I stumbled, fell and cried out but my brother shied away And I found myself alone in silence, wishing he would stay. He quickly turned the corner, as if he hadn't realized, I'd turned and looked to him in pain, with pleading tear-filled eyes. I saw my brother stumble so I quickly looked away. I'll ask him how he's doing on perhaps a better day. I heard my brother crying but I quickly realized He'd not be wanting me to see the tears that filled his eyes. So we're just keeping distance till again it all seems right And saying a little prayer or two before turning in at night. No reason … [Read more...] about Who Really Needs to Come Out of the Closet?
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- His good, pleasing and perfect will. -- Romans 12:2 I always wanted to sing, but never had any confidence in my voice, nor did I ever learn to read music. Still, that didn't discourage me from joining the First Baptist Church youth choir. The summer trips were great; the youth musicals inspiring, the snack suppers worth the effort. The choir sounded great too, but I can take no credit for that. I did not want to be heard, … [Read more...] about Christians and Sex: This is No Time for Silence
If I was still climbing, you'd steady the ladder. If I were in pain, you'd ask what was the matter. So why all the silence when you saw me falling? Why turn away slowly when you hear me calling? If grace flows so freely, then why are we silent? If God says to give it, then why so defiant? If grace we've been given so we keep on livin' Then why so be so graceless to the other forgiven? Is my sin so mighty and I'm so to blame? While yours is so silly it's not worth the shame? Is that what grace does, covers sins just so small, That we wouldn't really need grace that much at … [Read more...] about Silent Statues in a Graceless Garden
This Won’t Hurt a Bit By Thom Hunter -- http://thom-signsofastruggle.blogspot.com/ There once was a shepherd boy who was bored as he sat on the hillside watching the village sheep. To amuse himself he took a great breath and sang out, "Wolf! Wolf! The Wolf is chasing the sheep!" -- Aesop's Fables The sunshine this morning is so brilliant through my office window that I almost need sunglasses to focus on the keyboard. The cloudless sky spreads from a softness along the horizon to a taken-for-granted pureness at its unlimited heights above. The breeze is gentle and all seems as it is … [Read more...] about This Won’t Hurt a Bit
"And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need." -- Matthew 6:30-33 Our dining table sits inside a large window facing west. Our yard slopes somewhat gracefully and … [Read more...] about The Shelf Life of a Lie
Chaos: unpredictability; a state of confusion Calm: period or condition of freedom from storms; a state of tranquility I think I have not been good at waiting. But wait . . . let me think about that a bit. No, I can't wait . . . I don't really have time to think about it. Besides, I know. I'm not good at waiting. I like to plan and push and expect and get. If there's an answer out there, I don't want it held back from me. I do not like to anticipate or wonder. I'm a good wanderer, but a very poor waiter. I plunge headlong into chaos rather than cautiously wading into the calm. As … [Read more...] about What Should We Do While We’re Waiting?
When Christ said: 'I was hungry and you fed me,' he didn't mean only the hunger for bread and for food; he also meant the hunger to be loved. Jesus himself experienced this loneliness. He came amongst his own and his own received him not, and it hurt him then and it has kept on hurting him. The same hunger, the same loneliness, the same having no one to be accepted by and to be loved and wanted by. Every human being in that case resembles Christ in his loneliness; and that is the hardest part, that's real hunger." -- Mother Teresa When I was in college, I spent a summer in Bangladesh, … [Read more...] about Sex and the Church: Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell?
How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. -- Luke 6:42 Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night and do a life review? In that rear-view mirror of reclining restlessness all the wrong turns of the past seem to paint a clear direction to the present. That retrospective road map can be painfully revealing. This morning at 4:44 a.m., I awoke, not to a clatter, not … [Read more...] about Jesus Wasn’t Home in Time for Dinner
Whether you know it or not, members of your church are ministering to Christians who struggle with homosexuality. Like the struggle itself, their ministry to those who suffer may be hidden, but it goes on, fueled by love. They are parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters, cousins, and friends of your church members – men and women -- who are drowning in the residue of the sin of unwanted homosexuality. Those who walk with homosexuals share the solitude and isolation that afflicts Christians who struggle with unwanted same-sex attraction. Secrecy fuels this sin in the shadow of the … [Read more...] about Homosexuality and Your Church — Part Two
What do the gay people in your church look like? Do you spot them by their flamboyant clothing . . . their mannerisms . . . their declarations? When a brother or sister in your church came to you to ask you for your help and support in their personal struggle against homosexuality . . . what did you do to walk with them? How did you respond the last time this happened to you? “Oh . . . we don’t have that problem in our church,” you say? If you are a typical Southern Baptist Church in Oklahoma, you do. If it is not a problem for Southern Baptists, why did Jimmy Draper lead in the … [Read more...] about Homosexuality and Your Church