February 06, 2010

Affirming Words 2/6/10-"What To Want"

This is the transcript of a sermon given by Lucia Lloyd from St. Stephen's Episcopal Church in Heathsville, VA via GayChurch.org:

There are a few people who, even while they are being killed, pray that God will forgive those who are killing them. Jesus does this, and so does St. Stephen, our own patron saint. Forgiveness is the ultimate destination for all of us. We do not know exactly what heaven will be like. But a place in which there are no tears and no pain is a place in which the heavenly souls no longer hold on to anger, and anger has no hold on them anymore. Those who are in heaven now have already forgiven everyone who has hurt them. They are free. Would they want us to be free too?

I expect that the true answer to the question, “what do you wish for?” is “freedom.” It is the freedom that comes when we look honestly and unflinchingly at the pain of the past, to determine how much the other person has actually harmed us, and how much of the pain we feel actually comes from our thoughts about that person, and whether our thoughts continue to cause us pain long after the other person has stopped doing anything. We can ask ourselves whether the things the other person has said are true. Sometimes our friends won’t tell us the truth about ourselves, but our enemies will. We can learn from Herodias’s example that if there is any truth about what another person has said about us, we can learn from that and make our lives better. We can learn from Salome’s example that even the people we think should love us, do not always say things that are true. And if we find that the things the other person has said about us are not true, we can consider whether the real problem is our own thoughts about the person, and how we would feel if we didn’t have those thoughts. We can recognize that we live in a fallen world in which not everyone approves of us or accepts us, or even loves us. And in the end, that is okay.
Click here to read the rest of the sermon.

Affirming Resource 2/6/10-Christian Gays

Christian Gays is a community of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and supportive straight folks from many countries around the world. We range in age from 13 - 94. Most of us are "born again" Christians from all denominations, including many pastors, priests, ex-nuns, etc, and we also have folks who are questioning their faith.

We exist to provide you with a SAFE place to connect with others, and to provide the Resources you need to accept yourself as a Gay Christian.

We offer a Free Gay Christian Dating Service, Free Counseling, HIV & AIDS Support, Transgender & Intersex Information, GLBTIQ Youth Resources, Blogging, Chat Rooms, Social Group, Online Store, and much more.

Please visit the Join Our Family page for an explanation of how we interact with each other through our Social Group, Chat Rooms, Gay Christian Dating Service, etc.

You may also wish to receive our Newsletters and Chat Reminders . You must subscribe separately for each thing you wish to join. They are all independent of each other.

We would love to welcome you into "The Family"!

"There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Rom. 8:1
Click here to find out more.

From the SNN Library 2/6/10-"Quitting Church'

Even some leaders within "The Church" realize it's broken.  This book analyzes that and makes suggestions that we found helpful on how to start fixing it.

Amazon.com ratings: 16 of 26 reviews gave it at least 4 out of 5 stars
SNN rating: 3.5 stars

Duin brings two kinds of experiences to bear in this engaging little jeremiad: as religion editor for the Washington Times, she is in her element marshaling statistics, interviewing authors and clergy, and commenting on the trend of faithful evangelicals who increasingly vote with their feet by leaving their churches. But she's also a self-described born-again evangelical herself, coping with the personal pain of not having a viable and permanent church home. Drawing heavily on research by pollster George Barna, Duin diagnoses a widespread dissatisfaction among evangelicals, who feel their churches do a decent job with new Christians but fall far short with mature believers. In particular, Duin shows, women and singles are leaving churches in ever-greater numbers. (As a single woman herself, she discusses her own experiences with being marginalized while successfully evoking a larger context through research and polls.) Duin has some prescriptions to help with these problems, including meatier sermons that address real issues; house churches and micro-churches that foster more genuine community; and even in-church matchmaking services to help singles who want to find a mate.

Click here to read the user reviews or order a copy from Amazon.com.

Encouraging Music 2/6/10 "Here in Your Presence" by Charlie LeBlanc

Just For Fun 2/6/10-I Can Has Cheezburger

funny pictures of cats with captions
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Encouraging Words 2/6/10 The Light of God's Countenance

From: Love Worth Finding

“Lord, lift Thou up the light of Thy countenance upon us.” Psalm 4:6

How easy it is to be deceived when we are not walking in the light of God’s Word.

Charles Lindbergh tells about the time he was flying in a dense fog over Newfoundland. He noticed moisture beginning to freeze on the wings of his plane and thought, “This great adventure is going to come to an untimely end. What shall I do?”

Then, he had a moment of inspiration. He pulled his plane up and out of the fog and burst into the dazzling sunlight.

Have you ever felt like you were living in a fog? Friend, He has a word of encouragement for you. You can get near to the heart of God today. His light can shine even in the darkest corner of your heart.

· Ask God to shine His light into the darkness of your heart.

· Ask Him to reveal your doubts and fears.

· Ask Him to reveal your sin that lies covetously in your heart.

Then, get ready for a blessing. Draw up close because when you repent, He’ll reach in with healing forgiveness.

February 05, 2010

Affirming Words 2/5/10-"A New Way of Seeing"

Here's an essay from the site Sanctuary Collective:

For me, nowhere have there been more radicalizing moments than in my work with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender peoples of faith. The lives of these faithful children of God, with their stories of struggle, marginalization, redemption and hope, are a constant witness to the promise of the gospels that all our diversity is part of the reconciliation of Christ. That our whole lives are a creation of God and to be celebrated in a community of inclusion and acceptance.

The radical love and acceptance of my queer/straight alliance when I came out in college to rejection by my family, the testimony of faith and authenticity of my trans friends that changed my view of sex and gender forever, the daily actions of those working for LGBT equality around the world even in the face of violence and hate that threatens to take their very lives. These are the stories that give me hope; that inspire me to love. These are the moments of radicalization that have completely transformed how I live my life and encounter the lives of others.
Click here to read the rest of the essay.

Matthew 25 Resource 2/5/10-YouthLink (Minneapolis, MN)

YouthLink is one of the largest and most experienced nonprofit youth service providers in the Twin Cities. We specialize in the multiple needs of homeless and precariously housed youth (14-21). Street outreach, emergency crisis assistance, basic needs support, case management, housing support services, education, career/life transition planning and health and wellness are key areas of agency focus.

At YouthLink, a broad continuum of services—a virtual multi-service center—is available to youth all under one roof. We address each young person's needs using a positive youth development approach. We guide, encourage and advise youth toward self-sufficiency, self-empowerment and healthy connectedness.

Whether needing a hot meal, shower, clothes or help to find stable housing or to access college admissions—YouthLink is prepared to help.
Click here to find out more.

Affirming Church 2/5/10-Abundant Grace Church, Granite Falls, North Carolina

Abundant Grace Church is a dynamic family of real people committed to discovering and experiencing all that God intends for our lives.

Our church is here for everyone who desires to know God in a fresh, biblical way. A way that might be different from what you expect but just what you are looking for.

Our contemporary services are marked by a casual and friendly atmosphere, exciting praise and worship music, interesting and relevant preaching and most of all, the life-changing presence of God.

We believe in His unconditional love for all people-straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, white, black, asian, latino, rich or poor. His grace does not change our race or our sexual orientation, it simply gives it new purpose and meaning and allows us to become all that we were created to be!

Click here to find out more.

Encouraging Music 2/5/10 "Joy of My Desire" by Randy Rothwell

LGBT Helping Hands 2/5/10-APICHA (Asian-Pacific Island Coalition on HIV/AIDS)

APICHA’s mission is to combat HIV/AIDS stigma and related discrimination, to prevent the spread of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the Asian and Pacific Islander (A&PI) communities, and to provide care and treatment for A&PIs living with HIV/AIDS and their families.

In the fall of 1989, six Japanese American women activists founded APICHA after being inspired by the People of Color AIDS Conference earlier that year. Two years later, with a grant from the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Foundation and the fiscal sponsorship of the Family Health Project, APICHA hired its first two employees. By the fall of 1992, with additional support from the Joyce Mertz-Gilmore Foundation and a contract with N.Y.C., the staff had grown to six. APICHA was incorporated in December 1992, and granted tax-exempt status in May 1993. In February 1995, we moved into a small office in the Chelsea district of Manhattan. In July 2001, we moved into our current office in Lower Manhattan.

Click here to find out more.

Encouraging Words 2/5/10 Put on the Righteousness of Christ

From:  Love Worth Finding

“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering.” Colossians 3:12

Sometimes people will ask if I’m a preacher.

How do they know I’m a preacher before I’ve said anything “spiritual”?

I don’t want them to know that I am a preacher by the way I look. Now, I’m not ashamed that I’m a preacher, but I think a preacher ought to dress and act so that nobody will suspect he’s a preacher. We ought to be transparent vessels of the Lord’s anointing.

We’re not posturing, posing, or somehow going through life trying to look holy or trying to act holy. We just simply are what we are by the grace of God.

What does your outer appearance say about who you are in Christ? Dress in His robes of righteousness and His countenance of glory today.

February 04, 2010

Affirming Words 2/4/10-"Sharing Your Faith as a LGBTQ Christian"

This essay from LesBePure tackles that topic:

When asked to write on the topic of sharing your faith as a gay Christian I had to take a step back and think about it. I mean, how have I shared my faith since I came out less than a year ago? I have to admit I haven’t had many opportunities to do so lately and unfortunately, the opportunities I had, I backed away from. I was scared. Why? Because I wasn’t firm yet in who I was. I was still figuring out how to live an openly gay lifestyle and didn’t know how to combine the two aspects of myself. So, before anything else happened, I first had to figure out how to put these parts of my identity back together and see how they interacted. I had to take the time to pursue and study the experiences of others and piece together my own so I could understand that I wasn’t alone; that I was okay exactly where I was. I found out I could love God and be gay at the same time.

Shoo…okay, now that I had that part figured out it was time to put it into play. Actually, maybe it’s now time to put it into play. I’m walking through this journey with you and continuously learning how to be bold and stand for what I believe in.

You know, being a part of the gay Christian community is not always easy. Not only do we have to explain why we are gay, but we have to explain how we can be Christian and gay. So, within all of these questions and confusions we get from everyone around us, how do we learn to share our faith adequately? I think it has to start first by what I recently figured out: by knowing and being confident in our own identities and foundations. From there, we can take the opportunities to share and not only do we have to be firm enough in our foundations to share with unbelievers, but we also have to “know our stuff” in order to share and explain with the believers around us who do question our faith and motives.
Click here to read the rest of the essay.

Matthew 25 Resource 2/4/10-Food Bank of Lincoln (NE)

The Food Bank was founded by a concerned, innovative group of Lincoln’s citizens that recognized the need for such an organization, and that had a vision of a dynamic potential that could benefit southeast Nebraska’s non-profit community, and low-income families.

Our first building was at 36th and Adams, and the first General Manager of the Food Bank was Bob Troyer. Bob served in that capacity for two years, and was succeeded by Wende Baker, who was the Executive Director of the Food Bank for 17 years until the summer of 2001.

In 1987 the Food Bank moved to its second location, an 8,300 square feet structure at 57th and Russell Drive. In 1997 the Food Bank moved into its third and current location, 4840 Doris Bair Circle. The current facility has 21,500 square feet, and houses 13 staff members, and thousands of volunteers each year.

In 1983, the first full year of operation of the Food Bank, the organization gathered and distributed 405,988 pounds of food. Since the Food Bank opened its doors, we have gathered and distributed over 40,000,000 pounds of food in our sixteen county service area in southeast Nebraska. We have distributed over half of those pounds of food in the past 6 years.

In 2008 the Food Bank distributed 4,294,361 pounds of food, at an estimated wholesale value of $6,398,597. This year’s goal is to distribute 5,000,000 pounds of food to our 60 agencies in our 16 county service area in southeast Nebraska.
Click here to find out more

Affirming Resource 2/4/10-Rainbow Covenant Christian Ministries, St. Louis, Missouri

Hi, I am Pastor Lynn and I want to introduce you to Rainbow Covenant Christian Ministries. We are experiencing a time of growth and excitement and would love for you to come and see what God is doing.

November 2008 I celebrated my 21st anniversary in the ministry as a Pastor. God is leading me and the ministry into places we have never even dreamed would be possible. We are continuing to face new challenges and finding ourselves in unchartered waters. However, we don't have to be afraid of the unknown because Jesus is there. It is difficult to swim upstream to the unknown when floating downstream to what we know seems to be easier. However, the way that seems to be easier is usually the wrong way to go. RCCM is continuing to "buck the current". WOW!!! As we continue to swim, we notice that the scenery is changing so we must be moving forward. As we remain in God's will there will be tough times but He will "never leave us nor forsake us". I want to continue to "run this race" so that more people will hear of His love and His power to change their life. We must always remember that life is all about the journey with Jesus and then we'll be home. It doesn't get any better than that. "Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say Rejoice!"..

RCCM has a Vision:

To love without judgment or condemnation
To offer the hope of Jesus Christ to the hopeless ..
To teach the principles of living by Faith
To pray for people who desire healing for their spirit, soul (mind) or body.
To affirm God’s love to those who believe that they are not worthy of His love.

Click here to find out more.

Encouraging Music 2/4/10 "Glorify Thy Name" by Hosanna Music

LGBT Helping Hands 2/4/10-The LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland

Founded in 1975, the Center is a community-based non-profit agency working toward a society free of homophobia and gender oppression by advancing the respect, human rights and dignity of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.

The Center's core program areas are Social Justice, Social Service and Services that are Social.

Through Out For Justice, we advocate with elected officials and governing bodies to provide equal protections to LGBT people. We are a Hate Crimes Reporting Site, we provide competency training to law enforcement on a local and federal level, and we provide information and referral for legal and employment help. Through Project 180 we provide cultural competency training to schools and administrators; mental and medical health professionals, municipal bodies, non-profits, and corporations all with the goal of improving the conditions and experiences of LGBT people as students, consumers, employees and neighbors.

Through our area-wide programming we try to meet LGBT people of all ages, right where they are. Through METRO YOUTH OUTREACH, we provide daily outreach, counseling, case management, and programming for youth ages 5-24 and a 24-hour youth hotline 888-429-8761. Through our HEALTH and WEALTH programming we provide our adult community members with counseling, group support, health workshops and information, seminars on financial health, twice-weekly Senior drop-in, events and myriad group activities.

An events committee coordinates fund-raising, special events (such as our popular annual Garden Party and the TaDa! Dinner Series). Our administrative staff handles media relations and advocacy and programming staff handles the scheduling of the several meetings and events that take place at the Center each week.

Through its information line, the Center serves as a reference/help desk for the entire LGBT community, pairing callers with (216-651-LGBT) LGBT-affirming doctors, lawyers, therapists, support groups and more. It also has a merchants program and offers the community a number of resources at its facility.
Click here to find out more.

Encouraging Words 2/4/10 The Lesson of Prayer

From:  Love Worth Finding

“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10

Some time ago I was invited to preach in another state, and my schedule was such that I could not come. When they offered to send a private plane, I agreed.

As we flew over Arkansas, the pilot asked me if I wanted to try my hand at flying the plane, and I said, “Yes!”

Of course, he was sitting right next to me. He could fly the plane without me, but I couldn’t fly it without him. He had his hands on his controls all the while, and he allowed me to participate with him.

That’s the way prayer is.

God can do it without you, but God enables you to have fellowship with Him and teaches you a dependency upon Him through prayer.

Kneel before Him today. Meditate on 1 Chronicles 16:23-36. Glory in His presence.

February 03, 2010

Affirming Words 2/3/10-"Bottom Are Tops in the Kingdom"

Here's an essay from the site CreatedGay.com:

Matthew 18:15-17 (CEV) If one of my followers sins against you, go and point out what was wrong. But do it in private, just between the two of you. If that person listens, you have won back a follower. But if that one refuses to listen, take along one or two others. The Scriptures teach that every complaint must be proven true by two or more witnesses. If the follower refuses to listen to them, report the matter to the church. Anyone who refuses to listen to the church must be treated like an unbeliever or a tax collector.

The Gospel passage is one that could bring back painful memories for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans-identified people who were disciplined by a church for just being who themselves. Generally, I’ve seen this passage applied to cases where one church member needed church discipline, or a church member had defrauded another church member.

Those who base church discipline practices on this passage often miss the real message. We are to treat those offend us like tax collectors. When we reflect on what that means, we need to reflect on Jesus’ life. How did Jesus treat tax collectors? He hung with them, He partied with them. He did not reject them, condemn them to hell, or tell them they were sinners who had to change.

While some principles from this passage can apply to church discipline, I am not convinced that is quite what Jesus was discussing. What Jesus was talking about might have much more meaning to the queer community than many of the more traditional interpretations of the passage on settling disputes in St. Matthew.
Click here to read the rest of the essay.

Matthew 25 Resource 2/3/10-Stop Hunger Now

Stop Hunger Now is an international hunger relief organization that coordinates the distribution of food and other life-saving aid around the world. The organization is driven by a vision to end world hunger in our lifetime and a mission to provide food and life-saving aid to the world’s most destitute and hungry in the most sustainable, efficient and effective manner.

Stop Hunger Now’s meal packaging program provides volunteers the opportunity to package dehydrated, high protein, and highly nutritious meals that are used in crisis situations and in school feeding programs for schools and orphanages in developing countries around the world.

In its efforts to respond to emergency needs around the world Stop Hunger Now receives and distributes significant donations of in-kind aid. These donations are large quantities of food, medicines, medical supplies and other such items as may be of use in fighting hunger and providing relief in a crisis.

Click here to find out more.

Affirming Resource 2/3/10-All Saints Community Church, Cortland, Ohio

Welcome to All Saints Community Church, located in Cortland, Ohio. We worship at 10:30am every Sunday.

Our goal: Being Jesus to others

Our mission:

We are an affirming Christian fellowship, welcoming all to worship with us regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, socioeconomic status, or spiritual background.

We offer the unconditional love of Jesus to all who enter.

We recognize that all of God's children are special, wonderful, and unique.

We use our God-given gifts to promote Christ's love and justice to and for the world.

We believe the salvation of Christ is given to ALL who accept Him as their personal Lord and Savior. We will introduce Christ to all who seek Him.

We offer the Sacraments of Baptism, Anointing, Marriage, and Holy Union to all official members. We offer the sacrament of Eucharist to all of the community of believers.

We celebrate the Eucharist each time we gather for Sunday worship.

If this is the type of church you are seeking, read on.

Click here to find out more.

Encouraging Music 2/3/10 "Don't Grow Weary" by Hosanna Music

LGBT Helping Hands 2/3/10-Rainbow Heights Club (Brooklyn, NY)

Rainbow Heights Club, located in Brooklyn, New York, is an advocacy program for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender consumers requiring mental health services. We provide socialization, support, peer advocacy, and a safe place to take the next step on your road to emotional recovery and wellness.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who also experience major mental illness face many difficult challenges. In hospitals, clinics and day treatment programs, they may feel uncomfortable talking about their identities and experiences as LGBT people. Maybe this has happened to you.

You may have hidden your sexual identity from other consumers, or from your doctor, nurse or therapist. You may have felt alone, scared or misunderstood. Similarly, in LGBT community centers and other environments, you may have been reluctant to talk about the parts of your life that have been affected by your mental illness and recovery, because you were afraid that other people in the community would not understand or accept you.

Rainbow Heights Club provides a supportive and encouraging environment where you can be fully yourself and begin to heal.
Click here to find out more.

Encouraging Words 2/3/10 Why Doesn't God Obliterate Evil?

From: Love Worth Finding

“Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine.” 1 Chronicles 29:11

Have you ever wondered why God doesn’t obliterate the devil and eradicate all sin?

If God destroyed evil, God would destroy every opportunity of choice. And if God were to destroy every opportunity for choice, then God would destroy every opportunity for love. Therefore, God would destroy the highest good.

For God to destroy evil would be evil. God doesn’t destroy evil; instead God defeats evil. How? Through Calvary and the resurrection, God turns every hurt into a hallelujah. Every defeat into victory!

Spend some time today thinking about heaven and the glorious reunion you’re going to have with Him one day.

February 02, 2010

Affirming Words 2/2/10-"Stand Up And Say, 'This Is Who I Am'"

That's the advice Dr. Kenneth Samuel, Pastor of Victory Church in Atlanta, GA offered in this interview:
TN: How would you advise someone who has heard their pastor preach a "bashing sermon" to go to them and voice their concerns?

KS: The people who have the most impact in changing the homophobic culture of the black church are the SGL persons themselves. Those who are secure enough in who they are to stand up to the pastors and say, "this is who I am". That's where it begins. A lot of what is propagated from the pulpit is done so anonymously so they just throw it out there. It's one thing for them to say something and not know exactly whom they're talking to. But for someone to go to him or her and say "What you said hurt me and offended me. I'm an active, tithing member of this church, and I'm here because I believe God moves here. But I want you to know that when you make those statements it's offensive and hurtful, because I'm just as much a child of God as you are". And if you have a pastor that cannot deal with that, then for the life of me, I don't know why they would want to stay. But you then will then have raised some serious issues. The pastors will no longer be shooting blanks, they will know that there are people looking at them how are personally and directly offended by that they have said. That will at least make the pastors think about how what they say affects people. Now there are some who have gone to their pastors and they pastor STILL bashes, and they stay. To me that is self-flagellation. It's a waste of your energy, your money, and your time. You go to church to be inspired and empowered. To be challenged to be better than who you are, not to be dehumanized. What is church about if you cannot learn how to be the best you can be? You can't be the best you are if you deny who you are.
Click here to read the rest of the interview.

Matthew 25 Resource 2/2/10-YouthCare (Seattle, WA)


To build confidence and promote self sufficiency for homeless and underserved youth by providing shelter, hope and support.


Founded in 1974, YouthCare was the first shelter for homeless youth in the Western United States and continues to be a leader in providing services to this vulnerable population. Beginning as a three-bed shelter for runaways, YouthCare has grown and expanded to become a community-based agency with six sites serving the greater Seattle area.

Today, YouthCare’s services range from street outreach and residential housing to education and employment training.
Click here to find out more.

Affirming Resource 2/2/10-The Way of Grace Fellowship Church, Sutton, Nebraska

For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.
Romans 12:4

We are people of God. We are farmers, ranchers, teachers, businessmen, lawyers, veterinarians, mailmen, office workers, clerks, secretaries, quilters, bakers, candlestick makers, electricians, carpenters, retired, working, able bodied and physically and emotionally challenged. We are young and old (5 to 94), men and women, working and retired. Truly we come from all walks of life. Some of us have been on a journey with God for a lifetime and others are just discovering the Holy Mystery. Our personal religious histories include Methodist, Presbyterian, Congregational, Reformed, Mennonite, Baptist, Lutheran, Roman Catholic and a few who were previously excommunicated from a church/denomination. Some of us have always attended a church of some kind, and some of us left the church decades ago, and some of us have never been part of the church. Some of us have lived with our doubts about it all forever and many have been afraid to ever share their deepest thoughts about who God is. But at Way of Grace, we have learned trust and we have learned to agree to disagree and still remain in relationship. We all seem to feel called to something MORE. We all want to learn and grow in the Spirit. We believe that God can transform our lives and make us more than we ever imagined. We believe that caring for each other and for ALL our neighbors is what Jesus calls us to do. We have chosen to be on this spiritual journey together and to embrace being inclusive. And “No matter who you are, or where you are on your journey, you will be welcome at Way of Grace.”

Click here to find out more.

Encouraging Music 2/2/10 "The Celebration Song" by Hosanna Music

LGBT Helping Hands 2/2/10-Open House (for LGBT seniors in San Francisco, CA)

Founded in 1998, openhouse is building critically-needed housing, services and community programs to support the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender older adults.

In April 2008, openhouse received permission from the City of San Francisco to build at least 88 units of affordable housing with support services that will be welcoming to LGBT seniors at 55 Laguna Street.

openhouse is changing the culture of long term care by training service providers to create welcoming, safe and secure environments for the LGBT clients they serve.

Through community organizing, openhouse is fostering the development of intentional LGBT senior communities so that members can support one another as they age.
Click here to find out more.

Encouraging Words 2/2/10 Vain Repetitions

From: Love Worth Finding

“But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” Matthew 6:7

It was a very long, tiring day. I had preached three sermons and dictated a stack of letters. And at the close of each letter I ended it, “In Jesus’ name, Adrian Rogers.”

A man came to me at the end of a service and said, “I must see you. I have a severe problem.” I was bone weary but I said, “Very well, come on back and let’s talk.”

He talked and I listened. My heart was moved with compassion. I said, “Let me pray for you.” And when I finished I said, “In Jesus’ name, Adrian Rogers.” And then I thought, “Oh my! Did I say that? Did he hear me say that?” How easily we slip and rattle off our prayers.

Do you find yourself using repetitive phrases in your prayer life? Today, just talk with God. Don’t think too much about your words. Follow your heart.

February 01, 2010

Affirming Words 2/1/10-You Don't WORK Your Way to Heaven

We've run across a lot of people who feel that they have to perform a certain amount of "good works" to earn their spot in heaven.  Wrong!  A person can never do enough to earn their way into heaven.  The only path is by faith in Jesus and acceptance of Him as Lord and Savior.  That faith, however, should lead to good works.  Here is an essay about that topic from the website Purple Pew:

The debate of justification by faith alone, which started with Martin Luther in the 16th century, is still ongoing today. There are two sides of this debate: the one side that reads Paul’s verses in the Bible and says “by faith” and the other that reads James’ and says “by works”.

But Paul and James are not in opposition. Actually, they are in agreement with one another. And that’s what I’ll explain.

Paul writes in Romans 3:20-26: “Therefore by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified in his [God’s] sight: for by the Law cometh the knowledge of sin. But now is the righteousness of God made manifest without the Law, having witness of the Law and the Prophets, to wit, the righteousness of God by faith in Jesus Christ, unto all, and upon all that believe. For there is no difference: for all have sinned, and are deprived of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth to be a reconciliation through faith in his blood to declare his righteousness, by the forgiveness of the sins that are passed through the patience of God, to show at this time his righteousness, that he might be just, and a justifier of him which is of the faith in Jesus.”

(27-28) “Where is then the rejoicing? It is excluded. By what Law? of works? Nay: but by the Law of faith.” Therefore, we can conclude that a man is justified by faith without the works of the Law.

Matthew 25 Resource 2/1/10-Food Gatherers (Ann Arbor, MI)


Food Gatherers exists to alleviate hunger and eliminate its causes in our community by: reducing food waste through the rescue and distribution of perishable and non-perishable food, coordinating with other hunger relief providers, educating the public about hunger, and developing new food resources.


Food Gatherers is not only Michigan’s first food rescue program, but the first program of its kind to be founded by a for-profit business, our own Zingerman’s Delicatessen. In 1997, Food Gatherers also assumed responsibility for the county food bank. Today, it is an independent 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization governed by a board of directors and operated by 15 staff people and close to 5,000 different dedicated volunteers. Food Gatherers is now the primary distributor of food in Washtenaw County.


We glean surplus food from more than 300 sources including restaurants like Tio’s Southwestern Cafe, food retailers like Busch’s Fresh Food Market, food wholesalers like Gordon’s Food Service and University of Michigan dormitories. Our association with The Food Bank Council of Michigan connects us to statewide food donations, and through Feeding America—the national network of food banks—we are connected to large corporate donors such as Kraft, ConAgra and Kellogg. Then there are people like you who donate canned items, food from gardens, dry goods and money. Food Gatherers exists because of the caring and generosity of many individuals in the community!


Food Gatherers provides enough food for more than 8,000 meals a day. Food Gatherers brings the food to more than 150 community programs serving our neighbors - mostly families and children - in need of food. The agencies receiving our food include St. Andrews Breakfast Program, Dawn Farm, Salvation Army, SOS Community Services and Hope Clinic.
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Affirming Resource 2/1/10-Open Door Community Church, Sherwood Arkansas

Open Door Community Church is a nondenominational Christian Church.
Many have been bruised in the name of "religion." We believe that it is time for the healing to begin! Our worship is contemporary, meaningful, uplifting, and fun.

Open Door Community Churches offer a message of reconciliation and bridgebuilding between the Christian community and those who have felt alienated from it through law-filled teachings not based on the grace we believe Christ intended. We exist to proclaim God's unconditional love to all and to provide fellowship, friendship and spiritual opportunities to all.

The leadership at Open Door Community Churches are excited to see gay and non-gay Christians worshiping together as one. We believe that gay and non-gay Christians can and should come to the table of the Lord together, side by side, without labels. We believe that as these two historically separate communities join together at the cross of Jesus Christ a healing and a new understanding of oneness in Christ occurs in both groups. We are part of a growing revival of grace-filled Christians transcending either the terms "conservative" or "liberal". Above all things, we are a GRACE CHURCH!

We are a family embracing the full spectrum of race, age, gender, family status, sexual orientation, economic status and denominational background.

We invite all who have a heart to follow Jesus to join us on this exciting journey of bridge-building and ministry!

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Encouraging Music 2/1/10 "Lead Me to the Rock" by Hosanna Integrity

LGBT Helping Hands 2/1/10-The Center Project (Myrtle Beach, SC)

The Center Project secured a location and opened its doors in June 2006. Using the Assessment Survey as a guide, the facility offers a multimedia library, open-air patio space, satellite cable, a lounge area, conference room, and a widely popular cyber center complete with printing and fax services.

Since its opening, The Center's housed a political candidates' forum, transgender support groups, confidential HIV testing, Alcoholics Anonymous, and various meetings of local GLBT groups. Talks and lectures from gay Christians, authors and other visionaries are common. It features monthly meet-and-greets, holiday parities and meals, picnics and benefits at area venues.

Groups for GLBT parents and a gay seniors group have formed. The Center has established ties with regional and national organizations, such as GLAAD, the South Carolina Equality Coalition, the National Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Centers, StepUp! Community Volunteer Network and Careteam, the region’s AIDS service organization. And with both local and regional media watching, the Center has done all of this in the public.

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Encouraging Words 2/1/10 How to Know the Will of God

From: Love Worth Finding

“If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” John 15:7

Do you want to know the will of God in your life? Here’s a test: How much time do you spend reading the Bible?

Do you think God really believes we want to know His will if we don’t take even 15 minutes a day to read the one book above all books that He has specifically written to show us His will — to reveal His will to us, to unfold His will to us?

Your first step in knowing His will is the surrender principle — surrendering your will to His. Your second step is the scripture principle. Read His word, meditate upon it, share it, and study it. When you bow to His will and read His will, you’ll know His will.

Commit to reading God’s Word at least 15 minutes a day for 30 days. When the month is over, re­evaluate what you have learned and ask God to help you be obedient to daily Bible reading from that day forward.