Monday, August 31, 2009

Should The Church Play It Safe?

I'm glad I go to a church that doesn't, but I'm speaking here of The Church in a Biblical sense as Christ did, as His bride.

My church has been doing a series on sex, the rationale being that everyone else is talking about it; why shouldn't we? Topics were GodSex, MarriedSex, SingleSex, UnfaithfulSex, and SameSex.

That's right, we actually talked about homosexuality in church.

My church has a large homosexual population. We're a seeker church, modeled after Willow Creek (both original pastors came from there), and a lot of people who have been burned by church or who never set foot in church feel very comfortable there. The flip side is that we end up with a lot of messiness. [Tongue in cheek] I'm sure Jesus never had that problem Himself. [/Tongue in cheek]

For years, this has been the elephant in the room. It's a topic that's easy to mess up. You can alienate the gay population, or you can alienate people who see themselves as believing in Biblical truth. I would not have wanted to be in the shoes of my pastor yesterday. He restricted himself to a 15 minute talk, then interviewed three people from our congregation who struggle with same sex attration (two women and a man). Unfortunately, I can't embed the video, but you can click here to see it.

One of the staff members sent out an email asking people to wear a white t-shirt if they would commit to pray for these folks as they courageously agreed to be interviewed. She said she would be on the front row praying through all three services. I joined her on the front row for the last service. Hearing what these folks went through brought tears to my eyes. There was a lot of emotion in the room, even for the normally emotionless last service.

How does your church handle tough topics? Do you talk about them head on or shy away from them?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Life is Fragile

It's not like I didn't know that, but I got quite a reminder today.

After I'd been at work for an hour or two, my hubby called me. He'd been talking to some of my former co-workers (we're all still friends) and found out that the wife of one of my old managers passed away last night. She was young and it was very unexpected, and it leaves my former manager as the single father of their daughter.

I went by this afternoon to visit with everyone, and a couple of the guys had gone to see him over lunch. He's not going to be himself for a long time, I think. I wish there were something tangible I could do to lessen his suffering, but of course there's not.

On the way back to the lab where I've been working, I ran into an acquaintance whose wife died several years ago. He hadn't heard the news, so I told him and we talked for a bit. He and my old manager have been acquainted for years, but of course this is something he would never have wanted to have in common with anyone.

Never leave anything unsaid, folks. Tell your loved ones how you feel. Don't wait until tomorrow. It might not come.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ode to True Friendship

During this, the last week of her single life, I would like to tell you a little about my good friend Heather.

Good friends are hard to find -- I can count the very best, the closest, the most loyal, in my lifetime on a single hand. I've been privileged to know Heather for probably six or seven years now, and we have been running (or accountability) partners for about three of those years.

Heather is ten years my junior, but she is far wiser than her years, and her senses of fun and style make sure I never tire of her. I'll share with you a picture we took together the night she was engaged. It's not my favorite of me, but she is glowing, of course.

For a friendship to form, you need time, trust, loyalty, honesty, and some fun times thrown in for good measure. Heather and I have had all those in abundance. It's easy to see why she has been chosen as a bridesmaid twenty-four (24!) times: she's just that easy to love.

My friend, I have known for years that you are a catch. I knew that one day you would be caught. I am thrilled that Tim knows how lucky he is to have you, but just as importantly, I know how blessed you are to have found a man like Tim: Godly, wise, thoughtful, kind, loving, sparing nothing of himself to support you in every way. Even though I know our relationship will change, I cannot wait to celebrate with you on Saturday as you become his wife, his bride, the woman he chooses to spend the rest of his life with.

He couldn't have made a better choice.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Praying for Candi

I have nothing more important to say today than to ask you to click here and pray for Candi. The link will tell you her story in her words.

Candi is a friend of my sister's and has been for many years (since high school? junior high? a long time, anyway). She is facing a very serious surgery next Friday to drain and/or remove a softball-sized cyst from her brain.

Yes, you read that right.

Please pray for Candi's doctor, for her surgery, for her recovery, and for her family. I'm sure she will be nervous during the next week, and I know she wants your prayers and good thoughts.

If you'd like to leave a comment here for her, I'll send them to my sister and make sure she gets them.

Thanks, y'all.