Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ray Boltz is gay and how it relates to me. (part two)

So, recently Ray Boltz came out and said he was gay. My previous post was the first way this revelation related to me. This story is the last part.

Several years ago I lived in a town where one of the residents had built his own amphitheater. He built it right in his huge backyard and hosted southern gospel concerts there. I enjoyed going to these concerts and meeting some of the singers. One singer I met was Kirk Talley.

Kirk Talley has been around for a long time. He sang with the Cathedrals and the Hoppers, as well as having a rather successful solo career. I got a chance to talk with him and found him to be a rather interesting person to talk to. Several years ago the news came out that Kirk was gay. If you want to read more about that, search for it on Google, there's a lot you can find there.

Now, here's my favorite part of the story. I remember the shirt I was wearing when I met Kirk Talley. It was, and still is, a favorite of mine. The shirt is rainbow striped. I mean the material it is made from is rainbow. Not just a little rainbow on it, but entirely rainbow. So, I met a gay southern gospel singer while wearing a shirt colored with the symbol the homosexual community hijacked from God's people.

Why do these things happen to me? I'm just blessed.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Ray Boltz is gay and how it relates to me. (part one)

And apparently he claims it's brought him closer to God. He did an interview (of course) that you can read here. Now I have two choices on related stories I can tell, so I think I'll tell one now and the other later.

Story One

Several years ago I had resumes floating around in a lot of places seeking where God might have me serve. Occasionally, I would receive emails or calls from churches all over the country. One evening I received an email from a church expressing interest in me becoming their Music Minister or whatever title they used. I had never heard of the church so I looked them up on google to learn more about them. I was quite impressed with their web presence and they seemed rather interesting. Then I found the problem. The staff page showed the "pastor" and his "family" in a picture. However, I had a hard time discerning who in the picture was the "pastor."

It was a picture of two men, the "pastor" and his life-partner (aka boyfriend). It was a Metropolitan Community Church which I then discovered was the church of the homosexual persuasion. Needless to say, I didn't pursue that gig. I'm still not sure where they got my info or why they thought I was MCC material, but I am most definitely not.

How is that related? Ray Boltz is now attending and resuming his singing career in an MCC group.

Let's just pray for Ray that God will open his eyes to the sin in his life and help him get back to the truth.

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Monday, September 8, 2008

If you're looking for a church...

...I have a great idea for you.


That's right, I said stop looking. You already know what you're looking for, so why waste time going from place to place pretending to be genuinely interested in that church. Just start calling churches out of the yellow pages and asking them if they have what you want.

I was reading a blog by a young pastor of a young church that is literally exploding in Charlotte. He had a quote from a woman who visited one week. Here it is:
“I wanted to let you know that there’s one praise song, I can’t remember the name of it, that ya’ll do better than all of the dozens of churches we’ve been to in our church shopping quest.”
She has been on a "church shopping quest" that has included "dozens" of churches. Why do people do this? Why do people seem to think that they should be going out looking for a church?

That's easy, we all go into church looking for it to be exactly what we want. We want the music a certain way. And it better be at exactly the right volume. The preacher has to be on fire, but not enough that it might burn us. There needs to be a few kids in the church, but not too many or too rambunctious. We don't mind if they always seem to start 2 or 3 or 10 minutes late, but they better end at exactly 12 and no later. And the list goes on....

My concern is, Where is God in your quest? Has He been consulted? Do you even care what His thoughts are? No, you just want to go where you are comfortable. Where the people are just like you and have no desire to change. Too many times we want to go to the place where it will sound like something important or prestigious.

"Yes I go to First Baptist Church."

"I go to Pastor So-and-so's church, you know, the one on TV."

So, what? What are you doing for the Kingdom?

I have been in churches for a long time and in a lot of places and I have discovered one thing. Most of the people who "church shop" are the ones who really don't want to go to one church exclusively. Why? Because then they might be expected to do something. If all you do is go from church to church to church, you never really have any roots. If you don't have any roots, no one will hold you accountable. However, when it's all said and done, it really doesn't matter what church you don't go to, so just pick one already.

But remember, while no one on this earth will hold you accountable, there is coming a day when Jesus is going to ask you why you wasted so much time looking for that perfect church when there were people dying every day without ever hearing the good news you needed to tell them.

In other words, let God lead you to a place to worship, and then start serving Him there.

But there's more...

Churches need to stop trying to cater to every whim of every person who visits. And church plants are the worst for trying to make themselves appealing to people in their community by constantly doing something different. The worst thing is when they change how they do things just because what they had been doing isn't filling the seats like they thought it would. Funny thing is, when they start doing it that way they claim God was leading in that way, and when they decide to end they just say it isn't working. Either God wasn't leading that way to start, or you have a lot of guts to say what God told you to do isn't working like you want so you're changing it.

If God says do it and then says change, change even if what you're doing is working better than you could have imagined. It just might be a test of your faith to follow His will.

If God says do it and it's not working the way you expected, keep at it. It just might be your 40 years in the wilderness.

If God didn't say do it in the first place, seek His leadership on what to do now before you try something else. Don't just do something else He didn't tell you to because you're doing something wrong now.

Let's just worship God and share His love and let Him sort out the rest.

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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

People I Can Live Without

So, we were at the association office today chatting with Miss Becky (who, BTW, is an awesome Ministry Assistant) and somehow we got to talking about people we can live without. I decided I was going to blog about this topic. Now, let me say this: I could mention some names of people I really could live without that live right here in the area I now live. But, I am not a complete moron. Therefore, with apologies to Becky, I have decided to post a list of so-called celebrities I can live without.

5. Lindsay Lohan - If she would clear her voice and get sober, she wouldn't be so annoying. As a child she showed much potential to be a successful actress, now she shows potential to be included in the next Oscar night tribute to dead actors.

4. Keanu Reeves - Today's his birthday. Big deal. I think he peaked with Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

3. Brangelina JoPittlie - (a two-fer) I am beyond fed up with them and the 736 kids they've amassed. Who cares? They have money and they get a bunch of kids for a nanny to raise.

2. Britney Spears - No talent.

1. Dane Cook - I've asked several people who claim to be fans of his why exactly he is famous. No one knows. I sure don't.

So there it is. People I can live without. I hope you enjoy.

But let me say this.

We all know people we wish we didn't. You know the ones. The ones who rub us the wrong way. When we say up, they say down. They seem to be here on this earth solely to bother us. What can we do? We could just make a list of people we can live without. But that's not very nice. Sure we can live without them, but have we ever stopped to think maybe they can't live without us. Maybe the reason they are in our lives is so we can be a positive influence on them. Maybe we need to show the love of Christ to them. Maybe, just maybe, they are so annoying because that's the only way anyone ever acknowledges they exist. You know, "the squeaky wheel gets the grease." Perhaps they're just looking for someone to help them. Even people in our churches can be looking for someone to take an active interest in them.

I think of the Casting Crowns song "Stained Glass Masquerade" and how we sometimes go to church and pretend like everything is okay when it's not. Sometimes instead of telling a brother or sister what's going on in our lives, we go around like a spring wound up ready to snap. We become part of someone else's list of people they can live without. Maybe that's why Brother So-and-so seems like he's mad at everybody. Maybe something is going on in his life he hasn't shared and he's taking out his pain on everybody else. How many times do we think to stop and ask him if he's okay and if there's something we could pray with him about. We don't. I don't.

Now don't get me wrong, some people are just plain mean. But those are few and far between. Most are just hurting and don't know how to deal with it. Let's try to reach out to those we can live without and see what happens.

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Monday, September 1, 2008

Let the Blogging Commence

I shall blog. Once a week at least. I promise to ramble. I promise to have no rhyme nor reason to anything I post. I promise not to post things political unless they are amusing. Why? Because there's enough of that already, and honestly, do you really care about my political views? Of course not.

So, this counts for this week.

Peace out, homies!

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