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Logo of Love in the Making 2019

Becoming a Man

Michael Carducci

Presenter

Michael Carducci

Co-Director, Coming Out Ministries

Recorded

  • April 12, 2019
    7:00 PM
Logo of Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 (US)

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Lord you've been amazing and you continue to be amazing you continue to to blow our minds Lord in our understanding of who you are and how you are so willing to help us out in every situation and to reveal yourself and in ways that we have never thought of before it's been 18 years Lord that I've been walking this walk with you and there's been many times when I felt like turning back to many times and I said you know what this is just too hard I'm going back into that life and yet Lord I couldn't help the fact that if I went Those were all my decisions I could choose to do that you will always respect my right to choose but Lord where would I go and how would I go Lord without you in my life. And the morning that you know that your. Lord the same kind of intimacy that you desire from each one of us that would keep us from going back into that life so many people Lord have never known the intimacy that you desire to give to each one of us and so Lord I pray that tonight that maybe something in my journey will touch somebody's heart and they will realize they we're not just talking about behavior modification the what we're talking about is relational restoration and how that only comes through you and I pray Lord that you will guide us and that everyone here Lord will have an opportunity to see you just a little bit more. In Jesus' name I pray Amen. And so what I mean about sleep deprivation is I've had about one hour of sleep and it's interesting let me let me go back just a little bit and probably about 67 years ago I was in Michigan camp meeting and I was having my devotion time with the Lord and you're going to hear all of this stuff that was going on in my life and you know when I got baptized when I got when I came up out of that water I wasn't straight ready to date mate and pro-create as many of you would might imagine but that's kind of like Catholic understanding the right that water wasn't holy water it was just regular water and you probably realize too that about 10 minutes after you were baptized God didn't take away your history your memory either but what he did is he was beginning this journey with me and it wasn't easy it was so tough to go against the things that I had allowed become a master of my life the things that I become strong holds the addictions and the drives that I had cultivated and set up as patterns in my life but Jesus was far more faithful to me than I was to him so about 6 years ago I'm in the presence of the Lord having my devotion and I like to think about the cross as long as I can I don't do it for an hour Ellen White says we should do it for a thoughtful hour every day but in my devotional time after I have my devotion I'll I'll just clear my mind and I'll start thinking about what Jesus accomplished for me on the cross so in particular one day I was having my devotion and and Normally my communication and I don't even know if you'll follow this but try to if you can is usually between Jesus and me I didn't get God He was kind of elusive to me I saw him as this arbitrary character that was looking to thump me in the head every time I messed up but I understood who Jesus was as a personal savior. And I get a witness so in my devotions I was usually Jesus that I would dialogue with and sometimes you know I would be standing there hanging on to the cross and the precious blood of Jesus would be dripping down on me because sometimes that's the only safety that I could find with the battle going on inside my mind and so then many times she's will come up from behind the cross he's not on the cross he rose from the dead he he accomplished everything that I needed to give me the victory now and so I would embrace my Savior and I would have this hug from my savior so in particular on this day it was me and God I was in the presence of God the Father and it wasn't this. All the presence presence of God Instead what it was was a dedicated father to his son and as I was in the presence of God It was like there's this big huge wooden door behind me big huge wooden door and it's got these big metal classified and behind that door was everything that I'd come from my misunderstanding of God My misunderstanding of what love was my misunderstanding of intimacy my IT misunderstanding of even Christianity and God said to me he said Mike if you want to shut the door to all of that you can do that any time 6 years ago stay with me right and so as I'm in the presence of God I said well yeah why not and as I'm in the presence of God I I realize everything that the Lord had saved me from 20 years of living in the gay culture living within 2 miles of 5 gay bars acting out sexually on an average of 3 times a week and so as I'm in the presence of God he said might if you want to shut that door you can do that any time but brothers and sisters it had to be my choice it had to be my decision he wasn't going to drag me to it he was going to force me to shut the door I could shut that door whenever I want and as I've seen the goodness of what God had given to me. The fact came in my mat my mind of course I want to shut it and I turned and I and I shoved this big door and I shut that door and boom it shut and it wasn't like a wimpy flimsy door that somebody could just push open it was definite and it was determined and all of that was gone and wow. I was in because all of that stuff was gone now and I'm just in the presence of God and as I'm in the presence of God It was like wow God this is really good. Is there anything else I got said not just enjoy and as I was there wasn't even a matter of I was worshipping him I was in the presence of worship but I was just like he was giving to me in that moment and as I was being filled in that moment it was like wow Lord thank you that I had the choice to shut that door at any time now doesn't mean that we don't open that door back up but just remember this if you would that at any time you have the choice to shut that door any time you want to it's not sweet and that as I was in the presence of God I I realized that this was the best thing how is it that being in the presence of God is better than an illicit sexual situation and brothers and sisters I speak a little bit on the raw side because I really was desperate for some of these answers when I was your age I wish somebody would have been real with me because I really wanted to know what was going on inside of my head and how is it that I could be an authentic Christian and still battle with these things that were inside my mind so I took I took an example from you and so I just kept my mouth shut and I didn't act like I had any problems but that didn't help me and at 20 years old I I walked out and walked into the gay culture and they had their arms open wide. And so here I am again in the presence of God and I said Lord what you want me to do and so I went to the camp meeting and I was listening to a brother of mine give a sermon about the rich young ruler Remember what Jesus told him he said he said Sell everything that you having given to the poor and then come and follow me and I'm looking at God I said Lord are you telling me they do that is that what you're saying. And I said you know I'm not very smart Lord I'm just a hair dresser and so you going to have to make it very plain to me and I said to throw a Gideon's What is the fleece right and I said if you want me to sell everything that I have then you're going to have to affirm that one more time today one more time today and I said you know it's up to you whatever you want and I'm just going to go about my day but I need at least one more example and so that afternoon I was in the bookstore and we were kind of promoting some of the stuff that coming out ministries has and as I was sitting there there was this lovely lady and she had a table beside me and she was promoting her devotional and at the end of the day we were exhausted you know what it's like to talk for 6 hours some of you do I'm kidding I'm kidding so anyway as I was talking and I'm very used to talking for 6 hours so at the end of the day after talking for 6 hours I was exhausted I couldn't decide did I want to go to dinner or did I want to go to bed and so as I'm having this dilemma in my inside my mind and I'm heading out of the gymnasium to go to the cafeteria or to go to my room all of a sudden the Lord just said you know you work next to that lady all day and you never even introduced yourself that's not very polite and I thought OK I go back and introduce myself so I went back and I said Hi My name is Mike I'm really sorry I never introduced myself I go Hey you know you've got a book that you're promoting what your book about Honestly I didn't care about a book I cared nothing about a book I was just being polite and she was exhausted too and I think tired of talking Friskies out and she goes I think she was blowing me off I think she said oh you know it's a it's a it's a Moses story I go oh a most a story I go what do you mean by that and she goes oh oh you know Moses story again the 2nd clue like get out of here I'm done with you right and so I don't know why but I persisted and I said No really I don't know what you mean by that can you explain that to me what do you mean by a most of story and she said to me she said Well my husband and I were living in California and we decided to sell everything that we have and give it to the poor and come and work for God I said. And she looked at me and she said We sold everything that we have and we decided to work for got to go could you say that $1.00 and she said it of course one more time and then I realized wow god. Spoken Well I probably put my house up for sale it was for sale for a year I have my salon business in my basement I have my clients who were coming to me and that time I thought that God was going to move me you know straight forward into ministry and I was going to walk away from everything and my but my clients reminded me they said you know what you're praying but we're praying to and we're praying that God is not going to sell your house and that you going to stay here and do our hair Well day one I guess because my house in self but then all the sudden as the ministry has been progressing and moving God has taken us into some incredible places around the world as a matter fact Sunday I have the opportunity to go to Africa from here but not only has he open up opportunities for us but also he's opened up other people who have been willing to tell their story and some incredible relationships that have developed in the last couple of years so let me try to make this long story even longer. As I was convicted again I was away from my house from. October until January I wasn't even home I don't know who is in the yard I don't know if the pipes were breaking away and so again I just realized that I probably needed to try to some my house again 2 weeks boom for sale it was gone and so last night well now this morning at 3 30 in the morning I finally got the last of my stuff packed and ready for this trip to Washington D.C. And then also to Africa and also as I was leaving my house and people have been saying they go OK great now that you're moving where you're going and I go I really don't know even my colleague the treasurer of our ministry he said So Mike you know where we going to send the letters and stuff I go I don't know I don't even have a box I'm free and you know something because you can amass these things and you know I decorated my house just the way a light did I've got things that I've had since I was in my twenty's you know pictures of people things that I've collected you know what I'm talking about and to look at those things and to realize that even though my heart was connected to some of these things ultimately the Lord convicted me that I shouldn't sell it that I should just give it away and now what was so cool is I came up with this thing is that you know it's better than die giving away your stuff is better than dying because when you die you don't know who's got your stuff but what's really cool is when you give away your stuff and you go to their house and go hey that we used to be mine him I'd look what I did with your table Hey Mike Look what I did this thing so anyway it's a really good thing but that's what mad today and and I don't feel like a las Instead what I feel is a freedom and you know what that comes only from God And that's the intimacy that he's been teaching me that I can trust him and I guess a couple of years ago I just wasn't ready for that but he knew when the time would be ready and he would get me there and some amazing miracles have happened in the process as well so I just want to thank you for letting me explain that coming out of ministry started 8 and a half years ago almost 9 years ago with 5 individuals that came together and we all had ministries of our own because we thought that we were the only person that would come out of homosexuality and come back in to Christianity. Wow what a novel idea right but then off his head as we met each other we thought wow one testimony is good but the Bible says a by the testimony of 2 or 3 shall the thing be established and so we got together and we form coming out ministries but what we realize is as we went out into the world and started to tell our stories together so we started to realize that some of the secrecy or the silence that was in the church was a fact that people just didn't even know if people could be redeemed from something like that and that we hear voices in their voices in our church even that are saying that they can change and that's hate speech to say that they can all right and so here we are coming up ministries coming to your town and we realize now that this ministry has gone much further because people have come up to us and they said you know I'm not gay but what you are talking about certainly hit here for me and we realize now that coming out Ministries is more like Revelation Chapter 8 where it says come out of her my people isn't that us is not all of us we should all wear certain says hey I'm coming out I'd like to. Put it on your baby you know put it on your grandmother we should all wear the same shirt and they guess why wouldn't have pulled the steam out of the gay community is like hey I'm coming out to. Be something look for that T. shirt I'm going to work on that OK. So we've had the opportunity some of the people have left and then other people have have taken in the ranks and picked up where those people have left off there's a young man you can see him a 123 The guy with the really dark hair the really big bushy dark hair the one next to me and his name is Harrison a minute he's from Costa Rica and a credible young man he was an elder in his church struggling with pornography addiction and masturbation and even sexual sin he was dating a girl and they were being sexual Here he is an elder in the church and when coming out ministries came and spoke in his area and he was the event host that took us around and he was convicted and now he actually is our very 1st associate speaker to work with coming out ministries and he's even learned to speak English he's very good very smart and very bright really very fortunate to have him have the opportunity to years ago in Cuba I was on a mission trip and I I thought that I thought that we had arrived there we had it all worked out in here on this mission trip I found out what real hard work is really all about and as we would have our meetings in the morning we would have these incredible worship that would go almost 2 hours but let me tell you that was like fortification that's exactly what we needed to be able to do God's work throughout the day and I met this really incredible young lady and her name is key and Keys as we were there in the in the worship time she started to really be convicted by some of the things that we were sharing during the worship time and right before she left to go back home she realized and admitted that she was also struggling with some sexual issues and she came forward and that began her process of healing as well and he is here and she's going to be talking tomorrow is going to give to presentations one her testimony and then also she's going to talk about the victory presentation how to find victory over pornography or to see what you just stand for us is that amazing God good. Hallelujah for sure thank you. And so then we had a documentary that we made a couple years ago and basically. And here you were up there can you skip can you skip skip the slide that's next because it's a video skip this one if you yes to that and then what I'd like to do is play for you the trailer to our film and this is the documentary that we filmed and it's about 5 individuals caught up in same sex attraction and how how it happened how we got kind of off on the wrong path and then also about how God interrupted our journey and if you would just play that clip for us. We're. With Look in the mirror and I would punch myself in the bigs and I would scream at God and that would yell at him and I would say why God would get somebody. Why did you create a boy when I was most of you. Were so I prayed and I said I want to live Lord take me now I am I still want to go through what's coming I felt dirty I felt now I had to take I thought OK I want to sleep this is something I can't tell anyone about I'm crying in my bed at night because these things are happening and Jesus I can't hear him and more. I said how dare you say that I'm an abomination when you made me this way that's not fair and choose this thing I didn't want this thing why would I join a religion that tells me that I'm just going to die for being who I am is this a different God than I was acquainted with when I was little. I finally decided to just accept who I was and give up I believe that I was gay and that I didn't match up with God's Word I was like Oh well I don't know what to do about I just kind of pushed everybody aside including my mom I just felt like nobody else has been there why would she I was desperate to be secure in myself I did whatever I could I was I was Will it tell me lies tell me what it's like to me. I found myself on my knees at the end of my bed and I said to God I don't know how you could forgive me you still want me because everybody else rejected me everybody else turned their back on me you want to go to No It's as though the devil was not going to have you. If he could not even time to me he would turn to violence it's time for us to talk about this it's time for us time for help if he is who I've been reading. It all makes sense. Only. To show down when I'm really just looking at myself and making myself more small like every bit of my entire life that want to do instead is not rejection acceptance. My blood. So the. Victory. So there's a 5th member US 5th person in the movie and her name is Anna and it is very precious to us at the 1st time that we spoke at the G Y C I think about 6 years ago 6 years ago. As my friend and his mother was sitting there and I had just told her mother that she was gay and she said you know what I'm not going to go to G Y C I'm not going to go to that means I'm just going to hang out with dad and so Andrea went along to the opening meetings and she saw coming up ministries being introduced and she saw on the bulletin she saw the gay puzzle and she's like what and the Lord told her that I'm going to tell your story a little bit is that OK all right and the Lord said the words I go by are ticket and she goes that's 180 bucks and the Lord said she can't go if you don't buy her a ticket she said OK So she went she bought a ticket and she took it back and she knew that Anna was going to go but she threw it on the bed and she said I didn't know if you want to go at all but here's the bulletin and here's a ticket in case you change your mind I told you Mom I'm not going well here you go so anyway she was leaving through the bulletin sure enough she saw the puzzle and became furious you know and she threw it down and just said what what is the Adventist story what is the admin is church now throwing around what kind of hate are they throwing around now I'm going to these meetings I'm going to go to each and every one of these meetings and I'm going to find out what kind of trash they're talking. And I'm sure Andrew was just sitting there with a big fat smile on her face I'm not sure but I wasn't there but what did happen is an attempt to those meetings and there was her mother and I had her arms folded across her face was be red the look on her face was anything but joyful and her Mother Duda fully sitting right beside her prey and you could just tell that there was just an oppression going on and she stayed for all those meetings and at the end of the meeting I went up to Anna and her mom and I said Stella what did you think of our meetings not knowing what I was going to get but she said I really expected to see hear hate and rejection and judgment and she said I am so confounded she said instead I heard love acceptance and compassion. I think got amazing and so and I agreed to be filmed in our film and I'd like to introduce you to and his mother this is Andrea Decker and I think she's a very very very very. Thank you and she's going to talk tomorrow about what it's like to have a gay daughter I think that from my perspective that's the that's the program that I would want to hear the most is what is that like him because raise your hand if you have someone in your family this K. somebody that you love this gag and how was it that you can love them and draw them into a relationship with God and still not sound judging or preachy or reject them and push them further away and I am what suspense so amazing is that Andrea and I we have this friendship it's developed over the last 6 years and there's been many tears on both sides of that equation praying for Ana But just on the premiere alone of the film we showed it to about $800.00 people across the street from Ender's university at the village church and the union president was there and he said with 800 people here I think that we should take time and pray for Ana and so everybody divided up into twos and they started to pray for and I can you imagine what that meant to a mother that was sitting there knowing that 800 people were praying for her daughter and so Andrea's going to talk tomorrow about the different stages that she went through in the process of understanding where her daughter is and I think that you'll find that very powerful and you'll probably have a lot of questions as well so I hope that you'll enjoy the programs that that Omar has set up and thank you again for this opportunity so let's just move on Contrary to popular belief that God does not hate anyone who's gay. All right that was really bad but that was kind of typical Do you believe that. Do you. Of course he doesn't hate anyone who's gay you know what I love about the Bible is when I started to read those verses for myself instead of hearing the judgment that I was getting from the church I started to realize that God wasn't judging the homo sexual he was judging the behavior he said when a man lies with another man as a man lies with a woman it is an abomination not him and so God was saying that you are not in a bomb a nation because I understand that there are reasons why you are attracted to the same sex but don't act on it because that behavior is the abomination because it pulls you away from the identity that I gave you and then as I struggled with transgenderism Also I started to read that verse and he described the behavior as abomination when a woman wears the clothing of another man that it is an abomination and so God understands that there are reasons why I felt that I was a girl trapped in a boy's body but he said don't practice it because every time you practice it in my little mind when I was an 8 year old boy and my aunt would take me into the bathroom and tease my hair to look like a girl what it did is it gave me this great satisfaction that maybe one day I could be believable as a girl and what it did is a push me further away from the masculinity that God created me to be and so this pulling away from this identity that's the abomination to God Why because this is a rejection of the blessing that he decided to give to be desired to give to each one of us disaster to make sense and so we don't want to reject somebody that struggles with these things we want to let them know that they have value in that God loves them and we need to be patient with them and loving with them because there's a misunderstanding about the that their understanding of who God is or that even their understanding of themselves and there's a process to that and we need to be patient with them and to walk this out with them so contrary to popular Christian belief God does not hate anyone who's gay What can I say now are men all right. I remember was one Friday night after I came out I couldn't go to church I couldn't talk to them about what I was struggling with I went to a gay bar in a Friday night and I ordered my drink that I was sitting in the bar and there was a guy beside me and he ordered his drink and then this other guy comes up to the bartender he says hey you know I'd like to have this or whatever and the guy and the bartender gives him his drink and he says Hey happy Sabbath and I looked and I said what and then the guy to my right he looked at him and he said oh yeah happy Sabbath and I'm sitting there next to these 2 separate to that I looked and I go yeah happy Sabbath here we realized that we were 4 individuals that were raised a 7th Day Adventist so we had all you to left the church or we were pushed and shoved out of the church and we started to share our stories how sad that the only place that we found that we could celebrate the Sabbath was in a gay bar on a Friday night you start to understand so when I was 40 years old and came back into church culture you can imagine I was a mess 20 years of living as a sexual addict 20 years of living as a homosexual I said to God I want to know how I want to know why from my earliest thoughts there was a girl trapped in a boy's body it was a sexualized until puberty but I want I want to know why these thoughts happened I even though I tried to imagine what it would be like to be with a woman my mind just kept going back to 2 men and so Lord you have to answer this question for me. And so God was generous even though there weren't any resources in our denomination as I was coming to God with my issues and my questions he was always willing to address that and it took some time and in the process I started to understand more of why I had these thoughts and I want to share that with you what happens for every little boy or girl as they don't know that they're male or female when they're born and then what happens is between the ages of one and 3 the child starts to realize oh I'm either like Mom or I'm like that and for little boys the transition is a little bit different because girls are already connected to their mothers mothers are warm and cuddly and affectionate and patient you know but dads are kind of you know dangerous and exciting and curious right and so for the little boy when his this is a man it's been wed it starts to take shape in the masculine what happens is the little boy has to transition from the mother to the father. And in the transition the dad takes a kid and throws him in the air you know the dad's laughing at the kid's terrified and mom screaming but it catches him in and it catches him and the little boy starts to realize all dads are dangerous and this is kind of fun and the little boys like to wear baseball caps like their dad and they want to be policemen and firemen like their dad all of this is healthy gender stamping what that means is the cement starts to take on masculinity and little boys get affirmed by other little boys in school that's why they like to skip rocks that's why they like to play cops and robbers that's why the little boys don't like girls because girls are gross that's why little girls don't like boys because boys have cooties we all know this but all of that is healthy gender stamping so that as the cement hardens in their gender identity they start to understand who they are and then it is this affirmation grows then eventually at puberty the sex that is the mystery becomes the attraction let me say that again because a lot of people miss that the immutable law is at puberty the sex it is the mystery becomes the attraction so if I've been affirmed by masculinity all my early days by my father by the kids in school right then all of a sudden that natural development isn't the sex it is a mystery at puberty becomes the attraction so for me my dad was in the Navy he began sometimes 6 to 8 months at a time and for a little boy that's only between the ages of one and 3 that could be happy life but then when my dad was home he was a hard headed talian he was raging he was angry and he was abusive and so is this little boy was transitioning from his mother to his father he either wasn't there or he was aggressive and abusive and in my subconscious I said no thank you if that's my gender I'd rather be like my mom not given any other options I started to pattern after my mom all the sudden when I became conscious about the ages of 4 and 5 I remember thinking to myself said Listen something's wrong I don't want the brown or black shoes I want the pretty orange and green shoots of my sister's dead I want the cute little bonnets of their way to church I want those pretty frilly dresses I didn't know what it was but I definitely knew that it went against everything that everyone was talk. You know me about my dad wouldn't allow me to have dolls even a football doll you know he would throw it away in front of my mom and say I don't want my son to have a doll and so my mom would fish it out of the garbage she clean it up and she give it back to me but I knew that every time that I was. Celebrating or acting by playing dolls or playing dress up as a girl that I got punished for it so what that meant is that I had to put on a good front in front of people but that I had to go undercover if I was going to play with dolls or cross dress and so you can imagine with depression that this little kid was going through right and so as I was finding this this this conflict going on inside my mind this was what I call the 1st not this it was putting in the rope of my life. Before I was even conscious I was transgendered thinking that I was a girl that I should be you girl. So then what happened is I was completely surrounded by girls if you look at this picture I'm the only boy in that picture I'm smack dab in the middle I've got 3 older girls ahead of me and 3 younger girls behind me and that was another row I'm not that same put in the robe of my life being surrounded by femininity there were no other boys and so I patterned after that and like I said my aunt would take me in the bathroom and she teased my hair and they dressed me up I loved it I loved playing jump rope and hopscotch and I was pretty athletic doing those kind of things but when it came to the boys in school when I started going to school they started to pick up on my feminine mannerisms and they started calling me Sissy queer faggot little girl you know the Bible says or words have the power of life and death and you know those kids for now it's a sentence over me a curse over me that I didn't want I didn't ask for it but I couldn't help the fact that it had an effect on me and what that did is the one thing that I needed was masculine affirmation I needed to know that I belonged and that it was acceptable just as I was but instead I got more rejection and so doesn't that make sense than that if I was rejected by my dad and then rejected by the kids in school doesn't that make it seem like there's this deficit this desperation for male love I think it's an innate thing that we all desire to have and so if I can't get love in the right way the way it was intended to be doesn't make sense that I would be vulnerable to love to find love in any way that I could find acceptance and so in my mind I thought that I had to have a sex change I thought that then maybe God would accept me because I knew he didn't accept me the way I was and so I thought that if I had a sex change it then my attractions would be OK and my ideas about who I am would be all right do you see how this can get messed up and I think that it's very genuine when you see somebody who's transgender it might be offensive for you but I think if you can look past the the superficial long enough and recognize that there's some trauma that's gone on in this person's life whether it's female or male that needs to be addressed or not that was in the robe of their life somewhere along the way so as I started growing. The hereditary factor there was something else that was going on and the Bible talks about in Exodus 20 verse 5 as the sins of the generation to the 3rd and 4th generation and that had been going on in my family as well but even science confirms that the Lord Wishaw me through science and the word that there were reasons why these things were happening in my life and let me explain what happens is in the D.N.A. when the sperm of the 8 come together they bring with it the history of $3.00 to $4.00 generations before it and so what happens is the things that you're indulging in now those are the things that you're leaving as a legacy for your future generations and so starting off with me on the 4th generation that's my mom and dad when they got married and so they were virgins when they got married but they brought in their D.N.A. 3 to 4 generations of what happened before them let me start with my Mom My mother was molested by her father when she was just a young girl my grandmother was raised by her stepfather and my great grandmother was a prostitute during the Depression so just on my mother's side alone you can see the history of sexual sin and while I wasn't born gay I was born with the propensity of sexual sin and L. White makes it very clear that I'm not held accountable for the history of their sins accept as I indulge in them does that make sense and so just because I was born with those tendencies I'm not held accountable for them unless I'm practicing on my father's side my dad was addicted to pornography he was also a sexual addict to the things that I struggle with his well my grandmother in the red sweater was raised by a single mother because her father shot and killed a man that he thought was sleeping with her his well with my grandmother's mom so not only do we have sexual issues on both sides of the family we have alcoholism and drug addiction and we have anger management problems and so these are some of the things that get passed on through the D.N.A. And if you take a look at your scary closet you can probably find some of them yourself. And they're starting to answer some of the questions for me. My father had an affair with a backslidden 7th Day Adventists waitress that worked in our restaurant and yes that's how the Adventist message came into my life through my dad's affair and so my father left our family our good Catholic family and he left to my mother found his pornography magazines but she could tell that hey Mike's got some issues maybe these would help him so my mother gave me my father's pornography magazines at 10 years old imagine that they've done studies on the brains of young children and did you know that when young children have been exposed to pornography it hooks them it creates this drive the little minds aren't even developed enough to be able to understand the onslaught of what's being happened to them through their eyes but to a brain that is fully developed and for a man that's about 20 years old for a girl about $26.00 but to a fully developed mind their 1st exposure to pornography is repulsive but to a child it hooks them the pornography industry knows this and what they're doing is they're targeting your children there was a young man that came to me was a seminary student and he came up to me he says I've been addicted to pornography since I was 7 his father was a pastor his mother was a nurse they kept the computer in the family room so that they get access with their children we're looking at but this little boy he went to school to an admin a school and in 2nd grade 7 years old his best friend came with a piece of pornography that he printed from the family computer and that her death and so what this little boy would do is he would set this alarm for 3 o'clock in the morning every night so that he could get on the family computer and look at pornography this followed him all the way through his early years into his adulthood even as a student at Andrews and also a Southern University he said to me he confided to me he said Mike I never had to pay for sex because there were always girls willing to have sex with me in our Adventists education is that shocking to you. But this is what's going on in the world today. And so for me that's what began my addiction to pornography at 10 years old and well fortunately Back then it wasn't as available as it is today how sad that we have children that are being slammed on a rapid rate did you know that only 3 percent of boys and 17 percent of girls have never seen pornography that should be shocking to you our president Ted Wilson did a study and he found that only 49 percent 49 percent of our young students in our administration think that gay marriage is acceptable what kind of education are we giving our children in these schools and here's what I believe is really what's going on and and opened my eyes to that when I was talking to Keyes you know about her her own issues and here she was she was helping out with the with you pro youth programs and she was having sex with some of the members in our youth program and she was addicted to pornography masturbation and I looked at her and I said you know what the Bible says about sex don't you and she said Well not really because the church never says anything and we hear from You Tube and all of these other television programs and and the Internet and they're telling us that it's our freedoms so we really don't know what the Bible says about that and so that alerted me to the fact that if we're not talking about it the world is and our silence in my opinion is promoting and pushing this is genda of the world we have a responsibility. And this made 12 years old take a look at that little guy you see the smile on his face can see that. Pleasant pleasant little kid right and so this was me at 12 years old this is my 3 for one special that gave me I was talking about these are these knots in the rope that Satan would give me and so on this particular day I got 3 and so this little boy had just spent 2 weeks with his father with his new bride imagine the confusion going through a little boy's head when you leave your mother and you're there with your sisters and your dad and his new wife 12 years old and obvious and you see your dad touching his new wife the way you used to touch your mother. Imagine watching this woman touch your dad the way your mom used to imagine the the little boy's heart who's break and thinking about his mom that's home alone and every time even when you have fun you know with your new family that you're thinking about your mom who's home alone and you think about her pining away and anxious she should be a part of this this family right and so after 2 weeks of that my dad pulls into the driveway drops of soft My father hadn't paid the mortgage in in a year and so we were losing the house my mother had an auction the night before and sold everything that we own other than what she could put in my uncle's trot and so we were about to leave to go to Michigan and we were going to live in this low income housing project and because that was the best my mom could do after working 2 jobs and with 4 children and so just before we left my mother gave us one hour to say goodbye to our friends and I said OK so I went to 10 different schools within 12 years of my early education in 3rd grade and went to 3 different schools so even if I had a friend that was male It wasn't long before we were up and out and and I would be stuck with my sisters again and so it was very difficult but I had 2 male friends of my neighborhood and I got with them and I said listen I've got to go and I said I'm never going to see you again and then all of a sudden my 2 friends friends I said listen we have a new game that we want to show you and they stepped up a few feet away from me and they started to engage in a homo sexual act in front of me at 12 years old I was shocked by what I saw I said I've got to go and I never saw my friends again I got in my uncle's car I drove 5 hours to Detroit Michigan and that's a little boy on that particular day standing in front of his truck imagine what was going on in my mind and yet I was learning I was learning that the best I could do with all of these slimeballs that the enemy was throwing me is I would just stuff them inside and put on a good face let me be whatever you want I had this fantasy inside my head that if I was a twin because I didn't know who I was myself I didn't fit in with my sisters because I wasn't a girl I didn't fit in with the boys because it wasn't acting like they like or acted like they acted instead I would look at myself and I really didn't know who I was but I fantasize that if I had a twin brother that I could look at him. And I would know exactly who I was I could study him to find out who I was Does that make sense and so I didn't have that opportunity and so you can imagine that for me this went on until I was 20 years old I went to Academy Eventually I owe I want to talk about Proverbs 277 let me paraphrase it basically it says that if you had a full meal you don't need dessert but to those who are starving even something better will satisfy you and you know what this was happening for my mom as well if I couldn't receive love from men in the right way that doesn't make sense that I would be vulnerable for love in the wrong way and this was happening for my mother she was molested by her father she was abandoned by my father now my mother found that the only way that she began attention from men was to give herself which sexually if she didn't bring her lover's home she would stay out all night with them it was a really tough time for us my dad made us the offer that if we come to live with him that he would send us away to the cademy and house had that I actually found some structure and foundation by going to Academy leaving both my mother and my father but I remember that I went and my roommate had been through it through juvenile detention he was very familiar with homosexuality but I was a willing victim and one night or are wrestling turned into something sexual but I give my heart to the Lord I become a Christian and I wanted to be a Christian and as I laid there in bed that night I remember thinking to myself This is what God wants and I cried myself to sleep but what was the most profound emotional thing thing that night was the fact that it actually felt good for the 1st time I experienced some type of love that actually satisfied and it was shocking to me because now I realize that I was all those things that all those boys and girls said that I was that I was a gay that I was in fact. My roommate got kicked out for smoking pot I got a girlfriend I went to the 1st Bible conference I gave my heart to the Lord again I thought that if I started going through the motions that maybe something would just kick in and maybe all of a sudden I could have a wife and kids I dropped out of Andrews University I broke up with my girlfriend and I was desperate to find some answers to these questions because I was still trapped in masturbation and fantasy in my mind and I believe that every time that I prayed that God would relieve me of these things that I held God's hands because I was still practicing masturbation that was locking me into this understanding in these thoughts inside my head and the Lord wanted to heal me from that but because of my behaviors I was locking myself into that I didn't know how to fix this so it 20 years old I remember moving down to Florida I met this guy a church and I thought you know what I watched I watched him for several months and I thought he's the guy that I'm going to tell my secret to and I remember sitting down with him and I said Well can I talk to Mrs Scherman what's up and I said well I said this about women he said Oh I know what you mean you turn him upside down they all look the same. I was just as shocked as you were and I realized that there was no way I could tell this man my secret there's no way I was going to reveal to him what I was struggling with and so I sat there with my smile and again I thanked him for his time and I walked out of church and I said to God That's the best you can. That's the best you got I'm outta here I'm done I can't get my religion and my sexuality to come together where have you bet I've been praying and going through the motions and nothing's happening so I'm outta here and I went into the gay culture and they had their arms open wide I remember going into it as a matter of fact I was so desperate for any kind of attention from men that I was raped by my 1st boyfriend and I didn't even realize it for several years because even being raped was better than being ignored and I thought that maybe if I had one relationship with one man that maybe God would understand I'm just doing the best I can and what I found is that my 1st lover was somebody that I was always already a sexual addict he introduced me to things that I'd never even thought of before and within various sort of amount of time I've become a sexual addict in 20 years unfaithful in the 5 significant relationships I had AIDS came out the very same year that I came out 1901 I had a list of sex with men as often as 3 times in a week and as often as 3 times in a day you do the math over 20 years never used protection in that time I had sex with men that would be dead 3 months later and yet it wasn't enough to stop me every Alysa situation was only creating the drive to do it again and again because it never gave me what I was looking for in never gave me the acceptance and the love for men that I desired. I became what I call the poster child for the gay life I was an aerobics instructor and a hairdresser and I don't think you can get any more gave in that. This was my life I was making a lot of money I was doing television people's hair and out my best friend was a newscaster from N.B.C. I was working at the top salon in the area I had a boyfriend who was a millionaire with big blue eyes and big arms we had the world by the tail we had I was driving a convertible Mercedes I had a condo on a lake I had a house with a pool I had everything that the world said was desirable and yet it still wasn't enough to satisfy me about to turn 40 years old I realize that here am in this great house with my boyfriend and we were talking about buying a house together and and yet still like it that it is nothing more and I would think about my life even on a Saturday I'd be laying there in front of the pool and I'd be thinking about my life and and I would think you know is this really the all that life has to offer you know more great trips maybe more great cars or whatever but there was something still that was longing in my heart and I would think about my life and I'd say hey no way would God ever want me back and so I tell people that I had the total gay life I drove a gay car I lived in a gay house Listen I even had a gay dog it's a little Chihuahua about 6 pounds and so this was my life totally accepted. And yet as I was going through the motions of my life they're still there was something that wasn't satisfying and I remember marching in the gay pride parades here in Washington D.C. We were driving through the streets with with Barbara and I actually recognized one of the streets that I marched down in the gay pride parade when President Clinton was elected and I remember seeing the signs of the Christians and said God hates fags thank God for AIDS and you know didn't make me come to my senses instead what it did is a push me further away from the from the Christians that I thought I was that I used to call myself it made me ashamed that I had ever been a Christian before what I did is a push me now into the community that now called my family this is my life dirty book stores gay bars 3 nights a week my mind to become the fulfillment of Genesis 6 or 5 every thought inside my head was only evil all the time I was only always looking for an illicit situation I could not stop. Proverbs $1412.13 says there is a way which seems right in to a man but the end thereof are the ways of death even in laughter the hardest sorrowful and at the end of that mirthless happiness but I want to praise God because I have 3 sisters that were praying for me. At the best you. See if we understand it we start to buy into this life is being spread in Christianity that homosexuality is a blessing from God and that the Bible is antiquated and doesn't really apply anymore then you're going to stop praying for people like me and I'm standing in front of you not because of my prayers but because of their prayers and if you want power work in somebodies life get on your knees and start praying for these people instead of condemning these people because they need somebody to intercede for them so that the Lord can open up opportunities to bring them in I can't even begin to tell you how that happened for me but my sister's husband had been unfaithful and they divorced they were divorced for 3 years I don't like the guy I was glad they were divorced but unfortunately for me my sister fell in love with her husband again they both become converted they fell in love and they were getting married again. Usually the girls go oh. Why didn't think of it that way I thought he was a jerk I hated the guys so I went to the wedding anyway and there I am sitting in my my condescending attitude in my banana republic suit I remember looking all sharp and thinking to myself I had the world by the tail and that Christianity was for losers because you guys need something to hide behind because the lights are so pathetic and as I'm sitting there in lightened in front of this church my my brother in law comes into the baptismal to get baptized before he marries my sister Laura the next day and as he gets into the water he walks over to the microphone and picks up the microphone and I thought to myself What is this church going to say and he took the microphone and he made an open confession to the church about how he'd been unfaithful how he stole the income tax return check and how he had left his wife and family said he didn't want to be a husband or wife or a husband or a father anymore. And as he started to say these these confessions he's thanked the church for their for their help for his family while he was a deadbeat dad he asked for their forgiveness and he said I want to make it right to God today so I can make a right to lord tomorrow and as I was sitting in front of this man that I hated these tears started coming down my face and I realized that I was not in the presence of my brother in law I was in front and I was in the presence of something much more powerful than I'd ever seen before and even though I planned to act out sexually even though I had this great guy at home that night it was like I was Jacob wrestling with Jesus Christ all night long I couldn't go out to the bars I couldn't shower I couldn't watch T.V. I couldn't sleep I was struggling with the things that I'd seen that day because I saw a man come from death into life. And through a series of books of other things my sister my sister that was at home with me the one on the right Kathy she worked with me in my salon she she was a faithful Christian she never judged me or my friends I had other homosexuals that worked in our salon and she was always just as loving to them as she was to me even in my ignorance even though I thought that she accepted me in my life she did not stick your finger in my face and tell me that I was an abomination that I was going to go to hell and so she got on her knees and prayed for me and she loved me she would never hold me back from interacting with my nephew she always invited my lovers over for holiday meals but she prayed for me and one day the Lord said hey invite your brother for that evangelist series she said he'll never go but I'll invite. And when she did I don't know why but I did go and through a series it was a black Caribbean Spanish preacher from L.A. you've been in the gangs and you know what it was a gritty gospel and it hit me right between the eyes and here I am on the last night of the evangelistic series after I've been on vacation for 10 days with my boyfriend but here I am sitting there and then I in the past or maybe an altar call and he said for some of you tonight you walk out of here and you'll never have another opportunity to accept the Lord again and I knew that was me and I sat there and I knew I knew that I had that I wanted to give God my heart but as I looked at my life I said no way God will never take me back the way but the only truth that I had that I was about a piece of dental floss faith that's the only faith that I had that much is that I knew that Jesus loved me for who I was and I said Lord I can't go up there but I give you my heart and the next conscious thing I knew I think an angel got on either side of me and marched me to the front my sister was quite come on Sister right amen my sister was standing beside me she was crying and I go How did you get here she said I stood up when you did. That night the parking lot she said So what are going to do about your boyfriend I said nothing M K I said I tried to change I asked the Lord to change when that never happened I said all I know is that Jesus Loves Me For Who I Am She never said another word and like I said I got baptized the next day and nobody knew no pastor should have baptized somebody like me actively sexually acting out active in a homosexual a ship but the Lord says in his word he says My ways are not your worries my thoughts are not your thoughts and I believe that the Lord knew that he had to get me into that water so that he could begin this work with me and it was really difficult process he would have been much easier had I understood what I was committing to that day but there were times when I would go to church and I would just feel too holy and I would act out even on the Sabbath day and I would come back to God at the end of the day and I had been so used to rejection from men beginning with my father and then the kids in school and then the illicit situation that I had not just basically expect that I would wear out the patients of God Himself and I would come back and say Well so many did Lord you still want. You know you want to go down to. Each and every time as I came to God as I was dirty in the filed his answer to me was always to say yeah I still watch. I'm not going anywhere I already paid for it. And while they didn't give me license to sin it just said that I understand where you're at Mike and I'm willing to work this out if you're willing to come out and walk this out with me and that broke my heart and eventually said Lord if you want me out of that relationship you're going to have to do it yourself because I'm going to dig in my heels and I going to prove that if you could convert my boyfriend that we would be this my team for you and the Lord said I'll get right on that and 3 weeks later my boyfriend broke up with me. And I went home that night knowing that the Lord had spoken and as I walked into my house empty and alone I realized that I wasn't straight but nothing to change that way but the Lord delivered me from my home a sexual relationship and I thought to myself well I never know what it's like to love again but I never know what it's like to have somebody hold me or to hold somebody else and I started to cry these bitter tears and as I was crying there was no one that I could go to I can go to my sister because she would have been happy I wasn't happy I couldn't go to my friends because they would've said Mike you're gay go back to your boyfriend what are you crazy and there in that time who is just me and Jesus Christ and as I cried those bitter tears it was Jesus that held me and as I cried it was Jesus that was loving me and I started to realize the power of grace and the power of that intimate relationship that only he could restore and then things started falling off now I would like to say that it was perfect I'd like to say that it was complete but I have a phrase success is never fired up but failure is never fail that makes sense success is never final. But failure is never fail and so learning this process of being a Christian walking out in this world is dirty and defiled out there it's a process and even as an elder in my church I fell back into my pornography addiction and I had to learn the process of crawling back to God dirty and defiled but I had to understand what Grace was really all about and that 1st John 19 says that if we confess our sins who is faithful did he say you were not who he said he is faithful and just not only to forgive me but to kinds me from all unrighteousness So if I confess my sins this or any and righteousness on me no you don't really know that do you you don't believe it because you answer the same way that everybody else says everybody's kind of like Ted it's his word and he said and he has to stand by it and if he says you're come you're cleansed from all unrighteousness your claim is that right but that doesn't mean that 5 minutes later another dirty nasty thought is going to come into your mind and you have to go through the process all over again and then in later in the New Testament says to him who is able to keep you from falling Jesus just doesn't want you to fall and then be forgiven he wants you to be cleansed and to be freed from that issue and that's a process how many types of payment have to dip into that that that filthy dirty nasty river before he was healed 7 so what is 7 represent. Perfection to cessation Does that still say 15 minutes. Oh Grace has been extended how Luda. I'm just the lyrics for some sleep deprived so you'll have to suffer I'm sorry and so anyway what happens is if God's word says that I am cleansed from all unrighteousness I am calling him because he said I'm clean It's a cleansing that he does but it doesn't negate the fact that 15 minutes later 5 minutes later another thought will come into your head it's what I do with it that's going to make a difference and then he's willing to take the process and so while 7 represents perfection there's a process to perfection doesn't that make sense and so there's no statue of limitations on that 1st you can use it as often as you need it because God was the one Jesus Christ was the one that provided the safety net for all of us he had to do it perfectly without a safety net but he provided that safety net for you so that if you fall you can find a way out. We need to be more calm or more patient with people we need to give people more grace as we understand the gospel and I think it's so sad that you didn't know that you were cleansed from all unrighteousness when you confess your sins and so as I was learning this process it was really difficult for me because I wasn't getting that word in the church and so as I fell as an elder back in the mice and I was convicted by some of the quotes that I was reading. God didn't say stop being gay what he said was stop resisting me and as I learned to stop resisting God I had to change the way I thought about God I thought that God was like my dad arbitrary looking to judge me looking to pull the rug out from under me looking to steal away my salvation but as I started to learn about Jesus Christ I started to learn that in John 14 he says he that has seen Me has seen the Father and the beautiful image that I had of Jesus Christ who was my savior who would walk this out with me I had to make that application now to my father and my the only one did any of you have a rotten father maybe some of you didn't even have a father and so you don't even have an image about who God is is so doesn't make sense to try to destroy your ability to relate to God is love. Even though we go to church week after week we still have this odd thought in our head that God is looking to judge us or to cheat us my mother died December 24th this year and it was I was in Cuba thank you I was in Cuba on December 10th and I called my mother and my mother said that she said Mike I'm going to try to wait for you I'm going to wait for you to come home and on the 17th I got home and my mother had stopped eating and drinking she'd stop speaking and I thank my mom I said mom I'm here I said thank you for waiting I said Do you know who I am back and she nodded she nodded yes and I said who am I she said I And in that process of learning that my mom my mom even though she she still knew who I was that process of of understanding that kind of love I'm not even sure White brought that up. That's because I'm sleep deprived of what's at that so even in that process of learning that. The resisting of God learning that God was good and you know if you didn't have a good example of what a father was like then doesn't it make sense that Jesus was the one that's going to teach you that and it was Jesus that was teaching me that and learning the process that I can trust God and instead of running from him I could run to him I see a kinship it's a group that's been moving around for about 35 years and they have places it internationally now what they're trying to do is change the face of Adventism in every Christian denomination there's a group just like that in the in the Mennonite church they have what's called the Pink minnows and the same group and what they're doing is they're infiltrating all of these Christian churches trying to change our attitudes about homosexuality and and make it acceptable as a matter of fact some of our leadership in Loma Linda University in the Religion Department were saying that Paul and Moses are irrelevant that their words should be stricken from the Bible does anyone remember what the Bible says if you take out some of the words of the Bible what happens. Anyway. So this is a woman and she's a gay activist she says the words I couldn't say Pull out your phone to take a picture it's a really good quote if you were to say these words this would be considered hate speech but what about a lesbian activists What if she says that she says is a gay identity so fragile they cannot bear the thought that some people may not wish to be gay she says sexuality is highly fluid and reversals are theoretically possible however habit is refractory and that means very difficult to change once the sensory pathways have been blazed and deepened by repetition it's a phenomenon that's obvious in the struggle with to obesity smoking alcohol and drug addiction helping gays to learn how to function heterosexually Here you go if they wish is a perfectly where the name she goes on and she says something even stronger she says homosexuality is not normal on the contrary it's a challenge to the normal nature exist whether academics like it or not and the nature of procreation is the single relentless ruled that is the norm our sexual bodies were designed for reproduction no one is born gay did you hear that a lesbian activists has said no one is born day the idea is what. Homosexuality is an adaptation not an inborn trait and even though she says exactly how I feel about the issue she still has a right to decide it's not right she has the right to decide if she wants to be a lesbian or not and so the why I have the right to decide if I want to be transgender I have the right to decide if I want to still be in a homosexual and after being introduced to Jesus Christ or after experiencing him in a way that I've never experienced before how is it that I can say that the love of God is better than an illicit situation because I've experienced him and while I cannot see him and why I cannot feel him tangibly touch me I can feel his effect in May and on me and that's why I choose to walk this way. This is my house in the country the Lord moved me from the city of Orlando where I was around 5 to 8 bars within 2 miles I could walk to one and then he removed me to the country where I spent the last 15 years that's that's the house I left yesterday for this morning I guess and so here I was cutting hair in the basement learning this walk walking with God through the country the hillside some amazing stories but all the sudden. All the sudden one day as I was as this guy or would be some firefighter he said might listen come over to my house tomorrow we're going to we're going to cut that firewood and so I prayed the next morning I said Lord I know how I need to put it up but I know I need to learn to be more masculine so I'm going to go and I hope I don't have to work that chainsaw because I could split my head open or cup my leg off. But I'm going. And so public school by the way so anyway I went to my brother's house right my friends house and and he said Listen Mike I'm going to have you were the skids here you don't know what a spinster is of course it's Washington D.C. Of course you would know what is good series but back in the woods a skid steer is a machine it's got tires like a tank and it's got a shovel on the front of it's got these 2 joysticks and one of them moves the machine you back that up you move forward to turn it right on the left and the other joystick controls the shuttle on the front and my job is to pick up these trees that are already cut down lift up the tree turn it take it over to my friend Mark is in the drug and tilt it so that he can cut it up the next time pretty butch. And so this was my job and so he gave me 5 minutes to Tauriel on this machine before I got started but before that my job was to take a can of brightly colored spray paint and to mark these trees where we're going to cut them so that they would fit into my woodstove are you following me OK city slickers are you with me all right so as I started to do this thing a couple of times I put the dirt I took the thing over I have to learn how to sit it back upright but then I got going and we were cutting these trees and we were to you know throughout the morning when I was done he said You know Mike you did a really great job for somebody who had more before he didn't emasculate me to make fun of me and we took the wood to my house and we had a hot drink it was cold day and we started talking and started to talk about his love for his father he started to talk about how he had at 17 years old he abandoned his father's business he got arrested spent the night in jail he thought about how mad his dad would be but his dad came to him the next day in jail and he said Mark let's get out of here you hungry and then on his deathbed he said he talked about how his father took him by the hand and squeezed his hand and said Mark promised me that will be in heaven together promise me that your family and you that we'll all be in heaven together and as I'm sitting in front of this macho guy wearing a flannel shirt about 6 foot 2 these tears started to come down this guy's face and I looked at him I thought wow dude. And I looked at him and I said you know that's a really great story Mark but I don't really relate so let me tell you about my dad my dad is now an elder in the church and so my and I read this book once of his talked about healing homosexuality if the homosexual can find validation by his birth father that there's great healing in that reconciliation and I thought to myself Well my dad's an Adventist I'm an advice my dad's an elder I'm an elder this should be an easy thing right and so every time that I saw my father more emasculation more insults more competition when really what I wanted was my father's love and so I got used to it every time that I would be rejected by my dad I'd act out sexually I'd have to go to God and ask for forgiveness but I had to forgive my dad the whole process and so after a while you get really weary right my mother was turning 70 years old and so I determined that I was going to go see my mother my father lived several you know like 2 hours away from her and the Holy Spirit said Why don't you see your dad I said no. I'm done and the Lord just kept pushing me and urging me that I should go see my father finally Saturday morning Sabbath I woke up and the Lord's was really impressive me that I should see my father and I said Alright Lord you must know something that I don't I'll go. And so I went to my father's church my father preached a sermon afterwards we were in the fellowship room and I'm sitting there with all my family by my step brother on one side of me and my nephew on the other side I'm 47 year old bald man in a suit OK just get that picture and as I'm sitting there with these 2 guys are trying to tickle me but quite frankly I'm not ticklish anymore I'm just that old and so as we're doing this little game back and forth my father comes around my father now he comes around and he stands behind me and he reaches down and he grabs my knee in an effort to play and I thought all right this is reconciliation right and so to return the gesture I turn around my dad is standing behind me and I'm sitting in the chair I turned around and I grabbed my dad by the me you know in an effort to play my father jerked his leg back and took his hand and he swung around his head and he smacked on top of my bald headed from my family and these people that I don't even know. The humiliation was so much more painful than the slap and as I sat there humiliated I thought to myself That's right Dad always has to have a last last last word I got up I never said goodbye to my friends family and never say goodbye to my dad I I want to have a church I was done I got in my car and I drove away and I said to God Are you happy God did you get what you wanted because I sure did I hope you got something out of that I listen to you I obeyed you and this is what I get and I had to go through the process again of forgiving my dad you know and it took about a week or 2 but then I started calling my dad my dad said he should probably apologize he said that to my sister but he never said that to me but I reconciled I did what God asked me to do 3 months later I was a church my sister came up to me at church and she said our father had passed away on the side of the road massive heart failure and as I was holding my sister and she was weeping I looked up into the sky and Jesus spoke to me he said that's why I wanted you to see your dad he said Mike the fact that you obeyed me and went to see your father even though a look like I was setting you up he said you will baby he said I was hoping that you and your father would find reconciliation he said but I couldn't force your dad any more than I could force you but you listen to me he said Now you have no guilt or condemnation about what if you had seen him that you obeyed me and because of that you are free and I realize the meeting for why God having to go. And as I shared that with my friend Mark I said listen Mark I said you've done more for my masculinity today just because you didn't make fun of me or does me he said my kids taught me something too he said I thought that homosexuals would burn in a hotter hell than everybody else by spending the. Night and he said by spending the day with you today I realize you no different than me he said I have different attractions and you do so but we all struggle with lust and so we have to learn that process you know what I have a really good friend still to this day because of that and so my friend said listen I got another job I gotta go you going to have to split this would yourself and stack it and so I don't even know if the pictures here this is here now sorry. Let's go back. All right so anyway as I started splitting this wood I start splitting this wood and it's really tough if you ever split wood anyone anyone OK even a lazy split wood you're not from around here are you I'm 50 and so as I was putting this wood and stacking it in front of my house you know all of a sudden it would get really tough and I'd say I'm done i'll just hire somebody to get it done and the Holy Spirit would say just turn it at it again and I would do that and there's this little bald 47 year old man jumping up and down in his yard because today I'm a man right and I'm 2nd this wood in front of my house for all of my clients to see this nice circular driveway in front of my house and as my clients with they would see that would they say that would for you know I did I split that is that and I drove a skid steer way right and then all of a sudden as I'm looking down at this wood that I'm stacking up in front of my house for everybody to see I look down and I go what. And I realized that this hot pink spray paint all over my wood the can of spray paint that I was using to mark the wood before I would cut it was hot pink spray paint and so now I got hot pink spray paint all over my masculine we can imagine that. And I started laughing just like you did I go Of course my most masculine moment I got a pink wig and so as I'm thinking about this Jesus started to speak to me and I said Mike you're that way I said what he said to you that what he said when you stop and think about it he said I made you in your natural shape he said I made you that would that's who you are he said in Psalms 139 he said I created the male and female in Genesis but in song from 39 God was pursuing me then he said when you go into the dark of the lightness it doesn't matter it's all the same to me so you can go up and you can go low but I'm right there behind you he said My thoughts towards your is callous to the sands of the seashore and I made you male I needed your delicate inward parts together in your mother's womb there was no question who you were intended to be before the world was shaped I knew you and I knew you to be a man because that's who I made to be he said but Mike that pink is the artificial that's the overspray I didn't put that on that income for me that's what heredity and cultivated tendencies have done to you and how like God to take 7 years to answer that question that I had when I came back they were relationship with them I wanted to know how this happened and he gives me this perfect object lesson that I can actually learn from and realize that I'm not that pink wood on the wood and that the artificial what the world has put on me is what the world wants me to take as my identity but I reject that and even though I still may struggle with same sex attraction I also struggle with heterosexual attraction to so imagine going through puberty in your forties. This lady original. But the Lord holds us together isn't that right he guarantees to do that if we'll just submit to him if was just stop resisting him and you know it's not a GAY thing it's not a STRAIGHT thing a bisexual thing or transgendered thing it's a sin thing it's not right and we all struggle with central tendency I hope that you'll come back tomorrow I hope that you'll bring a friend I hope that you'll bring an open mind I hope that you'll bring questions because we really want to start talking about some of these things that are taking our church down and we need to let people know that the power of Jesus Christ is still alive today if we accept if we accept stand as God's desire or God's design then what we're doing is we're basically saying that Jesus what he accomplished on the cross was for nothing and that Jesus is impotent to feel this again sense that right. Who who is the one promoting that message that's right that's the enemy we need to show that the power of Jesus Christ is still alive and well today don't deny me the power Jesus Christ to transform my life is that fair to say can we stand together as we close in prayer you've been very patient thank. You won't believe how many signs I've had in the back 5 minutes shut your mouth close up. Let's pray together. Heavenly Father I praise you Lord for this opportunity to tell once again the beautiful beautiful things you've done in my life and they haven't been easy lord I have tested your patience so many times but your love Lord is so overwhelming I have no choice but to come back to you where else would I go Lord and if you can still satisfy those those deep issues for me still lord I'll follow you until the end and I pray Father there's something that I said tonight something that may have been shared would have made a difference in somebodies harder somebodies life maybe it's even develop some questions for them but I know Lord to chill answer them because if you would do that for me your delight to answer that for them. And I pray Father for every mother and father that's here that may have a child that's L.G.B. T. or maybe have a child that's out into the world Lord give them the assurance give them that give them hope for to know that you have the power to still save lives today and as we have packed sexuality forward. As we start to really talk about some of these issues about premarital sex pornography masturbation all of these hideous words Lord that I know must make you cringe but I know Lord you're willing to look at it I know that you're willing to address it all because you don't see as for who we are you see a slur for who we can be. And Lord I'm a recipient of that love so Lord until my voice is God I will continue to give you praise as long as you keep me around. Everywhere that you will bless us as we continue our time Jesus I pray that this media was brought to you by audio 1st a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermon leave a Visit W W W audio verse or.

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