The Joy-Robbing Cheapness of Victoria Osteen-ish Christianity

Alright, so there was a time earlier on in my Christian life where I was quite the zealous little theology cop. I would blast Joel Osteen and the likes of him with their biblically deficient statements about God on my blog, twitter, Facebook — any outlet I could find. I thought it was my job to stand firm and “defend God’s truth!”, calling out every bit of erroneous teaching I came across. I’m not that person anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely think that there is a place for exposing false teaching (and to be clear, I think that most of what I’ve heard of Joel Osteen’s teaching is false). But I think it needs to be done out of a love for Christ and a desire for people to know Him in truth, not out of a egocentric desire to just be “right.”

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Prayerfully Consider Helping In The Publishing Of My First Book, “Weird Love”

I sent something similar to this out to my email subscribers a couple days ago, but decided to go more publicly with it in a blog post as I know that many of my readers don’t subscribe by email. To my email subscribers: sorry for blowing up your inbox this week! I think I’ve blogged more this week than I have in the past month!

When I began writing publicly a few years ago, I didn’t anticipate it to be anything more than a few scattered thoughts here and there throughout the year. But as time has progressed, the Lord has confirmed — both in my heart and through those around me — that writing about Him is a calling, and a privilege, that He has assigned to my life. When I started this blog in 2011, I never anticipated it functioning as a ministry, but nonetheless, that is what The Lord has done with it.

A couple of years ago I signed with a Christian Literary Agency, The Blythe Daniel Agency. Jessica Kirkland, my agent, has been working diligently on my behalf in the creative and marketing processes of my first book, Weird Love (I’ll be giving more details on the book, soon! Very excited about this). After much prayer and deliberation, we have decided that we will independently publish this book. Independently publishing will allow me more freedom regarding the content of the work, control over where the book goes distribution-wise, price control (so it won’t me marked up at a crazy high, unreasonable and unaffordable dollar amount!), and many other significant pro’s.

The drawback, however, is that I will have to cover all the upfront publishing costs. Line-editing, cover art, etc. This is part of the reason that I have decided, after much hesitancy (cause I hate asking for money!), prayer and gleaning of wisdom from my pastor and other brothers and sisters in Christ, to put a donation section up on my website.

In addition to this particular book’s publishing costs, my other reason for deciding to accept donations is that I feel that the Lord is leading me to focus more of my time and effort on producing gospel-centered content in article, small resource and e-book form. And this requires time. Lots and lots of time. Writing one, small article takes approximately three hours, and writing a book — well, that has taken me nearly two years! I deeply desire to write more. I would like to put out two more books by January 2016.

As most of you know, I’m living in New Orleans and am part of a small SBC church plant. For the past two years, I’ve worked in a small town about 45 minutes outside of the city. I’ve seen a lot of gospel fruit in my relationships in this small town, but none of the people I connect with are willing or able to come to my church in the city, due to the distance. Over the past year I feel the Lord has relentlessly been calling me to leave this job and to get a job close to my house and the church (I live just blocks from our church), in order to reach people for the gospel there and connect them with our church body. So I finally put in my notice (of 2-3 months) at my current workplace last week.

My hope and desire is that I will be able to work part time at a coffee shop/restaurant, and write part time — depending on if I get any kind of supplementation through my blog. If I don’t, then I’ll just work full time and try to write as much as I can, like I’ve been doing the past few years. And I’m totally fine with that if it is the Lord’s will!

Now knowing a little more about my situation and the desires that I feel the Lord has put in my heart, if you feel led to help, you can do so by clicking one of the links below. The transactions take place securely through PayPal.

One Time Gift:

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=4GLCWCE9FS4NS

Monthly Gift of $25:

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=Z9REPPQNDZ68A

Monthly Gift of $50:

http://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=GGBUVBS63Y2LG

I have been so blessed by ya’ll’s continuous encouragement over the past few years. I hope to be a blessing to you over the next few. Please pray for us (I say us, because it has been a team effort. So thankful for my agent, Jessica, and all other editors, artists, etc.) as we finish up this first book. It’s in the first stage of editing as we speak. Pray that it glorifies Christ, serves the Church and clearly communicates the gospel to those who have yet to believe.

Also, I’m attaching this 2 Cor 5:17 pic (taken shortly after my conversion) to this post because today is a significant day in my life. This day four years ago is when The Lord made me alive together with Christ — literally, the best (and truly the first!) day of my life. Forever grateful and owing of all that I am to the grace of God in Jesus Christ.

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A Christian Response To The “Christians” Who Beat Their Gay 19 Year Old Son

Over the past couple of days, a video of a young man’s coming out to his “Christian” family has gone viral – and for good reason. I watched the video for the first time this morning and I’m in utter disbelief over what happened. As I’ve seen the articles floating around about this video, I thought it was probably just Christian parents vocalizing their disapproval (in a non-aggressive way) over their son’s decision to live a gay lifestyle and the liberal media is just spinning it around to demonize Christians. But that’s not the case at all. This family’s response to their son’s coming out is disturbing and disgusting. And the fact that they throw the Word of God out there as the basis for their reaction is infuriating.

I’ve picked out the big statements throughout their hostile conversation and am going to try my best to address the each one from a truly biblical perspective.

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The Truest Love: A Comparison of the Gay and Christian Communities

The gay community is the first place that I ever felt at home. They embraced me, a confused 19 year-old struggling to peek outside of the closet for the first time in my life, with arms wide open. They celebrated the parts of me that — in my pursuit to “be like everyone else” — I had been unsuccessfully trying to conceal and uproot for years. The gay community is the very first place that I ever felt free to be myself.

But as my beliefs about God and sexuality started to shift a few years later, I began to see that their acceptance wasn’t as unconditional as they had advertised it to be. The gay community portrays themselves to be a people for all people — whatever your orientation, skin color, beliefs may be. They promise to exercise unconditional tolerance, love and support to all. Continue reading

The Safest Place For Hope

Things are kind of not-so-peachy in life, right now. First, writing a book sucks. Yeah, there are spurts of enjoyment sprinkled in the process, but it’s mostly been a grueling and frustrating endeavor. All my writer friends will chime in with a “hear, hear!” on my sentiment, I’m sure.

Second, my job/living/money situation is incredibly uncertain. I moved to New Orleans two years ago as a part of a Church plant and got a job at a gym about 45 minutes outside of the city. I’m still at the same gym, and it’s been an awesome experience. I’ve built amazing relationships with the people out there and have seen the gospel bear much fruit. But… BIG BUT…  none of the people I connect with for Christ are really willing to come to my church in New Orleans. The distance is just too far. So I’ve been coming under the conviction over the past year or so that I need to leave my job — and the financial stability it provides me– and get a job closer to my church (which, based on the area, will mostly likely be at a coffee shop or restaurant).

This morning on my way to work I was overwhelmed with anxiety and frustration.

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Tell Your Story

“People don’t need to hear your stories. They need to hear about Jesus”, I thought to myself as an older Baptist man bragged to me about how at his church they’ve got their kiddos whipped into such good witnessing-shape that they can all share their testimonies in 60 splickity seconds. He told me they stuff the kids into church vans, take them into town and then release them into the stores and shops and have them ask strangers, “Do you have a minute (a literal minute) for me to share my testimony with you?” Continue reading

Why Can’t You Tolerate Us?

Over the last few days I’ve written a couple of articles, Parents of Gay Kids, Stop Beating Yourself Up, It’s Not Your Fault and Why I Hate The Word Gay, But Still Use It.  

I’m not surprised that there are a lot of people out there that have incredibly different views than the ones I express in these blogs…. because I used to have incredibly different views than ones I express in these blogs. Five years ago I scoffed at the (then to me) laughably ludicrous idea of homosexual behavior being sinful. But now my views have changed. My perceptions of sexuality, ultimate authority (it belongs to God, not me) and reality have changed. Continue reading

Why I Hate The Word “GAY”, But Still Use It

I know that most of my regular readers notice that I use the term “gay” a lot in the titles of my blogs and articles. I’m aware that this probably suggests to some that I’m still in some way holding onto my former homosexual identity or that I’m unwilling to embrace the “such were some of you” gospel mentality that Christians should walk in. So I just wanted to take a few minutes to talk about the G-word. Continue reading

Parents of gay kids: Stop beating yourself up. It’s not your fault.

I sent an email out to my blog followers (I do that sometimes, so subscribe to my blog to the right of this page so you can be added to the list!) a couple months ago, trying to get a better grasp on the biggest questions and doubts that parents with same sex attracted children have struggled with since their kids “came out” to them.  Within an hour my inbox flooded with heart-broken responses from a multitude of guilt-ridden parents. Continue reading

Really Bad Reasons For Wanting To Get Married

“Yeah, yeah – singleness is a gift. But marriage is a greater gift! Don’t you want someone that’s going to be there for you all the time? How much longer do you think you can continue spending time alone? Don’t you want kids? They are the heritage of the Lord, after all! It isn’t good for man to be alone, two are better than one! The Bible says so!”

Sound familiar, single friends?

Even if it doesn’t, and even if you don’t find yourself feeling pressured by those around you to escape your oh-so-wretched solitary situation, there are pressures that rise up from within yourself.

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