Where is Your Focus?

Hardest part about high school has to be the girls(sorry). Not all are bad, but for the most part anywhere you look you see skin tight this, or that. It seems impossible for a guy to keep his focus on Christ when all these distractions roam around, ready to pounce and destroy your sense of victory over sin. Here are some simple tips that anyone, male or female should read. When I talk about porn and lust, most guys struggle but there are a few women out there that also struggle.

Here we go:

1. “Bounce”, if you see an image that isn’t pleasing to God, first you’ll recognize it, then what you must do is bounce to something else. So if I’m walking down the hall and I see an image that isn’t pleasing here’s what I “try” and do. I recognize it, and then I admire the nice locker artwork or maybe look up at the security cameras and see how many I can count before I get to class(don’t run into something). It all about where your focus it, look at faces or eyes.

2. Be prepared. Always be ready to face temptation, ALWAYS. I like to repeat myslef it gets the point across. Don’t expect to go into an ice cream shop and not eat ice cream. Don’t go to a place where you will be tempted, don’t stay up late because you know you’ll struggle if you do. I have struggled with this, but have overcome it. On most devices you can set a time limit. Set a time limit, nothing crazy like 9pm, but about a half hour after you normally go to sleep. That way if you by chance are working on a project you have time to finish. Don’t give up.

3. Keep your focus. Focus is the key to all of this. If you let your mind wander its kind of like a mountain effect. You send one rock down and it hits 2 and 3. Then bang you are back where you started. Focus on one thing, The Cross. I wear a bracelet with 14 buttons symbolizing the 14 guys that changed my life. When I am struggling I will count the buttons and focus on Christ. I remember each of their names. And this goes into #4.

4. You Absolutely Cannot Do it On Your Own! If you are like me and have been struggling for years you must know that doing it alone doesn’t work. You have to find someone, anyone to help you out. For me it was a friend of mine. He and I meet up every so often just to discus where we have been struggling. If you want to beat this sin you need number 4! I cannot stress how important this is. You need someone that understands your struggles, same gender. roughly the same age. Having someone in your school or church helps so much. Knowing that they are of have walked the same hallways as you, knowing that they struggle the same.

That’s it but you MUST keep your focus on the cross and what Jesus has done for you. This will help you so much!

-Cody Sweeny

Job 31:1-4

1“I made a covenant with my eyes

not to look lustfully at a young woman.

2For what is our lot from God above,

our heritage from the Almighty on high?

3Is it not ruin for the wicked,

disaster for those who do wrong?

4Does he not see my ways

and count my every step?

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Your Job Isn’t Done Yet, and Neither is Mine

At the end of Matthew Jesus give one of the greatest commandments of all. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

This right here must be the hardest part about Christianity, is actually sharing your faith. I have had such a hard time with this in my own spiritual walk with Christ. The past 3 years have brought me away from Christ, but now it’s time to get going again.

Whenever I have came close the sharing the gospel, my heart races and my palms are sweaty. My mind is racing with every beat of my heart. “What ifs” are flowing threw my mind. I am freaking out as I walk up to the person. Then I slowly get distracted and fall away. I go do something else, or I avoid the person. Why do I do this you might ask? I am a great people person, I can talk to people about a piece of candy or about the weather. Why can’t I talk to them about the one thing that matters? The answer is: I’m scared.

What can this world honestly do to me compared to the glories and riches of heaven? I can be mocked and shunned, but who cares? At any moment I could be standing talking to Jesus, him and I. This is the reward we get as Christians for excepting him into our life and proclaiming that He is Lord. The persecution that we might face isn’t compared to that which Jesus took on the cross. Why must we be afraid when all we have to lose is our pathetic lives? (which its doubtful that we would lose that) We must be ready to stand firm in our faith and be bold, not just from behind a computer screen, but person to person. Some of the best ways that I have noticed in my attempts to share the gospel is to invite them to church or youth group. This Sunday at Lakeside Fellowhip we are talking about Jesus: The Friend of Sinners. Any opportunity to invite someone to church is great but this Sunday if you go to Lakeside I would encourage you to be bold. I know I will be. The idea is to be annoying. Invite the person once, then twice, then three times until finally they are so annoyed about you asking they take you up on it. Seriously! This works, but don’t do it all in one day(that’s calling for it). But be bold. Be ready to invite them, but your job isn’t over yet. Do a follow up, yes seriously, do a follow up and find out what they thought about their experience. Ask them if they have any questions, if they have any questions then be prepared to respond. Be ready! As hard as this might sound, it doesn’t compare to the glories of heaven. My goal is to ask at least 1 person, and invite them to church. Remember! Your job isn’t over just yet.

-Cody Sweeny

Romans 8:18

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

Questions Raised

I figure I should clarify after my last post. I had someone close ask me if I am scared about my posts affecting my relationships with other girls. Particularly a future girlfriend. I thought I should clarify, that I am not afraid of what someone or a girl thinks about me. I am who I am and I have struggled with what I have struggled. I want a girlfriend to see me for who I am, not for my struggles. Make sense? I don’t want to seem as a weird porn loving freak, but as another human being that has fallen and for the most part overcome. Here is some random quote I probably heard from doctor who but has great use here. “We can’t look to the past for answers only to the future”. My rant is now over, not that it was really a rant. Man am I random tonight?

-Cody Sweeny

Several Lies about Porn and Lust

Here we go:

1. You are completely alone, no one else struggles with this, only you.

Lie! YOU ARE NOT ALONE. In my church if I asked for an anonymous total I would say 99% of all guys struggle with it in some form or another.

2. It’s okay every one does it. (by it I refer to porn and also masturbation, as ugly as that word may sound I will not simply jump around it).

Society may do it, but it is NOT OKAY! I have mentioned this before but every time you watch porn it slowly changes the way you think. It takes the intimacy out of sex. When you see a sister in Christ or even a normal person all you see is what’s in those pictures or movies. Guys this might sound gross, but ever heard of erectile dysfunction? According to statistics erectile dysfunction come straight from porn. You see women edited and photoshopped, they look better than they might in real life and so on. This is a horrible lie that Satan uses, every guy can remember the first picture he saw, those images never leave you.

3. It gets better or easier if you’re married.

From the guys I have talked to it does not get any easier when you are married. Actually almost the opposite. I won’t get into details but just take my word I assume it gets harder. That is why we must make war.

4. It doesn’t hurt anyone.

No, you are right, it doesn’t hurt anyone EXCEPT yourself. It affects and rewires your brain causing you to think differently. Read number 2.

5. You’ll be humiliated if you come clean.

NOOO, that couldn’t be more wrong. When I went up and spoke about it at my church I got a few “looks” but other than those 1 or 2 I heard praise, respect, and thanks. It is a great weight off your chest. You don’t have to speak at your church or go crazy, just tell a youth pastor or you real pastor. Someone, Anyone!

So this is it for the main lies, don’t fall for these. Remember that you aren’t alone, I’m here and so are so many others!!!

” If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything” Stand for something!

-Cody Sweeny

Riot by Tedashii

[Intro: John Piper]
I hear so many Christians, murmuring about their imperfections,
And their failures, and their addiction, and their shortcomings.
And I see so little war! Murmur, murmur, murmur.
Why am I this way? Make war!

[Verse 1: Tedashii]
Bang with me, ba-bang bang, ba-bang with me
No more playing games mane
Cause this thang can get risky
So mane if you into Christ,
Take up! your cross quickly
Stand fearless on the front-line
Time to come with it, do the right thing
Wake up! And let’s get it
I ain’t even in the ring
They throwing bows like Riddick
Persistently attacking me
They’re even in the back of me
It’s either fight or loose my life
And I can’t take this passively
So what you think I’m ’bout to do
I’m bout to do what I can do
Trust the one who got me through
And fight like it was after school
Never giving up, steady, standing on the battle field
Feet firm to the ground like I stepped on Chapel Hill
Flesh feeling frisky, sin persuades and tempts me
Satan cheers me on, guilt followed by conviction
It’s the same ol’ trap and we fall like we defenseless
Work your senses, grow in wisdom
Stand firm and be relentless

[Hook:]
I make war!
Cause sin never sleeps
It’s got me in a trance
You can see it in my dreams
I make war!
Man I beat my flesh
To the death, every breath
Like I beat my chest
I make war
Sun up
I make war
Sun down
I make war
Time in
I make war
Time out
I make war
Against lust
Against pride
Against me
Until I die

[Verse 2: Flame]
Do you even have a clue
What happened to you when He died
When that tomb got rolled when He rose in the sky
I think we emphasis sin so much
That it makes us paralyzed
And glorify struggle so much
That it makes us terrified
And de-emphasize the fact
That we have been sterilized from our own lives and thus
We gotta snap out of it
We ain’t in no straight-jacket, we free
When Jesus died in our lives something strange happened
He gave us power
Yeah I know that we sinners
But since He rose He’s renewing the image of God in us
Now, we gotta start making war
Now we can start saying no
To them fleshy impulses that Jesus Christ is paying for
Now we can start taking the lead
Just like the Dalai Lama and start going all out like a suicide bomber
Whatever the sin is we gotta go go go harder
By His grace no time to waste and just just just like there’s no tomorrow

[Hook:]
I make war!
Cause sin never sleeps
It’s got me in a trance
You can see it in my dreams
I make war!
Man I beat my flesh
To the death, every breath
Like I beat my chest
I make war
Sun up
I make war
Sun down
I make war
Time in
I make war
Time out
I make war
Against lust
Against pride
Against me
Until I die

[Verse 3: Tedashii]
I’m a Christ representer, fin’ to stand and deliver
Cause a lot of my believers struggle with their agenda
So I dropped this on an adat
Just so you could come play back
A hit to be encouraged that rocks you with truth from, way back
So listen up to it asap, like you do a Lecrae track
I’m spittin’ written visions to put on heads like a wave cap
Sinning, naw we don’t play that
Cause that’s the way that a slave acts
I’m filled with the spirit so tell them dog this is payback
As you begin to copy the carbon copies of Christ
And conform to his written image you should be shinning a light
If you not, why is that?
Is it fear that’s been grippin’ you
Cause you scared they’ll be dissin’ you
Flipping birds while that spit at you
If you not, why is that?
It don’t matter so bump it
Perfect love cast out fear and He ain’t save us for nothing
This is a privilege (privilege)
Your life to give to Him (give to Him)
So stand firm for Him dawg and let’s get it in

[Hook:]
I make war!
Cause sin never sleeps
It’s got me in a trance
You can see it in my dreams
I make war!
Man I beat my flesh
To the death, every breath
Like I beat my chest
I make war
Sun up
I make war
Sun down
I make war
Time in
I make war
Time out
I make war
Against lust
Against pride
Against me
Until I die

If you haven’t read the lyrics, go back up and read them again. About a year or 2 ago my youth leader Josh Byers had a message. I can’t remember what it was exactly about(sorry Josh). All I can remember is the song he played at the end of the message.

“Against lust
Against pride
Against me
Until I die”

When I went up and spoke in front of 400 kids at Lake Ann, I heard this song in my mind. My battle was over, but the war was beginning. “I hear so many Christians, murmuring about their imperfections,
And their failures, and their addiction, and their shortcomings.
And I see so little war! Murmur, murmur, murmur.
Why am I this way? Make war!”
I love John Pipers quote here. As Christians, as men, we must MAKE WAR!

“Against Lust
Against Pride
Against Me
Until I die”

If you call yourself a follower of Christ and you are hiding your sin. Man up(another great song). Man up and be a Man after Gods own heart, and tell someone, anyone. You don’t have to go all out, society won’t help you. Only you can help yourself by telling someone. I told one person and roughly 600 people have heard me story so far. God willing many more. Please man up and tell someone! Don’t be afraid more people struggle with this then you realize.

-Cody Sweeny