Book Reviews, Author Interviews, and News from the Publishing World.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Author Interview with Michael Clairborne
Today we're talking with Michael Clairborne, author ofA Christian's Guide to Overcoming Sexual Struggle.
FQ: You indicated that you too struggled with your sexuality. What was the most difficult part of this struggle for you?
My deepest struggle in my sexual walk with God was believing that I could land
a wife through having a girlfriend/boyfriend type relationship. The biggest mistake that any Christian will make is having sex before marriage. After the age of eighteen, it is hard not to go out to clubs and bars. It is because your social life is lost after high school. College campuses and clubs are full of alcohol and partying. Church is great for worship. However, I found that young adult programs are slim or non-existent in most churches. Everyone needs a place to unwind. I believe that in the twenty first century, churches need to band together and build places where young Christian adults can get together and party without alcohol or sex being involved. I felt a lot of loneliness in my twenties and I often felt driven to go out to bars and clubs in order to socialize with people. Now looking back, I wish that I never had sex before marriage. I say this because you will never forget that you disobeyed God during a difficult temptation. Jesus will always forgive you for your past sins. However, you will not be able to forget so easily. Whatever you put into your spirit, will remain with you forever.
FQ: At the age of thirteen you accepted Christ into your life. Tell us about this decision.
When I was thirteen, I did not want to live anymore. I actually was trying to find a way to commit suicide. I did not tell my mother about this decision or anyone else. My father died of alcoholism when I was only twelve. I was separated from him for eight years. I did not see my father between the ages of four years old and twelve years old. During this time period, I moved more than six times. I constantly became detached from my friends because of the moves. I also did not have a good relationship with my step-father. I found myself becoming a loner because I stuttered as a child and gained lots of weight. The kids would often tease me and it destroyed my self esteem.
At that time, I was starting Junior high school and drugs were all around my school. Kids were bringing in drugs all of the time and selling it to their friends. Rock was heavy in the 1980's and it seemed cool to smoke pot. A kid in my class was a known drug user and I asked him about drugs and how I could get a hold of some. He was a year older than me. He was fourteen. I thought that I could start off small by smoking pot and then moving into heavier drugs and overdose on one of them. That is how I planned to commit suicide back then. However, a friend in my class was a born again Christian. The same day that I was talking to the drug addict in my class about drugs, I met this other kid that went to church. He was not a preachy kid. He was an outcast like me though. We got along so well that he decided to invite me over to his house for dinner. I agreed and that weekend changed my life forever. I was brought to his house and went to his church. The church was a small born again Episcopal church. During the service, the preacher asked me if I wanted to accept Jesus into my heart and to give Him a chance. I immediately said yes. Even though I was attending mass each week at a nearby Catholic church, I did not feel the Holy Spirit in my life or a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. After I received Jesus into my life, I went to a teen Christian retreat and that changed my life forever. I no longer wanted to die. I wanted to live for Jesus and to build a relationship with Him over the years. That was the best decision that I ever made.
FQ: You mentioned many talk shows, news network broadcasts, reality shows and lessons you learned from them. How much did these lessons factor into what you wrote in this book?
The lessons that I learned from the media factored into my book around 30%. What truly impacted my book was the clients that I minister to on a daily basis. Their stories, pain and situations, caused me to write the book.
FQ: How do you continue to keep your life on track despite obvious, ongoing temptations in today’s world?
I keep a steady prayer life. I spend my time working and I have a great family life. It is important to remain balanced in reading the Holy Bible and to pray daily. I also tell my wife everything that is going on in my life. It is important to have an open communication with your life partner as well as honesty. Every person needs at least one individual that they can put their full trust and honesty in. I believe that journaling is important as well. I tend to journal every day.
FQ: You talked a bit about the “stale Christian.” Perhaps you’d like to tell our readers more about this type of Christian and how you perceive him.
A stale Christian is someone that you cannot talk to. They have become so engulfed in their own opinions, judgments and beliefs, that they are scary. They do not make you feel good when you are around them and they are not happy people. Stale Christians have often forgotten their true faith in Jesus Christ and do not spend enough time in prayer and worship with the Lord. It is important for Christians to have faith and to remain positive. God expects us to trust Him in our times of trouble.
FQ: Journaling is obviously a very important part of a Christian’s journey. Tell us what you have learned from it personally.
I have learned that you can talk about your troubles through the art of writing. When you journal, you get honest with yourself. You can see your own heart on paper. This is often disguised by our everyday troubles and life paths. It is important to overcome the temptation to hide our troubles away from our own eyes. Journaling can actually increase healing. It releases: worry, anger, fear and guilt. Most Christians that I have met do not journal because they hate to write. Writing has always come easy for me. When you develop the attitude for keeping a daily journal, you will realize that your life grows happier as each day passes.
FQ: Can you briefly tell us about a “prophetic ministry” and define it for us?
When I was a child, I used to get prophetic messages from God. I would tell people whatever I felt I was receiving from the Lord and give the messages to them. It is an important step to take for anyone trying to gain a spiritual healing. As I got older, I realized that I had a gift for telling people about what was going on inside of their heart. I was able to give them direction in all areas of their life.
Each day when I wake up, I receive phone calls from my clients. They ask me what the Lord may be saying to them. It is the responsibility of every Christian to hear from the Lord themselves. However, some people have gotten themselves into a position where they cannot hear from God. Sometimes these people are not Christian or simply do not pray. They are at their wits end and call me for guidance. I guess you can say that they call me because they know that I am always on key with what I am saying. A prophetic ministry cannot be summed up in just one or a few paragraphs. In fact, it is a ministry that is birthed only from God. Only Jesus can provide for you financially and expect the un-expected when God is taking charge of your life.
People ask me questions about their past, present and future. Sometimes I am referred to as a psychic. In today's modern day world, people have different definitions to what they claim. I do not care if people want to address me as a psychic or as a prophet. The main point is what I can do for them. I realize that the "sleeping prophet" Egar Cayce was often called a psychic. However, anyone that knew him could tell you that he was a Bible believing Christian that loved Jesus. It is important to know that it does not matter what people want to address you as, it is more important of the lives that you change and touch on a daily basis.
FQ: I found your discussion about “music addiction” to be quite interesting, especially when you said “You cannot hold onto past memories that lead you further into sin.” Are there any Biblical references that would help someone cope with this problem?
The Bible as a whole is clear that anything that is in our lives that causes us to sin, should be stripped from our lives. You have to be a born again Christian in order to understand this fully. Different types of music enhance our beliefs to think about the past, present and future. If you are listening to a song about a woman that has been cheated on time and time again, then perhaps you can relate to her. However, this song will bring back emotions of the past. It will cause you to think about how your ex hurt you and that you are still angry about that. This will only cause you further pain in your life. You should not listen to this type of music because it will never allow you to heal. Instead, turn on some praise music to Jesus. That gives glory to God. Your life should be here to serve God and to live in freedom. Some people are addicted to songs that only feed into their past hurts. Love songs are often about broken relationships and heartaches of people getting cheated on and lied to. Do you really want to feed your spirit with this type of music? Rock songs usually talk about drinking, partying and having sex outside of marriage. Just listen to the lyrics. They are often comprised of singers talking about their past ex-lovers that hurt them and that they are still obsessing over. Present day rap music and videos are full of rappers talking about how great it is to be rich, sexual with anyone that you can get your hands on and basically living life as you choose. This path has always lead to destruction. When you are on your death bed, is all that really going to matter? When you are on your death bed, the only thing that you will be thinking is, "Am I going to heaven or hell and is God happy with the way that I lived my life?"
To learn more about A Christian's Guide to Overcoming Sexual Struggle, please visit our website and read the review at: Feathered Quill Book Reviews.