Church and the Gay community

February 25, 2009 at 7:44 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 19 Comments

I am a little nervous to even start this blog. I am a HUGE people pleaser and never want people to disagree or think bad about me. I want to be known for my love for people. I spent a lot of time during highschool and college judging people. I think this might be the ugliest part of my past and a demon that I will fight to my dying breath. I hate it about myself and I hate it about the church. I truly feel like I have come A LONG WAY in this area of my life. The more that I see Jesus and the man that he was the more it disappears. I see a man who loved first. I see a man who, yes stood for issues but threw no stones but became the one who the stones were thrown at. I see a man who spent time with the people that no one else would. I see a man who lived a legacy of love. Love for his father and love for the people he created. His life is intoxicating. I want to breathe it in and make my life look just like His.

Somewhere we as the church have lost this intoxication. I saw it when I watched the Oscars Sunday night.

First of all my heart hurt so badly when I heard Dustin Lance Black’s speech. I felt so badly that when he was speaking to the “gay and lesbian kids out there that have been told that they are less than by their churches, by the government or by their families” that we as the church have had a part in. I know that he referenced a Mormon church but I think a lot of America points at Christians when they talk about being hurt by the church. I hate that he had to stand on a stage and encourage kids and pick them up off the floor because they have been hurt. Where is the church in that? Why are we not telling these kids of their worth in God’s eyes? I hate that we are known for our condemnation instead of love. We can disagree with love. We can still be known for love even when we have differences.

Speaking to the church here: We can love the person (AND I MEAN LOVE THE PERSON NOT this mamby pamby excuse or saying that we say “love the person hate the sin”) That statement by the way makes me want to throw up. I mean love like you do for everyone else and by the way ourselves. Love like you do for gluttany, laziness, gossip, slander, bitterness the list goes on and on – because we all have those things in our lives and yet we find a way to love each other. Love without excuse. If we loved based on excuses NO ONE would be worthy of love.

Love: according to dictionary.com (parts of the definition)

a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.

affectionate concern for the well-being of others: the love of one’s neighbor.

the benevolent affection of God for His creatures, or the reverent affection due from them to God.

I- being a person who follows God can’t encourage the gay community toward marriage. It is NOT because I don’t want people to be happy. Its NOT because I think that God doesn’t want the gay community to be happy. It honestly hurts me for people to not be happy. I am learning though that this life is not meant to be lived for our happiness. There are honestly many things that I have had to give up over the last few years that would make me a lot “happier” or my life a little easier as a person. That is the gospel. There are beautiful, love filled reasons why I think that God intended for marriage to be between a man and a woman. Its because of the beauty that God created in a marriage. Marriage ultimately was designed to reflect the relationship between God himself and us. He created marriage. I dont’ think that marriage was only created for us to live in happiness. Honestly marriage is a pretty scary role when you listen to the most recent talks from our pastor at the Stone. If you haven’t heard the beautiful reasons why God created marriage please go here and listen to them. The webiste is http://media.austinstone.org/ and scroll down to you see: “Marriage, Sex, Singleness and Divorce: The Purpose of Marriage”

Our pastor is short, to the point and has an incredible way of not communicating like the 65 year old pastor who is out of touch with society. Sorry- didnt mean for that to be mean. He is just good at connecting.

Just because I can’t encourage it does NOT mean that I don’t love and hurt about this issue. Just because I can’t encourage it does NOT mean that all I have is condemnation in my heart for those that fight for those things. That is the essence of this post. I would be lying if I didnt say that I wanted all of us to live in this beautiful Utopia where we all love each other, never disagree and there is no poverty in this world- YES I would love to be there. Where do I sign up for that? I do think that is what God created in Heaven.

I guess my dilemma is: Should a person who doesn’t want anything to do with God or has not heard of the reasons why God intends marriage to only be between a man and a woman be forced to live in conjunction with these beliefs?

Do you think that the 2 issues of gay marriage and abortion are ultimately the reasons that most of America won’t walk into a church or is against christianity?

If so- we are doing something wrong. Our response is not love. Its condemnation.

Weakness

February 14, 2009 at 5:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

If you know me you know that I love sweet stuff. I daily struggle with desserts! I am very thankful that my favorite bakery in Murfreesboro is no longer right around the corner anymore. I can just smell that place… Anyway during Valentines day I get very excited because my favorite candy of ALL TIME comes out!!

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I am very picky about it though. It has to be the Necco brand. It can’t be the Brachs. It has to be in a bag not a box. The box’s let air in and they dry out. The bag seals off the air and they are still soft! πŸ™‚ I know they are not good for me but there is no other candy that I love more!

I just looked on the back: for a serving size which is 40 pieces there is 38 grams of sugar!! Holy cow! I don’t care- I get to eat them one time a year. Maybe that is why I love Valentines day so much! I hope you all have a great day!

Last night Steven and I went out on a date and decided we would take August with us. Looking back this wasn’t the greatest idea but whatever- we went out as a family! I had a moment that stood still for me as I watched Steven run around the parking lot pushing August in his stroller and watching August laugh his head off at his crazy daddy! I adore watching their relationship grow.Β  August watches everything Steven does. I am still so crazy about my husband and I think it has doubled since we have had August. Steven I love you so much and am thankful for our date last night! I will save everyone from the gooey love stuff and tell you about what an amazing man I think you are when we are alone wink! πŸ™‚

I also have a weakness for this:

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Dream Date and Dream Dress!

February 10, 2009 at 7:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I love reading this blog and they have given us readers such a fun challenge! They are having a contest that I could not wait to be a part of! They want you to pick out your dream dress from this website and come up with your dream date!

This is my dream date and dream dress:

First of all it would be a dream weekend. πŸ™‚ Steven and I would fly to Seattle, Washington (during the summertime) and stay here.

Saturday morning we would get up tour a vineyard. Perhaps one from here.

Then we would head back to our hotel and get ready for dinner. You should really look at these pics of this hotel. Oh my gosh.

I would then put on this dress.

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(I LOVE THIS DRESS!!!!!) We would then head to this place for dinner and a tour.

Maybe after that we could take a helicopter ride of Seattle. This is true Bachelor style right here!!

This would be my dream date in my dream dress!

Thanks so much for this fun contest Mama Manifesto!!

Singleness

February 9, 2009 at 8:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

This weekend Matt talked about singleness at church. I was kinda going into this message dreading it a little for those who are walking this journey right now. There have been many times when I have heard very bad sermons on singleness. I think it has 2 ways it could go: you could hurt those who are struggling with itΒ  more or you can empower.

Matt talked a little to the married folk in the room. I will say that he did a great job opening eyes to some problems that many people lean to when “trying to encourage” a single. I know that many have heard or said the notorious statements at family gatherings like,

“sooo are you dating anyone?”

“When am I going to get some grandkids?”

“Well I guess that I will just give up on having grandkids.”

The family starts asking around if you are gay or not because they never see you date.

The family starts making you the target and thinks its hilarious to joke about your singleness. They say very cruel jokes and laugh it off but it cuts so deep.

Or your wonderful married friends are always trying to hook you up with someone. I am sooooooooooo guilty of that one. I am so sorry to all of those I have done this too. I will not do it anymore

These are NOT encouraging things to say to people!!!!!!

It doesn’t help that our culture proclaims that being single is dumb and you should at least be getting sex even if its not in a relationship. They say that there are no perfect guys/girls anymore so just go ahead and settle. Nobody holds out anymore. Its old fashioned.Β  Just go and have fun. Its no big deal.

Its tough. I can tell you that I have 2 specific friends that I am sooooo proud of. Their lives inspire me. They do. They don’t wallow. They live life. Their relationships with God inspire me.Β  They are incredible girls who have held out. They have been patient. They have had low times but more than that, they love and trust God to wait. I have often thought if I were in their shoes if I would have been as faithful as they are? Would I have been as patient?

Matt did such a great job really encouraging the singles in the room with the word of God. We talked about Jesus and how he chose a life of singleness. How singleness is a blessed institution. He talked about how singles have an undivided and undistracted devotion to God. Its sooo true. The things we long for sometimes can be the very things that hinder our capacity to influence. I have an infant. I can not just go out with girlfriends, stay out late or go to shows like I used to be able to do. I do really miss being able to do this on a frequent basis. Even Steven and I don’t get to do a lot of the date nights and random outings we used to do. I can’t just pick up and go back to school without trying to figure out babysitting arrangements. I met with a friend the other day and she has always wanted to live in Paris and all of the sudden she was presented with that opportunity and she is leaving next week. Just going. Carrying 2 suitcases and not coming back for a long time. There are unique opportunites that come with being on your own.

He gave some great examples of some singles in our church who are making the most of their singleness. I loved one of the last points he made. He really encouraged singles to run hard after God. Look straight ahead and keep going while you are pursuing God, working with your community, finding ways of outreach, giving financially or whatever race you are running. If along the way you look to your right and your left and see someone there running hard beside you- marry them. In the meantime fight hard, don’t listen to our screwed up culture and run HARD after God. I thought it was so inspiring. Its awesome to see some of those who are close to me in my life running this race.

I really got some great advice- stop with the annoying sympathy, be careful what you say, always encourage the race.

Disclaimer: I love to be married and have a child. I think sometimes we view it as the end all be all of life.

If you would like to listen to this message you can download it so easily on austinstone.org. There is an amazing message about sex that he did 2 weeks ago there also. I think it is encouraging to see what you are holding out for- “the mingling of souls.” πŸ™‚

Thanks Laura!

February 5, 2009 at 5:58 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

My sweet friend Laura from college made this shirt for August when we first adopted him. She is an incredible artist! I have loved watching her blog to see the new creations she comes up with! She crafted this shirt for August with a camera on it after Steven’s love for photography. Her and her husband are also in the adoption process. Head over to her blog and show them some love! I promise you will probably find something that you love or might want her to make for you! Thank you so much Laura. We can’t wait to see how God continues to grow your family!

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The camera might be hard to see but when you are only in the 10th percentile for height -what can you do? haha

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fly kicks given by auntie Ginger

futon in background made by IKEA πŸ™‚

Look what we tried yesterday! :)

February 5, 2009 at 3:34 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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He has also figured out how to scream. Not the scream like crying scream but the”talking” scream. He thinks its hilarious. Its really loud. Fun times. Insert sarcasm here.

4 months today!!

February 2, 2009 at 10:15 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

I cannot believe he is 4 months old today. I am so excited and so sad! We went to the Dr. this morning and had his well checkup. He is now 15 lbs. He feels like 25 πŸ™‚ His head is in the 50th percentile. He is 70th percentile for weight=chunk! He is 10th percentile for height. Our little man is a shorty! He is eating every 4 hours now and doing great. Two days ago he just started jabbering. All the time. We no longer have a quiet baby! He is starting to be a different kid at home than he is out in public. He will talk to us, laugh, smile all the time and then he goes out in public and is kind of smiley but not talking much. I have had soooo much fun with him at home during the days while Steven is at work. He is really growing out of the infant stage. He is moving and trying his hardest to role over. He is putting everything in his mouth and chewing on it. He is such a happy baby. His favorite person in the world is his daddy. No one else can get him to do the stuff that Steven does. He watches him all the time. I love to see their love for each other grow. I get all kinds of special moments during the day that nobody else sees!! Can you tell we are crazy about him?!?! Here is some of our most recent pics!

Here he is sleeping in his bed.

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Hanging with daddy- these are for you Shawnah!

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Watching some Baby Einstein πŸ™‚

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Look at his amazing hair! I never thought I would have so much fun fixing my 4 month old boys hair!!

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Talking for the camera

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