Volume 13, Issue 3

Create in Me a Clean Heart

Cover Stories

Fatten My Spirit, O God
By Rev. 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.


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 Dr. Robert N. 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