D R . E L R O I

A PERSONAL JOURNAL OF A MAN LIVING WITH HIV

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Awakening Desire


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That was the title of the book I just finished reading. It is about encountering the Divine Feminine in the Masculine Christian journey. My former professor gave me this copy, her latest book, perhaps as her way of thanking me for allowing her to include one of my journals as a requirement during my class with her. The content of this book could possibly create some controversies for some especially those who considered themselves conformist. Nevertheless, we got to respect every person’s experience particularly if that experience is about encountering God. Well, my own experience is cited here.

Becoming a part of one of the chapters of Dr. Irene Alexander’s work is truly an honor and a privilege. I felt so blessed. I really appreciate the way she has quoted what I said. This book made me feel that God is truly incomprehensible or beyond our finite mind can understand. And yet, we are called to trust Him even more. Yes, it has moved me to trust Him even more and let go of the stereotypes and concepts I unconsciously have towards God. I guess, I have to read the Bible more and really spend more time digging and reflecting upon His words, which is a bit of a challenge nowadays honestly. So, what desire will or should be awakened? I surmise this is it...to seek more of an intimacy with Him. That is the desire to know God more through seeking His presence and staying in it. That is the desire to get to know Him through reading, studying, reflecting, and allowing His words to speak to me while abandoning myself in Him completely.

Additionally, I have understood more the "liminal experience" she has introduced us years ago through the life of men she has presented in here. For legalistic Christians, this experience is termed “backsliding”, not really a good word if I may add. Simply because I believe that every experience we have both good and bad will all contribute to our transformation. Similarly, God has allowed or ordained some awful things, including sins, to happen. For what? Eventually, all for His glory. Through this book, I have come to realize I did not have to be too hard on myself when it comes to the cross that the Lord Jesus has asked me to carry virtually 11 years ago. My SSA and the remnants of my sexual abuse (which I have unexpectedly discovered recently) and the struggle of sexual addiction (which I also have "discovered" or more have accepted lately) are possibly huge areas of my life that the Lord will do a lot in terms of healing and dealing with my sexual brokenness.

This book came in at the right moment. I have been struggling a lot about my “crosses” lately with no one to turn to and talk about it. However, I thank God for our mandated personal psychotherapy as a postgraduate student. At least initially, I was able to cry out to God through my therapist the pain of these recent discoveries about myself. But I can feel there’s more. What truly important is that, yes, “Awakening Desire” has awakened my desire to encounter God more than ever. As Charles H. Spurgeon said, “Great hearts can only be made by great troubles.”

Saturday, September 22, 2018

SSA and Two SAs?


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Very important...two words that have reminded about what I said on my last entry here. That is, I would write again when something very important happens. In the past couple of weeks, something happened and it’s both good and bad.

What’s keeping me really busy these days for so long is juggling between ministry work and doing all the post-grad required readings and paper. Prior to the beginning of the last semester, I was on the verge of giving up this study and stop completely. I have been so stressed out and felt like its taking the toll on me. However, I was able to come to pass this struggle, thank God. As I continue reading the last few books, I believe God has revealed something to me. Not just one but two books and both are about issues that most people do not want to talk about. First is the Healing the Wounds of Sexual Addiction by Mark Laaser, which has greatly and deeply impacted me. I guess from the title itself you already what is it all about. Second is The Wounded Heart by Dan Allender. This material is about understanding what sexual abuse is and how a sexually abused person can find healing from the trauma. To understand and learn these complicated issues was all I have expected. Little did I know that there’s something more in store for me.

It took me a long process to finally acknowledge, accept and embrace the same-sex attraction (SSA) that I have only to take it as my cross in obedience to following the Lord Jesus Christ. Of course, there’s a lot of sexual issues related to this such as thoughts, sexual desires, temptations that are unsatisfyingly satisfied through occasional pornography, masturbation and very quite rare sexual intercourse. These are the sins and temptations that I and other people who have decided to chose this less traveled path, have to battle with virtually every day. And for almost 11 years of this journey with Christ, I thought everything is in control, I am doing fine, and on my way to the healing of this sexual brokenness. Unfortunately, I was wrong. God is not contented with where I am in my journey. Occasional slips or relapses of my sexual issues need to be dealt with for God is holy, therefore, we should work hard to be holy. That is very clear in His words when you are set apart for the Lord Jesus.

As I went through the pages reading Laaser’s material, it was like mirroring me as he describes the comprehensive definition and symptoms of sexual addiction (SA). It felt like I was reading about myself. Honestly, this is difficult for me to accept and embrace. Perhaps I was or still in denial for I refused to call my behaviors an SA. I was told already with this by a researcher who took me as one of her subjects but I ignored it. I told myself her assessment was wrong. I kept convincing myself that I was not and I am not. But with all this information and learning I got, I really wanted to cry. I did not know how to process this and do not know what to do. Good thing, I was able to grieve over this at my session today earlier this evening.

The Lord is not done yet with His revelations. As I read Allender’s, I realized through his pretty comprehensive description of sexual abuse about something. That almost all of us have been sexually abused in one way or another. We are not just aware of it. Some of the types of sexual abuse that the author has described happened to me when I was young. I just hope that every memory I remembered are all there is to recall and no more repressed or buried experiences in the unconscious. Similarly, this was also hard to accept but for some reason, it is easier to acknowledge, embrace and deal with. I have been carrying this in my heart heavily.

These revelations from God through these brilliant books cannot be ignored. Besides, it has been a while since the last time God has spoken to confront me. It’s very clear. God is calling me to be not contented and address this issue. Moreover, I realized I have been praying each day that God will heal me. Now, He is obviously responding and I need to take my part. Simply I cannot sit, pray and just wait for Him to do something miraculously. As bright as the sun shines during the day, I need to do my part.

Consequently, it was bad because of this not really new discoveries. It has been lingering around for some time already and I just chose to ignore it. The feelings I have towards these revelations are not good. I feel extremely sad, deeply broken again, and having some self-doubt. On the other hand, it was good because of the acquired deep understanding about these issues. Also, I was able to discover something about myself in which will be another focus of understanding the way I am. It is not only SSA but also SAs. Thus, good and bad. Well, the journey must go on even though this less road traveled is becoming narrower than before. Like what the Bible said that we aim for perfection for God is perfect (Matt. 5: 48). He is holy thus, we need to be holy (1 Pet. 1: 16). All these are possible by the grace of God. We simply have to keep on trusting. Have enough faith...each day.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Still Active

Yes, to all who follow this online blog or journal of mine please bear with me. Currently, I am in the middle of my post-graduate studies. It's what keeps me busy most of the time on top of the psycho-education and counseling ministries I have been doing. 

So, this is still active and I intend to keep it that way. Expect that I will definitely write an entry again if there is something significant, like a milestone, that has happened. God remains faithful, merciful, and gracious in the midst of this amazing journey of life with the Lord Jesus Christ. Keep the faith, hold on no matter what, and keep moving forward. God bless us all.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Good or God?


“Great hearts can only be made by great troubles.” - Charles H. Spurgeon

Image result for good or god john bevereThat was exactly how my heart felt as I read and finished the book "Good or God: Why Good Without God Isn’t Enough" by John Bevere. I have to say that not only I can relate to virtually every page of this book. But also, I strongly believe God has spoken to me a few times! I was positively disturbed and moved to pray and call out to Him upon revelations after revelations. The answers to most of my "why's?" have been discovered in here. I was amazed how it felt like as if God Himself was speaking to me as I read through the pages. It was like..." see my son, this is all you have to do..." The meaning of GOOD, GRACE, and most importantly the FEAR of the LORD...these three things came into the light like WHOA! YES! LORD! My heart was positively TROUBLED and yet JOYFUL! There were accumulation and accommodation of new and true meaning of these three things! Through Mark 8:34-35, the Lord spoke to me to give up my gay life and desires. Since then, it has become the "cross" I have to take up and carry each day until today. That's where the enemy always attack me as I speak the truth about this issue including HIV&AIDS to churches and Christian communities. There were times I have wanted to give up. STRUGGLE is REAL! However, through my church and closest friends in the ministry, I was able to hang on and continue this journey with the Lord Jesus Christ. For going back is never an option. A long time ago, I have come to realize that apart from God I am nothing. Thus, there's no point of going back but to keep holding on and move forward with the Lord Jesus. 
Now, learning or seeing GRACE as an empowerment has empowered me already! This is not just a saving amazing grace. This is the meaning when God told Paul that His grace is sufficient. Because the grace itself is the power that helps us in our weaknesses. What seems impossible for us is very possible with God through the power of His amazing grace! So, giving ALL to God is possible! For as Christ follower and a believer, it has to be ALL of our life...or NOTHING. God wants all and not just a portion of us. That’s why He is a jealous God! And it is for our own good, for His love for us!
I believed I have received this book as a gift last month in a very perfect timing. Reading it was like the second wind from the Lord for me. Moreover, I realized I was very gentle in loving our “neighbors” that I fail to share the message completely! That speaking the truth through warnings, rebuking and encouraging in love was also an eye-opener for me! I was CONVICTED! The way I teach and speak the message will now definitely change to include these elements with love.
Truly, what appears good, pleasant, and desirable for men maybe not good for God. Everything from God is good, but not everything good is from God. I suggest you get a copy and read this book. Some of your questions with your journey with the Lord could find some answers here. God bless.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Now That I Am Forty-ish


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One year and four decades, I still could not believe that I have reached this age a few days ago. I have said it before and I will say it again. I have lived longer than I have expected. Thus, I am in awe and speechless before our life-giver. Giving thanks is simply not enough. However, I am and will always be forever grateful to the ever loving Lord Jesus Christ.

According to V. R. Risner, a contributor writer for desringgod.com, “Don’t waste your suffering, for it will be the making of your faith. And one day, you will be grateful for it all.” This is entirely true in my God-given life. Moreover, I realized that my epic failure more than a decade ago was a huge gift. Chuck Swindoll said, “Strength and courage are developed during a trial, not after it's over. Waiting on God is essential.” And the strength and courage I have today came from such trials and sufferings. By the grace of God, I am what I am today, getting older but gradually becoming a better version of myself. From one of my favorite movies “Kingsman - The Secret Service”, Gallahad said that true nobility is the superiority of your former self. In this context, I may not be that superior from my former self but I believe I am crawling towards becoming the man whom God wants me to be.

Please PARDON ME, for those people who have issues with photos like this one I have posted. I just turned forty-one. Just looking back a long time ago and looking into myself now, all I can say is, “Wow, with God nothing really is impossible.” I never thought that I could maintain that young looks and a healthy body despite my situation and everything I have been through. And again, when I was young, I thought that a 40-ish man is quite old. Now that I have reached this age, I can say that I was totally wrong. I still feel (and I believe) I look young.

Therefore, thank you Lord for the gift of life and for a life that is so blessed. Truly, I am grateful for the gift of contentment and satisfaction in you. Thank you, Lord, for the call of living a life with meaning and purpose through Christ our Lord and Saviour...all for your honor and glory.