Monday, September 12, 2011


Its been awhile! I am still alive! :) My summer went really well! Things continue to improve in the social department although slowly at times but still I am thankful. I am definitely getting much closer to a few people which is great. I still have alot I want to improve but things are getting better slowly and I am very thankful for that!

I had a rather silly little thing happen in the last week that suddenly made me think on all I missed by having SSA growing up. I was at a BBQ recently and one of the people there was talking about his teenage son and all the girls he was starting to be interested in and suddenly adding as friends on his Facebook. Everyone there was like "oh looks like he is a "normal" teenage boy and he is starting to notice girls". They made several jokes and laughed about his new found interest in girls. Several people joked saying "oh we all know what that was like growing up" I just laughed along pretending that was my experience growing up as well. I was not really upset by this or anything it just made me think how unlike my own life was compared to everyone else at the barbecue. I just felt sort of like an outsider pretending I too had those feelings growing up and understood perfectly what they were all laughing and smiling about as they reminisced about their own teenage years and when they first started noticing the opposite sex. Several people shared about their dating adventures with the opposite sex growing up and I really did not have much to add and just sort of smiled and nodded and pretended I understood what a "normal" teenage experience was.

Was just interesting thats all. Sometimes its hard to relate when you feel so different and your teenage years where so unlike what most people would call "normal". But I still had alot of fun and I was glad I was invited to the cookout! It was just a momentary thing where I suddenly felt different but it soon passed and I had a good time again. I said a quick prayer just telling God about my hurts growing up and how I felt different and then let it pass. Unlike the past where I would have dwelt on my differences the whole time I let it pass and was able to have fun again! :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

Out of a Far Country Review

I just finished reading "Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son's Journey to God. A Broken Mother's Search for Hope" by Christopher Yuan and his mother Angela. It is a very powerful modern day prodigal son story! It would be a great book for anyone to read IMO not just those struggling with homosexuality that really shows God's love, grace, and mercy.

I don't directly relate with all of Chris' story since I was a Christian from a young age. But I still related to alot of his story and it was amazing to see this journey that he was on and how God used his struggles with drugs and homosexuality to bring both him and his mother to the point where they realized their only hope was Jesus!

I was really moved by this story and was cheering Christopher and his mother on as I read it! The writing style was very unique one chapter would be from Christopher's perspective and the next from his mother Angela's and we got to often see both perspectives of the same events. I really felt like I got to know both him and his mother as I read their stories.

Angela's unending faithfulness in prayer and love for her son was pretty amazing. It made me really question my own prayer life and inspires me to try and do a better job spending time with the Lord in prayer. Time and time again Christopher pushed her away but she just kept on praying and reaching out to him because of her love for him and her wanting him to find Jesus's love as she had.

Through the whole book what Christopher was searching for was love and acceptance. "But when I stepped into the gay community I was exposed to a world of outcasts who had come together and become family. They stood up for one another, supported one another. They laughed with me, cried with me, and accepted me for who I was-gay" Its really what we all are searching for I think, love and acceptance. If only the church would do a better job of providing this support and love for the SSA struggler. I think things are slowly improving but there is a long way to go.

This book to me was really a love story of Gods love for Christopher and showed how God is willing to chase us to the ends of the earth if he has to in order for us to realize His love for us. No matter where he ran, God kept chasing him whether to bath houses, gay clubs, drug dens, or prison. Really brought me to tears several times reading it and seeing how God would not give up. Through the whole book you could just see how God was there for Christopher even on his darkest days in a lonely prison cell. I loved the story how another prisoner in the past had written "If your bored, read Jeremiah 29:11" on the roof of the metal bunk of his prison bed.
Here is that verse:
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

After reading that verse he wrote in the book that "...the world would be happy for me to be locked away for good. And yet God was saying something completely different. He wanted to be a part of my life-no matter who I was or what I had done. He didn't see me as a criminal. He didn't see me as a felon. He didn't see me as a number. But rather, he saw me-and he saw hope." Christopher had finally found the acceptance he had always been searching for! Not from man but from his creator! Gods love is so amazing!!

I also found it amazing that God uses Christopher's struggle with homosexuality to in effect save his mother too. From reading this book I think it is doubtful that she would have humbled herself and sought after God if not for this struggle in Christopher's life that shattered her "perfect" world and dreams for her son. She likely would have continued to try and keep up appearances that everything in her life was just fine rather then admit she was a sinner in need of a savior. One of my favorite lines in the book was when she wrote "I no longer had to be perfect. My Father in heaven loved me anyway. It was all I could do to keep from shouting, "I'm a sinner!, I'm a sinner!, I'm a sinner!" Love that so much!! Its pretty amazing how God uses our very struggles and weaknesses to draw us to him. We can never know His full plan and why he allows us to struggle with certain things. Really makes me think about my own struggles with SSA. Who knows where I would be without them? God has a plan for me and will continue to use my struggles to draw me to him and be a testimony of His love for even me with my sins and all and His love for all sinners.

One of my favorite chapters was the one titled "Holy Sexuality". Its a great chapter for those like me who struggle with same sex attractions. It talked about how the goal is not heterosexuality but instead holy sexuality. Like Christopher for a very long time in my life I thought God saw me as an abomination and that in order for him to be pleased with me I had to change my attractions somehow and become straight. I am finally learning over the past year that is not true at all. All God wants is for me to trust him and do my best to obey. Like Christopher said in the book "God never said, "Be heterosexual for I am heterosexual." He said, "Be Holy for I am holy." I also loved his view that marriage could one day be possible since we don't have to be attracted to ALL women which is very overwhelming for the SSA individual but just to one. I too could see that happening one day possibly for me and it gives me hope. If it never happens I am sure God will provide for me in my single life to even if at times there are struggles of loneliness. After all as this quote so perfectly says "Change is not the absence of struggles change is the freedom to choose holiness in the midst of our struggles."

Anyways this is by far one of the best books I have read on homosexuality and Gods love for the SSA struggler, you should consider reading it! It goes so far beyond just that one issue though. This book gives hope to all sinners and prodigals no matter what they struggle with that God loves them and wants nothing more then for them to surrender and admit they need him. He is ready to accept us with open arms even with all the dirt and filth and sins and everything that we struggle with just like the prodigal sons father did in the Bible when he finally came home.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Love this song by Lisa Gungor.

Maybe someday things really will finally be okay?


Monday, May 30, 2011

Wandering Thoughts for May 30th, 2011

1. Hey everyone! Long time no blog! Hope everyone from the US is having a Happy Memorial Day! Just wanted to post because its been so long. Things are pretty good here overall I suppose. Still going to my small group every week etc.... Its still been good and I am getting alot out of the meetings and the sharing we do. It is nice to feel accepted yet still I have trouble getting closer as I wish for. I have not really talked about any issues regarding SSA and myself much since the day I shared. I still find it incredibly hard to talk about and get emotional when I do. I guess I have alot of wounds still to deal with. But its good as they have not brought it up much really. I know they accept me where I am and love me which is cool so maybe there is nothing else to be said about my struggles with SSA for the time being? I appreciate all the advice many of you gave me in my last post. It was and is very helpful to me. I have to realize I may never be able to connect with others completely how I hope to but I am going to keep trying of least. I do know that I am showing more of my real self very slowly when I go to the small group so that is good. Of least I am making progress although its slow for me. Even with my struggles in the open with my small group I often feel I am not important enough for others to care about or that I am a bother or something and that if I share how I am really feeling at times when I am down or feeling lonely they will be annoyed or think I am to much trouble. Have to work on that as I know its probably not true and likely it is from years of low self esteem and shame.

2. I just got the book "Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son's Journey to God. A Broken Mother's Search for Hope" by Christopher Yuan and his mother Angela Yuan. I plan to write a review for it here when I am done reading it so check back for that! Looking forward to reading it!

3. I really love this video that I saw posted over on Dave's blog Its titled "The Church is Your Family: Reflections for Singles & Those Struggling with Homosexuality." It is a talk given by professor Matt Jenson at Biola University. Its all about how the church has to be family for those who are single or struggling with homosexuality and not act like singleness is a disease or something that should be looked down on. Really good stuff you should watch it! Its something the church really has to work on I think just providing a family like atmosphere for those who don't have families of their own because of their brokenness or for other reasons. That means more then just meeting Sunday mornings!! Check out the video below:

OK that's it for now. Just wanted to post a few small updates so you know I am still alive. :)


Friday, April 15, 2011

Shattered Walls

Sorry for not posting about my big night of sharing sooner. Ok here it goes.

Ok so that night I was sort of hoping my small group leader had forgotten that I had asked to share that night lol. But he emailed me a few hours before the meeting to ask if I still wanted to share so I was like oh man this is it I am really sharing. I was now in panic mode a bit and was like wow this is really happening. I then just spent a few quite moments with God telling him I am going to obey and do this even though it is very scary and that I trust Him that its for my good.

So I get to my small group and I am a nervous wreck. I just say hi to everyone and try to act normal. We sang a worship song after everyone was settled and I could not really even focus on it. Not sure what song it was. Then the leader asked if so and so wanted to share. I thought it was going to be me but no someone else wanted to share something too. So while she shared I was hoping that the time would run out or something and I would not have time to share lol. It was a cool story but I could not focus to much on it as I was to nervous about me sharing very shortly.

After she was done sharing the leader was like "AJ did you want to share something?" Gulp here it is! I replied softly yea and got written notes out of my pocket that I had written to read to the group since I knew I would never be able to be coherent and explain everything right without writing it down. Everyone seemed excited I was sharing as I am a pretty quiet guy and they have been interested in knowing more about me.

I got pretty emotional right away. Before I even started sharing. I told them how hard it was for me to share this but that I felt God wanted me too. And that I have never told anyone else about this struggle I have. So the first 2 paragraphs were about my history and about this being really hard for me to talk about and something that I have never shared and has filled me with shame. So I got through those and then got to childhood stuff and how I have always been sensitive and shy and had not many male friends and could not connect with guys and have had a lonely childhood.

Then I got to paragraph 3. This was the big one where SSA was mentioned and me having to say the words that I have kept hidden from everyone my entire life. I broke down again and they passed me the tissues :).

I recovered and said the words that I have dreaded saying my whole life it seems. I was like "I struggle with SSA and have since I was 12 or 13. I quickly glanced up to see if anyone had a horrified expression or whatever. But all I saw was love, care, and concern on their faces. So I continued and read the whole story. I told about all the pain and confusion I had growing up. The overwhelming shame and guilt. The wondering if God could love me or if I could even be a Christian and struggle with this. The loneliness. Everything. I threw it all out there. Of course I got emotional many other times while reading it.

And then the last page or so was about the ways God is working in my life and I told them all about that too!! And how I know God never abandoned me and how he gave me courage to share tonight and the truth I am learning about how much he loves me and how he choose me even knowing I would struggle with this. I mentioned getting support online from fellow SSA strugglers and how God used them to help me realize I am not a unique sinner beyond His love but just a sinner like everyone.

I then ended it saying I am sharing this because I want to be real for the first time in my life and hope to gain freedom by sharing. And that I would love to be able to count on them for support and prayers when I am feeling down. That I want to let them in and learn to love them better as Christ loves us and that I want to accept their love and not hide my struggles anymore.

Anyways to say there was a good reaction to my story would be an understatement! After I was done reading everyone just was sort of sitting in stunned silence for a few seconds. I saw several people where crying themselves at my story. Anyways then they all came over to me and hugged me one by one. Even the guys. I was afraid they would not do that once they knew but they hugged me longer then before they knew!! And it was so amazing and it was like God was hugging me when they all showed me Christ’s love like that.

Needless to say the rest of the meeting was about me. So we all talked and they asked me questions and they told me they love me and it has no effect on how they feel about me. One person even cried and apologized to me for the way the church treats people with this struggle and how its not right. I was like wow its not your fault but I appreciated her doing that and caring so much!

And one of the guys was like I love you even more now that you were so vulnerable and shared your story. That was a pretty crazy thing to hear. I am sure I teared up yet again lol. In my story I had mentioned I had pretty much accepted that I wont be healed of this the way I hoped and the leader after told me not to give up hope and just getting this in the open is a huge thing and God rewards those who take risks. He agreed with me though that its likely I will of least struggle with temptations for it even if I do someday experience some healing much like an alcoholic still struggles with being tempted to alcohol.

They all said how brave I was to share this and how inspiring it was to see someone be so vulnerable and honest. The leader said this is what Christian community is all about and that I was an amazing example to others in the group about being real and honest and vulnerable. Was so funny to hear him say that since my whole life I have been the opposite of real. And now suddenly I was an example to others on how to be real! Wow how one night can change everything.

After all that they then all prayed for me and laid hands on me and just spoke Gods love to me and how I am not a mistake. It was very healing and amazing!

Later that night afterwards several of the people from my group texted me later and thanked me again for being so vulnerable and real and said how proud they were of me and how my story actually encouraged them! And how it showed them that maybe they have to be more honest with the group about their own struggles. It challenged them to be more vulnerable and real. I was like wow who knew my own story could affect others who have totally different struggles? I guess thats why God asks us to share and be real so we can encourage one another on our journeys. Glad I finally obeyed God and did what He wanted. It was the scariest night of my life but also among the best too as I felt Gods love for me through his people.

I admit that several times since sharing I have felt rather weird or exposed you could say knowing that a rather large group of people know about me now. But I think that’s just Satan trying to make me feel shame again so I have been shaking it off. I know God is proud of me for sharing and it was the right thing to do! I am finally free with this group of people which feels amazing. No need to hide anymore they know all about me now and still love me not the same but MORE!! Satan had me convinced for so long they would judge and reject me. The truth was the opposite happened. He really is a master liar and deceiver. Thankful God broke through my shame and allowed me to see the truth!! And also amazed that my own story challenged and encouraged others who have totally different struggles.

So ya I dont know whats next but hopefully I become closer with them through this and learn to be honest when I am feeling down and get rid of the "everything is fine" mentality that I had for so long and just learn to be real. Its still a process as already at church when I saw them and they asked how I was I immediately went back to "Im fine" but I did manage to catch myself and said more after that. It does feel weird to be known struggles and all and I felt rather weird at church when I saw them wondering what they think about me. But those feelings passed quickly and so far its been great to be real. Will keep you all updated on things!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Looking Back Moving Forward

Wow guys I just realized a couple of days ago was the one year anniversary of my blog. The last year has been so incredible. I have had more growth this year then in many of the years before it combined. A year ago I was a lonely, confused, and hurting person filled with so much shame I could barely stand never mind move forward with my life. God found me at my weakest point and broke through my intense shame and low self worth to begin to show me His true love for me. He used many of you guys to help me more than you will ever know. Without your support, encouragement, prayers and advice I would still be in that place. I really do love you guys and thank you for responding to a hurting stranger with Christ's love.

I have poured out my soul on this blog and often the posts have been incredibly raw. Sometimes I want to go back and delete them after the fact but then decided to leave them up in case some day another hurting person finds them and they are a help in some way like others blogs have helped me so much.

In the last year I have grown so much. My confidence has grown. I actually go to social events and manage to enjoy them even though I am still quiet but even going is something I never used to do. I shared with a couple of family members about my struggles with SSA after much help and encouragement from several of you who kept pushing me and encouraging me and gave me tons of advice. My relationship with these family members is so much better now that I have shared this and we are more open and honest then ever before and it is so much deeper!

Then I joined a small group at church which is another thing that has always filled me with fear since I always assumed I would have to wear a mask and not share my real struggle. Still I went (after much encouragement from you all) and it has been so amazing for me. To see that these other Christians have very real struggles that they have to deal with has been such a help to me. They have hurts and pains just like me. It may be a different struggle but me having this does not make me worst then them. We all have something to deal with. Seeing them be so vulnerable and real has given me courage!

And moving forward there is another very HUGE thing happening in the near future. I am sharing with my small group about my struggles. The date is already set and I told the leader I want to share my whole story to the group so there is no backing out! I will be sharing next week and this is a pretty scary thing but something I know God wants for me. He has been with me every step of the way on this journey and He won't abandon me now. I know that I will get some freedom after sharing and can finally let them in to see the real me that I always have hidden both the good, and the hurt and pain, everything. Basically I will finally be showing my humanness and weakness and need for a savior and not be pretending I have no problems and "everything is fine". Its great to finally be joining the human race lol. :) Also me being vulnerable with this group will help me to get closer to them as well and show them I trust them. I am hoping it also gives others in the group courage to share struggles that they have and have been ashamed to share.

I will be sharing both my pain growing up with this struggle, my hurts, rejections, feelings of being "less than" other guys and wondering if God could even love me because of this. And also the incredible ways God is working in my life now and how he led me to a group of strangers with the same struggles who showed me the truth of Gods love and how he has used them to encourage and change me. I also will share about my renewed love and thankfulness to Him for how he rescued me from my prison of shame and lies that Satan had been convincing me where the truth about myself. I am going to share how I learned I am worth something to God and loved by Him how I am now. And that I know he won't abandon me on this journey as I move forward even though it will be hard and lonely at times.

Anyways a year ago I never would have dreamed I would be doing this. I never would have even considered going to a small group never minding sharing my biggest secret that has filled me with shame for most of my life! That just shows the power of Gods love and how he can change a scared and shame filled person into a brave person as for me this is a pretty brave thing to do! I know God is giving me the courage to do this as on my own I never would be able to.

Anyways the last year has been the most painful and also the best year of my life because it was the year God finally got through to me and showed me my worth as his Child. I am tearing up as I write this thinking about all I went through this year and how much courage it took and how out of character it was for me. God truly was with me all the way and gave me the courage to do it. Thank you so much those who have commented, emailed, chatted, messaged, talked, and become friends with me for the encouragement and support you have given me. I can never repay you for it.

Praying this year is even more amazing and filled with more growth for both me and you all too! A huge step will be happening next week for me so I have a feeling everything is going to be different pretty quick! I am going to get messy and show people the real me the hurts and pains and the good stuff too. :) I of course would appreciate prayers that it goes well when I share with my group.

Love you guys,


Friday, March 11, 2011

Pray the Gay Away?

Earlier in the week the documentary "Pray the Gay away?" hosted by Lisa Ling aired on Oprah's network OWN. Its worth watching and gives all sides to the debate on whether its possible to be Christian and gay. I feel overall it was pretty fair in its handling of exodus and those who choose not to act on their attractions. I was afraid it would be edited in a negative light and look down on those who choose not to embrace the gay lifestyle despite their attractions. Worth watching if for no other reason then to see what its like when one struggles with this and the way it makes you question your faith at times and look for answers.

The episode is now online at! Here is the link to watch the full episode: Pray the Gay Away? Full Episode

Also after this episode aired they had a special with host Gayle King where she interviewed Lisa Ling and got updates from many of the people that appeared in her documentary "Pray the Gay Away?"

Here is the link to watch the special that featured discussions on the documentary "Pray the Gay Away?" and updates from people who were interviewed in it: Pray the Gay Away? The Conversation Continues...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wandering Thoughts for March 3rd

Some random thoughts and links for you all!

-First a surprising editorial on the front page of CNN today titled "My Take: The Bible really does condemn homosexuality". Not something I expected to see on the front page of CNN. It is in response to this article that was posted on last week: "My Take: The Bible’s surprisingly mixed messages on sexuality"

-There is going to be an interesting episode of "Our America With Lisa Ling" on the Oprah Network OWN airing next week. The title of the episode is "Pray the Gay Away?" Here is the episode Synopsis: "Can prayer make you straight?" Host Lisa Ling explores that notion as she observes some 1100 participants at a Freedom Conference sponsored by the evangelical organization Exodus International, which offers advice on combating same-sex attractions. "I have chosen to live my life through the filter of my faith," says Exodus president Alan Chambers, "not through the filter of my sexuality."

The episode airs Tuesday March 8th at 10pm on OWN. Not sure if I get that channel but if not I hope I can watch it online after. I hope that this documentary is edited and presented in a fair and respectful way for those who chose to share their stories at last years Exodus conference.

-Here are a couple of blog posts I want to recommend! :)

1.First this post titled Drowning, Comatose, & Heart Surgery (part 3) is really great and discusses what hiding our struggle and being in a sort of loveless numb state is like perfectly. I so related with his description and am looking forward to more freedom as I share my story with others hopefully soon. Looking forward to reading part 4! :)

2.Love the song "God is not a white man" by Gungor so wanted to link to gaypks blog since he posted the video to it recently! :) Check the song out there if you have not seen the video! Its cool! Here is the link:

3.Am glad to see Jay posting again!! :) His blog was one of the first blogs I found that was about SSA so always great to hear his thoughts.

4.This is a new blog I just started reading in the last couple of weeks. The author is currently sharing his testimony and struggles with SSA in a very honest way. His love for God through all his struggles is so evident and so inspiring! Check it out!

-And finally an update about me lol. I still have not shared with my small group about my struggles with SSA. I am determined to though just have not found the right opportunity yet. The group is great for me though and I feel I am starting to get a bit closer to them which is great news! Please keep praying for me that I will find the right time to share and have courage to do so if you could!

Ok thats it for now. See you next time!


Thursday, February 24, 2011


"God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." (James 1:12)

I found it interesting how this verse says God will bless those who endure testing and temptations. Just trying to endure and get through each day is sure something those of us who struggle with SSA do alot of but at times we still dont feel blessed. I think that part of the blessing may be in ways we dont expect. Like maybe us realizing how weak and sinful we are as humans every day and that without God who knows where we would be. To wake up every morning and be re-reminded how much we need Jesus is pretty cool even though we are reminded of it by our own sins and desires.

God is very good to us and will provide other blessings on top of that but its just something that came to mind as I read this verse. And of course the greatest blessing comes "Afterward" like it says in this verse when we receive the crown of life. Even if we receive no more blessings in life than that it will be worth it to endure whatever trial you face. But there will be other blessings cuz thats the way God is! :) For one we dont have to endure it alone any longer like many of us have for so long! We have each other to lean on for prayers and support! See another blessing already! :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Your Pain versus The Pain

Wow still reading Henri Nouwen's book "The Inner Voice of Love" every so often. I just read an amazing chapter on pain that put things into perspective for me. Sure I struggle with the pain of this struggle with SSA and the loneliness it brings at times but that pain is just a part of the human condition we all share. I may wish often I did not struggle with this but if I did not struggle with SSA it would be something else. We can not avoid the pain as its part of our fallen human condition. Here is an excerpt of this chapter that I typed out for you all to read because I really got alot out of it! :)

"You will deceive yourself into believing that if the people, circumstances, and events had been different, your pain would not exist. This might be partly true, but the deeper truth is that the situation which brought about your pain was simply the form in which you came in touch with the human condition of suffering. Your pain is the concrete way in which you participate in the pain of humanity. Paradoxically, therefore, healing means moving from your pain to the pain. When you keep focusing on the specific circumstances of your pain, you easily become angry, resentful, and even vindictive....But real healing comes from realizing that your own particular pain is a share in humanity's pain...Jesus' suffering, concrete as it was, was the suffering of all humanity. His pain was the pain.

Every time you can shift your attention away from the external situation that caused your pain and focus on the pain of humanity in which you participate, your suffering becomes easier to bear. It becomes a "light burden" and an "easy yoke" (Mat 11:30) Once you discover that you are called to live in solidarity with the hungry, the homeless, the prisoners, the refugees, the sick, the dying, your very personal pain begins to be converted into the pain and you will find new strength to live it. Herein lies the hope of all Christians."

-Henri Nouwen, ("The Inner Voice of Love" Pages 103-104)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

You are More

I really like the message of this song so wanted to share it! Really great video too. Love how it shows many of the struggles that we face as christians on the blackboard and how it slowly is washed clean because we are remade! By the end of the video the blackboard is washed completely clean because that is how God sees us as pure and holy because of his Sons sacrifice for us! This song goes great with Colossians 1:21-22.

"This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. 22 Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault."

You are More
By: Tenth Avenue North

There's a girl in the corner
With tear stains on her eyes
From the places she's wandered
And the shame she can't hide
She says how did I get here
I'm not who I once was
And I'm crippled by the fear
That I've fallen too far to love

But don't you know who you are
What has been done for you
Yeah don't you know who you are
You are more than the choices that you've made
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes
You are more than the problems you create
You've been remade

Well she tries to believe it
That she's been given new life
But she can't shake the feeling
That it's not true tonight
She knows all the answers
And she's rehearsed all the lines
And so she'll try to do better
But then she's to weak to try

But don't you know who you are
You are more than the choices that you've made
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes
You are more than the problems you create
You've been remade

Cause this is not about what you've done
But what’s been done for you
This is not about where you've been
But where your brokenness brings you to
This is not about what you feel
But what He felt to forgive you
And what He felt to make you new

You are more than the choices that you've made
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes
You are more than the problems you create
You've been remade

Monday, January 17, 2011

Wandering Thoughts for January 17, 2011

Just some updates about my life and some other things and thoughts I want to share!

-I am really struggling with porn again of late. I was doing really good for awhile but fell last week and now am struggling to get out of this cycle again. Here is something I wrote to my accountability partner the other day about my recent struggles.:

"The worst part was that I fell twice. Satan really got me good as after I fell I was like oh well thats over with I fell but now its out of my system. So I figured I would be fine the rest of the night. Well then a few hours later around midnight these thoughts came in my mind (probably from Satan or something) that I already fell once today and since I am going to have to confess it tomorrow why not do it again and enjoy it while you can. So then my lust took over again and sadly I gave into that lie and fell again."

Yup Satan is pretty good at lying to us and my sinful nature is pretty good at just believing it at times sadly. Today is a new day though and I am thankful for God's forgiveness and another chance. Could use prayers about this!

-Here is a really good article called "At the Intersection of Religious and Sexual Identities: A Christian Perspective on Homosexuality" by Dr. Mark Yarhouse that I found out about on a friends blog. I just wanted to post about it here too for my own records and because I thought it was a great article and want others to see it! Dr. Yarhouse has done alot of research on this and this article is very in depth. It explains the struggles Christians with SSA have and how its not a choice to have the feelings but it is to act on it. He also discusses so called "change" therapy and how overall its not all that successful although for some it has helped.

Here is part of the conclusion at the end of this very long article:
"By closing this paper on a discussion of singleness, I do not want to suggest that Christians who experience same-sex attraction cannot experience some reduction in it over time, as that has been reported by some who have had that as their goal. Some find that they are able to marry heterosexually. However, the church would do well to expand the vision of the Christian who is navigating sexual identity issues beyond the expectation of complete heterosexuality or the expectation of heterosexual marriage, even if a modest number of believers do experience a more significant shift. Many others will not experience the same degree of shift, and a Christian’s measure of spiritual depth and maturity does not hinge on the eradication of same-sex attraction or an increase in attraction to the opposite sex."

Check out the whole article though as its REALLY long.

-I still have been going to my small group. I am still thinking about maybe sharing my struggle but not sure when the right time would be. I am thinking I probably should get to know them all better but its hard with there being 12 or so people. I have to admit last meeting I did not say to much. I have to really put an effort to say more this week and be more open as that is my new years resolution to be more open and vulnerable with others! If I dont make an effort my natural tendency is to just close up and not say much figuring people don't really care whats on my mind.

-A reader of my blog emailed me a link to the Philip Yancey Talk from the 2011 GCN conference that he recorded! I thought it was a good speech overall and I am glad I got to listen to it. Gave me alot to think about.

Wanted to close with a few verses that I read the other day that have been really speaking to me:

" 8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!"

2 Corinthians 4:8-10, 16-17 (NLT)

Ok thats it for now. Wow this post turned out pretty long after all.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

The real problem of the Christian life...

Read this today and it is so true so wanted to share!

"The real problem of the Christian life comes where people do not usually look for it. It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in. And so on, all day. Standing back from all your natural fussing and frettings; coming in out of the wind."

C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Philip Yancey's views on the issue of Homosexuality

I recently read on a friends blog that Philip Yancey will be the keynote speaker at this years Gay Christian conference. There is alot of controversy about this since some say he is endorsing the homosexual lifestyle by speaking there and others say he is to conservative to be speaking there.

He has mentioned the topic in a few of the books I have read (see this past blog post of mine for one such reference from his book Disappointment with God) But I wanted to find out more about his beliefs rather then a few sentences here or there.

He is one of my favorite Christian writers so I decided to search to see if I could find more about what his beliefs are about the issue of Homosexuality. Well I searched and was very lucky and happy to see he has a whole page on his website talking about his beliefs on this issue where he answers several questions on his thoughts about homosexuality and the christian that people have sent him.

I think overall he has a very balanced view. He is careful not to outright say what he thinks about christians in homosexual relationships since he says he has found once its out there people wont listen to you who dont agree with you on either side.

"It would be more accurate to say that I intentionally don’t take sides on this issue. I’ve observed that as soon as a person does take sides, communication ends. I hear from gay Christians who are very disappointed that I don’t condone their point of view, and I hear from traditional Christians who are very disappointed that I don’t condemn homosexual behavior. As long as I get angry letters from both sides, I feel better.

Do I agree with gay Christians’ interpretations of the six passages in the Bible that may or may not relate to their behavior? No. They may be right, but so far I’m unconvinced. I also disapprove of sexual promiscuity, whether of the hetero- or homo- variety.

Nevertheless, I start with what I’m sure of: my attitude toward homosexuals. It seems to me that’s the clearest message we have. And the atmosphere of judgment and condemnation is so strong that I feel no need to represent a balanced viewpoint myself. So I don’t take an official position. I simply try to love the gay individuals I know, and bring a little grace and mercy to a church that puts this particular sin—if indeed it is that—in a special category. I’d rather maintain contact with “gay Christians,” who are so isolated, and also conservative Christians, who often have little understanding of the issue."

Also he says while he has been to gay churches and found really committed christians at some of them he does not think its a good idea to build a church around this one issue and be isolated from the rest of the body of Christ.

I really liked this quote
"On an issue like this, I try to start with what I’m absolutely sure of, and work outwards. I’m sure of what my own attitude should be toward gays and lesbians: I should show love and grace. As one person told me, “Christians get very angry toward other Christians who sin differently than they do.” When people ask me how I can possibly stay friends with a sinner like Mel, I respond by asking how Mel can possibly stay friends with a sinner like me. After all, Jesus had much to say about greed, hypocrisy, pride and lust—sins I struggle with—but did not mention homosexuality. Even if I conclude that all homosexual behavior is wrong, as many conservative Christians do, I’m still compelled to respond with love.

Do I believe that gay people can be committed Christians? Absolutely. I know far too many of them to doubt that. I also believe that alcoholics and prideful hypocrites can be committed Christians. In short, sinners can, and I’ve stepped back from ranking other people’s sins. It may be helpful for us to think through our relationships with divorced people. Do I feel awkward? Do I avoid talking about their current partner, or former life? Or I think of my greedy friends, or gluttonous friends. How do I handle their weaknesses?"

Here is the link to the page talking about the issue of homosexuality on his web site: He has alot of interesting things to say about this subject so check it out!

I am interested in hearing what his speech will be like at the Gay Christian conference later this week. Hopefully they will post a transcript or a video of it somewhere.

What do you think? Do you agree with his beliefs on this subject? Do you think its a good idea for him to speak at this conference?