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The Cooking Carpenter:

Thank you to all who have served and who are serving.

Originally posted on The Cooking Carpenter:

Well it is Memorial weekend and what does that mean? Well it means more than BBQ. This year I wanted to do more than just stand at the grill to commemorate a day that most of the time I just don’t think about. Memorial day is meant to commemorate those who have fallen in the line of service for our country. It needs to be more than just the military, or officers, or firefighters. We can remember everyone who have gone before us. Each, whether they died for our freedom, security, or even safety, are our heroes, but there are so many more.

For many it is a lost husband or wife, child or parent, friend or relative. I want to make this Holiday mean more than I have before. I want to make it mean more than a day to BBQing, or that I get to spend the day off. I want…

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Yes, it is 3:00 in the morning and I awoke with a struggle, a war inside my mind. Yesterday at DePelchin we talked about loss and the grieving process, and I came face to face with an aspect from my childhood. In the homework we were to discuss the losses that we have experienced in our life. One of those experiences was with my father leaving my mother for another man.

I was only about four years old when it happened and didn’t fully understand the extent of it until I was about nine years old. I was trying to figure out why he left and was told more about what happened at this point. Sooner or later the information would have come out anyway because of meeting my father’s significant other. I think that this is when the seed of hatred for the gay community started in my life. After all they had taken my father from me. (Please give me the chance to finish before you pass judgment.) Different things in my life fed on this hatred until I could have been called a bigot. Yes, harsh words to describe oneself.

Later, I became friends with someone at The Art Institute of Houston when I was going for my CAD degree. One of the classes that I had to take was speech. This is where I found out the person I was becoming friends with, was gay. He talked about his significant other and their pet ferret. I will always remember that for some reason. There was warmth in his heart and it started to soften mine. His friendship became my first positive confrontation with homosexuality.

As life went on, my best friend started bartending for a local night club and became friends with one of the other bartenders. We found out quickly that he was a gay man. He did not have anyone special in his life at the time, but MAN could he cook! Michael (my best friend at the time) and I would go over and have wonderful meals and enjoy each other’s friendship. His friendship was the second positive confrontation I had with homosexuality.

My mind was changing. I do not quite understand the draw for them; to want someone of the same sex, but at this point I no longer hated them.

Yesterday at DePelchin there was a gay couple that is looking to do Foster Care. To be honest I really don’t know what to think about it, but was confronted once again with my past experience.  This is really where the friction starts. The positive rubbing up against the negative until something is burnt up. That was my dream. This couple was in my dream and they were helping me with various things on a ship. I believe my mind was struggling with what I should believe about them and the warmth and friendship that they displayed. Their laughs, their camaraderie, their help and generosity were all on display. However, there were creatures in the dream as well. If these creatures came into contact with you the friction of their touch would consume the person that they came in contact with.

I think that ultimately my mind was trying to cope with the warmth of the people with the thought of their lifestyle and what scripture says. Scripture states:

Leviticus 18:22 – “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” (NIV)

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 – “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (NIV).

These are harsh words, just to name a few. But I really believe it comes down to the word SIN. God hates sin! We have all sinned or done something in our life that we can agree has hurt someone in some way. I believe that this is what sin really is: “Something done at the expense of someone else to the rearing of some sort of hurt in that person or thing.” I also believe that this is why God hates sin so much (the hurt that it causes). Above are harsh words, but I believe that God truly wants our best interest.

Now comes the friction once again. Ultimately I believe that Homosexuality itself is destructive and I have my reasons stated above. However, I also have seen the love that can come from the people themselves. I have heard the statement “Love the people, but hate the SIN.” This comes to heart with me. I confess the hatred that I used to have in my life toward them and hope that they understand why I believe the way that I do. This hatred was sin in my life and I ask  the gay community to forgive me for that hatred. I cannot, because of my life’s experience, agree with the lifestyle but my attitude is very different now and I am thankful for that.

My calling is one of warning, as a watchman on the tower telling of the incoming battle (Ezekiel 3). Sin is destructive and I will sound the alarm as best that I can. Hopefully I will warn the people in a loving way and not a destructive one myself as many people (not only in the gay community) have encountered. It is up to the people to decide what they will do with what I have just said, but hopefully they will understand my heart and why I believe the way that I do.

Have you ever just woke up and had a song on your heart. Not one that you have heard over and over in church or on the radio, but one that is sitting within you. That is what this morning was like for me.

 We watched “The Voice” last night and maybe some of the music stuck within me because I had a dream about such an instance. They were judging a person and just didn’t think that he had what it took. I was a janitor and just cleaning up some things and everyone was feeling really sorry for this poor fellow. We were actually in the poor part of town instead of on a stage, so everyone was really hoping that he would make it – to give them hope as well. All the sudden I started singing softly, then a little louder, and then into an all out jazzy song and I actually sounded good in my dream. Parts of the song were on my mind when I woke up and I wish I could remember the rest.

 Ultimately we all want the chance to be someone or do something special. There is hope a yearning for something more. I am just glad that I have someone special in my life; not only in my wife but with my God as well. He gives me hope and not all people have that. I could not imagine what my life would be like without him.

Some might think that is strange, others that I am outright crazy, while others that I have a beautiful thing. Wherever you might be, my hope is that you too will find this kind of love and hope as well.

I hope that you can wake up with a song on your heart, and a feeling of being loved by the creator of the Universe. I have a reason in believing in him and much of it lies within this hope.

Galatians 1:4

Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from this evil age, according to the will of our God and our Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. AMEN! -
Galatians 1:3-5

If He is our example, the he wants us to be willing to give our life to rescue others from sin and this evil age. I guess He puts a higher priority on evangelism then we really think.

It has been a little while since I have been on here. Recently I have updated my other pages to this blog and hope to follow up with new developments in my life soon as well.

Progress Report

Well at the beginning of the month I decided that I would try to make sure that I studied my Bible for 30 days straight without fail. Although I have gotten better, I still have failed a couple of days. I think what is important is that I am spending time with God. I have gotten so much better than I used to though when it comes to reading Scripture. I basically sit down and read the Proverb of the day (Whatever day it is, is the Proverb that I read.) I have read in Psalms, Hosea, and Decided to start back in Genesis. My goal at this point is to start in Genesis and read through the Bible, but not in any particular speed. When I had to read it for school, I just read through as fast as I could. Now I just want to sit down and hear what God has to say to me. All in all, I feel as if I am growing more and that he is showing me more of Himself.

I cannot say that I am perfect; I still mess up at times but know that I am closer to God than I have been in the past. Either way I know that he loves me and wants to know more of me. Not only do I want to Embrace Him, He wants to do the same thing with me. What a Wonderful God, I am very thankful for him.

The ever present question of, “If God is good then why is there evil and suffering in the world?” is one that have plagued man for many a millennia. The thing is, we are the ones that broke the world through our sin (wrong doing). I don’t think that we give ourselves credit for much of the evil and suffering that goes on in the world. God created a perfect world and gave us the right to choose to follow him or not. Then we rebelled wanting to be like him in knowledge of good and evil after he told us not to. Governments holding back food to the people, murder, rape, and other forms of evil are a result of our fleshly desires overtaking us at the expense of others. That is what sin really is. Sin is always at the expense of someone else.

As I was reading in Hosea 2 and God is condemning Israel for their “Harlotry” to the other nations gods. They had gone from the one that had delivered them from many troubles to ones made of metal, stone, and wood. There was no life in them. Hosea talks about those who forsake their God, and says that they are only going to be in a world of  hurt. God says that he will expose them for what they are. If she returned to him, like the prodigal son, he would receive her but the consequences he does not say he will take away. I believe that it is these consequences that many times are a rippling effect of the things we have done. It does not answer the question completely, but it does at least hit an aspect of it.

The best part of it though starts in verse 14, where God explains that he will restore her even after all that she has done. God has made a way, we just need to choose to follow it. The Good news is that Christ came to earth to connect us to His father through taking on the punishment due us. The Good news is that death could not hold him, and he now has given us a path – paid for our debt of evil in our lives. I need to focus on what He has done to bring me in communication with the Father and I am glad that now I can have the relationship that our souls desire to have with him.

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