Category: Living Waters

A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture

Rocky: Freedom Fighter

Although America seems more inclined to celebrate the ‘Bruce Jenners’ who relent to perversion, I want to honor a man named Rocky who repented from his transgender self to the healing love of God.

Disconnection from reality sums up Rocky’s early life. Raised in a rough Mexican-American home by a mentally-ill mother and a father who abused her, Rocky found little encouragement for his masculine soul. Dad was replaced early on by a violent stepfather who treated Rocky with contempt for the solace he sought from his disturbed mother and grandmother. Little consolation: both women were proud of their feminine appeal but demeaning to the increasingly alienated Rocky.

Rocky bonded with feminine cosmetics: makeup and dresses appeared to provide the women in his life with fun and favor. In secret, he emulated their arts; he created another self that appeared to incur masculine attention. At a high price. His masculine development stalled within an unreal world designed to ward off a toxic family and abusive men.

In his teens, Rocky began to compete in drag pageants where he received sexual favor from bisexual and gay-identified men. But he began to smell ‘death’ among the highly unstable transgender crowd, a smell he discerned from his mother who was frequently suicidal. Rocky too began to contemplate an early death when he met a Christian from the neighborhood who befriended him and offered him onramps to her church.

She had observed the strife of his household and prayerfully fought for his dignity. She only asked that Rocky receive the love of Jesus. As he accompanied her to many ‘Jesus’ meetings, he met Christians who loved him, including two seasoned couples. They provided an alternate family that honored his masculine soul and summoned it from hiding.

Rocky needed a lot of love to combat his innate tendency to disconnect in times of trouble. But he grew in love with Jesus and His members and began to fight for his freedom to become a godly man. He moved to Kansas City where he did many rounds of Living Waters and found another fine mentor, Tracey Bickle, who trained Rocky to fight for others.

Rocky now serves at Desert Stream Ministries. He represents well the Father who fought for him, and won him back from sin and death. Rocky is becoming mighty in battle. Amid a nation which now applauds perversion, he reveals conversion: the fight for transformation. That’s a praiseworthy cause.

Download PDF

Bridge in Belgium

Landing in Brussels at the end of my intensive European tour reminded me of our first conference there in 1999. A most upright Catholic man and Living Waters leader, Maurice Barthelemy, rallied several hundred people in the center of the city for a healing gathering. The Holy Spirit brooded tenderly over an assortment of sinners from different faiths, tongues, and fractures of soul. We united under the one Cross and Jesus gathered us like chicks under His wing. Marvelous.

Now smiling down from heaven, Maurice had wisely passed the Living Waters baton to his son Geraud who had gathered his Living Waters leaders from around Belgium to meet with me last week.

Perhaps that was the first small miracle. Years earlier, I had initiated a change in Belgian leadership from Maurice to a wonderful couple who led the charge there for over a decade. In spite of some hurt feelings over my decision and inevitable insensitivity as to how I transitioned his father from leadership, son Geraud faithfully continued to run a Living Waters group. The couple I had appointed recently handed back the Belgian leadership to Geraud, who with his lovely wife Ann decided to tend the work in Belgium. Father Maurice’s mantle proceeds through his son who continues to heal a divided, challenging nation.

Our gathering took place in Flanders, the Flemish–speaking and predominantly Protestant part of Belgium (in contrast to the French-speaking, Catholic majority). Their Living Waters groups are a glimpse of the grace and patience and love required to combine members who differ in language, church tradition and relational problems. Geraud and Ann (and team) bridge these gaps graciously; over the course of our time together, God gently challenged my boldly American style of expression. Though exposed, I welcomed the Spirit’s invitation to rest in the Father’s way: how He delights in bridging human differences in order to heal us in myriad ways. In spite of my travel weariness, I left renewed.

I marvel at this Belgium ‘bridge’: the One who unites father and son, Flemish and French, Protestants and Catholics–sinners of all sorts under one Cross. Belgium is a prophetic glimpse of how our God is preparing one Bride for Himself.

Download PDF

Fruitful and Faithful in London

Like Jacob, Janet wrestled with God and won. She described to me the battle she faced years earlier between the pull of the ‘gay self’ and her Christian commitment; at a Living Waters conference in London, 1994, she chose Jesus and never looked back. Now preaching in her central London church, I beheld her and several others whom God had plucked from the fire and granted a stake in His passion.

Humbled and grateful, ‘ex-gay’ Jim described the five children born since I last saw him. ‘God was faithful to me…He has helped me be faithful to my family.’

Jesus said simply that He came to give abundant Life to all who trust wholly in Him. Whether single like Janet or ‘father’ Jim, He makes us fruitful. Contrast that to the demonic claims of Obama and now the powers-that-be in Britain who claim that anyone who seeks to replace the ‘gay self’ with an authentically Christian one will die, consigned to a ‘death watch’ of suicidal tendencies and a fractured, fruitless existence.

Quoting Obama, and leafleting outside the church where I was preaching, two ‘gay Christian’ men who had become lovers warned all congregants that any kind of change promised by me or any Christian was ‘unethical’, would result in ‘tragedy,’ ‘psychological damage,’ and even ‘the destruction of churches’ due to pastors who seek in vain to leave behind their homosexuality.

Wow. I marvel at the enemy’s work in our nation and abroad who has taken the clear biblical call to pick up one’s cross and follow Jesus as the way of death, not the narrow road that leads to Life. In England, as in the USA, ‘gay Christians’, as well as an assortment of counseling associations, are claiming ‘once gay always gay’ and persecuting churches that think otherwise.

Thank God for Core Issues Trust, an organization which stands for freedom of choice through the Cross of Jesus Christ and sound clinical care for persons who seek transformation of same-sex attraction in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. We gathered in the shadow of Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, Christians of all stripes and vocations to explore the theological, clinical and spiritual ways forward for brave souls who today risk the worst kind of judgments for daring to repent of homosexuality.

During the conference, my friend Robert Gagnon and I had the privilege of proclaiming Jesus’ freedom for persons who seek His way amid same-sex attraction. Having caught wind of our ‘scandalous’ claims, the BBC and other news outlets gave us prime time to announce His good news from coast of coast. Jesus turned around His enemy’s efforts to undermine Hope by amplifying His hope throughout the UK.

Together with all the saints we rejoiced and re-clarified our commitment to how Jesus has been to keep us faithful to Himself and to a younger generation who will perish without our witness of grace and truth. We exercised our rightful authority to silence the enemy of our souls. He changed our mourning into dancing, our fretful silence into shouts of joy: Life prevails over death and makes us truly fruitful.

Download PDF

Breaking Chains, Healing Thais

‘Zeal for Your house will consume me.’ (JN 2:17)

Sue Hunt considered ordination as a Buddhist nun in the Ubon region of Thailand. An Englishwoman with a deep history of gender confusion, she sought relief in Buddhism from what seemed an incurable wound. She was ordained a Buddhist nun yet the idolatry implicit in both her spirituality and sexuality failed her; Sue’s search for truth remained. Sue turned to Jesus as she began to discover the entirely new Life He offered her–a track on which the very ‘living water’ of God could begin to transform the desert of her soul into a garden.

I began to partner with Sue in ministry in 1997; ever since she has plowed a straight furrow to release ‘living water’ wherever she goes. She has recently returned to Ubon to equip churches to release ‘living water’ for all who seek it. I write this from Thailand where I am partnering with her yet again to help clear God’s house from the dulling effect of idolatry and set that house ablaze with the burning love of Jesus.

The needs are legion: Thailand has always been a global forerunner of transgenderism, a land that gives unique place to ‘lady-boys’ who currently compose approximately 10-15% of the male population. These young men emulate the seductive arts of some Thai women who are groomed from an early age to prostitute themselves to wealthy foreigners. Children are often employed in this hideous exchange of flesh for funds. More typically, fornication and adultery flourishes amid adults who are inclined to sensualize their needs for love.

A toxic river runs through an otherwise beautiful, peaceful land and dehumanizes its citizens. Buddhism casts a ‘come what may’ fatalism—a lazy tolerance–over Thailand that perpetuates cycles of degradation. Nothing less than zeal for the One who came to clear out our ‘temples’ from the idols we make to man and mammon will do!

The Thai Church often responds with a thin, ineffectual resistance. She clothes herself in religious garments and manners but often fails to confess her own idolatry. The ‘saving face’ culture of honor in Asia makes it difficult for the Church in Thailand to address her own compromises. What we conceal God cannot heal. So we as a healing team exposed our own idols and the way that Jesus through His Church exchanged our rags for His riches.

Benjie shared powerfully how Jesus had filled in the gaps in his own gender identity formation; Hazel and Noelle exposed their idols and the stern, splendid task of learning to worship the One; as an ex-adulterer who had deeply wounded his wife, Mike wept as he described his wife’s devastation and the recovery of his marriage; Donna expressed shame over an affair with a married man but deeper gratitude for God’s forgiveness and healing; a Chinese brother praised God for granting him a holy birthright after growing up with a father and his prostitute; a Thai sister thanked Jesus for inviting her into deeper healing from childhood abuse.

All this healing through the Church! This is our gift to Thailand, the good news that Jesus’ Bride can represent Him well by reclaiming His human image from the many false images that drive and deride us. A mere appearance of religion won’t do; it will require nothing less than a people in whom Jesus cleared out idols and who now burn with gratitude for His faithful, furious love. Zeal for His house consumes us.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Download PDF

Desert Stream 2013 Year-End Newsletter

In ‘The Gift’ I write:

‘Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing of water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.’ (Eph. 5: 25-27)

God became an infant to make us holy men and women. A baby becomes the basis for our full stature as saints! Let us marvel this season in the Child-King whose gift of divine life enables us to become more than we thought possible. Read more »

Download PDF
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: