a new voice || #gcnconf day 3

The Journey
By Mary Oliver
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop. -continue reading…>

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and so it begins #gcnconf 2016

It’s a grey, drizzly morning in Houston today, but I couldn’t be happier to be here. So many thoughts and feelings running through my mind and heart as the second day of the 2016 annual Gay Christian Network Conference begins. 

Overwhelmed with the joy and love experienced as I connect and reconnect with some of the incredible people who have played roles of support, encouragement, and challenge in my journey over the last years.

Peace and thankfulness throughout worship last night, truly blessed to praise God with a community of faith that is honest in their brokenness and struggle, but still striving to be faithful to the One who is the source of all freedom.

Remembering this time last year, feeling trapped in that I couldn’t openly share my experience through the blog or my Facebook because I was still living that inauthentic life, not being completely honest about who I am. Then feeling amazed at how far I’ve come in the last year. That I am now in a place of freedom, emancipated from the chains of a false life. And because of that, I can share all of the amazing things that have and will occur at conference this year!

So if you’d like, follow along here for the next couple of days where I’ll be sharing the happenings at #gcnconf!

We will also be posting daily recaps at the Cinnamon Waffles Bible Study Podcast, so check us out there as well!

growing up gay in church: a living contradiction

Stories have a remarkable ability to shape and transform our world. They are a vehicle for communicating meaning and truth in a way that impacts our lives and allows us to see a world, a truth, beyond our own.

The immense power that stories have is revealed in the fact that this is the method by which God has consistently chosen to reveal Himself to humanity. From the creation narrative in Genesis to Jesus’ parables of the Kingdom, God has revealed the truth of who He is and who we are made to be through telling a story. This story, this metanarrative of creation and redemption, draws up our own stories into itself, and weaves them into the fabric of God’s work throughout time.

I would like to share with you part of my story, and how I think it fits in the larger narrative being woven throughout history.

My uncle recently told me that it’s much easier to understand someone’s perspective when you know their story, so I share mine not to persuade you to agree with everything I believe and stand for, but simply to let you see the narrative that has made me who I am today, in the hope that it provides a foundation of understanding upon which further relationship and discussion can be built.

So, I invite you into my story, and pray God will use it to His glory. continue reading…

Darkness, Claustrophobia, and Leaving the Closet (That is, Redemption)

For those still languishing in the dark, afraid of what the daylight will bring.

I vividly remember that 15-year old high school kid facedown during worship, tears soaking the blue-speckled carpet beneath him, in anguish because his deepest secret made him unclean.

Unworthy.

Abomination.

Pervert.

Just a few of the words I had heard used to talk about people like me, a scalpel of rhetoric slowly,

painfully,

cutting away at my soul.

I remember that same kid four years later, kneeling at the foot of a cross, face soaked in despair, begging God to take this cup from him.

I hated who I was, but no one would have ever guessed. continue reading…