Church is not for everyone….

Imagine yourself sitting in the pew (or nice, cushioned chair) in your church. Maybe your church is very small and older, or maybe it is a newer mega church with auditorium sitting. Either way, you are there – can you imagine it? For me, the best thought I have is when our Pastor has a call for anyone to come forward and accept Christ – when he does that and when someone responds, I can’t help buy cry (it’s true, I am a baby!)! Another sister or brother in Christ! Amen!

So, back to imagining yourself sitting in church – who would you want to come to the service?

  • An embezzler?
  • An alcoholic?
  • A druggie?
  • A divorcee?
  • A murderer?
  • A sinner?

I hope your response was YES to all of the above. I mean, we should want everyone to come to church to learn and know Christ. Heck, if I take the bible to be true, I am no better than anyone else EXCEPT I am saved by the grace of Jesus Christ. Anyway, most people I talk to wholeheartedly agree that we should expect, even WANT them there…..To be touched by those who have found the peace, love, and compassion of Christ.

You agree? Right on!

However, this is the place where I lead so many – and lose so many. Add to the list homosexual and many of my Christian brothers and sisters run like mad. “You would want those people in church?!?!!? Unbelievable!”

I want to scream – HELLO! Sin is sin is sin. Why do Christians, Evangelical especially, hiss and moan when this sin is mentioned. Why is that? Why is this sin one that we don’t want Christ to heal? Why don’t we PRAY for homosexuals to run into our churches to find salvation? Why can’t we, as a community, embrace these people and show them the love Christ poured out to so many sinners – to sinners like us????

You might say that this sin of homosexuality repulses you – that it is an abomination. I don’t dispute it. However, do you embrace murder? Do you rejoice when a fellow human is slave to alcohol or drugs? I think not. So why can’t you pray and seek peace for gays?

You may be wondering why I am writing this. I am sick and tired of so many hurting people in our world being afraid of coming into the house of the Lord because CHRISTIANS scream at them, show them no love, and make church the last place in the world they will go. I could even claim that many Christians straight out show hate to these people.

Today I read an email written by a homosexual – this young person was writing about ending their life because they were tired of it. They didn’t want to be gay, but they had nowhere to go for help, LOVE, and COMPASSION. They felt rejection, contempt, hate…..

And I say – shame on me, shame on you, shame on all these churches that ostracize homosexuals. Sin is sin. Damn it – we can’t be selective and not reach out to ALL sinners. I am so glad I didn’t make the “black list” or else I’d be damned to hell.

I, for one, am changing my ways. We need to love. Read your bible – God said it much better than me.

Remembering 9/11

I wrote this in 2001, but the memories are very fresh…..

A Day of Horror and Sadness….

“Our nation was horrified, but its not going to be terrorized. We’re a great nation, we’re a nation of resolve, we’re a nation that can’t be cowed by evil doers…” President George W. Bush, September 16, 2001.

As I sit here and type this, I have been through a similar week as you…..I watched in horror as so many of our fellow citizens died tragically and without good reason. I don’t need to tell you the details; you have heard them all week on TV, radio, through the internet, in magazines, and in the papers. September 11, 2001 will forever be remembered.

We all need to stand behind our President and this country and I pray for its future during this most disturbing time. I pray for the families that have irrevocably been affected by this action against our country. I pray for the thousands of people who, at this very moment, continue to search for survivors and who are planning this country’s response to terrorists abroad.

Having said that, I must thank the heroes that are nameless. Let us not forget all that have come together to help heal this country. For the neighbor that is hanging their flag(s) proudly, for the stranger on the street who now will notice when others need help, for those who will risk their lives to save others. We are Americans and will stand together even in this horrible time. I am proud to be associated with so many heroes and strive to be one myself.

Finally, I ask all who are reading this to know Jesus loves you and wants to have a personal relationship with you. Some of you know this, but if you think of God as a mysterious or unattainable “thing” (or even non-existent), please reconsider. Tuesday was a reminder of how short our lives really are, and I must attest that without him in my life, Tuesday would have sent me into an abyss of hopelessness.

New York and Washington – yes, the entire country – was changed forever on Tuesday. I know in my heart, however, that the change will be for the better… one can tear us down!

Here are some heroic stories taken from I hope you feel a proud as I do to be an American:

When Maria Trotta, who was stuck in a subway under the trade center for 45 minutes, finally emerged from the smoke-filled subway, the smoke was even worse above ground. But instead of running home, she took care of a woman who had asthma. “I went looking for a mask for her, but couldn’t find any, but the only thing I could find was a pair of (fortunately clean) athletic socks,” Trotta said. She guided her several blocks, finally leaving her in the care of EMTs at a rescue station. Only then did she walk across Manhattan Bridge back home to Brooklyn to meet her husband. “I never got her name.”

Stephen Krause of Union, N.J., said his wife — who is seven months pregnant — works for Salomon Smith Barney and was in front of the World Trade Center when the attack began. A woman she didn’t know stayed with her for hours, taking a six-mile walk around Manhattan until the pair finally managed to get on a ferry back to New Jersey. “The woman stayed with her the entire time…. She got her water, too, and wouldn’t leave my wife,” Krause said.

Much of the real heroism came from fire and police workers at the rescue scene. A New York City police officer who declined to share his name was carrying victims out of Five World Trade Center when it collapsed. “The fire department was getting people out from the rubble, and we [the police officers] were carrying them out,” he said. “I carried some out and was going back in to get more, but they wouldn’t let me back in. They said the structure was unstable. That’s when the second tower collapsed.” He said many victims were still inside, and several were still alive after the collapse — and too stunned to yell for help. ”(People) were dazed and shocked. It was surreal. I’ve never seen anything remotely like it. There just are no words to describe it,” he said.

Across New York, thousands of volunteers pitched in. Store owners opened their doors and gave away flashlights, water, food or anything else that would help rescue workers or victims forced to walk home to Brooklyn, Queens, New Jersey or elsewhere once public transportation was shut down. A Duane Reade pharmacy gave out free water, snacks and first aid supplies. A Mrs. Fields Cookies gave away all its food.

God Bless America!!!!