THANKS so much for your prayers! God has answered them. I was battling a bit of digestive challenges (minor) last night into this morning but I had the strength to do a full day of teaching with my full voice – thanks to God. I awoke this morning at 4:00 am to the sound of the Muslim FRI Prayer Chants ringing through a loud speaker from the Mosque in the town center. They did not stop until about 7:00 am.
Well, any uncertainty about whether this ultra-conservative orthodox group of churches would accept the LTH vision for ministry has been shattered. Most of the pastors present sought me out to tell me personally that this IS the Gospel; that this is the exact message that the church needs to hear; that this is the message that tangibly, practically and Biblically equips churches and families to do something positive in reaching out to all kinds of prodigal loved ones. It was an extremely fruitful day! I thank God and I thank you for your support and prayers.
The teaching today started with my testimony and calling to the ministry. I then shared the four stages of developing same-sex attraction and what was enlightening to these pastors was the significant development that occurs before a child is sexually conscious: that many roots of same-sex attraction go back early in life and possibly at or before birth in some respects. They gained a deep appreciation for how “real” and “deep” the root issues are.
As always, I never ask pastors to analyze the homosexual’s heart. I always ask them: is the homosexual’s heart really more broken than our own hearts? This leads to a most honest assessment of the ways that “I” am broken. And the more that I recognize and admit the deep areas of brokenness in my own life, this becomes the path to removing the ‘planks’ that blind. If I can see myself more clearly – I am a sinful man! – then I can see others more clearly through the lens of Christ.
Why? Because I know that Christ covers MY sin. And yet if I look honestly at just how sinful I am, then it magnifies God’s grace beyond the limits of my self-righteous ways of viewing other people. I see through the eyes of God and all of a sudden others look vastly different. All of a sudden, I see them the way God sees them. I see more clearly. Thus, I am equipped not only to be more humble and honest before God – I am also equipped to better ‘help’ my brother or sister who is no more a sinner than I am. Praise the Lord!
This is freedom. This is joy. This is peace. This is hope. This is the Gospel of Christ. I can actually be a servant when I realize just how worthy others are of God’s grace! Notice I did not say they are worthy! Neither are we! But they are worthy BECAUSE of God’s grace that does not classify and does not show favoritism. This message today was received with people praising the Lord.
Well, to close, I guess you could say the Holy Spirit kind of broke loose. Pastors started confessing their own struggles and their own sins and other secrets that have been hidden for a long time. That caused others to get the courage to also share their areas of duplicity. The place went crazy in ways that the charismatic church in America would appreciate. And the funny thing is this: these are not charismatics! Whew, I have NO clue what it would have been like if they were charismatic! (smile)
The point being – God’s presence moved in people’s hearts and brought a deep sense of connecting to the LTH vision that invited pastors to first take the step of personal repentance before attempting to see those that struggle in ways they do not. In short, “they got it.” We all ‘got it.’ I cannot ever share this message without ‘getting it’ more clearly and more deeply. It is a GREAT joy and freedom to see others through the eyes of Christ and to ‘gouge out’ my old ways of seeing others. So God blessed me richly today as well…
You’ll have to be patient with my ‘raw’ writings. My internet connection is such that I cannot really edit my thoughts. I have to write them quickly and then click SEND before the electricity goes off again! Yesterday, I wrote that I would share this vision ‘gently yet firmly.” Firmly can imply some attitude or agenda as if I have something on someone else. I did not intend that meaning! But this is just a way of saying: please read my raw and rapid thoughts with grace!
Love in Christ,
Dear My American Brothers and Sisters in Christ, the visit of brother Bill to Kenya is a blessing to us and fellow pastors. Todays conference was received with open mind and the pastors say “yes this is the ministry of the hour”. Sincerely, Pastor Ezra.