Archive for July, 2013

Hold Me Now

Posted by on July 28, 2013  |  No Comments

Have you experienced rejection, alienation and disregard?  Where?  Was it at birth?  Was it as school? Was it in the church?

Satan lies to us and tells us that we don’t matter, that we are not loved and we don’t belong here. Then the stage is set in our pain and despair for his lies to play out. He begs to take your focus off of your only life support system. Jesus Christ.

But think about Jesus for a few moments. At birth He was being sought to be killed. In fact many lives were taken just trying to find Him and snuff His life. Yet His Father continued to clear the way for Him. He didn’t have a simple life and He asks us to model ours after His.  Yet we drive a comfortable ride, sit in front of the television, go to movies, concerts, etc. continually pleasure seeking.

It’s that pain of rejection and isolation that we are trying to fill. We keep pouring stuff in there trying to reach “satisfaction.” Some people fill it with a good novel. Others with a bottle of booze. Some with a needle in their arm and others with a sex fix. All of it provides a temporary fix.

The sin of Adam and Eve had a devastating effect on a perfect world. It would be costly. Consequences brought about death and decay. Shame and pain would quickly be relevant to something that should never have happened. All because of deciding that “self” knew better than God. 

The Great Controversy had begun. Satan was making his mark and laying claim. He was signaling to God that his ways were better. In the perfect creation of man and woman, God knew that His power and influence would remain by giving us the power of choice.  He would then hold out to Satan that “there will be a people.”  A people that would realize the difference between good and evil. A people that would choose to honor and believe in their Creator … knowing that He only wants the very best for us. It’s our choice as to whom we will serve.

Jesus grew up and walked in the face of adversity, ridicule and temptation. He didn’t receive much in the way of love. He showered people with truth and redemption and healing. In the weakened state of so many… they reached out to Him with a simple belief. It was the only hope they could see and Jesus was providing the promise of healing and salvation.  A most touching and beautiful story where He ultimately bears His own cross and offers His life weighted by every sin we would ever commit. He loved us while we are sinners. He offers us so much if we will believe.

He shares His pain and shows us that we could not know such pain by comparison and promises to see us through if we will reach out and grasp Him.  He tells us that the truth will set us free. John 8. He promises to never leave or forsake us.  “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

The world belongs to the prince of darkness and he is stealing lives because they choose not to believe in what they cannot see. The faith and trust walk seems too difficult and they believe the lies of deception continually being introduced to them in so many different ways.  God keeps being accused of being too rigid and legalistic. Yet because of His GREAT love for us He has provided us with His precious Word as a guide for us. A staff of life! We complain, banter, debate, argue and dismiss.  He continues to say;  “I love you! I lived and died for you. Come to me and I will give you rest.”

There is NOTHING that He cannot heal, restore or comfort. He says “Trust me!”

Today I have been struck with a pain so immense that Satan is trying to swallow me whole!  He’s yelling at me about how it’s just not worth it.. so head my direction and let me show you what I’ve got that will sedate, satisfy and fix. But their all lies! They’re all dead ends.  He’s trying to tell me today that I am meaningless and downright disposable. That I don’t belong, matter and am certainly not loved. He’s lying to me about all the good that Jesus has tried to express through me and to me.

Today my heart is an open bleeding wound that feels like it would be impossible to heal. And still I hear my Savior say… “Come to me and let me give you rest. Let me give you water from the fountain of life and heal your painful wound.” The pain keeps stabbing me.  It briefly subsides and then comes back with an even stronger force. We live in risk. How much are we willing to risk for Jesus? What does it take for me to gain my confidence and see my value in Him?

Can He heal me?   “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

Don’t let your pain elude you and keep you from the best physician known to man. Bring your heartache to Jesus. Let Him heal you. I’m reminded of the verse that won me to my Creator. Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”   He’s asking me to simply believe, trust and move forward in faith. He knew me before I was born and has great plans for me. I am His and He is mine. Nothing and no one will come between.

I write from my personal life experience. I have found that it has been reflective of what many have experienced. I ask that Jesus will somehow use me to help someone else hang on.

My walk is not easy. I have seen great darkness! But Jesus saved me and I refuse to let Satan reclaim me. And for those who are seeking to criticize or be skeptical… I have not had a sexual fall. I have lost something I deeply treasured which had enormous value. A friendship.

Jesus … Hold me now. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkEF3K4NbjQ

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Battle Within

Posted by on July 27, 2013  |  No Comments

Ever think about how much damage your stubbornness and rigidity cause you?  I remember how my life changed when I got comfortable with how I “felt.”  I had immersed myself among a group of like minded people. Even though their thoughts and feelings were much like mine… it didn’t make us right. But I certainly felt strengthened in my opinions and declarations. 

It became important to surround myself by the people I felt most comfortable with. And in the process I began to adopt and live by lies I would not have if I had humbly sought Jesus and His plan for me. Somehow in my desperation and not having things figured out, I had given up on Jesus and began to live by “being who I am.” What a huge danger there is in becoming self-assured and grounded in feelings rather than fact. It is the very danger that robbed Adam and Eve of their perfectly wonderful life. Doubt, enticement, feelings, lies, deception… It robbed them. They were convinced that there was something better. All because they chose to believe in what the beautiful serpent dazzled before them. He appealed to their senses.

It  took many years of deception and dead ends for me to be able to recognize that Satan is trying to dupe me with the same tactics that won Adam and Eve. His tactics have worked for thousands of years. So simple. So tragic. And so true.  If we continue to rely upon ourselves and our feelings… the battle is not over.  But if we put our faith and trust in God’s Word which He has provided us for all time… we can be assured that the battle is over! Will we believe it? Or will we let self get entangled and struggle and fight it without divine guidance?  Jesus has already overcome the enemy.

The enemy who is fighting for his own life, wants to convince you that there’s a better way. He wants you to think that God doesn’t really know what you need.  His plan isn’t customized enough for you. The enemy then begins to show you “a good time” to try and coerce you into believing what are no more than dressed up lies.

We typically as human beings… don’t like to be wrong. Emotions and feelings can lead us down some very dangerous paths. Jeremiah 17:9 says that the heart is deceitful above all. Who can know it? It’s so difficult to put away thoughts and habits that we have found easily adaptable. Yet we have a lot of evidence that shows the terrible cost of such.  Smoking, alcohol, eating, unbridled and unprotected sex, sex outside the confines of God’s plan… oh … ouch. This gets very personal doesn’t it?

For decades I could not understand why my desires had such terminal consequences. In fact I became so unhappy over the guaranteed consequences that I adopted my feelings and threw truth right out the window.  God allows us to do our own thing. He gives us all the guidance and direction we need. But if we don’t choose to follow His plan, He will not force us and honors our decision to live however we choose. Even if that means that we make choices based on our feelings rather than His life sustaining Word.

I praise God for the power of prayer. The prayers of those who watch us and know we are spiraling out of control in the wrong direction.  Prayers ascend and God hears them and surrounds His precious children waiting to empower, convince and convict us when we are ready to surrender to Him. And at that time it’s amazing to see Him at work. Lives change! His promises for us come to life. Many can’t believe they waited so long to let Him take over.  Such was my experience.  Again… God will not force us. And the longer we wait to make a decision for Him, the deeper the scars of wrong decisions make.

Philippians 4:13 promises me that all things are possible with God to those that love Him and want to live according to His will.

The flesh is not dead.  It still calls out.  The enemy is not willing to give up. He fears he has lost a believer. And so I must pick up my cross… sensing my need for Jesus and come humbly before Him seeking His assistance. Totally and completely recognizing my need for Him.

It’s a battle that has been won. Jesus tells me that the victory is mine. He’s already paid for it!  Just claim it over and over again as I walk these dusty roads.  We are faced with temptation… as was Jesus during His walk here.  But He will not leave or forsake us.  He just asks that we believe in Him and no other. He tells me how the truth will set me free. And I am free indeed! What is most important today and throughout my remaining days on this earth… is who I am in Jesus. 

When I stopped believing in myself and chose Him … surrendering and repenting to Him… He gave me a new identity. He told me that He has forgotten my past and wants me to focus on today and the “New Creature” He has created me to be. 2 Corinthians 5:17

Let go of self and grab hold of Jesus!  He is waiting so patiently.  His love is tender, wholesome, and majestic. He wants to comfort you… wipe your tears… and begin that healing that is promised. Put aside what you have previously settled for and trust Jesus to guide you and lead you according to His customized plan for you. He will reveal it to you through His Word which He has promised is trustworthy yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.   Proverbs 3:5-6

 

 

 

 

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Silent But Deadly

Posted by on July 10, 2013  |  No Comments


Ministry was not something I immediately contemplated after surrendering my life to Jesus. I believed God had revealed valuable truths and tools to me, but I had no idea where He would take me and who He would have me share my testimony with. It has been a “one day at a time” walk, always putting Him first and following as He reveals.

I’m amazed at His plan and how He has led. There have been times when I thought I knew His plan when He has revealed something quite different. There have also been times when I think I have gotten in front of God and started doing the planning for Him.  Ha ha… bad planning on my part and He is good at letting me know that.

He is teaching me that earthly plans can be interrupted for heavenly ones. He asks that we trust Him in the face of adversity and regarding things we cannot know.  He also tells us that the world will hate us…but not to lose heart because He is in control. He has already overcome the enemy. Our best interests are in Him. He will not let us down…leave us or forsake us.

My feelings in life were in charge until the day I recognized Jesus Christ and the importance of putting Him first in all things. From that moment forward, changes began to take place. Philippians 4:13 promises that all things are possible through Him. This became clear almost immediately. My ways had not been working out so well. Yet there are those today who would claim contentment and happiness. The question is, is it God’s plan or one driven by self and the desires of the flesh?

I contemplated my destiny. I couldn’t see very far and slowly began to recognize my need of God. My beliefs were far off track from what He asks us to accept as truth. Regardless of the truth I had been raised with, I began to rediscover and take God at His Word. As a result I became reacquainted with Him and began to make life applications as a result of the promises He provided for us to discover.  

As a child, I recall the readings of the divinely inspired author Ellen White. She painted mental pictures of the fulfillment of prophecy and God’s warnings regarding the culmination and destruction of a world no longer seeking God’s guidance. She wrote about how life gives way to what comes natural rather than honoring the author of life itself if we don’t allow Him to be King.

As I gained knowledge about creation and the early history of this earth, there didn’t seem to be any practical answers as to why I was developing feelings for my own gender. I became a bit surprised that as Christians, many haven’t figured out Satan’s effective ploys through the deception of feelings and our other senses.  He is allowed to tempt and disturb all of us. What we haven’t concentrated on in Christian teachings … is what to do with our temptations and feelings that are in contrast to God’s Word.

As Christians we have left a lot in the dark that has seemed too disgusting or dark to talk about for so many years. And in that darkness the enemy gained a stronghold. In the darkness, much of what does not agree with God and His plan for us has seemingly become neutralized by those who have succumbed to their feelings. Many Christians have distanced themselves from God’s Word allowing their feelings to become their guide. So many have put down the Word of God and distanced themselves from the very source of God’s voice.

Today it is not uncommon to see the flesh writing its own translation of God’s Word by seeking permissions rather than witnessing the healing power of The Almighty through His Word. Those who are clinging to The Word and its truths are being seen as extreme and discriminatory.

Feelings and desires that conflict with scripture lie in wait as society “naturally” covers them with a dressing that obscures the depth of sin at its core. We are suddenly in the throes of  Isaiah 5:20 that says: “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” 

For nearly forty years I sought out a naturalization of homosexuality because I couldn’t make sense from a biblical perspective of the feelings I had. I saw homosexuality as sin everywhere it is referenced in the Bible. I didn’t ask to be this way. I was born this way.  My feelings led and guided me. But the same is true for a host of other feelings we experience if we don’t recognize our need to submit them to God.  Feelings of hatred, pride, desire, judgment.  These all must be given over to God if we are going to experience victory. If I simply advocate for my strong feelings as truth, well… I could end up in a real mess with a host of them.

If I’m not careful, I can get lost in trying to figure out why something is not God’s will when it seems or feels right to me. I am not God. I am stained with the sin that has afflicted mankind for thousands of years. I am not in any position to question God’s perfect plan for mankind. He asks me to come before Him and humble myself and accept Him and His truth by believing that He knows what is best for me. Lucifer risked everything in his arrogance by insisting that he knew better than God. And he lost… he’s just not willing to accept that just yet and he would like to convince you that you have a better way as well.

The only safety net, (hope) I have is in surrendering my feelings and living in accordance  to the instructions He lovingly provided as my heavenly Father. I have His example of which He has asked me to follow. I take into account what He did when He was tempted. And He was tempted beyond what I have experienced. Sex is not a life-sustaining temptation. We can live without sex. He was tempted with food after suffering from 40 days and nights of severe hunger.

Imagine what a fix the world would be in if everyone allowed themselves to be controlled by their feelings. Oh… I guess it’s not much of a stretch of the imagination to consider when looking at the chaos we are in today.

Laws are being manifested to squelch the testimony of all that is possible through Jesus. I was taught from God’s Word about how the final events of this world would unravel when I was as child. My eyes were big and I thought it impossible. It seemed so unbelievable and far off.  I never expected to be a participant or the one being silenced.

What is clear, is that more than at any other time in my life, the importance of trusting, relying and resting in Jesus.  I awoke this morning with an impulse to read the writing of Ellen White dealing with the reality of where we are in earth’s history.

“In seeking to cast contempt upon the divine statutes, Satan has perverted the doctrines of the Bible, and errors have thus become incorporated into the faith of thousands who profess to believe the Scriptures. The last great conflict between truth and error is but the final struggle of the long-standing controversy concerning the law of God. Upon this battle we are now entering–a battle between the laws of men and the precepts of Jehovah, between the religion of the Bible and the religion of fable and tradition.

The agencies which will unite against truth and righteousness in this contest are now actively at work. God’s holy word, which has been handed down to us at such a cost of suffering and blood, is but little valued. The Bible is within the reach of all, but there are few who really accept it as the guide of life. Infidelity prevails to an alarming extent, not in the world merely, but in the church. Many have come to deny doctrines which are the very pillars of the Christian faith. The great facts of creation as presented by the inspired writers, the fall of man, the atonement, and the perpetuity of the law of God, are practically rejected, either wholly or in part, by a large share of the professedly Christian world. Thousands who pride themselves upon their wisdom and independence regard it as an evidence of weakness to place implicit confidence in the Bible; they think it a proof of superior talent and learning to cavil at the Scriptures and to spiritualize and explain away their most important truths. Many ministers are teaching their people, and many professors and teachers are instructing their students, that the law of God has been changed or abrogated; and those who regard its requirements as still valid, to be literally obeyed, are thought to be deserving only of ridicule or contempt.

In rejecting the truth, men reject its Author. In trampling upon the law of God, they deny the authority of the Law-giver. It is as easy to make an idol of false doctrines and theories as to fashion an idol of wood or stone. By misrepresenting the attributes of God, Satan leads men to conceive of Him in a false character. With many, a philosophical idol is enthroned in the place of Jehovah; while the living God, as He is revealed in His word, in Christ, and in the works of creation, is worshiped by but few. Thousands deify nature while they deny the God of nature. Though in a different form, idolatry exists in the Christian world today as verily as it existed among ancient Israel in the days of Elijah. The god of many professedly wise men, of philosophers, poets, politicians, journalists–the god of polished fashionable circles, of many colleges and universities, even of some theological institutions–is little better than Baal, the sun-god of Phoenicia.

No error accepted by the Christian world strikes more boldly against the authority of Heaven, none is more directly opposed to the dictates of reason, none is more pernicious in its results, than the modern doctrine, so rapidly gaining ground, that God’s law is no longer binding upon men. Every nation has its laws, which command respect and obedience; no government could exist without them; and can it be conceived that the Creator of the heavens and the earth has no law to govern the beings He has made? Suppose that prominent ministers were publicly to teach that the statutes which govern their land and protect the rights of its citizens were not obligatory–that they restricted the liberties of the people, and therefore ought not to be obeyed; how long would such men be tolerated in the pulpit? But is it a graver offense to disregard the laws of states and nations than to trample upon those divine precepts which are the foundation of all government?

Wherever the divine precepts are rejected, sin ceases to appear sinful or righteousness desirable. Those who refuse to submit to the government of God are wholly unfitted to govern themselves. Through their pernicious teachings the spirit of insubordination is implanted in the hearts of children and youth, who are naturally impatient of control; and a lawless, licentious state of society results. While scoffing at the credulity of those who obey the requirements of God, the multitudes eagerly accept the delusions of Satan. They give the rein to lust and practice the sins which have called down judgments upon the heathen.

While appearing to the children of men as a great physician who can heal all their maladies, he will bring disease and disaster, until populous cities are reduced to ruin and desolation. Even now he is at work. In accidents and calamities by sea and by land, in great conflagrations, in fierce tornadoes and terrific hailstorms, in tempests, floods, cyclones, tidal waves, and earthquakes, in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power. He sweeps away the ripening harvest, and famine and distress follow. He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the pestilence. These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous. Destruction will be upon both man and beast. “The earth mourneth and fadeth away,” “the haughty people . . . do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.” Isaiah 24:4, 5.

And then the great deceiver will persuade men that those who serve God are causing these evils.

God never forces the will or the conscience; but Satan’s constant resort–to gain control of those whom he cannot otherwise seduce–is compulsion by cruelty. Through fear or force he endeavors to rule the conscience and to secure homage to himself. To accomplish this, he works through both religious and secular authorities, moving them to the enforcement of human laws in defiance of the law of God.” The Great Controversy –  Chptr 36

 

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Coming Out … Really? Live Stream

Posted by on July 5, 2013  |  No Comments

Friday July 5th at 5:00 PM Pacific time 8:00 PM Eastern

Join me in Australia for a live stream presentation of four one hour segments about redemption from homosexuality.

Love changes people… not from gay to straight … but with a love from Jesus that builds intimacy with Him.

http://new.livestream.com/FindJesus/events/2228858

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