John you are giving me courage today.
“I’ve been a Christian my entire life, and I’ve never been able to ask these questions, because I feared how I’d be treated in my church. Reading your writing today gave me permission to push back, to start conversations, and to ask for better answers than I’d been given.” – A reader
I can’t tell you how many times over the past few months that I’ve read a variation of these same exhausted, religion-weary words from people all over the world, from every denomination, every theological tradition, and every church setting.
And though the language and the story and the circumstances may change slightly from person to person, one idea has surfaced over and over and over again; a familiar melody reprised nearly every single day: permission.
Straight Christians, many of whom have spent the entirety of their faith lives unable to address the nagging, persistent, terrifying questions about the way the Church and her theology has laid waste to the LGBT…
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This year I decided to be a part of oneword365.com and choose a word for the year. I was invited my girlfriends, Ana and Jamie, to be a part of this and so we are sharing things on our private Facebook group.
2014 was the year I got sober, and so far it has been a journey of deep self discovery. I cherish each moment of my life like I have never ever done. I thought my walk with God was deep, but recovery had deepened it even further.
My word for 2015 is #renew.
Psalm 51:10 is my scripture of the year. “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
I am excited about renewal. It has so much potential. God is so beautiful and I am thrilled to be following Him into this new period of my life.
The picture is a quote from a book called “The Gifts of Imperfection,” by Brene Brown. This book rocked my world in September of 2013 and was the beginning of my admitting that my problem with my addiction needed to be handled. April 19, 2014 is my sobriety birthday. Each day is a new day for renewal.
Right on the money for me!
Sometimes I wonder if I’ll have gay children.
I’m not sure if other parents think about this, but I do; quite often.
Maybe it’s because I have many gay people in my family and circle of friends. It’s in my genes and in my tribe.
Maybe it’s because, as a pastor of students, I’ve seen and heard the horror stories of gay Christian kids, from both inside and outside of the closet, trying to be part of the Church.
Maybe it’s because, as a Christian, I interact with so many people who find homosexuality to be the most repulsive thing imaginable, and who make that abundantly clear at every conceivable opportunity.
For whatever reason, it’s something that I ponder frequently. As a pastor and a parent, I wanted to make some promises to you, and to my two kids right now…
1) If I have gay children, you’ll all know it.
My children won’t…
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Love what my church is up to this week in Costa Rica!
I woke up early on Sunday, July 13th, all excited for the events about to transpire. The mission team, and others from the congregation, met at Cypress UMC for prayer and quick send off. We then made our way to the airport. We finally got on the plane and when we departed, Costa Rica became a little closer.
When we arrived in Costa Rica, we met up with another group at the airport as well as an intern. When we were all together, we made our way through the streets of San Jose toward our hotel. The sights of San Jose were amazing! Riding through the small town, we saw, up close and personal, the beautiful mountains in the distance, as well as the people on the bustling streets.
We finally reached our destination at Hotel Horcones, Carillos Bajo de Poas, ate lunch, and had our orientation. After lunch, our…
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“What’s it to you?” I am asked frequently about me being an LGBTQ ally — sometimes by friends who care about me, sometimes by people who don’t, sometimes by people who can’t grasp why I as a Christian should care about this issue. Seriously. I get the distinct impression that they are personally offended that I am an ally.
I wish they could see things through the eyes of love.
So, let me turn the tables here and ask the same question to those who want to shut me up: What is it to you? Because the question implies that we shouldn’t really fight injustice for its own sake. I’ve been practically told to leave “well enough” alone.
So let’s think this through. People have fought for social justice causes throughout history because it’s right, and many of those leading the way were Christians.
Beginning with Jesus, Christians have fought…
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I have been reading scripture and praying so much about it.
Why am I obsessed with grace? Well, my older son is gay, and I am a Christian, and he is a Christian who grew up in the church (since he was two). There are so many people who are on opposite sides of the spectrum (in the Christian world) about homosexuality. It pains me. So many opinions, so many people throwing out phrases like, “You’re wrong”, “You’re sinful”, “You’re going to burn in hell”. They say this to a 14 year old boy. I could just die.
I am not going to quote scripture, I am not going to quote phrases from the Christian books I have read, I am going to tell you about the person who is George Holbrook.
When he was a baby, he was quiet and a gentle soul. Agreeable and loving. Cuddly. He came 4 weeks early and the doctors needed to give him a jump start to get him going. As a baby, his gentle spirit continued to delight us as parents.
He is an artist and was always blowing us away (and his teachers) with his drawings.
He has grown to be tall, good-looking, lean, and a spitting image of his father. He has grown be so loving to his younger brother (6 years difference). He has grown to love God. He has grown to stand up for himself and stand up for God. He loves the theatre, music, and his BFF’s. The little kids in church are drawn to him because of his gentle spirit. He is sensitive and caring.
Grace extends to him; right? I have known my son all his life, I know the deep parts of him and his 14 year old self. How far does God’s grace go? Have you met my child? Do you really know him? God does love him unconditionally. Isn’t that why Jesus died? God’s grace goes beyond my comprehension. It is unexplainable. How far does grace go? Can you measure it? Is he wrong? Tell me. But meet Geprge first, get to know him and then tell me.
How far does grace go?