Monday, June 13, 2016

A Note To Hate

Dear Hate,

You are not new to us.

We met you as a child when you made fun of us for "throwing like a girl."
We saw you in high school when you wrote "faggot" on our locker door.

We encountered you in church when the preacher told us we were going to burn in Hell for having an orientation that we never chose.

You showed your nasty face when we were given pink triangles and sent to concentration camps during the Holocaust.

You were in NYC when you raided the Stonewall Inn to intimidate us and in New Orleans when you laughed at us as you burned the Upstairs Lounge, trapping many of us in the building to burn alive.

You bombed the Otherside Lounge in Atlanta and you shot Harvey Milk in San Francisco.

Hate, you worked to keep us from marrying those we loved and to ban us from adopting children that we longed to nurture.  For years you even kept us from serving openly in the military of our own nation despite us proudly risking our lives to defend it.

And now, you have gunned us down in Orlando at the Pulse night club.
You have killed 50 of us in cold blood and wounded 53 more.

You have broken our hearts, hate.
You have hurt us bad.

But, hate, I have a message for you.
Listen to me loud and clear.

While our hearts are broken, we are NOT!
We Will Never Break!

You are the same tired bully from the school yard.  You didn't defeat us then and you will not defeat us now!

There is a certain strength that comes from being an "outcast."
It's a strength that runs deep into our very souls.

It is stronger than any stone you can imagine and is cultivated over centuries of us fighting to survive.

Once again you have tried to stomp as out but once again you have failed!

You will NEVER beat us, Hate, because we have LOVE on our side.

And we all know, #LOVEWINS!

#PrayForOrlando #Pulse #HateLoses #OrlandoStrong

I wrote this originally on Facebook and decided to also share it on the blog in hopes that it will help to bring healing during this time of extreme hurt and inspire others to remember that while hate may knock us down, LOVE will always Lift Us Up!

God Bless,

John Street

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Soaking

As I sit here typing tonight rain is falling down outside the window.

It's one of those peaceful, gentle rains that leaves everything feeling fresh the next day.
Somehow it seems to dust off the plants and trees so they will glisten with a vibrant light in the morning sun.

This soaking rain is similar to how God wants us to experience His presence.

He longs to sit with us, to envelope us with His love like the rain covers the grass outside.

For many years I tried to sustain my walk with the Lord through devotions done more out of obligation then desire.
I was taught in Youth Group that you should read your Bible every day. 
No Excuses.

How many mornings did I dread having to wake up early and read my Bible just to turn to one scripture, read it, then go back to sleep?
I had done my duty.

As I grew older and began to mature I learned that our time with God can be so much more then just mundane responsibility.

It can be much more then something we check off our daily to do list.

Our Abba Father longs to encounter us with His peace, His grace, His soaking assurance that in His presence everything in life really is okay.

As we meditate in His presence the cares of this world melt away.
The very worries that kept us up at night or resentments that caused us so much anger begin to look so small in the greatness of God.

The thought that the same God who created the entire universe and knows the stars by name actually wants us to sit still in His presence can be mind boggling.

But, it is true.

I'm reminded of my favorite hymn from my early years in the Southern Baptist Church.

The lyrics are:

I come to the garden alone
while the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear
falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.

And He walks with me,
And He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

You may be thinking, "John, I would love to spend quality time with God like that. But, how do you do it?"

It is actually simple.

Find a quiet place.
Turn off your phone.
Take a deep breath.
Invite Him to join you.
You may say a prayer if you wish but at some point I encourage you to stop talking and just listen.
Just meditate in God's presence.
"Be still and know that I am God"- Psalms 46:10
Let Him take control and refresh you with His soaking love just as the rain refreshes the world outside when it falls.

You will find that the more time you spend letting God wrap His arms around you in the quiet stillness of His presence, the more desire you will have to read and study His scriptures.

The more time you spend cradled in His embrace, the more confidence you will have that He is in control.

Let Him be your Great Healer, your Great Listener, your Great Stress Reliever!

You don't have to be perfect to spend time with Him.
As a matter of fact, He doesn't want you to be anything other then who you are.
He sees you as spotless through the blood of Jesus!

Just come as you are and enjoy His presence.
It is available to whosoever asks.

As Always, Remember:

God Loves You!
God Created You!
God Accepts You!

Until Next Time,


Thursday, February 5, 2015

We Are Equal

I am proud to be a citizen of the USA and the state of Alabama.

For my international readers who may not be familiar with Alabama, it is considered to be one of the most conservative states politically and religiously in the United States.

There are many wonderful aspects of my home state.

For the most part, people are caring, honest, and sincere.

Many folks are taught to respect their elders and to offer a helping hand to a neighbor in need.
There are ministries and churches all over the state who will give you food if you are hungry or help you find a place to stay if you are homeless.

In this state you could be in the middle of the bread aisle at the grocery store and receive prayers from a perfect stranger if you look like you need an encouraging word.

A state full of Christians is a wonderful place to live, right?

Well, it is if you fit their interpretation of what a Christian looks like.

You see, folks here have deep rooted and genuine beliefs concerning their faith that have been handed down from generation to generation.
Veering from these doctrines is considered dangerous.
Even asking questions about certain beliefs is considered blasphemous to many people.

The majority of Christians in this state believe that everyone should live life based on a strict fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible.

One of the basic tenants of their beliefs is that God doesn't create people to be gay.

Most of these folks think that being gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, or transgender is a choice that people make in some type of rebellion towards God.

This isn't just an assumption on my part.  
I know this because of years of conversations with fellow Alabamians ranging from perfect strangers, to close friends, and even with family members.

But get this....I used to believe this too!

Growing up gay in Alabama isn't easy for anyone.
Growing up gay in Alabama as part of the Pentecostal Church was excruciatingly painful.

From my earliest memories I heard sermons from the pulpit detailing the abomination that is homosexuality.
I once heard an evangelist use the term "faggots" to describe gay men while he was preaching.

Pastors taught of how the gays and lesbians were perverts who desired to recruit children to add to their population so they could one day take over the government, the country, and the world.

As a teenager coping with my feelings of attraction to the same sex, I sat in church week after week terrified that I was going to burn in hell.
Somehow I had chosen this path of rebellion towards God.

Since God didn't create gay people then I must have made this decision and unless I changed my desires I would never be loved by God.

While I respect a person's sincere religious beliefs, reconciling the fact that I am gay versus their desire for everyone to be straight had been a challenge my entire life.

When you hear the same message over and over again, you start to see it as truth.

It wasn't until my early thirties that I finally found out the real truth.
At 33 years old I found myself sitting in church knowing that the rumors of me being gay had finally reached the senior pastor himself.
On a Sunday morning in front of the entire congregation he looked at me, pointed, and said, "You cannot be gay and a Christian. Oil and water do not mix. You Will Burn In Hell!"
I left the service that day and that church broken but not destroyed.
When I got to my prayer closet I begged God to either change me into a straight person (a prayer I had prayed thousands of times before) or to show me the real Truth to combat what I had been taught my whole life.
This began a period of study and meditation like I had never experienced before.
I was hungry and thirsty to know what my father God really thought about me!
After many months, I came through that period closer to God then I had ever been before and with a clear understanding of what is real and what is false.

Here is The Truth:
God Created You just the way You Are!  "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart,"- Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV)
God Loves You and Nothing can change that! "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor ANYTHING ELSE in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."- Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)
God Accepts You for who you are! "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus"- Galatians 3:28
Once God revealed these truths to me I found a new Peace deep down in my being.
I finally knew without a shadow of a doubt that He Loves Me!
I realized that I am not a mistake.
I am not an abomination!
I am lovingly and beautifully made with a purpose and a calling to spread His Unconditional Love to ALL People who will listen!
And my friends, SO ARE YOU!
If you ever feel the way I used to and wonder about what the truth really is, pray and meditate on the scriptures above!
Know deep down that God Created You, God Loves You, and God Accepts You!
During this time when lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender people are fighting for equal rights around the world you will undoubtedly hear hate filled remarks thrown at you or your community.
No matter what the root of these remarks are, based on misguided religious teachings or stem from basic evil prejudice, don't let their words shake you.
Deep down in your spirit know that before the world offers us equal rights, you are already equal in God's eyes!
Never let anyone make you feel like a second class citizen because the same God who formed the universe formed YOU in HIS Image!
Those that society considers the outcasts and the least of these are raised up in God's eyes!

In Matthew 20:16 Jesus tells us, "The Last will be First and the First will be Last."

Jesus LOVES those that the "main stream church" despises!
We are HIS kind of people!
Jesus tells us in the Sermon on the Mount, "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you"- Matthew 5:11-12 (NIV)
Through this sermon above Jesus is telling us that people will say horrible and evil things in His name but we will see a great reward in Heaven.
We may face persecution but so did He.
He prevailed over persecution and injustice so that we can live freely, joyfully, and EQUALLY!
In His eyes, we are all precious.
To Him, We Are Already Equal!
As always, remember:
God Created You!
God Loves You!
God Accepts You!
Until Next Time,

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Seasons Change

In life, we go through seasons.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, "To every thing there is a season, a time to every purpose under Heaven," (NKJV)

If that sounds familiar, you might also know it from the Broadway Musical, "Hair."
As many of the blog's readers have noticed, I took a hiatus in 2014.
Thank you so much to those who have reached out to me to assure I was okay.
It was an unintended break but in hind sight it was exactly what I needed.

God knew the plans He had for me and how many items I could juggle at one time.
At some point during the year, I took a deep breath and just decided to go with the flow until God impressed me to start blogging again.

For me, 2014 was a year of laying foundations.

The most notable foundation that was laid concerns my family.

You see, I married the love of my life in May of last year. 
The wedding and honeymoon were blessed beyond belief and I will never forget how beautiful it all was.  It was truly our fairytale dream come true!  Through all of it God reminded us that He cares about even the smallest details in our lives.

Joe, my husband, and I also worked hard laying foundations in our professional life.  New responsibilities at work led to promotions this past year that will help fund growth for our Ministry in the future.

We also volunteered more then ever at our local church, laying a foundation to strengthen our church family relationships that we hold so dear.  These are the same people who support us through prayers and attend our home meetings. They really are family to us.

As 2014 came to an end, I knew things were changing.
A new season was beginning.

This is a season of Ministry.

For starters, it is time to start blogging again!

I'm excited to say that the hiatus is over and I am looking forward to sharing with you all that God lays on my heart.

Also, I will be preaching more frequently and Joe will be ministering in music even more this year.  Our home meetings, The Healer's House, are increasing as well as invitations to Minister at other churches.

Finally, this Season of Ministry holds with it the start of a huge branch of outreach that we can't tell you about just yet.  Expect a major announcement soon, though!

Why am I telling you all of this?

Because, somewhere out there someone needs to understand that life comes in seasons.

These seasons are temporary.  
Good or bad, they will change.

Wherever you find yourself in your life is a Season.

What if you don't like your season?

If you look around you and don't like what you see, first and foremost pray and ask God what you need to learn in this Season.

Whether you like the season you are in or not, just know that God is still in Control.

Romans 8:28 tells us, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God..." (KJV)

Our daddy God loves us so much that He even takes our disappointments, our hurts, our problems, even our mistakes and turns them to our good!

What is He trying to show you during this Season?

Maybe it isn't WHAT He is trying to show you, but WHO He is trying to show you.

God places people in our lives for us to reach in the midst of EVERY season we are in.
If we run past the place He has us, if we fight to get out of a season before His timing to move us forward, we risk missing the people that He has placed in front of us that we are supposed to minister to.

The joy of the Lord is our strength.

How do we find joy in our lives?  We find it by serving others.

By looking outward and helping the people that God places in our paths, no matter what our circumstances look like, we are showing the very essence of Jesus Christ.  By showing Love, we are showing God.

Wherever you find yourself in life, whatever season you are in the midst of, take a moment to pause and ask God what He wants you to learn or who He wants you to serve.

Thank Him for your season and trust that He will work ALL things together for your good.

2015 is going to be a wonderful year of Ministry.
I look forward to sharing it with you all!

As Always, Remember,

God Loves You!
God Created You!

God Accepts You!

Until Next Time,


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

You Have Power!

I feel tonight that God is giving this word of encouragement for our Christian Brothers and Sisters around the world.

My friends, the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead runs through your veins today!

The enemy may have told you that you are down and out, lost and forgotten, wounded and dying, but today God wants you to know that you are alive!
He longs for you to flourish and prosper in Every Area!

If you have been fighting a battle against the enemy, whether it be spiritual, mental, physical, financial, emotional....declare out loud, "Get thee behind me, satan! I am alive and well because I have the authority to trample you under foot! Leave me alone! Leave my family alone! Leave my finances alone! Leave my life alone! The power of the blood of Jesus lives within me and I am taking a stand against you!  You must leave now!"

Declare with faith that God is bigger then your problems.

Rise up and fight again!

No matter how beat down you feel, God has never and will never leave you.

Jesus came so that you might have LIFE and have it more abundantly!

Tap into the power source of your Abba Father and take control back from the enemy!

Stand in the promises of God today!

Remember Luke 10:19 "I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will by any means harm you."

Claim the promise of Psalm 91:3-7 "....Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.  He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.  A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you."

Declare Isaiah 53:5 "...He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."

The enemy longs to keep us confused about our identity.

His plan is to keep us so mired in the muck of everyday life that we forget who we are.

Who Are You?

You are a joint heir with Jesus Christ!

You are the head and not the tail!

You are More then a Conqueror through Christ!

My brothers and sisters, the battle has already been fought and the victory has already been won!

Stand in the promises of God and Remember who you are!

Get in the habit of using the authority that He has given you to kick the enemy out of your life.

As you learn to walk in the Power that God has Promised You, your life will become one of victory in all situations instead of defeat.

I pray you receive this word of encouragement and let God work in every facet of your life.

If you aren't a Christian but want to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior so you too can tap into this same power, please visit the link "How to become a Christian" on the right side of this page. 

As always, remember:

God Loves You!
God Created You!
God Accepts You!

Until Next Time,