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Parents, you are NOT the cause of your children’s homosexuality!!!!!

Thursday, January 19th, 2017


JohnSmidPensiveB&W#1I just saw a post that there is an upcoming one day conference in Arkansas stating its for people struggling with same sex attractions and their parents. They say they will answer questions for pastors, leaders, and parents. The brochure states these questions for parents:


What could we have done differently?

What did we do wrong?

How did this happen and why didn’t I see it sooner?


For over two decades I taught that homosexuality was developed based on life experience and poor parental relationships. Several years ago I discovered I was wrong, dead wrong. I evaluated my experience and was shocked, and ashamed that what I had believed, and taught for over 20 years was deceptive and caused tremendous harm in the lives of LBGT people as well as their families. This teaching added to the shame parents already felt about having gay kids and very often created an even wider chasm between them and their children.


Several years ago a former client of Love In Action told me that after his mother died his dad gave him a letter she’d written to him before her death. In it she said, “I’m so sorry I was such a bad mother.” The depth of his pain was great and he realized she was referring to what she’d believed about him being gay and the role she thought she’d played in causing it. Story after story of broken family relationships have come from this false teaching. I’m not sure I know of any positive effects from parents believing their parental relationships with their kids caused them to be gay. Time and time again, I’ve heard LGBT people trying to tell their parents they didn’t cause this and in far too many cases the parents have believed their pastor’s sermons and other Christian literature over the heart of their child.


I’d like to quote from one of my friends’ story:


“When I came out to my parents in 2003 as someone who “struggled with same sex attractions” as I began participating in an intensive weekly support / recovery program, I told my parents not to blame themselves; however, as I went through that program and as I read a ton of books afterwards, I found myself desiring a closer relationship with my father (a good thing) and found myself distancing myself from my mother (a bad thing) because I subconsciously believed that my relationships with my parents had some sort of impact on  me having same sex attractions. So I was doing whatever I thought necessary in order to “meet those unmet emotional needs that caused me to be attracted to my own gender.”


As I began accepting the fact that I am gay in 2012, and after reading “The Velvet Rage”, by Alan Downs, I began to see that I had the type of relationship with my parents that I did growing up *because* I AM gay. They didn’t know about my growing same gender attractions, but they were relating to me the best way they knew how as the parents of a gay son. The ex-gay world taught me the opposite; that I was “attracted to men” because of the type of relationship I had with my parents. Coming to this new realization was life-changing and life-giving to me.”


Thankfully, his story has a good ending as far as his relationships with his parents goes. But not all end up well, and certainly not without the pain they all endured during the time they believed homosexuality was developed from bad family relationships.


Questions like the ones promoted by this upcoming conference do nothing but add to the misbeliefs. Regardless of how this conference handles those questions, bringing them up smack in the face of every parent who hasn’t gotten free from the shame and guilt.


I’m FURIOUS that this harmful deception continues today in 2017!!!!


Exodus International, a very large coalition of ExGay ministries, shut down several years ago. As they evaluated the success and failures of the 40 year run of the ministry they realized that no one had changed their sexual orientation and that many, if not most, were struggling with their faith, their sexuality, and their family relationships. The leaders, including myself,  now spend a tremendous amount of time apologizing and making amends for our part in promoting the lie of child development theories.


Rob and Linda Robertson, parents of a gay son, created a documentary, Just Because He Breathes, about how ExGay theories and child development causation of homosexuality led to the untimely death of their son. He had believed he had shamed his parents and the division in their relationships led him to self medicate through chemical addictions and he passed away from the effects.  Rob and Linda went through a hellish evaluation of their family relationships and have now come to realize their son was gay, period. Their story is a glaring example of the extremely harmful results of this shame-based teaching.


A couple of years before their son passed away they attended an Exodus conference where there was a strong emphasis on youth. While the young kids were meeting with the leaders I met with the parents in a space just outside the door to the auditorium where their kids were hearing lectures. When I met them again recently, my heart dropped realizing that I was in part responsible for their false beliefs about the development of their son’s homosexuality. This stuff is extremely dangerous!


I’ve known parents who have separated from their LBGT kids as a result of religious based teaching that they needed to see the harm of homosexuality and practice tough love and stringent boundaries with their kids. Thousands of LGBT youth have become homeless from the division with their parents, arguing, fighting, and alienation. LGBT youth shelters have risen up all over the country in an attempt to meet the needs of the homeless teens who are gay.


I’ve personally attended over 35 conferences produced by Focus on the Family called Love Won Out. These conferences promoted the deception that people can see change in their sexual orientation, taught child development theories on the causation of homosexuality and scared people into believing that there is a homosexual agenda that is attempting to breed into our school system. Each conference had an attendance of over 800 – 1000 people primarily comprised of parents. The oceans of tears from the audience did not appear to come from hope, rather it was a manifestation of the grief producing teaching that came from the facilitators of this horrific display of false doctrines and theories.  For several years I helped facilitate the Q & A after the parents sessions. In my position I held to their general presuppositions, but in my heart I wanted more to show the parents how to love their kids unconditionally. After a season, I was no longer asked to help. I was considered to edgy and far too loose on my standards for their comfort. Something inside me was deeply challenged but at the time I didn’t know what it was.


As the leader of Love In Action for twenty two years as well as my service on the board of directors for Exodus International for eleven of those years, I’ve seen thousands who have begged God, pleaded, wept and searched their hearts deeply while looking for change in their sexual orientation. I’ve experience parents who have cried until there are no tears left in the hope they’d see the miracle of change in their kids’ lives. After I resigned from Love In Action in 2008 I began my own search for truth. I finally looked back with honesty and realized I had not seen anyone’s sexual orientation change and got in touch with the wreckage that had occurred in many men and women’s lives.


Over the years I was asked many times about the success of our programs. I knew I could never talk about sexual orientation change so I just kept my responses on God. “Oh, people here leave with a better relationship with God, and that is success in my opinion. That’s what is most important.” I always had that conflict in my heart. Most people came with a desire for change and parents support their loved ones’ decisions because they too hoped for change. That was not the reality of the outcome of our ministry work.


But honestly, the only real healing I’ve seen take place has occurred when LGBT people find grace and peace in accepting themselves as they are and for parents who have come to realize they did NOT cause their kids to be gay. The real peace comes when they finally accepted their kids while no longer expecting them to seek change. I’ve now seen tremendous healing when families come back together with more honest expectations and real unconditional love for one another!


I’m speaking out once again! Far too many still believe these things. Families must be reunited in love, acceptance, and support for one another.


THIS MUST STOP!!!!! The lies must no longer be acceptable to people of faith!


Parents, you are NOT the cause of your children’s homosexuality!!!!!


 

How did you reconcile this with your faith?

Friday, April 25th, 2014


JohnSmidPensiveB&W#1I have often questioned people who have embraced their homosexuality and their Christian faith. “In light of the traditional view of God’s opposition to homosexual relationships, how have you come to reconcile this part of your life?” I really want to know what it is that has become the major factor in ones ability to find peace with God knowing they are going against the flow of years of Christian tradition. What were the factors that have played a role in helping find peace and joy living an open Gay life?


Matthew Vines has recently published his new book, God and the Gay Christian which has become very controversial. It is claimed to be one of the most impacting books of the year! Matthew has gone over the top to work to embrace his faith and reconcile his homosexuality.


As a young Christian man, Matthew Vines harbored the same basic hopes of most young people: to someday share his life with someone, to build a family of his own, to give and receive love. But when he realized he was gay, those hopes were called into question. The Bible, he’d been taught, condemned gay relationships.


Feeling the tension between his understanding of the Bible and the reality of his same-sex orientation, Vines devoted years of intensive research into what the Bible says about homosexuality. – Amazon Description


Dr. Michael Brown wrote an article based on four rhetorical questions he poses to professing gay Christians. I find these questions to be helpful in my own answers to those questions.


Today, however, more and more men and women who identify as LGBT are professing to be devoted Christians, believing that the church has wrongly interpreted the Scriptures through the centuries and claiming that committed, monogamous same-sex relationships can be blessed by God. – Dr. Michael Brown


Needless to say, I’ve written an entire book (Ex’d Out, How I Fired the Shame Committee) that chronicles my own personal journey in making this transition myself. But I’m still discovering other factors and other ways of communicating my answers. I’d like to take a stab at answering his questions.


Question 1: “Are you 100% sure that your interpretation of Scripture regarding homosexuality is correct?”


Throughout my vocation in ministry with LBGT people spanning over two decades, as well as my personal walk of faith for thirty years, there have been many unanswered questions about what the bible says and doesn’t say about homosexuality. As I continue to study, review, and listen, those questions continue. There are perspectives from many angles that continue to be revealed on this matter. The dialogue is certainly heating up in this day and age of revelation and from the information superhighway.


There are people who say they have absolute certainty about what the bible says and yet I question their honesty. The words written do speak of certain same sex behaviors that are incongruent with love and commitment in significant relationship. There are clearly prohibitions of idolatrous practices between two people of the same gender. Some of the words Paul uses regarding same sex behavior have been tremendously controversial as well as the understanding of the Hebrew or Greek languages from thousands of years ago seems to be studied and questioned regularly. Truthfully, no one can say they have it figured out 100%.


No, I cannot say I am 100% certain about what the bible says, or doesn’t say about homosexuality, or a full understanding of the interpretation of the verses commonly attached to same sex behavior. But I can say I have learned more in the recent years than I have known previously and what I have discovered has impacted my life deeply.


Question 2: “Do your beliefs start with certainty about the authority of Scripture, or do they start with certainty about your ’sexual orientation’?”


My beliefs and life practice begin with what I have known about the bible. I believe that the Bible has been given to us as a significant reference point regarding my faith, and belief in God as my Creator and Savior. I agree that the Bible is useful for correction, for guidance and as God’s love story for His people. I do not minimize the significance of how the bible plays a role in the formation of my own faith and Christian practice.


I must say I am very certain about my sexual orientation having lived with it for my entire life. There has never been a question in my mind as to where my romantic, and sexual attractions are. And to add to that, I don’t think God is the least bit surprised at my being gay and believe He has been actively leading my life throughout the years to discover more of myself and how I might make decisions about the results of that pursuit.


It sounds as though Dr. Brown is trying to separate the two points as though they can be mutually exclusive. My experience with homosexuality has always been subject to my faith and my relationship with God.


Question 3 “What do you say to those people who are genuinely ex-gay or to those who are still same-sex attracted but have chosen to separate themselves to the Lord unless he changes them?”


I had a public presence that communicated every day that I was ExGay for 25 years. Most who knew me would have never questioned me on my story of God’s intervention in my life. I held my cards close to my chest hiding them from virtually everyone. I severely minimized this reality in the way I spoke about my attractions, desires, and deep needs for same gender love and affection. I can’t say I lied, but I can say I was not authentic out of the fear that I would lose far too much if that kind of honesty came forth.


For those who say they are ExGay, I have no right to question their sincerity or their life experience. Who am I to judge, or to interpret their sexuality or to asses their desires? I know men who are married to women that prior to their wedding, have had a life experience with homosexuality that was real for them. Some of these men appear to be genuinely content with their marriages and their life in general. I also appeared to be genuinely content in my life as a Christian gay man who was married to a woman. I was certainly not going to in any way communicate anything to the contrary during those years. It was far too fearful for me to be that honest with myself, much less with others. But, honestly, I know other men who outwardly live what would be considered to be an ExGay life and yet they are acting on their same sex desires outside of their marriages. Yes, I do question the ExGay story.


However, while sharing a public testimony of change, deep inside I knew that nothing had changed and I did everything I could to suppress the deeper inner desires and anxiety that I lived with every day. So, honestly, I am hesitant to believe all I hear. But this doesn’t mean I won’t accept someone’s word that they consider themselves ExGay and live in peace with that. Some have been quite pointed with me that they believe God wants them to live a life without same sex romance or sexual expression and in that conviction they find joy in believing they are obedient to God in their sexuality.


I know men who are celibate who say they have joy and satisfaction in living a celibate life that they believe is congruent with their faith. What I question is what would they do if they discovered that it was acceptable to open themselves up to a monogamous same gender loving relationship? If their faith would allow them to have that, what would they do then? Would they admit that their heart’s desire had always been to find that part of their soul fulfilled? Sadly, for many, the longing that exists to connect to another soul in a deeply intimate way is staved off through one night stands and through the internet in unfulfilling ways. I’d like to hear a little more honesty from people regarding the real truth about their desires. I do at times believe that some people sugar coat their stories almost as though they are claiming something in faith that they do not experience in the hope it may come true some day. This is exactly what I did. I wasn’t truly honest during those years and gave the same messages of happiness and joy about being obedient to God as I believed I was called to be.


Question 4: “If you were convinced that God opposed all forms of homosexual practice, would you follow him anyway?”


When I first began my walk of a personal faith in God over thirty years ago, I separated myself from all of my gay friends. I became celibate. I spent $40,000 of my own personal money and twenty two years of my life to find healing, change, and the tools to live an obedient life because I believed God was opposed to any sexual expression with another man. I was taught to believe in the miracles of God to heal, to deliver, and to transform. It was my hope that I would find that miracle in my sexuality and I was going to serve God regardless of whether I got my miracle or not. I got married believing God would honor my decision and that He would heal my sexuality to the point where I would find satisfaction and joy within what I believed to be His will for my sexual and relational needs.


I think I proved my willingness to follow God deeply according to the convictions that I believed were from Him. I was convinced God was opposed to any form of seeking to fulfill my same sex desires. I lived within those convictions to a fault until I found changes within my personal faith and my understanding of the bible.


The changes in my convictions that have occurred didn’t begin with me pursuing a same sex relationship and then attempting to justify it. These changes began with changes in my view of scripture, church practice and in my own personal relationship with God. Over a period of eight years I prayed, studied, and began to embrace a renewal in my understanding of God’s grace and love for me as well as an overall view of the bible that is now filtered through the love that I know is God’s heart for me and for His creation.


After I embraced this refreshed relationship with God I began to see things very differently than I had for the previous 25 years. I began to see that the prohibition of fulfilling the deep inner desires for connection, love, intimate and fulfilling sexuality had come from what I believe to be a faulty interpretation of the bible as well as what I believe now to be fear based teaching on redemption and God’s heart for His people on this matter.


So, I was no longer convinced that God is opposed to same sex monogamous relationships. Once I began to see God as far more loving and personal than I had ever believed, I began to open up my heart to a more honest and authentic life. The suppression of the deep desires surfaced and I came to believe that God truly was open to me seeking Him for the desires of my heart to embrace my natural and very intimate gay self.


Along  this journey I’ve sought God with all of my heart. I have questioned, I have released and subjected my decisions to Him regularly. Each step of the way, the doors have opened without my need to pry them, or force any decisions I’ve made to embrace my homosexual reality.


For Dr. Brown to infer that there are not Gay Christians who savor their relationship with God, or subject their lives and decisions to Him is to deny their words and minimize their testimonies.


I would not want to deny the stories I hear from others who consider themselves ExGay, nor those who feel convicted to oppose same sex relationships within the Christian faith. We must have a willingness to trust these differences to the grace of God and continue to love one another throughout this journey called life.


In my opinion the main objective for relationships with those who make it their life goal to pursue God and follow Him is to be as supportive of one another as we can of that journey. I find that far too often in our differences on this matter we have become enemies that have no outcome but that of deep discouragement and separation that in my opinion isn’t of God. I do not believe this is an issue to divide over. I believe it is very important and so much so that it can be a life and death issue. But I don’t believe it is beneficial to reject one another over it.


Honestly, it does seem that in these days of discovery and revelation, there are people who are Christian leaders who seem to want to make this issue a line in the sand within our communities. Their words, questions, and poignant statements are at times divisive and counter productive.


I believe it would be far more beneficial to listen to one another than to throw the daggers of criticism at one another. Thankfully, I have friends on all sides of this issue. There are those whom I used to serve with in the ExGay movement that I consider to be gracious loving people with whom I cherish and enjoy wonderful relationship. Some people who have walked with me for many years continue to show their love and support even though they disagree with my life choices and my biblical understanding. Sadly, there are also those whom I’ve loved sincerely that have severed relationship with me over this matter. I feel grieved about the loss of our connection and wish it could be different. But even in that, I understand this can be a very emotional and challenging matter for many people.


We can ask these questions and truly desire to hear the answers in a healthy and intimate dialogue, or we can ask with an agenda to conform, or to change the other’s opinion through the questioning venue. I think we can discern the differences in the motives for the questions and recoil from answering them when the motive is to teach, or preach to the one we are questioning. I know I can tell the difference. Which one do you think is the loving way? Jesus asked lots of questions.


 

Real People – Real Lives

Friday, January 7th, 2011



mailbag_3

John, how much of your ministry deals with homosexuality?


Current Reader


Dear Current,


Interesting that you would ask.  I think this will answer some of your questions.


Real lives, Real questions, Real faith, Real people, Real challenges, Real feelings, Real needs


Profiling and personal prejudice occurs daily for most of us. We make assessments of a person when we know of their career, their skin color, their gender, and many other outward physical attributes. When we look at other people or hear about someone, our minds make quick judgments as to who they might be or what they might be like. When we were children we were taught to judge. Black and white, tall and short, deep or shallow were often opposites that helped us to learn to compare and contrast things in our lives. This is just the way it is to be and it is a good thing.


But, when we judge, what do we do with our findings? Our filters get all clogged up with life experience, cultural teaching and schooling material. As a Christian, I find it extremely important to put Christ into the mix of my judging practice. I also believe it is significant to put myself into others shoes as I see them from across the room, or from across the street.


Over the holidays I have been doing some evaluation of my life, my time, my heart. I realized that I am often rapt with a burden for certain people. They call upon my heart often, in person, and in spirit. Yesterday I sat down and compiled a list of people that t fit a specific slot in life.  I have met some of them in person, some of them over the phone, some through social media like FaceBook. These are people who are often pre-judged, profiled and laid aside from preconceived notions as to who they are.


I felt compelled to develop the list because I want to remember them in prayer this year. I want to bring them before the father in intercession. I have connected with them in heart, and in my soul. These men are questioning life at a very deep level.


Feeling alone much of the time, sometimes lost, and often confused but even in the midst of all of this they are survivors at the core. They seem to get up each day and make it through to their pillow that night whether or not they feel resolved with life. Some of the questions will never be fully answered. Many of their desires will go unfulfilled and their questions about faith may never find solid answers. But they continue on with life stumbling over rocks, tripping into the ditch sometimes and a times exhaustion that requires rest that doesn’t always refresh.


Some of these men are Christians. They believe deeply in the gospel of Jesus Christ and they know they have received His eternal forgiveness. Others are not so sure but they keep trying to understand God’s grace more fully. Then there are those who are searching for what God is really all about.


They range in age from 18 to 60. Living all around the world their cultures drive their lives with what seems to cause even more of a daily struggle. Some have great family relationships, others have ongoing battles that never seem to find an end. There are also those whose families are far away and not connected much at all.


Professionals, hard laborers, students, and the unemployed they are pretty normal in their daily lives. Trying to pay bills, manage their homes and life sustenance brings another level of struggle and conflict but each one on the list seems to eat, sleep, and move through the piles of daily needs. God seems to be providing for them even when sometimes it may be only like the manna the Israelites ate while in the dessert.


They all have one very significant thing in common. They struggle with homosexuality , Jesus, God and their faith. They are not “ex-gay” meaning they have resolved their homosexuality with Christ and have made a clear cross over the divide away from any homosexual associations. Neither have they come to a place where they have found peace with being gay and live in a gay affirming world.  Most of them are in the mysterious and uncomfortable middle ground searching for some resolve to their quandary.


Aren’t They Just a Bunch of Queers?


In conversational circles I often hear people refer to “the homosexuals” or  “gays” and it can be connected to thoughts of promiscuity, political activism, perversion and other negative associations. While there may be some who do some of those things.  But to judge someone as extreme just because of their sexual orientation is to profile, to act in unreasonable prejudice.


I thought one of the best ways to break this observation would be to let you see a little bit of what I see in their lives each week would be to excerpt some of the things that they have written. A bird’s eye view will help you to understand a little bit of what I am talking about.


This guy wrote me with some questions and I replied back. This is what he said:


I have been thinking about what you said and I am ready to hear your view points on life, being gay, etc.


I am just so glad to have a trusted friend to bounce my random thoughts to. Thanks it is a great honor to call you a friend. I hope you enjoyed the holidays and look forward to hearing back from you.


One man shared some things and ended up with this comment:


All I could really do is cry and say “I need help. Whatever you can do. Thanks.” Too much to go into.

To be quite honest, I am a doubting Thomas. I guess I always have been. Not that it is a bad thing. I don’t think a deity wants a robot that doesn’t think. Just trying to find God or have it find me. Depending on the day, it seems to be harder for me I think. :)


I often refer people to things I have written when talking with them. A comment that came back showed me some of the heart issues that they faced:


I must say your last message brought tears to my eyes. It’s been so long that someone who claimed to be a Christian (besides my partner) talked/wrote something to me that showed any respect for me as a person. So many are willing to try and convert me but unwilling to listen to what I have to say. I don’t know how many books/novels are sent to me and when I say that I’ve read similar books many times, they tend to get mad. I can see their point, but when I bring up questions, they don’t want to hear it as I said before.

As I said, I ask some tough questions. This one you may or may not be able to answer. Many people see that I am a “realist” or “agnostic” and automatically thinks that means I’m an atheist. I have had many people who call themselves Christians say some of the nastiest things to me about me questioning matters of faith. Some of them have hurt so much that I don’t even want to discuss matters of faith since when I ask a tough question, I get attacked normally.

Now I realize that I’m in the minority and don’t expect a warm welcome, but I do expect people who call themselves Christians to show some basic honesty and respect. I’ve given up on expecting love and kindness. Any ideas on why this happens?


A young guy that is in college caught up with me on FaceBook. I knew him when he was just a teenager. I just asked him how he had been and he sent me a pretty thorough update.


I left Christianity because I couldn’t reconcile the inconsistencies that I have seen in scripture, Christians, and my life in general. I know that’s a pretty broad statement, but it took me easily three years to come to that conclusion, through all of my readings and such. Though it’s not perfect, I feel that Judaism gives me a belief system that is more rational as well as a religion that “changes” with human understanding…if that makes any sense. I find that organized “religion” does stifle relationship.

My parents on the other hand are an interesting story…they have at least opened up to allowing my partner to visit and meet the entire family, which is a very big step. But the relationship is still strained at the same time, since I am “living in sin” as they like to say. I sense their displeasure very strongly. My partner is pretty nervous about meeting them for that reason directly, as well as he isn’t too keen on being “witnessed” to…since as a Jew he has a lot of baggage when it comes to Christianity.


There are times when someone moves towards the desires to connect with someone who understands even when it goes against his personal conviction. This guy is a very conservative Christian who has fought for years to remain close to his convictions to remain celibate. He struggles terribly with loneliness and desires to feel connected to someone he can relate to.


I feel torn about this relationship but at the same time I want to be with him. I like him as a person and enjoy his company. However, he is “out” in the gay community, which is something I don’t really care for or subscribe to. I know that the end result, should I remain sensitive to my convictions, will be major hurt and pain for both of us. Maybe I just want some relief from the pressure I feel and this is the way I am seeking it. Maybe it’s just time to enter this world that has been knocking on my door for so long. I feel so selfish, yet it feels OK.


My response to him was to see Jesus first and foremost. I asked him to consider leaving all of this to Him and that he would find his way through this. In the end, amazingly, the new guy broke off the relationship sensing that there was a spiritual and emotional struggle. He just didn’t “feel it” so called an end to the relationship. My reply was to encourage my friend to look at God’s grace in this, protecting both of them from unhealthy ambivalence when engaging in an intimate relationship.


A Heart of Love

Some men really call my heart out. This guy was only 19 when I first met him. He is now in his thirties. He has wandered all around in his life but it seems he has settled into a same sex relationship. He told me that he is not satisfied being in this relationship but that is where he is at this time.


I’ve been in an 8yr relationship now with my partner (name withheld), and I knew going into it that it wasn’t what God wanted, yet my life HAS indeed changed for the better, and it hasn’t all been bad. I think God works even when we choose to go our way. Now, my mustard seed of faith is all that keeps me bound to God’s truths… Please just pray for me as I believe I’m beginning to question things a little more… Thanks John… and take care. Love, your bro.


This dear friend is someone who is really searching and trying to live a life of faith in Christ.


It is my goal to get to know God and his love. I’m enrolled in a 9-month ministry course that has me studying the word daily. So hopefully I’ll get to know Jesus through reading His word and by spending time with Him. I’ve found that I’ve looked for God’s love through people. For example my perception of God, in a negative way, is from the relationship I have with my father. For example my father is controlling sometimes and mean. Well naturally I assume that God is like that. Sometimes I feel like I love Jesus so much (especially with helping the needy etc.) and then sometimes I feel like I don’t love Him at all. For example when I seriously think about drinking a glass of wine I wonder if He is going to get angry with me. I do serve him with my WHOLE heart though.


You asked me about having a person that I can be vulnerable around and the answer is yes. I went out on a limb and shared with my friend, that I live with, that I have same sex attractions and that I feel like I’m living a double life. He said he accepts me for who I am. That made me feel good. There are times when I want to say to people….”man he’s cute or did you see that guy?” of course I never do. I just hold it inside and wonder what will happen.


It was someone’s birthday and I felt led to share this comment with them, “I just wanted you to know how special you are and that you are deeply loved, friend. I am not sure how often you hear that and just wanted you to know.” His reply touched me.


That is sweet of you! Thank you. I don’t hear it enough.


A couple of summers ago this man came to meet me with his dad. We had a rich conversation and he became very vulnerable about his conviction of being an agnostic. He was highly intelligent and I just listened to him. Several months later I contacted him to follow up and this was his reply:


I made one of my New Year’s Resolutions to give God another chance, and I got off to a fairly strong start by reading the book of Matthew. The problem is – and this is what I was referring to in my last email – that I feel like I need to spend a long time studying and thinking about this stuff to make any sense of it. There is so much in this book that confuses me. I’ve been so busy and there just isn’t enough time so I just lay it aside and dig into my daily work.


Real life, real stories, real people.


What is the answer? I struggle each time I talk to someone or write them to try to encourage them. What do I say? What is the word, or the response that will touch their heart in a place where they will move closer to Christ. I know He is the answer. I understand that He, and only He, will be able to set them free into what He has for them.


In truth, the best thing I can do is to show them I love them and that I will listen without judgment. I want so much to show them that I care about what they are going through and what they feel. And to add to that, I understand the struggle with homosexuality. I wrestle with it too. Sometimes I am on top of it and other times it really bothers me. There are times I have some of the same questions. What would Jesus have to say about this? What do I do about what I am feeling right now? Will this last until my dying breath?


I remember those days when I tried to give the simple answer. But today, those answers don’t fly any longer. Too often typical Christian answers are “repent” or “trust God” but in the end, those don’t typically bring the real hope needed in order to connect with Christ.


I want to spend extra time this year focusing on these guys and others that I come into contact with. They deserve to hear of Jesus love for them! I want to be one of the vessels to let them know that. I pray there are others!


Every homosexual man and woman deserves to know that Jesus loves them! We must learn to love each one and then trust Him to show them the way.