Wednesday @ The Freedom Conference – Morning General Session

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Brenna Kate Simonds shared her story this morning.  I really enjoyed listening to this women to whom I've become acquainted through the virtual world.  She was engaging, enjoyable and full of the Lord.  She really shared the unashamed story of Jesus setting her free.

The worship team is great!  Lately, I haven't had many opportunities for corporate worship like this.  I'm loving it.  The worship leader is Marianne Adams (formerly of the group Sierra) and she very skilled.  So is her whole team.  That is one, very unified group of worshipers.  They shared a song that I'm going to find and learn.  The very sweet lyrics were, in part:

There is no one else for me
None but Jesus
Crucified to set me free
Now I live to bring Him praise.
All my delight is in You, Lord
All of my hope
All of my strength
All my delight is in You, Lord
Forevermore.

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Jimmy Evans was the keynote and really good.  His basic message was that sexuality is central to God's purposes in our lives.  He emphasized that when God created mankind it is recorded that they were naked and unashamed.  And then it records that when mankind sinned, they hid.  When God came looking and engaged them He said, "Who told you that you were naked?"  A simple thought is that he offered was that when we sin, we open the door for Satan to speak/teach us about our sexual lives.

Another simple thought Mr. Evans offered was "If you can't say 'no' then you are in bondage."  Simple but true.  Shame in God-ordained sexuality is from the devil.  God isn't ashamed about sexuality because HE invented it.

That was good.  It was a refreshing invitation to see things how God seems them.  Sex is good.

I met Karen Keen and my first impressions were good.

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11 thoughts on “Wednesday @ The Freedom Conference – Morning General Session

  1. His basic message was that sexuality is central to God's purposes in our lives.
    But… not if you're called to celibacy. Which, incidentally, I think many (if not most) SSA men and women are. 🙂

  2. Just the way you put 'God isn't ashamed about sexuality because HE invented it' reminded me of one of my favorite things to say when asked how I can share my (HIS) testimony: "God is not ashamed of the work He is doing in my life, so why should I be?"

  3. Hi, CollegeJay! Well, sexuality isn't really the same as having sex. But, I agree. I spent a total of 14 years in celibacy after my last gay relationship was over in early 1990. Even though I am married now and enjoying the benefits of that relationship, I view my years as celibate unto God as the most fruitful and free I could have ever hoped to experience. I learned so much of the Body of Christ…of masculinity and femininity…of the "free to serve Jesus" aspects of that walk. What the Apostle Paul said about the woman who marries is concerned about how to please her husband is true. No matter how I slice it, I am NOT more concerned about how to please the Lord. I actually have someone I have to deal with every day of my life now. It has its own burdens and benefits.I am relieved to be at conference and to observe that marriage is not really the destination (and it wasn't for me either). I don't understand were the detractors are getting the idea that marriage is the ultimate goal for the SSA man or woman.

  4. I don't understand were the detractors are getting the idea that marriage is the ultimate goal for the SSA man or woman.
    Well, I think over the years many Exodus affiliates have said things that were ambiguous enough to be interpreted as such. I know from personal relationships with struggling guys that many have a habit of turning heterosexual marriage into an idol, and don't even try to be content while single because they are so focused on getting hitched.
    I personally believe that SSA men and women are more likely to be gifted with singleness, and I think that's okay. I think it's up to us to show that celibacy can be "fruitful and free," like you say, and that if you can't be happy single, then you won't be happy married, either.

  5. I appreciate your honesty about marriage, GP. I don't like how marriage is lifted up as the new "idol" for SSA men/women either. Sometimes we tend to forget that the obsession over a heterosexual idol can be as strong/wrong as a homosexual one. An unbalanced heterosexual relationship can also be quite unhealthy as well. I've witnessed those with friends as well and I don't know if I'd really want to trade "up" for that after viewing what that can look like.

  6. I wonder if the detractors/push towards marriage is a way we who may struggle with ssa try to compensate for our "normalness" by lifting this up as a demonstration to ourselves and others that we are now "healed" and "normal".

  7. CollegeJay and Missingtenis, I'm not sure I agree that marriage is the priority you are asserting. Desiring marriage may or may not be an idol. Certainly I've talked to men (and women to a lesser extent) who, in practically the first visit, say that they want to be "normal" and to get married. I tend to see this outcry as they process the idea of leaving one realm of sexual gratification and/or community and process their fears of aloneness. It is not so common to hear women say that they want out of homosexual relating with hopes of marrying some guy. I think there are several reasons for that which I don't want to address in this comment. All this to say that SOME who are in or leaving gay relationships do idolize the idea of marriage as a proof. I don't think this is as common as implied in either of your comments.

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