“When I found… not only that there was God but that I was a child of God, when I understood that, when I comprehended that, more than that, when I internalized that, ingested that, I became courageous. I dared to do anything that was a good thing.”
— Maya Angelou, From Feb 2013 interview at NOLA.com
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“Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)
“The sustained outpouring of the miraculous in which we have been privileged to participate is directly connected to the value we place on the testimony. It helps us to keep an awareness of God’s supernatural interventions, which in turn affects our conversations. Israel’s success was connected to what they thought about and what they talked about (see Josh. 1:8). We naturally reproduce whatever we dwell on.”
— Bill Johnson, “Release the Power of Jesus”, Kindle location 1534
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“O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls; they will pray to the LORD day and night for the fulfillment of his promises. Take no rest, all you who pray. Give the LORD no rest until he makes Jerusalem the object of praise throughout the earth.” Isaiah 62:6-7 (NLT)
I love the Living Word of God, Jesus! He has rescued me from darkness and hopelessness, and poured out on me kindness and love, giving me a promise that I will be with him forever! And I love the written Word of God, the Bible, without which it would be very difficult to know the Living Word of God, and likewise difficult to understand how to live this life of faith.
I begin with that declaration because this article is meant for those who love both the Living and the written Word of God. If you do not fit into that category, we do not have a basis on which we can discuss the particular issue at hand, because the issue I am addressing here is how to understand the written Word of God so we may live lives pleasing to the Living Word of God.
The issue I want to discuss is what the Bible says about same-sex marriage, or closer to the point, same-sex sex. I want to declare up front that on a practical level of human relations including how to interact with gay people even in a church community, that I believe in loving all people, whether they are followers of Jesus or not, and whatever lifestyle they are living. I believe that love should be in both word and deed, not just called love, but love that is actually loving — wanting the best for other people, and treating each person with honor and respect. Yet I do believe that consensual gay sex is sin, though I don’t believe that it is the worst of sins, certainly no worse (nor better) than consensual heterosexual sex outside of marriage.
“If you want to preserve relationships, then you must learn to respond instead of react to fear and pain. Responding does not come naturally. You can react without thinking, but you cannot respond without training your mind to think, your will to choose, and your body to obey. It is precisely this training that brings the best qualities in human beings—like courage, empathy, reason, compassion, justice, and generosity—to the surface. The ability to exercise these qualities and respond gives you other options besides disconnection in the face of relational pain.”
— Danny Silk, “Keep Your Love On”, Kindle location 566
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“He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” 2 Corinthians 5:19b-20a (NIV)
“I believe that God is waking up the Church to be a people that will demonstrate His love and power to the world. The Kingdom message is in the air, and the Spirit of God wants to partner with ordinary people who will believe… The time is now! You have one life. How will you choose to live? What will you live for? If a story was to be written at the end of your life, what would it say and how would it inspire someone else to live?”
— Chris Overstreet, “A Practical Guide to Evangelism — Supernaturally”, Kindle location 190, 206
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“He who dwells in the shelter (secret place, KJV) of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, ‘My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!'” Psalms 91:1-2 (NASB)
Two posts ago, I shared about using flag waving for worship, and how through that I had started seeing visions of heaven. In my last post, I shared more about the visions. In this post, I want to share about a vision I had about a year ago that was a little different than the others, and how the impact of that vision is still working its way through my life. And I hope that by sharing this, you might be able to identify with it in such a way that it helps you go closer to God.
With this particular vision, just as in some of the other times, I was at church and literally waving a banner, but I was also having a vision of me waving a banner in heaven before the Lord. And in the vision I was by myself — the only one waving. What happened next is what made this vision different from the others. In this vision, I felt like the Lord pointed me out to all of heaven and said something like “Look how special he is to Me” or “how glorious” or “how beautiful”. I did write this experience down, but I write the notes in so many places, I haven’t been able to find them, so I’m sharing from memory.