Monday, December 31, 2007

2007: A retrospect


I guess this is the thing to do on New Year's Eve, sit back and assess what happened.

I guess on the whole, This year was mostly a bust. This year saw a loss of a job. A loss of prescription coverage. And losing my house. I would not have thought a year ago that I would be in a small town in Michigan, working at Starbucks, trying to make ends meet. And then there is THE NEIGHBOR!

Some good things have happened. Nick moved in at the beginning of the year and that has been a comfort and a blessing. I did get a job that is willing to work with my schedule. And I found a rector that is more in keeping with my style of liturgy and theology.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Amber's Tired

Multitasking


Hey! I am multitasking!

I am being avoidant because I am not doing my sermon for this Sunday. And I am working really hard to not be passive-aggressive.

The passive-aggressive part is easier to explain. The NEIGHBOR is making all kinds of noise downstairs. Now, there is a part of me that wants to bang on HIS door and ask how many "fornicating" elephants HE is keeping? But, of course, when he is making the noise, it is ok. I am really trying to act mature, but there is a part of me that wants to be childish.

The sermon? That is another story. I just have to get it done. Due to Christmas, I didn't get the usual "cogitation" time. But I am sure it will get done.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas from Nick, Me, and the Dog

"I am thinking of you today because it is Christmas and I wish you happiness, and tomorrow, because it will be the day after Christmas, I shall wish you happiness and so on clear through the year...Whatever joy or success comes to you will make me glad. Without pretense and in plain words 'Goodwill' to you is what I mean in the spirit of Christmas."

Henry Van Dyke


Hope your Holiday Season is Merry and Bright! And all your Christmases be white unless you live in a part of the country or world where that would cause a huge problem.



This year's installment of "Santas for Nick!" The purple one is the new one. The red one is from last year.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Angels we have heard...



This was taken through a nifty pair of glasses someone had given me a few years ago. When you look at a point of light, what you see are two angels flying on either side of the light. I don't know now they do it, but it is a cool effect!

Friday, December 21, 2007

This is why I am proud to be Episcopalian!

Teresa Morrison at The Advocate.com has a great article about the Episcopal church and our Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

Morrison writes:
In this age of gay bashing from all sides, it isn’t often we [the LGBT community] encounter a religious leader -- or any leader -- willing to bulldog for our rights, especially when faced with such a potentially high cost to herself and the institution she represents. What I wouldn’t give for such genuine representation in our elected officials.


And this is the reason I am Fr. Ben instead of Pr. Ben.

(Hat tip to Jake)

Some People Still Don't Get It

Matt Hill Comer at InterstateQ has posted a great essay about returning to his home congregation after being away.

He Comer writes,
Today, after seven years of attempting to build the courage and strength, I finally went back to my childhood Baptist church - the place where the stench of hatred, bigotry and oppression was, and still is, thick in the air. Grapevine Baptist Church in Lewisville, N.C., is a place where violence against gays and lesbians is honored, adored and glorified from the pulpit - a place where I heard many times, “Put the queers on a ship, pluck a hole into the side of it and send it out to sea,” or “Put all the gays in their own two states and shut the borders” (with the logical conclusion therefore being that all the gays would die out).


It is sad that although some change has been made, places like this still exist. What is also sad is that it would be easy to think of these people as evil or cruel when in actuality, I believe they are just misguided.

Check it out. Also check out the comment from a congregation member and Comer's response.

Original Blessing

Ok, before I start, I need to apologize to Matthew Fox for the butcher job I will probably do to his book.

When I was a camp counselor back in the late 80's, I read a book that changed the way I would look at God. That book was Original Blessing by Matthew Fox.

I met Fox once, and when I met him, I said, "I needed to meet the person the Pope silenced." He said, "Ah, my papally initiated 'vacation.'"

I really don't see what was so bad about the book and what would get the Pope so irked other than the fact that Fox cannot reconcile a loving God with the vindictive teaching of original sin.

Simply put: A God who would create a beautiful, blessing filled world for us is not a God who would then damn us to Hell. It just doesn't make sense. I agree, it doesn't make sense. A God who loves us and wants what is best for us does make sense. So instead of starting with a hateful, vindictive God, I choose to start with an all loving God.

If you approach the Bible from the perspective of a loving God and not that of a hateful God, things appear much different. God works to bring out the best in us, God's creation. The creator does not hate the creation. So many people portray God as if God hates us. They may say God loves us, but they do not bear that out with their words or actions.

Maybe if people would believe the Bible they profess. God is the loving God who crafted this universe over millions (Yes, millions) of years for us. If we could come to this understanding, then there really might be a paradise here on earth.

Response to longo15

longo15 responded to this post. What he said is posted below.

Hey Pastor,

You are correct in part of your truth journey, for you found friendship and acceptance, but you CANNOT base your whole truth on feelings. Certainly we are called to friendships and community. I am 18 years old and plan on entering into the Catholic seminary. As a teenager, i still am attracted to women, yet as I pray I gain strength in my chastity. I still feel attracted, but it can be overcome. This is true for everyone, although you have an urge to continue in homosexual activity, you must take into consideration what the Bible says. You are throwing it out on translation and speculation. There are times in the Bible when laws are based on certain times in history, yet it is clear in Romans 1 that the law is not temporary. Read the whole chapter and leave nothing out. This is not an insult because I am sure as a pastor you have read this passage numerous times. What baffles me is that you have read it so many times and still managed to ignore it.

This entire argument is based on translation. Don’t you think, as someone who loves God with all his heart, that he is smarter than to leave something as Holy and powerful as the Bible unattended? This is one of the reasons I have converted to the Catholic Church. I do not claim to know all things, but I do claim to know who does, and that is the church. "The Church of the living God, the Pillar and Foundation of truth" -1 Timothy 3:15. This is important in order that all are able to receive the true interpretation of the Bible.

"Consider the patience of our Lord as salvation, as our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, also wrote to you. Speaking of these things as he does in all his letters. In them there are some things hard to understand that the ignorant and unstable distort to their own destruction just as they do the other scriptures" -2Peter 3:15-16
Many cannot interpret the Bible for themselves; this is why the foundation of the Catholic Church is so essential! Do not close your mind to the whole truth while twisting scripture to mean what you would like.

For a man in your situation who teaches scripture, it is so important that the correct interpretations are taught. If you are throwing certain parts of scripture out on supposed interpretational errors, you are placing distrust in the word of God. I will continue to keep you in my prayers. The saints will also continue to pray for you Benton.



I really don't know where to start in response. My first reaction was to say, "You are only 18?! I have socks older than you! I have bills older than you! (Actually not, I have paid off my undergrad loans. I wish I could say the same for my grad school loans!)" And although there is probably some truth to that feeling, it is also insulting to longo15.

I do get a little skeptical when I read where someone states unequivically, "This is true for everyone..." In my life, I have found little, if anything that is true for everyone. Ok, I will backtrack, there are two truths that I will claim; those being God loves everyone and Jesus' death and resurrection brings forgiveness to everyone. As I said to Kirb, if we cannot agree on these two points, then I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Joyous New Year. I will not discuss any farther because it would be fruitless.

Ok, on to Romans! I think it is telling that people like to comment on Romans 1 but forget to mention Romans 2:1-4. The chapter and verse designations in the Bible are arbitrary, they were not in the original manuscripts. To put the chapter break where it is is also arbitrary. If we read the parts together, we get the condemmation of the ungodly, yes, but then we get, "You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgement on soneone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, becasue you who pass judgement do the same things." (Romans 2:1, NIV) ...becasue you who pass judgement do the same things! This is a "we are all sinners" kind of thing. You cannot judge because you are just as guilty. So, if we don't want to get into selective reading, then this pretty much ends the discussion. We are being told to quit judging one another. Period.

longo15 said,"What baffles me is that you have read it [Romans 1] so many times and still managed to ignore it."

I "ignore" it because it does not apply to me. Although I may question God, (which has a long and glorious history) I continue to give glory to God. I have not ceased to give glory. So, if what I am doing is causeing me to be gay, then I would need to cease belief in God to become "not gay"? That sounds silly. Maybe you are suggesting that I have not given glory to God; that is hubris. That is also not for you to judge.

When we look at the list of sins in Romans 1 26-32, can ANY of us say that we have not been given over to these sins? "They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. THey are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderes, God-haters, insolent, arrogant, and evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heatless, ruthless." (Romans 1:29-31) If you wish to claim that none of these can be applied to you, then again, this conversation is over because you: a) do not exist or b) are dillusional. In either case, it does not lead to a good discussion.

The Biblical truth here? We all fall short in faith. We all have logs in our eyes. We need to be loving in our interactaions with others because there will be a time when we will want and need a loving, compassionate, judge. Ok, I guess this is a third thing that is true for everyone. We all fall short and we all desire loving comapassion.

To not provide loving compassion is to not be a follower of Jesus. Calls us to follow in his ways. Jesus did not condemn, he forgave. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind." "Love your neighbor as yourself." Herein lie the law and the prophets. It is not that hard.

longo15 said:
For a man in your situation who teaches scripture, it is so important that the correct interpretations are taught. If you are throwing certain parts of scripture out on supposed interpretational errors, you are placing distrust in the word of God.


Huh? We constantly throw parts of the Bible out. We interpret the Bible with the Bible. The Jesus who calls people to love their neighbor as themselves would not be calling people to buy, sell, or bequeith slave as we find in Lev. 25:44-46. And no amount of contextual analysis will save it. But we do not go around allowing slavery. Jesus' law of love would not let us. We disreagard that one every day and are appalled when we hear about those who keep slaves even though to do so is "Biblical."

And nowhere is it found that one group was held up as righteous in a historic context throught the repression of another group. Whenever mass repression has occurred, history has never been kind.

longo15 said:
Many cannot interpret the Bible for themselves; this is why the foundation of the Catholic Church is so essential! Do not close your mind to the whole truth while twisting scripture to mean what you would like.


Sorry, I cannot go there. I am a recovering Roman. A church that would silence and excommiunicate people for seeking the truth is not someting that I wish to be part of.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Various Thoughts

Well, a year ago today I became an Episcopalian. I guess my life has gone through some changes, but really, I haven't seen too much of a change. I guess now I am under employed, not unemployed. That is a start. I still don't have a call though. I sure hope that changes soon.

I can't believe some people. My manager told a joke to the guests at work that I had told him. The joke: A man and a woman were arguing about making coffee. The man said that women should make the coffee because of the whole "women in the kitchen" thing. The woman said that the man should make the coffee because it is Biblical. "Biblical?" asked the man. The woman opend the Bible and pointed to the book of He-brews. Later, a woman asked to see the manager (who just turned out to be the one who told the joke!). She complained that she was offended that an emplyee would tell a joke that would make fun of the Bible. GET A CLUE LADY! I have told that joke from the pulpit. What was even better is that she didn't realize that the manager she was complaining to was in fact the one who told the joke.

And I couldn't care less about Jamie Lynn Spears being pregnant. I just think that a wonderful opportunity to be really responsible and decide to place the child for adoption has been missed. Of course she will keep the baby. How better to be a role model for future teen moms who will lose such a big chunk of their childhood. (Sorry if I offend anyone.) If kids are going to have sex (and they will) we need to make sure they have the tools they need so they don't get pregnant.

Just my opinion...BUT...





NOBODY! Looks good with a soul patch. If you grew one and thought it looked cool, IT DOESN'T!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

To Those In My Home State: PAY ATTENTION!

Christmas Presents: This Year and Last Year


Well, here are the angels, or as Nick referred to them, "The Heavenly Hostesses."

Also, hanging is Nick's Christmas present from last year.

"It's Ok to say Merry Christmas to me"


Ok, have we become so passive aggressive that we need to start attacking each other over Christmas?

I just saw a commercial about this button. "It's Ok to say Merry Christmas to me" What a stupid thing to say! If someone wants to wish me a happy anything, I should graciously accept the wish and return the kindness.

It is ok to say "Merry Christmas" to me, or "Happy Hanukkah," or "Festive Kwanzaa." or even "Joyous Solstice." What have we become when we repay kindness with anger and disdain?

I saw a post about "Joyous Solstice." Sorry but I forget where. I just loved the buttons they said we should be wearing: "12:21 - It's Not Just A Palindrome" and "Axial Tilt - It Is The Reason For The Seasons!" Maybe that is what we should all do anyway. We can agree on that one.

Why can't we just be nice to each other?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007

My Brain Hurts!


(If the picture does not appear to be turning, click on it to bring it up in a new window.)
Take a look at the above picture.

Now, before you do anything else, which way is this girl turning? Think about your first reaction, before you read any further.

If she was turning anti-clockwise, your left brain hemisphere is dominant.If she was turning clockwise, your right brain hemisphere is dominant.Both are equally valid.
  • Left Brain
  • Logical
  • Sequential
  • Rational
  • Analytical
  • Objective
  • Looks at parts

  • Right Brain
  • Random
  • Intuitive
  • Holistic
  • Synthesizing
  • Subjective
  • Looks at wholes
I can make the dancer turn counter-clockwise (or anti-clockwise as our Aussi friends would say) but only with much mental work. Interesting.
(Hat tip to VolaciousNet and YarravillePaul.)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

More Creations for Presents

The flower is picking up a combination of reflected light and natural glow from the setting sun. The "color" of the glass is frosted.

This is one of three. The other two will be coming. I must admit that this is my least favorite of the three.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Biblical Truth vs Literal Truth

(A nice calming picture is good for everyone!)

I hope kirb doesn't mind, I am again posting his comment into another post. I think points that are brought up are worthy of more than just a comment section.

kirb said...
Actually, doc, i do happen to take everything in the Bible as "Bible truth". It seems as though you have written off the Bible in your explanation. Some of the laws were certainly written for that time in history (for example: in Matthew 19:7-8 the pharisees asked why Moses allowed divorce and Jesus answered because of the hardness of their heart, but it was not so from the beginning). Others, such as the Ten Commandments, were written for all eternity. You can not merely throw all of them out. does that make sense?

I would argue that homosexual acts are eternally forbidden based on Paul's letter to the Romans chapter 1. Here, Paul puts it in a theological context. He says that homosexual acts are the result of a darkened mind, those who have rejected God's word. They were also penalized for their perversity.


I encourage you to check out a book called "Beyond Gay". Also, i beg you to look into a group i know of called "Courage". It is for those who have been involved in homosexual activity but are now trying to live chaste lives. I agree that you have been going through some rough times and that makes this all the more important. You, as a paster, are put in a position in which it is crucial to teach the whole truth. I urge you to meditate on Romans 1, and ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit of Truth, who will "guide us into all truth" Jn 16:13 i'll keep you in my prayers constantly, as i am sure all the saints will!!

I would also like a reply.


Ok, there is a difference between "Bible truth" and "literal truth." When we get these mixed we get into trouble. "Biblical truth" - adultery is a serious problem and we need to work to preserve the sanctity of marriage. "Literal truth" - stone those caught in adultery. If you are of the assumption that "Biblical" = "Literal" truth, then our conversation is over. I can appreciate your view of the Bible, but I think using the Bible in this manner is idolatry. I know that we do not speak Greek, let alone Aramaic or Hebrew, so what we are getting in the Bible is already in translation. Even if we could go back to the "original Greek" that is still a translation from the spoken Aramaic. And each time you encounter a translation, you are encountering an interpretation.

Even in English which we both purport to speak and read, we have interpretive problems. I can type the words, "Who cares?" (And, yes, this did really happen to me.) I meant it as in, "Who cares, it is good to have it presented." What was interpreted from the words was, "Who cares, it was a stupid idea to begin with." So even when we can agree on the meaning of words, we have trouble in finding definitive "intention" to written words, even today. How much more when the words we are talking about are close to 2000 years old and from a totally different place and understanding? (And again, the translation thing comes into play.)

If you have not read the article, consider reading just pages 9-13 concerning Romans 1. There are many interpretive stumbling blocks there. To say that one interpretation or translation is definitive is hubris. If you are claiming to have "THE" interpretation, then I wish you well and live well the truth you have found. But I think God has more respect for the intelligence God has given to us all. Conversation is the tool through which the Holy Spirit moves.

Someone (for the life of me, I can't remember who) said that we bring the wrong questions to the Bible. The Bible is not a "how" book but a "why" book. So many of the places people get hung up on things is when they use the Bible for "how."

When I lived with the Bible as a "how" book, I was depressed, despondent, frustrated. I prayed to be changed. I prayed for the power to live a celibate life. I prayed to not notice that really cute guy who was kneeling at the communion rail. I prayed that no one would be in the locker room at the pool when I went to swim. I prayed for the Holy Spirit to guide me. I PRAYED! I assume you did not mean to be rude, but your comment, "I urge you to meditate on Romans 1, and ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit of Truth, who will 'guide us into all truth'" is one of the rudest things a person can say to another. As I said, I DID pray for guidance. I prayed for guidance and was lead to a therapist, a supportive community, a supportive family, and a wonderful partner. I believe the guidance and truth I sought was found in my partner, Nick. (A pastor also.) Maybe it is you that needs to pray for the truth of the Holy Spirit?

All who use the comment about praying for the truth seem to think that they have already received the truth. Then they say that those who disagree with them will continue to badger them until the badgerers (is that a word?) get what they want. What never seems to enter the mind is that maybe the badgerers are the ones who have the truth of the Holy Spirit. The "church people" of Jesus time did not want to hear the message of Jesus and his followers. I believe they were good people who were trying to do what was good. They followed their scriptures in the way they had learned and had been told. Even when the ultimate "New Interpretation" of the word was in their midst, Christ himself, they did not see it. God is still at work in the world. Revelation did not end with John.

Even God "changes." (I am not going to look up all the chapters and verses because that would make blogging too much like work.) God presents to Peter clean and unclean food and tells Peter to eat it (Acts 10:9-16, I know, I looked up the verse, I lied!!) God says not to call unclean what God has called clean. I have been called. This has been shown repeatedly by various communities of faith. Even with my "gay persona" faith communities have looked to me as a leader. If God has called me to be a leader, why should there be those who say I am "unclean?"

I am sure as you read this, you could envision me as all "wild-eyed" and ranting, but I assure you, I am very calm. Please read it with that tone running through your head. (I almost typed "heart" instead of "head." A Freudian slip of the best kind!) Have calmness running through your heart, too! This post could be used as an example of how the written word could be misinterpreted and how our initial expectations can cloud how we read and interpret. We need to be careful when we make definitive judgement of written words.

I guess this was more testimony than academic, but, hey, the Holy Spirit seemed to be directing me in that direction.

Peace, Kirb.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Response to Kirb

A person who goes by the name of "Kirb" left a comment on a post from a while back.

hello, doc so i was just wondering how you can justify homosexuality in the Bible. due to the fact that you are a protestant and all your beliefs come from the Bible alone, i would like a Biblical explanation of homosexuality. Also i have recently spoken with a lutheran [sic] who says Pastors are not allowed to express homosexuality and that the stand of the Lutheran church is No gay pastors.
One thing that scares me about your whole situation described above is your willingness to throw God out on a whim when you are merely going through one tough time. i would hope that all the preists [sic] who guide me, although they are not homosexuals, would not let hard times effect their faith.


This is the same post someone else decided to post a critique of my ability to deal with life. I find that interesting.

My answer to the first question, how do I justify homosexuality? Well, there are plenty who are far more eloquent than I and whom have taught many lectures I sat through, who have addressed this question. Of course, if you approach the subject from the prospective that the "question" of homosexuality has been absolutely and definitively answered, then these essays will not change your perspective. If, Kirb, you truly want to learn, read the material from the perspective that the Holy Spirit could be working in our world today and God is not done with educating us.

A quick, off the cuff, answer is, "We don't take everything in the Bible as "Bible Truth" (stoning adulterers, silencing women) why are these six verses lifted up for special consideration? While I was in seminary, there were people who were divorced, there were people had tattoos, there were even people going to Red Lobster and wearing blended material! And although these are things that are prohibited by the Bible, there was no problem with ordaining them. But if, as this past week's lectionary states, you will know the tree by the fruit, the fruit of the spirit I see in many GLBT people far exceeds that which I see from hateful fundamentalist churches.

To address your questioning of a leader who can question the existence of God. Well, from what I can see, I am in good company. John of the Cross, Mother Teresa, Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton, and even David in the Psalms, have their moments of doubts. If you have read any other parts of my blog, you would see that things in my life have been quite difficult. I do not consider that I was "throw God out on a whim when [I was] merely going through one tough time." Well, if you consider the prospect of losing my job, my home, my car, my friends, my family, and my whole self-identity as one tough time, then I guess I am spiritually weak. But if you would have read, you would have seen that my whole basis of self-identification and every facet of my life were about to change. I was feeling that if I weren't gay this wouldn't be a problem. I was feeling that I had gone through a ton of self-deception to try to convince myself that I was not gay. I keep hearing that all that I have to do is pray and trust and God will deliver me. I have prayed and trusted but God did not deliver me. So either God did not exist or God was some kind of sadist that enjoyed my suffering. It was actually easier to assume God did not exist than to believe that the God who created me and the world wanted me live in loneliness and despair.

Now, if you think that I should have remained depressed and despairing and believing God was purposely not answering my prayers, and just "shut up and believe," well... All I know, is I would not have been good to anyone until I could come to terms with God. Thank God for the billboard! It is through our struggles that we are able to help others. If this were not so, support groups would not exist.

Thanks for your comment, Kirb! I truly mean that! Please look around and ask more questions!

Peace

The More Things Change...

I turned on Logo today and was hit again with all that seemed to pain me over the past year or more. Logo was showing a documentry called Call to Witness. This documentry chronicled the events of the ELCA in the 1990's concerning the ordination of openly gay pastors in the ELCA. How sad, the comments that were made in this 2000 documentry are the same comments that were said last August in Chicago. The same "We said/they said." The church of the reformation is letting others do the reforming.

I would just like to ignore the stupidity in the world. But there seems to be so much of it! Do people go out of their way to be dense? Sometimes I just want to ask people if being that stupid hurts.

Then there is a simple statement of fact; if you do not like homosexuality, don't do it. And all you who protest so much, what are you so afraid of? Start dealing with your life and leave our lives ALONE!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Friday, December 07, 2007

Spamalot


I FINALLY got to see Spamalot! It was great!

I have been a Monty Python fan since I was a kid. I grew up watching Monty Python's Flying Circus on public television when I was a kid. And I guess being exposed to so much absurdity at such a young age has an effect on one's outlook on life. I sometimes find myself chuckling at the most inopportune times because I will think of something "Pythonesque."

The show was wonderful! I am sure I was not the only person in the audience having difficulty not making the whole thing "audience participation." Everyone's favorite lines from the movie were there, ("Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries")plus some new ones. A wonderful addition was the "diva" Lady of the Lake and her complaint of not getting enough stagetime.

The only unfortunate part of the evening is that Nick was not able to go with me. I was able to get one ticket at over half off because someone in the congregation had misplanned. We could not have afforded two tickets at the $68 price. As is, we really couldn't afford one at $30 dollars. But, as Nick put it, "Ben, you have been talking about this show for over two years," so casting financial caution to the wind, I bought the ticket and went. And as I said, I loved it!

I just hope to have an opportunity to go again, this time with Nick next to me!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Self Definition

I have been thinking about the whole concept of self-definition; you know, how we describe ourselves to ourselves. I would have to say that his is different than how we describe ourselves to others. This is our basis for how we function in the world.

Ur-Spo had mentioned in his post about how there are times when a therapist will help someone with a problem, but instead of being thankful for having that "something" gone, the person is upset or even angry. Some had theorized about the person having to admit to a problem or some other things. I think it has to do with the person's self-definition.

If a person has a self-definition as a pathetic mess, that becomes the basis for that person's life. Everything the person does comes from the framework of "pathetic mess." Even though the person may define themselves to the world as competent, to the person, he or she is still a pathetic mess.

To try and help that person change that definition can be the cause of stress. The person may understand how being a pathetic mess is pulling him down, but it is still too scary to abandon that definition. A whole lifetime had been spent on maintaining that definition and creating a life with that definition. To take that definition away means that a whole new set of behaviors need to be learned. Either that or the old behaviors need to be modified. And learning or adapting behaviors feels uncomfortable; uncomfortable and it takes a higher level of energy than just doing "what comes naturally."

I think when I was "hetero," that was the self-definition I wanted to truly believe. I didn't want to give it up. Even though I knew I was not hetero, I was not going to give up the definition and the dream. It took much work to change the definition. It took such things as actually looking in the mirror and saying, "You are gay. You are a homosexual." I had to work to change that self-definition. I had to learn new behaviors. I had to adapt. It was not easy.

Now, I am dealing with changing another self-definition. I am trying to change from a Lutheran pastor to an Episcopalian priest. I know that being able to quickly make the transition would make life so much easier, but then I would have to change all the things I had learned. It feels uncomfortable and it takes a lot of energy. If I could go back to being a Lutheran, at this moment, I would. I know that I will probably be better off as an Episcopalian, but right now, I have difficulty in thanking those who are moving me along this path.

I had to tell the rector that is working with me that I do deeply appreciate her help. Even though at times I may not seem appreciative, I am. I am just fighting an internal battle that will take time. Eventually, the self-definition will change and life will go on. But until then, it is difficult.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

World Aids Day

Yesterday was World Aids Day and I didn't post anything. So I saw this on Lemuel's blog and decided to steal it. When you find something this good, it is silly to try to top it!

We need to remember that….

Beyond the ribbon…
Beyond the day of observance…
Beyond the statistics…
Beyond the cause…
Beyond the research…
Beyond the politics…
Beyond even the awareness…



…there is a person.