Saturday, July 30, 2011

Point of Grace - How You Live

I know this song is a few years old now, but it's one I've always really liked and thought maybe some of you might like it as well if you've never heard it before. There are so few songs out there with such a meaningful and great message as this one presents. It's just beautiful, and so inspiring.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

God's Poll Numbers?

Earlier today I heard on CNN that a poll had been conducted asking people to rate God's job performance. I thought the idea of such a poll was ridiculous at the time, and after reading some more facts about it here, I am confidant I was right: this poll is ridiculous.

It is more than ridiculous, though. The fact that people are being asked to judge God on his job performance is just wrong on so many levels. Who are any of us to fault God with anything? He's the creator and master of all the universe, for crying out loud. How can any of us ever presume to know better than He does?

The arrogance of this poll just astounds me. At least more (although only slightly) than half of Americans approve of how God is handling things though.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I’ve spent the last several years trying to figure myself out. What job I want, where I want to live, whether I want kids or not, what sort of writer I want to be, whether I’m gay or not, whether or not I want to be openly gay, whether or not I want to try to become straight, what my religious beliefs are, what sort of friends I want and how to get them, etc.

I feel like I’ve figured out a lot of these issues. And it’s been hard dealing with each of them. None of the right answers have just fallen on my lap, or been given to me. I’ve fought and struggled, went to pieces and picked myself back up again (and on many occasions was actually picked up by others). But none of the decisions I’ve had to make were easy. None of the things I’ve gone through concerning these things was easy.

Today I went for a long overdue haircut appointment. I walked in, got a seat to wait my turn, and was polite and courteous to everyone else there. I was glad to see the lady who cuts my hair. She’s only cut it three or four times now, but she’s always worked in the established I’ve gone to for the last eight years or so. So, I knew her well enough, and was glad to see her.

After a few minutes, my hair stylist struck up a conversation with one of the other two people in the room being waited on. I sat back and listened as the two of them talked about a recent high school graduate who was no longer welcome at the establishment. This got my attention because I’d never known anyone who was not welcome to get their haircut there. As the conversation continued, I found out why. The person they were talking about was an openly gay teen who had been getting his haircut there for years. The reason he was no longer welcome was because he had brought his boyfriend into the store to get his haircut with him, and because my hair stylist and former one (who owns the store) did not approve of their relationship.

I listened to this conversation with such a huge gut wrenching feeling. Neither of these two people who I have known for years now knows that I am gay. They don’t know all the pain and struggle I’ve gone through in trying to come to terms with the fact that I am sexually attracted to other men. And they probably have no idea how much that young teen boy has gone through either.

The conversation continued. I listened as they talked about how far our society has gone to accept homosexuality and make it okay or cool to be gay, and how our schools are teaching kids it’s okay to be gay, and how immoral all of it is.

I felt crushed. I felt like what had started off as a good day had all of a sudden been totally trashed. And, still, I could not find the courage to out myself in front of them and tell them what I really thought of the whole thing.

No one has to like what decisions I make in life. No one has to like anyone else’s decisions in life. But when someone makes a decision about the way they want to live their life, in ways that do not affect the way other people live theirs, I find it immoral of anyone to judge them for that.

I don’t care if it is a sin to be in a homosexual relationship or not. If someone chooses that for himself or herself, what does that matter to anyone else? Feel sorry, sad, talk to with care, or pray for the person, but do not act as though they’re the scum of the earth just because you disapprove. What gets me is that both hair stylists wouldn’t bat an eye if an unmarried, sexually active, straight couple came into their store, or if a straight couple shows public displays of affection, but somehow they do have a problem with gay couples. There is hypocrisy there.

People don’t have to like the decisions I make in life. But then again, these are my decision, not theirs. These are decisions that I have had to wrestle with to come to some conclusion. So, until they’ve walked in my shoes, I find it incredibly rude and uncaring for them to make a big deal about what I’ve decided for myself. It is my life, and certain decisions, like whether or not to be gay, are personal decisions that do not affect the way other people live their lives anyway. Sometimes I just want to tell other people to go to hell. Because that’s how they make me feel: like hell. And I’d say that’s exactly how they made that young gay couple feel. They rejected them outright.

Today, I wished Jesus was who I went to to cut my hair. If he was, I know I’d have not heard the conversation I heard today. And I may have even seen that gay couple sitting there beside me, waiting for their turn. Jesus never turned people away from him. So why do so many Christians today feel that they need to do that to others? It’s because they dislike, are scared, and are angered by those who are different from them, and because being around people who are different makes them question their worldview. Well, if you ask me, that’s not living very Christ-like.

My name is Brandon. I want to become a great teacher. I want to live near where I grew up. At this time, I’m not so sure that I want kids of my own (I have my nephews). I want to write children’s books, spy thrillers, suspense mysteries, and some historical nonfiction books. I am gay, but celibate. I do not want to be openly gay to everybody. I don’t care if I ever become straight or not—it really doesn’t matter. I am a Christian. And I want friends who will treat others the way they’d like to be treated, as I treat others the way I’d like to be treated. These are my decisions, and I accept them in full. If you don’t accept them, keep it to yourself, because at the end of the day, it’s my life and I have to live it the way I see is best for me, not as you see is best for you.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

On Friendly Ground

I’ve never been able to understand other peoples’ concepts of friendship. For me, once you’re a friend you are, generally speaking, always a friend. And it doesn’t matter so much to me if you’re a friend from work, school, church, or elsewhere.

A lot of people seem to want to categorize their friends in a way that I just don’t understand. Friends at work are only friends while at work. Friends from school are only friends at school. And the same applies to the other imaginable categories. But why is this?

I know there are several people who I call friend that would probably only call me an acquaintance. And herein is a very subtle line, because there are some people who I’d also only call an acquaintance who may in fact call me a friend. Really, should there even be a difference though? I think there is an obvious difference. For me, an acquaintance is someone who you are on friendly terms with, but is not someone who you know very well or have spent much time with. A friend, on the other hand, is someone you know fairly well, who you’ve most likely shared some emotional bond with.

But what I don’t understand is how some people can toss their friendships with people to the side, as if it meant, or means, nothing. Friendship is one of the best things a person can have, and yet I see people all the time who don’t seem to care about their friends. I know I’ve not always been the best friend in the world. I tend to isolate myself far too often, and in doing so I end up pushing people away that I don’t mean to push away.

Time. Now there’s something that can end a friendship. For me, time usually means nothing. As I said, once a friend, usually always a friend—that’s just how I roll. But for some, if you’ve not been around each other for awhile, well, that just means the friendship is finished. I don’t get that. In my mind, if there has been some time go by, well, to be reunited or reconnected somehow should be a good thing—just pick up where you last left off.

It bothers me when I care about people who no longer care about me simply because we haven’t been around each other for a while. I don’t change so much, so I just don’t get it. Why not keep on being friends? Do other people totally reinvent themselves every few months or so? I mean, I do realize time can change things. I’m not completely the same person I was in high school—far from it—but I can still be friends, or at the very least, friendly, with people I was friends with in high school. Other people can’t seem to do that for some reason.

But then I’ve never understood relationships between people anyway. In a lot of cases I’ve always seemed to be the odd man out. I just don’t understand why people can’t be friends with each other without all the restrictions.

Oh, well you’re only a friend when I’m at work; you’re only a church friend; you’re only a friend at school; It’s been too long for us to still be friends… I just don’t understand any of those sorts of thinking. So, if you are a friend of mine reading this now, I’d like you to know this: If you are my friend you are my friend, regardless of where we see each other the most, or how often we communicate with each other. You’ll always have a friend in me. If you are my friend, I value you too much for those other things to make any difference.