D R . E L R O I


Friday, January 23, 2009

Celibacy & Struggle

Dear readers, last Monday marked the 10th month since I have started my self vow to celibate for the Lord Jesus Christ. I can't remember if I promise this to Him but up to this point I would still be adamant in doing this as long as I can with God's grace.

It's not easy because the temptations are every where and the call of nature for it is sometimes very intense. If you're going to ask me how can I do this, all I can say is it is not me. The Lord is in control and only by His grace that I can do it so I give back all the honor, praise and worship to God. This may sound or look ridiculous and impossible to many but it is true!

Honestly, I don't know until when I could do this because I am still human after all, full of imperfections and still struggling with same sex attraction! I believe as a Christian this is my cross that I need to take as long as I live aside from being HIV positive. All of us have struggles and we need to be thankful for it because it keeps us closer to God. Therefore, every time I feel a sexual urge I think about the Lord and His words from 1 Corinthian 6:18-20. So far it helps me to be victorious.

Following Jesus Christ is hard but there is this inner peace and contentment and excitement at the same time as to what will happen next into my life. This journey with the Lord is a combination of happiness and sadness, the former due to the assurance that God will always be there for me no matter what. The latter is because of the test and struggle when the Lord wants to bring out something inside me to deal with in order for me to become a good person and steward of His kingdom.

I must admit that I have tendencies to resort to other addictions in relation to my SSA struggle such as internet pornography, cruising at the mall and dirty chatting. The enemy is giving me the thought that I have a huge sacrifice with the celibacy I am doing and I deserve diversities like these, somehow as a human but it is wrong. I know it will only fuel the sexual desires in me which I am trying to avoid.

My prayer to God is to be patient with me as I struggle to break free of my idols of addiction, presenting to Him all my addictions and secret desires and to help me risk believing that He still loves me anyway. I also pray that He will give me the courage to confess all my sins to my counselors in the church. Please pray for me.

I'll be doing the "Channels of Hope" workshop again next week in one of the World Vision's ADP in Palawan and this time I will be leading the facilitation. Praise God!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Doane Rest

My doctor friend and I stayed at Doane Rest in Baguio City last January 7 - 10. We had a great time together even though it was a time for her to grieve for her mother who passed away last December 25. I just opted to be with her as a friend.

We visited a bible school there in Benguet and the weather is colder than in Baguio, its like 6 degrees Celsius! The school is very nice and very quiet and the staff members are all nice people. I met a guy there who is very handsome and I have a crush on him I must admit. Well, I know as a Christian struggling with same sex attraction I should not be entertaining things like this but I can't help it. It's just an attraction, it will fade away some time later on.

When I have decided to follow Jesus and leave my past life, I know have to deal with this struggle everyday. For how long? Maybe for a lifetime? Only God knows. I just pray that the Lord will give me enough strength not to give in to any temptation. According to my Pastor and to my devotional bible, a struggle is a gift because it keeps us closer to God. We must be thankful for this struggle because when we stop struggling the enemy will devour us.

Doane Rest is very beautiful place to stay, the rate is pretty low. It is a perfect place if you want to think and spend time with God. Though it is intended for missionaries who visit the summer capital of the Philippines, you can also stay there but for a little higher rate. I am just blessed to be a good friend of a missionary doctor. Praise the Lord!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Dangerous Surrender

This is the title of the book I just finished reading written by Kay Warren. She's the wife of Ric Warren, the author of the book "The Purpose Driven Life".

Kay talked about how she was called by God to be an advocate for people living with HIV & AIDS and how she surrendered her goals, dreams, plans and her whole life to God's will.

I can relate very much to her experiences because when I surrendered and totally submitted myself to Lord Jesus Christ and cried out to God that I am all his to use according to His will and purpose, I never thought that it was a dangerous surrender. After a year of being a Christian, I realized that giving in to God is not easy. It's not for cowards as Kay described, it's the boldest, riskiest step you'll ever take because this dangerous submission can bring both joy and pain, both heartache and ecstasy but it enables you to know God in a far deeper way than ever before.

Like Kay, I also felt that I want to save the world when I learned the realities and facts on how this pandemic affected the world especially those who live in Africa especially now that I am witnessing every month the increasing number of people infected by HIV in the Philippines; not to mention that they are getting younger and younger! Because of this, I became more determined to continue doing what I am doing and prayed to God to expand my horizon so I can reach out to lots of people through the "Channels of Hope" program I am currently involve at.

In our own little way, we can make a difference to lessen if not totally put an end to the spread of HIV & AIDS pandemic. Be educated about the issue and everything related to it and pray to God on how He can use you in this ministry. The people of the church has actually a huge part on this because as God's people, we should give them hope and show them that we have a big God that can take over. Remove the stigma, be a channel of hope and show to people and children living with HIV & AIDS God's love by being compassionate about them, about us!

Again like Kay, I have nothing in myself to offer but Christ in me who does. He has made my life sacramental offering through the wounds I've received in my life, the sexual brokenness I am dealing with, sinful behavior that I could not control, other wounds known only to Him, and of course when I myself got infected with HIV. God's way of preparing me to be an advocate has involved a painful journey. The only difference between us is, she protested many times while I deeply asked for it for the simple reason that nobody could understand or relate to this people other than somebody in their situation. Kay has to visit and see for herself the difficulties and hardships of PLWHA in Africa and in Asia including the Philippines. Without those wounds and God's crushing fingers, I would not be the person I am today. I am not the person I used to be but I am not yet the person God has created me to be. God and I are still working on it, for how long? Only God knows.

God chooses the ordinary to become extraordinary and the most unlikely to serve his kingdom like what He did with Kay and now I believe, He's gradually doing it to me. The call is definitely worth the cost which is higher than we anticipate.

Read this book if you are willing to become disturbed, gloriously ruined, expose evil, make a dangerous surrender and make the invisible God visible by being his hands and feet in this broken world - by doing good. If you are willing to risk it all for Jesus Christ's sake, say yes to God and your world will begin.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Be A Lotus

I just want to share this message sent to me by a friend a couple of months ago. It is very nice!

Confucius says and I want to say it too, "be a lotus". It means no matter how ugly, how evil, and how sinful everyone around you might become, do not allow yourself to be stained. A lotus remains beautiful even as it lingers in the filthy waters of the pond. Do not be contaminated nor influenced by worthless means. Remain radiant among the shadows of darkness.

Be a lotus, it has to start with one to fill the pond with more.

Honestly, I was struck by this message. I believe that as a Christian, we have to be like a lotus. We live in a fallen and broken world and evil is present everyday, everywhere. We should not be contaminated nor influenced by them but we need and we must shed our light to those who live in darkness.

To all the Christians out there, let us be a lotus!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Looking Back to 2008 and Forward to 2009

Happy New Year to everyone!

Year 2008 was a fruitful year to me as I started the first year of my Christian journey with the Lord Jesus Christ! I have concluded the year by finishing the whole Bible from the book of Genesis to Revelations though I must admit I did not retain everything in my brain. I have memorized several verses which apply to me and to my struggles daily. I just found out that the enormity of God's love and how are we going to live our lives rightfully are all just there!

I started the year by attending and finishing the ALPHA course in our church and given my testimony on the Holy Spirit. The "Channels of Hope" HIV & AIDS program facilitator's training I attended is an answered prayer when I asked the Lord to use me according to His will and purpose. I've been doing this workshop for the last 8 months in different parts of the Philippines and the goal of de-stigmatization of the church community has been gradually taking place. The last one was in Tagaytay City last December 29 when this Pastor friend of mine invited me to be a speaker to their youth camp. Ethereal happiness is what I am feeling every time I do this in spite of how tiresome the travel and schedule is! Also, I came and then went off to Bagong Pag-asa to learn how other ex-gay Christians deal our same-sex attraction struggle everyday.

Now I can say that I am so in love with the Lord more than I could ever imagine that I give back all the praise and worship and glory to our Heavenly Father! I have learned so much for the past year and I give thanks to all my new Christian friends who walked with me and will continuously help me on this journey with Jesus Christ.

I am looking forward to 2009 very positively. I hope and pray that my love for Jesus will grow deeper, deeper enough for me not to entertain any temptations around me and just quietly be obedient to Him. By the way, I am on my 10th month of celibacy on the 19th of January! Praise the Lord! He did it! I hope and pray that I will be able to continue it for Jesus.

Strongly I believe that God has something big for me this year when it comes to the work and ministry I am praying for Him coz He told me to wait, be still and know that He is God.

Praise God in Jesus name. Amen.