Blog #Jesus Christ


25Nov

``1George Carneal, was raised in the Bible Belt, by a Southern Baptist minister. Throughout his school years, he was tormented with physical and verbal abuse. George was called a queer, faggot, and a homo. While heterosexual peers dated, he spent 12 lonely years yearning to be loved by a man. Eventually, he turned his back on God, the church, and fully immersed himself in the queer culture. George learned firsthand, that there are many struggles in a religious world at odds with, and often hostile toward, homosexuals.


"As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us."  (Psalms 103:12)

George Carneal -- Author, Speaker, Singer/Songwriter


I’m a Baptist minister’s son who grew up in church and gave my life to Christ when I was seven years old. I also struggled with a same-sex attraction. Living in Tennessee, in the Bible Belt, in the 70’s, homosexuality wasn’t a topic I heard about unless some random person was making a derogatory comment about “fags.” 


All through school I was tormented with physical and verbal abuse with one guy threatening to slit my throat. Being called a queer, faggot, homo, I didn’t understand how my peers were able to identify something about me that I hadn’t been unable to understand and come to terms with myself. This was confusing.


At church, the pain was compounded by the inevitable sermons on Sodom & Gomorrah. I felt condemned by God for something I didn’t ask for. On the inside I was filled with rage and told God I hated Him. I suffered in silence.


While heterosexual peers dated, I spent 12 lonely years yearning to be loved by a man. A random encounter with a guy out of high school confirmed this is who I was…a homosexual. Shortly after this encounter, my father was relocated to a church in Florida.


Not long after the move, I ran into a guy who invited me to a local gay bar. Walking into a bar filled with attractive men was overwhelming and exciting. I finally found a “home” where I wasn’t being bullied, could be myself, and be around other guys like me. I craved affection from guys and became promiscuous.

 

Since countless “loving Christians” insisted that God destroyed Sodom & Gomorrah because of vile perverts like me, that God created AIDS to kill queers, and that I was destined to burn in Hell, I believed that maybe God does hate me. So, I turned my back on God, the church, and fully immersed myself in the queer culture.


Sadly, after three years in the gay life, I was masking the pain with drugs and alcohol. Pornography became a part of my life, I developed a sex addiction, became a hustler (a male prostitute), struggled with depression, suicidal thoughts, and eventually attempted suicide. I felt no hope. 


My journey would eventually lead me to Nashville where I met a guy, we became boyfriends, and moved to Los Angeles. I secured a job in the music industry.


After seven years, we broke up because I was still tormented and struggling with my faith and sexuality. I longed to be in church and eventually found a church home. I was filled with constant anxiety for fear that these Christians would discover my secret.


After church I cruised adult bookstores and bars because I was so hungry for affection and love. Random encounters meant quick sex, but I didn’t care…it was a brief moment of feeling desired by a guy. I couldn’t see it at the time, but I was searching for something to fill a void in my life. I had yet to comprehend that Jesus was the answer.


After a mild confrontation with a deacon over rumors regarding my sexuality, I left the church and found a gay-affirming church with a homosexual pastor. Surely, I would find the answers and come to accept that God made me this way. The turmoil was still there. Unable to find concrete answers, I left that church.


Working in the music business, I had the chance to meet and be around countless celebrities/rock stars/movie stars. In our celebrity-obsessed culture, many believe that fame and fortune will bring happiness. However, some celebrities weren’t that pleasant to be around and appeared to be just as unhappy as I was. I personally knew miserable people with immense wealth. It was clear.  Money and fame doesn’t bring happiness.  


I extended my search into the occult, new age and Hindu arenas hoping to find different paths to get to God. I still yearned for Him even though I wasn’t sure He wanted anything to do with me. I had no desire to serve Satan but wondered if God was holding out on information that Satan was willing to impart. Could I get to God through a supernatural means?  


Casting love spells seemed appealing...as I desperately wanted a man to love me, but something in my spirit...compelled me, not to open that door so I didn’t. I spent countless hours in new age/occult/psychic bookstores, browsing through various books on “world religions”, while waiting to have my tarot cards read by psychics. I was desperate for answers yet became cynical when all they could provide was vague information about relationships and financial issues that could be applied to anyone. 


The New Age emphasis on sacrificing ourselves for the good of mankind, fighting darkness that was consuming the world, appealed to me. The search for “ascended masters” to become more enlightened intensified….with no luck.


Attending a Hindu temple in Hollywood, the “teacher” read from sacred Hindu texts, even God’s Word. While Jesus was respected as a great teacher, He was also equal with other Hindu gurus. That was unsettling. No matter how confused I was, something was settled within me that Jesus was God’s Son and no one compared to Him. I also knew idols had no power and I certainly wasn’t going to bow down and worship them.


Additionally, the new age and Hindu (even Buddhist) teachings regarding reincarnation were distressing. My current life was one of misery. The thought of being reincarnated, coming back to live many lives over and over and over in order to become perfect, striving to reach moksha (Hinduism)/nirvana (Buddhism), without any knowledge of past mistakes in order to do better in the next life, brought about more despair. 


Deep within me, I knew Jesus was the one, all-sufficient Savior who paid for my sins on the Cross.  Instead of me having to do the work, Jesus did the work and that comforted me. God confirms that we live once, and then...the judgement (Hebrews 9:27).  I eventually, rejected the Occult/New Age/Hindu teachings.


I wanted a relationship with God, but I didn’t want to be around Christians. I hated them. Church was a place of anxiety for me. The thought of attending church was like going into the lion’s den.


Disillusioned with life, one night I drove to a Christian bookstore in Long Beach. I searched for books on suicide, but from a biblical perspective. After one failed suicide attempt, I was ready to try again. However, I feared God would send me to Hell for taking my life. Suicidal thoughts were as common as what I thought about eating each day. The depression was brutal. I cried all the time. The voices in my head tormented me. I needed peace. Finding nothing on the subject, I sat on the floor and cried.


I went back to the bars and slept with men in order to mask the pain, the loneliness, only to struggle with constant heartache as I desperately searched for love.


Sitting at a dive bar in Hollywood one night...(among the prostitutes, hustlers, former jailbirds, drag queens, kids tossed out of homes because they were queer, women whose wrinkled faces revealed difficult lives, and old gay men getting drunk at the bar)...I faced the cold, harsh reality of life. This could be me. My heart hurt for those people. During this time, I was unable to share how much God loved them by what Jesus did on the Cross because, I couldn’t see it for myself thanks to mean-spirited “Christians”. I was a vile homosexual. I had no hope yet something had to change. I couldn’t do this any longer.


A television commercial from a local church advertised a Bible Study on the book of Genesis. I felt led to contact them and spent two years attending that Bible study. I hungered for God and enjoyed studying His Word. My view of God started to change. I eventually started to see that God didn’t hate me. He hated my sin. There was hope that I could have a relationship with God! I also met Christians who truly had the heart of Christ as I slowly immersed myself back into the church.


God eventually led me to a Baptist church through a retired pastor. The current pastor moved to have a class for LGBT individuals. I was excited because I would now have a safe place to meet others struggling with this issue. Unfortunately, the pastor and teachers were moving us in the direction of “Being gay is OK, we’re under Grace, God created you that way” and I was confused.  Scripture is clear we are not to abuse God’s Grace (Romans 6:1-2; 14-15).


I had heard numerous stories of LGBT individuals whom God was bringing out of that life so I was perplexed as to why the pastor/teachers were pushing us into that life. I was now more confused. I was mentally and emotionally exhausted dealing with this issue, especially when I didn’t ask for these feelings! 


I sat in my car so many times and cried, banging the steering wheel, yelling at God, begging Him for an answer, for peace! I often prayed this sincere prayer to God: “If homosexuality is OK in Your eyes, give me peace about it and I trust You will put a good Christian man in my life who will love me. If homosexuality is wrong under all circumstances, give me peace about it, help me to recognize it, and I will still serve You.”


As the months passed, wanting to believe that “gay is OK”, I was still tormented. I said enough and accepted that it was not in God’s will. I left that church, turned my back on the gay life, repented, and truly surrendered my life to Christ. The most amazing thing happened. God gave me what I had longed for my whole life...peace with myself, peace of mind, and finally...peace with God! The issue has been settled and I am no longer tormented in my mind or by my past! (Isaiah 43:25; Psalm 103:12; Romans 8:1)


Numerous LGBT individuals have accepted that homosexuality is not a part of God’s plan. Some LGBT individuals have transitioned successfully into a heterosexual life. Those who still have a same-sex attraction, like myself, have chosen celibacy. We desire to live a life that honors and pleases God. I’ve been on this path for about 12 years now. 


The Apostle Paul asked God to “remove the thorn in his side” and God responded with “My grace is sufficient” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). If this is to be my thorn, so be it. What matters is that God provided the healing I needed in order to have the strength to walk away from that life. My desire for sex with men no longer controls me!


This journey has been difficult, but I praise God for bringing me though it because I now understand God’s grace and His mercy. There is hope for everyone no matter what your bondage is….drugs, alcohol, food, sex, pornography, even issues of shame, rejection, abuse, rape, guilt of abortion, criminal activities, etc. If one is truly sorry and repents, God’s free gift of salvation is available to anyone who wants it (Romans 6:23). Jesus paid it ALL on the Cross at Calvary when He shed His precious blood for our sin. God desires to have a relationship with you but you must come His Way and that’s through Jesus.  (John 3:16-17; 10:9; 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:5). Give your life to Christ today and know real peace. You matter to Him!


Blessings,

George Carneal


Purchase George's book --- Amazon (From Queer to Christ) Available in both Kindle & paperback.  

 

George's Interview on the Homekeepers Show - (Christian Television Network)



Janet Mefferd Today Show



Christian Life Magazine 99.3 FM Interview with host, Chris Rose





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17Sep

Eight years ago, Ashley Nall, found comfort in the New Age movement. She began to dive deeper into the pit of darkness by contacting spirits (spirit guides) to find hope and meaning in life. When she lost all hope...she reached out to Jesus to save her from the choices she had made.


“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33)


Ashley Nall


I vividly remember when I became an atheist eight years ago. My last prayer was me crying to God, “it’s just not logical”. Wouldn’t a life without religion be easier anyway?


Those eight years were nothing short of painful. My flesh took over, and the enemy reigned over me. I was put in bondage while believing the lies that I was truly free, and found my real identity. The first year, I was diagnosed with depression. Then at sixteen years old, I became suicidal. My life as a high school student consisted of hiding in activities that I would never complete, finding my worth in romantic relationships that left me broken and building walls in my life that no one could knock down.


My heart hardened, and I would laugh at my family for believing in “a god”. I would debate with friends about religion until they gave into my beliefs—some even, began to doubt their faith. My misery hid behind a mask of academic achievement and fake confidence on my opinion of God. My last year of high school, I received a full scholarship to a university. I placed all my hope in this college, so I could have a fresh start.


I became more relaxed about my beliefs, and I rarely shared my atheism with others. As a college student, I adopted the New Age movement into my daily life. Instantly, I found comfort in the spiritual realm, I devoted most of my time to meditation, lucid dreaming, and energy healing.


This was when I learned about “spirit guides”—which quite frankly, are demons in disguise. I found comfort in the spiritual realm, and began to have constant communication with one particular spirit. I would call on it, at times to enter my body and help me with decision making. It taught me about astral projection, which was so taxing to learn that, I began denying invitations to hang out with my friends and slacking in my college courses.


When I started to visit the spiritual realm through astral projection, I met my spirit guide face-to-face. After opening myself up to these practices, I started to get unwanted visions and intrusive thoughts. My depression caught up with me one night, and I wanted nothing more than to end my life. I called my dad, who lived two hours away from the university. He insisted to come visit me to make sure that I was okay. After a few hours of talking and calming me down, he left to go back home. Having a long day, I fell asleep, but then woke up at 11:00 PM—with a vision of a vehicle running off the road. It was horrifying!


The next day, my mom called me to say that my dad fell asleep while driving, and had a wreck at that same time and location. Gratefully, he was okay, but I knew I was losing control over whatever my life had become. Only a few days later, I called on help from the spirit guide. Within moments, I was at my computer dropping out of college. I will never understand my reasoning.


I came back home feeling beyond empty. So empty that I met a guy, and within three months of knowing each other, we moved in together. My life was officially not mine anymore.


My situation kept getting worse until September 2017. I was sitting on the porch of my new apartment, exhausted from the demons that were holding me in bondage. I was having constant panic attacks, living in a place surrounded by drugs, and having no goals other than staying with that guy at the time. I could go on and on about the lies—the pain—and my sins that controlled me until that day in September— however, I would rather tell you about how quickly my LORD put all the sorrow to death.


In the midst, of what I consider my darkest time—I had nowhere else to turn, so I looked up to the epitome of hope. I cannot begin to explain how this transition happened; it was truly a miracle! All I had to do was recognize Jesus’ name, because He already had His hand extended waiting to SAVE me. Peace immediately covered my situation, and calmed my hurricane of a mind. The panic attacks ceased. The suicidal thoughts disappeared. I wanted nothing more than to apologize to God—I wanted to explain myself, but He quieted me and told me to no longer worry.


He wanted so badly to help me get out of my current situation while, He gently washed the shame away. It was the greatest love I have ever felt! Within two days, I moved out of the apartment and began my new life. So much has changed within a year. My depression has been healed. My relations with my family have been restored. I reenrolled in college along with raising my GPA. I even started serving on the production team at my local church.


There is absolutely nothing better than having a relationship with Jesus Christ! I wish I could put into words how wonderful He is, and what all He has done for my heart and mind. I was completely and utterly lost, and by grace alone, the Good Shepherd did not stop until I was found.



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22Feb

An inspirational story of a father remembering his son's suffering as he battles brain cancer.


“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)

              **This testimony has been prayerfully written by Joseph Bono—(Jordan’s dad)** 

In the early-morning, my heart was broken. I was in a room alone with my son Jordan, watching him suffer the aftereffects of brain surgery. Just days earlier, he had been diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. During those terrible hours at the hospital, I sensed that God was teaching me an incredible lesson.


I’m Jordan’s dad, Joe, and I want to share with you how God changed my perspective about a suffering son. A few hours after Jordan’s surgery, I wrote down my thoughts, expressed my emotions and poured out my heartache about what my son was going through. Here is a summary of what God taught me.


The Suffering of My Son                                                                                                                          

As a father, I felt helpless. Jordan was in so much pain. Hearing him cry out and seeing him in such agony was heartbreaking. Jordan’s eyesight was temporarily darkened, and he was experiencing short-term paralysis on his right side. I thought he didn’t know I was there, until he called out “Daddy.” When Jordan felt my touch and heard my voice, he said—“I just want you here.” Later, I wrote: “The anguish that I have seen my son in tonight has broken my heart. I have no strength. It is not in me. I must rely upon God.” Psalm 46:1 says—“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” 


The Suffering of God’s Son

In the anguish of those hours spent at the hospital, God reminded me about how much suffering His Son, Jesus Christ, endured as He hung on the cross. That evening, I began to understand the pain that Jesus suffered, yet Jordan’s pain in no way compared to what Jesus went through. Even so, this one thing I knew:  the pain my son was suffering was necessary for his healing, and it was essential for his body to be restored to health. God’s Word, the Bible, explains that the pain of God’s Son was necessary for the healing and restoration of our souls. Isaiah 53:5 says—“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” 


Who was this Jesus and why did He have to suffer? The Bible clearly states that Jesus is God himself (see John 1:1-14). God willingly humbled himself to enter the world in human form and be born of a virgin. He came to earth to be the perfect and only sacrifice for the sins of the world. That means He came for you and for me personally. Jesus lived a perfect and sinless life, something no other human being has ever achieved. He was nailed to a cross to suffer a horrible death, but then he rose again on the third day. Why? He did this to provide forgiveness for the sins of the whole world. The Bible explains in Romans 3:23—“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,…”. Just a few chapters later, in Romans 6:23, the Bible tells us that—“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Salvation through Jesus Christ is the greatest gift ever to be offered and the best gift you could ever receive.


A Place of Rest  

Watching my son suffer was the deepest heartache of my life. But God used the events of that evening while Jordan was in recovery to prepare me for the most profound victory of my life. What has been your deepest heartache? Can you say that it has brought victory into your life? God desires for you to have victory! Your trial may be different from mine, but it still brings you anguish and pain. God offers you rest from your trouble and peace for your pain. These are provided through the pages of the Scriptures, the Bible. Matthew 11:28 says—“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”


Victory, peace and rest begin with a call—your call to God for salvation, for the healing and cleansing of your soul. Just as Jordan called out to me “Daddy—I just want you here,” God wants you to call out to Him with the faith of a child who longs to have his father by his side. That call can be heard only through God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Romans 10:13 assures us, for “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” If that is your heart’s desire, you can apply this truth of the Bible to your life right now. You can call on God. The first step is to pray a simple yet sincere prayer. By trusting the Lord, you can know that when you die, you will have a home in Heaven. 


Jordan received the gifts of salvation that God offers you today. At age 5, he knew he was a sinner, and he humbled himself. He realized he needed the forgiveness that only Jesus Christ has the power to give. Jordan’s mom and I had the privilege of leading Jordan to his Lord. Just one year and eight days after his initial diagnosis of brain cancer, Jordan was instantly healed as he went home to Heaven to be with his Lord. People ask us how we deal with the loss of our son. Although, we dearly miss him, my response is, “You can’t lose something if you know where it is. We know where Jordan is, and one day we will see him again in Heaven.”


My wife, Michelle, and I sincerely desire to minister to those who are hurting. If our testimony has made an impact on your life in any way, please contact us at bonojoe@gmail.com


We have a ministry of tears, but each time God chooses to use our tears of sorrow—He turns them into tears of joy. God does not waste trails that He brings into our lives. We want to encourage you by sharing what God has done for us. He promises to comfort and sustain all who love Him (see Romans 8:28). God bless you. Remember a great burden offers an opportunity for great victory!


Pray This Prayer for Salvation

Dear God, I know that I am a sinner, I believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins and rose again on the third day. Right now, this very hour, I place my faith in Jesus Christ and what He did for me on the cross. Dear Jesus, please forgive me of my sins. Come into my heart and life as my personal Savior. Help me from this day forward to live a life that honors you. Thank you for saving me and giving me a home in Heaven. Amen.


If you have sincerely prayed this prayer, you have just made the best decision of your life. Congratulations! Now it’s important for you to go on from here. The Christian life is not just saying a quick prayer and then continuing to live the same way as before. Here are four important steps to follow as you grow in your Christian life and in your new walk with God.


Step #1:  Get a Bible. Begin in the New Testament with the book of John, and read a least one chapter each day.

Step #2:  Find a church that teaches and loves the Bible, and begin attending faithfully. 

Step #3:  Pray (talk) to God daily. Ask Him to help you find a church that He wants you to become involved in—one that will guide you in your spiritual growth (see Hebrews 4:16).

Step #4:  Tell others about your decision. Share how God has shown you the way to get to Heaven (see Matthew 10:32-33).


God bless you! 


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