Friday, July 11, 2014

In Defense of SSA THERAPY


Listen to Peter Briggs testify before the DC City Council explaining how re-orientation therapy has been helpful to many.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFwbJrTNHrs
http://www.frcblog.com/2014/07/frcs-peter-sprigg-testifies-dc-city-council/
Briggs, from the Family Research Council does an amazing job. I would only add this. The talk of re-orientation is not my favorite way of speaking about therapeutic help for those who struggle with SSA (same sex attraction.) I believe the movement for educating the public on SSA, it's true origins, what it means and what it does not mean is harmed by the perpetuation of the idea that therapy is aimed at "changing" someone's attraction to the same sex INTO an attraction to the opposite sex. THE TWO ARE ENTIRELY UNRELATED. This is the message that seems to continually be lost when debating therapy.   
Peter does try to clarify this, but I believe it is important to admit our brokenness, important to understand that those who have SSA necessarily are broken in the sense that we usually carry deep emotional wounds and have many unmet and legitimate same sex emotional needs - whether perceived or real.
The greatest tragedy of all this political crushing of SSA counseling and therapy efforts is that those who WANT professional help can no longer find it. Their freedom to pursue their own emotional and mental health is dangerously thwarted by denying them the vast knowledge and tools of the medical professions.
Thank you Peter Briggs and the Family Research Council for your defense of this sorely needed therapy.   

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Reinforcements Needed!


I am an SSA HOPE mom , who is blessed to be able to attend in our area a monthly support group of friends and family members of those with SSA. Last night, we had a guest speaker, who brought up the idea of restoration pray-ers. (Even as I tap at these keys this morning, I realize this distracted middle-aged brain may butcher most of what I heard, so I am not re-capping, just using some of what stuck with me as a talking point.)

As I understand it, restoration pray-ers would be a group of people (hand-picked by you) to join you in fasting and praying for your loved one or yourself. Hardly a radical idea, but what stood out to me was his description of how at times, when we feel crushed and defeated, overwhelmed and despairing, it’s hard for us to keep the “charge” going in our battle against SSA. He spoke of how your restoration team holds you up and leads the charge on those days. Because the people on a restoration team are further removed from and have more of an emotional distance from the pain of watching your loved suffer or your own suffering, they are not taking the same crushing blows and can remain in prayer for you even when you can barely lift your head to heaven. In other words, on those days when you just can’t seem to crawl out from under that giant boulder of SSA and the weight of it is keeping you down, making prayer almost impossible, such a group praying for you can take your place before the Lord and continue storming heaven and charging against the powers of hell.

When I first learned of our son’s SSA, even as shame, embarrassment, and fear were crushing me, I knew that I needed prayers for my son beyond mine and my immediate family. I remember I wrote letters introducing SSA, sharing our concerns for our son, and begging people to pray daily for him. I intended to hand these to only the most trusted friends, who I felt would pray and not condemn my son or my family. Even before I handed out the first letter, I had included a couple of other first names of young boys I knew who also needed prayers for this. So the letter ended by asking them to say the prayer to the Archangel Michael or any other prayer every day for those on the list. The list grew and grew, of course, and all of those names are now included on the SSA HOPE prayer list. Think what power there would be to defeat Satan and his lies and bring healing and hope, if all Christians had compassion and understanding enough to pray one prayer every day for those with SSA!!!

This speaker’s idea is more personal than that but revolves around that same “power of prayer” philosophy. Who could deny that God wishes us to join in prayer for each other? What believing Christian could doubt the power of such communal intercession before Our Lord? It’s beyond my scope here to delve into the theology of why God expects (and indeed sometimes appears to wait for) our prayers to be multiplied and echo before his throne before He will rescue us or our loved one. Suffice to say, He expects us to care for one another as family cares for each other. If one is hurting, we are all hurting - we are all one Body in Christ, right?

The problem with all this for both those with SSA and their family members is one of isolation. Often shame, fear of condemnation and even our own pride can keep us from reaching out to others for prayer. In guarding our privacy, it is as if we shut ourselves up into little prayer closets, and by our little lonesome self are trying to hold out against the battering rams of hell.
Picture if you will, Hell on one side of the closet, pushing and shaking the wall to crush us and our loved one, and on the other side is a closed door, beyond which lies our Christian family. If we opened the door and called out for help, willing and helping hands might rush to our aid to shore up that wall against the fiendish battering ram. How long can we or even our tiny family hold out alone in that closet?

Restoration pray-ers are more than a fine idea in this battle against SSA, this battle against the powers of Hell. Whether we find one or two, or ten or twenty, we must find a way to open the door to our prayer closet, to call for reinforcements, and to multiply our prayers before God!

Even beyond these teams of pray-ers, we need as Church members to join together in daily prayer for all those who battle SSA. Let this be our battle cry: “Once a Day for SSA.”

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A friend posted this link on facebook. The article is so unexpected in that the author fits no box or profile and he takes his stand in a raw and humble way. He was raised by two lesbian 'mothers', had no father, grew up gay, had a relationship and married a woman, was labeled bisexual and sumarily dismissed by everyone in the gay community.
I advise you to click on the link and read the whole article, which is really about gay marriage. Here is an excerpt from:
August 11, 2012
The Soul-Crushing Scorched-Earth Battle for Gay Marriage
By Robert Oscar Lopez
Since I was a toddler, I have been stuck with all sorts of Gay Questions. You see, I have no memories of my biological father being around my house. My earliest memories are of my mother and her best friend, who I eventually discovered was her female romantic partner. They raised me together through all of my childhood and adolescence. My mother died when I was nineteen. It may please today's gay activists to know that then, in 1990, my mother's partner was able to be by my mother's bedside.
Yet there has never been peace between me and the gay community. In the 1970s and 1980s, I was raised by two women, both of whom I credit for doing a great job in a rather intolerant era. But it was hard on me, and I have never been hesitant to share my experience truthfully. I suffered from not having contact with my father and lacking a male role model. Period.
One effect of the difficulties was that I dropped out of college and sought parenting from troublesome people.
In the 1990s, I watched many gay men who had become surrogate father and surrogate mother figures to me die. One by one, repeating the tragedy of my mother, they disappeared. They were all alone except, in many cases, for me. The gay community treated them with shame even as they were the only sense of family I thought I'd have left.
In my late twenties, I finally lost my virginity to the woman who would bear me a child and become my wife. So bingo, I was suddenly "bisexual." (My wife knows everything, and I do not plan on hiding my past.) I realized soon enough that bisexuals aren't very popular among the gays. "You're lying," "you're a wacko ex-gay," and "those pictures are going to destroy you!" were all subtle ways of gay friends telling me they weren't going to invite me to parties anymore.
There's more, but I'll stop with the autobiography there. The point is this: if gay marriage is a solution without a problem, I am the gay community's problem without a solution. I don't fit any of their narratives. Through no fault of my own, I explode every one of their myths, from the narrative of idyllic same-sex couple parenting to the supposed fabulousness of post-Stonewall New York to the insistence that gay people are born a certain way and sexual orientation can never change.
I feel like walking around with a sign on my chest saying, "Dear Gays, Please Forgive Me For Existing." Their instinct would be to do what they usually do, which is ignore me. Anyway, I am conservative. That makes me Satan...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Faith & Parents

Since the dawn of time, and I do mean since Adam & Eve, parents have passed their beliefs down to their children. Faith in particular is meant to be passed down from one generation to the next, first and primarily through the parents. It makes sense really. If parents live by a certain moral code and belief system and they believe that way of life best, they would naturally want to show their children that same path.
But faith is a personal thing. It is a mysterious gift,
given to some and not others, given in different measures, at different times. Moreover faith is interpreted very individually, but perhaps more because of our personal flaws and sins than for any reason of uniqueness. After all, God is the same yesterday, today and always.
Truth is Truth and does not change.
I was raised in a wholesome Roman Catholic Household, Irish, not that it matters. Although many readers will aha when they hear I was one of eight kids, and I am now mother to eight kids. Irish Catholics have that big-family reputation afterall , but in mine it is was and is a sign of our cooperation in God's procraetion. Anyway, when us kids hit that teenage rebellion stage and general adolescent laziness made us more interested in catching z's than going to church on Sunday, we heard the old, "As long as you live in this house, you live by our rules," speech. It made sense on many levels. It showed us what was imortant to our parents and how highly they valued God and the worship due Him. It also protected us from being God-less heathens just that much longer. I always thought we would have the same deal in our house with our kids, and we do, we did, for the most part, except for SSA.
Shortly after we learned of our son's SSA, he annouced he would no longer go to church with us. He said the church was anti-gay and therefore anti-him. I was devastated anew. Already worried about his salvation and the influence of the world, it seemed extremely important that he continue to go to church at least once a week, there to be surrounded by God's word and grace, to hear truth, and just by virtue of being in church, want to communicate with God. Our son told us just minutes before we were to leave, and when he would not comply with my order to get in the car, I felt powerless and panicked. I yelled the old standby.."As long as you live.." and when he still refused, I told him he would lose priviledges. I snatched his Ipod from him and grounded him storming from the house. At Church, I cried and cried struggling to control tears that ran and ran down my face. After Mass our pastor asked what was wrong, he probably thought someone had died. We shared, and he told us it would not be right in this case to force him. This was no teenage rebellion - because of his SSA, our son had rejected God and the Church, and we would have to respect his free will, pray for him and wait for God's saving hand.
After Mass we returned his Ipod, ungrounded him and explained our decision. Sometimes it still stings, and I second-guess the wisdom, but only sometimes, wistfully wishing he could have hung on a little longer, he could have read and researched with us the truth of his condition, the true meaning of his attraction to the same sex. Most of all that he could have held onto faith - through the thick storm of SSA - that he could have tried harder to understand the church, her position and that he could have searched for God's plan.
But whether or not he knows it, God has a big fat plan for our son - a big fat plan for me too. I just have to pray, to wait and to HOPE.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Set Free To Serve

Here is a story about one of the first pioneers of the Exodus ministry, a non-denominational and international ex-gay ministry that has helped many people come out of homosexuality. The author's name is Roberta Laurila. This is an excerpt from her book, Set Free To Serve, a wonderful example of God's healing love. Enjoy!

SALVATION

I was home alone the afternoon of October 7, 1955. With fear and panic in my heart, I made the decision to take my own life. I was too ashamed to commit myself to an institution to find help for my troubled mind. Pride was still very much alive, even though I thought I was beyond help. I wondered how to call my friend to ask her forgiveness. I wanted so much to be forgiven, but it seemed out of the question.

I started for the kitchen to turn on the gas jets. I had already had a few drinks to try to give me courage. Just before I entered the kitchen door, I fell to my knees in front of a chair. With tears streaming down my face, I cried out, “God forgive me. God forgive me!”

Only later did I realize that I was saved at that moment. The Holy Spirit came to live within me, and began leading me in ways that confirmed my salvation. But in rebellion, I still held onto my old friends.

I had two lesbian relationships after my salvation. “God doesn’t expect me to quit lov- ing women,” I reasoned. Of course, I couldn’t stop without supernatural help. And I didn’t have anyone else to help. This was years before God raised up former homosexuals to begin ministries.

Ten years after I received Jesus as my Savior, I was still living in sin. God began allowing me to feel the consequences of my rebellion. I could not have survived the trauma that followed without the Lord’s care and mercy. God allowed the devil to pour out his wrath in such a devastating way. I still shudder at his trickery. With demonic signs and wonders, Satan convinced me that God was wanting me to live with another woman while involved in Christian ministry.

The climax came following the suicidal death of a dear friend whom I had betrayed. It was from that shocking emotional experience that my stubborn will was broken. I promised God that I would not let her death be for nothing. Then came the vision.

THE VISION

While living in what seemed to be a hell on earth with my lover, God came to me one night. I was alone and in deep despair. The Lord gave me a spiritual vision of a world-wide ministry. This outreach would reach homosexuals who wanted a close relationships with Jesus Christ and who wanted to be set free from their sin.

As the vision unfolded, I knew God was saying I must leave this lifestyle forever. I was to begin interceding for Him to raise up individuals from the gay lifestyle and others, truly called by Him, to begin specific ministries to homosexuals.

Six years after the vision, God directed me to write my personal testimony of deliverance from lesbianism. My story, entitled Gay Liberation, was published in book form in 1975. It was the first of its kind and not many bookstores would accept it, due to the subject which was “hush-hush” at the time.

INTERCESSION
Much has happened since that time. While I continued to intercede, God began calling forth former gays to minister. God has blessed my friendships with many of the “pioneers” in the Exodus movement, such as Frank Worthen, Robbi Kenney, Ed Hurst and others. I have been blessed also to see many ministries begin in foreign soil. What a wonderful God he is!

God has kept me at a low profile. At times, I have rebelled concerning this. But deep down, I know I was called to intercede for others to be led by the Holy Spirit into all the world.

Even as I write these words, tears are flowing down my cheeks. Surely God will complete His perfect plan to reach the many millions of the lost who have been so rejected and lonely so many years. I weep for the church, blinded by the enemy so it cannot see the need to reach gays. So many Christians cannot truly believe that God can set these people free. My great desire now is to reach those in the gay church. I am believing God to also work a miracle there.

Our God reigns!

Additional Information: Roberta is a pioneer in the ex-gay movement. She came out of lesbianism in 1969, long before there were any ex-gay ministries. She passed away in October, 2011.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Favorite St Augustine quote

Oh, too late have I loved thee, beauty so ancient and so new, too late have I loved thee. Behold, thou wast within me and I was searching outside, among the beauty of thy creation. At last, didst thou call out loud, didst thou force open my deafness and didst chase away my blindness. Thou didst breathe fragrant odours and I drew in my breath; and now I pant for thee. Thou didst touch me, and I burned for thy peace. Lord, have pity on me; my evil sorrows contend with my good joys. Lord, have pity on me. Thou art the Physician, I am the sick man; thou art merciful, I need mercy. Is not the life of man on earth an ordeal? My whole hope is in thy exceeding great mercy and that alone. Give what thou commandest and command what thou wilt. O Love, O my God, enkindle me! – St. Augustine

Monday, November 7, 2011

Seeing the whole person.

Recently, I met a woman whose son-in-law left her daughter to become a man. She told me with tears in her eyes that she still loves her son-in-law despite the pain he caused her daughter. Her daughter, trying to cope, sought help in a group for spouses of homosexuals, but she quickly gave up as the group was telling her he was supposed to be a woman. They claimed she should be happy for him, that he is pursuing the real him, that she must accept him etc. "We accept him," the mother told me, "we love him."
She told me how he came to a dinner recently after he'd begun operations to change his appearance. When she looked at him, she said she saw "only her son-in-law, with breasts." She saw the person, she saw him, and she said he was still the same guy the family fell in love with and invited into their family four years ago.
Of course he is the same person, and by God's grace her love will remain. But that love is true love, the kind of love that wants the best for him, and she and her daughter want the best for him. They know he is not happy, but they also instictively know that this outward change will not cause the inner healing he seeks. They pray for him, they continue to have a realtionship with him, and that is acceptance of him the person. It is all that acceptance should be.
Acceptance is not an agreement with behavior or actions that are contrary to truth or nature. Actions that are sinful, harmful or destructive need NEVER be accepted. And often the mere disagreement with behavior or actions makes people uncomfortable.
Coming home from that conference where I met this woman, I heard a preacher in the car and his words are appropro. Using the example of a married couple where one spouse has faith and the other does not, he asked, "Why is it that so often the spouse who is faithful stops going to church on Sunday, because it makes the non-believing spouse uncomfortable?" "Why," he asks, "does the person with the light of faith, living the light of truth, feel they must make the person who is living in error and darkness comfortable?" He's so right and it happens all over the place with us believers. It's as if we so pity the non-believer, and we can imagine how painful and uncomfortable the truth and their denial of it makes them, we wrongfully wish to spare them this discomfort. This is a compromise with error. He said, "And whenever we compromise with error, TRUTH is sacrificed!"
We must not compromise with error any longer. Join me now. Make a vow to allow yourself to live your faith openly, to speak the truth openly, to call a spade a spade, to SPEAK THE TRUTH IN LOVE from here on out with the grace of God to let those He is working on BE UNCOMFORTABLE. That is the way of the Holy Spirit, is it not? Let the discomfort, the disquiet they feel in their soul seeing you and your faith contrasted against their lack or denial of that same faith make them uncomfortable! At the same time, may we always with God's merciful grace see the whole person and God who lives in that person, and accept the person with all the love we can show.
Peace