Open Eyes, Open Mind: a weekly reflective (2012; issue 1)

January 7, 2012

Welcome to the first official issue of 2012. If you’re new to Open Eyes, Open Mind, check below the fold for a short description of what you’ll find here.

Some weeks in our lives have themes and this week’s theme is the start of a new year. A lot of us spend time at the beginning of the year reflecting on the previous year and considering the possibilities of the coming year. A number of the resources found in this week’s reflective point in these directions. Feel free to leave any thoughts, comments, or conversations.

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pornifying people

February 20, 2009

412929_8392i have spent a lot of time in my life researching pornography.  first as a (seemingly) hopelessly addicted consumer and now as a porn crusader of sorts, bringing what little illumination i can to the dark (but ever-brightening) paths that lead to a sun-drenched freedom.  

so when it was published today that researchers at Princeton had determined that young men objectify women in bikini’s, i can’t say i was particularly surprised.  but i was interested.  it turns out that when men look at images of scantily clad women, their “brain areas associated with handling tools and the intention to perform actions” are activated.  my translation of this is that in some sense women lose the “imago dei” that we’ve all been infused with and become merely steps along a path to self-centered personal pleasure. Read the rest of this entry »


message prep meets web 2.0

January 27, 2009

800px-web_2_0_map_svgsometimes i wonder if technology is more of a benefit or a detriment to my lifestyle and ministry.  it’s a cause of a lot of procrastination.  it’s a seemingly endless distraction for tangential pursuits.  as i’ve shared often publicly, it’s also been a significant part of the problem in my struggles with porn.  

but despite all of this, i haven’t given up on technology.  it seems to me that there’s too much potential, too much good if channeled properly.  in the last few weeks i’ve had some cool opportunities to use web 2.0 to my advantage… Read the rest of this entry »


talking ’bout porn…

January 23, 2008

an email i sent out today:

Friends…

The other week I wrote some of you & let you know that I’ve had the opportunity to speak several times at The Chapel recently, particularly around the topic of pornography & intimacy. Thanks to many of you who have taken some time to pray for me…your prayers have been felt & encouraging. Some of you go to The Chapel and heard me in the morning, but I thought you might be interested in talk I gave at Illuminate. Anyway, I wanted to give you the links to the two different talks that I gave so that you can take a listen if you so desire:

Reconstructing Intimacy: Intimacy with Others
I co-preached this sermon with one of our Sr. Pastors, Paul Sartarelli. The main topic I spoke on was accountability.

http://www.the-chapel.org/audio (both the sermon on the 13 & the 20 are the same sermon, just different services.

Reconstructing Intimacy: The Fallacy of Intimacy with Self
I shared this talk with our Illuminate service, an evening service offered at The Chapel. It’s sort of a service for young people, but we really have a range of ages there. But it allows us to to be a bit more outside the box with sermon style, so it’s definitely a different style of sermon that what Paul & I did in the morning. I’ve made a photo album on Facebook so that you can see most of the slides that I used…they’re in order, but you’ll have to use context clues to figure out when I was showing them : ) You can look at them here:

http://malone.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2012503&l=2210a&id=160801998

And the song we sang in response at the end, if you desire to really embrace the experience, was “Grace Flows Down.” You can listen to it online here:

http://search.playlist.com/tracks/Grace-Flows-Down

The sermon is the January 20th one found here:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/the-chapel/il_sermon

I’d love to hear your feedback & thoughts on either of these. For a variety of resources we’re making available along with this series, you can go to http://www.the-chapel.org/purity

Hope this finds you well…

Joel Daniel


redemption is beauty

March 3, 2007

one of the unique pieces of my position at The Chapel is the several hats i wear. not just literally (i have a few of those, too, not to mention the sign in my office), but that beside being the Co-Director of Jr. High i have the opportunity to engage with several other areas. one is the mozambique arm of our Fresh Passion initiative. if you’ve been with me much over the past year, you’ve heard about how refreshing this has been for me…maybe not in so many words, but at least seeing in my exuberance for our work there a piece of jdh’s heart lit up with excitement.

another hat i wear is that of “pastor of porn”. yeah…it’s ok…laugh a little. this part of my work has been a bit more frustrating. as much as i’m excited and blessed to be a part of six19 at Malone (and as it expands), trying to start up an entirely new porn ministry at a church this large on an issue that touches so many people and yet is largely unexplored is, well, overwhelming at times. not only is it a bit daunting (where do i start and where do i find the time, not to mention who do i find to work with me and what resources should we use…and the list could go on), but it’s also draining. draining in the sense that it drudges up some of my least favorite parts of me…of my history. most of you know that i’ve had struggles in this area and that they were neither cursory or brief. so to give direction to ministry in this area can be discouraging. it’s easy to keep the guilt factory running, long after its timecard should have been punched.

but then there are moments. moments like today, where you see a glimpse of the redemption that God is all about. and it’s overwhelming and glorious and beautiful…all while being gut wrenching and tearful and a whole flood of other emotions.

this afternoon i sat in a room of six other brothers and sisters who share, in some part, in my history and struggle because of their own experience in this area. six brothers and sisters who have persevered when all hope seemed lost and held tight to the One who, it turns out, had us wrapped in his embrace from the beginning. these men and women are the core leaders that will be aiding me in establishing some sort of meaningful, holistic, gracious ministry at The Chapel to those who find themself drowning in the muddy flood that is pornography and lust. and as i sit here, holding back tears for the beauty i saw in each of their stories of redemption, i can’t help but realize that as much as the path seems dark to me at times, that i have the unbelievable privilege of working for the One who is Light. and that Light is beaming of redemption. and it’s gloriously beautiful.


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