The Power of Your Love

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Most of my friends on Facebook already know, some suspect and some, don’t have a clue. This is something I’ve kept in my heart, hidden from most people outside of my immediate circle of friends because of the negative connotations and the push back I would get if it got out. However, With the changing times, I am more inclined and feel safer about sharing this today about myself.

You see… I’m Gay and I always have been… I just tried to live straight.

I did not choose this, and I certainly did not originally want it either.

I started realizing I was different when I was 12 or so but had no frame of reference to what it was. I could not figure out why guys seem more interesting than girls. I found girls unattractive and usually I avoided them. When I realized what was happening, I began hating myself keeping my feelings hidden from everyone as I tried to figure out what was going on. I was hoping it was a faze, something that would disappear over time.

I turned to God and the church in hopes I could be “cured”. I Did a year of Bible School, so I would eventually come out straight. I even dated a girl while in school (for about a year afterwards), but I still had the same feelings… I kept things hidden and did not talk about it.

I confessed to two of my friends, one of them my room mate and it was a release for me. However, we all thought of it as a sin and a thing I needed to be set free from. They were supportive, but they would try to “pray away the gay” in me

I became immersed in my local church, leading worship praying together with the congregation, took communion and tried to evangelize. I lead Bible studies for new and searching Christians, but all this time, I held this secret close to my heart. I perhaps I thought doing the works of God would help me to move forward and be set free from this. I was content with where I was, keeping all that under wraps and hidden even to myself.

Things finally came to head when I felt deep down it was time to do something about this. So, in my own limited understanding I started to date girls again. The exercise turned out to be a disaster as the whole relationship was doomed from the start. I eventually called it off and during this time I came across a book at the local Christian Bookstore (which I was an employee at the time) called “Pursuing Sexual Wholeness” by “Andy Cominsky”. Thinking it was a God send, I read it from cover to cover, and checked out the various Ex gay ministries that were listed in the back of the book. I chose one in Burnaby BC and a year later I was stepping off the train in VANCOUVER, with my suitcase and my cat to start a new life in a new city.

I was very much involved in the ex gay ministry, going as far as being a small group leader, and praying with others who “suffered” as well, but it was all in vain.
Almost 10 years later I was still gay….

and….

God Knew.

He knew my endless hours of agonizing prayers…

“please take this away” or please heal me”.

He knew my self hatred, internal homophobia and frustration.

HE KNEW….

and yet ….

No change… not one iota!

I became more and more disillusioned as I kept asking why.
Eventually I even stopped asking altogether and walked away, from the church and from God.
I accepted what is and simply dove into the gay scene….
That went on for close to Eight years, as I tried to find myself.

I walked away but God never left me.

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In Mid to late 2016 I began to look for a way back. I was craving real community and there was also a hunger that I know would not be satisfied except with God.
I gradually worked my way back in, starting with Word is Out Ministries at St Andrews Wesley United Church
Then I made it to their evening service at the church which was candlelight and Taizé music. I was surprised that I loved it, as I came from a Pentecostal/ Charismatic tradition. Then in Feb of 2017, I came to my first morning service. It was traditional, and formal, with hymns and spoken prayers. The Ministers wore robes and the music minister played large and intricate pipe organ.

Then the gospel choir did two songs that I knew from my evangelical past. “The Power of Your Love” and “I Give you My Heart”.

I was undone…

“Hold me close
Let Your Love surround me
Bring me near
Draw me to your side
and as I wait
I’ll rise up like the eagle
And I will soar with You
Your Spirit leads me on
In the power of Your love”

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“Lord, I give You my heart
I give You my soul
I live for you alone
And every breath that I take
Every moment I’m awake
Lord, have Your ways in me”

….. I then heard a still small voice say……

“Welcome back, I missed you”

I knew I found my home.

The God of the universe never left my side and like the Father of the prodigal son, embraced me and welcomed me back.

I was born this way. I did not choose these feelings, they were just there and no amount of will power, praying, fasting, walking up stairs on your bare knees or crying, stamping, naming and claiming made one iota of a difference.

Kathy Baldock, among others, played an integral part in reconciling my sexuality and God. Her tireless research, fierce love for the LGBTQ+ community helped me see as God sees me, a child of God who he Loves! Check out her book “Walking the Bridge-less Canyon”

I’ve come to accept my gayness knowing full well God loves me the way I am. It’s not a sin which I need to overcome, but a part of who I am. My identity is in Christ who loves me.
My world view, my theology my love for others has been turned right upside as I continue to discover who God is.

I have learned to see people, becoming more loving and compassionate to the outcasts, the marginalized and not to get hung up on their weaknesses and sin but to embrace them and love them unconditionally. God is in the business of loving and healing and we are his hands to help that be accomplished.

I won’t hide my spirituality or sexuality. It’s all who I am.

If you find this a shock or are uncomfortable, I challenge you to open your mind and heart, hang out with someone different from you and listen to their story, putting aside your own preconceived ideas and beliefs and simply listen. You will be surprised, if you allow it. Listening is the beginning of understanding and understanding leads to compassion and love. It is all a choice we make everyday. My gayness is not a choice, it is how God made me and who I am.

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Where I am

The ball

has dropped, the doors are open,

the curtain is called…

and I’m in a peaceful place…

the past has converged on the present

but I will not let the past determine my

future.

 

My quote of the day

Trying to understand the book of Revelation without understanding the Greco-Roman world of the 1st century is like trying to understand Don McLean’s song “American Pie” w/ out understanding the rock’n’roll scene of the ’50’s and ‘60’s.

“Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God” by Brian Zahnd

Calgary October 2016

I cam across this in my notes on my iPhone. I could not find it anywhere else and why I did not publish it on Blogger or any other site, I don’t know. 

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My first foray out side the province for more than a day in years. Not since my trip to Sacramento. Left Vancouver in rain and. Fog, flew over an endless sea of cloud until we started descending into Calgary, then the clouds broke up and I saw the Rockies laid out below for all to see…. that is until we flew over Calgary and saw a layer of fog shrouding the city. Never saw her until we touched down and even there there wasn’t much to see as the fog hid everything.

Newer skyscrapers make a severe and bold statement.

Lots of cyclists and I mean lots

Wandered into a part of Calgary called Kensington or is it Sunnyside. I remember it from 8 years ago

Kensington Fog (London Fog) at Kienna cafe

Thursday

Meet with my aunt Uncle and cousin, had pizza and watched tv… it was great. Got my first skyline photo… need more! With I had gotten a picture of my relatives! Grrr

Lunch with Ricky Zayshley

Had a wonderful time catching up with Ricky. We shared stories about our lives, what we have been doing these past 30 years.

After dinner I went to the Zoo and found it completely different. The exhibits had changed or moved, all for the better as most of the new homes for the animals were more reflective of their natural environment. It was grand! Being that was October, there were less people and no lineups. Only place I missed was the big cats (Lions). That whole area was closed off for renovations. I also notice a lot of construction and shorting up the island, adding new walls, ready for the next big flood.

After a good couple of hours at the Zoo, I wandered about the city, catching the west bound C-train. The line was new and I had not travelled on it yet.

I later met with Denys and had a few beers catching up. Appears he doesn’t like Calgary and misses Vancouver. I told him to be persistent and don’t give up when trying to apply for a nursing job in Vancouver.

Went to Banff on Saturday with Julian. It was cold yet sunny with some breathtaking vistas all around. I was hoping to meet up with my brother Pat but I wasn’t able to get in contact with him. I learned later that he was still in Red Deer and didn’t arrive until later. By then we were back in Calgary.

My last evening we talked and drank vodka. We reminisced, watched old videos he took of us back in 1988. Talked about music, and life. Then it was bed time and I slept somewhat ok.

Well here ends a wonderful time in this great city of Calgary. I’m so glad to have met up with my Aunt, Uncle and cousin, Anne, Wayne and Kelsey. Pizza and TV was perfect.

It was Good to see Denys Friday. Don’t give up, be persistent, it will all eventually come through for you. I may see you in Vancouver sooner than you think.

Ricky, it was so good to see you again after 30 years. Lunch at Charbar was great and I will be back and this time it will be on me. I Still wish We got that selfie together. Perhaps next time.

Most of all, I want to thank my host and good friend Julian who, unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to hang out as much due to his work schedule but Saturday in Banff was fun.

Loved Calgary and I will like to pay another visit soon.