Sunday, March 22, 2015

How can you expect me to believe this stuff?

If you know me at all, even from just my blogs and Facebook, you know that I am a wanderer. I wrote many years ago that my faith is an ocean in which I swim, occasionally washing up on the beach, drying out and looking around, and then plunging back in. That describes me in the full strength of my faith, however. The fact is that many times I have dried out, looked around, then got up and left the beach to wander the highways and byways that lay inland. 

Always, always I came back ... obviously, because here I sit, talking to you from the beach itself. It is a Sunday morning, though, and I note that I am on the beach and not in the ocean, not at church joining in worship with my brothers and sisters, and hearing the message brought by my pastors and teachers. I am sitting here and all of me is dry except my heart, which is a soggy sad mass inside me, and an occasional tear that reaches my eye.  Be aware that as I write this, I am in the process of withdrawing from antidepressants, so I am feeling a little more emotional than usual. What exactly that means I am not sure. It could mean that I am completely delusional and feeling sorry for myself. But it could just mean that I am allowing myself to acknowledge and feel things I usually suppress. I am never going to claim to be an expert in My Self, so your guess is as good as mine on this.

I have questions. I suspect it's not really cool to talk about these questions. I know they are not unusual. I know that even the strongest Christians have doubts and questions. I know it, however, because I have seen them nod their heads gently in church when it is mentioned. But when I saw this, I was astounded by it. It's not something people talk about that I have heard, probably because they are not loose-lipped blabbermouths like I am. And it just may not be okay to talk about these things, because I don't want to dissuade those who are leaning towards faith to step away, or to cause those who are holding tenuously to their faith to abandon it. I know that I have been at least partly responsible in the past when those who were strong in their faith lost it and walked away, and so far have not returned, and that breaks my heart over and over. So please, here is the essential thing ... I'm still here. If you are a human being with a brain, you are going to have questions. That doesn't mean you can't also be a believer. It is called "believer," not "knower." "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known." (1 Corinthians 13:12) But I am going to say these things anyway, first because I know I am not alone and if you are like me you don't have to feel alone either. And also because I am still waiting for someone to come up with an answer better than any I have, so PLEASE, if you are the person, leave a comment here! 

So, let me tell you where the wave that washed me to the beach this time originated. It was last week, after church, and I stopped by Barnes & Noble because I had a coupon and I wanted to get a moleskin journal. (Moleskin is a brand, by the way. It is not made from mole skin. Just to be clear.) While I was there I wandered over to the Bibles section because I have a probably completely unhealthy love for the Bible as a physical object. Seriously, you should see how many of them I have in my house. I never read the same book twice in the same Bible, because I have to make fresh highlights each time. There are a lot of books I like to read over and over again, so I make use of all these Bibles.

But we are digressing here. On the top shelf of the Bible section there was this thing called "The Brick Bible." It's basically a comic book version of the Bible, which uses photographs of Lego figures to tell the story. I was browsing back through Revelation, interested to see how that might look in Lego-land, and I came across Revelation 2, the message to the church at Thyatira. There was a picture box for the verse that says, regarding "Jezebel," "I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am He, who searches the mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works." And there were these Lego people, their little faces filled with grief, holding dead babies, while other dead Lego people lay on the floor. 

My heart just froze within me. 

I have always had problems with some of the parts of the Bible that present God as Judge, or more to the point, that paint God as a Mean Guy. I'm sure I have mentioned that before. Nor does there seem to be any answer that really stills this protest within me.  I have read "Erasing Hell" by Francis Chan twice, and just might read it again before all is said and done. I love Francis Chan, by the way. But he basically says that nobody wants to believe in God as Judge, but if God IS Judge, are you willing to believe in him anyway? It's really the only answer I've heard that makes sense, and yet I still get washed ashore when I come across these verses.

I have been exploring some other ways of looking at things, actually recently read "A Generous Orthodoxy" by Brian McLaren ... which seems to say that there are various ways of looking at the Bible. Well, yes, this is true. But when you hear hoofbeats, do you think "zebras"? I've always figured you might just as well think horses. I intend to think about this further, but what is the end extension of this? The Old Testament, for example, is not simply presented as a history of a people. It is full of "God said." McLaren talked about the book of Joshua and the Israelites having to fight to establish their home in the Promised Land, and how that was pretty much the norm for the day, for a nomadic tribe to have to fight brutal battles in order to establish a home for themselves. Well okay, but I read the book, and the situation is a little more complicated than that. (If you haven't read the book I'm not going to tell you what it says, cause I wouldn't want to give any spoilers away.) And what of Ezekiel? And Jeremiah? The Jews were conquered and the prophets were just giving an explanation for it, rather than the conquest actually being the Judgment of God? 

I don't know. And how can I know? I suppose it is possible to view the Bible as the chronicle of a nation's relationship with God rather than the chronicle of God's actual dealing with a nation, reflecting the understanding of those who wrote it rather than God's dictation. This was a difficult concept for me to grasp, because my first thought was that it would render my beloved Book kind of meaningless. But I just realized (just this very second in fact) that it would not. 1 Timothy 3:16 says, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." Whether or not every single word in the Bible was dictated by God, he breathed into it, literally inspired, so that when we read it, it speaks directly to us. (Once upon a time if I'd read the sentence I just wrote, I'd have exploded with, "error error!" If my wandering has had one impact on me, it is shaking the judgey part out of me.) We Christians read the Bible that way all the time. Take Isaiah 29:11-13, one of our favorite verses:
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.... 
This scripture is a promise, and we count on it. You, who may be reading this right now, you can count on this promise. But the fact is that it was written for someone else, in a specific situation. Verse 10 specifically addresses it to the Israelites in captivity: "When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place." Yet because it was inspired, breathed out, by God, we can open our Bibles today and read it and God can speak directly to us in our situation today. You can open the Bible randomly and if you need speaking to, God will take you to a scripture that will do that. And this is true regardless of anything else, regardless of whether God dictated the Bible with every-word-as-truth, or whether he breathed into the stories written by those who loved him, which don't have to be literal truth. 

So many times in the past my beach-sitting turned into wandering, but I just seem less able to do that these days. My land legs are gone, and I have been morphed into a sea creature. Yes, that's me, the sea lion! I can say, no God, I don't like this, let me go, and God says, "But you told me not to let you go." Cause I did, you know. I prayed and asked God not to let me go, and the next time I wandered, I got a good start into the woods but it was a short one, before God put up a "Stop! Turn around!" sign. Thoroughly tired of this wandering, I changed my prayer and said, "God, bind me tightly enough to you that I can't fall, much less wander away." 

And you know, he has done that. Little signs all along the way, everywhere I turn. In this week, when the doubt and questions first cropped up, a blog entry by Pastor David Silvey appeared in my email. Pastor David is not a frequent blogger, so this is a fairly unusual occurrence. But it began, "Maybe it started weeks earlier, maybe months or years, who knows. Whatever the case, somewhere along the line an attitude was formed in Jonah. These things never happen overnight. A little here, a little there, and before you know it you can begin to drift away...." Uh, okay God. I hear you. 

Still ruminating in a slightly rebellious way, a couple of days later a client came to sit at my desk in my office and said, "Oh, is that a necklace on the floor?" It was! It was my cross necklace, which I love and wear 24/7! I figured the chain had broken, but no ... it was perfectly intact. It had apparently just unfastened itself and had fallen to the floor. The cross was even a little bent, where I had apparently run over it with the wheel on my chair. I straightened it and put it back on, amazingly easily by the way (I usually have trouble with the clasp because of my nails). It shook me, though, felt kind of like a warning, and I said a silent prayer, "Don't leave me Jesus! I promise I won't leave you!"

Honestly, truthfully, this is the first time in my long life as a Christian that I have actually been afraid of wandering, and the reason is because God has drawn me back so many times in so many ways, has worked so hard to keep me, I cannot just shrug it off and say it's not true. And because of that, in spite of what you may think on reading this, I am also concerned about being wrong.

Still there are a couple of areas in which I am not in agreement with perhaps the majority of Christians. The big one has to do with gays. I have just kept my mouth shut about it for a long time, but honestly there are a few things that dwell at my core, and this is one of them. I do not believe being gay is a sin, and I fully support gay marriage. Yes, yes, I know the verses, even in the New Testament, that address this. But there are verses in the New Testament that say women should pray with their head covered, and that women should not have short hair (1 Corinthians 11:13-16), but no Christian women use head coverings anymore, and probably the majority have short hair.  I remember once some study Bible or another had a commentary on these verses that said there was a temple to the goddess Diana in Corinth and the cult prostitutes were required to have short hair, and that the Christian women in Corinth were instructed not to wear short hair so that they wouldn't be confused with the temple prostitutes. I don't know how much sense this makes in the context, but if so, it is also a fact that homosexual practices were part of the worship of many pagan religions, so might that be the reason for the various times we see this practice spoken of in the New Testament? Well, I don't know. Could it be a cultural thing? If the Bible is inspired rather than dictated, this could easily be so. I do know, however, that it is not the only thing spelled out in the Bible that is ignored today for one reason or another, and I'm not referring to Old Testament law. Even Jesus said that if a man divorces his wife and marries another he commits adultery, but there are second marriages happening in our churches every day.

But I know, and dearly love, a lot of gay people, and being gay is who they are. If being gay is a sin, then they are a sin, because it is not an activity, it is an identity. Being gay is not about their sex lives ... it is about their love lives. Yet I know that this thinking is not accepted in the churches which I attend, and I am not quite sure if there is anything that can be done about that. I mean, I can love you, but can you love me? Can I serve in the church while also supporting gay marriage? Many years ago I began attending a Foursquare Gospel church in San Leandro, and although I no longer attend that church, I essentially do still, because both of the churches I do currently attend contain branches from the original church as both have pastors who were on staff there. But I must confess I am feeling an essential loneliness in these places, because I feel that the people who share their hugs and smiles just might not love me so much if they really knew me. So here, this is me. I am Sharon. I think too much. I talk too much, and it is very hard for me not to. And I believe in love, even among those who are not heterosexual. And I believe in God's love and forbearance as well. Hey, you guys remember David?  

There are a number of verses in the Bible about Christians being "called." This has always spoken to my heart, because that is exactly how I feel. I feel I have been called. From a very young age, with no religious background or training, I had this desire for God, and specifically to understand the Bible, even though I'd never possessed one, had never read it or had it read to me, and even though I had found what "Bible stories" I had been exposed to pretty boring. This call followed me through high school and into college, until finally at the age of 20 I actually picked up a modern translation of the Bible and began reading it, starting in the book of Acts. Nobody ever witnessed to me, I didn't go to church and answer an altar call. I found God in the Bible, and here I am today, 40 years later, still seeking him there.

Please, to anybody and everybody reading this blog, I welcome your comments. Just be nice. No name calling. I will tell you right now that I may be many things, but I am no hypocrite. Whatever I am, it is completely and totally genuine, and sincerely motivated by nothing but love. Nor am I saying I am right and you are wrong. I am just in my stumbling, falling down way trying to work my way through the intellectual webs surrounding my faith. In the end, faith is not an exercise of the intellect but of the heart and spirit, and in that regard, it seems I am bound to it. I have it engraved upon my arm, and engraved upon my heart. I have been through many dark places and have chosen the light, or the light has chosen me, or both. That doesn't mean I know all, or understand all, so if you do, if you have any answers for me, please share. And on the other hand, if you hear God calling you but have been held back from answering because you have questions, just know that you don't have to understand everything in order to answer. 

32 comments:

  1. It was nice to read your earnest hearted journey. I wish you the best in your continued quest! :-)

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  2. After reading your post, I don't feel that your faith is in question. I am more questioning if you are in the right denomination of Christianity. Mixing free thinking with the Dogma of Christianity can make anyone question their faith. Many Christian faiths do not take a literal interpretation of the bible. I enjoyed your post, even as a non-Christian. Your faith comes through in your post, even in the mist of your intellect and free thought. I hope you can explore some other churches and denominations that are a better fit for your belief system. It makes me sad that extreme interpretations and "human" dogmatic theology would make faith an all or none choice. Christianity runs on a spectrum from conservative to liberal. I hope faith and intuition guide you to the right place for your heart.

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  3. Thanks Sharon for sharing. I love reading your blogs. I wish I knew what to say. I was raised from a little girl about God and I love Him with all my heart but I'm ashamed of myself that I don't know enough about the Bible like I should. My Dad was a preacher and I believe that the word of God is true.
    You are in my prayers always and I pray you have a easy time going through the withdrawl from antidepressants.
    Love and Prayers
    from Thelma Mandera

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  4. Sharon, (part 2) Sharon, when I read where you said your cross falling off felt like a warning. I just want to say, God would never address you with anything that instills fear. 2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. I don't believe that you need to worry about your standing with God, about your falling away. My pastor was an amazing man. He always taught Grace. He always pointed to God's love, God's gentleness towards me. With my horrific past, it's what God knew I needed and why God brought me to the ministry I was in. These verses saved my life. They may be from the OT but God ministered them to my heart over again and I KNEW they were for me, a Rhema directly from God. Jeremiah 31:3 The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. Psalm 18:35 You have also given me the shield of your salvation: and your right hand has held me up, and your gentleness has made me great. (He upholds me. He does what I can't do) Isaiah 41:10 Fear not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yea, I will help you; yea, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness. Psalm 3:3 But Thou, O Lord, art a shield for me, my glory and the lifter up of mine head. My pastor would always preach about men of the OT that were failures. Moses backslid for 40 years in the wilderness but God used him greatly. Abraham committed adultery. David, failed miserably, but God had great things to say about them. This is a comfort to me when I fail, or fall away. I'm one second, one prayer away from coming back. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. I always think of when Jesus said become as a little child. To me, this means teachable, trusting, sometimes having blind faith, not too occupied with myself and my short falling. I just focus on Jesus and what he did. it's enough! My friend posted this on his face book page today. ~God never leads us where He cannot keep us. His grace is always sufficient for us in any and every circumstance of life. God Bless you Sharon. I always think of you and pray for you and your family.

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  5. Hi Sharon, I'm not sure if the first part of my comment went through. It was too long so I had to share in two parts. If not I can repost.

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  6. Hi Sharon, (part 1) There's so much I can write so I'll just try to address a few things. 2 Timothy 3:16 "God breathed" does not mean God is breathing "into." It's literal, "from him." It's not, as we think of us, breathing onto something, but he IS the Word, breathing IT into, from Himself! John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God..14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. The stories are Truth, not just stories because they are the Word of God. I believe the people are recorded in history, also for our benefit so we can learn about the character and love of God. It's true that in the OT especially it does not always appear that God is benevolent God, but sometimes a very harsh God. But that's where we need to study, Isaiah 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: Many things are hard to understand, yet they are true. The confusion is with us, because of our human limitations. Pertaining to Israel and the verse Isaiah 55:8 My thoughts are not your thoughts. This verse, as with all verses, must be taken together with other verses (line upon line, precept upon precept) so that the whole counsel of God can be understood. Whatever we read, we don't just take a story from the OT to stand alone, but take the whole book, Gen. to Rev.. There were dispensations which were God's policy toward mankind in periods of time. This is why it appears God is changing, but God knows everything, and is dealing with people according to what's happening in that dispensation. Right now we're in the dispensation of Grace so God is dealing with man, pouring out unmerited favor, mercy, grace upon us. Adam and Eve were in the dispensation of Innocence, then in the dispensation of Conscience. Then came the dispensation of Human Government, dispensation of Promise, then the dispensation of Law...and this is where we read a lot of things that seem to contradict the Grace of God as we know it, but, Romans 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. What is meant by this verse and it's purpose is to point us to Grace. We could never fulfill all of the law. We all sin and fall short of the Glory of God. So many times in the OT God points out places where the law is broken. Jesus himself plucked corn on the sabbath, breaking the law, to put the emphasis on the important things. The Pharisees were prime examples of this, always boasting of keeping the law. We see what Jesus did back in the OT as the setting up of a stage so to speak for him giving Grace today. It's such a big picture and can't be just taken out of context using a verse as we sometimes do. And we all do it as we are just learners. It's important that we foremost focus on the character of God. Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. God will always be faithful to show an honest heart the truth. God is Sovereign. He deals with each person differently because he knows our genetics, what we've experienced all throughout our lives, the hurts, everything! He may deal more harshly with someone who's proud that outwardly appears humble, and will give grace to someone we think deserves a slap. He knows their heart. We look and think, why is he giving mercy to someone. But then too, He says, I will give mercy to those that give mercy. We can't evaluate. We're not all knowing. I have major surgery on Thursday and have things to do to prepare. I would love to dialog more through email if you want after things are settled a little. God Bless you Sharon!

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    1. Thank you Corey for taking time to write to me. I pray that all goes well with your surgery!

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  7. Hello Sharon,
    I have pondered a long time whether or not to include a few portions of my life to the gender lifestyle issue portion of your blog topic. I have finally concluded it could possibly be helpful to someone and offer insight to consider.
    When a parent teaches a child to look both ways before crossing a street it is because of known potential dangers and the yearning to keep their beloved out of harm’s way. So with I have found the yucky appearing DO NOT warnings in the Bible concerning the LGBT lifestyle. From personal experience ( I lived over 15 years fully immersed in the homosexual lifestyle and entered a renewed spiritual road of freedom) I have come to see that the Divine purpose is solely because there is a truly better and more fulfilling life available.
    I had a friend who was raised going to Hawaii beaches while growing up. Moving out of state for college her new friends were excited about going to the beach. My friend grabbed her summer clothes and was confused as to why everyone else was “bundled up” with windbreakers and such. It turned out to be foggy, cool, and the sand was dark. Because the new friends had never been to a Hawaii beach during the winter they had no idea what they were missing out on. To them their beach was a great place to be! So with the lifestyle I had been convinced I was born to be a part of. It was the best I knew but there awaited something so much better!
    Perhaps your strong hold on supporting the LGBT lifestyle is actually an expression of Christ’s love for the special people and a call for Intercessory Prayer Ministry on their behalf. When we say we truly love people we will always desire the very best for them. It took a “straight friend” who loved God and me enough to pray for the best life had to offer for me.
    Wishing you continual blessings on your spiritual journey

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  8. I thought these Youtube links might be of possible interest. I just watched the shorter one (2) & will view this over an hour one sometime. I’m not endorsing just presenting :>(1) ..” An Unlikely Convert: A Former Lesbian Professor's Journey to Faith"
    As a tenured lesbian professor at Syracuse University, Dr. Butterfield had no desire to become part of the heterosexist, patriarchal culture that she perceived to be the identity of Christianity. Her thinking was challenged by the letter of a local pastor who inquired about her basic presuppositions and asked her questions no one had ever asked her before. What began as an academic exercise to find fault with the Scripture and expose the darker side of Christianity ended with answers and a changed life that resonates in today's culture.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYdEIcNZ-y0
    SHORTER ONE interview (2) :> “Published on Jan 5, 2015 Rosaria Butterfield lived as a lesbian professor before experiencing a "train-wreck" conversion to Christianity. Now a pastor's wife and a homeschool mom, she offers a unique perspective on how Christians can treat those within the homosexual lifestyle”
    Rosaria Butterfield on the Christian Response to Homosexuality https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcshlenrP9E

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    1. Here’s 2 more testimonies for prayerfilled consideration:
      Ex-gay hip-hop artist Jackie Hill-Perry never dreamed a new life was possible https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iD_-4iSRn6k

      How Does the Gospel Equip Christians Who Struggle With Same-Sex Attraction? | Jackie Hill-Perry https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDxrXyFYGgk

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  9. I remember “coming out” to my mom. After a bit of silence she said “We’ve always known (sighed)… I wish you did not bother to just burden me & say it out loud” .Our call ended. A week later she called my apartment to request we meet for drinks (it was a 1st and I wasn’t even 21 yet). During this visit she said since our call she had talked to different people, went to the library and extensively searched ” the subject” and decided after all this “research” that I “couldn’t help” myself for who I was, I was her daughter and she would love me and be in my life no matter what!.To my surprise my first inward thought was” omg I am never going to break free of this domineering manipulative woman! “:0
    I think a lot of people present issues that block their road to accepting embracing a “faith filled life” and when the issue is addressed with love & reason they still get upset with God! Although they feel pressured to have the spirit filled relationship deep down they do not want it. They prefer the freedom from perceived confining requirements and expectations.
    Christ said he knew his sheep and his sheep knew his voice and followed him: implying we are all invited but not everyone will choose to be followers who does as he commands .I once visited a dying young man with aids. He summarized his life choices by saying “I have no regrets”.
    Where ever you finally take full root in your journey my hope is that you will choose from a wholehearted genuine place & be filled with contentment. No matter how it looks to others. Best to you.

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    1. Wow. That is one of the best comments I have ever had left on my blog. Thank you. But I am left wanting to know more of your story. Where are you now? And how is your relationship with your mom?

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    2. p.s. Feel free to email me if you don't want to write your story in comments. sharon.murch@gmail.com. But I would like to talk more. You hit a couple of significant nails on the head.

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  10. What nice feedback! While I work on summoning the courage to expose more would you please consider voicing what significant nails were hit on the head a couple times for you? I’m interested to hear your thoughts too.

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    1. Well, one thing that meant a lot was the last three sentences. "Where ever you finally take full root in your journey my hope is that you will choose from a wholehearted genuine place & be filled with contentment. No matter how it looks to others." The concept of "finally taking full root" sounds so wonderful, my heart just longs for it. It aches from feeling split in half so often. I also want to know, because you sound as though you have some breadth of experience and perspective. But mostly, you were just so kind, and not condemning. Others seem always to want to tell me I'm wrong, or worse, that I'm bad.

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    2. Awwww thank you so much for sharing back your honest and important thoughts. I hear your expressed struggles, deep longing and ache. Everyone of us deserves a condemnation free life with freedom to choose, without harming, to be whole and receive the best life offers. I will continue to root for you to find the wonderful desired center of the divide.
      I have written out a rather long response to your questions and will post it after this so you can view it and see if you think your readers might benefit. I wish I had more to offer but am very thankful for your personal interest and opportunity to be open with my struggles and triumphs. .I deepy wish you the most wonderful & very best.

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  11. :)!! I found the courage to answer your questions: “Where are you now? How is the relationship with your mother?”
    Now, I emit my genuine life frequency rather then reflect back the imprinted patterns from the expectations, desires & lifestyles of my growing up influences: family, community and friends. Near my 30th year I became enlightened & turned my life over to Christ .
    Although years later I built up an enormous resentment toward God & in brief defiance revisited “the lifestyle” the return was not in any way similar to my past . Prior to my Christian conversion I believed wholeheartedly I was destined to be a lesbian; It was my identity & my truth. I stood firm under every form of terrible homophobic expression thrown my way. I was tough, firm and a strong defender with no regrets.
    Returning to the old lifestyle with years of a built up beautiful new identity in Christ turned out to be like a plunge in a deep pool with little water. Serious suffering resulted. I boozed up, Stayed liquidated and went to loud and wild extremes in the lifestyle to quiet my conscience. My now “lukewarm” life turned into a massive downhill spiral with horrible consequences to every aspect of my life. .
    Unmerited Mercy responded once again to my call in severe brokeness . I am no longer divided in any way between 2 lifestyles. I am firmly planted in my mind and heart.
    As far as the relationship with my mom it was a consistent strain until her death when I was near my 30th year. God is a great healer and has many ways to help heal wounds & to comfort. For decades Divine has granted the gift of permitting me the humble honor to be a vessel to bring through messages to grieving ones from their dearly departed. I do not summon the spirits but instead like when Moses and Elijah came to strengthen Christ before the cross God permits special visitations at certain times. It is always God’s timing and never my own. My mom was permitted 4 visitations to come and reach out for a healing amends. The last visit was the most deep & profound in it’s depth of healing.
    For this and so much more Christ The Messiah continues to be my chosen path to follow for fulfilment, purpose, Light, Truth and Way.<3
    Unlike the courageous bold truth telling women in the video’s posted here I notice I feel a bit timid & vulnerable right now for telling my testimony. Please would you kindly post a comment or question if you decide to extend this unique testimony for your readers to view :)

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    1. Thank you for your honesty. There are many questions I could ask, but I would like to know more about your Christian beliefs. Are you affiliated with a church? The reason I ask is because I am under the impression that most churches I know would frown upon visits from the departed.

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    2. You’re welcome and Thank you for the opportunity to answer your new question.
      Indeed most do frown on this special gift of healing God offers. The bible gives much evidence of frowning jaw clenching angry “worshippers of god” who persecuted messengers. They negated prophetic messages , methods of presentations & healings God Almighty offered.
      The Messenger Ministry I’m blessed to be a part of aligns with the parable Christ spoke of with the commission to Go and fill God’s banquet table. When the frowners are too busy with their own focus of cherished opinions/ earthly matters God WILL send out messengers to invite others to the banquet of blessings others have rejected.
      The biblical measure of a church, ministry or messenger is whether people are brought closer or further into a relationship with their Maker. By their fruits you will know them.
      In my experience each open hearted recipient of a comforting message awakened further in their spiritual journey and continue to reach up higher toward the love of God who cared enough to minister to their deepest heartaches.
      Following the blessed evidential proof that their loved one continues on memories heal quicker, there is relief from guilt, increased sense of peace and life purpose is restored. They move forward in their life in the freedom of the burden of life experiences. The Truth (Christ) as promised has set them free.
      Some who have abandoned Christian churches have returned. New comers have entered into relationship with Christ followed by professions of faith through baptism and a daily personal walk with God. Lives have been enriched by the assurance of God’s love. Peace replaces sorrow. Those lost of direction are filled with renewed joy and purpose. Relationships are built and restored to rich and meaningful quality.
      . Prophetic Elijah wept & called out to God when he thought he was the only messenger left. God assured him of having reserved a number unto himself. It is with these of like minds that I affiliate in fellowship with. This church ( body of Christ members) is where I unite with in faith, spirit and truth.
      Before my spiritual awakening I was ready to fight for my identity. I no longer feel I need to fight because I am secure in Christ.

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  12. Please do not publish this if you are not comfortable with my request. I’ll check back here tomorrow. I’m more then fine with no and will continue to wish the best for you today and always.
    Because of the opportunity you gave me to share portions of my testimony <3 I’m considering writing a “Freedom Journey” series of booklets (or novella ).The intention of the 1st one in the series would be to self- publish & give them away free to select interested ones.
    The first one will have the testimony topic covering my “Freedom Journey” from the LGBT lifestyle. You mentioned in your comment that you would have a lot of questions on the topic. My request is:
    Would you consider writing out those questions ?
    In exchange I will include a response to each one in my testimony booklet & send you by regular mail a free completed copy.(if you’d want one :)

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    1. Well, I am not sure that I have a lot of questions. I really just wanted to know if you had left the LGBT lifestyle. But in light of your discussion about your visitations from those who have passed on, the fact is that I am pretty sure you could come up with about as many Scriptures condemning communicating with the dead as I could for condemning homosexuality. So what is the difference, may I ask?

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    2. Thanks for the opportunity to answer your above question.<3 And bearing with my rough draft format :) Have u heard of “THE WRITERS CIRCLE.COM” website? a friend mentioned this today. They have a FB page too. Have you decided how you’re going to publish your book when it’s finished? http://writerscircle.com/2014/02/e-books-pros-cons-of-the-top-5-self-publishers.html

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    3. Well I am hoping that a publishing company offers me a huge advance and does a bang-up marketing job, but if not there is no doubt I would use createspace.com.

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    4. Sounds excellent!! I'll add this to my prayers. Best to you :-)

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    5. Been uplifting your big $ advance desired goal/future publishing goals!:-) There have been one’s who have written 3 chapters of their manuscript and then focused their attention on presenting the 3 avenues to get a commitment and $ advance with a publisher for sole rights to their work when completed.

      Wondering where you are in the difficult process needed for future presentations to publishers regarding needed: :
      (1) query letter ,(2) book proposals, and (3) sample pages ?

      For encouragement, This article gives a nice encouraging peek at a range of $advances from “nice to major deal” . Uplifts for the best outcome for your goals continue http://hiwrite.com/advance.html


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    6. I have to write the first three chapters first! I have so many different directions from which I can go and haven't really decided how to do it.

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    7. I hear you! Several writers have said they wish they knew about the 3 presentations needed ahead of time for publication because it took them almost as long to write a query/book proposal as it did their book! :0
      Considering 1st doing the framework for summarizing the book could define your books intents and purpose as well as provide a comprehensive outline. This would mean right now you’re at a great time saving starting point!:-) Best to you.

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  13. Good question! * In my “Freedom Series” I will address “abundant warning texts” & the original root meanings of terms in Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic regarding mediumship/necromancy etc. I will compare the texts and root definitions with texts defining the difference of what I do through the Holy Spirit and testimonies on how people responded by coming closer to God <3
    Here is my 3 point summary that will be built upon:
    1) Upon close examination of related texts I found the consistent issue for warnings against mediumship has to do with Creator God being removed from the personal relationship offered :*( .
    Humans consult other humans who BRING UP deceased spirits (supposed deceased once living humans) to ENQUIRE about how to tend with life issues: Such as King Saul in 1 Samuel 28:7-11 (KJV)
    7 Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, ENQUIRE of her.. (verse 11: 11 Then said the woman, Whom shall I BRING UP unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Sam+28%3A7-12&version=KJV
    Isaiah 8:19 (KJV) is 1 of many texts that describes the Divine with human relationship issue behind the counsel:
    19 And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a PEOPLE SEEK UNTO THEIR GOD ? for the living to the dead? https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+8%3A19&version=KJV

    2There is often FINE LINE DISTINCTIONS between what gifts/abilities come from God Almighty verses similar appearing in nature. 1 of numerous examples is the transforming of “rods” spoken of in Exodus 7:10-12 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+7%3A10-12&version=KJV

    3 In Matthew 17:3 Christ, whose words and experiences we base Christian faith on, visited with 2 from the O.T. days YET Deuteronomy 34:5 states Moses had “died “-
    Deuteronomy 34:5 (KJV)
    5 So Moses the servant of the LORD DIED there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD.https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+34:5&version=KJV3 And, behold, there appeared unto them MOSES and Elias talking with him https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+17:3&version=KJV

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  14. A lil writing encouragement for you today
    Poem by:10 y/o Nairobi poet:speaker at Women in the World Summit Nytimeslive:
    “Every mighty king was once a crying baby!
    Every great tree was once a tiny seed!
    Every tall building was once in paper!
    And so I dream my dream”

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