Tag Archives: ministries of pastoral care

A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture

Healing Power of Payne

‘To speak of the healing of the homosexual is to speak of the healing of all persons everywhere.’ Leanne Payne

Leanne Payne passed into glorious Life on Ash Wednesday. She left a glorious legacy of Life for DSM/LW. To describe her influence as foundational is an understatement.

As our staff memorialized her, I was amazed how each of us had experienced at least one profound, enduring healing encounter with her. In books and conferences, in Word and Spirit, she prayerfully brought Jesus, mighty and tender, into the deep aches and fractures of our humanity; she gave us language for our sexual disintegration and its restoration in Christ.

As I reflect upon her personal influence, I realize I could write a book on it. May it suffice to share some events that shaped my reliance on the Healing Presence.

Undone by ‘The Broken Image’, I first met Leanne face-to-face in Vancouver BC, 1982. I had the privilege of testifying before her last session. During the ministry time, I laid down all public composure as Jesus through Leanne instructed me to destroy strongholds of unclean thoughts. I had to learn how to fight for the integrity of my own ‘temple.’ His divine masculine will was empowering my own.

Soon after, we hosted our first conference with Leanne in West Los Angeles. There she did her first full scale ‘Renouncing Baal’ teaching in response to the hordes of young men and women from DSM who had just repented of gay practice. Bodies flew over pews as Leanne flung holy water (in a Presbyterian church at that!) and demons were expulsed. Leanne’s utterance, in a classy Southern drawl, ‘Patsy quick, get the holy water!’ remains a DSM mantra.

A couple years later, we had a full PCM in Los Angeles. As Leanne taught on ‘Restoring a Sense of Being,’ a young woman with SSA and a huge attachment wound walked quietly to the podium then respectfully asked Leanne to pray for her. Leanne stopped and quietly led us all into prayer; the result was a profound move of the Healing Presence into her depths. That morning, Jesus healed a young woman from a foundational wound; the rest of us discovered a healing key that is fundamental to our offering to this day.

I accompanied Leanne to her first PCMs in England; she had a wry form of expression that incited me. As she told a ‘healing of memories’ story that involved the surprise death of a beloved family bird (‘Tweedy’, Leanne mused, ‘was oven-baked…’), my cartoonish imagination went into overdrive and I began to laugh uncontrollably. Hundreds followed and the session ended in holy hysterics.

Annette loved Leanne’s feminine genius and felt a unique blessing from Leanne upon her own well-developed intellect. And Leanne’s mind was peerless in the way that she could assimilate different disciplines—psychology, philosophy, literature, theology, spirituality—into a coherent whole.

Similarly, she possessed a heart for the whole Church which invited us to consider the healing power of holy symbols, namely the sacraments. She highlighted the many ways that the unseen Real manifests Himself; this not only healed breaches between divided parts of the body, it also contributed to our personal wholeness. Leanne helped us to become more thoroughly Christian.

No-one leader impacted me more. She loved me well, imparting generous encouragement, gentle wisdom, and severe warnings. She guided me as I wrote Pursuing Sexual Wholeness, then I poured her input and writings into the foundations of Living Waters. Her advocacy of Living Waters opened doors for national expressions of the program throughout the world.

When Leanne spoke, Annette and I listened. She earned her right to inform our lives. And when we disagreed (as sons and daughters must do in order to become who they are), we learned to wait expectantly for the season in which we could reengage once more. We could not refuse this foundational woman! She was a part of who we were as persons and ministers. To disavow her would have been to disavow ourselves.

Leanne was a prophet. She saw how the increasingly ‘gay-friendly’ Church signaled a lack of understanding of what it means to be human and thoroughly Christian. She grieved over the darkening of the Church’s mind and fought hard to make evident the Church’s foundational truths. For this she suffered. Unwavering in her convictions, often misunderstood and dishonored, her eyes saw beyond the obvious to what mattered. Hearts that see what Leanne saw are hearts that hurt. Her suffering was not in vain, as healing poured from her into our broken lives.

I am deeply grateful for the honor accorded Leanne in her last years by Gino Vaccarro, a spiritual son unlike any other, who with team will ensure that Leanne’s legacy proceeds with MPC. I am equally grateful for Leanne’s Wheaton prayer group, led by Sile Ellison-NiChionna, who surrounded Leanne with tender care in her last years.

Perhaps that prayer group is the primary legacy we received from Leanne. As the DSM/LW staff interceded for all who love her, I recalled that above all else, we are a prayer group who together seek the face of beautiful Jesus, listen for His healing Word together, then rise to offer healing to many. Leanne taught us that inspired pastoral care is how we best convey the Church’s vision of what it means to be creatively, humbly, joyfully human. Leanne embodied that. We will miss her. And we will continue to pray, to heal, to fight and to stand for what she imparted to us.

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October 20: Fountain of Life from the Dying God

‘On the day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity. On that day, I will banish the names of the idols and…the spirit of impurity from the land.’ (Zech. 13:1, 2)

Zechariah prophesies that the One pierced for our sins upon whom we gaze and grieve is also the One whose death releases the Life that saves us. A cleansing fountain is Zechariah’s description of that ‘life’; St. John further describes that fountain as a river of ‘water and blood’ gushing from the Crucified (Jn 19:34).

Jesus does more than die in our place, substituting for the death our sins warrant. To be sure, His death cancels out our sin but we are left with the stain of sin—the truth of multiple violations encoded in our depths. Anyone made tender by Jesus’ love becomes sensitive to sin’s impact. No longer dull and stupefied by sin, we are horrified by what we have done to self and others. We need a bath that breaks impenetrable bonds. Only the fountain of Blood and Water can dissolve sin’s stronghold in our thoughts, affections, and memory.

I recently met with a small group of men who dared to expose sins which had tormented them for years. In the dark, these sins accused them daily. Certain of their monstrous state, these men brought their monsters before the Crucified to be killed, drowned in Love’s flood. I had not experienced this strength of exposure and cleansing in years.

Gratefully, in the parish chapel was a ‘dispenser’ of Holy Water; I liberally applied it to my brothers. As I did these words (Heb. 10:19-22) came to mind: ‘Since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place through the blood of Jesus…let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience, our bodies washed with pure water.’ Not seeking to replace any man’s priest or pastor, I nevertheless knew that as brothers we had invoked the power of baptism upon sins never confessed.

Pierced for our sins, Jesus’ released a river of blood and water. He intends for that flood to penetrate the depths of our sin and break its grip. He aims at the violations that still assault and accuse us. Through confession to our elders, through prayer with one another, the sheer power of His blood cancels out the effect of evil and sets captives free.

‘You give us drink from Your river of delights. For with You is the fountain of Life.’ (Ps 37: 8, 9)

Join us as we pray for:

1. Rocky Mountain Region, New Mexico, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Cindy Del Hierro – Coordinator: For strength and vision for Cindy, for existing groups in the region and for new groups to be established.

2. Ministries of Pastoral Care (ministriesofpastoralcare.com):For the international schools and ministry, October 18-22, near Munich, Germany and for the local leaders including Christiane Mack; February 22-28, Auckland, New Zealand and for the local leaders including Gay Baretta; for MPC’s mission to South Korea and for the local leaders including Pastor Lee Jae Hoon.

3. New York City Diocese: Discernment for timing and team of new Living
Waters group.

“Courage for Pastor Phil Strout (National Director of Vineyard USA), that he would ensure that the Church becomes a clear fountain of transformation for persons with same-sex attraction!”


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Mercy 20: Merciful Heart

‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him. By this He meant the Spirit…’ (JN 7: 37-39)

Each of us has been primed by merciful Jesus; He pours out life-giving Spirit upon the ground of our hearts. Holy water from without inspires a merciful fountain within. We learn to live from that well. Our sin, their sin, and the dulling of an idolatrous culture necessitate fresh washing daily. Spring up, O well! May the merciful waters we entered in baptism make us new once more! Read more »

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Mercy 18: Merciful Gratitude

‘Now on His way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As He was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met Him. They stood at a distance and cried out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When He saw them He said: “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed…’ (LK 17: 11-14) Read more »

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Mercy 6: The Merciful Path

Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert…and a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness.’ (IS 35:6, 8)

A Lonely Walk to the OceanA well-known Christian recently critiqued me on the grounds that ‘Comiskey apparently has no understanding of the variety of sexual pathways’: what she was saying is that I do not validate any sexual ‘route’ other than the goal of  dignifying one’s fellow humanity, with a particular aim to honor the opposite gender.

She believes that the host of sexual inclinations native to fallen humanity require validation of a variety of paths on which to urge our fellows to become the best GLBTQ….person (s)he can be. (The morphing of the acronym speaks for itself.)

I am only grateful for the mercy of God revealed in Jesus Christ, who showed me the one path one which to become a whole man. To be sure, I have been fraught with a variety of impulses that sought to throw me off the path: to go backwards, sideways, to stall or to steer others off course with my lustful inclinations.

Blessed be Jesus, full of grace and truth, who enabled me to integrate the virtues of chastity and complementarity. Jesus’ way is paved with both: the hard-won gift of self-control by which a man motivated by SSA learned to dignify his brothers by not reducing them to objects of lust, and the progressive opening of my eyes and heart to the beauty of woman. Today my orientation is for woman, and in particular one: my beloved wife Annette.

I may at times feel otherwise. Thanks be to God who set me on His course and by grace keeps me on it. That includes but is by no means limited to sexual fidelity. My orientation means being for her in sun and storm, in ecstasy and indifference.

Jesus is merciful: He gently uncovers the path He has placed in every heart. He awakens us to the gift we are in our gender humanity; our freedom hinges upon discovering the path to chastity and complementarity, and proceeding on it.

‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.’ (Jer. 6: 16) 

Prayer Points for November 11th:

  • Desert Stream/Living Waters:  Northeast: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, David and Ellen Cressman, Regional Coordinators. Please pray for new life and new groups in the Northeast region.
  • Restored Hope Network: Outpost Ministries, Minneapolis, MN. Nate Oyloe, Director. Specialty: worship ministry, youth, Living Waters, men, women and families. Desert Stream Ministries, Kansas City, MO. Andrew Comiskey, Director. Specialty: excellent resources used world-wide, especially the Living Waters program for healing of sexual and relational issues through drawing near to Christ. Prophetic intercession ministry.
  • Courage: Please pray for an end to abortion, pro-gay legislation and the culture of death.
  • Ministries of Pastoral Care: Please pray for humility, focus and grace to practice God’s Presence in each moment of our days.
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