Calling In On Abortion

Can you kill your child? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Yesterday I am at work going on my lunch break and driving to a local pizzeria. I turn on the radio and hear the local talk radio show talking about the abortion debate. On my way there, I hear a lady call in saying that she is a Trump conservative and agrees with many conservative policies, but is different on abortion. Now to be sure, whether you hate or love Trump is irrelevant to this point. This is just a woman giving credibility to what she’s saying.

On abortion, she thinks it is a terrible and horrible thing. She would never abort her own child. So far, so good. However, who is she to judge the other women out there? She doesn’t know their stories. She doesn’t know what’s going on in the lives of these other women or their health or financial situation. How can she ban that from them?

I realize she’s trying to pull emotional heartstrings and I’m sure with a lot of people, it works. It sounds so kind and loving and tolerant. You’re just looking out for other women. You’re not celebrating abortion or anything. You agree that it’s horrible, but what about those other women?

But I have to get lunch so I go in and enjoy my meal and get back and turn on the radio again and hear a lady calling in saying pretty much the same thing. She also adds that she doesn’t want the judgment on this left to men. At this, I figure while I’m heading back, I might as well call in. So I call in and get on and say I want to say something in response to those women calling with that kind of story.

“I think killing an infant is terrible and horrible. I would never ever kill my own infant. However, who am I to tell another woman what she can’t do in this situation? Who am I to pass that judgment? I don’t know their story or situation and what she does in her own privacy is her judgment and not mine.”

The host was a bit taken aback and asked me to say that again. When I did, then he realized what I was doing. I might listen back today to see if anything was said after I called in as I had to clock in. Before I left though, I also added that if you don’t want topics like this decided by men, that’s fine, but keep in mind Roe V. Wade was decided by a court of nine men.

These women calling in were wanting to be compassionate, but they weren’t. Compassion extends to the least of these, which especially means children. So-called compassion that ends in the killing of innocent children is not compassion. The best way to really help these women is by supporting them in their pregnancy and then in the raising of the child. Fortunately, there are several crisis pregnancy centers that do that.

In this debate, it’s easy to have your heartstrings pulled sometimes, but remember what is at stake, a human life.

It’s not compassionate to kill it.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

The Rape of Dinah

How does Scripture see rape? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Jacob’s only daughter, Dinah, is out one day visiting the women of the land where Jacob is staying. Shechem, the son of Hamor, sees her and likes what he sees and rapes her. At the same time, the text says he loved her and spoke tenderly to her and asked his Dad to get her for his wife.

Love can be expressed in funny ways. (Although I’d say it wasn’t really love but lust there.)

Jacob is approached by Hamor and during the conversation, Jacob’s sons come in and hear what happened and are shocked and furious. The sad part of this is we don’t know what Jacob thought about this. Jacob is really an absentee father in this case. A Middle Eastern audience would likely be very surprised by Jacob’s silence. Isn’t a father to protect his daughter and assure her virginity?

Jacob’s sons take the lead here and say that they will only agree to what is proposed if the men of the community are all willing to be circumcised. The text says they are speaking deceitfully, though the reader doesn’t know their plan at this point. Shechem agrees to this and all the men in the town are circumcised. While they are still in pain, Jacob’s sons come in and kill everyone and rescue Dinah.

Despite what some internet skeptics and atheist websites say, the Bible never approves of rape. It records it and tells Israel that if they are unfaithful to God, He will cease to protect them and that means the nations around them who have no problem with their men raping the women, will come in and have their way. This is not God ordaining it or approving it. He’s just not stopping every instance of evil. He has no obligation to.

The rape of Dinah is presented as an evil and no reason needs to be given for it. The text assumes at the start that you know that Dinah was treated in a way that is wrong and shameful both. Her brothers saw it immediately.

Yet another tragedy in all of this is that after the slaughter, this is when we see Jacob speak and he’s concerned about his reputation in the eyes of those around him. Whether we agree with the method of her brothers or not, they had the right idea. Should their sister have been treated like a prostitute? Simeon and Levi, the two brothers involved, are more concerned about their sister’s honor than Jacob is.

Thus, we have an account of one woman who went out to meet the other women and her honor was turned to shame. She met a man who mistreated her. This man took advantage of her entirely.

Go forward around a couple of thousand years and in this same area, the reverse will happen. One woman, who has been shamed by five different men will go out and not to meet other women. She will go out alone. She will meet a man who will honor her. This woman will then go out to other people and say “Have we met the Messiah?”

The shame of Dinah is reversed at the coming of Jesus, and Jesus can today help those who have gone through the horror of rape. Such who go through are the victims and have no need to be ashamed. Shame should belong to the perpetrator of the crime. Any person (Because men can be raped too) who has been abused can find solace in Christ and a place to have their honor restored.

If you have gone through this or know someone who has, please get some help for yourself. Please also consider the claims of Christ. You don’t have to live in defeat. You can still enjoy the freedom He offers.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Divorce and the Holidays

What are holidays like for those grieving? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I’m emphasizing divorce here because I can speak personally of that. I cannot do that for other situations. However, for anyone going through grief and loss, the holidays can be hard. I think of my friend Evan Minton, who lost his mother this year and how Thanksgiving could be very awkward this year. There are many widows and widowers out there who will be having a hard time. I think of my friend Christina in Charlotte whose young husband died this year.

Now for me, I have never really cared for Thanksgiving. I really like for the most part being on the spectrum, but Thanksgiving is awkward. The holiday is now pretty much all about the food, that I don’t care for aside from pumpkin pie, and then socializing. The first Thanksgiving I remember truly enjoying, I had the flu and had to stay home and Ocarina of Time had just come out and I spent the evening trying to get through the Forest Temple for the first time.

That used to be my second best also.

The best would have been the first Thanksgiving I spent with my ex-wife and her family. I can’t really say that anymore. That memory now only brings pain.

I noticed at my own job that I was becoming more irritable these past few days. I suspect it has to do with all these people coming in talking about the holiday and saying “Happy Thanksgiving.” It doesn’t help that my love life has suffered and just recently I thought I might have had something, but no, that didn’t work out. For me, Thanksgiving is a kind of loneliness.

Sure. I have my parents here, but I’m 41 years old and I thrive on being independent. Being in Texas for ETS was an awesome time for me because I was out there and on my own and making my own decisions. No. My parents don’t control me, but I am dependent on being in their house. They’re great people, but I do long to be out there myself.

I am busy preparing for the furtherance of my education and I don’t know how I will manage to pay for it all. I still want to earn enough to live on my own. I want to have a woman in my life again. I want to be able to go to a job that I enjoy and that I think I make a difference at.

In that situation for me, Thanksgiving is hard because I’m thinking about all the things I don’t have and I am tempted to cry, “How long, O Lord? How long?” I know I have many things to be thankful for, such as I am a child of the king, I live in the greatest country on Earth, and I do have my family and many great friends.

Sometimes, it’s just hard still.

You could call me ungrateful, and I suppose that could be true to some extent, but it’s something we all struggle with for the most part. We all can easily overlook our blessings, but for the holidays, those going through a real loss can still struggle with that. The things I write of I pray for every night.

This holiday season, through Thanksgiving and Christmas, try to remember those people around you who are grieving. If you know someone who has lost a loved one, do a kind gesture for them. Do something that says you’re thinking of them. Get a gift for a friend or invite them over to do something.

Remember also those less fortunate you don’t even know. Work with a charity this year to provide for someone in need. Provide a Christmas gift for a child who will have nothing this year without one. If you know someone who does care for food, invite them over to Thanksgiving dinner or provide a meal for their family.

This year can be hard for many people struggling and depression and suicide rates can easily go up. Please be remembering those people. For me, this is my first holiday season officially as a divorced person and don’t think it doesn’t come to mind that I proposed on Christmas Eve. It’s easy to tell someone to focus on what they have, but it can be hard as we all know. It’s far better to walk alongside those who are suffering.

Please be a gift to them this holiday season. Maybe they can be thankful in the end you’re in their lives.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Adam’s punishment

What does Adam get? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Adam really should have been the man. Instead, he was the wimp. He stood by and let some serpent sweet talk his wife into doing something really foolish and now all of us are paying for it. Eve’s punishment is said in a few sentences. Adam’s is much longer.

I hold that before the fall, man’s joy was his work and his work was his joy. The garden was easy to tend to and Adam did not have to work. Now, he would. Men do like to be providers for their families, but they would love it if they had a way they could avoid that.

If I could stay home and play video games all day, I would enjoy that. If many guys could watch football all day, they would enjoy that. If they could stay home and watch Netflix all day, they would enjoy that. By the way, it’s worth noting that an idol is always what someone else is fixated on. What you are interested in is hardly ever an idol.

Not so for man now. Now man will really have to work hard to get what he wants. The very ground will be his own enemy as he tries to get food as now, it will produce growth that is contrary to his wishes. Man had been given a rather simple task to tend a garden and since it was watered by a mist from the ground, it looks like God was doing a lot of the work.

Man could not keep that garden so God will expel him and make him realize what he lost. He will have to tend a garden that will not be as friendly towards him as the original one was. Man’s work will be a labor, it will be a chore, and if you have ever said that you hate your job, it is because Adam fell that you have to do work that you hate.

A true paradise state though is coming where man will once again enjoy his work. Believe it or not, there will be work to do when we get to eternity, but we will enjoy it. God doesn’t save us just so we can sit on clouds all day playing harps. Most of us would absolutely be convinced we had made it to the other place if that was our future.

After this, we also see shame in the garden. Clothes are made for man and woman at that point. It’s often pointed out that this means death as well. The text refers to skins being used and that means that some animals had to die in order for Adam and Eve to have clothing.

Man is also prevented from eating of the tree of life. Now I personally don’t think man was created immortal. After all, if that was the case, there would be no point to the tree of life, but I think the potential was there since I hypothesize the tree could have kept man alive forever. Now, that is gone. Man has no access to that tree anymore.

As we continue our study of marriage, we will see that the fall indeed has consequences. Relationships have suffered. They will keep suffering until the return of the Lord. Our study will see just how.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

The Peace of Jesus

What does it mean to have the peace of Christ? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I’m really wrestling with this one right now, but while at the movies with a friend yesterday, to which we saw the Ten Rings movie which I thought was excellent, I was thinking about this. I have said I am on a journey as a fellow traveler walking through the pain of divorce and even if I am just one step ahead of a traveler on the journey, that’s one step I can help him through. It’s worth it.

Sometimes, I can have a hard time sleeping at night. I am very prone to anxiety. I often wonder if my marriage had anything to do with it. Imagine what goes through a person when they have to speed down the highway near their home because they think their wife could be killing themselves at any minute. Welcome to what was my world.

As an Aspie also, I have a constant fear as well of doing the wrong thing even in minor areas. Taking a risk can be very difficult for me. Yesterday, I also went to a psychiatrist and got put on the minimum dosage of an anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medication. I don’t want to say which because inevitably, someone will give me a horror story.

Sometimes when I get this anxious, I think of the story of Jesus on the boat calming the storms. Yes. We know. Jesus calms the storms in our lives. Isn’t that wonderful? Well, yes, but that’s not the point I think about when I think of this story.

I think that Jesus is asleep in the story.

That’s the part that really astounds me the most. It’s easy to understand how a man who is also fully God can stop a storm. Not a problem there. What blows my mind is that this guy could with a dozen men in a ship that is rocking and reeling from a storm and just sleeping. When He is woken up by His disciples, there is really no sense of urgency in His life. He seems puzzled that His disciples were ever panic-stricken to begin with.

In some ways, as I go through this, it’s making me look at Jesus through fresh eyes. You know how we can sometimes worry what other people think about us and wonder? You never see Jesus doing that. Jesus is the one person who never changes who He is to try to please the people around Him. Jesus is never in an identity crisis that we know of. Jesus knows who He is and He lives it out.

This means that what people thought of Jesus didn’t even bother Him that way. His identity was never based on it. Even when He is crucified, one can think that even if you don’t believe in the Gospels, it’s evident that the Jesus in the Gospels is in control the whole time.

Look at what happens when the crowds come to arrest Him. In John, Jesus speaks forcibly, the soldiers fall back, and He tells the people to take Him and let the others go. Jesus is being arrested and yet He is giving the orders and being the real threat. Now some could say this account is made up, but honestly, if someone made up this person, I want to know who this person is who made Him up. I find it hard to imagine someone like this. You can call that an argument from incredulity if you want, but it is something striking about Jesus.

This Jesus is never panicked about what’s going on in the world. He openly goes through an area where Caesar has power and tells the people that the Kingdom of God has come. Herod wants to kill Him? Well, go tell that old fox….

This is a guy who is a peasant talking about the king who can put Him to death and He refers to that king as an old fox.

There’s something amazing about that.

This Jesus doesn’t mince words. Want to know what He thinks of the Pharisees? He just comes right out and says it. It’s never “I didn’t want to tell you Pharisees this, but….” My favorite example of this is Luke 11. In it, Jesus is going after the Pharisees and the teachers of the law say “Excuse me, but do you realize you are insulting us when you say this?”

There is no indication Jesus turns apologetic. Quite the opposite. He turns and gives the teachers of the law the exact same treatment. You can picture those guys walking away at the end of this and one of them saying to the one who spoke up, “Nice going. You got Him on our case also.”

It really shows that Jesus is the most amazing figure more and more who ever lived.

And so what about His peace? We keep thinking often about the peace that Jesus can give us. I think before we think about that, we need to think about why Jesus had peace to begin with. The answer i come up with is He had total confidence that whatever happened, God was in charge. We know He knew some things about His destiny, but that doesn’t mean He had to know everything that was going to happen to Him as He walked this Earth. When Jesus asks the father of a boy with a demon in Mark 9 how long this has been going on, I don’t see any theological depth to the question. I think Jesus is just seeking information. Jesus had to learn and grow like the rest of us.

Yet no matter what happens, He is in charge. Even when He prays passionately in the garden out of sorrow, He is still in charge. He scolds His disciples and is not caught off-guard by the arrest. There is no begging for mercy from Him on the cross. At the same time, it’s not really pride we see in Him. It’s more just confidence. It’s His confidence in God.

Now here’s where it gets scary.

If I am to walk as Jesus walked, I am to have that much confidence in God too. Whatever happens, He is in charge of the story. If I was one of the Hebrew boys in Daniel, could I say “Our God is able to save us from the furnace you have, BUT EVEN IF HE DOESN’T, we will not bow to your idol.” Think about that. They had no certainty. They had no guarantee. They could have died that day and they didn’t even have a promise of resurrection! I would like to say I’d have that courage as well, but I can’t guarantee that I would.

For me, this is all about getting a better picture of who Jesus is. We can talk about Him with His love for us, but usually when we think about Jesus, it’s about what He does for us. We never think about what He did for Himself or how He managed His own life, but we should. We talk about how Jesus helps us in sadness, but never how He dealt with His own. We also talk about how Jesus gives us peace, but perhaps we should do the same with that. We should ask how Jesus had peace first and go beyond the pat “He’s God” answer. It’s true, but if we follow that consistently, we are left with no reason to emulate His life since we know we can’t do it for that reason. No. In His humanity, we are to fully emulate Him.

Am I good at this yet? No. Not really. I still stress out and have to call my friends. I still worry about pleasing other people at times. I still panic about doing the wrong thing. I still have a hard time being confident that God is in charge of the story.

But you know, knowing is half the battle. I should at least give thanks that I know these things so I know what to work on. It is better to know my faults and that I need to work on them than to go in the world believing a myth that I am a pretty good guy doing alright.

I hope you will join me on this journey, fellow travelers. In some ways, it’s actually fun to see Jesus in this new light.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

It’s Okay To Not Be Okay

Are emotions an emergency? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Let’s just say I had a rough weekend. I was working with my company to get my health insurance and when I told them I was going through a divorce and wanted to see a psychiatrist, they agreed to speed it up. I have an appointment today and should get something. I have been told by some that I could use something in this time to help regulate my emotions while actively doing therapy. Thankfully, most Christians no longer have a problem with this.

Anyway, they needed to see how the divorce process was and so I contacted my former mother-in-law who sent me a photo of the document showing that it was a done deal. It wasn’t new information, but it was still painful. It was a way of reality setting in. Yep. I am officially divorced.

Officially abandoned, betrayed, rejected, undesired by her, etc. So many negative statements receive verification at that point.

Add in that shortly after that, I see a Christian couple in my line with a son and they share a long kiss of love before they get to me. I know they’re Christian because they’re talking about the Bible and when I ask them when they get to me, they’re talking about how husbands and wives are to treat each other. Oh, we talk about that, but my mind is still thinking about the kiss. I miss it. I miss those kisses and where they could lead and everything.

I come back from lunch and I’m depressed about it and one of my managers asks me what I’m down about and I talk about the divorce being final and wondering why I’m not more appealing. I mentioned all the things I don’t do which included porn to which she was absolutely stunned. When it came up with the other managers, they were stunned too. No condemnation of me, and all the people talking there were women, but for some reason, I felt like an outsider still. I found myself being tempted thinking about everything and that temptation seemed hard to resist, until sometime yesterday it just died and everything is back to normal.

Fortunately, I also had a good talk with my pastor about this and he is praying for me. Several friends are praying I will get a fulfillment of Proverbs 18:22. I long for that too.

Yet as I thought about the time, I also thought that we have a hard time with emotions in the church. I am reading books on Kindle on managing anxiety and depression. One of the statements I see is that these are not problems in themselves. Some anxiety can be good as it can alert us to danger. I think some anxiety is sinful, but I’m not convinced all of it is. As for depression, some of it can be sinful, but not all of it I think is. I think sometimes we should be depressed about some things.

One of my friends put it well. One different friend had said tomorrow will be better. A month from now will be better. A year from now will be better. I said I agreed, but today just sucked. The friend who put things well (And to be fair, my other one did too) said “What would suck is if it didn’t suck.”

True enough. I think it would be twisted if I threw a party celebrating that she is gone from my life. I happen to think if you promise love, you should do just that, even if the other person wants nothing to do with you. I still want the best for her and hope that nothing bad happens to her. This is not to say I am never experiencing anger towards her or wanting justice, but by and large, I realize the negativity does me no good.

Sometimes in the church, if someone is sad, we act like that has to be taken care of. As I think about it though, I don’t think Scripture tells us to cheer up those who are sad. It tells us instead to mourn with those who mourn. This is not to say to never provide cheer, but sometimes, just mourning is good enough.

Yes. I am sad. I am uncertain about the future. I sometimes wrestle with temptation. I sometimes get anxious about where I am going in my life. What if all of this is just part of the normal Christian life and I just accept that? Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians that the temptation we face is common to man. I remember Father Barnabas at the Orthodox Church talking about being at retreats for teenagers and hearing young men say “Father. I’m struggling with lust.”

Join the club.

Last I checked, that’s nearly every man out there in existence who struggles with that. What? Do I think I am too good to be tempted to have my mind wander when I see a beautiful woman? If anything, there has to be some level of desire or else a relationship will never get off the ground. It’s normally said that looks aren’t everything, but they do tend to open the door.

Am I depressed? Yes. It could be worse if I wasn’t. Am I concerned about my future? Yes. Then let that push me to make it better. Am I not happy with my situation now? Sure. Then let me push to make it better.

Sadly, I do tend to dwell on the emotion and the strangest thing, that never seems to work. Maybe it doesn’t make sense to you, but before I go to bed in the evening, I get out my Nintendo Switch and set a timer and play for ten minutes. For those ten minutes, I do tend to forget about the emotion and I do get to experience some joy. That’s one reason being at work can be hard for me. I have nothing to distract me sadly.

If I treat my emotions as an emergency however, I am only going to make them worse. If you water a plant, it will grow bigger. If I feed an emotion with panic, it will get worse. I’m trying to say now that I’m any number of things. Maybe I’m depressed. Maybe I’m anxious. Maybe I’m angry with God even. That’s okay. As long as I handle those things maturely and properly, that’s fine. As for anger with God, heck, it’s all in the Psalms. It’s not like I can fool Him anyway.

So for now, things aren’t okay. That’s okay. They will get better, but today, they’re allowed to be miserable. Only one thing is the end of the world and that’s the end of the world. For everything else, I have my God and I have my friends to support me.

Thank you, fellow travelers.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Steps of Healing: Bible Study and Prayer

How do these help in divorce? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Some of you might be wondering why I didn’t bring this up first? One reason is most of us already know this. Many of us get tired of hearing just to read your Bible and pray when we have a hard time.

I will also say sometimes I find these to be difficult. I have read the Bible all my life and it’s hard to sit down and look at a text and try to find something you haven’t before. I really question people when they say “I get something new out of the Bible everyday.”

This also relates to prayer. Many of when we’re Christians around other Christians want to present our best spiritual sides. Greg Koukl has talked about these people such as they say something like “I was thinking about you while I was memorizing Jeremiah” or “You came to my heart during my third prayer time today.”

Most people don’t want to present spiritual struggles. They just want to present spiritual successes. Color me skeptical if I meet someone who only has successes to talk about and no failures.

So with Bible study, for me it’s reading a chapter of both testaments in the morning before I get up. I pray beforehand and I pray after. Those can be good times to learn something, but there’s also one other interesting way I read the Scripture.

Before I go to bed, I read just one verse of a book and go through it and just think about that while I go to sleep. Sometimes, I don’t get a lot, but sometimes I do. Right now, I’m going through the book of Revelation and reading it slowly is a great way to approach the text differently.

Now as for prayer, prayer can be difficult for me since it can be hard to know how to talk to ordinary people and so much more so, a divine person. I’m also super-skeptical of many people who talk about listening in prayer, which I never hear being spoken of as a regular practice in the Bible.

For prayer then, I do so in the morning and in the evening and in the evening, I email a mentor every night after that and tell him how my day went as well. I really encourage everyone else to get such a mentor. It really helps keep you accountable and helps to know that someone cares about you enough to hear you talk about every day.

I also regularly do what I call minute prayers. When I meet someone at work who is struggling with something, I offer up a quick prayer. When I am driving, if I hear sirens coming from somewhere, I also offer up a quick prayer. (Rest assured, no closing my eyes then.) If anything, I think minute prayers reflexively can be one of the best items because it really does show your constant dependence on God.

However, I also think in prayer, you have to be real. If I want to complain, I complain. Jeremiah did. Job did. The Psalmists did. It’s okay. It’s not like God doesn’t know in my heart that I’m upset and hurting over something. I might as well tell Him.

For instance, when I get in a state where I really want to have another woman in my life, which is incredibly often, I tell Him so. At earlier times when I was in the even worst pains of agony, I let Him know. God is said to be a counselor, but if you can’t share your deepest troubles with Him, you must not think He’s a real counselor.

Ultimately, I just think you should be real. This also includes with fellow Christians that you trust. Something I have been told about my writings on divorce either here are on Facebook is that people appreciate that I am candid about what is going on. I have no wish to present myself as a spiritual giant to you. I don’t see myself as one anyway.

All of us have problems and struggles in life. If someone acts like they don’t, they’re not fooling me and I suspect they’re not fooling you either. Let’s just be real.

And if talking to someone means you need to get a therapist, go for it. I have one and he’s a great guy and we talk weekly. I’m also working on my health insurance and going to see a psychiatrist at least for the time being. No shame in that either. It’s actually okay to be a Christian and need help.

I hope these basic tips help you. After all, if you are on this walk, you need all the help you can get. Stay strong, fellow travelers.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Steps of Healing: Hobbies

What’s the purpose of fun? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I really hate having to go to work. I hate it because so many times I am just bored there as my mind is not challenged. I thrive on challenge and love to face a real challenge. Sometimes at home, my Dad will come to see me or call me because he’s struggling with a word game.

This is a game where you are given six letters and told to make as many words as you possibly can from those letters. He can be wrestling with something for half an hour trying to find the word. I will come and look at it for about five seconds, tell him what the word is, and go back to what I was doing.

When I am at work, too many times I am not challenged. My mind wanders then and it wanders to places that it shouldn’t go. I am more tempted to brood. Not only that, but when you’re surrounded by a lot of people, it’s an odd paradox, but it can be easy to feel lonely. I suppose it would be the same as if you were on a diet and sitting at a massive banquet table filled with your favorite foods. You would long to eat, but you know that you can’t, and that fills you with hunger and misery. I am around people and it reminds me that I am missing a relationship in my life I desperately want again.

This is why it’s so important to have hobbies in this time. For me, mine is gaming. Sure, I enjoy online debating, but you can’t always force an online debate and as much fun as it is, sometimes, it gets tiresome answering the same old questions over and over again.

Gaming gives you a challenge and it also can give you instant rewards. I can see the progress that I am making. When I am playing Final Fantasy XIV, I can see what the next level I need to reach is. When I am in the dungeon with the party, I am playing a part then to help out my team. The beauty of quests is that they give me a clear destination with clear rewards.

Tonight, I finished playing Aria of Sorrow, a Castlevania game, and I do believe I did everything. I found this one fascinating as there were so many secrets to discover and the leveling system was very fun. I started tonight then continuing that collection as it’s all the Gameboy Advance Castlevania games by playing Harmony of Dissonance. I’ve also got Skyward Sword in the wings and the newest Blaster Master and a friend got me FF XV Royal Edition. I am thankful God has blessed me like this.

During this time, I am also often listening to YouTube videos. Many times, those can be apologetics related as I learn something about my faith at the same time. I meant to watch some about the expansion of the universe today, but sadly I just forgot about it with everything going on in my life.

Sometimes though, I just sit down and just watch fun videos. These are little clips from favorite shows that make me laugh or just bring joy and a smile to me. You might not care for them, but that’s okay. I don’t do them for you. I do them for me. Each time I get a little smile and that little smile is good.

One thing my therapist told me that’s interesting is when we look at other people’s hobbies that we don’t understand, we’re tempted to say they’re idols. I don’t understand why some people get so caught up in professional sports. At least my hobby has you actively engaged in something and using your mind, but hey, some people seem to really care for it.

Of course, sometimes these things can become an idol, whether it’s my hobby or yours, but before we tell someone that they have an idol, we need to consider. With what I am going through, is it not understandable if I need a little bit more time to distract myself? A good friend around here has told me he might not have made it through is divorce if it wasn’t for friends on World of Warcraft. He could find someone on there at most any time who was a friend that he could do something with.

For those healing then, I encourage them to find a hobby, provided of course that you are not doing anything immoral. For instance, per my last post, if your hobby is watching pornography, get a new hobby. If your hobby is sleeping with people you are not married to, get a new hobby. (And also repent.)

If you see me somewhere and I am staring into my phone and smiling, sure I may be playing a game on there or something, but let it be. When a divorce is going on like this, smiles are hard to come by. I give thanks that God has provided me with many blessings and I urge you if you are in this camp to find something that gives you that blessing.

Have fun on the journey, fellow travelers.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Steps of Healing: Avoid Pornography

Are there negative steps to take to heal? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters to find out.

I have been blessed all my life to be someone who has not had a pornography problem. When researchers want to study the effects of porn, they have a hard time finding guys nowadays who are young and do not have a porn problem at all or do not use it. I would be one of those rare guys.

One definite hard part about going through divorce is the missing of physical interaction. I am a subscriber to the DivorceCare newsletter and now, it’s going through issues relating to sex. I have seen that many people who get divorced due bend the rules in this area, such as people my own parents grew up with who when they get divorced, before their next marriage, decide to live together first.

When a divorce comes, a man comes from being able to be in an intimate relationship with a woman to not being able to be in one. He used to have a woman he could kiss and now he doesn’t. He used to have a woman whose body he could see and now he doesn’t. He used to have a woman he could be intimate with and now he doesn’t.

This is extremely frustrating for a man. Note with all of this I am saying for a man. I am not going to attempt to guess what it’s like for a woman, though I can imagine that it is difficult for them as well and yes, women have desires in this area as well.

When I talk with men going through divorce, this topic tends to come up. Men struggle. It’s one reason many of them can easily jump into a physical relationship with someone else. Of course, sometimes, encountering the opposite sex can be difficult, but today, there is an easy way many men deal with this.

Just turn on your computer and go to a link.

In all of this, I am not at all saying that the desire for physical intimacy is wrong. Men are wired to want to see and be with women. If a man is doing something thoroughly thoroughly stupid, quite likely, it’s because there’s a woman involved in the picture somehow and he’s not thinking straight.

However, i contend pornography is not the way to meet that need nor are sexual relationships outside of marriage. Some people have asked me if my views have changed on sex and marriage. Would it be tempting to say that an exception could be made for sex outside of marriage for people who have been divorced? Yes. It would be, but I cannot. I have to remain faithful to what I think Jesus commands us to do.

Pornography is a quick fix for a real desire, but it’s an illicit one. It is one that only cheapens. If a man wants to see a woman, that’s a natural desire that I contend God gave Him. There are two different things the man can do. He can go out and actually be a real man for a woman, love her for who she is, and earn her trust and marry her. That’s one option.

The other option is he can turn on his computer or phone and click a link.

One path requires that you work hard and sacrifice of yourself and go out and take risks. The other doesn’t. The other is in many ways, the coward’s way out. Not only that, it is a way that is dehumanizing to women.

The woman on the screen does not care about you. She does not desire you. She doesn’t want you. She doesn’t even know your name. She is an actress and while acting is a skill indeed, it is also fake.

I also contend that going this route is keeping you away from a real woman. It is a way of saying, “I cannot get a real woman, so I will go out and get a fake one instead.” Now I realize that many men do have a real woman in their lives and watch porn, but why bother? Is that woman you have inadequate? Wouldn’t that time be better spent romancing her instead? After all, one woman you have a relationship with. One woman you never will.

Not only this, many people in pornography are there because of sex trafficking. By watching, you can be unknowingly supporting sex trafficking. I have read a number of accounts of women who have escaped the industry. It’s never a good experience for them when they’re in it.

This is not to say that for many men, this is a real struggle. There have been some very rare times when I have felt a strong temptation to give in to this one since the divorce. By God’s grace, I have resisted every time. Generally, what seems inevitable after awhile can become “What was I even worried about?”

What are some things to do? For one thing, just go and do something else. If I have to turn on a game instead, that’s all the better. As my therapist told me, “I would rather you were playing a game than watching pornography.” I also try to not panic. It’s a real temptation and that’s okay. No one goes through life without being tempted.

If you need to, get a program like Covenant Eyes that can help you and a male accountability partner. (Women struggling get a female one.) Go also and get involved in a group like Celebrate Recovery. This should not be faced alone.

I have also told my friends that I have plans for when I do find someone wanting to date. Assuming I have my own place by then, I have made a personal vow that I don’t want to have a girl with me alone in my place or have me be alone with her in that place. That kind of situation could be way too tempting and a sure way to increase the likelihood that you will fall into a temptation is to think that you cannot fall into it or that you can handle it.

Again, no exceptions can be made. Too many ministries have been ruined by sexual sin. Do I need to remind us all of Ravi Zacharias? Who is to say any one of us could not be him as well?

So men, the desire is real. I have it. Odds are, you have it. We want love and we want to be special to a woman. That’s fine and it’s the way made it, but go and meet that desire the honorable way. Be someone special to a woman. Be someone loving to her. Treat her like a treasure. Treat one like a treasure and you treat all of them like one. Try to desire every woman and you truly desire none.

If you are struggling with porn, please get help. My friends at Proven Men would be glad to help you out as well. It will help you also with future relationships as I am convinced the reason many young men, including younger men, men younger than I, struggle with ED is because of watching pornography. Don’t go for fake women so much you won’t be able to please a real one.

If you struggle, it’s a real one and you have my sympathy for it. I hope my words can help you overcome it. I remain convinced pornography is one of the greatest evils of our day and hopefully, we can eliminate it one day.

Stay strong, fellow travelers.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Steps of Healing: Friends

What are friends there for? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

As I sit down to write this, I think about Saturday morning cartoons. Mainly, I think about when I was growing up I used to watch Garfield and Friends. What was the theme song of it? Friends are there. You can see it here. (On a side note, once when my mother was watching Rhoda, I recognized the voice of Carlton the Doorman as that of Garfield.)

As a gamer also, friends have always been an integral reality of that world. Every Final Fantasy game has a main protagonist, but that main protagonist would not have a chance of saving the world from the evil if he didn’t have his friends with him. In most RPGs, friends are part of the party and they are absolutely essential. Friends are the ones that come alongside and join you on the quest and risk death itself for you.

Friends are very different from family. I expected my family to be there for me in the divorce. It was not a shock that they were. I realize not all families are like that, but mine is. Family are sometimes thought of as people that you really like because they’re family. If you didn’t know them, you probably wouldn’t care.

Friends are different. Friends love you by choice. Some friends are closer than others. Sadly, social media has really lowered the term. I have nearly 4,000 friends on Facebook. Many of them I do not know at all. Sometimes people will ask me if I know someone and if I say no they can say, “You’re friends with them on Facebook.” That doesn’t mean much.

However, friends have been invaluable in this journey. Many have come alongside me and said that they have gone through a divorce or are going through them. I have had so many requests that I haven’t had the time to talk to all of them.

Some of them due to location have been of greater benefit to me. A friend around here that I can go out to eat with or go to a movie with can help me in ways that a friend hundreds or thousands of miles away can’t. I have one in particular like this that I have really got to bond with in this time.

Friends have been such a great help to me in that they give me someone I can be weak around easily. You could say I can with my family, but it’s just different. They love you in a different way and in many cases, my family wants to take care of me in a way my friends don’t.

I have said before that things like a game night can mean so much. When I play a game like Final Fantasy XIV, I’m able to forget about many of my problems for awhile. I have a different goal I can focus on. Now I am trying to level up my character and get through this dungeon.

I remember one friend gifting me a game around the time of my birthday. That was really nice to have. Some people have joined me on Patreon which is also awesome. It tells me I’m not walking alone. Many people just have sent me messages and sent me their phone numbers and said they’re available to talk.

It is why I have ended my blogs talking about fellow travelers. I’m not walking this road alone. That doesn’t mean there aren’t times that I am lonely. When I go to bed at night, it is very lonely. It’s my hope to soon be earning enough through Patreon and a job to move into an apartment and be able to be social and hopefully also start doing the podcast again.

So maybe you’re someone close and you’re there and we can do things together. I’m thankful for you. Maybe you’re at a distance and offer me your phone number and want to talk. I’m thankful for you. Maybe you have sent me a gift or provided for me financially. I’m thankful for you. Maybe all you have been able to do is pray for me. I’m thankful for you.

I have also been pleased as well to see my non-Christian friends show up in support. I hope you will come to Christ, but I also hope that in my life and handling of this, I have been someone who you see as a true Christian handling defeat and still trying to treat my ex-wife honorably, which I fully intend to do. I am thankful none of you have also used this as an opportunity to go after my Christianity. I am happy to debate its truth with many of you, but a thread about divorce is not the place for that and that has been recognized.

I said early in this blog that Final Fantasy games for the most part would be impossible without the party. Many of you have been my party members joining me to fight in this battle. I want to be clear the battle is not against her. It’s against the pain and rejection of divorce and against evil in general. Thank you for coming alongside me in the battle.

Thank you, fellow travelers.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)