Volume 13, Issue 3: Create in Me a Clean Heart

Cover Stories:

Fatten My Spirit, O God By: Candace Chellew When the psalmist asks God to create in him a clean heart and put a new and “right” or “steadfast” spirit within him – what he’s asking God to do is give his life balance. The psalmist asks God to fatten his anorexic inactive, couch potato spirit – but also to pare down anything that might lead to spiritual obesity, where we may be active but our activity is not effective. This should be our prayer as well.

Knowing Our Place By: Lori Heine For GLBT Christians, especially, a clean heart and a right spirit involve something we have been told is not only unfathomable, but sinful. We must have respect for ourselves.

My Clogged, Broken, Hardened Heart: A Confession, With Small Jokes By: Neil Ellis Orts Create in me a clean heart, O God. Scrape away the hardness. Help me let out love and risk receiving it as well.

Clean Hearts, Spare Time, and other Advent Considerations By: Melissa Capers When I hear the psalmist’s request for a “clean heart,” I hear a striving for simplicity and plainness.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat! By: Erin Germaine As GLBT Christians we hear people asking us to wash off our birthmarks all the time. We must know the difference between dirt and a birthmark, and wash off what is supposed to be washed away, and keep the marks we were born with.

There’s That Clean Heart By: Rev. Suzie Chamness The restoration of a willing spirit and the joy of salvation are mine. I am reminded of these things as Advent will soon be here. I wait in great and humble prayer for the time but wonder that I will be able this year to share the excitement and joy of the coming of the Baby Jesus with others. Sure I preach it. Sure I know it. Sure I love the season. But do I really welcome and seek the true meaning with a clean heart and right spirit.

Create in Me a Clean Heart By: Sarah Flynn There was a time when I thought a clean heart and a right spirit meant denying my sexuality and gender ambiguity. That was my understanding of it. But that was not God’s understanding of it for me.

The Gift of a Clean Heart By: Jennifer Frick In the psalm, a clean heart is not something we do, but rather a gift which the divine gives to us, a joy which is restored.

Cleaning House By: John H. Campbell Wherever you find yourself, remember that no matter how much old garbage or negativity you might have allowed to build up, it’s no challenge for God to assist you in making your heart, soul and spirit to feel just like new, and guide you in the process of maintaining a “clean house” spiritually all the time.

Features:

Darkness from Light By: Steve Parelli Later over lunch with the pastor who sponsored us and with a friend from Uganda who observed the meetings, the pastor said, “By tonight, 2,000 people will be told the story that their Rwanda Bible incorrectly uses the word ‘homosexual’ in five Old Testament verses.”

Losing Love to an “Ex-Gay Ministry” By: Grace Rivers She was involved with a ministry called Living Waters/Desert Stream and an avid follower of the teachings of James Dobson’s “Love Won Out” conferences and Dan Allendar’s work. I was not familiar with these things about her until after I lost her.

Religion is Ridiculous? By: David G. Meyers By heaping scorn on the worst examples of anything, including medicine, law, politics, or even atheism, one can make it look evil. But the culture war of competing anecdotes becomes a standoff.

Confronting Internalized Homophobia By: Rev. Dr. Jerry S. Maneker LGBT people all too often do have witting or unwitting self-loathing, and use those historically punishing words on themselves in the name of “liberation,” ignorantly (or stupidly) thinking that they are appropriating and neutralizing those words …

It’s Not About Issues By: Rev. Dr. Jerry S. Maneker The issues aren’t women and Gays, per se but, rather, the desire for control within the social structure(s) in which those with the reactionary mind-set find themselves!

Letters to the Editor

Marriage Equality:

Gay Marriage – WWJD? By: Jeffrey S. Nelson I suggest that before we decide what we should do about same-sex marriage rights we should ask, “Gay Marriage – What would Jesus do?”

Marriage Equality and Everything Else By: Bob Minor Marriage equality has been thrust upon us and is an important part of the mix. And it’s only one issue in the midst of so many others that are even more bread and butter.

From the Pulpit:

Size Matters By: Rev. Candace Chellew Jesus reminds us that God is generous and when it comes to heaven – size matters. When it comes to God’s grace – size matters. When it comes to God’s forgiveness – size matters. When it comes to God’s community here on earth – size matters.

God: The Original Party Animal By: Rev. Candace Chellew I really hate this Matthew passage. On one level it speaks to me – God, the original party animal, invites us to an incredible feast – the good and the bad gathered together in love and community. On another level, it’s a terrible, horrible story filled with violence and terror.

Bible Study:

Leviticus 19: On Loving the Alien By: Lincoln Rose We are reminded in no uncertain terms that it is not God’s way to treat people worse because they’re not like us.

Holy Humor:

You Ask Him

The Seventeenth Chapter