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

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Growth into Manhood


A friend has a friend with a three year old who exhibits what her friend calls homosexual tendencies. The little boy likes girls’ clothes and mom’s makeup, seems overly sensitive etc… The mother and father are already talking about what it will be like to have a gay son. Imagine, the tragedy unfolding here! These uninformed parents are already foisting a gay identity on their little boy, and this labeling of their toddler may greatly affect and even retard the masculine maturation of their child when consciously and unconsciously they encourage and entertain certain behaviors, while neglecting the development of other behaviors such as male bonding, imitation of males (especially the father), and male skills. Alan Medinger in his book Growth into Manhood explains the process of the way a man develops, and he examines the various roadblocks, especially in our modern society, that can thwart a boy’s growth into a man.
“The following two hypothesis are necessary to support the concept of growth into manhood put forth in this book. …
1. Boys have a biological destiny to grow into men: men who are different from women in ways that go well beyond genital design and reproductive functions.
2. Societal structures have always existed to guide the process of growth from boyhood to manhood.
Taken together, these hypotheses do not reflect an extreme viewpoint. I am not claiming that manhood is either all genetic or all learned. ... Boys are genetically destined to become men, but guidance along the way is necessary or the process may not work out satisfactorily.”

Medinger outlines the process of male maturation from the early years of separating from the mother and identifying with the father and/or other males, to the trials and testing of his manhood, to his manhood being affirmed, and finally accepting his manhood. Medinger, himself a former homosexual, goes on to explain that the most crucial step in the whole process is the affirmation of his manhood.
“Surely some things went wrong in the early years of most of our lives (homosexuals), but most of us did separate from our mothers, and most of us did have some sort of men with whom we could identify. If we did not bond, so be it. In fact, except for the rare transsexual, everyone came to know at some level that we were male. And even today, an adult man who has been in gender confusion for much of his life can easily identify himself intellectually as a man. But what is really needed is affirmation of that identification. This is where our emphasis should lie. This is where the struggles occur, for it is through affirmation that our sense of manhood comes to dwell in our deepest parts.”

The toddler described is actually not exhibiting any odd behavior considering he has not even reached the age of separating from his mother. Sometimes dress up is just dress up. But his parents who are already labeling him, risk a train wreck of gender confusion and identity crisis for him.
Thankfully, the growth into manhood that Medinger describes is circular not linear. In other words, a boy tests his skills, his bonding, his manhood, and receives affirmation by every success or encouragement from other males. The process testing-affirmation repeats and repeats as the male identity grows stronger. And Medinger assures,
“Just because it was skipped in childhood, don’t conclude it cannot be gone through later. It is not too late for you!”

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Down but Never Out


Is it ironic that I can not help my own son, but God sends me other young men who welcome my prayers and bit of encouragement? Not really, God's plan becomes painfully obvious at times, that is when I'm not driving myself crazy trying to figure the Big Guy out.
Anyway, I'm copying a snippet of a response I gave to a 19 year old whose struggle would rival a saint's, not because of his triumph but because of his desire to triumph. His humility and pure yearning for God struck me the most. In the midst of enormous temptations, his every fall causes him excruciating pain and regret, and then in his humilty he called himself "bad." It broke my heart to read it, especially as it was so clear to me reading his letter that this beautiful soul was so much closer to God than I.

"By His perfect example,Christ teaches us to rise after each fall, never to give in, and when we are too weak to rise, our willingness to and desire to do so will suffice.

Mateus, you are never so close to Our Lord as when you are lying there in the dust with all your weakness, failure and temptations weighing you down. Your sufferins IS drawing you closer to Him. Your falls are His falls, and you must not beat yourself up over them, but instead rejoice that He is there to help you up each and every time. You are not bad, you are good! You are a child of God. Our failures matter nothing to
God. Only our willingness to serve and to love Him. You have that Mateus! Praise God!"

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Twisting the Knife


Today was tough. Our 17 year old son now calls us by our first names. Today I heard him say it again. It kills, and I wonder if he really knows how he is twisting the knife in my heart.
You see our son claims we can not be his parents as long as we remain Catholic, as long as we refuse to renounce our faith, a faith he feels condemns the practice of homosexuality. No amount of reasoning or reasonableness seems to get through to him. He wants something we can not give, he wants us to deny truth and to condone acts contrary to truth. I would give him anything, anything else, my very life, the very heart he pains, anything, but my faith.
We continue to give him unconditional love as we have since learning he feels he is gay, and he continues to reject us. He will not eat with us, he will not stay in a room with us, he will not speak to us unless he needs something - and he goes out of his way NOT to need anything from us.

He intends to live away at colllege, which of course will take loans. College will necessarily involve us, as he is beginning to realize. My husband gets justifiably hurt by our son's rejection, which is why I wasn't going to bring up my personal pain at having to hear him refer to us by our first names again. I had every intention of sparing my husband and even managed to bite it down when a natuaral segue opened. Then somehow after the family rosary, we got talking about pain and it just came out. His gut reaction was, " Well, if we're not his parents, we don't have to help him with college." But I knew he didn't mean it. We understand the term "unconditional love." Haven't we been living it these past two years through excruciating pain? We will continue to show our son love and to give him all the same help we give to any of our eight childen as they need it.
We will be Christ for him, let Christ love him through us (and others), and one day.. one day, because I believe God has a plan and I trust in Jesus, our son will call us mom and dad again. That day he will see that our love is bigger than his homosexuality.

God is bigger than homosexuality.

God is bigger than all our trials, all our sins, all our faults, bigger than our past, and He is our only present and future.

Pray for us dear reader, and pray for all who suffer SSA and their families.
Carla