Monday, September 25, 2006


my mom sent me this in an e-mail last week:

Thursday night Todd & Lisa asked us to eat dinner with them so when Chloe was almost done, she said "Gee, I need to hurry and get done so I can go outside to scream!" She told me she uses her inside voice in the house so she has to scream outside. As soon as she was done, she ran and opened the patio door, ran to the edge of the bricks and screamed at the top of her lungs! Then she said "I like to scream."

ok, first of all, my neice is the funniest kid ever. but, second, i thought that letting chloe have a place where she can scream is a pretty inspired bit of parenting on the part of my brother and his wife. chloe is a very active, very verbal kid. she doesn't stop talking from the moment she gets up until she goes to sleep. she noticies everything and comments on it. she runs around in circles and sings songs. she's always going. apparently, she has discovered that she also likes to scream.

i love that she is in an environment that she is allowed to figure out who she is, be loved and valued for who she is and then be shown how to function successfully as herself. obviously, she can't succumb to her desire to scream in all places at all times, but she's been given an appropriate way to be herself, and i think that's going to make her a better person.

i think that's yet another picture of how God created families (all kinds of families, but that's another conversation) to give us all places to learn to be ourselves and find our place in the kingdom. oh my gosh - i just realized that there's a point at which i could actually agree with the religious right. alert the media. i do think that the enemy works specifically to short circuit the family system. however, here's where our agreement sadly comes to an end. i have a broader definition of family (again, not going into that here) but i think that we need to work, not to keep people from forming new families but teaching people to be better families.

it's an interesting social phenomenon that when we move someoner else or grew up in a place where we have no stong biological family, we create new families, and we call them families. we know that we need that, and so we make it. we find circles of relationships in which we can love and encourage and be loved and encouraged and become the best version of ourselves.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

finding a church

as we all know, i'm looking for a church. i'm trying to be very thoughtful and prayerful about it and make a spirit-led decision. it seems that the two churches i've narrowed it down to (and it's probably one), are both very open to people of gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender persuasion. i mentioned this to my parents, because i'm trying to be honest, and, well, let's just say that they're so cute when they try to be supportive :-)

so, i'm thinking about this issue b/c there are enough loving, wonderful and geuinely godly gay people in my life and i refuse to use the word of God as a weapon. as a woman who spent time in southern baptist world, i've experienced that, and i'm not going to participate in that.

two things i've read/thought about as i've pondered this issue:

1. ezekial 16:49-52ish "This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughers had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. they were haughty, and did abominable things before me; therefore i removed them when i saw it. samaria has not committed half your sins; you have committed more abominations than they, and have made your sisters appear righteous by all the abominations that you have committed. bear your disgrace, you also, for you have brought about your sisters a more favorable judgment because of your sins in which you acted more abominably than they, they are more in the right than you. so be ashamed, you also, and bear your disgrace, for you have made your sisters appear righteous."

2. romans 1:26-32 "for this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. their women exhanged nautral intercourse for unnatrual, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. men committed shamelss acts with men and recieved in their own persons the due penalty for their error. and since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mined and to things that should not be done. they were filled with every kind of wickedness evil, covetousness, malice. full of envy, murder, strife, deciet, craftiness, they are gossips, slanderers, God'haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, rebellious towar parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. they know God's decree, that those who practices such things deserve to die - yet they not only do them but even applaud others who practice them."

"paul is writing this letter to rome after his missionary tour of the mediterranean. on his journey Paul had seen great temples built to honor Aphrodite, Diana and to their fertililty gods and goddesses of sex and passion instead of the one true God the apostle honors. Apparently, in some odd sexual behaviors - including castrating themselves, carrying on drunken sexual orgies, and even havning sex with young temple prostitutes (male and female) - all to honor gods of sex and pleaseure. the Bible is clear that sexulaity is a gift from God. our Creator celebrates our passion But the bible is also clear that when passion gets control of our lives, we're in deep trouble. when we live for pleaseure, when we forgoet that we are God's children and that God has great dreams for our lives, we may end up serving the false gods fo sex and passion, just ast they did in Paul's time. in our obsession with pleasure, we may even walk away from the God who created us - and in the process we may cause God to abandon all the great dreams God has for our lives." rev. mel white

"the people Paul had in mind refused to acknowledge and worship God, and for this reason were abandoned by God. and being abandoned by God, they sank into sexual depravity. the homosexuals i know have not rejected God at all; they love God and they thank God for his greace and his gifts. How then, could they have been abanoned to homosexuality as a punishmendnt for refusing to acknowledge God? nor have the homosexuals i know given up heteroexual passions fo homosexual lusts. they have been homosexual from the moment of their earliest sexual stirrings. they did not change from one orienteation to another; they just discovered that they were homosexual. it would be unnatural for most homosexuals to have heterosexual sex." dr. lewis smedes

ps - i look at the list of behaviors at the end of the romans passage and i find it interesting that i've never heard james dobson even mention one of them.