Woodcut, published ca. 1880. I just read in the New York Times that Dr. Robert Spitzer, the man who documented the transformation of 200 former homosexuals like me, now claims (for no apparent reason) that we must have been lying. Who knew? Not my wife and kids… Bowing to the irrational drive of gay activists who insist that no homosexual can change (in spite of pretty good evidence to the contrary), Spitzer capitulated. Gratefully, God helps those who aspire to live the trut
This is the seventh and concluding post of my Holy Week Meditations for 2012. Please click here for the archive list of posts. Annette and I, as well as the staff here at Desert Stream Ministries, wish you a deeply blessed Easter. He is Risen! — Why was Mary Magdalene the first disciple Jesus entrusted with His resurrection? According to John’s Gospel, Peter and John raced to the empty tomb but could not comprehend Christ resurrected. Both John the Beloved and Peter the Rock
— Mercy Rising (on trembling legs…) 40 Days of Mercy Devotional – Lent 2012 – Day 22 I know that the grain of wheat must be ground between millstones in order to become food. In the same way, I must be crushed in order to be useful to the Church and to souls. (641)
The Church is founded on forgiveness. Peter is a personal embodiment of this truth, for he is permitted to be the bearer of the keys, after having stumbled, confessed, and received the grace of pardon. Behind the t
— Mercy Running (an army of Magdalenes) ‘I found my destiny at the moment when my soul lost itself in You, the only object of my love.’ (57) Why was Mary Magdalene the first disciple Jesus entrusted with His Resurrection? According to John’s Gospel, Peter and John raced to the empty tomb but could not comprehend Christ Resurrected. Jesus entrusted this sight to Mary Magdalene. After Peter and John had left the tomb, having sifted through evidence of the Resurrection without s
— Mercy Rising (on trembling legs…) ‘I know that the grain of wheat must be ground between millstones in order to become food. In the same way, I must be crushed in order to be useful to the Church and to souls.’ (641) Jesus is crushed to become for us the Meal of Mercy; death precedes life, first for Christ then for Christians. Only our death is not fatal. The Risen Lord invites us to die to our props and illusions; He grants us Mercy then resurrects what in us pleases Him.
— ‘The great sins of the world are superficial wounds on My Heart, but the sins of a chosen soul pierce My Heart through and through…’ (1702) After Jesus met me with Mercy in my waterless pit of sexual immorality, I turned from sin. I knew I was wrong. Running away from Jesus and His truth did not change the truth. Mercy enabled me to stop running and face the truth—I needed Him because of my sin. Like the angels imploring Lot to get out of Sodom, Mercy paved the way for my r
‘But I cry to you for help, O Lord; in the morning my prayer comes before you.
Why, O Lord, do you reject me and hide your face from me?
I have suffered your terrors and am in despair. Your wrath has swept over me;
Your terrors have destroyed me. All day long they surround me like a flood;
They have completely engulfed me.
You have taken my companions from me; the darkness is my closest friend.’
PS 88:13-18 Jesus’ rejection, abuse, and murder at the hands of men were not His
We might receive foot-washing and communion and yet still not grasp the cross. Perhaps our need for that cross is not yet clear. We may still believe in our own capacity to follow Him, the self-inspired power of allegiance to Jesus. Peter the ‘Rock,’ full of bluster and unrefined zeal, helps us here. He believed himself to be among the most radical followers of Jesus. Pride came before his fall on the eve of Jesus’ crucifixion. Until the midnight hour, Peter continued to be s
Maundy Thursday makes one thing perfectly clear. It is God’s faithfulness that makes us faithful. On this night of foot-washing and communion, we behold the full extent of God’s love toward us. Mercy takes on new meaning as Jesus grants us tokens of the cross that awaits Him. He washes away our filth; He feeds us with bread from heaven. Foreseeing our departure from Him, He grants us powerful assistance for our return. In His faithful love, we see our unfaithfulness. Here we
In His mercy, Jesus redeems our suffering. Some of the sorrow we submit to Him is not of particularly noble origins—it may be, as we have seen, the bad fruit of our sin, or the normal wounds and losses we sustain this side of Heaven. He loves us to the extent that He will take every opportunity to invite us to surrender our sins and wounds. He grants us ‘cross-time’: an opportunity to receive and extend mercy. He makes us that much more fruitful in love. But suffering for wha
A tendency of most Christians is to want to enter into relationship with Christ through His cross but to want to avoid that same cross in our own lives. No-where is this more apparent than in how we deal with our personal sin. We will go to great lengths to deny our sin, and the suffering that we cause ourselves and others due to our sin. It offends us. We are in good company. I love how Peter, whom Jesus had just named as the Rock of the Church, refused the truth of the cros
Running hard in the jungles of Venezuela or on the pampas of Argentina (or crazy lost anywhere in Europe) may sound fun but actually it is exhausting. And so I was upon returning home after a particularly arduous trip. Annette and I took a few days off—no release; I increased my sleep each night—no release. Everything seemed hard and a hassle; even normal sources of connection and renewal seemed more a drain than a gift. I was approaching burn-out (the experts call it ‘pre bu