My Mind Made Public -

I held off as long as I could ...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I Heart Haters (Or at least I try)

So I guess I couldn’t just go off quietly into the holidays now that I actually have some free time post-book editing. I’ll post about that in the upcoming days, but let me just tell you I went on a couple 60 hour stretches where I only got anywhere from 2-4 hours per sleep per 60 hour stretch … total! Ouch.

Anyway, something I want to talk about during this time of Thanksgiving is my ‘haters.’ I don’t understand haters. I don’t get them or why they’re so vicious. I don’t know why they think they have the right to say whatever they want, however malicious and/or false. In fact what I’ve learned is that about 99% of the people who talk trash about me have:

1. Never met me
2. Never heard me speak
3. Don’t care to try to do either #1 or #2

I had one such person at my last workshop in Nashville. He came in 40 minutes late, sat in the very last seat in the very last row in the furthest possible corner in the ballroom I was conducting my workshop in, and then he decided it would be a good idea to start yelling at me from the back of the ballroom. Who does that? Obviously this inconsiderate guy who didn’t care enough to show up on time, nor did he care enough to stay after for the 3 hour impromptu Q&A I had. In fact, we ended up getting kicked out of our ballroom because it went on to long … so we just found another room and kept it going! All of which that guy was no where to be found.

Shocker! (and I’m saying “shocker” in the absolute most sarcastic tone I possibly can!) Here’s the point: He didn’t want to stay around. He just wanted to yell. He didn’t want to dialogue. He didn’t want to listen, learn or understand anything but his nasty close-minded point of view on a topic that he probably doesn’t know a darn thing about. And I’m sure he got every ounce of satisfaction he was looking for. Good for him as he then, like a snake, slithered out of the back of the ballroom like the coward he entered, and the coward he left.

But that’s how haters operate.

And slowly but surely am I getting to realize that first hand. I take everything personally, I always have. But where the Lord is really working on me these days is to understand that those attacks are not against me, but rather against his work through me. Either way it’s still totally foreign to me. Though in this Thanksgiving time I must say that I am prayerfully trying with all I am to be thankful for my haters and for those who totally and utterly disagree and don’t understand (or want to understand) anything I’m about.

A good friend of mine and I were sitting in a restaurant in Miami in between workshops I was conducting when one such hater scenario played itself out in real time as we ate our sandwiches. Because of that situation he wrote a blog post on his feelings on the differences between a hater and a critic. It’s brilliant; and it’s something that I have truly been taking to heart. I hope you enjoy it as well. Thanks for your insight Dave!

So as I am thankful for many beautiful things this season – my new wife of just over 1 year, my family, friends, those in The Marin Foundation, and those all across the country who are reaching out to do significant things for the kingdom between the GLBT and religious communities. Just the same I also have to be thankful for my haters as the Lord literally loves them just as much as he loves me.

Much love.

I'm Back

Hello everyone! It's official....

Love Is an Orientation is officially done, turned in and ready to go to print!

I'm back now, no longer 'off the grid.' Thanks for hanging in there with me over the last couple of weeks while I struggled to get everything done with total and full confidence in every word that I wrote - and all that I represent as a bridge builder for our heavenly father.

I want to wish everyone a happy and thanful Thanksgiving and I'll be posting on my recent adventures starting again on Monday.

Much love.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Youth Specialites Pitt

Before I go off the grid, I wanted to briefly talk about the last YS national convention held in Pittsburgh. I have to say that everything I said during Sacramento held true again! What a blessed and humbled weekend I had. But there was one glaring difference between the two cities:

As my friend Margaret Feinberg so elequently said to me before I took the general session stage - this region is more stoic in general, and therefore probably won't be as enthusiastic as what happened in Sacramento, especially around the topic of homosexuality.

Thank God she told me that! I was able to prepare my mindset before I went on, and indeed Margaret's words proved correct. It took me almost 10 minutes into my talk until the crowd started to loosen up a little bit and listen to what I had to say. As Marko, the President of YS put it,

"I noticed you threw a little more evangelical stuff in there tonight (vs. Sacramento) to relate to where the crowd was at."

What an observant guy ... that's why I love YS soooo much! They care enough to notice subtlties, and it makes all the difference in the world.

As for my talkback session and workshops, I once again stayed hours upon hours after each of them to answer every person's question. I love that more than anything else! My whole philosophy is that people pay good money to come to conferences, and I HAVE to make myself as accessable as I possibly can because what good is someone who talks and then darts off into their own little corner because they don't want to be bothered?!

Unfortunetly that is the norm, and I hate when speakers (especially the big timers) do such a thing. If it weren't for all of the people, those famous speakers wouldn't be famous ... so show respect! Anyway, I never want to be that type of person so I will always and forever make myself accessable because that is what the Lord has asked me to do!!! [For a point of clarification, I am NOT talking about any of the Friday speakers I had the privledge to be around. Margaret Feinberg and Soong-Chan Rah stayed, as I did, and answered every single person's question. They are legitimate people, and I truly love them to death! I hope that one day each of you will be able to hear their words and hearts for the Lord].

Enough of my little rant: The major thing that I noticed in the talkback and workshops in comparrison to Sacramento was that many of the people (inquisitive as they were), were coming from a completely different starting point. In as much as I could, I expected this because the topic of homosexuality isn't quite at the forefront of any headlines in Pittsburgh, Ohio, Kentucky, etc. from that region of the country. But the heart's of those in attendence were no less eager and yearning to see a bridge built to their gay and lesbian youth!!!!!

And to everyone who attended YS Pittsburgh, thanks for the questions and the heart to start this unique joureny together. I love you all so much!

Much love.

Off the Grid


I'm going off the grid for a few days (maybe a week). Next week my final edits for Love is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community, are due!

And when I say final edits I mean:

-This is it for real
-No more changes once I turn it in this one last time
-Final, final, final version of everything
-No more take-backs
-What I turn in is what you'll be reading when you buy it

And while I might be gone, I am going to be speaking at Park City Baptist Church in Dallas and then off to Los Angeles for the next of The Coalition's bridge building events in Southern California. Here is the promo flyer:

So if you're in Southern California come on out - it's open to the public. Here's a description:
“Building Bridges Between the GLBT Community and the Faith Community”
What happens when Bible-believing Christians get together with gays and lesbians … or gay Christians? Can something peaceful and productive happen for the Kingdom or does this relationship always have to centralize itself around the same old fights, arguments and debates? This large-group, day long training will intentionally bring these topics to the forefront as we discover what it means to learn, listen and understand our way through the culture war of GLBT-Christian relations. While being able to recognize a difference in theology, Elevating the Conversation will teach you the theory, practice and application on how to effectively build a bridge between the gay and lesbian and Christian communities in order to make a significant in Southern California from this day forward.

November 15th, 2008 9am - 2pm

Evergreen Baptist Church
1255 San Gabriel Blvd
Rosemead, CA 91770

CostPre-Registration $15 (Deadline - November 11th) On Site Registration $20 (includes all training and lunch)

Register online or by calling 800-734-8994
See you all soon.
Much love.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

I voted this morning.

It’ll be an interesting night not only for our nation, but also here in Chicago (Barack Obama’s setting up camp in Grant Park about a mile away from where I live – they are expecting about 650,000 people in attendance tonight).

More importantly, it’ll be an interesting next 4 years – whoever wins.

And regardless of whoever wins the election I know that the Body will need to rise up, together, and live faithfully.

Focusing on the Father and not the Flag.

The Lord has entrusted us with the responsibility to be a flesh representation of Him here on earth while our time lasts, and thus, our charge has clearly been defined as Followers of the Way – not the President – well before or well after November 4th, 2008.

Be Bold.

Much love.