Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Oh me, oh my!

I would say that it is a safe assumption that I will never be the person who posts her every thought, every single day! I get too busy and wrapped up in everything else going on (not on the computer) to keep up with posting on here constantly.... So what is going on in the real world, you say?

Well, Gabe and I have been doing wedding planning since July and that planning has only kicked into higher gear since he officially proposed in September (September 11th now has good memories for me! :) )... Not only are we planning our wedding, but we also get to plan out moving and immigration headaches too! Oh joy!! :-) No, seriously, it is very exciting and I just look forward to the day I get to walk down the aisle to him!!!!

So... wedding planning... Gabe and I both really like medieval types of things and in order to incorporate that into our wedding, we are going with a a bit of a "stained glass" theme. We both absolutely love the old gothic and renaissance churches and the stained glass windows and I can't wait to play with all the colors the come in with that theme! :-) Burgundy, cobalt and gold, but not in a heavy, dark, overwhelming manner! :-P It is going to be a blast!!!

To give you ideas of what it will be like, here are some links I have been looking at (but no one gets to know what has been decided on.... and if you do know: hush up, yo!!)....

Enjoy surfing if you want... :-)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Should We Ordain Gay Clergy? Can a Christian of Any Stripe Be Gay?

A very well-written article that I wanted to share but cannot take credit for.... One point I would like to make though is that, with any sin, if someone is professing to be Christian while living in sin (adultery, alcoholism, homosexuality, ... ""Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God." ~ 1Cr 6:9-10 (NKJV)"), it is the responsibility of their fellow Christians to share the truth and approach them about that sin.

Can You Be a Gay Christian? (August 30, 2009 by theBarefoot)

Something you are never supposed to write about is religion, but no one ever accused me of being judicious so let me stick my big toe into the whole gay clergy controversy.

Rule number one: Christians are not Jews so we're going to leave that whole Old Testament stoning thing right out. Christians have a new covenant with God and are not bound by the old laws.

Rule number two: There is nothing special about being in the clergy. I don't believe in the whole "ordained clergy" thing. I think we are all just Christians and like any society, some are better at one job while others are better at another. There's nothing special about being a clergyman (clergywoman, if you are so leaning).

Rule number three: If you are not a Christian, this article isn't for you. While I love my Jewish, Muslim, Wiccan, and atheist friends, you don't get a say in how Christians handle their affairs. So no comments from the peanut gallery.

This is simply about being gay and being a Christian.

The Sociological Argument
Does society evolve? Sure. We make advances all the time in medicine, engineering, etc. The argument that we, as a society, need to move past the first century mores that stigmatize homosexuality just doesn't strike me as valid though. Society may change, but human nature hasn't. We still struggle with the same things humans have philosophized about for 10,000 years. Why do people suffer? What is the struggle between good and evil? How do I define myself in the cosmos? Human beings are still the same today as they were when God created them. Therefore, the same things that were valid 2,000 years ago are valid today. Furthermore, Christianity's core beliefs have root in the revelation of the nature of God through Christ. Christ choose to come 2,000 years ago and, if what he revealed was true then, it is true today.

The Genetic Argument
Are people born gay? While I don't think there is a gay gene, I do admit that hormones during gestation play a major role in our personalities. It's a given fact that even a pairing of XY chromosomes still requires specific hormones before they can develop into a male of the species. Being born male, female or hermaphrodite, does not mean we are without choice. Christianity teaches that we all have choices, for right or wrong, for good or evil, for cake or pie, and these choices have consequences. Even the act of becoming a Christian is a choice.

While we are all born with certain pre-dispositions. Ultimately it is the choices we make that determine our destiny. I have a disproportionate history of alcoholism in my family. I think it's pretty clear there is some genetic component to it, but I choose not to drink alcohol. No one is predestined to live their life without choice. However you define homosexuality, by birth or not, it is still a choice to participate. Simply being heterosexual does not mean I have to participate in sexual relations with the opposite sex. Neither does being homosexual mean that you are forced to participate in the gay lifestyle.

What would Jesus do?
Forgive. Really, it's that simple. Jesus forgave a lot. The gospels are full of Jesus forgiving everyone, all the time, including the guys who drove the nails into him. That's a lot of forgiveness, folks. I have a hard time forgiving the guy who cuts me off in traffic. It's of particular importance to notice that often when Jesus forgave someone, he added, "Go and sin no more." (e.g. Jn 8:11)

Christianity is about a change. The entire act of becoming Christian is repentance (from the Greek metanoia "a change of mind"). It means you were going in this direction, but you changed your mind and now you are going in the other. Hopefully, it means you were on the path to destruction, but now you are on the path to salvation.

Is Homosexuality a Sin?
The word for "sin" in Hebrew is het. It means "to err; to miss the mark." Sin survived into Old English as an archery term. When you think about sin and repentance in those terms, becoming a Christian is simply that you were headed in a direction where you would miss the target, but you change direction and now you are traveling towards the goal.

There are plenty of things that draw Christians off the path. Most of them are clearly spelled out in the Bible. Jesus reminded the rich man in Luke 18:20 of some of those things that trip us up, "'Do not commit adultery,' 'Do not murder,' 'Do not steal,' 'Do not bear false witness,' 'Honor your father and your mother.'" Is homosexuality one of those things? Yes, but no more or less so than any of those other things. People often start thumping their Bibles on 1st Corinthians 6 at this point to prove that homosexuality is a sin so let's deal with that now.

"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God." ~ 1Cr 6:9-10 (NKJV)

That seems pretty clear, but most people fail to read verse eleven which says, "And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God." It's clear that the early church was made up of some pretty unsavory characters, at least the one in Corinth. I guess if I had to paraphrase that, it says, "You did some pretty horrible stuff in your past, but now you are Christians, go and sin no more because if you let those things distract you, you'll miss the mark." I guess homosexuality is no more a sin than anything else that gets between us and Christ.

I'm a Gay Christian
If you are, you're not a Christian. If anything, and let me be clear, anything comes between you and Christ, you are not a Christian. If you define yourself as an "anything" Christian, you are missing the mark.
You can not predicate your relationship with Christ on any other modifier. Burglars can not be thieving Christians. Alcoholics can not be drunk Christians. Loan sharks can not be extortionist Christians. Homosexuals can not be gay Christians. In the same vein, heterosexuals can not be straight Christians any more than they can be fornicating Christians. If you wear any additional label but Christ, you are not a Christian.

Another central tenet of Christianity is being your brother's keeper. Further on in 1st Corinthians, Paul writes, "Let no one seek his own, but each one the other's well-being (1Cr 10:24, NKJV). If I throw a stumbling block on my brother's path, I am not a Christian. If I seek to destroy my brother for the sake of myself, I am not a Christian. In other words, I won't force heterosexuality on you and you won't force homosexuality on me just to prove a point. We come together in Christ. We give him our attention and worship. We give our brother no offense. We depart to sin no more. It's usually that last part that trips us all up.

Is it really that simple?
Probably not, but I'm a simple man. That's how I see it. You'll have to do your own soul searching to find if you are comfortable with being a Christian. Not any particular Christian, just a Christian. After all, "love is long suffering and does not behave itself unseemly and seeks not her own." (1Cr13:4-5) That verse packs a lot to think about on both sides of the argument. I wonder what the Christian landscape would be like if heterosexuals were kind to homosexuals. I wonder how peaceful we would be if homosexuals did not seek to have their own agenda become everyone's cause.

Did I prove a point or win the argument? No. Like Paul, "I did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom." I only wrote this because "I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified." (1Cr 1:2 NKJV). I guess if we all took that attitude, we'd be more concerned about tending to our brother's needs and less concerned with proving ourselves right.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Just plain worn out

You know, there are some days when you are just ready to go home and crawl back into bed! I don't have any inspiration or fun stories for today... I love work but today, I was ready to be back home within 2 hours!! One of the little guys was having a really rough day (lots of home stuff) and decided to take it out on me... so, should I be flattered that he feels safe enough to take it out on me or curl up in a ball and sob because I was beaten up by a 5-yr-old?? He was screaming at me and chucking stuff at my head! ...So now I have a swollen and tender ear and a swollen and bruised hand (would be a black eye if I hadn't thrown my hand up in the way)!

Oy vey!! I am ready for a fresh start for tomorrow though! :-) We are going to have an end-of-the-summer party (school starts on Wednesday) and go to the park for a picnic and then going to watch a movie in the afternoon!

I am definitely ready for the change in routines and schedules.... We get our first round of preschoolers coming back on Wednesday (they are returning then because they have older siblings who are starting school or because their parents work with the school system) and then we will have Head Start and preschool starting on Tuesday after the long weekend.... Fun transitions coming! :-)

God Bless, y'all!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Building Up My Foundation

Thanks to my wonderful pastor and God speaking through him, I have been very convicted today about building up my foundation properly.

How much does God mean to you? Only as much as His Word means to you!

You want God to mean more to your life? Spend more time in His word!!

Yet what am I doing? I am surfing the net, watching TV, watching movies, reading books.... All things that are taking me away from building up my foundation properly on the Word of God, on Christ alone!!

I have tried multiple times to commit to reading my Bible more thoroughly and regularly but after my conversation with Allegra last night about spiritual maturity and the sermon today... There is no more "try," there is only "do!!" I WILL read my Bible every day and I WILL build up my foundation on Christ alone!

God Bless, y'all!

Saturday, August 29, 2009


I really need to stop looking at recipes, man!! I looked at one recipe ( and then I got sucked in!! ...Looking at all sorts of molasses cakes and berry cakes and frostings.... Good thing I'm not hungry! Gabe and I spent a good half of our conversation discussing diferent recipes!

We still want to have a specific flavor for our wedding cake but may end up going with a professionally made cake after all... Anyone have any ideas or suggestions about that?


Howdy folks,

This is now the second blog I have started. I removed the other one because I hadn't posted anything in about a year and I haven't really done anything with Read for Life since last fall.... Starting over has been fun though cuz now I know a smidge more about how Blogger works and now it is my *own* page, rather than just a template I picked out of a list...

Anyway, who wants to read about setting up a blog?? Not me! ...So, on with things now.

For anyone who doesn't speak Italian... First, why not? 'Tis a beautiful language and I could just listen to Gabe talk all day long! :) Second, the name of the blog, "Con Tutti Mi Cuore," means "With All My Heart" and that is how I want to live my life.... In all things, I will live with all my heart! Whether that is worshiping God, my relationship with Gabe, teaching the Bad Girls class, teaching at school, or my relationship with my family.... It is always a wholehearted endeavor.

Speaking of wholehearted, has anyone read The Wednesday Letters by Jason Wright? It is a wonderful book about a couple and their lives together. After they pass away (within minutes of each other), all their kids come back to town to lay Mom and Dad to rest and find these boxes of letters written every Wednesday, from the day they got married to the day they died. Even when things were not going well in their lives and marriage, that commitment and wholehearted devotion to each other kept going! They didn't just give up when the going got tough or one forgot to put the toilet paper on the roll the wrong way! I know that we aren't married yet and that at least a few of you guys who will be reading this are... I know that is the kind of marriage Gabe and I both are committed to having. What advice would you give to a couple just starting out in their marriage?

More real thoughts will come later; right now, I am just having fun setting this up! :-P