April 17, 2010

Affirming Words 4/17/10-"Reconciling Voices"

Stories from members of churches who belong to the LGBT affirming Reconciling Ministries Network of the United Methodist Church:

Encouraging Music 4/17/10 "Oh, Praise Him" by David Crowder Band

Just For Fun 4/17/10- Can Has Cheezburger

funny pictures of cats with captions
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Encouraging Words 4/17/10 The Voice of the Lord

From:  Love Worth Finding

“The voice of the Lord is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth.” Psalm 29:3

Some people think it’s a waste of time to simply sit at God’s feet and listen. It is not a waste of time to wait on God any more than a woodchopper is wasting time when he sharpens his axe.

Charles Hummel wrote a booklet entitled “Tyranny of the Urgent.” In it, he said:

•When we fail to wait prayerfully for God’s guidance and strength we are saying, with our actions if not our lips, that we do not need Him….

•Prayerful waiting on God is indispensable to effective service. Like the time-out in a football game, it enables us to catch our breath and fix new strategy…

•The need is not the call. The call must come from the Lord who knows our limitations.

Read Psalm 29. Count how many times the phrase, the “voice of the Lord” is repeated. Spend at least that many minutes listening for His voice and trusting He will speak His will to you.

April 16, 2010

Affirming Words 4/16/10-"What Does Affirming Mean?"

A video that shows the responses to that question by members of the First Congregational Church in Sioux Falls, SD, an Open and Affirming congregation within the United Church of Christ:

Encouraging Music 4/16/10 "Glory" by Hillsong

Matthew 25 Resource 4/16/10-Peoria (IL) Rescue Ministries

Located at 601 SW Adams Street in Peoria, IL the Peoria Rescue Mission is a residential program ministering to the physical, spiritual, & emotional needs of hurting men. 
Victory Acres, a farm in rural Peoria County, seeks to help men find a productive Christian lifestyle as they deal with alcohol & substance abuse.

The Women’s Pregnancy Center was opened to minister to the needs of women who experience an unplanned pregnancies or post-abortion trauma. The center provides caring, compassionate assistance to mothers and babies.

At Barnabas Center caring, trained counselors offer free Biblical counseling to scores of clients of all ages.

The need for an in-house, long-term facility for women and women with children was met when Esther House was opened. Esther House provides a safe, inviting environment where ladies can come to know Jesus Christ and grow in their daily walk with Him.

Click here to find out more

Encouraging Words 4/16/10 What Happens When You Worry?

From:  Love Worth Finding

“Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

What happens when you worry?

You bring tomorrow’s difficulty into today. God didn’t give you grace for tomorrow’s difficulties. He only gives you grace for today.

When you reach into tomorrow’s troubles, you overload today’s circuit. Worry doesn’t take the sorrow out of tomorrow, it takes the strength out of today. When you meet tomorrow, you’re out of breath because you’re already overloaded from today. Worry, therefore, does not make you ready for the future, it really makes you unready.

•Yesterday is just a canceled check.

•Tomorrow is a promissory note.

•Today has all the cash you can handle.

•Spend it wisely.

Worry will eat your lunch! It’ll eat your breakfast and dinner, too! Confess your worries as sin because they are. Put your concerns at the throne of Almighty God, trusting Him to provide.

April 15, 2010

Affirming Words 4/15/10-Tony Campolo's Story of a Gay Son

Encouraging Music 4/15/10 "Beautiful One" by Tim Hughes

LGBT Helping Hands 4/15/10-District 202 (St. Paul, MN)

n 1991, a group of concerned adults and youth gathered around a kitchen table to discuss a concern.  There were no safe and supportive, sober and drug-free places—or safe spaces—for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth. Through a unique youth/adult partnership, District 202 opened its doors less than a year later.
Then something remarkable happened in this newly created “safe space.” LGBT youth created a new community of their own design, without the daily isolation or pressures of those times. And with it, these youth found their voices, built their self-confidence and mentored their peers. They became empowered.

Now 18 years later, this pioneering “safe space,” which gave birth to six LGBT youth-serving organizations and became a model for many more, is evolving. District 202’s mission has not changed, but how it delivers on that mission has changed. This change is the culmination of three years research, a community roundtable/assessment, youth surveys, and discussions with current and potential funders.

District 202 continues to empower LGBT youth through a unique blend of programs, face-to-face interaction throughout the Twin Cities and online engagement through our secure social networking site. Creating safe spaces online and throughout the Twin Cities is the most efficient and effective use of our and our community’s resources.

Click here to find out more.

Encouraging Words 4/15/10 Blessed With Difficulties

From:  Love Worth Finding

“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.” Matthew 6:34

In the crucible of His wisdom and in the ecology of His grace, God has ordered some trouble for you today and everyday of your life.

We’ve been blessed with difficulties. Yes, you read that right — blessed!

The worst thing that could happen to us would be not to have any difficulties. If that were the case, we’d never know our need of the Lord.

So God, in essence, says, “I’m going to give you sufficient difficulty for the day.” God gives you enough difficulty to draw you close to Him, but then God gives you enough grace to meet those difficulties every day.

Is there a difficult circumstance in your life? If so, thank God that He’s sending it your way to make you more like Jesus. Now, ask for His grace to be victorious through it!

April 14, 2010

Affirming Words 4/14/10-A Clarification of the Roman 1 "Clobber Passage"

A message from Pastor Dave Krueger-Duncan from Northwest Community Church in Las Vegas, NV:

Encouraging Music 4/14/10 "The Lord Is My Light"

Affirming Resource 4/14/10-"Affirming Christian"

This is a new site started by a gay man and straight woman--we LOVE it when stuff like that happens. Here is their mission statement:

To provide access online to resources, sermons, church services, worship, speakers, conferences, and performers to the GLBT Christian community and their allies. We seek to:
• promote spiritual growth in individuals by offering tools to reconcile faith and sexuality
• provide online listings and access to affirming church services, events and speakers
• increase awareness of the church community at large as to the presence of the open and affirming GLBT Christian community. By creating a safe space for any Christian looking for answers on the gay Christian issue, we hope to break down the barriers of differences between the two “halves” of the Body of Christ.
• Direct seekers to their local open and affirming churches by allowing people to “try before they go” by listening to online sermons.
• To support friends and family of the GLBT community seeking to understand and build better relationship with GLBT loved ones
• to raise awareness of other seekers in the Body of Christ as to the issues facing GLBT believers
• to help make churches more affirming in their welcoming of the GLBT community through increased awareness of the needs of the GLBT community.

Click here to find out more.

Encouraging Words 4/14/10 Forgetting What's Behind

From:  Love Worth Finding

“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12

There are two days that can steal the joy from today. One is yesterday and the other is tomorrow.

Paul exhorts in Philippians 3:13-14, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

We are to forget the past — the guilt, the glory, the grief, and the grudges.

Paul was one who was guilty, along with others, for the stoning of Stephen. He said he was the chiefest of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). But, Paul buried that guilt in the grave of God’s forgetfulness.

Maybe you’ve done something so horrible, that you’re gripped with fear to think someone would find out what you’ve done. Have you repented? Then, don’t be haunted by the ghost of guilt.

April 13, 2010

Affirming Words 4/13/10-"Living On Purpose" Part 2 of 2

A sermon by Rev. Susie Smith from Peace Congregational Church in Clemson, SC:

Encouraging Music 4/13/10 "God Will Make A Way"

Encouraging Words 4/13/10 Your Sense of Humor - A Gift From God

From:  Love Worth Finding

“Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.” Psalm 32:11

A merry heart has the ability to capture and enjoy those wonderful times of life and let them turn to laughter.

Your sense of humor is a gift from God.

Research studies have shown that laughter, along with a well-rounded sense of humor, is one of the sure signs of intelligence. It is also known to produce endorphins in your body that generate feelings of well-being.

Good, wholesome laughter is a gift from God. Abraham Lincoln said, “God must have meant for us to laugh, or else he would not have made so many mules, parrots, monkeys and human beings. God wants us to laugh.”

Pass along the gift of laughter today to someone. Tell a good, wholesome joke. Send an email of a funny story to a friend that you haven’t talked to in a while.

Matthew 25 Resource 4/13/10-San Francisco Food Bank

We collect millions of pounds of food from growers, packers, processors, manufacturers, the USDA and grocery stores. This can include test-marketed products, items close to code date, produce that is the wrong shape or size for conventional markets and excess. Food drives are an important source of variety.

We truck donated food to our warehouse. Multiple tractor trailer loads of produce come in through the week – these precious, highly perishable items get moved through our warehouse within 24 hours.

Volunteers sort, repack and shelve over 350 tons of food at our warehouse every week, doing the work of what would be about 50 full-time employees. At any given time, we have around 2 million pounds of food in our warehouse.

April 12, 2010

Affirming Event: "Identify Theves" Sunday 4/25 @6PM PST

Our friends at Living Water Fellowship in Kenmore, WA are hosting the world premier of this multi-media event, a story of surviving the ex-gay movement.

Affirming Words 4/12/10-"Living On Purpose" Part 1 of 2

A sermon by Rev. Susie Smith at Peace Congregational Church in Clemson, SC:

Encouraging Music 4/12/10 Jesus Paid It All

LGBT Helping Hands 4/12/10-Dennis R. Neill Equality Center (Tulsa, OK)

Owned and operated by Oklahomans for Equality, the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center serves the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) and allied community. It is a visible reminder to all Oklahomans of the important role LGBT individuals, families and friends play in our state. Established in 1995, the Equality Center (formerly the Tulsa GLBT Community Center) is now one of the largest LGBT Centers in the region.

Purchased in October of 2005 after an eight-year capital campaign, the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center underwent a complete overhaul through over 7000 hours of volunteer-led renovations, opening in February of 2007. Our beautiful 18,000 square foot facility now represents the design work of a team of professional designers. Featuring an event center, a full-service lending library, a wellness center and more, the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center is a visible presence of LGBT equality in Oklahoma.

Click here to find out more.

Encouraging Words 4/12/10 Share A Smile Today

From: Love Worth Finding

“A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance.” Proverbs 15:13

What is a smile? Here is something from an anonymous source:

A smile costs nothing, but creates much good. It enriches those who receive it without impoverishing those who give it away. It happens in a flash, but the memory of it can last forever. No one is so rich that he can get along without it. No one is too poor to feel rich when receiving it. It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad and nature’s best antidote for trouble. Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed or stolen.

When you get dressed this morning, don’t forget to put on a smile. Wear a smile all day from the inner joy that only Jesus can bring to your heart. Don’t feel an inner joy? Then, ask for one!

April 11, 2010

Encouraging Music 4/11/10 "Jesus Keep Me Near the Cross" by Valley Steel Drum Ensemble

Encouraging Words 4/11/10 O Death, Where is Thy Sting?

From:  Love Worth Finding

"O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" 1 Corinthians 15:55

Harry Houdini was an escape artist. They tried all kinds of ways to keep Harry Houdini locked up. They would bury him in a coffin, but he would get out. They would sew him up in canvas bags and throw him in the river, but he would come out. His biographer said, "He could escape from anything except your memory."

Yet there came a day when Harry Houdini died, and he did not escape the iron-clad clutches of death. But, I want to tell you, there was another who died. His name was Jesus, and He made the great escape.

Jesus came out of that grave, and He arose! Praise God, Jesus is alive!

Who in your circle of friends does not know Jesus? Pray for them right now - that they would hear the Good News, repent and believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ.