Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on Jun 9, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Is Kevin Durant the Best Player On the Planet?

durant-blogBecause it is the NBA finals, let’s talk sports, and I will get to porn here in a bit.

I love football and love to watch the NBA come May. The basketball season is too long in my opinion, but the playoffs are great.

I grew up watching Jordan and all the talk about who is better then Jordan is pointless because there is no one better PERIOD.

On to Kevin Durant.

Last summer, Nolan and I went to game 7 at Oracle Arena and watched the Warriors come back from a 3-1 deficit in the series to beat KD and Westbrook and the rest of the OKC Thunder team in an epic game 7 of the Western Conference Championship.

 The game was amazing, and all the talk after the game was “where was KD? Can KD ever win a championship?”

A few weeks later, I watched the Warriors on TV lose the NBA championship in a fantastic game 7 against the Cavs and Lebron James.

In the off-season, the Warriors knew they needed to get better to beat the CAVS.

Move on to football. I love the Packers. I was in Atlanta for that horrible game in the playoffs. The Patriots win the Super Bowl and what do they do in the off-season? They get better and better even though they are on top. I wish more teams in the NFL would look at what they are doing and say we need to get better.

The Warriors got better last summer. How? Kevin Durant signed with them.

Arguably, the 2nd or 3rd best player in the league joins a team of all-stars who won 73 games last year and were a few minutes away from winning back to back NBA championship, but they came up short.

Durant took all sorts of crap for joining a “super team.”

I listen to First Take Live. Steven A. Smith who I agree with most days kills Durant for taking the easy way out to win a ring in his opinion.

Durant’s move to join the warriors was selfless.

He wants a ring, and after years of not getting it in OKC, he saw an option that could get him there. How would he do it? By joining a team that had better players.

The Warriors slogan is “strength in numbers.”

Let’s be honest most superstars don’t want to join a team with this kind of slogan. They want to be “the guy.”

In the regular season, we saw James Harden, and Russell Westbrook put up some of the greatest numbers ever in basketball, and one of them will win the MVP award this month. But who cares. Basketball is a team sport, and those guys are the best players on their team, but their teams never stood a chance in the playoffs.

Would either of those guys take a position on a team like Golden State that potentially could mean their personal numbers would go down?

I doubt it.

So back to KD. Warriors are up 3-0 in the NBA Finals. They are now 15-0 and one game away from sweeping Lebron James and the Cavs and becoming the first team ever to go 16-0 in the post season. Do you know what I have heard all week on the radio?

“KD is now the best player on the planet.”

“KD is moving from the #2 player to the #1 player in the world, surpassing Lebron James.”

“KD is now better than Lebron James.”

I can’t stand Lebron. Just saying that so you know, but he is currently the best player in the NBA. Not better than Jordan but he is better than anyone currently in the league.

KD is the smartest player in the league, and because of that, he is now in the conversation of being the best player on the planet because he made the smartest move ever.

KD will be the MVP of the NBA finals on Friday night.
KD will be credited with being the missing piece the Warriors needed to win the championship.
KD will get a ring that he has been chasing for ten plus years and always came up short.

KD will get the ring because he joined the right team.

I laugh at the comments about him being better than Lebron James. Basketball is a team sport, and individual accolades don’t mean anything.

I do think it is awesome that a move that most people criticized when he joined the Warriors is the same move that is now putting him in the conversation as being the best basketball player on the planet.

The Bible says “I must decrease so He can increase” and “More of You and less of me.”

I love that King James had to remind reporters that he is averaging a triple-double in this series before game 3. Guess what? Westbrook averaged a triple double all season long, and he got booted in the first round of the playoffs. KD is playing on a better team, and because of that, his game is elevated.

Run with people who can run faster than you.

Lebron makes his teammates look better. Great players do that, but Lebron still has to carry the team and do way too much on the court.

KD doesn’t have to do it all. He doesn’t have to play the minutes Lebron does. He has way more options on his team that can close out the game or put up points.

Often I think we all want to be like King James and be the best player on the team. We want to be the smartest person in the room. We want to surround ourselves with role players and lead them rather than play with four other all-stars.  You know what happens when KD plays with four other all-stars with a slogan that reads “strengths in numbers?”

The team wins, and in turn, KD wins.

Do I think he is a better ballplayer than Lebron? No. Smarter and selfless? YES, and that is what is needed to win in this league.

Can you join a superteam?

What would happen if Westbrook went to Celtics or the Cavs? He would have to decrease and take fewer shots but could he then actually become better?  Possibly but we won’t know because he will stay on a team where his is the best and will keep getting bounced in the first round of the playoffs.

In your life. You and I might not be NBA all-stars or MVP of the NBA finals, but that is not why I am writing.

People need other people. We have said that a lot. Let me say it like this. People need better people.

Do you continue to struggle?
Do you continue to fall into temptation? Do you continue to try and do everything on your own?
Why not go about things differently?

Addiction breeds isolation.

Remember that. I would challenge you to surround yourself with a better team. Better players. Maybe that is a mentor, perhaps that is a group of people that are further down the road than you.

If you don’t know, we have a small groups ministry here for men, women, pastors, and spouses. Ten people and one leader that meet each week at the same time online. If you want to check it out and join a group for free, here is how:

1. Select the type of group you’d like to try.

  • For My Pilgrimage (for men who struggle with addiction) Click Here.
  • For X3groups (for men or women who struggle with addiction) Click Here.
  • For Recover (for spouses of addicts) Click Here.

2. Select Register and complete the requested information.

3. When you go the checkout screen enter the coupon code SGOFREE and click Apply.

4. Once your checkout is complete, you will then be taken to the group selection page where you can pick a free group to try out.

Joining a new team is scary. Playing a team sport when all you have played is an individual sport is tough as well. I get it, but it is worth it.

Check it out and even if you don’t love basketball tune in tonight at 6 PM PDT and watch the Cavs get swept not by Kevin Durant but by a team built on the foundation of STRENGTH IN NUMBERS.

 

The post Is Kevin Durant the Best Player On the Planet? appeared first on XXXchurch.com.

Read More

Posted by on Jun 5, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

3 Non-Obvious Reasons That We Get Addicted to Porn

xxxchurch - 3 Non-Obvious Reasons That We Get Addicted to PornLust isn’t the only reason behind your porn addiction. There are subtle snakes in the grass need to be hunted and confronted. It turns out: there’s pretty ugly stuff, way down deep, that demands our total honesty.

When you begin to kick porn and find recovery, you’re often told to watch out for “triggers,” like sights, sounds, and even smells that send you down the binge-spiral. But external triggers are internally pressing on something that’s already there.

You have a pre-existing framework in your mental basement that’s easily pushed and provoked.

Porn-users use porn for a lot of obvious reasons: unfulfilled sexual desires, drama at work, a deficit of affirmation, a deprivation of human connection. But there are also some hidden, hard-to-spot reasons that porn is a go-to “fix.” Here are three:

1) The Fear of Aging / The Idolatry of Youth

Pornography is a perpetual, poisonous snapshot of unrealistic vitality. In such a plastic fantasy world, there’s no room for aging spouses, no room for broken bodies, and an infantile coping with the inevitable loss of youthfulness.

Hollywood is already a shaming ground for older starlets and body changes, obsessed with the younger model (literally) and the “May-December Romance” fantasy.[1] Female Hollywood actresses, on average, are about fifteen years younger than their male co-stars; both Scarlett Johansson and Maggie Gyllenhaal were called “too old” for roles with much older male counterparts, John Cusack lamented 20-something year old actresses regularly called “menopausal,” and the late, great Carrie Fisher was pressured to lose a ton of weight for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.[2],[3],[4]

Even more so, the world of pornography, with bizarre exceptions, worships youthfulness as a grotesque trophy to upkeep at all costs. And though we might get older, our “appetite” for specific porn actors doesn’t age with us, and we become imprisoned to an impossible, unhealthy (and creepy) standard.

I work in the hospital as a chaplain, and even the middle-aged are bewildered and shocked by the ravages of age. No one told them what it would be like. At the risk of sounding like an old-fashioned preacher, our culture now, more than ever, is bombarded by heightened perfection, from Instagram to “wellness drinks” to lip injections. “For the first time in history,” says author and Standord professor Robert Harrison, “the young have become a model of emulation for the older population, rather than the other way around.”[5]

Pornography, in some ways, denies us the difficult discussions around our mortality, by locking us into unchanging images of young models and vicariously placing us with them. Ironically, this “unchanging” aspect of pornography is artificially created by a rotating stage of models who quickly age out of the business (or who die trying[6]). Pornography, by its very nature, pulls us into a Peter-Pan-vacuum, to avoid aging and dying, when such fear could be confronted by direct dialogue instead of denial.

Solutions: It’s hard to let go of youth. Aging isn’t easy, and I empathize with those who try to grasp backwards for nostalgia. But pornography only buries our ability to cope with age; it keeps us blinded in the vicious cycle of demoralizing the elderly, and eventually ourselves. The only way to gracefully embrace aging is to talk about it.

2) The Loss of Power and Autonomy

One of the classic triggers of porn addiction is frustration. Maybe your kids are flipping tables, your boss beat up on you in a meeting, your marriage is far from the wedding album, your thesis or project or application or manuscript got rejected again: all these are enough to tempt you to the internet dungeon.

These events are all a natural part of life, but because “independence” and “autonomy” are overwhelming social narratives, we have an insanely difficult time with loss, failure, and rejection. Many of us never learned to cope with the eventualities of life, so we turn to porn, pills, or thrills to manage them.

Here’s the recipe: national anxiety, personal uncertainty, and positive pep-talk about the future, which all lead to a ticking time-bomb cocktail of inevitable meltdown. When you’re constantly told you can “pursue your dreams” and “follow your heart” but it leads you to a landfill, it’s no wonder we turn to pornography. Porn is a toxic dose of control that’s predictable, but ends up controlling us. Porn is a fake getaway escape that feels safe, but ends up gutting us whole.

In the Bargaining Model of Depression,[7] when someone doesn’t get their way, they use anger to negotiate their terms and then overpower others for results. But for those who are less likely to vent their anger or to overpower other people, they internalize their situation and fall into a cycle of helplessness. These daily losses of autonomy eventually create depression. And you guessed it: there are high correlations between porn users and those who are severely depressed.[8],[9]

Solutions: Get help. By help, I mean, find people to vent to. Find people who can empower you, who can aid you in smaller tasks, who help you feel “un-swamped.” Also risk the brave waters of confronting your boss, your spouse, your children, with gentleness but firm authority. Let your needs be known. Don’t give into a martyr syndrome of people-pleasing and yes-flattery. Stand up when you must, even with a shaking voice.

3) A Lack of Direction and Purpose

Not every porn addict uses porn because of trauma or frustration or personal demons.

Sometimes, we’re just bored. There’s nothing else to do. And hours are wasted on late-night binging and mindless clicking through the internet abyss.

We crave story, adventure, and purpose: we are meaning-making creatures. Without a story, we fill the void with something else. And the only way to extinguish a “lesser desire” is to expulse it with a greater one, a bigger picture, a higher calling, or the “expulsive power of a new affection.[10]

Solutions: This goes two ways. The first is in finding something greater than yourself and then living into it with all your energy. That can sometimes be enough to quit pornography, because you simply won’t have the time or strength.

The second is if you quit porn cold turkey, you’ll have a bunch of free time during the week. This has to be filled with a more attractive option, or else you’ll go right back to your addiction.

In my book on quitting porn, there’s a chapter called, “Quitting Isn’t Enough,” which says, “Quitting porn is not about quitting porn. You’ll need to find something better.”[11]

This means getting out of the house and finding a venue to serve. It means sacrificing your resources, outside your comfort zone, to lift up a particular cause. It means fighting your drift to complacency.

Pornography is easy because it requires little effort, with seemingly small risk, for a seemingly high pay-off—but in the end, pornography hijacks your brain, dulls your senses, and steals your best years. Living deliberately with purpose and momentum is more difficult, with the possibility of failure, with actual effort and high risk and a slim window of pay-off. But it’s within purposeful living that we are fully there, present, engaged, and completely ourselves. When you taste the electrifying sweetness of purpose, there’s no going back: and you wouldn’t even want to.


[1] http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MayDecemberRomance

[2] http://www.vulture.com/2015/05/emma-jlaw-and-scarletts-older-man-problem.html

[3] http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/john-cusack-hollywood-is-a-whorehouse-that-spits-young-actors-out-2014299

[4] http://people.com/bodies/carrie-fisher-pressured-to-lose-weight-for-star-wars-the-force-awakens/

[5] http://news.stanford.edu/news/2014/november/youthful-book-harrison-111914.html

[6] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6LRAyoVsF4

[7] http://anthro.vancouver.wsu.edu/media/PDF/Hagen_2003_The_bargaining_model_of_depression.pdf

[8] Please note that this might be a bit of a “chicken-and-egg” situation. Depression can increase harmful porn use, or harmful porn use can increase depression, and even the perceived guilt of porn use can cause depression as well. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/inside-porn-addiction/201111/can-pornography-trigger-depression, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150916185111.htm

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16232040

[10] Alexander Bain, M.A., Mental and Moral Science: A Compendium of Psychology and Ethics, (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1868) p. 345

[11] Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Cutting-It-Off-Breaking-Porn-Addiction/dp/1505350891, ebook: http://www.amazon.com/Cutting-It-Off/dp/B00QE2M6N2

The post 3 Non-Obvious Reasons That We Get Addicted to Porn appeared first on XXXchurch.com.

Read More