Monday, October 31, 2005

God Hates....

Ok...I'm going to go out on a limb here theologically speaking. This is something I've not studied nearly enough but I'm in the process of studying it, and need/want to make some comment on it in the meantime.

Tdub and I were talking about Robert's comments to my "Love the Sinner" post.

Robert said:
"It seems to me that if God is love, as so many say that he is, then perhaps God does not hate at all. God may reject behavior that is unwholesome, but that is not necessarily hate. It seems to me that if Satan exists, or some other personification of evil, that he harms himself without having God or his angels intervening. The same can be said for all of us who sin."

I think Robert is on to something here. And I can't help but make note of the fact that Robert clearly states he's not a Christian in the paragraph just before he says all this. I just point that out as proof that we ALL have things to learn from one another, and furthermore, is NO THREAT in being friends, having dialogue and seeking truth. In fact, it can be helpful. I'm certainly not going to reject Robert's thoughts/ideas/opinions just because he's not a Christian. He, in fact, may be operating in a Christ-like spirit at times moreso than many who claim to be Christians. Not that I'm judging others, just sayin'. :)

ANYWAY....what Robert says goes along pretty well with the discussion Tdub and I had about God and hate. Basically, we came to the conclusion that HATE is one of those terms that is used in some instances in the Bible because it's the closest word to describing something that we basically have no comprehension for. It's a God thing. So, saying God hates sin is analogous to saying light hates darkness. It's not actually hate, it's that one will not exist in the presence of the other. Sin is opposite Godliness and where God is sin must leave. God LOVES people who sin and He demonstrated this fact by sending His Son to reconcile us back to Himself even though we are sinful. Because He won't/can't tolerate the presence of sin, the way light dispells darkness, He provided a way to tolerate us in spite of our sinfulness.

Again, I haven't done an in depth Biblical study of this. But, another thing I'm struck by is the fact that there are entire books and chapters in the Bible that talk about God's love. About the fact that God IS love. And while I know that God does not tolerate sin or "hates" it, so to speak, I don't see entire books focusing on it. I'm not trying to "water down" the gospel and brush sinfulness under the rug. Not at all. I'm pretty straightforward about sin being sin. It's just that it seems like we (Christians) spend alot of our time being the "sin police" as if that's God's primary role for us. I don't think it is. I'm inclined to believe that for the most part, God can handle sin. If our lives, words, actions, and testimonies don't reflect Christ and God's love then what do we really have to offer? Cleaning the sin out of my life has been a process. And, as much as I hate to admit it, it's still going on. I'm not there yet. I still screw up. I'm a recovering sinner and always will be.

I think I'll stop this ramble for now. I don't feel like it's all that coherent but I feel better to have gotten at least this much thinking down "out loud".

Please comment if you have any verses or insight to share to help me with this.

in Him,

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin

Is this just not the most over-used cop-out any of us have EVER heard??? And yet, it's part of our internal vocabulary. I've even had it slip out of my mouth a time or two even though I've absolutely come to despise it's use.

Here's the trouble, as I see it. If we say we "love the sinner, hate the sin", we are saying that we are able to do something that in actuality only God can do sucessfully 100% of the time.

We are human. We rank things. We line things up. For instance, as an art teacher I display an enormous amount of work in the halls of our school. Usually, the works are somewhat similar in that they are a response to a specific lesson. And yet, they are each unique and different. I can guarantee you that a given person, walking down the halls, stopping long enough to really look at all the artwork, will start comparing them. They will find one or two that stand out as better, in their opinion, than the others. It's part of how we are made. It's what we do. People might disagree about which artwork is their favorite. In fact, they will. Nevertheless, they will rank and choose among the works.

We do the same thing with our sins. Some sins carry more of the "yuk factor" than others for a broader range of people. Unfortunately, homosexual acts carry a high "yuk factor" for the general "Christian" population at large. This is a problem. We (Christians) need to get past this. And not just as it pertains to homosexual acts, but other things as well.

I'm trying to think of a sin that carries a high "yuk factor" for me. Homosexuality (which implies homosexual acts) certainly does not. I hug and kiss and goo and gah with my gay friends. I absolutely LOVE them and don't think diddly about what they do when I'm not around and they are in the privacy of their bedrooms. Heck, I don't even get grossed out when they embrace or kiss each other in front of me.

BUT....let's see....I do have a real problem dealing with people who are prideful or arrogant. I'd just as soon not be around such people. They turn me completely off and I have no use for them. There's no credibility, no authenticity to me, with people who blatantly act as if they are better than others. And yet, I'm supposed to love these people but hate their sin of pride and arrogance. I have a hard time with that...because to me...that sin ranks higher than the others. I rank sins. I can't help it. Someone could be as pure as the driven snow morally and yet be prideful and I'd have a very hard time "loving" them.

I say all of that to say THIS....
Love the sinner needs to stop RIGHT THERE. Just LOVE the SINNER. The sins are very rarely against us personally. I, for one, have been personally hurt by the sin of homosexual acts. And yet, this is the very sin that God has called me, even designed me, to be most compassionate towards. God is so funny that way, huh?

LOVE THE SINNER. Sins are ultimately against God. Not us. Yes, we are the voice of God crying in the wilderness. But, you know, what good does it really do to continue to proclaim that I believe homosexual acts to be sin? At some point, I've just got to get on with the business of loving people no matter what. And so, I'll let God hate the sin and I'll concentrate on loving the sinner.

Works for me. I wish that formula could work for ALOT of other people.


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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

More Letters to Brother

Here's the latest...from the youngest. The 12-yr. old's letter got mailed before I could see it, darn it!

Hey Brother,
I miss you a lot but can’t wate until you come back on Thanksgiving. I have been getting along with (brother3) and (brother2). I am being nice to mom by doing what she sais. I hope you are doing good in school and finding friends. I haven’t got a girl yet but 5 like me. There is only one kindah hot girl but I don’t know.
I love you and miss you a lot.
Love you,!

We are sending one per day all week and ending up with a huge box of Halloween candy.
Not to be outdone by the parent's of the many children there who have given them platinum Mastercards!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Woman At the Well

God keeps bringing this story to my attention and prompting me about different things concerning it. I've had a very strong sense that I should write it down so here goes.

This is the NIV version if you want to see it.

Jesus goes to this well while the disciples go into town to get food. It's an odd thing for a man to do since this is "woman turf" and the whole thing is even more culturally out of whack because the woman who shows up is a Samaritan. This is clearly evidenced when the disciples return and are somewhat taken aback that Jesus has been talking to her.

The conversation he has with the woman is intersting to me for a few reasons. It seems to me that Jesus is in complete control of and leading the entire thing. First, he asks her for a drink. She comments on how peculiar it is for him to be asking her because of the Jews' revulsion of Samaritans. Then, he turns right around and tells her about the living water he has to offer and how it is really she who should be asking him for a drink. He goes on to mention her husband in what sounds like a very leading way. Apparently, just so he can hear her answer that she has no husband, so that he can reveal to her that he knows all about her and the fact that she's living with a guy and has had 5 husbands previous. He ends up telling her that he's the Messiah and the disciples come back. She runs off to town, forgetting her water pot, and seems to be happy to tell other people about a man who knew about all her sins.

This story seems particularly relevant to those who struggle with sexual sin. This woman was obviously sexually broken. She was lookin' for love in all the wrong places, so to speak. Jesus knew that. He related her brokenness to a thirst. The woman must have had other sins in her life, but it was this sexual brokenness that Jesus focused on. He understood that she was thirsty for something and trying to get that thirst filled in inappropriate ways. His manner of speaking to her about it didn't put her off or make her mad. She could easily have taken the attitude of "screw you" and walked away, but she didn't. The dialogue almost sounds playful if you read it just right. It certainly doesn't come across as judgemental or condemning, he was just speaking truth. Somehow he communicated understanding and empathy for her, offered hope for quenching her thirst, and at the very least left her wanting to know more. We don't get to hear the rest of her story, only his.

I'm definitely hearing loudly and clearly from Jesus in this exchange that there is a thirst in all of us. In this instance, the woman was attempting to quench it with sex.

We've discussed this off and on over at Ben's blog but for me this story illustrates perfectly the fact that the heart of the matter, when it comes to anything we struggle with, is not the actual sin of choice at all. It's about quenching your thirst with Jesus. It's about seeking Him above all else, come what may. Maybe it will mean you won't ever have a romantic relationship, sexual relationship, be married, or have children(be you gay or straight). Maybe it will mean you will be at odds with people in your family, have to give up "creature comforts", or be ridiculed for making decisions that go against the culture at large. Maybe you will be asked or feel compelled to drop everything you are currently doing and run into town like the woman at the well and start telling everyone you know about this guy named Jesus.

The point is, if there is anything at all in front of your relationship with him, or if you don't really have a relationship with him, you remain thirsty. Unquenchably thirsty. Nothing else will do. No counterfeit will suffice. And you never even know it until you begin to get a taste of that living water. I believe that woman at the well got a taste of the living water Jesus spoke of that day. And I believe she started falling in love with the man she had been searching for all along in those 6 other fellas. I'd love to write the rest of her story.

Maybe I will.

Maybe I am.

Maybe we all are.


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Thursday, October 20, 2005


Ok...I want to know something. Or at least know the thoughts of those of you who read this now and then. This is NOT a trick question. I don't intend and REFUSE to start any arguments. I'd just like to know something, that's all.

In your experience is sexual addiction the norm (70%) in the gay community? My definition of sexual addiction is pretty broad and runs the gamut from having sexual relations anonymously and with multiple partners to serial monogamy which I would define as having sexual relations with one person at a time but frequently changing partners.

I'm not out to prove how horrible gay people are. Anyone who reads this knows I don't feel that way at all. I'm just thinking about some things and I'd like to compare our experiences as I reflect on all this.

Thanks in advance to you if you are brave enough to comment. If it turns into a fight I'll shut it down. I'm not about that sort of thing at all.

in Him,

Student Teacher

I got a student teacher on Monday and it's KILLIN' me! She's really sweet, very helpful, eager to learn, and I think she's going to do a fine job, it's not that. But having someone constantly in my room with NO down time between classes or even during my conference just doesn't go with my personality type. I NEED some reflection/alone time. As it is now, every spare minute there's SOMEONE THERE...asking questions or needing advice. I'm not mean to her. Don't worry. :) That's part of the problem as well...I'm so accommodating to helping her and trying to do a good job as her mentor, that I'm just wearing myself down with it.

There's gotta be a balance. I've had student teachers many times before and each time I swear I won't do it again. I've had some great ones. But I'm so selfish with my time. Of course, I always somehow end up taking on another one so I don't know what I'm talking about.

I don't blog from school, can't and wouldn't even if I could, but not having reflection time is affecting my ability to synthesize thoughts and write them down. I hate it.

Oh well.


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Blue Like Jazz

I've been waiting on a friend to pass this book on to me. I can't wait to read it. "Blue Like Jazz" by Donald Miller. Here's a little of the author's note at the beginning.

"Sometimes you have to watch somebody love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way.
I used to not like God because He didn't resolve. But that was before any of this happened."

I'm really looking forward to reading this book.


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Saturday, October 15, 2005


We are making a 3 hr. drive to my last Granny's funeral today. She was 93. The youngest son, when told of her death commented, "wow, she was 93...then she lived a long and happy life, didn't she?" For the most part, I think her life was happy...and yes, it certainly was long. She was never a strong believer, it was my other Granny who died several years ago who left her legacy of faith with me.

We'll see lots of cousins I rarely see and of course my parents. It's never easy seeing my parents. The relationship has been strained to say the least ever since I married Tdub. Particularly with my mother. They don't know about his struggle. They pretty much just think he's gay. So here we go. Lovely. A funeral AND time with family members who are homophobic.

Pray for our safety.


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Prayer Request

He came home too soon. Pepperdine son is missing his friends from back home horribly and it was made worse by the trip home last weekend. He's ready to ditch California and move to Austin next year. He knows he has to finish the year there AND do well before we'll even consider a move like that.

Please pray with me that he will connect with friends there and find his niche. That's really all he needs to do. I know he's made friends there, and I did worry a little originally that it would be discouraging to be a regular middle class kid with no money in the middle of so many spoiled rich children. I can't tell that he's having difficulty with that aspect. He's pretty laid back. It's just the yearning for his close friends that he's not getting past at this point.
So please pray for him with me. I'd really appreciate it.

And I don't care what you call yourself sexually...I'm asking you to pray with me.

in Him,
p.s. i won't tell you his name but it's in the bible and it was a guy who spent the night with a bunch of lions.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Coming Soon...

Watch this space for a post that's brewing and will spew forth in a day or so. I truly believe I've been tougher on "traditional Christians" in the bulk of this blog than I have been on "Gay Folk"(be they Christian or not). I'm going to post about what I believe to be a major obstacle in the whole gay-liberal vs.straight-christian fundamentalist dividing line. Don't worry, I won't be horribly mean or's just not in me...well...usually...Tdub might argue on occasion. But I will be honest.


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

About This Baby Possum

Our house was built in 1888. We actually have copies of land deeds for the piece of land we’re on that were signed my Sam Houston. It’s old. It’s in need of major renovations which would cost mucho dollars that we don’t have right now and won’t have any time in the near future. But, we find it charming and have been willing to put up with plumbing problems, heating and cooling issues, electrical circuit overloads, and a foundation so rundown in places that the boys can conduct soapbox type races using Hot Wheels from the middle of the floor to the wall. We’re also pretty sure the place is haunted because window panes turn up mysteriously broken on a continuous basis and no one ever knows who did it. That's yet another blog.

I’ve often remarked that living in our house is just one step up from camping. That said, it’s not really a big surprise to find a baby possum inside. The big surprise is that I actually caught the little thing. I’d heard him the night before. I was up late by myself and the house was quiet. From the family room I could hear a little crunching sound. I stealthily made my way to the kitchen doorway and waited oh so quietly. After about 2 full minutes of waiting I heard another crunch and spotted just his little possum face from around the corner of a big basket container. He was eating at our dog’s bowl. He noticed me right away and scuttled off. After looking online and confirming that it was indeed the face of a possum I’d seen, I went on to bed deciding to deal with him the following night.

Yesterday afternoon, dinner was in the oven, husband was on his commute home from work, and the boys were outside riding bikes. I sat down in the family room again with my computer. Just a few minutes passed and the now-familiar crunching noise began. I tiptoed my way to the kitchen door. He must have heard me coming because he was not at the dog’s bowl. Just then, I heard a scuffling and quickly spotted him in the corner just to my right. He was under a little decorative shelving unit. I moved a little toward him and he skittered about a foot forward along the wall and behind a medium-sized basket in the floor. I gently pressed against the basket with my foot, trapping him, and then, (this is the shocking part) I actually grabbed him by the tail. With my hand. Believe me, even a baby possum has a rather large and ratty looking tail. I mustered all the courage I had in me and just grabbed him. It was the mother in me that did it. I REALLY wanted the boys to see this thing and I LOVE impressing them. The looks of admiration I got from them last night were priceless. They have a mom who caught a possum! Fortunately, I had a nice deep box handy to put him in and my only regret is that we didn’t take any pictures before releasing him.


Monday, October 10, 2005

Dare Ya

Yes, husband...I AM going to blog about finding a baby possum in our kitchen. So there. I'll do it tomorrow. It's been a long day and I'm tired. And, before anyone sends the game warden to my house to fine me for harboring wild animals without a rehabilitator's license (that's yet ANOTHER blog)....the little guy has been set free.

I assume the little guy was a guy since I seem to be the only female thing that ever gets near this place.


The Marriage Thing

I have an opinion, or maybe it's just a "stance", on the gay marriage issue that will probably make everyone mad. By everyone I mean those on both sides.

There's going to be a vote on an amendment in November here to ban gay marriage. I'm abstaining. I can't believe I'm doing that and I've never done it before. I always vote.

I just don't get it. For one thing, we don't even recognize gay marriage in the first place in this state, so how can we ban it?

Secondly, as a scriptural thing I liken it to divorce laws. Our divorce laws are not scriptural, and yes, it has been to the detriment of the family because it is much too easy for people to divorce. And so, families are split up and it ultimately hurts children. Even though there are cases when some children are better off. But, ideally, the best scenario for any child is to be raised in the loving home of the biological father and mother. End of story. God's design is that it takes a male and female to produce a child and ideally, a male and female together should raise that child. And yet, in our fallen, sinful state, no matter how you have sex we've managed to screw up families. My own children are being raised in a broken home and have experienced unnecessary pain and discouragement because of the sinful actions of their parents. ALL of us. I guess my point in all that is that our laws all ready do not reflect scriptural principals. And so, banning gay marriage on the basis of the fact that I think homosexual acts are sinful doesn't hold up for me. Banning it on the basis that it destroys the family doesn't hold up either because heterosexuals have done a bang up job of that already as well.

Thirdly, I know of gays who have not spoken to anyone in their family for years because of coming out as gay. Should a scenario happen where they were in a life-threatening situation or unable to make decisions for themselves, it would be up to people who haven't had any sort of relationship with them in years. It doesn't seem right to me that their "loved" ones relationally wouldn't be able to visit them or care for them in a drastic situation like that. If they at least had some sort of civil contract then those closest to them relationally would have rights concerning them. I obviously don't agree with gay couples raising children. But that's happening all ready in spite of what I believe about it.

I don't know.

These are just my thoughts and I'm sure it's infuriating to most people that I could think this way. Or maybe not. I just don't know. So, I'm abstaining.


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Saturday, October 08, 2005

Buttermilk Pie

I'm making a big dinner for the family and some friends tonight. One of my son's favorite desserts (they all love it) is buttermilk pie. The boys all call it cream pie, even though I've told them it's actually buttermilk pie. I think they just can't get past the word buttermilk. ANYWAY, if you've never had or made buttermilk pie it's GREAT! A true Southern delight. And simple to make.

Cream (1/2C.) 1 stick room temperature butter into 2C.of sugar. Add 3 eggs and beat well.(use a mixer and cream it really well till it's sort of almost fluffy) Add 1T. flour and mix again. Add 1C. buttermilk and mix again. Add 1t. vanilla and give it one last stir.

Pour it in a pie crust (i use the pre-rolled kind and they are great) and bake it at 350 for 50 to 60 minutes.

You will not regret it!


Thursday, October 06, 2005

In Other News

Let's digress from the whole "notgay-comingout-anonymous" thing...*whew*...

Life goes on here at the home of Tdub and Grace as the oldest son has made his first reappearance from having been away at college in Malibu; where all the boys and girls carry Razor phones, the professors actually smile at you, and the temperature stays a breezy 70 degrees year round.

The verdict is still out over whether or not he's bonded to life at Pepperdine. He says he's going to give it a full year before he decides. He's not too keen on the fact that it's so far away from home. In my opinion, it's not that he would actually come home all that much if he were closer, it's just that he'd have the option. I think he feels "stuck" there. He drives a jeep, which is controlled by his dad. Dad is waiting on the first report card before allowing the jeep to go to Malibu. I think that's smart (we actually AGREE on something...mark that down!!). That said, I'm hoping that after he (hopefully) earns a good grade card and is allowed to take the jeep, he'll feel more inclined to stay out there for school. He's still talking about doing the overseas program and has to commit by October 10. He's 18. What can I say?

Things are going really well here with him home. Everyone is happy to see him. He spent 2 hours playing with the little guys on the trampoline this afternoon and has had lunch with them at school. He's totally filling the role of the cool big brother home from college and Tdub and I are thrilled to death with how attentive he's been to them. We've been reminded by his words and actions of how much he really cares for the family and appreciates what we're all about. That's so awesome for us as parents.

God is good. Life is good.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Our Gay Friends (his story)

We've been talking about the comments/questions people naturally have about these gay friends of ours I've written about. My husband was gracious enough (yet again) to share his thoughts on the matter and has allowed me to post them here.

i should also like to address how i am able to function in this circle of friends that includes very "out" gay men.

as grace has mentioned before, it’s not too frequent that we’re among these friends, but when we are, i am somewhat put off by a lot of the goings- and carryings-on … mainly bcz it reminds me of the hurt that i inflicted on grace … but also—and i certainly do not want to offend anyone—bcz of the sadness that i perceive through a veneer of happiness and pride with that lifestyle that i could have all too easily been in myself. a lifestyle that i believe to be unfulfilling, empty, and unsatisfying.

this attitude/feeling of compassion i have is not unlike the feeling i have for anyone in such a situation who finds him-/herself bereft of love and acceptance. as one redeemed, i, as much as anyone, have a responsibility to show the reason for the hope i have to those around me: straight, gay, or whatever.

i know through grace i am blessed with something valuable; something i almost lost; something i perceive they are looking for that goes beyond intercourse: that same 100% unconditional love and acceptance that our God promises us and allows me to experience through someone like grace. through our sons. through healthy relationships with other men who struggle with life just like me.

but can i with any conscience hide from it all? can i isolate myself in straights-ville and pretend my struggle doesn't exist--even though someone’s gaydar may be going off or some redneck homophobe gives me a dirty look?

Yes, that is exactly what i do. especially among my friends in straights-ville and at the straights-ville church we attend [hence grace’s gracious acquiescence to remain anonymous for the time being] but that’s ALSO another post for another time.

but we cannot turn down an opportunity to go and be among these folks. not to preach or condemn them but to love and laugh and create relationship.

who knows the moment one can be used to show the miracle of hope.

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My Blog

I blog anonymously. This past weekend a few of my very closest friends, who know all my secrets anyway, found out about it. Which is fine. I've shared so much that if anyone even aquainted with us or our family stumbled onto my blog they'd know immediately who I was. So, should I remain an "anonymous" blogger or not? What's the point? That's what I'm thinking about lately.


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