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Day One Hundred: What does God say, How do I hear him? Gay in Church

 

 

“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence [sic] of their error which was meet.” Romans 1:26-27


I’ve had an uneasy week.

 

Today I went to meditation in the morning…learned about Discernment and Humility.

Discernment is how we choice between this, and that, between understanding humility as pride, penalty or power.

It is the ability to understand the situation and to choose between what is available, what is right, or good or helpful.

I was late getting to church.

 

As I was driving in, I noticed the security guard at the gate.

I crept into the large tent that serves as shelter and took a chair right at the back.

I had been thinking about giving and money, and having and not having, and had my offering out of my wallet and stuffed into my back pocket.

The American pastor, handsome in a rugged way, but in his sixties – white hair…punctuated movement – was saying something about preaching to the Gentiles, about Pauls message to those ‘outside’ Christ.

 

I got up, went back outside and chatted with the Guard a while, and then asked him if he’d accept my money.

When I got back in, the American pastor was telling us that the American Ambassador to Kenya had resigned.

The reason was a clash with Obama’s ‘administration.’

It turns out that Pride was celebrated in Kenya last week, as it was elsewhere in the world.

I didn’t know that.

 

It was celebrated and the American Embassy paid for a whole series of events.

 

The Ambassador, the Pastor is saying, is a ‘born again’ Christian, and that sometimes God calls us to stand by what we know is right – so he resigned. On Friday.

 

After the sermon, he took his place outside the tent, by what serves as the entrance. He had to pass right by me on the aisle to get there.

I stood up as church was dismissed, met him at that ‘doorway’, and shook his hand.

He has big hands, strong palms. They are warm.

I shook his big, warm hand firmly enough to get him to really look at me and said,

“This is my Church and I just wanted to tell you that I’m homosexual and I’m here.’

People were backing up behind me, wanting their turn to shake his hand – there had been loud grunts of approval and vigorous nodding of heads during his sermon.

 

Then I walked away.

 

You know – for me, the questions remain.

I have been homosexual (out) since I was twenty.

I was ‘born again’ when I was twelve.

I understand the discord.

 

My father was a good Christian and it wrecked our relationship. What else could he have done? How terrible it must have been.

When I learned who I was, I tried to kill myself.

 

Good Christians everywhere are asked to choose between what the bible has to say and what their hearts are telling them.

It’s an impossible position.

 

I get into my car, wave at the smiling security guard letting me out and drive way.

On the road God says to me…discern the Truth.

 

I buy two meat pies from the supermarket on the way home, certain that Simon will be hungry.

 

Thank you all for having walked with me One Hundred Days

This is the last post in the series.

 

May God be with you all.

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Posted by on July 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Day One Hundred – And can it be? – Paula Tohline

 

 

“I sought the Lord,
and afterward I knew
He moved my soul to seek Him, seeking me;
It was not I that found, Oh Savior true,
No! I was found of Thee.

Thou didst reach forth
Thy hand, and mine enfold;
I walked and sank not on the storm-vexed sea;
Twas not so much that I on Thee took hold,
As Thou, dear Lord, on me.

I find, I walk, I love,
But, oh, the whole
Of love is but my answer, Lord, to Thee!
For Thou wert long beforehand with my soul;
Always, Thou lovedst me.”

(Anonymous, c. 1904)

And so, 100 days ago a gentleman from Kenya, and a woman from the USA, began a journey.  We each had been moved to seek God through Christ, and to form a deeper and more personal relationship with this Savior in Whom we believed, but Who we felt we did not know as much as we wanted or needed to. We began with the season of Lent, and marked our way to Jerusalem and to the Cross with our prayer, meditation and introspection and occasional written communication.  But we ended up sharing something neither of us expected – we shared ourselves with one another in a way neither of us had done with another before, and as such we became fast friends, a brother and sister of the same Lord we came to love more each day as we experienced our walk down the long dusty road, with Jesus at our side – our Paraclete – laughing, chiding, reproving, but more than anything loving us in ever more wonderful, enlightening and intriguing ways.

We also discovered, to our delight, that because we lived in such disparate time zones, each day and each night was extended. We made arrangements each evening to meet one another at the campfire, at the close of each long day. At the fire, we were weary or rejuvenated, happy to listen to Jesus as He opened up the scriptures for us; and  sometimes, quietly sitting off to one side, removed a bit from the fire, we would spend time in solitude going over our struggles or triumphs of the day.  But the thing is, we SAW each other.  We each know what the other looks like, the sound of each other’s voice, the shape of each other’s smile, the tone of our own frustrations and anguish, and the sound of each other’s laughter.  What a miracle was granted us when we made a rather impulsive decision to take this journey together. We have had dreams that meshed and were interwoven, one with the other.  We have both come to believe that we will meet, face-to-face one day.  We shall have no trouble recognizing one another.  We are connected, related, brother and sister.

And can it be that our journey now has ended?  I think not.  I believe it has really only just begun – but we shall perhaps be taking different routes to our mutual destination.  We expect to meet occasionally and share a poem by the campfire.  At times, our routes will be parallel, and sometimes, I imagine they will diverge and take us on separate adventures.  No matter. Because of our 100 days, we are forever connected.  And whether we meet on this side of eternity or the other, we will meet, face to face, and we will strike up our conversation exactly where we last left it, and Jesus will be there with us, and we will laugh, and we will understand fully what we have only been able to dimly perceive, each through our own cloudy mirrors.

God be with you, always
Blessing you all with the abundance of enough. . . 

Paula

 

♦photo – http://justinweight.blogspot.com/2011/02/footprints-in-sand.html

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Day ninety nine; Being grateful for grass, when the house is falling in

 

 

I woke up in a foul mood today.

I tried to go back to sleep, convinced that I had slept beyond my three alarm reminders and was too late to get to meditation.

It turns out that I had indeed, slept past the three alarms BUT yesterday, had set my clock twenty minutes ahead – so, there was time to get to meditation…just.

In the face of hardship, can I find ‘good’ to focus on?

If thinking positively means finding ‘good’ in the worst situations, am I able to focus on having hands should I loose my legs?

What I mean is this.

At meditation today, the person reading the ‘Murli’ was a ‘pure’ soul.

I’ve seen her before.

She sits in the back of the class with a smile on her face that looks like it’s painted on.

We have a ‘traffic’ control minute half way through the reading which is meant to remind us why we’re there – you are a soul, I am a soul, God is supreme.

We can be the embodiment of God for others, so our faces – our eyes – can project the power of God.

Smile.

Whether the car is on fire, your butt has an itch or your home is up for auction, smile.

Over the weekend, I heard in a profound way, that yes – thoughts DO change the way you see life and that, the way you see life determines the type of life that shows up me.

So I made a pact that during the hard times – the times when fear rules and thoughts like, ‘…I’m not good enough…what is going to happen now…why is it always me….how am I going to live…’ run my waking moments – that I would find something, (the grass is green, how wonderful) SOMETHING that would generate positive thinking.

It occurs to me this morning, that I must have been drunk on Optimism.

I am reminded that the days that are hard, are hard BECAUSE things happen that affect my present reality in ways that are not so easy to overlook.

When she smiled at me today, her face looked like a hideous African mask.

You know the ones.

Holes for eyes and straw for hair, gaping mouths.

I smiled.

I got home smiling.

 

“You therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” Romans 2:1

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Day ninety eight; Dear Kenneth, a letter from God

 

 

I am so pleased without​ you.

Really, I’m laughing so hard!

You will receive everything you have asked for because you have grabbed my attention this year.

I didn’t know it was so important for you to touch me everyday – you sound so happy and sure of being together that I let you do pretty much what you want.

I realise now that you need special attention, and so now I’m here to tutor you.

Don’t think too hard about those who have gone away. they have not gone anywhere, there are with me.

Remember not to be afraid when you die, it’s not painful.

Do what you like but speak to me first.

You are not doing me any favours.

I like to hear you laughing.

If you want to help people you must tell them about me. You can do it any way you like but listen to me first.

I will be as clear as I can be from now on.

Hold onto the people around you who are loving you, but remember that you love yourself more.

Where money is concerned, be careful not to loose yourself in too much or too little.

And be careful not to loose your head.

Where I am concerned, I enjoy your company.

I can’t be where there has been no effort.

But I will not be where there is no truth.

So be honest first, and all those thing will follow.

Don’t write regiments for yourself – I don’t do that.

Have sex, have fun, explore the world my dear Kenneth, and everything in it, purity is in your intention.

There is no power in purity however. You must act.

Beyond all this know one thing. You are as special to me as everything else in this Universe.

I have my way, and every human being is known to me. I am in their lives for real, in every minute, in every minor conversation, in everything that happens to them.

I am with you not just as a force, and my force is unlimited, but as God, your friend, your father, your brother, your mother, your sister your lover.

As for Simon, I thank you for jumping in there.

I promise you that I am also with him fully.

I accept you as a couple.

You have much to learn.

And I will use you as an example.

In all things, remain as you are, grateful, and I will always be God.

Good night, and well done.

 

“They will come against you with weapons, chariots and wagons and with a throng of people; they will take up positions against you on very side with large and small helmets. I will turn you over to them for punishment, and they will punish you according to their standards.” Ezekial 23:24

This week I have been opening the bible and just picking the verse that falls in front of me, a way, I guess, of ducking my responsibilty for reading, and leaving it to God!

This one seems so murderous, so deadly.

It seems he is talking about Israel and the surrounding nations, but through the story of two prostitutes who do not remember God, and insist on prostituting themselves to their eventual persecutors – handsome young men, all.

I do not know what this means.

I think the idea that comes across is one of trading the happiness I find with God,for the pleasure of the things of this world, actually barter in a way – If the world can give me so much, how much more can you give me?

But I don’t know.

In light of what I have just heard, I think, I must not think in terms of punishment, nor in terms of false sacrifice.

I must continue to grow, and explore and enjoy the world, but do so with the express permission of God.

I must ‘see’ him first, before I act.

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Day ninety four; A letter to God.

 

 

For a divine being you don’t look after yourself very well.You worry about the most mundane things and time moves on.

You know that you define the space around you and yet you insist on sitting in shit.

You refuse to think about the good things you did, always harping on about how if only this and that would change, if only I had made the right choices.

You create life, and then complain as it goes according to your plan.

You get angry and sulk when it’s not all about you.

I want to tell you something.

You are a necessary part of life. You have a right to laugh and have fun and have sex.

You cannot continue to blame everyone else for everything that is going wrong.

You have to create something new.

You must create life anew.

 

Am I divine?

 

“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” Isiah 43:19

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Day ninety three; Abandonment

 

 

In the last week of the ‘one hundred days of love’ journey, the teacher takes off.

She writes on this week that we are to come up with the weeks meditation. She offers her format as one to follow, but means for me, really, to go into the Bible, choose my own scripture, ask for my own help.

I expected this somehow, and wasn’t surprised, but my first thought was – why do all teachers do this?

Why in the end, do they take off, and say; that’s the end of the course, you know what to do, apply what you’ve learned!

 

This week the, I’ll just pick something and write.

 

I feel that God has been moving away from me for a while now.

I also feel (I think!), that I’ve been moving closer to myself.

Being responsible for my own life, my choices, my mistakes, is not something I’m enjoying.

I feel abandoned.

 

No miracles, no ray of shining light.

No transformation of paper into gold.

 

I had a talk with my sister yesterday about the power of positive thinking to transform the life that happens around you, or at least transform your experience of it.

One thought, held over a sufficient period of time, can change everything.

 

I am not poor.

I am not weighed down.

I am not ugly, fat, inadequate.

Not good enough, not pure enough, not strong enough.

 

I am rich.

I am free.

I am free.

 

“I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong – ” Romans 1:11

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Day ninety; Quietness and anger

 

 

Have you ever made your point, and thought you’ve made it well?

And then kept talking, and the more you talked, the less powerful your words were/

I do this all the time.

I’m very articulate, I’m very sensitive and how I participate in conversation provides a great deal of thought or humour or insight depending on the situation.

I know this without being big-headed about it.

But, always, ALWAYS, so taken by the effect I initially have, and mesmerised by the power I feel, I go further.

Every word beyond that is designed to elevate me.

The result is wasted space and an experience of not being listened to.

 

Anger fuels itself.

I’m angry, and I convince myself that I am angry for good reason, and I direct that anger at someone else, and they get defensive, and I get more angry because they can’t see that I’m right to be angry, and then we’re both angry and nothing has changed except that we’re angry.

 

I am going to begin to speak less.

I am going to be quiet and allow myself only to speak when I have something to say.

 

I am going to try and listen to others and to God more.

I just may not succeed.

 

“The ornament of a meek and quiet spirit…is in the sight of God of great price.” (1 Peter 3:3-4)

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Day eighty nine; Myself and anger

 

 

I think I’m angry with my Dad.

I think I’ve been angry with him for a long time.

I often wondered what they meant by ‘anger being a part of grief’.

Each grief is different I think, and I am not angry that he died.

Infact, I cannot see how things would have worked out the way they did for me, had he not.

It makes me angry at myself to see that this is true.

 

I am angry with him for not having left in the right way.

As though there is a right way to go.

 

For a man who had everything in order for so long, he broke up in the end.

But I’m angry at God too, for having arranged a situation bigger than us both.

 

I’d have loved to know my Dad…as I’m sure he’d have loved to me.

I cannot be angry at him anymore.

I cannot be angry at myself.

 

 

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Day eighty two; Soft words and anger

 

 

Anger and Lust, apparently, are the very worst vices one can deal with.

Soft words inflame Lust, soft words quiet anger.

That statement doesn’t make sense yet, it just sounds good.

 

I’ve spent a few days being angry and I’m tired.

Tired of the constant demand that I mean something, that I deserve something, that I am worth restitution.

 

It’s all so meaningless.

I don’t get paid for it, and always the result of anger is ugliness. Always.

 

I can feel my jowls extending, my eyebrows creasing, my heart hardening, my joy freezing.

 

It’s yucky.

 

Lust? Lust leaves me unfulfilled. I thought there was more than that. I want! I need! Eh?

 

Soft words.

I had a conversation today at meditation. Not really important…something about faith and giving and failing and carrying on.

Something about remembering God and being responsible for myself and for others.

 

Speaking softly into the night of the world…waiting for a pleasant reply.

I feel like an artist with a flute.

 

”Learn of me because I am meek and humble of heart and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Day eighty one; Anger – seeing the other side

 

 

(If you have something against someone else) “first go away and make peace with that person. Then come back and offer your gift (at the altar).” (Matthew 5:24)

 

Being angry takes a lot of energy!

I guess today is about trying to see what worth there is in anger and ‘getting it’ from the others point of view.

When I’m angry with someone else, I like to think that I have a reason.

Often I think…’…if the person just acknowleged it and apologised, it would be alright…’

I certainly wouldn’t think I’ve made some kind of mistake and view the person less favourably.

 

But when someone is angry with me, an apology is the last thing I think of doing, and I get afraid because I feel that I’ve let them down and they don’t want to work with me anymore!

 

Letting go of anger has something to do with confidence then, and a right view of the world.

 

What am I angry about? Why?

Still, just don’t tell me that I should make friends with someone who I’m angry with!

 

My case is on the 6th. I’ll let my lawyer deal with it.

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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