Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas! A day late!

Like I said Merry Christmas, it still Christmas after all. At least until the 6th of January when we celebrate Epiphany. Its been a while since I posted anything, its been busy, depressing, busy, tiring, and the like. Bah humbug! A couple of bright spots, were the shopping excursions to the outlet mall, and antique places with my friend. Eating out, our department Christmas party, the hospital Christmas party, decorating, getting laid,lol (just seeing if your paying attention) riding around looking at all the lights. Overall I think I did well.

This year was different for me, first in this apartment, the first time I did not go to visit my mother for Christmas and I won't be able to go for New Year's either! Bah humbug! I worked Christmas day and night. I covered one of our facilities for the day shift then went on call for both places in the evening. It was a busy night, I got called early got home late, then got called again. I did not get back home until 5:00 am. I am working this weekend also then go on call New Years night. I led the Christmas eve service at the ALF to boot. (about lost my voice, we sang 11 songs and I read to long stories. At least I spent Christmas Eve with my second family, we had a wonderful dinner and such. I also got to attend the service at my home church. ( they don't know about me) Today the day after, I slept late, got up and went to the ALF to get things ready for Sunday. Now its time for bed so I can get up and start all over in the morning.

Silent night Holy night, O Holy night! O come O come Emmanuel and ransom Captive Israel. Joy to the world the Lord is come! The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, born in a stable the King of kings and Lord of lords, mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Hallelujah!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good night!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Stood Up!

Being stood up seems to be routine for me, never the less it still stings. What is the cause? I am not sure. I like to think the person is timid, or unsure of themselves, or that they don't know what they want. Some its a game they play I think. Still it hurts to set up a date and be stood up.

It could be my approach, I like to talk on the phone before we set up a meeting (date). That is because I am interested in developing friendships, or a relationship. Perhaps the guys I talk to are not as interested in friendship as they talk of being? Or they are just playing games with themselves and me, of course they could just be a** holes.

Recently I talked with this one guy who seemed promising. We chatted online and on the phone several times. Then a date was set, and he never showed. Then he contacted me and said he was sorry for missing the meeting there had been a death in the family. We talked for a while and he said he would contact me Thursday, well here it is Friday and no word. I tried to call him, no response, I emailed no response. Sooo I have given up on meeting this guy. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me!

My question is why? I guess there is no clear answer, it is what it is. Perhaps one day there will be someone who will show up , click with me, I with him and stay around. Until then I keep on keeping on. It still stings though.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Same Sex Attraction Disorder???

Today I was watching an episode of Boston Legal, one of my favorite shows. One of the judges on the show was "diagnosed' by his minister as having SSAD, or Same Sex attraction disorder. I looked it up on the Internet and there is such a thing being purported. Nothing new I guess. It is not a medical term however, but a religious one. Its some groups way of explaining being gay as a spiritual decease, that can be overcome by prayer and discipline. Repairitive therapy I think they call it.

One point I have read in my research, that was mentioned in a court scene that in the 70's the American Psychological association does not consider homosexuality a disorder, or a choice.

As for me, nothing can change you from being who God wove you in your mother's womb to be. why is homosexuality so hated? even by the church who is supposed to represent God and His love? Something I guess I'll never understand. just like Homosexuality, I'll never understand it, but I must accept it.

Something I like about BL, they do make some good comments on social issues and current events that make good sense.

Monday, November 24, 2008


I Thes. 5: 18 Give thanks in everything for this is God's will. This being Thanksgiving week, I wish to give thanks to my Lord for the blessings He has so richly given to me. Those being my family and friends, my health, my job, a roof over my head, food on my table, clothes on my back, a car that is safe and runs well. Thanksgiving needs to be voiced on a daily basis as part of personal Worship; not just once a year. God's blessings are daily, not one time a year. Its not our ability that brings about blessings, but rather the enabling power of God in life.

I also am thankful for the ability my Lord has given me to come out and be in the process of becoming more the man I was born to be. I am thankful for the peace, and satisfaction I have found. a different kind of joy in my salvation. Thankful for growing closer to the Lord in ways that are so significant.

I am thankful for the progress I have made just this year! The fact that I was able to come out to my sister, my boss, several coworkers. The strength to experience a gay bar and find Friends there old and new. For the closeness and time with I have with my best friend, his happiness.
My mother who is 93 is still with us.

My thanks to my God, my Yahweh, my El Shaddai, my Jehovah Jireh, my Jehovah Rapha, my Jehovah Shammah, my Jehovah Tsidkenu, my Jehova Shalom. The Ancient of Days, Alpha and Omega. I praise and Thank you.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Fun Time Shopping

It's a beautiful fall day! Great sleeping weather, but I am not sleeping. Too much I want to do. The weekend was very nice, Saturday my friend, Joe and I did one of our annual shopping trips. We met two other friends who tagged along which was nice. Now you have to understand when I shop with Joe, its a marathon. We leave early in the morning and get back late at night. He looks at EVERYTHING LOL. This time was no different except there were two more people. One of the guys with us, Greg, like me, has known Joe a long time, and knew what to expect. He made fun of us, but the really funny thing when we were ready to go, he kept finding things to look at; He spent more money than the two of us!

We tried a new Chinese place, the food was very good and plentiful, the atmosphere was gracious. I'll go back there. Its nice to have friends where there are few if any pretensions. The conversations often revolve around our lives, family, work, our history together and relationships. We talk about the fun with and voice concerns about others in our little "group." Yes, I am part of a little group, a group that accepts me as I am and does not try to put me into a mold. They have helped me greatly!

Its interesting to me to see how my life has expanded over that last few years. This weekend pointed that out to me. Joe and I talked about it on the way back. My life has expanded politically, ideologically; as well as in experience and friendships. The type of people I now associate with has expanded. (I still associate with the folks I have always associated with) By that I mean not everyone goes to my church, or the same denomination I do, or works in the same place I do. Not everyone has the same views I do, and that's OK. I can accept them for who they are, where they are. Yet at the same time, I am finding how much we are the alike. Yes they are all gay, yes that means we have the same concerns, many the same hopes, we dream some of the same dreams. There is an understanding between us I have not experienced before. I can't explain it, it has to be experienced.

Joe was commenting on how much he has seen me change over the last year, he noted I am not so uptight, nervous anymore. He sees a confidence in me that was not there before, yet he also says I have a ways to go. Don't we all! When the day was ending as we said goodbye to our friends, instead of a handshake Greg gave me a hug. That was a first.

This shopping trip was fun, funny, and fruitful.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hope for the Future

Election 08 is now history! What an historic election it was at that! I hope that this will be the jolt our nation needs. Oh the road will be hard, change is sometimes hard and slow. I think our new leader will have the understanding, the ability to bring about real change. At least that is my hope, my prayer. I challenge anyone who reads this blog to pray for the president and congress to be able to work together, to bring about unity, positive change for our nation.

I was pleased by Obama's acceptance speech, there was a tone of reconciliation, a tone of hope. the fact he stated he would be the president of ALL the people, the fact he mentioned minority groups including the GLBT community. I was also pleased by McCain's concession speech, there was a conciliatory tone to it as well. One I believe he meant, I was also glad that Gov. Palin did not speak.

The one disappointment in this election is the fact that measures concerning gay marriage around the country did not pass. Well another day perhaps. I saw a tee shirt saying, "We are Still here and We are still Queer..." I won't finish the rest of the statement. Its true we are still here. I am not trying nor do I want to force my sexuality on anyone. However I do not want to be treated as a second class citizen or blamed for the countries woes.

Another hope, I hope the "religious right" (note I did not use the term christian) learns something from this. Something positive and God honoring. Religious persecution by any group toward any group should never be tolerated. For the christian community it is not God honoring.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Fall Backward??

As I was setting my clocks back one hour, something I relish in the fall. Getting back to time that seems to be easier on the body. Don't know why. I was thinking how much I'd like to turn the clock back a few years in my life. Who wouldn't like the opportunity to have a do over? It goes along with the grief I experience when I think how I wasted so much time fighting myself and God about my sexuality. I wonder why it took me so long to see myself correctly, to accept myself for the person God wove me in my mother's womb to be?

If I could go back just ten years... However, that is useless jibber jabber. It is what it is, life is as it is today by the grace of God. I thank God he has brought me this far today! In Jesus Christ name I press on. Phil 3:13-14 Forgetting what lies behind, Looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal, the prize, the upward call of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

To you who might read this blog, I encourage you to PRESS ON in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Changing the plan?

Well I am considering a change in direction for my life. This would be a big step for me, still a ministry but not necessarily in professional ministry. I have always had an interest in counseling, and I do quite a bit of it in my current role. Often in the form of Bereavement Crisis Intervention or spiritual life issues. You may remember from previous posts that I have been thinking of this for a while

I am looking at a program at a local university that is a graduate degree in school counseling. Its a 39 credit hour degree that would require a 400 hour internship. It would lead to state a license as a school counselor. A position that is needed in every school. Its not an easy job, but the impact can be great I think.

Now I am not abandoning my theological education or my call to ministry, however, I doubt I will complete the M.Div. Rather I am looking into various theological degrees that are shorter and perhaps geared towards pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Not too many around really. There is a school in Northern Virginia that offers an MTS with one of the concentrations being chaplaincy. The only real stumbling block to it right now is the GRE. I just don't want to take the time it will require to prepare for the test. If that is the program the Lord leads me to then I'll do the preparation. I really would like the second degree to be theological, pastoral theology, ethics, pastoral care and have theology in its title. IE Master of Theological Studies or Master of Theology.

Please pray for me to have the wisdom to know the direction I am to go in for both my education and a job I need right now. I thank you for reading and praying.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Well I did it! I attended my first Pride event today. not sure what i was expecting but it was nice. Rather mild I thought, no protests or anything like that. Its called Out in the Park. There were a lot of booths representing every area gay organization. There is support to start a Community Center in the area. I think that is a great idea! I went to the after party at the club I go to. It was packed!

While at the event I stopped by the MCC booth and picked up a bunch of information.

Well my first pride event went well, I was comfortable there. for me another way of expressing my sexuality. If people have a problem with that, well its there problem not mine. In fact that was said from the stage by the leader of the local drag community. she made the statement if you are here and have a problem with us its your problem not ours. We are here to be a community, we are part of the community, and in the community. In fact we are everywhere in the community!

Well i hope you had a good weekend and a good week ahead.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The election is weeks away now. I am more convinced than ever that Obama is the one to vote for. Both from a gay perspective but also for economic concerns, I feel there needs to be a change. Republican and McCain is not the change I am looking for.

Thoughts on the economy....

1. Stock market, short term losses are deep, The long view is most important right now. In the years ahead the market will rebound and again do well. Remember longview, sit tight.

2. Retirement, again the longview. For me I have decided to move my Roth from stocks to money market bank Roth IRA that is FDIC insured. The prinicple is not subject to the market losses. It wont make that much interest but it will be tax exempt and part of my total portfolio. I will diversify a little more by doing this. I still have a 401k type that is heavy into stocks and bonds.

3. Debt is a struggle to deal with, Debt is both a boost and a drag on the economy both at large and individually.

4. God's economy, I am determined to live in God's economy, not the world's. By this I mean knowing that God is my provider, not my employer, its God who is in control of my paycheck. The offering (tythe) is God's. That is so difficult to practice at times of short cash flow. I keep reminding myself that God is in control. My giving is changing, until I have a gay affirming church to call home, I will give to the cause of Christ through my church of record, and several other ministries some of which are gay focused. my God given resources should help support the community I am a part of and hopefully show Christ to one who needs to know and to meet a need.

As always if you read my blog, I welcome your thoughts, concerns, and prayers.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Unofficial Poll

Is there someone for each one of us to fall in love with and be fallen in love by? Some one that is meant for you and me? My best friend says there is, I am not sure. I am in love with him have been for years. I believe he is the one for me, yet he does not have the "same" feelings for me. Although sometimes I wonder about that.

I ask you, what is your opinion on this?


Saturday, October 11, 2008

What a Week!

What a week this has been! Its Saturday and I have so many things on my list to do. get to the gym being one of them, oil change, a little shopping. I worked yesterday til 9 pm and did not go out last night. I slept well but got up much later than I wanted to. I have accomplished some little things around here but none of the big stuff. It seems all I want to do is just sit and stare at the walls my mind in neutral, or nod off. I am headed to see my mother tomorrow for her birthday. I am looking forward to it as my sister will be there too. This week I learned my half sister who was 86 died on Wednesday. For those of you doing the math, its a long story. Anyway we were not close, and she lived in Colorado. Still she was the last of that part of my family. I still have one half brother who is 72. Well nuff of that. The weekend will be nice and relaxing I look forward to seeing my mother.

Gay marriage has been approved by the Connecticut supreme court! Very good, a step forward I hope. Perhaps one day.......

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Today I am thinking about the future. What does the future hold for our world? Deep question? The answer is simple..time will tell. The Scripture is clear that we should not worry, yet I find myself at times worried. Consider Jesus' words in Matt 7, "who by worry can add a single cubit to his life?" "let the days own trouble be sufficient for the day" Further I think of the pastoral epistles where it talks about the future, making our plans, without considering God or his will for our lives. I don't want to do that either. In Philipians 4:6-7 has the further direction about worry, "Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be known to God. The peace of God which surpasses comprehension will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus" Can it be any clearer? I just had to remind myself of that!

I had my annual evaluation at the Hospital this week. It was good and positive. Until we got to talk about where I am in my Master's program. Ugh! so Frustrating! The requirement for full time and most part time work in chaplaincy is the M. Div, plus 4 units of CPE and certification, no a real problem. Until you consider many of the jobs available are part time, many without benefits. Unless your able to be a department head or CPE supervisor. Most of the part time jobs want the M.div and certification. Plus I am still concerned about professional ministry and all it means to be living life as a gay man. That has held me back from completing my degree. A frustration... a worry.

I really want to have counseling as part of my background and be able to counsel as part of my ministry. Therefore I am considering putting the M.Div on hold and working on a shorter MA in counseling. Either community or school counseling. It would give me more opportunities I feel. opportunities to minister and both settings. I need to be able to use my gifts in either area.

So I am exploring the possibilities.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Employment Issues

Employment issues! For some time now I have been looking for a new job. Both in chaplaincy and secular. Mostly human services type jobs. I was on the short list for a job, but the company instituted a hiring freeze. My hours at the Hospital have been cut. I am getting 1 maybe 2 10 hour days a payperiod. The rest of the time I am on call. The only thing is, right now I am authorized to go in only when there has been a death. The hardest thing I ever had to do is tell a nurse "no I can not come in" when I was paged for a an ICU patient in crisis with hysterical family at bedside. Everything in me wanted to go in anyway. I hope the powers that be will change the rules and allow us to go in for codes and crisis as well. Something for a faithbased health system! They have their eyes off of the mission of Holistic care and on MONEY, the bottom line. Yes I am pissed.

I hope and pray to find more stable employment, something that challenges me, something that will meet my needs help provide for completing my master's. actually this maybe the Lord leading to something new. Something I have also been praying about. You see there is within me a discomfort with being in ministry and being involved in some of the activities that comes from living out my gay experience. Working out what it means for me to be gay. I donot want to be alone and celibate. Which I feel is normal for a gay man. It could lead me to the one for me.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Happy October This and That

Yes I am still around. If your a regular reader thanks, sorry I have not posted. nothing really on my mind to write...well yes there is a lot on my mind but finding the words right now is tough for some reason.

I love October, fall is my favorite time, halloween, thanksgiving then Christmas! Autumn colors, cooler tempts but oh my allergies!, oh my flu shot! AHHH good sleeping weather. Long walks. church fairs. The food!!! Even icecream LOL

I am giving thought to going to the local pride event. It would be my first "outing" like this. Although for me it might be too out, too local. Its called Out in the Park. Not sure what I am going to do. Depends if any of my close friends are going, safety in numbers kind of thing.

Oh the election! someone sent me this video I am placing a link here. There is a part of this where he answers a question about gay marriage.

John McCain vs. John McCain: Tell McCain to get off the Double Talk Express.

Y'all have a good night

Monday, September 22, 2008

My Birthday

Saturday was my Birthday! It marked 48 years I have been on this earth. Hard to believe, but true. I did not do anything special, but go to dinner at the Outback. Then I had dessert at the club. It was a relaxing day.

My prayer on that day was one of thanks to my Lord for His faithfulness, His love, His grace. I have come so far from whence I came! I also prayed for my future, for God to lead me to knock on the right doors, and to have faith and strength to walk through the right one. How do people who do not have faith in their life do it? Jer 29:11

Thinking from whence I came. Every year on my birthday, I pause to reflect on my life. This year I am so different from who I was last year. By grace I am not who I was, growth has been larger than life. Finding peace with myself has been a blessing. Yet at the sametime there is still turmoil; I relate to the song I hear on KLove, "Lord what you are doing inside me feels like Kaos yet somehow there is peace" How true it is!

For anyone who might read this blog, no matter who you are. I believe God is real with all my heart, He loves you with an everlasting love, and has a purpose for you. He gives us all something to live for. take a moment to pause and pray, thinking from whence you came. Perhaps asking Jesus Christ to be your Lord for the first time.

As for me, The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, is the God of me. Amen

Soli Deo Gloria

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Lesson Learned

This is something I hesitate to blog, but this is why I have this blog. To be able to write about thoughts, feelings, and experiences. About a month and a half ago I met a guy at the club. He seemed interested and interesting. It turned out he gives massages for extra income on the side, "plus extra service". Well I was mildly intetrested, I enjoy a good massage, but I don't pay for sex. I decided not to take him up on his offer. Well it did not end there, he showed up the next week. To make a long story shorter, I paid him to give me a massage, but that was it. It was not the best or even the better massage than I have had. After this he again showed up at the club and began to bother me, wanting me to buy him drinks, ect. well I told him no, and moved to another area of the club. I basically dissed him. He persisted not only with me but was approaching others. I went to the owner of the club, who is a friend of mine, and told him. He was pissed and approached him and told him he could not hang out in there without buying something himself. He left. When I left he followed me almost to my complex. He had my phone number, Yeah I know I stupidly gave it to him. A lesson learned. He called my number about every hour, I turned my phone off, then turned the ringer off to his calls. The next time I was at the club I told the owner, who gave me a lecture about being more careful. Honestly I am careful, but some how this one got through. I also told my best friend, who lectured me also. That next Friday night he showed up again! This time he had someone with him but that person left. He followed me everywhere in the club I went. I finally told him to stop, I was not interested. The owner, one of the bouncers, and my best friend confronted him. He was told to leave and never come back there! They do not tolerate guys bothering patrons, especially regulars. The phone calls continued off and on up until last week, but I did not notice being followed or anything. Well maybe once. Now I think its over, Thank the Lord! A lesson learned.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Coming Out Again

Well I want to write and say it happened again! At the Assisted Living, with another director. this time the Marketing Director who is also from Europe. This is unique, and it also happened very naturally. Although I had stumbled to say it to her. I came out in much the same fashion as I did with the other director. When I said she was like...So whats the big deal?

Let give you some history with this lady. She is much younger in her mid 20's, married with 2 children, when I first started there she had only been there a short while. Our house keeping director took us on a tour to see the various apartments. When we were in IL, and looked at an empty place there, the rumor was started that the chaplain and his wife were moving into apt. 13! It has stuck as a joke around the place, at times folk we work with say tell your husband to take care of... your wife did so and so. Especially when she needs pastoral services for a resident she summon me like she is my wife.

Well she is safe to tell, both as a coworker and a friend. Unfortunately she will be leaving soon. Perhaps that is why I was able to tell her. I think I would have told her anyway. Plus she knew or at least suspected. Again have I become obvious?

It was a big relief to me to tell her, and we had a great conversation about it. It is amazing how open, accepting and affirming Europeans are to GLBT folk. Not all uptight like we Americans, especially the "christian" right or wrong however you look at it. I hope i am not being hateful saying that. Yesterday while stopped in the two of them cornered me and warned me not to come out to anyone else there for my protection. Well Duh!

Reality is I do have to be carefull to protect myself, my job, my future. Yet at the same time there is a part of me that does not care who knows. That could be dangerous I guess. Or is it?

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Today as I think back on that morning; I remember in 2001. What a horrendous day that was! I recall coming home from an overnight at the Hospital, a tough night at that. I fell into bed and was sound asleep when I was awakened by a phone call from my boss. Telling me what had happened, and there was a recall of staff to the Hospital in case we needed to care for either victims or transfers from other facilities to make room for victims. Since I had worked the night before he put me on stand by.

There were no victims transfered to our area.

I remember the fear, the anger, the grief I felt. For a long time I could not watch programs about the attacks, only this year have I been able to watch the clips of the attacks. It still brings tears to my eyes.

We must never forget the events of 9-11-01, lest it happen again. I remember those who died innocently at the twin towers. No one I knew personally. Again no one I knew at the Pentagon. Then I think of the plane in Pennsylvania. How incredible they were to take action. They could very well have saved people at the Pentagon or perhaps even saved Capitol.

How life has changed, from airport security, military deployments, a war, even how one opens a post office box. or a bank account. In the back of my mind there is always the possibility that it could happen again. Whenever there is a large gathering or a busy shopping time, it crosses my mind. Yet I still go to the games, the malls, I am not going to limit what I do. I am going to live my life.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


My sister sent me information she read in her local paper about the republican VP candidate Palin. Apparently her church is beginng a program to pray for homosexuals to be changed to Heterosexual. Now can you imagine that? They intend to do for me what I could not do through prayer all my life!! Now don't get me wrong, I am a believer in the power of prayer, and have seen God work miracles through it. However, prayer is NOT going to change who God intended a person to be. In essence change God's plan for a person? I don't think so.

Now in the past I voted predominantly, republican. Yeah I know how dumb is that? Well I never voted a one party ticket. I vote for the person and issue not the party. I cannot support a candidate whose party platform encourages any form of hate of any group. I have come to "fear" the "religious right" notice I did not call them Christian. The type of thing we are hearing is not only hate but religious persecution. I will not support that. This candidate seems to do just that. I still have quams about Obama though, I am praying about that.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day This and That

Labor 2008 was different. My first in this apartment. I got home from my overnight at the Hospital intent on resting until the picnic. Well two Mormon missionaries woke me out of a sound sleep. I was a little annoyed, there is a no solicitation policy in the complex. Still I spoke to them about my faith, and listened to them a few minutes before telling them I needed to get back to wait I was doing.

The picnic was nice, I went and saw folks I had not seen in quite sometime. The food was good and the time was enjoyable. I was able to catch up with what was going on with people I knew and their children. So that was my old home week shot in the arm until Christmas.

I was relieved to hear the hurricane did not hit as a cat 4 or 3. I think an answer to prayer. Still nothing to sneeze at! still a lot of damage. Now where is Hannah going? I hope it waffles to a tropical depression and gives needed rain to the southeast. Just no damageing winds or floods. Please Lord! Hear our prayer!

September is here! Autum is favorite time of year. The cooler temps, color of the leaves, my birthday, harvest celebrations, the acorn festival, church bazars, Halloween, Thanksgiving then Christmas. I love it all. What fun!

I do so want to enjoy life, have fun. I need to have fun, after years of being a stick in the mud, just existing, working, caregiving, working some more. Now I hope is my time. I have decisions to make about my future, about continuing my education. I am praying on that. I still think I need to have my income and work situations more stable. Its all part of working out my life, my sexuality, my salvation.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hurricanes Big and Bad

Living along the east coast, we have the opportunity to experience hurrincanes up close an personal. Isabel was nothing to sneeze at, the damage it caused to northeast North Carolina and the southestern portion of Virginia took months to recover from. In the Tidewater area we have the sound to the south, the ocean to the east and the bay to the northeast. So flooding from three directions as the storm moves through. Yet all the problems we experienced during Isabel are nothing compared to the destruction Katrina brought to the gulf coast states. They are still rebuilding and recovering from its lasting impact. The lives that were lost, the illness it caused, the loss of livlihood, home, possesions, history. I cannot imagine, yet it can happen anywhere any time. By hurricane, tornado, bad thunderstorm.

Here we are again, facing another monster storm! The gulf coast states facing a direct hit. How horrendous. I feel helpless. Yet I am not, I can pray, I am praying. Please join me in praying for this storm to diminish in strength and size. To veer away from any land and go to sea and fizzle out. Join me in praying for the preparations, for the evacuees, those in the helping roles, for leaders. Pray for protection. There are other storms out there, it could happen anywhere.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Another Coming Out (of sorts)

OMG!!! What a day yesterday was. I walked into the office of our housekeeping director at the assisted Living where I am Chaplain part time. She is from Europe, and is in a bi-racial marriage of 25 years. We have a lot of conversations about her family, her employees. Well yesterday I was sharing some work related issues with her, and concerns about the future. Nothing specific about my sexuality. She turned to me and said, "This is 2008, don't you think its time you stop worrying about what people think, and just enjoy living your life and be who you are?" I just looked at her and thought she knows!!! She went on to say something about ministry that who I am should not impact my ability to minister. In fact dealing with it would make me a better minister. Also that if I am not accepted, then change my audience go where I am accepted and minister there.

We talked about it, and she told me the employees here know, or they suspect and its OK. It makes me human to them, not someone who has to be walked around very carefully. she also mentioned there are others here who are gay as well. yes, I know at least 1 for sure. After that I don't remember much else about the conversation. I wonder have I become obvious?

I am still processing this, its quite a journey. But for someone to say its OK, be who you are in the way she did I think is significant.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Invitation

Well the mail came today and in it was an invitation to a "Summer Get Together" from Miss Betty! This brings up so many memories, and emotions. Let me explain who she is... my Sunday School teacher from the time I joined my home church till the time I started college. She also led the youth department I was a part of. Otherwords a right good while! I was part of this church as a member, and staff member. The church was a large and unique SBC church in our city. I say unique it was annointed in the respect that we had many visitors every week and people would hear and respond to the gospel message weekly. It was quite a shock for me when I went on staff at another church it found what I was used to was not the "norm". This church family gave me my beginings in spiritual things, (that is besides what my mother gave me) set me on a firm foundation as it were. One on which I rely today. At the same time it also bound me up with regard to my sexuality, not so much the church but the tradition in which the church stood. This coupled with family things kept me bound up until my late thirties. The people who will be at this get together are folk who I consider family. They nurtured me, saw me through some very difficult times, watched me grow up, some grew up with me. Some were parents to me, certainly Miss Betty and her husband are.

I live in the area where its easy for me to go. I have not seen but one or two of these people since Christmas. This year I have really come out, but not generally. Though some may suspect the don't KNOW. If they did I am not sure I would have been invited. The old catch 22, I would like for these people to understand my rainbow fish journey. Yet I know that will never happen. I sit here with tears in my eyes saying that. Yes I have changed, I am so far from where I have been. Yet I am still the same person. Is that person they remember the real me?
One obvious change they will see right off, is the goatee I have grown. Some will be shocked by that! Good! So I am going to go to this get together. I will enjoy the food, the company and conversation. They don't need to know what has changed me, just that I am grown up in more ways than they know.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Broke Back Mountain

Well I viewed Broke Back Mountain last night for the at least the third time. Every time I see this movie I am touched. The love between the characters. What a complicated yet simple friendship! How their lives could have been different only if... How Jack died in the movie is so sad, tragic, and wrong. Most likely the thugs hired by his father in law. But I am making my own scenario to the movie. The ending of this movie is so sad to me, it brings tears to my eyes every time I see it. it make me think of my own love life, my hope for love, true love. Not secret love but out in the open love. I never want to have to sneak off to a mountain to be with the one I love.

The movie spans 20 years from 1963 to 1983. Have times really changed for GLBT people since then? I sure hope they are, I think they are. I thought of the tragic death of Heath Ledger. What a waste! What talent he had. I hope is was an accident and not a result of suicide or even worse. Will the world ever really know? Most likely not.

Here it is August and where has the year gone? Time seems to be slipping by us, in a few weeks schools will be in, most colleges start next week! Soon it will be fall again, then the fall celebrations will be upon us. Of course dare I say it Christmas. Of course this fall we have the election to think about. Not sure who I am going to vote for this time. Can't say that as a gay man I can vote the conservative republican ticket I used to. Well I never really voted a straight republican ticket anyway. This year to me I have no desire to vote for a particular candidate, which is different for me. Now how did I get on THAT subject?

Well just my ramblings for today.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Graduation

Yesterday I attended the graduation of the CPE Residents at the Hospital where I work. Not only was this their graduation, but it was also the graduation of my CPE supervisor to retirement. It was a time of worship, reflection, satisfaction, joy, and tears. For the residents it on to new beginnings in their ministries, looking forward to where God will take them. For my boss its a time of looking back at a lifetime of ministry, impact, the fact he trained and prepared a generation of Chaplains. He even said that is his legacy. It is that and more!

The Lord used him (and his staff chaplains) in my life to set me on a path of self discovery and growth. There have been times I hated him for it, He pushed me out of my comfort zone, but those times are few. That self discovery and growth led me to deal with my theology; what I really believe not what the church tells me to believe. This led me to examine my spirituality how I practice what I believe and how it impacts my ministry to others. I became more open to the people I work with and those on the receiving end of my ministry. This path led me to recognize and deal with my feelings, the fact I have feelings. This progressed to my sexuality. Dealing with my homosexuality before the Lord and honestly within myself. You know what I have discovered? This CPE process is lifelong. I am continuing to discover, and deal with things in my walk with the Lord through this life. Whats more at times its still painful, but its also glorious. Its growing, maturing, becoming more the man I was born to be.

Even more than what I have written, he became my supervisor, boss, friend, and a spiritual father. So have the other staff chaplains who were part of my training. They all continue to challenge, cajole, and lead me. As he Begin's his retirement I pray the Lord will bless him with a long fruitful life in what I know will become semi-retirement. Perhaps one day I will be able to call upon him to come lead a conference at a place where I serve.

As for me I hope to make him proud by completing my education through to a doctoral degree. By continuing this path the Lord has me on. I don't know where it will lead but I know the one who is leading.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Light of the World

We are the light of the world! God has placed each of us here. He made us and not we ourselves. As God's creations we are valuable persons of worth no matter who we are! God has a plan for each persons life. Psalm 139. The website below contains a presentation that will encourage you. It did me.
be sure and have the volume up on your sound

Monday, August 11, 2008

Is it Revelation or Illumination?

In an earlier blog I describe how the Lord spoke to my heart through the Bible about His creation and acceptance of me as a gay man. I have asked myself the question why did I not see it before? After all I have been a student of the Bible all my life! Especially when I was seeking biblical answers to the question of my sexuality. I think the answer was the fact I was not ready to come out to myself, God or anyone else. I was still in denial and repression.

So the question comes to mind, was it a Holy Spirit guided revelation or what? Certainly it was in the fullness of God's timing in my life. There are those who say there is progressive revelation of the Scripture. This means there are new meanings and application in modern day life of the centuries old Scripture. Certainly the Bible speaks of itself in Hebrews 4:12 as being living active and sharper than any two edged sword. The Bible is certainly fluid document and living in that as it is Holy Spirit breathed. It is the Holy Spirit who opens the meanings and applications of it to the heart and mind of the reader.

Now I may be nit picking at semantics, but in my way of thinking when one says there is progressive revelation; this implies more than new meaning to existing Scripture. A revelation is something entirely new. A new revelation of God to man, or additions to the existing Scripture. I do not go along with the thought of new revelation. In my faith journey the Scriptures are complete, and perfect Word of God. We have the whole revelation of God to man in our hands.

Rather, I prefer the idea of progressive illumination. This means the Holy Spirit illumines the heart and mind of the reader to a meaning and application of the Scripture which is consistent with its original intent. Consistent with its message of God's revelation of himself to His creation to where the person is in his or her walk with Christ. That is how I can read a passage and see one application. Another person can read the same passage and see a different application. It depends how the Holy Spirit illumines the heart and mind of the reader. The Spirit is the the guide to the guidebook.

That is what happened in my heart, mind, and life. It has changed my life! Over a period of time as I was yielded to the teaching of the Spirit in my heart. Also yeilded myself to the answer I was seeking not a preconceived notion of what the answer should be. The Lord allowed me to see application of Scripture, to think theologically about grace, mercy, forgiveness. Thus came the application of the Word of God to my sexuality. You see our spirituality does indeed inform our sexuality. It certainly has and continues to in my life.

So for me its progressive illumination which leads to the AH HAH moment in my life. The ah hah then can be a revelation to my way of living.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Birthday Party

Tonight I had the priviledge of attending the birthday party for a dear friend of mine. This friend is someone who I look to often. It was so special to me to be able to be there. It was a great time, the party moved to the club we all go to, and continued there. I enjoyed meeting some other friends and talking, joking, the laughing. It was so much fun I was very glad to be there. You might ask how much I had to drink, well one beer. but I did have too much to eat! food at the house, more food at the club. I am stuffed! It was a good release for me as well. Now its time for bed, time to rest for the long day ahead tomorrow. I work at the assisted living a few hours then go to the Hospital. so its off to bed for me.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Being There!

Today I sit here struggling to blog this, but I must. I must get this out of me. Part of the ministry of a chaplain as with anyone who does pastoral care is the ministry of presence. Being there, being the nonanxious presence in the midst of folks crisies and situations. Immediately we think of being present when a patient is dying. I have quite a bit of expereince with death, some of my most significant minstry expereinces have been at the bedside of a dying patient and his or her family. There is a particular type of death that seems to push my buttons everytime it happens. I have had a quite a few of these over the years as well. That is the death of an infant, or a preamie. Now that may stop some of you right there from continuing to read this post. Thats fine, I still need to write this. The reason being in my residency I had several of these deaths in a row over a period of just a few weeks. I wrote about that then and it helped. I may add the letter I wrote to this blog.

It was a little after midnight this morning when the pager sounded. It was the ER, the secretary was informing me a patient had just delivered a 9 week fetus. Oh God No! I thought as I rushed to the bedside. As I stood by the family who was grieving and began to speak with them and listen to them, I went to my God talk, we began to unpack and defuse their feelings. its still very early in their grief process. I try to just allow them to be where they are. The doctor came in, he used the term "tissue" to describe the couples baby. TISSUE I thought? You are talking about a human being! the begining of life! I thought. I realize that as a medical person he is going to his clinical talk to deal the the situation. I know this doctor he has feelings and will need to defuse later himself. He is getting through it too, as is the nurse and everybody else.

I listen to the patient, family, the nurse and Doctor as we debrief. now I can go back and take care of my paperwork. Ok who debriefs the chaplain? I talk about it in report but its not quite enough. Today I have anger, I am angry at myself, angry at the traffic, angry at my best friend, angry at the world. I am angry at God...gasp I am angry at God! The Bible tells us to be angry yet do not sin do not let the sun go down on your anger. I prayed and acknowledge to my Lord my anger. It helps. So I ask myself what about these deaths touch me so? The answer is easy for me...but for the grace of God there go I. why am I still here o God? I was an underweight baby at birth. According to the doctor's at the time I should not have lived. I still am here. These babies are not. Why? that is my hot button issue. Perhaps its what helps me to be present with these parents? Several years ago I wrote a letter to the Babies who died. I shared it in my peer group, it has been published in two newspapers. I share it here now.

Dear Babies:
When I first saw you, you were so tiny, so helpless, and so innocent. You had your whole life ahead of you. If only you had been born healthy, born alive, or did not have some terrible thing happen to you. Your parents were so shocked, perplexed, crushed, distraught, angry and guilty at losing you. To them you were and continue to be precious. A few of you were lost at the hand of one who should have cared for you. How horrendous! I talked with the doctors and nurses who did all they could to save you. They poured their heart, their knowledge, their skill to give you life, to help you keep life. Nevertheless it did not work…you died. I know this because I was there. I am not the doctor or the nurse, I am the chaplain. For a few of you I was there when you came into this world; for all of you I was there when you left. I was there with your parents, helpless to do anything for you. I was there helpless to say anything to help ease their pain. There was nothing to say. I held them as they held you, I prayed with them as they cried over you…I cried also. I wish there was something I could do or say to heal their pain …there was not. For one I gave communion to your mother and grandmother as they renewed fellowship with God, a Holy moment. For another I baptized you as your parents named you, a Sacred moment. For still another, I held the door as the police hauled away one who should have protected you but instead hurt you, an angry moment. I pray for the strength and power that comes from the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord of hosts. I pray my presence made a difference, that I helped shepherd your families through this tough moment in their lives. I pray they are able to incorporate their grief in life. That they be able to live laugh, and love again. Rest assured they will never forget you; they will always love you. I will remember also, I will remember what you taught me… how to be there.
Chaplain Frank

How wonderful are your works O 'Lord, how vast are the sum of them? You know my thought from afar, you know a word on my tounge before it is formed. you wove me in my mothers womb, you knew my days before there was one of them. Ps. 139. God is in control that is why.
This is how this chaplain debriefs. if you read all of that thank you. bless you. MAY GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS THESE FAMILIES.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Comment Question

There was a question in a comment on an earlier post I want to comment on myself. It was in relation to "what am I looking for". The commentor asked to define what normal is. Hmmm. Good question. This was specifically in relation to my question if cheating in gay relationships is the "norm"? So what is normal, or is there a norm?

Well in my opinion, all things considered, it depends on the context of the relationship gay or straight.. What I mean by that? Well are the partners committed christians? Are the partners committed to one another to make the relationship work? There can be many other verables that come into play. I am not sure there is a "norm" for any relationship, again gay or straight. what are you measuring it to?

In my context, as a christian I want monagamy. I what to belong to someone in that context. to love and be loved. Two have said cheating has not entered their minds. They have not wanted to cheat. How blessed their relationships! They are working on teir relationships, and are committed. I want that!

In the case of my guy I hooked up with, he thought he had that. But his partner is apparently not committed to it. How sad, and hurtful. So as a result he is begining a process to move on. Still painful for him.

Would I ever consider an open relationship? Odd as it sounds after what I just wrote, I might. There is a person in my life whom I love. He has demonstrated love for me as well. If he were ready to settle down in an open relationship and wanted me. For him alone, I would consider it. For him the difference would be I am the one he would come home to. We would be together. I would consider it for him, but I pray for and seek the one and only.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A Struggle of Ministry

Ministry is a calling, its a gifting, it is a coming along side both of the minister and the people one ministers to. Ministry is work, hard work, draining work. Ministry is a struggle, it is war! Its a struggle for the heart, mind, spirit and soul of those around us. A struggle with eternal outcomes. Whether it's a personal or professional ministry it is all the above for every christian. For all are called to be disciple makers, all are called to minister where they are. Some are called to professional ministry. Its a hard but rewarding life. When you are gay, and a minister it seems even harder. Its all about acceptance, God gives grace to accept.

As a christian who happens to be a single gay minister, my struggle with ministry is very personal. Its emotional, doing what I do seems to be in my blood. Becoming who I am, who I am supposed to be both as a christian and what it means for me to be gay, is a struggle. Do I think I am the only one with this struggle? NO. Why does it have to be so complicated? Lord why?

My personal struggle is complicated by the fact I have not completed my seminary training yet, its a work in progress. So I do not have all the credentials APC requires for certification. I am considering other jobs outside of ministry to help give me time to do me, and provide for completing my training. I must also admit that its a way of protecting myself. Right now I know I am vulnerable in my profession. Its a scary feeling. As I become more comfortable with myself as a gay christian, a gay minister its almost as if I don't care who knows. That is scary! Again its an acceptance thing, in the church as a whole being accepted as a gay man let alone a gay minister is difficult, its a struggle. In the gay community being accepted as a minister is scary as well. Being accepted as a minster who is interested in a relationship is a struggle. I see a pastoral counselor who is putting considerable pressure on me to do whatever it takes to complete my seminary. This is something I am praying through. No answers yet.

I have written before about my best friend, whom I love as if he were my brother. I have said that I am also in love with him. But by God's grace that is not as strong as it once was. Yet it is still there. He is someone in my circle who I strongly believe I am ministering to both in personal witness, prayer, and just being there. I see a difference in him by things I am praying for him in starting come about. Being a minister has always complicated our relationship. Of course he has things that complicate it for me as well. Part of the struggle.

My counselor asked me yesterday about my moral compass. Because I am so far from where I was as a "good Baptist". Hmmm. Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and the word of God are my moral compass. True, I must confess I do hook up from time to time, it is wrong for me to express myself this way? Is it wrong for me to seek a relationship? Its part of life. Life I repressed until I was in my late 30's. Heterosexual ministers who are single do it I am certain of it. Is it wrong for me to work out my sexuality this way? I don't think so. Of course I could be wrong. Yet I have a peace with myself, a comfort with myself that I have never had. I know that comes from the Lord, it is He who has made me free. Not to use that freedom as a opportunity for the flesh, but freedom to become. I am discovering the connection between my sexuality and my spirituality. This has had a positive impact on my ministry as well. Its a wonderful journey. Yet its still a struggle. where to draw the line? what direction to take? That is my struggle in ministry right now. I pray for my Lord's direction, for the right doors to open, to make the right choices.

A note about my container garden, I wanted to place a bird feeder out there on the patio, but its not allowed by my complex. !@#$%!!! Oh well. I had a question about the flag I fly on my little patio flag stand. I have a collection of flags, one for every season, event, holiday in the year. Its fun to put them out and I have missed doing so.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Friday Fun (no not what you think)

Well, I got home from work this morning not too tired, rather bouncey, I guess from all the coffee. It was a steady night, the ER was packed, the house was pretty full, I think they are going to find they need to rethink the downsizing. Anyway just one death last night, no drama, fights, ect. so it was a good night!

Now onto today! After a nice breakfast at the local Cracker Barrel, not on my diet but hey. I got home and got to my container garden project. I just moved into an apartment, so no garden but a patio. So far I have a Hydrangia, a few bulbs. I want to get a miniature fir tree to put in a large pot I have, then place the bulbs around it so there is color. This is where I will place my patio flag pole. I want to get a couple of flower boxes to place seasonal flowers in. I wont do that until later in the month or early September. I will plant Pansies they will last through next spring. I repotted several plants and found I need a larger pot for the oldest one I have. It was horribly pot bound! when I get it where I want to be, I will take a few pix to post.

I have some shopping to do at the mall, and going to look at a new computer! Then I have to rest up for my one night out tonight. Its flounder night at the club I go to, then the show All male Review! YUM YUM! ( I can't believe I am posting that) Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Art of the Online Hook-up

The online hook up, it seems simple. Go online, find a gay dating site, or any kind of dating site depending on your life. Post a profile , contact members be contacted and hook up. Simple right? easy right? So it would seem; But the reality is quite different! Some are just looking around, being curious and using the anominity the internet can provide to do so. I know I did. There are some who are looking but when it comes to committing to a meeting they don't, some even agree to meet but then don't show up. I have been stood up countless times. There are some who make a game out of not showing up.

Then there are the safety concerns. What might happen if they do indeed show up. some are hustlers who ask for money, others want to do things your not into or someway they are a turn off. Of course there is the risk of robbery, gay bashing, SDT's all the risks of hooking up. So why do it? Good question! The reason is not complex, its for the sex, or the possibility of sex, for the thrill of meeting a potential relationship partner. Who knows he just might be THE ONE. Plus to have a profile and be contacted and told your "hot" or whatever can be a thrill as well.

I have been "cruising" online for a number of years now. I don't hook-up much at all, it happens now and then. My last boyfriend was an online meeting, we were together for almost a year. My best-friend has taught me alot about online stuff. In fact we are on some of the same sites, a funny thing one time I saw his profile and did not realize it was him. I contacted him to let him know I was interested. He was too! We got into an online conversation before realizing there was something very familiar about this guy. I asked his name and bam. It was a real hoot. He has taught me about being safe, key things to look for. Now some of it you just know, its common sense. One thing I use as a rule of thumb. If the conversation is serious, and the other person wants to see a picture (face pic) before I send it I ask if I can call him. I want to hear his voice, and talk with him. this usually tells me if the person is serious. if not then I say no thanks and move on.

My latest "hook up" worked that way. This guy was real nervous, but he gave me his phone # I called, a sexy voice on the other end. We talked, agreed to a time and place to meet up. Guess what? He showed up! It turned out he is partnered, but things are not well in the relationship. In fact the relationship is pratically non existent anymore. We talked at length about it in fact he cried, I tried to give him some comfort. When he started crying I found myself saying the words I have heard from my CPE supervisor so often "Whats THAT all about?" This guy is sweet and sensitive. I'm a sucker for sweet and sensitive. We enjoyed each other, he said he would want to talk with me again. We will see. I will say yes to him again. Who knows HE might be the ONE.

Please note online hook ups should be taken seriously, you never really know who is on the other end till they show up. caution should always be used as with any blind date meet in a public place.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Lord of The Dance

King David danced before the Lord, it was worship. Today at the Assisted Living where I serve part time as Chaplain, we had a Native American gentleman who brings the message once a month. Today he did a worship dance for our people, he danced to a native american tune which talked about how great our God is, high and Holy God. It was wonderful and the people enjoyed it. I enjoyed it. There is a hymn titled Lord of the Dance. Jesus is Lord of the dance. I am reminded of something a friend has said recently, that "Life is too short not to dance" This is something I am learning, my background dancing was frowned upon at best, being the "good" Baptist leader I thought I was supposed to be, I never danced. That is until I came to the Assisted Living, these folks know how to "cut a rug"! Not the kind of dancing I enjoy but dancing none the less.

I am finding that a part of the freedom the Lord has given me to be who I am is begining to involve dance. Its part of the expression of my liberty, to move to the music, even just in place, to move hands, arms, legs, to bounce to the beat of a good song at the club or in the living room. There is a liberty in it. I feel free, last night for instance at the club I go to, I danced by the table I was at, a friend there asked me if I felt the freedom in it? Yes I did! It was wonderful, to move and to enjoy the music. There is a song they play all the time that I enjoy, called I kissed a girl by Katy Perry, I love the song because of its beat, and the words the expression of a liberty to experience life. Another friend who knows me very well was there, and had never seen me "dance" before, was surprised, but also very encouraging and thought it is good I am comfortable enough to move to the music. He razzed me abit, it was fun!

There is another side to this, in my living room I listen to all kinds of music from classical, techno, club music to praise and worship, christian rock. In that place I am moving to the beat of music where the message is praise to my God. So dance is becoming part of my personal worship expereince! You know what? Its great! Its freedom! it was for freedoms sake that Christ set us free! I want to make the most of that freedom. Its freedom to be, freedom to do, freedom to become. Its a good thing as Martha Stewart would say.

On a totally different note, but showing my acceptance in the club I go to, I think. Friday night I was there and on this occasion I had a beer with my meal. (just something I do occasionally) Being the clutz I am I knocked it over spilling some. a joke was made out of, and we all laughed. Last night at the club, (I don't usually go out on Saturday night) I had a soda, guess what? somehow I knocked it over ice went everywhere. The owner of the establishment joked that I had 1 too many diet sodas. When I went to get a refill, at the bar, I was asked if I needed a sippy cup! It was a great laugh. I think there is acceptance when people are comfortable enough to joke with you.

My encouragement to anyone reading this is to be free, enjoy the dance, remember Jesus Christ is Lord of the dance.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Is it This or That?

There is a lot going through my mind today. So many concerns, relationship, friendship, career, money. Which direction to take? I interviewed a few weeks ago for a position in the ER at one of the local Hospitals, it was a good interview. I would enjoy the place and the work I think. Its not a Chaplain position. I think I may need a break from professional ministry. Maybe not. The question in my heart and mind continues to be, can I minister effectively, and be seeking the relationships I want in the gay community? Go to the bar? Continue this path of self discovery? Perhaps not doing those things would make me less of an effective minister? Is God leading to a ministry in and to the gay community? If so what when and how? So much on my mind, I want so much to be authentic as a christian gay man. I want to be real in every aspect of life. I am free, God has set me free to be gay, do gay things, seek gay friendships/relationships. Now how to use that freedom? Maybe I am being too serious, taking these things too seriously. Just perhaps I just need to BE and not worry about the doing for a while.

To top everything off, there seems to be big changes on the horizon in the pastoral care department of the Hospital I work in. I am not sure how these will impact me. Possibly less hours, less pay which would be a very scary thing. How to pay the rent, put food on the table, fire in the furnace? Gas in the car? Yet I know God has a plan, He is in control. I sure am not. I continue to pray, look, praise, and pray some more.

On another note, my best friend and I are working through some issues in our relationship, a lot of progress and acceptance on both parts. I hope he is finding that I am more open to him and his shit than he thought I would be. He has certainly been open to mine! I asked a question the other day, he kinda stumbled on the answer. I felt bad afterward and apologized later. He said for what? I explaind and he said it was nothing we ask each other those questions, we tell each other that kind of thing. This is me your talkin to! Afterall we have been friends all this time. He knows me and understands me! What a blessing.

So I continue to pray and think on these things. Wait for the Lord to illumine my mind and heart on these things.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


I am trying to add links to several blogs I read regularly. Please be patient with me as I learn how to do this.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What am I Looking For?

A few days ago I was asked by someone "what are you looking for?" Good question! Sometimes I am not sure. At times I am wanting to find someone I connect with on as many levels as possible for a LTR, someone to be my husband as it were. (This best fits my christian goals and hope.) Other times I am looking for one, two or three for sexual friendship. Deep down I hope to find one to love and be loved by, to love me as much as I love him. To be faithful as a lover and a friend. Then I must admit there are times I am just looking for sex... There I said it. Does not mean it happens.

There is something that concerns me greatly about finding a relationship. That is the propensity of my potential partner to cheat. I have been told by a number of gay friends that cheating is the norm amoung gay couples. Something I find disturbing given the idea of commitment, the problems that have to be overcome getting into a relationship, plus the potential for STD's. The one who asked me the above question told me the only way he and his partner stay together is the fact they are in an open relationship. He said "men are dogs" My question is why is this so? Is it true? I am not sure I could handle knowing the one I live with and love is with someone else, does this mean I am not enough? Of course this speaks to my own self esteem, sense of security, codependecny issues. It is real though.

The one who asked this question also suggested to me that I get to know more people first, and have "sexual friendships", then see what develops from there. Hmmm. My best friend has told me I am not ready yet. He is afraid I would be setting myself up to get hurt. By the way, I am in love with my best friend, he knows it. He says he is not looking for a relationship; I am praying for that to change someday. Am I waiting? Yes and no. I am looking, but I still have to answer the question "What am I looking for?" I guess I will know when I find it...I may have found it.

By the way, a question to anyone who might read this blog...Is cheating truely the "norm" in gay relationships? What is your experience with this? I would be pleased to hear from you.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Coming Out by Going to the Bar

For now I want to jump ahead in time. Last summer I had the idea of visiting a gay bar or two. You have to understand coming from my background, I did not drink or dance or go to places where there was drinking and dancing. Now I never thought there was anything wrong with dancing, but the image I thought I had to uphold was not to be seen in this context. I have come to believe there is nothing wrong with a drink now in then either. Just so long as the Holy Spirit controls me and not the drink.

Going to any bar much less a gay bar was so out there for me. There are about seven or eight gay bars in the area. some small others large. I decided I would go early and eat a meal at this one bar. I went about 6 on a Saturday...well all I did was drive through the parking lot. Several months went by and I spoke to a friend of mine about my thought of going to a bar. He laughed and then told me the best place for me would be this one which happened to be close to home. He said I would be "safe" there, the owner and staff look out for the patrons, plus we both happen to know the owner. We went to school with him! Small world.

Well same story I would try and just drive by the place, then I drove in the lot and parked, but ended up leaving. This went on for sometime. It became a big deal, I prayed about it and felt I needed to overcome this fear. We know where this kind of fear comes from. Well early this year I was determined to go, so one Saturday night I went out about 9, drove into the parking lot and parked, there were a lot of cars! This time I got out of my car, and walked to the door. I could hear the thump a thump a of the music. As I stood looking at the door trying to get the courage to walk in... The door swings open and a group of people come out and hold the door for me. So I guess I am going in.

Once in the bar I figure out where the drinks are ordered. I drank a soda. I sat at the bar for about an hour or so just taking it all in. People watching. what an experience! I decided I am going back. Since then I visited several of the bars, one I was not comfortable in at all and only stayed there a few minutes. The other I go to once in a while. But this one, the first one I visited has become a regular Friday night hang-out for me. I am comfortable there, welcomed, even known and its ok. Its nice being in the company of other GLBT folk. Its a place that serves good food as well. In this bar I experienced my first beer. My first dance, my first time singing in front of people not in church.
This place I go to sometimes twice a week, its fun! Its a part of my coming out journey.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Truth and Acceptance

Truth and Acceptance. Early one February day in my payer time, I was praying about what I am to do with my sexuality and something supernatural happened to me. I found myself telling the truth about myself to God. Oh I had confessed it many times before but this was different. I found myself saying to God, this... is... me, this is who I am, please help me to accept myself the way you made me. Use this in my life according to your will. Through tears I came out to my Lord, and even myself to what He already knew about me. The flood of emotion was intense, there was a flood of tears, love, peace, freedom and a sense of acceptance that was and continues to be overwelming. At the same time there was a sense of grief at lost opportunities and wasted years fighting myself and God, hiding instead of honestly dealing with my sexuality.

I remember several times in the Hospital where I spoke to Gay patients and even a staff member about God's love for and acceptance of them. How they needed to accept themselves; yet I could not do that for myself! what a hypocrit! Still in the time of prayer that day, I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit much stronger than ever before. There was such a sense of awe this was a Holy thing that I could not move. I was as a dead man, I had to stay on my face before God in silence and tears. It was truly a Be still and know I AM God moment. A theophany. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, is, was and will be the God of me. The Lord Jesus Christ is MY Lord. During these moments of silence the thought or phrase ran through my mind "finally you are who you are, its about time." In the words of Paul I Cor 15:10 I am what I am by the grace of God. The change has been gradual but very drastc compared to where I was and where I am now.

I believe that God has called me to minister as a chaplain and pastoral counselor, being gay does not negate that call. I am seeking a place where I can be who I am and do what I am called and gifted to do. I also know that I do not have the gift or call to be alone and celibate . I need and want friends or someone I can share my life with. I want to find the one who will love me as much as I love him. There is a discomfort beteen being who I am, meeting guys, and going to a gay bar, doing typically gay things and being a minister, the supposed "Holy man" Problems also which I discussed in the catch 22 blog as well. where is the balancing point? The things I spoke of are of the gay lifestyle, I am gay. yet I am free! Free to be me! the lord has set me FREE!!! I have been more honest with myself, God and those I am out to than ever before. Am I wrong to hook up? especially if its someone who might be the one? I don't think it is. Is it wrong for me to express myself the way I do at times? just depends on how and to whom, motive. yet I can't do this on my own, I need you Lord to be my guide and guard. I need friends who accept me and understand me; to love and be loved by them. all in God's timing right?

One thing is for sure. I will continue this journey Phil 3:13-14 Forgetting what lies behind, looking forward to what lies ahead...I press on for the prize the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. There is no turning back, and I don't want to even if I could.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Turning Point

The turning point for me in my coming out, was when I began Clinical Pastoral Education. I began to understand the feelings that I had ignored, repressed, fought all my life. Through CPE, I found a niche, a specialized ministry where I could make a difference. This was very fulfilling for me. At the same time through a series of situations and events; I opened the door to the closet I had been hiding in all my life.

I opened that door, I entered. I entertained these feelings as never before, I learned new things, and had new experiences. I indulged in somethng I thought would satisfy and that would be the end of it. I was wrong, it was really a window, it let me see and experience a side of me that is real, that I don't understand. But I must accept my homosexuality.

Since that time I have prayed for forgiveness, and healing. I have rebuked it, renounced it tried again and again to ignore and repress it. It has not worked, it was a period of time like the dark night of the soul. I have also searched the Scripture for truth, done research to try and understand it. I had numerous conversations and made friends along the way. I learned all I could about sexuality and spirituality. Trying to find away to either live with it or be healed of it.

First and foremost in my mind were the Bilblical implications. I now understand that the prohibitions in culture, context and history were mainly concerning idol worship, false gods and temples as well as a focus on population. Where the abomination comes from in sexuality and specifically homosexuality is somethtng that is worshiped rather than the one true living God. There are more Scriptures which speak of God's grace and forgiveness than condemnation. I also read some of the research that is available concerning this subject and found there is scientific evidence which suggests this is something a person is born with. There are chemical and brain differences which a person has no control over. Which tells me this is not something of choice, or even environment but the way one is made, wired which has helped me see myself and those like me differently. These things have been and still are being debated today. I can't debate it, I still don't understand it. I believe this I was born gay. All I know is I did not choose it, it is something deep inside me I can not change and God has not released or healed me from.

Second and more personal to me is Psalm 139 which spoke very clearly to me one day. That God knows me, knows my thought from afar, knows my standing and my sitting, God is intimately aquainted with ALL my ways. God Wove me in mother's womb and made me in secret, and God KNEW me. God has the days of my life numbered before Him. The creator God, created me to be who I am.

Third the GRACE of God, the only thing that separates one from God is sin, the thing that separates one eternally, rejecting God's grace offer of salvation through Jesus Christ. Once one is in Christ Romans 8:1, states there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. To say otherwise means that God's grace, the work of Christ is not sufficient. Which is simply not truth, not the Christ I know nor the power of God as I have experienced Him. Jesus spoke and said He is the way the truth and life no one comes to the Father but through me. The Bible also states in John 8:32 "you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. " Freedom is what i was looking for at this point. Either freedom from or freedom to be. As I looked and studied the Scripture, the Holy Spirit began to open the eyes of my heart, He illumined my mind and heart to a new understanding. Something I had not thought of or seen prior to this point in my life. The CPE process of self discovery was continuing. Now this did not happen in one year, but it took about 6 years to get through my thick brain and hard heart. Well, maybe not hard heart but I did have alot of fear to overcome. Paul states God has made us to be more than overcomers!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Coming Out part 3

Continueing the thoughts about coming out. I don't recall the first time I knew I had desires toward guys. I did know I could not let on about it. I was a teenager. It did not really bother me until I got serious about my relationship with God. The teaching in the church I went to at the time which was a conservative Southern Baptist church were I learned to be a Bilblical literalist. I am greatful for the foundation I aquired in that setting, it actually helped me later on to do serious research on the subject of Homosexuality. Although I have changed, my spirituality has changed. The truth has not changed that being that Jesus Christ is Lord. My approach, and my interpretation has progressed by what I believe to be the enlightenment or illumination of the Word of God by the Holy Spirit. I will say more about that later as I share.

What I want to say here is, the teaching I was under led me to believe there was something very wrong with me. It led me to pray for forgiveness, confess it daily, to bury it deep within me. repress it if you will. All the while I was growing spiritually, learning the Scripture and even experiencing a call to vocational ministry. Yet there was something holding me back it seemed. I still do not understand that, maybe I never will. All the while I was very secretly and privately fantasizing about sex with men. Sometimes these were far apart, other times it was more regular. It tormented me, both the fantacy as well as the guilty feelings about them. I must say here that I never thought of suicide, at least not seriously. Does anyone have a similar experience?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Coming Out Part 2

To continue the thought of my last post about coming out. I am finding that I am coming out in different ways. Our Lord has changed me so much, my language has changed, my viewpoint has changed, how I interact has changed. All of this has been for the better, at least for the most part. Some might argue that my language is coarser, but sometimes it naming it what it is! Especially with the raw emotion in the midst of crisies. I am much freer than I have ever been in my life and that feels SO good. Truely I have been set free by the truth!

I am coming out in small yet significant ways. For instance I had a mustache of many years, in December I shaved it off. I thought regaining my youthful appearance. In the early part of the year I grew it back along with a goatee! Something I would have never dreamed of having in the past. You know what? I love it! I am thinking of getting a tatoo as well, also something I would never have dreamed of having in the past. Not sure yet, I am tempted to get a rainbow fish, or perhaps a lion with fire in his eyes, (the Lion of Judah) if I do it it may end up being just a cross. Its an expression.

Something else, I began going to a local gay bar, I love it too. The music, food, and being in the company of other gay men and women. The owners have come to know me as well, what I like to eat and drink, a good friend of mine who goes there too, has made sure they know what I should not drink or eat, or how much. I am getting to know a few people in there as well. NO "hook ups" at least not yet. the process of finding mr. Right. that is a whole different story.
So the process continues.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Coming Out

Coming out is something every gay man or woman works at, frets over and eventually works through in one way or another. Me I am a late bloomer, mainly due to my SBC background, I did not allow myself the opportunity to deal with it. I repressed it, did not think about, confessed it time and again. I thought it was something horrible, something must be wrong with me. It seemed to go against everything I learned in church, in the Bible.

It was not until I began my chaplaincy training that I realized these feelings and urges were real. They were and are a part of who I am. Wow! I began to seek answers about my sexuality, both in the Bible and in science. there is too much to say about that here. I began a process that took a number of years, it began when i opened a door to gay expereinces. not just sex, but talking with gay men about sexuality, it was a difficult journey. I have not finished either.

Like spiritual growth this is a process I will be on for the rest of my life. I have found that my spirituality informs my sexuality. Spirituality and sexuality are closely linked. This process has changed me greatly, I am more down to earth, at peace with myself, more liberal in a sense of being free to be me, and allow others to be themselves. I am free by the grace of God! I surrender my life and sexuality to the Lordship of Jesus Christ! Jesus said you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free! Jesus Christ himself is truth. It was when i recognized the truth about myself before my God that I was set free. I am what I am by the Grace of God.

Coming to terms and coming out to ones self, to God, and then to significant people in your life is no small task. There is alot of risk involved. So far I have been blessed with wisdom from the Holy Spirit as to who to tell. There are those who I will never be able to tell. That is ok, so I will most likely never be generally out. Unless the Lord has other plans for me. I am out vto other GLBT folks I have met. I am out to my sister, to my CPE supervisor, and a few others. The circle is enlarging. What a journey!

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Old Catch 22

As a gay man and minister, I find myself in a catch 22 situation. In the christian community as a whole if I were to come out generally, there would most certainly be fear, and rejection. Unless of course I am in a gay christian community it would be more accepting. If I were to let people I meet in a gay club, or gay social setting know I am a minister there would be a "freaking" them out. It would scare off potential friends, and suiters. I become unapproachable, untouchable, seen as someone who is judgmental, and closed minded just because I carry the title "rev" how fair is that O Lord? I have asked plenty of times. what is THAT all about? It is very painful, and I have scared away guys who could have been great friends, but I was honest, being a truth teller.

This puts me in a very uncomfortable place of evading the question "what do you do?" This raises suspicions. Not cool. So I ask whats a guy to do? I have not quite figured that out yet. I am looking to scale back my professional ministry and do something else, which may not be a bad thing. This has caused criticism from collegues who know who I am.

here is the cause I think, so many in the GLBT community have experienced first hand the pain of rejection and loss by coming out in the christian community. or them figuring it out themselves. It has turned so many away from church, away from God. what a tool of the evil one? Whats the answer? You tell me. I don't know, so as a result I am not longer hiding from myself and God who I really am, now I am hiding in a different way. or am I?

I highly recomend the DVD "for the Bible tells me so" its a documentary. its available on NetFlix. I cried most of the way through it. Its worth viewing.

Friday, July 4, 2008

My First Post!!!

Well I have no idea if anyone is even going to read this, and who cares. I am doing this to have a place to express my thoughts. Well a little about me. First I am not revealing my name or location because of a need to be discreet. You see I am a christian who is an ordained minister and also happens to be gay. I don't work in a church, but serve as a healthcare Chaplain. Something I will talk about more later.

First I must say that I am a christian first and gay second. My relationship with God through Jesus Christ is what informs everything else in my life. Being gay is really a small part of what makes me who I am. Yet it impacts almost every area of me, its what makes me more passionate, compassionate. Its been a long journey for me to get to the place where I sit today writing this blog. Something else I will write about later as well. that is why this blog is called my rainbow journey. I intend to write about my journey. Well that does it for my first post. I will write when I have something to say.