D R . E L R O I

A PERSONAL JOURNAL OF A MAN LIVING WITH HIV

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Homosexuality Part 10

Correcting Our Image Of Self

Our own image is quite imperative to the change that we want to achieve; it is definitely included in the process. Now that we knew how valuable we are to God and how we should look and feel for other people, it's time to hold a correct image of ourselves coz it is somehow intertwined with the two. Only when we love God, submit ourselves to Him, share His love to others can we feel right about ourselves. Again, I don't want to sound or read preachy and religious but the spiritual component cannot be overlooked for it is primary consideration. Most of us, if not all of us believe in God so might as well dig into it much deeper for it is the only source of true miracle.

Whether you believe it or not, low self-image or self-esteem is what you have as a homosexual person. Well, that's according to the book and it made me realize that it is true. That is the result of the rejections, ridicule and isolation we often received as we grow up. Most gays tend to cover up this low self-esteem once he have found a group that would accept him and most of the time it is with the homosexual lifestyle.

Significance and security are the two things needed for a good self-image. Significance means that we have worth with what we are and what we do have value. Gays find value or worth with the people with the same sexual orientation though it usually won't last for a long time. Other gays support gay rights causes to justify their identity to be significant. Security can be found in being accomplished in some skill, or simply collecting friends and people that will bring them both value and security. The reality is that, it is not easy to find these things in a gay lifestyle. Usually, you tend to compensate the loss of a secure friendship or relationship with material things. There may be amassing possessions like gadgets, clothing or just wealth in general to silence the deep insecurity or low esteem inside. Others exude arrogance, proud and aggressive attitude to mask low self-esteem. But I guess the worst is when you allow others to determine your self-worth. Gays build up this protection wall to conceal the insecurity that lies within. If you continue to do this for a long time, the consequences will always be failure, depression, and isolation.

I had suffered this consequences after living a homosexual lifestyle for six years, and some of you might still continue to do the same thing coz probably you're still enjoying it. Whether you admit or not, the truth that you feel these things within you whenever you are alone is undeniably there. You just chose not to confront it and simply ignore it, but it will keep hunting you down believe me.

Not because I got infected with HIV, I have decided to stop homosexual activities. In fact it took me more than a year before I have come to that decision. Because of the series of failures I've got, if you have read all my previous postings, depression and isolation; I have started to look for the meaning and purpose of my life because this is not the kind of life I have dreamt of.

In my quest for the true meaning of life, I have found Jesus Christ through my Christian doctor. These failures that I have has directed me towards Him coz Jesus loves failures. It took me these failures to end my self-rule and has become the launching pad of my new overcoming life. Jesus Christ has raised my self-esteem; He's the only one who can clear up the picture we hold of ourselves. I did not have decided to stop doing homosexual stuffs; it just happened when I have accepted God's forgiveness and accepted Him as my personal Lord and Savior. Again I must confess, it's not easy to leave the kind of life I used to live but I am aware that from the start it was wrong and I just have chosen to get into it when I thought it was alright. Unfortunately, that choice led me to devastation, emptiness and depression. Now that I am in the process of change, I always seek Him for guidance and direction especially when temptations are just right there. Temptations are always there and it will never go but as long as I chose to walk away from them I know I'll be safe, it's not easy but God is there to protect me.

Our self worth must come from the value that God has placed on us. It is God's love and the knowledge of this love that will give us a sense of worth and value. After we have come into a right relationship with God, He will use the people of His Body which is the church as His instrument of love, bringing affirmation that we're longing for and healing. Romans 8:31 says, "If God is for us, who can be against us?"

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Homosexuality Part 9

Correcting Our Image Of Others

Now if you're convinced that God has an unconditional love for all of us and always ready to forgive all our wrong doings no matter how big or small it is, the next step is for us to hold a correct image of other people.

There must be an admission that our images of other people have been incorrect, warped and twisted by this world and we should put it in a correct perspective. As homosexuals, we must realize that we have selfishly used others for our own gratifications most especially with our own sexual needs. Back in my previous posts, I have tackled that homosexuality has been developed at a very early age and so as with the way we see other people around us. We had image of others distorted by both parental and peer influence and later on the gay lifestyle as well. The way our parents brought us or the way we have witnessed the family relationships has an influence on how we think about ourselves as well as others. For instance, if an emotionally or physically absent father had been in his rightful place, the mother's influence would have been counterbalanced and an unhealthy dependence on mother would not have developed. The parental or family influence on us would be altered much by the peer influence past puberty; for both good and bad, it is a normal part of growing up. Homosexual people usually have had little peer interaction during this stage and have missed much of the crossroads experience with the same sex and opposite sex peer group. Because of this, he will retain many of his parents attitudes and expectations though it wanes when he step out into the real world. When a gay person is already in college or working, this is the point when the gay lifestyle influenced him much of his behavior and the way he thinks and thinks about others.

Having said that, if you have decided to change and be normal expects that there is not going to be any overnight change. Change is a long process and is going to come slowly, I don't want to sound very religious on the postings I make but it's the truth; change will indeed take place through the power of the Holy Spirit or through Jesus Christ. I strongly believed that every person homosexuals or not, always call God when he has a problem or whenever he's down and helpless. So why don't we seek Him sincerely to make the change possible and doable?

To correct our image of other people, we need to forgive all those who have negative influences on our lives including the person who molested us or our emotionally absent fathers or people whom we thought made us gay. It is true that they did greatly affect our life but this does not release us from our responsibility. I know it's hard to forgive but it's possible with God. We can't change our emotions but surprisingly God can. I must admit I used to be emotionally hard on people who have grieved me but I realized that it's a better feeling when you're not carrying any heavy emotions in your heart, suffice to say it's kind of a rewarding.

God has said that He considers His people to be precious jewels and priceless treasures, and so must we. We must hold this view even when others are imperfect and do hurtful things to us. Others are not to be objects of our lust or simply a sex object that will gratifies our sexual need. Again, I know this is difficult but with the Lord it is doable and it will take time before we totally eradicate this kind of feelings to same sex or others.

The second commandment stated that "Love your neighbor as yourself." Neighbor here refers to people around us and we are told to love them as we love ourselves. We must see people through God's eyes that they are all our brothers and sisters in Christ. God loved us before we came to Him and He loves others in the same way. In the bible 1 Corinthians 13, we are told that love is not self-seeking and does not keep records of the wrongs of others and rejoices in truth.

A friend of mine's comment on my postings here is that, it was preachy. As much as I don't want to read or sound like one, it's hard coz I am just speaking or writing about my own experience and what I have learned from Worthen's book. I must confess it's difficult and I am still in the process of the change, that's why I always read the important points of this book and pray very hard. I always pray to God that He change my views on men especially to those who are physically gifted coz I don't want to fall again for it feels very horrendous after.

Remember that Jesus Christ said that, "What you did to others you also did it to me." This thought is sometimes enough for me to keep myself from falling into sexually attractive men.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Homosexuality Part 8

Correcting Our Image Of God

At first, I have no idea what does the author meant by correcting God's image. All I know is that God is the creator of heaven and earth and everything in there including us human, that He is super powerful and nothing is impossible to Him. What Frank meant is that, aside from those facts I mentioned; God has certain qualities which we're not aware of. Qualities that we need to know in order for us to have an intimae relationship with Him and to make the change we want in our life possible.

Without a doubt, much of the world has a corrupted image of God and it is essential to have that image be corrected especially for homosexuals. Back to my previous posts, I have mentioned that homosexuality is not born with us as we originally thought; well that's according to Frank and I believe him. Again, homosexuality rooted from our early childhood and usually caused by emotionally absent father like in my case, growing up fatherless, molestation and other past circumstances that have affected our original sexuality. Ergo, it's not right to blame God that He created us to be gay. In my experience it was my choice to indulge to this kind of lifestyle and self identification and I am pretty sure it's your choice too. We all know that God has created man and woman and no one in between and that is the truth so we need to live with that reality.

We also need to consider that the world we are all living in right now is not the kind of world God has originally intended to create. It became distorted since the time when Eve and Adam disobeyed God and it was the start of all evilness up to present. Why? Have you realized that all the problems we encounter everyday and every evil thing in this world comes from the wrong choices? So as with Adam and Eve and so are we. So it's our choice not to obey God's word, to do everything in our own way, to become homosexual, and now if we want to change; it's also our choice to correct everything that went wrong.

There are lots of God's qualities that we need to consider and very important for us to know for the change we want to happen. These qualities are all according to Bill Bright's book entitled "The Joy of Trusting God." God is all-powerful and nothing is too hard for Him no matter what we might be facing, I guess that is enough reason to entrust our lives to Him and obey Him. God is ever-present; He is everywhere and walks with us, gives us strength and understands our pain. He knows everything about us, our desires, motives, and thoughts. Our Lord knows us perfectly and intimately. God is sovereign for he is the king of all kings. Since He has created all of us, definitely He has already made a plan for us. He has a purpose for each and every one of us and you need to find out what is it. I think I have found mine. God is holy and is the absolute truth. Truthfulness that will free us to live as He has intended, the truth will set us free right? God is righteous and just. He delays His judgment because He patiently provides an opportunity for repentance. God is love; it is absolutely unconditional and merciful. The kind of love close to this we know is the love of a mother for her children. Because He is merciful, He forgives all our sins when we confess them sincerely. Finally, God is faithful. He has promised to be near to all who call upon Him. This is the God, our Father who does not expect us to earn His approval. Once you come to know this Father, your life will never be the same again like mine. Yeah it's hard I must admit but I know God's there for me.

God desires the best for all of us for He already knew us before we were born according to Psalm 139:15. God already has a plan for each and every one of us according to Jeremiah 26:11-14, they are all good plans so becoming homosexual is definitely not a plan for us. Homosexuality enslaves us with our physical and sexual needs, and once we pray to Him to free us from this slavery He will listen and end it in His time. All we need to do is to seek God, accept Him as our personal Lord and Savior, ask forgiveness and repent, He will work in our lives and gives what we need including the change we want to happen. The change is not abrupt like what is going on with my life now but in God's time it will come.

So it is necessary to see God as He really is; His majesty, unlimited power, and everlasting love. Our misconception of God must go for they block God's power from working in our lives. As we desire to fulfill the first commandment, to love God with all our being, He in His great mercy makes this possible.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Homosexuality Part 7

Spiritual Warfare

Of course, if you have decided to leave homosexuality just like what I did there will always be a spiritual warfare going on inside and outside of us. The enemy will not stand idly by while we form a new, godly lifestyle and every step we take will be challenged. He will try to snatch away each truth, bringing doubt, disbelief and confusion. But we need to be reminded constantly that we have been given the authority over the enemy.

We need to think positive all the time that we can do this. Now that I know that I can't get any satisfaction with any sexual encounter or relationship from the same sex, I am pretty sure that the next attractive guy that will come my way will be the same like my past encounters. Oh yes, the moment when you're having sex maybe great and feels good but after that the feeling of guilt, not fully satisfied kind of feeling, empty happiness, and loneliness after wards is always there. This "after the sex encounter" moment for me will make me realize and shift my attention to reality every time I bump into some sexually attractive guy; then I will continue my walk. Believe it or not I must admit; there's a feeling of a little regret whenever I do that but the feeling of being triumphant over the temptation is better and more rewarding. In that way, I can talk freely without any guilt with God and it feels really good.

Christianity is somewhat complicated and sometimes confusing due to the differences in opinion with other Christians. The enemy will use this as a personal attack to us so we must be guarded all the time and must think rationally. Do not let yourself get affected easily by negative behaviors or events with the people around you because you must accept the fact that there is inconsistencies and imperfection in everything including Christianity. We must learn to forgive to keep the enemy from getting the advantage over us.

Let me mention to you the instruments being used by the enemy or by the evil to lure us back into sin as I have learned from the book. First is boredom, normally we use sex as the answer to this. This will remain a great temptation since all people are tempted to return to their old patterns of behavior when they are uncomfortable and in search of escape. Now we are challenged to discover how to use our times alone constructively rather than returning to the easy and sinful solutions of the past. As for me, I read Christian books and I enjoy writing this journal.

Loneliness is the second instrument and a tough one to beat. But did you know that as God's creation, we do not have the right to be lonely? Why do you think is that? Usually, our loneliness is cause by the unmet needs of us which is actually a form of selfishness. For instance is self pity or anger at others or a desire for revenge. These negative thoughts or feelings will be used by evil so you need to be careful. For homosexuals, most of the times we tend to become lonely when we do not have good and intimate relationships with others. Loneliness is quite different from being alone and we can use this time in Bible reading or intercessory prayer, well that's what I do.

Depression, despair and hopelessness were also mentioned in the book. Again for me, these emotions are somewhat related to loneliness which is usually an act of selfishness or self-pity if you're going to analyze deeply. Believe me, at first I find it hard to believe but its true. Sometimes the cause of this is impatience so we need to learn to be patient for it's a virtue as they say. To avoid these emotions, we need to look for the positive things in our life and be happy. I am quite sure that there is always a positive from a negative situation or else there will be no universal balance.

Disbelief in God. Sometimes if we're really in a situation which is very difficult for us to handle, we tend to feel this way. Believe that God is watching us and there's a reason for everything.

Homesickness was also mention as well as cynicism. These are negative emotions and also another ways where we can easily fall short. For homesickness, just be reminded constantly why and what you are for in whatever situation you are and pray. Being cynical will drive people away from you so learn how to gauge and trust people.

A flashback is another instrument that will make us fall again. Go back to the second paragraph of this blog and read it for the second time. So don't be tempted to do it again when you're having flashbacks inadvertently or intentionally with your past life including the sexual encounters.

Do not let your healthy interests outside the church consume so much about your time. When we get caught up in our interests to the extreme like with our job or hobbies, spiritual things begin to seem disconnected from real life. Make your Sunday available for God and always find time to pray and read the bible.

The last instrument that is mentioned is; I can't even believe myself, the thought of having a Christian lover! For me this is ridiculous so since I have decided to follow the Lord and leave homosexuality behind, I do not entertain this kind of idea anymore though I must admit there are lots of good looking Christian guys or gays I must say but it's a no now. So having said that, don't be tempted!

As the temple of the Holy Spirit, we must guard our bodies and minds against all forms of immorality. If we fall, we must accept forgiveness from God and continue our walk with Him by resisting all the temptations around us.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Homosexuality Part 6

Doing The Ordinary

This is the fourth step and the 6th chapter in Worthen's book entitled "This Way Out." God want us to do things like ordinary Christian people do like He want us joined to a body of believers. Once we have made a tough decision to leave homosexuality behind, we must seek the love and support of God's people. Intercessory prayer is essential to bring a new life and a victorious walk, and it can only come from other Christians. To be in Christ and part of Christ, we must also be in and part of His body, the Church.

As of this writing, only my few female friends from the church I go to knew this dilemma of mine. Exposing my real sexuality to male church goers I have met is still in the stage of planning as to when and how am I gonna tell them.

According to Frank, the problem of homosexuality is not so unique and special as we think that's why God does not exempt us from having to do the ordinary expected of all Christians. We do not have to have an isolated Christian life especially from same sex because that is what we need; the affirmation from same sex on a non-sexual level of relationships. One author quoted that homosexuality is difficulty in relating to same sex and not to the opposite sex. Perhaps it's the reason why gays can relate so comfortably with women on a non-sexual level. Having said that, the main root of homosexuality can be healed as a sense of affirmation and belonging replaces that deep sense of alienation through interdependence. It is what the Lord calls us to in the Body of Christ and it is a part of His plan for healing.

Simply attending church regularly won't do it, but this is a foundation for change that must be carefully laid. Bible study, prayer, fellowship and service are also ordinary things which require our attention if we want that change to takes place.

The Bible is the living word and has been supernaturally pieced together by the Holy Spirit. It is the manual of our life as a human and we need to obey it for God will reward our obedience.

Prayer is an imperative part of the change process. We must pray for ourselves and others certainly, but what great change can happen when a group engages in intercessory prayer on our behalf. Also be reminded that we need to be patient, I asked the Lord to change my views on men so that I won't be attracted to them but it will take time. Always, I have to remind myself that a change is a long process and an immediate result from prayers should not be expected. I have learned that I need to obey God's words and will and wait Him to bless my obedience. My friend keeps reminding me that God honors everything that I gave up for Him like turning away from sexually attractive men, I always think that it's not worth it if I gave in to them. The waiting period is a test of our faith so we need to be patient, wait and knowing God is faithful to reward us for our sacrifices, than to build a case against God and suffer the results of separation from God.

Fellowship means taking an interest in others and watching out for one another then rewards will come back in our direction. As part of the body of Christ, we are responsible also with one another. Like what I have learned in the workshop, we need to be the salt or light to others that will give them hope and light in darkness.

God also requires us to serve in churches. At first, I thought that I need to get my act together before I serve the Lord but it should not be the case. In my experience, when I help others with the same struggle that I have whether on homosexuality or other issues it helps me to understand life more and become mature as a Christian. Also, it feels like sharing the same faith with others and it gives joy to my heart.

So find a church where you are comfortable and people whom you can trust and then build a solid rock foundation for the change you want to occur towards a completely healed sexuality. Obedience to His words is the key and God honors our day-in and day-out obedience. So when the storm comes He will protect and upholds us. God's grace will save us from disaster but He won't do it our way. We might have a long wait and doing the ordinary may seem like a waste of time, but every act of obedience moves us farther along in the change process. Most of the time, change comes silently and unobserved. Only when we stop and look back do we realize how far we've come.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Channels Of Hope

Let me take a break for a moment from the topic or book I am discussing to you about on my past few blogs, Frank Worthen's This Way Out. I know I said I will write about "Doing the Ordinary" chapter but please allow me to tell about the workshop I have attended last April 15-22 held at Bay view Park Hotel in Manila. The workshop was about the "Channels of Hope" program originally developed by Christian AIDS Bureau of Southern Africa or CABSA from a Christian perspective. It was a facilitators training that aims to educate the faith leaders on HIV and AIDS and eventually have them lead the de-stigmatization of the community on this pandemic. This is the ministry I have prayed for the Lord and I hope this is the start of it. When I became positive with HIV, I have wanted to make this unexpected consequence of my sinful action into something beautiful which will affect change not only to my life but to others lives as well.

In the workshop, the trainers headed by Christo Greyling of World Vision South Africa; tackled about HIV and AIDS from basic to more than the basics, from diagnosis to acceptance, on how to live positively, ARV or antiretroviral treatment, prevention strategies, Christian and community response on the issue and mobilizing a church community. I, myself, have given my testimony to show to my fellow participants how and what is really going on to the life of a person living with HIV. It was my first time to tell my story in front of people, there are about 35 of them, and I never thought that I would get emotional but it was alright. They were touched by my struggles but the good thing was they have seen the picture of someone with HIV like me. They we're happy about my decision of following the Lord and having a very positive outlook in life.

Actually, lots of them said a lot of beautiful things about what's coming in to my life like God will use me to bless lots of people. But the most nerve-wracking was when they we're kidding me that I will become a pastor and even talks about studying in a theological institute! Well, God knows that I don't want to be like one but if it is His plan that's fine with me I think. Also I would love to study Counseling Psychology so I hope and pray that God will allow this thing to happen.

Aside from the fact that I have met Christo, the best thing that ever happened in that workshop is gaining 34 friends from the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Island, India, and Indonesia. It was extremely wonderful experience indeed and I am very excited to do this Channels of Hope not only here in the country but also to other parts of the world as well.

Praise God!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Homosexuality Part 5

The Need For A Savior

It is the title of the fifth chapter of Worthen's book entitled This Way Out and the next step in restoring the original sexuality of a homosexual.

Closely connected with brokenness is the acknowledgment of a need for a Savior. There must be an admission that we cannot change ourselves, that we have failed in living a holy life or righteous life and that Christ is the only person who can bring change to our lives.

Most human beings find it difficult, if not impossible, to admit they need help. Nobody wants to say, "I was wrong." Pride, an integral part of our nature, often blocks us from crying out, even when our need is great. Repentance and brokenness mean we have to face our need for a Savior. Without this vital step, change cannot take place. No one else can make this decision for us. It must come from our heart.

Changing who we think we are is really hard and we must take note that a change is a process, more often than not it's a very long one. When you have decided to leave homosexuality and accepted Christ as your Savior, you must not rely on your own strength. Jesus is the center of your life now and He's now in charge. This is the meaning of the first in the Ten Commandments, putting God first before everything. That is how we love God more than anything; the Lord wants us to be very dependent on Him. If we do this, the change we are longing for will take place on its own.

Look, it is a three way battle between God, Satan who represents Evil, and us. When evil is in control, we make dumb mistakes and our actions are not even in our best interests. When we join with God and depose Satan, we have two possibilities as to who will run our lives: God or ourselves. The wise individual will review his life and realize that his record as boss is not the greatest. For instance is myself, I was in total control of everything in my life for the past ten years and look what happened. I have lost almost everything. So I opted to let God take control and so far, so good. This laying down of weapons and submitting is not usually done gladly, but with great effort and in small segments.

The fool goes on to win his battle with God. This is a hollow triumph for there is no real victory when we win against God. Eventually, evil re-emerges and takes control from us. When we are dealing with super powers, there is no hope for us to win a lasting victory.

All of us need to remember that God has a perfect plan for our lives and if we thwart this plan, we come out second best. Again as homosexuals, we need to admit that we have this problem to Him and we have inability to manage it on our own. It's a minute by minute dependence on Jesus everyday for the rest of our lives. God's plan is that we seek Jesus in every decision, and in every avenue our life takes.

In 2 Corinthians 1:9, it is mentioned that we should not trust in ourselves. I know this is a hard lesson to learn coz ever since when we're young, we have been taught to trust in ourselves and be confident. But hey! We are God's creation and property. Don't you think it's just right that God will take control of every move and decision we make with our lives? Besides, we owe our lives to Him right? Though God has given us free will as a gift, it causes us the most trouble and is most frequently questioned. Why does God give us this ability? Why are we free to receive Christ or reject Him? Obviously, God wants a people that have accepted Him by choice, not by being forced into a decision. Now, if we've chosen God, how much will we allow Him to influence our lives? If we are wise, we'll let Him have free reign since He is our Maker and knows what is best for us. God will make us what we ought to be, and our lives will be greatly blessed for it.

Again, brokenness must be so complete, that we no longer have any penchant to regain control of our lives, but allow God and the Holy Spirit to lead. Victory is dependence on Jesus.

Next step is about doing the ordinary.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Homosexuality Part 4

Brokenness Or Way Of Sorrow

When I have learned that I am HIV positive and can no longer migrate to another country for greener pasture, I have felt hopeless. After losing more than half a million pesos in a scam, my entrepreneurial venture did not worked out, my modeling career did not took off, then stuck in a call center job
, I guess there's no reason for me to live anymore. My dream of becoming wealthy enough to experience a luxurious kind of life and giving my parents or family a well-off kind of lifestyle will not going to happen or very far from happening in this country has been shattered and I have felt like I was broken in to million pieces and do not know how to make it whole again. Like I said I have thought several times of committing suicide it's just that I can't do it. Then I began searching for the reasons on everything that happened to me. Out of this brokenness, I began searching for the meaning and purpose of my completely wrecked and already sentenced life until I have found God. God is the answer for all of this.

Since I have accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior, I must be born again spiritually. The old I have to die and the new me now is trying to emerge and live for I have decided to walk in light with Him. After receiving God and the Holy Spirit, the conviction of all my sins took place then repentance must follow. But what is the real meaning of repentance? It means a change of mind, a change of direction and in the final analysis, sorrow that initiates actions. It is not enough to be in sorrow over the loss of a comfortable lifestyle, nor is it enough to think good thoughts about God while continuing to walk in darkness. One must have deep sorrow for all his wrongdoings for he has grieved the Holy Spirit and a resolve that this will not continue to happen.

The action that repentance initiates may be leaving a lover, separating from friendships, leaving a job and yes, leaving homosexuality and moving to new, unfamiliar surroundings. The death of a dream is a sad thing. It is hard for the former homosexual to set aside the fantasy that someday the right person is going to come along and bring the fulfillment he has sought for so long. But as long as this dream lives, change is blocked. As of this writing, I just turned away from Alex, the man I have waited for several months to see again and be with him. I like him a lot and liked him even more when we've met and talked three days ago. But I have to give him up coz it was wrong, I told Alex that friendship is all I can offer. What makes it worst is that he likes me a lot too! Well, I need to follow God coz that is the right thing to do; yes it is painful.

Before Christ's glorious resurrection, Jesus had to walk the lonely and painful way too; the way of sorrow. So if we have decided to change and are able to be in close relationship with Jesus and guided by the Holy Spirit, we cannot escape the cross. Romans 6:3-4 says don't you know that all of us who where baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

New life emerges from the power of the Cross. In the times when Jesus lived, everyone knew the expression "take up your cross" meant "you're on your way to death." There is finality about death and we must view the old lifestyle with that same finality. Any remnant of our former way of life will block the new from emerging.

As a surgeon searches for every trace of cancer so that no new problem will be generated from the old, so must the former homosexual remove all remnants from his past: all pornography materials like magazines and DVD of gay porn movies, website accounts, and other materials or keepsakes that draw the mind back to former times. These things must be completely eradicated. If our job compromise our Christian standards and affects our Christian walk or the change that we want in our life, then it must be wise to change jobs also.

Friends who negatively affect our lives must be kept from exerting influence over us too, for they will not understand our change of ways. Spiritual things sound like foolishness to those who are perishing according to 1 Corinthians 1:18. In my case I have changed my phone number and retain those whom I thought would understand me. Now that I have entrusted my self to God, I must free myself from the pressures the world places on me. If we have the courage and determination to do this, we will grow spiritually.

We must also learn to forgive people. We tend to blame others for what had happened to us but we must take responsible for our actions. When we gave up to homosexuality it's our choice and not them. Most probably all the bad things including the guilt feelings, emptiness, anger, ridicule, and emotional pain that comes along with it are merely the consequences of those actions we took and we should be accountable for it as well. It is not easy to let go of such hatred and resentment especially if we have been molested or overpowered. But forgiveness is a sacrifice and a painful readjustment in our emotional make-up. Difficult as it may be, it is a doorway to healing.

Again, change is born out of brokenness. If you have decided that homosexuality is a sin and that you have grieved the Holy Spirit by your actions, and then a deep sorrow for it must follow. There must be an abandonment of your old ways, your desires and your will. Before we find peace and joy, there must be a time of grief. There are sacrifices are to be made gladly since the exchange is all in our favor.

James 4:8-10. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.

Next, I am going to talk about the need for a Savior to make the change happen.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Homosexuality Part 3

First Step - Making The Crucial Decision

It is not easy for the homosexual person to decide that God has spoken against homosexuality and to agree to embark on the long and difficult road to change. I can truly attest to that. The church at large is not being helpful in guiding the former homosexual toward a new and different lifestyle. A segment of the church is advancing the idea that the scriptural injunctions against homosexuality were written for ancient culture and offer nothing of value for today's world.

Large numbers of people struggling with homosexuality are being advised by pastors or priests to adjust to that lifestyle, though they are admonished to live as respectably as possible as a homosexual person.

To step out of homosexuality should be our decision alone. If we made that decision surely it will be challenged time after time. If our decision was based on pleasing others except God, it will not be strong enough to endure the hardships and rough times ahead. This motivation will be insufficient and will fail during times of testing, we will find ourselves saying: "I only did it to please my parents (or others)."

We believed that there are two forces out there which influence our actions: the good and evil. Standing against both the subtle and blatant messages of the world, we must gain wisdom and learn to discern the workings of both forces especially the workings of the Devil. Satan brings pressure to bear on us in times of need. He distorts and magnifies the problems, widening the gap between us and God. He moves on us when we are weak and troubled. He knows the longing of our hearts like deep needs for touch, intimacy and a person to understand us but he sends something that will hurt or destroy us like a lover for example.

Satan is a liar. Each sexual encounter we have only increases our appetite for more. He keeps telling us it will be better next time which actually is not true. While sexual encounters may have been satisfying for the moment, we are left still unfulfilled and still searching for some elusive ingredient that will make the intimacy last. Homosexuals are deceived that the hope for the person we have been seeking is just around the corner. Yet, it never happens, the endless search continues. Clearly, each sexual encounter tightens the grip of homosexuality. The more experiences we have, the more trapped we become. We are left with raging desires that can never find peace or satisfaction.

Human nature being what it is; people tend to seek the easy way, the way of escape, the way of no pain. Accepting homosexuality is the wide and easy way that leads to destruction. Resisting it is the narrow and sometimes the lonely way since so few takes this road. But this is the road which leads to life, the only path to the true joy and fulfillment we've sought through elusive fantasies. Hard to believe but I guess it's true. Self is enthroned. If it feels good, do it. If it seems right to me, it must be right. That is how we people usually tend to react on things. But Jesus set his face like flint against temptation and so must we.

How can such a decision be made? First, the struggling homosexual must be a seeker of the Truth. The motivation for such a major change is unlikely to come from human resources but only through the Holy Spirit. According to Psalm 145:18, the Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. No one finds his way out of a problem until he admits the problem exists. So as homosexual, we must admit to ourselves and to God that "Lord I have a problem."

Second, we need to close the option of accepting homosexuality or returning to it if things did not work out. Ambivalence is the barrier to change and if these options are held open change won't occur. Bridges must be burned and a crucial decision must be made. The Holy Spirit brings conviction of sin, and if the person receives this conviction deep into his heart he will have the only enduring motivation to close the options forever.

I have decided already that's why I am sharing this to you and now the decision is yours. Will you face the issue head on and take a realistic look at your life? What will the future hold for you as a gay person? Have you ever been repulsed by aging gays trying to pick up young men in a gay bar, streets, or malls? Have you wondered if this is going to be you at some point in the future? It will be unless you make some hard choices now. Do you want a life filled with guilt and separation from God?

What we may be unaware of at the time of decision is that God is "for us" and will come to your aid, helping you through the difficult situations. He is as near as you will allow Him to be. He is faithful to His promises always "near to those who call upon Him" (Psalm 145:18).

Again, this is not a decision to be made lightly for it will alter the entire balance of your life. Once made, it will be in your best interest to stand firm in your decision since wavering is the worst walk of all, bringing guilt, fear and confusion. My suggestion is repent first and decide to walk finally in light with Jesus Christ then gradually work on homosexuality issues coz definitely it will follow, just like what I am currently doing. It's really hard but once the Holy Spirit of God is working it will absolutely work. Well, I am speaking of my situation and what I am going through right now.

It takes boldness and bravery to leave behind the very thing that has always presented itself as the answer to the empty places in life. Yet the Holy Spirit makes brave men out of cowards. When God asks something of us and we respond in heartfelt obedience, He always supplies power to do it. So this decision must be made on your own and not to please someone else for it deserves time and effort. Seek God and pray before deciding. Don't be hasty; know the costs, weigh them. But know the blessings as well; peace with God and a new way of life.

Romans 6:13. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but offer yourselves to God.

Next topic is brokenness.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Homosexuality Part 2

Homosexuality Is A Sin - Did God Say?

I grew up as a catholic and the teachings back then was homosexuality was indeed a sin. So even though I have felt that I am different I have struggled and fight not to become one or at least hide it. Then some of the churches in other countries have accepted same sex marriage; this somehow is one of the factors why I had given up to it 6 years ago. Because a lot of people are practicing homosexual lifestyle, it became natural to the society that they have become more open-minded to this unnatural kind of relationship or sexual orientation. Somehow, I just let myself went with the flow even though I knew deep down inside me that it was wrong.

Traditionally the church has always considered homosexuality a sin, in fact, has reacted rather badly at times to this problem. Homosexuality was not seen as just a sin among sins but a special sin: a category all of itself, a crime against nature. The punishment included torture, humiliation and burning. Modern day punishments include HIV/AIDS for sexually immoral. There was no question whether or not homosexuality was sin; it was!

Today it seems incredible that such a homophobic church could swing so far to the other side of this issue, yet it has in many instances. Not only the church, but governmental legislation from Norway to New Zealand now favors the gay lifestyle. Where once it was a crime to engage in homosexual behavior, now it is becoming a crime to question it. Church and government have capitulated to gay demands and now defend this new "alternative" lifestyle.

Again in the traditional viewpoint, God, seeing it was not good that man should be alone made a helper suitable for him. A woman is physically created to receive the man in sexual union. Any sexual relationship other than that between a man and a woman in marriage has been viewed as a sin and a product of the Fall. The three biblical requirements for marriage are; a man and a woman, a sexual relationship, and a lifetime commitment. If only one or two of these elements are present, there is a distortion of God's plan. An example of that might be two men in a sexual relationship with a lifetime commitment or a man and a woman in a sexual relationship without commitment. For this reason many church leaders continue to see homosexuality as a sin, a result of man's fallen nature. Whatever new scientific "evidence" that may come to light can never change God's basic plan.

In Genesis 19, a sexual encounter of a man with another man is considered a wicked thing to do; when the men from Sodom insisted Lot's men visitors to have sex with them. Also it was considered unlawful in Leviticus 18:22 where it says do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman for that is detestable. The punishment for this sin is death according to Leviticus 20:13. God's wrath against mankind was revealed in the new testament under Romans 1; in verse 27 said that men abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Based on my experience I think, it was the HIV that I have acquired and its consequences.

Frank Worthen mentioned some gay theologies and rationalizations which favor the homosexuality but he concluded that God did not accept them at the time of Noah and God has not changed since then. One theology he mentioned he find difficult to accept is that it is against nature for a person to be freed from his homosexual orientation and to seek for marriage and family. The argument that homosexual orientation, for some, is natural and according to nature is completely and totally false.

One more scripture regarding homosexuality is 1 Corinthians 6:9-10: "Do you know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

This verse considers all sex outside of marriage is sinful. It mentioned the fornicators, those who engage in sexual relations while unmarried; adulterers, those who have sexual relations with someone other than their marriage partner, and finally, Paul speaks of those who engage in homosexual practices.

Did God say? Where have we heard these words before? Do they have a familiar ring? In Genesis 3:1 we will find Satan questioning God's directives. Satan works through deception, introducing into the church deadly heresies that oppose God's design for man. What God has made perfectly clear, Satan cast doubt upon. These three words: "Did God say?" have separated man from God; not only severing his personal relationship with God but with his fellowmen as well, bringing death and defeat. Homosexuality along with all sin, found its birth the fateful day that man accepted and believed the lies of the Enemy.

When I first read all about these things, I must admit it was new to me and probably to you as well; knowing this deeply affect my and your life in times to come. On the 13th of this month, I will be in my 4th month as a Christian. The first several weeks were really tough for me, but as the days goes by it is getting easier somehow every time I remind myself with all these scriptures. Besides, we must admit that after sex we're just deceiving ourselves that we're ok or satisfied but if we're going to dig deeper with our emotions we're actually not.

Next topic, my decision and perhaps yours too.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Homosexuality Part 1

A Brief Look At Homosexuality

This Way Out. Understanding Homosexuality, Embracing Freedom is the whole title of the book written by Frank Worthen about homosexuality and how to get out of it. The first chapter tackled a brief look at homosexuality and according to him; homosexuality is a misguided search for love and affirmation.

Why on earth are homosexual people so determined that they were born gay? Personally, I have met other guys who used to be straight and began indulging into homosexual acts when someone took advantage of them sexually and they have liked it. Hence, they prefer having sex with guys also. Some of them are married to a woman to hide their homosexuality and some of these straight acting gays prefer someone like them, not the so effeminate, girly type, typical gays. That's why today, it's so hard to distinguish if a guy is really straight or not because most of them are not pretty obvious and hiding behind their well built physique and masculine behaviours. What I am saying is that, not all homosexual are gay since the beginning as they have told.

First, the idea that a choice exists as to whether or not they remain homosexual is both frightening and threatening. The gay person has a real investment in his identity. Many gay people like me, have struggled with homosexuality feelings for years before accepting the label "homosexual" on their lives. As for me, I was 25 when I have finally accepted it. By accepting this identity, they put to rest this hard struggle and feel a sense of relief that this traumatic time in their life has passed. The thought of returning to these times of uncertainty is very threatening and undermines their confidence in their very identity.

Secondly, most gay people cannot remember a time when they did not have homosexual feelings. They actually believe they were born gay. What research has proven is that the paths we take are laid down at a very early age. It is said that a child knows if he is wanted or not by the time he is 6 months of age. During the period from 18 to 36 months, his or her "gender identity" is formed and becomes difficult to change from this point on. So it is not surprising that the message from the gay community that a person is "born gay" is accepted at face value.

The deepest root of homosexuality is a break in the relational bonds within the family, producing a lack of a sense of belonging or lack of affirmation. The security of a child depends on a 3 way bond: mother to child, father to child and the often overlooked and neglected bond of father to mother. Any break in this triangle will produce insecurity in the child, whom is affected by the way he or she reacts to disruptions in the family unit.

A male child has certain needs that only his father can fill, the same is true of a female child with her mother. The male role is to initiate, the female role is to respond. These are to be the predominate traits although there will be a natural cross-over. It is vital for the male child to develop an active rather than a passive personality. Under his father's covering, he feels free to explore his world and learn by trial and error. The strength, power and protection of his father make this possible. He enjoys his relationship with his father, knowing that his father desires him to possess these traits for himself, rather than being always dependent on his father for them. These good feelings about his father transfer into love, affirmation and a sense of belonging. He is secure in his father's identity and accepts that identity for himself.

Why is it that causes gay people to go out on the streets looking for a sexual partner? Although, most have little awareness of this, their search is not for sex, but for intimacy. They seek in another male person the elements of parental love that was denied them. Much of the homosexual search is a father replacement search like mine, an attempt to find strength, power and protection from a male figure.

The deepest roots of homosexuality are ergo non-sexual. The desire for sexual interaction comes along after the simple desire for love, security, affirmation and just someone who will say "You're ok." If the child has had an absent or emotionally-absent father, a certain amount of vulnerability is felt by the child. There is a tendency to withdraw and it produces 3 negative side effects: fear, isolation and envy.

Fear of abandonment, is one of the major causes of personality disturbances. An emotionally absent father has abandoned his children as much, or more than a totally absent father. This is the case of most of the gay people, it explains while they are looking this loving and caring from other male that a father should have given to them.

The lack of a same sex role model creates problems with one's peer group. If a male child has only his mother's influence in his life, he will react to the world in the way he thinks his mother would react. Sadly, his peers will quickly pick up on his effeminacy or difference and ridicule him, excluding him from their inner circle. Thus isolation is forced on him. One of the major underlying problems of homosexuality is a lack of sense of belonging or affirmation. Peer rejection can play a major role in affirming a child's difference, and unacceptability. A rejected child will feel different and will purposely choose isolation, since social interaction brings pain and rejection.

It is only natural that the child who has felt the sting of rejection comes to envy the accepted one. A process begins that, if carried to its conclusion, will lead to what gays call their "orientation." Beginning with simple comparison of one's self with others, one makes the decision and admission that one is then not equal with one's peers. The realization comes that one cannot meet the standards of one's peer group. This gives rise to admiration of those who are better in some way. They may be more handsome, better built, or more intelligent; a host of other things. Predominantly admiration is felt for those who are not afraid to initiate, those who have the courage and strength to maintain their worth against the attacks that come their way. Somewhere along the way, this admiration slips into envy and a strong desire to possess. Usually there is one special person that is the object of this envy and admiration. Decades later, the homosexual person may still be on a replacement search for this "first love." He strongly desires for this person to be his best friend. He fantasizes about being alone with this person and being able to relate intimately with him.

In puberty, as the sexual desire starts to emerge, this desire simply settles in on what has already been the focus of the child's life, that which was the object of their admiration and envy. Thus, envy becomes eroticized. In many lives, this process does not proceed to this end, but for a homosexual person, this sexual desire for someone of the same sex seems completely natural since it began as a non-sexual desire.

So we find that the pattern of homosexuality develops over a long time span from infancy to adolescence. Because of its early beginnings, it may appear to be inborn. Somewhere in puberty, the person becomes aware that this interest in people of the same sex is not normal and that his peers are moving ahead into heterosexual interests.

Panic often sets in as the discovery is made that this is not just a phase that will pass but may be a lifetime condition. This revelation is sometimes followed by what can only be described as a grief process. There is a period of disbelief and denial. Following this may be a time of almost total isolation, crying, and severe depression. It is at this point that many who have never been religious will turn to religion to seek an immediate change in their life or just accept it, find other homosexuals to be with the same crowd and live a homosexual lifestyle; which is the case of today.

I was 25 years old when I have eventually accepted and live with it and then because of the never ending unwary quest for sexual satisfaction or partner, I got infected with HIV. Now that this happened, I have decided to fix the root cause of this endless and tiresome search for love or affirmation which turned out to be wrong in the first place. Then I came to a point of looking for the purpose of my messy life until I found the Lord Jesus Christ. Ever since, I really don't want to be homosexual; even during the times when I was acting out my homosexual desires. It's just that it was very hard to control then and I was so driven by my unwanted sexual need. It's different now that I am with Jesus Christ, I can control it now though it's really hard not to mention the temptation in every corner; and I have decided to correct what is wrong.

Next topic, is homosexuality a sin?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Why I Have Become Queer?

That's the question which kept bugging me since I was a teenager until such time I have accepted that I am gay. I could not find the answer until I've read Frank Worthen's This Way Out, so might as well live with it and be true to myself then tried having sex with a guy for the first time in late 2002. My indulgence in same sex relationships lasted till early 2008 and as of this writing I am celibate for more than a month now, no sex and no masturbation. Thanks for the Holy Spirit and Lord Jesus Christ! He saved me. But honestly I don't know until when I can do this. I don't want to do it anymore because the guilt feeling was far worse than what I have felt when I was not a Christian yet. Now it's different, when I gave in to temptation after I have received the Holy Spirit during the Alpha Course weekend get away; I realized that the feeling when I was doing it was not the same as before. Comparing sex to food, if it used to be delicious now it tastes like mud for me. In addition to that, I have almost cried for I have betrayed the Lord once again. After that incident, I always try to remember that bitter feeling so I won't let myself act on any temptation again. Besides, I have submitted myself including my sexuality to the Lord so I let Him to fight for me on this battle. It was the suggestion of Frank Worthen when you became a Christian and have decided to walk in light with the Lord, total submission. It means I have to decide to leave homosexuality or any homosexual acts and begin restoring my distorted sexuality to its original state as to what God Has created me originally, which is becoming a real man.

Temptation is everywhere I tell you, and being a goodlooking sexy guy like me most of the time they are coming right after me just like that. It's hard to resist especially when the guy giving me a hint is my type as well. I already deleted all my internet account; these are websites that allow men to meet with other men like guys4men.com, manjam.com, and many other gay websites. Also I have changed my phone number so that I will lose all my gay contacts though I retained a few which we considered real friends with no sex involved. Next thing I am going to do is to dispose all my gay porn videos and magazines, only a few but still it will become a source of a sinful act and my old life should not have any remnants. My mind, the places that I can't avoid because that's the only way, and the attractive guys that I see when I am out there are the things left that is part of this spiritual warfare. Being a Christian in this kind of battle is really hard; there are times that I really wanted to give in. I pray very hard and run to the bible whenever I feel that way. Like I said in my previous posts, this is my hardest spiritual battle as a new Christian. Somehow, I also blamed my homosexuality for acquiring HIV so it must be stopped once and for all. Supposedly it should have been ceased after knowing that I am HIV positive. At first it was my decision, but there are support groups and other people I have met at the hospital encouraging HIV patients to still have sex only with condoms. Later on I went with the flow but honestly I have fear that I might get my sex partners infected so I must be really put an end to this. The root of this dilemma is my homosexuality but why on earth I have become like this?

This Way Out was a huge help for me to answer this question, I am going to share with you people every thing I have learned from this book; every step and every chapter of it on my next posts. First, let me tell what I have found out for myself through this book. I thought that it was inborn for me like the reason of many other gays. Tracing back my childhood, I think it started when my elder brother refused to play with me. I used to follow him everywhere he goes but perhaps he was annoyed by me, he told me once to stop going out with him. He has other playmates, and then my elder sister became my playmate. We played paper dolls and other girly stuffs. I am aware that I should not be playing those but I have no choice. As a kid, my cousins used to tease me sissy. I can't get mad coz I am not sure if I can win if I fight them back. Due to the influence of my sister I think, somehow I became effeminate in some ways. When I was in elementary, I got mad when my classmate teased me that I am gay. Deep down inside me I know I am not and I don't want to be. Then high school came and then I started to feel attraction with the same sex especially the good looking juniors and seniors. During this period, I have tried to be reserved and act masculine so as not to be branded as gay by my schoolmates. It's kind of embarrassing coz were not kids anymore and we began to have crushes and fell in love. What's so confusing about me was that, I fell in love with my classmate Lisa. I think I have mentioned her back in my previous post. She's my first and only love that I was willing to disdain this other personality of mine only if we could be together and raise a family with her. I even courted her when we're seniors already. When she broke my heart after college, somehow it triggered me to explore my homosexuality.

When I was a kid, I was closer to my mother than to my father and I think until today it's the same situation. We're the type of family who are not showy of our feelings and emotion except when we're mad. It runs in the family because my father is a little bit of war freak and very ill tempered most especially when it comes to our family. My father was used to be the typical father in the Filipino setting that he just provided what his family he thought would actually need. Of course, our parents are always concern with us kids and I think they raised us well to be a good citizen of this country. We learned to value good things and traits because of them. But hey they are no perfect parents like others, for me, my father was emotionally absent as I grew up. This is the biggest factor that affected my sexuality but I don't blame him. In fact I have forgiven him already because that's his personality, not vocal and showy of his feelings to us. Also, I have an uncle who seduced me in a not obvious way when I was 12 or 13. We became close that we went biking almost every morning; he's riding his bike with me in front sometimes at the back. He took advantage of this closeness that there were times when he used to touch my legs, arms, and nipples in a joking way when we're alone. It felt good that time for me and I was still innocent but it never came to a point that I think I was somewhat molested. No touching of private parts happened perhaps he's afraid to do it. In a way, this incident also affected my sexuality. Since my father was emotionally absent for me, it explains my attraction to older or matured guys. The closeness I had with my uncle have somewhat kindled my sexual need with the same sex. I have accepted being queer when I met people like me, gained some friends, and eventually found out that there are thousands or millions out there like me. All of them are practicing homosexual lifestyle and looks like they are happy. As for me, first few encounters were alright. Previously I have told that after every sexual encounter I felt guilty then I became used to it. I know that I don't want to do it because it gave me the feeling of being used and emptiness. It's just that I have no control over it then unlike now that God is with me. Because of my promiscuous lifestyle and stupidity, I got awarded with the lifetime achievement award of being promiscuous. I have become HIV positive so congratulations to me! Well, I am just kidding myself.

So it looked like my homosexuality was developed from a very young age to adolescence, it was not inborn after all. Homosexuality is a misguided search for love and affirmation. Based on my experience and testimony of others, no same sex relationship lasted forever. Most of the same sex couple opted to stay together for companionship, they are still fooling around. What kind of relationship is that? In short, there is no satisfaction. The search for a right guy is never ending because obviously it is wrong and again, misguided. The solution is to stop the homosexuality, submit ourselves to God and keep focus on Him, lift up to the Lord this battle, and start returning the distorted sexuality to its original state according to God's will. That is being a real man of God.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Alpha Course Finally Completed

The last topic discussed by Nicky Gumbel was "How can I make the most of the rest of my life?" He told us what should we do, and that is break with the past. We should not conform any longer to the pattern of this world and not let the world around us squeeze us into its mould. We need to make a brand new start and allow God freely transform us inwardly by a complete change through sincere love, enthusiasm for the Lord, and having a harmonious relationship with Him and His people.

But how on earth are we going to do it? All we need to do is to present our bodies to God, our eyes, ears, mouths, hands, sexuality, time, ambitions, money, and all act of will. In short we need to surrender our whole life to Him and let Jesus take the wheel like what Carrie Underwood sings in her song. Matthew 6:33 says, but seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. So that's we as living sacrifices, it will involve sacrifices and maybe suffering as well.

Why should we do it? God has planned for our future, His good and pleasing perfect will. Personally, I am so excited what will happen to my future now that God is in control of my life. I pray for every decision I make to ensure that what I am about to do is conforming to His will. In that manner, I will be able to live my life accordingly.

Our graduation night last Wednesday was so great and full of fun and excitement for most of the hidden talents of the participants were showcased in front of guests. Well, as for me I have got to sing and it was cool. Alpha course is a great way to start a true Christian living. Questions about life will definitely be answered during the course and it's truly a life changing experience! I am glad that I have made that decision, accepting Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior is really rewarding.



Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Kingdom Living

Kingdom Living or Christian Living is God's answer to HIV/AIDS according to Joy and Ray Thomas and I firmly believe and support that, I hope this will become my work and my ministry as well at the same time.

It means living God's way, following God's words which is the bible; the manual of our lives. Living God's way simply means abstinence before marriage, and being faithful after marriage, with condoms reserved for those in situations where they have no choice. The last resort which is the condom, I don't personally support that one 100%. There is always a choice; it's just that more often than not, people make the wrong choices. I strongly believe that HIV/AIDS is wholly preventable if only we will take our choices seriously.

According to the authors, the ABC program in Uganda (Abstinence first, Be faithful next, and use Condoms only for those who cannot or will not choose the first two) has successfully turned the tide in the progression of AIDS. It all started in Africa, Uganda, a country with a Christian President, was already thinking this way with this program. In the hospital where I have my regular check up, the number of patients increased every year. As a matter of fact, last year's total number of patients has been more than doubled compared to 2006. Though I was diagnosed then, it was in 2007 when I became legally part of their list. What's really sad about this is that most of the newly diagnosed were very young like 18 or 19 years old only! What's make the situation worse is that, the non government organizations that give social support to us promote the use of condoms. There's nothing wrong with that if you're going to look at safety alone but for me, it's like encouraging them to still engage in to casual sex and it's just ok as long as you're protected by this man-made rubber. I have read from the bible, I just can't remember what chapter and verse in the old testament, God said that if people will turn their back away from Him and continue to sin He will create diseases that is not written on this book; so HIV is one of them most probably. Now that I have decided to walk in light with Jesus Christ, living a true Christian life is a must and engaging in casual sex is not part of it. The church in the Philippines seems so quiet with regards to this matter, that's why this is I want to promote; the Kingdom Living.

The Kingdom of God promises salvation and eternal life. As we repent of our sins and receive forgiveness we can leave our old life behind and step to His kingdom. It is a kingdom of righteousness where we receive the blessings of heaven on earth in exchange for our selfishness and our worldly values. Here we have the power of the Holy Spirit to enable us to change from worldly to kingdom values. No longer are we at the center of our world, which is very lonely and dangerous place. As we seek His kingdom and place Him at the center of our lives, so He promises that all the needs we worry so much about will be provided by a Father who knows exactly what we really need.

God's gift of sexuality was given for the purpose of procreation and recreation only. Recreation is the giving of intense and deep pleasure to one another with which we are bound in the relationship of one flesh by marriage, and not with all and sundry but only with our one flesh partner. If we are promiscuous, it is though the "one fleshness" becomes diluted. We seem to leave parts of our "inner selves" scattered in different places with many different people. Flee from sexual immorality. It says in 1 Corinthians 6:18-19, do you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God; therefore honoring God with your body. This is Kingdom Sexuality conforming Kingdom Living.

If we live God's way we will put God first. Matthew 6:33. Seek first the Kingdom of God. We will turn away from our sin, Matthew 3:2; repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Follow Kingdom Sexuality by enjoying it with our marriage partner, 1 Corinthians 6:18; flee from sexual immorality.

For homosexuals like me, homosexual acts like same sex relationship is the sin and God hates the sin not the homosexuals. Through Jesus Christ, a gay can restore his sexuality into its original state and be an ex-gay. I'll talk more about it on my next post coz like I've said this is my spiritual warfare that I need to win all the time.

If we all live this way HIV/AIDS will stop and we can give the future generation a world without it. Kingdom Living is God's answer to HIV/AIDS.