The ground is level at the foot of the cross....recovering addict rescued by the saving grace of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Monday, November 16, 2009

It's My Room!

Today Marina and I got into a big fight over her room. Since she was a small child, Marina's room has always been a bit of a disaster area. It regularly looks like a small tornado, or micro-burst, started to go through her room; realized half-way through that the tornado was actually making the room cleaner, and then just gave up. Our 9 yr-old son is much the same way with cleanliness, except he shares his room with Phillip, who likes to keep his toys in their original boxes. This makes for a wonderfully charming dyamic between the two.

This weekend I finally got tired of stumbling through their rooms like a blind burglar and decided to consolidate the two messy children into the same room. Marina would move into Nick's room and Phillip would move into Marina's room. As you can imagine, it was NOT a popular decision, except with Phillip, who gets Marina's room for a week. Some of the discussions included whether this move would backfire and push Marina further away, and whether she had a right to maintain her room the way she saw fit.

I thought long and hard about this because I definitely do NOT want to push Marina away during these last couple of years in high school. At the same time, we have certain expectations for the room that Mary and I give to our kids. Even though it costs the kids nothing to receive, it costs Mary and me a lot of money and hard work to give the rooms. It's not unreasonable then, that we want to see our gifts taken care of.

I started to think of how we view our bodies as belonging to ourselves and we have the "right" to use our bodies as we desire. The reality, however, is something totally different. Our bodies are gifts from God. Not only that, they are united with Christ himself. In 1 Cor 6:15 Paul reminds us Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and untie them with a prostitute? Never! Later on, in 1 Cor 6:19, Paul continues with Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.

I have lived in a state of rebellion as a sexual addict. I treated my body as if it were mine and mine alone and defiled my body in an affair and through my sexual acting out. I still struggle with tempation of mind and body even though God, just a few verses earlier (1 Cor 6:18) commands us to Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Paul is clearly telling us that our sexual sins are not just against God but destructive to ourselves. Yet despite all of this, my rebellious, sinful nature reaches out for that which will destroy us.

Romans 12:1 says Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.

So in the end, my rebellion against God, through my sexual addiction, is not unlike my daughter's and son's rebellion against me with "their" room. It would seem that we all must learn to listen more carefully to our fathers and honor the gifts that our fathers give to us as our spiritual acts of worship. In this way, we will be transformed from what we are to what God wants us to be.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

An Incredible Revelation

It was 11:45 PM a few nights ago, Mary had gone to sleep and I felt this strong compulsion to read the Bible. I read some from Psalms and Isaiah, but what really struck me was Romans. Chapters 2-3 just opened my eyes to understanding several things. It was amazing because through the Holy spirit I finally understood the purpose of the Law, or Old Testament, and how we fit into the law and God's righteousness. Most of all, I'm beginning to understand, in my heart and not just in my head, the true meaning of Jesus' salvation.

You are righteous when you obey God's laws, even if you know nothing about them. On the other hand, if you know the law and brag about your relationship with God and don't live the law, you will actually push people away from God. Romans 2:28 says "a man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly." There are a lot of times when I fit into this category. I spend my time talking about my relationship with God, but not living it. When was the last time I helped out the poor? When was the last time I reached out to the broken through action rather than words? When was the last time I made a commitment to help those in need and saw it through?

So back to righteousness. God uses the law to show us how high His standards are, but the Jews missed the point and focused on the outward actions rather than the inward heart. So along comes Jesus to help clarify that what's on the inside is even more important than the outside. In Romans 3:11 Paul paraphrases Psalms 14:103 and says "there is no one righteous, not even one," which is that no matter what we do, we will fail to meet God's perfect standards. Under the law we would truly have to be zero-defects.

But here's the deal, the purpose of the law is to hold the entire world accountable to God, and none of us will be declared righteous by observing the law alone, because honestly, none of us are good enough. However, God uses the law to make us conscious of sin. In other words, the law is a barometer of sin.

So how can we be righteous in God's eyes? Through FAITH in Jesus Christ! Paul reminds us "all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God." I find this reassuring especially when Satan uses my guilt, about my addiction, to attack me and push me away from God and away from my family.

This next verse is so critical to this discussion. Romans 3:24-25 says "and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood."

Justification is when a judge declares a defendant not guilty. So picture that you're in a courtroom, because we're ALL going to be in front of a judge when we die. All your sins, each and everyone of them, are presented before God. The evidence is overwhelmingly against you. God asks is anyone will speak on your behalf. If nobody speaks, God will find you guilty and you will spend the rest of eternity shut off from God, in Hell, forever in torment.

Instead, Jesus rises and testifies for you because you accepted him into your life. He says that he already atoned, or sacrificed to take your place as guilty. Jesus' sacrifice of atonement purchased your freedom, which is the meaning of redemption (to purchase someone out of slavery and give them their freedom). After hearing Jesus speak, God turns to you and pronounces you "Not Guilty" and you enter that gates of heaven, because you put your faith in Jesus.

Here's the best part, if you've accepted Jesus as your Savior in your heart, this day has already occurred. So you're free to go and sin no more. You're free to spread the Good News that this salvation and freedom are available to anyone. You're free to bring heaven to earth through your actions. Now go forth and sin no more.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Jesus Loves You.......This I Know

From the book, Jesus Loves You.... This I Know by Craig Gross and Jason Harper

Monday, August 03, 2009

The Power of Prayer

Right now we're going through an incredibly difficult time, which I will write about more in the near future. People have been praying for us continuously and it's just so humbling and incredible to see so many people speak to God on our behalf. What is even more humbling is when we see God respond to prayers, like in this video.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

God Moment #3

Yesterday morning I was reading the Bible. I can't even begin to explain enough how much of a difference reading God's Word first thing in the morning brings to my whole day. What's weird is sometimes, He just reveals Himself and it totally freaks me out.

For example, yesterday I came across Psalm 18. There was a particular section, Psalm 18:16-19, that jumped out at me. It says,

He reached down from on high and took hold of me,
He drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the Lord was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place,
he rescued me because he delighted in me.

This verse really spoke to me because that's what God is doing with me right now, as He is saving me from myself. My foe is my addiction, and it's absolutely more powerful than I am.

Wave after endless wave.

I was sinking.

I was drowning.

I was dying.

Then God stepped in. He reached out and grabbed a hold of me, using ministries like XXXChurch, Pure Life, Freedom Ministries, and the Weekend to Remember Marriage Seminar. He pulled me into recovery and started to heal myself and my marriage.

And then came a period of relapses. Relapses, that I didn't treat as relapses because I thought that I hadn't fully give back in to my addiction, failing to realize that with each slip, I was sliding further back into the waters.

Like the swimmer who doesn't realize that he's gone to far from the shore.

Deeper and deeper.

Until I couldn't say I was sober. Until my demons confronted me on the day of my disaster. The day that I had to tell my wife that I relapsed.

It was at this time, that God stepped back into my life. He opened my eyes. He opened my heart. He reached back down, and rescued me from my powerful enemy and brought me out to a spacious place. A place of safety.


Because He delighted in me.

In me.

A struggling addict who couldn't even see his addiction for what it was.

He delighted in me.

So how is this a God Moment? Well, that same morning when I read this verse, I went downstairs to get ready for our trip to Everland. I started listening to a new podcast called Porn to Purity. It's done by a married couple that share their struggle with sexual addiction. The husband's addiction had cost him his ministry and nearly destroyed their lives, because addiction isn't just about the addict.

The wife was talking about what was helping her get through. I say getting through, because they were 2 years into recovery, which reminded me that recovery is more than just 12-steps. The wife started to share Bible verses that really helped her, and the first one she shared was Psalm 18:18. The very verse that an hour earlier I had just read and that God spoke into my heart so profoundly.

It was like this reinforcement of how much He loved me. It was like a reminder of His comittment to me.

And then this morning, while reading Rob Bell's Sex God, which is a book about God's plan for sex, I started to see how all of this was connected. I started to see how God had been working in my life all these years, leading me to this point in my recovery where I was open to Him. It's amazing to see how He interconnects things. In fact, it blew me away when I saw it, but I'll save that for later.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Heart of the Matter

This morning I read Job 31:9-12 which really spoke to me, especially Job 31:9-10 which says:

"If my heart has been enticed by a woman or if I have lurked at my neighbor's door, then may my wife grind another man's grain, and may other men sleep with her."

Job states that if his heart has been captured by another woman, then his wife may as well sleep with other men because that is the same that he has done by giving his heart to another.

The word "enticed" is such an excellent word because it's so easy for us, as men, to forget how easily we can be led, or lead ourselves, astray. As a recovering sex addict I convinced myself that I wasn't cheating on my wife because I was not having a physical affair even though Jesus clearly states in Matthew 5:29:

"But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

During the course of my recovery I've learned that lusting after a woman is the same as cheating on my wife, and my wife confirmed this as well. Slowly over time God has opened my eyes to see the destruction that my addiction caused and at times the pain and guilt threaten to overwhelm me. He's also opened my eyes to see how willingly I allowed my heart to become enticed by other women, whether I knew them in real life or online. I thought that my addiction was just about satisfying my physical cravings, but I've realized that it was also about my emotional needs, which were even more poisonous to my family and myself.

Lord, I confess that I have sinned in both my body and my heart, and I repent from my ways and ask that with your help Dear Lord that you continue to strengthen me through my recovery. Lord, I ask for your healing touch in my heart, my wive's heart, and my children's hearts. I ask, Lord, that you help me forgive myself, and help me release my guilt to you Lord.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

New Family Blogsite

Mary and I started this blog to provide family and friends with light-hearted pictures and updates of what was going on in our lives. Over time, it's taken on a more serious tone and really started to address our spiritual journey as well as my road to recovery. We tried to do both but feel that if we started another blogsite we would be able to do a better job at focusing on each topic. Therefore, it's with great excitement that we bring you The Funsized Family Blog which will focus on all the stuff that we had originally planned to discuss before I hijacked the blog with my rambling, whiny, endless blog posts.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Anna's Hair Tramua

I was sitting at the computer when I heard a child crying at the playground, which is not an unusual event.  After a minute, I realized that it was Anna, which once again wasn't an unusual event.  What was unusual though was when I heard the other kids start to panic, which caused me to run outside. 

Anna and her friend were giving each other rides on a moving hand cart.  It's one of those things that movers use to haul boxes up and down.  Anna's hair got caught and her friend kept pushing the cart.  Her hair was completely tangled around the wheel and when I finally got her untangled we had a huge clump of Anna's hair.  Here are some pics.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

The Heart of Worship

One of the things that I'm bad about is judging a church by its worship music.  If I don't like the music, I don't like the church.  In fact, that was one of the big reason we left the first church we went to in Kansas, even though the pastor delivered excellent sermons and their congregation was active.

I find mysef wanting, or better yet, demanding that the worship music make me feel a certain way and then I can focus on God.  When I do this, it becomes all about me and not about Him.  

Today, God used this video to speak to my heart, and how I need to change my attitude towards worship.  I've actually said the line about the guitar not being loud enough!  In the end, it's not about us, it's all about Him and it's about time I start remembering that.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Marina with Leni and Jeffery at her first Military Ball

Marina was invited to her first Military Ball.  Ha, now she knows what I go through!!!  She had a good time but admitted that all the speeches were BORING!!  I actually felt for her.  I can't believe that my little baby girl is going to be 15 in 2 weeks!!

Fireproof Bible Study

We were doing a Bible Study on the movie Fireproof, which is a movie about marriage and the effect of pornography in the marriage. We were blessed to have one of the movie actors, Ken Bevel, join us and share his testimony. It was incredible.

My lovely ladies

Mary and Marina at the CO-EX Mall

Monday, April 27, 2009

God Moment #2

A few weeks ago, I was in the shower. In the past, I would often act out sexually (masturbate) in the shower. One of my basic boundaries for staying sober is no porn and no masturbation.

This particular day, I was very tempted to act out and could feel myself starting to disconnect and go into my fantasy world. I said a prayer to God for help. All of a sudden a centipede-like bug crawled by my foot in the shower. I had to kill it, which knocked me out of my mood and saved me from relapsing.

It's an incredible reminder that God IS listening and acting in our lives everday. At the same time, it totally freaked me out because God answered my prayer instantly, which reminds me that He is there ALL the time and knows our every thought and action even before we do. Praise God!

Monday, April 20, 2009

January Pics

Well, it's been way too long since we've last updated the blog. We've been spending a lot of time on Facebook :) Here are a few pictures from January. It was a quiet month and we focused on catching our breath from the Christmas season. We were blessed to spend some time with the Kim's, who are friends of ours from CGSC at Fort Leavenworth.

Monday, February 09, 2009

God Moment #1

We've decided to keep track of the little God Moments as reminders of how God works throughout our lives and the lives of those around us.

Tonight's God moment was when Anna, Nick, Mary, and I were praying before bed. Here's what Anna prayed for:

"that Papi can get to work on time and that Grandma Ruth won't step on thorns."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

On New Years Eve we went to a Norebang (a Korean Karoke room) with some friends.  This is Anna and Tyler having fun singing the itsy bitsy spider!

We had just goten out of Christmas service and went to the Dragon Hil to see all the Christmas decorations.  They had a countdown to Christmas so the kids got their picture by it.

We were at the Plaza Hotel and Mike went upstairs to get a picture of all the kids from above.  

We took the kids ice skating.  It was so nice, they had lots of fun.

Marina and Anna. 

After we went ice skating we took the kids to get a snack a a Dunkin Donuts.  On our way we stopped by a Palace by the City Hall and snapped this photo.

The kids are sledding in our backyard.  Not much snow but they didn't care, they still had fun!!

Nick Christmas Caroling at the Dragon with his class.  Anna and I went to watch, it was so cute!!

Skating in Seoul

The family went skating at the City Hall in Seoul. It only cost 1,000 won to go skating and included the skates!

Guitar Hero World Tour

Sunday, January 11, 2009

LifeChurch TV

I checked out Lifechurch TV for the first time. It was really incredible. They also have LifeGroups afterwards online.

A Pirate, A Pirate says Arrrr!

Let this be a lesson to all you future pirates out there!

Somali pirates drown as they flee with ransom

SIX Somali pirates who hijacked a Saudi supertanker drowned with their share of the ransom when their boat capsized as it left the vessel, their leader said yesterday.

Four others were missing with their share of the $3m payoff, which been parachuted on to the tanker on Friday, Mohamed Said said by phone from the port of Harardhere.

“The small boat that was carrying those killed and eight who survived was overloaded . . . they were afraid of a chase from outsiders [foreign navies of the combined maritime forces],” he said.

Mohamud Aden, a resident of the port off which the tanker had been anchored watched by the warships, said: “The capsize was an accident. The pirates were full of joy and partially frightened by the presence of foreign war machines and were speeding. That was a tragedy for the pirates.”

In all, several dozen raiders had held the ship and its 25-member crew, including two Britons, to ransom. They were well-armed and disciplined but as soon as they got the ransom a shootout nearly broke out, it was reported.

The 1,080ft Sirius Star, owned by Aramco, is the largest vessel hijacked by the Somali pirates. It was seized in November in the Indian Ocean, well outside the raiders’ usual operating area.

The tanker was carrying 2m barrels of oil, more than a quarter of Saudi Arabia’s daily output and worth an estimated $100m. Its capture was seen as a dramatic demonstration of the pirates’ ability to strike hundreds of miles offshore.

The tanker’s crew included second officer Jim Grady, from Renfrewshire, and chief engineer Peter French, from Co Durham. Yesterday they were looking forward to coming home, though latest reports said the ship was still anchored off Harardhere.

More than 100 ships were attacked off the Horn of Africa last year and maritime officials said the problem was out of control. The pirates were said to have raked in $120m and still hold some 14 merchant ships and 300 crew.

The Sirius Star’s release came as the US Fifth Fleet announced that a taskforce targeting piracy would be launching later this month.

Nato and the European Union have warships in the Gulf and the Chinese navy has said it will assist.

Monday, January 05, 2009


I love this song. It's Whatever You're Doing by Sanctus Real.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Year in Review

It's hard to believe that 2008 is over.  So much has happened in the past couple of years that it's hard to keep things straight sometimes.  Here's a quick recap of 2008:

- January:  Grandpa Pavek went home to Grandma.  His Alzheimer's disease meant that he didn't recognize any of us anymore.  I think the hardest part of the disease is that you lose your loved one well before they pass away.  The day that he died we were driving up to MN and were listening to the The Bible Experience (an audio fullcast version of the Bible) and going through the Lord's Prayer when Mom called to tell us that we didn't need to hurry any longer.  To this day, the Our Father reminds me of that moment.  We also started attending the Open Door Baptist Church in KC.

- February: Joe and Sarah visited us in our house in KS.  This was the first time that they had visited us since we lived in Colorado in 1997.  It turned out to be a great visit and really brought the two families together.  At the end of the month, I joined Freedom Ministries to help with my sexual addiction.  This was a life-changing event.  I would like to say my road to recovery has always been smooth, but I've had my share of setbacks.  Nevertheless, I continue to trust in God and lift my addiction up to Him.  Please continue to pray for me with this season of trial.

- April: I coached Phillip and Nick's soccer team. It was a great experience and I loved the opportunity to get closer with the boys.  We also finally got our PCS orders to Korea and started making all the preparations for the move overseas.

- May:  As part of my recovery, I had to face some of my past failures the last time I ws in Korea.  It's funny how things that you push to the back of your mind comes out during recovery.  I've had to face several such skeletons.

- June: CGSC Graduation!  I really enoyed my time at the school.  I got reacquainted with some old friends and made several new ones.  We said goodbye to new friends and began the trip to Korea by starting off with leave in MN.  We had a family reunion, reconnecting to two sides of my dad's family.  This started during Grandpa's funeral when we realized how much we long it had been since we all sat down together.  

- July:  PCS to Korea.  One of the greatest God moments in my recent memory occured when my prayers were answered before my very eyes while trying to find seats on the airplane, after being bumped from our flight.  Seats were unavailable because we had Zoey with.  I said a quick prayer that we find seats and all of a sudden seats opened up!  

- August: The boys joined Kumdo and Tae Kwon Do.  I participated in a big training exercise, which had its emotional moments.

- September:  The kids started their first year in an overseas school.  Anna joined ballet and we went on a trip to Yesan.  After attending nearly every english church in the area, we settled on the Seoul International Baptist Church.

- October:  New neighbors moved in that we would become good friends with. 

- November: Anna joined Kinderdance.  Mary had her nasal polyp removal surgery in a Korean hospital. We had Thanksgiving at our house, which was a first for us.

- December: Merry Christmas!!!! Ice skating, Karaoke, and shopping trips.  We broadcasted our present opening on the internet for my parents to watch.  It was really hard to remain focused on Jesus at times.  This is something that we all need to work on, but I realized how blessed we are to be here in Korea together.  We miss our family all the time, but are looking forward to the day when we are all reunited.

That pretty much wraps everything up.  We hope that you all had a good New Year and look forward to hearing from each of you.  Happy New Year!

The Pavek's