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?