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Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Since 1983 this Scripture has been important - vital - to my existence:

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good,

For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Let the redeemed of the LORD say so,

Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary

Psalm 107:1-2 NASB

A friend challenged me with it, saying he believed God would give me as song from meditating on it. And He did give me that song…and so much more than I had expected. As I sang this verse through the years from 1983 until 1988, the Lord began to build in me the attitude of gratitude: learning to thank God for and in and through any circumstance by learning to view each circumstance from HIS point of view.

Because of fear of what others might think of me, I never publicly acknowledged my deliverance from homosexuality from the moment it occurred - November 7, 1981 - until July of 1988! What happened to give me the courage to declare God’s work in my life publicly?

During a time of worship I was leading that July in 1988, I became so overwhelmed by the burden of not having told others specifically what God had done for me to illicit such deep longing to worship and thank God publicly that I stepped down from the platform and knelt at the altar. My good friend, Wayne, saw me there and knelt beside me. As he pressed me for the reason for my anguish, fear rose up in me and I began to weep. His words to me? “God’s Word says ‘let the redeemed of the Lord say so’. If you’re redeemed, Dennis, what does it matter what you are redeemed from?”

It was soon after that encounter that I began to share my story publicly - and the walls of fear that had surrounded me were razed to the ground and the lies of the enemy placed under my feet! And I learned that gratitude - the public declaration of what God has done for me - would not only usher others into that same freedom but would usher me into the deeper places of God’s presence I had been longing for!

Gratitude, to me, is like a springboard - a diving board - into the deeper places of God’s presence and nature. When I take a deep breath and jump on the end of that springboard, I am instantly lifted into the heights of awareness of God’s presence and simultaneously plunged into the depths of His character and essence - fully aware of His place in my existence in spite of my circumstances!

As a dad, I love being near my children. I love just being in their presence. I love blessing them. But as much as I love being with them and blessing them, I am transported to deeper levels of fellowship with one of my children when they express gratitude to me. It is as if they are leaning into my heart with their own heart…and I can’t get enough of it…can’t get close enough! And I am an earthly father…so how much more is this reality magnified by our perfect heavenly Father when we express gratitude to Him?

Take a big jump on the springboard of gratitude and plunge into a deeper awareness and a deeper level of intimacy with Father this Thanksgiving. And by the way, this principle works with people, too…

Dennis Jernigan

Watch and worship with the song Oh, Give Thanks at https://youtu.be/UF-WjphaAE8 or download the mp3 at http://dennisjernigan.com/store/product.php?c=24&p=3625

How Do I Respond to the World Around Me Without Compromising Who I Am?

I’ve been through much fire in my life. Fire due to my own sin and fire due to my faith. Based on my own life experience with sin and viewing my experience and failure through the filter of God’s Word, I have come to believe firmly that God’s Word is true and that anything is possible with Him. Yet, when faced with the stance of that faith and the need to express that faith in love, how do I walk in peace while swimming against the stream of modern culture?

I have made things simple for myself. When faced with that very dilemma, I have come to the place of boiling things down to the lowest common denominator:

And he [Jesus] answered, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

Luke 10:27 NASB

In any given situation, how do I love God in this moment? How do I love my neighbor in this moment? How do I love myself in this moment?

LOVE GOD

I cannot deny God in any situation…regardless of what anyone else says. How can my attitudes and actions and words bring honor to Him? I am called to ‘say so’…to declare what God has done for me. My story is my story! I own it and thank God for it. My life is a declaration that says, “Look what I went through, but look what God did!”

LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR

Who is your neighbor? Whomever I happen to be with! People ask me about my ministry - who I focus on. The answer is easy. I am minister to whomever I happen to be with…in spite of our differences. In spite of what they believe or don’t believe. We are not commanded to agree with anyone…but we are commanded to love! A great question in any given circumstance is ‘how can I lay down my life for this person?’ Laying down of life may mean disagreeing in love. Love stands its ground when it comes to the Truth. Standing alone IS an option…but like the three men in the fiery furnace of old, we are never really alone…are we?

LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF - LOVE YOURSELF

My role in the Kingdom is to live out my existence according to Who God says I am. To do anything else is to walk in compromise. Every time I declare what God has done for me I simultaneously declare Who He is and who I am because of Who He is! I love myself by calling myself what my God calls me. My past does not define me. My circumstances do not define me. My temptations do not define me. The current culture does not define me. Only One defines me…and He is my Father.

“Remember, a dead fish can float downstream, but it takes a live one to swim upstream.”

W. C. Fields

Swimming upstream is not easy…but it means you are alive! It is the dead fish that goes with the flow! We, as new creations are called to be ministers of reconciliation. We are called to declare the Word of God. We are called to make disciples. We are called to live our lives abundantly in spite of our current culture. We are aliens in a strange land…indeed. Let us allow our lives to declare the power of God to affect change in the culture around us. You can always love God. You can always love your neighbor. You can always declare who and Whose you are.

Dennis Jernigan

Download the mp3 of the song I’VE BEEN THROUGH FIRE here: http://dennisjernigan.com/store/product.php?c=24&p=3537

Listen to/Sing along to I’VE BEEN THROUGH FIRE at: https://youtu.be/gV47pB3TKTw

Who Can Satisfy: Texas, November 2015

Dennis Jernigan and Melinda Jernigan-- what a joy your music has been to the body of Christ! My husband Brad just took this video at the 40th anniversary celebration of the Singing Men of Texas. Randy Gooch LaVaughn Gooch

Posted by Dawn Conner Irons on Tuesday, November 10, 2015

I Need to Know You - worship video

Questions About Homosexuality

Here is a link to a new blog/article I posted on my Need Help section of my website concerning questions I am often asked about the issue of homosexuality. Questions About Homosexuality

We Need Jesus - New Song Video

Focus On The Family Interview

Dear Friends,

Tomorrow and Wednesday, an interview I did with FOTF will air worldwide! PLEASE help me get the word out about the Focus On The Family interview. It airs in 2 parts tomorrow and Wednesday. Here is the info:

Tuesday, June 2

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/media/daily-broadcast/reclaiming-your-identity-in-the-fathers-love-pt1

NOTE: Audio of the program isn’t available until 12:01am that day

Wednesday, June 3

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/media/daily-broadcast/reclaiming-your-identity-in-the-fathers-love-pt2

NOTE: Audio of the program isn’t available until 12:01am that day

I Am Changed

With the recent revelation from Bruce Jenner, I felt compelled to set some things, well, straight (pun intended). The gay identity was one I never wanted…and it dawned on me one day that I should seek my Maker as to what His intentions were for my identity. My plan was to choose what He called right over what my feelings - and what the world - called right. I chose Truth over comfort and momentary pleasure and found freedom form my old way of thinking. In the process, I found a heterosexual identity! Thinking people in a world where a man could say he was born a man but was truly a woman on the inside - and be celebrated for it - one would think a man who did not want a gay identity and found a way to a heterosexual identity would be welcomed…tolerated, but I have not found the world too open about anything other than ‘what feels good is right.’ Choosing righteousness over license is, in this current culture, not to be tolerated. Enough about that. People often ask me if I am still tempted with same sex attraction. When I tell them that I still understand that temptation but it no longer has power over me their reaction is often, “Then how can you say you’re changed? Nothing’s different if you are still tempted.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Honestly, I had no choice in determining what would tempt me, but that in no way negates my ability to choose how I would respond to that temptation! In fact, even Jesus did not get to choose what He was tempted by - and He was tempted in EVERY manner just as we are, yet without sin! We are either always creatures of choice or never creatures of choice. Our humanity has a conscience which gives us the power to choose. If we could not choose, every man would be a rapist. Every person would be obese. Every person would walk in constant anger. Every person would be hopelessly self-focused and full of pride. We always have a choice as to how we respond to a given situation. It just so happens that having a relationship with Christ gives us the power to overcome those temptations and to choose wisely much more easily than in our human strength! If temptation defined us then we would succumb to the statement that ‘this is just who I am so I might as well give in and BE whatever my deepest feeling suggests I am.’ Temptation does not equal identity. I did not get to choose what I was tempted by. It was just there. But it was never intended to define me. Even without Jesus, I always had the choice as to how I would respond to any given temptation, be it sexual or otherwise. Always. It was only when I allowed the temptation to define me that I began to walk in failure and allow it to control me - control my life. I recall the look and sound and feel of temptation in that area - am reminded of it in the media and in the culture on a daily basis (does every TV show or movie have a same sex story line these days? Pretty much). It’s in my face. But that ‘recalling’ in no way defines who I am. Temptation is a joy. What do I mean? When temptation comes my way in ANY area that could lead me to sin, I simply ask the Holy Spirit ‘what is it, Lord?’ My reason is simple. The enemy - the Liar, Satan - desires my downfall. Temptation is intended to lead me to that destruction. I turn to God because the temptation has become my signal that God is up to something. Why else would the enemy be after me in a certain area if not to quell the work of God in my life? So much time has now passed since I identified as gay that is is actually difficult for me to believe I was ever that way. Of course, the Liar does not want me to forget so he continues to try and trip me up in key ways…not usually of a sexual nature, either. He attacks me in the areas of my continuing vulnerability. My sense of security or my sense of being needed or my sense of the need of affirmation - all of which are now daily met in knowing Jesus. I am now so secure that I do not fear vulnerability, nor do I fear for my security, nor do I fear that others might not think my life significant. Temptation has been relegated to use for the Kingdom purposes in my life. When it occurs, I do not allow it to determine my direction. In the moment of being tempted, temptation is now like a fly that occasionally tries to light on the meal of God’s presence in my life. I shoo the pest away with the Word and continue to enjoy the feast of God’s amazingly abundant presence in my life…whether I receive threats and hate from the LGBT community (and I do) or not. The temptation to fear harm is handled in the same way as sexual temptation. “What is it, Father? Your son, Dennis, waits on You…and while I wait, I will apply Your Word to my existence, bathing my being in being with you.” People can say I am not changed if I still understand temptation in my life, but for the doubters, here is a brief list off the top of my head of exactly what has changed since coming to faith in Jesus Christ: My belief system. I once believed I was born gay…until I was born again. I no longer believe I was ever born ‘that way’. My mind. I was transformed by the renewing of my mind. My sexual preference. I used to be sexually aroused only by men. The sexual needs of my life are now met only by my wife…and I crave her body, by the way… My outlook on life. I once was depressed and self-serving. I now look toward Jesus and lay my life down for the King and for the Kingdom. I. Am. Changed. Period. Dennis Jernigan Hear the song I AM CHANGED at https://soundcloud.com/singoverme/i-am-changed-from-the-film I Am Changed WORDS & MUSIC: Dennis Jernigan ©2014 Shepherd’s Heart Music, Inc. www.dennisjernigan.com Verse Some call me a fool For daring to say I’ve changed But if that makes me a fool, I wouldn’t trade what I’ve found for anything I’m changed Some call me a dreamer For daring to walk away From my old way of thinking My old identity now passed away I’m changed Chorus Changed from who I thought I was Changed by pure redeeming love Changed from death to life And freed from every chain Changed from old identity Freed from lies and freed to be who my Father says I am He calls me changed I am changed! Verse Some call me a hater for daring to disagree Come to my own conclusion of who my Father says I am called to be I’m changed Some call me disillusioned Some call it a mental break But let there be no confusion I am fully aware Fully awake And I’m changed Chorus Changed from who I thought I was Changed by pure redeeming love Changed from death to life And freed from every chain Changed from old identity Freed from lies and freed to be who my Father says I am He calls me changed I am changed! To learn more about Dennis Jernigan and his story, you can purchase his autobiography, Sing Over Me,  or purvhase the DVD documentary, Sing Over Me.

Film Screening in Los Angeles - TONIGHT!

To everyone in the Los Angeles area, there is a FREE screening of the film, SING OVER ME, The Dennis Jernigan Documentary, tonight! Go to http://la.ourwitness.com/…/free-screening-of-sing-over-me-…/ for details!

The Very First Christmas Tree - Song Video

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