Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas Message

Dear friends,

During this holiday time, let us remember that there is no war on Christmas. Christians the world over celebrate in as many different traditions as there are denominations to hold them. We are still, in America, given the privilege of worshiping in freedom. And those who do not celebrate as we do, are given the freedom to celebrate their own traditions. We must remember that there is nothing wrong with that!

When you encounter those who would wish you Happy Holidays, don't take offense. Be thankful that you live in a country where you have the privilege of expressing those wishes. Realize that the Christian faith is not the faith of all and offer your best wishes to others who celebrate differently. Nothing says you have to agree with their personal choices or convictions. But if one truly believes the Christian message, one will offer respect and graciousness in light of differences.

So to my Christian, Jewish, Pagan, Wiccan, and other friends, my partner and I wish you a happy holiday season. May you find great personal connection to your Creator(s) this season. May you have a New Year full of prosperity and joy.

May God/dess bless you richly!

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Well, it's that time again. We in America gather around our dinner tables and televisions to celebrate Thanksgiving with our friends and family. Christians tend to gravitate toward this holiday, proclaiming it a time of blessing. It all sounds so great, this Thanksgiving holiday. Plenty of food and fun to go around. Lots of football.

But, if we go back to the origin of what we consider the first Thanksgiving, things weren't so nice. First, we must remember that the Puritans (who were called that for a reason) came seeking a place where they could be separate from those whom they considered too liberal in their faith. They had very strict rules and were quite fundamentalist in their beliefs.

They took over a sovreign nation (the Wampanoag who lived here) and proclaimed their faith as law, overrunning the native inhabitants. (Seeing a pattern?) The Puritans felt they had a mandate from their God to subdue the so-called savages and convert them. They disarmed the Wampanoag through deceit and force, thus taking over the land and all of the inhabitants.

Does any of this sound familiar? I know this should be a typical Thanksgiving post. But, that's not where our country is really at, is it? Just as the Puritans land-grabbed and dominated because they felt their God made them special, so has our government done the same. The Christian fundamentalists have grabbed control in the name of dominion and are slowly taking away all of our rights and liberties, just as the Puritans took away all of the ways of the Native American Wampanoag.

I encourage you this Thanksgiving holiday to consider the true history behind the holiday. Consider what is becoming of our country; how disrespected we are now because of sweeping facism and religious fundamentalism. Take time to thank your God for the year's blessings. By all means, do that. But then remember those who cannot because of war, famine, homelessness and lies. Be thankful....but remember to be humble.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election Results...Now let's get busy!

My friends,

The election is over, with a few disputed races and recounts with which to deal. I, for one, am glad I will not have to suffer those horrid negative campaign ads for a while. The candidates really do go after each other. You know, when it gets personal I'm just not interested. Here in Alabama, home of ugly politics and politicians in jail, they got pretty ugly. Don't tell me how nasty your opponent is. Tell me what you will try to do if elected. Ughh. It won't be long before we start hearing the next election garbage ads...and that one will be even worse.

That said, let's now turn our focus to getting this country back on track. We have suffered such a terrible loss of respect in the world (with good reason, mind you). I'm very disappointed to hear that incoming Speaker Pelosi has taken the impeachment issue off the table. I truly believe the whole lot of them should be thrown out of office, tried and convicted of war crimes. But, that's just me.

While we are spending billions trying to save face for President Bush, our own are starving and homeless. Just think of how much money we've spent in Iraq. Over $9 million is still unaccounted for! If we had not attacked a sovreign nation, who has been proven to have NOTHING to do with 9/11, we could make such a dent in our own problems at home. Don't misunderstand my love and commitment to our troops. As you well know, Patti was one of those who served with honor in Iraq.

But, had our President not done this, we would have three thousand men and women at home with their families this holiday. We would have men and women who would be able to kiss their children and loved ones tonight and wake up to them tomorrow. That's not to even mention, let alone forget, the over half million Iraqis who have been lost. And the number of both is still rising.

So, my hope is that our incoming government will have some cajones and redeploy our troops; bring 'em home! Let's take the money we would have spent on war and spend it on peace. Let's allow our National Guard to get back to their daily lives. Let us build affordable housing for those who are without homes (like those who suffered dramatic losses in Katrina). Let's get food out to those who starve, especially the children. Let's take care of our ill.

I know it sounds like a total Dem agenda. But, really, it's a HUMAN agenda. My goodness, we've gotten so proud of our, " It's not my problem. " attitude! The poor are not my problem. The homeless are not my problem. We've become a selfish nation hell-bent on having more and more and leaving the suffering behind us. Shame on us!

So I say to our incoming representatives and senators, grow up! And for those of us who live in our comfortable homes and shop the bargains at Wal-Mart, pick up a few extra items for someone who needs them. Give a bag of food and necessities to a charity. Help Habitat for Humanity build a home. Use your vacation to make a difference in the life of one person instead of spending a couple thousand on a beach hotel room.

If we all gave as we were able, the entire world would be a better place. And you know what they say, charity begins at home.

Hey, leaders...hear what we're saying! Peace not war. Food not starvation. Homes not a cheap tarp picked up from the trash strewn over two trash cans. We are the richest nation on the planet. There's no excuse for not helping the poor and widows.

May God bless you richly this day...and may you find a way to make a difference in your little corner of the world. Oh, and don't forget to write or call your representatives and senators with a few suggestions from their constituents!


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

My Yahoo 360 profile, including pics of me, Patti and "the kids." Just check out the photo album on the right.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Pharisaic Spirit

Hello, Gentle Readers...

Odd title for a blog: The Pharisaic Spirit. But it is a topic which I feel compelled to address.

First, who were the Pharisees? They had some good things going for them. They believed in the "One God." They believed that humankind had free will. They also believed that God was all-knowing and therefore had foreknowledge of humankinds' decisions. The Pharisees also believed in the resurrection of the dead. Great. These are all teachings that have followed history to this very day.

How did Jesus see them, though?

Matthew 23. The bulk of the writing is the reported words of Jesus about the Pharisees. Let's look at v.2 and 3: "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach."


Jesus calls them hypocrites in v.13. He tells them even though they go to great lengths to create one convert, the Pharisees and their converts are children of hell. In v.23 Jesus calls them out for being diligent to pay tithes, but neglecting the more spiritual things: justice, mercy and faith. In v.28 Jesus hits them with the righteous judgment of God: "So you also on the outside look righteous to others, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness."

This last statement, v.28, is the crux of the matter. What is a Pharisaical Spirit? It begins in the heart of a Christian with a thought. In quiet tones it whispers, "You're better than that." You're better than that skid row man who just walked in the back of the church and smells. Oh, you say hello and maybe smile. But you walk away to find your seat; the one you always sit in.

You're better than that one who does not show forth the same gifts. Certainly, you are better, more spiritual, more mature because of it. You're better than that. You smile and say hello, and then make your way to the front of the church so all can see you sing and raise your hands.

You're better than that one who sits in their seat with their head bowed, humbled by the small gift they have to offer. It may be their last dollar, but Jesus views it as the greatest of gifts in the offering plate. What do you do? You despise the offering as lacking faith, shout and make a show of putting your check in the plate, and thank God you're better than "them."

You seek places of leadership, not places of service. You seek recognition and not a quiet closet of prayer. You seek not faith, even though you talk about it all the time. You seek prosperity instead of being poor in spirit and meek in countenance. You find for yourself the head of the table.

And what is God's Word for all of this? Humble yourself before your God and kiss the Son's feet lest He condemn you! We are called to be servants, givers of life and meet the needs of the poor. We are called to be kindhearted, gentle encouragers of those who face adversity!

Galatians 6:1. "My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness..." v.2 "Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."

There is no room for us to have "better than" attitudes. There is no room for judgment against a brother or sister. Only God is the righteous Judge. Not a single one of us, myself included, should push away one of our own family. A good friend once said to me that Christians are the only army that shoots their own wounded. And I hate to admit that it is so.

I compel you in Christ to look inside and recognize the Pharisaical Spirit and cast it out. (It can be a subtle spirit!) I learned this lesson a couple of years ago and it was heart-wrenching. I suggest to you that our churches are full of Pharisaical Spirits that have caused us to be a laughing stock in the World. Put away this spirit and live, says the Lord. Reach out in love and kindness and restore those who have been wounded. And remember that each of us may be in the position someday to need someone to lift us up, and we would want our friends to care for us, not cast us away.

May God bless these words and carry them to fertile soil.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Real Christians Fight Intolerance

This writing came to me recently on a group in which I participate. I found it quite moving and wished to share it with you. I hope you are blessed by the writer as I was.

Real Christians Fight Intolerance
By Rev. Jim Rigby, AlterNet. Posted July 14, 2006.

Progressive Christians tend to be non-judgemental and to feel that challenging the intolerance of others is itself intolerant. For that reason we often sit by silently when Fundamentalist Christians criticize homosexual persons. We tend to think of this as being open minded.

Not that long ago, it was considered consistent to be a Christian, and yet, hold slaves. The day came when slavery was understood as an affront to the gospel itself. I want to suggest that the day has come when Christians must declare that gay bashing is an attack on the gospel and that real Christians do not participate in any form of discrimination.

Several years ago, I was asked to do the funeral of a gay man who had been beaten to death in a hate crime. At that time, I had never thought deeply about the danger many gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people face in this culture. That week as I worked on the service, I kept hearing a local "Christian" radio station blaming gay and lesbian people for everything wrong in America. By the end of the week I understood the link between religious hate speech and the funeral I was performing.

I know that critics of homosexuality do not consider themselves to be hateful. They would say they "love the sinner but hate the sin." If the shoe were on the other foot, however, and someone were attacking their families, trying to take their children away, and constantly working to pass legislation to deprive them of basic civil rights, at some point they would understand that "homophobia" is too mild a word for such harassment. "Hatred" is the only proper term.

I was raised in Dallas, Texas and had classmates who were in the Klan. I remember that they did not consider themselves to be attacking other people. They perceived themselves to be defenders of Christian America. Their "religion" consisted of an unrelenting attack on people who were black, Jewish or homosexual. If anyone challenged these views, these Klan members considered themselves under attack and believed that their right to free exercise of religion was being threatened. In other words, they felt that harassing other people was a protected expression of their own religious faith.

In the Gospel, biblical literalists and judgmental people were the negative example in many of the stories. The point of those stories was to teach us the hypocrisy of judgmental religion. When a woman was caught in adultery, the Biblical literalists lined up to protect family values. They pointed out that the Bible literally says that adulterers are to be stoned. If Jesus took the Bible seriously, they claimed, he would have to participate in the mandated biblical punishment of an adulteress.

Instead of following scripture, Jesus tells the woman to get her life together and tells everyone else to drop their stones of judgment. The only way to take this story seriously is to conclude that real Christians don't use the bible to condemn other people.

It violates the teaching of Christ to say that God will get angry if America does not confront homosexuality as a sin. Jesus did not mention homosexuality and it is a lie to say he did. Furthermore, Jesus said "Judge not or you will be judged." These false prophets are saying "Judge or else you will be judged."Jesus was kind and understanding, but he was not silent about those who abused the vulnerable. He called them "wolves in sheep's clothing."

Christians must follow the example of Jesus and confront those vicious predators who use the Christian religion as a camouflage for bullying. We must be as understanding and kind as we can be, but to be tolerant of the oppression of others is not true tolerance.

I believe the time has come to say that genuine followers of Jesus Christ do not participate in discrimination against gay and lesbian persons. Is it intolerant to challenge intolerance? Are we doing the same thing as those we are challenging?

Gay bashing is not just an opinion, it is an assault. Just as the Klan did, religious fundamentalists have a right to believe that homosexuality is a sin. They even have a right to preach a message of hate. But when they harass people in public, it is time for Christians to rise to challenge their intolerance. We have an obligation to protect our neighbors from harassment and slander, especially when it is done in our name.

It is time to say that gay bashing is not only wrong, it is unchristian. If Christianity is grace, then judgment is the ultimate apostasy. If Christianity is love, then cruelty is the ultimate heresy.

The Rev. Jim Rigby is pastor of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Austin, Tex. He can be reached at

Friday, August 18, 2006

What do you do when...

Hello gentle readers...

Well, things are moving along swimingly. I received my promotion at the day job. I'm now an accredited pet trainer. I have three classes going right now and I really enjoy them. But I have a dilemma...

What do you do when you are called to minister and your regular job drains you? This is where I'm at right now. To be fair to our members and friends, I truly need to devote a good bit of my time to phone calls and visits. It just isn't that easy with the hours I work. So I've spent the past couple of weeks or so just being quiet. I know there are needs out there, but I've just not felt I can make a positive impact on others at this point.

I am reminded of when Jesus went off to pray. There were folks with him, although they surely weren't much of a support system. When Jesus needed them the most, to support him and move the ministry of God's Word forward, what did they do? They fell asleep. Yep, they crashed. How discouraged Jesus must have felt! He knew he had to accomplish overcoming death and bring salvation to those who would believe on him. Yet, there he was alone without the help of those who were to minister with and for him.

I can only say that, as one who is supposed to lead, it isn't easy to feel like you're going it alone. Oh sure, I know others are doing the ministry sending cards, making calls, visiting the sick, and bringing communion to the homebound. I simply feel set apart from this effort. How does one lead? How does one organize individuality? This is my place right now.

I know that God has me in the right place at the right time. But, I am easily discouraged at this point. There's so much to accomplish and so little time to accomplish it!

All I can do in this place is trust that God is guiding. To do what I know to do and to not do it would be sin. So, I continue to try to minister healing to God's children, even when I seem to have no direction. It's all about the trust. It's all about the faith. It's all about the hope.

Today, when you look at what you need to do and how limited your time and budget are, remember the trust, faith and hope that God brings to you. Step back. Take a deep breath. And go forward knowing that God goes with you.

This is my prayer for you: That you would know God intimately, walk in faith, know to trust, and offer hope to the world around you. I would hope you would pray the same for me.

God's blessings,

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Update on Life

Hello gentle readers...

It's been awhile since I've posted. Life is busy, as I'm sure it is for all of you. It's amazing how we can get caught up in the everyday and forget the eternal.

I spent the past couple of weeks near New Orleans in training for my new position with PetSmart. I am now an accredited pet trainer. That's rather scary for me, I must admit. You see, I've come a long way from the 12 year old girl who was terrified of dogs.

As a friend and I were riding our bikes to our softball practice, a german shepherd lunged over it's enclosure and attacked us. My friend was very badly mauled. I escaped physical harm. However, the emotional scars were there for decades. As I got older, I lived with girlfriends who had dogs and I mostly avoided them. When I entered a covenant relationship with Patti, I knew she was a "dog person" and I would have to get over my fear.

The first step was to take a job with the local humane society. I worked as an adoption counselor and forced myself to deal with my fear by walking the large dogs. In time, the fear became less and less. Then, knowing what great therapy a dog can be and being a bit afraid of being on my own while Patti was deployed, I got a puppy. Tank is a marvelous dog! I can't imagine life without his little Corgi butt parading around the house!

When we were displaced by Hurricane Katrina, I got a job at PetSmart as a cashier. Of course, that required me to be friendly with all of the animals that entered the store. Quickly I realized that I wasn't so much afraid anymore! Amazing. A true healing of the soul by God.

When the position of Pet Trainer came open, I applied honestly expecting to be turned down for the job. Surprise of all surprises, I was offered the job! I focused on my training. My area trainer said that she was amazed at how much of the book material I had retained. So, I graduated from training school on 7/29 and my first class is this coming Saturday, 8/5! I'm so psyched. I hope I avoid the jitters that come with something new and am a good fit for this job.

The reason I share all of this is two-fold:

First, God has taken a very fearful situation and made it whole. Years ago, I could have given up and given in to that fear and just lived in it. But, I made a conscious decision to face the fear and give God an opportunity to bring healing. Not only is healing continuously occuring, but God has brought me to a job that will provide for my family. For someone who deals with being bipolar and the difficulties that come with it (including holding down a job), this is a tremendous victory.

Second, I have learned that even the most simple things that affect our lives, like a fear of dogs, can be overcome by prayer and diligence. Prayer is important. It is our communication (and that is a two-way conversation) with our God. But unless one acts on the prayer, puts some action to the request, nothing much gets accomplished. Prayer requires us to play an active role. I am an active participant in my spiritual journey. It's not just about God leading us around by a ring in our nose. It's about us in continual contact with our God and walking in the understanding we are given. How can we expect more wisdom without acting on the wisdom we have? That is how we learn, my friends.

So, I am thankful and full of praise for God's continuing work in my life. I am thankful that God has shown me how I must respond to all that God shows me before I can expect to grow further. And I am prayerful that my experience will compel you to respond to God and seek growth for your own spiritual journey.

May God richly bless you as you seek God's best for your life...


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Independence Day

My dear friends...

On this 4th of July holiday, I feel compelled to write on independence. More than 200 years ago, some very wise individuals came together to create a country. They took their ideals and put pen to paper. Those documents still govern us today.

My question is whether the spirit of those ideals still remains? In my humble opinion, I think not. Here is why.

First, all people do not have the privilege of all of the rights guaranteed to our citizens. All minorities still suffer under prejudice and hatred. Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Americans remain without any civil rights or legal recourse. This should not be. The widest interpretation of those words given at the inception of our country should be accepted to understand that ALL people are created equal, and as such should be afforded all rights and liberties under our system of laws.

Second, we were given by these founders a tri-fold system of governance so that not one single part would gain control and create dictatorship and infringe on the rights of the individual. We suffer horribly under our present administration's dismissal of this concept. We have an appointed leader (not one supported by the vote of the people), who has taken to himself complete control including the decimation of civil liberties. This has been accomplished through government secrecy and violation of individuals by obtaining their bank records, phone records, and anything else the administration wants. This is done without regard to the law. And it continues to be done without the oversight of an emasculated Congress.

Third, our government was meant to provide representation for the public's taxation. We were to live within our means as a country. Thanks to the current war of aggression against the sovereign country of Iraq and massive spending by this administration, we as a country are in deep, deep debt. Much of this money is being borrowed through foreign countries, making us dependent upon their mercy financially, commercially, and politically. As individuals, you and I must live within the confines of our paycheck. We cannot simply give ourselves a raise. We cannot spend on a whim knowing our rent is due. We must be frugal. And with our economy as it currently stands, our status in life is certainly not improving. Yet...our government spends without concern for its citizens and their limited ability to pay taxes. What will be the outcome of this frivolity?

You want to know the state of this Union? It is easily found in the media reports from those who are not afraid of this administration; who will not be manhandled by a corrupt government. Unless something changes, and quickly, our beloved country may not be around much longer. We have become weak by spreading our defenses around the world, where they cannot defend us at home. We have become weak by becoming the slave to other countries' finances and commerce. We have become weak by giving away those very precious rights and privileges given to us by our founding fathers. The Patriot Act has stripped us of our rights and privacy.

Yet, we keep on living in our own dream, rose colored glasses intact, hoping things will improve. Wake up! Wake up, my friends. Unless we do, we will see all of our rights denied us. No more freedom of/from religion. No more right to privacy. No more right to a free press. Kiss them all goodbye.

Let us not only PRAY for relief that God might hear from Heaven and have mercy on us, but let us act! Use your vote wisely, for you have seen what can happen when it is taken away and the Supreme Court appoints a leader. Let this 4th of July, this Independence Day, signal a renewal of purpose to save this great nation. And celebrate the great nation that was...and will be again!

May God richly bless you this day.


Thursday, June 29, 2006

One Dead Soldier

My friends,

Yes, this is another war post. I post because my heart aches for these soldiers who are giving their lives for such an unjust war. So many lives lost. So many lives changed forever. Please visit this link:

It will truly touch your heart and give you a glimpse into the world of our brave soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This link is from AmericaBlog (

God bless us all.


Friday, June 16, 2006

Tony Snow, White House Press Secretary, says 2500 soldiers killed in Iraq is "just a number." If these brave men and women are "just a number" to this administration, what would compel them to stop the bloodshed?

My friends, NONE of these men and women are "just a number." That is so offensive to me that words are simply inadequate to describe it. And the number of Iraqis killed, some estimates are well over the 100,000 mark, are not "just a number." These are valued human beings. They are husbands, sons and fathers--wives, daughters and mothers.

These men and women, both American and Iraqi, will be emotionally and physically scarred for the rest of their lives. My partner was in Iraq. I see the scars every single day. And for our gay and lesbian soldiers, those scars run even deeper because of our government and nation's lack of gratitude for their selfless service.

No, they are not "just a number." I encourage you to contact your congressional representatives. Call the White House switchboard. Register your disgust of Tony Snow's description of the 2500 (and counting) brave soldiers who have given their lives for such an ego-driven cause.

They should be ashamed of themselves!


Sunday, May 21, 2006

Opposing Civil Rights is Offensive!

Dear Gentle Readers....

I am offended by those who would deny us our civil rights. Check out the link. (

You see, June 6th we will have the opportunity to vote against using our Constitution as a club of discrimination. That is our opportunity to express our displeasure with the current movement among politicians to pander to the religious right. That is our opportunity to say to our elected leaders, "Enough is enough!" That is our opportunity to stop this train and secure civil rights for ourselves, our partners, and our children.

I am offended that my elected leaders would seek to demoralize me and minimalize me in the light of the Constitution. I am offended that anyone would tell me who I am, what I am, and whether I am a fit parent. I am offended that my partner, who served nearly 15 years in the military, is told she can die for her country, but she can't live for it and enjoy basic civil rights granted to heterosexuals--simply by virtue of whom she loves! My friends, I am offended. I am offended by religious leaders spewing hate in the guise of love. I am offended by political leaders who would use us as political footballs, pandering to the religious right. I am offended by an administration who, regardless of their moral failures, would impose their fake morality on others. I am offended by a system which would deny me more than 1000 civil rights simply because of whom I love; who I AM.

I am offended, my friends, and you should be, too!

I try not to be an alarmist, however this situation we face is in need of one who cries in the wilderness! All we have to do is read the history of Nazi Germany and open our eyes! The Jews. The homosexuals. The infirmed. The mentally ill. They were all put on trains to their death just because they were different.

Do you hear the rumble of the train's wheels? You should. If you fail to vote on June 6th (and exercise one of the few civil rights you have), you will certainly hear them. If our Constitution, state as well as federal, is used as a tool of discrimination to deny an entire segment of the population access to the very same civil liberties as others, we will hear the rumble of the wheels.

Take time to pray for our government and our leaders. Take time to write your congressional representatives and senators. Take time to sign petitions and walk the picket lines. Take time to stand up to self-righteous bigots at work who would belittle you and joke behind your back. Be offended!

And then take time to go to the polls on June 6th and vote against using YOUR Constitution as a battering ram; a document of discrimination toward an entire segment of our citizenry. If not, you will certainly begin to hear the train wheels rumble.

May God prick your heart to be involved. As one great person said, "All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing."


Saturday, May 20, 2006

Hurricane Katrina - Eight Months Later

Hi all...

I wanted to share with you our latest excursion to the MS Gulf Coast. We had to go to the VA in Biloxi on Friday and since we had some time to spare in between appointments, I suggested we take a ride down Hwy. 90 (the Beach Rd.) between Biloxi and Gulfport. Now, mind you, it has been eight (count 'em--eight) months since Hurricane Katrina slammed into the MS Gulf Coast, with the eye of the storm bringing a direct hit on Bay St. ouis/Waveland.
While driving down the beach road, I was overwhelmed by what I saw. Eight
months later, the roadway is still a mess. Houses are either a pile of sticks or an empty slab. People are living in tents in driveways or trailers in the yards of houses which look like they were put through a confetti shredder. Some houses have been razed. That's good, I guess. But, overall, I didn't see that much progress.

Where are all those contractors? You know, the ones supposedly paid for by FEMA? And what about the crooked insurance companies that took everyones' premiums for years and years and then bailed when it looked like they were going to have to pay?

I know, I promised a spiritual journey throughout the whole Katrina nightmare. And I know I have shared my spirit with you. But, this is simply anger at how we can live in "America" and be in this position. I fail to understand why we pour money (which we don't really have, by the way) into other countries and wars, when our own people suffer.

I think that is the base of this indignation. America, as I knew it, no longer exists. We used to care about our people, provide for their needs. Now social security is virtually non-existent. We are in an illegal war of opportunity to split a sovreign nation and control their oil. We are threatening another sovreign nation so our (p)resident can feel "yeehaw" on the inside. Our people are starving. Our veterans are living in the streets, homeless after serving their country honorably and being failed by a VA health system which has been raped monetarily.

What is the answer? My heart cries out in desperation to God for deliverance. This must be how Moses felt when he saw the Children of God being broken by a perverse and evil king. This must be what Jesus felt when he wanted to gather Jerusalem to his bosom and provide them with comfort. I'm not saying I'm anything like Moses or Jesus. But I am one person with a broken heart toward all people on this planet. White. Black. Yellow. Red. Brown. Young. Old. Rich. Poor. It matters not.

As Christians we are called to care for our brother; to be our brother's keeper! How can we say that when we continue to support this kind of evil against the world by a government which is corrupt? Unless godly people stand up against the "religious" and begin to follow our call to care for the widows and orphans, heal the sick, clothe the naked, and feed the hungry, we WILL NOT see the fullness of the glory of Almighty God. That is truth.

So, I say to those in authority: Get over yourselves and your egos. End this lawless war and return to those we have wronged that they may have their lives back. Take care of the people of America with tax relief and affordable healthcare. And bring relief to those in areas ravaged by natural disaster!

May God have mercy on us. Please continue to join me in prayer for the people along the Gulf Coast for relief from their struggle to survive. Please continue to join me in prayer that the truly godly would rise up in strength and bring the balm of the gospel to the hurting hearts and lives in our land. And please, please continue to pray for our administration that God would see our plight, hear our prayers, and bring us a deliverer--again.

May you truly understand the call to care.

If you're interested in seeing pictures, try this link.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Life Moves On

Dear Gentle Readers...

Hello again. Yes, life moves on. I apologize for my tardiness in writing. And thanks to those of you who yanked my chain about sharing my journey with you, as promised.

I love this picture. When Patti was deployed to Iraq, we used Lilo and Stitch as our alter-egos. If you see Patti, you'll understand. She looks just like Lilo. Me? Yep, I'm an alien life form with six arms and legs, no coordination, and a knack for getting in trouble.

That being said, the journey continues to be interesting.

We've been through so much. First, Patti's deployment to Iraq which took her away from me for 15 months (and only a month into our relationship). Patti returned only to battle post-traumatic stress disorder. Then the disaster of Hurricane Katrina. No home. No jobs. All lost. So much to handle in such a short time!

And even though I feel the stress of our everyday lives, I still remain amazed at the provision of God. Just because one has faith, does not mean one doesn't feel the strain! I think it's just the opposite. I think we feel the stress and learn to overcome by the power of God working in us. If it was easy, it wouldn't be worth the struggle, right? What was it they said of baseball in A League of Their Own? "If it was easy, everyone would do it." Christianity isn't for sissies.

So we move on. We face each day with the hope of a future. We face each day knowing that we will not beg for bread. We face each day knowing that not only does our God care for us, but our friends and families do, also. And above all, we are grateful!

At the end of the day when we think about where we are and where we have come from, we still stand amazed in God's Presence. I think of my friends, even those who are Christians, who are falling apart because of Hurricane Katrina. So many have lost their homes and possessions, but they've also lost themselves! I've received cards and emails that are heart-wrenching. I wish I could reach through the lines and tell my friends of the goodness of God!

All of these stresses are nothing compared to the blessings of God; the Glory of God. So, I write this to remind myself that we are cradled in the Presence of God, blessed as a joint heir with the Son, protected by the Spirit. And life moves on.

I challenge you to look at the struggles in your life as temporal; threads in the tapestry of time that make up our lives. Remind yourself through the stresses you face that God continues to be in control and sing the old hymn, "It is Well With My Soul."


Saturday, March 11, 2006

God's Timing

Hello gentle readers...

Forgive my lack of posting. Let's just say it's been busy around here. I've been working extra hours at my "real" job. I'm not complaining, either. We need the added financial help. But, of course I got a flu bug which turned into my usual bronchitis and I've been feeling horrible. But thanks to modern medicine and my nifty doctor, I'm feeling close to 100% and ready to tackle the world again!

I come to this post with wonderful news and great praise to God. FEMA finally came through with some cash! Thank you, Lord! And just in the nick of time - -as is God's way. Let me review:

We have been using our friend Michael's truck. Both of our cars were completely demolished by the hurricane. Michael is in Afghanistan and left his truck in our care. Please understand that without Michael's truck, we would have (1) been stranded in the hurricane, (2) not been able to transport our "kids" (the furry creatures in our house) to safety, (3) not been able to find employment and get a new life started. Michael's generosity allowed us to move to safety and move forward with our lives.

That being said, we received a call from him stating he would be home in the next 3-4 weeks. Well, I lost my faith about then. I remember asking my partner Patti what we would do about getting to and from work. It's amazing how when one of us is facing a faith crisis, the other lifts us up. Patti was that for me. Just a couple of days later...

We receive a call from FEMA stating that they would be compensating us for some of our losses. Now, grant you, it wasn't a huge sum considering all that we lost. But it was enough to help us dig our way out of the hole we were in. I called an old friend, Curt, who sells cars (whom I know I can trust) and told him that we wanted two vehicles (two very specific vehicles) and had only so much to spend.

Curt said it was virtually impossible. Then, out of seemingly nowhere, Curt found a car that matched my desires perfectly. It was a dream! The next day, we went by the dealership and Curt had a truck for Patti which matched her desires perfectly! Curt's comment was, "You must be living right because I didn't thiink we'd be able to do this." I told Curt how God had carried us in the storm, cared for our needs afterward, and now has brought this to pass.

Throughout this ordeal, I've shared with you my ups and downs. The one thing that hasn't changed is our gratitude for all of the little things: people who gave us food and clothing, folks who donated time and money to help us, and even those who did not know us personally cared for us as if we were family.

This, I believe, is the corner we've been waiting to turn. When I look out on our little rental house and the two vehicles in the garage, I just can't believe we've come this far. I've always had two sayings that stuck with me:

"But God...." Because there is always a "but God" in everything that knocks us around in this life.

"An attitude of gratitude..." Because God responds to his children when they are appreciative of his help and guidance. It's that attitude that puts in motion God's blessings in our lives.

So I ask you today, where is the "but God" in your life? And how is your attitude? Continue to trust and God will bring to pass not only that which you need, but in many cases the things that you want.

May God richly bless you and may you find strength and courage to overcome the day. Oh and by the way, PRAISE GOD FOR HIS PROVISION! Woo-hoo!


Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Gratitude is great, but generosity is better

Gentle readers...

I hope this time has been one of inspiration for you, as it has been for me. As you know from reading past posts, I have been overwhelmed by the feeling of gratitude for all with which we have been blessed. Without the ongoing assistance of family and friends, we would have long been homeless and hungry. An "attitude of gratitude" is wonderful. But, this week my spirit was pricked with the idea that gratitude must give way to generosity.

This past Sunday, our regional elder was visiting our church. During one of his prayers, he prayed that we might allow our gratitude to compel us to generosity. How true! God doesn't simply bless us to have us hoard that which He gives. God blesses us that we may bless others, my friends.

For example, even though our funds were short it was not uncommon for people to come up to us and ask for money...$5 or $10. Now, I'm not one to just give money away. But, how odd that during this time of blessing we should have so many people asking for help? I say it was God teaching us that giving is better than receiving. And giving with gratitude for God's blessing and our ability to help is even better.

I've learned that, even though I must be wise in giving, I also must accept that it is up to God to sort out who is honest and who is a con artist. The Holy Spirit who lives inside us will teach us and lead us how to share that with which God has blessed. That's part of the Holy Spirit's job (for lack of a better word).

It never failed. God never failed. When I shared what small amount I had with others, God blessed even more! It's akin to the principle of tithing. Some would say they can't tithe or increase their offerings because the money just isn't there. I would challenge you that in honoring God by increasing your giving, even a small amount, you will find that God provides so much more than you give. I've seen it in my own life over and over again.

I'll give you an example: One Sunday we went to church with $5 in our pockets. That was all we had for groceries and gas that week; just $5. We took a step of faith and put it in the offering plate. Guess what happened next? A gentleman in our congregation turned around and handed each of us a $50 bill. That's $100, dear friends. God turned our $5 widow's mite into $100, which gave us food and gas for that week (and then some). As we continue to honor God's desire that we be generous, God blesses all the more.

I would challenge you today to find ways in which you can take the blessings of God and use them as opportunities for generosity. Not only does it honor God, but it frees your spirit to experience the wonder of a generous spirit.

Dear God, turn our hearts of gratitude to ones of generosity and in so doing bless the world around us.


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Exciting Conference Opportunity

Hello gentle readers...

I wanted to share with you a wonderful opportunity. Whosoever, an online ministry for gltbq folks is having a magnificent conference this year. I've posted the link so you can check it out. Also, below is the invitation from the editor:

Whosoever made history in 1996 by becoming the first online magazine for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Christians. Now, Whosoever is making history again, marking ten years as the premiere resource for millions of GLBT Christians seeking spiritual wholeness.

To celebrate that landmark, Whosoever will host a conference at Virginia Highland Church in Atlanta, Georgia, on July 14-15, 2006. The "Reaping the Spiritual Harvest" conference will feature many inspiring workshops and keynote speeches from Harry Knox, director of the Human Rights Campaign's faith and religion program and Candace Chellew-Hodge, founder of Whosoever Ministries, Inc. who now lives in Camden, SC and serves as the assistant pastor at Garden of Grace United Church in Columbia. Renowned lesbian Christian singer Marsha Stevens will give a special concert.

The "Reaping the Spiritual Harvest" conference will give GLBT Christians and their allies a chance to reap the benefits of this movement as they come together for a time of spiritual renewal and community building. Workshops will focus on such topics as spiritual self-defense, coming out to family and ways to reclaim the scripture as a source of joy and inspiration for GLBT Christians.

For more information about the conference, visit or email Candace at

I hope all of you will take advantage of this opportunity. Whosoever has given me support for many years. I have been more than blessed by this ministry. It is my great pleasure and honor to recommend this conference and the Whosoever ministry to you. Check them out. And if you are able, register for the conference and join us in Atlanta for a wonderful time of revelation, worship and fellowship!

Many blessings,

Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Years Resolutions...and other things....

Happy New Year, gentle readers....

The picture at the left is of a rushing river in Ireland. Many of you know that my family history is Celtic and I've been fascinated by all things Celtic lately. But while looking at this photo, I was reminded of how our lives are like a rushing river. Each year marches on without fail. Some months feel as though the river just crawls along. But in the final analysis, it is rushing by.

We have all been through so much this year. Personally, in our house we have faced the aftermath of my partner's deployment to Iraq, the constant fight with the Veterans' Administration over their responsibility to her, the fear of Hurricane Katrina and all of the stress of trying to overcome the losses from that storm, the loss of jobs and loved ones. The list goes on, as I'm sure it does for you.

But, just as the river rushes forward so do our lives. This is a new year with new promises challenges. The cold, dark winter will eventually lead us to a bright, colorful springtime. We can be comforted in knowing that seasons of despair lead ultimately to seasons of joy and promise. We can be assured that above all things our God has our very best interests at heart and will never let us fall.

My partner and I have learned this lesson this year. Our God is bigger than any earthly difficulty we face. Our lives have truly become about "but God." In our humanity we struggle and triumph, as well as struggle and fail. "But God" in the spirit realm works for our good in all things. Our needs have been met this year in ways of which we could never dream. God has used people we didn't know to meet needs we had...and always at the time they were needed! Just this month, one of our customers at work called and asked to speak to the girl from Bay St. Louis. When I identified myself, they asked how long I would be working that day (it was Christmas Eve). They said to wait for them and they would be there shortly. Two wonderful folks walked in and handed me a Christmas card with a $100 gift card to Wal-Mart/Sam's Club. These are people completely unknown to me, but well-known to God. Their obedience provided us food and gas for the last week of December when we didn't know where to turn.

These incidences occured all these months. To show you all of them would take pages and pages. My point is that God knows us. God knows what this year will bring, both good and not so good. When we submit ourselves to Him, He works on our behalf to meet all of our needs. Remember the scripture that says, " God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." (Phil 4:19)

My dear friends, you can know in your heart (as I do in mine) that regardless of what you face in 2006, whether good or challenging, God will be your strength and your provider. So go forward into this year with great confidence. The river will continue to rush, but God will be the guide through the rapids!

May God richly bless you this year. I thank you for reading and sharing time with me through this blog. You have honored me with your time and your comments. I am looking forward to sharing more of my journey with you.