Andyouinvitedmein’s Weblog

Posts Tagged ‘gay Christians

In thinking about the Penn State mess I wondered if I would have enough courage to buck the system and be a whistle blower. Would you? It takes courage to swim against the established tide. JoePa was a force who didn’t want trouble, and to come against him didn’t happen. And because of that no one was a voice for those boys. As hindsight we can look back and say “oh yes”, but really??? Would you lose your job for someone?

Would you dare lose your standing in the community to stand up for someone…would you be like Jesus and love even though you might be called a sinner and be ridiculed? I think doing that would be radical for Jesus.

That’s grace and that’s hard.

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I read in the newspaper about conservative churches being picketed by gay groups. I already knew that $73 million was spent on this election on the gay marriage issue. Thought: WWJD with that much money? That’s a lot of warm meals for hungry people poured down the proverbial toilet. We didn’t have that on the ballot in my state; however, if we did, and if the final tally went against my belief I know that when I got up the next day the sun would still come up and nothing would change because God is still in control. But some people forget that and forget about grace.

There are rumors of all kinds of change that might occur if the gay community got the right for same-sex marriage. One of those rumors is that “kindergarten children will be taught about same-sex marriage.” Answer: Kindergarten teachers don’t have time to teach what they have to teach, and certainly won’t take their time to teach about same-sex marriage. However, most teachers already speak to the hearts of their children and make them feel safe. These teachers will do whatever it takes to make their students feel “normal.” Last year a dear ultra-conservative Christian co-worker had a child with two moms, and she always treated those moms with dignity. So Mrs. K was teaching her students that she respected every parent as well as every child no matter what.

I would like to suggest that God’s heart breaks when we conservatives speak such harsh words about people who believe differently from us. I believe that God wonders how we can experience such grace for our lives and not turn around and hand it out to others.

And talk about the things we make up to try to win people to our side…did you ever hear “the one” about how all gay people want to corrupt our kids and make them gay? Sure you have if you attend a conservative church. Guess what…its a lie. Certainly that myth was in my mind the first time I let my daughter spend the night with a girl who was the daughter of a lesbian couple. But she came home and the only thing that she knew was that her mother (me) lived my faith.

I just want to leave you with this parting thought: 3 John 1:9-11 says: I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will have nothing to do with us. So if I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church. Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.

In this scripture I believe that God is warning us about gossiping in a manner that hurts people, refusing to welcome brothers, and putting people out of the church; God calls it evil. Therefore, use your words wisely, my dear conservative fellows. God loved us so much that Jesus died for us. For ALL of us.

And $73 million of walls have been built between the conservative community and the gay community. What would Jesus do? Simply read the Gospels and see what Jesus did each and every day.

…are the words to a popular Christian song. We sang it at CFO. As we sang I started thinking about grace being enough. You know it’s great to have grace extended to us, and (at those times) grace IS enough for us. Grace was and is all about the work that Jesus did on the cross. Yet in our neck of the woods we tend to enjoy meddling in other people’s business. Call it what you will, but we have an opinion on everything and how people need to do it. It might be the dress Sister Bessie is wearing. It may be the way our friends are raising their children. 

Does a worship service consist of three songs and a prayer, or is it an hour of rocking, jumping and swaying as we become deeply connected with the Lord? I personally don’t care much for Southern Gospel genre of music. Last night I went to a concert that was the Southern Gospel equivalent of Country Music’s Fanfare.  There in the middle of rose-scented talcum powder (no doubt applied with a fluffy puff) and Old Spice After-Shave, I found myself experiencing a little bit of heaven on Earth. I was caught up in the richness of harmony that’s sung (generally) with family.

In our Christian homes, sometimes there is a disruption of harmony. Family will be at odds over the silliest things…my closest friend’s sister-in-law was mad at her mother for four years because of dish detergent. Sometimes it is big: a child or sibling or friend announces (s)he is gay. Oh my…then we get all structure and legalistic on our dearest gifts from God. Then grace isn’t enough. At least grace from us—the grace that says “I’ll love you no matter what” to “until you change you can’t come home”. Maybe there’s even a hint that it would have been better had we died.

So if grace is enough, then grace is enough. Grace isn’t “love the shoes, love the dress” when we honestly hate it. That’s lying. Grace is laying down our expectations, desires, wishes and loving beyond reason. That’s what Jesus did, and it was enough.

I think if it was enough for Jesus, then loving beyond reason and when it is most difficult should be enough for us. And when you love beyond reason…heaven will open no matter where you are. Corrie ten Boom was able to tell the world: “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.” Grace isn’t subtly wrapped in rules or ultimatums. His grace is enough!

What do you think about the earthquake in China? What about Dafur? What about the starving children in Myanmar? What about the Christians in Laos: the pastor who was killed and now his wife continues his church and preaches grace? What about a certain child I know who is dying and his parents don’t have the money for gas to get to the hospital? These are issues that also need our attention.

As a Christian I think we need to be about the Lord’s business, and that means letting those we love know how much we love them…and we need to love them in more than just words. I’ve often heard the scripture from James quoted: “faith without works is dead.” People used it to emphasize the need to cook meals, witness or whatever to show they were/are working for the Lord. Let me put a new twist on it…

If the foundation for our faith is what Jesus did when he died for our sins. Then our faith is based on unconditional love and grace. “The works” would be showing grace and forgiveness to others. Now is a time to show what Jesus is all about. Here’s what the world is hungry for…

The Amish who embraced the shooter’s family. The church in Colorado who embraced the shooter’s family. The woman in Rwanda who has befriended the man who killed her husband and children. This is what the world is crying out for…the very thing that by passes the mind goes straight to the heart and makes people want to be better to their fellow man.

It is my opinion that my faith is only undermined when I set conditions on love. My children are strong in their faith when I’m acting like the Amish with the shooter’s family. The world wants what I have when my actions are like the Amish with the shooter’s family…

In short, there will begin to be battles now that the California Supreme Court has stepped up to the plate. We conservative Christians can fuss and fight, and maybe win politically, but what will we lose?

NOW is the time for all of us who carry the name of Jesus to step up to the plate. Our acts of grace will go to the heart…think about it…practice it everyday…watch things change.

 And You Invited Me In … read the book!

At the suggestion of my brother and his family, I made another YouTube video about why the book was written. Check it out: http://www.YouTube.com/cherylmosstyler.

Get the word out about the book…read it…THANKS! 

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Here is a link to an Internet article about And You Invited Me In: http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2008/s08030136.htm . Hope you enjoy!

Spring is here finally after a long winter of mending a broken leg and various flu-like ailments associated with sick children in school.  I am looking forward to the warmer days. Thanks for reading the blog. Feel free to contact me anytime: CherylMossTyler@aol.com

As I pondered this blog for the last week, I encountered some job-related issues that have left me sad. In fact most people where I work are sad. In the middle of this sadness all kinds of emotions began popping like firecrackers. Maybe it is a number of hearts exploding because of the stress.

I don’t like those antagonized times that make my view of the world askew, upside-down or marred because of people, past experiences or a momentary situation. For example when I’m depressed I just don’t feel I have anything to offer. Or it might be because of a person—I once had a terrible principal at a school in another state. She made everyone tremble when she entered the building. If I only knew her as a boss then I’d think all bosses were like her. 

Have you ever seen the movie Billy Elliot? With a theme similar to October Sky, it is a movie where someone has a dream to accomplish something.  Soon the whole town embraces this dream as if it was their own. No one is cranky, no one is sad, and no one is out to make someone’s life miserable because everyone’s heart is too full of excitement about what’s going to happen once this thing happens.

When we’re in step with God we’re excited. We aren’t trying to make life miserable for others, but instead we’re simply in love with doing God’s will. I like those special spiritual moments.

Today I’m going to address the various fathers my book And You Invited Me In. There are the good fathers like Wayne Whitley and Tom Hamilton (and presumably Truman Johnson). These father are seens as an example of Christ: loving, forgiving, a giver of grace and mercy.

At the other end of the spectrum are the bad fathers like Bill Marshall. He’s an example of rigid legalism. Instead of drawing his family to him through grace, his rigidity held his children captive through fear and intimidation. In the book, Bill Marshall’s fathering painted God as the God of high demands and unyielding rules. On the other hand Samuel Phillips was a father who put career over family. He was about doing the biggest and best in the name of Jesus, and forgot the very thing God had given him to nurture and raise: his son.

My question is what kind of father makes your heart joyful? Are you looking at God through the donut hole of past experiences of a bad father or rigid family member? Has a religious person put demands on you that make your heart sad?

God wants us to delight in him. He draws us with grace. He loves us beyond comprehension. As we become givers of his grace (and at times it is very difficult) to those who are different from us we’ll begin to feel the total joy of serving him.

So why the title of this blog? If we look through the donut hole our total view of life will have distortion because of our experiences (and because we don’t see the whole situation like with Emily Webb in Our Town). If our father was legalistic like Bill Marshall, we view God as a judge who is always ready to bully us into submission. If our father was like Samuel Phillips, we were put second to everything else in the world. If our father was a Tom Hamilton, then we are better able to understand grace.

Grace is what Christianity is all about. It is what the world is crying out for….and that will be my next blog….