Posted in Ponderings

Things That Make You Go Hmmmm… 

It’s amazing how after coming out to myself, things start to make sense.   There have been days when it’s slow at work or I’m bored at home that I’ll just sit and reminisce and realize that I have been gay all of my life.  For example, how I would only chase little girls around the playground when I was in kindergarten.  Or having crushes on most of my best friends in Jr. High and Sr. High School.


I saw the pic above a couple years ago before I figured out my inclination towards the ladies.
  
My kids’ father and I have a special bond. He’s one of my best friends (even if he won’t admit it) and a lot of people don’t understand it. I used to not understand it. I saw that pic and thought maybe I was still in love with him even though I had no desire to be in a physical relationship with him.

Then I came out. OH! Ok! I never was in love with him like that.
  I love him very much. He’s a great father who’s hilarious and all around good guy. But I was never attracted to him physically. I never knew why until I met EJ.

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Posted in Sermon Notes

Sermon Notes: Just As I Am

This week’s sermon was about John 3:16.  This is a very basic and well known verse in the Bible.  As Pastor Mark says it’s only 26 words (NIV) but it packs a big punch.  If you all haven’t read the entire chapter of John 3, you should do it right now.  It’s full of hope and love.

I didn’t take really good notes this time.  Pastor Mark is one of my favorites.  He’s just so fast and has a lot of stuff to say in the short amount of time that I only wrote down the quotes that stuck out.

The main point that really spoke to me was when he said “If you really believe in Jesus, your life must be changed.”  My life really didn’t start changing until I started to accept who He made me to be and started to really believe that He loved me.  It was an amazing and freeing moment when I came to that realization.


Pastor Mark
Title: Just As I Am
Scripture: John 3:16

Notes:

John 3:16 tells the most basic truths in 26 words.

Do you want to perish or have eternal life?

This [scripture] summarizes the Good News.

1. God loves the people of the World.

Read John 20:31.

John meant the people who don’t love God.

God feels anger and love at the same tiem.

God gives the people time to make peace with Him.

God loves you no matter what we’ve done in our lives.

2.  God expressed His love to the world by giving His one and only son.

Would you be able to sacrifice the one you love the most to have your enemy be well?

God did this for us.

Jesus died for our sins.

Jesus set us free and attone for our sins. Jesus is special and can do this.

Whatever you have been through, never doubt God’s love.

3. You must believe in Jesus Christ.

It doesn’t say follow all the commands.

It doesn’t say good works.

It says you must believe in Jesus.

Authentic belief is a heart thing.

Heart belief is like an athlete following a coach and his rules even if he doesn’t understand it.

Make Jesus your life coach.

A relationship with Jesus is the only thing that matters.

If you really believe in Jesus your life must be changed.

Are you living your own life and  asking Him to bless your life or are you living by His will?

Our lives are important to Him.

God will take you from your darkest place and bring you to the light.

There is Hope for everyone!

 

Posted in Spirit

Theology: It’s Not Just for Preachers

The Bible fascinates me. Jesus fascinates me.  Christianity fascinates me.  I wanted to learn more about the Bible and the history of it but I didn’t want to go to college for it.  I mean I would love to but 3 or 5 years to complete it… I’m just not young enough to do that. Plus, I would be paying off my student loan even after I was buried!!  I went online to search for courses for everyday people like me. I came across courses that were free.  Right on!

I signed up for Dimensions in Faith from Cornwell-Gordon Theological Seminary.
 Of course, these courses are faith based and used to teach leaders of the church.  They are laden with statements of “This is the way it is because God said so” and the like.  I’m not sure what I was expected but I was hoping for an unbiased and logical course.  But I am pretty excited to start this course.  They have the history about the church and religion.  I love history!

I wanted to start a theology course because I am not very equipped like a lot of the Christians.
  I tried to have a rational adult conversation with my sister last week. And let me tell you… it ended up extraordinarily bad. I was only a couple sentences in until I went bat crap crazy and started screaming things that even today I’m having a hard time forgiving myself.  I feel that hopefully I can get a better understanding of the Bible and I will be able to get my points across in a rational and Christ-like way.  But just thinking about trying to get my points across even with a new found knowledge of the Bible sounds exhausting.

Right now I am learning how to interpret the Bible.
  It is VERY interesting.  There are a lot of things that I would like to say people who oppose same-sex relationships based on Biblical material. And I’ve only gotten through 3 lectures!  The professor states that humans can make mistakes and to follow the direction of the Holy Spirit.  He said that we should interpret the Bible for ourselves personally.  I also learned about historical context which is used to support various modern doctrines such as allowing women to preach.  I’ve also seen it used to help support homosexuality as an orientation.  It’s just all very interesting and I may or may not have a blog post about historical context.  We shall see!

I also wanted to take course on World Religions.
  I would love to see how these religions came to be and what makes them tick.  If Christianity is the only true religion, how did these religions come about.  I did a google search on World Religions Free Online Course and I came upon this news article from Huffington Post. Harvard University launched a free online course called Religious Literacy in hopes to bring understanding to each religion.

“To combat this illiteracy, Moore and five other religion professors from Harvard University, Harvard Divinity School and Wellesley College are kicking off a free, online series on world religions open to the masses. The courses are being offered via an online learning platform called edX, which Harvard University launched with Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2012.”

I was super stoked to sign up for this course.  I’m only halfway through the first module of this one but it is very interesting to know that Christianity is not the only religion where believers cherry pick their scriptures for their own personal gain.

The reason why I’ve chosen to take this course is because I am very interested in what the beliefs of these religions are and why they believe they are the one true religion.


I can’t wait to see what more I learn from both courses.
  I love learning new things and I’ve really missed school!  NEW SCHOOL SUPPLIES FOR ME!  WEEEE!!

Posted in Body

Losing My Balance

I was not sure of the exact moment when I started losing my balance until it was too late. I was so far off the wagon that I’m losing my breath trying to catch it. And then I become upset with myself. How could I let this go on for so long? I was supposed to keep an eye on my balance. One step off in the wrong direction and all of the three cores of my being – body, mind, and soul – go careening off the cliff. For some reason, there it’s all or nothing for me. Go big or go home.

Once I thought I lost my soul, my mind started to go. When my mind left me, the care for my body was sent to the back of my mind. It becomes huddled in the corner waiting for my mind and soul to stop yelling at each other. I’ve stopped going to the gym. I’ve stopped being mindful of what I was eating. This leads my weight to fluctuate with every weigh in. And then it puts more pressure on my mind.

Why do I do this to myself? I feel confident that I have myself in a pretty good balance but one comment is said and it festers and grows through my cores like a cancer. I am not new to this game. This has happened to me before. That’s the funny thing about happiness. I become so happy that I let the mindfulness of my cores to become vulnerable. I’m not saying I should throw up guards around me. I just need to be mindful and alert when one of my cores goes off kilter.

I now have a pretty good grasp on my soul. I’m going to see my therapist again so I should have my mind centered a little bit better. This only means that the body needs a lot of work. I have been cramming it with a whole bunch of junk. And on PURPOSE!! I would go into a restaurant telling myself that I will get the healthier selections. I would tell myself this all the way up until it’s ready to order and then all of the sudden my mind says “Forget that!” and I order whatever crap I wanted.

I’ve lost all motivation. My wellness doctor says that I am on the cusp of motivation. I’m finally going to say enough is enough and take control of what needs to be done. I can feel that too. I just hate that it has taken me this long. I am in need of forgiveness for myself. I tend to be so hard on myself. I’m sure I’m not the only one with this problem.

As I go in to weigh in, I know that I’ve gained. And then I’ll have to tell the dietitian why I think that I’ve gained. I’ll say that I’ve ate like crap. For month straight, I’ve had to make excuses for my weight gain. It’s time to hang the excuses. I need to look upwardly to God and inwardly to my spirit and get things done, son!

What about you? What helps you with motivation to being a better version of your awesome self?

Posted in Sermon Notes

Sermon Notes: Guardrails

This week’s sermon was about placing “Guardrails” in areas of our lives.  The Holy Spirit will guide you to place them in the areas that you need to most work.  PHEW!  I wish I had those in place yesterday.  But that’s for another day.


August 21st, 2016

Pastor Travis
Title:  Guardrails
Scripture: Ephesians 5:15-20

Notes:

Guardrails are structures that are placed to show us where not to go.

Guardrails are found near bridges, medians, and sharp curves.

They provide margins.

Your greatest regret could have been avoided if you had quardrails in your area.

Your personal standard of behavior that becomes a matter of conscious that can be used as your guardrail.

Place a guardrail where there is minimal damage that can be repaired later.

Don’t be general in the placement of your guardrails.

There are specific guardrails that I need to place for my life.

This has nothing to do with legalism or being too confining.

A good father will set barriers to protect his children.

God wants to place a guardrail in our lives. It may hurt when we hit it but it is way better than the alternative.

“Be careful then as to how you walk.”
~Why? There are dangers.

“Make the most of every opportunity.” Eph 5:16

Stop deceiving yourself. Do something about it.

Set a personal standard. Hardwire your conscious.

Debauchery – extreme indulgence that leads to the loss of control.

I have a personal threshold that if I cross it, I will lose control.

Holy Spirit guide me!

Call someone to help you place the guardrail if needed.

Do not be people of information but of transformation.

Posted in God

I Am No Longer A Gay Christian — Butch Please

Guest post by Kat. I have been struggling most of my life trying to reconcile my faith and my sexuality. Most recently, it’s been Hell on Earth. When I came out about a year ago, I felt closer to God. I accepted who He created me to be. Then the humans interceded. My Christian friends…

via I Am No Longer A Gay Christian — Butch Please

Check out my guest post on Butch Please! And also follow this blog! It’s amazing!

Posted in Sermon Notes

Sermon Notes: Ordinary World Changers

I’m going to be posting my actual sermon notes from my notebook every Sunday. Hopefully you will get something out of it.  If you’ve missed any, I’ve added a new page entitled Sermon Notes. This will also be updated every Sunday.

Date: Sunday, August 14th, 2016
Scriptures: Nehemiah 1:1-11

Notes:

World changing is not an event. It’s a lifestyle change.

God’s specialty is using ordinary people for extraordinary things.

Nehemiah was born into captivity.

Walls of Jerusalem were down for over 150 years.

Characteristics of World Changers

1. Ordinary world changers sit down to cry.

Overcome with emotion.

We are comfortable. What breaks your heart for the Lord? What are you doing about it?

It’s ordinary people that change the world.

Burden calls a solution to action.

Change starts with me. You can change your world.

2. Ordinary world changers kneel down to pray.

Sometimes it takes more than a 5 minute prayer.

God plus one is the majority. God is raising me to be a leader in the corner of my world.

Be a person of prayer.

3. Ordinary world changers stand up to act.

Nehemiah 1:10 – “Please grant me success today by making the king favorable to me. Put it into his heart to be kind to me.”

Read Nehemiah 2:1-5

Ordinary world changers must do something!

Don’t sit and whine and complain.

God says you must be compelled to do something.

“Why hasn’t someone done something?” Maybe God is waiting for you.

We all can change the world. Everybody’s burden is different.

I don’t have to fix everything in the world. But I can do something.

We are here for more than just earthly successes. We are here to change the world.

Jesus didn’t die for me to drive a Lexus. He died for me to change the world.