Category Archives: Awesome Blogs

Video Tuesday : The Cure.

 

This Video Tuesday is brought to you by an amazing, life altering book called The Cure. You’ve gotta read this. From the book …

the cure“We thought we were cured. 

We thought so, but most of us unwittingly carried an old, dead outlook into our new life. We couldn’t measure up to the standard we created, so we convinced ourselves it was God’s. We read his words through our grid of shame and felt ourselves fall farther and farther behind. We took it out on each other; judging, comparing, faking, splintering. Some of us retreated from the whole charade, becoming cynical, mistrusting, jaded from hope. Our marriages, churches, families, friendships, our marketplaces, our culture… they all need the cure. 

But God’s cures rarely come in the form we expect. 

What if, indeed, God is not who we think he is… and neither are we?”

Check it out at truefaced.com

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Food For Thought: Part 3 (God Loves Me)

part3As promised, I’ll be finishing up my thoughts on Brent Bailey’s post The Crisis of Relationship with God. You can read parts 1 & 2 here and here.

I want to mention again that while I’m not trying to devalue how these issues specifically effect members of the gay community, I’m also really passionate about seeing the “us vs. them” mentality take a hike. The way to do this is find ways to relate as people without a subtitle.  I am thankful that Brent took the time to explain challenges he faced in his relationship with God and the church and for the insight it provides into what others may be going through.  I’m also thankful for the realization that what he describes is not so different from some of my own experience, even though I am female and straight.

In the second half of his post Brent moves into what I think is a really great description of two essential elements of being in relationship with God.

 Two thousand years of Christian history have taught us developing a relationship with God requires two basic components that seem to be non-negotiable. The first is spending time with God through spiritual disciplines like solitude, silence, and scripture. The second is interacting with a consistent group of other Christians through participation in a local church, an intentional faith community, a religious order, or some other body of faith. Neither of these works without the other, but in my experience, both of these can be problematic for gay people.

Brent’s suggestion for why gay people may have a difficult time with these two components has to do with a persons understanding of how they are loved by God. Brent says,

You know as well as I do that affirming, “God loves everyone” is entirely different from affirming, “God loves me,” and the reason I equivocated was that my intellectual assent to the reality of God’s unconditional love did not translate into any sort of emotional, gut-level confidence that God loved me. You’ll notice I’m not saying anything about approval or sanction of certain behaviors. Before I even had the chance to get to those questions, I struggled mightily to believe God loved me: that God was for me rather than against me, that God was interested in me and actually cared about me, and that God desired a relationship with me as an individual.

This really resonated with me because I can understand the struggle to internalize and personalize God’s love.  I’ve spent my whole life in church and my relationship with God started when I was five, but it wasn’t until the last several years that I began to understand how God sees me.  I believe that coming to this understanding is a journey every Christian makes, and I have great empathy for gay Christians because most of us don’t have to deal with picket signs declaring how God hates us on top of everything else that might be telling us we are unlovable, but even still… being loved by the Creator of the Universe is not something that comes to anyone without struggle and doubt and questions. This should unite us. This should give us reason to relate to one another.

The  difficulties in the second component, participating in a faith community, are not unexpected. Brent points out the possibility of pain associated with the church and the difficulty of being in the minority. These things are understandable and true.  I don’t mean to beat a dead horse here, but again, I feel like a lot of the solution relies on our ability to see what we all have in common. I have known many people who’ve suffered hurt from the church for a variety for reasons that mostly have nothing to do with sexuality. I know others who find themselves at odds with the church body because they don’t see where they fit because their circumstances throw them into a very small category.

These are things that happen in the church to people. None of them are things that are specific to one group, so I have to believe that part of the solution is recognizing what we have in common and letting it unite in our desire to know God instead of looking for how we are the exception to the rule, or believing that we are a special case and that no one can understand us.

At the end of the day, for any of this to get better, we have to drop the labels– the ones we have for ourselves and the ones we have for others.  Has anyone else noticed that our labels come ahead of our distinction as Follower of Christ? Gay Christian, Straight Christian, Single Christian, Married Christian, Liberal Christian, Conservative Christian… I could go on.

Perhaps these assignments speak a lot of truth about what it is we are really following, and perhaps that’s something we should put some serious thought into. Jesus is the one thing we all have in common, why not define ourselves through Him and stop there?

Young People Walking in Meadow

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Jesus Stalkers

“Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”

And with that, Jesus speaks what I consider to be one of the most frightening verses in the Bible.  I mean, really, how can these guys get so many things right, and yet Jesus says He never knew them?

We are terrifically modern people.  As average people, we are able to know more than at any other time in history.  We have a world of knowledge available to us.  We are able to endlessly study the Bible, read countless commentaries, even learn the original languages…

…and yet, despite all of the wonderful things we know, I wonder if any of us will be the ones saying “Lord, Lord.”  continue reading

 

 

Matt Appling is an Author, Art Teacher, Pastor and blogger ( and I’m sure many other wonderful things as well) , he started The Church of No People blog in 2008.

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Amen Sister!

alanandleslieIn this awesome post by Leslie Chambers (wife of Alan Chambers President of Exodus International ) she shares about her marriage, grace and true freedom in Christ! Read and enjoy! From the Exodus Blog. . .

Leslie Chambers Tackles Heterosexuality, Hyper-Grace, and Offers Hope.

Have you ever wondered what people think of you? As my husband is Alan Chambers, the President of Exodus International, I have. At present, he is somewhat of a conundrum for a lot of people. There seems to be some confusion about who he is, what he is saying and what he stands for. Here it is in a nutshell: while he has repeatedly stated his biblically orthodox view of sexuality, he has also stated his belief that one particular sin is not somehow more offensive to God than another. As his wife, I have stayed out of most of the chaos, but there are a few things that I cannot be silent about any longer. So here it goes… click here to read the rest!

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Fantastic Article: Being Gay at Jerry Falwell’s University

This post is so good, it’s long but read the whole thing. Man if we could all show love this way and have this kind of impact on our fellow humans the world would be such a different place.

It was the fifth time that night that my Theology and Biblical Greek professor was calling. And, like the previous times, no way was I answering the phone. I knew why he was calling. Earlier that day, I emailed all of my professors to tell them I’d made the difficult decision to withdraw from school. As my cell phone went to voice mail, I crawled into bed under my covers, dreading the next morning when the rest of my professors would get my email, when the university would call my parents, when my roommates would ask me why I wasn’t waking up for class. “Why did I come here?” I asked myself. “Out of all the colleges in the world, why did I pick this one?”….

Read the rest of the article here!

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Easter Things!

OldRuggedCross_Sept06cropBWsmall.sized_Easter is such an important time. A sacred time of reflection,  thankfulness, Victory, love and remembrance. This year I have been so overwhelmed with the amazing works of tribute to this important weekend that I couldn’t think of anything better to do for our readers than to just share those things with you. So here is a list of some of the things that have been a blessing to me this Easter. If you think of something that should be on this list, share it in the comments and I will be sure to add it. Happy Easter Y’all!

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Fresh Eyes: Who Am I?

Exodus Week-End Review for Feb. 21st

 

OK folks, do yourself a big favor and watch this video. It is fabulous, you won’t regret it!! OH and a Happy Birthday to Mr. Alan Chambers our very fearless leader (as he well proves in this video, you guys crack us up!)

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Video Tuesday: Let It Be Known!

Hopefully this song will get you up and dancing this fake Tuesday. I am posting this today because Mon. was a holiday and that completely threw me off  and I totally woke up today thinking it was Tuesday . My bad. Anyway you get to profit from my silliness by enjoying this wonderful video and song!

I found this video on a really great blog from a guy named Peter Ould , we’ve shared some of his writings before .

He is a brilliant writer (among many other things) and speaks with a lot of wisdom check out his blog An Exercise in the Fundamentals of Orthodoxy .

The video comes from a group of people called Worship Central, check them out as well, very cool stuff!!

Anyway happy fake Tuesday or real Wednesday !

Come on let’s turn it up
We’re gonna sing it out
For all the world to hear
Oh oh oh whoa

There’s love for everyone
A new day has began
Something to shout about

Let it be known
That our God saves
Our God reigns
We lift You up up
Let it be known
That love has come
Love has won
We lift You up up up oh

Nothing can stop us now
No one can keep us down
We’ve found out voice again
Oh oh oh whoa

No need for fear and shame
There’s power in His name
Come on let’s free the reign

Let it be known
That our God saves
Our God reigns
We lift You up up
Let it be known
That love has come
Love has won
We lift You up up up oh

Yo
Let it be known, let it be known
That our God reigns, our God rose to the throne
Let it be known that everybody know
That love has won, love has come

We lift Your name up higher and higher
We lift Your name up
We shout Your name now louder and louder
We shout it out now

We lift Your name up higher and higher
We lift Your name up, Jesus
We shout Your name now louder and louder
We shout it out now

Let it be known
That our God saves
Our God reigns
We lift You up up
Let it be known
That love has come
Love has won
We lift You up up up

Let it be known
That our God saves
Our God reigns
We lift You up up
Let it be known
That love has come
Love has won
We lift You up up up oh

Let it be known, let it be known
That our God reigns, our God rose to the throne
Let it be known, let it be known
That love has won, love has come
(Let it be known)
Let it be known, let it be known
That our God rose to the throne
Let it be known that everybody know
That love has come, love has won

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Torn: A Review by Christopher Yuan

torn

If you have read this book I hope you will check out this insightful review by Christopher Yuan. If you have not read this book I hope you will because I believe that what Justin shares is an important thing for The Church to hear. We need to hear what it is like to feel misunderstood in your struggle as a member of the Body of Christ. We need to understand that it’s not simple, it’s not easy and sometimes fellow Christians do not make the confusion any easier to navigate. We need to learn to see people that deal with Same Sex Attractions as more than just a person with a solvable problem and we need to acknowledge the ways that we bring shame and more confusion to the table by not taking the time to try and understand. I am very grateful that Justin was willing to share his experiences so that we can start to change the way we respond to those in our midst that are hurting and perhaps with this understanding we can make choices in the future that will save the hurting people around us a lot of unnecessary pain.

That being said, there are some areas in this book that I do not believe are true to Scripture, Christopher Yuan does a great job of helping us to look at the Scriptures and better understand . What ever you believe about the biblical stand on homosexuality I hope you will give both of these a read !

Oh and don’t forget to click on the image to go to Justin’s page where he talks about the book .You can get the links to buy Torn from Justin’s page as well.

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