Thursday, September 4, 2008

When Mental Illness Strikes....

09/01/08 Journal entry...


What an interesting several days. How sad it is that we are born sinners with fallen fleshly bodies. This will only be completely restored when we get to heaven.

To find out that someone has a mental illness. This is brutal for me at the moment coming to this realization. Especially since they fully believe that they are thinking rationally. To the point where you begin to question your own observations.

To not be able to communicate my deepest love, concern, compassion and care. This is brutal.

To not know how to offer support because the door is slammed shut.

To lay hands on them gently in prayer as you have done countless times before. Instead of comfort being received, anger is expressed as your loved one bolts away. Ouch.

To know that medical help is needed and probably has been needed for years... but how does a person with this kind of illness realize this fact when they have no use for doctors?

Research is invaluable at this moment.

Prayer is invaluable at this moment.

How can you convey to someone that you love, that because of this knowledge, in no way do you think that they are a lesser person. Nor a lesser Christian.

Instead your heart goes out to them as you consider all of the pain this has caused them in their life.

All of the pain that this has unintentionally caused their friends and family over the years.

You won't abandon them. If you did then you should abandon a diabetic friend just because their body doesn't secrete enough insulin to keep them healthy. It's not rational to abandon a friend nor will it happen.

Walks, exercise, activity. Discovering how beneficial it is to go on walks with a hurting/ ill friend. But how? When such a drastic barrier has been constructed.

Oh, how this insight has made sense of interactions over the years. If only I would have known earlier. I could have been a better friend. A friend where needed most.

This is not a weakness in my friend.

This is not a lack of faith.

This is an illness.

To be honest this is one of the hardest things I have faced. BUT ironically because of who this person is in healthier times... I have grown so much in my Christian walk that oddly enough, I am handling this.

As I write, I do want to cry. How I long to wrap my arms around my friend, kiss their forehead and embrace them. Just to be able to let them know that I'm by their side.

To let them know that the facade can be torn down and I will still proudly proclaim to all that they are my sibling IN CHRIST!

To let them know that their projection of their anger on bad days does hurt badly BUT I know that they can't control it and...

...... I will see the illness speaking... NOT my friend.


Supporting someone with bipolar for friends and family=

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Church: A Safe Place for All?

*This is a re-post of an article linked in this month's e-newsletter from Exodus. I completely agree with the points made. I also was fortunate enough to have a Christian show me compassionate truth, disciple me and give me that healthy community! Praise the Lord*

Church: A Safe Place for All?
How to reach and respond to homosexuals in your community
By Jeff Buchanan

If we're honest, the issue of homosexuality intimidates most church leaders. It makes us feel helpless. When someone pulls us aside and confides in us that he or she struggles with same-sex attractions, we diligently put on our "leader face" while we shrivel on the inside, feeling absolutely incompetent to address the situation.

Nothing could be further from the truth. If you believe God's Word to be true, then you automatically have the needed tools for effective ministry, since all Scripture is "useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness" (2 Tim. 3:16, NIV). Therefore, we are equipped as the church to minister to anyone who walks through our doors—homosexual or not.

Unfortunately, intimidation and partiality often attempts to rob us of the opportunity to minister and experience the full gospel. A healthy church already has what the same-sex struggler needs; we just have to realize what those things are:

Compassionate truth. Many of those wrestling with homosexual feelings have had negative experiences in the church and may be mistrusting of leaders. I've heard too many terrible stories of leaders condemning these individuals for their struggle and asking them to leave. They need to know that the church is a safe place where they can be open about their struggles without fear of ridicule or shame. This doesn't mean we shy away from teaching what Scripture says about homosexual behavior.

On the other hand, some may have been exposed to erroneous teaching that advocates homosexual behavior, while others may be convinced that their eternal security is in jeopardy because they have same-sex attractions. The church must provide a compassionate compliment of mercy and truth.

Discipleship. Many same-sex strugglers come in with spiritual and emotional immaturity. They may have never been taught how to cultivate a relationship with Christ or even where to begin. Most will have little understanding of their identity in Christ and will have a wrong perception of the Father's heart (often it will resemble their perception of their relationships with their own fathers). They need to be taught how to walk in true intimacy with the Lord and allow Him to transform them into mature disciples.

Community. This has the potential for the most immediate impact in the lives of those struggling. Often their relational and family systems have been significantly dysfunctional. Take on a spirit of adoption and make them a part of your family. Show them what a healthy family dynamic looks like and how to develop healthy relationships with the same gender. I work with a number of young men in their 20s and many of them need help with their finances, finding a job, buying a car, finding a place to live, etc. These practical needs can serve as opportunities for relationship and ministry. Many will be eager for an older man or woman to become involved in their life and embrace them as a son or daughter.

I remember what it meant to me to be invited to a family's Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner and watch them truly honor, appreciate and love one another. I remember being loved and encouraged for who I was without the stigma of my struggle; they related to me rather than my issue. My life was forever changed as they helped me see God's glory in me and discover His purpose for me. We can all do the same for those in our community. This is the power of the body of Christ.

Jeff Buchanan has spent more than 10 years in church ministry and is the director of church equipping for Exodus International, the largest worldwide Christian outreach to those struggling with unwanted same-sex attractions. MinistryResource Beyond hosting a variety of conferences, Exodus International boasts the world's largest information and referral ministry to those struggling with homosexual issues. Its Web site ( is a great starting place for both ministry leaders and those seeking a way out

Friday, August 1, 2008

I saw the Light!!

Here are the lyrics of a song off of my new David Crowder*Band cd. It's a traditional song that David wrote a new verse for... and used some other verses written by other artists. It's really awesome!!!
I've wandered so aimless, life filled with sin
I wouldn't let my dear Savior in
Then Jesus came like a stranger in the night
Praise the Lord, I saw the light (Williams)

I saw the light, I saw the light
No more darkness, no more night
Now I'm so happy, no sorrow in sight
Praise the Lord, I saw the light (Williams)

I've walked in darkness, clouds covered me
I had no idea where the way out could be
Then came the sunrise and rolled back the night
Praise the Lord, I saw the light (Cash)

Just like a blind man I wandered alone
Worries and fear I claimed for my own
Then like a blind man who God gave back his sight
Praise the Lord, I saw the light (Williams)

When death takes me down and I breath here no more
My anthem will sound on that eternal shore
When I join with the angels in heaven on high
Singing "Praise the Lord, He is the light" (Crowder)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Don’t run from your sins... run to Jesus!!


This is a topic that I have really had heavy on my mind lately among many others. At times it feels as my heart is going to tear in two as I pray for those who haven't found the cleansing freedom and life in the Blood of Jesus Christ. He is calling everyone... but we have that freewill He has given us. I'm forever grateful for that freewill. It makes His free gift even more amazing once you accept it. I started typing this blog with no real thought out direction as I do for most of my blogs. Though I have this Bible verse running through my head nonstop lately....

"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." I Corinthians 6:9-11.

WERE- Past tense. It's soooooooo awesome. It's right there just waiting to be taken ahold of. You weren't born gay or a drunkard. Circumstances in life slowly pull us farther and farther away from God. That is the enemy's only mission... to kill and destroy. So he finds a weakness or a hurting, empty place in our lives and fills it with lies that lead us deeper and deeper into sin. A drunk didn't wake up one day and decide to be that way. It was a slow barely noticeable progression that he rationalized in his mind... one step at a time.

This is why I'm looking forward to the trip to Canada with the youth group. I pray that the Heavenly Father uses this time mightily to draw these kids to a relationship with Him. Or a deeper more sincere relationship if they already have begun their journey.

Life as a Christian is amazing. The closer you draw to the Lord.... the harder life gets in this flesh... but the closer you get and the more that you trust the Lord... the easier it gets. 'Joy unspeakable and full of glory' as the old hymn goes.

These past months I have also had alot of reflective time to consider the last 6 years that I have been a Christian. The things I have learned already are amazing. The relationship that I have with my Heavenly Father is one like I have never known before. I have turned into one of those weird Christians I used to make fun of. But I'm NOT ASHAMED of the GOSPEL of JESUS CHRIST. My brothers and sisters in Christ as being killed and thrown in prison everyday around the world. The least I can do is boldly proclaim the Gospel. And love others as Christ also loves them. To be a Christian isn't a religion. It's a relationship. To be CHRIST LIKE!!

This was a random ramble that I will probably read tomorrow and realize that I have incomplete thoughts, run on sentences, grammatical errors and a plethora of other problems. But... at this moment... it speaks the thoughts of my heart. May you find the joy in a life of a Christian! Sin separates us from Him no matter how good we try to be. The shed blood of Jesus Christ who died on the cross for us is the only sacrifice that can cleanse us so we can enter into the Father's presence. Don't run from your sins... run to Jesus!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Say what???

No joke.... so today at work I walk through the cat room where the receptionist was discharging a cat that had been spayed the day before. I hear her say "...and the sutures need to come out in 14 days". To which the owner replies- "That's about 2 weeks right??". "Yes"....      I walked through and had to try sooooooo hard to contain myself. Seeing the person to was helpful in adding to my amusement. One of dem kuntry folks that never dun got them sum of dat der learnin'.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Polygamous Cult


So who else has been following the news story of the polygamous cult in Texas where all of those children evacuated? This is soooooo interesting and has really been bringing back alot of memories. Good and bad. Not that I was in a sexually abusive poligamist cult. But a controlling legalistic cult none the less. Also unfortunately there were some within the group that did act sexually inappropriate towards me.

I came out on my own determination with God's guidance. It was intense enough and the thoughts of doubt and fear.... Whoa man... I can't imagine these poor kids (and women). I have been praying for them and the adults on the outside that are caring for them. I'm also praying for the people who will councel them. These people(from the compound) are so brainwashed that they are going to be in a hard shell waiting for the 'persecution' to end. They will wait for it to end and I would venture to guess want to go back. It's all that they know and they have been told anything else will send them to hell. They aren't to doubt this... this is what God wants of them. If you doubt then you are doubting God. And why would you want to do that???

Pray for the Holy Spirit to work on these kids and prepare their hearts. Also I have been praying for all of the people around the world that are watching this news story. 15 years ago when the Branch Davidians story was on the news from Waco was very important for me. It is what planted the beginnings of my realization that I was in a cult. Listening to those around me defending the fact that if we were in that situation, people would call us a cult too. But then going on to say how we possibly couldn't be... and then listing off some really shallow reasons. One being we didn't all live in a compound.

All of this has also brought to mind a Bible verse that had explained so many things within my mind when I was in the process of coming out. Colossians 2:20-23*** Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. ***

I'm also praying that self worth will be restored to these individuals. They have had ever last ounce of their true value as their Father in Heaven created them to be destroyed by psychological abuse.

Anyhoo... that is my 2 cents worth. If it comes to your mind... please pray for them. They need it. They also need to discover what true faith in Jesus Christ looks like. What His unfailing love and grace looks like. How much value they really have in His eyes. And what it is to serve a loving God. To do things out of your love for your Saviour and not doing things because you fear it's the only way you might make it to heaven... or whatever planet they will rule.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

So what’s wrong with this story???

Hmmmm.... this is interesting and really... well... I'll let you read it for yourself.

This is a story that came across the AP wire today.

YBOR CITY, Fla. - A southwest Florida church issued a challenge for its married members this past Sunday: Hanky-panky every day. Relevant Church head pastor Paul Wirth says the 50 percent divorce rate was the catalyst for The 30-Day Sex Challenge.

"And that's no different for people who attend church," Wirth said. "Sometimes life gets in the way. Our jobs get in the way."

Oh, and the flip side of the challenge? No rolling in the sheets for the unwed.

Church member Tim Jones and his fiancée agreed to take on the challenge, though he acknowledges it'll be a tough month. But he added: "I think it's worth trying to find out other things about each other."


So am I missing something there at the end of that story??? "Church member".... "fiancée "...."he acknowledges it'll be a tough month".... "it's worth trying to find out other things about each other". So assuming he is referencing a bit further up in the story where it says..."No rolling in the sheets for the unwed".

????????? They are members of church???? Like no matter what you shouldn't be having sex before you are married. This just jumped out at me and really hurt my brain. And the way that the news story is presented... that viewpoint isn't even considered. Oh... how far has society slide to thinking that sin is the norm?!?

I googled the "Relevant Church" and read their beliefs. Even that seems a bit watered down. Someone needs to go there and recommend that they study I John and Jude.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Random question

So in contemplating the reasoning of some animals this question popped into my head. Just know that I have not attempted to discover the answer for myself yet. So if it is a reasonable question to be asked... take it for what it is.

Before the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11.... could humans and animals understand each other?

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Interesting video on homosexuality

Ok... so here is a topic that I am passionate about.

Is homosexuality genetic, or is it something people choose? What if it's neither! Dr. Julie Harren, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in Palm Beach, Florida, discusses the meaning and causes of homosexuality. Dr. Harren is also an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Graduate Counseling Psychology program at Palm Beach Atlantic University.

Watch video here

So.... she really doesn't conclude but I want to add my conclusion. That this (homosexuality) is something in lives that the devils gets ahold of to take us away from God. Just like alcohol, all other sexual sins, lust, anger, hatred, drugs, lying etc.

Remember God is bigger than all of this and there is freedom!! This reminds me of one of the first Bible verses that stuck out to me in my own personal quest for truth.

""Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you WERE. But you WERE washed, you WERE sanctified, you WERE justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.""1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Emphasis on "were" is my own. None of this is new... including homosexuality. They were dealing with it in Biblical times. But "what some of you were".... PAST TENSE--- Therefore we weren't born that way!!! The sometimes painful circumstances in our lives when we were growing up allowed the devil to find an opening and exploit it. But there is freedom in Jesus Christ!!!! I thank the Lord personally for that!!