- at least I wasn't downloading movies...
- at least I wasn't looking at anything hardcore...
- at least I was still disgusted by the really raunchy stuff...
- You can get out of sexual addiction.
- It isn't an easy or short process.
- You need other people.
Everything including the kitchen sink... but with special attention paid to board games, Jesus Christ, my family, being a "professional" (and I use that word loosely) Christian, and the random firing of the 10% of the synapses I'm currently using.
So, to summarize a bit:
This article originally appeared in the 4/20/06 issue of the Grapevine, the newsletter of NewLife Community Church.
Set the Wayback Machine for the late 1980's. I lived in Ft. Worth, TX, going to seminary & basically being a very lonely guy. (This is the time period where I started collecting comic books - amazing how much disposable income you have when you're not dating.) Most Fridays, I got out of class around noon and hopped into my little blue Honda Accord and hightailed it across the metroplex to go spend with the weekend with my best friend from college. Tim & I spent most weekends of my first year in seminary like this:
We'd pretty much spend Friday night & Saturday playing a variety of games... then I'd head back to Ft. Worth late Saturday night so I could get up & go teach 5th/6th grade boys Sunday School at the little church I attended. We played a LOT of Gamemaster games (Axis & Allies, Fortress America, Shogun) as well as some oddball wargames (GDW's Operation Market Garden, Ambush: Shell Shock, A House Divided, etc.) and the whole raft of Games Workshop bookshelf box games that were coming out - Block Mania, Blood Bowl, Chaos Marauders, Dungeonquest, Kings & Things, Warlock of Firetop Mountain... and, FINALLY, the subject of this post, Fury of Dracula.It wasn't a perfect game - there were holes in the system that you kind had to spackle in yourself with some house rulings & the endgame could drag on forever. OTOH, it was a blast to play and just dripped with theme. I don't know how many times we played - 4 or 5. Not as many as we would have liked, but we managed to waste at least a couple of nights on Rogue Trooper. Then life intervened - I moved to SE Texas to be a youth minister, then a year later back to Arlington to actually be Tim's roomie (and finish seminary). Oddly enough, living together actually meant less "wargamer-y" gaming, as we both had lives outside of geekdom by then. I started dating Shari Jo the same weekend he took Kim to Baylor Homecoming - and Fury of Dracula just sat on the shelf in our "game room" (the walk-in laundry room with no washing machine or dryer) while we went on with our lives. In 1990, we both got married & went our separate ways - and we were each other's best man. I was the first to leave TX (heading to Arkansas), but since Tim had bought the game, Fury went with him... to Dallas, then to Tyler, TX, then to Providence, RI... and finally, sometime last year, to a rural area of Maine. As far as I know, Tim still has it. So it was with a mixture of trepidation and excitment that I approached the new Fantasy Flight version of the game last Monday with my regular gaming group. John (CapAp on the Geek) is our "buy it/try it/trade it" guy - so he provided the game. After about 20 minutes of rules & set-up (much of it feeling familar), we started playing. Wow. 3 hours later, as the hunters cornered Dracula in Leipzig at midnight, we managed to pull out a win with Drac only one point away from taking over Europe. We were all ecstatic... it was an incredible gaming experience. The changes Fantasy Flight made were all positives - the game works like a charm and doesn't degenerate at the end like the old version. The color text on the cards is primo... as is the artwork. The playing time may seem a bit much, but I think we could do it in two hours now that we've got a game under our belt. I do enjoy Eurogames... but it's nice to play something that's theme-o-licious every once in a while. (And Monday was the night for it - we also played Sindbad. BTW, I never was good enough at juggling to do clubs on my own, let alone with Tim. He, OTOH, learned enough to juggle torches. My job was to stand there with buckets of water, ready to douse him if he set himself on fire.
My question is this, how do truly forgive yourself for having had sex outside the context of marriage? I know that God has forgiven me but I can't forgive myself and sometimes I feel like my fiance doesn't truly understand that part of my life, prior to meeting him.
Wow. What important questions... I'm honored that you'd ask them of me. And I think they're valuable enough that I want to work them out "in public", so to speak.
First, you're right. Erwin McManus is an incredibly solid dude - if you (or anyone else) is ever visiting L.A., you need to check out Mosaic - an amazing church community.
Second, you're asking a question that brought up two responses in my heart/head:
So, I think both are important threads in this conversation - theological truth held firmly intertwined with self-awareness & compassion. One without the other leads us off the rail. (Truth without grace becomes arrogant & harsh; grace without truth becomes wishy-washy & meaningless.)
Here's what has happened in my life as I've struggled with feeling/experiencing the reality of God's forgiveness:
About your fiance... he probably doesn't understand. But that's not necessarily a negative. If you've been honest with him about your past (I'm not telling you to give him highly detailed pictures of behavior - simply be straightforward about what you did & didn't do), then his willingness to give you grace for that should be an echo of what God has already done for you.
I do understand that I may have misunderstood (he he he... lousy sentence construction) the situation with your fiance - maybe I need more info to give advice that is more on-target.
Llorna - I hope this is helpful... to you and to other folks reading this blog.
And to you game-happy folks who appreciated the token PR reference, I promise I'm working on a game-related post. Really!
Take some time to read them... or to recommend them to someone else.
It's not going to be easy... and chances are we're going to make some mistakes along the way.
But it will sure beat living in fear.This article originally appeared in the 3/9/06 issue of the Grapevine, the newsletter of NewLife Community Church.