In New York City, on the last day of ‘Gay Pride’ month, God had the last word. In the same city where a noisy and highly funded LGBT+ parade glorified identity confusion a week earlier, Living Waters flowed without notice, quietly yet mightily to heal wounds at the core of the relational mess we are in.
Together a thirsty group of Catholics and evangelicals gathered under the Cross to receive His self-giving and to seek to offer ourselves more wholly to others. We welcomed His healing rain in a Catholic parish on 100-degree parched ground. We found Jesus’ heart right in the heart of New York City.
You, through your ongoing generosity and collaboration in heart and prayer, helped make it possible for us —in answer to years of prayer —to minister to the hearts of many in Manhattan.
Jim and Joann bravely shared about how Living Waters are gently yet powerfully flowing into on their 30+ year-marriage that had been riddled by each of their porn addictions. The Living Waters are running deep to touch the roots of their wounds of which porn is just a symptom. Jim shared about his never having felt good enough which led him to the military and a masculinity that dominated everyone around him, including his wife. Already ill at ease with her feminine vulnerability, Joann lived under his domination and endured through self-protection.
Through Living Waters, their wounds are being revealed and cleansed. They are experiencing tender love for each other like never before. Thank you for your generosity that releases Living Waters.
My amazing daughter Katie, a young single woman desiring marriage but joyful and content in trusting God’s unfolding plan for her, shared with the candor of one whose heart is free and alive. Her story illustrates the destructive power that a tiny bad seed can have in producing weeds that can choke a flower. Though growing up in a pretty good family (if I do say so myself), she too experienced wounding by words spoken over her by peers–lies that she internalized. These lies festered and stunted the flowering of her femininity. But through Living Waters she came to understand and take hold of the unique beauty and value she possesses. The vitality that she radiates to all is because generous friends like you helped release Living Waters.
These stories remind us that God’s last word is always grace, mercy and newness of life. This was the last word He spoke into New York City on the last day of “Gay Pride” month. Without you, this would not be possible. Because of you, important ground was taken back in New York City and reclaimed for God and His Kingdom of Life and Love.
Will you help us to continue to free and renew hearts and reclaim lives for God? Our country just celebrated the freedom won for us by those who sacrificed their lives. Amid record-breaking temperatures and oppression over much of the country, many cry out for healing rain–the Living Waters of true freedom. Will you help to refresh them? Will you help us to bring this Living Water to them that they might discover the true life God has for them?
The summer is a difficult time for Desert Stream financially. But there is so much thirst which continues unabated. We are few yet we have you. How glorious is that: together we can bring freedom and life to many hearts in our country. Please remember us in your prayers and giving. Bless and love you all.
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!