Friday, August 18, 2017

You've have no idea how a lesbian feels in a straight setting who don't accept completely!

I am a foreigner to my own family, a stranger to my own mother’s children...
Psalm 69:8

People just assume that there is no emotional recourse from them not accepting a gay person.  They just act as though it is okay.  Well, it's not!  When you are gay, you constantly wonder who will accept you, or at least I do!

You are careful who to let know at church, family gatherings, and at work.  You want to be open and honest about you, but you learn not everyone will accept so you don't say a word.  You don't deny it either, but you don't announce.  When they say when will you find a man, you just laugh and change the subject.  When they talk about dates, you just listen.  When the world is thinking straight, you have to accommodate to them.

There are times I want to say, stop!  I am gay, I won't have a man, I go on dates with a woman, I am gay!  Yet for safety, I don't say a word.  I could lose my job, my church, or family.  I am as out as I can be, but still, I can't just talk about things normally cause than others will react.

I dream of a day when me saying I am with a woman is not a threat to someone.  Why should it be?  It is not affecting them!  Who I date should not be a bad thing.  Yet, let's say at church, I am careful who I let know about dates.  I don't want to be judged and I don't want to hear their comments of condemnation.

So what does this do to a person and their psyche?  Well, it tells them that they are not accepted.  It says there is something wrong with you.  It says you are not wanted.  And we wonder why there is such a high suicide rate in the LGBTQ community, especially among teens!

If you are part of the LGBTQ community, you can't change the straight community.  But if you are part of the straight community you can change it!  Show acceptance and love to start with.  Don't make a big deal if someone is gay.  Be supportive and let them know that they are good people.

How we treat each other today is just saddening.  If we truly cared to follow God's commands, then we know we must love.  Love is an action word.  It means to be kind, be compassionate, be what you want to have back to you!  It means accept!  If we just learned to accept, we would find the world a lot better of a place.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

What is it like being in the Church of Christ and a lesbian?

I think the questions I get asked the most is: Why the Church of Christ?  Are there not more accepting churches out there?  Won't I feel more acceptance at one of them?  Doesn't the Church of Christ condemn being gay? How do you deal with that?

These are good questions.  Let's start with the why question.  Simple, I grew up in the Church of Christ.  It is what I know and feels the most comfortable at.  It also helps that the preacher is a life long friend.  The Church of Christ has the values I want in my life, beliefs that I hold dear, and way of doing things that feel like home.  It is my spiritual home.

Yes, there are more churches out there that are more accepting of gays and lesbians, but I find them to be more about "look at how we accept you" than about being on the topic of God and Christ.  I want to go to church and feel like I have worshipped and got a lesson on God and not just told of how accepting of gays a church is.  This is one reason I love the Church of Christ, it is not pushing an agenda, just talking about God and all about Christianity.

Does the Church of Christ condemn being gay?  Depends on which one you go to!  The Church of Christ is autonomous and each one can choose what it holds onto in each subject.  For instance, some of the churches have musical instruments and some don't.  Some are liberal and some are conservative.  The one I go to believes that what you do in your personal life is between you and God.  That we are not there to condemn but to come as a body to worship God.

I have some in my church that doesn't approve of my lifestyle, some who tolerate it, and some that approve.  Yet each one of them accepts me as me!  This makes it very easy to deal with being gay in the church.  We teach "Love the sinner, but hate the sin in your own life and when you get rid of it, then go to your brother and help him."  None of us get rid of sin in our own life, not completely, so, therefore, we cannot go to our brother and fix his life.  We can pray for them though!

One of the reasons though that I stay with the Church of Christ though is how can I expect the church to grow to accept gays if I don't stay?  I am involved in helping people understand being gay and what that means.  I am there to show that we are humans too.  I am there for the next person that wants to come along and be part of.  I am there to help the parent of a gay child to understand their child.  If the church is to change, it needs people to be part of, not walk away because it is easier elsewhere.

The Church of Christ has come a long way, but it still has a way to go.  One day, I know it will be a church that gays are not scared to go to!  I will be there to see it happen and I will know that maybe, just maybe, with God by my side, I had a part to play in that!  So this is why I am in the Church of Christ and why I stay!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Be a Rainbow!

Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him.
Ezekiel 1:28

Those that know me know I love rainbows.  I am effectuated with them.  On my personal computer, there is a picture of one and it says "Be a rainbow in someone else's cloud" by Maya Angelou.  I think about this saying often.  What does it mean?  How can I be a rainbow?

In life, there are many dark clouds that seem to pour on us, but we can be a rainbow to each other by encouragement and giving hope.  I see a rainbow and it reminds me that the rain will stop and God's love that He won't flood the Earth.  When being a rainbow to someone, it is reminding them that this will end and that God won't flood them where they can't survive.

There are people that do this automatically and shine when they walk into a room, but for some it is work.  So, for those that it is work, here are some simple things to help:

  1.  Do your best to be positive.  We choose daily if we are going to be positive or negative.  It is easy to get all wrapped up in the bad and let the flood of things get us down to where we are no good to anyone.  Yet, if we look at the good, we will find that the storm ends quicker.  And when we are being positive, we can be that hope to someone going through their own storm.
  2. Pray for good things upon the people who have storms going on.  There is power in prayer!  It can change things and people.  God wants to be part of the rainbow making and He wants to hear from us.  So don't only pray for the person, but that you yourself are a rainbow to others.
  3. Share your experience, strength, and hope with the person.  Sometimes knowing others have gone through storms in their life and made it, helps the other person know that there is hope and that it will end soon.
  4. Give hope to people.  Let them know that nothing is forever and that there is a good side coming.  My preacher tells me that there have to be highs and there have to be lows, it's called life.  And it tells you that you are alive.  Think about it, do you want your heart rate to be flat?  No, it has peaks and valleys that let you know you are ticking along.  So remind people that there will be a bright side to the storm.
  5. Give them a hug.  There is power in human touch and giving a hug will do a world of good.  It says, "I am not alone!"  And it allows the other person to let down their walls and release the negative and be acceptive to the good.
Sure there are more things that you can do, but these are just a simple suggestions that could make the world of difference in someone's world.  We all must do our part to show a loving concern for each person and be a rainbow in someone's cloud!