Tag Archives: Living Waters

A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture

Glorious Orientation

Orientation refers to where one is going in relation to others, which include his or her thoughts and beliefs that guide that direction. Much is made today about different ‘sexual orientations.’ I suggest that there is one glorious orientation: ‘the deep orientation toward the personal dignity of what is intrinsically masculine and feminine.’

St. John Paul ll said that line first and best in his masterful Theology of the Body (TOB). My friend theologian Christopher West joyfully invites us all to make the late great pope’s orientation our own. West is the TOB bridge over which thousands of us have been re-oriented towards our original dignity as men and women and the adventure of a lifetime: activating our sexual dignity in a way that dignifies this ‘other’. A lifetime trajectory indeed!

We at Living Waters know this in our own way. We need Jesus and His Church to be reconciled to the sexual gift we are. But that gift means nothing in social isolation. Confirmation of our sexual integrity comes not in the mirror but in the grateful face of the other. We become who we are in holy, earthy communion.

Abbey, Marco, and I had the privilege to impart our gift to West and his team last week. Humbling. They are my heroic guides. The TOB Institute in Lancaster Pennsylvania hosts weeklong immersions into this ‘orientation’ toward sexual dignity; I dive into these waters often and emerge more converted each time.

As we shared and prayed for West’s 11 team members, I marveled at the way each lives the truth of TOB. The staff is transparent and submits humbly his or her unique gift to the whole. We from DSM gave what we had and received more.

Noteworthy were the witness of both Abbey and Marco, young adults who don’t know TOB through the lens of marriage but as single persons who in Jesus aspire to give their gift to others with integrity. They embody Christ-centered mercy, courage, and insight; all three gifts helped the TOB staff to know how to best serve persons with identity conflicts in their glorious reorientation.

Regardless of one’s starting point, we at DSM and TOB agreed: there is one destination—the dignifying of our intrinsic masculine and feminine selves in community. That is the glorious orientation of the sons and daughters of God! On the plane home I felt more inspired than drained. As I rested, I longed for Annette and eagerly awaited our reunion.

True Worship 2

Why do we worship Jesus, anointing Him with our love songs? Gratitude: He did for us what only He could do—He forgave our sins.

Only God can wash us clean. Only God. Good people can forgive us our sins. But only God can make us new.

So we sing out of gratitude. We wash His feet with tears of thankfulness. Only Jesus knows the depths of what we’ve done; only Jesus can break off us the burden of sin and shame.

In that way, we need never deny the monstrous things we’ve done and even the monstrous things we are still capable of. He alone is sin’s cure. Our disease invites us to rely upon this doctor deeply and constantly for the sins He has forgiven and the sins that still seek to sicken us.

Might we even rejoice in sinful inclinations that Jesus employs to keep us near Him? He trains us to live gratefully before Him. In that way, our worship is warfare—it cancels every accusing word or glance that seeks to separate us from our merciful Cure.

The sinful woman in Lk. 7: 36-50 teaches us how to live as a grateful worshipper. In this passage, we witness two parties encountering Jesus: the first, that sinful woman, lives close to the edge morally and economically, and is cast into the outer courts of the temple, vulnerable to other gods and men under their sway who took what they wanted from her sexually. Is there any sin as profound as opening one’s body to others who leave only shame while taking something that can never be returned?

The second: a smart religious man, a Pharisee, is probably sexually pure—his tribe set the standard for holiness. With one glance, he knows this sinful woman is infectious, capable of polluting the holy ones. And with the same glance he conveys to her that she is a living shame. Her worship tempts the Pharisee to doubt Jesus. He thinks: ‘How can a holy man tolerate tactile, nearly vulgar devotion from an unclean girl?’

Two people seeking Jesus: a thoughtful religious man unsure as to who Jesus is,
and a sinner grateful for her Cure.

A paradox! The Pharisee whose home it was makes little room for Jesus in his life, while the woman who broke into the Pharisee’s home makes Jesus her home. She had already received His mercy- bursting with gratitude, she disregards her religious accuser so she can thank Jesus for cancelling her sin.

She washes His feet with tearful gratitude. She gives Him herself; she flings open the doors of her house of shame, He floods it with mercy, and transforms her into a living temple. Now she worships: ‘Worthy is the Lamb who bore my shame and makes me virgin again!’

That is the power of gratitude; it gives us courage to break shame—to go boldly past the Pharisee and worship the One. Jesus said it best in the parable of the debtors: Those who are forgiven much will love Me much!

We the forgiven become true worshippers. We have authority to break through bad religion and live thankfully before this One who cures every sin. I am one such worshipper. Jesus freed me from homosexuality years ago and I’ve not looked back; I look forward, fully engaged with merciful Jesus and His Church.

40-years-ago, I shared my story before the first Vineyard Church in Los Angeles. My wife and I have since been privileged to lead many like us to pools of mercy where sin and shame and struggle give way to wholeness. Such joy—to discover Merciful Jesus as the Source and Defender of our purity! We can’t help but worship Him—to give Him our whole lives. We live to bear witness of what He has done in us and to invite others to live holy, grateful lives.

Our transformation is no personal privilege—it has relevance for all persons. We want to give hope to everyone of Jesus’ mercy. His eyes free us continually from the glare of the Pharisee who wants to shame us into silence. He makes the way. Always. Merciful Jesus, may our worship rise for another 40 years, then onto eternity!

Come Celebrate Our 40th Anniversary with Us!

40-years-ago in Southern California, Andrew Comiskey began to impart to others what the Lord had first given him—encounters with God and His transforming presence. The authority of Andrew’s “yes” to let go of ‘gay’ identification and to take up who he was as a man made for woman drew others who were yearning for the same freedom.

Partnering with Annette, his new bride, the DNA of Living Waters was established: beautiful gatherings of hungry hearts, seeking the One who would transform disordered desires, weakened wills and darkened intellects.

This One—Jesus—encountered this ever growing band of brothers and sisters. Person after person was set ablaze by the transforming power of Jesus Christ, who cares not only about our eternal salvation but also our wholeness, today. Jesus imparts mercy and grace to integrate our ‘pretty good’ humanity now, not just in the future.

For 40 years, through groundswells in various churches, cities and nations, Living Waters has seeped into dry and thirsty spaces. From our home base in Kansas City, we delight in the groups that have sprung up in the US and across Asia, Europe, and South America. But as a ministry, we hear the cry and feel the pull of those still yearning for mercy, freedom and truth.

We are ready to go the distance!

This August 7-9, we gather here in Kansas City for celebration. We will worship and declare the goodness of God, proclaim again the testimony of Jesus’ salvation, and envision our friends for the next 40 years.

Will you join us? You are welcomed and wanted as we celebrate! Though spaces are limited, we would relish your presence.

Please visit https://www.desertstream.org/40rsvp to see the weekend schedule, hotel suggestions, and RSVP.

Also, for any who want to make a special anniversary donation to Andrew and Annette as a thank you for their years of service and sacrifice, visit here: https://www.desertstream.org/AA40thGift

For those who cannot travel, we will be streaming some sessions live. Keep watch on our Facebook / social media platforms for more information.

Whether or not you can come, please join us in spirit. Pray for us as we launch into the next 40 years!

Abbey Foard

Sacred Heart, Living Stream

I write this on the Feast Day of Jesus’ Sacred Heart: His generous love for each human being revealed in His pierced heart pouring out all we need to be free. Jesus’ Sacred Heart distills the meaning of mercy—so deep yet so simple that a child could behold His lovely face and wounded heart and know somehow that every tear can find its end in His embrace.

You are reading this on the third day of our Living Waters Training here in Kansas City. We are doing it: 60 brave souls turned off their computers and re-entered the land of the living. We gather through and for His Sacred Heart; we position ourselves before His river of Divine Mercy and welcome the flood that cleanses and the healing Presence that restores us as we offer His gifts to one another.

I can say without exaggeration that His Sacred Heart is our focus. The Church rightly identifies Jesus’ heart as the ‘chief sign and symbol of that love with which the Divine Redeemer loves all human beings without exception’ (CCC #478). O, how He loves us. We position our divided, parched hearts before His, pulsating with mercy for us. The Blood speaks a better Word and silences the din that might otherwise drown out His still small voice of Love. Speak Lord, Your servants are listening! Neither virus nor riot, war nor rumors of war, bad court rulings nor yellow journalists, will separate us from Love.

Real life has stripped us of self-reliance. We flee into the folds of His Sacred Heart, pierced for us: You Jesus, assuming our suffering and imparting the consolation only You can give. Divine Mercy is like a magnet that compels us to name every sin, every wound, every hardening part of us that needs to be made tender and new in His healing flood.

Our aim is not small. If we can discover afresh the Love that changes everything, then we can give that love away. We can heal others. As wounded healers, we serve the broken ever mindful of our weaknesses. Yes, He contains and sustains us, and He does so in the full light of what is still being healed. We dare not venture out from His heart. Only in union with Him do we offer others the mercy that frees every heart inclined toward His.

Jesus’ Sacred Heart is always inclined toward ours. That is our hope, the Source of ‘Living Waters’. Please pray for us! May His heart enlarge ours and release through us a river of mercy that will change the world, one grateful sinner at a time.

Prayerfully Fight for Living Waters (Torrents de Vie/TDV) in the French-Speaking World!

Over 25-years-ago, a CA woman prophesied that Living Waters would find extraordinary expression in France. Her words came true. Founders Werner and Charlotte and new leaders Claude and Monique have led thousands of French-speakers (France, Switzerland, French Guyana, other territories) into pools of life-transforming mercy. They have been persecuted unlike any other expression of Living Waters. Pray for their courage as hostile cultural forces seek to destroy them.

Claude writes:

The Lord calls us to face many challenges, external and internal.

-A bill is advancing in the French National Assembly ‘prohibits practices aimed at changing a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.’ The govt.’s goal? To close TDV Werner Loertscher and similar associations.

-A variety of journalists have infiltrated our healing sessions. The last one resulted in the publication of a book scandalizing TDV, particularly Werner Loertscher. Gay lobbyists waged a virulent press war against us that made big news in the French media for months.

-More and more churches are destabilized in their positions in the face of homosexuality. The retreat center which sponsors our training canceled our reservation due to fear of demonstrations.

-Pray for our leaders’ fortitude; many feel abused and insecure. One local group closed.

-Pray for us as we work on unifying and renewing our teams.

-Pray for fresh coordinators with clear vision who can strengthen others and launch new groups.

-Pray for our ‘Summer University’ designed to restore team members and to grow in the basics of spiritual combat. We created a ‘Spiritual Coaching Training’ to equip new team members.

-We are creating a website designed to defend our positions and to educate parliamentarians.

Pray for us to be courageous, in the spirit of Paul’s exhortation in Philippians 1:27–30: ‘to fight with one heart for the faith of the gospel, without being frightened in any way by those who oppose us.’

Thank you for prayerfully standing with us!

On behalf of the TDV team,

Claude RIESS

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