Goodness of God, homosexuality, Hope for the hurting, Jesus, Love, Nature of Jesus Christ

Why I Love Homosexuals

I love homosexuals.
I also love liars, thieves, murderers, people who have children out of wedlock, people who “shack up” together, cheaters (in card games and on their spouses),  gamblers, drug dealers and users, prostitutes, drunks, child predators (and that’s a hard one for me), porn addicts and the actors inside the flick, Obama, spouse abusers, gossipers, back biters, gluttoners, the list could go on and on and on, but I think you’ve gotten my point. I love sinners.
James 2:8-11
If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.
I guess my question is why do we make such a huge deal out of homosexuality but when our teenagers get pregnant it’s easier to look over because, well, “what’s done is done. May as well accept it now.” When someone gossips to us we listen and even participate at times. We will tear the buffet up until we have to unbutton our pants so that we can waddle home and fall out into a food coma for a few hours, we cheat on our taxes to save a few dollars, keep the extra pizza that was accidently given to us, but at the mention of a homosexual, we act as if a diseased leper had walked up to us and wrapped their stinking arms around us and infected us!! We start thrashing around and yelling curses at them, wanting them to change because they are disgusting human beings.  WOW!  And I once was guilty of this. Snarling my nose at their sinful stench. Why do we elevate things like homosexuality and murderers and child molesters above stealing and gossiping? When James 2 said that if we fail in one point we are guilty of all? Isn’t a sin a sin? Doesn’t the stench of fornication smell the same as those “big named sins” ? Or have we sugar coated the sins we are comfortable with so that we can throw our righteous stones at people who sin bigger and differently than us so that the fragrance of our sins would be covered up?
I used to spray febreze on my sins. I didn’t act as badly as some people I knew so it made me feel more righteous than others. But then, I met Jesus. He came to live in me and completely remodeled my brain and my heart! Showing me a love like no other. And when you begin to know the love of the father and begin to realize his nature is in you you begin to look at things differently. I put on a new nature and gained the mind of Christ! (Col 3:10, 1Co 2:16, 2 Cor 2:16, all tell me that I, as a child of God have the mind of Christ.  (We haven’t just had a portion of Christ’s wisdom transferred to us; we have the mind of Christ! We know everything that Jesus knows! #andrewwommack) and my personal favorite I Jn  4:17-21.  Verse 17 says that as He is so are we in this world! Jesus is LOVE and COMPASSION and FORGIVENESS and SELFLESS and SACRIFICING and HOLY and GOOD! How can I knowing all that I am in HIM pass judgement on someone who doesn’t understand who they are in God? And how will they ever know as long as we are passing judgement on them and hating them and condemning them?? Verse 20-21 says, “If anyone says I love God, but hate my brother, he is a liar; and then commands us to LOVE our brother if we love God!”
For a moment reflect on Jesus’ life. He was pretty scandalous in his time! He ate with sinners and prostitutes. He redeemed the woman at the well who had been married numerous times and the man she was with currently wasn’t her husband! He redeemed the woman caught in the very act of adultry! He told her accusers, He who is without sin cast the first stone. And they all turned away because none of them were righteous. They all had faults and sins. The same is true today, If the very ones screaming condemnation at the homesexuals and the sinners were asked, He who is without sin cast the first stone, I have to wonder how many would have to drop their rocks and turn away?
Romans 2:1-4   Verse 4 asks the question, ” are you unaware of his rich kindness, forbearance, and patience, that it is God’s kindness that is leading you to repent?   I can’t help but believe that if we spoke the truth in love (Eph 4:15) and showed the goodness of God to people they would repent of their sins! If we would take as much time to tell people who they are in God and how God wants to redeem them and love them instead of picketing homosexual marriages with signs that read, “REPENT OR BURN IN HELL YOU SINNER”, that we would see a change! When someone knows how much you care about them they would be more willing to receive what you have to say! But when give someone the truth in poison form it’s no wonder they spit it out and avoid Christians at all cost. Its no wonder they avoid churches. They know they’re not accepted into the “Holier than Thou” club. They’re met at the door with you are not welcome here attitude. And while a sinner won’t admit to searching for a bandaid to cover their wounds, they are. And it’s our job to meet them with a first aid kit & kiss their boo-boos!
People are hurting!! They need us to get off our high horse, to quit looking down on them, quit passing judgement on them, quit determining their worth by their actions and LOVE the hell out of them! I am convinced love will keep more people out of hell than hate ever will.  That is why I choose to the love the homosexual. The sinner and the Christian. I don’t want to just pretend to love others. I choose to REALLY love them, hate what is wrong and hold tightly to what is good!  (Rom 12:9)
On a side note, I do realize some people do not want to hear the truth, but when you show them love anyway, you’ve shown them Jesus in a way they might have never seen him, and that could make all the difference.
Brave, Church, Faithfulness, Goodness, Jesus, Love, Uncategorized

[HE] makes [ME] brave// called out [beyond the shore and into the waves] (Part 2 of my testimony)

If you have not read my blog, ” Trust {without} borders// Complacency Meets Destiny- you definitely should to go read it  before reading this. And if you have already read it maybe you should read it again before you dive into Part 2 of my journey with God to Birmingham

FAITH: complete trust or confidence in someone or something. (googles definition)

FAITH: (according to the strongs) 4102 pístis (from 3982/peithô, “persuade, be persuaded“) – properly,persuasion (be persuaded, come to trust); faith.

Prior to following the voice of God to Birmingham I had faith! I had all the faith I needed to believe that Jesus was my Savior. That he would make a way where there seemed to be no way; open doors no man can could open and shut doors no man could shut and all those other excerpts from the bible we’ve grown accustomed to “declaring” over our situations. I had faith He was healer, provider and comforter. I love Him more than anything. But most of the time my faith in Him was contingent on how I acted that day. If I blew that day, that week or that month, I figured my faith was weak and He would turn a deaf ear to me.  But as I write this and look at the definitions it seems I didn’t have quite the faith I thought I did.  If my thinking is God can’t bless me now because I whispered a bad word under my breath, then my faith was not in him to begin with. My faith was in me and my works.

But there is nothing like a God induced move to another city, miles and hours away from everything you know and love to cause you to look deep inside yourself and measure your “relationship status” with Jesus. And that’s where I was. I loved Jesus. More than anything. But did I have a real relationship with Him? Sure, I talked to him, when I was in a panic, broke, scared, sick, needed something for myself, friends or family. But the brutally honest truth was, my “relationship status”  with Him was a facebook equivalent to “It’s Complicated”. You know those on-again, off again relationships that show up in your news feed and you roll your eyes and make a bet to when the couple will be in a “committed relationship” with either someone new or each other again.  Unfortunately, that was me and Jesus. That was not His desire! He wanted all of me !  [17 The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves, He will take {great delight in you}; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will {rejoice over you} with singing.” (Zeph. 3:17)  {He rejoices over me and with great delight!} (How powerful!! I’ll be honest, I never read that verse until I was looking for a verse about how much He loves! WOW!)  Romans 8:37-39 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord!   That verse to me is so profound! [Even when I messed up Jesus still loved me!] Jesus didn’t want me to separate myself from Him every time I messed up. {He sure wasn’t separating Himself from me and wouldn’t according to Rom 8}  He didn’t want me to not talk to Him until I felt like I had given Him enough space to forgive and forget what I had done! He’s not into “trial separations”, “breaks”, “giving Him space” or any of those “It’s not you, it’s me” lame excuses we give to people when we simply aren’t interested anymore. But the fact that I was giving Him the silent treatment was not His fault. The fact of the matter was, I did not at that time have the revelation of His love. ( and let me tell you, my Pastor has an excellent sermon series from January 2014, called, “A Revelation of Love” and it is amazing! If you’re struggling with that go listen! ) And I said all that to say this, Because I did not have the revelation of how much my Jesus loved me and  the revelation that He cared about me when I was faithless and when I was faithful and that  my faith didn’t have to be great and un-wavering to receive every single benefit He had for me, I [limited] my faith in Him. 

So, we moved to Birmingham by the prompting of the Holy Spirit and a [GIANT] leap of [FAITH]! It was exciting! But it was scary. Moving to an unknown place where we didn’t know a soul except for the few new friends we had made at our new church(not to mention driving on the interstate-which I had NEVER done before! I’m from a town with 3 red-lights, interstates were not needed!). But somewhere during this transition I had found a {bravery I didn’t know existed}. I had cried what seemed every tear I owned. I watched my husband shed tears and watched his heart break over and over again, but at the same time, I watched the excitement in his eyes and passion in his heart grow; and I had not seen that for quite some time! This is what we were born to do! Follow God.  Derek was pursing his passion and I was finding mine.

The first couple of months were full of adjustments. New jobs, new work schedules, school schedules and bus schedules. What was the most hairy was timing my travel to work. I live 10 minutes away from my office, why on earth was it taking me 45 minutes to get there! And getting home was no easier! In Vernon if it took me longer than 10 minutes to drive my 10 mile work route something was wrong! But with this work traffic and school traffic it was crazy! Eventually I learned the routes and times and traffic is just that now, traffic. And it’s annoying. But, I have found that me and Jesus have the best time together on the rides to work! My new job took some adjusting. Learning things I have had never had to deal with. -Let me give you a little history- I worked as a waitress for the previous 10 years. I had a friend who came into the restaurant who owned his own Engineering company and I heard God tell me to ask him for a job. (Sometimes I wondered if God knew me at all!)  I was a high-school drop out with a 10th grade education. Professionals do not hire people like that. But I did it anyway. I didn’t come right out and ask him, I sent him a message on facebook! At the time they did not need anyone but a few months later, (after many texts and hounding conversations and a developing friendship with him and his family by them coming to the restaurant) he called me and I was hired! He taught me a lot as far as working with word, excel and quickbooks. Within a year, some friends (who I also met at the restaurant) offered me a job. They owned their own CPA firm and needed an assistant through tax season. After much prayer, I felt the peace of God and felt released from my current job. I took the position at their firm. They encouraged me to pursue my GED and offered to pay for it. They allowed me to study on their time in between assisting their clients and soon after tax season I took my test and I passed! For years, I put it off, {believing} I couldn’t pass because math was so “hard for me”.  I was ecstatic! Over the course of the next few months my friends taught me bookkeeping basics. I loved it! (ok, I know for a person who hates numbers and math, this career choice probably wasn’t ideal)! They were such an encouragement to me! And whether they realize it or not, they were used mightily by God by preparing me for my future job!- But I soon settled into my job and continue to learn on a daily basis! But I said all that to show you how God was already setting me up for the future! He knew I would need a career in Birmingham! (Psm 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way).

So now that you have some history, let me give you an update on this journey.

Without a doubt God called us to Birmingham. We love it here so very much. Never dreamed we could ever love it. When I thought of Birmingham, I thought we were moving to the Alabama equivalent of New York City; complete with NYC crime.  Yes, there is crime all around us, and we hear noisy sirens on a daily basis, but I have never felt I was ever in harms way. I am not scared to live here .

When we moved here, Derek took a significant pay cut in his salary; it has never been about money, let me make that very clear; our rent tripled and our living expenses were raised. But, if God can do all the things He did to get us here, I began to believe He would see us through absolutely anything we faced; and He has.

A few months into the move we began to see and feel things that just wasn’t setting right with our spirits. ( I will not go into specific detail about that.) Derek and I loved the new people and friends we had made at our new church which made what we were feeling even harder to swallow. Derek had been seeking God on some things and just like before, when God said move, we did. I watched my husband endure an emotional and spiritual roller coaster. I watched the excitement fade from his eyes. I saw his heart break and I held him in my arms as he cried, doubting the decision we had made. But I knew one thing, Derek doesn’t make a move without hearing the voice of God. He never has. I reassured him that we had heard the voice of God and that he had made the right decision. We didn’t know a single person in Birmingham that would cause us to ever move here. So I guess God used facebook to make connections with people we probably would have never made connections with to begin our journey here. And perhaps the church was the right thing at the right time; we grew in areas like never before; and we needed that; but we knew that our time was over there.  We made the decision together after many more tears, and another heart break to leave the new church by the prompting of the Spirit. Some believed it to be for monetary reasons, others believed what ever lie was thrown their way, and some chose to ask us directly for the truth of the matter. Some remain friends and some have severed their ties with us.

So, here we were. In the middle of a big city, no church family, a broken heart, and another salary cut and a few less friends than when we started. What were we going to do. We know we have a purpose in Birmingham; that was not a question. We knew God called us here; that was not a question either.  So, we began to seek God for our next step.

If there was one thing I was confident of, God would take care of my family.

Derek had previously reached out to a Pastor here in Birmingham for guidance and council when he began dealing with the issues he was having. We met with them and had dinner. They were wonderful. Such a breath of fresh air. So much of this Pastor reminded us of our former Pastor in Vernon. The love and compassion he has for people is evident. You could tell he is working for the greater good and not whats greater for him. We decided to visit their church. – We had actually been there before; Derek led a worship service there for a visiting minister; looking back at it now I believe it was God making a divine connection that we may not have made other wise. The service was a like a burst of hydration to someone who was running a marathon in the desert. It was so good! We sought God’s direction and we both felt peace about where God was leading us. Derek sat back in the services for a while; bathing in God’s presence and allowing himself to heal from the emotional suffering he endured. But he is now co-leading with the Worship Team (who is amazing just so you know).  We love being a part of this body. The people are wonderful, loving and accepting of us. We look forward to growing with this congregation. We don’t know what the future holds for Derek and I  and our ministry together; but I know God and I know his voice and I know no matter what he calls us to do we will be successful.

A year ago, I would have been stricken with fear; moving, new jobs, loss, heart break; all that would have put me in a state of depression. But over this year my relationship status has changed from “It’s Complicated” to “Committed”. I’m completely committed to Jesus!

 I finally realized the love he has for me! I finally figured out who I am in him! I finally figured out I belong to him and all those promises he made to me really are yes and amen!  And when I came into His perfect love I realized it’s true, that His perfect love truly does drive out fear. It truly puts me in a place of boldness. A place of confidence. A place of fully trusting my daddy; my Heavenly Father; to accomplish what he said he would do! He has made me brave. I know I’m called to reach the lost and broken and hurting. And I’m excited about that!! A few years ago I got a tattoo (gasp) on my foot that says Beautiful. It comes from Romans 10:15 “And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”  That is my desire. Bring the good news to them!! At the time it was a sweet verse. But today, because God had called me out, made me brave and I walk in his love, it means so much more to me. I know now that I’m called to reach the outcast! And I’m excited about that. A year ago I wouldn’t have been. I would have been too scared. But today, I know the love of the Father and i want to let them know how loved they are! God isn’t mad at them! I want them to know he loves them on the stripper pole and loves them when they’re shooting up. He loved them and died for them while they were sinners. I want to show them the true love of God. Because it’s the goodness of God that brings someone to repentance.
I want to leave you with this video. It has become an anthem to me lately and the inspiration behind this title.



Church, Jesus, Love, Uncategorized

Love Note to my Heavenly Daddy

You are my passion

my first true love

I can’t face the day without you

You know my secrets

Ones I speak not of

You hold me together

When I am falling apart

You speak to my soul

Words of comfort

You’ve bound up my broken heart

You lavish your love on me

When I am weak and lonely

Your Spirit comforts me

You focus on me wholly

You never leave me broken

You have made me whole

Your whispers comfort my heart

Your touch ignites my soul