In spite of the gray hair and drastic affects of gravity, I am seeing some good in this process of aging. Things that were once theory to me have become places of certainty—solid ground. If you had asked me in my twenties, “Do you really believe that God...
I’ve been a volunteer at the Global Leadership Summit (GLS) for the past three years, which allows me to hear world class leadership speakers. During the 2018 GLS, Marcus Lemonis, host of a TV show called “The Profit”, left a huge impression on me. He encouraged leaders to share their stories, the things you’ve been through in life so that others can see your vulnerabilities. Lemonis admitted that it can be difficult to unleash vulnerability, but the rewards can be fulfilling in terms of building relationships. And, I would add, being missional in sharing the story of Christ in our lives. So, with this in mind, I feel empowered to share my story.
I am the youngest of three boys and I earned the title ‘BRAT’ by virtue of birth order. With that title, I became a mama’s boy and I didn’t cut those apron strings until I was in my late twenties. My mother often expressed her disappointment that I wasn’t a girl. So, very early in life I began to fulfill my mother’s need for a girl, which led to years of mental anguish, thinking that all would be okay if I were a girl. My father’s inability to nurture and love me into manhood added more challenges for me, exacerbated by my mother using me as a sounding board for her own frustrations with him.
During years of conforming to my mother’s wishes, my father lived in his own intellectual world. Thankfully, he never physically abused or ridiculed me. Although a part of our household, he was pre-occupied with his own interests and never shared physical or verbal love. Consequently, I hated, loathed and detached myself from him.
In school I withdrew into myself holding my body in contempt. The seeds of a same-sex attraction were plentiful – planted, watered and nourished by the dysfunction of my family as well as bullying from male peers in Junior and Senior High. I began detaching from my male peers while still longing for relationship with them. That longing, I strongly believe, led me to thirst and crave male attributes, which fed my sexual idolatry for men. My social circle was comprised of girls. They offered safety and comfort. For someone like me – raised in a church where people often spoke disparagingly about homosexuality – the idea of being one tormented me. Eventually I began to see my struggle as pre-ordained and felt powerless and hopeless over something that God wouldn’t take from me.
The lyrics of a contemporary Christian song titled ‘Dear Younger Me’ speak truth into the confusion that I felt… “If I knew then what I know now, condemnation would have had no power – my pain would never be my worth… If I knew then what I know now, it wouldn’t be hard to figure out what I would have changed if I could have heard… Dear younger me, it’s not your fault, you were never meant to carry this beyond the cross.”
During my early 30’s, a sermon on Peter’s denial of Christ, through actions and words, helped me relate deeply and profoundly to Peter’s dilemma. The truth that Christ loved Peter in spite of his sin, took hold of my life. And, at about the same time, I began realizing the corruptive nature of original sin and its tie-in to my personal culpability to sin. Romans 5:15, “By one man’s trespass, many died; but, how much more has the love of God overflowed to many by the grace of one Man, Jesus Christ.” This spiritual awakening prompted me to seek God’s truth (hope) about who he created me to be and where my true identity belongs, in Jesus Christ.
Today, I’m a changed man with a grateful heart – participating in God’s grace through His son Jesus. I am content in His day to day, moment by moment provision of cleansing from all unrighteousness. Does this mean I’m perfect? By no means! Have I been set free from temptations and fleshly desires? Not this side of heaven, but I’m committed to living in sexual conformity to God’s word. And, through God’s grace, I was able to make amends with both parents before they passed away. Even more amazing, one of my High School antagonists – name caller, tormentor, bully – and I are friends… on Facebook! Yes indeed, the One who started a work in me, will carry it through to completion.
Philippians 3:8-9, “What’s more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of Jesus Christ my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, so that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own, but that which is trough faith in Christ – righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.”
Published on 09/25/2019 @ 9:10 AM PDT
Oct. 2, 2019
I grew up in a Christian church but my faith wasn’t my own till high school. I went on a mission’s trip to the Tenderloin district of San Francisco where my church teamed up with YWAM to minister to the homeless population. One night we were handing out hot cocoa to the homeless and the group I was with accidentally went out of the boundaries determined by the organization. That’s when we met a man that would challenge me in a significant way.
Sep. 14, 2019
In my mid-twenties, I moved out of my home state to help with a ministry to which I felt God calling me. It was right at the start of the financial recession that began in 2008. Finding work proved to be a little more difficult than expected, but
Aug. 27, 2019
I’ve been a volunteer at the Global Leadership Summit (GLS) for the past three years, which allows me to hear world class leadership speakers. During the 2018 GLS, Marcus Lemonis, host of a TV show called “The Profit”, left a huge impression on me. He encouraged leaders to share their stories, the things
Sep. 25, 2019
Early in marriage with my wife, Sara, we had some unspoken expectations on the division of responsibilities. She was to cook and do laundry - that’s what my mom did. I was to take out the trash and kill any mice - that’s what her dad did. The problem was we didn’t communicate these expectations to each other. So when I saw
Aug. 27, 2019
I am a Central student going into my Junior year of the college studying Elementary and Early Childhood Education and if there is something that God has taught me it has been that I need to rest or Sabbath. Freshman year I was sure that college was a time for late nights and cramming before tests . Now I have done those late nights and cramming sessions or essays last minute to meet deadlines, but the idea of a Sabbath was never in my thought process until last year when God shared what he has already told me.
Sep. 18, 2019
Just over 20 years ago, I was pregnant with my 3rd child. 9 months along, to be exact.
My husband at the time had met someone and informed me that he wanted to separate. He said, “You are free to date. I care for you but I’m not in love with you.”
I remember looking down at my very pregnant belly and saying ‘You’re telling me to go date?’
Aug. 27, 2019
In the Fall of 2017, I was grateful to be sent by Mercer Creek Church to attend the Academy of Spiritual Formation. God had so much in store for me in this eighteen-month journey. I learned about my personality type and my enneagram type. God invited
Sep. 18, 2019
How did I end up here, in Ellensburg working for Mercer Creek? It didn’t go exactly as planned, but God does things a little differently than we think they should go. Proverbs 16:9 says,
Aug. 27, 2019
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