Category: Mercy and Healing

A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture
kc teen therapy ban vote rescheduled

Rally with us for Rescheduled KC Hearing

KC rescheduled both the hearing and vote on the teen therapy ban for next Wednesday the 6th (hearing) and Thursday the 7th (vote).

This gives us more time to:

Mobilize a first-rate legal team and other heavy hitters in KC.

Gather evidence on the flimsy ‘scientific’ data of ‘harm’ imposed by therapies that respect a teen’s goal to overcome SSA or gender dysphoria.

Summon more of you to rally in prayer and presence at KC City Hall at 930am Wed the 6th. Bigger numbers means pushback to the Council who think this is ‘in the bag.’

Engage face-to-face with Council members with the good news of our changed lives.

Rally the whole DSM team, half of whom are currently working hard in PA at LW Training.

Seek God’s face to make us credible expressions of His justice, composed witnesses of mercy and truth.

Ongoing updates are available on the DSM Facebook page.

Hope to see you next Wednesday.

You can purchase “Becoming Good News” in book form directly from Desert Stream or get it from Amazon for your Kindle.

Please take time to watch our new video and become ‘Chaste Together.’

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Disappearing Kansas City Counseling Ban

Disappearing?

I met Carol a year or so ago at a coffee joint; she possessed a cool style and looked at me with piercing, indigo blue eyes. She was also gradually concealing her womanhood in an attempt to ‘transition.’ I felt intuitively her years of torment and sought to reinforce kindly the beauty I beheld in her.

As weeks went on, she disappeared behind men’s clothes and facial hair. I saw her last week as ‘Kevin’. My mind went blank and I looked haplessly in those eyes. Her voice squeaked a greeting as if she (approx. 30-years-old) was going through puberty.

I am seeking God and wise counsel as to how to best care for her in the little ways and moments we interact. I pray for her family who may well have agreed confusedly with Carol’s way of resolving her gender-identity conflict. The logic? ‘Better for Carol to disappear than for Carol to kill herself.’ I agree. I rejoice in her life and respect her right to choose how to resolve a longstanding gender conflict.

Her ‘cure’ is costly: on her own body (toxic hormones and invasive surgeries) and social network (disassembling old bonds, seeking tenuous new ones). Was she given a choice to explore the option of becoming reconciled to her biological self?

Kansas City’s Mayor and Council will vote this Thursday to deny her or anyone that choice. My city has initiated a push to ban ‘conversion therapy’—code word for any minor in conflict who seeks help to make peace with one’s birth gender. The bill highlights ‘Gender Pathways’, a local treatment center that offers every freedom to dysphoric youth except resolving the psychological reasons as to why one is rejecting his or her birthright.

The powers-that-be have tried to hide their counseling ban agenda from public view. They announced the bill and their near slam-dunk victory only after protest from us and others. It seems they know what they want, and they are going after it. We have become an inconvenient truth for Kansas City. They want us to disappear. No way.

We cannot disappear. We must tell the truth of how faith and sound process enabled us to overcome homosexual and transgender identities. We will make known our stories at City Hall this Wednesday. Come pray beforehand with us at 930am on the city steps or just join us at 1030am in the Council chambers. (Will keep you posted if this changes as it often does in politics.) Pray for us!

Pray that we might convey reasonably and lovingly an alternate path to healing. Pray also that we would line up good legal counsel to fight the city in case the ban passes. (The Council could vote as early as the 31st.) This is not a good time for Kansas City to make such a ban, as recent rulings in Tampa, Fla. (Vazzo v. Tampa) and New York City (Schwartz v. City of New York) have demonstrated.

A strange power has darkened the understanding of well-meaning big shots. We must break that power by telling persons the whole truth. Give each person a choice–but give them one to make! Kids grow up fast these days and don’t need condescension; they need choice. Kansas City wants to take away that choice. We won’t let them. Rather than disappear, we will shine through the confusion.

‘We have renounced secret and shameful ways. We do not use deception, nor do we distort the Word of God. Rather, by speaking the truth plainly, we commend ourselves to every person’s conscience in the sight of God’ (2 Cor. 4:2).

You can purchase “Becoming Good News” in book form directly from Desert Stream or get it from Amazon for your Kindle.

Please take time to watch our new video and become ‘Chaste Together.’

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open letter to mayor quinton lucas of kansas city teen conversion therapy ban

Open Letter to Mayor Quinton Lucas of Kansas City

Bless and thank you for your good service of our city. I voted for you because I respect your story. Please hear mine and many whom I represent.

I know you are leading the City Council to vote on a citywide measure that would ban any counseling for minors who are seeking to overcome same-sex attraction and/or to be reconciled to their birth gender. You are following the example of nearby Columbia MO; its City Council instituted a ban last Monday on what was framed without opposition as coercive and dangerous efforts to change people.

Mayor Lucas, no-one advocates for manipulative charlatans who harm young people by engaging them against their will and employ techniques that guilt or shock the ‘gay away.’ These abusers should lose their licenses. Period.

We are simply asking that in sexual matters–this profound and turbulent area of young lives—teens be given a range of clinical options as to how they choose to identify and relate to others.

As a ‘gay’-identified teenager in Los Angeles, I was told ‘once gay always gay.’ It was fun until it wasn’t. I became a Christian and began to realize that I had options beyond homosexuality. Part of this was based on my faith decision. Another part involved facing real psychological issues in order to build non-sexual male friendships and to love women honorably. I was vulnerable, not to bad therapists, but to finding any therapist who would help me achieve my goals. I did find one, and that reinforced my commitment to marrying a fine woman.

The clinical community (in schools, hospitals, social services, and private practices) now insists that teens with same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria have only one course of action—embrace the ‘gay’ self or ‘transition’ into the other gender. I determined for myself that transitory feelings would not be my destiny. Yet the clinical world insists otherwise. Teens are now given one option.

Your expressed goal, Mayor Lucas, is to make Kansas City ‘a place that is welcoming to anybody.’ Why then are you insisting on a bill that forbids teens from exploring life beyond homosexuality and gender reassignment? Don’t invoke diversity when you are legalizing only one way for teens to resolve their sexuality.
Please give youth the dignity of choice by dropping this counseling ban.

Readers, FYI: The Kansas City Council may vote on this ban as early as Thursday the 24th. Please pray that we are given an opportunity to express our stories and our respectful difference with Mayor Lucas personally before a vote is taken. For any Kansas City-area resident, I urge you to call his office at 816-513-3500 and convey your desire that this ban be dropped.

You can purchase “Becoming Good News” in book form directly from Desert Stream or get it from Amazon for your Kindle.

Please take time to watch our new video and become ‘Chaste Together.’

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Surrounded 1: Chariots of Fire

It can be tough to burn with hope for some LGBT+ persons; allergic to chastity, alive to sensational new ‘sexualities’, they frame us as ‘haters’ and our fire dims.

As we prayerfully ‘Become Good News’ (starting Oct. 16th), it may help us to recall that God is igniting a global army of persons—each one divinely commissioned to do his or her part to liberate loved ones from enslaving ‘freedoms’. Like a station in a relay, every one of us can help a vulnerable pilgrim take the next step in discovering Jesus as the source of true liberty.

That helps me. Nearly overwhelmed by the gender fracturing in our day, I fret for lost ones and assume too much responsibility (and thus guilt) for their rescue. Recently I noticed a disoriented looking man after Mass who looked like he desperately needed to talk to someone about his divided life. I was happy to begin praying under my breath for him but failed to attend to him due to pressing issues that awaited me elsewhere.

Burdened by my omission, I confessed later to my pastor who wisely and simply said: ‘Andrew, do you not trust God to work throughout His Church to awaken a team of persons who will bring many strugglers into His freedom?’ He referred to the communion of the saints—a great cloud of witnesses in heaven and on earth who advocate for the saving of many lives, relentlessly. Some pray, others–in a variety of positions and relationships–launch out as answers to those prayers.

God assured me that day that there are many more for us in this ‘underground railroad’ than there are against us. I just needed to be reminded. We need Jesus to open the eyes of our hearts to behold what is going on in the Spirit, just as Elisha did for the poor man who went out to battle and could only see ‘an army of horses and chariots surrounding his city.’ Elisha said to him: ‘Don’t be afraid. Those who are with us are more than those who are with the enemy… Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha’ (2 Kings 6: 15-17).

Open the eyes of our hearts to these chariots of fire–saints burning with simple, wise love for the lost–both in the unseen realms and in the unexpected partnerships God is forging here on earth.

I write this in route from Cordoba Argentina to Santiago Chile. My dear Argentine friends, Catholic, are digging a deep well of ‘living water’ in their university city and have prayed for creative ways to reach young LGBT+ persons. God united them with an old friend of theirs, an evangelical woman who runs a theatrical company in town; she sought them out for help in providing real answers for the young people she directs who are divided in their sexuality and seek a better way.

They are crying out for Jesus. He hears their cries and He is summoning you and me to pray and to act. We can do so urgently yet without strife, knowing that a global team is being assembled to set captives free, one station, one leg of the relay, one chariot igniting another’s, one at a time.

You can purchase “Becoming Good News” in book form directly from Desert Stream or get it from Amazon for your Kindle.

Please take time to watch our new video and become ‘Chaste Together.’

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Living Bread, for the World

Long before I centered on the Eucharist as the focus of worship—the real meal that Catholics celebrate–I understood this breaking of bread as how us saints can make known our brokenness to each other in fellowship. ‘Communion’ involves just that—gathering in community before the Crucified in order to place our wounded lives in His. Somehow, He takes the edge off our edginess and makes us better gifts for the world—a little more humble, clear, and merciful.

The meal we share isn’t an official sacrament but rather the common grace of the ‘one another’ that somehow gives us a share in Jesus’ words (Jn. 6:51): ‘I am the living bread that comes down from heaven. If anyone eats this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.’

When we gathered in Philadelphia last week for a ‘Gender Matters’ conference, I wondered who would break bread with us. I don’t know many Catholics there (it was sponsored by the Diocese) and I’ve little marquee value. Praise God.

How surprised I was to discover a host of hungry, humble saints from that area who came together to ‘eat’ with us that day—to go further along the little way of offering our wounded lives to Jesus and each other so He can season and solidify us—at least enough for us to convert the world rather than be converted by it! My fear turned to faith as I met person after person whom Jesus had connected to us through one person who knew another person who knew another, etc.

This is the miracle of Jesus’ Church composed of His many members—little grains of wheat, each one, crushed in surrender to Jesus and releasing many seeds in the dying that bears much fruit (Jn. 12:24), especially when we gather in order to become ‘living bread’ together.

The miracle of many members—Archbishop Chaput blessed our gathering as he trusted my colleague Marco Casanova who just finished seminary there in Philadelphia. With Chaput’s go-ahead, Marco began to connect with friends in the area who loved Marco and wanted to know what he was up to. I had come often to Philly to be converted by Christopher West and company (their take of St. John Paul ll’s work is splendid) so he did his part to direct friends our way, including his parents and sister who are now charter members of our Living Waters family. At West’s Institute, I had met moral theologian and bioethicist Dr. John Haas who I respect more than almost any other, so I was incredulous when he agreed to open our meal with a word on the dignity of gendered humanity that blew everyone away.

Especially lovely was a table full of radiant nuns—aptly called the Sisters of Life—who were directed there by my best friends in New York City, Joe and Anne Nolte, who know all about me and love this work anyway! We were hosted in the parish of Monsignor Hans Brouwers who had started Courage in Philadelphia years earlier; his still vital, fatherly advocacy was healing for all of us. We love Courage and took heart in partaking of their pioneering efforts in Philly. Friends from Baltimore who love Courage and Encourage joined us too, as did some cool evangelical friends of Abbey from her Penn State days.

Many more to name, no more room. It is enough to say that Jesus is joining His members together to become a fragrant, nutritious loaf of ‘living bread.’ He is doing it! We need not fear; let us rather behold the Spirit as He unifies saints who together are turning outward to become the ‘real meal’ for a world that will choke on its own poisons until we become what we eat—the healing body of Christ, broken for the world.

Bless you all. Please join us for our forty-day-fast: ‘Becoming Good News’ for the lost and the least, beginning October 16th. More on this next week!

You can purchase “Becoming Good News” in book form directly from Desert Stream or get it from Amazon for your Kindle.

Please take time to watch our new video and become ‘Chaste Together.’

Download PDF
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