Tag Archives: missouri

A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture

A Thousand Seeds

‘What you sow does not come to life unless it dies’ (1 Cor. 15:36).

Spring sings jazzy harmonies and awakens the dawn; ok, birds do, and Missouri has scads of them, as many and diverse as the freshly minted trees in which they perform. From Lent throughout spring, all the bare trunks of Kansas City morph into verdant choir lofts. Awesome. Nothing like a Midwest Easter.

Resurrection makes sense here. After lean, icy days of ‘dying’, this Californian comes alive. I take seriously John 12 when Jesus calls all of us to die again—to surrender afresh, so that the stubborn hard husk of the flesh can split open once more and release a thousand seeds into the good earth around us: you know, ‘Unless a kernel of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds’ (Jn. 12:24). I’ve found that aging doesn’t make you better—probably worse—save for assent to the rhythm of these blessed days—death to life, transforming our same new sins into flowers.

Flowers. I’ve a neat story here about hyssop, a soothing plant with purple flowers associated with healing: its stalk used to wet the mouth of dying Jesus, Jn. 19:29; David cried: ‘Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be whiter than snow,’ Ps. 51: 7.

Back to story. Our jarring move from Orange County to Missouri 15-years-ago was eased by buying a home perched like a tree house upon a golf course which had a wilderness patch freed from all tending, free to tell its own story. Every window invited us to engage the seasons. Marvelous. I discovered the difference between annuals (plants that die every year) and perennials (plants that resurrect.) Of the latter, hyssop was my favorite: hardy, elegant, fragrant.

That house eased a slew of culture clashes; I clung to it as a refuge from the minor losses we incurred in our new locale. But when the house no longer served Annette well, I knew we had to leave. This began a downward ascent—first a comically broken-down rental then the purchase of another house in need of overhaul in a relatively sketchy neighborhood. We moved from one to the other on a bleak autumn day—the sky spitting freezing wads at us—and all I had to show for my days of tilling the soil was two pots of dormant hyssop. They sat forlorn all winter in our uncultivated yard, nearly an acre, with no golf course gardeners in view.

Come spring, I was surprised to witness dozens of little hyssop plants emerging from the pots. I cleared a rim around our large back and transferred them. They flourished and I transplanted more and more in the summer. Still the same after the next winter until this gracious purple gift hemmed in the entire backyard. Today as I hear birds singing and survey new shoots emerging, I am grateful. In this land, not entirely ours, I witness the first day of God’s new creation.

‘See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come’ (S of S 2: 11, 12a).

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

Power to Change 3: The Awakening Church

communityChanging deep patterns of sexual desire, behavior and motivation require the support of an entire community: it takes a village, Jesus-style. Any program or therapy is only as good as the greater community of faith surrounding the one seeking change. Perhaps that is why the enemy of sexual integrity seeks first to divide and weaken the church. If Jesus’ body falters toward those with same-sex attraction, no community of healing exists.

But when local churches become advocates of grace and truth for the gender broken, healing rises like sun breaking through clouds. And I am pleased to say that the church is rising in this hour to mobilize for such healing. She has been provoked by ‘gay marriage’ victories, by the confusing face of once reliable ministries, and by the falling away of many whose sexual shame has now become their boast.

Most importantly, her faithful pastors have heard the cries for help from children and parents alike who have been afflicted by homosexuality, sexual abuse, and sexual addiction. In Jesus’ Name, these shepherds are arising to become an answer to the prayers of the faithful.

Take Pastor James Marocco and his large church on Maui with campuses throughout the Pacific Rim. God provoked him to act on behalf of his sexually broken congregants. We are privileged to help the church there initiate safe and deep healing opportunities for the broken. Marocco is not content to merely react to the moral crisis at hand. He is acting on behalf of the God who delivers those in crisis.

Similarly, Catholic leaders in Kansas and Missouri are mobilizing priests, lay-driven support groups, and community-wide forums to offer loving, truthful care for persons with same-sex attraction.

We at Desert Stream are fielding requests from churches throughout the USA who are seeking out healing opportunities for the sexually broken for the first time. They can no longer minimize the suffering of their people, as if the moral decay ‘out there’ does not impact the people in the pews.

Catholic and Protestant churches alike are raising up ancient foundations (Is. 58: 12) for very modern problems. They are intent on becoming the healing presence of Jesus for those who will perish without Him.

We are in a moral eclipse. Right is wrong, and those who disagree are vilified. Good people deceive many. But the deceiver himself is not greater than our God. Satan’s exploitation of ‘homosexuality’ will only provoke God’s people to become what Jesus intends for them—a truthful and powerful community of transformation. What the enemy intends for evil, the Lord turns around for good—‘the saving of many lives’ (Gen. 50:20)–through His holy church.

‘Arise and shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.’ (Is. 60: 1-3)    


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