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#BlackLivesMatter, Terrorist Attacks In France, and Starfish

I have wanted to do a video blog for a while, and this seemed like the perfect jumping off place, even if it is out of my comfort zone. #BlackLivesMatter, terrorist attacks, and starving people in Africa. What can we actually do about all the problems in the world? Syrian refugees, assassinated police officers, Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump all have been in the national news headlines and cause fear and unrest, is there a solution? Here is a simple story about a boy and a starfish that helps me put everything in place.

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LGBTQIA Pt. 1 – Christians Should Have Respectful Communication with Homosexuals

Tough Love

Tough Love

**Disclaimer** The opinions in this blog are my own and should not reflect negatively on my company, church, or family. They are not intended to cause hurt or pain to anyone, but rather to provoke a healthy discussion amongst thinkers. There is a huge chasm of diversity in my readers so if you choose to read, comment, or engage my audience, please do so with respect and professional courtesy.

The topic of homosexuality and the Bible has been debated and researched by some of the greatest minds of the last century. As with most debates, there are some solid arguments on both sides. This will be the first blog in a series dealing with the topic of homosexuality and the Bible. Although my primary focus is on professing Christians I welcome all to participate in the conversation. I should also acknowledge there is a wide continuum of responses from various Christian camps about how to interact with the gay and lesbian community, running the gamut from unconditional loving acceptance to malicious attacks based on bigotry and ignorance. Nobody wants to be identified with the latter category, but sadly, many of us have developed bad habits of poking fun and belittling a serious issue for the church to address.

I freely admit I do not understand some aspects of how to interpret the Bible on the subject of sexuality in general, let alone homosexuality. I am well aware of the verses condemning fornication and homosexuality and I am not dismissing them, as these will be addressed in a later blog. However, I see a huge disparity in the way many believers have traditionally understood these scriptures vs. my understanding of the nature of God and his Son. I will go on public record, if your version of the gospel includes being hateful, disrespectful, or causes you to make fun of a person because he or she is a part of the LGBTQIA community, consider yourself at odds with my doctrinal position. In fact, you need to repent. I know I have had to back up and re-evaluate my thoughts on this subject, because it was not as black and white as I originally thought.

We have to start communicating… people. How many gay people do you know? Are you able to politely and respectfully have a conversation with them about this topic? It may be awkward and uncomfortable, but take Stephen Covey’s advice from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “Seek to understand before seeking to be understood.”

The main reason I am isolating fundamentalist Christians is, they should know better. Most claim to have the final answer on doctrine and judgment. Folks like Pastor Jim Veitch, from Bible Truth Baptist Church in Georgia are not preaching the gospel when they publicly ridicule homosexuals from the pulpit. Look at the anger and riotous language he uses to motivate his crowd. No wonder hate crimes are on the rise, when people leave the church they leave God behind and take all the prejudices and anger with them. Where is the hope? How is this being a witness of the love of Christ to anyone inside or outside his building?

We can address the interpretation of sin in a later blog, but initially, let’s start with the saying, “it’s never right to do wrong.” Even when a person in the Bible was sinful and perverted, Jesus did not preach condemnation, but redemption. In fact, the harshest and most judgmental words He spoke were often directed at religious leaders. These New Testament preachers were hateful, arrogant, false teachers, and they were leading people have a false sense of security in being exclusive. Is it possible that this could happen today? Of course! Am I throwing out the baby with the bath water? No, but the first step to understanding the seriousness of this situation is to communicate. Based on the text, it appears Jesus spent a lot of time with sexual deviants and in almost every scenario He showed love and compassion. Are we doing that today? I am not saying that everyone in the LGBTQIA is a sexual deviant, but I am saying even if they were, hatred and sarcasm is not the answer building a relationship with them. Before you make fun of someone for being gay, think these questions: Are you strong in your faith? Are you unashamed of the gospel? Are you willing to lay down your life and try to help someone? Do you feel like you are right then be careful you don’t use your sword to bully. Basically, I say ut up or shut up!

To be continued…

**A few edits have been made to clarify points of confusion**

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Robin Williams, Suicide, Addiction, Depression, and Real Life

Robin Williams Album Cover

Robin Williams Album Cover

I could live happily ever after if I only had:

•  A better spouse/partner
•  Money in the bank
•  Good physical health
•  The big house on the hill
•  Job security
•  Another fix . . .


Ironically, none of these things can give us that elusive inner peace we humans search for in life nor do they appear to have satisfied Robin Williams hunger for something more. What is the magic ingredient to give us that elusive peace of mind we are all searching for? If you think you have never struggled with addiction… you are sadly mistaken. Contrary to popular belief, we all have addictions. Maybe not the chemical, psychological, or mainstream behavioral kind of dependencies, but it seems out of all the different life forms, we humans crave a sense of purpose.

•  Why am I here?
•  What is the meaning of life?
•  Is there a God, and does He have a plan for me?
•  Is this all there is?

Some of the greatest minds throughout history have heatedly debated these questions and still walked away without the answers. I personally believe you will never find empirical evidence for any of them, but that does not mean you cannot find peace of mind.

“I am grieving over the concept that such an incredibly gifted individual like Williams would reach a point in life where the most attractive solution was suicide.”

I am grieving over the concept that such an incredibly gifted individual like Williams would reach a point in life where the most attractive solution was suicide. I have been fortunate that my addictions have been more tangible than depression. I have been sober for over nineteen years, but the demon is never far from my mind. Likely I will go to my grave fighting to keep it at bay, but I am open about it, and there seems to be protection in transparency. I have had people scoff at me and look down at me in pity for not being able to control something as simple as a social drink, but it is a small price to pay for existing as the real me. I run into similar problems with my ADHD. I cannot ignore it, I must be aware of it, and be honest with myself, and others to channel my energy, or it will consume me.

Depression is a different animal. It likes to hide in the shadowy recesses of the mind, and tells destructive lies. It robs our freedom, security, and most importantly hope. Without hope, there seems no reason to go on. It feels like it would be so easy to just not exist. The path of least resistance is an escape hatch, away from the pain of living. However, depression is a liar. There is always hope. Even in the darkest most difficult situation, there is hope. It can be hard to find, but it is there. Just on the other side of the trial.

Don’t give up. You do make a difference. Talk to someone. Be open and you will find answers where you never expected to find them.

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