Tag Archives: Torrents de Vie

A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture

Relationships that Heal

While we as the Desert Stream staff prayed for our upcoming Living Waters European Leaders gathering in Poland, I received these words: ‘relationships that heal.’ They do indeed.

For over 30 years, blessed Europe has been the site where deep bonds have been forged. And fractured. The pain of the latter can tend to overshadow my Euro-friendships that endure. Could my ‘bent’ perspective be a part of the problem? Perhaps splinters from broken relationships still sting and obscure my vision.

Isn’t this true for most of us? When we get hurt, affliction infects our eyes and we see others (and the persons they represent) as symbols of conflict that we want to avoid. God was kindly challenging my vision. ‘Open your eyes to the love that is there for you…’

Maybe it’s because our wounds are deep, so much so that we fall into them like ruts in a highway. Our ‘wounders’ loom large and appear bigger than the healers whose unfailing love helped bind up our wounds. God wants us to look up and out to the persons who know us honestly and who still love us. He wants our healers to inhabit our hearts more than our perpetrators.

During our days together in Warsaw, I marveled at several fellow healers with whom I have walked for years in Europe. But none captured my gaze more than Werner and Charlotte Loerschter who as directors of Torrents-de-Vie (Living Waters) in France have been a source of healing for me unlike any others. I recalled our 23 years of digging wells of healing throughout Europe: we wearied ourselves in exhilarating service, in working out conflict, and in binding up each other’s wounds. Through it all, we have come to know each other deeply and at times painfully. Love pervaded all. I know they love me authentically because they know how hard it is to love me. And they have succeeded brilliantly. Whatever wholeness I possess I attribute in part to their love.

I looked upon these friends with gratitude during our gathering. I drank in love. Love is stronger than the death of failed relationships; healing is more defining than hurt. We must allow it to be. I encourage you to look upon the ones who have loved you well. Live in their light, a glorious reflection of His own.

Join us for the ‘Becoming Good News for the Gender Challenged’ fast from Oct. 11th-Nov. 19th.

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Three Glorious Things You Don’t Know About France

I write this from a tiny hotel room in Paris, just a stone’s throw from the Bastille—the site and symbol of the French Revolution. A golden figure dedicated to ‘human glory’ presides over the Bastille; I marvel at how Jesus alone is making France glorious.

First glorious fact. Did you know that when France legalized ‘gay marriage’ in June of 2013, her people initiated the biggest series of demonstrations for real marriage that our world has ever seen? 350,000 persons peacefully gathered in Paris under the banner ‘Demonstration for All’ in January of 2013, then again in May of that year and twice in 2014.

Carrying signs which read like the titles of Living Waters’ Chapters—for example, ‘Difference is the key to existence’–many French persons realized from their Catholic heritage that you cannot remove gender complementarity from marriage without imperiling everyone in the culture, including generations-to-come. So they demonstrated for marriage on behalf of all citizens, and included in their protest the corresponding legal drive in France for creating ‘gay’ families through adoption and in-vitro fertilization, as well as new initiatives for introducing ‘gay’ education in French primary schools.

France championed marriage gloriously; America, take note. Perhaps we can take our cues from France as the Supreme Court decides how we shall define marriage next month.

Second glorious fact. Did you know that France has the strongest expression of Living Waters in the world? Over the last twenty years, amazing leaders (bless you Werner and Charlotte) have rallied Christians of all stripes in their local churches to seek Jesus as the One who restores His image in us, humanity as male and female.

This weekend, teams of men and women, Protestant and Catholic, homosexual and heterosexual strugglers gathered from around France to celebrate 20 years of ‘Torrents de Vie’ (French Living Waters). We rejoiced together in the merciful freedom we find as we open our wounds to the Crucified, and the gifts He gives through His members. Living Waters has helped France become glorious.

Third glorious fact, and the least important to all but me: my colleagues in France are among my best. It is rare to love as deeply as I do the persons with whom I collaborate there. Thoughtful, independent, creative, and passionately devoted to Jesus and His Church, these saints reside in my heart. We will cheer one another on to glory.

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November 8, 2014: Beautiful Bride

‘Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person…’(CCC 2337)

When Jesus first looked upon His Samaritan ‘bride’, He saw a disintegrated woman, both sexually and spiritually. She was neither united in her worship of the true and living God, nor was she chaste. Many gods and lovers had fractured her integrity as a person.

Jesus saw her as she was but also what she could be. His gift of living water promised to quench her deepest thirst, to dissolve falsehood, and to unite her with the true source of her beauty, Jesus Christ.

Spiritual and sexual purity make us beautiful. You cannot separate them. The one is a sign of the other. Who one worships in Spirit and truth will be manifested in his or her sexual integrity. I will not soon forget a beautiful woman I witnessed worshipping the Lord with deep, sustained devotion. I soon discovered that she was a key leader of a ministry aimed at restoring sexual purity in the Church. She embodied that purity: fragrant, not seductive, she drew people to Jesus through her integrity of Spirit and flesh.

The opposite is true too. Mark Sanford, the notorious state governor now congressman, claims to be a conservative Christian and champion of traditional marriage. His claims matter little since he left his wife and kids for a young woman. He announced his engagement to her at a press conference where his 8-year-old son was caught on camera; the boy’s look of painful disorientation said it all. One person’s disintegration leads to another’s.

Icons cracked and chaste: we do well to focus on Jesus’ beauty in uniting willing hearts with His purposes for the body. I marvel at our young intern Andrew Franklin and wife Jordyn whom Jesus redeemed from some fairly profound disintegration. His healing work and their chastity was evident in the way that the couple handled their first child’s difficult birth; they did so with a faith, humility, and discipline that revealed the best of man and woman together. Their son Will has parents united for his well-being.

Jesus offered Himself as a beautiful gift for a broken Samaritan woman. When we like her welcome His gift, we receive the foundation for a chaste life that frees us to become good gifts for each other. In turn, our gift-giving becomes a window through which others might catch a glimpse of His beauty.

‘The saint is the one who is so fascinated by the beauty of God and by His perfect truth that he is progressively transformed by it.’ Pope Emeritus Benedict

Please join us as we pray for:

  1. Pacific Southwest Region, Southern California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, Don Sciortino – Coordinator: For strength and vision for Don Sciortino as well as existing groups in region.
  2. Torrents de Vie (LW France): For the Lord to continue to strengthen and protect the leaders Werner & Charlotte and their team and for more male leaders to be raised up.
  3. Courage International – Alberto, European Coordinator, Mili -Paris Coordinator: For good connections and strategies.

“Courage for Pope Francis, that he would ensure that the Church becomes a clear fountain of transformation for persons with same-sex attraction!”

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD BLOGS & PRAYER POINTS FOR NOV. 8. 9. 10, 11

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Unto Ceasar

October 19: What the State Cannot Do

‘Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.’ (Matt. 15:21)

As Christians, we have a commitment to all persons; we must seek to assess and act on behalf of what is best for everyone. ‘The common good’ refers to that discernment, and sums up our responsibility as citizens in the public sphere.

Here we wrestle with thankless political realities. Which candidate and/or issue best reflects who and what are best for everyone? No easy answers here and those we choose may conflict with the Christian next door. No matter; differences in opinion do not release us from responsibility in the public sphere, from acting according to conscience.

I struggle with that responsibility; in truth, I am a sluggish political animal at best. I shy away from our system as I tend to think most politicians pander to popular opinion rather than stand in the truth of what is best. Prophets tend not to get elected. Perhaps all the more reason for thoughtful Christians to be truthful, vocal, and countercultural!

When we know something is from God and we stand for it publicly we render to God what is His. For example, we at DSM value marriage; we believe that God ordained marriage for creating and raising children. Politically, we view marriage as a common good for all citizens. In spite of a deluge of opinion to the contrary, we are certain that redefining marriage will have a corrosive impact on generations-to-come. Our tenuous grasp on gender order and clarity will be further loosened by ‘gay marriage.’ So we believe that curbing personal rights (a ‘gay’ person’s right to marry) is just. Such a limit contributes to the common good.

What then can Caesar (the government) not accomplish? In other words, what does Jesus mean when He implores us to give Caesar his due (in contrast to God’s)? I will answer in the negative: that means we recognize that the state cannot intrinsically change the hearts of its citizens. The state cannot make us good. Truthful laws limit us, mirror our folly, and may level us. Yet only God can raise us up.

We are back to the Cross, aren’t we? Its logic has been sown deeply into the hearts of men and women through the Church–her preaching of Christ Crucified — ‘God died and God now lives.’ In and through Him, the Church invites us to surrender to the same God and become fruitful in the power that catapulted Jesus from the tomb. All we must do is count ourselves dead to our lawlessness, our folly, our self-serving presumptions. No small shift. A costly pivot and path, made possible by Jesus Himself.

The state cannot mandate the Cross. God chose freely to save us on that Cross, and every person must be free to either embrace or refuse its rhythm. We cannot make the state a church. Yes, we can and should champion what we believe is best for all. And Caesar may, or may not, represent our consciences well. Deeper still is our commitment to what only God can do through His Church. Only she can help establish us deeply in the way of the Cross. The goal: that surrender to the Crucified may give rise to righteousness, transformation from the inside out.

‘The Cross is a well-recognized truth—a living, real, and effective truth. It is buried in the soul like a seed that takes root there and grows, making a distinct impression on the soul, determining what it does and omits…From this living form and strength in one’s depths, a perspective of life arises–the image one has of God and of the world.’ St. Edith Stein, The Science of the Cross

Join us as we pray for:

1. Pacific Southwest Region, Southern California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, Don Sciortino, Coordinator: For strength and vision for Don Sciortino as well as existing groups in region.

2. Torrents de Vie (LW France): For the Lord to continue to strengthen and protect the leaders Werner & Charlotte and their team and for more male leaders to be raised up.

3. RHN: About Hope, Ted & Jan Schneider, Springdale, AR: prayer for those struggling with SSA attending parents group. Hope 2 Turn, Eric & Amanda Lundstrom, Rockford, IL: May all the men the Lord desires attend bi- monthly meeting in Elgin; for a will to change and breakthrough in Michael B’s life.

“Courage for Reverend Justin Welby (Archbishop of Canterbury), that he would ensure that the Church becomes a clear fountain of transformation for persons with same-sex attraction!”

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD BLOGS & PRAYER POINTS FOR OCTOBER 19, 20, 21, 22

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