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From Arrogant Pride to LGBTQ Pride - A Transformation Story

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There is no better time than pride month to talk about my own transformation story surrounding those in LGBTQ community.  But what's a transformation story without showing the hideous before picture when I once thought I knew everything. So embarrassing!

Once upon a time in elementary school, if anyone did anything I didn't like, the first thing I called them was "gay".  In fact anything at all that I hated or thought was dumb was labeled, "gay". My stomach turns over again and again as I now realize how damaging this was for those who actually were gay.

Once a upon a time in high school I wrote a paper on why homosexual couples shouldn't be allowed to adopt. I still have this paper and now I want nothing more than to burn the evidence. Yet, I am holding onto it as a reminder that if someone as opinionated and stubborn as myself can change than there is hope for others.

Once upon a time in college, I was royally ticked off when I found out there was som…

Lord, Hear Our Prayer: Two Perspectives on Young Believers

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man in his late fifties, a church elder, kneels to pray: 

Dear Lord,
Forgive the youth and the so called "Christian Left" for twisting your gospel Lord! Forgive them for leaving the church because they don't want to hear messages about their own sin and don't like the truths presented. They can't seem to handle real truth any more. They are twisting the gospel and replacing it with a watered down message of tolerating everyone. Forgive them for minimizing sin, hell, repentance and transformation.Forgive them for losing touch with the Bible by cherry picking only verses they like. They have no real appreciation for Your Word and interpret how they want. Forgive them for listening to liberal media and other false prophets pushing a liberal agenda.  Forgive them for buying into theological falsehoods like abortion and homosexuality are just fine with you.
Forgive the them for dismissing old hymns that focus on God's transforming salvation, love, and mercy as t…

Learning to Live in the Present #Mindfulness4Lent

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It's that time of year again as the season of Lent approaches! What is Lent? check out the following link for more details... http://www.upperroom.org/lent101. Lent officially begins March 1st (My Birthday woo hooo!) but I like to get people thinking about it ahead of time to see if it's something they might want to participate in.

Every year I use Lent as a time to practice some type of discipline in my life. Usually, I spend a month before Lent praying and asking God to fill my thoughts with a specific theme to focus on. Every year, God makes it pretty obvious what I am supposed to to do.  For example, last year I used it as a time to practice vulnerability which involved a social media challenge #Vulnerability4Lent http://samtidball.blogspot.com/2016/04/what-i-learned-from-40-days-of.html.

So I asked God to put a theme on my heart once again. I noticed that God likes to speak to me in threes. Here's what I mean...

My First Revelation looked like this... A month ago while…

What I Learned From Marriage Counseling

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"She's pretty nervous." Andrew tells the counselor with a smirk on his face.

With my jaw clenched and my breathe held,  I shot my husband a look as if there were lazers coming from my eyes burning that smirk right off his face. Then, I turned my lazers off as I looked at the counselor, "Haha, I am not that nervous! I'm fine. It's not a big deal." I responded while the sweat poured out every pore in my body.

I don't know what would unnerve me about sitting in a room with a complete stranger, confessing my failures in my marriage. And I don't know why I would think that I have to once again pretend that everything is fine. I waited for the counselor to take the lead. Instead we sat in a long awkward silence while I gazed around the room at the blown glass sculptures. I usually don't hesitate to tell others about my life, but this guy unnerved me because I was pretty sure counselors are capable of Jedi mind tricks. I decided to play hardball in…

WALK

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On our way home from church my four year old son taught me a profound lesson he learned from his Sunday school class. The conversation between my husband and son went a little like this...

Andrew: Hey buddy, what did you learn in church today?

Desmond: I learned about how Jesus said, "Come follow me."

Andrew: Yeah, so what does that mean?

Desmond: I don't really know. They just told me to say that.

Andrew: But what does it mean to follow someone?

Desmond: It just means that you walk.

My husband went on to explain how when you follow someone, you can literally follow them where they go but you can also follow them in a way that you do what they do. I liked my husband's answer, but honestly I liked Desmond's answer best. To follow someone, means to walk!

Claiming to be a Christian essentially means one follows Christ. Breaking down the definition of "following" according to a child, sure makes our job of following Christ much simpler than everyone else ma…

Dealing with Fear

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Dear Christians,
I know you think are you being helpful by telling everyone during a crisis, “Don’t be afraid, God is in control." I know you mean well, and I even catch myself saying this often. Yet, I never find it helpful when someone says it to me, and it almost never seems to help those I say it to. I know I know I know… you are probably thinking "Well it may not be helpful but it’s the truth!" I just think we are too eager to help “fix” others emotions when in reality we are the ones uncomfortable with their emotions. 
So let’s think about the basis of fear and worry. Worry is a reaction from fear. I tend to think of fear as a raw emotion within itself. Experiencing fear is an absolute necessary part of our survival as human beings. I know the Bible says "Do not fear" over and over again. Perhaps, this is why so many Christians including myself, quickly experience guilt after initially feeling fear. However, I think there is a big difference between ex…

8 Things I Learned in 8 Years of Marriage

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Glancing back at wedding photos, I am reminded that eight years ago I felt the same way then as I do now. My heart is still racing, my gut still aches, and my bowels are still out of control. Oh, the sweet romance that ulcerative colitis can add to all special occasions in life! I was undiagnosed during my wedding with no idea why my insides hated me. I was so frustrated and sick. I am pretty sure at some point that summer I should have been hospitalized. There were many unknowns then, but I knew one thing for sure. NOTHING was going to stop me from getting married on July 18. I remember a few weeks before the wedding discussing the idea of going to the hospital. I remember being furious with those who even suggested it. I also remember telling them even if you have to wheel me down the isle in a hospital bed I was going to get married! I made a bit of a comeback and was able to to walk myself down the isle and even dance. Most people had no idea how sick I really was. 
I used to look…