Archive for September, 2010

HOMOSEXUALITY, HOLINESS AND HOPE – October 6, 2010

Posted by on September 30, 2010  |  No Comments

Wayne Blakely will share Christ’s rescue of the homosexual from his own personal experience Wednesday night, October 6, at 7:00 PM (MST), on our Community Conversations Webcast. Wayne’s message of how to live according to truth instead of living a feelings-based life is for everyone–straight or gay. (Read his article, “Reaching Out.”)

Wayne will address questions such as: What was your struggle like growing up as an Adventist and knowing that you were same-sex attracted? Is being gay a choice? Did you find help in the church? Are most gay people promiscuous? If you were born gay how can you be anything but gay today? How do you handle temptation? How do you think the church, its leaders and members should be dealing with same-sex attraction? Does God’s standard for sexual purity apply to those who are born gay? And much more!

Join the conversation online during the live webcast October 6 right here at www.kunaconversationslive.org, or in person as part of the live audience at 820 Linder Road, Kuna, Idaho 83634. Wayne will take questions from the live audience as well as those logged into our video chat room. A bonus meeting will take place Saturday, October 9 at 2:30 PM at the Kuna SDA Church. Childcare for ages 0-10 will be provided at both events.

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When He Knocks On Hearts…and Gets Heads

Posted by on September 30, 2010  |  No Comments

Something happens inside us when we knock on people’s hearts and get their heads… their knowledge… their limited ability to relate.

I wonder what Christ thinks when man taps into His knowledge base, (God’s Word) and fills up with His wisdom, yet stir clear of feeling and relative reasoning.  I must deny my feelings every day because they don’t always match God’s truth and direction for us.

However when it comes to helping those lost souls in need, I think He desperately wants to communicate with a combination of our hearts and minds. 

Romans 5: 5-8  “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. 6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

The passion and the gift God provided us in these verses are immense.

I frequently wonder how trained men of God lack heart. But it’s likely that a heart can’t be trained. Perhaps one must recognize the lack of compassion and pray for the Holy Spirit to bless them with more than just head knowledge. 

When I lived an open gay lifestyle, I witnessed a community of like minded souls reaching out to one another with heart and soul. Granted… they were not always aware that any good in us whatsoever comes from God. But most of us had suffered such mental pain in the life we had shared in not being understood, that we openly acknowledged kindred spirits.  I ask myself how this has been so recognizable in an unholy lifestyle, but so very very rare in and among God’s intellectuals.

I was recently asked why it’s necessary for anyone attending church to reveal their gay problem. Why can’t they just be quiet and keep that part of their lives a secret? Why can’t they pretend?  Pretend to be straight?  Pretend that the natural born inclinations they struggle with are not real?  What happened to the idea that the church is a hospital for sinners?

Shouldn’t the biggest, most caring hearts in the world be in God’s family? I continue to be dumbfounded as many put their heads in the sand and pretend that there is not suffering that needs acknowledgement and spiritual band-aids.

Having been gone from the church for nearly forty years, I am stumped about what happened in that forty years. Hasn’t the church learned anything about reflecting God’s love to those in such desperate need?  Yes… it’s each soul for himself to an extent. We must be at peace with our maker, but we are also to confess our sins to one another and be comforted by God’s people.

The pain continues… to not be understood is such a lonely feeling. Only the truth and heart of consolement that Jesus brings offers peace and assurance that one day … if we will remain committed and true to Him… this too shall pass and we will be rewarded with an eternity of peace, joy and love.  No more sorrow!

Despicable, disgusting, sinful Mary Magdalene was so enamored with the REAL HEARTFELT PURE LOVE of Jesus. He knew her pain. He is sinless, yet He could love this less than desirable soul and churn within her a desire to live purely.

Today is a day to reflect on the real love of Jesus Christ. He knows! He sees through the outer shell into the heart that aches and breaks. He understands why temptation that mimics real love, calls out to us.

Once again He  shows me the meaning and purpose of self-denial.

Go out of your way to lift the spirits of someone less than desirable today.

 

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Be Still and Know

Posted by on September 25, 2010  |  No Comments

Have you ever not had anything to pray for?  That’s very unlikely. But have you ever gotten caught up in a being impatient for the results of all that you are praying for?  Sometimes this becomes a symptom of our unbelief.   We pray sometimes self-directing God’s answers. Almost like a confirmation that we are right. Or that we already know what is best before we ask His assistance.

Over my life, I have been aware of a few individuals who were so calm and relaxed in their day to day relationship with Jesus Christ. I wondered at the level of peace I witnessed.  Humble, loving, caring, trusting and  peaceful individuals.

But why should we be anxious? Regardless of our endeavors, our questions and our mere existence; when Jesus is in charge, there should be no reason for worry or discontentment. He clearly knows what is best for us. He loves us dearly and would not allow something to happen that would not be in our best interest.   That’s hard for many of us to digest. I’ve been a worrier most of my life. Very outcome oriented. Always afraid that something is not going to be quite right and not being able to do anything about shaping the results that I’m already set in achieving.

The outcome of any of our concerns and prayers may come about in multifaceted ways. In truly leaving all in the care of God and trusting Him, He sometimes has various routes and people to touch and encounter before arriving at the conclusion of what we have prayed for.

Sometimes we think we are the main subject in helping God accomplish our goal.  Laugh here!  God has endless resources to accomplish any number of our cares and concerns. We may not always be the tool He is choosing to use to respond to our requests and desires.  Letting go of self is sometimes very difficult. Trusting that He knows what is best, from the beginning to the end, should give us great peace.

As the psalm suggests………. Be still and know that I am God…  Psalm 46:10

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Interference – Can You Hear Me Now?

Posted by on September 15, 2010  |  No Comments

I can hear myself saying it over and over again as a child… okay… and today as well. “If I could just hear .. I mean really hear Him … then I’d know.” God of course. Or the Holy Spirit. Any of them in an audible delivery of instruction. Then I wouldn’t have to wonder.

Psalm 46:10 says “Be still and know that I am God.”  Well if you knew me in my younger years, I was hardly one to “be still.”  Today it’s much the same. Except when I hit brick walls. I’m then trained to be pretty still and in a frame of mind where I can listen and know what God is trying to tell me. 

For all the noise we make, whether audibly or internally, we can easily drown out the voice of The Holy Spirit.

Anger can drown out this voice as well. I remember being so angry as a child. I was mad at God for making me different than anyone else. Standing in front of a mirror and punching myself , my face all twisted up and angry that I had not been born a girl. It was somehow ingrained in me that life would have been much easier that way. The teasing  I received and the daily pain I felt made me think I was trapped in the wrong body. Why would God allow this?  I loved Him and thought I was doing what He wanted me to do.

But I never calmed down long enough to listen to Him. I didn’t read and study like Jesus did when He was a child. Undoubtedly today, we are products of what we have fed ourselves with. Either physically or mentally. An inventory of the terrible things people do that are reported in the news each day don’t ever reflect or go to the individuals close relationship with Jesus Christ.  And we wonder why the world is in such chaos and turmoil.

Pretty much all of us who were raised on the Word of Christ, have a sense of knowing why the world is spinning out of control. When you’ve taken real time to commune with God, don’t you find that you have a peace that is unlike all the times when you’re not making room for Him in your life?  Too many of us get lost in setting ourselves on “auto pilot.”  That’s not how God communicates. It’s in silence. In prayer and absorbing His Words to us.

Even today when I spend more time alone with God, I still find myself being stunned and in disbelief when suddenly I notice answers to prayers I’ve been praying.  The Holy Spirit is continually at work. We get lost in this MacDonalds syndrome where we expect everything right now.  We forget that it’s not all about us. But in order for some prayers to be completely answered, we need to allow the time that God needs in working with someone elses life.

God blesses us and provides answers even after some of us stop listening. Be still and know that God is present. Be patient and wait upon the Lord. In your quiet and constant attentiveness to Him, you will hear His still small voice.

Let Him guide and direct your thoughts. Let Him convict your heart with His truth. Praise Him for His goodness and mercy.

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Have I Gone Off The Deep End?

Posted by on September 11, 2010  |  No Comments

The day God communicated the clarity of His truth to me, I knew I wanted to share it with everyone I came in contact with. It became so crystal clear to me that the world, my presence in it and my salvation from it was not going to have anything to do with my self indulgent feelings. Feelings that if I continued to focus on, would continue to be a deception that would eternally claim my life.

As I reflect on the story of  Mary Magdalene, I contemplate how she must have felt when Jesus was not offended by her. He saw the emptiness that she had been trying to fill with empty sensuality. Wow!  Can I relate to that!  Constantly placing herself , flesh with flesh, in which self gratification for both individuals involved, never brought peace. It never healed the hurt. It was like pouring water through a sieve.   Jesus, being all knowing, simply told her to go and sin no more.   But His tenderness and compassion for her, filled her. She knew her unworthiness, yet worshiped and loved Him.  She knew she was safe in Jesus. He did not scorn her or cast her away.

This is not a story we hear about from the pulpit very often. I wonder if it’s because in this story, there is a call to duty. A call to love the unlovable.  In my short time span on this earth, I have not witnessed a church or body of people reaching out to those who have indulged in sensuality which derailed their focus from our Holy redeemer.   As a child with deep secret feelings that were not in alignment with God’s Word, I kept waiting and hoping for the solution. The cure.  Oddly… it wasn’t offered. Regretfully it is still hidden like a lit candle about to be blown out by the slightest breeze.

Jesus set His example for us. He demonstrated through His teaching and His love, how to win souls to truth. How to transform lives into those that would be led by the Holy Spirit.  Then He gave clear instructions to His disciples. (us)  “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28: 19-20

Notice He said “teach them to obey.”  It’s odd about churches sometimes. The approach sometimes seems like it’s for those who know God’s truth, to come and sit in and listen to others that also know truth. Then leave and feel like you’ve fulfilled your Godly duty.  We seriously need to consider the ways and examples of Jesus. Who did he associate with? How did he gain their obedience?  He never sinned, yet He hung out with sinners.

We are not called to be comfortable and tell others what to do. But when you think about it for a while, it seems like that might be what some of us believe.

Upon my accepting God’s invitation, I knew there would be many tough times ahead. But I also knew of His promises to always be with me and never leave me or forsake me.  There are those around me and perhaps even related to me that think; “You’ve accepted Jesus. Now just sit down, study your Bible and pray. You don’t need to talk out loud about this “gay” stuff.”  As I reflect on my life, I consider over and over how no one every spoke to this issue. No one wanted to talk about what was really happening and how to fix it. The church stuck its head in the sand and gave the impression that it couldn’t be bothered. It’s kind of like a majority rules kind of thing.  When the majority rules, there is rarely any discussion about what is happening to the minorities and little is done to try and understand them.

I realized that God can use me to change that. I strongly believe that attitude has to be changed before He says; “It’s time. It’s time to go and bring my people home.”  Can He effectively bring a people home who have not done as He asked of them?  A little Old Testament reading would answer that question promptly.

The Holy Spirit has been at work in my heart since the moment I gave my life to God to do with it as He pleases. Compromising truth is not necessary. Seeking sympathy and leniency to follow my natural born sinful inclinations is not an option. Not if I choose to live according to the Word of God. Choosing to be someone other than a newborn child in Jesus, with a thirst for truth and understanding is not an option.

Identifying myself with the nature of my temptation won’t be allowed to fasten me to earth because I am Heaven bound.

I challenge each of you to take inventory. Spend time with Christ. Talk to Him and ask Him what He would have you do. How would He ask you to go about reaching out, seeking and winning souls to Him by reflecting His merciful love?

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God Hates Fags

Posted by on September 8, 2010  |  4 Comments

Christianity’s primary objective, as I was taught, is to preach the gospel to all the world. The gospel and truth being that God died for everyone of us.  The thief, who hung on the cross. A murderer. An adulterer. A gossiper. A liar.  Didn’t his love and forgiveness extend to gay individuals as well?

As is depicted  in the picture above, children are quickly groomed with hate before they even know anything about those to whom their hate is directed. This coming from adults claiming to do what God asks of them and claiming His salvation for themselves.

I am continually mystified by those who claim to know Jesus; desire to share His message of love and salvation and grow their church membership; but never find it in their hearts to reach out to gays who have suffered hurt and rejection by those claiming to represent Christ. The entire theme of God’s Word focuses on love and forgiveness. Why don’t we?

How is it possible that homosexuality made its way to the top of the sin “Hit List?”  I can think of a long list of horrendous crimes and atrocities that one would think forgiveness might be held in check for, yet is readily absolved by respected Bible believers.

I know a number of  people that find it puzzling that many gay individuals seem to have a hypersensitive nature. We are all products of our environment. Someone that does not grow up with continual rejection, ridicule, hatred, bigotry and continual rude behavior toward them, is not likely to understand what it is like to have God’s door slammed in your face.  As disciples of Christ, are we not to soothe and calm wounded souls as Jesus example?  It’s interesting how we are all guilty of picking and choosing those we determine to be worthy of gentleness and understanding.

Andrew Marin; author of Love is an Orientation, currently sells shirts at his website that say, “I’m Sorry.” They are intended as an apology from churches who have withheld the hugs, the open arms, the shared tears of frustration and exasperation at not knowing how to be someone other than who they feel like. For so many years we seem to have insinuated that if you are or were gay, it was your own fault and your choice.  It is often said, to love the sinner not the sin. This can all too frequently be said about those who don’t know Christ. They too find it difficult to love the Christian and not the behavior.

Like a marital dispute where neither spouse gives in out of fear of being defeated; many religious leaders and believers can’t seem to recognize the arrogance in impressing homosexuals with the idea that they are better and more deserving sinners.

Romans 5:8  But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 3:23-24  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

As believers in Christ, we must become humble and meek and recognize that not a one of us is superior to another in the sight of God. We are all sinners. Jesus died to forgive everyone of us. Sin in this world is a part of the nature of every one of us, resulting in some very self centered decisions. Feeding a self-indulgent sin such as loving and lusting after a member of the same gender is no different than loving or lusting after a member of the opposite sex while married. Or lying or stealing or over eating. To Christ it is all sin.  

Seeking forgiveness from God and from one another, is long long overdue. Treating one another with love and respect goes a long way to setting the table for a mutual exploration of the truths and other lessons God has included in His Word to us.  If we don’t see one another as equals, pride and haughtiness can distort any destruct any truth we may want to share with our brothers and sisters.

REACH OUT – REFLECT HIS LOVE

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It’s all up to YOU!

Posted by on September 1, 2010  |  4 Comments

choose ye this day whom ye will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)

The other day someone said to me… “Well I’m sorry! God’s just going to have to understand. I need a little self gratification!”  An alarm went off in my head and I immediately responded with – “that’s exactly how the devil gets a foot hold.”

The individual struggles with same-sex attraction and treats himself to browsings of gay publications and concentrated thoughts on self indulgence.  In the conversation the individual did not understand why I would not lay claim to a “gay Adventist” identity and made efforts to remind me of who I am. At least in his opinion. 

I instantly saw the trap, the snare that Satan had and is successful at using in the lives of many who have only come so far and then are determined to hold onto self instead of grabbing the guiding hand of Jesus.

You know how you wonder sometimes in your personal observations if you were to coarse or legalistic?  Well this was one of those moments where God gave me confirmation that hanging onto Him is far more important than identifying with my past.  I am a new body in Christ. I do not need to lay claim to a title where my temptation is my identifying label.  I obtained great peace in seeing how God had just demonstrated to me how crafty Satan is.

We are instructed to choose whom we will serve. It is not necessary to try and convince ourselves that we can have it our way and God’s way. God got pretty weary at listening to the whining and complaining of those with fleshly desires in the Old Testament. He was providing everything that He knew they needed and yet they still complained.

I am continually reminded of how we are called to self-denial. To pick up our cross and follow Him. It may be very heavy and we may move pretty slow, but He will not allow us to fall under its weight. We must hang onto Him and let Him provide for us. He gives us countless promises where He has said He will do just that.

I find that when I become focused on self… and those who know me, know that that is far too frequent, I begin to crumble under my self defeat and self loathing. Failure has dog-eared my life. But we are all winners with Jesus. He continues to help me back up and continue on His path instead of one I try to construct.

He has been victorious in me for quite some time now in contrast with the life the devil layed claim to. I am so very blessed. His work is far from done. But as long as I keep looking to Him He will lift me up. 

We can not judge ourselves by our failures, but only be encouraged by His successes in us.

Pick up your Holy handbook, the Bible and read it, contemplate it and live by it. Choose today who you are going to serve. Self leads to destruction. Christ leads the way to eternal life!

Blessings on your day!

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