My Testimony Of God's Amazing Grace, Tender Mercy, & Unyielding Love!
I repented of the sin of homosexuality (November 2002). Some will say, "Once *** always ***!" The only way I know to answer that is to say that we all have a sin nature. Without the saving Grace of Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit working in my life, I would run back to what once seemed normal, and natural to me. I believe sin is what the Bible says it is. I must lay that sin at the foot of the cross, and walk away from it. I have not overcome every temptation, or desire yet, but the Lord changes all of His children little by little, from Glory to Glory. This journey I'm on, as with any Christian, will be a life long one. I Just turn it over to Jesus, and believe that He will work it all together for my good.
I'd like to share with you a little about my life past and present. When I was a child my home life was pretty bad. My father was very abusive to his wife and kids. He had experienced a lot of abuse in his childhood. They say hurting people hurt people, and I believe that to be true. My only real escape in those days was music, and drama in school. It was a place for me to dream of a better life. Also, back then it was really difficult for me to socialize with others, or let them know of my home life.
God was always very important to me, and I longed for a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ! I gave my heart, and soul to the Lord back in the late eighties, after high school. I even tried to start my own music ministry, and traveled the country with a gospel group called The Spurrlows, for almost a year. When I came off the road, things at home got even worse. I was now in my twenties and was still being knocked around by my father. The only reason I stayed was to try and protect my mother. I had a taste of freedom and independence while out on the road, and could no longer sit back and let it keep happening.
My mother and I would stick together and fight our way out of that situation. After my father and mother divorced, mom and I moved from Newark, OH. to Nashville, TN. to get a fresh start. After the move, I guess I gave up on God. Life had not turned out the way I had hoped, and I was very bitter and angry. I also had all these homosexual feelings, and I could not overcome them.
I came out of the closet, and lived an openly *** lifestyle, a few years after moving to Nashville. In some ways it was the happiest I had ever been, in others the most miserable. For several years I wandered in that darkness. Thank God, His Holy Spirit never left me or forsook me in my time of backsliding.
I had a very bad car accident on January 10th of 1997. I don't remember a thing about the accident. I came to in the ambulance for a few seconds and remember saying, "Thank you God!" I know He was with me, and kept me from dying in my sin that night. I had a crushed face on the right side, a broken jaw, a collapsed lung, and a shattered right ankle. Sad to say it would still be a few more years before I would repent and return to Jesus.
Mom and I made plans to move to Las Vegas NV. way before my accident. I'd hoped to audition for some shows and work out there. We went ahead and moved a few months after my wreck. We lived in Las Vegas for two years, but my leg didn't heal enough for me to work, so we ended up moving back to Nashville.
A Year after moving back, I got a job at a local *** bar. (The Chute) This Is where The Holy Spirit really started to open my eyes, and started to lead me back to the arms of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! While I worked at the bar, I seemed to sink lower and lower. The only thing that would numb the pain was drugs. Up until a few years before this I had never touched drugs of any kind.
One night after I drove home from work, I cried out to God for help. It was a very simple prayer, but boy did He listen. Within a few days I knew what I had to do. I quit my job and left that world behind. I had to totally cut everybody and everything out of my life that might try to tempt me back into it. I repented and returned to my Savior, and He welcomed me with open arms. I am now back in Church, reading my bible, and growing everyday in my relationship with Jesus.
Like I said before I repented in 2002, and though it has not been easy, I refuse to turn back again. I take it one day at a time, and lean on God for everything. I really can't complain even with all that has happened. I am truly blessed. I still struggle from time to time, and I really hope more churches will start reaching out to the Happy community, and showing them the love of God the way they are supposed to. We don't have to accept the sin, but we are to love the sinner. It is my desire that God will one day use me, and my talents in this area of ministry.
I must say I don't like the ex-*** ministries for several reasons. First I have spent a good part of my life defining who I was by my sin. I don't want to be called ex-***. I am a born again Christian. Just like anybody else who has repented of their sin. We are the only group of Christians who are told to do that. I have been to some of the so called ex-*** conferences. I don't think they do much good for anybody involved. Salvation happens the same way for everybody. We repent of our sins and lay them at the foot of the cross.
I think people fighting over the old question, were you born that way is really stupid. I know I did not choose it. We are all born into sin. Sin is different for all of us. Our flesh wants what it wants. Where the choice for all of us comes into play, is do we see ourselves as in need of a savior, or are we content with our sinfulness? All people have to decide if they see themselves as sinners or not. We did not choose to be sinners, but we do decide if we want to stay in our sin.
We all have a sin nature. If I were to turn from the Lord, I would return to that old life. The Bible tells us we are to crucify the flesh, and die to self daily. I think it is wrong to tell *** people that if they have enough faith that they will one day be straight. The fact is I may have to fight that desire my whole life. I do believe It gets easier the closer we get into relationship with God, but I don't believe it completely goes away. That is another reason why I think ***'* seeking help from the church, give up and give in to their sin. They can't overcome it. It is only with the help of the Holy Spirit that I can fight this good fight of faith, and it is the same for any Christian.
I thought I had to debate others in the beginning, but I found it only messed me up spiritually. To many outside voices competing in my head. I believe we as Christians have made salvation for the sinner much harder than it has to be. We have added so much worldly doctrine to the gospel that it can't help us like it should. The Bible calls it doctrines of devils. A watered down gospel, but not the gospel of Jesus Christ. Psychology does not belong in the church, and that is how the church has decided to deal with the *** issue. The church has replaced the Holy Spirit with a psychiatrists way of thinking.
It wasn't until I started listening to the Holy Spirit living inside of me, that I started growing in my faith, and relationship with God. Just think about it. For many centuries It was just the word of God and a prayer life. A relationship with God. Nothing else! That is really all we need. We are to seek Him above all else - period! What is more important to us, our love of God, or our love of sin? No matter if your ***, a murderer, a drug addict, a thief, whatever. It all boils down to the same questions. Do we believe in what Jesus did for us at the cross or not? Will we turn from our sinful ways or not? Will we trust that He knows better than we do?.
I never thought I would ever find my way back, but praise God He Is faithful. He started a good work in me all those years ago, and He will finish it. In closing this entry I just want you all to know God Is real. He knows everything about you, and He loves You. He will meet you right where you are , and lead you into everlasting life and peace. If you Listen close You can hear His still small voice calling you near. Repent and run into His arms. He Is waiting for you! Place your trust in the Cross and Christ Crucified! Nothing else!
From a new creature in Christ Jesus!
James Todd Johnson
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