Tag Archives: Kansas City

A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture

Kingdom Clash 1: Fighting City Hall

We met in front of City Hall next to the Lincoln statue, featuring Abe and his son Tad. Fitting. Here we were, Christians of all stripes, diverse yet united in the love of our Father who listens and stoops down to make us great. Buttoned down Catholics, earthy Jesus people, young Latinos with sassy Pentecostal authority, clear-eyed Baptists who advocate on their knees for His-Kingdom-come, agreed together: ‘Be glorified in our witness of change, a choice every teen deserves…’

We were preparing ourselves for the public hearing on Kansas City’s near slam-dunk efforts to pass a counseling ban for teens seeking change. On the steps slightly above our prayer group, rainbow activists ranted ‘We’re here, we’re queer’… Yeah, we know. In truth, the rag-tag group screaming their intercessions rule the social-political landscape of Kansas City. They shout their laments from every roof-top, the City Council nods dully, and no-one questions.

Standing room only in the City Council chamber: evenly divided between the rainbow set and Christians surrounding Desert Stream. As the stories of torture at the hands of diabolical pastors and therapists wore on, I could not help but notice a disturbing sameness (revisionist history, anyone?) to the plot-lines: innocent teen, wicked helper, now fractured adult whose vengeance is asserting political pressure to make sure every teen experiences the ‘joy’ of adding another bizarre adjective to one’s sexual identification, be it pan-sexual, non-binary, or pre-trans.

As a parent, I could not help but discern the lack of any real fatherly presence/guidance in these young people’s lives. Now subject to one another’s distorted gender identities, these poor ones don’t have a chance to grow through life-giving community. They are vulnerable, not because of ‘conversion therapy’, but because of the weak solutions afforded them by the clinical community and greater culture.

The Father loves them and only wants to heal them. He keeps reaching, but these celebrated rainbow ‘victims’ cannot or will not see Him. Who needs God when your side is carrying the day? The chummy repartee between witnesses and the committee suggests that the Council has bought the LGBT+ lament: ‘we have been hurt and you have to stop everyone from hurting us further.’

Two hours later, we shared our perspectives. My time came. Overcome by a greater power, I combusted and demanded real justice: ‘Why should the LGBT+ freedom to morph into whatever gender variation one wants bar persons who understand freedom differently? Why should persons who want to be reconciled to their biological gender, or to overcome same-sex attraction, be denied good psychological care? I insisted that conversion therapy is a bogeyman argument designed to hide the agenda driving the bill: walk our LGBT+ way or the highway.’

At that the rainbow set went ballistic. They stood up shouting and waving rainbow flags. Behind them, Christians stood and prayed: a few raised Bibles. Kingdoms clashed. The moderator demanded order in her court. Dark powers manifested and nearly lunged at me.

Lines are drawn. Today’s LGBT+ activists criminalize other ways of perceiving and resolving sexual identity issues. Christians are on the firing line. We must be willing to take a stand in the public square for how we understand choice and the freedom to secure good advocates for our choices.

Please pray: the KC City Council will vote this Thursday the 14th on the counseling ban. If this hearing is any indication, the Council has already made up its mind. Pray that the excellent legal intervention of Liberty Counsel will make a difference. Pray for our awakening to Jesus’ relevance for all gender-confused youth and how a wounded few are trying to obscure that truth. We must convey His Kingdom-come as never before, come what may.

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.’

Download PDF

Zeal for His House has Consumed Us (and our finances!)

We are on fire and need fuel to stoke the flames. Help us with a one-time gift.

Here’s the deal. We have been burning with passion for the Church as never before, starting with our 40-day fast last fall for the gender broken then blazing trails in congregations on the west and east coast. Most passionately, we fought hard to ignite a blaze smack dab in the middle. Our Gender Matters conference in February broke all expectations with over 20 different churches represented–both Catholic and evangelicals—from which two Living Waters groups started, upping our number to five churches now on fire to heal the broken in Kansas City.

We are burning! And broke. Last week we paid all of our debts only to discover we were overdrawn at the bank. In all of our fire-starting, we lost sight of how low our funds had become, resulting in pay cuts, failure to print valuable resources, and discouragement (if we let it). Bleech.

So help renew our passion. We are consumed with zeal for the Father’s house and seek only to burn brightly for Him, thereby starting a host of fires. We burn because you fuel us. Better put, God puts us on your heart and you throw a log on the fire. That’s how we blaze.

For over 38 years, Desert Stream Ministries has prayed, encouraged, and helped restore persons who realize only God can answer their deepest cries.

We are in need of $20,000. Please help.

Between now and November, we are gearing up for six week-long Living Waters Trainings throughout the world. A one-time gift would help us get our bearings and launch out with renewed passion. YOUR HELP MATTERS. Give today.

Please give a one-time gift of _______. May zeal for His house consume us afresh!

Andrew

 

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Splendor of the Kingdom 2

We gathered for our Gender Matters conference in New York City last weekend (soon to be in Kansas City February 10, sign up now!); the Holy Spirit flooded us like a river overflowing onto parched land. He is re-awakening our call to live the-truth-in-love and so authenticates our claim that Jesus makes a better way for the sexually broken.

As Pope Francis says in ‘The Joy of the Gospel’, this can only be accomplished through ‘a radical openness to the leading of the Holy Spirit.’ At core, this is nothing less than the core message of the Gospel, which is at once simple, countercultural, and full of joy. We discover that our joy hinges upon responding to His whispers, and on trembling legs advancing His reign where He leads.

Prior to the conference, the Holy Spirit led me to two men with a small child. They were ‘gay’-identified and ‘parents’ of this adopted boy. God gave me His heart for this child; I realized at once that we have a responsibility to such kids. I spoke with the pair about how much Jesus loved them all and had special plans for the boy, a divine paternal desire to confirm him as His beloved. When they said they did not believe that way I said with joy: ‘Well, we all have ideas but none change the fact that Jesus is real and has a great plan for this kid that is greater than your plans!’ I couldn’t believe I said it. Yet the Spirit gave me joy, which enabled them to hear.

We proceeded to our conference where beautiful, broken Christians from around New York City, New Jersey, and Connecticut gathered to become better news for persons with gender identity problems. From a host of brave churches, they like us are surrounded by the dull attitude that to be moral is to accept blandly whatever destructive choices others makes on the grounds of ‘love’ and ‘freedom.’ These believers know better and are crying out: ‘Holy Spirit, show us the better way to bring Jesus’ merciful reign to our friends who are self-destructing!’

Two realities were evident: we the saints are so broken! The church who hosted us had a huge cross before which we gathered and simply wept over our own sins and wounds, mostly traditional in nature. We are all victims and perpetrators. Our pain was based on a host of regrettable ways in which we have been complicit with deceived friends and family; crying ‘peace when there is no peace.’ Or the ways we have accommodated our ‘normal’ idols and addictions when Jesus wants to break our chains so we can be free to bring the Kingdom to the enslaved. He did it! His Presence for deliverance was evident and effectual.

The reality of our brokenness was surpassed by His power. Through the good teachings and testimonies, it was obvious that the Spirit is raising up an army of men and women for whom Jesus’ loving kindness is better than anything else in this life (PS 63:3). We live only to make Him known, joyfully, and with humble reliance upon each other. For the first time in years, I wanted to linger with all the saints in the church afterwards. My weariness was eclipsed by the beauty of this Gideon’s army. Jesus Himself is empowering us in our many weaknesses ‘to rout foreign armies’ (Heb. 11:34). We are His members, wholly submitted to our Head, and we will turn the tide of deception on waves of Almighty Mercy.

Please join us in Kansas City for our next Gender Matters on Feb. 10th. Become a part of God’s healing army for broken persons you love. Sign up now!

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No Place like Home

‘I witnessed God’s glory in every broken life.’ Living Waters participant

We just finished our Living Waters group at St. Thomas More’s in Kansas City. It was a hard group–a handful dropped out and the deep needs that remained in the group seemed overwhelming. It helped that we met in the sanctuary where we were constantly drawn up into the huge Crucifix above the altar, a reminder that He was assuming the unbearable. Just below, we raised a 10-feet image of the Divine Mercy where the flow of blood and water rose in our midst. We finished the group refreshed, grateful. Some members and team commented:

‘I came to Living Waters expecting others to heal me. I found a group of people all looking to Jesus for healing who directed me to Him. Now I look to Him.’

‘I’m a giver in my church, the one others look to for healing. Living Waters focused the Father’s loving attention to my needs. I am learning to listen to His voice in particular areas where I need Him more than ever.’

‘I am not as afraid any more of my brokenness. I can trust God when He reveals areas of blindness and deep need in me. I am secure enough in His love to see things as they are, confident that His truth is my freedom.’

‘I’m in a painful, vulnerable season of my life. I have renewed my love for Christ Crucified; my wound invites me into deeper intimacy with Him.’

‘I love the Divine Mercy! Through the eyes of my heart, I now see that my same-sex attraction has a place to go. I am filled with new mercies to give as I go.’

‘In my everyday life, I am surrounded by people who could care less about holiness. In Living Waters I discovered a people whose priority is to grow in holiness. I am grateful to have found walking partners; I must have them.’

‘As a small group leader, I would show up empty every week. And every week, each small group member would bring her gift and God would fill us all. He is the healer and He uses every member. Healing does not rest on me.’

‘I had never taught the material before. As I did, God confirmed the work He has done in me and took me deeper.’

‘Now I have a mission: to make this offering known to my church connections. I want Living Waters to flow where I live.’

‘This parish had an abusive priest years earlier whose sin came to light later, creating scandal and the familiar skepticism that the Church damages the vulnerable rather than healing them. Through Living Waters, I discern that Jesus is taking back ground from the enemy. God through His Church heals His lambs.’

Abbey closed our last meeting by reminding us all that Living Waters is an open door, a community of healing that one can re-enter at any time. It is a place where Jesus redirects our focus upon Himself in a safe yet challenging way. It is a healing home where we too become safe ‘homes’ for others to know Him more.

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