What makes up a family?
Family is commonly thought of as a father and mother with children. But, the idea of family is better defined by the heart of those that makeup the family.
Families have many variations of how they are formed. Single parents, those without kids, gay couples with or without kids.
The idea of family extends to community groups too. There are churches and closes friends that identify as family as well. And the important thing about those you call family is the deep bond you have with each other.
Family and community can be a deep tie that bonds us together with love for one another.
For myself, I don’t have a close relationship with most of my biological relatives as I did when I was young. But, as a man on my 40s that is gay,, I have discovered a new family with my husband’s family.
These days family is a what is made of love, community and all the typical things that glue people together with other people.
Simply put, what makes up a family is love.
The psalmist David wrote many songs and back in those days they would say, “Lookup” to the Lord. There are many songs even now that have that theme of looking up to God. Thankfully, we understand that Jesus, God, Spirit lives on the inside and not the outside of us. So, when you look up, you are calling to look up to a higher spiritual places within you … within your spirit where God dwells.
Set aside the time: I don’t know about you, but most of us are a lot the same – and I need to look up… to find encouragement from the usual things in life that can bring us down. Just set aside the time to be encouraged. That could be once a week at church if you go, ever three days, or every day – Just make it a habit to set aside the time to
lookup and be encouraged.
Where do I start?: Take inventory – sit down and write out a list of things that encourage you. It could be hanging out with friends, pray time alone, exercise, music. I know that when people go running or walking it activates the creative center of the mind. You might need time to just reflect on life or the last few days while you walk. Creativity is so important to being encouraged. Set aside the time to encourage yourself and take creative inventory of the things that keep love, life and joy flowing within you and keep you looking up.
The Hurt in Our Lives: Are you hurting? You are hurting. I’m serious, we are all hurting. If we weren’t hurting then we would’t have to take control of our problems and find joy by looking up within us. Sometimes it is easy to block out the reasons we are hurting. For others it is very obviously what is causing hurt in our lives and the problem with that is it becomes us the only thing in our focus. And setting aside time to take inventory of the things that gives of love and joy has to be very intentional. So, that hurt can be dealt with in our lives and for us to come to a place were we are at peace with problems in our lives without it consuming us.
Where are we headed?: Let Love consume you. If you don’t let love consume you then the hurt in your life with consume you. Hurt will distort your vision of the world around you and your perception of people. You’ll find that you hate people more than you love them — and that has to change in your life if you want to be whole and healed. If we want to be healed, then we have to be headed toward love. The thing about love is you can always have more. Love is like an ocean — it is deep, it is wide and the size of it is infinite and so large that it can not be calculated. Perhaps you need to connect to someone you’ve lost contact with from the past and show them love — give them some of your time and let it be about them. Don’t make it about you. Just give love to them. Give them a call and see how they are doing. The Spirit will speak to you because of that time that you give.
In closing, find out what you need to do this week to set aside time, heal the hurt with in you just a little bit more, and dive in deeper to love and lastly share that love with someone and watch it grow in them and within you.
With all my love,
Have not slept well tonight. I listened to some worship music for a little bit and wrote a little bit on my other blog Diary of a HIV POZ Man about pain. So, you can check that out if you like from the link provided.
There are many ways to deal with pain and the stress that comes along with pain. I’m a good boy and take my pain medication and stress medications like I am told, but, that does not mean that it fully fixes the issues. That is when I turn inward for spiritual answers. I listen to some worship music to distract my mind, even if it is just for a moment. Sometimes I soak my feet in warm water or lay down to take a nap. Whatever it takes to get just a little bit more relief. If pain is a teacher, then I must have a masters degree already.
I can certainly say that dealing with pain and stress has made me a more empathic person. And while I’m not overly social, I can at least empathize with other that experience similar issues. I just wish the medical community here in Oklahoma had a stronger grip on empathy. Empathy is at the core of a real and spiritual christian life really means. Jesus’ ability to empathize with others was one of the defining characteristics of His life. Sadly, there are so many that call Him savior that either do not get it or refuse to get it. It makes me think that those in the faith that can empathize with others are like an arm that has been slept upon and lost feeling once the blood flow to the arm was cut off. You know. Then, you wake up and can not feel, then you try pushing the blood back into your limb.
If you really want to hear the Voice of God in your life, then spend a little bit of time with those in pain and stress, no matter what form it takes. Then, soak it in and feel. Truly, feel.
Recently, I’ve seen a lot of people giving a lot of negative attention to these words and others. I just finished watching a video about reclaiming words like dyke, fag and tranny on YouTube by Arielle Scarcella (aka GirlfriendsTV) and I’ll add Queer to that list. I’ve been called names for being gay throughout my life and I’m sure many of you have also. Words can be used to harm or for self empowerment or like armor as Arielle puts it.
I’ve used the phrase ‘Queer as Faith’ for my blog and twitter for a while now. And over that period of time, I’ve been treated bad in comments and an occasional question as to why I use it as the title to my blog – mixed with some negative words by the commenter. I do not see my use of Queer as negative; it is a broad term meant to include all christians that are gay, queer, trans and so forth.
There are a segment of people that tell me that I can not or should not be a christian because I am gay. As though being gay is some kind of exclusive club. For me, I take my faith as a spiritual journey. As for me, I can leave all the dogma out if it. It’s not to say that I won’t quote a scripture here and there. But, also will not let the bible or scripture become an idol to me either. Ideally, we need to follow our heart and not use words to harm others. But, that doesn’t mean that when people are using their faith to harm that I or others should not be clear on calling it out. And the same is true for words used to describe the LGBTQIA or gay community. If your intent to use the world ‘Fag’ is to harm then people will know. And if I feel comfortable saying that, “Yes, I am a fag. So, what?”, then, that too should be understood as fine because it is used as armor for self empowerment as a way to reclaim what the rest of the world has distorted.
So, I urge you to check out Arielle’s video (click here to watch) on the topic and hear what she has to say about it. And subscribe to her channel while you are there for some great videos on various topics.
So often we have an image of God. A god that lets people suffer or is waiting on us to win his holly lotto. Pastor Rutherford blogged this. It a perfect example what what I’m talking about, but with the truth at the end to fear not, we are all saved.
Imagine a God who would turn His back on a child screaming in pain….Who died too soon and missed out on some heavenly cut-off-date….And slipped and fell to cruel HELL to burn and suffer evermore…A God like this would have to change His name from LOVE to HATE.His mercy would have to abruptly end, His grace would have to fail…If He allowed a single soul to stay in any kind of Hell!His kindness and His gentleness…would have to BOTH cease to exist…And he would need to curl His out-stretched hand into a fist…And grit his teeth in deep frustration…. knowing that His great salvation…Didn’t take away the SIN of the world, as He planned it to…FEAR NOT! He saved us, every one! And His love will deliver YOU!
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