Monday, May 25, 2009

Mixed Orientation Marriages

This moving interview with Carol Boltz (wife of contemporary Christian music artist, Ray Boltz) is timely and poignant.

She shares candidly about her family's experiences when Ray came out last year.  

The thing that I think is most touching is that through her words listeners can see themselves more clearly, no matter what side of this difficult issue they may be.

It is easy to forget the media and hype about a Christian "celebrity" and remember that we are all just people with dreams, hopes, fears and struggles.  

It ends with a challenge to the church and a dream for what is possible if the church began to reach out to its LGBT members and supported them and loved them as Christ does.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Through My Eyes

GCN (The Gay Christian Network) just announced the release of a brand new documentary called Through My Eyes.

The documentary tells the stories of several Christian young people...through their eyes.  It is made up of them telling their stories from their perspectives on what it means to be gay and Christian.

It is a great resource for churches, youth groups and individuals to spark conversation and to hear "the other side".

For so long there have been barriers between the church and gay Christians.  Now there is tool for a dialogue to begin.  Please check it out!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

For Such a Time as This...

In the Old Testament, Queen Esther was asked a rhetorical question that has come to symbolize all the poignancy and the potential of the courage it takes to face destiny and act in the face of fear.

"Who knows if you have come to the Kingdom for such a time as this...?"

Last night, I watched Prayers for Bobby on the Lifetime channel. This is the true story of a Christian mother coming to terms with the suicide of her gay son. Because of the subject matter, it is at once heart-rending but also uplifting.

(view the trailer)

It shows that from the deepest agony and the bitterest sorrow and the most intense regret can grow the greatest courage, love and virtue.

Although this incident happened several decades ago, something in me knows that this film is for our time.

This film is essential. Why? Because my brothers and sisters still suffer. They cry. They depress. And they die. And it is enough.

Those of us who claim the name of Christ should have been the first to speak for the unspoken for, not the last. We are here. We must appear. We must speak. We must be.

And we must each--gay, straight, human--speak with kindness and love. Let us err on the side of love. And let the words of Bobby's mother be our admonition.

"Before you echo Amen in your home or place of worship, think and
remember, a child is listening."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Character: Assets and Liabilities

Occasionally our lives are blessed with people who cause us to be the highest version of ourselves.

By their quiet actions and soft words they inspire the best within us and profoundly change the way we live our lives. They alter us by jarring us from the fantasy world of mindless thought and ill-chosen actions to the reality of conscious and focused habit.
I had such a jarring experience recently.

My most valuable asset is the friend who inspires me to be the best version of myself. In this sense, I am so wealthy!

I've always wanted to be a person of good character. But sometimes I just am not. I'm weak. I make excuses. And honestly, there's a certain comfort in doing the easy thing.

Recently there was an experience I had in which I was making excuses to myself. It felt good to follow the path of least resistence. Perhaps you know this path. First I made excuses to myself. Then I allowed myself "flex" space...I'll go with the flow...up to a certain point.

That was when a friend stood strong and said, "no." There was no accusation and no shame...just the unbending 'no.'

Afterwards, I was so thankful. I hope I will be just such a friend.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Shame of Thoughtlessness

About a year ago, I learned one of the most valuable lessons of my life. It was this: every moment of our lives we choose to be the man or woman that we become!

It may seem obvious, but I remember standing in my bathroom looking myself in the eye and thinking, “This is not the person I am.” With that realization, I immediately began living according to the dictates of the character that I desired.

Each of us faces our internal demons and often we fall prey to actions based in habits unconsciously formed. It is at this point that the shame of our thoughtlessness continually barrages our minds.

We think thoughts such as “How could I have done that?” or “What was I thinking?”

The truth is often that we are not thinking at all. Yet when our mind catches up to us, we feel ashamed that we have been making choices and living so unconsciously.

But it is precisely at the moment of renewed consciousness when we are most powerful. That moment of presence is the time to make better (or different) choices. It is in that moment of lucidity that our power lies.

At those moments, our souls stand before a spiritual mirror and ask who we are and who we will become. It is in the power of our will to answer that question—to choose what manner of man or woman we will be.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I'm Back!

I'm back!

I'm not only back to the world of blogging--meaning I now have a computer again--but I am also back from the annual conference of the Gay Christian Network (GCN) which was held in Anaheim, California last week.

During the week, I had the distinct blessing to meet with several other bloggers for dinner. We discussed several topics relevent to blogging, but mostly just initiated and nurtured friendships.
It was a great event, and I encourage you to look in to attending a future event with this organization.

Just an aside...on the last post, I wrote about the idea of holiness versus purity. Well, it's interesting, because I was reading some news wires a few weeks ago and read an article that indicated that the "purity" movement had done nothing to stem the tide of pre-marital sex but instead seemed to correspond to an increase in the spread of STDs.

I hope to be blogging now a little more regularly. Thanks to those of you who have stayed with me during this "off" time.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


I have neglected this blog over the past several weeks—which have stretched in to months. So I apologize to anyone who is still out there who might read it. (Even if it just pops up on your reader).

I enjoy blogging, but have been without a computer for several months now, so I only have access at work or if I go to the library or some other public place. However, I do want to start being more intentional with posting to this blog.

In the previous post, I wrote about the idea of purity. Now, I would like to present some contrasting thoughts on holiness.

One might argue that these two words are synonymous and that this is merely an exercise of semantics. I would like to point out the simple distinction—as I see it—that purity is what we think of ourselves or how others think of us; whereas holiness, to me, is a condition of the heart and mind.

Holiness speaks to character—the who that we are. Purity speaks to culture—the what (or image) that we or others see.

Why is this distinction of fundamental importance? Essentially, the answer is because holiness is what God sees when He looks at us. The Scripture tells us that man looks on the outward (purity) image, but God sees our heart (holiness) condition.

In Scripture we’re also instructed to “be Holy” as our Father in Heaven is holy. At first, I think a lot of Christians just skim over that commandment because we all know that we can’t be like God. Doesn’t Romans say that we’ve all “fallen short”?

And so we castigate ourselves each time we stumble, while at the same time excusing ourselves for missing the mark that we see as unattainable.

But I believe God’s call to holiness is a plea for our heart. By instructing us to be holy, He is saying, “be like me.” Even earthly parents delight when their children grow up to be like them.

God is saying, “I want you to have a heart like I have.” God’s heart of holiness consists of so much more than a set of rules we adhere to or a series of ethical codes by which we live our lives. God’s heart is infinitely lovely, just, pure, true, kind, considerate, compassionate and good.

So perhaps instead of taking purity pledges, we should determine to seek after the heart of God. Perhaps we should seek to be good rather than to be right. (And I have a feeling that when we seek after God’s heart and become like him, the other issues will fall in to line perfectly and without guilt or shame).

The Problem with Purity

When I was growing up in Middle America in the 80s and 90s, the popular topic for every church youth group was purity. We had purity rallies where we made purity promises sealed with purity rings (or necklaces or other “purity” paraphernalia).

Although I understand the intent, in some ways, it seems to ensure that we stayed focused on the superficial…the topics—as it were—and not the real issues. Maybe that’s how the devil wants it.

You see, if we focus on purity, we become self-absorbed. We constantly focus on what behaviors (physical or psychological) make us pure or impure and we stay caught up in the pursuit of this state of purity.

The other night I heard Dr. Phil say something that stuck with me. He was advising a couple on the brink of divorce

He said, “We often argue about the topics—such as who left the dirty laundry out, or whose turn it is to pick up the kids when we should really be discussing the issues—trust, love and integrity.”
What is true for romantic relationships is true for us as Christians. When it comes to morality, we often talk a lot about the topics (purity) and not about the real issue (holiness).

Our “purity” becomes a spiritual badge of honor that we proudly display to everyone around us. It is a ruler by which we measure the shortcomings of others. In the worse case, it becomes the switch by which we self-castigate.

Whether our sense of purity leads to arrogance (i.e. “I’m better than you”) or to false humility (i.e. shame—“I’ll never measure up”) it is equally destructive.

Our obsession often leads to arrogance and a critical spirit. But it seems that more Christians suffer from the sense of shame and self-loathing that is brought on by not being pure enough.

As new Christians, we are taught that all of us “fall short” of God’s glory. No matter what we do, we will never measure up. There is this inherent sense of failure built in to our salvation, regardless of how hard we try to live purely

But Christ desires our freedom. We are set free from “the curse of the law.” When He frees us, the Word declares that we are “free indeed” (or free for sure!). What did Christ say about why He came? “I have come that you might have abundant life.”

God’s Word does speak of our shortcomings. Christ himself said, “I’ve come to call sinners to repentance.” However, our lives should not be governed by the pursuit of the unattainable and selfish state of purity, but rather, we should live holy lives. Christ calls us to holiness…and that is a different matter altogether.

It is a call to freedom. It then becomes not about what we do, but about who we are.

Blessing of Inconvenience

Sometimes inconveniences are really a blessing.

Last week, I was in line at Burger King waiting for my lunch. It wasn't terribly busy, as I take my lunch later in the day. The noon rush was over.

I waited patiently, but I only have a 1/2 hour lunch break, so as the time dragged on, I was a bit concerned.

Finally, the employee at the counter told the manager that I'd been waiting nearly ten minutes for my sandwich. The manager turned to the ladies in back (who'd been just standing there -- in plain sight of the customers -- chatting up a storm). Within moments, I had my sandwich.

On the way out, the counter employee asked if I wanted a Hershey pie to take on my way.

I quickly accepted. As I left the restaurant the idea of inconvenience being a blessing came to mind and I realized that there are all sorts of "inconveniences" in my life that are actually blessings.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Answers and The Uncertainty of Doubt

What happens when you get what you want?

For me, a sense of boredom always seems to set in. I soon find myself looking for the next best thing—whether it be professional or personal.

We spend so much time searching, looking here and there, yearning for what our heart desires. But what happens when the yearning is over? What happens when you find that you have found what you are searching for?

For me this happened when I quit searching. But it wasn’t a conscious thing. It was a process and a decision made as I grew and matured emotionally. I didn’t realize that it was happening at the time.

As soon as I quit grasping, what I was looking for appeared before my eyes. Now, I am experiencing the uncertainty of doubt. I am mildly cynical perhaps. I ask myself, “Is this really what I’m looking for?”

I am still surprised every time that the answer comes back to me.

Yes, it is!