Participants: Cheri Peters (Host), Michael Carducci Jr.
Series Code: CLR
Program Code: CLR000111B
00:01 The following program discusses sensitive issues
00:03 related to addictive behavior.
00:05 Parents are cautioned that some material
00:06 may be too candid for younger children.
00:14 Welcome back.
00:15 You know I'd like to introduce you to a friend of mine
00:17 that I have fallen in love with,
00:18 his name is Michael Carducci
00:20 But before I do that, I want to show you,
00:23 I'm coming through this season,
00:25 remember we always cover a book.
00:26 This season is a book of Celebrations
00:28 was written by a friend of mine name,
00:30 Dr. Handysides, Allan Handysides,
00:33 and I would love to tell you stories
00:34 about this guy, he's so hysterical,
00:36 but he is also incredible
00:37 as far as what he knows and medically
00:40 and he's got a whole team that put together a book.
00:43 It's called Celebrations, the acronym we're gonna cover,
00:46 the first one was choices
00:47 and so today we're talking about choices
00:49 and so now that if you'd like this book,
00:52 man it's 10 bucks I think,
00:54 if you don't just watch the program.
00:58 So, um, Michael, when I talk about
01:01 you and I-- you know I love you,
01:02 and I love your journey and that kind of stuff
01:04 and I brought you here on this program.
01:06 And we are starting this whole season
01:08 of with choices is there you know,
01:10 do you relate to that, I mean what do you think?
01:13 Well, it's a little abstract for me
01:14 because you talk about choices and I think how that applies
01:18 but really what happened at an age that I didn't realize
01:21 until after I come to the Lord is that I had made a choice
01:25 even at a time when I wasn't even conscious.
01:28 You know, my dad was in the navy,
01:29 he be gone 3 to 6 months at a time
01:31 and he was a hot headed Italian.
01:33 So when he was home,
01:35 you know, he is very loud and abusive,
01:38 but you know then at a time
01:39 when I really needed to have my gender role model,
01:42 there my father there,
01:43 you know to kind of affirm my own,
01:45 you know, gender if you would,
01:47 he wasn't available.
01:48 So to me I viewed that as abandonment
01:51 and then when he was home,
01:52 he was so loud and somewhat abusive that
01:54 I rejected that masculinity.
01:56 So what I was left with is I had three sisters
01:59 and a mother and when my dad was gone--
02:01 So when you say three sisters and a mom,
02:03 so you're looking at the nurturing and--
02:06 yeah, I feel safe here and all that kind of stuff.
02:08 When dad walks in,
02:09 I don't feel safe, I don't feel loved
02:11 and I don't feel like I'm enough.
02:12 Right, right, and so I identified with my mom,
02:15 she was the only other role model that I had,
02:17 so you know, I started playing dolls with my sisters.
02:21 I started doing dress up.
02:22 I thought that God had made a mistake,
02:24 I thought that if I was a girl
02:26 that everything would have been right
02:27 'cause in comparison to the other boys
02:29 in my neighborhood, um, I didn't fit in,
02:32 I didn't measure up if you would,
02:33 and when they recognized that, they started calling me
02:36 sissy, queer, fag, all those acronyms
02:39 and then what happened is I started to recognize
02:42 that I was different than them.
02:43 I didn't know how to fix it.
02:45 I didn't know how to make it right.
02:46 So in my immature little mind I thought,
02:49 well, if I was a girl then everything would be right.
02:51 So I prayed that God would,
02:53 you know, turn me into a girl,
02:54 I'd wake up the next morning,
02:55 I fantasized about it but it didn't change,
02:59 like even when my mom forced me to do,
03:00 um, literally I remember--
03:03 Many things. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
03:04 Mean you're a boy, you're gonna play soccer.
03:06 Right, and you know what?
03:07 There was panic.
03:08 It wasn't something that I enjoyed it all.
03:09 I was terrified, anxious
03:12 and fortunately the ball hit me
03:13 on the face one time and my mom let me out so.
03:16 But I didn't ever have any males that were there,
03:20 that were available to affirm me
03:22 and because I had made that choice
03:24 at an unconscious age for myself
03:26 of rejecting my dad's masculinity,
03:29 I didn't know how to fix it, and so that...
03:31 And as you're talking about even your own stuff,
03:33 is man I wonder how many people make choices
03:36 before they even know,
03:38 so I cannot even, I am 3
03:40 and I'm making choices whether the world is safe or not,
03:43 or whether I'm a boy or a girl
03:44 or where I fit or don't fit,
03:46 I mean all of that kind of stuff
03:48 and so you know to me that is a huge statement,
03:51 so that led you into a whole lifestyle.
03:55 Well, as I understand it now,
03:57 um, not only was it environmental
04:00 but there was some hereditary factors.
04:02 There were sexual sin in my mother's family
04:04 as well as my dad's that I didn't choose to have,
04:07 but they came if you would,
04:09 you know, through the generations
04:10 and so I was influenced by that as well.
04:13 As I grew up because I didn't have
04:15 the affirmation of other boys around me,
04:17 I had this deficit, I wanted to know
04:19 what it was like to be a boy or to be affirmed that way,
04:22 but because it wasn't available to me,
04:24 then when puberty came though--
04:26 best way that I know to explain
04:27 it is the sex that is the mystery
04:30 becomes the attraction.
04:31 So if I had healthy relationships
04:32 with the other boys in the neighborhood
04:34 then what would happen is that mysterious sex
04:36 to me would have been the female right,
04:38 but because I played with girls,
04:40 because I identified with my sisters and my mom,
04:42 that wasn't a mystery.
04:44 My own gender was the mystery,
04:45 so it became sexualized when I hit puberty
04:48 and then with fantasy masturbation coming,
04:51 I remember not wanting this recognizing that
04:54 there was something that was incomplete
04:55 or wrong about it.
04:57 And so as I would even try
04:58 to bring my mind to think about,
05:01 you know, heterosexual thoughts,
05:02 it still eventually just gave in
05:04 and the masturbation process also was a-- an escape.
05:08 It was...
05:10 Can I ask you?
05:11 You know what role shame place in that
05:13 'cause I think that we kind of discount
05:15 the fact that all the sudden now,
05:17 because I'm not kind of doing the normal stuff
05:21 that now I'm ashamed and I'm hiding
05:23 and I'm withdrawing and I'm doing,
05:24 I don't want anyone to know,
05:26 and I don't want to be like you were teased anyway,
05:28 I don't want to be teased anymore,
05:29 and I just want to fit in.
05:33 Uh, the shame part,
05:35 you know, I don't even think
05:36 that I knew that it was totally wrong
05:38 but it wasn't something that I felt comfortable to share
05:41 because-- yeah, I remember checking
05:44 out a book in the library in 7th grade
05:46 and wondering what sex was like
05:48 and I tried to in my mind imagine
05:50 how that could be, my parents have shared that with me,
05:52 um, unfortunately and I think probably my mother regrets it
05:55 but when my parents divorced,
05:57 when I was 10 my mother gave me
05:58 all of my dad's pornographies,
06:00 so you know, um you know,
06:02 I was exposed to some of that kind of stuff
06:05 and that started that line of thinking
06:07 but the shame that I think I had was the fact
06:10 that I didn't know how to reach out,
06:12 I didn't know how to connect and again,
06:15 you know, living with my mother
06:17 and my three sisters, I already felt isolated,
06:21 you know from an early age.
06:22 So what-- so in your life,
06:24 how did that unfold in your life,
06:27 'cause you end up going into high school,
06:30 you end up going into all that kind of stuff
06:32 and so where did your life-- where did this take you?
06:34 Okay, well, I remember I went to live with my dad
06:37 when I was about 14
06:39 and I eventually went to academy and I was,
06:41 um, you know I got baptized,
06:43 I accepted Christ as my savior
06:44 and I went to academy.
06:47 The enemy is so incredible about
06:51 planting things in our life.
06:53 So 'cause I want to say for a lot of times,
06:55 people will say, you did that
06:57 but it was not real,
06:58 and that's is that true or was it real,
07:01 did I-- were you leaning towards
07:04 like who is God and what is that about?
07:06 Right, in my limited understanding,
07:09 I accepted Jesus as my savior,
07:11 I didn't understand the process
07:12 that it was a work that he wanted to do through me.
07:15 I thought that I had to be good,
07:18 I thought that I had to lose 20 pounds
07:20 before I joined the gym,
07:22 I didn't understand the work of grace
07:24 and so when I went to academy...
07:26 Those daily choices.
07:27 Right, right, my roommate was,
07:30 you know, in juvenile detention
07:32 and he was, you know,
07:33 court ordered to go to the academy.
07:34 So, you know, here I have a roommate
07:36 that's experienced in homosexual activity.
07:38 He recognized a weakness in me
07:40 and within about a month
07:43 we had engaged in that activity.
07:45 But what was so shocking to me
07:47 Cheri that night when I went to bed,
07:48 I remember crying and realizing,
07:50 you know, that I was now exactly everything
07:53 that those kids have called me,
07:55 everything that I was,
07:56 it affirmed to me that I was a homosexual,
08:00 but the-- I think the most difficult part
08:02 was accepting the fact that it felt good,
08:04 it confirms something in me
08:06 and I think that was horrifying to me knowing that
08:09 I wasn't in God's plan, that this wasn't
08:11 what he wanted you know for me in my life,
08:13 but I couldn't deny the fact that it affirmed something
08:16 and it feel something for me.
08:17 And it felt safe.
08:18 Yeah, um.
08:20 No, I didn't feel safe, I felt more alone,
08:22 I felt rejected by even my God.
08:24 Oh. Yeah.
08:27 So what was amazing is,
08:29 you know, my roommate and I getting kicked out
08:31 for smoking pot in the room.
08:33 The dean found out about the situation,
08:35 nothing was said,
08:36 but you know, I got right back on track,
08:37 I went to the Bible conference
08:40 and rededicated my life to the Lord,
08:42 got a girlfriend dated her, you know, for 3 years
08:45 but still I was still addicted to the masturbation,
08:49 and that's cycle hadn't stopped even though on the outside
08:53 I was looking good on the outside,
08:55 but what was happening inside was I think the same struggle
08:58 that many kids in the dorm were struggling with this as well.
09:01 You know, with addictions
09:02 to masturbation if I could be so bold.
09:04 What I hate about that
09:05 'cause I hear what you're saying
09:06 and what I hate about that
09:07 whether it's same sex or opposite sex
09:12 is that we are so afraid to say the words like,
09:15 you ever-- like even when you say the M word
09:19 you are like, I'm sorry you know what I mean.
09:21 And it's like being able to sense that
09:22 we're struggling with these really deep issues,
09:24 these identity issues all of that kind of stuff
09:27 and if you-- most of us are afraid.
09:31 Yes, let me tell you something that
09:33 just blew me away there.
09:34 It was a senior year
09:36 and we're talking about in the late 70s
09:37 and the senior Bible teacher took the boys aside
09:39 and the girls separate and with the boys he said
09:42 99% of all males masturbate, and he said 1% lie
09:46 and right there I thought, well, if this is coming from,
09:49 you know, the Bible teacher,
09:50 I guess Jesus just isn't powerful
09:51 enough to help me with it.
09:52 I took that as total license
09:55 and what so sad is, is had the other like
09:58 the deans of the high school or even other teachers,
10:00 you know, brought the guys aside
10:02 and said there's victory in Jesus
10:03 over every sin temptation.
10:05 You know, what profound information
10:07 that would have been for me as 17 years old to hear,
10:10 instead what did is it, is it reinforced this behavior
10:14 that lasted up until my 40s.
10:17 And I wish we could do a whole program on this,
10:20 I think I'd so get fired.
10:23 But even getting victory in that--
10:27 that area of your life.
10:28 It is so framed.
10:30 But it's difficult but it's so framed,
10:31 its like all of the sudden
10:33 when-- like coming out of, where I came from
10:36 and all the guards are gonna un twist me sexually
10:39 and he says you know what can we actually even go there
10:43 and I'm thinking I don't know, you know I don't know,
10:45 I use it as a volume, I use it as whatever
10:49 and he's like you know what I want to go there
10:50 because you're locked in, you're in bondage.
10:53 Cheri, that's so perfect, when I was 17 years old
10:56 I remember graduating high school,
10:57 knowing what was going out of mind
10:59 and the behavior that I was indulging
11:01 and gay rights were just coming in,
11:03 I knew that I had this attractions
11:05 and I remember praying to God
11:06 and I said Lord if this is the closest we're gonna be,
11:08 I said take me now I don't want to live,
11:10 I don't want to make those choices,
11:12 even though I could feel them
11:14 banging at my door, if you would--
11:16 I remember praying that prayer,
11:18 but again I didn't understand God,
11:20 I only judged Him according to the example
11:22 that I had with my father.
11:24 I couldn't relate to him.
11:25 He was arbitrary, judgmental, critical and very dismissive,
11:29 so I kind of thought that God was a same,
11:31 so when He didn't take my life,
11:33 I really thought that it was more rejection.
11:35 What was amazing is 20, 25 years later
11:39 it wasn't until I was telling somebody
11:41 after I had accepted Christ again as my savior in my 40s
11:44 that I was telling someone about that
11:45 and I realize that God had finally given me
11:48 the victory over masturbation and pornography,
11:50 and I realized now that when I was 17
11:53 that God were saying, Mike,
11:54 you're not ready, I can't take you now.
11:57 And so I took it that He dismiss me
11:59 but really he was saying,
12:00 I'm gonna bring it around again
12:02 and I'm gonna bring it,
12:03 you know, give you another chance at it
12:05 and it'll be redemptive and it will be healing.
12:07 Because I'm crazy about you.
12:08 I don't want to lose you.
12:11 So, you know, I could imagine,
12:13 you know, jumping into the next phase of your life
12:17 that you jumped into a world that was pretty twisted.
12:21 I wanted monogamy, I just wanted a relationship,
12:24 I wanted to be held and affirmed by a man.
12:27 And I think that's a legitimate need of every male child
12:30 and if you don't get that at the early age,
12:33 you know when boys have, you know they play together
12:35 and they have their forts together,
12:37 no girls allowed, girls have cuddies.
12:39 All of that is healthy development
12:40 and that's really what I was longing for, and I believe--.
12:42 Even with dad too 'cause you didn't get it
12:44 with dad originally.
12:45 Right, right.
12:47 And so if you don't get it at an early age
12:49 when it's developed,
12:50 really it's almost like the homosexual urge
12:53 or drive there's really just looking to repair
12:56 that gender break, right.
12:57 And so every relationship that I was in,
12:59 the five relationships that I was in,
13:02 I had ended up becoming a sexual addict,
13:04 you know for me that was my heroine.
13:06 You know every illicit encounter
13:08 actually fuelled the desire for more.
13:10 And when I first came into the gay culture,
13:12 I didn't want to have sex with a man
13:14 nor that I want to have sex with women,
13:16 I wanted to beheld, I wanted to be loved,
13:19 I wanted to be affirmed and the sad thing
13:21 was as I could only get that
13:23 when I engaged in a illicit behavior.
13:26 So my initial intent to have monogamous relationship,
13:29 I ended up hooking up with a man that was like
13:31 9 years older than me that was a sexual addict
13:34 and he introduced me to S&M behavior.
13:37 I was raped by my first boyfriend, I remember,
13:39 you know, being chained to furniture
13:41 and things that I'd never even thought of,
13:45 I would even engage in it.
13:46 And here I was allowing this person to treat me this way,
13:50 all because of I was so desperate
13:52 for that kind of love and I thought that was really,
13:54 I remember being 24 years old thinking,
13:57 well, I guess this is the best I can do,
13:59 I really should stay in this relationship.
14:01 But what happened is when the relationship was over
14:03 that addictive cycle had already begun,
14:06 dirty book stores, pornography,
14:08 picking up men in traffic, book stores and whatever.
14:12 And also just shouting out or screaming out
14:15 that I'm never gonna be just loved.
14:18 This is never gonna actually be safe that
14:21 this is the best I could do.
14:22 I'm gonna have to accept this as normal.
14:24 Well, I still was pursuing that
14:26 and I was hoping that it was possible
14:28 but the addictive cycle was so ingrained in me,
14:32 I remember saying,
14:33 well, I'm moving with this guy, if I can stop,
14:36 you know, picking people up or whatever.
14:38 And in the two and a half years
14:39 that we did as it much as I cared for this person,
14:41 I couldn't stop this thing that had already begun.
14:44 You know, I was constantly looking for it.
14:47 Remember in Genesis, it talks about
14:48 how men's thoughts were evil only continuously right,
14:52 and I identify with that,
14:53 no matter how much I wanted to be good,
14:56 I could not stop my illicit behavior.
14:58 So, you know, I want to ask you know,
15:02 how did-- how did God reach you?
15:04 I mean in an honest way,
15:06 'cause I mean, you know, to me
15:07 if we get the image of God in that check list
15:09 and He is just trying to get us to change,
15:11 we'll never-- will never see his heart.
15:14 But how did that finally happened for you?
15:16 You know, God never pulled the rug out from under me.
15:19 What was amazing is the fifth relationship
15:21 that I was in was with a very good looking
15:24 guy with big arms and big blue eyes.
15:25 He was a millionaire,
15:27 you know, was very successful in my career
15:29 doing television people for the hair and things.
15:32 I was surrounded by people
15:34 that accepted me in that lifestyle in us.
15:36 And what was so amazing
15:37 is God used somebody that I hated.
15:39 My sister had been a Christian
15:41 and her and her husband had divorce,
15:43 he left her for an unlined affair with an old girlfriend
15:46 and after 3 years of him being gone
15:49 and not taking care of his family
15:51 or any obligation, he came back
15:54 and him and my sister fell in love again
15:56 and they were getting married
15:57 and I thought she was an absolute idiot
15:59 and I went to the wedding, right, right,
16:01 and I'm sitting there
16:02 and I go oh, yeah, here comes this guy right
16:04 and he is getting baptized
16:06 and as he is coming into the water,
16:07 I'm thinking, whoa,
16:08 you know, he picks up the microphone
16:10 and I go what is he got to say jerk, right.
16:12 And as he came into the water,
16:14 he then confessed his sin to the church
16:17 and he said I want to make it right with God today,
16:20 so that I can make it right to Lord tomorrow.
16:22 And I was in the presence of the Holy Spirit.
16:24 This man that I hated I knew that, that wasn't him,
16:28 and as I was in the presence of the Holy Spirit,
16:30 top of my game thinking I had the world by the tail.
16:33 I started to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit,
16:36 and that night I was all set to go out,
16:38 and fool around even I had this great boyfriend at home,
16:41 you know, I had a hotel room,
16:42 I knew where the gay bars were,
16:43 I rented a car, I had it all set,
16:45 but it was like that night that I was wrestling
16:47 like Jacob was wrestling with Jesus.
16:49 And you know, I couldn't get up,
16:51 I couldn't go out, I couldn't leave my hotel room,
16:53 but I couldn't go to sleep.
16:55 I was wrestling all night long
16:56 with what I had beheld that day,
16:58 and what was amazing is just within 2 months
17:01 I was a baptized member in the church
17:04 and the night before I got baptized,
17:05 I still had the boyfriend,
17:06 I still had the sexual addiction
17:08 but the night before I got baptized the pastor said--
17:11 Only 'cause God has so much absolute grace.
17:13 Isn't that amazing?
17:14 He fills absolute grace,
17:16 'cause I just want to say and I didn't want to interrupt
17:18 but I want to say to-- I want to shout out loud.
17:20 My sister still has a stripper porn sight
17:24 all that kind of stuff,
17:25 and I watch God try to reach her
17:27 and in somebody says, well, you know, what
17:29 I don't think God reaches out to strippers
17:32 and I'm thinking if he didn't, we would cease to exist.
17:35 This God reach out to people in the gay life,
17:37 so if he didn't we would cease to exist.
17:40 He reaches out to us if we have breath.
17:42 We could be making this the most self destructive
17:46 choices out there and God says you know what?
17:49 I'm so longing for relationship with you
17:53 and to me as you tell the story,
17:55 I just want to kiss God on the face
17:57 and say man, thanking you for loving him,
17:59 and loving him right back into a relationship
18:02 so you-- you're getting it,
18:04 you're hearing the Holy Spirits still in this lifestyle,
18:06 still doing everything that you were doing
18:09 and then what?
18:10 I mean 'cause there is a point where you--
18:11 'cause I know you're in ministry now.
18:14 All right, so the night that I'm about to be baptized,
18:16 my sister said what are you gonna do about your boyfriend?
18:19 And I looked at her, I got it that Jesus love me,
18:21 I got it that He accepted me exactly where it was,
18:24 and I looked at my sister I said I'm gay,
18:26 I was born this way, this is who I am,
18:28 I tried to changed, it never happened,
18:29 I prayed that it would change
18:31 and my sister, I believe was moved by the Holy Spirit
18:33 'cause she's stopped.
18:34 And the next day I was baptized
18:36 and the only verse in the Bible that really stands out to me
18:39 is that God says, "My ways are not your ways
18:41 and my thoughts are not your thoughts."
18:43 And I believe that God allowed me to be baptized
18:45 and He began that journey with me,
18:47 He gave me what His truth was in His word
18:49 and even in my ignorance then I said,
18:51 how dare you God, you know create me gay
18:53 and then tell me I'm in abomination.
18:55 That-- that's not fair.
18:57 You know, if salvation is good for them
18:59 but not for me, then that's even more rejection
19:01 and that's even in my ignorance,
19:03 Jesus said keep walking with me Mike,
19:05 and as I kept walking with Him,
19:07 every time I fell He said get up
19:09 and I would even test Him,
19:10 I would even-- I would even act out,
19:12 you know, sexually and just said,
19:14 you still want me now God?
19:15 You know after what I've done
19:16 and what I kept hearing from Him is, yes,
19:19 no matter what you've done to me Mike,
19:21 I still want you and he knew that
19:23 some of my acting out was the rejection
19:25 that I experienced from men and my desperation to find out,
19:28 you know, everybody else has left me,
19:30 are you gonna be there for me God if I really act out?
19:33 And He still kept saying, get back up Mike,
19:35 I want you and that became
19:37 the motivation to want to do better--
19:41 Michael, you've shared with me a dream and it actually,
19:45 I think in the moment you shared it
19:47 it with me it changed me,
19:49 and can you share that with us?
19:50 Yeah, you know, I wish that this was years ago
19:53 but it was only just a few months ago,
19:56 and something that I had given into.
19:57 And I knew that it was wrong and in my own rebellion,
20:01 I had acted out against God
20:03 and I confessed it and I was repenting.
20:05 And I-- and one of the things
20:07 that I say now is I say,
20:08 Lord, help me to experience what I really did,
20:12 like it's not just that I acted out
20:13 but let me know, Lord,
20:15 how it did, what it did to you?
20:18 And so I was having the meditation
20:19 and because I'm a hair dresser,
20:21 I tend to be a little bit outside the box
20:23 so in this meditation all of the sudden
20:25 I'm holding someone's arm.
20:26 And I go why am I holding someone's arm
20:28 and I'm thinking whose arm am I holding,
20:30 and so I followed the arm
20:31 and I looked down and it's Jesus
20:34 and He is laying down on the cross,
20:35 and I'm holding His arm because my sin required that
20:39 I drive that nail through His hand
20:41 and I'm looking at Jesus' face
20:43 and I'm expecting judgment, I'm expecting,
20:46 you know, a condemnation
20:48 but what I see in His face is love,
20:51 compassion and this confidence
20:54 like this holy confidence.
20:56 And He gives me like this look, like go ahead, do it.
21:00 And I'm like no, what I don't want to drive that nail
21:01 through Your hand and He says, no, you have to do it.
21:04 That's why I'm here and you could see
21:06 the confidence and determination
21:08 that this must be done and he'd submitted to it.
21:11 I took your sin on. That's right.
21:13 Even in the midst of your acting out,
21:15 I died for you.
21:16 Right, and so--.
21:17 You do accept that.
21:18 It really brought me to the reality
21:21 of what my sin had done to Jesus and I--
21:25 you know I didn't want to drive the nail though His hand
21:27 but that was what it caused Him.
21:29 He was showing me every time that I fall,
21:31 every time that I'm rebellious,
21:33 every time that I give in to doing something
21:35 that I willfully know that I'm doing.
21:37 I'm driving that nail through His hand.
21:40 And He says--
21:41 It's okay.
21:42 I know it's gonna happen.
21:44 It has to happen.
21:45 And I really believe like and we're gonna open it up
21:47 for the cafe for questions, but I really believe
21:50 that what he is saying to is that,
21:51 you know, this is not something
21:55 that I'm encouraging you to act out,
21:57 because I've already done it.
21:58 He's just saying I know where you're at,
22:01 I know you are stumbling, I know you are still in pain,
22:03 I know you still have no idea who you are.
22:06 Ah, Cheri, this is the part,
22:08 you know, I speak with men online
22:11 from Australia to my next door neighbor
22:14 about them who had fallen in
22:16 and are addicted to pornography
22:17 and masturbation and the desperation--
22:19 Trying to help them at this point.
22:20 Right. And, and--
22:22 I just have to clarify that.
22:24 Right, right.
22:25 And so one of the things that
22:26 I really want to communicate to them
22:30 is that no matter what you're going through,
22:32 one of the things that I realize
22:34 is the only difference between the lost
22:36 and the saved is that the lost have not come
22:40 and claimed what is already been provided for them.
22:42 And not that it's a license to sin
22:44 but if I understand that every sin has been accounted for
22:47 and it's like my shame and my guilt would keep me
22:50 from coming to my savior and asking for the cleansing,
22:53 but when I did Jesus said,
22:55 Mike, it was taken care of 2,000 years ago
22:58 everything has been accomplished.
23:00 And the only reason that you would miss out on eternal life
23:03 is because you didn't choose to repent of your sin
23:06 because I already know about it,
23:08 it's already been punished for,
23:10 the account has been settled
23:12 and if you will just accept a gift, it's yours.
23:16 And so one of the things that I say to people
23:18 who are really struggling with the guilt and condemnation,
23:20 men who are married you know
23:21 and fooling around on their wives
23:23 or addicted to pornography
23:24 or whatever is I say it's already been accomplished,
23:27 I said don't let the enemy,
23:29 you know, tell you there's guilt and the shame
23:31 and keep you from running to the one who makes you clean.
23:35 You know, I know that do you
23:36 with your ministry Coming Out Ministries.
23:39 When you talk about, you're talking to men
23:40 about them cheating on their wives.
23:42 They're cheating on their wives with male and females.
23:44 So this is what you deal within your ministry all the time,
23:47 so it's pretty edgy.
23:49 We have a few more minutes
23:51 before I want to open it up for questions.
23:53 Tell me I know that you've got so many victories in your life.
23:58 What is one incident where you can think of that,
24:00 you know, this was directly God speaking to me.
24:04 I needed something practical,
24:06 I needed to know that if I apply the steps
24:09 that something would work and I was desperate
24:11 for that even as walking as Christian for seven years.
24:15 It wasn't until I heard this person
24:16 just really breakdown Philippians 2:5 says,
24:19 "Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus."
24:23 And what they basically started to say is that
24:25 I can't put Christ in my pocket or have a around me,
24:28 he needs to be in me.
24:29 And so Jesus isn't homosexual,
24:31 Jesus wasn't addicted to pornography,
24:34 and so sin originates in the mind
24:37 and so as I allowed Christ in my mind,
24:40 if I just give Him Permission,
24:41 He begins to work, right.
24:42 I start changing the thoughts,
24:44 I started getting victory over the thoughts
24:46 because I'm thinking His thoughts, right.
24:48 And so what I realized is one day
24:50 I was so tempted to give in to sin
24:54 and the feeling was overwhelming
24:56 and again I just thought,
24:57 well, let me put this into practice,
24:59 does it really work?
25:00 Is it really that simple and the profound part about
25:02 that verse is the first word let.
25:05 And what I realized is that all I have to do--
25:07 the only thing I can do is give Jesus permission
25:11 to give me His thoughts and as I-- I said and I said,
25:14 Lord, I'm giving You permission
25:15 to take this thoughts out of my mind right now
25:17 because if you don't,
25:18 I'm gonna give into that behavior
25:20 and within three seconds, Cheri,
25:21 I was thinking about baseball and I hate baseball.
25:24 What was amazing is I got this victory
25:26 within that second and I started to realize.
25:29 You know what it was really funny?
25:30 'Cause I bet you were thinking out about baseball
25:32 'cause God knew that,
25:33 that would make you laugh almost,
25:35 'cause it's ridiculous.
25:36 You know, I remembered just saying,
25:38 Lord, You are so good
25:40 that You can change my thoughts like that,
25:42 because even when I'd try on my own,
25:44 I could never change my thoughts about that,
25:45 I couldn't turn around
25:46 those sensual sexual thoughts in my head.
25:49 But He was able to do it
25:51 just because I gave Him permission,
25:52 I don't have to lose 20 pounds
25:54 before I joined the gym.
25:55 I can have the victory today right now.
25:58 Exactly, what's incredible about that is that when,
26:01 when-- and you are talking about,
26:03 you know, gay issues and porn
26:04 and stuff that always kind of grade some people
26:06 'cause it feels like, oh, that's not my problem.
26:10 It's one of the number one problems in the US
26:12 and worldwide,
26:14 most of us struggle with our sexual
26:16 identity issues in some way.
26:19 But you know when God says, I'll change your very desires,
26:21 I literally will come in not rob you of your sexuality
26:26 but anoint it cleaned it up and hand it back to you.
26:28 Ah, Cheri, I think a lot of people do that,
26:31 they say Lord take these thoughts away,
26:32 or, Lord, you know, take this feelings away
26:35 and God gave us those feelings as a blessing.
26:38 What He ask us to do,
26:39 is to rain them in and submit them to Him.
26:41 Because His ideal isn't to take away the blessing,
26:45 His ideal is to teach us the discipline
26:47 of handing it over to Him,
26:48 to give real victory in our life.
26:50 And so I was praying that same prayer
26:52 not getting the results I wanted,
26:54 because I wasn't understanding what God wants to give me
26:58 and what He wants to teach me to discipline.
27:00 Absolutely and the choice you made that,
27:03 you know, we talked about choices on this first segment,
27:07 but the choices you make it,
27:08 that basic choice that I'm gonna believe God,
27:10 if He says that if it's in His word,
27:12 if He says He's gonna change my mind,
27:14 if He can do that,
27:15 if He could change my very thoughts and desires,
27:17 I'm gonna chose to let Him.
27:19 Let Him, not strive to do it,
27:21 not figure out how I'm gonna do it better
27:23 but just let Him and, man, if we could get that,
27:26 if we could get that the Holy Spirit
27:29 and God Jesus the whole thing would make sense to us.
27:32 So we're gonna open up the cafe for questions.
27:35 We're gonna start here
27:36 'cause I know that you had a question.
27:38 Yes, Mike, my name is Bob, I'm from North Carolina.
27:43 I'm curious about the aspect of pornography
27:46 and how much of a role it played
27:48 in you accepting lifestyle you did.
27:51 I was addicted to pornography
27:53 from the very early age probably around 7-8 years old
27:56 and that last lasted until I was 51 years old,
27:58 when I accepted God and asked Him into my life
28:02 which is only been about 16 years ago.
28:04 The masturbation was a total addiction
28:08 and that was the really the last addiction
28:10 I was able to give up,
28:11 that's the last victory that God gave me,
28:15 alcohol, tobacco, street drugs, caffeine
28:17 all these other things God had already dealt with,
28:19 but that was the last one.
28:20 And even several months after I became a Christian,
28:23 after I turned my life over to God
28:25 that was still a very strong addiction,
28:27 I had tapered off, decided this was not right.
28:30 I shouldn't be doing this
28:31 and over a period of several months
28:33 God probably convicted me
28:34 that you just need to stop all together,
28:36 was that-- did play a substantial role
28:40 in the lifestyle that you accepted.
28:42 Well, you said your father you ended up
28:43 with your father's pornography,
28:44 was there enough in that
28:46 to lead you also into the gay lifestyle?
28:49 I think that the enemy was able to use
28:52 the images that I was putting in my mind,
28:53 the pornography was-- was straight porn
28:56 and you know was just playboy magazines so,
28:58 that wasn't changing my attractions
29:01 that had already been set
29:02 because of the rejection of males in my life.
29:06 But definitely I believe that,
29:08 that if our thoughts aren't focused on things
29:10 that Jesus would focus on,
29:12 if He's not the center of our thoughts,
29:14 then the enemy is and the enemy can use
29:16 straight porn or gay porn.
29:19 Because it is so powerful and what's really awful about
29:22 that is studies statistically speaking says that
29:25 if I get lost in any kind of porn addiction both--
29:28 whether a male or female that I'm able to connect
29:31 and love the people around me 3-7%.
29:35 So then I'm more disconnected,
29:37 so I start to get more and more isolated
29:39 even if I'm surrounded by a ton of folks
29:42 which makes me act out even more.
29:44 So I really believe it's such a cycle,
29:46 it's so-- it never lets go of you.
29:51 Cheri, what you said is so profound
29:53 because what we found in studies
29:56 is that there's an OP that's released
29:58 when you have a sexual release, so the enemy knows that
30:00 if he can get you focused on that,
30:01 that is your heroine, it's almost just like heroine,
30:04 so what happens is you build up this dependency on that
30:07 and the more you are pursuing
30:09 what God had intended you to be,
30:10 he intended you to be an intimate person.
30:13 God himself in the trinity is an intimacy lock thing,
30:18 so He's trying to be intimate with us
30:20 this-- the breakdown the cheat is
30:22 that the enemy has given you false intimacy with images
30:26 when you really made to be intimate with one person,
30:29 that person that God has blessed you
30:30 within your relationship, right.
30:32 And so that's the sad part, is that we sell ourselves out
30:35 of what God had intended us to be.
30:36 And it's not real, it's not actual connection.
30:38 That's right.
30:39 We are more lonely and we jumped
30:41 to the addiction of the seduction even more.
30:44 What's really, you know, to me
30:45 when I even look at all of that
30:47 and I start to pay attention to all of that is God says now,
30:50 what if you trust me
30:52 I would literally like to untwist you
30:54 and reconnect you with people that are real.
30:57 And when somebody says we need to be
30:59 and please don't get offended by this,
31:01 but when you say we need to be more Christ like
31:03 or connected with Christ as an addicted, addicted person,
31:08 you know, I have no idea what you just said,
31:10 what do you mean?
31:12 Do I need to get wings?
31:13 Do I need to sums out,
31:14 just sing hymn songs the rest of my life,
31:17 I didn't realize but when I want to be
31:19 more Christ like, I need to laugh out loud,
31:21 I need to connect with the people I love,
31:23 I need to be able to tell somebody I love you
31:26 and actually feel it and mean it
31:27 and connect with that and it doesn't mean
31:29 that I need to quote scripture the rest of my life,
31:31 even though the scripture is good, but to be Christ like
31:35 is to actually be engaged with my life,
31:37 to be connected to God and others and so, you know,
31:40 He really is giving us something,
31:42 the real for something that was false and destroying us.
31:45 That's right, Cheri,
31:46 when I came to Christ, I was so broken,
31:48 I didn't know how to relate to anyone intimately.
31:51 Even in my relationships,
31:52 I couldn't even connect with them,
31:54 even though I made attempts to, I was still broken.
31:57 And what Jesus began was this journey because
32:00 every time I fell, He was there,
32:03 He had to prove Himself and win me back
32:06 to understand what intimacy was,
32:07 and so I didn't have an example in my life
32:10 of what that was like through my parents.
32:12 But Jesus was that example
32:13 and when I came back to Him, He was always there.
32:16 He showed me what real intimacy is
32:18 and what true love is.
32:19 And as I learned from Him,
32:21 then I was able to start experiencing that in my life
32:24 but it wasn't easy, that's right, that's right.
32:26 And giving it. How ridiculous is that?
32:28 And how cool is that God of the universe says to you,
32:31 Michael, man I don't care
32:33 if this takes us the rest of your life,
32:35 I will prove to you that I'm trustworthy.
32:37 And you're thinking really, you know, you are God,
32:41 why do you have to prove to me,
32:42 I'm not sure but if it takes that,
32:45 I'll do that for you.
32:46 But He knows it's important,
32:47 He wait, He knows that it's vital to me.
32:50 Zephaniah 3:17, that blew me away.
32:52 He will rejoice over you with singing.
32:55 And I take that very personal.
32:56 That means Jesus is going to sing to me personally
33:00 'cause I didn't think that I was worth that.
33:02 I didn't think I was worth that to God or to anyone,
33:04 but when I read that and as He has shared Himself with me,
33:08 I get that more now.
33:10 That's incredible, that's incredible.
33:12 Okay, Andre, I know that you had a question.
33:15 Yes, Mike, I appreciates your testimony,
33:17 I can relate so all of what you're talking about,
33:21 I'm from Virginia and in my struggles I've--
33:25 I keyed in on several things actually
33:28 and it's a properly a two part question I have for you.
33:31 Ah, I listen to what you say concerning your father
33:35 and quite naturally the mother and your sisters were there
33:38 so that's where you go.
33:40 And looking at that and engaging it against
33:45 what I went through, a mother who, in my scenario,
33:50 a mother who did not acknowledge you whatsoever,
33:54 being raised by a grandmother, being raised by a step father
33:59 and a father for a lot of your years of your life
34:03 to half of your life, we didn't even know who he was
34:06 I was forbidden to even asking question about, okay.
34:09 So in my scenario not only they have father
34:12 who didn't much about you anyway,
34:14 mother who couldn't give but only what she could
34:16 give herself because of what was given to her,
34:18 don't know much you can't do much, okay.
34:21 He left me in a turmoil, and the turmoil left me
34:24 and was who am I?
34:26 Because prior to all of what I'm telling you
34:29 it's because of time I'm giving it to you like this.
34:32 But prior to all that my life is--
34:34 was in a complete turmoil
34:37 so much so you mentioned choices
34:39 and choices is a key word with everything
34:41 because you can't do anything in life without choices.
34:44 I live my life like Solomon,
34:45 so if you know anything about Solomon.
34:47 I hear it. Okay, that's--
34:48 That's in your whole life, okay.
34:50 And-- it left me in two messed up areas,
34:54 one, I didn't know who I was, so I spent my life
34:57 literally trying to figure it out who I am, okay.
35:01 Am I worthwhile and other--
35:03 and other piece was this-- this issue of love.
35:07 A key then when you say it, I didn't want be a man,
35:10 I didn't want to be of women, I just wanted to be accepted,
35:13 acknowledged and loved.
35:15 I went through life and it left me with that issue
35:19 and other one was the negative transcripts,
35:21 I didn't hear you mention
35:23 I think one negative transcripts,
35:24 you know, that's real important when you're going through--
35:26 going through stuff like this is a challenge--
35:28 and even to addictions within itself.
35:30 What part did negative transcripts play in your life?
35:34 Who was it for while were you trying to please,
35:36 for me I was trying to please a father
35:38 who didn't want me anyway.
35:39 I wanted to be acknowledged and the negative transcripts
35:42 says you that whenever you came to door of-- of success,
35:45 hey, you can only come and looking to wonder,
35:47 but dare not touch the door to open it.
35:49 Did you experience that in?
35:51 If so how did you overcome those things?
35:54 Let's think as though the life scripting.
35:55 Yeah, yeah, my father called me dummy, idiot, moron,
35:59 I got all that and I heard that and I--
36:01 and I thought that I can never be a success.
36:04 God blessed me with financial success or business success,
36:07 but that wasn't really my pursuit,
36:09 it wasn't until seven years
36:10 after being an Adventist Christian
36:12 that I was walking with Jesus Christ
36:14 and He had shown me what that love was
36:16 and I accepted that.
36:17 And it wasn't until I remember the verses says,
36:20 if you know-- if you see me, you seen the father
36:23 and again I had another meditation about that
36:26 and I'm gonna bath tub, and I'm sick with my sin.
36:29 The fever so bad I can't even hold myself up in the tub.
36:32 And Jesus is on one side bathing me,
36:34 washing away my sin.
36:35 I'm so delirious,
36:36 I can't even hold myself up in the water,
36:38 but I really didn't understand the true nature of the father
36:41 until as I saw the image open up
36:44 and as I'm looking in, I realize
36:45 that there is somebody on the other side of that tub
36:47 and I look in and I strain
36:49 and I see that it's God my father
36:51 who I thought was just like my--
36:53 my biological dad that dismissed me
36:55 that judged me, that didn't want to be with me,
36:58 but here is my father,
36:59 God my father holding me up in the water
37:01 while my savior is bathing me
37:03 and he affirmed to me right then
37:05 that I indeed was never an orphan
37:06 and that He was with me through all of that
37:09 and He was able to break through the negative tapes
37:12 of hearing dummy, idiot, moron and all of that.
37:15 And it's his responsibility
37:17 to prove Himself and He wants to.
37:19 You know, what I-- what I love
37:21 what you said Andre too is that
37:23 where were you went out and totally went,
37:26 you know, off the grid as far as your sexuality
37:29 and men and all that kind of stuff
37:31 and pouring and even-- even having the lover
37:33 and then going out to bars and all kind of stuff,
37:36 whether-- whether Andrew I been said
37:37 it's sounds like where you said is that
37:39 you know, I was someone like Solomon
37:40 and that I held nothing back from me,
37:43 but got to lot of women, so it's been able--
37:45 you know, we all step out and we act out,
37:48 we're off the chats as far our acting out.
37:51 Regardless so I've-- I did the first drug
37:54 and I was-- I was gone
37:55 and try to get as many drugs as I could.
37:57 So I think that until we get that core thing about,
38:01 I just want to be loved and I just want to be fit in
38:03 and I just want to know that I'm saved
38:06 that we're gonna act out in some way.
38:08 And what's I really hate it,
38:10 I want to come back and ask you about this,
38:13 is I really hate the fact that then we step into a world
38:16 where we're trying to figure out how safe we are,
38:18 and the people around us
38:20 are freaked out about our behavior,
38:22 so when we come in and I, you know,
38:24 it's like I came in as a heroine addict,
38:28 a drug addict, and that kind of stuff
38:29 and that freak people out a little bit,
38:31 I'm trying to find a family and safety in there.
38:34 You come in as a gay male, was that difficult
38:38 and at times is that difficult and I don't want to say that
38:40 but I want to ask you that,
38:42 so will be right back with our--
38:43 I want you to stay with us.