Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Scent that the Rose Leaves...

[Forgive me, but I have rambled a bit writing this]

I've been seeking an understanding of forgiveness for my whole adult life it seems. Usually I am looking for a step-by-step manual of "Forgiveness for Dummies." [Reading through Wiki's entry for forgiveness there's a guy who actually wrote a book on a 20 step process: Dr. Robert Enright, Forgiveness is a Choice, American Psychological Association , 2001 ISBN 1-55798-757-2]

But for me, forgiveness is something from the heart. It can't be made into a technical manual. And for myself again, forgiveness is every bit a requirement for my walk with God as confession of my sins. [It's a good thing that God transcends time as my confession is gonna take awhile.] I have resented that most churches emphasize the need to be forgiving but do not really teach how to do it. But that is me trying to find the technician's approach again. I have always heard the phrase, "forgive and forget," but I think that very true phrase both oversimplifies and confuses the issues. God can forgive and forget in hard truth. But as a human being [in spite of what Ken Hutcherson believes] I cannot erase those memories or hide them someplace in my mind and be healthy.

The "study" I've been trying to do is more about finding my true words, my heart words, to put what I know in my heart into English so that I can articulate it better, so I can give it some form I can actually touch with my hands? and somehow give it a measure that I can use in my daily, boring life.

For me, to forgive is to unconditionally give up a claim on another for wrongs I perceive. Again for myself, to forget in this context is to unconditionally not bring up or remember the wrongs I perceive. Forgiveness is about me. Forgetting is about me. I am not responsible for my brother's response or remembering of the wrong. I am only responsible for my heart in the matter. I found this anonymous quote about forgiveness that strikes me as poetic and touches me to my soul, "Forgiveness is the scent that the rose leaves on the heel that crushes it."

To live a life of forgiveness strikes some of my friends as allowing people to run me over. Perhaps they are right. I dunno. I only know I must forgive, no other options. I must.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

"My Journey is my Own"

When I read the latest blog from SisterFriendsTogether, the concept of “The Journey is My own” and “I live and breathe for an audience of One” really caught my interest. I canna speak for everyone newly out as I am, but it seems, for _me_, That ’till I decided to be out, to live my life fulltime, to live my life someplace else than online, to live authentically, I had been living my life the way everyone thought I should. I had been living and breathing for an audience of everyone but the One. There is a so much peace and joy in living authentically, but it has had a price. In choosing to walk my own journey, My wife and children have decided they canna walk with me anymore. What they really resent is that I am not walking with them as they think I should.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

What I Believe

In 1995, I had come to the understanding that I needed to live as a woman. With a nod to the movie Rudy, I had done everything I knew to do to have my true nature go away. I've prayed, I've had elders anoint me with oil and lay hands on me. I prayed for death. And still my nature, who I was then and now, was with me. Going against my nature just wasn't possible. Paul would talk of his thorn in his flesh and struggled against it. I am not Paul. But I had to find my way to understanding how I could still be in God's grace. What follows is what I came to, piece by piece.

What I Believe

Part of moving to a spiritual and emotional peace for me is looking at the Scripture and trying to understand what God is trying to say to me. I try not to make the Word jump through too many hoops. I was born, raised and confirmed a Missouri Synod Lutheran and I highly respect God's Word. This is what I base my faith on:

· Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior,

· I am a sinner in need of Jesus' Love and Intercession,

· the Bible is the Holy Word of God and, when properly understood, contains the answers to a lot of the questions in my life,

· The Apostle's Creed,

· The Nicene Creed,

· Luther's Small Catechism, and

· most importantly, Jesus Loves Me.

Male And Female

Genesis 1:27
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (New King James Version)

In my prayers and meditations, I was drawn to this simple passage. I had an idea what this passage meant. It is often quoted at homosexual people as if to say, "God made you a man and not a woman!" or "God made you a woman and not a man!" I wasn't able to read that here. So I asked an LCMS pastor what the Hebrew underneath the English said. He told me that the Hebrew translated clearly to the English with the exception of the word "them." He explained that Hebrew does not have a word for "them", but that the Hebrew here indicated an single object that was a plural. "Them" is as close as the English gets. Still confused about how this passage was being used and what it really meant, I asked an English professor how the sentence would diagram. She told me that the subject of the sentence is "He", the verb is "made" and the object is "them." "He made them." She then told me that the phrase "male and female" was an adjective phrase modifying "them." "He made them male and female." But the key word or concept in this part of the passage is "them", a singular object of plural value. However God made "them", whatever He did, He did to both elements of "them." Syntactically, there is no difference between the sentence, "male and female He made them." and speaking of zebras, "Black and white He made them." Ok, so explain it to me like I was a 6 year-old. Literally, God made each person some part male and some part female.

In His Image?

Genesis 1:27
So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (New King James Version)

Does the idea of man, created some part male and some part female, fit with the "Image of God?"

Clearly, God is the image of a masculine Father. He is perfect Justice and justice is masculine. But He is also perfect Love and love is feminine. As Christ said to Jerusalem, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!" Matthew 23:37.

The Image of God, being both male and female, fits with the biology that is seen in His creation. There are children born with genitals of both sexes, children born without genitals of either sex, some boys are born with out the ability to use the male hormones in their bodies to become men and the bodies of some girls overuse any androgens in their system and are very masculine. These children all have been born "male and female." These children are not abominations from the womb!

But I feel there is a better argument for understanding God's Image as fully male and fully female. If the Father were only fully male, then the Son would be only fully male. And if the Son were only fully male, then women would not have a Comforter who understands their temptations or a Savior who died for their sins.


John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (New King James Version)

The Word plainly states that any person who believes in what the Son has done for him is saved, saved forever. It does not state that only white, Anglo-Saxon, American, protestant straight married people are saved. It simply, very simply, states "whosoever..."

I believe in Jesus Christ, only begotten Son of God, is the Savior of my soul. He is my savior!

Closer To God

I have come to a point in my life where I have done all that I know how to do to be the "man God wants me to be." I have tried for so very long to make myself right before the Lord. Now... now I humbly confess to my Father that this is who I am. I cannot hide who I am and I cannot change it. For maybe the first time in my life I have surrendered to God and I pray that He has a use for me. I feel closer to Him than I ever have in my life. I have told Him the thing I most wanted to keep from Him and ya know what? He still loves me and will not cast me out!

For What Purpose?

John 9:1-3
1 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. 2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" 3 Jesus answered, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. (New King James Version)

I do not know how being the way I am fits the Lord's plans. I only know that I am created by God in love, loved by Jesus unto death, sanctified by the Holy Spirit for the joy and the glory of the Lord. And I believe that I am the way I am, that I am who I am, so that God can show His Glory, show His Power, and show His Love.

My Walk From Here

So where do I go from here? I feel guided by two passages. I have to put my faith in God and in His word.

Phillipians 2:12
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; (New King James Version)


Micah 6:8
He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God? (New King James Version)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Referendum 71

I am just nauseated that the vote is so close. Nauseated that only about 5 counties are passing it and while those counties may actually make a majority of votes for the state, it's still just 5 counties. I am nauseated by the No on 71 people with their talk of it doesn't matter we're going to keep fighting and we'll make this go away. Why can't people just let us be who we are: fully enfranchised, fully engaged citizens of this state and of this country?

When I was a young man, in the midst of the Jesus Movement, I sang “They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love” and it meant something to me. I believed then and I believe now the words I sang, the words I SING now.

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
And we pray that our unity will one day be restored
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah they'll know we are Christians by our love

We will work with each other, we will work side by side
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
And we'll guard each man's dignity and save each man's pride
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah, they'll know we are Christians by our love.

My Jesus died for every soul that has drawn breath. My Jesus LOVED every man woman and child, gay or straight. Why is it my “Christian” brothers and sisters cannot see us all the way Jesus sees us?

I knowingly gave up the "rights" and "privileges" to be who I am, to be a woman and to be a woman who loves women, but it does not, does NOT mean I no longer expect to be equal to any other man or any other woman in this state, in this country, or in this world. I expect, no! DEMAND! that I and my brothers and sisters be seen and treated with the honor and respect that any human being deserves.