Don’t get sucked in to the spiral of destruction

It’s such a shame that the media always focus in on the negative and not the positive.  Like today I’ve woken up to press stories on facebook about a Christian “Mom” Blogger who has now divorced her husband and is dating another woman.  Can you imagine the same headline for a Gay Blogger who found Christ, I don’t think so!

In Mark 11 we read the story of the fig tree, a tree full of leaves and show but bearing no fruit.  We need to be wary of “Christians” who are like this.  We need to be wary of those who label themselves “Christian” as a form of religious belief but who have no personal relationship with God.  I was reminded only yesterday of the need to focus on God alone.  If the devil taunts or tempts look him straight in the eye, that is do not be afraid of him, do not give in to him and walk away from the temptations.

It appears that in this particular case the Blogger was already advocating behaviours outside of God’s teaching and that is the start of the slippery slope.  If we are grounded in God, grounded in his word whatever Satan says to us we can rebuke.  Jesus himself used scripture when tempted in the wilderness, how much more should we use it in these dark days.

TURN YOUR BACK

Bearing no fruit, barren, desolate, desperate, franticly trying to tempt us, audaciously wooing us with attractive bait, feeding our cravings, talking to our greed, not our needs, talking to our lust as we’re pulled into the dust, disgust, not a word our God uses, we have no excuses but God still absolves us once we resolve to walk with him, when we recognise our sin, open your eyes to the love he offers, turn your back on the scoffers, the false teachers and preachers, those who seek to entice you with their lies, keep your eyes on the prize the perfecter of our faith who stands with arms open wide and as the battle rages we remember that the wages of sin is death yet the free gift of God is eternal life, don’t give into the lies, don’t get sucked in to the spiral of destruction, don’t let any obstruction stand between you and Jesus, trust and obey and you will receive his forgiveness.

 

 

Stop saying yes when God says no

I was watching a panel discussion this morning and all the panellists had come out of a gay lifestyle and are now Christians.  One of the questions to them was around the process of transition.  One panel member stated that it wasn’t until her Father passed away that she was able to change.  The reason being her Father and his new Partner were so accepting of her lifestyle, to the extent of fully embracing and celebrating their “Gay” daughter that she was able to turn to them at any stage for endorsement.  It wasn’t until they were no longer there that she was able to receive the “love and truth” being spoken to her by her Mother. Her Mother (a Christian) had always spoken to her in love and truth, telling her she was “wrong” about her choices and she now appreciates that fully for how it saved her.  Her Mother never condemned her, never stopped loving her but was always open and honest about what her lifestyle meant for her salvation.

So the question I pose to you is this, by being accepting (permissive) of friends and family in a gay lifestyle are you blocking the way for your loved one to change?  Are you basing your support on human rules or God’s rules?

  • Isaiah 29:13 – These people come near to me with their mouth and honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.
  • 1 Samuel 16:7 – But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’
  • Mark 8:36 – What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?

FLAWED

We are all more flawed and sinful than we could ever believe yet we are more loved and accepted than we ever dared hope, we all fall short of God’s glory whatever our story but what are you telling your gay sisters and brothers about sin.  God shows us quite clearly we were not called to fit in with secular culture, but the vultures keep circling when you speak about this carnal sin, it’s like we are being pressured to give in and deny the truth of the Bible, like being a disciple of God is OK so long as you say it’s OK to be gay, but today I urge you to think this through, what can you do to make a difference to convince others that forgiveness and grace are freely given but also be clear that if you want to get to heaven then you’ve got to get it together, we are valued, God loves us but here’s where it gets tough, love is not enough, let me talk about the eternal consequences of continuing on the path of disobedience; that is, death and separation from God.  And OK yes it’s hard to hear and I’m not judging, just loving, I’m not preaching, just reaching in with God’s wise words tempered with kindness, don’t become blind to the mess, stop saying yes when God says no, our God does not lie, he wants you, he want me, don’t be afraid to do the one thing that sets others free, encourage each other, build up your brother as you walk together, speak freely as family, you want them set free right?  You want them to see the light then don’t hide yours under a bushel, don’t go along with the majority because you’re too timid to speak out, don’t think you’re doing me a favour by condoning my behaviour, love me unconditionally but help set me free from the lies that surround me, speak in honesty, speak biblically, speak freely so that I can see that the place God has ordained for me in eternity can become reality with my church family surrounding me with truth tempered with love, no more permissiveness, less of the anything goes, more truth, remember to let God’s love show.

Transformed to Transform

So I have been writing over the last few days about feeling that God has a calling for me and I am now ready to reveal what this is!

As my Blog followers will know I have been on an incredible journey since being called out of the Gay Lifestyle and as such I felt drawn to help support others in my position.  I am passionate about engaging the Gay community in love and truth and for “prodigals”, people like me who grew up hearing about God but turned away because they felt their sexuality separated them God, that they could not be loved or accepted.

I have started a website and new Blog   https://transformedtotransform.wordpress.com/ and would love you to visit and recommend this to friends, family, church family and anyone with an interest in evangelising, supporting and caring for those who are feeling broken and unloved by God.

I feel this is just the start and pray that God will bless this website mightily to reach others and I thank God for your support and love in this venture.

Transition, it’s hard, keep your eyes on God

Read a quote this morning:

She understood that the hardest times in life to go through were when you were transitioning from one version of yourself to another.

OK so that had quite an impact on me, maybe I hadn’t realised that this “transitioning” would be quite as hard as it is, I still feel I have one foot reluctantly dragging in my old camp whilst my whole head and body are screaming at me to move fully into the new camp.  But what does that look like and how do I achieve that?  On reflection I suppose a lot of it is about obedience to God, asking him what I need to do and following his will.  But being partly in the old camp, does that give me opportunities to witness that cutting all ties would prevent?  Is it part of God’s plan for me that I am able to witness of his grace and mercy to people who knew the old me through them now seeing the new me?  I know that my words will fall on rocky ground when I witness to gay friends but last week was interesting that two of them noticed and commented that I wasn’t drinking as much anymore and both of them have seen me at my worst through drink.  Our actions can also be a witness.  So I suppose what I’m really saying here is I need to find peace in my mind where I can accept that by mixing with non-Christians and remaining friends does not mean I am jumping ship from my faith, (it doesn’t actually mean I am not fully in God’s camp) I just have to remain firm in my faith and witness through my actions as well as words.

  • 2 Corinthians 5:7 – For we live by faith, not by sight.
  • 2 Corinthians 12:9 – But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
  • Proverbs 3:5 – Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;

TRANSITION

Transition, OK like turning from sin, that’s kind of like a massive transformation, changing from one state to another, changing habits and behaviours because of believing in a Saviour who died on a cross to prevent your loss, to offer you a lifetime of freedom, to save you from an eternity of condemnation and not everyone has the same revelation and may seek to cause you aggravation because of your new found adoration for God.  Transition, it’s hard, keep your eyes on God and not on your problems, ask for his wisdom in all your decisions, strength for the battle, not to get rattled when others struggle to support you as you unravel the thoughts going through your head, striving to fit in but having no place to call home, you are never alone, trust the Lord with all your heart, you don’t need to rely on your own understanding, with God there’s no need for compromising, he is realising your plans for the future, you are a new creation and God is your haven of comfort and peace, he has released you from you fears, released you from your sin, he knows where you’ve been and that doesn’t freak him out, he knows where you’re going and that’s more to the point, God has a plan and a purpose for your life, sacrifice it all to him, transition made easier when you let Jesus in, talk to him, tell it to him, Jesus the champion of your transition, what more do you need, his grace is sufficient.

My identity not in who I was but who you want me to be

My identity has changed significantly over the past 18 months and this Sunday I even described myself as “ex-gay”.  For my whole life since my teenage years my identity has been very much about my sexuality, however now I have a new identity and that is as God’s daughter. God has given me so much more to identify with and it is important to me that I don’t allow the enemy to drag me back down, to damage my new identity in order to get at me so this prayer is my “fervent” pray of thanksgiving to God for my new identity.

  • 1 Peter 2:9 – But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
  • Galatians 3:26 – So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith
  • John 8:36 -So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed
  • Colossians 3:1-4 – Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory
  • John 15:16 – You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit – fruit that will last – and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

IDENTITY

Praise you Father God that I have been raised with Christ, I died to my sins and now my life is hidden with you, praise you that when you appear again I will be with you in glory a perfect ending to an imperfect story, thank you Father for choosing me, appointing me to bear fruit, for choosing me before the foundations of the world were laid, no longer a slave to the past, at last I have an identity, an authenticity that means who I am in you matters more than what others think and what the enemy seeks to tell me, protect me from complacency, help me courageously fight the stigma of the past, I am forgiven, I am a new creation, my identity not in who I was but who you want me to be, I am your child, appointed and loved, free and victorious, transformed, reformed and through your word I am fully informed, I know the battle is not against flesh and blood , thank you for your love that surrounds me in the fight, help me keep your light shining as you are refining me, Father let my identity remain in you in everything I say and do.

Devious puppet master using false teaching and preaching to his advantage,

Living confidently means staying positive and trusting God.  No matter what lies the enemy tries to tell us, no matter who the enemy uses to tell us the lies remember that it is just the enemy trying to get at you.  I read in a book that if when trouble comes to your life you think of a curtain, pull back the curtain to see Satan pulling all the strings.  That’s all it is, there often is no trouble just manufactured trouble that we escalate out of all proportion.

Like this morning, I blogged last week that not many people are bold enough to preach about relationships and yet today our preacher touched on this both mentioning Gay marriage and couples who co-habit before marriage.  The theme was really about unity and how we embrace all within the church but I felt drawn to speak to him afterwards and I asked him his viewpoint. Suffice to say he was solidly on the fence, remaining 100% politically correct and felt that in the bigger scheme of things the subject was trivial and that Jesus was really not bothered at all about it.  TRIVIAL (I was so mad inside at that comment!)  OK so I am passionate about this and with good reason, and fortunately for me I am surrounded by strong Christians who pick me back up when the enemy has a pop but I see now that is exactly what was happening the enemy was even using a Minister to try and get to me.

So I am sticking to my guns, I feel today I was hard pressed but not crushed and you know the great thing, although only a Christian for a year I wielded the sword of the spirit in my conversation, I knew the word of God and that was an awesome feeling to be able to speak God’s word in boldness and confidence.

2 Corinthians 4:8 – We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair

Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

2 Timothy 3:16 – All scripture is God Breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work

HARD PRESSED

Hard pressed, people trying to impress their views, the enemy seeking to confuse, pulling the strings, devious puppet master using false teaching and preaching to his advantage, but here’s the thing, all scripture is God breathed, doesn’t matter what Jesus did or didn’t say, Jesus may not have said it’s wrong to be gay, but just read what others say in his word and we know that all scripture is God breathed and God leads the way, his word is as alive today as yesterday, no this is not some old fashioned view, take a look in Hebrews the word of God is alive and active, we have to be reactive and yes it judges the thoughts and attitudes of us all, don’t contribute to another’s fall, be prepared to stand tall, support your brother with love and care but don’t be scared to use God’s word for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training and then you’ll see unity, an army of disciples thoroughly equipped for every good work, a loving, caring and relevant church.

God does not sit on the fence

So yesterday was asked by a couple of my co-prayer warriors what would have helped me as a gay person coming to church for the first time and throughout my first few weeks/months of getting to know people and then after I became a Christian.

So have been thinking about this and there are a few things that stood out for me and the most dominant one was that the attitude to homosexuality that I witnessed was mostly a liberal one so comments such as “I don’t think it matters now days” or “God doesn’t mind so long as you’re happy” and “it doesn’t matter does it?” were common responses when I did tell people about being gay.

When I gave my life to God I did this because I had studied long and hard and believed strongly that the Bible says any sex outside male and female marriage is sinful.  There are even more references in the Bible specifically to same sex relationships which I also believe show that homosexual intimacy is sinful so I was not of the viewpoint that Gay marriage was the answer.  I prayed this over and God showed me that the way forward lay in honouring him, in turning away from my sins and giving my life to him.

So in answer to their questions the things that I think make a difference to people like me to help them become a Christian once they start going to church and then secondly to start feeling like they fit in to the church are:

  1. People to listen without giving an off the cuff opinion about their view on sexuality or how God views it
  2. For people to try to get to know the person, it’s not about sexuality it’s about me starting to come to church (the same as if I was straight, build friendships on common ground to encourage me to keep coming back).
  3. Honour/embrace singleness *
  4. People who engage in conversations about sexuality to really know the bible, read the relevant passages, pray over them and form an opinion for themselves based on what God reveals to them, found a lot of people had opinions but when I quoted verses they didn’t know them.
  5. People to not sit on the fence, regardless of their belief be prepared to debate in a loving way, but saying “I’m not sure where God sits on this” does not help!
  6. To have a safe place, a safe person to talk to, non-judgmental and not a gossip and someone prepared to put some time in to work things through with you
  7. To hear preachers who are prepared to preach about sexual relationships of all types about what God says so I would challenge mediocrity and lukewarm preaching or in some cases total avoidance of the subject.
  8. Do not try to be politically correct, Jesus wasn’t and nor should you be!!

*an example here is at the first ladies meeting I went to we were asked to introduce ourselves and every lady in the meeting introduced themselves in the context of wife, mother, grandmother which can be very difficult for anyone who is single or struggling with their identity.

GOD IS LOVE

God is love, God is pure love and love radiates from him to me, God loved me even while still a sinner, God saw the inner me and still he loved me, he cherished me, spent time with me, invested in my liberty, God does not sit on the fence, no offence but God wrote the book and God knows the score, anyone who knocks on the door can enter in if they turn away from their past and their sin, and it’s in the Bible clear as day, it’s not right or proper to be gay, God still loved me it wasn’t me that was wrong, it was the sin that goes on and on until we take courage and listen to the voice of God, yes it’s hard but life was not designed to be easy, sin is sin, no more living on easy street, if you want your life to be complete, whole, your soul to be saved, your sins to be waived you have to take responsibility for your inability to see clearly that God’s word is truth, and as you grasp the truth the truth sets you free, as you change your inaction into action, God’s reaction, priceless; you turn from your sin and you’re let in to the most awesome Kingdom of light and peace, forgiveness reached, joy overflows and suddenly you know what it is to be free, my chains are broken I am set free because Jesus died on a cross for me, how much love does that take, I’ve made mistakes but God’s love frees me from the past and I am forgiven, saved and loved at last.