September 24, 2005

Press On

Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV) "…..Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

These words were written by the Apostle Paul to the church at Philippi, the first Christian church established in Europe. Paul wrote this letter while he was imprisoned in Rome.

If anyone ever had a reason to leave his past behind, it was the Apostle Paul. Originally known as Saul, he was one of the main persecutors of the first Christians. Paul changed his ways after receiving a vision from God (known as a "Damascus Road" experience).

It would have been easy for Paul to wallow in guilt for the atrocities he had perpetrated upon those who followed Jesus. It is not hard to imagine someone in his position being so consumed by his remorse that he would be paralyzed and of little good to anyone.

When Paul received the Holy Spirit, however, he found the strength to move beyond that and become focused on the goals that lay ahead. God had granted him an opportunity to atone for his misdeeds many times over, and Paul was wise and strong enough to become one of the first evangelists.

All of us, straight or GLBT, have things in our past we regret. There could be decisions we made that resulted in very negative consequences for us, and also our loved ones. There could be acts of gratuitous pleasure and indulgence that left us wracked with guilt and self-loathing. It could be that there are goals we set our sights on and fell short, leaving our self-worth damaged.

In the scripture passage, I’m sure Paul did not mean to literally forget those types of experiences—how can we without hypnosis or amnesia. We also hopefully learned some valuable lessons from the mistakes and/or sins we committed that were critical in personal growth and making us more valuable servants to Jesus.

No, an effective way to apply this idea is to not dwell on the bad, the sinful, and the failure in our lives. Instead, take the lessons learned and apply those to opportunities we will have in the future. Just as important here is to actively seek out people to help, a church in which to serve and as the base of it all establish and nourish your personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

As I will expound on in a later post, God is always with us, even when we are sinning, when we are using poor judgment, and when we fall short. That often happens because we are not seeking his will. Instead, we are indulging our earthly desires or seeking the approval of another person instead of Jesus.

When we pray about what we are doing, read His word to learn more about the principles by which He wants us to live, and seek His will first in our lives, good things will happen. We can’t effectively do that if our focus is on how we screwed up our lives and that of others. It needs to be on how we can use our gifts to serve him going forward and by doing that help others.

Jesus died on the cross as payment for our sins. What that means to us is if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior and ask him to forgive our sins, he will. He will also help us forgive ourselves. I know in my life, that, in some areas, is still a work in progress. I also know that Jesus has performed some amazing work inside my heart and soul in the past year since I’ve been more actively seeking Him, and He strongly desires to do the same for you.

In this blog, you will see more posts where I take scripture and write about how I apply it to my life and how you can do the same. When I write about sin, my heart believes that scripture does not include homosexuality. If it did, why would God baptize homosexuals with the Holy Spirit, something I have seen first hand in my church. Scripture condemns promiscuity of ANY type. As a straight man, this applies no more or less to me than any GLBT individual.

God has led me to believe that ALL of his word applies to straight and GLBT people alike, and he can bring you that enlightenment if you open your heart and your mind.

September 21, 2005

Linking Up and Spreading the Word

You may have noticed in recent days that I have added a lot of links to this blog. I have endeavored to join as many different communities and webrings as possible that might have some connection to or interest in the message of inclusion and Christ's love for ALL people. I would encourage you to visit some of the sites that are in these communities, but please be advised that not all of them share the same point of view.

I decided to branch out and try, especially in Christian and GLBT communities, to get connected where people who don't share the same values may take a few moments and read what we have to share in this small corner of the blogosphere. It's fine to "preach to the choir," but it is also important to reach those who have not received the fullness of Jesus' love and acceptance and touch that uncultivated portion of their hearts and souls. Unfortuately, this blog has already been rejected by several Christian communities who are not willing to share this viewpoint with their members, but there are others who have included the site. I'll keep trying.
If anyreaders have any suggestions of additional communities or sites that I should investigate getting linked up to, please e-mail me and I will follow up on it.

Since I began this push within the last two weeks, traffic here has nearly doubled. May God bless any first-time visitors and I continue to seek his will and guidance in every post I make.

September 20, 2005

Baylor Gets "Gay" Coffee Cups Pulled, Society Is Saved

Baylor University, strongly encouraged by a group called "Concerned Women for America," had the campus Starbucks shop pull coffee cups containing quotes from authors and other well-known people. According to this report on, Starbucks had a series of cups made for their "The Way I See It" promotion. On about one out of every hundred cups was a quote from Armistead Maupin, author of the famous "Tales of the City," a chronicle of gay life in San Francisco. I read the book and saw the miniseries and thought both were fascinating.

Anyway, the CWA thought that Maupin's quote "promoted the homosexual agenda," and Baylor had the cups pulled.

When I have a point of view and I am secure with it, I don't worry about someone else voicing a different opinion. Should a discussion take place where ideas are exchanged, I don't focus on silencing the other point of view because my beliefs can stand on their own merits.

There are conservative groups that invest a lot of energy and resources in silencing anyone who might express any viewpoint that does not strictly condemn homosexuality. What are they so afraid of? That someone with different values might make sense?