Is Ex-Gay Therapy good?

January 7, 2015

1930452_34913840812_2424_nThere has been a lot of bad press recently on ex-gay therapy. Exodus International (once the largest umbrella ministry for those wanting freedom from their same sex attractions) closed its doors in 2013. It appears that much of the leadership have denounced their involvement in ex-gay therapy and are now living gay lives. There is also over-whelming complaints from people crying “abuse” & citing horrific experiences in ex-gay type therapy. These things continue to tell the world that change is not possible; it is cruel and damaging to expect change.

I can’t say that these people did not have bad experiences. There has been a lot of damage done in the church under the name of therapy, even with good intentions. People can jump into counseling or try to help out when in truth they have no idea what they are doing. Things are hurried and not done right. We are all human and we all make mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes have negative lasting effects on others.

I have heard stories of practices and methods used in ex-gay therapy as well as live-in programs that I do not agree with and am I’m thankful that God led me to the right place. My experience in an ex-gay live in program was a good experience! I got a lot out of it.

Before I go on, you need to realize we are living in a world where no one wants to be inconvenienced. Everything is “all about I and living a life that pleases # 1”. People do not seem to want to do anything that is hard or challenging.

In 2001, I moved to California and entered an ex-gay live-in program. With any recovery-based live-in program there is some structure and rules that can seem harsh at first, but the longer you are there the more freedom you are given.

The goal of the live-in program that I went to (and I believe it should be the goal of all ex-gay based therapy) was not to make gay people straight.

I know that this may be a shock to most. As Sy Rogers, my favorite ex-gay speaker, once said, “The goal is not to become straight as straight people go to hell too”.

The goal is to get people’s lives right with God. Everything else is brought to the light through that. When our relationship is right with God, He is free to work in us and change us.

The program I was in was basically discipleship. We talked about how to deal with temptation and other sexual issues, but the heart of it was basic discipleship. We learned how about and practiced having a devotion time. We learned about forgiveness, studying the Bible & a ton of other things. We also read a lot of great books. Counseling was available from local counselors for those who wanted to deal with issues from their past.

Some people’s sexual attractions are instantly taken away by a miraculous touch from God. Everyone coming into the program hopes for that, but those cases are rare. Most of the time people, who have had any lasting change, have had to work at it. It is not an easy process, which is why so few do it or give up.

I would see 25 to 30 men enter the program. Some came with the illusion that they would be changed but when the reality hit that they actually have to put forth the effort to actually change, they left feeling they had been cheated or that the program didn’t work.

If God instantly took away our issues we would learn nothing. It is through fighting our temptations and choosing to replace old habits with new healthy habits that we learn to fight and are better equipped to face life and the temptations & struggles that come along the way.

Anyone who has been promised that his or her sexual attractions will go away, have been misinformed. This can happen & does, but God may choose to never take them away.

Being married isn’t proof of healing or change either. There are lots of gay people married that still struggle with their homosexuality. There are some ex-gay leaders that, after years of marriage, have divorced their wives and decided to live a gay life. I have also seen people go through these programs and then decide to go back to their old life.

There is no judgment here. It is not an easy, road but with God it is possible. As I have said before, I may never see the change that I want but I trust that God is in control and I am happy serving Him and following Him. I don’t feel that I’m being deprived of anything or missing out on anything. I have no desire to be married and I love my life and being single. I am happy with friendships, family, my job and music. God continues to use Philippians 1:6 as well as a number of songs to strengthen me. If you want a list of the songs that encourage me, email me at joshuadinman@gmail.com.

I have 1 more post in this series of posts that I will be sharing. Probably next week. Stay tuned.


My Beliefs

January 2, 2015

1654188_10152655529910813_3629451271479439721_nI get a lot of questions and comments from people when they learn my story so I thought I would share here with you what I believe for anyone who cares to read.
I realize that many people don’t understand me or the stance I take. They don’t understand why I have chosen an ex-gay life. I thought I would take some time to layout my belief system and why I believe what I do.
First off, you need to know that I believe in the Bible. I believe that it is the inspired word of God. Some people believe that it was written for a specific time and place. I do not believe this. I believe that it is still relevant and applicable today.
There are things that I don’t always understand and grey areas, which is why there is so much controversy over many issues. I believe in Jesus, that he is the Son of God and I believe in the Holy Spirit. I believe that God is Love and that His commands were put into place to help us and not harm us.
Growing up in a church in America, I was that taught the importance of obeying God’s and his commands and was encouraged to have a personal relationship with God. I believe that this comes through a personal relationship with God and that we are saved. I don’t believe that we can save ourselves because if we could, there would have been no reason for Him to come die on the cross. I am completely dependent on Him. Without Him, I would live to gratify sinful desires.
I also believe there is a devil and he is hell bent on destroying my relationship with God. If you don’t believe this, then we will most likely not see eye to eye and you may not want to continue reading. Honestly, I’ve always had a close connection with God and have had some amazing experiences that have sustained me through much of my life.
I also have same sex attractions. I never chose to feel this way but for whatever reason (I do not know what caused this) it has happened. I don’t believe that I was born gay. Even as a kid that idea didn’t make sense to me.
In Genesis, the Bible says that everything God made was good. Starting in Leviticus, God has not been shy in His disapproval of homosexuality. So if all of what God made was good, then how come He condemns homosexuality?
What this tells me is that He didn’t make it and if He didn’t make it, then we are not born gay. Look at our bodies. It is plainly obvious that even the design of our bodies was made for 1 male & 1 female.
Why would God make us gay and then condemn us for it? It makes no sense. If you study the Bible and see the depth of His love, you would see this goes against His very character.
So what causes homosexuality? I don’t have any answers to this. I don’t believe anyone does. The only factor that I see is that most (not all) gay people have in common is that they were molested or abused when they were children. This is not the cause of homosexuality but it is a very common trait. It certainly doesn’t help the situation, especially if one is dealing with gender confusion.
I don’t know if I was ever molested. I have no memory of it. I believe that circumstances and things happen that make people vulnerable to certain things. Also, the devil is great at exploiting things.
I do not believe there is a gay gene or that there is a demon of homosexuality that I have been stricken by. Everyone has an issue that they deal with and so I don’t blame God for my issues. For me, if it weren’t homosexuality, it would be something else. It is part of life.
In the classic movie “The African Queen”, Katharine Hepburn has a line that I love. She says “Nature is what we are put in this world to overcome.”
No, I don’t believe God hates me because I am attracted to men. I believe that God loves and understands me. Hebrews 4:15 say that Jesus was tempted in all ways.
I don’t believe that because I am attracted to men that I am sinning. Again I never choose to be attracted to the same sex. Who would choose that? I believe that is why most people claim they were born gay. I believe the choice comes in when we choose either to give into to the temptation or choose to die to our fleshly desires and obey God. It is no different for straight guys. God has commanded that we save ourselves from sexual pleasure till marriage. Temptation and struggle it isn’t wrong. Everyone is tempted but it is a choice whether to act on it or wait.
In Matthew 16:24 Jesus told us to deny ourselves and follow Him. To give into my temptations and live a gay lifestyle would be the opposite of denying myself. It would be me gratifying my fleshly desires.
The gay community wants the world to believe that they are born gay so they don’t have to take responsibility for their actions. They may be fooling the world but God is not fooled. Like everything else, I believe that God can redeem us and change us so that we don’t have to be gay. 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 says, “Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive or cheat people-none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you have were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the spirit of God”.
To me the implication is clear. You were once like that, but not anymore, which shows change is possible.
I have hard all the arguments that the gay community has regarding the verses of the Bible on homosexuality and it doesn’t make sense to me. They say that God was talking about abusive or oppressive relationships and not about loving gay relationships. The Bible doesn’t actually say that. No matter what we do, we can’t justify our sin. It is dangerous live our life the way we want to on our terms and expect God to bless it.
Some say that it is unfair that a gay person has to give up their sexual desires to please God. It might be unfair but life is unfair. Couldn’t we also say that a diabetic’s life is unfair? They have to live a tedious life constantly checking their insulin levels. Not being able to eat whatever they want. They never asked for that or chose that life.
Sometimes bad things happen to good people. It is just life. It is what we do with that life that matters. For me choosing to live a life by God’s word is the same. It is tedious at times but God gives us strength to do what is right.
What do we do then? What is the answer? Turn to Jesus who loves you and understands you more than you could possibly imagine. He can cleanse you and restore your relationship between you and God. He is not an angry tyrant waiting for you to do something wrong so he can punish you. He is a loving Father that longs to bless you and love you, if you will just open up to Him and give Him your life. His commands are to give you a better life, not to make you miserable.
We can never do it by ourselves alone. In my journey I had to get to the point where if my sexual desires never changed, I would be content. I deeply desire for Jesus to take away my attractions to men but if it doesn’t happen this side of heaven, then I am content in trusting Him. He knows what he is doing.
Recently God showed me that in accepting this, I have plateaued and stopped chasing after change. It was time for me to quit wasting time by continue to fight for change.
The verse in the Bible that I have always held on to has become my life verse. Philippians 1:6 “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
That verse has brought me so much encouragement over the years.
I hope this helps you better understand what I believe and me. I am open to talking about any of this so if you have any questions, let me know.


Celebrate with Me!!

December 20, 2014

179824_10150132216470813_2659547_nYou may or may not know that I struggle with Homosexuality. I’m pretty open about it and have shared my story freely with people over the years. The other day I was sharing with a co-worker and realized something. I have only fooled around with one person in my life. The last time was in 1998. That was 16 years ago!! I haven’t thought about it much over the years but this is a huge victory that I want to celebrate! Thank you Lord for your faithfulness.Now I can not say that I have remained sexually pure for 16 years as I have had an addiction to porn for a number of years. Addiction is a funny thing. I can go months without it and then sometimes I can’t go a day without it. Crazy. I draw strength from the Steve Camp song that says “I know someday I will be free. The weight of sin will be released but for now He covers me.” A buddy and I are going through a study at the beginning of the year about living pure in a sexually driven culture. I plan to share more on the are of homosexuality and my thoughts and beliefs in the coming months so stay tuned!


Merry Christmas

December 10, 2014
celtic-christmas-card-MC2-largeMerry Christmas! I put together a list of 50 of my favorite Christmas songs. Some are old but a lot are contemporary. Join me this winter season and get lost in music! Hopefully you will discover some gems that will be added to your own list. Here is the list in no particular order. I have linked the songs for your listening enjoyment.
1. Tennessee Christmas – Amy Grant
2. Carol – First Call
3. Magnificat – Eden’s Bridge
4. The Snowy Birch Trees – Thomas Loefke
5. When Love Come To Us – Point Of Grace
6. O Come, O Come Emmanuel – Enya
7. Still Her Little Child – Ray Boltz
8. This Winter’s Eve – Sarah Hart
9. Merry Christmas With Love – Michael & Carrie Hodge
10. Follow That Star – Cindy Morgan
11. We Three Kings of Orient Are – Felicia Farerre
12. Christmas Time Is Here – Debby Boone
13. O Savior Of Our Fall Grace – Keith & Kristyn Getty
14. Balulalow – The Celts
15. The River – Rachael Yamagata
16. Huron Carol – Lianna Klassen
17. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Loreena McKennitt
18. He Shall Be Born – Wendy & Mary
19. Everything Changed – Eddie Kirkland
20. The Chipmunks Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late) – Alvin & The Chipmunks
21. Adoramus Te – Vineyard Music
22. Winter, Fire, And Snow- Orla Fallon
23. This Christmas – Felicia Farerre & Rich Gibbons
24. Down In Bethlehem – Lisa Daggs
25. Do You Hear What I Hear? – Deniece Williams
26. Baby It’s Cold Outside – Jill Phillips & Andy Gullahorn
27. Prince Of Peace – Sheila Walsh
28. Breath Of Heaven – Amy Grant
29. Sweet Baby Jesus – Sierra
30.  O Little Town Of Bethlehem – Jars Of Clay
31. Christmas Is Here- Michelle Tumes
32. What Child Is This? – Moya Brennan
33. Come On Ring Those Bells – Evie
34. Prayer For This House – Sarah Hart
35. When Christ Was Born/Stephen’s Day Session – Norland Wind
36. Fullness Of Grace – Margaret Becker, Joanne Hogg and Kristyn (Lennox) Getty
37. Tracks in the Snow – The Civil Wars
38. O Come O Come Emmanuel – The Celts
39. Star – 2nd Chapter Of Acts
40. Labor Of Love – Jill Phillips
41. O Holy Night – Lea Michele (Glee Cast)
42. Christmas Angels – Clannad
43. Coventry Carol – Lifescapes
44. Shout – Vineyard Music
45. I Cried The Day I Took The Tree Down – Felicia Farerre
46. After December – Jenifer Thigpen
47. Unto Us / Triptych – Eden’s Bridge
48. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Kim Hill & Phil Keaggy
49. One Small Child – David Meece
50. This Christmas – Plus One

Bethany Boehme Deliverance Interview!

December 5, 2014

Deliverance - Single

My good friend, Bethany Boehme, just released her first single to iTunes. We used to be in Youth With A Mission’s Kings Kids when we were kids. She recorded an incredible album and has now released the first song to iTunes. I decided to do an interview with her to give everyone a glimpse of the story behind the song and who Bethany is. Here is the interview:

1. At what point & age were you when you decided you wanted to do music?
I think I was 7 when I first sang in front of people and I guess it slowly turned more and more into a dream of mine after that.
2. What style would you say your music is?
I really don’t know what to say the style of my music is? When I sit down to play I like to feel the sense of His (God’s) Presence. I try not to ‘perform’ but just express me through my music and I sense that He likes it.
3. Your music is very unique, do you have any influences?
I love most worship music that really ushers in Truth and His Presence, not just cookie cutter fake stuff. I love music that brings peace to the mind, and kinda in a way forces all the ‘junk’ out. If I were to turn on pandora I love influences from Bethel Worship Live. I also like Loreena McKennitt (and a lot of) other melodic stuff like that. I love fast and heavy stuff as well like Fireflight or Skillet.
4. How do you write? What is the creative process like for you?
When I create I go to a quite room, to my music room, and I sit and I just start to play simple stuff. Then a melody will start to kinda flow and then I’ll search for a rhythm and other ‘sounds’ and then just see how to make something come together and begin to ‘flow’ without a lot of effort or striving. And actually if I start to feel frustrated I stop. I like it when I feel like Someone is helping me or inspiring me, but without that ‘creative flow’ I feel blocked.
5. Tell me about Deliverance?
‘Deliverance’ is about my own story of being rescued from depression and an eating disorder that almost took my life. I literally felt His Presence come to me when I was all alone in a cold room in ‘nowhere’ Alaska, and I felt a peace wash over me and tell me that I’m not going to die and that everything was going to be ok. A week later I was back home in Washington at a small gathering with some people from the YWAM (Youth With A Mission. Bethany & I were part of YWAM’s Kings Kids when we were kids) crowd. My parents made me go even though I didn’t want to be there. It was in a church and when the service was over I went up to the front by myself without an alter call and began to weep and pound the floor with my fists. I was angry because God felt so far away and I believed that all the darkness I had been experiencing for the last few years would never leave. But then all of a sudden I felt that Presence come back that I felt in Alaska and all of a sudden I was speaking in tongues and I felt this Presence again so strongly. And once I finally left that night I felt It leave with me and for the days and weeks and months and years that followed, I felt ‘It/Him’ Holy Ghost, never leave my side. I began to feel His heart for people, how much He loves, how far He will go, even to the darkest places, and that, in a nut shell, is what Deliverance is about.
6. Is there a message you want people to take from the song?
Yes, that it doesn’t matter where you are at, what you have done, how hopeless you feel. All that stuff is a lie, He is closer than you know and He longs to fill you with His Love and His Light so that you can Shine. All you have to do is call for Him. And I mean that literally.
7. How long did it take to write the song?
I think it took me about a day, like a few hours here and there through out the day with breaks in between. It actually came pretty effortlessly. I just sat down and began to play and more and more ideas just began to flow.
8. Any special story about the creation of this song? I think I pretty much answered that in question 6.
9. What prompted you to release Deliverance to iTunes? I’ve been wanting to release my songs for awhile but simply didn’t know how but finally figured it out. I also chose that one as a single cuz it I believe it carries a lot of His Presence in the song and I want Him to reach people.
10. Do you plan to release your full album to iTunes?
I would love to release the whole album at some point, I just, to be honest don’t have the funds for it. 11. How would one go about ordering your album? They would have to wait for the full album to be available on itunes, and in the meantime, go to my website to listen bethanyboehmemusic@weebly.com.
12. What does the future look like for Bethany? Do you plan to continue music? My dream for the future is to continue to create, and to also gain other musical forces to create with me. I already have a few musicians in mind that I currently spend a lot of my time with and we have already had a few ‘jam’ sessions. My next goal is to have a team/band.
For those who haven’t downloaded the song from iTunes yet, you can get it here.

The talent of Phil Rey & Felicia Farerre

May 13, 2014

10343680_10152334527050813_7742277315623970127_nWe are in an age where there is no shortage of talent running around. With shows like American Idol, America’s got talent & The X Factor people are coming out of the wood work. Go to Nashville, where it is over populated by people all trying to make it. Some people who have very little talent achieve great heights and then there are people with real talent that barely get noticed. We are in an age where record companies are not looking for real talent to promote but who is going to make them a buck. The Music business is full of people who hide behind sex appeal, wild costumes and elaborate production to hide their lack of talent.
Then you have artists, that because of their talent, they can do almost anything. They can do the elaborate projects but they also do a striped down performance or acapella and nothing is lost.
Felicia Farerre & Phil Rey are these kinds of artists. Felicia has sung Jazz, Celtic, Pop, Latin, Techno/Dance, Children’s, Soundtracks, Religious & even  jingles for commercials. The Tapestry of her work has been woven over three decades in studio’s from the USA to Europe. Phil spent 15 years as a live performer before entering the world of soundtrack music. Today he crafts some of the most moving Epic Music ever heard.
They have an incredible library of music that I love. But one reason I am excited about this new project is because it is simply a piano and a voice. Yet you don’t loose their incredible talent along the way. Watch this short clip of Phil & Felicia at the piano here.
Won’t you consider helping them fund their new album? You can pledge here.


Felicia Farerre & Phil Rey Indiegogo Campaign

May 6, 2014

20140429024553-We_need_youLast year, I stumbled across  the music of Felicia Farerre. I know I say this a lot but she has one of the best voices I have ever heard. I have been on a mission to collect every song that she has recorded. Now most of you know that Moya Brennan has been my favorite singer for the last 10 years. I even flew to Holland to see her in concert as well as other cities around the country. I can honestly say that Felicia is now my new favorite singer and that is saying a lot. She has been featured on a number of soundtracks as well as movie trailers. In fact in 2013 she won Female Vocalist of the Year for the Trailer Music Awards. She is the music industries best kept secret. Why she is not huge world wide is a mystery to me.
One of the composers she has been collaborating with a lot with lately is Phillip Ray. I discovered his music through Felicia. He composes amazing epic music for film, trailers & video games. They have done a number of collaborations together.
My reason for telling you all this is because Phil & Felicia just announced their indiegogo.com campaign to fund their latest project titled “A Million To One”. It features 15 love songs composed by Phil & Felicia and features just a piano and a voice. Help support the new album by pre-ordering a copy for your self. You will not be disappointed. The indiegogo site has lots of info about Felicia & Phil and their contributions to the music industry. There is also three videos that help explain who they are and what they are trying to accomplish. You can also get a free download of 3 of the songs from the new album. But don’t stop there. Please help spread the word about this incredible project by telling your friends & family, posting it on Facebook and Twitter.
To give you a taste of Felicia’s work, here are a couple of my favorite songs. Here is a link to a song called By You. Simply incredible. Listen to that voice.
Here is a song called “Shadows On The Hill“. It is a collaboration between Phil & Felicia from their last project together called “In Excelsis“. Available for purchase now.
Check out Felicia & Phil‘s sound cloud websites to discover more incredible music.