Transgendered Awareness November 2015

I agree.

toddthomas.net

prayer for trans deadI believe we are blessed to live in a time when we are more openly and gracefully speaking of our sisters and brothers who are transgendered, but I also realize that many of our precious neighbors and family members still face stresses, threats and dangers that the majority of us do not recognize or understand.

It’s November, and November 20th is an awareness day to remember our fellow transgendered human beings who have died: Transgendered Day of Remembrance.

If you wonder why we have a special day like this, please take a moment to peruse articles that educate us on the threats and stresses facing our trans friends and family: murder, suicide,teen homelessness and violent crime.prayer of safety for trans

The conversation about transgendered men and women has gone mainstream and we all know the names of celebrities and public figures who have made their transition in various levels of…

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Show Me What I Don’t Know

I get it.

I am a sinner. I have failed. I have miserably failed. I have broken promises. I have demolished covenant. I have undervalued love. I have stretched patience. I have assumed upon grace. I have presumed upon mercy.

You think I’m a mess. You tell me that frequently. So, you try to fix me, to redefine me, to rebirth me, to re-conceive me, to re-imagine me.

You preach about me. You lecture about me. You write about me.

You protest against me. You wish to isolate me. You want to banish me. You dream of imprisoning me.

You compare me to the worst of humanity’s evilness.

I get it. You don’t think much of me.

At least, that’s the message I’m receiving.

I know you say you are doing all that “in love.” I know that you say “loving the sinner, but hating the sin.”

You wanna know something?

I’m not buying it.

Because all your damned bluster sounds more like “hating the sinner” than anything else.

And…I’m not really getting that you “love the sinner” anywhere in all that. You say that you love me, but I’m not getting that at all. I, in fact, do not know that you love me.

I’m wondering, instead of telling me something that I don’t know, would you…could you…show me what I don’t know?

If you believe so strongly that Jesus is with you always and that His love is more powerful than any other force known to man, and you want me to experience His love, then why don’t you just show me?

Why are you so afraid of me and those like me? Why must you insist on speaking only about us, and not engaging us eye-to-eye?

Why must I always be kept at arms length, doubted and feared?

Why must my sexual habits be more important to you for defining my relationship with God than the testosterone-driven – and straight – male?

Why are the rules so exclusively and unequally harsh for me?

I suspect that the reason is that you simply don’t know me. You haven’t spent time with me. You haven’t asked me questions. You haven’t listened to my testimony of faith. You haven’t put your arm around me. You haven’t looked me in the eye.

You haven’t experienced my heart.

But, if you want me to really know that you love me, then that’s what you are going to have to do.

Show me.

-Trevor

A Letter To Myself, On the Night of My Suicide

Simply…powerful.

Spiritual Friendship

Garrett ThomasGarrett Thomas is from the Heartland and went to college in the Deep South. He is Southern Baptist and enjoys discussing friendship, family, and ethics from a conservative evangelical perspective. Follow his blog: The Night Is Nearly Over / The Day Is Almost Here. Follow him on Twitter @AlexiusIV.

Note to Readers: This came from quite a dark time in my life. But even in the dark, God works, and He is good, so good. May we never assume that everyone is always doing okay. Let’s ask one another and get in each other’s lives. The church needs to be a place of vulnerability and of honesty, where people are directed toward the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Because, no one should ever die by their own hand.

“If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even…

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Eye to Eye

Seems to me, if you want to know the real me, look me in the eye.

Want to hear my backstory…my eyes speak volumns.

Want to learn of my talents, skills, and abilities…they sparkle in my eyes.

Want to begin to understand my passions and calling…my eyes reflect the needs.

Want to unlock my motivations and drives…my eyes hold the key.

Want to embrace my fears and tears…begin in my eyes.

Want to experience my joys and exuberation…discover them in my eyes.

I believe that no “heart to heart” understanding will ever exist between two humans, especially those who may have diametrically opposing points of view, without beginning with eye-to-eye interaction. For, in some important ways, being eye to eye isn’t about agreeing, but simply learning.

First, it requires close physical proximity. No “virtual” connection behind which we can hide or remain anonymous, at least to some degree.

Second, it acknowledges that the other side of the interaction is actually a human being. Not a theory, not a belief, not a movement, not a sin. A living, breathing human being.

Third, if we are serious about true engagement and learning, then it will require that we exercise major discipline. The act of simply keeping our mouths from spouting off along with listening closely are major hurdles for many.

Fourth, it facilitates clarification. The back and forth of conversational flow happens best in this type of setting while looking in another’s eyes.

Most importantly, the eyes are the gatekeepers of the heart. In the deepest ways and on the most important issues of life, we don’t enter into one another’s hearts unless we first look into each other’s eyes.

I am a man…a husband…a father…a grandpa…a Christian…gay…in a mixed oriented marriage…chaste.

But as complicated as all that is, there is much more to me. But, you will never know unless we get…

Eye to eye.

-Trevor

Love Wins:LGBT

Here is a ministry that a friend of mine leads. God is using him to do great things. His ministry is expanding. Because of the high demand for his message, he has had to add staff to help with the traveling and speaking engagements. It is exciting to see how God’s love is so powerful when it is simply applied to all of life’s situations, sexual orientation included.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lovewinslgbt?fref=ts

Church: http://www.trinityfamilyonline.com/#!love-wins/c5j1

Thank you, my friend, for daring to unconditionally love the LGBT community!!

-Trevor

Various & Intriguing

<A few personal rambling thoughts of mine and some statements of others that have caught my attention the last few days.>

“I love her. I truly do!” It’s so difficult being in this state of my life. It really is no wonder that a very small percentage of mixed-orientation marriages last. And, add to those general statistics the fact that I came to acknowledge my sexual orientation nearly 25 years into our marriage…and add to that fact the devastating effect of my marital infidelity with another man. But all that pales in comparison to the fact that my love for my wife is a soul-deep and abiding love and commitment. Although my past has been far from perfect, I’m doing all that I can to show her my love and how much I want us to stay together. I don’t ever want to be apart from her. I don’t ever want to be separated from her. I don’t ever want to have the divorce discussion. NO! I want to grow old with her! I love her!! I can’t explain it…how I can be gay and still deeply in love with her. To am so attached to her. It’s more than a feeling, it is a fact. I just know it. It is. My love is. I.Love.Her.

“What’s next?” I’ve pretty much given up on the whole ministry thing. It didn’t take me too long to realize that any support I would be apple to garner would only be within certain parameters that really didn’t match my own experience. Add to that the fact that I lost my ministry in the first place because I had a sexual affair with another man. Having one with a woman would have been bad enough, but in that case there would have been some hope of my ministerial return. But, it seems the church can’t bring itself to employ the fully forgiving grace of God in a male/male affair, in that I was recently told that there “is no way” that I would be restored. So, I’m moving on. Now, I’m on a serious search for a much better paying job that will take me into a healthy and financially secure retirement. My dream is to spend my retirement years with my wife in full-time RVing…and it’s going to take some serious scratch to make that happen.

“Ben Carson said what??” In a recent interview with Chris Cuomo, the conservative presidential hopeful had this exchange:
  Chris Cuomo: “You think being gay is a choice?”
  Ben Carson: “Absolutely”
  Chris Cuomo: “Why do you say that?
  Ben Carson: “Because, a lot of people who go into prison, go into prison straight and when they come out, they’re gay, so did something happen while they were in there?”

This blogger states, “As a neurosurgeon, Ben Carson is a man of science, but in this exchange he sounds like an uncle who has downed a pint of Wild Turkey and suddenly wants to make half the family uncomfortable with his dim views of the world.” When I read that, I was again reminded of the great ignorance that continues to dumb down some segments of our fellow Americans. My second thought was – president?!? Please God, no!!

“Victims don’t want to be well.” I recently heard a minister make this statement, along with many others that were simply ignorant of the pain and suffering, some lifelong, of those who have suffered abuse at the hands of other people, some of whom were “good church people.” Now, I will give the minister a little bit of a break because he prefaced the aforementioned statements by talking about the atmosphere of “victimization” of the American culture. The problem is, there is a huge difference between being a “victim” and someone who lives in the realm of “victimization.” He’s a smart guy and highly educated. He should have known better…he probably does. Quite frankly, he should have spent more time on that section of this sermon manuscript. Not only was I surprised by what he said, I was also somewhat offended. Because I’m a victim of sexual abuse; however, I’m not living in victimization. I know the difference. He should have, too.

“Out of fear of compromising its sexual ethic the Church has inadvertently compromised its more foundational witness of God’s reconciling movement toward humanity.” That statement literally jumped off the page at me. This blogger so effectively deals with the “label” issue. In case you aren’t a part of a faith community that is lost in knowing how to address and minister to the LGBTQ community, there is a raging battle between those who – like myself – carry the label of “gay Christian” and those who insist that is not possible and that we must use “same-sex-attracted” instead in order to be fully integrated into the faith community. I was recently told to basically “get lost” and that I had nothing to offer the conversation because I was simply concerned with being “politically correct” because I offered some suggested language changes to the church in attempting ministry to the LGBTQ community. After reading this blog, I was encouraged that I wasn’t alone. Sadly, some will just never get it.

I’m still friends with the monsters in my head.

Franklin Graham should stay out of race relations. At least until he spends some time outside his particular bubble. It is another ignorant, and ultimately stupid, statement by a southern, white, conservative, American minister. This blogger offers some good thoughts in that regard.

A few various and intriguing thoughts. What say you?

– Trevor