As our conference draws closer, I wanted to show these two images that are real life examples of the fight that we individually face every day leading to the event, Masterpiece in Process.
Last month, instead of a newsletter, we told you that we needed your help. Instead of an inspiring article or conference promotion, we told you about our need. While still needing your help, the reality is that you and others face a much bigger need. Some are in the fight for their life.
The place where our conference will be held, Ridgecrest Conference Center, was recently surrounded by a forest fire that engulfed 750 acres of the adjacent mountainside. Over 300 forest fighters intervened on behalf of Ridgecrest and other homes and land that were defenseless against the ravaging blaze. The Ridgecrest property and buildings were spared, and evidence of the fire is not easy to find on the property, however there was a time when I’m sure many were fearful of the outcome.
I traveled to Ridgecrest to do a series of videos, and filmed one in the charred remains of the fire. It was a compelling image portraying how I have always said I don’t want to live a “scorched earth” life leaving hurt and pain upon others and potentially devastating my own life. We know how the fire rages in us in our daily battle of the flesh versus the Spirit. We must fight, or we will fall prey to the wildfire of our passions much like the acreage lost to the forest fire around Ridgecrest.
As leaders, we are coming in and hoping to intervene for you and your family and friends, helping you fight the fire. Our desire is to put out the fire, or, even better, to redirect the fire to a new passion founded in a love for God rather than the flesh, helping you avoid the push of the world towards homosexuality.
Recently a man was driving down a road in Idaho, when he saw a truck that had gone down an embankment and was in peril of falling over a cliff.Seen in this photo, he intervenes to save this man’s life. Once the emergency responders arrived, he left and took no credit as a hero. This is just like the men and women that work with Hope for Wholeness and those who bravely share their story of walking away from homosexuality. They feel an urgency to intervene for those in peril. Most work full-time jobs away from ministry and do not see what they do as heroic. Rather, they strongly feel the battle they are in.
Recently, I was pleading with a young man who said he just wanted to experience all that homosexuality had to offer.
I said to him, “If you were driving down the road, heading toward a bridge that was out, but you’tthat it was out,’thope that someone from the DMV would flagand tell you that it was out?” “Of course,” he responded. I then said, “I’m with the DMV. The bridge is out.”
While I think he got it, I’m afraid my plea fell on deaf ears. We can’t save everyone. Still, we try, try, and try again. Those we work with are not like the man pulled unconscious from the car. They’re fully awake and in control of their lives. They make the decision of how to respond to our pleas, and more importantly, to the drawing and calling of the Holy Spirit.
As leaders, family, and friends, and those that are simply called to share our story, we feel that we are like these forest fighters or this man that’s pulling a man from a crashed car. We often feel a sense of urgency to plead with these wounded friends to listen to the voice of the Lord calling.
The draw of the world is so incredibly strong. I cannot imagine being a young person today. It is hard enough for me at 46, married with kids, and leading a ministry. I’ve never hidden my ongoing struggles and attractions. I daily submit those to the Lord, to my wife, and to others in accountability. But that’s no different from any other person struggling with the flesh.
This issue is vastly different today than in past years. Today, the world, and recently even the White House, is fighting against any work of a ministry like ours, against any attempt to help someone who’s seeking an alternative other than complete inclusion into gay life. Hope for Wholeness is daily ready to do an intervention on behalf of you, your family member, or your friend.upcoming conference, Masterpiece in Process, is also designed specifically to allow us to create a firebreak to stop any devastation.
For those who are in leadership, it will be a time to give back, to pour into others, to teach, to testify, and to share. For those who are struggling, it’s a time to realize you’re not alone, you’re not fighting a losing battle, and you’re not defenseless. We are here for you, but more importantly, the Lord is with you and will be with us collectively at Ridgecrest.
I urge you to clear your calendar, to do whatever it takes to be there. Come and be a part of the conference, and allow us to help you. If this isn’t your issue, maybe you’re reading this because God wants you to get involved in this ministry. Either way, learn more, and get prepared to save a life.