Category Archives: God

Leaning Back on God in Your Anxiousness

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Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)

Anxiousness is a powerful force which can break us down, leaving us frustrated, puzzled, baffled, and or bewildered by things that are happening in our life.

I am sure you have heard the expression: sick with worry.

Truly if we allow worry / anxiousness to get the best of us it can wreak havoc in our lives and the lives of those we love.

In Philippians 4:4-9 the Apostle Paul is speaking to an issue that was doing just that, wreaking havoc with their very harmony as the body of Christ. Paul exhorts the Church at Philippi to:

·       “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” (v.4)

·       “Let your gentle spirit be known to all people. The Lord is near” (v.5)

·       “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”(v.6)

Then the Apostle Paul goes on to exhort them / build them up more by saying:

And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally,whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure,whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.  (Vv 7-9)[1]

Do not be anxious about anything.

The entire Word of God is a constant exhortation to believers to stop worrying.

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One of the most serious areas of unbelief is our failure as Christians to face the problem of worry. Worry or being anxious is  just something everyone does and therefore it must be all right.

When we worry or are anxious we are not placing our trust in God. Throughout the Word of God we are told to place ourselves in God’s control.

Think of a time when you were so worried, so anxious,that you could not even sleep because your mind just raced with one thought after another on the situation that was robbing you of that wonderful peace and joy we have as believers in Christ Jesus.

So how do you stop it? How does one quit worrying or being anxious?

You can’t stop it just by the exercise of will power. Scripture gives us the answer, it gives us the secret of running the race — here it is once more:

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!

5 Let your gentle spirit be known to all peoples. The Lord is near.

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.[2]

There in v.6 it reads

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything . . .”  That means there is nothing too small to bring to God. Yes, lift it all up to Him. Take everything to Him in prayer. Prayer is the expression of our dependence upon His promises. And it isn’t necessarily on your knees, or in the closet, but it can be simply that quiet, arrow prayer of the heart, in continual recognition that you need to lean back upon his grace and strength in everything, constantly relating to that indwelling life of God the Son in you.

Supplication”, there is v. 6 means, keep it up, over and over again. Of course one might always want to be practicing God’s presence especially whenever problems develop. When they do develop remember, lean back again in prayer to the One who is able and competent within you through His indwelling life.

Again there in v. 6, “with thanksgiving” is that forward look of faith that thanks God for the answer before you see it. Knowing His character, you know something —the right thing, the perfect thing — will be done.

God is not saying we should ask for everything we want. Instead, we’re to ask for everything we need. Frequently we find ourselves praying for things He never promises. For instance, if you are up against some kind of trial, or some catastrophe strikes in your life, our perfectly understandable, natural human reaction is to say, Lord, take this away. But God never said He would do that, consider His servant Job. God does not always want us to have it taken away. Sometimes He will, sometimes not.That kind of prayer must always have appended to it what our Lord Christ Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane,

Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done.[3]

But there are things for which we can immediately ask, and know that we will receive. His grace, his strength, insight, wisdom,patience, love and compassion. And as we lean back  upon Him in that inner dependence of faith which is prayer, we can also begin to give thanks that the answer has come, and in our thanksgiving we discover the experience of it as well. So, as in everything where we let our requests be made known to God, the result is peace.

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Something to think about:

Are we learning to confess our anxiety as sinful distrust in the character of God?

Are we choosing to pray with thanksgiving, affirming our trust in God’s wise and faithful care?[4]

[1] New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), Php 4:4–8.

[2] Ibid

[3] New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), Matthew 26:39

[4] This devotional was edited and compiled by Charlene E. Hios on October 20, 2014.

Did the Boy Scouts Make the Right Decision?

Boy-Scouts-Pledge

For me, the main thing to ponder upon is that these young boy scouts are still young and still impressionable . . .

Right now, the culture they are in, basically, the world, is telling them that if you have same gender attractions you must be gay . . .

But, we know this is not true, we know that young boys, will not mature until about age 25, right now the world is telling them they are gay because of their un-chosen attractions so they think they must be . . .

so, part of me sees the move as a positive one for the boys who want to be scouts who identify as gay . . . again, they probably have not acted out on the attractions, they just are identifying themselves as gay because that is what the culture is telling them . . . or if they have acted it out there is still hope they will not believe the lies that they are born gay . . .

so, if they get in with some strong men, the boy scout leaders, who are not gay, who are comfortable in their own skin, and their emotional needs are met by these leaders, basically I see gay identifying youth coming out with strong male identifies and no longer attracted to the same gender any longer . . .

yes, they may have caved in . . . or perhaps they are thinking they can make a difference and actually meet the emotional needs of these gay identifying youth . . . thus turning them back to God’s intended design

the reason these young boys are identifying as gay is because they do have same gender attractions . . . and the culture tells them they are gay . . . but the real reason they have the attractions is because somewhere in their childhood their same gender parent did not meet an emotional need . . . now this emotional need that was not meet is not the same gender parent’s fault necessarily . . . it may be a matter of the child’s perception of it not being met . . . or it could have been something out of the hands of a predator . . .

I see this whole thing as we see the story of Joseph being sold into slavery by his 11 brothers in the book of Genesis, in the Bible. What Joseph’s brothers intended for evil, God turned it around and used it for good, God used Joseph to save God’s people . . .

What gay activists intend for evil, a furtherance of their agenda, God can indeed turn around and use to bring these young boys back in line with God’s intended design.

Thoughts?

What is this book, “Lesbian No More” actually about anyway?

What is this book, “Lesbian No More” actually about anyway?.

What Happened To Me In Vegas Has Not Stayed in Vegas or Born in the “City of Sin” and Born Again in “Sin City”

December 1958

My Parents Charles and Norma holding me

It was December of 1958, my mom lay on the delivery table in Lynn Hospital. I was ready to come out and meet her face to face however a blizzard was keeping the doctor from getting there. As the nurses told my mom not to push she told them there was no holding me back. Out I came! It was time! I had waited long enough, you see I was supposed to have been born on the 22nd of November yet I waited until the 5th of December.

From what I understand, Lynn Hospital is no longer there, how sad! I read on Facebook that it is now a grocery store. I wonder what aisle the delivery room turned out to be?

A little history on the City of Lynn. It’s about  seven miles from Boston and is quite a historic town; it also has the dubious honor of being known as “The City of Sin” given its history of crime since it was industrialized.

Mom was a waitress at Becky’s Diner which was right across from the original General Electric plant, she also waitressed at the Pioneer Club in downtown Lynn, and a large hotel restaurant whose name escapes me at the time. Mom also worked as Cook at a Rest Home close to Tracy Elementary School where I attended. Oh yes and she also worked at the Lynn School Department. Needless to say Mom worked several jobs as well as attending night school in an effort to obtain her GED as she quit school in order to help support her family.

My Dad had died when I was about three years old. He and his brothers had a band, his nickname was “Rocky” and he played the guitar and I believe the bass. Dad also worked at the famous Lynn Shoe Factories. I want to say he was a “tanner” however I am not 100% sure of this fact.

Mom was a single mother who worked several jobs in order to support herself and her two young daughters. Regretfully Mom also enjoyed her drink and many a time my older sister and I had to experience her in her drunken state. Yet you must know this, Mom loved us very much and she cared about us otherwise I do not see her working all of these jobs, trying to better herself with obtaining her GED, and wanting to set a good example for her girls in not taking welfare. Mom was her own woman and a fighter.

Mom’s needing to work so many jobs and her drinking did not allow much time for her to spend with her daughters. She did spend time with us, I have pictures of the three of us at Lynn Beach, and several other pictures of the three of us together. We even went to the World’s Fair in New York in 1965. As I look at these pictures trying to remember the moment I only get glimpses. I want to remember her and times we spent together. I know she loved me yet I just do not remember much about my childhood mainly because she really was not there that much. This is one of the reason I attribute to my same-sex attractions. No, I am not blaming my mother at all, I am merely mentioning how I see this as one of the many factors that merged together which created a void for me.

There was always a boyfriend with us otherwise who would take the pictures. Smile! I do not remember who they were except one and he seemed to like my Mom. His name was Phil Petronni. He was either a grocery store manager or a butcher. He would bring Joanne and I gifts which included some delicious Ice Cream Sundaes along with many other things. Funny how I remember the Ice Cream Sundaes. Ice Cream is one of my comfort foods along with submarine sandwiches. We got our sandwiches from Dotties on Boston St. These are the foods we would eat when mom was not home to feed us. Though you must know she was a great cook and when she was home she made us great meals, my favorite being her chicken and dumplings, made from scratch of course.

Goodness, thinking about my Mom and my hometown brought back some memories. Thanks for visiting them with me. So let’s get back to the subject of this particular blog.

There is a ‘poem’ or a ‘ditty’ that goes with Lynn being the City of Sin. It goes like this:

 “Lynn, Lynn, the city of sin, you never come out the way you went in”

Well, regardless, the city is where I was born and so I am proud of being from there. I mean, come on, I could have been born in Las Vegas, right? Well, actually you see I was actually born there as well but not until November 5th of 1995. No! I am not crazy. You see the term “Born Again” means that I came to realize that I was a sinner, and it had nothing to do with being born in Lynn, City of Sin! And this realization came not from myself but from the conviction of reading and hearing God’s Word.

You see if you do not repent of your sins and turn to God then regretfully you will not be with God in Heaven when you die. God and sin can not exist in the same place so if you have not turned from your sins and then you die you can not go to Heaven. Click on this “THIS” and it will explain it better than I can. Smile!

Believe it or not I was actually in Las Vegas, Nevada also known as “Sin City” when I heard the Word of God. I was attending a Southern Baptist Church that my parents, Mom and my Step-Dad were members. Yes, there are actually churches in Las Vegas and not just wedding chapels. Here is the website of the church I attended as did my entire family that lived there. http://collegeparkbaptist-lv.com/default.aspx

Part of my life-changing story which I like to share is that my parents, myself, my kid sister, and my kid brother were all blessed to beat the odds in Las Vegas. No I am not talking about beating the odds in the gambling casinos. Ha-ha, you see according to Barna Research, a well know research organization amongst Christians, once a person has reached the age of 18 and has not yet accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior (Born-Again) there is less than a 1% chance that this person will ever come to be “Born-Again”!

Well, my step-dad was 60, then my mom was 65, then my kid sister was 30, then me at age 35, and finally my kid brother at age 30. ( these ages are rough estimates with the exception of my age and my mom’s). My older sister came to Christ as well, as a matter of fact she was the first in our family to be “Born-Again” and she was over age 18 as well. She beat those same odds she just was not in Vegas though she too was born in Lynn the City of Sin. I think she was in Gilroy, California when she came to Christ. Gilroy being the Garlic Capital of the World. Ha-ha!

So you see I like to say that my entire family beat the odds and all of us but one beat the odds in Vegas . . .  Praise God we all came to Christ, we all came to God.

Also, one last mention, God, over a 15 year period healed me of my same-sex attractions. It was one of the sins I turned away from at the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Change is possible folks. If you or someone you know struggles with unwanted same-sex attractions, know that there is hope, those unwanted attractions can go away but it is not easy. Start with prayer, which is basically talking with God, just imagine He is sitting right there with you and tell Him what is on your heart. And keep up the conversation okay? Every time you have these unwanted same-sex attractions, stop and turn them over to God in prayer. Ask Him to help you to understand why the attraction is there . . .  again, do not give up, keep talking with God . . . He took the feelings away from me, again, it was not easy, but all things are possible with God okay?

If you need to talk you can call or email me, just let me know.

You can email me at charlene@bridgingthegapsministries.org

You can call me at 415.465.0517. If you call it is best to leave me a voice mail. I will call you back I promise.

Have a blessed day now!

Charlene? Why Do You Identify Yourself As “Ex-Gay” ?

You would imagine that I receive a ton of questions in my line of ministry and one of them is this question. Charlene? Why do you call yourself “‘ex-gay”‘?  Should you not identify yourself as a “Christian”?

Know that I personally do not like the title or label  of  “ex-gay” yet I use it for one reason and one reason only.  That reason is because calling or identifying myself as “ex-gay” is a great witnessing tool. “Ex-gay” is a term that is quite easily understood. Well, at least at first. It is also a term that brings up many questions such as aren’t people born gay? How could you be “ex-gay” if you are born that way. You see what a great little witnessing tool it can be?

The other night I was blessed to be on a panel of  “overcomers”. There were four of us “overcomers” who had come out of the homosexual lifestyle. We were attending a group meeting of Christian parents whose children identify themselves as lesbians or gays. While I personally like the label “overcomer” know that at the same time I realize that it was through my personal relationship with Christ Jesus that I now can be labeled an “overcomer”.  Jesus really gets all the praise here!  Without the healing power and strength of Jesus I would still be a prisioner to the sin of homosexuality believing that I was born that way.

My identity is in God, in Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit. I am God’s child whom He loves so much that He gave up His Son, Jesus Christ, to die in my place, to forgive me of my sins, to make me into a “New Creation”. The Holy Spirit convicted me that homosexuality was not something I was born with but something I had got lost in and must repent of it.  I did repent of it, God forgave me of it, Jesus’ blood washed me clean of it. Praise God for healing me of  it.

My identity is no longer in what I once was but is now in who I am through the healing power of Jesus Christ!