Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas



Pictured from top to bottom My candlelight celebration, My patio lights, My church on Christmas Eve

And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us! John 1:14

There was a great light!

Merry Christmas everybody!













Peace to you, grace from our Father in Heaven.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Tree!


Soon after Thanksgiving I put up my outside lights. just a few strands around my potted plants.
I enjoy turning them on and it makes a nice display. Its fun, I used to decorate the outside of our house with lights and a large lighted wreath. a part of me misses those days even though I was locked up in myself!

I did not put up my tree this year since I was going out of town for Christmas, and I just was not in the mood.

Now that I am staying here I decided to put up the small table top tree, its a charlie brown tree but I put a few ornaments I like on it and its lit up so it will be nice. I set out some candles as well, for Christmas Eve . I'm going out in the morning to buy some food for dinner, Breakfast Christmas morning. Christmas dinner will be with my group of friends, which will be nice.

Home for Christmas

This Christmas was to be the one I would spend with my family, mother(94) sister, her family, and brothers. However, because of the weather, I will not be making the trek to the mountains. Not because of difficulty getting there but difficulty getting back for work on the weekend.

I was looking forward to seeing my mother and sister, and us all being together this Christmas. the food, (especially the cookies) but now plans have changed. Gone are the days when we lived in the same area. Oh well.

I will just have to make the best of it here, at least I will be able to attend my church service Christmas Eve, and I am looking for another Carol and Candlelight service to attend late that night. Then I will have dinner with my group for friends Christmas night. I will miss my mother though!

There is a reason for everything!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Open and Affirming Churches

I have been looking around the internet for denominations and specific churches that are gay open and affirming. A very good resource is a web site http://www.gaychurch.org/. It lists churches of all sorts in every state. Unfortunately in my area there are very few to choose from. I visited two in the past. The worship styles were very different, even from what I'm used to. There is an MCC locally I have yet to visit.

Some inclusive Denominations I am aware of are

United Church of Christ, however its up to each local congregation to decide if they are inclusive or not. There are 10 or so in my area but only two advertise themselves as open and affirming.

Disciples of Christ, a very open denomination, I like them, and considering them.

Metropolitan Community Church, A denomination started to reach out to the LGTB community. It also attracts a number of straight people as well. Not sure if the National Council of Churches recognizes them... they should.

The Episcopal Church in USA has made great strides in being more inclusive. This year with the church position on ordaining Bishops who are gay. There are parish Priests who live openly.

The Lutheran Church is working toward being more inclusive officially, there are individual Parishes who are very inclusive, of their clergy as well.

I found a website for Baptist Churches, http://www.rainbowbaptists.org/ This amazes and pleases me to know there are Baptists out there that are this progressive, but there none in my area. Some churches in every denomination have moved toward inclusiveness, The Presbyterian church is a good example of this.

These are a few that I am aware of. Are there others? I will continue to look for a a church home I can be open in and with.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

More On church Employment

In thinking about working for a church, I think there is an instance when it could work well for me.

If the church is an open and affirming place, understands the need and desire for a relationship, and the position is one which allows me to exercise my personal call and gifts; then it could work very well and be a place of growth and service.

Allow me to unpack the above for a moment.

A. Open and affirming, would be a place where I could be safe and comfortable coming out and everyone knowing and being comfortable with me as a person and my serving there. Is there such a place that is truly open and affirming?

B. Desire for a relationship encompasses many thoughts and life issues. The main point here is serving a place where they know, understand and accept my seeking a relationship and dating as a gay man, a minister in their church family.

C. Most importantly, it would be a place which allows me to minister freely using my gifts, and fulfilling my call in their midst. This means a secure staff position which involves providing pastoral care, counseling, leading and training leaders to facilitate support groups of various kinds, a Stephen ministry, discipleship and spiritual direction ministries. The opportunity to lead in Worship from time to time. All in a place where I can also learn and grow continuing my journey of self discovery.

Somewhere in the world there is a place where at least some of the above is available. but for it all to be there would make it a "perfect church", on earth that does not exist.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Decision NO to Church Employment

In my job search I have watch for church related jobs which I might feel a sense of call to. Yet in the back of my mind there is an uneasiness about applying for any job in a church. This has bothered me until I prayed about it and thought this through.

I have come to the conclusion that for me a job in a church will not work for me. At least right now. The reason for this is simple, unless the church is a completely open and affirming I would not fit in. Open and affirming is hard to find in these parts. I would always be concerned about being outed, and the consequences or that event.

The consequences I am very concerned about, first the loss of income, job, and so forth. There is a consequence that goes deeper, that is how my being outed in even a liberal setting would effect those I would serve. I have seen how something like that has impacted a church in my younger years and it was very painful for all involved. I am acutely aware of the spiritual implications and wish to avoid that situation if at all possible.

Now my current ministry setting is completely different. As long as my personal life does not impact my work, there is no problem. The other thing is if I took a call to a church, I would not be able to totally be me, I would be fearful of going to a gay club, (not wanting to be seen going to or from by someone connected with the church.) fearful of being seen with my tranny or obviously gay friends for the same reason. I don't want that for me or them. then there is the issue of sex. If I were working in a church I would have to be celibate. I went for so long without intimacy that I feel like that would be going backward for me. Plus I am searching for someone to be my partner. that would to be put on hold.

I have told myself that I could do this just until the opened another door, yet that would not be true to myself, my Lord, or the church. I want to be real, the real me in every sense of what that means and its such a struggle!

Finally, my call is not to serve in the four walls of the church, the Lord has expanded that for me and it has opened a whole new world. For those who may read this and are working in a church, I think you understand what I am saying. I understand your struggle, unless your in an open and affirming place its oh so difficult! I pray for you, please pray for me!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Friday Waking up!

Well its Friday again! Another week of busyness, good busyness. I had 4 on call nights in the last week and had calls each time but last night. Tuesday/Wednesday was long, two calls in the wee hours, I was able to rest in between. We had staff at noon so I did not go home until it was all over.
Not having a call last night was a blessing, being able to sleep (though lightly) was nice. Today I need to do something special for myself. not sure what. Lunch out? Dinner at the club?

There is so much on my mind right now, not sure what or how to share it and what I need to express here.

Things are tough for all of us, me as well, so I have come to a decision I will share in here in the near future. Plus I am working through a thought process in my search for a job to add to my portfolio. I will be writing about it here. Being gay comes with a lot of things to think about as you all know.

WAKE UP ALREADY!!
A friend was saying to me last night that I am waking up to life. WOW, a true observation! I am waking up to so many things! big and small. I am surprised at how the small things add up. Taste in music, places I go, people I meet and are friends to me. Here I am in my late 40's and just just waking up!

I have come to the place that if I am asked, I will tell! Yet, I have been warned to protect myself, my job, my future. My next posting will be about job stuff. Take care all.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Hook Up at a RETREAT!?? A New Experience

Well I have not blogged anything of real substance in sometime. There is one experience I want to share. Sorry if this is verbose, I want to explain the context.

Back in late October I attended a staff retreat that combined the our department staffs of three Hospitals. Our bosses were there as well as two VP's. What an occasion. We went out of town to a retreat center in Richmond. Quite a drive for a one day retreat! At this center there were other groups meeting, it is a Christian retreat center and a place known for focus on prayer, prayer for the city, nation, world. a place with a focus on the needs of the total person.

The staff of this center comprise different denominations including the Metropolitan Community Church! I was pleased with that. The retreat went very well and met a need in each one who attended.

My Experience, I noticed this cute guy as I walked down the hall to our meeting room and said hello as we passed. There was something about him the registered in my "gaydar" . I saw him another time in the coffee room as well, he was in a group meeting in the next room from us.

Well after lunch we had some free time to wander the grounds, pray, reflect and so forth. toward the end of that time I was coming down the hall near our room. There was no one else around, and this guy came up to me invading "my space" said hello. Then turned into the bathroom!

Well the invitation was clear to me, and I thought about following him. However, I stopped myself. First of all the idea of a public rest room scares me, Not my way of meeting a potential boyfriend. I have a friend who was arrested doing that. (not that would happen in a private place like this)Then there was the issue of time and place, I was on the clock, at a retreat with coworkers, and administrators. The what ifs ran through my mind. So I went on down the hall.

I wish now I had the opportunity to talk with him and maybe set up a date for another time.
It runs through my mind could he have been someone special in my life? Or am I being overly optimistic? When I got home, I went on Craig's list under missed connections and posted a message in the hope he would see it. There has not been any response.

Actually that is the first time anything quite like that has happened to me. It was a new experience, but I a paranoid person. Not just the possible "outing" but the consequences. or am I missing something?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

Hello and Happy Thanksgiving! Hope this Thanksgiving finds you healthy, employed with everything that sustains us in life.

In these hard times this day I invite you to count the blessings you HAVE, not think of what you don't have. Think positive. Thank God for all he provides and remember HE is in charge of everything we have it all comes from Him. I am saying that to myself because I tend to think of negative things and wish for better. Times are tough for us all, me included.

I invite you to remember in prayer all those who have sustained losses this year. Whatever that loss maybe. Ask our Lord to sustain them with His peace, protection, power in the Holy Spirit.
I say this to myself because I need to remind myself of others, help others, and remember God is my provider, not myself or my employer but my heavenly Father.

Lets be thankful for the victories our community has accomplished this year as well. Gay marriage legalized in a number of states, several in GLBT community who were given Presidential medals this year. Just to name a few.

Be Thankful I Thes 5 17-19

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday Sundries

Several sundry things, Job thoughts, church thoughts, Worship, diet and exercise.

Job thoughts, I have not had any interviews, I think because not applied for the "right" job yet... perhaps. Chaplain jobs right now are far and few between, plus most are part time, not gonna consider moving for a part time job! Don't wanna move anyway. Whatever job I find will need to have a schedule that will allow me to keep the Hospital ministry. That is a challenge the schedule there is so crazy! One thought is to go more to the Ethics side of things hmm, more on that later. One thought is trying to teach, at least as a sub at a christian school. Of course if they find out I'm gay that won't work. Should I try anyway? It might lead to other things, for instance I would like to get to the place where I can teach part time on the Jr college level.

Church thoughts, I am aware of several gay friendly churches in the area. Problem is my schedule at the ALF keeps me from trying any of them out. So a thought occurred, why not go over earlier and attend a early service (if the church has one) where the church is close to the ALF? Something to try, gotta think outside the box. There is a UCC and a Disciples not far from the ALF.

Worship, Personal Worship has become so important to me, a big part of my spirituality. You don't have to be in stained glass church to worship. I have found I worship in my car, I break out in song and prayer at home, on a walk, exercising. I contemplate the Scripture I receive via email each day. I still hold fast many of the doctrines I know to be true, although I also find I've expanded my outlook and spirituality to include more liturgical styles. I am practicing the disciplines of meditation, silence, as part of my Scripture and prayer times. Personal worship has added a new dimension to my spirituality.

Diet and Exercise ug! I am trying some new things, first diet. I am eating blueberries on my oatmeal or cheerios in the morning. I also started drinking a small glass of V8 fruit juice (diet). Morning snack consists of 4 peanut butter crackers. Lunch depends on where I am, usually salad, soup, or a regular meal. Afternoon snack is yogurt, dinner is normal. Exercise, a friend gave me an ablounger so I'm trying to use that, I go to the fitness center at the complex at least twice a week. I use my gym membership less( on the other side of town) but need to at least once a week for a hard work out. I discovered my gym company is opening a center down the street from the ALF so I can go there!

I've put on a lot of the weight I lost, so now I need to lose it again. Exercise for me is the biggest key. I don't eat like I used to, and I've shrunk my stomach so like today I ate a big meal, I was sooo stuffed I did not like the feeling! I'm not eating the wrong snacks like I was. The only other thing is the on call, having sleep interrupted or delayed is not very healthy. I average at least 1 but usually 2 calls a night. Most of the serious needs occur over night. So I'm stuck there! Next weekend I have three nights in a row! I'm going to try and change that. Or is that not being a servant?

so job, church, diet sundries.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Presidential Medal of Freedom!!!!!!!



Hello to anyone who still reads this blog! Its been almost a month since my last post, still have not finished my personal statement of faith I assigned myself some time ago. I will. At the Hospital we are short one person doing on call and guess who is taking up some of the slack? I have been doing every other night for over a month now! We don't always have calls, which is both a good and bad news thing. However, for me up to this week I've had at least two calls every night! A few times it was more than that. I found myself becoming rather weary, and at times compassion fatigued. That is not good in ministry! By the grace of God Ive had two on call nights this week with no calls. It was nice to sleep the night through, (mostly) and have 3 nights in a row like that. So I am ready to for duty as needed.




Some exciting news with a gay twist! Yesterday President Obama awarded Harvey Milk a postumas Medal of Freedom for his gay activism, and self sacrafice. Also Billie Jean King was awarded one as well. Imagine that...Its a good thing.




Please lets keep the gay community in prayer and keep moving forward in a positive way, plowing around those groups and issues that would stop our progress. If Harvey Milk could see us now.




Saturday, July 18, 2009

TOO LONG

Well its been too long since my last post. I will finish my confession of faith and post it soon. Alot has been going on, work mostly and looking to replace the assisted living job with something else. But what? A lot of thoughts have had my mind occupied of late. Too many to mention here. The biggest is relationship! No nothing new there, thats why its a big thought. Am I ready?

Been thinking of trying some different clubs in the area too, a chance to meet new people? We have about 7 or 8 in the area. There are a few I would not try not my kind of place. One I want to try, I am told by friends not to go there the first time alone, to go with them next time they go, so I will. I am so glad I don't work in a church setting, none of what I have accomplished in the last 4 years would have "come out" had I been working in a church. Too risky.

Oh BIG news flash, my new boss at the Hospital, he was coordinator under my last boss knows I am gay, and accepts me. I actually think he knew a long time ago (along with my last boss). I did my CPE with them. Well until next time keep looking up

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My confession of Faith Part 1

Preface: In reality faith is very simple; it’s what one believes in his or her heart. We humans make it much more complicated than it really is. Often we try to add this or that to the Gospel, and faith as a requirement. As a Christian gay it is more prevalent. I have heard oh all gay people are doomed to hell just for being gay. I will deal with this more when I confess what I believe about Salvation. I come from a conservative Baptist background, where the only thing I heard about being gay was negative. Also there was a narrow view of Scripture and its interpretation. Free thought and personal exploration were not encouraged. However, in my early teens I had a pastor who taught us to go to the Scripture ourselves and examine it under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and test what he was teaching. That was a beginning. My current pastor (again a Baptist church) has taught me to be ecumenical, to work with folk from other denominations. This helped me when I began work in my chaplain ministry. This background was both a hindrance and in some ways a help to my journey out of the closet. Since beginning my coming out process, my rainbow fish journey; I have found my theology has changed to be more open and accepting of others beliefs. Perhaps that is the biggest most important change. An instance of this is a Lutheran friend of mine nick named me her liturgical Baptist friend. I am very liturgical in my ministry; again my current pastor had a lot to do with this. This has led me to write this confession to define what I believe and perhaps identify ways it has changed. Perhaps a better way to say it I began to own and better understand my faith. I am coming to the point in my journey where I need to make some decisions about my church affiliation. Up till now where I am has worked, I hope doing this confession will help me define where I need to be.

THE ESSENTIALS:
The Trinity: I believe there is one God in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Trinity existed before the foundation for the world. They were present and active in creation. The Word of God, the Breath of God.

God: Is Father who is omniscient, ever present and powerful creator, sustainer of life. God Yahweh, Jehovah is on His throne in Heaven, in control of everything, over all, in all, through all. He all knowing, He is all powerful, righteous, Holy Father. He deserves all praise honor and glory. God the Father is the author of life, He is the author of love.

Son: Jesus Christ, Emmanuel, God with us. He is God incarnate, John 1:1 The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Our Lord Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, lived, walked, and ministered on earth. He revealed Himself to sinful man and gave himself as the sacrifice for everyone’s sin. Which reconciles man with the Father. He died on the cross willingly was buried and on the third day rose victorious over sin, death and the grave. He revealed Himself risen Savior and ascended into heaven before the eyes of His disciples. Jesus Christ is now seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven as glorified Lord. There will come a day when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. The wonderful thing is we have the opportunity to do that now in our life. We have the Choice.

Spirit: The Holy Spirit, the helper, the breath of God is the person of the trinity who indwells the believer at salvation. The Holy Spirit has the ministry of convicting of sin, and righteousness, leading, teaching. The Spirit empowers the believer to live a Christ like life. The Holy Spirit seals the believer for salvation. The Spirit empowers the application of the Scripture in the heart of the Believer. The Holy Spirit intercedes for us in our prayers. The Spirit guides us, speaks truth to our heart.
More later.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Some Trivia

Trivia from OUT Magazine

There are 1500 side effects blamed on Viagra, a few are blindness, deafness, hiccups, foaming at the mouth, a u shaped cock(that would happen only once) and death.

June is Pride month last year there were 500,000 participants in the New York parade. In 1970 the first parade there were 200.

Abraham Lincoln is said to have shared a bed with his friend Joshua Speed for 4 years when they were in their 20's. hmmm.

Not trivia but I am working on a post I will share in the near future. Its a confession of faith or perhaps my personal theology in writing. Its involved and I am trying not to be verbose. This is the result of me nailing down what I believe since I don't really fit the Baptist mold anymore. Plus during my CPE experience my supervisor urged me to do this. I never did until now.

I hope doing this exercise and sharing it here will help me see where I fit in church life. I want to be true to Christ, and I hope find a place to worship where I can be honest about who I am not have to overlook too much or be concerned about being pushed out. I can say the only real change in my theology is that it has broadened in many ways which the church of my background would most likely say makes me very liberal and perhaps in a heretic in their eyes. Well if that is the case so be it! I still know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Doing Both Together

Happy Saturday to all! Well I have made a decision. Finally! What takes me so long sometimes I don't know.

I have applied to a local university to earn the Master of Education in Counseling. Its a 39 credit degree program that will give me the counseling basics as well as research basics. This coupled with bereavement certification will be a good combination. Now I also want to apply to another university that has an extension center locally which offers a Master of Arts in Theology. Its a 36 credit degree program which offers courses in ethics, spiritual direction, philosophy of theology, pastoral theology. Add this to what I already have will provide a well rounded training experience I feel.

These two degrees are specific applied to the area of ministry I am working and interested in. you may ask what can I do with these degrees? Well, I can counsel in almost any community agency, I can do school counseling as well. With the MA I can teach on college level with both of these but specifically religion courses on the community college level. as well it gives a degree toward chaplaincy. I am not interested in church ministry.

The M.Div is the standard and what most Hospitals look for. These two will give me give me the 72 hours required by APC for certification. I will actually have a few more then that. This I hope will give me the equivalent.

Now my next decision is should I try to do both degrees at the same time assuming I have the financial resources and time to take two classes a semester. I would take a class in each degree program each semester. I will go year round until they are completed. The other option is to work on one at a time taking two classes each semester. Which ever it is I need to get going.

I ask for your prayers as I make the applications that I be accepted in both programs, and know if two or one at a time. Plus your input as always is welcome. There is wisdom in a number of counselors. Blessings to you.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tax Day This and That

Well where to start? I am off today only day this week which is a good thing for the paycheck. I spent part of the day taking care of the taxes. I owe big time this year, can't figure that one out, I had more taken out last year too! hmmm scratch! I am delighted that the IRS allows one to make payments.

On another financial note, please pray for me, I have some issues to deal with and need the Lord's and others guidance. I cant do this alone.

Today I went to the Mall! how exciting huh. While I was eating lunch these two cute young guys walked up to my table and asked if there was anything they could pray for me for. It was nice we had prayer right there. i appreciated that.

I cant do this alone. This has been my prayer of late, recognizing and acknowledging that I can't do this alone. I can't minister on my own, I can't live my life for myself or by myself. I need to live my life by the power our Lord provides. It humbling to pray that prayer and go through the list of how I am dependent on the Lord.

i have some major life changing decisions about education, career and such. Sometimes its overwhelming. When it gets that way i don't move, its like I am frozen. then nothing gets done. I hate that! God is faithful ,I trust my steps will be right at the right time.

Friday, April 3, 2009

LIFE or something like it

Its been a little while since my last post. Here is an update on a few things I want to get out of me by writing.

First, my lease, I made the decision to sign a new lease for the current apartment at the same rent for another year. When I got to the rental office I was offered a lease at the same rent for 24 months! I grabbed it! My mistake was telling my oldest brother about it. He told me I had made a mistake, using a lot of what ifs. At first it made a little frightened that I had made a mistake and WHAT IF??? Truth is I was pleased as punch at this opportunity, I am not ready to move, and don't want to move. I hope to use this time to pay off some bills, save some money and then move to a place I can buy. I am living by faith and intend to leave the what ifs to God. Really living by faith is both hard and easy at the same time. What a conundrum!

I am beginning to get a sense my career will be whats right for me. Not what others tell me it ought to be. I have thought of changing my line of work do to my coming out and all it means. I am finding I have a lot of options. Still not sure where it will take me but I have more peace the Lord still has a call on my life I can't leave. The education I have struggled with achieving is changing as well, thinking out of the box using an alternate route seems to be within reach. I will know if a few weeks. At any rate my desire is to turn over the Assisted Living ministry to someone else, and the circumstances seem to show me that is the right thing to do.

With this regard there has been a change in the attitude of my best friend too. He has said I needed to leave ministry to fully live and experience life as a gay man. Really it was his discomfort with it I think. Especially since we tell each other things in detail. Well he made the comment the other day that I really need to "get out" of the assisted Living, not leading Worship will be a good change for me. The Hospital is somehow different yet there are sacred things about that as well. He is seeing that differently, perhaps the Lord is changing his heart?
He is going through some things right now and I am standing with him through it. It hurts me to know he is hurting, I care for him sooo much.

Spring is springing life goes on and time is a flitting!

a number of other things are happening as well some are cause for concern but right now I either am powerless to do anything about it or it seems i am powerless

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Bear Details

A BIG Bear, this grizzly stood 14' on its hind legs!
















AW He just wants to play too.







A bear pole dance!

Just some interesting pics that were sent my way. Something different to share here. I was toying with the idea of adding a sexy pic or two but chickened out. Enjoy the bears

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Rejection is Never Easy

The Scripture teaches there is a time for everything under the sun. Well tonight I had to do something I don't like. I was something I am uncomfortable with; yet I feel sad and relieved. I had to do it there was no way around it. I am the one REJECTING. Rejection is never easy; I have been on both sides and its not easy either way. I am more familiar with being the one rejected. I am too old, too fat, too hairy, I wear glasses, too religious, I am a chaplain, or a number of other things I have been told. This time the shoe is on my foot.

You see I had conversations online with a guy and they went well. It was interesting he seemed interesting. We agreed to a meeting and he showed up, which is always good. From there it went down hill. I wont go into the details but suffice it to say he is not really my "type". We had somethings in common but not enough. Things did not go very well. When we left each other nothing was said about meeting again, and I had no intention of contacting him. I don't want to lead him on in anyway. I knew it was not going to work. I thought he sensed that from the way things went. Well I was wrong.

He did not call but texted me saying he wanted to try again and when was I available. Being the big chicken I am, I reacted by not responding. Send subtle message not good I know. well he texted me two more times. That was something else, he seemed rather "clingy". So I ended up sending him a text letting him know I did not think it would work out and that I was sorry for disappointing him. I was both relieved and sad at the same time. So far no more messages.

I will keep looking for Mr. right, I am sure he will too. this relationship thing is such a bitch to deal with but I will keep on.
Thanks for reading.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Quote of the Day

Friends are like Buttcracks....there is a lot of shit between them but stick together.

O Harlow

Harlow is a guy who was an escort, and with his partner/lover, owned an escort service and gay porn business. Now I never condone the escort industry or used "escorts" for obvious reasons, although I do enjoy a good gay porn flick from time to time I am aware and careful of its addictive nature.

Harlow, a very good looking guy, who seemly was smart, and had a future in front of him. Is facing the possibility of the death penalty or life in prison. For the murder of a competing gay pornographer. It was a particularly gruesome murder by all accounts, such rage! What drives a person to do such a thing to another human being? The sinful nature and lust for power and money? Its very sad; Three lives lost in such a way!

Next week Harlow should know his fate, the price to pay for taking a human life, and again for what? Whatever the jury decides will be his earthly punishment will pale in comparison to the eternal judgement he will face. I pray he repents.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Silly thing with my Car.I still need them.

In my last blog i spoke about the church reunion. Well something very simple and rather silly happened at the end of the reunion. I went out to my car, put the key in to start it and could not budge the ignition or adjust the locked steering wheel to release it. I tried several attempts to no avail. Sooo I got out and went back in not sure what to do.

There are several men in my church growing up who took me under their wing so to speak. (My father died when I was 14) Three of them were there that day, one is the husband of my long time Sunday school and youth teacher. They really are second parents to me. Well I told him what was wrong, so he took my keys and went to my car. He worked the key a bit and it started right up! I asked what he did, what I did wrong. First I had the wheels turned too far it made the steering wheel lock tight. I did not jiggle the wheel enough. Had I been alone I would have got it figured out myself he said. Then with a smile he told me "see the Lord was just telling you, that you still need us! "

I do, in many ways I do.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

From Whence I Came


This past Sunday I attended a reunion of folks from the church I grew up in. This church is no longer in existence and its a long story. The reunion was held at the church of our former Pastor, who left my home church in disgrace some 25 years ago. An even longer story. Over the last few years a lot of forgiveness, restoration, and healing have taken place. My former pastor has been restored and has a growing and vital church. This actually was the third reunion in the last 2 years but the first I attended.

They do not know I am gay, and I have no intention of coming out to this group. It would not really accomplish anything.

It was very good to see people I grew up knowing, and old friends I was in youth group and Sunday School with. We ate a nice lunch and had a wonderful time of fellowship and worship. Hearing my old pastor preach again was very nice and brought back good memories.

Looking from whence I came. Now the church I grew up in, was a conservative baptist. so the teaching I heard concerning homosexuality was not positive by any means. however, this pastor I consider to be a great Bible teacher along with my Sunday school teacher and discipleship leaders help give me a solid biblical foundation. That foundation is what helped me research, pray, and study Scripture until I found the answers I was looking for. The Holy Spirit used these answers to open my mind and heart and enabled me accept myself and come out.

Interesting point, the point of the message he gave was each of us in our respective lives and churches can remember our past, let it inform our present, and move us to the next thing. How interesting I am attempting to move to the next thing in my life. He said just do it. Now I think that is a word from God! During the prayer time following the message I found myself tearing up. In fact I sobbed uncontrollably for a few minutes. This was the first time in many years I cried like that in front of other people! Since Sunday the tears I thought were cried out have returned. I am not bothered by it, there seems to be a new release. So now its on to the next thing, tears and all!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday This and That

Its Friday and its payday! I am going to the club tonight, and looking forward to it! What fun it will be.

I was on call last night but NO calls! So I will only be paid for carrying the pager. Oh well, This weekend I am on call Saturday night, Sunday night and Monday night, All busy nights. I hope I am not a patient by Tuesday LOL.

I think I am the world's worst procrastinator! Its such a sin too I must confess, to know the right thing to do and do it not is sin. For me the right thing is to complete the application to the local university for the Master's degree in School Counseling. Everything in me says its time to move forward, so why don't I? Not sure. Maybe fear of change? I have sense this is what I need to do. It will add so much to my ministry, along with this I would like to complete some graduate level training in bereavement and be certified in that. Its not difficult either. I am going to do it, Today!

If you have read my blog before you may recall I am setting aside my M.Div work for the counseling degree and plan to find some degree that will help with my Pastoral care work. I may have found it. St Leo University which has an extension in the area has a Master of Arts in Theology. Its 36 hours seems to be well rounded, so once I complete the counseling program this maybe the theological degree I have been looking for. Add this to the credits I already have, my CPE, plus counseling and bereavement training, I think could qualify for Board Certification by one of the chaplain groups or just stay a part time chaplain and full time school counselor. both are ministries I think.

Please pray for me to know and do the right thing in my education, as well as my finances. Thank you and God Bless.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Its Time to Keep the Club!

In my last post I mentioned making cuts because of the cuts made to my hours. One of the cuts was to not go to the Club on Friday night which has been my custom. Not something I really want to cut out, in looking at things I am really at bare bones anyway, so I thought was something I should cut. I had two friends comment that I should continue going it a good outlet and being around other gay men was good for me.

Well I did not go last Friday night and you know what? They were right! I missed it so much, it is a good outlet. Its one thing not to be able to go due to illness or work. i was thinking about it this morning and how much I missed the fellowship, the music, dancers, and just being there!

So I am not going to cut it out completely, but try not to spend as much, maybe not eat there or just have soda or one beer. cut back on tipping the dancers. I'll think of it this way, spending that money will stimulate the economy!!

This is an outlet I think I need, I might cut back netflix, I get three at a time maybe cut back to 2 at a time. I only have air cable and internet is a must. It will work out.

The stimulus signed today and it provides a tax cut. However, it comes down to only $16 a paycheck. WOW!! a whole $16 dollars! maybe i'll use that at the club! Its better then having to pay an additional $16 in taxes. I hope it works!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Another Downturn Axing hours



As I sit writing this, I am attempting to come to terms with another cut in my hours. This time at the assisted living where I serve part time as Chaplain. Having hours cut is better than losing the job altogether, yet it still means more belt tightening, its hard to know what to cut. The cuts impact every department, for me it means working 15 hours a week instead of 20, which is not a lot but when you consider I drive 35 miles one way just to get to the place its hard. My commitment is to ministry there plus the income helped. Especially when hours were cut at the Hospital. Just quitting crossed my mind but right now replacing the income is at best difficult. plus it would leave a gaping hole there; which I am not prepared to do right now. So I am praying for the Lord to guide my steps.

So what's the answer? I don't know, its kind of scary too. My faith and mind tells me God is in control He will provide. My experience tells me this is true. Yet... my emotions say otherwise. I have anger, fear, disappointment, and a part of me just wants to hide out until this recession is over. How irrational is that.

One big thing I may have to cut is my Friday night out at the club. I cut back not eating there just drinking the soda and maybe a beer. then I am not tipping the dancers like I was which is hard because I like them! So I may have to cut that back and not go, perhaps just once a month. This is something I look forward to and and its so nice to be around other gay men!



I ask that you please pray for me to have peace and guidance through this time. I also ask you if your not already, to pray for all the folks in our nation who are looking for work . Who are losing homes, cars, having trouble paying bills because of job loss or cuts in hours and pay. Please lets band together an pray. Thank You

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Stepping Forward

Several things on my mind this morning, the news more people losing jobs, when will it slow down? I pray for everyone who has or is losing a job. I have been there and I am concerned about being there again. Anyway I am praying for our country in this downturn, I pray for families in need, for those looking for work. I am praying. Something practical I am doing as well each month I am adding a few dollars to my electric bill for the energy share program, I am also giving to the food bank. Also giving to the local Aids task force they do good work in the local GLBT community. Its not much but my little bit added to others I hope will help someone in need. That is a step forward.

Another step forward, I have completed my application for a school system job. I hope I am offered a full time job. It would only be a teaching assistant or something like that, but its a foot in the door and begins a new process for me. I intend on keeping my part time Hospital ministry because I love that work so much and its part of my calling.

Next I want to complete the application for a graduate degree in school counseling. its part of the change in direction I have been praying and thinking about. It would be a big step forward. I still want to complete some type of theological graduate degree but not sure what yet. Something that would help me maintain my Hospital ministry and perhaps add pastoral or grief counseling to my qualifications. I don't think it will be the M.Div though.

Also I need to figure out how to deal with a personal financial situation. I need to step forward in this area as well but not sure the steps to take. Hmmm.

A relationship step forward, I have mentioned my best friend in other posts. Well our relationship has changed over the last few months. There is an openness between us that has renewed our friendship of our younger days when we were much closer. I have said that I love him..well I do. I could easily be in love with him, in fact in the past I have been but the romantic love was not returned. Right now he is in a relationship with someone and I see him so happy and comfortable with this guy that it has brought me a satisfaction for him. I think its a step forward in our friendship.

So I am trying to step forward and move on to whats next.

Monday, February 2, 2009

What's Next II

Continuing to think about what's next, what steps I should take to continue growing. I am struck by Psalm 42 which states "As the deer pants for the water brook, so my soul thirsts for God" To know god and be known by him is at the heart of spiritual life, and growth. Certainly I know in my heart of hearts that I am loved, and accepted, even wanted by the God who created me. His grace toward me is unmatched by anything this world has to offer. I do have a sense of a new balance in my life. That is fulfilling! I still have to get used to it.

Still practically, what is the next step? Is it the change in direction I have been praying about? a different education program? A job? I must confess for about six months now in this regard I have been at a stand still. I have applied for a few jobs but not really pursued any. I have experienced a personal financial downturn with a cut in hours at the Hospital. What is that telling me? I find myself at times filled with a fear about finances that seems to overtake me. It makes me feel like I am not standing on my faith as I should as a believer. Then there is the creditors pressure to which I am powerless with no resources to do anything about. But that is a whole different story.

Well I think part of the answer for me is being faithful with what I have, what I know and keep praying and taking steps forward. That is the steps I feel in my heart I need and want to take. The other night I listened again to "The Bible Tells Me So" At the end there is a n interview with Gene Robinson, where he states to the effect that we just take steps forward and God will take care of the rest. I was struck by that statement, God will take care of the rest. That is what I have to let happen, but I need for take the steps forward. I will its part of the journey!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Whats Next?

Something I have noted when I began to get comfortable with myself and being out is the outpouring of emotion from deep within me. At times it seemed I would cry for no apparent reason, this was something that I was not used to. A song on the radio, a special story on TV, or Scripture would touch me, even in my prayers at times were filled with tears. New experiences and the fact I was open to them could be emotional when I reflected on it. I found this outpouring was a healthy release of old emotions, hurt, grief. Sometimes my tears were from a sense of awe at what my Lord has done or is doing in me.

Well I say that to say that I am noticing a decline in the tears. I wonder what this means, I hope its not a hardening of my heart, something I guard against. I think I am finally adjusting, finding a deeper peace and comfort. A spiritual rest as it were. This is a good thing.

Now something to note as well it was very rare for me to cry around anyone else, it was always in my quiet moments alone reading, listening to TV or the radio or in my prayer time. This was always a cathartic event.

So I am wondering what this means? What is next? Growth is always calling us forward, lest we stay in one place and stagnate. Also something I guard against.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A NEW DAY: Change is in the air

Well President Obama is now in office! It was said the crowd for the inauguration was the largest ever. That says a lot, there is a sense of hope and expectation. I am praying for him and his administration, and the Congress as well to be able to accomplish as much as possible and be successful. As he said in his speech we all have a role to play in our country and economy.

The changes we hope for will not happen overnight, but I think this election shows the willingness and openness of a large number of people for positive change. If we work together, each one playing a part.

Some new things already, for the first time in presidential history there was an openly gay group who participated in the inaugural parade!

Also noted today Milk, a film about a gay activist has been nominated for an Oscar. Good work!

My hopes, for a better economy and people back to work. For a safer more secure lifestyle for everyone. More openness to minority issues and rights, both racial, religious, and sexual orientation. Laws that protect the rights of workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation. So much more that I could wish for.

Good things to come I hope, but the road will be hard.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday Nite Ramblings

Well the cold is much better! I hope none of you get this mess! It been rough.

I was on call last nite, I had hoped to get a little rest, HAH! I was called out not once or twice but five times! Don't get me wrong I need the money it will provide plus I like the work. The thing is I came close to my record of deaths in one overnight shift. Whats more there seems to be a number of young people dying right now. That is bothersome. No clear reason that is obvious in the ER. Its amazing how things can happen so quickly. Life is fleeting.

A week tomorrow we will have a new President in the Whitehouse. I hope there will be true change. I think he is seeking to do what he can. I hope the congress can work together to help the problems we face and not just spin wheels and not help. Is that being naive?

I have been thinking about the beginnings of our country. People came here for many different reasons. The most prevalent were opportunity and liberty both personal and religious. Yet, they brought with them their own prejudices and imposed them on others. (think of the Puritans). I may write more about that later.

Well enough rambling.

Friday, January 9, 2009

WHAT A WAY TO START THE YEAR!!!

Well since Monday of this week I have been down with a bad head cold. I don't get sick often, (a benefit of working in a Hospital environment I think) But when I do get sick its a doozy. Top it off I don't have health insurance right now so I hesitate to go to the doctor. I medicated myself with over the counter and home remedies which seem to help. I have not gone to the ALF at all this week, so that is a hit on my paycheck! I was going to go yesterday but after getting ready I had to sit and rest. When I awoke two hours later, it was just not worth it to go. Plus I was on call for the Hospital last night so I needed to be rested and ready for that. I had two calls and did not get back in until 06:30 this morning. I planned on getting ready and spending most of the day at the ALF. Well again I came in a went to bed for a "little while" when I awoke in was 1 o clock in the afternoon! So much for that! So Saturday will be a day for work. On the plus side I feel sooo much better. I think I am on the mend.

I used my time this week to pray, do a little reading when I could. When I am sick I plan to do all these things to try and redeem the time but sleep or vegetative things seem to dominate my time. Well I guess that is how it goes!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Welcome 2009!

Happy New Year to everyone! Phil 3:13-14 "Forgetting what lies behind, looking forward to what lies a head, I press on toward the upward call of God in Christ Jesus"

At the very beginning of this blog I said this was a place for me to express myself, to work out my thoughts and feelings. I found this has been very healthy for me, I also found a few regular readers who express their thoughts. opinions, and encouragement as well. To you I say thank you and God bless you, you will never know your impact this side of Heaven! I invite you to continue or begin your reading and commenting. Even email me direct if you like. You have a place at my table, perhaps we can learn from each other in 09.

My new year's prayer for us all. I pray our Lord will protect us as a nation, as GLBT community, and individually. I ask that our Lord would move and change the hearts of those who stand in the way of gay rights, same gender marriage, for those who spew hate toward any group. I ask for God's provision of jobs, housing, food, heat and cooling, clothing for all of us, especially those who find themselves without as this year begins. I ask our Jehovah Jeriah to bless us all with successes in 2009.

My hope for 2009 is to continue the growth I experienced in 2008, it was tough but good year in many respects. 2008 was as dickens put it in a tale of two cities, the worst of times and the best of times. I hope for more stable income, if that means a change in jobs so be it, actually I pray for the right doors to open and the courage to walk through them. I pray for benefits in 2009.

I confess my fear, fear of job loss, fear of car break down, fear of the unknown. I know fear is not of God and that is why I confess it. Perhaps I should not write that here but hey its my blog.

I pray for stable health as well. I also pray for a friend and lover this year if that is in God's timing for me. For my friends to all be happy, well, growing spiritually, close to Christ . protected, and provided for. For those with no one special to find that one this year as well.

Most of all I pray and desire God's will for my life and those around me. For God's will is ALWAYS the BEST thing for us, is NEVER a danger to us. Just read Jer 29:11, Jer 33:3

I pray especially for our new President to be safe, protected, wise, understanding. to be granted the ability to unify our country in as many ways possible, and bring about the change and revitalization we need.

That is quite a list! Really the only prayer needed is for God to be who he is in my life and the lives of those around me. That's is the true need. everything else will fall into place after that.

Happy New Year! Be blessed in 09