Archive for March, 2011

This Thing Called L O V E

Posted by on March 25, 2011  |  No Comments

For as intimate, nurturing , necessary and meaningful as L O V E  is, it is referred to most frequently in a loose and casual way. It is as necessary to us as the air we breathe. And just like air, there are times when we feel as though we are suffocating due to the lack of it.

Love gets twisted up in numerous analogies.  It’s overused and misused. It’s substituted for lust in some references. It’s connected to romance and to desire. But let’s consider its origin.

1 Corinthians 13:13 “But now abide faith, hope, and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Our creator and Savior is the originator and giver of love.  Pure love … His love… melts hearts and brings about conviction to want to do all that He has requested of us because of Him. The most vial of creatures longs to be loved and accepted.

It is in this consideration that I would like us to think about those we seek to win for the Kingdom of God. Chastising and harsh words serve as barriers, while kindness, genuine concern, gentleness and warmth serve as bridges to truth and acceptance. We have all fallen short of the glory of God. Not one of us can be held on a pedestal. But in our society and with regard to social pressures and divisions, we have unconsciously categorized ourselves in to more and less acceptable groups of people. It runs rampant throughout the world. Hatred is developed toward those that don’t fit a particular mold and billions of lives have been slaughtered while every one of them was loved by our glorious redeemer. What a sight it must be for Jesus to look down and see the chaos that Lucifer has been allowed to cultivate.

Yet through it all… there is a continual flow of purity of the original love that continues to reach out and draw the wounded and the lost.

1 Corinthians 13: …“we all have knowledge.” Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 13:1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but I do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away everything I own, and if I give over my body in order to boast, but do not have love, I receive no benefit. 4 Love is patient, love is kind, it is not envious. Love does not brag, it is not puffed up. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-serving, it is not easily angered or resentful. 6 It is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends. But if there are prophecies, they will be set aside; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be set aside. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part, 10 but when what is perfect comes, the partial will be set aside. 1112 For now we see in a mirror indirectly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, just as I have been fully known. 13 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. But when I became an adult, I set aside childish ways. And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

How terribly lost we have been in pointing and lecturing. Many have conveyed a “better than thou” appearance of the Christian. But when we humble ourselves and act out of His love, the evidence of His love is overwhelming and can almost be immediately witnessed in the eyes of those we seek to win for Christ. When self is taken out of the picture, the Holy Spirit immediately goes to work. Is it difficult?  Oh and how…. I get caught up in conversation and in making a point that I feel so strongly about that while it may be truth, it loses its effectiveness because the love of Jesus has been fogged by my conviction rather than letting the Holy Spirit convict whomever I may be speaking to.

It is sometimes painful as well. Because the evil one has chains that bound and hold down those whom we seek to reach. We begin to see the realization of the verse that tells us to “Love your enemies.” While they are surrounded with darkness they don’t often appreciate the “light.”

As you encounter and consider the less than desirable, remember that the only good in us, comes from God. There is nothing in and of ourselves that is good.  Humble yourself to think this “true love” and let Jesus move you to display it and convey it toward others.

The homosexual lifestyle may be the furthest thing from your mind. The adulterer’s lifestyle may be the furthest thing from your mind. Theft may never cross your  mind.  Many sinful acts may not be a personal temptation to you and yet every one of us is tempted by some sin. Can we not see how that puts every one of us in the same category of sinners…with a sinful nature.

Only the blood of Jesus Christ has paid for that sin and covered that sin and redeemed us so that we will not be part of the sin that must eventually be burned to extinction.

Let the efforts that God lays upon you, be displayed with the pure love that comes from Him above.

As always… feel free to share your own comments and observations.

Wayne Blakely

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The Road Out – – – an appeal

Posted by on March 23, 2011  |  No Comments

There’s a lyric from an old song that says “…have I stayed too long at the fair?”

Every new generation looks back at the previous generations and makes claims that they are “old fashioned” and that we need to get with the times.  Throughout all time… there is something that has not changed…God’s Word. And He still reaches the hearts of those who will listen, consider and learn.

His enemy Satan, never stops at introducing new ways to center the limelight on himself. Or ourself for that matter. Anything that works at grabbing the focus and attention off of Jesus, His truth, His light and His saving grace.

Where once the focus was on Christ in every family, it now sadly appears that that is the least of concerns when randomly considering families in today’s mainstream. And that is my point. We have become mainstream. There seems to be little that is recognizable between the world at large and today’s modern Christian.

In fact, many modern Christians place approval on beliefs and icons of the secular world. We have lost touch and direct communication with our Creator. Our giver of life.

Proverbs 16:17 “The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.”

The earth has reached a point of promoting self indugence rather than following the direction from one who died so that we might live.

God doesn’t force himself on anyone. But by choosing Him, it becomes our responsibility to represent to all the changing power and strength that Jesus brings. Moving forward in trust in Him and in faith regardless of the bolders that the enemy tries to put in our path.

Jesus is so very loving and kind to us because He waits for us to make the smallest decision to listen to Him and then empowers us to make continual right choices. Seeking to do His will instead of our will.

There are always further temptations. Satan will try and convince us that we can have it both ways. Love God and self at the same time. We have become very skilled at making excuses as to why certain things don’t need to change. Or why we can continue to maintain certain orientations while claiming at the same time to be oriented by Christ.

Satan has become blatant with his offers. He doens’t have to work nearly as hard as when the world seemed to be more focused on Christian ethics.  Today… everyone seems to think… “it’s all about me…what I want…what I deserve.” There’s no self sacrafice. No self denial.

Whether you are already a believer in our Lord Jesus or whether you stumbled across this blog in search of alternatives to how you currently live, I would like to ask you to be completely honest with yourself and with God.

Is your pornography a bandaid? Is your homosexuality a replacement for acknowledging real truth? Is pride a cover up for your real pain? Is your constantly wagging tongue a tool of Satan which distracts from God’s morality?

“Look unto Me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:22).

There are some harsh realities that may result from making a decision to follow Jesus. He doesn’t promise us an easy road. In fact as the world continues to deteriorate you will find that you stand out from the crowd to honor and obey He who gave you your breath of life.  But He promises to supply all your strength. He will not ask you to do anything that He cannot help you overcome through Him.

He is an amazing God.   Like me… if you’ve lost your way and realize that self is really pretty insignificant, let Jesus give your life meaning. Let Jesus clean up your mess. Talk to Him. And listen to Him. He loves you so very much. He has an incredible plan for you.

You can contact me and I will pray for you. I can also put you in touch with someone who will support you in your decision to put Jesus Christ first in your life.

The world will waste away and devour its in habitants, but Jesus truly saves!

God bless you for giving your heart to Him….

Wayne

knowgreaterlove@comcast.net

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POWER in FORGIVING

Posted by on March 22, 2011  |  No Comments

It kind of hit me like a 2×4 this morning. I’ve been giving it fair consideration lately, but I didn’t realize the magnitude of strength there is in forgiveness until it clobbered me over the head and I began to recognize the danger and evil in not forgiving.

Each of us in our far from perfect ways do things we regret. We say things and act out in ways that are shameful and yet we have come to let them slide, not considering the damage we may be responsible for.

On the flip side, if we hang on to wrongs that have directly or indirectly been done to us, we suffer and fail to heal until we learn to forgive.  Our role model Jesus Christ whispered it best when He uttered the words from the cross where He bore our sins: “Father…. forgive them. For they no not what they do.”

I use this analogy to explore the necessary humble approach in returning to God’s family of sinners who continue to seek how to better represent Christ. We are largely a product of our environment. And our environment has not been very friendly over the past several hundred years.

In our collective search and wanderings for truth and representation of Jesus Christ, we have failed miserably at mirroring the lovingness and gentleness of Jesus. A congregation cannot pass on or cultivate what they don’t possess. Ignorance has chained our capabilities. Resistance has held us down.

Yet it must be highlighted that God’s people always have a thirst to seek light and truth and strive to become more like the example that was set before us.  As we grow in Christ, we become more like Him and the representation of such love draws many to Him.

Everyone of us has been wronged or insulted. Many who have been harmed hold onto a bitterness that blinds them. They walk amongst us and many resist returning to God’s family of believers. What breaks down these hard painful walls?  Forgiveness!

Just as we are forgiven by our heavenly father when we tell Him how we are sorry for how we have wronged Him and hurt Him; we must be willing to forgive those who either intentionally or unintentionally hurt us. If we hang onto the pain, there is no gain.

It’s not overnight. The realization of the need to forgive might be. But healing takes time and it takes committing ourselves to Christ and continually seeking to be more like Him.  The evil one seeks to hold us captive with grudges and biting words. He would have us view others as hypocrites and Pharisees.

But what peace there is in forgiving. What joy can be passed on by humbling ourselves to be tender, caring and loving in Jesus.  Proverbs 20:22 says; “Do not say, “I’ll pay you back for this wrong!” Wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you.”  As we grow together, we learn and we adapt to the light that Jesus shines on our pathway. When we see the light and we recognize what has been missing and how we have poorly conveyed God’s love, the illumination opens the doors and welcomes those who have been wandering and waiting for revelation.

Consider loving your enemies. Because your enemies are struggling in the dark just as you are. They are loved by their heavenly father just as you are. God doesn’t accept us only after we become knowledgable. He loves us in our sinful state and tries to help us mature in Him.  We all try to communicate from all of our unique persepctives. We sometimes make it very complicated. But God’s truths are pretty basic.

But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  Matthew 5: 44,45  He treats us with equality even when we treat others differently than what we personally expect.

The example that God set up for us is to “…love one another as I have loved you.” John 13:34  That’s a tall order. When we think of how important it is to us that we are loved, God is asking us to place that same importance on every soul we encounter.  Wow… do I fail miserably at that!

Winning souls out of a world of homosexuality is a HUGE challenge. The hurt they have experienced is intense. The impossibility that “the church” may see before them, really is not. It’s a matter of coming to grips with treating others exactly the way we want to be treated and valued. Because we are all equally valued by God.

Let’s learn together! Let’s FORGIVE together! Let’s go HOME… to our Heavenly Home… together! 

That is my prayer today! God richly bless each and everyone of you. 

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Cookie Cutter Christians

Posted by on March 20, 2011  |  No Comments

Much of the reason I left the “organized church” when I was 18, was because I could not find help for what I found to be my physical and emotional make up in “God’s church.”  No one dared to go near the topic. It was like they had no idea how to counsel. “Don’t do it.” or “Stop sinning” was about the best they could come up with.

The idea of knowing Jesus as your personal Savior seemed to have the intricate pieces of a do-it-yourself assembly of some complicated piece of purchased for-home-use piece of machinery.

I believe wholeheartedly that church doctrine is sound. I believe that the interpretation of God’s Word is accurate in the Seventh Day Adventist Church. But I think the personal applications, struggles and testimonies seem to be mystifyingly absent. The “fear factor” doesn’t exist only about homosexual issues, but about many temptations and difficulties that lovers of Jesus face each day.

Upon returning from sharing the story of what Christ has done for me in a public way, I was met with a situation that reaffirmed what had once distanced me from God. Many have put God in a box. Anything that is outside the box is met with great skepticism. In this familiar encounter, I once again see how “the church” has conveyed a robotic image of our Creator.

Personal testimonies in our churches have nearly been non-existent. We have multiple efforts to win sinners to Christ each year. Then when they accept Christ, we begin to shape them and form them to our traditional beliefs, standards and rules. An invisible cork seems to be applied to them, stifling their testimony or any praise they might have that genuinely came from Christ. How incredibly painful!

On the rare occurance when a personal testimony has been allowed, the individual is groomed for the “interview,” disallowing certain references that are crucial to what God personally did for them.

It is as though we fear allowing the Holy Spirit to share, for fear someone might not see it the way “the church” wants us to see it. Or that there might be “fall out” from it. Or that it might actually open up the secrecy in someone else’s life that could benefit from being helped or ministered to.

Whenever there are prayer requests, I always hear the request of  “‘pray for our children.”  I have recently recognized that “our children” see “the church” who represents Christ, as limiting. Sterile, bound up, type cast. My experience has been that Jesus is freeing. He doesn’t meet us all on the same level, but reaches down to as low as a sinner can go and offers His hand and His gift of redemption. Are we not to hear of those miracles? Does it really glorify the past? Or does it glorify the incredible power of God the Father. He continues to reach the most wretched of people.  Yet at times it seems that there may be long time believers in our midst who may have lost sight of the incredible power of Jesus Christ and have become focused on the guard rails of the believer, rather than the miracle that set them on course.

Perhaps some of the instruction given to us has been over looked. I’d like to share some verses of contemplation. When God performs a miracle, I believe He sees it as another opportunity to share witness to His gospel,,, shouting it from the mountain tops and giving glory to God.

From the day I walked back into the church I left nearly forty years ago, my testimony of what God has done for me has been stifled. I was told that speaking of these kinds of things can divide churches.

Does a true believer of Christ forsake Him? Should we not be waking up souls to deal with their inner turmoil looking to God for His guidance and answers?!  Should we allow the sacrificing of certain types of potentially redeemed sinners in order to maintain those whose sin doesn’t seem as offensive? Isn’t all sin considered equal in the eyes of God?

Dear brothers and sisters, I recognize and seek to be patient with this viewpoint. But it brings me great discomfort when I realize that I am the exception.  I believe that a faith that is on fire for Jesus Christ, basks in the glory of His miracles while still professing truth, doctrine and healing. It lends witness to the power of our incredible Creator. God is a balanced God. As long as we keep our focus on Him, all things are possible. All sinners are redeemable. We are not a private club. Jesus excludes no one. He tells us that by their fruits we shall know them.

There is advice from our dear Lord about speaking to those who continue in sin or who sin openly in the eyes of God. When we witness the power of God’s healing, that should be shared with every believer, motivating them to tell of those God has won. Enhancing what truly has become a personal relationship that encourages all to cling to Christ.

Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name.” Malachi 3:16

“Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;”  Psalms 107:2

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: “1Peter 3:15

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Hebrews 10:24-25″

Please don’t be a “cookie cutter Christian.”    “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”  Psalm 139:14

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Are You Untouchable?

Posted by on March 19, 2011  |  No Comments

Do you think you’ve gone too far? Are you beyond the reach of your Creator?

Alone? Feeling unloved, rejected, ridiculed and worthless?

Or are you the center of attention, praised and lifted up by your friends, a magnet for adventure and popularity?

Regardless of where you identify, you are not beyond the loving, genuine and all knowing touch of Jesus. Do you think that because you can’t see or feel Him, He’s not present?

Whether you are so happy an elated that you don’t think it would be possible to feel any better, or you feel so filthy, dirty and dejected; God sees you as a precious soul in need of His direction and deep deep love for you. Not a love or a circumstance that this directed and manipulated by what He has done for others, but a personal intimate call that He specifically has designed and is offering to you right where you are.

Do you hear His still small voice? “All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” John 6:37

Have you stepped outside of what you were told to do as a child? Have you been proud of doing it your way only to find that there is not eternal bliss?  Is it lonely at the top as well as in the muck an mire of where you find yourself today?   “Come to me, all you who are troubled and weighted down with care, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

Whether you’re on this earth for a few short years or live to be over a hundred years old, God extends His personal call to you. No matter how long life is here, it’s short in comparison with the plan prepared for your eternity with Him, if you’ll accept Him into your heart and seek His will for you instead of continuing to self direct.

Are you a prostitute? Do you gossip a lot? Do you have a lot of pride? Have you been stealing? Are you living a gay lifestyle? Are you a drug addict or Alcoholic? Are you boastful and full of pride? Are you sexually immoral?

Do you know there are many promises waiting for you?   Here’s a very important one.   “…Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Isn’t that an awesome promise?!  It’s a motivator to seek God and His plan for you and to begin talking to Him and taking your cares, concerns and questions to Him; asking Him to enter your life and take over with all that He has planned just for you. Take a moment right now…. say a few words to Him. Then wait upon Him and listen and watch for His plan. He has amazing things in store for you that you cannot comprehend at this moment.

Nothing is too great or too insignificant for Him. He has such amazing love for you. Let Him in today!  You’re not untouchable!

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Believing in Divine Intervention

Posted by on March 17, 2011  |  No Comments

This past week has been somewhat of an eye opener for me. When I hear the story of how others have been presented with a choice to serve God and have accepted it, God really takes over from there.

Somehow in our current living, we think that so many things just fall into place. God certainly shows and exercises His power to make sure that some things happen. However He still puts burdens on our hearts to pick up the tasks that He will instruct us with. All the while, Satan struggles to throw things in our pathway and seeks to discourage us.

I have heard the stories of girls who were forced into treatment without any alternative and there… they actually met Christ and are now fully engaged in living for Him. I have heard stories of impossible circumstances of individuals who have faced years of prison time for federal crimes, but because God intervened, a complete detour from the the normal punishment was instigated by Christ, in order to obtain the valuable, powerful and effective testimony of someone who would make a major impact on others in need of Christ.

Many have walked unlikely roads of abuse and then being reoffended when it would seem they couldn’t possibly take any more. And yet, it would be in that or because of that that God showed them the real miracle and their real purpose of being a disciple for Him.

The stories and witnessing of God’s saving grace from a life of homosexuality are still met with skepticism or hushed. You would think that anyone with a powerful testimony of what God does, would always be welcome. I have asked myself many times why it doesn’t seem possible for churches and people of God to embrace those who have endured such a difficult walk. The “fear factor” continues to predominate the powerful efforts that wait to be exposed and told about.

Those who have not helped for so many years, seem skeptical of listening to those who have recognized what methods God has used to regain access to the lives of those for whom He died. It is not just the homosexual sin or temptations that are kept quiet, but a host of other sins as well. Too many sermons lack personal challenge. Too many sermons fail to open up the avenues of communication and encourage church family support and prayer vigils.

I takes perseverance, faith, trust and God’s divine intervention to sometimes do what should have been readily and lovingly addressed by those who claim a genuine relationship with the Almighty. Like the Israelites, a great deal of wandering seems to unnecessarily plague members of Christ’s chosen who resist and procrastinate with outreaches desperately needed for those too many consider less than desirable.

II Timothy 3:10 “You however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance.”

Those who have conquered with Jesus must step out in faith and let Jesus part the waters. He will make way. His message of truth and love will find their way to the hearts and souls of those willing and ready for Christ to change their lives.

He is an Awesome God!

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FLAWED

Posted by on March 12, 2011  |  No Comments

It seems that from birth, we strive to “fit in.” Every societal pressure that is put upon us can reshape who we are, who we want to be, who we are trying to be or who we should be. It is important to recognize that the operational pressure seems to be coming from society instead of the Word of God.

Almost immediately there appears to be a ruler measuring our successes or failures. Life was breathed into the world by God Himself. It would seem then that we would take our cue and direction from God rather than from man. But the commonplace practice is to adjust to human thinking rather than spiritual thinking.  This got people into some pretty tough situations throughout history in the Bible.

If it were not for the tempestuous influence of the prince of darkness, we wouldn’t so consistently be falling off track. Much of what seems difficult and in need of constant surrender to God is challenged by liberal, alternative and seemingly easier approaches or solutions. But if they can not be fundamentally backed by the Word of God, they should not enter our mind for consideration. Is that legalistic?  I don’t think so. God has given us great creative freedoms in thinking and living. He only asks that all of it glorify God, rather than self. Proverbs 4:23 tells us; “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

It doesn’t take a long look at history, let alone modern times to recognize the pleasures of self serving mechanisms.  Whether it be in theory, entertainment or sensual pleasures; self can surface and become such an attention grabber, that our Creator becomes masked and unrecognizable in our lives.

Deviant lifestyles have become socially accepted. Things that were unthinkable and offensive years ago, have now become as normal behavior in our schools.  All too frequently you hear people say, “Well…it’s not my thing, but if they’re not hurting anyone, it’s okay with me.”  So we come to adapt to lifestyles and deviations from what God has called us. Now, Christian beliefs are coming under fire and criticism, rather than the sinful behavior clarified in His Word.  And sadly… all too many people are fine with that.  But as Luke 17 29&30 tell us;But the same day that Lot went out of  Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” Calls to live a righteous life are seen as judgment on how someone is currently choosing to live and therefore unconstitutional.  Ahh… now we get to the real meat of things. Church and state. This has been the basis for wars. And there indeed is a war going on. A spiritual war. As God has indicated, all these things would come to pass until one day… He will say… “enough!”

Then He rewards those who choose to live as He has instructed. He shows all mankind how their own choices have controlled their destiny. We can be led by the Holy Spirit, or we can let the crafty and clever ways of Satan derail us, confuse us and ultimately cause us to believe lies which become our truth. But … the choice is ours.

Along the way there are various traps. For homosexuals and those recognizing their same-sex attraction, there have been religious bigots. There have been religious leaders you may have put your trust and faith in, when it really should have been placed in Christ.  Humans let us down when we have expectations. Not just regarding homosexuality, but any situation where we have depended on the church to help us or guide us and they failed.  We hold it against them. But God holds us responsible for the truth He has revealed to us. He holds us responsible for reflecting His love even in adversity.

Time and again He has presented me with a situation where He wanted my trust and my faith. Instead I was looking up to another individual and they let me down. Every individual is flawed with a sinful nature. It’s so simple to try and measure our spiritual growth based on what we have witnessed in someone else. That my friend is so very dangerous.

Spend time with God. Talk to Him. Read about Him. Let Him guide you through facts and truths and pray that the Holy Spirit will convict your heart of any changes or revelations that need to take place. A religious leader who has let you down or disappointed you, is not responsible for the responsibility you have with your Creator. But Satan looks for any way in which He can deceive you or discourage you.

Trust and obey and don’t let the world hold you down. God will see you through to His second coming. We are clearly near the end.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

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S T A Y ON C O U R S E

Posted by on March 5, 2011  |  No Comments

I am much faster today at bouncing back from disparagement than I used to be. I praise Jesus for this!

Most important in the rescue of any sinner, is a support system. Individuals who will listen, pray and encourage during our walk with Christ. God provides and I have been so very blessed by those who know me. People that witnessed Jesus taking over my sin filled life. They have been able to monitor and truly know the passion that Jesus Christ has commissioned me with.

Today there are few gays and homosexuals who have accepted the enlightenment of Jesus Christ which suggests that they lay aside their personal desires, temptations, beliefs and lusts.  The parallels to most any other kind of sin are many.  But for some crazy reason; pastors, leaders and congregations have knighted the same-sex sin as one not seemingly redeemable. And they lack tact, skill, much needed education and unfortunately for many, desire in reaching out to those who seem less than desirable for their congregation.

Oh… nearly everyone in the congregation has a relative who suffers from the affliction/temptations. But hardly anyone has any idea what to do about it. So the gay/homosexual who is foraging their way back to Christ through the church, has an incredibly difficult struggle. One they once gave up by caving into the deceptions Satan laid before them.

Congregations will not speak of the sinful offense and what to do about it; thereby paving the road for young people with their dark secret to exit when they can no longer handle the neglect and lack of spiritual guidance. The irony of it is daunting.

At this very moment the film “Seventh Gay Adventists” is in post production, plotting to expose and deploy the stories of many gays and lesbians who have experienced an array of insult, injury and alienation from within the Seventh Day Adventist denomination.  The film will catch congregations of multiple denomination by storm.  When you have been insulted and injured enough times, you develop scar tissue. You harden and you become set in your ways. You begin to develop animosity toward those who have brought you grief instead of introducing you to God’s saving grace and personalizing their efforts to preserve your soul for the kingdom of God.  It’s heart wrenching.

I have personally witnessed the pain of these sensitive souls.  By ignoring, distancing and hushing any exploration of this little understood Biblical sin, the church is now in a vulnerable position.  In the deep and painful silence of all who have experienced this alienation or have loved ones who experience it, the stage is perfectly set for a film to dramatically draw your attention and prey upon well deserved sympathies. The hope is that the result of your sympathy will open your arms, your minds, your hearts and a reversing of your preconceived morals.  Satan is excited.  What a perfect opportunity to deceive yet even more individuals. Not just the gay, but their relatives, friends and any sympathetic ear.

Those who know me, know that I study God’s Word and seek to maintain a continual abiding in Him and consecrate my life to His leading. Following truth as it is revealed from His Word.  This is very unpopular among gays/homosexuals.  What is more apt for many today is the refashioning of God’s Word … or even the ignorance of it to bring favor and even moral acceptance of what God’s Word clearly points out as unacceptable living. Self now reins.

This will be a decision making time for those who profess their belief in Christ and their love for all sinners.  One route to consider is this.  A most heartfelt apology is in order for any contribution to the pain and unnecessary suffering of same-sex attracted individuals that the church has caused. This is a huge dose of humble pie. But we are all born with sinful natures. We are all instructed to seek forgiveness for wrong doings.  The glaring injustice here is the one of  devaluing a soul and ignoring the need to minister to the very heart and soul of the endangered individual.

I have been criticized for my sensitive nature from early childhood. This is a typical characteristic of many who are gay or homosexual. It is also a characteristic of the most talented and creative individuals who have provided us with entertainment, art, charitable causes, film, etc.

It is extremely difficult to make something stop hurting when it simply hurts.  It’s often like the phrase you frequently hear; “it’s not personal.”  And many of the times that phrase is used… it indeed is very personal.

Ellen White experienced times of discouragement while she was deep in the efforts of seeking to bring spiritual help and advice to Christians. In a letter she wrote she said; “I have had many trials of late, discouragement at times has laid so fast hold upon me it seemed impossible to shake it off. But thank God, Satan has not got the victory over me yet, and by the grace of God he never shall. I know and feel my weakness, but I have laid hold upon the strong arm of Jehovah, and I can say today I know that my Redeemer liveth, and if He lives I shall live also.”

Words from the inspired writer, Ellen White have also warned that discouragement in the final days of this old world is likely to come from within our own church.

God has made clear to me over and over since my reconversion, that above all else, it is my personal relationship with Him that I must value most. I will answer to God for what He has revealed to me as truth. As each of us will be held responsible for the truths He has made clear to us and what we have done as a result.

Have we submitted ourselves to Him? Do we abide in Him? Do we live each and every moment of our lives for Him?

John 14:6  Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 8:31-32 “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Gays and homosexuals who choose to believe God’s Word,  must acknowledge that we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. We all make mistakes. Many may have been helpless and ignorant of knowing how to reach out.  We are all seeking truth together. But insults, injuries or any suffering either brought on by or endured by Christians, does not re write God’s word creating permission for a Gay Theology.

We must love one another in spite of our short comings. We must love much and forgive much. This prepares us as permanent residents of Heaven continually giving glory to God. Not to self.

I am presently blessed to still have those who don’t give up on me and continue to pray for God’s effectiveness through me.  I must let go of all that distracts me from He who comforts and continues to lead and guide me. He is the light of the world!

Filed Under: Wayne's Blog

Where’s The L O V E ?

Posted by on March 4, 2011  |  2 Comments

Normally you would catch me writing words of encouragement or challenging one another to seek out truth. But today I am bitten! I am once again stung by the saddening element that has persisted in our churches since I was a wee child.

When I re-entered the church after being drawn by God’s own love, I was quickly reminded of what forced me out of the church. Presumptions, assumptions, doubt, insincerity, lack of interest, lack of concern, lack of empathy, insignificance and a insinuation that it is better to sit silent in the pew than to share what God has done for you… out of fear that you may still fall.

Gays and lesbians have endured merciless unloving actions and reactions by “God’s people.” My heart was broken by the elect. There didn’t seem to be any answers, much less understanding. Other sins could and would be tolerated, but the crowning sin of homosexuality would result in alienation and disfellowship. Now I’m not saying that discipline is not called for when a soul is refusing to accept God’s guide. But when there is a pick and choose attitude for discipline, it often leaves hearts hardened.

Individuals as well as crowds in which Jesus spoke to, could see the genuine love in His eyes and hear it in His voice.  His concern for the neglected and broken souls was radiant. She only wanted to touch the hem of His garment.

He does reach hardened hearts. He reached mine. He invited me back to Him to trust and obey Him. In the face of grave opposition I place myself, willing to speak of His truth and redemption. After endless years of neglect and rejection, I recognize the ignorance and lack of education in most of our leaders and pastors. The majority carried out a “normal” childhood and proceeded with college and then seminary. All the while … removed from the reality of those who have suffered from the neglect and misperceptions.  A realistic view of growing up with same-sex attraction and being adopted by the gay lifestyle and its ability to put a sense of pride in people is not in a course taught to those who would be future pastors, counselors or advisers.

Today there are a handful of individuals  who have been woken by Christ to truth and a recognition of the need to be humbled, seek forgiveness and engage in a journey toward holiness. Most were drawn back to Christ by a soul who never gave up on praying and striving to convey to them that they matter and are among God’s most precious children.  Some of these corageous individuals now seek to share what many in our churches and schools have never understood. They are beacons of light that God is using to spread His love and truth.

At the exact same time, gays and lesbians have developed back bones in civil rights and now parade without the slightest concealment of embarrassment or shame.  They are approaching the church as though they have rewritten God’s Holy Word to accommodate their feelings which have become their truths.

Reflect once more with me on those who have been convicted by the Holy Spirit to try and serve God as a bridge between those who have not understood and those who have been grossly misunderstood. It can be an incredibly awkward position.  I continue to speak to mothers whose son’s and daughters have accepted their same-sex sexuality. They are devastated and they are hopeless. And they continue to be without spiritual guidance offered by their churches with much needed support.

When I continue to face  those who don’t see and urgency to express God’s love and truth for these poor helpless souls, I am overwhelmed with agonizing bitterness. It’s wrong. Wrong of me to let this climb up my soul and try and cloud the light God has provided.  I call upon Him and like those being deceived in their sexuality by their feelings, I am nearly deceived by my feelings of hopelessness and insignificance.  It plagues me.

The church of God is called upon to minister to all God’s children. We are to be the family for those who have no family. We are love those who are unlovable. We are to give importance to those thinking they are unimportant. We are to direct them to their heavenly father. We are to give them hope.

I am in need of your prayers. For endurance. For strength. To continue to claim the assuredness that Jesus has given every one of us.

Be aware of those around you in need of God’s love. Engage with them and let God reveal how important they are to Him through you.

How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings (Psalm 36:7

Filed Under: Wayne's Blog

WAR on Discourgement

Posted by on March 2, 2011  |  4 Comments

Whether you participate in a Christian or a secular society, it is pretty certain that you will face discouragement. This seemingly compromises life and the variances between its effect individuals is likely relative to that individuals stamina.

The range of discouragement is huge. Mind games come into play. Endless reams of paper are devoted to “self help” books. The fall out from discouragement can range from a bad day to ending ones life.  It’s another in our lives that Satan has no concern for. He is a master at seeking to keep an avalanche of despair tumbling our way. The more we seek to stand steadfast in Jesus, the more he will seek to run us over with discouragement and attempts at creating hopelessness and helplessness.

But the Christian who is grounded in Jesus has a wealth of resources to combat discourgement.  A sensitive individual can be in a world of hurt during a trying episode of discouragement. Thankfully Jesus touches our sensitivity and rallies us to grasp His abundant promises and blessings.

I would venture to guess that there is more written on hope and encouragement in the Word God has provided us than any other topic. Discouragement is another indicator regarding “feelings” that is proof that we can not live by our feelings and let them control our decision making. Especially when we try to utilize them to determine whether something is right or wrong. God has provided us fact and intellect to make those kinds of determinations.

Hebrews 11:1 says “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  The Psalms are full of marvelous words of encouragement and comfort especially in times of despair.  As we grow in Christ, we need to learn to exercise our faith by claiming the promises God has given us.

As he knows the very number of hairs on every humans head, He knows our heartaches and hopes so much more intimately. So along with faith in Him through His promises, we can trust Him far more than any human on earth. He takes no delight in seeing our discomfort and trying times.

Whether you are a Christian who has followed our dear Lord your entire life, or have just given over your life to Him recently, you will face times and situations which will test and try your faith.  He will never ever let you down.  His promises come with a guarantee.  “God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”  1 Corninthians 1:9

We do not hold control over our lives, but can only submit our lives to the control of Jesus Christ where we know we will be safe.  Expectations can be the root or discouragement and I can tell you from my very personal experience, that that is a foothold Satan will try and secure.

Since childhood, I sought approval and had expectations of people and then was miserably distraught when let down. Today I continue to have expectations. I think that my concerns should often have the heightened level of attention in another’s life that they have in mine… and then I have set myself up for discouragement when it is realized that what is important to me, does not always have the same significance elsewhere.

I am continually pointed back to Jesus and handing over my cares, my worries, my tests, my temptations, my heartache, my discouragement.  Jesus wants me to know how I must totally and completely rely on Him. I can take no credit for trying to make something important , and forcefulness will only backfire to once again let me know that it is not self that can control, but only submitting myself to Jesus that can allow His hand to work at the rate and level of importance He sees appropriate.

So… Wow… all kinds of things come into play don’t they?   Patience, commitment, sensitivity to others, respect for others, humbleness, reliance on Jesus, denying self, waiting upon God, turning over self. … The list goes on.  But what we can clearly see in this brief description… our only true joy can be experienced in total commitment to and reliance upon the dear Lord Jesus.

We must turn all of our concerns, temptations, joys and sorrows to Him to experience the freedom and victory that is ours when we claim what He has won for us.

There is great truth and comfort in the old faithful hymn….

‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His word;
Just to rest upon His promise;
Just to know, Thus saith the Lord.

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him,
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er,
Jesus, Jesus, Precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more.

O how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
Just in simple faith to plunge me,
‘Neath the healing, cleansing flood.

Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life, and rest, and joy, and peace.

I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.

Filed Under: Wayne's Blog