Refuge – What is it?

r4The Church today is under enormous attack from the enemy in the area of sexual purity, however, this is not something new. The early Church dealt with the same issues that we are dealing with today in the Church.  We at Refuge desire to see the bride of Christ purified. Christ didn’t die on the cross for us to manage our pain, He died so we can be healed. We believe this healing can happen on this side of Heaven.  If men are losing the battles with their purity we lose families, and if we lose families, we lose the church.  We want to point men to freedom so we can build the Church.  We also want to help families to be able to bridge the gap with their children; to help them understand God’s gift of sex and for them to be able to live pure lives. 

Refuge is a safe atmosphere where men can come as they are to receive the healing power of Jesus Christ through the Gospel in the area of sexual purity, and to walk in the freedom of Christ. We focus on growth in the following areas:

Confession of sin –  Dealing with accountability, identifying our red flags, and our cycles of sin.

Our Identity in Christ –  Understanding our identity we have with Christ to be able to receive His healing and freedom.

Healing – We look at the hurts and wounds we have received and where they have come from in order to bring about God’s healing.

Forgiveness – Understanding what forgiveness is, so we can forgive ourselves, others and to be able to ask for forgiveness from those we have hurt.

Prayer – Speaking to God and listening to what He has to say to us about the lies and wounds we have received throughout our lives so He can heal them.

What services do we provide?

  • We provide one-on-one or small group discipleship for men or parents.
  • Training for church leaders so they can provide the discipleship needed for their church in the area of purity.
  • Resources for parents –We have many useful resources for parents to bridge the purity conversation with their children. We also offer a half a day parents conference teaching on the dangers of pornography and how the Gospel can protect your children

For more information go to our website: http://refugenortheast.weebly.com

A Prayer

rain-forest-winter

Infinite and eternal Majesty! Author and Fountain of being and blessedness! how little do we poor sinful creatures know of thee, or the way to serve and please thee! We talk of religion, and pretend unto it; but, alas! how few are there that know and consider what it means! How easily do we mistake the affections of our nature, and issues of self-love, for those divine graces which alone can render us acceptable in thy sight! It may justly grieve me to consider, that I should have wandered so long, and contented myself so often with vain shadows and false images of piety and religion; yet I cannot but acknowledge and adore thy goodness, who hast been pleased, in some measure, to open mine eyes, and let me see what it is at which I ought to aim. I rejoice to consider what mighty improvements my nature is capable of, and what a divine temper of spirit doth shine in those whom thou are pleased to choose, and causest to approach unto thee. Blessed be thine infinite mercy, who sentest thine own son to dwell among men, and instruct them by his example as well as his laws, giving them a perfect pattern of what they ought to be. O that the holy life of the blessed Jesus may be always in my thoughts, and before mine eyes, till I receive a deep sense and impression of those excellent graces that shined so eminently in Him! And let me never cease my endeavours, till that new and divine nature prevail in my soul, and Christ be formed within me.

By Henry Scougal from his book “Life of God In The Soul of Man”

Henry Scougal (1650 – 1678) was a godly young Scotch Puritan who produced a number of works in his brief life while a pastor and professor of divinity at King’s College, Aberdeen. His greatest production is by consensus, The Life Of God In The Soul Of Man, which was originally written to a friend to explain Christianity and give spiritual counsel. This short treatise displays unusual perception and maturity for one so young. In fact, this work was almost universally well-spoken of by the leaders of the Great Awakening, including George Whitefield, who said he never really understood what true religion was till he had digested Scougal’s treatise. In addition to his literary productions, Henry Scougal was also noted for his piety and his clear grasp of scripture, aided in turn by his proficiency in Latin, Hebrew, Greek, and some of the cognate oriental languages. Taken out of the world at the young age of twenty-eight by tuberculosis, perhaps the words preached at his funeral service most aptly characterize the man, for there it was declared of Henry Scougal that – “he truly lived much in a few years and died an old man in eight and twenty years.”

Rejoice in the Lord!

Healing Is A Life Long Process

96d4e90d02f6b3b93f4f37bf0d591d07

So often I wish I could take a break from my journey of healing and get off the path to rest, it hurts and it’s painful and there are days that are just no fun. Those days seem to turn into weeks that roll over to months. There are days I wish I could just stop hurting, but because I am still hurting, I have to continue to walk on my path of healing because God is not done with me yet. God is not in a hurry, He grows things. As hard as this statement is, it’s true. We see this in Scripture. God wasn’t in a hurry to get things done. He has a perfect plan and that plan is still playing out today. Our healing is a life-long process that will be completed at the end of our life. Don’t give up! As much as it hurts to keep going. There are days I am just flat frustrated and I wish I could get punched in the face because at least then I will know where the pain is coming from. There are days I just hurt and don’t know where in the world the pain is coming from, but God knows, and I think He has to wait until we are ready to deal with said pain. For the last several months I have been dealing with some stuff and the pain level has been pretty high up. The one thing I thought was causing my pain was not it at all and the Lord had to take me down a long walk to show me that. At the end of the walk, I was very disappointed but the Lord had to take me down that path to show me what I thought was causing problems was not the “root” issue at all. There was a much bigger issue. For several weeks I have been hurting because in my heart I would not have been able to accept the true cause of the problem because I was not focused right. Finally, yesterday God started to unpack another wound I had been carrying around for so many years. (See my series on wounds – https://refugenortheast.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/the-wound-part-1/)

This wound I thought I had already dealt with it, but I came to realize I just packed it back down and didn’t really deal with it. I don’t hurt as much today, I think most of this is because I am in shock that this issue I thought I had dealt with was nowhere dealt with. I say all this to say, that I am still walking on my path of healing, and the Lord is still able to use me to help others and to encourage others. I know with the Lords help I will be able to get past this current wound I am working on with Him. Then there will be another one the Lord will need to bring up and help me deal with in His timing. Don’t give up! I know it hurts and it’s no fun, but remember we have to go through the pain to be healed. God loves you!

Ask the Lord to continue to help you move through your pain and to show you where your pain is coming from. Ask Him if you’re at a place to even deal with it. I wasn’t, and I totally missed the mark on this one. Remember we are on a lifetime walk with the Lord on this path of healing.

 

 

Blog Feed Back

Thanks for following our blog! We would like to have some feed back from you on how the blog is going so we can make it better. Please answer our poll questions, and leave your thoughts in the comment section on topics you would like to see or how we can make this a better blog. Once again thank you for taking the time to read our blog.

Refuge Leadership Team.

Do you know the parents of your kids friends?

istock_000043658976large-kids-reading

I’ve had the privilege of working next to my wife close to 16 years as she has lead children’s ministry. I used to be shocked when a child would tell me about a video game they are playing or about a movie they just saw or about the new tech device they just got. The reason I would get shocked was because the video game, movie, etc. was stuff that had adult content in it. These days I don’t get shocked anymore, it’s just the norm. A lot of parents are OK with allowing their children to watch things that have adult content in it or allow their children to have unlimited access to the internet and that is their call and I have no right to judge them. However, as a parent who is working to protect my child and train my child I do have the right to tell my child, “buddy, your not allowed to go over to your friend’s house.” Now, why would I tell my child that? Because I have gotten to know the parents of my child’s friends. I was first exposed to pornography at age 11 at a friends house when I stayed the night. It was the first time I was able to spend the night at my friend’s house and I was introduced to a world I did not know was out there. My friend’s parents didn’t care what we were watching, so from that point on when I went over to my friend’s house, watching porn was on the list of stuff to do.

Parents, you are your child’s protector and yes your child is going to get upset at you for telling them hard things. Like they cannot play this game, watch that movie, or be able to go to Johnny’s house. Check out a blog I posted by Randy Alcorn a few weeks ago that address protecting your child is more important than getting their approval.

https://refugenortheast.wordpress.com/2016/06/24/protecting-our-children-is-more-important-than-seeking-their-approval/

Parents, get to know the parents of your friends. If you know they don’t seem to care what their child does, then you may want to encourage your child to invite their friends over to your house. A friend of mine when his kids were young created a special room in his house for his kid’s friends to come over and hang out. As his kids got older the room changed to adapt to the age of the kids. My buddy had kids, teenagers, middle school kids, high school kids, coming and going out of his house all the time. He created an environment where his kids wanted to be at their house with their friends and he knew his kids were safe. He would have kids at his house for hours and hours with lots of sleepovers at his house.

Our kids are going to be exposed to things of the world and I cannot stop that. I can, however, try to limit that exposure to their older when I have had a chance to train and help my child understand things better. I want to be the one talking about issues, I don’t want him to be finding out about things from his friends. In order for me to do that, I have to be talking with him on a regular basis about these issues.

Get to know the parents of your kid’s friends, get to know them well. It’s how your protect your kids.

 

You are VALUABLE!

9105914-large

Last night I was reminding of how valuable I am to God. Oh, how I often forget who I am to Him. As I was watching the Dawn Treader, there is a scene where Lucy is tempted to use the spell she took from the Book Of Illusions to make herself look beautiful. After she uses the spell and comes back to, she is met by Aslan. As they talk, Aslan reminds her that she has forgotten that she is valuable. We are the same way every time we go back to the sin that enslaves us. Two things happen, we forget who we are to God, or we haven’t fully come to understand who we really are in God’s sight. I think it’s both. We forget we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matt 5: 13-14) and apart of God’s family (John 1:12). That I am chosen and appointed by Christ to bear His Fruit (John 15: 16), I am a son of God (Rom 8:14-15). I am a temple of God, His Spirit, I am joined to the Lord and am one spirit with Him, I am a member of Christ’s body (1 Cor 3:16, 6: 19, 6:17, 1 Cor. 12: 27). I am a new creation and have been reconciled to God (2 Cor 5:17 – 19) and the list just goes on and on. We are God’s children and God accepts us just the way we are, with all of our baggage. God chose His children before the foundation of the world, and he chose us knowing how we would sin, and what are struggles would be. Are struggles and sin are nothing new to God yet He chose us. We are valuable to God because we are His children, and He loves His children. I forget this way too often, I listen to the lies of the enemy instead of the truth my Father speaks; the truth that He speaks in love. In the scene with Lucy and Aslan, Aslan never condemned Lucy for what she did, but in love told her that she is valuable. Oh God, I pray that every day I will know that I am valuable to you, please let me never forget that. Amen

“Let Your Sins be Strong”

quote-be-a-sinner-and-let-your-sins-be-strong-but-let-your-trust-in-christ-be-stronger-and-martin-luther-82-39-59

 

The other day I came across a letter Martin Luther wrote to Melanchthon (However you say his name) in 1521. At the end of the letter Luther says, ” If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides. We, however, says Peter (2. Peter 3:13) are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth where justice will reign. It suffices that through God’s glory we have recognized the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day. Do you think such an exalted Lamb paid merely a small price with a meager sacrifice for our sins? Pray hard for you are quite a sinner. ” This is a great reminder of God’s grace. Every day we need to be preaching the gospel to ourselves. When is the last time you preached the Gospel to yourself?

My Heart Today

IMG_0841

Most of you know my story and how God has redeemed me. Some of you know of my recent struggles with career/ministry/purpose within the last month and a half and even longer than that to be completely honest. This is something I have struggled with for years. Within the last month, God has absolutely broken me again to show me that my focus has been so far off. My purpose in life is to worship Him and Him alone. (Thank you, A.W Tozer, for kicking my tail in with your book The Purpose of Man) With being reminded last week of a dear brother in Argentina that I live in a culture who puts a high value on what success looks like and I have to confess I have allowed our culture to determine what my success looks like. God’s idea of success and what our culture view’s success as is night and day. This past Sunday a friend of mine in his message reminded me again that following Jesus is committing our self’s to go down a narrow path that is wild and crazy were we have to trust that the Lord is going to meet all of our needs. As I have been frantically staring at all the crossroads trying to figure out what in the world I am supposed to do in life God gently turned my head and showed me my purpose. What I looked at was Refuge. To be honest getting Refuge off the ground is hard and I have been measuring the success of Refuge by our culture’s standards. By our culture’s standards and by church culture standards Refuge is a failing ministry. Last night I thought about the ones who God calls to go overseas and works year after year after year with an un-reached people group or as a church planter who is struggling to raise enough support to even stay on the mission field who either see’s no fruit or very little fruit at all. By our culture’s standards and by many church culture standards they’ve had a failing ministry, but not in God’s eyes. In God’s they were successful because they followed their calling and did what the Lord has asked. It is up to God to save and to change lives, not the man on the ground, he or she has to be faithful to the calling. With Refuge by God’s standards, it’s a thriving ministry because it has helped others and is currently helping others. I have to confess I have allowed success of my broken United States culture to effect me in what God has called me to do. What God has called me to do is not easy. I am dealing with a very difficult issue in that I want to bridge the gap between the Church and purity. Because of this I have often doubted my calling or have given up because I am not seeing the success they way I thought I should be seeing it.

The ministry is at a place in order for us to continue to grow we need awareness and support to buy resources.

If you haven’t like our Refuge page please do so: https://www.facebook.com/Refuge.FreeingMen/

Please invite your friends to do so.

If you would like to give financial, All gifts go directly to pay for resources we give to those who go through the Refuge discipleship material, for those who want to be trained in the Refuge Leadership material, and for our resources that we give to parents. We also tithe every gift we receive. To give online you can click on the below link:

https://blythewoodpresbyterianchurch.cloverdonations.com/bpc-donations/

If you would like to send a gift by check please make the check out to BPC (Blythewood Presbyterian Church) and in the notes section write “Refuge.”

Checks can be sent to:

BPC
PO Box 789
Blythewood, SC 29016

Refuge is an independent ministry apart from BPC. BPC provides the financial accountability for Refuge.

Check out our website:

http://refugenortheast.weebly.com/

Mama Was Angry!

angry-duck

This past weekend I was doing some fishing and as I was walking down the bank I notice two ducks swimming in the water about 30 yards from me. Then I saw the ducklings right at the bank and then they saw me they took off after mom and dad. Even though I was about 15 yards from these little guys mama thought I was too close and she was in the air in a matter of seconds flying right towards me very upset. She kept her distance by stopping right at the edge of the water carrying on. She was flapping her wings and splashing in the water. I continued down the bank and she followed me still carrying on. She followed me for almost 150 yards quacking, splashing and showing no signs of backing down. Even at 150 yards away from her babies I was still a threat. This got me thinking about how aggressive wild animals are when it comes to their young. They will go to any length to protecting their young. Why, because they understand that ever threat is life or death to their young. No, matter how small of a threat it is. This mama duck was not taking any chances with me as she followed me down the bank of the water.

Parents, it’s not easy talking with our children about hard issues like purity, and sex. It’s hard for me to talk to my son and I have the resource and am helping parents talk with their own children about these hard issues. But parents, let’s not be stupid either. What breaks my heart more than anything is when I see a young child that has their own phone, iPad, device, that has full access to the internet with no type of protection set up. It kills me! It’s like handing your child a grenade. They are going to eventually pull out the pin and it’s going to go boom! Parents we have to see the threats and protect our children from the threats or they are going to die. They are going to get a hold of something that is going to mess them up. Porn will destroy a little mind. Check out my blog on Porn will rape the mind: https://refugenortheast.wordpress.com/2016/06/06/porn-rapes-the-mind-2/

Or they are going to meet someone online and it’s not going to turn out good. Parent’s think twice about giving your child a device that has full access to the internet. Become the angry mama and protect your children. Unfortunately, my parents did not protect me and I was introduced to the world I didn’t know existed and I fought purity issues for over 20 yeas and my brain is fried. I will share more of this in my next blog. Protect your children, don’t hand them a grenade.

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 125 other followers