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Where’s Your Focus?

Brewing coffee, bright lanyards, and the rustle of Bible pages turning—the new Charis Bible College school year had officially begun. I was a third-year intern filled with optimism, opinions, and perhaps a little too much caffeine. As I prepared for classes, I did what any well-meaning intern would do when they’re a little unsure of the next step—I enrolled in the School of Ministry. Who could go wrong with that, right?

As the days turned into weeks, my uneasy conscience slowly started distracting my mind from the classes I was in. Fidgety and uneasy, I had the strangest sense that everyone around me knew exactly what I was thinking. I wonder what they’re doing in Media School… No! Stop it! You’re in Ministry. Pay attention to the… If I switched over to Media School, I wonder if anyone would notice.

What I really wanted was for one of my esteemed instructors to walk over to me, look me in the eyes, and speak a mighty word from the Lord, instructing me in the exact path that I should take. I would solemnly reply “Bless the Lamb,” and we would part ways. Surprisingly, that did not happen, and as the cutoff date to switch Third Year schools creeped closer, so did the fear of making the wrong decision—one that would ruin my life forever.

Thankfully, it didn’t take me too long to realize that the Holy Spirit guides us through the desires of our hearts, and as we dwell in His presence, He begins to direct us through His peace.

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.

Proverbs 3:5-6, The Message

In Andrew’s teaching on Dwelling in God’s Presence, he explains:

You’ve got the Spirit of God Almighty residing on the inside of you. It’s in the spirit realm, and you have capabilities in the Spirit that most people don’t even believe exist, let alone walk in. But you can know things by the Spirit.

The cutoff day came and went, and that very next Monday, I started Media School. Although I don’t ever remember hearing a distinct voice saying “This is what you must do,” I know I never thought of doing anything else once I started. I realized that the Holy Spirit lives on the inside of me, and I don’t have to go looking for answers outside of my relationship with Him. Living in constant communion with Him enables His thoughts to become my thoughts, His desires to become my desires, and His plan to become my plan.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

Isaiah 26:3, New Living Translation

Now, I know I don’t have it all figured out quite yet, but as I dwell in the presence of God, I get to know the One who is leading me. It’s because of this that I know I will accomplish the call of God on my life. So, I guess I don’t have to know it all. I’ve got connections.

Andrew’s new teaching, Dwelling in God's Presence, is available in CD and DVD format. You can also check it out on the Gospel Truth broadcast. If this teaching has inspired you, please post a comment below. 


God’s Great Do-Over – Part 2

“Well, for many years, they told me it would not stand; I would eventually walk away from the Lord and go back into the gay life. Well, keep watching. I will not go back. I made a decision to stand with Christ, and I will until He takes me home with Him. I want to be a light in that dark place (Matt. 5:16). You will not hide me anymore. I have a voice, and I’m going to continue to speak it.”

Even though she had accepted Christ in college, later Janet Boynes fell into a homosexual lifestyle and lived in several different lesbian relationships over the course of fourteen years. It wasn’t until a group of Christian women reached out to her that she was able to walk away and has now been free for seventeen years.

Janet is passionate about helping others trapped in the gay lifestyle find freedom, identity, and acceptance in Christ. She is a spokesperson for empowering other Christians not only to reach out in love but also to take a stand for what the Bible says is right and wrong.

“After the Supreme Court decision was made, there was a woman who was supposed to give out licenses to gays and lesbians,” Janet recalls. “She said she didn’t believe it was right, and so after many years at her job, she quit. That shows me she took a stand, and some of us may have to walk away from our jobs.

“I believe in compassion without compromise. Let’s be compassionate, but let’s not compromise the Gospel. You can love anybody, but you don’t have to accept their behavior. Love has nothing to do with that. I’m going to say that it’s wrong, and [that] I love you and will help you get free. As a church, we should reach out in love but never validate that behavior.

“Sin will take you further than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay. When I went into homosexuality, I did not expect to be out there for fourteen years. When I had that first snort of cocaine, I didn’t expect to be on it for five years. When we do these things, we don’t know where it’s going to take us.

“My brother never knew that he would die from AIDS. I think once he got the virus, he had an idea he could [die], but there are so many pills that you can take today that can help you. But my brother didn’t have that opportunity.... And I wish that he had.”

Coming out of homosexuality didn’t happen overnight for Janet; rather, it was a process—one that she had to walk out day by day, latching onto the Word of God. She talked to the Christians around her, asking for support and for people to pray for her. She was determined not to look back, but was going to embrace what was in front of her, drawing from the grace to do what was beyond her own ability.

“I am ready. I made a decision to serve the Lord, and I really believe that the ministry the Lord has given me today is going to help many people. I know one day, we’ll all stand before our Lord, and He’s going to say, ‘Because you didn’t back down, look at all these people who are here.’ We won’t know the impact we’re going to have until we stand before Him, and I believe we will have an impact.”

For the full interview with Janet Boynes, watch Andrew’s Gospel Truth program here.


God’s Great Do-Over – Part 1

Janet Boynes—author of Called Out, Arise: The Journey from Fear to Faith, and The Top 10 Questions Regarding Same-Sex Attraction—described how God called her out of the darkness of homosexuality and drug addiction and into the light. It began when Janet was young. She was raised in a family of seven children fathered by four different men, and Janet was the only one who didn’t know her dad. Being fatherless left her unprotected and without identity. Her alcoholic stepfather beat her mother. During that time, the father of one of her other sisters raped her after he had sent his own daughter to the store. Further compounding her wounds, she was then raped at her church. All of this abuse created a chain reaction within Janet, who began acting out at school.

God intervened in Janet’s life through an eighth-grade English teacher who took Janet under her wing. Her influence helped foster Janet’s love of writing. However, just before college, Janet lost this support when her teacher moved five states away, to Minnesota, and a sense of abandonment gripped Janet.

Three years after dropping out of college, Janet bought a one-way ticket to Minneapolis. Her eighth-grade teacher got her back into college, and it was there that she met Mary. Mary took her to church, and Janet gave her heart to the Lord. She dove headfirst into Christianity. She met a professional bike racer, and he asked her to marry him. It looked like Janet would finally escape her brokenness and find happiness, but she was about to make a choice that would lead her on a fourteen-year detour.

With her groom-to-be on the road, Janet spent time with a woman at her job who gave her the attention she had never received from her mother: “When you don’t deal with your childhood, it could come out anytime.” This relationship with her coworker became sexual and led Janet to go from woman to woman. However, God never left Janet, even though she thought He had. Her true Father was about to renew her youth like the eagle’s (Ps. 103:5) and lift His daughter out of an identity that threatened to consume her.

Through a strange set of events, late one night in a grocery store parking lot, a woman gave Janet a brochure and invited her to church. Janet was stunned when she read the name of the church. Five years earlier, she had driven past that very same church and said to her partner, “Someday I’m going to go to that church.” The two of them looked at each other and laughed—where had those words come from?

Janet was about to find out that God had prepared a church of people who would love and accept her: “I looked just like a man. And they just loved on me.” Eight months later, one married couple stepped forward and asked Janet to move in with them. She sold her home and, at the age of forty, moved in with a Christian family who taught her what it meant to be part of a family. “Their goal was not to pull me out of homosexuality into heterosexuality, but into a relationship with Jesus. They wanted to watch God work on my life from the inside out.”

Stay tuned this week for more of Janet Boynes’ amazing story in God’s Great Do-Over – Part 2!