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Archive for August, 2009

Deb’s House Concerts

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OrenLavie

The conceptualizing of it must have been a lot of fun. The actual making of it was probably lengthy and tiresome. But, it makes a neat effect.

Her Morning Elegance

The woman is in bed, presumably sleeping, and she travels through her entire day, on her mattress. You have to see it.

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Deb’s House Concerts

Oppression Of Gay People By Anti-Gay Religious Views

I read a few comments, on Carol Boltz’s web page, written by a man who has strong attractions to other men. This would be okay, but he is married and he has children. He chooses to try to suppress these feelings for other men, because he is married and has children, and because his religious beliefs tell him it is wrong to be with another man.

His Profile Led Me To His Video Blog

From his comments on Carol’s page, I went to his blogger profile, and then to his personal blog. Once I was there, I watched some of his videos. He posts videos frequently. In most of them, he talks about his attraction to other men.

I Felt Such Heaviness and Sadness Watching Him

My impression of this man, from what I can see and hear in his video posts, is that he is swimming in the ocean while wearing a lead suit. I don’t usually feel such a heaviness and struggle from people I read online. Maybe it was different with this man, because he was talking into the camera, and that made it more personal.

I Left A Comment (of course I left a comment!)

This is what I said:

I reached your blog through your  comments on Carol Boltz’s blog. I’ve watched parts of several of your videos (from most recent back to this one).

I feel sad watching you and listening to you. Maybe I’m misunderstanding, but what I feel from you is so much pain and so much struggle. You seem like a really nice guy. It hurts to see you hurting so much.

What about Bruno? I’ve not seen it. I might see it at some point. From what I’ve read, I don’t think the goal of the movie was what you thought it was (to desensitize people to gay sex).

I think the bottom line with Bruno was that the actor is a comedian and he wanted to get laughs. In this movie, he did it by playing an over-the-top gay stereotype. (He played an entirely different character in his last movie.)

Bruno, the movie, was supposedly pointing out the anti-gay attitudes of people. But again, from what I’ve heard, Sasha Baron Cohen used extremes and stereotypes that actually (probably? possibly?) reinforce negative attitudes about gay people. I guess time will tell about that.

From what I’ve read, gay rights groups are not happy about the movie because it reinforces the idea that gay=nothing-but-sex (and does not acknowledge relationship, love and emotional intimacy, all parts of any close, loving, adult, significant other relationship).

It seems to me that the institutions that create (or influence the creation of) the greatest anti-gay beliefs, behaviors and laws  are the fundamentalist parts of organized religions. I don’t see that Jesus ever said one bad word about same sex relationships.

Same-sex attractions and relationships existed in the time of Jesus. There were social and tribal rules in the Old Testament about men being with men during the time when the Israelites needed to build their nation. If men were attracted to men that far back in history, then surely there were same-sex attractions in the time of Jesus.

Jesus never said one word against same sex attraction or same-sex love relationships. The way I see it, if God said it was wrong (as the fundamentalist groups want us to believe), why did God (Jesus) not say it in all of His teachings during His time on earth? He certainly had plenty to say about many other things.

[UPDATE: Saturday August 29, 2009. Rob would like to invite you to visit his page. It’s called The Architect’s Garage.]

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Deb’s House Concerts

Did I Write Too Much?

You decide. I just wonder why it is that someone would question someone’s entire life’s work and ministry. If people in some churches want to question the truth that Ray Boltz has spoken aloud, maybe they should question the teachings of the church that cause people to hide from who they are for fear of condemnation (by God, church, family and society). Those teachings are not from Jesus in the New Testament. They are not teachings from God who walked and talked and loved and accepted people as they are.

The Music Is The Same

The music Ray Boltz wrote, performed and recorded for about twenty years is the same music now that it was when people couldn’t get enough of it. The music did not change. Ray only changed by learning to accept himself as God made him. If the music changed for you, it is because you changed in your perception of the music. If it meant something to you in the past, let it mean the same thing to you today.

Videos of Ray Boltz’s Songs

Here are links to a few videos of Ray Boltz songs on YouTube.

Thank You

The Anchor Holds

What If I Give All?

The Alter

What Was I Supposed To Be?

Watch The Lamb

Feel The Nails

One Drop Of Blood

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Deb’s House Concerts

I Went Back The Next Day And Left Another Comment

While I was working on my second comment, trying to make sure I’d corrected all the typos, I looked at the information about who writes for that site. 

Oh, The Irony

I had to laugh at the irony. I discovered that I was leaving comments on a site that is authored by a minister in a Christian denomination to which I used to belong. It (the denomination) has since been hijacked (by deliberate design and careful planning and implementation) by people who believe that women should not be allowed to hold positions of authority in church and that wives should be submissive to their husbands. Of course they think that gay people cannot possibly be Christians.

Here Is The Second Comment I Left On That Post

 I’ve returned after sleeping, and I see there were a few typos in my long comment. My apologies for that. The biggest typo was in paragraph two. It should have read:

Homosexuality is about having one’s primary orientation for a loving relationship be towards someone of the same sex. Heterosexuality is about having one’s primary orientation for a loving relationship be towards someone of the opposite sex. Same-sex attraction is the same as opposite-sex attraction, only it is for a person of the same sex.

The others typos are things I should have spell-checked for.

I have to disagree with you about discipleship. I might agree that it was not adequate, but for a reason entirely different from your own. If I understood you correctly, you believe that Ray is not really a Christian, you question his entire Christian life, and you believe that “homosexual attraction” is something for which a person should be “held accountable” by the people in his church.

I believe the church has done a great disservice to Christians who do not fit the expectation that the only acceptable relationship is a marriage between a man and a woman. By teaching that “homosexual attraction” is a temptation to sin, rather than part of who a person is, many Christian people (those who have “homosexual attractions”) are trained to believe that what they feel is unnatural, sinful and certainly not something that came from God (as part of how they were created by God in the image of God).

If you use the WWJD model, the “What Would Jesus Do?” model, I believe He would welcome and embrace all loving couples: traditional male-female couples (the majority of couples), male-male couples and female-female couples. What we are in God’s eyes are God’s children. If your attraction and desire for relationship is with someone of the opposite sex, you are fortunate, for you will not experience the condemnation of people who claim to know that you are wicked and evil and God hates you, people who also want you to believe those untruths.

I happen to believe that God created all people, those who desire a loving and committed relationship with someone of the opposite sex, and those who desire a loving and committed relationship with someone of the same sex.

We are all created by God and all loved by God. What is unnatural is for people to force a person to believe that he or she is utterly despicable for being who he or she is. There are untold thousands of people who have been harmed by teaching that somehow lets heterosexual Christians believe they are the real Christians and that the Christians whose loved ones are of the same sex are not really Christians at all and need to repent and return to God.

I believe many churches have done great harm to those who are not heterosexual with lifelong teaching that is designed to induce self-hatred and shame. I do not believe that is what Jesus would do. I believe Jesus would be a joyful guest at the marriages of every loving couple. Indeed, if we believe Jesus is with us as Christians, it follows that Jesus IS indeed a joyful guest at the marriage of every loving couple.

Ray Boltz’s decision to openly share his personal story with the world was one that has resulted in many people (influenced by church leaders and radio station owners?) turning their backs on him and his musical contribution to the lives of millions of people. I don’t understand that. I don’t understand the obsession that many Christian people have with the personal lives, and imagined sexual activity, of other people. Again, I don’t see this speculation as something Jesus would do.

Ray Boltz has lived his life in service to God and ministry to others with his music. He and his wife brought four children into the world and brought them up to be the fine people they are. Ray and Carol also are people any thoughtful and aware Christian would be pleased to know. The lives of countless Christians are better because of these people and their contribution to Christian music and worship.

I understand how easy it is to be an armchair quarterback and second guess the motives and inner lives of others. I’m probably doing that a little bit here as I say how wrong I think it is for people to question the integrity and faith of Ray and Carol Boltz. What we should all be doing is thanking God for all that they have given to our lives and to this world over the years through their lives and Ray’s music and his ministry.

If we open our eyes, we can see that Ray and Carol Boltz are still showing the love of God through their lives and their open hearts. They are showing the acceptance of God for those children of God who are rejected by some parts of the church. The discipleship that may not have been present in the past is what they now are able to offer others: respect and acceptance of people as they are, without the artificial judgments people tend to place on each other.

I believe the answer to WWJD is that Jesus would be, and is, present at every Ray Boltz concert, and Jesus is present in the love and support that Carol Boltz offers to couples who are unequally yoked (my choice of words) where one member of the couple is homosexual and one member of the couple is heterosexual. It’s difficult to be the straight spouse with a gay partner, and it’s difficult to be the gay spouse of a straight partner. Carol speaks from the heart on her web page, and she offers her support and her open heart to those who are hurting. Ray Boltz speaks truth in his music. Carol Boltz speaks truth on her web page. Listen to them both and hear God in what they have to say. http://myheartgoesout-carol.blogspot.com/

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Stats For This WordPress Site

WordPress is such a great platform for so many thousands of people who write and post their thoughts online. It’s free, and it’s easy to use.  One of the features I use is the Stats page on Dashboard. It shows a graph of the changing numbers of visitors each day, and it shows referrers, search terms, posts visited and links clicked.

The Referrers List Led Me To This Post

On my referrers list at the start of this month, there was a link to a search engine page with a search for ‘Carol Boltz’. I looked at the results on that page, and found a post someone wrote last September. In that post, the writer made statements about the much-loved, much-praised Christian singer Ray Boltz. That post was written after Ray Boltz’s interview in the Washington Blade, and it criticized his faith and his integrity.

Not One To Keep A Reply To Myself … Sometimes

Often I read stories online and I take a deep breath, maybe sigh a deep sigh, and I close the page, sure that it’s better for me not to get involved. Other times, more often, I save the links to stories I feel like I want to comment on. Then, most often, I do not have the opportunity to follow through by writing a post about the story.

This Was One of the Times I Chose to Respond Directly

I was looking at all the links returned by a search for Carol Boltz. The search engine had referred someone to my page. I wanted to see where else they sent people. That was how I stumbled upon the post that questioned Ray Boltz’s faith and his integrity.  I began writing a comment, and before long, it was longer than some of my posts. So, I decided to turn it into a post.

This Is The Comment I Left

What I see here is that you (author and most commenters) view homosexuality as being only about sex, and as sin, rather than as the way a person is. It appears that you do not believe in the existence of homosexuality as being about who someone is and who someone loves.

Homosexuality is about having one’s primary orientation for a loving relationship be towards someone of the same sex. Heterosexuality is about having one’s primary orientation for a loving relationship be towards someone of the same sex. Same-sex attraction is the same as opposite-sex attraction, only it is for a person of the same sex.

I feel certain that any of you would not say that your loving relationship is only about sex. You talk, you cook meals, you clean, you take care of the children, you pay bills, you go places together, to do projects, you go to work, you pay taxes, you go to church, you take vacations. Sometimes you have sex, but it is not the only thing you share. It is the same for people whose desire for a loving relationship is for someone of the same sex.

Jesus never said a single word against homosexuals. He did, however, say much about heterosexuals who are divorced. I do not see churches insisting that heterosexual people who are divorced never again enter into a relationship that involves love and emotional and sexual intimacy.

This is not about love the sinner hate the sin. This is about “judge not that ye be not judged.” This is about taking the log out of your own eye before you try to pull the splinter out of someone else’s.

Until divorced people never remarry and never again have sex, no one in the church has any business cherry-picking scripture to try to say homosexuals cannot be in loving relationships and be loved by and accepted by God at the same time.

For those who insist on believing that there is no such thing as a same-sex sexual orientation, and that attraction to to a person of the same sex is nothing more than a heterosexual person having sinful thoughts, think again. If you are attracted to people who are your same sex, you are most likely homosexual or bisexual. Your desire is not a sexual addiction or a temptation for sexual sin that is attacking you as a heterosexual person. It is something that is a part of you.

If you are attracted to persons who are your same sex, and you are living in a heterosexual marriage in order to try to cure yourself of those thoughts, you are living a lie. You are the one who is living the lie and behaving in an unnatural way. Ray Boltz’s ex-wife Carol has chosen to open her heart to those who are in this situation, both the gay married partners and the straight partners of the gay husbands or wive.

Carol Boltz is a wonderful, open, loving Christian woman who loves God and loves people. If you want to believe anyone, believe Carol. She knows that homosexuality is not about being a straight man with attractions to other men. She knows it is not something a person chooses to feel. She knows that a person’s sexual orientation is a part of who that person is. Read her blog and find the information and the support and encouragement you need. http://myheartgoesout-carol.blogspot.com/

+ My typos are addressed in the second comment I left on that post.

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Deb’s House Concerts

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Antarctica Has More Species than Galapagos

Hmmm. They’re saying Antarctica has more species than Galapagos. That’s pretty cool. Seriously. Antarctica is really on the cool side, minus many more degrees. How in the world were they able to learn about all those species without freezing to death?

I have only admiration for anyone who is hardy enough to work on or near Antarctica. I imagine it is an amazing experience, one that puts a person almost in the same category as astronauts, living a life the rest of us can only imagine and few will ever have the opportunity to attempt.

I was kidding about preferring to scuba dive in the warmer waters. That was before I realized they really DID scuba dive to do this inventory! How did they do this? Obviously, I’m missing something in this story. It must have to do with the location. Maybe the Antarctic Peninsula is not as cold as Antarctica. I don’t know. Both sound cold to me.

I think I’ll put on another blanket while I finish reading the article!

Here’s how it starts:

Antarctica Has More Species than Galapagos
LiveScience.com livescience Staff
Tue Dec 2, 4:46 pm ETIslands around the Antarctic Peninsula have more known species than the Galapagos Islands and many temperate and tropical regions, a new inventory at the polar region reveals.A team of 23 scientists from five research institutes, including team members from the British Antarctic Survey, undertook the first comprehensive inventory of sea and land animals around the South Orkney Islands, near the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. They used scuba divers and trawl nets to catch creatures from as deep as nearly a mile down (1,500 meters).The inventory turned up sea urchins, free-swimming worms, crustaceans and mollusks, mites and birds, including five new species (of bryozoans, more commonly known as sea moss, and isopods, the marine equivalents of wood-lice) to science.

To arrive at the inventory, animals were recorded and then checked against a century of literature and modern databases. The team concluded there are more than 1,224 species in total at this Antarctic locale. Of these, nearly a third were new to the area, such as three octopuses, four snails, five sea urchins, and one sea star, to name a few.

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Deb’s House Concerts

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Body By Jake and Living the Truth with Dr. Keith Ablow on ACloserLookRadio.com

I  missed the show, but it’s available in Pam Atherton’s archives.

Here’s the show description:

 

Kicking off the New Year with the King of Personal Fitness and Dr. Keith Ablow

 

Jake Steinfeld (Body By Jake) starts off the show this week with insider secrets to the bodybuilding world and how he started the personal trainer craze. We’ll talk about steroid use in bodybuilding, why he chose to stay away from them, and how a broomstick and a towel changed his life. He’s funny and honest and you can’t escape his enthusiasm.

 

Then one of the most respected names in psychiatry joins the conversation as we welcome Dr. Keith Ablow to talk about Living the Truth. The author of several books, both fiction and non-fiction, Dr. Keith is also a popular TV host and radio guest. We’ll talk about why we need to dig deep and explore our truths and how we can start the process on our own. Plus… you can bet I’ll ask him about the woman with the burning feet in our interview.

 

Please join us this Thursday (January 8, 2009) at 1pm PT / 4pm ET for a closer look at Body By Jake with Jake Steinfeld and Living the Truth with Dr. Keith Ablow on A Closer Look with Pam Atherton. To hear the show live, go to www.ACloserLookRadio.com and hit LISTEN (or, if you miss the show, to hear it in archive).

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