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I Can't Unless...

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets...I tell you the truth...not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law...Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:17-19*

Old Testament:
"You shall have no other gods before me." Exodus 20:3
New Testament:
"Put to death...greed, which is idolatry." Colossians 3:5

Old Testament:
"You shall not murder." Exodus 20:13
New Testament:
"...anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment." Matthew 5:22

Old Testament:
"You shall not commit adultery." Exodus 20:14
New Testament:
"...anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Matthew 5:28

There is often the misperception that when Jesus came to earth he lightened the load of the law. In fact, he made it more stringent. He made the law applicable not only to our actions but also to our thoughts. If God's people of the Old Testament found it impossible to keep the law how then can I, now that it is more exacting? I can't.

I can, however, when I live in relationship with Jesus, made possible by his death on the cross and by his Spirit living in me.
  • "What the law was powerless to do...God did by sending his own Son." Romans 8:3
  • "I am the vine; you are the branches...apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5
  • "He who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit." 1 Corinthians 6:17
  • "...we serve in the new way of the Spirit...." Romans 7:6
  • "...those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires." Romans 8:4
  • "...the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace...." Romans 8:6
Father, thank you for making it possible for me to live in relationship with you. Thank you for the gift of forgiveness through Jesus' death on the cross. Thank you for sending your Spirit to live in me so that I can live in a way that honours you. Thank you for being you. Thank you for loving me. Amen

*All Scripture quotations from the NIV.


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About the Author


I'm married (35 years in December 2008) with four grown sons. I love my city (Winnipeg) and my country (Canada) and promote them both to whoever will listen. God (through Jesus Christ) is the biggest part of my life. I am learning to let him take control of all areas--though I do better at this some times more than others.

I have written a book that's recently been published about part of my journey with God. In it I tell how God confronted me with the same-sex attraction issues I've struggled with all my adult life and how he led me through them to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with him. God is amazing—his forgiveness, his love, his movement in our lives when we allow him and so much more. I suspect God will never run out of things to teach me or ways to make me grow and that’s a good thing (though often very painful).

I suppose I can say that what gives me the greatest pleasure in life is telling others about…

Memories of Mikael Vincent Tien Doe Chan

Reviews of Searching for Love

If you have read the book, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. You may e-mail me at or post them in the comments section below.

A Real Testimony
I finished your book. A real testimony to what God does for us.
Leona March 3, 2009
I Had Tears Coming

I sat down to read it about a week later and ended up finishing it the same night. At first I admit I was a little bored and thought that the whole book was about a battle all in your mind, but as I continued reading this creeping thought came over me of a different...struggle in my own life, that I would never in my right mind have shared with anyone accept maybe God. I've mentioned your book to a few people because it stirs up age-old controversies that I have myself argued and wondered about, namely about whether or not homosexuality can be cured or just managed like alcoholism--you just have to stay away from temptation. I noticed at the end of your book that your struggle story …