Thanks, Pastor Ray, for how you handled the “lesbian” funeral. You widened the gap between the church and the LGBT community. Think Grand Canyon gap. I’m sure God is proud of you. NOT. I know I’m appalled, hurt and saddened. When will The Church learn?
If you read the red letters in the New Testament, you will see Jesus going to parties and hanging out with those the Pharisees (aka The Church) avoided. You will see his compassion in the midst of lifestyles that others despised. He didn’t judge. He loved. He gave hope.
Your church’s name is New Hope. Ironic. You offered NO hope when you asked them to move the funeral. What was the harm of showing family videos? Everyone knew they were a gay couple. From news reports, your church was in possession of the video prior to the funeral. If you knew the circumstances of the family and the death and did not want them in your church, you should have politely declined the use of your facility when asked. Interrupting the service?? Way to show compassion. And bad manners.
At the very least you owe the family — especially the innocent children — an apology. To go a step further, pay for the funeral expenses. Go even further and get to know the family. Pay for professional counseling for the kids to help them get through a parent’s suicide. Help the grieving spouse. You claim to be the church. Stop talking and actually BE the church. Who cares if it’s a same sex spouse? It’s a PERSON who is GRIEVING. Doesn’t the Bible say “to bear one another’s burdens” and “blessed are the merciful”? I don’t think there’s an exception that says “unless it’s a gay person/family.”
Lest you think I’m a heathen/pastor basher/internet troll, I’m a second generation preacher’s kid raised in an evangelical church. I’ve been ministering in strip clubs for 15 years. For three years, I hung out in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district talking/ministering to transvestite prostitutes, transgenders, homosexuals, pimps, prostitutes, drug dealers and homeless. It was the best time of my life. I learned so much from them including how much harm The Church had done to so many people.
It’s people like you who make it hard for the rest of us to tell people there’s a God who loves them unconditionally.
It’s people like you who made me learn who the real Jesus was/is. It’s people like you who make me go back to the red letters of the Bible again and again to make sure I’m living out His words — not The Church’s “religion”.
The next time you interrupt a gay funeral or ask a gay family to leave your church, please remember me and the other christians who actually have gay friends and family members. We don’t need your form of religion.
My friend, Frances, is dying. I haven’t seen her in over 5 years. I called her two weeks ago, and it was great hearing her voice. We laughed until we cried. Just like we did years ago when we were face-to-face.
Ours was an unusual friendship. She was my mother’s age. She was the recipient of an unwanted divorce from a “good, church-going man” who left her for another woman. I was young & single. A preacher’s kid living like the devil at the time.
She faithfully attended my dad’s church along with her parents. Her mom made fruit cobblers that melted in your mouth. You couldn’t ask for a kinder, more gracious family.
If God doesn’t heal Frances, she will die soon. I worry about her daughters and her grandkids. Will they be mad at God? They know how much Frances loves God. Why won’t God heal her?
I don’t have any answers. I’m certainly NOT going to say, “God needed another angel in Heaven.” God could easily create an angel rather than take Frances from us.
Yes, she will have the ultimate healing in Heaven and be free from pain. That’s what we all want. But we will miss her.
I want to speak words of comfort to her daughters to help ease the pain of this huge loss, but the normal platitudes are crap. All I can do is tell them how much she loved them (they already know that), and hug them. And cry with them. And remember the good times. And cry some more. Sometimes there are no words. Just tears.
God did His part. I did mine. Things were good. Then I decided a chocolate dipped ice cream cone wouldn't hurt. Neither would a piece of tres leches. I still was in control, but I felt yucky.
One day on my way to work I heard Dr. Sara Gottfried talking about her detox program. I'm now on Day 9 and doing fine. But I'm not looking forward to tomorrow when I totally eliminate gluten from my diet. You see, me and garlic bread have a love affair. It may be a 1-sided love affair, but I think bread is more of an issue for me than sugar. We shall soon see.
What are your downfall foods? and how do you control them? I'd love to learn your secrets. Please leave a comment.
It's a good thing Joe's Pizza & Pasta in Conroe is closed on Mondays. He has THE BEST garlic bread in this area, and I would be binging in anticipation of tomorrow's elimination food.
In less than 3 months, I've gone from craving and eating sweets after every meal to not ordering or making desserts. I’m still afraid to say, “I’ve conquered this” because I know where my arrogance will put me: back at the dessert tray. I can’t go back. I’ve come too far, but I didn’t get here alone. Each meal I pleaded for God to remove the craving. He didn’t always remove the craving, but He provided a means of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13) so I wouldn’t cave. I forced myself to think about something else when the cravings came. I drank water or green tea or did something simple to get my mind off of the cupcake/brownie/pie calling my name. You know what? A few hours later I would realize the craving was long gone, and I hadn’t given in. Gold star for me!
Thirty-nine days in to this was a challenge because it was our ninth wedding anniversary, and my husband wanted to go eat our favorite dessert. I was scared. Scared I would eat the whole thing, fall off the wagon and have to start over. I was tired of starting over. With great fear and trepidation, I took the first bite and ... almost spit it out. My husband was blissfully eating spoonful after spoonful. I took another bite. It tasted bitter to me. I asked my husband if the dessert tasted the same as it always had. He assured me it did by scraping the sides of the bowl for any remaining particles. I knew that day God had done a huge work in my life and specifically in my taste buds like I had asked. God is Faithful.
I’m 3 months in to this. I made a dessert this past weekend for a party and only ate a few bites. I was able to put the spoon down and didn’t feel deprived. We had our “anniversary” dessert again yesterday. I ate a couple of bites and put down the spoon. Dessert is not the same to me anymore. Thank You, Jesus!
I think my husband is happy about this transformation, too. He gets all of the dessert now instead of only a few bites. It’s a win-win situation.
Will I ever be completely free from this? I hope so. In the meantime, I know God cares about the smallest details in my life (even though this was HUGE to me) and is ready to be strong for me when I am weak. He came through for me. He will do the same for you in whatever challenge you are facing.
Just call out His name. He WILL show up. 84 days and counting...
It’s a silly prayer to some, but it’s a desperate plea from me for Divine Intervention.
I was raised to enjoy dessert after every meal. No big deal -- until I hit my thirties and started gaining weight. I never had a weight problem until then, but I ignored it, and the weight continued to pile on. Brick by brick. Layer by layer. Until one day I looked down, and my ankles were the size of a baby elephant’s indicating to me I had more than a weight problem. The weight was affecting my blood pressure and blood sugar. Time to get things under control.
I went to a weight loss doctor who prescribed an appetite suppressant. By taking the drug, making healthier food choices and counting calories, I lost 35 pounds. Hallelujah! I got this thing under control and conquered. Bring on the crème brulee. Let’s celebrate!
In less than two years, I gained back those 35 pounds. Stupid, stupid me. Lazy, lazy me. If I lost it once, I could do it again. I made a half attempt. Not surprisingly, it didn’t work. I made lame excuses for not making wise food choices. The truth is: I like feeding my desires. Always have. And I’m not just talking food here. Remember, I’m the girl who hates the “D” word (discipline). But a girl can only run so long, and I hate running/jogging especially with this extra 50 pounds I’m carrying.
Three months ago I came across a book in my weight doctor’s office entitled The Beck Diet Solution Book which uses cognitive therapy to help with weight loss and maintenance. Eureka! That’s what I felt was missing for me. I knew it was more of a discipline and mental issue rather than an overeating problem. I finally started reading the book a few weeks ago (yes, I’m also working on procrastination issues), and it was exactly what I needed.
At the end of 2012, a friend said she was starting a Facebook group to help with weight loss and would be using the Made to Crave Devotional by Lisa TerKeurst. I immediately checked out the devotional and bought it and the book and started reading. OMG. It dovetailed nicely with the Beck book, but it added the missing, main ingredient: the Holy Spirit. DUH. I’m a preacher’s kid. Been in church all of my life (except for those 10 or so years when I wasn’t, but that’s another story). When I pray for others I say “God, you care about every detail of our lives. It doesn’t matter how big or little” yet I hadn’t included Him in my previous weight loss attempts. This time I am. And my constant prayer (plea) for the past week has been: “Reprogram my taste buds. NOW.” “PLEASE! HELP! I really want a dessert.” Forget beautiful, flowing prayers. I’m desperate.
My doctor says I’m like an addict. If I give in and have a dessert, I’ll be right back where I was. Me? A junkie? I’m not sticking a needle in my arm or making deals in alleys. No, but desserts have the same effect on me. One taste, and I’m off on a cupcake eating frenzy and not looking back.
Just like someone who needs to get off alcohol or drugs, I need a support group and a Higher Power to help me get through this until it becomes normal and natural to me. I want transformation overnight. I know it won’t happen that way for me. I know I have some lessons to learn. I will have to tear out old bricks (faulty thinking) and lay down a new foundation. I will need to rid myself of the layers of excuses and rationalizations. It won’t be easy, but it’s time.
I’m tired of living like I am. I want my joy back. I’m tired of living a defeated life. I was made for more. I was made to be victorious. I don’t have to give in to that cupcake or mini bundt cake or black and white cookie. In my weakness, HE is strong.
I can’t do this on my own. I’ve proven that. This time I have a doctor (no meds), a Facebook accountability team and the Holy Spirit. It will take a village to get me through this. I’ve never liked being vulnerable or asking for help, but I have to do something different to get where I want to be.
Lord, help me.
And please reprogram my taste buds sooner rather than later. There’s a black and white cookie calling my name.
Even as I write those words I cringe & try to stifle a guffaw. Discipline to me is a bad word because it implies boring. I don’t see anything beautiful about discipline. Why save for the future when I can buy on credit now? Why eat egg whites when I crave a doughnut? But giving in to my cravings and desires has done nothing but put me in to debt and put nearly 200 pounds on my frame. Both things I despise and am ashamed of.
But do I really despise it? Not enough to make lasting changes. Until now. Why now? The Perfect Storm:
· 195 pounds
· Too tight pants and refuse to go up another size
· The Beck Diet Solution
· Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst
· Defeating Self-Defeating Behaviors w/Margie Lawson
I’m tired of making excuses. I hate it when others do it, but I allow exceptions for myself. No more. I can’t keep doing what I’ve done and expect a different outcome. That’s insanity. Literally.
I’m only on Day Three of this journey. I know there will be challenges and temptations ahead. Every road has bumps, detours and exit ramps. What’s different this time? I won't be on this journey alone this time. Before I’ve done it on my own willpower and determination. Obviously failing. This time I will invite the Holy Spirit on my journey. He will guide and encourage me and be my Comforter when I’m craving comfort food and/or sugar. This time the purpose of my journey is not just to lose weight, have a cuter wardrobe and be healthier. This time it’s to go on an adventure with a Friend. A Friend I’ve neglected and want to get reacquainted with.
Wish me luck and say a prayer for me when you think about it. I'm going to need all the prayers I can get.