Welcome back, Dennis. What would you like
for our readers to know about you personally?
In 1981, I
left a homosexual identity and have walked in freedom from it for almost 36
years now. From the time I was a small boy, I felt different. As I grew older,
I began to have feelings for the same sex. Walking in confusion over my sexual
identity for years, I gave into the temptations and believed I was born that
way. Expecting peace to come, it never did. Out of desperation and after trying
to take my own life, I turned toward God and His Word and asked Him to reveal
to me His intention for my identity as a man. What I discovered has been revolutionary
in my life.
Tell us about your family.
Melinda, and I will celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary on August 12. We
have raised our nine children (Yes, they are all ours and yes we meant to have
them, lol!) in northeastern Oklahoma.
We are empty-nesters now but are about to welcome our 9th grandbaby! We are
experiencing heaven on earth as a result.
Those grandchildren and great grandchildren
(James and I have three of these.) are priceless gifts from God. Have you
written other nonfiction books?
Do you have any other books in the works
Yes. I am
always working on something. The book I am presently working on with my
publisher is a brand new children’s book called The Incredible Growing Basketball Goal. This is the true story of
an episode from my own childhood when I asked my dad for a basketball goal. He
informed me that we did not have enough money for a goal. As I turned away in
disappointment, my dad replied, “But I do have enough money for a basketball
goal seed! We will grow one, son.” This book is my recounting of this real
adventure and is intended to be read to children by their parents and
grandparents. It is a real-life laying-down-of-life story I was fortunate
enough to live. It is illustrated by an amazing artist and friend, Debbie
Grizzle. She has captured the heart of the book and has rendered pictures that
take one back to a more innocent time. Vintage in look, I dare say the
illustrations alone will sell the book! This book will be available in
I’d love to feature it on my blog. What
kinds of hobbies and leisure activities do you enjoy?
I wrote Renewing
Your Mind: Identity and the Matter of Choice for the simple reason
that, due to the many times I share my story publicly, I am inundated with
people asking me how I came to such freedom from my temptations and freedom
from my past. I needed a concise yet thorough way to do that. Another reason I
wrote the book is because I remember being a young man wishing someone would
tell me freedom in Christ was possible - but no one ever did. My hope is to
point young people to Jesus. He is the Answer. I am just a man.
What do you want the reader to take away
from the book?
My hope is
that people from all walks of life would understand a few things as they read
this book. Every feeling we have is attached to a thought we have thought.
Proverbs 23:7 tells us that “as [a man] thinks within himself, so he is.” In
Romans 12:2 we the writer urges us “do not be conformed to this world, but be
transformed by the renewing of your mind”. These 2 verse became life to me,
telling me that I could change the way I feel by changing the way I think. In
addition, my hope is that the reader would come away with a new way of thinking
about the circumstances of life…that if we choose to see from God’s point of
view - even the worst circumstances - we can see hope, restoration, freedom,
and victory over our temptations. My ultimate desire? That God would be
glorified and that people would define themselves according to God’s order and
design rather than by their feelings or whims or cultural norm.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell
my readers about you or your book?
to me doing all the talking, my wife wrote one of the 20 chapters included in
the book! Although her temptations were different than mine, she discovered the
same truths and experienced the same freedom I discovered as she simply chose
to think and see life from God’s point of view rather than her own.
Please give us the first page or two from
This is the
preface of the book, Renewing Your Mind: Identity and the
Matter of Choice:
were born of my confusion over my identity. This confusion resulted in chaotic thinking
in regard to my sexuality. Before you proceed in reading this book, bear in
mind that due to my own past mental struggles concerning my identity, I receive
countless requests for help in this particular area. Even if your identity
struggle is not of the sexual nature, the same principles of God’s Word—Truth—apply
to you and your situation. It is my desire to make this book as simple as
possible, yet as comprehensive as to be useful. Since I am no psychologist, I
am offering only the wisdom I have gained from my experience in walking out the
Truth I am trying to convey in this book. That being said, let’s dive right in
to my journey.
I did not
want to be defined as an angry man. I did not want to be defined as a fearful
man. I did not want to be defined as a homosexual. I did not want to be defined
as a recovering homosexual. I did not want to be defined as an emotional basket
case—yet at one time in my life, I felt all those things. I felt that those
things defined me, since that was the way I felt. Feelings define no one.
Feelings simply tell us what we are thinking about. If we can change the way we
think, we can change the way we feel. Easier said than done, right?
thought on feelings: Why in the world would anyone allow the way they feel to
define their entire being? I sometimes feel like lashing out in anger; yet, I
don’t—and I do not call myself an angry person just because I felt that way. I
sometimes feel like taking something that does not belong to me; yet, I do not
call myself a thief just because I felt like stealing something. I sometimes
feel like a loser; yet, I do not allow that feeling to define who I am as a
I have comes as a result of something I have thought. Each feeling I have is
attached to a thought I have had. What I have learned is that if I change the
way I think, I can change the way I feel. Some have told me I am simply
brainwashing myself—and I have to agree. I have allowed Truth to wash away the
lies I have thought about myself and have replaced those lies with right
thinking about who and Whose I am. And guess what? My feelings have followed
Don’t get me
wrong. This has not always been easy. It is a battle, but a battle worth
fighting! Though I have fallen at times, I just keep getting back up. The only
failure is the person who falls and chooses to not get back up.
I do not
define myself. My Maker gets to do that. I seek Jesus. He reveals the lies I
believe and shows me the Truth. It is up to me to put off those lies and to
replace them with the Truth. A depth of freedom has come as a result of this
mind renewal that I never thought possible. This realization keeps me seeking
Jesus for more! It has afforded me something the world seems to think is
something feels right doesn’t mean it is, and it—that feeling—certainly does
not define who I am.
urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and
holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of
your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good
and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:1-2)
For the first
twenty-two years of my life, I felt different. At first, I felt like I was
something less than a real boy. I enjoyed drawing and playing the piano, and I
loved dancing. My emotional sensitivity was interpreted as effeminate, and my
sensitivities made the other boys uncomfortable…and I felt uncomfortable around
other boys. I felt right at home with girls.
hit and sexual awareness set in, I felt as if I were something less than a man.
I felt homosexual. I felt gay. That awareness—that feeling—lasted until I was
twenty-two years old. At that age, something wonderful happened—or began to
happen—that would change everything I thought about myself. What I discovered
was something revolutionary and new, yet as old as time itself.
discovered was that I could change my feelings by simply changing the way I
thought about myself—about the world in general. One of the first things that
changed was my perception of homosexuality. No longer would I think of it as my
identity. After that eventful day, I began to think of it as merely a
temptation—an attraction that was contrary to the way God had made me, an
awareness that somewhere along the way, my thoughts concerning my sexual
identity had somehow been co-opted by what I now refer to as stinkin’ thinkin’.
I had believed
realizes they have been lied to—been duped—they feel betrayed. And I certainly
felt betrayed. When one feels betrayed, they stop trusting the one who betrayed
them, right? This book is my attempt to explain and express the journey toward
mental and spiritual wholeness that set me free from something the world says
one cannot be free of—something the world says you do not need to be free of. I
wrote this book in the hope that someone else out there might be going through
the same struggle I faced—regardless of whether that struggle involves their
sexual identity or an addiction or a wrong belief system that leads to constant
defeat—and find what they are looking for in Jesus: the Answer.
My desire is
to operate in complete freedom—what my Maker calls freedom, rather than in what
the world calls freedom: man doing what man feels like doing and calling it an
identity in order to make them feel better about themselves. Feelings change
according to the thoughts we think. Unless and until we deal with the
underlying thoughts that lead to the feelings we have, we will never get to the
root of our issues and never walk in true and real freedom, and negative
feelings will rule the day. It is the man/woman who deals with their thought
life—replacing lies for what is true—who walks in true freedom.
involves questions I have had to answer through the years that have led me from
stinkin’ thinkin’ to right thinking; from feelings of rejection and confusion
over sexual identity to feelings of knowing who and Whose I am and feelings of
heterosexuality. I invite you to read on and challenge you to ask yourself the
questions contained within these pages. I challenge you to see your life and
identity from a Christ-centered point of view rather than from a
humanistic/man-centered point of view. One leads to futility. One leads to
hope. Which will you choose?
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