would it sound if you performed a song and all you sang was the part you practiced on page 8 and 9? You performed it well but it was incomplete. Likewise, once you have worked on some purity issues and think you’ve got it, you will discover there are still some rough spots. You can go back and work on those with your group just as we did in the choir. A rough spot may be getting through the first Christmas holiday season as a pure man. You were doing pretty well from September to mid-December, but realized you are going to need to have a plan for changing circumstances. Accept the process. You have been at this a long time, and it will take time to get free, but you will. You can win in this battle with God’s strength.

1 Timothy 6:11- But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. (ESV)

Photo by aleksandr Ovchinnikov on Unsplash

The Nine Longest Days of The Year

Dave Howe.org

For you, this may be the most joyous and fun nine days of the year. Give God the glory for your blessings. But for many, these days are a struggle.

I’m talking about Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day.

For many of us these are the nine longest days of the year. For those:

  • from dysfunctional families where the holidays were painful times of chaos
  • whose marriages have crumbled and the holidays have not been full of joy
  • who are approaching their first holiday season as a non-drinker, a non-smoker, or without whatever drug they were addicted to in past years
  • working on their freedom from sexual addiction facing their family of origin who may be the source of much pain that they have been medicating with sex or drugs
  • whose spouse died this year and are facing their first Christmas season alone
  • divorced and facing their first Christmas alone…

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“Live Pure and Free- The 90 Day Game Changer”

My new book was released December 1st! “Live Pure and Free” is a 90 day devotional for men on the journey to their sexual purity.

“Live Pure and Free” is available for ordering on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

Many wonderful endorsements are arriving. Here is the latest one from Dr. Rob Rienow.

“I spent my teen years trapped in a porn addiction. I wish I had this book. I wish I had let godly men in to my struggle so that they could lead me to Jesus, who alone could lead me to freedom. This 90 day journey is packed with truth from the Bible. The truth will set you free! Dave shares the misery of his struggles, the spiritual battle that men face in this whole realm of sexuality, and specific, practical, concrete, tough, honest steps that men can take, in the power of God, to get porn out of lives. Freedom is possible! Get this book. Grab some other men to join you in this 90 day journey. Don’t wait. The best time to get free is right now.”
 
Dr. Rob Rienow, Visionary Family Ministries, www.VisionaryFam.com