Volume 7, Issue 5

Being Present

Cover Stories

Only the Present Moment is Real
By Candace Chellew
This is the power of being present. When we truly are living in the present moment there is not need for anger, irritation or unhappiness. The present moment does not know such emotions or problems – it only knows the joy and ease of being fully alive.

Still and Know
By Ko Imani
The simple truth is that salvation, enlightenment and inner peace can only be found by going inward, and never by rummaging through what’s outside.

Loving and Living as God’s Beloved
By Rev. Vera I. Bourne
What methods should we employ to draw so closely to God that we are ever ready, evert alert, for Godís presence in our lives? Surely we need to hear and obey the precepts already laid down for us. We have not been encompassed with regulations impossible to obey; instead God asks for our love to be demonstrated in all we say and do.

Great Expectations
By John H. Campbell
But one of the great mysteries of life is that although we can take precautions and live as thoughtfully and as carefully as we can, with purpose, we never know for certain when we will cross into what awaits beyond this life. What we can know, is in this very moment we are in life as we know it, and we never know at what moment we will pass on; I see Jesus saying in His teachings, to value and cherish each moment of this part of our existence, as well.

Homospirituality

Dear Pastors
By Glenn Fosdick and Wally Kostick
We are writing you this letter in hopes that you will understand our thoughts on same-sex marriages and gay rights. In no way are we going to haunt you because of your opinion. We pray that this note will open you eyes to the truth of reality that we gays and lesbians are human and have needs like the traditional heterosexual marriage and rights. We are a part of the society that you live in no matter where we may be. We deserve those rights just like you do.

Being Gay is a Gift from God
By Rev. Dr. Jerry S. Maneker
The last bastion of the civil rights movement is the stigma and exclusion of gay people from our churches and from our secular society. Yet, they can be seen to be a gift to us from God in that, despite their terrible persecution, many remain steadfast in their loving relationships.

The Pressures of Traditional Religious Culture
By Daniel Payne
It is my belief that fundamentalist (or any anti-gay) upbringings are the direct cause of many cases of suicide committed by homosexuals, and itís certainly the direct cause of a multitude of depression cases, not just for homosexuals. Anti-gay teachings found in most fundamentalist communities are perversions of portions of a book that was never meant to be a rulebook to be followed letter by letter.

Rediscovering God
By Adam Bourret
I know that there are times, especially in the lives of young homosexuals, that a terrible sense of loneliness can come over you, a feeling that you have no one to turn to. But if you can feel the presence of God in your life, I promise that you will know that life can be truly wonderful.

The Love of God is for All
By Hayden K. Smith
Yet, all I know, and can know, is that the love of God is for all. Yet the given freedom of love is gravely hampered and blocked by a church and society which seems to have no love for itself or for the people in their care.

I Don’t Have a Closet Religion
By Jan Whitehouse
If you know that God has a plan for you; if you have experienced His hand pulling you from destruction; if you have reached the undeniable conclusion that God continues to bless and demonstrate His love for you; then I urge you to obey that calling to serve. Ignore every other negative voice.

Chosen and Loved
By Rev. Vera I. Bourne
From out of their isolation and stumbling in the glare of the sun they came, those deemed unclean and therefore unable to live within ordinary society. The authorities had condemned each of them to death, the slow death of physical and spiritual separation.

Features

Friendly with the Enemy
By Steve Pearson
The story of David and the Philistines is deeply troubling, but even more troubling is the lack of attention it receives among churchgoers who rage against the American Taliban.

A Homily in Three Parts: Encountering Grace in the Courtroom
By Kara Speltz
None of us were really surprised when the judge said that she had to find us guilty, given that even we acknowledged we’d heard the warnings to leave. But when it came time for the sentencing, none of us expected to hear the judge say what she did.

Letters To The Editor

From the Pulpit

Roadside Encounters
By Gary Simpson
In the midst of our Emmaus road experiences, those times when the Lord seems so remote, it feels like He is dead, the Lord searches for us, finds us and gives us strength and comfort. When your longed for sexual orientation, your career goals, your dreams for a lover, your marriage, your family or your spiritual success feel threatened, you are not alone. The Lord walks with us when our hopes are dashed and helps us discover the meaning of the resurrection.

Bible Study and Inspiration

Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?
By Tom Yeshua
Jesus wanted to be known on his own terms and accepted for who he really was, not by some identity that was forced upon him by others. Gay and lesbian folk should be able to tap into this with little or no problem.

The Lord is Our Shepherd
By Rebecca Dutius
If you are not only a long time Christian but also a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgend er Christian, or a friend or family member of a GLBT Christian, you have also plenty of images of these earthly shepherds that may not quite match all those shepherd ideals we have been taught. I know I have. Although given the calling to be shepherds of the flock, they have turned against portions of that flock. They have sent some of Godís sheep out in the cold, and have not tended to their needs.

Holy Humor

Only Hugh

Jesus and the Redneck