Could a compulsion for sexual gratification actually be an indication of a desire for God? Using personal examples, scriptural illustrations, and 20 years of counseling experience, Cusick will help you understand how pornography struggles develop, what to do to prevent them, and how to break free from the shackles of this pleasurable prison. 220 pages, softcover from Nelson.
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Customer Reviews for Surfing for God
Review 1 for Surfing for God
Date:January 24, 2013
Surfing for God, written by Michael Cusick, provides lots of valuable insight into the world of sexual addiction. As the title suggests, much of the content within the book is focused on the internet, along with the various ways that men (and women) surf for adult content. More deeply than that, however, Cusick seeks to get to the root of the problem…and as such, asks the tough questions relating to the origins of sexual addiction, the need for affirmation, the longing for belonging and the heart that aches for God while falling into relapse.
Cusick makes no bones about the fact that he was once in a lifestyle that was overcome with the aforementioned addiction, and as such, he provides lots of first hand accounts, thoughts, feelings and anxieties. This book can be very useful for anyone who is either battling sex addiction or knows of individuals who are struggling with this lifestyle (ministry workers, pastors, lay leaders).
Great resource, wonderful, encouraging and centered on the sustaining love of Christ. A great read.
I received this book in return for an honest review. For more info, head to http://www.booksneeze.com.
In a day and age when just about everything is sexualized it's no wonder men/women are struggling. Instant gratification is just a click away, but are men/women really searching to satisfy their lustful longings or is there something deeper rooted in their hearts longing to heard?
Having the opportunity to receive books for free in exchange for a review means I get to read books I may not have normally picked up. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to step inside Cusick's own story of struggle and learn his steps to overcoming.We live in a time when everything is at our fingertips, instantly and I know that it is only going to get worse, which means it will easily affect more and more of the people we know. It's important that we as women understand the struggle. Viewing pornography grants instant gratification which in turn rewires the brain much like that of a drug. Over time the amount needed grows and much like any other addiction, intervention and detoxification are needed to recover. In my opinion knowing this allows us to arm ourselves with the tools to protect our own homes from being attacked. You never know when someone in your life may admit to this struggle, at that time how would you react?Will you push them away, will you put them down, or will you do your best to help build them up to be the man you know God wants them to be? Cusick warns the following, "Where in your life do you say,'This is living'? If you don't have something in your life that regularly inspires adventure, risk, and passion, beware. Because if you don't, you will seek the counterfeit. This book is not for the faint of heart, it deals with a real issue that our society is currently exploiting.
If someone you know is struggling with a sexual addiction I strongly suggest gifting them this book or reading it yourself so that you can better understand the struggle. If you are a mother of boys, I suggest you read this book to help to learn to protect them and raise them into Godly men.
I received this book free from the publishers through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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Review 3 for Surfing for God
Great book for all men to read!
Date:November 27, 2012
The number of men who struggle with pornography addiction has increased substantially and may of these men are viewing pornography online. The author of this great book, Michael John Cusick, tells of his own struggle with porn addiction and exactly what he did to overcome it to offer hope and encouragement to the many men who are affected by it.
Pornography has so much power that it not only gives instant pleasure, but it also rewires a man's brain and causes men to get addicted just like using drugs. This addiction has many consequences which affect not only the man, but also the man's family and the man's place of employment. Marriage is also put at risk because of this powerful addiction. As a young teenage the author tells of how he became exposed to pornography and how his addiction led him to adult stores and to encounters with prostitutes. Hiding behind the identity of being a good Christian, his secret was exposed and he had to face his addiction. Dealing with porn addiction and withdrawing from it is like withdrawing from drugs. It can take many years to overcome and many men can't do it alone. But there is hope! The author who is a counselor and an ordained minister uses the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit to treat this powerful addiction. He explains how the devil tempts a man's sexual weakness to separate man from God, but there is victory in God's Word because God gives man the strength to overcome this powerful addiction.
This book is a must read for men who struggle with sexual addiction and the temptation to view pornography. It is also great for women who want to understand the struggle men face dealing with their sexual desires.
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
An addiction to pornography isn't about sex. That's the message Michael Cusick shares in his book: Surfing for God: Discovering the Divine Desire Beneath Sexual Struggle. Instead, like any addiction and like any struggle with habitual, enslaving sin, it's about believing God's best isn't good enough. It's about filling up the gaping holes in our soul with idols that will never satisfy. As G.K. Chesterton wrote, "Every man who knocks on the door of a brothel is looking for God."
As a woman who has never struggled with an addiction to pornography or any other stronghold of sexual sin, I'm clearly not the target audience of this book. In fact, the book limits its focus to men and even beyond that primarily married men.
Still, the lessons Cusick shares about sin in general and about addictive behaviors specifically are helpful for a wider circle of readers. All of us can learn to identify the false gods to which we turn for satisfaction and that the second best offerings of the world make us lust perpetually for more. We can learn how to break endless cycles of shame and repentance, failure and self-hatred.
This book also serves as a useful tool for women who are married or dating men with a sexual addiction, as well as ministry and lay leaders involved in counseling and leading mean with this struggle.
And it is a significant struggle. The church has so often overlooked or simply not chosen to talk about a sin that holds many of the men (and women) in our pews and even the pastors in our pulpits absolutely hostage. It's time to talk openly about it so we finally force Satan's lies into the light. Cusick starts the conversation, sharing his own personal story with an addiction to pornography, masturbation, strip clubs and prostitution, and tells you what he went through to now live in freedom.
Divided into three sections, this book identifies the lies and underlying desires that lead men to struggle with porn; reveals why breaking free from the addiction is so difficult; and then unearths the Gospel message that leads you to freedom and wholeness. The second section includes a discussion of how pornography physically changes your brain and how failure to recognize that and deal with it so often prevents men from breaking the addiction.
Perhaps one of the great message of the book is, "You are not alone." If this is your struggle, there's no longer a reason to slump down in your pew when the preacher mentions sin or to hide and lie and pretend any longer. Others are struggling, too, and the simple honesty of confession can begin that process of breaking through to freedom.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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Review 5 for Surfing for God
Surfing for God review
Date:August 17, 2012
A hundred years ago, G.K. Chesterton wrote, “Every time a man knocks on a brothel door, he is really searching for God.” That summarizes well the premise of author Michael John Cusick in his book Surfing For God. The book is an honest and open look at a problem with which so many men face. Cusick shares from the perspective of one who has battled issues with pornography and sexual struggles and as one who now helps other in their own battles.
The author focuses on sexual struggle as a symptom of a man's brokenness and not simply as an issue that stands on its own. Relating pornography to the quote above by Chesterton, Cusick digs into the heart of a man, identifying the brokenness and the lies the individual believes. One sentence from the book explains it well. In telling the story of man's struggle, he described the man this way, "His soul was thirsty for God but absorbed by porn." Cusick does a good job of handling a difficult topic with grace and truth, mercy and honesty.
Another quote from early in the book reflects his candor: "No matter how we may justify or rationalize it, in two decades of counseling, not one man has told me that pornography made him a better man, husband, father, employee, minister, or friend."
One of the things I appreciated about the book was the author's honesty regarding his own struggles and the struggles of other men he assists. He brings this difficult issue into the light and deals with a dark topic in an open and transparent way. He shares stories from his own life and relates similar experiences other men have faced.
Surfing for God is a good read not just for those who are struggling with pornography, but for leaders in a local church or other ministry. It gives keen insight to the root of this issue and how God can bring men out of it.
Oops ... I thought this was going to be about faith and facebook or other new media. Nope. Its about porn. Oopps! My bad. Anyways. I guess it would be a good book for a man to read. I didn't really like it.
“Every time a man knocks on a brothel door, he is really searching for God.” -- G.K. Chesterton
Could the growing struggles with pornography and fantasy really be reminding us of our heart’s deepest desire, something greater and more fulfilling than sexual gratification?
According to counselor and ministry leader Michael John Cusick, the answer is a resounding “yes.” Through personal examples, lively illustrations from Scripture, and twenty years of counseling experience, Michael helps readers to understand how porn struggles begin, what to do to prevent them, and most importantly, how to overcome them once compulsive behavior presents itself.
Freedom is not an easy, how-to process:
* 25% of search engine requests are for pornography – 68 million per day * 70% of the hits on Internet sex sites occur between 9-5 on business computers * Over 50 percent of evangelical pastors report they viewed pornography last year * Over 70% of Christian men report viewing pornography in the last year
Surfing for God leads readers down a clear path toward understanding how porn struggles develop, how to distinguish between sexual gratification and intimacy, and how to break free from the shackles of this pleasurable prison.
Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for this review.
Michael Cusick tells about his struggle with pornography and where it led him in his life. He explains how deep the problem is with so many men.
He tells why pornography is so addicting and how it changes brain patterns. He explains why just trying harder to stay away from it, accountability partners (the wrong type), and just praying harder won't help men to be successful in overcoming this addiction.
Mr. Cusick explains how those struggling to overcome sexual addictions can still have a good heart, and that surfing for porn is a deep longing for something that only God can fill.
This book is also useful for those who want to understand addictions in general.
It also teaches the deeper spiritual meaning of circumcision and how it relates to the circumcision of the heart that the Bible teaches.
The book covers many deep theological ideas, but it is written in clear language.
The author is the founder and president of Restoring the Soul which provides counseling for individuals, couples, and workshops according to the book. I mention this to let you know that the author has a lot of experience. The book includes resources, quotes, and book recommendations.
The author speaks from experience in his own life and how he overcame his addiction to porn.
One quote to consider:
"One of the main reasons the gospel is good news is that God has a unique way of taking the very struggles that have become barriers to knowing Him more intimately--like struggles with pornography--and turning them into bridges. Are you ready to take this barrier of porn and let it become a bridge to life?"
If your answer to the above question is "Yes!" then I suggest you should purchase and read this book.
Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for this review. I chose this book because of a friend, a woman, who has problems with this issue. The book, however, did not address the fact that men are not the only ones who have this issue. The book, however, helped me to understand my friend even though it was written for men specifically.
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Review 8 for Surfing for God
Surfing for God
Date:June 7, 2012
Surfing for God: Discovering the Divine Desire Beneath Sexual Struggle
Written by: Michael John Cusick
Published by Thomas Nelson 2012
“Every man who knocks on the door of a brothel is looking for God”- G.K. Chesterton
Ministry leader and writer Michael John Cusick attempts to write on a topic much engrained in our society today but often not discussed and even less often connected to spirituality, Cusick is talking about sex.
His premise is that every man who struggles with sexual and porn addicition are ultimately searching for a connection to the divine. I was skeptical when I first began reading Surfing for God.
Cusick picks up where other’s attempting to write on the connection between sexuality and religion leave off. I was very hesitant in reading this work, but I quickly found out that Cusick does not write from a stance of judgement and condemnation. Instead Cusick takes an approach to try help the reader understand that this isn’t an issue of right or wrong. Instead the increase in pornography in our society marks a deeper problem in our society. People longing for a connection to the divine, and at some point they come off the track and into the sea of pornography.
So what do we do? How can we as a society get back on track?
Cusick uses his own story to highlight the problem and he writes in a compelling manner.
I do however find that Cusick oversimplifies the problem, as pornography and sexual addiction also have an effect on the women involved. The book is written by a Christian Man for Christian Men, so this isn’t a book for everyone.
I will chose to keep this book on my bookshelf, as I never know who may step into my office door looking for some direction and I think that Surfing for God could help someone learn that they are not alone.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
For the most part I really enjoyed this book. It was an easy read and I read it in 2 days just chilling on my couch. This book is about people who struggle with pornography and how to help yourself get out of it.
I especially like the quote on page 4 which reads " a bible that's falling apart is usually owned by someone who isn't." I like this quote because to have a fulfilling life we have to focus on what's important and that is GOD and his ministry and that GOD is real and you just have to call on him and depend on him to see that.
I like the quote on page 15 which says " When a husband and wife enjoy a healthy emotional, relational, and spiritual connection, most of the time good sex follows. " Spiritual needs should always come first in a relationship and the other stuff will come later once GOD sees we are putting him first and he blesses our efforts in many different aspects of our life.I also like the part on weakness which reads on page 45 " but no actual man, including Jesus, has ever lived without significant weakness. So what do we do? We fake it 'til we make it. We turn on the bravado. Develop a persona" . Often times we do our best to please everyone but people get hurt in the process and so we want everything to think we are ok and have it all together when in reality we are weak and hurting and sometimes need a shoulder to cry on.
I also like the quote on pate 76 which reads " sometimes we are all smoke and mirrors. Our shame can only be healed when we pull back the curtain and allow ourselves to be seen for who we really are." I like this quote because sometimes only GOD sees who we truly are and other people don't really know us and in order for us to be know by people we have to let our guard down. And see GOD knows us better than any one because we go to him in prayer and he can read our heart condition.
I really like the quote on page 85 which reads " We, too, can be oblivious to the danger of living with an ever-increasing accumulation of stress or conflict-until the temperature of lie puts us in danger". I just had another seizure and I think stress honestly caused it. I also like the quote on page 98 which reads " Jesus was asking us to be radical-do whatever it takes to avoid sin. Take drastic measures. If your computer is causing you to sin, get rid of it and son on. "
I like the chapter on rebooting on page 131. Sometimes our body and our brain needs to be rebooted and started over. Both times I had my seizure I was unware the entire time of what was going on. My husband later told me but I had no recollection of anything. I think my body was so full of stress it had to reboot itself. My only complaint about this book was how the author said that Jesus and GOD are the same person and talked about the trinity which is false and not true at all. A good scripture to prove that is John 14:28 which reads " Jesus said if you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I go to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. Anyway there are more good scriptures but this a long review and I am done for now.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”