November 18, 2005

I'm Off to Get Married!

I won't be posting again until early next week because I'm going to get married Saturday. I'll be writing about that and the process that led up to me being blessed with the most amazing woman God ever created next week along with resuming my regular posting.

November 17, 2005


Earlier this week I wrote about moving past anger. Here is an important reason why we should:

2 Corinthians 5:18-19 (NIV)--All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

We can not be part of a message of reconciliation if we are unwilling to do that in our own lives. It's hard folks, I know. The message Jesus brought to this earth is not an easy one to follow. Our sinful natures push back against it all the time. When we are angry with someone, we want revenge, we want an apology, we want a concession that we were right and the other person was wrong.

That is not a part of Jesus message to us. We are charged with seeking reconciliation in this world, not just to people who are nice to us or those who have hurt us and apologized. We need to take the lead in forgiveness, extend our hand, and open our heart to that individual.

Sometimes we suck it up and do this and don't receive the type of response we feel is deserved, then go away madder than ever. Jesus showed us by his very life that we should follow God's commands without expecting earthly reward. After all, how was he rewarded by man for the healing and miracles he performed in his time on earth?

Over the last few months, I reached out to two friends who I had issues with that caused us to stop communicating with each other. One of them, a very close friend from high school, reciprocated and healing has taken place without either one extracting a pound of flesh from the other. The other friend, who I knew through my late wife, initially responded well to my oveture but then drifted away again. After a couple of additional attempts to reestablish contact, I resigned myself to the fact that he was not ready to reestablish our friendship. I was saddened, but at peace because I had done what my heart had led me to do.

In both situations, I sought the will of the Holy Spirit and felt led to make the move toward healing. I'm glad I did with both people despite success with only one. A complete reconciliation with someone takes the willing and active participation of BOTH people. We can only do our part, but that's better than waiting on the other person.

As Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians, God has committed us to a message of reconciliation. If we are seeking his will in our lives, we need to seek it in every area.

November 15, 2005

This Message Is International

Thanks to a link from the Rainbow Ark Live Journal (check my list of links out to visit their site), this blog received a recent spike in international visitors, especially from Asia. Welcome!

When I began this blog on 6/20/05, it never occurred to me that I would receive many visitors from beyond the borders of the United States. Instead, readers have visited Straight, Not Narrow from 38 different nations! Just one of the many things I have learned during this process; the message of Jesus' love and inclusion is one that people hunger to hear all over the world.

I thank the sites based in France and Singapore that have posted links to Straight, Not Narrow. I'm glad you have found the material here worthwhile. As I add posts, I'll try whenever possible to view issues from a global perspective.

There are many false prophets spread out all over the world that would have people believe God hates them because of their ethnicity, social status, or sexual orientation. If you really know Jesus and don't filter his message through your own prejudices, it becomes clear that is not God's message.

Hate and exclusion are the message of the enemy. Love and inclusion is truly the heart of Jesus, and that's what you will find here. Thanks again for taking time to visit wherever in the world you might be. Please feel free to post a comment or e-mail me directly at straight_notnarrow@yahoo. The only restriction is that it must be in English--I do not have the gift of language.

November 14, 2005

Moving Past Anger

"My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires." James 1:19-20

Yeah, yeah, I know--those words are easy to repeat but hard to put in practice. After all, if I knew what (fill in the blank) did to you, I would understand your anger and feel the same way myself.

What do we accomplish when we have anger built up inside our hearts? Possibly shorten our lives, for one thing, but definately diminish the quality of it. That's right, WE'RE the ones that get hurt when WE let anger become a part of who we are. When we look at the world through the filter of negativism, we don't make anyone more unhappy than ourselves. There are plenty of times in our lives when the target of our anger doesn't even realize we're upset! They can go about their lives as if nothing is wrong and we're the ones carrying the extra weight around.

We can't hear this message too often because it is too easy to let anger build up inside of ourselves and take away from whatever good we have in our lives. Even worse, it gets in the way of our relationship with God. Can we really open our hearts and minds to the Holy Spirit if we're pissed off at our spouse/family/friends? No, because the noise of that anger will drown out what the Lord would tell us. He wants us to be still and listen--have you ever tried that if you're really agitated or your heart is just seething with anger? It just doesn't work.

I'm directing this to myself along with you the reader. I've had plenty of anger at people in my life, and I've held some of it for years until I realized I was the only one being hurt by it. Thanks to the work the Holy Spirit has done in my life over the past year, I've been able to let go of most of those bad feelings--it's still a work in progress.

I'm also sure that many of the readers of this blog have dealt with horriffic situations I have only heard or read about and never personnally experienced. I empathize with just how deeply some scars can run and how difficult they are to heal. They won't just go away, though, they need healing action taken to them. Talking to the person you are angry with can be a wonderful blessing. We have recently had some of those experiences at my church, and they have enriched the whole congregation.

Regardless of how deeply you have been hurt, the Holy Spirit can bring you through to the other side where you can know true peace and joy. That is available, free of charge, to every man and woman, regardless of denomination, race, or sexual orientation.

If you would like to speak to a minister or just have the prayer support of a congregation help you through to the other side of anger, you can contact Believers' Covenant Fellowship at I'll warn you, if you ask our church for prayer, you need to be ready for it to be answered because we have some amazing prayer warriors there. If you would be more comfortable speaking with a lay person, you can contact me by e-mail at

There is far too much anger in our world today. Let's do what we can as individuals to change that.