September 26, 2009

LGBT Helping Hands 9/26/09-Galop (London, England)

Galop works to prevent and challenge homophobic and transphobic hate crime in Greater London. We reduce crimes against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, and campaign for an improved criminal justice system.

Galop’s ancilliary services have seen successful growth in the areas of joint or partnership working, continuing to improve LGBT community involvement, advising and improving communications between local authorities, statutory bodies and other organisations in order to make policing more responsive, in particular advising the Metropolitan Police Service jointly with the LGBT Advisory Group.

Galop continues to lead the way, most notably launching a ground-breaking project providing the only specialist LGBT sexual abuse support in the country and publishing a landmark report increasing understanding of unreported LGBT hate crime and of services available to victims of these crimes.

Galop is located in London, England. Click here to find out more.

Encouraging Words 9/26/09-Unexpected Allies

From the HRC's Out In Scripture series, scripture taken from the Common Lectionary:

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Proper 21), Year B

Who brings healing? Who brings justice? Are you ever surprised whom God may be using for God’s purposes? Does God enlist those we often disregard to carry out God’s reign of compassion and justice?

This week's lectionary Bible passages:
Esther 7:1-6, 9-10, 9:20-22 and Psalm 124 or Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29 and Psalm 19:7-14; James 5:13-20; and Mark 9:38-50

Click here to read this week's commentary and questions for meditation/discussion.

SNN Recommends 9/26/09-Freedom in Christ Evangelical Church, San Francisco, CA

If you are looking for an evangelical, charismatic church, that is gay affirming and that believes and preaches the Word of God look no further, because we are that church. We are a people who love God and are called by God to be His lighthouse in San Francisco.

The message of God's love and of the Gospel of Jesus Christ must be shared to our community. For too long many of you have believed the lie that you can't be Christian and be Gay. For this reason you have strayed away from God and stayed away from His church. God is calling you home. God is awesome and has been doing a great work in our church. If you don't have a church home, come and visit us and see for yourself what God is doing.

Click here to find out more.

Encouraging Music 9/26/09-You Reign by Mercy Me

New U.N. President-Being Gay "Not Really Acceptable"

A new obstacle has emerged in the fight for LGBT equality across the globe-the newly installed President of the United Nations. Here is a report from On Top Magazine (hat tip to PageOneQ):

The new president of the United Nations has called being gay “not acceptable.”

Ali Abdussalam Treki, of Libya, opened the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly Friday with a press conference where he answered questions on a variety of topics.

When asked about a UN resolution that calls for the universal decriminalization of being gay, Treki called the matter “very sensitive.”

“[T]hat matter is very sensitive, very touchy,” Treki said. “As a Muslim, I am not in favor of it … it is not accepted by the majority of countries. My opinion is not in favor of this matter at all. I think it's not really acceptable by our religion, our tradition”

“It is not acceptable in the majority of the world. And there are some countries that allow that, thinking it is a kind of democracy … I think it is not,” he added.

The resolution eventually was approved during last year's session but proved controversial. President Obama reversed course on the issue and backed the resolution. But Vatican officials denounced it, saying it might promote gay marriage.

The resolution, sponsored by France and the Netherlands, met with strong resistance from a group of Arab leaders who challenged it with a statement condemning being gay. The anti-gay resolution failed but attracted 60 signatures on its first day. The Arab-backed statement decried the decriminalization of being gay because it might lead to “the social normalization, and possibly the legitimization, of many deplorable acts including pedophilia.”

Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs committee, blasted the new president's comments.

“The anti-gay bigotry spewed by this Qaddafi shill demonstrates once again that the UN has been hijacked by advocates of hate and intolerance,” she said.

Nice to see the republicans seize on this to support their anti-UN stance, but of course much more lobbying, education, and outreach is needed to overcome this attitude and ensure LGBT all over the world are treated with respect and equality.

Daily Devotional 9/26/09 "Out of Any Circumstance"

From: Faith's Checkbook

"As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me" (Psalm 55:16).

Yes, I must and will pray. What else can I do! What better can I do? Betrayed, forsaken, grieved, baffled, O my LORD, I will call upon Thee. My Ziklag is in ashes, and men speak of stoning me; but I encourage my heart in the LORD, who will bear me through this trial as He has borne me through so many others. Jehovah shall save me; I am sure He will, and I declare my faith. The LORD and no one else shall save me. I desire no other helper and would not trust in an arm of flesh even if I could. I will cry to Him evening, and morning, and noon, and I will cry to no one else, for He is all sufficient. How He will save me I cannot guess; but He will do it, I know. He will do it in the best and surest way, and He will do it in the largest, truest, and fullest sense. Out of this trouble and all future troubles the great I AM will bring me as surely as He lives; and when death comes and all the mysteries of eternity follow thereon, still will this be true: "the LORD shall save me." This shall be my song all through this autumn day. Is it not as a ripe apple from the tree of life? I will feed upon it. How sweet it is to my taste!

September 25, 2009

LGBT Helping Hands 9/25/09-New Mexico AIDS Services

New Mexico AIDS Services (NMAS) is a 501(c)3 non-profit community based organization whose mission is to enhance the quality of life for people and communities affected by HIV/AIDS through innovative and comprehensive services, support and prevention education.

NMAS operates under the guidance and leadership of a Board of Directors, 43 employees and over 150 volunteers who fulfill the mission of the agency. NMAS provides high quality non-judgmental, science-based health promotion, and disease prevention interventions that are focused on the community, the family, and the client.

NMAS was started by a group of concerned citizens in response to the growing problem of HIV/AIDS throughout the state. The desperate need for HIV prevention and direct care services quickly became evident, and the group incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

This organization is based in Albuquerque, NM. Click here to find out more.

In 1997, new trends in HIV treatment shifted client needs away from acute care services towards practical/psycho/social services, such as case management, home care services, housing, nutritional assistance and vocational rehabilitation and new approaches to prevention and education programs. After 23 years on the front lines in the battle against AIDS, NMAS has grown to meet the needs of people impacted by HIV/AIDS in our communities.

SNN Recommends 9/25/09 (for fun): "Gospel" Duet with Robin Williams & Wayne Brady

If you enjoyed the TV show "Who's Line Is It Anyway?" hosted by Drew Carey that was on a few years ago, you'll love this--a duet sung in gospel style by a very blond Robin Williams and series regular Wayne Brady.

Encouraging Music 9/25/09 "Amazing Grace" By Charlotte Church

Out Congressman Supports States Rights Regarding Same-Sex Marriages

Congressman Jared Polis, an out Democrat from Colorado, does not support federally mandated legal same-sex marriages, but he strongly supports the end of DOMA. Here is an excerpt from an essay he wrote for CNN:

Thirteen years ago, Congress passed the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, which effectively outlawed same-sex marriage. At that time, no states allowed same-sex couples to marry. It was a so-called "defense" against something that was only hypothetical at the time.

Today we have tens of thousands of married same-sex couples in this country, raising families and paying taxes in the five states that have granted them the right to marry. Both President Clinton, who signed DOMA into law in 1996, and Rep. Bob Barr, who originally authored DOMA have agreed it is time for its repeal. This law prevents states from determining what marriages to allow or not allow by second guessing them at the federal level.

To end this injustice, I co-authored legislation that would ensure that valid marriages are respected under federal law, and spoke at a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol announcing the bill's introduction this week.

The Respect for Marriage Act will provide couples with much-needed certainty that their lawful marriages will be honored under federal law and that they will have the same access to federal responsibilities and rights as all other married couples.

The Respect for Marriage Act would not tell any state who can marry or how married couples must be treated for purposes of state law, and would not obligate any person, church, city or state to celebrate or license a marriage of two people of the same sex.

It would merely restore the approach historically taken by states of determining, under principles of comity and full faith and credit, whether to honor a couple's marriage for purposes of state law. Churches should be able to decide what kinds of unions are sanctified by their denomination, but not what kinds of unions are accepted in the civil arena. As an example, the Catholic Church will not remarry a divorced person (without an "annulment"), but divorced men and women are allowed to remarry under civil law.

While I have advocated for the state-by-state approach to equality in marriage, I have done so figuring that getting something with that degree of social change would be much harder if not impossible to get through Congress. While I still believe that, I also believe that federal legislation would be the best-case scenario for the LGBT community. I don't believe your civil rights should depend on what state you live in--Americans should have equal protection under laws that provide equal freedom.

Click here to read the rest of Rep. Polis' essay.

Daily Devotional 9/25/09 "The Reach of Almighty Grace"

From: Faith's Checkbook

"It shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not My people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God" (Hosea 1:10).

Sovereign grace can make strangers into sons, and the LORD here declares His purpose to deal thus with rebels and make them know what He has done. Beloved reader, the LORD has done this in my case; has He done the like for you? Then let us join hands and hearts in praising His adorable name. Some of us were so decidedly ungodly that the LORD's Word most truly said to our conscience and heart, "Ye are not my people." In the house of God and in our own homes, when we read the Bible, this was the voice of God's Spirit in our soul, "Ye are not my people." Truly a sad, condemning voice it was. But now, in the same places, from the same ministry and Scripture, we hear a voice, which saith, "Ye are the sons of the living God." Can we be grateful enough for this? Is it not wonderful? Does it not give us hope for others? Who is beyond the reach of almighty grace? How can we despair of any, since the LORD has wrought so marvelous a change in us?He who has kept this one great promise will keep every other; wherefore, let us go forward with songs of adoration and confidence.

September 24, 2009

LGBT Helping Hands 9/24/09-A Place For Us (Lakewood, OH)

The vision of A Place For Us Development, Inc. as a nonprofit organization, whose mission is to provide housing, wellness services and cultural and spiritual programming for aging gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered individuals and the broader community. We seek monies to provide services that will address the physical, psychological, educational, spiritual and social needs of our resident members through housing and on site health care services.

It is important to note that this targeted and underserved population of aging Americans within the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community should feel safe, secure and affirmed with dignity and respect. Therefore, APFU’s our purpose to honor their rights as humans by validating their needs. We will assist them to no longer live in the “closet”.

We are proposing to build such a creative and diverse vibrant community, which will welcome all from all generations and walks of life. This community will offer its services to the broader community; thus, creating a wide base network of resources.

We will work collaboratively with other organizations and community resources and on site and off site classes will be encouraged for intergenerational communication. Thus our goal is to focus on creating a community and becoming a visible link to our community’s resources to the community at large.

A Place For Us is based in Lakewood, OH. Click here to find out more.

SNN Recommends 9/24/09: The Evangelical Network

We were both very excited recently to be accepted as Christian Worker Affiliate members of The Evangelical Network.

The Evangelical Network IS a network of Bible believing churches, ministries, Christian workers and individuals from various spectrums of the Body of Christ, who desire to connect with The Evangelical Network for impartation and relationship. The Evangelical Network exists to promote and encourage the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to ALL and to unite us in purpose and witness and to be a positive resource and support for Christian gays and lesbians. We have an incredible opportunity to work together in partnership.

TEN has made reaching out to predominantly straight churches and engaging in dialogue a point of emphasis in recent months, an effort we obviously hope to help out with.

Click here to find out more.

Encouraging Music 9/24/09 "How Great Thou Art" By Carrie Underwood

Presbyterians (PCUSA) Can't Agree on Gay Relationships

From the Christian Post:

Presbyterians have come to a similar conclusion as Lutherans recently did about same-gender relationships: they cannot agree.

In a draft report, a special committee of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) stated that there continues to be a struggle in the denomination and they are left with "honest and sincere disagreements" on the issue of same-sex marriage and partnerships.

"What is the place of covenanted same-gender partnerships in the Christian community? The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) cannot agree," the Special Committee to Study Issues of Civil Unions and Christian Marriage said in its September report.

Last month, the Evangelical Lutheran Church adopted a social statement on human sexuality also stating that they lack consensus on the matter of same-gender relationships. The statement, however, went on to recommend to the wider denomination that they commit themselves to finding ways to recognize such relationships.

Just as Lutherans have been urged to stay together and listen to one another as they continue to wrestle with their disagreements, Presbyterians are being given the same plea.

"The question before us is not what issue will define us at any given moment, but whether then Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) can acknowledge that our unity in Christ supersedes any other claim or argument clamoring for our attention," the special committee stated, calling Presbyterians to listen to one another with openness and respect.

The same General Assembly passed a resolution that would allow gay and lesbian candidates for ordination to conscientiously object the current requirement that clergy live in "fidelity within the covenant of marriage between and a man and a woman, or chastity in singleness."

The PC(USA) currently defines marriage as between a man and a woman but the 2.3 million-member denomination has been debating the issue of homosexuality for the past three decades.

I'm not sure how appealing this approach is, either for those opposed to same-sex relationships or LGBT people--hard to feel confident of support for either position in an atmosphere of uncertainty or confusion. At least there is not outright condemnation of LGBT people and there is still discussion, which means there is still hope that the PCUSA can wind up taking a strongly affirming at some point, although that doesn't appear anywhere near imminent.

Click here to read the rest of the story.

Daily Devotional 9/24/09 "Like Palm and Cedar"

From: Faith's Checkbook

"The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon" (Psalm 92:12).

These trees are not trained and pruned by man: palms and cedars are "trees of the LORD," and it is by His care that they flourish. Even so it is with the saints of the LORD: they are His own care. These trees are evergreen and are beautiful objects at all seasons of the year. Believers are not sometimes holy and sometimes ungodly: they stand in the beauty of the LORD under all weathers. Everywhere these trees are noteworthy: no one can gaze upon a landscape in which there are either palms or cedars without his attention being fixed upon these royal growths. The followers of Jesus are the observed of all observers: like a city set on a hill, they cannot be hid. The child of God flourishes like a palm tree, which pushes all its strength upward in one erect column without a single branch. It is a pillar with a glorious capital. It has no growth to the right or to the left but sends all its force heavenward and bears its fruit as near the sky as possible. LORD, fulfill this type in me. The cedar braves all storms and grows near the eternal snows, the LORD Himself filling it with a sap which keeps its heart warm and its bough strong. LORD, so let it be with me, I pray Thee. Amen.

September 23, 2009

LGBT Helping Hands 9/23/09-Grace House (Jackson, MS)

As of 2006, more than 40 million men, women, and children throughout the world have been infected with HIV/AIDS.

Many living with HIV are destitute, abandoned by their families and friends, without resources or empowerment to act for themselves or are homeless. There are limited state funds in Mississippi to assist people living with the HIV disease.

The Community of Grace has joined together with prayer, volunteer services, donations and dedication to meet the growing needs of people living with the HIV disease.

Grace House is a place where people with HIV/AIDS may live with dignity, in safety, and with compassion and caring.

We believe Grace House is a quiet beginning in answering the biblical question: “Are we our brother’s keeper?” And, of course, we are.

Grace House is located in Jackson, MS. Click here to find out more.

Encouraging Words 9/24/09: Beilevers Covenant Fellowship Praise Report

After a few months away, we are very happy to have once again entered into covenant membership in Believers Covenant Fellowship in Vienna, VA (in the Washington, DC metro area). As we told the congregation last Sunday when we requested membership, we had never stopped loving the church, its ministries, and especially the people that are BCF. We feel we were obedient to the Lord's direction when we resigned our membership in January to explore his path for the two of us in ministry work apart from BCF as we now also feel obedient to His call to return home, having developed much clarity about his plans for us during that time away.

We return to BCF in new roles outside of but supporting church leadership and Apostle Dale Jarrett while continuing to develop Straight, Not Narrow and travel to other churches to offer teaching and encouragement and are more excited than ever about what the Lord has in store for us!

As part of reconnecting with BCF, we are also happy to share Apostle Dale's weekly Praise Report as part of our Encouraging Words. Here is one from last Monday:

Something truly remarkable is shifting in the Body of Christ in this hour.

I believe that the Spirit of the Lord is calling us, the Church, to radical obedience to His Word and commands; He is calling us to radical behaviors of loving, forgivness, serving, giving, caring, to radical acceptance of others and humble kindness. We can see the injustices that people are living in all around us and often say, "Isn't that terrible, somebody needs to do something about it." Well- YOU AND I ARE THAT SOMEBODY! We are the Church of the King of Glory! And most of all, He has commanded us to do exactly what Isaiah 58 says- to love others and help them.

We had a totally awesome day at BCF (Sunday). We had a great turn out for service, praise and worship was just wonderful, the love and presence of the Lord was rich with us (God is sooo Good to us!) and we had a powerful teaching from God's Word about opening our hearts and honestly asking ourselves if we are truly being OBEDIENT to what God has commanded us to do. We often think that we are such good Christians because we don't lie or steal, kill people, commit adultery, etc., but the Spirit of God is asking us to take another look and honestly ask ourselves, "yeah- but those are the things you're NOT to do as a Christian, WHAT ABOUT the things we are SUPPOSED to be doing as Christians!?!"

The churches and ministries that will heed the call to sacrifice their own comfort, their own will and way and take up the cross of Christ and help the poor and needy, to comfort the broken and rejected, to give as Jesus did- wholly, selflessly, completely, THEY are the churches that are going to rise up to the top and shine the Living Christ for the world to see!!!

Quite often these days, we forget the passage in Ecclesiastes that says, 'It's the little foxes that spoil the vine." In other words, it's the little things that we do or don't do that are affecting the QUALITY of our walk with God. We read in Matthew 7 where Jesus commands us, "Do not judge, criticize or condemn others- (that's the pointing finger in Isaiah 58:9) or else we WILL BE judged, criticized or condemned. The Lord is calling on His Church, His Bride- to CEASE from all judgements of others- especially those within the Household of Faith! To live above it, to simply choose to NOT participate in judgement, criticism or condemnation of others. For most of us it's a RADICAL decision and the FRUIT of living this way is going to produce RADICAL results, a radical difference between being religious and being in relationship- blessings, and INCREASE in the Church!!! I believe that this is a clarion call from the Throne of God for His People to step up into a higher level of love, forgiveness, and acceptance of one another than ever before! Why? Because the King is coming, and He expects to find His Bride 'pure and without spot or wrinkle!' This lifestyle of love and grace is going to cause His Light to radiate out from our hearts and churches like a great Beacon, drawing all people unto Him! So let's DO this- starting today, starting right NOW! Amen?!!?!! Somebody shout 'AMEN!'

You know that one major difference between us and the Lord Jesus during His life on the earth is this, Jesus was radically obedient to God, even to the point of death! That is why He walked in such power and grace, because He was a DOER of the Word, and not a hearer only!!! I am praying for you all right now to have a fresh REVELATION of the call of God on your life and upon OUR LIVES as the Bride of Christ; For the Lord to SHOW you what you can do to help make a difference in someone else's life and actually DO IT! Let's come up higher to a greater place of mercy, grace and lovingkindness than we've ever known before! That's the place where our ministries and churches will shine, truly prosper, and GROW the Kingdom of God in the earth!

We praise God for you and we are praying for you faithfully. Have a wonderful and blessed week in the Lord!

In Christ's love and faithful friendship, SHALOM!
Ap Dale

Welcome to Midweek Worship 9/23/09

The rewards of those who stand firm till the end. Rev.21:1-8

SNN Recommends 9/23/09-Tennessee Equality Project

Tennessee Equality Project is an organization of individuals united in their collective efforts to ensure equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Tennessseans.

Our ability to affect real equality in Tennessee is heavily dependent on our membership. To be a powerful force for equality, TEP's membership must be as diverse and representative as are the people of Tennessee.

TEP welcomes people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, races, religions, ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, and from all corners of the state.

TEP scored a victory in their advocacy for equality in the state on September 15:

By a vote of 24 to 15, the Metropolitan Council of Nashville and Davidson County has passed the non-discrimination ordinance that will now protect Metro government employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Click here to find out more about their work.

Encouraging Music 9/23/09 "How Great is Our God" By Matthew Sgherzi

Study Still Shows a Crowded Closet In the Workplace


A majority – 51 percent – of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers continue to hide their identity from most or all co-workers, according to a new report released today from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation that examines the real-life experiences of LGBT workers.

he report, “Degrees of Equality: A National Study Examining Workplace Climate for LGBT Employees,” found that, despite significant advances in employment policies at major U.S. corporations, a majority of LGBT workers continue to experience a range of negative consequences because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Younger workers are even more likely to hide their LGBT identity – only 5 percent of LGBT employees ages 18 to 24 say they are totally open at work, compared to more than 20 percent in older age cohorts.

The report is available for download at

“Overall attitudes towards LGBT people have come a long way, but we can’t forget that people still struggle at work and that this has a profound impact on LGBT workers’ careers,” said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. “Degrees of Equality helps us bridge the gap between policy and practice to fully understand LGBT workers’ experiences. The more we understand the workplace, the more we can help usher it to a place where all employees can thrive.”

Similarly, jokes and derogatory comments about other minority groups are equally indicative of a negative climate. About two-thirds (62 percent) of LGBT employees say negative comments about minority groups are made at least once in a while at work.

Even with inclusive employment policies, significant numbers of employees report negative consequences of an unwelcoming environment for LGBT employees. Moreover, the vast majority of LGBT workers do not report instances when they hear an anti-LGBT remark to HR or management. On average, 67 percent ignore it or let it go, 9 percent raise the issue with a supervisor and only 5 percent go to HR.

Click here to read the rest of the story at

Daily Devotional 9/23/09 "Complete Safety"

From: Faith's Checkbook

"And of Benjamin he said, The beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by Him; and the LORD shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between His shoulders" (Deuteronomy 33:12).

Yes, there is no safety like that which comes of dwelling near to God. For His best beloved the LORD can find no surer or safer place. O LORD, let me always abide under Thy shadow, close to Thy wounded side. Nearer and nearer would I come to Thee, my LORD; and when once specially near Thee, I would abide there forever. What a covering is that which the LORD gives to His chosen! Not a fair roof shall cover him, nor a bomb-proof casement, nor even an angel's wing, but Jehovah Himself. Nothing can come at us when we are thus covered. This covering the LORD will grant us all the day long, however long the day. LORD, let me abide this day consciously beneath this canopy of love, this pavilion of sovereign power. Does the third clause mean that the LORD in His temple would dwell among the mountains of Benjamin or that the LORD would be where Benjamin's burden should be placed, or does it mean that we are borne upon the shoulders of the Eternal? In any case, the LORD is the support and strength of His saints. LORD, let me ever enjoy Thy help, and then my arms will be sufficient for me.

September 22, 2009

LGBT Helping Hands 9/22/09-Western Montana Gay & Lesbian Community Center

In Montana, where opportunities to socialize with other GLBTI (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex) people are few, a Community Center is a valuable resource. After much work by as task force made up of many of people, The Western Montana Gay and Lesbian Community Center (WMGLCC) opened in Missoula, Montana October 11, 1999. The WMGLCC supports the work of all community members to create & sustain a healthy community in Western Montana. The WMGLCC strives to:

(1) Provide opportunities for both formal and informal interaction among members of the GLBTI community of Montana.

(2) Offer safe and accessible facilities for educational, social and other community events.

(3) Serve as a resource to provide information for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex members and visitors to Missoula and Western Montana.

(4) The Center will support education, advocate for social justice and facilitate communication within the whole community of Western Montana.

Click her to find out more.

Encouraging Words 9/22/09-"Look At Christ For Your Example"

This is a very important answer to a common question asked to Billy Graham.

Q: I'm very disillusioned, because one of the most prominent leaders in one of our local churches just got caught in adultery. Apparently he'd been involved in this for years. Why should I bother with church, if this is what Christians are like? I don't have any use for hypocrites. - D.R.

A: Let me ask you a question: What do you think God thinks of hypocrites - of people who claim to be following Jesus, but in reality aren't? Do you think He was pleased with this person or didn't care what he'd done? No, of course not. In fact, some of Jesus' strongest words were reserved for hypocrites.

This is why I hope you won't use this man's moral failure as an excuse for turning away from Christ. Yes, what he did was tragic and wrong - very wrong. Not only did he hurt himself and his family, but most of all he hurt the cause of Christ. But is every Christian like this? Is it fair (or even honest) to brand all Christians as hypocrites? No, not at all. When we know Christ, He begins to change us from within, and we are no longer what we once were. The same can be true of you.

But the most important thing I can tell you is this: Look at Christ for your example, not just at His followers. Others may disappoint you; even the most devout Christian isn't perfect. But Christ is perfect - and He will never disappoint you.

The Bible says, "Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.... Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith" (Hebrews 12:1-2). Be honest about your own need for God's forgiveness, and commit your life to Christ wholly and completely.

SNN Recommends 9/22/09-Queers United

This blog is a personal favorite as is its editor.

Queers United is the blog uniting the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersexual, & Asexual communities in an effort of education and activism on issues of importance to sexual/gender minorities.

We believe in the vision and greatness of former civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King J.R., Mahatma Gandhi, and those who seek to topple oppression through activism and non-violence.

The blog will seek to put out action alerts to hold those who have a homophobic, transphobic, or deal unfairly with the LGBTQAI community responsible for their unfair and discriminatory actions.

It is our belief that through a united voice of all sexual/gender minorities that we can be a powerful force to lobby with and to bring equality to all!

There are several updates a day including one of our favorite blog features, "Word of the Gay," to help you build up that gay vocabulary. Click here to check out Queers United.

Encouraging Music 9/22/09 "Amazing" By Lindsey Kane

Daily Devotional 9/22/09 "The Reason for Singing"

From: Faith's Checkbook

"The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in his love, He will joy over thee with singing" (Zephaniah 3:17).

What a Word is this! Jehovah God in the center of His people in all the majesty of His power! This presence alone suffices to inspire us with peace and hope. Treasures of boundless might are stored in our Jehovah, and He dwells in His church; therefore may His people shout for joy. We not only have His presence, but He is engaged upon His choice work of salvation. "He will save." He is always saving: He takes His name of Jesus from it. Let us not fear any danger, for He is mighty to save. Nor is this all. He abides evermore the same, He saves, He finds rest in loving, He will not cease to love. His love gives Him joy. He even finds a theme for song in His beloved. This is exceedingly wonderful. When God wrought creation He did not sing but simply said, "It is very good"; but when He came to redemption, then the sacred Trinity felt a joy to be expressed in song; Think of it, and be astonished! Jehovah Jesus sings a marriage song over His chosen bride. She is to Him His love, His joy, His rest, His song. O LORD Jesus, by Thine immeasurable love to us teach us to love Thee, to rejoice in Thee, and to sing unto Thee our life-psalm.

"We Are Going to Have Families Whether We Have Rights or Not"

That does of reality was delivered by Sara Whitman at The Huffington Post. Here's an excerpt:

I don't know if anyone from the anti-equality side realizes this, but we are going to have families whether we have rights nor not. Our kids are going to go to public schools, whether or not the right to marry is repealed. Your kids are going to be sitting next to our kids in class. They will learn about different families. The chance to stop that ... well ... was never a possibility. You can fight to change the curriculum to include God, creationism, and prayer but our kids are still going to have two moms or two dads, and there isn't a damn thing you can do to change that.

So all those precious images of the little red school house where everyone was uniform and the same are over no matter what laws are passed. I've been to my kids classrooms and nary a single pink triangle or rainbow flag or utterance of anything LGBT has ever happened. But all the kids know my sons have two moms.

It seems that part of our population is losing their grip on reality more as every day goes by. Essays like this one would help keep them tethered if they would take the time to read and understand. Click here to read more.

September 21, 2009

LGBT Helping Hands 9/21/09-Kansas City Anti-Violence Project

The services KCAVP provides to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and bias crimes within Kansas City's LGBT community will expand as KCAVP grows. Below is a list of the services KCAVP currently offers with a brief description of each.

Help for Victims, Partners and Families

Needs Assessment
KCAVP works with victims to assess their situation and needs, identify resources and, if necessary, provide referrals to meet these needs.

Court Advocacy
KCAVP helps victims obtain orders of protection and provides personal support and assistance during court proceedings in the Kansas City area.

Emergency Assistance for Victims
When appropriate, KCAVP can provide assistance such as short-term housing, transportation, food and other necessities so victims can regain their sense of self and their power.

Counseling and Therapy
KCAVP provides 10 free counseling sessions for LGBT victims of violence with a licensed therapist to help them heal.

Prevention Through Education and Outreach

Training Sessions
KCAVP facilitates training on domestic violence, sexual assault, and hate crimes in the LGBT community and tailors these sessions to meet the needs of any audience, professional or social, large or small, LGBT or heterosexual.

KCAVP provides speakers and discussion group participants for LGBT-specific issues as well as general domestic violence, sexual assault, and bias crimes topics.

Professional & Community Organizations
KCAVP collaborates with local, state and national groups involved in LGBT, domestic violence, sexual assault, and bias crimes issues in order to maximize and improve services. KCAVP is a member of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, and the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence.

Event Participation
KCAVP participates in area events to increase visibility and reinforce the project's commitment to playing an active role in the community.

Technical Assistance
KCAVP works with local providers to review existing services and policies, recommend changes and, if appropriate, assist with implementing those changes to better serve victims and advocate prevention.

Statistical Reporting
KCAVP tracks incidents reported to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs to show that these crimes are happening in the community as no other organizaitons in the area specifically track LGBT statistics of violent crime.

Click here to find out more.

Encouraging Words 9/21/09-Baptisms From New Life in Messiah Fellowship

I don't think there's anything more encouraging than a baptism, so here's a video of three of them performed by Pastor Coley Williams of New Life in Messiah Fellowship.

SNN Recommends 9/21/09-Pink News UK

One of the best sites we have found for international LGBT news is Pink News UK:

Gay News from the UK and the world. PinkNews has religion, politics, entertainment, finance and community gay news for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community in the UK, Europe, USA, Australia and South Africa.

Click here to find out more and sign up for their daily news summary.

Encouraging Music 9/21/09 "Open the Eyes of My heart, Lord" By Michael W. Smith

Daily Devotional 9/21/09 "Reward is Certain"

From: Faith's Checkbook

"And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward" (Matthew 10:42).

Well, I can do as much as that. I can do a kind act toward the LORD's servant. The LORD knows l love them all and would count it an honor to wash their feet. For the sake of their Master, I love the disciples. How gracious of the LORD to mention so insignificant an action -- "to give to drink a cup of cold water only"! This I can do, however poor: this I may do, however lowly: this I will do right cheerfully. This, which seems so little, the LORD notices -- notices when done to the least of His followers. Evidently it is not the cost, nor the skill, nor the quantity, that He looks at, but the motive: that which we do to a disciple, because he is a disciple, his LORD observes and recompenses. He does not reward us for the merit of what we do but according to His riches of His grace. I give a cup of cold water, and He makes me to drink of living water. I give to one of His little ones, and He treats me as one of them. Jesus finds an apology for His liberality in that which His grace has led me to do, and He says, "He shall in no wise lose his reward."

Some Catholic Gays Working to Support Marriage Equality

From Maine's Seacoast Online:

Even as Catholic churches throughout Maine passed the collection basket a second time last Sunday to fight the state's gay marriage law, an Eliot couple is among a small but growing number of Catholics working in support of marriage equality.

Jack and Rose Dougherty went to St. Rafael's Church in Kittery that same Sunday, armed with petitions spearheaded by Catholics for Marriage Equality. They also put a note in the basket during the second collection stating they did not support the church's action. Six other parishioners found them after Mass and signed the petition, said Jack Dougherty, people who "had called to offer support, and said, 'We're behind you on this. We think you're right.'"

In November, Maine residents will have an opportunity to vote to repeal the state's gay marriage law, signed by Gov. John Baldacci last June. The two major opposing organizations, pro-repeal Stand for Marriage Maine and pro-law Equality Maine, have been on the airwaves and are blitzing the state's media.

Dougherty said the Catholics in support of the law are organizing and the petition is a step in that direction.

The one-page, single-spaced petition titled, "God is Love," begins: "As faithful Roman Catholics and citizens of the state of Maine, we believe that the right of every citizen to practice freedom of religion is based on the principle of respect for the dignity of each individual."

The petition states that Catholic teaching on social justice "has been central to the building of a just society," and added, "We remember that Roman Catholics were once denied civil rights ... because of our sacred rituals."

Click here to read more of the story.

The current polls, as reported by Seacoast Online, show the vote is too close to call at this point.

September 20, 2009

LGBT Helping Hands 9/20/09-LGBT Aging Issues Network

The LGBT Aging Issues Network (LAIN) works to raise awareness about the concerns of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) elders and about the unique barriers they encounter in gaining access to housing, healthcare, long-term care and other needed services.

LAIN seeks to foster professional development, multidisciplinary research and wide-ranging dialogue on LGBT issues in the field of aging through publications, conferences, and cosponsored events. LAIN welcomes the participation of all concerned individuals regardless of age, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Click here to find out more.

SNN Recommends 9/20/09: Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer

This book was a life-changer for me (Jim), helping me understand how to align my thinking with God's and how important it was to acknowledge I had to make a concious effort to do that.

Amazon Customer Ranking: 144 of 172 gave 5 out of 5 stars
SNN Ranking: 5 stars

Description: Winning the Battle in your Mind. There's a War Going On And Your Mind Is The Battlefield. If you're one of millions who suffer from worry, doubt, confusion, depression, anger or condemnation, you are experiencing an attack in your mind. Overcoming negative thoughts that come against your mind brings freedom and peace. Find out how to recognize damaging thought patterns and stop them from influencing your life. In this powerful book, best-selling author and conference host, Joyce Meyer, guides you through an honest self-appraisal by sharing the trials, tragedies and ultimate victories of her own marriage, family and ministry- including the truth she learned about what she was thinking and feeling every step of the way. You'll gain insight into how Joyce won the battle in her own mind- and how you can as well. You'll also discover how to: -Find peace and stop brain-storm of mental activity. -See the truth by thinking correctly. -Use spiritual weapons effectively. -Overcome the 10 wilderness mentalities that hold you in harmful circumstances. Don't surrender to misery another day. Find out today what you can do to ensure your victory in the Battlefield of the Mind!

Click here to purchase Battlefield of the Mind and read customer reviews.

Welcome to Sunday Worship 9/20/09

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

Can we pray for you? E-mail