Ramblings of a battle-weary soldier...a wanted man
Yesterday I needed to hear God...and I received a letter...more about that later...
Yesterday I was feeling a little worn out from the emotional toll of all the need I come in contact with. More and more people who do not have a clue who Jesus is are contacting me...more and more people every day are calling for help in their desire for freedom from all manner of bondage...and I feel a certain responsibility to respond when they do. If nothing else I can at least let people know I care they exist. It is during such times that the enemy seems to come at me in an especially wicked manner...telling me I am not even making a dent...telling me no one even notices or cares...and whatever his most effective fiery darts of the day may be! You get the picture.
Good news: I am no one's Savior!I love to remind the enemy of that little nugget of truth. Jesus is Savior. All I can do is point people His way at best. What I have discovered is that most people respond to love...just knowing someone else knows and cares they exist. Even in my own life and ministry I respond to love...to people caring whether I exist or not! Jesus sealed the deal for me when He swept me off my feet with His love, revealing to me that not only did He care that I exist, He carefully PLANNED and ORDAINED my very existence...because He WANTED me! This makes sharing that truth with others who don't yet know it so rewarding for me...because I love when people have the Light turned on in their hearts.
Reality: I still go through seasons of being overwhelmed with it all...and I am presently battling through to the place of rest, wondering if all I have been allowed to go through is worth it. Pain and weariness both have a way of directing my attention back to my Source...and I love the creativity with which Jesus pours His love out to me...which brings me to that letter I mentioned. The following letter came to me from my friend - worship pastor Scott Grimm. I have his permission to share this with you...and I share it because of the joy it flooded my soul with...and to remind you that even when we feel others may have forgotten about us, there is One Who remembers...
I just returned from a trip to Indonesia where, among other things, I taught a course on compassion ministry to a group of young Indonesian church planters. Toward the end of the week, I was having them list various groups in their community they could reach out to. They listed several, but were very curious about a more controversial segment of their society. The language barrier was difficult, but I realized they were talking about the homosexual community. They had many questions about how Christians in America respond to this group, since, in Islamic Indonesia, such activity is outlawed and not as visible as it is in the states. They were very concerned about whether Christians should have anything to do with such people. Would the Church's outreach to homosexuals be seen as condoning of this lifestyle?... they wanted to know.
I asked them if they thought it would be better if we simply did not extend love to homosexuals; if perhaps what we really needed to do is openly condemn their behavior and just hope for the best. They were quiet. I then said I wanted to share a story about a young man in America who struggled with his identity. "This young man had some church experience but felt unloved and unaccepted," I told them. "All his perceived rejection led him to seek out intimacy in the wrong ways, and ultimately led him into a gay lifestyle. Throughout his college experience, he hid this life from his Christian circles, but continued in it, becoming more confused about who he was. Because he was extremely talented musically, he attended a concert by a popular Christian group. It was at this concert he heard not a message of condemnation, but words of genuine love and hope. As a result, he chose to completely turn over hislife to Christ, and see himself the way God saw him."
"Today," I said, "He lives victoriously, and is married with nine children!"The Indonesian church planters all smiled and applauded. "But that's not all,"I continued, as I walked over to the keyboard in the classroom and sat down."As I said, he's a gifted musician. This man has gone on to become aninfluential writer and leader of worship music. In fact, he wrote this song..."
As I started playing and singing, "You are my strength when I am weak, You are the treasure that I seek, You are my all in all..." the place just came unglued.They began shouting and glorifying God. "You Are My All in All" is apparently a very meaningful song to them, though they never knew the power of the transformed life behind it. This revelation kicked off an extended worship time that lasted over an hour, highlighted by the realization that there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus, and that His church needs to love at all costs, because it is the love of our Savior that changes lives.
I just wanted you to know.
God, in His mercy, used this letter to give me a little nudge back into the place of resting in Him...reminding me that He does see and He does remember and He does care. God gave that little song to me 21 years ago...and look what He has done. This precious gift to me was 21 years in the making. His patience in sharing it at just the right time demonstrates His great love and care for me...and I share this, hopefully not in pride, but rather to remind YOU that He loves YOU and love us all better than we give Him credit for. My life is best lived when I choose to live it from His perspective rather than my own.
In His Love and Grace,
PS Soon you will hear a new version of 'You Are My All in All' called 'You Are My All in All 2010', arranged and produced by my friend, Ryan Redding, and available as a bonus track on my new live recording, 'Here in Your Presence – Dennis Jernigan LIVE from San Antonio'.
written by Linda Jacquez , October 01, 2010
I wrote a very long one but I guess it was rejected--and I poured my heart into it -- but bottom line, praise the Lord anyway!
written by Linda Jacquez , October 01, 2010
This brought tears to my eyes as I love the way God shows off His glory as a wonderful Savior who truly saves, heals, delivers, sets free the captives who believed a lie; I have been one of those (I recongized that ten years ago, after being a Christian for years who had made many bad choices, including marrying a pseudo Christan man--based on my perception of my dad's disapproval or devaluing me--I'm one of six, the only one with a physical deformity) and now my son is one of those who, like you, Dennis, who is living out the lie in Brookyln--after being raised in Asy. of God church mainly, Christian school for all but two years (first and last year), saved at nearly age 5. I separated and divorced his dad after years of physical and mental abuse/adultery, etc., about the time my son was conceived. He was also molested by a 12 year old girl when he was about 7--in a church nursery one evening as the women's ministry was going on. He said he felt early on being different--I can understand his confusion, as I rejected his 'maleness' when he was identified through amneocentisis (sp?) at utero age 4 months (this based on the bitterness I felt towards his dad after 10 years of domination by him); my son was about 20 when he made a decision to get help from a few church leaders/friends who failed to come to his aid and get involved - after feeling rejected (he had asked one of these to be a mentor to help him, sharing his homosexuality drive, but he turned him down--later that man was accused of molesting other friends of my son - whom my son envied, as he thought they were growing spiritually the way he wanted to grow). He moved to San Diego almost immediately, living with his immoral, macho dad [who tried to ignore our son's lifestyle] to begin fully engaging in his new chosen identity. He got jobs, his own little places; he partied, soon became a meth addict and alooholic, attempted suicice twice,began cutting himself, moved back home briefly,to start over, then after failing to get started in college, left with an older Sugar Daddy who flew him back with him to live in NYC; got a mini education in personal body training [connected to the lifestyle, as is gardening, arts, drama, hairsyling, cooking, fashion, modeling, etc.], working at Equinox in Brooklyn (upscale fitness center)--and broke off with me as I want say he is a homosexual - that is, accept him as complete and whole as he is--and not to expect him to change, nor require him to change--even though he knows why I refuse to do that. He had gone to AA groups for alcoholism, had mentor, therapist, boyfriends (older man relationship lasted less than a year--both frustrated by each other--the used and the user), and found a church that is inclusive and pluralistic. My son is gifted -- very creative in arts: mainly music (composes), art (loves comic style--the artistic style--he writes stories and illustrates), has had major roles in acting, great sense of humor, very compassionate, relates to women more than men, but his men friends have deep dialogues (I miss talking with him on these leves), loves children, has a good work ethic. I miss him and would love to have our relationship be restored--am praying for God's will in his life, so the time will be God's time. Now I am trusting the Word that has been stored in him for two decades will not come back void, and the prayers of the saints will avail much! How my son will come to the light and to himself (the self God created) is my hope for a soon and very soon answer--for the time is short!
Thanks again for your testimony of God's grace--it is painful at times to hear of those who return to God sooner than my son (and other people's sons and daughters who have been wandering in the desert), but it is still an occasion to say, Praise the Lord, He is faithful and does all things well!
written by Kirk Lowe , August 17, 2010
Not making a dent? That is such a lie.
Your music and videos have inspired us for years. When we had a float in a parade in Merrillville, IN we played your music. When we were up late with our son we he was a baby we watched and listened to your video.
When we wrote our first full length screenplay we included one of your videos/songs directly in the script. One of the characters even references you by name as a voice against the darkness.
No impact? No way!