could be anything. might be nothing. might make you think. could make you wish I would stop.
breathe people...everything is easier when you breathe!


Peace out.

I think I might throw up before this is all said and done.
You know that sweaty hands, shakey in the mid-section, air too thin to breathe place...that's me.
I feel this way because I am about to tell you what I really think.
And I am going to try to do it without any snark.

I might hurt myself.

I have been so distressed by so many things in life lately. Most of the distress comes from facebook. that seems shallow but  it is what it is. Facebook is my connection to the outside world. If I get off of facebook I have my sweet little family. They do not distress me.
I orchestrate my life to be as stress free as possible. I do not watch the news. I do not have tv. I do not follow the trending links on my computer. I live in a quiet little neighborhood where I know all my neighbors by name. the clerks in the stores know my name because I have a set routine and I almost never wander from it. I am a creature of habit and I crave peace.
I do not live in such a way that you would think that I was anything other than the most mousey, complacent, Jesus loving, mini-van driving, homeschooling mommy. I wear long skirts and birkenstocks, people.. I have no tattoos.
My cuss words up until a few months ago consisted of crap, and gosh.
(I am learning to use the word in big ass...dumb ass...asinine...)
You think I am being snarky but I am dead on serious.

this is my outside. My insides bubble a little hotter.
Inside, I am a stick it to the man, go against the status quo, rage against the storm, hippy.
If society welcomes it then I will most assuredly suspect it as a matter of principle.
I am cynical.
I am short tempered toward anyone or anything that displays a sheep mentality.
I am arrogant and prejudiced against individuals who refuse to think for themselves.
I judge.
but I probably won't show you these things unless you walk closely enough with me to see that I raise my right eyebrow a tiny bit and my pupils blow out when I get angry.
(my husband told me this...I thought I had it hidden)

I would probably tell you that in general I don't like people. As in plural. People. Groups. But I do like people. Persons. Individuals. There is this thing in my heart that loves to hear a person with their story. It affects me. they affect me. So much so that my heart will melt and I can slide into a depression over their pain. I actually have to guard my heart against this.
Unless... unless that person and their pain is treading on someone else. then I tend to go with the underdog. If i find that you are messing with someone and being mean,
 well I will think about sticking my foot so far up your get my drift.

So this distress on comes from my friends. I have spent my life in the circles of conservative, evangelical, American, chirstians.  my friends...yes, they are mostly church going, bible thumping, Jesus defending pains in the... neck.
(you can see why I am learning to use the word ass...just so many applications) snark intended.

My friends have been very vocal about the issue of gay marriage. they have made no bones about speaking for God and making sure that everyone knows how  He feels about those gays getting married. I don't mind them having their opinions. Truly. It is actually quite safe for that christian group to call out the sin of that gay group. I don't really like groups anyway so have at it. Even if it bothered me a little bit I could just not think about it too much and let it pass on by.
But then something began to nag at my heart.
As people started talking more about this issue, especially about the similar issue and decision to let gay members into the boy scout organization it started to come closer and closer to home.
My home.
My children running around as my mom friends talked about this horrible ungodly state of society.
My children listening with their super power hearing as the words and feelings flung hate and intolerance around the playroom.
My children assuming that I felt like that too because I didn't say anything.
It began to nag my heart that I was teaching by example and the example I was setting was one of tolerance for injustice.

If I am going to teach ain't gonna be centered around keeping my peace while people get trampled in the self-righteous dust from the journeys of a thousand ignorant proof-texters.
Nothing in that sentence was loving. Or tolerant.

I honestly feel that if you think that you have a right to keep the gay community in its place by labeling them with very biblical names like sinner and fornicator you might as well take up using the word nigger.
Take that any direction you want.

I started looking at my children and wondering what would change for me if one of them grew up and told me he was gay. What would happen to my heart if one of my precious children came to me in fear and loathing because he was terrified to tell me about something he had been burdened with since he was big enough to realize that he did not fit in with his brothers. What if my words and actions laid down a foundation of hate that kept my child, the love of my life, in a place of anguish because he knew that my principles could not allow us to fellowship in heart even tho I said "I love you" every day.
I think that I decided right then to change my behavior. I decided to stop looking at this group, and start looking at individuals. when I did that my heart began to break.
I realized that not speaking but letting the vocal majority have their say was the same, in the hearts of my children, as my agreement.
As a grownup I know that silence is not always consent...but to a is the same.

I realized that my silence was actually telling my children, that finger pointing christian position is ok. It is right. I agree.
Sometimes, you need to speak up.

I have friends that are gay. to my knowledge none of them are wanting to get married. but I guarantee you that their christian walk will get easier the minute christianity as a whole (or enough individuals that love completely) can look at them with the same respect they give that elder who recently "confessed" his porn addiction.
And this is a big stupid ass-umption on my part because I just lumped them in with all the detestable sexually impure...and that is really really offensive to many of my friends. I am sorry for that.

My point is respect. Looking at people and seeing their worth. Not their sin...real or perceived.

christians have genuine fear about opening a pandora's box if we let gay people get married. I think that if you want to go with that fear you need to accept that we started that release of mischief the moment we condoned interracial marriage. I am sure there were very sincere individuals that thought such things would surely lead to the degradation of the nation. We do have a black president now. One thing leads to another. I am positive that giving equal rights led to the position we are in today.
I see how this makes people feel very very afraid.
If we give equality to the gay people we are in fact starting down a road where more and more things will be accepted as a normal part of life.
Yes, that is called social evolution. We progress. We move on. Not all the next things are positive, but we can and should deal with those as they come up instead of crying like a bunch of babies about the sharks in the water...there are bridges...and boats to be had for this crossing.
I have heard arguements about how this could lead to child endangerment. Sex with animals. Polygamy. Muslem domination.
Like that isn't happening already??

I think I have talked ad nauseum about if this is sin or not. My just. doesnt. matter. It doesnt matter what I think about it. I need to see my married gay neighbors as neighbors. I need to see them as persons to be respected. I might admire how they are such a great team. I could learn to stop feeling icky when they kiss. (have you seen heterosexual European men? come on.)
Just being really honest. on that last one. I am full on having to force myself to see same sex couples showing affection as acceptable.
I just made a few of you spew.
what is the alternative? Get as christian uppity as you want...the reality is that the gay lifestyle will be soon be accepted as a "normal" part of American society. You can either avert your eyes and cover your innocent children as you mumble things about detestable to God or you can look learn to look in love at two people showing affection.
Stone me now.
I am not talking about anything perverse. Just a kiss...or a don't have to see that as disgusting no matter how you feel about what is happening in the privacy of their home.
Feel free to teach your children right and wrong as you see it. But you cannot continue to go through life trying not to throw up around people who do things you disagree with.

Let me try and come at this from a different direction. A very personal direction.
I have women in my life that live together as roommates. they are heterosexual. Not gay. they love each other immensely. Sisters. Sometimes people think they are gay.
There is no sex going on!
do I want society, and the church, to look down on my friends because they think they are gay?
Actually, society probably accepts them without much question except to wish they would just come out already.
they are not gay.
there are probably those in the church that pray for them in their gayness.

Now, for this next part, let's pretend that my friends are gay. 
Let's take these two friends who have lived together for longer than many of my heterosexual friends have been married...lets say that one of them gets sick...the other one wants to be able to know about her friends condition but she cannot because she is not the "spouse".
Or, one friend wants to give a large sum of money to the other. the other one will be heavily taxed on this gift...but not if they are married.

Just a stupid thought...I think that legally you should be able to declare anyone as your "significant other" to recieve all the benefits of a spouse.
If you even begin to whine about commitments and mocking the marriage system I will most certainly shove the divorce statistics right up your a....

As far as these women getting respect from the christian community, I don't know why they would even care any more. But let's say they do care deeply. they love Jesus. they do not think that their committed relationship is wrong in His eyes. they want to live in peace. together. and in their community.
I think that the church has every right to judge them and hold them accountable to every word of the bible.
As soon as the preacher looses 50lbs. And the nursery ladies stop gossiping. And the home groups stop hosting margarita night. And the deacons stop lying about when that church picnic will be rescheduled. And has anyone see our headscarves...cuz really.
Ok..that might have been snarky.

Until everyone in the church is ready to get real with their schniggt there should be no more telling each other what God wants.
Unless, you can do it in love. On an individual basis. when they ask if you would speak into their lives.
Otherwise...shut it.

I am afraid of 1 Corinthians. Paul talks about turning people over to satan. That scares me.
but you know what...I think that maybe Paul was full of it.
Snark that is.
I think that he was very very very tired of listing out the sins. I think he talks to these folks like a frustrated father and says..."I already told you this, why can't you deal with it?"
He talks about sexual immorality. And he lists it with a lot of other things. And he says the mysterious thing...he tells them to turn that stinky sinner over to the devil and let God judge him.
Seems harsh. Again...I suspect he was being a little snarky in his sincerity. that poor sinner was better off being put out than living within the bounds of the church and their righteous judgement.

I KNOW that is going to rile you and I am ok with that.

All I am saying is that we don't understand. And until we do, we might want to be a little more quiet.

I know I have not begun to cover all the points in this issue. I really just wanted to talk about a few that get me riled up. I hope that you see that I am giant enormous bag of wind. I don't have it all figured out.
I just want you to think about some things with me. Don't follow me cuz I am so cool.
No more herd mentality. 
Just allow my questions to spark some of your own.

I can only hope that I have NOT somehow managed to offend everyone on the planet.
Peace on you.


all things being equal Part 2

If you joined our discussion yesterday you got front row seats to a concert of ridiculous caterwauling that may or may not have always had a clear point.
I love those kinds of conversations!  

I would like to take just a moment of your time to clarify some things...
I have opinions about gay marriage. Some of them are holy. Some of them are complete hooey. I want, more than anything, to have my actions display love...even and especially when that is not what my opinions would dictate.
When I am talking to my friend Niki, we talk snark. Snark does not always translate into the common vernacular. Even the word snark may throw you so let me explain...
Niki and I speak fluent snark. It is sometimes silly. Sometimes deadly serious. We poke fun sometimes in ways that make you laugh, and then scratch your head and wonder if we didn't just insult your mother. We can be sarcastic and rude on minute and then come back around with inspiration words that lift you up and make you feel all warm and cozy.
We do this to confuse you and make you think about your position.  Seriously.
There is no status quo here. We want you to be irritated enough to re-examine everything.
Just like we do.
We love you enough to want you to live perfectly like we do. (see...that was snark)

Today we are going to talk in parable form. One of our very smart spouses might have questioned our sanity at throwing in this seemingly random story instead of just talking out in the open.
If it was good enough for Jesus....well...

(note...neither Niki, or I, are Jesus. Our parable making gets wonky sometimes...just go with it. )

Join us now as we talk about judgement and love...

The Parable of the Lemons
  • Niki Nowell

    We're baking at my house, making holiday pies...
    We have the same cookbook, so we're using my copy because it's my house. I've got the crusts all ready and you're flipping through to find the filling recipe.
    "Page 42, Lemon Tart" I tell you. You frown because your family eats apple pie for the holidays.
    Being diplomatic (great word) you smile and tell me, "That sounds yummy, I know how much you love lemon, but I was thinking we could make apple pies. I have all of the apples in my car."
  • I want to be diplomatic too, because we're friends, so I say, " about we make both?"

    An uncomfortable silence fills the room as we are both lost in thought about the time we're wasting making both types of pie and we didn't plan for it, and we probably won't have enough crusts now, and if we had just stuck to the original plan, things would be so much easier. We both smile at each other, grit our teeth, and say, "Sure. That will work."

  • We both had it in our heads how the baking time would play out, and when we didn't live up to the others expectation, we secretly wanted to stick with our own plan.
    It really had nothing to do with the cookbook, or the recipe.
  • Beckie Mccord

    expectations can really get your knickers in a twist.
  • Niki Nowell

    Yes, we were together doing something for our families but we both wanted to do it our own way. Was their judgement?
  • Beckie Mccord

    well, yes. because clearly you do not love your family enough if you will fill them with lemon flavoring instead of the apples that are natural and what God intended.
  • Niki Nowell

    Not verbally. But in my head I was thinking, why apple pie? That's ordinary. They need to branch out a bit. I bet if they tried my lemon tart they'd see that it's really the superior choice for the holidays. Something more special.
  • Beckie Mccord

    (I am really good at judgement) are too.
  • Niki Nowell

    We all are. But because we love each other...
    We might be able to come to a place of making and sharing pies together, helping each other improve on our own recipes, and doubly blessing our families.
  • Niki Nowell

    But if one of us digs our heels in and refuses to continue our baking day, a lot more than yummy holiday pies are lost.
  • Beckie Mccord
    But Niki, if I let you eat lemon pie...and make it for your family...I know that you are not giving them the best.
    how can i just let you live like that?
  • Niki Nowell

    I use REAL lemons, from the Garden of Eden, you just THINK I use lemon flavoring.
  • Beckie Mccord

    What kids come to your house and decide they prefer your lemon pit to my natural apple pie?
  • Niki Nowell

    Scary thought. You might actually have to learn to make my lemon pie.
  • Beckie Mccord

    well, maybe they were originally from that garden...but they have been polluted with pesticides now.
    my apples are organic.
    that is what is best.
  • Niki Nowell

    Have you been snooping in my kitchen?
    Are you stalking me at the grocery store?
  • Niki Nowell

    How do you know where my lemons come from?
  • Beckie Mccord

    Oh,I know. I am absolutely positive.
  • Niki Nowell

    Why can't you trust my source?
  • Beckie Mccord

    i heard you say that you think a lemon is a lemon.
    you think it doesnt matter as long as it is food.
    but i KNOW that wrong food choices bring death.
  • Niki Nowell

    So my motivation isn't enough?
  • Beckie Mccord

    i really dont care how good you feel about it. I have the correct information. you are wrong.
  • Niki Nowell

    My pie planning isn't really showing love to my family unless I use Garden of Eden, pesticide free lemons?
  • Beckie Mccord

    i am concerned about your safety.
  • Niki Nowell

    So better not to make lemon pie at all if we are a little unsure about the fruit?
  • Beckie Mccord

    well, i can let you feed crap to your family if you want. and not judge you is your business after all.
    but your pies will eventually affect MY family
    and that scares me.
  • Niki Nowell

    They look beautiful and unblemished, their smell is intoxicating, and they are stamped by the GOE food administration.
  • Beckie Mccord

    so I dont know if I can be your friend.
    doesnt matter if you say it is all going to be ok. I know you are wrong.
    if i be your friend...other people will see that I condone your unhealthy pie making...and they will be led astray.
  • Niki Nowell

    Could we still be friends if I promise not to feed my lemon pie to your family? Can we coexist in a pie-free world?
  • Beckie Mccord

    Plus, God and his reputation will be jeopardized.
  • Niki Nowell

    Because he didn't make all of my lemons rot?
  • Beckie Mccord

    God has his ways.
    i am still afraid about how it will look.

  • Niki Nowell

    Because my pies are famous?
  • Beckie Mccord

    who am I to judge that.
    I just know what I need to do.
    I need to separate myself from you.
  • Niki Nowell

    Pack up your apples and go home?
  • Beckie Mccord

    and I need to tell everyone I know not to eat your pies.
    because I care about people.
  • Niki Nowell

    But they might miss out some deliciousness, and you'd be hurting my feelings.
  • Beckie Mccord

    Sorry. I have my convictions. I need to be true to those.
  • Niki Nowell

    Maybe you'd even take it as far as slandering me.
  • Beckie Mccord

    If you promise...really promise...
    to keep yourself under control...
    you can come to my home baking parties.
    but dont bring your pies.
  • Niki Nowell

    Then you could bake with me? Or just love me from afar?
  • Beckie Mccord

    and we will spend a lot of time talking about the evils of non organic lemon
  • Niki Nowell

    You wouldn't step foot in my kitchen any more?
  • Beckie Mccord cant talk in our meetings. you have wrong information. I don't want anyone to be confused.
    I could come over to your kitchen only to bring you food if you were sick.
    I would bless you with my good because my food is really super healthy
  • Niki Nowell

    What makes you think I'd want your sick food if you have already turned everyone off my lemon pies?
  • Beckie Mccord

    my food is so good you will not be able to resist.
    I will bring it to you and in love I will continue to exhort you to change your ways.
    i have lots of literature.
    i will be really encouraging.
    and tell you that even tho you are really messed can change.
    my food is very nutritious.
    if you wont eat it...I can always force feed you.
    cuz that will help.
  • Niki Nowell

    I'd probably cry, holding my fruit up in prayer and sadly tell God what you said about his lemons. I'd probably be afraid to invite anyone else over to bake with me because I'd be afraid they'd judge my fruit too.
  • Beckie Mccord

    well then, I have done my job.
    the rest is up to God
    God knows your heart. And your lemons.
  • Niki Nowell

    And sadly, I would think about all of the great conversations we've had, all of the wisdom you offered me, and the way we laughed and joked, and each memory would bring a stab of pain. It would all be gone all because you didn't trust the source of my lemons.
  • Beckie Mccord

    I would be sad too. I would remember what a nice person you were before you became deceived.
    I will continue to pray for you to be restored.
  • Niki Nowell

    No relationship is worth eating sketchy lemons.
  • Beckie Mccord

    Ahhh, I see that my resolve is clearly working its way into your stubborn heart.
    as soon as you see the rightness of my way...we can be restored.
  • Niki Nowell

    Your other friends would cheer you on as you triumphantly stand your ground. Apples are America's fruit after all.
  • Beckie Mccord

    I have literature to prove it!
  • Niki Nowell

    But God told me that He loves my lemons.
  • Beckie Mccord

    well, he might. but he clearly does not love pesticides.
  • Niki Nowell

    But He also told me how to clean them so the chemicals wouldn't be a problem.
  • Beckie Mccord

    I can't trust that. He never gave me such instruction.
    How can I be sure we even talk to the same God?!
  • Niki Nowell

    You can't...unless you ask God.
  • Beckie Mccord

    Already did. He said no.
    He said you were depraved.
    He told me that using those lemons was the number one thing to NOT do.
    so you are not just are really bad.
  • Niki Nowell

    Are you sure you're hearing from him?
  • Beckie Mccord

    Yes. I have literature.
  • Niki Nowell

    You sure do read a lot of literature? How much time do you spend with God?
  • Beckie Mccord

    That is none of your business really.
    Are you questioning my christianity?
    I do everything I need to do. And more.
  • Niki Nowell

    Of course not. I don't have a right to question your Christianity. I'm just shocked you would question my lemons.
    That you would think I would feed my family sub-par food.
  • Beckie Mccord

    Well, it is my job to make sure that God's standard of purity is upheld.
    I am His disciple.
  • Niki Nowell

    It's just easier for me to hold onto my victim status than to get angry with you.
  • Beckie Mccord

    I am the hands and feet.
    Discipline is never easy.
    I do this because I love you.
    I do see you as a victim you know.
    I will love you out of that. No matter how depraved you are.
  • Niki Nowell

    I'd rather just cut off all contact than to live under your judgement. I think it's probably best if I stay away from apple-loving people. They probably all feel like you do.
  • Beckie Mccord

    I don't know where you are getting that?
    I am not perfect you know. Never claimed to be.
  • Niki Nowell

    They are blind to the beauty and goodness of my lemons, so I'll go find a lemon-loving community so I can feel the validation I'm desperate for.
  • Beckie Mccord

    I eat sugar sometimes. (it makes my apple pit really taste great) I know it is bad for me...but only a little bit bad.
    wait! why are you running away?
    do you think that you can just find others like you and make this all ok?
  • Niki Nowell

    Why do you care?
  • Beckie Mccord

    you will all go to hell!
  • Niki Nowell

    Yes! There are lots of people like me. You don't have the right to tell me I'm gong to hell.
  • Beckie Mccord

    I see your depravity!
    I want to save you!
  • Niki Nowell

    I don't think it's depravity you're seeing. You don't want to save me. You just want to make me an apple-lover like you.
  • Beckie Mccord

    I said I wasn't perfect. cant you hear that?
    Apples are the best.
    why cant you just accept that I know what is best for you?
  • Niki Nowell

    No, you're not perfect, but you want me to be perfect. My lemons are not good enough for you, therefore I am not good enough for you...unless it's on your terms.
    I don't think apples are the best. I prefer lemons.
  • Beckie Mccord

    I do want to save you. I have been taught how to do it right.
    Eating apples makes you better.
  • Niki Nowell

    God doesn't say apples are the best. That's just your opinion.
  • Beckie Mccord

    uh...yes. He does.
  • Beckie Mccord
    in the literature. in the natural order of things.
    lots of places.
    He said eating tarnished lemons was one of the worst things imaginable.
  • Niki Nowell

    Then why did He tell me that He loves my lemons?
  • Beckie Mccord

    there used to be a time when people could eat lots of fruit. but now only apples.
    You didn't hear from Him. that is the world getting in.
    loosey goosey. everything is ok.
    whether or not He loves your lemons is really beside the point.
  • Niki Nowell

    Well maybe I don't like your God. Why would I listen to a God who tells me my lemons are bad? Or whose people who are apple-lovers slandering me?
  • Beckie Mccord

    the point is this...
    whether you listen or not...apples are the only good thing.
    that has been true from the beginning.
    i will stand my ground on this. forever.
    and if you see that as unloving and go to hell for it be it.
    i have to stay true to my beliefs.
    i have tried to be loving in this.
    i told you the ways to be able to keep fellowship with me
    i am willing to extend my hand in love if you will follow the rules
    or i can defend my rights and my beliefs with force.
  • Niki Nowell

    I think you're being narrow-minded. All I was hoping for was a baking day with my friend, and now we're not even that any more. Now that I see what you really think of me, and that your plan all along was to turn me into an apple-lover. I didn't know you had assumed I was already an apple-lover.
  • Beckie Mccord

    all people should be .
  • Niki Nowell

    Here's the thing. If you had been willing to bake with me, I might have been won over by your apple pie.
  • Beckie Mccord

    It isn't a risk I am able to take. I have to keep myself set apart. Pure.
  • Niki Nowell

    But you insisted on trying to convince me, resorted to bullying and name calling. Since it's not very bakerly to attack me, you attacked my fruit, not caring where it came from, just assuming yours was superior.
  • Beckie Mccord

    I won't go there with you. My apples are superior. That cannot be disputed.
  • Niki Nowell
    (Stepping out of character a moment)
    You're so full of...virtue.
  • Beckie Mccord

    ha. I feel like evil's twin about now.
  • Niki Nowell

    Your justifications failing you?
    Maybe this is why we aren't supposed to judge? WE are not just and fair.
  • Beckie Mccord

    no, not just or fair. but sadly, i am really good at the judgement part.
  • Niki Nowell
    ok let's talk about this a minute...
  • Niki Nowell

    If a bakery has been shut down by the health department, I wouldn't want to eat there in the future. There is something to be said for being picky what you eat.
    There is nothing wrong with you wanting to feed your family only the best, pesticide-free food. It goes wrong when you start looking down on others for not doing the same.
  • Niki Nowell

    Or when we choose to be offended when others make different choices than we do.
    We take it as a judgement on OUR choices.
    Selfish, and self-centered, aren't we?
  • Niki Nowell

    We dig in our heels and try to convince others why our choice is the most logical, healthy, faithful, etc.We want to be right more than we want to be in relationship.
  • Beckie Mccord

    i sit on the other side of this a lot actually.

  • I eat mostly organic
    because of the allergies we deal with
    we think keeping pesticides out is the best for us
    we make other choices due to dairy...
    i think dairy is mostly evil.
    but i care NOT if you eat it.
    but people get really really defensive
    like i am judging them for their milkshake
    and i am not
  • Niki Nowell

    That's great! I agree with you. I want to be as chemical-free as possible too. I henna my hair because it is completely chemical free instead of using hair color from a box. I do the best I can, but a lot of our food comes from a food bank. Sometimes that's the best I can do.
  • Beckie Mccord

    i am just drinking water
    because it is what i can do
    i hate being judged because i cant eat your food
    i am not being picky or snobbish
    it will make me sick
  • Niki Nowell

    And I truly don't judge you for it.
  • Beckie Mccord

    no i dont feel it at all
    but i get it other places
    and i aint gonna lie
  • Niki Nowell

    I would hate being judged because I can't afford to buy organic everything, but I do when I can.
  • Beckie Mccord

    i do judge
    if people get snarky with me or say stupid things
  • Niki Nowell

    Me too. I try not to, but I still do it.
  • Beckie Mccord

    my brain goes crazy
  • Niki Nowell

    Yep, I hear you.
  • Beckie Mccord

    we all have to make choices about what is best for us and those in our care
  • Niki Nowell

    I remind myself that I am living in grace and I need to let you do the same. I'm not going to make you feel bad for your choices because I don't want you to attack mine.
  • Beckie Mccord

    so in this...and back to the issue at hand...
    i have no business making you feel bad, unworthy, on a road to hell, for the choices you make.
    even if I am RIGHT!
  • Beckie Mccord

    And people have taken this to the church vs world thing...we have even...where we talk about the church not having a right to judge the world.
    but even within the church...we have no right to judge.
    if we are living in relationship with someone...
    we MIGHT have a right.but we have a right only sometimes.
  • Niki Nowell

    Agreed. But that's too simple. Too easy.
    What are we supposed to do as Christians if we aren't busy converting the heathens or keeping our brothers in check?
  • Beckie Mccord

    how can we survive if we only pay attention to our own business?
    life will be so boring.
    and what about exhorting and teaching...
  • Niki Nowell

    I don't think it's that we're just supposed to mind our own business though. That's crazy if you're living in community with other people.
  • Beckie Mccord

    you know...literature is supposed to be for training and such...
    well think about this...
    if you are living in community...and relationship...
    if you are loving intimately and walking daily with someone...
  • Niki Nowell

    I DO think we're supposed to approach everyone in love. 1 Corinthians 13 love. Being patient and kind and not keeping a record of wrongs...
  • Beckie Mccord

    if you are carrying their burdens and they are carrying yours....
    then the boundaries of "your own business" get really blurred.
  • Niki Nowell

    Exactly. And if you're carrying each others burdens, then judgement is too heavy for anyone to carry, even if we shoulder it together.
    I wonder how heavy a millstone is?
  • Beckie Mccord

    if you ask me to help you carry your burden...didnt you really just ask me to make it my business
  • Beckie Mccord

    I do not think that there are very many...or any...of the gay community that have asked the church to carry this "burden" for them
    (not the ones that want to marry)
  • Niki Nowell

    So I really can't get offended if you share your opinion about something in my life. I'm also not obligated to change everything based on your opinion.
  • Niki Nowell
    about asking for help...
    Probably not. I haven't heard of too many, but it's possible that there have been some.
  • Beckie Mccord

    well, I guess.
    but i figure it is more like this...
  • Niki Nowell

    I mean that there is such a high wall for gay people to scale to get to the place where they could ask for help.
  • Beckie Mccord

    yes. (if they want help at all. what about just acceptance?)
  • Niki Nowell

    Whether they put themselves in that place or not.
  • Beckie Mccord

    we tell them to shut up and sit down and listen to our right
  • Niki Nowell

    Why not? It works in our churches.
    Oh wait...what about the mass exodus of people leaving church?
    Nobody wants to be told to shut up and sit down and listen to someone blather on about how they are right and everyone else needs to jump on board.
  • Beckie Mccord

    because if we listen to them, to the honest stories, if we carry the burdens we might see and feel how heavy they are. then when we speak we might have compassion and understanding...and that sucks.
  • Niki Nowell

    For who? It sucks for us who are yielding our own way to be in community with someone who does it differently.
  • Beckie Mccord

    yes. it is not fair at all.
  • Beckie Mccord

    it messes up my schedule.
  • Niki Nowell

    Messes up your schedule?
  • Beckie Mccord

    to yield my way, my beliefs, my rights...usually means extra time mentally or physically as i move over to let someone into my life.
    and set apart...
    if i let everyone in then I am no longer special.
  • Niki Nowell

    The invitation goes out to everyone.
  • Beckie Mccord

    you know...we havent solved the worlds problems here.
    havent even talked about anything new.
  • Beckie Mccord

    but I think we have added a little flair to an otherwise snarkless delimma
  • Niki Nowell

    I think we talked about everything we were supposed to.
  • Beckie Mccord

    yes, i think so.
  • Niki Nowell

    Maybe if we can get to the place where we are just loving everyone, and our families see that and do it to, it will ripple outward?
  • Beckie Mccord
    yes. I believe that is the starting place.
    because I have not been called to start a ministry to the LGBT community.
  • Niki Nowell

    No, but you HAVE been called to love them. What does that look like for you?
  • Beckie Mccord

    well, I start by not bashing people in my home.
    I talk with my kids about compassion
  • Niki Nowell

    Excellent. 1 gold star.
    2 gold stars.
  • Beckie Mccord

    but you know...not pity either.
    not loving someone because they are so pitiful (as us good christians can so easily see those poor sinners)
    actually teaching them to see people, not just what they do. 
    just loving.
  • Beckie Mccord

    then, I live my life
    no token gay friends.
    (but i do have gay friends.)
  • Niki Nowell

    What? No name calling? No FB statuses about loving the sinner?
  • Beckie Mccord

    i just be with them just like i be with my non organic friends or my tattoo cussing friends
  • Niki Nowell

    I'm your cussing friend. Thanks for loving me.
    Great minds...
  • Beckie Mccord

    i just be.
    and let them be.
  • Niki Nowell

    Do I have something to offer even if I cuss?
    Yes. Cussing is not who I am.
  • Beckie Mccord

    and if one of my gay friends asks me how to not be gay
  • Beckie Mccord

    i will show them the literature.
  • Beckie Mccord

    I like your cussing btw.
  • Niki Nowell

    Do you keep that on you personally?
    The literature, I mean?
    Just in case?
  • Niki Nowell

    Please let me know when the government shows up at your house asking for your opinion on gay marriage.
  • Beckie Mccord
    mostly...i want to live in such a way that i never assume that someone is living a broken life...any more than I am.
  • Niki Nowell

    Eating your apples in peace?
  • Beckie Mccord

    I know that my life is glorious and redeemed.
    I can offer the same to anyone and everyone.
    Thankfully, and I do mean this, I am not the author or finisher or your faith.
    You gotta do what you gotta do.
    I am going to eat my apple in peace.
    How about you?
  • Niki Nowell

    I think Christians accept the author of our faith part, but don't trust the finisher part.
    People need our help.
    We need to help others finish their faith.
  • Niki Nowell

    They don't have a tongue in cheek emoticon.
    Actually, I take it back.
    I think Christians sometimes think we ARE the author of faith in other people's lives. We create the characters and set the scene.
  • Niki Nowell

    God can call someone on His own. It doesn't begin with us. We're tools. Not the hand that holds them.
    I think our pie discussion would be fun to publish somewhere.
  • Beckie Mccord

    uh...on my blog.
    oh you meant some place it will get read.
    lets put it on your blog.
  • Niki Nowell

    I am happy for it to be on your blog. I have no problem directing people to go there to read it.
  • Beckie Mccord

    so wrap it girl.
    what does this mean for you?
  • Niki Nowell

    It means that it is easy to remove myself and talk about this stuff as an outsider so I don't have to take on the qualities I am assigning to "them", although I think I did a pretty good job of saying "we" when referring to Christians.
    By using the pie analogy, it helps remove some of the intense emotion that has built up over time
    and see how silly such arguments can get. It shines a light on our pettiness - even those of us who TRY to be better than that, and do better than that.
  • Beckie Mccord

    How can you love better Niki? You face this issue all the time with Sevens.
  • Niki Nowell

    Love is a conduit. It is heading towards something. There is always an object/person that receives our love, right? That's how we show kindness, generosity, favor, etc. THROUGH love. Love is a choice. I get to choose who I am going to direct those things at.
  • Niki Nowell

    I can choose to let things like difference of opinion or beliefs stand in the way of me showing love to others, or I can choose to love because that is who I am, who I want to be, and how I want to be known. That's my free will at work. I want my headstone to say, "She was extravagant with her love."
  • Niki Nowell

    At no point am I supposed to direct hate at anyone or anything.
    I've said before that I would rather be known by what I'm FOR than what I'm AGAINST. It works better that way.
  • Beckie Mccord

    yes! Love that last!!
  • Niki Nowell

    I am for people. I am for everyone knowing who they are and that they are deeply loved. I desire that everyone know that God is crazy about them and calls them sons and daughters.
  • Beckie Mccord

    I hate to throw scripture at anything. But this one gives me so much hope!
  • Beckie Mccord

    More Than Conquerors
    Romans 8
    31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
    “For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]
    37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 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.
  • Niki Nowell

    That is one of my very favorite parts of scripture!
    Higlight the "who condemns us?" part.

    This is the point isn't it. Condemning. We have no business. There is a place in scripture where a woman is caught in adultery. This was punishable by death. She deserved it! All her righteous condemners were gathered around ready to carry out the law. They were perfectly within their rights. But what did Jesus do?
    First He asked for the perfect man to step on up.
    Then, after all the not so perfect  men had suddenly remembered their previous engagements,
    He said these words...
    "neither do I condemn you".


    and lest any of you bring up the very anti climactic part where he tells her to go and leave her life of sin...I know. He said that. But isn't it amazing how he was able to instruct her without emblazoning her lack on a placard? He dealt with her personally.
    After all her accusers had left.

    Yeah...I think I am just going to leave you with that.