Love Yo Self

Love Yo Self

There is an innate desire in everyone to prioritize his or her values. The things in which we attach most emotional worth to, it is in fact, what drives us. What we value is what our heart longs for in life. The flux of happiness is closely related to our values. People seem to be love’n life or hate’n life based on what they can achieve or experience. For example, if someone values the ability to clean their house in under six minutes before their friends arrive (on short notice) and as they answer the door are able to shove the last of the living room junk into the closet, that person probably is happy. Self-image is preserved and values are achieved. So I’ve heard. My house is immaculate all the time (said no one ever). Furthermore, if someone values winning a pizza eating contest in which they and two other friends set out on a quest to consume a ginormous pizza in under an hour, only then to fall short in doing so, (as a result of cramming so much into their intestines they end up throwing up pepperoni all over the restaurant bathroom) the opposite of happiness was experienced. The goal was not achieved. True story. My husband. Do what makes you happy. Right? The overall message of our culture is that there is a direct correlation between moving towards your values and the state of your happiness. In other words, many would define self-love or “loving yourself” as following their truest values. In our culture people are continually asking themselves, am I experiencing all my values have to...
Jesus & the Prostitute

Jesus & the Prostitute

As I begin to unpack my thoughts regarding how church leaders can best care for the hearts of those who may or may not consider themselves gay Christians or in the LGBTQ community, I have to admit that writing about the subject is weighty. I have friends in so many different arenas, people that I admire and care about, so I want to enter into the discussion with sensitivity. Nevertheless, I write about this because of the increasing number of friends and acquaintances who are rallying behind the idea that the gospel tells us to support the gay community at any measure–that the gospel of love is to truly accept sexual orientation, regardless of what that looks like. In other words, many are believing that the church is evolving as the culture around it embraces a growing acceptance of the diverse LGBTQ community. And while I would agree that our methods of outreach towards a culture involving sexual identity are changing, I do not believe that the church is evolving into an age of “enlightenment” where there are no established safeguards or truth that are based in scripture. For weeks now I’ve camped around the story of Jesus in Luke 7:36-50. 36 When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet...
Straightforward: The Gay Blog

Straightforward: The Gay Blog

I wasn’t a pretty lesbian. Well, I think my girlfriend found me pretty, but nowadays it seems that when you turn on the TV most lesbians are gorgeous and infinitely confident. Jodi Foster, Ellen Page, Gillian Anderson, Ellen Degeneres’ partner with the name that I can’t pronounce…all strong, beautiful women. Nope. Not me, though. I was awkward. Precarious. Insecure. I was proud, but stayed in the background. For those of you who haven’t read my book The God of My Parents, it may be helpful if I give some details about my life. Deep in the mountains of Northern California rests a little town I’ll call Wilsonville. To this day the small wooded community still only houses about twelve-hundred people. My parents left their well-paying jobs in Silicon Valley and relocated there to pastor a church of about five members when I was seven. We contrasted pretty sharply with the culture of this community. As I wrote in my book, “If you were forced to lump all of the residents of Wilsonville into two primary groups you could call them the hippies and the rednecks. Hippies that grew pot, rednecks that cut timber, hippies that protested the cutting of timber, rednecks that smoked pot but hated the hippies, Native Americans that grew pot and cut timber, and the few that simply lived in the middle of it all.” Considering the environment in which I grew up I would probably identify more as a “missionary kid” than a “pastor’s kid,” because I was exposed to so much more culture than perhaps the typical ministry child. Outside of our tiny church...