This morning I read the latter part of the gospel of John; the part depicting the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Christ. I’ve read this part of the Scriptures many, many times and I already ‘know’ that Christ was tortured, killed and raised from the dead. But the question on my mind right after reading is, do I really believe that Christ is risen from the dead? And by believe, I don’t mean that I give flippant mental ascent to the historical fact that Jesus is resurrected. I mean real belief—belief that causes a real and authentic response. Most of us were raised at least somewhat in church, and were repeatedly told throughout our childhood that “Jesus is the Son of God who died for the sins of the world and raised from the dead on the third day.” Thousands of times our ears have heard this information and our eyes have read these words—and I think we are desensitized to it. I think I’m desensitized to it.
(Read note from Matt at the end)
Making Room: A Shift Toward Compassion
by Julie Rodgers
As a passionate follower of Jesus Christ, I’ve spent the past decade of my life trying to change my homosexual orientation. When I attended my first Exodus conference ten years ago, I heard story after story of people who had experienced substantial shifts in their sexual attractions. Countless men and women, who had previously been involved in intimate homosexual relationships, were sharing compelling testimonies about their transformation from homosexual to heterosexual.
Thrilled with the prospect that I too would experience a similar transformation in my attractions, I committed myself whole-heartedly to the process. About seven years into that season—the non-stop support groups, ongoing counseling, healthy friendships with heterosexual women, abstaining from homosexual behavior, and praying with all my heart for the Lord to change my desires—I realized I was as passionately attracted to women as I had ever been. I felt more alive, with a more vibrant relationship with Christ and His people, but I was still almost exclusively attracted to other women. When I watched a romantic comedy, I dreamed of snuggling with a girl rather than a man holding me tight.
I’ve spent the day today creating a PDF file (e-book style) composed of multiple articles that I’ve written over the past year– went through and edited a lot, rearranged a lot, and ended up with a 25 page resource for those seeking biblical answers and guidance pertaining to homosexuality. I know most of this material is already on my blog, but I wanted to gather what I felt was strong material and put it one place to make it easier for people to access. I’ll find a way tomorrow to put this permanently on my website, but for now, you can download it below.
Click here for the PDF: A Biblical Perspective On Homosexuality
Just a P.S. — This past sunday I was able to speak at my church and share my testimony — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UYD30OSL2w&feature=plcp – I really enjoyed doing it and was so humbled by the response of the people in my church. About 6 months ago I signed on with a speaking agency, but have not done any engagements since then. The Lord has been greatly humbling me over the past 6 months (and I say greatly humbling because I greatly struggle with pride)… and I’m grateful that He hasn’t put me in front of a group of people until now. I spoke with my literary agent this morning for awhile about maybe trying to do more speaking in the near future—sharing my testimony, etc., with other churches at their request. Please pray that God would show me His will in this. He may not want me to ever speak again, and if that’s His will—then I’m good with that. But at the same time I don’t want to sit back and not try to do things because I’m scared it’s not His will.
As always, I know many of you are praying for me. The past year has been a hard one, but I’ve endured—-the Lord has given me much strength through your prayers. I sincerely thank you.
24 days until I make my way down to New Orleans. Although there’s some nervousness, I can honestly say that I have never been more sure about anything than I am about this move to N.O. God has not only called me inwardly and given me a peace about it, but He has also confirmed this move to be His will for me in so many other ways–in outward, objective ways. It’s like my job, place to live, and financial ability to transition cities has (and still is) fallen right into place. I haven’t had to “struggle” to make any of it happen. Christ is literally establishing my steps before me in such a way that I have no choice but to acknowledge it’s Him.
Romans chapter 3 states that there is not a single person on the earth or that has ever been on the earth (besides Christ) that is good. None. Not even one. But I think that many of us take this to mean that everyone is as bad as they could be. And that simply is not true. We see people do good things all of the time—we see a lot of non-Christian people do good things all the time. Multitudes of which orchestrate and participate in charities, overseas work, caring for the sick and orphans, feeding the hungry, providing shelter for the homeless, and the list goes on and on. But the question is, do the good deeds make them good people?