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Re: Testimony

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  • DebbieThurman
    Tony, we re having a failure to communicate here. I think I ll back out and let a man talk to you. I have never nor will I ever say that prayer alone or
    Message 1 of 20 , Jan 27, 2010
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      Tony, we're having a failure to communicate here. I think I'll back out and let a man talk to you. I have never nor will I ever say that prayer alone or Scripture and prayer are all anyone needs to find healing. It's a layered process.

      Debbie

      --- In exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi Debbie,
      >
      > My point is that even in respect of your words, I don't believe "Lisa" in Leane Payne's book ever would have found healing if prayer and "drawing close to God" (whatever precisely that means) is all she had. The author concurs.
      >
      > In fact, if it is true that the above are sufficient, I almost feel that my entire Christian walk is invalidated.
      >
      > I don't think that's the case.
      >
      > I am just so sick and tired of constantly bashing my head against walls. God doesn't always seem in the business of providing doors.
      >
      > Romans 8:20 (perhaps).
      >
      >
      > Tony
      >
      > --- In exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com, "DebbieThurman" <debbie@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Tony, my point was that prayer and drawing close to God touch more than the conscious mind. Reading the Word and praying may give one hearing. Faith allows one to translate that to doing and being.
      > >
      > > Debbie
      > >
      > > --- In exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@> wrote:
      > > >
      > > > Hi Debbie,
      > > >
      > > > I was being more generic with my use of the term "cognitive therapy." Cognition has to do with the conscious mind. It REACHES the conscious mind. It doesn't seem to reach the subconscious mind.
      > > >
      > > > Thus, with my intended use of the term, prayer is cognitive therapy, as is Bible study. I read the gospel of John with the conscious part of me.
      > > >
      > > > My whole point is, WHAT does hearing anything in the conscious part of a person accomplish if who one is, is defined in the subconscious?
      > > >
      > > > Thanks for replying...
      > > >
      > > > Tony
      > > >
      > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com, "DebbieThurman" <debbie@> wrote:
      > > > >
      > > > > Tony, there will be a variety of opinions on cognitive therapy, but what I hear you saying is that it will always only be one part of the healing equation. Kind of like the purpose for "the law" in the Old Testament over against the New Covenant and grace in the New. The law (therapy, if you will) was meant to make us aware of our sin/brokenness and our need for God in three parts. Jesus (evoked many times in the Old Testament) later came to fulfill the law, but also to show us how one sacrifice covered us for all time.
      > > > >
      > > > > It seems to me therapy can only serve to make us aware that we are broken and perhaps point us to some of those places. The question, then, remains how are we going to address those things and receive what we need for healing and restoration: forgiveness, contrition, propitiation (Christ's sacrificial covering of our sin), leading to holiness and wholeness.
      > > > >
      > > > > You are right. Therapy alone cannot do those things.
      > > > >
      > > > > Debbie
      > > > >
      > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@> wrote:
      > > > > >
      > > > > > With the preceding post in mind, I am suggesting something. It no longer seems to me that "cognitive therapy" does anything. If anyone is aware, I am reminded of Lisa's Story in Leanne Payne's The Broken Image. Lisa could pray all she wants. She could read the Bible inside and out. She could go to gospel retreats.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > But, if she would not be reached where he sexuality was defined? Just what exactly does the above accomplish? And we could get off her sexuality. She came to realize she smoked cigarettes as a compulsive need to abuse her mouth as her father did. How was she really going to quit smoking.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > And if someone has the strength to not commit the outward act…
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Does that change the nature of the tree? Isn't the tree still a homosexual tree?
      > > > > >
      > > > > > I mean…my life is a house of cards. I don't do anything with another guy. I do resist. But, the thoughts and the feelings keep coming.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > I want healing and I don't think "cognitive" does anything anymore, including cognitive Bible study, prayer, what have you. Or if it does anything, it prepares the soil to eventually be able to have the deep parts be accessed.
      > > > > >
      > > > > > Nothing seems to work.
      > > > > >
      > > > >
      > > >
      > >
      >
    • Thom Hunter
      Tony,   I understand your frustration.  Sometimes we do run across very well-meaning people, particularly in the church, who tell us, well, now that you
      Message 2 of 20 , Jan 27, 2010
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        Tony,
         
        I understand your frustration.  Sometimes we do run across very well-meaning people, particularly in the church, who tell us, "well, now that you know what the problem is, you need to let go and let God."  And so we pray and confess and try to work ut our repentance, but in our thoughts, we see the problem creep in upon us again.  The roots are still there and they beg for nourishment, so, we give it . . . then we feel the guilt and pain and try to exchange one cycle for another. We ignore the cycle of acting out and pour all our energy into the cycle of confession and repentance.  It's wearying.
         
        I don't know, and may not in this lifetime, why God does not work on my time schedule, other than the fact, of course, that He is all-seeing and all-knowing and I am frequently all-wanting.  I am thankful that He gives me grace and forgiveness and has immense patience that far exceeds my own.
         
        God has the power, but He walks with us, not on us.  We have to put forth considerable effort into our own healing, just as we have done in feeding our problem.  If the freedom we seek is really important, we need to prove it. 
         
        It takes prayer, yes.  And study, yes.  It also takes people.  After all, people are a big part of the problem, so why not the solution?  If we are willing to endure and finish the race, we may find ourselves going through counseling -- both therapeutic and pastoral.  We may need the rigorous invesment of time that it takes to go through a Living Waters or similar program in the openness of a small group where we can confess without ridicule or judgement, receive the prayers of others and be accountable to them and them to us.  It's what Sy Rogers refers to as "God with skin on." 
         
        If your Christian walk is indeed a walk, it can't be invalidated by failure.  That's what grace is for. 
         
        We have to dissect all the issues that have merged into the one big issue.  I had to work through the fact my father abandoned me . . . and forgive him.  I had to work through the fact that I was raped by a man when I was a little boy . . . and forgive him.  I had to think through the many times I took advantage of others to feed my own needs . . . and forgive myself.  It's not an easy process.  But, when you know what is right and you are living what is wrong, you will do it, no matter how hard, and no matter how many people are telling you that you will not make it.  And that is where God comes in most forcefully.  He will never tell you that and He is constant. 
         
        When I see someone struggling like you are, I wish I had a way of conveying that we cannot stop.  There were times I wanted to and felt entirely justified.  I would not want that surrender now in exchange for the hard-fought and long-sought victory.
         
        Thom
        http://thom-signsofastruggle.blogspot.com/
         

        --- On Wed, 1/27/10, DebbieThurman <debbie@...> wrote:


        From: DebbieThurman <debbie@...>
        Subject: [ExGDBd] Re: Testimony
        To: exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2010, 2:59 PM


         



        Tony, we're having a failure to communicate here. I think I'll back out and let a man talk to you. I have never nor will I ever say that prayer alone or Scripture and prayer are all anyone needs to find healing. It's a layered process.

        Debbie

        --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@. ..> wrote:
        >
        > Hi Debbie,
        >
        > My point is that even in respect of your words, I don't believe "Lisa" in Leane Payne's book ever would have found healing if prayer and "drawing close to God" (whatever precisely that means) is all she had. The author concurs.
        >
        > In fact, if it is true that the above are sufficient, I almost feel that my entire Christian walk is invalidated.
        >
        > I don't think that's the case.
        >
        > I am just so sick and tired of constantly bashing my head against walls. God doesn't always seem in the business of providing doors.
        >
        > Romans 8:20 (perhaps).
        >
        >
        > Tony
        >
        > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "DebbieThurman" <debbie@> wrote:
        > >
        > > Tony, my point was that prayer and drawing close to God touch more than the conscious mind. Reading the Word and praying may give one hearing. Faith allows one to translate that to doing and being.
        > >
        > > Debbie
        > >
        > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@> wrote:
        > > >
        > > > Hi Debbie,
        > > >
        > > > I was being more generic with my use of the term "cognitive therapy." Cognition has to do with the conscious mind. It REACHES the conscious mind. It doesn't seem to reach the subconscious mind.
        > > >
        > > > Thus, with my intended use of the term, prayer is cognitive therapy, as is Bible study. I read the gospel of John with the conscious part of me.
        > > >
        > > > My whole point is, WHAT does hearing anything in the conscious part of a person accomplish if who one is, is defined in the subconscious?
        > > >
        > > > Thanks for replying...
        > > >
        > > > Tony
        > > >
        > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "DebbieThurman" <debbie@> wrote:
        > > > >
        > > > > Tony, there will be a variety of opinions on cognitive therapy, but what I hear you saying is that it will always only be one part of the healing equation. Kind of like the purpose for "the law" in the Old Testament over against the New Covenant and grace in the New. The law (therapy, if you will) was meant to make us aware of our sin/brokenness and our need for God in three parts. Jesus (evoked many times in the Old Testament) later came to fulfill the law, but also to show us how one sacrifice covered us for all time.
        > > > >
        > > > > It seems to me therapy can only serve to make us aware that we are broken and perhaps point us to some of those places. The question, then, remains how are we going to address those things and receive what we need for healing and restoration: forgiveness, contrition, propitiation (Christ's sacrificial covering of our sin), leading to holiness and wholeness.
        > > > >
        > > > > You are right. Therapy alone cannot do those things.
        > > > >
        > > > > Debbie
        > > > >
        > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@> wrote:
        > > > > >
        > > > > > With the preceding post in mind, I am suggesting something. It no longer seems to me that "cognitive therapy" does anything. If anyone is aware, I am reminded of Lisa's Story in Leanne Payne's The Broken Image. Lisa could pray all she wants. She could read the Bible inside and out. She could go to gospel retreats.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > But, if she would not be reached where he sexuality was defined? Just what exactly does the above accomplish? And we could get off her sexuality. She came to realize she smoked cigarettes as a compulsive need to abuse her mouth as her father did. How was she really going to quit smoking.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > And if someone has the strength to not commit the outward act…
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Does that change the nature of the tree? Isn't the tree still a homosexual tree?
        > > > > >
        > > > > > I mean…my life is a house of cards. I don't do anything with another guy. I do resist. But, the thoughts and the feelings keep coming.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > I want healing and I don't think "cognitive" does anything anymore, including cognitive Bible study, prayer, what have you. Or if it does anything, it prepares the soil to eventually be able to have the deep parts be accessed.
        > > > > >
        > > > > > Nothing seems to work.
        > > > > >
        > > > >
        > > >
        > >
        >











        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Anthony
        That s OK, Debbie. It just feels so totally hopeless...
        Message 3 of 20 , Jan 27, 2010
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          That's OK, Debbie.

          It just feels so totally hopeless...

          --- In exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com, "DebbieThurman" <debbie@...> wrote:
          >
          > Tony, we're having a failure to communicate here. I think I'll back out and let a man talk to you. I have never nor will I ever say that prayer alone or Scripture and prayer are all anyone needs to find healing. It's a layered process.
          >
          > Debbie
          >
          > --- In exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Hi Debbie,
          > >
          > > My point is that even in respect of your words, I don't believe "Lisa" in Leane Payne's book ever would have found healing if prayer and "drawing close to God" (whatever precisely that means) is all she had. The author concurs.
          > >
          > > In fact, if it is true that the above are sufficient, I almost feel that my entire Christian walk is invalidated.
          > >
          > > I don't think that's the case.
          > >
          > > I am just so sick and tired of constantly bashing my head against walls. God doesn't always seem in the business of providing doors.
          > >
          > > Romans 8:20 (perhaps).
          > >
          > >
          > > Tony
          > >
          > > --- In exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com, "DebbieThurman" <debbie@> wrote:
          > > >
          > > > Tony, my point was that prayer and drawing close to God touch more than the conscious mind. Reading the Word and praying may give one hearing. Faith allows one to translate that to doing and being.
          > > >
          > > > Debbie
          > > >
          > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@> wrote:
          > > > >
          > > > > Hi Debbie,
          > > > >
          > > > > I was being more generic with my use of the term "cognitive therapy." Cognition has to do with the conscious mind. It REACHES the conscious mind. It doesn't seem to reach the subconscious mind.
          > > > >
          > > > > Thus, with my intended use of the term, prayer is cognitive therapy, as is Bible study. I read the gospel of John with the conscious part of me.
          > > > >
          > > > > My whole point is, WHAT does hearing anything in the conscious part of a person accomplish if who one is, is defined in the subconscious?
          > > > >
          > > > > Thanks for replying...
          > > > >
          > > > > Tony
          > > > >
          > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com, "DebbieThurman" <debbie@> wrote:
          > > > > >
          > > > > > Tony, there will be a variety of opinions on cognitive therapy, but what I hear you saying is that it will always only be one part of the healing equation. Kind of like the purpose for "the law" in the Old Testament over against the New Covenant and grace in the New. The law (therapy, if you will) was meant to make us aware of our sin/brokenness and our need for God in three parts. Jesus (evoked many times in the Old Testament) later came to fulfill the law, but also to show us how one sacrifice covered us for all time.
          > > > > >
          > > > > > It seems to me therapy can only serve to make us aware that we are broken and perhaps point us to some of those places. The question, then, remains how are we going to address those things and receive what we need for healing and restoration: forgiveness, contrition, propitiation (Christ's sacrificial covering of our sin), leading to holiness and wholeness.
          > > > > >
          > > > > > You are right. Therapy alone cannot do those things.
          > > > > >
          > > > > > Debbie
          > > > > >
          > > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@> wrote:
          > > > > > >
          > > > > > > With the preceding post in mind, I am suggesting something. It no longer seems to me that "cognitive therapy" does anything. If anyone is aware, I am reminded of Lisa's Story in Leanne Payne's The Broken Image. Lisa could pray all she wants. She could read the Bible inside and out. She could go to gospel retreats.
          > > > > > >
          > > > > > > But, if she would not be reached where he sexuality was defined? Just what exactly does the above accomplish? And we could get off her sexuality. She came to realize she smoked cigarettes as a compulsive need to abuse her mouth as her father did. How was she really going to quit smoking.
          > > > > > >
          > > > > > > And if someone has the strength to not commit the outward act…
          > > > > > >
          > > > > > > Does that change the nature of the tree? Isn't the tree still a homosexual tree?
          > > > > > >
          > > > > > > I mean…my life is a house of cards. I don't do anything with another guy. I do resist. But, the thoughts and the feelings keep coming.
          > > > > > >
          > > > > > > I want healing and I don't think "cognitive" does anything anymore, including cognitive Bible study, prayer, what have you. Or if it does anything, it prepares the soil to eventually be able to have the deep parts be accessed.
          > > > > > >
          > > > > > > Nothing seems to work.
          > > > > > >
          > > > > >
          > > > >
          > > >
          > >
          >
        • Anthony
          After about a week of abstinence, certainly after two weeks, I am in a perpetual state of white hot temptation. If God expects perpetual resistance to that, He
          Message 4 of 20 , Jan 27, 2010
          • 0 Attachment
            After about a week of abstinence, certainly after two weeks, I am in a perpetual state of white hot temptation.

            If God expects perpetual resistance to that, He is cruel.

            --- In exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com, Thom Hunter <th2950@...> wrote:
            >
            > Tony,
            >  
            > I understand your frustration.  Sometimes we do run across very well-meaning people, particularly in the church, who tell us, "well, now that you know what the problem is, you need to let go and let God."  And so we pray and confess and try to work ut our repentance, but in our thoughts, we see the problem creep in upon us again.  The roots are still there and they beg for nourishment, so, we give it . . . then we feel the guilt and pain and try to exchange one cycle for another. We ignore the cycle of acting out and pour all our energy into the cycle of confession and repentance.  It's wearying.
            >  
            > I don't know, and may not in this lifetime, why God does not work on my time schedule, other than the fact, of course, that He is all-seeing and all-knowing and I am frequently all-wanting.  I am thankful that He gives me grace and forgiveness and has immense patience that far exceeds my own.
            >  
            > God has the power, but He walks with us, not on us.  We have to put forth considerable effort into our own healing, just as we have done in feeding our problem.  If the freedom we seek is really important, we need to prove it. 
            >  
            > It takes prayer, yes.  And study, yes.  It also takes people.  After all, people are a big part of the problem, so why not the solution?  If we are willing to endure and finish the race, we may find ourselves going through counseling -- both therapeutic and pastoral.  We may need the rigorous invesment of time that it takes to go through a Living Waters or similar program in the openness of a small group where we can confess without ridicule or judgement, receive the prayers of others and be accountable to them and them to us.  It's what Sy Rogers refers to as "God with skin on." 
            >  
            > If your Christian walk is indeed a walk, it can't be invalidated by failure.  That's what grace is for. 
            >  
            > We have to dissect all the issues that have merged into the one big issue.  I had to work through the fact my father abandoned me . . . and forgive him.  I had to work through the fact that I was raped by a man when I was a little boy . . . and forgive him.  I had to think through the many times I took advantage of others to feed my own needs . . . and forgive myself.  It's not an easy process.  But, when you know what is right and you are living what is wrong, you will do it, no matter how hard, and no matter how many people are telling you that you will not make it.  And that is where God comes in most forcefully.  He will never tell you that and He is constant. 
            >  
            > When I see someone struggling like you are, I wish I had a way of conveying that we cannot stop.  There were times I wanted to and felt entirely justified.  I would not want that surrender now in exchange for the hard-fought and long-sought victory.
            >  
            > Thom
            > http://thom-signsofastruggle.blogspot.com/
            >  
            >
            > --- On Wed, 1/27/10, DebbieThurman <debbie@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > From: DebbieThurman <debbie@...>
            > Subject: [ExGDBd] Re: Testimony
            > To: exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com
            > Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2010, 2:59 PM
            >
            >
            >  
            >
            >
            >
            > Tony, we're having a failure to communicate here. I think I'll back out and let a man talk to you. I have never nor will I ever say that prayer alone or Scripture and prayer are all anyone needs to find healing. It's a layered process.
            >
            > Debbie
            >
            > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@ ..> wrote:
            > >
            > > Hi Debbie,
            > >
            > > My point is that even in respect of your words, I don't believe "Lisa" in Leane Payne's book ever would have found healing if prayer and "drawing close to God" (whatever precisely that means) is all she had. The author concurs.
            > >
            > > In fact, if it is true that the above are sufficient, I almost feel that my entire Christian walk is invalidated.
            > >
            > > I don't think that's the case.
            > >
            > > I am just so sick and tired of constantly bashing my head against walls. God doesn't always seem in the business of providing doors.
            > >
            > > Romans 8:20 (perhaps).
            > >
            > >
            > > Tony
            > >
            > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "DebbieThurman" <debbie@> wrote:
            > > >
            > > > Tony, my point was that prayer and drawing close to God touch more than the conscious mind. Reading the Word and praying may give one hearing. Faith allows one to translate that to doing and being.
            > > >
            > > > Debbie
            > > >
            > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@> wrote:
            > > > >
            > > > > Hi Debbie,
            > > > >
            > > > > I was being more generic with my use of the term "cognitive therapy." Cognition has to do with the conscious mind. It REACHES the conscious mind. It doesn't seem to reach the subconscious mind.
            > > > >
            > > > > Thus, with my intended use of the term, prayer is cognitive therapy, as is Bible study. I read the gospel of John with the conscious part of me.
            > > > >
            > > > > My whole point is, WHAT does hearing anything in the conscious part of a person accomplish if who one is, is defined in the subconscious?
            > > > >
            > > > > Thanks for replying...
            > > > >
            > > > > Tony
            > > > >
            > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "DebbieThurman" <debbie@> wrote:
            > > > > >
            > > > > > Tony, there will be a variety of opinions on cognitive therapy, but what I hear you saying is that it will always only be one part of the healing equation. Kind of like the purpose for "the law" in the Old Testament over against the New Covenant and grace in the New. The law (therapy, if you will) was meant to make us aware of our sin/brokenness and our need for God in three parts. Jesus (evoked many times in the Old Testament) later came to fulfill the law, but also to show us how one sacrifice covered us for all time.
            > > > > >
            > > > > > It seems to me therapy can only serve to make us aware that we are broken and perhaps point us to some of those places. The question, then, remains how are we going to address those things and receive what we need for healing and restoration: forgiveness, contrition, propitiation (Christ's sacrificial covering of our sin), leading to holiness and wholeness.
            > > > > >
            > > > > > You are right. Therapy alone cannot do those things.
            > > > > >
            > > > > > Debbie
            > > > > >
            > > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@> wrote:
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > With the preceding post in mind, I am suggesting something. It no longer seems to me that "cognitive therapy" does anything. If anyone is aware, I am reminded of Lisa's Story in Leanne Payne's The Broken Image. Lisa could pray all she wants. She could read the Bible inside and out. She could go to gospel retreats.
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > But, if she would not be reached where he sexuality was defined? Just what exactly does the above accomplish? And we could get off her sexuality. She came to realize she smoked cigarettes as a compulsive need to abuse her mouth as her father did. How was she really going to quit smoking.
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > And if someone has the strength to not commit the outward act…
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > Does that change the nature of the tree? Isn't the tree still a homosexual tree?
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > I mean…my life is a house of cards. I don't do anything with another guy. I do resist. But, the thoughts and the feelings keep coming.
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > I want healing and I don't think "cognitive" does anything anymore, including cognitive Bible study, prayer, what have you. Or if it does anything, it prepares the soil to eventually be able to have the deep parts be accessed.
            > > > > > >
            > > > > > > Nothing seems to work.
            > > > > > >
            > > > > >
            > > > >
            > > >
            > >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • Thom Hunter
            Tony,   I m sorry the temptations are so strong.  I ve certainly been there and I ve wondered why God did not release me from them.  After I resisted and
            Message 5 of 20 , Jan 27, 2010
            • 0 Attachment
              Tony,
               
              I'm sorry the temptations are so strong.  I've certainly been there and I've wondered why God did not release me from them.  After I resisted and worked through them, I understood.  I was stronger and I was more prepared for the next onslaught.  I am praying that you make your way through this period.  Two weeks is great.  Obviously, if you have endured this time of temptation, your heart wants freedom.  Ask God for more grace to deal with it rather than asking Him to take it away.
               
              Thom

              --- On Wed, 1/27/10, Anthony <tonyb0505@...> wrote:


              From: Anthony <tonyb0505@...>
              Subject: [ExGDBd] Re: Testimony
              To: exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2010, 6:38 PM


               



              After about a week of abstinence, certainly after two weeks, I am in a perpetual state of white hot temptation.

              If God expects perpetual resistance to that, He is cruel.

              --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, Thom Hunter <th2950@...> wrote:
              >
              > Tony,
              >  
              > I understand your frustration.  Sometimes we do run across very well-meaning people, particularly in the church, who tell us, "well, now that you know what the problem is, you need to let go and let God."  And so we pray and confess and try to work ut our repentance, but in our thoughts, we see the problem creep in upon us again.  The roots are still there and they beg for nourishment, so, we give it . . . then we feel the guilt and pain and try to exchange one cycle for another. We ignore the cycle of acting out and pour all our energy into the cycle of confession and repentance.  It's wearying.
              >  
              > I don't know, and may not in this lifetime, why God does not work on my time schedule, other than the fact, of course, that He is all-seeing and all-knowing and I am frequently all-wanting.  I am thankful that He gives me grace and forgiveness and has immense patience that far exceeds my own.
              >  
              > God has the power, but He walks with us, not on us.  We have to put forth considerable effort into our own healing, just as we have done in feeding our problem.  If the freedom we seek is really important, we need to prove it. 
              >  
              > It takes prayer, yes.  And study, yes.  It also takes people.  After all, people are a big part of the problem, so why not the solution?  If we are willing to endure and finish the race, we may find ourselves going through counseling -- both therapeutic and pastoral.  We may need the rigorous invesment of time that it takes to go through a Living Waters or similar program in the openness of a small group where we can confess without ridicule or judgement, receive the prayers of others and be accountable to them and them to us.  It's what Sy Rogers refers to as "God with skin on." 
              >  
              > If your Christian walk is indeed a walk, it can't be invalidated by failure.  That's what grace is for. 
              >  
              > We have to dissect all the issues that have merged into the one big issue.  I had to work through the fact my father abandoned me . . . and forgive him.  I had to work through the fact that I was raped by a man when I was a little boy . . . and forgive him.  I had to think through the many times I took advantage of others to feed my own needs . . . and forgive myself.  It's not an easy process.  But, when you know what is right and you are living what is wrong, you will do it, no matter how hard, and no matter how many people are telling you that you will not make it.  And that is where God comes in most forcefully.  He will never tell you that and He is constant. 
              >  
              > When I see someone struggling like you are, I wish I had a way of conveying that we cannot stop.  There were times I wanted to and felt entirely justified.  I would not want that surrender now in exchange for the hard-fought and long-sought victory.
              >  
              > Thom
              > http://thom- signsofastruggle .blogspot. com/
              >  
              >
              > --- On Wed, 1/27/10, DebbieThurman <debbie@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > From: DebbieThurman <debbie@...>
              > Subject: [ExGDBd] Re: Testimony
              > To: exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com
              > Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2010, 2:59 PM
              >
              >
              >  
              >
              >
              >
              > Tony, we're having a failure to communicate here. I think I'll back out and let a man talk to you. I have never nor will I ever say that prayer alone or Scripture and prayer are all anyone needs to find healing. It's a layered process.
              >
              > Debbie
              >
              > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@ ..> wrote:
              > >
              > > Hi Debbie,
              > >
              > > My point is that even in respect of your words, I don't believe "Lisa" in Leane Payne's book ever would have found healing if prayer and "drawing close to God" (whatever precisely that means) is all she had. The author concurs.
              > >
              > > In fact, if it is true that the above are sufficient, I almost feel that my entire Christian walk is invalidated.
              > >
              > > I don't think that's the case.
              > >
              > > I am just so sick and tired of constantly bashing my head against walls. God doesn't always seem in the business of providing doors.
              > >
              > > Romans 8:20 (perhaps).
              > >
              > >
              > > Tony
              > >
              > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "DebbieThurman" <debbie@> wrote:
              > > >
              > > > Tony, my point was that prayer and drawing close to God touch more than the conscious mind. Reading the Word and praying may give one hearing. Faith allows one to translate that to doing and being.
              > > >
              > > > Debbie
              > > >
              > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@> wrote:
              > > > >
              > > > > Hi Debbie,
              > > > >
              > > > > I was being more generic with my use of the term "cognitive therapy." Cognition has to do with the conscious mind. It REACHES the conscious mind. It doesn't seem to reach the subconscious mind.
              > > > >
              > > > > Thus, with my intended use of the term, prayer is cognitive therapy, as is Bible study. I read the gospel of John with the conscious part of me.
              > > > >
              > > > > My whole point is, WHAT does hearing anything in the conscious part of a person accomplish if who one is, is defined in the subconscious?
              > > > >
              > > > > Thanks for replying...
              > > > >
              > > > > Tony
              > > > >
              > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "DebbieThurman" <debbie@> wrote:
              > > > > >
              > > > > > Tony, there will be a variety of opinions on cognitive therapy, but what I hear you saying is that it will always only be one part of the healing equation. Kind of like the purpose for "the law" in the Old Testament over against the New Covenant and grace in the New. The law (therapy, if you will) was meant to make us aware of our sin/brokenness and our need for God in three parts. Jesus (evoked many times in the Old Testament) later came to fulfill the law, but also to show us how one sacrifice covered us for all time.
              > > > > >
              > > > > > It seems to me therapy can only serve to make us aware that we are broken and perhaps point us to some of those places. The question, then, remains how are we going to address those things and receive what we need for healing and restoration: forgiveness, contrition, propitiation (Christ's sacrificial covering of our sin), leading to holiness and wholeness.
              > > > > >
              > > > > > You are right. Therapy alone cannot do those things.
              > > > > >
              > > > > > Debbie
              > > > > >
              > > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@> wrote:
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > > With the preceding post in mind, I am suggesting something. It no longer seems to me that "cognitive therapy" does anything. If anyone is aware, I am reminded of Lisa's Story in Leanne Payne's The Broken Image. Lisa could pray all she wants. She could read the Bible inside and out. She could go to gospel retreats.
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > > But, if she would not be reached where he sexuality was defined? Just what exactly does the above accomplish? And we could get off her sexuality. She came to realize she smoked cigarettes as a compulsive need to abuse her mouth as her father did. How was she really going to quit smoking.
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > > And if someone has the strength to not commit the outward act…
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > > Does that change the nature of the tree? Isn't the tree still a homosexual tree?
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > > I mean…my life is a house of cards. I don't do anything with another guy. I do resist. But, the thoughts and the feelings keep coming.
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > > I want healing and I don't think "cognitive" does anything anymore, including cognitive Bible study, prayer, what have you. Or if it does anything, it prepares the soil to eventually be able to have the deep parts be accessed.
              > > > > > >
              > > > > > > Nothing seems to work.
              > > > > > >
              > > > > >
              > > > >
              > > >
              > >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >











              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Anthony
              Thom, Except for one time, I have not been with a male since 15 years old. The one time, about ten years ago, I was unfortunately extremely intoxicated, on
              Message 6 of 20 , Jan 28, 2010
              • 0 Attachment
                Thom,

                Except for one time, I have not been with a male since 15 years old. The one time, about ten years ago, I was unfortunately extremely intoxicated, on travel, and seduced. I masturbate sometimes when it is really bad. And often I resist and do not. Imagine that. I'm 51. Obviously, there is a part of me that longs for expression of this sickening passion in its fullest form.

                And yet I have not. For 30+ years. I saw a counselor quite schooled on this issue and when I shared my testimony, she asked how many gay lovers I had and I told her none. She was absolutely shocked. She must have asked me five times. She couldn't believe it.

                Last night, I told God that I was going to give up on Him since He gave up on me, but that lasted maybe 2 minutes.

                The thing is...I KNOW He is good. I KNOW IT. There is no doubt in my mind. I mean no doubt. So, I knew I was lying.

                It's just hard bashing my head against the wall all the time. My reason at least at a fairly generic level (God is good and thus worthy to be served) is concrete and consistent. It's just my feelings. They overflow and then I want to be mad at God even though being mad at God is not reasonable.

                I purposely mentioned another example of brokenness (read: I am veering from homosexuality). The thing about when I get startled I go into a rage that lasts maybe 20 seconds. I was prayed over and had that traumatic memory surface. There is no doubt in my mind that my character with respect to this specific whatever is in bondage to that trauma. No doubt.

                Debbie, if you are listening...

                I am 100% certain the issue was not gender-specific (needing a guy to participate instead of a women). When you mentioned prayer and closeness to God, I interpreted OMMISSION quite significantly and perhaps wrongly.

                I am extremely sensitive to a style of communication that suggests recipe for recovery, purports to be the solution for recovery, and omits certain facets.

                I guess to cut to the chase. Lisa in Payne's book had just attempted suicide. If all she ever received was absent some means of the Lord meeting her in her deep mind/heart (healing of trauma/memory),I would be shocked if she did not remain suicidal.

                So, this is a biggie for me.

                To close...the nuts and bolts of my life is and has always been very painful on a continuous basis. To be subjected to unwanted thoughts and feelings as well as sizable physical discomfort in my private area.

                It gets old and I see no way out. Doesn't mean I'm not gonna try, but I see no way out.


                Tony

                --- In exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com, Thom Hunter <th2950@...> wrote:
                >
                > Tony,
                >  
                > I'm sorry the temptations are so strong.  I've certainly been there and I've wondered why God did not release me from them.  After I resisted and worked through them, I understood.  I was stronger and I was more prepared for the next onslaught.  I am praying that you make your way through this period.  Two weeks is great.  Obviously, if you have endured this time of temptation, your heart wants freedom.  Ask God for more grace to deal with it rather than asking Him to take it away.
                >  
                > Thom
                >
                > --- On Wed, 1/27/10, Anthony <tonyb0505@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > From: Anthony <tonyb0505@...>
                > Subject: [ExGDBd] Re: Testimony
                > To: exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com
                > Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2010, 6:38 PM
                >
                >
                >  
                >
                >
                >
                > After about a week of abstinence, certainly after two weeks, I am in a perpetual state of white hot temptation.
                >
                > If God expects perpetual resistance to that, He is cruel.
                >
                > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, Thom Hunter <th2950@> wrote:
                > >
                > > Tony,
                > >  
                > > I understand your frustration.  Sometimes we do run across very well-meaning people, particularly in the church, who tell us, "well, now that you know what the problem is, you need to let go and let God."  And so we pray and confess and try to work ut our repentance, but in our thoughts, we see the problem creep in upon us again.  The roots are still there and they beg for nourishment, so, we give it . . . then we feel the guilt and pain and try to exchange one cycle for another. We ignore the cycle of acting out and pour all our energy into the cycle of confession and repentance.  It's wearying.
                > >  
                > > I don't know, and may not in this lifetime, why God does not work on my time schedule, other than the fact, of course, that He is all-seeing and all-knowing and I am frequently all-wanting.  I am thankful that He gives me grace and forgiveness and has immense patience that far exceeds my own.
                > >  
                > > God has the power, but He walks with us, not on us.  We have to put forth considerable effort into our own healing, just as we have done in feeding our problem.  If the freedom we seek is really important, we need to prove it. 
                > >  
                > > It takes prayer, yes.  And study, yes.  It also takes people.  After all, people are a big part of the problem, so why not the solution?  If we are willing to endure and finish the race, we may find ourselves going through counseling -- both therapeutic and pastoral.  We may need the rigorous invesment of time that it takes to go through a Living Waters or similar program in the openness of a small group where we can confess without ridicule or judgement, receive the prayers of others and be accountable to them and them to us.  It's what Sy Rogers refers to as "God with skin on." 
                > >  
                > > If your Christian walk is indeed a walk, it can't be invalidated by failure.  That's what grace is for. 
                > >  
                > > We have to dissect all the issues that have merged into the one big issue.  I had to work through the fact my father abandoned me . . . and forgive him.  I had to work through the fact that I was raped by a man when I was a little boy . . . and forgive him.  I had to think through the many times I took advantage of others to feed my own needs . . . and forgive myself.  It's not an easy process.  But, when you know what is right and you are living what is wrong, you will do it, no matter how hard, and no matter how many people are telling you that you will not make it.  And that is where God comes in most forcefully.  He will never tell you that and He is constant. 
                > >  
                > > When I see someone struggling like you are, I wish I had a way of conveying that we cannot stop.  There were times I wanted to and felt entirely justified.  I would not want that surrender now in exchange for the hard-fought and long-sought victory.
                > >  
                > > Thom
                > > http://thom- signsofastruggle .blogspot. com/
                > >  
                > >
                > > --- On Wed, 1/27/10, DebbieThurman <debbie@> wrote:
                > >
                > >
                > > From: DebbieThurman <debbie@>
                > > Subject: [ExGDBd] Re: Testimony
                > > To: exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com
                > > Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2010, 2:59 PM
                > >
                > >
                > >  
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > Tony, we're having a failure to communicate here. I think I'll back out and let a man talk to you. I have never nor will I ever say that prayer alone or Scripture and prayer are all anyone needs to find healing. It's a layered process.
                > >
                > > Debbie
                > >
                > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@ ..> wrote:
                > > >
                > > > Hi Debbie,
                > > >
                > > > My point is that even in respect of your words, I don't believe "Lisa" in Leane Payne's book ever would have found healing if prayer and "drawing close to God" (whatever precisely that means) is all she had. The author concurs.
                > > >
                > > > In fact, if it is true that the above are sufficient, I almost feel that my entire Christian walk is invalidated.
                > > >
                > > > I don't think that's the case.
                > > >
                > > > I am just so sick and tired of constantly bashing my head against walls. God doesn't always seem in the business of providing doors.
                > > >
                > > > Romans 8:20 (perhaps).
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > Tony
                > > >
                > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "DebbieThurman" <debbie@> wrote:
                > > > >
                > > > > Tony, my point was that prayer and drawing close to God touch more than the conscious mind. Reading the Word and praying may give one hearing. Faith allows one to translate that to doing and being.
                > > > >
                > > > > Debbie
                > > > >
                > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@> wrote:
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Hi Debbie,
                > > > > >
                > > > > > I was being more generic with my use of the term "cognitive therapy." Cognition has to do with the conscious mind. It REACHES the conscious mind. It doesn't seem to reach the subconscious mind.
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Thus, with my intended use of the term, prayer is cognitive therapy, as is Bible study. I read the gospel of John with the conscious part of me.
                > > > > >
                > > > > > My whole point is, WHAT does hearing anything in the conscious part of a person accomplish if who one is, is defined in the subconscious?
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Thanks for replying...
                > > > > >
                > > > > > Tony
                > > > > >
                > > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "DebbieThurman" <debbie@> wrote:
                > > > > > >
                > > > > > > Tony, there will be a variety of opinions on cognitive therapy, but what I hear you saying is that it will always only be one part of the healing equation. Kind of like the purpose for "the law" in the Old Testament over against the New Covenant and grace in the New. The law (therapy, if you will) was meant to make us aware of our sin/brokenness and our need for God in three parts. Jesus (evoked many times in the Old Testament) later came to fulfill the law, but also to show us how one sacrifice covered us for all time.
                > > > > > >
                > > > > > > It seems to me therapy can only serve to make us aware that we are broken and perhaps point us to some of those places. The question, then, remains how are we going to address those things and receive what we need for healing and restoration: forgiveness, contrition, propitiation (Christ's sacrificial covering of our sin), leading to holiness and wholeness.
                > > > > > >
                > > > > > > You are right. Therapy alone cannot do those things.
                > > > > > >
                > > > > > > Debbie
                > > > > > >
                > > > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@> wrote:
                > > > > > > >
                > > > > > > > With the preceding post in mind, I am suggesting something. It no longer seems to me that "cognitive therapy" does anything. If anyone is aware, I am reminded of Lisa's Story in Leanne Payne's The Broken Image. Lisa could pray all she wants. She could read the Bible inside and out. She could go to gospel retreats.
                > > > > > > >
                > > > > > > > But, if she would not be reached where he sexuality was defined? Just what exactly does the above accomplish? And we could get off her sexuality. She came to realize she smoked cigarettes as a compulsive need to abuse her mouth as her father did. How was she really going to quit smoking.
                > > > > > > >
                > > > > > > > And if someone has the strength to not commit the outward act…
                > > > > > > >
                > > > > > > > Does that change the nature of the tree? Isn't the tree still a homosexual tree?
                > > > > > > >
                > > > > > > > I mean…my life is a house of cards. I don't do anything with another guy. I do resist. But, the thoughts and the feelings keep coming.
                > > > > > > >
                > > > > > > > I want healing and I don't think "cognitive" does anything anymore, including cognitive Bible study, prayer, what have you. Or if it does anything, it prepares the soil to eventually be able to have the deep parts be accessed.
                > > > > > > >
                > > > > > > > Nothing seems to work.
                > > > > > > >
                > > > > > >
                > > > > >
                > > > >
                > > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                > >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
              • DebbieThurman
                Yes, I hear you, Tony. And I understand and appreciate your sensitivity, believe me. You will be in my prayers, for whatever comfort that is worth. The
                Message 7 of 20 , Jan 28, 2010
                • 0 Attachment
                  Yes, I hear you, Tony. And I understand and appreciate your sensitivity, believe me. You will be in my prayers, for whatever comfort that is worth.

                  The theology of suffering is a hard one to grasp and live. I once saw no way out of deep depression and wanted to die. God never completely disappeared from the picture for me. I clung tenaciously to that grain of faith, and the prayers of others as I slowly made my way back to sanity.

                  We all hate platitudes. Christian ones are the worst of all. I cannot diminish your struggle, nor can I grasp fully what God is doing through it. I do know He has to love you and He knows you fully. May you find enough shelter under His wing to make it through the toughest days.

                  Debbie

                  --- In exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Thom,
                  >
                  > Except for one time, I have not been with a male since 15 years old. The one time, about ten years ago, I was unfortunately extremely intoxicated, on travel, and seduced. I masturbate sometimes when it is really bad. And often I resist and do not. Imagine that. I'm 51. Obviously, there is a part of me that longs for expression of this sickening passion in its fullest form.
                  >
                  > And yet I have not. For 30+ years. I saw a counselor quite schooled on this issue and when I shared my testimony, she asked how many gay lovers I had and I told her none. She was absolutely shocked. She must have asked me five times. She couldn't believe it.
                  >
                  > Last night, I told God that I was going to give up on Him since He gave up on me, but that lasted maybe 2 minutes.
                  >
                  > The thing is...I KNOW He is good. I KNOW IT. There is no doubt in my mind. I mean no doubt. So, I knew I was lying.
                  >
                  > It's just hard bashing my head against the wall all the time. My reason at least at a fairly generic level (God is good and thus worthy to be served) is concrete and consistent. It's just my feelings. They overflow and then I want to be mad at God even though being mad at God is not reasonable.
                  >
                  > I purposely mentioned another example of brokenness (read: I am veering from homosexuality). The thing about when I get startled I go into a rage that lasts maybe 20 seconds. I was prayed over and had that traumatic memory surface. There is no doubt in my mind that my character with respect to this specific whatever is in bondage to that trauma. No doubt.
                  >
                  > Debbie, if you are listening...
                  >
                  > I am 100% certain the issue was not gender-specific (needing a guy to participate instead of a women). When you mentioned prayer and closeness to God, I interpreted OMMISSION quite significantly and perhaps wrongly.
                  >
                  > I am extremely sensitive to a style of communication that suggests recipe for recovery, purports to be the solution for recovery, and omits certain facets.
                  >
                  > I guess to cut to the chase. Lisa in Payne's book had just attempted suicide. If all she ever received was absent some means of the Lord meeting her in her deep mind/heart (healing of trauma/memory),I would be shocked if she did not remain suicidal.
                  >
                  > So, this is a biggie for me.
                  >
                  > To close...the nuts and bolts of my life is and has always been very painful on a continuous basis. To be subjected to unwanted thoughts and feelings as well as sizable physical discomfort in my private area.
                  >
                  > It gets old and I see no way out. Doesn't mean I'm not gonna try, but I see no way out.
                  >
                  >
                  > Tony
                  >
                  > --- In exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com, Thom Hunter <th2950@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Tony,
                  > >  
                  > > I'm sorry the temptations are so strong.  I've certainly been there and I've wondered why God did not release me from them.  After I resisted and worked through them, I understood.  I was stronger and I was more prepared for the next onslaught.  I am praying that you make your way through this period.  Two weeks is great.  Obviously, if you have endured this time of temptation, your heart wants freedom.  Ask God for more grace to deal with it rather than asking Him to take it away.
                  > >  
                  > > Thom
                  > >
                  > > --- On Wed, 1/27/10, Anthony <tonyb0505@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > From: Anthony <tonyb0505@>
                  > > Subject: [ExGDBd] Re: Testimony
                  > > To: exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com
                  > > Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2010, 6:38 PM
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >  
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > After about a week of abstinence, certainly after two weeks, I am in a perpetual state of white hot temptation.
                  > >
                  > > If God expects perpetual resistance to that, He is cruel.
                  > >
                  > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, Thom Hunter <th2950@> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > Tony,
                  > > >  
                  > > > I understand your frustration.  Sometimes we do run across very well-meaning people, particularly in the church, who tell us, "well, now that you know what the problem is, you need to let go and let God."  And so we pray and confess and try to work ut our repentance, but in our thoughts, we see the problem creep in upon us again.  The roots are still there and they beg for nourishment, so, we give it . . . then we feel the guilt and pain and try to exchange one cycle for another. We ignore the cycle of acting out and pour all our energy into the cycle of confession and repentance.  It's wearying.
                  > > >  
                  > > > I don't know, and may not in this lifetime, why God does not work on my time schedule, other than the fact, of course, that He is all-seeing and all-knowing and I am frequently all-wanting.  I am thankful that He gives me grace and forgiveness and has immense patience that far exceeds my own.
                  > > >  
                  > > > God has the power, but He walks with us, not on us.  We have to put forth considerable effort into our own healing, just as we have done in feeding our problem.  If the freedom we seek is really important, we need to prove it. 
                  > > >  
                  > > > It takes prayer, yes.  And study, yes.  It also takes people.  After all, people are a big part of the problem, so why not the solution?  If we are willing to endure and finish the race, we may find ourselves going through counseling -- both therapeutic and pastoral.  We may need the rigorous invesment of time that it takes to go through a Living Waters or similar program in the openness of a small group where we can confess without ridicule or judgement, receive the prayers of others and be accountable to them and them to us.  It's what Sy Rogers refers to as "God with skin on." 
                  > > >  
                  > > > If your Christian walk is indeed a walk, it can't be invalidated by failure.  That's what grace is for. 
                  > > >  
                  > > > We have to dissect all the issues that have merged into the one big issue.  I had to work through the fact my father abandoned me . . . and forgive him.  I had to work through the fact that I was raped by a man when I was a little boy . . . and forgive him.  I had to think through the many times I took advantage of others to feed my own needs . . . and forgive myself.  It's not an easy process.  But, when you know what is right and you are living what is wrong, you will do it, no matter how hard, and no matter how many people are telling you that you will not make it.  And that is where God comes in most forcefully.  He will never tell you that and He is constant. 
                  > > >  
                  > > > When I see someone struggling like you are, I wish I had a way of conveying that we cannot stop.  There were times I wanted to and felt entirely justified.  I would not want that surrender now in exchange for the hard-fought and long-sought victory.
                  > > >  
                  > > > Thom
                  > > > http://thom- signsofastruggle .blogspot. com/
                  > > >  
                  > > >
                  > > > --- On Wed, 1/27/10, DebbieThurman <debbie@> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > From: DebbieThurman <debbie@>
                  > > > Subject: [ExGDBd] Re: Testimony
                  > > > To: exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com
                  > > > Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2010, 2:59 PM
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >  
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > Tony, we're having a failure to communicate here. I think I'll back out and let a man talk to you. I have never nor will I ever say that prayer alone or Scripture and prayer are all anyone needs to find healing. It's a layered process.
                  > > >
                  > > > Debbie
                  > > >
                  > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@ ..> wrote:
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Hi Debbie,
                  > > > >
                  > > > > My point is that even in respect of your words, I don't believe "Lisa" in Leane Payne's book ever would have found healing if prayer and "drawing close to God" (whatever precisely that means) is all she had. The author concurs.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > In fact, if it is true that the above are sufficient, I almost feel that my entire Christian walk is invalidated.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > I don't think that's the case.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > I am just so sick and tired of constantly bashing my head against walls. God doesn't always seem in the business of providing doors.
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Romans 8:20 (perhaps).
                  > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > > > Tony
                  > > > >
                  > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "DebbieThurman" <debbie@> wrote:
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Tony, my point was that prayer and drawing close to God touch more than the conscious mind. Reading the Word and praying may give one hearing. Faith allows one to translate that to doing and being.
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > Debbie
                  > > > > >
                  > > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@> wrote:
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > Hi Debbie,
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > I was being more generic with my use of the term "cognitive therapy." Cognition has to do with the conscious mind. It REACHES the conscious mind. It doesn't seem to reach the subconscious mind.
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > Thus, with my intended use of the term, prayer is cognitive therapy, as is Bible study. I read the gospel of John with the conscious part of me.
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > My whole point is, WHAT does hearing anything in the conscious part of a person accomplish if who one is, is defined in the subconscious?
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > Thanks for replying...
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > Tony
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "DebbieThurman" <debbie@> wrote:
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > Tony, there will be a variety of opinions on cognitive therapy, but what I hear you saying is that it will always only be one part of the healing equation. Kind of like the purpose for "the law" in the Old Testament over against the New Covenant and grace in the New. The law (therapy, if you will) was meant to make us aware of our sin/brokenness and our need for God in three parts. Jesus (evoked many times in the Old Testament) later came to fulfill the law, but also to show us how one sacrifice covered us for all time.
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > It seems to me therapy can only serve to make us aware that we are broken and perhaps point us to some of those places. The question, then, remains how are we going to address those things and receive what we need for healing and restoration: forgiveness, contrition, propitiation (Christ's sacrificial covering of our sin), leading to holiness and wholeness.
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > You are right. Therapy alone cannot do those things.
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > Debbie
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@> wrote:
                  > > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > > With the preceding post in mind, I am suggesting something. It no longer seems to me that "cognitive therapy" does anything. If anyone is aware, I am reminded of Lisa's Story in Leanne Payne's The Broken Image. Lisa could pray all she wants. She could read the Bible inside and out. She could go to gospel retreats.
                  > > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > > But, if she would not be reached where he sexuality was defined? Just what exactly does the above accomplish? And we could get off her sexuality. She came to realize she smoked cigarettes as a compulsive need to abuse her mouth as her father did. How was she really going to quit smoking.
                  > > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > > And if someone has the strength to not commit the outward act…
                  > > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > > Does that change the nature of the tree? Isn't the tree still a homosexual tree?
                  > > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > > I mean…my life is a house of cards. I don't do anything with another guy. I do resist. But, the thoughts and the feelings keep coming.
                  > > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > > I want healing and I don't think "cognitive" does anything anymore, including cognitive Bible study, prayer, what have you. Or if it does anything, it prepares the soil to eventually be able to have the deep parts be accessed.
                  > > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > > > Nothing seems to work.
                  > > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > > >
                  > > > > > >
                  > > > > >
                  > > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > >
                  > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  > > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >
                  > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  > >
                  >
                • Thom Hunter
                  Tony,   Good to hear from you again.  I am not surprised that this temptation is exerting itself at your age: 51.  It s a time when we think perhaps we
                  Message 8 of 20 , Jan 28, 2010
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Tony,
                     
                    Good to hear from you again.  I am not surprised that this temptation is exerting itself at your age: 51.  It's a time when we think perhaps we should have these kinds of things behind us, but it is also an age when we are under a lot of pressure to tie up some of the loose ends of our lives and the things we have left unreconciled can step to the forefront and demand attention.  It's tough.  I'm 55, and I am still afflicted on occasion with temptations that I know acting upon would only be unsatisfying, temporary and damaging.  Then I'd have to deal with the repercussions on top of the unmet longings. 
                     
                    I'm glad it took you only a couple of minutes to realize that God has not really given up on you nor can you on Him. 
                     
                    Regarding the trauma to which you feel bound and which enrages you.  The things we cannot understand are the most important things to give to God.  I know that's not easy.  We want to know so we can do.  But, Proverbs 3:5 says Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
                     
                    Sometimes when we can't figure things out with our minds, we just have to trust with out hearts.  I think we are, in a sense, then holding God accountable.  We make a conscious decision to lean on Him.
                     
                    Was your counselor a Christian?  When you explained why you had not moved further into homosexuality, did she accept that as good . . .or did she give you the impression you were restraining yourself unnecessarily?  I'm just curious.  There are a lot of people out there who are well-schooled but not well-anchored.
                     
                    I believe that prayer and communication with God is significant to the progression out of this bondage because prayer supports us in so many ways.  Sure, I've prayed that God would just take it away.  But I have also prayed that God would just help me to be honest in my accountabilty group, that He would help me focus on the things I was reading, that He would help me break off bad relationships.  And that He would help me believe that He never leaves me.
                     
                    As for doors?  I believe God is a mover and a shaker.  If I am with Him, there will be doors. 
                     
                    You ended by saying there is discomfort in your private area.  Do you know the cause?
                     
                    Thom
                    http://thom-signsofastruggle.blogspot.com/



                    --- On Thu, 1/28/10, Anthony <tonyb0505@...> wrote:


                    From: Anthony <tonyb0505@...>
                    Subject: [ExGDBd] Re: Testimony
                    To: exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Thursday, January 28, 2010, 9:38 AM


                     



                    Thom,

                    Except for one time, I have not been with a male since 15 years old. The one time, about ten years ago, I was unfortunately extremely intoxicated, on travel, and seduced. I masturbate sometimes when it is really bad. And often I resist and do not. Imagine that. I'm 51. Obviously, there is a part of me that longs for expression of this sickening passion in its fullest form.

                    And yet I have not. For 30+ years. I saw a counselor quite schooled on this issue and when I shared my testimony, she asked how many gay lovers I had and I told her none. She was absolutely shocked. She must have asked me five times. She couldn't believe it.

                    Last night, I told God that I was going to give up on Him since He gave up on me, but that lasted maybe 2 minutes.

                    The thing is...I KNOW He is good. I KNOW IT. There is no doubt in my mind. I mean no doubt. So, I knew I was lying.

                    It's just hard bashing my head against the wall all the time. My reason at least at a fairly generic level (God is good and thus worthy to be served) is concrete and consistent. It's just my feelings. They overflow and then I want to be mad at God even though being mad at God is not reasonable.

                    I purposely mentioned another example of brokenness (read: I am veering from homosexuality) . The thing about when I get startled I go into a rage that lasts maybe 20 seconds. I was prayed over and had that traumatic memory surface. There is no doubt in my mind that my character with respect to this specific whatever is in bondage to that trauma. No doubt.

                    Debbie, if you are listening...

                    I am 100% certain the issue was not gender-specific (needing a guy to participate instead of a women). When you mentioned prayer and closeness to God, I interpreted OMMISSION quite significantly and perhaps wrongly.

                    I am extremely sensitive to a style of communication that suggests recipe for recovery, purports to be the solution for recovery, and omits certain facets.

                    I guess to cut to the chase. Lisa in Payne's book had just attempted suicide. If all she ever received was absent some means of the Lord meeting her in her deep mind/heart (healing of trauma/memory) ,I would be shocked if she did not remain suicidal.

                    So, this is a biggie for me.

                    To close...the nuts and bolts of my life is and has always been very painful on a continuous basis. To be subjected to unwanted thoughts and feelings as well as sizable physical discomfort in my private area.

                    It gets old and I see no way out. Doesn't mean I'm not gonna try, but I see no way out.

                    Tony

                    --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, Thom Hunter <th2950@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Tony,
                    >  
                    > I'm sorry the temptations are so strong.  I've certainly been there and I've wondered why God did not release me from them.  After I resisted and worked through them, I understood.  I was stronger and I was more prepared for the next onslaught.  I am praying that you make your way through this period.  Two weeks is great.  Obviously, if you have endured this time of temptation, your heart wants freedom.  Ask God for more grace to deal with it rather than asking Him to take it away.
                    >  
                    > Thom
                    >
                    > --- On Wed, 1/27/10, Anthony <tonyb0505@. ..> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > From: Anthony <tonyb0505@. ..>
                    > Subject: [ExGDBd] Re: Testimony
                    > To: exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com
                    > Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2010, 6:38 PM
                    >
                    >
                    >  
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > After about a week of abstinence, certainly after two weeks, I am in a perpetual state of white hot temptation.
                    >
                    > If God expects perpetual resistance to that, He is cruel.
                    >
                    > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, Thom Hunter <th2950@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Tony,
                    > >  
                    > > I understand your frustration.  Sometimes we do run across very well-meaning people, particularly in the church, who tell us, "well, now that you know what the problem is, you need to let go and let God."  And so we pray and confess and try to work ut our repentance, but in our thoughts, we see the problem creep in upon us again.  The roots are still there and they beg for nourishment, so, we give it . . . then we feel the guilt and pain and try to exchange one cycle for another. We ignore the cycle of acting out and pour all our energy into the cycle of confession and repentance.  It's wearying.
                    > >  
                    > > I don't know, and may not in this lifetime, why God does not work on my time schedule, other than the fact, of course, that He is all-seeing and all-knowing and I am frequently all-wanting.  I am thankful that He gives me grace and forgiveness and has immense patience that far exceeds my own.
                    > >  
                    > > God has the power, but He walks with us, not on us.  We have to put forth considerable effort into our own healing, just as we have done in feeding our problem.  If the freedom we seek is really important, we need to prove it. 
                    > >  
                    > > It takes prayer, yes.  And study, yes.  It also takes people.  After all, people are a big part of the problem, so why not the solution?  If we are willing to endure and finish the race, we may find ourselves going through counseling -- both therapeutic and pastoral.  We may need the rigorous invesment of time that it takes to go through a Living Waters or similar program in the openness of a small group where we can confess without ridicule or judgement, receive the prayers of others and be accountable to them and them to us.  It's what Sy Rogers refers to as "God with skin on." 
                    > >  
                    > > If your Christian walk is indeed a walk, it can't be invalidated by failure.  That's what grace is for. 
                    > >  
                    > > We have to dissect all the issues that have merged into the one big issue.  I had to work through the fact my father abandoned me . . . and forgive him.  I had to work through the fact that I was raped by a man when I was a little boy . . . and forgive him.  I had to think through the many times I took advantage of others to feed my own needs . . . and forgive myself.  It's not an easy process.  But, when you know what is right and you are living what is wrong, you will do it, no matter how hard, and no matter how many people are telling you that you will not make it.  And that is where God comes in most forcefully.  He will never tell you that and He is constant. 
                    > >  
                    > > When I see someone struggling like you are, I wish I had a way of conveying that we cannot stop.  There were times I wanted to and felt entirely justified.  I would not want that surrender now in exchange for the hard-fought and long-sought victory.
                    > >  
                    > > Thom
                    > > http://thom- signsofastruggle .blogspot. com/
                    > >  
                    > >
                    > > --- On Wed, 1/27/10, DebbieThurman <debbie@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > From: DebbieThurman <debbie@>
                    > > Subject: [ExGDBd] Re: Testimony
                    > > To: exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com
                    > > Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2010, 2:59 PM
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >  
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > Tony, we're having a failure to communicate here. I think I'll back out and let a man talk to you. I have never nor will I ever say that prayer alone or Scripture and prayer are all anyone needs to find healing. It's a layered process.
                    > >
                    > > Debbie
                    > >
                    > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@ ..> wrote:
                    > > >
                    > > > Hi Debbie,
                    > > >
                    > > > My point is that even in respect of your words, I don't believe "Lisa" in Leane Payne's book ever would have found healing if prayer and "drawing close to God" (whatever precisely that means) is all she had. The author concurs.
                    > > >
                    > > > In fact, if it is true that the above are sufficient, I almost feel that my entire Christian walk is invalidated.
                    > > >
                    > > > I don't think that's the case.
                    > > >
                    > > > I am just so sick and tired of constantly bashing my head against walls. God doesn't always seem in the business of providing doors.
                    > > >
                    > > > Romans 8:20 (perhaps).
                    > > >
                    > > >
                    > > > Tony
                    > > >
                    > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "DebbieThurman" <debbie@> wrote:
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Tony, my point was that prayer and drawing close to God touch more than the conscious mind. Reading the Word and praying may give one hearing. Faith allows one to translate that to doing and being.
                    > > > >
                    > > > > Debbie
                    > > > >
                    > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@> wrote:
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Hi Debbie,
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > I was being more generic with my use of the term "cognitive therapy." Cognition has to do with the conscious mind. It REACHES the conscious mind. It doesn't seem to reach the subconscious mind.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Thus, with my intended use of the term, prayer is cognitive therapy, as is Bible study. I read the gospel of John with the conscious part of me.
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > My whole point is, WHAT does hearing anything in the conscious part of a person accomplish if who one is, is defined in the subconscious?
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Thanks for replying...
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > Tony
                    > > > > >
                    > > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "DebbieThurman" <debbie@> wrote:
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > Tony, there will be a variety of opinions on cognitive therapy, but what I hear you saying is that it will always only be one part of the healing equation. Kind of like the purpose for "the law" in the Old Testament over against the New Covenant and grace in the New. The law (therapy, if you will) was meant to make us aware of our sin/brokenness and our need for God in three parts. Jesus (evoked many times in the Old Testament) later came to fulfill the law, but also to show us how one sacrifice covered us for all time.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > It seems to me therapy can only serve to make us aware that we are broken and perhaps point us to some of those places. The question, then, remains how are we going to address those things and receive what we need for healing and restoration: forgiveness, contrition, propitiation (Christ's sacrificial covering of our sin), leading to holiness and wholeness.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > You are right. Therapy alone cannot do those things.
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > Debbie
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@> wrote:
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > With the preceding post in mind, I am suggesting something. It no longer seems to me that "cognitive therapy" does anything. If anyone is aware, I am reminded of Lisa's Story in Leanne Payne's The Broken Image. Lisa could pray all she wants. She could read the Bible inside and out. She could go to gospel retreats.
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > But, if she would not be reached where he sexuality was defined? Just what exactly does the above accomplish? And we could get off her sexuality. She came to realize she smoked cigarettes as a compulsive need to abuse her mouth as her father did. How was she really going to quit smoking.
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > And if someone has the strength to not commit the outward act…
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > Does that change the nature of the tree? Isn't the tree still a homosexual tree?
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > I mean…my life is a house of cards. I don't do anything with another guy. I do resist. But, the thoughts and the feelings keep coming.
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > I want healing and I don't think "cognitive" does anything anymore, including cognitive Bible study, prayer, what have you. Or if it does anything, it prepares the soil to eventually be able to have the deep parts be accessed.
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > > > Nothing seems to work.
                    > > > > > > >
                    > > > > > >
                    > > > > >
                    > > > >
                    > > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    > >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >











                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Anthony
                    Hi Debbie, Thanks, sis. Your compassion shines and is much appreciated. nor can I grasp fully what God is doing through it. Of what I know, that is pretty
                    Message 9 of 20 , Jan 28, 2010
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Hi Debbie,

                      Thanks, sis. Your compassion shines and is much appreciated.

                      "nor can I grasp fully what God is doing through it."
                      Of what I know, that is pretty well covered and is scary-intense. He's working.


                      In Friendship,

                      Tony

                      --- In exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com, "DebbieThurman" <debbie@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Yes, I hear you, Tony. And I understand and appreciate your sensitivity, believe me. You will be in my prayers, for whatever comfort that is worth.
                      >
                      > The theology of suffering is a hard one to grasp and live. I once saw no way out of deep depression and wanted to die. God never completely disappeared from the picture for me. I clung tenaciously to that grain of faith, and the prayers of others as I slowly made my way back to sanity.
                      >
                      > We all hate platitudes. Christian ones are the worst of all. I cannot diminish your struggle, nor can I grasp fully what God is doing through it. I do know He has to love you and He knows you fully. May you find enough shelter under His wing to make it through the toughest days.
                      >
                      > Debbie
                      >
                      > --- In exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Thom,
                      > >
                      > > Except for one time, I have not been with a male since 15 years old. The one time, about ten years ago, I was unfortunately extremely intoxicated, on travel, and seduced. I masturbate sometimes when it is really bad. And often I resist and do not. Imagine that. I'm 51. Obviously, there is a part of me that longs for expression of this sickening passion in its fullest form.
                      > >
                      > > And yet I have not. For 30+ years. I saw a counselor quite schooled on this issue and when I shared my testimony, she asked how many gay lovers I had and I told her none. She was absolutely shocked. She must have asked me five times. She couldn't believe it.
                      > >
                      > > Last night, I told God that I was going to give up on Him since He gave up on me, but that lasted maybe 2 minutes.
                      > >
                      > > The thing is...I KNOW He is good. I KNOW IT. There is no doubt in my mind. I mean no doubt. So, I knew I was lying.
                      > >
                      > > It's just hard bashing my head against the wall all the time. My reason at least at a fairly generic level (God is good and thus worthy to be served) is concrete and consistent. It's just my feelings. They overflow and then I want to be mad at God even though being mad at God is not reasonable.
                      > >
                      > > I purposely mentioned another example of brokenness (read: I am veering from homosexuality). The thing about when I get startled I go into a rage that lasts maybe 20 seconds. I was prayed over and had that traumatic memory surface. There is no doubt in my mind that my character with respect to this specific whatever is in bondage to that trauma. No doubt.
                      > >
                      > > Debbie, if you are listening...
                      > >
                      > > I am 100% certain the issue was not gender-specific (needing a guy to participate instead of a women). When you mentioned prayer and closeness to God, I interpreted OMMISSION quite significantly and perhaps wrongly.
                      > >
                      > > I am extremely sensitive to a style of communication that suggests recipe for recovery, purports to be the solution for recovery, and omits certain facets.
                      > >
                      > > I guess to cut to the chase. Lisa in Payne's book had just attempted suicide. If all she ever received was absent some means of the Lord meeting her in her deep mind/heart (healing of trauma/memory),I would be shocked if she did not remain suicidal.
                      > >
                      > > So, this is a biggie for me.
                      > >
                      > > To close...the nuts and bolts of my life is and has always been very painful on a continuous basis. To be subjected to unwanted thoughts and feelings as well as sizable physical discomfort in my private area.
                      > >
                      > > It gets old and I see no way out. Doesn't mean I'm not gonna try, but I see no way out.
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Tony
                      > >
                      > > --- In exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com, Thom Hunter <th2950@> wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > > Tony,
                      > > >  
                      > > > I'm sorry the temptations are so strong.  I've certainly been there and I've wondered why God did not release me from them.  After I resisted and worked through them, I understood.  I was stronger and I was more prepared for the next onslaught.  I am praying that you make your way through this period.  Two weeks is great.  Obviously, if you have endured this time of temptation, your heart wants freedom.  Ask God for more grace to deal with it rather than asking Him to take it away.
                      > > >  
                      > > > Thom
                      > > >
                      > > > --- On Wed, 1/27/10, Anthony <tonyb0505@> wrote:
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > > From: Anthony <tonyb0505@>
                      > > > Subject: [ExGDBd] Re: Testimony
                      > > > To: exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com
                      > > > Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2010, 6:38 PM
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >  
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > > After about a week of abstinence, certainly after two weeks, I am in a perpetual state of white hot temptation.
                      > > >
                      > > > If God expects perpetual resistance to that, He is cruel.
                      > > >
                      > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, Thom Hunter <th2950@> wrote:
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Tony,
                      > > > >  
                      > > > > I understand your frustration.  Sometimes we do run across very well-meaning people, particularly in the church, who tell us, "well, now that you know what the problem is, you need to let go and let God."  And so we pray and confess and try to work ut our repentance, but in our thoughts, we see the problem creep in upon us again.  The roots are still there and they beg for nourishment, so, we give it . . . then we feel the guilt and pain and try to exchange one cycle for another. We ignore the cycle of acting out and pour all our energy into the cycle of confession and repentance.  It's wearying.
                      > > > >  
                      > > > > I don't know, and may not in this lifetime, why God does not work on my time schedule, other than the fact, of course, that He is all-seeing and all-knowing and I am frequently all-wanting.  I am thankful that He gives me grace and forgiveness and has immense patience that far exceeds my own.
                      > > > >  
                      > > > > God has the power, but He walks with us, not on us.  We have to put forth considerable effort into our own healing, just as we have done in feeding our problem.  If the freedom we seek is really important, we need to prove it. 
                      > > > >  
                      > > > > It takes prayer, yes.  And study, yes.  It also takes people.  After all, people are a big part of the problem, so why not the solution?  If we are willing to endure and finish the race, we may find ourselves going through counseling -- both therapeutic and pastoral.  We may need the rigorous invesment of time that it takes to go through a Living Waters or similar program in the openness of a small group where we can confess without ridicule or judgement, receive the prayers of others and be accountable to them and them to us.  It's what Sy Rogers refers to as "God with skin on." 
                      > > > >  
                      > > > > If your Christian walk is indeed a walk, it can't be invalidated by failure.  That's what grace is for. 
                      > > > >  
                      > > > > We have to dissect all the issues that have merged into the one big issue.  I had to work through the fact my father abandoned me . . . and forgive him.  I had to work through the fact that I was raped by a man when I was a little boy . . . and forgive him.  I had to think through the many times I took advantage of others to feed my own needs . . . and forgive myself.  It's not an easy process.  But, when you know what is right and you are living what is wrong, you will do it, no matter how hard, and no matter how many people are telling you that you will not make it.  And that is where God comes in most forcefully.  He will never tell you that and He is constant. 
                      > > > >  
                      > > > > When I see someone struggling like you are, I wish I had a way of conveying that we cannot stop.  There were times I wanted to and felt entirely justified.  I would not want that surrender now in exchange for the hard-fought and long-sought victory.
                      > > > >  
                      > > > > Thom
                      > > > > http://thom- signsofastruggle .blogspot. com/
                      > > > >  
                      > > > >
                      > > > > --- On Wed, 1/27/10, DebbieThurman <debbie@> wrote:
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > > From: DebbieThurman <debbie@>
                      > > > > Subject: [ExGDBd] Re: Testimony
                      > > > > To: exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com
                      > > > > Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2010, 2:59 PM
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > >  
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Tony, we're having a failure to communicate here. I think I'll back out and let a man talk to you. I have never nor will I ever say that prayer alone or Scripture and prayer are all anyone needs to find healing. It's a layered process.
                      > > > >
                      > > > > Debbie
                      > > > >
                      > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@ ..> wrote:
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > Hi Debbie,
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > My point is that even in respect of your words, I don't believe "Lisa" in Leane Payne's book ever would have found healing if prayer and "drawing close to God" (whatever precisely that means) is all she had. The author concurs.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > In fact, if it is true that the above are sufficient, I almost feel that my entire Christian walk is invalidated.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > I don't think that's the case.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > I am just so sick and tired of constantly bashing my head against walls. God doesn't always seem in the business of providing doors.
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > Romans 8:20 (perhaps).
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > Tony
                      > > > > >
                      > > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "DebbieThurman" <debbie@> wrote:
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > Tony, my point was that prayer and drawing close to God touch more than the conscious mind. Reading the Word and praying may give one hearing. Faith allows one to translate that to doing and being.
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > Debbie
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@> wrote:
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > Hi Debbie,
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > I was being more generic with my use of the term "cognitive therapy." Cognition has to do with the conscious mind. It REACHES the conscious mind. It doesn't seem to reach the subconscious mind.
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > Thus, with my intended use of the term, prayer is cognitive therapy, as is Bible study. I read the gospel of John with the conscious part of me.
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > My whole point is, WHAT does hearing anything in the conscious part of a person accomplish if who one is, is defined in the subconscious?
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > Thanks for replying...
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > Tony
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "DebbieThurman" <debbie@> wrote:
                      > > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > > Tony, there will be a variety of opinions on cognitive therapy, but what I hear you saying is that it will always only be one part of the healing equation. Kind of like the purpose for "the law" in the Old Testament over against the New Covenant and grace in the New. The law (therapy, if you will) was meant to make us aware of our sin/brokenness and our need for God in three parts. Jesus (evoked many times in the Old Testament) later came to fulfill the law, but also to show us how one sacrifice covered us for all time.
                      > > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > > It seems to me therapy can only serve to make us aware that we are broken and perhaps point us to some of those places. The question, then, remains how are we going to address those things and receive what we need for healing and restoration: forgiveness, contrition, propitiation (Christ's sacrificial covering of our sin), leading to holiness and wholeness.
                      > > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > > You are right. Therapy alone cannot do those things.
                      > > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > > Debbie
                      > > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@> wrote:
                      > > > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > > > With the preceding post in mind, I am suggesting something. It no longer seems to me that "cognitive therapy" does anything. If anyone is aware, I am reminded of Lisa's Story in Leanne Payne's The Broken Image. Lisa could pray all she wants. She could read the Bible inside and out. She could go to gospel retreats.
                      > > > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > > > But, if she would not be reached where he sexuality was defined? Just what exactly does the above accomplish? And we could get off her sexuality. She came to realize she smoked cigarettes as a compulsive need to abuse her mouth as her father did. How was she really going to quit smoking.
                      > > > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > > > And if someone has the strength to not commit the outward act…
                      > > > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > > > Does that change the nature of the tree? Isn't the tree still a homosexual tree?
                      > > > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > > > I mean…my life is a house of cards. I don't do anything with another guy. I do resist. But, the thoughts and the feelings keep coming.
                      > > > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > > > I want healing and I don't think "cognitive" does anything anymore, including cognitive Bible study, prayer, what have you. Or if it does anything, it prepares the soil to eventually be able to have the deep parts be accessed.
                      > > > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > > > Nothing seems to work.
                      > > > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > > >
                      > > > > > >
                      > > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > >
                      > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      > > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      > > >
                      > >
                      >
                    • DebbieThurman
                      He s always working. I love, and am often reminded of C.H. Spurgeon s statement: God is too good to be unkind, too wise to make a mistake. And when you can t
                      Message 10 of 20 , Jan 28, 2010
                      • 0 Attachment
                        He's always working. I love, and am often reminded of C.H. Spurgeon's statement: "God is too good to be unkind, too wise to make a mistake. And when you can't trace His hand, you can always trust His heart."

                        I also think it can be instructive for us to remember that if it pleased God to wound His own son, He probably is going to wound us for his own purposes, too. We are sure not to like it. I'll stop here before I descend into those confounded platitudes. :)

                        Debbie

                        --- In exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Hi Debbie,
                        >
                        > Thanks, sis. Your compassion shines and is much appreciated.
                        >
                        > "nor can I grasp fully what God is doing through it."
                        > Of what I know, that is pretty well covered and is scary-intense. He's working.
                        >
                        >
                        > In Friendship,
                        >
                        > Tony
                        >
                        > --- In exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com, "DebbieThurman" <debbie@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > Yes, I hear you, Tony. And I understand and appreciate your sensitivity, believe me. You will be in my prayers, for whatever comfort that is worth.
                        > >
                        > > The theology of suffering is a hard one to grasp and live. I once saw no way out of deep depression and wanted to die. God never completely disappeared from the picture for me. I clung tenaciously to that grain of faith, and the prayers of others as I slowly made my way back to sanity.
                        > >
                        > > We all hate platitudes. Christian ones are the worst of all. I cannot diminish your struggle, nor can I grasp fully what God is doing through it. I do know He has to love you and He knows you fully. May you find enough shelter under His wing to make it through the toughest days.
                        > >
                        > > Debbie
                        > >
                        > > --- In exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@> wrote:
                        > > >
                        > > > Thom,
                        > > >
                        > > > Except for one time, I have not been with a male since 15 years old. The one time, about ten years ago, I was unfortunately extremely intoxicated, on travel, and seduced. I masturbate sometimes when it is really bad. And often I resist and do not. Imagine that. I'm 51. Obviously, there is a part of me that longs for expression of this sickening passion in its fullest form.
                        > > >
                        > > > And yet I have not. For 30+ years. I saw a counselor quite schooled on this issue and when I shared my testimony, she asked how many gay lovers I had and I told her none. She was absolutely shocked. She must have asked me five times. She couldn't believe it.
                        > > >
                        > > > Last night, I told God that I was going to give up on Him since He gave up on me, but that lasted maybe 2 minutes.
                        > > >
                        > > > The thing is...I KNOW He is good. I KNOW IT. There is no doubt in my mind. I mean no doubt. So, I knew I was lying.
                        > > >
                        > > > It's just hard bashing my head against the wall all the time. My reason at least at a fairly generic level (God is good and thus worthy to be served) is concrete and consistent. It's just my feelings. They overflow and then I want to be mad at God even though being mad at God is not reasonable.
                        > > >
                        > > > I purposely mentioned another example of brokenness (read: I am veering from homosexuality). The thing about when I get startled I go into a rage that lasts maybe 20 seconds. I was prayed over and had that traumatic memory surface. There is no doubt in my mind that my character with respect to this specific whatever is in bondage to that trauma. No doubt.
                        > > >
                        > > > Debbie, if you are listening...
                        > > >
                        > > > I am 100% certain the issue was not gender-specific (needing a guy to participate instead of a women). When you mentioned prayer and closeness to God, I interpreted OMMISSION quite significantly and perhaps wrongly.
                        > > >
                        > > > I am extremely sensitive to a style of communication that suggests recipe for recovery, purports to be the solution for recovery, and omits certain facets.
                        > > >
                        > > > I guess to cut to the chase. Lisa in Payne's book had just attempted suicide. If all she ever received was absent some means of the Lord meeting her in her deep mind/heart (healing of trauma/memory),I would be shocked if she did not remain suicidal.
                        > > >
                        > > > So, this is a biggie for me.
                        > > >
                        > > > To close...the nuts and bolts of my life is and has always been very painful on a continuous basis. To be subjected to unwanted thoughts and feelings as well as sizable physical discomfort in my private area.
                        > > >
                        > > > It gets old and I see no way out. Doesn't mean I'm not gonna try, but I see no way out.
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > > Tony
                        > > >
                        > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com, Thom Hunter <th2950@> wrote:
                        > > > >
                        > > > > Tony,
                        > > > >  
                        > > > > I'm sorry the temptations are so strong.  I've certainly been there and I've wondered why God did not release me from them.  After I resisted and worked through them, I understood.  I was stronger and I was more prepared for the next onslaught.  I am praying that you make your way through this period.  Two weeks is great.  Obviously, if you have endured this time of temptation, your heart wants freedom.  Ask God for more grace to deal with it rather than asking Him to take it away.
                        > > > >  
                        > > > > Thom
                        > > > >
                        > > > > --- On Wed, 1/27/10, Anthony <tonyb0505@> wrote:
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > > From: Anthony <tonyb0505@>
                        > > > > Subject: [ExGDBd] Re: Testimony
                        > > > > To: exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com
                        > > > > Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2010, 6:38 PM
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > >  
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > > After about a week of abstinence, certainly after two weeks, I am in a perpetual state of white hot temptation.
                        > > > >
                        > > > > If God expects perpetual resistance to that, He is cruel.
                        > > > >
                        > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, Thom Hunter <th2950@> wrote:
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > Tony,
                        > > > > >  
                        > > > > > I understand your frustration.  Sometimes we do run across very well-meaning people, particularly in the church, who tell us, "well, now that you know what the problem is, you need to let go and let God."  And so we pray and confess and try to work ut our repentance, but in our thoughts, we see the problem creep in upon us again.  The roots are still there and they beg for nourishment, so, we give it . . . then we feel the guilt and pain and try to exchange one cycle for another. We ignore the cycle of acting out and pour all our energy into the cycle of confession and repentance.  It's wearying.
                        > > > > >  
                        > > > > > I don't know, and may not in this lifetime, why God does not work on my time schedule, other than the fact, of course, that He is all-seeing and all-knowing and I am frequently all-wanting.  I am thankful that He gives me grace and forgiveness and has immense patience that far exceeds my own.
                        > > > > >  
                        > > > > > God has the power, but He walks with us, not on us.  We have to put forth considerable effort into our own healing, just as we have done in feeding our problem.  If the freedom we seek is really important, we need to prove it. 
                        > > > > >  
                        > > > > > It takes prayer, yes.  And study, yes.  It also takes people.  After all, people are a big part of the problem, so why not the solution?  If we are willing to endure and finish the race, we may find ourselves going through counseling -- both therapeutic and pastoral.  We may need the rigorous invesment of time that it takes to go through a Living Waters or similar program in the openness of a small group where we can confess without ridicule or judgement, receive the prayers of others and be accountable to them and them to us.  It's what Sy Rogers refers to as "God with skin on." 
                        > > > > >  
                        > > > > > If your Christian walk is indeed a walk, it can't be invalidated by failure.  That's what grace is for. 
                        > > > > >  
                        > > > > > We have to dissect all the issues that have merged into the one big issue.  I had to work through the fact my father abandoned me . . . and forgive him.  I had to work through the fact that I was raped by a man when I was a little boy . . . and forgive him.  I had to think through the many times I took advantage of others to feed my own needs . . . and forgive myself.  It's not an easy process.  But, when you know what is right and you are living what is wrong, you will do it, no matter how hard, and no matter how many people are telling you that you will not make it.  And that is where God comes in most forcefully.  He will never tell you that and He is constant. 
                        > > > > >  
                        > > > > > When I see someone struggling like you are, I wish I had a way of conveying that we cannot stop.  There were times I wanted to and felt entirely justified.  I would not want that surrender now in exchange for the hard-fought and long-sought victory.
                        > > > > >  
                        > > > > > Thom
                        > > > > > http://thom- signsofastruggle .blogspot. com/
                        > > > > >  
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > --- On Wed, 1/27/10, DebbieThurman <debbie@> wrote:
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > From: DebbieThurman <debbie@>
                        > > > > > Subject: [ExGDBd] Re: Testimony
                        > > > > > To: exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com
                        > > > > > Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2010, 2:59 PM
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > >  
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > Tony, we're having a failure to communicate here. I think I'll back out and let a man talk to you. I have never nor will I ever say that prayer alone or Scripture and prayer are all anyone needs to find healing. It's a layered process.
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > Debbie
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@ ..> wrote:
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > Hi Debbie,
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > My point is that even in respect of your words, I don't believe "Lisa" in Leane Payne's book ever would have found healing if prayer and "drawing close to God" (whatever precisely that means) is all she had. The author concurs.
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > In fact, if it is true that the above are sufficient, I almost feel that my entire Christian walk is invalidated.
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > I don't think that's the case.
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > I am just so sick and tired of constantly bashing my head against walls. God doesn't always seem in the business of providing doors.
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > Romans 8:20 (perhaps).
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > Tony
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "DebbieThurman" <debbie@> wrote:
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > Tony, my point was that prayer and drawing close to God touch more than the conscious mind. Reading the Word and praying may give one hearing. Faith allows one to translate that to doing and being.
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > Debbie
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@> wrote:
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > Hi Debbie,
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > I was being more generic with my use of the term "cognitive therapy." Cognition has to do with the conscious mind. It REACHES the conscious mind. It doesn't seem to reach the subconscious mind.
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > Thus, with my intended use of the term, prayer is cognitive therapy, as is Bible study. I read the gospel of John with the conscious part of me.
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > My whole point is, WHAT does hearing anything in the conscious part of a person accomplish if who one is, is defined in the subconscious?
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > Thanks for replying...
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > Tony
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "DebbieThurman" <debbie@> wrote:
                        > > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > > Tony, there will be a variety of opinions on cognitive therapy, but what I hear you saying is that it will always only be one part of the healing equation. Kind of like the purpose for "the law" in the Old Testament over against the New Covenant and grace in the New. The law (therapy, if you will) was meant to make us aware of our sin/brokenness and our need for God in three parts. Jesus (evoked many times in the Old Testament) later came to fulfill the law, but also to show us how one sacrifice covered us for all time.
                        > > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > > It seems to me therapy can only serve to make us aware that we are broken and perhaps point us to some of those places. The question, then, remains how are we going to address those things and receive what we need for healing and restoration: forgiveness, contrition, propitiation (Christ's sacrificial covering of our sin), leading to holiness and wholeness.
                        > > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > > You are right. Therapy alone cannot do those things.
                        > > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > > Debbie
                        > > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@> wrote:
                        > > > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > > > With the preceding post in mind, I am suggesting something. It no longer seems to me that "cognitive therapy" does anything. If anyone is aware, I am reminded of Lisa's Story in Leanne Payne's The Broken Image. Lisa could pray all she wants. She could read the Bible inside and out. She could go to gospel retreats.
                        > > > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > > > But, if she would not be reached where he sexuality was defined? Just what exactly does the above accomplish? And we could get off her sexuality. She came to realize she smoked cigarettes as a compulsive need to abuse her mouth as her father did. How was she really going to quit smoking.
                        > > > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > > > And if someone has the strength to not commit the outward act…
                        > > > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > > > Does that change the nature of the tree? Isn't the tree still a homosexual tree?
                        > > > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > > > I mean…my life is a house of cards. I don't do anything with another guy. I do resist. But, the thoughts and the feelings keep coming.
                        > > > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > > > I want healing and I don't think "cognitive" does anything anymore, including cognitive Bible study, prayer, what have you. Or if it does anything, it prepares the soil to eventually be able to have the deep parts be accessed.
                        > > > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > > > Nothing seems to work.
                        > > > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > > >
                        > > > > > >
                        > > > > >
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                        > > > > >
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                        > > > > >
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > >
                        > > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        > > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
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                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > >
                        > > > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        > > > >
                        > > >
                        > >
                        >
                      • Anthony
                        Hi Thom, I was away for a bit. A member of this group named Paul is a friend of mine and we have been talking. In a recent conversation, I was in a bit of a
                        Message 11 of 20 , Jan 30, 2010
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Hi Thom,

                          I was away for a bit.

                          A member of this group named Paul is a friend of mine and we have been talking. In a recent conversation, I was in a bit of a rage over my father and I broke down crying. So, I feel myself blessed in that a door of discernment has opened.

                          I had forgiven my father, but I believe forgiveness, like repentance, is generally not a binary experience, rather lies on a continuum. So, I see a lot of forgiveness for my father yet to experience/a lot of anger to let go of and I am thankful for that discernment.

                          Regarding my mother, I carried a seething anger for a long time. Regarding my father? Nothing.

                          Why?

                          I believe two extreme types of spiritual temperaments are the lost sheep and the lost coin. The sheep KNOWS something is wrong. The coin doesn't know anything. I think individuals lie at either extreme or some point in between.

                          I am way on the side of the lost coin. With rare exception, I never knew anything. The reason I had such anger toward my mother is that she was partial. I was thus able to discern a contrast between how I was treated and how my brothers were treated and to identify injustice. Dad, on the other hand, while being a really bad father (absent, selfish alcoholic), was consistent. He treated us all the same.

                          I had no feelings toward my father at all. And then perhaps two years ago, I began feeling this rage. I did write him a letter. I told him all about my homosexuality. Unlike my mom who was so graceful, my brother told me my dad told him, "What the hell is this??!!"

                          It really was a well written letter. I had it sanitized by a couple others before sending.

                          Thom, about my private area. There is just this real uncomfortable sensation and it feels completely impotent. I remember feeling this way when I would be around girls way back in high school and I was so afraid because of my sense of sexual uncertainty.

                          I feel it now. The feeling will persist and remain unless I were to harbor homosexual fantasies and succumb to masturbation. If I refuse to masturbate, it'll just escalate to a "fiery" level of constant agony to the point where if I gave in, I would be all done in a matter of maybe five seconds.

                          It's pretty bad now because it's been awhile.

                          Such is life. Such is my carousel. My main discouragement is the nuts and bolts reality of such constant pain, whether in the form of this physical discomfort and/or unwanted thoughts/images and feelings.

                          Romans 8:20.


                          Tony

                          --- In exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com, Thom Hunter <th2950@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Tony,
                          >  
                          > Good to hear from you again.  I am not surprised that this temptation is exerting itself at your age: 51.  It's a time when we think perhaps we should have these kinds of things behind us, but it is also an age when we are under a lot of pressure to tie up some of the loose ends of our lives and the things we have left unreconciled can step to the forefront and demand attention.  It's tough.  I'm 55, and I am still afflicted on occasion with temptations that I know acting upon would only be unsatisfying, temporary and damaging.  Then I'd have to deal with the repercussions on top of the unmet longings. 
                          >  
                          > I'm glad it took you only a couple of minutes to realize that God has not really given up on you nor can you on Him. 
                          >  
                          > Regarding the trauma to which you feel bound and which enrages you.  The things we cannot understand are the most important things to give to God.  I know that's not easy.  We want to know so we can do.  But, Proverbs 3:5 says Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
                          >  
                          > Sometimes when we can't figure things out with our minds, we just have to trust with out hearts.  I think we are, in a sense, then holding God accountable.  We make a conscious decision to lean on Him.
                          >  
                          > Was your counselor a Christian?  When you explained why you had not moved further into homosexuality, did she accept that as good . . .or did she give you the impression you were restraining yourself unnecessarily?  I'm just curious.  There are a lot of people out there who are well-schooled but not well-anchored.
                          >  
                          > I believe that prayer and communication with God is significant to the progression out of this bondage because prayer supports us in so many ways.  Sure, I've prayed that God would just take it away.  But I have also prayed that God would just help me to be honest in my accountabilty group, that He would help me focus on the things I was reading, that He would help me break off bad relationships.  And that He would help me believe that He never leaves me.
                          >  
                          > As for doors?  I believe God is a mover and a shaker.  If I am with Him, there will be doors. 
                          >  
                          > You ended by saying there is discomfort in your private area.  Do you know the cause?
                          >  
                          > Thom
                          > http://thom-signsofastruggle.blogspot.com/
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > --- On Thu, 1/28/10, Anthony <tonyb0505@...> wrote:
                          >
                          >
                          > From: Anthony <tonyb0505@...>
                          > Subject: [ExGDBd] Re: Testimony
                          > To: exgaydiscussionboard@yahoogroups.com
                          > Date: Thursday, January 28, 2010, 9:38 AM
                          >
                          >
                          >  
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Thom,
                          >
                          > Except for one time, I have not been with a male since 15 years old. The one time, about ten years ago, I was unfortunately extremely intoxicated, on travel, and seduced. I masturbate sometimes when it is really bad. And often I resist and do not. Imagine that. I'm 51. Obviously, there is a part of me that longs for expression of this sickening passion in its fullest form.
                          >
                          > And yet I have not. For 30+ years. I saw a counselor quite schooled on this issue and when I shared my testimony, she asked how many gay lovers I had and I told her none. She was absolutely shocked. She must have asked me five times. She couldn't believe it.
                          >
                          > Last night, I told God that I was going to give up on Him since He gave up on me, but that lasted maybe 2 minutes.
                          >
                          > The thing is...I KNOW He is good. I KNOW IT. There is no doubt in my mind. I mean no doubt. So, I knew I was lying.
                          >
                          > It's just hard bashing my head against the wall all the time. My reason at least at a fairly generic level (God is good and thus worthy to be served) is concrete and consistent. It's just my feelings. They overflow and then I want to be mad at God even though being mad at God is not reasonable.
                          >
                          > I purposely mentioned another example of brokenness (read: I am veering from homosexuality) . The thing about when I get startled I go into a rage that lasts maybe 20 seconds. I was prayed over and had that traumatic memory surface. There is no doubt in my mind that my character with respect to this specific whatever is in bondage to that trauma. No doubt.
                          >
                          > Debbie, if you are listening...
                          >
                          > I am 100% certain the issue was not gender-specific (needing a guy to participate instead of a women). When you mentioned prayer and closeness to God, I interpreted OMMISSION quite significantly and perhaps wrongly.
                          >
                          > I am extremely sensitive to a style of communication that suggests recipe for recovery, purports to be the solution for recovery, and omits certain facets.
                          >
                          > I guess to cut to the chase. Lisa in Payne's book had just attempted suicide. If all she ever received was absent some means of the Lord meeting her in her deep mind/heart (healing of trauma/memory) ,I would be shocked if she did not remain suicidal.
                          >
                          > So, this is a biggie for me.
                          >
                          > To close...the nuts and bolts of my life is and has always been very painful on a continuous basis. To be subjected to unwanted thoughts and feelings as well as sizable physical discomfort in my private area.
                          >
                          > It gets old and I see no way out. Doesn't mean I'm not gonna try, but I see no way out.
                          >
                          > Tony
                          >
                          > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, Thom Hunter <th2950@> wrote:
                          > >
                          > > Tony,
                          > >  
                          > > I'm sorry the temptations are so strong.  I've certainly been there and I've wondered why God did not release me from them.  After I resisted and worked through them, I understood.  I was stronger and I was more prepared for the next onslaught.  I am praying that you make your way through this period.  Two weeks is great.  Obviously, if you have endured this time of temptation, your heart wants freedom.  Ask God for more grace to deal with it rather than asking Him to take it away.
                          > >  
                          > > Thom
                          > >
                          > > --- On Wed, 1/27/10, Anthony <tonyb0505@ ..> wrote:
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > From: Anthony <tonyb0505@ ..>
                          > > Subject: [ExGDBd] Re: Testimony
                          > > To: exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com
                          > > Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2010, 6:38 PM
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >  
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > After about a week of abstinence, certainly after two weeks, I am in a perpetual state of white hot temptation.
                          > >
                          > > If God expects perpetual resistance to that, He is cruel.
                          > >
                          > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, Thom Hunter <th2950@> wrote:
                          > > >
                          > > > Tony,
                          > > >  
                          > > > I understand your frustration.  Sometimes we do run across very well-meaning people, particularly in the church, who tell us, "well, now that you know what the problem is, you need to let go and let God."  And so we pray and confess and try to work ut our repentance, but in our thoughts, we see the problem creep in upon us again.  The roots are still there and they beg for nourishment, so, we give it . . . then we feel the guilt and pain and try to exchange one cycle for another. We ignore the cycle of acting out and pour all our energy into the cycle of confession and repentance.  It's wearying.
                          > > >  
                          > > > I don't know, and may not in this lifetime, why God does not work on my time schedule, other than the fact, of course, that He is all-seeing and all-knowing and I am frequently all-wanting.  I am thankful that He gives me grace and forgiveness and has immense patience that far exceeds my own.
                          > > >  
                          > > > God has the power, but He walks with us, not on us.  We have to put forth considerable effort into our own healing, just as we have done in feeding our problem.  If the freedom we seek is really important, we need to prove it. 
                          > > >  
                          > > > It takes prayer, yes.  And study, yes.  It also takes people.  After all, people are a big part of the problem, so why not the solution?  If we are willing to endure and finish the race, we may find ourselves going through counseling -- both therapeutic and pastoral.  We may need the rigorous invesment of time that it takes to go through a Living Waters or similar program in the openness of a small group where we can confess without ridicule or judgement, receive the prayers of others and be accountable to them and them to us.  It's what Sy Rogers refers to as "God with skin on." 
                          > > >  
                          > > > If your Christian walk is indeed a walk, it can't be invalidated by failure.  That's what grace is for. 
                          > > >  
                          > > > We have to dissect all the issues that have merged into the one big issue.  I had to work through the fact my father abandoned me . . . and forgive him.  I had to work through the fact that I was raped by a man when I was a little boy . . . and forgive him.  I had to think through the many times I took advantage of others to feed my own needs . . . and forgive myself.  It's not an easy process.  But, when you know what is right and you are living what is wrong, you will do it, no matter how hard, and no matter how many people are telling you that you will not make it.  And that is where God comes in most forcefully.  He will never tell you that and He is constant. 
                          > > >  
                          > > > When I see someone struggling like you are, I wish I had a way of conveying that we cannot stop.  There were times I wanted to and felt entirely justified.  I would not want that surrender now in exchange for the hard-fought and long-sought victory.
                          > > >  
                          > > > Thom
                          > > > http://thom- signsofastruggle .blogspot. com/
                          > > >  
                          > > >
                          > > > --- On Wed, 1/27/10, DebbieThurman <debbie@> wrote:
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > > From: DebbieThurman <debbie@>
                          > > > Subject: [ExGDBd] Re: Testimony
                          > > > To: exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com
                          > > > Date: Wednesday, January 27, 2010, 2:59 PM
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > >  
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > > Tony, we're having a failure to communicate here. I think I'll back out and let a man talk to you. I have never nor will I ever say that prayer alone or Scripture and prayer are all anyone needs to find healing. It's a layered process.
                          > > >
                          > > > Debbie
                          > > >
                          > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@ ..> wrote:
                          > > > >
                          > > > > Hi Debbie,
                          > > > >
                          > > > > My point is that even in respect of your words, I don't believe "Lisa" in Leane Payne's book ever would have found healing if prayer and "drawing close to God" (whatever precisely that means) is all she had. The author concurs.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > In fact, if it is true that the above are sufficient, I almost feel that my entire Christian walk is invalidated.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > I don't think that's the case.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > I am just so sick and tired of constantly bashing my head against walls. God doesn't always seem in the business of providing doors.
                          > > > >
                          > > > > Romans 8:20 (perhaps).
                          > > > >
                          > > > >
                          > > > > Tony
                          > > > >
                          > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "DebbieThurman" <debbie@> wrote:
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > > Tony, my point was that prayer and drawing close to God touch more than the conscious mind. Reading the Word and praying may give one hearing. Faith allows one to translate that to doing and being.
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > > Debbie
                          > > > > >
                          > > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@> wrote:
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > Hi Debbie,
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > I was being more generic with my use of the term "cognitive therapy." Cognition has to do with the conscious mind. It REACHES the conscious mind. It doesn't seem to reach the subconscious mind.
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > Thus, with my intended use of the term, prayer is cognitive therapy, as is Bible study. I read the gospel of John with the conscious part of me.
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > My whole point is, WHAT does hearing anything in the conscious part of a person accomplish if who one is, is defined in the subconscious?
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > Thanks for replying...
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > Tony
                          > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "DebbieThurman" <debbie@> wrote:
                          > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > > Tony, there will be a variety of opinions on cognitive therapy, but what I hear you saying is that it will always only be one part of the healing equation. Kind of like the purpose for "the law" in the Old Testament over against the New Covenant and grace in the New. The law (therapy, if you will) was meant to make us aware of our sin/brokenness and our need for God in three parts. Jesus (evoked many times in the Old Testament) later came to fulfill the law, but also to show us how one sacrifice covered us for all time.
                          > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > > It seems to me therapy can only serve to make us aware that we are broken and perhaps point us to some of those places. The question, then, remains how are we going to address those things and receive what we need for healing and restoration: forgiveness, contrition, propitiation (Christ's sacrificial covering of our sin), leading to holiness and wholeness.
                          > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > > You are right. Therapy alone cannot do those things.
                          > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > > Debbie
                          > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > > --- In exgaydiscussionboar d@yahoogroups. com, "Anthony" <tonyb0505@> wrote:
                          > > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > > > With the preceding post in mind, I am suggesting something. It no longer seems to me that "cognitive therapy" does anything. If anyone is aware, I am reminded of Lisa's Story in Leanne Payne's The Broken Image. Lisa could pray all she wants. She could read the Bible inside and out. She could go to gospel retreats.
                          > > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > > > But, if she would not be reached where he sexuality was defined? Just what exactly does the above accomplish? And we could get off her sexuality. She came to realize she smoked cigarettes as a compulsive need to abuse her mouth as her father did. How was she really going to quit smoking.
                          > > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > > > And if someone has the strength to not commit the outward act…
                          > > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > > > Does that change the nature of the tree? Isn't the tree still a homosexual tree?
                          > > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > > > I mean…my life is a house of cards. I don't do anything with another guy. I do resist. But, the thoughts and the feelings keep coming.
                          > > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > > > I want healing and I don't think "cognitive" does anything anymore, including cognitive Bible study, prayer, what have you. Or if it does anything, it prepares the soil to eventually be able to have the deep parts be accessed.
                          > > > > > > > >
                          > > > > > > > > Nothing seems to work.
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