One of the biggest blessings in my lifetime was that my father and mother let me move back into their home when I decided to leave the prodigal road and return to God. I contemplated the move for a many months. Every conversation with my dad was saturated with fatherly invitations to come home and regroup. My life sucked at the time. To move home would be to admit failure. Pride and the whispers of the enemy kept me from surrendering. Eventually, I did move home. My father paid for the move, rented me a car and did everything in his power to help me support my decision.
It was a difficult move. I felt like I was giving up on everything. I had failed at life. I was also giving up my gay life and the “freedoms” I had. My flesh didn’t die a silent death. I was moving home to reconnect with Jesus, but on the drive home, I reconnected with Stephan, an old boyfriend, for a one nightstand. Even as I was headed in the general direction of God, I frequently stumbled. This is one statement I want Christians to hear. I had made the decision to repent and turn back to God and deny my flesh, but the flesh often doesn’t take “NO” for an answer. There are gay men and women out there who want to walk away from homosexuality, but your high expectations that they be perfect and never stumble again on the road to the cross are stifling, unrealistic and unloving. Grace has to be given them, the same as it was given to you.
Giving up my gay life wasn’t that hard at first, because to be honest, I didn’t sit and contemplate what I was giving up. I simply told myself, “I’m not going to have sex today.” I repeated this daily exercise in faith every day. Before too long, day after day became 14 years later. A new life rose from the ashes of my old one. I always knew homosexuality was wrong, but I also knew I had never chosen it. It was a feeling that was always there in my heart and mind, the same way that my heart beat in my chest. There was no planning or choosing. It just was.
I needed to distance myself from sexual sin and homosexual influences. You may be surprised to know that I also distanced myself from my staunch Christian friends as well. Gay friends wanted me to “shut up and dance” and Christians wanted me to crucify my flesh and just “pray more” and try to be straight. I couldn’t live up to either of their expectations, so I left them behind and got alone with God. You can call me sacrilegious if you want, but the first “holy” trinity I knew consisted of Jesus, Myself and My Dad. The three people that mattered most. Everyone else wanted their goals for my life, not God’s will.
I spent a year at home praying, reading the bible, paying off bills and listening to radio preachers. I was taught by Pastor Phil Clements how to slowly ingest and devour the Word of God. My parent’s house was a place of refuge for me. A place where I could hide away from the world’s, detrimental voices and listen for God’s voice.
Many years later I was prompted by the Holy Spirit to open my own home to homosexual strugglers wishing to leave homosexuality behind. We are entering our third year as a ministry. We call ourselves the Big Fish. My friend and ministry partner Stacy and I are gearing up for a new season of ministry to guys at Big Fish and in the world at large.
I believe the Holy Spirit led me to the following scriptures. They are representative of what we do here at the house. We don’t cure people. We are here to walk alongside men whose lives have been affected adversely by homosexuality. We are here to stand as a band of brothers and provide a place of refuge where men can connect with their heavenly father and find freedom from homosexuality.
In Acts 3 we find Peter and John going to the temple for prayer time. Acts 3:2 “Now a man crippled from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going in to the temple courts. “ The man asked Peter and John for money. Acts 3:6 “Then Peter said, ‘Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have, I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.’ ”
Here is the cool part that applies to the ministry of Big Fish. Acts 3:7-8 7 Taking him by the right hand, [Peter] helped him up and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. 8 He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping and praising God.
I see myself and Stacy as these men, Peter and John taking men by the hand and helping them up out of their “situations”. Helping them to have freedom from a “crippling condition” that they feel they have had since birth.
We have had victories and defeats here at the Big Fish. Setbacks don’t lead us to give up, they are simply challenges that shape the way we attack the future. Men have met Jesus as a result of this ministry. Men have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. Men have come face to face with Jesus. Men have discovered the truth here, whether or not they still choose to embrace it. As long as there are men that need rescuing, our doors will be open. We are simply two guys with one house and a whole lot of vision.