Time for a discussion in the church about Gay, Lesbian and Transgendered Issues

18 Apr

I just read an interesting post from Rich Tatum of the Blog Rodent entitled, How to get arrested at Central Bible College. Plus: The Unremarked Transgendered Issue. He talked about two Gay-Rights Activists from a group called Soulforce who were arrested at Central Bible College and used that story to comment on how the modern church – and Assemblies of God in particular have dealt with the issues of gay, lesbian and transgendered people.

Reading posts like this always stirs up a certain angst inside of me. It’s a feeling that I know something is wrong but I don’t know how to fix it. For years, our society has been slowly pushed into believing the normalcy of gay, lesbian and transgendered lifestyles. Now, if we believe differently, we are labeled as “homophobes”. I have wrestled with how to minister to people who believe this for years. I keep asking myself – how can good people, who believe they are Christians, embrace this lifestyle? Even to the point of encouraging more people to “come out of the closet”. My heart aches, as it does with anyone I see who is openly sinning against God. I want them to know that God does love them but He desires them to not act on their desires. Everyone sins – no argument there – but I believe that it is the person that is embracing his sin that is endangering his eternal outcome. Rich uses some great analogies in his post that describe the difference between someone who is tempted to sin and doesn’t act on it and those that do.

The transgendered issue is one that I haven’t thought much about. Rich lays out his personal view rather nicely and has me thinking. I would love for this discussion to continue. I encourage you read Rich’s post and also read the comments as there is likely to be a lively discussion.

On weight loss…

23 Mar

I was embarrassed!

It was a warm June day. My family and I were on our annual summer trip to Branson and this was the first year my oldest daughter, Sarah would be “big” enough to go on the large roller-coasters! Finally – someone to go on all the rides with me! What was even better was that Silver Dollar City was introducing a new roller-coaster, The PowderKeg, and we both wanted to ride it. As soon as the park opened, we went directly to the ride. Obviously, other people had the same idea as there was about an hour wait to get on the ride. Finally, we were allowed to board the car that would take us on an adventure that we had waited over an hour to ride. Sarah got in her seat and I got in one right next to her. The seat was a little tight but I’m used to chairs being a little small. When the attendant came around to lower the seat restraints, he couldn’t lock mine in place. He pushed and pushed and pushed. He used his feet to push to no avail. Finally, it was obvious that the restraint wasn’t going to lock. I was too large for the ride. I turned to my daughter and had to tell her the most embarrassing thing I think I have ever had to admit – I’m too big to fit on this ride. She was crushed. Everyone in line was watching as my daughter and I slowly walked out the exit – without being able to ride the roller coaster. She was crying – I was embarrassed. Life was not good.

The rest of the day was pretty much the same. I went from one ride to the next – not being able to fit in the seats. I was too fat! How did I let myself get like this? How could I be too big?!

A year after that incident, I still denied that I could lose weight. I didn’t want to discipline myself. There was already too much stress in my life – I didn’t want to stress about what I could or could not eat. Finally, in January of this year, I decided that I was tired of being too fat. It had taken me 13 years – but I had gained about 150 lbs. (Not good!) Now, I am on a mission to lose it. I had to go through an Extreme fat loss process to be able to have fun and enjoy life again.

My first goal is to be able to take my daughter on the roller coasters this year. We go in June and I promised her that I would do what I had to do to lose enough weight to get on the rides. I’m building her hopes up – I better not fail.

Second – I just want to have fun again. It’s not fun being fat. EVERYTHING is an effort when you have to move 350 lbs. I got to the point where I couldn’t even support my weight on ice skates! I want to start enjoying life.

Third – I want to develop a healthy lifestyle so I will be around longer to enjoy my family. The way I look at it, every pound I lose is a day or week or year longer I get to spend with the people I love.

Fourth – I want to be an example to my kids. I want to show them that if you set your mind to do something – you can do it. Ultimately I want to lose about 160 lbs. That is a big number. With God giving me strength, I’m doing it one pound at a time.

Fifth – I want to be attractive to my wife again. When she married me, I was in the Marine Corp and had a pretty buff body. Now I look like a buffalo! I told her last night that I’m bringing the sexy back!

Sixth – I would like to fit into my dress blues again. One of the reasons I joined the Marine Corp in the first place is that I loved the uniform. The Marine Corp Dress Blue uniform is one of the most recognizable uniforms in the world. I have mine still hanging in my closet. I want to be able to fit into it again!

Someone once told me that you have a 80% chance of achieving your goal if you write it down. The percentage is much worse if you don’t. So – here it is. I’m accountable to all of you that read this.

OK – so I know some of you are wondering how I’m doing! I started Weight Watchers on January 9, 2007. At my initial weigh-in, I weighed 349 lbs. As of today – I have lost 36.6 lbs. I’m still not below 300 lbs but it’s getting closer and closer everyday! So you can also learn more about dieting at Shapebloom.com

Digital Quandary

12 Mar

With the popularity of digital music and digital photography and digital video, I just realized that I have terabytes of digital content stored on various portable hard drives, internal hard drives and DVD’s. In fact, as I digitize my music and video collection, it is becoming almost unmanageable. My quandary began this morning when I realized that I have no way of backing up that much data! As hard drives have gotten larger and larger, other types of storage haven’t kept up. How expensive is a 5 terabyte tape backup? Does it even exist? What kind of backup strategy should I adopt to make sure I don’t lose any of my digital content? My first thought was to back it up on DVD’s but at only 4.7 Gig per DVD or 9 Gig on double-layer disks, it would take me 250 regular DVD’s or 125 Double-layer DVD’s to back it all up. Most digital content is already compressed so I wouldn’t even save space by using compression.

I’d love to hear your suggestions. What are you doing to back-up all of your digital content?

Dancin’ the night away!

13 Feb

The WatusiThe Sixties were a time where coming up with new dances was the fad. I was born in 1962 and although I was never exposed to the dancing in the sixties I have always been fascinated with all of the dances created in the 60’s. (My generation had Disco – stop laughing!) Here’s a quiz – get out a piece of paper and write down all of the dances from the sixties you know. You know, like The Finger Poppin’ or The Monkey or remember The Chicken?

Sunday, Pastor Bart talked about how God wants us to have fun. Shouldn’t life as a Christian be full of joy and laughter? I love to laugh – most of the time, it is hard for me to be entirely serious. I love life! I may not like my current circumstance but I love living! I love that God wants to have a relationship with me – even when I make mistakes (which is often). I love how God, knowing that I would be a screw-up – sent his Son to die and pay the price for my sins so I could still be with him for eternity. I love knowing that I have a hope – that I don’t have to go through life not knowing why I am here or what happens when I die. I love knowing that I can love everyone because Jesus first loved me. I am loved – so I can love. I love the fun I have when I get together with my friends from church. I love canoing with the guys in the church. I love the picture of the guy to the left doing the Watusi. Wow, just thinking of all of things I am thankful for, makes me want to dance! Maybe even the Mash Potato!

Back to the dance list. Once you get done with your list, go to this page and check your answers. You’ll be amazed!

Vista: Not for me!

1 Feb

Everyone I talk to asks me if I am going to upgrade my computer to Vista – Micro$oft’s new operating system. I say no. From reports that I have heard, it is a resource hog. I don’t want to have to upgrade my hardware just to get a fancy user interface that everyone agrees is a cheap copy of Apple’s operating system. Then I saw this picture in the NY Times

wownow.jpg

The caption is: From left, Kevin B. Rollins of Dell, Sean Maloney of Intel, Steven A. Ballmer of Microsoft, Hisatsugu Nonaka of Toshiba, Hector Ruiz of Advanced Micro Devices and Todd Bradley of Hewlett-Packard helped kick off the Vista operating system Monday in New York.

Do they look excited to be there? Is this the new and exciting operating system everyone has been waiting for? If this is their reaction – why do I want it? There’s not a smile in the bunch! They must have been up too late fixing all of the bugs!

nsaptr15_thumb.JPGWhat was most funny when I read this article was the other picture on the same web page: A picture of the Hindenburg.

Apparently I’m not the only one who won’t be getting the “Wow!”

Wanted: A New Voice!

21 Dec

Have you ever heard the voice behind the movie promos? Most of those promos are done by Don LaFontaine. I want a voice like that! Is it possible to electronically alter my voice to sound like that? After watching this clip, I think I’m stuck with the voice I have… he is just too good!

If you do have suggestions on how to get a good “radio-guy” voice, please send them my way! Like, what equipment should I buy etc.

Thank you!

I Am A Christian

8 Dec

SHOK
I am a Christian

I argue, I fight

I curse, I swear

I fall, I rise

I die, I cry

I try, I fail

I walk, I stumble

I hurt, I feel

I anger, I haste

I lose, I win

I frustrate
I am frustrated

I make a mess of things
I ask God to fix things

I never will
I am a Christian.

I am trying to be like my idol
Jesus Christ.

So bear with me
I am no better than you
I can sometimes be worse

Because I have been given much
And much is required of me

I am a sinner and
I have a lot to live up to

Jesus saved me
I was lost,

I am trying to repay him
But I fail everyday..

Because I always forget

    He already paid my debt

That’s when The Holy Spirit reminds me
And then

I am a light in darkness
I am strength to the weak
I am an inspiration to my brethren
I am life, I am Hope, I am Love,
When I am in Christ and Christ is in me
There is no stopping the plans he has for me!

When I am not..
I fall short
He forgives me still
I pray you will because
I am a Christian and
I have some big shoes to fill

Author : Michael Gomez
(Reprinted here by permission – Thanks Michael)
(Read more from Michael and listen to some of his great music at www.myspace.com/thelosttruth)