Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Fullness of the Gentiles - What?

For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery--so that you will not be wise in your own estimation--that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in (Rom 11:25)

I have often wondered about this verse. Just what does it mean when it says, "until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in?" If you step back and take a look at the full chapter 11 in Roman's you will see that the Apostle Paul is making an argument for how God has allow Israels partial hardening so that the gentiles will be grafted into His Mercy and Grace and also that Israels partial hardening will end under a certain set of circumstances, "when the fullness of the gentiles comes in.

While I'm sure that part of what it means for the "fullness of the gentiles to come in" is in regards to those who are not of Jewish decent and have made decisions to trust, follow, and obey Jesus as Lord and Savior. But I cannot help but to think that it also has to do with some other things.

As I look at the world around me and with the help of the internet, planes, TV, radio, etc we have become a united world. Not that we all march to the same drummer but that we are all connected, whether we like it or not.

I was just reading from about the Copenhagen Conference meeting to discuss the issue of Climate Change/Global Warming. One of the main areas of discussions coming out of that meeting is on World de-population. Here is a quote from today's e-letter:

"That conference, and its now open emphasis on world de-population as a supposed solution to the supposed global warming crisis, is a likely prelude to even more abortion, infanticide, forced sterilizations, explicit sex-ed, promotion of homosexuality and other forms of sterile, childless sex, and on and on"

The world population in many of the major countries is already on the brink of disaster. Most of Europe and Russian is at a point where they cannot even sustain their current populations and withing the next 10 - 15 years or so will begin a dramatic decline in their total populations. China has it's own set of problems with so many men and no women for them to marry due to their one child policies. Japan's populations is already moving into it's demographic winter with an ever aging population. Even here in the good ole US of A we are just barely replacing our current population and we are getting much help from those immigrants who come here, regardless of whether they do it legally or not.

I wonder if there isn't a physical connection to that determination of "when the fullness of the gentiles comes in." Could it be possible that it also includes the reality that people will so reject God's first command given to Adam.

"God blessed them; and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth." Gen 1:28"

That we will continue to see de population such that the world population will actually begin to decrease and thus, the fullness of the gentiles will have come in. This will of course create more world problems than we have ever experienced to date.

If you think that the troubles that we have experienced in this last credit financial crisis have been bad. A decreasing world population will be absolutely devastating. It will unravel the world as we know it. Let me know what you think. I would love to here some feedback.

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Friday, October 2, 2009

Light & Darkness


I've been thinking for a while about the reality of Light and its relationship to dark or darkness.  I’ve been watching how the Light and darkness interact in the world around me.  It is amazing to me how the Light always invades the darkness but the darkness never invades the Light.  In fact as the darkness intensifies it only enhances the Light and makes it more easily seen.


I had my children do an experiment the other night.  We often have a time together in the evenings just before their bedtime where they do tricks for me and get silly.  We have a time of prayer together and then off to bed.  This particular night I asked them to step into my closet and shut the door and turn off the light in the closet.  Once they did that I asked them what happened when they turned off the light.  They all said, “its dark in here mom.”  Then I asked them to slide the door open and watch what happens in the closet.  I actually have two sets of doors so Connor opened his side and said, “Mom the light comes in.”  Of course when Maylah and Jethro opened the other side they also commented, “the light comes in.”  Then I had them come out and join me on the bed and we talked a bit about how the light always goes into the darkness and the darkness is always pushed out.


I’ve continued to think about this reality in the relationship between Light and darkness.  What is it that keeps the Light out.  It the case of my experience with my children it was the closet doors.  The Light had to have a physical barrier that blocked it from moving forward.  Light cannot help but to move forward.  It never runs out or diminishes, it just keeps lighting up where ever it is not blocked from going in.  Even when it is blocked out it still eeks in around the sides and you can see the illumination around the door itself. 


At the same time I just started Bible Study Fellowship for the year.  This year we are studying the gospel of John.  In the Gospel of John Jesus and Light are tied together.


John 1:4               In Him (Jesus) was life and that life was the Light of men.

John 1:5               The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

John 1:9               There was the true Light which coming into the world, enlightens every man.

John 3:19-21        This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.  For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.  But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.

John 5:35             He was the lamp that was burning and was shining and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his Light.

John 8:12             Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

John 9:5               While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.”

John 11:9-10        Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day?  If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the Light of this world.”  But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”

John 12:35-36      So Jesus said to them, “For a little while longer the Light is among you.  Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not over take you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes.  While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light.”  These things Jesus spoke and He went away and hid Himself from them.

John 12:46           I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness.


As I continue to ponder this relationship between Light and dark and Jesus being the Light of the world; I cannot help but to think of another scripture over in Romans.  In Romans 1:20 it says, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” 


It is evident to me even more so now than before, that the Creation does really at all times reflect His glory and His presence.  Only when we withdraw from His presence does the darkness get a hold of us. 


I hope that all the rest of my days that I will always move into the Light and have Jesus illumine those areas of my heart that are still in darkness.  I hope that as these days get even darker that my Light will shine even brighter that others would be drawn to Him. 


For now, I will keep pondering the Light and dark relationship hoping for more in-site into this world around me and my own life in Him.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Times of Transition by James W. Goll

I was sent this article by a friend.  I found it to be very appropriate
considering the times as well as an encouragement.

James W. Goll:"Praying Through Times of Transition"

As the senior leader of Encounters Network and its associated ministries, I
recently called for a special time of Praying through Transition. As we adopt
this into our Prayer Storm efforts, I trust the Holy Spirit will reveal to you
specific strategies for Spirit-led and Spirit-empowered prayers. Adapt this theme
and make it practical for your own life, ministry and nation.
Worldwide Convulsions
The entire world is in the midst of one of the greatest times of change and
transition I have ever witnessed in my lifetime. This is both for good and evil.
Having prayer-walked over the Reconciliation Bridge from Heil, Germany to
Strasbourg, France recently, I marveled at the atmosphere of genuine friendship
and change. It is breathtaking for me, having sowed specifically into Germany
for so many years. Not long ago, such a friendship between the citizens of
France and Germany was only a pipe dream—but now, in part—it is a reality.
But consider on the other hand the worldwide threats to "wipe Israel off the
face of the earth to be remembered no more." (See Praying for Israel's Destiny
for details prophesied from Psalm 83.) War also rages in the mountains of
Afghanistan, Pakistan and beyond. Many nations of Africa are in great turmoil,
torn between one tribal group and another.. There are wars and rumors of war...
With the worldwide recession under way, many people in the U.S. and other nations
are losing their jobs; new leaders in power in Israel, the U.S., England and
beyond, it does seem that everything around us is teetering! From my angle,
we are in the midst of a worldwide convulsion. But we must drop the anchor
of hope in such a time. We must be a light which shines brightly in the midst
of darkness.
The Process of Transition
Transition means crossing over to a new place from one condition to another.
Transition times are times when the Lord redefines and adjusts the rules necessary
for us to move forward. He gives us focus and direction. He teaches us about
Himself in a new way. We must admit that we have not been where we are headed.
We have not crossed this way before!
In a literary sense, a transition is the phrase that connects the past
communication or paragraph with the future thought. This is so important to
understand as we move forward. We must seek the Lord for His revelation during
times of transition. When He communicates to us, we can bridge the past season
with the new. This causes a great treasure to arise.. Without the communication
being distinct during transitions, we lose the strength and wisdom of our past
There is a process which takes place in a time of change. Part of that transition
• A fresh level of revelation is released.
• Your present vision is adjusted.
• New vision is released and established.
• A mantle of restoration is placed upon you.
• You are healed and made whole from the past.
• A new identity is developed within you.
• New strategy is revealed to you.
• You see the fullness of your inheritance before you.
• You have the strength to overthrow your enemies.
• You secure your inheritance.
Keys for Times of Transition
Charles Stock reminded us at a recent Encounters Network Alliance Leaders
Summit, that we can "shine" the brightest when it is the darkest. He emphasized
four basic keys to help us grow through our seasons of transition:
1. God knows what He is doing! 
2. Our scars can be changed into trophies of His grace. 
3. Every battle we survive is a graduation to new realms of authority. 
4. Grace works through time—and time is on our side!
In my family and ministry's time of great personal loss and tragedy, there are
a few basic things I will never let go of. Yes, God is good all the time, and
all things work together for good. Period! Sometimes my lack of understanding
screams at me, but in those very moments I must yield my right to understand
and push the button called "Trust!"
James W. Goll
Encounters Network • PrayerStorm • Compassion Acts

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Noodle-ing & Physics?


I was taking my dog for a walk today and I began thinking about several things that I have thought about before.  I call this noodle-ing.  It is time that I spend thinking about, contemplating, reflecting upon, analyzing, etc some particular thing.  Today I was once again noodle-ing about the physical property of light and it relationship to dark.

I do so love the physical universe.  There are so many Spiritual realities that we can get from the physical world.  For example, I love the Law of Gravity.  It is a physical absolute that gives credence to the idea that there are also spiritual absolutes.  No matter how hare you try, no matter what you believe, no matter how sincere you are in believing that you can fly, if you step off a building you will fall to the ground and be severely hurt.  That may seem kind of obvious but I think you get the idea.

Tonight I was thinking about light and dark.  I had heard a radio pastor talk about a thing he noticed about light and dark as his son opened the hall closet.  This pastor was standing in a place where he could see easily into the closet as soon as it was cracked open.  The hallway light was on.  What he saw and came to realize is that when his son opened the door the darkness in the closet did not come out invading the light but that the light went into the closet and pushed out the darkness.  Darkness is nothing in and of itself but the reality that there is an absence of light.  Any miniscule amount of light can over come even the darkest of places and the darkness can do nothing to prevent it.

I have been noodle-ing this idea of light being the tangible quality and darkness being an absence of that tangible quality or reality.  I was also thinking of this in light of what the scriptures have to say regarding Moses and his interactions with Pharaoh.  In some places it says that Pharaoh hardened his heart and in other places it says that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart.  This has caused me to also wonder, “Why would God do such a thing?  If God hardened Pharaohs’ heart isn’t it then God’s responsibility for Pharaoh’s actions?  Is the Word correct in what it wrote down because it doesn’t make sense to me that a loving God would cause someone to sin? Etc, etc. etc. 

As I was considering all this I began to wonder if this same truth about light and dark is also true about God and his interactions with people.  Is it possible that God’s hardening Pharaoh’s heart came about not by anything that God did to Pharaoh but by God removing and withdrawing from Pharaoh, leaving Pharaoh to his own self and thinking.  Even as I’m typing this I am now thinking also about what it says in Romans chapter 1.  Three times it says that, “God gave them over….to there own thinking (my paraphrase).”  Does God give us over to our own devices and thereby default we end up in darkness?

Thanks for listening to a bit of my own noodle-ing.  Hope it has caused you to think.  I appreciate any comments to help me expand my own thinking.  Of course I will continue to invite God into my thinking to keep me honest and humble.

Blessing to you. 

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Hope In The Future

I have been asking God to show me just how do I bring into today and put to use in today the reality that God speaks of in 1 Peter about HOPE.

The hope that is being spoken of is tied to several things, first it is a Living Hope (1 Peter 1:3), it is provides an inheritance that is imperishable and undefiled (1 Peter 1:4), it provides an inheritance that does not fade away and is reserved for me in heaven (1 Peter 1:4), it's a hope that is protected by the power of God thru faith (1Peter 1:5), it's a hope that provides a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time (1Peter1:5), it's a hope that gives me reason to rejoice greatly even while suffering for a little while by necessity (1 Peter 1:6), this hope is tied to my faith and this faith is more precious than gold (1 Peter 1:7), this hope is tied to my faith that is tested by fire and will result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:7), it is a hope tied to my faith that will obtain as the outcome the salvation of my soul (1 Peter 1:9), and this Hope tied to my Faith are in God who also happened to raise Jesus from the dead and gave Jesus glory (1 Peter 1:21).

Again, how do I gain something for today knowing that this Hope and Faith that I have will not actually be gained until Christ comes again (or I go to Him). Being the very practical and pragmatic person that I am, I just could not get my mind around this. It was to far away for me to gain any tangible benefit from. Yes, yes, yes, I know in my head all that Truth but how does that help me today. So I have prayed for understanding and wisdom.

Yesterday our Sr. Pastor was away at convention so our Pastor of our seniors preached. He has lived a long and full life serving the Lord and was honored to be in the pulpit. He said that it is just so refreshing to be in the book of 1 Peter again. yep, 1 Peter. He shared about the first 10 verses or so. I will not go into the whole thing but just the part that God used to answer my prayer. Pastor Harry made reference to the word used in verse 4 regarding our inheritance being reserved for us in heaven. He commented about loving to have a reservation for dinner, or a hotel, or even a car rental reservation. We just show up, tell them our name, and whatever it was that was reserved for us is now ours.

Well that got me to thinking. How do I feel when I have a trip coming up where all the reservations are already made. The trip is planned, paid for, committed to, all I have to do is wait for that day to come to drive to the airport and I begin to receive all that has been reserved for me. Well, after I had made the decision to go to the Exodus Conference and had made all the reservations I began to get excited every day about the day when I would leave and begin to experience all that the reservations had in store for me. So, while I was still engaged in my life, washing laundry, cleaning, ministering, going to church, spending time with my family, etc I had this excitement building in the back ground of my mind, knowing that the day to leave was getting every closer. This was continually there, not distracting me from my priorities but still there, reminding me of good things to come.

This is just what I needed to learn how to bring that reality of what is being talked about in 1 Peter into today. The reality is I'm not going to experience it today but I can get excited about the truth that the day to leave is getting ever nearer. Now to be honest, I do not believe that Christ is coming in the next week or two, or that my life will be ending either. This does create a bit of a delema because it is still a bit far off. So I'm going to ask Jesus to give me that excitement because it is beyond my human ability to appropriate by myself. I will let you know how Jesus answers this new prayer.

Perhaps you can join me in this and you too will be blessed.

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Reflections - Exodus Conference July09 - Gods Sneaky or Divine Appointments


This is a fun little story of how I ended up going to the Exodus Conference this past July.  I wasn't planning on going, in fact I wasn't even considering it.  I was aware of the conference coming up but saw no need to go.  I had been chatting with some of the Exodus staff on some other unrelated things.  Somehow word of my going into the high schools got to Scott Davies.  He contacted me and asked me if I would be willing to be a small group leader for the Xscape program.  That was definitely something I was very interested in.  It speaks to my hearts desire to minister into the lives of those that are desirous of coming out of the life style.  I chatted with my husband about it, he was good with it, so I booked my ticket and made my reservations.

As time was approaching I was getting emails from Julie Carter.  She was coordinating all the the volunteers for the conference.  Thus I didn't think anything of it.  About five days prior to leaving for the conference I felt that I needed to connect with Julie to make sure that all the things that she was having me signed up to do would not interfere with my main purpose for going.  So, I emailed her. 

About a day later I got an email from Scott.  He had written me an email that I never received asking me if I minded not being used as a small group leader and being a volunteer instead.  Since he thought I was good with this he gave my name to Julie and all she knew was that I was a willing volunteer.

Had I found this out sooner I would have not gone to the conference and would have cancelled my tickets and reservations.  I could have gotten a full refund.  Since I did find out just a few days prior to leaving I was all committed to going and could not see cancelling.  So I went.

One hurdle that I had to overcome was that fact that I was arriving so late.  The conference started at 7pm on Tuesday and I didn't even get into O’Hare until 9 pm.  Then I had to find my way to some kind of transportation to make my way to Wheaten College.  Upon arriving I did manage to get a taxi who had already been to the campus a few other times that day.  We had a nice chat while driving and in short order found the college. 

We pulled up to one area but it didn't look quite right so I had the driver go back a block and up the previous street.  As soon as we turned around we began to see Exodus signs.  We followed the signs and at the next corner I told the drive that he could stop and let me out.  Rather than stopping he turned the corner and again I said to please stop and let me out.  Again he continued on and pulled forward another 100 feet or so and finally let me out.  I paid him and thanked him and turned around to get my bearings.

Well I wasn't sure where to go so I immediately went to the side walk and saw a few people walking so I walked up to a woman and asked.  She was headed in the same direction as the check in table and was glad to show me the way.  So I casually asked her how she came to find herself at the conference.  That began a new friendship that continued the fullness of the week.  My new friend had come alone and had been struggling alone for many years.  She is married and only recently shared her struggle with her husband.  Her husband was supportive and she came with great hope and expectation but also with many reservations.  She had asked the Lord to help her and He did.

I find it amazing that my taxi driver had to drive forward two more times before letting me out of the taxi.  If he had not, then I would have been behind my new friend and would not have walked to her for directions, I would have gone to another.  God is so good.  Meeting my new friend was apart of many divine appointments that I had during the course of that week.  God is so faithful and loving.  I was so blessed to be a part of that conference experience.


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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Reflections - Exodus Conference July09 - God has/is Compensating Me


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I had the privilege of attending two workshops given by Sy Rogers.  He also did one of the general sessions.  I had heard of him for years but had never been exposed to his teachings.  They were amazing and he is truly a blessing to the body of Christ and a glory to Jesus.  In the workshop sessions Sy was talking about the 9 factors he has discovered that cause sexual relational problems to develop.  He also has another teaching of the 9 principles of redeeming our sexuality. 

As I sat through all his sessions I was amazed at how he was describing all the things that God has taken me through in my journey with Jesus.  I could not have produced this teaching but I have personally experienced each thing Sy identified both in the area of the development of my sexual relational struggles and how God has redeemed my sexuality. 

One of the 9 principles that Sy talks about is forgiveness.  This was not new to me but what was new was the idea that our need for justice demands that we receive compensation.  Thus when we choose to forgive someone, we are saying in reality, "I will not require you to pay your debt to me."  When we do forgive we go to Jesus and leave the Justice up to Him.  He will bring us the proper compensation as we forgive those who should really owe us compensation.  In God sweet way He will bring about His compensation for the losses that we have received.

As I have reflected upon this it has brought to mind this personal example in my own life with Him.  I grew up a wild child, at least that is what it felt like.  Not that I was a wild child but that my parents, trying their best, left us alone much of the time.  They did the best they could and to their credit I knew that I was loved and belonged to my family.  There were many things missing in my growing up life and one of those areas was related to school and being involved in activities through school supported, encouraged, and guided by my parents. 

As I have grown older, found much healing in Jesus, and now have my own family, I'm finding that God is redeeming those lost years in a profound way.  I have five children and Karl and I go to every function at school for all of my children.  We happen to be on the school campus a lot.  Actually I don't think that there is ever a function at school that does not involve us because we have so many, at least it feels that way.  One of the first things that the Lord gave me, as compensation, was a special first year of Transitional Kindergarten with my oldest son, Quinton.  That first year of school I was allowed to join the classroom every Friday.  My 2nd son Julian was allowed to come with me, which made this possible.  He was mature enough to sit in the class room and not be disruptive.  Thus for a full year, I got to be involved in Quinton's class room, go on all the field trips, get to know all of his classmates, watch both sons grow in this environment, and I also got to know many of the parents on a first name basis.  I had so much fun that year.  I thought that this was how school was supposed to be.  The next year I found out that it is not.  I had another child which changed the dynamics of my family.  In fact, I have never had another year like my first one.  This was such a blessing to me.  this gave me such encouragement and hope for my own family.

Along those same lines there are many school assemblies and school programs that are put on for the parents by the children.  As I have attended those assemblies, I would always cry as God has ministered to me.  Even though I go to those assemblies for my children, God has used them to bring me compensation for the losses that I experienced in my own life.  When we moved to MT and my children began attending Valley Christian School God seemed to move me more profoundly.  With each assembly and each year I would just sit there and weep, weep, weep.  You would think that I would remember the tissues, but I never did.  There I would be again, eyes tearing, nose running, hands wiping, me sniffling.  It was a messy scene.  My husband would often times notice, look at me with a gentle smile, perhaps run my arm or shoulder.  What a comfort God was being to me and for me, all while I was doing what I believed to be best for my own children.  There did come a day when the weeping subsided.  It took many years but most of the time now I can go to a school function and enjoy the moment with my children knowing that I no longer feel those losses.  I'm sure there will be more things in the future.  God has given me a daughter and we love being the "girls."  I believe that God will continue redeeming my losses and compensating me through Maylah Rose as she grows in her life.  There was so much I did not experience growing up as I rejected my own femininity.  This is not a problem for Maylah.  She is all girl and rough and tumble.  She loves being a girl, thinks it is uniquely special, that the boys are missing out because they are not girls, and we have our own little girls club.  She does love her brothers while fully embracing the reality that God has made her a girl and will soon grow her into a woman.  Many things to look forward to.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Reflections - Exodus Conference July09 - What if it is not a choice? What if it is not inborn?

Along the same lines as the previous post I also need to broaden my discussion of the way I share about choice.  As I have had opportunity to speak about my journey and the issue of homosexuality I have not been clear enough about how I believe that choice is involved.  Because the issue is so highly energized, as soon as I use the word "choice" I'm sure that I have turned off many listeners who might otherwise have continued to listen.

I need to do a better job about being clear regarding the feelings that one experiences.  No one ever wakes up one morning and says, "gee, I think today is the day that I will be gay."  What happens is a process of self discovery of the reality that feelings for a member of the same sex exist and are compelling.  Much time effort and energy will already have been spent struggling with what these feelings are, why they exist, and what can be done about them. 

As I have listened to many of the speakers at the conference and continue to do more reading since my return regarding the types of things that can contribute to same sex feelings I have come to realize that although choice in behavior is definately a huge part of the journey either toward homosexuality or away from it; a distinction must be clearly made that the existance of the feelings was not a choice. 

For me, perhaps because I carried these feelings around inside of me for a long time before I ever made a decision to act upon them, I can see  so clearly how my own choices have been involved in the direction of my life.  In the same way, after accpeting Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I would have remained in a gay identity and lifestyle, had He not called me out of it.  For me again it was a clear choice. 

What wasn't a choice was the reality that the attractions existed within me, that the struggles remained after my choice to follow Him and leave behind the life I knew (no matter what that meant to me).  Now in time, after 20 years of marriage, five children, and a life of choosing differnt behaviors I can say that the struggle has subsided and the longings for same sex relationships is being met in Godly ways.

So what of the choice issue?  Choice is definately a key part in the direction that you head in life but the reality of discovering a set of feelings that are complelling towards members of the same sex not only need to be recongnized but they need to be acknowledged in all discussions regarding the issue of homosexuality.

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Reflections - Exodus Conference July09 - Beyond My Own Journey


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I have been speaking publically about my journey with God almost since the beginning when I became a believer back in 1984.  I think the first time I actually shared with anyone, in a public setting, that God had pursued me, healed me, changed me, and called me out of the life style into a life fully devoted to Him was around 1988/9.  The setting was in my church at the time, Green Valley Christian Church.

Since I moved from CA to MT I have also had opportunity to go into the local high schools in Missoula, MT.  This came about through a series of God appointed meetings but I accepted the opportunity with great joy.  I have now been to Big Sky High School on three seperate occasions and Hellgate High on two occasions.  I am usually billed, by my own doing, as speaking from an ex gay perspective.  I have always (except my last time at Big Sky High School in 2009) been placed on a panel with at least one other pro gay speaker but it is usually 2 to 4 other panel members.  The broadest panel had five people all together.  There was one young man billed as having grown up in a lesbian household, one woman who was billed as a lesbian, another woman who was billed as a bi sexual (who happened to currently be married to a man to raise her twin children), and one man billed as a gay man (who also happened to run a non profit in MT to educate the public about the normalcy of gay life).

While I have personally never minded being billed as an ex gay, because it helps my audience to understand that I was gay and now I am not, the Exodus Movement has moved completely away from the ex gay label.  They felt that this label was to confining and did not reflect well the transformation going on in the lives of those people who have accepted Christ as Lord.  Of late, the Exodus Movement has been struggling with how to define themselves.  The issue for this movement is not ex gay or gay vs straight but Holiness.  They are having an discussion about the term Post Gay because it does speak to a paradym shift.  Post gay can also encompus having moved beyond gay dogma but does not mean into a life with Jesus.  More about Post Gay in another post.

I was having a hard time with this new position because I felt that it was side stepping the whole issue of healing and change that I have personally experienced in my own life with Jesus.  I felt also that talking about Holiness and not total healing was doing a disservice to those looking for freedom.  Although I understood their rational for moving away from ex gay , I did not embrace this new place. 

After having been to the conference I do now have a fuller understanding about why the move away from ex gay to something beyond it.  Although my story in and of itself is amazing and is valid and also happens for others, it does not encompass everyone’s story and personal experience.  There are other people who have been walking with Christ who have not found freedom from the struggle or the pull of the old behaviors and yet they are trusting in Him and are not willing to concede and go back into the life style.  They have changed their identification from "gay" to being defined in Him, even if they continue to struggle with temptation.  There are also others who have never "gay" identified, have and still are walking with Him and yet struggle with same sex attraction.  There are also others who have their own unique issue and circumstance but remain in Him.

The thing that helped me to best understand this movement by Exodus was a statement made during one of the workshops that I attended.  The root issue for all people is not gay or straight.  People do not go to hell for being gay, many straight people go to hell.  The issue is sin, only those who have received Jesus as Lord and Savior will go to heaven, regardless of what their particular struggles on this earth happen to be.  The issue is;  which direction are you moving?  towards Jesus or away.  Are you gaining ground in Knowing Him or are you resisting and walking in your own understanding.  The issue is Holiness, being set apart for His purposes.  In fact we know from Ephesians that God has created good works in advance for us to walk in, are we walking in them? 

So, although I will keep sharing my story of redemption in Jesus, as I speak to this issue in a public forum I will change how I frame the issue.  It is not gay vs straight.  It is about the direction you are headed.  Sy Rogers makes this comment during his workshops:  "God did not tell me not to be gay, He said, "Stop Resisting Me!"  I guess that really is it in a nutshell. 


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Monday, July 27, 2009

Reflections - Exodus Conference July09 - Current Financial Struggle


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I was excited to come to the conference for a number of reasons but one of them was totally unrelated to this area of sexual brokenness, healing, or otherwise.  I was just relieved, for the moment to be out from underneath my current financial pressures.  Where I came  and was open to God working and moving in anyway He saw fit, I did not expect for God to address my current financial situation.

I listened as speaker after speaker talked of the reality of the time that it takes to overcome the pull that our past sexual lives have over us.  I know this first hand myself from my own journey with God then length of time it has taken for God to not only forgive me but give me the fullness of freedom that I experience today. 

Each speaker kept putting reframing the struggle in the lives of the people who came to this conference in light of both the years spent in a place of sexual sin but also in light of eternity itself.  Why would we expect to spend just a moment of struggle to over turn often times many years in a place of sexual sin.  Why would we also through away our opportunity with God just because he does not give us the fullness of freedom we desire in a moment when in light of eternity with Him these struggles are really only momentary like it says often in the book of 1 Peter.

As I kept listening to this reframing of perspective God began bringing to mind to me my attitude of "why me, poor me, I didn't choose this place, you brought me to this place, why can't an all powerful God just change my circumstances in my finances and let me alone, doesn't He love me, etc.?"

Now I was not actively voicing these things to God but I was pondering them and it is impacting my ability to find joy in the circumstances that I am in.  It had not occurred to me to apply what I have learned from His leading me out of a place of sexual brokenness and confusion to this area of my life.  There were so many things that I have learned from the journey out of the lifestyle that have given me tools to continue to use in that area as I come across temptation that I would not trade that journey for anything.  I just wanted the easy way out.

Thus I have accepted and continue to accept this place that I find myself in.  As I continue to be weak and struggle with the reality of this difficult financial place, I will continue to invite God into this place that I would draw ever nearer to Him.  That is my desire to know Him more intimately and if this is the road that will bring that about then this is the road that I will continue to walk on. 

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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Reflections - Exodus Conference July09 - My Need For Him (Karl)

Well this was an interesting thing that the Lord did for me during the conference. One evening at the general session I was looking out at the body of people assembled, praying and worshiping the King. I was moved by the passion of those men in this body that give all to strive towards Jesus even in the midst of their struggles.

We had listened to a testimony from a couple who had overcome many things, both met the Lord after many years of persecution and confusion. They spoke their testimony in harmony and in rhythm. I was impressed with each of their stories and how God intertwined them together.

As I worshiped, the Lord impressed upon me just how much women need men to be men so that we also know who we are. Not that we cannot find ourselves apart from them. It was a precious moment as I watched these men worship.

The next morning I attended devotions. It was lead by a man whom I do not have the name of but as He was leading us through this devotion using many scriptures from the Word God spoke to me again. He said to me, "This is a man, as I define him. He is a man as He fulfills his life of knowing Me, and lives a life devoted to me." I was struck by how God was showing me this.

The next day I was again worshiping in the general session and God again spoke to me. He said this what I have shown you is your need. You need your husband to be who I have created him to be. Do not deny this need, I have created it in you and it is good. Only your husband can meet this need as He continues to pursue Me.

It was a bit surprising to me that God would say this to me. I have been married for over 20 years. We have five children together. I could not carry my life without my husband, of course I need him. I continued to ponder what God had shown me and spoke to me. As I thought and prayed I reflected on Adam and Eve in the garden. Eve was created out of Adam by God as a helpmate suitable for him. I kept asking God to help me see just what I was supposed to get. By the end of the conference this is what I believe God was speaking to me.

In my life with my husband I was not denying my need for him. In fact, when the Lord asked me to follow Him and be devoted only to Him and to leave the gay lifestyle behind, I asked Him to bring me a husband and teach me how to love and trust Him. What I did not realize until now is that, although I did not deny this need, I did not embrace it. To embrace this need would be to admit that I am dependent upon my husband for something that I could not give to myself. It also meant in the greater sense that I needed God. God so gently showed me my own need and also showed me how I had yet to accept this part of who he made me. I am female, taken out of male, created by God.

I believe that God creates all women with this need and as He calls us, each individually into marriage, this need is further recognized, met and fulfilled. Only those whom He calls into a life of celibacy and fully devoted to Him does He meet this need in His daughters alone. So my prayer is that the Lord will continue to help me embrace my need for my husband and to embrace it with the fullest joy, even knowing that my husband is not perfect.

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Reflections - Exodus Conference July09 - General

I attended my first Exodus Conference this past July and I have several reflections that I want to share.  I will post these individually for clarity.  I went to the conference with no preconcieved plan or agenda.  I was open to what the Lord had for me.  I hope that what I share will bless you as it has bless me.  In general it was a great blessing to have met so many wonderful people.  From the moment I stepped out of the taxi to the moment my sister arrived to pick me up was a wave of blessing as I met and got to know person after person.  My new friends have broadened my perspective and have increased my understanding of God's grace in my life.

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Friday, March 6, 2009

Identity is everything

Who you think and believe yourself to be will impact everything you do in life for the good or not so good. While in the lifestyle I identified myself as a lesbian and every thought in my life was associated with this truth I believed about myself.

When I gave my life to Jesus, He began to let me know just who I was now that I am His. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 it says; "Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."

This is critical to your success in making the change from your past life to your new life in Christ. As time moved forward for me and I began to learn more about who I now am in Christ I found a place to settle down in that is dear to me and speaks to my heart.

I am a daughter of the King a daughter of the Most High God. This is who I am and will continue to be and become more with each passing day.

There are many scriptures that help us to know just who we are in Christ. I've pulled a few together for you. Jesus will speak to you and help you to grow in Him so that you to will find the fullness of your identity in Him.

Who I Am In Christ

I am accepted...

I am God's child. John 1:12
As a disciple, I am a friend of Jesus Christ. John 15:15
I have been justified.Romans 5:1
I am united with the Lord, and I am one with Him in spirit.1 Corinthians 6:17
I have been bought with a price and I belong to God.1 Corinthians 6:19-20
I am a member of Christ's body.1 Corinthians 12:27
I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child.Ephesians 1:3-8
I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins.Colossians 1:13-14
I am complete in Christ.Colossians 2:9-10
I have direct access to the throne of grace through Jesus Christ.Hebrews 4:14-16

I am secure...

I am free from condemnation.Romans 8:1-2
I am assured that God works for my good in all circumstances.Romans 8:28
I am free from any condemnation brought against me and I cannot be separated from the love of God.Romans 8:31-39
I have been established, anointed and sealed by God.2 Corinthians 1:21-22
I am hidden with Christ in God.Colossians 3:1-4
I am confident that God will complete the good work He started in me.Philippians 1:6
I am a citizen of heaven.Philippians 3:20
I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.2 Timothy 1:7
I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.1 John 5:18
I am significant...John 15:5
I am a branch of Jesus Christ, the true vine, and a channel of His life.
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit.John 15:16
I am God's temple.1 Corinthians 3:16
I am a minister of reconciliation for God.2 Corinthians 5:17-21
I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm.Ephesians 2:6
I am God's workmanship.Ephesians 2:10
I may approach God with freedom and confidence.Ephesians 3:12
I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

"The more you reaffirm who you are in Christ, the more your behavior will begin to reflect your true identity!"