Wednesday, April 30, 2008

i might have found someone to come out to!!!

i have been praying for quite a long time now that God would send me a low-risk friend who could potentially be someone i feel safe with enough to come out to.

keep in mind, i have not come out to ANYONE! but you faithful readers, of course. but as of now, only me, God and my Hope knows about my sexual identity. i have not told anyone else! and this was hard for me because i so badly want to tell someone. 

so this past weekend i had an amazing opportunity to spend some quality time with a new friend of mine. she is awesomely open-minded and loving. we had many conversations throughout the weekend, but one conversation was especially appropriate. we got on the topic of homosexuality. she asked me my views and i told her i didn't think it was a sin. of course i told her why i thought that and i told her my journey of coming to that realization. i felt so comfortable with her and that's why i felt safe telling her my true views on homosexuality. she's really the only person besides Hope who knows my views on the issue. i have to be careful because if it got out that i think its ok, i would get into some trouble. 

i live in extreme conservatism. surrounded by fundamentalism.

so i haven't even been able to tell anyone my true beliefs on homosexuality, much less that i am gay! but this weekend i was finally able to get that off my chest. 

she responded with intrigue and interest. she listened to what i had to say. of course i was trying to be smooth, so as not to let on that i'm actually gay. she responded fabulously. and then she started to tell me her stance on the issue. she still isn't sure whether or not it is a sin. she gets stuck on romans 1. so we dialogued about all kinds of different things that i have been learning and she is extremely sensitive and kind, especially about committed monogamous same sex relationships. 

because i saw that she was safe and low-risk and open minded, i realized that soon she might be the first person i officially come out to. and i couldn't be more excited about it!

i encouraged her to read "what God has joined together?" - the book i've blogged about several times. and i encouraged her to watch "for the Bible tells me so." she has already ordered the book. and plans on watching the movie.

so i look forward to seeing what God does here. but all i know is that i'm extremely encouraged. God basically dropped this girl in my path and i'm realizing that she is the perfect first person to potentially come out to. she will keep the secret. and love me regardless of what she believes about homosexuality. i cannot wait to tell her about the real me! 

i plan on hanging out with her again in several months, so that just might be the time i decide to tell her. of course i'll wait til i feel a peace about sharing. but i'm pretty sure she's my "person". hope is so excited too!

God is good! He is so good to not leave us alone. and He loves when we're in community. and He has already begun building my future safe community, even if that process seems slow to me. i am so thankful for this new friend of mine who i might actually be able to confide in.

Friday, April 25, 2008

i just couldn't keep this to myself...

i just received the most encouraging email from a friend, in response to a comment i got from someone who was confused as to why i'm hiding my sexual orientation from the christian community in which i do ministry. the email was just too good to keep to myself, so here is the email: i hope it encourages you as much as it is encourages me in my "coming out" process.

Dear Hidden,

First, a person in ministry is obligated to their community to help to keep the focus of that ministry on God (and not the minister her/himself) whenever possible. There are a million ways for this to go awry, and this "hot button" issue is one of the easiest. Assuming (and there's no guarantee) that you get to KEEP the job leading the successful ministry, after revealing this information. Still, it's virtually guaranteed to get in the way of ministry until it's an issue that the church-as-a-whole can see from a healthier angle.

Second, your safety is definitely an issue here. You stand to risk a job (and possibly a career) in which you are happy and successful...your income, your community, your friends, your family...and the risk is based on a characteristic over which you do not have control. This is not something to do lightly. I absolutely agree that "out" is preferable--healthier for you and everyone else. The truth is almost always the right answer. (And if you have a problem with the word "almost," consider the position of Miep Gies, hiding the Frank family from the Nazis. She lied to protect them. This is different only in the level of certainty of physical harm; there will certainly be pain on many fronts following the Big Reveal.) However, that isn't something to do quickly, unadvisedly, or without substantial preparation. Safety is an issue here, and that comes first. Having it happen in a compassionate, stable and healthy way is also crucial. God has called you to do that ministry, in that place. God knew what he was getting, and will help you to continue living out his purpose--whether or not that purpose is clear to the questioner...or even to you. :-)

Coming out is sometimes years-long a process, in which you lay the foundation (brick by brick) to live out in the world. If you don't have that support in place first, it will be damaging to you and to those you care about. Prudence and hypocrisy are two different things. It took me about five years of preparation to be fully "out" in every aspect of my life, and I don't regret a single day of that preparation. I didn't ask to be gay (and spent about 20 years fruitlessly trying NOT to be). I didn't choose to be in a position to jeopardize everything I care about, and I'm betting you didn't, either. These are the cards I was dealt. I had to grow into the ability to live honestly, and my community had to grow into the ability to accept it. Rome was not built in a day.

Also, there's a way in which this isn't a fair question. It's a little bit like growing up in the projects and getting the "I'm a self-made man" speech from someone who grew up in a home with two loving, not-overworked parents, adequate food, solid education,etc. "I did it; so can you poor people!" Well, maybe, but don't you DARE think it's the same thing. Some people are born on third base; some are born on first. It doesn't mean they can't both get to home plate, but the person born on first sure has to work harder for it. have to find the peace within yourself to do this courageously and compassionately, in your own way and your own timing. Relationship with God, prayer, grace, patience, and perseverance will be necessary. I'm a firm believer that God lives in the gaps between us, and will help us to bridge them when we're ready.

Peace, girl.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

deep in my heart

i just received an email from a concerned and confused blog reader. the email reads:


Hey there.

Just curious. If you're comfortable with being gay then why you hidin' it? Is it because deep in your heart you know it's wrong?

I'm a little confused.


i completely understand why you would be confused. and maybe some other readers are confused, as well. i explained this early on in my blogs, but instead of just telling you to go back and read all my blogs, i will explain it anew here in blog land.

yes, i am extremely comfortable with being gay. actually, comfortable might not be the right word. i have embraced and accepted it yes. but it's hard to get too comfortable when i live in such a hostile world toward members of the GLTB community. it's difficult to be comfortable with my sexual orientation when i live in a christian community that thinks gay people are doomed to hell. and it's uncomfortable not to be able to tell my family and friends whom i love dearly. but God never really called us to be comfortable, so i'm not really that worried about it.

in response to your question "why you hidin' it?" i give you this:

trust me, if i didn't have to hide it, i wouldn't. i would love to shout it from the roof tops! i wish i could go on tv and tell everyone that i'm gay. i wish i could be the poster child for a person who actually loves Jesus more than anything and who also happens to be gay. i wish i could tell my closest friends and beloved family. but i can't. and no, it's not because "deep in my heart i know it's wrong." quite the contrary.

i've never been more sure of anything, besides my salvation and calling into full-time ministry. i am extremely confident with who i am deep in my heart. deep in my heart, i find Christ seated on His throne. by His kindness and grace, i have set Him apart as Christ the Lord in my heart. deep in my heart i find nothing but peace and God's sovereignty. deep in my heart i find the Lord smiling on me, living through me, and working His power in me.

the reason i have to hide it is this:

if i didn't hide it right now, i would lose everything. and call me a coward or whatever you want to call me, but i'm not prepared for that right now. if i came out, i would lose my job. my church would ask me to leave. it would destroy a ministry i know i'm called to. it would ruin my relationship with my family and most of my friends. it would end what i'm doing right now. and i know that what i'm doing right now is exactly what God has called me to do: spread the gospel and lead worship. therefore, until He makes another way for me, i must remain hidden. i know this won't make sense to you, and that's ok. i'm not expecting to change your mind about homosexuality. but i did think that i owed you and whoever else reads this, an answer.

i don't know yet how to balance my ministry and my sexual orientation. i don't know how or when i will tell people who i really am. if i start stressing out about that, i lose my joy and peace. so i am trying to take each day at a time. i am consistently surrendering to the Lord, relying on Him to get me through the day-to-day. i am throwing myself on His grace while laying my burdens and anxieties about the future down at His feet.

God will show me when it is safe to come out from hiding. but right now, it's not the right timing. for me, keeping my sexual orientation private is how i'm able to continue on in ministry and continue making ends meet without completely destroying my community. and yes, i know God will provide when eventually i do come out... but i'm not rushing into anything. His timing is perfect so i will wait.

thanks to those of you who have written me such sweet notes of encouragement in this process. thank you for reminding me to be patient with myself and to not be so hard on myself. and thank you for reminding me that it's ok to protect my calling at this time. thanks to those of you who edify me with you words of wisdom and perseverance. and thanks, even, to those of you who post combative/homophobic things to me. because even in that, i seek the Lord and His affirmation or conviction.

He is good. He is sovereign. and He will keep me in the center of His will. where we get tripped up is when we judge others and act like we know everything. that's what happens when God is small and man is big. but the truth of the matter is, it's all about God. He is not small, He never has been. He is God, the I AM and He is sovereign and big enough to speak to me, and i praise Him that He does!

i am hidden in Christ. i am hidden from others. but the important thing is, at the end of the day, i am a child of God. and He is pleased with me. His pleasure, grace, and love toward me are not based on what some people might think of me or the issue of homosexuality, and that is refreshing. when all is said and done, it comes down to who we are before God.

broken and needy, Lord i am Yours. Abba Father, i love you. thank You for first loving me and for never changing Your love toward me.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

oh no! the gay ring

i was sitting at lunch with several Christian friends today and one of my friend's phones started ringing. it was a song i'd never heard before. but a guy friend of mine sitting next to me commented on how that was a guy singing about another guy. it was a love song apparently. he was petrified and immediately informed my friend that she had a gay ring.

she was equally mortified and seemed disgusted at the very thought of her cell phone being contaminated with a "gay ring." oh my gosh, call the authorities! everybody run for cover! quick, throw the cell phone into the pitcher of water at the table!

seriously though, every single person at the table started making jokes and freaking out. the poor girl who owned the phone was devastated. she immediately handed the phone to my guy friend and said, "fix it! i can't have a gay ring tone on my phone! please fix it!"

as if the phone was about to explode or something.

and there i sat, with a smirk on my face but a little twinge of pain in my soul. there we were, a group of christians stressing out about a ring tone from a song that just so happened to be written from a guy to another guy he apparently loved. look how far we've gone...

but again, i sat in silence. i still dont have the guts to speak up against instances like this because i dont want to be attacked like i am sometimes in these blogs. (by the way, anonymous - the negative gay bashing "prophet" one - please stop posting on my blog because i don't read them anymore anyway and i immediately push "reject" when i see your comments. so for everyone's sake, please stop writing because, with all do respect, you're wasting your time. you should start taking advantage of all the time you spend on trying to convince people of your interpretation of scripture, and you should start trusting in God's sovereignty, praying for people who are different from you, and loving them... never underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit in an abiding Christian's life. He is sovereign and you are not.)

ok as i was saying... i was silent but i know someday i'll be more bold. i was just heart broken to see mature christians who truly enjoy loving people, all the sudden fall into the immature tactic of making fun of gay people and painting them in a horrible light. what if, instead of drawing attention to "gay rings" and "gay burritos" (see a previous blog) we actually started loving gay people? i think if Jesus happened to be at the table that day, he might have encouraged us to stop with our fruitless immaturity and start loving people. stop with the trivial. let's start loving and truly living.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Highlights from "What God Has Joined Together" - part 2

if you haven't yet gone and picked up a copy of this book, go go go! it's amazing. see my first posting on highlights from the book and you will hear my praise for this brilliant book. 

more things that stood out to me in this writing:

in response to james dobson's erroneous quote that hundreds of thousands of gays are being "cured" and becoming straight, i give you Clint Trout's account found on p. 76 of "What God Has Joined Together?" :

"Confident and determined to become heterosexual, I began my five years of reparative therapy. My counselor acquainted me with Exodus International.... The cornerstone of their psychotherapy is the theory that people are gay because of a breakdown in the relationship with their same-sex parent... My life was centered on becoming straight. I went to therapy twice a week and group once a week. I read approximately 50 books on the subject. I attended about five conferences on reparative therapy. I had hundreds upon hundreds of prayer sessions, some of which lasted all night. I confessed every fantasy and experience of attraction. I was bathed in holy water and holy oil. I was baptized twice. [Four and a half years later] I was still gay. Though I had never even kissed a man, my longing for both emotional and physical intimacy with one was almost overpowering. Despite all of the prayer, confession and therapy, nothing changed that fact... Of the several hundred people in "ex-gay" ministries I have met, at conferences, groups, and my own fledgling ministry, I never met anyone who had overcome his or her desire to be with people of the same sex."

WOW. i wonder what dr. dobson would say in response to that account. 

i found it interesting that the New York Times posted an article about how james dobson decided to withdraw from the team that was overseeing Ted Haggard's therapy because "the reality is i don't have the time" said dobson. interesting. yeah, of course he doesn't have time, because it would take all the time in the world! if Ted is gay, he's gay. i don't know the guy, but tons of studies show that reparative therapy is fruitless and damaging. 

see the following link comments on this article:

ok, enough of that. i can't really get started on mr. dobson because it makes me sad. but also, i can't really judge him because i used to be like that: really dogmatic in my beliefs about the sin of homosexuality. so i'll try to let it go in prayer. and i hope to God that He will reveal to james the error of his beliefs. 

i loved that the author of "What God..." used this verse in talking about changing sexual orientation: "'Can leopards change their spots?' asked the prophet Jeremiah (13:23)'"

nope. this leopard's spots aren't going anywhere. 

i sure tried. i only had 2 years of therapy, but it didn't change me. i read books and listened to talks and ordered resources from exodus. and it just left me feeling guilty, ashamed, and hopeless. i'm sure they have the best intentions, but alot of these "ministries" are hurting alot of people. i think it sets one up for failure. 

you know who changed me? God. He changed my from beating myself up over something i can't control, and He changed me into a woman who has finally embraced who she really is and who God created her to be. and i've never been happier, more fulfilled. this is truly the abundant life. 

moving on... here are more highlights from the book:

one of my favorite chapters in the book was "What the Bible Does and Doesn't Say"

here are a few excerpts i found enlightening:

"The word homosexuality is never used in Scripture. In fact, the word didn't even exist until late in the nineteenth century." - not in the original language! it was a man-made word. interesting. 

not to mention the fact that JESUS CHRIST Himself never said 1 word about it. not one word. He sure did say alot about caring for the poor though. where have we gone wrong? fundamentalist Christians talk til they're blue in the face about how bad homosexuality is, while they let children die in poverty all around them. while people like dobson take some scriptures literally especially concerning what they think the Bible says about homosexuality, they don't take them all literally. i would like to see dobson (with his 500 million dollar per year salary) give everything he has to the poor. that was in the Bible too, ya know. 

i digress...

the authors of this book deal with every single scripture that is used to attack us GLTB folks. and they deal with the verses beautifully. you'll have to buy the book to read it in detail (did i mention it's amazing?), but here are yet some more highlights about what the Bible really says:

the sodom account: (speaking of neglecting the poor)

"Sodom's sins were pride, laziness, and gluttony, while the poor and needy suffered outside her door. She was proud and did loathsome things, so I wiped her out, as you have seen" - Ezek. 16:49-50

hmm... nothing about homosexuality. it was about power and lots of other things, not homosexual intercourse. 

the authors admonish, "We need to be cautious about taking a few carefully selected verses out of context and absolutizing them for all time, unless we're likewise ready to insist that all the other regulations be followed as well." 

they (the authors, who are both straight, married with children by the way) go on to say, "We don't honor the Word of God by insisting on an erroneous translation because it's familiar or fits preconceived notions or prejudices." AMEN!

i could go on and on, but those of you reading this are probably blind from reading all this. i know my blogs can be long, and for that i don't apologize :) that's why i started the blog! to get out what's inside my head and heart. but i will stop here, and tell you that if you want to see more from this brilliant book, go get it! you can buy it cheap on amazon! then, after that, read Rob Bell's "Velvet Elvis" more on that later...

Blessings to you blog readers...


Saturday, April 12, 2008

the posting battle

recently, my blog has become a battle ground for postings from someone named "anonymous." i have decided to stop posting his/her comments because they have become combative, attack-driven and without love. but i did want to respond to one of the latest comments from anon. here is what he/she wrote after reading a line from my blog which read "i never thought the two could co-exist - christianity and homosexuality - but God tenderly changed my mind":

anon. posted:

"no He didn't honey, your deceitful heart changed your mind. God is very clear that faith in Christ and practicing homosexuality cannot co-exist." then he/she proceeds to quote 1 timothy 1:8-11 and 1 cor. 6:9-11 where the word "homosexuality" is inaccurately used in these verses' mistranslation. he/she goes on to say, "now, you can and i'm sure you do try to argue your way around this, but in both these passages the greek term "arsenokoi" is used to describe homosexual behavior as sin. and as you probably know it is a combination word that literally means "men who bed each other"' so, no, it isn't God who changed your mind, it is your darkened heart."

my intention in today's blog is not to change this person's mind. i know i can't. i love this person even though i dont him/her because i've been in their shoes. i lived 20+ years of my life believing exactly the same way. so i have no hard feelings toward this person or their language of my faith and conviction. i don't mean to argue to be defensive. i know that my words will do little to change anon.'s mind (and my goal is not to change his/her mind). but i do want to educate those of you who might be reading this blog, with something interesting that i found in response to the meaning behind the greek word as referenced to in anon's posting:

i can't copy and paste it all here, so i will just give you the website so that you can go look for yourselves. beware, it's long and informative and sheds some serious light on the true meaning of this greek word.

so like i said, this will be the last time i post any rude anonymous comments because i want my blog to uplift people, not tear them down. we must remember that it's God's kindness that leads us to repentance (not rude blog postings). it's all about His love. i want this to be about love and i know people will disagree with me at times, and i know people will try and change my mind. but only God can. i am thankful for anon's postings because it has challenged me to go back to the cross where i find myself daily. and it has challenged me to ask again for God to convict me if i am living in sin. i am flat out asking for it! and i'm not scared of the answer. God knows how deeply i long to be in His will. so i trust that if i am living in sin, He will show me. i just don't understand why He hasn't shown me that it is sin, when i've asked for conviction for almost 7 months now. not only have i not been convicted one time, but i've actually been affirmed over and over again. and i know people will say i'm deceived and i actually completely understand that argument because i used to tell gay christians that too, when i met them. so i am not judging or arguing at all. i know where they are coming from. but in this blog, i just want to be about Love. and i know that if i let these battles continue, it will never end and Love will not be the outcome. 

i'm in support of only healthy and uplifting Christ-like discussions.  but i must say to anonymous, you have been a good sport. thank you for your input and i know you are simply standing by your beliefs so i can't judge you for that. and i don't judge you. i love you. 

at the end of the day, i just wish we could all love each other regardless of where we stand on issues. after all, they will know we are Christians by our love. no wonder most of the outside world doesn't want anything to do with Christianity. from the outside looking in, it seems like all we do is just fight and bicker and argue all the time, anyway. but i am praying for a new day, when we can love each other regardless of our differences. when we can respect one another's opinions instead of attacking and disparaging people. and when we can rely on God's kindness to lead that person to repentance if indeed repentance is necessary.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Highlights from "What God Has Joined Together" - part 1

i feel like oprah when i say the following statement: i cannot stop talking about this book! well, technically i can't really talk to many people about it because that might give me away. but i can talk about it to you over and over again! if you still haven't ordered or bought the book, you totally should. it's called What God Has Joined Together? the Christian case for gay marriage, by david myers and letha dawson scanzoni. weird name, awesome writer. i used to have a lisp and i had a friend named lisa and i said her name "letha" so i feel right at home :)

anyway, i want to start blogging about my favorite parts of the book. today will be part 1.

first, the book touched on an issue i'm very passionate about: authenticity

the writers refer to an exchange between the velveteer rabbit and the skin horse. "When someone 'love you for a long, long time' explained the wise old skin horse to the velveteen rabbit, "not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the skin horse.
"Does it happen all at once or bit by bit?" he asked.
"It doesn't happen all at once... You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily... Generally, by the time you are Real you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

The writers explain that we're most real when we're connected to others (especially when you're connected to the one you were created to love). This couldn't be truer! and i think that even more so, we are most real when we're connected with our authentic selves. i have finally connected with who i really am. not who someone tells me i am or what the world says, but really who God says i am. good stuff.

the next thing that really jumped out at me was the authors' beautiful summation of theology. sometimes theology can get tricky and complicated and by the time we're finished talking about systematic theology, people are either confused or upset. but the writers did a fabulous job in depicting the gospel in the most beautiful and accurate of lights. They realize that though christians have many differences among them (like the hot button issue of whether or not homosexuality is a sin) we also hold onto a similar hope. we can agree on some things:

"Today's followers of Jesus share a faith that God exists, loves us, and made this love manifest with a supreme redeeming act, which also serves as the supreme model for our own love for others... Whatever our differences, we agree that everyone is an image bearer of God, with immeasurable worth and deserves respect. And whatever our disputes, we share a common hope-that death will not have the last word. In the end, the very end... all shall be well. We also... generally agree that truth is revealed through God's word (Scripture) and God's works (nature). Furthermore, we agree that pride is a deadly temptation, that we are all fallible and at times broken, and that we are called to worship God with an "ever reforming" spirit of humility." AMEN AND AMEN! i love it. what a beautiful explanation of how we can actually come together as Christians, despite our differences. 

what's sad though is when christians or those who claim to be, put other christians down and judge them harshly. it breaks my heart when one person disparages and judges another for any reason. we must resist pride. we must embrace humility and try to love one another as Christ loves us. Christ never used hate speech against homosexuals. we could all learn something from Him. 

one last thing, and that will be quite enough for tonight, i loved how this book pointed out the consensus among medical professionals concerning homosexuality. this blew me away. it showed me that pretty much the only group who is still buying the whole "homosexuality is a sin" thing are mostly fundamentalist christians. of whom i am a recovering one, mind you. the book reveals that half a million medical professionals agree that therapy cannot change orientation. they agree that it is actually harmful and could have dastardly effects. i could go on and on, but basically the authors compile the research and findings of top medical professional organizations and they all agree that homosexuality is not a choice and that it is unchangeable. now i know there are many out there who might agree with this, yet still think homosexuality is a sin. i can't judge those people because i thought that once, as well. but that's when it's important for that person to dig deep into scripture and see what the Bible really says about the issue of homosexuality. i dug and dug and prayed and prayed for years. and throughout the course of that intense studying time and praying and fasting, i finally realized i'd been deceived into thinking it was a sin. i prayed for years asking God to reveal to me His Truth and He did. some may say i'm deceived now by satan, but it's quite the contrary. finally i have eyes to see. the God i am in love with would not allow me to be deceived when everyday for a year i asked Him to show me if i was wrong about everything. all i get over and over again is affirmation after affirmation. life outside of the box and 2 dimensional thinking is so much better than the alternative, in which i lived for 20+ years. i am so thankful that sanctification involves enlightenment and that God is taking us from glory to glory with new understandings. and that He is big enough and sovereign enough to keep us from being deceived if we are truly and daily seeking Him and abiding in His truth, Word, and Spirit. 

whether you are christian or non-christian, gay or not, or whether you believe being gay is a sin or not, i encourage you to read this book. educate yourself on what's really out there, outside of what you've always known. it's time to seek peace and pursue it. it's time to hold fast to the Truth. not the truth we've been taught and convinced of by people and misinterpretation of the Bible... no, i'm talking about the Truth that is found deep within the heart of the God who loves perfectly, the God who sanctifies us and the Holy Spirit who leads and guides us into all truth. 

thank you Jesus for saving me from myself. thank you for revealing your truth to me. thank you that you are big enough to reveal your heart to me despite my deceiver. thank you that in the end, you will and have and will continue to show me the way. i want more of you Jesus. i need you and i throw myself at the foot of your cross asking that you would continue to lead me and guide me into all truth, by your Spirit. search me Abba and know my thoughts. test me and know my anxious heart. see if there be any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. reveal your truth to your creation. open our eyes Lord that we might see you. truly see you, for who you really are, not who we've been told you are. open our ears to hear your truth and to see into what you really say in your word. keep us from the evil one and shine your bright light of grace, love, tenderness, mercy and forgiveness through us, your humble servants. we'll give you all the glory. amen and amen. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

For the Bible tells me so...

what an incredible movie! wow wow and then even some more wow. it was encouraging and depressing all at the same time. i cried and laughed. i was uplifted and discouraged. but mostly, i was excited about what the future holds! there are people and churches out there that are "getting it." people are embracing the truth about homosexuality. churches and true Christ-followers are finally digging into scripture and realizing that it doesn't condemns homosexuality. i already knew this (though only recently) but this movie helped drive the point home. 

if you haven't seen it, i absolutely encourage you to. it's called "for the bible tells me so" and it is a remarkable movie and one of the most important movies of our time. especially since the issue of homosexuality is splitting churches all over the world. this issue must be resolved for the body of Christ to reunite. 

some highlights of the movie:

knowing that there are 100s, if not 1000s of people out there just like me. christians who have been gay their whole lives but who tried to change it or hide it or deny it. but it doesn't work! since God made us this way, we must embrace it and start really living! the only thing holding me back was because i thought it was a sin. my whole life i'd heard "abomination... sin" from the pulpit and sunday school teachers, and yes, my parents. but now that i have a mind of my own, i have gone deep into the Word to see what the Bible really says about homosexuality. guess what Jesus says about it? nothing. yep, that's right. nothing. so it was beautiful to hear testimonies from people just like me, who came out of hiding. i just pray that my family will respond in similar ways that these families did. i just keep praying. i fell asleep last night again praying and praying for my family and friends. pleading even through tears that God would reveal His truth to christianity. 

i was heart broken by how combative some people in the church are against homosexuals. the movie showed a clip from jimmy swaggart where he yells with bigotry something like: homosexuals are an abomination and if some guy hits on me, i'll kill him and tell God he died.

really? has this what it's come to? "Godly" men preaching about hatred and violence from the pulpit. guys like james dobson fooling millions of people spreading his rhetoric of misinformation and lies. at one point he said there are hundreds of thousands of homosexuals being cured with help from God. um... show me those people james. where are they? because guess what? you can't change someone sexual orientation. did God make a mistake when He made gays? was He like, "woops, i messed up on that one, i guess He'll just have to change." uh, no. far from it. we are gay. it is at the core of who we are. it is not something that can be changed. maybe that's why ALL the major professional organizations agree that it is harmful to try and change someone's sexuality. 

facts are a stubborn thing, it's been said. and that is true. the facts are true and it proves that being gay isn't a choice. ignorance is a choice though, and i wish these "godly" men shown in the film would try and educate themselves to the truth about sexual orientation. choose to be enlightened. but no, some people think that's just too hard. we humans like our boxes. but God is ready to bust out of the box we've put Him and His Word in. no human has the corner market on the knowledge of God. only God does. therefore, how about trying to just get to know Him instead of passing judgement on a group of people you really know nothing about?

i digress :)

so the movie was amazing. yes, its heart breaking that there are so many people who call themselves christians who are waging war against homosexuals. but it was so encouraging to know there are true Christ-followers out there who are fighting for our cause. there are GODLY, truly GODLY men and women in ministry who are changing the world, who also happen to be gay. 

sorry, this is such a long blog, but the movie truly was amazing! but you'll just have to watch it for yourself! 

let me tell you something about me... God started using me THE MOST when i finally embraced my gay identity as a Christ-follower. yes, He busted out of the box i put Him in and His Spirit unleashed over everyone i sing for. i am worshipping like never before. and so are the people around me. it has been amazing to witness. when i finally accepted who God made me, that is when He has really turned up the heat on my ministry! i'm just trying to ride the wave and hang on for dear life! because He is moving and it is a beautiful thing to witness and be a part of. how awesome a privilege is it to get to be included in what God is doing to bring glory to His name in this world. 

make much of Yourself Jesus! reveal Your truth about how You feel about homosexuals. quiet the mouths of people who are ignorant and hateful! and raise the voice of the people who are fighting for Love and Equality! prepare our hearts for truth and unify Your body!

i'm ready. are you? 

Sunday, April 6, 2008

integrity and the lack thereof

i have always wanted to be a woman of integrity. i would love for people to say about me: "she's a woman of her word, she has integrity, etc." 

i heard a sermon the other day on integrity and deception. and i knew it was going to be extremely difficult to listen to, because after all, i am basically living a life of deception. i am putting forth a facade that i am a normal, straight christian in full-time ministry. yet, at the core of who i am, i am gay. i've always wanted my public life to honestly represent my private life but that is not an option right now. and it was very hard to hear the content of this sermon.

first of all, facade means "a misrepresentation intended to conceal something unpleasant."

dont get me wrong, i dont think my being gay is unpleasant. but it is unpleasant to mainstream christianity, and that happens to be the primary world in which i live and minister and do my job. but to survive, and not be completely kicked out of the ministry, i have to misrepresent. thus, my struggle and the tension between being real and being cautious. 

the speaker said it this way: lying is sinful. bearing false witness is sinful, in all circumstances. half-truths are deceptive and thus, a lie. equivocating is lying as well. deceiving others can also be included in this category. all i kept hearing was that God wants us to be people of integrity. i agree. but what if it's not that easy?

what about the people who were hiding jews from the nazis? when the hitler folks came around their house and said, "are you hiding any jews?" i think it was probably ok for them to lie. i was asking God what He thought about this, but i didn't really get an answer. 

so i'm sitting there in my chair seemingly sinking lower and lower as i listened to the message on integrity.  the speaker said with an emphatic tone, "integrity comes from the math word integer, which is a whole number. thus, integrity means to live with wholeness... the definition being: 'the quality or state of being complete and undivided.'" then there was a challeging question to the listeners, "are you complete and undivided? does your private life match your public life? are you living a life of half-truths and living from a heart divided by lies?"

ouch. ouch. and more ouch. 

yes! i cried to the Lord. and He knows. He knows that i'm living a double-life. my most happy and natural life is the one i live when no one is looking, when i embrace my gay identity and love the woman who i was created for. but the life people see is the life i portray when i am fulfilling the role of worship pastor at my extremely conservative and border-line fundamentalist church! that life being a straight, got-it-all-together good christian moral girl.

it hit me like a 2x4... i am not living in integrity. but Lord, have i any choice? what are my other options? if i come out, then i'll be kicked out. if i get real, then i'll get fired. if i live with integrity, i will be shunned with judgement. and that would mean i would have to say goodbye to the ministry God has called me to. sure, there are ministries that would allow me to use my giftings and also be gay. but coming out would end what i am doing now, and what i'm doing now is exactly what i feel called to do.

oh the tension and heart-dividedness! i know the Lord will iron this out in my heart, but right now it just makes me anxious. i want so badly to be like the people i saw on the movie last night "for the Bible tells me so." i want to shout it from a mountain! or, at least i want to tell my dad or close friends. but right now, that is not an option. so what do i do? well, i have many nights like last night: i fell asleep praying for my family, that God would soften their hearts and prepare them to hear what the Truth is about scripture and homosexuality and also the sexual orientation of their daughter. i dream of the day when i can sit my daddy down and say, daddy, i'm gay. and i long for the moment when he holds me regardless and says, honey, it's ok, i love you. but what's more, i would love for God to reveal to him that it's not a sin at all. this will take an act of God. good thing i have the God of the universe acting on my behalf! 

so, integrity or not, i am still abiding in Christ and trying my hardest to trust and live a life of surrender. i pray He has grace on me as i try to figure out how to live out my calling and also my sexual orientation. 

i would love to hear anyone's comments who might know how to do this whole living with integrity but being in the closet thing... 

Saturday, April 5, 2008

the book that is rocking my world

hope and i have been reading the most incredible book over the past week. it's fairly addicting and therefore we are finishing it quite fast. if you are reading this blog, i would STRONGLY encourage you to go out, as soon as possible, and get this book and read it! i am not one to make book suggestions. because let's face it, i dont read alot. but this is one book i absolutely think you need to read, if you haven't already.

i had no idea how informative it would be, but let me just say that this book is officially rocking my world. whether you are straight, gay, christian, non-christian, or whatever, you absolutely have to check this book out.

"What God Has Joined Together? A Christian case for gay marriage" by David G. Myers and Letha Dawson Scanzoni

wow wow and then more wow. holy wow in fact. this book opened my eyes even further to what God thinks about homosexuality. and then God took me a step further: what He thinks about gay marriage. it was amazing to read how every single argument i've ever heard against homosexuality can completely be dealt with and proved wrong. 

i have a newfound confidence and God so affirmed who i am with this book! that's why i want you all to read it. regardless of where you are in life or who you are or Whose you are, check this book out. it's the real deal. tons of evidence and science, coupled with tons of scripture and spirituality.

aside from reading this book, Hope and i have been praying like crazy for our families and friends. i doubt i'll come out anytime soon, so i figured i might as well start praying that God would soften the hearts of my loved ones in the area of homosexuality. 

i am extremely close with my entire family and they would be devastated to hear that i have embraced my gay identity. everyone in my family, everyone in my circle of friends, and i'm fairly sure most people in my church think that homosexuality is a sin. i can't blame them, because i agreed with them for 20 + years. i just pray now that they would be enlightened as i have been. i have such a burning and yearning for my parents to know. especially my father. that would be such an amazing thing to be able to confide in him. he's the kind of guy that would still love me through it, while also praying i would "be convicted of my life of sin." so that would be ridiculously hard. 

i am convinced that the rest of my family would NEVER even remotely consider the possibility that homosexuality is ok with God, barring some unforseen miracle. and i know God is big enough and that nothing is impossible with Him. i have just had such an increasing burden for my family and friends. 

i am so thankful for cecilia's blog ( because it has so encouraged hope and i. how awesome it was to read how she told her family and no one died from shock. i am praying the same for me, some day in the future.

tonight hope and i will be cuddled up on the couch with the movie "for the Bible tells me so". i've heard a ton of awesome stuff about this movie, so we're so excited to finally be able to watch it and see what it's all about! i'm a little nervous because it's a touchy subject. but i'm ready to see it. i so long for the day when christiandom quits marginalizing GLTB. 

thanks to all of you who have been commenting on my blogs. i seriously can't even begin to tell you all how much that means to me. i really had no clue how to start blogging and i was nervous to bear my soul to complete strangers. but God has amazingly enough used blogging to begin some serious healing and freedom in me. though i am in the closet and hidden from everyone, i feel like i have an on-line community who i can be real with. i love being myself with you all. thank you for not judging me. thank you for accepting me, but not only that, thank you for going above and beyond and actually encouraging and affirming my faith and sexual orientation. 

i'm getting better and better about admitting who i really am: a daughter of the Most High God who is gay. wow. 

more to come in the upcoming blogs: my favorite snippets from the book i was telling you about; my response to the movie i'll be watching tonight, and also the heart break i felt from hearing a sermon about lying and deceiving. more later... must go watch movie now...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

how i found hope

thanks to those of you who actually read my first blog! i was so surprised that it was actually read by a few! so cool. blogging is awesome and so helpful! i already feel better after writing that first blog. it was amazing to go back and see where i've come from. 

so in my last post, i talked about my background. the harsh reality of being a Christian who struggles with same-sex attraction, being confident that it was a sin. and then everything changed. i realized that i was tired of just taking people's word for it. i was tired of believing what everyone else told me about homosexuality. i was tired of reading the Bible at face value, the interpretation of men. so i started looking at the original language of scripture, going back to the hebrew and greek. in that original text and context, i found a whole new different idea about homosexuality. 

i began reading many differing views concerning the topic. i learned of the gay christian movement. i pray A LOT. i wanted God to tell me the Truth. not what i had been taught, but what He really thinks about it. and He began to soften my heart toward homosexuals and He softened my heart toward myself. 

He did this through a variety of ways, but the major way He showed me the light was through a girl named Hope. obviously not her real name, but i nice name, none the less. God offered me hope through her. 

we met and became friends. we started hanging out and spending time together on a regular basis and what i loved about her is that she was so real. and she wasn't unstable. i had been close with so many people who were not healthy. they were dependent and had major issues. she was a strong believer and so fun to be around. she loved the Lord and was a blast to hang out with. it's hard to truly explain how everything happened, so i'll try to give the short version.

basically the more we hung out, the more i fell in love with her heart. but it wasn't physical at all, until several months after our friendship became closer. i felt comfortable enough to share with her some things about myself and my past and she felt that same comfort. she was the real deal. she walked the talk and loved people. Jesus truly worked through her and i could see it. i admired her faith and we had a mutual respect for one another. 

then i noticed that i had developed feelings for her. i was falling in love with her. and the physical attraction came as well. she was always beautiful to me, but one day it just changed. i realized that i was attracted to her in every way. but i couldn't act on it, because i still was thinking it was a sin. so i tried to spend less and less time with her. but it didn't work. God kept sticking us in the same situations. we kept crossing paths. thank God this wasn't up to me, otherwise i would've missed out on the love of my life. 

so we started flirting (though we would've never admitted it) and then one night i shared with her my struggle with dealing with my past and she opened up with me about her past. and then there was the night she sat me down and opened up to me about her struggle with homosexuality. she had been in a previous relationship but knew it was sin and thought it was just an isolated incident. i couldn't believe she told me! i was so relieved because then i felt free to tell her. 

that night was definitely one to remember. we shared with one another our struggles and issues, but agreed that we wouldn't act on our desires anymore. then i confessed my feelings for her. and she confessed her feelings for me. we realized that we'd been falling in love but didn't want to admit it. she assured me she'd never act on it, and i did the same. after all, we were both christians and thought homosexuality was a sin. 

then we decided not to see each other for about 9 days, just to let the dust settle. would we have to end our friendship because we struggled with one another? would i have to cut it off just like i'd done in the past? 

this was different though. i didn't feel led to end the friendship with her. i knew God wanted us to remain friends. i didn't know why, but i knew God still wanted me in her life and her in my life. even though we didn't see each other for those long 9 days, we talked multiple times every day. each day it became clearer in clearer that we were both falling for one another. the strange thing was, neither of us felt conviction about it. and we prayed and prayed and prayed for conviction. we both so wanted to be obedient to the Lord and remain in His will. 

but the more we talked, the more we realized that we had very real feelings for one another. deeper feelings than either of us had had for anyone else. we grew close those days apart and lots became clear. but we still considered acting on our desires to be sin, so we vowed to just be friends. it was not an option to open that door.

but the night we saw each other again for the first time, we talked for hours and hours about everything. there was such a peace in that moment. and i thought "how can this be?" it was beautiful, and i'm sure some people reading this will think i'm crazy and deceived. but this was more real than anything i'd ever felt. my heart was fully alive, my spirit fully engaged. and i knew in that moment that what i was feeling couldn't be sin.

but i needed proof. 

and thus began the long journey into the heart of God and His Word to find out what He really says and what He doesn't say about the issue of homosexuality. Hope and I continued to fall in love, but we were so in love with Jesus so we had to reconcile the tension between possible sin and walking in freedom. we couldn't "live in sin" and continue being in love. so we both committed to praying and studying and begging the Lord to convict us if we were not in His will. that was 8 months ago and there has never been ONE twinge of conviction. it has been the weirdest thing. but we concluded that after much prayer, fasting, tears and conversations, that God did not, in fact, see homosexuality as a sin. far from it, in fact. He rejoices when we love. when we love, we are most like Christ. and Hope and I had the most beautiful God-given love. of course it wasn't that easy... it took alot of convincing, because i was still doubtful, just because of my ingrained previous thoughts on the issue.

the deeper i dug in scripture, the more i found out about God's heart. i found out that the Bible never talks specifically about homosexuality. if you think He does and you are reading this, i would challenge you to do what i did, and look at the original language and context. besides our love, me and Hope knew the Truth (Word of God) would have to show us the truth. in everything that has happened, God has preserved and protected our relationship. He has given us countless opportunities to be together. He's used ministry to keep us and protect us and bond us together, for His glory. 

but again, like i said, there was zero conviction. and this isn't me being deceived. 

the purity of our love for one another will never be found in anyone else, especially not in a man. i realized that Hope was the woman created for me. and though we can't be public about it, and i can't even share with anyone besides you bloggers about it, we are still more in love than any couple i've seen. because it's God-centered. it's not based on lust or desperation. it is based on His love that He gave us. it's based on Truth, that we found in scripture. 

aside from that obvious love we have and lack of conviction, what i found in the Word was amazing. or what i didn't find in the word. Jesus never said anything about it. if it was so important and such an abomination, He would've spent time talking about it. at least one verse? but no, nothing. and when the Bible mentions sexual immorality, it was talking about promiscuity, adultery, having multiple partners, pedophilia and abusive sex... the list goes on and on. but no definition can be found for homosexuality. it wasn't even introduced until much later. and then i thought, well, it still might be a sin because God created adam and eve, man and woman. but that was for pro-creation! the Bible doesn't say anything about committed partners even if they're from the same gender. the verse that really hit home with me was galatians 3:23: in Christ there is no slave or free, gentile or jew, male or female. so when God sees us, it seems that He sees no distinction between people. we are all His creation and some of us have the privilege of being His children, adopted into His family. wow. i am so humbled by His choice of me, to include me and give me the gift of salvation! now He continues to sanctify me. and it is beautiful. 

we are obeying the first two commandments "the new covenant" to the greatest extent than we ever have: love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength... and love one another as you love yourself. 

this blog may sound like a defense, but why would i defend something that i dont feel convicted about? i know i can't change anyone's mind who genuinely believes that homosexuality is a sin. i used to be exactly like that. i wouldn't argued with anyone. but i was totally living based on my pre-conceived notions. i was completely acting out of what someone else has told me and based on my own ideology and thought processes. 

now i look to God and His Word alone for how to live this life. and He is using me more than ever in ministry, in my church. He is blessing me like never before. living through me life never before. sanctifying me like never before. and i ask myself, why would He do all that if i was living in sin? especially now that it's been almost a year! He would've convicted me by now if it was sin. but no conviction, though i still pray for it on occasion, just to be safe! but all i get from Him is continual affirmation. that i am in the center of His will. 

so now i am more in love with Jesus than ever and i am so thankful for Hope, who is the love of my life sent to me from God. i tried to fight it, tried to hide from it, but it wasn't something that i could run away from. things in God's will aren't typically easy to run from. so now i am running toward Christ, along side the woman i was created to love. and He is revealing Himself to me more than ever before. i am finally loving and living freely and living the life God created for me. 

hopefully the Lord will communicate what i desired to communicate in this blog: how i came to realize that i had been very wrong all along about what God thought about homosexuality. and also how the Lord brought Hope and I together. 

what's hard now, and i suppose i'll be writing about it in the future, is the reality that i can't tell anyone. that's why i started this blog, because i had to think of some way to get these thoughts out. hopefully someone will be ministered to by this, but more importantly, i just want to get my thoughts out. this will be a hard road. but i am called by God to continue on in full-time ministry. i dont know how all this will pan out or how things will work out for me in the future, but i'm trying to live each day for that day. i am trying to live life one day at a time. it is a double life and it's hard, but i know it's not time to tell anyone yet. it would ruin everything. 

just pray for me if you're reading this. pray that God would soften the christian culture toward homosexuals. pray that He would convict people of their hatred toward people who dont fit inside the christian box. pray that my family and friends would begin being softened toward the possibility of homosexuality not being a sin. i just want people to have open minds and open hearts like i finally did. oh that we would stop relying on man's wisdom and start digging into the Word!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

First official post: Opening the can & painting the backdrop

where do i even begin? how does one even start a post about such a sensitive issue? i guess i'll start simply by being real.

before i can share with you the increasingly tough tension between being in full-time Christian ministry and also being a gay Christian woman who is still in the closet, so to speak, i should give you some background. how did i end up here blogging about something so controversial and personal?

i was born and raised in a very traditional, straight-laced Christian home in New England with two loving strong Christian parents. you could say i had the all-american family. i had exactly what the world sees as normal and happy. my family life was quite enjoyable. i always had everything i needed, yet i was never spoiled.  the denomination i grew up in preached a legalistic gospel focused on not sinning more than it focused on loving Jesus and others. 

i remember from a very young age feeling more of a liking towards girls. i was always one of the guys, but i was always attracted to girls. i was heavily into sports and could more identify with the boys in my life. but i just thought that was because i had a brother. i remember my first encounter with a girl was in elementary school. without going into detail, we experimented and i enjoyed it. but i explained it away as pretending and didn't think much of it. then again i found myself attracted to girls in middle school and high school, though i had boyfriends during these years. 

i was one of the popular girls. always had a boyfriend, good at sports, good in school, like-able, moral, and very involved in my youth group. no one would've ever thought i was occasionally attracted to certain girls. but i was. and i continued explaining it away, ignoring it, and just hoping it would go away. i fell for my best friend at our christian school in high school, and still told myself that was an isolated incident. little did i know, but i had chosen to forget the interactions with girls in elementary school and the crushes in middle school.

after high school, through a variety of different circumstances and conversations with people much wiser than me, i began to realize that i struggled with same-sex attraction. thus began my battle through prayer begging God to change me. i couldn't live with this sin and He had to remove it. but i kept going back to Paul's thorn and just kept trusting that His grace would be sufficient for me. 

in college, being aware of my struggle, i had to cut off many Godly friendships that had turned bad for me, because i developed an attraction for my female friends. it was horrible. i would get close to a girl and we would become great friends, and then i would develop feelings for her and i would have to cut it off in order to remain "in the will of God." i use quotes for very specific reasons, as you will see later. talk about awkward! having to tell a friend of yours that you struggle with same-sex attraction and that you're attracted to her and so in order to be obedient, you must stop the friendship because the temptation was just too great. 

long story short: all throughout my college days at UNC, i dated numerous guys, though all the while i had feelings for many of my friends that were girls. i would force relationships with guys, knowing this was God's will. i was convinced homosexuality was a sin, therefore i would not permit myself to even toy with the idea of acting on my desires. i thought if i found the right guy, i would be cured. and if i prayed hard enough and cried enough tears, that soon God would deliver me. after all, why would He want me to be miserable?

things only got worse. i continued to have feelings for more and more girls. i continued to struggle and pray and wrestle with why i was like this? what it because of my rocky relationship with my mom or was i born like this? is it nature or nurture or both? i didn't really have any answers. all i knew was that i desperately found myself attracted to only women. but i could always play it off, because i don't look like i would be attracted to women. meaning, i dont fit the mold of a lesbian. though i'm learning there is no mold. but most christians see gay girls as being manly, for whatever reason. and i'm extremely girly and guys find me attractive. i say this not to sound prideful, but just to paint a picture of where i've been. so i was able to play it off good. i would beat myself up over and over again for my feelings and attractions for women. i was living a complete life of shame. 

wow this blog is long. i apologize to the two of you who might read this! but really, let's do a side note here, how do people find blogs? i have no idea. i wonder if anyone will ever find or read my blog. oh well, it doesn't matter either way, because i created this blog to get out what's inside my head and heart. and if i can help someone in the process, well then glory to God! 

ok, back to where i was...

i had everyone fooled. on the outside, i put up a front like i was strong and had it all together. while inside i was in turmoil over my guilt over struggling with same sex attraction. i decided early on that i liked that term better than homosexuality because it was more comfortable. i was uncomfortable with admitting i struggled with homosexuality because in my baptist church, the H word was likened to a cuss word. 

i eventually met a girl who pursued me relentlessly. i was weak and couldn't resist it any longer. i gave into my desires and we had a make-out session, basically. nothing more and nothing less. but it was the first time i'd kissed a woman, for real. it was the most natural thing i'd ever felt. i felt more in that one small kiss than i did with any man i'd ever kissed. i felt more in this situation for her than i did for my long term boyfriend, ever!  it was a wonderful weekend and i enjoyed giving into my temptation for once. i'd fought it for so long, and it felt good to finally let myself go. 

but only for a weekend. on sunday i went to the Bible and reviewed the passages on homosexuality. the ones about how it is a sin. i just read the words though, i didn't bother studying the original language or any of that stuff. so i resolved to begin battling again. the relationship was severed and i rarely ever spoke to that girl again. i told her it couldn't work because i couldn't live in sin. she was more of a lust-adventure anyway, so it really wasn't hard to call it quits. 

after that, i was broken and more dependent on God than ever before. i told one person about my weekend blunder, asked for forgiveness and kept living my life. oh, might i add that at this time i was already in full time christian ministry at a church. yes, i was sharing the gospel and singing about Him while kissing girls behind closed doors, living in sin. or so i thought...  

i continued on in ministry, and continued denying myself of its most natural desire. this became harder and harder.

a couple of years later i met another girl through a mutual friend. it began as a harmless friendship and then several months later turned into a relationship. i would say this was my first official same-sex relationship. due to the guilt and shame, however, i had to break it off. but i was more frustrated than ever. i just figured nothing would change. i would always be attracted to women, but it's always going to be a sin so i guess i'll just have to deal with it. i resolved to simply be a good christian girl who didn't act on her natural desires for women. i tried dating some more guys, but nothing ever clicked. 

then, at the height of my "obedience" to the Lord in this area, i met her. we'll call her Hope. and thus began the transformation of everything that i had known to be true for the past 2o or so years. little did i know, but meeting her would change everything. meeting her truly gave me hope. talk about hope for change (as is a popular topic among political candidates) this was hope for change at its best! 

i think that's enough for now. in my next blog i will tell you all about the journey that Hope and I found ourselves on. i'll tell you how everything changed and how within a year i had finally accepted my true identity. it's been a long, tough road full of doubts, but i can tell you that as i sit here and type away at this blog, i can tell you that i am now 100% positive that homosexuality is not a sin at all. of course, i'll explain more later. but i want to spare you, as this blog is way too long already! 

but to give you a teaser, i'm in love. i'm so in love with God, more than i ever have been. i've been crazy in love with Hope for almost a year now. She is the woman i was created to be with for my whole life. the Lord has revealed to me what He does and does not say in His Word about the issue of homosexuality. i have poured over scripture and commentary and arguments on both sides of this debate. at the end of the day, it's all about what i feel the Holy Spirit revealing to me. some may think i'm deceived. that's ok, because i did too, at one point. but i'm realizing that the true ones who have been deceived by the great deceiver are the fundamentalist Christians (i am a recovering one, thank God) who are using scripture out of context to attack homosexuals. this is the issue satan is using right now to tear down the body of Christ. and its working. and now that i've seen the light, i am going to try my hardest to find some way to fight against the lies of the enemy concerning this issue.

wow. so much more to share, but i really should stop. will write again soon, i assure you. even if no one ever reads this blog, i will continue writing. how healing it is! and how freeing to be able to talk about it! 

bottom line: i am a bible believing, bible reading, follower and lover of Jesus Christ, the One true God and i am gay. but because i'm in full-time ministry on staff as a worship pastor, i have to keep this to myself for now. maybe forever. who knows.