Do Christians Need Weed? A Response to the Christian Cannabis Movement.

Do Christians Need Weed? A Response to the Christian Cannabis Movement.

“I miss smoking weed sometimes,” confessed one of my Christian mentors, “but I’m after something deeper with God.” I remembered our past conversation about experiences with marijuana this week as I was processing the news that Christian leader, Craig Gross, has launched a website promoting the benefits of marijuana. What’s more, he intends on selling Christian branded marijuana products on his site. Gross, someone I’ve long admired, is the founder of XXXchurch.com, a ministry dedicated to educating the church on the ill effects of pornography. Because my ministry is also devoted to promoting sexual wholeness, I’ve followed his ministry for years. His approach to reaching the broken and outcast in and outside the church has always been refreshing. However, Craig has a newly launched outreach that I cannot support, an outreach that aims to destigmatize marijuana use among Christians. Craig’s new evangelistic endeavor springs from his personal testimony to the benefits of using medical marijuana. He admits that before obtaining a medical marijuana card, he’d never used drugs or even consumed much alcohol. However, when he turned to a low-dose regimen of THC to treat his chronic stress and debilitating headaches he found his pain decreased, and he could think more clearly. Gross admits that during that time his family was under an incredible amount of stress: along with the rigors of managing a non-profit, his father died and his wife’s health was threatened by a serious medical issue. Since stress is a leading cause of illness, it’s not surprising that Craig found relief using weed. But he also testifies that marijuana use improved his relationships and helped him...
Outlawing Options

Outlawing Options

On March 4, I flew to Boston to testify at the Massachusetts’ capital hearing regarding the proposed bills H.140/S.70, which if passed, would ban conversion therapy.   My reasons for going were very personal and close to my heart. I feel strongly that the ban on conversion therapy for minors would greatly hinder much needed holistic care that health-care professionals can offer to children who question their sexual identity and orientation.   Many states desire to ban conversion therapy because it has been labeled harmful.And in fact, some of the examples of “conversion therapy” described in the hearings included such harmful practices as electric shock therapy, exposure to pornography, forced separation from loved ones, and extreme public shaming. However, the greater health-care community, including those with faith-based practices, already considers these methods barbaric and unethical. Blasted by the media, this kind of “conversion therapy” has become a straw man, erected with the intent of advocating one sided and biased counseling methods that support an ideology that sexuality is completely fixed.   But do not be misinformed. The proposed legislation in Massachusetts (and similar bills being proposed elsewhere) is about much, much more than protecting children from shock therapy and other ill-favored practices. These bills define “conversion therapy” in such a way as to prohibit any health-care professional from therapeutically questioning a minor’s sexual orientation or desire to transition gender.  Under this law, a health-care professional could have their license suspended for doing anything other than affirming a minor’s feelings of same-sex attraction or perceived gender identity. Furthermore, if passed, these laws would threaten parental rights. If a child’s physician prescribes medications, such as...
Launching Discover Eden

Launching Discover Eden

I’m sitting at a lovely dining room table in a vacation rental in Orlando, Florida. There’s a bowl of fake fruit sitting in front of me as I write, reminding me that upon first arrival, I was fooled once again by realistic apple art. Fake flowers I get, but fake fruit…that’s just cruel. Since we moved, two big life, hey-did-that-just-happen, thingamajiggers have taken place. I turned forty on November second and I launched my second book. Nevertheless, life doesn’t stop for second books or fortieth birthdays. It doesn’t stop and ask you if you’d like to pause to celebrate goals accomplished, or to pause to celebrate anything for that matter. Life is rolling by like big waves in the sea and doesn’t ask for directions. You have to pick up your boogie board and ride those big, sloppy, wonderful waves. With that being said, I’m so excited to pause to take note that my second book—Discover Eden: Empowering Christian Women to Walk in Sexual Liberty—is now available! So, what’s this all about? Well, I’m so glad you asked. You’re so inquisitive. Here’s a piece of fruit as a reward. I offer information in a way that I wish someone had given it to me—direct, practical, non-sugar-coated, yet a little humorous to make it feel more relatable. I prayerfully speak into the areas in which I was misinformed, delusional, and extremely bound, and I discuss areas where I’ve awakened to a great adventure of life beyond sexual brokenness. My heart is to give glory to the Lord for the liberty I found in my restored sexuality. More specifically, my primary...
Why I Chose to Stand with Others

Why I Chose to Stand with Others

As soon as we walked out of the hotel’s conference room that was adjacent to the California State Capital, I was immediately intimidated. As someone who prides herself on not cowering to the opinions of others, this surprisingly stretched me. When we walked into the Capitol with black t-shirts on that said in white text “changed” on the front and “oncegay.com” on the back, there was no turning back. We stepped out as a unified team to voice our concerns. Thirty something people, many from California, but also from other states. All different stories and stages of life. All there to say our lives are not fraudulant. The Capitol was packed with protestors for various bills that would be voted on the following day. It was surreal walking into a government building and being met by many other groups, in their own custom t-shirts and signs, protesting all sorts of things. It was particularly intimidating when those in various groups turned their attentions off of gathering for their cause, and began to jeer at our group that was quietly walking up to the Senator’s offices. I can only liken what I experienced at that moment to the bullying I often endured as a kid. Like when I would be bullied as I played sports. When I would walk into the school gym only to be met by guys hurling insults at me about my weight as I walked by in my snug uniform. When I was there to be a part of a team but was assaulted by comments about my appearance. Childish ignorant hateful banter. That’s the best...
Body Image Series: Blog 3

Body Image Series: Blog 3

Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyways. – Mother Teresa What you’re about to read are five insights from five friends about body image. In preparing for my last blog in this Body Image series, I was inspired to hear from other women. In opening up the dialog, I realized the entire blog needed to be dedicate to their stories. I hope you are as moved as I was in reading their struggles and victories. Thank you five friends. “Big, fat, yeast roll!” The older girls in my church group cackled as they compared my 8-year old frame to a popular restaurant’s dinner side item.  Church girls can be so nice. That same year, a boy on the bus pointed out my tummy pooch. In third grade I learned that a tummy “pooch” was bad. For the next 6 years, I gained weight, even though I played sports and took dance.  I was scared to buy jeans because I didn’t want to know what size I wore. What a sad thing to occupy the mind of a pre-teen, when I could have been thinking about enjoying fun things with my friends. Then things got serious. High school. Cute guys, dances, football games, cool clothes, the even cooler “cool crowd”, and this Southern Baptist girl didn’t know what to do except take control. Enter anorexia. I played basketball my freshmen year and we ran. A LOT. I began to lose weight and realized that the more I exercised, the more weight I lost. Then I began to limit the types of food I would eat. No...
Body Image Series: Blog 2

Body Image Series: Blog 2

As a child low fat diets were all the craze. My mother would put me on low fat diets featuring slim fast shakes and meal replacement bars. I now know that was the opposite of what my nutritionally depleted, unbalanced hormonal prepubescent body needed. I now know that those slim fast shakes contained so many harmful ingredients, including soy products that were damaging to my estrogen levels. It fought against me, not for me. However, as this was before the internet age there was little knowledge, so we were stuck with Richard Simmons and low fat cottage cheese. My challenge with weight apparently began in kindergarten. My mother explained to me one day that I was sent home with chickenpox. It took me about 10 days days to recover and in that time I ballooned two clothes sizes. She explained she couldn’t keep weight off of me after that. Who knows what that was about? Maybe I’m an unrealized X-men with the super power of exponentially gaining weight in a short amount of time? I’ve yet to find the purpose of this power but I’m sure it will serve me in the zombie apocalypse. Because of this superpower, I became aware of being overweight at a very young age. I played sports all through middle school even though (on average) I was 40 pounds heavier than my peers. I ate what my parents fed me. Being low income it was often high starch boxed foods with meat added. Very limited and small portions of vegetables and carbs were prevalent because they were cheap. As I explained in my previous...