Monday, August 3, 2015

blog hiatus explained

i love writing and i like sharing my thoughts with my friends here. from oct 2013 until now, my blog had to go dark. see my daughter was bitten in the face by an unleashed chihuahua in balboa park in late Oct 2013, while we were getting family pictures taken. you can read more about the attack here and what we tried to get changed in policy here.

1 of 2 pictures taken before the dog attack

one month later, we did finally get those pictures taken!

we were pursuing a lawsuit with the owner because in the future kennedy may require corrective surgery and we will have to pay a portion of it with our military retiree insurance. ultimately, it was too costly to continue to pursue legal action against the dog owner because she fled and is living half the time in south county, greater SD area, and half in Mexico. and if we were granted a judgment against her, the likelihood of ever seeing those monies, paid to the insurance company, our attorney and small portion to kennedy, was well, very unlikely. and we were NOT pursuing some "get rich fast" amount. just a normal amount to pay the bills and cover a future corrective plastic surgery. we've let it go...

that being said, my blog had to be shut off.
i missed writing because even though i said i would write in a journal, i didn't. i wrote a little on my personal FB page but that’s about it.
who am i in regards to my writing?
i'm a girl that wants to share my story and thoughts in hopes that it gives hope to people hurting. 
i care deeply about families who experience the loss of a child and the hell it is to come out of that...and military families who bear the burdens of a sometimes-difficult call to serve. i care about the marginalized people outcast by the church, based on their sexuality, their lack of a home, the ever-present struggle in addiction-the “acceptable” ones and the “scary” ones. i care about child sex trafficking and rescuing those children from the hell they are in. i care about finding a solution to help the homeless out of a pattern of hopelessness. i care about orphans and women in third-world countries and providing education opportunities which ultimately provide economic empowerment. i care about helping organizations find sustainable and practical solutions to poverty. i care about organizations that build relationships with high school kids in hopes to earn their trust and share with them the truth of Jesus. i care about more things than i'll list here. 

what i don't care about is identifying myself with church people who will simply go about their lives in the comforts of christianity and turn a blind eye to these opportunities to serve. i'm tired of the denominations, the rhetoric, the arguments for/against people groups based in the old testament. it's old, tired, and inappropriate.

Jesus walked the earth and had compassion for those who weren't at the temple getting their church on. in fact, Jesus did not anger at someone whose life was in sin or who didn't know Him. He extended love and compassion, and extended an eternal hope. Jesus, however, got very, very pissed at the religious elite, the Pharisees, all their rules and trying to put Him in a box. He continuously showed the church elite he was going to land on the side of love, grace, and compassion every.single.time. when they pushed Him up against the rules of the times.

My paraphrase of Mark 3:5 when Jesus went into the synagogue and healed a man on the Sabbath:"Jesus looked at the hardness of their hearts and it really pissed Him off. He healed the man and that was that. yeah, it happened to be on a day that the religious elite set aside for nada."

christians, we have a choice here: to turn our nation's posture to grace and love...or we can continue to display hardness of heart towards others who need our love, grace, time, and resources.

i believe this is a time where the Church can rise, to ask forgiveness for our hardened, judgmental hearts, to let go of what once was a “christian nation,” and get on with the business of serving, loving, giving, sacrificing, and praying so that when you say you are a christian doing these things…a non-christian will actually believe you because he/she has experienced this bold, unfiltered, unparalleled, unexplainable love.

are you brave enough to stand with me and walk clumsily down the path that says, I'll love you no matter what. I want to share life with you and get to know your story. will you be brave with me?

Sunday, July 26, 2015

I support the LGBT community

UPDATED: Link to Dr. Tim Scott's message.

#unstoppablelove from our Grace Church San Diego #elephantintheroom series. Pastor Dr. Tim Scott thank you for bringing #TRUTH today regarding same-sex relationships and what #Jesus says. Whoaaaa. #love
If you're local, get your booty up to Madison/Oregon in U-Heights at 6pm tonight to hear this in person. Or out-of-towners, get online at 6pm (PST). When this message is ready for download, I'll be posting the link. It's 1,000,000% of my heart towards my gay friends and acquaintances.

Let me tell you one thing, my gay friend over there...your friendship is VALUED and you are SAFE with me. I will NOT be careless with your heart, your struggles, your life. I LOVE YOU. Period. No agenda. No lines. No definitions. I LOVE YOU and THAT. IS. ALL. The Church is called to be MORE NOW—REALLY  more—now, than EVER. This generation can rise. We can stand up for the hurting, broken, bleeding, marginalized, sick, hungry, dismissed, shoved-the-freak-aside people who God said, Love THEM. THEM, I said.

If you need to unfriend or block me, that's ok and truly it won't hurt my feelings. If you need to stand in judgment, please know I say this with the kindest heart possible:  it's not welcome in my life, on my blog or my Facebook. I love you but I think TOO much is at stake here. This is a time for the Church to SHINE. We cannot shine without EXPERIENCING and EXTENDING unfiltered, unparalleled, unwavering, and unstoppable LOVE and GRACE and FAITHFULNESS.

The naysayers speak: "This generation is literally in the hand basket going straight to hell."

Well, I couldn't DISAGREE with you more. I think we can RISE and SHINE, and I think we can get busy on basic things. I didn't go to seminary...but I'm *pretty sure* the gospel and Jesus is about 2 REALLY important things. Love Me. Jesus said. Love Others. Jesus said.

I won't cast the stone. I won't draw the line. Because, you see I have sin, and Jesus said, those without sin, CAST THE FIRST STONE. #gameover

“Homosexuality is not THE SIN. It's A SIN.” -Dr. Tim Scott

We live in a post-Christian cultural. How can we expect non-believers to follow Christian ways and live their life a certain way?

Well, gay friend or acquaintance or I-don't-know-you-yet, let me be CLEAR. I support you, your relationships, your same-sex marriages, your lives. You matter and you will not be cast aside from my family or in a church we attend. And I’m not saying, "I love you but hate your sin" and that's it. I mean, I love you. You are welcome in my life, my heart, my church, my world. I believe you can love Jesus AND be gay, AND go to heaven. I'm not riding the fence here. I stand on #LOVE. #ThisIsWhereIHangMyHat

I won’t hang my hat on judgment and hate against gay marriage. It’s just not where I will be camping.  

Here's where I land. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. So often this scripture is interpreted that "inheriting the kingdom of God" is that you will NOT go to heaven if you are (all these things):

(1 Cor 6:9-10): (v9)"Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men (v10) nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Just like an inheritance you get from grandparents or parents when they pass on, is the inheritance Paul is talking about in 1 Corinthians chapter 6. So if you're these things: a drunkard, a homosexual, a gossiper, a thief, a...SINNER. We (notice I'm including myself!) won't get the goods/blessings/riches here on Earth. 

BUT it doesn't say you won't spend eternity in heaven. 

Read Romans 3:23-24. We've all fallen short, all sinned, all screwed up and didn't deserve a chance in heaven. Jesus came, He died for ALL OF THAT. AND I BELIEVE IN HIM. I have friends WHO ARE GAY AND BELIEVE IN HIM. 

Guess what, we're going to the SAME heaven. 

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. 

That's the secret sauce to heaven. JESUS.

A paraphrase of an amazing biblical teacher, Dr. Tim Scott, "What if your BEST life is on the other side of this sin?"

Finally, I want to ask my gay friends and those in your community to forgive me. I've judged, I've said snarky, crappy-a$$, careless things. I thought I was better in all my straight/narrow/judgmental thinking. 

Please forgive me. I was careless. I don't want to be anymore. Actually, not want. I WILL NOT.

I want to love you well. I want to love Jesus well. And when I ask Him, Lord, what do you want from me? He whispers to this trying-to-be-humble servant, not known by many, but willing-to-dig-into-the-trenches-kind-of girl with these truths found in the book of Matthew.

Matthew 22:36-38: (v36) "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" "And He said to him, (v37) "YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND." (v38) "This is the great and foremost commandment.
LORD, then what?? What else do you want from me because I'm willing...?!!! (it’s scary and sometimes hard…)

(v39) "The second is like it, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF."

That. Is. All.

Church, I beg you to know and live life with those that aren't in these doors every Sunday and figure out why they aren't. Do the gays, drunkards, addicts, homeless, widows, minorities, forgotten, divorced, messy people feel AFRAID of you and the church?

If you answer that question honestly, then you would be on your face before Jesus, begging forgiveness, and weeping just like my husband and I were today.

“Lord, show us how to LOVE. Help us heal. We take our closed fists and our closed ways, and we say, (with open hands) ‘Jesus, We’re in. Show us how to do this.’ Amen.”

P.S. I tried to put into words Dr. Tim Scott's beautiful message on this subject, and I'm no theologian and not well-spoken. Please listen to him on this...(I'll update this post with link later this week.)