September 05, 2009

Encouraging Words 9/5/09-"It easier to hate people when you don't have to look across the table and say 'pass the salt' to them

A Lutheran pastor, Re. Erik Samuelson, was invited to write an essay for Queerty about what the vote at the recent ELCA conference means to Lutherans across America. Here's an excerpt:

Well, I must say this is a first for me—writing a guest editorial for a queer website—but I'm guessing that it is the first time an ordained Lutheran pastor has been invited to write for this website so we're all in uncharted territory. And I've read a bit of how religion (especially Christianity) gets spoken of on this site, so I suppose I'm opening myself up for a shit-storm of comments and emails—and many of them I'm sure based on horrible personal experiences you all have had, which I get. And for what its worth, I'm sorry that we Christians have allowed this unchecked hate to go on for so long and have been such hypocrites. I don't intend to defend my faith, the Bible, or my church, or to try to convince you that you should believe what I believe or do what I do. But these things are important to me, and so I'm glad to tell you about them. Do with it what you will.

It's easier to hate people when you don't have to look across the table and say “pass the salt” to them. But the witness of the Gospel of Jesus (when we are getting it right) is that everyone means everyone, all are welcome at the table—and that means anti-gay folks as much as gay folks, as hard as that may be. What the “magical homo” did was a very difficult act of justice, kindness, and humble walking with God, when nobody would have been surprised if he were to have acted in vengeance instead (as one commentator said: “kick some ass”) and many would have cheered him on. And what I saw again and again on that assembly floor was that gay and lesbian people and their allies (including me) were surprised by the feeling of pain and compassion they experienced when the thing they had longed for finally was reality. They realized that they knew, deeply, what those newly queered folks (their brothers and sisters) were now experiencing—and reached out to them not as opponents, but as fellow broken, hurting, queer people. To use my Jesus language, Jesus broke himself (and continues to break himself for our sake) so that we might be made whole. And followers of Jesus—gay and straight, rich and poor, male and female, Democrat and Republican, fundamentalist and liberal—when we are doing this right, reach out of our brokenness (and I dare say our queerness?) to bring healing to our brothers and sisters.

How queer these Lutheran Christians are, loving people who aren't like them, loving as would wish to be loved, even their enemies as themselves. Isn't this the kind of justice we all long for?

We believe this truly represents the heart of Jesus. Click here to read the rest of Rev. Samuelson's essay.

SNN Recommends 9/5/09-"The Gathering Place, Atlanta GA

From The Gathering Place's website:

Welcome to The Gathering Place Atlanta (T.G.P.A.) !We are an open and affirming church that welcomes anyone and everyone, regardless of age, race or sexual orientation.

Here at T.G.P.A. we believe that the worship of God is the highest calling of every believer. Unfortunately, many in the LGBT community have been rejected by mainstream churches and as a result feel spiritually outcast. Jesus always went out of His way to minister to those who were the outcasts. It is the desire of myself and Edward my partner of 11 years, to reach out to all of God's children. Jesus loves you with an everlasting love and we invite you to come worship with our wonderful T.G.P.A. family.

Our church is a Gay, GLBT, LGBT Affirming Christian Non-Denominational church located in Atlanta GA. Our worship style is charismatic and pentecostal, however many traditional backgrounds are represented throughout our congregation.

Our congregation consists of individuals who are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgendered and straight. EVERYONE is welcome regardless of race, natural origin, color, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation we invite you to worship with us!

Click here to check it out, and do try to find an affirming church to worship at this weekend. You can consult our list here.

Encouraging Music 9/5/09-"The Great Adventure & Live Out Loud" by Steven Curtis Chapman

NAACP Chariman to LGBT Community-"Victory is Just Ahead"

That's a quote from an e-mail NAACP Chairman Julian Bond sent to blogger/activist Pam Spaulding. This is not a surprise, Bond has been a vocal supporter of LGBT rights for some time, but it is still encouraging to see him engage someone like Pam and to be so encouraging in his message. His full response, from Pam's House Blend:

I do not believe the battle for LGBT rights will ever be won until we can diminish the homophobia in black communities and until more in the black LGBT community join the battle openly.

(It is awfully easy for a straight man to say "come out" - I can only imagine the scorn and derision that would follow some who did so.)

I've often wondered what would be the result of black LGBT church goers standing up in the churches they attend and saying "I'm gay - you know me - I'm like you. I am what God made me. Why do you treat me so badly?"

(It is equally easy for a non-church goer like me to say that.)

If not a church goer, I am an optimist - and I believe the day when equality for all reigns will soon come.

He also sent Pam a copy of a 2008 address he made on equality and LGBT rights.

Click here to read it and Pam's comments at Pam's House Blend.

Daily Devotional 9/5/09-"Using Your Talents"

From Light Life Daily Devotion

Do not neglect the gift that is in you. 1 Timothy 4:14 NKJV

God gives each of us a unique assortment of talents and opportunities. And our Heavenly Father instructs us to be faithful stewards of the gifts that He bestows upon us. But we live in a world that encourages us to do otherwise.

Ours is a society that is filled to the brim with countless opportunities to squander our time, our resources, and our talents. So we must be watchful for distractions and temptations that might lead us astray.

God has blessed you with unique opportunities to serve Him, and He has given you every tool that you need to do so. Today, accept this challenge: value the talent that God has given you, nourish it, make it grow, and share it with the world. After all, the best way to say “Thank You” for God’s gifts is to use them.

Not everyone possesses boundless energy or a conspicuous talent. We are not equally blessed with great intellect or physical beauty or emotional strength. But we have all been given the same ability to be faithful.
Gigi Graham Tchividjian

The Lord has abundantly blessed me all of my life. I’m not trying to pay Him back for all of His wonderful gifts; I just realize that He gave them to me to give away.
Lisa Whelchel

It is the definition of joy to be able to offer back to God the essence of what He’s placed in you, be that creativity or a love of ideas or a compassionate heart or the gift of hospitality.
Paula Rinehart

Almighty God created us, redeemed us, called us, endowed us with gifts and abilities and perceptions. To demean the gift is to insult the Giver.
Penelope Stokes

Today’s Prayer

Father, You have given me abilities to be used for the glory of Your kingdom. Give me the courage and the perseverance to use those talents. Keep me mindful that all my gifts come from You, Lord. Let me be Your faithful, humble servant, and let me give You all the glory and all the praise. Amen.

September 04, 2009

Encouraging Words 9/4/09-A Message of Restoration from Nehemiah 4 (Part 4 of 4)

Apostle Randy Morgan from New Covenant Church in Atlanta, GA preaches about restoration and perseverance using the 4th chapter of Nehemiah as his text. This part is in two sections below.

SNN Recommends 9/4/09-"The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

In a recent survey, Jon Stewart was voted the most trusted newsman in America.

That's scary.

I (Jim) also agree.

Stewart is also the funniest (no disrespect to Stephen Colbert).

We are linking to the home page for The Daily Show, which includes highlights of Jon's recent rants and interviews and also complete episodes.

Enjoy and try to remember it is fake news, at least some of it.

Click here to check it out.

Encouraging Music 9/4/09-"Song of Love" by Rebecca St. James

Methodist Minister Reveals to Congregation That He Is Transgender

From The Oregonian:

The Rev. David Weekley told the congregation of Epworth United Methodist Church a secret Sunday that he'd kept for 27 years: Almost a decade before his ordination journey began in 1982, he'd undergone counseling and several surgeries and became a transgender man.

"I am a man in some ways different from other men," he said. "But most people are different from other people in some way. And God still loves us."

After his sermon, the Rev. Bonnie Parr Philipson, metropolitan district superintendent of the United Methodist Church, affirmed to the congregation that Weekley's status within the church did not change with his revelation. She read a statement from Bishop Robert T. Hoshibata, leader of the Oregon-Idaho Methodist conference.

Weekley "is choosing now to share this earlier part of his life journey honestly and openly," Hoshibata wrote. "This decision does not, in any way, change his faith or his commitment to the ministry to which he was ordained, nor does it change his status as an elder in good standing. I prayerfully ask that his congregation, his colleagues and the United Methodist Church continue to uphold him and his family at this time."

"The United Methodist book of discipline does not speak to transgender as an impediment to ordination," said Greg Nelson, director of communications for the United Methodist Church in Oregon and Idaho.

Weekley has served congregations in Idaho and Oregon, including Salem, Corvallis, Forest Grove, Montavilla and Epworth. He has been married twice to women who knew his story. His wife of 13 years, Deborah, and he have a blended family of five adult children, all of whom know their father's history.

Before the service, Deborah Weekley said she was nervous for her husband, but she supported his decision, adding that she hopes someday such declarations won't be necessary.

Amen to that last statement. May God continue to bless Rev. Weekley's ministry efforts.

Click here to read the rest of The Oregonian story.

Daily Devotional 9/4/09-"Living Free"


Today's Scripture

"Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life." Philippians 4:6-7 MSG

Thoughts for Today

Dealing with the consequences of a loved one's problem is difficult. Pain, stress and frustration often build up to an overload level. Living in that overload condition can do harm. It can affect our emotional and physical health?virtually everything in our lives.

In order to avoid this state of overload, we must believe that there is hope. Not hope in our loved ones' ability to overcome the problem on their own. Not hope in our own ability to fix the problem. As much as we may want to, we can't take charge and make things right.

There is only one real hope?faith in Jesus Christ. Faith in his love?he cares greatly about where we are and what we need. Faith in his power?he is able to deliver us from the fears and stress. Faith in his plan for us?he has a plan for our future that will not harm us, but will prosper us.

Consider this …

God won't force our loved ones to change, but he will help them when they are ready to reach out to him. In the meantime, he will comfort and strengthen us. Ask him to help you approach each day with an attitude that confidently expects him to do good things in your life and in the lives of those you care about.


Father, sometimes I really do feel as though I am running on overload. Thank you for reminding me that I don't have to?that I am not alone. Teach me to trust Jesus instead of being overcome with worry. In Jesus' name …

September 03, 2009

Encouraging Words 9/3/09-A Message of Restoration from Nehemiah 4 (Part 3 of 4)

Apostle Randy Morgan from New Covenant Church in Atlanta, GA preaches about restoration and perseverance using the 4th chapter of Nehemiah as his text. Part 4 coming tomorrow.

SNN Recommends 9/3/09-"Evangelicals Concerned"

From the Evangelicals Concerned website:

We are the national network of gay and lesbian evangelical Christians and friends. A non-profit organization founded in 1975 by Dr. Ralph Blair, EC has served the gay community for a quarter century, providing hope, encouragement, teaching and fellowship to women and men seeking to integrate their faith and sexual orientation. On these pages you'll find the Good News of God's grace and peace in Christ to a people called to lives of grateful service. You'll find what we believe, how we view the clobber passages that are so often used against us and much more. Dr. Blair's quarterly Record and Review, a literature review on religion and homosexuality, is also available.

Click here to check them out.

Encouraging Music 9/3/09-"Open The Eyes of My Heart" by SonicFlood

What If You Had to Ask 4 Million People For Permission to Marry?

That's the theme of this understated but very profound commercial airing in Ireland produced by the organization MarriageEquality. Thanks to Queers United for the link.

Daily Devotional 9/3/2009 -"Inner Peace"

From Reflections:

John 16:33, NIV: I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

I often think of the peace God gives as a peace that is with us in the midst of our circumstances—a peace we experience regardless of external trials. But it is also a peace that goes much deeper. The turmoil we face is often internal, having little to do with external things. As we struggle with finding direction, making a personal decision, or coming to grips with personal attitudes and downfalls, His peace is available. And His peace is consistent regardless of the outer, or inner, storms we must endure.

By Randy Chambers

September 02, 2009

Mid-week Worship 9/2/09

Bredna's podcast is titled "Are We Believers or Scoffers?" She teaches that the Lord doesn't want anyone to miss out on eternal salvation in the last days as found in 2 Peter 3: 3-13.

SNN Recommends 9/2/09-"Garden State Equality (NJ)"

New Jersey is showing signs of becoming a battleground state in the fight for marriage equality, and Garden State Equality is helping to lead the way. Although civil unions are legal in New Jersey, that was seen as only a stepping stone toward full marriage rights for LGBT people. the GSE home page is promoting a video and extensive report showing where civil unions fall short of granting full marriage rights and making the case for complete equality.

Click her to check it out.

Encouraging Music 9/2/09-"He is Exalted" by Twila Paris

Wedding Bells Ring for ALL in Vermont

Two nice stories from the first day of full marriage equality in Vermont:

From the Associated Press

After 17 years together, Bill Slimback and Bob Sullivan couldn't wait another minute to get married. So they didn't.

With Vermont's new law allowing same-sex marriage only a minute old, they tied the knot in a midnight ceremony at a rustic Vermont lodge, becoming one of the first couples to legally wed under a law that took effect at midnight Monday.

Dressed in suits, saying their vows under a large wall-mounted moose head, the two Whitehall, N.Y., men promised their love, exchanged rings and held hands during a modest 17-minute ceremony. Moose Meadow Lodge co-owner Greg Trulson, who's also a Justice of the Peace, presided.

"It feels wonderful," said Slimback, 38, an out-of-work Teamster who is taking Sullivan's last name as his own. "It's a day I've been long waiting for, and a day I truly honestly thought would never come."

From the Burlington, VT Free-Press:

Perhaps a minute or two after midnight, 27-year-old Cori Giroux and 34-year-old Claire Williams joined hands and repeated words they had only dreamed they get would get the chance to say to each other --- “With this ring, I join with you in civil marriage.”

They slipped silver bands on each other’s fingers, rings they’ve worn since their first commitment ceremony three years ago. Then Beth Robinson, a founder of Vermont Freedom to Marry and one of the attorneys in a same-sex marriage lawsuit, pronounced the two women to be married.

Williams, in mocha polka-dot dress and Giroux in a white blouse and tailored toffee-colored slacks, kissed and hugged while 21 friends crowded into the tiny living room of the women’s South Burlington home clapped and let out a few hoots.

Williams turned to thank the group who had stayed up late on a work night to witness history. The wedding had been purposely scheduled for the first moments when Vermont’s marriage equality law took effect today.

“It means so much for you to be here,” Williams said. “Now please eat some food.”
Williams and Giroux didn’t set out to make history. Williams said she didn’t even plan on falling in love when the pair first met at a party five years ago.

That last quote really struck me (Jim) because Brenda and I didn't plan on falling in love either, but we didn't have to wait for a law to be changed to tie the know.

Fortunately, neither do the residents of Vermont, and one day ALL residents of the United States should have the right to marry the person they lover regardless of gender.

Daily Devotional 9/2/09-"Only One Way to Achieve Patience"

From Crosswalk the Devotional:

The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. Ecclesiastes 7:8, NIV

Our senior pastor came into the room for a pre-arranged talk with all of us high school senior guys. He wanted to share something with us as we moved off into the next phases of our lives.

Out of all the applications and biblical wisdom at his disposal, what one topic was on his heart? What advice did he wish to impart above all?

He began by asking us to envision where we'd be in five, 10, 20 years. I'm just now coming up on that 20th year; I'm amazed at how differently some things have turned out, and how similar to my goals other things are. But that's not the point.

Our pastor next told us that the one thing we ought to pursue more than any other was... not holiness, not righteousness, not prayer... but patience. "Boys, raise your hand if you want to be a man of patience."

Okay, sure. Sounds good. Patience, yeah, that could be helpful to me. Hand up.

"Great. I'll tell you what, boys, can I pray with you now? But be aware, only agree with me in this prayer if you mean it, if you really want patience. Because do you know what it takes to develop patience? Problems. Only problems - and the way you react to them and trust God through them - can develop patience. Do you understand? So that's what I'm going to ask God for right now, that He'll bring you all problems. Are you ready?"

Sure. Why not?

Oh boy. Looking back, the last 20 years haven't exactly been hell on earth, but they've sure been full of their share of problems. Right at this moment, I've got one that's forcing me to wait... and wait... and wait for an answer. I feel shamed when I go through a study about Abraham and how long he waited and waited for God to fulfill a direct promise, because I can't imagine waiting any longer than I already have. The only reason I continue to do so is because of the patience and wisdom I've built up having passed through earlier problems and trials, the outcomes of which inform me to keep waiting.

What's the moral here? Be careful what you pray for? Hmmm... maybe... but I think I prefer the lesson in today's verse, that patience (trusting God's way and waiting on His promise) is better than pride (my idea of the best way). To me, it's really eye-opening to think of those two concepts - patience and pride - as the opposites of each other. It suggests patience is akin to humility, and pride the brother of instant gratification. And I guess that makes sense. But why is patience better? Especially in this day and age when so much is there for the taking? When the respected thing to do is reach out and go for it? What had my pastor so convinced that doing the opposite was the most important lesson to send young men out into the world?

Honestly I haven't completely figured that out yet. Appropriately, it's something I'm willing to be patient to gain the wisdom of. But I suspect it has something to do with that pesky old verse from James:

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing (James 1:2-4).

Only problems can bring patience; only trials can test faith and make it real. Only endurance can lead to completion.

And when I am complete, I will lack nothing. At which time I apparently will have superceded even patience, as what would there be to wait for if I lack nothing?

It sounds almost mystical, almost unachievable, at least until the end of my life or when I meet God. Until then, I simply pray that the experience of each problem and the eventual result will steel me into calm, patient submission to God's perfect timing.

September 01, 2009

Encouraging Words 9/1/09-A Message of Restoration from Nehemiah 4 (Part 2 of 4)

Apostle Randy Morgan from New Covenant Church in Atlanta, GA preaches about restoration and perseverance using the 4th chapter of Nehemiah as his text. Part 3 coming Thursday.

SNN Recommends 9/1/09-"Pam's House Blend"

"Pam's House Blend...always steamin'. An Online Magazine in the Reality-Based Community."

That's how Pam Spaulding bills her blog, winner of the 2005 & 2006 Weblog Award for "Best LGBT blog and a finalist in 2007 and 2008. Pam can come across somewhat anti-Christian, but we're pretty much "anti" the Christian views and public figures she frequently calls out. Pam's House Blend is one of the best sources on the Internet to keep up with news of any type, with a focus on politics, that impacts the LGBT community.

Click here to check it out.

Encouraging Music 9/1/09-"You Get Me" by ZOEgirl

Could South Carolina Wind Up With A Gay Governor?

It's not as far fetched as you might think, not if you believe Mike Rogers, the blogger/activist who has gained notariety for outing closeted anti-gay politicians"

From Rogers' blog Blogactive:

I am now able to confirm a rumor that has circulated in South Carolina for years. South Carolina Lt. Governor Andre Bauer is a closeted anti-gay politician who stands to replace Mark Sanford should Sanford resign or be impeached (a real possibility as Sanford is caught in his own sex scandal.)

So, what is the deal with Bauer? I have confirmed and spoken to four individuals who I have no doubt are telling me the truth. These men have been hit on by Bauer, with one of them telling me it happened at least five times since Bauer's election in 2003. To a varying degree I have met with and believe the sources. And, as you'll recall, I have that 100% record.

This was still not enough for me to report on him. Then another call came in and I met with the source while he was visiting DC recently. "He's gay," the source told me.

"How do you know?" I asked.

"Because I've had sex with him on two separate occasions." That too, was not enough for me to report on without confirmation from others. I was led on a path to chatting with acquaintances of the sourced and two former employees of Bauer who served on his staff between 2004 and 2007. They reported to me that on a total of three occasions Bauer spent hours alone with men in hotel rooms. Each of them explained that the visits were with younger men who were not on the staff of the Lt. Governor nor had any official reason to be with him. The two men each confirmed that they had not known each other and each described similar circumstances under which these interactions occurred. One of them confirmed that he was told by the Lt. Governor's visitor he had a sexual encounter with Bauer.
The combination of the reports and the first hand experiences were what I need to maintain my 100% record of being right in my reporting on this site.

Where do you stand on outing anti-gay politicians? We're split--Jim supports it as a pertinent fact, Brenda feels it is an invasion of privacy as long as they are not engaging in illegal acts. Please share your thoughts with us.

Click here to read the rest of Mike Rogers' article, which includes his outing track record.

Daily Devotional 9/1/09-"Worth the Risk"

From Laruie:

After this prayer, the building where they were meeting shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the God's message with boldness.
—Acts 4: 31

Sometimes we will take a step of faith if there is a backup plan, if there is a safety net. While there is a place for caution, a place for prudence, and even a place for seeking the counsel of those who have lived longer than we have. But having said that, there is also a place for faith. There is also a place for taking chances and taking risks.

As we get older, we are less willing to do that. We want everything laid out for us. We want to know what will happen after this and after that. But sometimes God will say, "I am not going to tell you. I want you to just obey Me." That is why I would rather try something and fail than never try at all. And if you do try and ultimately fail, then learn something from your failure. I would venture to say that any person who has been successful in ministry, in business, or in any other enterprise has had more than his or her share of failures and has learned something from every one of them. It has been said that the doorway of success is often entered through the hallway of failure. So if at first you don't succeed, relax. You are just like the rest of us.

So take a chance and do something for God. If you have been thinking about starting a little Bible study at work and are unsure whether anyone would show up, go for it. If you are thinking of sharing the gospel with someone, but you don't how they would respond, go for it. Try it. Pray about it. Ask the Lord for direction. But take a risk. Take a chance here and there and watch what God will do.

August 31, 2009

Encouraging Words 8/31/09-A Message of Restoration from Nehemiah 4 (Part 1 of 4)

Apostle Randy Morgan from New Covenant Church in Atlanta, GA preaches about restoration and perseverance using the 4th chapter of Nehemiah as his text. Part 1 of 4, part 2 coming tomorrow.

SNN Recommends 8/31/09- "Bay Windows"

With the vote on marriage equality in Maine coming up soon, one of the best sources for news leading up to that important event is Bay Windows, "New England's Largest GLBT Newspaper."

Click here to check it out.

Encouraging Music 8/31/09-"Something Beautiful" by Newsboys

Daily Devotional 8/31/09-"Indestructible!"

From our daily bread:

[Christ] has come . . . according to the power of an endless life. —Hebrews 7:16

The space shuttle reenters Earth’s atmosphere at more than 25 times the speed of sound! Friction from wind resistance raises the spacecraft’s outer temperature to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. To keep the shuttle from burning up, 34,000 separate tiles protect its underbelly. These tiles must be virtually indestructible against high-speed friction.

In this world of death and decay, nothing is truly indestructible. Yet the Bible tells us of an indestructible life. Comparing the Lord Jesus to the works of the law, we are told, “[Christ] has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life” (Heb. 7:16). The Greek word translated “endless” is best rendered “indestructible.”

The Messiah is our Great High Priest whose priestly duties required His own sacrificial death for our sins. His resurrection guarantees eternal redemption for all who repent and believe in Him.

The loss of health, relationships, or finances can make us feel as if our life has been destroyed. But for the believer, nothing could be further from the truth. Through our spiritual union with Christ, we have the promise that we’ll share in His own indestructible life (John 14:19). — Dennis Fisher

Marvelous day, all suffering ended,
Glorious bodies now like to His own;
We will be kings and priests in God’s kingdom,
With glory and honor around the great throne. —Dixon

Nothing can shake those who are secure in God’s hands.

"Gay, bi men 50 times more likely to have HIV"

This is staggering and sickening. Please, please, please let this report open some eyes.

From the Washington Blade:

Gay and bisexual men account for half of new HIV infections in the U.S. and have AIDS at a rate more than 50 times greater than other groups, according to Centers for Disease Control & Prevention data presented at the National HIV Prevention Conference this week in Atlanta.

Dr. Amy Lansky of the CDC presented research at the Aug. 24 plenary in which the CDC estimated in the U.S. there were 692.2 new HIV cases in 2007 per 100,000 men who have sex with men.

While the CDC data has continually reported gay and bisexual men and other MSM of all races as the groups with the highest numbers of new HIV cases each year, AIDS activists said this was the first time the CDC clearly stated with a concrete rate how the disease is impacting gay and bisexual men. Gay and bisexual men are also the only risk group in which new infections are increasing.

According to a 2006 CDC report, 13,230 white MSM were estimated to be newly infected with HIV, followed by African-American MSM at 10,130 and then black heterosexual women at 7,340 new infections. The CDC estimates more than 56,000 Americans become infected each year; throughout the HIV Prevention Conference, the CDC stressed that number represents one person every nine-and-a-half minutes.“

If you ask 10 people in this room,” Senterfitt said at the conference with hundreds of people in attendance, “it’s likely only one person will answer correctly [that white MSM are the hardest hit by HIV].“

I think the CDC is finally trying to put out accurate information so the community can collectively respond — and these numbers help to show that HIV/AIDS never left the gay community.”

Click here to learn more from the Washington Blade report.

August 30, 2009

We want to be your go-to site!

We are working to build Straight, Not Narrow into more than a site you visit on occasion, we want you to think of it as a destination with valuable LGBT and Christian resources.

We want to first take a moment and thank all of the new visitors we've had in the last few weeks. This month has seen the most traffic at this site that we've ever had, and by a fairly wide margin. The number of visits has increased by 35% just over the last two months, a phenominal rate of growth! We are humbled by this and hope people are being blessed by what they find here.

As we continue to seek the Lord's direction for this site, He apparently wants to keep us busy because he keeps coming up with more content for us to add. Here's what will be coming over the next week:

Along with our daily news item that posts at 6:00 AM eastern, we'll be adding a daily devotion, thoughts on a passage of scripture that we hope you will find applicable to your everyday life. We will be reviewing numerous sources on the Internet, and occasionally adding one of our own. In most cases, we're not going to adhere to the date that it was published because a good word can be read any day.

In the afternoons, we'll be featuring recommended sites/resources as follows:
o Monday-Regional LGBT news sites
o Tuesday-LGBT bloggers
o Wednesday-Regional LGBT advocacy groups
o Thursday-LGBT faith advoacy groups/resources
o Friday-Something fun to get us ready for the weekend
o Saturday-Independent LGBT churches/ministries
o Sunday-Books from our personal library

Finally, every Sunday evening will feature something completely-a serial called "Sequel.' This is something that I (Jim) am writing that will be the story of how a very straight guy got involved in ministering to people who weren't so straight. It is semi-biographical and a story that I hope will be entertaining and enlightening--that's essentially what my life has been like since I met Brenda. Why is it called sequel? You'll just have to read it to find out.

So, every Monday thru Saturday we'll be posting:
6:00 AM LGBT news feature
6:00 AM Daily devotion
10:00 AM Encouraging music video
2:00 PM SNN recommends
4:30 PM Encouraging words

On Sundays, we'll have:
6:00 AM Daily devotion
8:00 AM Sunday worship
2:00 PM SNN Recommends
6:00 PM "Sequel"

As always, if you have any suggestions about content to post, please let us know. Also, we are taking Friday nights for intercessory prayer--if you have any needs you would like us to bring before the Lord, please send them to us, they will remain confidential unless you want us to share with others.

Thanks for visiting and may God richly bless you!

Sunday Worship 8/30/09

If you don't have a welcoming church near you, or you just can't make yourself step into one, we're bringing worship to you. Here are links to some worship music and services from open and affirming ministries (all times eastern). I hope you are blessed and take time out of your busy schedule to enter into the Lord's day.

Don't forget to click on the tab on the upper right of this blog and leave your prayer requests in the comment section so we can petition the Lord for your needs.

If you know of a service we should add to our list, please send an e-mail and share it with us.

Live Sunday Services (all times Eastern)
MI-Renaissance Unity Church, Warren, 10:00 AM
FL-Potters House International Fellowship, Tampa, 11:00 AM
VA-Believers Covenant Fellowship, Vienna, 11:00 AM
AL-Covenant Community Church, Birmingham, 11:45 AM
NC-Church of the Holy Spirit Fellowship, Winston-Salem, 12:00 PM
OK-Diversity Christian Fellowship International, Tulsa, 1:00 PM
CA-Glory Tabernacle Christian Center, Long Beach, 1:00 PM
WA-Living Water Fellowship, Kenmore, 1:30 PM

Canada, Vancouver-Christ Alive Community Church, 10:15 PM
FL-Beacon of Hope Ministries, Dunedin (Living the Good Life radio program) 4:30 PM

Video Archive

AL-Covenant Community Church, Birmingham
CA-Glory Tabernacle Christian Center, Long Beach
FL-Church of the Holy SpiritSong, Ft. Lauderdale
FL-Potters House International Fellowship, Tampa
GA-Gentle Spirit Christian Church, Atlanta
MI-Christ Community Church, Spring Lake
MI-Renaissance Unity Church, Warren
NC-Church of the Holy Spirit Fellowship, Winston-Salem

OK-Expressions Community Fellowship, Oklahoma City
OK-Diversity Christian Fellowship International, Tulsa
TX-The One Church, Garland
WA-Living Water Fellowship, Kenmore

Audio Archive
AZ-Community Church of Hope, Phoenix
AK-Open Door Community Church, Sherwood
CA-Christ Chapel of Long Beach
CA-Christ Chapel of the Valley, North Hollywood
FL-Beacon of Hope Ministries, Dunedin (Living the Good Life radio program)
FL-New Hope Christian Center, Pensecola
GA-New Covenant Church of Atlanta
MD-Kittamaqundi Community, Columbia
NC-Revolution Charlotte
OH-Emmanuel Fellowship Church, Akron
OH-All Saints Community Church, Cortland
TN-Covenant of the Cross-Madison
TX-New Hope Fellowship Church-Dallas
TX-White Rock Community Church-Dallas
TX-Community Gospel Church-Houston
TX-Through Him Fellowship-Houston
South Africa-Deo Gloria Family Church

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