Thursday, May 31, 2007

"Religion"

Has religion destroyed us? For years, religions all over the world have separated people from coming together. Christians separate themselves with the various types of sins each person commits. Forgiveness has been forgotten. Love is something that ended up being conditional; unlike what 1rst Corinthians 13:4-7 has to say about it. We’ve deemed everyone judgmental, intolerant or hypocritical if their beliefs aren’t the same as ours. But how can you tell if someone is giving you good advice as a Christian over the other?

I believe it’s by words, which are Christ-like. It’s the actions, which are Christ-like. Your words will fall upon deaf ears, if you speak with a forked tongue, or lash out with profanity while speaking about God and Christian-related matters. Jesus never did any of this with his techniques of teaching. The words you choose show your true character. Of course, we all get angry at times and say strong-worded phrases to get our point across, but when someone starts spewing hateful insults with a siding of profanity, you have to wonder about their true motives. Can you really take Christian advice from this type of person? Are they credible as a Christian in order to help you? Which will you choose?

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh words stir up anger. ~Proverbs 15:1

Mockers can get a whole town agitated, but those who are wise will calm anger. ~Proverbs 29:8

People with good sense restrain their anger; they earn esteem by overlooking wrongs. ~Proverbs 19:11

Don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you. Think about it overnight and remain silent. ~Psalm 4:4

When I used to work for a call center for a major telephone company, in our training seminars, they said, “You’re voice is the face of our company when customers call in.” It basically indicated that when someone calls in for the first time, his or her first impression is “you”. We were trained to say a warm greeting and handle irate customers in the most tactful way as possible. Why can’t we use this in our daily lives? Our voice is the face of who we are.

Your tone, your choice of words and your actions can have an everlasting effect on someone. I’m guilty of hurting other people with words. I think it’s safe to say that everyone has had a downfall or two with bad choice of words, but in a sincere apologetic manner, it can go a long way – of course with forgiveness involved. In the bible, it states that you can debate and argue with your friend, but if you insult them, you’ll lose them completely. I firmly believe that. Even if forgiveness has taken place, an insult can manifest into a scar. Forgiving is great, but forgetting is hard for most of us, because we’re human. We’re more delicate than we make ourselves out to be.

I also want to say thank you, to a reader of mine who just apologized to me. I was hurt over his words, but taken aback by his apology. I fully accepted his apology and forgave him completely. We don’t see things eye-to-eye, nor do we handle things the same way, but the one thing we have in common is our love for the Lord.

Forget about “religion”. Think “relationship”…A relationship with God. A relationship with those around you. A relationship with yourself to know who you are in Christ- to know that you’re “right” with God.

Forgiveness
Respecting one another
Healing
Yielding to those who have different views and beliefs than your own
Words to uplift and edify
Encouragement
Words of hope
To identify those who love God
To identify everybody has a unique relationship with God
To love God with all your heart
To love His children as you would yourself
Putting aside your judgment and seeing the person as a human
Acceptance
Tolerance
Faith
Hope
Love
Patience

They all go hand-in-hand with being a loving Christian. I admit, I have some work to do as far as the list above. I'm not perfect.

If we incorporate these things I’ve listed above, I believe we can manage to live in a world where people can have different beliefs, different lifestyles, and different relationships with God. If you disagree with another Christian, simply state your beliefs and let God take control from there. People cannot change people. Only God can change people.

Is it possible that we can live like this? Probably not, but it’s a great idea concept to think about at least. I dare you to take a different stance on how you approach someone who’s a Christian, yet with different views. Will you judge them? Ridicule them? Hurt them? Belittle them? Or, will you listen to them? Will you tell them your side of faith, as opposed to shoving the scriptures down their throat? Will you also understand that many people interpret scriptures differently? How can we argue with the people who wrote the bible? Who will clear it up for us? Will you encourage people that God loves them regardless? And will you pray for them?

How will you hold yourself up as a Christian- by love or with hate? Will you let “religion” destroy all of your relationships, simply because people have different beliefs? It may just destroy the relationship you have with God.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Holy Wars

The other night, I watched Flight 93, about the 9/11 hijacking. It brought back some painful and unnerving memories, as I remembered every single minute of how that day unfolded. We rarely speak of Flight 93’s tragedy and head right into the deep horror of the two planes that flew right into both towers of the World Trade Center.

Each hijacker had such a love for their God, that they were not only willing to kill others, but they were ready to take their own lives for their God. It’s a scary concept to fathom. The assailing images of this movie raised my blood pressure. The reasoning behind their motives was a reminder of what goes on in any religious holy war. The determination to kill for your God is a total contradiction, just as some would feel that being a gay Christian is a contradiction to the Christian doctrine.

We believe what we believe.

When we hear the message of God from other Christians, we must keep in mind that there are many beliefs within the religion of Christianity itself. When your heart feels the truth, then believe it’s the truth. When your heart says, “Hmm, something’s not right here,” then talk to God, but also remember to listen for Him. If your ears aren’t open to Him, then you’re heart isn’t as well. Ask for wisdom and discernment, especially when another Christian gives you advice or rebukes you. Ask God what the right path is to take. Advice from other Christians is good, but confirmation from God Himself is better. A personal relationship with God

What does it take?
*Fellowship with God
*A desire to learn more about God
*Evaluating your own situation and letting God take control
*Strength in your faith
*Remembering God’s strength when you’re weak

But the Lord is faithful; he will make you strong and guard you from the evil one. ~2 Thessalonians 3:3

In all fairness, each and every one of us has a little evil in us. We have the good and we have the bad. We’re human. The devil can creep inside very easily, with persuading words and tempting offers, but after it’s been rejected, watch the outcome. You’ll struggle with the wrath of what’s been rejected. Take for instance, when you draw closer to God. What happens? You find more challenges. Is it a test from God? Possibly. I do believe that the closer we get to God, the angrier the devil becomes. The devil will throw obstacles in your way, in order to deter you from your initial focus.

Stay on track.

There are plenty of laundry mats that are willing to wash your brain for a small fee—your soul. They’re called fundamentalist churches. Now, there’s nothing wrong with choosing your own church to suit your personal needs to draw closer to God, but keep in mind that “people” who are sucked into this brainwashing mindset will have you believe almost anything.

To me, it’s just the same as the extreme Muslims who kill and die for their Gods. They have no margin for reasoning. The same goes for extreme radical Christians, with hatred for certain types of sinners. They cherry pick their sin of choice, and cast stones at anyone who tries to argue with them. They become evil, curse you and in most cases, lie about you.

Let me give you the differences between a true Christian, and those who are radical extremists who have been completely brainwashed.

Radical Extremists’ Thinking

*I’m allowed to judge anyone
*Those who sin, will be cast into the pit of hell
*You may curse in the correct context when rebuking your neighbor
*Making fun of disabilities is okay, as long as they’re sinners
*Lying is good, as long as it serves for God’s purposes
*Killing homosexuals should be a law
*Hitting your child is okay – even in the most barbaric ways

True “Jesus-like” Thinking

*Love your neighbor as you would yourself
*Give your problems to God- let God take control
*Love God with all your heart
*Judging others is not your job, it’s God’s
*Forgiveness
*Encourage and edify one another
*Spreading the good news
*Stand strong in your faith and remember that God loves you

People ask me all the time how can I call myself a “Christian lesbian”. First of all, I believe that Jesus died for my sins. I worship Christ, therefore I’m Christian. My faith can’t be dwindled or persuaded. I have a loving relationship with another woman. We’re not promiscuous, as ‘radical Christians’ tend to think. We’re best friends, lovers as well as family. We enjoy being around our family and friends and love praising God together, as a team. We pray together, which makes our bond even stronger. The true thread that binds us together is God. We strengthen each other’s faith in the Lord.

Even in the church we used to attend, the gay ministry (which desired us to be “ex-gays) were so persistent on changing us into heterosexuals, that they lost complete focus on what was truly important—God. We sat down with them and had a meeting. Each of the scripture they shot at us were the same ones that any other radical Christian would fire off. I explained my beliefs on each particular one. Now, keep in mind that the gay ministry in that church were all ex-gays. They sat there, looked at me, and read the scripture again. One lady had tears in her eyes. She knew in her heart that the message that Romans was trying to convey was about pure lust and promiscuity. The couple we were speaking to (or ex-couple), were together for over twenty years. Even though they tried to argue over the passages, they were taken back by my interpretation and understanding of each “homosexual” scripture that was served up.

If they have a ministry for gays, then why don’t they have every type of ministry? One for alcoholics, one for liars, one for adulterers, one for gossipers, another for sex addicts and ministries for those who suffer from gluttony? I’m sure they have a ministry for some of the above, however this particular church didn’t. AA was optional at a Presbyterian church nearby.

The focus of God has been blocked by the thought of homosexuals living in this world. Most radical Christians don’t even bother with any other type of “sin” they think people are committing. They feel that homosexuals should be put to the death sentence. Do they actually want a homosexual holocaust? Is this the way Christians should think?

Will it always be a holy war? I guess it will, since faith isn’t based on fact. Between extreme Muslims and radical Christians, they’ll always see the negative, and never see the good in people. Holy wars are based upon hate. They hate the “nonbelievers”. They hate those who worship Christ, they hate those who worship Allah, and they hate those who believe in the same God, yet have a different set of beliefs within their very own religion.

It’ll never end.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Predetermined Destiny With Hypocrisy?

The best effective way to get a message across, is to be compassionate, patient and understanding of whatever response you’ll receive in return. When speaking about religious matters, people have to realize that religion is based on “faith”- not fact. For instance, if I was trying to feed a baby that mushy banana food, and he didn’t like it, I can’t cram the food down the baby’s throat. He’ll simply close his mouth and cry. The best way is to find a different approach. Maybe he’ll like the peach stuff better. Force-feeding anyone will result in a negative outcome. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out.

Dani and Mark, who profess to be Christians, feed their fellow believers with profanity if we don’t fully accept what we’re hearing from them. Think about those movies, like The Exorcist, and other flicks that portray the devil. At first, the devil will give you the most intellectual conversation. He makes sense at first. He comes as an angel of light. (Or, he comes “in love”.) You think, “Hmm, he’s really changed and his statements are really convincing.” Once the two of you have established a civil conversation, you’ve established a method of “listening with an opened heart”. Now, that the portal has been opened, the real seed starts to spread. Words to convince you to turn from God, renounce your religion and draw farther from God, come flowing out of the mouth that you’ve been willing to listen to.

Once you’ve rejected the message he’s trying to send you, he starts cursing you. The devil starts foaming at the mouth, using profanity and poking fun at your weaknesses, in order to hurt you, belittle you, and to knock you down a few notches. He’ll plot, scheme in his little hidden basement to come up with a new plan to attack you. He’ll keep focusing on you, until you become weak again.

Sound familiar?

It’s what Mark and Dani try to do on a constant basis. They come “in love”, as an angel of light. They even call themselves, “Christians”. Am I judging these people? I’m not judging their character or their life outside blogworld- I’m simply observing how they’ve treated me. They’ve hurt me with insults, and have told me to practice a different religion- which is the worst sin of all in the bible. (Even in their bible.)

Here’s Mark’s comment to me:

“Deb, you dear are the 'closed minded' one. The second anyone one disagrees with you even in true concern and love, the hate and bigotry bottled up in YOU sweats from your skin and lips like a sickness! You dear are the SOS (samd old shit) everyday. It does not take a scholar to realize as much. You're like a very clean glass window...transparent.I love you Deb, that's why I and folks like Dani are the first to say you're full of crap with your God loves any opinion bullshit. hugs and kisses! ....as I wash my hands before I boil and eat this lobster...ms hypocrite who knows it. :)

Do you have ADLGD?...of course you do, that's why we have Rx's to help. No need for Christ when one worships at the alter of 'cause I feel like it. See, you're ok! be yourself dear. It's all good in your god's sight, all good! All good! and don't you let anyone tell you different. God's word is only in each person's heart! just like those who flew planes into buildings on Sept 11, 2001. My God is Your God and their God. Who can Judge ?? Not me! I love all gods and so does God!Yep, it's in the Bible.”

Even his “hugs and kisses” are used with sarcasm. He hides behind the Christian label, throwing fire at those who are different, those who have different relationships with God.

Dani is no different. Her comment to Mark was out of the “same love”.

"Hey Mark - I just posted this too and I dedicated it to Deb with love! Go check out her comments. At first I thought there was hope, but unfortunately it turned out to be the SOS (same old shit). Too bad. Guess we'll just have to keep praying that God will show her the Truth."

When these people say, “I love you,” don’t believe it. They’re self-righteous and feel as though God approves of their ways of teaching others how to be a good Christian. Are there any “good Christians” out there? No. We all have flaws and imperfections. It’s called, being human.

I’m not trying to put these two into the fire by displaying their hatred towards those who are different, especially homosexuals, which they seem to focus their entire lives to, but I’m trying to show how ignorant their message sounds when profanity and insulting words are used.

Again, religion is based on “faith”, and not fact. They do not know for sure, if what they are revealing to us is truth. They don’t---it’s literally impossible. What I tell you, and everyone else who reads this blog is out of pure faith. I cannot say it’s “truth”. It is, however, truth for “me”. But that’s different than displaying your belief as truth. To say that your belief is truth for everyone is a major oxymoron. The lack of intelligence that goes behind this concept is the mindset of a cult-like group. They have blinders on, willingly, going around making irrational comments. They’re not helping anyone. They’re spreading hatred. You even see this type of stuff with the Phelp’s family. They spread hatred over to their children. They’re taught to hate “faggots”. They’re taught that gays and lesbians are equivalent to those who are pedophiles, violent rapists, murderers, as well as people who distribute child porn.

Now, as a follower of Christ, I will even ask this question… What if, we all open the doors into the afterlife, to find that Jesus is sitting among Mohammad, Buddha, and many other Gods, waiting for our return? They all ask us, “So have you figured it out yet?” And we look at them in shock, our jaws opened wide in awe. What if they’re all sitting up in heaven laughing at how we’re acting?

Who’s to say that can’t happen?

However, my beliefs are different, but then again, I can be wrong. You just never know. How ironic would it be that we’ve been fighting, debating and killing each other over what’s true, when in fact, all of it is!

Do all roads lead to Rome? Or are we all set apart for one God. Are all Muslims going to hell? Are all Jews destined to dive into a pit of hell? Are all Buddhists going to be swimming in a fiery pool?

Our brain is incapable of grasping the meaning of life. If we were to grasp that understanding, our brains would just explode. We’re not equip to know the truth. It’s like fish trying to comprehend algebra. It’s impossible.

As one commenter stated in my previous post, would God make it that easy? If the bible was so black and white, then why did Dani and I have total different meanings of the verse in Romans, in my previous post?

What’s the difference between faith and fact?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sacrifices

Has it reached a full two years since Dani and I have been debating over whether or not I am able to actually be a “Christian lesbian”? Regardless, we always seem to go over this topic. Sometimes, it’s dramatic and heated up. Other times, it can be a civil conversation between two adults who love God. The only difference is, Dani fully believes I don’t love God enough, because I refuse to transform into a heterosexual. Her belief, as many of you know, is that God intended to only join a man and woman for procreation.

I can totally respect that, due to the bible not being so black and white. The gray areas of the good book have been questioned upon, debated over, and also killed for. Over at Dani’s site on her latest attempt, she dedicated another post to me. It had ten steps to come out of the lesbian lifestyle. Dani and I are trying to discuss this with open minds and open hearts. Now, the only thing that makes me cringe with this discussion is that she compares my relationship to those who are pedophiles, wife beaters, child molesters and rapists. I have to tell you that it hurts me to think that people would consider me to be equivalent to these types of horrific beings. Those types of people hurt others.

Many Christians think I should leave the lifestyle and become an ex-lesbian. I can’t imagine being an “ex-lesbian”, however, let’s just say I did become one. Let’s take a look at what I’d be like, or assume what I’d be like.

(Warning- this may be graphic and some men may get offended. Please note, that I do not hate men. I love men, but not in an intimate way. I think men are great, but a relationship or marriage with a man is not in my cards. Just as a straight man trying to be gay- it’s not meant for him.)

1. I’d go through the motions of being with a man. I’d probably try to find a man who had a great sense of humor, someone who could make me think, and someone who’s also a Christian, or believes in God. That’s very important to me in any relationship. I need to relate on a spiritual level. (Mind you, I have male friends who fit the bill on this one!)

2. What man is going to wait for sex until marriage? So right there, it’s going to take me a long, long time to find a man who’s willing to say, “I’ll wait a couple of years and be celibate for you.” I know “love” becomes a factor and if he really loves me, he’ll wait, right? Love isn’t about sex. Sex is just a bonus, I know, but reality hits you and it’s evident that there are hardly any men out there that will wait. {Note to Dani: You didn’t wait until marriage. This you have revealed to me---however, since you repented of premarital sex, you’re okay now, right? So, right there, you’re lucky. (In the belief system that you hold to be true.) Some people aren’t so lucky I guess.}

3. I’m still on the sex topic, so bear with me, okay? I am not attracted to men in that way. I think that there are gorgeous men out there, however, I don’t look at them and say, “Whoaaaa,” and totally drop my jaw in lust. I can appreciate the beauty of a man, all sizes and all races. On our wedding night, while preparing to get deflowered, would I have to close my eyes and pray to the good Lord to get this over with?

It’s not fair to the man if I did this. He would have a wife that didn’t have passion for him, who wasn’t fully attracted to him and that would eventually lead him with negative thoughts about himself. His self-esteem would diminish, leaving him with thoughts of unworthiness. I would never do this to a man. When I was single, I even tried with men. It’s very difficult for me to go there. And, when I have, the men that I have been with were ones I potentially saw myself with. I never did it for just kicks. The men in my life are important to me, so much, that I don’t become their wife. For that, they’re fortunate!

What goes through a woman’s mind while she’s brought up in a Christian household, gets married, has kids, and then years later, admits that she’s now a lesbian? Some Christians will say that the devil got into her, that it’s a message from the “evil one”. Other people will simply feel bad that she suffered many years holding this type of feeling inside.

“Fight it! It’s the demon of homosexuality!”

I’ve heard that one before. A demon of homosexuality? They say that “the demon of homosexuality” is the strongest one of all!

I wrote a comment to Dani on her latest post. I asked her, since I’m unwilling to break up with my loving partner, because of my strong belief that God accepts me, should I sacrifice myself to my God? If it’s already determined that I’m going to hell for continuing my lifestyle as a lesbian who loves her partner, should I say, “I’m sorry God, I repent of being a homosexual,” and then sacrifice myself to God, for the sake of dying without sins? Nowhere in the bible does it say that committing suicide is a sin. Murdering is a sin, but what about sacrificing yourself to God? Isn’t that was Jesus did? Aren’t we supposed to follow what Jesus did? We’re supposed to be “Christ-like”, right? WWJD? (What would Jesus do?)

Stop panicking. I’m not going anywhere folks. I’m making a point though. I proclaim with all my heart that I am a Christian strong in her faith! I am not going to be a closet Christian. I refuse. My love for Jesus is way too strong, and His messages to me, that He loves me as His child, and loves all of his children, regardless of their lifestyles makes me want to spread the word more. It makes me want to spread the word of love more. I firmly believe this is my mission in life- this is my purpose.

Why does the bible have so many gray areas in it? For me, there are no gray areas. For Dani, there are also no gray areas, however, we both see totally different messages.

Why?

For example, this is Dani’s interpretation of the bible in Romans:
“Just as Romans 1:24-26 says, 'Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie...Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.'This verse speaks nothing of promiscuity, but rather God giving people over to their sinful desires to do the things which are unnatural since they believed a LIE in their hearts, instead of the Truth of God's Word.”

Now, read my interpretation of the SAME passage:
” The verse in Romans 1:24-26 does speak of promiscuity. Here’s how “”I”” interpret it. Bear with me. I know you’re trying so hard to be open with me. So hang in there Dani!!! “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires (to me indicates desires which are wrong and unclean)) of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. (Totally referring to promiscuity right there in that last sentence. They’re not speaking about love, commitment, friendship and loyalty. These were the times they were giving up their bodies to submit themselves to orgies with many, many partners, regardless of gender.) They exchanged the truth of God for a lie…Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. (Lust is different than love.) Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. (Meaning, they were doing it with anyone, anywhere, anyhow, anytime---these people were just completely a mess trapped in a lifestyle of orgies, parties, submitting to every desire with anyone.”

Does this passage sound like sex to you? Does it sound as though it speaks about promiscuous matters, or a loving relationship between two people of the same gender?

In my belief, this passage is purely about sex. Promiscuity seems to be confused with love, as I take it from Dani’s view. My relationship with my girlfriend is not all about sex. I have a best friend to confide in, I have a loving woman who supports me in whatever it is that I do, and I love someone who’s apart of my family. Our communication is open, loving and sometimes we debate on issues like any other normal relationship- and sometimes we communicate through love…through intimacy.

Is lust the same thing as love?

Am I equivalent to a pedophile, a violent rapist, a wife beater, a murderer, and someone who distributes child porn?

I have been compared to these types of people, which hurts. I’m human, so when someone tells me that I’m just the same as these other people who intentionally hurt others, it affects me in a negative way. It tears down my spirit and makes me believe that it’s impossible to have faith in people.

I may have lost my faith in Christians, however, my faith in Christ will never fade. She may dwindle my self-esteem and hurt me with words, however, she can’t take away my knowledge that God is true- that God accepts me and everyone else who struggles as a human.

Almost two years now Dani. It’s time to shut the door on this one. If God calls me to be an ex-lesbian, than that’s what I’ll do. He hasn’t told me that- ever. The words in the bible are seen in many various interpretations, translations and conclusions.

My question to you is, how do you know 100%, absolutely without a doubt, that what you’re hearing is the message of God? Put aside the bible, because we both interpret it differently. I believe that your message is negative, not because I want to fulfill my “evil desires”, because I don't feel it's evil.

How do you know that your belief is “truth”? What spiritual experiences have you had to hold this up?

Did you hear a voice from God?

Your interpretation of that passage in Romans clearly states “lust”. Lust = promiscuity. It’s not love.

Is your message coming from love? Or is your message coming from a different source?
Am I on the right "track"?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Creation of Evolution?

As unconventional Christian ways of thinking burst through my mind, some would say I have yet another theory I hold true to my heart that will always be debated. If God made this earth, then why can’t there be belief in both God and evolution? I know both aren’t shared in the same capacity, however, if you really think about it, things grow, change, develop and evolve all the time. Evolution in the negative aspect can be seen with manmade deterioration of the earth and atmosphere. Chemicals, factories, exhaust from transportation, have all contributed to the destruction of our ozone layer, leaving many things on this earth to change, or ‘evolve’ in different ways over time. Glaciers are melting at a faster rate due to global warming. The earth is seeing much more weather-related damage- earthquakes, tsunamis and even erosion from all the World War 1-era military munitions on Long Beach Island. Workers recovered 1,080 pieces of material and hardware. Read more here.

If things can dissolve, then they can evolve. Even our minds evolve if you think about it. The way we view, see, touch, feel and hear have an influence on any direction we may want to take it. I’m speaking of evolution in terms of “change”. We’re constantly changing, whether for the better or for the worse. We see things differently than others do. Our minds are constantly wondering about new ideas, new concepts- we're never finished learning, regardless if we stop, regardless if we say we’ve stopped learning.

What about Jesus? Have we evolved Jesus into something He’s not? Just think about this for a moment… Jesus was from Israel, yet they show Him appearing close to an English or Irish descent. If Jesus was from Israel, wouldn’t He have middle eastern features, such as dark curly hair, thick eyebrows, big brown eyes, and prominent attributes? The photos of Jesus are much different. They show him with a caramel color hair, big green eyes and very delicate features.

Look at the two examples I provided below:
Look at the differences in characteristics. I believe we ‘thought up’ Jesus’ features and the way He looks. Since Egypt is on the continent of Africa, who’s to say that Jesus wasn’t black? Are we evolving Jesus Himself? We’ve altered Him to fit how we want Him to look.

The real question is, does it matter what Jesus looks like? I don’t think so. But, it does matter how willing we are to accept that things are evolving each and every day, and have been in the past? It goes way beyond homosapians evolving from apes to the human figure. Then you have the argument that Jesus created man in His image. How do we really know what God looked like to begin with? “Man” could have very well been represented a whole other way than we know it today. No one had high tech cameras or film. No one has an accurate drawing. Each drawing is different. But that shouldn’t be the focus. The focus should definitely be the openness to see what has changed from then, and what keeps changing now.

So, my question remains, if God made the earth, then why can’t we believe that evolution is among us?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Unconventional Worship

People of all races, religions, sizes, backgrounds, personal opinions will tell you a different theme on how they view faith and how they individually practice worshipping their God(s). Reasons associated with childhood, structure, limitations, as well as fear have most people staying within the boxed in lines. They’re scared to learn, afraid of influences of the world, and most of all, influences of their own mind and their own inner spirit. I’ll even go as far to say that as children, we have been all brainwashed with a theory, a “truth”, a belief system, or a lack thereof. Most cling to that belief system, and very few people jump outside that box, to find out what God really wants them to do.

Worshipping God is a personal thing. Some like to meditate before prayer time. Others simply enjoy walking out in nature to experience God’s beautiful creations. Some, will go to a church to congregate with others. Everyone has their own way. For me, fellowshipping with other “Christians” has left a bad taste in my mouth. Most judge and ridicule every single move we make, casting us into a fiery pit of hell. A ton of Christians scare others away from God, which is the worst sin of all.

“And now about prayer. When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I assure you, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered only by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, because your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!” ~Matthew 6:5-8

This is what the bible teaches us. It doesn’t mean we have to pray like this all the time. The point of this is, don’t be so limited upon your prayers to God. Don’t ramble on the same redundant prayer over and over again without any heart in it. For me, speaking to God as if He was right here is what works for me. I speak to Him anywhere, in the car, in the shower, outside on the hammock and even when I’m among other people, I’ll say a prayer in my mind. My favorite way is early in the morning, facing the east side of my house overlooking the beautiful views of the mountains and lakes. I sit quitely, listen to meditation music, calm myself, and then pray. I try to listen for Him, instead of doing all the talking.

There are many times in the evening where I find myself lighting many candles, alone, just meditating upon His presence. It usually surprises me when someone criticizes another person of faith about how they pray and worship. Be unconventional; pray the way that fits you. I’ve even went so far to pray like the Muslims do. Catholics kneel to pray sometimes- this just takes it a step further. Communication with God isn’t limited. Some people are completely uncomfortable with the conventional ways of praying.

How does one know the truth without seeking answers? I’ve come across many Christians who claim they “know the truth”. Not one person “knows the truth”, however, many believe what’s “true to them”. And we can’t argue with them about it. It’s “their truth”.

In the bible, there’s a great scripture that just popped up at me this moment…

The Future—Determined and Unknown

"Everything has already been decided. It was known long ago what each person would be. So there’s no use arguing with God about your destiny. The more words you speak, the less they mean. So why overdo it? In the few days of our empty lives, who knows how our days can best be spent? And who can tell what will happen in the future after we are gone?" ~Ecclesiastes 6:10-12

Even the bible tells us that we still do not know the truth. We rely on faith. Our faith- being our ‘own’. The stress, anguish, resentment, criticism, judgment of people of the Christian faith comes from insecurity of their own destiny. If you think about it, if everyone was certain about their destiny, no one would be arguing. No one would be bickering over what’s right or what’s wrong. There would be peace on earth and one belief system- because it was revealed as the truth.

So then, what’s the point of arguing, if no one knows for sure what the truth is? How can a mere person try to save another, when the other person’s belief may be the right one?

No. one. knows.

We believe.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Children of God

From Job 38:1-39

“Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind; 'Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? Brace yourself, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much. Do you know how its dimensions were determined and who did the surveying? What supports its foundations, and who laid its cornerstone and the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? Who defined the boundaries of the sea as it burst from the womb, and as I clothed it with clouds and thick darkness? For I locked it behind barred gates, limiting its shores. I said, ‘Thus far and no farther will you come. Here your proud waves must stop!’Have you ever commanded the morning to appear and caused the dawn to rise in the east? Have you ever told the daylight to spread to the ends of the earth, to bring and end to the night’s wickedness? For the features of the earth take shape as the light approaches, and the dawn is robed in red. The light disturbs the haunts of the wicked and it stops the arm that is raised in violence.Have you explored the springs from which the seas come? Have you walked about and explored their depths? Do you know where the gates of death are located? Have you seen the gates of utter gloom? Do you realize the extent of the earth? Tell me about it if you know! Where does the light come from, and where does the darkness go? Can you take it to its home? Do you know how to get there? But of course you know all this! For you were born before it was all created, and you are so very experienced!Have you visited the treasuries of the snow? Have you seen where the hail is made and stored? I have reserved it for the time of trouble, for the day of battle and war. Where is the path to the origin of light? Where is the home of the east wind?Who created a channel for the torrents of rain? Who laid out the path for thelightning? Who makes the rain fall on barren land, in a desert where no one lives? Who sends the rain that satisfies the parched ground and makes the tender grass spring up?Does the rain have a father? Where does dew come from? Who is the mother of the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens? For the water turns to ice as hard as rock, and the surface of water freezes.Can you hold back the movements of the stars? Are you able to restrain the Pleiades or Orion? Can you ensure the proper sequence of the seasons or guide theconstellation of the Bear with her cubs across the heavens? Do you know the laws of the universe and how God rules the earth?Can you shout to the clouds and make it rain? Can you make lightning appear and cause it to strike as you direct it? Who gives intuition and instinct? Who is wise enough to count all the clouds? Who can tilt the water jars of heaven, turning the dry dust to clumps of mud? Can you stalk prey for a lioness and satisfy the young lions’ appetites as they lie in their dens or crouch in the thicket? Who provides food for the ravens when their young cry out to God as they wander about in hunger?'”

A friend stops by regularly to bring over delicious apple pies. She does this almost every other week out of the goodness of her heart. She’s generous by nature, and doesn’t expect anything back in return. I take the pie. I thank her, yet focus and rely on her bi-weekly apple pies. Never, do I call her to come over for some coffee and talk. We see each other on the street, say our ‘hellos’ and then move on. Her pies still keep coming like clockwork. Instead of relying on her “pies”, I should be appreciating the “creator” of the pies- my neighbor, right?

Who made the earth? God. In my belief, God is the Creator of all things. My primary focus is not earth, metal, wood, fire and water. It’s God. God, who has made all things beautiful for us to enjoy. God, who has made each and every one of us, who still bicker over who’s right and who’s wrong.

A brother and sister fight over who’s the better sibling. The brother says, “Well, I take out the garbage every single night, while you sit there and do nothing.” The girl responds, “Nothing? Nothing? I clean up after you and wash the dishes at night, while you sit there doing nothing!” For hours, the sister and brother continuing arguing over who’s the ‘better child’. “At least I don’t sneak out in the middle of the night like you do, to meet your boyfriend,” the brother says all proud, “mom and dad would totally punish you for that!” The girl looks at her brother and says, “You have some nerve! I’m not the one who sits at his computer and watches dirty websites you perv!” They both remain silent looking at one another, realizing that they both have different faults of their own.

Which child do you think the parents love the most?

We try the best we could to be the perfect “Christian”, or the perfect person in whatever religion we practice, yet we still have people among us, (brothers and sisters) who will compare one sin over the other. Even if the sister was condemning her brother ‘out of love’, it’s not her place to sit there and tell him what to do. Maybe she can ‘suggest’ a better idea, however, belittling him only generates more anger and resentment. Their parents love them regardless. They wouldn’t ever let them go, even if they did find out about the daughter sneaking out at night and the son tapping into that dirty website. Most parents would talk it over, try to correct them, and of course, punish them for their ‘wrongs’, but never, would they cast them to another household. (Hell) The brother and sister love their parents with all their heart. And maybe they will continue on doing what pleases them, however, it doesn’t mean the parents will disown them. Each child has their own personal relationship with their parents.

I am frustrated with other Christians. It literally makes me want to change religions altogether, but I’ve already developed a strong relationship with God, so I can’t. I know He exists. I know He hears me when I pray and I know that He realizes my frustrations with other people. I got too caught up with other people’s judgments, when I should have been more focused on the Lord. Those “bad eggs” that come onto my website aren’t bad eggs, they’re just misguided in my opinion. They’re ugly in spirit and see things in a negative outlook. I find them to be insecure about who they are. They’re also seeking answers. Why would they lash out so harshly? I’m readily to admit my inquiries about God and what’s right and wrong.

Grace said it best with her comment:

“I've watched a bit of the back and forth of it, but not too too much because honestly, it's just a waste of time. However, in my estimation, the HUGE difference between folks like those we will not name and authentic Christ-seeking Christians is this; if one is really Christ seeking, they tend to come up with WAY more questions than answers. Those folks you squabble with from time to time have all the answers. They're done. They've got it all figured out. Ok. Fine. Whatever. The situations that cause me to grow the most in my Christ journey are those that cause me to engage the questions, to engage in relationship to others who are seeking. Those who have hearts that are pliable and forming more and more into the likeness of Christ. Those we will not name have their tenants of faith stacked up like a brick wall. If they were to let a chip come out of even ONE place in the wall, the whole thing tumbles down. That's why they spend so much time and energy keeping the wall fortified, so much so that they are never mushed and squished by the Spirit into the very image of Christ.”

God wants us to come to Him as a child. He wants us to ask questions and keep seeking for the truth. None of us have 100% wisdom to know every answer. We can claim we do, but then our journey would end there. We need to grow in Christ and claim Christianity in the way that suits God best, and the way that suits us best. Glorify Him, and we’ll reap the rewards soon enough. We don’t have to be perfect humans in order to be loved by God, we just have to be vulnerable and willing to learn with opened hearts.

Why is everyone’s relationship with God a question to other people? Do they know your salvation? Do they know where you’re going in the afterlife? They can read the bible as much as they want, theologians can bop you on the head with their good book, but have they studied the written word in their hearts? There’s so much more depth in reading a passage in the bible. I can write a sentence, have it mean one thing to one person, and have it mean something totally different to another. Maybe I want it that way. Maybe I want them to interpret it on their own and find their own personalized paths.

“It’s easier to accept what is real, yet still remains an illusion of one’s belief.”

What does this sentence personally mean to you? Read between the lines and feel free to give me your definition of it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Christianity vs. Wicca

Christianity, Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, and other religions have been battling for ages. For those strong in faith, they’ll fight till the very end. Some would kill for their Gods. Some, would actually die for their Gods. The ironic part about all of these religions is that it’s supposed to be all about love. I don’t see it.

The other night, while Amy and I had a few women at the house for a barbeque, we lit up the tikis and citronella candles all over the entire patio. We were outside having a great time socializing. Amy said, “You know, years ago, we would have been hung for doing this, because they used to believe that only witches gather together near fire to socialize.” I was baffled, “You mean, just for socializing around candles and tikis?” Nowadays, it’s normal for women to get together like this. In the past, they would have considered this a ‘coven’. (A gathering of witches.)

I have a few questions for a few reasons. First, I’m wiped out. I’m tired of defending myself against other Christians who are supposed to edify their own. Instead, they discourage people from drawing near to God. It leaves me with questions in my mind.

1.) Why are Christians so ireful towards one another?

*Why are there different beliefs within the religion itself? Why isn’t it a constant belief system, such as Wicca? The very religion that Christianity is against is a very peaceful, harmonious and balanced way of thinking, which promotes oneness with the divine and all which exists.

*Why are Christians ready to murder for their Gods (kill those who sin, such as adulterers, murderers, homosexuals) if the religion is supposed to promote forgiveness and love?

*Some say if a person commits suicide, it’s a straight ticket to hell. But, nowhere in the bible does it say that suicide is a sin. What about Jesus? He died for us. (Technically he was killed by the Jews in Christian beliefs), however, He knew He was dying that day and didn’t resist His murderers. Was Jesus Himself committing a sin?

2.) By faith alone, we’re supposed to focus on the “Kingdom of God”, however, we see, touch and hear the things of the earth, yet we’re not supposed to focus on the earth. It’s considered “idolization”, to those of the Christian faith. What if we’re wrong? What if we stop appreciating the things of the world to only find out that Jesus was a mere prophet, and nothing else?

*Wicca teaches us in this site, that it’s a deep appreciation and awe in watching the sunrise or sunset, the forest in the light of a glowing moon, a meadow enchanted by the first light of day. It is the morning dew on the petals of a beautiful flower, the gentle caress of a warm summer breeze upon your skin, or the warmth of the summer sun on your face. Wicca is the fall of colorful autumn leaves, and the softness of winter snow. It is light, and shadow and all that lies in between. It is the song of the birds and other creatures of the wild. It is being in the presence of Mother Earths nature and being humbled in reverence. When we are in the temple of the Lord and Lady, we are not prone to the arrogance of human technology as they touch our souls. To be a Witch is to be a healer, a teacher, a seeker, a giver, and a protector of all things. If this path is yours, may you walk it with honor, light and integrity. Christianity promises us a better “earth” to come, without glorifying the one we have, giving us followers that are wrathful and ill-tempered towards one another. Which religion seems more fitting for someone who seeks peace, calmness, tranquility, love and honor for all things appreciated here on earth?

*If it’s our faith that will get us into our “Christian heaven”, then our sins will doom us forever- for everyone’s a sinner. Who will even get a chance to step into the Kingdom of God with their filthiness? Not one of us is without sin.

*If “God” is the same then, as He is now, as He will be in the future, then why has the Pope decided that there is no more Purgatory? (I know this is better fitted for Catholics, however they still focus upon the trinity.) How can someone just change this belief? Or is it through spiritual experiences that leave the Pope to decide such a crucial change in the Catholic belief system?

I’ve helped many people, including heterosexuals, gays, lesbians and transgender folks draw near to God through my book. It has taught them that they’re loved by God, regardless of their lifestyle. It has taught them that God knows we’re all inadequate, which is why we need Him so desperately.

But, in a religion (Christianity) that’s so full of hate---more so than love, I’m willing to pull down my book and renounce my religion. Jesus welcomed those who were suffering to come to Him. He never judged them and showed them love and mercy. Christians of this world, seem to belittle, judge, ridicule and tear each other apart. I was once told to stop practicing Christianity. I was told to turn away from God, by another Christian, due to my lifestyle. God says, that if you turn someone away from God, it’s the biggest sin you can commit.

I feel as though my toes are curled around the edge of a diving board, ready to plunge into another world…without having to deal with Christianity and its followers. The water looks so inviting, but is it really a pit of fire instead?

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Pentagram

Guilt, shame, low self-esteem, frustration and hopelessness are all negative gifts from the devil. Remember, the devil wants you to think and feel these emotions. They’re not of God. Christians who are weak in faith and insecure about their fate will judge and ridicule you about how you live- regardless of what ‘sin’ you’re committing in their eyes. God has taken away the sins of the world with the death of His son. Nevertheless, evilness still roams around aimlessly, hoping to trap us into its web. There’s a big difference between evil motives and a ‘human heart’ for God. We all sin. Just being inside our physical bodies is seen as sinful. The earth is sinful

Think about this… The five elements, which consists of earth, metal, fire, water and wood are all “of this earth”. Each material is crucial to our living here on earth. They are “of the earth”. The pentagon- the five-pointed star is now looked upon as sacred to new age religions, due to ‘loving the earth’. In my belief, we are not to worship the earth, for it’s only a stepping stone into our new home in the afterlife. The earth is to be respected and taken care of, but not to be worshipped. It scares me that many people have adopted the five-pointed star, in order to show their love for the earth. In my belief and opinion, the five-pointed star resembles Satan. It resembles his ownership to this world. There is much more evil on earth than there is good. Don’t be deceived by the pentagon.

One day, I walked into this little antique and art shop in upstate New York. There was a sign on the door that read, “The pentagram is often misunderstood as the symbol of the devil. The pentagram is a symbol of the five elements, which are earth, metal, fire, water and wood. This is all of the earth, it is all of nature which we belong to. We should never fear the pentagram, instead, embrace it.”

The devil will do anything in his power to get you to believe that ‘nature is all good’, and that we should basically worship it, instead of God. Or – some people will say, believe in the “gods”, which also sounds wishy-washy to me. I don’t want to sound like I’m bashing other religions or beliefs, but as I see it-- it’s a way to lure in young kids with the mindset of idolization. They focus less on God, and more on what God created. This earth will wash away soon enough, then what’s the main focus? Our primary focus should be the Kingdom of Heaven – the main goal of our afterlife.

There are many other ways the devil tries to lure us in, even giving us one of our own to deceive us. If you’ve been reading my blog for quite some time, you’ll know that there are many people who come on here trying to throw guilt, shame and judgment upon me. If I was a weak person in faith, I would have taken on these negative emotions, and possibly draw further from God- thinking that He was a hateful and mean Creator. God does punish those who have evil hearts and evil desires—this I believe. However, God loves all of us who love Him. We also must be respectful to those around us. Does this mean we have to like every single person that comes our way? No. But, if we try our hardest to act humane to everyone, God sees our hearts.

Don’t you think that God wants you to enjoy life, without the feelings of guilt and self-loathing? I remember a good friend of mine who went through a dilemma regarding her lifestyle and how she viewed God. All her life, she knew she was a lesbian. She dated a girl for a few years and then came to the conclusion that being homosexual was absolutely wrong and an abomination in God’s eyes. I was okay with how she thought, because I didn’t judge her. If she thought this was ‘right for her’, who am I to say anything? The ironic part was, she condemned me for being with my partner of many years. She said that I was going to hell and how sinful it was to sleep in the same bed as my partner. The church she went to promised her a life of happiness and joy, if she would leave her current lifestyle as a lesbian. She had a wonderful girlfriend who she truly loved. The conflict between God and having a life partner lingered for a long time in her mind. Did she have to give up one or the other? In my opinion- no. She could have both, just like a man and woman.

She went through years of suffering. Even though she was professing heterosexuality and living what she called, “a normal life”, she went through a bad depression. She got married to a man in her church that had the same mindset. He was controlling and condemned anyone for doing humanly things. He was also a hypocrite, because he had a problem with drugs and alcohol as well as being unfaithful to her. He never mentioned that to anyone. My friend would tell me what he went through, and how awful she felt, because deep inside, she wasn’t happy. She said she was living a tortured life. Years later, she realized that the torture came from within the church and through the judgmental criticism of her husband. He was looked up to in the church and had a good reputation…except inside his own home. She was a battered housewife. No one ever suspected. It was a blessing they didn't have children.

My friend found a new church that accepted her as a ‘human’ and didn’t shower her with guilt and shame for who she was. They were non-judgmental, and treated everyone with love and respect. Sounds kind of familiar, since Jesus did the same when He was here on earth. If you feel negative emotions when you’re speaking about God, or hearing words from another person that’s negative and makes you feel all sorts of emotions that are completely depressing, remember, God doesn’t send messages that tear down. He sends us messages that edify and lift our spirits up. He gives us hope, joy and love. And yes, God does get angry. He gets angry with those who spread the seeds of hatred and guilt. He gets angry over the evil motives of other people.

True, there are a lot of misunderstandings in the bible; tons of contradictions. If you ask God for understanding, He’ll give you the gift to grasp the bible’s meaning, instead of just reading it. Some people will continually throw scriptures at you, but there’s always a counteracting scripture that can be thrown at them. But, my question is, why do Christians have to battle over God, when God is all about love? The scriptures are meant for us to learn, not to belittle, discourage or condemn.

We’ll never live in peace. We’ll never agree to disagree, because we’re strong in what we hold true in our hearts. The one thing we can try to do, is see things for what they are. If you’re ‘right with God’, then be happy about it. Don’t condemn others who live differently than you do. Live among them, you share the ‘earth’ with them for a very short time. Why battle? Life’s too short.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Fear of Bees

Apiphobia, Melissaphobia, Melissophobia - Fear of bees.

Summer’s right around the corner and the pool is almost ready to be opened. In the backyard, I plant my basil, parsley, tomatoes and other vegetables right on my deck so the cute little bunnies don’t get a huge vegan buffet. Usually, people put gorgeous flowers out on display. I, on the other hand can’t do that. I’m deathly afraid of bees. They scare the crap out of me. I have a huge problem with hornets and wasps. We don’t get a lot of yellow jackets, but we do get a few occasional bumblebees that are way too fat to even chase you. They don’t concern me.

The area where the pool is has a corner full of shrubs and perennials that are gorgeous, however, they attract a lot of bees and other unseen wildlife that lives among these bushes. It makes it literally impossible for me to lay out in the sun for more than five minutes at a time, without having to jump, leap and hop over the fence, running away as fast as I can due to some wasp deciding to sting me. My family and friends laugh hysterically, because it’s like a bad scene from Benny Hill, when he’s running down that huge lawn in fast motion with that crazy music. I totally freak out.

Here’s the real problem. I don’t know if I’m allergic to bees or not. I don’t want to find out either. (The hard way, I mean.) So, one day, I called my allergy doctor. The receptionist answered the phone and I explained to her that I would like to come in for allergy testing, as well get tested for food allergies. Here’s how our conversation went. Mind you, this is not elaborated or fabricated in any way to entertain or amuse you. This is the complete and honest truth…sadly enough.

Receptionist: “Dr. Stinger’s office…”

Me: “Yes, hi. I wanted to know if I could come in for allergy testing.”

Receptionist: “Well, what are you allergic to?”

Me: "I don’t know. This is why I want to come in.”

Receptionist: “Well, what do you think you may be allergic to?”

Me: “Well, when I eat shellfish, my tongue swells at times, and I develop a rash—but not all the time. I’m going on vacation and I want to be able to eat shellfish.”

Receptionist: “Well, if you think you’re allergic to shellfish, then don’t eat it.”

Me: “But I want to know for sure, so I can eliminate that it’s ‘all in my head’ type of thing. I also want to know if I’m allergic to bees, because I have such a great fear of them.”

Receptionist: “I would suggest don’t go near them then.”

Me: “But, I’m opening up my pool, and they’re out everywhere.”

Receptionist: “Did you try calling a bee keeper or an exterminator for this problem?”

Me: “Can I get an appointment with the doctor???”

Receptionist: “Not until you have a severe allergic reaction to something.”

Me: “Great, thanks for your help. I’ll see you when I need that epipen, gasping for air blown up like the Goodyear Blimp. Have a good day now.”

Any suggestions?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Needing Approval

There’s a big difference between wanting approval from others and displaying your faith in God and telling them about your lifestyle. I’m not here for approval; I’ve already got that from God. I’m here to explain to the LGBT community and anyone else who’s interested my reasoning for having faith in God, even though I’m a lesbian.

Some people think I’m starting arguments. I assure you that I’m not. I’m just explaining to people who are going through the same trials I am, that I’m in the same boat too. I get persecuted on a daily basis for being a Christian lesbian, due to other different beliefs within the same religion. That’s okay if they bring forth their message in a tactful way, but when they come to me cursing and lashing out, there’s no need for it.

If I were insecure, inexperienced and immature in the word of God, I would feel responsible for other people’s emotional reactions. If people are offended by my message, that’s their problem, unless I allow it to become mine. Mature Christians understand the differences in the lifestyles of many people. They grasp the concept of having different crosses to bear- they emphasize and hear you out, instead of lashing out. When someone is weak in their faith, they ridicule and belittle you. They disregard your feelings and go straight for the jugular. Jesus teaches us to love one another and treat one another with respect. A lot of people don’t know what means to love one another. They think ‘loving one another’ is ‘judging one another’.

When people say, “Well, God says I can judge, because I judge righteously!”

Let’s take a look at what it means to ‘judge righteously…

We may not judge according to appearance (John 7:24). This means that we may not judge on the basis of insufficient, superficial information. Outward appearance is often deceptive. "Some men's sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later. Likewise, the good works of some are clearly evident, and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden" (1 Timothy 5:24,25). Righteous judgment must be based on conclusive evidence. We may not judge on the basis of appearance, personal opinions or unsubstantiated suspicions.

Jesus said: "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck out of your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother's eye" (Matthew 7:1-5).

We may not judge in matters of opinion. "Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. Who are you to judge another's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand" (Romans 14:1-4). "But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: 'As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.' So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother's way" (Romans 14:10-13).

We may not take God's place in judgment: "Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?" (James 4:11,12).

We may not condemn the guiltless by neglecting mercy: "But if you had known what this means, 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless" (Matthew 12:7).

Here’s a bad example of what it’s like to judge someone wrongly:

*Condemning and Criticizing (Bad Judging)
*Using people’s sin as an excuse to lower or belittle them.
*Harsh punishment without encouragement to follow.
*Cursing a person or prophesying destruction into their lives. Note: it is ok to warn someone of possible consequences, but it is not ok to say things which may discourage the person or lead them to believe that the worst is the only outcome they will have.
*Sentencing with no mercy.
*Correcting someone when guilty of the same thing.

With all that being said, I truly appreciate those who tell me their thoughts and beliefs, without belittling me. The list above describes exactly what has transpired this week on my blog. If these people came to me in love, with mercy and with a heart, I would hear them out, as I did with Gary on this previous post. But, instead, they did all of the following things on that list.

How can you follow someone who curses you and makes jokes about your shortcomings? Are they credible Christians? Would you seek guidance from someone who makes fun of people that seek help for depression and anxiety, or would to seek guidance from those who spread the message of God—without the insults?

For the gay and lesbians who read me, please know that these types of Christians are sheep in wolves’ clothing. Don’t be fooled by them. Live your life with the person you love with no apologies. Don’t seek approval from mere humans. Seek approval from God. You don’t need anything else. God created you ‘as is’, He knew from when you were a baby into the very future of what you will become. Does God make mistakes? Of course not. People's judgments on you are not “the be-all and the end-all”... Remember, God has the final word!

“How terrible it would be if a newborn baby said to its father and mother, “Why was I born? Why did you make me this way? ~Isaiah 45:10

“A Call to Trust the Lord”

The Lord has said to me in the strongest terms, “Do not think like everyone else does. Do not be afraid that some plan conceived behind closed doors will be the end of you. Do not fear anything except the Lord Almighty. He alone is the Holy One. If you fear him, you need fear nothing else. He will keep you safe. ~Isaiah 8-14

I’ve learned that people will always disappoint me. I don’t have high expectations for humans----I have respect and love for them, however, they’re not God. My salvation comes from God, not from judgmental Christians who spew the word of God and curse you with the very same tongue.

Remember, no one can judge you. No one has the authority to ‘approve’ your lifestyle.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Free Wireless Internet

Are We All Thieves?
Interestingly enough, the mom & pop coffee shop provides free wireless internet, where as a big chain like Barnes & Nobles will charge you $3.95 for a two hour session. The average homeowner pays $30.00 - $50.00, depending on terms, packages and deals. It’s worth it for mom & pop cafes to provide this free service, because they make up for it in other ways. But how come big chains like Barnes & Nobles can’t do the same? They say that the mass amount of customers they bring in is incredible for sales. They make a lot of money, due to people coming in and buying food and coffee, sitting at the Starbuck’s café within the bookstore. The internet provides them a way to do something, instead of just sitting there looking lonely. It’s a great place to do work, instead of sitting home doing it. Studies show that most people rather be out and about instead of being home.

Now, here’s my question. One homeowner is paying $50.00, like I do, because I don’t want the full package of phone service and cable along with it, while other people are paying $30.00, including all the bells and whistles. In a condo or apartment building, what do you suppose most people do who are internet savvy?

Think…

Think…

Most people have a computer, therefore needing the internet, right? Well, what most people don’t realize is, when you have wireless internet, the range is pretty good. Most of your neighbors are probably gaining access through the internet through your connection. They simply scan for a server-- and BAM! There you are. They hit ‘connect’---and off they go. The smart thing to do is to put a password on your wireless network. The smarter thing to do when doing this, is to not use the default password, like, “admin” or “1234”.

Most hotels provide wireless internet. Sometimes, if the hotel is very large, they’ll even give you a wireless antenna so you can get excellent reception, just as if you were sitting right next to the router. They’re only about $10 bucks each. Most hotels have the free wireless as a courtesy, incuding giving you the antenna at no charge. They can afford it.

Now think about this. If I were a landlord, I would totally supply my tenants with free wireless internet. Why not? Manhattan charges you up the kazoo anyway for a tiny one bedroom apartment- you think they can’t handle paying $50 bucks for 100 tenants? Each tenant has to pay around $50 bucks for their connection. The main question you have to ask is---is it ethical? It’s so easily accessible these days. Are the internet companies losing out on this? And believe me, I'm all for the little guy!

For instance, there’s a café right down the road from me that opened up this year. It’s a quaint little mom & pop joint that serves Starbuck’s coffee and delicious breakfasts and lunches. They have a gorgeous sitting area. I asked the lady if they provided wireless internet, and she said in this low whisper, “No, but you can still connect. Our neighbors at the law firm over there has wireless.” I felt weird. I don’t know why, but I felt very uneasy about using it. If people walked in and saw me using it, they’re automatically going to assume that they have wireless. I have a feeling that I would keep clicking on the “X” box, closing out my webpage, making them think I’m only using my word document working.

So what are your thoughts regarding free wireless internet, in the terms of just happening to find someone's network to connect with?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Love Your Enemies


Reasons to love your enemies

God commands us to love.

Here are some key Scriptures (Bible verses) on loving your enemies:

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. (John 13:34).

But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. (Luke 6:27-28).

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. (Romans 12:14).

We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it. (1 Corinthians 4:12).

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:17-21).

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. (1 Peter 3:9).

Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. (1 John 2:9-10).

Lately, I’ve been going through blog comments, such as Mark’s and Dani’s. These two people have been saying a lot of judgmental things about me. When asked by Sandalina, which “Eminem” song Dani was going to use while sitting next to God, sending me to hell on judgment day, Dani said this:

“But to answer your question: Probably Eminem's song "Rain Man" or any of the other ones about PERVERSION !
Here are some lyrics:
“Now in the Bible it says
Thou shalt not watch two lesbians in bed,
Have homosexual sex
Unless of course you were given the consent to join in
Then of course, it's intercourse
And it's bi-sexual sex
Which isn't as bad, as long as you show some remorse for your actions
Either before, during or after performing the act of that which
Is normally referred to have such, more commonly known phrases
That are more used by today's kids
In a more derogatory way but
Who's to say, what's fair to say, and what not to say?”
Seems as though even a godless heathen like Eminem knows more about the Bible than lesbo Deb does.”

So she thinks it's okay to be bi-sexual, but loving someone monogmously isn't. Pretty interesting, huh?

My post is simple today. I’m going to pray publicly for Dani. She has chastised me for over a year about being with my partner, when in fact, in her past, she used to be a lesbian herself. In my opinion, she should have more of an understanding of what it’s like to be homosexual. She’s an ‘ex-lesbian’.

If you can all please pray with me for her today…

Lord, please bless Dani today. Please let your love pour into her heart, as she recognizes the true meaning of unconditional love. Let her find peace and happiness. Let her find the peace that you give- and not as the world does. Soften her heart and make her strong in your faith. Brighten her life with love and laughter. Show her the works that you’ve done, Lord, the way you’ve treated people when you were once here on this earth. Give her wisdom and understanding before she opens up your book and reads about you. Talk to her. Send her your message. Send her your love. Send her peace. Let her life be incredible. Give her a burst of happiness- starting today.

In closing Lord, please give her great health, prosperity and most of all, the love that comes from only you. Bless her children, her husband as well as her relatives.

I ask this in Jesus’ name.

Amen.
I ask if everyone who has faith in God can say a prayer for Dani as well as Mark, so that they'll continue to love one another, instead of bashing one another.