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transformed to transform

How tragic if my story was buried for fear of human judgement

I’m giving my testimony next Sunday and I suppose it’s true to say that for a brief while I allowed the enemy to get into my head, “be careful, you don’t want to upset or offend anyone”.  Speaking to a trusted friend she quickly corrected that lie and sent me an article on strongholds.  Oh yes, Satan you are not going to shut me up, I am going to speak and I am going to speak from my overflow, from my passion, and I am going to share my story for the Glory of God.  The Lord is building his church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  If I offend through speaking God’s truth, so be it, but my prayer is that through speaking the truth I will help others to see God’s amazing grace and love and how they too can receive this for themselves.

Unfortunately there are still people in the church who don’t see homosexuality as a sin, in fact some see those who speak out about it as homophobic.  But I see it as speaking God’s truth and giving others an opportunity to see that by his Grace and his Grace alone we can be changed, we can overcome even the biggest obstacles in life to walk with him in obedience.

Matthew 16:18 – And I tell you that you are Peter and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.

God loves you, no sin is so bad that God doesn’t still love you

I remember as a young church goer being so scared of coming out as gay, because I had been taught that this was the “worst sin” and I believed God could not love me.  Now some 3 decades later I see this video where Clayton Jennings speaks of a young lad who has been told by his Pastor the same thing, God cannot love him because he is a homosexual.  NONSENSE… God loves us all, we are all sinners and fall short of the Glory of God (Romans 3:23).  God loves you, he wants a relationship with you and he wants you to turn from your sin, but trust me when I say he has never not loved you and will continue to love you for ever.

God wants a relationship with us and the first step for many of us hurt by the words of church pastors / leaders is to trust God and understand that he looks on us no differently from anyone else.  Once you really believe that then you can get on with the real fun part of getting to know God, seeking his guidance and changing your life for the better through confessing your sins and moving forward in a new direction.

An intense kind of freedom

Let’s face it we are all sinners in one form or another but the great news is God will forgive us and rescue us from our slavery to sin.  In my testimony (click here) you will hear me saying that I needed to get straight with God before I gave my life to him. That meant for me that I needed to talk to my partner and explain to her that I saw the sexual side of our relationship as sinful and I wanted to stop being intimate and be obedient to God.  Not an easy conversation and not an easy thing to do initially.  But God gives us the strength to do anything when we obey him and after a while you will be set free.  And the freedom is intense, you may not realise now how much you need that freedom until you get if for yourself.  Just be assured God is a good, good Father and whatever you are facing and need to move away from, he will be there every step of the way.

Romans 6:17-18 – But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness

Christian “Mom” Blogger dating a woman

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.

If you read about this Blogger and are tempted to do the same, seeing it as acceptable or desirable I urge you to think again.  Satan will use many tactics to kill, steal, destroy, he is the great deceiver, do not fall into his web.  God is very clear in the Bible about homosexual behaviour; celibacy may not be the easiest path to follow but it certainly will be the most rewarding.

Praying that this Mom will feel God’s love surround her and that her eyes will be opened to God’s word and desires for her life.

But they will reply, ‘It’s no use

I was reading Jeremiah 18 yesterday and just felt God saying that we need to need to stop going round in circles and making the same mistakes over and over again.

Jeremiah 18:11- 12 – Now therefore say to the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ‘This is what the LORD says: Look! I am preparing a disaster for you and devising a plan against you. So turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions.’ But they will reply, ‘It’s no use. We will continue with our own plans; we will all follow the stubbornness of our evil hearts.

God’s word is exactly that, his word.  His word encourages us, instructs us and builds us up and before we can walk closely with him we need to give up on our own stubborn ways.  Perhaps today is a good day to start looking at our own lives to see what we continue to cling on to even though it is not in God’s plan for our lives.  What do we need to confess to God and turn from??

I have news! God is not to be feared.

Proverbs 9:10 – The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

When the Bible says “fear” of the Lord I used to think it was because God was an “angry” God.  I suppose reading the Old Testament in an isolated framework and some of the teaching styles of the church in the 70’s could give that impression and therefore Fear of the Lord really did mean to me  “be afraid of him”.  Couple that with a Bible knowledge that knew it clearly said that Homosexuality is a sin I was afraid not just of God but also of the consequences of my actions.  So afraid in fact, that the easiest thing to do was to run away, not to face up to it and work it through but to run from God and hope that it all went away.

I have news!  God is not to be feared.  God is to be respected and believed and as we start to do that then we start to gain more wisdom and revelation into his desires for our lives. Knowledge of the Holy One can be gained through a closer walk with God and a deeper understanding of his word.  Reading the Bible is so important, and reading it in context so much more important.  Having recently embarked on a reading plan to read the Bible in 90 days starting at Genesis and working through, so much falls into place as you read it in context to other events and happenings recorded previously.

Our relationship with God is personal.  As we seek to know him more he will make clear our paths, he will make clear the ways in which he wants us to walk.  And this is all I suggest anyone exploring their faith and sexuality does.  Fear the Lord in the right way, do not be afraid of him he is your friend (he gave his life for you) start a relationship with him, one where you both talk and listen and gradually you will hear his voice and understand what areas he needs you to be obedient in.  Don’t be afraid his plans for you are perfect.

 

 

 

Could God’s word be less clear??

I was reading Jude this morning in the NIRV version of the Bible and it just struck me that yet again here is another verse that warns us of what is happening now.

Jude 1:4 – Certain people have secretly slipped in among you. Long ago it was written that they would be judged. They are ungodly people. They misuse the grace of our God as an excuse for sexual sins. They say no to Jesus Christ, our only Lord and King.

If you are reading this from the perspective of someone living in a homosexual lifestyle yet believing that this is OK in God’s eyes I urge you to take a look at this verse again.  Look at who you are walking with, who you are talking to about your faith.  I encourage you to get a balanced perspective and speak to many different people, yes other same sex attracted people but also your pastors, ministers and heterosexual church members to help you interpret God’s word.  And finally pray through these passages with God, ask for revelation, wisdom and discernment so that you can understand what God is telling you.

Do not be deceived the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy…..

Unlike us humans, God is willing to forgive again and again

2 Peter 3:9 -The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.

How amazing that unlike us humans, God is willing to forgive again and again, he doesn’t count past sins against us and when we ask for forgiveness he gives it instantaneously.  It heartens me massively to know this.  As someone brought up going to church I aways had an understanding of “sin” and I knew in my heart that my sexual identity and choices were sinful.  I lived over 30 years defying God, continuing to sin over and over and whilst I suppose a small part of me cared, the truth is I blanked it out as sin because I believed I didn’t have a choice.  What I mean by not having a choice is that I didn’t realise as a lesbian I could build a relationship with God.  I thought I was condemned because of that choice and as such didn’t talk to God about it.

When God called me back to him and I reluctantly went to a local church I started to get the feeling that he did love me and that love was unconditional.  I continued in my lifestyle and as I grew closer to God it was then that he had the conversation with me about my sexual sin.  He didn’t ram it down my throat the minute I tried to get close or use it as a barrier to my getting close, he patiently and lovingly drew me closer to him, developed a relationship and then lovingly and gently told me what he expected of me, obedience to his word.

We are called to model our Father’s behaviour, being transformed into his likeness and we can learn a lot from how he works.  When someone from the LGBT community comes to our churches we too need to show them love, grow close to them in fellowship and only then in a loving and gentle way talk about their choices and the Bible’s teaching on sexual sin. To be honest I genuinely believe that if we welcome people in love and support them God himself will pave the way for that conversation if required but if we put up barriers or act too quickly we may cause that person to leave and that is the last thing we want to be doing.

Responding to same sex marriage discussions with love and prayer

I was reading a post about the Archbishop of Wales backing gay marriage and have to say that once again the comments are a poor reflection of Christian love one for another.  We are called to love, of course we can disagree on things but please let’s reflect God’s love in the way we talk to each other.

One post that I thought was good and tried to pull people back in love suggested all took a step back and prayed:

  • Pray that the poison of doubt, confusion, and fear that statements such as these spread would be neutralised.
  • Pray for the church (the body of Christ) to have a revelation of the complete truth of God’s word, and to walk in that truth.
  • Pray that our youth and children, who have to deal with the mentality of these last days in their more impressionable years, would know and be grounded in the truth of God’s word no matter what.
  • Pray that at every opportunity, and with godly wisdom, Christians will speak out the truth of the Bible (ALL truth, including truth on sexual immorality, sexual morality and marriage) so that every one around us can hear.
  • Pray that those who tell lies and the lies they tell will be exposed, not for shame but for healing, and that God’s will would be done in and through His church.

If you are not teaching your kids, who is?

A local youth drama group are currently doing a production of “Bare-A PopOpera” and there is a lot of hype around the production.  One thing it brought on my heart due to the subject matter was the question, “what are we teaching our children about same sex attraction and how are we protecting them?”

If we don’t have a conversation with kids about same sex attraction and what God’s word says about it what protection will they have from temptation?  When Jesus was tempted he himself used scripture to rebuke Satan.  If our children do not know the relevant scripture or have been brought up believing that the Bible is silent on this matter how can they protect themselves?

Same sex attraction is portrayed all around us, not just in theatre but in television, films, chat shows, social media as well as it being more openly displayed in public by same sex couples.  So if a child grows up seeing this and we never have the conversation with them then what will they think?  Or worse still if all you say to them is that you think it is wrong with no substance to back that up then their only feedback on same sex attraction is ” it’s wrong cos my Mum said so”, what kind of argument is that?

We need to equip our kids from a young age to deal with all the worldly issues they are going to encounter and same sex attraction is just one of these.  Yes they may grow up with same sex attraction but with God’s help and a strong foundation in the Word they can overcome, whether that means they do end up happily married or remain single they can be fulfilled in God’s love.

Parents if you are struggling with this issue, how to talk to your kids or if you perhaps are struggling to see it as a sin yourself please do refer to one of these websites:

http://www.livingout.org/

http://satisfiedinchrist.com/

http://www.truefreedomtrust.co.uk/

desiringgod.org

 

 

 

 

 

No BUT’s when it comes to God and Same Sex Attraction

Don’t make compromises to try and make someone feel better about their sin. There are no ifs or buts in the Bible.

I love this quote by Jean C Lloyd –

May I make two requests? Love me, but remember that you cannot be more merciful than God. It isn’t mercy to affirm same-sex acts as good. Don’t compromise truth; help me to live in harmony with it.

What more can we ask of our fellow Church members and leaders.  Love and truth must always go hand in hand when seeking to help others with any aspect of their faith walk.

Supporting your church members..

A must watch for any church leaders – how you can be supportive of members of your congregation who experience or have experienced same sex attraction?  What a difference it would make if more of us had positive experiences like those talked about in the video…. please take a couple of minutes to watch.

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