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Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Here's a wonderful letter from a girl in Singapore.


"Hello. I wanted to thank you for your book, not even a hint,
for it was an enriching book to read.

I am a 19 year old, from Singapore. I have never had a
boyfriend, never been physicaly intimate with a man,
but in my head, it was all messed up. Though I came to
the saving grace of God some 4 years ago, it was not
until 2 years ago that I realized that even a lewd
imagination is sin. But I knew it had to be, if
indulging in it took me away from God.

I have battled with it ever since, and finally I
decided that perhaps, I needed to read this book, and
so I bought it (when no one was looking, heh).

It brought me back to the truth the Spirit of God had
been trying to emphasize upon me all this time. For a
while I had been committing the lustful desires to God,
but somehow I lost focus along the way and getting back
on track again seemed impossible. And thanks to your
book, it now seems possible again. I love the truth
that is in Galatians 5:18. That if we are led by the
Spirit we are no under the law, for we will obey God's
laws naturally. And I am challanged once again to put
on the whole armour of God as it is written in
Ephesians 6.

I am still very much challanged to take follow
something which you wrote. That if we are not able to
give thanks for a certain book or television show, then
it is not for us. It is like you have revealed to me a
truth which I rather not have known, because now I have
no excuses! But I will ponder it further, and hopefully
change the course of my life.

I am glad that you have written this book and that
although we do not know each other, you and I and every
other saint who belongs to God, past, present and
future, are being built together for a habitation of
God in the Spirit (Ephesians 2:22). I thank God for
using you to reach out to the people who are afflicted
with the sin of lust, and I pray that He will bless you
greatly for being His faithful servant. I hope you will
be encouraged to know that your work produces fruit.
Thank you so much!"?V.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Here's a review of "Not Even a Hint" from a participant in our "free book for a blog review" program. You can check out the author's blog at http://www.karagraphy.com. I'm posting her review here because it's well written and because I'm thrilled by the main adjectives she chose to define the book...

:::::o:::::o:::::o::::: REVIEW OF "NOT EVEN A HINT" by Joy :::::o:::::o:::::o:::::

I won’t pretend to evaluate this book objectively. None of us come to anything with blank slates and clear spectacles. We all politely push our presuppositions onto the table, and we humbly and hypocritically hide behind our personal baggage after slamming it down with deafening clarity.

Well, I won’t say “we” and speak for others. I’ll say “I.”
(But I’ll mean “we.”)

I mean “we” because my friend says he’s reached the point now where he’d honestly choose homosexuality over heaven. And my friend caught her mom in an adulterous relationship. And my friend walked out on his wife and four children after being involved with another woman over the Internet. And because I myself am neither spotless nor immune.

So, yeah. No vacuum here. I come to this book with a lot of nominal reasons to dump or to minimize, and a lot of undisclosed reasons to hope or to criticize.

Josh Harris doesn’t know that he and I go way back. My respect for him is tempered but intact. To aging ministers who have spent 30-year careers struggling to establish fences at the top of moral cliffs and ambulance and nets at the foot of moral cliffs, Harris may seem like a mere upstart who quoted Elisabeth Elliot and John Piper a few times and got himself a lucky break into the Christian publishing world. Appearances deceive. And our words ought to be sweet and tender since we may someday have to eat them.

One reason I’ve enjoyed all three of Harris’ books is that I come away from them with an increased longing for an increasingly intimate and authentic relationship with the Lover of my soul. A good Christian author will create in you a thirst to go read the Word of the Author and Finisher of our faith. As a 27-year-old with no long-term romantic relationship experience and no immediate plans for such, I feel at least somewhat qualified to say that if a “mere upstart’s” book can help me to meditate on exceedingly-greater future plans and present sanctification rather than the doubts and temptations that barrage and threaten to undo me daily…I confess I don’t care how wet his earbacks may be.

Josh Harris made bigtime automatic points with me when he quoted my all-time favorite song in the world — Before the Throne of God Above. A book that cites this song cannot go wrong. He also quotes from greats like Baxter, Lewis, Ryle, Mohler, Stott, Owen, Piper and Bridges. Again — it’s hard to go wrong.

I took 4 pages of single-spaced notes from this book. It’s a short read, but I had a lot at stake (in addition to my apparently-increasing ADHD-like intolerance for sitting still long enough to read any book these days). And I could say a lot, but I don’t want to rehash a book I’d rather you read for yourself. So I’ll do my best to boil this review down to a couple of adjectives.

:::::o:::::o:::::o::::: GOD-CENTERED :::::o:::::o:::::o:::::

Harris makes no bones about the fact that the glory of God is central and that victory is merely “a byproduct of obedience.” A constant theme throughout is that this book cannot deliver an immediate, comprehensive cure for our propensities and addictions. I appreciate that Harris acknowledges the supremacy of God’s agenda (including His will that we be sanctified) and the sufficiency of the Word (i.e., His primary means of grace). I appreciate the distinction he makes that, while God calls us through sacrifice, He does not call us to it as an end in itself (172). Perhaps it’s worded most directly in this excerpt:

I don’t think we should make overcoming lust our primary preoccupation — we need to make the gospel and God’s glory our focus. We need to give our selves to knowing Him, worshiping Him, and meeting with Him every day. The result will be the weakening of lust and a growing passion for godliness (170-71).

I think Harris shows great insight when he points out that lust’s ultimate goal is not sex but the forbidden (93). Dissatisfaction with God is the kind of sin that leads to more sin (158). Harris rightly echoes the prophecy of Jeremiah that when we turn our back on God to do our own way and seek our own pleasure, we forsake the fountain of life to hew out for ourselves broken cisterns that hold no water. Those of us who have been caught up in our lusts (“such were some of you — BUT GOD”) understand that it comes down to God or self. Lust has everything to do two alternatives: either giving up on God and living for the pleasures of the moment – or else flinging all on God and living in the light of eternity.

:::::o:::::o:::::o::::: HONEST :::::o:::::o:::::o:::::

We are all expert sinners, but that doesn’t mean we’re all real great at dealing with our own or others’ sins. I am only beginning to learn what Piper means when he says he needs to hear other believers praying for grace, or what Barnett means when he talks about how key relationships in the Body are and how we ought to be open with one another in a grace-filled community. While proud looks and haughty spirits are abominations to the Lord (ranking right up there with immorality), we seem to excuse our posturing, cavorting performances of “I’m OK at Church Today.” Rather than take a blow to the ego and join the humble ranks of the sin-prone and grace-dependent, we opt to wage lone-ranger wars, driving on and spiraling down — for years — without seeking help or accountability for devastating sin struggles.

And when someone does hobble forward on his last leg to admit a struggle and ask our help, we promise a ring and robe but instead brand his stuck-out neck and ostracize him. This response most certainly encourages the next prodigal husk-biter to leave his trough and run the long road home. After all, if we burn all his bridges and barricade the path of grace, we’ll get a better idea of whether he really means business.

I appreciate Harris’ humility and honesty. There have been a couple of books published recently that demonstrate a similar level of candor and practicality, and I think Harris is wise to write what his readers need to hear. We have been casting about — I know that I have only recently read some material that I wish had been written when I was a teenager.

As a female blogger, I suppose I should expound here on how I think Harris’ book sizes up in sizing up the woman’s take. Long story short, he’s definitely on the right track. As I mentioned here, I do struggle with lust, have struggled with lust. It’s not a merry-go-round that you simply get onto or off of. No. It’s IN you. And if you say it’s a guy thing, chances are you’re either a guy or a liar.

Looking back from the other side of the reading, I almost think it wasn’t frank and potent enough. But (and I admire him for this as well), Harris’ primary objective was not to shock people, nor to provide “everything we need to make [sexual purity] a reality.” No, he says himself that God is the one who calls us to and can enable us to meet that standard of “not even a hint of sexual impurity” (back cover).

:::::o:::::o:::::o::::: WORD-BASED :::::o:::::o:::::o:::::

My favorite section of this whole book is pages 152-157, where Harris combats the lies of lust with straight Scripture and encourages readers to do the same. And the pattern is consistent throughout the book. He reminds us that Christianity is a fight of faith — a matter of believing God’s Word and carrying out our beliefs with action. Harris continually points his readers to the revealed Word of God as our rule of faith and practice, sufficient to equip us with all we need for life and godliness. I would just reiterate here my belief that the right kind of book will work itself out of a job. In other words, we find that we want to set that book down and immediately pick up a Bible and walk a biblical lifestyle.

Speaking of books, you didn’t come on here to read another one.

Let me close with this:

Writing a book about lust is no easy task. Lust is a common but private sin that manifests itself in unique ways to varying degrees with irreparable, massive, lifelong consequences. I may not agree with Josh Harris on every point of interpretation or application, but I think this book would be an asset to your library (in other words, if you’re not a blogger already exulting in your free copy — go out and buy one).

Good for Josh that he refuses to claim his book is something it can’t be. It is not a cure for your addictions, nor a fix for your insatiable appetites. It’s not a magic pill to rid you of your pet patterns of sexual thoughts and behaviors. But it is a signpost that will point you to the City. And when you’re lost in the woods with no visibility, even a mere signpost is legitimate cause for buku rejoicing. - END

Saturday, March 27, 2004

I just found out that "Not Even a Hint" has been nominated for the Gold Medallion Award in the Christian Living category. The nominees are:

Broadman & Holman Publishers, Out of the Whirlwind, Mark Tabb
Moody Publishers, The Trouble With Jesus, Joseph M. Stowell
Multnomah Publishers, Inc., Not Even A Hint, Joshua Harris
Multnomah Publishers, Inc., The Grace And Truth Paradox, Randy Alcorn
WaterBrook Press, Every Man, God's Man, Stephen Arterburn, Kenny Luck, with Mike Yorkey

Five years ago "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" was nominated but didn't win. We'll see. It's just an honor to be nominated. Especially alongside my good friend Randy Alcorn.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

This blog about the book was encouraging in a funny sort of way. Reading it helped me better understand how different people have reacted to my first two books. It's by a spunky girl named Nikkiana who uses Tom's of Maine toothpaste and who likes iTunes. For these reasons alone I immediately like her. Her website is: http://everytomorrow.org

Nikkiana writes: "I bought Joshua Harris’s Not Even A Hint today. It’s a purchase I somewhat feel I have to justify, though I know I don’t really have to. I just feel like I do cause I feel like it might evoke some criticism.

In the past, I’ve been somewhat vocal as to my objections of Joshua Harris’s books I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl. With that being said, I suppose it seems kinda surprising that I bought Not Even a Hint… Maybe, maybe not… I’m actually thinking of buying I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl and giving them another go…

When I read I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl I was a baby Christian…. Not that I still am a baby Christian, I am in many ways, but at the time I read these books I had only been Christian for somewhere around three to six months, and I wasn’t really involved in a church. (I was attending a church, but wasn’t really a part of it.)

At the time, I found the books more discouraging than helpful. The books were written for teens/young adults who were rasied within the church. A good portion of the advice that I remember from the books involved parental and/or pastoral involvment. At the time, neither were available to me… Well, it wasn’t that pastoral involvment wasn’t available, it was more that I was a scared teenager who didn’t exactly know who to go to. (The church leadership at the church I was attending then was kinda confusing.)

My criticism of the books have little to do with the books themselves, rather my criticism has to do with the way many people react to the books. I’ve known people who’ve built themselves legalistic systems regarding dating… ahem… courtship based on these two books. I vehemately abhor legalism, to the point where I’ll end up sinning to avoid being part of someone else’s legalistic system.

Plus, after the Bible, these were the first two books tossed in my direction, and no one really took the time to sit down to explain to me, and reassure me that I was forgiven when I found that I’d pretty much done wrong everything that was in those books. I experienced a lot of guilt that I wasn’t sure what to do with when I was reading those books.

So, it wasn’t Joshua Harris. It was other people reading them and it was me. Now that I’m a bit more mature in my faith (though that’s questionable some days) and I’m actually part of a church where I feel comfortable going to people when I have questions and concerns, I think I might be ready to tackle Joshua Harris’s books again… although I know it won’t be easy, and I know I’m not going to like it."

Friday, February 20, 2004

If you've found your way to this blog...just a note that www.joshharris.com is down for a little bit. We're experiencing technical diffulties. I can't explain it because I don't understand it. Hopefully it will be back online soon.

Friday, February 13, 2004

Unbelievable! Dr. Al Mohler, the president of The Souther Baptist Theological Seminary did a commentary on Not Even a Hint on his February 13th web log. You can check it out here:

http://www.crosswalk.com/news/weblogs/mohler/

If you're not familiar with Dr. Mohler his is website is:

http://www.albertmohler.com/

The man is amazing. A genius really who is using all of his God-given gifts to serve the Lord. He is an eloquent, biblical and courageous spokesman for evangelical Christianity. Keep him in your prayers.

Monday, February 09, 2004

The response we've gotten to our "free book for web log review" has been a huge hit (especially with poor college kids who can't afford to buy it. Typing is cheap!) People from dozens of countries have responded and we're already getting back great reviews. So far no one has hated the book. Here's a sample of a review found on www.onelittlevoice.com

"The (in)famous author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl, Joshua Harris , recently released a new book, titled not even a hint . It's a book which deals with the age-old question of lust, and the response we as Christians should have to it.

When Joshua Harris' name comes up, people tend to be polarized. They either love him or hate him. I praise God for this brother, who is doing his best to shepherd a church and to challenge Christians in holy living. I wish his Asian-American heritage would be flaunted more (Yes, he's hapa, half Japanese) - we need a solid male, Christian, Asian-American role model. But I digress, this isn't post isn't about Joshua Harris, but rather about his newest book.

One thing that I really appreciate is the growth I see as I read his books. They constantly seem to grow in the knowledge of man's depravity, the goodness of God's grace, and the joy found in seeking His heart. NEAH really takes it a notch up in that regard. It really confronts the issue of lust with the cure found solely on the cross, and relying on God's sanctification to cleanse us and make us acceptable to our loving Father.

A unique issue that this book approaches is the issue of female lust. Yes, females lust. The church seems to have overlooked this far too long and lacks the infrastructure to address this. Maybe this book will open the doors of healing and free our sisters from the shame that is far too prominent.

The book is heavy on the work of the Spirit to sanctify us. However Harris also gives practical steps - such as reading and memorizing the Word, finding accountability and being wise about the media we ingest. He is open about his real life struggles and sins that he personally deals with, and that helps close the gap between author and reader."

Friday, February 06, 2004

I just learned that the interview Shannon and I did with Nancy Leigh DeMoss will air July 26-July 30, 2004.

For broadcast times & stations or to listen to the program online, you can visit www.reviveourhearts.com

Thursday, January 29, 2004

This letter is from a member of my church. These kind of stories are a reminder of the powerful way God can use the ministry of books. I can't believe I get to be an author. Reading something like this makes me shake my head in amazement at God's kindness...

"Hi Josh,
I wanted to drop a line to encourage you and to give testimony
to God's grace in the life of my extended family through the fruit
of your labors. At the mens meeting this fall, I picked up three
copies of your book, 'Not Even a Hint.' I knew it would be a
blessing to me in my life, but I also wanted to share the book's
message with my two brothers. I purchased the books with the
intent to give them out as Christmas presents.

My youngest brother lives in Florida, and we traveled down to
celebrate his wedding to a wonderful Christian lady over the
Thanksgiving holiday. I left the book with them, gift wrapped
with several other presents, for him and his family to open at
Christmas. A couple of days after Christmas, we called down
to wish everyone a belated merry Christmas and to catch up
on the latest news. My now sister-in-law answered the phone,
and quickly began to thank me for the book.

I thought to myself, 'Book? What book?'

She said that shortly after opening the gift, she began reading it.
She went on to say that it was a very thoughtful gift; she was
enjoying its content (she had already read the first two chapters);
and it was opening her eyes and addressing issues she had not
considered before.

Somewhere in the middle of all this, I gently asked (trying to
save face), 'What book did I give you?' She replied, 'You
know, the one written by Joshua Harris; the one on lust.'

You see I had purchased the book with my brothers in mind,
not considering that the materials might benefit my sisters-in-law
too. When I wrapped the book with the other gifts, I didn't
label anything as specifically going to any one individual. Much
to my delight (and, yes, to my surprise) my sister-in-law had
opened the gift along with my brother and was now being fed
spiritually from its content!

My middle brother and his wife joined us for the road trip down
to Florida for our youngest brother's wedding. On the way
back, we gave them our Christmas gifts (including your book)
for them to take back to Pennsylvania and open as part of their
Christmas.

I spoke with my middle brother on the phone this past Monday
(on MLK Jr. day), and as we were concluding a good phone
conversation and getting ready to say goodbye to one another
he spontaneously added, 'Hey, thanks for getting me that book!'

He then went on at length to tell me that he had read the entire
book, and had given it to one of his colleagues at work who is
now reading it. He said that the book has opened his eyes to
the world around him. He told me that when he and his wife
are watching TV or deciding which movie to watch/rent, they
now stop to evaluate what they are watching. He also said that
now wherever he goes, he is realizing just how much the world
is selling lust. He described an ongoing dialogue with his wife,
'There's lust; that's lust'; & and concluded, lust is everywhere!

Thank you for investing your time, energy, and life into writing
such a candid and relevant book. Thank you for working to
put this message into print. May this note be an encouragement
and a testimony to the potential impact of the written word in
contemporary publishing. Thank you for investing your life in
Covenant Life Church, and praise God for impact on the
broader body of Christ (including my family!). Thank you
for your leadership and personal example."

Be encouraged,
Mike

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

In July I had to give a 1-minute pitch to a group of buyers from Wal-Mart on why they should carry my book. Talk about feeling nervous! Wal-Mart practically owns the planet these days. If they decide to carry your book it's a really big deal. Even though what I shared wasn't very impressive, God gave me a favor and they ended up deciding to do a test run. So I think it's in select stores this month.

I got this letter from a girl who found it at her local Wal-Mart...

"So I was at Wal-Mart and I found your book...Not
Even A Hint. And when I saw that it was a book about
lust I begged my mother to buy it with the last few
dollars she had.........I told her about my
situation [with her boyfriend].....and well she thought it was the right
thing to do. God Bless her for getting that BOOK!!!!!
You really said things in the book that people don't
talk about........and think about. In the past few
months the relationship between my boyfriend and I
have DRASTICALLY changed. Our conversation is
different, my TV habits are different.......I even
skipped through commericals like your Pastor did
during the super bowl football game. I realized how
much sex invades our life and.....now I need to change
that. THANK YOU SO MUCH for writing a book that
helped me and my boyfriend's relationship grow closer
to God."—D.S. Baltimore, Maryland

I think it's amazing that God knew about this girl when he led the buyers at Wal-Mart to give it a try. Isn't that incredible?
If you haven't checked out www.discerningreader.com this great website is a quick way to find out about quality books and music.

They recently released their Best Books of 2003 list. They gave "Not Even a Hint" the "second place" finish with an honorable mention which is a huge encouragement. Harold Best's "Unceasing Worship" took the top spot.


I just found out today that "Not Even a Hint" will be published in Korean sometime in March.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

I'm in Orlando, Florida, this week. I'm here with the pastors from my church. We're taking a class on 1 Corinthians that is outstanding. We're learning so much and having a blast together.

We've gotten an amazing response to our "Free Book for Bloggers" offer. We've sent over 50 copies out to bloggers all over the world. I'm not sure how long we can afford to do this, but I'm grateful for all the men and women offering to read and review the book. My publisher agreed to send another 75 copies to us so that we can keep mailing them out for awhile.

The following is a portion of a letter I got today. I love the fact that this girl took immediate and specific action in response to what God revealed to her...

"I also wanted to let you know that your book of "not even a hint" is a very good book.. i realize that i did have a lust problem.. which i threw out all the videos that didn't please the Lord.. there was even a PG video that had the ouji board .. so i threw that out.. and everytime i get my girl magazines.. i throw them out as well.. and some of my cds that i had i threw out too. I think that book was a very helpful tool to everyone.. because i know everyone has some lust problem inside themselves if they want to admit it.. That was a start to see that i had a problem with my lust.. now if i watch a movie with kissing in it.. it gets me bent out of shape.. because i might stumble just watching that.. So it makes me aware of what i should and should not watch.. SO i wanted to say thank you for writing your books that you have so far wrote.. they are very useful and a good guidance for a single person myself."—R.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

This letter is a wonderful reminder of the transforming power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He has died for our sins so that we can be forgiven, cleansed and freed to obey Him. I so appreciate this young woman's honesty and faith...

"I'm a 19-yr-old young woman, and I recently read "Not Even a Hint", and I was truly touched by God in the moments I spent reading, praying and studying God's word. I also read many of the other stories on the website page and I just thought to myself, "hey, I need to share my story".

As a young child, I was sexually abused by my step father, and even though I "told on" him, my mother wasn't in a position to leave him. Obviously, that has been something for me to deal with: being angry at my mom for not protecting me. However, they remain married to this day. The sexual abuse stopped, and that's only by divine intervention. But, there was still constant emotional and mental abuse. I grew up feeling less than worthless, and I was constantly being criticized. My step father still criticizes me and tries to make me feel worthless sometimes, but God has been and I believe still is working on him.

The point of this part of the story is because it set the scene for so many broken hearts. When a little girl doesn't have a daddy who tells her she's a precious pearl of great price, it never occurs to you that you are worth more than nothing. I spent all of high school trying to find a guy who would love me enough to make up for the love my dad didn't give me. Needless to say, I also did everything I could to keep those guys in my life. Fortunately, God has protected my virginity, even though I have come dangerously close to losing it. Since sexual things were introduced into my life at a very early age, I have always struggled with lust. I realize that I could blame oher people for this, but no matter the cause, sin is sin. After reading "Not Even A Hint" i see that Christ set me free from all of those things: Anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, and lust.

Above all, I see that God is my father, because he IS the father to the fatherless. God has been carrying me since last August when I dealt with every aspect of my abuse and twisted view of men and what men see me as. The truth does indeed set you free. Jesus allowed us a forgiveness that we would never be able to earn, or even imagine. I am thankful that because He has forgiven me, I can forgive those who have used me, and mistreated me. God's love abounds and covers all."—Name Withheld



Wednesday, January 14, 2004

I just found another good place to buy books. It's the webstore for John MacArthur's church: www.gbibooks.com. They're featuring "Not Even a Hint." It turns out the pastor of the young adults liked it so much he bought 800 copies so he could give them to every single man and woman in the church. This is all more encouraging when he told me that he didn't really like my first two books! Here's the review he wrote for the website:

"The sin of sexual lust is mostly a private battle in the lives of men and women in the Church. And finding help in this battle is not easy. But finally, a book has been written that should find itself in the hands of all who wrestle with lustful thoughts—men and women, youths and adults. Joshua Harris's Not Even a Hint is the most biblical and appropriate treatment of this subject I have read. Harris's strategy is correct—the only hope for dealing with lust is rightly understanding and applying the truths of the gospel in our battle. Because victory in this struggle is so important, I even gave a copy away to each person in my college ministry. This is one of the rare "must reads" of the year!"—Rick Holland. Pastor, College & Youth Ministries, Grace Community Church

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

God is at work in hearts...Awesome! Check this letter out...

"Hi, My name is J. I am 19 and a sophomore in college in Texas. I recently purchased and read your newest book, "Not Even A Hint". I bought it Saturday night and finished it about five minutes before writing this email. I am already making plans to read it again. I'm sure you hear so many stories from so many people it's overwhelming, but God has blessed me and I wanted to let you know. I remember when your first book "I kissed dating goodbye" came out. I laughed at the thought. I thought it wasn't for me since I wasn't dating everyone in sight every weekend. When I saw "Not Even a Hint" at the bookstore I stopped dead in my tracks. Lust has been something I have seriously dealt with since I started high school. I also remember the first time I admitted it. I had been struggling for 3 years, alone. I must say that God has used your book to change my life in less than 48 hours. It made me so aware of the little sins of lust. It made me see that I CAN choose to ignore the temptations with God's strength.

I have always been one of those girls that has a steady boyfriend and is a normal amount of popular. I had two serious boyfriends in high school and this past summer was nearly engaged to a guy I met in college. I was so concerned with getting my life in order that getting married right after college was a priority and this guy was fine with that plan. Fortunately I realized he was not the man God had chosen for me about a month before we were going to get a promise ring. Since that near mistake, I have sworn off dating. At first it was because I was appalled at my ability to be so misguided. Now, it's a choice I am proud to have made. At the time, I was really seeking God's will and managed to get caught up in the fairy tale romance that unfolded. It was so wonderful I felt like only God could've arranged it. When I saw the truth, I was left feeling very cynical.

Since then, I have been fine with not dating, but I have struggled with lust more and more because there was no love life for me in the foreseeable future. This little less-than-200-page book irrevocably changed me. Or, I should say that God spoke through it to change me. Your words have touched my heart, to the very center of who God has made me to be. It truly is a freeing experience to shake off the chains of lust and embrace the freedom of the truth of sex and sexuality that is created by God. My friends and I joke that some of us are blessed with a "healthy sex drive" and we have spent minimal amounts of prayer time on it. Seems to me that this book will bring to all of our attentions the purity of heart and manner God's looking for.

I have struggled with guilt from a past relationship that left me feeling used and broken. This book has helped me to see God HAS mended the pieces and He allows me the freedom, no the joy, of choosing to be pure in all senses of the word, in every aspect of my life. I thank God that someone found the way to write this poignant book about the lies of lust and the truth of the desires God created us to have. Thank you so much for allowing God to use you like this." — J.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

An old friend of Shannon's wrote her and mentioned that she had seen my new book at a Barnes & Noble bookstore. She picked it up, realized that it was about battling lust and "turned bright red" in embarrassment. A lady from my church wrote me and confessed that she enjoyed the book but found it difficult to give to others out of fear of what they'd think of her. She also told me about a friend she knew who was reading it but had it wrapped in brown paper so people wouldn't see what she was reading.

All these stories amused me. But they saddened me a little, too. I've gotten used to being very honest about this subject but I sometimes forget that others aren't so comfortable. Hearing these stories made me see that the reach of this book will be limited because of peoples fear. I guess I forgot that some people, even people who really need it, are too afraid to be seen reading it. That's too bad.

The publisher was always afraid "Not Even a Hint" would be a "brown paper bag" book that people wouldn't want to take to the counter and buy. I'm happy to say I don't think that has been the case. Gratefully there are many men and women (I guess about 65,000 so far) who are confident enough and real enough to be willing to buy a book on overcoming lust. And even risk being seen reading it.

Monday, January 05, 2004

This letter was encouraging and it made me laugh...

"Yesterday I sat on my couch sobbing because I realized the utter filth in my heart as a result of lust.  To everyone around, I look as though I'm the "perfect" Christian and am frequently given the name "Jesus Freak."  However, man doesn't see the heart.  I ended up taking a two hour drive to be alone with God and pray.  Last night I went to Barnes and Noble with a gift certificate.  The friend who was with me only knew God had been teaching me a lot yesterday and I asked her to look with me for a book that would be challenging.  She picked up your book, read me the title and description and I immediately said "Give me that now!" 

I have read your other two books and although I agreed with them, they did not change my life as Not Even a Hint has already.  I read the whole book today and have shared with a couple of people that I feel on my favorite book list it is second only to the Bible.  I underlined so much today and plan to go back and type up what I underlined to use as a constant reminder of God's plan for me.  I also plan to begin memorizing the scriptures listed in the book. 

Thank you for allowing God to work through you and Shannon and sharing your "secrets" to show others the endless possibilities in spiritual growth.

I must admit I laughed pretty hard when I got to page 81 and read.. "Women have sex drives too!" a woman named Katie wrote me.  "Believe me, as a twenty-two-year-old virgin, I know."  You see, my name is Katie and I am a 22 year old virgin (also I was born in 81).  If that's not a sign a book was made for you, I don't know what could be.  I believe God lead me to your book last night and I just wanted you to know the impact is has and will continue to make on my life." - Katie

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Gentlemen, do you want another reason to flee pornography? Here's a letter from a daughter whose father is controlled by lust:

Dear Mr. Harris,

I am an 18 year old college student and I just wanted to take a moment to thank you with all my heart and more for what you are doing. Being a godly young lady in today's society is a challenging thing to be. It means so much to me to know that someone cares enough about the real struggles, us "youngens" face. I am deeply grateful that GOD has chosen someone to be a voice to shine the beam on something that some churches keep hushed about.

Finally, I wanted to share with you, your books and your fight are even more of a GOD sent gift to me because my father is addicted to pornagraphy and it has torn my home life apart. There is nothing but women in my house—my Mama, my 16 year old sister and I—we have seen the degradation, we have even more felt the pain of dealing with our loved one who is oppressed in nearly every way. My mother has become hardened and I pray, hanging on to the LORD and hoping in HIM that one day HE will bring deliverence.

I am brought to tears to know that I have an opportunity, with your godly help to bring a refreshing legacy to my "one day" family. Thank you deeply. Hiding in HIS LOVE,—C.

A man's sin doesn't just effect his own life—it touches the lives of those around him. To any young men who are reading: fight lust today so that you won't bring sinful patterns into your future marriages.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Letter from a youth pastor...

Dear Joshua,
I just finished your book, " Not even a hint." I wanted to say it is
wonderful and completely needed in the culture today. I have read all
your books so far, and I have been very impressed with your sincerity and
honesty. I am 25 yrs old and a youth Pastor in TN. I
have struggled with my sexuality all of my life as do most young men I
suppose. The lack of resources for christians is amazing in regard to
sexual behavior. We have for years been told what not to do, but rarely
what is a proper biblical response. Thank you for this book. So many
young men want to live a righteous life before God, but like myself feel
powerless to control our sexual drives. I have ruined relationships
because of my selfishness, I am trying my best to preserve my marriage
from the sins of my past and the lust that drove my flesh deeper into
sin. This book is a powerful tool and I hope and pray that it will
become a best seller. We need it. Thanks,- B.


Sunday, December 07, 2003

The booksigning was fun. I always have fun hanging out in a Christian bookstore. I think I signed four books. And one was a book that I bought for a girl who came in with her friends. It's not a very good sign when you have to buy your own book to get people to take a copy home! But I think she was happy to get it.

Last week I received the following email from an 18-year-old girl:

Dear Mr. Harris,

When I was around 14 or so I got "I kissed dating
goodbye" and my parents could tell you that I went on
a crusade to get all the guys and girls in my church
to read it. When "Boy meets Girl" came out I ate it
up. I loved your ideas from both books, they were the
kind of books I would want to write if I wrote on the
subject, they confirmed many of my own ideas and gave
me many new ones to add to the mix, and they were very
encouraging. However there was one book that I was
forever searching for that simply did not exsist, and
now you've written it! I'm 18 now and I'm presently
reading the second chapter of "Not even a hint" and i
just had to stop and send you about a million thank
you's. As I believe many others have, I have stuggled
with lustful thoughts and and desires throughout my
teenage years. I'm a thinker and I was always looking
for some book I could read or some type of answer on
how I should deal with it. Instead I found many
different views on what was ok and what wasn't, and I
found that nearly everything, if not everything,
written on the subject was geared towards men. That
doesn't help me much as I am a girl and that only
seemed to tell me that it's natural for guys to have
these stuggles but I must just be some oddball, which
I've come to realise is totally untrue. Most of my
teenage years I had to find ways to formulate my own
ideas on the subject and as I read your book it seems
to me that I'm begining to come to the same
conclusions you have yourself. I always knew that God
alowed for "not even a hint" and it confused me when I
came across people that said "this much is ok, but no
more". How can that be anyways? Lust is like a drug,
if you alow even a hint then you are going to
eventualy be battling an overwhelming desire for much
more then a hint. It seems plain that thats why God
makes no alowance, because that would simply be
unnessary pressure that we would not be able to
handle.

I must say that one of the main reasons I'm so very
thankful is because I have a 14 year old friend who is
in much the same boat I was in at her age, and I
desperatly want to help her so that she does not have
to find these answers alone like I did, but I didn't
know how to go about it, and as I said, there simply
isn't much out there for us girls. The church seems to
have left us in the dust to fight our battles alone
and that has to stop, because it is God's desire to
see these WOG's (woman of God) liveing free and
unencombered, fruitful lives. I have a great desire to
help girls that are between the ages of 12 and 15,
girls at this age are bambarded with wrong and twisted
images of what they should be, and this is the age
most critical in formulating how they view themselves.
Girls that struggle with lust at this age will be in a
great bondage to shame for the remainder of there
lives if someone does not point them in the right
direction. Thank you thank you thank you for writeing
this book, it needed to be writen. I feel this book
will be a great help to both me and my friend. Thank
you for letting God use you.

Sincerely,
JB

Saturday, December 06, 2003

It snowed again this morning. We're trimming our tree. We stooped low this year and bought one from Home Depot. Shannon vows to never do so again because you don't actually get to see the shape of the tree before you buy it. But it turned out okay.

This afternoon I'm doing a booksigning at Lake Forest Mall. It's me and Larry Boy. Josh Harris and a cucumber! What a draw. Shannon and I were laughing that because of the snow I'll be fortunate if two people show up! And no doubt those two will be there for Larry.


Wednesday, November 19, 2003

I just got this letter. It's one of those letters that sums up why I wrote the book. It's so amazing to think that God could use the work of a sinner like me to reach out and help a guy that I'll probably never get to meet on earth. Praise God! He's in the business of rescuing people enslaved to their sin. If your life is anything like this man's I hope you'll be challenged to take the courageous steps of obedience that he describes...

"I heard Josh Harris on the radio. The next day, I immediately ordered the book. I was excited to hear that other people (especially men) struggle with lust and feel guilt and shame about it. For some reason, I felt I might be the only one conflicted.

Then I read the book. I was shocked to see how much of it applied to me. I suppose I thought that what I did "behind closed curtains in dark rooms" just didn't really apply to my life. I've struggled with many of the issues in the book and always failed miserably when I tried to stop. But Mr. Harris' open communication and honesty brought home to me all the points I knew deep down but denied.

At this mid-stage of life, I'm 39 years old, I've been having what could be called a "spiritual crisis". I've been searching, examining my life and finding myself in deep distress with the way I live my life and realizing I'm not only "not on the path", I'm no where NEAR the path. I've begun trying to "clean up my act"; clean up my life; do away with my wicked ways. Then this book, Not Even A Hint, found its way into my life. It must have been the grace of God that I happened upon that radio interview.

So, the other night, I rid my house of those things that not just cause me to lust but to give in to sexual immorality. I'd been meaning to do it for a while, but never did. You know, "just because it's here, doesn't mean I have to indulge". Just another lie I told myself. Because of Mr. Harris' inspiration, everything went into the trash; the night before garbage day, so it is GONE. As I was filling the garbage bag, I realized that the extent of evil goes beyond my immorality, guilt and shame; I thought of all that money I'd spent. What a waste.

I know this is a book that I won't read just once. In fact, I'm getting ready to read it again. This is a subject that I so struggle with but lied to myself about struggling with. Everything around just screams "SEX" and as a single man, I find myself getting deeper and deeper. I'm trying to climb out of the pit of sexual immorality; but they are baby steps. I know that there will never come a day when I wake up in the morning and it's gone; there is no "lust-be-gone pill". I have to "guard my heart against lust" and that will be a constant endeavor; but one I willingly and gladly want to do. My chances of "slipping" and "failing" are good for I've got years of "bad habits" to overcome. But I will not accept those failures with a shrug of my shoulders. As I ask Jesus for help in my stuggle against myself, I trust that He will give me the strength and will to walk in His ways."—J.

Awesome! He will give you strength to walk in His ways, my friend. Keep trusting and obeying.

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